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

Sunday, October 15, 2006

1988 Ballot Discussion

1988 (October 30)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

370 101.3 1963 Willie Stargell-LF/1B (2001)
325 86.4 1967 Reggie Smith-CF/RF
256 97.1 1964 Luis Tiant-P
277 71.9 1969 Bobby Murcer-RF/CF*
225 56.6 1967 Lee May-1B
161 58.9 1967 Sparky Lyle-RP
199 44.2 1970 John Mayberry-1B
162 55.2 1967 Mark Belanger-SS (1998)
173 43.0 1968 Joe Rudi-LF
130 48.8 1968 Stan Bahnsen-P
138 42.5 1968 Del Unser-CF
125 46.8 1969 Bill Lee-P
139 39.7 1974 Ron LeFlore-CF
141 34.3 1971 Willie Montanez-1B
110 41.6 1973 Doc Medich-P
120 31.2 1969 Jim Spencer-1B (2002)

Players Passing Away in 1987
HoMers
Age Elected

None

Candidates
Age Eligible

92 1943 Bob Smith-P/SS
86 1945 Luke Sewell-C
84 1943 Babe Herman-RF
83 1942 Travis Jackson-SS
82 1945 Pinky Whitney-3B
81 1951 Paul Derringer-P
79 1948 Larry French-P
79 1948 George Selkirk-RF/LF
78 1946 Zeke Bonura-1B
69 1957 Jim Russell-LF
65 1962 Dale Mitchell-LF
57 1980 Don McMahon-RP
51 1974 Dick Howser-SS/Mgr
50 1975 Jerry Adair-2B
49 1982 Jim Brewer-RP

Thanks, Dan!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 15, 2006 at 07:57 PM | 319 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. sunnyday2 Posted: October 21, 2006 at 11:58 PM (#2220499)
My points was I can't go: assists + base hits, or whatver.

By all means, convert the assists to runs saved. But you are the one who said, no, no, we're talking about assists here.

That is my only point. I never said to ignore defense.

To date, my udnerstanding is Maz' defense and offense taken together don't have the same total value that some other 2Bs offer. I'm not gonna take an A+ defender over a B hitter just on that comparison alone. i gotta see the whole pkg.
   202. mulder & scully Posted: October 22, 2006 at 07:56 AM (#2221057)
RE: Mazeroski and defensive context.

I do not know how the ESPN encyclopedia calculates its fielding runs. If it is similar to Linear Weights, then the following from pp. 126-7 of the Win Shares book may be illustrative of potential issues some voters would have with Fielding Runs.

According to WS book, Linear Weights (LW) had Maz as +362 Fielding Runs for his career and Willie Randolph at break even (zero Fielding Runs). James thought this odd as these were their career fielding numbers at second base:
player / def innings 2b / PO / A / E / DP / Pct.
Mazeroski / 18301 / 4974 / 6685 / 204 / 1706 / .983
WRandolph / 18648 / 4858 / 6336 / 234 / 1547 / .980

When Randolph's numbers are adjusted to Maz' defensive innings, you get:
PO: 4768, A: 6218, E: 230, and DP: 1518.

There is a difference of 887 plays over the 18301 innings. But there is some double counting as many assists are including in the double plays, etc. So James asked, how much of the approximately 700 more actual made plays were the part of defensive excellence? And how much of the additional made plays are the result of context.

It turns out that Maz's teams had more baserunners on first than Randolph's. Also, Randolph's teams gave up fewer singles and struck out more than Maz'. Therefore, there were more balls in play/opportunities for assists/double plays for Maz than Randolph. Over their careers, Randolph's teams averaged 10.75 A per 9 innings and Maz' 11.68. Both players recorded 28% of their team's assists. Maz' assist advantage, more than half of the made plays difference between the two, is the result of team context.

End of James' segment.

That leaves about 350 to 400 plays to account for Maz' 362 Fielding Run difference over Randolph. I don't buy it.


As aside from me: If two players are both making around 13000 plays in 18000 defensive innings, how can one have no fielding runs overall and the other is plus 362 when there is only a 5% or 6% difference in plays made? There is a tremendous amount of value in making the 13000 plays made by Willie Randolph. It's not worth Zero.
If I still remember how LW work, LW formulas compare to an "average" player. So Maz is worth +362 Fielding Runs over average at second base because of his additional 5 or 6 % plays made. Maz played about 2033 9 inning games at 2nd (18301 divided by 9). 2033 games is a little over 12.5 162 game seasons. So Maz is between 28 and 30 Fielding Runs better than average second baseman per 162 games because of 5 to 6% more plays made without taking into account team defensive context.
Per 162 games, Maz will make about 60 more plays than Randolph. Those 60 plays mean 28 to 30 Fielding Runs?

Just my opinion, but if a defensive metric generates that severe a result over such a small difference, I am much more inclined to trust the more conservative defensive metric.

If anyone can explain why Maz should have such an advantage, please explain it to me, because I don't understand it and would like to. Thank you.
   203. sunnyday2 Posted: October 22, 2006 at 01:00 PM (#2221103)
I don't think anybody claims 13,000 plays are worth nothing. FR says it worth noting about average. I'm not saying I buy it either, but let's be clear about what the claim is.
   204. rawagman Posted: October 22, 2006 at 02:28 PM (#2221124)
Question of the week - how much of his career did Bus Clarkson spend as a SS and how much as a 3B?
   205. sunnyday2 Posted: October 22, 2006 at 03:30 PM (#2221139)
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/hall_of_merit/discussion/bus_clarkson
   206. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 22, 2006 at 04:21 PM (#2221151)
I think someone above said it, and it's probably true: when you have doubt about something, whether a NgL MLE or fielding numbers, you look elsewhere for the surer bet. I know I do, that's my stance on Dick Redding. It's my stance on Luke Easter, too. And it's a big reason why I think WS is many people's preferred uberstat of choice. WS does have a conservative view of fielding, and it seems like that view is sensible for lots of reasons.

But the question becomes very different if we pull out and look at team value. At the team level it's much clearer to see what defensive value looks like. Or should be. For argument's sake, let's assume that James is right, and that run scoring and run prevention are 48/52 of the equation. The only way fielding can total up to the same as defense is if pitching is only 4% of a team's total run prevention. Even in the early game, this is a rather far-fetched idea. One strikeout among 27 outs is itself 3.7% of a game's outs, and that's not offering much credit for the pitcher's influencing balls in play via trickery and stuff.

Right, so look at today's game. The average pitcher gives up about 1.3 HR per nine and K's about 6.7 guys and walks about 3 a game. That's 11 outcomes all to the pitcher. There's about, what, 38 PAs a game? So 27 of them are covered by the fielders. 71% of all PAs. If the pitcher had no control on the outcome of the BIP, then 48/15/37 hitters/pitchers/fielders. But we know that pitchers probably exert some control over BIP, so maybe it's 48/20/32. So, 48 nine ways is 5.3% of total value invested in one lineup slot (imprecision noted...). For fielding, let's split it eight ways: 4% of total value invested in each position. Now we know that's not necessarily accurate since flank fielders see fewer balls than up-the-middle guys, but let's keep it simple for this moment. So the total value for hitting is around 33% more per lineup slot than fielding is at only eight positions. If you split the hitting 8 ways (to reflect Maz's time) then at 6%, hitting is 50% more valuable than fielding. I'm not saying that WS has the 48/52 thing perfect, but if you follow that one assumption outward, there's some possible insight to gain about the relative values of the two player activities.

OK, but there's also the question of the number of plays at each position. Obviously, 2B/SS/CF see lots more plays than the other positions. I don't know this kind of stuff off the top of my head, but let's say that 2Bs and SSs each pick up about 750 chances a year. Maybe OFs get 1100 a year (325, 450, 325). So maybe the division of total value for defense among these five positions (which would be 20% of total value on averge) should be something like:

2B 750 29% * 20 = 5.8%
SS 750 29% * 20 = 5.8%
CF 450 17% * 20 = 3.4%
RF 325 13% * 20 = 2.6%
LF 325 13% * 20 = 2.6%

Now the defensive value of Maz's position is indeed higher than our nine-slot lineup average, but only slightly less than the average with the eight-slot model.

But does value equal value? Not necessarily. I see two possible questions here:
1) Marginal runs
2) Value of each defensive opportunity.

Joe addressed the first question previously. Marginal offense differs by position, and by team based on run context. It's possible that the level of marginal production for offense and defense differ which could skew things either way.

The second question is really interesting to me. There's two aspects to it: the number of plays a typical defender sees/makes, and the relative value of each of those plays. Let's use our hypothetical corner outfielder above. He's got 325 TC a year. How many hits fall in around him? Well, start with GB/FB. Working from numbers in Ron Shandler's 2005 annual, the league is at like 1.28:1.00 GB/FB . In addition, the league gives up 20% line drives. the 2006 NL had 71418 BIP (including SACs, and HRs).
TYPE OF BIP   OUTS  # BIP  per team
----------------------------------------
GB      45        72    32138    2009
FB      35        85    24996    1562
LD      20        28    14284     893 

Ground balls: you can figure that nearly every groundball is an infielder's play.
Fly balls: Let's say it's 1/3 IF flies, 2/3 OF flies, with HRs included in OF flies.
Line drives: Let's say it's 1/5 IF LDs, 4/5 OF LDs, no HRs included.

