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

Sunday, January 06, 2008

2008 BBTF HOF Results: Voters Here Think Raines, Blyleven, Trammell, Gossage and McGwire are Worthy!

In his first year of eligibility, legendary speedster and leadoff hitter Tim Raines was selected by the BBTF electorate almost unanimously with a spectacular 99% of all ballots.

Curveball specialist Bert Blyleven did extremely well himself with 96%, matching his BBTF totals of 2005 and 2006 (he had 87% in 2007).

Standout shortstop Alan Trammell was the third BBTF HOF pick with his 83% (he had 79% in 2005, 81% in 2006 and 84% in 2007).

Intimidating fireman Goose Gossage earned 81% of the electorate’s vote for fourth place, though slipping again in support for the third year in a row (he had 93% in 2005, 87% in 2006 and 82% in 2007).

Last but not least, power hitter deluxe Mark McGwire just made it with 76% of all ballots in his second year of eligibility, up from last year by 7%. Will there be a comparable uptick for him in the real election?

Rounding out the top-ten were: Andre Dawson, Dale Murphy, Lee Smith, Dave Concepcion and Tommy John.

New candidates: Rod Beck, Shawon Dunston, Travis Fryamn, David Justice, Chuck Knoblauch, Rob Nen, Jose Rijo and Todd Stottlemyre received no votes.

143 voters participated in our exercise, 32 more from 2007 (in our first BBTF in 2005, we had only 28 voters casting a ballot).

How will the BBWAA compare?

At least 90% of HoM voters overwhelmingly went for the same five candidates picked by the collective BBTF family, with Raines getting an unanimous vote.

Thanks to everyone who submitted a ballot or joined in the discussion!

RK   LY  Player            Votes
----------------------------------------
 1  n/e  Tim Raines        141                    
 2    3  Bert Blyleven     137                     
 3    4  Alan Trammell     119               
 4    5  Goose Gossage     116                     
 5    6  Mark McGwire      109                       
------------------------------------------
 6    7  Andre Dawson       50                     
 7    8T Dale Murphy        40                  
 8   11  Lee Smith          29               
 9   14  Dave Concepcion    27                     
10   10  Tommy John         25               
-------------------------------------------
11   16  Dave Parker        13               
12   12T Jim Rice           10                  
13T  16  Don Mattingly       5                  
13T  12T Jack Morris         5               
15  18  Harold Baines       3                                          
16 n/e  Chuck Finley        2 
17  n/e  Brady Anderson      1                                   
Ballots Cast: 143
Hall of Merit Group
RK   LY  Player            PTS  Votes
-----------------------------------------
 1  n/e  Tim Raines         34                  
2T    3  Bert Blyleven      33                     
2T    5T Alan Trammell      33               
 4    4  Goose Gossage      32                        
 5    5T Mark McGwire       31                        
-------------------------------------------
 6    7  Andre Dawson       21                        
 7    9  Dale Murphy        15                  
 8   15T Dave Concepcion    14                     
9T   10  Tommy John         11               
9T   11  Lee Smith          11               
--------------------------------------------
11   13  Dave Parker         8               
12T  14  Don Mattingly       4                  
12T  12  Jim Rice            4                  
14T n/e  Chuck Finley        2                  
14T  15T Jack Morris         2               
16   17T Harold Baines       1                                          
Ballots Cast: 34 (down from 2007's 43; though a HoMer, Dawson failed to reach 75%))

 

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 06, 2008 at 09:43 PM | 78 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 07, 2008 at 02:06 AM (#2661937)
Looks like those happy over McGwire's "censure" from our group in 2007 wont be rejoicing this year (and visa versa).
   2. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 07, 2008 at 02:07 AM (#2661938)
If anyone was tallying the votes, please let me know. I want to make sure that I have an accurate count for Big Mac. Thanks in advance!
   3. Guts Posted: January 07, 2008 at 02:12 AM (#2661943)
That's my exact ballot.
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 07, 2008 at 02:14 AM (#2661946)
That's my exact ballot.


Same here, Guts, except I also selected Smith.
   5. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 07, 2008 at 02:19 AM (#2661949)
Looks like those happy over McGwire's "censure" from our group in 2007 wont be rejoicing this year (and visa versa).

I'm happy that you've provided a forum for everyone both to argue and to vote. And since it ain't getting McGwire into Cooperstown, I think I can live with this particular 76%. When it comes to the juicers, I trust the BBWAA's collective judgment far more than that of the average Primate.

I'm also pretty damn impressed with the support for Raines. 99% would be pretty sporty even for Babe Ruth himself.
   6. Chris Dial Posted: January 07, 2008 at 02:29 AM (#2661956)
According to Keith Law, McGwire's not getting elected this time, but his vote percentage is going up significantly in the HOF voting.
   7.   Posted: January 07, 2008 at 03:10 AM (#2662001)
It's amazing the huge difference this is going to have with the BBWAA. Jim Ed with 7% in our vote; I think he'll get a bit more on the real thing...

Sadly, Alan Trammell will probably get the same support there that Rice got here.
   8. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 07, 2008 at 03:19 AM (#2662010)
I'm happy that you've provided a forum for everyone both to argue and to vote. And since it ain't getting McGwire into Cooperstown, I think I can live with this particular 76%. When it comes to the juicers, I trust the BBWAA's collective judgment far more than that of the average Primate.

Will you feel the same way if they elect McGwire in a couple years?
   9. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 07, 2008 at 04:23 AM (#2662057)
17 n/e Brady Anderson 1

Cal Ripken's a primate?
   10. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 07, 2008 at 05:08 AM (#2662078)
I'm happy that you've provided a forum for everyone both to argue and to vote. And since it ain't getting McGwire into Cooperstown, I think I can live with this particular 76%. When it comes to the juicers, I trust the BBWAA's collective judgment far more than that of the average Primate.

Will you feel the same way if they elect McGwire in a couple years?


I've said it a hundred times: I'd disagree with all my heart, but I'd respect its collective judgment, since it's obvious that many (if not most) of the writers are at least considering the question of how steroid use relates to character, and how character is germane to a player's HoF qualifications. I wish I could say the same about the voters here, but again, within the context we have here I have to grant the authority of their judgment as much as I do the BBWAA's within its own. All we can do is to put our views out there and hope that (ho ho) someone beyond BTF is paying at least a modicum of attention.
   11. sunnyday2 Posted: January 07, 2008 at 01:02 PM (#2662195)
Just because smebody here voted for McGwire doesn't mean they didn't consider steroids.
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 07, 2008 at 01:15 PM (#2662198)
Just because smebody here voted for McGwire doesn't mean they didn't consider steroids.


