Originally Posted by mzh
After his 3rd or 4th year in the league, Smoltz was never near .500. He was nearly 50 games over by the time he was 32.
You have to take those numbers into context. Smoltz pitched in the steroid era, and his ERA+, which takes league numbers into context, was 125, 25 points above the average pitcher. Carlton pitched in a much more pitcher friendly time, and conversely his ERA+ was 117. Seaver's was 127. Koufax was 131. Bob Gibson was at 127. The two guys you compare in your other thread, Tommy John and Bert Blyleven, were at 111 and 118. Clemens and Martinez aren't even in the discussion, they were a tier above all the rest. At that point we're talking top 10 pitchers all time, and that's irrelevant to the conversation.
I'm far from a total stathead, but I think that's really important. The difference you perceive other who belongs in the Hall and who doesn't is clearly influenced by the fact that putting up 25 wins and a 2.50 ERA was seen much more often in the great pitchers of the 60s and 70s than in the 90s and 2000s.
Maybe your right . I can see where that may have slipped my mind, the steroid era and of course the rise of the bullpen specialists , which take wins away from starters. Still I have to say I am bemused and confused about the wide differences of opinions about pitchers that pretty much had similar careers. Schilling is a slightly better pitcher in my opinion than Smoltz but nobody calls him a lock. He even scores higher on the HOF standard by Bill James , which incorporates all the existng factors known to influence what voters see as a Hall of Fame pitcher. He didn't get in, so why should Smoltz be a lock. Not seeing it. Schilling is sometimes a generally disagreeable person so maybe that has something to do with it. Likewise, I have shown Kevin Brown, who had a better won loss on poorer teams than Smoltz, and pitched in the AL, yet still had better numbers, he gets no HOF support.