This post is a response to an article in the San Fransisco Chronicle. You can read it here:
Recently, the National League Cy Young award was presented to Giants' pitcher Tim Lincecum. Of the 32 voters to weigh in on the award, 23 of them saw fit to put him in first place. Others who mertied serious consideration included Brandon Webb and Johan Santana, each of whom garnered 4 first place votes.
Voting for the award involves selecting three pitchers for the ballot. Based on personal opinion, the voter then puts those three in order, with the guy at the top being the most deserving of the award.
Only ONE of the 32 voters left Lincecum off of his ballot entirely. Chris De Luca, a writer for the Chicago Sun-Times. De Luca selected Webb, Brad Lidge, and Santana as his top 3.
Now I'll admit that each of those pitchers had a great season. And I'm not arguing that Lincecum should or should not have won the award. I won't even criticize his inclusion of a closer. But I will call him out for his atrocious logic.
"It's funny because toward the end of the season, in early September, I was thinking Lincecum would be in my top two," De Luca said. "I thought Webb's victories (22) stood out to me more than anything, and Lincecum didn't have the victories. Twenty victories was a big deal. We had a stretch there where no one was hitting 20."
I'm sorry, didn't we just determine that you, Mr. De Luca, are a national writer for a major metropolitan newspaper? A national sports writer? Maybe I misunderstood then, because based on that quote, you have no business being anywhere near sports.
Do you watch baseball? Do you understand the game, and the roles of the various players? Perhaps you should take some time off to familiarize yourself with how pitching works. A pitcher's win/loss record is perhaps the WORST way to assess his level of talent, and yet that is the stat you seemed to focus on in submitting your vote.
Luckily your idiocy didn't cost Lincecum the award. If it had, I suspect you'd be on the run from a mob of Giants fans who would do their level best to leave you floating in McCovey Cove. But just because your terrible decision didn't have consequences on the game doesn't mean you should get away with it.
- a better ERA (2.62 to 3.30)
- a better WHIP (1.17 to 1.20)
- more strikeouts (265 to 183)
- a better K:BB ratio (3.15 to 2.82)
- more innings (227 to 226.2)
- fewer hits allowed (182 to 206)
- fewer total bases allowed (260 to 284)
- more quality starts (26 to 24)
- and a better QS % (.79 to .71)
Opposing hitters batted only .221 against him (.242 versus Webb) and slugged at a .316 clip (.334 versus Webb).
And Lincecum did it all while getting less run support than Webb.
So tell me...when you looked at those statistics, those facts that describe the 2008 season, did you:
A) not understand them, or
B) merely choose to ignore them?
Oh yes, the victories. I keep forgetting. Webb crossed the magical threshold of 20 wins. IT'S 20. A ROUND NUMBER.
Let's go back to what I posted above- see that pesky quality start thingy? That actually means something. It means that Lincecum put his team in a position to win MORE OFTEN than did Webb. It means that if victories were actually based on pitching performance, Lincecum would have outdueled Webb. It means that despite playing for the black hole that it the San Fransisco Giants, Lincecum did more to help his team than Webb did for his.
By using victories as your deciding factor, you're rewarding Webb for playing on a better team. THAT'S your determinant? REALLY? And you write about sports for a living??
Consider yourself called out. I sure as hell hope you have more to back up your choice than victories. If so, come find me and we can debate your reasoning skills. But if not, the league should be tripping all over itself in its rush to strip you of your vote.