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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

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

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

Thanks for the link.

Those are some mind-numbing stats!

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

Exactly 5 years younger than Jesse Orosco!

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

Al Oliver didn't walk much

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

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

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


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

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

even w/ white guys like Seaver or Mantle, they were just being dicks.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 23 January 2019 12:42 (four months ago) Permalink

That's almost the only explanation as to why, say, a Seaver or Ripken wasn't unanimous--stray voters who held to the silly if-not-Ruth-no-one principle.

clemenza, Wednesday, 23 January 2019 12:44 (four months ago) Permalink

The first question for the Hall of Famers is about Edgar's batting average against Mo. "Why do you have to say that," Mo said jumping up. "Why do you have to say the number???"

— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) January 23, 2019

mookieproof, Wednesday, 23 January 2019 20:22 (four months ago) Permalink

.579/.652/.1.053 in 23 plate appearances...

https://www.mlb.com/cut4/edgar-martinezs-amazing-stats-vs-pitchers-in-his-hall-of-fame-class/c-302992870

clemenza, Wednesday, 23 January 2019 20:54 (four months ago) Permalink

rivera becomes the third hall of famer with zero hits, following jack morris and walter alston (who isn't in for his playing)

rivera: 0-for-3, K, BB, RBI
morris and alston were both 0-for-1, but morris did score four runs

trevor hoffman also had more RBIs (5) than hits (4)

mookieproof, Wednesday, 23 January 2019 21:46 (four months ago) Permalink

James seems to have taken on a new cause: Bobby Abreu.

clemenza, Thursday, 24 January 2019 00:24 (four months ago) Permalink

So I’m actually (possibly irrationally) annoyed that Halladay isn’t going inas a Jay. Like wtf does his wife have against it?

Mad Piratical (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Friday, 25 January 2019 06:01 (four months ago) Permalink

It's weird--not quite as weird as when Maddux did the same, but still weird. I don't think it's irrational for a Jays fan not to be happy.

clemenza, Friday, 25 January 2019 12:29 (four months ago) Permalink

plaque cap is not "going in as," for the X000th time

most visitors to Cooperstown are too old to see the caps clearly anyway

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 25 January 2019 12:32 (four months ago) Permalink

Mussina had more value as an Oriole, but i'm not placing bets there

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 25 January 2019 12:33 (four months ago) Permalink

It's still a symbolic thing that registers with hometown fans. Surely you would have been baffled if Seaver had decided he'd be wearing a Reds cap on his plaque.

I won't steal James's poll, but he has a good one up: "If you could put one (but only one) second baseman from the '70s/'80s on the 2020s Eras Committee ballot, who would you choose: Grich, Whitaker, Randolph?" Jaffe has them 8/13/17, and they're separated by under 10 WAR for their careers.

clemenza, Friday, 25 January 2019 12:43 (four months ago) Permalink

Hall of Fame announces what caps will be worn on plaques of incoming class. No surprise on Edgar after 18 seasons in Seattle:

Harold Baines – White Sox.
Roy Halladay – no logo
Edgar Martinez – Mariners
Mike Mussina – no logo
Mariano Rivera – Yankees
Lee Smith – Cubs .

— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) January 25, 2019

mookieproof, Friday, 25 January 2019 20:09 (four months ago) Permalink

http://www.naomiklein.org/files/images/NL-10thcover.jpg

na (NA), Friday, 25 January 2019 20:10 (four months ago) Permalink

makes sense for Smith, he was at his best with the Cubs, his bWAR over his eight seasons w/Chicago compares favorably w/Rivera's first eight seasons w/NY. However his subsequent career does not...

omar little, Friday, 25 January 2019 20:21 (four months ago) Permalink

Congratulations to Jason Bay, Ryan Dempster, former #BlueJays GM Gord Ash and longtime MLB coach Rob Thomson for making up the 2019 Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame induction class. That's a strong group.

— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) February 5, 2019

mookieproof, Tuesday, 5 February 2019 15:36 (four months ago) Permalink

Not sure if you can access this or not, but you may want to fill it in if you can.

http://joeposnanski.com/hall-of-fame-polls/

clemenza, Monday, 18 February 2019 16:46 (four months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

Has there been momentum to include baseball pioneers outside of the US in the past? I'm thinking the first great Cuban, Japanese, Dominican players for example.

