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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Batter’s Cy Young

The winner for the AL MVP has been all but clinched. Now let’s get to a dialogue on something that is still up for grabs: the AL Hank Aaron Award: the batters’ “Cy Young.”

djordan Posted: September 25, 2012 at 01:29 PM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, miguel cabrera, mike trout

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   1. TomH Posted: September 25, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4245441)
The Hank Aaron award; you know, should that not recognize career batting achievement, and not yearly best hitter? Oh well, they did not want to honor Ruth or Williams I guess, plus Bonds wasn't Bonds yet when they invented it.
And who decided it would be the Cy Young award (named after another guy with many many many fine years but few super-great ones) and not the Walter Johnson award, anyway?
   2. djordan Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4245455)
The Hank Aaron was created in 1999 for the most part to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Aaron breaking Ruth's career HR record in 1974. The Cy Young Award was created in 1956 by MLB commissioner Ford Frick, in part to commemorate the career of Cy Young, who had passed away the previous year, 1955.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4245457)

And who decided it would be the Cy Young award (named after another guy with many many many fine years but few super-great ones) and not the Walter Johnson award, anyway?


To be fair, Cy Young is a much cooler name for an award. Winning a Walter could mean a lot of things (most trusted newsman, best meth maker, frozenest dead man), but there's only one Cy (well, at least until that guy from the Fixx who made hats).

   4. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 25, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4245535)
And who decided it would be the Cy Young award (named after another guy with many many many fine years but few super-great ones) and not the Walter Johnson award, anyway?


As djordan pointed out, Young passed away just before the award was started, and was fresh in people's minds. The other reason was that there was originally only one CY award each year, which covered both leagues, and Young had long and successful careers in both the NL and AL, unlike Johnson, Mathewson, or Alexander, who only pitched in one league or the other.
   5. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: September 25, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4245548)
It's kind of too bad that no one gives a #### about the Hank Aaron award or the Silver Sluggers. I'd think the Hank Aaron should be almost as prestigious as the Cy, but I couldn't tell you who won it last year.
   6. cardsfanboy Posted: September 25, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4245551)
The AL MVP should go to Trout in a landslide, if there is any sense among the writers(an awfully big if of course) To me Miggy should walk away with the Hank Aaron award, this is an award that shouldn't consider positional adjustments at all, (you can debate whether it shouid include baserunning) with Miggy having the better rate stats(and I still think something fishy is going on with park factors) and 20 more games played, I don't see Trout as being in the conversation.
   7. smileyy Posted: September 25, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4245555)
Who's most likely to win the Cy Tolliver?
   8. Moeball Posted: September 25, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4245617)
And who decided it would be the Cy Young award (named after another guy with many many many fine years but few super-great ones) and not the Walter Johnson award, anyway?


I have a sportswriter friend who has a funny theory about that. Given that, in 1936, in the initial HOF balloting, Christy Mathewson received the most votes of any pitcher, Walter Johnson the second most, and Cy Young was third (and didn't receive enough votes to gain entrance to the Hall) - the order of the voting actually went in inverse order of Wins. It appeared at the time that the writers must have actually had some sense of context - i.e., having the most wins does not necessarily make you the best pitcher. Funny how decades later writers apparently could no longer make that distinction!

At any rate, my friend says that when they decided to create a pitching award in 1956, the conversation must have gone like this:

"Hey, let's have an award to recognize the best pitcher each year."

"OK, what should we call it?"

"Hmm, let me think - who is the greatest pitcher ever?"

"Well, when they had that first Hall of Fame balloting 20 years ago they picked Mathewson as the best ever."

"OK, let's call it the Christy Mathewson award."

"Nah, the Commissioner's office will never go for that - Frick is notoriously cheap and we gotta pay by the letter for the name inscripton. 'Christy Mathewson' is too long a name."

"Oh...well who is the second best pitcher ever?"

"Uh, I think Walter Johnson came in second back in that first election. His name's a little shorter than Mathewson's, too."

"Nah, still too long. Frick probably won't pay for anybody over 10 letters."

"Well, who came in third then, back in that first election?"

"Cy Young."

"Perfect! Let's call it the Cy Young award!"
   9. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 25, 2012 at 06:12 PM (#4245627)
And who decided it would be the Cy Young award (named after another guy with many many many fine years but few super-great ones) and not the Walter Johnson award, anyway?

There's already a Johnson Award at the AVNs.
   10. Srul Itza Posted: September 25, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4245630)
It's the perfect name, because it gave us this great quote by Nettles about Spahky Lyle --"He went from Cy Young to sayonara".

   11. cardsfanboy Posted: September 25, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4245633)
I have a sportswriter friend who has a funny theory about that. Given that, in 1936, in the initial HOF balloting, Christy Mathewson received the most votes of any pitcher, Walter Johnson the second most, and Cy Young was third (and didn't receive enough votes to gain entrance to the Hall) - the order of the voting actually went in inverse order of Wins. It appeared at the time that the writers must have actually had some sense of context - i.e., having the most wins does not necessarily make you the best pitcher. Funny how decades later writers apparently could no longer make that distinction!


Not to ruin your story, but Cy Young only finished third because the voters didn't know how to handle his election. They were tasked with voting only for players post 1900 and there was a separate committee for players prior to 1900.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: September 25, 2012 at 08:52 PM (#4245731)
It's the perfect name, because it gave us this great quote by Nettles about Spahky Lyle --"He went from Cy Young to sayonara".

