Isn’t it weird how one event can completely adjust your outlook? Take last night and Rick Porcello’s winning of the Cy Young Award. It changed all sorts of things.
First, for him personally. He went from being a very good pitcher to being a Cy Young Award winner. It gives him automatic prestige and reputation as one of the elite pitchers in the game. For the rest of his life.
But, it goes beyond just him. If you looked around last night, it changed other people as well. At 5:00 last night, several Red Sox fans had pictures of themselves posing with “Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello.” At 7:00, they were tweeting out pictures of themselves with “Cy Young Award Winner Rick Porcello.” Much more impressive. Autographed balls were suddenly part of a “Cy Young winners club. Even saw at least one person on Twitter admit regret that their Rick Porcello autographed ball also contained the autographs of “non-Cy Young winners.” He had become better than he was before.
The Red Sox rotation, weirdly, got better in some people’s eyes. Suddenly it’s now fronted by the reigning Cy Young Award winner, followed by that David Price guy. It’s a bit more comforting to go into the 201 season with the reigning best pitcher in the league on your side.
Last night also changed Ben Cherington. He was pretty routinely criticized for letting Jon Lester escape, and pretending that Rick Porcello was actually a replacement. Just because he paid him like an ace doesn’t mean Porcello was an ace. Now, two years later that move doesn’t look so bad, does it? He paid Porcello the contract that Jon Lester turned down and got a Cy Young winner out of it. A younger Cy Young winner. (Lester never won one of those.)
Porcello also gave hope to David Price. He proved that it’s possible to rebound from an “off” first year in Boston. Sure, Hanley got better. But, Pocello became the best. It’s not a downward spiral. He didn’t need to be shipped off to the Dodgers. He just came back the next year, and became the best there was. Suddenly there’s no reason to think that Price can’t do the same.