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Monday, August 04, 2003

1907 Ballot Discussion

Let’s start the 1907 discussion. 1906 precincts will be closing shortly, I’m going to start to finish adding up the votes, and then we’ll close the polls.

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 04, 2003 at 03:59 PM | 184 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. jimd Posted: August 07, 2003 at 08:37 PM (#516247)
Assuming some sort of random or representative distribution of balls hit into the OF, it seems illogical to separate routine plays from non-routine plays. If there are more plays in the OF, they would include a representative distribution of non-routine plays, wouldn't they?

I don't see any reason that the proportion of routine:non-routine plays has to stay constant when the number of plays change. Mind you, I'm not saying the proportion did change, just that OCF brought up the interesting possibility that it might have, and so we'd need to know more about OF play in the 1880's and 1890's to come to any firm conclusion (particularly the 1880's because the stats are stranger). What makes me intrigued by the idea is noting that OF'ers hit more in the 1890's relative to the league than they did in the 1880's; there's an inference here that OF play has become easier, though it's weak due to the small samples involved (only a decade).

If all positions had the same proportion of routine:non-routine plays, then 1B would be the most difficult position to play.
   102. Rick A. Posted: August 07, 2003 at 09:22 PM (#516248)
I'd also like to adjust the WS data for league quality, as well as the fielding/pitching split. I've been subjectively moving AA players down on my ballot, but I know that their has been discussions about what amount of discount should be applied to AA players. Could anyone point me to where those discussions could be found or post what numbers they're using? I'm looking for season by seaon discounts rather just a wholesale league discount.

Thanks.
   103. Marc Posted: August 07, 2003 at 09:27 PM (#516249)
jimd and OCF, let me see if I understand your point. OF make more plays in the '90s and OF also hit more in the '90s. Is that right? The former seems self-explanatory, but (first) the latter is only really meaningful if they hit more relative to the league.

But in any event, another explanation is that the ball carried better and everybody hit more balls into the OF. Whether gloves enabled baseball's powers to inject a harder ball or whether gloves were in response to a harder ball, either way gloves also play into this theory.

And also consistent with this, I think, is the notion that there simply were more qualified players available--i.e. the replacement level player was vastly improved in the '90s vs. earlier, which I think everyone has agreed is likely.

The total outcome of all these trends would be an improved level of play which would be especially visible wherever the weaker players were deployed in the earlier days, which again we all agree was probably RF.

So I don't know that you need routine:non-routine plays to fit it all together, especially since there doesn't seem to be any subjective or qualitative way (any theory) to explain a change in that ratio.
   104. Jeff M Posted: August 07, 2003 at 10:54 PM (#516250)
Rick:

You can start at post #85 in this thread, though it won't take you too far. The others are all over the place. I'll see if I can track some down.

Believe me, there's no consensus. Although the article at post #85 relates to BP, the BP adjustments are not readily apparent to me by looking at BP's player cards.
   105. Jeff M Posted: August 07, 2003 at 11:22 PM (#516251)
Rick:

Some more cross-references. In the June 8, 2003 to June 14, 2003 archive, see posts 51,55,66,68,69,71,72,75 and 81. Also see the June 22, 2003 to June 28, 2003 archive and posts 32 and 40.

There were some discussions elsewhere (before the June 8 date) but I haven't had time to look for them.
   106. Chris Cobb Posted: August 08, 2003 at 02:08 AM (#516254)
<i>Chris Cobb - I am just now getting a chance to dig into your NA WS.
   107. Chris Cobb Posted: August 08, 2003 at 02:26 AM (#516256)
Lots of good thinking about outfielders here . . .

Marc: Assuming some sort of random or representative distribution of balls hit into the OF, it seems illogical to separate routine plays from non-routine plays. If there are more plays in the OF, they would include a representative distribution of non-routine plays, wouldn't they?

jimd: I don't see any reason that the proportion of routine:non-routine plays has to stay constant when the number of plays change. Mind you, I'm not saying the proportion did change, just that OCF brought up the interesting possibility that it might have, and so we'd need to know more about OF play in the 1880's and 1890's to come to any firm conclusion (particularly the 1880's because the stats are stranger). What makes me intrigued by the idea is noting that OF'ers hit more in the 1890's relative to the league than they did in the 1880's; there's an inference here that OF play has become easier, though it's weak due to the small samples involved (only a decade).

If all positions had the same proportion of routine:non-routine plays, then 1B would be the most difficult position to play.


Two thoughts.

1) The only predictably routine plays for defenders are plays that pick up on the action of another defensive player: catcher catches pitch, first baseman catches throw, 2nd baseman catches the toss from shortstop (if he doesn't have to turn two). There may be a bad throw or a wild pitch, but those are exceptional events. With respect to making plays on batted balls, the fielders have no control over what is routine and what is not, so I agree with Marc that in general, an increase in the number of plays a fielder makes will result in difficult plays increasing together with routine ones.

2) On the other hand, we see putouts shifting from catchers to infielders and outfielders, which make suggest that a significant proportion of these additional plays for infielders and outfielders are pop flies, which are as close to a category of routine plays created off of batted balls as there could possibly be. The ratio of the increase in infielder putouts to the decrease in catcher put-outs might give us some estimate of how many of the new plays coming to infielders, and possibly outfielders, are indeed categorically routine.
   108. KJOK Posted: August 08, 2003 at 03:49 AM (#516257)
I didn't actually finish my thought after presenting my park data above - what I should have concluded was not only did teams "hide" their worst defenders by playing them in RF, BUT teams MAY HAVE PLAYED THEIR BEST OUTFIELDERS IN LF INSTEAD OF CF due to the shape of the outfields which resulted in some parks having more ground to cover in LF than in CF. I think this could be important when looking at players such as Hamilton, Stovey, etc. Unlike today, being put into LF didn't necessarily mean you were automatically a poorer fielder than the CF'er...
   109. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 08, 2003 at 06:44 AM (#516258)
For those of you who don't have it, Amazon.com has overstock hardcover editions of the DiSalvatore biography of J.M. Ward for $4.99.

