Baseball Break

Time for a break from football to ask: What is up with SI Writer Jon Heyman?

Heyman has for years touted Jack Morris and recently has hyped Andy Pettitte for the Hall of Fame, yet for 14 years consistently voted against Bert Blyleven, a demonstrably better pitcher than those two (plus of course Nolan Ryan, whom Heyman also voted for).   Heyman even mocked Blyleven and those who support him because they dare to go beyond pure Win-Loss records when comparing pitchers.

One little piece of information for Heyman and other Blyleven detractors who avoid the facts.  Bert Blyleven’s rookie season was 1970, about the time Nolan Ryan was becoming a full-time starter.  Over the next 10 years, Blyleven had a better ERA 8 times, compared to Ryan’s 1 time (they tied once).   This, by the way, included all of Ryan’s record-setting strikeout seasons.  In other words, year after year, while Ryan was setting strikeout records, Bert Blyleven was outpitching him.

Pettitte’s supporters cannot show a decade’s worth of dominance over a current or future Hall of Famer. Yet guys like Heyman, now having lost the cause of keeping Blyleven out of the Hall of Fame, are going to try to get Pettitte in, all based on wins-losses, the most archaic way of measuring pitching performances.  Yikes.

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