I promise I’ll get off this Cy Young Award voting thing soon, but I had one more thought. Or rather, Dan Levy over at Press Coverage had one more thought, and it’s a good one.
While so many baseball arguments tend to break down into a stats vs. scouts, sabermetrics vs. my-own-damn-eyes debate, the AL Cy Young award should not be one of them. VORP and WAR have been thrown around a bit in the whole Felix Hernandez vs. The World debate, but it’s hardly necessary.
Why? Because the things that separate the candidates — innings pitched, strikeouts, wins, run support — aren’t sabermetric concepts. They’re things that have been a part of baseball — a discussed part of baseball — since they wrote the damn rules down and started playing the game. The difference in opinion is simply an application of differing values and common sense. That doesn’t mean that each opinion is as good as the next — an informed opinion beats an ill-informed one every time — but it does mean that you should probably ignore anyone who couches the argument in terms of “Moneyball” or “stat geeks” or “crusty old sportswriters” or whatever, because that’s all kind of beside the point.
For my part, it doesn’t take much math to think Felix Hernandez is the Cy Young winner. Those who disagree likewise shouldn’t need to appeal to their experience or authority (or other stats like wins as if they’re the be-all, end-all) and think it ends the debate. This is really a straightforward baseball and horse sense kind of thing in my mind.
Anyway, check out Dan’s piece. He covers this pretty well, I think.