Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Long Overdue


As I watch Mike Greenberg & Mike Golic, the hosts of Mike & Mike In The Morning on ESPN 2, debate whether NY Yankees Pitcher Andy Pettitte would be a future Hall of Famer, their discussion infuriated me as to which players should be immortalized in Cooperstown, NY.

Pettitte's current career record is 229-135 with a 3.90 ERA, 2,142 strikeouts, 2,926.1 innings pitched and 25 complete games.

He is a two-time All-Star, has six post-season clinching wins and has won five World Series titles.

I know that six more wins over .500 would put Pettitte at a point where he will have won 100 games more than he lost. At the moment every hurler that is 100 games over the .500 mark is in the Hall of Fame.

Pettitte's 18 post-season wins are the most ever and two more would put him at 20. Granted the post-season format has been extended to enhance these numbers, but to his credit, it takes thick skin to win in the clutch. Pettitte also led the Houston Astros to their lone World Series appearance in 2005.

Last season, he finished 14-8 with a 4.16 ERA during the Yankees World Championship season.

To his credit, Pettitte did own up to using performance enhancing drugs and in this forgiving society, the public perception he has might not take as big of a hit especially with his contributions in this years post-season.

As 300 game winners decline due to relief specialization, pitch counts and fewer complete games, the question remains, what will the new number be in order to be considered for enshrinement into Baseball's Hall of Fame?

I'd say the number should be between 250-275 wins, plus the post-season should be factored into the equation. I'm sure the baseball writers look at Cy Young Awards and All-Star Games.

Down the road, I'd say that Pettitte's body of work should get him major consideration to land in Cooperstown. There is plenty of time to wonder whether Pettitte should get in and a player is allowed to stay on the ballot 15 years to get in.

Last year, former Boston Red Sox outfielder Jim Rice made it in his final year of eligibility.

But instead of talking about Pettitte, there are two players that Greenberg an Golic should be talking about that are "Long Overdue" and that's Bert Blyleven and Andre Dawson.

Blyleven fell 67 votes short last year while Dawson missed out by 44, shy of the 75 percent needed for election.

I'd like to see a pitcher in todays game come close to Blyleven with these numbers. He was 287-250 with a 3.31 ERA. Blyleven had 242 complete games and 3,701 strikeouts. How many pitchers would even reach 50-75 complete games in this era? I could probably use my fingers and toes to get that answer.

Blyleven is the only player in the 3000 strikeout club not in the Hall of Fame and is fifth all-time in that category. He won a World Series in 1979 for the Pittsburgh Pirates and another in 1987 with the Minnesota Twins.

If he's not elected by 2,012, then the Veterans Committee will have to select Blyleven.

Meanwhile, Dawson played on a lot of bad Montreal Expos and Chicago Cubs teams.

When he signed with the Cubs the first time, he wanted to play baseball at Wrigley Field because he felt the grass would be better for his knees than the artificial surface that he left behind at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. Dawson issued a blank check and told Cubs management to fill in that year's salary. He played for that amount but would see increases in pay as time progressed.

Dawson won an MVP for the last place Cubs in 1987. His resume includes a .279 batting average, 2,774 hits, 438 HR, 1,591 RBI, 314 stolen bases, was an eight time All-Star, plus has eight Gold Gloves.

He is one of only three members in the 400 HR and 300 Stolen Base Club with Barry Bonds and Willie Mays being the other two. These guys weren't too bad. Had Dawson played for the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox, he'd already be in Cooperstown.

As we approach the holiday season, I can only hope that by next Christmas Blyleven and Dawson will have made their induction speeches in beautiful Upstate New York where their careers should reach their final conclusion.

As for Greenberg and Golic, both of you should spend future shows talking about the "present" and not the "far future."

I know you'll be taking time off to be with your families during the holiday season but when you come back to work, those Hall of Fame announcements will be made the week you return to work on Jan 6th. I would hope your shows leading up to this day include Blyleven and Dawson, in addition to some of the other worthy candidates that should be considered.

A few worth mentioning but will be discussed in detail at a later date include Barry Larkin, Alan Trammell, Don Mattingly, Jack Morris, Dave Parker, Dale Murphy, Fred McGriff, Roberto Alomar and Andres Gallaraga.

Instead of spending quality time debating on Pettitte, it's time to mention the players careers that have been "Completed" rather than those that are currently "Incomplete" because it's all common knowledge that when a player retires, we'll have five years on your program to continue the debate.

For now, the candidates on this blog and on the ballot should be the primary focus.

I enjoy watching and listening to your radio show and some of your research is outstanding plus I've learned a lot!

But you guys are fortunate enough to be paid to do a radio show, where it takes advertising and sponsorship for the average individual to get on the air.

I can only hope that you use your airtime on meaningful timely subjects. If you do, I can just imagine how many more e-mails you'll get from all sports fans from all generations which as we know enhances your ratings and allows you to further your job security unlike everyone else in this day and age with the lackluster economy.

Scott Morganroth's blog appears on www.scottsports33.com and can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com.

1 comment:

Charley said...

Nice post Scott! Dawson is so overdue on his induction. He was a Hall of Famer as much 8 years ago as he is today.

Amazing that one of three players with 400 HRs and 300 SBs isn't in yet when you consider Ruth, Mantle, Williams and Aaron never achieved that.

Andre Dawson for the Hall of Fame

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