This is better than "he went from being a Johnson to being a #####?"
   13. Walt Davis Posted: September 25, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4245733)
Isn't the Aaron award based on a silly formula? Or did they change that? Or am I wrong from the get go?

   14. Srul Itza Posted: September 25, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4245748)
Yes.
   15. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 25, 2012 at 09:21 PM (#4245753)
Well, most of the best hitters in the past 20 years have used formulas of their own.
   16. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 25, 2012 at 09:27 PM (#4245758)
I believe the Aaron award either features an online poll of some kind, or at least has in the recent past. Because there's no other explanation for the fact that Aramis Ramirez won the stupid thing in 2008.
   17. zonk Posted: September 25, 2012 at 09:41 PM (#4245767)
So once someone finally nails this defensive metric thing, do we have to wait for them to die before the arguments over whether you won an Ozzie Smith, a Willie Mays, or a Brooks Robinson?
   18. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 25, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4245770)
It's the perfect name, because it gave us this great quote by Nettles about Spahky Lyle --"He went from Cy Young to sayonara".


I believe he was known as Spahky Lyle only while he was playing in Boston.
   19. djordan Posted: September 25, 2012 at 09:49 PM (#4245771)
@ Walt, I'm pretty sure it's a media/fan vote. The BBWAA needs to take it over and legitimize it as an official November award so players can stop assuming the MVP is simply a trophy awarded mainly on offensive prowess. @ Zonk, on my website, we created a formula for a metric of the top defensive players in each league. We call it The Ozzie Smith Defensive Player of the Year Award. MLB needs to make this happen sooner rather than later. @ Eric, incredible, since there were about 10 different hitters that had a higher offensive WAR in 2008. Nice counting stats, though.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: September 25, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4245814)
Because there's no other explanation for the fact that Aramis Ramirez won the stupid thing in 2008.

What do I have to do to make sure Soriano wins it this year?
   21. Gamingboy Posted: September 25, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4245842)
Cy Young Award has it's name because Young pitched great in both leagues. Hence why it isn't the Walter Johnson award.

Similarly, years from now there won't be a Mariano Rivera award. It'll have to be the Hoyt Wilhelm award, or something.
   22. Loren F. Posted: September 25, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4245856)
They've changed the voting process/formula for the Hank Aaron Award like three times. Not sure how any formula ended with Aramis Ramirez winning it, but that year Kevin Youkilis won it in the AL.
   23. Repoz Posted: September 26, 2012 at 12:04 AM (#4245869)
I believe he was known as Spahky Lyle only while he was playing in Boston.

Bill White always called him this when he was with the Yankees.
   24. John Northey Posted: September 26, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4246115)
The rules are at the wikipedia page...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hank_Aaron_Award

1999: Hits, HR, RBI were all part of a formula to determine the winner

2000: ballot in which each MLB team's radio and television play-by-play broadcasters and color analysts voted for three players in each league. Their first place vote receives five points, the second place vote receives three points, and the third place vote receives one point

2003: Fans mixed into voting, 30% fans 70% media

2004-6: In August (!) fans voted for up to 3 players from their team to determine the 30 finalists (1 per club), a panel picked 6 finalists from that group, then fans voted for the ultimate winner

2007/8: 30 players (1 per team) picked by special panel, fans voted to pick top 5, then fans voted on those 5 for a winner

2009: In September fans voted for 1 of 3 players from their club, 30 finalists, fans then voted for a winner per league from that list of 30

Weird award. The 2003 method was closest to a reasonable one imo - just mix in a couple more groups. Fans vote online, broadcasters of games votes (radio/TV), and have a panel of experts vote as well. Weight it 1/3 each and use that to determine a winner. So if a group of fans decides to push for a weird guy it won't matter as the other 2 would not.
   25. cardsfanboy Posted: September 26, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4246123)

Weird award. The 2003 method was closest to a reasonable one imo - just mix in a couple more groups. Fans vote online, broadcasters of games votes (radio/TV), and have a panel of experts vote as well. Weight it 1/3 each and use that to determine a winner. So if a group of fans decides to push for a weird guy it won't matter as the other 2 would not.


Any type of fan vote for an award is not reasonable in my opinion.
   26. Loren F. Posted: September 26, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4246174)
Some other awards that could be based on fan voting:

The Jim Rice GIDP Award
The Maury Wills Caught Stealing Award
The Omar Vizquel Productive Outs Award
The Joe Carter RBI-Guy Award
The Adam Dunn TTO Award
The David Eckstein Dirty Uniform Award
The Michael Young Defensive (In)Flexibility Award

   27. TomH Posted: September 26, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4246175)
#25, true. Good thing the 'all century team' fans vote was held in 1999 instead of 2012, or Jeter would have beaten Honus Wagner.
   28. JJ1986 Posted: September 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4246204)
Good thing the 'all century team' fans vote was held in 1999 instead of 2012, or Jeter would have beaten Honus Wagner.


That would have been almost as insane as Ken Griffey beating Barry Bonds.
   29. Good cripple hitter Posted: September 26, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4246208)
Or Mark McGwire beating everyone but Gehrig.

Jeter beating Wagner wouldn't have knocked Wagner off the team. It'd just mean that the fans selected Ripken and Jeter instead of Ripken and Banks, and Wagner would get added to the team by the panel in both cases.

I know it was the All Century team, but they should do something like that once a decade. It's be fascinating to see the changes.

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