Cy Young voter who snubbed Verlander ‘agonized’ over decision

Insert your favorite Electoral College joke here.

Despite earning more first-place votes than any other pitcher, Justin Verlander finished second to Red Sox righty Rick Porcello in the American League Cy Young Award vote after two Tampa Bay writers left the Tigers ace off their ballot entirely.

Porcello garnered 137 points in the voting, beating out Verlander by five points in the second-closest election since 1970, when ballots permitted voting for more than one pitcher. Porcello is only the third pitcher in history to win the Cy Young without receiving the most first-place votes, joining Tom Glavine (1998) and Tim Lincecum (2011), both in the National League.

Porcello and Cleveland’s Corey Kluber were the only pitchers named on all 30 ballots.

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Bill Chastain, who covers the Rays for MLB.com, and Fred Goodall, who covers baseball in the Tampa area for the Associated Press, were the only voters to exclude Verlander from their ballots.

“I feel bad that people are upset about this; I did the best I could,” Chastain told the Daily News. “I went around the clubhouse, I asked guys. I agonized over this. The biggest thing for me was between (Baltimore closer Zach) Britton and Porcello.”

Verlander faced the Rays only once this season, allowing two runs (one earned) over seven innings in a 3-2 Tigers win at Tropicana Field on July 2, so his omission by the two Tampa Bay writers couldn’t have been the result of them witnessing a poor performance.

Had Verlander been listed on both ballots, it would not have guaranteed a win as he needed six points to pass Porcello. A pair of fourth- or fifth-place votes would have left him as the runner-up.

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Despite earning more first-place votes than any other pitcher, Justin Verlander finished second to Red Sox righty Rick Porcello in the American League Cy Young Award vote.

Despite earning more first-place votes than any other pitcher, Justin Verlander finished second to Red Sox righty Rick Porcello in the American League Cy Young Award vote.

(Paul Sancya/AP)

Chastain sent his ballot in with about a week remaining in the regular season, believing nothing would change his vote at that point. Verlander allowed one run over 14.2 innings in his final two starts, lowering his ERA from 3.21 to 3.04, while Porcello’s ERA rose from 3.08 to 3.15 during that time, leaving Verlander ahead of him.

“At the time, I thought I picked the best five guys,” said Chastain, who voted for Porcello, Britton, Kluber, Chris Sale and Masahiro Tanaka in that order. “Maybe I should have waited until the end. When I voted, it looked pretty clear to me.”

Might Chastain’s ballot have looked differently had he waited until the day after the season ended to submit it?

“I don’t know,” Chastain said. “There’s nothing I can do about it now.”

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Goodall, whose voted for Porcello, Kluber, J.A. Happ, Britton and Aaron Sanchez in that order, did not return a request for comment.

“Both Bill and Fred are long-time veteran, experienced baseball writers and certainly have the ability to make what they felt were the proper decisions,” said Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, who serves as the chairman of the BBWAA’s Tampa Bay chapter.

Verlander’s fiance, supermodel Kate Upton, took to Twitter after the results were announced to let her feelings be known.

Rick Porcello garnered 137 points in the voting, beating out Justin Verlander by five points in the second-closest election since 1970.

Rick Porcello garnered 137 points in the voting, beating out Justin Verlander by five points in the second-closest election since 1970.

(Winslow Townson/AP)

“Hey ?@MLB? I thought I was the only person allowed to f— ?@JustinVerlander? ?! What 2 writers didn’t have him on their ballot?”

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“He had the majority of 1st place votes and 2 writers didn’t have him on their ballots?!! can you pick more out of touch people to vote??@MLB?”

“Sorry Rick but you didn’t get any 1st place votes? you didn’t win. ?#ByeFelicia? ?@MLB? keep up with the times and fire those writers”

Two BBWAA writers from each AL city cast votes for the Cy Young based on a points system that rewards seven points for a first-place vote, four points for a second, three points for a third, two points for a fourth and one point for a fifth.

This is the second time Verlander has lost a narrow vote, having finished second to Tampa Bay’s David Price, 153-149, in 2012. The ballot was expanded from one pitcher to three in 1970, then extended to five pitchers in 2010.

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Chastain insisted there was no ulterior motive behind his decision to omit Verlander from his ballot.

“I wasn’t out to get Verlander,” Chastain said. “It was nothing personal.”

Tags:
kate upton
justin verlander
mlb
rick porcello

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