It's on its way. Thanks for the heads-up, Clint!

BTW, I also purchased "Baseball's First Stars" by Frederick Ivor-Campbell (Bill James references the book a few times in the NBHA).
   110. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: August 08, 2003 at 10:54 AM (#516259)
In looking at WARP-1 stats for the HOM candidates, I'm struck by the idea that it weights defense too heavily. To wit:

WARP-1/162 Games
   111. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: August 08, 2003 at 11:07 AM (#516260)
Here are some comparisons to put into perspective just how big of a gap in EQA we're talking about here:

Billy Hamilton---Mike Griffin
   112. Marc Posted: August 08, 2003 at 01:07 PM (#516263)
I assume everybody knows that the Pirates played "two CFs" for many many years. It is interesting that Ed Delahanty broke in as a CF with Hamilton in LF and then the two switched places. Was it because Hamilton was better? Or because Delahanty was better? (The irony in this case is that, unlike the two CFers the Pirates played over the years, neither Hamilton nor Delahanty looks that good. Maybe that's why the Phils never won anything.)
   113. RobC Posted: August 08, 2003 at 01:54 PM (#516268)
Andrew -

One possibility is hitting reload. That is how I have double posted in the past. If you post, reload the page by clicking in the side bar, not using the reload button (the page is a post - so when you reload, it posts again).

As far as the Thompson-McVey rankings go:
   114. Jeff M Posted: August 08, 2003 at 02:10 PM (#516269)
James Newburg wrote: "In looking at WARP-1 stats for the HOM candidates, I'm struck by the idea that it weights defense too heavily."

Agree completely. I've made this argument over and over: that WARP seems to overvalue defense, and it is particularly troublesome because I don't think we have any specifics about how the numbers are derived. My example was that it turns Charlie Bennett into a better player than King Kelly.
   115. Marc Posted: August 08, 2003 at 04:20 PM (#516270)
So let me get this straight. WARP1 overvalues defense and doesn't adjust for season length. WARP2 overadjusts for league strength. WARP3 adjusts for season length but includes the overadjustment of league strength.

AdjWS you're looking better every day.
   116. OCF Posted: August 08, 2003 at 04:31 PM (#516271)
I know cross-generational comparisons are more distracting than informative, and in they example I have, they weren't the same position, or even close to the same position, but I can't resist it anyway.

Hugh Duffy and Norm Cash.

Notes on this: Both 1894 and 1961 were offensive spike years. Duffy was 27 years old in 1894 and Cash was 26 in 1961. In both cases, the big year was batting average driven, although a generous helping of power came along with the hits. Both wound up about 2.5 RC/G ahead of league on their careers, but Cash played in lower scoring times. Bbref has Duffy at a career 122 OPS+ in 7827 PA, 177 in the big year, while Cash is a career 139 in 7910 PA, 201 in the big year.

Maybe Duffy is almost but not quite Norm Cash playing CF and stealing bases?
   117. robc Posted: August 08, 2003 at 04:41 PM (#516273)
marc:

Combining comments from many different people isnt a good idea, especially when they disagree with each other. I, for example, dont think warp1 overestimates defense. I think warp2 has the right league adjustment factor, I just dont find it useful for our purposes (I at least partially believe in the pennant is a pennant thing), so I cut it down. And, the warp3 adjustment for season length isnt perfect, but I understand why they did it the way they did, I would have handled it differently though.

Of course, warp3 has everything warp2 has in it. If it didnt, something would be wrong.

If I listed every problem (or perceived problem) with win shares that someone has mentioned in the last 6 months, people would think its a peice of crap. Yet it isnt (except for maybe 19th century pitchers).
   118. Chris Cobb Posted: August 08, 2003 at 04:44 PM (#516274)
For whatever it's worth as evidence of the value of outfield positions, here are Duffy and Hamilton's adj. fielding WS, 1890-1899

(Duffy) -- (Hamilton)
   119. DanG Posted: August 08, 2003 at 05:57 PM (#516275)
The question for this election is not Hamilton v. Duffy, I don't think; Billy is a sure thing to slide into the HOM. Not because he's so overwhelmingly deserving, but because the ballot is weaker than it's ever been. He'll get very few votes lower than 5th, so he's in, everyone else is more scattered.

I think the issue is where to slot Duffy amongst the outfielders. We have outfielders at the top of the Grey Area (Stovey & Thompson) and the bottom of the Grey Area (Browning & Tiernan). Also Griffin.

For now, I have him between Browning and Tiernan. Is that too high?
   120. Howie Menckel Posted: August 08, 2003 at 06:12 PM (#516276)
Dan,
   121. Marc Posted: August 08, 2003 at 06:29 PM (#516277)
Yeah, I don't see Hamilton as a "lock," nor do I see the ballot as being so terribly weak. Spalding out, Hamilton, Duffy and Childs in? Weak at the very top maybe, but the #10s last time are going to be moving down, not up.

Besides, I am just "starting" (get it?) to warm up to Joe Start and I know the FOES are not going to roll over and die. I expect to have Sliding Billy somewhere between #1 and 4 (as Dan says, no lower than 5th, though I am rejiggering my ballot fairly dramatically this time, so anything can happen), and he is clearly qualified for a large Hall. But I wouldn't bet the house on him in '07, especially since we're electing one.
   122. Marc Posted: August 08, 2003 at 06:45 PM (#516278)
On the other hand, I just counted up the prelims (it's OK to comment on the prelims, right?) and Billy is way out ahead. Of course the prelims may not be representative of the whole though it is also true that the leading holdover from 1906 is a solid second, and the #3-4-5-6 last time are #3-4-5-6 on the prelims. Oh and the #7-8-9 last year are also #7-8-9 here. Childs and Duffy are down in #10-11, and #11 and #13 from last year are next. Browning has pretty much vanished from the prelims, we'll have to see if that holds up.
   123. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 08, 2003 at 06:49 PM (#516279)
Weak at the very top maybe

If weak means having the best players at their positions for the 19th century (Sutton and McPhee) at the top instead of a bat, I'll take weak anyday.

