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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

1926 Ballot Discussion

I can’t access the eligibility thread to see who’s eligible, can someone in the know post the list or email it to me? I’ll move it up front once I have it, thanks!

Edit 5/12:

***1926 (May 16)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)
294 80.3 1910 Joe Jackson-LF/RF (1951)
247 73.1 1908 Eddie Cicotte-P (1969)
289 59.0 1907 Larry Doyle-2b (1974)
202 51.8 1908 Gavvy Cravath-RF (1963)
174 43.1 1911 Claude Hendrix-P (1944)
171 43.1 1908 Buck Herzog-2b/3b/SS (1953)
148 51.6 1912 Ray Chapman-SS (1920)
191 35.7 1908 Fred Merkle-1b (1956)
127 46.5 1905 George McBride-SS (1973)
175 36.6 1914 Benny Kauff-CF (1961)
160 34.4 1910 Fred Luderus-1b (1961)
152 33.4 1912 Buck Weaver-SS/3b (1956)
123 36.4 1915 Happy Felsch-CF (1964)
129 35.8 1913 Dick Rudolph-P (1949)
089 19.5 1910 Bill Rariden-C (1942)

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 11, 2004 at 05:47 AM | 195 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Jim Sp Posted: May 13, 2004 at 06:06 PM (#627237)
Oops, never mind on Danny Murphy, I forgot he was playing OF half the time.
   102. ronw Posted: May 13, 2004 at 07:30 PM (#627518)
Well, I have a list of military vets, from a military database at the SABR web site. Here is what who served among new eligibles, for anyone who might want to give additional credit.

1. Benny Kauff - Only played 67 games in 1918, doesn't say what branch.

2. Ray Chapman - Played in all of Cleveland's games in 1917 and 1918, probably served part time at home.

3. Buck Herzog - Says he served in WWII, but not WWI.

4. Lefty Williams - Only pitched in 15 games in 1918.

5. Happy Felsch - Only played in 53 games in 1918.

6. Joe Jackson - Only played in 17 games in 1918. Claims he served in the Army.

7. Swede Risberg - Only played in 82 games in 1918.
   103. Al Peterson Posted: May 13, 2004 at 07:49 PM (#627594)
1926 ballot. I'm keeping the Black Sox off the ballot this year. Shoeless Joe and Knuckles can watch "Field of Dreams" in the meantime.

1. Sam Thompson (1). Patiently waiting his turn. During 10 year period (1886-1895) was top 10 in league in total bases 9 times. .308 EQA, .684 OWP, man could hit a little.

2. Joe McGinnity (2). Quanity of work for the 1900s impressive to say the least. Helped the team by taking the ball often which led to high value for those years. Top 5 in IP for six straight years (1899-1904). Nine year span (1899-1907) of 123 ERA+ over 3235 IP.

3. Jimmy Ryan (3). Giving credit of CF being more valuable than LF in terms of defensive spectrum. Being very good for long periods of time gets some points from me. I am probably Jimmy's biggest fan right now which makes me wonder. Then again these ballots aren't easy to sort through...

4. George Van Haltren (4). Similar arguments to Ryan, just a little less to them.

5. Sherry Magee (5). Better hitter than Sheckard, not as good a fielder. The batting numbers are good enough to nudge him over his fellow leftfielder.

6. Frank Grant (7). Still convinced we dealing with a quality player who deserves recognition. Was described as great ballplayer in the IL when the talent dispersion was down to the minor leagues more heavily than later eras.

7. Rube Waddell (10). His strikeout numbers were well ahead of his time. Suffered from inconsistent offensive support. Tragic end for a larger-than-life figure.

8. Pete Browning (8). Don't know why I soured on him to such an extreme. Even with league discounts he swung some mean lumber. Career OPS+ = 162 which puts him in company with names like Foxx, McGwire, Frank Thomas. Discount it because of AA play? At the OPS+ = 147 level you're talking Heilmann, McCovey, and Schmidt. That's some pretty lofty company. Batting Average Placement within league 1882-1891: 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 2, 3, -, 1, 3. Had a career .341 average in a league environment of .257 . Offensive Winning Percentage - .745. His guy was a WOW when hitting. He might not be the ideal multi-dimensional player but when you are this much an outlier at part of the game its going to get a bonus from me.

9. Jimmy Sheckard (9). Another well-rounded player, successful for the great Cub teams. The comparisons to Magee show them on the same plane - I have a harder time believing Sheckard was so awesome defensively, Magee so wretched.

10. John McGraw (11). Limited playing time but what he did with it is nonetheless outstanding. Positional bump as well. Cons include just not playing enough but was on base all the time when participating.

11. Bob Caruthers (13). My tug-of-war with his value continues. I'm more sure now that if push came to shove Freedom Bob deserves in before the rest below him. Affected pennant hopes greatly per individual year with his play yet due to short career couldn't affect a large number of pennants.

12. Jake Beckley (14). Tougher and tougher to ignore with dearth of 1B for a number of years; career totals eventually add up to quite the player despite lack of peak.

13. Hugh Duffy (15). Couple of great spikes to go with other uneven performances. Gets bump based on contemporary opinion as being one heck of a ballplayer.

14. Dickey Pearce (16). Impressed by the fact he was a regular in the NA at an age that was very old compared to most players. Still unsure as to career arc - was he a Cal Ripken, Alan Trammell, Dave Concepcion? The reviews from early baseball are glowing - the issue of competition level at an unorganized, evolving time is frustrating.

15. Gavvy Cravath (-). Get's a lift from noteworthy performance in minors between stints in the majors to go along with peak achievement at the major league level at an advanced age. Ten years too early to reap benefits of the lively ball.

Fighting for position:

16. Tommy Leach.
17. Cupid Childs.
18. Bobby Wallace. Career is long, not enough peak to make the top candidate. We've have plenty of SS to consider (and elect) and I don't like him as much as some of the others above.
19. Tony Mullane.
20. Roger Bresnahan.

Larry Doyle enters at #23 so there is hope for him.
   104. DavidFoss Posted: May 13, 2004 at 08:19 PM (#627695)
Also regarding the 1918 season and WWI... the season ended a month early near Labor Day (did we have Labor Day yet in 1918?). Most teams played between 125-130 games... a few less if you don't count the ties.

Those who scale numbers by season length should take this into account. (Does WARP do this already?)
   105. Zapatero Posted: May 13, 2004 at 08:25 PM (#627719)
Joe Jackson knew that the World Series was being thrown around him. He was in on the conspiracy and, at the very least, did not tell the authorities what was going on or take any other steps to stop it (even if he didn't advance it by playing poorly himself). Regardless of his own play, the fact that he took money along with the others and then remained silent while they proceeded to intentionally lose makes him guilty in my book. His behavior was not that of a man who wanted to win the World Series.
   106. jimd Posted: May 13, 2004 at 09:10 PM (#627839)
Those who scale numbers by season length should take this into account. (Does WARP do this already?)

Win Shares does not. WARP-1 does not. WARP-3 does take this into account but in a way that is less than linear.
   107. sunnyday2 Posted: May 13, 2004 at 10:02 PM (#627975)
For the record, since I rely on WS and WARP rather than rates (OPS, ERA) for my rankings:

My adjWS adjusts 1918 and 1919 to 154 games. My adjWARP1 adjusts season length to the WARP adjustment of ^1/2.

I do the same for short seasons pre-1904, so obviously my adjustments do a lot more for the earlier guys than for guys who have a mere two short seasons and even then not as short as most 19th century seasons. But adjusted nevertheless.?
   108. OCF Posted: May 13, 2004 at 11:01 PM (#628045)
How bad a fielder was Larry Doyle, anyway? The way I've been looking at offense (RC above average, scaled to the environment, with extra bonuses for big seasons), Doyle looks very similar in value to Jimmy Sheckard. Even the advantage Sheckard should have for playing about 350 more games barely shows. But both WS and WARP put Sheckard a long way ahead of Doyle, and the difference is defense. Is a good-fielding left fielder worth that much more than a bad-fielding second baseman? I know, one's expectation of what it's possible for a second baseman to hit has to acknowledge Lajoie, Collins, and Hornsby - but it's still an infield position. And if Doyle was really that bad (but could really hit), why didn't his team move him to LF or RF or 1B? (I know, see example of Jeter 2004.) Or maybe he wasn't so bad after all.

I'm asking because I don't know where to land, and I am someone who has had Sheckard very high on my ballot.

I don't have a sample ballot yet, but I'll be with Chris J. for the top spot: Magee.
   109. Jim Sp Posted: May 14, 2004 at 12:33 AM (#628106)
Doyle played 1728 games, every single one of them at 2B. Not once in 14 years did they have him play anywhere else.

I find that pretty compelling evidence that he played 2B well enough.
   110. sunnyday2 Posted: May 14, 2004 at 02:41 AM (#628196)
Fred Dunlap played 963 games at 2B, 3 in RF, 2 at P and 1 at 3B for a total of 965 games. IOW, of those 6 games at other positions, 4 of them came in games where he also played 2B. That includes a year where he and HoMer Hardy Richardson were teammates. I find that pretty compelling evidence that he played 2B well enough. Besides which James rates him an A- and Doyle a C+.

