Category Archives: andre dawson

Bert Blyleven Deserves To Be Hall Of Famer

Blyleven deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, if not only because of that awesome shirt, but he was a very good pitcher. Let’s face it, baseball’s Hall of Fame has turned into “the hall of very good,” and Blyleven deserves in. He fell 5 votes shy today for being an inductee, but he is a sure money bet of making it next year. Andre Dawson is the lone candidate and the entire ceremony will be dedicated to the former great of the Montreal Expos and Chicago Cubs. In the following article, I try to make my case for Bert Blyleven to be inducted in baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Blyleven played during a time, when multi-channel ESPNs and regional Fox Sports Net channels did not exist and MLB Extra Innings packages on DirecTV wasn’t even invented, you may not have caught Bert Blyleven’s best work. Unless you caught the highlights on Sportscenter where Chris Berman used a nickname of Burt “Be Home” Blyleven, you would just think that he was an average pitcher. His career ERA was 3.90, but his early career was his peak, but he kept a roster spot on small-market teams. His record was 287-250, just 37 games over .500, but from 1982 until the end of his career in ’92, his ERA was over 4.00. If a pitcher wins nearly 300 games, it nearly negates this feat once a pitcher reaches his 250th loss, like Blyleven.

An argument that Blyleven has for his induction is that his numbers are measurable to Nolan Ryan’s. Blyleven does not have Ryan’s no-hitters or his dominance of one-hit games either. Blyleven’s win-loss record has a lot to do with Blyleven’s teams not scoring many runs, thus having him lose many one-run games. He pitched in a different era than what today’s pitchers will be held up to. Middle-relief pitching was approached as need-based, rather than a necessity, Blyleven pitched in almost 300 career complete games.

Let’s crunch some numbers, in his 22-year career, Blyleven pitched a complete game in over 40% of the games in which he has started. He has never ranked higher than third in the Cy Young voting and has only played in two All-Star games in his 22-year career.

Bert Blyleven will be immortalized into the Hall of Fame. Sometimes players start racking up statistics just cause longevity and not exactly superb play. Blyleven’s 3701 strikeouts are amazing, but his K/9 statistic of 7.4 per 9 innings isn’t super spectacular, but nothing about Blyleven really is. It’s a solid number and Blyleven was a solid pitcher and long-term performance needs to be rewarded with an induction in Cooperstown.

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It’s Official: Dawson Is in Hall Of Fame

The verdict is in and Andre Dawson will be the lone inductee into baseball’s Hall of Fame. It was his 9th year on the ballot and the publicity campaign worked for “The Hawk.” Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven were close, but weren’t able to get 75% of the votes to join Dawson.

I have been a huge fan of Andre Dawson since I was about seven years of age. When he appeared on the Cubs, I was unaware where he came from. I was very young and I only kept tabs on the Cubs since I watched them every day on WGN. It wasn’t until later that I found out that he was a star in Montreal for many years. When he arrived in Chicago, he was a home run machine and the clean-up hitter that Chicago needed to finally win a pennant in 1989. He was a nice player to lineup near Ryne Sandberg, but he turned out to be much more for Chicago, since he won the NL MVP in 1987 and lead the league in home runs.

Dawson was clearly a shell of himself later in his career because he played on the very bad turf in Montreal that messed up his knees. He used to have a lot of speed and stole a lot of bases with teammate Tim Raines leading the league many seasons. The Expos were a very fast team, but after playing so many years there, players were plagued with various knee problems. The turf was basically carpet on top of cement.

I will surely be watching the induction of “The Hawk” as I did when Ryne Sandberg was inducted. When you think about the 1987 season for the Cubs, they had Dawson, Sandberg, Rafael Palmeiro, Greg Maddux, Jamie Moyer, and Lee Smith. They had six players that will either be in the Hall of Fame or will be very close. It’s hard to believe that the team finished last place in the NL East that year with a record of 76-85.

It was a shame that Bert Blyleven fell 5 votes of getting into the Hall of Fame. Every pitcher who gets near 300 wins, even if he had nearly as many losses, deserves to get in. He has two more years of eligibility and he should get in next season. Roberto Alomar also fell short in his first year of eligibility. He is another player that should get in and they both faired well in a year with not many stars becoming eligible. Jack Morris also saw an increase in votes, but he still has a long way to go, his name was on about 50% of the ballots.

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Fantasy God – Grady Sizemore

The Indians are not having the spectacular season many experts predicted that they would have. They are currently on an 8-game winning streak, but they are still double-digits behind the leader of the AL Central. Cleveland does have a long bright spot this season, Grady Sizmore. He has mostly been more flash than substance in the past few seasons, but this year with Travis Hafner out, he has been the run-producing beast he was expected to eventually become.

The ladies have always loved Grady Sizemore, but this season fantasy owners are even starting to propose marriage to the Cleveland center-fielder. Last night he joined the 30/30 club, but hitting two homers in a Indians victory. Over the past few seasons he has seen his power numbers and stolen bases increase, but his batting average has taken a trend downward. He is receiving less pitches to hit, if Cleveland can get a power guy hitting behind him, Sizemore should see more walks and less strikeouts.

Sizemore is on pace to have better than a 35/35 season, but not quite a 40/40, unless he goes on a tear in the last few weeks of the season. The Indians should be a better team next season with a healthy Hafner and bringing up Matt Laporta, the gem of the C.C. Sabathia trade. Ben Francisco has shown potential along with possible 2009 closer Jensen Lewis.

Sizemore has been the definition of healthy and has played every game the last few seasons. If he can keep consistent and play at this high of a level, he could be due a large contract in the near future. He does have that “star” quality the Yankees love to have, by the time he is a free agent, Derek Jeter could be on his last legs. The New York media would love to follow him around and lead with him on Page Six.Grady Sizemore will not flame out over the next few years. The wear and tear of him playing everyday shouldn’t bother him. Progressive Field isn’t on Astro-turf, so the “Andre Dawson effect” shouldn’t take effect, so his knees wouldn’t turn into rust by season 10. Sizemore has fun in Cleveland, at this very moment he could have any woman he wants in Ohio, that must be a great feeling.

This could be my last “Fantasy God” post in reference to baseball this season. The head-to-head leagues are going to be in playoff mode and it’s about too late to make a huge move in roto leagues. Fantasy Football drafts are in swing, so expect an almost weekly addition once the football season gets underway.

A Sports & Entertainment blog that focuses on absurdity in sports, snarky banter, updates on Tim Tebow’s virginity, and decent sports gambling advice.