Friday, January 7, 2011

Oh, They'll Be Telling Young Kids About This Guy For Ages!

While I don't have any great passion for arguing the merits of Bert Blyleven getting into the Baseball Hall of Fame, I have stood by my thumbnail recollection of him that he's just not somebody very HOF-worthy.

My criteria for the Hall of Fame - in any sport - is simple: induct GREAT players, who did something GREAT.

Yes, numbers can help solidify a candidate, but they shouldn't be used as a primary measuring stick. I would rather take the BEST 7 year stretch of a player's career, and measure that statistically against his peers.

Longevity is nice, but it's not true GREATNESS. Baseball is a sport, where a good player who keeps himself in shape, can accumulate a massive pile of stats when it's all over 20 years later.

As for Blyleven, I simply said I'd much sooner remember the greatness of Jack Morris, Orel Hershieser or Curt Schilling instead. And apparently, those guys don't have the kind of numbers to guarantee Cooperstown.

Naturally, my buddy Andy Pollin proclaimed me an idiot for saying the other day that I thought Blyleven was merely "good."

Listeners have my back. Well, at least some of them!

FROM: Alex in Arlington, VA
TO: Czabe
RE: Blyleven HOF

Sports Reporters,

Although Andy tried to chastise Steve for not knowing anything about Blyleven’s career, Steve is completely correct about Blyleven. He was a compiler of stats only, with no great baseball moments.

He was an All-Star only twice, never won a Cy Young, and only received Cy Young votes four seasons. He was on two world series teams, but was never the Ace of a World Series staff, which is a far greater accomplishment. Andy is completely wrong to say Blyleven “pitched in big games” equal to Schilling, not true at all.

I would take guys with lesser stats like Schilling, Hershiser or Jack Morris over him any day of the week, guys who actually created great baseball moments and were the best in the game at one point, and weren’t a whiny little bitch like Blyleven who wore out his welcome and was traded four different times in his prime for basically nothing.

He even outdid Haynesworth by quitting on his team and going home in 1980 because he didn’t like their World series winning manager, earning the nickname “Cryleven”, remember Andy??????????

His reputation has grown overtime because pitchers don’t complete as many games as they used to, he was not outstanding in this regard during his career. In fact, in his first chance at the hall of fame he had only 17.5% of the vote, lowest of any hall of fame inductee in the modern era.

I think Andy was trying to act like a big shot who remembered Blyleven, when clearly he didn’t from what he said, and should be held accountable.

REACT: I could present this stinging rebuke to Andy, chapter and verse, and I know exactly what I will get from him. Is it an open minded re-consideration of his previous stance?

Ha! You don't know Andy!

Nah, he'll just shrug and say: "You're wrong, and the HOF voters agree with me." And off he'll go....


  1. Bert was a big part of the 1979 "We are Family" Willie Stargel led World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates. It wouldn't be his last ring either.

    So yes Bert Blyleven is most definately worthy of one spot in the Baseball HOF

    It was one of the Great Years to be a Pittsburgh sport fan with the Steelers winning a Super Bowl and the Buccos a World Series. Say - where else has that happened? Anyone???

  2. Blyleven aside (it feels good to say that), Czabe's call on tightening up HOF induction is refreshing. Media mavens really enjoy their power to vote, which I understand, but a call to Greatness is indeed in order.

    I'm in my 50s, and lately the NFL HOF inductees are guys I never heard of. Blyleven, a recognizable name, does not send my leg a-tingling, nor do several of the wannabes on this year's list (e.g., Palmeiro).

    In closing, either Andy (I think) or Thom (maybe) made the point in comparing Blyleven and Schilling, Blyleven had 280 career wins, which was close to the "magic" 300; Schilling had 214(?). So, how if Blyleven didn't reach it, how is Schilling's not reaching it a measure for comparison?

    Also, the confluence of stats regarding Palmeiro (500 HRs and 3000 hits) is specious at best.

  3. I'm with you on this one, Czabe. HOFers should be guys who, when you watched them play, you knew you were watching one of the all-time greats. I never got that feeling with Blyleven. Although Schilling doesn't have the cumulative stats, you knew that you were watching one of the all-time best post season performers. He won 3 world titles, and would have won 4 if not for Mitch Williams. That's what it's all about, winning championships, and Schilling was a huge part of 3 of them. Post season performances should weigh more heavily than regular season stats.

  4. uh....60 freakin shutouts is NOT GREAT!?!?!? ok....Right-O.

  5. Being on only two all-star teams should be disqualifying. How can you be one of the greatest of all time if you weren't one of the best that year?

  6. I've been to Cooperstown twice and am sad to see that it's giving way to being the "Hall of Really Good". Since they don't limit inductees each year, each player should get ONE shot. You make it or you don't. If that's too extreme, then make it three shots, you get three strikes and you're out. When Blyleven played he was one of the best. But the HOF should be for the BEST OF THE BEST only.

  7. Art Monk = Bert Blylevin. You owe Peter King an apology!