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Monday, November 13, 2006

1991 Ballot Discussion

1991 (December 11)—elect 3
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

384 124.5 1967 Rod Carew-2B/1B
358 102.3 1963 Rusty Staub-RF
305 81.5 1969 Al Oliver-CF/1B
240 87.9 1968 Jerry Koosman-P
188 81.1 1969 Rollie Fingers-RP
212 68.9 1974 Mike Hargrove-1B
219 60.4 1969 Richie Hebner-3B
203 63.0 1972 Garry Maddox-CF*
182 66.1 1973 Steve Rogers-P
179 63.8 1970 Larry Bowa-SS
196 47.1 1971 Jeff Burroughs-RF/LF
164 59.5 1972 Burt Hooton-P
177 48.7 1970 Oscar Gamble-RF/DH
159 53.3 1975 Sixto Lezcano-RF
169 49.8 1973 Al Bumbry-CF
125 45.2 1970 Larry Gura-P
141 35.2 1966 Jay Johnstone-RF/CF
107 48.0 1971 Tim Foli-SS
111 38.8 1974 Geoff Zahn-P
121 33.3 1971 Steve Braun-LF/3B

Players Passing Away in 1990
HoMers
Age Elected

91 1939 Joe Sewell-SS/3B

Candidates
Age Eligible

85 1946 Jack Russell-RP
85 1953 Doc Cramer-CF
83 1952 Chet Brewer-P
82 1953 Spud Chandler-P
80 1957 Wally Moses-RF
79 1955 Nels Potter-P
77 1953 Cookie Lavagetto-3B
77 1953 Nick Etten-1B
74 1958 Phil Masi-C
73 1957 Charlie Keller-LF
66 1967 Earl Torgeson-1B
59 1974 Larry Jackson-P
45 1977 Tony Conigliaro-RF

Upcoming Candidate
37 1995 Bo Diaz-C

Thanks, Dan!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 13, 2006 at 11:23 PM | 321 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Page 3 of 4 pages  < 1 2 3 4 > 
   201. DavidFoss Posted: December 01, 2006 at 01:22 AM (#2248685)
page break bump
   202. jimd Posted: December 01, 2006 at 01:31 AM (#2248691)
(post fix)++
   203. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 01, 2006 at 06:00 AM (#2248857)
Tom,

I see your point. Out of that group I have Boyer first at 12 (I think) then Fox at 19, Doyle in a virtual tie at 20. Bob Elliot is at #27, and LEach, Rizzuto and Bancroft are all in my top 45. So al tings considered they are pretty close, at least sequentially. However, I can see how Fox is better than the rest. The only other 2Bman is Doyle and Fox was a much better fielder, he halso hit better than Rizzuto and Bancroft. I should take another look at Leach.

However, I tried that same argument with Sewell (remember the big Sewell//Rizzuto debate?) and it failed. I guess as we move inot the bottm 10% of the HOM everyone can have that argument put forth against them. It's the small differences that make the difference now.

Except for Keller, NO IDEA why he isn't elected already...;-)

P.S. I am so glad we are back. I must be really pitiful since it was only a day and I REALLY missed this place!
   204. Howie Menckel Posted: December 01, 2006 at 02:05 PM (#2248955)
(fixing with Mathews add, thanks jingoist!)


HOM by pct at position, thru 1990

HOM batters by percentage of games played at position (min. 10 pct at a position, otherwise it's not listed and not tallied)

C (11.79) - Cochrane 100, Dickey 100, Hartnett 98, Gibson 95, Campanella 95, Freehan 90, Bennett 88, Berra 87, Mackey 80, Bench 78, Santop 75, Ewing 47, Torre 41, Kelly 36, McVey 30, White 28, O'Rourke 11

1B (18.27) - Start 100, Gehrig 100, Mize 100, Terry 99, Brouthers 98, Sisler 97, Leonard 95, Connor 88, McCovey 88, Foxx 87, Anson 83, Greenberg 83, Suttles 70, Banks 51, Allen 47, Wilson 45, Killebrew 40, Stargell 40, Stovey 37, Torre 36, Charleston 35, Musial 35, McVey 31, Jennings 26, Lloyd 25, Yastrzemski 23, Heilmann 22, Ewing 19, Kelley 16, Delahanty 15, Hines 12, Lajoie 12, Mantle 11, FRobinson 11, Spalding 10, O'Rourke 10, Dihigo 10, JRobinson 10, Irvin 10

2B (14.10) - McPhee 100, Doerr 100, Childs 100, Gehringer 99, Morgan 99, E Collins 98, Gordon 98, Herman 95, Lajoie 83, Frisch 77, Hornsby 72, Grant 70, Barnes 69, JRobinson 65, Richardson 43, HR Johnson 25, Ward 24, Groh 20, Hill 20, Pike 18, Dihigo 15, Wright 10, Wilson 10

3B (11.37) - Baker 100, BRobinson 99, J Collins 98, Hack 98, Santo 95, Mathews 93, Groh 79, Sutton 69, White 51, Beckwith 50, Wilson 40, Allen 38, Sewell 34, Killebrew 33, Torre 23, Davis 22, Frisch 20, Wallace 17, Dihigo 15, JRobinson 15, McVey 14, Richardson 13, Vaughan 11, Ott 10

SS (16.30) - Pearce 96, Boudreau 95, Reese 95, Glasscock 94, Appling 94, Cronin 92, Wells 90, GWright 89, Dahlen 88, Vaughan 85, Wallace 74, Jennings 70, HR Johnson 70, Lloyd 70, Wagner 68, Sewell 65, Davis 58, Banks 45, Ward 39, Beckwith 35, Barnes 28, Grant 20, Sutton 19, Hornsby 16, Dihigo 15, Irvin 10, WBrown 10

OF (51.91) - Carey 100, Clarke 100, Hamilton 100, Thompson 100, Wheat 100, Goslin 100, DiMaggio 100, Averill 100, Doby 100, Slaughter 100, TWilliams 100, Ashburn 100, Snider 100, Clemente 100, Simmons 99, Burkett 99, Cobb 99, Flick 99, Gore 99, Sheckard 99, Speaker 99, Medwick 99, Jackson 98, Stearnes 98, Keeler 97, PWaner 97, Mays 97, Kiner 96, CP Bell 95, Crawford 94, Minoso 93, Magee 91, Ott 90, Kaline 89, Mantle 88, Aaron 86, BWilliams 86, WBrown 85, Hines 82, Torriente 80, Kelley 79, Ruth 79, Heilmann 77, FRobinson 77, Irvin 75, Pike 73, Delahanty 72, Hill 70, O'Rourke 69, Rogan 65, Musial 65, Stovey 63, Yastrzemski 63, Charleston 60, Stargell 60, Kelly 47, Richardson 40, Caruthers 33, Suttles 30, Killebrew 20, Santop 20, Dihigo 20, McVey 18, Ewing 17, Greenberg 17, Allen 15, Davis 13, Wagner 13, Berra 13, McCovey 12, Spalding 11, Ward 10, White 10, JRobinson 10

DH (0.34) - Yastrzemski 13, FRobinson 11, BWilliams 10

P (49.64) - Alexander 100, Covaleski 100, Faber 100, Plank 100, Vance 100, Grove 100, Hubbell 100, Lyons 100, Newhouser 100, Feller 100, Ruffing 100, Rixey 100, Wynn 100, Spahn 100, Roberts 100, Koufax 100, W Ford 100, Drysdale 100, Bunning 100, Wilhelm 100, Marichal 100, Gibson 100, Waddell 100, Pierce 100, GPerry 100, Palmer 100, Jenkins 100, R Foster 99, Brown 99, Mathewson 99, Walsh 99, SJ Williams 99, Young 99, B Foster 99, Paige 99, W Johnson 98, McGinnity 98, WFerrell 97, Lemon 97, Keefe 96, Nichols 96, Rusie 95, RBrown 95, Griffith 95, Clarkson 94, Galvin 92, Mendez 90, Radbourn 78, Spalding 80, Caruthers 66, Rogan 35, Dihigo 25, Ward 25, Ruth 20

Caveats: Totals treat all careers as equal. A little off on players like McVey and Sutton due to changing schedule length. Guesstimates on Negro Leaguers. Hybrid P-hitters such as Ward, Ruth, Caruthers, Spalding have estimates that attempt to reflect their respective roles.
   205. Chris Fluit Posted: December 01, 2006 at 06:07 PM (#2249121)
Here's a prelim for 1991:

1. Rod Carew, 1B/2B: He would've trailed Bench and Morgan, but he's still an easy number one.
2. Dick Redding, P
3. Nellie Fox, 2B
4. Quincy Trouppe, C
5. Lou Brock, LF
6. Alejandro Oms, CF
7. Burleigh Grimes, P
8. Don Newcombe, P
9. Dobie Moore, SS: I made the claim recently that Moore was the best shortstop available, even though I had Aparicio higher on my ballot. After looking at the two of them again, I've adjusted my ballot accordingly with Moore moving up a couple of slots and Aparicio sliding down.
10. Hugh Duffy, CF
11. Ken Boyer, 3B
12. Luis Aparicio, SS
13. Rollie Fingers, RP: If we were voting in/out, I'd have Fingers in. Ranking him against position players is a little more difficult so I'm conservatively placing him here.
14. Orlando Cepeda, 1B
15. Jake Beckley, 1B: He sneaks back onto my ballot, though he'll most likely be bumped off again with the strong class of '92.
   206. OCF Posted: December 01, 2006 at 06:58 PM (#2249161)
3. Nellie Fox, 2B
5. Lou Brock, LF
7. Burleigh Grimes, P
12. Luis Aparicio, SS
15. Jake Beckley, 1B: He sneaks back onto my ballot, though he'll most likely be bumped off again with the strong class of '92.


You've got some peak candidates in there too, so you're clearly not a pure-peak or pure-career voter - but you are displaying at least an openness toward low-peak long-career candidates. So tell me: what do you think of Rusty Staub?
   207. Jim Sp Posted: December 01, 2006 at 06:59 PM (#2249163)
prelim.

Carew, Lemon, and Munson for PHoM. Fingers next in line.
Staub #37. Would love to put him higher though.
Steve Rogers #88. Underrated but not really close. Some nice ERA+/IP years.
Koosman #95.
Oliver. Not in top 100 but a very good player.

1) CarewNot a very good fielder, but hit like a HoM candidate 1B, while playing half his career at second. A career OPS+ of 131, weighted strongly on OBP. Great peak/prime 1973-1978. Good career length/durability. Easy #1.
2) Ken Boyer--PHoM 1976. 4 years above 10.0 warp3 plus a 9.9 and a 9.8. Great peak/prime 1956-1964. Good power and fielding from 3B position. WinShares doesn’t like him as much as warp, has him as a B+ fielder. His reputation would suggest that warp has his fielding valued more correctly. Will be very glad to see him go in this year—think his brothers will be interested in the news?
3) Bob Johnson-- WinShares says C fielder, warp thinks he’s considerably better than that. Very high assist totals from LF. Played CF for a terrible 1938 A’s team, also a little bit of 2B and 3B. On the whole I think the record indicates that he was actually a good defensive player. I also suspect that his WinShares suffer from playing on some horrible teams. May have struggled trying to get a break, tough to grab playing time on the great A’s teams earlier in his career. Never did anything but mash despite late ML start at age 27. 1934-1942 is a HoM worth prime in my view. PHoM in 1970.
4) Dobie Moore--PHoM 1985. Gotta love a good fielding SS who can mash.
5) Fox--The man had 2663 hits (#61 all time) and was a great fielder. PHoM in 1970.
6) Rizzuto--Lots of war credit. PHoM 1977.
7) KellerAdded back the war credit. PHoM 1985.
8) Stephens-- PHoM in 1961. Looks underrated to me. Best years by Warp3 10.2, 10.1, 8.9, 8.5, 8.0, 7.8.
9) TrouppePHoM 1988.
10) Bobby Bonds--PHoM 1986
11) Elliott--PHoM in 1960.
12) Jimmy Wynn--PHoM 1987.
13) Dick Redding--PHoM 1985.
14) Munson--PHoM 1991.
15) FingersERA+ not impressive, but by other measures better.

Roush – #71 with no extra credit. I suppose if I gave him every conceivable credit for holding out he’d make it, but I’m not there yet.
Browning—after his great season in the 1890 PL at age 29, not much. Not in my top 100.
   208. Chris Cobb Posted: December 01, 2006 at 07:43 PM (#2249189)
So tell me: what do you think of Rusty Staub?

I'm very curious what folks think about Rusty Staub. Indeed, if we needed a reason to postpone the start of the 1991 election because of the site's domain-name troubles, not having given sufficient discussion to Staub would be one.

Staub has been presented mostly as a _career_ candidate, but to my mind his qualifications are perhaps better as a peak/prime candidate, because his long decline as a pinch-hitting specialist doesn't add much value to his career, and it seems to draw people's attention away from his peak and prime, 1967-76, which seems to have been highly comparable ot the peak and prime of players who have been getting some support as peak/prime candidates, like Bonds, Singleton, and Wynn.

