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

Sunday, May 06, 2007

1999 Ballot Discussion

1999 (May 28)—elect 3
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

432 133.2 1974 George Brett-3B
423 131.9 1974 Robin Yount-SS/CF
334 141.6 1968 Nolan Ryan-P
368 114.9 1972 Carlton Fisk-C
294 91.8 1977 Dale Murphy-CF/RF
241 110.0 1974 Frank Tanana-P
198 64.0 1982 Steve Sax-2B*
182 69.8 1975 John Candelaria-P
193 60.6 1983 Bill Doran-2B
171 48.4 1981 George Bell-LF
132 59.5 1983 Mike Boddicker-P
138 55.2 1980 Charlie Leibrandt-P
147 50.4 1980 Dickie Thon-SS
141 52.2 1983 Pete O’Brien-1B
134 45.0 1979 Alfredo Griffin-SS
132 42.2 1985 Glenn Davis-1B
117 46.6 1981 Mike Witt-P
118 39.8 1985 Rob Deer-RF*
104 44.9 1981 Bob Ojeda-P*
114 39.3 1984 Dan Gladden-LF

Players Passing Away in 1998
HoMers
Age Elected

77 1960 Hal Newhouser-P

Candidates
Age Eligible

91——Gene Autry-Owner
86 1954 Denny Galehouse-P
83——Harry Caray-Broadcaster
82——Jack Brickhouse-Broadcaster
81 1949 Al Campanis-2B/GM
77 1965 Jim Hearn-P
77 1967 Elmer Valo-RF
69 1969 Bill Tuttle-CF
54 1988 Mark Belanger-SS
45 1996 Dan Quisenberry-RP

Thanks, Dan!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 06, 2007 at 05:34 PM | 252 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Juan V Posted: May 14, 2007 at 11:33 PM (#2363905)
BTW, I plan to look into Carlos Moran when I have more time, definitely before I construct the final ballot.
   102. DL from MN Posted: May 15, 2007 at 01:46 PM (#2364698)
RE: Carlos Moran

I'm not comfortable with MLEs on players who have their primary skill as walking. I think walking a batter is partly the responsibility of the pitcher. Kudos to a player who can work a pitcher for a walk but that gets harder as you go up levels of competition. Players who hit for power are going to have their walks translate but a player who has a mediocre average and mediocre power is probably going to see a big drop in walks at a higher level or they're going to strike out a lot more often and see a decline in batting average that will have an equally detrimental effect on their OBP. I am excited to see the research but I doubt we've found someone better than Pie Traynor.
   103. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 18, 2007 at 04:28 PM (#2368241)
Except for 1998, the participation in the actual voting hasn't really declined (or so I percieve). So, maybe the thing is that we already know plenty about each other. Some new blood would be nice. Lurkers, come in!!!

No way. You guys are intimidating. I just enjoy reading these threads and rooting for my favorites. (Alejandro Oms if you're so inclined to throw a lurker a bone. I'm fairly convinced he's at least the third best pre-integration Cuban player and a case can be made that his defense and on base ability make him close to Torriente in value. Plus, El Caballero is a great nickname.)
   104. Juan V Posted: May 18, 2007 at 04:54 PM (#2368269)
I'll throw you a bone re: Oms :)

Is the Hall of Merit really that intimidating? I dunno, I haven't really percieved it like that.
   105. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 18, 2007 at 05:04 PM (#2368280)
Is the Hall of Merit really that intimidating? I dunno, I haven't really percieved it like that.

Intimidating in that you guys are much better at objective analysis than I am. The MLE's and the way you statistically compare players through eras is much more sophisticated than what I could do right now. I think I could come up with a reasonable ballot, but it would mostly be based on "feel" and how I interpret the statistical work other guys are doing. In short, I wouldn't bring anything new to the table. I would probably be overly biased to Negro League players, too. I love the underdog. Oms would be my Jake Beckley :)
   106. Howie Menckel Posted: May 18, 2007 at 11:36 PM (#2368670)
Yount vs Fisk - who ya got?
   107. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 19, 2007 at 01:00 AM (#2368895)
No way. You guys are intimidating.

Seriously, Shooty? I mean, I'm one of fifty, but I post really nutty ballots full of crazy teddy bears, I'm almost always wrong about something, and I spend much of my HOMing time posting stupid "wit"icisms. Surely you can improve on that!
   108. DavidFoss Posted: May 19, 2007 at 01:07 AM (#2368914)
I remember being intimidated when I first joined in the early 1920s. The collective knowledge is pretty high and making that first ballot is daunting -- I can only imagine how daunting it would be now with the giant backlog to sift through.

Anyhow, after a decade or so it didn't seem quite so daunting -- I got used to it or something. Its a good group of people. Easy to disagree with these guys without starting a 'war'. Any long time lurkers out there, just see if you can get a prelim together... post your ideas to the discussion thread if you want. No obligations for posting a ballot. New blood brings new debates.
   109. Howie Menckel Posted: May 19, 2007 at 02:03 AM (#2369034)
I'd say the key thing to know is that the challenges here tend to be of the "court case" variety - someone may challenge a comment or ranking, not to be insulting but to encourage the best response. And if it's good enough, it wins the day over the challenge.
A number of players have had very low vote totals for quite a while, and the voters who postulated strong cases to the contrary wound up winning over a lot of voters.

I agree that needing to have a good feel for at least 50-60 backloggers - and ideally, more - plus the new candidates could seem tough for a newer follower. But someone could post a provisional ballot with a good background of what resources they use and a demonstration of interest in all eras, and probably get welcomed.
   110. sunnyday2 Posted: May 19, 2007 at 05:09 AM (#2369158)
There is no objective analysis here. That is a myth-conception. It is all subjective at some level.
   111. OCF Posted: May 19, 2007 at 06:21 AM (#2369184)
Over on the Tanana thread a lurker named Ben V-L asked about Candelaria. Running him through the RA+ PythPat machine:

I get an equivalent record of 160-121, which is quite a bit worse than his actual record of 177-122. Also, his equivalent decisions are fewer than his actual decisions because he had only 8.45 IP per decision. His 1977 season, with a 180 RA+ in 220 innings for an equivalent record of 19-7, towers above the rest of his career - but nearly all of his seasons are solidly above average. This system doesn't make much of his long career tail as a reliever - it assigns most of his value to his seasons as a starter.

An interesting comparison is Candelaria's teammate on pitching-rich, everyday-player-poor 1984 Pirates, John Tudor. Tudor retired when he couldn't start any more, so his career isn't as long a Candelaria's, but Tudor's "spike" year of 1985 is slightly better (at 22-9) than Candelaria's 1977. Tudor's overall equivalent record is 120-80, making the difference between them a 40-41 pitcher (advantage, Candelaria).

I could see Candelaria being in some voters' consideration sets - he was good, and he's not that far away. But there are a lot of people who aren't that far away, so I it may not be all that likely for him to make any ballots.
   112. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 19, 2007 at 04:43 PM (#2369316)
I remember being intimidated when I first joined in the early 1920s.


It was a daunting task even in '98, despite far fewer players to look at.

There is no objective analysis here. That is a myth-conception. It is all subjective at some level.


Well, what's the definition of objective analysis for our purposes, Marc? If it's taking all available information and distilling it to determine the ranking for each eligible player, then that's what I and many others do (including you). If it's picking the guys that we grew up watching or blindly buying what the media spoon feeds us, I doubt any of us do that.

Of course, we don't always get it right and we're constantly thinkering with our systems. But that is still objective and scientific.
   113. Paul Wendt Posted: May 19, 2007 at 07:35 PM (#2369653)
neither subjective nor objective but intersubjective
--and commonly scientific in a broad sense that includes both statistical and historical

JTM means objective also in the senses dispassionate and disinterested: appealing to reason not emotion and not "picking guys that we grew up watching". There are some passionate and many interested contributions which the intersubjective process may or may not render innocuous. (Beside any direct impact on the voting, some passionate contributions may discourage someone who anticipates evoking more of the same.)
   114. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 19, 2007 at 09:37 PM (#2370121)
There is no objective analysis here. That is a myth-conception. It is all subjective at some level.

Howie is wise to invoke the legal example here. I'm no lawyer, but my experiences watching Matlock and LA Law suggest to me that law is ideally objective, yet also subject to the emotions of its participants and their times. For example, precedent is very important in law, yet precedent is set by people from hundreds of dozens of years ago whose lives may have been quite different. In this sense, there will always be subjectivity in the law since, contrary to Antonin Scalia's best/worst intentions, the notion of discerning the motivations behind prior legal opinions is only so objective and mostly so subjective.

Right so what about in our little realm? Precedent is a very strong force in our deliberations. We frequently invoke if-then style arguments to suggest that candidates similar to X player are viable for induction. Fortunately we also frequently ask ourselves whether the if-then argument in question legitimates a candidacy or whether the argument hyperbolizes his case due to contextual reasons. But even at the level of the individual voter, subjectivity is rampant. Not in the sense of emotional voting, but, as Paul is possibly suggesting, in the sense that each of us is required to take a position on issues like peak/prime/career, the viability of MLEs, a pennant is a pennant, or chrono/positional balance. The act of taking a position itself introduces layers upon layers of subjectivity since each voter's knowledge base, view of the evidence, and ability to sift through the evidence will naturally vary issue by issue.

But Karlmagnus has ironically invoked the wisdom of crowds in the past, and I'd say that's right. All the subjectivity inherent in a system of our sort weaves itself together like burlap, and eventually, the players who deserve enshrinment get it, and the rest fall through the mesh. Yeah one or two might not fall through who ought to, but overall, the individual idiosyncracies yield a strongly considered and easily defendable HOM roster.

That's more than anyone really needed me to say, but I thought I would anyway.... ; )
   115. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 20, 2007 at 01:20 AM (#2370818)
Not in the sense of emotional voting, but, as Paul is possibly suggesting, in the sense that each of us is required to take a position on issues like peak/prime/career, the viability of MLEs, a pennant is a pennant, or chrono/positional balance. The act of taking a position itself introduces layers upon layers of subjectivity since each voter's knowledge base, view of the evidence, and ability to sift through the evidence will naturally vary issue by issue.


I agree that aspect of subjectivity is used here, obviously. I have proclaimed here numerous times that every voter is entitled to their own view of greatness and merit (Dan Greenia will disagree ;-).

I like Paul's insertion of intersubjectivity into the mix. I need to add that word to my lexicon. :-)

BTW, Spider-Man 3 was terrific. Excelsior!
   116. DanG Posted: May 21, 2007 at 08:04 PM (#2373054)
(Dan Greenia will disagree ;-).

Hmm. I'm not sure if I should disagree with that statement or agree that I'll disagree. Wait...

In any case, rather than say "every voter is entitled to their own view of greatness and merit" you should say "sure to hold". And to the extent that it resembles mine determines whether it's right or wrong. ;-)
   117. Chris Fluit Posted: May 21, 2007 at 08:10 PM (#2373056)
It's been awhile since I did a major ballot reevaluation. I may not be done in time for this election but I'd certainly like to have the new results ready for the 2000 vote.

