Courtesy votes for the Cy Young Award

From SABR member Larry Granillo at Baseball Prospectus on November 17, 2011:

Three of Major League Baseball’s four major post-season awards were announced this week. … Overall, it’s pretty difficult to argue with the writers’ winning picks in any of the categories. There are certainly cases to be made for other players in each of the awards, but each choice is defensible on more than a superficial level which is a nice change of pace.

The runner-ups and other down-ballot candidates, however – that’s a different story. Trumbo’s .291 OBP was worth a second-place finish? Jose Valverde got how many second-place votes? Did the Giants really have four pitchers worthy of Cy Young votes? It’s pretty standard stuff, really. There are strange names on the ballots every year.

Don’t believe me? How about a look at the last ten Cy Young Award ballots? The Manager of the Year award, after all, is nearly worthless and the Jackie Robinson Award (really, that’s it’s name – let’s actually start calling it that!) forces voters to choose from such a weird pool of players that a down-ballot analysis seems unfair. (For a good look at the oddities of the Jackie Robinson Award pool, check out Sam Miller’s look at Mike Trout’s 2012 rookie status.) With that in mind, here are a sampling of my favorite down-ballot “courtesy votes” of the last ten years of Cy Young voting

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Originally published: November 18, 2011. Last Updated: November 18, 2011.