I'm not advocating for Staub at this point, and I am entirely undecided about where to place him (other than knowing it should be somewhere between, say, #5 and #40), but I'm not confident the electorate has taken a good look at him yet.
   209. DL from MN Posted: December 01, 2006 at 08:15 PM (#2249222)
Staub = Jake Beckley redux but slightly lower.
   210. Chris Fluit Posted: December 01, 2006 at 08:32 PM (#2249238)
You've got some peak candidates in there too, so you're clearly not a pure-peak or pure-career voter
No, I'm not. Thanks for noticing. I look at all three of peak, prime and career. Somebody who has all three will easily make the top of my ballot (such as Rod Carew this time around). But absent the presence of a triple threat like Carew, both peak-heavy and career-heavy candidates can get onto my ballot if they've got the prime to go along with it.

- but you are displaying at least an openness toward low-peak long-career candidates.
I think there's more than one way to be Meritorious. A player who is very good for a very long time can build up the prime and career values that get my attention, even without much in the way of a peak.

So tell me: what do you think of Rusty Staub?

I disagree with Chris Cobb. I do think that Staub's best argument is as a career candidate. Those are some pretty beefy career totals- 46th in doubles, 49th in rbi, 53rd in hits, 59th in total bases, 65th in runs created. But even as a career candidate, Staub trails Brock and Beckley (both of whom made my 1991 ballot) as well as Sam Rice. And when Perez enters the ballot in '92, Staub will trail him, too. He's in my top 50, ahead of guys that Chris Cobb mentioned like Bonds, Singleton and Wynn but behind too many other guys to crack the top 15.
   211. Daryn Posted: December 01, 2006 at 08:49 PM (#2249263)
I disagree with Chris Cobb. I do think that Staub's best argument is as a career candidate. Those are some pretty beefy career totals- 46th in doubles, 49th in rbi, 53rd in hits, 59th in total bases, 65th in runs created. But even as a career candidate, Staub trails Brock and Beckley (both of whom made my 1991 ballot) as well as Sam Rice. And when Perez enters the ballot in '92, Staub will trail him, too. He's in my top 50, ahead of guys that Chris Cobb mentioned like Bonds, Singleton and Wynn but behind too many other guys to crack the top 15.

I'm a careerist and I completely agree with the above. I also have Staub behind Brock, Beckley, Rice and Perez, somewhere between 20 and 50, likely ahead of Wynn, Bonds, Singleton, Smith.
   212. sunnyday2 Posted: December 01, 2006 at 08:55 PM (#2249274)
If I were a career candidate, I'd probably have Staub on or close to my ballot (#10-20 anyway). But I'm not, so he is more like the 40s somewhere.
   213. Chris Cobb Posted: December 01, 2006 at 09:59 PM (#2249350)
It's good to hear from career voters about Staub.

Myself, I have Staub ahead of Brock and Rice (I'm not sure where he will place relative to Beckley and to Perez), because he has a better _peak_ than they do.

Career voters who aren't supporting Wynn, Bonds, Singleton have an easy time placing Staub ahead of _them_. But what do the peak/prime voters who are actually supporting Wynn, Bonds, Singleton (Wynn is, of course, getting a lot of support, and Bonds and Singleton a not insignificant amount, though neither appears on track for election, if current trends continue) think about Staub? I'm sure they have him ahead of Rice, Brock, and Beckley, whom they are not supporting, but how do they rank him against the candidates they actually support?
   214. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 01, 2006 at 10:28 PM (#2249378)
I don't know about Staub yet, but I can tell you that Brockley and Rice isn't very appetizing. ; )
   215. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 01, 2006 at 10:36 PM (#2249388)
I'm not exactly a peak voter, but I lean that way. I've just taken a look at Staub, and here's somethings I can tell you, WS based things.

-Never the best position player in his league (over any three years).
-Never the best player at his own position in his league (ditto).
-Had three years that were of MVP caliber (i.e. finished among the league's top 5 position players or expansion equivalent)
-He did make a lot of WS All-Star teams.
-Has good career totals, but not anything spectacular enough to make me sit up and take notice (see next point).
-C. Cobb is correct, his post-prime years of DHing then PHing aren't adding much, and he has just a single year of 15 or more sked-adj WS after his ten bestest consecutive prime years.
-Historically speaking, teams with Staub as their best player have won 20% of pennants.

In sum, Staub finishes out of the money for me. He's roughly the 1960s equivalent of Harry Hooper. HOVG.
   216. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 01, 2006 at 10:43 PM (#2249397)
Re: Staub

I see his peak adn prime as definitely inferior to that of Wynn. Using WS, both have ten seasons with at lesat 15 WS. Staub's five best seasons are very similar to Wynn's #3-7 seasons. So take Staub best five and add a season of 36 WS and one of 32. Then remember that Staub's prime is pretty much jstu as long as Wynn's. It's not terribly close, especially now that we are really choosing candidates on the details.

Overall, I think Stabu is better than Beckley, Brock and Rice, though I am not a fan of any of them. Staub does have more prime and a better peak than Beckley, Beckley has a longer prime and more career. Overall, I see Staub as Kiki Cuyler with an extra 50-60 WS added onto his career. Since those 50-60 WS came in PH or partial seasons, I don't think they add much value, though I will have him above Cuyler. It is doubtful that Staub will make my top 60.
   217. Howie Menckel Posted: December 03, 2006 at 12:52 AM (#2250285)
"I don't know about Staub yet, but I can tell you that Brockley and Rice isn't very appetizing. ; ) "

Ironically, Rusty is a gourmet chef, quite possibly the greatest cook in the history of major league baseball.
He used to have a restaurant in Manhattan, and I can tell you that to this day, that is the best rack of ribs I have ever eaten.
   218. Howie Menckel Posted: December 03, 2006 at 01:04 AM (#2250294)
OPS+ game, full seasons

ChaJones 183 68 68 58 57 56 54 47 32 06
Browning 222 90 77 77 73 69 63 54 38 32
HugDuffy 177 47 27 26 25 25 23 09 07
JBeckley 152 44 38 33 31 28 27 27 26 26 26 24 22 12 12 05 02
EddRoush 159 53 48 47 43 41 34 24 24 23 08

ChKeller 168 63 62 60 59 55 44 41
BJohnson 174 55 47 43 41 35 34 30 29 29 27 25 25

OrCepeda 165 64 57 48 35 34 33 31 29 25 17 10 06
FrHoward 177 77 70 53 49 46 44 37 27 11 07
NormCash 201 50 48 42 36 35 34 29 28 28 26 20
JimmWynn 167 57 51 46 43 41 37 33 16 08
RegSmith 167 61 57 50 43 43 37 30 28 27 01
BobBonds 153 46 43 36 35 33 32 23 19 17
Singleton 165 56 53 52 47 42 32 31 18 09 01
RusStaub 166 52 47 38 36 32 31 18 18 17 16 13 08

Notes:
Browning had his 169 in the 1890 PL, the best league, at age 29.
No credit here for ChJones holdouts, but you may want to give some.
Duffy's 147 is in a weak 1891 AA season.
Johnson's 174 is in a weak 1944 season.
Keller credited with a 160 and 155 of war credit.
I gave Howard a 459 PA at 149 and a 487 PA at 107.
I gave Cash a 142 at 458 PA and a 126 at 452 PA, but not a 141 at 428 PA or a 126 at 420 PA.
I gave Wynn a 116 in 466 PA.
I gave Staub a 118 in 470 PA.

Staub holds his own 7 years deep, but many of the other modern guys have 8th or 9th or 10th 130+ seasons also. He's comparable to most, but it's not clear he's better than any of them.
   219. Paul Wendt Posted: December 03, 2006 at 02:20 AM (#2250324)
[OCF #206] So tell me: what do you think of Rusty Staub?

[Daryn #211] I disagree with Chris Cobb. I do think that Staub's best argument is as a career candidate.


My own thought upon reading OCF was to write just about what Chris Cobb wrote about Staub, without adding the part about Perez.
I would call Staub a surprising-peak candidate. He didn't merely play forever, which is what I remember, but he was very good. As a batter, five years at just under 700 PA, just over 145 OPS+. Jake Beckley didn't achieve 145 once in his own five-year run. (By mental math: Staub 147, Beckley 133. For both, major Expansion between the first and second year of the run.) Beckley is the poster-boy for low peak-long career and Staub doesn't belong on a postage stamp. My generation's answer to Beckley, if we have one at all, is probably Harold Baines --not so much Merit as Beckley, but just about the same peak-career mix.

And pardon me charlemagne, I can't resist, best 5-year run by OPS+,
147 Staub (Expansion before year 2)
145 Perez (Expansion before year 1)(significantly less playing time)
143 Rice Jim (Expansion before year 3)
   220. karlmagnus Posted: December 03, 2006 at 03:19 AM (#2250344)
OK Beckley's best years were scattered. So what? You guys are desperate. Beckley's better than Staub on three different dimesnions (OPS+, longevity and fielding) and it's not close. The interesting Beckley comparison is with Carew, who is close.
   221. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 03, 2006 at 06:25 PM (#2250733)
karl,

I really don't ever want to hear how we all pick on Beckley, that last post if pretty ridiculous.
   222. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 03, 2006 at 06:32 PM (#2250740)
I guess I should explain.

I never got the feeling that people were taking pot shots at Beckley, they weren't even trying to degrade him as a candidate necessarily. I thought that the reasoning behind the last line of posts was to compare Staub's peak to others similar to him, and on the surface Beckley is one of those guys, to show that Staub is not really a career guy as much as a prime guy. to then think that Beckley was being picked on is a little weird.

Well, except that the posts did make Beckley look pretty bad. Maybe it was your insecurity over supporting Beckley so much?;-).
   223. Juan V Posted: December 03, 2006 at 09:14 PM (#2250831)
Talk to me about Fingers.

So far, the biggest surprise I´ve had since I joined. Even accounting for how good he was with inherited runners, he doesn´t look like he´ll make my ballot. Before making a final judgement, I want to read a good case for him.

The other guys? Nothing really surprising. Carew is a clear numero uno (I´ve put aside my earlier doubts on him), Staub doesn´t really offer much that Ken Singleton doesn´t already offer.
   224. TomH Posted: December 03, 2006 at 09:40 PM (#2250843)
Can't help you, Juan V, unless you give Rollie a lot of post-season credit. I do that, and it gets him barely into my top 15.
   225. Howie Menckel Posted: December 03, 2006 at 11:16 PM (#2250885)
Fingers is a tough one; I'm not sure where he goes yet.
I'm one of those who is virtually out of "leftovers," which helps the newcomers a bit. My shiny toys have been elected already (hence my league-leading consensus score).
I wouldn't mind seeing Fingers hanging around while new relievers arrive, but on the other hand I can't put him below someone I like even less.
Have you looked at Dimino's analysis? That's the best case for Fingers, iirc.
   226. DL from MN Posted: December 04, 2006 at 04:00 PM (#2251253)
I agree Staub's bat is a little better than Beckley's but Eagle Eye makes it up and then some with the glove. Staub was not a good fielder.
   227. jhwinfrey Posted: December 04, 2006 at 06:47 PM (#2251378)
3. Jake Beckley
4. Orlando Cepeda: I've had Beckley and Cepeda very close together. I give Beckley a slight edge this year since he has a shot at election.

Isn't this strategic voting and isn't this prohibited? I didn't think voters were supposed to order their ballots by who has a better chance to be elected, rather by who they feel is most deserving. I remember we had discussions about this many, many elections ago.
If I am wrong, I apologize jh.


Depends, Kelly. If he has both candidates as virtually interchangeable, then I don't see a problem. However, if he has Cepeda significantly higher than Beckley in his system, then Eagle Eye over the Baby Bull would be prohibited.


I apologize to the group for the wording and rationale I used in my preliminary ballot. It was a flippant comment borne of my frustration at having Beckley on my ballot for. ev. er. Seriously, I strayed into prohibited voting territory, and I thank Kelly and Marc for being the bad guys. I'll have Cepeda ahead of Beckley on my ballot, as my rankings system indicates.
   228. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 04, 2006 at 07:40 PM (#2251437)
The argument for Rollie, as I understand it comes down to
-High leverage
-good with IHR
-more effective than ERA+ suggests
-long tenure as ace reliever.

I think there's issues to consider for all of these:
1a) High leverage: Lee Smith's career LEV is like 15 points higher. I believe this is because Smith pitched fewer eighth innings, but I don't know for sure. Other guys have better LEVS in their peak/primes.
1b) I also don't know whether or not LEV has any correlation to the quality of a team. If a guy plays for good teams, does he generally accrue better LEV than one who plays for average or not-good teams because a lower proportion of his team's games are losses by three or more runs? I don't know. But I guess that LEV is an indexed stat, so it may not matter. Just checking.

2) Inherited runners: I brought this up about Quis previously, but might not the type of pitcher in question be influencing IHR? Sinkerballers who don't K lots of guys might be giving up more IHR than non-sinkerballers who strike out more guys. In addition, there's another dimension, which is whether the RP in question was trading runs for outs. For instance, if Quis enters the ninth up by two with a runner on third and no outs, he may well trade the run for an out. Even moreso, no-outs, runner on second, he'll trade two grounders to second for the run. Without knowing the context of those IHR, I'm not 100% sure that IHR is something to use for or against someone. Further more, as you'll see below, in our limited sample of great relievers, there's little to suggest any skill connection between effectivness and IHR prevention.

