David Cone: A Hall of Fame Pitcher?

rob manfred, mlb
Jul 21, 2019; Cooperstown, NY, USA; Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred reads the inscription on the plaque of Hall of Fame Inductee Mike Mussina (not pictured) with National baseball hall of fame chairman of the board Jane Forbes Clark looking on during the 2019 National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Clark Sports Center. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

When people think about David Cone they think about good but not great, not among the elites of the MLB’s history. He’s in the Hall of Very Good at best to most people, but is that really fair to the New York icon? He isn’t just one of the pretty good pitchers of his era, in fact, I’d like to argue that he was a HOF-caliber pitcher who wasn’t given a fair chance at the Hall of Fame for reasons that make no sense, such as his Win-Loss record, which is one of baseball’s worst stats. Looking at David Cone from an objective point of view, he was a much better pitcher than people make him out to be.

HOF-Caliber Numbers

David Cone’s 3.46 ERA and 3.57 FIP are pretty darn good numbers, with those numbers being better than pitchers such as Mike Mussina. His ERA+ (which is park-adjusted and compared to league average) was 121 which was better than Tom Glavine, who was considered one of the greatest pitchers to ever do it. These numbers don’t discount Glavine or Mussina as they are HOF caliber pitchers, but it helps show that David Cone was just as good as the other HOFers he pitched against and is compared to. His 56.0 fWAR is above legends such as Bret Saberhagen and Whitery Ford, so how can you say his numbers aren’t HOF worthy?

Not Having Enough Wins Is Dumb

Why does his 194-126 Win-Loss record even matter at all? You mean to tell me that he can control what the 9 people in his lineup do night in and night out? Oh wait, HE CANNOT CONTROL HOW MANY RUNS ARE SCORED. Who cares if he only won 20 games once? He pitched great year in and year out, and to hold the fact that he pitched 112 starts with only 0-2 runs of support (26.7% of all of his starts) against him is asinine. If you think Win-Loss record matters you must not think Jacob deGrom is great then, which is also a really dumb take. Hold pitchers accountable to the runs they give up, not the runs scored.

One of Baseball’s Most Accomplished Pitchers

Everyone seems to forget that David Cone pitched in an era where everyone and their brother was doing steroids. In spite of that he went on to win 5 World Series titles, go to 5 All-Star games, win the Cy Young award, and put up a 2.12 ERA in 29.2 World Series innings. He also has a legendary perfect game to go with it, so the accomplishments and numbers are there but what about the Hall of Fame induction? It’s up to people who love the game and New Yorkers who watched David Cone shine bright for 13 total years in the Big Apple to keep his name afloat for the Veteran’s Committee to one day give him his well-deserved induction.

There is always room for discussion in sports, but there’s one thing that’s certain: the numbers don’t lie.