Skip to content

HBT Daily: Is Andy Pettitte a Hall of Famer?

Jun 12, 2013, 11:02 AM EDT

HBT Daily Logo

Get me: discussing Andy Pettitte‘s Hall of Fame credentials without mentioning PEDs. Just like all the people in the media will do in six or seven years as they continue to pretend he’s any different than Clemens or any of the others!

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
  1. shawnuel - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Hell, no.

    • hep3 - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      The only person who thinks Andy Pettitte should be in the Hall of Fame is Jon Heyman. Nuff said.

  2. hojo20 - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:08 AM


  3. specialkindofstupid - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    I’ve always liked Andy Pettite, but no. He shouldn’t. And if he had played the majority of his career with the Houston Astros or the like, this wouldn’t even be up for discussion.

  4. aceshigh11 - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Only if he gets to 300.

    • djpostl - Jun 12, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      You had to me until you relied on the archaic, useless, stat of morons…the “W”

      • aceshigh11 - Jun 12, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        He doesn’t have the secondaries to justify it otherwise.

        He’s never been dominant. We’re not dealing with a Koufax, Gibson or Pedro here.

        Longevity and compiling are the only ways he gets in.

  5. goskinsvt - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    lol no.

  6. baseballici0us - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    I think he is. I also think he will be judged differently when it comes to PEDs because he, like Giambi and Big Papi, had a press conference basically saying “mea culpa.” He wasn’t sketchy about it like A-Rod; he didn’t relentlessly try and deny it as Clemens and Bonds have done; and he didn’t try and cover it up like Melky.

    But most important of all: he is, still to this day, pitching really, really well.

    On Jun 12, 2013, at 11:03 AM, HardballTalk <> wrote:

    • turdfurgerson68 - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      Big Papi, had a press conference basically saying “mea culpa.”

      You mean the press conference where he said: “I never buy steroids or use steroids”

      Must be a bizarro world mea culpa.

      • baseballici0us - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:39 PM

        Well, if you look at the quotes below that entire article basically serves to prove my point. And no, it was most definitely not a bizarro world, it was Old Yankee Stadium :-)

        …”he still did not know what he tested positive for (if anything) in 2003″

        ….”“I’m not here to make excuses or anything,” Ortiz said Saturday during a news conference at Yankee Stadium. “I want to apologize to the fans for the distraction, my teammates, my manager. We go into a situation now, it was a nightmare to me.””

        …”in 2004 [Ortiz] was told he was on a list seized by the federal government, but was never told he tested positive for anything, especially steroids.”

        …”83 positive test results (not necessarily by 83 players, as some were tested more than once).”

      • bigharold - Jun 12, 2013 at 1:18 PM

        He apologized for the distraction, .. he never apologized for using PEDs, unintentionally or otherwise.

        I like Ortiz but he absolutely side stepped the issue and has ignored it ever since. He certainly didn’t look into it, find out what he tested positive for and share that with the fans in an effort to explain it as he said he would. And, in all fairness I’ve no doubt that the union told him to drop it so as to not prolong the issue. But, he never apologized for testing positive.

        To answer the question, Pettitte is close maybe boarder line but he’s not there yet. If he gets to 300 wins with his extensive playoff success, I think he’s a lock to get in. But, since he just nailed down his 250th win, It’d take three more years for him to get to 300, and I doubt he has three more successful seasons in him so he’s certainly not a lock.

      • baseballici0us - Jun 12, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        Fair enough, bigarold. I think that’s fair to say.

        I will point something out though: of all the players accused and whatnot, and then have the almost mandatory press conference, Ortiz was the only one I can remember to have Michael Weiner there with him.

    • djpostl - Jun 12, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      Boston homer are we? Big Sloppy denied (never bought them), lied (this is the first I’ve heard of it) and I’ll get back to you (fuckin OJ, part deux).

      That fat fuck did no such thing and has gotten a free pass from ESPN and everyone else ever since, much more so than Andy has.

      At least Pettitte has people actually debating it and referencing it when his name comes up.