I'm just guessing at these, so that we have an understanding about that.

TYPE            # TO INF  # TO OF  # OF PLAYABLE
------------------------------------------------
Ground balls      2009       0           0
Fly balls          515     1047        869 
(178 HR per team)
Line Drives        179      714        714
=================================================
TOTAL             2703     1761       1583 


So just by this guesstimation, we're talking about the IF handling about 70% more playable balls than the OF. So immediately the relative value of each play in the IF drops a bit because there's just more plays and the baseline (as Joe mentioned earlier) is at average. The difficulty is not really a question to my mind because you're already measuring against average and it's possible the difficulty will be reflected in the offense at the position. I could be wrong. No, I probably am wrong. Now there's also this other question about the value of each type of play. Each hit that a superior defensive left fielder or right fielder cuts off is guaranteed to be more valuable than those cut off by a middle infielder. This should be obvious, right? Because when an outfielder misses a play, the least valuable hit that occurs is a single; when one goes just out of Maz's reach, it's a single in essentially all cases. Going back to XR, doubles are worth 44 percent more to the offense than singles are in terms of typical run value, even though the out value of .09 is seen by XR as constant to the offense. Let's say, that each hit in front of an OF is worth .20 runs more than one beneath an infielder. (so not quite a double, a little more than a single.)

So if an infielder saves runs at a rate that's consistent with above and they make plays, relative to a corner OF consistent with the rates above, then they make 70% more plays at a per play value that's 80% of the OF's per-play value. If an OF steals 10 hits from the opposition, in our model he's taking 6 potential runs from the offense. The infielder at the same time makes 17 plays at a total value of 8.5 potential runs against the offense...or .9 runs for the defense for the OF and 1.575 runs for the IF. Now you'd have to go back and figure out what the average fielder at those positions is saving, how many runs he's taking from the offense, if you will, to see what the relative values of the positions really are.

OK, so what's the upshot here? Well, I'm just thinking through the implications of a offense v. defense. A high-end corner OF may have more value concentrated in the ability to cut off a hit than an infielder. But an infielder makes many more plays and so puts up more total value. The relative value of each position is, however, unknowable without having some vs. average benchmark. But in general, it's possible that an average player's defensive value could approach his offensive value, especially in a DH league with nine hitters), however, any hitter who is any good is likely batting higher in the order and seeing more opportunities, so his offensive value is still likely higher. Lastly, the question of marginal offense and marginal defense weighs very heavily in this discussion. It's an open question whether each position has more variance at it than another, but if I had to guess, there's wider variance among corner OF than middle INF, suggesting that the marginal standard for MIF is probably closer to the best MIF than the standard would be to the best OF. Which means that it's probably harder for a MIF to pile up tons of marginal defensive value, potentially reducing the impact of his defense relative to his offense. But with no numbers to back it up, I'm simply speculating.
   207. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 22, 2006 at 04:28 PM (#2221152)
I wanted to comment on something I read above (by the way, great point M&S, exactly how I feel), that 2 plays a week is roughly the same as the difference between a .260 hitter and a .360 hitter. A single is worth .45 runs or thereabouts according to MGL. Above it is quoted that a double play is only worth .37 runs and that is slpit amongst three to four players (pitcher SS and/or 2B and 1B) while a single goes almost completely to the hitter no? At least the .45 that I quoted goes to the hitter in MGL SLWTS system. In other words, two extra defensive plays is in no way as valuable as two extra hits and if that is the difference between the best and the worst, a great hitter at a postiion is usually going to be more vlauable than a great fielder. Hence, the hitters are more likely than the fielders to make the HOM. And this isn't even taking BB's, HR, 3B, or 2B into consideration.

Now I do agree that we may be underrating defensive somewhat (or at lesat I get that feeling every so often and take another look at Dave Bancroft), but I don't think we are underrating Maz too much, he was a HOF mistake. And why do we continue to look at career totals and career averages instead of in season totals. I would think that both are needed to tell the whole story between say, Fox, whose peak is pretty good, and Maz, who has a peak that rates lower than Boogeyman Beckley IIRC.
   208. sunnyday2 Posted: October 22, 2006 at 05:09 PM (#2221167)
>a great hitter at a postiion is usually going to be more vlauable than a great fielder. Hence, the hitters are more likely than the fielders to make the HOM. And this isn't even taking BB's, HR, 3B, or 2B into consideration.

that's certainly the conclusion I came to. More to the point, it seems to be the consensus, judging by 90 years of elections. Anybody seriously disagree?
   209. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: October 23, 2006 at 12:28 AM (#2221426)
Prelim Ballot:

Did a major re-evaluation this year. Hooray for free time!

1. Dobie Moore - What can I say, I'm sold. Ernie Banks without the 1b years? Good enough for me.
2. Pete Browning - Big beneficiary this time around. I'm convinced he was the 1880's Dick Allen.
3. Ken Boyer - Brooks Robinson-lite, but with a peak.
4. Charlie Keller - Poor man's Kiner. Close with war credit, but Kiner's huge peak was real.
5. Willie Stargell - Good numbers, but not all that durable in-season.
6. Cupid Childs - Another guy who moves up. Dominant 2B of his generation.
7. Thurman Munson - I'm warming up to the idea that he was very similar to Freehan.
8. Hugh Duffy - Moves down, as he doesn't have much other than that 1894 - I like Browning better after looking closer.
9. Bucky Walters - How did I miss him for so long? An egregious oversight on my part.
10. Alejandro Oms - I was missing a lot on him for a while. Nice player.
11. Frank Howard - Now comes the fun part. As a peak guy (even though I count career as well, I lean peak), I couldn't rationalize him so low, especially behind Beckley.
12. Norm Cash - Raw numbers better than Howard, but Cash was platooned.
13. Chuck Klein - Similar to Howard, but how much of it was the Baker Bowl?
14. Jake Beckley - Looking closer at Taylor moves Beckley ahead of GVH, and virtually tied with:
15. Ben Taylor - Great defense, Beckley-esque offensive profile.
16-20: Luis Tiant, GVH, Roy White, Dick Redding, Gavy Cravath
21-40: Dizzy Trout, Lou Brock, Addie Joss, Nellie Fox, Charley Jones, Dizzy Dean, Roger Bresnahan, Quincy Trouppe, Sam Rice, Mickey Lolich, Pie Traynor, Mike Marshall, Vada Pinson, Jimmy Wynn, Orlando Cepeda, Catfish Hunter, Bob Johnson, Bobby Murcer, John McGraw, Bobby Bonds

Tiant - I don't know what to make of him - nice peak, but inconsistent career.
Murcer - I like him a bit better than Bonds, but not close to the ballot.
Reggie Smith - With Japan credit, maybe in the 20-30 range. As is, in the 50-75 range. Not enough durability, and an odd career shape.
   210. Mike Webber Posted: October 23, 2006 at 02:48 AM (#2221776)
Melky,
Roush?
Thanks!
Mike.
   211. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 23, 2006 at 03:48 AM (#2221889)
I think someone above said it, and it's probably true: when you have doubt about something, whether a NgL MLE or fielding numbers, you look elsewhere for the surer bet. I know I do, that's my stance on Dick Redding. It's my stance on Luke Easter, too. And it's a big reason why I think WS is many people's preferred uberstat of choice. WS does have a conservative view of fielding, and it seems like that view is sensible for lots of reasons.

This makes it sound like erring towards offense is a qualitative thing, but it can also be presented as a quantitative decision.

A player's WARP or Win Shares or whathaveyou is not just a number, though we all tend to act that way. It's a number plus-minus some confidence interval. The confidence interval for offensive value is much tighter than for defensive value. If I only want to vote for players about who I am, say, 95% sure that they lie above the in-out line, the MEDIAN value of the offensive players will be much higher than the defensive players' median value.
   212. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 23, 2006 at 04:24 AM (#2221906)
My preliminary ballot. I'm going away for a week tomorrow, and if a storm brews that keeps me from getting home for several days (don't laugh, it happened to some friends of mine), so that I can't post a ballot on Monday week, please use this in the voting. I'm only commenting on newcomers to my ballot.

I'll keep that in mind, fra paolo.
   213. The Wilpons Must Go (Tom D) Posted: October 23, 2006 at 04:54 AM (#2221915)
This is my provisional ballot, as I have only made petition to be a voter.

1. Cupid Childs - A worthy first vote, a middle infielder who can score with roughly the same frequency as Rickey Henderson is pretty good in any era.
2. Willie Stargell - A little short on the durability but essentially his career was one long prime. The most feared opposing hitter in the eyes of this ten year old Met fan. Career OPS+ 147.
3. Jimmy Wynn - CF with tons of power/speed in the poorest imaginable environment.
4. Lou Brock - 3,000 hits, more power than people seem to remember.
5. Dobie Moore - Garden variety .360 hitting SS.
6. Ken Boyer - Excellent all-around player for a decade.
7. Jake Beckley - Arguably only 1-2 off years from 1888-2005.
8. Orlando Cepeda - Would put up a .500 SLG% if healthy
9. Nellie Fox - The MVP voters certainly seemed to like him.
10. Tony Oliva - Top 3 for batting title seven times. Top 3 in Total Bases six times. Unfortunately, he couldn't compile.
11. Quincy Trouppe - .300 hitting catcher, apparently for quite a long time.
12. Edd Roush - Top 3 for batting title six times.
13. Norm Cash - Analytically great, even Oliva had more 600 PA seasons.
14. Dizzy Dean - A pretty significant peak.
15. Reggie Smith - Kind of peaked twice 73-74, 77-78. Very effective player throughout.
   214. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 23, 2006 at 05:13 AM (#2221921)
Looks fine by me, Tom (and not just because you have a certain 19th century second baseman at the top of your ballot :-D).

