Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Verlander shocks world by taking AL Cy Young

Just kidding! The only thing that would have been shocking about the news that Justin Verlander is the 2011 American League Cy Young award winner is if the vote had not been unanimous.

Verlander’s victory in the Cy Young balloting was never in doubt in a year where some baseball observers believe he also deserves the Most Valuable Player Award. There was no way to argue with his numbers as Verlander won the Triple Crown of pitching: 24 wins, a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts.

The only reason I thought Verlander might not be a unanimous Cy Young selection is that I have no faith in the writers’ ability to follow the rules. I thought that there was a slight chance that at least one writer would think the vote should not be unanimous or perhaps would be trying to get attention for himself or herself by voting for another pitcher. But I think any writer inclined to vote against Verlander wisely decided not to invite that kind of vitriol.

I knew Verlander had the respect of people throughout baseball when he walked out of the bullpen to start Game 1 of the American League division series against the New York Yankees. I was sitting in the bleachers behind the visiting bullpen and greeted him with my typical “You suck, Verlander" chant as he walked toward the dugout. The guy sitting next to me looked over and whispered: “Don’t make Verlander mad.” That tells you exactly what kind of year Verlander had that there were even Yankee fans afraid to set him off.

We’ll find out next week if Verlander will have a MVP trophy to match his Cy Young award. Although I’m all for pitchers winning MVP awards if their numbers merit it, I’m putting my money on Curtis Granderson. No bias there of course!

Thanks to leadfoot via Wikipedia for the Verlander photo.

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