      • baseballici0us - Jun 12, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        Didn’t I just write on my previous comment that I thought Petite should be a hall of famer? I did? Oh, OK. Just making sure.

        Good talk.

        PS: Just for shits and giggles… In reply to your comment above; I think the “W” is a wonderful stat and the most important when evaluating a SP.

  7. turdfurgerson68 - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    300+ wins = yes

    299 wins or less = 100% NO…end of discussion.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      Number of people unable to detect sarcasm, 5 and counting

    • baseballici0us - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      You and Brian Kenny would get along great.

  8. 13arod - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    yes all of you saying no are stupied

    • royalsfaninfargo - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      Stupied? People in glass houses should not throw stones.

    • specialkindofstupid - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:10 PM

      yes all of you saying no are stupied

      “All of you”? “Stupied”? I loathe broad generalizations almost as much as I loathe typos committed during the act of insulting another’s intelligence. How would you like it if I said:

      Everywun who likez andi pettit is stupied.

      (In case you can’t tell, the above sentence is riddled with typos.)

  9. rathipon - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    I don’t think he’s a hall of famer either. But playing devil’s advocate:

    1. He played in MLB’s toughest division for most of his career. His ERA in the AL East would probably be half a run or more lower in the NL West.
    2. Since the 5 man rotation and scrutiny of pitch counts are here to stay, 300 wins will not be nearly as easy to achieve as in the past. If you stick with that milestone in terms of counting stats, then you are de facto raising the bar for HOF induction – quite significantly.
    3. If you add postseason wins to the counting stats, it makes Pettite’s career even that more impressive.

    • paperlions - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      When you are on the Yankees, that “toughest division” thing doesn’t hold as much water. He didn’t have to face their lineup. For most of his career, the Red Sox were the only true offensive force he had to face in his division.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      3. If you add postseason wins to the counting stats, it makes Pettite’s career even that more impressive.

      Except he’s pretty much the same pitcher in the postseason that he is in the regular season

      Reg – .632 win %; 3.85 ERA, 2.37 K:BB; 6.1IP
      Post – .633 win %; 3.81 ERA, 2.41 K:BB; 6.1IP

      With 44 GS, I agree you can add them together, but it’s really iffy for Pettitte (269 wins, 156 losses). He has the longevity but I don’t think he has the peak. He only has 3 years of > 130 ERA+ with more than 150 IP.

  10. greymares - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    NO, NO, NO not with or without drugs.

  11. greymares - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    for me anybody who admittedly used or tested positive for P.E.D.’s is not elligible

  12. paperlions - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    I guess it depends on how much you value longevity over peak. Pettitte has had 2 very good seasons and a bunch of average to above average seasons. Never been considered an ace, serious CY candidate, or among the best starters in the league. From a performance perspective, he’s the Rafael Palmiero of pitchers.

    • djammer - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      paperlions — Glad you could actually take a look at the facts for us. (sarcasm!)

      Andy Pettitte finished 2nd in the CY Young to Pat Hentgen in 1996 in one of the closest votes ever and finished 4th once, 5th twice, and 6th once, so you are way off on that.

      That means he was the second best pitcher in the league in 96, 4th best, 5th best and 6th best in other years. That also qualifies him as an ace, so you are wrong on that.

      You are also wrong in your characterization that Pettitte had 2 very good seasons and a bunch of average to above average seasons. He has had two average seasons and every other season has been well above-average with 4 truly outstanding seasons. In 96 he was 21-8 with a 3.87 ERA over 221 innings. In 97 he was 18-7 with a 2.88 ERA over 240 innings. In 2003, he was 21-8 with a 4.02 ERA (in 2003 a 4.02 ERA was very very good and 16th best in the league) in 208 innings. In 2005 with Houston he was 17-9 with a 2.39 ERA in 222 innings. In 2010 and 2012, he had injury shortened seasons, but pitched to a 3.28 ERA and 2.87 ERA.

      I have a better example than Palmeiro, he’s the Bert Blyleven of AL East pitchers, without the strikeouts of course.

      The 300 win plateau will no longer be required to get into the Hall, as no one expects there to be more than a couple more 300 win pitchers from this point going forward. 250 will be the new plateau and Andy is there.

