hall of fame, next vote...

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http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=halloffame/roundtable/041222

how do you rate the arguments contained herein?

jonathan quayle higgins (j.q. higgins), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 23:29 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I don't think Andre Dawson, Jim Rice, Lee Smith and Bert Blylevyn were Hall of Famers. Morris, Sandberg, Sutter and Goosage have much better arguments in their favor, but of the lot only Sandberg has to me to have really unimpeachable arguments (i.e. he was clearly the best 2nd basemen of his era and one of the best 2nd basemen ever.) Morris was a monster and at his best (which he was for a large part of 80s) he was one of the best pitchers in baseball, but his numbers aren't incredible and even though that shouldn't matter, it will. Sutter burned out too quick, only seven really great years even though when he was at his height he probably had more impact on any given game than maybe any of these guys. Gossage was around FOREVER and he was also amazing, but I'm not sure he was really as good as Fingers, Eck or Sutter and if he was as good how long he was. That hurts him a little, but really he should be in the hall. I think relievers belong in the Hall, BUT I think they really have to have great #s and either hang around forever at a really high level (like Fingers, Gossage and Riviera) or have had a really respectable career as a starter to boot (like Eckersley).

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 23:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

For the record I am glad that Blyleven didn't win 300 games, because his "automatic" inclusion on that basis would be even more ridiculous than Sutton's. You get some points for longevity, but the hall really should be reserved for players who were at some point GREAT, not players who just managed to play pretty good for a long period of time.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 23:57 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Here is the link for anyone who hasn't read last years HOF thread.

Hall of Fame Ballot 2004

Bruce Sutter was the pitcher that brought back and popularized the split finger fastball, which considering how popular a pitch it has become in the past 25 years, it is something that he should get some credit.

"Boggs, for instance, is not a classic Hall of Famer, in my eyes, despite his 3,000 hits; he was a very, very good player, but not a dominant player."

Appearantly Buster forgets the mid 80s when Boggs career batting average was at .355 or so, he won 5 of 6 batting titles and his on base percentage was at a SABERMETRIC stoner high. He also won two of those batting titles by more than twenty points! After age 32, he only once hit over .330, but a bunch of players peak around that time in their career. Boggs average with runners on base and the bases loaded is also off the chart.

Oddly enough, I don't think Boggs was quite the same player after that whole scandal with Margo Adams broke. I think opposing teams quit putting chicken on the buffet when Boston was in town or something.

I think it would be interesting to know how many hits Boggs would have put up if he would have been brought up in 81, when he was 21 instead of 24. Boggs always claimed that he was just a good a hitter at 21, but since he played 1b was always behind Yaz in the depth chart and never got the chance to play in the bigs until he learned how to play 3b. He didn't get called up in 84 until they were wracked with injuries, then he hit over .400 for a month or so and stayed in the lineup from then on.

I grew up mostly watching NL baseball, but Boggs was one of my favorite players to follow and watch hit. Maybe not as fearful as some of the great power hitters of his day, but like Tony Gwynn, he was one of those hitters that seemed to dumbfound pitchers on how to get them out.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Thursday, 23 December 2004 01:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The Page 2 discussion was really good.

Earl OTM about Boggs, the guy was an offensive powerhouse.

It's the usual BS with guys like Sandberg -- 2B and 3B are underrepresented positions in the HoF because their offensive numbers aren't at the level of 1B or OF, they're not remembered for being "flashy" like SS, and they're not "on-the-field leaders" like C. Sandberg is a no-brainer.

Gossage should be in, I hear the arguments for Sutter that he wasn't great for as long as some other guys, but a) he was dominant for about the same length of time that Mo Rivera has been (and a lot of people consider him a future HoF player -- yeah, I know Mo's postseason performance is part of that, but still), and b) he INVENTED a pitch, which is a damned significant contribution to the game.

The Blyleven arguments boil down to the fact that he WAS great, but was pitching for bad teams. I think people are wising up to the idea that there are guys like Sutton who are in only because they pitched for good teams.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 23 December 2004 01:29 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Rob Neyer's done some great columns on Blyleven, I don't have the time to look for them now ... maybe someone else has a link to them?

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 23 December 2004 01:29 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Rivera's been dominant for longer than Sutter at this point (by two more years), MIR. And Rivera wouldn't even be mentioned as a future HOFer if it weren't for the postseason stuff.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 03:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The funny thing about Morris, as I recall, is that he always seemed to pitch just good enough to stay ahead. If his team had 7 runs he'd give up 6 and if his boys only managed 1 run he'd throw a shut-out. It was the weirdest thing.