Fred Pfeffer played 1538 games at 2B and 121 at SS, plus 8 at P, 13 at 1B, 1 at 3B and 3 in the OF. I find that...well never mind. Besides which James rates him an A-.

So, what exactly is "well enough"? Better than replacement? Better than average? Like a HoMer?

I guess I prefer not to go on inferences when we have actual data that describes how well he fielded. (And I'm a fan of Larry Doyle, though he won't be among my top 15.)
   111. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: May 14, 2004 at 02:54 AM (#628209)
Also regarding the 1918 season and WWI... the season ended a month early near Labor Day (did we have Labor Day yet in 1918?).

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was a national holiday by that time. I know it was celebrated as a holiday by most states. The Gilded Age & Progressive Era were the golden era of creating holidays, building historical monuments, etc.
   112. DavidFoss Posted: May 14, 2004 at 03:51 AM (#628271)
Provisional Ballot:

1. Lip Pike
2. Frank Grant
3. Sam Thompson
4. Joe Jackson
5. Joe McGinnity
6. Sherry Magee
7. Jimmy Sheckard
8. Richard J. "Don't Call Me Dickey" Pearce
9. Rube Foster
10. John McGraw
11. Gavvy Cravath
12. Charley Jones
13. Bobby Wallace
14. Hughie Jennings
15. Larry Doyle

I'm not counting the Jackson's 1919 season.

I was getting a little uncomfortable when I realized that Pike was my top returning vote-getter, but when I saw that I was one of the top consensus voters, I figured I'd stick to my guns rather than cave in to peer pressure. :)

Gets tougher every year as we dig deeper down into the backlog.
   113. PhillyBooster Posted: May 14, 2004 at 01:25 PM (#628365)
The entire Bill James comment of Chuck Knoblauch (#21 on his all-time second basemen), which immediately follows Larry Doyle at #20. Bizarrely (or, not really, for James), the entire comment is about Doyle, not Knoblauch:

"A similar player to Larry Doyle, actually. Doyle was a short, stocky player who could drive the ball and hustled. Oddly enough, Doyle also went through several spans in his career when he lost confidence in his ability to throw to first. In 1910, Doyle made 53 errors, many of them Knoblauch-type errors on throws to first."
   114. Brad Harris Posted: May 14, 2004 at 03:59 PM (#628531)
Preliminary ballot based, in part, on best 10-consecutive years of WARP3 value.

1. Joe Jackson - He is the best player eligible this year; thus, the top spot. Bottom line is that Jackson's value from 1908-1920 far outweighs his lack of value in the 1919 World Series. The sooner we get this out of the way, the sooner we can move on to more interesting discussions.

2. Sherry Magee - Would otherwise be the top man on this ballot. The more I see about him, the more unbelievable it is that Cooperstown never came knocking on his door.

3. Jimmy Sheckard - Sort of a Magee Jr.

4. Bob Caruthers - It's time to put the best available pitcher into the HoM. Short careers don't give me any reason to pause so long as they were brilliant ones. Caruthers is another overlooked star who deserves recognition.

5. Larry Doyle - I really want to rate him higher; I'd love to see him elected. I think he's got a strong argument as the best second baseman on the ballot. Doyle was the best player at his position many times and one of the very best players in the league a few times as well. I don't believe Childs and Dunlap can quite match that.

6. Sam Thompson - 73.5 WARP3 in his best 10-season run, second only to Jackson. Thompson certainly rates higher than most of the candidates and there isn't a stronger outfielder this far down the ballot.

7. George Van Haltren - Just a little behind Thompson, but might be the other way around given Van Haltren played in center.

8. Eddie Cicotte - The man could flat-out bring it. Only Caruthers has more career value, only Caruthers and Griffith have a higher peak.

9. Clark Griffith - The Old Fox gets extra consideration for having his best years in the 1890s. Had really never considered Griffith a great pitcher before now.

10. Bobby Wallace - According to my numbers, Wallace had both an excellent peak and career, where I had previously thought of him as a "career only" player.

11. Cupid Childs - Best second baseman of the 1890s needs to be honored.

12. Hughie Jennings - Just below Wallace due to shorter career, but was best shortstop of the 1890s.

13. Addie Joss - Given the choice - at the time - between him and Waddell, I'd have wanted Joss on the mound. I'm unashamed to not my preference for high peaks so Joss gets full credit here.

14. Jimmy Ryan - Again, any of the bottom 5-7 guys could be interchangeable at this point. Ryan just wasn't quite as good as Van Haltren, in my opinion.

15. Billy Nash - I've long been considering McGraw, Nash and Denny as the premier 3Bman of the 19th century. While I'm not sure Nash deserves that title, he has the best peak and best career of any of the third sackers on this list.

Honorable Mentions (16-25) - Bill Monroe, Addie Joss, Jake Beckley, Herman Long, Joe McGinnity, Mike Griffin, Gavvy Cravath, Hugh Duffy, Roy Thomas and Lip Pike.
   115. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 14, 2004 at 04:18 PM (#628565)
Doyle was the best player at his position many times and one of the very best players in the league a few times as well. I don't believe Childs and Dunlap can quite match that.

Childs was the best at his position in the majors many more times than Doyle (doing this in a one-league environment for almost his whole career). Cupid was a comparable hitter and a better fielder (to be fair, Doyle looks like the better base stealer). I don't think Doyle can match that, IMO.
   116. Jim Sp Posted: May 14, 2004 at 05:50 PM (#628672)
"I guess I prefer not to go on inferences when we have actual data that describes how well he fielded. "

Whatever.

For those who really didn't get the point, the games played at 2B are a sanity check on whether the defensive anaysis by Warp and WS are reasonable. If he was much worse than a C+ fielder we'd see him playing some 1B and OF. Doyle was ok at 2B, nothing special but not terrible.
   117. Daryn Posted: May 14, 2004 at 06:05 PM (#628688)
If Doyle was anything like Knoblauch, he was a terrible fielder. The Steve Blass', Chuck Knoblauch's and Rick Ankiel's of the world may have incredible talent, but if a mental block prevents it from being demonstrated, it'll keep them out of the Hall -- sometimes way out.

I have Doyle in the 20s, near Evers and Childs.
   118. Al Peterson Posted: May 14, 2004 at 06:18 PM (#628696)
Given the choice - at the time - between him and Waddell, I'd have wanted Joss on the mound.

Speaking of Joss and Waddell, found this on one of those "this day in history" websites:

Oct. 20, 1901 -Two future Hall of Fame pitchers, Addie Joss and Rube Waddell, face each other in Racine to determine the unofficial state baseball championship. Both pitchers allow five hits, but Joss gets the win as Racine beats Kenosha, 4-2. (Joss and Waddell were both pitching professionally at the time and were imported to settle a turf war between the two cities.)

Yeah, nothing like those Racine/Kenosha turf wars!
   119. DavidFoss Posted: May 14, 2004 at 06:22 PM (#628699)
Knoblauch & Doyle are very high on each others list of similar hitters. I believe that's where James got the idea to compare these two. Considering the difference offensive contexts, this is a compliment to Doyle. Knoblauch was an MVP candidate a couple years in Minnesota in the high-offense '90s. He even won a gold glove in 1997.

How long did Knoblauch suffer the "disease" before he was shifted to DH/LF? If Doyle had a similar problem in 1910, he must have recovered from it (or it wasn't anywhere near severe), because he continued to play 2B for many years afterwards. The 1911-13 Giants were great teams, too.

Your comparison to Childs/Evers does seem reasonable, though.

Anyhow, this Larry Doyle discussion has given me a chance to look at the position players on the 1911-13 Giants. Similar to the Cubs of a few years earlier, these were great teams who could score a lot of runs but didn't boast many HOM-candidates.
   120. sunnyday2 Posted: May 14, 2004 at 06:32 PM (#628712)
I really am a fan of Larry Doyle's, obviously not his biggest fan. I'm with John--Childs was better. Even Dunlap is comparable, and I really like Dunlap. Putting Doyle in Dunlap-Grant-Monroe territory is meant to be a complement, not a knock.

I'd like to know more about Doyle's "mental block," too. The comparison to Knoblauch is interesting. For many of you (for whom the known universe extends from A to B--i.e. New York to Boston), Knoblauch's problems in New York define the Knobber's fielding.

The fact is, he was the best fielding 2B that the Twins have ever had, and the Twins won a World Championship with him at 2B and leading off as a rookie no less. The guy could really dig it, he had real guts, if not much style, on the pivot play, and for, I don't know, 7-8 years there he could even throw the ball to 1B.

In fact, he won a legit. Gold Glove in '97, interrupting a run from '91-'00 in which Robby Alomar won all the rest. Granted Alomar only played in 112 games that year, otherwise he wins it again. But the irony is that the new Baseball Encyclopedia rates Knobber a 95 (slightly below average) thrower. Well, it rates Alomar a 97.

Anyway, the point is Doyle, not Knoblauch. And get this. The Encyclopedia rates Doyle as an above average thrower (109) who led the league in throwing five times. Of course, the trouble is that the index really isn't about throwing at all, it's based on DP per inning. Go figure. His range is a lowly 92.

Sticking with the theme, however, Dunlap is a 136 thrower and 105 range. Childs only 105 and 94, Evers 119 and 101.

