Guide Editor Victoria Edel on Why Her Team’s Ace Deserves the Cy Young
R.A. Dickey should win the NL Cy Young Award. I’m not saying he will, but it would be a shame — an injustice even — if he didn’t.
Statistically, he’s dominated all season. And, as any baseball fan already knows, he did it with a knuckleball. I remember watching a game sometime in June, back when Met games were still interesting, in which one of the announcers pondered why more people didn’t try to learn the knuckleball, since it’s so hard for batters to consistently hit. Then he realized the answer was obvious: The pitch is too difficult for most people to throw with any sort of success, let alone the extreme success Dickey has had this year.
Let’s glance at the numbers: he’s got 20 wins, 3 shutouts, 5 complete games, and a beautiful 2.73 ERA. He’s also first in the NL in strikeouts. He’s close to untouchable, and, like I said, he does it with the most difficult pitch in baseball. Oh, and last night it was revealed that he’s had a torn right abdominal all season that needs surgery. But it’s not just the numbers that would make me vote for him.
I could go into his uplifting back-story — which I do think will help him come voting time. Dickey was a first round draft pick and was expected to be a star for the Rangers but for the wonky ligament they found in his elbow. His pitching struggled for years after that, until he learned the knuckle ball. Then his pitching struggled more, just in a different way.
And then, suddenly, he had it. At the age of 37 — quite old for his sport, it must be said — he found himself as one of the premier pitchers in the majors. Overcoming adversity that left him trapped in the minors, he became the most dominant pitcher in baseball.