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.
Felix Hernandez, who will make $1 million if he makes the Orioles this year, said he has motivation to keep pitching: “The Hall of Fame.” He feels his strikeouts and wins need to come up for that consideration and he still is having fun pitching when healthy.— Dan Connolly (@danconnolly2016) February 18, 2021
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.
From August 15th, 2012- Dave Sims with an all-time great call as Felix Hernandez finishes off his perfect game. “34 years! 119 games! It’s finally happened! A perfect game by a Seattle Mariner! It was done by the King! FELIX HERNANDEZ!” pic.twitter.com/SMbtPW7X3U— Chris Castellani (@Castellani2014) September 27, 2019
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.