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

Saturday, September 29, 2007

2005 Results: Boggs Gets 100%, While Browning and Dawson Receive Hall of Merit Honors, Too!

In his first year of eligibility, legendary third baseman Wade Boggs received 100% of all possible points to become the 14th unanimous selection in Hall of Merit history (past unanimous selections include Hank Aaron, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Grove, Walter Johnson, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Mike Schmidt, Honus Wagner, Ted Williams and Cy Young).

It was a “slightly” longer wait for star batsman Pete Browning as he was inducted into the HoM in his 107th year on the ballot. He received 28% of all possible points.

Last but not least, All-Star outfielder Andre Dawson claimed the final spot for immortality in his 4th year of eligibility, narrowly besting fellow outfielders Bob Johnson and Alejandro Oms by only a handful of points (the latter two appear to be favorites to enter the HoM themselves in 2006). He earned 25% of all possible points.

Rounding out the top-ten were: Reggie Smith (huge jump!), Bucky Walters, Cannonball Dick Redding, Kirby Puckett (surprising finish after his 2004 showing) and Gavvy Cravath.

Thanks to OCF and Ron for their help with the tally.

RK   LY  Player                   PTS  Bal   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1  n/e  Wade Boggs              1296   54  54                                          
 2    4  Pete Browning            364   22      6  2  2     3  2  1  3     2           1
 3    7  Andre Dawson             326   23      3  2  2  1  2  1     2  4  2  2     1  1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4    6  Bob Johnson              322   25         2  5     2  2  4     2  2     2  1  3
 5    8  Alejandro Oms            316   25      3  2  1  1     1  2  3  2     1  4  1  4
 6   14  Reggie Smith             279   20      1  2  2  2  3     1  3  1  2     1  1  1
 7   10  Bucky Walters            278   18      1  3  3  2  1  2     2  1  1  2         
 8    9  Cannonball Dick Redding  273   15      5  3  1  1     1     2  1  1            
 9    5  Kirby Puckett            269   21      2  1  3  1  1  1     3  2        2  1  4
10   13  Gavvy Cravath            261   21      2  1        2  1  3  2     4  2  1  2  1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11   12  Tony Perez               261   17      1  5  1     3     1        2  1  3      
12   11  Hugh Duffy               241   16      1  3  1  1  2  2     1  1  3     1      
13   15  Tommy Leach              239   16      1  2  1  3     3  1  2     1  2         
14  n/e  Bret Saberhagen          237   18      2  1  1  2  2     1  1  2     1  1  2  2
15   17  Luis Tiant               232   20      2     1     1  1  2  4        2  1  4  2
16   18  Graig Nettles            232   19         1     1  2  4  3  2        2     3  1
17   19  Phil Rizzuto             211   15         2  2  2  1     2  1  2  1  1     1   
18   22  Ken Singleton            207   18         2  2     1  1        1  2  3  2  2  2
19   21  George Van Haltren       191   12      2  2     1  2  1  1     1     1  1      
20   23  Bus Clarkson             189   14      2     1  4     1  1           1  1     3
21   20  Dizzy Dean               189   12      3  1  1  1  1        1     2  2         
22   16  John McGraw              187   11      3  1  2  2  1                 1        1
23   26  Tommy Bridges            159   10      1  1  4     1     1  1                 1
24   24  Mickey Welch             158   11      1  1  1  1     3  1        1     1  1   
25   29T Burleigh Grimes          153   13      1     1     3              2  2  2  2   
26   28  Dave Concepción          140   11      1     1  1     1  2     1  1  1  1     1
27   32  Larry Doyle              137   10      2     2     1        1        1     3   
28   27  Vic Willis               135    9      1  1     1  1  1  1     2  1            
29   31  Dale Murphy              134   12               2        3  2  1     1     1  2
30   29T Orlando Cepeda           133   11            3     2     1           1  2  2   
31   34  Elston Howard            130   12               3              2  2  3     1  1
32   25  Lou Brock                130    9      1  1  1        1  2     1     1  1      
33   33  Rusty Staub              126   10            1     2     1  2  3     1         
34   37  Tommy John               125    8         3  1        1        2              1
35   36  Bobby Bonds              121   10         1     2           1  1  2  1  1  1   
36   38  Bob Elliott              114   10               1     2     1  2  1  2  1      
37   35  Norm Cash                113    9            1     1  3     1     2        1   
38   39  Ben Taylor               102    8         1        1  2     1     1     1  1   
39   48  Pie Traynor               98   10            1  1     1              1  1  4  1
40   41  Carl Mays                 90    8               2     1        1  1  1  1     1
41   42  Wally Schang              87    6      1     1        1     1  1  1            
42   45  Don Newcombe              86    8                  2     1     1     1  2  1   
43   50T Lee Smith                 82    5         2     1  1                       1   
44   40  Dave Bancroft             77    7               2     1              1  2     1
45   47  Vern Stephens             70    6                  1  1  2           1        1
46T  46  Chuck Klein               67    5         1     1                 2  1         
46T  49  Rick Reuschel             67    5      1           1           2           1   
48   44  Bill Monroe               65    5               2     1  1                    1
49   95T Bert Campaneris           64    5               2  1              1        1   
50   54  Ed Williamson             64    4         1  1           1  1                  
51   52  Sal Bando                 62    5                     2  2              1      
52   50T Frank Tanana              61    4      1        2                             1
53   62T Urban Shocker             60    6                     1     2           1  2   
54   43  Don Mattingly             59    5      1                 1              2  1   
55   61  Johnny Pesky              56    6                           1  1  1     2  1   
56   55  Addie Joss                52    4      1                 1           1     1   
57   53  Thurman Munson            49    5                  1           2              2
58   69T Leroy Matlock             49    4                     2  1              1      
59   71  Jack Quinn                48    4         1                       1     2      
60   60  Ernie Lombardi            46    4               1        1        1        1   
61   59  Wilbur Cooper             46    3         1        1                 1         
62   62T George J. Burns           45    4                        1     2  1            
63   58  Tony Oliva                45    3      1           1                       1   
64   65T Lance Parrish             44    4                     1     1  1           1   
65T  56T Frank Chance              40    4                     1     1           1     1
65T  72T Al Rosen                  40    4                              2     2         
67   67  Tony Mullane              38    3                  1  1              1         
68T  56T Buddy Bell                36    3               1     1                       1
68T  69T Rabbit Maranville         36    3            1                 1        1      
70   64  Lefty Gomez               35    4                  1                    1     2
71   81  Fred Dunlap               33    4                              1  1           2
72   75  Bruce Sutter              32    3                        1  1              1   
73   74  Frank Howard              30    3                           1  1           1   
74T  65T Ed Cicotte                30    2            1           1                     
74T  76  Jimmy Ryan                30    2               1     1                        
76   77  Bobby Veach               29    3                                 2  1         
77   68  Ron Cey                   28    4                                 1           3
78   78  Jim Kaat                  25    2                        1  1                  
79   84T Jim Rice                  24    3                                 1     1     1
80   72T Jack Clark                22    2               1                             1
81   82T Luke Easter               22    1         1                                    
82   80  Sam Rice                  21    2                        1              1      
83   84T Dave Parker               18    2                                    2         
84   82T Brian Downing             17    1            1                                 
85   86  Luis Aparicio             16    1               1                              
86   79  Bill Mazeroski            15    1                  1                           
87T  93T Tommy Bond                13    1                        1                     
87T  87  Sam Leever                13    1                        1                     
87T  88T Carlos Morán              13    1                        1                     
90T  91T Tony Lazzeri              12    1                           1                  
90T n/e  Virgil Trucks             12    1                           1                  
92T  91T Fielder Jones             11    1                              1               
92T  88T Hack Wilson               11    1                              1               
92T  88T Dizzy Trout               11    1                              1               
95T 100  Dick Lundy                10    1                                 1            
95T  95T Jack Morris               10    1                                 1            
97T  93T Brett Butler               9    1                                    1         
97T  95T Mickey Vernon              9    1                                    1         
99T  99  Elmer Smith                8    1                                       1      
99T  95T Jim Fregosi                8    1                                       1      
99T 100  George Kell                8    1                                       1      
99T n/e  Dolf Luque                 8    1                                       1      
103T 100  Charlie Hough              7    1                                          1   
103T 104  Bill Madlock               7    1                                          1   
103T 100  Gene Tenace                7    1                                          1   
103T n/e  Jim Whitney                7    1                                          1   
107T 104  Dutch Leonard              6    1                                             1
107T 104  Dennis Martinez            6    1                                             1
107T 104  Al Oliver                  6    1                                             1
Ballots Cast: 54
John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 29, 2007 at 10:34 PM | 231 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 > 
   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 02, 2007 at 02:04 AM (#2554159)
Congrats to Wade, Pete and Andre!
   2. Juan V Posted: October 02, 2007 at 02:12 AM (#2554182)
Cravath makes the top 10! :D

I intend to review Reggie Smith for this "year". His surge these last few years has been remarkable.
   3. Chris Cobb Posted: October 02, 2007 at 02:15 AM (#2554200)
Well, at least we could agree on Boggs!
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 02, 2007 at 02:21 AM (#2554247)
From OCF:

Mean consensus score -13.1, which is the lowest since 1997, despite our
unanimity on Boggs. Highest possible consensus score -1.

