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

Sunday, February 11, 2007

1995 Ballot Discussion

1995 (March 5)—elect 3
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

467 157.4 1973 Mike Schmidt-3B
363 116.1 1971 Darrell Evans-3B/1B
301 109.8 1972 Buddy Bell-3B
289 108.5 1964 Tommy John-P
282 84.3 1975 Jim Rice-LF
206 90.9 1971 Chris Speier-SS
200 69.0 1974 Jim Sundberg-C
194 68.3 1970 Jerry Reuss-P*
192 68.3 1971 Doyle Alexander-P
173 54.9 1979 Dwayne Murphy-CF
159 62.8 1975 Kent Tekulve-RP
155 58.1 1975 Rick Rhoden-P
149 59.3 1977 Bob Stanley-RP
140 55.5 1978 Glenn Hubbard-2B
154 44.8 1974 Bob Forsch-P
146 46.0 1975 Manny Trillo-2B
134 38.2 1977 Lee Mazzilli-CF/PH
109 46.7 1977 Willie Hernandez-RP
131 37.6 1977 Tony Armas-RF/CF
126 38.8 1980 Leon Durham-1B
115 42.1 1977 Craig Reynolds-SS
102 43.4 1978 Shane Rawley-P
109 39.4 1977 Mike Krukow-P
118 36.0 1975 Alan Ashby-C

Players Passing Away in 1994
HoMers
Age Elected

None

Candidates
Age Eligible

92 1938 Jimmie Reese-2B/Coach
87 1953 Si Johnson-P
85 1951 Mike Kreevich-CF
82 1957 Ray Mueller-C
80 1953 Eddie Smith-P
80 1959 Ray Dandridge-3B
79 1957 Buddy Rosar-C
77 1955 Elbie Fletcher-1B
77 1959 Joe Dobson-P
77 1960 Allie Reynolds-P
75 1958 Don Kolloway-2B
72——Chub Feeney-NL President
68 1971 Harvey Haddix-P
66 1969 Johnny Temple-2B
63 1976 Hank Aguirre-RP
60 1969 Marv Throneberry-1B
54 1982 Cesar Tovar-CF/LF

Upcoming Candidate
37 1997 Eric Show-P

Thanks, Dan!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 11, 2007 at 09:43 PM | 343 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Page 2 of 4 pages  < 1 2 3 4 > 
   101. Daryn Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:18 PM (#2297928)
Since I am going to be Rice's #1 fan, I thought I'd post my preliminary ballot. I am quite uncertain about the placement of John, Rice, Evans and Nettles.


1. Mike Schmidt – pretty low batting average.
2. Lou Brock
3. Jake Beckley
4. Mickey Welch
5. Burleigh Grimes
6. Tony Perez
7. Dick Redding
8. Nellie Fox
9. Addie Joss

I don’t think any of the guys below this sentence are deserving.

10. Pete Browning
11. Luis Tiant
12. Rollie Fingers

13. Tommy John – not too far from Grimes, a step above Kaat. No credit for the surgery, but medical pioneers (even the guinea pigs) get my respect.

14. Darrell Evans – I think he is better than Nettles and not far from Perez. I am treating him as an average fielder, as I don’t trust the defensive metrics when they so clearly contradict the public opinion. I really don’t see him as far superior to Nettles as many seem to.

15. Graig Nettles – definitely better than Traynor, about equal to Boyer. Obviously, the defence is a big help.

16. Jim Rice – will I be his best friend? I like the 77-79 peak. I like the runs created in his ten year prime and I like his overall totals. I do adjust raw totals significantly, but I think people are holding Fenway too much against him. It feels like a cop out putting four newbies on the bubble here, but I really like my first 9 candidates and really have no positive HoMie feeling for anyone below Rice.

17. Orlando Cepeda
18. George Van Haltren
19. Jimmy Ryan
20. Sam Rice
21. Pie Traynor
22. Roger Bresnahan
23. Jim Kaat
24. Aparicio
25. Dizzy Dean
26. Tommy Leach
27. Schang
28. Gavvy Cravath
29. Buzz Arlett
30. Edd Roush
31. Duffy
32. Pinson
33. Bonds
34. Wynn
35. Bill Munroe
36. Hack Wilson
37. Bob Johnson
38. Frank Howard
39. Norm Cash
40. Rocky Colavito
   102. kwarren Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:46 PM (#2297953)
Ranking Darrell Evans against Charlie Keller is a task I am not looking forward to in this election.

Talk about cranberries and watermelons . . .

But it does look like the key assessment to make, for the electorate as a whole, is Evans v. Wynn v. Keller, though not many may actually rank them all that close to one another . . .

Fox is within striking distance, but as the recent returnees to the voting pool are not Fox fans, I think that his move toward election is going to be slowed. Plus, head-to-head comparisons of Fox to Graig Nettles and Buddy Bell, if folks bother to do them, really don't look helpful to Fox's case . . .



Darrell Evans.......12.5, 10.0, 8.5, 8.2, 8.2....(47.4)...115.6
Buddy Bell..........10.2, 9.8, 9.4, 9.0, 8.4....(46.8)...109.9
Graig Nettles.......10.7, 10.2, 8.9, 8.4, 8.2....(46.4)...107.2
Jim Wynn............11.0, 10.8, 10.0, 10.0, 9.2....(51.0)....93.4
Nellie Fox..........12.0, 9.8, 8.8, 8.4, 8.0....(47.0)....97.8
Charlie Keller......10.5, 10.4, 10.2, 9.2, 9.1....(49.4)....67.3
Al Rosen............12.1, 11.2, 9.1, 6.8, 6.7....(46.9)....52.4
   103. Mark Donelson Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:55 PM (#2297962)
I'm assuming that's with no war credit for Keller, kwarren?
   104. Mark Donelson Posted: February 15, 2007 at 12:04 AM (#2297970)
1975 prelim (after a big pitching overhaul). If nothing changes, my pHOM will welcome Schmidt, Tim Keefe (who I'd somehow lost track of some time ago, then rediscovered in my overhaul), and Dizzy Trout. Things might change, though. I have Evans above Nettles and on track for probable eventual pHOMness, in the mid-20s. Rice is around 60; Bell and John aren't close at all.

1. Schmidt
2. Dean
3. Keller
[3a. Keefe]
4. Williamson
5. Willis
6. E. Howard
7. Trouppe
8. Rosen
9. Browning
10. Cravath
11. Tiant
12. C. Jones
13. Fox
14. Cicotte
15. Roush
   105. kwarren Posted: February 15, 2007 at 12:10 AM (#2297979)
Murphy played the shallowest centerfield I have ever seen and, depending on the batter and pitcher, would actually play with his back to left or right field to get a better jump on the ball. I'm convinced he was the smartest centerfielder ever.

Really, I thought it was generally conceded that Devon White was the smartest centrefielder ever. What was it that conviced you it was Murphy, other that the way he pointed his back.
   106. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 15, 2007 at 12:44 AM (#2298008)
Well, 'zop's helped me with my WARP project from the start, and the salary estimator approach was actually his idea, so it's not surprising out voting patterns would be similar.
   107. Chris Fluit Posted: February 15, 2007 at 02:39 AM (#2298064)
101. Daryn Posted:
16. Jim Rice – will I be his best friend?

Probably not. It looks like I'm going to have Rice on my ballot, though it also looks like I might be the only one.
   108. jingoist Posted: February 15, 2007 at 02:45 AM (#2298067)
What I want to know is did Cool Papa turn the sheets down before he hit the switch or was he able to turn down, jump in and pull up quicker that the dying glow of the filament?
Can you imagine what those days on the road with the King and his Court were like? I imagine he must have spent about 150 nights a year out on the road.....the stories over dinner must of been pretty lame after the first 5o or so dinners together.
Imagine striking a hitter out pitching from second base?
That's either the greatest arm ever or the worst batter ever or a combination thereof.

Happy to see Frank Howard is receiving another review; I know we can get him to visit the site if he ever gets in.
   109. mulder & scully Posted: February 15, 2007 at 09:41 AM (#2298145)
A Third Base Comparison:

Third Base comparison from 1970s: Schmidt, Cey, Evans, Bando, Nettles, Bell, Brett, Perez with the end of Santo and Robinson thrown in for good measure. I am a Win Shares voter and I thought it would be helpful to look at how the various third basemen ranked year by year.

Rank among position players by third basemen by win shares.
1969:
AL:
3rd, Bando, 36 WS
4th, Killebrew, 34 WS
20th tied, Robinson, 21 WS

NL:
5th tied, Perez, 31 WS
15th tied, Santo, 26 WS

1970:
AL:
3rd tied, Harper, 33
6th tied, Killebrew, 30
18th, Bando, 24

NL:
2nd tied, Perez, 33
6th tied, Grabarkowitz, 29

1971:
AL:
3rd tied, Bando, 29
6th tied, Nettles, 27
6th tied, Petrocelli, 27
10th tied, Schaal, 26
15th tied, Melton, 23
15th tied, B Robinson, 23

NL:
1st, Torre, 41
7th tied, D Allen, 29

1972:
AL:
12th tied, Bando, 23
17th tied, Nettles, 21
17th tied, Petrocelli, 21
17th tied, McMullen,21

NL:
18th tied, Hebner, 22
20th tied, Santo, 21

1973:
AL:
2nd, Bando, 31
17th, Melton, 22
18th tied, Buddy Bell, 21

NL:
5th tied, Evans, 31
22nd tied, Bailey, 21
22nd tied, Garett, 21
22nd tied, Hebner, 21

1974:
AL:
5th tied, Money, 26
10th tied, B Robinson, 23
13th tied, Nettles, 22
19th tied, Bando, 21

NL:
1st, Schmidt, 39
6th, Evans, 28
17th tied, Cey, 23
19th tied, Hebner, 22

1975:
AL:
10th, Brett, 25
20th tied, Nettles, 21

NL:
2nd, Rose, 31
4th tied, Evans, 28
4th tied, Schmidt, 28
7th, Cey, 27
8th tied, Madlock, 26

1976:
AL:
1st, Brett, 33
4th, Nettles, 28
12th tied, Bando, 24
24th tied, Buddy Bell, 20

NL:
2nd, Schmidt, 35
4th tied, Rose, 30
6th, Cey, 27
9th tied, Madlock, 25

1977:
AL:
5th, Brett, 29
11th tied, Nettles, 25
11th tied, Harrah, 25
27th tied, DeCinces, 21

NL:
1st tied, Schmidt, 33
17th tied, Rose, 23
23rd tied, Cey, 21

1978:
AL:
6th tied, DeCinces, 27
8th, Nettles, 26
11th tied, Bando, 23
11th tied, Brett, 23

NL:
6th tied, Rose, 27
9th tied, Evans, 26
12th tied, Cey, 25
18th, Schmidt, 23

1979:
AL:
2nd, Brett, 33
15th tied, Harrah, 24
22nd, Buddy Bell, 22
23rd, Lansford, 21

NL:
1st tied, Schmidt, 33
5th, Larry Parrish, 28
10th tied, Cey, 25
18th tied, Evans, 23
18th tied, Garner, 23

1980:
AL:
1st, Brett, 36
15th tied, Harrah, 23
17th tied, Buddy Bell, 21

NL:
1st, Schmidt, 37
6th, Evans, 27
13th tied, Cey, 23

1981: Remember strike year so teams only played about 2/3 of a season
AL:
9th tied, Bell, 18
9th tied, Harrah, 18
9th tied, Lansford, 18
21st tied, DeCinces, 15
25th tied, Brett, 14

NL:
1st, Schmidt, 30 (projects to 45 at 162 games)
12th tied, Cey, 16
12th tied, Howe, 16
15th tied, Madlock, 15
18th tied, Evans, 14

1982:
AL:
3rd, Molitor, 30
6th tied, DeCinces, 28
6th tied, Harrah, 28
9th, Brett, 27
11th tied, Buddy Bell, 25

NL:
1st, Schmidt, 37
13th tied, Madlock, 25
21st tied, Horner, 21

1983:
AL:
2nd, Boggs, 34
11th tied, Brett, 24
14th, Molitor, 23

NL:
1st, Schmidt, 35
7th tied, Evans, 28 OOPs, he is a first baseman this year
17th tied, Wallach, 19

1984:
AL:
6th, Boggs, 28
10th tied, Buddy Bell, 26
14th, Lansford, 25

NL:
8th, Schmidt, 26
11th tied, Guerrero, 23
16th tied, Hubie Brooks, 21

1985:
AL:
2nd, Brett, 37
4th, Boggs, 31
16th tied, Molitor, 21

NL:
17th tied, Wallach, 23

1986:
AL:
1st, Boggs, 37
14th tied, Gaetti, 23
19th tied, Jacoby, 21

NL:
3rd, Schmidt, 31
12th tied, Buddy Bell, 23

1987:
AL:
2nd, Boggs, 32
13th tied, Lansford, 23
13th tied, Seitzer, 23

NL:
8th tied, Wallach, 28
10th, Schmidt, 26
13th tied, Howard Johnson, 24
21st tied, Terry Pendleton, 21

For comparison’s sake here are 1958 to 1968.

