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) link

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) link

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) link

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) link

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) link

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) link

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) link

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) link

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) link

>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) link

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) link

"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) link

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) link

>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) link

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) link

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) link

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

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

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) link

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) link

Thanks for the link.

Those are some mind-numbing stats!

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

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) link

"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) link

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) link

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) link

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) link

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) link

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) link

"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) link

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) link

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) link

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) link

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) link

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) link

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) link

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) link


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) link

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) link

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) link

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) link

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) link

Exactly 5 years younger than Jesse Orosco!

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

(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) link

Al Oliver didn't walk much

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

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

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

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) link


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

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

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) link

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) link

"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) link

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) link

Sorry Kimberly

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 00:23 (two weeks ago) link

in defense of kimberly, with the way these guys are maniacal about their 'routines', it can't be easy to miss spring training and several months of the season, throw 3.2 innings in triple-a and then just show up in cubs save situations. (also his HR/FB is 28.6%, which is just unreasonable, either through bad luck or juiced balls)

that said, he's not a hall of famer, is definitely trending downward, and has the dumbass hanging arm/facial hair

mookieproof, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 01:40 (two weeks ago) link

Kenley Jansen is also a 1-team player at least so far. He's got a decade with the Dodgers this season. It will be a big deal for him and Kershaw if the Dodgers finally win it all this year.

earlnash, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 02:05 (two weeks ago) link

Two or three years ago, I thought one of the three would emerge to have a chance--with the caveat that they'd have to add some major post-season success to their credentials. Not any more. The biggest part of what I thought they had going for them--where they even eclipsed Rivera--was in their unprecedented H/9 and K/9 ratios. Year-in and year-out they were under 5.0 H/9 and up around 15.0 K/9. I figured if one of them could keep that up for another five or six seasons, he'd have a chance.

And then Hader comes along, and such numbers aren't unprecedented anymore. And probably some other reliever will come along and put up a season where he's under 4.0 H/9 and up around 18.0 K/9. I don't know where they hit the wall on that, but I'm back to thinking Rivera will be the last in a long while.

clemenza, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 03:32 (two weeks ago) link

a big part of what made rivera special was his consistency and longevity. i don't think it's so much about new thresholds of reliever greatness (12 K/9, 15, 18), it's about keeping it up year after year for an insane amount of time (like rivera). even then, rivera only managed 39 WAR (which is INCREDIBLE for a full time reliever) over his career. just like DHs, relievers have to be the elite of the elite to make the HOF because they're just not affecting the game for enough innings compared to position players and SPs

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 03:46 (two weeks ago) link

hader is pretty incredible right now. he needs to keep up this pace for another 10+ seasons to have any chance

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 03:47 (two weeks ago) link

Absolutely. Until his last couple of seasons, I thought Kimbrel did have that consistency; from 2011 to 2018, he's pretty solid the whole way (couple of minor blips). He just needed to add the longevity.

But he had a lousy post-season, and this year had been a nightmare.

clemenza, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 03:50 (two weeks ago) link

If part of the reason Rivera is in the hall is because of his shutdown rep in the postseason I think Kimbrel and Chapman haven’t exactly done much to stand out in that respect.

omar little, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 05:08 (two weeks ago) link

the way things are going, we'll need to weigh K/9 and HR/9 against the league environments to compare across eras

mookieproof, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 13:10 (two weeks ago) link

I'd love to see the progression of the K/9 record for relievers. The starter record is still held by Randy Johnson in 2001, so that's been locked in for almost 20 years. The relief record is probably a relatively steep line up for a decade or two. But I can't find anything online.

clemenza, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 14:17 (two weeks ago) link

Chris Sale seems to have the starter k/9 record at present? 11.1 vs Unit's 10.6 (Scherzer coming up a little shy at 10.5). And actually Darvish is #2, Strasburg #4, Scherzer at #5 (Cole is #11 despite having only had two seasons w/more K than IP, which shows how eye-popping his K rate's been over the past couple seasons).

omar little, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 18:09 (one week ago) link

Career, it's Sale; Johnson's single-season mark has been surprisingly resilient through the strikeout boom, though. Johnson (6), Scherzer (3), and Sale (2) hold more than half of the 20 best seasonal marks.

clemenza, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 22:15 (one week ago) link

Somehow missed the “2001” — RJ was insane during that era.

omar little, Tuesday, 13 August 2019 22:20 (one week ago) link

Can Edwin Encarnacion and Nelson Cruz pad their juiced ball counting stats enough to get some HOF support? Both are late blooming DH-types who won't stop hitting. Edwin has a reasonable shot at 500 HR/1500 RBIs (assuming his current wrist injury doesn't ruin his power stroke).

