We asked TTB writer Brian McCollum who would he rather have to start his team with: a Cy Young winning pitcher or an MVP bat. His answer…
Pitching and defense wins championships.
It’s true in combination with staying consistent throughout the season. Good pitching will always stop good hitting. And face it: you can score all the runs you and try to out hit the other team, but if your pitcher gives up equal or more runs and hits than you can muster in a given game, what good does an MVP bat do?
And let’s face it, this question just can’t be answered with a snap and rash decision. My opinion is this: you need to take a player that is going to both put up the numbers and pack the fans in the stands. A player that is both a leader on the field and in the clubhouse. A player that other players would want to play on the field with.
That being said: I come from the school of pitching wins championships. You want an example? As much as it kills me to say this, look at last season’s World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants. They are proof that good, no GREAT pitching will win you a championship. I would pick a Cy Young Award caliber/winning pitcher as my cornerstone for my franchise.
Names like: Halladay, Lincecum, Lee, Hernandez, Verlander, Sabathia, Lester, and Hamels come to mind.
To be more specific as to which Cy Young caliber pitcher I would select, I would pick Philadelphia Phillies’ ace Roy “Doc” Halladay as choice to build my franchise around. It’s no-brainer actually. Think about it: Doc possesses all the attributes that are necessary when looking for a star attraction. Roy is consistently lights out and an absolute beast of a workhorse on the mound, having thrown a perfect game and a no-hitter last season while leading the league with 21 wins and posting a 2.44 ERA in 250.2 innings pitched. Not only that, Roy has picked up where he left off in his second season in Philadelphia, going 11-3 with a 2.44 ERA in his first 136.1 innings pitched. Performance aside, he is also a leader on the field and in the clubhouse, respected by teammates and opponents, and a draw at the ticket booth.
Think about it: Halladay is clearly the leader of a deep Phillies’ pitching staff and is also an attractive selling chip for when the club pursues other players in free agency. Players, of course, will want to come to a club whose starters throw up zeroes to give them a chance to win every night. Add it all up, and you have a truly valuable asset in Halladay.
I could of picked: Joey Votto, Josh Hamilton or even Jose Bautista. But I decided to go with a guy who, every time he throws a strike, a kitten is born (Roy Halladay Fact 407) and is a beast.
That is why I would choose a Cy Young caliber pitcher to anchor/be the foundation of my franchise.