1958:
AL:
none

NL:
6th tied, K Boyer, 24
6th tied, Mathews, 24
11th tied, F Thomas, 20

1959:
AL:
5th tied, Yost, 27
11th tied, Killebrew, 23

NL:
2nd, Mathews, 37
8th, Boyer, 24
12th tied, Gilliam, 20

1960:
AL:
9th tied, Brooks Robinson, 21

NL:
1st tied, Mathews, 38
4th, Boyer, 31
10th tied, Hoak, 23

1961:
AL:
22nd tied, A Smith, 20 (not a joke)

NL:
4th, Mathews, 33
7th, Boyer, 27
12th tied, Hoak, 20

1962:
AL:
2nd tied, B Robinson, 27
14th tied, Rollins, 23
20th tied, Charles, 20
20th tied, Clete Boyer, 20

NL:
7th tied, Mathews, 26
12th tied, Demeter, 25
17th tied, Ken Boyer, 22

1963:
AL:
7th tied, Alvis, 25
7th tied, Ward, 25

NL:
4th tied, Mathews, 31
14th tied, Santo, 26
17th tied, K Boyer, 23

1964:
AL:
2nd, B Robinson, 33
7th tied, Ward, 27

NL:
1st, Allen, 41
3rd, Santo, 36
9th tied, K Boyer, 28
15th tied, Jim Ray Hart, 25

1965:
AL:
5th tied, B Robinson, 26
17th tied, McMullen, 21
17th tied, Wert, 21

NL:
2nd tied, Allen, 33
4th, Santo, 32
15th, Hart, 25
18th tied, D Johnson, 23

1966:
AL:
2nd, Killebrew, 33
10th tied, B Robinson, 24
14th tied, Foy, 22
16th tied, Buford, 21

NL:
2nd, Allen, 35
4th, Santo, 30
8th tied, Hart 27

1967:
AL:
12th tied, B Robinson, 24
20th tied, McMullen, 20

NL:
1st, Santo, 38
7th tied, Allen, 29
7th tied, Hart, 29

1968:
AL:
10th tied, B Robinson, 25
14th tied, McMullen, 24

NL:
10th tied, Santo, 28
14th tied, Perez, 25
17th tied, Shannon, 23
   110. mulder & scully Posted: February 15, 2007 at 09:46 AM (#2298146)
For summary’s sake, here are various league finishes among position players over 30 years, 1958-1987:
HoMers first (3rd base years only) an "x" means not in top 15 or 20

Mathews (including 53 to 57): 1st, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 6th, 2nd, 1st, 4th, 7th, 4th, x, x, x (53-66)

Boyer: (including 55 to 57): x, 12th, x, 6th, 8th, 4th, 7th, 17th, 17th, 9th, x, x (55-66)

Robinson: x, x, 9th, x, 2nd, x, 2nd, 5th, 10th, 12th, 10th, 20th, x, 15th, x, x, 10th, x (58-75)

Santo: x, x, x, 14th, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 1st, 10th, 15th, x, x, 20th, x (60-73)

Part-Timers
Allen: 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 7th, 7th (64-67, 71 he split evenly 3b/of)

Killebrew: 11th, 2nd, 4th, 6th (59, 66, 69, 70)

Rose: 2nd, 4th, 17th, 6th (75-78)

Torre: 1st, x, x (71, 72, 75)

Candidates:
Schmidt: x, 1st, 4th, 2nd, 1st, 18th, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 8th, 3rd, 10th, x (73-84, 86-88)

Bando: x, 3rd, 18th, 3rd, 12th, 2nd, 19th, x, 12th, x, 11th, x (68-79)

Bell: 18th, x, x, 24th, x, x, 22nd, 17th, 9th, 11th, x, 10th, Split leagues, 12th, x (73-87)

Cey: x, 17th, 7th, 6th, 23rd, 12th, 10th, 13th, 12th, x, x, x, x (73-85)

Evans: x, 5th, 6th, 4th, 9th, 18th, 6th, 18th, x (72-75, 78-82)

Nettles: x, 6th, 17th, x, 13th, 20th, 4th, 11th, 8th, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x (70-86)

Perez: x, 14th, 5th, 2nd, x (67-71)
and
Brett: x, 10th, 1st, 5th, 11th, 2nd, 1st, 25th, 9th, 11th, x, 2nd, x (74-86)
   111. DCW3 Posted: February 15, 2007 at 09:55 AM (#2298147)
1975:
AL:
10th, Brett, 25
20th tied, Nettles, 21

NL:
2nd, Rose, 31
4th tied, Evans, 28
4th tied, Schmidt, 28

7th, Cey, 27
8th tied, Madlock, 26


I talked about this in the Evans thread, but this completely defies reason. By various metrics, Schmidt was either 21 (BRAA), 23 (VORP) or 26 (RCAP) runs better on offense than Evans. So, according to Win Shares, Evans was worth 20-25 runs more on defense than Mike Schmidt?
   112. mulder & scully Posted: February 15, 2007 at 10:57 AM (#2298152)
DCW3 - First, Win Shares is another point of view. Second, Schmidt is the better player. Third, Evans was more valuable to his team, i.e. more responsible for his team's wins than Schmidt was to the Phillies, because his teammates sucked.

As for why, remember Win Shares is based on how great a share of a team's actual wins was an individual responsible for. (What horrible sentence construction.) It is meant to tell you who was responsible for what, NOT who was more over a replacement level.

1. Atlanta was four games better than its pythag record so there are 12 extra win shares to go around. Philly was only one game better.
2. Atlanta's hitters sucked. Dusty Baker and Evans were the only regulars with OPS+ over 94 and the team's OPS+ was 87. Therefore, they will earn a greater proportion of the batting win shares than they may have received on a team with other good hitters. Atlanta scored runs, someone has to get the credit.
3. Philadelphia's hitters did very well. Team OPS+ was 110. Luzinski actually led Schmidt in OPS+, 154 to 142. Dave Cash had a 104 and Jay Johnstone had a 133 in half time play while Garry Maddox had a 116. The hitting win shares will be more spread out on the Phillies.
4. Defensively, the Phillies struck 228 more hitters than did the Braves' pitchers. Therefore, Braves' fielders will earn more defensive win shares compared to Phillie fielders because they have more outs to make.
5. Look at the defensive numbers (Evans listed first each time):
Games: 156-151
PO: 162-131 (though Win Shares doesn't do anything with 3B PO)
Ass: 381-368 (1st and 2nd by large amount)
Err: 36-24
DP: 41-30 (this is huge) (1st and 3rd in league)
Range: 3.47 to 3.31 (1st and 2nd in league by a huge amount)

6. Win Shares is an accounting system - who is responsible for how many wins. The Braves surrounding Evans sucked compared with the players surrounding Schmidt. The Braves won 67 games, someone has to get the credit. Compare the starters on each team:
C: Bob Boone or Vic Correll - push offensively that year, but Boone defensively
1b: The corpse of Dick Allen or Earl Williams - Allen offensively
2b: Dave Cash has 24 OPS+ points over Marty Perez
SS: Larry Bowa has 34 OPS+ points over Larvell Blanks
LF: Greg Luzinski has 60 OPS+ points over Ralph Garr
CF/RF: Phillies used a three person combo to cover the 2 positions: Johnstone 133 OPS+ in 392 PA, Maddox 116 OPS+ in 410 PA, and Anderson 86 OPS+ in 264 PA.
The Braves had Baker and his 109 OPS+ in RF and split the rest of the OF with Lum 72 OPS+ in 403 PA, Office 91 OPS+ in 378 PA, and May 132 OPS+ but only 228 PA.

The Phillies have the advantage at 1st, 2nd, SS, LF, CF, RF, and 3rd. The only advantage the Braves have is in a number 4 or 5 outfielder.

As bad as the Braves' hitters were, their pitching and fielding wasn't much good either, so the Braves' hitters still earned 103 WS. As Evans was pretty good that year, he received a lion's share of the hitting win shares. Overall, Braves' hitters and fielders earned about 131 WS while Phillies' earned 175. Evans' teammates weren't very good so he received 21% of the available WS. That is a very high percentage. Schmidt had much better teammates so he received 16% of the available win shares.

You will see this happen at times for good players on crap teams. Someone has to get the credit.
   113. Dizzypaco Posted: February 15, 2007 at 01:08 PM (#2298154)
Third, Evans was more valuable to his team, i.e. more responsible for his team's wins than Schmidt was to the Phillies, because his teammates sucked.

For the most part, win shares doesn't work like that. People who's teammates sucked do not have much of an advantage, if any, over people who play for good teams.

1. Atlanta was four games better than its pythag record so there are 12 extra win shares to go around. Philly was only one game better.

This is a fair point.

5. Look at the defensive numbers (Evans listed first each time):

This is the point that needs addressing - again and again. Evans, was to all observers in 1975, not great defensively, not good, not average, but either mediocre or bad. So bad that the team felt they had to move him to first base even though they had no one to replace him with. Evans didn't disagree. The sportswriters didn't disagree. It was written that offensive struggles led to defensive struggles, and he had trouble throwing and catching the ball.

There are three possibilities.
First, that win shares (and WARP) are right, that he was brilliant despite the fact that absolutely no one noticed it at the time, and that every single observer was horribly wrong.
Second, that the observers were correct, that he couldn't handle the position, and that win shares and WARP are missing something absolutely huge.
Third, that he was pretty good, but not great, that there is some illusion that win shares and WARP is not picking up, and that observers of the time judged him somewhat harshly due to the errors, but they are not completely deranged.

I think the third possibility is the most likely, so I don't think any of the comparison that use win shares or WARP work when it come to Evans.
   114. TomH Posted: February 15, 2007 at 02:14 PM (#2298166)
John McGraw was offensively 50 runs / year better than the average 3Bman from 1894 to 1901.

John McGraw was more than 180 runs better than whoever was the 2nd best 3Bman in the major leagues between 1894 and 1901.

DATA:

1894-1901 all players whose main position was 3B (by season)
1000 PA min
ranked by OWP

rank player......... OWP PA RCAP
1 John McGraw.... .763 3632 400
2 Bill Joyce......... .724 2138 219
3 Jimmy Williams. .681 1144 .77
4 George Davis... .669 1600 118
5 Bobby Wallace.. .574 1251 .40
6 Jimmy Collins... .557 3924 .83
7 Bill Everitt........ .555 1647 .42
8 Bill Bradley....... .546 1178 .12
9 Fred Hartman.... .515 1979 ..7
10 Tommy Leach.. .490 1058 ..3
11 Harry Wolverton.485 1336 ..4
12 Arlie Latham.... .481 1157 -14
13 Lave Cross...... .465 4230 -48
14 Billy Nash........ .444 1965 -40
15 Harry Steinfeldt.393 1425 -32

McGraw also had a great year in 1893, but he played SS that year, so I ddin't include it. Of course, George Davis also had a great career, but he moved to SS in 1897, so many of his stats are not included here.

John McGraw was offensively 50 runs / year better than the average 3Bman from 1894 to 1901.

John McGraw was offensively 180 runs more valuable than the every other 3Bman in the major leagues between 1894 and 1901. And considering Bill Joyce could not play defense, overall the figure is probably a lot more than that.
   115. sunnyday2 Posted: February 15, 2007 at 02:37 PM (#2298174)
In short, there are a lot of 3B candidates in the borderline area--so, therefore, closely bunched. I would agree with what I think TomH is about, and that is that the assumption or presumption that the new guys necessarily go to the head of the pack is worth challenging. That's not to say I'm that high on McGraw. But there's a bunch of backloggers who look pretty similar to the new guys.
   116. Daryn Posted: February 15, 2007 at 02:42 PM (#2298176)
101. Daryn Posted:
16. Jim Rice – will I be his best friend?

Probably not. It looks like I'm going to have Rice on my ballot, though it also looks like I might be the only one.


I guess that is not surprising. OCF has you as my most similar voter.
   117. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 15, 2007 at 02:53 PM (#2298180)
Really, I thought it was generally conceded that Devon White was the smartest centrefielder ever. What was it that conviced you it was Murphy, other that the way he pointed his back.

Jeez, does everything require a snarky tone on this site? I think he's the smartest because he factored in the pitcher, the pitch and the batter in order to position himself in a way that would make him most likely to snag a soft flare to center and still be able to get after a ball in the gap. I've never seen a centerfielder do this as effectively as Murphy. He wasn't the fastest guy in center, but he made plays, much like Ripken at short, because of his intelligence and the work he put in before the game. The early 80's A's were one of the first team to use computer data for things like positioning and Murphy took every advantage of that. Maybe Devon White was smarter--we're obviously in the land of subjectivity here--but I thought I made it pretty clear that I AM CONVINCED (emphasize the "I" there) Murphy is the smartest centerfielder ever. Others might say Dom Dimaggio was or Tris Speaker or Mike Cameron or Brett Butler. I've never actually heard that there was a general consenus about this. Consider me schooled, I guess.
   118. andrew siegel Posted: February 15, 2007 at 03:05 PM (#2298182)
I like McGraw a lot and have him in my top 30. The big problem with McGraw is that he had only two seasons where he played anything approaching fulltime and was great. His third and fourth and fifth and sixth best seasons are good but not special. For example, both 1895 and 1897 are candidates for his third best seasons and in both those years he was a teammate of Hughie Jennings. Jennnings played a more difficult defensive position, played that position better compared to his peers than McGraw did, was a better offensive player than McGraw, and had more plate appearances. And it still took Jennings almost 100 years to get elected.
   119. fra paolo Posted: February 15, 2007 at 03:23 PM (#2298196)
There are three possibilities.
First, that win shares (and WARP) are right, that he was brilliant despite the fact that absolutely no one noticed it at the time, and that every single observer was horribly wrong.
Second, that the observers were correct, that he couldn't handle the position, and that win shares and WARP are missing something absolutely huge.
Third, that he was pretty good, but not great, that there is some illusion that win shares and WARP is not picking up, and that observers of the time judged him somewhat harshly due to the errors, but they are not completely deranged.


