Tuesday, January 09, 2007

How is Bert Blyleven still not in the Hall of Fame?

Just for giggles, I'm going to give you the stats of 2 pitchers... one is in the Hall of Fame and generally regarded by sportswriters as one of the best pitchers of all time. The other is not in the Hall of Fame.

Player A: 324-292 overall record (.524 winning %), 3.19 ERA (3.57 was the League ERA over the same time period), 112 ERA+, 1.25 WHIP, 5714 K in 5386 IP, 2.04 K/BB ratio, 3.07 postseason ERA

Player B: 287-50 overall record (.534 winning %), 3.31 ERA (3.90 was the League ERA over the same time period), 118 ERA+, 1.20 WHIP, 3701 K in 4970 IP, 2.80 K/BB ratio, 2.47 postseason ERA

As you probably guessed, Player B was Bert Blyleven, who is still not in the HOF. Player A is Nolan Ryan, certainly an excellent pitcher, but also one of the most overrated pitchers of all-time.

If you look closely, I'm not sure Ryan is a better pitcher than Blyleven. When Ryan was on, he was great (strikeout record, 9 no-hitters), but he also has thrown more BB than anyone else ever. Ryan has the lower raw ERA, but he did it in a time where ERAs were generally lower, which results in a better ERA+ (ERA in relation to the League with 100 as the average) for Blyleven.

In the end, Nolan Ryan was the better strikeout pitcher and gave up less HRs than Blyleven, while Blyleven had much better control while still maintaining good strikeout dominance (higher K/BB ratio than Ryan. Both were very dominant when they were on their game... Ryan had 61 career shutouts, Blyleven had 60.

But there should be no need for this discussion. Both guys belong in the Hall. So how is Bert Blyleven, one of the top 20 or 30 pitchers EVER not in the Hall of Fame yet? Your guess is as good as mine. Bottom line, Bert Belongs.

8 comments:

Jason Kersey said...

I could not agree more. Nolan Ryan was a great pitcher, but was definitely overrated. How Blyleven has been left out is unbelieveable.

Jason Kersey said...

I think Goose Gossage should have gotten in as well.... what do you think?

Big Al said...

I agree about both Gossage and Blyleven. I bet Goose gets in next year, as there are no shoo-in new nominees.

But remember you are dealing with a strange voting group that couldn't get Ozzie Smith in the HOF fast enough while ignoring his (At the very least) equal, Alan Trammell.

Don't get me going on how that bunch of ink stained wretches allowed Lou Whitaker to drop off the ballot all together after 1 year.

The BBWA is full of old, staid, grudge holding, coast biased curmudgeons.

twins15 said...

I very much agree with Big Al. If Bruce Sutter is in, Gossage should be in (and I agree he will be next year), and Trammel is just as deserving as Ozzie. The voters are a strange group, and I don't mean that in a good way.

It's too bad that it's predictable that we'll have another WTF moment in a couple of years when Tim Raines becomes eligible and doesn't get voted in.

Mini Me said...

The HOF has some serious problems and they need to start letting these guys in that deserve it, like Blyleven. I am really curious what is going to happen when guys like Sosa and even Bonds get onto the ballot. Whether or not Sosa and Mcguire took steroids (I believe they did btw), they still did carry baseball on their shoulders in 1998, when the sport was coming undone. Without them, baseball certainly wouldn't be what it is today. This is the thanks they get, kind of ironic that we turned our eyes then but not now. Sports really are a "what have you done for me lately" business.

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