Catchers, plus Lance Parrish (eligible in 2001):

OPS+
Tenace: 135 in 5525 PA
Bresnahan: 126 in 5374 PA
Lombardi: 125 in 6349 PA
Schang: 117 in 6423 PA
Munson: 116 in 5903 PA
Howard: 108 in 5843 PA
Parrish: 105 in 7797 PA

RC/27 and Career
Lombardi: 5.96 and 958
Tenace: 5.52 and 717
Schang: 5.50 and 817
Bresnahan: 5.22 and 646
Munson: 5.02 and 758
Howard: 4.87 and 748
Parrish: 4.70 and 975

WS and Warp
Parrish: 248 and 86.5
Schang: 245 and 68.3
Tenace: 231 and 73.9
Bresnahan: 231 and 53.7
Lombardi: 218 and 75.6
Munson: 206 and 77.1
Howard: 203 and 6.38

Fielding, grade, pct. to lg, RF to lg
Parrish: A, .991 to .987, 5.75 to 5.15, 3 Gold Gloves
Howard: A, .993 to .989, 6.09 to 5.66
Bresnahan: B, .971 to .968, 5.65 to 5.47, plus CF
Munson: B, .982 to .985, 5.47 to 5.22, 3 Gold Gloves
Lombardi: C, .979 to .980, 4.24 to 4.10
Schang: C, .967 to .973, 4.61 to 4.51
Tenace: C, .986 to .984, 4.92 to 5.27, plus 1B

7. Gene Tenace: I can see why a few pure peak voters like Tenace. He's high on the lists for rate stats. However, if you look at playing time or career totals at all, Tenace really suffers. The only catcher with fewer plate attempts is Roger Bresnahan. Even Thurman Munson- whose career was cut short by his untimely death- and Elston Howard- whose career started late because of war service and integration- have more PAs than Tenace. The same is true for Runs Created. Again, Tenace only beats out Bresnahan. As for defense, Tenace was an absolute mutt as a catcher and of his eight full seasons, he played first base more than catcher in half of them. IMO, he'd be an absolutely horrible addition to the HoM.

5 and 6. Thurman Munson and Wally Schang: To me, this is the borderline of the HoM. I can see both of these guys in and I can see both of these guys out, but I keep going back and forth on which one is actually better. They have a similar OPS+ (117-116) though Schang does have 500 extra PAs. Schang beats Munson on RC and WS, but Munson beats Schang on Warp and defense. Plus, Schang's advantage in RC/27 of 5.50 to 5.02 for a difference of 0.48 is only a difference of 0.19 when adjusted to era. However, also looking at era, Schang's low PAs are right in line for usage during his time, as he was playing about the same as a Ray Schalk or Steve O'Neill. Schang's offensive advantage isn't quite as big as it seems, but I think it's still enough to outweigh Munson's defensive advantage.

3 and 4. Ernie Lombardi and Roger Bresnahan: Bresnahan's ascension to the list of top ten returnees is one of the reasons why I'm doing the re-evaluation. I was really considering putting him on my ballot instead of Lombardi. But I just couldn't do it. Bresnahan beats Lombardi in OPS+ but it's only 126 to 125. However, Lombardi's 1000 extra PAs make up for that one point of difference. Lombardi also crushes Bresnahan in RC, 5.96 to 5.22. Similar to Schang and Munson, that difference isn't as large when you consider era. Lombardi's 5.96 is only 1.60 above the league runs/game of 4.36, while Bresnahan's 5.22 is 1.14 above the league's 4.08. That means that Lombardi beats Bresnahan by 0.46 instead of 0.74. Is Bresnahan's defensive superiority and flexibility worth 0.46 runs per game? Maybe, but it's not worth that and the huge difference in career totals.

2. Lance Parrish: I realize this ranking is going to cause everyone who looks at only OBP to go into convulsions as Parrish has an awful career pct. of .313. It surprises me, too, but look at those career totals. Parrish has the most Runs Created, the most Win Shares and the highest WARP of any catcher on this list. And if we're talking traditional stats, he has the most hits, home runs, runs and RBI. He does have the low OPS+ but again he has those 13 to 1400 PAs more than Lombardi or Schang. Plus, unlike Lombardi or Schang, he wasn't a total mutt on defense. Rather, he edges out Howard as the best defensive catcher relative to era in this evaluation set.

1. Elston Howard: I've been underrating Howard. I've been a big proponent of Negro League and integration players but for some reason, I never fully integrated Howard's non-ML numbers with his ML numbers. Now that I have, Howard shoots to the top of the list. His adjusted WS should be between 275 and 305. Even the conservative 275 puts him at the top of this list. Plus, he's the best pure defender in the consideration set. And, unlike Parrish, he has a peak worth mentioning. Bresnahan may have prompted the re-evaluation, but Howard is the one who benefits from it.
   118. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 21, 2007 at 08:15 PM (#2373062)
In any case, rather than say "every voter is entitled to their own view of greatness and merit" you should say "sure to hold". And to the extent that it resembles mine determines whether it's right or wrong. ;-)


:-D
   119. Paul Wendt Posted: May 21, 2007 at 09:02 PM (#2373104)
Chris Fluit
Schang's low PAs are right in line for usage during his time, as he was playing about the same as a Ray Schalk or Steve O'Neill.

Schalk and O'Neill were heavy-duty catchers, establishing a new standard, or helping establish the standard at George Gibson & Chief Meyers level.
AL-leading catchers by games
(1911: O'Neill 9 at age 19)
(1912: O'Neill 67; Schalk 23 at age 19)
1913: Schalk 125, Sweeney 112, Agnew 103, Henry 96
1914: Schalk 124, Stanage 122, Agnew 113, Schang 100
1915: Schalk 134, O'Neill 115, Agnew 102, Stanage 100
1916: O'Neill 126, Schalk 124, Henry 116, Stanage 94
1917: Schalk 139, Severeid 139, O'Neill 127, Ainsmith 119
1918: O'Neill 113, Schalk 106, Ainsmith 89, Hannah 88 (short season)
1919: Schalk 129, O'Neill 123, Ainsmith 106, Severeid & Schang 103
1920: Schalk 151, O'Neill 148, Perkins 146, Severeid 117

100-game catchers in the National League 1911-1920: 2 2 5 4 5 3 3 3 1 3

Schang played 108 games (2/3 of games scheduled) only with New York in the 1920s, when more catchers were so regular as that, not earlier with Philadelphia or Boston.


That means that Lombardi beats Bresnahan by 0.46 instead of 0.74. Is Bresnahan's defensive superiority and flexibility worth 0.46 runs per game?

That is 0.46 RC/27 (I presume per 27 outs) or 0.05 runs per game. That is, divide RC/27 by nine for RC per player-game.

Plus, unlike Lombardi or Schang, he wasn't a total mutt on defense. Rather, he edges out Howard as the best defensive catcher relative to era in this evaluation set.

Some have questioned the assessment (by Bill James?) of Parrish as a fielding A.
If Lombardi is a "total mutt" then he probably loses more than 0.05 runs per game against anyone but Tenace and other tm.
   120. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 21, 2007 at 09:44 PM (#2373128)
However, Lombardi's 1000 extra PAs make up for that one point of difference.


That gap would be a lot smaller if Lombardi had played at the same time as Bresnahan, since catchers didn't play as many games as they did a few decades later.
   121. sunnyday2 Posted: May 21, 2007 at 10:43 PM (#2373146)
My comment re. objectivity/subjectivity was not meant as a criticism, by the way. But you can be the most rigorous die-hard advocate for some allegedly objective measure--WARP, WS, VORP, WAA, hits, whatever--but the choice of measure(s) is a subjective preference. If there was an objective reality, if there was an objectively superior "theory of everything" I think there would be more agreement.
   122. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 21, 2007 at 10:50 PM (#2373153)
My comment re. objectivity/subjectivity was not meant as a criticism, by the way.


I didn't take it that way, Marc. I just didn't want any lurkers to misinterpret your comments.
   123. Jose Canusee Posted: May 21, 2007 at 10:51 PM (#2373154)
I guess with only 2 (or 1.1) posts on A. Griffin let me remind you that he was a bright spot on the otherwise dull mid-'80's A's between Billy Ball and the Bash Brothers. Sure, he was Cristin Guzman with the bat (25 3B and 4 HR over his 1st 2 years, didn't walk) but he was also Guzman at least with the glove, which meant he looked like a wizard compared to Rob Picciolo or Chicken Stanley (have they ever been combined into Chicken Alfredo Pizza-to-Go?) and played every day. I remember him barehanding a bad hop grounder that richocheted to his right and making the play, and he started over .300 for much of his 1st season so that made him by far the highest average in the daily news for awhile. Plus, when he got traded he brought back Bob Welch to get just what the A's needed to get back into the WS.
Although it never really struck me that he played against the A's in that 88 Series. Now, Mike Davis drawing a walk off Eck before Gibson goes yard, that was ingrained in there.
   124. Chris Fluit Posted: May 21, 2007 at 10:55 PM (#2373158)
And that's why I post the results. I want to be challenged and to make sure I'm getting things right.

Paul, thanks for the added numbers on games caught for Schang. I was looking at PAs and Schang didn't seem that far behind. Anyway, this is part of the reason I have Schang so low when he's 1st or 2nd on a lot of other lists. His big rate years occurred earlier in his career when he didn't play as often. Once he started playing on a more regular basis, his rates came down- especially when considering that league offense was going up.

Also, good catch on the difference between RC/27 outs and RC/game. That and the playing time issue that "Grandma" Murphy raises does finally push Bresnahan ahead of Lombardi. "Grandma," if you can convince me that Bresnahan is better than Howard, he'll make my next ballot.

As to Parrish, I didn't get the "A" from Bill James or any other source. Instead, I looked at the fielding statistics available and saw that they're very good. I gave Parrish the "A" myself. I'm willing to listen to arguments that Parrish wasn't as good as the numbers suggest but for now, he keeps the top grade.
   125. Paul Wendt Posted: May 22, 2007 at 12:04 AM (#2373373)
Parrish - I'm only parroting what I read here, probably after El Chaleeko's encomium.
So many people quote Bill James letter grades without citation, so I asked.
   126. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 22, 2007 at 12:45 AM (#2373472)
Chris F,

I'd be wary of the MLE WS. Remember, I calculated them, and I think that 1954 is really the only year that he deserves credit for. But i did provide the whole of them so everyone could make up their own mind about them....
   127. Chris Fluit Posted: May 22, 2007 at 01:17 AM (#2373576)
First Basemen:

There are really only 4 first basemen worth talking about at this point: Cash, Cepeda, Perez and Taylor. Those also happen to be the 4 with more than 300 WS (or MLE WS in the case of Taylor) which is a pretty good cut-off. Just to be sure, I ran the numbers on a bunch of other 1B with over 250 WS: Garvey, Hodges, Konetchy, the upcoming Mattingly, Powell and the recently elected Hernandez for comparison.

