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Luck, and the Cy Young Award

August 11, 2017


Luck, and the Cy Young Award

              In addressing the question of who deserved the Cy Young Award, I’m going to use the formula 2 Wins – Losses, which parallels how people think about Cy Young Awards.   It actually makes sense when you think about it.   It’s basically a WAR calculation, assuming that .333 is the replacement level.   If you work with Deserved Wins rather than actual wins, it becomes a reasonable way to determine the Cy Young Award.   If a pitcher has a deserved won-lost record of 20-10 and .333 is the replacement level, then he is 10 wins better than replacement level and has a 2W-L calculation of 30.   If he is 21-9, then he is 11 wins better than replacement, and has a 2W-L score of 33. .’s just 3 times WAR.   That’s not EXACTLY true, but it is generally true that the starting pitcher with the best 2W – L score, based on Deserved Wins, is the best starting pitcher in the league.  

              I was writing about Dave Stieb in the previous article.   In 1985 Stieb was 14-13, 2.48 ERA in 265 innings.   Bret Saberhagen won the Cy Young Award; he was 20-6, 2.87 ERA in 235 innings, but Saberhagen was in a better hitter’s park and had many fewer un-earned runs, so it’s actually a close race.   I have Stieb with a deserved won-lost record of 20-11, Cy Young Score of 28.9, Saberhagen a deserved won-lost record of 18-8, score of 28.4.   

              Maybe Stieb "actually" deserved the award, but can we say with confidence that we know this to be true?   No, we cannot.   The margin of difference between them is much smaller than the confidence interval.  

              If I were to write that Dave Stieb deserved the Cy Young Award in 1985, I would implicitly be criticizing the voters, or arguing with them.   I don’t have any problem criticizing the voters or arguing with them, if I am just reasonably confident that I am right.   But this method I have of assigning won-lost records, while it is good, while it is a step forward from what I have had before, is still a great distance from perfection.  

              Analysts should not argue what we do not know to be the truth.   So in this article—who won the Cy Young Award by good luck, and who lost it by bad luck—I’m not going to argue these marginal cases.   I’ll only include it here if the difference between the winner and the guy who should have won is at least 3.0 on the Cy Young Score (2 W – L); that is, if it is at least one real-world win. 

              There are actually many awards like that in Cy Young history—awards in which I would have voted another way, based on my analysis, but the gap in the statistics is not persuasive enough to make a point of it.   2013 National League, Kershaw was probably better than R. A. Dickey, but it’s not a big enough gap for me to fight for it.    2011 National League, Roy Halladay was probably better than Kershaw, but the gap is not big enough to make an issue out of it.   2007 National League, Brandon Webb was probably better than Jake Peavy, but it’s a small gap, so who knows?    2016 National League, Johnny Cueto was probably a little bit better than Max Scherzer, but it’s a small gap.  There are many of those.  

              I don’t count those as "errors" in the vote just because I get a little bit different answer than the voters got.   OK, chronologically:


1956:   Certainly Don Newcombe won the Cy Young Award in 1956 by good luck.   He was 27-7 with a deserved record of 18-13.  He wasn’t anywhere near the best pitcher in the major leagues.  But one can’t really say that anyone LOST the award because of tough luck.   Probably the best starting pitcher in the majors was Early Wynn or Herb Score, but neither of them was a tough luck pitcher.   They were just swept aside by Newcombe’s good luck.


1957:   Warren Spahn won the Award by good luck, and Frank Sullivan lost it by bad luck.   Spahn was 21-11 with a deserved record of 17-14; Sullivan was 14-11 with a deserved record of 19-9.  

              Sullivan, a self-effacing fella, later joked that he was in the twilight years of a mediocre career.   But in fact Sullivan was the best starting pitcher in baseball not only in 1957, but possibly in 1955 as well.  