Thermo Thinwall (Thermo Thinwall), Thursday, 23 December 2004 03:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The 1984 Tigers never get much call when they talk about great all-time teams, that team didn't really have any "superstars" but they were really deep and talented team. I think Sparky Anderson platooned at about half of the positions. Lance Parrish, Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker all three also had really good careers and don't get quite the props that they deserve.

That season I remember seeing Jack Morris throw a no hitter on TV against the White Sox as it was the game of the week Saturday Afternoon on NBC. I can remember my dad was working in the garage and coming in every so often to check it out how the game was going, as he joked after the first inning or so wouldn't it be funny if he threw a no hitter.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Thursday, 23 December 2004 03:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

>the hall really should be reserved for players who were at some point GREAT, not players who just managed to play pretty good for a long period of time.

But if that were the case, there'd be 80 or 90 members, except for what, 240 now?

By the established standard, Blyleven belongs. If you're "very good" for long enough (BB was in the top 10 in league Adjusted ERA 11 times from '71-89), that's worth 5-6 years of dominance (the peak vs career, Koufax vs Spahn argument). There was some research I read in the last year that showed Bert didn't suffer quite as much from his teammates' inadequacy as generally thought, but it wasn't enough for him to drop off my "ballot."

>The funny thing about Morris, as I recall, is that he always seemed to pitch just good enough to stay ahead.

"I know not seems..." I'll try to find a link for you, Thermo, but someone recently did a study of Morris's career in this regard, and it showed *no* special ability to pitch that way. He threw 1150 fewer innings than Blyleven and his career ERA was only 5% better than the league's (Bert 18%) -- that's not a negligible difference. Morris had a good career, but not a HOFer.

I'd vote for Gossage on greatness and longevity, Sutter on peak and pioneer role, close but unconvinced for Lee Smith. Rest of ballot: Boggs, Sandberg, and TRAMMELL, most deserving SS of that era below Ozzie. Dawson and Rice fall short.

It's sad that the Vets Committee process has obviously been fucked up to the point where they may never elect anyone, as I fear Ron Santo will die before his deserved induction.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 23 December 2004 14:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'll try to find a link for you, Thermo, but someone recently did a study of Morris's career in this regard, and it showed *no* special ability to pitch that way
Well even if that's true & it debunks my theory - it at least means someone else has noticed!

Thermo Thinwall (Thermo Thinwall), Thursday, 23 December 2004 15:32 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"But if that were the case, there'd be 80 or 90 members, except for what, 240 now?"

I'm not sure that would be worst thing ever actually, but my problem with Blyleven is that during his time he was never really recognized as being one of the best in the game. He wasn't voted to All Star games, he didn't make Cy Young top 10s, he wasn't talked about as being a great pitcher. And I think that hurts him. NOW if the reason why none of those things occurred was that he toiled entirely in obscurity for shitty teams and if he'd been on the Dodgers, the Red Sox, the Yankees and the Reds for those years instead that there would be a complete about face and he'd be considered among the best pitchers of his era, well all I can say geez that's bad luck for Bert, but I think that's a hard argument to make conclusively.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 16:17 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

That Bert was named to only 2 All-Star teams just shows how debased that is as a criterion.

MIR, here's a 4-year-old Neyer column on Blyleven... Alex, I think it's conclusive:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/s/2000/1213/943398.html

And he later wrote:

"Blyleven was, over the course of his career, a better pitcher than Ted Lyons or Early Wynn or Bob Lemon or Red Ruffing or Rube Waddell or Red Faber or Catfish Hunter or Lefty Gomez, all of whom are in the Hall of Fame... It's not Blyleven's fault that he generally pitched for unspectacular teams that played in hitter's parks. In fact, Blyleven pitched for 22 seasons, and in only four of those 22 seasons did Blyleven's home ballpark favor the pitcher, statistically..."

And to appeal to the butch old-timers: 242 complete games!

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 23 December 2004 17:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

>he didn't make Cy Young top 10s

Four of 'em (third twice).

http://baseball-reference.com/b/blylebe01.shtml

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 23 December 2004 17:47 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

When you start out your argument claiming that Blyleven was a better pitcher than Sutton (who wasn't even close to a great pitcher and doesn't deserve to be in the Hall IMO) and Ryan (who was a complete statistical anomaly and does deserve to be in the Hall for that, but was also not a great pitcher) you've already undercut your case tremendously, Rob.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 17:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Here's the BP article about Jack Morris that attempts to determine where Morris had the ability to pitch to the score:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1815

It concludes that there is no evidence to suggest that he could.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 23 December 2004 17:59 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

to determine *whether* Morris had the ability to pitch to the score

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 23 December 2004 17:59 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'm not sure how many pitchers in history meet your def of "great," Alex -- let's deal with the Hall you have, rather than the one you wish to have -- but the argument he makes is that Blyleven was better than several HOF pitchers, and comparable to *many* others. And he was.

