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Tim Lincecum and the Cy Young

Awards, schmawards, right? Why do we need validation from the old vanguard to appreciate Tim Lincecum? He’s a special and incredible pitcher to watch. We all know that. We don’t need a shiny plaque to make us feel warm and fuzzy about this amazing season from Lincecum.

I’d love to believe that, but, hot damn do I want Lincecum to win the Cy Young. A few reasons off the top of my head:

  • Jason Schmidt’s loss to Eric Gagne in 2003 still bugs me. Gagne’s season was absolutely silly, and it’s easily one of the best relief seasons of all-time, but he still pitched 120 fewer innings than Schmidt.
  • Bruce Bochy’s spiraling descent into pitch-count-ignorer's hell is directly tied to the Cy Young race. If Lincecum doesn’t win, there really wasn’t ever a reason to work him so hard.
  • I don’t buy the whole "Ah, Lincecum will get his eventually"-argument. Even if Lincecum has a Hall-of-Fame-career, there are no guarantees that he’ll ever get a Cy Young.
  • Lincecum is hella cool, and Brandon Webb is a total weenie.

Actually, I kind of like Webb in theory. Sinkerball pitchers have always fascinated me. At least, the sinkerballers whose names don’t rhyme with "nun tour" have always fascinated me. Maybe I’ll eventually invite Webb to the Society of Guys I Should Hate but Don’t, where he can play snooker and drink gimlets with Jake Peavy. But he shouldn’t win this damnable award because he leads in the stupidest statistic by which a pitcher should be measured.

So what I want to do is compile a list of reasons why Tim Lincecum is a better choice for the Cy Young than Brandon Webb. I’ll gussy it up real nice-like, and post it at the end of the season. Then I’ll e-mail a link or PDF to every BBWAA member with a vote. Maybe the BBWAA voter thinks that Webb should get his vote because Webb pitched for a contending team. On my bullet-pointed list, however, I’ll have something like, "Webb should not be given extra credit for playing on a contending team. He’s 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA against the Dodgers this year. If Webb had been better over his four starts against Los Angeles, it’s possible that his team would have made the playoffs."

Maybe it will change one mind. Doubtful, but it’s not like the effort will cost me any clams. And though I’m sure that agents send out similar literature, I doubt additional efforts would hurt the cause.

So this is an Open Lincecum Deserves Awards, Plaudits, and Shiny Trophies Fact-Compiling Thread. Here, I’ll start:

Lincecum never had a chance to face the Giants. Brandon Webb has pitched more innings against the Giants than any other team.

Stuff like that. And I’m not sure how best to quantify Lincecum’s success in the context of his mostly awful team, so I’m hoping for some help there. As in, "the Giants won X games, and Y number of those were in Lincecum starts. This was the highest percentage since Steve Carlton in 1972," or something like that. I just don’t know how to massage them databases the right way to do my own heavy lifting.

Fly, my little pretties! Fly!