Besides, I am just "starting" (get it?) to warm up to Joe Start and I know the FOES are not going to roll over and die.

I'm just warming up, Marc. :-)
   124. OCF Posted: August 08, 2003 at 07:17 PM (#516280)
I take DanG's point as a serious one. Even if we're not going to elect Duffy and Childs this year, this is the year to get a good fix on what part of the line they should stand in. In Duffy's case, we know he's competing now with Stovey (I'm still a FOHS), Thompson, Tiernan, Griffin, and Browning, and that in the near future he'll be competing with Ryan, Van Haltren, and Kelley, among others.

Who wants to talk about Childs? TomH took a crack in post #80, but we haven't heard much since.
   125. Marc Posted: August 08, 2003 at 07:26 PM (#516281)
If we had a 2B with Childs' peak and McPhee's longevity, now that would be a candidate. As it is, I can't see either of them above #8.
   126. sean gilman Posted: August 08, 2003 at 07:44 PM (#516282)
Right now I've got Hamilton fighting it out with Sutton for the top spot.
   127. Paul Wendt Posted: August 08, 2003 at 08:01 PM (#516283)
Here is the distribution of putouts by fielding position for New York NA 1875 (Mutuals), 1910 putouts in 71 games. This would look good with functioning preformat tags or center tags.

212 123 80 [lf cf rf]
   128. jimd Posted: August 08, 2003 at 10:07 PM (#516284)
the difference between a good defensive catcher and a bad one has always been negligible (except for the running game),

Catcher stats then and now:
   129. jimd Posted: August 08, 2003 at 11:08 PM (#516285)
Team errors per 27 PO's, NA and NL

1871-75 7.67
   130. Paul Wendt Posted: August 08, 2003 at 11:24 PM (#516286)
What is at stake if the defensive spectrum is historically variable?
   131. DanG Posted: August 09, 2003 at 03:46 AM (#516287)
My comment about Hamilton being a lock was in all seriousness. Nearly all his support will come on the top half of the ballot, including many #1's. None of the holdovers are drawing that kind of support, Sutton's handful of doubters are holding him down.

This tendency for voters to support modern players who we know more about over superior pioneer players will only increase as we go on. It's easier to clear up those doubts about modern players, so even though their top-ballot support may be less, they will be elected over early players whom a few voters harbor doubts about.

And I didn't say this was a weak ballot. I said it was weaker than any previous ballot...OK, last year was a bit weaker, with Ham replacing AG. Right now, I don't think Hugh and Cupid are likely future HOMers. Neither looks like they'll finish among the top 8 in 1907.
   132. DanG Posted: August 09, 2003 at 04:03 AM (#516288)
My comment about Hamilton being a lock was in all seriousness. Nearly all his support will come on the top half of the ballot, including many #1's. None of the holdovers are drawing that kind of support, Sutton's handful of doubters are holding him down.

This tendency for voters to support modern players who we know more about over superior pioneer players will only increase as we go on. It's easier to clear up those doubts about modern players, so even though their top-ballot support may be less, they will be elected over early players whom a few voters harbor doubts about.

And I didn't say this was a weak ballot. I said it was weaker than any previous ballot...OK, last year was a bit weaker, with Ham replacing AG. Right now, I don't think Hugh and Cupid are likely future HOMers. Neither looks like they'll finish among the top 8 in 1907.
   133. DanG Posted: August 09, 2003 at 04:08 AM (#516289)
Since I?ll be on vacation most of the next week, I?ll post some preliminary thoughts along with rehashed comments.

1) Hamilton ? Not quite the caliber of earlier first-ballot picks, but among this crowd he stands out. Is he not one of the top ten center fielders of all-time?
   134. Jeff M Posted: August 09, 2003 at 01:50 PM (#516290)
On modern catchers versus old-time catchers:

It has been suggested that we modify fielding WS to give early catchers more credit. Given what I think (and what many others seem to agree on) about modern-day catchers having a lesser defensive role, should we also consider leaving Bill James' intrinsic weights for catchers where they are for early catchers and REDUCING those intrinsic weights for modern catchers? Or is it more appropriate to leave the intrinsic weights where they are for modern catchers and increase them for early catchers? Or something in between?

I ask, because Bill James' intrinsic weights give lots more value to catchers than any other position, but I'm seeing indications that this may give too much credit to modern day catchers (are modern catchers really significantly more valuable than shortstops defensively?). It seems possible that his intrinsic weights give appropriate credit to early catchers and overvalue modern catchers. I'm not arguing this...just mentioning it as a possibility.

It's sort of the reverse of what we've been thinking, but if we are going to evaluate this objectively, I think we need to consider it. I certainly don't think we should look at this solely from the point of view of upwardly adjusting early catching WS because we can't otherwise figure out how to push early catchers higher on the ballot.
   135. Howie Menckel Posted: August 09, 2003 at 02:20 PM (#516291)
Well, I think Bennett's appeal is that he put in more time combined with more skill at catching than anyone else for 30-40 years (Ewing and White and McVey's part-time work notwithstanding). It's awfully valuable to be the best at a spot over a long, long time frame.
   136. Marc Posted: August 09, 2003 at 07:01 PM (#516292)
My ballot begins with a "consideration set" of "great" players--"great" being defined as those who, at one time or another during their career, could make a plausible claim to be "the best position player" or "the best pitcher" in the game, and not just for a year but for a 3 to 5 year peak. A player does not "become great" by hanging around, he either "is great" or is not.

Though I do also have a Class B consideration set for "special players"--those with especially long and reasonably valuable careers (thus E. Sutton made my ballot several times), or those whose peaks are not among "the best" but are "close," and etc.

