The Case for Snyder Briggs

Paradox

Snyder Briggs has been swiping horseshoes as a pitcher on the Charleston Shoe Thieves since Season 1 Day 1.  They were alternated in the Season 4 elections, and from then until Season 15, they were not a very good pitcher.  They had the makeup of a good pitcher hiding under their 2-star rating, but there always seemed to be a stat or two that held them back.  After not changing stats during the season ever, Snyder Briggs finally partied on Season 14, Day 92, and was transfused in the Season 15 elections.  If you asked any Shoe Thieves fan after that, I think they’d all say that Snyder Briggs was the greatest pitcher on the team.

The Thieves enjoyed several seasons of Snyder being good, when the Season 20 gift shop came around.  The hot item for several teams was a random Underhanded item, to be given to a random pitcher.  Like many teams, the Shoe Thieves ended up getting this gift.  Unfortunately, the Underhanded Glove of Vitality was given to Snyder Briggs.

On the surface, this isn’t a bad thing at all.  A good pitcher becomes even better because of a completely broken modifier.  But any of the pitchers in the Shoe Thieves rotation would have benefitted from Underhanded way more than Snyder would have.  They simply didn’t need it to be good.  Now, in the wake of the Hall of Fame voting, Snyder Briggs is a name that is not widely known, and if a fan were to investigate, they might just see that Snyder was underhanded for the last seasons of their career and write them off.

I’m here today to dispel that myth.  Yes, Underhanded helped them, as it helped every pitcher who had it, but Snyder Briggs was an elite pitcher without Underhanded, and is arguably one of the best among the pitchers who had it.

In case anyone is unfamiliar, Underhanded turned home runs hit against a pitcher into unruns, or negative runs.  This means it most benefited pitchers who gave up lots of home runs.  I’ve located all pitchers who have had Underhanded at any point between seasons 20 and 24, and compared two stats.  First, their Home runs per 9 innings.  Lower numbers mean they are a better overall pitcher, but higher numbers means that a player made better use of the Underhanded mod.  Second, Overhanded Earned Run Average.  Underhanded messes with ERA a lot, so this calculates ERA as if these players did not have the Underhanded modification.  I’ve broken these graphs down by season because the number of pitchers with Underhanded changed based on items steals and drops.

Season 20
Season 21
Season 22
Season 23
Season 24

In all of these seasons, Snyder’s HR/9 was in the top 3 of all pitchers that had Underhanded, and their OHERA was top 3 in all but season 21.  Of all of the pitchers with Underhanded, Snyder might have been the best at traditionally pitching.

How did Snyder fare across the league at the time?  Take a look at Snyder’s rank in ERA and WhAT_IP (Wins above Tokyo per Innings Pitched) for seasons 16 to 24:

Stats partially compiled by Dargo

There are 4 elite seasons there, and only 2 of them came while Snyder had Underhanded.  Even in seasons 19 – 22, Snyder remains near the top ten in both categories.

Here are some other reasons to vote for Snyder:

  • They pitched the 2nd perfect game/no hitter in Shoe Thieves history, and the last of the Expansion Era.
  • They have one of the greatest redemption stories in blaseball, clawing their way from mediocre pitching to become one of the best.
Snyder’s ERA- over time (lower is better) shows their slow progression to greatness.

Snyder may not be as well known as some of the names on the ballot, but I think that they are every bit as deserving of your vote.  

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