What better way to highlight one's one stupidity than by prefacing one's case with a Shaughnessy-esque shot at the analytical community?
This was the 14th straight year that I did not vote for Blyleven, and as a "no'' voter, I feel compelled to explain my decision, which has been met with criticism from a small but stout and increasingly effective Internet campaign.
Yeah, because votes cast for 14 years by an inbred institution based on outdated, biased measuring sticks and stubbornly-held traditional tenets are the most reliable barometer, right Jon?
Blyleven's most vocal Cooperstown supporters don't see him as borderline. They sometimes call his case "indisputable'' or "undeniable.'' I appreciate their enthusiasm, but the reality is that over 14 years of elections, he has received slightly less than half the votes. His supporters may think it is indisputable, but the voters seem to have been torn for 13 years.
Gotta love how Heyman keeps attempting to poison readers' minds against any opposition to his viewpoints. He might as well refer to Blyleven supporters as Nazis.
One Blyleven Internet supporter is such a zealot that he has guessed as to the motives for the non-support, and even on occasion taken to outing non-supporters or ridiculing them, perhaps in an attempt at persuasion.
Translation: "You stat guys are confusing me with all your gizmos and fancy data!!!1!"
If you put Blyleven's lifetime numbers through a computer, the computer would probably determine that he (and Abreu, for that matter) is a Hall of Famer. But the game is about human beings, not just numbers.
He never finished higher than third in the Cy Young balloting and only four times finished in the top 10, meaning he was never considered among the two best pitchers in his league during his time.
Once again, trying to perpetuate the sportswriters' bastion of entitlement and tenure -- postseason awards voting -- as a bellwether of who was best, while refusing outright to recognize that viewing performance through a new and improved lens just MIGHT provide some additional clarity. The self-fulfilling prophecy continues unabated, right Jon?
He only received MVP votes twice, finishing 26th in 1973 and 13th in 1989.
Uhhhh... They have. For 14 years.
His supporters will maintain that sportswriters shafted Blyleven.
Not a word about pitching in front of poor defenses. Nothing about run support. Not a single mention of leads blown by relievers, or games won by his team in the late innings following his exit. Nope, if you don't get a win as a pitcher, you're just no good.
His closest career comp over his last several years is Don Sutton who is in the Hall of Fame. Sutton, who was elected to Cooperstown in his fifth year on the ballot, wasn't all that dissimilar from Blyleven, but Sutton did win 37 more games. Blyleven's total of 287 wins is still impressive, but his career winning percentage of .536 isn't spectacular, and while he was hampered by often playing for non-contenders, the teams he pitched for were close to .500 overall, which isn't terrible.
Oh... Wait a minute... Perhaps some light at the end of the tunnel here???
OK. I take it all back, Jon. Looks like you might be coming around...
Some of Blyleven's supporters will say that wins don't define a pitcher and aren't always a fair measure of a pitcher's worth, as they are dependent in large part on a pitcher's run support or lack thereof. I did promote Felix Hernandez for the Cy Young...
...but I still see winning as the ultimate goal in each game, and Blyleven didn't win all that many more games than he lost.
The rest of his article is an equally laughable comparison to Jack Morris, which isn't even worth delving into:
Does Heyman even realize that Blyleven's greatest pitch was his curveball? Or that it was one of the greatest and most effective curves any pitcher has ever thrown? Does he even know that he threw a curve at all? For all his "it's not just about numbers, it's about human beings!" garbage, he offers shockingly little observational support for his position. Nope, his entire case is based on...
Numbers. Too bad they're the wrong ones.