3) When you take the starts out of their careers and refigure it, Fingers has an ERA+ of 124, Smith of 134, and Gossage of 138. I don't know how much this is affected by bequeathed runs if at all. Quis is 133 and Sutter 180(!).

4) Fingers' tenure was long: >10 saves for 15 seasons. Gossage for 13 seasons. Smith for 14 seasons. Sutter for 11. Quis for 7. Seems like a point in his favor to me in general, so it's a career/peak thing I guess.

OK, so here's a chart I've been working on this weekend which puts these five guys together. To my mind they are the main five reliever candidates, and while Smith's still active, I'm going to slot him in anyway. If you have info for others, feel free to add them. The first half of the chart shows their total relief careers. The second half shows only those seasons they saved at least 10 games, when they could reasonably be considered a or the top man in their bullpen. In the third half, since Quis's prime is shortest, seven years, I've taken their best seven seasons each (sorted by saves*ERA+), to match prime apples to prime apples.

NAME     INN    G  SV ERALEV IHR+* |  INN   G  SV ERALEV IHR+ |  INN   G  SV ERALEV IHR+   
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fingers 1506  907 341 124  160 119** | 1450 898 339 125  162 123  |  689 412 198 141  167 140 
Gossage 1556  965 310 138  150 102   
1135 727 298 161  175 104  |  727 399 188 204  172 121
Quis    1043  674 244 146  133  89   
|  806 474 224 164  144 101  |  806 474 224 164  144 101
Smith   1252 1016 478 134  179 123   
1093 885 470 140  176 129  |  489 415 259 154  175 108 
Sutter  1042  661 300 136  180 111   
1023 645 297 137  181 113  |  720 437 229 168  187 127
*Index of IHRSversus league's IHRS%
**I don'
t have Fingers' IHR/IHRS numbers earlier than 1972. BP, where I got them, no longer offers these totals, only a summation called IHR prevented. I don't think it's a going to do much to Fingers's career totalhoweverHis breakouts in the other columns are all for seasons after 1971. 

Quis appears to be the biggest loser here, and given the weight of all these factors, I think he's fifth out of the five. Fingers seems to be next. Fingers is at his best by his career relief totals, which ought not be suprising since he had the longest tenure as an ace reliever. His IHR+ advantage over most of the field is there in each breakout, but his ERA+ giveback is too. He's always the least effective pitcher by ERA+. Meantime, his LEV isn't as nifty as first thought. When you get more granular, his LEV looks less and less compelling. Next best is Smith. Sutter and Gossage are the top two, and you can pick 'em since they both have markers. So just browsing the chart:

Sutter/Gossage
Smith
Fingers
Quis

I'm just not sure from this chart of arguably the best retired, non-Wilhelm relievers how the IHR stuff is explained, except possibly by defense. Fingers isn't all that effective compared to the group but he's got the best IHR+. Is it "guile," as Ron Shandler puts it? Is that something we can measure? Or that we should measure?

Fingers' career DERA is 3.84. Gossage is 3.54. Sutter is 3.53 Smith is 3.43. Quis is 3.27. By this viewpoint, Quis should be the most effective, right? But instead he's Mr. Inherited Runs Allowed. I don't get the disconnect, unless it's a BIP thing. DERA is scaled to 4.50. Let's take the career ERA+ and use it figure out an ERA scaled to 4.50 (which should be 4.50 divided by ERA+ times .01, right?), then compare to DERA:

NAME    DERA 4.50-SCALED ERA DIFF
---------------------------------
Fingers 3.84     3.78        -.06
Gossage 3.54     3.57         .03
Quis    3.27     3.08        
-.19
Smith   3.43     3.41        
-.02
Sutter  3.53     3.31        
-.22 


Quis and Sutter appear to be getting the most help from the defense by this admittedly crude way of looking at it. Or to speak to the point, it's not clear how performace is effecting their IHRS totals since they are divergent in this regard. It's only five guys, I know that, but since we're talking about top performers, you'd think we'd see some evidence of what's going on with their IHR stuff. Instead there's none. Can anyone else explain this by anything other than random variation? Believe it or not, I'm not actually trying to pick a fight with the Commish on this one, but if no one can explain IHR by anything other than randomness, then I'm think we may want to have a discussion of its utility as a means to find merit.
   229. sunnyday2 Posted: December 04, 2006 at 08:28 PM (#2251485)
Great stuff, Doc. I think the bottom line on relievers is:

1. We have to bend over backwards to enshrine anybody. If a starting pitcher had 1500 IP at 138 or 1000 at 146 we would laugh them off the planet. Just ask Addie Joss. So we leverage the hell out of 'em as if we were Tony LaRussa or something. But seriously, isn't an out in the 1st inning just as valuable as an out in the 9th? Isn't it? Really?

But anyway, while the average catcher can get by with a 10 percent boost, the reliever needs 50 percent (whether you call it leverage or something else).

I guess right now I'm thinkin' that if all the smart guys who play the game think this guy is so frickin' important, then I'm gonna vote for some. That is the sum total of my rationale, chapter and verse. And basically that goes against my belief that an out in the 1st inning is just as important.

2. And if you're gonna vote for some relievers (against all the evidence that suggests that you shouldn't), then which ones? Among starting pitchers I gravitate a little more toward effectiveness than innings--e.g. Addie Joss has long been on my ballot and Rube Waddell was too. And more toward peak than career, though not any more than for position players. So how about those relievers? Do you want a profile that's any different than your starting pitchers? More peak, more career? More innings, more effectiveness?

• More peak, because as a class they seem to be pretty peak-y. The flash brilliantly and burn out. So take 'em on their own terms?

• Or, more career, just so you can get the sample size up a little bit?

• And/or maybe you want more innings per year, for the same reason?

• Or maybe you just want more effectiveness because that's what their managers generally want. One inning at a time, 3 outs. And I might not need your scrawny ass out there again in a week, and I don't care, just get these 3 outs. He's the baseball equivalent of the place-kicker, whom you're not gonna rate on how many minutes he's on the field.

Conclusion

Like I said, I think I'm going to vote for "some" relievers. I was opposed to a quota of NeLers, which was proposed once upon a time. I said, no, it comes down to cases, head-to-head. Jud Wilson or Pie Traynor? Dobie Moore or Joe Sewell? Buck Leonard or Johnny Mize? I figured I could make that judgment. But with relievers, no, there is no measure on god's green earth that can possibly enable us to compare Rollie Fingers or Quiz or Goose to Luis Tiant, much less Tony Perez. You've just gotta figure out how many of them you want and go with it, at least the way I see it. Because if you latch on to some uber-stat, the likelihood is you're back to where you're not gonna vote for any relievers at all.

Once you've made that decision, then Doc's numbers help a lot. But you've still got to decide what it is that you value in a reliever. Lights out effectiveness, or something that at least resembles a respectable career? If you want both, then I think your quota is 2--Wilhelm and Goose. I want 3 to 5 relievers in my HoM. So what you gonna trade off?

I'm a peak voter and I am willing to settle for less career in a pitcher than a position player, yet I am probably going to end up Rollie's best friend. How embarrassing.
   230. karlmagnus Posted: December 04, 2006 at 08:44 PM (#2251499)
I have to say, I think I'd be happy with just Wilhelm, though Gossage and (for combined career) Eckersley will need to be looked at closely.) The history of releivers who might be HOMable is only about 25 years, since Wilhelm's an outlier because a knuckler, and it may be that using a Gossage or a Rivera as a releiver is simply a misuse of their talents (the next level down fairly clearly isn't a misuse, but those guys aren't HOMable.) If they'd used Ted Williams only as a pinch-hitter, because his fielding was so bad, would we elect him? I rather think not.
   231. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 04, 2006 at 08:49 PM (#2251504)
I wonder if as more RP come up, your evaluation of them will push Fingers down (if he's not elected). Sutter seems to me to be the peak-lover's candidate. He comes up in 1994, I think. He's got the huge peak performance above, and maybe one other prime season to offer, which might be enough for peaksters or prime-lovers.

I do worry that we'll overrate Fingers before he's on a ballot with Sutter, Quis, Gossage, which I think would be a helpful crucible to examine each of their candidacies in. We've still got a lot of conversations ahead of us about relievers....

Eck will be a totally different ball of wax, and I'm not even ready to consider him yet, so let's not go there until we have to.
   232. DL from MN Posted: December 04, 2006 at 08:56 PM (#2251510)
I asked the question about who had the most off-ballot support among Boyer, Fox and Wynn. I had a chance to look through and here's how I size it up:

Near-ballot (16-18) support for Boyer in last election:
Eric Chalek
JeffM
EricC
Brent
Esteban Rivera
Andrew M

Near ballot for Fox
David Foss
JeffM
Ken Fischer
Dan G
Mark Donelson
Sean Gilman

Near ballot for Wynn
Rick A
'zop

So Carew is a lock, Boyer already appeared on the most ballots of any returnee and is threatening to end up on 6 more this year. I think he's strong enough to withstand a challenge from the newcomers and the backlog since it's an elect-3 year.

Fox v. Wynn is a lot more complicated. Wynn enters in with a small 9 point lead that would probably hold but the soft Fox voters could easily put him over the top.

It is interesting that JeffM is the only voter with more than one just off ballot.
   233. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 04, 2006 at 09:00 PM (#2251512)
One problem that I have with leverage is this (and I may be misinterpreting things here)

Let's say you have two pitchers, A and B. A only pitches the 9th inning while B pitches both the 8th and the 9th. they both pitch the same number of games and the ninth inning is always the inning with more leverage in it. Let's also assume that they were similarly effective. Pitcher A would have a higher leverage since he didn't pitch in as many low leverage situations. But Pitcher B pitched in as many high leverage situations while adding more IP to his totals. It seems to me that the two players should haev the same leverage since they pitched in as many high leverage situations as each other. The extra 8th innings pitched by Pitcher B should now lower his leverage any, it hsould be al positive from there. Instead, if I am reading LEV correctly, Pitcher A will have a higher leverage score. To me that doesn't seem right.
   234. sunnyday2 Posted: December 04, 2006 at 09:14 PM (#2251518)
As I understand it, you're right, pitcher A has higher LEV. But LEV by itself doesn't mean much. Rather, you take IP*LEV, so a RP with twice as many IP at half the LEV would have the same adjIP.

Now I'm not sayin' that this is right either, that a pitcher could literally pitch half as many innings and get the same adjIP. Just that LEV by itself doesn't mean much, except as a function of IP.

That's what I understand anyway.

What's really interesting and surprising in Doc's charts, BTW, is in the left hand side, the career totals. Fingers, Goose, Quiz and Sutter all have about 1 2/3 IP per game. I woulda thought that woulda spread out a lot more.

OTOH if you look at the peak on the right side, Fingers, Quiz and Sutter hold fairly steady near 1 2/3, but Goose approaches 2 IP per game (OK slight esaggeration, it's more like 1.82, but almost half way from 1 2/3 to 2). And he does that without giving up a thing in ERA+ or LEV. The idea that Sutter should have gone HoF ahead of Goose is just about the most ignorant thing the BBWAA (as opposed to the VC) has EVER done, or at least since snubbing Johnny Mize.
   235. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 04, 2006 at 09:19 PM (#2251522)
Pursuant to #234...as mentioned, I ranked the best seven years by the crude method of ERA+ x Saves. Most of Smith's best seasons were low-inning 1990s closer seasons, with the (alledged) Eck pattern of 1 IP per appearance, but saves in virtually all appearances. That struck me as interesting.
   236. Chris Cobb Posted: December 06, 2006 at 04:02 AM (#2252349)
I've been prevented for two days by work and the site being down from getting in on the Fingers discussion. I disagree with Dr. Chaleeko's assessment of Fingers, which seems to me to misinterpret Fingers' record because it is viewing his stats through the lens of the "closer" model for relief ace usage, which produces a different profile from that which obtained during Fingers' prime.

There are three main elements that contribute to a relief pitcher's value: effectiveness, leverage, and durability (which results in more IP). In his assessment of Fingers on the ballot thread, Dr. Chaleeko gives positive weight to the first two, but not the third.

Fingers’ LEV doesn’t seem all that impressive to me, particularly not in his peak seasons (and peak is very important for RP), and his effectiveness (ERA+) ain’t sharp. It’s not like his defenses aren’t good either. I’m not wild about the idea that a career reliever is a good HOM candidate,

The history of relief pitcher usage shows that there are tradeoffs between number of innings, on the one hand, and effectiveness and leverage on the other. Contemporary closers are _very highly_ effective and _very highly_ leveraged, and they throw something like 60-80 IP per year. Fingers was regularly throwing 1.5 to 2 times that many innings during his peak: 110-130 IP per year. As was mentioned above, when relievers are entering games earlier and pitching multiple innings, their leverage goes down, because the 9th inning is more highly leveraged. When they are pitching with the idea of throwing 2-3 innings, they have to work somewhat more like a starter: they can't just go all out on every pitch. So their effectiveness will be a bit lower. But their team can, if their arms can stand it, 1.5 to 2 times as much use out of them. So to gauge a relief pitcher's value, you have to consider IP as well.

The model for relief ace usage was changing rapidly from the mid-1970s through to the early 1990s. Fingers was throwing 30-40 more IP, generally, than Sutter did, who was the pioneer of the next model (to which Fingers shifted circa 1978-80, after Sutter's dominance popularized the new approach). Look at the seasonal IP for Lee Smith, whose career runs across the whole transition period. He's throwing 100 innings (Sutter level usage) in 1983 and 75 innings (closer-level usage) in 1992. If you measure, as Dr. C does, a reliever's "best" seasons by ERA+ x Saves, a reliever's seasons under the closer model are going to look better, because he gets more save opportunities (consistently high leverage) and can maximize his effectiveness because of a lower workload. Unless analysis includes workload as well as ERA+ and leverage, it will tend to prefer relief pitchers working on the closer model, because it doesn't recognize the value of having a pitcher of relief ace quality available for 120 highly leveraged IP at very high effectiveness instead of for 70 very highly leveraged IP at maximum possible effecctiveness.
   237. KJOK Posted: December 06, 2006 at 07:23 AM (#2252554)
I agree with Chris, and I think that's why, ESPECIALLY when evaluating relief pitchers, the first/primary comparision needs to be with his peers.

Don't compare Fingers to Rivera or even Sutter, first compare him to:

Tekulve
Hiller
Lyle
Marshall
McGraw
Garber, etc.

and if you do, I think he comes out looking rather well...
   238. sunnyday2 Posted: December 06, 2006 at 12:39 PM (#2252622)
>Tekulve
Hiller
Lyle
Marshall
McGraw
Garber, etc.

Whatever happened to Ellis Kinder?

102-71, 3.43 (125) in 1479.2 IP, 749 K. 122 GS, 56 CG, 10 ShO before becoming a relief specialist. Then led the league in G and S twice.

1951--1-2, 2.55 (175), 63 G, 14 S in 127 IP
1953--10-6, 1.85 (227), 69 G, 27 S in 107 IP

Again:

Kinder 102-71, 3.43 (125) in 1479.2 IP, 749 K, 1.32 WHIP, .318 OOB
Eckersley 197-171, 3.50 (118) in 3285.2 IP, 2401 K, 1.16 WHIP, .290 WHIP
Fingers 114-118, 2.90 (119) in 1701.1 IP, 1299 K, 1.16 WHIP, .292 OOB
Gassage 124-107, 3.01 (126) in 1808.1 IP, 1502 K, 1.23 WHIP, .308 OOB
Sutter 68-71, 2.83 (136) in 1042 IP, 861 K, 1.14 WHIP, .288 OOB

Obviously Kinder threw in a more offensive environment than Fingers (Fenway Park, ba-dum-dum). He is about half of Eck, but then who isn't? He was a hell of a lot better starter than Gossage (23-6, 3.36, 130 in 1949).

Still I guess he doesn't blow people away.

But here's the thing.

Kinder didn't pitch in the bigs until 1946. He was born in 1914. Does this raise a red flag for anybody? 'Course he had plenty of time to get to the ML in the '30s and didn't. Why not? Anybody know? And he wasn't exactly stellar, going a combined 11-18 with OPS+ of 112 and 88 his first 1.5 years. 'Course this was with the Brownies. Then 765 IP over his first 4 years in Bahstahn with OPS+ 117-130-115-175 as a starter (58-27 W-L). Then the 175 in 1951, then another year as a spot starter at 153, then the 227 in 1953, and by now he is 40 years old and decline sets in.

So, like I say, anybody know the back story here? 500 IP of MLE at 1.25 and he's Goose Gossage.
   239. DanG Posted: December 06, 2006 at 05:34 PM (#2252875)
Fingers’ Relief Cohort from his prime 1972-81
Career Totals
GRel SV  ERA
502 125 2.83 Hiller
661 300 2.84 Sutter
1050 184 2.85 Tekulve
899 238 2.88 Lyle
907 341 2.90 Fingers
742 136 2.93 Lavelle
965 310 3.01 Gossage
699 188 3.14 Marshall
785 180 3.14 McGraw
922 218 3.34 Garber 
   240. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 06, 2006 at 05:51 PM (#2252893)
Sheisse! I just lost my response post. I created a chart (which I hadn't saved) of the guys KJ mentions and an elaborated defense of my position. Without tracing back over three hours of work, I'm going to give you the digest. There's three 1970s guys I see a case for:

NAME     INN   G  SV ERALEV IR+ |  INN   G  SV ERALEV IR+ | INN   G  SV ERALEV IR+   
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fingers 1506 907 341 124  160 119 1450 898 339 125  162 123 689 412 198 141  167 140 
Gossage 1556 965 310 138  150 102 
1135 727 298 161  175 104 727 399 188 204  172 121
Marshll 1264 699 188 126  143 104 
1121 621 183 130  159  97 912 510 156 141  143 107 


What jumps out at me are two things: 204 ERA+ and 912 innings. There's a reasonable and compelling argument to be made that despite Fingers' impressively long prime, Marshall's peak advantage of 200 innings and 100 appearances is equally impressive. Think on that a moment: that's 28 innings a year or 14-15 more appearances than the other guys are making. Given the importance of the moments these guys appear in, particularly close/late games, I think that 200 inning advantage is incredibly valuable over the seven-year peak. And in my book peak is vital and crucial to assessing a reliever's career. How do these competing things, the 204 and the 219 suss out?
NAME       INN  LEV  levINN  ERA+  ERA/4.50lg  RSAA  eqRSAA/100ip
------------------------------------------------------------------
Gossage    727  172   1250   204     2.21       318      25
Marshall   912  143   1304   141     3.19       190      15
Fingers    689  167   1151   141     3.19       168      15 


What it comes down to for me is this. I don't know how many relievers is the right number. But for the 1970s I see Gossage as the candidate who is clearly ahead of the pack. Fingers and Marshall duke it out for second on the basis of a career/peak battle. Fingers is indeed better than the rest of the relievers of the period (no surprise since he's a real candidate, right?) but Gossage is that much better than both, to me, especially on peak, which I value very highly in relievers.

I'm in no rush to induct two relievers per generation, and relievers generally don't have much presence in my rankings. As we said when Wilhelm went in: he's not necessarily a top-ballot guy because no reliever is likely to be a top-ballot guy in a year with resaonable competition or a strong backlog. We've got enough of Gossage's career in the can for me to know that he's the big gun of the period, and I will wait for him to debut before I cast a relief pitcher vote for the 1970s.
   241. Chris Cobb Posted: December 06, 2006 at 07:31 PM (#2253038)
The problem with this method of evaluation is that the "best seven season" system, by identifying "best seasons" based on the closer model, is not looking at what is actually Fingers' prime. I don't have the wherewithal to redo all the columns on the table, but, if you look at Fingers from 1972-78, you'll see that he put up 858 innings over those seven consecutive years, in all of which he was a very good or excellent reliever. Marshall, over his best seven consecutive seasons, 1970-76, tossed 893.3 innings, and I doubt that over that stretch he was either as highly leveraged or as effective as Fingers was. I can produce full numerical values later, but the point is that Fingers was, over his peak, very comparable to Marshall in terms of durability and was probably better in terms of effectiveness. (WARP has Marshall with 78 RSAA over those 7 seasons, Fingers at 109.)

I would say that the middle column, showing performance in all seasons with 10+ saves, is a better indicator of value. Fingers was nearly as effective by ERA+ (and I think DERA would show him as more effective), threw a lot more innings at at above the same leverage and effectiveness, and did a better job with inherited runners.

That Fingers was not as good, overall, as Gossage, I do not dispute, but that is not conclusive information, since a) Gossage is not yet eligible, and b) Gossage will probably be elected easily. His case does not help us define the in-out line.
   242. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 06, 2006 at 09:53 PM (#2253252)
I think Gossage's case does help define the in/out line depending on the number of relievers you think the Hall should have, and how close you think various relievers are to one another. If you think the number is four relievers through 2007, and we already know that Gossage and Sutter are in the bank and we've elected Wilhelm, that leaves one reliever to cover 1986-2007. Now I agree fixed numerical quotas aren't entirely helpful, but unless you're really sure that the second best reliever is right behind the first guy, and I mean right behind, I think it's dicey to elect a second one from any era, let alone the 1970s.

As to the best-seasons questions, I'll do some additional figuring tonight and represent the info to see if my conclusion would be different.
   243. Chris Cobb Posted: December 06, 2006 at 10:40 PM (#2253319)
Now I agree fixed numerical quotas aren't entirely helpful, but unless you're really sure that the second best reliever is right behind the first guy, and I mean right behind, I think it's dicey to elect a second one from any era, let alone the 1970s.

I am completely against quotas, though I concede that, as Fingers is not a slam-dunk candidate and is a member of a group that the electorate is not confident about assessing, caution is indicated. It is more important to me, though, that Fingers is quite notably ahead of Marshall, McGraw, Hiller, and Lyle, who are quite similar in value to one another, just as Fingers is quite notably behind Gossage, so it is clear to me that setting the bar at Fingers' level will not lead to the influx of many other pitchers of similar quality.

I don't think Sutter is in the bank _at all_, btw, so part of the disagreement we have may be over peak vs. prime in relievers. Sutter has 3 monster years to Fingers' 1, but Fingers has a dozen above-average to excellent seasons (incl. 1981), to Sutter's eight. In my system, I see that as a very substantial difference in value, where I see the difference between a monster season and an excellent season as a fairly small difference, particularly when the workload is heavier in the excellent season.
   244. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 06, 2006 at 11:21 PM (#2253364)
I think the interesting thing about your analysis of Sutter above is how it reveals the complexity of the relief issue. Sutter's dominance of the era is in lower innings, so it makes him seem less dominant than Fingers was. Yet Sutter's the most dominant of his era. If we follow the logic that the innings are merit-making (note I didn't say valuable or important), then we will end up with a decision-making process whereby the earlier relievers get the benefit of the doubt, possibly at the expense of the latter-day relievers. It's not unlike the 1950s and 1980-1990s starting pitcher conundrums where they have fewer innings than the predecessors and so are difficult to assess historically. As Chris said above, we do need to tred with caution here.
   245. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 07, 2006 at 12:24 AM (#2253461)
OK, more on Gossage, Fingers, Marshall.

The following table is kind of like what OCF does and it's listed that way. As I did in a previous post, I'm normalizing the guys' ERA+ to a 4.50 environment, then figuring how many runs they saved above average in their leveraged innings.

NAME   CAREER  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13  14 15  16  17 18 19 20 21  22
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gossage374  78 54 46 45 38 37 34 25 18 15 11  4  3   2  0   0  ------14
Fingers  244  48 29 26 25 20 18 18 16 16 15 14 11 10   9 
--11 -20 
Marshall 193  45 42 39 37 33 11  5  5  4  0  0 
---16
*Does not include MLE for season spent in Japan


Breaking that out into various intervals:

3 years Gossage 178, Marshall 125, Fingers 103
5 years Gossage 261, Marshall 196, Fingers 147
7 years Gossage 332, Marshall 212, Fingers 183
10 years Gossage 390, Fingers 231, Marshall 221
13 years Gossage 407, Fingers 266, Marshall 208
15 years Gossage 410, Fingers 275, Marshall 192
20 years Gossage 394, Fingers 244, Marshall 193
career: Gossage 374, Fingers 244, Marshall 193

OK. Now runnings the three of them head to head in their biggest innings seasons. By the by, none of these are prorated for the strike.

YEAR    Gossage  Fingers  Marshall Intervals (35710131520)
---------------------------------------------------
        
INN RSAA INN RSAA INN RSAA |
1       142  54  135  29  208  42  |
2       134  45  132  18  178  37  
3       133  78  127  16  141  39  GG 409/177RF 394/63MM 527/118
4       102  15  
119  20  116  45  |
5        99  34  119  15  111 -16  GG 610/226RF 632/98MM 754/147
6        93  37  
111  11  109   4  |
7        87  38  107  26  |  99  -7  GG 791/301RF 850/134MM 963/143
8        79  46  
103  16  |  99  33  |
9        78   0  |  84 -20  |  59  11  |
10       77  -3  |  80  14  |  44   5  GG 1024/345RF 1117/145MM 1165/192
11       65 
-14  |  80  25  |  32  -5  |
12       58  18  |  78  48  |  31   5  |
13       58   0  |  74   9  |  26   0  GG 1205/348RF 1349/228MM 1255/192
14       52  11  
|  55 -11  |   9   0  |
15       48  -3  |  54  10  |          | GG 1305/356RF 1458/227MM 1265/192
16       47   2  
|  46  18  |          |
17       47  25  |   1  -1  |          |
18       44  -6  |          |          |
19       40   3  |          |          |
20       38   4  |          |          | GG 1521/384RF 1506/244MM 1265/192
21       31  
-7  |          |          |
22        4  -4  |          |          | GG 1556/374RF 1506/244MM 1265/192 


So Sorted by innings, Goose still honks right by, but to even my surprise, Marshall still comes out ahead even at the ten year mark. Fingers big innings years weren't always his most effective years, some of his most effective years came after the conversion to the modern closer model in the early 1980s when he racked up the gaudy ERA+s. Marshall didn't pitch in those years and doesn't get the benefit that Fingers and Goose both saw (each having huge years after the scaling down of their innings).

