cooperstown-chronicles.jpg
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI 

There hasn’t been a starting pitcher elected to the Hall of Fame since Nolan Ryan in 1999.  I’m going to go way back for one that I feel is deserving.

Bobby Matthews pitched from 1871-1887 and compiled 297 wins for the Fort Wayne Kekiongas, the Baltimore Canaries, the New York Mutuals, the Cincinnati Reds, the Providence Grays, the Boston Red Caps, and the Philadelphia Athletics. His career ERA was 2.89. If he had three more wins, 1 more win every five years of his career, he would have been a lock for the Hall of Fame. He had a three year stretch where he went 96-63. He has another three year stretch where he was 90-48. He was in the top 10 ten times in ERA (including leading the league in 1874), twelve times in Wins (2nd in 1874 with 42), twelve times in Winning Percentage, nine times in Strikeouts (led the league twice). He won 25 or more games seven times in his career. He was the first to develop the spit ball. He also was one of the first pitchers to master the curve and sinking fastball. He’s the only pitcher to win 50 games in three different major leagues (National Association, National League, and American Association). He was the winning pitcher in baseball’s first professional league. In 1878 and 1880 he pitched in non-sanctioned leagues for more money, so he is not credited with as many wins as he could have been. Judging by his record, his innovation in the art of pitching, his excellence, and his longevity, I think he should be in the Hall of Fame.

References:
http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/M/Mathews_Bobby.stm
http://www.baseball-reference.com/m/mathebo01.shtml

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

I have to be honest.  I was a little scared about the Patriots’ matchup with Jacksonville yesterday.  Maybe it was all of the media experts that said that Jacksonville was going to knock the off.  Maybe it was because that claim was somewhat believable.  Their claim was that their running game and tough defense would be the combo that would slay the beast that is the New England Patriots.  However, Bill Belichick is the ultimate game planner.  He took away those strengths.  Jacksonville was hardly on the A game in the running department.  David Garrard made some spectacular passes, but they don’t have the horses to run with New England’s high-powered offense.  That Jacksonville defense didn’t get a chance to put the pressure on New England as the Patriots turned to the running game and short passes.  Jacksonville did take Randy Moss out of the game, but that just left the candy store open for the likes of Ben Watson, Donte Stallworth, Wes Welker, and Jabar Gafney.  Laurence Maroney and Kevin Faulk were brilliant.

It wasn’t all perfect in Patriots land though.  I mentioned the Patriots weren’t able to get Randy Moss going. Their pass defense was weak.  If they have to face Peyton Manning and the Colts next week, they will need to show dramatic improvement.  Then there is Rodney Harrison.  I’m glad he’s on our team, but I’m a little uneasy about the way he plays the game.  He’s toes the line of being a dirty player, often alternating between being a hard-nose player and a cheap shot artist. 

Overall, I thought the Patriots played a great game.  They made the stops when they needed to.  They’ll need to play a better game next week against the Colts or the Chargers.

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL | Tagged: New England Patriots, NFL |

cooperstown-chronicles.jpg
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

Does Mark McGwire deserves to be in the Hall of Fame? Yes, he hit a ton of home runs (583 to be exact), but he’s a career .263 hitter. You know he used steroids. Would he have reached the 500 mark without juicing? I don’t know. While I don’t think he should be the scapegoat for the whole Steroid Era, I really don’t know if I’d punch his ballot. I’m kinda glad I don’t have to make that decision.  Here are the numbers.

mark-mcgwire.jpg
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

Stats
583 Home Runs – (7th All-time)
1167 Runs
1414 RBI – (60th All-time)
1626 Hits
.263 BA
1317 BBs – (34th All-time

Awards
Rookie of the Year
12 All-Star Games
1 Gold Glove
3 Silver Sluggers
3 Top 5 MVP finishes

Top Ten Finishes
Runs – Twice (’98 & ’99 when he was juicing)
Home Runs – Ten Times (spanned his career)
RBI – Six Times (Never really impressive until ’98 & ’99)
BBs – 6 Times

So the $25,000 question. Do I elect Mark McGwire into the Hall of Fame. My answer….No. He was pretty much a one trick pony. 1626 hits. That’s not enough for me. Sure, he busted out all of those home runs, but how many were steroid aided? Was his career extended because of steroids after all of those injuries? Did he start juicing early in his career like Canseco making him even more of a fraud? Sorry Big Mac fans. If he did more than launch steroid home runs into the stands, I’d probably vote for him. I don’t think the HOF needs a one-trick pony with strong steroid ties.

