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Monday, April 16, 2007

1998 Ballot Discussion

1998 (May 7)—elect 3
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

339 143.6 1970 Bert Blyleven-P
337 117.8 1975 Gary Carter-C
312 108.8 1976 Willie Randolph-2B
316 92.1 1977 Jack Clark-RF/1B
298 89.3 1974 Brian Downing-LF/DH/C
210 88.0 1979 Dave Stieb-P*
244 70.8 1978 Carney Lansford-3B
246 68.7 1980 Pedro Guerrero-1B/RF
166 65.7 1982 Jesse Barfield-RF
163 61.6 1978 Jim Gantner-2B
177 56.2 1982 Von Hayes-RF/1B
168 59.5 1980 Mike Scioscia-C
158 59.3 1976 Mike Flanagan-P
141 50.5 1979 Ken Oberkfell-3B
128 54.5 1977 Floyd Bannister-P
153 41.4 1984 Alvin Davis-1B
120 39.0 1984 Brook Jacoby-3B
116 40.7 1978 Don Robinson-P
106 40.3 1980 Dave Smith-RP
103 40.5 1978 Dennis Lamp-RP

Players Passing Away in 1997
HoMers
Age Elected

90 1955 Buck Leonard-1B
70 1968 Richie Ashburn-CF

Candidates
Age Eligible

98 1938 Joe Hauser-1B
95 1942 Ray Benge-P
91 1944 Woody English-SS
90 1951 Dolph Camilli-1B
90 1954 Thornton Lee-P
88 1953 Billy Jurges-SS
82 1956 Johnny VanderMeer-P
80 1956 Eddie Miller-SS
75 1964 Bobby Adams-3B/2B
69 1971 Dick Donovan-P
68 1972 Roy McMillan-SS
59 1975 Curt Flood-CF

Thanks, Dan!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 16, 2007 at 06:05 PM | 243 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 17, 2007 at 02:09 AM (#2336701)
Carter and Blyleven are definites in '98. I'm not sure about Randolph, Clark or Steib, though
   2. sunnyday2 Posted: April 17, 2007 at 02:22 AM (#2336718)
My #1, 14 and 19 got elected. The way the newbies are flying in, you can't count out Randolph or Steib. I can't quite imagine Clark, however--I mean, this is Jack, right? Not Will the Thrill. So...

1. Carter
2. Blyleven--I assume most voters will have them the other way around. I think Carter is pretty underrated. Both are obvious PHoMers for 1998.

3. Fingers
4. Browning
5. Joss
6. Reggie Smith
7. C. Jones
8. Williamson
9. Cepeda
10. Rizzuto

11. Doyle
12. Cravath
13. F. Howard
14. Redding
15. Newcombe

Close--E. Howard, Leach, (Trouppe), Singleton, (Dw. Evans), Quisenberry, Cash, (Sheckard), Willis, Rosen, (J. Kelley), Clarkson, Oms and Grimes. Leach is next in line for PHoM but I'll be thinking about that one.

Randolph, Jack Clark and Stieb all look like they might be in the 50s somwhere. Randolph not as strong a candidate as I expected, Clark better than I expected, Stieb about what I expected. Brian Downing goes around #125.
   3. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 17, 2007 at 02:37 AM (#2336733)
I will post threads for Brian Downing, Pedro Guerrero and Carney Lansford next week.
   4. Chris Cobb Posted: April 17, 2007 at 02:46 AM (#2336746)
I have Carter/Blyleven as #1 and #2.

Randolph I'm not sure about yet, but he'll definitely be on my ballot -- I'm just not sure where yet.

After electing Nellie Fox last year, I don't see how the electorate can in good conscience fail to elect Willie Randolph this year, but I suppose not everyone will see it that way.

Short argument for why Randolph is better than Fox: Better offense (esp. when you adjust for DH), better defense (unless you prefer WS assessment to WARP).
He doesn't have Fox's durability, though, so his seasonal win share totals are not as impressive as Fox's. But he has more career win shares in fewer career games.

Stieb will be around my ballot. I'm waiting to see what Joe D.'s analysis finds before I commit to placing him in relation to Tiant, John, and Reuschel who are his nearest contemparies among SP candidates.
   5. Michael Bass Posted: April 17, 2007 at 03:44 AM (#2336770)
Quick run through...

Carter 1, Blyleven 2. That's the easy part.

I think Randolph is a touch ahead of Fox, around the Tony Perez portion, which is in the 16-20 range off ballot, likely to be PHOM'd this year with the other 2.

Stieb was nice, but not a HOMer in my view. Slots in after Tiant and before Reuschel in the "recent pitcher" vintage. Just needed more of a peak given that his prime didn't last. But a very high ranking memeber of the HOVG.

I really remembered Jack Clark's St. Louis years as better than they actually were, probably because I grew up in a Cardinal household before rebelling as a Met fan. Anyway, not as close to ballot worthy as I anticipated he might be; actually below Fred Lynn, and we all remember how much I loved him. ;)
   6. OCF Posted: April 17, 2007 at 07:27 AM (#2336828)
I really remembered Jack Clark's St. Louis years as better than they actually were, probably because I grew up in a Cardinal household...

Well, he got hurt every year like clockwork. And 1987 sticks out from the surrounding years as an outlier. But he really was a beast in 1987. (Other teams effectively stopped pitching to him after the All-Star break; had he not gotten hurt, he was headed for quite a peculiar number of walks.)

Another guy I've got to work up and haven't yet: Pedro Guerrero. His year of beastliness was 1985.
   7. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 17, 2007 at 12:38 PM (#2336870)
Off the cuff...

1) Blyleven
2) Carter
Between 3 and 10) Stieb

1 and 2 could switch after I take a closer look. Stieb is the best AL pitcher from 1980-1986 or 1990 or something like that. I have to dig up my notes. Anyway, he was outstanding.
   8. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 17, 2007 at 02:53 PM (#2336966)
In the category of first-base love, why so much for Beckley and for Perez but not for Cash?
   9. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 17, 2007 at 03:06 PM (#2336972)
In the category of first-base love, why so much for Beckley and for Perez but not for Cash?


Durability problems hurt Cash.
   10. sunnyday2 Posted: April 17, 2007 at 03:06 PM (#2336973)
Cash had a one (expansion) year peak? Doggie at least had something of a peak. I'm not the guy to talk about Beckley.

For me a peak is 30 WS and/or 150 OPS+. You really gotta have more than 1 of each as a corner.
   11. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 17, 2007 at 03:22 PM (#2336988)
Right Sunny, so Perez and Cash to a lesser extent had peak, but Beckley very little. But among the three of them, I just don't see why any one of them is better or worse than the other so much that Cash is way down the rankings and Beckley and Perez close to election.
   12. DL from MN Posted: April 17, 2007 at 03:37 PM (#2336994)
1998 Prelim Ballot

I rippled through the consequences of my downward revision in DH bonus and added the new candidates

1) Gary Carter - good argument for the #4 catcher to this date
2) Bert Blyleven - Nolan Ryan was better, they won't have to be on the same ballot
3) Luis Tiant
4) Bus Clarkson - the Win Shares aren't quite right yet but I've corrected for them
5) Bob Johnson - I'm no longer in the minority here. Looks a LOT like Dwight Evans
6) Norm Cash
7) Willie Randolph - before my new DH era bonus he was #3. Boatloads better than Nellie Fox. Interesting that both NY teams have a should-be HOF player as manager and they're both pretty good managers.
8) Tommy Bridges - Lots better than Bucky Walters who is partly a product of his defense, deserves war credit
9) Graig Nettles
10) Tony Perez
11) Jake Beckley
12) Buddy Bell
13) Ron Cey
14) Rick Reuschel
15) Reggie Smith

My ballot is filling up with modern players yet our backlog is topped off with guys from before the war. I blame the peak voters.

16-20) Rusty Staub, Gavy Cravath, Virgil Trucks, Bob Elliott, Jack Clark

I'm a little surprised to see Jack Clark rate so high but comparing him to Bob Elliott seems fair

21-25) Tommy John, Ben Taylor, Tommy Leach, Orlando Cepeda, Dutch Leonard
26-30) Bobby Bonds, Thurman Munson, Dick Redding, Jack Quinn, Vic Willis
31-35) Dave Bancroft, Ken Singleton, Urban Shocker, Johnny Evers, Luke Easter
36-40) Rollie Fingers, Dizzy Trout, Darrell Porter, Hilton Smith, Lave Cross
41-46) Frank Howard, Alejandro Oms, Charley Jones, Pete Browning, Tony Lazzeri, Roger Bresnahan

I don't think managers from Bresnahan's era wanted good players to catch for fear of injury.

61) Dave Stieb
70) Bucky Walters
76) Brian Downing - same BRAR and BRAA as Jim Rice
   13. sunnyday2 Posted: April 17, 2007 at 03:46 PM (#2337001)
Well, the question was why not Cash. But I agree, there are plenty of hitters who are ahead of Cash, Beckley and Perez. Have I mentioned Cepeda and F. Howard lately?
   14. The Wilpons Must Go (Tom D) Posted: April 17, 2007 at 03:55 PM (#2337008)
Willie Randolph - before my new DH era bonus he was #3. Boatloads better than Nellie Fox. Interesting that both NY teams have a should-be HOF player as manager and they're both pretty good managers.

Torre is commonly referred to as an HOF manager on NY talk radio but he seems to get little or no credit as a player.
   15. Rusty Priske Posted: April 17, 2007 at 05:44 PM (#2337091)
I appear to have a different opinion about the #1 spot, but the consenus top 2 are still easy elects, imo.

Prelim

PHoM: Bert Blyleven, Gary Carter, Jack Clark

1. Tony Perez
2. Bert Blyleven
3. Gary Carter
4. George Van Haltren
5. Jake Beckley
6. Rusty Staub
7. Mickey Welch
8. Tommy Leach
9. Lou Brock
10. Graig Nettles
11. Hugh Duffy
12. Jack Clark
13. Ken Singleton
14. Willie Randolph
15. Reggie Smith

16-20. Cepeda, Bonds, Cash, Willis, Redding
21-25. Browning, Johnson, Downing, Doyle, Streeter
26-30. Parker, S.Rice, F.Howard, McCormick, Strong
   16. Juan V Posted: April 17, 2007 at 05:49 PM (#2337095)
First impressions: Blycarter takes the top two spots (although Gary looks worse than I initially thought). Stieb and Randolph (much better than Nellie) look ballot worthy as well.

And, once I got past the Fox shock, what really hit me is seeing Walters entering the top 10. He is so far down on my consideration set, I figured I was making a typo on him... but no, couldn't find it. Even my RA+ system (that is, without accounting for his defenses) sees him as a guy who had a couple of very good seasons, but nothing else.
   17. Mike Webber Posted: April 17, 2007 at 05:51 PM (#2337100)
1. Tony Perez
2. Bert Blyleven
3. Gary Carter

Rusty - you don't get to just put Perez ahead of Carter and Blyleven without giving some type of explanation.
   18. OCF Posted: April 17, 2007 at 06:06 PM (#2337111)
Walters ... Even my RA+ system (that is, without accounting for his defenses) sees him as a guy who had a couple of very good seasons, but nothing else.

I would have him at an equivalent 195-150 without his hitting; taking his hitting into account only improves that to 197-148. The offensive adjustment for him was considerably smaller than it was for Lemon or Ruffing. His best hitting does seem to correspond to his best pitching, and I do have his 1939 season as an equivalent 26-10, which is quite a year. I have been voting for him, but I've also been putting Bridges (equivalent 190-124, but without really big years) ahead of him.

And I haven't worked up Stieb yet - this will be who he would be competing with.
   19. Juan V Posted: April 17, 2007 at 06:21 PM (#2337115)
Just a little thing.... It has to do with Fox, and also with Randolph.

It seems that some of Fox's supporters used the "positional balance" card. But, with his election, we now have more second basemen than first basemen (according to the Plaque room). Over the last decade, we have picked him and Childs from the backlog, and newbies Morgan, Carew and Grich. Now we look at Randolph, at this stage we are pretty sure we are going to elect Sandberg, and probably Whitaker, and Alomar and Biggio are doing nicely for themselves. I remember some talk of lack of second basemen in the Hall back in the early Eighties, but no more.
   20. jimd Posted: April 17, 2007 at 06:30 PM (#2337120)
Oldest living HOMer
(progression)
1898 -- Deacon White (elected, age 50)
1901 -- George Wright (elected, age 54)
1912 -- Joe Start (elected, age 69; died, age 84)
1927 -- George Wright (age 80; died, age 90)
1937 -- Deacon White (age 89; died, age 91)
1939 -- Jack Glasscock (age 79; died, age 87)
1947 -- Cy Young (age 79; died, age 88)
1955 -- Grant Johnson (age 83; died, age 92)
1964 -- Elmer Flick (age 88; died, age 94)
1971 -- Zach Wheat (age 82; died, age 83)
1972 -- Red Faber (age 83; died, age 88)
1976 -- Stan Coveleski (age 87; died, age 94)
1984 -- Bill Terry (age 85)
1985 -- Joe Sewell (elected, age 86; died, age 91)
1990 -- Charlie Gehringer (age 86; died, age 89)
1993 -- Buck Leonard (age 86; died, age 90)
1997 -- Joe DiMaggio (age 83; )

Roush would have made this list if he'd been elected before 1988.
   21. Rusty Priske Posted: April 17, 2007 at 08:15 PM (#2337205)
Why Perez over Blyleven and Carter?

