Another cog in the wheel known as the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to combat the Extreme Left-Wing Media.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Bruce Sutter elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

The Baseball Writers Association of America announced the results of the Hall of Fame balloting this afternoon. The lone selectee was Bruce Sutter. Sutter was a very good to great closer for 8 of his 12 years in the majors. He pitched 1,042 innings, saved 300 games and had an ERA of Sutter is the first pitcher elected without starting a single game. The requirements for election to the Baseball Hall of Fame are not well defined and the history of closers being elected is even less defined.

I'm not to argue against Sutter's worthiness but will question how the voters decide who merits enshrinement and who doesn't. Jeff Reardon lasted on the ballot one year and was dropped despite numbers that match up fairly well with Sutter's. Reardon saved about 20% more games (367 to 300), pitched 12% more innings (1,132 to 1,042) and garnered a grand total of 24 votes. Sutter's ERA is lower (.283 to .316), but ERA is not a very good metric for measuring a closer's effectiveness.

How about Lee Smith? Smith saved 59% more games (478 to 300) and pitched nearly 25% more innings. Once again Sutter's ERA is lower (.283 to .303), but Smith's is very good.

Or consider Goose Gossage. Gossage saved a few more games (310 to 300) and pitched almost twice as many innings with an ERA of 3.01.

I'll throw one other pitcher in the conversation, a starter named Bert Blyleven. Blyleven won 287 games and pitched 4,970 innings with an ERA of 3.31. Is 1,042 innings pitched by Sutter more valuable than nearly 5,000 innings from Blyleven?

Jim Rice is the positional player with the most votes coming in second to Sutter and 53 votes shy of election.

Albert Belle was soundly rejected receiving only 40 votes. I have to think Belle was omitted from many ballots based more on his inability to get along with the writers than on his performance.


Anonymous bob said...

Bill, I've got to believe Reardon was hurt for much the same reason Belle was. Did youn read the story in the P.D. Saturday Reardon sounded like a real piece of work. On Ted Williams day in Fenway a couple years ago. Not only did he disrespect Ted but acted in a totally mercenary fashion

4:53 PM

Blogger Call Me Jack said...

I tend to believe that Albert's HoF chances are negated more by the brevity of his career than by his boorishness.

Had he put up big numbers for another several years, he's a shoo-in.

5:11 PM

Blogger LargeBill said...

The boorishness comes into play because he did not have along enough career to make him an automatic selection. Steve Carlton and Eddie Murray got in despite their past confrontations with reporters because their numbers were just too much to ignore. I'm not campaigning for Belle just pointing out that his low vote total is related to his attitude. Puckett, who also retired early due to injury, was voted in quickly despite less than overwhelming stats because he was a good interview.

11:05 AM


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