1958:  Bob Turley (21-7) won the Award by good luck.   Probably the best pitcher in baseball was his Yankee teammate, Whitey Ford, although Ford’s luck was not bad enough that one could say that he lost it to tough luck.  He lost it to Turley’s good luck.   Ford had a deserved record of 17-8; Turley, of 17-11. 

              Turley pitched 245 innings with a 2.97 ERA; Ford (14-7) pitched 219 innings with a 2.01 ERA, but Ford allowed 13 un-earned runs, whereas Turley allowed only one, which closes much of the gap between them.   But also, the three American League teams with winning records, other than the Yankees, were the White Sox, Red Sox and Indians.   Ford pitched 104.2 innings against those teams; Turley pitched 83.1.  


1959:  Early Wynn (22-10, deserved record of 16-14), was extremely lucky, and won the Award by his good luck.   Probably the best starting pitcher in the majors was Camilo Pascual (17-10, deserved record of 18-9). 


1960:  Vern Law (20-9, deserved record of 18-13) won the award aided by some good luck, although he was also a very good pitcher.    Don Drysdale, 15-14, deserved record of 21-10, was by far the best starting pitcher in the majors.  Drysdale pitched 269 innings with a 2.84 ERA, struck out 246 batters (more than twice as many as Law), and Drysdale was working in a park that was a nightmare for a pitcher.   Park Factors:  132 for Drysdale, 96 for Law.  


              The first five Cy Young Awards, then, were all given not to the Best starting pitcher in the majors, but to the Luckiest Good Pitcher.   After 1960, however, there is not another clear-cut case of the award going to the wrong guy until 1967.


1967 NL:   Mike McCormick won the National League award with a 22-10 record.   He was obviously lucky, with a deserved record of 17-13.   The league’s best pitcher, by far, was Jim Bunning (Deserved Record, 22-12, actual record 17-15.)   McCormick had the won-lost record that Bunning deserved, minus two losses, and McCormick had the won-lost record that Bunning deserved, minus two losses.    Koufax retired; Gibson and Marichal were both hurt, leaving Bunning as the best starting pitcher in the league. 


1969 NL:   Tom Seaver won the Cy Young Award with the Miracle Mets.   While Seaver was certainly a great pitcher and deserving of the award in other seasons, in 1969 a better selection would have been the man who won it in ’68 and ’70:  Bob Gibson.   Seaver was 25-7 with a Deserved Record of 21-11, which is still a great record.   Gibson was 20-11 with a Deserved Record of 25-11; thus, in my opinion, Seaver won that Award by good luck, and Gibson lost it by bad luck. 


1970 AL:   Jim Perry won the Award based on his good luck, and Sudden Sam McDowell lost it by pitching in tough luck.   Perry 24-12, should have been 17-14, but was backed by a tremendous offense, and pitched in a park with a Park Factor of 90.    McDowell, 20-12, should have been 23-11, but pitched in a park with a Park Factor of 133, and with a very poor offense behind him.   The Indians scored only 3.2 runs per game on the road.

1970 NL:   Bob Gibson won the award by pitching in good luck; Ferguson Jenkins lost it by pitching in tough luck.   Gibson, 23-7, should have been 23-11 (which, obviously, is still a tremendous record.)  Jenkins, 22-16, should have been 24-11. 

1971 NL:  Tom Seaver squared the circle.    Tom Seaver, 20-10, had his greatest season, and should have been 24-8.   Ferguson Jenkins won the award and had exactly the record that he deserved, 24-13, so Jenkins did not win the award by good luck, but Seaver did lose it by tough luck.

              I have observed this before using different methods, but from 1969 to 1971, Jenkins, Seaver and Carlton each won one Cy Young Award and each deserved one—but none of them won the Award that they deserved.   Seaver deserved it in ’71, won it in ’69; Gibson deserved it in ’69, won it in ’70; Jenkins deserved it in ’70, won it in ’71.   Perhaps we can get them to work out a trade. 