That's the article I meant, MIR, thanks.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 23 December 2004 18:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Alex, to be fair to Neyer, he didn't bring Sutton and Ryan into the discussion. He was responding to the examples of Sutton and Ryan as mentioned in the reader's letter.

I think he's written a couple of other columns on Blyleven, maybe I can find them ...

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 23 December 2004 18:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Thanks for the link.

Those are some mind-numbing stats!

Thermo Thinwall (Thermo Thinwall), Thursday, 23 December 2004 18:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Michael Wolverton makes the case for Blyleven:
http://espn.go.com/mlb/s/2002/0728/1411078.html

This, and many other articles stating his HoF case are collected -- where else? -- on Blyleven's web page:

http://www.bertblyleven.com/hall_of_fame.shtml

xpost -- yeah, the Morris article is a bit of a numbers slog, but it's well done.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 23 December 2004 18:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"I'm not sure how many pitchers in history meet your def of "great," Alex"

Enough, believe me. And I saw him compare him to two HOF pitchers, one of whom is IMO a mistake and the other who is basically in the Hall because he had a zillion strikeouts and a slew of no hitters. Compare him to Carlton or Seaver or Hunter or any of the really great pitchers from his era, if you want to make your point (that this guy is getting job) don't just claim he was "better than Don Sutton" cuz my response to that is so the fuck what.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 18:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

getting jobbed, ahem.

That second ESPN article is much better btw and makes a pretty good case.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 18:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Catfish "really great"? Come now... talk about a guy who lucked out. Look at Hunter vs Blyleven (or Sutton, for that matter) and tell me how Hunter's better.

No, Bert is not Seaver or Carlton.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 23 December 2004 18:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Bert's website is great btw. He should get in just for having that.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 19:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Well I didn't see Hunter, but the perenial All Star games, the Cy Young, the top 4 in Cy Young voting four times, the fact that he supposedly one of the most respected pitchers of his era, the postseason accolades, the biggest free agent coup ever for his time and the very impressive statistics kinda indicated to me that he might have been good. Obv you know better though.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 19:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

All that stuff about Hunter is true, and of course that's why he got in. Looking deeper into the numbers though ... he pitched in extreme pitchers parks for his entire career, played for great teams, and generally didn't have great ERA's (he was in the top 3 three times, but never in the top 10 otherwise). He threw a lot of innings, but was overworked at a young age which is why he was washed up at 30, which is hella young for a HoF'er.

He played for fifteen years, and he had about four great years, four good years, and the rest were downright BAD. If he'd pitched for anyone other than the 70's A's and Yankees dynasties, there's no way he'd be anywhere near a serious HoF discussion.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 23 December 2004 20:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"He threw a lot of innings, but was overworked at a young age which is why he was washed up at 30, which is hella young for a HoF'er."

See this is where I get the impression that cold-dispassionate analysis of the stats lies a little. For 5 years (71-75), Hunter was probably hands down the most feared pitcher in baseball. No he might not have been Koufax, but he was still by all accounts pretty amazing. Those five years count for more to me than 20 some odd years of just pretty good workmanlike pitching (I will admit that these breakdowns of Blyleven's stats are making a pretty case that he was better than that.) (I do have to wonder WHY if Bert was so great, he um didn't get snatched up by better teams? I mean that can't all be bad luck, right?)

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 21:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Burt Blyleven:

Postseason Pitching


Year Round Tm Opp WLser G GS ERA W-L SV CG SHO IP H ER BB SO
+------------------+-----+--+--+------+-----+--+--+---+-----+---+---+---+---+
1970 ALCS MIN BAL L 1 0 0.00 0-0 0 0 0 2.0 2 0 0 2
1979 NLCS PIT CIN W 1 1 1.00 1-0 0 1 0 9.0 8 1 0 9
WS PIT BAL W 2 1 1.80 1-0 0 0 0 10.0 8 2 3 4
1987 ALCS MIN DET W 2 2 4.05 2-0 0 0 0 13.3 12 6 3 9
WS MIN STL W 2 2 2.77 1-1 0 0 0 13.0 13 4 2 12
+------------------+-----+--+--+------+-----+--+--+---+-----+---+---+---+---+
3 Lg Champ Series 2-1 4 3 2.59 3-0 0 1 0 24.3 22 7 3 20
2 World Series 2-0 4 3 2.35 2-1 0 0 0 23.0 21 6 5 16
5 Postseason Ser 4-1 8 6 2.47 5-1 0 1 0 47.3 43 13 8 36
+------------------+-----+--+--+------+-----+--+--+---+-----+---+---+---+---+

