On Wednesday, Max Scherzer was named the recipient of the AL Cy Young award, beating out Texas’ Yu Darvish and Seattle’s Hisashi Iwakuma in a landslide vote, taking all but two first place votes; he placed second on one ballot and third on another to finish with 203 points. Darvish finished a distant second with 93 points, and two first place votes, while Iwakuma rounded out the top three with 73 points.
Interestingly, the two first place votes that Scherzer didn’t get went not to Darvish but to teammate Anibal Sanchez and Chicago’s Chris Sale. They finished fourth and fifth respectively in the voting.
More on Scherzer and maybe a little bit on the AL MVP after the cut.
Scherzer, who posted an impressive 21-3 record and a stingy 2.90 ERA, was considered the favorite for most of the season and the end result wasn’t a surprise. Maybe not even the handiness with which he won was much of a surprise. Scherzer appeared on MLB Network for the reveal, from Chase Field in Arizona, and later posted some celebratory images on Twitter, such as the following:
There was a minor movement on Twitter, spearheaded by MLB Network’s Brian Kenny, to “kill the win.” Kenny vigorously and vociferously campaigned against Scherzer for the Cy Young, touting James Shields, Hiroki Kuroda, and Iwakuma as the Cy Young winner at various points. Kenny also tweeted that Scherzer’s Cy Young victory struck a blow against FIP (fielding independent pitching), though Scherzer happened to have a lower FIP (2.74) to Iwakuma (3.44).
On Thursday, Miguel Cabrera took home his second AL MVP in a race that wasn’t even close. Cabrera grabbed 23 first place votes for 385 points, while Mike Trout, the second place finisher for the second year in a row, took five first place votes and 282 points. Chris Davis finished out the top three, receiving one first place vote and 232 points. The MVP is scored in a 14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 system, meaning a first place vote is worth 14 points, a second place vote is worth 9, and so on.
Once again, the AL MVP race turned into a battle between “old school” and “new school.” Or Brian Kenny vs. most of Twitter, on some occasions. It is indeed an interesting debate and one worth having, as fans and writers alike ask “what truly constitutes ‘value’?” Should a player be rewarded for being surrounded by good players? Should a player be penalized for teammates having down years and getting injured? Should the MVP be given to the best overall player? Is it possible for the best overall player to not be the most valuable? Some food for thought.