Detroit writer’s vote dooms Verlander’s chances
SOME Detroit Tigers fans may be up in arms today as they learned that Detroit Tigers ace, Justin Verlander, missed winning his second consecutive Cy Young by a single first place vote. That Detroit Fox Sports’ writer Jon Paul Morosi’s vote didn’t put Verlander over the top, and instead was cast for Rays’ left-hander, David Price, may leave many Tigers fans enraged.
For Morosi, it came down to what he viewed as Price’s performance being a bit more impressive than Verlander’s because he did it in the American League East, where opposing offenses are stronger. Two teams from the AL East, the Yankees and the Orioles, made the postseason, while, arguably, the Blue Jays and Red Sox have more offense than the lower tier teams in the Central Division.
Pitching for the team with the weakest offensive numbers, Price accumulated a league best 20 wins and a 2.56 ERA. Against division opponents, he was 10-2 with a 2.50 ERA, and he his record against teams with winning records was 13-2.
Morosi also claimed Price’s stats were more impressive because he pitched in more hitter friendly parks.
“When you pitch in those parks,” Morosi said, “Yankee Stadium, Camden Yards, Rogers Centre, Fenway Park, one mistake very frequently results in a home run.”
Tiger’s fans will argue that, although Verlander had three fewer wins than Price and a slightly higher ERA (2.64), he threw a league-high 238.1 innings while accumulating a major league-best 239 strikeouts. Toss into the formula that Verlander was 6-1 in the postseason, that the Rays didn’t even make the playoffs, and must see J.V. should’ve been a shoe-in to win the Cy Young.
But voters for the award are charged with finding context in a pitcher’s season—which is why the award isn’t handed out based on mere statistical achievements. Consider that Felix Hernandez won the Cy Young in 2010 with a 13-12 record and one can see the validity of Morosi’s defection.
Verlander supporters will argue that at times Verlander suffered from poor run support as well as some poor defense, but consider that the Rays dressed 10 different third basemen (who combined for 33 errors), nine second basemen (12 errors) and four shortstops (23 errors). All of which makes Price’s numbers more impressive.
“There are different opinions, different perspectives, writers do things different,” Morosi said. “I don’t dispute the numbers say Verlander. And I’m not saying Verlander would’ve been the wrong choice.”
Take heart, Tigers fans, Justin Verlander will sport the old English D next season and will have a chance to do something special every time he takes the mound—maybe twirl a perfect game, pitch us into the postseason, win another Cy Young, and bring the World Championship to Detroit for the first time since 1984.
At least we can take comfort in that Miguel Cabrera kept the MVP award in the D. J. Conrad Guest