After the recent E. Sutton hoorah, I have recalculated all my 19th century annual WS, adding in the "fielding bonus"--i.e. shifting some defensive responsibility from the pitcher to the fielders (and also adjusting for season length). I was already using adjusted career WS (adjusted for "fielding bonus" and season length) in my analysis but my initial consideration set was based on raw Bill James seasonal WS along with some other considerations.

I finally had the time (OK, made some time) to recalc. and not to tease you any more: I was wrong. Ezra Sutton had a high 3 year peak from '83-'85 (if you include the fielding bonus) and should have been in my Class A rather than Class B consideration set. You have to admit, however, that Sutton is subtle. He's like the guy (I forget who, now) who led the league in BA and HR one year without leading in RBI (oh, yeah, Barry Bonds). Sutton had a high 3 year peak AND a long career, but the bulk of his career was played well below the level suggested by those two factors. And his 5 year peak is not terribly high considering the height of his 3 year peak. And not that his 3 year peak is any higher than Charlie Bennett's, with the fielding bonus, either. So, yeah, I missed.

(Pud Galvin still fails to impress.)

Following are the 19th century players who I believe could make a reasonable claim to be "the best" at one time or another from 1845 to 1902. They are listed IN ORDER of how high they rank on peak value. On my ballot, the burden of proof is why any other player should rank ahead of these, though sometimes they do.

C- Bennett, Ewing. Yes, Bennett clearly better, will move up my ballot.
   137. Marc Posted: August 09, 2003 at 07:20 PM (#516293)
Just for the record, here is the list of "the best" players at the end of each season (1878-1902, 1878 being the first year for which I have a peak adjWS total over at least 3 years). My Class A consideration set includes "the best" from 1860-1875, too, but not based on WS. I have listed "the best" position player and pitcher for the current 3 to 5 year period, and any players newly qualifying for greatness during that year. There are other players with a "claim" in any given year (an average of 3-5 per year, some years as many as 10).

1878--Bond, McVey/O'Rourke, White
   138. KJOK Posted: August 09, 2003 at 11:53 PM (#516294)
Marc wrote:

"I am incredulous as it relates to Thompson, the others I can live without. I will take a closer look at Thompson, I think WS undervalues him for some reason. Certainly it undervalues his defense relative to every other measure."

Win Shares is giving Thompson less than 2.0 per season after 1892 when the top outfielders are getting 6's.

My current theory is still that his parks' small right fields severly depressed his win share fielding numbers, and that his "average" looking WS fielding for '90-'92 actually represents very good fielding while his '93-'97 poor numbers represent average fielding ability, at least for a right fielder.
   139. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 10, 2003 at 12:56 AM (#516295)
So, yeah, I missed.

Marc, your a big man to admit it. :-)

Seriously, the third basemen were the toughest position players to slot. They don't stand out the same way as they do today.

Pearce basically = Glasscock and will move up.

I have Pearce, Glasscock and Wright almost equal in value (though their career arcs are different).

My current theory is still that his parks' small right fields severly depressed his win share fielding numbers, and that his "average" looking WS fielding for '90-'92 actually represents very good fielding while his '93-'97 poor numbers represent average fielding ability, at least for a right fielder.

Calling Paul Wendt! Calling Paul Wendt! :-)

I'd still like to know what others had to say about Thompson during his era. If he had some favorable reviews of his play, I might upgrade my ranking of him.
   140. Marc Posted: August 10, 2003 at 01:44 AM (#516296)
Finally, having looked at baseball pre-'71 as well as the rather poor resources allow and also having recalculated my peak values, a preliminary 1907 ballot with some major changes.

Really Should Go In

1. Joe Start (12-9-11-6 last year)--certainly one of the top 2 or 3 players at his peak, arguably the greatest player in terms of total value for the 1860s, I have him #3 on the ballot for peak. With 409 documented adjWS after 1870, Start was probably a 600-700+ WS player if we could calculate something for the '60s, making him #1 for career value.

2. Billy Hamilton (new)--the top peak player of the 19th century in the sense that he maintained a reasonable claim to be "the best (position) player in the game" for a remarkable 8 years. Overall I see his peak as the 6th best but his 473 career adjWS is #2 only to Start.

3. Cal McVey (9-6-6-2 last year)--his 1876-78 represents the 3rd highest 3 year peak adjWS on the ballot. Of course there's a lot of adjusting due to short seasons, but the point is these were not even his best seasons but just average ones for Cal. So overall I have his peak at #2. His career 336 adjWS does not include 2 years with the Cincy Red Stockings and is still #8 on the ballot.

Would Look Good in Bronze

4. Charlie Bennett (13-12-9-5 last year)--a huge peak (7th best on the board) with the fielding adjustment. A vastly better catcher than Buck Ewing and maybe a better player. 346 career adj WS only 12th best but with the wear and tear of catching a truly fabulous record.

5. Harry Wright (x-12 last week)--after Start the best "career" player of the 1860s, clearly the best or one of the top two players at his peak. His 63 career adj WS after 1870 are meaningless, I have him 7th for career value over a 15 year career.

6. Ezra Sutton (not ranked the past 5 cycles but 13-14-14-12 before that)--only 13th for his peak because his 5 year peak is not in the same class as his 3 year peak. In fact, for a guy with a very high 3 year peak and a very long career, the rest of his curve is lower than you'd think. Nevertheless, his 468 career adjWS are 4th best on the ballot and I can't make the case for anybody else to jump ahead of him. I was wrong, you guys were right (though Al Spalding would rate ahead of him regardless).

7. Hugh Duffy (new)--two things I hadn't expected: that he is a vastly better fielder than Hamilton, and at his peak (1893-95) was a strong claimant as the best in the business. 435 career adj WS is 5th best on the board.

Solid, but Probably Not

8. Tommy Bond (never before rated)--the #1 peak on the board even after cutting pitching WS in half (but adjusting for season length). Sure, the short season works to his favor in this system but if "a pennant is a pennant," he had the greatest impact. Let's face it, we've elected plenty of pitchers from the '70s and '80s (I can say that now). Tommy has as good (or better) a claim to be next best as anybody.

