#2: Felix Hernandez: 2012 w/5.3 WAR. Also, 2014 w/ 6.4, 2009 w/5.9, 2010 w/7.2, 2013 w/5.1
I sat here for a long time on this one. I wasn’t debating 2009 or 2014 as the greatest season. It was either 2010 when he won the Cy Young, or 2012 when he threw the perfect game.
Everything in 2010 was better. He far and away deserved the Cy Young. He didn’t in 2012 and wasn’t in the top two discussion at all.
The perfect game was in 2012.
It’s so hard to choose. Do you give it the Cy Young or the Perfect game?
I still don’t know. To you, Dear Reader, it’ll seem like I made up my mind here. In fact, this was the first slide I went to write. It’ll probably be the last one I finish. In fact, it is. I’m back here now, and still don’t know.
Screw it. I’m taking 2012. I don’t care that he had three other seasons where he was statistically better. It’s a perfect game. It has only happened 23 times in the history of baseball, and Felix Hernandez is one of them. That means something to me, and it should to you, as well.
It’s why I gave the nod to Edgar in the hitting series (spoiler?), and why I’m giving it to Felix’s 2012 season. Context matters when it comes to greatness. These are the greatest seasons, not just sorting their WAR in a spreadsheet to see which one comes out on top. If I tell you that you could have just one season from Felix, either 2010 or 2012, which would you choose?
It’s incredible that he won the Cy Young in 2010. I’m taking the perfect game though, and it’s why 2012 gets the nod.