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Andy Pettitte’s complicated Hall of Fame case

Sep 20, 2013, 1:25 PM EDT

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Getty Images

Andy Pettitte was never a dominant starter. That’s pretty much indisputable.

In 18 big-league seasons, Pettitte has never won a Cy Young Award, an ERA title or a strikeout crown. The only “black ink” on his Baseball-Reference page comes from the three times he led or shared his league lead in games started. He’s thrown four career shutouts, which is one more than Justin Masterson has this year.

Yet here he is. As he retires for a second time, he leaves MLB as the active leader in wins with 255 and strikeouts with 2,437 and the all-time leader with 19 postseason victories.

So, yeah, Pettitte’s Hall of Fame case is based largely on wins, which should lead to a great deal of skepticism given that he spent most of his career pitching for baseball’s most successful franchise. Among pitchers with at least 300 decisions since 1901, Pettitte ranks 16th with a .627 winning percentage, ahead of obvious Hall of Famers like Tom Seaver, Carl Hubbell, Warren Spahn, Bob Gibson and even Walter Johnson. Make the cutoff 400 decisions instead and Pettitte jumps all of the way to eighth on the list.

One could argue that says as much about the Yankees as it does about Pettitte.

On the other hand, it might surprise people to see Pettitte currently sitting with a 117 ERA+. That’s not Jack Morris territory (he’s at 105). That’s squarely in the Hall of Fame range. Baseball-reference’s Play Index gives us 51 Hall of Fame starting pitchers since 1901. Pettitte’s ERA would sit right along sign Gaylord Perry at No. 30 in that group. It’s better than Steve Carlton and Fergie Jenkins at 115. It’s much better than Don Sutton’s 108. It’s just below Bert Blyleven at 118.

Of course, Pettitte didn’t pitch as much as those guys. Jenkins has the low innings total of that group at 4,500. Pettitte is currently at 3,300. And given that modest innings total, one would certainly like to see more dominance than Pettitte offers.

Going by Baseball-Reference’s WAR, Pettitte’s 60.4 puts him right around Hall of Famers Juan Marichal (61.8), Jim Bunning (60.5) and Hal Newhouser (60.4) and ahead of guys like Whitey Ford (53.9), Early Wynn (51.6) and Catfish Hunter (36.5). But it also ranks behind non-Hall of Famers like Kevin Brown (68.7), Rick Reuschel (68.2), Luis Tiant (65.9) and David Cone (61.8). WAR rates question marks Mike Mussina (82.7) and Curt Schilling (80.7) as much more deserving.

So, Pettitte’s Hall of Fame case largely comes down to two things: the postseason and doping. Some will disqualify him automatically based on his admitted hGH use. I think that’s a discussion for a different time, though. The postseason is of more interest to me here. Pettitte clearly deserves some sort of boost for making 44 postseason starts and going 19-11 with a 3.81 ERA. He has five World Series rings, and he wasn’t a bystander for any of them.

How much credit is the tough part. I’m sympathetic to both sides of the argument. If Pettitte had been drafted by any team other than the Yankees, it’d doubtful he’d have any Hall of Fame case right now. His career is hardly any different than Chuck Finley’s.

On the other hand, Pettitte made the most of the opportunities he was given. And he’s pitched the equivalent of an extra season and a third. Would Pettitte’s regular-season numbers look better if he didn’t so often make an extra five or six starts in October? I think they probably would.

Personally, I think Pettitte still comes up short. I like my Hall of Famers to have higher peaks — to have been among the best players in their leagues, even if only for a couple of years. But it’s unfair to dismiss his case as just being Yankee hype. He has a better argument than Jack Morris, and there are certainly worse pitchers enshrined already. But there are better ones to pick from, too.

  1. jarathen - Sep 20, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    He’s certainly in the discussion, and I think too often people dismiss postseason as if those games don’t count, especially when they should count more than any others.

    His ERA+ tells us more than even the wins do, and he was certainly solid for a very long time. I can understand both arguments and would feel fine if he got in. And also if he didn’t.