1973 AL:  Jim Palmer, 22-9, won the Award, and Palmer was not lucky; his deserved record was 23-11, which is basically the same as 22-9.   But Blyleven lost the award by pitching in tough luck.  Blyleven 20-17, should have been 25-12, but was the unluckiest pitcher in the major leagues. 


1974 NL:  The award went to a reliever for the first time, Mike Marshall.   Phil Niekro, the best starting pitcher in the NL, was 20-13, but had a deserved record of 23-12.   But he was rolling in four-leaved clovers compared to the league’s second-best starting pitcher, Jon Matlack. Matlack deserved a record of 20-10, but finished 13-15.


1975 NL:  Andy Messersmith lost the award by pitching in tough luck.    Tom Seaver was 22-9, should have been 21-11, which is still a tremendous record, and Seaver was not especially lucky.   But Messersmith, pitching 322 innings with a 2.29 ERA, fell four wins short of his deserved record of 23-14, which would probably have won him the Cy Young Award if Seaver was 21-11. 


1976 AL:   1976 was the year that Charlie Finley tried to sell three of his star players (Vida Blue, Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers) at the trade deadline, which at that time was June 15.   The commissioner, invoking the "best interests of baseball" clause, blocked the sales.  

              Vida Blue wound up that season as the best starting pitcher in the American League, but lost the Cy Young Award by pitching in tough luck.   He was 18-13, but should have been 22-12.   Jim Palmer (22-13) won the award, not so much because of good luck, but because of Blue’s bad luck. 

              As I have tried to explain before, Kuhn’s action was a fantastic economic blunder, which would ultimately cost the owners billions of dollars.  Finley did what he tried to do because he knew that he would lose these players to free agency.  Kuhn did what he did because he hated Charlie Finley, and he wanted to see Finley suffer the consequences of his orneriness. 

              But as a policy, if the owners had been able to buy and sell rights to the players, then a great deal of the money that went into the free agent market would have been diverted into the pockets of other owners.   That money fed the inflationary spiral of free agent salaries.   The salaries of players would have gone up sharply anyway, but not with the same force.    Kuhn was a lawyer who looked good in a suit and talked a good game, but he didn’t have ANY understanding of labor law or economics, and this is one of his many blunders. 


1976 NL:  Randy Jones won the Award by pitching in good luck, and Tom Seaver lost it by pitching in tough luck.   Jones, 22-14, should have been 19-17.   Seaver, 14-11, should have been 19-12.    It’s not a park effect, and it isn’t their teams; the park effects were basically the same, and the offenses were similar.   It just happened that the Padres scored 172 runs in 40 starts for Jones, while the Mets scored only 119 runs in 34 starts for Seaver.    


1977 AL:   Cy Young Award went to a reliever.   Jim Palmer was the best starting pitcher in the AL, with an actual record of 20-11, and a deserved record of 22-14.    Sparky Lyle won the award in part because no starting pitcher in the league was really brilliant, and the voters were not excited about giving another award to Jim Palmer.  


1977 NL:   Steve Carlton pitched in good luck, stealing an award from Rick Reuschel.     Carlton had a deserved record of 20-12, but went 23-10, plucking the award from Reuschel, whose 20-10 record was a fair reflection of how he had pitched.


1978 NL:    One 39-year-old pitcher stole the Award from another one.  Gaylord Perry was tremendously lucky, finishing 21-6 with a deserved record of 16-13.   Phil Niekro, the league’s best pitcher, was 19-17 with a deserved record of 24-14.   The Padres (Gaylord) were a better than .500 team (84-78), in a park with a Park Factor of 82.   The Braves (Niekro) were a last-place team with a Park Factor of 130. 


1979 AL:   Mike Flanagan (23-9) won the award by good luck; he should have been about 18-12.   Jerry Koosman was the league’s best pitcher, finishing 20-13 with a deserved record of 20-11. 


