Well, that didn’t take long.
This guy, Tom Gage, voted Jose Valverde second on his Cy Young Ballot. In what should come as no surprise to anyone, Tom Gage is a beat writer who covers the Detroit Tigers. Beautiful. On any given day, I can fall on one of two sides when it comes to this kind of thing. On one side, I’ll be so full up with righteous anger that I’ll spend a solid hour or two online, berating my friends with this information. I’ll rail against the petty and indignant ignorance of silly old men who think they’re upholding some preposterous ideal of the soul of baseball by continuing to bury their heads in the sand, ignoring the overwhelming body of evidence that proves the way they think about the game is simply and plainly wrong. Or I’ll just call them biased homers with no journalistic integrity. I’ll type really fast and use capital letters, and then I’ll come home and start yelling about it in the general direction of my wife. She’ll listen for a few minutes and then tune me out until I get tired enough to stop. On the other side, I’ll look at the picture of the offending party, in this case, a cute little Twitter profile picture of ol’ Tom Gage hanging out on some beach, and I’ll just see somebody’s grandfather. Somebody’s ignorant, stupid old adorable grandfather who has spent his life covering the sport that he loved as a boy, who can’t help but root passionately for the team that he covers and who simply just doesn’t know any better. The game has passed him by and he hasn’t quite realized it yet. It’s sad, really, and on this day, I mostly just feel sad for Tom Gage. Or uninspired. Or indifferent. Let the cute old guy just enjoy his fucking beach.
Here’s what he had to say about Jose Valverde’s Cy Young credentials, “Wasn’t afraid to put another Tiger second. In the American League, his 49-for-49 in saves was the second-best pitching accomplishment of the season.” I really am feeling docile this evening, but there’s a decent sprinkling of curmudgeonly nonsense in there threatening to get my blood going. He wasn’t afraid to put another Tiger second. He’s not blinded by his own ignorant favoritism, he’s a goddamn hero, not afraid to stick his neck out there and make the tough decisions. And the Saves. An infallible statistic. When one is making such a bold proclamation, the Save alone is strong enough to take over the entire discussion and make ones case. 49-for-49? Well I guess there’s no sense in arguing against that, is there?
I could spend some more time explaining what we already know. That this vote by Tom Gage is objectively complete and total bullshit. That Jose Valverde really isn’t that good. That relievers, even good ones, are substantially less valuable than elite starting pitchers. That the Save is an antiquated and ridiculous measure of a pitchers value. That Tom Gage is just voting for a guy who gave him some good quotes this season and who did an amusing dance at the end of games. But, what would really be the point? This Cy Young was completely dominated by Justin Verlander, rendering this intellectually dishonest and ignorant vote completely insignificant aside from what it illustrates about Tom Gage’s brain (alliteration, fools). Tommy Gage is just a cute old grandpa on the beach somewhere. It’s not his fault someone was stupid enough to give him one of the only 28 AL Cy Young votes.