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

nfl-draft-helmet.jpg 
Photo courtesy of Cliff Welch/Icon SMI

Here is is a look at some more of the underclassmen that declared for the NFL draft.

OFFENSE
Adrian Arrington, WR, Michigan

Arrington has decent size (6’3″, 190 lbs), but isn’t the speediest of receivers (4.54 forty time) based on today’s standards.  He has a nose for the endzone though, scoring 8 TDs in each of his past two seasons.  Had a huge game in the Capital One Bowl against Florida (9 receptions, 153 yards, 2 TDs) that should help his stock. 
 
James Banks, WR, Carson-Newman
Banks has had a troubled past with substance abuse.  He took his show to Division II Carson-Newman.  He has decent size (6’3″, 218 lbs), but like Arrington isn’t the speediest (4.56).  Plus, he’s already 24 years old.  My guess is he goes undrafted.
 
Earl Bennett, WR, Vanderbilt
Earl is average size (6’1″, 205″) without exceptional speed (4.52).  He is, however, the SEC all-time leader with 236 receptions.  He was the first WR in SEC history to have at least 75 receptions in three seasons. 
 
Martellus Bennett, TE, Texas A&M
Martellus has the size (6’7″, 248 lbs), and the attitude to be a NFL Tight End.  He has improved his reception and yardage totals each of his three years, peaking with 49 receptions for 587 yards and 4 TDs.  His best performance came in a 4 catch, 63 yard, 2 TD game against Missouri.  However, his blocking ability is probably his best asset.

Davone Bess, WR, Hawaii
Bess doesn’t have great size (5’10″, 195 lbs) or speed (4.57), but he was able to produce on the field.  He’s stuffed the stat line each of his three years (89, 1124,14 as a freshman; 96, 1220, 15 as a sophomore; and 108,1266,12 as a junior).  He had 15 catches for 181 yards and two scores against Boise State.  The only fear I have is that he was a product of the system. 
 
Anthony Collins, LT Kansas
Collins has good size (6’6″, 308 lbs).  The All-American tackle anchored an offense that was second in the nation in scoring and eight in yards per game.  He should be a first or second rounder.
 
James Davis, RB, Clemson
Davis has good size (5’11″, 208 lbs) and speed (4.48).  He as averaged 1043 rushing yards over the past three seasons and 12 TDs.  He’s had a yard per carry at least 5.0 in each of his three years at Clemson. 
 
Franklin Dunbar, OT, Middle Tennessee State
Dunbar has good size (6’5″, 328 lbs), but I’m not sure if he’ll get drafted.  He anchored an offense that was tied for 74th in scoring and 97th in yards per game.  He declared for financial reasons, which you can’t hold against him.
 
Jermichael Finley, TE, Texas
Jermichael has decent size(6’5, 236 lbs) and pretty quick (4.67).  He has a solid sophomore year catching 45 passes for 573 yards, following up on a decent freshman campaign (31, 372, 3 TDs).  His biggest game came against Oklahoma when he had four catches for 149 yards and a score.  He’ll get drafted, but he’d be better served playing another year of college ball.
 
Ryan Grice-Mullen, WR, Hawaii
Like Devone Bess, Grice-Mullen doesn’t have great size (5’11″, 183) or exceptional speed (4.53).  He also had three productive years at Hawaii (85, 1228, 12 as a Freshman; 46,770,11 as a Sophomore despite missing time to injury; and 106, 1372, 13 as a Junior).  His money game was a 13 grab, 195 yard, 3 TD day against New Mexico State.  I also fear that he may be a product of the system.
 
James Hardy, WR, Indiana
Hardy is tall (6’6″, 220), but not exceptionally fast (4.59).  He did produce though scoring 10, 10, and 16 TDs in his first three years.  This year, he had 79 receptions and 1125 yards.  Hardy had a huge game against Penn State (14 receptions for 142 yards and a pair of scores). 
 
Rashard Mendenhall, RB Illinois
Nice size (5’11″, 210 lbs) and speed (4.48).  Mendenhall had a great year gaining 1681 yards (6.4 ypc) and scoring 17 TDs on the ground, and adding 34 receptions for 318 yards and two scores through the air.  The highlights of his Junior year include 214 yards against Indiana, 193 total yards and 3 TDs against Wisconsin, and 214 total yards and a score in a Rose Bowl loss to USC.
 
