In September, a writer friend who covers the Yankees and I made a bet.
He said that the over-40, stodgy, old school writers of the BBWAA were going to cost Seattle's Felix Hernandez a deserving AL Cy Young Award this season because he didn't have enough wins (Hernandez ended the season 13-12 while New York's CC Sabathia was 21-7, Tampa Bay's David Price was 19-6 and Boston's Jon Lester was 19-9).
Being an old, stodgy, 40-something writer I took the whippersnapper's bait. We bet dinner during the season that the writers would see the light, dismiss Hernandez's win-loss record and concentrate on his other impressive numbers such as a league-leading 2.27 ERA, 30 quality starts in 34 attempts and 232 strikeouts.
I was right. I'll be ordering steak or maybe the surf and turf.
The AL Cy Young, as voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America, was announced Thursday and Hernandez was the overwhelming winner, capturing 21 of the 28 possible first-place votes and 167 total points. Price finished second (four firsts, 111 total) followed by Sabathia (3 firsts, 102) and Lester (33 points).
I knew my fellow old, stodgy writers would look at the numbers as a whole, and not penalize Hernandez just because he was on a team that never scored.
I am of the minority that still believes "wins" has its place in an overall analysis – my saberfriends swear it is a "flawed metric" and I am a dinosaur – but I believe it is just one category and shouldn't be the overriding factor in voting for awards.
Apparently 21 other writers thought similarly.