Lobbying by clubs on behalf of their players is nothing new when it comes to the annual awards presented by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Those awards — as a long-time member, I should say "our" awards — are among the most prestigious in sports. If you don't think so, try to remember the last time the selection of an MVP in the NFL, NBA or NHL inspired the kind of debate that raged the last two years regarding whether Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout deserved to be the AL's MVP.
Come to think of it...quick now, who are the reigning MVPs in the NFL, NBA or NHL?
Anyway...the BBWAA presents four awards in each league: MVP, Cy Young Award, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year.
The voting panel for each award is 30 BBWAA members, two from the chapter in each league city. Ballots must be returned prior to the start of postseason. Results are announced in November. The balloting isn't secret. Each voter's ballot is released by the BBWAA once the winners are revealed.
I have an MVP ballot this season and, unlike the last two years, I don't think there's much debate regarding who the winner will be. I can't really say more because panelists are asked not to reveal their vote until after the announcement. (When those ballots are released, they often draw lots of scrutiny. I know from personal experience. And that's fine. It's how it should be.)
That certainly figures to be the case this season with the AL Cy Young Award. Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez appears to be the favorite, but Cleveland Corey Kluber is also getting a lot of support. (And, let's admit it, rightfully so.) Chicago's Chris Sale is also drawing attention, although he missed five weeks because of an injury. That figures to hurt his candidacy.
Because I don't have a Cy Young vote, I can write that my choice — if I'd had a vote — would have been Hernandez.
And to circle back to clubs lobbying on behalf of their players, attached is the slick presentation made by the Mariners in support of Hernandez for the Cy Young Award.