Bobby Reid, QB, Oklahoma State
Reid has pretty good size (6’3″, 230) and speed (4.67), but didn’t do much in his Junior after losing his job to Zac Robinson.  Reid was decent as a Sophomore with 2266 yards, 24 TDs, 11 INTs.  He would have been better off transferring.
 
Darius Reynaud, WR, West Virginia
Reynaud may not be big (5’10″, 205 lbs), but he’s pretty speedy (4.47). Showed great improvement this year by catching 12 TD passes among his 64 receptions for 733 yards.  He showed some ability to run the ball over his three years, and was a solid return man.
 
Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers
Ray is coming off a monster effort in the International Bowl where he rumbled for 280 yards and 4 TDs against Ball State.  He’s listed at 5’9″, 195″ with 4.53 speed.  He has steadily improved (1120 yards, 5 TDs, 5.7 ypc as a Freshman, 1794; 20, 5.4 as a Sophomore; and 2012, 27, 5.3 as a Junior), and had six games of 175 yards or better.  He’s got the skills.  It will be interesting to see if they will translate on Sundays.
 
Kevin Smith, RB, UCF
Smith is listed at 6’1″, 212 lbs and runs a 4.53 forty.  Smith is coming off a monsterous season where he ran for 2567 yards (5.7 ypc) and 29 TDs.  He also added 24 catches for 242 yards.  Smith had nine games of at least 170 yards rushing. 
 
Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
The 6’2, 215 lbs WR will likely cut his teeth in the NFL as a return man.  He returned 39 kickoffs for 1,135 yards (29.1 yard per return).  He wasn’t a slouch at WR either, grabbing 79 balls for 1260 yards and 8 scores.  His two biggest games came against Indiana (13 catches for 148 yards) and Penn State (7 catches for 139 yards and 3 TDs).
 
DEFENSE
Joe Burnett, CB, Central Florida
He could use a little more size (5’11, 185 lbs), but he’s plenty quick (4.46).  He could get his start as a punt returner as he had some success returning punts at Central Florida.  He made plays on defense as well intercepting six passes while racking up 62 tackles.

Johnny Dingle, DE, West Virginia
Dingle has good size (6’3″, 273) for an end.  Was a force racking up 46 tackles and 8 sacks.  He’s projected to be a mid-to-late roudn pick.
 
Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech
The speedy (4.47) Flowers is listed at 5’10″, 190 lbs.  He wasn’t afraid to mix it up recording 79 tackles.  He also intercepted three passes.
 
Geno Hayes, LB, Florida State
Geno is a little light (6’2″, 220 lbs) for a LB.  Not to mention his speed isn’t ideal (4.67) given that size.  He is still a playmaker though compiling 80 tackles, 17.5 tackles for losses, on the year.
 
Jack Ikegwuonu, CB, Wisconsin
Jack has good size (6’1″, 202) and speed (4.44).  Got into some trouble as he is facing burglary charges.  It will be interesting to see if that has an impact on his draft stock given the new climate of the NFL.  He could possibly be converted to safety.
 
Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee
Mayo (6’2″, 230 lbs) racked up 140 tackles for Tennessee last year.  Mayo had double-digit tackles in eight games this year, including 13 in the Outback Bowl against Wisconsin.
 
Orlando Scandrick, CB, Boise State
Orlando is listed at 5’11″, 188 and runs a 4.49 forty.  He had fifty tackles this year to go with his two interceptions.  He blocked seven kicks in his collegiate career, so he could have some value as a special teams player.
 
Pat Sims, DT, Auburn
Pat is a beast (6’4″, 312 lbs) with decent speed (4.98).  He had 11.5 tackles for loss (4.5 sacks).  He’ll plug some holes on Sundays.
 
Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas
Aqib is the goods.  He has good size (6’2″, 202 lbs) and decent speed (4.52).  He was a first-team All-American. He had 66 tackles and five INTs.  He was named MVP of the Orange Bowl as he return a pick sixty yards for a score. 
 
