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  • Caesar Cliffius

    My name is Cliff Eastham. I live in West Virginia with my wife Debbie, the loveliest lady in the world, and my youngest daughter, Holly who is equally as lovely as her mother.

    I enjoy writing about sports, and love a good healthy debate. My favorite teams are the Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Redskins.

    There are only a couple of sports that I don't write about, Hockey and Soccer specifically. My favorite sports are Baseball, Boxing, NFL, NCAA Basketball, MMA.

    Feel free to look around, and your comments are most welcome. Subscribe via email if you wish.

    It is decreed.....Caesar Cliffius
    this 8th day of December, in the Year of our Lord 2009.

Shocking News: Andy Pettitte Will Be Back with the NY Yankees in 2010

To report that Andy Pettitte will be back on the mound for the New York Yankees in 2010 is no more surprising than saying they will play their home games in the beautiful, new mini-park known as Yankee Stadium. Yet, ESPN reported it today.

If you will still be 37 until just before the All-Star break, you can make at leat $6,000,000 playing a game with other grown millionaires, where would the big surprise be that you intend to come back?

Pettitte had a very good year in 2009, especially when we use modern-day pitching records as a backdrop. 14 wins, that is just a win or two shy of Cy Young contention. Am I right?

Even though Andy failed to complete any of the 32 games he started, that is what they pay bullpens for. The entire Yankee staff only had three complete games, two for C.C. Sabathia and one for A.J. Burnett. Sabathia also recorded the lone shutout for the staff.

His record in 2009 was better than it was the year before. He completed 2009 with a 14-8 mark, 4.16 ERA and struck out nearly twice as many batters as he walked. Is he attempting a Hall of Fame run?

I don’t feel that he has accomplished nearly enough to gain entrance into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Especially when you have pitchers such as Bert Blyleven, Tommy John and Jim Kaat all with basically the same number of wins (283-288), a much better ERA than Pettitte, who can’t get inside without a ticket.

He has been playing in MLB for 15 seasons, all but three with¬† pin-stripes. He was with the Houston Astros from 2004-2006 where he was 37-26 with a very good ERA (again, by today’s standards) of 3.38. He ranks third all time in Yankee lore with 192 wins, sixth in innings pitched with 2,406, and third in strikeouts with 1,722.

What would the legacy of Andy Pettitte be if he retired now?  Would he be too-easily recognized with the steroid crowd? Is he trying to outrun that image, could that be why he wants to play more? Would he be remembered for his two 21-win seasons? How about his post-season work? He has won 18 and lost only nine with an ERA of 3.90 in 40 post-season starts.

Did you ever wonder what, if any relationship he has with Roger Clemens? Remember, he threw Rog under the old proverbial bus back when Clemens couldn’t even pop-up from his hole and look for his shadow? I don’t think too many hold that against him, probably just the “gangster type” element who can’t tolerate snitches.

It should come as a shock to absolutely nobody that Pettitte will be back. The only thing left to haggle about his how many millions of dollars he deserves. He played all of the ’09 season making about 1/3 of what he made in the previous season. $5.5M, how did the boy get by? All joking aside, that is a big party-buster when you just made $16M for two straight seasons.

If the rest of the teams find out how much performance 33% will buy these days, we could see a completely new landscape, fiscally speaking of course.

So, just to be clear, is anyone surprised that Andy will be back in 2010?

Cliff Eastham is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report where this article was first published.

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The Five Best Players Not in Baseball’s Hall of Fame

There are many things we could disagree with or argue about concerning the Baseball Hall of Fame.

There are no set numbers one needs to reach before becoming enshrined into baseball’s holiest of holies.

Many are there who, in my opinion, do not belong. And of course, there are others who should be there who are not.

Obviously, Pete Rose would lead the list if he were eligible.

So, read on, and argue if you will, but these people have the stats to be in the Hall of Fame.


5. Dale Murphy

Okay, I can hear you guys crying already. Murphy wasn’t the greatest player of all time, I agree.

I also know that his overall stats alone say very little. For his career, he had 398 home runs, 1266 RBI, 2,111 hits, and a career average of only .265.

Total career statistics aren’t everything. Look at Sandy Koufax, for example. He only had five superlative years, the rest were mediocre at best.

Yet, he is revered as one of the best hurlers of all time.

If you take Murphy’s five best years and average them out, you get 38 home runs, 109 RBI, and an average of .294. Those are MVP stats right there, I don’t care who you are.

In fact, he won two MVP awards during that period. He and Roger Maris are the only two players to have won two MVP awards and not be in the Hall of Fame.

Shameful.

Dale was one of the best power hitters of the 1980’s.

4. Don Mattingly

That’s right, Donnie Baseball.

Again, his career stats won’t reveal what he truly was.
He was the American League MVP in 1985, won nine Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers, and lead the league in batting in 1984 with a .343 average.

In 1985, Mattingly knocked in 145 runs. As with Murphy and Koufax, if you take his five best years and average them out, you see that he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

3. Tommy John

Tommy John has won more games than any eligible pitcher not in the Hall of Fame.

However, John has also won more games than 52 pitchers already in the Hall of Fame.

In his long career, he won 288 games, compiled a 3.34 ERA, threw 46 shutouts, won 20 games three times, and was elected to four all-star teams.

He started more games than any left-hander in history, save for Steve Carlton.

If I had the time, I could show you head-to-head how he would beat many who are already enshrined. The man has a surgery named after him, for God’s sake (grin).

2. Bert Blyleven

Bert Blyleven is right behind John in career wins with 287. He ranks fifth on the all-time strikeouts list behind Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, and Carlton.

He threw 60 shutouts, which ranks him ninth on the all-time list. All eight pitchers ahead of him are in the Hall of Fame.

He won 17 or more games on seven occasions and had a lifetime ERA of 3.31.

When you look at some of the pitchers’ records who are already in the Hall, you begin to realize just how much Blyleven and John deserve to be in as well.

1. Andre Dawson

Andre Dawson is not in the Hall of Fame. That doesn’t quite sound right, does it?

He batted .279, hit 438 home runs, and knocked in 1,591 runs. He hit 20 or more home runs on 13 occasions and was the National League’s MVP in 1987 on a last place team.

He was also the Rookie of the Year in 1977.

Dawson was on eight all-star teams, won eight Gold Gloves, and four Silver Sluggers. He also batted .300 or more five times.

Year after year, he is overlooked by the writers.

If you have the time, compare Dawson’s statistics with those of Hall-dwellers Luis Aparicio and Bill Mazeroski.

Let the debating begin.


Cliff Eastham is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report where this article was first published.