11/10/2004: And congratulations are in order....
to Roger Clemens, who at the positively ancient (for baseball) age of 41 has won a record seventh Cy Young Award (though this year he wins it in the National League, not the American).
Placing a distant second in the voting was Arizona Diamondbacks legend (and future Cardinal? Yeah, riiiiiiiiiggggghhhhhttttt.....) Randy Johnson. Dan at Get Up, Baby! makes a good argument that the Big Unit got screwed on that one:
Okay, so you've got two pitchers. Let's call them Jandy Rohnson and Cloger Remens, just for the sake of argument. Here are their numbers:But life ain't fair. Just ask a Democrat.IP K BB HR ERA
Rohnson 245.3 290 44 18 2.60
Remens 214.3 218 79 15 2.98
Now, both of these guys have had Cy Young-caliber years, but it's pretty easy to see that Jandy had the better year; a lower ERA in 31 more innings, 72 more strikeouts and 36 fewer walks, and pretty much the same home run ratio.
Oh, wait, sorry, I forgot one thing:WINS LOSSES TEAMW TEAML
Rohnson 16 14 51 111
Remens 18 4 92 70
Does that change the way they pitched? Does it?
Look, Clemens (*gasp* the mystery revealed!) is one of the best pitchers ever, and it's great that he had a good year for his hometown team, but he just wasn't as good as The Big Unit this year. Not even close. However, since Johnson pitched for the hilariously bad Diamondbacks, while Clemens pitched for the nearly-pennant-winning Astros, Randy Johnson's fantastic year is masked by the fact that he just barely managed to go over .500. If Richie Sexson had stayed healthy, or if the Robby Hammocks and Shea Hillenbrands of the world had come up with a few more big hits, Randy Johson would have gone 22-6, and I wouldn't be posting this. This could possibly be even more egregious a Cy Young victory for Clemens than 2001, when he posted another gaudy W-L total (20-3) and people could only rationalize his fleecing of Freddy Garcia and Mike Mussina by thinking of it as his last time on top of the heap, or that it made up for the 1990 AL vote, where Bob Welch put up... you guessed it, a gaudy W-L total (27(!)-6) and ripped off the Rocket.
Len on 11.10.04 @ 06:50 AM CST