OPS+
Cash: 139 in 7910 PA
Taylor (est): 138 in 9091 PA
Powell: 134 in 7810 PA
Cepeda: 133 in 8695 PA
Hernandez: 129 in 8553 PA
Mattingly: 127 in 7721 PA
Perez: 122 in 10,861 PA
Konetchy: 122 in 8664 PA
Hodges: 120 in 8104 PA
Garvey: 116 in 9466 PA

RC/27 and Career
Cash: 6.42 and 1219
Mattingly: 6.29 and 1202
Cepeda: 6.24 and 1375
Hodges: 6.17 and 1237
Hernandez: 6.12 and 1295
Powell: 5.85 and 1124
Perez: 5.64 and 1558
Garvey: 5.29 and 1307
Konetchy: 4.96 and 1057

WS and Warp
Perez: 349 and 108.6
Taylor: est. 325-349
Cash: 315 and 95.1
Hernandez: 311 and 108.1
Cepeda: 310 and 86.6
Konetchy: 287 and 73.1
Powell: 282 and 69.4
Garvey: 279 and 84.0
Hodges: 263 and 76.6
Mattingly: 263 and 73.1

Defense, grade, pct. to lg, RF to lg
Konetchy: A, .990 to .987, 10.93 to 7.35
Garvey: A, .996 to .992, 9.65 to 6.62
Hernandez: A, .994 to .992, 9.73 to 7.05
Mattingly: B, .996 to .992, 9.33 to 7.30
Cepeda: B, .990 to .990, 9.19 to 7.13
Hodges: C, .992 to .990, 8.75 to 7.25
Perez: C, .992 to .991, 8.67 to 7.48 (3B: C, .946 to .949, 2.82 to 2.60)
Cash: C, .992 to .991, 8.48 to 7.33
Powell: C, .991 to .991, 8.78 to 7.69

Eliminating the also-rans:
8 and 9. Boog Powell and Ed Konetchy. They're the only two in the bottom half of both RC and RC/27. They're 9th and 10th by WARP. Powell has no defensive value and limited career value with only 7810 PA. Konetchy has a ton of defensive value but he would need a pretty extreme era adjustment to get his offensive numbers anywhere near the leaders.
7. Gil Hodges. Unlike the two behind and the two ahead, Hodges does manage to make the top half in both RC and RC/27 but that's only because he sneaks in at 4th and 5th. Hodges is 2nd to last in OPS+ but the only guy behind him (Garvey) has an extra 1300 PA and a great glove. Hodges, despite his three Gold Gloves, has limited range and limited career value.
5 and 6. Steve Garvey and Don Mattingly. They're both above average defensively, Garvey is second to only Konetchy. Put them together and you'd have a great candidate. Apart, neither one is enough. Garvey has the solid career numbers (third in RC) but not the rate (second last in RC/27, beating only the deadball era Konetchy). Mattingly has the good rate numbers (second in RC/27) but not the career (last in PA, third last in RC, beating the previously eliminated Powell and Konetchy). They end up about even in WARP (85.5 and 84.0) though WS prefers Garvey 279 to 263.

That leaves the top four: Cash, Cepeda, Perez and Taylor
   128. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 22, 2007 at 01:25 AM (#2373605)
"Grandma," if you can convince me that Bresnahan is better than Howard, he'll make my next ballot.


Eric's post #130 is why Howard is off my ballot, though he's close, Chris.
   129. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 22, 2007 at 01:36 AM (#2373635)
That leaves the top four: Cash, Cepeda, Perez and Taylor


Cepeda is the closest to my ballot.
   130. Chris Fluit Posted: May 22, 2007 at 01:55 AM (#2373679)
Cash vs. Cepeda
Cash has the rate advantage with OPS+ 139 to 133 and RC/27 6.42 to 6.24. Cepeda has the career advantage of RC 1375 to 1219 and 785 more PA than Cash. Cepeda also has a slight defensive advantage with better overall range and an even better range relative to league (9.19 to 7.13 for Cepeda, 8.48 to 7.33 for Cash). Cash's range is actually the worst on the list though he does beat Powell when compared to his contemporaries. But despite having the better rates, I'm not convinced Cash had the better peak.

OPS+
Cash: 201-150-148-142-141-136-135-134-129-128-128-126-126-120
Cepeda: 165-164-157-148-135-134-133-131-129-125-117-110-106

RC/27
Cash: 12.51, 7.33, 7.11, 6.55, 6.47, 6.30, 6.04, 5.97, 5.77, 5.66, 5.47. 5.46, 5.18, 5.15
Cepeda: 7.82, 7.73, 7.46, 7.11, 7.03, 6.87, 6.55, 6.32, 6.09, 5.88, 5.44, 4.78, 3.87

Cash has the single best season of the two thanks to that monstrous 1961. However, Cepeda has the next three best seasons. In OPS+, Cash catches Cepeda by the 5th best season but in RC/27, Cash doesn't catch Cepeda until the 11th best season.

Furthermore, Cash played significantly less than Cepeda did- in part because he was platooned against left-handed pitching.
seasons with 120 games: Cash- 14, Cepeda- 13
130 games: Cepeda- 13, Cash- 11
140 games: Cepeda- 13, Cash- 8
150 games: Cepeda- 8, Cash- 1

seasons with 400 PA: Cash- 14, Cepeda- 13
450 PA: Cepeda- 13, Cash- 12
500 PA: Cepeda- 13, Cash- 10
550 PA: Cepeda- 13, Cash- 10
600 PA: Cepeda- 11, Cash- 3

Cepeda: peak, career, defense, and more playing time during his prime
Cash: single-best year, prime, rate
I take Cepeda.

Taylor vs. Perez
A little harder to do because we're dealing with estimated numbers for Taylor (and because i9 appears to be down). However, they're pretty close in terms of career WS. Perez has 349. Taylor's low estimate is 325 and his high is 349. Taylor has a significant advantage in OPS+. He's being cited with 138 in 9091 PA, although I also saw a more conservative number of 130. Perez is down at 122, though he does have the huge 10,861 PA. Taylor is much better with the glove, often being cited as the best Negro League 1B and being compared to Beckley or Konetchy. Perez was brutal with the glove, and even though he did play nearly 1/3 of his career at 3B, he was pretty brutal there, too. And to offset any 3B bonus for Perez, Taylor came up as a pitcher before switching full-time to 1B after a couple of years. Better offense, better defense, and that's even before we've adjusted for era: Taylor pretty clearly beats Perez.

Cepeda vs. Taylor
A lot of this depends on which MLEs you trust and how much you trust them. Taylor is being credited with more career value than Cepeda. He has between 325 and 349 WS to Cepeda's 310. He has 1307 RC to Cepeda's 1375, but the 162 game schedule accounts for some of the lead and Taylor makes up the rest of the difference based on the era. He has a 138 OPS+ in 9091 PA to 133 in 8695 for Cepeda. Then again, more conservative estimates have Taylor at 130. Taylor also has the better glove: Cepeda is in the middle of the consideration set; by all accounts, Taylor is at the top. However, Cepeda does have a better peak. Taylor's best season is 29.8 WS in 1914, while Cepeda has three over 30 in '61, '63 and '67. It looks like Taylor takes it, but it's close.

Cash vs. Perez
In the Cash vs. Cepeda comparison, Cepeda came out ahead on both peak and career. Perez's peak isn't as awful as some claim, but it's clearly not as good as Cash's.

OPS+
Cash: 201-150-148-142-141
Perez: 163-159-145-140-125

RC/27
Cash: 12.51, 7.33, 7.11, 6.55, 6.47
Perez: 8.81, 7.26, 6.75, 6.30, 5.82

Perez clearly beats Cash in terms of career value: 349 WS to 315, 1558 RC to 1219, a full 3,000 PA more than Cash.

Cash takes peak, Perez takes career. Neither is a defensive stand-out so there's not much help there. The tie-breaker then is prime. After the top five OPS+ seasons, Cash continues to clean up with low 130s and high 120s while Perez sinks to low 120s, 110s and 100s. Cash similarly cleans up in RC/27. And this time, the difference is too large to be made up by the difference in playing time.

So here it is:
1. Ben Taylor
2. Orlando Cepeda
3. Norm Cash
4. Tony Perez

My catcher cut-off was somewhere between 4 and 6. My 1B cut-off is 4.
   131. DL from MN Posted: May 22, 2007 at 01:25 PM (#2373985)
> Cepeda also has a slight defensive advantage [vs. Cash] with better overall range and
> an even better range relative to league

WARP is not seeing this at all and the anecdotal fielding reputations favor Cash over Cepeda also.

player BRAR BRAA FRAR FRAA
NCash 683 456 251 106
Cepeda 707 446 123 -49
Perez 698 371 326 79
Taylor 660 370 330 60 (estimated using 130 OPS+ numbers and estimated FR from reputation and era comparables)

Here's one more I'll throw in who looks a lot like Cepeda
JClark 694 458 128 -34

And another you overlooked
Easter 645 395 230 25 (all estimated)

If Ben Taylor is supposed to have a 138 OPS+ he jumps to the top of my ballot.
   132. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 22, 2007 at 01:54 PM (#2374004)
If Ben Taylor is supposed to have a 138 OPS+ he jumps to the top of my ballot.


I believe that number is wrong, DL, but we never got an updated number. In fact, we never got season MLEs for him either.
   133. Paul Wendt Posted: May 22, 2007 at 02:14 PM (#2374022)
> Cepeda also has a slight defensive advantage [vs. Cash] with better overall range and
> an even better range relative to league

WARP is not seeing this at all and the anecdotal <u>fielding reputations favor Cash over Cepeda</u> also.
----

Underscore that. At least during the second half of their careers, Cash was considered a good fielder and Cepeda a (very?) bad one. I doubt that Powell was considered worse than Cepeda (but I missed the first half of Cepeda's mlb career, much less of Powell's).
   134. TomH Posted: May 22, 2007 at 03:37 PM (#2374082)
Okay, trying to see what I've missed after an absence... a little more on Moran, obvious consensus on 4 newbies, and what does that have to do with Frank Tanana....

Did I miss any keen insights? Don't be bashful about repeating anything uncovered that I might pass over if I don't fine-tooth-comb through all of the posts.
   135. andrew siegel Posted: May 22, 2007 at 04:05 PM (#2374112)
I have been crediting WARP's assessment of Cash's defense. As a result, I have him as about as good compared to his leagues as Keith Hernandez (a little worse defensively, a little better offensively), though a few spots behind Hernandez based on league quality adjustments. He is currently soemwhere between 6th and 8th on my ballot. If, however, I were to be convinced that Cash was actually a poor defensive 1st baseman, he would drop like a stone in my ratings, landing somewhere around 35th or 40th. Obviously, this issue calls for further study.
   136. Chris Fluit Posted: May 22, 2007 at 05:11 PM (#2374149)
If Ben Taylor is supposed to have a 138 OPS+ he jumps to the top of my ballot.


I believe that number is wrong, DL, but we never got an updated number. In fact, we never got season MLEs for him either.


That 138 OPS+ is the most generous projection. That's why I also cited the 130 which is the more conservative number. I still have Taylor edging out Cepeda as Cepeda's OPS advantage is then 133 to 130, which I think Taylor makes up in career value, defense and era adjustment. But like I said, it's close and I could see myself going the other way quite easily.
   137. Chris Fluit Posted: May 22, 2007 at 05:59 PM (#2374183)
Cash vs. Cepeda defense

I think that the issue of defensive reputation is mostly a question of fielding percentage vs. range. Cepeda is not exactly known for having a good attitude and this may have carried over to the field. Cepeda was prone to making errors and therefore, he had a low fielding percentage. Of his 12 seasons as a regular 1B, Cepeda's fielding percentage was better than the league only 5 times. And he had error totals of 21, 18, 17, 16 and 16. Cash had much steadier hands. With the exception of one year in which his total was up at 17, Cash made few errors. Of his 14 seasons as a regular 1B, his fielding percentage was above the league average 9 times. However, Cepeda's ability as a 1B improved when his team stopped shuffling around his positions. Of his last 5 seasons as a regular 1B, his fielding percentage was at or above league average 4 out of 5 times. So Cepeda made a lot of errors when he was younger, then continued to make errors when he was shifted back and forth between 1B and OF, but settled down as he got older- unfortunately too late to save his reputation. Cash made a slightly below average amount of errors when he was younger (11 and 10 at the ages of 26 and 27), made even fewer during his peak (20 in the three years from 28-30), but then starting making more errors as he got older for an average or worse percentage in 3 of his last 4 years. Plus, though Cash's fielding percentage of .992 is two points better than Cepeda's .990, it's only 1 point better than his league while Cepeda's career number ends up being equal to the league. That's not a huge advantage for Cash. That's certainly not Garvey, Hernandez or Mattingly territory, each of whom had a fielding percentage of .994 or higher and were at least two points better than the league.

