King Felix has finally earned his crown. The 24-year-old right-hander from Venezuela was announced as the American League Cy Young Award winner on Thursday. With just a 13-12 record his Cy Young victory symbolizes a major league change in the game. What’s at stake anymore? Is it fantasy or is it real?
Mathematicians using sabermetrics are now imperative for every team to utilize in the decision making process. What used to be the ultimate purpose of the game — earning a win — has become just another number. A guy that 20 years ago may have been cast upon the scrap heap has gained new found value. Players are being judged in ways old scouts never would have dreamed. Mathematical formulas and graphs are now so intertwined its hard to tell the difference between a baseball scout and a computer programmer.
It’s hard to argue against wins being the most important stat. What else are they wearing those funny looking uniforms for?
Due to the nature of a team game, however, wins must be earned by the entire team, as a team. A pitcher cannot win if his team does not score runs. That is the tragic burden piled upon the pitching arm of Felix Hernandez. In his 12 losses, his team scored a total of seven runs while he was in the game. It’s going to be tough to win with run support like that, no matter who you are.