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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, February 20, 2006

1971 Ballot Discussion

1971 (May 6)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

412 161.8 1946 Warren Spahn-P (2003)
304 83.7 1949 Nellie Fox-2B (1975)
231 60.9 1949 Roy Sievers-1B/LF
153 62.4 1953 Harvey Haddix-P (1994)
175 51.9 1954 Wally Moon-LF/RF
169 49.1 1951 Frank Thomas-LF/3B
157 46.9 1955 Bill Virdon-CF
145 51.0 1954 Ed Bailey-C
141 53.0 1955 Frank Lary-P
152 45.2 1954 Vic Power-1B
127 42.5 1955 Gus Triandos-C
127 42.0 1952 Dick Donovan-P (1997)
120 42.6 1954 Don Mossi-P
131 32.8 1954 Joe Cunningham-1B/RF
120 32.9 1957 Tony Kubek-SS
095 34.8 1953 Don Larsen-P
104 27.9 1958 Albie Pearson-CF

Players Passing Away in 1970
HoMers
Age Elected

None

Candidates
87 1925 Lefty Leifield-P
86 1922 Nap Rucker-P
83 1925 Chick Gandil-1b
78 1930 John Donaldson-P
77 1933 Ray Schalk-C
76 1933 Dutch Ruether-P
74 1935 Johnny Mostil-CF
72 1938 Eddie Rommel-P
71 1947 Charlie Root-P
70 1940 Joe Shaute-P
69 1942 George Watkins-RF
69 1950 Joe Heving-RP
66 1944 Ripper Collins-1B
61 1953 Johnny Murphy-RP
56 1954 Rudy York-1B

Thanks to Dan and Chris again!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 20, 2006 at 12:31 AM | 159 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Jeff M Posted: March 02, 2006 at 08:51 PM (#1881264)
Don't know where else to post this computer question:

Does anyone know whether there is a way to configure an RSS feed so that I can see new comments to existing posts? The program I use (Snarfer) obviously shows me new posts (like "1971 Ballot") but doesn't show me any comments or signal me when there are new comments to the post.

Thanks.
   102. Jeff M Posted: March 02, 2006 at 09:16 PM (#1881306)
What I take issue with is an idea that league-average offensive production is a necessary benchmark for a player at a high-defense position to be HoM-worthy. "He was a BELOW AVERAGE hitter?!? We can't have THAT in the HoM!" Not that anyone has put the matter in precisely those terms, but I think that there is too much emphasis on "career league average hitting" in the consideration of the high-defensive value players.

I understand what you are saying. Someone should not be excluded solely for being a below average hitter at a defensive position. But that having been said, we tend to get starry-eyed about defense in a way that is disproportionate to its actual contribution, in my opinion.

Take a guy with a WS/1000 rate of 6.0, which is very high. Assume he plays 154 games (also high) at an average of 8.75 innings per game. That's 8.09 fielding WS, which is a big fielding WS number. That's 2.7 wins. Assuming a win is worth about 10 runs (it varies from year to year by a half run or so), that's 27 fielding runs. Suppose the average is around 4.0 WS/1000. That's about 17 fielding runs for an average fielder, so the awesome player was 10 fielding runs better.

An average hitter would generate about 55 runs at the plate with that kind of playing time (maybe more). With only 10 extra fielding runs in his hip pocket, the defensive player can't fall off the pace too much at the plate and still have a legitimate claim to being above average, much less great.

The numbers would be altered if you look at comparisons to replacement level players, but figuring out replacement fielding runs is a question no one has really solved (or at least if they have, they've avoided explaining how). I'm not sure it would alter my conclusion, however, since I am trying to find the great players, and great players ought to also be significantly better than average.

Note: I'm at work without any actual WS numbers in front of me, so they are just rough numbers done from memory of some middle infielders' WS rates. In addition, this is not intended as a commentary on Nellie Fox.
   103. Chris Cobb Posted: March 02, 2006 at 09:44 PM (#1881349)
I understand what you are saying. Someone should not be excluded solely for being a below average hitter at a defensive position. But that having been said, we tend to get starry-eyed about defense in a way that is disproportionate to its actual contribution, in my opinion.

The only position player we have elected with a full-career OPS+ under 100 is Pee Wee Reese, who checks in at 99, and who was a strong OBP/weak SLG hitter type, who is underrated by OPS+. So we have yet to get so starry-eyed about defense as to actually elect a career below-average hitter from a high-defense position.
   104. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 02, 2006 at 09:47 PM (#1881354)
The only position player we have elected with a full-career OPS+ under 100 is Pee Wee Reese, who checks in at 99, and who was a strong OBP/weak SLG hitter type, who is underrated by OPS+.

The odds are also favorable that he would have pushed it over 100 if WWII hadn't intervened.
   105. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 02, 2006 at 09:48 PM (#1881356)
Jeff,

I sure hope you intend to post your #15 selection ;-)

Otherise, no. We dont' need to post #'s 16-20 anymore.
   106. Jeff M Posted: March 02, 2006 at 11:49 PM (#1881477)
I sure hope you intend to post your #15 selection ;-)

Guess I took my ballot-shortening thought a little too far. :)

So we have yet to get so starry-eyed about defense as to actually elect a career below-average hitter from a high-defense position.

Right, and I didn't mean to imply otherwise. I was referring more to discussions I see from time to time.
   107. KJOK Posted: March 03, 2006 at 02:28 AM (#1881663)
The only position player we have elected with a full-career OPS+ under 100 is Pee Wee Reese, who checks in at 99, and who was a strong OBP/weak SLG hitter type, who is underrated by OPS+. So we have yet to get so starry-eyed about defense as to actually elect a career below-average hitter from a high-defense position.

I think your pool of players that we would even consider is quite small, so certainly not surprising we haven't elected any, although I think Monte Ward may qualify:

Deacon McGuire
Ozzie Smith
Dave Bancroft
Bert Campaneris
Nellie Fox
Jay Bell?
Maury Wills
Lance Parrish
Dave Concepcion
Duke Farrell
Al Dark
Donie Bush
Dick Bartell
Willie Kamm
Chief Zimmer
Red Schoendienst
Roger Peckinpaugh
Art Fletcher
Phil Rizzuto
Luis Aparicio
Herman Long
Marty Marion
Omar Vizquel
Ray Schalk
Joe Tinker
Lave Cross
Bill Mazeroski
   108. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 03, 2006 at 08:37 AM (#1882121)
Lance Parrish had an OPS+ of 105. Seeing him on that list made me do a double-take.

BTW, I think an OPS+ of 100 for a SS/2B/C (or 3B pre-1930) is a mark in his favor, not a mark against him, all other things equal.

Off that list I really think Bancroft, Bartell and Rizzuto deserve another seriously long look from the group. At SS or C I'd consider a 93-95 OPS+ a positive.
   109. sunnyday2 Posted: March 03, 2006 at 01:24 PM (#1882207)
Looking at Kevin's list...

I don't know yet if I'll vote for Ozzie or not. As a FONF I suppose I ought to, or at least I ought to be open to it and I am.

But...

It just strikes me that the difference between Ozzie and, say Dave Beauty Bancroft or Nellie Fox or Herman Long or Art Fletcher or Lave Cross is this: We saw Ozzie. We never saw the rest of them.

If there's more to it than that, somebody let me know.
   110. TomH Posted: March 03, 2006 at 01:52 PM (#1882229)
sunny, I suppose that could be, but I suspect the difference is more like this: if you ask 'who were the best 5 defensive shortstops (or second basemen)ever' to 10 different competent well-versed fans, you'll get a pool of 20+ players in the 50 answers. There are Many (such as Nellie) who Might be one of the best.

But there is a consensus that Ozzie was the best. Ditto with Mazeroski. That probably does make them over-rated (fans like one neon-lit skill), but in my mind, as well as in the eyes of ## oriented stuff like defensive win shares and FRAR, puts Ozzie over the HoM/HoF line.
   111. sunnyday2 Posted: March 03, 2006 at 02:18 PM (#1882242)
Part of my point is that the consensus that Ozzie was THE best is prejudice. I'm not saying it's not true, and yet the belief nevertheless is prejudice. I mean, Dave Bancroft is not known to have done backflips on SportsCenter, but otherwise we don't know he wasn't just as good relative to the skills of the day.
   112. TomH Posted: March 03, 2006 at 03:00 PM (#1882256)
could be , could be ...
   113. Michael Bass Posted: March 03, 2006 at 03:18 PM (#1882262)
It just strikes me that the difference between Ozzie and, say Dave Beauty Bancroft or Nellie Fox or Herman Long or Art Fletcher or Lave Cross is this:

Ozzie: 236 FRAA
Bancroft: 106 FRAA
Fox: 73 FRAA
Long: 163 FRAA
Fletcher: 150 FRAA
Cross: 181 FRAA

(Worth pointing out that Long and Cross are two that would at least be within spitting distance of Ozzie with a schedule adjustment; of course, neither was any better hitter than him either)

Now, whether you believe BP or not is a reasonable question, but I guess what I'm asking is that to claim that the "Ozzie is the greatest" thing is prejudice, I think you need to point to at least 1 numerical system that does *not* have Ozzie as the best. Because from BP to Win Shares to Linear Weights, I haven't seen one that doesn't. Each individual fielding system certainly has its flaws, but when they pretty much all agree on something, it's probably pretty accurate.
   114. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 03, 2006 at 03:30 PM (#1882273)
For those of you who constantly tinker with your systems, or who have periodically overhauled it, how much do you think your PHOM would change if you had employed your current system from the start of the project? Have you elected anyone to your PHOM whom you do not think would get in now?

I had to close my pHom for renovations as a result of this. It will return in about 2007.
   115. sunnyday2 Posted: March 03, 2006 at 04:01 PM (#1882291)
Career defensive WS

Dahlen 146
Wagner 144
Maranville 142
Ozzie 140
Ripken 137

He's certainly one of the best.
   116. Chris Cobb Posted: March 03, 2006 at 04:04 PM (#1882294)
Re Ozzie Smith and shortstop defense:

Honus Wagner by WARP1 is 268 FRAA, of which 220 is at shortstop.
Bid McPhee by WARP1 is 339 FRAA at second base.
Bill Mazeroski by WARP1 is 224 FRAA.
Brooks Robinson by WARP1 is 206 FRAA.

McPhee and Wagner drop below Ozzie by WARP2/3, of course.
   117. Chris Cobb Posted: March 03, 2006 at 04:07 PM (#1882296)
Almost forgot:

Bill Dahlen, 233 FRAA, 209 at SS.
   118. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 03, 2006 at 04:28 PM (#1882316)
It should be pointed out that FRAA doesn't adjust for the difficulty of position, only FRAR does that. So 200 runs above average at 3B is not as impressive as 200 runs above average at SS.
   119. TomH Posted: March 03, 2006 at 04:36 PM (#1882328)
Career defensive WS
Dahlen 146
Wagner 144
Maranville 142
Ozzie 140
Ripken 137


James in the Historical Abstract said the Wagner had the most overall DWS (Ozzie 2nd, Dahen 3rd, Maranville 4th), but Ozzie had the most at shortstop. Maybe the ##s were revised? Either way, it would seem that deadball SS were able to post more DWS, which is certainly reasonable given the conditions, but does not make them 'better'; especially if they were all close to each other.

Cal is remakrkably close to Ozzie in DWS, but FRAA has them 90 runs apart.

Either way, sunny's point, that the consensus of Smith is da best is probably helped by Ozzie's image (same with Brooks Robbie).
   120. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 03, 2006 at 05:29 PM (#1882386)
But remember too Ozzie's career rate of FWS/1000 is not the best. Among SS with 10000+ innings, he trails several of them (7 i think). I don't have the list in front of me, but I think it includes Maranville and Belanger.
   121. karlmagnus Posted: March 03, 2006 at 05:35 PM (#1882394)
Lave Cross at an OPS+ of 100 was a far better hitter than Ozzie, who was a significant step below Fox, down among the Rabbits, at 87. Ozzie and Mazeroski (84) are going to be significant tests of all our systems; they were historically great fielders (which Fox wasn't quite) but metrics seem to show that this was not enough to make up for their hitting, and that the Childs/Doerr/Gordon/Schang/Lombardi types, who could hit well, are more HOM-worthy. Reese, at an OPS+ of 99, is a different case; there's substantial hitting value there to add to the fielding.
   122. Daryn Posted: March 03, 2006 at 06:15 PM (#1882452)
The philosophical problem I have with many voters' approaches is that there seems to be an acceptance that the total value of the player is the measure we have to use in all cases. I'm not sure I agree. If defense could be accuratley measured on a scale of 100 and Ozzie scored 100, the second best ss of all time got a 90, an average ss got a 70 and a replacement ss got a 50 and Ozzie's OPS+ was 60, rather than 87, it seems to me that most of you would keep him out of the HoM, becuase overall, he was a marginal benefit. That doesn't seem right to me.

Shouldn't the acknowledged best defensive player at the most important defensive position (and I am not necessarily saying Ozzie or anyone fits this description -- this is a philosophical rant) make the HoM? And probably same for the very best 2b and catcher? This is the question we arguably will face with Oz and Maz.

Parenthetically, it always bothers me that Baseball Reference lists Ozzie's nickname as the Wizard of Oz. That's not his nickname and is not a great nickname. His nickname is the Wizard of Aaahs. That's a great nickname.
   123. Daryn Posted: March 03, 2006 at 06:19 PM (#1882459)
Parenthetically, it always bothers me that Baseball Reference lists Ozzie's nickname as the Wizard of Oz. That's not his nickname and is not a great nickname. His nickname is the Wizard of Aaahs. That's a great nickname.

In doing a Google search I noticed I made this same point on this site on April 30, 2002. If you remembered that, I apologize for repeating myself. :)
   124. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 03, 2006 at 06:33 PM (#1882483)
I think the overriding philosophy expressed here is that a player who was the best ever at his position contributes X runs with his glove. If when added to his batting value he his worth X + Y and that's more than the best other player at his position is worth, then he's the top guy at his position, and subsequently is compared to other position's top guys.

Naming someone to the HOM because they were the best-ever fielder alone can't work because then we can say: X was the best baserunner; X pitcher was the best at holding runners; etc.... It's the whole player. How much value does he bring to the team en toto?

But as to why the hitting vs. fielding bias, here's my take on it.

If the difference between the best fielder at one position is getting to one more ball a week, that's, what, a half a run a week? But the best hitters will hit 1/2 of a homer a week more than an average hitter, and that's worth like .75 runs, or .25 runs more than the ball we just mentioned. Or look at it this way: a leading hitter for average will compare to a league-average hitter like this:

600 AB, 210 H, .350 AVG
600 AB, 160 H, .275 AVG

in weekly notation that's

17 AB, 5.95 H
17 AB, 4.68 H

A difference of 1.27 hits or about .64 runs. That's still .14 runs more than saving a single a week in the field. So when you start with a below average hitter but a great fielder, offensively they're probably starting at least 2 runs in the hole per week versus the best hitters. (And it's the best hitters who they have to compete with for HOM/HOF honors.)
   125. Daryn Posted: March 03, 2006 at 07:24 PM (#1882587)
Naming someone to the HOM because they were the best-ever fielder alone can't work because then we can say: X was the best baserunner; X pitcher was the best at holding runners; etc.... It's the whole player.

But, to borrow a phrase, that is just reductio ad absurdum. I'm not saying we should put in the best LOOGY and the best pinchrunner. I'm not even saying we should put in the best fielding firstbaseman of all time, or corner outfielder. I'm not saying we should put in the guy with the best fastball or the best curveball. I am saying the best defender at a key defensive position, if he can be identified, may be worthy of induction regardless of his other talents as long as those other talents at least allowed him to have, to pick a number, a 15 year career.

I think the same about the best closers, and I think, as a group, we have accepted this about closers (we will enshrine closers whose RSAA/WS/WARP or whatever global metric you prefer does not put them among the top 70 all-time pitchers).

I think the same about the best offensive player, regardless of his DHing or very poor defense. I think the same about the guy who gets the most hits of all-time, the most runs, the most rbi and the most homeruns. Fortunately for us, most of the guys that fall in the latter categories have enough all-round value to make the philosophical point academic.

But if Sammy Sosa had hung around to notch another 73 homeruns, I'd enshrine him for that alone, even if there are legitimate metrics that might put his overall value outside the top 220 of all-time. I think I'll enshrine him anyway, but that is beside the point.
   126. sunnyday2 Posted: March 03, 2006 at 07:26 PM (#1882593)
That strikes me as a HoF rather than a HoM.
   127. Michael Bass Posted: March 03, 2006 at 08:12 PM (#1882690)
Despite my earlier statements, count me in, of course, with evaluating the whole package rather than just "best fielder", etc. Where that leaves me on RPs is yet to be determined, as it does with Ozzie himself (loooong way off there).

It's worth pointing out that on the above lists, pretty much everyone mentioned who is in Ozzie's category defensively is in the HOM (of course, many/most of them were much better hitters than Oz himself). The exception is Maranville, who was significantly worse with the stick than Ozzie.

For the record, Ozzie is also, by BP, basically the same hitter as Fox (and clearly a much more valuable fielder): .262 eqa (Oz) vs. .261 (Fox), despite their OPS+. This is almost certainly due to the wide disaparity in their baserunning stats. Cross also checks in at .262 in that same range (very different era of course).

I predict Maz is going to struggle quite a bit in the voting, as his eqa is down into the Maranville range.
   128. TomH Posted: March 03, 2006 at 08:23 PM (#1882707)
But remember too Ozzie's career rate of FWS/1000 is not the best.
--
true of anyone who fielded his position wellll past prime. Mays ain't the best at FWS rate, and neither is Brooks R.

BTW, Bill James last week sent me a work-in-progress 7 pg doc on greatest defensive CFers. He is busy updating his whole Win Shares system, which will now include Loss Shares; it now reads more like OWP (this would be DWP). He's not sure when he'll get this all tweaked; sounds like years rather than months. Anyway, by the 'new' Win Shares stat DWP, Paul Blair and Joe DiMaggio have the career best rates, altho Speaker and Mays are up there and given their much longer careers, would rank at the top given any reasonable use of playing time.
   129. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 03, 2006 at 08:37 PM (#1882730)
I agree that Maz will struggle, not only not a good enough hitter, but didn't play at peak/prime level as long as other MIs like Ozzie or Nellie to make up for it..

TomH,

You're right of course about career rates viz career arc, but Maranville, for instance, had a career as long as Ozzie's or very close.
   130. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 03, 2006 at 08:43 PM (#1882740)
BTW, Bill James last week sent me a work-in-progress 7 pg doc on greatest defensive CFers.

Very interesting work, BTW. It also has set off a robust discussion concerning Joe DiMaggio within the SABR Stat Committee.
   131. Daryn Posted: March 03, 2006 at 08:44 PM (#1882742)
That strikes me as a HoF rather than a HoM.

I see it as recognizing merit in parts of the game. I give no credit to the Fame generated by Ozzie's backflips or Sosa's homerun chase. Unparrelled or barely parrelled excellence in one of the three aspects of the game (pitching, fielding, hitting) is worth recognition. We do it for the pitchers despite the fact they might not hit or field well, we do it for the hitters whether or not they pitch or field well. I realize that is because the overall contribution of pitchers and hitters who excel at what they do is greater than the overall contribution of fielders who excel at what they do, but all that means is that we are only faced with this philosophical dilemna in regards to fielders -- it doesn't mean that it is a dilemna that ought to be ignored.
   132. TomH Posted: March 03, 2006 at 09:17 PM (#1882789)
Maranville, for instance, had a career as long as Ozzie's or very close
--
good point, Dr. C, but this makes me go back again to that fuzzy beast called the timeline. I'd like to see how Ozzie stacks up versus the 1950-2000 SS in DWS/1000 for those over 10K innings, and how Maranville et al rate for the 1880-1950 group (or whatever other reasonable time boundaries one wishes to draw). My suspicion is that cream of the Wizard of Aahs (oooh, I LIKE that nickname!) will rise more clearly to the top when the apples are separated from the oranges. Kind of like why I think Joe Morgan belongs with Hornsy/Collins/Lajoie, and Seaver rates with Grove/Alexander/Matty/Young/Johnson, etc.
   133. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 03, 2006 at 09:50 PM (#1882835)
1. Are we still required to include 15-20 on the ballot?

No. Well, you probably should add #15. ;-)

2. Are we still required to mention something about the people who made the top 10 consensus but are not on our ballot?

Yes, but since I'm not the Commish (and I'm indifferent to the rule), I rarely ever mention it.
   134. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 03, 2006 at 10:38 PM (#1882894)
That's a good point, about the timeline possibly working in Oz's favor in that direction. However, as we've discussed with Nellie Fox (I think), the timeline runs against him in terms of the number of balls in play and possibly in terms of the run value of each extra ball he fields.

Let's take Maranville as an example.

Rabbit played a bunch in the deadball era. At that time it was more important for the shorstop to get to the ball and field it cleanly than it would be in Smith's time because pitchers didn't strike people out as often, DP rates were lower, and fewer runs were scored. So with more balls in play you needed more range and better hands to keep guys off base because the DP wouldn't bail you out very often, and the pitcher probably wouldn't work his way out of a mess alone. Even though the lively ball came along in 1920---reducing the run value of a ball muffed or not gotten to---pitchers still struck out fewer men than in Ozzie's day, and more balls were still put in play, making a plus defensive defensive player at shortstop somewhat of an imperative. Looked at that way, the timeline issue is much more cloudy.
   135. jimd Posted: March 03, 2006 at 11:33 PM (#1882957)
Because a "bat" can be expected to outhit a "glove" by about 20 points of OPS+ (using all-time averages), a "bat" (OF/1B) that hits around 120 OPS+ is equivalent to a "glove" (C/SS/2B/3B) that hits around 100 OPS+.

I can think of a couple of HOMer "bats" that were substandard with the stick (using this def'n) though they were excellent fielders. Interesting that we haven't cut the "gloves" the same amount of slack (relatively speaking).
   136. Jeff M Posted: March 03, 2006 at 11:47 PM (#1882970)
BTW, Bill James last week sent me a work-in-progress 7 pg doc on greatest defensive CFers.

Wow, Bill James consults with you on Win Shares and Loss Shares? I'm going to have to start paying more attention to your ballots. :)
   137. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 04, 2006 at 12:59 AM (#1883022)
Good point Doc. I guess the question is, "Should we normalize this effect to be fair to glovemen who played after WWII (though I happen to think that this change happened in the 1920's) or should we accept the value as given because earlier glovemen gave more value to their teams?" I am not sure I have the answer. At first I want to try and figure out level things out, but value is value.

One problem I have, however, is that most of these gusy who should probably be recieving WS boosts (because WS doesn't adjust for this fact) would need an awful lot of WS added to their top seasons to form the kind of peak that I like. Most of the glove-only guys we have looked at are longer career, long prime guys. How many great gloveman have had extraordinary peaks that weren't necessarily great hitters?

I also want to say that I am unconvinced by the need for Loss Shares in the Win Shares system. Isn't playing so bad that you aren't accumulating many Many Win Shares over a large number of G, Pa, AB, etc. bad enough? And shouldn't there be a bit of an advantage for those players that can play 162g in a season? I am open to the other point of view, but I have never really thought that Loss Shares would add anything. In my view a loss is just a game where a team doesn't accumulate any WS, so that team is already being penalized.

I will say, however, that WS could be reworked. I would like to see a defensive spectrum shift of 1B included, the wieghting between fielding and pitching tinkered with, and a more reliable fielding system woudl be welcome as well.
   138. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 04, 2006 at 05:53 AM (#1883256)
Good discussion on the defensive wizards.

My take on the 3 main guys . . .

1. Ozzie

2. Fox



3. Mazeroski

Ozzie should be an easy choice for us when it comes time. His baserunning adds a significant amount to his offensive value, 580 for 728 as a base-stealer adds quite a few runs. I've got him roughly even with Trammell, despite Trammell's 110-87 OPS+ advantage. That's how valuable I think his defense and baserunning were. Ozzie's got a peak too, he could have been MVP in 1987 (Raines deserved it, Dawson won it, but Ozzie was right there).

Mazeroski I just don't get. He's got a career OPS+ lower than Ozzie, in 3 years fewer playing time, playing a not as important defensive position just as well. His OPS+ understates how much worse he was offensively. He was 27-for-50 as a base-stealer, and his OBP was 28 points below league average, while Ozzie's was 9 points above. They aren't on the same planet as players, anymore than Frank Tanana and Nolan Ryan are.
   139. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 04, 2006 at 08:00 AM (#1883332)
I agree with you Joe. Ozzie will be a very strong candidate for undiuction while Maz won't rank above Fox, let alone Doeer, Gordon, and Childs for me.
   140. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 04, 2006 at 09:50 AM (#1883356)
I would like to see an explanation of any system that ranks Maz anywhere near Doerr, Gordon or Childs jschmeagol :-)
   141. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 04, 2006 at 01:14 PM (#1883380)
I would like to see an explanation of any system that ranks Maz anywhere near Doerr, Gordon or Childs jschmeagol :-)

Put me down as also intrigued by your system, Mark.
   142. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 04, 2006 at 05:57 PM (#1883490)
Ozzie should be an easy choice for us when it comes time.

Joe, I disagree that Ozzie is even close to an easy choice. Ozzie and Trammell are extremely close, as you said, but they are both right on the edge of HOMerness from a 2005 perspective. I see them both as having to fight it out with Scooter, Sewell, and Moore for the last SS slot in the HOM (depending on how you like Jennings, careerists obviously will disagree with my assessment).
   143. Chris Cobb Posted: March 04, 2006 at 06:37 PM (#1883526)
Fearless prediction:

Looked at in the context of their time, both Ozzie Smith and Alan Trammell will be elected easily. When we're looking at the 1980s, we'll be debating whether or not to elect Keith Hernandez and Buddy Bell, not Smith and Trammell.
   144. TomH Posted: March 04, 2006 at 07:58 PM (#1883586)
I didn't mean to imply Bill James 'consults' me on Win Shares. Yeah, that would be something. :)

He did send a document to a few of us who were working on similar things.
   145. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 04, 2006 at 09:30 PM (#1883655)
Um, I am pretty sure that my post insinuated that Maz WON't rank above Doerr, Gordon, Childs, and Fox. Maybe I should have also said that he wont' rank anywhere near them as well.
   146. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 04, 2006 at 10:29 PM (#1883694)
Um, I am pretty sure that my post insinuated that Maz WON't rank above Doerr, Gordon, Childs, and Fox. Maybe I should have also said that he wont' rank anywhere near them as well.

You know, I read Joe's post first, then I read yours next, Mark. Probably should have done the opposite. ;-)
   147. KJOK Posted: March 05, 2006 at 04:33 AM (#1883847)
The point I was trying to make, maybe not clearly, is something like:

If we assume that winning consists of something around 50% batting, 15% fielding, 35% pitching, then just the mathematics of it means, even for "fielding" positions:

It's relatively easy for a player to be a below average fielder, but still be a "HOM" player by being a well above average hitter.

It's relatively hard for a player to be a below average hitter, but still be a "HOM" player by being a well above average fielder (although it is POSSIBLE..)
   148. Howie Menckel Posted: March 05, 2006 at 04:52 AM (#1883854)
That's more or less the way I look at it, kjok
   149. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: March 05, 2006 at 04:55 AM (#1883855)
I'm just catching up here, and I wanted to say that Daryn's post #123 made me laugh out loud.

As far as the Loss Shares issue, I'm not the guy to do the heavy statistical lifting (I don't know whether the relevant discussion are still in Primate Studies), but one of the reasons you'd want them is that really great players, like Bonds or Pedro at their peak, are being underrated by Win Shares. Instead of a Bonds season just being worth 44 Win Shares, it should also be worth -6 Loss Shares (that's negative Loss Shares). Trying to follow the mathematical justification for this always made my head hurt, but I couldn't actually find any flaws in it. Just Google "tangotiger" and Win Shares and I think you'll be able to find an analysis.

On a simpler level, Loss Shares would also account for truly terrible pitcher batting (once again, I point to Pedro Martinez as an example) that now gets zeroed out by Win Shares.
   150. Chris Cobb Posted: March 05, 2006 at 05:33 AM (#1883889)
On a simpler level, Loss Shares would also account for truly terrible pitcher batting (once again, I point to Pedro Martinez as an example) that now gets zeroed out by Win Shares.