Now these two views do support Chris's assertion that Marshall's not quite stomping all over Fingers' peak, but here's where they are at the end of Marshall's career (in the sorted by innings list):

GG 1205/348, RF 1349/228, MM 1255/192

Goose is killing them in effectiveness, despite tossing fewer innings. Marshall is as effective as Fingers, but Fingers has the durability edge and piled up like 70 RSAA in the years bewteen the 10 and 13 year intervals. So it's fair to say that at their innings peaks, Fingers was less effective, to the tune of like 50 RSAA, but that he makes much of it back in the post-big-innings years.

One more thing we could do is to throw out the lower-than-zero years from the first chart and see what we get:

NAME   CAREER  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13  14 15 16  
---------------------------------------------------------------
Gossage411  78 54 46 45 38 37 34 25 18 15 11  4  3   2  0  0  
Fingers  276  48 29 26 25 20 18 18 16 16 15 14 11 10   9 
Marshall 220  45 42 39 37 33 11  5  5  4  0  0 
*Does not include MLE for season spent in Japan


Gossage 49% ahead on RSAA of Fingers, Fingers 25% ahead of Marshall.

All the charts tell me the same thing. Gossage is neck and beak above the others. With the negative values, Gossage is 53% ahead of Fingers on RSAA for career. Fingers is 26% of Marshall on career RSAA. Their career RSAA/100 innings are
Gossage: 24
Fingers: 16
Marshall: 15

So Marshall's missing 250 career innings viz Fingers and in those 250 innings, 50 RSAA. But his best seasons are notably better than Rollie's, and yet more durable too (110 more innings through year 7 on the by-innings chart). To me he seems much closer to Rollie than Rollie does to Goose. Chris is likely right that there's a gap between him and Marshall, that Rollie's the second best, but it's with something less than a bullet, which is why I can't endorse Mr. Handlebar.

Goose supports the precedent established in selecting Wilhelm: elect the guy who appears to be inarguably the best reliever of his time. I want to wait until other candidates come along later to start taking the #2 reliever of any era.
   246. DL from MN Posted: December 07, 2006 at 12:35 AM (#2253475)
> we already know that Gossage and Sutter are in the bank

I'll disagree with Sutter also. He's bunched in a pack with a bunch of other relievers in my spreadsheet (ex. Reardon, Quisenberry, Nen, Lyle, Wetteland, Tekulve). I don't place much value on being 1st when 1st isn't that much better than 2nd or 3rd (2 extra saves, 5 extra scoreless innings, etc).
   247. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2006 at 01:13 AM (#2253514)
Eric/Dr. C, thanks for the further breakdown, which I think captures the different strengths of the candidates pretty accurately.

I'll note that WARP likes Fingers a bit more and Marshall a bit less than this analysis, as does Joe's analysis.

I like Fingers a bit more and Marshall a bit less because of Fingers' consistency during his prime. Marshall has some great years, then a trough of several seasons, then a few more great years. YMMV on this criterion, certainly. I also strike-adjust, which helps Fingers especially.

Looking ahead, and a past the historical present of 1991, my expectation is that by 2007, the only reliever who will have become eligible who looks comparable to Fingers will be Lee Smith. I suspect our choice will be to have elected 2 relievers, Wilhelm and Gossage, or 4, with Fingers and Smith also gaining induction. (John Franco won't be eligible yet.) Smith may have hidden value/hidden faults that will only be revealed by close study that may move him ahead or drop him behind Fingers, but I'm pretty sure he'll be closer to Fingers than anyone else.
   248. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2006 at 01:29 AM (#2253532)
> we already know that Gossage and Sutter are in the bank

I'll disagree with Sutter also


Same here, DL. I have him a little better than Fingers, but not by much. Which is okay, since we should only be inducting (on average) one reliever every decade, IMO.
   249. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 07, 2006 at 02:55 AM (#2253612)
Same here, DL. I have him a little better than Fingers, but not by much. Which is okay, since we should only be inducting (on average) one reliever every decade, IMO.

Absolutely, I think Sutter is a peak candidate but has lots of dominance, and he will be a guy where some voters see plenty of peak and others see an absence of longevity. And that's good. Diversity of opinion is a very good thing when a candidate is not easy to assess as relievers are. Hell, I might change my mind on him! Anyway, I agree with John that roughly a reliever per decade is probably close to "correct," which, again, is why I'm not down with Fingers as a candidate. Given the circumstance of perpetual eligibility I feel no compulsion to vote for Fingers until I have the chance to compare him to the second best of other generations.

To which end, I think we probably will need to do some translated-relief-innings kind of stuff once Sutter, Smith, etc start hitting the ballot. As in adjusting their innings total to a historically neutral relief-innings seasonal total by comparing them to their peers and scaling to the historical norm based off that. Maybe Joe already does this, I'm not sure. Anyway, if we don't do that, I'm afraid that we will see 300-500 more innings for Fingers or anyone from his era and see them as decisive, yet be missing a latter-day reliever because he pitches fewer frames. As in even Sparky or Tug or Kent will look better than ____ (pick from Orosco, Wetteland, Franco, Hoffman and others) due to an innings differential that is an artifact of their birthdate.

Oh, that reminds me. To leap into the future for the moment. Isn't Gossage vs. Fingers an excellent analogy for Rivera vs. Hoffman?
   250. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2006 at 03:23 AM (#2253652)
As long as we account for innings, leverage, and effectiveness, we should be able to assess relievers 1961-2007 fairly. Leverage and ERA+ are going to go through the roof for some pitchers after 1990, and that will offset the decline in IP.
   251. sunnyday2 Posted: December 07, 2006 at 04:49 AM (#2253757)
>As long as we account for innings, leverage, and effectiveness

And as long as you buy into the whole concept of leverage....
   252. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2006 at 04:55 AM (#2253768)
If what you want to measure is _ability_ in relief pitchers, then leverage is a concept you can probably dispense with, though in doing so you also toss any possibility of comparing relievers fairly to other pitchers via direct, quantitative comparisons.

If you want to measure _value_, then you have to consider leverage.
   253. Paul Wendt Posted: December 07, 2006 at 05:00 AM (#2253784)
I agree with Marc and Chris Cobb: seeing Gossage as clear #2, expecting the group will elect him promptly, wondering whether it will elect anyone else who will be eligible in "2007".

Eric Chalek and other peak voters: Do you think a relief pitcher's peak is shorter on the clock than a starting pitcher's or a catcher's or a shortstop's. If so, how much shorter? Careers vary in timespan by position but does that mean peaks should be defined to vary?
   254. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 07, 2006 at 05:27 AM (#2253822)
Well, I decided to do a little of the innings work I discussed above. So i figured out how many innings per relief appearance pitchers were making dataing as far back as the 1950s. Once I did that, I found that the rough historical average for relievers dating back that far is about 1.5 innings per appearance, or roughly 90 innings a year at 60 appearances. Which seemed like a good benchmark to use. So I scaled a bunch of guys to that mark and had at. Here's what happens to their lines.
NAME       INN  adjINN LEV levINN RSAA 
--------------------------------------
Wilhelm*  1870   1600  137  2191  386     

Gossage   1557   1439  148  2134  328
Smith     1252   1256  169  2119  266
Tekulve   1436   1294  138  1792  226
Fingers   1505   1344  159  2142  217
Quis      1043    957  132  1263  212
Sutter    1042    925  180  1660  211
Lyle      1390   1243  131  1627  192
Marshall  1264   1132  143  1618  172

Rivera     831   1074  167  1795  500 


Mariano is perhaps inflated here because his innings are ratcheted way up, but then, if you're the owner of an ERA+ that's at the Mendoza line, maybe nothing's inflated.... Still, given the very high ERA+s of current relievers, I would wonder if some massaging of the run-prevention piece of this puzzle would be in order since modern closers have awfully high ERA+s. But that's another night's study. Too sleepy now to carry that one out, but if anyone has ideas, I can work on it through the weekend.
   255. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2006 at 06:11 AM (#2253871)
Eric,

I'm puzzled as to why you feel the need to make this adjustment. Since IP and effectiveness are inversely related, and higher leverage _tends_ to go along with greater effectiveness, why not calculate equivalent runs saved above average by

(IP * LEV * AVG. ERA / 9) - (IP * LEV * Pitch ERA / 9)

If you find you are going to have to lower ERA+ to balance out raising innings, why not leave them both alone (except for leverage), and let them find their own level?
   256. sunnyday2 Posted: December 07, 2006 at 06:31 AM (#2253896)
Please explain leverage to me, someone.
   257. TomH Posted: December 07, 2006 at 01:44 PM (#2254004)
Leverage: Playing when the game is on the line, hence ability is magnified. Saving your ace reliever for only those spots when you are tied or up by a run or two in the late innings gives them leverage. Calculated typically using runs expectancy charts, and as a percentage, so a Lev of 2.0 means for that year, the pitcher was used overall in situations that were twice as important, batter-for-batter, as "normal".

When I draft Scorehseet simulation teams, I tend to get a strong closer (I own Wilhelm in the mid-60s league) because his 1.7 ERA in 90 IP can be leveraged to be as important as a 1.7 ERA in maybe 160 IP.

Leverage * ability = value.

Should we use leverage, especially if we are measuring ability? Since ace relievers TYPICALLY have high leverage, we should, becuase that is part of how the game is played, at least in the last 30 years.
   258. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2006 at 02:02 PM (#2254010)
Here's what the BP glossary says about leverage, and as it is the BP stat that we are using, this is the most relevant defintion:

Leverage measures how important the situations a reliever has been used in are. A leverage of 1.00 is the same importance as the start of a game. Leverage values below one represent situations that are less important than the start of a game (such as mopup innings in a blowout). Leverage values above one represent situations with more importance (such as a closer protecting a one-run lead with bases loaded in the 9th inning).

Mathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring (or allowing) one run at the start of the game.


Here's how I think of it, outside of mathematical terms. You need 27 outs to win a game, and the first out is no harder to get than the last out, except insofar as the ability of the hitter changes the situation. However, getting a particular out may make you more certain of winning a game than some other particular out. The point of having a closer is that, when you _know_ that, if you get three outs without giving up another run, yoiu win, you make d*mn sure you get those three outs. That's a high leverage situation. When you are behind 12-3 after 7 innings, you don't bring in your closer, because getting three more outs without giving a run isn't going to do squat to help you win the game, or it is at least highly unlikely that it will. That's a low leverage situation: mop-up work.

Having a closer makes strategic sense because it enables you to employ a highly effective pitcher when you _know_ that his performance has an opportunity to help you win. The pitcher's bulk value is deliberately diminished (by pitching fewer innings than he would as a starter or could if used on a different pattern as a reliever) in order to increased his leveraged value by 1) using him in high leverage situations and 2) keeping him fresh so that he can pitch with maximum effectiveness in those situations.
   259. TomH Posted: December 07, 2006 at 02:06 PM (#2254012)
This may be too little to late, but here it is.

Nellie Fox. I've not been a big fan, but he's high on lots of ballots. I'm all for standing up for yur beliefs even when the majority are aginst you, but I also know there are times when I'm alone on an issue to ask myself the hard question "Tom, maybe it's YOU who is all hosed up".

So I looked once more at Nellie and some comparables who get very little voting support.

And I still cannot see why Fox is a clear HoM candidate.

Here are first some career numbers. Later I'll show some peak/prime, using a different metric. I tried using multiple metrics so everyone's favorite toys are used equally.

Below are players with their FRAA (BP cards, unadjusted, by position, so ddoes not acount for playing 2b ss or 3b), and the "translated stats"; BP's projection of career numbers when adjsuting for league strength and schedule length.
name pos FRAA AB+W OPS SB
Fox...... 2b. ..79 .9934 .733 121
Traynor 3b. ..71 .8223 .782 171
Leach... 3/8 130 .9586 .781 267
Maranvll ss. 184 11347 .677 279
Bancroft ss. 109 .8481 .729 107
Aparicio. ss. .84 10831 .689 600
Fox...... 2b. ..79 .9934 .733 121

I can't see putting Fox at the top of this pile, regardless of how I rate lonngevity vs effectiveness.

How about using Win Shares, ranking each year in order?

Leach...... 31 29 27 27 26 25 24 21 19 17 17 16 14 13 10 7 3 2 0
Fox......... 32 30 26 25 22 22 22 21 21 19 16 13 12 11 6 5 1 0 0
Maranville 27 24 23 22 22 20 18 17 17 17 16 15 14 11 11 9 6 5 4 2 1 1
Aparicio... 22 21 20 20 19 19 19 18 18 17 17 16 14 13 13 11 8 8
Traynor... 28 26 26 22 22 22 21 21 20 20 17 13 11 4 1 0 0
Bancroft.. 31 27 26 22 21 20 20 20 18 17 11 11 10 9 6
player career top5 top10
Leach..... 328 140 246
Fox........ 304 135 240
Maranvill 302 118 207
Aparicio. 293 102 193
Traynor.. 274 124 228
Bancroft. 269 127 222

Here Nellie comes out #2 to Terry Leach.