Previous Declarees
Branden Albert, G, Virginia
Jamaal Charles, RB, Texas
Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
Mario Urrutia, WR, Louisville
 Calais Campbell, DE, Miami
Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
Erin Henderson, LB, Maryland
Kenny Phillips, S, Miami

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL | Tagged: College Football, NCAA |

cooperstown-chronicles.jpg
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI 

Dale Murphy was a great player. Arguably the best in the league from ’82-’85. He was not only a great hitter, but an excellent fielder as well. I think he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.  Here are his credentials.

dale-murphy.jpg
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

398 Home Runs (45th All-time)
1266 RBI (110th All-time)
1197 Runs (160th All-time)
2111 Hits (197th All-time)
7 All-Star games
2 MVPs (Back-to-back)
Lou Gehrig Memorial Award
Roberto Clemente Award
5 straight Gold Gloves
1 30-30 season
4 Silver Sluggers
Led the league in Slugging % in ’83 & ’84
Led the league in Runs in ’85
Led the league in Total Bases in ’84
Led the league in Home Runs in ’84 & ’85
Led the league in RBIs in ’82 & ’83
Led the league in Walks in ’85

Although his case is not as strong as Andre Dawson’s, I still feel he was dominant enough to earn a spot in Cooperstown.  Like The Hawk, The Murph played on crappy teams most of his career, playing in only one postseason.  Yet, he was able to put up solid numbers every year.  If I had a ballot, I’d punch Dale Murphy’s name.

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

Friday Tidbits 1/11/08

11 January 2008

Joe Gibbs retired. I think this time it’s for good. Seattle smoked Washington on two INT returns for TDs. Santana Moss made the laziest play on one of them. Jacksonville twarted a late comeback by Pittsburgh on a David Garrard 32 yard scramble. MJD scored twice and Fred Taylor found the endzone. Tom Brady was named MVP. Big surprise. Rich McKay will remain Atlanta’s President, but he handed over the GM duties. Seattle signed DT Craig Terrill to a three-year extension. Finally, an NFL Award that didn’t coincide with the Lester Awards. Bob Sanders was named Defensive Player of the Year. St. Louis fired OC Greg Olson. Fred Taylor was named to the Pro Bowl to replace Willie Parker. Browns rookie Joe Thomas was added to the first of I’m sure many Pro Bowl teams, replacing Buffalo’s Jason Peters. Cleveland announced that Derek Anderson will start at QB next year. Hines Ward didn’t waste any time having his knee surgery. T.O. returned to practice. Brett Favre said he’d be back next year. At one point, I was equally annoyed with Favre and Clemens. Seems like an eternity ago.

Jason Kidd messed around and got back-to-back-to-back triple-doubles.  He’s up to ten on the season.  Tyson Chandler had 22 points and 22 rebounds in a New Orleands victory over Golden State.  New York lost, but Zach Randolph grabbed 22 rebounds to go along with his 18 points.  Former player J.R. Rider was arrested on outstanding warrants.  He’s classy.  LeBron just missed a triple-double (39 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists).  The Timberwolves won.  They beat the Heat without Shaq so don’t be too impressed.  Charlotte handed the Celtics their fourth loss of the season.  Denver G Chucky Atkins needs surgery to repair a sports hernia.  Sounds like fun.  Shocker of the year.  Grant Hill will miss a couple weeks.  This time he’s having an appendectomy.

This week’s shutouts:  Dominik Hasek vs. Dallas and Colorado.  Martin Brodeur vs. Philadelphia.  Detroit’s Pittsburgh’s Ty Conklin vs. Florida.  St. Louis Manny Legace vs. Carolina.  Edmonton’s Mathieu Garon vs. NY Islanders.  Carolina’s Cam Ward vs. Boston.  Nashville’s Chris Mason vs. Los Angeles.  Anaheim’s Jean-Sebastien Giguere vs. Toronto.  Philly’s Antero Niittymaki saved 54 shots in a victory over Toronto.  Philly will have to play without Joffrey Lupul for a couple weeks because of a head injury.  Dallas signed C Mike Ribeiro to a five-year $25 million deal.  Edmonton lost LW Raffi Torres for the year with a torn knee. Chris Osgood signed G Chris Osgood to a three-year deal.  Florida traded a 7th round pick for Chicago D Magnus Johansson.  Washington broke the bank, handing Alexander Ovechkin a 13-year, $124 million contract extension.  Philly’s Scott Hartnell netted a hat trick against the Rangers.  The Wild changed ownership. Craig Leipold, who used to own Nashville, is the new chairman.

Goose Gossage was inducted into the Hall of Fame.  Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, and Bert Byleven got screwed.  Roger Clemens had his say on 60 Minutes.  He filed a defamation suit against Brian McNamee.  It’s going to be another case of He Said-He Said.  He won’t have to speak to Congress just yet as the hearing got pushed back.  Hideo Nomo signed a minor league deal with Kansas City.  Texas signed Ben Broussard to a one-year deal worth $3.85 million.  The Phillies signed Jayson Werth to a one-year deal.  Seattle signed Miguel Cairo.  Colorado signed Marcus Giles to a minor league contract. 
 