If David Ortiz is the standard bearer for the DH with a 15-year peak, and he's not considered by many as a shoo-in, then Cruz and Encarnacion don't have a chance. But who knows how this era will be viewed in 10-15 years time.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 18 August 2019 09:53 (four days ago) link

My own sense is that Ortiz is a shoo-in, and that Encarnacion and Cruz have virtually no chance, with or without 500 HR. I think Ortiz's spectacular finish and--overrated in the aggregate though they may be (his ALDS and ALCS stats aren't anything special)--post-season numbers will count for a lot when he goes on the ballot, plus his seasonal numbers are clearly better than both.

Very similar, though, in how all three basically don't get started until they're 27-28.

clemenza, Sunday, 18 August 2019 15:11 (four days ago) link

(I don't just mean Ortiz's last season, although that was highlight--more like his sustained bounce-back after 2009, when he looked close to finished.)

clemenza, Sunday, 18 August 2019 15:17 (four days ago) link

I think Ortiz has is beloved enough that the bit of smoke around his alleged positive PED result will be overlooked. Which is unlike virtually every other PED guy. Plus the whole speech after the Boston Marathon bombing, and some more recent events too.

omar little, Sunday, 18 August 2019 15:25 (four days ago) link

Before the so-called steroid era, 500 HR was automatic, and the HOF is full of guys in that 400 HR, 1400 RBI range whose peaks were about as good as Edwin and Cruz's are. If Jim Rice is in (and yes, he's a weak inductee) then aren't these guys worthy of serious consideration.

I personally think they don't "feel like HOFers" but their stat lines are getting interesting.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 18 August 2019 18:27 (four days ago) link

i think the real question is: can any of these touch harold baines??

Karl Malone, Sunday, 18 August 2019 18:31 (four days ago) link

neither of these guys are anywhere near ortiz, tho, and cruz needs another three seasons like this one just to get to 500 -- 2.5 of which would come after turning 40

ortiz was a top-5 mvp finisher in five straight seasons; neither cruz nor edwing have done it once. if we're gonna ride for mediocre fielders who didn't quite get to 500 let's go back and get crime dog before either of these two

mookieproof, Sunday, 18 August 2019 19:08 (four days ago) link

I said this earlier (probably on this thread), but I think Martinez's induction helps Ortiz too. Edgar was the better hitter--a little better in OPS+, 13 games better in career WAR. (Helped by some positive defensive numbers very early in his career; there's some evidence there he would have been at least an adequate third baseman if they'd just left him there.) For as long as Edgar wasn't in, I think there would have been enough writers conflicted about voting for the second-best DH ever to keep Ortiz under 75%.

clemenza, Sunday, 18 August 2019 19:34 (four days ago) link

These guys hit with more power and probably had a better peak season, but Baines was a more complete hitter and did it for a longer period of time.

I'd put them probably with guys like Richie Sexton, Greg Luzinski or Don Baylor. Baylor won an MVP. Don't think either one is better than the Crime Dog.

Ortiz is "Big Papi", the guy is a huge star. Good lord the guy is like King Arthur as he pretty much killed the Yanks and the curse dead himself.

The wild thing about Encarnacion is that ANYONE could have had him for pretty much nothing at at one point, as he was put on waivers I think twice. He then turned around and hit like 250 home runs. Nelson Cruz pretty much came out of nowhere to win a couple AL HR crowns too, which is also notable.

