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

no one ever called harold baines le grand orange

mookieproof, Thursday, 13 December 2018 02:13 (two days ago) Permalink

Harold Baines has zero HOF case and his peak wasn’t peak enough to make his entry as a compiler especially legitimate. None of which I would mind this much (it would still be astonishingly wrongheaded) if the BBWAA would not one-and-done guys like Whitaker or shake their heads sadly in the direction of Larry Walker or make legit great players like Tim Raines and Bert Blyleven and presumably Edgar Martinez wait til the last second to let them sneak in. Fingers crossed for Walker there...

omar little, Thursday, 13 December 2018 02:28 (two days ago) Permalink

his peak wasn’t peak enough to make his entry as a compiler especially legitimate

I think the argument would be that it doesn't have to be peak enough when you average 2.75 WAR over your twelve best seasons.

timellison, Thursday, 13 December 2018 02:33 (two days ago) Permalink

what do you think a list of all the players who have averaged 2.75 WAR over 12 years looks like? mostly hall of famers?

k3vin k., Thursday, 13 December 2018 03:36 (two days ago) Permalink

It's a good question. Do you have an answer?

timellison, Thursday, 13 December 2018 03:48 (two days ago) Permalink

Maybe you're right. Oliver and Staub both average closer to 3.5 WAR if you take their 12 best seasons.

timellison, Thursday, 13 December 2018 03:59 (two days ago) Permalink

i don't have play index, but here are some players who posted 33-35 bWAR over their *first* 12 seasons:

jorge posada
ellis burks
travis fryman
mark ellis
brady anderson
wally joyner
ray durham

mookieproof, Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:07 (two days ago) Permalink

here's the leaderboard for most WAR accumulated between a player's age 22 season and his age 33 season

https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2018&month=0&season1=1871&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=22,33&filter=&players=0&page=18_30

baines comes in at 516th, just between jake daubert and riggs stephenson

k3vin k., Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:10 (two days ago) Permalink

For reference, Frank White was worth about 2.4 WAR on average over his best 12 (consecutive) seasons, 1975-87

from 1989 to 2001 Mark Grace was 3.6 WAR per year and was dropped from the HOF ballot after his first year (4.1% of the vote)

Karl Malone, Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:18 (two days ago) Permalink

Yes, and all these guys had defensive opportunities that Baines did not. As a DH, Baines was...really good and for a long time. So maybe it's the specialist conundrum again as with closers.

timellison, Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:28 (two days ago) Permalink

but a lot of the guys above who had defensive opportunities would have been at least as good as harold baines at the plate as DHs. it's just that they were good in the field as well, so they weren't DH's. but they're not hall of famers, either. so why should baines get in ahead of people who did everything he did at the plate, plus more?

Karl Malone, Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:34 (two days ago) Permalink

Wait, which of those guys had anything like Baines' offensive numbers?

timellison, Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:36 (two days ago) Permalink

Ellis Burks did.

timellison, Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:37 (two days ago) Permalink

(Although over 100 of his HR were for Colorado.)

timellison, Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:38 (two days ago) Permalink

Baines had 759 more hits

timellison, Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:40 (two days ago) Permalink

mark grace did

Karl Malone, Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:43 (two days ago) Permalink

421 fewer hits, 211 fewer HR

timellison, Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:47 (two days ago) Permalink

Baines lifetime postseason - 113 PA, .324/.378/.510 with 5 HR.

timellison, Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:50 (two days ago) Permalink

i think we're done here

mookieproof, Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:53 (two days ago) Permalink

421 fewer hits, 211 fewer HR

i thought we were still talking the 12 year thing? on that age 22-33 leaderboard kevin posted above, even just looking at offense alone (no defense/DH penalty), harold baines is 320th (mark grace is 282nd. just to be clear, i also don't think mark grace is a hall of famer. i'm just saying, the guy who no one really considers as a hall of fame hitter outhit harold baines.)

Karl Malone, Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:54 (two days ago) Permalink

i'm going to see if i can find mark grace on twitter so i can update him on this

Karl Malone, Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:55 (two days ago) Permalink

i wonder if anyone has ever had the guts to say "hall of the very good" out loud in his presence

Karl Malone, Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:56 (two days ago) Permalink

OK sorry for the confusion. When I asked who had anything like Baines' numbers, I meant lifetime numbers. Thanks for engaging with me, unlike the other ilxor sitting in the peanut gallery.

timellison, Thursday, 13 December 2018 04:58 (two days ago) Permalink

think the argument would be that it doesn't have to be peak enough when you average 2.75 WAR over your twelve best seasons.

WAR is roughly calibrated like this: 0.0 is of course replacement level, 2.0 is roughly "solid major league regular", 4.0 is an All-Star, 5.0-6.0 and above is getting into MVP territory. So in his very best twelve seasons, Baines was a bit better than the average major league regular.

It does mean something to be a solid regular for 12+ seasons, since most players don't keep their starting jobs for even close to twelve years. But a guy who topped out as a borderline All-Star by WAR (which is being generous) shouldn't be a HOFer by any standard.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 13 December 2018 07:30 (two days ago) Permalink

rumor has it LaRussa was venting about analytics today! stay tuned.