9. Dickey Pearce (never before rated)--the 3rd best player of the '60s (about the #10 peak on the ballot) and across a 15 year career I have him 6th for career value, though much of it is un-(statistically) documented.

10. Jim McCormick (x-15T-x-14 last year)--2nd highest peak among eligible pitchers; actually the career leader in raw pitcher WS for several years in the mid-'80s. 284 career adj WS after a 50% reduction in pitching value, still #16 in career value on the board.

11. Lip Pike (10-11-10-7 last week)--the #5 peak based on 150+ OPS+ in NA and play in middle infield in '60s. Assuming he combined the offense and the defense, a very valuable guy. #9 for career value but he drops down a bit because he is one of the most poorly documented players on the ballot. The benefit of the doubt goes to others.

12. Cupid Childs (new)--one of the top players in the game circa 1892, a bigger combo of bat and glove than McPhee, though for a shorter period. I have Childs #19 for peak and #10 for career, Bid #27 and #3 but I prefer peak.

13. Bid McPhee (x-8-9)--special dispensation to make my ballot despite "no" peak. His career (471 adjWS, 3rd on the board) and his defense push him ahead of 20 guys with higher peaks, most notably:

Probably Not

14. Jim Whitney (not rated before)--very comp to Bob Caruthers but in a better league. The #12 peak.

15 (tie). Billy Nash (not rated before) and Ed Williamson (not rated the last 5 cycles but 11-15-15 before that). Mirror images. Nash the #22 peak and #12 with 345 career adjWS, Williamson #24 and #11 (358 career adjWS with the fielding bonus). Nash among the best in '93, Williamson never "among" but "close" in '81-'84-'85.

I still have some work to do with this ballot. I believe WS undervalues Sam Thompson, I may have to find a place for him. Otherwise, Jones, Browning, Caruthers, Stovey and Creighton drop off, I am OK with that, though Jones shows up pretty well in my new analysis and Caruthers is not bad. Creighton, well, he did have a high peak! Stovey and Browning do not look salvageable, though I suppose the fielding bonus could be too big, thus unfairly victimizing these big hitters.

But I like Bond, McCormick and Whitney over Mullane, whom I have supported before. And after looking at the '60s I am pretty comfortable with Start, Wright and Pearce. Stay tuned. Oh, and sorry about Ezra.
   141. Jeff M Posted: August 10, 2003 at 03:53 PM (#516298)
Using the methodology for adjusting fielding WS (with a decrease in pitching WS to keep team WS in balance) that I described in posts #97 and #98, here are the aggregate raw WS adjustments for the significant players who retired in 1894 or before. It's a lot of work, so I haven't caught up to our current electees yet.

If you want the spreadsheet (showing the splits and adjustments for each of these player's seasons), send me an e-mail at the address above.

I'll include only the aggregate adjustment here. The adjustments are made to raw WS. I haven't adjusted for season length, league quality, etc.

PITCHERS:

Spalding (-59.5)
   142. Jeff M Posted: August 10, 2003 at 03:56 PM (#516299)
Using the methodology for adjusting fielding WS (with a decrease in pitching WS to keep team WS in balance) that I described in posts #97 and #98, here are the aggregate raw WS adjustments for the significant players who retired in 1894 or before. It's a lot of work, so I haven't caught up to all of our current electees yet. I'll try to knock out a couple more seasons tonight and post the results tomorrow.

If you want the spreadsheet (showing the splits and adjustments for each of these player's seasons), send me an e-mail at the address above.

I'll include only the aggregate adjustment here. The adjustments are made to raw WS (i.e., I haven't adjusted for season length, league quality, etc.)

PITCHERS:

Spalding (-59.5)
   143. Marc Posted: August 10, 2003 at 04:31 PM (#516300)
The annual adjWS include league adjustments as well as fielding and pitching adjustments and normalization to 162 games.

The career adjWS I am showing are picked up from other posts here so I am not entirely sure they have the same adjustments. The are taken to be approximations in any event, as I rate more on peak than career.
   144. Jeff M Posted: August 10, 2003 at 04:34 PM (#516301)
Using the methodology for adjusting fielding WS (with a decrease in pitching WS to keep team WS in balance) that I described in posts #97 and #98, here are the aggregate raw WS adjustments for the significant players who retired in 1894 or before. It's a lot of work, so I haven't caught up to all of our current electees yet. I'll try to knock out a couple more seasons tonight and post the results tomorrow.

If you want the spreadsheet (showing the splits and adjustments for each of these player's seasons), send me an e-mail at the address above.

I'll include only the aggregate adjustment here. The adjustments are made to raw WS (i.e., I haven't adjusted for season length, league quality, etc.)

PITCHERS:

Spalding (-59.5)
   145. Jeff M Posted: August 10, 2003 at 11:32 PM (#516303)
Update of post #190, to include players through 1899 retirement year:

PITCHERS:

Foutz (-16.0)
   146. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 10, 2003 at 11:46 PM (#516304)
13. NED WILLIAMSON, 3B, Best comp may be Jeff Kent with Bill Mazeroski?s defense, which is a pretty potent combination. Seems to be undervalued with all the friends of Ezra..

I won't debate with you the low ranking of Sutton. What I still don't understand is Williamson over Sutton. Peak or career, Ezra tops (N)ed.

Oh, well...
   147. KJOK Posted: August 11, 2003 at 03:56 AM (#516305)
Just to beat the dead horse:

1. I heavily weight defense at C, SS & 3B, and although Sutton rates above average fielding, Williamson is off the charts, creating a rather large gap for Sutton to overcome.

2. I don't totally buy "a pennant is a pennant" when evaluating great players. A performance over 120 games is more indicative of true ability than the same performance over 60 games. I DO make some adjustment for the shorter seasons, but don't scale every season's performance to 162 games.

3. Besides looking at peak, I also consider Sutton's poorer seasons in his evaluation. The 1878-1880 season performances, when Sutton, as a supposedly HOM calibre player, should be at his peak (ages 27-29), actually takes away a few points from him in my evaluation.

