Most MLB pitchers would tell you that winning the Cy Young award would be a high point in their career. After all, the prestigious award is given out every year to the best pitcher in both the American League and the National League. For someone like Corey Kluber, who has won the award twice, what more does he have to prove? What other accolades could be bestowed upon him to signify just how incredible he is or how much of an impact that he has had?
Well, we now have our answer:
That’s right. The Cleveland ace is nominated for a Kid’s Choice Award in the Sports category. The KCA for Sports, which began in 2013, has 15 sports-related categories that are awarded every year. Kluber, naturally, is nominated in the “Best Cannon” category, which is described as “These athletes had the strongest arms, fastest pitches and longest throws in sports this year. The previous winners of the prestigious award include Novak Djokovic (2014), Russell Wilson (2015, 2016), and Serena Williams (2017). Here are the nominees for 2018:
- Aaron Rodgers - Green Bay Packers
- Clayton Kershaw - Los Angeles Dodgers
- Corey Kluber - Cleveland Indians
- Dak Prescott - Dallas Cowboys
- Justin Verlander - Houston Astros
- Russell Wilson - Seattle Seahawks
I’m of the mindset that an elite starting pitcher should win this award, so I immediately rule out Rodgers, Prescott, and Wilson. Also, Russell Wilson has won the award twice already. Of the remaining nominees, let’s analyze the three criteria presented: strongest arm, fastest pitch, and longest throw.
How do you quantify this? If you go by pitch speed, you start to overlap with the next criteria. But if you think of “strongest” as “most durable”, you can get a sense of which arm is better. Verlander totaled 206.0 innings last season between Detroit and Houston. Kluber had 203.2 innings for Cleveland, and Kershaw had an injury shortened 175.0 innings.
Advantage: Verlander (but only slightly)
This one is much easier to analyze. All three of these pitchers sit in the mid-90s, generally speaking, so there isn’t much separating them. In the 2017 season, Verlander had the fastest pitch according to Brooks Baseball at 95.76 mph. Kershaw follows with his sinker at 94.78 mph and finally Kluber with his 93.02 mph fastball.
Advantage: Verlander (but it’s pretty close all around)
Alright, so this one takes a little bit of math to work out. Brooks Baseball tracked the number of pitches thrown by each pitcher in the 2017 season. The distance from the pitcher’s mound to home plate is 60 feet 6 inches, or 60.5 feet. I’ll equate “longest” to “furthest” and calculate the total distance thrown by each pitcher last season.
- Justin Verlander: 4064 pitches x 60.5 feet = 245,872 feet (65.51 miles)
- Clayton Kershaw: 3078 pitches x 60.5 = 186,219 feet (35.27 miles)
- Corey Kluber: 3046 pitches x 60.5 feet = 184,283 feet (34.90 miles)
Advantage: Verlander (by literal miles)
Based on the data, it seems clear that Justin Verlander is the overall favorite to take home the coveted Orange Blimp. But since the core voting block for this award (children) probably doesn’t look into advanced statistics like we do here at LGT, the numbers may not actually matter. We’ll have to use pathos to appeal to the emotions of the voters. So here we go.
Fact #1: Corey Kluber loves Disney
Hey kids! You like Disneyland, right? Well, so does Corey Kluber. He loves to dress up as his favorite character, Beast, with his family:
Fact #2: Corey Kluber is really, really good at coloring.
Coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. When Corey isn’t busy pitching for the Cleveland Indians, he’s making awesome drawings of seahorses. Look at him stay in the lines!
Fact #3: Corey Kluber makes the funniest faces
Remember how your mom told you that if you kept making funny faces, your face would get stuck that way? Well Corey Kluber is here to tell you that that isn’t true at all!
Forget his curve/slider. My favorite thing about Corey Kluber is when he makes what I call "Baby Dinosaur Face." pic.twitter.com/Ka8FaDgCrf— Michael Clair (@michaelsclair) June 14, 2018
Isn’t his face silly? You can make all the funny faces you want, kids! Corey said it’s okay!
Corey Kluber is the first member of the Cleveland Indians to ever be nominated for any of the Sports categories at the Kid’s Choice Awards. And reading some of the categories, I have a serious bone to pick with Nickelodeon for some of their glaring, almost disrespectful omissions.
“King of Swag” category does not include Jose Ramirez
Listen, I get that Nickelodeon HQ is in New York, but that doesn’t change the fact that they should know who Jose Ramirez is. Instead, they snubbed the Angry Hamster from the category he would absolutely run away with. I can’t deny that Adam Rippon is a strong contender after he won the hearts of millions during the 2018 Winter Olympics, and Odell Beckham Jr.’s funky hair may sway some impressionable votes, but how do you have a category based around “swag” and not include this man:
A lot of good has come from this year's All-Star Game for the Cleveland Indians.— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 11, 2017
But this ... this might be the tops. pic.twitter.com/IcOHfTsBQI
“Hands of Gold” award isn’t automatically given to Francisco Lindor
What are you actually thinking, Nickelodeon execs? First of all, you only have one representative from MLB, and it’s Nolan Arenado. No disrespect to Nolan Arenado, he’s a fantastic defender. But he’s no Francisco Lindor. Lindor has a Gold Glove (pay no attention to Arenado’s five GG awards) AND a Platinum Glove. In the same season! How can you NOT give Lindor the award when he does stuff like this:
Maybe next year Nickelodeon will get it right and add some more of the Tribe stars to the ballot. But for now, take your kids over to kcs2018.com and vote for Corey Kluber as many times as you like. And hopefully, on July 21st, Kluber will be getting his first of many Orange Blimps and slime.