Monday, December 20, 2010

Two steps forward, one step back

Why I didn't cast a Hall of Fame vote for Bert Blyleven, again - Jon Heyman -

This pile of crap floated by me today the same day as an interview with Ken Tremendous late of did.

The interview was more of a victory lap for those fans of baseball who realize there may be new and different ways of examining and understanding the game. Which was the point of FJM.

All seemed well then this.

Some of Blyleven's supporters will say that wins don't define a pitcher and aren't always a fair measure of a pitcher's worth, as they are dependent in large part on a pitcher's run support or lack thereof. I did promote Felix Hernandez for the Cy Young, but I still see winning as the ultimate goal in each game, and Blyleven didn't win all that many more games than he lost.

I was certain that Greinke's 2009 win and King Felix's this year would have finally driven a stake through this canard. He even admits wins don't tell anything too useful then goes on to say the exact opposite. Wins don't matter unless a trained eye like mine discern their importance.

He goes on to compare Blyleven with Jack Morris who in his eyes IS a Hall of Famer. Those item which separate the two: Morris was the "dominant" pitcher for several years and he pitched 10 innings in a Game 7. OK. So Blyleven's claim over Morris is just that he struck out way more, pitched way more innings, has a far lower career ERA, had more shutouts and had as good a post season record as Morris did. So Blyleven is demonstrably better at such a mundane thing as getting batters out but his grittiness and dominance just weren't there.

I'm tempted to conclude that Heyman is simply trying to stir up an internet storm. He must know his absurd arguments are laughable on their face and just wants to tweak the "basement dwellars." Kudos to you Mr. Heyman -- you've succeeded. I just wish you could be more honest about it rather than drop this nonsensical drivel onto the internet.

Hey, I'm grew up in Michigan. I loved watching Morris pitch. I'll bet I've seen more Jack Morris starts than Heyman has and Morris isn't an HoFer. At least he isn't if the benchmark is Blyleven.

What excised me about the article was the rampant use of subjective criteria to support his case. MVP voting? All-star game appearances? Cy Young votes? These are criteria? I guess they are for writers who oh I don't know VOTE for such things. So you can be really really good at baseball things like getting batters out but if you aren't adjudged well enough by writers, it really doesn't matter.

He only received MVP votes twice, finishing 26th in 1973 and 13th in 1989.

You do realize these seasons are SIXTEEN YEARS APART!!!!!!! Give me the list of players who got MVP votes in any 16 year span you care to name.

You have to go down to 18 (from Blyleven's perch at #5) to find a pitcher on the career strikeout list who isn't in or going in to the Hall. Mickey Lolich is close to 900 K's behind. (An aside, why not Lolich? His game 7 performance in '68 is just as good if not better than Morris' and he bakes a hell of a donut)

Did you forget to mention Jon that Blyleven is 9th all-time in shutouts? Ninth.

I grant there are borderline cases who are very good but not Hallworthy. Don Mattingly is one of those . . . . whoops. Heyman says he gets in. Really? You do realize you can put Donnie Baseball's entire career into that span of MVP votes for Blyleven don't you and have years left over?

I'd really like to know what the hell Bert Blyleven did to the writers during or after his career to engender such resentment? There is literally no other explanation. It was said Jim Rice had to wait till the end because he had a bad relationship with the media. But he got in eventually even though his case is far weaker. Moral of the story: don't screw with the ink stained wretches.

1 comment:

  1. Hate to burst your bubble, but not everyone really thinks Blyleven is deserving. Including me.

    Its a lot of revisionist history, in my opinion, the groundswell of demand for his inclusion in the Hall.