There is some brewing discontent over the NL Cy Young vote, as two members of the webby portion of the BBWAA — our friends Keith Law and Will Carroll — did not include Chris Carpenter on their three-man Cy Young ballots. Keith voted Javier Vazquez second (Lincecum first and Wainwright third) and Will voted Wainwright first, Lincecum second and Danny Haren third. They were the only ones who included Vazquez or Haren on their ballots.
“Two voters, Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus and Keith Law of ESPN.com, 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.
Ron, I love you. You’ve been reading this blog longer than just about anyone and I always appreciate your input. But you’re factually wrong here inasmuch as even if Will changed his vote for Haren to Carpenter and and Law did the same with his Vazquez vote, Lincecum still wins. And really, if Will was really trying to throw it to Lincecum, wouldn’t he have voted him first?
But I don’t mean to single out Ron. I posted his comment simply because it stands at the somewhat extreme end of the discontent I’ve read at a few message boards. There really are people out there scratching their heads at this, and I imagine there will be at least a little grousing about their votes over the next couple of slow news days.
For my part, I wouldn’t have voted the same way Keith and Will did — neither Vazquez nor Haren would have made my ballot — but they explain their rationale and I understand why they voted the way they voted even if I disagree with it. At the very least I understand docking Carpenter based on innings pitched, and that seems to be the point of controversy here. I’m a bit more of a romantic than Keith and Will are, I think, so I’d probably have included him on my ballot for reasons associated with his comeback from injury and all of that, but it’s certainly legitimate to not include him.
I predict that some people will use Keith’s and Will’s votes in some argument that statheads shouldn’t be given the franchise over the next couple of days. Such an argument, if it comes, should be rejected out of hand. At most this is some down-ballot curiosity, the sort of which we see on the votes for every award.