So, career wise, Traynor and Leach hit better, and they were good fielders too. Bancroft hit as well, and played a fine shortstop. Luis and Rabbit played longer, if that 2600 hits thing is impt, these guys were slick-fielding shortstops with lots of hits. And some speed.

No adjustments were made here for schedule length.

So, for voters so far like sunnyday, Chris Fluit, jhwinfrey, adam shafer, rawagman, jimsp, AJM, EricC, Drayn, and for Nellie-supporting voters to come; what is it that makes Fox a HoMer? If I don't see it, enlighten me, so I may see the error of my ways, and rejoice with the rest of the voters as he gets honored. I don't wish to sigh deeply if Nellie gets the call.
   260. sunnyday2 Posted: December 07, 2006 at 02:53 PM (#2254026)
>Leverage measures how important the situations a reliever has been used in are.

So, only relievers? A starter who throws a complete game gets no "XC" for throwing the 9th inning of a 1-run game?

If so, then, certainly, leverage can be used to compare relievers but not to compare a reliever to a starter. Is that fair?
   261. sunnyday2 Posted: December 07, 2006 at 02:59 PM (#2254035)
I interpret the WS numbers as giving Nellie Fox a slight but clear edge over the good field-no hit group of candidates. OK, Leach is an anamoly. The question is not so much whether to downgrad Fox but whether to upgrade Leach. Unless you want to ignore this whole class.
   262. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 07, 2006 at 03:10 PM (#2254041)
Also Fox is a 2B, and among the 2Bs, he rates higher than, say, Bancroft does among SS. That's important in my rankings. Leach is already on my ballot. Oh, and I don't trust WARP.
   263. DL from MN Posted: December 07, 2006 at 03:41 PM (#2254065)
I think the Nellie Fox = Pie Traynor analogy is fairly accurate. Traynor has more RAA, Fox has more RAR.

I like Bancroft, then Leach best in that list.
   264. fra paolo Posted: December 07, 2006 at 03:43 PM (#2254067)
Like TomH, the enthusiasm for Fox escapes me, although he remains firmly in my consideration set, and I consider myself well informed about his range as measured by his assist totals. I’d quite like to have seen Maz in Tom's table, too. I think he deserves more consideration, although I'm far from putting Maz in an 'elect-me' position.

Oh, and I don't trust WARP.

I don’t understand this sentiment, in relation to the FRAA numbers appearing in Tom's table. I don’t trust straight-up WARP because of replacement level, but I thought this was irrelevant to the BRAAs, FRAAs and PRAAs. Are you saying you don’t trust linear-weight formulas? Or am I missing something about the way RAA is calculated?

Unless you want to ignore this whole class.

I get the impression that, while ‘ignore' is putting it strongly, this sentiment catches the HoM electorate’s views. I’d go so far as to say that hitting is slightly overrated by voters, especially toward the bottom of the ballot. A good hitter is more likely to find a vote at 10 or 14 than a good fielder, even though measuring their contributions against the average at their position may in fact reverse their relative values. Which kind of begs the question, “something better or something different?”
   265. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 07, 2006 at 05:07 PM (#2254173)
Chris,

I think you're right about my fears of the big-inning guys swallowing up the shorter inning guys being overblown. In fact, as I've looked further into the question, it's the opposite! The shorter-inning guys are putting up such massive ERA+s and their LEV is higher, that things skew in their direction precipitously. Using the RSAA method I used in earlier posts (essentially the same thing you suggested Chris but normalizing to a 4.50 run environment) and using their actual relief innings, here's some results for several already mentioned RP plus a mixed bag of others from the 1990s:

NAME       rel INN  LEV   ERARSAA  RSAA/100 INN
--------------------------------------------------
WILHELM     1870    136   147   445     24

GOSSAGE     1556    150   138   374     24
SMITH       1252    168   134   271     22
TEKULVE     1436    139   132   256     18
FINGERS     1505    160   125   244     16
SUTTER      1042    180   136   243     23
QUIS        1043    133   146   236     23
LYLE        1390    131   127   214     15
MARSHALL    1264    143   127   192     15

RIVERA       832    167   200   385     46
r HRNANDEZ  1014    161   138   247     24
HOFFMAN      886    189   149   297     34
WETTLAND     683    174   165   237     35
PERCIVAL     612    196   150   192     31 


If anything, the combination of pitching only in high leverage and the higher ERA+s that closers accumulate thanks to facing only 4 to 5 batters a game is jacking up their run prevention far beyond what the surplus innings of the firemen can keep up with. So perhaps the application of some kind of tiered ERA+ discount based on era and total innings is appropriate to modern relievers to make their numbers comparable across time with previous generations?

Let no one say that I'm intractible.... ; )
   266. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 07, 2006 at 05:14 PM (#2254181)
The problem with LEach is that he spent half of his career in the OF so looking at OPS in relation to a bunch of MIers is misleading. Also, WS LOVES CFers from Leach's era, so there may be some in flation in this respect.

I don't have Fox on ballot, but I do think that he is the best of the players listed there.


As for leverage, I have asked the same question as Sunny about starting pitchers getting leverage when they pitch in late and close situations since they pith the tough innings and the easy ones, so to speak. I asked the question in reference to Jack Quinn, who I think that Joe really overrates because of leverage. Anyways, the answer I got was that it evens out because the first inning is usually worth less than a run or so. I am not sure if I buy that any inning should be worth less than one or if leverage should be ignored for starters when we compare them to relievers. My best guess is that we should try and compare relievers to reievers first instead of other pitchers.
   267. Daryn Posted: December 07, 2006 at 05:16 PM (#2254184)
So, for voters so far like sunnyday, Chris Fluit, jhwinfrey, adam shafer, rawagman, jimsp, AJM, EricC, Drayn, and for Nellie-supporting voters to come; what is it that makes Fox a HoMer?

I like most of the guys on your list -- Traynor, Leach and Aparicio are all in my top 25 along with Fox. Maranville didn't hit enough and Fox beats Bancroft in Win Shares every year.

Your Leach comparison was intriguing to me. I have Leach at 23 and maybe he should be as high as 16. There just isn't much difference on the ballot between Fox at 7, Traynor at 16, Aparicio at 21 and Leach at 23.
   268. Daryn Posted: December 07, 2006 at 05:19 PM (#2254192)
Oh yeah -- I am assuming you mean Tommy Leach. I like Terry Leach's .585 WP and 119 career ERA+, but his career length leaves a little to be desired.

I just went over my notes on Leach -- he is behind the other throwing infielder candidates because he had over 1000 games in the outfield.
   269. Daryn Posted: December 07, 2006 at 05:22 PM (#2254202)
Doc, you should add Wagner to that chart -- he does pretty well.
   270. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2006 at 05:36 PM (#2254232)
So perhaps the application of some kind of tiered ERA+ discount based on era and total innings is appropriate to modern relievers to make their numbers comparable across time with previous generations?

Maybe, but continuing on my theme of suggesting the relevance of a stats we already have, let me suggest that lookinat at runs saved above replacement might put the relief aces further into balance with the closers. As the conversation on the 1992 thread is showing, replacment level is a messy matter, but it's relevant here. The reason why you might like to have your ace reliever throwing 130 innings instead of 65 innings, if the ace will hold up under that load, is so you won't have to give those 65 late-game innings to _somebody else_. How many games now are lost in the sixth inning because the starter is done and the team doesn't have the arms to get the game from the starter to the closer? Managers have generally decided (and when you can carry so many pitchers their choice makes sense) that it is better to have a maximum-effectiveness closer and to take your chances getting to him, but the way in which the relief aces of yesterday catch up to the modern closer in value, I think, is in the value above replacement level that they gain by taking those innings from the pitchers of questionable effectiveness who now have the role of shepherding the game through innings 6-8.
   271. TomH Posted: December 07, 2006 at 05:41 PM (#2254242)
Thanks for the Fox responses. Especially you, "Drayn" :)

Relievrs ERA davantage - need study on how it has changed from 1965 to 2000, as IP/G has decreased; more inherited runners, partial innings, less times through the lineup. Right now, I'd guess it's proper to add .25 to Fingers/Goose ERA, but more like .5 for Hoffman/Nen/Wagner
   272. rawagman Posted: December 07, 2006 at 05:48 PM (#2254257)
Tom - I wanted to provide another viewpoint on Nellie Fox. I had him lurking off ballot for a while until I noticed that his ink told a very different story than his OPS+ numbers. Ink isn't everything, but it shows good effectiveness. Having a higher black ink score than say Larry Doyle, really looks good. My defensive measures are crude, but I rate Fox with my maxuimum defensive score for a 2B.
Also, 12 All-Star appearances speaks very highly of prolonged contemporary opinion. And to do it all, consistently over a prolonged period really works for me.
I've never given him an elect-me spot, but I think he should be in.
   273. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2006 at 05:58 PM (#2254281)
Anyways, the answer I got was that it evens out because the first inning is usually worth less than a run or so. I am not sure if I buy that any inning should be worth less than one or if leverage should be ignored for starters when we compare them to relievers. My best guess is that we should try and compare relievers to reievers first instead of other pitchers.

Mathematically, if one sets the leverage at the start of the game equal to one, as the BP leverage stat does, (A leverage of 1.00 is the same importance as the start of a game.), then some innings will have leverage lower than one. To return to the team trailing 12-3 in the 7th inning above, it's clear that there is much less chance of the trailing team winning this game than there was when the game began. Do you really care if your pitching staff gives up another 3 runs at this point, when it is so unlikely that you can score the 10 runs you need to win?

You could calculate leverage for starters, but there are two compelling reasons not to do so: 1) because starters throw lots of innings and throw them early in the game, their leverage stays close to 1.0 anyway, and 2) because a starting pitcher's successful pitching may well _lower_ his leverage as a game progresses, using a leverage score may not help you arrive at a more accurate understanding of the starting pitcher's value, because higher leverage doesn't necessarily correlate with pitching success for a starter.

Therefore, it seems like a convenient and fair analytical shortcut just to treat starting pitchers as having a leverage of 1.0 and leaving it at that, though one might legitimately give some sort of a bonus to starters who throw an exceptionally high number of complete games (this was discussed a bit when we were talking about Marichal/Drysdale/Bunning).

Because a relief pitcher's usage is managed partly on the basis of leverage and his workload is reduced from a starters to make him available in high-leverage situations, however, his leverage is making a significant contribution to his value, because he is being saved for valuable innings, so that he can in turn save his team. In comparing relievers to starters, then, we can, I believe, use leverage as part of the calculation of a reliever's value that accurately weighs a reliever's work against a starter's work, or against a position player's work.

(It's not the SPs who have the real low leverages, btw, -- it's the middle relievers and the mop-up men. When a relief ace moves to set-up man in late career, for example, his leverage drops somewhat, which accurately reflects his reduced role on his team, though I think trusted set-up men probably still have leverages above 1.0.)
   274. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 07, 2006 at 05:59 PM (#2254285)
Wagner: 703 innings, 179 LEV, 181 ERA+, 281 RSAA, 40 RSAA/100

That'll play.

And just to provide more ballast...Mike Williams.

Williams: 461 innings, 132 LEV, 104 ERA+, 15 RSAA, 3 RSAA/100

Williams is pitching in the same leverage as the elite pre-closer relievers are despite pitching fewer innings and with less effectiveness. But Williams' peers, elite and otherwise, are pitching in situations that are 40% more leveraged with super ERA+s.
   275. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2006 at 06:06 PM (#2254295)
I agree that we should compare relievers to their own contemporaries at that position, but relief pitching should still be a subset of pitchers in general. IOW, if you feel that more relievers need to be inducted, than less starters should be elected then.
   276. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2006 at 06:13 PM (#2254304)
I'm with Tom on Nellie Fox. I'm not strongly against Fox: he's in my top 20, but he trails Bancroft, Leach, and Maranville, all of whom are on my ballot.

Win Shares overrates Fox in comparison to this trio because its batting replacement value is _far_ too low, so Fox's durability gets him more batting credit than his performance warrants. Durability is a fine thing, esp. in a middle infielder, and Fox's durability should give him certain advantages over less durables like Bancroft and Leach.

But not too much . . .

I have been comparing BRAA/BRAR to batting win shares in my assessment of Rusty Staub in comparision to contemporary outfielders (a study which I will post when I have time to format the large tables correctly -- O for a text editor that wouldn't require me to totally re-format my spreadsheets!), and I have found that the win shares 0 point for batting is about 7 win shares/162 games higher that WARP's batting replacement level, and I am much more inclined to believe that WARP is setting this line at the correct level than that WS is. Fox gains, therefore, somewhere between 1/2 and 1 batting win share per season more than he merits, when measuring his value for playing in 154 games per season against the value accumulated in the 135 games that is probably a typical season for Bancroft and Leach. Win shares also skews batting win shares very heavily, I have found from this same study, to hiters at the top of the order, which Fox certainly was during his prime. (Rose & Brock especially pile up win shares quite out of proportion to their offensive stats, which can only be attributed to their being leadoff hitters). At a guess, that is giving him another win share per season that he doesn't really merit (I know that the value vs. ability issue arises when we look at win shares and leading off, but again, if the replacement level is too low, then leadoff hitters who make a lot of outs are being insufficiently penalized for that in the WS analysis).

