David Price and Cy Young | The Process Report

David Price and Cy Young

By R.J. Anderson //

Before the 2009 season, Scott Kazmir wanted to pitch in the World Baseball Classic. The Rays all but declined for him and I supported that decision. Kazmir’s health with the Rays remained a point of contention up until (and through) his final days. The funny thing about pitchers is how their livelihood is on the line each time they throw. Whether a pen session, warming up, or in-game situations. The more bullets used in meaningless situations, the worse you feel when something is pierced and it’s not the catcher’s glove. Kazmir wanted that experience and addition to his branding. The team felt his self-interest did not matter as much as the team’s interest and rightfully so (in my estimation).

I have a hard time being emotional over the awards anymore. Carl Crawford has never won a Gold Glove. Kazmir gave the best seasonal performance in Rays’ pitching history during the 2007 season and did not receive a vote for the AL Cy Young. Ben Zobrist conquered numerous continents last season while only Larry Stone (based in Seattle) rewarded his effort with a decent Most Valuable Player placing.

David Price is becoming a more serious threat to the Cy Young award by the start. Is he the most deserving, in the sense that he is the best pitcher in the American League? No, I don’t think so. Is he the most deserving if the award is to the best pitcher on the best team? More so than before, but probably not. Nevertheless, I’m going to root for Price’s victory, much like I will root for Evan Longoria to win another Gold Glove and for Crawford to finally claim his.

Nothing about serving Price’s self-interest will hurt the Rays. Having a low earned run average is a good thing, if not the only thing. Having a lot of wins is a good thing, if not the only thing. Not giving up many home runs is a good thing, if not just a talent thing. And so on. Price’s pitching has exceeded my expectations this season and is generally a pleasure to watch. There is no reward for that. I’m not sending him a check in exchange for the enjoyment I’ve received. The Rays won’t even pay him a fair rate for his performances this season. That’ll come at a later point in his career.

So, what is Price’s reward? Some fame and hopefully a lot of glory. He is a human being and human beings are in constant search of narrative to their lives and careers. Trust it or not, the Cy Young award is a worthwhile addition to any human’s narrative – as are most shiny items of great prestige. Maybe there is something perverse about turning a silver plaque into a lion’s heart, worthy of countless hours, sweat by the gallon, and suffering, but that is a pitcher’s life.

Will a more deserving pitcher lose if Price wins? Yes. Frankly, I never shed a tear when Cliff Lee lost. Nor for countless other pitchers who may have outperformed their Rays’ counterpart on that night and found themselves on the wrong side of the column.

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