I don't think there's another position that is as hard to sort out. There are some obvious no-brainer great 2Bs, to be sure, but where else are there as many "I coulda been a contenders" to sort out? As Bill James #20, you could argue that Knobber deserves some consideration some day, but then there's Whitaker, Grich, Randolph, Frank White, Alomar, Biggio and more, just from the past 25 years.
   121. Daryn Posted: May 14, 2004 at 07:43 PM (#628793)
I'm a big fan of Knoblauch -- he was one of my favourites, but he is no-Hall of Meriter. My favourite stat about Knoblauch is that of all players who played 10 years or more, he has the best worst stolen base season (15 steals). That probably could have been more artfully stated, but I am quite tired.
   122. Daryn Posted: May 14, 2004 at 07:48 PM (#628801)
That doesn't count Billy Hamilton -- I can't remember if it is just a 20th Century stat or if some of Hamilton's steals weren't modern day steals.
   123. Jim Sp Posted: May 14, 2004 at 07:53 PM (#628805)
Doyle is like Chuck Knoblauch, except he hit more like Jeff Kent.

Doyle: 126 OPS+, 7382 PA, C+ fielder, 14 seasons
Kent: 125 OPS+, 6784 PA, D+ fielder, 12 seasons
Chuck: 106 OPS+, 7385 PA, C+ fielder, 12 seasons
   124. ronw Posted: May 14, 2004 at 09:29 PM (#628928)
Hey, what happened to comparing pre-1920 2B to post-1920 3B?

I think Doyle (126 OPS+) hit like Ron Santo (125 OPS+), although they probably weren't on the same fielding level.
   125. Brad Harris Posted: May 15, 2004 at 04:11 PM (#629906)
Correct me if I'm mistaken, but wasn't Doyle also the Giants' team captain? Under McGraw's stewardship, that was no task for a lesser player.
   126. Brad Harris Posted: May 15, 2004 at 05:26 PM (#629971)
Looking at win shares, I see the following for Doyle/Childs/Dunlap:

Career Win Shares
289ws Doyle
238ws Childs
165ws Dunlap

Avg. Win Shares per Season
21 Doyle
18 Childs
14 Dunlap

Times Top 2Bman in League
7 Doyle/Childs
5 Dunlap

Times in Top 3
13 Doyle
9 Childs
8 Dunlap

MVP-Caliber Seasons (30+ win shares)
2 Childs
1 Doyle/Dunlap

All-Star Caliber Seasons (20+ win shares)
8 Doyle
6 Childs
1 Dunlap

Starting Player Quality Seasons (10+ win shares
13 Doyle
11 Childs
10 Dunlap

Dunlap seems to have had some stiff competition from Fred Pfeffer and his one "MVP-caliber" season was in 1884 in the Union Association.

Although Childs had 2 seasons of 30+ win shares to Doyle's 1, Doyle had 3 seasons of 28+ win shares to Childs' 2.


At least by win shares, I don't see how Childs is any better, particularly when considering that he played in the 1890s and Doyle played in the 1910s; Doyle had stiffer competition in my opinion.

Furthermore, Doyle was the best player on the best team in the league for much of his career. That's a distinction that certainly must give him some bonus points.
   127. Brad Harris Posted: May 15, 2004 at 05:28 PM (#629973)
Does anyone have a similar breakdown of these players using WARP3?
   128. Michael Bass Posted: May 15, 2004 at 05:52 PM (#630021)
Curiosity: Is there a Win Shares database or something from which you're getting those rankings? I have the book, but it's not particuarly useful for things like "Top 2Bman in the league" or "Top 3", other than 1) doing some guesswork from bbref to get the top few 2B, then 2) looking it up.


Also, are those totals adjusted for season length? If not, that's a pretty major leg up Doyle's getting just because there were more games in a season when he played.
   129. robc Posted: May 15, 2004 at 07:41 PM (#630188)
Prelim ballot. Jackson comes in at #31. As I mentioned on some thread that hasnt made it back from the dead yet, I count everything but penalize the 7 (Buck Weaver gets a pass from me) for the World Series. My theory is they destroyed the 1919 season (and almost baseball) so I penalize them 154/7 games from their career warp3 totals. Instead of 22 games, Marc (I think) convinced me to make the replacement adjustment so each player gets penalized between 18 and 19 wins above replacement. As my primary numbers are career warp3 and peak (best 5 non consec), this knocks Cicotte to near the bottom of my consideration set and Shoeless just out of my top 30.

As far as evidence goes, I think his grand jury testimony is damning enough for me. I fortunately dont have to make the decision on whether to vote for him at all yet.

1. Wallace
2. Sheckard
3. Thompson
4. VanHaltren
5. Cross
6. Ryan
7. Beckley
8. Magee
9. Grant
10. Childs
11. Jennings
12. Long
13. Caruthers
14. McGinnity
15. Jones, F

16. Williams
17. Nash
18. Tiernan
19. McCormick
20. Griffin
21. McGraw
22. Waddell
23. Mullane
24. Pearce
25. Pike
26. Tenney
27. Griffith
28. Bresnahan
29. Willis
30. Leach
   130. Brad Harris Posted: May 15, 2004 at 08:10 PM (#630240)
I did it the hard way. I went through the annual totals that are broken by by team and looked at the starting second baseman for each team in each year that Dunlap/Childs/Doyle played.

The figures are unadjusted. I would concede that win shares seems to be biased towards a longer season schedule. But in a way isn't that already accounted for? I mean...deadball era players had the advantage of a dozen games or so per season on the players of the 1890s, but that works both ways doesn't it? Isn't it reasonable to conclude that players in a shorter season had fewer games in which they had to perform to keep their rate stats high and, thus, their value for the season would remain higher in most cases than if they had played another dozen games?
   131. sunnyday2 Posted: May 15, 2004 at 08:42 PM (#630294)
Dunlap played in seasons of 85-140 games. Childs 135-140 and Doyle 154 generally. So Doyle had more 20+ and 30+ WS seasons? Doh!

Dunlap earend 17 in 85 games in 1880, playing on one of only 8 ML teams in the only ML. One WS every 5 games.

Doyle's hest was 33 WS in 155 games, one every 4.7, in 1915 (oh, and the Giants finished dead last).

Post #126 proves beyond a doubt that the more games a HoM candidate-caliber player plays, the more WS he gets. Beyond that I'm not sure.
   132. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 15, 2004 at 08:53 PM (#630305)
I mean...deadball era players had the advantage of a dozen games or so per season on the players of the 1890s, but that works both ways doesn't it? Isn't it reasonable to conclude that players in a shorter season had fewer games in which they had to perform to keep their rate stats high and, thus, their value for the season would remain higher in most cases than if they had played another dozen games?

Except Childs had the disadvantage of playing in a one-league environment. He unquestionably would have gained more WS if the AA had not folded up its tents.

Childs was the best major league second baseman more times in a season than Doyle was the best NL second baseman. IMO, there's no way that the Laughing One goes above the Little Fat Man.
   133. Chris Cobb Posted: May 16, 2004 at 07:27 PM (#631052)
First half of my prelim ballot document:

1926 Prelim Ballot

More work on pitchers leads to substantial moves upward for Rube Foster and Tony Mullane. Joe Jackson and Eddie Cicotte sit this one out. Larry Doyle and Gavvy Cravath place respectably, but neither makes my ballot.

Right now my rankings fall into three closely bunched groups.

Leading Candidates This is the group that I'm clear should be elected. They all stand out one way or another, and they will all make my personal HoM, if they have not already.

1. Dickey Pearce (2) Reaches the number one spot on my 23rd year of voting. My formula for ranking him is to place him below any candidate who ranks in the top 10 players for his decade, but above anyone else.
2. Jimmy Sheckard (3) Difference between Sheckard and Magee very small, but my numbers see Sheckard as slightly better. 382 CWS. Total peak 84. Peak rate, 99-03, 33.63.
3. Joe McGinnity (4) His combination of durability and quality gives him really outstanding peak value. 301 CWS, tp 157, pr, 99-04 = 34.95/365 IP.
4. Bobby Wallace (5) 403 CWS. Total Peak 48. Peak rate 01-05 = 28.04 Low peak places him just below McGinnity and Sheckard. Best player from the aughts who didn't win a pennant?
5. Sherry Magee (6) 382 CWS, tp 73. Peak rate, 05-10 = 33.75. I see Magee as clearly deserving of eventual election. Solid career value, excellent peak. Very close in value to Sheckard, McGinnity, and Wallace, but lands slightly below them.
6. Frank Grant (7) fifth-best infielder of 1890s.

Good Candidates. This group of players, ranked 7-16, all seem to me good enough to merit election but not good enough to demand it. The players from 1890-1910 have almost exactly the same value as I calculate it. The 1880s players have higher win share totals, but are ranked lower because of easier competition and heavy representation from that period in the HoM already.