Well, the easier explanation is Carter. Perez played longer and hit better. Not substantially longer or better and Carter gets a defensive edge, but overall, I think Perez had a better career.


As for Blyleven, well, it is harder to make direct comparisons of course. Perez has more Win Shares, but just barely. It coems down to a judgment call.


The real argument for me as that these THREE are clearly the best on the ballot and should go in. I realize that not everyone agrees as far as Perez goes, but I'm not sure why.
   22. sunnyday2 Posted: April 17, 2007 at 08:24 PM (#2337218)
Carter has a defensive "edge" over Doggie? An "edge" would be a better 1B. A good catcher has more than an "edge." I mean, Perez hit better than Cal Ripken but Ripken has a defensive "edge." Does that make Perez better than Cal Ripken?

And just compare OPS+ year by year--Perez vs. Reggie Smith (now there's a defensive "edge"), or Frank Howard, or Cepeda, or Cravath. "I'm not sure why" anybody could prefer Perez, frankly.
   23. DL from MN Posted: April 17, 2007 at 08:43 PM (#2337240)
Carter v. Eddie Murray I can see as a difficult comparison. Carter v. Perez isn't even close once you figure out degree of difficulty.
   24. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 17, 2007 at 08:47 PM (#2337247)
I think Blyleven presents peculiarities with WS that should probably watched out for. In one-third or one-half of his career, pitchers piled up WS since they threw more innings. In the second half or two-thirds, they got many fewer. Take a look at this, the yearly WS leader in Bly's league each year, plus the a 3-year average of the leader:
YEAR LDR 3AVG
1970 30   31
1971 33   31
1972 39   34
1973 31   34
1974 30   33
1975 31   31
1976 27   29
1977 29   29
1978 30   29
1979 24   28 
1980 29   28 
1981 27   27
1982 25   27
1983 28   27
1984 25   26
1985 24   26
1986 29   26
1987 28   27
1988 25   27
1989 25   26
1990 28   26
1991 26   26
1992 26   27 


Here's the best position player's WS and 3-year avgs for Blylven's leagues:
YEAR LDR avg
1970  36  39
1971  38  39
1972  40  38
1973  32  37
1974  33  35
1975  33  33
1976  33  33
1977  37  34
1978  37  36
1979  33  36
1980  37  36
1981  27  32
1982  39  34
1983  35  34
1984  37  37
1985  38  37
1986  37  37 
1987  35  37
1988  39  37
1989  34  36
1990  39  37 
1991  34  36 
1992  34  36 


Here's the ratio of the averages, pitching over hitting:

1970    0.801724138
1971    0.808695652
1972    0.894736842
1973    0.927272727
1974    0.942857143
1975    0.948979592
1976    0.878787879
1977    0.844660194
1978    0.813084112
1979    0.785046729
1980    0.785046729
1981    0.835051546
1982    0.786407767
1983    0.801980198
1984    0.702702703
1985    0.709090909
1986    0.696428571
1987    0.736363636
1988    0.72972973
1989    0.722222222
1990    0.696428571
1991    0.728971963
1992    0.757009346 


Big drop in the mid 1970s, bigger drop in the early 1980s. So I think comparing Perez to Blyleven, you probably need to compare Blyleven times 1.15 to 1.20 to Perez.
   25. DavidFoss Posted: April 17, 2007 at 10:28 PM (#2337325)
Rusty has always been a strong career voter and has been perviously called out for not making playing-time corrections for catchers before. I can't remember the specific case, but there was a famous catcher who he almost left off his ballot a while back. He's made some corrections, but he may still be underrating pitchers and catchers (relative to the consensus, that is :)).

He's consistent and he always posts an early prelim... gotta give the guy some props for starting up the discussion. :)
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 17, 2007 at 11:05 PM (#2337351)
Well, the easier explanation is Carter. Perez played longer and hit better. Not substantially longer or better and Carter gets a defensive edge, but overall, I think Perez had a better career.


Who dominated his position to a greater extent, Rusty?

Carter and it's not even close.
   27. Rusty Priske Posted: April 18, 2007 at 02:13 AM (#2337731)
I am most definitely a career voter and it is true that I am not a big fan of big defensive adjustments.

My question is: even if I drop Perez to third (which I woudl have no real problem with. As I say to me it is just clear who the best 3 are), then why are so many people not ranking Perez high at all?
   28. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: April 18, 2007 at 02:28 AM (#2337755)
Because outside of 1968-73 he just really wasn't very valuable at all--a slightly above average first baseman. If he had played at a low All-Star (Beckleyish) level throughout the 70s, he'd be a candidate, because he was definitely a star from 68-73. But the rest of the career just really isn't worth much of anything.
   29. AJMcCringleberry Posted: April 18, 2007 at 03:14 AM (#2337812)
I had Perez first last ballot, but I don't have him close to Carter/Blyleven.

If you like Win Shares, Rusty, Perez only has 9 more win shares than Carter. So playing longer didn't help Perez much. Top three and top five are almost equal as well.
   30. sunnyday2 Posted: April 18, 2007 at 03:34 AM (#2337834)
WS

Perez 349/33-32-31-25-25
Cepeda 310/34-30-29-29-26
Cravath 318/35-33-28-28-28
Singleton 302/36-33-32-28-28
F. Howard 297/38-34-30-28-25
Brock 348/31-30-30-26-26

OPS+

Perez 122/162-62-48-38-24
Cepeda 133/166-66-55-48-35
Cravath 147/172-71-66-60-53
Singleton 132/168-58-56-54-46
F. Howard 143/180-73-72-54-51
Cash 138/198-48-47-41-40

What makes Perez better than any of these guys? That is the question. How do you answer that? Especially...here is a "hitter" whose 4th and 5th best seasons are 138 and 124 OPS+? The top 3 seasons are nice by WS but trail the other comparable hitter candidates on OPS+ but then the 4th and 5th years, he falls off the table.

Why Perez?

The only number I see on this entire page that could possibly answer that question in the affirmative is 349. That doesn't seem like a lot in the absence of other stuff. (I have Tony in my top 25 BTW, I just can't see him head and shoulders above his peers. Like I say, I don't want to know why NOT Perez, I want to know why Perez?
   31. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 18, 2007 at 02:15 PM (#2337987)
-Bert Blyleven- You all know that I’m all for this guy. While this is a family site, my all-time favorite thing about Blyleven was that he was known to wear a t-shirt at press conferences that said “I Love Farting.” What’s amazing to me about Blyleven was his big come back. In 1982 as a somewhat older pitcher, back when an arthroscope put you out for months, he had a serious injury, missed all but four starts, then returned in 1983 and started stringing together wonderful seasons until about 1989.

-Gary Carter- One of my clearest memories of Carter is a Newsday ad where he’s on the field and a chopper lowers a newsstand onto the on-deck circle. It was right after the trade, and he says: “Is this how they do it in NY?” He held his bat very high. Not quite Counsel high, but very high. Open stance, had to drop his hands to get into hitting position. I remember him having a very level stroke for a power guy, and during his follow through, his bat head ended up closer to his waist band than his number.

-Willie Randolph- I grew up a Yankee fan, and Randolph was a favorite. Steady, smart, pleasant, and had an approach at the plate. Good glove, lots of leadery/clutchy stuff. He was the protagonist in a play I’ve never otherwise seen: at the Stadium in 1986 or 1987, and with three balls, Randolph advanced from home to second on a wild pitch/passed ball. That's a non-routine one for you.

-Jack Clark- The Ripper. Also the Dude if I remember correctly. Dooder, el Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing. He was near the end of the Giants Great Chain of Outfielding, with Chili being the last link I suppose. What was Clark like as an outfielder? Did he move to first because he wasn't good in the OF or because the Cards had better defenders in the pastures?

-Brian Downing- OK, Hulkamaniacs, I want to ask this question in all honesty. Not trying to stir up controversy. Downing is often cited as among the early adopters of weight training (Parrish too). His body shape really changed dramatically from what I’ve read. Is or was there any speculation about PEDs here?

-Dave Stieb- I think I was watching the night/two nights that Stewart and Fernando and Steib were tossing no-nos or one-ones. Now looking back no-hitters seem to have come during a down time for offense…which makes sense. But no-hitters didn’t really go away until this century.

-Carney Lansford- You can smoke, you can drink, you can stay out all night with the ladies, but whatever you do stay away from the snowmobiles. Lansford is the next link in a chain of guys like Dandridge, Kell, Judy Johnson, and others: 3Bs who hit for average, don’t do much else at the plate. Gold Glove optional. Madlock’s kind of in the group, but more power than those guys. Jeff Cirillo probably. It’s a funny group since it’s pretty persistent since the position modernized, but there’s never a lot of them around.

-Pedro Guerrero- Dude had that monster month. It was all the rage back in 1985 (I think). Guerrero could never find a position that suited him, sliding finally to first where he wasn’t a liability (I think). He played his games in two parks ill suited to his game: Dodgers Crater and Busch Oval. If he’d have played at Fenway, I wonder how differently he’d be viewed. Big question: was he really as dumb as his attorney claimed?

-Jesse Barfield- Three things:
(1) Barfield had the best arm I remember. Once the Yanks were playing the Tigers, back when it was Big Daddy and the Big Boys. Cecil smacks it down the line---it goes into the corner! Fielder rounded first and steamed for second. Barfield was all the way in the RF corner, and he threw on the fly, hitting (Espinoza?) in the chest and (Espinoza?)…waited. And waited. And finally Fielder pulled in and was tagged out. Nice throw.
(2) Barfield had the best arm I remember. But in this same period, the Yanks couldn’t buy a win in Arlington. Sterling refered to it as the Yankees Chamber of Horrors. In a mid-summer dreary night game, late at night, tied in the ninth. Palmeiro’s on first and someone hits it down the line toward the corner. Barfield’s up with it and throwing………into the stands. Palmeiro trots home, Rangers win. [TThhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Rangers win!]
(3) Barfield had a wrist problem around 1990ish. Totally sapped his power. First time I’d realized that wrist injuries could kill a career quickly. Looking forward, Nomar’s repeated wrist problems in the early aughts appear to have taken his power down a notch. I don’t exactly remember what problem Barfield had. Plenty of guys get the hamate out, but it doesn’t seem to be as big of a deal. I’m not anatomically inclined, so I don’t really have a strong sense of what the parts of the wrist do. But since Barfield’s injury, I’ve been much more aware of the impact a wrist problem can have.

-Jim Gantner- Gumby. OCF, I think, once posited that Gantner is among the worst long-career players out there.

-Von Hayes- Subject of one of the funniest but nastiest baseball quotes you’ll hear. When the Phils dealt him away, Dykstra supposedly exclaimed: “Great trade! Who’d we get?” Hayes was a weird player in some ways. He had great physical talent, a lean frame, was graceful, quiet. He didn’t exactly look like a right fielder, certainly more like a centerfielder or a left fielder. Or maybe a 1B. The big 5-for-1 deal that rescued him from Cleveland was also weird for its time or any time. And it’s interesting to speculate whether it ultimately made Von’s life worse. Hayes hadn’t been Stan Musial, in fact, he was a 23-year-old coming off a full year of 91 OPS+. Some of the guys going the other way were well-known players or good prospects…including a babyfaced, then-33-years-old Julio Franco. Hayes looked like a greyhound, sure, but five players including a good SS prospect and a starting second baseman with an excellent glove? Well, if that didn’t build expectations. Then the Phils won the series, of course (don’t tell me they didn’t, I’m in denial), then the dark times. Schmidt moving around, Rick Schu, Jeltzy, Greg Legg, Akerfelds, Ivan Dejesus, Daulton either sucking or catastrophically injured, Juan Samuel as Soriano-lite, John Russell, Lee Elia, Nick Leyva, yuck. Did I mention Ron Jones’ knees? Anyway, it was a bad time, and Von Hayes lived the whole miserable nightmare. In some seasons he really ripped. 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989 were legitimately good years with an All-Star berth in there and a top-ten MVP finish. But after the 5-for-1 deal, he never unseated Schmidt as the team’s icon, best player, or leader. He slowly became known as the taciturn, moody sort, and he and his long, loping stride went from “naturally graceful” to “not trying very hard” pretty quick. Clearly Philadelphia’s obnoxious sports media and intemperate fan base played a part in Hayes’ becoming a reviled figure, but I arrived into town at the tail end of his tenure, and my recollection was that Hayes was ready to go. Perhaps he’d sown some of the seeds of his exit with his own mouth or his actions, I’m not sure. But more than anything, in 1991 when he finally got the boot, he had completely collapsed into a 67 OPS+ in 325 or so PAs. His medium-range power went AWOL (SLG under .300), and without it, his good batting eye couldn’t possibly walk enough to make a .225 average stand up. I don’t know if he had sustained a terrible injury or if his perspective had taken a bad turn. He went to the Angels and had almost the same season in 1992, with just a bit more SLG. He left the game at 33, just two years removed from being a 118 OPS+ in RF for the Phillies. I’ve always wondered whether the 5-for-1 was in some strange way the beginning of the end.

