R.A. Dickey deserves the Cy Young award, and no, I'm not just saying that because I'm a Mets fan.
Dickey notched is 20th win of the season on Thursday afternoon before a packed Citi Field.
By now, we all know the story. Dickey was the first to be cut during spring training back in 2009. Now, he is without a doubt the ace of the Mets pitching staff and appears to be on his way to winning the Cy Young award.
According to ESPN's MLB Cy Young predictor for 2012, Dickey leads the pack.
Now, obviously this is just a prediction, and is not something that is set in stone.
As important as it was for Dickey to win his 20th game, it was more for the fans than it was to help boost his Cy Young chances (Although it certainly didn't hurt).
Wins are not the major deciding factor in choosing the award recipient these days. That became clear when Felix Hernandez won the award in 2010 with a 13-12 record.
Since wins appear to be taking a back seat to some other statistics, here are some more Dickey stats for you:
ERA: 2nd (2.69)
Innings Pitched: 1st (227.7)
Strikeouts: 1st (222)
Complete Games: 1st (5)
Shutouts: 1st (3)
There have been the same old boring arguments floating around that Dickey may be undeserving. After all, he's a 37-year-old who throws an unconventional pitch...the knuckleball.
It leaves batters standing in the batters box with confused looks on their faces. When done correctly, it can be such an unpredictable pitch that some claim it's unfair.
Well, life's not fair. Deal with it.
The knuckleball is a legitimate pitch. So to the league-leading 903 batters Dickey has faced this season who complain, I say this: Don't be bitter because you can't handle the pitch. As long as it floats over the plate, you have a chance, just like with any other pitch coming your way.
Dickey rightfully earned every win he has (and he probably deserves more wins), as well as every other stat he owns this season.
He would be the first knuckleball pitcher to win the award.
I've heard some say that knuckleballers are a dying breed. I disagree. With the year Dickey has had, I would bet that it would be a little difficult to try and find a baseball player or even a fan who hasn't tried to throw the pitch at least once.
I tried to. It didn't go so well, but I still tried.
If anything, Dickey has introduced a whole new generation of ballplayers to the pitch.
The Cy Young award would top off what is arguably Dickey's best year in professional baseball.