7. Lip Pike (8) great player; 1870s underrepresented. 334 CWS. Total peak 74. Peak rate, 71-78 = 34.85WS/162.
8. Clark Griffith (9) Fourth-best pitcher of the 1890s. Being underrated by the electorate. His record is as good as the now-elected Mordecai Brown's and was achieved for lesser teams under more difficult conditions for pitchers, but his rate stats aren't as gaudy. 294 cws; 114 total peak; peak rate, 94-01 = 29.23 ws/365 ip
9. Hughie Jennings (10) sixth-best 1890s infielder. 272 CWS. Total peak 81. Peak rate, 94-98 = 41.19WS/162.
10. Hugh Duffy (11) Seventh-best 1890s outfielder. Very similar to Van Haltren, but at his peak he was among the best players in the game for a couple of years, and that nudges him ahead of Van Haltren. 352 CWS. Total Peak 73. Peak rate, 90-95 = 33.74WS/162.
11. George Van Haltren (12) 393 CWS. Total peak 57. Peak Rate, 93-98 = 29.40WS/162.
12. Tommy Leach (13). Fine defensive third baseman and centerfielder, good hitter. 374 CWS. Total peak 57. Peak rate, 01-09 = 29.96 WS/162
13. Mickey Welch (14) With no competition discount, he'd rank between Pearce and Sheckard. 389 CWS. Total Peak 143. Peak rate, 84-89 = 25.51 WS/365 IP
14. Rube Foster (22) I've tried this year to estimate closely Foster's major-league equivalent value. Looking at his record more closely, I now see him as being an ML-avg. pitcher in 1902, having a six-year peak, 1903-08, being excellent in 1909 before breaking his leg, being a slightly above avg. ML pitcher in 1910-11, and being a somewhat below-avg. ML pitcher in 1912-14. It's possible, given that pitchers didn't tend to get long decline phases at this time, that he would not have pitched three years at this level. For now, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt on that. So his estimated career totals are 300 cws, 105 total peak, peak rate, 03-08 36.00 ws/365 ip. Those estimates place him onto my ballot, about where Ed Walsh and Mordecai Brown would have been if they hadn't been elected. I didn't advocate the election of either of those two, but it would be consistent with the group's valuing of early twentieth-century pitchers to elect Foster also.
15. Bob Caruthers (16) Back on my ballot this year. Second-best 1880s candidate remaining. 316 cws; total peak 134. Peak rates, 85-89: 28.63 WS/365 IP; 28.87 WS/162 g in the field.

16. Roger Bresnahan (17). Also back on the ballot this year. 313 CWS (catcher-adjusted). total peak 68 (catcher adjusted). Peak rate, 03-08 = 34.95
   134. Chris Cobb Posted: May 16, 2004 at 07:38 PM (#631075)
Second half of my ballot post:

17. Bill Monroe (18) At the top of the middle-infield glut. Probably would have been a career .255-.265 hitter in the majors during the deadball era. Excellent defense, long career for an infielder. Slightly behind contemporary Tommy Leach (.269, excellent defense, longer career); slightly ahead of contemporary Joe Tinker (.262, better-than-excellent defense, shorter career).
18. Larry Doyle (n/e) Very similar to Cupid Childs and Ned Williamson, but ever so slightly better due to sustaining a high level of play just a bit longer. 319 cws; 46 total peak; peak rate, 09-15 = 30.15
19. Cupid Childs (19) Not quite enough career to be a good candidate, but a very fine peak. 293 cws; 52 total peak; peak rate, 90-96 = 32.04
20. Ned Williamson (20) Very similar career shape to Childs. Small competition discount for 1880s places him below Childs. 305 cws; 59 total peak, peak rate, 79-85 = 31.99
21. Charlie Jones (21) Not quite enough career for an outfielder to make my ballot. 1880s discount places him here. 346 cws; 68 total peak; peak rate, 76-80, 83-85 = 31.38
22. Herman Long (22) Possibly better than Doyle/Childs/Williamson, but his peak was short and his hitting really poor late in his career. Career value may also have been enhanced by expansion. 336 cws; 40 total peak; peak rate, 89-93 = 30.54
23. Fielder Jones. (24) A solid, solid player. Peak not high enough to overcome fairly short career. 338 cws; 56 total peak; peak rate, 04-08 = 30.93
24. Gavvy Cravath (n/e) A very fine player, but not quite enough peak or career value to merit election according to current standards. I give him major-league equivalent credit for his last three years of PCL play and his nearly three years of AA play, but that doesn't add enough value to bring him onto the ballot. Will rank ahead of Harry Hooper, though. 331 cws; total peak 50; peak rate, 13-17 = 32.49
25. Tony Mullane (41) Jumps upward into fair candidate territory. Falls between Bob Caruthers and Jim McCormick among1880s pitchers. Could be ranked higher, but I'm being conservative in ranking pre-1893 pitchers at present. 346 cws; 117 total peak; peak rate 83-84, 86-88 = 26.55 ws/365 ip.
26. Jim McCormick. (25) 346 cws; 134 tp, peak rate 79-84 = 18.88 ws/365 ip.
27. Joe Tinker. (26) My adjustment to fielding win shares underrates Tinker, so he ranks a good bit higher than his numbers indicate he should, but even with the possible bonuses, I don't see him passing the infielder cluster at 18-20, 22. 301 cws; 28 total peak; peak rate, 08-12 = 29.29
28. Johnny Evers (27) Same ranking issues as Tinker. 297 cws; 31 total peak; peak rate, 08-14 = 30.82
29. Rube Waddell (28) Very strong three-year peak; not quite enough career. Because of poor run-support, he's better than his W/L record shows, but he's not as good as his ERA+ suggests. 258 ws; 93 total peak; peak rate, 02-06 = 36.50 ws/365 ip
30. Jake Beckley (29) Total lack of peak hurts him in my rankings; even with significant defensive bonus he doesn't look like a HoMer to me. 384 cws; 9 total peak; peak rate, 89-93 = 23.82 ws/162 g
31. Frank Chance (30) Truly great when he played; didn't play enough. 268 cws; 46 total peak; peak rate, 03-07 = 38.85
32. Addie Joss (31) If you like peak rates, Joss is the candidate for you. Hasw the highest rate of win shares/365 ip of any eligible pitcher, by a comfortable margin. But he just didn't pitch enough. 219 cws; 77 total peak; peak rate, 05-09 = 38.94 ws/365 ip
33. John McGraw (32) Same durability problems as Chance. 250 cws; 48 total peak; peak rate, 93-00 = 35.89
34. Harry Wright (33) An impressive early player, but I don't see enough evidence of consistent greatness in playing baseball to bring him close to the ballot.
35. Jimmy Ryan. (34) 384 cws; 50 total peak; peak rate 88-92 = 31.59. Should rank considerably higher by the numbers, but his peak was short and during a period of weak competition, and he had a lot of below-average years. I like Beckley better.
36. Lave Cross. (35) 360 cws; 19 total peak; peak rate 00-04 = 25.69. Like Ryan, these numbers should place him higher in my rankings, but many below-average seasons also hurts him.
37. Pete Browning (36) A bit better than Thompson, but far from my ballot. 293 cws; 59 total peak; peak rate, 82-87 = 33.66
38. Roy Thomas. (37) 294 cws; 62 total peak; peak rate, 99-06 = 31.99
39. Sam Thompson. (38) At number 12 among eligible outfielders (trailing Sheckard, Magee, Pike, Duffy, Van Haltren, C. Jones, F. Jones, H. Wright, Ryan, Browning, Thomas,), he’s a long way from my ballot. 304 cws; 49 total peak; peak rate, 91-5 = 29.71
40. Billy Nash (39) 297 cws; 36 total peak; peak rate 87-93 = 29.00
   135. karlmagnus Posted: May 17, 2004 at 02:51 PM (#631581)
FWIW, since the 1921 discussion thread is again accessible, I post here my thoughts on baseball's gambling scandals, since they're especially relevant this "year."

I've just been reading David Pietrusza's "Rothstein" which suggests that the reason the scandal blew after 1919 was that there were no fewer than 3 gangs trying to bribe the Black Sox, two controlled by Rothstein and a Midwestern mob he knew about, but that previous Series, in particular 1914, 1917 and 1918 had been the subjects of attempted or successful "fixes" without it coming out. If true, that surely changes the picture considerably, since the only distinction between Jackson/Cicotte and a number of their contemporaries was not criminal conviction, but only that Landis decided to make an example of them.

Working backwards:

1918: Boston was the home of "Sport" Sullivan, Rothstein's main coadjutor in the Black Sox scandal. Apparently there was a lot of talk of the '18 Series being fixed but baseball decicded to do nothing because everybody was broke after the low wartime attendance. If there was a successful fix, we don't have to worry much, as I see nobody obvious on the 1918 Cubs whom we're likely to enshrine. However, Sullivan, in planning for 1919, made it clear that a large percentage of the team needed to be bribed, which suggests to me that he may have tried working with just a few Boston stars in 1918, and seen it backfire when Boston won anyway. There are of course some big names on that team; Babe Ruth pitched well but batted poorly in the Series, Carl Mays pitched well, Harry Hooper had a poor series, and Wally Schang (of whom more below) had a superb one. If Sullivan was looking for Bostonians to bribe, Mays and Schang would be obvious candidates, I think.

1917: Lots of rumors about that one apparently, and New York was Rothstein's hometown -- did the Giants throw the Series? (lost 4-2 to the White, mostly later Black Sox.) Buck Herzog was apparently thrown off the team by McGraw after the Series for unspecified corruptions, as was Zimmerman after 1919 (also Hal Chase, but he wasn't on the team in '17.) There are however no other HOM-worthy names on the '17 Giants that I can spot.

No rumors in the Rothstein book aout '16 or '15.