He didn't get many chances, but Blyleven pitched well in the playoffs and was a part of two World Series Champions.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Thursday, 23 December 2004 21:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I seem to remember Bert looking pretty good in the series with the Cardinals (aka the original You Don't Win If You Don't Play At Home series.)

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 21:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I do have to wonder WHY if Bert was so great, he um didn't get snatched up by better teams?

Many of his best years came before free agency, so he didn't have much choice in the matter.

Even with free agency, it's only during the last ten years or so that all the best players end up on big-market winning teams at some point, since eventually those are the only teams that can afford them. If Jaret Wright can bounce around for a while, have one good season after a slew of crappy ones, and end up with a multi-year deal from a perennial contender, then Blyleven would have ended up playing for more winning teams too, if he was playing today.

Even so, every era has a few great players who toil away in relative obscurity. Look at Bobby Abreu, or even Carlos Delgado. If Delgado goes to the Mets, maybe in 20 years people will be saying "if he was so good, why did his teams always finish in third place?"

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 23 December 2004 22:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Nobody says that about hitters (as their stats aren't at all dependent on their team being good.) They just look at the stats and marvel that nobody noticed at the time.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 23:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I have no idea why previous subjective honors (Cy Youngs, All-Star selections) would be used as criteria for another subjective honor.

Alex, nobody's saying Hunter wasn't GOOD, just that Blyleven was better for MUCH longer, and that "good press" shouldn't be a measure of excellence. And I don't see Hunter '71-75 being "amazing" ... His most "impressive statistics" are wins (ie, having good teammates) and innings pitched (which blew out his arm, as MIR says). I think he got extra credit for the pennants and the sexy nicknames. And it's cute how you use high Cy Young finishes as relevant to Hunter, not relevant for Blyleven. (Also, I don't see Hunter's status as the first Big Splash free agent being relevant; see Marvin Miller's book for how clownishly Catfish handled that situation.)

The "cold-dispassionate analysis of the stats" is the most reliable evidence there is. Not "what you heard" (from Joe Morgan?). And it isn't so much that Blyleven toiled for bad teams (they were more often mediocre), but pitched in hitters' parks.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 26 December 2004 03:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Speaking of Marvin Miller, what are the odds of him getting in this year (the nu-Vets Committee votes this year, right?).

I hope it happens soon so that he lives to attend his own induction.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Sunday, 26 December 2004 08:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

blah blah blah. my opinon is better than your opinion and i have proof! blah blah blah.


otto midnight (otto midnight), Monday, 27 December 2004 07:32 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


I generally agree, OM. HOF debates generally bore me, especially when one side is "he was MONEY" or "folks sure wrote boilerplate hosannas about him in the '70s."

It's not lookin' good for Marv, MIR -- when the Vets voted last in '03, no one came close to getting 75% ... and of the 60 votes required for election, Miller got 35. He got three FEWER votes than Walter O'Malley -- or as we call him in Brooklyn, Satan.

Miller and other non-players are on the "composite" ballot. Here's this year's players' ballot:

http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/veterans/2005/2005_vc_candidates.htm


The only one I'm sold on is Santo, but Dick Allen and Tony Oliva have decent cases -- as does Curt Flood for courage and legal pioneering.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 December 2004 14:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Rocky Colavito was a bit like Jim Rice, he hit like he was going to the Hall until he hit his early 30s, then it was over. I have a dog eared card of his when he played in Cleveland.

Mickey Lolich won't get in the Hall, but his pitching in the 68 World Series may be the best performance ever in the fall classic by a starter. The guy out pitched Bob Gibson in Game Seven on TWO days rest. ESPN Classic was showed that game a few months back and it was great. Harry Caray was doing the play by play.

