Sully Baseball Podcast Rewind – February 7, 2013



On February 7, 2013, I saluted Brandon Webb and Chris Carpenter.

And he also remembers how he came back to baseball just as the strike/lockout of 1994 and 1995 ended.

Enjoy this Podcast Rewind.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 7, 2013

Brandon Webb and obscure Cy Young stretches

Let’s turn the clock back to 2008.
2008 wasn’t that long ago.
It was a mere 3 years ago. Most stars from the 2008 season remain with the same team now. Cliff Lee and Zack Grienke have found new homes, but the rest of the Cy Young winners and MVPs are still in place.
The players drafted in 2008 are just now creeping into the big leagues. So when I turn the clocks back to 2008, I’m not exactly saying “Let’s go to the Dead Ball Era.”
In 2008, Brandon Webb looked like he was putting together a potential Hall of Fame career.
At age 27, he won the 2006 Cy Young.
At age 28, he threw 42 straight shutout innings while pitching the Diamondbacks to the NL West Title and the NLCS, finishing second in the Cy Young race.
At age 29, he won 22 games and once again was the runner up for the 2008 Cy Young.
You can’t have a better run that that. No doubt if he became a free agent after 2008, he would have been the highest paid pitcher in the game.
At age 30, he threw on opening day for 2009 but had to be removed after 4 innings.

He hasn’t thrown a big league pitch since. If he career isn’t over after basically missing the last 3 years than it is damn near over.
Going forward in time, Webb’s Cy Young Award will be relatively obscure.
Some baseball fan in the future will be going through past Cy Young winners and think “Man, someone named Brandon Webb won the Cy Young!”
And chances are that fan would say “Jake Peavy won too? Who was that? And who was Eric Gagne.”
The National League had some pretty obscure Cy Young winners between 2003 and 2007 (throw in Bartolo Colon‘s undeserved AL Cy Young in 2005 too.)
Every once in a while the Cy Young goes into an obscure stretch.
Look back at some of the winners in the 1980s.

Steve Stone won the AL in 1980.

Pete Vuvkovich won the AL award in 1982.
Lamarr Hoyt won the American League in 1983 while John Denny took home the National League prize.
Willie Hernandez took home the AL Cy Young (and MVP) in 1984.
Steve Bedrosian won the NL Cy Young in 1987 and Mark Davis got his in 1989.
Not exactly a line up of future Hall of Famers.
I am not belittling any of their seasons. Each of those pitchers had a terrific season and got a slice of immortality.
The same can be said of Brandon Webb, Jake Peavy et al.
The likes of Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, Tim Lincecum and Justin Verlander have all won Cy Young awards and could become reliable long term aces whose Cy Young trophies won’t be surprising.
Then again, Brandon Webb looked like he was becoming that kind of ace as well.
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C. J. Wilson wants SIX YEARS?

He has had 2 good years as a starter.
He is 30 and he has 2 good years.
A 6 year $100 some odd contract means that not only are you expecting him to TRIPLE his number of good years but do so as he gets deeper into his 30s.
When Brandon Webb was 29 he had won a Cy Young Award and had two second place Cy Young finishes between 2006 and 2008.
He looked like a great choice to lock up to a big long deal.
He’s pitched one game since he turned 30 in 2009.
Johan Santana looked like he was putting together a Hall of Fame career. He had won 2 Cy Young Awards (and probably should have won a third) before his 29th birthday. He was 200 innings in the bank and an almost lock for the ERA title.
He missed all of the 2011 season at age 32 and his career is in jeopardy.
By age 26, Jake Peavy was a Cy Young Award winner with 2 strike out titles and 2 ERA titles. Since turning 28 he has thrown three injury plagued seasons.
At age 28 Barry Zito had won a Cy Young Award, was one of the most durable pitchers in the game and had experience in 5 different post seasons. By 30 he was an expensive and unreliable behemouth who was left off the playoff roster in 2010.
Every pitcher I just listed was a MUCH better bet to sign to a long term deal than C. J. Wilson.
Try learning from the past!
I said it before and I’ll say it again… STAY AWAY FROM C.J. WILSON!