-Mike Scioscia- I always liked him, even though I didn’t like many Dodgers growing up. Maybe he reminded me of Hassey in some way, who I did like. I suppose he’s kind of like Greg Zaun with a glove and more much, much playing time.

-Mike Flanagan- Better pitcher than GM…. The Orioles under Earl Weaver had a bunch of pitchers that had surprising career years: Steve Stone, Flanagan, Pat Dobson, Wayne Garland, maybe Scott McGregor. Or maybe I should say, surprising 20-win years. It’s not exactly like Duncan/LaRussa teams because these had all been baby Birds. Most had good, long careers, with that one big punctuation mark in midst of them. And they were good pitchers on good teams, so it shouldn’t be all that weird. Just sometimes patterns kind of stick out like that. I wonder whether Jeff Ballard was the last of the sort, but I suppose the Oriole Way might have by that time been too long gone.

-Ken Oberkfell- Linked in my mind to Glenn Hubbard but for no reason I can ever figure out, unless they had been teammates on the Braves. He’s sort of the anti-Lansford. I think James has mentioned this, but Oberkfell’s unusual as a 3B who had almost no power but who walked a lot so that his OBP nearly matched his SLG. He neither fit the slugging 3B mold, nor the Lansfordian high-average 3B mold. I think he played in the wrong half of the twentieth century, he might have been Tommy Leach in 1900.

-Floyd Bannister- Not that Bannister wasn’t good or didn’t have good seasons or wasn’t extremely talented, but did you always get the feeling that the sport had waited and waited for him to finally break out in a big way?

-Alvin Davis- Talk about flame outs. Worth stopping here to mention that in the 1980s the Mariners drafted, signed, and used free-agent-compensation drafting to great effect so that their system spat out an amazing array of talent. All of these guys were on the 1985 Mariners:
Alvin Davis
Edgar Martinez
Jim Presley
Mark Langston
Mike Moore
Spike Owen
Phil Bradley
Harold Reynolds
Ivan Calderon
Darnell Coles
Danny Tartabull
Matt Young
Bill Swift

And, of course, Al Chambers.

That’s a ton of talent, some of it HOF level or close, some of it All-Star, some of it regulars, some of it excellent role players. And there were other bit players I didn’t mention too. Of course their farm would continue to barf up gobs of talent into the early 1990s, when the team finally figured out how to start putting it together into a winner…. Too bad that, like Don Mattingly, Alvin Davis wasn’t around to play for the winners that followed his departure.

-Brook Jacoby- What did the SI cover say? Indians or the warpath or rise or something? Too bad none of them but Franco and Jacoby knew a strike from a pizza, they might have made some noise. That goes for the pitchers too.

-Don Robinson- When he and Reuschel were teammates they must have sumoed for the right to be called Big Daddy. Robinson could hit in a very serious way. 13 career homers, 62 career ops+, 23 doubles, 16 career walks, 231/252/330 is his career line, and it wouldn’t look out of place in any Mark Belanger season.

-Dave Smith- I don’t really know anything about the guy. I’ve always wondered if the end of his career was brought about by injury, antipathy, or ineffectiveness.

-Dennis Lamp- The All Furniture Team!

RP: Jose Mesa
RP: Dennis Lamp
QB: Tim Couch

Aw forget it.
   32. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 18, 2007 at 05:48 PM (#2338164)
1998 Prelim Ballot

Haven't done a lot of prelimming lately, or ever. Thought I would this time because I got stuff to think about.

1. "Jimmy" Gary "Cooper" Carter (in a Kineristic moment, I almost typed Gary Garter). Same as above. With more analysis, I might swap them, but they each occupy the same general area at their respective positions, so it's close. What took the Coop so long?

2. Rik Albert: Ridiculously qualified for whatever Hall you got. OK, maybe not for the Hall of the Best Five at Every Position....

3. Wilbur Cooper: Dominant NL portsider of the late 1910s-early 1920s. This guy was in the (retroactive) Cy Young chase every single year for a good long while in the late teens and early 1920s, battling Old Pete, Hippo, and Dolf for several years. I like pitchers who show dominance for a good stretch, and he’s one. He's got a little more than Steib does outside the peak, so that's why he's above him.

4. Ken Singleton: He’s the best player in the AL of the very late 1970s, and a good long while best RF in the AL. And while he might not have much defensive value, he’s doing a great job of walking and hitting with power, lots of SEC. Plenty of All-Star and MVP type seasons.

5. Alejandro Oms: These aren’t my numbers, by the way, which tells you that this vote is not just a Doc C special. An outstanding CFer of the 1920s in the NgLs and CWL. Oms may not have a superior peak (it’ll be a long time before we can assess that with a lot of certainty), but we know now that he had a ton of career value to go with enough peak that he’s a wonderful prime/career candidate.

6. Dave Steib: Best AL pitcher of the 1980s according to WS and my system (which is WS based). In addition, Joe loves him, which makes me feel very secure about this high placement.

7. Larry Doyle: Moves below Steib since I think Dan R's analysis gives me mild doubts. So caution is my watch word. Dominant 2B of the NL of the 1910s, good peak/prime, and an argument for having been the best player in the NL for a brief time.

8. Elston Howard: After re-evaluation of his pre-MLB seasons, I think credit is only realistic for 1953-1954 at most. After adjusting for this, he drops back to just ahead of Tralee, not near as high as I had him previously.

9. Bucky Walters: You know the story---I like pitcher peaks, and he's got one, even when dampened for the war. As you saw in the Steib thread, there's reason to believe that Walters is not as good as Steib. Unless I miss my guess, Joe is going to tell us also that Walters' played in front of far superior defenses to Steib, which widens the gap yet again.

10. Leroy Matlock: He’s back. Many years ago now I saw Matlock as the best available pitcher. My consensus scores plummeted…. But in reviewing NgL players, I looked back on his thread, and I don’t really understand why I lost my nerve on him. The MLEs look HOMable, even if you see that 1937 season as a little less than 43 WS. I think we’ve whiffed on him, and that someday when we’ve got more better information, he’ll be one of the “lost” guys that no one talked about who ends up as a HOMer.

11. Tommy Leach: Pick your poison. As a CF, he’s not got enough peak to get on the ballot. But as a 3B, he’s a fabulous career candidate with enough at the top end to be among the top dozen 3Bs. Splitting it down the middle, he’s a 3B/CF hybrid with outstanding seasons at both positions, a nice, long career, and enough peak/prime to emerge as a downballot candidate.

12. Norm Cash: I don’t know whether we should elect him or not, but I know he’s highly qualified. In a perfectly balanced positional world, he would remain just outside for the foreseeable future. But he is juuuuust outside. So close that I have trouble distinguishing his relative stature versus Roush and Duffy who are similarly qualified but juuuuust on the other side of the line. Frankly, the love for Beckley and Perez and lack of it for Cash is utterly strange. And as Sunny will tell you, the same can be said of Cepeda.

13. Hugh Duffy: Lots of All-Star and MVP type seasons, a good run as his league's best position player, plenty of adjusted career value. He'd be a perfectly fine selection, but he’s certainly a borderliner.

14. Sal Bando: Same old, same old here. You’ve read my thoughts for ten years. Make it eleven.

15. Rick Reuschel: I don’t always agree with Joe’s pitcher rankings (except where Steib is concerned), but I think his points about Reuschel viz Tiant are interesting. Big Daddy presents hope to all mesmorphs…people like me.
   33. sunnyday2 Posted: April 18, 2007 at 06:17 PM (#2338182)
Doc, to me it matters a lot that a dozen guys who played the same position as Cash ("hitter") were better, many of them a lot better, in season 2 thru 5. He remains about twice as far from the top of my ballot as yours. I don't get it. I even have Perez a couple slots higher. But if you want a "hitter," Cepeda isn't the only choice--F. Howard and Cravath would also do. Cash is in the next trio.

Bando--yes, just because he is an idiosyncratic choice doesn't make it wrong.

Larry Doyle--just yes. And Ellie Howard--yes, yes, yes.

But Wilbur Cooper? I think you mean Vic Willis. I can see how you get them mixed up WIL..bur.... WIL...lis. Thank god it's not Wilbur Willis or Walker Wallis or Carter Cooper or Cooper Carter or something like that.

Good ballot, almost perfect, with just these slight alterations ;-)
   34. Chris Cobb Posted: April 18, 2007 at 06:39 PM (#2338193)
Frankly, the love for Beckley and Perez and lack of it for Cash is utterly strange. And as Sunny will tell you, the same can be said of Cepeda.

In-season durability and league strength are the factors holding Cash back.

Crummy defense is the weight holding down Cepeda.

Whether these considerations are correct might be debated, but surely they are neither mysterious nor strange considerations.
   35. TomH Posted: April 18, 2007 at 06:40 PM (#2338194)
let's ask Alvin Dark about Cepeda..... :)
   36. sunnyday2 Posted: April 18, 2007 at 07:15 PM (#2338215)
Let's ask Cepeda about Al Dark! ;-)

I can't get too excited about crummy defense from guys who are in the lineup for their bats. I'm probably gonna vote for Ozzie Smith and his crummy offense.
   37. Mike Webber Posted: April 18, 2007 at 09:13 PM (#2338336)
Hey Doc

how about a Cepeda vs Cash steel cage match? Compare and contrast.
   38. Juan V Posted: April 18, 2007 at 10:43 PM (#2338420)
Prelim. I adjusted the relative placing of pitchers, and incorporated the latest set of Clarkson MLEs.

1) Rik Aalbert
2) Gary Edmund
3) Bus Clarkson
4) Gavvy Cravath
5) Luis Tiant
6) Willie Randolph
7) Roger Bresnahan
8) Vic Willis
9) Ale Oms
10) Tony Lazzeri
11) David Concepción
12) Jake Beckley
13) Ben Taylor
14) Tony Perez
15) Bob Johnson

Stieb is not far from the ballot, in the low-mid 20s. I expected a bit more uberstat love for him.
   39. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 19, 2007 at 12:57 AM (#2338707)
Mike,

What can I say, my system sees them as very, very close to one another, so nothing I'm going to say is going to be earth-shattering. I'll take them both through the mill anyway.

1. Was he ever the best position player in his league over time (my three year blocs)?
Cash: No.
Cepeda: No.

2. Was he ever the best player at his position in his league over time (my three year blocs)?
Cash was 7 times, with partials for being close in two other years.
Cepeda was twice, with partial for being close another year.

3. How many MVP type seasons did he have (top five in 8-team league or equivalent?
Cash: two.
Cepeda: one.

4. How many All-Star type seasons did he have (best two at position in 8-team league or equivalent)?
Cash: 8
Cepeda: 9

5. Is his career WS total comparable to enshrined players at their position? [Note: I use HOF not HOM here for reasons that are mostly due to not wanting two systems---one for each institution.]
Both are about equally comparable and place in the lower third of HOF/HOM 1Bs.

6. Does he meet the HOF/HOM's standards at his position? [Note: same disclaimer.]
Both meet the institutional standards for 1B.

7. Was he good enough to play past his prime? (All seasons over 15 after best 10-year period, summed)
Both made comparable post-prime contributions which were above average in scope.

8. If this player were the best on his team, how often would his team win the pennant?
Cash: Not too often, he's about Beckley's equal on this.
Cepeda: Not all that often, he's a little better than Beckley and Cash.

When I apply the scaled points to these guys, it's 33 for Cash and 28 for Cepeda. Cash is 18th in my 1998 rankings, while Cepeda is tied for 20th. The entirety of their difference is in question #2, Was he the best in his league at his position over time? Cash was, Cepeda wasn't.

It may not be reasonable for me to claim much seperation based on that question. As Dan R points out, the 1960s AL was somewhat weaker than the NL. How much weaker would the AL need to be to invalidate my system's finding? In a sense, it would have to be strong enough for there to be long-term 1Bs who were better than Cash in six different 3-year blocs. Specifically in the years
1960-1962
1961-1963
[In 1962-1964, he's a very close second.]
1963-1965
1964-1966
1965-1967
1966-1968
1967-1969 (tied with Powell)

In most years there's no one very close to Cash. After this it's Boog Powell for several years.

Who are the top 1Bs in the NL at this time? By the same approach its:

1960-1962: Joe Adcock
1961-1963: Cepeda (also 1962-1964)
1963-1965: Bill White
1964-1966: Bill White
1965-1967: Willie McCovey
1966-1968: Willie McCovey
1967-1969: Willie McCovey

I don't think it's unreasonable at all to say that Cash was capable of being as good or better than Adcock and White. He and Cepeda are comparable. McCovey is likely too tough for Cash to overcome, since these are Mac's productivity peak years. So realistically, it's not a stretch (so to speak) to say that Cash could have been the top in two or more of the four blocs preceding McCovey's rise. That's still enough time to surpass Cepeda, or at least equal him. Here we could turn to OPS+ for a little help too:

.
       
Cash      Cepeda
year  PA OPS
+ |  PA OPS+
------------------------
1960 428 141  615 134 
1961 672 201
* | 636 157
1962 629 135  
676 131*
1963 593 136  629 165
1964 559 120  
587 148
1965 553 148  
|  40  44
1966 679 134  
563 129
*indicates expansion season 


Cash has 4113 PA in these seasons, and roughly a 146 OPS+ for the period (not the full-on OPS+ breakdown, just weighted by PAs). Cepeda has 3746 PA and about a 143 OPS+ for the period. And also worth noting that while Cash's big year may get the expansion discount, one of Cepeda's lesser years gets it too. Let's say the expansion discount is 5% off: 144 Cash and 141 Cepeda. That's pretty close but Cash, who is critiqued for his durability, gets the props on PAs since Cepeda missed 1965. So could Cash have competed with Cepeda in this period? Well one other thing is how bad was the AL? Dan says it was historically awful. The gap in OPS+ is 2%. Were the leagues 3%+ apart in quality? It's possible. Does a 3%+ gap between leagues mean that Cash is necessarily 3% worse in OPS+ relative to Cepeda? I don't know. I don't know whether if we stuck the real Norm Cash into the real early 1960s NL that he'd be a 139 OPS+ or not. That we all have to answer for ourselves.

So returning to the actual question at hand:
-Cepeda is very close in my system to Cash.
-Cash is ahead solely because he dominated his own position in his own league, and Cepeda did not for as long (due to injury and McCovey).
-Cash and Cepeda must both be adjusted for their expansion years, not just Norm for his big one.
-Cash may have played in the less-tough league, though it wasn't exactly the Western League either, and the implications are unclear.
-Cash was likely a good enough player to be better than Bill White and Joe Adcock and equal to Cepeda but not as good as McCovey, so that when both Cash and Cepeda were both in the league, they would compete directly at approximately the same level of play.
-Something I didn't mention: the DH factor essentially crosses out since both guys played in 1973 and 1974 in the AL.

What've I learned from a closer inspection? That Cepeda and Cash are extremely close; that Cepeda could perhaps be better but generally I'm not sure enough of it to make a subjective ranking adjustment (Dan R will chime in here, I assume); that Cepeda, like Cash, needs to be in the Beckley/Perez discussion.

The 1Bs do not begin and end with the long-career guys, and these two guys are a good reason why.
   40. Paul Wendt Posted: April 19, 2007 at 01:01 AM (#2338716)
DL from MN:
Maybe turn the question around: How likely is it for a team to win the pennant if they have a replacement level player in the lineup rather than Beckley in a typical prime year? I think that teams often lose out because they lack a star of Beckley's quality, employing a near replacement level player in the regular lineup instead.


DL from MN:
My ballot is filling up with modern players yet our backlog is topped off with guys from before the war. I blame the peak voters.

16-20) Rusty Staub, Gavy Cravath, Virgil Trucks, Bob Elliott, Jack Clark


(#16 reflects DL's system(?) much better than do #17-20 :-)

Now that we have elected Edd Roush, take a look at Edgar Rice!
Or do you find that Rice lacks the peak you look for?

Seriously, one old-timer likely to appeal to you --introduced to many of us, and covered by some serious discussion, before your time iirc-- is Alejandro Oms. Have you looked at his case or do you go with the flow? (Take no offense. I can't imagine that anyone who arrived after WWI would catch up with it all.)

You should think more of Tommy Leach too.
   41. Paul Wendt Posted: April 19, 2007 at 01:07 AM (#2338730)
Oops.
I didn't mean to quote that first paragraph, much less attrib it to DL from MN. It remained in the clipboard from another use.

By the way, to whomever cares about the matter and someone recently does: I almost always contribute in the third person rather than the second. I experimented in #40 --used "you" seven times, I did-- and I don't like it. I hope almost everyone accepts that it is reasonable to write in third person even when a contribution is directed to one other person, in a sense.
   42. Sean Gilman Posted: April 19, 2007 at 01:26 AM (#2338780)
Sean thinks Paul's comment reminds him of someone . . . .
   43. Chris Cobb Posted: April 19, 2007 at 01:32 AM (#2338808)
Time for a preliminary ballot:

(#) = Last year’s ranking
% = percentage above below approximate in-out line value for the player’s decade.

1. Gary Carter % = 1.4994.
2. Bert Blyleven % = 1.3989.

Those two were easy.

3. Rollie Fingers (2) % = 1.0419. Fingers shows up comfortably above the in/out line in my system. He was not as lights-out as we have come to expect the modern closer to be, but he was still highly effective, extremely durable, and highly leveraged.
4. Dave Bancroft (3). % = 1.0463. If he could have stayed in the lineup more, we’d have elected him long ago, as he was a slightly better ballplayer than Sewell with a longer career. But having few seasons of 145+ games hurts him.
5. Alejandro Oms (4) % = 1.0407.
6. Willie Randolph (n/e). % = 1.0609. Excellent defense, above average offense sparked by his on-base skills, and a long career. The only knock on him is mediocre durability, which kept him from putting up huge seasonal win share/WARP totals. The fact that my ballot is now crowded by infielders of similar durability (significant for career, uneven in season) suggests that this is a hazard of the territory, and one for which the electorate should adjust a bit more than it is doing. He’s similar to both Bancroft and Leach. I’m sure he’s better than Leach, but not sure about the comparison to Bancroft, so he starts between them. Could move up as high as third place, but I want to see how analysis of him goes before I slot him any higher than this. (It appears that I may learn more about replacement levels for second basemen 1900-1920 than about Randolph from his thread, but it's early yet.)
7. Tommy Leach (5). % = 1.0381. Outstanding player for a long time. Andrew Siegel’s brief analysis of his case is excellent, and Dan R’s war2 shows that his play in relatively high SD leagues was still very valuable.
8. Jake Beckley (6). % = 1.0250. At the top of a large set of long-career, low peak candidates that make up about 2/3 of the next 10 candidates. The two group includes Maranville, Perez, Bell, Nettles, Cash, Fox, and Staub. The “bat” candidate at the other end of this group is Rusty Staub. Staub’s record and Beckley’s are highly comparable, so there’s very little separating #9 from #20 in my rankings, but Beckley is at the top of the group because his defensive performance was consistently superior when that was more valuable, and he was durable when that was a rarer commodity. I hope we will elect several players from this group in upcoming backlog years. The slight bias of the electorate toward peak value against career value has, I think, led us to underrate this group of career candidates a little bit.
9. Rabbit Maranville (7) % = 1.1502. WARP overrates him, but he had an outstanding career.
10. Buddy Bell (8). % = 1.0349.
11. Graig Nettles (9). % = 1.00.
12. Bus Clarkson (11). % = 1.00. Lots of discussion of his new MLEs has ended with his value looking about like it did before the revision, in my view. His career profile reminds me a lot of Darrell Evans, with a little more defense a little less offensive peak (though with regression it’s hard to judge peak). Both he and Evans were very good hitters all through their 30s because they really developed their “old player skills” of plate discipline and power in ways that offset their decline in other areas. It’s also the case, of course, that he’s similar to Perez, another power hitter who shifted from 3B to 1B in the course of his career. Perez shifted over at 30, though, while Evans made the shift at around 35, and Clarkson would have shifted over at 35-37. His fielding, then, gives him the edge over Perez.
13. Bobby Bonds (12) % = 1.0184. Similar to Jimmy Wynn, but not as strong a peak.
14. Charley Jones (13). % = 1.00. I give him 2+ years credit for the blacklisting. The only position player in the current backlog with an argument to have been the best player in baseball at his peak.
15. Luis Tiant (14). % = 1.0024. Best backlog starting pitcher available. I see him as having about the same overall value as Jim Bunning: a little less than Billy Pierce. His prime was broken up by arm injuries, but he was excellent on either side of his injury years. Worthy of election, but I’m not in any hurry to push his candidacy.

1998 Off-Ballot, Sitting on the All-Time in-out Line

16. Dave Stieb (n/e). % = 1.00. This is a highly speculative placement. Initial examination suggests that is below Tiant and below John, but I agree with Eric C. that he was the best pitcher in his league for the first half of the 1980s. That was a weak crop of pitchers, but I think it was also a hard time on pitchers. Waiting to see more analysis of him, especially from Joe Dimino. I am going to be reexamining the placement of my top twenty starting pitchers this year. The surge of Walters and Redding requires me to look at them again, and at the alternatives.
17. Tony Perez (15). % = 1.0327. Dan R’s replacement-level study drops Perez somewhat in my estimation. I’m grouping him more closely now with Cash and Staub.
18. Norm Cash. (16) % = 1.0098.
19. Rusty Staub (18) % = 1.0457. My system argues for a higher placement than I have given Staub, but few players that I have ranked have added more career value in a series of below-average seasons, so I believe my system overrates him. He was legitimately outstanding during his peak in Montreal, however, so he should be in the mix. A career-slice approach suggests that the contemporary “bat” players to whom he is closest in value are Bonds and Norm Cash, so I am ranking him just a little below the two of them. His profile is also a lot like Jimmy Ryan’s, actually, which provides another justification for ranking him about here, just a half dozen spots ahead of the best outfielder from the 1890s still eligible.
20. Gavvy Cravath (19). % = 1.00.
21. Joe Tinker (20). % = 1.00. Looks like Ozzie Smith, but with only 3/4 of Ozzie’s career.
22. Tommy John (21). % = 1.0308. Slightly overrated in my system.
23. Bob Johnson (22). % = 1.00.
24. Reggie Smith (23) % = .9791. Dan R’s numbers bring him back into my potentially electable group. His case is still weakened by seasonal durability issues and by a Dw. Evanseque divide between fielding peak and batting peak, but he was an above average player for a long time, and hardly ever had a bad year.
25. Dom Dimaggio (24). % = 1.00.
26. Jimmy Ryan (25). % = 1.00. The best of the remaining 1890s outfielders.
27. Herman Long (26). % = 1.0192.
28. Dick Redding (27). % = 1.00. I don't know what has caused his sudden jump in the rankings. We're approaching the end of the semester, which is a rotten time for doing HoM projects, but I'm hoping to do a thorough review of his case, in order to either get back on his bandwagon or persuade others to get down off of it.
   44. Paul Wendt Posted: April 19, 2007 at 02:01 AM (#2338839)
-Mike Flanagan- Better pitcher than GM…. The Orioles under Earl Weaver had a bunch of pitchers that had surprising career years: Steve Stone, Flanagan, Pat Dobson, Wayne Garland, maybe Scott McGregor. Or maybe I should say, surprising 20-win years. It’s not exactly like Duncan/LaRussa teams because these had all been baby Birds.

all baby Birds?

-Ken Oberkfell- Linked in my mind to Glenn Hubbard but for no reason I can ever figure out, unless they had been teammates on the Braves. He’s sort of the anti-Lansford. I think James has mentioned this, but Oberkfell’s unusual as a 3B who had almost no power but who walked a lot so that his OBP nearly matched his SLG. He neither fit the slugging 3B mold, nor the Lansfordian high-average 3B mold. I think he played in the wrong half of the twentieth century, he might have been Tommy Leach in 1900.

El Eric, You are missing the pop in Tommy Leach that you do see in Herman Long. It doesn't jump out of their batting statistics today but "almost no power" does not fit Tommy or Herman/Germany.

Mike Hargrove must be the anti-someone too, with On-Base about equal to Slugging.
   45. sunnyday2 Posted: April 19, 2007 at 02:06 AM (#2338844)
Well I think Chris is right, Willie Randolph is going to get elected, though I think Chris is wrong, too. I don't think he should get elected, Chris thinks he should obviously (has him #6 on his ballot). But here's the deal.

karl alluded to this earlier. The top of the backlog will lose a fair number of points. For the most part they'll drop 2 points per ballot as a result of dropping behind Carter and Blyleven. (I figure Dw. Evans 1997 and Randolph 1998 will about wash out.) Then their 2nd and 3rd place ballots will lose the 4 point "elect me" bonus, and their 14th and 15th place ballots will not only drop 2 points, they'll drop to zero. Factoring all of that in, here's the top of the backlog.

Beckley 1996 343 points 1997 proj. 269
Walters 328 to 254
Redding 323 to 271
Browning 323 to 265

karl earlier predicted that Redding would surpass Beckley because he has fewer 2-3-14-15 votes and those are the big losers at 2 + 4 points while the other places just lose the 2 points, and at least according to this model, that is true. They're close enough, of course, that any little change from the model could flip it--and Browning would be in the mix in that scenario too.

Except all Randolph needs, then, is to be on 21 ballots (out of 51 or 40 percent) at 13 points (8th place) each on average. So far in the prelims he has made 4 of 6 ballots with an average of 12.75 points, which would elect him very easily. That would get him about 433 points or more than a 50 percent cushion over Redding or Beckley or Browning. We'll see how the prelims continue to go, but he would have to miss all of the next 4 to get back into bubble range. And that's not counting the people who said they think he'll be on their ballot but didn't provide a prelim.

This one's over.
   46. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: April 19, 2007 at 02:13 AM (#2338850)
I see Cash as on a different planet from Cepeda: Cash is not on my ballot or in my PHoM, but at over $80M career he's definitely in my consideration set, while Cepeda at $53M barely sniffs the HoVG. The gap is so great in my opinion that even if you remove Cash's 1961, he's still better than Cepeda.

