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

Excactly...these dudes are 'unique' and people remember them maybe more than someone business like and great like say Mike Mussina.

earlnash, Friday, 26 January 2018 05:07 (four months ago) Permalink

Vlad the Obscure:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/vladimir-guerreros-best-games-were-in-montreal-and-no-one-saw-them/

(Funny seeing Reggie on the least-watched list, but makes sense in the context of his prime being in Oakland.)

clemenza, Friday, 26 January 2018 05:16 (four months ago) Permalink

McGriff had a great season at age 38, he had two bad years after that and retired. His prime was more than ten years previous, but I wouldn't say he was declining for a decade. The fact is that he was never that great of a hitter, kind of a poor man's Rafael Palmeiro who was good every year, had longevity, but was rarely among the very best hitters in baseball. Bouncing between several teams never helps in HOF selections either.

Delgado *was* an elite hitter though, so yeah, his lack of support is a bit confusing.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Friday, 26 January 2018 06:06 (four months ago) Permalink

It wasn't a straight line, no, but I think you can see its contours. If you divide the full-time part of his career into two blocks, '88-94 and '95-'02, the first block has OPS+ seasons of 144-165; the second block is five seasons of 106-125, with two good seasons (142 and 145) mixed in, but both at the lower end of what he did in the first block. The weird juncture for him was '93-'94; he has two of his greatest seasons with Atlanta, but the offensive boom starts and the game kind of passes him by.

I think Toronto's run of McGriff-Olerud-Delgado (did anyone else have the job temporarily in there?) at first base is one of the greatest for a single team ever. Not DiMaggio-Mantle or Williams-Yaz, but pretty great.

clemenza, Friday, 26 January 2018 12:32 (four months ago) Permalink

the BBWAA is actively conspiring to keep Curt Schilling out of the Hall of Fame, according to this Devin Nunes memo I just read

— Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) January 24, 2018

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Monday, 29 January 2018 18:59 (four months ago) Permalink

I've got no particular sympathies for Schilling, but it's a bit too late to keep the racists and general dickheads out of the HOF.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 30 January 2018 08:45 (four months ago) Permalink

I’m down w people choosing to not vote for a dude who wants to see them hang.

YouTube_-_funy_cats.flv (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Tuesday, 30 January 2018 14:38 (four months ago) Permalink

Oops! I think I directly linked into my e-mail there...can a moderator please delete that post?

clemenza, Thursday, 1 February 2018 15:41 (four months ago) Permalink

Thanks!

clemenza, Thursday, 1 February 2018 16:29 (four months ago) Permalink

Here's a better link: Lloyd Moseby and Pedro into the Canadian Baseball HOF.

https://www.thestar.com/sports/baseball/2018/02/01/pedro-martinez-and-lloyd-moseby-headed-to-canadian-baseball-hall-of-fame.html

clemenza, Thursday, 1 February 2018 16:30 (four months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

I'm tempted to draw a parallel with Trump in the months leading up the election--seemingly doing everything humanly possible to ensure that he wouldn't be elected--but I'm really starting to think that this story won't have a similar ending.

http://sports.yahoo.com/curt-schilling-peddling-conspiracy-theories-surrounding-parkland-shooting-013811657.html

clemenza, Monday, 26 February 2018 00:37 (three months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

man. poor david wright.

Karl Malone, Thursday, 15 March 2018 23:54 (three months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

look at the typeface: https://baseballhall.org/hall-of-famers/rodriguez-ivan

Karl Malone, Sunday, 8 April 2018 17:18 (two months ago) Permalink

idgi

YouTube_-_funy_cats.flv (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Sunday, 8 April 2018 18:43 (two months ago) Permalink

Oh, nothing to get, there’s just so much text that it’s so tiny and narrow! Compare it to say, babe ruth’s plaque.

Karl Malone, Sunday, 8 April 2018 19:48 (two months ago) Permalink

New system from James ("I understand that I have overdone this, from a reader’s standpoint..."), with an emphasis on "high-quality seasons." It's behind the firewall, but here's the last paragraph.

