Lincecum takes the Cy Young

I don’t have a link yet, but people are talking about it already. He’s a fine choice. Great year. I probably undervalued the fact that he had more innings than Carpenter, so no arguments here.

Given that he has a court date on a controlled substance thing coming up soon, be prepared for the most boring celebration party of all time.

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  1. Patrick Ryan said...

    No respect for winning the games.  LaRussa cost Wainwright at least 3 wins – Bad choice – especially since Lincicum decided to smoke a doobie!!  Writers? Geez!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Will said...

    The press release is here.
    It wasn’t a walkover for Lincecum, he got 11 first place votes, Chris Carpenter 9, and Adam Wainwright 12. Lincecum got a total of 100 points to CC’s 94, and AW’s 90.

  3. Ron said...

    “Two voters, Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus and Keith Law of, did not include Carpenter on their ballots.”

    Nice. Leave the best pitcher in the NL off of your ballots to insure the saber-metric favorite wins.

    The BBWAA guys might not be the best at voting, but the saber friendly guys don’t have the right to accuse them of manipulating the vote anymore.

  4. Bill B. said...


    There’s justification for not including Carpenter. He wasn’t in my top-three, but then again, my opinions don’t particularly matter.

    The reason he didn’t make my top-three: he made four less starts and pitched 30 fewer innings than Lincecum, and six less starts and 40 fewer innings than Adam Wainwright. Durability counts for something, and it certainly has an effect on a player’s value.

    FWIW, according to FanGraphs, Lincecum was worth ~2.5 WAR more than both Carpenter and Wainwright.

    Don’t forget about Javier Vazquez!

  5. Matt in Toledo said...

    That’s interesting about Carroll, but he actually didn’t vote for Lincecum according to his article over at BP.

  6. Ron said...

    The Cy Young award isn’t supposed to be for the pitcher with the best stats, be it Wins or WAR. It’s supposed to be for the best pitcher of the year, and anyone who thinks Carpenter wasn’t really should learn something about the game.

    It’s no secret that the majority of saber-friendly writers/anaylsts wanted Lincecum to win in order to prove that sabermetrics is the only way anyone should vote.

    Leaving Carpenter off to ensure Lincecum won is no different than the voters who picked Colon (or anyother pitcher) because of his win total.

    You can’t take the moral high ground when you’re standing in the gutter next to those you profess to be better than.

  7. Matt in Toledo said...

    It seems like somebody who was rigging their vote to make sure Lincecum won would have voted for Lincecum. Carroll voted for Wainwright.

  8. Chadillac said...

    @Ron – Aren’t stats used to reveal who the best players are? I kinda thought they went hand in hand. How else do you judge players? Clutchiness? Or some other Tim McCarver catch phrase?

    I personally couldn’t make up my mind between TL, CC, or AW so what do I know?

  9. tadthebad said...

    Ron, doesn’t having some of the best stats indicate that a player was probably among the best pitchers, if not THE best pitcher?  And if “It’s no secret that the majority of saber-friendly writers/anaylsts wanted Lincecum to win in order to prove that sabermetrics is the only way anyone should vote,” then why haven’t I read this?  I visit many saber-based sites, and I have never seen anyting about your “Lincecum Conspiracy”.  I will certainly acknowledge that I may have just missed it.

    Apparently, I also need to learn something about the game.  Maybe Ron speaks to the St. Louis “lunatic fringe” that KLaw has mentioned before (on an historic Shyster comment thread, IIRC).

  10. Ron said...

    You guys are right. Stats are all we need to know who the best player is. 

    Like, Pablo Sandoval is the best 3rd basmeman in the game, because he had the highest OPS.  So Sandoval is better than Rodriguez, Reynolds, Longoria, Wright, Zimmerman, and Jones.

    Except another stat will say one of those guys is better than Sandoval. Anohter stat will say another guy is better. And so on and so forth. So how do we actually know who the best 3rd baseman in baseball is?

    But you guys have helped me a lot. I’ve seen the light. I know longer have to waste my life actually watching the games. I can just read the stat sheets every day and become an expert.

  11. Ron said...

    Bill B.

    You don’t actually have a clue. But keep on making judgements about me based on a comment/opinon I made. Of course, that allows me to judge you in return.

  12. Joe said...

    @Ron – what’s your rationale for concluding that Carpenter was the best pitcher in the NL this year?

    Also, please address – if Will Carroll was part of a sabermetric conspiracy to make sure that Tim Lincecum won the Cy Young Award this year, shouldn’t he also have voted for Lincecum and not Wainwright?

  13. Chadillac said...

    “I know longer have to waste my life actually watching the games. I can just read the stat sheets every day and become an expert.”

