Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Josh Beckett, Victim Of New England Haters?

I'm not exactly sure how many members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America are from the New England area, but my guess is there aren't many. Or maybe the ones that are from the area have just grown as tired as the rest of us have with all of the love for New England sports teams. At least that's about the only explanation I can come up with for why C.C. Sabathia trounced Josh Beckett for the AL Cy Young Award.

I can understand it being a close race, but Sabathia received 19 of the 28 first place votes and 119 total points. Beckett received 8 first place votes and finished in second with 86 total points. Here's how they stack up statistically, and this includes Beckett's two wins over Sabathia in the playoffs.

Sabathia: 19-7 record, 3.27ERA, 34 games, 4CG, 1SHO, 241IP, 238H, 94R, 86ER, 20HR, 37BB, 209SO, 1.14WHIP

Beckett: 20-7 record, 3.27ERA, 30 games, 0CG, 0SHO, 200.2IP, 189H, 76R, 73ER, 17HR, 40BB, 194SO, 1.14WHIP

Looking at those stats, you can see how a voter could go either way. Apart from Beckett's two wins against Sabathia in the playoffs they both pitched great during the season. However, there's no way that Sabathia pitched so much better than Beckett that he deserved 11 more first place votes and 33 more total points. My theory is that some people have just grown tired of hearing about the achievements of New England sports teams over the past few months, and that Josh Beckett suffered backlash from it in the form of coming in second in the AL Cy Young Voting. Besides, after giving Pedroia AL ROY honors they probably couldn't contribute anymore to the New England lovefest.

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