Welcome to the project! Hope you enjoy it.
   215. rawagman Posted: October 23, 2006 at 05:30 AM (#2221928)
Tom - can you provide a quick run-down on how you value players please - nothing wrong with your ballot, just would like to know how you got there.
   216. Chris Fluit Posted: October 23, 2006 at 05:39 AM (#2221930)
The one thing I would question, Tom D., is how you rate pitchers. You only have one pitcher on your ballot and he's at 14. Not that there aren't other voters doing the same, but you might look at whether or not you're giving pitchers the appropriate amount of weight compared to batters.
   217. OCF Posted: October 23, 2006 at 05:39 AM (#2221931)
One pitcher on the ballot: Dean. How did you rank this year's new candidate, Tiant? And what about some of the relatively higher ranking backlog pitchers, such as Walters or Bridges?

... a middle infielder who can score with roughly the same frequency as Rickey Henderson is pretty good in any era.

That, by itself, shouldn't be a sufficient reason (not that there aren't arguments for Childs - there are). And, in the true context of the times, he wasn't scoring runs like Rickey Henderson. Send Henderson back in time to the 1890's (and lift the color bar so he can play), and Henderson would have scored runs at least like Billy Hamilton - and that's quite a ways above Childs's rate. This whole comment sent me scurring back to my long abandoned "R*" calculations of runs put into league context. Worthy of note there: Herman Long scored runs about as well as Childs - and Long had a longer career, and Long had more defensive value.
   218. mulder & scully Posted: October 23, 2006 at 06:27 AM (#2221938)
sunny -

You're right. My comment was incorrect about it being worth zero. One of my difficulties with any measure that uses average as its base is that when two players are compared, small differences between two players can be grossly magnified because there is so much value in being average which is hidden. For example, assuming same position, context, and opportunities, player A who is plus 5, plus 7, plus 3, and plus 9, while player B is plus 1, neg 1, plus 1, and average, appears to be significantly better: plus 24 to plus 1. Yet if an average player contributes plus 75 in each year, then A betters B only 324 to 301. In one case, A contributed 2400% as much as B; while in the other case, A contributed 7.6% more. To me, the second method more clearly describes the relationship between A and B.
   219. OCF Posted: October 23, 2006 at 06:29 AM (#2221939)
I started voting in 1904. For each year, at what ballot position did I have the elected candidates? Here's the list:

"Elect me" positions:
Glasscock (1904), Radbourn (1905), Hamilton (1907), Delahanty (1909), Nichols (1911), Burkett (1912), Dahlen (1915), Davis (1915), Stovey (1916), Young (1917), Clarke (1917), Kelley (1919), Keeler (1919), Walsh (1920), Bennett (1921), Lajoie (1922), Mathewson (1922), Wagner (1923), Crawford (1923), Plank (1923), G. Johnson (1925), Magee (1926), J. Jackson (1927), Baker (1928), Sheckard (1930), Santop (1932), W. Johnson (1933), Wheat (1933), Cobb (1934), E. Collins (1935), Alexander (1936), J. Williams (1936), Torriente (1937), Heilmann (1937), Coveleski (1938), Faber (1939), Rogan (1940), Ruth (1941), Hornsby (1941), Vance (1942), Charleston (1943), Cochrane (1943), Gehrig (1944), Goslin (1945), Stearnes (1946), Simmons (1946), Grove (1947), Hartnett (1947), Gehringer (1948), J. Wilson (1948), Hubbell (1949), Waner (1950), Dihigo (1950), Foxx (1951), Cronin (1951), J. Gibson (1952), Ott (1952), Greenberg (1953), Dickey (1953), Vaughan (1954), Wells (1954), Leonard (1955), R. Brown (1955), Appling (1956), DiMaggio (1957), Beckwith (1957), Hack (1958), Paige (1959), Mize (1959), Newhouser (1960), J. Robinson (1962), Feller (1962), Campanella (1963), Reese (1964), Doby (1965), Slaughter (1965), Williams (1966), Ruffing (1966), Medwick (1967), Musial (1969), Berra (1969), Snider (1970), Spahn (1971), Roberts (1972), Ford (1973), Mantle (1974), Mathews (1974), Banks (1977), Clemente (1978), Mays (1979), Kaline (1980), Santo (1980), B. Gibson (1981), Killebrew (1981), Aaron (1982), F. Robinson (1982), B. Williams (1983), Allen (1983), Torre (1984), Mendez (1985), McCovey (1986), Pierce (1987)

#2 (in an elect-1 year): Sutton (1908), Galvin (1910), McPhee (1913), Flick (1918)
#3: Wallace (1929), Speaker (1934), Lloyd (1935), Rixie (1968), Bunning (1977), Wilhelm (1977)
#4: Start (1912), Groh (1938), Frisch (1944), Marichal (1980), Freehan (1985)
#5: Rusie (1904), Lyons (1949), Boudreau (1958)
#6: Richardson (1905), Spalding (1906), 3F Brown (1925), Terry (1942), Wynn (1970)
#7: Grant (1926), McGinnity (1928), Drysdale (1975), B. Robinson (1984)
#8: Carey (1939), W. Foster (1945), W. Ferrell (1964)
#9: Averill (1961), Kiner (1987)
#10: McVey (1914), J. Collins (1921), Suttles (1956)
#11: Koufax (1972), Mackey (1974), Sewell (1985)
#12: Minoso (1987)
#13:
#14: Ashburn (1968)
#15: R. Foster (1932), Irvin (1963)

Off-ballot positions:

#17: B. Herman (1958), W. Brown (1976)
#19: Thompson (1929), Bell (1973)
#21: Caruthers (1930), Gordon (1976)
#24: Pearce (1931)
#25: Sisler (1979)
#28: Doerr (1972)
Not listed: Pike (1940), Jennings (1960), Griffith (1971), Waddell (1986)

Waddell did appear on my ballots for 27 years, from 1916 through 1942, peaking at #4 in 1929; however, he had slipped to about #31 or so by the year of his election. Griffith appeared on my ballot from 1924 through 1926, as high as #5.

Everyone that I've ever put into an "elect me" position has eventually been elected, with three exceptions: George Van Haltren, Larry Doyle, and Quincy Trouppe. Trouppe has only made one "elect me" appearance, in 1987.
   220. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 23, 2006 at 01:12 PM (#2222023)
I do not know how the ESPN encyclopedia calculates its fielding runs.


The ESPN Encyclopedia is authored by Palmer and Gillette, so that should tell you exactly what method is used.

-- MWE
   221. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 23, 2006 at 01:24 PM (#2222033)
2 plays a week is roughly the same as the difference between a .260 hitter and a .360 hitter.


That's if the two plays were taken from the "same" hitter. But these plays are taken from the "team", not an individual hitter. If an average team has around 210 ABs per week, and around 55 hits (a .262 hitter), adding two hits (and also two ABs, since you still have to have the same number of outs) is 57/212: a .269 hitter.

Or, if you want to look at it from another direction: 2 plays per week/9 batters: 2/9 play per batter per week. Over the course of a 26-week season, that's approximately 6 plays/batter/season. If a batter hits .260 (130/500), adding 6 hits while keeping the outs constant takes you to 136/506, which is also a .269 hitter.

-- MWE
   222. DL from MN Posted: October 23, 2006 at 02:25 PM (#2222081)
> Luis Tiant was a fine pitcher, but how many hurlers from his time can we induct
> into the HoM? I know some disagree with me here, but I feel the favorable
> conditions had a hand in extending the careers of that generation's moundsmen.

What favorable conditions existed in 1975 that didn't exist in 1985 or 1965? I think we're seeing some bunching of talent due to random distribution.
   223. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 23, 2006 at 02:39 PM (#2222096)
Well, i tmay just be a bunching of talent, but at the same time pitchers of the 1970's tended to pitch A LOT more inning than their brethren from the 50's, 60's, 80's, or 90's. Maybe they were better pitchers, but were they ALL more durable pitchers? The way the game has played has a HUGe impact on starter's innings pitched and I think that is waht is going on here.
   224. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 23, 2006 at 02:41 PM (#2222098)
Doc changed his name as well? Does this mean that Doc wants to be like me? I think it does.

I mean his alma mater was the safety school for many of my college classmates...;-)
   225. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 23, 2006 at 02:53 PM (#2222115)
Howie's right about the name change thing, I think. And Jscheagol, you had the right idea. I realized, as you must have, that I didn't want to sever my identity to my handle owing to many posts where it was in some way referenced. So I followed your wise lead!

I can't believe a Dickensonian would have thought of it before a Burgian. If we ever meet, I'll buy you a lager (or a porter if you prefer) in recognition that you've overcome the limitations of your post-secondary education. ;~)
   226. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 23, 2006 at 03:00 PM (#2222125)
POTENTIAL HOM MEET-UP ALERT!