Van Horn Street, Monday, 11 March 2019 17:15 (three months ago) Permalink

I knew that Tony Perez was Cuban, so I went looking and also found this player named Martin Dihigo voted in 1977 by the Senior Negro League committee.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=dihigo002mar

I would think that putting in at least Sadaharu Oh while he is alive as even a "pioneer" would be a big deal and probably should already be done anyway.

earlnash, Monday, 11 March 2019 23:31 (three months ago) Permalink

if, like me, you use fangraphs as your primary source of baseball data/stats, you'll be excited about their addition of pitch framing data and it's incorporation into WAR. in some cases it makes a BIG difference in catcher WAR, career and single-season.

https://i.imgur.com/sBOCtG8.png

much more here:

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/war-update-catcher-framing/

but i'm there are fuckups (Karl Malone), Wednesday, 20 March 2019 23:49 (two months ago) Permalink

That's definitely huge--from ~25% of Posey's value up to almost ~40% for McCaan. It's the kind of thing I have to take on faith; I just don't see it when I watch a game. (Certain pitches, sure.) But Big Data Baseball, the book about the Pirates' resurgence, made a convincing case for the value of someone like Russ Martin, and those numbers certainly line up better with the idea that Molina should go into the Hall of Fame.

clemenza, Thursday, 21 March 2019 03:25 (two months ago) Permalink

the HoF factor is one reason i posted that here - comparing catchers is going to be a mess because the pitch framing data only goes back to 2008.

but i'm there are fuckups (Karl Malone), Thursday, 21 March 2019 03:52 (two months ago) Permalink

this is terrible

i mean god bless hank conger, who should maybe not be out of baseball, but is

i am totally willing to admit that WAR has historically undervalued catchers, but this just suggests that WAR is an inadequate measurement that will be adjusted up or down willy nilly. hey, suddenly brian mccann is 150% what he used to be, just because!

mookieproof, Thursday, 21 March 2019 04:37 (two months ago) Permalink

oh hey, here's some recent data that completely wrecks the standard we've been using for years

mookieproof, Thursday, 21 March 2019 04:40 (two months ago) Permalink

Is WAR is zero-sum? If so, then the catcher's gains would be offset by the pitcher's reductions.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 21 March 2019 04:55 (two months ago) Permalink

There are accompanying pitcher charts if you go to the site, and the pitcher adjustment is minimal.

I didn't say so, because I'm the dinosaur James guy--that's basically what I meant by "I just don't see it," though--but I agree with mookie: those adjustments are drastic.

clemenza, Thursday, 21 March 2019 11:33 (two months ago) Permalink

brian mccann 8.9 war season haha ok

they're not booing you, sir, they're shouting "Boo'd Up" (Will M.), Thursday, 21 March 2019 15:16 (two months ago) Permalink

2007? doesn't seem far fetched to me. 135 RC+, .896 OPS – plus his contributions behind the plate (which he was much better at back then).
the swing we saw with their calculating pitch framing does seem extreme – but they could very well be otm. catchers are on the receiving end of every pitch thrown by their team in a game, sometime (not always) calling all those pitches – and I think we have way underestimated how much they can affect the game from back there.
a catcher who is talented behind the plate and also an asset as a hitter being worth 9 wins make sense to me.

Mad Piratical (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Thursday, 21 March 2019 15:40 (two months ago) Permalink

I think the problem is that some people (on this thread?) are confusing "game-calling" with "pitch-framing"...

Pitch framing is literally stealing strikes: with borderline pitches that an umpire would tend to call balls, certain catchers tend to get called strikes via supple hands, soft wrists, steady posture... The catcher framed a borderline (or out of zone) pitch as a strike.

So with all the pitch fx data available (hence since '08), the analysts have come in and measured which catchers excelled at getting more strikes called on non-strike pitches. Extra strikes (& less balls) = extra outs (& less runs against) = extra wins.

My zero-sum concern upthread is that this shift of WAR towards catchers should come at the expense of offsetting the corresponding pitchers' WAR, but as each team carries 11-12 pitchers, there is from a ratio aspect more WAR to share.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 21 March 2019 15:56 (two months ago) Permalink

ok so i don't know THAT brian mccann (it was 2008 btw) because i didn't start getting back into ball until... 2011? maybe he really was that good. currently listed as fangraphs #1 player that season, above near-peak pujols. maybe pitch framing really does count that much. but also, why does his framing fall off in later years? strikes me as a skill you wouldn't unlearn. did umps figure him out? or framing in general? does everyone's framing take a dip after 2008? i should probably be reading something, eh?

also all this hank conger shittalk upthread wtf you will NOT speak poorly of MY president

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTTLkDfg_HI

they're not booing you, sir, they're shouting "Boo'd Up" (Will M.), Thursday, 21 March 2019 21:25 (two months ago) Permalink

but also, why does his framing fall off in later years?

He got picked up by the Yankees who were real early on this statistic...

