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My goodness, he had 100 more strikeouts (137) than hits allowed (37) in 82.1 innings pitched (an average of 1.7 strikeouts per inning). He didn't blow a save all year ... except for the All-Star Game! We might never see another season like this from a closer.
I'm of the mindset that, all things being equal, a starter should get the Cy Young award. But this is the classic example of their being an exception to the rule, because there's no question that Gagne deserves the award this year.
I'd like to make a suggestion to MLB for the future, though: let's establish a new award for setup men. Baseball has changed since the days when the Cy Young was established. The setup role has become such an important part of today's game, so let's recognize the top setup guys in each league with their own hardware.
In fact, to eliminate the debate over whether a closer or starter should win the Cy Young, MLB could give separate pitching awards to the top starter, closer and setup guy in each league. Then, voters could choose the Cy Young from those three award-winners.
For awards in general, the commissioner's office needs to identify the criteria involved for each one (and clarify the eligibility issues, such as for rookie of year). I'd like to see a clearer definition so all voters have the same criteria in mind in reaching a decision.
|NL Cy Young Award Voting|