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

Sunday, July 29, 2007

2003 Ballot Discussion

2003 (Aug 20)—elect 3
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos

437 137.7 1977 Eddie Murray-1B
346 111.6 1982 Ryne Sandberg-2B
295 99.5 1982 Brett Butler-CF
198 82.5 1981 Lee Smith-RP
175 69.8 1981 Tony Pena-C
168 70.4 1981 Fernando Valenzuela-P
184 57.6 1985 Mickey Tettleton-C
174 58.4 1987 Kevin Seitzer-3B
157 57.9 1985 Greg Gagne-SS
159 50.4 1985 Darren Daulton-C
136 50.4 1988 Jody Reed-2B
117 53.0 1983 Kevin Gross-P
130 42.5 1982 Don Slaught-C
105 41.7 1986 Todd Worrell-RP
103 41.7 1987 John Smiley-P

Players Passing Away in 2002
HoMers
Age Elected

86 1965 Enos Slaughter-RF
83 1966 Ted Williams-LF
80 1978 Hoyt Wilhelm-RP

Candidates
Age Eligible

96 1946 Willis Hudlin-P
93 1953 Mel Harder-P
92 1949 Mace Brown-RP
91 1952 Frankie Crosetti-SS
87 1951 Pete Gray-LF/CF
85 1960 Ken Raffensberger-P
82 1963 Steve Gromek-P
79 1963 Wes Westrum-C
77——Jack Buck-Broadcaster
73 1970 Al Smith-RF/LF
70 1972 Dick Stuart-1B
70 1976 Ron Kline-RP
69 1976 Johnny Roseboro-C
67 1977 Lee Maye-LF/RF
60 1981 Dave McNally-P
54 1988 Jim Spencer-1B
50 1992 Al Cowens-RF
50 1993 Darrell Porter-C

Upcoming Candidate
33 2008 Darryl Kile-P

Thanks, Dan!

 

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 29, 2007 at 03:19 PM | 198 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 05, 2007 at 01:19 AM (#2471253)
Dandy Little Glove Man--Actually, I use FRAA and Fielding WS equally for pre-'87 seasons. I'd love to use DRA, but Michael doesn't seem to have it available for individual player-seasons going far back in time (and if you do and are reading this, Michael, please send them to me!). All I have to go on for DRA is Michael's published article, which gives career totals and conclusions but nothing else.

The outfielder arm/hold rating data are certainly worth including. Are those THT numbers available in a spreadsheet for all player-seasons going back in time? Is there any way to separate out the parts of them that are redundant with FRAA/Fielding WS vs. the parts that cover new ground?

Kenn--I've never made an effort to sell anyone on my particular voter preference (which is for peak rate above all else). What I have tried to do is identify cases where the commonly used uberstats give a misleading impression of a player's value.

To say defenders have decline phases is an understatement. MGL has found that players lose 1.5 runs per year in the field on average after about age 24 (I think). Besides Ozzie Smith, most elite defenders only have about 5-8 years where they are really Gold Glove caliber.

When you say basing offensive scores off overall average, I presume you mean OPS+. Doesn't Bancroft have the highest OPS+ of any backlog SS? And he was certainly a top defensive SS...I am genuinely interested to hear why he fares so poorly with you in relation to the rest of his positional peers. That view is pretty far from the group consensus, shared by SS proponents like myself and skeptics alike. Which doesn't necessarily make it wrong, but does make it worth exploring.
   102. OCF Posted: August 05, 2007 at 02:47 PM (#2471837)
In the Browning debate of the last few days at least one voter (and possibly more) has lamented that new marginal candidates don't get thoroughly discussed. Shouldn't there be a lively debate over the merits of Lee Smith about now? Personally, I think I'm in the "it's hard for releivers to accumulate merit" camp and I don't think I'll have Smith on my ballot - but we've still got a week to hash that out.
   103. sunnyday2 Posted: August 05, 2007 at 03:30 PM (#2471871)
I'd suggest Smith, Sutter and Quisenberry, all of 'em. Job 1 is to figure out which of the 3 is the best candidate, then whether that 1 is good enough. But given Sutter's support or lack thereof, it is hard to think Smith is going to do well, so I suppose we're sort of thinking of Smith in those terms, that he's below the level where a real debate is needed? That's a question, not an opinion. My opinion is the 3 of them are low borderline, meaning nothing is impossible.
   104. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 05, 2007 at 04:25 PM (#2471923)
as i mentioned in his thread, one trouble for smith is his lack of a clear identity. Because he straddles the entire Ace-through-Closer period, it's very difficult to see him as a TYPE of candidate. Sutter? High-peak, short prime Ace. Quis? Ditto, but with bigtime IHR issues that dump him below Quis. So what's Smith?
-For a few years, he's s 70s Ace with lots of innings and good effectiveness.
-For a few years, he's a transitional figure with pre-Eck, post-Gossage innings totals and good effectiveness.
-For a few years, he's an Eck-type closer with about an IP/APP and good effectivness.

If all the RP were one-inning closers, this would all be much clearer.... Or if they were all 100 inning Aces....
   105. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 05, 2007 at 07:05 PM (#2472068)
"But given Sutter's support or lack thereof, it is hard to think Smith is going to do well,"


Why? I think Smith is clearly and demonstrably better than Sutter. I've got the gap between them as wide as the gap between Billy Pierce and Steve Rogers, for example. Or as wide as the gap between Dizzy Dean and Lefty Gomez. Or Herb Pennock and Jack Morris.

I've got Smith with a higher rate (136 DRA+ vs. 131 for Sutter), more tIP (2162.3-1883).

Smith was better with inherited runners, was leverage almost as high as Sutter, had worse defenses behind him, played in leagues of similar quality.

Sutter has the higher peak for sure. But he only gains 8.3 wins over Smith in their best four years. After that, Smith destroys him, gaining 17.8 wins over the rest of their seasons, which more than makes up for that peak.
   106. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 05, 2007 at 07:07 PM (#2472072)
BTW, peak guys, using my WAR totals, but Bill James NHBA scoring system, Sutter is second to Gossage among eligibles, while Smith drops to 8th.

Career guys are going to like Smith, peak guys not as much, but it's not like he has no peak.
   107. Kenn Posted: August 06, 2007 at 12:40 PM (#2473583)
Dan,

Hi, thanks. I was somewhat aware of defensive decline, and had been using a generic, gentle, pattern for my calculations. I decided to look at what happens if I make that steeper, and it does pull up pure hitters much more towards consensus, without affecting my defense/career leanings too much (Concepcion, Dawson, Smith, and Aparicio drop, but only Aparicio off ballot). I rather like that change, and will keep it.

Re: Bancroft - yes, he does do best on offense. Checking on him, I noticed that I'd given him a worse defensive score than the other shortstops. That seems wrong based on the discussion in his thread, and moving him up puts him about even with Aparicio, sitting around 20th. That's still closer than most people would have those two, which is okay with me, though I think it hits on another weakness of how I measure things. Basing offense mostly on OPS+ means that offensive scores will follow general offensive trends, but I'm using an absolute (if more subjective than I'd like) defensive score, i.e., excellent defenders all get the same score, very good the same, etc. I see you argued that Aparicio was actually a slightly worse defender in FRAA (I believe) in his thread. That's not necessarily contradictory: I think Aparicio could have been as good or better at fielding than these other shortstops, but in an era when excellent fielding (and no bat) shortstops were the norm. I'm not accounting for that in any way right now, and not really going to sweat it, because I don't think it affects anyone else on my ballot right now, but it is a mismatch between my treatment of offense and defense that may require addressing at some point.

To keep with the rest of the discussion, when I looked at how changing workloads for all pitchers over time affects my scores, Lee Smith was helped the most. Not enough to get on ballot yet, but I thought that was interesting, and makes him the best current relief candidate for me.
   108. DL from MN Posted: August 06, 2007 at 01:58 PM (#2473650)
Kenn - someone already pointed out Aparicio and Lombardi which seemed out of place in your rankings but I also was wondering how Reuschel got that far ahead of Tiant.
   109. Kenn Posted: August 06, 2007 at 02:24 PM (#2473674)
DL,

Actually, after I plugged in typical IP numbers over time, they come out very close. Reuschal dropped to ~27, Tiant's probably ~40 (I didn't count that far). There are a bunch of players clustered together there (Walters, too).
   110. DL from MN Posted: August 06, 2007 at 03:05 PM (#2473729)
Did you use the "typical IP" method described earlier using top 10s? I would suggest you change that to the 70th percentile IP numbers instead. The 10th best in IP in 1880 was a middling total for pitchers. The 10th best in 1980 was in the top 3% in IP.
   111. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 06, 2007 at 03:22 PM (#2473761)
DL - I've got Reuschel way ahead of Tiant . . .
   112. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: August 06, 2007 at 03:34 PM (#2473774)
The outfielder arm/hold rating data are certainly worth including. Are those THT numbers available in a spreadsheet for all player-seasons going back in time? Is there any way to separate out the parts of them that are redundant with FRAA/Fielding WS vs. the parts that cover new ground?