Kinda too bad that Eddie could never figure out the throw from third base, as Encarnascion seemed to be pretty decent about picking it at the hot corner in Cincy. I remember more than a couple times him doing this amazing stop and then throwing the ball into the 3rd row. Reds could have used that big bat he had later on with Jay Bruce and Votto. Reds at one point wanted to extend him and then he went into a funk and got traded for Rolen. Don't even think the Blue Jays saw him busting out like the did, them bringing him back after releasing him looks pretty smart in hindsight.

earlnash, Monday, 19 August 2019 00:32 (three days ago) link

That was the Jays MO somehow. Bautista was similar, in that most of baseball saw little to no value in he guy before his breakout.

Mad Piratical (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Monday, 19 August 2019 01:08 (three days ago) link

whatever bautista did during the winter of 09-10 should be studied by scientists and historians

mookieproof, Monday, 19 August 2019 01:22 (three days ago) link

Andrés Galarraga is another player somewhat similar career arc/stats to Encarnacion and Cruz, he had the Mile High boost too but did continue to hit after he left Denver. He had a couple decent years in Montreal and then seemed like he was kinda done before breaking out with the early Rockies clubs.

earlnash, Monday, 19 August 2019 01:34 (three days ago) link

Cruz and Encarnacion are incredible power guys and a lot better in many respects than your Kingman/Deer/Incaviglia/Dunn/Reynolds types, the guys many may view them as similar to. Better in terms of being well rounded at the plate, not too shabby in the BA dept, they walk a bunch, they’re totally dangerous, smart hitters. A cut below non-HOFers like Crime Dog but that’s nothing to be ashamed of really.

omar little, Monday, 19 August 2019 01:35 (three days ago) link

Galarraga is a good comp, he was a superior batter and while he didn’t walk that much his hitting was good enough to give him a good career WAR. He was no Bichette that’s for sure.

omar little, Monday, 19 August 2019 01:37 (three days ago) link

the HOF is full of guys in that 400 HR, 1400 RBI range whose peaks were about as good as Edwin and Cruz's are

Players I can find in that range (eliminating cases like Bench and Berra and DiMaggio, where it's a moot point): Willie Stargell, Vladimir Guerrero, Billy Williams, Orlando Cepeda, Johnny Mize, Andre Dawson, Duke Snider, Jim Rice, Tony Perez. Rice and Perez are in the same range as Cruz and Encarnacion; less so the others, I'd say.

clemenza, Monday, 19 August 2019 02:39 (three days ago) link

Just to be clear, when I wrote the "HOF is full of guys" in that range, I didn't mean a majority of the HOF, I was thinking about exactly the kinds of players you named. It's not a small number, and even though Dawson and Rice might be considered borderline HOFers, they were great players and huge stars.

Cruz and Edwing were never really huge stars, didn't get the MVP support and so on, but their rate and counting stats are those to some HOFers. I'm not really sure what to make of it myself.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Monday, 19 August 2019 10:05 (three days ago) link

but their rate and counting stats are *close* to some HOFers

NoTimeBeforeTime, Monday, 19 August 2019 10:06 (three days ago) link

jaffe goes through some of the bigger names making moves:
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/weve-reached-peak-mike-trout-again/

k3vin k., Monday, 19 August 2019 11:54 (three days ago) link

I think the biggest HOF season this year has easily been Greinke's. He started the year at 187-118, 3.39, 61.1 WAR. You never know at that age--if quick decline had set in he might have ended up on the bubble, shy of 200 wins and somewhere around 65 WAR. But he's been great this year and has two more seasons at least in Houston; he looks solid for 225+ wins and 70-75 WAR, plus he'll have a chance to have a big postseason or two. I'd say he's getting closer and closer to a sure thing.

clemenza, Monday, 19 August 2019 12:44 (three days ago) link

I know you guys live/breathe these sites' analyses as gospel, but I simply cannot (esp. after that radical recalculation for catchers a scant 5 months ago) trust any Defensive WAR #s and when FG/BA come out with these clicky-pieces comparing today's players vs. pre-statcast legends. (Offensive #s, sure, I'm right there, far less foggy/subjective).

