Yankees pitching great Andy Pettitte may have gotten Roger Clemens out of a jail sentence with his misremembering the other day in court. But Pettitte’s contradictory testimony cost himself a chance of at least one Hall of Fame vote—mine.
...There are people who are going to say Pettitte isn’t a Hall of Famer anyway, that he didn’t win enough games, strike out enough batters or make enough All-Star teams. But Pettitte is the only pitcher to begin his career with 16 seasons without a single losing season (Tom Seaver and Grover Alexander started with 15), his 19 career postseason victories is the most in history (and makes it 259 total victories), and he’s one of 26 pitchers who are at least 100 games over .500, with 18 of those pitchers in the Hall of Fame and six more not yet eligible (according to YESNetwork.com).
Some from the stat set may scoff at individual victories making a Cooperstown case. But there’s more. Five times Pettitte finished in the top six in Cy Young voting. The most similar pitcher to him is Mike Mussina, a clear Hall-of-Fame candidate by most accounts, according to Baseball-Reference.com. So Pettitte is at least a serious Cooperstown candidate based on on-field merit.
...Now, though, his own sympathetic HGH story comes into serious question. If he’s willing to suddenly misremember under oath for a good buddy, it’s easy to think now Pettitte only admitted to what he had to admit to. Maybe Pettitte isn’t quite the truthteller we gave him credit for, and maybe there is some other explanation for how his fastball velocity increased to 93/94 mph somewhere in the middle of his career.
I’d say the chances are 50-50 (at best) that Pettitte misremembered his own supposedly very limited usage.