While I don't know if he is good enough player to make the hall, Al Oliver had a pretty good career and never gets put on these kind of lists.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Monday, 27 December 2004 16:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I don't think it looks good for anybody to get voted in by the nu-Vets committee anytime soon ... as Morbs said, nobody came close to getting 75% last time. If they go through two or three voting years with nobody getting elected, they'll probably change the rules.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Monday, 27 December 2004 17:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Al Oliver was just "pretty good," ie a hitter not any more suitable for enshrinement than Rusty Staub or Vada Pinson. (His top BaseballRef comparables are Steve Garvey and Bill Buckner -- same story.)

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 December 2004 17:29 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Just out of curiousity how old are you Dr Morbius?

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Monday, 27 December 2004 17:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Exactly 5 years younger than Jesse Orosco!

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 December 2004 17:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

(I suspected as much.) Anyway, I was talking with my family about Blyleven this weekend and apparently he had a reputation of not being particularly well-liked and kind of an odd duck to boot (although I'm guessing that being Dutch was probably considered totally bizarre enough for a lot of people.)

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Monday, 27 December 2004 18:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Al Oliver didn't walk much

Riot Gear! (Gear!), Monday, 27 December 2004 18:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I hear that a few people didn't like Ty Cobb either.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Monday, 27 December 2004 18:27 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yes well luckily for Cobb he was a couple of generations removed from the people who were voting on his HOF induction so his jerkiness was more anecdotal than personal.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Monday, 27 December 2004 18:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


Cobb's last season: 1928
Inducted into HOF: 1936

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 December 2004 19:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Cobb retired in 1928 and was elected in 1936. So many of the voters would have seen him play.

My general point is that "b...b...but he was a bit of an asshole" is a criticism that's used far too often despite being irrelevant most of the time. As long as the guy didn't compromise the game of baseball (Pete Rose being the most obvious example) then I couldn't care less if he was moody and didn't get along with everybody. If he could bring it on the field, then that's the most important thing.

(xpost)

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Monday, 27 December 2004 19:16 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

It wasn't a criticism. I was just pointing out that it might be a reason why he'd been snubbed (that and of course that people are overly fixated on 300 wins, which is also not a very fair reason.) Of course, people who can't read for shit might have trouble distinguishing the two.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Monday, 27 December 2004 19:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Cobb's last season: 1928
Inducted into HOF: 1936"

Haha I need to learn to check baseballreference.com before I say stuff sometimes.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Monday, 27 December 2004 19:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

And I didn't say that YOU specifically were the one doing the criticising. I was saying that anyone who would withhold a HoF vote in part because they felt that player needed an attitude adjustment are themselves in need of an attitude adjustment.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Monday, 27 December 2004 19:33 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

All those guys were really good for a couple of years, but I don't think you'll find a four-year peak (plus his injury year last season, which was great) to match Donaldson's. Mattingly's a good comparison, position aside.

Anyway, as I say, almost no margin of error. He'd have to put up another 4-5 solid seasons--All-Star caliber, if not quite MVP-caliber--to have a chance. And this year, plus the injury last year, makes that seem increasingly unlikely.

(If he did pull it off, though, he'd be in a better position than Mattingly. For HOF voters, I'm pretty sure playing well through your 30s is preferable to early peak and then a sudden end, or, even worse, a long, prolonged slide.)

clemenza, Saturday, 26 May 2018 01:03 (three months ago) Permalink

VHS: I don't think Martinez is arguably less a third baseman than a DH. It's pretty inarguable--he had almost three times as many games/PA as a DH.

clemenza, Saturday, 26 May 2018 01:06 (three months ago) Permalink

yeah true, the DH award is named after him on top of that.

Van Horn Street, Saturday, 26 May 2018 01:38 (three months ago) Permalink

Still, justice for Rolen!

Van Horn Street, Saturday, 26 May 2018 01:39 (three months ago) Permalink

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/max-scherzer-has-somehow-been-better/

might have to start talking about scherzer's circle, not just whether he'll get it

k3vin k., Saturday, 2 June 2018 06:12 (three months ago) Permalink

in*

k3vin k., Saturday, 2 June 2018 06:14 (three months ago) Permalink

also, pedro in 1999...

k3vin k., Saturday, 2 June 2018 06:17 (three months ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...

random thought

matt william hit 43 home runs in 112 games during the 1994 strike season, on pace to hit in the low 60s. if he would have beaten mcgwire and sosa to the record by 4 years, maybe he'd be in the hall of fame right now? as it is, he ended up with about 45 fWAR and is ranked 29th by JAWS. but being the first to break maris' record seems like it would have given him a boost, fairly or not.