I'm traveling to Nashville, TN (is there another Nashville?) from November 15th-19th on business. If anyone will also be there or lives close enough to swill beers with the mad doctor, and wants to meet up, let me know! Mike W, Ken F, and KJ did so in KC and lived to tell about it.... ; )

I'll be bunking and exhibiting at the hermetically sealed Opryland Hotel, but I'm planning to escape for as many evening excursions to Downtown Musictown as possible.

If anyone wants to meet up, post here or email me, and we'll set something up.
   227. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 23, 2006 at 03:21 PM (#2222148)
What favorable conditions existed in 1975 that didn't exist in 1985 or 1965? I think we're seeing some bunching of talent due to random distribution.

Not the '70's, DL, but the '60's. There was a whole group of pitchers who started their careers when ERAs were extremely low during a very formative period of their lives (before age 25, when the arm is not fully developed yet and is more vulnerable to impingement syndrome).

Craig Wright showed in "The Diamond Appraised" that this generation wasn't as abused as earlier and later ones were (BTW, I don't consider Blyleven a real member of this group).
   228. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 23, 2006 at 03:26 PM (#2222158)
I'm traveling to Nashville, TN (is there another Nashville?) from November 15th-19th on business. If anyone will also be there or lives close enough to swill beers with the mad doctor, and wants to meet up, let me know! Mike W, Ken F, and KJ did so in KC and lived to tell about it.... ; )

Boy, I wish I could, Eric. Besides meeting you, I would love to visit Music City, USA, since I love country music (though my tastes are more, for example, Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams Sr and Jr, Kitty Wells, George Jones, and Merle Haggard than much of the crap that's popular now).
   229. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 23, 2006 at 03:31 PM (#2222166)
Well, i tmay just be a bunching of talent,

There was some of that, too, Mark. I will have more 70's pitchers on my ballot than any other generation's. But I don't think that group was that much of an extreme outlier compared to other eras that 11 pitchers should belong on your ballot, either.
   230. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 23, 2006 at 03:31 PM (#2222167)
So, John,

Is Wright saying that the low ERAs of the era were indicative of a period of less stress on pitchers since they were generally allowing fewer runs and weren't real likely to get blown out?

Also, John,

I'm in your camp countrywise. I'll take Tug McGraw over Tim McGraw any day.... Or probably Allie McGraw over Tim McGraw. And of course John J. McGraw over Tim McGraw. Or Quickdraw McGraw.

OK, I'll stop now.
   231. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 23, 2006 at 03:46 PM (#2222189)
So, John,

Is Wright saying that the low ERAs of the era were indicative of a period of less stress on pitchers since they were generally allowing fewer runs and weren't real likely to get blown out?


Correct. Since there were less "crisis" moments, they didn't have to work as hard. Also, you had more guys than before like, for example, Perry and Neikro who didn't pitch that much before age 25. One final thing: though IP did go up gradually throughout the decade after the strike zone change of '62, they weren't unreasonable considering the environment (though the post-68 rookie crops paid a severe price for the ML's slow pace reducing IP to a more manageable level). IOW, it was a perfect storm for increasing career lengths.

I'm in your camp countrywise. I'll take Tug McGraw over Tim McGraw any day.... Or probably Allie McGraw over Tim McGraw. And of course John J. McGraw over Tim McGraw. Or Quickdraw McGraw.

OK, I'll stop now.


No need to, Eric. I was enjoying it! :-D
   232. DL from MN Posted: October 23, 2006 at 04:03 PM (#2222220)
I'm not understanding. There are fewer "crisis" moments in low scoring games? Why? Anytime there's a baserunner you're looking at a loss. I'd think that pitching in the late 60s was one 9 inning long nail-biter.
   233. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 23, 2006 at 04:22 PM (#2222241)
DL,

Two possibilities here that I see.

1) That in a lower-scoring environment, there's more room to coast, just like in the deadball era.
2) Perhaps more likely: with an expanded strike zone, you get more strike calls, right? So you're ahead in the count more often. There are fewer times when you have to reach back and make the perfect pitch. In addition, with the higher zone, you can put one in a tough spot for the hitter but still have it be a strike, so hitters must swing many more pitches that they will make outs on. So even in a crisis moment, you're still not forced to be perfect as you are today and throw high-stress pitches. Throw in the higher mound, and it's probably easier to throw lots of innings.

Oh. And since you're throwing more strikes as a percentage, you're also reducing your pitch counts. So even if you're throwing more innings, you're probably doing so more efficiently.
   234. DL from MN Posted: October 23, 2006 at 04:49 PM (#2222270)
Higher mound is interesting. If I had an organization without many high ceiling pitching prospects and I wanted to trade for major league talent, I think I'd raise the mound at all my minor league affiliates in order to falsely boost the numbers of my less than stellar talents. Then I'd trade them to other organizations for other pitchers with more proven numbers. They can't be paying that close of attention in the minors to a couple of inches on the mound.
   235. dan b Posted: October 23, 2006 at 05:08 PM (#2222282)
2 plays a week is roughly the same as the difference between a .260 hitter and a .360 hitter


Is this saying that a .260 hitting Mazeroski (I assume the choice of a .260 average was not a coincidence) would make an contribution equal to a .360 hitting 2B with poor fielding skills.

If so, what would Maz's WS look like if you added enough singles to his record to raise his BA 100 points?
   236. DL from MN Posted: October 23, 2006 at 05:43 PM (#2222316)
Cupid Childs took a sizable jump up in the new WARP. He will probably leapfrog the sluggers and make my ballot next year if he's not elected this year. I'm seeing Childs and Boyer as basically equivalent. Nellie Fox actually slid more toward the mean.
   237. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 23, 2006 at 05:49 PM (#2222319)
I'm traveling to Nashville, TN (is there another Nashville?) from November 15th-19th on business.


Yes, there is another Nashville.

I assume you're flying into the country music capital of the world, as opposed to driving on a route that might permit a detour into NC.

-- MWE
   238. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 23, 2006 at 06:03 PM (#2222333)
Yes, Mike, unfortunately I'm flying. An NC meet-up would be great, seems there's lots of us down in that area. But sadly, I'm flying, so downtown Music City USA is as far as I'm really able to get outside the Opryland (and have the company reasonably pay for it under the guise of meals/T&E).
   239. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: October 23, 2006 at 06:09 PM (#2222337)
Melky,
Roush?
Thanks!
Mike.


Mike, Roush is a tough one for me to place. Compared only to the National League, he grades reasonably well in my system - somewhere between Oms and GVH. When I run him against both the NL and AL he grades out in the 40's. He appears very similar to a Kiki Cuyler type (if you're into contemporaries) or Willie McGee (if you're into a more modern comp), although I think he held more value than McGee because of his fielding and late 20's early 30's power (Note: McGee will not rate highly in my system). I'm also a bit puzzled about the shape of Roush's career, which further complicates the evaluation. Sometime this week I hope to double check everything, because sanity's sake says he should be no lower than 25 in my system.
   240. DL from MN Posted: October 23, 2006 at 06:11 PM (#2222338)
I'm traveling for business this W-F. Any suggestions on where to watch the World Series in the San Jose area? I'm staying in Milpitas.
   241. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 23, 2006 at 06:13 PM (#2222342)
They can't be paying that close of attention in the minors to a couple of inches on the mound.


You'd be surprised.

-- MWE
   242. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 23, 2006 at 06:47 PM (#2222385)
The difference between a .260 and a .360 hitter is two hits a week.


Let's assume you have a .260 hitter in 500 AB (130 hits). If you add 50 hits and keep the AB constant, you do, in fact, get a .360 hitter. But the 50 extra outs that he made originally have to go someplace; the team is still going to make the same number of outs. So the impact on the team probably isn't quite the same as adding a .360 hitter. The way I figure it is, therefore, to keep the outs constant - IOW, I add both 50 hits and 50 AB. So the equivalent would be to have a hitter who is 180/550, or .327.

It is, in fact, probably not correct to credit a fielder with (value of hit saved + value of out) for each play made above average, because the out would have to be made by someone eventually. It's also not quite correct to credit the fielder with "just" the value of the hit saved, either (although that may be closer to the mark); there's some incremental value in moving an inning along without allowing baserunners above and beyond just the value of the baserunner. If a hit is .47 and an out is -.25, the incremental value of a play made above average is somewhere between .47 and .72, perhaps closer to .47 than .72. In turn, that means that an extra two plays a week is perhaps closer to being worth 25 runs than 40.

That, of course, is for "in-position" comparisons. For position-to-position comparisons, you also need to account for the differences in "run value" of average defense at the position. An average defensive second baseman might be worth 80 runs to a team; an average left fielder might be worth, say, 60. (These are guesses; I haven't done anything like a systematic analysis.) An average-fielding 2B would have the same defensive value as a +20 LF, in this scheme. This is what James tried to do with his "intrinsic value" estimator in Win Shares, albeit without doing any sort of systematic analysis of positional defensive value.

-- MWE
   243. TomH Posted: October 23, 2006 at 07:21 PM (#2222408)
was it easier for 60s-70s hurlers to put up great career pitching numbers? The data would suggest YES.

But countering this, it was seemingly more difficult to put up eye-popping numbers.