In 1914 the Miracle Braves very unexpectedly beat the Philadelphia As, after which Connie Mack abruptly broke up the team, more thoroughly than he was to do after '31 (no Great Depression in 1914-15, but there was the Federal League, a problem for the underfunded Mack.) Again, Sport Sullivan may have been involved, presumably betting on the Braves and subverting the As since you'd have got lousy odds betting on the As. Apart from Collins (if innocent in 1919, presumably also in 1914) this team had Schang (poor series 2 for 12 and 4 strikeouts), Baker (mediocre series) Eddie Plank (quite a good series) and the most obvious culprit, Chief Bender, who blew the first game wide open and had an ERA of 10.8, having been the As best pitcher during the season.

This group should be able to come to quite a good consensus on what's real and what isn't in '10s Series-fixing; if it can, that will impact our discussions helpfully.

It's not fair though just e.g. to eliminate Jackson's 1919 and 1920 (which in my book would remove him from the Inner Circle, though it may not for others) and we also need to look at Cicotte very seriously, since without the scandal, as a knuckleballer, he had an excllent chance to go on and win 300 after which, this not being the 1880s, he'd presumably be in the HOF and HOM (interesting to think that if the HOF had been in full swing in 1919, Cicotte might have been looking towards his chances of eventual induction, and so wouldn't have thrown the Series -- without Cicotte's two losses, the White Sox win.)
   136. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 17, 2004 at 03:54 PM (#631659)
Karl:

I'm not buying the argument. If 90% of the players back then were on the "fix," then there would be 90% of the players from that time I wouldn't even look at their first year of eligibility (as Jackson and Cicotte will have to deal with this "year"). If there is proof that other players took money like Jackson and Cicotte did, then they deserve the ultimate penalty for this project. The "everybody was doing it" defense is not going to cut it. You're better off with the "Chewbacca" defense as far as I'm concerned.
   137. DavidFoss Posted: May 17, 2004 at 04:02 PM (#631675)
Excellent... the Chewbacca Defense. John, you just made my day!
   138. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 17, 2004 at 04:18 PM (#631703)
Excellent... the Chewbacca Defense. John, you just made my day!

:-D
   139. sunnyday2 Posted: May 17, 2004 at 05:00 PM (#631760)
I give up, what the hell is the Chewbacca defense? You gotta understand, I'm also the guy who had never heard of William the Hung.?
   140. DavidFoss Posted: May 17, 2004 at 05:12 PM (#631781)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chewbacca_Defense

Its a South Park reference. Though before today, I did not know that the term has been generalized as a reference to absurdist logical fallacies where the debater tries to confuse the issue with irrevelant information.

Anyhow, the link does better justice than I just did... and also contains a hilarious transcript of South Park's Chewbacca Defense in action.
   141. sunnyday2 Posted: May 17, 2004 at 06:10 PM (#631869)
I never watched South Park. I know a little about the South Park Diet though.¨
   142. jimd Posted: May 17, 2004 at 09:16 PM (#632180)
Flick vs Jackson

As Michael Bass noted, Flick accumulated a not insignificant edge in WARP3, but the Win Shares are about equal. I'll just add that Flick's WARP-3 edge is one quality season (11.0 WARP), and he's ahead in season-adjusted WS by a fairly trivial amount (7 WS).

On peak (at least the way I measure it), Jackson has a small edge by Win Shares (36 to 35), and they are tied by WARP-3 (10.2).

Superficially then, they are pretty even by the "raw" numbers as produced by the two primary integrated rating systems, Flick having the edge of one extra peak-level WARP-3 season.

However, I see Flick as the better player due to how they ranked against their peers during their primes.
Flick   Year  Jackson
-----   ----  -------
 10  1901/1913  12
  5  1902/1914   7
  4  1903/1915   5
  4  1904/1916   6
  5  1905/1917   6
  4  1906/1918  18/10
  3  1907/1919  20/11
  5  1908/1920  20/13

This shows the relative ranking of their standing in MLB using rolling 5-year peaks (ending in the year indicated) of WARP-3. After 1918, there are two ratings for Jackson, depending on whether one gives him credit for his war work in 1918 (credit based on additional 1919 season in place of actual 1918 season). It is evident that Flick was consistently higher in relative status than Jackson, particularly in the period after Jackson's very short three-year peak. Also, Flick was the best outfielder in MLB during his peak (Sheckard was his closest challenger), the better players being the dynamic infield duo of Wagner and Lajoie and a pitcher (Young early, Mathewson late). Jackson was at best the #3 outfielder behind Cobb and Speaker and also was ranked behind Collins, Johnson, Alexander, and sometimes others.

Some other players with similar WARP-3 career and peak numbers:
Career Peak Name
------ ---- ----
91.2 10.2 Flick
86.5 10.1 Terry
80.7 10.6 Klein
80.3 10.2 Jackson

Terry and Klein do not have rates as good as Jackson's rate (it took them 12 full-time seasons instead of 9 to accumulate similar short career value) but their peaks rate about as highly, and they fall into the same group of short career, high peak hitters.
   143. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 17, 2004 at 11:15 PM (#632315)
Dickey Pearce – It seems pretty clear that there need to be significant discounts for Pearce’s era due to inferior competition. An electee from this era would need to demonstrate a clear superiority over the competition to merit ranking with those from more recent times. In my opinion, Pearce is not clearly better than the competition he played against in the pre-professional era (i.e. ’67-’68).

How about the ten seasons prior when he was unquestionably the best shortstop in the game (plus its best catcher in '61) and arguably its best player for that era?

And I will not support someone on fame alone.

I won't either.

His numbers in the professional era don’t show me any reason to support him either.

As I have pointed numerous times, point to a shortstop who played with better numbers than Pearce during the 19th century after age 35. You can't.

It is entirely possible (probable?) that his career extends as long as it does based on fame as much as anything.

Since his numbers after 35 compare favorably to other shortstops from pre-1900, I would say no.
   144. Michael Bass Posted: May 18, 2004 at 01:56 AM (#632448)
From Chris Cobb's ballot

14. Rube Foster (22) A big move up. I now see him as an ML-avg. pitcher in 1902, an outstanding pitcher 1903-08, excellent in 1909 before breaking his leg, a slightly above avg. ML pitcher in 1910-11, and a somewhat below-avg. ML pitcher in 1912-14. i]

Could someone do a similar breakdown of Monroe's career? I know it's always an estimate, but stuff like this really helps me get a vision of a player, and Monroe I feel like I still don't have a great grasp on at this point.
   145. Michael Bass Posted: May 18, 2004 at 01:57 AM (#632449)
Oops...botched the italics. Not surprising. You get the point.
   146. sunnyday2 Posted: May 18, 2004 at 02:26 AM (#632490)
John, I won't ask whose post you are responding to re. Dickey Pearce. I didn't see the original. But John is right on.

As to Pearce's professional stats. His decline phase is pretty much a dead ringer for Ozzie Smith. Project backward with Brock2 and, c'mon, he wasn't a great player?

As for dominating during his prime, I think he did. The only players mentioned as frequently and as positively pre-Red Stockings are Start and H. Wright...oh, and Jim Creighton for a very short time. As of 1870 he was #2 or #3 in accumulated career value over the previous 15 years. If by dominant you mean he shoulda been #1, well, that would be a really-small-hall, restricted only to players who were once the greatest active player.

Finally, the idea that some manager, even in the prehistoric era of the 1870s, throwing Dickey into the line-up because he was famous? You gotta be kidding.
   147. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 18, 2004 at 04:16 AM (#632576)
""Allegations (proven or otherwise) about throwing baseball games may be especially troubling to some voters. It would be appropriate for such a voter to discount such a player’s accomplishments to some degree."

The argument as presented then (that I agree with and am shamelessly copying now) is that by throwing World Series games, Jackson and Cicotte rendered their 1919 performances meaningless.

It is my belief for the purposes of this that he did throw the games, and that a dismissal of his 1919 statistics are merited. I think the constitution clearly allows this."

I don't think it is out of bounds to throw out Jackson's 1919 stats. I probably would not do that myself, but it's a reasonable argument and is permitted in the Constitution, by my interpretation anyway.

I don't think it's permissible to give him negative credit for negating teammates wins (I think I heard that idea way back when).

"I also think the next sentence of the constitution may allow for a complete boycott of Jackson forever, but I'm not pressing that point:

In rare and extreme cases, it may even be appropriate for such a voter to choose not to vote for an otherwise worthy candidate."

I believe that the 'rare and extreme' cases comment was meant to refer to a first year boycott, as opposed to a permanent boycott. I know that was the intent, though I agree the wording could be seen as murky.

Does this help?
   148. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 18, 2004 at 04:20 AM (#632579)
Also, don't forget that while not giving Jackson credit for 1919 is permitted, even after the first year you have to give him fair and reasonable credit for his 1918 missing war season (think of it just as if he were a Negro Leaguer - he was kept of the game by macro world/game issues beyond his control).

I think a simple way to do that would be to just count 1919 and not give bonus credit for 1918, if you are so inclined . . .
   149. Rob_Wood Posted: May 18, 2004 at 05:12 AM (#632602)
Yes, my recollection is the same as Joe's. The compromise reflected in the Constitution regarding Joe Jackson and others was that voters could choose to boycott him for one year, but would have to give him fair consideration after his first year on the ballot.
   150. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 18, 2004 at 05:57 AM (#632621)
John, I won't ask whose post you are responding to re. Dickey Pearce. I didn't see the original. But John is right on.

