Goldman: Let’s skip the Cy Young Award this year

From SABR member Steven Goldman at VICE Sports on September 20, 2016:

The Nobel Peace Prize was first awarded in 1901, but that doesn’t mean there have been 114 years of winners. The Nobel folks have skipped a few, notably during World Wars I and II, when giving someone a prize for peace would have seemed a mockery of the very term. No doubt there were many advocating for peace at that time, probably even more than usual. They just weren’t very effective.

Baseball awards aren’t like the Peace Prize; effectiveness doesn’t necessarily matter. The Baseball Writers Association of America gives them out every year whether there’s an outstanding performance worth recognizing or not. To be sure, there are always pitchers who are good relative to the league, but that doesn’t mean anyone had a Sandy Koufax-type season. Nevertheless, awards are given, and then forever after we look back on some of them with a bit of embarrassment, like the year they voted Crash the Academy Award for Best Picture. If that was objectively the best film of 2005 (and none of the other nominees, while good, seem likely to make it into the pantheon), it would have been better to just say, “Pass. Has Netflix been invented yet?”

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Originally published: September 20, 2016. Last Updated: September 20, 2016.