The results have been released and Alexander Mendoza was right: Felix Hernandez has won the 2010 American League Cy Young Award. He beat out David Price, who finished second, and CC Sabathia who took third. Jon Lester and Jered Weaver rounded out the top five. Ultimately — and as I predicted — the voting wasn’t that close: King Felix won fairly easily, taking 21 of the 28 first place votes. The most scandalous thing I’ve seen so far is that David Price was left off a ballot. Given that voters were voting for the top five, that’s a tad curious, though maybe not to backers of Hernandez, Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Jered Weaver and Jon Lester.
For the second year in a row, the Baseball Writers Association of America gave the award to the better pitcher, not the pitcher with a bigger win total. For as much vitriol as has been thrown at the BBWAA in the past, they should be lauded here for a job well done. And we should probably acknowledge at this point that, in the run up to the awards, the “old school” writers who say things contrary to the prevalent sabermetric thinking likely aren’t all that representative of the BBWAA voting pool in the first place. These arguments we have, I’m beginning to realize, are between the wrong people. Even if they are highly enjoyable.
In a nice change from usual practice, the BBWAA has listed which writers voted for which players for first place. For those of you who must have blood from any who dare oppose the King Felix orthordoxy, know that Mel Antonen, Tony Fabrizio, Phil Rogers and Chris Assenheimer voted Price for first place. George King, Bob Elliott and Sheldon Ocker had Sabathia first.
Congratulations, King Felix.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.