4. Basically, I end up with them rated as even, and in that case, Williamson moves ahead based on "contemporary opinion."
   148. Howie Menckel Posted: August 11, 2003 at 11:01 AM (#516306)
KJOK,
   149. OCF Posted: August 11, 2003 at 04:33 PM (#516310)
If there are any concerns about a rush to judgment on Billy Hamilton, they don't concern Sam Thompson, who has been on the ballot. By 1907, we are quite familiar with the careers of Ryan, Van Haltren, Burkett, Kelley, and Keeler, even though they aren't on the ballot yet. Compare Hamilton to them. Is he ahead of all of them? If, not, are the ones ahead of him also suitable first-ballot cases?
   150. Howie Menckel Posted: August 11, 2003 at 05:01 PM (#516312)
one more query: We had 15 of our 41 guys last time named on three ballots or fewer.
   151. KJOK Posted: August 11, 2003 at 05:09 PM (#516313)
Howie Menckel wrote: "...KJOK,
   152. Howie Menckel Posted: August 11, 2003 at 05:13 PM (#516315)
*******
   153. OCF Posted: August 11, 2003 at 05:39 PM (#516316)
TomH understood my point. As far as the 1890's go, I don't see any of those other run-scoring outfielders being ahead of Hamilton, although some are pretty close. There are a couple whose 20th century performance I want to look at again, but that doesn't really matter here.
   154. Marc Posted: August 11, 2003 at 06:37 PM (#516317)
I think, yes, we absolutely DO (not just would be DO) compare Hamilton to those other guys. One basis for rating Billy highly is his peak. How do we know how high his peak was (how far above not just replacement, but how far above the other top players of his day, I mean let's face it, that's how we really recognize a really high peak, when it is higher than anybody else) unless we know how he stacked up to Ryan et al? We don't. So it is not at all unnatural to know how Hamilton stacks up with these guys. It would be unnatural to pretend that we DON'T know.

As to the idea of bumping people from eligibility, Howie has a point. I have said all along (based on experience in another shadow HoF voting exercise) that at some future time the numbers Howie cites will be reversed. That is 2/3 of those getting votes will be on 3 or fewer ballots, and when we get to that point we will probably have 100 different guys getting votes. A recipe for chaos, IMHO. On the other hand, I don't like term limits. But it is worth thinking about Howie's point.
   155. jimd Posted: August 11, 2003 at 06:58 PM (#516318)
On the eligibility question: How does a player get reactivated?

It's relatively easy to come up with a criterion for deactivation - less than some number of votes for some number of years. But once off, he can no longer receive votes.

Would it require a petition process, with some number of signatures?
   156. RobC Posted: August 11, 2003 at 07:13 PM (#516321)
This problem can be solved by
   157. Marc Posted: August 11, 2003 at 07:25 PM (#516322)
Andrew, it is now 1989, and the What If HoF consists of:

1936 (20th c.)-Cobb, Wagner, Johnson, Speaker, Alexander
   158. OCF Posted: August 11, 2003 at 08:12 PM (#516323)
<i>As you can see, since about 1970 the most recent "backlog" player selected has been Joe Medwick.

1985--Willie Keeler
   159. OCF Posted: August 11, 2003 at 08:16 PM (#516324)
Sorry, Marc - I was too quick on the trigger. On reading your whole post, I see that you meant "backlog" to apply only to 1920-1950 and you are still dealing with earlier players.
   160. Marc Posted: August 11, 2003 at 08:55 PM (#516325)
Well, I meant "backlog" to apply to them all, but Medwick was simply the "most recent" in the sense that he is a "more recent" player than Keeler or Keefe, not the one "most recently" elected.
   161. Paul Wendt Posted: August 12, 2003 at 06:15 AM (#516327)
How much use do you (plural) make of pitcher fielding statistics?

For example, suppose we learn that a strikeout was a pitcher assist in Boston (where Whitney and Buffinton played halftime), a wild pitch was a pitcher error in New York (Welch and Bagley), but not vice versa. Will it matter to your assessment?

For now, this is only a thought experiment.
   162. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 12, 2003 at 03:10 PM (#516329)
McPhee/Childs got some play this week, but Dunlap vs Childs is a much better comp. 2 great hitting 2Bmen, fine peaks, medium length careers. Dunlap has better offensive stats, but taking into account leag qual, they look even. Childs has 2 extra years, Dunlap better defensively. Not sure why Childs is getting so much more love - I can't tell them apart. Can some FOCC/EOFD explain?

I'm friendly to both, but Childs isn't really that close to Dunlap. Cupid played almost his entire career in a one-league environment, while Sure Shot did the opposite (his '84 season also skews his numbers considerably).
   163. Philip Posted: August 12, 2003 at 03:42 PM (#516330)
I strongly disagree that players could lose eligibility. The back end of the ballot is still very interesting (and more so with more players to choose from) and has a lot of effect on the final results. With restricted eligibility we would have probably had a different inductee last year (although I wouldn't have had a problem with that in this case :-))
   164. Marc Posted: August 13, 2003 at 03:05 AM (#516332)
>If we have 50 guys on the ballot, so be it.

I predict it will be more like 100. But so be it.

As to Childs, he had a high peak...not an Ezra Sutton type peak, mind you, but not too far short of that. Dunlap had nothing even close except in the UA. But I am not particularly a FOACE2B (any currently eligible 2B). And if the better athletes are all playing SS (a slight exaggeration), then I don't mind if most of the middle IF whom we elect are SS, and 2B is "underrepresented."
   165. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 13, 2003 at 03:13 AM (#516333)
He was the best 2B of the 90's? Well Dave Concepcion was probably the best shortstop of the 1970's, that doesn't mean I'll be placing him very high on my ballot . . .

Speaking for myself, I have never used that as part of my criteria. I only insert that in my comments as an interesting "fact" (based on my opinion) - nothing more.

