He didn’t win 20 games, but that’s because without him, the Royals were 49 – 89… Even with him, the team didn’t always help Zack Greinke out. Check out his game log – he should have been undefeated in April and May, but he got saddled with a loss in a game he allowed one run in eight innings – one of seven starts where he allowed two runs or less and didn’t get the win.
However, the voters got it right – the best pitcher in the AL last year, heck the best pitcher in baseball last year, was Zack Greinke.
Finishing second was Felix Hernandez, a worthy contender who had his best professional season, followed by Justin Verlander who carried the Tigers on his back during the late stages of the season.
Remember when Zack Greinke was a source of frustration for the Royals?
Joe Posnanski did, and his article for SI telling the story of how Greinke dealt with a severe anxiety disorder is pretty darned good.
Hot Stove Notes…
Remember Eric Gagne? He pitched independent baseball in Canada for 2009 and wants to make a comeback… As a starter. [MLB]
Miguel Tejada may be a free agent, but the Astros are open to having him come back – possibly at third base, too. Meanwhile, rumors that John Smoltz might be in their plans aren’t necessarily true. [MLB]
Matt Holliday is a coveted free agent, but apparently not coveted (that much, anyway) by the Angels. [MLB]
Washington wants to upgrade the rotation (and Lord knows they need to) and have expressed an interest in John Lackey. [MLB]
Philadelphia’s Chan Ho Park said that if he had his choice, he’d rather be a starter. As someone who watches him pitch, I’d think he would be most successful getting a paycheck as a long reliever. [MLB]
Aubrey Huff and Jarrod Washburn were short term Tigers, and won’t be resigned by Detroit. [MLB]
Cubs reliever John Grabow has filed for free agency, but the Cubs want the lefty reliever to stay if possible. [MLB]
Kip Wells is the only Reds player to file for free agency. For whatever reason, I seem to see him every spring in Florida and he’s awesome, but once April hits, he’s rather beatable. (Except by the Marlins…) Anyway – he might get a minor league contract, but I’d be surprised if we see him beyond 2010. [MLB]
Randy Johnson filed for free agency, so it’s possible we might see him one more time… His arm is ready to fall off, having missed half of 2009, but you never know. I’ll miss the big guy once he decides to retire… [MLB]
The Yankees declined an option on pitcher Sergio Mitre, who now is eligible for arbitration. If he gets a job following a season missing time for banned substances and having an ERA approaching seven, that’s plenty…
There are only a couple of players left in the majors older than I am (how sad!), led by Jamie Moyer – a former Cub – who turns 47 today. Keep going, Mr. Moyer – you’ll never get this chance again!!!
Others celebrating with cake, cards, or rememberances include: Deacon McGuire (1863), Jack Coombs (1882), Les Mann (1892), Rocky Nelson (1924), Gene Mauch (1925), Roy Sievers (1926), Cal Koonce (1940), Steve Henderson (1952), Luis Pujols (1955), Dante Bichette (1963) – I can still see his shot after hitting a game winning homer on opening day some years back on ESPN, Ron Coomer (1966), Tom Gordon (1967), Gary Sheffield (1968), David Ortiz (1975), C.J. Wilson (1980), Travis Buck (1983).