In case you only read the Rays Tank, I'm required to inform you that the Cy Young's were announced last night, with David Price winning the prestigious award, edging the reigning MVP and C-Y recipient Justin Verlander!
Before you move on, read Jason Collette's excellent analysis.
Here's a breakdown of the top five vote-getters in the American League:
David Price won with a four-point margin of victory, the closest since the infamous 1969 tie between Mike Cuellar and Denny McLain. The two second place votes for Weaver by the two writers from LA, and the single first place vote for Fernando Rodney, were enough to "save" the award for Price. (Voting details)
The American League
There is no arguing whether David Price produced a Cy Young caliber season. Key statistics put Price on par with previous award winners, and he matched well against Verlander:
Seared into the minds are multiple dominant post season performances from Justin Verlander: 3-1, 2.22 ERA, 9.29 K/9, .160 BAA, with a complete game shutout. However, BWAA voters cast their ballots at the end of the regular season - a decided advantage for Price, who had the lofty acknowledgment of the lowest ERA and highest win count in the bigs. If we are splitting hairs, Verlander had a slight statistical advantage, but Price's consistency down the stretch may have won the voters over.
David Price went 12-1 with a 2.26 ERA over his final 18 starts, and it is these last 18 that showcased his ability. The Rays ace finished the season with only 59 walks, comparable to Verlander's 60. Divide that in half, and you see incredible strikeout-to-walk numbers. In his first 13 starts, Price notched 78 K's and walked 30. In his last 18 starts, 29 walks and had 127 strikeouts, allowing three runs or fewer in 17 of those games.
Watch Price's interview below, from the humble smiles - to the "noodles" - to the well deserved love for Jim Hickey.
The National League
R.A. Dickey won his Cy Young by a landslide, becoming the first knuckleballer to win the award, and only the fourth nominated. In the opening lines of his autobiography, Dickey wrote, "I will never be a Hall of Famer and will never lead the league in strikeouts." (h/t mlb.com) - Shows what he knew, pitching without an ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm, R-A-D's 230 strikeouts was the National League best. Watch his also-humble interview below.
You can listen to similar phone interviews via ESPN, including Dickey getting choked up while remembering his wife's encouragement through the hard times in his career, and Price discussing the responsibility of being your teams's Ace and learning from James Shields.
- The Montreal Rays? In light of the scandal that is the Miami Marlins, "my boy" Keith Olbermann makes a modest proposal for the baseball to return to Montreal. Olbermann has long been championing the unsustainability of baseball in Florida, and sees both franchises leaving the state of Florida in the next eight years - starting with the Rays, given our chances of finding a solution to the stadium/attendance dilemma.
- Nate Silver lays out the statistical argument for why Rookie of the Year Mike Trout should rightly receive the AL MVP, set to be announced tonight.
- Baseball Prospectus: Alfonso Soriano is good again, but this time it's because he actually received coaching - which he hadn't before. Sahadev Sharma explains.
- Baseball Prospectus: Ben Lindberg wonders why no one seems to get caught stealing anymore.
- Finally, your moment of Zlen: Zlatan Ibrahimovic's bicycle kick from yesterday's England-Sweden friendly.
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