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November 18, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Felix Hernandez broke down in tears when told of Cy Young Award win

Many of you were wondering why, earlier today, there were reports out of Venezuela that Felix Hernandez had won the AL Cy Young Award when nobody here was reporting it. Well, as Baseball Writers Association of America members, we felt obliged to respect the 11 a.m. PST embargo on the news that our association had mandated.
Hernandez, however, received a phone call in advance of the news telling him he’d won and the handful of Latin American reporters who were with him at his Venezuelan home tweeted the news and broke the embargo. It happens. But after that phone call, Hernandez did something he hasn’t done in a while.
He burst into tears.
“I don’t have any words to explain how I feel,” he said. “I mean, you cannot explain it. The first time I heard I won the Cy Young, my mind was ‘Really? Really?’ And I just asked one more time ‘I won the Cy Young?’ And they said ‘Yes, you won the Cy Young.’
“And I started crying. And my wife jumped on me. And my whole family started jumping around the house. It was a lot of talking, a lot of jumping. It was a great, great, amazing thing, man.”
Hernandez becomes the first starter ever to win the award with fewer than 15 victories. He went 13-12 this year, but says the award should be about far more than the lone stat.
Photo Credit: AP

“I think, for me, for my part, the Cy Young has got to be for the most dominant pitcher in the league. Not for the one who wins 20 games, or 21 games, or 19 games. Because you saw what happened last year, I think I had great numbers last year and I didn’t get it. So, this year, I had great, great numbers. Better numbers than last year. I wasn’t like ‘I should get it.’
“But I think I deserve it.”
Hernandez did worry that voters might overlook his 2.27 ERA and 249 2/3 innings pitched, not to mention his six complete games and 232 strikeouts. All because of that barely-.500 record.
In the end, it didn’t matter.
“I was worried a little bit, but my whole family said ‘You’re going to get it’,” Hernandez said. “My wife said ‘You’re going to get it. Believe in yourself and believe in God and you’re going to get it. I think they’re going to approve your work and they’re going to say, hey, he did a great job.’ ”
Hernandez admitted to being somewhat “hurt” last year, when his 19-win campaign finished second behind Zack Greinke of the Royals in Cy Young voting. This season, he tried not to get his hopes up about Cy Young talk, a little reluctant to set himself up for the disappointment he felt this time a year ago.
In answer to a Spanish question about that, he replied:
“The most dominant pitcher in each of the leagues deserves the Cy Young and that is what happened this year and what happened last year. I had good numbers last year, but Greinke was better than me in some of those and that was probably the reason I didn’t win last year. This year I put up better numbers than last year, aside from wins, and I think that is what helped me win.”
And like I said, he didn’t focus too heavily on hardware this time.
“I didn’t worry about it, I just had to do my job,” he said. “Go out every five days and give my best, 100 percent, and give my team a chance to win the game.”



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