But that's just fielding percentage. Range tells a different story. Cash's career Range Factor is 8.48. The average for his time is 7.33. So Cash is 1.15 ahead of his time. But as we saw from the chart in post #131, that puts him in the lowest group of candidates along with Hodges (1.50 better than league), Perez (1.19), and Powell (1.09). Cepeda's career Range Factor is 9.19. The average for his league was lower than Cash's at 7.13. So Cepeda has a better overall range than Cash, and an even better range when compared to league as Cepeda beats his league by 2.06. Looking season by season, Cash starts out with a low range but builds it up as he moves towards his peak. From '61 to '68, when Cash was between 26 and 33, his range was always better than 8.5 with a high of 8.87. After 33 though, his range- like his fielding percentage- started to decline and he finished with 5 years in which his best total was 8.43. Cepeda started out with a huge range f 9.65 in his rookie year. His Range Factor came down for several years as again he was shifted back and forth between 1B and OF due to his errors. For the next three seasons, his range was 8.19, 8.65 and 8.53. However, once he was reestablished as a 1B, his Range came back up. His next two seasons were 9.01 and 8.97, both of which are better than any of Cash's best. But Cepeda wasn't done. He didn't have a range under 9.23 in his final six years. Looking at the progression, Cash is the one who should have been shifted to DH at the end of his career, not Cepeda.

But did Cepeda's better range make him a better defender than Cash, despite the added errors? I think the answer is, "Yes." Cash made 1317 assists in 1943 games for 0.69 per game. Cepeda made 1012 assists in 1683 games for 0.60 per game. That gives Cash the slight edge in assists. Cash made 15157 putouts for 7.80 per game. Cepeda made 14459 putouts for 8.59 per game. That gives Cepeda the advantage. Is there any reason why Cepeda would lead in putouts but not assists? This is only a theory, but I think it's possible that Cepeda's better range allowed him to get to 1B more often while Cash had to toss more often to his pitcher. Looking at assists and putouts combined, Cash was turning in 8.49 per game while Cepeda was turning in 9.19 per game. So Cepeda was actually making 0.70 more plays per game than Cash. Even with his errors, Cepeda was making a play every other day that Cash wasn't making. Cepeda also has a slight lead in double plays, turning 1192 or 0.71 per game to Cash's 1347 or 0.69 per game, but that's such a small margin as to be of negligible importance.

So what's the verdict? Cepeda made a lot of errors when he was younger, saddling him with the reputation of being a bad defensive player. However, he improved defensively as he aged and always had the range to make up for the frequent errors. The problems with fielding percentage do keep him from being an "A" fielder. Cash made few errors when he was young and earned a positive defensive reputation. However, he was never the outstanding defensive 1B of a Garvey, Mattingly or Hernandez. Plus, Cash's defense slid as he got older and even at his best, he never had great range nor made as many plays as Cepeda. He's basically got the range of Jason Giambi (8.83 to 7.67 for his league for a difference of 1.16) with the hands of Tony Perez (identical .992 fielding percentage to .991 league).
   138. TomH Posted: May 22, 2007 at 06:28 PM (#2374204)
1B putouts are very dependent on whether the staff allowed ground balls or flies. Without digging deeper into the data, I wouldn't trust 1B POs at all.
   139. DL from MN Posted: May 22, 2007 at 06:42 PM (#2374213)
> once he was reestablished as a 1B, his Range came back up

Does that correspond to the move to St. Louis?

Cepeda 1B RATE 97 FRAR 107 FRAA -44 AdjG 1616.5
Sub100 years 1958-60, 1963-64, 1966-68, 1970-71 and he spent 1973 as a DH
Win Shares defensive grade C+

NCash 1B RATE 106 FRAR 250 FRAA 105 AdjG 1807.3
Sub100 years 1970-71
Win Shares defensive grade A-

Win Shares, WARP and the anecdotal evidence all seem to agree.

> Is there any reason why Cepeda would lead in putouts but not assists? This is only a
> theory, but I think it's possible that Cepeda's better range allowed him to get to 1B
> more often while Cash had to toss more often to his pitcher.

Wouldn't better range mean you're far away from 1B more often leading to MORE assists?
   140. Chris Fluit Posted: May 22, 2007 at 06:47 PM (#2374218)
Does that correspond to the move to St. Louis?


No, that includes 1962-1964 when he was still in San Francisco.

Wouldn't better range mean you're far away from 1B more often leading to MORE assists?


I was thinking more of better foot speed allowing him to get back to the bag more quickly. Either way, I was offering that as a hypothetical explanation not a factual one.
   141. KJOK Posted: May 22, 2007 at 07:00 PM (#2374228)
If Ben Taylor is supposed to have a 138 OPS+ he jumps to the top of my ballot.



I believe that number is wrong, DL, but we never got an updated number. In fact, we never got season MLEs for him either.


Well, it' not "wrong', but it was done by me, and my original MLE's are a bit more favorable that later ones done by Eric, Chris, etc.

Plus, I have newer, more definitive stats for Taylor since then - probably need to twist Eric's arm to run the numbers through his system...
   142. Chris Fluit Posted: May 22, 2007 at 08:10 PM (#2374298)
Second Base:

OPS+
Doyle: 126 in 7382 PA
Lazzeri: 121 in 7303 PA
Evers: 106 in 7210 PA
Randolph: 104 in 9462 PA
Schoendiest: 93 in 9222 PA
Mazeroski: 84 in 8379 PA

RC/27 and Career
Lazzeri: 6.45 and 1114
Doyle: 5.25 and 949
Schoendiest: 4.73 and 1112
Randolph: 4.54 and 1057
Evers: 4.14 and 727
Mazeroski: 3.79 and 858

WS and Warp
Randolph: 312 and 108.8
Doyle: 289 and 59.0
Evers: 268 and 70.8
Schoendiest: 262 and 85.6
Lazzeri: 252 and 76.7
Mazeroski: 219 and 86.5

Fielding, grade, pct. to lg, RF to lg.
Mazeroski: A+, .983 to .976, 5.57 to 4.71 (+0.86)
Schoendiest: B, .983 to .975, 5.38 to 4.98 (+0.40)
Randolph: B, .980 to .980, 5.20 to 4.60 (+0.60)
Evers: C, .955 to .949, 5.12 to 5.00 (+0.12)
Lazzeri: D, .967 to .968, 5.35 to 5.50 (-0.15)
Doyle: D, .949 to .953, 4.80 to 4.99 (-0.19)

8. Johnny Evers: WS likes him quite a bit, giving him 268 which is third for the group. WARP is less impressed, ranking him second to last. I'm going to have to agree with WARP on this one. Evers wasn't a great offensive second baseman. His career total is only 727 RC, at an average of only 4.14/27 outs. That beats only Mazeroski. And his defensive reputation, enhanced as it is by the famous poem, doesn't match the reality. His fielding percentage is nowhere near as good as Schoendiest or Mazeroski and his range is second from the bottom, or third from bottom when compared to the league. Average bat, average glove, nothing to see here.

7. Bill Mazeroski: WS hates him, giving him only 219. WARP likes him a lot more, ranking him second in this group with 86.5 This time, I'm going to agree with WS. Mazeroski is indeed the greatest defensive 2B ever. His fielding numbers are outstanding: .983 pct. to .976 for the league, 5.57 range factor to 4.71 for the league and a difference of 0.86. But are his defensive numbers enough to make up twenty points of OPS+ on Evers and Randolph, or forty points of OPS+ on Lazzeri and Doyle? Probably not.

5 and 6. Tony Lazzeri and Larry Doyle: The second basemen were easily divided into different groups. Mazeroski is part of the great defense/no offense group. This is the great offense/no defense group. Lazzeri and Doyle are 1 and 2 in OPS+ and RC/27. However, they're also the two worst defensive 2B. They're so bad, I couldn't even give them a "C" grade. They're "D"s. They're both below average in fielding percentage (Doyle by a full four points) and they're both below average in range factor. Lazzeri at least has okay range, just not compared to his era.

4. Marvin Williams: The toughest 2B to place. The high estimates for Williams give him 325-330 WS and an OPS+ of 110 in 9900 PAs. If those are accurate, Williams would easily be the best 2B available and better than several already inducted into the Hall of Merit. But there's reason to think that his OPS is inflated because of playing so much in hitter's leagues in Texas and Arizona and it's hard to hand out 325 WS to a guy who played mostly in AA. Still, the reputation is that this is a guy who could hit and who was an okay fielder but who never got the chance to play in the majors because of integration quotas. I guess I'd rather induct Williams than either Doyle or Lazzeri, but I'd more likely draw the cut-off line just above him.

3. Red Schoendiest: He's like Nellie Fox's kid brother and since I was a huge supporter of Fox, I'm not surprised to have Schoendiest ranked fairly highly as well. He has a low OPS+ of 93, but he did it in 1000 more PA than Mazeroski and about 2000 more than Evers, Doyle and Lazzeri. He piled up the career numbers, ranking second in the group to only Lazzeri in RC (beating out Randolph even though Red had fewer PA) and finishing third in WARP with 85.6. Plus, he was a good defender, just not quite as good as Mazeroski or Fox. His .983 fielding percentage compared to .975 for the league is the best differential and his 5.38 beats everyone else- though Randolph's range is better relative to his league. In short, he was a solid all-around 2B, better than the no-glove duo of Doyle and Lazzeri and the no-bat Mazeroski.

2. Bill Monroe: Once again, the 2Bs just seem to group together. Monroe joins Williams as a Negro League 2B with a sketchy history. Williams, held back by integration quotas, has an oddball career. Monroe played before organized Negro Leagues and has a poorly documented career. But here's what we do know: Monroe could hit. i9 had Monroe with an OBP and SLG of .373 and .388 (compared to Doyle's .357 and .408 and Lazzeri's live-ball .380 and .467). Plus, Monroe was decent with a glove, probably somewhere between Randolph and Schoendiest at a B and Evers at a C. If Larry Doyle could've fielded like Miller Huggins (.956 to .950 pct., 5.31 to 5.02 range), he'd be in both Halls. Well, that's the kind of player that Bill Monroe is supposed to be.

1. Willie Randolph: What's the Bill James quote? "Specialists are overrated, while all around players are underrated." Meet Willie Randolph. While a glove specialist like Mazeroski and a bat specialist like Tony Lazzeri got into the Hall of Fame, Randolph was left out. Admittedly, he wasn't as good a hitter as Doyle or Lazzeri. And he wasn't as good a fielder as Mazeroski or Fox. But he wasn't that far behind Fox defensively and had a better range compared to league than Schoendiest. WS and WARP both have him first by quite a margin- 23 WS ahead of Doyle and 22.3 WARP ahead of Mazeroski- and I think they're both right.
   143. Paul Wendt Posted: May 22, 2007 at 08:16 PM (#2374305)
(stimulated by the David Foss ballot comment on Larry Doyle, the position player star of the New York Giants dynasty)

Lacking a better place, I used "Roger Bresnahan" for comments and questions about (American Indian john tortes) Chief Meyers. He was Bresnahan's successor at age 29. Like Bresnahan and Doyle, he batted like an outfielder.

--
Cepeda
2B Hal Lanier is the all-time "good field no hit", right? (Given the epoch and the position in the field, he can give Bill Bergen a run for the money.) But Lanier played with Cepeda only one season, affecting McCovey if any 1B slugger. Cash played 1967-71 with famous batsman Dick McAuliffe at 2B (moved from SS).

Has anyone looked at flies to 1B, presumably for the Retrosheet years (which now cover Cepeda & McCovey, and Cash)? How many are discretionary, taken by the 2B or the C according to skill or status? (Maybe even the RF or P, more than a century ago?) I suppose that because of radical differences in spin and perspective, the 1B may soundly field few flies that the 2B might handle, and the C may soundly field few flies that the 1B might handle. We know Matty was wrong to call "Chief!, Chief!"!

