Cleveland Indians left-hander C.C. Sabathia and San Diego Padres right-hander Jake Peavy were the…
'Happy' Sabathia Wins AL Cy Young
"I was excited when I got the phone call," Sabathia said from his home in California. "I didn't really know what to expect and it hasn't really sunk in yet. I think when I get a chance to sit and talk with my family, I'll feel a little more emotion. Right now, I'm just happy." Voting was held immediately after the end of the regular season and before the playoffs, where Beckett twice beat Sabathia in the AL Championship Series. Sabathia was listed first on 19 of 28 ballots cast by two writers in each AL city. He got eight second-place votes. Voters were asked to name three pitchers and points were awarded on a 5-3-1 tabulation system. "I was surprised," Sabathia said of winning. "Beckett had a great season. I was pleased to find out I beat him." Sabathia had a 19-7 record with a 3.21 ERA, led the AL in innings (241), was second in complete games (four), tied for second in victories and fifth in ERA and strikeouts (209) for the AL Central champion Indians. Beckett (20-7, 3.27 ERA) was listed first on eight ballots, second on 14 and third on four to finish with the runner-up total of 86 points. The right-hander had the AL's highest victory total and ranked sixth in ERA and seventh in strikeouts (194) for the AL East champion Red Sox, who went on to win the World Series. "I did look at a few numbers," Sabathia said. "I definitely thought that Beckett . . . it could have went either way. I'm just happy and thankful that it went my way." The other first-place vote went to Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim right-hander John Lackey (19-9, 3.01 ERA), who finished third overall with 36 points. Lackey led the league in ERA, was tied for the lead in shutouts (2), tied for second in victories and fifth in innings (224). Five other pitchers received votes, including Cleveland's Fausto Carmona, who went 19-8 with a 3.06 ERA. The right-hander finished fourth in the voting. "It was a lot of fun watching Fausto pitch this year," Sabathia said. "A lot of people say he came out of nowhere, but in the clubhouse we knew he had the stuff to be a big winner for a long time." 2007 AL CY YOUNG AWARD VOTING PLAYER TEAM 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL C.C. Sabathia Cleveland Indians 19 8 - 119 Josh Beckett Boston Red Sox 8 14 4 86 John Lackey Los Angeles Angels 1 5 16 36 Fausto Carmona Cleveland Indians - 1 4 7 Erik Bedard Baltimore Orioles - - 1 1 Roy Halladay Toronto Blue Jays - - 1 1 Johan Santana Minnesota Twins - - 1 1 Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers - - 1 1 This was the first time the Indians had two pitchers place in the top four in voting for the award. "It means a lot (to represent Cleveland), but I hadn't thought about it that much during the season because we were more caught up in trying to win the division and get to the playoffs," Sabathia said. Sabathia is the first African-American winner since Dwight Gooden of the New York Mets in 1985 and the first in the AL since Oakland's Vida Blue won in 1971. "That's big," Sabathia said. "When I found out that I was the first since Vida, it meant a lot to have my name mentioned with his. "Last week in New York, about 35 players got together and met with people about trying to do something, maybe build some more academies, get some more programs, to get inner-city kids back into the game. We need to do something." Sabathia mentioned that growing up in the Bay Area of northern California, he had a number of black players as role models, specifically Dave Stewart and Rickey Henderson of the Oakland Athletics. He also listed Hall of Famers Frank Robinson and Joe Morgan along with current stars Jimmy Rollins and Dontrelle Willis as black players from the area who have been an inspiration to youngsters. "We played basketball and football, too, but baseball was big," he said. "I was lucky that I got to play all the time. That's what we've got to do, get the kids playing baseball." Indians pitching coach Carl Willis said he was most impressed by Sabathia's consistency throughout the season. "The 240-plus innings that he pitched, he threw 120 pitches in only one outing," Willis said. "That speaks highly of his control, his command with all his pitches and how efficient he was. He did not put stress on his arm." "I think our club felt different on the days that he pitched. There was a tremendous amount of confidence in our potential when he was on the mound. "It was just a great, great year for C.C." AMERICAN LEAGUE CY YOUNG AWARD WINNERS (Unanimous winners in boldface) 2007 C.C. SABATHIA, Cleveland Indians 2006 JOHAN SANTANA, Minnesota Twins 2005 BARTOLO COLON, Los Angeles Angels 2004 JOHAN SANTANA, Minnesota Twins 2003 ROY HALLADAY, Toronto Blue Jays 2002 BARRY ZITO, Oakland Athletics 2001 ROGER CLEMENS, New York Yankees 2000 PEDRO MARTINEZ, Boston Red Sox 1999 PEDRO MARTINEZ, Boston Red Sox 1998 ROGER CLEMENS, Toronto Blue Jays 1997 ROGER CLEMENS, Toronto Blue Jays 1996 PAT HENTGEN, Toronto Blue Jays 1995 RANDY JOHNSON, Seattle Mariners 1994 DAVID CONE, Kansas City Royals 1993 JACK McDOWELL, Chicago White Sox 1992 DENNIS ECKERSLEY, Oakland Athletics 1991 ROGER CLEMENS, Boston Red Sox 1990 BOB WELCH, Oakland Athletics 1989 BRET SABERHAGEN, Kansas City Royals 1988 FRANK VIOLA, Minnesota Twins 1987 ROGER CLEMENS, Boston Red Sox 1986 ROGER CLEMENS, Boston Red Sox 1985 BRET SABERHAGEN, Kansas City Royals 1984 GUILLERMO (WILLIE) HERNANDEZ, Detroit Tigers 1983 LaMARR HOYT, Chicago White Sox 1982 PETE VUCKOVICH, Milwaukee Brewers 1981 ROLLIE FINGERS, Milwaukee Brewers 1980 STEVE STONE, Baltimore Orioles 1979 MIKE FLANAGAN, Baltimore Orioles 1978 RON GUIDRY, New York Yankees 1977 SPARKY LYLE, New York Yankees 1976 JIM PALMER, Baltimore Orioles 1975 JIM PALMER, Baltimore Orioles 1974 JIM (CATFISH) HUNTER, Oakland Athletics 1973 JIM PALMER, Baltimore Orioles 1972 GAYLORD PERRY, Cleveland Indians 1971 VIDA BLUE, Oakland Athletics 1970 JIM PERRY, Minnesota Twins 1969 (Tie) MIKE CUELLAR, Baltimore Orioles and DENNY McLAIN, Detroit Tigers 1968 DENNY McLAIN, Detroit Tigers 1967 JIM LONBORG, Boston Red Sox 1964 DEAN CHANCE, Los Angeles Angels 1961 WHITEY FORD, New York Yankees 1959 EARLY WYNN, Chicago White Sox 1958 BOB TURLEY, New York Yankees NOTE: Between 1956 and 1966, only one Cy Young Award was presented and voting included pitchers from both the American League and National League.
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