Sean Gilman: -7
Rusty Priske: -8
Howie Menckel: -8
Esteban Rivera: -9
Devin McCullen: -9
Mark Shirk: -10
Thane of Bagarth: -10
ronw: -10
Rick A: -10
favre: -10
Chris Fluit: -10
Al Peterson: -10
Got Melky: -10
Ken Fischer: -10
...
John Murphy: -11
...
Kenn: -13
dan b: -13 (median)
KJOK: -13
...
OCF: -15
...
Jim Sp: -16
sunnyday2: -16
Patrick W: -16
Joe Dimino: -16
Don F: -17
Tiboreau: -17
rico vanian: -19
Adam Schafer: -19
karlmagnus: -20
yest: -20
EricC: -22
   5. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 02, 2007 at 02:31 AM (#2554297)
HOF-not-HOM through 2005

Meaning
all of the members of the HOF-not-HOM as of 2005not 2007.

1  Aparicio
Luis
2  Bancroft
Dave
3  Bender
Chief
4  Bottomley
Jim
5  Brock
Lou
6  Cepeda
Orlando
7  Chance
Frank
8  Chesbro
Jack
9  Combs
Earle
10 Cuyler
Kiki
11 Dandridge
Ray
12 Day
Leon
13 Dean
Dizzy
14 Duffy
Hugh
15 Evers
Johnny
16 Ferrell
Rick
17 Gomez
Lefty
18 Grimes
Burleigh
19 Hafey
Chick
20 Haines
Jesse
21 Hooper
Harry
22 Hoyt
Waite
23 Hunter
Catfish
24 Jackson
Travis
25 Johnson
Judy
26 Joss
Addie
27 Kell
George
28 Kelly
George
29 Klein
Chuck
30 Lazzeri
Tony
31 Lindstrom
Freddie
32 Lombardi
Ernie
33 Manush
Heinie
34 Maranville
Rabbit
35 Marquard
Rube
36 Mazeroski
Bill
37 McCarthy
Tommy
38 McGraw
John 
39 Pennock
Herb
40 Perez
Tony
41 Puckett
Kirby  
42 Rice
Sam
43 Rizzuto
Phil
44 Schalk
Ray
45 Schoendienst
Red
46 Smith
Hilton
47 Tinker
Joe
48 Traynor
Pie
49 Waner
Lloyd
50 Welch
Mickey
51 Willis
Vic
52 Wilson
Hack
53 Youngs
Ross

HOM
-not-HOF

Meaning
all of the members of the HOM-not-HOF as of 2005not 2007.

1  Allen
Dick 
2  Barnes
Ross
3  Beckwith
John
4  Bennett
Charlie
5  Blyleven
Bert
6  Boyer
Ken
7  Brown
Ray
8  Brown
Willard
9  Browning
Pete
10 Caruthers
Bob
11 Childs
Cupid
12 Dahlen
Bill
13 Dawson
Andre
14 Evans
Darrell
15 Evans
Dwight
16 Ferrell
Wes
17 Freehan
Bill
18 Glasscock
Jack
19 Gordon
Joe
20 Gore
George
21 Gossage
Rich
22 Grant
Frank
23 Grich
Bobby
24 Groh
Heinie
25 Hack
Stan
26 Hernandez
Keith
27 Hill
Pete
28 Hines
Paul
29 Jackson
Joe*
30 JohnsonHome Run
31 Jones
Charley   
32 Keller
Charlie
33 Mackey
Biz
34 Magee
Sherry
35 McVey
Cal
36 Méndez
José
37 Minoso
Minnie
38 Moore
Dobie
39 Pearce
Dickey
40 Pierce
Billy
41 Pike
Lip
42 Randolph
Willie
43 Richardson
Hardy
44 Rose
Pete*
45 SantoRon
46 Santop
Louis
47 Sheckard
Jimmy
48 Simmons
Ted
49 Start
Joe
50 Stieb
Dave
51 Stovey
Harry
52 Suttles
Mule
53 Sutton
Ezra
54 Torre
Joe
55 Trammell
Alan
56 Trouppe
Quincy
57 Torriente
Cristobal
58 Whitaker
Lou
59 White
Deacon
60 Wilson
Jud
61 Wynn
Jimmy

*  not eligible for the HOF 
   6. yest Posted: October 02, 2007 at 02:58 AM (#2554473)
A list of eligible HoFers
HoMers in bold
non HoMers who have non playing credit to add (or is) to their hall of fame case
all HoFers with significant playing careers are included
1936
Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson
1937
Nap Lajoie, Tris Speaker, Cy Young , <u>Connie Mack </u>,<u>John McGraw</u>, George Wright
1938
Pete Alexander
1939
George Sisler , Eddie Collins , Willie Keeler , Lou Gehrig, Cap Anson , <u>Charlie Comiskey</u> , <u>Candy Cummings</u> , Buck Ewing , Charles Radbourn , Al Spalding
1942
Rogers Hornsby
1945
Roger Bresnahan , Dan Brouthers , Fred Clarke , Jimmy Collins , Ed Delahanty , Hugh Duffy , Hughie Jennings , King Kelly , Jim O’Rourke , <u>Wilbert Robinson </u>
1946
Jesse Burkett , <u>Frank Chance</u> , Jack Chesbro , <u>Johnny Evers</u> , , Clark Griffith, , Tommy McCarthy , Joe McGinnity , Eddie Plank , <u>Joe Tinker</u> , Rube Waddell , Ed Walsh
1947
Carl Hubbell , Frankie Frisch , Mickey Cochrane , Lefty Grove
1948
Herb Pennock , Pie Traynor
1949
Charlie Gehringer , Mordecai Brown , Kid Nichols
1951
Mel Ott , Jimmie Foxx
1952
Harry Heilmann , Paul Waner
1953
Al Simmons , Dizzy Dean , Chief Bender , Bobby Wallace , <u>Harry Wright </u>
1954
Rabbit Maranville , Bill Dickey , Bill Terry
1955
Joe DiMaggio , Ted Lyons , Dazzy Vance , Gabby Hartnett , Frank Baker , Ray Schalk
1956
Hank Greenberg , Joe Cronin
1957
Sam Crawford
1959
Zack Wheat
1961
Max Carey , Billy Hamilton
1962
Bob Feller , Jackie Robinson , <u>Bill McKechnie</u> , Edd Roush
1963
John Clarkson , Elmer Flick , Sam Rice , Eppa Rixey
1964
Luke Appling , Red Faber , Burleigh Grimes , <u>Miller Huggins</u> , Tim Keefe , Heinie Manush , Monte Ward
1965
Pud Galvin
1966
Ted Williams , <u>Casey Stengel </u>
1967
Red Ruffing , Lloyd Waner
1968
Joe Medwick , Kiki Cuyler , Goose Goslin
1969
Stan Musial, Roy Campanella , Stan Coveleski, Waite Hoyt,
1970
Lou Boudreau , Earle Combs , Jesse Haines,
1971
Dave Bancroft , Jake Beckley , Chick Hafey , Harry Hooper , Joe Kelley , Rube Marquard , Satchel Paige
1972
Sandy Koufax , Yogi Berra ,Early Wynn, Lefty Gomez , Ross Youngs , Josh Gibson , Buck Leonard
1973
Warren Spahn , George Kelly , Mickey Welch , Monte Irvin , Roberto Clemente
1974
Mickey Mantle , Whitey Ford , Jim Bottomley , Sam Thompson , Cool Papa Bell
1975
Ralph Kiner , Earl Averill , <u>Bucky Harris</u> , Billy Herman , Judy Johnson
1976
Robin Roberts, Bob Lemon , Roger Connor , Freddy Lindstrom , Oscar Charleston
1977
Ernie Banks ,Amos Rusie , Joe Sewell , <u>Al Lopez</u> , Martin Dihigo , Pop Lloyd
1978
Eddie Mathews, Addie Joss
1979
Willie Mays , Hack Wilson
1980
Al Kaline, Duke Snider, Chuck Klein
1981
Bob Gibson, Johnny Mize , Rube Foster
1982
Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Travis Jackson
1983
Brooks Robinson, Juan Marichal, George Kell
1984
Luis Aparicio, Harmon Killebrew, Don Drysdale, <u>Rick Ferrell</u> , Pee Wee Reese
1985
Hoyt Wilhelm, Lou Brock, Enos Slaughter , Arky Vaughan
1986
Willie McCovey, Bobby Doerr, Ernie Lombardi
1987
Billy Williams, Catfish Hunter, Ray Dandridge
1988
Willie Stargell
1989
Johnny Bench, Carl Yastrzemski, <u>Red Schoendienst</u>
1990
Jim Palmer , Joe Morgan
1991
Rod Carew, Gaylord Perry, Fergie Jenkins , Tony Lazzeri
1992
Tom Seaver, Rollie Fingers, Hal Newhouser
1993
Reggie Jackson
1994
Steve Carlton, <u>Leo Durocher</u> , Phil Rizzuto
1995
Mike Schmidt, Leon Day , Vic Willis , Richie Ashburn
1996
Jim Bunning, Bill Foster , <u>Ned Hanlon </u>
1997
Phil Niekro, Nellie Fox, Willie Wells
1998
Don Sutton, George Davis , Larry Doby , Joe Rogan
1999
Nolan Ryan, George Brett, Robin Yount, Orlando Cepeda, Joe Williams
2000
Carlton Fisk, Tony Perez, Bid McPhee , Turkey Stearnes
2001
Dave Winfield, Kirby Puckett, Bill Mazeroski , Hilton Smith
2002
Ozzie Smith
2003
Eddie Murray, Gary Carter
2004
Paul Molitor, Dennis Eckersley
2005
Wade Boggs, Ryne Sandberg
2006
<u>Bruce Sutter</u>, Ray Brown, Willard Brown, Andy Cooper, Biz Mackey, Frank Grant, Pete Hill, Jose Mendez Louis Santop, <u>Ben Taylor</u>, Mule Suttles, Cristobal Torriente, Jud Wilson, <u>Sol White</u>
   7. yest Posted: October 02, 2007 at 03:19 AM (#2554635)
yest: -20
EricC: -22


Boggs was the only player we had in commen is that a record?
   8. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 02, 2007 at 04:47 AM (#2555597)
Boggs is definitely the worst of the unanimous crowd...
   9. mulder & scully Posted: October 02, 2007 at 05:00 AM (#2555654)
Andre Dawson???