But the other problem was the Yankees were also running deep in high velocity pitchers as well.

Something about harder to frame flamethrowers.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 21 March 2019 21:32 (two months ago) Permalink

I think the problem is that some people (on this thread?) are confusing "game-calling" with "pitch-framing"...

I totally understand the difference, which is my I'm a little skeptical of such a drastic upgrade. If game-calling were included--except how in the world could you measure that, without making all sorts of assumptions?--along with fooling umpires, I'd be less skeptical.

clemenza, Thursday, 21 March 2019 22:11 (two months ago) Permalink

ya, these are good points.

and i had only mentioned game-calling as a general reason why a catcher could produce more value than any other position player, btw.

Mad Piratical (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Friday, 22 March 2019 00:14 (two months ago) Permalink

you'd also have to account for how often a manager is calling for pitches

heinrich boll weevil (Hadrian VIII), Friday, 22 March 2019 01:29 (two months ago) Permalink

i am totally willing to admit that WAR has historically undervalued catchers, but this just suggests that WAR is an inadequate measurement that will be adjusted up or down willy nilly.

i don't know if inadequate is the word, but imperfect would definitely be accurate. i would guess this kind of large noticeable sudden adjustment will happen again, as analysts keep honing in on the best way to measure defensive value at other positions. but i'd also guess that this pitch-framing adjustment will be the biggest of its kind.

oh hey, here's some recent data that completely wrecks the standard we've been using for years

it does wreck the standard, especially because it only covers the last 10 years. there's no way to see how much more godlike johnny bench would be, or someone like gabby hartnett. even for some contemporary players like yadi, the data is missing for the first few years of their careers. it's a fucking mess. people like jay jaffe are probably popping boners left and right because it means they get to spend the next year re-writing their hall of fame articles AGAIN.

but also, a lot of old schoolers were pissed when the dinosaur James people started gaining influence. the cardinals broadcasters still can't say "OPS" (AN INCREDIBLY BASIC STAT) without using the "i can't believe i'm saying this" tone of voice, and they i'm sure they'd think any sort of index-based stat like OPS+ is like totally incomprehensible rocket science nerd shit. i'm sure they got pissed when people started messing up the baseball card stat standards of .300, 500 home runs and Wins, or whatever.

ultimately i do think that new stats will kind of hone in on a new equilibrium, but it's going to be different in the statcast era, and there are likely going to be more of these standard-fucking adjustments before it's all said and done

but i'm there are fuckups (Karl Malone), Friday, 22 March 2019 01:49 (two months ago) Permalink

catchers are on the receiving end of every pitch thrown by their team in a game, sometime (not always) calling all those pitches – and I think we have way underestimated how much they can affect the game from back there.
a catcher who is talented behind the plate and also an asset as a hitter being worth 9 wins make sense to me.

i think this is otm. Those of us familiar with WAR have gotten really comfortable with the idea of a very good player being worth 5-6 WAR. a very good non-catcher position player is worth about that much over the course of a season, playing nearly every game. a good starting pitcher is also worth about that much, which really is just a huge coincidence - starting pitchers participate in much fewer games, of course, but it's almost perfectly balanced out by them being so important when they do play, and it still comes out to 5-6 WAR for a very good SP.

we've also internalized the idea that a good relief pitcher, even an elite one, won't be worth 5-6 WAR, because they just aren't involved in enough plays over the course of a season.

and we've also gotten used to the idea of catchers of very good catchers being worth maybe 4 WAR or so, because they tend to play fewer overall games per season. that's part of the reason that this bump to give people like brian mccann a 8.9 WAR season is kind of an extra shock. even for the more renowned elite guys, it seems strange. mike trout no longer had the highest fWAR in 2012, with 10.1. now it's buster posey, with 10.4.

but when you think about it, catchers are kind of like Shohei Ohtanis - when they play, they're part of every single play on the defensive side, and they're also contributing offensively. it makes sense that their WAR would settle in a little higher than a normal position player, just like the WAR for a relief pitcher is lower than other positions. i think that's just something we'll have to have to get used to.

but i'm there are fuckups (Karl Malone), Friday, 22 March 2019 02:00 (two months ago) Permalink

I've thought that WAR undervalues catchers for a while now, I hope these adjustments are just the beginning.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Friday, 22 March 2019 04:02 (two months ago) Permalink

does it undervalue them systematically though? it seems that if some are better than average at pitch-framing, others must be a negative in terms of value

k3vin k., Friday, 22 March 2019 04:52 (two months ago) Permalink

I guess that's still an open question. I'm sure there are other "hidden" values for catchers, I'm sure not all of them are systematic undervaluations. Once we can assign numbers to some of them then it might become clearer.