I'd suggest that option one might be nearer the mark. Or, alternatively, that option two is right and WS and WARP don't deduct enough for Errors.

Most baseball fans don't look all that much at defensive statistics, so if you say to them 510 assists for a 2b, it doesn't necessarily mean anything to them. Is that an historically high amount? It sure sounds like a lot.

On fielding percentage, here are Evans's Atlanta percentages versus those of the NL Gold Glove winner:

1972 Evans .941; GG .958
1973 Evans .953; GG .945
1974 Evans .955; GG .965
1975 Evans .938; GG .946

Evans stands comparison in a couple of seasons, in spite of his reputation. When you add in his assist totals

1972 Evans 273; GG 340 (122 vs 151 starts)
1973 Evans 325; GG 296
1974 Evans 367; GG 347
1975 Evans 381; GG 279

the case for WS and WARP looks good.

However, if all errors are really disastrous, then you can see Evans's detractors might have a point.
   120. kwarren Posted: February 15, 2007 at 03:26 PM (#2298201)
4. Defensively, the Phillies struck 228 more hitters than did the Braves' pitchers. Therefore, Braves' fielders will earn more defensive win shares compared to Phillie fielders because they have more outs to make.
5. Look at the defensive numbers (Evans listed first each time):
Games: 156-151
PO: 162-131 (though Win Shares doesn't do anything with 3B PO)
Ass: 381-368 (1st and 2nd by large amount)
Err: 36-24
DP: 41-30 (this is huge) (1st and 3rd in league)
Range: 3.47 to 3.31 (1st and 2nd in league by a huge amount)


There are three possibilities.
First, that win shares (and WARP) are right, that he was brilliant despite the fact that absolutely no one noticed it at the time, and that every single observer was horribly wrong.
Second, that the observers were correct, that he couldn't handle the position, and that win shares and WARP are missing something absolutely huge.
Third, that he was pretty good, but not great, that there is some illusion that win shares and WARP is not picking up, and that observers of the time judged him somewhat harshly due to the errors, but they are not completely deranged.

I think the third possibility is the most likely, so I don't think any of the comparison that use win shares or WARP work when it come to Evans.


Before you can make an assertion like this you at least need to hypothesize what it is the both Win Shares and WARP are missing? Whay are missing it? And why it is only Evans?

I suspect that your first possiblility is essentially the most likely and probable,

"win shares (and WARP) are right, that he was brilliant despite the fact that absolutely no one noticed it at the time, and that every single observer was horribly wrong."


and it's not like this is the first time that WARP and Win Shares picked up something that observers at the time failed to notice. See Koufax's whole mystique. Or Albert Belle's lack of HOF consideeration. Peoples initial attitudes/perceptions are awfully difficult to change once they have been internalized, no matter what evidence is given to them.
   121. Carl G Posted: February 15, 2007 at 04:27 PM (#2298237)
How about a current example? All the Sportswriters and ESPN anchors seem to think Derek Jeter is a great defensive SS, while every metric available ranks him in the lower half of the league. Which is right? I have no trouble whatsoever believing that the writers and observers at the time missed something in Evans defensive ability, because assessment of defense has generally seemed to be based on reputation; even long after the reputation has ceased being accurate. In other words, first impressions are hard to break.
   122. Dizzypaco Posted: February 15, 2007 at 04:36 PM (#2298245)
Are there any stats at all that suggest that he wasn't an excellent defender?

I posted this on the Evans thread, but its worth posting here.

Very good question. I've been resting my argument on the perceptions of observers at the time. So I decided to investigate the numbers, for 1975 in particular.

First, the Braves defense as a whole was terrible. Someone had to get the chances on the team. Their defensive efficiency was awful, despite having Niekro on the team (don't knuckleballers usually have a low BABIP?). Evans was part of a bad defensive group, of who many others also had above average defensive numbers.

Second, one of the things that makes Evans look so good is his putouts - in fact, they are much higher than the rest of the league. Its also what separates him from Schmidt defensively. Personally, I am less likely to see an unusually large putout total as part of an innate ability than a large assist total.

Third, the year after he was moved to first, Jerry Royster played the majority of the games for third base for the Braves. As far as I know, Royster isn't thought to be Brooks Robinson out there. And sure enough, Royster led the league in putouts at third base (with nearly as many as Evans), and had an extremely high range factor, second only to Schmidt as far as I can tell. This strongly suggests that there was something about those Braves teams that, despite being awful teams defensively as a whole, made their thirdbasemen look good.

I am now 100% convinced that Evans defensive numbers for at least part of his career are at least something of an illusion.
   123. kwarren Posted: February 15, 2007 at 05:17 PM (#2298278)
Dizzypaco Posted: February 15, 2007 at 10:36 AM (#2298245)
Are there any stats at all that suggest that he wasn't an excellent defender?


I doubt it. Are there? At least well above average, which I guess isn't necessarily excellent.


So I decided to investigate the numbers, for 1975 in particular.


Why just one-year? And why 1975? It is actually possible that you investigated all of Evans' season and used only 1975 because it was the only that could be manipulated to support your personal feelings.

Second, one of the things that makes Evans look so good is his putouts - in fact, they are much higher than the rest of the league.

As has already been pointed out

PO: 162-131 (though Win Shares doesn't do anything with 3B PO)

Second, one of the things that makes Evans look so good is his putouts

Actually all of the defensive metrics, except errors, show is Evans is very good, not that he simply "looks good". He actually was good. Just the same the Jeter is actually bad, Gold Gloves notwithstanding.


This strongly suggests that there was something about those Braves teams that, despite being awful teams defensively as a whole, made their thirdbasemen look good.


Yea, what would that be? Perhaps the record keepers were close friends with Evans and deliberately corrupted the data. What it actually suggests is that Evans was a very good defensive third baseman. No more, no less. But why would we want to conclude something like that.

I am now 100% convinced that Evans defensive numbers for at least part of his career are at least something of an illusion.

100% convinced...........at least part of his career.....soemthing of an illusion. Do I detect a little hedging here?


Anyways you have based your argument on put outs (that Win Shares igores), for one cherry picked seaon of his career, and the fact that his teammates weren't very good. Somehow that doesn't resonate as all that convincing. WARP and Win Shares are two independent systems than analyze his whole career and come to the same conclusion. I will stick with their conclusions for now.
   124. fra paolo Posted: February 15, 2007 at 05:18 PM (#2298281)
Second, one of the things that makes Evans look so good is his putouts

I'm pretty confident, although I haven't checked (I'm at work) that Win Shares almost certainly, and Davenport Translations probably, don't give an awful lot of credit to 3b putouts. Evans's high defenseive value will come through his assist totals.

All the Sportswriters and ESPN anchors seem to think Derek Jeter is a great defensive SS, while every metric available ranks him in the lower half of the league.

Funnily enough, I wonder if it would be better to say that Jeter isn't a bad defensive shortstop, but he's not a good one. One of the questions, to my mind, is whether the current fashion in sabermetric defensive studies overestimates the value of range, and underestimates the harm caused by errors. Hence my comment at the end of 119. Jeter, I thought, was fairly sure-handed, but of limited range.
   125. Carl G Posted: February 15, 2007 at 05:30 PM (#2298292)
'One of the questions, to my mind, is whether the current fashion in sabermetric defensive studies overestimates the value of range, and underestimates the harm caused by errors.'

Doesn't every ball that a player doesn't get to(that a Repl Defender would anyway) do as much damage as an error? How is letting singles through less harmful than touching the ball but not coming up with it? It seems to me that the 2 measures are interconnected and its why Ultimate Zone rating is probably the best defensive measure out there. Unfortunately, we don't have UZR available for most of baseball history.
   126. Dizzypaco Posted: February 15, 2007 at 05:33 PM (#2298295)
kwarren, there's a reason why people bother to look at play by play data when its available. Its that some teams and some pitching staffs are more likely to yield balls hit to some of the field than others. Its the idea that UZR and similar stats attempt to correct. If there is some tendency to give up more balls hit to the left side of the infield, its going to bias all stats equally. it doesn't matter that the formulas for WARP and win shares are independent, if they include the same bias. WARP and win shares are not infallible.

To summarize,

Braves third basemen put up great defensive numbers throughout the 70's, regardless of whether it was Evans or someone else playing there.
The Braves defense as a whole was terrible.
Braves third basemen had huge number of putouts in 74, 75, 76, and 77, which may have affected some of the stats.
Evans did not have a huge number of putouts when playing in San Francisco, so that part of an illusion would only extend to his Atlanta days.

He actually was good.

I'm assuming you have not reviewed any play by play data for Evans. You don't have a UZR rating, for example for Evans. I'm assuming that you are saying, "Evans made a lot of plays. Therefore we can be 100% sure that he was good."

I strongly disagree.
   127. Al Peterson Posted: February 15, 2007 at 05:47 PM (#2298312)
Braves of 73-75:

Pitching staff is comprised of low strikeout, high hits allowed pitchers, very right handed but whose pitching styles allows the other team to keep their RH batters in the lineup. Defense is no great shakes around you, giving up more baserunners. So you have plenty of people on the basepaths, no hard throwers so RH batters pull the ball down to 3B. Double play opportunities occur more frequently which lead to higher assist and DP totals.

To say Evans is not as good as the metrics is not the same as equating him to Bill Madlock or Dan Driessen trying to play third. It's just it was never heard "Darrell Evans, now that boy can pick it!"
   128. Carl G Posted: February 15, 2007 at 05:47 PM (#2298313)
'Braves third basemen had huge number of putouts in 74, 75, 76, and 77, which may have affected some of the stats.
Evans did not have a huge number of putouts when playing in San Francisco, so that part of an illusion would only extend to his Atlanta days.'

Again; 3B POs are not a major factor for Def WS so demonstrating that the Braves had alot of them doesn't debunk his Def WS total in the slightest.
   129. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: February 15, 2007 at 05:57 PM (#2298317)
'Tis I, the DZOP/B Williams Doubled to Catcher/Phil Hughes a Condom.

You'll note I keep a "'zop" at the end of my name for reference.

I still heavily weight 3-year peak. However, working with Dan (largely providing moral support to his ridiculously awesome endeavor) has convinced me to loosen up my peak requirements, however.

I still give a substantial non-quantitative bonus to 3-year-consecutive peak. That's how Keller ends up so high on my ballot, and Dean sneaks in.

But now, I treat peak as a "bonus" rather than as a ranking system. I'm going to be using the salary estimator as a "qualifier" and then rank with a combo of 3-year peak and total $ value, weighted approx fitty-fitty, with some exceptions for insane career $$ candidates and insane peaks which I think are worthy of HoM recognition (Dizzy ###### Dean, people, the man is a BEAST).
   130. kwarren Posted: February 15, 2007 at 06:03 PM (#2298324)
Braves third basemen had huge number of putouts in 74, 75, 76, and 77, which may have affected some of the stats.
Evans did not have a huge number of putouts when playing in San Francisco, so that part of an illusion would only extend to his Atlanta days.


Any argument that attempts to debunk Evans' defensive prowess on the basis on an unusual number of put-outs by Braves third baseman in general, misses the whole point that both Win Shares and WARP don't make any significant use of put-outs. In other words both WARP and Win Shares agree with you. The difference between your gut feeling and WARP/Win Shares with regard to Evan's defensive skills is not in put-outs or the Braves defense in general. So please stop suggesting that this is where WARP and Win Shares are wrong.
   131. Dizzypaco Posted: February 15, 2007 at 06:03 PM (#2298325)
Again; 3B POs are not a major factor for Def WS so demonstrating that the Braves had alot of them doesn't debunk his Def WS total in the slightest.

I'm curious, if its not the putouts, why does win shares love Evans so much? His assist totals were good, but nothing historic - there were other teams who had more assists from there third basemen. He made a lot of errors. His teams were terrible defensively, and didn't strike out a lot of batters. Is it just the double plays that turns him into Brooks Robinson at his best?

To say Evans is not as good as the metrics is not the same as equating him to Bill Madlock or Dan Driessen trying to play third. It's just it was never heard "Darrell Evans, now that boy can pick it!"