Again, Childs played, without a doubt, in the more competitive era. Relative to his competition, Childs was the better offensive threat (and above average defensively). Plus, he was more durable (not that Cupid was Cal Jr. himself).

I like Dunlap. I like Childs more.
   166. Howie Menckel Posted: August 13, 2003 at 02:19 PM (#516336)
I'll probably expand on this at another time, but what IS IT about the UA and the AA that makes people seem to offer similar discounts to both?
   167. Marc Posted: August 13, 2003 at 02:55 PM (#516337)
IMHO, AA discount ranges from 0-35% with average of 17% for its lifetime, but applied to individual players on an annual basis. Those who played 5 years during AA's middle/prime would only see about an 8% discount.

UA discount is about 65%. You are absolutely right, not the same thing at all.
   168. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 13, 2003 at 06:38 PM (#516338)
By WARP3 they are dead even on career and peak. Fred is still a notch ahead in my book, although I can see it going the other way.

Based on negative fielding "demerits", Childs loses 5.5 wins via WARP3 compared to Dunlap.

I don't buy negative values for on-field play. It's one thing to credit a player with .00000001 or something more infinitesimal, but it's another to deduct wins. That was my major problem with Total Baseball (though WARP is considerably better).
   169. Jeff M Posted: August 13, 2003 at 07:24 PM (#516339)
Marc wrote: "IMHO, AA discount ranges from 0-35% with average of 17% for its lifetime, but applied to individual players on an annual basis. Those who played 5 years during AA's middle/prime would only see about an 8% discount.

I think the bad years of the AA ought to be discounted about 25%, the so-so-years should be about 5-8% and the middle/stronger years should get no discount at all. That works out to about 8-10% on average, but I also apply them to individual players on an annual basis. Those who played 5 years during AA's middle/prime would only see about a 3% discount.

Marc also wrote: "UA discount is about 65%."

HOLY COW! That is by far the biggest discount I've seen. I agree that the UA was very very bad, but there ought to be a floor somewhere, and I don't see how an established NL player can get a 65% discount, even in a horrible league.

I discount UA at more like 35%. I don't have Dunlap on my ballot, and I don't advocate anything positive about the UA, but I'll use Dunlap's 1884 UA season as an example of the difference between applying a 35% discount and applying a 65% discount:

1. With a 35% discount, Dunlap hits for an average of .268 (from .412), has an OBA of .334 (from .448) and a SLG of .404 (from .621). That lops a sizeable chunk off his UA achievement.

2. With a 65% discount, Dunlap hits .144/.163/.217. In other words, he couldn't hit a baseball. There are Atlanta Braves pitchers with better numbers. I just don't think that is supported by the rest of Dunlap's record in well-established and quality leagues.

Side point (unrelated to Marc's post): Everyone should keep in mind that if you are discounting the AA and the UA, the discounts are relative to the NL during those SAME years. The NL was obviously weaker during the AA years than it was before or after, because there was dilution of talent.
   170. Marc Posted: August 13, 2003 at 07:55 PM (#516340)
OK, the real discount for the UA is 57% not 65%, sorry. But look at Dunlap in '82-'83 (NL no discount), '84 (UA -57%), '85-'86 (NL no discount) in raw WS:

14-16-22-14-17

It's not clear that 57% is enough. Was Dunlap in '84 (age 25) really 30% better than any other year in his career and 23-33% better than the seasons immediately before and after?

As has been discussed, and I won't try to repeat it here, it is tough to peg the AA because so few players moved between it and the NL other than at certain key years of high player mobility. But Tim Keefe is as good an example as any.

Tim Keefe's raw WS '81-'86: 23-24-70-47-42-38

Which years was he in the AA? My discount for '83 in 24% which leaves Keefe at 53 WS at age 26 with 24-39 (also adjusted for AA discount) on either side. Or for that matter, it leaves him at 53-39 with a 24 and a 42 on either side. His OPS+ was only 138 those two years in the AA, it was 170 in the NL in '85. His big WS totals in the AA are all IP and I think 53-39 is generous, not stingy. The 42 (@170 ERA+) vs. the 39 (@ 138 OPS+ in an inferior league with 80 more IP) is pretty right on. If your discount is about half of mine you've got him at 61 and 43 which seems very generous to me. I'd sooner double the discount and put him at 36 and 31, but I don't.

Also as a practical matter, the biggest career discount I give any HoM candidate from the AA is 8% because almost nobody spent the entire 10 years in the AA and almost everybody moved to the NL eventually.

But yes, the discount is vs. the NL the same year. Otherwise it would be a timeline, not a discount.

Anyway, it is probably all moot because I don't think we are going to elect any real AA guys regardless.
   171. jimd Posted: August 13, 2003 at 09:47 PM (#516341)
Lots and lots of discussion of the league quality issue can be found in the 1901 election discussion.
   172. KJOK Posted: August 13, 2003 at 09:49 PM (#516342)
While I'm totally on board with the UA being somewhere between the Florida State League and the Texas League in modern comps, it's certainly not out of the question that Dunlap had a "career" year at age 25 (quite a few players do) and that he would have had a career year no matter what league he was playing in.
   173. Jeff M Posted: August 13, 2003 at 10:41 PM (#516343)
Marc wrote: "But look at Dunlap in '82-'83 (NL no discount), '84 (UA -57%), '85-'86 (NL no discount) in raw WS:

14-16-22-14-17

It's not clear that 57% is enough. Was Dunlap in '84 (age 25) really 30% better than any other year in his career and 23-33% better than the seasons immediately before and after?"

Maybe he was. I don't want to turn this into a discussion about Dunlap, but the effectiveness of the discount depends on what you apply the discount to. You are applying it directly to WS, which may be fine, but we should all be clear about what we are applying the discounts to. You may be satisfied that 57% is the appropriate discount for WS, but it cannot be the appropriate discount for his raw stats because I'm confident that Dunlap's OPS would have been higher than 380 if he had played in the NL (or he would have been coaching Little League). Would a 57% discount work for the WARP numbers? Who knows?