    • dan1111 - Sep 20, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Performances in the postseason should certainly count. But if Pettitte gets in on the strength of his postseason record, it will be largely due to the number of postseason innings he had a chance to rack up. He was solid in the playoffs, but not spectacular. Another season’s worth of solid pitching (even weighted more because it was against better teams) would not be enough to make his case.

      Guys with his level of ERA+ who are in the Hall of Fame generally either had much longer careers or are poorly-regarded veterans committee picks. Guys like Steve Carlton and Gaylord Perry pitched nearly 2000 more innings than Pettitte. Also,

      • dan1111 - Sep 20, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        …I forgot what I was going to say next.

      • jarathen - Sep 20, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        One could make the argument that his performance in the postseason is elevated by the level of competition.

        Especially Game 2 of the 2002 ALDS, where he was chased by the Angels after three innings.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Sep 20, 2013 at 3:39 PM

        One could make the argument that his performance in the post season was elevated by his use of illegal drugs.

        It’s a massive joke to even entertain this discussion.
        Pettitte was a good pitcher, not great. Dave Steib doesn’t get a sniff, but this guy has some people on the fence? LMAO Please.

        If he pitched anywhere else this discussion would short and cut n dry.

      • dan1111 - Sep 20, 2013 at 5:21 PM

        Is Dave Steib supposed to be an example of a pitcher who is clearly better than Pettitte? Because he made 100 fewer starts (140 including the playoffs), and otherwise was not much different from Pettitte. Steib is definitely not a HoF, and I would put Pettitte slightly ahead of him based on longevity.

        I don’t think Pettitte belongs in the Hall. However, he is better than some of the lesser HoF pitchers, and far better than Jack Morris, who gets tons of support. His candidacy is not a joke.

  2. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 20, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    I like my Hall of Famers to have higher peaks — to have been among the best players in their leagues, even if only for a couple of years.

    His career also coincides with Clemens, RJ and Pedro. How many other pitches could be “among” the best with those three pitching? For instance, Pettitte’s ’97 season was pretty f’ing good. 2.88 ERA, 156 ERA+, 240.1 IP (18-7 for those who care) for a total of 8.37 rWAR. Problem is, that’s the year Clemens dropped a 21-7, 264 IP 2.05 ERA (222 ERA+) for 11.93 rWAR.

    Also well done saying his rWAR and ERA+ put him in a position to be considered, then make the following statement:
    So, Pettitte’s Hall of Fame case largely comes down to two things: the postseason and doping.

    Great analysis

    • bravojawja - Sep 20, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      So you agree he wasn’t among the best of his era? Who cares who the best were; fact is, he wasn’t one of them.

      He received Cy Young votes just five years out of 18, which means (theoretically) he wasn’t among the top 5-6 pitchers in 13 of his 18 years. It’s not just Clemens, Johnson, and Pedro he wasn’t up to par with over his career. He was behind David Wells, Dontrelle Willis, and Brad Radke.

      Pettitte had a great career, just not a Hall of Fame one.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 20, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        So you agree he wasn’t among the best of his era? Who cares who the best were; fact is, he wasn’t one of them.

        Because it’s not that the fact that he wasn’t among the best of his era, it’s that three pitchers in his era, not even including Maddux, were possibly the best RHP ever (Clemens), the best LHP ever (RJ) and the best peak performance ever (Pedro). If your criteria is be among the best, when the best at the era where some of the best ever, it’s a huge hurdle to overcome.

        I also made zero comment on whether Pettitte should be in or out. I think he just misses, but I agree with Matthew that his postseason should be included. However, I’m making a comment on Matthew saying his stats line up with the HoFers already in (ERA+/rWAR) and then a few paragraphs later saying his case is based solely around wins/postseason.

      • schm1471 - Sep 20, 2013 at 2:17 PM

        He was saying that Pettitte’s numbers put him on the fringes of hall consideration and, depending on how the playoffs and HGH use are viewed, will push him one way or the other. You have a very apt name, COTPO.

