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King Felix Thinks Hanging On With O’s Will Help Bolster Hall of Fame Case

Former Mariners ace Felix Hernandez was asked yesterday why he signed with the Baltimore Orioles, and his answer was sad.

“The Hall of Fame,” he said with a straight face.

The saddest part is that he’s right, and it’s the reason why “counting stats” shouldn’t make or break a player.

Wasn’t King Felix one of the game’s best pitchers for a decade? It seems that baseball writers have a hard-on for longevity when greatness should be the criteria. Maybe the Hall of Fame should round up a player’s best 10 seasons and compare them to players already enshrined?

If this were the case, then Felix Hernandez wouldn’t be forced to sign with the crummy Orioles. You mean to tell me Felix’s numbers in 2021 while he’s way past his prime will matter when his name creeps on the ballot in half a decade? It’s stupid and needs to be handled.

If anything, Major League Baseball writers are changing the way great players like Albert Pujols and Felix Hernandez are remembered. It would be nice if elite athletes could retire when they should, rather than sticking around for meaningless stats to make it into a prestigious club. As it is, dominant athletes are forced to give us forgettable seasons to pile up stats like Mr. 3000.

Hernandez’s numbers were dominant and he’s a Hall of Famer. Check this out:

Let him retire in peace

As you can see on Baseball reference, these are Hall of Fame numbers. The only reason he isn’t universally recognized is because of a lack of “wins.” Why punish a player for pitching for bad teams? Hernandez was arguably the game’s best pitcher for eight seasons, so why is he in Baltimore right now to make the Hall of Fame? Figure it out, baseball.

6 Comments

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  1. Gary, I normally agree with you, but not on this one. I think Felix belongs in the Hall of Very Good. Was he the game’s best pitcher for 8 years? Nope. He had some good seasons, but when you compare him to Justin Verlander who played over the same time period, I think you see one HOFer and one HOVGer.

    • I agree. He should be in the Hall of Very Good. By every Baseball-Reference.com metric, he falls far below the average HOF pitcher. I don’t blame him for wanting to stick around…being a HOF’er can mean millions in post career earnings, not to mention personal satisfaction. But given he admits the HOF is the reason he’s hanging around shows that even HE knows his complete work so far falls short of getting in. That said, I believe he will get in anyway.

  2. I think he’s a hofer. He was hands down the best starter in the AL between 2009-2015, but played for a terrible franchise. His overall numbers are clearly better than verlander or price over the same period when all were in their prime. Here’s what hurts him with writers, during his 15 seasons in Seattle they were over .500 five times, so he never had huge win totals. I remember the debate over his Cy You g with 13 wins. It was a pitching tragedy. Those teams were pathetic around him. On any decent team everyone knew he’d have won 20 games 4-5 times in those 7 seasons and this wouldn’t be a discussion. He’s not a clear first ballot lock guy, but you have to compare him to his peers in his own era. They’d all tell you. In a 7 year stretch he was the best starter in his league.

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