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Home » Baseball

A few more baseball headlines

Submitted by on December 28, 2007 – 6:41 PM5 Comments

I’ve got baseball on the brain today…tons of work to do, and a stack of Christmas baseball books calling to me from across the room. But all I’ve got time for is the latest from Google reader, and today it’s telling me that 1) Jim Leyritz, driving home drunk on his birthday, hit another car and killed the driver; 2) Klapisch and McAdam are debating whether Blyleven belongs in the Hall. McAdam is against, and one of his planks is that Blyleven had only one 20-win season, and only one 19-win season, with the ’84 Indians…didn’t that team suck, though? I don’t recall the mid-eighties Indians being much to look at; wouldn’t 19 wins look pretty good in context? Blyleven’s numbers don’t look that great, it’s true, but he pitched for real dogs most of his career — doesn’t he get any traction with that?

Then there’s Congressman Christopher Shays laying responsibility for the steroid debacle at the feet of Bud Selig, and Jayson Stark with the Strange But True Baseball ’07 report.

And last, but never least, Fire Joe Morgan’s Ken Tremendous on Woody Paige’s HoF ballot.




  • k says:

    FJM had a short thing in January when, I think? Jayson Stark was talking about his ballot that touches on the Blyleven issue:

    Well, short about Blyleven. It’s at the bottom.

  • Amanda Cournoyer says:

    I feel a tangent coming on.

    Blyleven won 19 games in ’84 for an Indians team that won 75, when no other starter on his team won more than 12 — and he had by far the best ERA, WHIP, and K/BB of any Indians starter AND pitching almost 50 more innings than the next guy on the team. Not quite Steve Carlton and the ’72 Phillies, but still pretty good.

    According to what I think is an accurate calculation of Wins Above Team (WAT) — I already had his teams’ total wins and losses in my spreadsheet and I just needed to punch in his decsions and do the math quickly — Blyleven won 22 more games than the average pitcher would have for his teams. His career winning percentage is .534, while his teams’ collective winning percentage without his decisions is .495. 22 WAT is pretty good. It’s better than some of his contemporaries. Nolan Ryan rates 14 and change in WAT. His teams were .503 without him and his winning percentage was .526, lower than Blyleven’s. If you want to make the argument that Blyleven was more valuable to his teams than Ryan was to his, this is one way to do it.

    Blyleven did have some losing seasons for some decent teams (’80 Pirates, ’88 Twins) and he had some ugly WHIP years. To his credit, he managed to keep his ERA above average most years. His best comps are Don Sutton and Gaylord Perry, and I think that’s fair, since I think Blyleven is one of those Hall of Famers — maybe not quite a Hall of Famer, but got in somehow (if he gets in, of course). For them, it’s both 300 and 3,000; for him, it’s 3,000. To his credit, though, he doesn’t have many other good comps. Pick any top-tier HoFer you like and you’ll find they don’t have many, if any, good comps. HoFers tend to be unique like that. He also rates in HoF territory on Grey Ink, HoF Standards, and HoF Monitor, plus the ten best comps he has (except Kaat and John) are in the Hall. My feeling is that if he gets in, then great; if he doesn’t, then he doesn’t. YMMV.

  • Josh says:

    Bert keeps getting burned for not actually being the “best” pitcher during many years, and instead being one of the very best for a long time. If he’d gotten a Cy (or more respect in the voting during a few of his big years) he’d be getting more cred now.

    But he played on some awful teams and had crappy run support, so his win totals aren’t what they could have been and Cy voters bac then were even more hung up on wins than HoF voters are now. It’s a damn shame because he is one of the great power/control pitchers of all time, IMHO. The shutouts, the complete games, the K’s, the low walks, the great ERA, the longevity, and the curveball that woke even great hitters up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat because they knew that had to try and hit that damn thing the next day…spells Hall of Fame to me.

    Besides, he’s one of the great hotfoot artists in MLB history! Come on!

  • funtime42 says:

    I have never understood the lack of support for Dave Concepcion. All he did was design the way shortstops field on artificial turf, play on 9 all star teams, win 5 gold gloves, 2 silver slugger awards, and have a lifetime batting average 7 points higher than Bill Mazeroski (also beats his stats in SB, OPS, and several major fielding categories).

    Not voting for someone because Joe Morgan is – is not exactly logical. Dave Concepcion was the best shortstop of his era. It’s a shame he’s gotten lost in the shuffle…

  • Sars says:

    I don’t have an opinion on Concepcion one way or the other, but…my mother has a batting average 7 points higher than Bill Mazeroski. You can’t point to a guy who’s in the Hall with weaker-than-average stats in one area and then claim that, because that guy’s in, another guy with better stats should be in also. And if we’re being honest, we know Mazeroski’s name for one reason, really. And it isn’t his fielding.

    And based on number of Gold Gloves won, it looks like Belanger was better than Concepcion. Or honored more consistently.

    Joe Morgan flogs Concepcion because he played with Concepcion; that’s why people assume he’s full of shit, and they’re not wrong to do so. It’s not like Morgan would pull down a book and run the black-ink test on the guy; he doesn’t even know what the black-ink test is. When a guy like Morgan — who is ignorant of sabremetrics, willfully, and tends to spout a lot of horse pucky about intangibles — touts a guy he was on teams with, it’s tough to take seriously.

    And if he weren’t on the Big Red Machine, would we be having this conversation? Seriously. Because…I mean, is George Foster getting in?

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