I was looking for something to make myself feel worse. And I found it on my drive home this evening: how about comparing Tim Wakefield’s win totals every year since 1995 against the top winner for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the same year.
It was worse than I thought.
Here are the top Pirate pitchers – by total wins – since Wakefield made his Beantown debut in 1995 (wins are in parenthesis):
1995 – Denny Neagle (13)
1996 – Denny Neagle (14)
1997 – 3 tied with 11
1998 – Francisco Cordova (13)
1999 – Todd Ritchie (15)
2000 – Jose Silva (11)
2001 – Todd Ritchie (11)
2002 – Kip Wells/Josh Fogg (12)
2003 – 3 tied with 10
2004 – Oliver Perez (12)
2005 – Dave Williams (10)
2006 – Ian Snell (14)
2007 – Tom Gorzelanny (14)
2008 – Paul Maholm (9)
2009 – Zach Duke/Ross Ohlendorf (11)
Add those numbers up and you get 180 wins. Add up all the wins that Tim Wakefiled compiled pitching for the Boston Nine and you get 175. Yeah, I know, the Red Sox, by and large, have been a stellar team over the past decade-and-a-half. And the Pirates, well, haven’t been.
Still, as good as Wakefield and the Red Sox have been, it isn’t like I’m comparing the Pirate aces to a future Hall of Famer. Wakefield will almost certainly fall short of enshrinement in Cooperstown. And it isn’t like Wakefield made 30 starts in each of those campaigns. Four time he failed to even reach 20 starts. And it isn’t as if Wakefield is the only pitcher to leave Pittsburgh and get his career going – Esteban Loaiza, Jon Lieber and Bronson Arroyo come to mind – after ML tryouts of various lengths with the Pirates.
In short, this is depressing and it isn’t isolated. Hopefully we have reached the end of the line for this kind of thing. Are you reading this Tom Gorzelanny and Ian Snell and Oliver Perez?