Wow...

Not very often when I think the sportswriters got it right (so far).

But, I guess that balances out how others feel about Browning.

Oh, definitely agree that Boggs is the worst of the unanimous crowd.

And the Padres are taking volunteers to pull that giant fork you see sticking out of Hoffman's back.
   10. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: October 02, 2007 at 05:09 AM (#2555676)
Yay Andre! Whether my constant support worked in his favor or to his detriment with voters, I'm very happy he made it. Now I can scrap all the additional essays I've been working on in support of his candidacy and focus on a new favorite candidate. I'm not sure who that is yet, so make your best arguments this week if you really want an active non-participant in your corner!
   11. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 02, 2007 at 05:13 AM (#2555680)
I didn't think Dawson had a chance this time around. I moved him up a few spots, but it was more than I moved Concepcion and Campaneris down and Leach and Dawson up. Turns out they would have tied if I'd stood pat.

Who would have won the tiebreaker between Andre and Bob Johnson?
   12. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 02, 2007 at 05:16 AM (#2555689)
The timing of my new WARP was quite fortuitous for Andre, as it got him onto both my and 'zop's ballots. In this revision, I learned that the CF-corner OF gap was at a near all-time high right when Dawson peaked, and also incorporated Nate Silver's new salary estimator which is less peak-heavy than his old one. Both of those favored Dawson a bunch.
   13. Juan V Posted: October 02, 2007 at 06:15 AM (#2555771)
Well, we've been clearing the backlog for a while now, and unlike previous (and future) elections, Boggs was clearly the best newbie. That's how he became an unanimous choice, even though he ranks well below anyone else in this particular crowd.

Based on this, I'd say Rickey has the best shot at unanimity in the foreseeable future.
   14. Cabbage Posted: October 02, 2007 at 06:21 AM (#2555778)
<lurker intrusion> Someone pointed out in a HOF thread way back a couple of years ago that the Hawk is probably the best dividing line between HOF-Caliber and HOVG. It strikes me as a pretty good standard for future HOF debates:

Was he better than Andre Dawson?
Chipper - sure
Omar Vizquel - no
Larkin - depends how you feel about playing time. guy was never healthy
   15. fra paolo Posted: October 02, 2007 at 08:07 AM (#2555829)
Am I alone in thinking there is something wrong with an electoral system that votes people in who haven't even been listed on at least half the ballots?

As Cabbage has written, the in/out line for the HoF is somewhere around the career value of Andre Dawson. I'm a small HoF man so there are always going to be these moments in this project when I feel we've voted in someone just for the sake of having an induction.
   16. Sean Gilman Posted: October 02, 2007 at 08:50 AM (#2555838)
Wow, I was certain that was never going to happen. Was Browning first eligible in 1900? If so, he was on my ballot every one of his 107 years of eligibility.
   17. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 02, 2007 at 10:28 AM (#2555842)
Boggs is definitely the worst of the unanimous crowd...


Someone has to be the worst.

I guess DiMaggio had the honors before Boggs.
   18. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 02, 2007 at 10:33 AM (#2555845)
Am I alone in thinking there is something wrong with an electoral system that votes people in who haven't even been listed on at least half the ballots?


We should have instituted a runoff system to correct that, but I doubt it would have changed anything, only what years certain inductees would have been honored.
   19. Chris Cobb Posted: October 02, 2007 at 12:18 PM (#2555874)
I think that we should institute a runoff system when we move to annual elections in real time.
   20. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 02, 2007 at 12:29 PM (#2555878)
I'm coming around to Chris (and DanG's) POV on the runoffs. Since we have lots and lots of time beginning with the 2008 election, we might as well go to a run-off. It only means pushing back by a week or two. No biggie.

Curiosities Department: the number of guys in the "real" time HOM-not-HOF lists is about to plummett. In 2006 the HOF will induct a dozen or more NgLs to bring greater order to these parallel universes.
   21. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: October 02, 2007 at 12:32 PM (#2555880)
With regard to the runoff:

No one was on half the ballots other than Boggs. How truly bizarre.
   22. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 02, 2007 at 12:58 PM (#2555902)
I still wont sign off on limiting perpetual eligibility, though. If a candidate doesn't make it to the runoff in a given year, that candidate should still allowed to be on the ballot the following year (and miss the next runoff if need be). I will not change my mind in regard to that.
   23. AROM Posted: October 02, 2007 at 01:07 PM (#2555906)
I like Andre Dawson and support him over candidates like Murphy or Rice because of defense and ballpark, but never in a million years would I think he'd get into the HOM before the HOF.
   24. Howie Menckel Posted: October 02, 2007 at 01:34 PM (#2555934)
all-time 'votes points' thru 2005 - those still eligible in 2006 election are in CAPS. electees are not in caps.

TOP 10, ALL-TIME
DUFFY...... 26216.5
VAN HALTREN 26134.5
Beckley.... 25856
Browning... 24502.5
Childs..... 18484
Griffith... 17924
WELCH...... 17911
Waddell.... 17596
Jennings... 16976
REDDING.... 16777

CJones..... 15875
Bresnahan.. 14965
TLEACH..... 14422
Sisler..... 13892
Pike....... 13399
Sewell..... 12769
Mendez..... 12555
RYAN....... 12508.5
Thompson... 12349
Roush...... 12005

Bennett.... 11503
Moore...... 10904
Rixey...... 10789
CRAVATH.....10785
Caruthers.. 10704
WALTERS.....10275
Beckwith.... 9896
HStovey......9576
DOYLE....... 9359
Mackey.......8930

GRIMES.......8835
Start........8378.5
BJOHNSON.....8358
McGinnity....8232
DPearce......8073
A OMS........8057
McVey........7985.5
FGrant.......7969.5
Kiner........7746
Suttles......7690
NFox.........7587

Trouppe......7494
BMONROE......7395
WFerrell.....7259
MCGRAW.......7134
CBell........6968
Galvin.......6585
SCHANG.......6468
Keller.......6424
Sheckard.....6377

Others in active top 50
Williamson 6217, Willis 5326, Dean 5058, Elliott 4573, Joss 4493, Bridges 4114, BTaylor 4024, FChance 3578, CMays 3348, Traynor 3288, TPerez 3246, Rizzuto 3226, Cepeda 3194, NCash 3192, McCormick 3148x, SRice 3103, Cicotte 3018, Tiernan 2692X, Brock 2622, FJones 2576, Tiant 2436, Veach 2314, Klein 2336, ReSmith 2229, EHoward 2257, GJBurns 2240, Stephens 2206, Mullane 2148, BoBonds 2041, Lombardi 1986, Dunlap 1981, Singleton 1917, Staub 1914, Nettles 1881, Poles 1842X

(just missed)
Hooper 1792X, Bancroft 1770, Lundy 1571, BClarkson 1489
   25. DanG Posted: October 02, 2007 at 01:39 PM (#2555941)
I'm coming around to Chris (and DanG's) POV on the runoffs. Since we have lots and lots of time beginning with the 2008 election, we might as well go to a run-off. It only means pushing back by a week or two. No biggie.

I took this over to the "Once We Catch-Up" thread.
   26. DL from MN Posted: October 02, 2007 at 01:50 PM (#2555954)
Boy do we like electing outfielders...

Graig Nettles should be in the top 10 - he did everything Boyer did.
   27. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 02, 2007 at 01:55 PM (#2555964)
Graig Nettles should be in the top 10 - he did everything Boyer did.


True, but I wasn't crazy about Ken either. :-)
   28. DavidFoss Posted: October 02, 2007 at 02:17 PM (#2555989)
The bar seems to have gone up for 3B went up after 1970. Nettles, Bando, Cey, Bell (in addition to the inductees Schmidt, Evans, Brett). I'm not saying those guys are equal, but it certainly seems like the bar went up.