LSU beat Ohio State 38-24 to win the National Championship.  Matt Flynn threw four TD passes.  Rutgers ran all over Ball State in the prestiguous International Bown.  Ray Rice had 280 yards and 4 TDs.  He is entering the NFL draft.  Joining him are Texas A&M TE Martellus Bennett, Illinois RB Rashard Mendenhall, Kansas CB Aqib Talib and LT Anthony Collins, Michigan WR Adrian Arrington, Clemson RB James Davis, Vanderbilt WR Earl Bennett, West Virginia WR Darius Reynaud, and UCF RB Kevin Smith have declared for the NFL draft.  June Jones resigned from his post at Hawaii to take on SMU.  His AD Herman Frazier got canned.  QB Ryan Mallett is leaving Michigan.  Notre Dame CB Munir Princei is transferring to Missouri.  LSU topped off a memorable week by bring home the Outland Trophy. 
 
Coach K won his 787th victory.  He’s now sixth on the All-time list.  You know Dickie V had a tear in his eye.  #1 UNC beat #19 Clemson behind Wayne Ellington’s 36 points.  #14 Texas beat #24 St. Mary’s behind D.J. Augustine’s 30 points.  Oregon upset #21 Arizona 84-74.  West Virginia upset #11 Marquette.  #16 Villanova edged #13 Pitt 64-63.  #9 Tennessee held off #15 Mississippi 85-83 in the battle of double letter teams.  Charlotte upset #19 Clemson.  #22 Dayton beat #20 Rhode Island.  Arizona State beat #24 Arizona.   
 
That concludes the Tidbits. As always, feel free to add any stories you liked this week in sports or discuss any of the stories I mentioned.

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB, NBA, NFL | Tagged: NCAA, NHL |

cooperstown-chronicles.jpg 
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

Andre Dawson was a five-tool player (Hit for Power, Hit for Average, Field, Throw, Run). He was one of the best players in the game for over a decade. I think he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, especially before we get knee deep in the steroids era.

andre-dawson.jpg
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

438 Home Runs (35th All-time)
1591 RBI (32nd All-time)
1373 Runs (88th All-time)
2774 Hits (45th All-time)
8 All-Star Games
Rookie of the Year
1 MVP
8 Gold Gloves
4 Silver Sluggers
Led the league in Hits in ’83
Led the league in Total Bases in ’83 & ’87
Led the league in Home Runs in ’87
Led the league in RBIs in ’87
3 25-25 seasons

The Hawk played on crappy teams most of his career, playing in only two postseasons. The fact that he put up great numbers consistenly on bad teams shows how steady he was. His numbers would likely be even better if he had a better supporting cast. Andre Dawson was an all-around great player who should be voted into the Hall of Fame.

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

It’s Playoff Time, but I’m still going out on that fantasy football limb. I will pick three players I think will score more points than a higher profile player. The scoring is 6 points for rushing or receiving TD, 4 points for a passing TD, .1 points per yard for rushing or receiving and .05 points per passing yard. First, I’ll recap how I did during Wild Card Weekend.

Last Week
Ben Roethlisberger 26.15 destroyed Jeff Garcia 16.55 (14.55 actual plus two spotted points) WHICH I GOT WRONG.
Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew 30.2 destroyed Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts 13.4 (11.4 actual plus two spotted points) WHICH I GOT WRONG.
Plaxico Burress 3.8 beat Joey Galloway 0.5 WHICH I GOT WRONG.

Guess I stretced too far.

This Week’s Picks: 0-3
Overall: 0-3
Breakdown: QB: 0-1, RB: 0-1, WR: 0-1

Overall Playoff Picks: 0-3
Overall: 0-3
Breakdown: QB: 0-1, RB 0-1, WR: 0-1

Overall Record
Regular Picks: 42-46-1
Super Stretch Picks: 12-5
Overall: 54-51-1
Breakdown: QB: 8-12, RB: 27-18-1, WR: 18-21

This Week’s Picks 

peyton-eli-manning.jpg
Photo courtesy of Sporting News/Icon SMI

Eli Manning
+3 over Peyton Manning
Eli vs. Peyton. Peyton vs. Eli. In this epic battle of brotherhood, I’ll go with the younger Manning (with three spotted points). I think Indy will utilize Joseph Addai and the ground game to keep LT at bay. New York will have to play catch up against Dallas, which will force them to the air. 