I agree with this - I'm not suggesting he was bad, or as bad as his manager's thought. But when evaluating him, there's a world of difference between saying he was a good but not great third baseman, and saying he was Brooks Robinson out there. And I don't think he was Brooks Robinson.
   132. Carl G Posted: February 15, 2007 at 06:11 PM (#2298336)
'And I don't think he was Brooks Robinson.'

I don't think anyone is saying he was.
   133. Kiko Sakata Posted: February 15, 2007 at 06:15 PM (#2298340)
Any argument that attempts to debunk Evans' defensive prowess on the basis on an unusual number of put-outs by Braves third baseman in general, misses the whole point that both Win Shares and WARP don't make any significant use of put-outs. In other words both WARP and Win Shares agree with you. The difference between your gut feeling and WARP/Win Shares with regard to Evan's defensive skills is not in put-outs or the Braves defense in general. So please stop suggesting that this is where WARP and Win Shares are wrong.

From post #110 on the Evans thread (sorry for the tackiness of quoting myself):

Looking at BPro, in 1976 Royster had a RATE of 112 at 3B. For his career, his RATE was 105 and his above-average (>100) seasons were 1976 (ATL), 1979 (ATL), 1980 (ATL), 1983 (ATL), and 1986 (SD). He mixed in a bunch of average/below-average seasons around those (some in ATL, though).

In 1977, the Braves regular third baseman was Junior Moore (first time I bet he's been mentioned in a HOM debate). His RATE was only 100, but over the rest of his career, his highest season rate was 87 (although that career consisted of 40 games for the White Sox). Then, in 1978, Bob Horner came around and put up a RATE of 113.

So Braves' 3B in general seem to do well by BPro. Given the records the Braves were putting up and their team defense in general, I do find it a little hard to believe that they had some savant-like skill at finding above-average defensive third basemen.
   134. DCW3 Posted: February 15, 2007 at 06:17 PM (#2298342)
'And I don't think he was Brooks Robinson.'

I don't think anyone is saying he was.


I think, in order for his Win Shares numbers to be credible, he would pretty much have to be.
   135. Chris Fluit Posted: February 15, 2007 at 07:19 PM (#2298405)
Interesting discussion on Darrell Evans.

The candidate I'm most curious about right now is backlogger Pete Browning. Browning had a bit of support early on but was basically knocked backwards when 1890s candidates Duffy, Ryan, Beckley and then Van Haltren became eligible. For nearly 80 elections, Browning sat behind at least three if not all four of those candidates. During that time, Beckley made the top ten 28 times, Van Haltren 23 times, Duffy 16 times and Ryan 8. Browning didn't make a top ten from 1906 to 1988. Now, he's made five recent top tens and has a fairly good shot at induction with several backlog elections coming up.

But is Browning really better than the '90s players of Beckley, Duffy, Van Haltren and sometimes Ryan? What's changed in the last ten elections that Browning has shot ahead of these guys and has a chance at election? Browning put up his numbers in a multiple league environment (two, occasionally three) and usually played in the weaker of those leagues. The 1890s players put up their numbers in a one-league environment. Browning's defensive numbers are absolutely awful. People are complaining about other players with bad defense, but Browning's fielding percentage was 13 points worse than the league average (.883 to .896 when playing OF, .880 to .893 overall).
   136. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 15, 2007 at 07:45 PM (#2298431)
'zop, another approach would just be to increase the exponentiality of the salary estimator until it fits your peak/career taste. It's perfectly simple since you have all the data. You'd still have to give a bonus for consecutivity or lack thereof, though. And as always, thanks for the support. mulder & scully asked a great question about team-level WARP on the thread for my data; I'm working hard on getting everything to add up ASAP.

Chris Fluit, Browning was--before necessary quality-of-play adjustments--easily twice the hitter (by rate) that Duffy was, and three times the hitter than Beckley or Van Haltren were. How you compare him to those guys depends on how much you weight

a) peak vs. career

b) difficulty of the AA

c) the importance of defense, and the reliability of measures of defense going that far back.

If Browning is climbing up the ladder, that suggests that the electorate is changing its views on these questions.
   137. rawagman Posted: February 15, 2007 at 10:47 PM (#2298575)
Pete Browning makes Gavy Cravath look like a GG fielder. There's that, and his serious lack of in-season durability (IIRC) that severly harm his standing in my eyes.
   138. kwarren Posted: February 15, 2007 at 11:07 PM (#2298588)
'And I don't think he was Brooks Robinson.'

I don't think anyone is saying he was.

I think, in order for his Win Shares numbers to be credible, he would pretty much have to be.


I have no problem at all with the credibility of his Win Shares or his WARP and I don't think he was Brooks Robinson. Errors really were all the rage back then, and they don't tell much of the story when evaluating defense.

Evans - 98 RAA, 348 RAR
Brooks - 231 RAA, 609 RAR.

Even with this acknowledged big fielding edge to Robinson we get the following total WARP comparison:

Brooks Robinson...11.4, 10.6, 10.3, 9.3, 8.7...(50.3).....123.4
Darrell Evans.....12.5, 10.0, 8.5, 8.2, 8.2...(47.4).....115.6
   139. DCW3 Posted: February 15, 2007 at 11:12 PM (#2298590)
I have no problem at all with the credibility of his Win Shares or his WARP and I don't think he was Brooks Robinson. Errors really were all the rage back then, and they don't tell much of the story when evaluating defense.

Evans - 98 RAA, 348 RAR
Brooks - 231 RAA, 609 RAR.


Well, of course Robinson had far more *career* defensive value than Evans. Nobody is disputing that. At issue is Evans's peak seasons, which (except for Robinson's very best year) FRAA rates as very similar to Robinson's best seasons.
   140. Chris Fluit Posted: February 16, 2007 at 12:05 AM (#2298621)
Browning's durability issues:

69 games played out of 80 team games
84 of 97
103 of 108
112 of 112
112 of 136
134 of 136
99 of 135
83 of 138
118 of 130
105 of 136
104 of 150
57 of 125
for a total of 1079 out of 1483 of 72.7%

Browning only has three seasons in which he played practically every game (1884, '85 and '87) plus three others in which he came close (he missed only 11 in '82, 13 in '83 and 12 in '90). In his other five seasons, he missed at least 24 games and as many as 55.
   141. Cblau Posted: February 16, 2007 at 12:39 AM (#2298643)
RE: post 127:
Win Shares takes all of those factors into account, except the unusually high number of RHB vs. RHP matchups (I think). So I took a look to see if that was true.

In 1975, the Braves RH pitchers had 2544 ABs vs. RHB and 1896 vs. LHB. This is a ratio of 1.34 to 1, highest in the league. The NL average was 1.20. So, yes, there is something there. For you Ron Cey supporters, the Dodgers' ratio was 0.95, which was the only one below 1.16! So Cey's fielding may be way underrated that year, at least. Although BPro does give him a 111 rate.
   142. Chris Fluit Posted: February 16, 2007 at 07:27 AM (#2298835)
23. Rusty Priske Posted: February 13, 2007 at 09:04 AM (#2296747)
Interesting note: When I look at Rice and John compared to the eligibles for the Hall of FAME, I concluded that they belonged. When I look at them among the eligibles for the Hall of MERIT, they aren't even close. They are both around 50.

I felt the same way about Luis Tiant.
   143. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 16, 2007 at 04:26 PM (#2298921)
Doesn't every ball that a player doesn't get to(that a Repl Defender would anyway) do as much damage as an error?

Two responses to this: type of hit, type of error.

Type of hit

This depends on what position you're at. At C, 2B, SS, P there should be no difference between an error and a hit since all typcially fieldable hits sneaking through are singles.

It's a smidge less true at 3B and 1B (though there could be no difference for practical purposes there). The difference would come from a player's ability to save doubles down the line, as infrequent as they are. I think as a practical matter that this might not be a big enough deal to even worry about.

In the OF, especially in CF, that players with lesser range will give up more gap hits. An error in the OF could lead to extra bases, but I'm not sure that every one would. We'd need to know more about the prevalance of two-base and three-base errors to know for sure, but I'd speculate that OF hits could be more damaging than OF errors. EXCEPT in those instances when someone muffs a lazy fly which would have been cuaght by anyone.

Type of Error

I have a feeling that the type of error is more damaging than anything. Throwing errors frequently lead to extra bases. But those are balls that the player got to, just as the repl fielder did, so you'd have to ask yourself whether comparing throwing errors to hits that go by is OK. Or whether you'd need to compare a player's # of throwing errors to the repl or avg # of throwing errors.
   144. Carl G Posted: February 16, 2007 at 05:26 PM (#2298961)
Of course you are correct Eric. I was merely making the point; to fra paulo who was saying that we (sabermetric types) may be overvaluing range and undervaluing errors; that its just as bad to not get to a ball as it is to bobble it. Obviously, there are cases where the error is worse(2 base throwing errors) and cases where the missed ball is worse(the gapper that turns from 1B to 2B or 3B), without doing any research, I would guess that most errors are made by Infielders booting balls and are of the 1 base variety and that most balls missed by inf turn into singles(though that is less true for corner guys than middle IFs). I was just trying to impress the value of range(if accurately figured and adjusted for special conditions) in rating a defensive player.
   145. Rocco's Not-so Malfunctioning Mitochondria Posted: February 16, 2007 at 05:49 PM (#2298979)
Going way back to the 20's...

"I believe major league catchers prior to 1975 or so are severely underrepresented. They might be, from Howie's list above, 9.5 of our honorees among about 115 non-pitcher major leaguers. That is 1/12th, as opposed to the "expected" 1/8th."

I'm not sure that this is justification for electing more catchers. I know this has probably been beaten to death elsewhere, but another reason there are probably fewer catchers around is that the people who end up at catcher are generally less talented players. The defensive catchers with top-shelf arms but who can't hit well ended up at pitcher. The guys with some athleticism who could have played catcher ended up at thirt (or short, depending on the time period). Some who were truly great hitters ended up at other positions simply because managers didn't want them to bust their knees behind the plate, or at least played less frequently than regularly at catcher just to keep their bat in the lineup. Plus, seriously, think back to the days of pickup games when you were a kid - where did the pudgy kid who looked like he shouldn't be playing baseball get stuck? Sure, there are disadvantages of playing catcher that people generally are accounting for in their formulas, but I don't think that a lack of catchers necessarily signals that people aren't giving catchers enough credit.
   146. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 16, 2007 at 06:55 PM (#2299012)
I know this has probably been beaten to death elsewhere, but another reason there are probably fewer catchers around is that the people who end up at catcher are generally less talented players.

If that's true, it's still irrelevant.

If a catcher is 40% better than average at his position on a team, he's still better than another player at another position who is only 20% better on another team, regardless of what their stats say. If those two teams have identical level players at the other positions, the first team will win more games than the second team. That's real value that needs to be credited (Dan R has been saying a similar thing the past week).

You can verify this with Diamond Mind or some other baseball simulation. Yes, they're not perfect replications of MLB, but in this case, they can do the job perfectly illustrating what I am saying.
   147. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 16, 2007 at 06:58 PM (#2299016)
BTW, the only catcher that will be on my ballot for the next election is Bresnahan, so I don't think we're that far off from where we should be.
   148. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 16, 2007 at 07:02 PM (#2299019)
John Murphy, small technicality, but I think positional averages are irrelevant. I would agree with your statement if you said "replacement" instead of "average."
   149. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 16, 2007 at 07:31 PM (#2299035)
John Murphy, small technicality, but I think positional averages are irrelevant. I would agree with your statement if you said "replacement" instead of "average."

Well, I used standard deviation in my analysis, so it wouldn't be really positional averages in the way that we normally know it, anyway. But I have no problem with replacement average, provided that we have a number(s) that we can all agree upon. :-)
   150. sunnyday2 Posted: February 16, 2007 at 08:23 PM (#2299060)
At one level I understand the expectation that 1/8 of position players in the HoM would be from each of the 8 positions.

At another level I don't.

IOW, about 1/8 of the value would accrue to catchers, 1/8 to 1B, etc. etc. (Obviously this is not true, but even if it were.) Even if this were true, this is not to say that the value will accrue to individuals the same way. If catchers play less, then the catchers' aggregate value (1/8 of the whole) is going to be distributed to more different catchers, with less for the peak of the catchers' particular Bell curve. So even if catchers are just as good of athletes as anybody else--and I'm not sure they aren't, maybe they're even better--but even if they're as good, the distribution all that value is going to depress the peaks and taken strictly on value, there will be fewer catchers in the HoM.

Some voters adjust to get more catchers, some don't. And frankly, that's fine with me.

The real question is pitchers--and that's not even to say relief pitchers. The distribution of pitcher value has changed very dramatically over the years with the modern pitchers being like the old-time catchers. I would hazard to say that all HoM voters adjust somewhat to give a fair shake to modern pitchers--or is that a fair shake? Maybe it's a more than fair shake and, in fact, it's unfair to the old-time pitchers who really put in the time. I don't claim to know. In a strictly value based system where a pennant is a pennant, the HoM (or rather, some other hall) would have mostly old-time pitchers, and I guess I wouldn't be OK with that. But it's not an either/or question, but a how much question? How much should you adjust? And believe me, it takes a hell of an adjustment to get, oh, say, Luis Tiant and Dave Stieb (or Rollie Fingers or Bruce Sutter) to be a more valuable pitcher than Vic Willis. Note I didn't say better, I said more valuable.

Anyway. The notion that we care whether catchers are poorer athletes or not just triggered this poorly articulated thought--but let me try again: The HoM is not a Hall of Value in Which a Pennant is a Pennant. And maybe that's OK.
   151. TomH Posted: February 16, 2007 at 08:41 PM (#2299065)
Browning's durability issues:

Pete Browning has essentially the same career length as Chance, McGraw, and Bresnahan.

And I have him a clear 4th in that group.
   152. DL from MN Posted: February 16, 2007 at 08:51 PM (#2299068)
I've got Chance 4th in that group and I don't have much separation between Browning, Bresnahan, Charley Jones and McGraw.
   153. Chris Fluit Posted: February 16, 2007 at 09:05 PM (#2299071)
In some way, I agree with sunnyday. I think we're placing too much of an importance on position if we expect each position to be represented at 1/8th. Yet I also think we're placing too little importance on position if we throw positional value out the value and simply vote in a ton of outfielders and first basemen. I guess I compare the Hall of Merit to an All-Star team. Every All-Star team has 8 starters and a number of reserves. The starters come from each of the 8 positions. At least one reserve comes from each of the 8 positions as well (although I remember at least one game in which the AL didn't have a back-up second baseman). However, there's usually another 3-5 position players on the team. And those players are not necessarily distributed evenly between positions. There have been years with four shortstops. There are years in which most of the extra reserves are outfielders or designated hitters. There are years in which there are more reserve pitchers and fewer reserve batters. It does tend to even out over a period of time but not perfectly.

And I guess I see, or at least would like to see, the same thing in the Hall of Merit. It's understandable and natural that some positions would be represented more highly than others. I don't think that any of us are surprised that there are more shortstops and first basemen than players from other infield positions. And that shouldn't stop us from voting in another shortstop or first basemen. But at some point, we should also be asking ourselves if the 20th best first baseman is really more valuable (or meritorious) than the 13th best catcher. There should be some disparity but also some attention made to be sure that the disparity doesn't get too big.
   154. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 16, 2007 at 09:17 PM (#2299074)
Yet I also think we're placing too little importance on position if we throw positional value out the value and simply vote in a ton of outfielders and first basemen.

It's one thing if there just happens to be more greater players at one position than another, but it's another thing not to attempt to level the playing field in order that one or more positions don't have an unfair advantage over another.
   155. DL from MN Posted: February 16, 2007 at 09:46 PM (#2299091)
I'd agree with that line of reasoning. We are looking at about 144-152 total position players. I don't think that means 18-19 at each position. I think it means about 15 all-star teams and 3 teams of reserves. I've tried to set up my system for balance all the way through my rankings with about 4 representatives for each position in each quartile of 50 players through the top 3 quartiles and it's helped ensure all the reserves get a fair shake. It's a sanity check more than a hard requirement.
   156. Jose Canusee Posted: February 16, 2007 at 09:53 PM (#2299093)
#2 92 1938 Jimmie Reese-2B/Coach

Did you ever hear about him without the words "Babe Ruth's roommate" coming up?


My first impression of Reese was given to me my a college friend who was an Angels' fan (we were permitted to do that when both teams were lousy) who went early to an A's-Angels game at the old Mausoleum and said to keep an eye out in case Reese decided to pitch BP with a fungo bat. We did see him and another coach (memory suggests Art Kusnyer) playing "catch" by fungoing to each other like Chris Evert and Billie Jean King volleying. Glad to see he is still alive.

(#5/51/94) I think that Murph and Shaker (Moseby) were considered similar players when active. Not only did he bat #2, writers used to say he would have hit more had he not laid off so many 0-0 fastballs to give Rickey a chance to run. Rickey knew it too, I think it was after he passed Cobb that he took time out and kissed Murph on the field. Mostly I remember his big uppercut that often produced grounders to second.
There was one story that Charlie Finley went into the clubhouse and started to talk to Murph as if he were Rickey because he didn't know them by face, would be interested to know whether either player had verified that was true.

Armas I came to the A's before Hendu and Murph and was the main man for awhile, something like Brian Giles on the Pirates, and so maybe got more slack as a pretty hard-working outmaker after having a few productive years. I was actually sad to see him go to Boston for Lansford. That opened up a spot for Mike Davis, who in RF would compete with QB Marc Wilson of the Raiders for % of overthrown balls.
   157. Jose Canusee Posted: February 16, 2007 at 10:07 PM (#2299099)
105/107 Murphy played the shallowest centerfield I have ever seen and, depending on the batter and pitcher, would actually play with his back to left or right field to get a better jump on the ball.

I always picture him with his back to right. Maybe he just spent more time talking to Rickey than to Armas ;>)

I remember a Giants-A's game where the SF SS, Jose Uribe, played with his left foot forward like that rather than squared up, maybe to get a better step to his right. The funny part was that his DP partner (might have been Vizcaino or some other non-regular) was putting his right foot forward as if they didn't want to look at each other.
   158. OCF Posted: February 16, 2007 at 10:23 PM (#2299103)
Jose Canusee: That line about Jimmie Reese was taken from the obituary portion of the material that Dan G supplies for the header of this thread. Reese died in 1994.
   159. kwarren Posted: February 16, 2007 at 11:47 PM (#2299150)
I know this has probably been beaten to death elsewhere, but another reason there are probably fewer catchers around is that the people who end up at catcher are generally less talented players.

If that's true, it's still irrelevant.

If a catcher is 40% better than average at his position on a team, he's still better than another player at another position who is only 20% better on another team, regardless of what their stats say. If those two teams have identical level players at the other positions, the first team will win more games than the second team. That's real value that needs to be credited


Catchers tend to play a smaller proportion of their team's games than other position players. This has to reduce their overall value in terms of how many wins they contribute to their team. So if a catcher is 40% better than average he is providing that benefit in only 130 games or so, compared to 150 games by many other position players.

Another thing to consider is that if the average catcher has a WARP of 4.0 a catcher who is is 40% better has an advantage of 1.6 wins. On the other hand an average outfielder might have a Warp of 5.5 so another outfielder would only have to be 29% better (7.1) to gain the same benefit as a catcher who is 40% better.
   160. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 17, 2007 at 12:01 AM (#2299159)
OK, get ready for something a little different from me. I've finally gotten my act enough together to find a way to put NgL position players into my system in an effective way. I think some are a little overrated, and I think some a little underrated. The upshot is that my ballot is changing...and a lot in certain instances.

I also implemented a new system for initial ballot construction. My rating system is Keltner based, as you know. But two Keltner questions in particular are absent from it.
-Is he the best available candidate?
-Is he the best available candidate at his position?

I realized that unlike the other questions, which diagnose the quality of the candidate, these two questions are weed-out questions designed to help sort candidates on a ballot---voting strategies, not identification of greatness. So I built a ballot sorting spreadsheet that takes the Keltner Scores I come up with and augments them in three ways.
1) Adding 20 points for the best available candidate
2) Adding 10 points for best available at position
3) Adding scaled points for ranking within the boundaries of a theoretically position-balanced HOM. Current max is 17 since the current HOM would be balanced at 17. Since our leading new candidate is Mike Schmidt, I'll use him as my example.

Take Schmidt's Keltner Score---80 (out of 90 possible, this is an outf8ckingstanding score)
Schmidt is the best available candidate, so add 20 to his score---100
Schmidt is the best available 3B candidate, so add 10 to his score---110
Schmidt is the number one ranked 3B in my rankings, so add 17 points---127.
Scmidt's final balloting tally is 127.

Additionally, this is where I give my catcher bonus. Catchers do not score very well as a group in the Keltner Scores for reasons we all know. To figure how much to bonus them, I took the historical top ten at each position and averaged their 10-man scores. Comparing this to the catcher's scores, I found that catchers were at about a 24% disadvantage realtive to the other positions. So that's the amount of my mark-up. And because my pitching worksheet has one fewer category than the hitter's version, I also did the same analysis for them, and my mark-up is 16% for twirlers.

Let's run Quincy Trouppe since he touches on a couple things here.
His K. Score is 43.
He is not the best candidate available.
I rank him as the top returning catcher: 43+10 = 53
Among catchers, I currently rank him 9th: 9+53=62
His subtotal is 62 points. We adjust that upward by 24% for his being a catcher, and his final total is 77 ballot points. He ranks second to Schmidt on the 1995 ballot.

But like I said, lots of surprises. The ballot stuffer tells me that the following should be my top 15, though I will obviously only listen to it if I agree with it (see below):

schmidt
trouppe
cooper
oms
e howard
singleton
doyle
walters
long
roush
duffy
cravath
burns
cash
bando

Many of these guys I already vote for, of course. Adding the NgLs (finally!) really resorts some things. Leach for instance falls below the in/out line at CF, which drops him into the 15-20 range. Let me make some specific notes about some guys.

-Oms is a very surprising result for me. Under my old system, he was just OK, a borderliner because of his lack of peak, a lot like a CF version of Clemente, whom I didn't like that much. Now in a system with a little more balanced perspective, his cache of strong near-MVP seasons really come forward.

-E Howard: the addition of NgL/MiL credit boosts his stock among catchers considerably, zooming him up my ballot.

-Singleton had a very high score in my system, more than double Jim Rice's. This is a result of his terrific late 1970s prime. I'm a little dubious about it, and I may move him down, but being the best available RF also helps him.

-Cravath now includes MiL credit. He was just below my in/out line before, now he's well above, just behind Singleton.

-Burns has been on and off my ballot many times over the years. The problem with him is that he's at the bottom of the LF group, a group that's already got plenty of representation. I think he might move down, maybe even off the ballot.

-Same goes for Cash among 1Bs. When Hernandez is eligible (next year?) I think that Cash will no longer be the best available 1B and will tumble down the rankings. I've got him as just a teensy-weensy bit over the in line, but I'm not wild to support him. I may return Leach to the ballot instead.

-Bando has had my support a long while and will probably will continue to.

New guys

Surprisingly Darrell Evans is off my ballot. He's #20. I may, however, choose to move him up to #15, depending on what I do with the questionable guys the ballot maker has picked. If Cash and Burns go, then I move Leach and Evans up.

Bell, Rice, and John are down in the backlog and non-factors for me in this election.
   161. kwarren Posted: February 17, 2007 at 12:11 AM (#2299166)
It's one thing if there just happens to be more greater players at one position than another, but it's another thing not to attempt to level the playing field in order that one or more positions don't have an unfair advantage over another.

I'm not quite sure what you are saying here.

Are we trying to put the best players in the HOM regardless of position, or are we trying to have a distribution that represents the general population or players. It's pretty clear that the best players are outfieldeers and the top ones have more to do with contributing to their teams' winning percentage than other positions. Similarly relief pitchers, even the great ones, make relatively little contribution to total team performance.

In my personal ranking of the top players since WWII, the top six are outfielders - Bonds, Mantle, Williams, Mays, Musial, and Aaron. Joe Morgan is next in 7th and the next higest 2B is Biggio at 14th. Third baseman are 12th, 13th, 15th, and 23rd - Schmidt, Mathews, Brett, and Boggs. First baseman are 16th, 19th, & 20th - McCovey, Bagwell, and Allen. The top shortstop is Ripken in 18th with A-Rod next at 29th. The top catcher is Bench in 31st with Piazza at 46th The top pitchers are Clemens and Seaver in 41st and 42nd. The top relief pitcher is Hoyt Wilhelm who is the 317th best player overall.

I think most people tend to look for some sort of a middle ground where all positions get serious consideration......even relief pitchers....who ironically enough would never have become relief pitchers if they could have held down a spot in a major league rotation. Papelbon will get his shot in 2007. It will be interesting to see how he does.
   162. Howie Menckel Posted: February 17, 2007 at 02:27 AM (#2299207)
We have 3 holdover pitching candidates who received a dozen or more votes in 1994: Fingers 20, Redding 20, Walters 18.
We have 4 more who received 9 to 11 votes: Grimes 11, Tiant 11, Dean 10, Welch 9.
We have 4 more who received 4 to 7 votes: Willis 7, Bridges 6, Mays 5, Joss 4.
We have 3 more who received 3 votes: Gomez, Sutter, Cicotte.
We have 4 more who received 2 votes: Kaat, Trout, Mullane, Newcombe.
We have 5 more who received 1 vote: Cooper, Leever, Leonard, Matlock, Trucks.
We have 2 more who received a vote in 1993: Bond, Quinn.

That's a maximum of 25 guys, and depending on your parameters, maybe it's only 18, or 14, or 11, or just 7.
Plus Tommy John probably rates at least a look-see in 1995.

As we look here in 1995, others we see having recently retired or nearing the end: Reuschel, Quisenberry, Blyleven, Stieb, Ryan, Tanana, Gossage, Morris, Lee Smith, Eckersley (ignoring for now Saberhagen, Hershiser, Gooden, Cone, Finley, though they'll all be candidates by 2007).

We've elected 55 pitchers - counting Caruthers and Rogan but not Dihigo, Ward, or Ruth.
I imagine we'll pick about 7 or 8 more, no?
   163. Howie Menckel Posted: February 17, 2007 at 03:24 AM (#2299222)
Ever wonder how many guys we'll elect to the HOM who have not gotten into the Hall of Fame?
We're pretty close to having an answer.

I'm counting 36 electees so far in the HOM, but not in the HOF:
Allen, Barnes, Beckwith, Bennett, Boyer, Caruthers, Childs, Dahlen, WFerrell, Freehan, Glasscock, Gordon, Gore, Grich, Groh, Hack, Hines, JJackson, HRJohnson, Magee, McVey, Minoso, Pearce, Pike, Richardson, Rose, Santo, Sheckard, TSimmons, Start, HStovey, ESutton, Torre, DWhite.

Who else will we add? Trouppe, JWynn, and Keller are looking good, with Browning, Redding, BJohnson, CJones, Walters, Cravath, Oms, Van Haltren, Leach, Nettles, and Staub needing various levels of turbocharging to squeeze in at the wire.

Of the newcomers, interesting candidates include Darrell Evans, K Hernandez, Dwight Evans, Parker, Blyleven, Randolph, J Clark, Stieb, Morris, Gossage, Whitaker, Lance Parrish, Trammell, Dawson, Lee Smith, Dennis Martinez, W Clark, Belle, McGwire.

So 36 plus maybe 15 more? For 50-ish total?
............................................

Meanwhile I find 59 guys who are in the HOF, but we haven't yet honored.

Getting votes in 1994 (31): Aparicio, Bancroft, Beckley, Bresnahan, Brock, Cepeda, Chance, Cuyler, Dean, Duffy, Fingers, Fox, Gomez, Grimes, Joss, Kell, Klein, Lazzeri, Lombardi, Maranville, McGraw, TPerez, SRice, Rizzuto, Roush, Sutter, BTaylor, Traynor, Welch, Willis, HWilson
No votes in 1994 (28): Bender, Bottomley, Chesbro, Combs, ACooper, Dandridge, Day, Evers, RFerrell, Hafey, Haines, Hooper, Hoyt, Hunter, TJackson, JJohnson, GKelly, Lindstrom, Manush, Marquard, Mazeroski, McCarthy, Pennock, Schalk, Schoendienst, Tinker, LWaner, Youngs

Who might get knocked off this list? Fox, Roush, and Fingers look pretty likely, and maybe Beckley, TPerez, or Duffy have that last surge needed. Bresnahan, Dean, Grimes, McGraw, Welch are tired of waiting, too, but more likely are out of luck.

Seems like the differential between our Hall and theirs will be 50-55 players.

Corrections appreciated; I'm a very good idea guy for charts, but will make the occasional oversight here and there.
   164. Mark Donelson Posted: February 17, 2007 at 03:46 AM (#2299226)
Eric, does your new system do anything to help out other "handicapped" positions besides C and P? You have some of the modern 3b/old 2b types there (Bando, Doyle--I'm not counting the shoo-in Schmidt, of course) on your system's top 15 there; how do modern 2b/old 3b types do? (Fox? Williamson? McGraw? Um...Jim Gilliam?)

What's interesting is that I'm in the middle of a rejiggering of my system as well, and though mine resembles yours in structure not at all, a few of the guys who jumped in yours also did in mine: Oms, Singleton, Burns. I suppose it's because like you, I'm moving to a system that rewards less extreme-peaky players who have extended excellent primes.

Of course, Bucky Walters, who I once had on my ballot, took a big dive in my new system, and I'm not all that fond of Cash, Cooper, Long, or Bando, either. So I guess we're not entirely matched up. But what fun would that be? :)
   165. Chris Cobb Posted: February 17, 2007 at 04:10 AM (#2299234)
Here's my first go at a preliminary ballot for 1995

1. Mike Schmidt. Well, that was easy.
2. Quincy Trouppe. Ted Simmons minus a bit.
3. Edd Roush. Convinced he was a very high impact, if not quite a franchise player. Only backlogger who is truly strong on both peak and career.
4. Charlie Keller. Great Peak.
5. Rollie Fingers. His combination of durability and effectiveness is rarer than I had expected. Well worthy of election.
6. Dave Bancroft. League average hitter and top-fielding shortstop of his era. Don't know why he isn't getting more attention. How is he not better than Nellie Fox?
7. Alejandro Oms. Glad to hear some more folks coming around on him. Consistently excellent.
8. Tommy Leach. Great defense, decent offense, long career.
9. Darrell Evans. He could have landed as high as number 2 on my ballot if there were not plausible arguments against the WARP/WS view of his defensive peak. I'm persuaded that he's not above the backlog, but I think he's definitely deserving. Better than Perez, whose defense is also overrated by WARP. If he hadn't tanked in 1976, I think there wouldn't be much debate about him at all.
10. Jimmy Wynn. If he hadn't mixed a couple of poor years in with a half dozen great ones, he also would already have been elected. But he should be elected soon.
11. Jake Beckley. Not without a solid prime to go with an outstanding career. Top remaining 19th-century candidate, in my view.
12. Rabbit Maranville. One of the greatest gloves of all time. He had a fine peak in the teens, before the lively ball made his hitting style outmoded and his drinking affected his performance. Was still a good player in the 1920s, but he was actually great, I think, 1914-20. Also lost a peak season to WW1.
13. Bus Clarkson. A Darrell Evans type candidate -- long career, very good hitting, covering positions requiring skilled defense. When we have better Mexican-League data, his case may be revived. I like him better than Marvin Williams because Williams seldom played in the high minors. Clarkson starred in the PCL in his mid-30s. When Trouppe, Keller, and Clarkson are all elected, I think we'll have the 1940s pretty well represented.
14. Tony Perez. Rightly viewed as overrated by the electorate, the reaction against Perez seems overly harsh. Has a long, strong prime with a couple of truly great years.
15. Bobby Bonds. Like Perez, he has a long strong prime with a couple of truly great years. A much more complete player than Perez, but not more valuable. Trails Perez a little on career value because Perez was able to make himself useful after his prime, where Bonds just fell off the table.

16. Charley Jones
17. Luis Tiant
18. Buddy Bell. Bell and Nettles are joined at the hip in my system. Both are better than Fox.
19. Graig Nettles
20. Norm Cash
21. Nellie Fox
22. Rusty Staub
23. Gavvy Cravath
24. Joe Tinker
25. Tommy John. Long career as a not especially durable pitcher. Usually effective, but not outstanding. Had a few very good years after his surgery. Once you've looked at John, you see that Sutton had a peak after all. . .
26. Herman Long
27. Bob Johnson
28. Dom Dimaggio
29. Jimmy Ryan
30. Dick Redding
   166. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 17, 2007 at 04:12 AM (#2299236)
Mark,

OK, there's a couple things going on, so I'll hit them one at a time.

First off I finally integrated the important NgL players (and NgL portions of important careers) into my by-position rankings. So now I'm answering questions like Where does Mule Suttles rank? (11th at 1B). Of course all those names push the white guys down the ladder, which means that some of my ballot guys are changing in light of new input into the system.

You wanted to know about new/old 2B/3Bs. The answer is that I don't offer any positional bonuses beyond the C and P position. The changes for 3B and 2B are generally downard for the reason mentioned in paragraph two, with the exception of the NgLers themselves and players who had a couple seasons added to their ledger (Jackie for instance rises from about 20th to 13th. A guy like Joe Gordon, who was just outside my HOMables at 2B, is now joined by Marv Williams, and Doerr, 1 slot above, is joined by Scales, Avila, and Gilliam. But with Jackie moving up, the Doerr group slips below the in/out line at 2B.

That's the kind of stuff that's going on. Though to be fair, it's leading me to do some much-needed re-evals.
   167. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 17, 2007 at 04:42 AM (#2299238)
OK, since my previous post about the new system, I've had dinner and a chance to digest the results of the new system. So now a proper prelim.

1. Michael Jack Schmidt: Best. 3B. Ever.

2. Quincy Trouppe: I should just paste Chris Cobb's notes here. Top catcher candidate, top backlog candidate. Long, productive catching career that is very similar to Simmons'.

3. Wilbur Cooper: Strong pitcher in teens and twenties, an annual WS CYA candidate for a good, long time, and the NL's best pitcher between Hippo's breakdown and the emergance of Vance.

4. Alejandro Oms: Best CF candidate available. Oms' long, strong career may not have been ultra peaky, but he strung together numerous fine seasons in the U.S. and especially in Cuba. I've personally missed the boat on him, but I'm on board now, bigtime.

5. Ken Singleton: Fabulous 1970s-early 1980s peak/prime candidate. He may have been slower than the federal response to Katrina, but he's got tons of good peaky years to offer. This is the peak/prime that everyone thinks Jim Rice has.

6. Larry Doyle: Nearly the same place I had him last year, despite the shakeup. Top NL 2B of his era, possibly the best NL position player before Cactus Gavy comes along, and a great hitter.

7. Ellie Howard: Sunnday is smiling. After finally putting his various interruption credits in place, he zooms up the catching ladder. Great MLB peak, but with new information, a fine total career, especially for a backstop.
8. Bucky Walters: Peak, peak, peak, and some prime. I don't mind shorter peaks with pitchers. This includes his wartime pitching with a QoP deduction.

9. Herman Long: Maybe it's my system? Maybe it's WS? Maybe it's me? But Herman Long has continually been a thorn in my side. So the last several years, I've decided to just go with the flow. And why not? He was, for a short time, the best player in the NL, for a longer time the best SS in the league, a good hitter for his position, and a fine fielder. A better version of Bancroft, IMO.

10. Edd Roush: The addition of the scores of outstanding NgL CFs pushed Roush, Duffy, and Browning down four to five slots each. I had Roush and Duffy tied at 10 previously. Now they are tied at 15. Keep the extra d, that's the d for dangerously close to the borderline.

11. Hugh Duffy: See Roush. Tiebreaker between them for me is theat Roush's totals don't include holdout credit.

12. Gavy Cravath: Last time, he was another backlogger, but once I put his credit scenarios back in there (finally!), he rises from just off the bottom of the RFs, to solidly among them. And that's really all about the career numbers; he needed the bulk of his PCL and AA days to push him over the line.

13. Sal Bando: I'm just going to recycle my usual Bando comments.

14. Tommy Leach: I'm just going to recycle his usual comments too!

15. Darrell Evans: I moved Burns and Cash off the ballot for a couple of reasons. One is that I remember that Joe Start, whom Cash was tied with, had lots of preNA seasons that merited crediting, which at least untied him with Cash and meant that Norm was now below the current in/out line. As for Burns, he's the very last LFer, but the top returning candidate. Evans is several rungs higher on the 3B ladder, so I went against the best-available bonus and pushed Evans northward. For this same reason I chose to skip over Bobby Bonds, who is closer to the bottom of his position than Evans is.

Bobby Bonds
George J Burns
Browning
Ryan
Fox
Cash
Schang
Traynor
A. Wilson
Wynn
Nettles
rosen
Howard
Bresnahan

Still got work to do on the pitchers, so they could play a bigger role once I get them all straightened out too.
   168. sunnyday2 Posted: February 17, 2007 at 04:59 AM (#2299243)
Doc, I was wondering which cooper that was gonna be.

I have Schmidt, Doyle, E. Howard, Roush and D. Evans about where you do. Otherwise not even close.

Compared to Chris I have Schmidt, Roush, Keller and Fingers about where he does and then it all goes completely to hell.

The similarities must just be coincidence. Except Shirley (Schmidt).
   169. TomH Posted: February 17, 2007 at 05:11 AM (#2299247)
(post 161) kwarren, as a fellow scoresheet player, I doubt you would assess Roger Clemens' value post-WWII as only the 41st best, if you were attempting to play some type of Scoresheet all-star sim league. Especially if it included playoffs (which, of course, MLB does).

Of all of Bill James' rankings in the NHBJA, the placements of Clemens and Maddux (Greg as barely in top 100?) as modern-day pitchers seem some of the more ludicrous.
   170. Chris Cobb Posted: February 17, 2007 at 03:39 PM (#2299311)
Sunnyday2 wrote:

<i>Compared to Chris I have Schmidt, Roush, Keller and Fingers about where he does and then it all goes completely to hell.<i>

Well, that's about where we should agree, given our systems. Schmidt, Roush, and Keller are all candidates with strong peaks, of whom there are not so many left, in my view. Most of the rest of my ballot is occupied by career candidates, who are piling up on the unelected side of the ledger in my system, which tries to give equal weight to peak and career. I am a little surprised that you are not supporting Jimmy Wynn, who makes my ballot largely on the strength of his peak.

I can see why Trouppe, Bancroft, Oms, Leach, Beckley, Maranville, Clarkson, Perez, and Bonds don't attract your support, because they aren't strong peak players, though I see most of them as having quite strong primes (see Eric C.'s justification for his new support of Oms above). All of these players have 10+ years of superior performance, which I find more meritorious than a few great years joined with an indifferent or nonexistent career, unless the peak is sufficiently high to outweigh the lack of a long prime. Keller is the only candidate currently eligible who has that much peak value, as I see it.