      • bravojawja - Sep 20, 2013 at 2:35 PM

        Except not only does he not rise to the level of Clemens, Johnson, or Pedro, he doesn’t even get past many of the other good pitchers of the last 20 years. Again, not that the Cy Young voters are the final arbiters of good pitching, but he didn’t even crack the top 5-6 pitchers of the year in 13 of his 18 years. That’s not Clemens/Johnson/Pedro/Maddux territory, that’s barely Wells/Hudson/Mulder/Oswalt territory.

        Yes, the HoF criteria include being among the best at your position, and clearly Pettitte doesn’t reach that level, even if you’re lowering (or, if you prefer, leveling) the bar to exclude the ridiculously elite level of the best during his career.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 20, 2013 at 4:55 PM

        My basic rule of thumb: If you have to think about it for more than 30 seconds, and study his stats, then he probably wasn’t one of the dominant players of his era and is not worthy of Cooperstown.

  3. bgrillz - Sep 20, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Cue Craig writing a blog about how Andy Pettite should not be judged by his PED use because it’s not murder or anything.

  4. chew1985 - Sep 20, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    A very good pitcher for a very good team over the course of his career. But that’s not enough. There should be an “Honorable Mention” section of the Hall for guys like Pettitte, Keith Hernandez and Steve Garvey to name just a few.

    • joestemme - Sep 20, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      Agreed. Open a wing: “Hall of the Very Very Good”

      • theskinsman - Sep 21, 2013 at 4:41 AM

        I wonder how much HGH use extended his career.

  5. jbriggs81 - Sep 20, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    I don’t think there is anything complicated about Andy Pettitte’s hall of fame case. Forgetting about the PED stuff, he should not be in the HOF as he was never that dominant over a substantial portion of his career. You can look at all the numbers you want, but as a Yankee fan watching him every five days since I was a kid, he clearly is not a HOFer. Looking solely at stats when determining whether he is a HOFer, is very flawed.

    However, he was a great pitcher and will be a Yankee legend and there is absolutely nobody I would rather have on the mound than Andy Pettitte in a must-win game.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 20, 2013 at 2:09 PM

      Looking solely at stats when determining whether he is a HOFer, is very flawed.

      What does, or doesn’t, show up in his stats?

      • dcarroll73 - Sep 21, 2013 at 1:05 AM

        First you question looking at stats and then you write “there is absolutely nobody I would rather have on the mound than Andy Pettitte in a must-win game.” I happen to agree with your comment which I quoted, and I think the stats-look only confirms the gut impression. Some folks are writing that Andy is only in the discussion because he was a Yankee. I would turn that around to Andy would not even need a discussion if he had ONLY been a Yankee. I can forgive Roger Clemens everything else, but luring Andy off to that other country they call Texas is unforgiveable. If he had stayed here and and not retired for a season, I figure he has 300 wins (or close enough to get him back one more year contrary to Mike Mussina’s bad decision.) If that were the case, all the traditionalists would be having their heads explode debating 300 wins vs. HGH (maybe they ought to read the medical justifications for using that to treat injuries and speed healing, if that is not too complex?) The Cy Young part of the discussion is really bogus since he deserved to win one (you Toronto fans know which one I mean.) As for dominant, was their ever a more dominant pair than Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera? Their numbers speak loudly enough now, but imagine if they add a few years paired up? I doubt any other starter-closer combo the pass their mark for a VERY long time. Sorry, Yankee-haters and small-Hallers, but Andy is on my “put him in or close the damn place” list (along with Shoeless Joe, Pete Rose, and Barry Bonds.)

    • neoshweaty - Sep 20, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      Pretty similar boat to you. I spent a lot of time watching Pettitte pitch in his prime. Guys like Pedro and Randy Johnson in their prime were unhittable and you knew going into any given game with those guys that something special might happen because they were generational talents. Compared with those guys (his peers), he was just the guy who always went out there and would probably get you a win. Nothing too fancy about him. He would probably be in the Hall of Very Good if there was one.

  6. apkyletexas - Sep 20, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Pretty amazing that the baseball HOF is likely to leave out the all-time leader in post-season wins. Basically, the only times I bothered to watch the guy play in pinstripes – in the playoffs – don’t really count for some strange reason.

    Also, don’t forget that he and his buddy Roger went to Houston for a couple of seasons and dragged that woeful franchise all the way to the World Series. That’s quite an accomplishment, and something you can point to if you want to look for a non-Bronx argument for the guy.