It doesn't get zeroed out: it gets deducted from a pitcher's pitching win shares, so pitchers who hit badly suffer for it in their evaluation by win shares. What should happen with those lost batting win shares on the team level is a bit less clear.
   151. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: March 05, 2006 at 07:42 AM (#1883936)
OK, once again I don't know what I'm talking about. (It's OK, I'm used to it.)

One other thought on the offense/defense thing. I can't say this has ever been a tipping point in my rankings, but it is something I think about. We all know that our methods to measure offense are more reliable than our defensive measures. So, if you had two candidates that are otherwise equal, but one's contribution is more weighted to offense, shouldn't you favor that candidate because we can have greater confidence that he is that good of a player? (I realize that the uncertainty can also underrate defense, but that really isn't relevant for our purposes.) Does that make sense to people or am I completely wrongheaded?
   152. jimd Posted: March 06, 2006 at 08:56 PM (#1885873)
So, if you had two candidates that are otherwise equal, but one's contribution is more weighted to offense, shouldn't you favor that candidate because we can have greater confidence that he is that good of a player

By the same reasoning, we should favor the MLB player over the NeL player with the same approximate value.

Voting NeL players and voting defensive players are riskier decisions because their values are more likely to change, either up or down. Whether we include or exclude, they are the choices that are most likely to look bad 20 years from now. We still have to evaluate them to the best of our abilities.
   153. KJOK Posted: March 06, 2006 at 09:18 PM (#1885900)
The basic reason you need "LOSS SHARES" is the same reason, on a simplistic level, you don't evaulate teams based on:

WINS
Team A - 22
Team B - 18

and assume Team A is better, and then find out, adding in losses, you get:

Team A - 22 WINS, 15 LOSSES
Team B - 18 WINS, 2 LOSSES

and would then conclude Team B is better.
   154. KJOK Posted: March 06, 2006 at 09:28 PM (#1885914)
I think the fact that even Bill James is now adding Loss Shares underscores the fact that you really HAVE to have Loss Shares along with Win Shares.
   155. DavidFoss Posted: March 06, 2006 at 09:49 PM (#1885934)
I think the fact that even Bill James is now adding Loss Shares underscores the fact that you really HAVE to have Loss Shares along with Win Shares.

So can I infer there will be an official Bill James Win Shares update at some point?

Is there more to Loss Shares than removing all of the "zeroing" that Patriot complained about on his blog? Or is it a much more severe revamping of the algorithm.
   156. karlmagnus Posted: March 06, 2006 at 10:41 PM (#1885986)
If someone has the relevant database on disk, it might be worth looking at the bottom 10 Win Share figures IN the HOM and the top 10 OUT. My guess is that the OUTS will have more WS than the INS, but that a consensus of the HOM electorate will agree that the INS were better players. In other words, WS is erratic and of limited value.
   157. DavidFoss Posted: March 06, 2006 at 10:56 PM (#1886007)
My guess is that the OUTS will have more WS than the INS, but that a consensus of the HOM electorate will agree that the INS were better players.

With season length changes and positional issues, you most certainly are correct.

In other words, WS is erratic and of limited value.

Well, the value of almost anything is usually 'limited value'. Nothing is going to be perfect.

We've been discussing Win Shares for a couple years here and have gotten fairly well versed in its valuable characteristics as well as its ideosyncrasies. (I don't like using it to compare players who played different positions, for example). Its algorithm is published and detailed quite explicitly, which makes it nice to understand what those quirks may be. It still has its uses, and I'm quite interested in any official upgrades it undergoes.
   158. Daryn Posted: March 06, 2006 at 10:57 PM (#1886008)
The OUTS will have way more, but it is not really a fair test. A better test would be to do it positionally. Take the lowest 9 (1 at each position) who are in and compare them to the highest 9 (1 at each position) who are out. Mullane will crush whoever he is up against by about 150 WSs. Beckley may get to play.
   159. Michael Bass Posted: March 06, 2006 at 11:16 PM (#1886043)
Total WS also doesn't mean a whole lot to peak/prime voters (which comprises a decent chunk of the electorate).
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