I emailed John Walsh a couple months ago asking if there was any way I could get the annual arm ratings for a few of the HOM-borderline OFs of the 80s. He said that it would take a bit of reformatting and that he had some other things ahead of it on his to-do list, which is perfectly understandable. With regard to the uberstats, I emailed Clay Davenport through the BP site to try to find out to what extent FRAA considers outfielder arms, but I never got a response. I have read that FWS takes into account certain "arm elements" for outfielders, though I couldn't find anything specific. Perhaps someone with greater knowledge or more clout than myself would have more success in acquiring this information.
   113. Chris Cobb Posted: August 06, 2007 at 03:56 PM (#2473795)
Win shares does include "Arm Elements" in two ways, in its post-1954 seasons. (It uses a somewhat different formula for earlier seasons that is less detailed because of lack of sacrifice fly data.)

1) The outfield's share of fielding win shares includes consideration of arm factors because the formula contains the following element:

Outfield Assists + Outfield DP - Sacrifice Flies Allowed.

This element is then compared to the league average for the same number. Outfields that are above average get more fielding win shares.

2) When the the outfield win shares are split among individual players, assists totals are factored in.

These "arm elements" are nowhere near as detailed and precise as ratings based on PBP that can include baserunner holds. They would frequently capture the defensive value of a strong throwing arm, but they could also miss that value.
   114. Kenn Posted: August 06, 2007 at 04:01 PM (#2473799)
DL,

No, I went with 90% of the IP/GS of just the top couple pitchers, averaged across some adjacent years in hopes of cancelling out the occasional pitcher way ahead of every one else. My pitchers are scored on fraction of that number, so at that point it doesn't matter to the relative scores if I used 70% or 80% or whatever, so long as it's consistent. It would matter if that fraction deserved to change over time. This approach has its own problems, but was quicker to work through. My top pitchers afterwards played:

1902 - 1910
1930 - 1946
1905 - 1922
1941 - 1958
1963 - 1989
1939 - 1952
1930 - 1943
1972 - 1991
1934 - 1950
1911 - 1929
1964 - 1982
1898 - 1915

And I don't know exactly what to do with Dick Redding yet, who's in there somewhere.

That seems reasonably well balanced except that there are too many pitchers from the war era. I also can't tell if the 19th century is being undervalued, or has just been picker over pretty well already. Same with recent pitchers. It would be fun to run Stieb and see where he would have come out.
   115. DL from MN Posted: August 06, 2007 at 05:01 PM (#2473862)
There are too _few_ inducted pitchers from the war era.
   116. Kenn Posted: August 06, 2007 at 05:55 PM (#2473938)
Ah, if that's true I don't feel so bad about that :)

That said, right now I like Bridges and, with war credit, probably Trucks, better than Walters, who has the best shot at getting in.
   117. DL from MN Posted: August 06, 2007 at 06:47 PM (#2473980)
> I like Bridges and, with war credit, probably Trucks

I'm sold, let him vote.
   118. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 07, 2007 at 12:45 AM (#2474339)
I like Bridges better than Walters too, but they are close. I don't really consider Bridges war era though - he was a 1930s pitcher who was finishing up in the war years.

I used to like Trucks, I've voted for him a few times, but once I started adjusting for the quality of the leagues relative to each other, he dropped a little.
   119. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 08, 2007 at 12:01 PM (#2476694)
Just thought I'd better mention that I'll be gone between this evening and next Tuesday. In case you're wondering why I'm so quiet.
   120. sunnyday2 Posted: August 08, 2007 at 02:59 PM (#2476823)
Sorting out the pitchers has always been fiendishly difficult work. Since 1898 I'm at approximately v.5 for pitcher rankings.

Consideration Set

T. Bond, Welch
Redding
Willis, Joss, Wi. Cooper, Cicotte, C.Mays, Grimes
Dean, (Ferrell), Walters, Bridges
Newcombe, (E Wynn), (Bunning), (Sutton), T. John, Tiant
Quisenberry, Sutter

The last of the 19C guys--Bond is the undisputed all-time WS peak leader even after I discount pitchers of that day by 50 percent and give it to the fielders. And then there's those 500 wins. Their ratings rise and fall with my level of interest in ERA+.

The last of the NgL guys--I cannot for the life of me sort out the rest of the NgL candidates like Andy Cooper and Leroy Matlock. But Redding persists. Those 276 WS are pretty impressive--if they're for real.

The dead ball era still pushes forth a crowd--and that hurts them all. Joss was the most recent on my ballot, when ERA+ was my metric of choice. Willis was also a favorite once--came this close to making PHoM. Now none of them particularly excites me though I cannot quite jettison any of them.

The lively ball era really only gives up Dizzy Dean as a serious candidate that we've missed. I would take Diz over Ferrell (but all of the HoM/not PHoM pitchers remain under consideration except Galvin, Pierce and Steib). Walters and Bridges persist mostly because of the consensus that they're the best of the era. I am ambivalent.

The post-WWII era has been difficult because of dropping workloads and the increasing (it seems) dichotomy between peak candidates and career candidates. We used to get guys with both. I preferred the peaks and since we elected all of the big peaks, I end up with a bunch of HoM/not PHoM career types still rattling around. I am extremely ambivalent about Sutton, Bunning, E. Wynn and also T. John. The guy we've missed on is Don Newcombe. Add up his NgL, MiL and military credits and he is an easy HoMer IMO. The problem is the appearance that he had a normal ML career. He did not. He was deprived of that as surely as Ted Williams missed out on 6 of what should have been peak/prime seasons.

Finally the relievers--I agree it is hair-splitting to have Quis and Sutter in and Lee Smith out of the consideration set, but there it is.

Then to actually ranking them. I'm a peak voter in case you didn't remember.

1. Dean--the monster peak remaining on the board
2. Newcombe--coulda been Robin Roberts without all the missed opportunities
3. T. Bond--the other monster peak
4. Quisenberry--not his fault they kept bringing him in with men on base, today they wouldn't do that, the raw numbers (WHIP, OOB, etc.) are awesome
5. Redding--the best (the only) remaining NgL candidate
6. Joss--not a workhorse but all of these are flawed candidates
7. Cicotte--a little bit of everything--peak, prime, career--even with the premature end
(7a. Ferrell)--pretty nice peak though not quite HoMable IMO
8. Willis--very hard to differentiate the dead ball guys but Willis seems to stand out above Wilbur et al
9. Walters--see Ferrell
(9a. Bunning)--what a jerk
10. Sutter--Quis lite

11. Tiant--HoVG
12. Grimes--a little bit of everything but the peak-y years were quite few
(12a. Wynn)--workhorse but not that effective
13. Wi. Cooper--only on the list at all because Doc says so
14. Bridges
(14a. Sutton)
15. C. Mays
16. Welch
17. T. John

Actually I will allow that (Pierce) and (Stieb) probably go ahead of John and maybe Welch. (Galvin) would definitely bring up the rear, even behind Welch.
   121. DL from MN Posted: August 08, 2007 at 03:26 PM (#2476853)
"5. Redding--the best (the only) remaining NgL [pitching] candidate"

That's a little unfair to Hilton Smith who is out but close on my spreadsheet.

Did Tommy John have a better peak than Reuschel and Tanana (too lazy to look it up right now)?
   122. sunnyday2 Posted: August 08, 2007 at 04:03 PM (#2476889)
>That's a little unfair to Hilton Smith who is out but close on my spreadsheet.

True enough, Hilton probably would not rate at the bottom of my list. I think I voted for him once. I could be convinced that he belongs as high as #9-10 on my list, I suppose, but dammit I am trying to reduce my consideration set! He is Redding lite from what I know. One short but massive peak and not much else. If somebody wants to make the case for him (again), I would listen as I still have Redding rated fairly highly (though I am a bit wobbly even on that). Frankly I am having a hard time achieving any balance in my consideration set--the pitchers in general seem awfully weak. That's why Tommy Bond has been resurrected--somebody has to be in the #3 slot and everybody else--well, Bond has pretty compelling arguments against, but everybody else below about #6-7 lacks compelling arguments for.

>Did Tommy John have a better peak than Reuschel and Tanana (too lazy to look it up right now)?

John is only in my consideration set because of the level of support he gets among HoM voters. If Reuschel or Tanana had a better peak, it is not by much, not enough to matter in my little world. If I added them to my consideration set, the 3 of them would be 17-18-19 in some order or other.
   123. Jim Sp Posted: August 08, 2007 at 06:32 PM (#2477050)
Great job, Kenn. It must be very hard to catch up this late in the game, I'm glad to see you jump in.
   124. Paul Wendt Posted: August 08, 2007 at 08:25 PM (#2477171)
6. mulder & scully Posted: July 31, 2007 at 01:09 AM (#2462589)
First, the Comic-Con was awesome, despite over 120,000 total attendees over 4.5 days.


Kelly(?) from SD(?),
I wasn't the only one at the SABR Convention who thought that you were there, and wondered under what name, but I may be responsible for the fact that I wasn't the only one.


Eric Chalek #11:
-Tony Pena---When I was growing up, Pena was the very sort of player who ended up being part of those sucker deals you got from your sharkier baseball-card pals.

I didn't collect baseball cards; whose parents permitted purchase of so much gum, or tobacco!
How did you play? I thought the object was to get a complete set, so value was mainly determined by having zero, one, or duplicate(s). Joe Schlabotnik may be Charlie Brown's favorite player but his card is invaluable to Charlie because he doesn't yet have one.

on Mickey Tettleton:
(3) Was his inability to stick with Oakland a reflection of a ballpark and a player-type clashing?