      With all that said, I don’t think Andy Pettitte is Hall of Fame worthy either simply because the 4th, 5th or 6th best pitcher in his league is not usually Hall of Fame material.

      • paperlions - Jun 12, 2013 at 1:03 PM

        Pettitte has a nice career ERA- at 86, but most of his seasons have been only above average (between 90-100, 100 = average). He’s had 2 truly exceptional seasons (97 and 05) and a few very nice seasons (96, 02, 10). Mostly, he’s been a little better than average.

      • jwbiii - Jun 12, 2013 at 9:49 PM

        Andy Pettitte has .89 Cy Young Award shares. Other pitchers who have similar totals are Tommy John (.92), Mike Mussina, Jim Lonborg, Mike McCormick, Mark Davis, John Denny, Dean Chance, and LaMarr Hoyt (.83). His Cy Young Award performance is not a good argument for him.

  13. stex52 - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    After looking at his stats, I would nominate him for the Hall of the Very Good, subdivision “Guys Who Pitched for a Long Time.”

    Nothing wrong with that. He has been a very steady pitcher for a long time. But Paper is right; you only see two exceptionally good seasons on his history. And taking him out of NY would have taken away some of those victories. If he had been career in Houston, I suspect he would be still somewhat short of 200 wins.

    Is he my #3 pitcher for 15 years? Yes, and I would be happy. But HOF? Not so much.

    • turdfurgerson68 - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:26 PM

      Oh no, you had to drudge up the dreaded ‘Hall of the Very Good’ phrase.

      We were hoping that was dead and buried…ugh.

  14. jadaruler - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Its tough call. He was an elite postseason performer, but just above average in the regular season.

    Have to say no.

  15. Steve Stein - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Never won the Cy Young (or the MVP). Led the league in wins ONCE. Never led in Ks or IP. All-star in 3 years out of 18. Never the best pitcher in the game. Rarely the best pitcher on his team.

    Should he go in before Hershiser? (Not that Hershiser is a HoF’er, but he’s better than Pettitte IMO.)

    So, no.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 12, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      Not that Hershiser is a HoF’er, but he’s better than Pettitte IMO

      He’s not really, Hershiser just pitched in a worse run environment:

      Pettitte – 250-145, .633 win %; 3.85 ERA, 117 ERA+; 3132 IP, 1001 BB, 2368 K, 2.37 K/BB
      Hershiser – 204-150, .576 win %; 3.48 ERA, 112 ERA+, 3130.1 IP, 1007 BB, 2014 K, 2.00 K/BB

  16. yankeesgameday - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Maybe not HOF, but his number should be retired and he gets a bust out in monument park next to jeter and Rivera.

  17. largebill - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    I’d vote no, but it isn’t as ludicrous a thought as some say. He will have a slightly stronger case than Jack Morris who hung around the ballot for 15 years. In time I think we will take a second look at starting pitchers from this era. While Hall of Fame is mostly about greatness, durability is a trait that merits some recognition. There is value to a pitching staff of taking the ball every fifth day and giving the team 7 decent innings. If we value it then we have to decide how much accumulating is necessary to merit Hall of Fame considerations. I’m not a big fan of judging an individual with a team stat (wins/losses) so I’d be more impressed by total number of starts and innings pitched.

  18. paperlions - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    He should get in way before Jack Morris. How’s that?

    I wouldn’t have a problem with his election except that there are a lot of similar pitchers that were not elected and some that were demonstrably better that are not in yet. Then there is the PED thing, which I don’t care about…but cheating is cheating and if PED use in and of itself is a disqualification to some, then he shouldn’t be considered.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 12, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      Because the only thing Morris has on Pettitte is IP. Pettitte is 4 Wins behind with a far better win %, better K rate, better BB rate, better HR rate, better ERA+

  19. nobody78 - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Much as I love Andy, it’s not quite right to say he’s “always been money” in the playoffs. He’s had some great games and some terrible ones. He’s got a lifetime postseason ERA of 3.81, which is slightly better than his regular season ERA of 3.85. That’s great, of course, especially given the tougher competition he faces in the playoffs, and he deserves credit for it. But “always money”? No.