You are right, though. The bar isn't going up for OF-ers. Almost seems like its going down. Or it could be that the *long* career OF-ers of the 70s & 80s just don't post the rate stats that HOM OF-ers from previous eras did.
   29. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 02, 2007 at 02:45 PM (#2556016)
DavidFoss, the latter is definitely true since the 70s and 80s had the lowest standard deviations in history. But it is true of infielders just as much as of outfielders.
   30. yest Posted: October 02, 2007 at 05:11 PM (#2556287)
Boggs is definitely the worst of the unanimous crowd...
you wont get an unanimous decision on that though
my vote goes with Mike Schmidt
   31. OCF Posted: October 02, 2007 at 05:14 PM (#2556296)
And there is the essence of being yest. Sorry, you're not going to find a lot of support around here for a claim that Boggs > Schmidt.
   32. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: October 02, 2007 at 05:33 PM (#2556317)
OCF, you're obviously overlooking the fact that Boggs led 3B in putouts THREE times, and Schmidt NEVER did!
   33. DavidFoss Posted: October 02, 2007 at 06:53 PM (#2556452)
yest, why is Sutter underlined in #6? He wasn't inducted for anything off the playing field? Just curious.
   34. Chris Fluit Posted: October 02, 2007 at 07:09 PM (#2556469)
Wade Boggs: surprised that he ended up being a unanimous selection; before the election I predicted that one or two voters would leave him out of the top spot; however, as the week went along, it seemed more and more likely that he'd pick up the 100%

Pete Browning: congratulations to Pete supporters; after the number of recent close calls, it's nice to see him honored (even if he wasn't on my ballot)- but with both Jones and Browning in, it's probably a good idea to take another look at the '90s outfielders of Duffy, Ryan and Van Haltren

Andre Dawson: hoorah! I'm also surprised that he went into the HoM ahead of the HoF but I'm glad he did

Kirby Puckett: I'm not surprised that he slipped during this election- a number of his supporters seemed to move him down a couple of spots- but I am surprised he slipped this far; I expected either Johnson or Dawson to pass him (which would have made me happy as I had those two on my ballot but not Kirby)

Bruce Sutter: I'm pretty sure the underline is due to Sutter's reputation as having invented/popularized the split-finger fastball which had some pioneer credit among certain BBWAA voters a la Candy Cummings
   35. yest Posted: October 02, 2007 at 07:16 PM (#2556480)
Bruce Sutter: I'm pretty sure the underline is due to Sutter's reputation as having invented/popularized the split-finger fastball which had some pioneer credit among certain BBWAA voters a la Candy Cummings
correct
   36. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 02, 2007 at 08:28 PM (#2556612)
Wade Boggs: surprised that he ended up being a unanimous selection; before the election I predicted that one or two voters would leave him out of the top spot; however, as the week went along, it seemed more and more likely that he'd pick up the 100%


The only voter I wasn't 100% sure would vote for Boggs at #1 was karlmagnus, because he had a made one or two "negative" comments about him a while back. But how was he going to pass up all of those hits, not to mention another BoSox cap? :-D

I knew yest was bullish about Boggs prior to the election, so I would have been dumbfounded to see him lower than #1.

But as for a comparison between Schmidt and Boggs...
   37. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 02, 2007 at 08:45 PM (#2556648)
I know that many feel thsi way about some of my favorites (Keller and Jennings in particular) but I am not sure who the worst HOMer is right now, Dawson or Beckley. I think I even prefer Eagle Eye and I was one of his biggest detractors.
   38. OCF Posted: October 02, 2007 at 09:13 PM (#2556699)
I started voting in 1904. For each year, at what ballot position did I have the elected candidates? Here's the list:

"Elect me" positions:
Glasscock (1904), Radbourn (1905), Hamilton (1907), Delahanty (1909), Nichols (1911), Burkett (1912), Dahlen (1915), Davis (1915), Stovey (1916), Young (1917), Clarke (1917), Kelley (1919), Keeler (1919), Walsh (1920), Bennett (1921), Lajoie (1922), Mathewson (1922), Wagner (1923), Crawford (1923), Plank (1923), G. Johnson (1925), Magee (1926), J. Jackson (1927), Baker (1928), Sheckard (1930), Santop (1932), W. Johnson (1933), Wheat (1933), Cobb (1934), E. Collins (1935), Alexander (1936), J. Williams (1936), Torriente (1937), Heilmann (1937), Coveleski (1938), Faber (1939), Rogan (1940), Ruth (1941), Hornsby (1941), Vance (1942), Charleston (1943), Cochrane (1943), Gehrig (1944), Goslin (1945), Stearnes (1946), Simmons (1946), Grove (1947), Hartnett (1947), Gehringer (1948), J. Wilson (1948), Hubbell (1949), Waner (1950), Dihigo (1950), Foxx (1951), Cronin (1951), J. Gibson (1952), Ott (1952), Greenberg (1953), Dickey (1953), Vaughan (1954), Wells (1954), Leonard (1955), R. Brown (1955), Appling (1956), DiMaggio (1957), Beckwith (1957), Hack (1958), Paige (1959), Mize (1959), Newhouser (1960), J. Robinson (1962), Feller (1962), Campanella (1963), Reese (1964), Doby (1965), Slaughter (1965), Williams (1966), Ruffing (1966), Medwick (1967), Musial (1969), Berra (1969), Snider (1970), Spahn (1971), Roberts (1972), Ford (1973), Mantle (1974), Mathews (1974), Banks (1977), Clemente (1978), Mays (1979), Kaline (1980), Santo (1980), B. Gibson (1981), Killebrew (1981), Aaron (1982), F. Robinson (1982), B. Williams (1983), Allen (1983), Torre (1984), Mendez (1985), McCovey (1986), Pierce (1987), Stargell (1988), Bench (1989), Yastrzemski (1989), Perry (1989), Morgan (1990), Palmer (1990), Jenkins (1990), Carew (1991), Seaver (1992), Carlton (1993), R. Jackson (1993), Niekro (1994), T. Simmons (1994), D. Sutton (1994), Schmidt (1995), Trouppe (1995), Hernandez (1996), J. Wynn (1996), Blyleven (1998), G. Carter (1998), Brett (1999), Yount (1999), Fisk (1999), Ryan (2000), Gossage (2000), Whitaker (2001), Winfield (2001), Smith (2002), Trammell (2002), Stieb (2002), Murray (2003), Sandberg (2003), Molitor (2004), Boggs (2005).

#2 (in an elect-1 year): E. Sutton (1908), Galvin (1910), McPhee (1913), Flick (1918)
#3: Wallace (1929), Speaker (1934), Lloyd (1935), Rixie (1968), Bunning (1977), Wilhelm (1977), Grich (1992)
#4: Start (1912), Groh (1938), Frisch (1944), Marichal (1980), Freehan (1985), Rose (1993), Da. Evans (1995)
#5: Rusie (1904), Lyons (1949), Boudreau (1958)
#6: Richardson (1905), Spalding (1906), 3F Brown (1925), Terry (1942), Wynn (1970)
#7: Grant (1926), McGinnity (1928), Drysdale (1975), B. Robinson (1984), Dw. Evans (1997)
#8: Carey (1939), W. Foster (1945), W. Ferrell (1964)
#9: Averill (1961), Kiner (1987)
#10: McVey (1914), J. Collins (1921), Suttles (1956), Randolph (2001)
#11: Koufax (1972), Mackey (1974), Sewell (1985), Boyer (1991)
#12: Minoso (1987), Eckersley (2004)
#13:
#14: Ashburn (1968), Fingers (2000)
#15: R. Foster (1932), Irvin (1963)

Off-ballot positions:

#17: B. Herman (1958), W. Brown (1976)
#19: Thompson (1929), Bell (1973)
#20: Beckley (1998)
#21: Caruthers (1930), Gordon (1976)
#24: Pearce (1931)
#25: Sisler (1979)
#26: Childs (1989
#28: Doerr (1972)
Not listed: Pike (1940), Jennings (1960), Griffith (1971), Waddell (1986), Keller (1996), Fox (1997), Roush (1997), Jones (2003), Bresnahan (2004), Browning (2005), Dawson (2006).

Waddell did appear on my ballots for 27 years, from 1916 through 1942, peaking at #4 in 1929; however, he had slipped to about #31 or so by the year of his election. Griffith appeared on my ballot from 1924 through 1926, as high as #5. Fox never appeared on my ballot, but he debuted at #17 for me before sliding downward. Roush appeared on my ballot for 11 years, from 1937 through 1947, as high as #8. Jones never appeared on my ballot. Bresnahan appeared on my ballot from 1921 through 1940, getting as high as #4. Browning appeared on my ballot from 1904 though 1916, getting as high as #5. Dawson never appeared in my top 30.

Everyone that I've ever put into an "elect me" position has eventually been elected, with three exceptions: George Van Haltren, Larry Doyle, and Tommy Bridges. And it was only once with Bridges.
   39. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 02, 2007 at 09:14 PM (#2556701)
It's Pete Browning Mark. Or George Sisler. Or Joe McGinnity. Or Bob Lemon.

Could probably think of a few others, but those are the guys that first come to mind for me.
   40. yest Posted: October 02, 2007 at 09:22 PM (#2556728)
Frank Grant Ezra Sutton Jimmy Wynn and Hardy Richardson
   41. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 02, 2007 at 09:24 PM (#2556733)
It's Max Carey.

Seriously, there is no consensus answer.
   42. Sean Gilman Posted: October 02, 2007 at 09:27 PM (#2556739)
Can there be an appearance of consensus answer? ;)
   43. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 02, 2007 at 09:31 PM (#2556749)
I know that many feel thsi way about some of my favorites (Keller and Jennings in particular) but I am not sure who the worst HOMer is right now, Dawson or Beckley. I think I even prefer Eagle Eye and I was one of his biggest detractors.

What's really strange about this post is that Dawson is basically a peak/prime candidate! I think you need to rerun the numbers on Dawson, Mark, just so you feel better about him.
   44. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 02, 2007 at 09:49 PM (#2556786)
Can there be an appearance of consensus answer? ;)


lol

Nice one, Sean. :-)
   45. Juan V Posted: October 02, 2007 at 09:53 PM (#2556797)
It's Max Carey.


Seconded here.
   46. OCF Posted: October 02, 2007 at 10:14 PM (#2556836)
Hmm... (checking post #38)... Carey was on my ballot when he was elected. If I were looking to vote people off the island, I'd start with the names at the bottom of that post - the ones elected without my support. Of course, there's a strong timeline there to watch out for: it's much easier to fall completely off of a 21st century ballot than it was a century earlier.
   47. sunnyday2 Posted: October 02, 2007 at 10:29 PM (#2556859)
Worst: Beckley or Doerr.