So counting Carlos Beltran as an active player (because he was an active player last year), we have ten players who have more than 100 points, thus should be regarded as likely (though not certain) Hall of Famers, based on the high-quality seasons that they have already had: Carlos Beltran, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Joe Mauer, Yadier Molina, Buster Posey, Albert Pujols, Ichiro Suzuki, Mike Trout and Joey Votto. That list really should be eleven, because Adrian Beltre ought to be on it as well. It's not an unusual number.

He more or less says Trout is already in.

clemenza, Saturday, 14 April 2018 13:46 (two months ago) Permalink

What about Ohtani?

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Saturday, 14 April 2018 15:51 (two months ago) Permalink

I suppose that new system is for hitters?

Van Horn Street, Saturday, 14 April 2018 16:29 (two months ago) Permalink

So far, but I'm sure he'll follow up with a piece on pitchers. The system is basically Win Shares + bonus points (for All-Star Games, MVPs, World Series teams, etc.; all the narrative stuff that influences voters)--"Augmented Win Shares"--which is then converted to HOF points. 60+ AWS, which has been done only 20 times--e.g., Mantle in '56--gets 25 points, 18 AWS gets 1 point. If he does pitchers, someone like Kluber would do better under the new system than the old one.

clemenza, Saturday, 14 April 2018 19:54 (two months ago) Permalink

I think the system, just like the last one, is meant to be predictive, not necessarily evaluative--who will go in, not always who deserves to.

clemenza, Saturday, 14 April 2018 19:57 (two months ago) Permalink

One of those 25-point seasons, by the way, is Buster Posey's 2012 (catcher + MVP + World Series win).

clemenza, Sunday, 15 April 2018 18:20 (two months ago) Permalink

sorry to ask but does he discuss Yadi? i always think his case is overstated, not just by cardinal fans but also several other team's broadcasters, so i'm curious what puts him over the top for james

Karl Malone, Sunday, 15 April 2018 18:49 (two months ago) Permalink

A little bit--a career box (113 HOF points, getting near the upper end of the gray area) and this:

"Our system thinks that Yadi is a very likely Hall of Famer. You may have the same opinion; you may have a different one. He’s got great defense, several .300 seasons, some meaningful power, and some championship teams."

I don't see him as a HOF'er either--maybe I've got the same blind spot towards catchers that voters have historically had (probably the biggest after third basemen).

clemenza, Sunday, 15 April 2018 19:35 (two months ago) Permalink

i may just give too much weight to WAR, which probably doesn't fully account for all the things a catcher can do. but those same limitations would apply to other catchers too. even if yadi stays healthy and puts up 2-3 more decent seasons, he'll still barely crack the top 25 by WAR.

Karl Malone, Sunday, 15 April 2018 19:53 (two months ago) Permalink

He's about the same place using JAWS. Of the 11 retired (Posey and Mauer are still active) non-HOF'ers ahead of him, Jaffe's book sold me on Ted Simmons, and I wouldn't even have a problem with Munson, who has a bWAR of 5.6 per 650 plate appearances (although he was clearly in decline when the crash happened). Otherwise, don't think I'd add anybody.

clemenza, Sunday, 15 April 2018 20:42 (two months ago) Permalink

Anyway, before long, he's offering me a bet: $25, and I give him 4-1 odds, that Scherzer doesn't make the HOF even with a third Cy Young.
― clemenza, Thursday, 13 July 2017

The cat's in the bag, and the bag's in the river.

I think most all of us thought he was more or less in before the season started, but a fourth Cy Young would clinch it, and he's got a good start on that. Hard to argue that he hasn't passed Kershaw as the best pitcher in the NL.

clemenza, Saturday, 28 April 2018 13:43 (one month ago) Permalink

Two catchers from the hall of very good that have some similarity to Molina would be Bill Freehan and Lance Parrish. Both of their career war numbers are pretty similar.

Freehan's career is similar to Molina with his whole career with the Tigers and the 60s World Series appearances. Only really know him from baseball cards so I cannot speak to how good his defense was, but I would imagine pretty decent. The guy went to 11 All Star games, so the fans knew him and thought of him as a pretty good catcher.

Lance Parrish is another player I remember as a kid. He was pretty good and had a long career. In his peak, he was a good power hitter and big part of the 84 Tiger World Championship club. Never going to come up in a HOF vote, but he was a good pro catcher for over a decade. 300+ home runs is pretty darn good from behind the plate too.

earlnash, Saturday, 28 April 2018 16:23 (one month ago) Permalink

Kluber and Sale essentially equal to Scherzer over the last 2 years, fWARwise.