This third question makes some sense to me. Oakland is known as a pitcher's park. In that time, before Mt Davis supposedly changed the wind patterns, it impeded power more than today IIRC. And as we all know, the park has humongous foul ground. Tettleton's game is predicated on powerful uppercutting, so presuambly he's a fly-ball hitter. In a park with a vast foul ground, some of Tettleton's pop fouls and fly-ball fouls (resulting from an uppercut swing) will be caught for outs instead of harmlessly falling in the stands.


In a park with vast foul ground, the catcher's ability to cover foul ground is more important than elsewhere. How well did Tettleton catch flies?


jimd
74. jimd Posted: August 02, 2007 at 04:18 PM (#2468112)
My daily commute takes me through Boston on 93-N/S,


Oh. Do you live North or South? Do we know each other in person?
Eric Chalek is a SABR member on the far side of Kennebunkport, attended one Boston Chapter meeting, the sabermetrics special at BPL. In St Louis we announced tentative dates for a next regional meeting --the first two Saturdays in November iirc. Our founding and only chapter chair Seamus Kearney retired from paid work and moved to Philadelphia this spring, and he was the driving force behind our formal chapter meetings. But most of our chapter meetings and casual gatherings have been November to April, anyway.
Boston Chapter, SABR (last update late January; March/April tentative meeting did not happen)


Kenn the New:
That said, my “system” is pretty rudimentary. I judge fielder offense by OPS+ weighted by year-by-year playing time. I then give credit for fielding, using a within-position range based on work I’ve read at BTF (Dial, mostly), and position vs. position scaling based on what seems reasonable, general consensus, etc. That part bothers me a little, as well as using consensus and reputation rather than hard numbers to place fielders within their positions.

Not everyone can do original sabermetrics. Inevitably much of the debate and the voting pattern turns on "methods" of handling careers, primes, and peaks; and of assessing short seasons, missed seasons, delayed careers, etc.
   125. Paul Wendt Posted: August 08, 2007 at 09:45 PM (#2477279)
(refer to the Sandberg thread)
Presumably, Frank Grant enjoyed his athletic peak before 1893, too. Maybe not his fielding peak in practice, if all the stories about racially motivated 1886-89 action at the keystone sack are true.

--
Someone inferred that 2Bman Ross Barnes was a good fielder from his fielding shortstop in Rockford before 1871. He also played shortstop for half of the 1871 season, when George Wright was out with a broken leg or the aftermath of a broken leg. His fielding stats for that small sample are super.

--
Presumably, Grant enjoyed his athletic peak before 1893, too. Maybe not his fielding peak in practice, if all the stories about racially motivated 1886-89 action at the keystone sack are true.

--
Glasscock to Dunlap to Phillips (who?)
games missed in four full seasons
'80: 8 0 0
'81: 0 5 0
'82: 0 6 0
'83: 4 7 3
So the trio missed 12, 12, and 9 games of 354 team games played (85, 85, 84, 100).

For the 1879 expansion club :-) it was Tom Carey to Glasscock to Phillips, ages 33-21-22, playing 80-80-81 of 82 team games.
Dunlap moved to the Union Association before the 1884 season and it was Glasscock to Germany Smith to Phillips before Glasscock's midseason jump.

That covers all six seasons for Cleveland's first NL club. 1Bman Bill Phillips missed 12 of 549 games; Glasscock 55 games, mainly the last third of the final season.
   126. Paul Wendt Posted: August 08, 2007 at 09:49 PM (#2477280)
Pitcher Jim McCormick also played the first 5.6 seasons, total 348 games, then jumped to the UA.
Third base was a usually a weak spot.
   127. sunnyday2 Posted: August 08, 2007 at 10:45 PM (#2477320)
>Not everyone can do original sabermetrics. Inevitably much of the debate and the voting pattern turns on "methods" of handling careers, primes, and peaks; and of assessing short seasons, missed seasons, delayed careers, etc.

IOW the imagination to figure out what it all means. Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom.

(Anybody know where that is from?)
   128. DavidFoss Posted: August 08, 2007 at 11:02 PM (#2477342)
(Anybody know where that is from?)

I got two google hits:

"But it is vital to remember that information – in the sense of raw data – is not knowledge; that knowledge is not wisdom; and that wisdom is not foresight. But information is the first essential step to all of these."
- Arthur C. Clarke

and

"Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth, Truth is not beauty, Beauty is not love, Love is not music and Music is THE BEST."
-- Frank Zappa

Take your pick :-)
   129. sunnyday2 Posted: August 08, 2007 at 11:49 PM (#2477429)
Well, maybe Frank stole it from Art. But anybody who knows me would have guessed Frank and quickly.

Though I must say my favorite Frank is

"I am the heaven
I am the water,"
etc. etc. etc.

If anybody knows that one.
   130. TomH Posted: August 09, 2007 at 04:01 PM (#2478600)
Meta-issue

HoM debates generally fall into 3 types

1 my metric vs your metric of ‘better’ (rate stats)
2 peak / prime / career preferences
3 balancing acts – timeline, positions, pitcher/hitter

In general, we seem to have more agreement on #1 than the others. Which says we statheads think more alike than most fans, who would probably spend MOST of their time arguing #1-type of issues.

While we have our #3 differences, it seems the biggest balloting discrepancies are of the #2 type. Fortunately for the project, we accept each other’s (sometimes very disparate!) value systems without calling each other lunkheads.
   131. Paul Wendt Posted: August 09, 2007 at 07:52 PM (#2479223)
on the Meta-issue:

The Constitution preempted some debate, or postdated and closed it. The best players excluded from mlb by racial segregation would be considered equitably.

That mandate probably helped some original and emerging leaders of the group pave the way for consideration of 1860s and minor league play, and of military service. While the issues are not the same, the mandate regarding "Negro Leagues" helped select a group interested in much more than discussing and evaluating major league careers --at least, willing to become interested in much more.

Chris Cobb and others grasped the nettle and provided information on dozens of black players before any but Frank Grant arrived as serious candidates. They kept up the pace and improved the quality of information, especially by producing MLE estimates of much greater scope than anyone anticipated, I guess. That effort was good enough to draw in some unpublished data.

#1 is better done elsewhere. If they care about the sabermetrics per se, Joe Dimino and Dan Rosenheck need to engage some of the others who work on Pennants Added and WARP and sibling assessments, and not here (I'm sure they know) because this project did not draw those people in.
   132. Paul Wendt Posted: August 09, 2007 at 07:53 PM (#2479225)
on Frank Zappa and Montana

Tom, Did you and MrsH see the dental floss plantations?
   133. TomH Posted: August 09, 2007 at 08:44 PM (#2479306)
?
   134. jimd Posted: August 09, 2007 at 08:48 PM (#2479308)
Ich Bin Der Chrome Dinette
   135. jimd Posted: August 09, 2007 at 09:01 PM (#2479322)
Oh. Do you live North or South? Do we know each other in person?

South. But I grew up in the Peoples Republic of Cambridge and had a number of different associations with the Kremlin on the Charles between 1967 and 1982. I've never knowingly attended a SABR function, but given that I've spent far too much time in Harvard Square over the years, it's possible that we might have seen other at some time or another in that vicinity.
   136. sunnyday2 Posted: August 09, 2007 at 10:15 PM (#2479426)
jimd's got it. It's "Sofa*," not "Montana." Jim, are you a Zappatista? Have you seen ZPZ?

But speaking of "Montana," anybody seen the live version on YouTube? Much better than any version I've heard on CD. Napoleon Murphy Brock and FZ actually name a major league pitcher (retired) in the song. Any takers?

* I am the heaven
I am the water
(then switching to German)
I am the dirt beneath your rollers
I am your secret smut
and lost metal money down your cracks
I am your cracks and crannies (continuing in German)

I am the clouds
I am embroidered
I am the author of all tucks and damask piping
I am the chrome dinette

(and still continuing in German, translated here for your enjoyment)

I am eggs of all persuasions
I am all days and nights
I am here and your are my sofa
   137. Paul Wendt Posted: August 09, 2007 at 11:18 PM (#2479482)
goin' to Montana soon,
gonna be a dental floss tycoon

Vaclav Havel was a big fan of Frank Zappa. It seems strange from USAmerican perspective, where anything beyond the not-fringe represented by the Beach Boys and Fleetwood Mac marks someone who could never be President. IIRC Havel came to power and Zappa had private dinner at that famous castle in old Buda or old Pest not long before he died. Paprika sausage, sauerkraut, and dental floss i presume.


135. jimd Posted: August 09, 2007 at 05:01 PM (#2479322)
> Oh. Do you live North or South? Do we know each other in person?

South.


Chalek is North but if I work on both of you at the same time and you will reveal your secret identity as extra incentive for him to make the trip. . . We may be politically incompatible but we could talk about baseball :-)

given that I've spent far too much time in Harvard Square over the years, it's possible that we might have seen other at some time or another in that vicinity.

too much time? Yes, six or ten hours can fly by just like that (snap) in a microfilm reading room.
   138. sunnyday2 Posted: August 09, 2007 at 11:54 PM (#2479518)
Coming down the home stretch to our final 5 ballots or so, I'm still finagling. This only covers guys who are eligible in 2003. The "gloves."