For short flies up the middle, in contrast, the conventional wisdom is that team icon Cal Ripken or Larry Lajoie may soundly take many flies that the CF or the other MI might handle. And having such a player in place at the crucial time, as perhaps Lajoie with the Cleveland Naps, might have delayed the team transition to shortstop covering the bag with a left-handed batter. (The second point may be according to Bill James.)
   144. Paul Wendt Posted: May 22, 2007 at 08:41 PM (#2374330)
Evers wasn't a great offensive second baseman.
True.
<i>His career total is only 727 RC, at an average of only 4.14/27 outs. That beats only Mazeroski.


Both the career total and the standardized rate are misleading because run-scoring or batting varies so much with the times (and varies significantly by home ballpark). I believe OPS+ that Evers was a good offensive player, and that Schoendienst was not. (I suppose that 13 points OPS+ is much greater than the intervening change in player type at second base, the socalled spectrum shift.)

RC/27 and Career
Schoendiest: 4.73 and 1112
Randolph: 4.54 and 1057

Wow! I would have guessed that Schoendienst is below "striking distance" from Randolph. I see that he barely played in Milwaukee (a pitcher's park), just enough for two World Series, very efficient. (3rd MVP in the 1957 season, his last good one at bat; a better Series contribution in 1958 defeat than in victory.)

Chris,
Others have noted the unreliability of basic fielding statistics as indicators of defensive talent or value.
Taking those stats at face value, on the other hand, I think you underrate the magnitude of the differences between Schoendienst/Randolph and Evers. Maybe you are dazzled by Mazeroski. Probably Schoendienst and Randolph deserve A- on this scale, and Evers C+. Again, that is granting the reliance on fielding average and range factor.
   145. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 22, 2007 at 10:22 PM (#2374428)
Chris,

Did I read you wrong or did you say that Don Mattingly was about average defensively? Which numbers are you looking at? he is well above average in both WARP and WS and has like 8 Gold Gloves. This would put him well ahead of Garvey for me. Say what you want about his overall candidacy but 'about average defensively' is off the mark by a decent bit.
   146. Chris Fluit Posted: May 23, 2007 at 12:09 AM (#2374718)
No, I said that Mattingly was above average defensively.
   147. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 23, 2007 at 01:27 AM (#2375158)
Plus, I have newer, more definitive stats for Taylor since then - probably need to twist Eric's arm to run the numbers through his system...

Taylor's MLE was computed by Chris originally, so probably best if he does an update if one is warranted.

KJOK, do you have data for any pre-1920 season besides 1916? If so, that's news to me and might be very interesting to see.
   148. TomH Posted: May 24, 2007 at 01:25 PM (#2377227)
Paul W, in the ballot thread:

Some have suggested further recognition of these players, Jones's coming a long cultural distance from the South (answered by Cliff Blau); Keller's unfortunate physical damage (argument generally deprecated, compare Joss, Sisler, Travis); Chance's focus on managing the team, too often from the sidelines (argument unconstitutional, compare Bresnahan, maybe Cravath)

--
Paul, we've discussed this before, and while I agree that my opinion might be in the minority, I don't believe that there was a consensus that it was <u>verboten</u> to give credit for a player who might well have played more if he HADN'T also been managing at the same time (in this case, Chance, but the argument in general could be made for others).

To be clear: we all agree that it's unconstitutional to give credit for managerial accomplishments.
But, if we had, for example, a clear note from Roger Bresnahan in 1909 that said "I played 140 games a year as late as 1908, and could have done the same after that, but I thought it was better for the team to sit more often and concentrate on managing". Wouldn't that mean that Bresnahan's ability in 1909-12 was still that of a fulltime player? This seems to be a possible case where managing HURT his PLAYING career; and that, while it may have been better for his TEAM to have him manage, increasing his overall TRUE value, it hurt his value as a player ONLY? And, like war or being unfairly stuck in the minors or race issues, isn't it at least arguable to give 'missed time' credit here?

If I am not allowed to give this credit, someone needs to firmly say so. But frankly, I have been, for quite a long time.
   149. Paul Wendt Posted: May 24, 2007 at 01:38 PM (#2377247)
OK, I have jumped to a constitutional conclusion and I apologize for speaking without knowledge, Tom.
(I have passed over much constitutional discussion and I have never studied it.)
   150. sunnyday2 Posted: May 24, 2007 at 01:40 PM (#2377250)
>5 and 6. Tony Lazzeri and Larry Doyle

Granted there is a superficial similarity between the two. Where I differ from Chris is maybe a subjective, er, ah, qualitative difference and some may like their evidence to be more in quantitative form. But Doyle was an MVP and he clearly hit as well as a lot of the corner backlog of his day. Lazzeri was/did neither.
   151. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 24, 2007 at 01:44 PM (#2377252)
"I played 140 games a year as late as 1908, and could have done the same after that, but I thought it was better for the team to sit more often and concentrate on managing".


But isn't that going to happen only if there is a replacement equal in value or even better than the player in question? If that's the case, then that player shouldn't be given more playing time.

Is there an example of a player-manager who inserted an inarguably inferior player over himself?

This is a big can of worms opened up here, Tom.
   152. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 24, 2007 at 02:20 PM (#2377281)
If I am not allowed to give this credit, someone needs to firmly say so.

Tom,

With god as my witness, you're absolutely, positively, indubitably, unmistakeably, never, ever, ever beyond a shadow of a doubt allowed to give this credit to any baseball player at any time of any time, for any reason, so help me God.

Yours sincerely,

The Adenoid von Henckel of the HOM

; )
   153. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 24, 2007 at 02:55 PM (#2377323)
Yeah really, I don't know why you'd look at raw fielding pct and Range Factor when we have more sophisticated tools like BP FRAA and Fielding WS--and both show Cash as an *outstanding* defensive 1B and Cepeda as a mediocre one. This is the main reason why Cash blows away Cepeda for me.

Below is each player's rank among starting 1B in his league by BP FRAA and Fielding WS above league average

Year Cash-FRAA Cash-FWS Cepeda-FRAA Cepeda-FWS
1958                              7          4
1959                              7          3
1960         2        3  
--Played Outfield--
1961         1        1           4          2
1962         2        1           5          2
1963         2        4           8          7
1964         1        2          10         10
1965         1        2     
--Injured--
1966         1        6          10          8
1967         2        4           5          4
1968         1        2           8          8
1969         3        4           2          3
1970        10        2           8          9
1971        10        7
1972         1        2 


It's no contest. According to BP, Cash is clearly the premier defensive 1B of his era; by WS he's definitely well above-average. FRAA has Cepeda between average and bad for his whole career, while WS thinks he started out well but spent the majority of his career below average. Defense is the main factor that makes Cash vastly superior to Cepeda--it was a 73-run difference over their careers (averaging and regressing FRAA and FWS). (The other is that Cash was excellent at staying out of the double play, hitting into 46 fewer than a league-average player would have given his opportunities, while Cepeda was very DP-prone, hitting into 34 more than a league-average player would have given his opportunities, a further 42-run difference).
   154. TomH Posted: May 24, 2007 at 03:40 PM (#2377360)
But isn't that going to happen only if there is a replacement equal in value or even better than the player in question? If that's the case, then that player shouldn't be given more playing time.
Is there an example of a player-manager who inserted an inarguably inferior player over himself?
This is a big can of worms opened up here, Tom


I confess to knowing little of a MLB player-manager's role. But it seems reasonable to postulate a man might choose a day off sometimes if the managing role seems extra taxing, blancing the possible gain and loss. Particularly if the team seems like a lock to win the pennant anyway (see Cubs, 1907, up 13 games in August!).
   155. TomH Posted: May 24, 2007 at 03:41 PM (#2377361)
Eric, I confess to complete ingnorance of Adenoid von Henckel. But it was funny anyway.
   156. Juan V Posted: May 24, 2007 at 04:24 PM (#2377407)
Granted there is a superficial similarity between the two. Where I differ from Chris is maybe a subjective, er, ah, qualitative difference and some may like their evidence to be more in quantitative form. But Doyle was an MVP and he clearly hit as well as a lot of the corner backlog of his day. Lazzeri was/did neither.


But 2B in Doyle's time was definitely a hitter position, while in Lazzeri's time it was something more like what it is today.
   157. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 24, 2007 at 04:47 PM (#2377433)
I may have spelled him wrong, Tom, but that's the name of Chaplain's Great Dictator.
   158. Paul Wendt Posted: May 24, 2007 at 05:21 PM (#2377460)
> But isn't that going to happen only if there is a replacement equal in value or even better than the player in question? If that's the case, then that player shouldn't be given more playing time.
Is there an example of a player-manager who inserted an inarguably inferior player over himself?
This is a big can of worms opened up here, Tom


The leading possibilities may be the here and now: McGraw, Chance, Bresnahan, three players Tom supports iirc. Plausible reasons?
- travel scouting and signing players.
The only plausible case I know is McGraw in the second, New York half of 1902. (In Baltimore 1901/02 he was injured two or three times. In St Louis 1900 he was a holdout in the spring, before any leadership role.) Overall he played about 40% of 1902 games. His split OPS+ 144/97, suddenly no extra-base hits, is suggestive but not definitive because the sample is so small. Was this the injury from which he could not return?
- lead the team on the sidelines: better view, more commanding stature, better route to the umpire
This is a stretch, maybe plausible only for an outfielder-manager (Clarke, Cobb, Speaker), maybe a good reason to select on of the five men around the basepaths rather than an outfielder
- draw fans on the sidelines: in better view, free for histrionics
This is plausible for Bresnahan. He signed a big long term contract in St Louis; maybe the fiery redhead was (perceived as) a big draw. Certainly the position behind the plate limits both the man and the fans view of him (which is also obscured by the equipment).
- focus on the game from a different perspective
The pitcher and catcher, at least, may have too much to think about, specific to their specialized game of catch
   159. Paul Wendt Posted: May 24, 2007 at 05:26 PM (#2377465)
- lead the team on the sidelines: better view, more commanding stature, better route to the umpire

This is a stretch[is it?], maybe plausible only for an outfielder-manager (Clarke, Cobb, Speaker).

Together with special reasons to bypass pitchers, maybe a good reason for club management to consider only the five men around the basepaths as player-manager candidates.
   160. Chris Fluit Posted: May 24, 2007 at 05:28 PM (#2377468)
The problem I see with the Chance managerial credit issue (besides it being potentially unconstitutional), is that it's also selectively applied. If Chance gets that credit (or at least benefit of the doubt regarding playing time), then what about Bancroft, Bresnahan, McGraw, Tinker? And why were other players, like George Sisler or Fielder Jones, able to continue to play at the same number of games and plate appearances per year? Maybe they didn't care as much about the managing side of things and didn't take the extra days off. If that's the case, it shows that Chance chose to play less in order to be a better manager. It's commendable, but it's not a case for credit. Credit goes to those who have been prevented from playing for one reason or another- military service, "gentlemen's agreements" about race, and arguably blacklisted players like Charley Jones. Not those who chose to manage when they could have been playing instead.
   161. Chris Fluit Posted: May 24, 2007 at 05:33 PM (#2377472)
154. sunnyday2 Posted: May 24, 2007 at 09:40 AM (#2377250)
>5 and 6. Tony Lazzeri and Larry Doyle

Granted there is a superficial similarity between the two. Where I differ from Chris is maybe a subjective, er, ah, qualitative difference and some may like their evidence to be more in quantitative form. But Doyle was an MVP and he clearly hit as well as a lot of the corner backlog of his day. Lazzeri was/did neither.

I listed them together for the sake of discussion, but not in order. I see them as similar players, but my charts have Doyle 5th and Lazzeri 6th.
   162. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 24, 2007 at 05:59 PM (#2377496)
Total, utter, perhaps unbearable non-sequitor...with belly-button watching added.

I'm in the publishing biz, and some of our books sell into the college market. College publishers apparently refer to their textbooks as hard side and soft side (this is likely true for the k-12 market too). Not surprisingly, 'hard side' refers to math, science, econ, and the like. Soft side is English, languages, the social studies, and surely the arts. I'm not sure where Anthropology, Sociology fall (I assume soft) and I think mgmt/biz falls under hard, but I ain't sure.

Anyway, I've always kind of wondered how this applies to our voting group, particularly the bloc of 30 or more long-time voters. I wonder if voters with hard- or soft-side training/jobs or who identify one way or the other would tend to vote for certain kinds of candidates. Or whether they use certain types of stats or systems. Or lack of systems.

Anyway, I'm not actually looking for an answer on this, it's just one of those interesting meta-questions that I think up from time to time, right about 2:00 during a work day, between tasks....
   163. Chris Fluit Posted: May 24, 2007 at 06:13 PM (#2377510)
The leading possibilities may be the here and now: McGraw, Chance, Bresnahan, three players Tom supports iirc.

If TomH supports Bresnahan and McGraw as well as Chance, I withdraw that part of my criticism.
   164. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 24, 2007 at 06:54 PM (#2377562)
I may have spelled him wrong, Tom, but that's the name of Chaplain's Great Dictator.


Great film (not to mention that Paulette Goddard was hot).

The problem I see with the Chance managerial credit issue (besides it being potentially unconstitutional),


I don't think it's unconstitutional. I'm not even sure Tom is violating its spirit. I just think we're entering a very tricky area, similar to extrapolating a player's career due to injury or for managerial incompetence.
   165. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 24, 2007 at 06:56 PM (#2377564)
If TomH supports Bresnahan and McGraw as well as Chance, I withdraw that part of my criticism.


Heh.

As much as I would like Roger to get a bump up, I still have to be consistent and true to myself (I know you're only joking, Chris, so that's not directed toward you).
   166. TomH Posted: May 24, 2007 at 07:09 PM (#2377578)
One of the keys to ranking the borderline modern pitchers (Stieb, Tiant, soon-to-be-others) is determining how much easier it was to put up dominating ##s in 1980 than 1965 or 1995.

Here is one menthod to try to measure this:
Compare the 8th best ERA+ and 8th highest IP mark among MLB pitchers each year, to see how 'ease of domination' has changed over time.
Should we adjust for expansion of teams and talent pool? Yes. I'd propose that
1) after the addition of 4 teams in 69, wait 3 yrs, then beginning in 72 assume that talent pool has expanded proportionately, and use the 9th best in each category instead of 8th.
2) after the addition of 4 teams in 77, wait 4 yrs, then beginning in 81 use the 10th best in each category.

Below is a table that shows the Xth best MLB marks by year.

yr IP ERA+
64 271 138
65 287 135
66 269 142
67 264 136
68 278 145
69 303 153
70 291 133
71 286 128
72 282 140
73 293 133
74 292 134
75 278 132
76 284 128
77 280 140
78 274 140
79 259 129
80 257 131
81 173 140
82 258 127
83 257 130
84 248 131
85 261 141
86 252 127
87 257 130
88 251 142
89 245 130
90 231 135

Dave Stieb pitched from 1979 to 1990 (excluding partial or lousy seasons from the beginning or end)
Reuschel, 1972-89
Tiant, 1964-79
AVG top IP and ERA+ for time period relative to each pitcher:
Stieb 246 133
Reuschel 260 134
Tiant 281 137

Comparing Loo-eee Loo-eee to Stieb, Tiant had an advantage of 35 IP/year; thus, one could argue for deducting 12.5% from Tiant's IP
Also, it was easier to rack up a dominating ERA of 3% lower than league average in Luis' day compared to Dave's. I'm not sure this means that we ought to simply add 3% to Tiant's ERA; because the measures converge at 100. It's 3% at the top end, zero in the middle. For guys with career ERA+ of 115-120, the difference might be 1-2%.

When I make adjustments to my numbers, it pulls Stieb a few notches above Tiant for regular season work, but Tiant still comes out ahead with some October credit.

All in all, my impression is that Stieb was more dominant in the early 1980s, but the argument for 'dominant pitcher in his day' might be overblown a bit; maybe there just weren't many great pitchers at that time. Of course, I'll take the ueberluv of Stieb over the 'Jack Morris, most wins in the 1980s' any day of the week.

For what it's all worth.
   167. DL from MN Posted: May 24, 2007 at 07:54 PM (#2377618)
My guess is "league average runs allowed" improved due to the difference in innings going to the bullpen. The 133 v. 134 v. 137 looks like a wash to me. You can't really debate the drop in innings though you can debate the meaning. Were the older pitchers more valuable because they gave you more innings or did they just happen to pitch in an era where more innings were given to starters?
   168. Paul Wendt Posted: May 24, 2007 at 08:43 PM (#2377658)
2) after the addition of 4 teams in 77, wait 4 yrs, then beginning in 81 use the 10th best in each category.

only two teams in '77, and two in '93.

'69 is the high outlier in Tom's series. That is the year of both expansion and pitcher-unfriendly modification of the mound and strike zone, which muddies the explanatory waters. But high outlier is to be expected from expansion alone. (Anyway, the cause of 153 doesn't matter for Tom's purpose of normalizing Tiant, Reuschel and Stieb.)
   169. sunnyday2 Posted: May 24, 2007 at 08:52 PM (#2377660)
>But 2B in Doyle's time was definitely a hitter position, while in Lazzeri's time it was something more like what it is today.

Well, their respective peaks are about 15-18 years apart. I don't think it's quite a case in yin and yang.

And secondly, if Lazzeri helped his team more with his bat (relative to all those slappy little glove men who had moved in by then), well, then he also hurt his team with his glove more than Doyle did. And that is just a big hypothetical, a big IF. That is, IF the stereotypes of their respective times are true.

But wait a minute, there's this. In 1912, when Doyle's team won the pennant and he was the MVP, the other 7 regular 2Bs in the NL hit 0 or 1 HR. Nobody hit more than 1. Larry hit 10, more than the other 7 combined as a matter of fact. Doyle slugged .471. Next best was a couple guys (Evers and Sweeney) in the .440s. I'm not saying HR and SA are the only measures, I just picked a couple to make a point.

I don't know what Lazzeri's best year was but here's 1932. He slugged .500 twice and '32 was the one time of those two years that the Yankees won the pennant. Lazzeri's numbers were 16-113-.300 with 79 runs scored. Charlie Gehringer was 19-107-.298 with 112 runs scored, Bill Cissell went 6-93-.320 with 78 runs scored, Buddy Myer 5-52-.279 but with 120 runs scored.

Or if you prefer 1927: Lazzeri was 18-102-.309 with 92 runs scored and .482 SA. Bucky Harris scored 98 runs, a young Charley Gehringer hit .317 and slugged .441, Lew Fonseca played 96 games at 2B for Cleveland and scored 60 times (I mean, seriously, this is the glovey era?). Or in 1929 when Lazzeri slugged .561, he was 18-106-.354 with 101 runs (the Yanks finished 2nd). Max Bishop scored 102 runs for Philly, Buddy Myer hit .300 with 80 runs and 82 RBI, Gehringer was at 13-106-.339 with a league-leading 131 runs, 215 hits, 45 2B and 19 3B.

And in 1912 NL 4 of 8 regular 2Bs out-slugged their team. In 1932 AL 4 of 8 regular 2Bs out-slugged their team. In 1927 AL it was 4, in 1929 AL it was 6.

So anyway, to say that 2B was more of a hitter's position in 1912 has been supported in a variety of ways, I guess. But the idea that Doyle was just another hard-hitting 2B in his time is absolutely wrong. It was Doyle who stood out offensively above a bunch of slappy little 2Bs, not Lazzeri.
   170. Juan V Posted: May 24, 2007 at 09:10 PM (#2377673)
#146 shows Lazzeri as being better (less bad) compared to his league than Doyle in Fielding % and Range Factor. BPro's stats also put him clearly ahead.

And about their respective baselines, that's what my estimates say. Dan R's seem to agree, since they show a big spike in 2B replacement level around the time of Doyle's peak, and a generally higher level throughout his career. Doyle may have stood out among his league, but because the really big hitting second basemen were on the other league at the time.
   171. Chris Fluit Posted: May 24, 2007 at 09:22 PM (#2377691)

As much as I would like Roger to get a bump up, I still have to be consistent and true to myself (I know you're only joking, Chris, so that's not directed toward you).


Well, he's at least going to make my ballot for the first time this year.
   172. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 24, 2007 at 09:23 PM (#2377693)
Well, he's at least going to make my ballot for the first time this year.


Woo-hoo! :-)
   173. jimd Posted: May 24, 2007 at 09:50 PM (#2377730)
Compare the 8th best ERA+ and 8th highest IP mark among MLB pitchers each year, to see how 'ease of domination' has changed over time.
Should we adjust for expansion of teams and talent pool? Yes. I'd propose that
1) after the addition of 4 teams in 69, wait 3 yrs, then beginning in 72 assume that talent pool has expanded proportionately, and use the 9th best in each category instead of 8th.
2) after the addition of 4 teams in 77, wait 4 yrs, then beginning in 81 use the 10th best in each category.


In 1964, there were 20 teams using 4 SP each for a total of 80 SP. The 8th best SP represented the top 10% of SP (90th percentile). In 1990, there were 26 teams using 5 SP each for a total of 130 SP. The 10th best SP represents the the top 8% of SP (92nd percentiel). To normalize for the adoption of the 5-man rotation, the 13th best SP might be more appropriate. Trying to keep this straight during the transition from 4-man to 5-man rotations, lots of luck.
   174. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 25, 2007 at 05:06 AM (#2378242)
Pick any measure you want--OPS+, EqA, Batting WS, above average, above replacement--2B around 1910 were far superior hitters to 2B around 1930. This isn't debate, it's fact. (By my chosen metric, wins below average per full season for the worst three regulars in the league at the position, replacement 2B were 1.3 wins below average per season from 1906-15 and 2.4 wins below average per season from 1926-35. The NL 2B EqA from 1906-15 was .275, the AL 2B EqA from 1926-35 was .259). Voters are free to ignore this (at their peril), but sunnyday, you are misleading the electorate to suggest it is not the case.
   175. andrew siegel Posted: May 25, 2007 at 10:49 AM (#2378288)
I write this every twenty years or so, but the problem with comparing pitchers across eras is that we have two countervailing trends: individual pitchers pitching less innings and pitching (as compared to fielding) becoming more important. Particularly in the early years of baseball the trends are causally linked. BUT there is no reason to assume that they exactly balance each other out. When it gets down to comparing, say, Mickey Welch and Kevin Brown, you are reduced to rank speculation. It is perfectly possible that--compared to position players of their own time--the best pitchers are more or less valuable at different times in history. Attempts to adjust innings pitched totals by comparisons to other pitchers of the era (which I did extensively 70 "years" ago) are interesting, but ultimately dependent on the assumption that the two trends exactly cancel each other out. No one has proven that empirically.
   176. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 25, 2007 at 01:36 PM (#2378346)
but ultimately dependent on the assumption that the two trends exactly cancel each other out.