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 28 April 2018 16:28 (one month ago) Permalink

yeah those are the big 4 for sure right now

k3vin k., Saturday, 28 April 2018 16:35 (one month ago) Permalink

I agree (why I specified NL for Scherzer)--I might put Kluber a little ahead as #1. I don't think Sale is quite as consistent as Scherzer and Kluber.

James has been doing this detailed historical ranking for each position based on...I forget; "Value," but I forget how he arrives at that. He's done all the infield positions now, plus catcher. Anyway, he had Freehan and Torre trading for #1 in the mid-late '60s: Torre #1 in '65 and '66, Freehan #1 in '67 and '68. Parrish had a good run from '80-'86 (Carter #1 every year): #4, #3, #2, #3, #2, #3, #3.

clemenza, Saturday, 28 April 2018 19:42 (one month ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

don't know why i decided to look at WAR/G, but decided to share anyway:

https://i.imgur.com/I8l2JCM.png

kinda pointless to include the ancient guys like barnes but it's always fun to see an unexpected name at such a position. among current players, trout is where you'd expect to find him, but there's also bryant, mookie betts (!!) and corey seager, and josh donaldson at #30

obviously DLC (Karl Malone), Friday, 25 May 2018 17:36 (one month ago) Permalink

Donaldson is going to be a fun case.

Van Horn Street, Friday, 25 May 2018 17:46 (one month ago) Permalink

yeah of course the younger guys are going to be overrepresented when you look at rate stats...trout (and maybe betts...) obv is an all-timer tho

k3vin k., Friday, 25 May 2018 18:35 (one month ago) Permalink

i think Bryant as potential to be all timer on same level as Betts.

Van Horn Street, Friday, 25 May 2018 18:56 (one month ago) Permalink

I thought Donaldson was building a really interesting case going into this year--maybe the first viable position player who didn't get started till he was 27. (I'd have to check.) He was already close to taking care of the peak-value half of the argument--four-and-a-half seasons that match almost any third baseman this side of Schmidt. But he needed some background, and this year has really set him back. He doesn't have much margin of error.

clemenza, Friday, 25 May 2018 19:50 (one month ago) Permalink

Donaldson’s not gonna make it, unless he comes back with another few years like the previous few. His peak is amazing but so was Mattingly’s.

omar little, Friday, 25 May 2018 20:29 (one month ago) Permalink

JAWS
Third Base (33rd):
37.6 career WAR / 37.9 7yr-peak WAR / 37.7 JAWS

Average HOF 3B (out of 14):
68.4 career WAR / 43.0 7yr-peak WAR / 55.7 JAWS

beltre will only make this worse

mookieproof, Friday, 25 May 2018 21:32 (one month ago) Permalink

ya, i don't think i ever thought of Donaldson as a HOF.

Mad Piratical (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Friday, 25 May 2018 22:02 (one month ago) Permalink

It's true that in a hall of fame without Rolen, Nettles, and Martinez (arguably less a 3B than a DH), Donaldson's case look thin.

I mean the peak is there.

Van Horn Street, Friday, 25 May 2018 22:06 (one month ago) Permalink

Injuries will most likely keep someone like Donaldson from going long enough to get into the hall. The guy I started thinking about was Troy Glaus, who put up a few really good seasons for the Angels and then the injuries tore him up.

earlnash, Friday, 25 May 2018 22:15 (one month ago) Permalink

yeah Glaus was better than people remember, those two 40+ HR/100 BB years in his age 23 & 24 seasons were a promise never quite fulfilled.

omar little, Friday, 25 May 2018 22:19 (one month ago) Permalink

Matt Williams is another hall of the very good third baseman that had a couple of monster seasons.

earlnash, Saturday, 26 May 2018 00:00 (four weeks 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 (four weeks 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 (four weeks ago) Permalink

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

Van Horn Street, Saturday, 26 May 2018 01:38 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Still, justice for Rolen!

Van Horn Street, Saturday, 26 May 2018 01:39 (four weeks 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 weeks ago) Permalink

in*

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

also, pedro in 1999...

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


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