I don't own a stat book, I don't think. I feel left out. I'm also disappointed that Heyman didn't make some reference to Blyleven supporters living in their mothers' basements.
Anyway...Heyman passes on Blyleven because:
Blyleven lasted a long time, long enough to have been the youngest player in the majors when he broke in as a Twin and the oldest when he bowed out as an Angel. As an Angels beat reporter in the late '80s, I was a traveling writer who covered Blyleven's last great year, when I recall him as the cutup of a surprising 1989 California Angels team. He also managed to go 17-5.
I do admire Blyleven's talent, and his longevity as well. But I still think Blyleven falls into that group of great compilers who weren't quite great enough players to make Cooperstown.
Dumb argument, as I've said before.
But then, Heyman turns around and has Jack Morris #2 on his ballot:
I'm starting to think that being a jerk to the media is a plus for guys with marginal HOF candidacies. Someone like Morris, or Jim Rice, is deservedly left off a ton of ballots, and their backers start screaming that the player is being blackballed because they weren't cooperative with the media. That starts a backlash that gets the player more support than he would have otherwise.
The argument that Morris's final few years unfairly skewed his ERA is specious. If you end his career in 1991 (the year of "the greatest game of the past 25 years"), he has a 3.71 ERA, which would be good for a 109 ERA+ instead of a 105 ERA+.
Of course, that's still inferior to Blyleven's 3.30 career ERA and 118 career ERA+.
No dominant seasons? He had 7 top 5 finishes in ERA, and 7 top 5 finishes in WHIP.
Morris, by comparison, had just 2 top finishes in ERA and WHIP, and then just barely, finishing 5th both times in ERA, and 4th and 5th in WHIP.
Strikeouts? Morris led the league once, and was in the top 5 four times.
Blyleven also led the league once...but he was in the top 5 thirteen times.
What about Morris's incredible postseason performances? 13 games, 92 innings, a 7-4 record and a 3.80 ERA?
Well, Blyleven pitched in 8 postseason games, starting 6, had 47 innings, and was 5-1 with a 2.47 ERA.
Even in the postseason -- the category which Morris supporters view as their trump card -- Blyleven was better.
HOF voters voting for Morris, and not Blyleven, is embarrassing and inexcusable. There is no rational justification for it.
And Heyman opting to go take shots at Blyleven's supporters, the way he did today, suggests that he knows it.