When Will The Cy Young Award For 2012 Be Announced?
New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey gets the game ball and a high five from teammate Mike Baxter after getting his 20th win of the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates in their MLB National League baseball game at CitiField in New York. (Photo: Reuters)
The National League Cy Young Award for 2012 will be announced at approximately 6:00 p.m. EST. And unlike years past, the finalists are an unlikely mix, including the NY Mets' knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, a 38-year-old pitcher who almost retired two years ago to become a high school teacher.
Dickey finished 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA, leading the National League in innings pitched, strikeouts, complete games and shutouts. He was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise abysmal season for the Mets. A Cy Young Award would put a much-needed Band-Aid on a blue-and-orange wound that has been bleeding for some time.
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"It would put a silver lining on an otherwise sad season," Dickey said of a Cy Young Award when he was honored at the Lou Gehrig Sports Awards last week. "That's one. Two is it's something fantastic to celebrate with the fan base. I tell you what, I've never had an experience like I did in the final three or four games this year, with people coming to the park and the show of support. To be able to almost as a gift give that back to those guys would be a real treat for me. It would mean a lot to the Mets organization, too."
Dickey's competition is fierce, though. At 24, the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw may be one of the younger pitchers in the National League. But he dominated the league in ERA (2.53) and WHIP (1.02) with a tiny 0.77 ERA in his final five starts. The 27-year-old Nationals' pitcher Gio Gonzalez is also more than a decade younger than Dickey. But his numbers were far from shabby with a 2.89 ERA, leading the majors with 21 wins.
MLB Network Analyst Harold Reynolds is pulling for Dickey. "I think he deserves the Cy Young this year, with the numbers he put up and the season he had," he told the Daily News. "I know the Mets fell out of it and that may hurt him, [but] he had a phenomenal season."
The network will announce the American League winner around 6:30 p.m. EST. Unlike the National League, the AL faceoff has played out in a more predictable way. Detroit ace Justin Verlander had unanimous support for the American League Cy Young Award last season. And many sports writers believe the award's going to go to the talented righty yet again.
Verlander wasn't as strong as he was in 2011, but he still went 17-8 with a 2.64 ERA and an AL-best 239 strikeouts. He also only gave up two earned runs over 28 innings in his final four starts in the regular season.
Also vying for the American League award are Los Angeles Angels righty Jered Weaver and Tampa Bay's David Price. Weaver, came in second after Verlander in the vote last year. Yet he had an incredibly strong showing this year going 20-5 with a 2.81 ERA. He also struck out 142 batters and walked just 45.
But more than anyone, baseball fans are pulling for R.A. Dickey. "What does it really mean to me?" Dickey asked. "What it means is that people consider you the best at your craft, and that is a pretty special thing."
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