Hey, it's not just Brian Bannister and Zack Greinke anymore. Dig Joey Votto yesterday:
- "After the season, when I looked at my numbers and at Albert's numbers, I thought: 'Holy cow! He's beaten me in a lot of them," Votto said. "He beat me in runs, he beat me in RBIs, home runs, I think a couple others. I beat him in a few of the qualitative stats.
"I don't know -- I think it was a tossup. I think that it was as close as it can get. I'm not going to go on a limb and say, 'Oh, yeah, I played a heck of a lot better than him because I beat him in batting average, but we all know that batting average is kind of an overrated statistic."
He's exactly right. It was a tossup, just about as close as it can get. And the way Votto used the word qualitative ... Why, it was more than enough to set the heart of this jaded old scribe aflutter. If next time he manages to work quantitative in there, too, I might have to start work immediately on Cincinnati's Favorite Canuck: The Joey Votto Story.
Seriously, this is the future. The voting, yes, but also the players' reactions to the voting. I'm guessing that Votto grew up reading about baseball on the InterWeb, where words like qualitative and quantitative and batting average is overrated were so often bandied about, 10 and 15 years ago.
I don't know that it really means anything. Joey Votto would be a great hitter even if Al Gore had never been born. It's just different, and sort of interesting.