Could Felix Hernandez win the Cy Young for the wrong reasons?
I’ve written more stuff about the American League Cy Young Award race than I ever wanted to, but the arguments keep going on, and I’m nothing if not a guy who likes to argue, so . . .
The latest incarnation is not about the award itself. It’s about the debates about the award (set phasers for “meta!”). Check out Tom Verducci’s awards column yesterday in Sports Illustrated in which he said:
To be clear: Verducci himself supports Hernandez, as he thinks he was the most outstanding pitcher. But he’s saying that many other voters who vote for Hernandez will be doing so -- not because, like him, they decide he was the best pitcher -- but because they’re easily manipulated people who were either tricked or brainwashed or browbeaten or shamed into doing so.
I know a lot of you tire of the scouts vs. stats debates, but at least this is new wrinkle: Screw both the Sabtahia backers and the Hernandez backers! Only Tom Verducci and a few brave, like-minded men see things clearly here! You’re either wrong or are doing the right thing because you’re sheeple!
I hope Verducci is wrong about the groupthink thing. Because, really, I’d hate it if members of the BBWAA are so spineless that they can be forced into going against their own instincts simply because some statheads make fun of them. I disagree with the Sabathia/Price backers, but I’d hope they wouldn’t back down because they are worried about being ridiculed or something. Take your position and stand up for it, for God’s sake.
But I really hope he’s wrong because Verducci’s whole “I’m doing the right thing for the right reasons, but many will do the right thing for the wrong reasons” brand of commentary is kind of obnoxious. It’s certainly way worse than the whole “I’m right, you’re wrong, nyah nyah!” thing everyone has been complaining about.