Will Monday be a day of Fame for Tiant?

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Will Monday be a day of Fame for Tiant?

DALLAS -- After failing to be elected in balloting conducted by the Baseball Writers Association of America, former Red Sox pitching great Luis Tiant will get another shot at making the Hall of Fame Monday morning when the results of voting by the Golden Era Committee are announced.

Tiant is one of ten names on the ballot -- eight players and two executives -- whose "most significant career impact was realized during the 1947-72 time period," according to the Hall of Fame.

Successful candidates must be named on 75 percent of the 16 ballots cast.

Tiant had four 20-win seasons in his 19 years in the big leagues, spent with the Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Red Sox, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates and California Angels.

He retired with a 229-172 record with a .571 winning percentage and a 3.30 ERA. He was selected to three All-Star games and twice led the American League in ERA while leading the league in shutouts three times.

Tiant's career has often been favorably compared to Jim "Catfish" Hunter, both in terms of career statistics -- Hunter was 224-166 with a .574 winning percentage and a 3.26 ERA -- and their ability to pitch best in big games.

Hunter was elected to Cooperstown in 1987 and passed away in 1999. Tiant, meanwhile, never got enough votes from the BBWAA and was dropped from the ballot.

Red Sox vice president and team historian Dick Bresciani, who is credited with helping Jim Rice get elected in his final year of ballot eligibility, has sent packets of statistical information on Tiant to the 16 voters, highlighting his achievements.

Among other facts, Bresciani has noted:

Tiant was 57-25 (a .675 winning percentage) with a 2.74 in games in September and October.

Tiant has more career wins than 26 other Hall of Fame starting pitchers and a better winning percentage than 26 Hall of Famers.

Of the top 25 career shutout leaders, Tiant (tied for for 21st with 49) is the only one not in the Hall of Fame., who is tied for 21st.

His 49 shutouts are more than 46 Hall of Fame pitchers.

Tiant and Hall of Famer Walter Johnson are the only major league pitchers with two streaks of 40-plus consecutive innings.

Tiant is the only American League pitcher of the last 65 years to post two sub-2.00 ERA seasons. He led the A.L. with a 1.60 ERA in 1968 for Cleveland and a 1.91 ERA in 1972 while with the Red Sox.

Though he never won a Cy Young Award, Tiant finished in the top six in voting three times and was in the top eight in AL MVP voting twice. He also finished in the top eight of strikeouts leaders four times; in the top 10 in strikeouts five times; in the top eight of complete games six times; and in the top nine in shutouts seven
times.

From 1972-1976, Tiant averaged more than 19 wins per season (96-58, .625) with 97 complete games.

Tiant faces stiff competition on this ballot. Other candidates are: Buzzie Bavasi, Ken Boyer, Charlie Finley, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Allie Reynolds, and Ron Santo.

Next year's induction will take place on July 22 at Cooperstown. Results of the 2012 BBWAA election will be announced on Jan. 9.

McAdam: Buchholz is the relief the Red Sox need

McAdam: Buchholz is the relief the Red Sox need

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- This is the kind of season it has been for Clay Buchholz:

A little more than a month ago, he was merely taking up space on the Red Sox roster, having been summarily removed from the rotation after three months of poor outings.

He was in the bullpen, but the Sox were loathe to use him. Asked, memorably, why Buchholz hadn't been the choice to serve as a long reliever in a game in which the starter departed early, John Farrell candidly noted, in not so many words, that because the Sox still had a chance to win the game, Buchholz didn't make sense as an option.

Ouch.

But slowly, Buchholz became more effective in his new relief role. And when injuries struck the rotation, Buchholz got himself three cameo starts, during which he posted a 2.70 ERA in 16 2/3 innings, topped by Tuesday's beauty -- 6 1/3 innings, one run allowed, nine strikeouts recorded.

Just as Buchholz has straightened out, however, Red Sox starters are suddenly stacked up like jets waiting for clearance to land at Logan Airport. Steven Wright returns from a brief DL stint Friday, and Eduardo Rodriguez is not far behind.

When he pitched poorly, the Red Sox didn't have any other options.

When he pitched well, the Red Sox have plenty of other choices.

So, now what?

"As far as Clay goes,'' said John Farrell, "this will be, I'm sure, a conversation (had) within (the organization). But setting that aside, he's throwing the ball exceptionally well right now.''

That's indisputable.

But the question remains: In what capacity will he throw the ball in the near future?

There's been a suggestion to keep Buchholz in the rotation while moving Drew Pomeranz to the bullpen. That would give the Sox a dependable lefty in relief -- as opposed to, say, Fernando Abad -- while also serving the dual purpose of putting a governor on Pomeranz's climbing innings total.

Pomeranz, who has plenty of bullpen experience in the big leagues, has also thrown 140 1/3 innings this season, eclipsing his previous major league high by nearly 40.

But Pomeranz is 27, not 21. He's shown no signs of fatigue. To the contrary, he's 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last four starts. The Sox shouldn't mess with his success.

Instead, Buchholz should become one of the team's high-leverage set-up weapons, available in the seventh or eighth inning.

True, Buchholz doesn't have the swing-and-miss capability you'd prefer to have in the eighth inning, where the fewer balls put in play, the better off you are. But he can get lefties and righties out, and, pitching out of the stretch full-time, he's greatly improved his command.

Buchholz would remain the best option for a spot start if one of the five Red Sox starters faltered or got hurt. But the bullpen remains the best choice for him.

Ironic, isn't it? When he pitched poorly, he remained in the rotation for several months. Now that he's pitching superbly, he can't earn a permanent spot.

It's been that kind of season.

McAdam: Will this be Clay Buchholz's last start?

McAdam: Will this be Clay Buchholz's last start?

With Wright and Rodriguez set to return, Sean McAdam joins SNC to discuss whether Tuesday’s game against the Rays will be the last start for Clay Buchholz.