    • chip56 - Sep 20, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      It’s not really that hard. With the expansion of the playoffs during Andy’s career he had more games to pitch in than someone like Whitey Ford did.

    • jarathen - Sep 20, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      He was certainly a good pitcher, at times very good, but part of the most postseason wins thing is being a member of a dynasty that also coincided with playoff expansion.

      I think the playoffs matter, and they do, but wins? Eh. The other numbers matter more than “The most starts by an adequate pitcher backed by a very good team most of the time.”

      • apkyletexas - Sep 20, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        It wasn’t just his playoff performances – he was also at his best in clutch games leading up to the playoffs. For example, in 176 regular season starts during August-September-October, Pettitte had an outstanding 91-42 record – a .674 winning clip.

    • dan1111 - Sep 20, 2013 at 5:07 PM

      His performance in the playoffs does count. But he is the all-time leader in postseason wins because:

      1) The Yankees made the playoffs nearly every year.

      2) The playoffs were expanded, giving him more games.

      3) He pitched pretty well in the playoff chances he did get.

      Only the third is something he deserves credit for.

      As for the Astros, they weren’t woeful back then. They had three winning records and one playoff appearance in the three previous years. And you have to lump him with Clemens, who pitched much better than Pettitte during those seasons, to make your point.

    • largebill - Sep 20, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      What nonsense. No one is saying those games don’t count. What we do say is post season performance can the icing on the cake of a Hall of Fame resume. One of the problems with putting too much emphasis on post season stats is it is a matter of opportunity. If Pettitte spent most of his career with Kansas City he would never have seen the playoff and not have had the opportunity to set that record. Thing is the Wins statistic is a team accomplishment foolishly assigned to one player. Intelligent people understand that Pettitte’s W/L record was greatly influenced by having a great offense backing him up for most of his career. His real pitching statistics are just good not great (117 ERA+ in 3300 IP). The pitchers in the HOF with similar ERA+ pitched a lot more innings. Those in HOF with that few innings pitched at a much higher quality. He had a couple seasons (1997, 2005) where he could be called great. Otherwise mostly just a little above league average.

  7. Stiller43 - Sep 20, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    How many “hall of very good” comments can we get on this thread?

    • cur68 - Sep 20, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      A lot. ‘Cause I think that’s where he belongs. He was very, very good. Just not HoF good. And, if he makes the HoF, I won’t mind at all. He was after all, very, very good.

      • dan1111 - Sep 20, 2013 at 5:56 PM

        Personally, I think he’s Hall of Very Good, not Hall of Very Very Good material. But I wouldn’t mind it if he makes the Hall of Very Very Good.

      • cur68 - Sep 20, 2013 at 5:58 PM

        Is this the point at which I invoke your 1st Amendment and demand my Dog Given Right to use as many “very’s” as I want? I can never tell when its the best time for that.

  8. bravojawja - Sep 20, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    If the biggest piece of his HoF case is his postseason wins, he shouldn’t make it. He owns that record for two reasons: 1) the suddenly expanded playoff system that took effect just as his career began, which obviously was completely beyond his control, and 2) he was fortunate enough to be on a team that made one hell of a run for most of his career there, which was mostly beyond his control (though he was a big part of that team every five days).

    Put him a rung below the HoF, though he may very well hang around the ballot for the full 15 years, what with his being a Yankee and all.

  9. rbj1 - Sep 20, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Andy’s career regular season winning % is (as of right now); .627
    Andy’s career postseason (against, be definition, good teams): .633.

    To me, it’s a close call and I admit my bias in favor of him.

  10. ras1tafari - Sep 20, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Pettite is NOT a HOF’er. He was never dominant, and is basically an above average compiler who was better in the playoffs. He can be the founding member of the Hall of Very Good.

    • neoshweaty - Sep 20, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      Founding? I believe Jack Morris, Keith Hernandez, Alan Trammell, Don Mattingly, etc would like to have a word with you. But seriously, you’re totally right. He was involved with some epic teams though. Those 90s Yankees squads were something else.

