Somers Here, Maffei Not There
Yesterday, Jacob deGrom won the National League Cy Young Award, but it was not unanimous. No, there was one dissenting vote from John Maffei of the San Diego Tribune. As he has not written an article on why he voted the way he did, and he does not have a Twitter, no one is quite sure why he opted to vote for Max Scherzer over deGrom for the Cy Young Award.
While many may assume the reasons why Maffei made his vote the way he did, you cannot be sure his rationale. Maffei was going to get the chance to explain his reasons with Steve Somers:
Well, that ended badly. Very badly.
In New York, Steve Somers is an institution, and we get him and his tone. It sounded like typical tongue-in-cheek Somers, but Maffei was having none of hit. Most likely not knowing who Somers was, Maffei was not going to deal with it, and he understandably hung up the phone.
Of note, Somers did ask his producer to reach back out to Maffei and explain the shtick. Unfortunately, Maffei would not come back on the show to have that discussion.
To some extent, it is a real shame because Maffei had one of the worst Cy Young ballots you could possibly have. In addition to having Scherzer over deGrom, which is an arguably defensible position, he did not have Aaron Nola third.
Now, Maffei was not the only one to have Freeland over Nola. One of the other two was Thomas Harding, who is the MLB beat reporter for the Colorado Rockies. It’s not unusual to see a local beat writer hold a player they cover and watch everyday to a higher esteem than others. We don’t know why Andrew Wagner did the same thing.
While Harding and Wagner had their own reasons to put Freeland over Nola, Maffei was the only writer to put Miles Mikolas third. He would be the only writer to have Mikolas over Nola, and he would be the only one to have Mikolas in the top three. In fact, there were just two writers who gave Mikolas a vote in the top four.
With respect to Maffei, or really any writer, you would hope there were be some article or explanation for the vote. After all, the Cy Young Award winner is going to be reported in the paper. Speaking of the paper, it is important to note Maffei has been covering high school sports for the San Diego Tribune.
While it did not truly matter in the end, the BBWAA gave a vote to one of the most prestiguous awards to a high school sports writer. So while Maffei may have to explain the thinking behind his ballot, the BBWAA should have to explain why they are letting people who no longer cover the sport have a vote on these awards.
Chances are neither will be on with Steve Somers to provide that explanation.