Signed,

Peak Voter
   48. mulder & scully Posted: October 02, 2007 at 10:40 PM (#2556876)
Beckley or Carey or Sisler or Terry or Doerr
   49. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 03, 2007 at 12:43 AM (#2556986)
The worst HoMer (among position players since 1893 which is all I feel confident in commenting on) is Nellie Fox. A travesty. I'm still bitter.
   50. Roy Hobbs of WIFFLE Ball Posted: October 03, 2007 at 01:29 AM (#2557028)
Lou Brock finishing 32nd is absolutely, positively ridiculous. I just can't over that. I know he isn't a sabermetric favorite, but that is nuts.

I think Ken Singleton is getting too much love, among others. He was a fine player, but he was slower than a three-toed sloth and stunk in the field. Getting on base isn't everything, and he should be behind Murphy, Puckett, Rice, Cepeda, etc.
   51. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 03, 2007 at 01:29 AM (#2557029)
Are you saying 32nd is too high, or too low?
   52. Roy Hobbs of WIFFLE Ball Posted: October 03, 2007 at 02:14 AM (#2557059)
Are you saying 32nd is too high, or too low?


I'm not sure if you were being cute or not, but obviously too low.
   53. ronw Posted: October 03, 2007 at 02:44 AM (#2557087)
Lou Brock finishing 32nd is absolutely, positively ridiculous. I just can't over that. I know he isn't a sabermetric favorite, but that is nuts.

Why didn't we think of it before? Years of analysis, explaining why we think a candidate should or should not be elected, charts, tables, mathematical formulae, and all we need to do to garner support for a pet candidate is to call the voters crazy!

Brock is now #1 on my 2006 ballot. I'm sure you all agree. Thanks Roy Hobbs.
   54. Roy Hobbs of WIFFLE Ball Posted: October 03, 2007 at 03:32 AM (#2557132)
I wasn't attempting an argument for his candidacy, just a quick observation. There's no need for you to be a jackass about it. Would you be snarky like that to my face, or you do you save your boorish behavior when you're hiding behind a computer?

If you want a brief argument in his favor, I'll give you one. Brock has 348 career win shares. That was in the top 100 of all players at the time James published the book. I'm sure all HOM voters are smart, well-educated, and above-average looking. I'm not trying to disrespect anyone. But it seems an egregious oversight that a player like Brock winds up behind so many inferior players. At first glance, I only see three players with more win shares ahead of him (Boggs, Staub, and Perez - who has one more). I might have missed a couple more, but there are not 31 players with more career value on that list. Lou Brock shouldn't be an afterthought in this talent pool. I like championing my underrated favorites (Darrell Evans, Jimmy Wynn, Graig Nettles, even Singleton), but I would suggest everyone give Lou Brock another look.
   55. Roy Hobbs of WIFFLE Ball Posted: October 03, 2007 at 03:35 AM (#2557136)
Also, to clarify, I don't think Singleton belongs. I just mean I can understand why people like him. Heck, I can understand why all the guys ahead of Brock have admirers. I just think Lou has fallen through the cracks somehow.
   56. Howie Menckel Posted: October 03, 2007 at 04:00 AM (#2557150)
Roy,
I won't be onbnoxious. I promise.

But I will say that Win Shares gives players credit even when they stink. Even when they might be worse than the alternative on the roster. As long as you show up with a WS bucket, we'll toss you some.

Lou Brock, the great game-changer, got on base .343 of the time in a .330 environment for his entire career.
And he slugged .410 in a .390 environment (so actually he was as much a "slugger" as an on-base guy, I suppose).
He stole bases at a 75 pct clip.
How much was that directly worth, AND since you like Bill James, what kind of correlation did all that spinning around have to actually winning games?

Or did you find him a stellar fielder?
What do you actually like about his game, beyond showing up a lot, may I ask?
   57. OCF Posted: October 03, 2007 at 04:17 AM (#2557160)
I'm one of Brock's biggest supporters around here. (As for the SB percentage, consider that he played through some low-scoring times, which changes the breakeven point.) In any case, I said my piece, a long time ago, mostly on Brock's own thread. As for the current state of the voting: well, I'm not walking around being offended at my fellow voters.
   58. Roy Hobbs of WIFFLE Ball Posted: October 03, 2007 at 04:55 AM (#2557182)
Howie,

Thanks for the civility. :-)

My fondness for Bis due to him being good for a very long time. I think 3,000 hits is a feather in his cap, as well as being second all-time in stolen bases. I believe he's also around #40 all-time in runs scored. Also, as icing on the cake, his World Series performances were no less than stellar (yes, I know, small sample and maybe a lot of luck involved - but he still did it and that matters to me). I do realize he won't knock anyone's socks off in term of OBP and SLG. I think his speed probably affected opposing pitchers in a way that isn't quantifiable, and I wish I knew how often he took the extra base. I'm impressed he won the Ruth, Clemente, and Gehrig Awards. Six all-star games, top 10 in MVP voting five times.

I will say that I don't think a person is wrong for expressing the reservations you have. I can see where you're coming from, and your points have merit. As a vote total, however, I was just astonished that he came in 32nd on that list. Could his be a case where his faults are being critiqued at the expense of his virtues? The HOM looks very OBP friendly to me at first glance (nothing wrong with that), and quite peak friendly. That may not hold up under closer scrutiny, but it was my initial impression. He is overrated by mainstream media, but I think he's good enough to still deserve a spot in the HOM even if he is somewhat borderline. I wonder if there's a slight bias in our community against guys with his skill set.
   59. Howie Menckel Posted: October 03, 2007 at 05:05 AM (#2557188)
Well, Roy, Brock is one of the 50 all-time "backloggers" in points tallied, and he's a relative newcomer, so he gets some love here.

The "break-even" point of OCF seems fair but neglible.

It was James himself, in one of those 1980s abstracts I have, that burst the bubble of SB correlation to Ws. It was groundbreaking at the time.

You can't give Brock 3,000-hit bonus pts without falling for Sam Rice, among others, given their shorter schedules.

I'm a longtime Bill James guy, but I consider WS either a failed or not-yet-usable system.
   60. ronw Posted: October 03, 2007 at 05:11 AM (#2557191)
Roy:

Of course I would be snarky like that to your face. I'm not hiding behind any computer. My real name is Ron Wargo, and I have actively participated in the HOM since the 1910 election.

I do have a problem with the presentation of your argument in #50. You called the voters crazy. That seemed designed to elicit a response from the voters. My post from #53 was designed to give you that response, while sarcastically pointing out that you may have needed to state your argument without the unsubstantiated criticism.

Apparently you agreed with me, as your second paragraph from #54 acknowledged that it really wasn't your intent to disrespect anyone. If you had simply posted your second paragraph from #54, that would have been fine. Calling us nuts after we have worked at this for nearly four real-time years was a bit offensive, so I responded with the venom that you seemed to request with your post #50. If you cannot take the criticism of your post, then please rethink your wording. However, it seems to be a bit inconsistent to be as offended by sarcasm as you seem to be when you attack our sanity.

Regarding your Win Shares analysis, I agreed with you until very recently. In fact, if you check the past voting results, until 2005, I had Lou Brock on my ballot every year since he was eligible. However, for many of the reasons suggested by Howie, I have recently relied less on Win Shares. It is a nice tool, but it does seem to overcompensate longetivity.

Finally, if you don't like the results, you are more than welcome to participate in the voting. You may add to Brock's point totals, and your participation would be welcome to his supporters. You obviously have some desire to participate, since you read these threads, so please join us. I think many of the voters would not appreciate being called nuts or ridiculous, however, so you may wish to rethink how to word your criticism.
   61. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 03, 2007 at 05:11 AM (#2557192)
Roy Hobbs, all you have to do to get a lot of Win Shares is show up. See what happens if you subtract say .015 WS per plate appearance from everyone, giving you a rough approximation of an actual MLB replacement level. You'll see Brock drop down quickly to *at least* 32nd in the backlog. Most of Brock's career value is "below water"--an AAA player would have been nearly as good if he had been given Brock's plate appearances in many seasons (and actually better in years like 1977 and 78).
   62. Roy Hobbs of WIFFLE Ball Posted: October 03, 2007 at 05:19 AM (#2557197)
Ron,

As someone that hasn't posted frequently on HOM-related matters, perhaps "nuts" was a loaded word to use in #50. Having said that, I didn't mean that the voters were crazy or incompetent. I don't think you needed to be so sarcastic with me, but whatever. I didn't mean to step on any toes. My beef was with Brock's totals, and it was just a casual off-the-cuff observation. I didn't intend the remark as an indictment of the process as a whole or the HOM voters.

I appreciate your invitation for me to participate and I probably will do that going forward.
   63. OCF Posted: October 03, 2007 at 05:20 AM (#2557198)
If Brock could have played a passable CF for half his career, then moved on to be a good-fielding LF, he might well be in. Of course, if he could have played a passable CF, the Cubs would never have traded him.

Yes, there are a lot of peak-friendly attitudes around here, leaving Brock, a peakless career candidate, short a number of possible friends. Yes, some of the people ahead of him, like Dean and McGraw, have very short careers. There are a lot of people ahead of him whom I don't support at all (see my ballot for details), so, yes, I think he should be higher. But it's not a major injustice that I must move heaven and earth to resolve.