I did and if it wasn't for the stupid 5% rule, I might have left him off. Certainly in '07 I would have.
   13. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 07, 2008 at 02:05 PM (#2662207)
Just because smebody here voted for McGwire doesn't mean they didn't consider steroids.

I did and if it wasn't for the stupid 5% rule, I might have left him off. Certainly in '07 I would have.


Just as I would not have left him off my HoM ballot. I may be the only person here who keeps insisting on the fundamental distinction between the two "Halls," but I'm sure glad that a sizeable number of BBWAA voters agree with me that steroids are a presumptive disqualifier for the HoF.
   14. Chris Dial Posted: January 07, 2008 at 02:50 PM (#2662217)
I may be the only person here who keeps insisting on the fundamental distinction between the two "Halls," but I'm sure glad that a sizeable number of BBWAA voters agree with me that steroids are a presumptive disqualifier for the HoF.

I'm sure they would too. But those same guys will vote for Jack Morris and leave off Tim Raines. So their judgment leaves something to be desired.
   15. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 07, 2008 at 02:57 PM (#2662222)
Just as I would not have left him off my HoM ballot. I may be the only person here who keeps insisting on the fundamental distinction between the two "Halls," but I'm sure glad that a sizeable number of BBWAA voters agree with me that steroids are a presumptive disqualifier for the HoF.


I think it should be more like a road bump(s) to Cooperstown, but I still can't see steroids in the same way that I see gambling, IMO.
   16. Howie Menckel Posted: January 07, 2008 at 03:08 PM (#2662224)
Yes, I also voted McGwire into the HOM but not (yet) into the HOF.
I'm waiting for the dust to settle on the latter, and may well have put him in next year.

If McGwire doesn't like it, well, he doesn't like to talk about the past anyway.
   17. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 07, 2008 at 03:17 PM (#2662231)
I may be the only person here who keeps insisting on the fundamental distinction between the two "Halls," but I'm sure glad that a sizeable number of BBWAA voters agree with me that steroids are a presumptive disqualifier for the HoF.

I'm sure they would too. But those same guys will vote for Jack Morris and leave off Tim Raines. So their judgment leaves something to be desired.


I never said that they were all necessarily geniuses when it came to cases like that. Raines was at the top of my HoF ballot while Morris has an honored place in my HoVG. And again, McGwire easily gets my HoM vote. But none of these questions were what I was addressing.

I think it should be more like a road bump(s) to Cooperstown, but I still can't see steroids in the same way that I see gambling, IMO.

I don't either, John, but it still crosses the line in my book. And while appearances of propreity aside, I have no doubt that Pete Rose gave 100% effort to win every game he either played in or managed, I still wouldn't vote for him to enter the HoF, either. Not every disqualifying mark has to be strictly equivalent to be disqualifying. Gandil was probably worse than Jackson, who in turn was probably worse than Weaver, who in turn was worse than Rose, who in turn was worse than the juicers, but that doesn't mean that any of them pass my idea of a HoF character test.
   18. DanG Posted: January 07, 2008 at 03:48 PM (#2662253)
Briefly, this is the problem I have with penalizing McGwire: I think it's pure scapegoating. His behavior was no different than hundreds (perhaps thousands) of other players during his career. It's been his misfortune to have the spotlight focused on him early on in the inestigation of the "steroid era". The more we find out, the more this becomes apparent; that McGwire is just the tip of the iceberg. How much blame should be heaped on McGwire for the failure of the game to police (or even discourage) the use of PEDs in recent decades? Very little. He has become a symbol of the fan's frustration to discover and hold accountable the true culprits.
   19. Chris Dial Posted: January 07, 2008 at 04:35 PM (#2662290)
I never said that they were all necessarily geniuses when it came to cases like that. Raines was at the top of my HoF ballot while Morris has an honored place in my HoVG. And again, McGwire easily gets my HoM vote. But none of these questions were what I was addressing.

Oh, they aren't geniuses in those cases, but *are* geniuses in the McGwire case. <extends thumb and forefinger>
   20. Juan V Posted: January 07, 2008 at 07:01 PM (#2662417)
Last year, Concepcion got 7% of the overall vote and 9% of the HOM vote. This year, he got 19% of the overall vote and a relatively impressive 41% of the HOM vote. Would it be wrong to attribute the bulk of this to Dan R's work?
   21. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 07, 2008 at 07:02 PM (#2662419)
Would it be wrong to attribute the bulk of this to Dan R's work?


Without a doubt, Juan. That's almost all Dan's doing, to his credit.
   22. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 07, 2008 at 07:14 PM (#2662431)
Oh, they aren't geniuses in those cases, but *are* geniuses in the McGwire case.

Beat me to it.
   23. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 07, 2008 at 07:25 PM (#2662456)
I never said that they were all necessarily geniuses when it came to cases like that. Raines was at the top of my HoF ballot while Morris has an honored place in my HoVG. And again, McGwire easily gets my HoM vote. But none of these questions were what I was addressing.

Oh, they aren't geniuses in those cases, but *are* geniuses in the McGwire case. <extends thumb and forefinger>


First, who said that anyone was a "genius?" I've never had the honor of meeting one of those. But then we've never met.

And how would we tell an ethical genius, anyway? Would he have passed a test? If he blew the questions on abortion or gay marriage should he just forget about getting into college?

So you think that a knowledge of baseball translates into insight into ethics, or vice versa?

In that case let's have Bill Clinton tell us about marital ethics, grill Ann Landers about the importance of VORP and WHIP, and then let Tangotiger tell the Democrats how to wage a presidential campaign. We can then mock them all to our heart's delight.
   24. DanG Posted: January 07, 2008 at 07:29 PM (#2662461)
So you think that a knowledge of baseball translates into insight into ethics, or vice versa?

Apparently, the HOF does. They're expecting their electorate to have both baseball and ethical insights regarding the candidates.
   25. kwarren Posted: January 08, 2008 at 12:20 AM (#2662874)
Not every disqualifying mark has to be strictly equivalent to be disqualifying. Gandil was probably worse than Jackson, who in turn was probably worse than Weaver, who in turn was worse than Rose, who in turn was worse than the juicers, but that doesn't mean that any of them pass my idea of a HoF character test.

Based on this criteria every American Olympic athelete in strength or speed events for the past 30 years, every NFL lineman, a huge portion of college lineman, every professional wrestler, and a majority of major league baseball players wouldn't pass your character test. At some point we have to get over it.

In many sports the price of success is and has been for a while, taking undetectable PED and the associated masking agents. Otherwise you are simply left in the dust of the dopers. The problem is the lack of enforcement, lack of punishment and/or deterrent, and the huge benefits that are there to be derived.
   26. kwarren Posted: January 08, 2008 at 12:37 AM (#2662894)
From Kiko:

If you exclude 1975-78 - Goose's 3 best seasons as a reliever plus his one season as a starter - he appeared in 774 games (8 starts), 1,176.1 innings, 964 K, an ERA of 3.24, ERA+ of 117, with a record of 85-62, 230 saves.

Mike Timlin, for his career, has appeared in 1,011 games (9 more than Gossage in his career), 1,155 innings, 840 K, an ERA of 3.55, ERA+ of 128, with a record of 71-69, 140 saves.



Take away Gossage's three best seasons and what you have is - 1176 IP, ERA+ 117

Timlin's total career - 1,155 IP, ERA+ 128

Timlin is far better than Gossage outside of those three seasons. I hope the people that would put him, and the BWAA who are about to, are proud of the way of they are upholding the Hall of Fame's standards.
   27. DavidFoss Posted: January 08, 2008 at 01:21 AM (#2662933)
I dunno, this Gossage/Timlin looks like fuzzy stats math if you ask me.

Reliever ERA's have been trending up relative to era. Gossage was more dominant compared to his peers than Timlin was with his. Plus, Timlin's spent more of his career as a setup man.... lower leverage.

Finally remove almost any players best three years and of course they won't look as good. Only the inner-circle guys still look good with their best three years removed. Plus, Gossage was a reliever workhorse in his three top seasons with 141, 133 and 134 IP. That's like removing six Timlin seasons.
   28. kwarren Posted: January 08, 2008 at 01:57 AM (#2662947)
I dunno, this Gossage/Timlin looks like fuzzy stats math if you ask me.

Reliever ERA's have been trending up relative to era. Gossage was more dominant compared to his peers than Timlin was with his. Plus, Timlin's spent more of his career as a setup man.... lower leverage.


ERA+ does measure dominance compared to peers and is also park adjusted. That's why we don't use straight ERA


Finally remove almost any players best three years and of course they won't look as good. Only the inner-circle guys still look good with their best three years removed. Plus, Gossage was a reliever workhorse in his three top seasons with 141, 133 and 134 IP. That's like removing six Timlin seasons.

Gossage had three truly great seasons (for a reliever). I give him that. But Dick Allen, Albert Belle, Appier, Saberhagen, Gooden, Strawberry and on and on had a lot more than that, and they were full-time players.

Outside of those three years he was a lot worse than Mike Timlin. If you want to put him for those three seasons, 408 IP of quality pitching, then giddy-up. Personally I see it as another insult to the bonafide Hall of Famers, and especially to those who are still waiting to get in - Blyeven, McGwire, Raines, Trammell, Santo, Allen, Grich
   29. Steve Treder Posted: January 08, 2008 at 01:58 AM (#2662950)
I dunno, this Gossage/Timlin looks like fuzzy stats math if you ask me.

Me too.

Remove Bob Gibson's three best years and he doesn't look much like a Hall of Famer either. So what?
   30. Steve Treder Posted: January 08, 2008 at 02:02 AM (#2662951)
Outside of those three years he was a lot worse than Mike Timlin.

No, he wasn't. ERA+ isn't the best of metrics for relievers, especially short relievers, and there's a lot of difference between a pitcher working 1176 innings in 774 games (1.5 IP/G) and 1155 innings in 1011 games (1.1 IP/G).
   31. Steve Treder Posted: January 08, 2008 at 02:04 AM (#2662955)
If you want to make the argument that no reliever is worthy of the HOF, then make that argument. But this Gossage-Timlin thing doesn't cut it.
   32. Mark Donelson Posted: January 08, 2008 at 02:10 AM (#2662957)
If you want to put him for those three seasons, 408 IP of quality pitching, then giddy-up.

OK, thanks. Can we stop arguing about it now? We get it: You don't want Gossage enshrined, for reasons you've elaborated on at length. Many of us disagree with you, for reasons we've elaborated on at length. We're not going to convince each other. Let it go.
   33. OCF Posted: January 08, 2008 at 02:12 AM (#2662958)
Hmm... using my RA+ PythPat equivalent record system, I have Gibson's three best seasons as 1968, 1969, and 1972. Remove those from his 265-166 equivalent record and what he's got left is 193-138. Compare the whole of David Cone's career at 190-132, or Saberhagen at 174-111. And the crude little peak measure I like: sum of seasonal equivalent FWP in excess of 15. The whole Gibson is at 84, which is monstrous, but the depleted version of Gibson still has 33. (He still has equivalent seasons of 21-11, 21-13, 20-11, 20-12, 18-8). The whole careers of Saberhagen and Cone yield 27 and 19, respectively.

So: take away Gibson's best three years, and he can still be favorably compared to Saberhagen and Cone, which makes him a viable HoM candidate, if perhaps not necessarily a HoF candidate.

Now, you don't really want to take away Saberhagen's best three years.
   34. Steve Treder Posted: January 08, 2008 at 02:19 AM (#2662960)
So: take away Gibson's best three years, and he can still be favorably compared to Saberhagen and Cone, which makes him a viable HoM candidate, if perhaps not necessarily a HoF candidate.

Ok, fine. :-) I picked a bad example.

But you know darn well there are plenty of viable ones.
   35. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 08, 2008 at 02:36 AM (#2662971)
You don't even wanna know what happens when you take out Mike Timlin's three best seasons.
   36. Howie Menckel Posted: January 08, 2008 at 02:48 AM (#2662977)
It's amusing to see the IP-per-G of Gossage vs Timlin ignored.

Let me make it easy: if you don't pitch that second inning, it's easier to have a better ERA+.

I also don't tend to get hung up on big bonuses for a guy who is a little above-average in his 14th or 15th best seasons vs a guy who isn't as good in those "make or break" years.
   37. kwarren Posted: January 08, 2008 at 03:06 AM (#2662986)
Outside of those three years he was a lot worse than Mike Timlin.

No, he wasn't. ERA+ isn't the best of metrics for relievers, especially short relievers, and there's a lot of difference between a pitcher working 1176 innings in 774 games (1.5 IP/G) and 1155 innings in 1011 games (1.1 IP/G).


It's very telling that you use this logic to compare Gossage to relievers who pitch less, but you won't accept this same argument when comparing Gossage to starting pitchers. Obviously you've made up your mind that Gossage is a Hall of Famer, as have the majority of the voters both here and with the BWAA, but it's kind of like the Rice supporters when you use an argument to show Gossage's superiority over other relievers, but reject the same argument to compare Gossage to starting pitchers.
   38. kwarren Posted: January 08, 2008 at 03:11 AM (#2662992)
If you want to make the argument that no reliever is worthy of the HOF, then make that argument.

Gladly.

We have this new animal in baseball, the elite relief pitcher (closer), who didn't exist in baseball until sometime in the seventies. It used to be that the worse pitchers on any team were the relievers and everybody knew it. They pitched as little as possible and in the lowest leverage situations imaginable, if possible.

Then somewhere along the line a few realities started to become apparent in baseball:

1) A starting pitcher pitched progressively worse, the further he went into a game.

2) Young pitchers who were over-worked frequently had career ending injuries. Actually this has pretty much been always known, although not necessarily documented well, but most GM's took the approach that there were always lots of other young pitchers who could step in and take their place. And some young pitchers did pitch successfully through heavy workloads, so virtually every talented kid was given the opportunity to see if he could do it.

3) A much inferior pitcher, who pitched only one inning at a time, could be vastly more effective in the late innings than a tired starter.

4) So in order to reduce injuries to young pitchers and get more effective pitching in the late inings of a close game the era of specialization in pitching gradually began.

5) Five man rotations also evolved.

This has vastly reduced the impact of the truly great starters. 300 IP has become 225 IP. But it, along with arthroscopic surgery, has increased the survival rate of young pitchers and introduced two new concepts in pitching, closers and set-up guys.

Now, are relief pitchers still the worse pitchers on a team? If not, how are they chosen. Well almost all young talented pitchers start out as starters. Many of them become relievers, some before they ever reach the majors. The reasons for the conversion are varied but usually follow at least one of the following scenarios: lack of stamina or endurance, lack of a third pitch, injury issues, lack of talent - not among the five best starters on a team.

So now we have two completely different classes of pitchers:

Starters - pitch between 6 and 9 innings every fifth game throwing between 90 and 125 pitches a game

Relievers - usually pitch one inning or less throwing their best pitches and maximum velocity on every pitch and facing no batters more than once.

Can we use ERA to compare the two groups. Well it would seem that there are lots of reasons that relievers should have lower ERA(s) assuming the talent level is equal - no fatigue issue, not having to pace oneself, never facing a batter more than once in a game, the opportunity to start at mid-inning on occasion, walk off losses saving the reliever some earned runs from scoring.

Using ZIPS's changes in projections for pitchers who have a change in role, we find the following difference when a specific pitcher changes roles from relieving to starting.

ERA as a starter = (ERA as a reliever - 1.50) * 1.425 + 1.50.

This means that a major league average reliever with a 4.21 ERA would be expected to have a 5.36 ERA as a starter.

This is pretty much what most would expect I imagine. The interesting thing is that the average major league starter actually has an ERA of 4.57, not 5.36. Using the same formula, this means that the latent talent of the starting pitcher pool is 25.7% better than the latent talent level of the relief pitcher pool. I'm not sure what this says about a top relievers Hall of Fame qualifications but it does give us a fair way to compare starters and relievers on the basis of ERA to determine their respective talent levels.

One thing we now know for certain is that there is a vastly different talent level between the major league starting pitcher pool and the relief pitcher pool, so the idea that the worst pitchers on a team are the relief pitchers still seems to be valid, but that still does leave open the possibility that the elite closers could have a talent level compared to the top starters.

Using this formula to adjust the career ERA+ for some of the top relievers we can compare them to the top starting pitchers who are not inducted, at least on a talent level. (IP in brackets)


Mariano Rivera (953) 194 equiv to 168
Goose Gossage (1,809) 126 104
Hoyt Wilhelm (2,254) 146 125
Trevor Hoffman (943) 147 124
Bruce Sutter (1,042) 136 113
Rollie Fingers (1,701) 119 99

Bert Blyleven (4,970) 118
Bret Saberhagen (2,562) 126
Dizzy Trout (2,726) 124
Dave Stieb (2,895) 122
Billy Pierce (3,307) 119
Rick Reuschel (3,548) 114
Larry Jackson (3,263) 113
Luis Tiant (3,186) 114
Tommy John (4,710) 110
Jerry Koosman (3,839) 110
Frank Viola (2,836) 112
Jim Kaat (4,530) 107
Vida Blue (3,343) 108
Jack Morris (3,824) 105

On a sheer talent level none of the starting pitchers is anywhere near Mariano Rivera. Wilhelm and Hoffman are right there, Sutter not really, and Gossage and Fingers not close. One thing that does need to be noted is that both Rivera and Hoffman have pitched less than 20% of the innings that Blyleven has.

Now, we still have a real problem with how to evaluate relievers when comparing them to starters.

Consider the following two pitchers' one-year performance

Roger Clemens - 70 IP, 12 GS, ERA 3.00

Mike Timlin - 70 IP, 0 GS, ERA 3.00

Now as far as I know, all the traditional rating systems - VORP, WARP, Win Shares, ERA+ would value these seasons as equivalent. There are two huge issues with this.

You can't compare a reliever's ERA with a starter's ERA on an equitable basis. On a comparable basis Timlin's ERA would be 3.54.

In order to replace Clemens' performance you would need to acquire a Hall of Fame calibre starter to make 12 starts for you. If you had to replace Timlin you would need to pick-up an average set-up guy from somewhere.

In reality these two performances are not similar at all in terms of the talent required, the value to the team, or the ability to replace this performance.

To summarize:

- it does appear that some of the elite relievers have the "talent" to be considered on an equal footing with very good starters, especially Rivera, but also Wilhelm and Hoffman.

- traditional ranking systems or methods of evaluation totally over-rate relievers by not adjusting reliever's ERA to put them on a comparable basis. This is actually easily done.

- what other sport inducts players who only play between one-quarter and one-third of the playing time of a regular. And keep in mind that a regular starting pitcher only participates in 13% of his team's innings pitched, and 0% of his teams offense in the AL.

- an elite closer pitches only 4% of his teams innings (virtually never when his team is tied or down a run; only when the team is already ahead) and contributes nothing to the offense, and is almost always only a relief pitcher because his team judged him somewhere along the line to not be suitable for the starting rotation. Are these guys really Hall of Famers? How much do they really contribute? No matter how great you are, and other than Rivera, even that is not all that clear, you are still sitting on your keester 96% of the time while your teammates are busy trying to build a league that they can entrust you to protect while throwing 10 to 15 pitches. And even the best closers still manage to not do that well over 10% of the time. I really don't get where all the love for closers is really coming from. Most likely it those artificially impressive ERA(s). But when you see how any relievers are posting ridiculously low ERA(s) it should become apparent that it really isn't that big a deal.

- if we took ERA+, VORP, Win Shares, and WARP and adjusted the relievers ERA to put them on a comparable basis, they would not rate very highly at all.

- with the exception of Rivera, who looks like some kind of a freak of nature, with his amazing ability to continually post ridiculously low ERA(s) and Wilhelm, who maintained a very impressive ERA over 2,250 innings and certainly contributed a lot more than your classic short reliever, there doesn't seem to be much of a case for including relievers with the top echelon of pitchers.
   39. Howie Menckel Posted: January 08, 2008 at 03:12 AM (#2662993)
Funny, I was thinking of kwarren's own inconsistency.

I agree in general with the "modern closers are overrated" theme, but even good arguments can go too far.
   40. kwarren Posted: January 08, 2008 at 03:18 AM (#2662995)
But this Gossage-Timlin thing doesn't cut it.

Sure it does. Nobody is suggesting that Timlin & Gossage comparable. We all know that Timlin is the poster boy for mediocre reliever with a long career. But Timlin is substantially better than Gossage (minus his three best seasons). 128 ERA+ versus 117 over the same number of innings. It's not meant to build up Timlin, simply to put Gossage's mediocrity in some perspective that his supporters might be able to appreciate.
   41. Srul Itza Posted: January 08, 2008 at 03:43 AM (#2663007)
what other sport inducts players who only play between one-quarter and one-third of the playing time of a regular.

Ever hear of Jan Stenerud?
   42. Chris Dial Posted: January 08, 2008 at 03:49 AM (#2663012)
I do agree with kwarren that relievers of today aren't really HOF worthy, IMO.
   43. kwarren Posted: January 08, 2008 at 04:04 AM (#2663023)
If you want to put him for those three seasons, 408 IP of quality pitching, then giddy-up.

OK, thanks. Can we stop arguing about it now? We get it: You don't want Gossage enshrined, for reasons you've elaborated on at length. Many of us disagree with you, for reasons we've elaborated on at length.


There haven't been any compelling reasons put forth to show Gossage as a Hall of Fame worthy -

The people who explain their Gossage votes are using this kind of rationale.

1) - best reliever ever, next to Wilhelm
2) - well he's better than Sutter and Fingers
3) - we need to put a relief pitcher in (we're a little short in that category) and he's clearly the best
4) - he's better than Lee Smith and Smith holds the saves record

Can anybody make a solid argument that he's better than Blyeven (or Dave Stieb for that matter). And until Blyeven is in, it strikes me as a bit silly to be arguing for Gossage.
   44. kwarren Posted: January 08, 2008 at 04:14 AM (#2663030)
what other sport inducts players who only play between one-quarter and one-third of the playing time of a regular.

Ever hear of Jan Stenerud?


"players" is plural. Stenerud is singlular.

And many football people are not so comfortable with this selection.

Actually, I would not be averse to Rivera getting in the HOF (not the HOM), simply because he is so much better than all other relievers. His margin of superiority is huge and because he is a Yankee, has played in the postseason every year of his career, and has a post-season ERA better than his remarkable regular season ERA, he is unbelievably "famous". He is a Hall of Famer in every sense of the phrase, not necessarily because of his contribution in terms of "wins contributed" although that is significant but because of the unheard quality of stats and fame that he has achieved.
   45. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: January 08, 2008 at 04:16 AM (#2663034)
I think Gossage is probably benefiting from sentiment to the effect that the statistical methods we use to measure reliever value are imperfect. Or, to put it another way, measurements of value are not equivalent to actual value unless we're sure the measuring tools are perfect.

It's like the Win Shares division of value between hitters, pitchers, and fielders. James divided them in a particular way partly so that the very best pitchers could still potentially content for Win Shares leadership. But if a pitcher contends for Win Shares leadership, to what degree does that indicate that his actual value is among the best players in the league, versus indicating that Bill James thought that the best pitchers should be valued among the best players in the league?

That isn't an argument for discarding the tools per se, but it is an argument for looking carefully at the results in circumstances where dissimilar things (pitchers vs. hitters, starters vs. relievers) are being compared.
   46. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 08, 2008 at 04:20 AM (#2663039)
How many people were voters allowed to vote for?

What was the average number of players on a ballot?
   47. kwarren Posted: January 08, 2008 at 04:26 AM (#2663047)
You don't even wanna know what happens when you take out Mike Timlin's three best seasons.

What was the point of this comment?

Nobody is comparing Gossage to Timlin. Nobody is comparing Gossage minus his three best seasons to Timlin minus his three best seasons.

The comparison is between Gossage (minus his three best seasons) and Timlin's total career. The point is that Gossage outside of his three very good seasons, was a worse pitcher than Mike Timlin. And nobody thinks that Timlin is anything special.

Gossage pitched 1,809 innings. For 408 of those innings he was superb. For the remaining 1,401 innings he had a 117 ERA+. Timlin posted a 128 ERA+ over his rather undisguished career. It's hard to get excited over Gossage being great for such a short period of time and being so mediocre when he wasn't great.
   48. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 08, 2008 at 04:30 AM (#2663053)
What was the point of this comment?

Humor.

How many people were voters allowed to vote for?

10, maximum.

What was the average number of players on a ballot?

5.80, likely higher than tommorrow's average.
   49. Steve Treder Posted: January 08, 2008 at 04:34 AM (#2663058)
Obviously you've made up your mind that Gossage is a Hall of Famer

You're wrong here in so many ways that I won't even bother to pursue this.
   50. OCF Posted: January 08, 2008 at 04:38 AM (#2663062)
It does appear that our results are pretty stable from year to year. The biggest change I see is the uptick for Concepcion, espcecially within the HoM voters group. I'd guess that the most likely explanation for that is that Dan R's standard deviation based arguments did have some affect.
   51. Howie Menckel Posted: January 08, 2008 at 04:42 AM (#2663065)
"The point is that Gossage outside of his three very good seasons, was a worse pitcher than Mike Timlin."

Well, no. No, he wasn't.

And post 39 likely will forever remain unaddressed, alas.
   52. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 08, 2008 at 04:43 AM (#2663066)
I don't know why people are arguing about Gossage. The thinking seems pretty simple to me:

You think relievers should be in the hall = Gossage in

You don't think relievers should be in the hall = Gossage out
   53. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: January 08, 2008 at 04:44 AM (#2663067)
We have this new animal in baseball, the elite relief pitcher (closer), who didn't exist in baseball until sometime in the seventies.

You're repeating a post made several days ago, shown to be incorrect? Then I will repeat mine: You're an idiot.
   54. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 08, 2008 at 05:58 AM (#2663103)
And post 39 likely will forever remain unaddressed, alas.


What does this mean? How was it supposed to be addressed?

I don't know why people are arguing about Gossage. The thinking seems pretty simple to me:

You think relievers should be in the hall = Gossage in

You don't think relievers should be in the hall = Gossage out


I don't think it's quite that simple. I think Wilhelm is a decent choice. Rivera, when he's done, is obviously someone who will require some serious study. His otherworldly effectiveness changes the equation somewhat.

And if Gossage had posted a few more of those 130-inning seasons like he did during that 4-year-stretch (wrapped around his unsuccessful starting stint), I could get behind his candidacy. But that was why I brought up Timlin (never thought it would have these legs) in the discussion thread. To me, it seems Gossage's entire case is built on those three years and 408 innings, whereas the other 18 years of his career he was deployed in a manner somewhat typical of today's reliever, with similar results of a reliever no one considers HOF worthy.
   55. kwarren Posted: January 08, 2008 at 06:25 AM (#2663113)
I don't think it's quite that simple. I think Wilhelm is a decent choice. Rivera, when he's done, is obviously someone who will require some serious study. His otherworldly effectiveness changes the equation somewhat.

And if Gossage had posted a few more of those 130-inning seasons like he did during that 4-year-stretch (wrapped around his unsuccessful starting stint), I could get behind his candidacy. But that was why I brought up Timlin (never thought it would have these legs) in the discussion thread. To me, it seems Gossage's entire case is built on those three years and 408 innings, whereas the other 18 years of his career he was deployed in a manner somewhat typical of today's reliever, with similar results of a reliever no one considers HOF worthy.


Well said. Too bad more people don't see Gossage's career for what it is.
   56. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 08, 2008 at 06:40 AM (#2663121)
Yes I did oversimplify, though I'd suspect most people fall in those two groups.

Re: Timlin

Add 408 innings of 200 ERA+ to Timlin and he has 1550 IP and a 142 ERA+. That would get him support.
   57. kwarren Posted: January 08, 2008 at 06:47 AM (#2663125)
Re: Timlin

Add 408 innings of 200 ERA+ to Timlin and he has 1550 IP and a 142 ERA+. That would get him support.


Well it would amount to a hell of lot better career than that which Gossage posted. It would fall somewhere in the middle between Wilhelm and Gossage.
   58. MAbraham1 Posted: January 08, 2008 at 07:14 AM (#2663131)
Simon Says: All That Glitters

Simon Says: All that Glitters

I had no idea what I was gonna write about next, but 7mart7 suggests “it would be an interesting article” to compare Bill James’s list (from the New Historical Baseball Abstract) of the 20 top players at each position with my list of the best performers in the sim. I’ve taken one liberty with Bill’s lists: I’ve incorporated Negro Leaguers in the order they’re found in his 100 Greatest Players. Worth a note too that James is counting from the end of 2002, so that some recently retired or still-active players, notably A-Rod and I-Rod, have increased their value since then.

My spreadsheets aren’t rocket science and they aren’t that subjective either: start with RC/600, add or subtract my defensive values, factor in durability, and voila. Others might weigh the metrics a little differently and arrive at a slightly different order, but it’s interesting to look at these guys in groups.

I’m only gonna do position players here because I don’t have the same clarity on pitchers.

In general, if you look at the players on James’s list who don’t make the sim cut, they are not the inner circle HOFamers but marginal stars with decent reputations whose relative weakness here may be due to a blurred peak, bad defense or maybe a hitch in their swing. They are replaced by guys who may be less famous — though we have come to know them pretty well — but who have sharper peaks, or good OBP, or great D, or may simply be overcoded.

Second base is a mysterious haven for a truly amazing collection of ringers.

Catchers:

James:

1. Josh Gibson
2. Yogi Berra
3. Johnny Bench
4. Roy Campanella
5. Mickey Cochrane
6. Mike Piazza
7. Carlton Fisk
8. Bill Dickey
9. Gary Carter
10. Gabby Hartnett
11. Ted Simmons
12. Joe Torre
13. Bill Freehan
14. Ivan Rodriguez
15. Thurman Munson
16. Elston Howard
17. Roger Bresnahan
18. Buck Ewing
19. Darrell Porter
20. Lance Parrish

Sim:

1. Josh Gibson
2. Mickey Cochrane
3. Mike Piazza
4. Gabby Hartnett
5. Johnny Bench
6. Gene Tenace
7. Yogi Berra
8. Craig Biggio
9. King Kelly
10. Roy Campanella
11. Bill Dickey
12. Joe Torre
13. Wally Schang
14. Gary Carter
15. Tom Haller
16. Dick Dietz
17. Louis Santop
18. Earl Smith
19. Wes Westrum
20. Mickey Tettleton

Santop doesn’t make Bill’s top 100 list, but he’s second among NeL catchers and might have made the top 20. I-Rod isn’t playing the sim yet and has presumably increased in value since leading the Tigers to a pennant. Biggio’s an interloper from 2B. Fisk, Freehan, Munson, Howard, Bresnahan, Ewing, Porter and Parrish don’t make my top twenty. They are replaced by Tenace, King Kelly, Haller, the infamously invulnerable Dick Dietz, Oil Smith, Westrum and Tettleton.

First Base:

James:

1. Lou Gehrig
2. Jimmie Foxx
3. Mark McGwire
4. Jeff Bagwell
5. Eddie Murray
6. Johnny Mize
7. Harmon Killebrew
8. Buck Leonard
9. Hank Greenberg
10. Willie McCovey
11. Frank Thomas
12. Cap Anson
13. Don Mattingly
14. Tony Perez
15. Will Clark
16. Dick Allen
17. Keith Hernandez
18. Orlando Cepeda
19. Dan Brouthers
20. Rafael Palmiero

Sim:

1. Lou Gehrig
2. Jimmie Foxx
3. Stan Musial
4. Buck Leonard
4. Mark McGwire
6. Johnny Mize
7. Jeff Bagwell
8. Hank Greenberg
9. Dan Brouthers
10. Rafael Palmiero
11. Harmon Killebrew
12. Bill Terry
13. John Olerud
14. Willie McCovey
15. Roger Connor
16. Frank Thomas
17. Keith Hernandez
18. Norm Cash
19. Eddie Murray
20. Dolph Camilli

Bill and I and everybody else agree on Larrupin’ Lou as numero uno and XX second. James rates Musial in LF. I get to Allen at 3B. There’s fair agreement between the lists. Bill Terry replaces Cap Anson. The Big Hurt’s eponymous glove drops him from the sim list. Olerud is the most obvious overcode, but small sample size may yet chop him down to size.

Second Base:

James:

1. Joe Morgan
2. Eddie Collins
3. Rogers Hornsby
4. Jackie Robinson
5. Craig Biggio
6. Nap Lajoie
7. Ryne Sandberg
8. Charlie Gehringer
9. Rod Carew
10. Roberto Alomar
11. Frankie Frisch
12. Bobby Grich
13. Lou Whitaker
14. Billy Herman
15. Nellie Fox
16. Joe Gordon
17. Willie Randolph
18. Bobby Doerr
19. Tony Lazzeri
20. Larry Doyle

Sim:

1. Rogers Hornsby
2. Eddie Collins
3. Craig Biggio
4. Nap Lajoie
5. Roberto Alomar
6. Joe Morgan
7. Ryne Sandberg
8. Jackie Robinson
9. Bobby Grich
10. Eddie Stanky
11. Bill Monroe
12. Max Bishop
13. Nellie Fox
14. Ross Barnes
15. Charlie Gehringer
15. Baldy Louden
17. Jose Oquendo
18. Jimmy Williams
18. Bingo DeMoss
20. Danny Murphy

Wow.

The top of the 2B list is familiar enough. James was making a point about Hornsby and Morgan, which this game does not support. Here comes Biggio again. Monroe is only ranked fifth among NeL by James so he wouldn’t have made the top 20. Bingo DeMoss is first and might have.

The second ten is absolutely bulging with ringers. Stanky and Bishop, sure, we know they can get on base. But what about Jose Oquendo, Jimmy Williams, and Danny Murphy? Who ever heard of Baldy Louden before this sim? Ross ******* Barnes????!!!

Who ARE these guys, Sundance?

I mean, not to belabor a point, but is there any basis for expecting that Baldy Louden, who had two OPS seasons above 100 in the effing Federal League, would be the equal of Charlie Gehringer, who has fifteen consecutive such seasons, six of them above 130?

Sheesh.

Third Base:

James:

1. Mike Schmidt
2. George Brett
3. Eddie Mathews
4. Wade Boggs
5. Frank Baker
6. Ron Santo
7. Brooks Robinson
8. Paul Molitor
9. Stan Hack
10. Darrell Evans
11. Sal Bando
12. Ken Boyer
13. Graig Nettles
14. Al Rosen
15. Pie Traynor
16. Ron Cey
17. Jimmy Collins
18. Bob Elliott
19. Buddy Bell
20. Tommy Leach

Sim:

1. Eddie Mathews
2. Mike Schmidt
3. Dick Allen
4. Ron Santo
5. George Brett
6. Edgar Martinez
7. Al Rosen
8. Wade Boggs
9. Heine Groh
10. Sal Bando
11. Stan Hack
12. John McGraw
13. Ron Cey
14. Brooks Robinson
15. Bob Elliott
16. Robin Ventura
17. Ray Dandridge
18. Jimmy Collins
19. Frank Baker
20. Ed Yost
21. Paul Molitor
22. Darrell Evans

This is the one I posted before. Ray Dandridge isn’t in James’s top 100; hard to believe he wouldn’t have been in the top 20 at the position. I had to extend the sim list to 22 to get to Darrell Evans, whose one partial poor season was the basis for the original thread. Brett was the best 3B at the other place, but he’s depressed here. Allen and Edgar overcome stone gloves to be relatively valuable. Groh may be the best value at the position. Ken Boyer is undercoded. A relative absence of ringers at the hot corner.

Shortstop:

James:

1. Honus Wagner
2. Pop Lloyd
3. Arky Vaughan
4. Cal Ripken Jr.
5. Robin Yount
6. Ernie Banks
7. Willie Wells
8. Barry Larkin
9. Ozzie Smith
10. Joe Cronin
11. Alan Trammell
12. Pee Wee Reese
13. Luke Appling
14. Lou Boudreau
15. Luis Aparicio
16. George Davis
17. Jim Fregosi
18. Phil Rizzuto
19. Alex Rodriguez
20. Hughie Jennings

Sim:

1. Honus Wagner
2. Lou Boudreau
3. Pop Lloyd
4. Barry Larkin
5, Arky Vaughan
6. Hughie Jennings
7. Willie Wells
8. Cal Ripken
9. Ozzie Smith
10. Robin Yount
11. Ernie Banks
12. Alan Trammell
13. George Davis
14. Bill Dahlen
15. Jay Bell
16. Dick Lundy
17. Silvio García
18. Rico Petrocelli
19. Joe Cronin
20. Dave Bancroft

A-Rod has become #2 all-time in the five years since Bill went to press, wouldn’t ya say? Many excellent Negro League SS spread the field. Reese, Aparicio, and Rizzuto dive out of sight. Ee-Yah Jennings and my man Lou Boudreau come right up the list. Who’da thunk Jay Bell?

Left Field:

James:

1. Ted Williams
2. Stan Musial
3. Barry Bonds
4. Turkey Stearnes
5. Rickey Henderson
6. Carl Yastrzemski
7. Mule Suttles
8. Joe Jackson
9. Al Simmons
10. Tim Raines
11. Willie Stargell
12. Minnie Minoso
13. Billy Williams
14. Ed Delahanty
15. Joe Medwick
16. Jesse Burkett
17. Lou Brock
18. Goose Goslin
19. Charlie Keller
20. Ralph Kiner

Sim:

1. Barry Bonds
2. Ted Williams
3. Rickey Henderson
4. Ed Delahanty
5. Charlie Keller
6. Joe Jackson
7. Carl Yastrzemski
8. Pete Rose
9. Al Simmons
10. Joe Kelley
11. Jesse Burkett
12. Sherry Magee
13. Jimmy Sheckard
14. Ralph Kiner
15. Tim Raines
16. George Burns
17. Roy White
18. Fred Clarke
19. Augie Galan
20. Zack Wheat

The rating of the top LF is canonical. Barry very narrowly passes Teddy Ballgame on defense and durability. We have Musial at 1B. Rose shifts corner OF spots. Charlie Keller excels because of the sim’s insistence on peak. Stearnes has not been coded up to James’ early estimate, while Suttles is a mid-range 1B. Stargell, Minoso, Medwick, Brock, Kiner and Goslin go downhill. Raines takes a bit of a slide. A lot of line-drive hitters show value in the second ten.

