Ron Darling introduced Max Scherzer last night at the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s Awards Dinner in New York City.
The former major league starter said it was a privilege to watch the two-time Cy Young Award-winner as often as he does in his role as an announcer for the NL East rival New York Mets.
“The way he stalks his opponent should be more like for the National Geographic Channel than it should be for the game of the night,” Darling said.
“He just is so uber-competitive. He has amazing durability, but I think that he represents in a pitcher what you want.
“When he has his A-game, he’s going to no-hit you, he’s going to strike out 20.
“When he’s a little off, he’s going to beat you and when he’s running on fumes, he’ll find a way for the Nationals to beat you.”
Scherzer, 32, finished the 2016 campaign at 5.6 fWAR, going (20-7), with a 2.96 ERA, 3.24 FIP, 56 walks (2.21 BB/9) and 284 Ks (11.19 K/9) in 34 starts and 228 1⁄3 innings pitched.
He earned the second Cy Young award of his career this season, joining Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens and Roy Halladay as the only pitchers to win the award in both the American and National League.
“Man, what an unbelievable feeling to be back up here,” Scherzer said last night in New York.
“As a kid, I never dreamed of winning the Cy Young, and after winning the first one it’s been my dream to come back up here, so I have to give a lot of thanks to everybody who’s been able to make my dream come true again.”
Scherzer thanked his teammates and the Nationals for the opportunity they’ve given him and also talked about the role the fans in the nation’s capital play in his success.
“All the fans that come out, it’s been unbelievable to play in front of you guys,” he said.
“You’ve made it an unbelievable experience in front of us. I’ve been reminiscing about some of these games, especially Game 5 in the postseason, with a couple of the Dodgers here, and we can’t believe the atmosphere that was there that game, and I personally can’t thank you guys enough because that game — even though we came up on the wrong end —was absolutely unbelievable.”
He also singled out his manager and pitching coach for thanks as well.
“I want to give thanks Dusty Baker and Mike Maddux for what they’ve done in just one year,” Scherzer said.
“It’s been unbelievable to be able to talk to them the other four days when I’m not pitching. ‘Mad Dog’, he has so much wisdom, he makes me so much better of a pitcher, he has such a sick sense of humor, I love it. I get along with him great.’
“With Dusty — the thing about Dusty, is when you’re on the bench, you really get to talk about some old school baseball, I mean, he’s old. And so, for me, I like talking to him about it, and getting him into stories about what it was like in his heyday, and he always seems to get mad at me about when I’m getting him into these things because he’s got to manage the game, and once he gets to that point — I’m like, ‘C’mon Dusty, keep going more — How cool was it to wear an afro?’”
I wonder what Baker’s answer to that question was? Check out the entire acceptance speech from last night’s awards dinner below: