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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

1951 Ballot Discussion

1951 (May 8)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

435 134.9 1927 Jimmie Foxx-1B (1967)
287 95.5 1933 Bob Johnson-LF (1982)
216 77.5 1934 Harlond Clift-3B (1992)
233 71.6 1930 Ben Chapman-CF/RF (1993)
231 70.0 1931 Paul Derringer-P (1987)
224 69.9 1934 Dolph Camilli-1B (1997)
206 73.4 1929 Rick Ferrell-C (1995)
203 60.8 1930 Tony Cuccinello-2B (1995)
165 63.8 1934 Curt Davis-P (1965)
178 48.6 1931 Gee Walker-LF (1981)
147 55.6 1932 Van Mungo-P (1985)
135 50.1 1930 Gus Mancuso-C (1984)
149 44.9 1933 Pete Fox-RF (1966)
135 45.7 1937 Jim Tobin-P (1969)
146 41.2 1936 Mike Kreevich-CF (1994)
119 37.5 1930 Whit Wyatt-P (1999)
115 33.1 1936 Gene Moore-RF (1978)
102 35.0 1936 Max Butcher-P (1957)
105 33.8 1939 Vern Kennedy-P (1993)
084 23.0 1939 Bobby Estalella-CF/LF (1991)

1951 (May 8)—elect 2
HF% Career Name-pos (born) BJ – MVP - All-Star

24% 30-45 Jimmy Crutchfield-OF (1910) #7 cf - 0 - 1*
04% 21-48 Larry Brown-C (1905) #9 c - 0 - 1*
04% 32-46 Alex Radcliffe-3B(1905) #8 3b - 0 - 2*
00% 31-47 Felton Snow-3B (1905)0 - 3*

Players Passing Away in 1950

HoMers
Age Elected

80 1915 Bill Dahlen-SS
63 1936 Pete Alexander-P

Candidates
Age Eligible

79 1905 Bill Lange-CF
65 1927 Slim Sallee-P
65 1928 Art Fletcher-SS
51 1944 Kiki Cuyler-RF/CF

Kudos to Dan and Chris for the lists!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 03, 2005 at 12:19 AM | 142 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. sunnyday2 Posted: May 10, 2005 at 04:07 PM (#1326091)
PS. Sisler also went 4-4, 2.83 on the mound in 1915, though in 1916 Rickey (now running the Browns) made him a FT 1B whereupon he raised his offensive level (OPS+) from 106 to 133.

But obviously, it doesn't stop there (with Sisler and Sewell).

My point being, if we're giving XC to Cravath and Arlett, how do we know that there aren't others equally and/or more deserving thereof? It seems that we are being somewhat selective in lavishing XC on certain players who happen to catch our eye. I would think we would want to be more systematic and, at least, for example, determine whether Arlett is the best career minor league candidate or not before we elect him.

If the conversion factor for the PCL is .9 or .95, it seems like there would be a bunch of guys who would have to be considered.
   102. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 10, 2005 at 04:19 PM (#1326116)
What about extra credit for Joe Sewell?

Since Sewell was 21 when he joined the Indians, I don't think there is a case that he was blocked from making the majors.

As for Sisler, he was 22 in 1915, so he doesn't look like he was blocked, either.

We're giving credit to players that had proved they were major leaguers beyond just one year's success, yet still were stuck in the minors.
   103. sunnyday2 Posted: May 10, 2005 at 04:26 PM (#1326133)
Well, again, my question is whether we are doing this in a haphazard and selective way, or whether we are being systematic. E.g., is Buzz Arlett really the best of breed?
   104. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 10, 2005 at 04:34 PM (#1326147)
Well, again, my question is whether we are doing this in a haphazard and selective way, or whether we are being systematic. E.g., is Buzz Arlett really the best of breed?

I honestly have no idea if Arlett is the best of the breed, Marc. But having a moratorium on giving credit for minor league play until we know that answer doesn't seem to me the way to go. We have an idea of Arlett's greatness: why should he have to sit out the ballot process because we haven't checked out every career minor leaguer?
   105. Daryn Posted: May 10, 2005 at 04:40 PM (#1326162)
But giving credit to one person's second great minor league season is kind of reckless unless, 1) it can be established that it is rare to be stuck in the minors "so long" and 2) we give similar credit to everyone.
   106. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 10, 2005 at 05:26 PM (#1326241)
But giving credit to one person's second great minor league season is kind of reckless unless, 1) it can be established that it is rare to be stuck in the minors "so long" and 2) we give similar credit to everyone.

I have absolutely no problem with #2, Daryn. If it can be established that a player had a ML-comparable year(s) beyond their minor league breakout season, then I'm fine giving that player credit for it.
   107. TomH Posted: May 10, 2005 at 05:37 PM (#1326268)
how about 'stuck on the bench' or 'unfairly stuck in a platoon role' credit for Brian Giles, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, etc? They surely would've posted more counting stats - win shares - WARP if managers and/or the right circumstances had given them opportunities that they clearly deserved.
   108. sunnyday2 Posted: May 10, 2005 at 05:56 PM (#1326314)
Well, I have no authority to declare a moratorium. I'm just asking how sure we are that Buzz Arlett was a MLer, much less a HoMer.

"Reckless" is a decent term for what is happening, I guess. IOW we are really awarding speculative, best case scenarios. It just seems a bit much.

Re. #7, I made the same point on the Lefty O'Doul thread. He had a "great" year as a P in the PCL at age 24. If he had staying in the PCL for another 2 years we would say he was "blocked" and we would give him 45 WS. As it is, he went to the MLs and at age 25 and 26 he proved that he was NOT a ML P.

Or do we now argue that he was "unfairly stuck on the bench" those two years. How much evidence that a player was NOT regarded as a MLer are we willing to ignore in these best case scenarios? It is barely any more speculative or fantastic to say that if George Sisler hadn't contracted sinusitis, he would have accumulated another 50-75 WS and just go ahead and award them. It is virtually no different to posit a healthy George Sisler than to posit that Buzz Arlett is a 20 year MLer.

Now, I've decided that Gavy Cravath is an unusual case and I'm giving him credit for 1909-11, but it seems to me we're now making Gavy not an unusual case but a normative case and treating Tom, Dick and Harry the same way.

As Tom says, why not give McCovey and Cepeda some extra WS because they weren't used properly. How about Al Rosen? etc. etc. etc.
   109. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 10, 2005 at 08:37 PM (#1326683)
Guys, you're asking for a perfect world. In a perfect world, we give credit to pitchers who had managers that blew out their arms at an early age. In a perfect world, we would give credit to players who had managers keep them on the bench.

Since it's not a perfect world, we try to do what is feasible and reasonable. Giving players MLE credit seems feasible and reasonable to me.

As Tom says, why not give McCovey and Cepeda some extra WS because they weren't used properly. How about Al Rosen? etc. etc. etc.

McCovey is going in so it's a moot point (BTW, I don't understand why Cepeda was mentioned).

Re. #7, I made the same point on the Lefty O'Doul thread. He had a "great" year as a P in the PCL at age 24. If he had staying in the PCL for another 2 years we would say he was "blocked" and we would give him 45 WS.

Only if he had performed as well in those two years. There's no evidence of that, however, so we wouldn't give him 45 WS.

BTW, just because he had the one great year in the PCL (but stunk in the majors) doesn't prove anything anyway, since he may have injured himself after his stellar year in '24.

How about Al Rosen?

Maybe. We'll take a look at him in a few months.
   110. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 10, 2005 at 08:52 PM (#1326723)
John,

But sunnyday's point is that O'Doul may have been able to post 20-25 WS seasons if he had only been 'lucky' enough to play full time in the PCL instead of being on an ML bench. Buzz Arlett was this lucky.

TomH,

If you schedule adjust Jenning's games played to a 154 game seaon he comes out much better. While one would need to do the same for McGraw, he doesn't grade out as well because he missed large chunks of many seasons. I usually divide 154 by the average number of games played per team in a seaon and then multiply that by the number of WS recieved by that player. In tshi system, Jenning's peak (all WS above 25) is twice as much as taht of McGraw. His 3,5,and 7 year peaks are greater than taht of McGraw and he still beats the stuffing out of McGraw in WARP3. McGraw problem is that he tended to msis a lot of games in season where Jennings was durable during his peak.
   111. jimd Posted: May 10, 2005 at 09:41 PM (#1326848)
Upon his high school graduation, he enrolled at the University of Michigan where his coach was Branch Rickey. As a senior, he hit nearly .500 and won 11 games as a pitcher.

A year later (in his ML adjustment year?) he was in the major leagues and hit 106 (OPS+) in 81 games.


Rickey was his 1st manager for the Browns, too; presumably he signed Sisler for the Browns.
   112. sunnyday2 Posted: May 10, 2005 at 09:56 PM (#1326892)
Yes, actually Sisler had been signed earlier by the Pirates, while still in high school. Rickey got that contract thrown out by arguing that Sisler had been a minor at the time. And then promptly signed Sisler himself. The Pittsburgh owner apparently threw a ML fit, pardoning the expression.

Sisler may not have been "blocked" from the MLs, but the question is: Was he good enough in college to have been a MLer? And if so, why shouldn't he get credit?

Some of you will recognize that this is really a reductio ad absurdum argument against Buzz Arlett. But if anyone is convinced by it to give Sisler more credit, by all means, do! ;-)

And jschmeagol, yes, that is exactly the point. The pro-Arlett argument in and of itself is sort of reductio ad absurdum in that sense--that players can end up ranking better by staying in the minors than they would if they moved up to the MLs.

I am not opposed to MLEs, though it seems most appropriate in the case of NeLers. And I've decided to give Cravath some XC. But I think we've pushed the concept a long way down that slippery slope, so that if Arlett, then Sisler (in college) becomes a not-unreasonable proposition.
   113. jimd Posted: May 10, 2005 at 10:00 PM (#1326906)
Pitchers in 1896 struck out 2.3 batters per 9 innings. Compare to the modern 6.7 K/9. OF'ers in 1896 made 6.3 PO/9; compare to today's 5.9 PO/9. This means that the IF'ers in 1896 made 18.4 PO/9; compare to today's 14.4 PO/9.

IOW, IF fielding was about 28% more valuable in 1896 than it is today. Also, with crappy gloves and a shallower talent pool, there was higher variance (the best were higher above average). So it's not surprising that Jennings has more absolute fielding value than the Wiz. The position was more important then when hardly anybody struck out.

Win Shares does not adjust for this (at least, not very much), which is why the WARP numbers seem high. They're not, if you just think about it a bit.
   114. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 11, 2005 at 01:09 PM (#1328348)
Jimd,

Re post #112, I understand what you're saying here, but one question: does WARP overdramatize the difference in positional value between SS and 3B?
   115. TomH Posted: May 11, 2005 at 02:17 PM (#1328460)
Yes, fielding was more important in the 19th century. So, does that mean we induct all of the gold gloves shortstops back then? It seems like we're heading that way. How many pre-1920 SS do we have in the HoM, and how many 3Bmen? It goes back to value vs. ability, and just like we aren't going to honor all of the 1875 pitchers who threw most of a team's innings, so we ought to lean a little toward
1. could this guy have played well in 1960?
and
2. am I being fair to all positions in all eras?
   116. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 11, 2005 at 04:03 PM (#1328671)
But sunnyday's point is that O'Doul may have been able to post 20-25 WS seasons if he had only been 'lucky' enough to play full time in the PCL instead of being on an ML bench.

But my point was, other than that one great year in the PCL, he doesn't appear to have been a ML quality pitcher, so I wouldn't give him any credit for those years anyway.

BTW, I know what his real point was, but someone has to argue why it's better not to use MLEs than to use them. Again, whichever way you go is not going to be perfect and clean. I guess each voter has to follow their own path in this regard (unless the Commish says differently).
   117. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 11, 2005 at 04:05 PM (#1328679)
As for Tom's position on McGraw, though I don't have him on my ballot, I do favor him over Jennings, FWIW.
   118. jimd Posted: May 11, 2005 at 07:59 PM (#1330016)
So, does that mean we induct all of the gold gloves shortstops back then? It seems like we're heading that way.

Gold Glove SS's of the 1890's (by WARP)

1890 Bob Allen
1891 Herman Long
1892 Bob Allen
1893 Germany Smith
1894 Hughie Jennings
1895 Hughie Jennings
1896 Hughie Jennings
1897 Monte Cross
1898 Tommy Corcoran
1899 Monte Cross

Gold Glove SS's of the 1890's (by Win Shares)

1890 Bob Allen
1891 Tommy Corcoran
1892 Germany Smith
1893 Germany Smith
1894 Hughie Jennings
1895 Bill Dahlen
1896 Hughie Jennings
1897 Hughie Jennings
1898 Tommy Corcoran
1899 Tommy Corcoran

Except for Bill Dahlen (1895 WS), I don't see anybody that's been elected to the HOM on those lists.

During his peak, Jennings hit for 150 OPS+ and both WARP and Win Shares agree that he played Gold Glove shortstop, multiple seasons. Not "he-was-pretty-good-so-let's-stretch-and-call-it-Gold-Glove" but bona fide Gold Glove (at least according to the state-of-the-art fielding stats interpretations). He really was typical ARod at the plate and Ozzie Smith in the field, for a short period of time.

Combine that with the ability to stay healthy (despite constantly leading the league in HBP), and WARP says all this makes Hughie the best player in baseball those seasons. Win Shares says no, it's a pitcher (because it's inflexible allocations between pitching and fielding say 2 K/9 pitchers are worth almost as much per inning as 7 K/9 pitchers).

WARP and Win Shares may disagree on the total value of his fielding (because Win Shares says a SS is a SS, no matter the era), but not on the quality of that fielding.
   119. TomH Posted: May 11, 2005 at 08:15 PM (#1330156)
No argument that Hughie was a gold glove shortstop.

I was referring to pre-1920 SS in general, covering 65 years back to Pearce, not just the 1890s.

The discussion point is, do we take the full Value of fielding in 1895, or do some voters adust for Ability? I know, Value wins pennants, but I also don't want a whole pile of SS and few 3B from one era, and then a pile of slow sluggers who are valuable in 1955 when they couldn't have gotten a tryoout in 1905.

In this case, WS more closely tracks ability, WARP tracks Value better. I prefer to mix the two.
   120. jimd Posted: May 11, 2005 at 09:10 PM (#1330553)
Don't worry, Tom. We'll elect all the slow 1B sluggers from the 1930's who couldn't get a tryout in 1905. ;-)

I think one has to go with Value. "Ability" is too dependent on era. Nobody in 1905 would have given Mark McGwire a tryout; his hypothetical ability to hit lots of imaginary home runs means nothing, and he has little else to offer. Which modern pitchers could have been great 1870's underhand pitchers? Which would have stood up to 1880's workloads, and which would have broken down? Which fielders would have adapted better to crappy gloves, or no gloves at all? These things are all variable, and unpredictable.
   121. Michael Bass Posted: May 11, 2005 at 10:34 PM (#1330881)
As I have a bit of a ballot shuffle this time, wanted to make sure I posted my ballot in the discussion thread before posting officially.

Really, the overall thrust of my system is about the same a little bit of career and a lot of peak/prime. But the new system smooths out the edges somewhat; my old system had some...quirks which I had long been unhappy about. Having finally come up with one I think accomplishes my goals while getting rid of the old quirks, time to unveil it.

The big peak types will still be atop my ballot, but other winners will be those with many strong prime type seasons.

1. Foxx
2. Cronin
3. Ferrell
4. Jennings
5. Mendez
6. Beckwith
7. Moore - Moves up a bunch; I've always felt like I had him too low, he had a monster peak, and enough career to merit being this high for sure.
8. Averill
9. Dean
10. Sewell
11. Griffith
12. Johnson - Like him, though further analysis does put him below Averill. Proof that a strong career that starts in the 30s doesn't mean he was screwed in his 20s.
13. Suttles
14. Redding
15. Sisler - First ballot appearance. His prime and the one peak year are plenty.

16-20: Browning, Mackey, Shocker, Dunlap, Monroe
21-25: Buffinton, Lundy, Williamson, Bartell, F. Jones
26-30: Waddell, Scales, Taylor, Veach, Bond
31-35: Klein, Uhle, Van Haltren, Warneke, Berger
36-40: Bell, Schalk, Clift, Mays, Childs
41-45: Winters, Camilli, Lazzeri, Cuyler, Maranville
46-50: Griffin, Traynor, Cross, Luque, Davis

Some guys who dropped a lot in my new rankings...

Waddell - Big years weren't quite big enough (Dean's were more and better), not much else to show for a career.

Schang - Just not enough peak. I like Schalk, though he didn't hit, much better.

Cross - Gave him too much catcher bonus in the past.

One note: I may have missed the Curt Davis discussion. If he is worthy of some minor league credit, he could move way up, he has a nice base score.
   122. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 11, 2005 at 11:25 PM (#1330981)
Mike,

Do you take into account that a few of Johnson's peak/prime seasons came during WWII? I know taht you use WARP heavily but I just wanted to make sure. I believe that it was Chris Cobb on the ballot thread that showed that WARP3 deducts as much fomr the mid 40s' as it does from teh late 20's, which seems off to me.
   123. Michael Bass Posted: May 12, 2005 at 02:09 AM (#1331253)
I am aware, and Johnson is a bit lower than his raw output in my syste (which is, as you indicate, largely WARP) would give.

With that said, unlike a lot of folks here, I'm disinclined to give large WWII discounts for those HOM candidates that stayed around. (By large, I mean much more than WARP3 lops off) My suspicion is that those who matter to us (the HOM consideration set-worthy) would not have been all that much worse than they actually were. Now if player A is a player with a 10 year career and a 2-year peak that happened to occur in 1944 and 1945, then I'd look at them suspiciously. But someone like Johnson, I look at see two years not out of line with the rest of his career. Same when we get to Newhouser...he was not quite as good in 46-47 as he was in 44-45, but he was damn close.
   124. jimd Posted: May 12, 2005 at 02:32 AM (#1331288)
Re post #112, I understand what you're saying here, but one question: does WARP overdramatize the difference in positional value between SS and 3B?

Frankly, I don't know, Dr. Chaleeko. Doing some quick estimates from Jennings and McGraw, I'd say that WARP in the 1890's has about the same ratio in value between an average SS and 3B as Win Shares does for modern players.

What about the flip-flop of 2B and 3B before 1930? Well, what about it?

Decad 1B LF RF CF 3B 2B Ca SS Pit
1870's +1 +4 -1 +4 +2 +2 +0 +1 -13
1880's 13 +6 +1 +5 +1 -1 -7 -2 -17
1890's +6 +9 +7 +7 +0 -2 -6 -2 -22
1900's +6 10 +9 +8 +0 +2 -9 -1 -29
1910's +6 +7 +9 10 +1 +1 -7 -4 -31
1920's +9 10 10 +8 -3 +1 -4 -7 -32
1930's 13 +8 10 +5 -1 -3 -3 -4 -36
1940's +8 11 +9 +7 +2 -3 -4 -4 -37
1950's +9 10 +7 +7 +4 -3 -1 -5 -40
1960's 11 +9 11 +7 +4 -5 -3 -6 -46
1970's 10 +8 +8 +5 +3 -5 -2 -11-45
1980's +8 +6 +6 +2 +3 -4 -4 -8 -48
1990's +9 +4 +6 +1 +1 -3 -4 -7 -50

This table of OPS relative to league average (published before) shows that 2B and 3B have a rough parity before 1920, with the 1920's being the only decade where 2B really outhit 3B (Hornsby and Frisch wouldn't have anything to do with this.) Of course, I'm weighting each decade evenly, while a simple data aggregation would weight post-1900 more heavily due to more teams and longer schedules, assuming James' even included pre-1900 data in deriving those 2b/3b weights.

So I use both WARP and Win Shares, and lean more heavily on the system which I trust more for the specific era and the comparison at hand.
   125. Sean Gilman Posted: May 12, 2005 at 03:07 AM (#1331333)
TomH said:
Calling all friends of Pete Browning: Indian Bob Johnson should be your man. Hit just as well, fielded better, longer career. Not even close. I will have him slightly above Averill.

I know it isn't the whole story, but:

OPS+, career:

Pete Browning: 162
Bob Johnson: 138

Johnson had one season better than Browning's career average, and that was in the midst of World War 2.

Johnson also only played one more season than Browning, which is a longer career, but given the attrition rate of players in the 19th century compared to the 30s and 40s, isn't really all that special.

Johnson was a better fielder according to BP's Rate stat, but he played almost all his career in left, while browning played half his career in center.
   126. Jeff M Posted: May 12, 2005 at 03:41 AM (#1331376)
Calling all friends of Pete Browning: Indian Bob Johnson should be your man. Hit just as well, fielded better, longer career. Not even close. I will have him slightly above Averill.

Browning has WARP1/162 over 11.0 and Johnson's is about 7.9. Browning has WS/162 over 32.0 and Johnson's is around 25.0.

And as for defense, BP likes Johnson better, but WS has Browning at 2.57 per 1,000 innings and Johnson at 2.31.

I like Johnson more than I thought I would, but he couldn't hit like Browning. Most people couldn't.
   127. Kelly in SD Posted: May 12, 2005 at 11:10 AM (#1331620)
prelim ballot.

1. Jimmie “Double X” “The Beast” Foxx - PHOM 1951








2. Joe Cronin - PHOM 1951:

3. Mickey Welch – PHOM 1901:
4. Charley Jones – PHOM 1906:
5. Hugh Duffy – PHOM 1919:
6. Pete Browning – PHOM 1921:
7. Wes Ferrell :
8. Mule Suttles:
9. Earl Averill – PHOM 1949:
10. Vic Willis – PHOM 1942:
Spots 11 through 25 are hair-thin close. Will change every year depending on what intangible I am emphasizing. The differences producing by my system are so close as to be worthless.
11. Biz Mackey:
12. John Beckwith:
13. George Burns – PHOM 1938:
14. Edd Roush – PHOM 1940:
15. Cooper or Grimes or Leach or Van Haltren.

Other players: In some order between 16 and 25
George Van Haltren – PHOM 1939:
Spots Poles:
Dobie Moore:
Hughie Jennings:
Gavvy Cravath: Credit for 1909-1911. Squeezed out because I don’t know how to deal with the home park. Unique ability to take advantage does help create real wins, but with the minor league credit also, I prefer to be cautious.
Jose Mendez:
Wilbur Cooper:
Burleigh Grimes:
Dizzy Dean:
Tommy Leach:
   128. TomH Posted: May 12, 2005 at 11:40 AM (#1331629)
"Browning has WARP1/162 over 11.0 and Johnson's is about 7.9. Browning has WS/162 over 32.0 and Johnson's is around 25.0."
OPS+, career:
Pete Browning: 162
Bob Johnson: 138
---
Obviously, this completely ingores league quality, and 1940 AL versus 1885 AA is not a small thing.
BP shows Johnson with a higher EqA, and in their translated (incl normalized to same schedule) stats, Johnson has 1200 more ABs, so his career was about two full seasons longer.

Pete'e leaguemate Dave Orr has a 161 OPS+; was he a better hitter than Johnson???

Most people couldn't hit like Browning. Bob Johnson is one of the exceptions.
   129. TomH Posted: May 12, 2005 at 08:31 PM (#1332486)
A liitle more on Jennings' WARPed fielding records:
(not that I mean to be a pain, but it's the only bit of research I did today)

BP / WARP comes up with a "Rate' stat fo rtheir fielders. From their website, it'smeant to say that a 100 fielder made the average number of plays for that position, while 105 means they made 5% more per defensive game.
-
Ozzie Smith, who has the highest FRAR of any fielder in history according to BP, had a career SS rate of 110. If you took away a few decline years at the end, he was closer to 111 or 112.
-
Hughie Jennings was a fulltime SS for 5 consecutive years. Of course these are his 'best' but really his 'only' as well. And what Rate did Jennings have for those seasons?
-
122.4!
So Hughie in his prime was as much more valuable than Ozzie Smith as Ozzie Smith was to the major eague average shortstop. Twice as good as the next-ever Wiz.
-
I go laugh hard now.
   130. DavidFoss Posted: May 12, 2005 at 08:46 PM (#1332515)
Their best years by Range Factor:

Jennings 1895: 6.73/5.54
Smith 1982: 5.86/4.38

Range Factor is a pretty raw and clunky stat but it does show a couple of things. Clearly SS's got more chances in Hughie's day and Jennings should get credit for some of that. Still, I'm not so sure that he was better than Smith by rate.

BP has to be setting a low replacement level for 1890s fielders. Maybe those lesser-sister syndicate teams had crummy shortstops or something.
   131. karlmagnus Posted: May 12, 2005 at 09:01 PM (#1332537)
Presumably most of the 3 errors a game in the 1890s were committed by infielders, since the ball didn't very often get to the outfield. I visualise 1890s baseball as a sort of 3 Stooges operation, with hopeless stolen base attempts, fielders holding onto the runner, sand being thrown in the eyes of the umpire, and sharply hit balls clanging off the gloves of the infielders. Probably Ozzie would have been quite good at that too, but it's a different skill set...
   132. OCF Posted: May 12, 2005 at 09:17 PM (#1332566)
Maybe those lesser-sister syndicate teams had crummy shortstops or something.

The syndicates came at the end of the decade, kicking in in full force in '99. This conversation about Jennings concerns the years '94-'98. But in all of those years, there was a huge spread in W-L records between the top and bottom of the league, and St. Louis, Louisville, and Washingon could never even reasonably hope to contend.