But by now, we have 100+ perfectly reasonable candidates, all of whom have serious flaws, but all (well, maybe not Kell and Madlock) have good arguments that can be made on their behalf. Put another way: Brock has 3 times the number of supporters and 5 times the point total of Jim Rice.
   64. Roy Hobbs of WIFFLE Ball Posted: October 03, 2007 at 05:26 AM (#2557201)
Most of Brock's career value is "below water"--an AAA player would have been nearly as good if he had been given Brock's plate appearances in many seasons (and actually better in years like 1977 and 78).


I really disagree with that. He was terrible in '77 and '78, agreed, but he was at the end of the line by that point. From '64-'76 he put up 13 straight seasons of above-average OPS+. Now, maybe it's not quite as good compared to league average for left fielders, but still that's value.

I do agree he "accumulated numbers" during his career. But he accumulated a lot of them. Then again, I tend to be impressed by unique accomplishments even if the OPS+ isn't quite there (3,000+ hits, 900+ steals, great World Series performances, etc.) I also probably value longevity more than most.
   65. ronw Posted: October 03, 2007 at 05:30 AM (#2557204)
Roy:

Good point. I apologize for being overly sarcastic. Welcome aboard.
   66. Roy Hobbs of WIFFLE Ball Posted: October 03, 2007 at 05:34 AM (#2557207)
Ron,

No problem. Thanks very much.
   67. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 03, 2007 at 10:54 AM (#2557242)
Welcome, Roy!

If you want a brief argument in his favor, I'll give you one. Brock has 348 career win shares.


As someone who uses Win Shares myself, 348 is not enough to ensure a ballot spot. There are too many candidates in that ballpark, many with much less playing time.

A must when using Win Shares is to look at each candidate's WS/162 Games. IMO, that's just as important as the career numbers. Brock doesn't shine there among outfielders.

Outfielders tend to accumulate more WS than infielders since they don't get banged up as much, so that needs to be factored. I have a few third basemen (Bob Elliott and Pie Traynor) on my ballot even though they have less than 200 WS because their totals are more impressive at their position than if they had been outfielders.

One other problem with Brock was that he wasn't dominating at his position.

None of this means that Brock doesn't deserve a spot on the ballot, but he's certainly not a definite HoMer.
   68. sunnyday2 Posted: October 03, 2007 at 12:43 PM (#2557286)
I'm basically a WS voter and of course also a peak/prime voter. I don't think the 348 or the WS/162 is the answer. I mean, I look at both. But the real key is the seasonal distribution.

The goal is to win a pennant, and WS don't carry over from year to year. 348 WS doesn't win pennants, necessarily. It's a question of how they're distributed. Are there big seasons in there that really made a difference in a pennant race--and I mean, theoretically, I'm not saying the team in question had to win it.

The rate is really over-rated. John McGraw as a great player who couldn't stay in the lineup. Even after you adjust to 162 games, his seasonal totals are not that impressive. Are they really better than Al Rosen, similarly adjusted to 162?Or Albert Belle with 1994 and 1995 adjusted?

McGraw 36-33-29-25-24-24-24-19 + 3 yrs < 10 = 227
Rosen 44-33-30-28-26-17-16 = 194
Belle 37-34-34-31-27-24-18-17-16-15 + 1 = 258
Jennings 44-36-34-30-30-14 + 3 = 235

McGraw is better than either of them 5 times out of 17 match-ups. The other 2 are better 11 times with one tie. How is that (McGraw) a really historic peak? And Rosen is more of a Hughie Jennings than McGraw is.

I don't agree BTW with giving a player credit for what a replacement player might have done while he was out of the lineup, and I think that rate is over-rated.
   69. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 03, 2007 at 12:45 PM (#2557290)
From '64-'76 he put up 13 straight seasons of above-average OPS+. Now, maybe it's not quite as good compared to league average for left fielders, but still that's value.

Not necessarily. Not to get into a whole battle over replacement level, but it's entirely possible in most seasons to trade a C-prospect for a AAA corner OF who can hit for a 100 OPS+ in the bigs. A 110 OPS+ from a shortstop is a HOM caliber prime season; from a corner outfielder it's essentially worthless.
   70. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 03, 2007 at 12:47 PM (#2557293)
I'm basically a WS voter and of course also a peak/prime voter. I don't think the 348 or the WS/162 is the answer. I mean, I look at both. But the real key is the seasonal distribution.

I've always wondered sunnyday, why are you a WS voter? What specifically about that system appeals to you?
   71. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: October 03, 2007 at 12:55 PM (#2557299)
Has any player ever commented (publicly or privately) on his induction into the HoM?
   72. sunnyday2 Posted: October 03, 2007 at 01:03 PM (#2557307)
1. It's tied to actual wins.

2. Pragmatically, it's stable. I don't have to update my spreadsheet every 6 days.

3. It's tied to actual wins.

4. It passes the smell test (i.e. results are plausible based on other data including observation).

I will acknowledge that WS lack precision. They are really sort of a glorified Approximate Value, if you remember BJ's old AV measure. But given the fact that a lot of smart people disagree on what the real, precise formulae ought to be, I find that WS comes pretty safely within the margin of error (and I believe that those who have and use more fine-tuned measures have much larger margin of error than they would ever admit). With all of its flaws*, it is hard to make an argument for WS that sounds as good as the arguments for WARP, VORP, etc., but the theory pretty much goes out the window in practice. This is just my opinion and maybe it's an a priori thing driven by #2 above.

*And BTW its flaws are well-enough known and documented (CF defense, 19C pitching, etc.) that I can correct for the biggies. And of course what I use are raw (adjusted) WS, not James' rankings and not his timeline and not his bullshirt dump.

Bottom line, it's "good enough" when adjusted in simple ways and easier to use.
   73. DL from MN Posted: October 03, 2007 at 01:49 PM (#2557363)
One thing about Brock, I don't think any system is properly calculating the leverage of stolen bases. SB are usually considered v. a generic break even point but that's really not the proper way to consider SB. Players typically steal bases in leveraged situations. The run value of a SB should be evaluated in the context of the game and situation, not versus a generic break-even point.
   74. TomH Posted: October 03, 2007 at 01:53 PM (#2557369)
True, DL. Pete Palmer's LW did this, by assigning more value to SB (+.30) and CS (-.60) than justified by runs formulae, based on their higher-than-normal leveraging in game spots.
   75. DL from MN Posted: October 03, 2007 at 02:41 PM (#2557434)
But there are times when a CS is actually less hurtful and a SB is more helpful. One situation that occurs with decent frequency is with a good OBP singles hitter at the plate (leadoff hitter), good basestealer on base (bottom of the order infielder) and 2 outs. Having a guy on 1B in that situation isn't worth a whole lot of runs. Moving him over to 2B gives the guy at the plate a chance to knock him in with a single, getting caught means your leadoff hitter leads off the next inning. There are other situations where a stolen base is essentially meaningless but the pitcher isn't holding the runner so you pretty much have to take the base. The break-even point for any stolen base should consider the number of outs and the likelihood the the batters will knock in the runner with and without the SB.

Base hits are pretty much in a vacuum (bunting and sac fly notwithstanding) but base stealing just isn't done on a whim.
   76. karlmagnus Posted: October 03, 2007 at 04:09 PM (#2557602)
DL from MN I agree, and I think base stealing at the top level is more valuable than the simple number of net bases added (SB minus 3xCS or whatever.) But Brock was a leadoff hitter; the siutation you mention for valuable base stealing thus doesn't apply, indeed rather the opposite if he was being succeeded by sluggers.

My view is that Brock's 104 OPS+ is far enough from Beckley's 125 (in, just) or Staub's 124 (near miss, probably) that base stealing can't close the gap.
   77. DL from MN Posted: October 03, 2007 at 04:41 PM (#2557673)
I agree it can't close the gap with Brock but all those people complaining about Max Carey might be all wet.
   78. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 03, 2007 at 07:37 PM (#2558029)
The difference is that Carey had phenomenal SB percentages, in an era when the league percentage wasn't much over 50.
   79. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 03, 2007 at 08:00 PM (#2558112)
Roy Hobbs:

I mean, let's take this argument to reductio ad absurdum. A guy plays 20 years, and each year he goes 150-for-600 with no extra-base hits or walks with 45 SB and 30 CS. That player would have 3,000 hits and 900 steals upon retirement. He would also clearly be the worst long-career regular player in major league history. 3,000 hits and 900 steals aren't accomplishments in and of themselves, they're merely totals. What matters for the HoM is how much a player actually contributed to winning games and pennants, above what a freely available player would have accomplished in his playing time. Any rigorous quantitative approach to measuring Brock's career value in those terms--using the actual demonstrated relationships between events like singles, steals etc. and winning baseball games--will show he is not close to the top 250 players in MLB history.

John Murphy:

I think the main reason outfielders tend to accumulate more WS than infielders is that since it uses the same offensive replacement level for all players (and Fielding WS is too compressed to compensate), it is just slanted in general towards bats over gloves.

sunnyday2:

What on earth do you mean that you "don't agree with giving a player credit for what a replacement player might have done while he was out of the lineup?" Are you serious? If you literally use a replacement level of 0, then your ballot should just be a ranking of total Runs Created (using whichever run estimator you want). Look, Bill Buckner generated 1,158 runs in his career (according to BP), while Rosen generated 710. Was Bill Buckner's offense worth 63% more than Al Rosen's? Of course not! Why not? Because a monkey would have generated *some* runs in Buckner's opportunities. So the question is, then, how many? And if you look at every empirical study that has ever been done of this, you will see that historically it is about 80% of positional average. Do you really reject the concept of replacement level? If so, then your ballot is phenomenally intellectually inconsistent. Even Win Shares uses a replacement level, what Bill James calls the "background level" of offense at 52% of league average. Win Shares just gives batty results because James is using the wrong number (52 instead of 80). But he, like everyone else, applies the concept.

