Award Voting Problems
With all the Awards being announced in baseball this week, it’s about time for some reflection. My thoughts are centered on how much of an effect geography has had on the voting. It’s not just this year either, it happens every year. I’m going to use the Cy Young Voting as a prime example. By the way, I think it’s great that the votes are out in the public eye and can be discussed. If you are privileged enough to have a vote on the biggest awards in baseball, then the rest of us baseball aficionado’s should be able to look at how you voted.
So…R.A. Dickey and David Price were named the N.L. and A.L. Cy Young winners, respectively. Personally, I would have voted for Verlander but Price is equally deserving of the award. I also would have voted for Dickey. Great story with everything he has been through and he had the numbers to go along with everything else that was brought to light this year.
If you don’t know how to look view the votes, just visit the Baseball Writers’ Association of America website right at BBWAA.com.
If you take a look at the N.L. Cy Young voting, you’ll notice a few things:
- Johnny Cueto’s lone first-place vote came from John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
- Bill Center from the U-T San Diego was one of only two voters to leave Clayton Kershaw completely off their ballot.
Cueto finished 4th and Kershaw finished 2nd. The questions I have are how in the world do you pick Cueto over Dickey and Kershaw? And even worse, how do you leave Kershaw off the ballot? Are you punishing him for lack of run support and 14 wins? He had a 2.53 ERA, pitched 227 2/3 innings, struck out 223 and had a 1.023 WHIP! You’re leaving that off your ballot completely? Bill Center’s 5th place vote was for Aroldis Chapman….seriously.
I had an issue on the A.L. side as well. Should anybody besides Price and Verlander have gotten a first or second place vote? Well, Michael Martinez of FoxSportsWest.com and Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register each voted 2nd for Jared Weaver….of L.A.
These guys cover baseball year-round. How many times did John Fay see Cueto pitch compared to Gio Gonzalez, who he voted 5th? Think there was ever a time where he said to himself, “Clayton Kershaw is pitching tonight so I’m gonna fire up my MLB At Bat app on my iPad and watch him?” Probably zero. How many games did Chapman close against the Padres where Bill Center was, well, front and center? (pun fully intended) Did he crank up that app every time the ninth inning came around when Chapman was in a closing situation? Highly doubt it. It’s 98% based on numbers, plain and simple.
That’s enough from my soapbox. There is definitely a problem with how the voting is done. I don’t know if it’s necessarily a MLB problem compared to what some specific writers make it. Have some pride in your job and don’t be a homer. You don’t cheer in the press box whether you want to or not.
I’ll leave you with my MVP predictions:
American League – Miguel Cabrera
Listen, Trout is unbelievable and what he did this year was nothing short of spectacular. If Miggy didn’t win the Triple Crown, then I think Trout gets it. Cabrera’s season turned historic and that’s why I think he gets it.
National League – Buster Posey
I’m still torn on whether I think Posey should win it or if it should go to Braun. I’ll leave my observations until when we find out and how the voters treated Braun after the off-season ordeal he went through. I will say this though; the fact that Braun didn’t win the Hank Aaron Award in the N.L. is a travesty. He had the best offensive season in the N.L. without question.
‘Til next time…smell ya.