There are two main distinguishing factors between them. On park, position, and league-adjusted hitting and baserunning, they are indeed extremely comparable, with Cash at $61M and Cepeda at $58. There was one aspect of Cash's offensive package that was far superior to Cepeda's, however, which was staying out of double plays. Cash hit into 46 fewer double plays than a league-average player would have in his opportunities over his career, while Cepeda hit in 34 more than a league-average player would have. A double play costs your team .37 runs plus an out, which was about an additional .17 runs when they played, so .54 *(34 - (-46)) = a quite substantial 43-run career advantage for Cash. That opens up the hitting gap in Cash's favor, $66M to $56M.

Then there is the giant elephant in the room, which is the fielding. I am *extremely* conservative about 1B defense, probably far more than I should be--the absolute defensive Gods at 1B (Hernandez etc.) only get 11 FRAA from me in their best defensive seasons. That said, according to BP FRAA and Win Shares, Cash was an outstanding fielding first baseman, the best in his league in 1961, 62, 64, 65, 68, 69, and 72; second in 63; and third in 66 and 67. Cepeda, by contrast, was slightly below average. Moreover, Cash's best defensive seasons overlapped with his best offensive ones, adding to his peak. I have a 73-run fielding advantage for Cash over Cepeda, which enables him to blow the Baby Bull out of the water, $82M to $53M.

If the anecdotal accounts of Cash's fielding don't line up with FRAA and Fielding WS, then it's another Darrell Evans situation and it depends on how much faith you put in non-PBP defensive stats. But if the numbers are right, Cash is so superior to Cepeda one could barely mention them in the same breath. Cepeda did play in a tougher league, but there's no way league strength comes close to making up for the immense gap represented by the combination of DP avoidance and defense.

Chris Cobb--I'm extremely glad to hear you've found my work useful. I myself am not much of a supporter of Leach, although he could make the tail end of my ballot in a backlog year. But he wouldn't be a bad choice. And are you giving Lil' Reggie credit for his Japan year? Also, I'm thrilled to see your support for Bancroft, but why do Rizzuto, Pesky, and Concepción lag so far behind? I see Maranville as far inferior to that trio.
   47. Chris Cobb Posted: April 19, 2007 at 02:27 AM (#2338879)
While I'd rather see Randolph elected than Walters or Redding, I think a sample size of six preliminary ballots is way too small to predict the outcome of the election, unless there is some reason to believe tht the six are representative.

But point taken that the bar for leaping over this fragmented backlog is quite low.

That said, what's the case against Randolph, aside from the fact that he's new? And I'd ask specifically about how he compares to the top returning candidates, not to any one person's preferred candidates. Here's the returning top 15:

Jake Beckley
Bucky Walters
Dick Redding
Pete Browning
Rollie Fingers
Roger Bresnahan
Bob Johnson
Charley Jones
Gavvy Cravath
Hugh Duffy
Tony Perez
George Van Haltren
Tommy Leach
Alejandro Oms
Graig Nettles

What are the arguments for these guys over Randolph? I find the idea that Randolph is a sure thing somewhat surprising, actually, since I see Randolph as highly comparable to the three players at the bottom of this list -- Tommy Leach, Alejandro Oms, and Graig Nettles -- all of whom I like better than the electorate as a whole. I would hope, if Randolph draws support, to see long career, good-hitting, excellent-fielding candidates like Leach and Nettles moving swiftly up the rankings. This is a group of players I prefer to short-career, low-defense sluggers like Browning and Cravath. Not that I'm down on Cravath, Jones, or Bob Johnson -- they are on or close to my ballot. But I don't think their overall peaks or primes, including their defense, are as valuable as the careers of players like Randolph, Leach, Nettles, and the other long-career infielders populating my ballot. We are long on outfielders and short on infielders, and I think the undervaluing of this group of infielders is a reason for that.

So why Randolph over Nettles, and why not Randolph and Nettles over Browning and Johnson?
   48. Chris Cobb Posted: April 19, 2007 at 02:39 AM (#2338894)
Dan R.,

I am giving Smith some Japan credit, though I ought to check my spreadsheets to make sure.

The lagging behind of Rizzuto, Pesky, and Concepcion is partly a factor of the flat and crowded ballot. Setting aside the 1870s, we now have 11 decades of baseball history, so there are 11 cohorts within which I rank players. I don't insist on a rigid equality among decades by any means, but the large number of players clustered around the in-out line means that a player who is one rank below the next higher player for his decade could likely be 10-11 spots down in the overall rankings. I have Bancroft 3 slots above the in-out line for the 1920s, Pesky 2 slots below the in-out line for the 1940s, Rizzuto 2 slots below that. Concepcion is 6 slots down for the 1970s. The differences in value between these players are not all that large, looked at in isolation, but when they are slotted in with all the other eligibles, they get pushed apart in a rank-ordering. As to why I see Bancroft as superior: he has considerable career on Pesky, and he hit better than Rizzuto or Concepcion, while playing comparable defense.

I don't have time for a longer answer right now, which would involve a bunch of numbers that might or might not be meaningful.
   49. mulder & scully Posted: April 19, 2007 at 06:52 AM (#2339088)
Prelim Thoughts:

Ballot philosophy: I love a great prime. I define it as the player's best 7 years. Then, I consider a player at his peak - his best consecutive three years because I think health, being in the lineup, is key. Next, I consider a player's rate, per 648 PA. Finally, I look at career totals. They honestly don't mean a great deal to me.
I believe in concentrations of talent in both time and position as well as dearth of talent at both. I am okay with gaps and clusters. I believe in balance positionally and by time period, but not slavishly. I try to balance absolute rankings with positional standards.
I believe in MLEs for WWII (at a composite of the surrounding 6 seasons), skin color, being trapped in the minors, and some suspensions (Charley Jones and Tony Mullane).


1. Gary Carter: Only Bench, Berra, and Gibson were definitely better when he retired. Had 200 WS in his top 7 years. Guess who else did that ... Bench and Berra, plus Gibson in MLEs and McVey with massive schedule adjusting and NA credit. I don't know if all of our voters recognize how good he was. How many catchers had 4 years of 30+ win shares? Bench and Berra and Carter.

2. Bert Blyleven: Very large gap down to him. Very good. Even after all of the threads here and on Baseball Analysts, I still like I am missing something about his career - that all the pieces don't fit.

From here down, everybody has faults.
3. Mickey Welch: I think we missed the boat. His record against other HoMer pitcher was amazing - about a 60% winning percentage. Had poor defensive support compared to other HoMer pitchers pre-1893 (except Galvin). Had worse run support compared to other early HoM pitchers (again Galvin excepted).

4. Charley Jones: Like Chris Cobb mentions - the only backlogger who could be considered the best in his league. Fantastic prime. A top 10 player in his league from 1876 through 1885.

5. Bucky Walters: Great durability. Pitched against better teams than expected. Best pitcher in 1939, 1940, 1944 in NL, 2nd by a nose in 1941. Top 4 at worst in majors in those years. This is after I dock him 8 win shares for his 43-45 performance.

6. Pete Browning: Great hitter. Proved what he could do in the 1890 Players League. Top 10 player in 6 of 9 years. Problems with defense and health and he still was a great player.

7. Hugh Duffy: Great defensive player. Has an A rating for win shares despite only playing in CF for 1/3 of his career. Why did Boston move him to LF? Because the Braves home park, South End Grounds, built in mid-94, had a deeper Left Center, 430 feet, than Center, 416. In 1894 and 1895, Boston had Tommy McCarthy who was a great fielder in LF. McCarthy couldn't hit anymore so they got Billy Hamilton and put Duffy into LF. Boston consistently out"won" their stats, both traditional and "sabr." Someone won those games.

8. Tommy Leach: All-Star at third for three years. OF for 4 years. 8 times a top 10 player in his league and 8 times a top 15 player in majors. Win Shares rated "A" at third and OF.

9. Gavy Cravath: Learned to inside out his swing in the minors because that fit his park. Did more of it at the major league level. No one else did it as well. An All-Star for three years in the minors and from 1913-17 in the majors.

10. Vic Willis: Best pitcher in NL in 1899 and 1901. Second in 1902 and 1906. 4 other times in top 10 in National League. 4000 innings at 118 ERA+.

More tomorrow about the barely distinguishable mass below and reasons why I am not voting for various players.
Still giving a good deal of thought about the really good defensive players - Bancroft, Maranville, Nettles, Concepcion, Long. And what to do about Randolph.
   50. sunnyday2 Posted: April 19, 2007 at 11:08 AM (#2339106)
>I think a sample size of six preliminary ballots is way too small to predict the outcome of the election, unless there is some reason to believe tht the six are representative.

I don't disagree. It's a tiny trend. I did say we need to watch for more prelims as/if they come in. But I think the forecasts of where the backloggers will land and how many votes a Randolph will need are pretty good benchmarks.

The case against Randolph is basically that there are lots of comparable players, but obviously whoever finishes in the 3 slot will be guilty of that. My new discovery is Bobby Avila, who seems to me to be comparable and arguably better than Randolph. Now that Fox has been elected, who is the best 2B out there? Yes, Randolph is right there among the top 3-5-7 but there is not a hair's difference among the lot of them. Avila has arguably the best peak of any remaining 2B. I admit that Avila has been around #100 for me but in taking another look at the position he really seems to jump forward.

I also agree that it will be more helpful to look at the players who have an actual chance to get elected. Who on your list is the best glove-heavy/weak bat candidate in the Fox mode? I still like Rizutto myself but, oops, he's not really in the running. Leach? I suppose that is the guy that Randolph has to beat. Based on 6 (ok, 7, now) prelims he's not going to do it.

For me as usual the real action is for PHoM and the 3rd slot will go to somebody off the ballot. The top 10 non-PHoM holdovers are

17. Tommy Leach (20-21-16)
(17a. Quincy Trouppe [20a-22-50])
18. Ken Singleton (31-32-71)—another big gainer
(19. Dewey Evans [new]—nice player)
20. Dan Quisenberry (22-new)—better ‘n Sutter

21. Norm Cash (21-21-43)
(21a. Jimmy Sheckard [43a-43a-45a]—and another)
22. Vic Willis (60-60-63)—and another, though for different reasons
23. Al Rosen (23-24-18)
(23a. Joe Kelley [68a-68a-64a]—and another)

So how does Randolph compare with these?
   51. sunnyday2 Posted: April 19, 2007 at 11:13 AM (#2339107)
Oops. based on the very very small sample of 7 prelims, Randolph IS going to beat Leach--well, and all of them. He is an easy #3 based on those 7 ballots. Again, a small sample, but he has made 4 of 7 which seems to me to be an early indicator that he is at least a contendor.
   52. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 19, 2007 at 12:58 PM (#2339137)
Might Randolph and Steib split the newbie vote of Evans, Sunny?
   53. DL from MN Posted: April 19, 2007 at 01:56 PM (#2339180)
> You should think more of Tommy Leach too.

Leach is 23rd on my ballot which is quite good. He'd be higher if he hadn't moved to the outfield. Too many good outfielders in that era to give him big credit for those years. I'll look a little closer and see if my adjustments are incorrect though.

Alejandro Oms I'm not sold on yet. He's a notch below Bob Johnson and a contemporary. I see him more like Earl Averill and I wasn't that high on Averill. Still, Oms is in my 40s.

You're right that Staub should place higher just based on the numbers. However, I'm downward adjusting him because later in his career he was used in ways to maximize his value (PH/DH) when he clearly wasn't as good of a player as the numbers suggest (glove turned to stone, not durable).
   54. Mike Webber Posted: April 19, 2007 at 03:29 PM (#2339264)
Useless Trivia:

Name the catcher that will break into the top 15 all-time in games caught within the next week, passing Bill Dickey. If he catches as many games this season as last year he will be 9th all-time in games caught.
   55. Mike Emeigh Posted: April 19, 2007 at 03:52 PM (#2339285)
I thought Ausmus had already passed Dickey. He started the year with 1706 games caught, and has caught 10 so far this year; Dickey had 1708.

-- MWE
   56. Mike Emeigh Posted: April 19, 2007 at 03:58 PM (#2339288)
Whoops - B-R has been updated with 2007 stats. Ausmus started at 1696, not 1706. He needs three games to pass Dickey.

Pudge, currently at 1948, could pass Carter this year for third behind Fisk and Boone. He's 109 behind, he's caught 124, 123, and 123 games in his three previous years with Detroit, and has caught 14 games this year, so 109 more would give him 123.

-- MWE
   57. DL from MN Posted: April 19, 2007 at 04:46 PM (#2339347)
Is Jason Kendall today's Sherm Lollar?
   58. Mike Webber Posted: April 19, 2007 at 05:01 PM (#2339367)
Is Jason Kendall today's Sherm Lollar?


I am giving a talk tonight at my local library, and since I don't really know how many prople or how old they will be I decided to focus on things that happened in our county. One of the things that happened is Charlie Bennet's accident - next town over, about 15 miles from me. So I was trying to think of who he would compare to today - and well Jason Kendall is a name that came to mind. Buck Ewing and King Kelly are Pudge and Piazza right? So who does that leave Bennet to be? Jorge Posada maybe? Javier Lopez?
   59. sunnyday2 Posted: April 19, 2007 at 06:39 PM (#2339532)
Well, Bennett is a grizzled old HoMer. And having given talks at the local historical society (not the library, though), I would bet your audience will be average age, oh, 65, maybe 75. So you could probably throw Bill Freehan or Lance Parrish out there, and you would be understood. Ted Simmons or Joe Torre would be comparable for value (relative to peers) but not for style.
   60. jimd Posted: April 19, 2007 at 07:01 PM (#2339575)
So who does that leave Bennet to be? Jorge Posada maybe? Javier Lopez?