Now, as for McGraw, my contention (as always) is that Win Shares and BP WARP just get him terribly, terribly wrong. The reasons are:

1. Win Shares and BP WARP both use replacement levels that are far below the empirically demonstrated value of freely available talent. This leads them to grossly over-reward "just showing up" at the expense of actual excellence on the field. If you correct this flaw (by subtracting around .015 WS or .004 BP WARP per PA) from everyone, McGraw's peak looks much more impressive.

2. The run estimators in Win Shares and BP WARP are too inflexible to capture McGraw's value in context. In higher run-scoring environments, the relative value of OBP to SLG goes up, while in lower run-scoring environments it goes down. (The easiest way to understand this is to think of a hypothetical league in which no outs are ever made--in which case a single is just as good as a HR, since all runners will score eventually--and then compare it to a hypothetical league in which no runners ever reach base, in which case the only hit with any value is a HR). BP whiffs on this because it appears to first do the UEQR-EQR translation, moving from the actual run environment to a 4.5 RPG environment, and *then* calculating BRAA, which changes the win value of out avoidance. I don't have the Win Shares book so I don't know what RC formula he's using for the 1890s, but eyeballing it he systematically understates the value of OBP in that era. If a WS expert can walk me through the process of calculating BWS in that era, I should be able to spot the error. Anyways, the point is that McGraw's greatest skill--out avoidance--was worth more in his time than in any other, and neither system gives him full credit for it.

3. Neither system (as far as I can tell) properly credits him for his speed. BP appears to use a flat 75% assumed success rate for seasons where CS was not available, and again I don't have WS's 1890s run estimator handy but I'd be stunned if it did this correctly. The point is that there is an extremely strong (logarithmic) relationship between a player's SB attempt rate and his success rate. If you apply any sort of linear value to SB when you don't have CS data (either a flat assumed success rate or a flat run value), then you are overrating guys with middling SB and underrating guys with very high SB, since in general guys with middling SB tend to have break-even or worse success rates whereas guys with very high SB tend to have terrific success rates. McGraw's extremely high SB totals suggest he should also have had one of the best SB percentages of his era, which means they should be credited more than someone who had only 20-30 SB per year.

4. Neither system recognizes the changing depth of 3B over time. BP uses the same ratio of 3B to SS FRAR in 2007 as in 1897 (about 55%), and Win Shares only increases it by 8% (from 67% to 75%), representing a difference of just 0.6 Win Shares/0.2 wins. In fact, the gap between replacement third basemen and replacement shortstops grew from 0.6 wins in the 1890s to 1.7 wins today. This leads these systems to further understate McGraw's value (and that of all 1890s 3B).

When you add all these factors together, you get a very different picture: that in spite of his poor durability, McGraw was a phenomenally dominant player and one of the elites of his era. By total WARP--not rate--I have his best seasons (after penalizing him for the high standard deviation of his leagues) as 10.2 WARP in 1899, 7.9 in 1898, 6.2 in 1900, 5.8 in 1895, 5.1 in 1897, and 4.7 in 1893 and 1901. That's a notably higher peak than Rosen's (9.2 in 1953, 6.4 in 1950, 5.6 in 1952, 4.5 in 1954, and 3.6 in 1951). I doubt you are actually interested in seeing why McGraw's peak value was so much higher than WS credits it for, sunnyday, but I'd love to be proven wrong and walk you through every step of the math.

I'll cross-post this on McGraw's thread.

DL from MN--if a Win Probability Added analysis is more favorable to Brock than standard crunching of his stats, I'd be interested to see the results.
   80. TomH Posted: October 03, 2007 at 08:19 PM (#2558143)
I'm as big a fan of McGraw's as any, but I don't think WS is as poor in handling Mugsy's value (well, at least offensive value; it did NOT adjust for 3B positional value, jsut as you've said) as you posit, DanR.

In the Original BJHA, he prodcued the RC formulae for each era. I don't have that version, but I distinctly recall that before *some date*, SB were given a huge amount of credit toward RC. OBP was also relatively speaking more important in the pre-1911ish system.
   81. jimd Posted: October 03, 2007 at 08:29 PM (#2558170)
I don't have the Win Shares book so I don't know what RC formula he's using for the 1890s

They're not in the Win Shares book; it documents the rest of the Win Shares procedure. It does point you to the All-Time Major League Handbook by Bill James, et al for the 24 RC formulas that were used in calculating Win Shares.

Of course they might also be available at some sabrmetric web site.
   82. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: October 03, 2007 at 08:37 PM (#2558200)
Browning, Sisler, Jennings, Fingers, and maybe Red Faber, who I put in my PHoM and forgot why I did it 10 minutes later. But even the ones I don't like are in my next 25, and as long as Duffy doesn't make it, there won't be a selection I think is a flat-out mistake. Which probably means I'm a little too consensus oriented, but I'll live with that.
   83. user Posted: October 03, 2007 at 08:39 PM (#2558208)
BP uses the same ratio of 3B to SS FRAR in 2007 as in 1897 (about 55%)


I thought this was only the case post WARP-1 -> WARP-2 adjustments?
   84. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 03, 2007 at 08:56 PM (#2558239)
After correcting for the OBP-heaviness and steals, McGraw's 1899 translates to an OPS+ of about 187. I guess McGraw's 1899 projects to 36.1 batting WS in 162 games...Willie Mays had a 185 OPS+ in 1965 and had 36.1 BWS/162, while Mickey Mantle had a 188 OPS+ in 1958 and had 38.6 BWS/162, so I will retract my assertion that WS's run estimator isn't capturing McGraw's value (although BP's most definitely is). It's just the stupidly low replacement level and failure to properly position-adjust that cause it to sell McGraw short.
   85. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 03, 2007 at 08:59 PM (#2558248)
user--Nope! There are *further* adjustments made in WARP1-WARP2 which correct for the overvaluing of defense in the old days in general (as well as those murky league quality adjustments), but the ratio of season-adjusted 3B to SS FRAR is most definitely the same in 1897 and 2007. Check for yourself.
   86. DL from MN Posted: October 03, 2007 at 09:12 PM (#2558282)
"Because a monkey would have generated *some* runs in Buckner's opportunities."

Don't forget defense. A monkey probably wouldn't have let a slow roller go through his legs.
   87. user Posted: October 03, 2007 at 09:22 PM (#2558304)
~2007 frar/162:

c:31
1b:9
2b:25
ss:25
3b:14
lf:12
cf:21
rf:12

~1897 frar/136
c:44
1b:15
2b:44
ss:50
3b:30
lf:25
cf:32
rf:16

Shrug- WARP-1 definitely doesn't look to have fixed ratio's (unless I've thoroughly messed up)-
aginst that the 3B - SS ratio is indeed not shifted by much - and quite frankly some of the numbers look dubious anyway - the one that leaps out being that 2007 2b and ss are on an equal basis???
   88. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 03, 2007 at 09:34 PM (#2558321)
user, BP's FRAR are *notoriously* dubious. No surprises there.
   89. user Posted: October 03, 2007 at 09:39 PM (#2558331)
Problems with the FRAA component, seeing as it's a non PBP metric I was well aware of - the positional adjustment being loopy is new one.
   90. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 03, 2007 at 09:56 PM (#2558372)
I think the main reason outfielders tend to accumulate more WS than infielders is that since it uses the same offensive replacement level for all players (and Fielding WS is too compressed to compensate), it is just slanted in general towards bats over gloves.


I don't disagree, Dan, and that's why I tend to compare candidates to their compadres at the same position to counteract that problem.

Browning, Sisler, Jennings, Fingers, and maybe Red Faber, who I put in my PHoM and forgot why I did it 10 minutes later. But even the ones I don't like are in my next 25, and as long as Duffy doesn't make it, there won't be a selection I think is a flat-out mistake.


I feel the same way about our "mistakes," Devin. None of them make me want to scratch my head and shake my fist to the sky.
   91. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 03, 2007 at 10:00 PM (#2558380)
As I continue to complain about, the only one who seems patently unelectable is Nellie Fox. Although I was pretty down on Roush as well.

user, you kidding? FRAA may be a black box, but along with Fielding Win Shares it's all the public has to go on for the pre-PBP era. It's FRAR that introduces the wild distortions--both in terms of sometimes kooky relative positional weights, and then more importantly setting the replacement level baseline at the 1899 Cleveland Spiders, which causes it to grossly overstate the value of playing time to rate and of career to peak. But if you just use BRAA + FRAA and then add on a realistic rep level (80% of positional average to make your life easy), you'll be 90% of the way to a proper assessment of value.
   92. Howie Menckel Posted: October 04, 2007 at 12:00 AM (#2558716)
"A monkey probably wouldn't have let a slow roller go through his legs."

