Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cone Heads the Voting for Al Cy Young Award

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cone Heads the Voting for Al Cy Young Award

Article excerpt

David Cone, coming off the worst season of his career, bounced back to beat out former teammate Jimmy Key in a close vote Tuesday for the American League Cy Young Award.

Cone, 16-5 with a 2.94 ERA for the Kansas City Royals, won the award despite not leading the league in any pitching category. Key, 17-4 with a 3.27 ERA for the New York Yankees, led the majors in wins.

Cone received 15 of 28 first-place votes and finished with 108 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Key got 10 first-place votes and 96 points.

"I thought either one of us would've made a deserving winner. I'm hoping to get a chance to call him and tell him that," Cone said from New York during a conference call.

"My first instinct is to feel this might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I don't want to demean the award because of the strike. But when you look at the award, you're going to think about the despair of 1994."

Randy Johnson, 13-6 with a 3.19 ERA and a major league-leading 204 strikeouts for Seattle, received two first-place votes and finished third with 24 points. Mike Mussina, 16-5 with a 3.06 ERA for Baltimore, got one first-place vote and was fourth with 23 points.

"We're friends, and I'm overjoyed for him," Key said on a conference call, also from New York. "It'd be nice to win one. But I don't put that much value in these things. It's not a goal of mine.

"It is the Cy Young, but I still think it's going to be tarnished in some people's eyes and there probably will be an asterisk next to it in the so-called record books. He was voted the best pitcher for those number of games."

Meeting With Usery Postponed: Mediator W.J. Usery's meeting with baseball players was postponed a day until today.

Usery, appointed by the Clinton adminstration on Oct. 14, is to listen to the union's view of baseball's troubled labor relations.

Eugene Orza, the union's No. 2 official, said the meeting was pushed back a day for the convenience of some of those attending the session.

After the meetings at the union offices today and Thursday, Usery is expected to schedule meetings with management. Additional bargaining isn't expected until the latter part of next week at the earliest.

Free Agency Filings: Twenty more players filed for free agency, raising the total to 111. Two others, Cleveland shortstop Alvaro Espinoza and New York Yankees shortstop Randy Velarde were rejected by management's player relations committee because of disputed service time due to the strike. There are 11 players in that group.

Players who filed can begin talking contract terms with teams on Sunday, the day after the 15-day filing period ends but it's uncertain how fast players and clubs will want to sign deals given the uncertainty caused by the walkout.

Among the top free agents available are Seattle's Jay Buhner, Montreal's Larry Walker and San Francisco's Bill Swift. …

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