The best career ERA+ by any pitcher who began his career after 1960 and ended before 1995, with a reasonable career lenght smapoe, is Tom Seaver. At 127. LOADS of guys from other eras smash that mark.


compare Seaver to modern guys Maddux and Schilling, and predecessor Ford.
..........# of times lg rank in ERA+
ace... ERA+ 1st 2/3 4/5 6-10 all top 10
Seaver. 127 ..4 ..1 ..3 ....5 ...13
Maddux 136 ..5 ..3 ..2 ....2 ...11
Schillg. 127 ..0 ..2 ...2 ....5 ....9
Whitey. 132 ..1 ..3 ...1 ....4 ....9

I picked out Maddux as Tom Terrific' closest modern guy. Schilling was his ERA+ comparative.

Maybe if we dock career WS or WARP or whatever numbers for this group just retiring, we should also boost their peak values, many of which will not measure up to our backloggers'.
   244. TomH Posted: October 23, 2006 at 07:40 PM (#2222433)
I can't type well, but it's challenging to mess up the word "sample" any better than I just did with "smapoe". Bonus points if you figured THAT one out!
   245. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 23, 2006 at 08:04 PM (#2222456)
Maybe if we dock career WS or WARP or whatever numbers for this group just retiring, we should also boost their peak values, many of which will not measure up to our backloggers'.

I actually agree with you, Tom, and do make adjustments for this phenomena.
   246. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 23, 2006 at 08:39 PM (#2222481)
I can't type well, but it's challenging to mess up the word "sample" any better than I just did with "smapoe". Bonus points if you figured THAT one out!

I was trying to figure out the achronym!
   247. jimd Posted: October 23, 2006 at 11:14 PM (#2222594)
MWE said:

One play made saves, on average, somwhere between .6 and .8 runs (depending on the assumptions that go into your model). ... But if you get into the realm of a play saved every third game, then it's plausible that the top-to-bottom difference is as large as 40 runs.

To which I commented:

Two plays a week. The difference between a .260 and a .360 hitter is two hits a week.

Now, if we're talking about a BIP, then a "play made" results in a PO, sometimes two, and often some assists. A "play not made" results in either a H or an E. (I know there are rare cases that are otherwise but let's keep it reasonably simple.)

So if we're comparing a "play made" vs a "play not made" on defense then the difference should be similar to the difference between a hit or an out on offense. (Non-BIP situations, such as baserunning, are different.)

They are usually opposite sides of the same coin.

***

mulder & scully said:

Per 162 games, Maz will make about 60 more plays than Randolph. Those 60 plays mean 28 to 30 Fielding Runs?

Everything else being equal, then "Yes", 36 to 48 using MWE's conversion factor above (all else being equal, which it never is). As a sanity check, what do you think the value of 60 extra hits per 162 games to be?

***

Mark S. (jsch) said:

two extra defensive plays is in no way as valuable as two extra hits

If the plays weren't made, then hits would have resulted, or errors. Why aren't they as valuable as hits or errors then?

***

Robby Cano isn't just a God, he's THE God.('zop) said:

If I only want to vote for players about who I am, say, 95% sure that they lie above the in-out line, the MEDIAN value of the offensive players will be much higher than the defensive players' median value.

Such a confidence-level-based approach to player evaluation here has been ruled unconstitutional. Some voters tried that argument with respect to the Negro Leaguers, pleading uncertainty in their evaluation.

You MUST evaluate the fielding evidence to the best of your ability.
   248. jimd Posted: October 23, 2006 at 11:34 PM (#2222617)
Some of the arguments above might be confusing "ability" with "value".

If a team has a sinker-ball staff, Bill Mazeroski has more value (but the same ability) than when the team has a high-K/flyball staff. Yes he would get many more opportunities to strut his stuff, but that leverages his real ability to create additional real value and additional real wins. The additional real value created should be credited to him, not explained away as "context".
   249. The Wilpons Must Go (Tom D) Posted: October 23, 2006 at 11:59 PM (#2222631)
This is my final ballot. Some adjustments made.

1. Cupid Childs
2. Willie Stargell
3. Jimmy Wynn
4. Lou Brock
5. Dobie Moore
6. Ken Boyer
7. Jake Beckley
8. Tony Oliva
9. Orlando Cepeda
10. Nellie Fox
11. Carl Mays
12. Quincy Trouppe
13. Edd Roush
14. Norm Cash
15. Dizzy Dean
   250. The Wilpons Must Go (Tom D) Posted: October 24, 2006 at 12:27 AM (#2222648)
The coordinator informed me that I made a rookie mistake and posted #250 168 hours before I had to. I reserve the right to adjust. But that one's the final if I don't change it.
   251. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 24, 2006 at 02:17 AM (#2222702)
If a team has a sinker-ball staff, Bill Mazeroski has more value (but the same ability) than when the team has a high-K/flyball staff. Yes he would get many more opportunities to strut his stuff, but that leverages his real ability to create additional real value and additional real wins.


The problem is that you can't tell *from the stats* how many of Mazeroski's "extra" assists are due to ability ability and how many are due to increased opportunity.

On a normal staff, an average 2B might see, say 500 GBs and field 400 of them. Mazeroski might field 450 GBs in a season. But did he "also" see 500 GBs - or did he see 550, or even 600, because his team favored GBs? You can't tell. If he saw 550 and fielded 450, since an average 2B in those circumstances would have fielded 440, Mazeroski's advantage - that "looks like" 50 GBs - is actually only 10. And since GB pitcher tend to have higher GB-to-out conversion rates (giving the appearance that they yield, on balance, easier GBs to field), Mazeroski's real advantage might even be smaller than 10.

The unanswerable (without PBP data) question is how many GBs would an average 2B have fielded given Mazeroski's opportunities. It's perfectly fine to give Mazeroski credit for real ability; what's not right is to give him credit for plays he made that an average 2B would also have made given the opportunity.

-- MWE
   252. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 24, 2006 at 02:45 AM (#2222722)

Such a confidence-level-based approach to player evaluation here has been ruled unconstitutional. Some voters tried that argument with respect to the Negro Leaguers, pleading uncertainty in their evaluation.

You MUST evaluate the fielding evidence to the best of your ability.



That's stupid. And violates pretty much every rule of data analysis that I've learned in science.

I'll stop voting if forced to do that.
   253. mulder & scully Posted: October 24, 2006 at 08:08 AM (#2222890)
Back to the Fielding Runs thing.

First, we posit that Player A makes about 1080 plays per 162 games, call him Maz.
Second, there is a Player B, an "average player" makes about 1020 plays per 162 games, call him Rand.
Third, the 60 extra plays by Maz result in 28 to 30 Fielding Runs more than Rand gets.

Therefore, Maz, by making the approximately 1080 plays generates about 504 to 540 Fielding Runs a year. (28 to 30 Fielding Runs from 60 plays is .467 to .500 Fielding Runs per play times the 1080 plays made.)
Also, Rand generates approximately 476 to 510 Fielding Runs.

With numbers that large and differences of only 5 or 6 percent, I'll trust the more conservative analysis system. I'll trust one that says A is 5 or 6% better over the one that says A has 28 Fielding Runs and B has Zero because the second is ignoring over 90% of the value that each player brings to the field.
   254. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 24, 2006 at 09:14 AM (#2222900)
"So just by this guesstimation, we're talking about the IF handling about 70% more playable balls than the OF. So immediately the relative value of each play in the IF drops a bit because there's just more plays and the baseline (as Joe mentioned earlier) is at average."


Just want to clarify . . . the baseline when judging fielding quality is average, but - and this is a big but - you also have to give a 'constant' based on the difficulty of the position if you are using average as your baseline.

Total value =

Batting above replacement

+

Pitching above replacement

+

Fielding above average

+

Defensive constant based on inherent difficulty of position played.

You can't skip the 4th step . . .

I haven't read past Dr. C's post #207 yet and might not until tomorrow, but wanted to make sure this was clarified since I was 'quoted'.

:-)
   255. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 24, 2006 at 12:47 PM (#2222967)
Just want to clarify . . . the baseline when judging fielding quality is average, but - and this is a big but - you also have to give a 'constant' based on the difficulty of the position if you are using average as your baseline.


This is what James tried to do with instrinic value, as I said in #243 (although he should have done it systematically rather than trying to force the system so that the top players at each position would be MVP candidates). An average defensive 2B has more fielding value than an above-average defensive corner player, and should receive "more" defensive credit.

I'll trust one that says A is 5 or 6% better over the one that says A has 28 Fielding Runs and B has Zero because the second is ignoring over 90% of the value that each player brings to the field.


That's fine, as long as you are consistent and use gross totals on offense as well. I don't think you can have it both ways.

You MUST evaluate the fielding evidence to the best of your ability.


Having read a lot of these threads, I don't think anyone is ignoring the fielding evidence; a lot of these players wouldn't even enter the discussion if fielding evidence were being ignored. The real question is how much weight you give the fielding evidence, in conjunction with the other evidence you have about a player. Most of the fielding evidence is sketchy and anecdotal, and we're still not 100% sure how to interpret the statistical evidence, so you have to make of it what you can.

-- MWE
   256. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 24, 2006 at 01:23 PM (#2222988)
If the plays weren't made, then hits would have resulted, or errors. Why aren't they as valuable as hits or errors then?

