This year’s AL Cy young winner, Seattle Mariners Felix Hernandez beat out Yankees ace CC Sabathia and the Tampa Bay Rays young pup David Price, and for that one can only think, “Thank god.”

The voters, for the second year running, rightfully ignored the win/loss column on the respective stat lines of each player, and rightfully gave the award to a man who won 13 games, and lost 12.

If you were to tell this to a baseball writer who lived and wrote in the Sixties, or even the Nineties, they would be irate.

“Daggummit,” you would hear, “how can a fella barely crack .500 and be the best darn pitcher in the dagum league?”  And yes, writers of yesteryear all talked like an 1840s gold prospector if you were curious.

The only other player to win the award with as few wins in the history of the Cy Young award was Fernando Valenzuela, who went 13-7, who won the award in 1981, a strike shortened season.

So, Hernandez has the honor of having the fewest wins of a Cy Young Award winner who pitched a full season and didn’t have a fistful of saves.

It would have been easy for the voters to look at Price’s 19-6 record and terrific 2.72 ERA and give him the nod, or even Sabathia’s league leading 21 wins and decided that he was deserving.

Just a few short seasons ago, this is probably what would have happened, leaving the most dominant pitcher in the league with no hardware to show of his magnificent season.

Hernandez, along with his 13 wins, voiced a 2.27 ERA, the lowest in the Majors, 232 strikeouts, good for second, and a tiny 1.06 WHIP.

The writers took into account the fact that Felix could do nothing to make up for the Mariners historically terrible offense, which scored a pitiful 513 runs, and in ten of his starts this season, they were held to one or fewer runs.

In the past two seasons, three of the four Cy Young winners have had 16 or fewer wins, and have accounted for the three fewest win totals for Cy Young winners in the history of the award, a significant change in the way of voting.

Voters are now embracing the statistical revolution in baseball brought along by Bill James and the people at SABR who have brought along a slew of new statistics to evaluate players in a more accurate and sophisticated manner.

Writers have begun to favor newer, formerly frightening sounding stats from WAR, VORP, and WPA to the frighteningly simple OBP.

Long gone are the days of three main stats used to designate the best players in the league, and finally the writers and voters are catching up with that trend.

Better late than never, kudos to Felix and kudos to the writers, you guys definitely got this one right.

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