Had a conversation with my friend Trace Wood about Andy Pettitte’s retirement. Trace repeated a blurb from writer Aaron Gleeman, who noted that with Pettitte retiring and Jamie Moyer injured, the 2011 season will open with no active pitcher holding 200 career wins. Amazing.
Being the curious type, Trace dove into the history books to find out how unique this situation is. It turns out that last time the major leagues opened a season with no active pitcher having at least 200 wins was all the way back in the infancy of major league baseball as we know it, in 1879.
If that isn’t an indication of the changes that relief specialization and pitch counts have caused to the game, I don’t know what would be. 300 wins? Forget about it.
Gleeman and Wood both drew a Pettitte comparison to Chuck Finley. Click on their highlighted names to view their career numbers. The two lefties have eerily similar stats (of course except for the win totals – Pettitte with 240 and Finley with an even 200).
While Chuck is a proud member of the Angels Hall of Fame, Cooperstown is likely never to call. In his first year of eligibility in 2008, Finley received a grand total of one writer’s vote, 0.2 percent, and promptly disappeared from the ballot.
Pettitte admitted HGH use after being named in the Mitchell Report and with comparable numbers to a charter member of the Hall of the Very Good, the weight of his Cooperstown candidacy would seem to rest upon on the post-season opportunities afforded him through wearing the Pinstripes instead of having been a member of the Halos.
If you see that as good enough for Pettitte, does that mean Tino Martinez and Paul O'Neill should start working on their Hall of Fame speeches, too?