Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Shouldn't Be THIS Debatable

If you want to be truly frustrated by the perception that has been created throughout sports today, all you have to do is look no further than today's ESPN.com chat entitled, That's Debatable: Who's the N.L. Cy Young?
Here's some of the questions/comments from the numerous participants of the chat. I should warn you, it's pretty bad, so if you already have stress-related problems I would suggest refraining from the following. If not, have at it!
Chris (Manchester NH): I am sorry but W-L and team W-L in games you pitch are the only important categories because the name of the game is winning. I do not care if Webb finishes with 4 or 5 more wins than anyone else in his league its simple he deserves it. you play the game to WIN not have good stats.
Like I said, this is some annoying shit. I'm pretty sure playing the game to win basically means playing at the top of your game. Some people do this much better than others. Should pitchers with a better offense really be rewarded? I mean, is there anyone who really believes that Bronson Arroyo (13 wins, 4.97 ERA) is having a better season than Johan Santana (12 wins, 2.71 ERA)?
Ramo - Buffalo, NY: A month ago, this was Webb's award to lose. And guess what? He's lost it. Stark is right on, Lincecum should win it. Like Cliff Lee, he has posted the best numbers despite playing on a weak team. But here's the caveat: CC should win MVP. Why is no one discussing that option? Who has been more valuable to their team?
I really liked this guy until that last part. It would be absolutely unfathomable for a pitcher to win the MVP and not win the Cy Young. If you are not valuable enough to win the award for being the best pitcher, then how the hell can you be valuable enough to win the award for being the best player? Unless maybe you were an overly awesome hitter or something, which Sabathia is not.
Kevin Kelly (Syracuse NY): Don't get me wrong, Lincecum is incredible and his pitching is a jaw dropper (look at his stats) but as for a NL Cy Young award, i believe an award like that can only be won so far is if the pitcher is helping the team to the playoffs. As of now it will either be Sabathia or Webb. They are both helping out and giving high hopes to bring there team to a playoff but out of those two great pitchers, it can only be determined who helps the team go to the playoffs. Someday, Lincecum will have his shot and he deserves it.
When did the Cy Young also become the MVP? Team success should not be factored in for the MVP, but it ESPECIALLY shouldn't be anywhere near a Cy Young argument.
Matt (Boston): I think sabermetric guys have gone too far in de-valuing wins. If you're bullpen is blowing games for you, finish it yourself. If the offense is having a bad day, you need to pick them up. Wins shouldn't be the end all stat, but it shouldn't be discounted like has become fashionable.

1. Whether or not you finish the game yourself is entirely dependent on the manager.
2. How do you "pick up the offense"? If your team scores no runs for you, then there is nothing you can do. A pitcher's limits only reach so far, hence the term "limits."
3. I disagree. I believe they should be discounted. I don't see a single instance where they could be a good tool for evaluating a pitcher's talent. It is a team-dependent stat that should not be used for individualistic purposes.

I'm going to post Jayson Stark's answer to this question as well. Throughout the chat most of his responses are actually pretty good, but this is an exception:
Jayson Stark: I think that's a fair point, Matt. To use the example made earlier, if a pitcher went 0-20, with a 1.00 ERA, I wouldn't vote for him for the Cy Young. But there's a big difference between that extreme and a guy who is 15-3 with lousy run support and bullpen support. I don't want to eliminate wins from the conversation. I just believe in keeping them in perspective. Isn't that reasonable?
If a starting pitcher ever finished the season with an ERA at 1.00 I don't think I could see any valid justification for not giving him the Cy Young. His adjusted ERA would be somewhere in the 300's probably, how could you penalize him for having some one of the worst strings of bad luck (wins) in the history of the game? Don't you think it was probably already miserable enough?
Doug (NY): Roy Oswalt for post-ASB Cy?
This one made me laugh. Does this guy just not watch baseball at all? I think that Sabathia guy pretty much has this fictional award on lock.
Thomas Arnold (Santa Barbara, CA): First of all, baseball people like to say that the MVP is for positon players, because pitchers have the Cy Young. So, shouldn't the Cy Young be the Most Valuable Pitcher?
Whoever these "baseball people" are, I hope they have a blog, article, or some other type of sports outlet for me to get a hold of. The guidelines are pretty clear, people shouldn't try to read so deep into what isn't there.
MC (CT): I think the only way CC can win the CY is for both Webb and Lincecum to have awful Spetembers (similar to CC's April, ironically) and him to have a ridiculous month like 5-0 1.00 ERA. That being said, I think Webb wins because the CY votes are too jaded by W-L and don't look at the numbers that matter.
Thank you, sir, for summing up the ridiculousness that ensues the BBWAA and for at least partially retaining my faith in today's society.

1 comment:

Skye said...

Unless maybe you were an overly awesome hitter or something, which Sabathia is not.


j/k. Hah.