Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cy Greinke

I contemplated preparing something in advance for the occasion of Zack Greinke winning the Cy Young, but I was not entirely convinced that the BBWAA would make the right decision. After the debacle that was the Bartolo Colon 2005 Cy Young Award and the late season statements of Patrick Reusse, a CY voter, I made sure to temper my expectations.

Consider my faith in the BBWAA as capable award voters restored.

This caps a season that we Royals fans are not entirely used to. In fact, most fans have not been privy to a season like Greinke's 2009 campaign.

By nearly cumulative measure, Zack Greinke was the best pitcher in the American League. If we start talking about stats like WAR, he was the best player in baseball. If you wanted to, a case could certainly have been made for Greinke deserving the Gold Glove, as well.

Now, were it not for Greinke's herculean efforts on the mound, Royals fans would have endured an historically abysmal season. When looking past the Royals ace, there was little to cheer for and even less to be encouraged by.

What Greinke gave us all was hope.

Looking beyond the mere fact that every five days we got to see the best pitcher in baseball donning that jersey for the club we somehow still root for, Greinke's dominance let us look towards the future with a little bit of optimism in the midst of a 97-loss season.

His candor refreshed us and gave an empathetic organizational face to the frustration we were all dealing with as apoplectic fans. After all, if there was anyone who didn't deserve a team falling apart around him, it was Greinke. He was our surrogate in that regard. While our suffering was undoubtedly nothing in comparison to his, we were on the same boat.

So, while Zack Greinke does not care for the accolades that have been heaped upon him, this award does somehow validate the slightly less sad existence of the beleaguered Royals fan.

For that, Zack, we salute you.

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