The big question surrounding Roy Halladay's retirement is whether he is deserving of the Hall of Fame? If you select Roy Halladay, shouldn't the same honor be bestowed on Mike Mussina and Andy Pettitte?
Mussina is on the ballot for the first time along with (should be) shoe-ins; Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas. Depending on who you speak with, Mussina falls into that Hall of Fame or Hall of Very Good discussion. 270 wins rank him 33rd all-time and a career 3.68 ERA ranks him 256. The numbers definetly raise some eyebrows and some questions.
Pettitte has 14 fewer victories when compared to "Moose" and 3.85 career ERA. Pettitte's post-season record separates him, picking up 19 playoff wins compared to Mussina's seven.
I did touch on Halladay's accomplishments the other day;
"Halladay finishes his career with 203 wins (143 as a Jay) and a career 3.38 ERA, good for 164th all-time. Whether or not the Hall of Fame is in his future, he will put forward a strong case. His 203 wins ranks fourth amongst active pitchers, his 65.6 WAR (for pitchers) is also first amongst active pitchers and 41st all-time. Halladay is also the current leader amongst all pitchers in complete games, Win-Loss%, shutouts, and nearly every "adjusted" pitching statistic you can think of."
Statistically speaking, Mussina trumps both players in Wins over Replacement Value (WAR): 82.5, Halladay, 65.6, Pettitte 60.9. Numbers aside, a focus should be on who would you rather pitch one game for you if your entire season is on the line.
Would you take Pettitte and his dominance in October, or would you select Halladay and his overall body of work? Does Mussina even fall into this discussion?
A name that no one even considers is Tim Hudson. According to Baseball Reference, Halladay compares very closely to Tim Hudson; Innings pitched (2,749/2,813), wins 203/205, games 416/427, strikeouts 2,117/1,896, wnning percentage .659/.649 and ERA 3.38/3.44.
The Hall of Fame topic is really getting muddied. With all the steroid discussions, Craig Biggio's inexcusable exclusion, and players that have had great, not exceptional careers now merriting inclusion, it really makes things more difficult.
Matt Snyder of CBS Sports brought up some very interesting points, especially when its comes to WAR. It's a solid starting point of a players overall value to the greater good.
"Of the 40 pitchers with more WAR than Halladay, 28 are in the Hall. Some of the names of guys who aren't (yet) in among the 40: Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Curt Schilling. Some Hall of Famers with less WAR than Halladay? Bob Feller, Ed Walsh, Don Drysdale, Whitey Ford, Sandy Koufax and Juan Marichal, among several others."
Hudson's WAR equates to 55.3, fourth amongst starters, 73rd in history. In saying this, this statistic also has Hudson ahead of the following HOF'ers: Mordecai Brown, Ford, Waite Hoyt, Koufax, Early Wynn, Hoyt Wilhelm, Lefty Gomez, Dizzy Dean, and countless outhers.
This debate will rage on forever. Nothing I could say will swing the vote of one from one side to another, but there is enough evidence pointing to Halladay getting inducted when its his turn, and there is enough solid proof that others, who aren't considered as dominant, getting serious consideration.