Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lincecum Gets Cy; Lidge Gets Jobbed

Congrats to Tim Lincecum, the amazing, and highly entertaining, San Francisco Giants hurler who won the National League Cy Young Award on Tuesday. Lincecum deserved this honor, and it's nice to see the baseball writers paying attention to high achievement on a team that otherwise achieved little and merited little attention. Lincecum is awesome, without doubt. Cases could have been made for others, such as the DBacks' Brandon Webb, the Mets' Johan Santana or even NL latecomer C. C. Sabathia of the Brewers. But based on sheer performance, Lincecum was the premier pitcher in the league.

Alas, Phillies shutdown reliever Brad Lidge got jobbed into the bargain, in that if it were any other year, he might have easily won the award, as dominating relievers occasionally do. The only solution to this problem is for the BBWAA to institute an official award for relief pitchers. Call it the Hoyt Wilhelm Award or something, and throw all the relievers in to that category and get 'em out of the CYA consideration.

For all you youngsters out there, Hall of Famer Wilhelm was in many ways the first modern specialist relief man (in which role he won 124 games, still the record for relief pitchers). He is recognized as the first pitcher to have saved 200 games in his career and the first pitcher to appear in 1,000 games. He is also one of the oldest players to have pitched; his final appearance was 16 days shy of his 50th birthday. (See Wilhelm's record at

Do they still have the Fireman of the Year Award? Or the Rolaids Relief Pitcher Award? Whatever... There should be a way to separate these two pitching disciplines so the highest achievers don't get overlooked.

No comments: