Greinke humbled by Cy, team honors
KC ace has eye on even bigger year next season
KANSAS CITY -- The biggest surprise of Zack Greinke's victory in the American League Cy Young Award sweepstakes was the wide margin of his victory.
Greinke scooped up 25 of the 28 first-place votes to easily outdistance runner-up Felix Hernandez of the Mariners, 134 votes to 80. Hernandez got two first-place votes and third-place Justin Verlander of the Tigers got the other No. 1 vote.
Even Greinke thought his 16-8 record might be overshadowed by Hernandez's 19-5 mark.
"I thought it might," Greinke admitted. "I thought that could push him over the top because his win-loss record was way better than mine."
But the voters obviously looked at many other factors, starting with Greinke's 2.16 ERA, best in the Majors.
At the same time of the Cy Young announcement, the Royals completed the formality of naming Greinke their Pitcher of the Year for 2009. He also won the team honor in 2004 when he had an 8-11 record with a 3.97 ERA as a rookie.
Greinke became the third pitcher in Royals history to win the Cy Young trophy -- joining Bret Saberhagen in 1985 and again in 1989 and David Cone in 1994.
Although Greinke is the type of guy who doesn't relish a lot of extra attention, he's willing to put up with some of that in exchange for the honor.
"I'm still real happy to get it because you kind of work your whole life to do something and get acknowledged for it," Greinke said. "Even going into this year, I'll work as hard as I can to try to do it again."
The Royals' only Most Valuable Player, by the way, was George Brett in his magical season of 1980.
This year, first baseman Billy Butler became the youngest player to win the Royals Player of the Year Award since Brett in 1976. Both were winners at age 23.
AL Cy Young Award Voting
|Zack Greinke, KC||25||3||134|
|Felix Hernandez, SEA||2||23||1||80|
|Justin Verlander, DET||1||9||14|
|CC Sabathia, NYY||2||7||13|
|Roy Halladay, TOR||11||11|
Butler banged out a .301 average, 21 homers and had 93 RBIs for the Royals this season.
Butler's award-winning year also included 51 doubles, just three shy of Hal McRae's club record set in 1977. In four different games, he had three doubles -- the first hitter since 1900 to do that in the same season.
The Kansas City BBWAA also voted the Joe Burke Special Achievement Award to second baseman Alberto Callaspo, who batted .300 and had 60 extra-base hits.
The Royals campaigned for AL Rawlings Gold Glove Awards for Greinke and left fielder David DeJesus, but they were not selected.
Even more than another Cy Young Award, what Greinke wants for 2010 is for the Royals to leap ahead in the AL Central standings.
"I have faith in all our players, we just need to step it up a little more," he said. "And it can't just be one guy stepping up, a bunch of our players have to make the move. Everyone is capable of it, but it has to get done, or we won't have a good year next year, either."
|MVP||Cy Young||Rookie of the Year|
|George Brett||1980||Bret Saberhagen||1985||Lou Piniella||1969|
|Bret Saberhagen||1989||Bob Hamelin||1994|
|David Cone||1994||Carlos Beltran||1999|
|Manager of the Year||Rawlings Gold Glove||Silver Slugger|
|Tony Pena||2003||Amos Otis, OF||1971||Willie Wilson, OF||1980|
|Amos Otis, OF||1973||George Brett, 3B||1980|
|Amos Otis, OF||1974||Hal McRae, DH||1982|
|Frank White, 2B||1977||Willie Wilson, OF||1982|
|Al Cowens, OF||1977||George Brett, 3B||1985|
|Frank White, 2B||1978||Frank White||1986|
|Frank White, 2B||1979||George Brett, 1B||1988|
|Frank White, 2B||1980||Gary Gaetti, 3B||1995|
|Willie Wilson, OF||1980||Dean Palmer, 3B||1998|
|This Year in Baseball||Frank White, 2B||1981|
|Zack Greinke (Starting Pitcher)||2009||Frank White, 2B||1982|
|George Brett, 3B||1985|
|Frank White, 2B||1986|
|Frank White, 2B||1987|
|Bret Saberhagen, P||1989|
|Bob Boone, C||1989|
|Jermaine Dye, OF||2000|
|Mark Grudzielanek, 2B||2006|
|Alex Gordon, OF||2011|
|Player of the Year||Pitcher of the Year|
|Amos Otis, Fred Patek||1971||Dick Drago||1971|
|John Mayberry||1972||Roger Nelson||1972|
|Amos Otis||1973||Paul Splittorff||1973|
|Hal McRae||1974||Steve Busby||1974|
|George Brett||1975||Dennis Leonard||1975|
|George Brett||1976||Mark Littell||1976|
|Al Cowens||1977||Dennis Leonard||1977|
|Amos Otis||1978||Larry Gura||1978|
|George Brett||1979||Dennis Leonard||1979|
|George Brett||1980||Dan Quisenberry||1980|
|Willie Wilson||1981||Larry Gura||1981|
|Hal McRae||1982||Dan Quisenberry||1982|
|Frank White||1983||Dan Quisenberry||1983|
|Willie Wilson||1984||Dan Quisenberry||1984|
|George Brett||1985||Bret Saberhagen||1985|
|Frank White||1986||Mark Gubicza||1986|
|Danny Tartabull||1987||Bret Saberhagen||1987|
|George Brett||1988||Mark Gubicza||1988|
|Jim Eisenreich||1989||Bret Saberhagen||1989|
|George Brett||1990||Steve Farr||1990|
|Danny Tartabull||1991||Bret Saberhagen||1991|
|George Brett||1992||Kevin Appier||1992|
|Greg Gagne||1993||Kevin Appier||1993|
|Bob Hamelin||1994||David Cone||1994|
|Gary Gaetti||1995||Kevin Appier||1995|
|Tom Goodwin||1996||Tim Belcher||1996|
|Jay Bell||1997||Tim Belcher||1997|
|Dean Palmer||1998||Jeff Montgomery||1998|
|Jermaine Dye||1999||Jose Rosado||1999|
|Mike Sweeney||2000||Jeff Suppan||2000|
|Carlos Beltran||2001||Jeff Suppan||2001|
|Mike Sweeney||2002||Paul Byrd||2002|
|Carlos Beltran||2003||Darrell May||2003|
|David DeJesus||2004||Zack Greinke||2004|
|Mike Sweeney||2005||Mike MacDougal||2005|
|Mark Teahen||2006||Mark Redman||2006|
|Mark Grudzielanek||2007||Gil Meche||2007|
|Mike Aviles||2008||Joakim Soria||2008|
|Billy Butler||2009||Zack Greinke||2009|
|Billy Butler||2010||Joakim Soria||2010|
|Alex Gordon||2011||Bruce Chen||2011|
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.