As long as we talk about two second basemen, then fine. But if we talk about an OF and a 2B, shouldn't the value of each missed play be higher for the OF since some of those missed plays will lead to extra base hits or increased baserunner advancement? But since we're only talking about Maz here, I guess it doesn't matter.
   257. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 24, 2006 at 01:27 PM (#2222996)
Joe, would a defensive constant be added or would it be a multiplier? Or is there no difference?

I'm asking because it sounds like there's an inconsistency between batting above replacement and fielding above replacement. If you have a constant for fielding difficulty, do you also need a simultaneous positional batting adjustment for replacement? And what form would it take? An additive one or a multiplicative (sp????) one?

Thanks.
   258. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 24, 2006 at 01:44 PM (#2223010)
If the plays weren't made, then hits would have resulted, or errors. Why aren't they as valuable as hits or errors then?


Because a failure to make a play on offense decreases opportunities for the offense in every circumstance; a failure to make a play on defense does not decrease opportunities for the defense except in walkoff situations. The "missed opportunity cost" is lower on defense, generally.

-- MWE
   259. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 24, 2006 at 02:10 PM (#2223036)
Most every play on defense involves two to even four players that deserve part of the credit. On offense, only one guy deserves cerdit for a hit.
   260. DL from MN Posted: October 24, 2006 at 02:16 PM (#2223041)
About the sudden rush of legit pitching candidates for the HoM, didn't rosters start adding more pitchers and deleting bench players? Additional relievers and the 5th starter are showing up now which has extended careers of many of these players (Tommy John was one of the first 5th starters). It makes sense that the number of pitching candidates has increased and I think it's "fair to all eras" to consider inducting more pitchers in an era where more pitchers were on rosters.
   261. DavidFoss Posted: October 24, 2006 at 02:53 PM (#2223073)
About the sudden rush of legit pitching candidates for the HoM, didn't rosters start adding more pitchers and deleting bench players? Additional relievers and the 5th starter are showing up now which has extended careers of many of these players (Tommy John was one of the first 5th starters).

The 60s and 70s were famous for the 4-man rotations of Koufax and Palmer, but I think teams did have five man rotations during this time period. Before the 1960s, a swingman-5th starter was often needed because all of the double headers and travel days made for an offbeat schedule that was hard to set a rotation around. Lyons and Feller famously extended their careers as 'Sunday Starters' and guys like Grove, Hubbell, Bridges did the same. Much of the 1950s-era 'leveraging' of guys like Ford and Pierce was due to a larger pool of starters available on the team. It almost looks like Tommy John was in a five-man rotation in the mid-60s in Chicago and then again from 76-78 in LA after he came back from arm surgery.

You are right though. Teams with high-CG, 4-man rotations had the luxury of having more bench players and more platooning. Earl Weaver was famous for liking specialists and his pitching staff gave him the luxury to use quite a few of them.
   262. TomH Posted: October 24, 2006 at 03:23 PM (#2223111)
two extra defensive plays is in no way as valuable as two extra hits

If the plays weren't made, then hits would have resulted, or errors. Why aren't they as valuable as hits or errors then?

Because a failure to make a play on offense decreases opportunities for the offense in every circumstance; a failure to make a play on defense does not decrease opportunities for the defense except in walkoff situations. The "missed opportunity cost" is lower on defense, generally.

--

If a fielder truly botches a out-making play that any 'normal' fielder would have made, or gets to a ball no one else would have gotten to, of course it's the same as a hit in someone's batting average. The trouble is that we have a difficult time deciphering whether someone's extra 40 plays made or 20 additinal errors were one-for-one plays or masked by other things. Maybe on defense we should talk in terms not of "missed oportuntiy cost" of more plays to be made, but missed cost of not getting the of the 27 outs needed.
   263. TomH Posted: October 24, 2006 at 03:39 PM (#2223128)
Just want to clarify . . . the baseline when judging fielding quality is average, but - and this is a big but - you also have to give a 'constant' based on the difficulty of the position if you are using average as your baseline.

Total value =
Batting above replacement
+
Pitching above replacement
+
Fielding above average
+
Defensive constant based on inherent difficulty of position played.


Maybe this is only sematics, but.....

You can do it many ways and reach the same goal.

With Win Shares, James essentially combined FRAA and Defensive constant into one fielding score.

You COULD use batting above average + fielding above replacement; if you set the 'replacement fielding' low enough. But isnce thereis typiclaly much more vristion in batting performance, this is typically not done.

You COULD use 'replacement' for both, if you set 'replacement' high enough. But now we're back to arguing replacement levels agian, and it's hard enough to settle on one #, never mind splitting it up into hitting/fielding.
   264. OCF Posted: October 24, 2006 at 04:30 PM (#2223213)
But if we talk about an OF and a 2B, shouldn't the value of each missed play be higher for the OF since some of those missed plays will lead to extra base hits or increased baserunner advancement?

If you talk about errors, I would argue that OF errors are on average, worth less than IF errors. That's because a greater fraction of IF errors involve out/no out scenarios, while a greater fraction of OF errors involve only baserunner advancements.

On the other hand, a fly ball caught vs. not caught is quite valuable. But the only way that appears in traditional non-PBP statistics is as PO. And trying to track the meaning in OF PO has all of the problems of dealing with IF assists and then some. And there's an OF play which if made would be scored as a single and if not made would be scored as a double or triple - and nothing goes on the outfielder's traditional statistical line in either case.
   265. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 24, 2006 at 05:17 PM (#2223259)
Maybe on defense we should talk in terms not of "missed oportuntiy cost" of more plays to be made, but missed cost of not getting the of the 27 outs needed.


I think that if you do this, you wind up overvaluing individual fielding. Because the opportunity space for the defense (as a group, and as individual fielders) is larger than it is for an individual hitter, the cost of a missed play is typically less for the defense than the cost of the out is for the individual hitter.

When an individual defender fails, the opportunity is still there; it's now transferred back to the team. When an individual hitter fails, there's nothing transferred back to his teammates; that opportunity is gone. It is IMO that specific aspect of the game that makes "individual" hitting more valuable than "individual" defense.

-- MWE
   266. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 24, 2006 at 05:56 PM (#2223295)
When an individual defender fails, the opportunity is still there; it's now transferred back to the team. When an individual hitter fails, there's nothing transferred back to his teammates; that opportunity is gone. It is IMO that specific aspect of the game that makes "individual" hitting more valuable than "individual" defense.

Great point, Mike.
   267. sunnyday2 Posted: October 24, 2006 at 06:43 PM (#2223339)
That is a great point.

When a defender fails to make a play (get an out), somebody still gets that out. There will eventually be 27 outs.

When a hitter fails to make a play (get a hit), the nobody gets that hit. There will eventually be X number of hits; there can never be X + 1.
   268. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 24, 2006 at 06:56 PM (#2223354)
When an individual defender fails, the opportunity is still there; it's now transferred back to the team. When an individual hitter fails, there's nothing transferred back to his teammates; that opportunity is gone. It is IMO that specific aspect of the game that makes "individual" hitting more valuable than "individual" defense.

This is pretty interesting to consider in light of another piece of information. It's pretty widely reported that a run saved on defense is worth more than a run scored on offense. Yet, the out is more costly to the offense than a missed out is costly to the defense.
   269. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 24, 2006 at 07:38 PM (#2223387)
This is why I think that the cost of a play not made is NOT equal to (hit + out), as many people assume, but is some value less than that. That's also why, when looking at it from the POV of equivalent offense, I don't take a hitter's batting line and replace outs with hits, but take a hitter's batting line and add hits, keeping the outs constant; I think that's closer to the real equivalent value.

If we estimate Mazeroski, who played nearly 2100 games at 2B, as saving a hit every three games over a bad defensive 2B, that would be the equivalent of taking his career batting line of .260/.299/.367 and adding 700 singles to it - which would be the equivalent of a .321/.354/.420 hitter with poor defensive skills (or about a 114 OPS+). If we put an average defensive 2B right in the middle of the two (e.g. add 350 singles to Maz), Mazeroski's equivalent would be a .292/.328/.395 hitter (just a hair under league average) with average defense. And that's before considering the effect of DPs, which would tack on more plays (the Pirates were around +50 as a team just in 1966). And since the true value of the plays saved is probably more than just the value of an additional hit, this probably just sets a lower bound.

Does it get Mazeroski into ballot land? Frankly, I doubt it. Larry Doyle was a better hitter unadjusted than Mazeroski adjusted, not a gack-awful defender, and isn't sniffing a lot of ballots. I would guess that no matter how much credit you give Mazeroski for defense and longevity he probably has to rank behind Doyle (at least) on a list of 2Bs. I think it does get him a little deeper into the discussion though.

-- MWE
   270. Chris Cobb Posted: October 24, 2006 at 07:40 PM (#2223392)
Excellent discussion of fielding value. Let me just add that getting the out rather than not getting the out has a significant impact on pitching. The more efficient the defense, the fewer pitches thrown, and the more leverage the team's good pitchers have. Conversely, a batter who sees a lot of pitches and still makes an out in the at bat may still have made a some positive contribution to his team's success.
   271. TomH Posted: October 24, 2006 at 07:46 PM (#2223395)
No, I think you guys are looking at it wrong.

