Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bert gets Hosed

As I am sure you are aware of by now, Bert Blyleven once again was denied entry to the Baseball Hall of Fame, this time by a mere five votes (I heard it was six somewhere else but I'll roll with five because that sounds more dramatic).  I am still not sure why there are people not voting for him, but I'm pretty sure it's because sportswriters are idiots.  (Exhibit B would be Roberto Alomar not getting in, simply because he "isn't first ballot material" which is the dumbest shit I've ever heard.)  It's clearly because they are hung up on him not having 300 wins and/or not winning a Cy Young award.  Ok, fine.  Dumb, nonsensical, but fine.  You're an idiot.

There are also a lot of people voting for Jack Morris, who got 52% of the vote.  I also disagree with this, but whatever, you people are entitled to your own opinion even if it's stupid.  But what really boggles the mind is the people who are voting for Morris over Blyleven.  "What?", you are probably saying, "No way did anybody vote for Black Jack over Bert."  Oh but it's true.  I have proof.  Here is the ballot submitted by the ESPN writers.  Notice anything?  Buster Olney, who I thought was a pretty smart guy, voted for Morris but not for Blyleven.  At least the other three guys who didn't vote for Bert had the common decency to leave Morris off as well.  I just don't get it.

WINS:  Blyleven 287, Morris 254
ERA:  Blyleven 3.31, Morris 3.90
ERA+:  Blyleven 118, Morris 105
WHIP:  Blyleven 1.20, Morris 1.30
Strikeouts:  Blyleven 3,701, Morris 2,478
K/9:  Blyleven 6.7, Morris 5.8
K/BB:  Blyleven 2.8, Morris 1.8
Shutouts:  Blyleven 60, Morris 28
Complete Games:  Blyleven 242, Morris 175
Winning Pct:  Blyleven .534, Morris .577
Cy Young top 3 finishes:  Blyleven 2, Morris 2
Cy Young top 10 finishes:  Blyleven 4, Morris 7

I will grant that Morris's seven top-10 finishes in the Cy Young voting is impressive, but outside of that for what reason could you possibly think Morris is a more worthy candidate than Blyleven, leaving aside whether Morris is worthy or not in the first place?  He won three wings, Bert won two - that's a function of playing on better teams, as is the winning percentage and actually many of the Cy Young top 10s as well, since four of the seven times he finished that high in the voting he wasn't even in the top 10 of the American League in ERA.

Yes, the game 7 of the 1991 Series performance was still one of the greatest things I've had the pleasure of watching, and I will always love Black Jack for it and won't complain if he gets in, even though I don't think he should.  But to vote for him over Bert because he started a bunch of opening days in a row and had the most wins in an arbitrary 10-year period (and make no mistake, despite our base-10 obsessed culture a decade is still an arbitrary span of years) is ludicrous.

How could you Buster Olney?  You broke my heart.



Anonymous said...

Why don't previous hall of famers get to vote in baseball, like the Heisman? Just curious

Anonymous said...

Olney was even on the M&M show touting Bert and expecting him to be announced that day, i wonder if maybe they mixed bert and morris on the sheet? If not i guess i have to go back to gammons as my go to guru.

Baseball writers are fat white guys, they cannot allow a guy in on the first ballot who spit in a fat white umps face. that would be like allowing someone to spit in their face, sorry RA, maybe next year. Also has anyone heard that he is dying of aids or clamitia (dawg let us know if thats spelled right)

PS - HOT STOVE TALK, no more hoops and where's the hockey talk??

WWWWWW said...

Who is on the Veteran's Committee? Is that old players? I'm not sure.

Twins signed Clay Condrey, RP, formerly of the Phillies.

Hockey talk? I have two hockey guys with permissions to post whenever they want, and neither of them do. Lots of bandwagoners in this town.

Dawg said...

I was trying to dig this up but I remember reading a Buster column where he took part in the Twins Fantasy baseball camp and the whole thing revolved around Bert. The camp was either beginning of 08 or 09. BO talked about how Bert plunked him during one of the games so maybe this was his way of extacing revenge. However I thought the article also revolved around how Bert should be in the hall. I could be wrong.

Anon - My prescription bottle indicates that its spelled "Chlamydia".

rghrbek said...


Wasn't that Scott Miller or Rob Neyer who went to the Twins campe a year or two ago and wrote about it? Actually, I think it was Neyer.

I could be wrong. I am often.

Bert needs to be in. It shouldn't be this close. The biggest thing I am hearing is that he wasn't a dominant pitcher of his era. That is horse shit. He played on some good teams, yes, but far fewer than he played on shitty teams. The stats are overwhelming, and some people tend to get caught up in wins.

Black Jack is far less of a slam dunk to me. Should he be in? I don't know. I know ERA is not a great indication, but if he gets in the hall, he will have the worst era of any pitcher, ever, in the hall. Plus he played on a lot of really good teams covering most of his years. Plus he's gay. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Ok, I made that last part up.