I do have some qualms about not having any starting pitchers on my ballot, but we've just elected a pile of them, all of whom I have supported. So when it comes down to Perez and Bonds vs. Tiant and John, I'm going with the hitters.

So who are the other 7 players you will be supporting in 1995?
   171. sunnyday2 Posted: February 17, 2007 at 04:26 PM (#2299327)
As we get deeper into the backlog I am agonizing over who I want in my PHoM, but if I had to submit a ballot today it looks like:

1. Schmidt (new)--PHoM, doh
2. Roush (was 2)
3. Keller (4)
4. Fingers (6)
5. Joss (8)
6. Cepeda (9)--at the head of a whole pack of similar hitters but the Baby Bull barely rises to the top
7. Rizzuto (10)--at head of a whole pack of similar glove men but with full WWII credit Phil rises to the top; if I submit this ballot he goes PHoM
8. Browning (15)
9. Reggie Smith (13)
10. Fox (12)
11. Doyle (5)
12. Charley Jones (17)
13. F. Howard (23)--PHoM as of today, subject to change; D. Evans and then the HoM/not PHoMers are next in line (see below)
14. D. Evans (new)
15. Dick Redding (11)

Drops out--Elston Howard (7), Ed Williamson (14)

As you can see, the hitters other than Rizzuto are moving back up.The other guys that are moving up in this week's re-eval (focusing on recent hitters, SS, 3B and catchers) are my personal backlog of HoM/not PHoMers--Sutton, Keeler, Bunning and Sewell.

Well, Trouppe, Singleton, Pesky and Clarkson appear to be moving up as well, but none of them above about #30. But they were all below #50 last year.

In short, I am becoming a bit more career oriented here as things go on. So Tommy Bond and Diz drop. In my re-eval I became even more bewildered by Ken Boyer, who is moving down down down. Ditto Biz Mackey. I don't see the recent 3Bs as being nearly as good as the consensus either--Nettles probably in the 40s, Cey the 80s, Buddy Bell below #100. And Dave Concepcion is dropping. So on second thought, maybe I'm not becoming all that career oriented after all. The bottom line for me is that a player who scores highly in WARP and nowhere else is going to be low for me relative to consensus.

And I still give strong consideration to players whose careers were negatively affected by the disorder of the integration era--Newcombe and Ellie Howard are especially positively regarded though Howard might be moving down a bit (Howard right now #16, Newk #20).

As to the other players you mention--Wynn is caught in the CF glut and Roush, among others, is way superior. Leach has moved up, Clarkson is moving up, Perez however is moving down (F. Howard and Cepeda are better).

The main reason for this week's re-eval was simply that I have been slotting the new guys in without quite the care needed--thus the focus on 3B for example. And generally I think we are over-rating a lot of recent players. OTOH Singleton is moving up and Jim Rice moving way down. I don't think we're in danger of over-rating Rice--we will probably under-rate him, not that it will really matter.

But none of this is final final. I think I still have another week for cogitation, right? I mean, there are soooo many players to think about now. I've got guys down to #60 that I could argue as ballot-worthy if I wanted to.
   172. Howie Menckel Posted: February 17, 2007 at 04:59 PM (#2299337)
In post 163, keep in mind that Puckett also conceivably could wind up as a "HOF but not HOM" player. There don't appear to be any other debatables not already on the list.
   173. AJMcCringleberry Posted: February 18, 2007 at 05:33 AM (#2299558)
Prelim

1. Schmidt
2/3. Evans/Perez
4. Walters
5. Trouppe
6. Staub
7. Trout
8. Wynn
9. Ryan
10. Johnson
11. Fox
12. Beckley
13. Cravath
14/15. Nettles/Bell

20. John
Rice is outside my top 50.
   174. kwarren Posted: February 19, 2007 at 06:18 AM (#2299877)
kwarren, as a fellow scoresheet player, I doubt you would assess Roger Clemens' value post-WWII as only the 41st best, if you were attempting to play some type of Scoresheet all-star sim league. Especially if it included playoffs (which, of course, MLB does).

Of all of Bill James' rankings in the NHBJA, the placements of Clemens and Maddux (Greg as barely in top 100?) as modern-day pitchers seem some of the more ludicrous.


Anytime we don't agree with Bill James, we class his conclusions as ludicrous? I would imagine that Bill has analyzed this issue and thought about it at least 1,000 times the amount that most of us could even imagine, and given his ability for getting to heart of the matter and ignoring the meaningless fluff. I see no reason why James would be unable to measure the contributions of Clemens and Maddux relative to other players, better than most anybody in the world.

It's not as if he's giving us the wrong answer deliberately to see if we can "catch him" trying to fool us.

When you consider that pitching contributes 40% to a teams success and even the best pitchers contribute only 1/7 of their team's pitching, a pitcher who throws 215 innings will be responsible for 5.7% of his teams success. A position player who bats in the top part of the order and plays a position where defense matters will easily contribute 8% of his teams success, so a pitcher is going to have be awfully damn good to make the same kind on contribution as a top notch position player who makes a 40% larger contribution to his teams success.

In the playoffs, I agree that starting pitchers play a larger role (Koufax, Lolich, & Gibson are great examples) but Bill James top 100 players is based exclusively on the regular season.
   175. rawagman Posted: February 19, 2007 at 09:42 AM (#2299912)
Tom- when you consider that Clemens and Maddux have since added 6(?) above average to excellent seasons each to their resumes, I am sure that BJ now considers both men as being reasonably higher on that list.
   176. rawagman Posted: February 19, 2007 at 09:59 AM (#2299913)
Now time for my 1995 preliminary ballot.

1)Mike Schmidt (PHOM)
2)Hugh Duffy (PHOM)
3)Ben Taylor (PHOM)
4)Edd Roush (PHOM)
5)Lefty Gomez (PHOM)
6)Nellie Fox (PHOM)
7)Quincy Trouppe (PHOM)
((7a)Juan Marichal)) (PHOM)
8)Tommy Bridges (PHOM)
9)Charley Jones (PHOM)
10)Vern Stephens (PHOM)
11)Gavvy Cravath (PHOM)
((11a)Bill Freehan)) (PHOM)
12)Bob Johnson
((12a)Biz Mackey))
13)Bobby Veach
((13a)Willie Stargell))
14)Orlando Cepeda
((14a)Ken Boyer))
15)Al Oliver
2nd team
16)Tony Oliva
17)Jim Rice
18)Wally Berger
19)Dizzy Dean
20)Bus Clarkson
21)Darrell Evans
22)Bruce Sutter
23)Ernie Lombardi
24)Jimmy Wynn
25)Ron Guidry
26)Al Rosen
27)Mickey Welch
((27a)Jim Bunning))
((27b)Billy Pierce))

28)Sparky Lyle
29)Dick Redding (PHOM)
30)Ron Cey
Newbiews/consensus top ten:
35 - Rollie Fingers
37 - Tommy John
51 - Pete Browning
52 - Charlie Keller
60 - Buddy Bell
   177. DL from MN Posted: February 19, 2007 at 05:03 PM (#2300000)
> we've just elected a pile of them, all of whom I have supported. So when it comes down to
> Perez and Bonds vs. Tiant and John, I'm going with the hitters.


Pitchers elected last 12 elections: 10
Hitters elected last 12 elections: 9
Gloves elected last 12 elections: 11

Our pitching elected isn't unusually higher than our other positions and going forward we should be electing a pitcher pretty much every year. I think Tiant compares very well to electees Pierce, Bunning, Drysdale and Marichal. Bobby Bonds looks like the unelected backlog outfielders and the marginals like Ashburn and Kiner. I do like Perez better than John.
   178. sunnyday2 Posted: February 19, 2007 at 07:03 PM (#2300069)
Fortunately, Perez, Bonds, Tiant and John aren't the only candidates ;-)
   179. OCF Posted: February 19, 2007 at 07:06 PM (#2300072)
Reuschel, Quisenberry, Blyleven, Stieb, Ryan, Tanana, Gossage, Morris, Lee Smith, Eckersley (ignoring for now Saberhagen, Hershiser, Gooden, Cone, Finley, though they'll all be candidates by 2007).

What about Frank Viola?
   180. Howie Menckel Posted: February 20, 2007 at 03:12 AM (#2300290)
OCF, I came very close to listing Viola, but not quite.
I don't really rank players in advance, though, so getting listed or not is not a formal opinion on my part.
   181. TomH Posted: February 20, 2007 at 01:51 PM (#2300390)
Anytime we don't agree with Bill James, we class his conclusions as ludicrous?

No, but inferring ludicrous intentions from my statement IS ludicrous.

Normally when I disagree with Bill James, I ask myself where I have gone wrong. And then I shut up and don't post anything. But in the case of modern pitchers, I happen to think James' New Abstract is incorrect; not only that, a whole buncha others agree with me. He even admitted such when he wrote it, saying that Clemens has a reasonable argument as the best pitcher ever, not #11. But he became a slave to his system, which, since it heavily uses total win shares in best 3 and 5 seasons, doesn't see hurlers who only start 32 times a year as being anywhere near as 'great' as older guys.

And even thought Clemens and Maddux have padded their resumes since 2000, James' meager reliance on career data in the NBJHA would hardly budge their rankings. Griffey Jr and Alomar would still be ahead of Maddux, and McGwure, Biggio (tee hee) and Ripken may still be above Clemens.

As to post-season performance, James DOES use it in his subjective factor. It puts George Brett over Eddie Mathews (who clearly beats Brett on all 4 of James' categories), for example.

I don't say this to knock James - I mean, if I put together my top 100 rankings, we'd all have a field day with my errors! But public figures, when they do make an occasion boo-boo in their huge volumne of work, are reasonably subject to scrutiny.
   182. Howie Menckel Posted: February 20, 2007 at 02:52 PM (#2300396)
"I would imagine that Bill has analyzed this issue and thought about it at least 1,000 times the amount that most of us could even imagine, and given his ability for getting to heart of the matter and ignoring the meaningless fluff."

Wow, talk about hero worship!
James himself would probably be the one to laugh the hardest at that comment.
Overall, his work product over the years has been spectacular (and I was one of his Abstract buyers in the 1980s). But he himself has admitted to getting sloppy in spots, a result of too much work and too little time.
We all make mistakes, even St. James.
   183. DL from MN Posted: February 20, 2007 at 03:46 PM (#2300414)
It is difficult to think about baseball 1000 times longer than I think about baseball. 10 times I would grant you.
   184. TomH Posted: February 20, 2007 at 04:58 PM (#2300458)
Did John McGraw have a short career?

Absolutely, yes. But so did most guys in his day.

McGraw's prime was 1893 to 1901. Going back 10 years and forward 10, from 1883 to 1911, here are the games played leaders for career 3Bmen (guys who plaued more 3B than anything else) in that 29-yr period:

1 Lave Cross ..... 2275
2 Jimmy Collins .. 1728
3 Harry Steinfeldt 1646
4 Arlie Latham .... 1605
5 Billy Nash ........ 1549
6 Billy Shindle .... 1422
7 Bill Bradley ..... 1387
8 Wid Conroy ..... 1375
9 George Pinckney 1163
10 Denny Lyons . 1121
11 Art Devlin ..... 1116
12 Doc Casey .... 1114
13 John McGraw 1099
14 Bill Kuehne .... 1087
15 Lee Tannehill . 1086
Since schedules were lengthening during that time, this gives an edge to those who played in the 20th century.

Fast forward 90 years. From 1973 to 2001, here are the games played leaders for career 3Bmen in that 29-yr period:
GAMES G
1 George Brett .. 2707
2 Gary Gaetti .... 2507
3 Darrell Evans . 2449
4 Wade Boggs ... 2440
5 Mike Schmidt .. 2391
6 Buddy Bell ..... 2273
7 Tim Wallach ... 2212
8 Graig Nettles .. 2114
9 Bobby Bonilla . 2113
10 Ron Cey ...... 2060
11 Toby Harrah . 1904
12 Ter Pendleton 1893
13 Larry Parrish . 1891
14 Carn Lansford 1862
15 Bill Madlock .. 1806
16 Todd Zeile .... 1777
17 Matt Williams. 1762
18 Ken Caminiti . 1760
19 Robin Ventura 1698
20 Enos Cabell .. 1685

Yes, there are more teams today. Still, it sure seems like McGraw's career length compares more approximately to Robin Ventura's (19th place, 600 more games than Mugsy) in the modern game than it does, say, to the 1000 or 1150 game length careers of Scott Brosius or Bob Horner.

We elected Cupid Childs and Hughie Jennings, acknowledging the <u>difficult playing conditions of their day for throwing infielders</u>. Let's not forget that lesson.
   185. Brent Posted: February 21, 2007 at 05:13 AM (#2300959)
Still, it sure seems like McGraw's career length compares more approximately to Robin Ventura's (19th place, 600 more games than Mugsy) in the modern game than it does, say, to the 1000 or 1150 game length careers of Scott Brosius or Bob Horner.

