Saturday, May 23, 2009

Jon Heyman: Still hates Blyleven, still hates stats

Ah, yes, the cure to all insomnia; an article about Jon Heyman's little world view of the Hall of Fame.

I'm too tired to give a witty into, here it is.

Hall of Fame or Hall of Shame? My current votes on Steroid Era stars

Okay, so we're going to talk about McGwire, and Bonds, and Clemens, and Sosa, and maybe A-Rod, maybe Manny, right? Because I mean, we're talking about the steroid era, and these are some of the real posterchildren of it...

Hall of Fame voting is a tricky thing.

It's always been a tricky thing, and it's gotten trickier since new statistics (or even new ways to look at statistics) can suggest that different values be placed on different players. I saw Bert Blyleven in the press dining area Sunday at Yankee Stadium, and it reminded me how tricky it is. I haven't voted for Blyleven yet, and have explained my position a couple times. A few folks with blogs didn't like me not voting for Blyleven, or didn't like the way I explained it. I have been called names over this decision, and I won't detail my reasoning again here, as I don't want to incite anyone.

Wait, we're back to your pathelogical hate of Blyleven again? Seriously, I could go on and on, but check out this page, then this page, and make a real case on why player A was better. Jon Heyman's normal case for it: make lots of shit up, immediately attack those who will disagree. Works when opponents are stuck typing about Heyman on blogs.

Wait, there's more:

Blyleven has become the greatest example of a tough Hall call that has become emotional and even gotten nasty in some cases. Generally speaking, at the heart of Blyleven's case is the value one places on statistics. Those who favor him admire all his statistical achievements, which are admittedly many, and they believe that his numbers are proof of his greatness.

And his statistics are very good. Better than the already enshrined Don Sutton. Much better than Jack Morris. And his playoff statistics were great.

Those who do not vote for him make more of a qualitative judgment about his impact, and place his standing below the line for enshrinement.

Blyleven only mistake in his career was playing on too many crappy teams. Idiot should've magically willed his teams Eckstein-style to glory.

I don't want to get too deep into all the pros and cons regarding Blyleven now. I just mention him as an example of a tough call.

So to start an article on the steroid era, we take the first two paragraphs to bash Blyleven. Can anyone who reads this blog please email me or something as to why Heyman and other writers have such an out on Blyleven? Or is this just them being stubborn and hopelessly ignorant to new research? I would love to learn.

In any case, the Hall calls are about to get much trickier and much tougher than Blyleven. In fact, there is a whole era of tough calls coming. There are so many tough ones ahead that Blyleven may come to be seen as mere child's play.

There is a lot to think about when considering players in the Steroid Era. These calls won't only be about numbers. There are value judgments to be made about cheating, and possibly about how much the cheating helped particular players.

And finally, here we go.

That's all I really wanted to cover here, the rest of this article doesn't really bug me, just how the PR department of Scott Boras, Inc. always seems to be ready to lay into Blyleven's career with unsubstanciated "qualitative" reasons.

Note to Heyman: When you view men using made up facts about their "makeup", you tend to do things like:

Allow a guy who won something once in the mid 90's on a loaded team to tank your team to the tune of 1-4 in the final 5 weeks

or you

Trade your star PG for a 6' SG with a 42.5% FG rate*

or you

give a guy $50,000,000 over 5 years for one catch he made

This all being said, Jon Heyman would probably make a terrific GM for the Giants or Nationals.

*Yes I know it frees up a lot of cap room for the Pistons. But what are they going to do with the money? Sign Carlos Boozer? For $20 mil / yr?

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