Monday, October 03, 2005

Stumping for Mo

There should be no talk whatsoever of Bartolo Colon as the probable or possible Cy Young Award winner in the American League. Period.

The baseball media seems to think that just because Colon had the most wins (21-8, 3.48, 1.16 WHIP, .254 BAA, 6.35 K/9 IP) he should be the CYA winner. No dice.

First, there were too many starters who are just as good (or decent) as Colon, including Buerhle (16-8, 3.12), Lackey (14-5, 3.44) and Jon Garland (18-10, 3.50) -- and Garland's numbers are nearly identical in all categories to Colon except strikeouts.

Second, the best starter in the league is not Colon, it's Johan Santana once again (16-7, 2.87, 0.97 WHIP, .210 BAA, 9.25 K/9 IP) and the comparison between the two isn't particularly close.

Third, unlike when Clemens won his sixth CYA in 2001 over a slew of runners-up with similar numbers, there is someone who DID dominate the league on the mound in 2005: Mariano Rivera. From the second week of the season through mid-August, Rivera locked up more than 30-straight saves for the Yanks -- the longest streak in his excellent career. He finished with a career-best 1.38 ERA and allowed only 50 hits in 78.1 IP -- or just 5.74 H/9 IP. He had a career-best in whip (0.87) and second-best ever opponents' batting average (BAA) (.177). And after honking his first two appearances, he held the Yanks together by saving 43 of the next 45 chances he had. Unlike the three times he's finished third in CYA voting (1996 = Hentgen/Pettitte, 1999 = Clemens followed by Pedro, 2004 = Santana followed by Schilling) there are no starters unquestionably deserving of the award. Mo does deserve it, and the Colonification of the Award should cease.

Really, what is the argument FOR Colon other than the fact that he is a starter and Rivera is a closer? If that's all there is, then that is nothing at all considering the vast disparities of their performances. Colon is one of a bunch of good starters but essentially indistinguishable from Buerhle, Garland, and Lackey. He has the third-best ERA of the starters on the LosAnaheim staff and didn't exactly seize the Award by the throat with his 2-2, 6.14 July or his 4-2, 4.91 September. Mo is far and away the best reliever in the league this year (and arguably of his generation).

The vote here is for Mo.

Now, where's my ballot?

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