If you were to add on 2 WAR each for pitch framing, game calling, game management, effective blocking (plus whatever other skills might belong on the list) then you'd have 15 WAR seasons from catchers which I don't think anyone would believe. But I also can't believe that the best catchers, taking into account the physical and mental tolls of the position, don't sniff the top 20 or 30 overall leaders in WAR most years.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Friday, 22 March 2019 14:28 (two months ago) Permalink

I guess that's still an open question.

ok I actually read the article and it's actually not an open question, some catchers were bumped up and some were bumped down. which makes sense -- you're comparing them against each other

k3vin k., Friday, 22 March 2019 16:50 (two months ago) Permalink

There are definitely some in both directions, but I don’t think you can assume the overall effect comes out to 0. They’re being compared to a replacement level player, not an average major league player. So the overall effect could still be a positive one, right? tbh I’m not sure

but i'm there are fuckups (Karl Malone), Friday, 22 March 2019 17:15 (two months ago) Permalink

I don't think so? for example baserunning is in runs above average, UZR is runs above average...the replacement adjustment comes after all that is sorted out. at least that would be my guess

k3vin k., Friday, 22 March 2019 17:17 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah, but what I’m saying is (and I’m on an iPhone sorry) a catcher could be below average pitch framing (negative compared to the index of 0) but still get a slight WAR boost if they’re still better than a hypothetical replacement catcher. In other words, some catchers may be below average in pitch framing, but when the effect of pitch framing is incorporated into WAR it’s still a positive one - they’re stealing strikes at a level below the MLB average but above a replacement player.

Note: this is a wild guess! And I understand that some catchers are so bad at it that the WAR effect is negative - they’re worse than replacement. But I’d think it would be possible for the overall systematic effect to be positive, because it’s accounting for an aspect of catcher value that wasn’t there before. And if the overall effect does lean positive, that would be compensated for by a small negative effect among pitchers

but i'm there are fuckups (Karl Malone), Friday, 22 March 2019 17:34 (two months ago) Permalink

hmm. this would be a great question for the fangraphs chat!

k3vin k., Friday, 22 March 2019 17:53 (two months ago) Permalink

I’m kinda surprised that they didn’t post some sort of supplementary article talking about the ramifications of all this

but i'm there are fuckups (Karl Malone), Friday, 22 March 2019 18:16 (two months ago) Permalink

I wouldn't be surprised if we found a technology that allows to track pitch framing before 2008 (and after once all games were televised) which could also alter say Piazza, Carter or Posada's WAR totals.

WAR is going to be ever changing as long as is we assume there is fog wrt to the defensive aspect to the game so I'm cool with wily nily changes. Franchises seem to cook with their own data sauces anyway. I don't think the financial value of catchers is going to change a lot, if it does it is bound to be positive.

Van Horn Street, Friday, 22 March 2019 21:40 (two months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Since there are no other Hall of Fame arguments going on at the moment, I would just like to state what seems obvious. A place in the Hall of Fame is an honor to be given to those most worthy of admiration and respect. It is not a paycheck to be awarded based on a resume.

— Bill James Online (@billjamesonline) April 7, 2019

Not obvious enough, because I'm not quite sure what that means...Harold Baines, yes; Curt Schilling, no? I don't think James actually believes that, so further explanation required.

clemenza, Sunday, 7 April 2019 15:41 (two months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

this season Mike Trout has passed these players in career bWAR:

Vic Willis
Dave Winfield (he was tied with these two at the start of the season)

Roy Halladay
Willie McCovey
Reggie Smith
Clayton Kershaw(!)
Andrew Dawson
Chase Utley
Craig Biggio
Ed Walsh
Amos Rusie
Willie Randolph
Luis Tiant
Goose Goslin
Pee Wee Reese
Buddy Bell
Duke Snider
Joe Cronin

assuming he winds up with a 10 bWAR season (seems like a reasonable assumption??) he'd pass almost 50 additional players.

omar little, Friday, 26 April 2019 18:52 (one month ago) Permalink

you all remember good old Andrew Dawson of course

omar little, Friday, 26 April 2019 18:53 (one month ago) Permalink

assuming he winds up with a 10 bWAR season (seems like a reasonable assumption??)

Things that only make sense on a Mike Trout thread

these are not all of the possible side effects (Karl Malone), Friday, 26 April 2019 19:53 (one month ago) Permalink

Andrew "The Hak" Dawson

d'ILM for Murder (Hadrian VIII), Friday, 26 April 2019 22:14 (one month ago) Permalink


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