James Shields takes third in AL Cy Young voting
Update 2:56 p.m. RHP James Shields admitted he was pacing around his home in the minutes leading up to the 2 p.m. Cy Young Award announcement, and was pumped to finish in the top-3.
"I was excited," Shields said. "Just to be a part of that kind of talented group of guys that were up there with me, just to be named in the same class as those guys. It's definitely an honor. Obviously every pitcher wants to win the Cy Young. BUt with the kind of year Verlander had, it was a no-doubter obviously. I think it was unanimous throughout the whole world he'd win."
Shields gave a lot of credit to pitching coach Jim Hickey for helping him refine his mechanics and stay consistent in his delivery, was appreciative of his teammates and fans.
"The season that I had is a season that I'm capable of having in the future, and hopefully I can just try to build on it," Shields said. "I don't think I'm going to predict 11 complete games next year, but hopefully I can get a couple. I'm definitely a realist, I think the year I had was definitely a phenomenal year when I look back on it. The sky is the limit. You always want to try to beat the season before next year, I'm going to try my best to repeat what I did."
Developing: Tampa Bay Rays righthander James Shields finished third in the American League Cy Young Award voting, announced Tuesday afternoon by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Tigers righthander Justin Verlander was the unanimous choice by all 28 voters, with Angels righthander Jered Weaver taking second. Shields had five second place votes and nine third place votes for 66 points, narrowly edging out Yankees ace CC Sabathia (63), who finished fourth. Tigers closer Jose Valverde took fifth.
With the top-five finish, Shields' 2012 option increased $500,000 to $8 million.
Shields had a remarkable bounce-back season in which he racked up a career-high 16 wins and a major-league leading 11 complete games.
"It got kind of boring throughout the year, complete game after complete game," Rays righthander Jeremy Hellickson joked. "He made it look too easy. It's not supposed to be that easy to throw complete game shutout. We definitely follow Shields' lead and he had an unbelievable year. I think he had just as good a year as Verlander, it's just I think the wins. But Shields had an unbelievable year and an unbelievable impact on my season."
AL Cy Young Voting
Tigers RHP Justin Verlander (196 points)
Angels RHP Jered Weaver (97 points)
Rays RHP James Shields (66 points)
Yankees LHP CC Sabathia (63 points)
Tigers RHP Jose Valverde (28 points)
Joe Smith's Cy Young Ballot
1. Justin Verlander, Tigers
2. James Shields, Rays
3. Jered Weaver, Angels
4. CC Sabathia, Yankees
5. C.J. Wilson, Rangers
-- JOE SMITH