What if a pitcher misses making a play (defensive miscue)? Is that worth less than an added hit on offense?
How would that be different than the pitcher allowing an extra hit instead of getting an out (assuming, for a sec, that the hit allowed was hit responsibility, not the 8 guys behind him)?

It cannot be logically true that a run saved = a run scored, and yet an out is more costly to the offense or defense. Everything that happens is a mirror to the other. Whatever happens to one team, happens opostiely to the other.

When a fielder fails to make a play, there is one extra baserunner, either by a hit or an error. Exactly the same as when a batter gets a hit.

When an individual fielder fails, he transfers the opportunity for an OUT back to the team, but he may have allowed a RUN, which can never be undone. A batter never cancels a run by failing, so maybe I should argue that obviously defense is more important because batters can never add runs to the other team?!?

I can't tell you how tempting it is to use bold / all caps / font 24 / color red ...
   272. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 24, 2006 at 08:33 PM (#2223418)
It cannot be logically true that a run saved = a run scored, and yet an out is more costly to the offense or defense.


There's a difference between allocating responsibility to the *team* and allocating responsibility to the *individual player*, though - and what I'm suggesting is that the individual fielder bears direct responsibility only for allowing the baserunner, and the *team* defense (of which the individual fielder is a part) bears the responsibility for the out. Whereas the hitter, by making an out instead of a hit, bears direct responsibility not only for not becoming a baserunner, but also for removing an opportunity from the rest of his team.

It is certainly true that, at the team level, events mirror each other (so that the value of getting a hit on offense for the team mirrors the value of giving up a hit on defense for the other team). But that doesn't necessarily mean that the individual batter and the individual fielder have to be credited with identical contributions to the event. The value of the event depends not only on the event, but also on the combination of things that happen after the event - and my opinion is that when you break it down on offense, the individual hitter is responsible for far more of the sum total of the event than the individual fielder is when you break it down on defense.

-- MWE
   273. KJOK Posted: October 24, 2006 at 09:52 PM (#2223464)
Batting above replacement

+

Pitching above replacement

+

Fielding above average

+

Defensive constant based on inherent difficulty of position played.

You can't skip the 4th step . . .


Probably obvious, but you CAN skip the 4th step if you use:

Batting above POSITION ADJUSTED replacement

+

Pitching above replacement (already position specific)

+

Fielding above average
   274. TomH Posted: October 24, 2006 at 11:51 PM (#2223536)
Mike, I must not be "getting it".

Concrete example: Let's say we agree the best metrics tell us that Mazeroski saved 24 hits a year over an average fielder. We figure they were mostly singles, so Maz gets credited with saving +12 runs, assuming singles are worth approx half a run.

The team gained 24 outs on those plays. To where (whom) do we assign the gain of those outs? Divvied up among the defenders? To the pitchers as well? So if the Pirtaes defense as a whole had saved 100 hits, thus saving 100 outs (of course they didn't really save 100 outs since there are precisely 27 of those puppies per 9 innings, but in reality they saved the opportunity for more opponents runs to score, which we would make add up to the same thing, etc.), does each positin player get apportioned some fraction of this 100? We agree that *as a team* it all has to equal, but I fail to see logically where the 100 outs should go.
   275. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 25, 2006 at 12:30 AM (#2223586)
The team gained 24 outs on those plays.


In 1966, Pittsburgh pitchers threw 1463 innings, allowing 1445 hits. Let's say Mazeroski prevented those 24 hits. Did Mazeroski also add 24 outs to the IP totals? No, of course not (as you recognize).

But now let's look at the flip side, the offense. Pittsburgh's offense had 5676 ABs and 1586 hits. Suppose the other 2Bs in the league had prevented 24 of those hits. Would Pittsburgh still have had 5676 ABs? No - the team AB totals would also have gone down by 24 as well. What most people do when figuring the effect is to swap out the hit AND swap in the out, keeping the number of opportunities constant (hence the comment about two plays per week being the difference between a .260 hitter and a .360 hitter). And that's what I'm saying you can't do when figuring defense, because the total number of outs made don't change. Someone's got to make the outs for the defense.

What I'm suggesting is that if Maz went 135 for 500 as a hitter, and prevented 24 hits as a defender, the effect of his defense on his team should NOT be measured as though he went 159 for 500 and prevented no hits as a defender (which is the way most people see it). It should be measured though he went 159 for 524 as a hitter and prevented no hits as a defender.

-- MWE
   276. Chris Cobb Posted: October 25, 2006 at 12:35 AM (#2223593)
183 for 524?
   277. Chris Cobb Posted: October 25, 2006 at 12:36 AM (#2223596)
Oops. Never mind.
   278. jimd Posted: October 25, 2006 at 03:00 AM (#2223778)
Total value =
Batting above replacement
+
Pitching above replacement
+
Fielding above average
+
Defensive constant based on inherent difficulty of position played.


Maybe this is only sematics, but.....

You can do it many ways and reach the same goal.

With Win Shares, James essentially combined FRAA and Defensive constant into one fielding score.

Yes, indeed. Much of this is just semantics, or more precisely, terminology. That defensive constant is always there, but it's just bundled together with one of the other factors and called something else.

Win Shares adds it to fielding above average and calls it "fielding intrinsic weights".

WARP adds it to fielding above average and calls it "fielding runs above replacment". In principle, it's the same as Win Shares; the big debate between the two is the size of the fielding constants.

As KJOK suggests, it can be added to the Batting above Replacement. This creates Batting above POSITION ADJUSTED replacement. Two things about this view. In this view, instead of the defensive constant being positive, it's usually negative. Instead of say FB being worth 10 FRAR and SS being worth 40 FRAR for a season (made-up example), this view might take 0 BRAR off the SS and 30 BRAR off the FB. Same relative result though.

The other thing is that adding the constant to the batting assumes that fielding value derives "from the absence of offense". If the defensive constant is added to fielding, you're not assuming that. In principle, you can then figure out some other way of deriving the defensive constants. Most systems I've seen wind up basing the defensive constants on "the absence of offense" because defensive theory has not produced much in the way of alternatives yet. James is silent on this topic in Win Shares. Either he has a grand unified fielding theory which he hasn't published yet, or the "intrinsic weights" are the results of trial-and-error to produce WS totals that he finds acceptable, or something in between.
   279. mulder & scully Posted: October 25, 2006 at 04:16 AM (#2223859)
This discussion of fielding exemplifies why I think so many of us don't want the Hall of Merit to end. People hold viewpoints almost 180 degrees different from others, yet there is very, very little name-calling or flaming. I read a variety of websites with comments about subjects from football analysis to comic books and the Hall of Merit has by far the highest level of civility and respect of any site I am familiar with.

Though we are a month from Thanksgiving and 2 from your Winter Holiday of Choice, I wanted to say thanks to all the contributors, voters and lurkers, who make the Hall of Merit what it is.

Kudos to all (and plain granola bars if you happen to be lactose intolerant).

Boy, that sounds all sappy and Lifetime-y/Oxygen-y doesn't it?
   280. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 25, 2006 at 02:32 PM (#2224011)
Either he has a grand unified fielding theory which he hasn't published yet, or the "intrinsic weights" are the results of trial-and-error to produce WS totals that he finds acceptable, or something in between.


It's pretty clear from the book's discussion of intrinsic weights that James did them by trial and error (or rather, "intuition") until he got acceptable values. He states specifically that he gave catchers the highest intrinsic weight because catchers ranked "too low" otherwise.

-- MWE
   281. TomH Posted: October 25, 2006 at 03:26 PM (#2224034)
In 1966, Pittsburgh pitchers threw 1463 innings, allowing 1445 hits. Let's say Mazeroski prevented those 24 hits. Did Mazeroski also add 24 outs to the IP totals? No, of course not (as you recognize).

But he did effectively allow about 8 additional fewer hits. Because if he did NOT prevent those 24 hits and turn them into outs, in the process of the pitchers/team having to achieve the extra 24 outs they would have allowed about 8 more hits, assuming a team avg of 1 hit per 3 outs.

So we should adjust Maz' batting line of 135-for-500 to be 167-for-532 (.314), keeping the outs the same. Which isn't much different than 159-for-500 (.318).
   282. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 25, 2006 at 05:32 PM (#2224140)
But he did effectively allow about 8 additional fewer hits. Because if he did NOT prevent those 24 hits and turn them into outs, in the process of the pitchers/team having to achieve the extra 24 outs they would have allowed about 8 more hits, assuming a team avg of 1 hit per 3 outs.


There are three issues I see here:

1. This makes Mazeroski's fielding *value* dependent on the rest of his team. He has more value on a bad defensive team than on a good defensive team.

2. Some of those 24 outs would fall to Mazeroski anyway.

3. (most important) A single in isolation is worth only about half of its linear weight value (about a quarter of a run, typically - the value of having the baserunner). The remaining value from the single comes from what follows - the additional hits that the pitcher(s) typically allow when they didn't get the out in a timely fashion - and from what precedes - the situation(s) in which the single occurs. The events that surround Mazeroski's failure to prevent a hit (and generate even more hits later) therefore are to a large extent already counted in the value of the hit itself, when it's converted (via linear weights, RC, or what have you) to runs. Thus, by treating those as separate events, you end up double-counting that portion of the hit saved when you convert it to runs.