1979 NL:  Award went to a reliever.   J. R. Richard (18-13, deserved record of 21-13) was the league’s best starting pitcher.


1980 AL:   An obvious and famous anomaly.   Steve Stone won an award that should have gone to Mike Norris.   Stone, 25-7, should have been about 16-12.


1981 AL:  A reliever won the Award.   Steve McCatty, whose 14-7 record was also exactly the record that he deserved, was the league’s best starting pitcher.


1982 AL:   A horrible miscarriage of trophy justice.   Pete Vuckovich, 18-6, won the Award although he was the league’s 20th-best starting pitcher, and was probably the worst pitcher ever to win the Cy Young Award.   He should have been about 13-12.    Dave Stieb was by far the league’s best starting pitcher, but finished 17-14 despite a deserved record of 21-12.   Stieb finished fourth in the voting. 

1982 NL:   Steve Carlton won the award with the aid of considerable good luck.   Carlton finished 23-11, should probably have been 19-14.   The league’s best pitcher, Steve Rogers, was 19-8 and should have been 22-10.

1983 AL:  Lamar Hoyt, the league’s 7th-best starting pitcher with a deserved record of 17-12, won the Award with an actual record of 24-10.    Dave Stieb was again the league’s best starting pitcher by a wide margin, finishing 17-12 with a deserved record of 21-11. 

1984 AL:   The Award went to a reliever.   Dave Stieb was again the league’s best starting pitcher and was again unlucky, finishing 16-8 with a deserved record of 20-10.   Blyleven was almost as good as Stieb.  As mentioned before, Stieb may also have been the league’s best starting pitcher again in 1985.

1984 NL:   Rick Sutcliffe won the Award, going 16-1 after a mid-season trade to the Cubs.   Sutcliffe’s season is difficult to evaluate due to the trade and the unusual conditions of the moment; however, I would not vote for him based on what I know at this time.    Sutcliffe ended the season with 14 straight wins, and the Cubs, who had lost 91 games the year before, won 96 games and the division.

              I would vote for Dwight Gooden, who was 17-9 as a rookie with a deserved record of 17-8.   Nobody in the National League really deserved a Cy Young Award in 1984, but Sutcliffe’s 16-1 mark is not a completely realistic indication of how he had pitched.   The Cubs scored 111 runs in the 20 games that he started, and his 14-game winning streak included victories of 7 to 5, 8 to 6, and 13 to 11.   (The 13 to 11 games was not played in Wrigley Field.) 


1987 NL:   A reliever won the award, in large part because no starter in the National League was deserving of the award.   Nolan Ryan went 8-16 despite leading the league in strikeouts and ERA, but in truth Ryan’s season is not deserving of a Cy Young Award, either—he should have been about 16-9—and there were some other pitchers in the league who were at that level.


1989 NL:   A reliever won the award.    Orel Hershiser, who had won the Award in 1988 (and deserved it) was again the best pitcher in the league, but pitched in tough luck, 15-15 with a deserved record of 18-11. 


1990 AL.   Bob Welch happened, 27-6 with a deserved record of 14-13.   Roger Clemens was by far the league’s best starting pitcher, with a 21-6 record which was essentially the record he deserved. 


1990 NL:  Doug Drabek, 22-6, won the Award despite a deserved record of 16-10.   No National Pitcher in 1990 was really deserving of a Cy Young Award; however, two pitchers in the league were somewhat better than Drabek.    Ed Whitson, 14-9, probably deserved a record of 17-9 and calculates as the league’s best starting pitcher although, you know; I remember Ed Whitson as well as you do.   Frank Viola, 20-12 with a deserved record of 18-10, would also have been a stronger selection than Drabek.

1992 AL:   Award went to a reliever.   Clemens, as usual, was the best starting pitcher in the American League, going 18-11 with a deserved record of 20-8. 

