It’s Cy-nanimous!

Justin Verlander, as expected (and yet…you never know how these things will go, do you?) won the 2011 American League Cy Young Award.

Yesterday Justin Verlander was announced as the first unanimous AL Cy Young award winner since Johan Santana did the same in 2006, the year Verlander won the AL Rookie of the Year award.  Verlander had already won the oddly named Players Choice Player of the Year award on November 3rd, and the unofficial Pitching Triple Crown (leading the league in wins, strikeouts, and ERA).  Now he joins Willie Hernandez and Denny McLain in the three-man Tiger Cy Young club.

Jered Weaver finished a distant 2nd in the voting, followed by James Shields (who pulled down half a million for finishing in the top 5) and CC Sabathia.  Tiger Jose Valverde finished 5th (with one 2nd place vote).  CJ Wilson, Dan Haren, Mariano Rivera, Josh Beckett, Ricky Romero, and David Robertson also received votes.

Some 2011 Verlander statistical highlights:

ERA:  .240 (1st)

Wins:  24 (1st)

Win/Loss %: .828 (1st)

Strikeouts:  250 (1st)

WHIP: .920 (1st)

WAR: 8.5 (1st)

Innings: 251 (1st)

Starts: 34 (1st)

Hits/9 inn: 6.2 (1st)

Not to mention a no-hitter.

Unlike with many awards, reaction around Cy-berspace is a big thumbs-up for the vote.

With the Cy Young under his belt, the question now becomes whether Verlander has a shot at the MVP vote, and whether any pitcher should.  Don Newcome of the Brooklyn Dodgers won an MVP, a Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year;  no one else has won all three before.

So other than a possible MVP vote, what’s next for Justin Verlander?  Winning another Cy Young next year, JV tells Michael Rosenberg.


In other awards news, Dave Dombrowski was co-winner of Sporting News’ Executive of the Year Award, sharing the vote with Brewers GM (and former Tiger) Bob Melvin.  The award is based on a poll of general managers, assistant general managers, and the like.  Dombrowski joins a short list of Tiger GMs to win the award:  Jim Campbell, who won in 1968, and good ol’ Walter Briggs, Sr. in 1940.  (There is no truth to the rumor that they are planning a Lifetime Achievement Award for Randy Smith).

Dombrowski’s offseason moves (signing Victor Martinez and Joaquin Benoit), and midseason moves (Doug Fister and Delmon Young) all worked, and it’s hard to think of any serious missteps he made.  One other Dombrowski move worth mentioning:  signing Justin Verlander to a 5-yr, 80MM contract before the 2010 season.  If he hadn’t, Verlander would be a free agent after this season.  Anyone want to hazard a guess how much he would cost to sign right now?

And Old Smokey himself, Jim Leyland, finished 2nd to Joe Maddon for the AL Manager of the Year Award, and ahead of Ron Washington, getting 13 first place votes.  The NL winner:  Kirk Gibson.


  1. bada bing

    November 17, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Congrats JV. Even the guys on fangraphs were in favor of him winning.

    I loathe Michael Rosenberg. The man is an insult to his profession and should not be allowed to write for any newspaper – he doesn’t have a shred of journalistic integrity.

  2. Kevin in Dallas

    November 17, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Astros to the AL West in 2013 (I like it).;c_id=mlb. I have no idea why this took so long.

    MLB to add an additional wild-card and one game playoff, maybe as early as next year.;c_id=mlb

    • Kevin in Dallas

      November 17, 2011 at 6:11 pm

      One game playoff is still being negotiated, may be a 3 game series. That’s better.

      • Vince in MN

        November 17, 2011 at 10:18 pm

        A no-game playoff without the extra team would be best. Pretty soon it will be like Hockey where the top 24 teams will go into a round-robin playoff. With more inter-league games the World Series becomes less and less meaningful. This is all about money and nothing else.

        • Andrew in Toronto

          November 18, 2011 at 3:17 pm

          I’m okay with this change — especially with one-game playoff — because it makes the division races more important again. So, even though they have added a 5th team per league it actually restores tradition a bit by making it quite important to finish in first place.

          • Vince in MN

            November 18, 2011 at 9:08 pm

            Another way to look at it is that it is now important to finish in 5th place. To be even more cynical, it is a good way to insure that another big media-market team from the East makes it into the playoffs.

            • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

              November 19, 2011 at 10:48 am

              Instead of a one game playoff between the two wildcard teams. How about a best of three game series with a double hitter at the home field advantage team followed by the third game at the other team’s field? Seems like a double hitter would balance out the 3 game series and would remove the “we had a lousy game” scenario from the event. Also, the non-wildcard teams wouldn’t have to wait too long to start their playoff games. However bottomline….I am not for it.

              Also welcome Houston. Looks like Selig finally completed his dream on moving Milwaukee back to the NL. One good thing about the ‘Strohs being in the AL is that I will be able to see the Tigers in Arlington and Houston.

  3. Jeff Molby

    November 17, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    If he hadn’t, Verlander would be a free agent after this season. Anyone want to hazard a guess how much he would cost to sign right now?

    Not too much more. He’s already getting “free agent Ace”-type money. The difference would have been in the length of the contract. We bought 3 of his prime years for $20m each, whereas he probably would have gotten 7 years at about the same rate if he had hit the free agent market.