The first thing I noticed was that Robin Ventura didn’t play 1698 games—he played 2079. Tom’s list seems a little misleading because he’s comparing McGraw’s full career to partial careers of some players. I think a better approach would be to show the full careers of players of the same generation. Since McGraw was born in 1873, here are the games played by third basemen born between 1863-1883:

1 Lave Cross ...... 2275
2 Jimmy Collins .. 1725
3 Harry Steinfeldt 1646
4 Jimmy Austin .. 1580
5 Billy Nash ....... 1549
6 Bill Bradley ..... 1461
7 Wid Conroy ..... 1374
8 Hans Lobert .... 1317
9 Art Devlin ....... 1313
10 Roy Hartzell .. 1290
11 Denny Lyons . 1121
12 Doc Casey .... 1114
13 John McGraw . 1099

And here are the games played by third basemen born between 1953-73:

1 George Brett ..... 2707
2 Gary Gaetti ....... 2507
3 Wade Boggs ...... 2439
4 Tim Wallach ...... 2212
5 Todd Zeile ........ 2158
6 Bobby Bonilla .... 2113
7 Robin Ventura ... 2079
8 Lenny Harris ..... 1903
9 Terry Pendleton . 1893
10 Larry Parrish .... 1891
11 Matt Williams ... 1866
12 Carney Lansford 1862
13 Vinny Castilla ... 1854
14 Chipper Jones .. 1761
15 Ken Caminiti .... 1760
16 Travis Fryman .. 1698
17 Ken Oberkfell ... 1602
18 Dave Magadan . 1582
19 Charlie Hayes ... 1547
20 Jeff Cirillo ........ 1539
21 Howard Johnson 1531
22 Joe Randa ........ 1522
23 Edgardo Alfonzo. 1506
24 Kevin Seitzer .... 1439
25 David Bell ........ 1403
26 Dean Palmer .... 1357

Since there were generally 12 major league teams during McGraw’s career and at least twice that many teams during the careers of the players in the second list, the # 26 player on the second list (Dean Palmer) seems like a pretty good comp for the length of McGraw’s career. Tom’s point (that infielder careers were shorter during McGraw’s time) is valid, but I think the magnitude of the effect is smaller than he suggests.

The other thing I noticed is that you just can’t get around the fact that McGraw’s career was really short for an HoM candidate. On the Darrell Evans thread, Chris Cobb suggested that a “regular” might be defined as someone who played 75% of his team’s games. McGraw reached that threshold in only five seasons. In comparison, Childs was a regular for 10 seasons. Even short-career Hughie Jennings was a regular for seven seasons. Among the leading candidates, only Keller comes close to McGraw—reaching 75% of games played five times, though presumably his supporters are also giving him war credit for two additional seasons.

McGraw’s five “regular” seasons (1893-94, 97-99) are reminiscent of Jennings’ five-year run, though they weren’t quite as consistent and didn’t come consecutively. Jennings, however, also got a big boost as possibly the best defensive player of his time. I was willing to support Jennings, albeit with some qualms about the brevity of his career. McGraw’s career, however, was just too short to garner my support.
   186. Chris Cobb Posted: February 21, 2007 at 05:34 AM (#2300962)
If one season-adjusts McGraw's playing time, that raises his career games played to 1270, about a half-season less than Dean Palmer.

Now, another way to look at McGraw's career would be to say that he is 1/2 of Wade Boggs' career, although arranged differently into seasonal units (which is part of the rub, with McGraw).

I'd say that in terms of their quality as hitters, it's not a bad comparison, and possibly not bad defensively either, though WARP sees Boggs as much better defensively.

Is 1/2 of Wade Boggs enough to be elected to the HoM?
   187. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 21, 2007 at 02:58 PM (#2301043)
Is 1/2 of Wade Boggs enough to be elected to the HoM?

Depends on which half!
   188. TomH Posted: February 21, 2007 at 03:53 PM (#2301079)
Half of the chicken man. Interesting concept.

Jennings' career was 186 games longer than McGraw's. If Jennings had not played his first 3 seasons, his career would have been 95 games shorter; and we still would have elected him, since those first three years really added nothing to his case, which was based almsot solely on his amazing 5 year peak.

Yes, if we merely schedule-adjust careers of the 1890s guys, it doesn't add ALL that much. But the conditions were such that it was more difficult to put up a healthy long career then, which is a different animal. Even schedule-adjusting Jimmy Collins, the #2 long man from that era, puts him "only" at about 1900 games, which would be not a real long career today.
   189. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 21, 2007 at 04:39 PM (#2301100)
Worth noting that when it comes to peak rate, Boggs can't hold a candle to McGraw's 1899 (.547 OBP in a league where run scoring was similar to the 1990's AL, 73 steals, +20-level defense at a very tough third base position). I know it's only one year and that McGraw didn't even play the full season, but I can't stress enough what a spectacularly dominant season that was. And for those of us who are, in a certain sense, the peak voter's peak voters--meaning that we value *every* marginal win more than the last, so that a guy with two years of Honus Wagner 1908 and nothing else would make our HoM--those differences matter a lot.

Similarly, I'd like to stress that just looking at McGraw's WS and WARP seasonal totals can be misleading if you are a peak voter, since they tended to be partial seasons at a drop-dead superstar level, rather than full seasons at an All-Star level. I value the former notably more than the latter.
   190. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 21, 2007 at 04:45 PM (#2301105)
Similarly, I'd like to stress that just looking at McGraw's WS and WARP seasonal totals can be misleading if you are a peak voter, since they tended to be partial seasons at a drop-dead superstar level, rather than full seasons at an All-Star level. I value the former notably more than the latter.

The latter is what hurts McGraw in my system, though I agree with Tom's analysis that McGraw was more durable than he's given credit for.
   191. sunnyday2 Posted: February 21, 2007 at 05:15 PM (#2301125)
>they tended to be partial seasons at a drop-dead superstar level, rather than full seasons at an All-Star level. I value the former notably more than the latter.

As a noted peak voter, I go the other way. Not to say that a full all-star season is better than 75 percent of an MVP season. But that the cume is more important to me than the rate because the pennant is the thing.
   192. andrew siegel Posted: February 21, 2007 at 05:24 PM (#2301132)
I don't think the effect is as big as Dan does, but putting up 9 WARP or 25 WS in 75% of your team's games has to be more valuable than putting them up in 100% of those games, if only because the low replacement values for those metrics all-but guarantees that whoever plays the remaining 25% of your team's games is going to put up at least a few WS and a WARP or two.
   193. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 21, 2007 at 05:39 PM (#2301144)
Yeah, the big difference for me isn't McGraw's short career (I was a big booster of Hughie Jennings) but the inseason durability. I agree with Andrew that 25 WS in 80% of a teams' games is better than 25 WS in 100% of a teams' games, but I don't think the difference is that large. Plus, many times as a peak voter is a a choice between 28 WS in 100% of games or 25 in 75 or 80% of games and it can be hard not to choose the former. I understand the replacement level concept, but I am not 100% sure that the exta value given shouldn't go, at least in part, to the player who is good enough to play at replacement level as replacement level teams to win about 50 games a season. I guess I like split that value between the player playing and the player injured.

And I would also like to point out that Hughie Jennings career games were never a reason why his backers voted for him, while his in season durability at his peak is one of the reasons we voted for him. Same goes with Frank Chance as well.
   194. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 21, 2007 at 10:15 PM (#2301339)
I know most people feel that way, but I'm an outlier. For me, rate is rate (valued exponentially)and playing time is playing time (valued linear-ly)--one full six-win season is exactly equal to two three-win half-seasons, and a three-win half-season is worth notably more than a three-win full season. Using that approach was the only way I could get the 60s Willies (Stargell and McCovey) into my PHoM given their poor in-season durability, and I thought that there would have to be something seriously wrong with any system that would keep them out. It also means that I vote for McGraw and would not have voted for, say, Ashburn (high in-season durability, unspectacular rate).
   195. karlmagnus Posted: February 22, 2007 at 03:00 AM (#2301481)
If you adjust the short career 90s players, you have to adjust the long ones too. Do that, and Jake Beckley's 40-year career really leaps out at you.....
   196. Brent Posted: February 22, 2007 at 06:05 AM (#2301552)
I'd like to stress that just looking at McGraw's WS and WARP seasonal totals can be misleading if you are a peak voter, since they tended to be partial seasons at a drop-dead superstar level, rather than full seasons at an All-Star level.

I agree that WS and BP WARP seasonal totals overstate full seasons relative to partial seasons because the replacement values are too low. However, I also agree with Andrew and Mark that the effect isn’t that large (for a player who misses 25% of his team's games, maybe 2 WS).

Worth noting that when it comes to peak rate, Boggs can't hold a candle to McGraw's 1899 (.547 OBP in a league where run scoring was similar to the 1990's AL, 73 steals, +20-level defense at a very tough third base position). I know it's only one year and that McGraw didn't even play the full season, but I can't stress enough what a spectacularly dominant season that was.

One way of looking at the effect of a partial season is to say that the team is getting the dominant player for x% of the games and a bench player for the other (100-x)% of the games. For the 1899 Orioles, McGraw played 117 games; the other 35 games were split between Dave Fultz (OPS+ 81) and Charlie Harris (OPS+ 73). If we prorate the missed games between those two, here are McGraw’s rate statistics and my best guess of the combined statistics for the Orioles third basemen:

1899..... BA+ OBP+ SLG+ OPS+
McGraw. 132. 153... 116... 168
Balt 3B.. 123. 139... 107... 146

The second line still represents an excellent season, but not one that’s “spectacularly dominant,” and certainly not one that I’d compare to Wagner 1908.

For me, rate is rate (valued exponentially)and playing time is playing time (valued linear-ly)--one full six-win season is exactly equal to two three-win half-seasons, and a three-win half-season is worth notably more than a three-win full season.

This is actually my biggest conceptual disagreement with Dan’s system. By valuing rate exponentially and playing time linearly, he’s saying that a team faced with choosing between a full season of a 120 OPS+ player and a season split in half between a 140 OPS+ player and a 100 OPS+ player would pay substantially more for the latter. To me, that makes no sense. If anything, I’d prefer the former because of the stability that it would provide to the team.

Despite his short career, if McGraw had been able to stay in the lineup during his prime, I’d be tempted to support him for some of the same reasons that I supported Jennings. The combination of a short career and lack of in-season durability is what keeps him well off my ballot.
   197. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 22, 2007 at 02:52 PM (#2301640)
Brent,

Thanks for your comments. It's worth noting that of the 12.2 WARP1 I have for 1899 McGraw (pre-standard deviation adjustment), 1.4 come from his 73 steals, and 1.6 from his Gold Glove fielding for that season (according to FRAA and Fielding WS). So OPS+ doesn't tell the whole story.

For my part, I don't understand why people distinguish so much between in-season durability and career longevity. I would say the team would pay more for the half-season of the 140 OPS+ player (really 160 OPS+ plus 80 OPS+ replacement which averages to 120) than for the full season of the 120 OPS+ player for the same reasons it pays more for ten 160 OPS+ seasons than twenty 120 OPS+ seasons. Either you care about peak, or you don't, and it seems to me the difference between peak and career is the difference between rate and playing time. And that's equally true for one season or for a whole career. For me, a peak accomplished by racking up 750 PA at an above-average level (Pete Rose) is *not* as Meritorious as somebody tearing the cover off the ball for 500 PA (McCovey, Stargell), even if the WARP numbers come out equal--just as a career of twenty 3-win seasons is not as Meritorious as a career of ten 6-win seasons.

I'd also just like to clarify that this debate, while interesting and important for the HoM, has *nothing* to do with my WARP system. It is simply how I *interpret* the WARP numbers to form a ballot, based on my preferences for weighting career and peak, playing time and rate. My WARP numbers are absolutely comparable in concept to BP's (just, I hope, much better-executed), and I hope voters find them useful in a similar fashion. I think both systems underrate McGraw because he produced more wins than they give him credit for, which is a different reason to back him than my peak/career considerations as a voter.
   198. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 22, 2007 at 03:00 PM (#2301648)
To clarify further: in a previous peak/career discussion, someone said that the peak voter's philosophy is "in a higher league, average players would be minor leaguers." I think that's a good way to put it. Furthermore, it can be reflected mathematically by raising the replacement level. In a HoM'ers league, replacement level would be HoVG level, say 120 OPS+. In that case, the half-season 160 OPS+ guy still has value, while the full-season 120 OPS+ guy is worth exactly 0.
   199. DanG Posted: February 22, 2007 at 05:38 PM (#2301765)
while the full-season 120 OPS+ guy is worth exactly 0.

Which is where the fallacy is introduced.
   200. KJOK Posted: February 23, 2007 at 01:56 AM (#2302105)
while the full-season 120 OPS+ guy is worth exactly 0.

Which is where the fallacy is introduced.


What fallacy? In an "ideal" system, anyone scoring over 'zero' would be a HOMer, and anyone scoring under zero would not.

It's a bit difficult to come up with that system, but I don't see any "fallacy" there?
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