It was from Patrick W's ballot. I'm trying not to clog up the ballot threads from now on.

Finally, the idea that some manager, even in the prehistoric era of the 1870s, throwing Dickey into the line-up because he was famous? You gotta be kidding.

What constituted famous back then? A five person fan club? :-)

Yes, my recollection is the same as Joe's. The compromise reflected in the Constitution regarding Joe Jackson and others was that voters could choose to boycott him for one year, but would have to give him fair consideration after his first year on the ballot.

My recollection is the same. IIRC, the compromise was created after my and other people's objections to Jackson or any of the other crooks throughout baseball history ever being elected.
   151. Michael Bass Posted: May 18, 2004 at 02:11 PM (#632696)
Understood on the "perma-ban" point, though I do think the wording of the constitution ought to be cleared up because it really does seem like a justification for leaving certain players off forever.

One clarification question from the newbie: Is giving "war credit" mandatory? Your post suggests that it is, but the constitution has nothing even close to saying that. I understand the constitution doesn't contain all our rules (for example, the requirement (?) that all returning top 10 players be explained if they are off ballot), so if giving that credit is mandatory, I'll start doing so next season (we'll just call this season a semi-boycott of Jackson rather than redoing the ballot).
   152. sunnyday2 Posted: May 18, 2004 at 02:50 PM (#632715)
I do give "war credit" but I don't think it was ever declared to be mandatory. BTW there are precious few reasons why I give any X-credit for any missed time, not even Charley Jones, not Addie Joss, not G. Sisler, not Frank Baker. But players whose careers were affected by war and racism get the X-credits in my book.

Nevertheless, there was never a suggestion or even a real discussion of X-credit for war in the formative stages, at least not that I can remember. I think that is a voter prerogative.
   153. PhillyBooster Posted: May 18, 2004 at 03:58 PM (#632769)
But players whose careers were affected by war and racism get the X-credits in my book.

Let's not forget anti-Cravathism. It may not be as widespread or invidious, but if you are a victim of it, it can screw up your career numbers just as much.
   154. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 18, 2004 at 04:25 PM (#632826)
Let's not forget anti-Cravathism. It may not be as widespread or invidious, but if you are a victim of it, it can screw up your career numbers just as much.

Agreed, as long as the player in question was good pre-ML. I'm still not sure if Gavvy was great, but he certainly qualifies as good and is not that far off from my ballot due to adding his minor league numbers (adjusted).

BTW there are precious few reasons why I give any X-credit for any missed time, not even Charley Jones, not Addie Joss, not G. Sisler, not Frank Baker.

I agree with all of your examples except Jones. His absence from baseball was not of his doing and should fall somewhere within the Negro Leaguers/war/Cravath range.
   155. Jim Sp Posted: May 18, 2004 at 04:44 PM (#632863)
Joe's post #148 seems to indicate that people have to give war credit, but I'm pretty sure that's just Joe's opinion. There's no requirement that voters give credit for missing war years, but most of us agree with Joe.

I believe the other cases are optional as well, for instance you can boost Joss or Cravath or Jones or anyone else with special circumstances if you like. The only thing that is not optional is that you have to give Negro League players reasonable credit for Negro League play.
   156. DavidFoss Posted: May 18, 2004 at 05:28 PM (#632925)
There could be a whole thread on what circumstances deserve "extra credit".

-- Negro League players
-- WWI/WWII/Korea service
-- Unfairly blacklisted (C Jones?)
-- Reasonable hold out (HR Baker? GDavis?)
-- Pre-farm-system minors (Galvin, Cravath, Grove)
-- Strike (1981/1994)
-- Got sick and died (Joss, Youngs)
-- Nasty non-baseball illness (Sisler, Puckett?)
-- Nasty baseball-related illness (Chapman, Conigliaro)

I'm inclined to only give full credit for the first two and partial credit of subjective magnitude for the next three.

Illnesses are tragic, but the line between illness & injury is bound to get very gray... slipper slope there.

Not sure about strikes... its a ways off before we deal with those...
   157. DavidFoss Posted: May 18, 2004 at 05:32 PM (#632931)
#156 is my opinion of course. I agree that only Negro League service consideration is "required".

I also give credit for pre-NA play, if that needs to be listed as "extra credit".
   158. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 18, 2004 at 05:38 PM (#632942)
-- Got sick and died (Joss, Youngs)
-- Nasty non-baseball illness (Sisler, Puckett?)
-- Nasty baseball-related illness (Chapman, Conigliaro)


They get zip from me here and it should say so in the Constitution. There are too many players that are in this group. If we gave a boost to every one, we would have (at least) half the players on our ballots with extrapolated careers.
   159. KJOK Posted: May 18, 2004 at 05:42 PM (#632948)
"I guess I prefer not to go on inferences when we have actual data that describes how well he fielded. (And I'm a fan of Larry Doyle, though he won't be among my top 15.)"

Doyle gets a C+ from James (same as Robby Thompson, Chuck Knoblauch & Johnny Ray) and BP gives him a 92 (around George Grantham & Juan Samuel) so I'd say the evidence is he's FAIR to POOR as a fielder.
   160. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 18, 2004 at 05:42 PM (#632949)
I also give credit for pre-NA play, if that needs to be listed as "extra credit".

Besides Negro League play, this is the only area that the Constitution demands us to look at it.
   161. KJOK Posted: May 18, 2004 at 05:49 PM (#632961)
Not sure I agree with some of the comments about Joe Jackson "not really being that good."

Here are the leading OWP%'s all-time thru 1920:

OWP OWP PA
1 Ty Cobb .813 8777
2 Joe Jackson .780 5690
3 Dan Brouthers .770 7676
4 Tris Speaker .765 7629
5 Honus Wagner .749 11738
6 Pete Browning .745 5315
7 Billy Hamilton .744 7591
8 Elmer Flick .737 6409
9 Ed Delahanty .735 8394
10 Eddie Collins .731 8094
11 John McGraw .727 4939
12 Nap Lajoie .724 10460
13 Frank Chance .719 5099
14 Roger Connor .717 8843
15 Gavvy Cravath .709 4644
16 Mike Donlin .708 4282
17 Jesse Burkett .698 9615
18 Bill Joyce .697 4154
19 Sam Crawford .686 10596
20 Tip O'Neill .686 4720

Browning, McGraw and Chance also seem to be getting shortchanged by voters...
   162. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 18, 2004 at 09:45 PM (#633328)
From RobC's ballot:

24. Dickey Pearce - At the rate new players are not making the ballot, he could actually make it on to mine some day. Actually, no, it seems unlikely. Some say I timeline, but I dont, I "quality of opposition line", and his was poor for the peak of his career.

So, if Roger Clemens or Babe Ruth had played during the 1860s, they would be low on your list of eligible candidates, too?
   163. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 18, 2004 at 10:02 PM (#633339)
I don't think I wrote anywhere that I am judging Pearce without regard to his era. Pearce was a great player for "the best leagues or on the best teams" (in his era), and so was Herman Long. I am comparing the value that the players had for their teams. The modern players might have more power than the earlier generation but that doesn't mean that they had more value to their teams. Just because somebody like Andres Galarraga has 300+ more HRs than Sam Crawford doesn't mean that he has more value to his teams. Since we don't have a lot of stats for Pearce, when I think of Pearce's value to his team, I think that his upper limit is about the same value as Herman Long's value was to his teams and that is very, very good, but not HoM good in my view.

I 100% agree with you about Galarraga compared to someone like Crawford Ed/Good Samaritan, but your losing me with how this has anything to do with Pearce. Galarraga or Long were never considered the best players of their times (not to mention at their positions), but Pearce can claim that. His value has to be greater than the other two for the teams he played on.
   164. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 19, 2004 at 04:26 PM (#634828)
Continuing my Dickey Pearce diatribes: :-D

From Dan Rosenheck:

Missing the cut: Dickey Pearce. Again, with no quantitative evidence from the 1860’s and nothing to extrapolate backwards from 1870’s, he’s just anecdotal, and gets less support than Grant. I just don’t think pre-NA baseball was similar enough to the current game to elect players from this era. I’d be much more inclined to take Lip Pike than Pearce (but no, I didn’t vote for him either).

Baseball was definitely different during that time than now but how does that affect greatness? Could Dickey Pearce play major league today if he somehow visited our time? Doubtful. However, any 20th or 21st century star wouldn't be the same ballplayer he was (is) if he had been born in 1835 like Pearce. Therefore, the only thing that should matter is where a player placed within his generation. In that regard, Pearce placed extremely high.
   165. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 19, 2004 at 05:36 PM (#634959)
And many ballgames were fixed and actually thrown during his era (ahem, Hal Chase)—Jackson simply had the misfortune to get caught being involved.

Dan, are you saying that the Blacksox shouldn't have received any penalty for their crimes because "everybody was doing it" (which is not really true anyway)?
   166. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 20, 2004 at 07:39 PM (#637531)
My Dickey Pearce tag-team partner Marc* takes over now: :-)


I don't understand the argument about Dickey Pearce's era. Well, I
understand it to some extent, especially for those who draw some sort of
historical line in 1876, or those who simply "timeline" in some fashion
or another.

