I'm just sitting here, awaiting Ron Washington's official word on why he's opted to reverse course and sit Vladimir Guerrero in Game 2. Just this morning, it seemed like Vlad would start and David Murphy would again hang out on the bench, so I'm curious as to what changed Washington's mind.
But in the meantime, I decided to do a little further research into these Players Choice awards. That David Price won AL Outstanding Pitcher over Felix Hernandez is both surprising and interesting - there's meaningful information in there, somewhere. And I got curious as to how well these things correlate with the Cy Young.
The Players Choice awards have existed since 1992. They've been voting for outstanding pitchers in each league since 1994. That gives us a sample of 16 seasons, and 32 winners. How do they match up?
24 of the 32 outstanding pitchers wound up winning the Cy Young soon thereafter. Or, more accurately, 24 of the 33, since Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens somehow tied in 1998. Clemens and Martinez had won the Players Choice AL and NL Outstanding Pitcher awards, respectively, the previous year. In 1998, Martinez was traded to the American League to join Clemens in the East, and still they both wound up repeating. I bet the Vegas odds of that one were pretty low in March.
Let's call 1998 a match anyway, despite the tie. Of the eight discrepancies, seven have occurred in the National League. The last time an AL Outstanding Pitcher didn't end up winning the AL Cy Young was 1994, when Jimmy Key won one, and David Cone won the other.
That seems like a discouraging trend. I wouldn't get too down about it, though. The players and the writers who vote on these awards take completely different approaches, and the latter don't depend on the former. They end up with similar results because it usually isn't too hard to figure out a league's best pitcher. 2010 presents a unique challenge. The players said what the players said, but the writers considered the numbers. Many of them listened to the various arguments. Felix seemed to have strong support despite everything, and my gut feeling is that he's very probably going to win.
Which would snap a streak of 15 consecutive AL agreements. The players have made their choice. The players were wrong.