Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » November 2004 » And congratulations are in order....

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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:

         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:

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.
But life ain't fair. Just ask a Democrat.


Len on 11.10.04 @ 06:50 AM CST


Replies: 1 comment

on Wednesday, November 10th, 2004 at 1:52 PM CST, Roboto said

I agree with the analysis, because I absolutely hate it when people point to Wins as an indication of a pitcher's performance. (Similarly, rbi is not a conclusive indicator of a hitter's performance.)

BUT, wins are at least a *factor* to consider and should be decisive when their numbers are this close yet their Win totals are this far apart.

As a Met fan, I hate Clemens, but you have to take into account also that he pitched in high pressure games all year long. The Big Eunich didn't have any pressure on him since opening day.

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