Clayton Kershaw, in addition to being perhaps the best pitcher on the planet, is also the most *visible* pitcher on the planet, thanks to playing in one of the media capitals of the world.
This makes me wonder: Do the writers who vote on the Cy Young award get overwhelmed by highlights and stories about him to the point that, when the Cy Young vote comes around, they just mindlessly vote for him?
Do they consider things, really consider them? Or just go along with the mob?
For example: With 4 teams competing for one division title (and those wildcard spots) Chances are only the Cubs are out of things in the NL Central, meaning only the Cubs will be sellers. So that gives the Cards and our Cy Young Candidate Adam Wainwright, a tough strength of schedule from here on out.
Contrast that to Los Angeles, who has San Francisco to challenge them…and nobody else. Colorado may have had a hot start, but then they dropped off into the Grand Canyon. Moreover, Troy Tulowitzki is injured, making them a weaker opponent. San Diego has had a bad year all around. That’s 2 sellers.
A side note, when factoring in strength of schedule for individual awards, do the writers factor in who was injured when that person played a particular team? Or what a team’s current offense looked like when a pitcher faced them after shedding some offense in trades? I would, but that’s me. I mean, playing Colorado can be tough, but less so when their best player makes trips like this one to New York to watch Derek Jeter while injured, This shows he doesn’t care, and when he comes back, will probably be pining for New York while Colorado has yet another losing season.
Also, do the writers factor in individual game factors? For example, Wainwright’s latest gem was at Wrigley with the wind blowing out, usually a precursor to a slugfest. Yet he won 1 to 0. (His opponent, Kyle Hendricks, obviously had a good day too, allowing only one run.)
And that’s not even getting into supporting staff and pressure to perform, which I’ve covered before.
I would absolutely love to sit down with not one, but ten different writers, all on a one on one basis, to see what their voting tactics are, whether they do exhaustive research like they should, or whether they mail it in as a result of being brain-washed by their fellow media members and all of their stories about the “Awesome Kershaw”.
Just some food for thought.
Thanks for reading