Ducksnorts World Tour 2007

With Tony Gwynn’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony coming up in July, I figure now is as good a time as any to plan a road trip. You know I love the minor-league ballparks, so I’ll be hitting seven of them over 10 days on my drive from San Diego to Cooperstown and back. If you’re in or near any of the places I’ll be, let me know — I’d love to meet you in person.

Ducksnorts World Tour 2007: In Like Gwynn
Date(s) City Game
Mon., Jul. 23 Albuquerque, N.M. NO (Was) @ Alb (Fla), 7:05 p.m.
Tue., Jul. 24 Oklahoma City, Okla. Por (SD) @ Okl (Tex), 5:05 p.m.
Wed., Jul. 25 Knoxville, Tenn. Car (Fla) @ Ten (Ari), 7:15 p.m.
Thu., Jul. 26 Durham, N.C. Nor (NYN) @ Dur (TB), 7:00 p.m.
Fri., Jul. 27 –
Sun. Jul. 29
Cooperstown, N.Y. HOF induction
Mon., Jul. 30 Fort Wayne, Ind. Bel (Min) @ FtW (SD), 7:00 p.m.
Tue., Jul. 31 Springfield, Mo. Tul (Col) @ Spr (StL), 7:15 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 1 Albuquerque, N.M. SLC (Ana) @ Alb (Fla), 7:05 p.m.

This is an extremely aggressive schedule, so I’m not sure how much blogging I’ll be able to do. I will try to check in every now and then, and I’ll upload photos to Flickr when I return. Anyway, take a look and let me know if I’m coming to a town near you. We’ll catch a game or two. :-)

Also, we have shirts:

World Tour 2007 White T-Shirt @ Ducksnorts Online Store /

77 Responses »

  1. How about control? Not allowing runners via the walk? First I’ll list BB/9, followed by WHIP:

    Blyleven: 0, 3, 8; Carlton: 0, 0, 0; Perry: 1, 4, 10; Kaat: 2, 7, 13; John: 1, 5, 12.

    Here we can see why John and Kaat enjoyed their longevity. It’s not that they were great pitchers, but by not allowing the free pass they were able to remain effective for a long time. Blyleven also had excellent control, but was far more dominant; he was much more like Carlton due to his ability to K the hitter and prevent balls in play. This brings us to WHIP.

    Blyleven: 1, 7, 11; Carlton: 0, 4, 5; Perry: 0, 6, 10; Kaat: 0, 1, 3; John: 0, 1, 5. Here again Blyleven differentiates himself from Kaat and John. Although they both had excellent control, they were eminently hittable, Bert was not. Carlton was dominant despite being somewhat wild; Blyleven was both dominant and dominant in the strike zone, and for a long time.
    Sustained greatness is a true mark of a HOF player.

    Wins are cited as a lack of dominance by Blyleven. Personally, I find wins to be a terrible way to judge a pitcher as the pitcher has no way of influencing the number of runs scored by his offense, nor do he have control over the bullpen support he receives (although this is not as much of an issue with the pitchers we’re looking at). Wins are a team stat, not an individual pitcher stat. Nonetheless, it has already been mentioned Blyleven’s WPct. is about 30 points higher than his team’s, and BP has him losing 23 games more than he should have based on run support. If anyone wants to hold him out of the HOF because he didn’t win enough or often enough, I think it’s a very poor argument, but I won’t try to dissuade you further on this point.

    Cy Young awards I put into the same category as Wins. They are a subjective award voted on by writers who often do not do a good job of identifying the best players, and in Blyleven’s case by writers whom he didn’t enjoy a cozy relationship with. Also, San Diego fans should be aware of media bias toward the big markets and against small markets. This plays a role in voting. Another factor fully acknowledged by voters is an unwillingness to vote for players on non-contending teams. I hope everyone is familiar with the, “How can the MVP/CY winner play for a losing team?” argument. In Blyleven’s best season, 1973, the Twins (small market) finished .500, and he finished 7th in the voting. Take a look at the voting and tell me who was clearly better as a pitcher than he was:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/awards_1973.shtml.

    He threw more innings than Palmer, struck out 100 more hitters, his ERA was comparable and his ERA+ was exactly the same. What’s the difference? In 1974, his second best season, Minnesota finished 82-80. He didn’t get a single vote, but in 281 IP he had a 2.66 ERA, lower than four of those who did and basically the same as John Hiller’s 2.64; he struck out 249, higher than all but Ryan of those who did receive votes, and 102 more than Hunter who won; his WHIP was 1.14, lower than four of those who received votes. In 1984, his third best season, he pitched for Cleveland who finished 75-87, and finished third behind two relief pitchers who, combined, pitched only 14 more innings than he did and, combined, won fewer games. There are other seasons like this as well. For those anti-longevity folks in the crowd, don’t you think the fact that Blyleven received and deserved CY consideration and recognition at 33, 34 and 38 years of age is testament to his greatness and not just to longevity?

    I hope this has adequately addressed all four numbered points above. And the fifth, he has the same numbers as Tommy John, should also be clearly refuted. Never the best pitcher in the league, highly debatable. Never the top 5, clearly incorrect.

  2. “The subjective analysis has to play some part in the