Just a little info on this. I ran a spreadsheet where I looked at the k/9 of the NL every ten years from 1896 onward (actually I did it form 1876 but realized later that pre-1893 isn't necessarily that helpful for the moment). I also looked up the fifth highest innings total in the league (or equivalent for expanded leagues). Then I applied the K rate to the fifth-best total to see how many Ks that would be. Then I figured what percentage of outs a pitcher was getting at each chronological interval all by himself given these rates of Ks and innings.

Note: I used fifth-best innings as a way of keeping some level of consistency among the examples.

NL   K/9 5thip 5thKs &#xou;ts_by_p
--------------------------------
1896 2.3  351   90     9
1906 3.8  307  129    14%
1916 3.9  300  129    14%
1926 2.8  267   82    10%
1936 3.4  267  101    13%
1946 3.6  224   90    13%
1956 4.6  264  136    17%
1966 5.8  272  174    21%
1976 5.0  253  139    18%
1986 6.0  243  162    22%
1996 6.8  228  171    25%
2005 6.6  223  163    24


If you want to look at it as a % of increase/decrease over time, modern pitchers strike out 81% more batters than their 1890s comrades, but they are on the mound for 38% fewer innings (or the old guys are on the mound for 57% more outs).

Compare then to 1936 where a contemporary pitcher K 61% more batters and is on the mound for only 18% fewer outs.

In terms of runs.... Let's make two faulty assumptions for ease: (1) all outs are either just outs (no DPs or anything) or Ks and (2) that the relationship in XR between outs and Ks (-.09 R and -.098 R or that a K is worth about 9% more than our "typical" out and will work for other eras.

In that case,
YEAR  INN OUTS-KS KS OUTS_Rs Ks_Rs Total*
-----------------------------------------
1896  351   963   90   -87    -9   -95
1936  267   700  101   
-63   -10   -73
2005  223   563  163   
-46   -16   -62
*roundingmay not match up 


So, my assumptions are not great, but if they are even a little bit close, then bulk's pretty damned important, but it's possible that a real Kmeister (Pedro, Randy, Schill) could make up a lot of ground, particularly if they are durable.

On the other hand this gives you some sense of where the defense component is coming in. If 2005 is getting 25% of outs by himself and 1936 is getting only 13%, that's as much or more wiggle viz defense than I just mentioned about the K artists gaining through their skills.

Anyway, nothing definitive, too many bad assumptions and stuff, but I thought I'd offer it up as food for thought.
   177. Chris Cobb Posted: May 25, 2007 at 02:04 PM (#2378398)
From the ballot thread:

--
Chris, I really appreciate the insight into your rankings and the dissertations you've put forth. But I gotta ask a few Qs--

1. Given that, in your system, Staub comes out 'too high', what changes might you make in your system? The MBJHA has Staub as the 24th best RFer, and given that James used big years prominently in his rankings (friendly to Rusty) and had a large timeline, I'd say #24 is generous.

2. You are not unkind to pre-WWII infielders nor to 3Bmen in general; so, where is John McGraw on your ballot? He has a lot of "total value above average" and "peak rate". He played when infielders had a tough time of making a full career, and we've honored relatively few 1890s infielders. McGraw's skills (OBP!! & speed) were particularly suited for his day in ways that BP's offensive scheme (EqA) I think fails to fully appreciate, but do show up in his OWP/RC/WS. I'm sure you do adjust for the difference in 3B play prior to 1930, as well as the one-league environ, so I'm surprised Mugsy doesn't show up on your radar, even though you do probably give somewhat more weight to career value than most of us.


Answers:

1. The main thing that I could do is adjust my use of win shares. The zero point for batting win shares is too low, so hitters get too much credit for just showing up. Staub gets too much credit in win shares for his long decline phase. Unfortunately, I don't have time to implement this change across my entire system, so I make a subjective adjustment to Staub's ranking so that he places about where I think he deserves to rank. Once we make the switch to annual elections, I intend to make this adjustment to my system, along with some other changes that I think will assist in making fine distinctions more satisfactorily.

2. John McGraw. Here's how my system sees him: % = .8650, where 1.00 is the all-time in-out line. McGraw was undoubtedly a great player when he played, but he didn't play enough for his impact as a player to be as great as many whose talent was inferior to his. I've gone over McGraw's case a number of times, and I remain convinced that McGraw just didn't play enough to be elected. I've looked at Dan R's WAR numbers pretty carefully in McGraw's case, and I'm pretty sure on the basis of his data that my system isn't selling McGraw significantly short by using metrics that have low replacement levels. One has to focus, I think, basically on runs created above average or peak only for McGraw to look like a HoMer. If actual replacement level is taken into account, McGraw's shortcomings appear.
   178. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 25, 2007 at 02:12 PM (#2378406)
Eric, the fact that runners can't advance on K's (which is why they're worth eversoslightly more than fielded outs in XR) is not the primary reason why we credit pitchers for K's. It's because those of us who subscribe to DIPS to whatever extent think that pitchers deserve 100% credit for K's, while credit for fielded outs has to be allocated to the fielders.
   179. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 25, 2007 at 02:28 PM (#2378420)
Chris Cobb, since my system is based on "actual replacement level" and absolutely loves McGraw (sees him in the upper half of the HoM), what falls short for you? Basically, I see McGraw as *such* a dominant force when he played that he actually *does* have solid career value. Here's McGraw compared to HoM'ers Heinie Groh, Stan Hack, Ron Santo, and Frank Baker.

WARP1 is comparable to BP WARP1
   180. TomH Posted: May 25, 2007 at 02:51 PM (#2378431)
Thanks Chris.

re: Staub, and 'hitters get too much credit for just showing up', I figure any adjustment to this would affect the long-career IFers that you tend to rank higher than me and many others.
   181. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 25, 2007 at 03:51 PM (#2378471)
doh, that posted by accident when I was only partway done. McGraw compared to HoM'ers Heinie Groh, Stan Hack, Ron Santo, and Frank Baker.

WARP1 is comparable to BP WARP1 but adjusted for season length (with a real MLB rather than AA player replacement level). WARP2 is WARP1 adjusted for the forecast standard deviation of the league based on factors like run scoring, expansion etc. Salary is what a 2005 MLB team would have paid for the player's performance on the free agent market.

McGraw's pre-1893 seasons are estimates.

John McGraw

Year WARP1 WARP2       Salary
1891   0.8   0.7     
$681,152
1892   1.8   1.6   
$1,629,541
1893   6.3   5.5   
$8,507,170
1894   6.8   5.6   
$8,623,794
1895   7.3   6.2  
$13,050,616
1896   0.9   0.8   
$1,056,377
1897   6.4   5.5   
$9,705,017
1898   9.1   8.3  
$17,931,473
1899  12.1  10.8  
$33,440,318
1900   6.8   6.6  
$14,895,124
1901   5.2   4.7  
$10,785,336
1902   2.6   2.3   
$3,926,343
TOTAL 66.1  58.6 
$124,232,261 


Heinie Groh

Year WARP1 WARP2       Salary
1912   0.2   0.1     
$103,022
1913   2.4   2.2   
$2,416,457
1914   3.1   2.9   
$3,258,869
1915   6.7   6.5  
$11,164,354
1916   7.2   6.9  
$12,666,729
1917   8.8   8.4  
$17,051,048
1918   8.5   8.2  
$16,373,557
1919   8.0   7.8  
$17,323,250
1920   6.2   6.0  
$10,329,791
1921   4.8   4.5   
$8,656,986
1922   2.5   2.3   
$2,425,327
1923   4.0   3.6   
$4,934,956
1924   4.1   3.8   
$4,671,470
1925  
-0.4  -0.4           $0
TOTAL 66.1  62.8 
$111,375,816 


Stan Hack

Year WARP1 WARP2       Salary
1934   2.8   2.7   
$3,212,705
1935   4.9   4.6   
$7,683,881
1936   3.1   2.9   
$3,059,624
1937   4.4   4.2   
$5,358,153
1938   7.0   6.7  
$11,455,994
1939   2.6   2.4   
$2,124,750
1940   6.2   6.0   
$9,800,714
1941   5.8   5.6   
$8,490,641
1942   5.4   5.3   
$7,997,852
1943   3.7   3.6   
$4,304,492
1944   2.3   2.1   
$2,244,790
1945   8.5   7.9  
$15,838,182
1946   3.3   3.3   
$5,124,039
1947   1.6   1.6   
$1,885,683
TOTAL 62.7  60.0  
$92,950,864 


Frank Baker

Year WARP1 WARP2       Salary
1909   5.6   5.2   
$8,176,748
1910   5.8   5.4   
$8,577,884
1911   7.7   6.8  
$12,438,298
1912  10.4   9.3  
$21,724,127
1913   8.2   7.6  
$14,847,789
1914   7.6   7.1  
$13,532,646
1916   3.4   3.1   
$4,502,549
1917   4.0   3.8   
$4,746,345
1918   5.6   5.4   
$7,928,438
1919   3.2   2.9   
$2,857,628
1921   2.5   2.2   
$2,825,606
1922   0.7   0.6     
$462,235
TOTAL 64.7  59.4 
$102,620,293 


Ron Santo

Year WARP1 WARP2       Salary
1960  
-1.0  -0.9           $0
1961   2.8   2.7   
$2,560,809
1962   0.7   0.6     
$345,303
1963   6.0   5.6   
$8,620,043
1964   9.4   8.7  
$19,367,148
1965   7.7   7.1  
$13,076,545
1966   8.8   8.2  
$17,628,739
1967   9.1   8.6  
$18,502,838
1968   5.9   5.8   
$9,232,975
1969   3.4   3.1   
$3,258,547
1970   3.6   3.2   
$3,589,865
1971   2.7   2.6   
$2,527,856
1972   4.7   4.4   
$6,734,591
1973   0.3   0.3     
$123,859
1974  
-2.4  -2.4           $0
TOTAL 61.7  57.6 
$105,569,118 
   182. Chris Cobb Posted: May 25, 2007 at 03:51 PM (#2378474)
Staub, and 'hitters get too much credit for just showing up', I figure any adjustment to this would affect the long-career IFers that you tend to rank higher than me and many others.

The other piece of the puzzle is that win shares underrates the value of excellent infield defense. So the long-career players to which you refer are being overrated by win shares for their hitting, but they are being underrated for their fielding. In my estimation, these two effects more or less cancel each other out. Also, since infielders tend to miss more time each season than OF/1B types do, the effect on their seasonal totals tends to be less.

Chris Cobb, since my system is based on "actual replacement level" and absolutely loves McGraw (sees him in the upper half of the HoM), what falls short for you? Basically, I see McGraw as *such* a dominant force when he played that he actually *does* have solid career value. Here's McGraw compared to HoM'ers Heinie Groh, Stan Hack, Ron Santo, and Frank Baker.

WARP1 is comparable to BP WARP1


The numbers seem to be missing here. But Dan R, there is a difference, isn't there, between "your system," i.e. how you rank the players, which is very peak oriented, and their career WAR1 totals? Not that the career totals are all that I care about, but I'm not just looking at peak. Also, in my ranking system, whether I'm dealing with WS, WAR1, or WARP1, I compare players first to their contemporaries, so seeing McGraw's WAR1 career total in comparison to Groh's or Baker's or Santo's doesn't provide all the information that I would need to place them in my system.
   183. Chris Cobb Posted: May 25, 2007 at 03:53 PM (#2378475)
Ah, you have added the numbers! The problem of using the numbers still remains, however.
   184. DL from MN Posted: May 25, 2007 at 04:05 PM (#2378481)
Has the value of a strikeout gone up or down to alter that 9% assumption? Defense has improved dramatically which would imply that putting a ball in play is less likely to be damaging, however the number of home runs has increased exponentially which means the contact could be very damaging. My guess is the value of a strikeout has actually gone up and the value of a pitcher has increased with the production of batters.
   185. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 25, 2007 at 04:05 PM (#2378483)
So as you can see, McGraw not only holds his own in this group but in my opinion tops it. His career value (measured by WARP2, which penalizes him for the ease of domination of his leagues) is right in line with Santo, Baker, and Hack. He doesn't have the string of consecutive MVP-level seasons like Santo, Baker, and Groh, but he has far and away the best single season. And I think you have to give him *some* credit (perhaps my salary estimator gives him too much) for playing at Godlike rates in his partial seasons of 1900 and 01. McGraw matches all of these no-doubt HoM'ers on career as well as peak.