I try to not to talk him up on here but I have a buddy who works for a (very good) club and he rolls his eyes whenever anyone in our group of friends brings up this "hobbyist" stuff to him. He feels like the open source sites are (my paraphrase) "on the right track but ultimately no more than entertainment for the more than casual fans & writers". His club has developed their own proprietary systems and metrics and says that even the top open source analysts are ~10 years behind their club's tech. No names but they are +250 to win the WS as of this morning.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Monday, 19 August 2019 16:48 (three days ago) link

the Lindbergh-Sawchik book has disposed me to root against that team (as soon as they dispose of the Yankees)

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 19 August 2019 16:54 (three days ago) link

all models are wrong, some are useful

k3vin k., Tuesday, 20 August 2019 00:13 (two days ago) link

WAR is a constant work in progress, and I have no doubt that MLB teams aren't spending huge money on analytics to learn about what they could read on Fangraphs for free.

These are totally different things though -- in discussing the HOF, we're looking at past performance by the top 1% of players. Teams are interested more in future projections for everyone in baseball, including minor league prospects. Of course they're going to use different analytics tools!

NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 04:59 (two days ago) link

*Marlins management takes a second look at $1 million line item to revisit Harold Baines’ hall of fame case*

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 12:44 (two days ago) link

Ha!

Mad Piratical (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Tuesday, 20 August 2019 12:55 (two days ago) link

all models are wrong, some are useful

Doesn't address Jersey Al's points.

timellison, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 20:42 (two days ago) link

WAR is certainly a better framework for understanding player value than anything else publicly available

k3vin k., Tuesday, 20 August 2019 21:39 (two days ago) link

Maybe the Hall of Fame vote should only be decided by quants on the astros lol

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Tuesday, 20 August 2019 21:44 (two days ago) link

xp - I have thought that might be the case at times. Other times, I look at the numbers and think something is wrong and I wonder about why and the extent to which other things that might be less noticeable are also skewered.

I don't know if you guys are interested in one I was looking at the other day. Minnie Rojas is said to have been worth 1.8 WAR in 1966, but only 0.8 WAR in 1967 when he pitched 37.1 more innings, had a lower ERA, finished 31 more games (leading the league), had about the same WHIP, lower FIP, lower SO/W.

The only thing I could think of is that maybe total offense was down in the AL in '67? But I checked, it was down, but only about 4-6% overall.

Fangraphs has him at numbers that are completely different: 0.1 WAR for '66, 0.7 WAR for '67. Bill James has him at 9 Win Shares for '66, 16 WS for '67.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/rojasmi01.shtml

timellison, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 21:55 (two days ago) link

that seems inexplicable

why were you looking at him, though?

mookieproof, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:00 (two days ago) link

team defense might be a reason, since bWAR includes that. the Angels in '66 had a worse defense by dWAR numbers, winding up with a negative team number, which could mean Rojas had to bail himself out more vs being bailed out by their better defense in '67.

omar little, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:03 (two days ago) link

I collect cards, have his '67 and '68 Topps. Interesting guy, came over from Cuba, short career.

timellison, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:05 (two days ago) link

Defensive difference between '66 and '67 teams is calculated as a total of 4.8 dWAR. Rojas pitched about 8.5% of the team's innings that year which would mean about a 0.4 difference in team defense when he was on the mound, right?

timellison, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:11 (two days ago) link

looks like he did give up 45 runs in 1967 (36 earned) vs 28 R/27 ER in 1966. So while his performance ERA-wise was better he could be getting dinged by the unearned runs maybe?

omar little, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:20 (two days ago) link

i have no idea if caught stealing rates are incorporated in pitcher WAR, but i can't imagine it mattering this much

this seems like the sort of thing you should ask a chat session and report back! except the fangraphs ratings seem reasonable, and they're the ones with all the chatz

mookieproof, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:57 (two days ago) link

dinged by the unearned runs

I don't know, I look at those games and yeah, he gave up some hits and walked some guys in those situations but we were already noting his WHIP being almost the same in more innings pitched, etc.

except the fangraphs ratings seem reasonable

Would have to look at whether or not he was really replacement level in '66.

timellison, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 23:04 (two days ago) link

Cruz went off yesterday, a HR and three doubles.

omar little, Thursday, 22 August 2019 00:26 (three hours ago) link


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