1993 AL:   Jack McDowell won the Award because he pitched in good luck, and Kevin Appier lost the award because he pitched in tough luck.   McDowell, 22-10, was a fine pitcher, but should have been 18-11.   Appier, 18-8, should have been 20-7, but was supported by an offense that finished last in the league in runs scored despite a Park Factor of 112, the second-highest in the league.  


              If there is ONE factor working in favor of the pitcher, like a hellacious offense, sometimes the voters will pick that up, but if there is a combination of factors like the offense, random luck and a high park factor. . .less chance that the voters will filter all of that out.   

              After 1993 there was not a "bad vote" for several years, and this happened primarily because about that time three genuine superstar pitchers emerged—Maddox, Pedro and the Big Unit—who were pretty obviously ahead of the pack.   In essence, they restored order to the process.   In the 1980s, early 1990s in the National League, you would have seasons where really no one was deserving of the award, so the voters would have to pick somebody, and they would pick whoever got lucky in the wins and losses.   That’s the way it was in the 1956-1960 era, too, and then Koufax emerged and he was really better than the other guys, so that restored order to the voting.  


1998 NL—Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine were teammates, of course; Maddux had a 2.22 ERA and Glavine 2.47.   They were comparable, and Maddux did give up more un-earned runs.   Anyway, the Braves scored 5.15 runs per game for Glavine and only 4.44 for Maddux, so Glavine finished 20-6 (deserved record, 18-8) and Maddux was 18-9 (deserved 21-8), and Glavine won the award.   Glavine was not victimized by a shutout, and had only six games in which he had two runs or less to work with, and only one game in which he had only one run to work with.     Maddux was victimized by a shutout three times, had only one run to work with two times, and had only two runs to work with seven times (low run games 7-2-3 for Maddux, 5-1-0 for Glavine.) 


1999 NL (Cited as an exception).   The 1999 National League award stands out, because Mike Hampton was a very, very lucky 22-4, whereas Randy Johnson was a very unlucky 17-9.   Nonetheless, Johnson won the award—one of the first clear signs that voting patterns were beginning to adapt.  

              This happened again in the American League in 2000.   Tim Hudson was a very lucky 20-6, whereas Pedro Martinez was a very unlucky 18-6—nonetheless, Pedro won the award.   This may reflect that the voting patterns were changing, but it may also reflect simply that Pedro and Randy were SO good that it was obvious to the voters that they were the best pitchers in the league, even when they pitched in tough luck.


2001 AL—Like Glavine and Maddux, Roger Clemens and Mike Mussina were teammates in 2001, with the Yankees.   Many of their stats for the season are almost identical, including innings, strikeouts and home runs allowed, but Mussina walked only 42 batters, while Clemens walked 72, and because of this Mussina posted an ERA 36 points lower (3.15 to 3.51). 

              But the Yankees scored 5.88 runs per game for Clemens, 4.14 for Mussina, lifting Clemens to a won-lost record of 20-3 (deserved record:  16-10), while sticking Mussina with a 17-11 record (deserved record:  18-9).   The Yankees gave Clemens two or less runs to work with only two times; Mussina, eight times.   Clemens was voted the Cy Young Award.

              Had Mussina won that award, which he deserved but was denied by poor offensive support, I feel certain that he would be in the Hall of Fame now.   I didn’t list Mussina in the Hall of Fame candidates that I discussed because, in his career, he was not unlucky; in fact, his career won-lost record is 12 games better than it ought to be.   


2003 NL:  The award went to a reliever.   The best starting pitcher in the league was Jason Schmidt (actual record, 17-5; deserved record, 19-6).  

2004 NL:   After winning the World Championship in 2001 and the NL West in 2002 the Diamondbacks collapsed quickly, losing 111 games in 2004.   Randy Johnson was still the best pitcher in the National League, striking out 290 batters while walking only 44, and posting a 2.60 ERA in a hitter’s park, but he finished just 16-14 (deserved record:   21-8), so the Cy Young Award went to Roger Clemens (18-4 as opposed to a deserved record of 17-8).   You have to give Clemens credit for what he was.  If you’re ONE of the best pitchers in the league every year, some years you may get lucky.