Except that he was exceptional on defense. Not on gunning down baserunners, a la Ewing and IRod, but on simply catching the ball. Preventing Passed Balls, not as easy to do compared to later generations - as you know they played bare-handed and without catcher's armor in the 1880's. He was also durable for the era.

Passed Balls were so prevalent then that James alters the penalty for them for 19th century catchers, so that they don't "swamp the system". This evaluates them in the context of the modern game, not the one they actually played. It's somewhat akin to a deadball analyst cutting the value of a HR in half so that they don't "swamp the system".
   61. Paul Wendt Posted: April 19, 2007 at 09:41 PM (#2339800)
mulder
From here down, everybody has faults.
3. Mickey Welch: I think we missed the boat. His record against other HoMer pitcher was amazing - about a 60% winning percentage. Had poor defensive support compared to other HoMer pitchers pre-1893 (except Galvin). Had worse run support compared to other early HoM pitchers (again Galvin excepted).


If just the right retired voters return, Welch will be topic of conversation again.
Worse fielding support and worse run support than Tim Keefe? Not much worse, I presume.

4. Charley Jones: Like Chris Cobb mentions - the only backlogger who could be considered the best in his league. Fantastic prime. A top 10 player in his league from 1876 through 1885.

Dunlap and Williamson had their contemporary supporters. It may have been a 1950s Mickey Mantle situation as described by Bill James --people looking for a reason to say Cap Anson was not the greatest. For almost all of the best players who remain from before WWI, playing time is a big deal --longevity, durability, or both; or a late start in the majors or even in pro baseball. The norms changed. 100 years later, career length like Beckley and Leach would be commonplace, let me exaggerate.
   62. Paul Wendt Posted: April 19, 2007 at 10:03 PM (#2339812)
From here down, everybody has faults.
3. Mickey Welch: I think we missed the boat. His record against other HoMer pitcher was amazing - about a 60% winning percentage. Had poor defensive support compared to other HoMer pitchers pre-1893 (except Galvin). Had worse run support compared to other early HoM pitchers (again Galvin excepted).

4. Charley Jones: Like Chris Cobb mentions - the only backlogger who could be considered the best in his league. Fantastic prime. A top 10 player in his league from 1876 through 1885.


DL from MN:
Alejandro Oms I'm not sold on yet. He's a notch below Bob Johnson and a contemporary. I see him more like Earl Averill and I wasn't that high on Averill. Still, Oms is in my 40s.

Hmm, this is odd to me. I recommended Oms in particular because he played a long time, as Averill and Johnson did not. Of course, there is the big question how many years did he play at major league quality.


Marc sunnyday also from MN:
The case against Randolph is basically that there are lots of comparable players, but obviously whoever finishes in the 3 slot will be guilty of that. My new discovery is Bobby Avila, who seems to me to be comparable and arguably better than Randolph.

Hey, didn't you discover Bobby Avila back in the What If? deliberations? I think you discover him anew whenever he is useful :-)

In the historical sense that matters here, I think probably Avila was better than Randolph; certainly Dunlap was better. But only an extreme peak argument and a strong prime argument (would, can) make them better candidates than Randolph. The prime argument can be made, even for a 19er. Childs was elected only several ago. Go with Leach for your PHOM but he will follow Randolph into the HOM.

--
someone mentioned Jimmy Ryan and X. I think of Vada Pinson as the poor 20th Century Man's jimmy ryan.
   63. sunnyday2 Posted: April 19, 2007 at 10:17 PM (#2339822)
Paul, except we didn't discover MLEs back in the What If days. Avila is much better with his MLEs. I've been looking at TNBJHBA to see if Randolph is really the best 2B (or rather to identify some candidates) now that Fox has been elected and of course I completely overlooked Dunlap, whom James probably ranks down in the 70s with his massive timeline. But yes, Dunlap...and Monroe would also be contenders for that title. And I also agree, Avila was "better than" Randolph at their respective peaks.

Pinson is underrated for sure, but he can't really be better than Lou Brock can he? And I'm not a Brock fan.
   64. Juan V Posted: April 19, 2007 at 10:40 PM (#2339833)
Thanks to this, I have "discovered" Avila. He was good.

However, you have to be super-duper-ultra-peaky to take him over Randolph. Willie had a career over 1000 PAs longer even once you adjust for schedule, a higher OPS+ which is even heavier on OBP, and the stolen bases.
   65. Paul Wendt Posted: April 19, 2007 at 11:06 PM (#2339852)
Pinson - not so good as Brock, i agree
I was thinking played a long time, CF in his prime, best five seasons were first five seasons. Ryan hit his home runs early and he was at his best early, but not his first five seasons a la Pinson.
The reference was to Chris Cobb #43:
19. Rusty Staub (18) % = 1.0457. My system argues for a higher placement than I have given Staub, but few players that I have ranked have added more career value in a series of below-average seasons, so I believe my system overrates him. He was legitimately outstanding during his peak in Montreal, however, so he should be in the mix. A career-slice approach suggests that the contemporary “bat” players to whom he is closest in value are Bonds and Norm Cash, so I am ranking him just a little below the two of them. His profile is also a lot like Jimmy Ryan’s, actually, which provides another justification for ranking him about here, just a half dozen spots ahead of the best outfielder from the 1890s still eligible.

Staub is more like Ryan in concentrating his best five seasons early (two Hou, three Mon, age 23-27) but not ridiculously early a la Pinson (not only first five seasons but he arrived very young). Staub and Ryan also drew walks. Pinson and Ryan share the cf/corner fielding position, which is far from Staub's corner/dh.

... Chris Cobb ranks Staub and Ryan 19 and 26, or 7 and 11 if you count "bats".

--
by the way, how much Japan credit do his best friends give Reggie Smith?
   66. Rick A. Posted: April 20, 2007 at 01:40 AM (#2340049)
FYI My last name is Albert.
From Eric Chalek:
2. Rik Albert: Ridiculously qualified for whatever Hall you got. OK, maybe not for the Hall of the Best Five at Every Position....

From Juan V:
1) Rik Aalbert

Man, I can't believe I'm getting votes for the HOM. This is such an honor. I'd better get started on my induction speech!! ;-)
   67. Brent Posted: April 20, 2007 at 04:03 AM (#2340162)
...is a group of players I prefer to short-career, low-defense sluggers like Browning and Cravath.

For Cravath I can go along with "low defense," but "short career"? Only if you ignore his 10 seasons in the PCL and the American Association. How many players have earned 171 WS after turning 32? In his last two NL seasons he was the oldest player in the league.
   68. OCF Posted: April 20, 2007 at 06:23 AM (#2340182)
A look at three of the "bats" in this year's crop, along with Norm Cash for the sake of comparison. (I call them "bats," but seriously - exactly what position would you call either Downing or Guerrero? (I think Guerrero's position was "wherever they told him to play.") This is the same scale I've always used.

Downing  45 44 37 33 27 24 23 21 21 19 18 15  8  8  3  1  1  0 --6
Guerrero 69 64 59 56 53 34 32 18 14 13  2  2 
--2-12
Clark    76 58 49 44 43 37 34 33 31 25 25 19 14 11  2 
---4
Cash    100 45 45 38 37 33 33 31 29 29 23 21 17 17  5  4 


Among the conclusions: yes, Guerrero could hit. At ~1500 games, he doesn't nearly have enough career, and he's not like Keller, where he has the excuse of a war. Guerrero was missing games or seasons by doing thinks like destroying his legs making a bad slide.
   69. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 20, 2007 at 01:45 PM (#2340249)
Rick A, I'm very pleased to support you for the HOM. You've voted a long time and deserve the honor!
   70. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 20, 2007 at 04:26 PM (#2340376)
I'm surprised that no one yet has mentioned this, but perhaps we're so insulated and so arrogant that it's flown under our radar. But people are starting to talk about something that was published two-three years ago now (in HOM time), a book by Bill James called

What Ever Happened to the Hall of Merit?
Baseball, BTF, and Politics of Glory.

Maybe we're choosing to ignore it because Mr. James makes good points. Anyway, I found this review of the book by typing the title into the searching blank of my Mosaic internet browser...I think I was on the prodigy home site when I did that....

"In What Ever Happened to the Hall of Merit? reknonwed baseball analyst Bill James takes on the Hall of Merit, asking tough questions and coming up with answers that are fun to read about and fun to think about.

James recounts the Hall's institutional history in the chapter "fifteen voters," tracing the personality of founder Joe Dimino, recalling the long-forgotten contribution of Robert Dudek, showing the important role Secretary Murphy played. Examining the Hall of Merit's constitution, he wonders if the institution would be better served by an autocratic central authority rather than its inclusive format. He looks closely at perpetual eligibility and wonders whether it clouds the discussion or clarifies it. Most important, explores the eletions and the results. And he doesn't always agree with them.

"Sam Thompson was a carpenter before he played baseball, and as far as the Hall of Merit is concerned, it might have been better had he continued swinging a hammer."

"The problem with Stan Coveleski isn't Stan Coveleski: it's Dave Steib, Luis Tiant, Dolf Luque, Tony Mullane, and thirty other guys just like him."

James uses a variety of of his famous tools to uncover discrepancies and see where the line between HOMer and not-HOMer is. In one study he compares Don Sutton to Don Drysdale and finds some small justification for highly rating peak performance, while in others he uses his similarity scores to see whether Jimmy Wynn or Edd Roush is a more qualified candidate. Using his famed Keltner List of questions, he asseses whether Orlando Cepeda and Norm Cash makes more sense for the HOM.

In his section on the Negro Leagues, James lauds the institution for its open-mindedness on the subject of pre-Robinson blacks. But he critiques the Hall for its reliance on Major League Equivalances, saying, "MLEs for Negro League stars are probably a fools' errand and should be relied on only in as much as they support the opinions of contemporary observers."

James outlines a variety of arguments that help the standards of the HOM and hinder it, arguing that the Hall of Merit has by and large abided these, but that in specific cases the reliance by parts of its electorate on particular advanced metrics (including the Win Share system he'll soon invent) has led to fractured disagreement on certain kinds of candidates. He sites Rich Asburn and Ken Boyer as players who benefited unusually from one system's emphases and who were not widely supported in their election years.

While James is frequently complimentary even during his critiques, he sometimes disagress vehemently. He eviscerates the HOM for its selection of Dick Allen, saying the Phils and Chisox star "Never did anything to help his teams win" and that his divisive clubhouse presence ruined several pennant contenders. "The Hall of Merit's electorate should have listened to many voices that spoke out against Allen, including Harvey's Wallbangers, and who cited contemporary opinion that Allen's presence consistently hurt his teams and made a mockery of his managers' attempts at discipline." He also weighs in that the 19th Century is just as overrepresented as the 1920s and 1930s, claiming that the quality of play in the American Association and National Association, in particular, should have meant fewer electees from these periods.

Overall, James uses several player to illustrate the election process and the changing tastes of the electorate, tracing the long road middle-infielder Nellie Fox took to the HOM, comparing him with other inductees like Joe Sewell and Pee Wee Reese as well as perpetual just-outside-the-doors guys like Phil Rizzuto and Vern Stephens. He also revisits the peak/career debate, using Jake Beckley as his prime example and contrasting him with Hack Wilson.

Finally, in a Round Up section, he traces the ups and downs of candidates such as Dick Redding, Bob Johnson, Alejandro Oms, and Pete Browning, then makes predictions about what players will be going in by year 2020. With Fox's entrance, it's very likely that his prediction of Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell making it together in the same year could come true.

What Ever Happened to the Hall of Merit? is a book that every baseball fan will love, even if they don't love statistics. It's about thinking, not calculating, and it shines a new and interesting light on the country's repository of baseball greatness, the Hall of Merit."
   71. Mongo Posted: April 20, 2007 at 05:31 PM (#2340443)
Heh. I would buy that book.

Bill
   72. Paul Wendt Posted: April 20, 2007 at 06:04 PM (#2340485)
Using his famed Keltner List of questions, he asseses whether Orlando Cepeda and Norm Cash makes more sense for the HOM.

two players he selected at random from dozens he might have featured ;-)


67. Brent quoted Chris Cobb and replied
Posted: April 20, 2007 at 12:03 AM (#2340162)
...is a group of players I prefer to short-career, low-defense sluggers like Browning and Cravath.

For Cravath I can go along with "low defense," but "short career"? Only if you ignore his 10 seasons in the PCL and the American Association. How many players have earned 171 WS after turning 32? In his last two NL seasons he was the oldest player in the league.


Right on, Brent. That's why I have Cravath in the top three. (For anyone who is unfamiliar with sportswriting, "in the top three" means "third".)

Chris C did not mention Charley Jones, presumably because Jones is on his ballot.
14. Charley Jones (13). % = 1.00. I give him 2+ years credit for the blacklisting. The only position player in the current backlog with an argument to have been the best player in baseball at his peak.