    I didn’t realize the enjoyment of watching a baseball game AND understanding the underlying metrics of performance were mutually exclusive.

  14. Joe said...

    Per Will Carroll @ BP:

    “Chris Carpenter’s time away for injury tipped the scales over to Adam Wainwright between the two of them, that despite the value arguments; consistency and availability are two traits that I don’t think get measured well, but they have clear value for a pitcher.”

    He’s acknowledging that he thinks Carpenter has the better stats.  Carroll left him off the ballot simply because Carpenter lost value by missing starts. 

    This is the weirdest conspiracy ever: Carroll acknowledges that Carpenter the best stats then votes for Wainwright in order to ensure that Lincecum wins because he has the best stats.

  15. Brian said...

    Hey Ron,

    I did actually “watch the games” this year.  I saw Tim Lincecum pitch in St. Louis against the Cardinals.  What I saw that night backed up the statistics.  He was the best pitcher in the National League this season. 

    I’m just curious why you think Carpenter was the best this season.  Is it because he had a lower ERA?  Wait…that’s a statistic.  Or fewer losses?  Another statistic.  The bottom line for me was that he pitched 30 fewer innings this season.  That’s a pretty big deal when you’re comparing two starting pitchers.  In terms of effectiveness, I thought the two had similar seasons, with perhaps a slight edge to Timmy because of his insane strikeout rate.

    I had actually forgotten how good Javy Vazquez was this year.  Maybe good enough to bump Carpenter down to third and Wainright fourth.

  16. Bill B. said...



    You don’t actually have a clue.

    Followed by this:

    But keep on making judgements about me based on a comment/opinon I made.

    …is sweet, delicious, sweet irony. Mmmmm

  17. tadthebad said...

    “Except another stat will say one of those guys is better than Sandoval. Anohter stat will say another guy is better. And so on and so forth.”

    As Neyer has often written, that’s why we look at more than one statistic. 

    As for best 3rd baseman, that Michael Young is pretty gritty, no?

  18. Aarcraft said...


    You are assuming alot of prescience on the part of the Law. Wainright was certainly a viable candidate. In fact, more people voted Wainright first, over Carpenter and Lincecum. If Law was trying to guarantee Lincecum a victory, he should have left both Wainright and Carpenter off the ballot. Law more than justified his vote in his blog. Just because you disagree with his rationale, doesn’t make it wrong, or provide evidence of some sort of conspiracy of one.

  19. Eric Cioe said...

    A voter could justify leaving Carpenter off the list pretty easily to me: he didn’t pitch 200 innings.  30 more innings of very slightly-worse ball is a pretty big deal.  Someone has to pitch those innings.  Would you rather have Tim Lincecum doing it or the Cardinals’ middle relievers?

  20. Bill@TDS said...

    Oh, Ron, this makes me sad.

    Of COURSE best stats = best pitcher. That’s different from saying best arbitrarily selected single stat = best player, like in your example (Sandoval has the best OPS and is therefore the best 3B). Taken altogether, the stats show—at least to me—that Lincecum was a better pitcher than Carpenter. And you can make a strong case that Vazquez and Haren were better than Carpenter, too.

  21. Jake said...

    regarding Lincecum’s alleged infraction: meh.  so he recreationally enjoys a drug that has been scientifically proven to be generally less harmful than alcohol – a drug that is available at every convenience store.

    screw the nylon industry, circa 1939, and screw Nancy Reagan too.

  22. SharksRog said...

    Not that Ron is all wrong, but his objectivity seems to be lacking.

    I’m a BIG Tim Lincecum fan, but I would have been OK with Chris Carpenter’s winning the award.  Not happy, but not feeling that anything unfair had happened.

    But while Wainwright had a marvelous season, aside from wins, he just didn’t stack up close to Lincecum and Carpenter, who seemed to be clearly the leaders.

    Aside from wins, there just weren’t many important areas in which Carpenter—and Lincecum in particular—weren’t either the leader or right near the top.

    To give the award to Wainwright simply because he won more games would be to deny that wins is a team stat over which the starting pitcher has some control, but usually less than half.

    And I say that knowing that if the Cardinals’ bullpen had held all Adam’s wins, he would have won 25 (!) games.

    If one looks at the overall picture, though, it seems to me it would be hard not to vote for either Lincecum or Carpenter.  Wainwright was a very solid third—but a fairly distant one IMO.

    Most of those who voted for Adam—who got one more first-place vote than Tim and three more than his teammate—seem to me to be primarily the old-fashioned (and I might even add uninformed or less analytical) voters who overvaule a team statistic when measuring an individual pitcher.

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