Andy Pettitte retired yesterday. Seconds later, the baseball literati descended upon his Hall of Fame chances.
To me it seems he falls short. It’s true that he had a very similar ERA+ (117) to Bert Blyleven (118). And ERA+ is your ERA scaled to the league during your tenure, so he was relatively similar to a pitcher just recently selected for the Hall of Fame. But Blyleven pitched almost two thousand more innings than Blyleven. Even if you give Pettitte credit for his postseason numbers (19-10, 3.83 ERA) – and you should – he falls short on counting stats. Got into a discussion on twitter with Jay Jaffe, the HoF master, about Tom Glavine and the comparison between him and Pettite and he expounded on many of our discussion points in a strong piece at Baseball Propectus (sorry, it’s behind a paywall).
And this is all before tackling the fact that he’s an admitted steroid user. Not sure how any writers that have been holier-than-thou on the current Hall of Fame candidates can support Pettitte, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few of them wind themselves into knots trying to explain their rationale.
Oh, and can we have some real-life baseball and baseball news to parse soon? Thanks.
At FanGraphs, I break down Zack Greinke’s use of the curveball over the past two years. High curves are often a bad idea – if they hang, they’re easy taters or a ball. But Tommy Hunter and a few others have managed to use them and use them well, so it’s interesting to see that Greinke was perhaps hurt by eschewing the high curve in 2010. Of course, that change does not explain all of the difference between his two seasons, but when the pitcher himself agrees that maybe he’s quit throwing some pitches in order to save his arm for another team (see the comments section), there might just be something ‘there.’
More heat maps when I broke down new Met Chris Capuano for AmazinAvenue, but I also asked some prominent Brewers bloggers about their Capuano opinions, which was fun. I think Cappy has some upside, and was cheap enough that it was a good move. Something for Mets fans to be (slightly) excited about.
Using more heat maps (I love these new toys at FanGraphs!), I look at Derek Holland and notice that he likes the high fastball. Well, the high fastball leads to fly balls, so maybe he can garner a few more ground balls next year by attacking low in the zone. I remain pretty bullish on Holland for the upcoming season, fantasy-wise. Also interesting: I bemoan Holland’s lack of velocity in the piece (he was rumored to have mid-90s gas but shows 92 right now), but after reading this excellent piece by Ben Lindbergh at Baseball Prospectus, which shows that the average lefty’s fastball is 89.4 (compared to 91.2 for righties), it seems that he is comparatively faster than I thought.
At RotoHardball, I reviewed the Graphical Player, a fantasy guide. It’s a strong guide. I’m not sure I would like to have an offline resource at an online draft, but it might make sense at times. It’s worth checking out.
Basketball will give their players the option to wear their skin-tight compression tanks as jerseys. Basketball also features some nice physiques. Would it go over well in baseball? My guess is no.
Bethany Heck of the Eephus League joins us at NotGraphs and shamelessly promotes a cool little black scorebook she created. A great gift item for the baseball lover.
What’s going on in California and Florida? Dave Allen charts the birthplaces of major leaguers over time, and there’s something in the water in Los Angeles it seems.
“T-Shirts and Facial Hair, Unite” indeed. Jack Moore at NotGraphs breaks down some sweet new t-shirts that feature the best facial hair in baseball.
Alex Remington worries for baseball in the Grapefruit League, and he’s got reason to, as teams are flocking to Arizona. I remember back in the day, going to spring training games in Vero Beach when we lived there. It’s too bad, but Arizona has spent their money in a targeted fashion, so they ‘deserve’ their spoils I guess.
I hate Eminent Domain, and it looks like it’s being called into use by the New York City government. But the area around Citi Field (Willet’s Point) has been the staging ground for countless Law & Order episodes, if you know what I mean. I can see the city wanting that area to house something other than car graveyards.
I agree with Leo Martin. Tim Lincecum’s bowties are just him being him. Not overwrought.
“Where’s the global warming?” response of he decade.
Do you get the Trenta cup from Starbucks? Guess what else fits in that cup.
Moby woke up and found someone on his couch. Read the whole thing, it’s short.
Don’t like cigarettes or cigars. Love this ad.