-- MWE
   283. TomH Posted: October 25, 2006 at 07:15 PM (#2224212)
Bucky Walters' competition:

The comment I made (yes, I'm guilty of repeating the same thing for a dozen ballots) was regarding research presented about how Bucky was often slated within a given year against the team's primary pennant opponents, who often were great hitting teams. So when you look at measures like ERA+, or even those like WARP3 which DO adjust for league strength, they will not show that he spent more time hurling against better-than-avg players.

I no longer remember on what threads measures like "RSI" and others were posted.
   284. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 25, 2006 at 07:58 PM (#2224253)
Total value =
Batting above replacement
+
Pitching above replacement
+
Fielding above average
+
Defensive constant based on inherent difficulty of position played.


To repeat a well-known point: There are no replacement stats, only replacement players. A replacement at any given position will be X runs above/below average with the bat (always below) and Y runs above/below average with the glove (above, in fact, for 1B) per 162 games, for a total of Z runs below average per 162 games. Value above replacement is simply equal to the player's runs above/below average, minus Z times the player's games played divided 162. Period.

Joe Dimino, what do you mean by this "defensive constant?" It doesn't sound like you mean the gap in fielding between average and replacement (which, according to Nate Silver, is practically 0 in the modern era except for SS) at a given position. It sounds like you mean an adjustment to equalize positions. You would only do this if by "batting above replacement" you mean "batting above overall league replacement," rather than "batting above replacement at position." But there IS no "overall league replacement level." It doesn't exist. There are only replacement players at each position.
   285. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 25, 2006 at 08:23 PM (#2224280)
Boy, that sounds all sappy and Lifetime-y/Oxygen-y doesn't it?

Don't forget We and LMN, Kelly. :-D

Seriously, that was a very nice post. Thanks!
   286. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 25, 2006 at 08:24 PM (#2224283)
Dan Rosenheck Posted: October 25, 2006 at 03:58 PM (#2224253)

Are you just visiting, Dan, or are you thinking about joining us again?
   287. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 25, 2006 at 08:26 PM (#2224287)
(yes, I'm guilty of repeating the same thing for a dozen ballots)

Hey, in some cases, I'm gulity of repeating the same thing for a dozen "decades," Tom. :-)
   288. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 26, 2006 at 03:04 AM (#2224591)
I stopped voting because keeping up with an ever-expanding consideration set was just too time consuming. I still follow the elections and have actually posted various thoughts on occasion over the years as I've done research into specific players, but basically I don't trust either WARP or Win Shares and calculating my own WARP scores (which I feel comfortable with) just takes forever. I was really glad to see that Waddell, Kiner, and Clark Griffith got in (and Jake Beckley didn't), and I'm still hoping that Pete Browning and Charley Jones find spots, although that seems unlikely. But the election of Dickey Pearce still makes me bitter. :)
   289. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 26, 2006 at 03:12 AM (#2224596)
"Joe Dimino, what do you mean by this "defensive constant?" It doesn't sound like you mean the gap in fielding between average and replacement (which, according to Nate Silver, is practically 0 in the modern era except for SS) at a given position. It sounds like you mean an adjustment to equalize positions. You would only do this if by "batting above replacement" you mean "batting above overall league replacement," rather than "batting above replacement at position." But there IS no "overall league replacement level." It doesn't exist. There are only replacement players at each position."


Dan I couldn't disagree with you more.

Hitters don't hit as shortstops or second basemen. They hit as hitters. I definitely mean batting over replacement level as hitters, regardless of position.

If you want to call the constant the difference between a replacement level hitter and a replacement level hitter for a player at the same position, I would agree with you, at least in modern times, once 'equillibrium' came to pass, which was probably some time in the 1890s. But it doesn't necessarily have to be so. It certainly isn't so at lower levels, like high school, where the best hitters are also SS, for example.
   290. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 26, 2006 at 05:07 AM (#2224684)
I don't know what you mean by "equilibrium." But I don't understand how you can possibly argue that there is some position-independent replacement level for hitters. How on earth would you define it? What does it even mean?

Replacement level isn't some mathematical ratio, X% of league average or what have you, that you can dream up on a chalkboard. It is a real-life empirical question: replacement players, however you define them, really do exist. In Nate Silver's excellent study on this from earlier this year, he defines them as over age 27 and making less than twice the league minimum, and sees how those players actually performed, adding offense, defense, and baserunning, for the 1985-2005 era. That's the only way I can possibly fathom to understand replacement level.

Any guy you put in your lineup has to play a position (even if it's DH). That player's value is determined by how many total runs (offense plus defense plus baserunning) he provides over a freely available replacement player at that position. Period. What does the hitting of a replacement-level right fielder tell us about the value of a third baseman? Nothing, because he wouldn't be *replacing* the third baseman in the lineup (that is, literally, where the term comes from). Only the total production of an actual freely available third baseman is relevant.

I simply don't understand the concept of a position-independent offensive replacement level. Joe, please do explain what you mean.
   291. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 26, 2006 at 03:28 PM (#2224908)
Non-sequitor. In a BTF thread about Ichiro for the Hall, a poster had this to say:

44. Booey Posted: October 24, 2006 at 05:57 PM (#2223469)

Too many people confuse the HOF with the HOM. Even if his actual numbers are only borderline, he'll get unofficial bonus points for his popularity, defensive reputation, MVP, ROY, hits record, "missed" time in Japan, and the whole pioneer thingy.

Ichiro will make the Hall of Fame easily.


Nice to see that our name gets around a bit.
   292. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 26, 2006 at 03:33 PM (#2224914)
Do YOU have a pitcher you support?

Is he peaky?

Did he not benefit from superb defensive support?

Did he not benefit from wartime "competition"?

Then let me know about him! I need a pitcher for my ballot after tossing Walters and Mays. I'm leaning towards Lefty Gomez, but surely there are better options out there.

I was a big Waddell supporter, so that gives an idea of my pitching "taste".

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
   293. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 26, 2006 at 03:48 PM (#2224930)
44. Booey Posted: October 24, 2006 at 05:57 PM (#2223469)

Too many people confuse the HOF with the HOM. Even if his actual numbers are only borderline, he'll get unofficial bonus points for his popularity, defensive reputation, MVP, ROY, hits record, "missed" time in Japan, and the whole pioneer thingy.

Ichiro will make the Hall of Fame easily.


Nice to see that our name gets around a bit.


Agreed, Eric, though we here at the HoM may find that Ichiro belongs after all when he hangs up his spikes.
   294. sunnyday2 Posted: October 26, 2006 at 04:18 PM (#2224969)
Robby, why did you toss Walters? I supported Waddell forever and I am beginning to warm up to Bucky a little bit.

Also Don Newcombe. But while he did have a nice peak, I am partial to him because of what I believe to have been era characteristics that suppressed the opportunities and records of black players not named Robinson or Mays. If you don't see some of that happening, then Newk is perhaps not to your taste.

And finally Eddie Cicotte.
   295. andrew siegel Posted: October 26, 2006 at 04:34 PM (#2224979)
What about Tommy Bridges and Urban Shocker?
   296. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 26, 2006 at 04:47 PM (#2224989)
I'll answer for Robby--because the Reds' fielders accounted for a big chunk of Walters' peak performance.
   297. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 26, 2006 at 05:32 PM (#2225056)
Dan has it right: I don't like Walters because of his defensive support. I don't give as much credit to wartime performance as most in the HOM. And Walters' peak is a mere 2 seasons long; docking him for his defensive support brings him down from the realm of the superlative peaks (best in league durability+run prevention, in a tough competitive context!) to the ordinary and abbreviated.

Newk doesn't have enough in-season durability to earn my support, though I appreciate his candidacy (I'm an advocate of Elston Howard, who shares some characteristics).

Cicotte is an interesting suggestion...I strongly prefer consecutive peaks, and Cicotte has that stinker of season in the middle of his late-career peak. That being said, he's got the strongest 2 pitching seasons of any of the pitchers I've looked at (unclear if he surpasses Newk, Cooper, or Walters once hitting is taken into account).

Shocker has a great prime, but only a mediocre peak. Bridges was very good, and very durable, but only for one season was he both at the same time.
   298. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 26, 2006 at 05:48 PM (#2225078)
Robby,

You mentioned Wilbur Cooper in 298. What's your take on him?
   299. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 26, 2006 at 05:54 PM (#2225086)
Robby, I have heard your argument about Walters but I think you are overstating the case a bit. I forget what exactly it was about yoru argument that I disagreed with but there was something. I realie this part of my pst is probalby not helpful, but I just want to say that I still see Walters as teh best peak pitching candidate we have.

Otherwise my top pitchers are Dick Redding, Dizzy Dean, Vic Willis, and Urban Shocker. Of course Waddell, Mendez, and Pierce would be in tehat group but they are all recently elected.
   300. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 26, 2006 at 06:01 PM (#2225093)

You mentioned Wilbur Cooper in 298. What's your take on him?


He was suggested to me by Mr. Rosenheck...I frankly hadn't considered him before, say, 11AM today.

On straight pitching, he clearly doesn't have enough to reach the ballot. Of course, with Cooper, you have to consider hitting as well, which makes things more complicated. For the combo-case pitchers, I use BP's WARP (though as Rosenheck's friend, I share his disdain for those numbers). WARP is not a big fan of Cooper, which gives me pause, though I hope to review his career more closely over the weekend before casting my ballot.
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