But the argument that ML baseball began in 1871 and was "too weak" prior
to 1871 and so draw a hard line in 1871? I don't understand that. It
seems to lack a rational basis, it doesn't reflect any underlying data.

Essentially the guys who dominated the NA beginning in 1871 were almost
all on the field that famous day when the Atlantics broke the Cincinnati
Red Stockings' winning streak in '70. Start, Pearce, Pike, McVey, H.
Wright, G. Wright, etc. And in Chicago you had Spalding and Barnes. They
were all playing in '69 and '70. Sure, if they were all on a few teams,
then yes, they played a lot of weak competition. And so we should
discount their statistics pretty heavily, right? Because most of their
games were played against those weak competitors, not against the Reds
or the Atlantics or the Chicago whatevers.

But wait. Discount their stats? There are no stats to discount. We're
evaluating them on a subjective basis (maybe that's your problem, not
how good their competition was...???).

To me the dilemma is analogous to that of Fred Dunlap. In Dunlap's case,
you have two data sets (OTOH, UA '84 and OTOH, everything else but
specifically NL '83 and '85) that make him out to be two completely
different players. Common sense says, no, he was the same player and he
only looks different because of an anomoly in the data (the anomoly was
the UA).

With Pearce '70 versus '71 it's similar. We have two different data
sets, in a sense, except that they're different largely in the sense
that '70 is almost void of data. But like Dunlap, do we conclude that
Pearce was a vastly different player in the two years? No of course not.
Like Dunlap, he was essentially the same player despite what the data
says. The hard line in 1871, however, says that he was a completely
different player in '70 than '71. But why? Because we're dealing with
data issues as if they were valid player quality issues.

My sense is they (the collective "they" meaning the known stars on the
elite teams) were in fact better in '69 and '70 because several of them
were already getting a little bit older--Pearce, Start and H. Wright fer
sure.

I realize that my argument may cause somebody to move their "hard line"
from 1871 to 1876, which would be too bad (of course, I don't really
believe anybody is going to care about this opinion so much that they
change their evaluations). I guess my point is that a hard line is
problematic no matter where you draw it.


* Marc/sunnyday2 is having problems posting here.
   167. DanG Posted: May 20, 2004 at 08:15 PM (#637657)
From the Homerun Encyclopedia by SABR, 1996. The top 20 deadball and 19th century players in homeruns in road games:

Road Home
64 74 Roger Connor
59 42 Honus Wagner
56 41 Sam Crawford
56 50 Dan Brouthers
56 50 Mike Tiernan
56 66 Harry Stovey
53 34 Jake Beckley
46 55 Ed Delahanty
44 74 Jimmy Ryan
43 24 Ed McKean
43 39 Nap Lajoie
42 33 Jesse Burkett
42 84 Sam Thompson
41 51 Wildfire Schulte
40 25 Joe Kelley
40 44 Bill Dahlen
39 32 Buck Ewing
38 34 George Davis
38 45 Sherry Magee
37 37 Larry Doyle

In the above list, Thompson and Ryan got a boost from their home parks. Some others who enjoyed a decided home edge:

26 93 Gavvy Cravath
24 82 Hugh Duffy
26 70 Home Run Baker
29 67 Cap Anson
13 81 Fred Pfeffer
19 72 Herman Long
21 63 Fred Luderus
22 52 Jerry Denny
14 57 Bobby Lowe
18 51 King Kelly
18 47 Jimmy Collins
07 57 Ned Williamson
15 41 Charley Jones
   168. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 20, 2004 at 08:59 PM (#637830)
From Tom Hanrahan's ballot:

Also, Joe Start was MUCH better post
age 35 than Pearce.


Only if you think first base is the same as shortstop/catcher, Tom.
   169. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 20, 2004 at 09:12 PM (#637873)
From mbd1mbd1's ballot:

My take on Dickey Pearce: I think the relevant question is, at what point did a major league develop? For me, that happened with the formation of the NA in 1871.

No disagreement there.

I'm not so worried about the 1860's baseball being different from the modern game.

Same here.

I guess it's the quality of competition question. I don't doubt that Pearce was a considered a great player. But there are guys who hit 50 home runs in church league softball who are considered great within their contexts - and we aren't voting them into the HoM.

But the church league softball player is standing on the shoulders of every player before him. How would they do if they were born in 1835? Pearce would chew them up and spit them out.

Factoring in era differences is absolutely no different than factoring in park effects (which we all take for granted). If Pearce was born during the 1970s, he would be far, far ahead of any church league softball player you could name.
   170. sunnyday2 Posted: May 20, 2004 at 10:47 PM (#638056)
it seems to me that the out-of-hand dismissal of the comparison of Joe Jackson to George Hall is a matter of timeline bias. OTOH, Jackson will rank highly on my ballot--though I also believe he has been overrated by history because it makes for better tragedy--whereas Hall has never been in my consideration set and never will be. It's just one of those anomolies. This is an example of why I argue, more or less along the lines of Oliver Wendell Holmes, that this is a thoroughly subjective enterprise. Sure, we all rate players on WS or OWP or whatever-whatever, but the underlying choices of our statistical poison is totally based on pre-conceptions and value judgements.

(Holmes, BTW, famously said, though forgotten today, that the appropriate manner for Supreme Court justices to decide cases is first to decide what outcome is better for the community, and then decide what legal arguments to apply so as to come to the correct conclusion. He also challenged his benchmates to make him argue any case on either side on the basis of any legal concept or precedent, and he would do so, and present a winning case to boot. Anybody who likes "big ideas" should read Louis Menand's The Metaphysical Club. Best intellectual history I have read in 20 years.)
   171. jimd Posted: May 21, 2004 at 12:28 AM (#638249)
it seems to me that the out-of-hand dismissal of the comparison of Joe Jackson to George Hall is a matter of timeline bias.

Which is why I let that matter drop. OTOH, if you want some more cross-era comps for the two, here goes.

Jackson vs Pike. For the periods in question, Jackson was about the 6th best player, and so was Pike. But Pike was older. If you match them year by year at the same age, Jackson's peak years 1911-13 match against Pike's unrecorded pre-NA seasons 1867-69. When Pike was also reportedly a monster of a hitter. Also Pike played a little longer at the other end. Jackson's advantages lie primarily in the "timeline" and "league quality" arguments.

Hall matches up pretty well with a young Zach Wheat. George was 14th for his era, 1871-77; Wheat is 19th for 1911-17, by WARP-1. Wheat continued on for a long career that made him a marginal HOFer. Hall might have done similarly, which most likely would have made him a marginal HOMer, or at least a strong candidate for awhile.
   172. EricC Posted: May 21, 2004 at 02:02 AM (#638437)
League batting average for Joe McGinnity's career, park adjusted: 0.276.

Joe McGinnity's opponents' batting average: 0.277.
   173. DavidFoss Posted: May 21, 2004 at 02:20 AM (#638482)
EricC... where did you get that number...

He gave up 3276 H... a .277 average would make that betwee 11805-11848 AB's.

14495 BFP - 812 BB - 182 HBP = 13501.

Were there 1650 SH/SF's?
   174. EricC Posted: May 21, 2004 at 03:23 AM (#638655)
EricC... where did you get that number...

DavidFoss, I got it from Total Baseball I. So far, I am unable to resolve the apparent discrepancy between the opponent batting average data in TB and the BFP numbers in baseballreference.com in combination with BB, HBP, etc.

I have found that the apparent discrepancy is not unique to McGinnity. So let's look at Christy Mathewson instead. According to TB, his opponent's AVG was 0.251 and OBP was 0.287. He gave up 4218 hits, implying about 16805 opponent AB. According to baseballreference,
19136 BFP - 844 BB - 59 HBP = 18233. Estimated number of times reached base due to error does not seem enough to account for the difference.

So, is there (1) a way to account for the "missing" plate appearances (e.g. SH,SF...), or (2) systematic errors in Total Baseball OAVG data and/or baseballreference BFP data?
   175. Sean Gilman Posted: May 21, 2004 at 04:28 AM (#638864)
"Jackson vs Pike. For the periods in question, Jackson was about the 6th best player, and so was Pike. But Pike was older. If you match them year by year at the same age, Jackson's peak years 1911-13 match against Pike's unrecorded pre-NA seasons 1867-69. When Pike was also reportedly a monster of a hitter. Also Pike played a little longer at the other end. Jackson's advantages lie primarily in the "timeline" and "league quality" arguments."

I was thinking about a Pike/Jackson comparison myself. . .In Pike's favor is that he played second base and centerfield instead of corner outfield.
Pike may have a speed advantage as well: he was reportedly the fastest player of his time, but doesn't seem to have many stolen bases. How realiable are NA SB numbers?
Pike also had a longer career than Jackson: 9 full seasons for Jackson (or 10 with a war bonus), 12 1/2 or more (1866-1870, plus a half season in '78) for Pike.
Unless you think that a pennant is not, in fact, a pennant, I can't see why Jackson would rate much higher than Pike on anyone's ballot.
   176. Howie Menckel Posted: May 21, 2004 at 04:07 PM (#639295)
Well, not having access to my info from previous ballot discussion threads will make this an awfully difficult vote for me.
And not being able to log on from home with AOL is beyond ridiculous. If that isn't fixed eventually, I'm probably not the only one that likely will give up in frustration at some point.
I'll try to get my ballot in Monday morning, where I can post here at the office.
Does anyone wonder if we should break for a week or two in light of this nonsense?
This is a Joe Jackson year, and I haven't even found the specific constitutional language on whether these type guys get votes or not.


