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Should the Spahn Award be based on performance or popularity?

By RYAN ABER Published: January 20, 2011
/articleid/3533816/1/pictures/1344664">Photo - David Price
David Price
“He earned it and he needed to come get it. He came and it’s gotten bigger and bigger every year.”

Price is the sixth recipient of the award. Johnson won three times, Sabathia won each of the last three years and Johan Santana won twice. Pettitte and Dontrelle Willis were the other winners.

“Maybe having that criteria has prevented us from getting more exposure at times,” Hendricks said. “But the integrity of the award is based upon the fact that it’s a won award and not a popularity contest.”

Other than the Spahn Award, only the Rolaids Relief Man Award is determined by a formula. Other baseball awards are determined at least partially by vote.

“I think it’s a fair value of how they pitched throughout the season,” Jenkins said. “It’s done a good job of picking out the top pitchers.”

Two left-handed pitchers since the award’s inception have won the Cy Young Award without winning the Spahn Award. In 2002, Barry Zito won the American League Cy Young, but Johnson won in the National League and won the Spahn Award.

In 2008, Cleveland’s Cliff Lee won the A.L. Cy Young, but Sabathia earned the Spahn.

That season, Sabathia split time between Cleveland and Milwaukee and finished fifth in N.L. Cy Young voting.

“More people are involved in it now than just the museum, but I’d like to see it stay the same,” Hendricks said. “But the truth is that money talks, and if it takes that to get money involved for a major sponsorship or something like that, it could happen.”

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