Catcher

Just a few guys who matter at this stage of the game.

1. Elston Howard--no eligible catcher has numbers that are much better, then consider all the time he missed for various reasons
2. Thurman Munson
3. Roger Bresnahan

Then, for me, Trouppe and Mackey aren't gonna make it, nor Schnozz. Lance Parrish was better than Lombardi but is well below the in/out line.

2B/old time 3B

Just a few who matter.

1. Ryne Sandberg--soon to exit the backlog
2. Ed Williamson--for a deep backlogger, no obvious weaknesses (offense, defense; peak, prime, career; Sandberg is a fair comp)
(2a. Lou Whitaker)
3. Pie Traynor--Lou Whitaker is a fair comp

I've finally decided that I've been underrating John McGraw but not enough to matter. I think we're also underrating Bobby Avila and Red Schoendienst but, again, not enough to matter.

Shortstop

A bunch of guys who still matter.

1. Phil Rizzuto--with "appropriate" WWII credit
2. Vern Stephens--gave his teams an immense edge on offense, Lou Boudreau to the contrary notwithstanding, and much better with the glove than some think
(2a. Alan Trammell)
3. Johnny Pesky--see Rizzuto
4. Dick Lundy--underrated in exactly the same proportion to which walks are overrated
5. Luis Aparicio
(5a. Joe Sewell)

The Daves--Bancroft and Concepcion--are tempting but, sorry. Silvio Garcia is intriguing, wish I knew more.

Da Gloves

1. Sandberg
2. E. Howard
3. Williamson
4. Munson
5. Rizzuto
6. Stephens
(6a. Trammell)
7. Pesky
(7a. Whitaker)
8. Lundy
9. Bresnahan
10. Traynor
11. Aparicio
(11a. Sewell)

And just to make it an even dozen (sort of), though these last 2 guys are pretty much out of it:

(11b. Trouppe)
12. McGraw
   139. jimd Posted: August 10, 2007 at 12:15 AM (#2479538)
We may be politically incompatible but we could talk about baseball

Probably not as incompatible as my previous post might have sounded - I do like to affectionately poke fun at the politics of my birthplace. I'm a lapsed Socialist (did you know that Cambridge has it's own water supply? maybe it's from too much fluoride, or something else added to the water there, polluting our precious bodily fluids (love that movie)). But I've become a strict obstructionist, voting against incumbents and for the party out of power whenever it might make a difference (which is hardly ever in Mass).

Jim, are you a Zappatista? Have you seen ZPZ?

ZPZ? I don't know what that is, so not likely. I do have all of the CD's he released during his lifetime and shortly thereafter (didn't bother with the bootlegs or post-mortem compilations) and have some of the early stuff on vinyl. Saw him on tour during the early 70's; Grand Wazoo, that was different.
   140. sunnyday2 Posted: August 10, 2007 at 12:22 AM (#2479549)
Zappa Plays Zappa. That is Dweezil's band, making the rounds now, playing FZ's music and playing it damn well. Napoleon Murphy Brock on vocals. That's a lot of CDs. I have most of them both vinyl and CD and about half of his posthumous discs. Grand Wazoo and Once Size Fits All are my favorites though there's another dozen that are definitely HoMable. I am listening right this minute to a new disc called Imaginary Diseases, live music played by the band they call the Petite Wazoo, probably the lineup you saw.

And then there's Dr. Strangelove. That's love, not glove. How are you on The Mouse That Roared?
   141. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 10, 2007 at 12:28 AM (#2479551)
Brown shoes...don't make it.
   142. jimd Posted: August 10, 2007 at 12:53 AM (#2479570)
I made a collection game out of it during the early 90's; got them all without ordering any of them. (Who cares?) I tend to go off on different tangents musically and the great thing about Frank is that he has stuff in so many different styles. He's never boring.
   143. jimd Posted: August 10, 2007 at 12:57 AM (#2479573)
And boogie till the cows come home
   144. jimd Posted: August 10, 2007 at 01:00 AM (#2479574)
How are you on The Mouse That Roared?

I've never seen that as an adult. I remember seeing it at summer camp (keep us amused on a rainy day) and enjoyed it. They also played a highlight reel from the 1962 World Series.
   145. sunnyday2 Posted: August 10, 2007 at 01:42 AM (#2479619)
Speaking of Dr. Strangeglove, not Strangelove, what a coincidence. I just noticed that Dr. Strangeglove died "this year." Age 70! Holy ####. How could he have been that old?
   146. sunnyday2 Posted: August 10, 2007 at 12:21 PM (#2479844)
Then there are the hitters. You'd think we'd have more consensus, I mean their virtues are the easiest to quantify, aren' they?

First Base

1. Murray
2. Mattingly
3. Perez
4. Cepeda

Luke Easter remains tantalizing but no, it's time to drop Luke. And Ben Taylor and Norm Cash. Harry Davis joined my consideration set, I mean if a guy actually dominated (statistically and offensively) during what has become the Beckley era, he's your guy. But like John McGraw, he joined it basically to get dropped.

Left Field

1. Browning--since his value is so overwhelmingly on offense, comparing him to the CF glut is hard. And he played almost as many games here as in the middle. Chris' study doesn't actually debunk Pete's case.
2. C. Jones--as a peak voter, no blacklist credit is specifically required or specifically included
3. J. Rice
4. B. Johnson--out of deference to Chris' study
5. F. Howard--already PHoM after all

Bobby Estalella is a teddy bear but sorry. (Sheckard), Brock, G. Foster and G. Burns drop off.

Right Field

1. Cravath
2. Klein
3. Parker
4. Singleton--out of deference to Chris' study
5. Tiernan--ditto

Oliva, (Dw. Evans), Bonds and Colavito drop out

The Hitters

1. Murray
2. Mattingly
3. Browning
4. C. Jones
5. Cravath
6. Klein
7. J. Rice
8. Parker
9. Perez
10. Singleton
11. Cepeda
12. B. Johnson

And that's enough guys, so F. Howard and Tiernan also drop out. All in all, as Chris' study shows, there's plenty of guys to pick from but only so much room for more "hitters." I see a dozen worthies but probably half of them will or even should get in. Which half? And with further respect to Chris' study, I am including B. Johnson for further consideration but still see way to many players from his era who are in there and, unlike say Dizzy Dean, Johnson is an obvious backlogger/'tweener/HoVG type guy. Singleton, OTOH, is slotted #10 not as faint praise. I will give him further consideration and unlike Johnson, he could move up.
   147. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2007 at 02:35 PM (#2479923)
"John is only in my consideration set because of the level of support he gets among HoM voters. If Reuschel or Tanana had a better peak, it is not by much, not enough to matter in my little world. If I added them to my consideration set, the 3 of them would be 17-18-19 in some order or other."


Reuschel has a very nice peak. His 1977 was one of the best seasons of the 1970s and there are a few other very good seasons.

His peak is way ahead of John's. I cannot remember how he compares to Tanana on peak and don't have the numbers handy right now.
   148. sunnyday2 Posted: August 10, 2007 at 04:20 PM (#2480015)
Well, kudos to Joe who weighed in with the correct answer to my question in #136, what retired ML pitcher (thought not retired when the song was recorded) is mentioned in the live version of "Montana" which can be viewed on YouTube?

Answer: Tanana.

In the background at one point you can hear Napoleon Murphy Brock singing a nonsense lyric in a high, airy falsetto. A moment later FZ speaks the words as a sort of bridge between the verse and chorus and clarifying Brock's lyric: "Poo-poo tanana...and poo-poo tanana." It's really quite hilarious.
   149. DavidFoss Posted: August 10, 2007 at 04:58 PM (#2480053)
Frank is also featured at the beginning of the chorus of "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" by Paul Simon.
   150. sunnyday2 Posted: August 10, 2007 at 05:03 PM (#2480060)
I didn't know that, thanks, David.
   151. Rusty Priske Posted: August 10, 2007 at 08:25 PM (#2480191)
The ballot is next week, correct?

If so, I will be out of town. Could somebody post my ballot from earlier in this thread for me?


Thanks.
   152. Rusty Priske Posted: August 11, 2007 at 05:25 AM (#2480903)
Oh, and I realize there are no comments with it, but, as I say, I forgot that it the ballot matches up with GenCon week and I won't be able to make a fully commented ballot. I hope you will consider a circumstantial exemption.
   153. TomH Posted: August 11, 2007 at 06:32 PM (#2481061)
could we use the comments from Rusty's previous ballot?
   154. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 11, 2007 at 07:09 PM (#2481076)
could we use the comments from Rusty's previous ballot?


Yes, but I would still need something for the new guys.
   155. rawagman Posted: August 11, 2007 at 07:37 PM (#2481080)
considering how Rusty's two big newcomers will lineup right around where the consensus is (close enough, anyway) I vote that this be considered enough for now - circumstances taken into account.
   156. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 11, 2007 at 08:37 PM (#2481131)
considering how Rusty's two big newcomers will lineup right around where the consensus is (close enough, anyway) I vote that this be considered enough for now - circumstances taken into account.


Ryan, AFAIAC, all Rusty would need to do is say "he was good" for Murray and "him, too" for Sandberg. They are both, IMO, pretty far over the HoM line for any serious analytical comment needed. But I need to be consistent and request comments for every player on everybody's ballot or else I will 1) hear it from others here or 2) someone will take advantage of my generosity.

