There was one voter out of 30 who did not have Jacob deGrom first in the Cy Young voting on Wednesday night -- John Maffei of the San Diego Union Tribune.
Maffei, whose non-vote denied deGrom the chance to be the 18th pitcher in history to win the award in unanimous fashion, had a chance to explain his reasoning during an appearance on WFAN with Steve Somers. Instead, he hung up on him.
Here's how the exchange went, with Somers introducing Maffei:
Somers: "Not from Washington, where you would think homerism lives and thrives. John Maffei is with the San Diego Union Tribune. John, can you look at yourself in the mirror? John?"
Maffei: "Can I? Absolutely."
Somers: "No. No, no, no. You're looking for 15 minutes of fame and attention."
Maffei: (cutting Somers off) "Steve, this interview is over. Thank you, goodbye."
After Maffei hung up, Somers -- whose shtick has always included the kind of tongue-in-cheek ribbing he displayed above, was incredulous:
"What? Well there's a guy (laughter). Well, one of my better interviews. Here's the thing: Where's this guy's sense of humor? Taking it a little bit too seriously here, don't you think? I can't believe that."
Giving Maffei the benefit of the doubt, it's possible he simply didn't understand that Somers was joking around with him. But he also never got back on the line, despite Somers' producers' apparent attempt to get Maffei back.
So instead of being able to explain his reasoning for voting for Scherzer over deGrom, people are left -- as of now -- to speculate as to what the reasoning was.
While we do that, here's a fact:
Maffei, who is a 1971 graduate of San Diego State, barely covered MLB in 2018.
His two MLB-related articles were Three Pirates pitchers celebrate San Diego homecoming (June 28) and Padres salute the preps with new display, awards (April 19). Neither of those articles included, you know, covering the game on the field.
If Maffei graduated college on time, that would make him roughly 68 years old. That seems like someone more likely to take wins and losses into account when voting for the Cy Young award -- especially when he spent most of 2018 writing about high school sports.
The above could be wildly inaccurate, but now we're left to wonder, because Maffei refused to explain himself.
Steve Somers interviews John Maffei of the San Diego Union Tribune, the only baseball writer who did not deem Jacob deGrom worthy of his first-place vote for the Cy Young award. The interview was over in record time. pic.twitter.com/9lkb0FrLSU- Ƒunhouse (@BackAftaThis) November 15, 2018