I’ll Have What He’s Having…


     And by what, I mean to clearly to be talking about the hallucinogenic drugs that Tommy John happens to be on. 


     Read the link and agree…not necessarily to him being on the drugs, as that was obviously to make a point as to how ridiculous his claims to be:  Tommy John


     I am not dishonest, so I will admit that I found this link while reading Rob Neyer’s blog.  Nor do I care, as Neyer finds his links while reading others’ works as well.  And since I don’t get paid, I do not have the desire to be browse quite as many websites as Rob does.  It isn’t that I do not care, it is that I have another job.  But good for Rob, he does something he loves…AND GETS PAID FOR IT. 


     There are two things that intrigue me about this article regarding Tommy John.  One being the fact that Tommy John is adamant about the FACT, in his mind, that Pedro is not a Hall of Famer.  The second is less tangible.  It is assumed that through the way Tommy John is acting in the interview, that he feels he has a stronger case for the Hall than Schilling, Smoltz, and Pedro.  


     First, Pedro has the highest ERA+ and is arguably the most dominant pitcher of all time.  3rd in K/9, ever!  3rd in K/BB, ever!  Ok, he is 15th all time in total strikeouts with 3,051.  So his counting numbers are not quite as good as his rate numbers.  But last time I checked, 15th is really, really good.  He is a no doubt, first ballot Hall of Fame pitcher.  


     Just wanted to get that one out of the way.


     An explanation as to why John might not realize?  I don’t know how involved athletes stay within their respective sport, and I don’t know how involved John has been within the game of baseball.  But sometimes listening to former players speak about the game, they just seem out of touch with it.  And that is fine, they played the game, some may move on to enjoy other things.  But from experience, I have learned that some athletes drift away, at least somewhat, from whatever sport that they have played.  Maybe John has gone about it the same way.  And I am sure that they check in on ESPN sometimes, or watch a few games here and there.  But I doubt they hover over their computer, searching the BaseballReference archives like I do.  And again, I don’t know how much John has kept in touch with the game.  And again, also, I don’t disagree with not keeping up with the sport.  That is his/their choice.  But research should be done before making such claims, as John did.  And he apparently has not done the RIGHT research. 


     The second point that the artcicle made, was that it was “Clear” that John felt he was more worthy of induction than Smoltz, Schilling, and Pedro.  This is not set in stone.  I wasn’t at the interview, and John apparently did not actually SAY this.  So we are making assumptions here.  But let us assume that John does believe that for a second.  If it was true, than his ERA+ of 110, which was worse than all of the pitchers mentioned, by a minimum of 17%, would that somehow be justified by his extra innings and wins?  Exclude wins, I don’t care about them.  Innings I do care about.  And John totaled over 4,000 of them.  But the quality of innings matters most, and he just does not stack up to the other pitchers mentioned.  But again, this was assumed by the ones giving the interview.  The impression was not given that John actually said this. 


     I also do not doubt that Tommy John was a good pitcher.  But to put himself on a pedestal over three great pitchers is simply arrogant.  Either arrogant or just desperate for induction.  Tommy John pitched until the age of 46.  And he wasn’t all that good at the end, but it is still pretty cool that he could stand on the mound for that long.  But that isn’t enough to change my opinion about whether or not he was better than the Hall of Fame caliber pitchers above, because he wasn’t.  Tommy John needs to do research before making such claims.  It is disrespectul to players like Pedro and a little embarassing for himself.                









  1. PAUL

    I’d vote John in. His assessment of other candidates is irrelevant. He pitched well for some really bad teams in the late 60s and early 70s, which prevented him from getting to 300 wins and automatic induction; and was very good in the post-season. As for not remembering his number of saves and such, the guy’s 65-years-old, give him a break. Add in the way he changed the game by coming back from the ligament surgery that now bears his name and he belongs in the HOF.

  2. joefromnewhampshire

    I didnt even look at wins Paul. I also did not say whether or not I thought he was a Hall of Famer. I understand that because he said this, it doesn’t mean the players were better or worse, or that he now appears better after saying it, but he said it, so I elaborated on how foolish it was.

  3. PAUL

    I need you with me on this Joe. Your buddy Rob Neyer censored me and he should be called out on it—-http://paullebowitz.mlblogs.com/archives/2008/07/censorship_is_for_the_gutless.html

  4. PAUL

    I agree. You are utterly pathetic. If you had a brain, I’d think you would put your lunacy aside and support free speech considering I let you write whatever you wanted on my blog (and now haven’t the nerve to write anything further and instead make your snide little comments here) without editing one word. But then, why should I expect anything more than gutlessness from you as well.

  5. mikeeff

    it’s really simple . i just enjoy annoying you- and i’m quite happy to see once again that i have succeeded.

    joe- have a great holiday weekend.

  6. kozmo

    Wow Paul, I sure won’t have what you’re having. In fact, given your prepubescent hissy fit here and your post facto admission/discovery that “Neyer didn’t delete the posting. Everything’s straightened out now. I kinda feel bad for losing my temper actually,” (verbatim from your blog, July 4, 2008, 7:13 p.m.), don’t you think that you owe Mike an apology for your condescending rant? You looked really bad there, Paul, with a craven pursuit of consensus with Joe. For all your high-handedness about freedom of speech and allegedly untoward behavior/speech toward you, have you in fact not followed certain norms of blog etiquette? Or do you just hold yourself above the whole apology thing?

    Joe, excellent stuff as usual. I think John deserves Hall of Fame status, but think Pedro is clearly more worthy, and I don’t like the pointless bickering John advances. Pedro was great, truly historically great, in his prime. My friend Frank The Sage (an equally big Yankees fan) and I gushed this afternoon over Pedro and how tremendous and dominant he was in the late 1990s through 2004, better earlier but really something throughout. I think some people just can’t let their careers, primes, and historical legacies go. Certainly Clemens was preoccupied with his when he hired all the lawyers, and as he tried in vain to refute the media charges of an abusive sexual relationship with the country singer while she was 15. Players know that once they retire, their legacy means a ton–to others especially in how they’re judged not the least of which for the Hall of Fame. John lacks humility, unfortunately, and that bothers me. It’s something that, for all his foibles, Pedro has actually shown at various times. Pedro is a first-ballot Hall-of-Fame pitcher by any sober estimation. That guy was flat-out great, especially with Boston. Proudly, I saw it many times. His 9/10/99 one-hitter against the Yanks, with only Chili Davis’s second-inning homer disrupting what was otherwise a 17-K perfect game, was nothing short of incredible. He had 19 games with 10 or more K’s in 29 starts/31 games that year. Ridiculous.

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