SweetSpot: Cy Young Award

Bill James on King Felix's time

November, 22, 2010
11/22/10
3:08
PM ET
It's subscriber-only and I don't even know if I'm supposed to do this, but Bill James runs through the math, finds that CC Sabathia was probably closer to Felix Hernandez than maybe you thought, but does wind up with the same answer as the Cy Young voters ...
    So Felix deserves the award that he will receive next spring, perhaps on opening day, and what should he say that day? Should he say, “I would like to thank my manager, my coaches, my teammates and of course my parents, but also I would like to take a moment to thank Pete Palmer for this award, and Tom Tango, and Rob Neyer, and Keith Woolner and Eddie Epstein and Craig Wright, and all the others who have worked so hard for so long to demonstrate that there are good pitchers on teams that struggle to score runs.”

    No, that’s not it. Here’s what he should say, “I appreciate this award, and I accept it on behalf of my family, my teammates and my organization, but I accept it as well on behalf of Mike Norris in 1980, of Dave Stieb in 1983, and Jim Bunning in 1960, and Bert Blyleven in 1973, and all the other pitchers over the years who were deprived of the recognition that was due to them because sportswriters confused what was done by the individual with what was done by the team. Your time has come; we no longer live in the darkness of the past, and the shadows now are lifting from your memories.”

Bill goes on to write about the value of players with identical (or nearly identical) skills on the same team, and about the likelihood that tipping will be outlawed by the middle of this century.

Seriously. Tipping. At some length.

And this is why we keep reading.

SPONSORED HEADLINES