Sigh.
   177. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 21, 2004 at 04:29 PM (#639329)
And not being able to log on from home with AOL is beyond ridiculous. If that isn't fixed eventually, I'm probably not the only one that likely will give up in frustration at some point.

I'm using IE with AOL and have not experienced any problems.
   178. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 21, 2004 at 04:35 PM (#639335)
hey, my ballot disappeared! i don't have it saved anywhere...
   179. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 21, 2004 at 04:39 PM (#639345)
hey, my ballot disappeared! i don't have it saved anywhere...

I think all three can be found on the ballot thread. :-)
   180. DavidFoss Posted: May 21, 2004 at 05:32 PM (#639406)
Yeah... IE with AOL here too. No problems. Could be the internal AOL browser.

I think Microsoft is the evil empire as much as the next guy, but IE is just the way to go for me. Too many sites are configured to use it. The Google Toolbar will stop most pop-ups.
   181. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 21, 2004 at 05:44 PM (#639425)
The Google Toolbar will stop most pop-ups.

I only use IE for Primer so I have absolutely no problems with pop-ups.
   182. Howie Menckel Posted: May 21, 2004 at 11:10 PM (#639910)
I'm a computer idiot (who is working late now and won't be able to reply until Monday).
I log on to AOL. I get into all websites. I'm happy.
I can't post a msg on baseballprimer, although I can read the stuff. I'm not happy.
It took me two minutes to figure out that IE was Internet Explorer (?). So what do I have to do differently to post from home, and why do we have this "improvement?"
   183. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 21, 2004 at 11:36 PM (#639943)
So what do I have to do differently to post from home, and why do we have this "improvement?"

Log on to AOL first, then click on to IE (there should be an "E" icon at the bottom of your screen to click on)*. Then type http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org

That should work!

As for the problem, hopefully it's corrected at some time.

* if you still can't find it, then use the "search" feature to locate Internet Explorer
   184. Zapatero Posted: May 22, 2004 at 02:43 PM (#640418)
"So, is there (1) a way to account for the "missing" plate appearances (e.g. SH,SF...), or (2) systematic errors in Total Baseball OAVG data and/or baseballreference BFP data?"

Errors? (the on the field kind, not the in-the-book kind)
   185. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 22, 2004 at 03:06 PM (#640423)
From Don F's ballot:

Dickey Pearce: Yes, he invented shortstopping and was a top player of the early game despite a very unlikely physique.

Like Babe Ruth? :-)

I get a picture more of a scrappy, heady, overachieving fireplug than of a star.

But he was a star player for ten years at multiple positions who could field and hit. You're comparing Pearce to a more modern player. Well, would Bonds or A-Rod have the same body shape if they were born in 1835. No, they would be shorter, heavier and certainly less muscular. Why should Pearce be penalized for this disadvantage?

I have doubts about the state of the early game and the level of competition, and am a little resistant to intense lobbying campaigns.

Since we're not dealing with statistics pre-1871 (since they're sketchy at best), the level of competition doesn't really mean anything here. It means more if Ty Cobb was playing against major league or little league ball because his statistics will be affected differently in each league and how we compare him to other greats (though Cobb the player is still the same great player regardless as so was Pearce).

As for the "intense lobbying," the project calls for discussion. I made a list of rebuttals to arguments made about Pearce this week (all ignored unfortunately), but nobody is compelled to vote for him anyway (as I'm not compelled to vote for Caruthers, Joss, or whoever else). I promise not to ring your doorbell to give you my sales pitch for Pearce, however. :-)
   186. EricC Posted: May 22, 2004 at 03:43 PM (#640435)
Follow-up to #172-#174: I read the fine print in Total Baseball 1, and found out that the "batters faced" data that they were using to calculate pitchers' OAVG was estimated for this era. Looks like they did it wrong. In Total Baseball 7, McGinnity is listed with an OAVG of 0.249, which makes more sense. 3276 hits with a 0.249 average is something like 13157 AB. 14495 BFP - 812 BB - 182 HBP = 13501. The rest of the difference can reasonably be accounted for by sacrifices and by players reaching base by error.

Thanks to David Foss for pointing out that something seemed fishy with the numbers that I was quoting.
   187. Jeff M Posted: May 23, 2004 at 04:42 AM (#641150)
As for the "intense lobbying," the project calls for discussion.

I've seen a lot of intense lobbying for players in the HoM discussions from the beginning, and it drives me crazy too. I've always had a problem with the "friend of" and "enemy of" labels because it implies some sort of advocacy. To me, this is more of a science project.

I must say, however, that I think the Pearce discussions generally have been conducted at a higher level. As John said, I think they have been data-oriented discussions, rather than advocacy. It just so happens that John appears to be the best repository of the data and has studied Pearce better than the rest of us.

I wouldn't put the Pearce discussions in the same category as posts about certain other players (whom I will not name, for fear the advocacy will raise its ugly head again and start a groundswell of misguided support). :-)
   188. OCF Posted: May 23, 2004 at 07:13 AM (#641182)
Joe Dimino's since-retracted vote for Benny Kauff has me putting together a list of some offensive statistics (essentially environment-corrected RC above average for the outs used) for a bunch of people - peak heavy, mostly outfielders, some elected, some candidates, some not yet eligilble. I'll post what I have around next Wednesday or Thursday on the appropriate discussion thread.

Here's the question: if Benny Kauff, then why not Mike Donlin? Some peripheral connections: both were known for being flashy. Both got in trouble with the law for reasons having nothing to do with baseball. Both left the game early. Of course, Donlin was guilty of a crime of violence, and his departure was voluntary. Kauff was acquitted of a property crime, and his departure was involutary. His banishment was either a total miscarriage of justice, or (as has been suggested), a quiet and unproven accusation of baseball dishonesty.

I'm not going to extrapolate a possible career that Kauff might or might not have had, and based on the career he did have, what puts him ahead of Donlin?
   189. Jeff M Posted: May 23, 2004 at 02:29 PM (#641215)
Good point OCF about Donlin and Kauff. I would put Kauff a little ahead because he was a center fielder and got more grey ink, but I agree with your premise.

The extrapolation concept is troublesome. I won't use it for anything except war service.
   190. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 23, 2004 at 02:50 PM (#641222)
I must say, however, that I think the Pearce discussions generally have been conducted at a higher level. As John said, I think they have been data-oriented discussions, rather than advocacy. It just so happens that John appears to be the best repository of the data and has studied Pearce better than the rest of us.

Thanks for the kind words, Jeff. I don't know if I'm the best repository of the data concerning Pearce, but I'm certainly more vocal than everyone else (except maybe Marc).

Good point OCF about Donlin and Kauff. I would put Kauff a little ahead because he was a center fielder and got more grey ink, but I agree with your premise.

I agree. As for extrapolating the seasons, I'm also very wary of doing this using the Kauff scenario as an example. Filling in holes is fine (wartime, Charley Jones, etc.), but adding the tail end of a career to a player's stats is troublesome to me.
   191. Jeff M Posted: May 23, 2004 at 09:46 PM (#641790)
Was in Barnes and Noble today and saw a book called "Ninety Feet from Fame: Close Calls with Baseball Immortality". The book deals with several situations, such as careers cut short by death and illness, bad timing, overlooked players on bad teams and post-season heroes, etc.

It has about 4 pages each on Kauff and Donlin (in separate parts of the book). The Kauff material is about his legal problems and the Donlin material is about his flashy lifestyle and acting career.

Interestingly, Kauff was represented at trial by Emil Fuchs, who ended up owning the Boston Braves at one point. Anyway, the author concludes that there wasn't much evidence against Kauff, but Landis was such a hard-ass that he banned him anyway. I'd be interested to see a follow-up on the statement made by another poster here that Kauff may have been Jewish. That may have played into Landis' decision, because he was not known for his tolerance of other races and religions (just read his judicial opinions sometime).

The book has potential, but strangely, in the death and illness section, doesn't talk about Dave Orr, Charlie Bennett or Addie Joss, each of whom would seem to fit the purposes of the book.
   192. Howie Menckel Posted: May 23, 2004 at 11:32 PM (#641840)
Trying to see if using "IE" allows me to get in from home...
   193. Jeff M Posted: May 23, 2004 at 11:56 PM (#641848)
Judging by my post #191, there's some sort of "family filter" that prevents us from using a three-letter word for one's posterior (or a donkey). :)

I wonder if it will catch other bad words, like Microsoft (or ##########)
   194. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 24, 2004 at 05:35 AM (#641993)
Donlin was not unjustly banned - Kauff was. That makes all the difference in the world. He was effectively black-listed, just like Charley Jones.
   195. Howie Menckel Posted: May 24, 2004 at 08:32 PM (#642567)
Joe,
Any idea on when the ballot threads will be "un-truncated?"
I had 7 or 8 different ways of reviewing who we've elected, where and when they played, etc. But now I can't update them until the threads are restored..
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