Royals’ Greinke wins over Cy Young voters
NEW YORK - When the phone rang, Zack Greinke let it go; he didn’t recognize the number. Only after listening to the voice mail did he call back and find out he’d won the American League Cy Young Award.
The Kansas City Royals ace easily beat out Felix Hernandez for the honor yesterday after a spectacular season short on wins but long on domination. Winning left the extremely shy Greinke with mixed emotions.
“Back in Orlando, I haven’t really got a whole lot of attention from people, which has been nice,’’ he said. “So I hope it doesn’t get that way, where everyone is like, ‘Oh, hey, Zack, hi.’ ’’
He’d prefer to remain anonymous when he’s not on the mound. He’s not looking forward to being introduced at banquets as “Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke’’ for the rest of his life.
“In that way, it’s kind of like a negative for me,’’ he said.
It’s been quite a turnaround for Greinke, who led the AL in losses in 2005 and quit baseball for six weeks the following year after being diagnosed with a social anxiety disorder.
Greinke went 16-8 with a major league-low 2.16 ERA this season and received 25 of 28 first-place votes and three seconds for 134 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Hernandez, 19-5 with a 2.49 ERA for the Seattle Mariners, drew 2 firsts, 23 seconds, and 1 third for 80 points.
“I thought it was going to be real close between the two of us,’’ Greinke said.
Detroit’s Justin Verlander was third with the remaining first-place vote and 14 points, followed by the Yankees’ CC Sabathia (13) and Toronto’s Roy Halladay (11).
“Greinke deserved it,’’ Hernandez said in Venezuela. “Before the season was over, I said my vote was for him.
“This has taught me that I need to be perfect. I will prepare myself to be stronger next season. I will need a superb year because just a good one, it’s not enough.’’
The National League winner will be announced tomorrow.