I am almost directly down the middle on this one. As a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan, I know the importance of starting pitching – obviously. As everyone knows, starting pitchers essentially carried the Braves through the majority of their 14 consecutive division titles. However, as a Braves fan, I also know the importance of the closer – as the Braves lacked a dominant closer for many of those years.
To recap the two presented arguments about whether a Cy Young winner should be a relief pitcher, Sports Geek argued that relievers should not be eligible for the Cy Young. The point that strengthened the argument the most was the fact that relievers already have the Rolaids Relief Man award (what a great idea by Rolaid’s to sponsor this award?!). If is unfortunate that not everyone is aware of the award. Major League Baseball does a poor job of showcasing this award. Basically, it is for relievers only. Obviously, no starter is eligible to win this award. It is not voted on by anyone, but it is an award that is won based on a points system where eligible pitchers accumulate award points by saves, tough saves, and wins, with points taken away after a loss or a blown save.
Bleacher Fan, on the other hand, argued that relievers should be eligible with a statistical comparison of the 2009 seasons of Royals starting pitcher and Cy Young contender Zach Greinke and New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera. He showed that Rivera’s numbers statistically matched up favorably with Greinke’s. I also liked the analogy in the closing of his argument with the analogy of how a starting pitcher is similar to someone at the tee in golf while a closer is similar to someone on the green. In other words, the driver begins the hole but the putter finishes it out. For golf fans, a good analogy is J.B. Holmes starting the hole on the tee with his massive drives and Steve Stricker finishing out the hole on the green with his hot putter (as showcased in the President’s Cup this week).
However, one must make decisions in cases like this… and the decisions are not always popular. Such is the life of Loyal Homer here. Without further adieu, I award the victory to Sports Geek.
What won the debate for Sports Geek was the inclusion of the Rolaids Relief Man award. Relievers essentially have their own award. Leave the Cy Young award alone!! The argument also brought up the pitcher that the award is named after, Cy Young, demonstrating the fact that Cy Young had a whopping 749 complete games!! That is amazing folks. The creators of the award obviously meant for the award to be for a starter, and I agree with them.
As always, feedback is welcome and encouraged and I fully expect feedback from Bleacher Fan.