Some 1895 SS. Information is from bbref:
St. Louis: Bones Ely 5.59, team 5.70
Louisville: Frank Shugart 4.95, team 5.30
(they could have used more games from Jack Glasscock)
Washington: cast of thousands (including Glasscock), team 5.80
New York: Shorty Fuller 6.10, team 6.29
Cincinnati: Germany Smith 5.57, team 5.70
Pittsburgh: Monte Cross 5.43, team 5.54
Boston: Herman Long 5.65, team 5.70
Brooklyn: Tommy Corcoran 6.15, team 6.35
Chicago: Bill Dahlen 6.26, team 6.47
Philadelphia: Joe Sullivan 5.08, Charlie Reilly 4.50, team 5.29
Cleveland: Ed McKean 5.11, team 5.28
Baltimore: Hughie Jennings 6.73, team 7.03

More to come.
   133. Sean Gilman Posted: May 12, 2005 at 09:20 PM (#1332568)
Obviously, this completely ingores league quality, and 1940 AL versus 1885 AA is not a small thing.

Obviously it does. But whether that is a small thing or not is a matter of opinion. I believe we are to judge players on their merit, not on the percieved quality of the game at the time they played. Browning, ion his time, was a far better hitter then Johnson was in his time.


BP shows Johnson with a higher EqA, and in their translated (incl normalized to same schedule) stats, Johnson has 1200 more ABs, so his career was about two full seasons longer.

BPs translations include a timeline adjustment, which I think is inappropriate for the HOM. YMMV.


Pete'e leaguemate Dave Orr has a 161 OPS+; was he a better hitter than Johnson??

He was indeed, relative to his competition. Orr's problem is that he only played 7 full seasons, not that he wasn't a great hitter.


Most people couldn't hit like Browning. Bob Johnson is one of the exceptions.

Browning is 12th all-time in OPS+.
   134. OCF Posted: May 12, 2005 at 09:29 PM (#1332574)
Details on a few shortstops from 1895:

Name          Games  PO   A   E   DP
Long           122  280  409  84  48
Corcoran       127  293  488  64  49
Dahlen         129  281  527  86  70
McKean         131  246  424  67  42
Jennings       131  425  457  56  71

And there you have one thing that has always bothered me about the case for Jennings. Yes, he had a low error rate and a high double play rate. But while he towers over the league in raw range factor, ALL of that is his higher PO rate. Dahlen is the one with the best assist rate.

In the NBJHBA, James talks about needed to adjust for elective plays (mostly PO) shared between SS and 2B; I would hope that WARP is also sophisticated enough to deal with that issue. But my gut tells me that that PO/A distribution is not that of an all-time legend, an über-wizard.
   135. jimd Posted: May 12, 2005 at 09:36 PM (#1332581)
105 means they made 5% more per defensive game.

BP's description of the stat follows.

A way to look at the fielder's rate of production, equal to 100 plus the number of runs above or below average this fielder is per 100 games. A player with a rate of 110 is 10 runs above average per 100 games, a player with an 87 is 13 runs below average per 100 games, etc.

It's runs,, not %.

Also, if you check Rate2 (analogous to WARP-2), it shows Hughie to have an adjusted rate of 112. IOW, his fielding is projected to be just as valuable as Ozzie Smith's when placed in the modern game. However, Jennings was playing in an era where that level of SS play was much more valuable, due both to the increased number of opportunities per game and the shallower talent pool (not as many good fielding SS's in the 1890's relative to the 1980's because they haven't yet discovered San Pedro de Macoris, and they wouldn't let them play even if they had).

I don't find this incredible at all.
   136. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 13, 2005 at 12:14 AM (#1332763)
And those defensive rates (or at least the timeline methodology) is the same used in WARP3, which shows Jennings to have a historically great peak. And remember, if you schedule adjsut his WS, his peak looks great rather than good by this method.
   137. TomH Posted: May 13, 2005 at 01:15 AM (#1332877)
Well, if we want to say Jennings at his peak was as good as Ozzie in his prime (Rate 112), I'll go along.
And if there were 25% more plays for a SS to make then, bump it up to a Rate of 115, and I'll still go along.
And if we say the talent pool was shallower then so that Jennings modern Rate 115 = Jennings 1895 Rate of 122+, I'll go along....as long as we then timeline and say the borderline 1950s NL guys who will be eligible soon will dwarf the backlog.

You can't logically give credit for saving 30 runs a year in a shallower talent pool, AND at time same time vote for the guy saving 30 runs over a modern guy saving 20, can you? I hope?
   138. jimd Posted: May 13, 2005 at 05:00 PM (#1333883)
Of course we can. We've been electing many OF'ers from that period, calling them "great" hitters, just because they stood out from the local crowd, despite the fact that there were hardly any pitchers then that had a decent breaking ball due to the change in the pitching mound. It's all relative.

