Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays' David Price is AL Cy Young runnerup behind Seattle Mariners' Felix Hernandez

ORLANDO — The idea of voting the award for the American League's best pitcher to Seattle's Felix Hernandez, who won only 13 games, is difficult for some people to understand.

But not Rays left-hander David Price, who arguably could have had the biggest complaint as he finished second to Hernandez in the voting for the AL Cy Young Award announced Thursday.

"I feel like they got it right. I feel Felix deserved it," Price said on a conference call. "If I was going to lose to someone, it might as well be Felix. He was pretty incredible."

The voting was expected to be a three-way battle between Hernandez, Price and New York's CC Sabathia, but it turned out not to be much of a race. Hernandez, who was 13-12 with a 2.27 ERA, received 21 of 28 first-place votes and 167 overall points from the two voting members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America in each league city. Price (19-6, 2.72) got four first-place votes (and 15 seconds) and 111 points, and Sabathia (21-7, 3.18) the other three first-place votes and 102 points. Rays free agent closer Rafael Soriano finished eighth.

"I think I deserve it," Hernandez, 24, said on a conference call after a celebration at his home in Venezuela. "It's not only the wins, the whole stats have to be looked at. … Cy Young is for the most dominant pitcher in the league, not the one who wins 20, 21, 19 games."

What Hernandez lacked in wins — the 13 are the fewest for a Cy Young-winning starter in a full season (San Francisco's Tim Lincecum won with 15 last year) — he made up for among the voters with other numbers.

From the basics of a majors-best 2.27 ERA, league-high 249 2/3 innings and league-low .212 opponents average, and 232 strikeouts that were second-most; to detailed breakdowns of his performance by the run support he received from the last-place Mariners' bad offense (for example, 2-10 record with a 2.84 ERA in the 15 games they scored two or fewer runs); to advanced and complex sabermetric analyses (such as WAR, Wins Above Replacement).

The voting spawned something of an interesting Internet debate, from the starting lines of the traditional value of wins and the pressures of pitching in a pennant race vs. the modern-day emphasis on inside-the-numbers analysis and advanced metrics.

A sample:

• The Chicago Tribune's Phil Rogers, who voted Price first: "I love ERA, but to say wins don't mean anything doesn't make sense."

• The Boston Herald's Mike Silverman, who voted Hernandez first (and didn't have Price on his five-deep ballot): "Definitely wins, to me, are totally overvalued."

St. Petersburg Times writer Joe Smith called it "a tough decision" to vote Hernandez first and Price second. (The other Tampa Bay area voter, Tony Fabrizio of the Tampa Tribune, had Price first.)

"Price had a spectacular season while pitching in a pennant race," Smith said. "If the award were most valuable pitcher, he'd get my vote. But it is for best pitcher, and other than wins, which can often be out of a pitcher's control, Hernandez was the class of the field with some dominating numbers, getting little help from a historically bad offense."

For what it's worth, Price said he considers ERA the most important stat and that wins (and losses) can be out of a pitchers' control.

"That's the stat that should be paid attention to the most," Price, 25, said. "If you have a good ERA, you're going to win a lot of ball games."

That Hernandez won only 13 — there were 17 AL pitchers with more — isn't his fault, Price said.

"The numbers he put up, those were pretty ridiculous outside of the win and loss columns. … I feel as though if Felix were on a different team, if he were on the Yankees or something like that, he'd win a lot of games."

Price, admittedly excited about the possibility of winning in his first full season, was watching at home in Tennessee when the power went out just before the afternoon announcement, so he had to scramble for the results.

"Obviously I wanted to win, and if I didn't win I wanted to come in second, so I feel good about it," Price said. "I'm not mad by any means or let down; I just got beat."

Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected]

AL Cy Young voting

Despite having only 13 wins, voters rewarded Seattle's Felix Hernandez, left, for his 2.27 ERA and 232 strikeouts over the Rays' David Price, 19-6 with a 2.72 ERA:

Player Points 1st place


Felix Hernandez, 167 21


David Price, Rays 111 4

CC Sabathia, 102 3


.fast facts

How he voted

The AL Cy Young ballot of Times staff writer Joe Smith:

1st Felix Hernandez, M's

2ndDavid Price, Rays

3rdCC Sabathia, Yankees

4thClay Buchholz, Red Sox

5thJon Lester, Red Sox

Tampa Bay Rays' David Price is AL Cy Young runnerup behind Seattle Mariners' Felix Hernandez 11/18/10 [Last modified: Friday, November 19, 2010 8:55am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs-Bills: Social media reactions to the Bucs' 30-27 loss


    Here's a sampling of reactions from the media and fans to the Bucs' 30-27 loss Sunday at Buffalo:

    Buffalo Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka (4) is mobbed by teammates after kicking the game-winning field goal late in the fourth quarter. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Buccaneers-Bills: A by-the-numbers look at Tampa Bay's 30-27 loss


    Here's a by-the-numbers look at the Bucs' 30-27 loss at Buffalo on Sunday:


    Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) screams in jubilation after running for a first down late in the fourth quarter. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Bucs-Bills roundtable: Deonte Thompson's late catch spelled 'instant disaster' for Bucs


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Adam Humphries' fumble led to the Bills' game-winning field goal in Tampa Bay's 30-27 loss Sunday at Buffalo. But the Bills' first play after the Bucs finally took the lead was almost as deadly.

    The Buffalo Bills' Deonte Thompson (10) catches a pass in front of Bucs cornerback Brent Grimes (24) during the first half. [AP photo]
  4. Bucs-Bills: Instant analysis from the Bucs' 30-27 loss


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Here's the Tampa Bay Times' Bucs coverage team's instant analysis from the Bucs' 30-27 loss at Buffalo:


    Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Matt Milano (58) intercepts a Jameis Winston (3) pass intended for tight end Cameron Brate (84) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Bucs overcome 11-point deficit, then allow game to slip away, 30-27, to Bills


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — In less than a minute, a hard-fought win — and perhaps much more — slipped away from the Bucs, who gave up 10 points in the final four minutes and lost to the Bills, …

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) tries to turn the corner as Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) forces him out of bounds during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]