I'm pretty sure the monkey was the manager, not the 1st baseman.
   93. sunnyday2 Posted: October 04, 2007 at 01:24 AM (#2558975)
>I doubt you are actually interested in seeing why McGraw's peak value was so much higher than WS credits it for,

I think you meant to say "why I think McGraw's peak value was so much higher than WS credits it for."
   94. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 04, 2007 at 01:48 AM (#2559017)
I knew I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up. I guess I'll give up on the possibility of your displaying enough open-mindedness to look at anything beyond seasonal WS totals. But I will ask you to please do your homework before making empirically false statements that mislead the electorate. It would have saved me a bunch of time if you had actually checked positional average offense levels around 1910 before asking "Where oh where in the 1910s were all those 2Bs who hit like corner OF?" Eddie Collins and Nap Lajoie are obvious ones, but Miller Huggins, Bill Sweeney, Heinie Zimmerman, Frank Laporte, and John Hummel were all well above league average bats at the position around that time. Oh yeah, and Larry Doyle.
   95. Jim Sp Posted: October 04, 2007 at 07:29 PM (#2560111)
In my original system I was looking at long-career 2Bs to set the replacement level, the continuing ability of George Cutshaw (OPS+ 88) and Bill Wambsganss (OPS+ 78) to hold a job led me to conclude that Doyle was a good candidate.

Dan R's exhaustive search for the lower 3/8 of regulars is a better way of doing it, I've revised Doyle downward based on this info. Evaluating 2Bs certainly is tricky though, probably the trickiest of any position. Seems like there is room for reasonable people to disagree here.

But on global replacement level I am firmly with Dan R. If you think that the below-average regulars on the 2003 Tigers were making progress toward the HoM (or equivalently good enough to hold major league regular jobs), then Dan R's Warp is a better place to start than BP Warp or Win Shares. BP thinks the 2003 Tigers were 23.7 games above replacement, and Bill James thinks they deserve "credit" for 49 wins. Dan R's warp says that everyone on that team was a borderline major leaguer except Dmitri Young.

Obviously a higher replacement level is right. Win Shares "balancing" against wins is not an advantage, it's dumb. Put together a team of the best AAA and major league bench players and they'll win way more than 25 games (BP) or 0 games (Bill James). We run this experiment every now and then, it's called expansion.

Another way to say this: giving say 8 Win Shares to a bad major league regular is inconsistent with giving 0 credit to a good AAA regular.

I forget the details but IIRC Joe D's pitcher system also uses an appropriate replacement level. I understand taking some time to digest Dan R and Joe's data, but it's getting a little late guys.

And yes I know I'm oversimplifying Win Shares but the system is so complicated that it deserves to be oversimplified. If someone other than Bill James had come up with it, no one would take it seriously.
   96. TomH Posted: October 04, 2007 at 08:49 PM (#2560279)
It's not the way Win Shares is built (IMHO) that's the problem - it's the misuse of WS.

WS does accurately (well, more accurately than previous systems) depict how many wins each member of a team is credited toward the total # of games won.

But we simply must realize that 5 WS in 50 IP is not as valuable in a HoM sense as 5 WS in 150 IP. There applications where it may not be "best" to put in a correction for "WS above baseline". But for the HoM, most of us agree that the correction is needed; we merely dicker over precisely how much.
   97. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 05, 2007 at 12:46 AM (#2560718)
TomH, I don't see why you say that WS "accurately...depict[s] how many wins each member of a team is credited toward the total # of games won." It most certainly does NOT accomplish that, for two reasons: its replacement level is way below the empirically demonstrated freely available talent level, and it doesn't give negative value to players who manage to perform below even that very low rate, distorting the credit given to all of those players' teammates.

This is not a question of James's accounting sytem "adding up" and mine failing to do so. My system adds up to team wins just fine--it just adds up to the wins projected by a team's component stats (similar to BP's numbers), attributing over/underperformance of run estimation or Pythagoras to luck, rather than to its actual wins. On that question--whether over/underperformance of expectations should be credited to players or not--reasonable people can disagree.

But regardless of what you think about that issue, there is just no excuse for using a baseline that is wildly far removed from the actual MLB value. This is not a subjective question of preferences, it is a factual question of right and wrong. There is *absolutely no reason* why 52% of league average offense, what James calls the "background level," should be the zero point. Why not 62%, or 42%? It's totally arbitrary, and totally incorrect. The right number is 80% (adjusted for position), since that is what has been conclusively demonstrated in countless studies. If you use any other level, your results will be WRONG, just plain wrong, empirically, factually wrong, and that is what both WS and BP WARP are. I can't express myself strongly enough on this point. WS does NOT "accurately...depict how many wins each member of a team is credited toward the total # of games won." It over-credits players who had a lot of PA at a low rate and under-credits players who had fewer PA at a higher rate. Period.
   98. sunnyday2 Posted: October 05, 2007 at 01:10 AM (#2560797)
>My system adds up to team wins just fine--it just adds up to the wins projected by a team's component stats (similar to BP's numbers), attributing over/underperformance of run estimation or Pythagoras to luck, rather than to its actual wins. On that question--whether over/underperformance of expectations should be credited to players or not--reasonable people can disagree.

Really?
   99. sunnyday2 Posted: October 05, 2007 at 01:13 AM (#2560800)
>As I continue to complain about, the only one who seems patently unelectable is Nellie Fox.

Well, he got elected. Maybe you meant, "the only one who, IMO, seems patently unqualified is Nellie Fox. But on that question, reasonable people can disagree."
   100. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 05, 2007 at 03:37 AM (#2560967)
I'd like to take the opportunity to generalize a bit from my recent remarks. I hope I haven't come across as un-collegial, and sunnyday, I'm sorry if my previous post was a bit too ad hominem. But I do think one serious problem with the group's discussion is a failure to distinguish between positive and normative statements. I imagine most of us know the difference in theory: "Canada is the country north of the US" is a positive statement, while "The US should annex Canada" is a normative one. But I feel like the waters get muddied a lot on these threads.

There is no right answer to normative questions--they are up to each voter's preferences. Which is more Meritorious, peak or career? What is the right percentage of pitchers in the HoM? How much credit should be given for military service, or minor league play? I have my answers, and you all have yours, and the HoM will reflect the aggregate of those preferences. Dandy.

But there IS a right answer to positive questions. We may have differing degrees of confidence in the results--we can say with 100% certainty that Freddy Sánchez hit .344 in 2006 (as hard to believe as it is), whereas we will never know precisely how strong the Negro Leagues were. But the strength of the Negro Leagues isn't an issue where my opinion is as good as yours. There's a correct answer, we just don't have enough data to know it with any measure of confidence.

The two questions I've been discussing with sunnyday--the relative offensive strengths of the positions around 1910, and where to set the MLB replacement level--are definitively positive issues rather than normative ones, and they are ones where the data leave virtually no room for argument. However you choose to calculate positional strength--average or worst-regulars, OPS+ or EqA or Batting Win Shares/PA--second basemen hit just as well as first basemen, only slightly worse than outfielders, and faaaar better than shortstops, third basemen, or catchers in the decade surrounding 1910. You can look it up. Similarly, however you choose to define replacement level--percentage of positional average, worst-regulars average, average performance of low-salaried veterans--the results come out roughly the same. The MLB replacement level is a measurable, knowable value, and it is one that has been measured and is known. We can debate angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin questions--whether it's 78% of positional average or 82%, what part of the distribution we should use to measure it--but we can pin it down to a very narrow range with a very high degree of statistical confidence. Both BP WARP and WS are many, many standard deviations outside this range, so many that the odds of their zero points equaling the actual MLB replacement level are about the same as the Mets' odds of missing the playoffs were a few weeks ago.

I'd liken this to the so-called "debate" over global warming. The positive question has basically been resolved: the overwhelming scientific consensus is that man-made greenhouse emissions are causing the planet to heat up. There are certainly details to be filled in--how fast? how much?--but the broad-brush picture is clear. The normative questions--what should we do about it, and how--are wide open. The strategy of the interests who would be hurt in the short run by any such solution--roughly speaking, the companies that generate emissions--is to throw sand in the public's eyes by suggesting that the scientific debate is still wide open, that nothing has been conclusively proved, and therefore that any attempted remedy would be premature. This willful obscuring of the overall conclusions of empirical research does a disservice to us all, by bogging us down in already-answered positive questions and preventing us from addressing pressing normative ones.

Similarly, when we are forced to dicker around with already-answered positive questions about baseball, such as "What was the defensive spectrum in 1910?" or "What is the MLB replacement level?," we do a disservice to the HoM by diverting discussion away from the countless subjects that really are either unresolved (such as the strength of the Negro Leagues) or ultimately unresolvable but still important (which is more Meritorious, peak or career). I think our remaining conversation could be a lot more productive if people would just take the time to actually check their assertions against the data before making them. Failure to do so forces other voters to "reinvent the wheel" and devote their limited HoM-posting time to refuting misinformation instead of making new contributions to the group's knowledge.

Sunnyday, I'm not sure what you're referring to when you ask "Really." If you're asking whether my system really adds up, it certainly does. BWAA1 + BRWAA1 for a whole team will always equal a team's Extrapolated Runs above average divided by its league's runs-per-win ratio. If you're asking whether reasonable people can disagree as to the crediting of over/underperformance to players or not, that seems to me like another perfect example of a normative question. Such over/underperformance is unexplained variance, nothing more and nothing less. We don't know what causes it, taking it out of the realm of positively answerable questions and into the normative realm of opinion and preference. Some of us choose to ignore or dismiss it, while others elect to distribute it evenly across the roster. Both are rational responses to a problem that the data simply cannot answer for us.

As for Fox, of course reasonable people can disagree. Defining Merit is indubitably a normative issue, and there are certainly reasonable definitions of Merit (like best-at-position-in-league, for example) which would include Fox comfortably. I'm not saying I'm immune to conflating positive findings with normative judgments, so please do flag me if you think I don't practice what I preach on this issue.
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