Some people called Williamson the best, maybe Dunlap too. But ok.
Jones was a "short career" slugger (we don't know what he was doing in the mid-70s) who fielded his position well, best we can tell. Appearances can be deceiving; he was sometimes called "Baby" meaning baby fat, iiuc. I have Jones in the top six but that is tentative; he might be top five or top seven.
   73. Paul Wendt Posted: April 20, 2007 at 07:11 PM (#2340539)
Eric Chalek #31
-Dave Smith- I don’t really know anything about the guy. I’ve always wondered if the end of his career was brought about by injury, antipathy, or ineffectiveness.

Dave Smith deserves more comment than this. He was a very good pitcher. In the 1980s, I thought he was as good as Lee Smith and Tom Henke. They were all somewhat under the radar while the spotlight turned from Steve Howe to Al Holland to Willie Hernandez to Steve Bedrosian. Dave Smith's team was one of the best during his first two seasons, before he was established --either with name recognition (ROY would have helped) or with the closer role. He didn't work much and the 'Stros were knocked out in the first round both times. Just another supporting cast in Nolan Ryan Fails Again.

Steve Howe was 1980 rookie of the year with Dave Smith, Jeff Reardon, and Al Holland trailing badly. Tell me why. The notion that Yankees have the advantage in award and HOF voting has been debunked, but what about Dodgers? Did they win all those rookie awards because they were Dodgers?
   74. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 20, 2007 at 08:35 PM (#2340630)
Paul,

Speaking of Dodger Rookies of the Year, I dare you to critique the 'recent' Todd Hollandsworth decision!
   75. Mark Donelson Posted: April 20, 2007 at 10:08 PM (#2340735)
Trying to take Chris's plea to peak voters to heart, I've again injected more prime and career into my system, with some notable results (mainly, a lot of the HOM-not-pHOM types are jumping up quite a bit). I'm still a peak voter overall, though--I'm not changing my stripes entirely--so the Beckleys of the world are only helped so much. Not that he'll need me, I don't think...

So, here's my 1998 prelim post-revamping; right now, my pHOMers would be Carter-Blyleven-Reese.

1. Carter
2. Blyleven
3. Dean
4. Williamson
5. Willis
6. E. Howard
7. Browning
[7a. Reese]
8. Cravath
9. Tiant
10. Rosen
11. C. Jones
12. Duffy
13. Bando
14. Singleton
15. McGraw
   76. Mark Donelson Posted: April 20, 2007 at 10:13 PM (#2340736)
Oh, forgot the new folks, other than the top-of-ballot ones. Clark and Guerrero have nice peaks but not enough of them, especially given the positions they played most of the time. They're not in the top 50, but are close. Randolph...well, I really wanted to put him higher, but even with a big defensive boost, his lack of much peak at all other than the one season doesn't get him too far. He doesn't quite make the top 50 either. Stieb is similarly right on the margins of the top 50--I concur that he's the best starter of his era, but that doesn't mean he's HOM by itself, both the peak and the career are just too short.

I'm going to go over the newbies more carefully before my final ballot, though, so the placement of those four could change, even dramatically. I don't think any of the other new folks are close enough that they have a chance.
   77. Paul Wendt Posted: April 20, 2007 at 11:35 PM (#2340802)
only six 19ers?
(dating Willis by his 1-yr or 2-yr peak)
Dunlap and McCormick were awfully good, and Tommy Bond

At bb-ref "Cheap Glasgow Hotels" sponsors Hugh Nicol as "the only Scottish born MLB player" but Jim McCormick is one of four others born in Glasgow itself, including Bobby Thomson of great fame! Cheap Glasgow Hotels probably can't afford a research staff.
   78. Rick A. Posted: April 21, 2007 at 12:33 PM (#2341334)
Rick A, I'm very pleased to support you for the HOM. You've voted a long time and deserve the honor!


Thanks Eric. The really ironic part is that if I were really a candidate, I probably wouldn't vote for me. I am a peak/prime voter. I clearly am a career candidate since I have voted in every election so far, but don't have a large peak or prime(measured by how much I post and try to persuade people). I don't have the short career, but high peak of DanR or dzop. I don't have the long prime of OCF, Chris Cobb or Howie Menckel. Forget about competing with John Murphy, Joe Dimino or sunnyday, who are the Ruth, Gehrig and Musial of HOM voters.

Oh my God! Does that make me the Beckley of voters?
   79. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: April 21, 2007 at 01:38 PM (#2341344)
Hahah, well remember that I voted in the 20s and 30s and then came back in the 90s. Minnie Miñoso, perhaps? Or just someone who had one really early cup of coffee but then spent a lot of time in the minors?
   80. DanG Posted: April 21, 2007 at 02:41 PM (#2341364)
Guess that makes me Vada Pinson(?)
   81. sunnyday2 Posted: April 21, 2007 at 04:56 PM (#2341431)
Rick A., thanks. I think of myself more as the Connie Mack of HoM voters. Somebody wake me up.
   82. Paul Wendt Posted: April 21, 2007 at 05:43 PM (#2341466)
DanG Posted: April 21, 2007 at 10:41 AM (#2341364)
Guess that makes me Vada Pinson(?)


No time in the minors?
Maybe Rob Wood and you, Dan G, should be recognized as veterans of another game (writing about the HOF on paper, is it?) --the cricket players, George Wright and ??. Marc sunnyday and Tom H have the "What If?" and "Baseball Survivor" prehistory --Dickey Pearce and Joe Start? Do we have an Al Spalding, who has become successful doing this as a business? I think not.
This metaphor "needs" work that I leave to someone more capable.
   83. sunnyday2 Posted: April 21, 2007 at 07:53 PM (#2341574)
You all know about Baseball Survivor, but you don't know about the What If? HoF project Paul mentions. Some of you would like it, it was a SMALL HALL project. The What If? refers to the question "What if the BBWAA had done its damn job in the first place?" Which means, what if they had elected 5 19C players and 5 20C players the first time out, and had continued to elect 1-2-3 players every year thereafter. What if, for that matter, they had elected exactly the same number of players that the BBWAA would eventually elect, but if they had done a decent job on the 19C and, as I said, if they had elected somebody most every year from 1936 til now.

The grand supposition is that if they had done that there never would have been a VC, they (the BBWAA) would have gone on to elect (as I said) about the number of players that they actually have elected--i.e. a small(er) hall without all the errors of the VC. What a wonderful world it would be!

Somewhere I may have a list of who we elected (we, over at the actual SABR forum, such as it was). I must dig it out and see how it compares with the HoM, I mean, aside from the fact that it is smaller. (Oh, well, it was a ML HoF only, BTW, that would be another significant difference, but a difference that makes the possible divergence less significant, because the number of MLers may in fact not be that far off what we have done here, much of the extra bodies enshrined here being NeLers. If that made any sense. I know what I meant.)
   84. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: April 21, 2007 at 08:52 PM (#2341650)
Paul Wendt--I dunno, I write about player valuation for the NY Times, does that count for Spalding credit?
   85. Paul Wendt Posted: April 21, 2007 at 09:50 PM (#2341720)
New York Times, sure, if you are your own publisher there.
Otherwise the best you can hope for is promotion to Henry Chadwick.
   86. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: April 21, 2007 at 09:58 PM (#2341725)
Actually, the Sulzbeger family sold me their controlling interest last week.
   87. Cblau Posted: April 22, 2007 at 01:52 AM (#2341889)
Dan R., with his big career gap and major contributions since returning, seems to be the Kid DeLeon of HoM voters.
   88. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: April 22, 2007 at 02:42 AM (#2341905)
I'm afraid I don't know who that is!
   89. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 22, 2007 at 12:51 PM (#2341995)
Forget about competing with John Murphy, Joe Dimino or sunnyday, who are the Ruth, Gehrig and Musial of HOM voters.


Well, that's the first time that I have ever been compared to such an august group before and is greatly appreciated, but modesty moves me to state that I'm closer to Yaz, IMO. ;-)

As for Joe, he's Alexander Cartwright/Doc Adams, Judge Landis and Ruth all rolled into one!
   90. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 22, 2007 at 04:00 PM (#2342046)
I love it! John decides to be 'modest' and compare himself to Yaz!

As for me, since I started in 1935, I am not a long career guy. I feel I dont' have teh peak that someone like Chris, Dan, or maybe Gadfly had. Still, I am not a vote only guy. Maybe I am the prime candidate, somewhere in the range of Earl Averill to Billy Williams. IOW, I would have voted for me, but I wouldn't have given me an elect me spot (except in these last years were I still eligible). Then again, I could be Bob Johnson as well I suppose.
   91. Howie Menckel Posted: April 22, 2007 at 04:35 PM (#2342051)
There have been a couple of Larry Doyle mentions of late - just enough to finally make me look closer at him, again.
I looked at Doyle about 10 "years" ago, and still didn't quite buy him.
But with so many borderliners elected in recent years, I think a fundamental question becomes: At what point does a bigtime-hitting 2B (or SS) have such an edge that fielding can't overcome the deficit?

Let's look at the 2B vote-getting candidates for 1998, with Fox thrown in as a clearly-agreed borderliner:

2B, with 75+ or better as a regular to be listed
LarrDoyle 154 48 40 36 35 33 28 26 18 14 09 06 00
ToLazzeri 161 46 38 35 26 16 14 09 08 06/87
FreDunlap 155 50 46 41 22 21 20 10/75
WiRndolph 133 26 21 11 07 06 05 04 03 02 01 01 00/90 87 77
NellieFox 124 17 14 07 05/99 97 94 92 91 86 77
Mazeroski 098 96 96 94 91 91 87 83 80 80 79
Monroe
(I gave Dunlap a 150 for his UA 250 OPS+)

You have three bigtime hitting peaks, plus Randolph and Fox as 'hybrids' to varying degrees, and Mazeroski as a bigtime glove/career guy. What are those hitting peaks (and a prime as well in Doyle's case) worth? I have rejected Doyle before, but as time goes by his prime doesn't seem as much below borderline 1B/OFs as it used to. I'd love to hear feedback on why Doyle shouldn't make my ballot - and how much better a hitter he would have to have been to be worthy.


Let's try it with SSs, too:

SS, with 75+ or better as a regular to be listed
VeStephens 142 38 34 29 22 15 13 13 11 01
JohnnPesky 126 19 15 13 12 10 05 (04 04/98 as 3B)
DaBancroft 120 19 19 09 09 09 04 00/95 93 75
Concepcion 116 14 07 07 06/97 88 84 84 77
PhiRizzuto 122 05 03 02 00 00/96 94 92 90 88 79
Maranville 112 10/97 94 94 90 89 88 86 81 79 77 76
LuAparicio 111/97 96 92 92 89 82 82 79 79 78 76 76 75
(I gave Rizzuto 105, 100, 90 for war years, your mileage will vary. I gave Pesky 115, 110, 105.)

Here Stephens runs offensive laps around the opposition (and like Pesky, his 3B time was at the tail end, and part-time in Stephens' case), with Pesky and Bancroft the better hitters of the rest, Concepcion and Rizzuto in the middle, and Marnaville and Aparicio pretty extreme glove/career guys.
I'd love to hear feedback on why Stephens shouldn't make my ballot - and how much better a hitter he would have to have been to be worthy.

In both cases, I realize someone can just say "Win Shares or WARP3 or someone other system says so." But beyond that, are we sure that the fielders can give up THIS much offense and still be better?
   92. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 22, 2007 at 04:41 PM (#2342053)
I love it! John decides to be 'modest' and compare himself to Yaz!


lol

You thought I was going to compare myself to Bill Buckner? :-D
   93. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: April 22, 2007 at 05:11 PM (#2342063)
Howie Menckel, in Doyle's case you have to remember that 2B offense was just as good as 1B offense and only a tiny fraction below corner OF's when Doyle played. Doyle's hitting needs to be compared to backlog OF/1B like Bob Johnson, not backlog middle infielders. In that context--very poor fielder at an easy position, good bat--he looks a lot like a Greg Luzinski.

Much of Stephens' peak was during WWII. With any sensible war discount, he drops out of electability range.

I can provide detailed numbers to back up all of this if you'd like.
   94. Howie Menckel Posted: April 22, 2007 at 06:12 PM (#2342128)
Well, from 1946-51, Stephens is 122-11-13-38-13-23, ages 25-30.

In 1942, with almost zero missing players for war, Stephens is a 115 at age 21.
So if a player is 115-x-x-x-22-11-13-38-12-23, what might be guess as his 1943-45 value, given his age? If Stephens was missing, I'd give him around that 115 I guess. He actually had 142-29-34, so indeed he's probably due up to a 20-pt deduction per year (debatable, to say the least, but better than no adjustment at all, I'd say.

Stephens still charts out as clearly a better hitter, of course, and I'm not sure that adjustment negates the question entirely.

As for Doyle, this is him vs Edd Roush:
Edd-Roush 159 53 48 47 43 41 34 24 24 23 08
LarrDoyle 154 48 40 36 35 33 28 26 18 14 09 06 00

Doyle 126 OPS+ in 7382 PA
Roush 126 OPS+ in 8156 PA

So on a very general basis, Doyle hit like Roush, in almost 2 fewer 'seasons.'
With Roush being obviously as borderline as one can get, and Roush presumably a given as more valuable defensively, Doyle does need a positional 'boost' to make it. And maybe he shouldn't get one?
Of course, maybe this shows Doyle is not a HOMer while not showing why he gets so few votes?