If you dock Fox 1.5 win shares a season during his prime to adjust his record for these overstatements of his value, his win shares statistical edge disappears.

I don't think it would be a huge mistake to elect Fox, but I don't support his election at the present time, and I think there are similar players who are better, and whom we are underrating because we are not alert to the consequences of win shares' too-low batting replacement level.
   277. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2006 at 06:17 PM (#2254312)
I have found that the win shares 0 point for batting is about 7 win shares/162 games higher that WARP's batting replacement level, and I am much more inclined to believe that WARP is setting this line at the correct level than that WS is.

That is at best, unclear, and at worst, misleading.

What I mean is that a hitter who earns 0 BRAR in 162 games in WARP will earn about 7 batting win shares. WS is giving positive value to performance that WARP does not view as having positive value.
   278. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 07, 2006 at 06:18 PM (#2254315)
Chris, your point about replacement is a great one. I hadn't considered that aspect of it (obviously!). Though I'm not sure I'd buy that an 8th-inning guy (the set-up man) is a replacement level pitcher nor that his LEV is substantially likely to be lower than 1.00. Looking at the set-up man in six random bullpens of 2006 (set-up defined subjectively as the guy I pick who is not the closer but appears to be the #2 dude in the pen):

PHI: Geary (91 innings, 2.96 ERA, 1.04 LEV)
PIT: Torres (93 innings, 3.28 ERA, 1.51 LEV)
SFG: Correia (70 innings, 3.49 ERA, 0.87 LEV)

TOR: Speier (59 innings, 2.98 ERA, 1.46 LEV)
DET: Zumaya (83 innings, 1.94 ERA, 1.49 LEV)
TEX: Bauer (71 innings, 3.55 ERA, 0.92 LEV)

None of those guys' ERAs suggests replacement, and their combined LEV is in the 1.20 region. Small sample warnings in effect.
   279. Mark Donelson Posted: December 07, 2006 at 07:24 PM (#2254408)
Though I'm not sure I'd buy that an 8th-inning guy (the set-up man) is a replacement level pitcher

So wouldn't that argue for using RSAA or PRAA rather than RSAR or PRAR for closers? (I prefer it anyway, since I'm more interested in how HOM candidates excel above average players than above replacement-leve ones, but that's just me.)

You could say that the more a closer can pitch, the less you have to use a replacement level guy in the 6th, say--the effect trickles backward. But that also starts getting into issues of how long starters last in games (which is why Jaret Wright was far less useful last season for the Yanks than some of his numbers make it appear--but I digress); it's not all up to the closer.

And certainly in the Fingers era, you're not talking about a lot of replacement-level relievers coming in to pitch middle innings, as you are today. Some of that, of course, is because Fingers, Gossage, and the like pitched multiple innings, but a lot of it is because starters pitched deeper into games, too, isn't it?

I'm sort of rambling here...but I think saying the great/very good closer allows you to avoid using replacement-level pitchers in the 6th is overstating things a bit.
   280. TomH Posted: December 07, 2006 at 08:18 PM (#2254468)
Leverage, in another context. Leadoff hitters have a leverage of .95

Leadoff hitters, throughout MLB history, have typically batted with 20% to 25% fewer men on base than 2 thru 9 hitters.

As a rule, we ought to devalue the WARP and WS and LW accumulated by leadoff hitters by about 5% as compared with most other hitters (a cursory look at leadoff hitter RBI totals wil show how this effect is important; it's amazing how few some guys will drive in; if you look at R+RBI leaders, #1 guys will almost neverr show up on the lists). Of course, they do get to bat at least 10% more often than other hitters, which menas they are still valuable. But LW/WARP/WS already gives them this credit, without penalizing them for their lower leverage.
   281. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2006 at 09:53 PM (#2254626)
And certainly in the Fingers era, you're not talking about a lot of replacement-level relievers coming in to pitch middle innings, as you are today. Some of that, of course, is because Fingers, Gossage, and the like pitched multiple innings, but a lot of it is because starters pitched deeper into games, too, isn't it?

Of course, the innings Fingers and Gossage were throwing weren't the only factors in not having so many weak middle relievers pitching in the 1970s, but when your top pitchers throw more innings, overall, they take innings away from the team's _weakest_ pitchers, seldom from each other, which is why runs saved above replacement is a meaningful measure for both starters and relievers. Since a (smart) team will only use a pitcher as closer if he is above average in effectiveness, RSAA is a very important measure for closers, of course, but when comparing different usage patterns for closers, RSAR still matters.

Leverage, in another context. Leadoff hitters have a leverage of .95. . . . As a rule, we ought to devalue the WARP and WS and LW accumulated by leadoff hitters by about 5% as compared with most other hitters.

These are fine points! Have you checked WARP, Tom, to ascertain that they do _not_ adjust for this? I have found that WARP overvalues leadoff hitters much less than WS, but that may be primarily because of WARP's higher replacement level, not because it normalizes opportunities in some way to balance increased PA and decreased leverage for leadoff hitters.
   282. TomH Posted: December 07, 2006 at 10:20 PM (#2254670)
No, I have not fine-tooth-combed WARP enough to be sure about this; I guess I should hedge and say I did not see it mentioned anywhere semi-prominently, so I assume (I know, when you assume...) it is not adjusted.
   283. Jim Sp Posted: December 07, 2006 at 11:52 PM (#2254775)
Fox from 1951-1960 was a good hitter with a great glove. He has some seasons at the beginning and end where his glove is carrying his bat, but in between he's a great player, a legitimate MVP candidate in 1957 and 1959. Win Shares overrates Leach as he was playing in a weak NL (dominated by Cubs, Pirates, Giants). Leach is a stretch to put in the comparison set for Fox, as he was moved from 3B to the outfield. The others are comparable but not quite as good.
   284. Michael Bass Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:18 AM (#2255069)
Hey guys, it's been a while. Long story short, my computer crashed in the summer, and I hadn't exactly backed up recently. And by recently, I mean ever. All my records and such were lost, and I lacked the motivation to get back up to date, so I let it drop for a while (though I've kept reading the whole time). A few weeks ago, I started to work my way back up, slowly, and finally tonight I'm fully caught up. I went back to the beginning, and put together year by year ballots and PHOM inductions, figuring that was the best way to make sure I missed nothing, and to ensure I was getting the balance I wanted.

My methods have changed slightly, but are still similar to what they were. I still use WARP3 as my primary tool, with mental adjustments to downgrade (not eliminate, but downgrade) the timeline. I may have gone too far in that direction, as my ballot has exactly 2 players whose careers took place mostly after integration, but I'm pretty comfortable with where I'm at there. I prefer gloves with moderate bats to bats with terrible gloves; both Stargell and Killebrew are not in my PHOM, though they're in the queue. I'm still peak oriented, but my system is much more friendly to long career candidates than it used to be, when those long careers stand out, or have an extended prime, if not an outstanding peaks.

For the record, the PHOM is from scratch; there are people inducted who I wouldn't have dreamed of supporting at the time, and people not inducted who I loved at the time.

Anyway, I thought it best to post my ballot in the discussion thread first to make sure I'm not missing anything important; I've participated in something around 50 elections, so I've got the format down, but there may be a detail (or player) that I've missed.

-------------------------------------------------------------

PHOM this year is one newcomper and two guys already elected: Carew, Freehan, and Three Finger Brown. In fact Brown gets in almost 70 years after the electorate put him in.


1. Rod Carew (PHOM 1991) - Mostly a career guy, but his peak and prime centered around the mid-70s takes a back seat to no one. It's worth pointing out that WARP doesn't see him as a terrible fielder, slightly below average at 2B, above at 1B.

2. Dobie Moore (PHOM 1932) - I believe he is Jennings, who I loved, with a slightly lower peak, and a longer career (that was still short-ish, even with 2 or so years of army credit). All evidence points to a high quality bat and A level fielder at shortstop. I'm partial to fielders at shortstop, as you'll see later, and add in a bat, you get a high ballot spot.

3. Ken Boyer (PHOM 1975) - One of the all time greats in fielding at 3B, and a very good hitter as well. Career not overly longer, but a very strong combined bat/glove prime.

4. Fred Dunlap (PHOM 1926) - I'm close to alone on this one. My case for him is simple, he was one of baseball's best players for 6 straight years. Win shares underrates him, just as it overrates pitchers from the era. Very good hitter, great fielder from an era when fielding meant more.

5. Bob Elliot (PHOM 1968) - Never understood the lack of love for him. I have always viewed him as very close, just short of Stan Hack. This time around, I liked Hack a lot, so Elliot slots in very highly, as we're real deep into the backlog at this point.

6. Bob Johnson (PHOM 1971) - Maybe the foremost all-prime career. Gets no minor league credit despite his late start (it was investigated at the time, he was just a late bloomer). Like Elliot takes a slight minus from his raw stats for the inflated 44-45 years when they were playing with a bunch of AA guys. Clockwork hitter for 12 of his 13 years.

7. Phil Rizzuto (PHOM 1972) - Scooter is the first pure glove man on my ballot; and outstanding shortstop with an average bat (MVP level the year he was more than an average bat). Add in 3 years of war credit (which came right in the middle of his best years), and you get him to this spot.

8. Quincy Trouppe (PHOM 1973) - All evidence points to a very strong bat for a catcher. He would have to be a horrible fielder to not make my ballot given what I believe of his bat, and there's no evidence he was horrible; probably a solid C.

9. Rabbit Maranville (PHOM 1976) - Rizzuto for an earlier generation. Longer career (gets nearly a year of war credit), doesn't have the one year peak of Rizzuto, and was a moderately worse hitter. But an amazing fielder forever. I'll be a big Ozzie supporter, and this guy was Ozzie-lite.

10. Bucky Walters (PHOM 1979) - Had a very nice peak just before the war, and some shoulder seasons before that and during the war.

11. Dick Redding (PHOM 1981) - Had a nice career length, and the numbers indicate a strong peak as well. Not long enough career or high enough peak to go higher than this, but enough of both to land here.

12. Urban Shocker (PHOM 1942) - Nice prime, nice 1920-1923 peak, all in the strong league at the time.

13. Burleigh Grimes (PHOM 1986) - Long career, wrong league, but some nice seasons along the way. He's in my view what Eppa Rixey (who I didn't like) was to most other people. Not overly enthused by him, or anyone else on this portion of the ballot (after Trouppe I'd say), but we're deep into the backlog, both for PHOM purposes and for my ballot.

14. Dave Bancroft (PHOM 1987) - Rizzuto-esque candidate. A little more consistent bat, not quite the glove, though still real good with it. Long career, plenty of prime.

15. Bill Monroe (PHOM 1930) - Largely forgotten 2B from the first documented days of the Negro Leagues, was a solid glove a pretty good bat for a long time. In retrospect, wish we'd centered on him, rather than Grant, about whom there was very little evidence and a whole lot of guesswork.


16. Thurman Munson (PHOM 1987) - Plenty of defense, plenty of hitting, durable.
17. Jake Beckley (PHOM 1931) - Yeah, I'll never hear the end of this one, but his career stands out for the era, even if he's still peakless.
18. Dizzy Dean (PHOM 1988) - I wonder how many ballots have Beckley and Dean side by side. Anyway, all peak, obviously.
19. Lave Cross (PHOM 1988) - Back to the career, plus a touch of catching credit (even when not catching, he played a tough position and played it well).
20. Jimmy Wynn - Nice hitter, career's a little short considering he's an outfielder, and his fielding is not a plus (or a minus, but he needs the help).

Other top 10 returnees

21. Nellie Fox - Basically Rizzuto, but at 2B rather than SS, and the difference hurts on a ballot this bunched up.
67. Pete Browning - Not in love, no fielding, career is short for an OF.
33. Charlie Keller - Missed some games at his peak which kept it from being high enough to overcome his very short career. Only 1.5 years of war credit.
NR. Edd Roush - Consistently missing games, in the weak league, not a good fielder, not a great hitter. Pass.
   285. Michael Bass Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:19 AM (#2255071)
Er, sorry about that, can someone add a close bold tag after Bancorft's name?
   286. Rob_Wood Posted: December 08, 2006 at 05:40 AM (#2255200)
While I agree that it is difficult to rank the six players TomH discussed above, here are my views:

Maranville and Aparicio are very similar (subpar offense, outstanding defense; I give a slight nod to Little Looie for his better defense.

Leach and Traynor are similar (good offense, very good defense); I give a slight nod to Traynor since Leach
spent so much time in the outfield

Fox and Bancroft are very similar (very good defense, decent offense); Fox is definitely ahead due to his
longer career.