Karl Malone, Sunday, 1 July 2018 15:20 (two months ago) Permalink

well, that wasn't true for mcgwire or sosa, both superior players!

k3vin k., Sunday, 1 July 2018 15:24 (two months ago) Permalink

true, but it's PEDs keeping those two out

Karl Malone, Sunday, 1 July 2018 15:26 (two months ago) Permalink

unless, was that a thing for matt williams too? can't remember

Karl Malone, Sunday, 1 July 2018 15:26 (two months ago) Permalink

If you give him the then-record and change nothing else about his career, no, I don't think he would have made it--the difficult path for third basemen is well established. But if he'd broken the record, maybe that would have changed his career (he was basically finished at 33) and maybe he would have done stuff that would have put him in.

clemenza, Sunday, 1 July 2018 15:35 (two months ago) Permalink

Matt Williams would basically be Roger Maris in that case, I think. Though I mean I think w/full heath and no strike he’d have an interesting case, he lost a lot of time in ‘95 and ‘96 as well, he likely lost 60 HR total over those three seasons.

omar little, Sunday, 1 July 2018 17:18 (two months ago) Permalink

WAR has his three best seasons ('90/91/93) all before he chased Maris. His two big seasons after '94 ('97/99) have a big built-in PED-era adjustment.

clemenza, Sunday, 1 July 2018 19:46 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah Longoria has already better JAWS and I'm not even sure he is going to make it because of the BBWA dinosaurs (heck Rolen only made 10%, Boyer and Nettles are out).

Van Horn Street, Sunday, 1 July 2018 20:53 (two months ago) Permalink

Williams is pretty similar to Rolen, fantastic peak player and played quite a few years but lost a lot of games to a multitude of injuries.

earlnash, Monday, 2 July 2018 05:50 (two months ago) Permalink

Ryan Zimmerman's career arc is also pretty similar to Rolen and Williams too, although his peak was not quite a the same level. He's had a couple years where he really tore it up at the plate.

earlnash, Monday, 2 July 2018 05:53 (two months ago) Permalink

I'm starting to think Grienke has a pretty good shot (after being somewhat dismissive of his chances earlier). He's 34, still pitching well, and sitting at a career WAR of just under 60. 70 is close to a sure thing for a pitcher. The only 20th-century pitchers above 70 who aren't in are Clemens (obvious explanation, may still go in), Mussina (he'll be in soon), and Schilling (hard to say--please shut up).

Greinke still feels a little wrong to me, so I've quantified something I've mentioned before: how much of his career value resides in two seasons. I took all career WAR leaders down to Greinke, eliminated pitchers who did most of their pitching in the 19th century (when pitcher WARs were crazy--Tim Keefe is on the fence, so I left him in), and calculated their two best seasons as a percentage of career WAR. The Top 10:

               Career  2 Best    Pct.
Ed Walsh 63.8 22.7 35.6%
Joe McGinnity 60.5 21.5 35.5%
Hal Newhouser 60.7 20.9 34.4%
Rube Waddell 60.8 20.1 33.1%
Zack Greinke 59.3 19.5 32.9%
Dazzy Vance 62.7 20.6 32.9%
Juan Marichal 61.9 19.3 31.2%
Bob Feller 65.5 20.1 30.7%
Red Faber 68.5 20.8 30.4%
Vic Willis 67.6 19.1 28.3%

Almost a third of his career value came in 2009 and 2015; the rest of the time, he's been a good pitcher with one season of 6.1, another of 5.3, and nothing else over 5.0. I don't know if that should matter or not--Gibson, Carlton, and Kershaw are all above 25%, and Pedro's just shy of that.

The ten most consistent measured this way are Cy Young, Roger Clemens, Eddie Plank, Tommy John, Greg Maddux, Bert Blyleven, Walter Johnson, Mike Mussina, Nolan Ryan, and Don Sutton. They're all between 15-19%.

For purposes of comparison, Koufax's two best seasons account for 39% of his career value. Mark Fidrych's two best contribute 105%.

clemenza, Monday, 2 July 2018 15:55 (two months ago) Permalink

There needs to be an adjustment for career length...Trout right now comes out at 34%, and obviously he's not a two-season phenom--he just hasn't played long enough. By the time he finishes, that percentage will come come down considerably as his two-best-seasons number more or less stays the same (it may go up a bit) and his career number climbs.