Yes, I don't think it's a big deal either way, but this is where we are today.
   157. rawagman Posted: August 11, 2007 at 11:02 PM (#2481365)
I hear you, but maybe in the interests of diplomacy, one can emauil rusty and ask for biref words on both men, plus maybe a thought on Butler and L. Smith?
   158. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 11, 2007 at 11:06 PM (#2481374)
I hear you, but maybe in the interests of diplomacy, one can emauil rusty and ask for biref words on both men, plus maybe a thought on Butler and L. Smith?


I had already done that before you posted, Ryan. :-)

As for Butler and Smith, Rusty is not constitutionally compelled to say anything about them, so he's free to do what he wants about them.
   159. TomH Posted: August 12, 2007 at 01:09 AM (#2481602)
In the current SABR pub By The Numbers, Charlie Pavitt reviewed an article in the Journal of Sports Economics. The author studied varius countries' tendency to prodcue certina types of ballplayers over time. He found Canada and Mexico have specialized in pitchers, the Dominican and Venezuela middle infielders, among other findings.

Looking back at our discussion of Negro Leagers, this gives some justification for those who would say that the tendency for over-population of great catchers is a function of what the culture produced, as opposed to those of us :) who cautioned against electing 'too many' from one position from these leagues.
   160. Rusty Priske Posted: August 12, 2007 at 05:40 AM (#2481844)
One long day and I need to get to bed, but I checked in long enough to see the comments, so here goes...


I actually thought Sandberg would be higher, but once I looked at him closer, I saw that while he is very definitely deserving, he doesn't top a couple of other career guysI am pushing (Perez and Dawson).

Murray is just a lock.

I analyzed Lee Smith for the HoF season as well, and he does not rate anywhere close for me. I am not a fan of relievers in general for an august assemblage such as what we are building (though there are exceptions). Sure he got a bunch of saves, but I think the save is pretty much a meaningless stat.

As for Butler, no. There are too many more deserving players ahead of him to get near the ballot.

Now to bed. I have a lot of things to get done tomorrow before I leave Monday morning.
   161. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 12, 2007 at 12:23 PM (#2481901)
Thanks, Rusty! ;-)

Have a good time at GenCon.
   162. sunnyday2 Posted: August 12, 2007 at 06:36 PM (#2482307)
Prelim

Didn't vote 2001-2002, ballot has changed a lot since 2000, still finagling a bit. Feeling OK about the top 30-35, maybe 40, though I am thinking that Quisenberry probably won't be #15 by tomorrow. After #40 it's a bit random. But anyway, I wanted to be a real peak voter again and I've at least moved back in that direction.

Again since I haven't voted a couple of cycles, here is a recap of my recent PHoM selections.

2000--Gossage, Ryan, Joe Kelley
2001--Winfield, Puckett*, Mattingly*
2002--O. Smith, Munson*, Dean*
2003--Murray, Sandberg, Dawson*

* PHoM/not HoM 2000-2003--Puckett, Mattingly, Munson, Dean, Dawson
HoM/not PHoM 2000-2003--Whitaker, Trammell, Randolph, Stieb

2003 (elect 3)

1. Eddie Murray (new, PHoM 2003)
2. Ryne Sandberg (new, PHoM 2003)—the easiest picks of the new millennium so far; I cannot quite fathom all the Sandberg #1 votes, however; Eddie was clearly better IMO

3. Dizzy Dean (5-6-42, PHoM 2002)—for a peak voter, the one big oversight of the HoM project to date

4. Kirby Puckett (2-1-new, PHoM 2001)—right place, right time; I understand the knock on Kirby in the theoretical world, but in the real world there’s not an eligible player who made more of a difference in terms of team success, at least the way I saw it; that is meritorious

5. Elston Howard (9-12-15, PHoM 1994)—weird career, continual loss of opportunities that he was more than ready to take on, the potential comp was Mickey Cochrane

6. Ed Williamson (6-2-3, PHoM 1924)—more peak and more glove than than almost any other available IF; the knock seems to be those 27 HR but he didn’t make the rules and I don’t see how they hurt his team

7. Don Mattingly (3-3-new, PHoM 2001)—another real difference-maker though the team success somehow didn’t follow

8. Andre Dawson (8-new, PHoM 2003)—didn’t deserve the MVP in ’87 but I don’t deduct for that

9. Don Newcombe (7-8-10, PHoM 1997)—missed more opportunities than anybody; coulda been Robin Roberts

10. Thurman Munson (4-5-43, PHoM 2002)—the real straw that stirred the pot

11. Pete Browning (10-9-4, PHoM 1961)—even with AA discount, way too much offense to ignore

(11a. Alan Trammell [11-new]—his value proposition suffers by comparison to Ripken and Yount, but still: PHoM soon)

12. Tommy Bond (23-38-50, PHoM 1929)—he’s baaaack; pretty much the all-time WS peak monster

13. Larry Doyle (14-10-8, PHoM 1975)—an eminently deserving MVP at his best

14. Phil Rizzuto (12-13-13, PHoM 1995)—wow, lots of Yankees on this list; fact is, I hate the Yankees, but they had the horses or in this case the gloves

15. Dan Quisenberry (20-26-24)—7 years of Gossage is the comp

The Drop-Outs 2000-2003

17. Charley Jones (15-11-6, PHoM 1921)
18. Dick Redding (28-12-12, PHoM 1971)
19. Vern Stephens (13-14-26)
20. Addie Joss (25-16-5, PHoM 1967)
21. Gavvy Cravath (37-36-11, PHoM 1995)
22. Chuck Klein (16-15-34)
43. Reggie Smith (35-24-14, PHoM 1988)
47. Frank Howard (36-21-9, PHoM 1987)

Close—i.e. right around in/out line, as I think we will elect another 7-8 or so backloggers before we’re done

16. Dale Murphy (17-17-40)
17. Charley Jones (15-11-6, PHoM 1921)
18. Dick Redding (28-12-12, PHoM 1971)
19. Vern Stephens (13-14-26)
20. Addie Joss (25-16-5, PHoM 1967)
21. Gavvy Cravath (37-36-11, PHoM 1995)
(21a. Ken Boyer [25a-42a-35b])
22. Chuck Klein (16-15-34)
23. Jim Rice (18-29-73)
24. Johnny Pesky (24-39-18)
25. Eddie Cicotte (27-40-32)

HoVG

26. Hugh Duffy (29-32-30)
27. Dave Parker (32-33-56)
(27a. Wes Ferrell [40b-43a-69a])
28. Tony Perez (21-23-33)
29. Hack Wilson (26-31-44)
30. Sal Bando (22-28-28)

31. Roger Bresnahan (47-27-27)
(31a. Lou Whitaker [29a-19-new])
32. Pie Traynor (19-20-52)
33. Vic Willis (48-42-22)
34. Bill Monroe (NR-59-57)
35. Dick Lundy (50-41-49)
36. Bucky Walters (HM-44-45)
37. Ken Singleton (NR-57-19)
38. Al Rosen (34-22-23)
39. Orlando Cepeda (30-18-16, PHoM 1987)
40. Alejandro Oms (38-25-24)

41. Bruce Sutter (40-35-35)
(41a. Jim Bunning [31a-32b-30a])
42. Hilton Smith (NR-47-51)
(42a. Quincy Trouppe [37a-24a-21a])
43. Reggie Smith (35-24-14, PHoM 1988)
44. Tommy Leach (49-37-17, PHoM 1998)
45. Fred Dunlap (HM-30-25)
46. Bob Johnson (NR-66-37)
47. Frank Howard (36-21-9, PHoM 1987)
48. Luis Tiant (44-67-55)
49. Burleigh Grimes (HM-45-31)
50. John McGraw (NR-71-65)

Honorable Mention

Wally Berger (33-55-64)
(Dewey Evans [HM-38b-23a])
(Joe Sewell [38a-32a-25a])
(Early Wynn [40a-35a-89b)
(Jimmy Sheckard [49a-38a-20a])
Luis Aparicio (39-56-109)
Tommy Bridges (HM-72-61)
George Van Haltren (NR-70-67)
Dave Bancroft (NR-69-60)
Bobby Estalella (HM-63-66)
Tony Oliva (31-34-83)
Luke Easter (HM-48-58)
Lefty Gomez (HM-52-47)
Bobby Avila (NR-54-54)
Silvio Garcia (NR-120-126)
   163. sunnyday2 Posted: August 12, 2007 at 07:37 PM (#2482486)
Oh and it's mostly Win Shares plus my own annual MVP ballots and all-star selections, but a bunch of other stuff also factors in on the closer calls--OPS+, ERA+, pitcher offense, defense, HoFM, HoFS, etc. etc. etc. But again, mostly peak/prime with career more of a tie breaker unless it's just overwhelming.
   164. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 12, 2007 at 07:59 PM (#2482546)
I cannot quite fathom all the Sandberg #1 votes, however; Eddie was clearly better IMO


I have to agree, Marc. Ryno was clearly great, but I can't see him over Eddie myself.
   165. TomH Posted: August 13, 2007 at 01:03 PM (#2483174)
As I turn over my potential ballot a few more times before voting, and ask myself "why do I have ____ up high while many voters don't care for him?", I did some thinking about Indian Bob Johnson. His PLUSSES and MINUSES are well-documented; to sum up, he was a great hitter, but played in an era where there were many great hitters.

