Roy Halladay was unanimously awarded the National League’s Cy Young today, easily outpolling Adam Wainwright and Ubaldo Jimenez, each of whom enjoyed a season worthy of Cy Young consideration most other years. After Cliff Lee’s and Tim Lincecum’s LCS and World Series exlpoits, those of us with short memories may have forgotten that Halladay may be both the greatest active pitcher and the best pitcher in the game right now.
After Buster Posey narrowly edged Jason Heyward and Neftali Feliz beat out Austin Jackson in two contested Rookie of the Year award selections last week, this one could have been a break in the award season drama, but some AP reporter wouldn’t let the moment pass without stirring up a little controversy. As reported on espn.com, Halladay was asked to weigh in on the AL Cy Young contest, the winner of which will be revealed on Thursday.
“Obviously, Felix’s numbers are very, very impressive,” Halladay said. “Ultimately, you look at how guys are able to win games. Sometimes, you find a way to win games.”
Say it ain’t so, Roy. I guess it’s easy to find “a way to win games” when you’re backed by the Phillies’ lineup and pitching against National League teams all year, isn’t it? I expected more from a guy who was among the best pitchers in the American League for the better part of the last decade, but only led the league in wins once, due in large part to the potent AL East offenses he faced 7-10 times a year and other factors beyond his control.
A pitcher like that has to know that the win is a better measure of a pitcher’s run support, bullpen effectiveness, and general luck than of his effectiveness, right? As a guy who completed a league-leading nine games each of the last three seasons, perhaps he’s not one to blame his bullpen, but he’s surely been the beneficiary in a 10-7 win and a hard luck 1-0 loser more than once in his career, right?
In the end, Roy Halladay’s opinion doesn’t matter. The BBWAA has been more willing to use more modern metrics (albeit more 90s numbers like WHIP and OPS than 2000s numbers like FIP and WAR) to reward the league’s best hitters and pitchers in recent years, and I believe King Felix will get his due on Thursday.
Congratulations to Roy Halladay, who deserved this award for another incredible season. It’s too bad we couldn’t celebrate Roy’s accomplishments without making him sound a little foolish.