Besides, some of the modern guys aren't tough enough to play in the 1890's. Do we give them a debit? How big? If not, then which time period are we normalizing to? And why that period over any other? I'll stick to estimating the actual value accumulated (though the other can be fun to contemplate).
   139. TomH Posted: May 13, 2005 at 05:38 PM (#1334000)
maybe we'll agree to disagree on this issue.
--
how about this: how much better defensively (if any) was Hughie Jennings than the other contemporary shotstops?

Using Jimd's list of GG SS of the 1890s by both WS and WARP, the following players get mentioned. Along with their names are their BP Rate stats for shortstop, both career and best 5 consecutive seasons.
player......career Rate...best5
Bob Allen...... 115 ......115
Herman Long.... 110 ......112
Germany Smith.. 110 ......112 (not incl AA/Un)
Hughie Jennings 115 ......122
Monte Cross.... .99 ......103
Tommy Corcoran. 108 ......112
Bill Dahlen.... 110 ......117

Hughie's 5 years dwarf the field. Was he really 8-10 runs per 100 games (about 20 plays per full season) better than the next best shortstops in the majors? We would all agree that Dahlen was a great shortstop, right? Was Hughie one giant step better?
   140. jimd Posted: May 13, 2005 at 09:06 PM (#1334574)
maybe we'll agree to disagree on this issue

Agreed ;-)
   141. jimd Posted: May 13, 2005 at 09:11 PM (#1334581)
Here are the top 4 fielding SS's each year of the 132 game schedule (1893-1897) by Win Shares and WARP-1.

1893 WS 10.5 G.Smith   9.8 Long      8.3 Corcoran  7.3 Allen
     W1   64 G.Smith    56 Long       55 Corcoran   55 Allen

1894 WS  9.4 Jennings  7.4 Ely       6.2 G.Smith   6.1 Corcoran
     W1   63 Jennings   59 G.Smith    53 Corcoran   44 Ely

1895 WS 11.7 Dahlen    9.0 Jennings  8.3 Fuller    8.0 Corcoran
     W1   76 Jennings   69 Dahlen     67 Fuller     60 Corcoran

1896 WS 12.0 Jennings  9.8 Dahlen    8.6 Corcoran  6.6 Ely
     W1   77 Jennings   67 Dahlen     64 Corcoran   58 DeMontreville

1897 WS  9.2 Jennings  7.9 Ely       7.9 Davis     5.4 Long
     W1   62 Cross      62 Ely        61 Davis      60 Jennings
     W1L  62 Jennings   62 Ely        61 Davis      52 Cross

As you can see, the order is very similar, so there is major agreement here (except for Monte Cross '97, see Note below) on how to evaluate a SS. The disagreement is on the value of that fielding, relative to pitching and hitting.

Note: The WARP-1 numbers are from last fall's edition. I looked up the latest, and "upon further review", Cross no longer gets the 1897 Gold Glove; instead Jennings ties with Ely.
   142. Jeff M Posted: May 14, 2005 at 12:34 PM (#1336018)
Obviously, this completely ingores league quality, and 1940 AL versus 1885 AA is not a small thing.

That's true and I wasn't representing otherwise. That's a lot of ground to make up, though.

BP shows Johnson with a higher EqA...

Well you are right, if you buy BP's timeline adjustments, which no one knows how to figure out. Personally, I just adjust WARP1 for season-length in most cases. I have, of course, in my own system given Browning discounts for league quality. Johnson still doesn't reach him. Of course, we all differ on our league quality adjustments since time and time again we've basically shown they are impossible to quantify with any confidence.

Most people couldn't hit like Browning. Bob Johnson is one of the exceptions.

Well, Johnson mostly played in a higher scoring environment from a hitter's perspective. Actual team runs per game were higher in Browning's seasons, but that's because of the huge number of errors, which didn't help Browning's hitting stats. If you look at earned runs per team, you get a little closer to what the hitting environment was like, because you essentially exclude runs that are attributable to errors, as opposed to hits.

If you apply a "Willie Davis-style" normalization of their stats to a 600 earned run per team environment, you get .351/.412/.480 for Browning (discounting his AA seasons from as high as 17% to as low as 0% in 1886-88) and .284/.378/.482 for Johnson.

Guess we just have different methods. It certainly isn't obvious to me that Johnson was as good or better as Browning.
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