This is ... something. To summarize : game winning RBIs!!!!!

https://www.mlb.com/cut4/tony-la-russa-and-chris-russo-debate-harold-baines/c-301782986

NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 13 December 2018 07:50 (two days ago) Permalink

fwiw, harold baines led his own team in bWAR twice: in 1984 (his biggest season), he and starter richard dotson both put up 4.3; in 1986, he was way out in front with 2.9. that was the last year he spent any significant time in the outfield.

both those white sox teams finished fifth in the AL west.

mookieproof, Thursday, 13 December 2018 08:54 (two days ago) Permalink

I'm going to cut and paste something I put up on Facebook, rather than reword exactly the same thing. (When I posted it, I included an aside that I'd never post it on ILB in a million years, knowing the ridicule it would inspire.) Please understand, this is not, in any way, an argument that Baines should be in the HOF. He shouldn't--not at all, not close, and I haven't wavered on that a bit. But I have been trying to grasp onto something that makes his pick a little less...bizarre? Anyway, prompted by a comment Tim made about his hits/HR totals:

One addendum to this. The only way those multi-category combinations have even a bit of validity is to drop the floor well below what the player has achieved--if you set the floor exactly where the player is, and then throw in enough categories, you can prove Kelly Gruber ought to be in the HOF. So extend hits and HR to include RBI. If I'm looking at the career RBI list correctly, there are only two non-PED guys with 2500 hits (Baines has 2866), 300 HR (Baines has 384) and 1500 RBI (Baines has 1628) who are not in the HOF or inarguably on their way: Baines and Carlos Beltran. Beltran will probably make it--he was a much better player than Baines, for starters--but I wouldn't say he's quite a sure thing like Cabrera or Beltre. Anyway, Baines clears all three of those benchmarks with room to spare. So that's...something. Not a HOF resume in and of itself, but it's something.

clemenza, Thursday, 13 December 2018 12:28 (two days ago) Permalink

The reductio ad absurdum illustration of combining categories and using the player's totals as the floor was well illustrated by Posnanski yesterday:

I could put together faux-impressive statistical pages like that on just about any player you want. I mean, how in the world has the Hall of Fame not yet voted in a player who has:

More hits, triples and runs scored than 70 Hall of Famers, more doubles and RBIs than 67 Hall of Famers, more stolen bases than 91 Hall of Famers, I mean, how much more does a man have to do?

Give me a call Tony. I'll tell you exactly why Duane Kuiper belongs in the Hall.

clemenza, Thursday, 13 December 2018 12:35 (two days ago) Permalink

exactly

the reason WAR exists is to stop us from coming up with these arbitrary combinations of flawed counting stats

k3vin k., Thursday, 13 December 2018 14:00 (two days ago) Permalink

fwiw I'm not trying to make a case for Baines as HOFer so much as arguing that the idea doesn't seem insane. As just an offensive player, I don't think being impressive for a long career across all three slash line numbers represents an arbitrary combination of facts.

timellison, Thursday, 13 December 2018 14:30 (two days ago) Permalink

i.e., what can you fault him for as on offensive player other than speed?

timellison, Thursday, 13 December 2018 14:32 (two days ago) Permalink

as AN offensive player

timellison, Thursday, 13 December 2018 14:33 (two days ago) Permalink

looks like people generally tend to look at him as 4th best DH of all time (which I know is just a little over 40 years)

timellison, Thursday, 13 December 2018 14:35 (two days ago) Permalink

I'm not trying to make a case for Baines as HOFer so much as arguing that the idea doesn't seem insane.

it's not insane, it's bad

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 13 December 2018 15:12 (two days ago) Permalink

here's the leaderboard for most WAR accumulated between a player's age 22 season and his age 33 season

baines comes in at 516th, just between jake daubert and riggs stephenson

Daubert is in the HOF too; I had to check on Riggs (no).

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 13 December 2018 15:14 (two days ago) Permalink

btw the hell with Lee Smith getting off easy... the Spink Award went to Jayson Stark.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 13 December 2018 15:30 (two days ago) Permalink

yeah, no kidding.

i don't have a vendetta against stark or anything, but several years ago he wrote for...yahoo? i forget? and it really seemed like he was being paid by the word. just so repetitive and loooong

ring lardner and jayson stark, side by side

Karl Malone, Thursday, 13 December 2018 16:35 (two days ago) Permalink

at least he's NOT BEING INDUCTED, despite what the media say every year

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 13 December 2018 16:39 (two days ago) Permalink

If anyone's inclined to care about leverage over an eleven thousand PA career, Baines has his highest numbers in high leverage - .314/.381/.481 (for 2,289 plate appearances).

timellison, Thursday, 13 December 2018 22:47 (two days ago) Permalink

i guess it's something

Mad Piratical (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Thursday, 13 December 2018 22:49 (two days ago) Permalink

he’s 97th in career WPA

k3vin k., Friday, 14 December 2018 00:54 (yesterday) Permalink

Harold Baines was pretty good

Karl Malone, Friday, 14 December 2018 01:18 (yesterday) Permalink

I was looking at WPA earlier! I actually wondered if he was higher than that.

timellison, Friday, 14 December 2018 01:34 (yesterday) Permalink

KM, Mark Grace is ahead of him...

timellison, Friday, 14 December 2018 01:34 (yesterday) Permalink

lol

mark grace - pretty, pretty good

Karl Malone, Friday, 14 December 2018 01:37 (yesterday) Permalink

he was!

mookieproof, Friday, 14 December 2018 02:03 (yesterday) Permalink

but not hall of fame good

Karl Malone, Friday, 14 December 2018 02:11 (yesterday) Permalink

not at all. we'll put him in the Hall of Professional Hitters, where .300-hitting first basemen with no power rest in glory

mookieproof, Friday, 14 December 2018 02:22 (yesterday) Permalink

*late-career rod carew staggers through the doorway*

Karl Malone, Friday, 14 December 2018 02:29 (yesterday) Permalink

*late-career rod carew staggers back through the same doorway to the hall of fame, then closes the door and locks it behind him, leaving only a frightened billy butler in the hallway*

Karl Malone, Friday, 14 December 2018 02:33 (yesterday) Permalink


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