2005 AL:   Bartolo Colon, 21-8 with a deserved record of just 15-11, won the Cy Young Award over the man who won it the year before and the year after, and who also deserved it in 2005:  Johan Santana.   Santana was 16-7, but should have been 20-8. 

2012 AL:   Justin Verlander, defending Cy Young Award winner and MVP from 2011, was again the best pitcher in the American League, with a deserved won-lost record of 19-9, but an actual record of 17-8.   The Award went to David Price, who was 20-5 with a deserved won-lost record of 17-8.


              In summary. . .since the Cy Young Award was inaugurated there have been 111 Cy Young votes.   Nine of these went to relievers, and I don’t have an opinion here about those votes, since this is an article about starting pitchers.   (I also didn’t comment on the 1969 American League vote, which ended in a tie.   But since it ended in a tie between the two most-deserving pitchers, I would have to count that as a win for the voters.)

              Of the 102 awards which have gone to starting pitchers, 72 went to pitchers who either (a) clearly deserved the award, or (b) were close enough to deserving the award that I wouldn’t want to argue the issue.   The other 30, in my view, were given to the wrong pitcher because of discrepancies in won-lost luck.           

              It COULD have happened, in theory, that the pitcher who deserved the award also had the best won-lost record, but still did not win the award because of some other factor.   That could have happened, but it never has.   In all 30 of the cases in which I believe the wrong starting pitcher won the award, the pitcher who won did so because of good luck in his won-lost record, or because some other pitcher had very bad luck in his won-lost record.

              Award voters have done dramatically better since 1984 than they did in the years 1956 to 1984.   From 1956 to 1984 there were 47 Cy Young Awards, of which 5 went to relievers, but 22 of the other 42 went to the wrong pitcher, in my opinion (20-22-5).   Since 1985 only 8 Cy Young Awards have gone, in my opinion, to undeserving pitchers, while 52 have gone to pitchers who at least arguably deserved the award (52-8-4).   



COMMENTS (14 Comments, most recent shown first)

Re: "Award voters have done dramatically better since 1984 than they did in the years 1956 to 1984."

Thanks to you, Bill.

Re: Dave Steib deserving the Cy Young 1982-1984 and possibly 1985: my first years in Toronto - the Blue Jays had a horrble bullpen until Tom Henke came along towards the end of July in 1985. I imagine a decent bullpen might have helped Stieb enormously.

9:19 PM Aug 14th
In defense of Lamar Hoyt: 1983 was a special year for White Sox fans. Winnin' Ugly, 99 wins, taking the division by 20 games, awful uniforms, Kittle and Luzinsky would crush balls 500 feet and couldn't get within 500 feet of a fly ball. Good times in the South Side, and Hoyt was the owner of one of the greatest mustaches of the 1980s. Surely that alone was worthy of a Cy Young, your sabermetrics be dammed.
2:12 PM Aug 12th
Since I have a spreadsheet showing the top pitchers in WAA in each league in each year it was very easy to check my results against Bill's. I'm delighted to report that they generally tracked each other pretty closely and my WAA judgments back up his calculations. There are exceptions, however, usually involving pitchers that Bill did not even mention, and I will point out a few.

1960: I show Ernie Broglio a comfortable winner with a remarkable 6.1 WAA. Drysdale is second with 4.9. It is an oddity of Drysdale's career that all his best seasons--1957, 1960, 1964--occurred in years that the Dodgers didn't come close to winning the pennant.

