This is fun: Bill at the Platoon Advantage engaged in a little alternate history exercise. He pretended that, rather than retire, Jack Morris came back in 1995 as a knuckleball-throwing closer and tacked the entire career of Mariano Rivera onto his career stat line. Aside from that being the most awesome thing that would have ever happened, it also would have given Morris a career line that — minus the saves — would be pretty darn close to Bert Blyleven’s.
Again, in case that is not 100% clear: only if you add on a 15-run like Mariano Rivera’s to Morris career does he begin to compare to Blyleven in ERA, strikeouts and innings pitched.
I realize this kind of comparison is sorta out there. Indeed, in even making it, Bill kinda sounds like Jayson Stark on a day he let his research staff go home early. But it’s also instructive in the same way that it was instructive for your junior high school science teacher to take you out to the parking lot and have two students hold marbles at either end in an effort demonstrate just how great the distance is between the planets or whatever. We think Morris is close to being a Hall of Fame pitcher, but once you look at it closely, you realize just how far from being one he truly is.