    Another thing: One reason people regard Pettitte as different from Clemens and all the others is that they think his infraction is different. Pettitte said he used PEDs once in order to recover from injury, that he was wrong to do so, and that he regretted it. Rightly or wrongly, I think most people believe him, and believe that what he did is much more forgivable than what they think, say, Clemens and Rodriguez did. It’s very hard to be nuanced when our information on what players actually did is so tenuous, but when the issue is as complicated as PED use and abuse, we have to try.

  20. davidpatashnik - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    No way, wins are the least important stat for a pitcher regarding his direct performance. Generally only yankee fans push that argument.

    He had many seasons with ERA 4+. Mariano saved 71 games for him. Offense/team was phenomenal behind him for most if you look at any other closer he could have had, and bullpen during those years, Petite on another team might have 200 wins but quite probably not. And yes, his AL East days mean less than others given he didn’t pitch against the top team in that league.

    So we are not penalizing him for his closer and offense, which he had no control, but he can’t get credit for this.
    jack morris shouldn’t be in.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 12, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      but he can’t get credit for this.

      There’s been numerous articles, even on this site, that show that save percentages have been roughly static for the last 30-40 years. He probably received one or two more wins over his career having Mo be the closer than without him.

  21. nbjays - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    He is a first-ballot shoe-in, along with Jack Morris, for the Hall of Very Good.

    HoF? Not so much.

  22. turdfurgerson68 - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Please, no more ‘Hall of the Very Good’ references!

    there is no ‘Hall of the Very Good’…stop!

    • nbjays - Jun 12, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      Since there’s no “Hall of Very Good”, then everyone should stop trying to put players in the HoF who clearly don’t belong there. Andy Pettitte is one of those players.

      If you want to honor these non-Hall of Famers, then it’s time to open a “Hall of Very Good”, but don’t keep trying to water down Cooperstown. It’s watered down enough as it is.

  23. randygnyc - Jun 12, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Without PED’s yes. But since he admitted taking them, he is disqualified from the HOF, imo. I love Pettitte, but I don’t abide cheaters, regardless of which team they play for.

    • valarmorghuliss - Jun 12, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      No, even giving him a pass on the PED’s he still doesn’t measure up. His best card is the Wins card, and that’s a stat that doesn’t hold as much weight any longer, and he even comes up short on that.

      Of course he’s not a Hall of Famer. Dave Stieb was a better pitcher than Andy Pettitte, so was Jack Morris, and neither of them deserve to be in either.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 12, 2013 at 3:43 PM

        Andy Pettitte, so was Jack Morris, and neither of them deserve to be in either.

        No, no he wasn’t.

        Pettitte – 18 Years – 501 GS – 250-145, .633 win %; 3192 IP, 3.85 ERA, 117 ERA+, 2.37 K/BB
        Morris – 18 Years – 527 GS – 254-186, .577 win %, 3824 IP, 3.90 ERA, 105 ERA+, 1.78 K/BB

        At the end of the year Pettitte will have more wins, a better win %, a better ERA+ and a better K/BB ratio. The only thing Morris will have is a better unadjusted ERA, more starts (can’t see Pettitte getting 26 more starts before he retires), and more IP.

      • valarmorghuliss - Jun 12, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        I’m a guy that couldn’t care less about W/L record or %. But gives too much credit for one playoff game. Basically, there isn’t much difference between the two, and neither should be in the Hall.

  24. braddavery - Jun 12, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Craig ignoring Pettitte’s PED use? No way. Who’d a thought…

  25. weaselpuppy - Jun 12, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    No way. Not even close.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Wright (2995)
  2. J. Fernandez (2423)
  3. Y. Cespedes (2364)
  4. G. Stanton (2256)
  5. D. Span (2074)
  1. Y. Puig (2001)
  2. M. Teixeira (1954)
  3. F. Rodney (1952)
  4. G. Springer (1915)
  5. H. Olivera (1893)