      • raysfan1 - Sep 20, 2013 at 4:13 PM

        Trammel belongs in the HoF. He was more than just very good.

    • chip56 - Sep 20, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      He was better than a “compiler” but he’s not a Hall of Famer.

  11. chip56 - Sep 20, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Andy’s not a Hall of Famer – nor should he be.

    Should the Yankees retire his number, have an Andy Pettitte Day and give him a bust in Monument Park? Absolutely, but he’s not a Hall of Famer any more than Bernie Williams, David Wells or Paul O’Neill.

  12. chalkruz1989 - Sep 20, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Are we not going to pay attention to his use of human growth hormone (HGH)? Any player linked to steroids, HGH, or other banned substances should be prevented from entering the Hall of Fame. I understand the argument that there are a few players in the HOF that used illegal substances but Pettitte was ousted.

    He was a good pitcher but he’s linked to the steroid-era and was a cheater. No place for players like him in the illustrious HOF.

    • dcarroll73 - Sep 21, 2013 at 1:19 AM

      Where to begin with such ignorance??? How is HGH “cheating”? In point of fact, it is a legitimate healing agent that ought to be allowed for people in physically stressful occupations. This is more witch-hunt nonsense. The “illlustrious HOF” that you imagine has NEVER existed. There are already plenty of loathesome folks in there, but you are focused on HGH? Where is the supposed performance enchancing that justifies calling someone a “cheater”? Please study a bit more before interfacing fingers and keyboard.

      • dan1111 - Sep 21, 2013 at 2:26 AM

        I don’t think that everyone who used PEDs should be kept out of the Hall, but using HGH is against the rules, and breaking the rules of the game is pretty much the definition of cheating.

        While research has not proven a performance enhancement from HGH, small increases in performance are not easily detectable by scientific studies, and even a small increase can make a big difference in on-the-field results. Just look at what happens when an aging hitter’s bat slows down a tiny bit.

        Players like Clemens and Bonds should be in, because clearly they would have been slam dunk Hall of Famers, even without steroids. But for a marginal case like Pettitte, it certainly makes a difference in my mind: both the choice to break the rules and the possible boost to his stats from drugs are relevant.

  13. weaselpuppy - Sep 20, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Open and shut Hall of Very Good. Takes about 3 minutes to figure this one out.

    Case for?- He’s a Yankee and he didn’t suck in the postseason.

    Case against?- Never led the league in anything, Never was the #1 guy on his staff. Half of his seasons his ERA was 4.0+ (maybe more than half if he gets shelled Sunday). Never had a 200K season. Career 1.35 WHIP.

    How about we worry about guys that do deserve it and have the numbers…like the 2b with the 7th highest WAR in history that was dropped off the ballot his first year, or Tim Raines….

    • dcarroll73 - Sep 21, 2013 at 1:28 AM

      Look, I have no problem with Trammell or Raines; I think both should be in the Hall. You can claim Pettitte was never the “#1 guy on his staff”, but just ask Yankee fans who they wanted on the mound in key games or who was money in the bank at the end of the season. “he didn’t suck in the postseason”???? Excuse me!!!! That is about equivalent to writing, “Mariano was a pretty fair closer.” So he wasn’t a major strikeout pitcher; that is what you are going with? Please.

  14. ikoiko72 - Sep 20, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Because he is a Yankee for the majority of his career, he will be considered more favorable for the HOF. Yankee pedigree carries unwarranted weight.

    • dan1111 - Sep 20, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      I thought Bernie Williams would be overrated in the Hall vote for the same reason, but he got little support. Pettitte was highly visible on the Yankees, but he doesn’t “feel” like a Hall of Famer, because he was never truly considered an ace. That will matter to the writers.

      Also, he was overshadowed in his era. There were the historically great Clemens, Maddux, Pedro, and Randy Johnson. But also Tom Glavine, Kevin Brown, Mike Mussina, John Smoltz, and Curt Schilling were all better than him. It could be even more crowded five years from now.

      And of course, there are the PED concerns to top it all off.

      Add it all up, and I don’t think he will get many votes.

