David Price looked into the TV camera mounted near the visiting dugout at Tropicana Field early Wednesday evening. His feet, he said, were numb. His legs, he said, felt like noodles. He hoped he wasn't sweating through the tan-on-tan plaid three-piece Raphael suit he wore for the first time.
Through his ear piece the Tampa Bay Rays left-hander could hear Jack O'Connell, the secretary/treasurer of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, announce the winner of the 2012 American League Cy Young Award live on the MLB Network.
And Price was thinking …?
"I don't know," he said. "I was thinking everything."
Price wanted to win the award, wanted to have his name placed among some of the best pitchers in the history of the game.
"I did," he said. "I wanted it very bad."
Price heard O'Connell call his name. He turned his head to his left and smiled that big David Price smile familiar to all Rays.
In the closest voting in the American League since Detroit's Denny McLain and Baltimore's Mike Cuellar tied for the award in 1969, Price edged 2011 AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander of Detroit by four votes.
"I'm very humbled," Price said. "It's a blessing."
Price was named first on 14 of the 28 ballots (two BBWAA voters in each American League city). Verlander was first on 13. The final first-place vote went to Rays closer Fernando Rodney, who finished fifth.
The result was so close that every vote counted. Detroit-based Jon Paul Morosi, a national baseball writer for Fox Sports.com, voted Price first and Verlander second.
"I'm so happy for him," Rays pitcher James Shields said. "I had a feeling it was going to come, but it's nice to hear the verdict finally came out and he won. I think it's well-deserved, and I'm very proud of him."
Rays pitcher David Price 'humbled' by AL Cy Young
Tampa Tribune | Nov 15