Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

If I Had a Cy Young Vote...Wait a Minute, I Do

This year's three Cy Young Award finalists, Clayton Kershaw, R.A. Dickey and Gio Gonzalez.

If I had a vote for the NL Cy Young Award, Kershaw would have received my vote.  Not because he’s a Dodger, but simply because he was the better pitcher this year.  Run the numbers, aside from the meaningless “Wins” statistic. Kershaw was the better pitcher this year.  ERA, WHIP, Strikeouts per 9 innings, walks per nine innings, WAR.  You name it, he out-pitched RA Dickey.  Not by a lot, but enough to merit the Cy Young Award for the second consecutive year.  But it wasn’t to be and I really can’t complain too much about Dickey getting the award.  He was the second best pitcher in the league.  

How could we have expected Kershaw to win the thing?  The recipient of the award plays in New York of all places and us West Coasters know what that means.  I will say that the fact that Clayton only got two first place votes is a travesty.  27 first place votes for Dickey to two for Kershaw.  That is an absolute joke.

Those of you that insist that “wins” is a meaningful statistic will find that Kershaw’s run support ranked amongst the worst in the league.  Kershaw’s run support was 3.94, 66th worst out of 80 starting pitchers in the N.L.   R.A. Dickey, in contrast received an average of 4.64 runs per game, a full 31 places ahead of the Dodger pitcher.  Kershaw had a superior ERA, K/BB ratio, K/9 IP ratio, BA against and more.  The thing is, Dickey was right there with Kershaw in each statistical category, so his winning the CYA should have been expected when you factor in the East Coast bias and his winning percentage.

Internet Writers Have a Vote of Their Own
I must say though that I did have a vote in one sense.  I’m a voting member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA).  The IBWAA was founded by Howard Cole, veteran internet writer that has represented such blogs as www.baseballsavvy.com, and up until a few months ago, the OC Register’s Dodger blog.  Howard currently writes at www.coleonla.com, a must read that covers many topics that includes L.A. sports as well.   One thing that Mr. Cole has been pushing for for years is the Dodgers commissioning a statue honoring Sandy Koufax.  He has had an on-line e-petition calling for this for a number of years, I believe dating back to 2004.  You can READ ABOUT IT HERE.

Howard has reached out to a number of internet baseball writers and started the IBWAA.  I speculate that he created the IBWAA partially in deference to the stringent guidelines of the Baseball Writer’s Association of America.  Who of us hasn’t griped about the BBWAA and their ridiculous voting results in the baseball awards or Hall of Fame enshrinements over the years?  I’ll admit that they get things right most of the time, but they have had their share of controversial choices too.  One being last years NL MVP choice that selected Ryan Braun over Matt Kemp.  Another the snubbing of Bert Blylevan for several years in Hall of Fame voting.
My IBWAA Membership Card.  Note the silhouette of the lefty pitching on the right side of the card.  Recognize that pose?  If you don't, shame on you.

I was extremely pleased to be invited to join the IBWAA back in September and I submitted my votes at the close of this season.  The following are the results from the voting of the IBWAA:

2012 Season IBWAA Awards
AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
NL MVP: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
AL Cy Young Award: David Price, Tampa Bay Rays
NL Cy Young Award: R.A. Dickey, New York Mets
AL Rookie of the Year: Mike Trout, Anaheim Angels (Unanimous)
NL Rookie of the Year: Byrce Harper, Washington Nationals
AL Manager of the Year: Buck Showalter, Baltimore Orioles
NL Manager of the Year: Davey Johnson, Washington Nationals
AL Rollie Fingers Relief Pitcher of the Year: Fernando Rodney, Tampa Bay Rays
NL Hoyt Wilhelm Relief Pitcher of the Year: Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves

Note that the Relief Pitcher of the Year awards for each league (named after the great Hall of Fame relievers Fingers and WIlhelm) are unique awards to the IBWAA, something that gives the organization an edge on the BBWAA.  Also, you'll find that the results from the IBWAA isn't too far off from the BBWAA.

So who did I vote for you ask?  Most of the winners actually.  I voted for winners Cabrera, Price, Trout, D. Johnson, Rodney and Kimbrel.  The differences I had were:  
NL MVP where I voted for Andrew McCutchen, 
NL Cy Young- Clayton Kershaw
NL Rookie of the Year-Wade Miley
AL Manager of the Year-Bob Melvin

Where did I mess up?  Probably in the NL MVP vote.  I should have had Buster Posey higher.  I placed him 4th behind 1) McCutchen, 2) Chase Headley and 3) Ryan Braun.  In retrospect, I think I should have placed Posey in the number two spot, but at the time of the voting I was strongly influenced by Headley’s performance that I witnessed and Braun’s late surge in numbers.  Additionally, I didn't have Bruce Bochy in the top three selections for NL Manager of the Year, but at the time, the playoffs hadn't started.

Those of you contributors interested in joining the IBWAA, you can do so by emailing Mr. Cole at baseballsavvy@aol.com.  He can provide you the application and details.  There is a small fee, but well worth it in my opinion as the IBWWA grows.  THe voting deadline for the Hall of Fame is quickly approaching, so it's best to get on board soon if you want to take part.  The IBWAA website is found at : www.ibwaa.com.  Take a look at it.  Past IBWAA winners dating back to 2009 are posted.  

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