Three of the pitchers ahead of Greinke had pretty short careers: McGinnity (10 seasons), Wadell (13), and Ed Walsh (14). Newhouser pitched 17. Greinke's at 15 and counting.

clemenza, Monday, 2 July 2018 16:50 (two months ago) Permalink

yeah I was going to make that point

k3vin k., Monday, 2 July 2018 16:55 (two months ago) Permalink

it's an interesting way of looking at it...though ultimately it's not too different than what JAWS tries to do

k3vin k., Monday, 2 July 2018 16:56 (two months ago) Permalink

So if Greinke does end up at, say, 70 for his career, his pct. would still be close to the Top 10 at 27.9% (I'll assume he doesn't top his two best seasons the rest of the way), but his career wouldn't seem quite as lopsided as it does now.

clemenza, Monday, 2 July 2018 16:56 (two months ago) Permalink

There needs to be an adjustment for career length.

i think the way to do it would be to compare a player's best two seasons to the total of, say, their best 10 seasons. that way you're still measuring how much a couple outlier seasons contributed to that player's career, but you're not rewarding (or punishing) players who stuck around for a long time. but as k3vin said, JAWS does a similar kind of thing in measuring the best 7-season stretch of a career

Karl Malone, Monday, 2 July 2018 17:11 (two months ago) Permalink

Greinke has a pretty solid shot at the HOF if he finishes up his career w/a string of seasons like this one, just to push that win total up into an area that'll make trad stat types happy, along w/his WAR probably getting towards Mussina/Schilling territory. it probably helps that at present there really only seem to be half a dozen other starting pitchers who are on a possible HOF track (Verlander, Kershaw, Scherzer, Sale, Sabathia, Kluber if you're optimistic about him having a nice run deep into his thirties.)

omar little, Monday, 2 July 2018 17:18 (two months ago) Permalink

Would love to see Kluber do it but oof the path is pretty narrow. Not saying it's impossible! Just that if he does it where are going to be all grateful to witness such a peak.

Van Horn Street, Monday, 2 July 2018 22:30 (two months ago) Permalink

For career length if a player has it then it's fantastic and it's bonus points in my opinion, there is something pretty great as someone who plays for so long, there's value in that. On the other hand, and it might seem contradictory, but if a career is shortened for whatever reason it should not count against the player.

Van Horn Street, Monday, 2 July 2018 22:33 (two months ago) Permalink

eh..disagree except in special circumstances

k3vin k., Monday, 2 July 2018 22:34 (two months ago) Permalink

I'm a big hall guy anyway, get Reuschel and Lolich in imo.

Van Horn Street, Monday, 2 July 2018 22:34 (two months ago) Permalink

To get Reuschel and Lolich in, it would indeed have to be a very big hall.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-4-gLlF0uw

clemenza, Monday, 2 July 2018 22:40 (two months ago) Permalink

hahaha

Van Horn Street, Monday, 2 July 2018 22:40 (two months ago) Permalink

though ultimately it's not too different than what JAWS tries to do

I don't think that's right. The JAWS peak is based on seven seasons. Greinke's WAR7 right now is 46.3, which puts him within a couple of games either way of Palmer, Reuschel, Mussina, and Glavine, much more consistent pitchers who all score low (18-23%) on what I'm trying to isolate.

clemenza, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 12:51 (two months ago) Permalink

https://t.co/Iyxv0lzyPX

let chase utley in

k3vin k., Monday, 16 July 2018 15:40 (two months ago) Permalink

(fangraphs link)

k3vin k., Monday, 16 July 2018 15:41 (two months ago) Permalink

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/24200497/what-makes-member-hof-class-hall-famer

So why did Morris get elected? Maybe the root of the argument spins around this idea, something I've come around on as a plausible Hall of Fame discussion point: Can you tell the story of the player's era without that player being a prominent part of that story? A recent example is David Ortiz. If you're going strictly by career value, Ortiz's Hall of Fame case is murky, with just 55.3 WAR. But he obviously towered over the game; you can't tell the story of 2004 to 2016 without Ortiz as a central figure. You could make a similar argument for Yadier Molina, a player whose Hall of Fame case is better than his numbers.

That's kind of the Morris argument. He pitched one of the most famous games in baseball history. He won two games in the 1984 World Series for the Tigers, one of the best and most famous teams of the '80s. He was a workhorse in a decade in which many of the other top pitchers didn't stay healthy enough to cement their Hall of Fame cases. You can't really tell the story of the 1980s and 1991 without Morris as a main character.