1975-6 NL I show John Montefusco in the NL in 1975 (comfortably) and 1976 (narrowly)

1976 AL I show Mark Fidrych with 6.5 WAA, Vida Blue only 4.4 and Palmer at 2.6.

1979 NL I have Niekro with 5.1 WAA, far superior to J R Richard, 2.6.

1979 AL I have Eckersley the best pitcher in the league with 5.6 WAA, Koosman with 5.

1987 NL I show Bob Welch with 4.4 WAA which is certainly adequate, although not outstanding, to win the Cy Young.

I stopped there.

David K

11:37 AM Aug 12th
The 1998 analysis was about Glavine vs. Maddux. But Kevin Brown should have won the award.
1:13 AM Aug 12th
I have always been interested in both baseball awards in general, and I have always felt that some of the CYAs were incorrect due to misleading W-L records, but I had no idea how to quantitatively analyze the situation. These articles have been tremendously insightful and helpful, and I suddenly have a truckload of information about a subject I have always loved and wondered about. Thank you, this was fabulous, interesting, and important.
I remember some team (over)paying for a free agent pitcher who obviously got lucky the prior year,saying "we don't care how he got the wins, just as long as he gets them", clearly implying that the pitcher made and deserved his own luck. Quite a shift in thinking, involving huge amounts of money.
Really enjoyable, thanks.
8:08 PM Aug 11th
The 1983 Abstract analyzed every one of Carlton's 1982 starts. Carlton did not have a single cheap win. He suffered more from poor offensive support than the other contenders. Carlton's ERA was misleading because his manager left him in games much longer than normal. Carlton had four starts where the Phillies only scored one run. He won three. Carlton made the other pitchers unlucky.
6:15 PM Aug 11th
So Justin Verlander was screwed in 2012 too? I wonder if Kate Upton knows
12:37 PM Aug 11th
Gut-wise, I always thought of Dave Stieb as a Hall of Famer because I considered him one of the elite starters in the game for a substantial period. Give him the 3 Cy Youngs he deserved (even without the 4th possible one), and he's a lock. Of course then his won-lost record would have been a lot better too and maybe that would have gotten him in without needing 3 Cy Youngs to do it for him.....I realize they're part of the same thing.

(Lest this make me start looking smart, I thought likewise about Jack Morris. Also I'm not that comfortable with flat-out conclusions about "deserving" because I'm not convinced that enough is taken into account, even with all that Bill has taken into account, to rule out the pitcher having more to do with the W-L record, although I have to admit that I'm reminding myself of deniers who keep denying regardless of what we put in front of them.)

Great to see Camilo Pascual making it into these articles. He was sort of the Dave Stieb of his day, maybe even more so because his team was worse.
11:32 AM Aug 11th
Bowie Kuhn looked good in a suit? I'm reminded of a joke I used to tell people back in my drinking days (to do it right, you need to act it out and be impervious to making a fool of yourself). I'll just give you the finale, where one guy says, "Who the hell was that?!?!" and the other guy replies, "Beats me, but I sure liked his suit."
10:12 AM Aug 11th
Oh, I see; I mixed up '69 and '70. I'm on vacation. . .I'll worry about it when we get home.
9:13 AM Aug 11th
Oh, I see; I mixed up '69 and '70. I'm on vacation. . .I'll worry about it when we get home.
9:13 AM Aug 11th
Gibson's not 23-11; he is 25-11. If you save the decimals the margin between them is greater than 3.0.
9:12 AM Aug 11th
The article does mention the point about Koufax's peak years: "That’s the way it was in the 1956-1960 era, too, and then Koufax emerged and he was really better than the other guys, so that restored order to the voting."

8:31 AM Aug 11th
For the NL award in 1970, you have Gibson with a deserved record of 23-11, Jenkins with 24-11. Applying the (2W - L) formula, that gives Jenkins a score of 37 to Gibson's 35, a margin of only 2. So by the standard you gave at the beginning of the article, that only gaps of 3 or more would qualify as mistakes by the voters, it seems like the 1970 NL should not be on the list. Right?
7:56 AM Aug 11th
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