Friday, November 11, 2005


Do Monkeys Pick These Awards?

Chris Carpenter won the NL Cy Young yesterday by a wide margin, making the BBWAA 0 for 2 in this year's Cy Young balloting. Let's do a little comparison:

Carpenter: 21-5 2.83 ERA 213/51 K/BB .231 BAA
Roger Clemens: 13-7 1.87 ERA 185/65 K/BB .198 BAA

Carpenter had a fabulous year, no doubt, but come on. Clemens had an ERA almost a full run lower than Carpenter's despite pitching in an extreme hitter's environment. His ERA was the lowest for a pitcher in a single season in over a decade. Away from Minute Maid Park, Clemens had a completely ridiculous 1.32 ERA. He was clearly, without a doubt, the best pitcher in the NL, even if his team couldn't get him any runs.

Ah, but the catch is that shiny number in the win column. Carpenter had eight more wins than Clemens and that's what won him the award, even though wins are almost entirely out of a pitcher's control. It's sad that in this day and age of enlightened performance evaluation that a majority of sportswriters are still duped by wins. Clemens had one of the worst offense in baseball backing him up, while Carpenter had one of the best. That's the sole reason behind the disparity in wins, not because Carpenter "knew how to get it done" or some garbage like that. This selection isn't nearly as asinine as picking Bartolo Colon over Johan Santana, but it still reeks of voter laziness and/or stupidity. Maybe someday I'll just stop caring.

The difference in innings pitched is the biggest reason why I feel Carpenter deserved it over Clemens.
A valid point, as total innings pitched are sometimes underrated by Cy Young voters. Still, the fact that Clemens allowed nearly a run per game less than Carpenter, while pitching in Minute Maid Park, no less, makes him the Cy Young in my book. Now if only my book mattered...
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