It also depends on how you view WS. Viewing them across seasons of differing length and different leagues will always create controversies. Here's the number of games played by Dunlap's team in each of the seasons you cite, with the number of team wins in parentheses:

1882 = 82 (42)
   174. Marc Posted: August 13, 2003 at 11:18 PM (#516344)
>You may be satisfied that
   175. OCF Posted: August 14, 2003 at 12:10 AM (#516345)
This is a request for information that looks ahead to the 1908 election. Does anyone have statistics for the 1900 league (was it called the Western League?) that was about to become the American League?

I was interested in the case of Dummy Hoy. I don't even know what he was doing in 1900, but he lost his major league job to the 1899/1900 contraction and was playing (quite well) in the 1901 AL. It seems likely that he was playing somewhere in 1900. There must have been quite a few displaced former NL players available for 1900, not just Hoy.
   176. Howie Menckel Posted: August 14, 2003 at 12:11 AM (#516346)
Okay, KJOK (who loves ya baby!) on Dunlap.
   177. Marc Posted: August 14, 2003 at 12:45 AM (#516347)
Where can I see Pud's actual numbers and other info about the IA '76-'78. So far what I know is bits and pieces.
   178. jimd Posted: August 14, 2003 at 12:50 AM (#516348)
Who's the biggest star that went to the AA from the NL in 1882? John Peters, Pop Snyder, Will White?

There is nobody playing in the AA of 1882 that was comparable in stature at that time to the Cleveland group of Glasscock, Dunlap, and Jim McCormick that jumped to the UA.

The AA built itself up from nothing but it did it slowly with no aggressive player raids; it took a few years to get competitive (1885 maybe). The last two years weren't pretty either.
   179. Esteban Rivera Posted: August 14, 2003 at 01:52 AM (#516349)
This is for OCF regarding Dummy Hoy's whereabouts in 1900. I don't know if the link works but Hoy played for the Chicago White Stockings in 1900. There are some stats at this site: http://www.dummyhoy.com/, I hope thats helpful.
   180. OCF Posted: August 14, 2003 at 05:44 PM (#516350)
Thanks, Esteban.

To summarize some of the points from these two sites (one of which is devoted to campaigning for Hoy for the HoF and doesn't exactly play fair with all of its statistical arguments):

The league was already calling itself the American League in 1900. A large number of its players had been or would become major league players, but the number who were strong players in 1900 falls short of being true major league quality.

Hoy played, full-time, for the Chicago team, which won the league championship.

Hoy's personal statistical line for 1900 doesn't look like a career highlight, nor does it particularly strengthen his overall case. He apparently batted .254, which is well below what he hit in either 1899 or 1901. Doubles, triples, HR, and BB are not recorded on that line (from the www.dummyhoy.com site), and the alleged slugging percentage isn't based on numbers that can be checked. He scored a good number of runs - 115 in 133 games - but neither site provides a league or team context for that number. His defensive statistics can't be interpreted without knowing whether he was entirely an outfielder or whether he slipped in a few games in the infield.

Of the regular and semi-regular players on the 1899 Louisville team, 7 were on the roster of the Pirates in 2000: Chief Zimmer, Claude Ritchey, Fred Clarke, Honus Wagner, Tommy Leach, Deacon Phillippe, and Rube Waddell. The AL 1900 site above that Waddell played for the Milwaukee Brewers but he also got 29 G, 22 starts for the Pirates in 1900. All but Leach moved right into the starting lineup or rotation, and Leach was still young. Hoy was probably the third best hitter on the 1899 Louiville team, after Wagner and Clarke, but Ginger Beaumont had had a strong rookie year for Pittsburgh, giving the Pirates a prospective outfield of Wagner, Clarke, and Beaumont. Hoy was by far the best Louisville player not added to the Pirates.
   181. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 18, 2003 at 02:53 PM (#516352)
Looking at the '08 newbies, is there anything someone sees or knows beyond the basic stats? Hughie Jennings had a great 6 year peak, but so little besides that career-value guys like me will be hard pressed to consider him top 10 if that.

Jennings is the only one who deserves a mention on a ballot (great peak, but short career). Don't know where yet.

I think a certain infielder will finally make it in 1908. :-)
   182. Howie Menckel Posted: August 18, 2003 at 03:09 PM (#516353)
Most of these guys are even worse than they look at first, given inflated mid-1890s stats.
   183. Chris Cobb Posted: August 18, 2003 at 03:12 PM (#516354)
Looking at the '08 newbies, is there anything someone sees or knows beyond the basic stats?

Well, Wilbert Robertson is one of the better catchers of the era, and Charlie Bennett is WAY ahead of him. That's no argument for Robertson, but it does give further confirmation of Bennett's stature.

Hughie Jennings had a great 6 year peak, but so little besides that career-value guys like me will be hard pressed to consider him top 10 if that.

I think he's ballot-worthy, but not a HoMer. I'll have him slotted in the 11 spot on the ballot: ahead of the short-career infielders like Childs and Williamson and the short-career outfielders like Thompson and Tiernan. For me to move him higher than that, the peak-value guys will need to make a strong case.

Dummy Hoy doesn't seem to stand out among the other OFers; maybe a tad shy of Mike Griffin?

I've got him right next to Mike Griffin, which puts him around 20th place for 1908.

Any arguments for putting any newly eligible player up high?

Not that I see.

I think a certain infielder will finally make it in 1908. :-)

I certainly hope so!
   184. Marc Posted: August 18, 2003 at 04:36 PM (#516355)
Jennings certainly did have a short career. And I'd be the last to want to honor the ethics of his Orioles in any way.

But be careful of discounting his peak. Yes he was a creature of the '90s. But he was an outstanding defender at SS as well as one of the most productive hitters of the time (3 years, anyway). No matter the specific conditions in which he played, he was probably the greatest player in the game for 3 years. His 3 year peak may be among the top 25 of all time.
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