  15. serbingood - Sep 20, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    3rd or 4th year eligible inductee. Maybe 5th year at worst. His 3 years with Houston have to give him some credit as he was not a Yankee and was still very good to outstanding.

  16. raysfan1 - Sep 20, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Pettite will get his monument at YS and deservedly so. That should be good enough.

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Sep 20, 2013 at 4:37 PM

      Sorta nitpicky, but monuments are for the very, very elite only. Plaques, on the other hand, are for the next level down. Monuments are for Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, Joe D. And probably once Jeter passes away.

      • raysfan1 - Sep 20, 2013 at 5:50 PM

        Yeah, okay, I was lumping ’em all together. Plaque is what he merits, not statue or bust.

      • dcarroll73 - Sep 21, 2013 at 1:39 AM

        Personally I miss the days when the monuments were in play. It was sort of like a sandlot game next to a graveyard. Given how deep left-center in The Stadium was then, nobody moaned about the little Pennant Porch (which in point of fact is only about 20 feet short of the foul-pole standard in the “cookie-cutter” era.) Does anyone honestly believe that the great Yankee sluggers had many ‘just-made-it’ HRs? Even Yogi’s 9-iron bad-ball shots carried 110 yards (er … 330 feet.)
        I remember one game when Johnnie Blanchard, 3rd string catcher (hey, no shame when 1 and 2 are Yogi and Elston) blasted one that rolled among the monuments. I believe they held him to a single (he was slow, and it was a great pick-up and throw.)

  17. grumpyoleman - Sep 20, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Very good pitcher but never felt like our team never had a chance to beat him or never felt the need to run out and by a ticket because he was pitching.

  18. cackalackyank - Sep 20, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    I think he should get in…but he will not. Now, Tommy John on the other hand….

  19. Jason @ IIATMS - Sep 20, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    I love Andy Pettitte. Huge fan. A gamer. Truly sad to see him go (at least I will be at Sunday’s game to see him and Mo in their last YS appearances!).

    However, not a HOFer.

  20. ndrocks2 - Sep 20, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Nice pitcher on same great teams, not a HOFer. You have to draw the line somewhere, not to mention PED’s.

    • ndrocks2 - Sep 20, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      Really not sure the Yankees even retire his number for a number of years…

  21. bh192012 - Sep 20, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Here is an additional steroids problem. If you’re going to get this guy in on wins and postseason, that is quite a lot hanging on the team. A team featuring Alex Roidriguez, Jason Giambi, Melky Cabrera etc. Best team money and drugs can buy.

    In this case I think “wins” are even less meaningful than normal.

    • dcarroll73 - Sep 21, 2013 at 1:46 AM

      I personally could not care less about PEDs, but you are really stretching a weak argument including Melky. I am both a Yanks and Giants fan, and I loved Melky’s play for both. His tenure with the Yanks was clearly pre-PEDs (you do know that, don’t you? Is it that you don’t want facts to interfere with this narrative?)

  22. wpjohnson - Sep 20, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    I like Pettitte. However, his H of F case is not complicated. If he weren’t so tied to the Yankees, he would received no consideration. the H of F has too many good players. It should limit itself to great players. Pettitte is not a great player.

  23. pastabelly - Sep 20, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    These HOF slots for pitchers should be for top of the rotation starters. Nice career. Let the Yankees honor him in their team HOF.

  24. thestudio251blog - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    I agree with you. Pettitte is certainly in the running and should get serious consideration. 255 wins and .627 won-lost record is hard to overlook. Add his 19 post season wins and he has my vote. Yes, I’m a New Yorker, but I’m a Met fan, not a Yankee fan, so I’m hardly predisposed to vote for Pettitte. Yes, he pitched for the best team of his era. But he was one the major reasons why the Yankees were so good..

    A few people mentioned his low strikeouts. Strikeouts are overrated. A perfect inning is 3 pitches, 3 outs. Only an egomaniac would prefer three strikeouts. A strikeout can be a great weapon with a runner on third and less than two outs. But a pop up would be just as good. It really doesn’t matter how a pitcher gets out of the jam; only that he gets out of it, Pettitte was able to win a large majority of his games, and that’s really the main thing you want from a pitcher.

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