Friday, February 08, 2008

Hall of Fame

Time to start thinking about baseball.

What active pitchers will make the Hall of Fame?

Maddux, Glavine, and Randy Johnson are clearly in. Clemens may or may not be added to that group pending the steroids investigation.

There there are a bunch of guys who may or may not make it:

Mussina, Schilling, Pedro Martinez, Smoltz, Pettitte. I think we can discard Pettitte too, due to steroids.

Mussina has the most wins, 250. He also has a respectable postseason record of 7-8 with a 3.42 ERA. On the other hand, he won 19 games twice, never won the World Series or a Cy Young, and pitched in just three All Star games. His prospects are doubtful; he's never had a signature moment that everyone will remember.

Then there's Schilling. A late bloomer, he has 216 wins, most of them after the age of 30. However, he's also 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA in the postseason, which is outstanding. He has three 20 win seasons. He won three World Series rings and his postseason performances in 2001 and 2004 are legendary. I think he will make the Hall. It would help to have another good year, although that may be doubtful at this point. I still think he makes it.

Pedro Martinez is 36, so he could pitch on for a few more years. As of now, he has 209 wins, with just 93 losses. He has a postseason record of 6-2 and a 3.40 ERA. He's got one ring with Boston and was a member of that potentially great 1994 Montreal Expos team. He also has three Cy Young awards, and six Koufaxian years from 1997-2002 when he went 104-32. In 2000, in the midst of the Steroid Era, his ERA was 1.74. It bears repeating: an ERA of 1.74. I think Pedro would probably make the Hall of Fame today--did I mention the three Cy Youngs?--but with another couple of decent years, he'll be in for sure.

Smoltz is a tougher call. I think he has a completely unique career. I don't know of any other starter who closed for three years and went back to being a dominant starter. He has "only" 207 wins, but he's also 15-4 with a 2.65 ERA in the postseason. The Braves made the playoffs every year, but only have one World Series title. I don't know about Smoltz. He did win a Cy Young but has just one season of more than 17 wins. As of now, I don't think he's in.

Career wins are a strange thing, though. Jamie Moyer has more wins than Schilling, even though Moyer didn't really start collecting them until his mid 30s. And Kenny Rodgers has more than Pedro. But neither of them are going to the Hall of Fame.

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