And yet still closer to Livan Hernandez than Mike Mussina.

omar little, Friday, 27 July 2018 16:01 (one month ago) Permalink

Six living, well-known players going in this weekend--that's got to be the most since the first couple of years.

clemenza, Friday, 27 July 2018 18:15 (one month ago) Permalink

I read somewhere the other day that it's the most in quite a while, forget the timeframe now though

k3vin k., Friday, 27 July 2018 18:39 (one month ago) Permalink

a full 2/3rds of them deserve it too.

omar little, Friday, 27 July 2018 21:39 (one month ago) Permalink

It is a fucking travesty that Morris, not Whitaker, is entering the Hall of Fame.

Andy K, Saturday, 28 July 2018 00:07 (one month ago) Permalink

I'm sure that Trammell and Morris will now push for Whitaker's induction (as Maddux and Glavine did with Smoltz), and that the Veteran's Committee will step in soon enough.

http://www.freep.com/story/sports/mlb/tigers/2018/07/25/detroit-tigers-lou-whitaker-alan-trammell-hall-fame/830271002/

clemenza, Saturday, 28 July 2018 01:35 (one month ago) Permalink

at least 3.5 of the 6 deserve it

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 28 July 2018 01:58 (one month ago) Permalink

Trammell and Morris got me looking at stats and players on that 84 Tiger team. I was 14 that season and followed that year like a hawk each week in the Sporting News. I remember the early season no-hitter that Jack Morris threw on the Saturday game of the week. I was watching it and my dad was working out in the garage and would keep popping in every now and then on the game. It was a really deep roster with great depth both on their bench and their pitching staff.

earlnash, Sunday, 29 July 2018 15:17 (one month ago) Permalink

Historically great team, but I'll use that to correct a common misperception (I followed that year pretty closely too): that after their 35-5 start, Detroit ran away with the division. While they did win the division by +15.0 in the end, Toronto also had a fantastic start, and on June 6, after taking two of three from the Tigers, Toronto had moved to within 3.5 games; Detroit was 39-13 (so they'd just had a 4-8 stretch), Toronto 36-17. They never got that close again, although they were still within six on July 6.

clemenza, Sunday, 29 July 2018 15:34 (one month ago) Permalink

One other thing that popped out on me checking out those Tigers 84 stats, check out Chet Lemon's WAR stats on Baseball Reference. I'm going to have to think about this one for a while, but dig this...his WAR offensive career numbers are pretty much the same as Dave Parker and Jim Rice. Both those guys had a couple thousand more at bats, but both had a couple years where they were arguably the best all around hitter in baseball (and 3 MVPs).

I could easily believe Lemon's defensive WAR numbers would be much better, as he was a good center-fielder and Rice was pretty much always bad in the field. Parker had an amazing arm, but his legs were all beat up bad a good portion of his career. That Chet's offensive WAR by their metrics career equivalent to Jim Rice and Dave Parker. I am going to have to mull that one over as I would not put him in the same level as those two guys.

earlnash, Sunday, 29 July 2018 21:56 (one month ago) Permalink

Saw that no-hitter, too -- maybe three feet from the screen, lying on the floor, from first to last pitch.

I was envious of the Jays for their outfield and Stieb (an actual ace), not that I ever let my best friend (who was originally from Mississauga) know about it. Speaking of '84, this article he wrote (long after he returned to Mississauga and became famous) mentions Dave Collins, whose #deceptivespeed we joked about: https://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/mendes-bracketology-b-sides/

Here's Chet. George Kell on the call and Gibson in left.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7RMB5m-drU

Andy K, Monday, 30 July 2018 00:36 (one month ago) Permalink

that promo is 100x better than any modern promo i've seen

Karl Malone, Monday, 30 July 2018 00:49 (one month ago) Permalink

The hat-jersey mismatch on the scripted part is a nice touch.

Andy K, Monday, 30 July 2018 01:09 (one month ago) Permalink

I'd have to check back, but I think James regularly cited Lemon as being in the running for most underrated player in the game in the old Abstracts.

clemenza, Monday, 30 July 2018 01:55 (one month ago) Permalink

(Not hard to see why, in the context of player evaluation back then. He had the Amos Otis problem in getting noticed: he'd often hit 16-19 HR, not 20; score and/or knock in 70 or 80 runs, not 100; hit .270 or .280, not .300.)

clemenza, Monday, 30 July 2018 01:59 (one month ago) Permalink

Four-time AL HBP champion!

Andy K, Monday, 30 July 2018 02:26 (one month ago) Permalink

Joe Posnanski's 2019 round-up:

http://www.mlb.com/news/2019-hall-of-fame-ballot/c-288030220

clemenza, Monday, 30 July 2018 16:09 (one month ago) Permalink


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