Danny Duffy Has A Good Story
Winning a major award isn’t just about performance. Voters are human beings, and all of us like a good narrative. It might not be fair, but awards rarely go to BORING players. If your story can grab attention, then your Cy Young chances get a big boost.
Danny Duffy is the player from nowhere who burst into stardom out of obscurity. He’s overcome a torn ulnar collateral ligament and resulting Tommy John surgery. He briefly quit the game as a 20-year-old after a painful breakup in his personal life. The almost-failing before capturing greatness tale is a compelling motif that gives people hope that they can overcome what appears to be a mediocre destiny.
That’s a nice story, but if Danny Duffy’s KC Royals teammates cooperate, he’s got an even better one. The Kansas City Royals looked all but dead at the beginning of August, falling to seven games below .500 and 12 games behind AL Central leader Cleveland Indians. If they can squeak into the playoffs, then the narrative becomes that Duffy’s emergence as an ace is what rescued the KC Royals season.
Now THAT is a Cy Young winning story. Lots of guys can pile up impressive numbers. But many Cy Young voters think it takes greatness to inspire other players.
If Danny Duffy can continue to overwhelm hitters, and the KC Royals make a late charge to the playoffs, don’t be surprised if Duffy takes home the 2016 American League Cy Young Award.