 Marion Barber III over Maurice Jones-Drew
There are a lot of similarities between these two backs. Both share the backfield with a talented running back. They both have a nose for the endzone. I like MB3 better than MJD this weekend. Barber gets to play at home. Barber faces the New York Giants and not the New England Patriots. 

 Jabar Gaffney over Nate Burleson
Jacksonville will try to shut down Randy Moss and Wes Welker. That mean Gaffney should be able to have a solid game. Burleson will have to face a tough Green Bay secondary.

Previous Out on a Limb Picks
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12
Week 13
Week 14
Week 15
Week 16
Week 17
Wild Card Weekend

blue-line-special.jpg 
Photo Courtesy of Shelly Castellano ICON SMI 

Need some help with your fantasy hockey team?  You’ve come to the right place.  Try these hot players on for size. 

Center
Steve Reinprecht 
 - In his last four games he has four goals and assists (1.25 points per game).  Prior to that he had 21 points in 37 games (.57 per gamea).  

Winger
Shane Doan
- Doan has scored a point in his last four games, tallying seven points (1.75 points per game) during the stretch.  Prior to that outburst he scored 28 points in 36 games (.78 per game).  It’s not a flash in the pan either because he has 13 points in his last twelve games (1.08 per game).

Defenseman
Mark Streit - Streit has scored in three straight games, tallying 4 points (1.3 points per game) during the stretch, which is a vast improvement over the .56 points per game he averaged in his first 39 games.  He’s been playing decent hockey for a while though, scoring 11 points in his last 13 games (.85 per game)

Goalie
Antero Niittymaki  - On the season, Niittymaki is 6-4 with a 2.29 Goals Against Average.  In his last three games between the pipes he’s 3-0 with a 1.00 GAA and a 97.5 Save Percentage.  He doesn’t get the call all that often, but when he does, he delivers.

cooperstown-chronicles.jpg
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

Before I get started, I want to congratulate Goose Gossage on his election in the Hall of Fame.

Circle Me Bert…right into the Hall of Fame
How long does Bert Blyleven have to wait until the Hall comes knocking on his door. He has 287 wins…287 wins. He pitched 22 seasons. Do the math and you see that if he won about .5 more wins per game in his career he would have the magical 300 wins and I wouldn’t be typing this post. The fact that he pitched on some pretty bad teams should factor into the equation. I understand he never won the Cy Young awards, but neither did a lot of pitchers…including Nolan Ryan. I’m not saying he’s on the same level as Nolan, but they do have some similarities. They both pitched on some pretty bad teams and shared success despite that circumstance. The fact is Bert is the 5th all-time leading strikeout pitcher in the history of MLB. He was third when he retired, but has since been passed by The Rocket and The Big Unit. He is 9th on the all-time shutout list with 60. Most pitchers in today’s generation won’t have 60 complete games, yet alone shutouts. He won a World Series in 1987 so he’s won the big one. Critics will say that he hung around to accumulate the stats, but he had some impressive single-season accomplishments as well. He was twice name as an All-star. He finished 13th in 1989 in MVP voting. Not bad for a pitcher in the beginning of the Steroid Era. He finished third in Cy Young voting twice and fourth once so at least he was invited to that party. Ten times he was in the top ten in ERA. Six times for wins. Eleven times (including first in 1977) he was in the top ten in WHIP. Fifteen times (including first in 1985) he was in the top ten in strikeouts. Eleven times for innings pitched. Twelve times he was in the top ten in complete games (including a league high 24 in 1985). Ten times for shutouts (tops in ’73, ’85 and ’89). I realize he lost a lot of games and gave up a ton of homers, but I think the numbers speak for themselves. After all, how many of todays coddled pitchers are going to even approach the 300 win total? Tom Glavine could be the last one in a long time to reach that plateau. I’m not comparing him to Randy Johnson in dominance, but he only has 284 wins. Mike Mussina Mussina…250. David Wells…239 (which is more that I would have expected), Jaime Moyer…230.  Schilling….216.  Kenny Rogers…210. Pedro…209. There are thirty nine pitchers in the HOF with less wins than Bert (take a look for yourself ). Now Bert is a good broadcaster for the Twins. Given his past success and his continued involvement in baseball, I believe it’s time to let him in.


Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties