Though some of you may not have realized it, the Royals season is once again over. And for those of you that didn’t just go to a Royals game or two for the social scene, the renowned people watching or for the possibility that you could be plastered upon the 8.3 million dollar scoreboard that cost about the salaries of 2 1/3 Zack Greinkes, I seriously applaud you because I know that there are fewer of you in the school than the 65 wins in the Royals record. But even though the Royals are not striking out through October, you battered and few loyal fans know that Zack Greinke is being considered for one of the highest pitching honors in major league baseball, the Cy Young Award.
When it comes to post-season baseball awards, the Cy Young is the Heisman trophy of baseball. If a pitcher wants to even get a sniff of the Hall of Fame, the Cy Young plaque must be hanging in his trophy cabinet.
First, the American League Cy Young committee will look at the pitcher’s number of wins. Unfortunately, Greinke won’t be near the top in this category, and he won’t even be close. Greinke racked up only 16 wins and eight losses this season, slamming him at seventh place among the candidates, tied with three others. However, the three whom with he is tied have never been considered when discussing the Cy, whereas Zack is in the top three. Although no player since 1994 has had 16 wins or less and won the award, there are several factors why Greinke is still the most deserving of the award in this year’s bunch.
The other top contenders besides Greinke are Sabathia from the Yankees, known for his explosive fastball and devastating slider, who put up 19 wins and had an ERA (runs scored upon per start) of 3.37, and Hernandez from the Mariners, who throws a nasty curveball, and also posted 19 wins and an ERA of 2.49. However, according to numerous analyst and baseball aficionados, Greinke has had the widest and deadliest array of pitches of any pitcher in the majors. In six games this season, Greinke didn’t get a win while only giving up zero to one run. But due to our batting line-up of over the hill, washed up, fringe major leaguers, Greinke’s remarkable season was in a way wasted; just imagine if Greinke had the help of a $250 million batting lineup like the Yankees, for example. He could have had 28 wins and the best season ever for a pitcher.
Greinke’s wins sure aren’t Cy Young-esque, but his ERA of 2.16 is. Along with leading the league and the other Cy Young candidates, his ERA is better than 8 out of the last 10 winners. Greinke has also given up the least hits, runs and has the most tough losses compared to the other big two.
During the season; Greinke had to remain motivated and composed to continue to pitch at a high level for a team that was out of the running for the playoffs in mid-summer. This should be the deciding factor on why he should win the Cy. In an article in the New York Post, Greinke told his feelings on the season.
“It’s not as fun because there’s nothing really to play for,” Greinke said. “I don’t want to pitch for New York in the playoffs, I want to pitch for Kansas City in the playoffs.”
In a world of pro-athletes quick to hit the loaf button, Greinke went against the grain. The committee should look at this and see an opportunity to send a message to everyone from the t-ballers to the entire Royals payroll (I guess we did turn it on late) that even when there is no chance of winning, don’t give up.
On Nov. 13 the Cy Young will be announced and if the committee has seen the same Zack Greinke as I, then there is no doubt he will get named the Cy. He is or was the best pitcher to have ever played for the Royals, and next season he may be playing in the pin-stripes of the Yankees or any other team willing to pay Greinke’s ransom in a trade. Personally, I hope for Kansas City’s sake we lock him up, because truthfully who is going to go to a Royals game without him on the mound? I guess there are always those battered and few loyal Royals fans.