As a supporter of BJ, I ask myself if I've under-played the minus issue. After a bit of re-checking and cogitation, I don;'t see it. Yes, we've elected many guys from the 1930s, but the real problem is 1925 thru mid- to late-30s, and Johnson played from 1933 to 1945. Yes, his black ink is poor, but that is more of a function of his breadth of skills (a la Dwight Evans) than lack of skill. He was one of the league's top 10 bats almost every .... single .... year. He played in lots of all-star games, and garnered MVP support, even though he DIDN'T lead in flashy categories, AND he played for lousy teams; sure-fire ways to typoiclaly get ignored. The man scored over 1200 runs and frove in over 1200; even though he didn't play his first major league game until he was 27 years & 4 months old. Another way to look at that is, if Alex Rodriguez has Bob Johnson's stats from age 27 tru 39, he'll score and drive in over 2100 runs by age 40, putting him 2nd or 3rd all-time in those categories at that age.

In summary, upon re-exam, my support for Indian Bob diminishes not a whit.
   166. Paul Wendt Posted: August 13, 2007 at 01:46 PM (#2483205)
Again since I haven't voted a couple of cycles, here is a recap of my recent PHoM selections.

2000--Gossage, Ryan, Joe Kelley


(Nolan Ryan)

If Kelley then Sheckard? I think you should keep him in your consideration set.
   167. sunnyday2 Posted: August 13, 2007 at 04:00 PM (#2483299)
If you like Bob Johnson, you'll love Bobby Estalella. Check out his MLEs. He is essentially Bob Johnson with a little imagination. If you know what I mean.
   168. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 14, 2007 at 02:22 PM (#2484213)
Prelim ballot. Please post over to main ballot if I don't edit before the deadline next week: I started law school yesterday and may be too busy during the rest of the week. Thanks in advance.

Re-evaluated my ballot this year.

--------------------------
Category 1: No-brainers

1. R. Bresnahan- I think the electorate is grossly
underrating him, unfairly penalizing his peak due to imaginary durability issues. His contemporaries universally regarded him as an all-time great. Lightyears ahead of the other eligible catchers; lightyears ahead of catchers already elected. Better as a C than Murry was as a 1B.

2. E. Murray
3. R. Sandberg-I see these two as clearly over the line....but not inner circle, either. Plain ol' HoMers.
--------------------
Category 2: In, but with flaws

4. D. Dean- Best 3-year peak available on the ballot. But no career to speak of.

5. J. McGraw- Sure, playing time matters, but a .500+ OBP overrides other concerns. Probably deserves an intangible "leadership" boost, too.

6. P. Browning-Widely thought of as an all-time great by both his generation and the one that came after; the defense and baserunning and durability drop him down this low. Uncertainty of league discount prevents him from being up with the no-brainer crowd.

7. P. Rizzuto - War credit. Could be swapped with Pesky depending on how you handle the war, but I'll go with the devil I know.

8. D. Concepcion - Clearly over the line; the only uncertainty lies with the validity of trusting the markets ability to most efficiently man the SS position in his era. I think that he was the greatest SS to play in the conditions of his time; if you believe teams behaved irrationally then you might conclude otherwise.

9. C. Jones- Minimal blacklist credit; a reasonable argument can be made that Jones was indeed planning on jumping the team, and was therefore partially responsible for his fate. I find the contemporary assessment of Jones to be underwhelming... hence, I don't think he's a no-brainer, but I'll be glad when he's elected.
----------------------
Category 3: Borderliners


10. L. Gomez - Gets a small boost for not relying on the defense.

11.R. Smith- Minimal Japan credit. Huge boost for context.

12.B. Grimes- Dan has indicated to me that he looks very good in his preliminary pitcher #'s.

13.Tiant- According to Dan's preliminary pitcher #'s, he's the best modern pitcher candidate.

14. J. Pesky-The insolvable problem of how to credit a missing wartime peak.

15.Bancroft- Since I use Dan R.'s system, I'm very pro shortstop. I like the SS's (Pesky and Rizzuto) of similar career value with a peakier career-shape better, and Concepcion is clearly more valuble once you adjust for context.
--------------

Just off ballot: E. Howard, B. Johnson, E. Cicotte, G. Nettles
   169. sunnyday2 Posted: August 14, 2007 at 02:34 PM (#2484233)
>His contemporaries universally regarded him as an all-time great.

I personally agree that this is an important criteria.

In 1894, 3 of 11 former players quoted in the Reach Guide chose Ed Williamson as the greatest player ever.
   170. TomH Posted: August 14, 2007 at 03:22 PM (#2484264)
And I agree with sunny that we shouldn't dismiss this too lightly. Without this, Ed W is barely in my top 100. With it, he squawks every week for more respect, and it is truly hard ot rank him. Contemp opinion probably got Cool Papa into the HoM, and of course it is responsible for three gold gloves for Past-a-diving-Jeter.
   171. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 14, 2007 at 05:54 PM (#2484489)
>His contemporaries universally regarded him as an all-time great.

I personally agree that this is an important criteria.


Contemporaries of Hal Chase said the same about him, too.

This is not meant to put a damper on Ed's candidacy, BTW, since I like him and used to have him on my ballots many moons ago, but the testimonies really only have weight when they can be corroborated by analysis.
   172. Paul Wendt Posted: August 15, 2007 at 05:50 PM (#2486037)
I know about dumpster diving.
What is pasta diving?


Alex
9. C. Jones- Minimal blacklist credit; a reasonable argument can be made that Jones was indeed planning on jumping the team, and was therefore partially responsible for his fate.

planning on jumping the team. That seems to me a good reason to give him no credit for the last quarter of 1880. He was exiled from the majors for two seasons thereafter (as the AA did not challenge the NL in 1882).


JTMurphy responding to Alex zop on Bresnahan and Marc sunnyday on Williamson
Contemporaries of Hal Chase said the same about him, too.

This is not meant to put a damper on Ed's candidacy, BTW, since I like him and used to have him on my ballots many moons ago, but the testimonies really only have weight when they can be corroborated by analysis.


Here at HOM, the case for Williamson or Bresnahan depends on appealing to most of the peak and prime voters. It also depends on historical interpretations of their fielding positions that are established here: 3B for Williamson demands skills at the level of modern 2B; C for Bresnahan has physical demands that explain playing little more than half-seasons there.

Because Williamson is merely a good batter (where Bresnahan is excellent), the case for him depends also on the credibility of his reputation as an excellent fielder. And analysis probably cannot show that now, in HOM time, even if true.
   173. sunnyday2 Posted: August 15, 2007 at 06:16 PM (#2486068)
There's no 2004 discussion thread yet so.... I suppose I cold put this on the Alan Trammell thread. In fact, I figured somebody would jump down my throat for having Alan Trammell down around 11th(a) on my 2003 ballot but he is so yesterday, why bother. If I had voted in 2001 that mighta been different.

But anyway, in 2004 there's a PHoM slot available for the backlog and at 11a Trammell is next in line (for me). But I thought before I "rushed" him in there I would just look at him compared to the next 2 available SS. (Rizzuto is my top SS but long since PHoM.) They are that old matched pair, Pesky and Stephens. Picking between Pesky and Stephens is a pesky enough little task, I mean they're pretty much even/Stephens, don't you think? Anyway, here's where I'm at.

Gross Win Shares (meaning the rating and data from the tables in TNBJHBA, the data having been "corrected" BTW)

8. Trammell 318 35-29-29 132 22.5
20. Pesky 274 34-29-29 149 23.8
22. Stephens 265 32-31-25 124 25.0

The corrections are a typo for Trammell and WWII credits and discounts for the others. Trammell over Pesky would seem to be a product of Pesky not getting WWII credit plus timeline even if he did. I disagree with James on both of these decisions. And as a peak voter Trammell's 44 career WS edge goes away. So they are basically even IMO. Stephens, meanwhile, is not far behind Pesky except on the 5 consecutive year peak and has a better rate.

Win Shares Extended

Trammell 318/35-29-29-26-26-23-21/8 years in the 10s/4 years 0-9
Pesky 274/34-29-29-29-28-25-23-21/no 10s/3 0-9
Stephens 265/32-31-25-24-23-22-21-20/2 10s/4 0-9

Pesky and Stephens 8 years each in the 20s, Trammell 7. Trammell's obvious edge is the shoulder years from 10-19. Pesky had no shoulders, Stephens not exactly suggesting Chicago. But for peak/prime, no apparent advantage to Trammell.

Win Shares Defense

Trammell B-/92 career defensive WS
Pesky A-/75
Stephens B/69

FWIW, the Baseball Encyclopedia indexes Trammell at 100 (average) both for range and throwing.

Trammell range 100/throw 100
Pesky 103/101
Stephens 101/92

OPS+

Trammell 110/157-40-39-37-35-30-21-12/7 years <100
Pesky 106/124-21-21-21-18-10-10-3-3-2/1 year <100
Stephens 118/135-28-21-20-19-15-15-12-10-10-4/0 years <100

Trammell 8 years > 100 with a mean of 136; Pesky 10 years at 114; Stephens 11 at 115. This of course doesn't really jive with Trammell's brand identity--8 years as an above average hitter, 7 years below with a mean of 90. Obviously this is vs. the league, not other SS. Still as a peak voter, ya gotta love a SS who gives you 8 years at 136. He is no Joe Sewell, at least not for those 8 years.

MVP Voting

Trammell 9th in 1984, 2nd in 1987, 7th in 1988
Pesky 3rd in 1942 and 4th in 1946 (what would he have done in '43, '44, '45?), never again top 10, and in reality not as valuable at 3B
Stephens 4th in 1942, 9th in 1943, 3rd in 1944, 6th in 1945, 4th in 1948, 7th in 1949

Don't just discount the WWII years, throw them out completely, and Stephens still comes out better than Trammell. And it's easy enough to argue that Pesky's peak as measured by MVP voting is competitive too. (Yes, I should say "the way in which Pesky was perceived by contemporary BBWAA voters vis-a-vis Trammell." I don't mean to say that this proves anything in terms of value, but rather of perceived value, as perceived by folks whom I would agree have shown appalingly bad judgment at times over the years. Still I find it thought-provoking.)

Miscellaneous

If you eyeball Hall of Fame Standards, HoF Monitor, and black and gray ink it is Stephens, then Trammell, then Pesky, with Trammell closer to Pesky than to Stephens. (This with no WWII credit for Pesky nor discounts for Stephens.)

Conclusion

So to those who wonder about Kirby Puckett, why not give him the benefit of the doubt/timeline like I frankly think we have done with Trammell (not to even mention Whitaker and Randolph)?

Also, thinking about Pesky and Stephens makes me wonder if there's anything there that might shed light on future perceptions of Jeter and ARod. No, probably not. Personally I think that if Pesky stays at SS for the Red Sox and Stephens moves to 3B that BOTH of them are better appreciated by posterity, just because it would fit into people's preconceptions better. But Pesky in particular would be better remembered, though in his case to be really remembered positively he should have skipped the war OR been a noted broadcaster OR better yet, both.
   174. TomH Posted: August 15, 2007 at 07:17 PM (#2486141)
need to correct Trammell's WS data for the DH, which would help his case peak/prime/and career.
   175. Howie Menckel Posted: August 15, 2007 at 08:05 PM (#2486205)
"What is pasta diving?"

If you watch Yankees games, it seems like once or twice a game, you hear the announcers say, "And it's a ground ball.... pastadiving Jeter!"

It accounts for his graceful slowfootedness, which is not an oxymoron. The ball is hit, and for a split-second, Jeter is just standing there. The next moment, he gracefully and gamely chases it. But it's too late, so more pastadiving.

The moment is less than a second, but it happens.
   176. His Clutchness, The Just Pasha Diving Jeter Posted: August 15, 2007 at 09:27 PM (#2486313)
I sense some of the peons are disparaging my play. It's hard to tell though, what with all these rings blinding me and models nibbling my earlobes.
   177. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 15, 2007 at 09:43 PM (#2486336)
It accounts for his graceful slowfootedness, which is not an oxymoron. The ball is hit, and for a split-second, Jeter is just standing there. The next moment, he gracefully and gamely chases it. But it's too late, so more pastadiving.


I always think of Brooks Robinson, who didn't have half of Jeter's speed, but made it up and then some with his cat-like reflexes.
   178. DL from MN Posted: August 15, 2007 at 10:53 PM (#2486402)
So I've been messing around with the standard deviation numbers some more today. I think I've come up with something that is internally consistent except for a couple factors:

I don't have stdev numbers for pitchers or Negro Leaguers so I'm using unadjusted numbers. This could work in their favor significantly.

I'm still fiddling with my positional balance adjustments. Anyway, this is what my 2003 ballot would resemble using the stdev WARP.

1) Roger Bresnahan - Stdevs thinks he's easily in the upper half of all catchers just behind guys like Gary Carter.
2) Ryne Sandberg
3) Eddie Murray - sees these two as definite but not top tier HoF players.
4) Reggie Smith - He spent a lot of time in CF
5) Bob Johnson - giving 2 years PCL credit at level of initial major league seasons
6) Luis Tiant - pitchers as a group may move up or down but Tiant is in the pack with Drysdale and Marichal
7) Tommy Bridges - gets war credit, stdevs may take a bite out of Bridges but like I said earlier I'm not using them for pitchers
8) Tommy Leach - positional adjustments may slide him lower
9) Norm Cash
10) Bus Clarkson
11) Graig Nettles
12) Rick Reuschel
13) Gavy Cravath
14) Ben Taylor
15) Bob Elliott
16-20) Virgil Trucks, Pete Browning (no stdev data), Ron Cey, Dick Redding, Vic Willis
21-25) Lee Smith, Charley Jones (no stdevs), Urban Shocker, Jack Clark, Dutch Leonard, Dave Bancroft

Dropping to borderline: Buddy Bell, Tommy John, Frank Tanana
Kicked out of PHoM: Tony Perez, Rusty Staub

I might have enough work done to switch systems next election.
   179. DavidFoss Posted: August 15, 2007 at 11:39 PM (#2486463)
I always think of Brooks Robinson, who didn't have half of Jeter's speed, but made it up and then some with his cat-like reflexes.

Its that "first step" that never shows up on TV. One guy can look great in the highlights on ESPN because he had to dive because to the slow first step while another guy can make the same same ball look routine because he took two extra steps before the camera panned to him. Scouting reports talk about it all the time.

With all the extra cameras and split-screen stuff around today, you'd think they'd be able to show this first step in replays. Maybe they don't have *that* many cameras though.
   180. sunnyday2 Posted: August 16, 2007 at 02:11 AM (#2486789)
>One guy can look great in the highlights on ESPN because he had to dive because to the slow first step while another guy can make the same same ball look routine because he took two extra steps before the camera panned to him.

Exactly. This is why *some* of my teammates thought I was a pretty good SS in slow pitch.
   181. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 16, 2007 at 03:58 AM (#2487044)
Eric Chalek is a SABR member on the far side of Kennebunkport,

Near side. Exit 3.
   182. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 16, 2007 at 11:20 AM (#2487222)
DL from MN--I have standard deviation numbers for pitchers. Let me know if you'd like them and where I should send them to.
   183. DL from MN Posted: August 16, 2007 at 01:16 PM (#2487265)
Can you present an overview of what you have found? No offense but I'd like to see your work reviewed before I start using it. I think review has been helpful with the position players.
   184. Howie Menckel Posted: August 16, 2007 at 01:37 PM (#2487279)
"It's hard to tell though, what with all these rings blinding me......"

All the rings are at least 7 years old, so you must polish them often to still get that effect, Derek.

;)
   185. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 16, 2007 at 01:54 PM (#2487290)
There's a little irony in pastadiving jeter (which used to be his screen name, I think).

"pasta" in the US/NYC is pronounced paaah-stuh (vowel sound in first syllable sounds like when the doctor says "say ahhhhhhhhhh.")

"pasta" in UK is pronounced past-uh (vowel sound in first syllable sounds like the sound in the word "past.")

Yet in this situation, the prounciations are flip-flopped meaningwise. If you prounce it like it looks, he's a macaroni lover. If you prounce it like an Englishman, he's a SS with no range up the middle.
   186. Paul Wendt Posted: August 16, 2007 at 02:31 PM (#2487325)
Yes, I imagined
Jeter springboarding into a tun of macaroni.
A-Rod springboarding into a tun of red wine.
Dahlen springboarding into a tun of vinegar.
Lot of ballplayers in the meantime, beer.
   187. DavidFoss Posted: August 16, 2007 at 03:19 PM (#2487378)
"pasta" in UK is pronounced past-uh (vowel sound in first syllable sounds like the sound in the word "past.")

Wow... I didn't believe it until I looked it up. In the UK, they pronounce 'pass' with an 'ah' but the pronunciation is swapped for 'pasta'. I learned something today. :-)
   188. OCF Posted: August 16, 2007 at 11:00 PM (#2488083)
Looking ahead, I just did my RA+ equivalent records for D. Martinez, Saberhagen, Hershiser, and Gooden. Of this group, I think Saberhagen is the closest to being a candidate, although if you went by single best season, you know how that would go. Today's useless split:

Saberhagen, even-numbered years: 74-55 equivalent record.
Saberhagen, odd-numbered years: 100-56 equivalent record.
   189. Mike Webber Posted: August 17, 2007 at 01:20 AM (#2488321)
Doc C,

Elston Howard vs Lance Parish: compare and contrast.
   190. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 17, 2007 at 02:34 AM (#2488443)
I like Parrish better, Mike. Not a ton, but enough to have a little separation, and that includes one year of MiL credit for Howard.

Howard's NgL and early MiL numbers aren't impressive in translation. The war doesn't help him, but his bookending seasons around it aren't terribly impressive and don't seem to support his getting war credit. So Howard's case comes down to the big five-year peak and a few tack-on years that don't amount to much. I have Howard a wee bit ahead of Tralee in my rankings, though I think for the reasons Zop has pointed out, Bresnahan could be even with him under tighter consideration. My system isn't all that kind to early catchers---Bennett is out by it. Since neither RB or EH is appearing on my ballot I haven't look closely at the question.

Parrish has a pretty good peak for a C (not as good as Howard's but in a better league, which evens it a bit). Then he has a lot of career value to add to it. That career value helps him in my view to emerge as a superior candidate to Howard. I rank Parrish only a couple slots ahead among catchers, with Mackey between them. Parrish has a few non-peak oriented markers that Ellie doesn't (was effective after prime, more All-Star type years, that stuff). Just a few little things that add up.

I don't object to Howard getting in. I think he and Raj would need to duke it out first, and there's reason to see illusions in both their records. That's a conversation that I'd like to see their adherents take up.
   191. Howie Menckel Posted: August 18, 2007 at 04:53 PM (#2490560)
'Major league' HOMers per year, minimum 10 G per player to qualify, or equivalent
(NeL in parentheses refers to any non-MLB-credited seasons for non-white players)

1850s - 0/0/0/0/0/0/1/1/1/1......................... avg 0.4
1860s - 2/2/2/2/3/2/4/4/6/8..........................avg 3.5
1870s - 9/10/12/12/12/12/12/11/12/16................ avg 11.8
1880s - 17/20/21/20/22/23/24/23/26/26................avg 22.2 (with 0.4 NeL)
1890s - 31/33/32/29/24/25/24/23/23/24................avg 26.8 (with 1.5 NeL)
1900s - 23/26/26/24/26/27/26/27/28/28................avg 26.1 (with 3.5 NeL)
1910s - 29/28/27/30/29/30/34/28/25/27................avg 28.7 (with 7.2 NeL)
1920s - 29/31/35/37/42/45/48/47/47/44................avg 40.5 (with 14.3 NeL)
1930s - 42/44/45/43/41/41/41/42/39/41................avg 41.9 (with 13.7 NeL)
1940s - 44/43/39/28/20/22/34/34/34/28................avg 32.6 (with 9.4 NeL)
1950s - 28/29/26/28/29/33/34/31/31/32................avg 30.1
1960s - 32/33/34/35/35/35/35/35/36/37............... avg 34.8
1970s - 39/38/41/41/42/40/39/37/34/33................avg 38.6
1980s - 35/34/33/31/29/27/25/22/19/15................avg 26.7

possible adds from holdovers (200+ pts in last election, near-misses are Oms and Van Haltren, scoring in the 180s):
1870s - CJONES 1875-79
1880s - CJONES 1880/83-87, BROWNING 1882-89, DUFFY 1888-89
1890s - BROWNING 1890-93, DUFFY 1890-99, TLEACH 1899
1900s - DUFFY 1900-01/04-05, TLEACH 1900-09, BRESNAHAN 1901-09, CRAVATH 1908
1910s - TLEACH 1910-15/18, BRESNAHAN 1910-15, REDDING 1911-19ish, CRAVATH 1912-18
1920s - REDDING 1920-21ish
1930s - WALTERS 1932-39, BJOHNSON 1933-39
1940s - WALTERS 1940-47, BJOHNSON 1940-45
1950s - none
1960s - TPEREZ 1965-69
1970s - TPEREZ 1970-79, DAWSON 1976-79
1980s - TPEREZ 1980-86, DAWSON 1980-89

7 of the 11 top holdovers are pre-1920, basically.
Murray (1977-97) and Sandberg (1982-94; 1996-97) are about to boost those years.
Looks like 1946-64 is done already, and only Walters and BJohnson from 1922-64 still have a shot (unless Oms really turns it up a notch).
If not Perez, the whole 1960s and half the 1970s look done as well.
   192. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 20, 2007 at 02:54 PM (#2492148)
BTW, should I create any more player threads for the 2004 election? Key, Fielder, Pendleton and Mitchell seem like the only remaining candidates with a reasonable argument in their favor.

If you request one or more of them, they will be posted at the beginning of next week in order not to clog up the Hot Topics section.
   193. sunnyday2 Posted: August 20, 2007 at 03:12 PM (#2492179)
I wash shocked to learn yesterday that Pendleton finished #2 in MVP voting the year after he won it. Did not remember that. 'Course, he had a legitimate argument for #2 the year he won it, not the year he was #2.
   194. DL from MN Posted: August 20, 2007 at 04:49 PM (#2492302)
"should I create any more player threads for the 2004 election?"

If you do, throw Pendleton, Fielder and Mitchell in one thread. You could add Key to Dennis Martinez.
   195. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 21, 2007 at 02:06 PM (#2493318)
Will do, DL.
   196. OCF Posted: September 12, 2007 at 05:37 PM (#2521488)
I was busy enough with vacations that I let the moment slip, but I'll come back and make the comment I wanted to make - and this now-dead thread is the place for the comment. I wanted to comment on the career of Vince Coleman. Yeah, him.

Around here we throw out the phrase "HOVG" as a way of downgrading a candidate, of saying we don't think he belongs in the HoM. I won't say that about Coleman, because it would be a rather large promotion for him. For major league players (the rules are a little different for Negro League or Latin American players), I would say that a necessary but not sufficient condition for being HOVG would be to pass through whatever filter DanG uses and appear in the header of this thread. Coleman's not in that header.

So he wasn't really all that good a baseball player. And I'm certainly not here to praise his leadership or character. In fact, pretty much all I really know about his character is the Dodger Stadium parking lot firecracker incident, and that makes him an overage juvenile punk.

Let's go back to the weirdness at the beginning of the 1985 season. Coleman had been progressing through the Cardinal farm system, stealing mind-boggling numbers of bases but offering very little evidence that he was ready to be a major league hitter. In spring training, Whitey Herzog was going out of his way to tell everyone how much he liked this kid - but LF was Lonnie Smith's position and CF belonged to Willie McGee. (Not to mention the part about the lack of evidence that Coleman belonged in the majors.) Whitey sent him down, then called him back up again. Early in the season, with some injuries, Coleman and Smith were both playing. But Whitey didn't want the issue unresolved. He forced his own hand by trading Smith to KC for no immediate (and, it turns out, little eventual) return. At that point, Whitey had no choice - had to play Coleman. (Since he did it to himself, one assumes that that's how he wanted it.)

And somehow it worked. I'll argue it this way: at that point in their careers, the difference in total value between Smith and Coleman wasn't large in either direction. (This is the diminished mid-career Smith we're talking about, not the offensive force of 1980-83 or 1989-90). I'm about to make the most disreputatble of all arguments: that the "intangibles" of the change from Smith to Coleman favored the Cardinals.

All right, make it "psychological effects." Does that sound better than "intangibles"? There are two sides to this: offense and defense.

1. Offense. Although both Smith and Coleman were leadoff-type hitters, Smith's offensive value was distrubuted around a number of different facets - a little BA, a little power, a few walks, his speed. A freakishly large fraction of Coleman's offensive value lay in one narrow aspect: his baserunning. The fact that his value was so concentrated certainly led to him being overrrated (as specialists are likely to be overrated), but it also provided a "handle", a "story". And that story became a team identity: the baddest bunch of basestealers you've ever seen. The team's SB-CS numbers were 314-96. Such a number can hardly be imagined in today's game - just to see it is a window into another time. And I claim that having a strong self-identity - ANY strong self-identity - is a good thing for a team.

2. Defense. Coleman may not have been a great outfielder, but I claim he was solid - in particular, he was much more trustworthy in left than Smith (or Smith's predecessor, Brock.) Note the rather large assist totals that Coleman racked up. Yes, that may be a sign of disrespect for his arm, but it also means he hustled and charged balls, and those outs do count and do kill innings. Now the actual defensive upgrade from Smith to Coleman wasn't huge, but it completed the picture. Whitey to all his pitchers: "Throw strikes." Whitey to his left-handed pitchers: "Work inside to RHB. Challenge them." Now even if you buy into that, what do you see when you look out to that side of the field? Lonnie S. with his sense of adventure sort of spoils the view. But replace him with Coleman, and notice the other features: the far-distant wall. And in the foreground, Ozzie. Ozzie and Pendelton and Herr's DP pivot. However that view speaks to you, John Tudor feasted on it.

----

Back to Coleman's career. He was the last. He was the last 100-SB guy. Will we see that again in our lifetimes? A few guys have toyed with the ~70 SB level. (And mostly settled down to less strenuous later careers - remember Marquis Grissom?) But no one has threatened 100 for a while. Suppose we're collecting a time-machine-aided roster of players for some purpose, and I tell you that you can have, for free, one more player on your roster - but he must be limited to being used only as a pinch-runner. Who are you going to take? I think there's a case for Coleman. In other words, hyper-narrowing the category to who is the best baserunner in history, I'll opt for Coleman. (Of course, you wouldn't want him to bat.) There was a year in there in which something like 20 balks were called with Coleman on base - out of maybe 100 called in the whole league for the year.
   197. DanG Posted: September 12, 2007 at 08:14 PM (#2521769)
I would say that a necessary but not sufficient condition for being HOVG would be to pass through whatever filter DanG uses and appear in the header of this thread. Coleman's not in that header.

Coleman was among the new candidates listed for the 2002 election. Since he played in only six games in 1997, we had him eligible a year sooner than the BBWAA did.

The approximate thresholds I use for recent players are +120 win shares or +40 WARP3 in a career.
   198. OCF Posted: September 12, 2007 at 10:02 PM (#2521898)
Ohh- so I really missed the moment, and my comment should be in the 2002 discussion thread. Oh, well - he's still not HOVG. As I said, necessary but not sufficient.
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