At the very least I see him as worth another look by the crowd.

Thanks for the comments, Dan R.
   95. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: April 22, 2007 at 06:50 PM (#2342180)
Yes, Howie, 115 looks right to me. And if you give him 115 for those seasons, I don't see how his hitting makes up for the fielding of a Rizzuto, Concepción, or Bancroft.

I didn't support Roush. But it's no comparison. CF in Roush's time was *definitely* tougher on the defensive spectrum than 2B in Doyle's. Furthermore, Roush was an average fielder, while Doyle was putrid. And finally, Roush has another 800 PA. So Roush, a borderliner for the group and well below for me, absolutely leaves Doyle in the dust. This should only confirm why there is so little support for Doyle.
   96. Howie Menckel Posted: April 23, 2007 at 12:05 AM (#2342488)
Fox's election puts a dent in the quirky "baseball years without any HOMers as a regular at any given position" list.
Fox is the lone 2B in 1953-62, erasing those years.

"Missing years" by position (since 1876):

C - 1893-1909; 1918-19; 1962
NOTES: Bennett just missed qualifying in 1893, and might have filled in 1894 at age 39 if not for the train accident... Bresnahan would plug in 1901 and 1905-08... Torre only caught 63 G in 1962. Elston Howard is the closest longshot to filling that one.

1B - 1899; 1903; 1905-10; 1912-14; 1952-54
NOTES: Yes, Beckley fills in 1899, 1903, and 1905-06, lol.... Ben Taylor might fill 1912-14.... Easter, Vernon, and Hodges tried and failed to fill the 1952-54 void between Mize and Musial.

2B - 1878; 1880-81; 1905
NOTES: A five-year gap from Barnes to McPhee/Richardson was only partly closed by Wright and Glasscock solo seasons here... Lajoie, presumably hurt, played only 65 G in 1905, or the entire century would be filled (23 times with only 1 2B, with 10 of those being just Fox).

3B - 1889; 1906; 1947; 1949-51; 1985
NOTES: Deacon White was about 10 G short of filling the 1889 slot... Jimmy Collins only played 37 G in 1906. Leach would fill that hole.... There's a 5-year gap from Hack to Mathews, but Appling filled one year. Elliott would fill the rest... Schmidt played 1st base in 1985. Nettles would be the best bet to fill that one so far.

SS - 1962-71; 1973-1980s
NOTES: Concepcion would fill 1970-71. No other reasonable candidates, although Aparicio would fill the entire 10-year drought.... Aparicio also would fill 1973, while Concepcion would fill 1973-83.. Ozzie Smith kicks off in 1978 and Ripken follows in 1982.


Note that I am NOT advoacting for these players to get elected just to fill the matrix. I'm a bit bemused about how it has worked out, is all.
   97. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 23, 2007 at 12:44 AM (#2342544)
In order to take a look at my backog I decided to update my position charts, except this time I combined 1b/lf/rf and 2b/SS. I decided that I will post them in a series to see what everything thinks. They are here without any changes. It will be a series of posts, first being the three positions that that I didi seperately. C,CF,3b. The number listed is their overall rank in my 1998 prelim, Carter and Blyleven are going to be #'s 1 and 2 and are not included in these lists. I have ranked 64 players (it's acutlaly 60, but I usually keep the bototm guys that were previously ranked in my lists)

Catcher
Elston Howard 7, PHOM
Roger Bresnahan 14
Thurman Munson 35
Wally Schang 55

I am a peak voter and I view Elston Howard's case as very close to that of Quincey Trouppe, good hitter, high peak, career gaps. I adjust Bresnahan for his time in CF or else he would probably be up with Howard as a few of his best years were in the OF. Munson is a guy that surprised me, I expected him not to make my top 50. Schang is intriguing but a lack of any really good seasons keeps him down. Biz Mackey is the only HOM catcher I disagree with and I would have him jsut above Munson. Finally, Lombardi is another one I will look at but I see him as Schang with less career. Great hitter and god rate player, but never put together a really good season or three. Is four catchers (five with Carter) in my top 60 too few?

Third Base
John McGraw 18
Al Rosen 19
Tommy Leach 20
Bob Elliot 25
Ron Cey 38
Pie Traynor 50
Sal Bando 53
Graig Nettles 64

Odd Grouping at the top, with three gusy in a row and another just five spots down. I like McGraw peak rates, but in season duarability to important to me and he doesn't have it. He coudl be higher I guess. He was on my ballto last year but with three newbies ahead of him and all three electess form last year being below him, he falls off. I love Rosen's peak but there is so little else that I am always a little tenative. I he less aroudn hi career that Hughie Jennings did and his peak wasn't as high. The Dizzy Dean of pitchers? I have had Leach as high as #6 in the 1940's, but he has settled right about here. Some of his best years in WS were in his CF days and I think that WS overrates CFers of his era. Bob Elliot is a guy that I like but not enough for my ballot. After that I am less confident. I think that Traynor's defense is udnerrated by the uberstats, so he is in my top 50 even without a peak. Bando has a nice uberstat peak but I am skeptical. Why I have 26 places between Cey and Nettles I do not know. Cey's peak is better but they seem like similar players. Am I forgetting someone? Ed Williamson maybe?

Centerfielders
Hugh Duffy 4, PHOM
Alejandro Oms 12, PHOM
George Van Haltren 16
Wally Berger 24
Roy Thomas 39
Jimmy Ryan 46
Hack Wilson 47
Fielder Jones 58

I know the arguments against Duffy, but with the backlog as diluted as it is I like his positives more. I give him some extra credit for his team's overachieving not only their pythag but also their expected RS and RA. He has a very nice peak and was great defensively. However, I could have ranked him higher if I thought he was as good as WS makes him look. Oms and GVH are pretty similar. Honestly, looking at this I am not sure why I have Oms ahead, thought they are ranked similarly. Both were what I call 'high prime guys', guys with a lot of 27-28 WS seasons. GVH played more CF, maybe I should take a look at that. I think that I just like the Berger type, he is sorta like, but just below, Doby, Wynn, and Averill and I have all three in my PHOM. Roy Thomas is someone that I voted for a while back (I think I gave him his last vote) and someone that I like more than the evidence suggests. I will have to look at why I have Ryan so far below GVH and Duffy but everytime I do look at it again I always realize that I made the right choice. He falls short on peak and doesn't have GVH prime or career. Hack WIlson's peak keeps him in my consideration set. Fielder Jones is Roy Thomas lite to me. I do not have Roush, Ashburn, Carey, and Bell are not in my PHOM. Ashburn and Roush would be just below GVH if they were stil eligible, Carey and Bell would be essentially tied for worst HOM selection in my mind. They would be around Ryan and Wilson. Are there any guys that I should look at? If you are looking for them, Bonds and Smith are in the Corners group.

8 3B, 8 CFers, and 5 C's in my top 64. Am I underrating catchers? If so, who should I look at?

I will be back soon with Pitchers
   98. Howie Menckel Posted: April 23, 2007 at 02:29 AM (#2342701)
HOM by pct at position, thru 1997

OF taking a bigger lead over SP

If 65 pct is your cutoff, then we have elected 13 Cs, 14 1Bs, 16 2Bs, 10 3Bs, 17 SSs, 56 OFs, 54 Ps.
If 50 pct is your cutoff, then we have elected 13 Cs, 16 1Bs, 16 2Bs, 13 3Bs, 18 SSs, 60 OFs, 54 Ps.

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

C (13.21) - Cochrane 100, Dickey 100, Hartnett 98, JGibson 95, Campanella 95, Freehan 90, Bennett 88, Berra 87, Mackey 80, Bench 78, TSimmons 77, Santop 75, Trouppe 65, Ewing 47, Torre 41, Kelly 36, McVey 30, White 28, O'Rourke 11

1B (20.36) - Start 100, Gehrig 100, Mize 100, KHernandez 100, Terry 99, Brouthers 98, Sisler 97, Leonard 95, Connor 88, McCovey 88, Foxx 87, Anson 83, Greenberg 83, Suttles 70, Banks 51, Carew 50, Allen 47, Wilson 45, Killebrew 40, Stargell 40, Stovey 37, Torre 36, Charleston 35, Musial 35, DaEvans 32, McVey 31, Rose 27, Jennings 26, Lloyd 25, Yastrzemski 23, Heilmann 22, Ewing 19, Kelley 16, Delahanty 15, Hines 12, Lajoie 12, Mantle 11, FRobinson 11, Spalding 10, O'Rourke 10, Dihigo 10, JRobinson 10, Irvin 10

2B (16.61) - McPhee 100, Doerr 100, Childs 100, Fox 100, Gehringer 99, Morgan 99, E Collins 98, Gordon 98, Herman 95, Grich 86, Lajoie 83, Frisch 77, Hornsby 72, Grant 70, Barnes 69, JRobinson 65, Carew 47, Richardson 43, HR Johnson 25, Ward 24, Groh 20, Hill 20, Pike 18, Rose 18, Dihigo 15, Wright 10, Wilson 10

3B (14.11) - Baker 100, BRobinson 99, J Collins 98, Hack 98, Santo 95, Mathews 93, Schmidt 92, Boyer 90, Groh 79, Sutton 69, DaEvans 54, White 51, Beckwith 50, Wilson 40, Allen 38, Sewell 34, Killebrew 33, Torre 23, Davis 22, Frisch 20, Trouppe 20, Rose 18, Wallace 17, Dihigo 15, JRobinson 15, McVey 14, Richardson 13, Vaughan 11, Ott 10

SS (17.20) - Pearce 96, Boudreau 95, Reese 95, Glasscock 94, Appling 94, Cronin 92, Wells 90, Moore 90, GWright 89, Dahlen 88, Vaughan 85, Wallace 74, Jennings 70, HR Johnson 70, Lloyd 70, Wagner 68, Sewell 65, Davis 58, Banks 45, Ward 39, Beckwith 35, Barnes 28, Grant 20, Sutton 19, Hornsby 16, Dihigo 15, Irvin 10, WBrown 10

OF (57.00) - Carey 100, Clarke 100, Hamilton 100, Thompson 100, Wheat 100, Goslin 100, DiMaggio 100, Averill 100, Doby 100, Slaughter 100, TWilliams 100, Ashburn 100, Snider 100, Clemente 100, Keller 100, Simmons 99, Burkett 99, Cobb 99, Flick 99, Gore 99, Sheckard 99, Speaker 99, Medwick 99, Roush 99, SJJackson 98, Stearnes 98, Keeler 97, PWaner 97, Mays 97, JWynn 97, Kiner 96, CP Bell 95, Crawford 94, Minoso 93, Magee 91, Ott 90, Kaline 89, Mantle 88, Aaron 86, BWilliams 86, WBrown 85, DwEvans 83, Hines 82, Torriente 80, Kelley 79, Ruth 79, Heilmann 77, FRobinson 77, RJackson 77, Irvin 75, Pike 73, Delahanty 72, Hill 70, O'Rourke 69, Rogan 65, Musial 65, Stovey 63, Yastrzemski 63, Charleston 60, Stargell 60, Kelly 47, Richardson 40, Rose 38, Caruthers 33, Suttles 30, Killebrew 20, Santop 20, Dihigo 20, McVey 18, Ewing 17, Greenberg 17, Allen 15, Trouppe 15, Davis 13, Wagner 13, Berra 13, McCovey 12, Spalding 11, Ward 10, White 10, JRobinson 10

DH (0.90) - RJackson 23, Yastrzemski 13, TSimmons 12, FRobinson 11, DwEvans 11, BWilliams 10, DaEvans 10

P (53.64) - Alexander 100, Covaleski 100, Faber 100, Plank 100, Vance 100, Grove 100, Hubbell 100, Lyons 100, Newhouser 100, Feller 100, Ruffing 100, Rixey 100, Wynn 100, Spahn 100, Roberts 100, Koufax 100, W Ford 100, Drysdale 100, Bunning 100, Wilhelm 100, Marichal 100, Gibson 100, Waddell 100, Pierce 100, GPerry 100, Palmer 100, Jenkins 100, Seaver 100, Carlton 100, Niekro 100, Sutton 100, R Foster 99, MBrown 99, Mathewson 99, Walsh 99, SJ Williams 99, Young 99, B Foster 99, Paige 99, WJohnson 98, McGinnity 98, WFerrell 97, Lemon 97, Keefe 96, Nichols 96, Rusie 95, RBrown 95, Griffith 95, Clarkson 94, Galvin 92, Mendez 90, Radbourn 78, Spalding 80, Caruthers 66, Rogan 35, Dihigo 25, Ward 25, Ruth 20

Caveats: Totals treat all careers as equal. A little off on players like McVey and Sutton due to changing schedule length. Guesstimates on Negro Leaguers. Hybrid P-hitters such as Ward, Ruth, Caruthers, Spalding have estimates that attempt to reflect their respective roles.
   99. Paul Wendt Posted: April 23, 2007 at 02:33 AM (#2342704)
this is a reload test
   100. Paul Wendt Posted: April 23, 2007 at 02:42 AM (#2342713)
Many many times you have read Howie's report on playing time by fielding position, right?
Which three catchers played almost every game at that position? (roundly 100, 100, 98%)
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