Posts Tagged ‘R. A. Dickey’

2012 Awards: Cy Young

November 2, 2012

The Cy Young Award Namesake in 1891

And finally, the Cy Young Awards for 2012. Again who I think will win and who I think should win.

NL–My guess is that R.A. Dickey will win this award. He has excellent, but not overpowering, numbers and is a great story. The great story isn’t supposed to count for Cy Young voting, but you know it will. He led the NL in inning pitched, strikeouts, shutouts, and complete games. He was in the top two or three in a number of other stats. All that is probably good enough to pick up the award. But of course there are other contenders. Gio Gonzalez led the league in wins, but was frequently seen as the number two pitcher behind Strasburg. Clayton Kershaw led in ERA and WHIP. Matt Cain was the ace whose team actually won something. Johnny Cueto led in ERA+ and in games started. All of them are contenders, but no one dominated the NL this season. I think that puts Dickey in the driver’s seat. Oh, and Craig Kimbrel the reliever? The key stat, like it or not, for relievers is the save. Kimbrel finished tied with Jason Motte of St. Louis with 42. You can’t win the Cy Young as a reliever and be tied with someone else in saves.

I really have no particular preference in this race, although as a Dodgers fan I like Kershaw. I don’t think he did well enough to repeat. So my vote would reluctantly go to Dickey.

AL–This award seems to be a three man race between Justin Verlander, David Price, Jered Weaver (with an occasional mention of Matt Harrison at Texas). Verlander led the AL in strikeouts, ERA+, and complete games while finishing second WHIP and ERA. Price led the AL in ERA, wins, and winning percentage while finishing second in ERA+. Weaver tied Price for most wins and winning percentage, then led the AL in WHIP. He was also third in ERA. All that means that no one of the three was utterly dominant (no Randy Johnson in this bunch) but that all did well. My personal choice is for a Verlander repeat, but he had the least wins of the group. That could give either of the others a way to slip in over Verlander. Ultimately, I think Verlander, the only one whose team made the playoffs, will take home his second Cy Young Award.

This concludes my take on the 2012 postseason awards. The winners will be revealed 12-15 November and we’ll see how I do. If I do well then expect me to spend at least one post lording it over the riff raff. If I do poorly, “What awards?”.

Random Thoughts for the Midpoint of the 2012 Season

June 13, 2012

As I will be gone for the period leading up to the Fourth of July, I decided to post my midseason thoughts a little early, realizing that they may be out of date by the Fourth.

1. The American League East is starting to come around to what we expected. Tampa and New York are in first, Toronto is falling back. The strange teams are Baltimore and Boston. Did you really think Baltimore would be only one game out this late in the season or that Boston would be last? Both fooled me. Of course if you think about it Buck Showalter is a heck of a manager and the Red Sox are really starting to age. So maybe I shouldn’t have been fooled.

2. Whatever happened to Detroit? Weren’t they supposed to run away with the AL Central and then pummel the opposition in the playoffs? There are three aspects to baseball: offense, defense, and pitching. Someone forgot to tell Detroit you had to be able to catch and throw the ball. Oops. I’m not surprised by what’s happened to the Twins, but I’m saddened. They traditionally do more with less than anyone else and it’s finally caught up to them. Joe Mauer has his average back above .300, but the power seems to be gone. He’s 29 and that’s getting into the age range where catchers start imploding. And Justin Morneau seems to suffer a power drought also, although his average has begun climbing in the last month. Even Ron Gardenhire, a really good manager, isn’t going to get this team into contention.

3. So Albert Pujols was a bust was he? OK, he’s no longer Superman, but he’s not Clark Kent either. It looks like he’ll keep the Angels in contention and maybe get them to either a division title or a wildcard. Can Texas be stopped? Maybe. They remind me a lot of the 1950s-1960s Yankees. The ’50s-’60s Yankees had a series of good enough pitchers who could hold the other team down until the hitters simply bashed the opposition to death. Sound like the Rangers? The difference is that Texas has no Whitey Ford and I don’t know how much that will hurt them when the season draws down. Right now, Josh Hamilton is my MVP.

4. Does anyone understand what’s going on in the National League East? I’m not surprised that Philly is in trouble. Other than their pitching they weren’t all that strong anyway. The team is aging and Chase Utley can’t stay healthy. Hunter Pence isn’t going to be able to carry them and Jim Thome is apparently through (although I’d like to see him catch Sosa on the home run list). It seems the Mets have peaked (sorry, Bill) but maybe I’m wrong on that. I say that because I’m not really sold on either Washington or Atlanta so it’s possible the Mets will come back to win the division. If either they or the Nationals do, it will be one of the season’s great stories. And R. A. Dickey, my current Cy Young favorite is another great story for 2012. I’m not certain a knuckleballer can maintain the pace Dickey is setting.

5. OK, tell me you had Pittsburgh. Sure you did. Me too. I think the Pirates will fall back, but maybe they’ll finally finish over .500 this season (and I’ve got this great bridge in Brooklyn that I’ll let you have for a song). I still think the Cardinals take it, but Cincinnati might prove me wrong. Geez, is Joey Votto having a great season. I guess he’s my MVP right now, but then Lance Berkman was my MVP midway through last season.

6. The Dodgers are in first. Read that again. The Dodgers are in first. See what happens when you get rid of Frank McCourt and his wife. Maybe Magic Johnson is really “magic”. Actually it’s a really weak division and Arizona was a fluke last season. Maybe San Francisco can catch LA (please, God, anybody but the Giants) but they’ve still got to learn to hit. I’ve never been a particular fan of Tim Lincecum, but I’d hate to think he’s through already. So right now, is Don Mattingly manager of the year?

7. As of now my choice for biggest surprise of the year is LA and Detroit gets the nod as the biggest disappointment.

8. There used to be a saying that whoever was in first on the Fourth of July would win the pennant. As we’ve gotten more and more playoffs that saying has gone the way of the dinosaur. My guess is that about half the teams currently in first will win the division and maybe one or two others will get a wildcard. Don’t ask which because I don’t have a clue.