As for the reasons why WS and WARP don't see it that way:

1. Their replacement levels are far too low, grossly overvaluing "showing up" as opposed to playing well.
2. 3B in McGraw's day was a more difficult, scarcer, shallower position than any modern position besides C and SS (about halfway between modern 2B and SS). Neither system accounts for this.
3. McGraw's production was about as lopsided towards OBP as you will ever see, and he played in a high run-scoring era where the relative value of OBP to SLG has never been higher. If you actually use a run estimator that works for the 1890's (as I use BaseRuns), you will see that McGraw's unique offensive profile of ungodly OBP and buckets of SB was uniquely well-suited to the conditions of his era, meaning he added far more pennants to his teams than his OPS+/EqA would indicate. This is a LARGE effect--over 30 points of OPS+ at its most extreme.

I am happy to demonstrate my research and math showing why this is the case to anyone who is interested.
   186. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 25, 2007 at 04:59 PM (#2378512)
Chris Cobb, yes, there is a huge difference between my voting system, which is based on a salary estimator heavily biased towards peak rate, and career WARP totals (use the standard deviation-adjusted WARP2, not the raw WARP1). But as you can see, McGraw more than holds his own in raw career totals (indeed, before docking him for standard deviations, he has more career WARP1 than any of the others!).

McGraw vs. his contemporaries, year-by-year

1893: Best SS in the game (6.3 WARP1). Close behind him are Herman Long (6.1) and Bob Allen (5.8). 9th best player in the game (league MVP is Ed Delahanty with 11.0).
1894: 4th of 12 3B (6.8 WARP1). Clearly inferior to Lave Cross (8.4) and Bill Joyce (7.8), close to George Davis (7.0). 10th best player in baseball (Billy Hamilton is the league MVP with 11.4).
1895: Best 3B in the game, despite missing over 30 games (7.3 WARP1, pace for 9.3 in a full season). Clearly superior to George Davis (6.0) and Bill Joyce (5.1). 11th best player in baseball (league MVP is Hughie Jennings with 11.2).
1896: Barely played.
1897: 3rd of 12 3B (6.4 WARP1). Clearly inferior to Jimmy Collins (8.4) and Bobby Wallace (7.2). 14th best player in the game (Hughie Jennings is league MVP with 11.4).
1898: Second-best player in the game, and best 3B (9.1 WARP1). Hughie Jennings is the league MVP at 10.8, and Jimmy Collins is the second-best 3B (and third-best player) with 8.7.
1899: Second-greatest season by a 3B ever (10.8 WARP2)--perhaps the greatest season by a 3B in history if you regress Mike Schmidt's strike season of 1981. Best player in the game, best 3B in the game (12.1 WARP1). Next-best player is Ed Delahanty at 9.8, next-best 3B is the forgotten Jimmy Williams with 8.2. All this despite missing 30 games.
1900: Best 3B in the game, despite missing 40 games in an extremely tough, contracted league (6.8 WARP1). Jimmy Collins is well behind at 5.2. 4th best player in the game, behind Honus Wagner, Elmer Flick, and Billy Hamilton.
1901: 4th of 16 3B (5.2 WARP1); best by rate (9.7 WARP1/season). Well behind Jimmy Collins' 8.9; virtually tied with Bill Bradley and Tommy Leach for 2nd (5.3).

McGraw vs. his contemporaries, cumulative

During his period of productivity (1893 to 1901), McGraw was the 6th-most valuable player in the game, with 60.9 WARP1. He trailed Ed Delahanty (the best by a mile with 77.5), Jesse Burkett (67.6), Joe Kelley (66.0), Billy Hamilton (65.8), and Bill Dahlen (61.8), and bested HoM'ers George Davise (60.1), Hughie Jennings (58.9), and Willie Keeler (54.1). He was the best player during that time period whose primary position was 3B (Davis moved over to SS, and Collins started a bit later).
   187. DanG Posted: May 25, 2007 at 05:54 PM (#2378547)
2. 3B in McGraw's day was a more difficult, scarcer, shallower position than any modern position besides C and SS (about halfway between modern 2B and SS). Neither system accounts for this.

I'm not sure how you would prove this, but at a glance, it doesn't ring true.

There were four long-career thirdbasemen in McGraw's era. Their career totals:

G@3B PA
1721 9710 Lave Cross
1683 7452 Jimmy Collins
1464 6719 Billy Nash
1272 6326 Billy Shindle

Considering this was mainly a 12-team era, having one-third of the teams with guys like these seems like a pretty decent number.
   188. TomH Posted: May 25, 2007 at 06:02 PM (#2378553)
well, they may have played long, but except for Collins, they couldn't hit (career OPS+ of 88, 100, 104 for the other 3); which is why 3B who could hit had value.
   189. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 25, 2007 at 06:09 PM (#2378559)
Eric, the fact that runners can't advance on K's (which is why they're worth eversoslightly more than fielded outs in XR) is not the primary reason why we credit pitchers for K's. It's because those of us who subscribe to DIPS to whatever extent think that pitchers deserve 100% credit for K's, while credit for fielded outs has to be allocated to the fielders.

I'm not really disagreeing at all with you, Dan. I'm just trying to see (at a very general level) the nature of the relationship between declining innings and inclining strikeouts over time. To me there are two obvious points of inquiry next (which I think were both touched on above):

-the value of a strikeout at different points in history (which is presumably a function of the value of homers, league BIPAVG, and error rates among other things)

-the apportionment of fielded outs between defense and pitcher at different points in history (which hardcore DIPSters will say is 0 to the pitcher, but I think there's probably more wiggle than that if subsequent articles from Voros' are suggestive)

So, seems to me that if you could establish this comparison, the question of era for pitchers would be partly addressed:

(Outs on Ks * era-specific K-value adjustment) + (Outs on BIP * era-specific p/d apportionment * era-specific BIPout-value adjustment) = era-adjusted comparative runs saved

Just a general though, I've probably oversimplified....
   190. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 25, 2007 at 06:20 PM (#2378572)
I didn't mean in terms of durability. I meant in terms of replacement level--the worst starting 3B of McGraw's day were much further below league average than the worst starting 3B of subsequent eras. When McGraw played, guys like Chippy McGarr could hold down full-time 3B jobs, even on very good teams. That stopped being true by the 1930's.
   191. Chris Cobb Posted: May 25, 2007 at 06:38 PM (#2378583)
How does replacement level, as you measure it, at each position compare to replacement level for each position during the 1930s?
   192. Chris Cobb Posted: May 25, 2007 at 06:44 PM (#2378589)
That should ask, how does replacement level in the 1890s compare at each position to replacement level for each position during the 1930s?
   193. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 25, 2007 at 06:48 PM (#2378591)
Chris Cobb, there is a chart of all the replacement levels over time in the StDevs and Rep Levels file in my .zip archive in the Yahoo group. I included those graphs precisely because they explain the vast majority of my discrepancies with WS and BP WARP.
   194. DanG Posted: May 25, 2007 at 06:52 PM (#2378593)
but except for Collins, they couldn't hit (career OPS+ of 88, 100, 104 for the other 3); which is why 3B who could hit had value.

OK, I see what Dan's meaning is. But, Tom, it's inaccurate to say "they couldn't hit" for long-career ace-glove men with career OPS+ of 100 and 104.
   195. TomH Posted: May 25, 2007 at 07:26 PM (#2378622)
Okay, I plead guilty to over-simplification. The point should be made rather by saying that apparently only two MLB long-career 3Bman of that day had a 104 OPS+, and I'd suspect if we checked many other eras, you'd typically find many more 3B who could hit that well, or if you only looked at th etop 2, the OPS+ would be much higher.

BTW, I see there is a Rob Neyer article on ESPN Insider about Graig Nettles. I don't subscribe to ESPN IN, but maybe someone could check out if Mr Neyer has any insights on one of our borderliners.
   196. jimd Posted: May 25, 2007 at 07:40 PM (#2378634)
Just a general though, I've probably oversimplified....

Indeed. The other true outcomes must also be factored into that equation.
Fielders have no influence on those.
Also Errors, which pitchers do not influence, except for their own.
   197. DanG Posted: May 25, 2007 at 08:05 PM (#2378651)
and I'd suspect if we checked many other eras, you'd typically find many more 3B who could hit that well, or if you only looked at th etop 2, the OPS+ would be much higher.

Well, of course. But remember, it was a 12-team era, and at a time when many of the best players had no opportunity to play at the highest level. The 2 good-hitting thirdbasemen of that era would be equivalent to 5 good-hitting 3B in the current era or three in the 16-team era.
   198. Chris Fluit Posted: May 25, 2007 at 09:55 PM (#2378742)
I like this chart:

782 4926 John McGraw 135
G@3B PA Player OPS+
1721 9710 Lave Cross 88
1683 7452 Jimmy Collins 113
1464 6719 Billy Nash 100
1272 6326 Billy Shindle 104

Here's another

1863 8293 ******* 107
contemporaries
1674 6935 Willie Kamm 97
1358 6317 Pinky Whitney 97
914 4629 Joe Stripp 95
809 6104 Freddie Lindstrom 110 (1438 GP including OF)
790 4969 Andy High 94 (1314 GP including 2B)

roughly 200 more games, roughly 1300 more PA, and excepting a guy who played more than 1/3 of his games in the OF, the best OPS+ by 10. He may not be as good as Jimmy Collins or Stan Hack, but compared to his direct contemporaries, Pie Traynor stands out.
   199. Chris Fluit Posted: May 25, 2007 at 10:17 PM (#2378756)
And since I'm talking Traynor, here's his OPS+ rank for 3B during his 11 year prime from 1923-1933

1923: 125- 1st in NL, 1st in ML (2nd: Friberg- 122)
1924: 100- 1st in NL, 1st in ML (Wrightstone- 105 in 427 PA, 2nd best full season: Friberg- 95)
1925: 108- 1st in NL, 1nd in ML (Hale- 124 in 426 PA, 2nd best full season: Kamm- 104)
1926: 109- 2nd in NL, 2nd in ML (best: Bell- 137 in his only year over 100)
1927: 114- 1st in NL, 1st in ML (2nd: Dressen- 112)
1928: 113- 2nd in NL, 2nd in ML (best: Lindstrom- 132, Hendrick: 129 in 493 PA)
1929: 111- 1st in NL, 1st in ML (2nd: Whitney- 109)
1930: 124- 3rd in NL, 3rd in ML (Lindstrom- 141, English- 125)
1931: 107- 1st in NL, 3rd in ML (best: Kress- 119 in his only year as a regular 3B, Sewell- 110, Stripp- 113 in 455 PA)
1932: 118- 1st in NL, 1st in ML (2nd: Stripp- 112)
1933: 104- 3rd in NL, 4th in ML (best: Pepper Martin- 135, Higgins- 128, Vergez- 123 in 507 PA in his only year over 100, McManus- 108 in 428 PA)
   200. DL from MN Posted: May 25, 2007 at 10:35 PM (#2378771)
Compared to Jud Wilson and John Beckwith, Pie Traynor loses some appeal. Then throw in Dihigo.
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