Posts Tagged ‘Bert Blyleven’

The underrated Frank Tanana for Baseball Past and Present

The underrated Frank Tanana for Baseball Past and Present:

A look at the long storied career of Frank Tanana with comparisons to other greats: Nolan Ryan, Don Sutton, Phil Niekro, Lefty Grove, Tommy John, Bert Blyleven, Jack Morris, Jim Kaat.

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Bob Walk

bob walk back bob walkThere aren’t many professions that being nicknamed “Whirlybird” would be a good thing. If you were a construction worker and wielded your jackhammer like a whirlybird, you’d never hear the end of it. If you were a running back who ran through holes like a whirlybird, you wouldn’t be in the league too long. Maybe if you were a magician, whirlybird would be a good nickname. Also it might work for a ballroom dancer, but definitely not a crumper.

Well, in all their infinite wisdom, Bob Walk’s Pirate teammates nicknamed him whirlybird, presumably because his pitches had some sweet movement. Was that the case? Probably not. For his career, he struck out 4.6 batters pr nine IPs and had a 1.40 K:BB ratio. He was an All-star in 1998, coincidentally the year he had a miniscule HR rate (0.3 per nine) and pitched the most innings (212.2). Basically, Walk was an above average innings eater. He’d post a 4.03 ERA and 4.06 FIP for his career.

Outside of being called whirlybird, his career was not overly significant. Maybe Bert Blyleven should have been nicknamed whirlybird instead.

Incidentally, this post set the world record for most times meow, er, whirlybird was ever written in four paragraphs.

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For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.