SocraticGadfly: More thoughts on why Blyleven isn't yet in the HOF

December 23, 2010

More thoughts on why Blyleven isn't yet in the HOF

Bert Blyleven is UNarguably, in my book, the greatest living (and eligible) player not yet in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. (Remove the "eligible" part and we're talking Albert Pujols, of course. And, no, we're NOT talking Pete Rose.)

So, why isn't he there?

Per his Wikipedia page, is Blyleven's history of disgruntlement as a player part of why he's still not in the HOF? Could be a part of it; supposedly, some voters still hold Ron Santo's 1969 heel-clicking against him.

Add in that he played for five teams, and none of them for more than 40 percent of his career, and that might be a bit of a factor. However, he's a broadcaster now for the Twinkies, who were his "primary" team, albeit before he hit his prime.

Plus, another overlooked area ... look at Blyleven's career fielding stats ... how did he never win a Gold Glove?

At the least, 1976 and 1989, he could have won vs. Palmer and Saberhagen, respectively.

Given that, for his career, he has above-average range factor AND fielding percentage, how did he never get a reputation as a good-fielding pitcher?

For people who continue to insist on win-loss percentage as a HOF qualifier for pitchers, hopefully King Felix winning this year's AL Cy Young award will help Blyleven too, if the same logic is applied.

For HOF voters who claim "he didn't dominate" season-to-season .... err, neither did Don Sutton! Of course, this is from a HOF voter enough of an idiot, jackass, etc., to think Jack Morris deserves in and Blyleven doesn't.

On the flip side, Rob Neyer makes the favorable Blyleven-Sutton comparison.


Robbie Alomar deserves in, too, but, if anybody gets in this year, it should be the Dutchman.


Here's the official 2011 HOF ballot. Other worthies? Bagwell, yes, although I don't think he's a first-year induction worth. Ditto on Larkin. Raines is just short of the cutoff for me. Everybody else is a bit further back.


Meanwhile ...

No wonder so many ESPN readers think Neyer's a douche. Not only Jack Morris, but Keith Hernandez and Dave Parker get a HOF shoutout from him. He even says a "possible case" could be made by unnamed "others" for Kevin Brown.

Jim Caple is another HOF maximalist. Must be something in the ESPN Kool-Aid.

He won't exclude roiders. Wants to vote in the vastly overrated Jack Morris. And Alan Trammell. And Edgar Martinez.

1 comment:

Genomic Repairman said...

Blyleven is a 20 game winner who is only a few wins (13) shy of the 300 win mark. He almost had another 20 win season if not for a broken foot. Dude also tosses a no hitter and is in the 3,000 strike out club. He's the only hall eligible member of the club that isn't in the HOF. If he ain't in, there's a lot folks who need to be tossed out of the Hall.