I've been a baseball fan since 1967, when I was 10 years old. During those 46 years, I've seen everything from superstardom to gross ineptness. One of the most puzzling things I've seen is the adoration of Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners. People say he's one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball. But let's look at the numbers.
First, in nine seasons, he has not played in the postseason. Not one game. Great players lead their teams to victory, sometimes singlehandedly. Second, he has never won 20 games, which is the standard of excellence for a pitcher. He got close once, with 19 victories. He has never won more than 14 games in any of his other eight seasons. (This year, he was a measly 12-10.) Overall, he is 110-86, but during the past four seasons he is only 52-45. I consider him a break-even pitcher, meaning that he is as likely to lose as to win. Third, he has pitched only 23 complete games in nine seasons, which is an average of 2.5 complete games per season. This is laughable.
What's amazing, besides the aforementioned adoration by sportswriters and fans alike, is how much money he earns. This season, he earns $19.8 million. By 2019, his salary will have increased to $27.8 million. The Mariners are crazy to pay one dud pitcher so much money. Just think of the young arms they could have (think Oakland Athletics) if they spread that money around. But hey, the Mariners play in the same division as my adoptive team, the Texas Rangers. As long as they have Hernandez, I can be sure that they will go nowhere.
Addendum: Let's compare Justin Verlander to Hernandez. Both have played nine seasons. Verlander has appeared in the postseason four times, including in two World Series (perhaps three). His overall record is 137-77 (compare Hernandez's 110-86). His earned-run average is 3.41 (compare Hernandez's 3.20). In the past four years, he is 72-34 (compare Hernandez's 52-45). The salaries are about the same. Verlander has won more than 14 games six times, and won 24 games one year. Verlander has pitched 20 complete games (compare Hernandez's 23). Verlander was 13-12 this season. When Verlander goes 13-12, it's an off year. When Hernandez goes 13-12, it's a typical year. Verlander's average year is 15.2 victories and 8.5 losses. Hernandez's average year is 12.2 victories and 9.5 losses.