With a 22-4 record, 3.15 ERA, 3 CG, Rick Porcello was every bit as deserving as anyone to win the 2016 AL Cy Young.
(Photo courtesy of Keith Allison)
Yesterday the American and National League Cy Young award winners were announced, and surprise surprise, like always, there were people complaining about who ended up winning. What was different this time around was the source of much of the complaining, Kate Upton, fiancee of Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander who ended up finishing second in the American League Cy Young race to Rick Porcello. Both Verlander and Porcello had good seasons and would have both been worthy recipients of the award, but almost always when it’s difficult to pick a clear winner, there’s going to be some level of contention.
If anything, you’d think Verlander and his supporters would have understood that this was a tight race. Making it that much harder to pick a winner was the fact that there were six pitchers worthy of consideration for this award, with Corey Kluber, Aaron Sanchez, J.A. Happ, and Zach Britton all having every bit as good a year as either Verlander or Porcello.
I don’t mind one bit when people complain about results if they have a legitimate argument, but this Cy Young race was far too difficult to pick a winner because there was no one pitcher who was the clear choice to win it. I cheer for the Blue Jays and feel that Happ and especially Sanchez who had 3-4 starts taken from him in August would have both been worthy candidates for this award, but you don’t see me lashing out on Twitter about some huge injustice that they didn’t win. Verlander and company need to show a little more grace and acknowledge the season Porcello had rather than complain about them losing out to someone who was every bit as deserving (if not more) to win this award.
Coming from the Tigers, Verlander should understand better than anyone that being on a contender always increases your chances of winning these kind of awards. Just look back to 2012 and 2013 when Miguel Cabrera beat out Mike Trout for the MVP those two years, even though Trout from a statistical standpoint was more deserving of both those MVP awards. Even though Trout deserved those two MVP’s, when he lost, you didn’t see him whining and complaining that he was the rightful winner.
Even though Trout was far more deserving of those MVP’s than Verlander was of this years Cy Young…why is it then that Trout accepted his loss for what it was and was gracious in defeat whereas Upton is all up in arms about this perceived slight to her fiance? Perhaps it’s just the way the world works, with some people going about their business in a quiet and respectful manner, while others raise a shit storm over anything and everything. I imagine at this stage in Verlander’s career he’s beginning to think about what he wants his legacy to be after he leaves the game. Even though a second Cy Young would have put him in some pretty impressive company, it still doesn’t take away from him being one of the best pitchers of his generation or the last pitcher in the American League since 1992 to win both the Cy Young and MVP in the same season. When it’s all said and done, one less Cy Young award isn’t going to change things for Verlander, and because of that he should just put this all behind him and be happy one of his old teammates deservedly won this award.