Tampa Bay Rays left-hander David Price won the 2012 American League Cy Young Award in a close call over the 2011 winner, Detroit Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander, in one of the tightest races in the history of the AL balloting. Results were announced on the MLB Network.
Price (20-5, 2.56 ERA) was named first on 14 of the 28 ballots cast by two writers in each league city, second on 13 ballots and third on one to score 153 points, based on a tabulation system that rewards seven points for first place, four for second, three for third, two for fourth and one for fifth. Verlander (17-8, 2.64 ERA) received 13 first-place votes, 13 seconds and two thirds for 149 points. The other first-place votes went to Rays closer Fernando Rodney (2-2, 0.60 ERA, 48 SV), who finished fifth overall among the nine pitchers who gained mention.
Price, 27, who finished second in the 2010 election to the Seattle Mariners’ Felix Hernandez, is the first Tampa Bay pitcher honored. Verlander is the seventh Cy Young Award winner and third in the AL to finish second the year after he won the award. The others were the Oakland A’s Jim “Catfish” Hunter in 1975 and the Baltimore Orioles’ Jim Palmer in 1977 in the AL; the Milwaukee Braves’ Warren Spahn in 1958, the Atlanta Braves’ Tom Glavine in 1992, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Brandon Webb in 2007 and the Philadelphia Phillies’ Roy Halladay in 2011 in the National League.
The four-point differential is the closest of any election since ballots permitted voting for more than one pitcher in 1970. Three pitchers were on ballots from that year through 2009 and five since 2010. The only tie in Cy Young Award voting occurred in 1969 between the Orioles’ Mike Cuellar and the Tigers’ Denny McLain, the last year when voters could select only one pitcher.
The next year, the voting system was changed with tabulation on a 5-3-1 basis. The closest elections in those years were in 1972 when the Cleveland Indians’ Gaylord Perry won over the Chicago White Sox’ Wilbur Wood, 64-58, and in 1996 when the Toronto Blue Jays’ Pat Hentgen out-pointed the New York Yankees’ Andy Pettitte, 110-104.
The closest election in National League voting occurred in 1987 when only three points separated the top three candidates – the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian (57), the Chicago Cubs’ Rick Sutcliffe (55) and the San Francisco Giants’ Rick Reuschel (54), who began that year with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1981, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela also won a narrow margin over the Cincinnati Reds’ Tom Seaver, 70-67.
In the period from 1956 through 1966 when voting was limited to one pitcher only, Spahn lost close elections in 1958 to the Yankees’ Bob Turley, 5-4, in 1960 to the Pirates’ Vernon Law, 8-4, and in 1961 to the Yankees’ Whitey Ford, 9-6. Spahn won the award in 1957 but missed unanimity by one vote that went to the Chicago White Sox’ Dick Donovan.
The voting (7-4-3-2-1 scoring system):
2012 AL Cy Young
|David Price, Rays||14||13||1||153|
|Justin Verlander, Tigers||13||13||2||149|
|Jered Weaver, Angels||2||14||9||2||70|
|Felix Hernandez, Mariners||5||10||6||41|
|Fernando Rodney, Rays||1||5||4||8||38|
|Chris Sale, White Sox||1||4||6||17|
|Jim Johnson, Orioles||1||3||5|
|Matt Harrison, Rangers||2||2|
|Yu Darvish, Rangers||1||1|
Below is a breakdown of the 28 individual ballots, submitted by two writers representing each team in the American League. For more information on the voting, see our Voting FAQ.
|Ken Rosenthal||Fox Sports.com||BAL||Price||Verlander||Weaver||Hernandez||Rodney|
|Bill Ballou||Worcester (MA) Telegram & Gazette||BOS||Price||Verlander||Weaver||Hernandez||Harrison|
|Dave Van Dyck||Chicago Tribune||CHI||Price||Verlander||Hernandez||Sale||Weaver|
|Scot Gregor||Arlington Heights (IL) Daily Herald||CHI||Price||Verlander||Weaver||Sale||Rodney|
|Dennis Manoloff||Cleveland Plain Dealer||CLE||Price||Verlander||Sale||Weaver||Harrison|
|Jim Ingraham||News Herald||CLE||Verlander||Price||Weaver||Hernandez||Sale|
|Lynn Henning||Detroit News||DET||Verlander||Price||Weaver||Rodney||Sale|
|Jon Paul Morosi||Fox Sports.com||DET||Price||Verlander||Hernandez||Weaver||Rodney|
|Sam Mellinger||Kansas City Star||KC||Verlander||Price||Hernandez||Weaver||Rodney|
|Bill Plunkett||Orange County Register||LA||Price||Weaver||Verlander||Rodney||Sale|
|Joe Christensen||Minneapolis Star Tribune||MIN||Verlander||Price||Rodney||Hernandez||Weaver|
|Ben Goessling||St. Paul Pioneer Press||MIN||Verlander||Price||Hernandez||Sale||Darvish|
|Chad Jennings||Journal News||NY||Verlander||Price||Weaver||Hernandez||Sale|
|Daniel Barbarisi||Wall Street Journal||NY||Verlander||Price||Weaver||Hernandez||Sale|
|Jorge Ortiz||USA Today||OAK||Verlander||Price||Weaver||Hernandez||Rodney|
|Bruce Jenkins||San Francisco Chronicle||OAK||Verlander||Price||Weaver||Sale||Hernandez|
|Larry Stone||Seattle Times||SEA||Verlander||Price||Weaver||Hernandez||Rodney|
|John Hickey||At Large||SEA||Price||Verlander||Weaver||Johnson||Hernandez|
|Joe Smith||Tampa Bay Times||TB||Price||Verlander||Rodney||Weaver||Hernandez|
|Martin Fennelly||Tampa Tribune||TB||Price||Verlander||Rodney||Weaver||Johnson|
|Gerry Fraley||Dallas Morning News||TEX||Price||Verlander||Weaver||Rodney||Johnson|
|Drew Davison||Fort Worth Star Telegram||TEX||Rodney||Verlander||Price||Weaver||Hernandez|
|Shi Davidi||At Large||TOR||Price||Verlander||Rodney||Weaver||Hernandez|
|Ken Fidlin||Toronto Sun||TOR||Verlander||Price||Weaver||Hernandez||Rodney|