Mark Buhrle, Tim Hudson and the fight for survival
Though they’ve only recently performed, Mark Buerle and Tim Hudson could very well be Pad Galvin and Old Hoss Redbourn. Last season, only four major starters hit 200 innings, and Buehrle topped that 14 seasons in a row. He and Hudson have played over 3,000 career innings, surpassed by only one current pitcher, Zach Greinke.
Alas, for Buhrle and Hudson, permanence and sustainability did not matter much to voters. Both players risk falling below 5 percent, which would disqualify them from future writers’ ballots. Buerle got 11 percent in his debut last year; Hudson is only 5.2% and early returns are discouraging.
Whatever happens, their precarious status sets an ominous precedent for another stalwart of the era, John Lester, who retired this month. Buerle, Hudson and Leicester were named to several All-Star teams but never won the Cy Young Award, had at least 200 wins with fewer than 500 starts, and had ERAs of 3.49 to 3.81. Lester’s candidacy will have to rely heavily on his dazzling World Series record.
Death of Omar Wiskel
Omar Vizkel holds the record for most games played as a shortstop, 2709, and has won 11 gold gloves in that position. In 2019, his third year of voting in the Hall of Fame, he won 52.6 percent of the vote.
In December 2020 – after many voters had already cast their ballots – Wiskel’s ex-wife, Blanca, told The Athletic that he repeatedly physically abused her. Wiskel denied the accusations, but his share of the vote fell to 49.1 percent.
This was followed by a federal lawsuit filed last August in Birmingham, Alabama, in which Wieskel was accused of sexually abusing a bat-boy with autism in 2019 while running a team at a Chicago White Sox farm. The White Sox quietly fired Wiskel shortly after filing the lawsuit, and last summer he was fired as manager of the Mexican league.