Mets: Michael Wilbon displeased with Jacob deGrom’s Cy Young victory
By Tim Boyle
Michael Wilbon was not at all happy with New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom winning the Cy Young almost unanimously.
Put 30 baseball writers in a room and you’re guaranteed to hear at least a large majority of them declare New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom as the 2018 National League Cy Young winner. This is similar to what happened when 30 writers put in their vote for the award several weeks ago.
Only one first-place vote didn’t go to deGrom. However, deGrom did still finish second on that writer’s ballot. Instead, Max Scherzer took the vote in a year where he pitched great, too.
Not everyone is happy with deGrom’s Cy Young victory. In “Old Man Yells at Cloud” news, Michael Wilbon of Pardon the Interruption and my afternoon television watching in high school fame voiced his displeasure. On an episode of PTI, Wilbon accused analytics of “hijacking” the vote.
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Wilbon isn’t known as a “baseball guy” so I understand where he’s coming from. He’s working for a network where hot takes are the best option. By simply going with the obvious and saying deGrom deserved the award, he does nothing for the rating or his name. With these comments, he has people talking and ready to tune in.
Wins do matter in baseball and I think they carry value even in 2018. However, they’re not the end-all-be-all of the game nor a major factor in any award vote. By Wilbon’s statements, I take that he believes Jason Vargas and his 18 wins in 2017 were far more valuable than what deGrom accomplished this past year.
Starting pitchers aren’t meant to earn wins any longer. With the requirement that they go at least five innings and their team is ahead when they depart, you’re asking for a lot to happen. The game is played differently and I believe Wilbon is either unhappy with this or doesn’t fully understand.
Maybe worse than overvaluing wins is Wilbon’s comments about not caring about ERA. I know there are a lot better numbers to measure a pitcher’s talents. ERA is still one of the best regardless.
deGrom posted historical numbers in 2018. The 30 writers who voted for him, and I’m including the one who gave him a second-place finish, can’t all be wrong, can they?
I’m curious where Wilbon would have voted deGrom if given the chance. Would he have really left him off the ballot entirely?
I can accept someone believing deGrom was the second or even third most-deserving of a Cy Young in 2018. What I cannot understand is how someone can sanely be this outraged by such a near-unanimous vote.
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In related news, deGrom was the only player not named Christian Yelich to earn a first-place vote for the National League MVP. If the Cy Young vote didn’t upset Wilbon enough, this may push him over the edge.