In sum, I am fairly confident in my ranking of these players as follows:
Fox
Traynor
Aparicio
Maranville
Leach
Bancroft
   287. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 08, 2006 at 05:49 AM (#2255211)
I want to say that I am against deductions for hitting leadoff. Those extra at bats are real value given to a team. Is it completely fair? No, but then again but seasons hitting leadoff are worse than bad seasons hitting 7th.
   288. yest Posted: December 08, 2006 at 06:35 AM (#2255257)
</b>Fox and Bancroft are very similar (very good defense, decent offense); Fox is definitely ahead due to his
longer career.


don't forget that Fox was one of the best hitters in the leauge at his peak
   289. Paul Wendt Posted: December 08, 2006 at 06:43 AM (#2255262)
</b>
Daryn:
Doc, you should add Wagner to that chart -- he does pretty well.

Franco and Henke

TomH:
Relievers ERA davantage - need study on how it has changed from 1965 to 2000, as IP/G has decreased; more inherited runners, partial innings, less times through the lineup. Right now, I'd guess it's proper to add .25 to Fingers/Goose ERA, but more like .5 for Hoffman/Nen/Wagner

Do we have more inherited runners and partial innings? One point on the contrary: it seems common to me now that some pitchers enter the game almost exclusively at the start of the ninth inning.

Chris Cobb:
2) because a starting pitcher's successful pitching may well _lower_ his leverage as a game progresses, using a leverage score may not help you arrive at a more accurate understanding of the starting pitcher's value, because higher leverage doesn't necessarily correlate with pitching success for a starter.

Yes, if we measure leverage when the pitcher enters the game and also at the beginning of each full inning, leverage and effectiveness will be independent for LOOGY (term?); nearly independent for a modern closer, because we don't often take multiple readings in one game; clearly dependent for a starter. In a 4.50 run environment, peak-Pedro and three teammates yield 2, 3, 4, and 5 runs in eight innings. The 8th and 9th inning leverage readings are low for peak-Pedro and high for the 4-run/8-inn man.

Chris Cobb:
Fox's durability should give him certain advantages over less durables like Bancroft and Leach.

You probably know, but just in case: four of his seven years as a mainly-infielder were under the 140-game schedule (3 of his 5.5 seasons-equivalent by playing time).

Mark Donelson:
And certainly in the Fingers era, you're not talking about a lot of replacement-level relievers coming in to pitch middle innings, as you are today. Some of that, of course, is because Fingers, Gossage, and the like pitched multiple innings, but a lot of it is because starters pitched deeper into games, too, isn't it?

And some teams used several good relief pitchers. For one, or five, the 1971-1975 Oakland A's didn't give innings to bad relief pitchers, and didn't give many innings to mediocre relief pitchers.
1971 Oakland A's (each season is linked to the next one)
   290. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 08, 2006 at 01:23 PM (#2255340)
Glad to see that you're back, Michael!

Fixed the bold problem, BTW. ;-)
   291. Chris Cobb Posted: December 08, 2006 at 02:59 PM (#2255365)
I want to say that I am against deductions for hitting leadoff. Those extra at bats are real value given to a team. Is it completely fair? No, but then again but seasons hitting leadoff are worse than bad seasons hitting 7th.

But if the value of every given PA is overrated by win shares, then the more at bats a player gets, the more overrated he will be simply for showing up.

don't forget that Fox was one of the best hitters in the leauge at his peak

We'll just have to disagree about that.

By a few pertinent statistics, let's compare Fox to a leadoff hitter who truly has a claim to be among the best hitters in his league: Pete Rose

Times in league top 10 in OBP:

Fox: 2
Rose: 10

Times in league top 10 in OPS+:

Fox: 0
Rose: 3

Times league top 10 in Outs // Times in league top 10 in At Bats:

Fox: 12 // 12
Rose: 13 // 18

Times in league top 5 in Outs // Times in league top 5 in At Bats:

Fox: 11 // 10
Rose: 4 // 12

Times leading league in Outs:

Fox: 2 // 5
Rose: 0 // 4

Durable top-of-the order hitters are going to make a lot of outs, because they are going to get a lot of PAs, but a great leadoff hitter shouldn't be leading the league in outs. There's no other spot in the batting order where putting the ball in play rather than taking a walk is a _less_ valuable skill. Giving extra PAs to Rose was clearly advantageous because he was turning them into outs at a rate that was clearly lower than league average. Giving extra PAs to Fox when he was turning them into outs at a rate not so different from league average was not so advantageous. The "in top 5 in outs" more times than "in top 5 at bats" is a pretty telling statistic.

Now, Fox may have been hitting #2 behind Aparicio for part of this time (what a high-octane top of the order!): it's hard to tell from the statistics, but it looks like Fox was logging more PA/game than Aparicio through the 1950s.

Anyway, I'm not arguing that Fox necessarily isn't a HoMer, but he has _one_ season in which he might have been one of the top 10 hitters in his (weak) league: 1957. If you want a second baseman who was among the best hitters in his league, see Joe Morgan. But we've been over that ground recently, haven't we?

Anyway, the argument about leadoff hitters deserving credit for their extra PAs needs to be considered in light of the extra outs the leadoff hitters can make with all those extra PAs. If they don't make those outs, it's a big boost for the team: if they do, well, it's not so helpful.
   292. rawagman Posted: December 08, 2006 at 03:07 PM (#2255372)
I don't think that support for Nellie Fox means that Nellie Fox is being seen as equal to Joe Morgan and/or Pete Rose. I defenitely had Morgan as far better than Fox and while I haven't yet run Rose through my system, I think he'll also top Fox comfortably.
However, as I do support Nellie, in the sense that he should be among those in the Hall of Merit, using, as we do, the Hall of Fame as a numerical basis for inclusion, what I'm trying to say is that Fox is worthy enough for inclusion. Not inner circle, but in.
   293. sunnyday2 Posted: December 08, 2006 at 03:15 PM (#2255379)
Can't find the reply any more to the question, Where was Ellis Kinder prior to 1946? Here's what I found.

1938 Started with Mayfield (Kitty League) at age 24, then to Jackson (Southern) (0-0).
1939-41 Jackson with records of 17-12, 21-9 and 11-6. The latter is in a half a season, don't know why it's a partial.
1942 Binghampton (Eastern)
1943 Memphis (Southern)
1944 Memphis 20-6, unanimous all-star
1945 Military
1946 St. Louis Browns

Someone had said he was suspended in 1944, but that does not appear to be the case. Also it is not entirely clear to me he was in the military in 1945. One source said so, another seemed to suggest he was still pitching. There was also one report that seemed to suggest that he was with Binghampton in 1941, which if true would explain why he was with Jackson less than the full season. But I found no records for him from Binghampton.

I dunno. A guy who wins 20 games in the Southern League as early as 1940 could be argued to be worthy of some extra MLE credit. But of course he was pitching in 1944 and was not in even the weakened MLs of that year. Maybe he was grossly overlooked and shoulda been in the bigs, I don't know. But 1945 looks like a good candidate for MLE credit, if we can confirm that he was indeed in military service.

But all in all, though, one year is probably the limit and that's not enough to get him into the HoM. You'd probably have to have him in the bigs (MLE) from 1941 or so to get a HoM-worthy or even a HoM-consideration-worthy resume, and that would be too much. Like I say, he was pitching and the ML scouts didn't seem to see him as a MLer even during the war.
   294. Chris Cobb Posted: December 08, 2006 at 03:41 PM (#2255408)
I don't think that support for Nellie Fox means that Nellie Fox is being seen as equal to Joe Morgan and/or Pete Rose.

Well, I think Fox's offensive value is being overrated for reasons I have already indicated, and I suppose, given last week's election, that I am a bit sensitive to claims about Fox being "one of the best hitters in the league." I was attempting to show what the profile of player who didn't hit a lot of home runs and could reasonably considered as one of the best hitters in the league would look like, and show clearly that Fox was not a hitter of that calibre.
   295. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 08, 2006 at 05:15 PM (#2255495)
I am not sure I completely buy teh premise that WS is overrating the value of each at bat because of a low replacement level. If a team of replacement level players will win say, 35-40 games in any given year then those are real wins that have to be factored into any measure that wants to match real wins. Of course this is one reason to looka t both Warp and WS (which I do, though I post in WS sorta like a first and second language) because of teh differences in replacement level. But I am not sure I would simply deduct WS from anyone because of a low replacement level or a surplus of AB's. It is measuring something and should be seen for what it is, a stat tracking actual wins. If you want to measure something else then another metric should be used.

Also, I also disagree with discounting Fox's WARP because of his extra AB's. Since WARP uses a hitting replacement level, then there is no reason to believe that each at bat is 'overvalued' (since WARP isn't tracking wins like WS, thsi could be a problem if true). I would just leave it as is.

As for Kinder, I would have to see how his MLE's woudl come out, but it looks like he has an arguemnt for credit in 1940, partially dependent upon what his records in 42 and 43 look like. 44 seems like a no-brainer, but then again it is in what must have been a pretty weak league at that point.
   296. Chris Cobb Posted: December 08, 2006 at 05:37 PM (#2255526)
I am not sure I completely buy teh premise that WS is overrating the value of each at bat because of a low replacement level. If a team of replacement level players will win say, 35-40 games in any given year then those are real wins that have to be factored into any measure that wants to match real wins. Of course this is one reason to looka t both Warp and WS (which I do, though I post in WS sorta like a first and second language) because of teh differences in replacement level. But I am not sure I would simply deduct WS from anyone because of a low replacement level or a surplus of AB's. It is measuring something and should be seen for what it is, a stat tracking actual wins. If you want to measure something else then another metric should be used. .

If the purpose of win shares is to accurately allocate proportional responsibility for each of a team's wins, then it would be correct for win shares to set the zero point more or less where it does.

However, if the electorate wants to use win shares as a measure of _value_ on the way to measuring _measuring merit_, then value above replacement is crucial to consider. If Star A in 135 games + replacement player B in 27 games together provide more value than Star B in 162 games, then Star A is more valuable than Star B. Win shares may allocate Star B more win shares than Star A, however, and if we assume that gross seasonal win shares is a sufficiently accurate measure for, say, peak value, then we may make a significant error in judgment about the relative merits of Stars A and B.

Insofar as Bill James has strongly suggested in his discussion of how win shares can be used to evaluate players that there is no need to bother identifying replacement level, his presentation of his system contributes to its misapplication in assessing merit, and when I say win shares sets its replacement level too low, what I really mean is that, if James wants the system to be completely accurate as a single-number assessment of seasonal player value, that doesn't need adjustment for replacement level, he has set the zero point too low.

I have long included a peak _rate_ stat in my system to balance against the potential for using bulk WS as a measure to overestimate the value of durable players, but I am no longer sure that is a sufficient correction, and I am also concerned that the electorate as a whole is overvaluing durability by accepting bulk WS as a straightforward measure of value.
   297. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 08, 2006 at 06:09 PM (#2255560)
I don't really see much call for Kinder to get MLE credit. Kiner didn't get it in the same situation (in war, then in majors), and I don't give it to Keller because of the that's-baseball clause that Sunny has famously coined.

Where I would consider Kinder as getting credit would be in a situation where his path to the majors was inhibited by any remnants of the reserve clause chaining him to a team irrespective of his performance. And I don't think that's terribly likely by 1940.

If this last scenario is true, crank up the MLE machine. Otherwise, nah.
   298. sunnyday2 Posted: December 08, 2006 at 07:17 PM (#2255636)
Kinder was 32 when he got to the bigs and he won 21 games in the Southern League 6 years earlier. And there was the war year in 1945 as an add-on.

I don't see Kiner as comparable at all--and that's not even considering, no "d."
   299. jimd Posted: December 08, 2006 at 08:22 PM (#2255701)
I want to say that I am against deductions for hitting leadoff. Those extra at bats are real value given to a team.

Here is another factor that has not been brought up in the leadoff batting discussion. The batting value systems (Runs Created, EQA, etc.) overvalue the contributions of leadoff hitters because they assume that the batter has an average number of baserunners on when he comes to the plate. A hitter that often hits in a baserunner poor environment contributes less base-advancement value than one that often hits in a baserunner rich environment. 20-25% of a leadoff hitter's PAs are at the beginning of a game; in a non-DH league, they also bat after the pitcher and the #8 hitter, additional baserunner poor situations. The singles, home runs, etc. of a leadoff hitter do not contribute as much value as does the typical single, home run, etc. so they do not create as many actual runs as the various formulae estimate.

You can counter that this is unfair to them because they may have the ability to be more valuable if they were utilized differently. And this is true to a point, but to take this viewpoint and then be fair to everybody else in the lineup, you have to give the others the kind of PAs that a leadoff hitter gets. Either way the leadoff hitter loses some relative value.
   300. TomH Posted: December 08, 2006 at 09:47 PM (#2255768)
...which is the reason Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams did not maximize their plate appaearances by batting leadoff, despite each having world-class on-base averages. They would have had 7% more plate apperances; and still would have been less valuable to their teams, as their positive contributions of walks, hits, and home runs would have accounted for far more than 7% fewer runs.
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