Center Field:

James:

1. Willie Mays
2. Oscar Charleston
3. Ty Cobb
4. Mickey Mantle
5. Tris Speaker
6. Joe DiMaggio
7. Duke Snider
8. Cristobal Torriente
9. Ken Griffey Jr.
10. Cool Papa Bell
11. Kirby Puckett
12. Billy Hamilton
13. Jimmy Wynn
14. Larry Doby
15. Dale Murphy
16. Wally Berger
17. Earl Averill
18. Edd Roush
19. Richie Ashburn
20. Fred Lynn

Sim:

1. Mickey Mantle
2. Willie Mays
3. Ty Cobb
4. Oscar Charleston
5. Tris Speaker
6. Joe DiMaggio
7. Duke Snider
8. Jimmy Wynn
9. Larry Doby
10. Cool Papa Bell
11. Richie Ashburn
12. Billy Hamilton
13. Benny Kauff
14. Roy Thomas
15. Earle Combs
16. Bernie Williams
17. Hugh Duffy
17. Lenny Dykstra
19. Wally Berger
20. Fred Lynn

Sure is a dropoff from the top six to the next group. Junior will be an interesting addition to the sim. I don’t know what Bill was smoking when he ranked Kirby. Torriente has not been coded to be a major star, and Cool Papa doesn’t walk enough to make this list. Averill and Roush go south. Some leadoff men fill the gap. Who’s that guy in the Federal League uniform standing there smirking between Hamilton and Thomas?

Right Field:

James:

1. Babe Ruth
2. Hank Aaron
3. Frank Robinson
4. Mel Ott
5. Pete Rose
6. Tony Gwynn
7. Reggie Jackson
8. Roberto Clemente
9. Paul Waner
10. Sam Crawford
11. Al Kaline
12. Martin Dihigo
13. Enos Slaughter
14. Dave Winfield
15. Dave Parker
16. Bobby Bonds
17. Harry Heilmann
18. Bobby Murcer
19. Ken Singleton
20. Andre Dawson

Sim:

1. Babe Ruth
2. Frank Robinson
3. Mel Ott
4. Hank Aaron
5. Sammy Sosa
6. Al Kaline
7. Dwight Evans
8. Harry Heilmann
9. Paul Waner
10. Bobby Bonds
10. Reggie Jackson
12. Roberto Clemente
13. Tommy Henrich
14. Reggie Smith
15. Jack Clark
16. Sam Crawford
17. Martin Dihigo
18. Jesse Barfield
19. Willie Keeler
20. Willard Brown

Bill rated Sammy 45th... whatever. Tony Gwynn’s stock takes a beating. Parker and Dawson lose a lot of value, Singleton, not that much, he’s just off the list. Clemente isn’t as bad as the waagh boards would have it. F.Robbie and Ott just nose out the Hammer, they’re all roughly tied. Dihigo is probably more valuable at second or third than he is in right. Next I might do an article about El Immortal.
http://www.imaginesports.com/bball/article/view?articleID=188
   59. DL from MN Posted: January 08, 2008 at 04:07 PM (#2663268)
"Using ZIPS's changes in projections for pitchers who have a change in role, we find the following difference when a specific pitcher changes roles from relieving to starting.

ERA as a starter = (ERA as a reliever - 1.50) * 1.425 + 1.50."

I doubt that this equation is valid across every season of baseball you are attempting to measure. It isn't standard deviation adjusted. It doesn't take into account a 2 inning relief stint v. a 1 inning stint v. pitching to only one batter with the platoon advantage.

Also this "Gossage - 3 best = Timlin" is a dumb argument. First, Timlin has been a very good relief pitcher with a long, valuable career. Second, taking away 3 of the best relief seasons of all time from Gossage is tying both arms behind his back. What does Koufax look like minus his best 3 seasons? Third, using ERA+ as your measure of which pitcher is best doesn't adjust for usage or context (ERA+ also isn't standard deviation adjusted). If you go to BP WARP and use PRAR and PRAA you get this result:

I excluded 72-73 from Gossage's totals because he probably shouldn't have been pitching in the majors at that point. I took 1975, 1977 and 1982 as his best seasons.

Pitcher PRAR PRAA
Gossage 860 269
Goose-3 595 144
Timlin 506 135

So Goose-3 is still better than Timlin's long career.

For grins:

Koufax 834 250
Koufax-3 444 96
CC Sabathia 497 106
   60. Mark Donelson Posted: January 08, 2008 at 04:35 PM (#2663291)
Obviously you've made up your mind that Gossage is a Hall of Famer, as have the majority of the voters both here and with the BWAA, but it's kind of like the Rice supporters when you use an argument to show Gossage's superiority over other relievers, but reject the same argument to compare Gossage to starting pitchers.

This is pointless, but I'll try anyway for some reason. We haven't made up our minds that Gossage is a HOFer to begin with. We (or many of us) have made up our mind that starting in the 1970s, the role of the relief pitcher actually became a valuable "position," separate from starting pitcher. Teams began to value them, and pay for them, differently starting in that period. "Closer," for better or worse, has become a role every team fills, and tries (for the most part) to fill with a high-quality player. And to us, a select few who have excelled in that role--Fingers, Gossage, Rivera, maybe one or two others--are worthy of enshrinement. (The situation is comparable to that of the DH in some ways: I may support the handful of truly superlative DHs for the Hall as well, with Edgar Martinez as kind of the test case.)

So we're in fact not necessarily comparing their innings/ERA+ (or anything else) directly with those of guys like Blyleven. Wilhelm, as you note, is perhaps the only HOF reliever who can be analyzed that way.

Now, I know you disagree with this line of reasoning, but that's what it is, at least for many of us: a different set of initial assumptions.
   61. sunnyday2 Posted: January 08, 2008 at 04:50 PM (#2663307)
Pitcher PRAR PRAA
Gossage 860 269
Goose-3 595 144
Timlin 506 135

So Goose-3 is still better than Timlin's long career.


Basically what I was trying to say lo these many many posts ago. Even Gossage-3 has a string of ERA+ 150-180 seasons. Timlin's "string" was in the 130-150 range. Just because Goose hung around long enough (and was deployed as a SP one year) to pull his career ERA+ down is irrelevant.

I mean, give Timlin another 3 years at his current level and then let's have this conversation again.
   62. Mike Green Posted: January 08, 2008 at 05:06 PM (#2663323)
To put it another way, the very best relievers after Wilhelm throw 900-1500 relief innings in a career, and even adjusting for leverage, the equivalence is usually in the range of 2000 innings. If you look at it for a career perspective, it is very, very hard for a reliever to match reasonable Hall of Fame standards for a starter (once you make the adjustments for the ease of the task). Rivera probably would make it, and that would be about it.

But, in his prime, Gossage threw 1000 innings that, with adjustments for leverage and ease of task, would equate to 1500 innings of starting with an ERA+ of about 165. There isn't a starter who had a prime like that who is not in the Hall of Fame.

What it comes to is prime vs. career weighting. If you consider Sandy Koufax to be in the bottom half of Hall of Fame pitchers, then Gossage is out. If you consider him to be in the top half, then Gossage is in.
   63. Mark Donelson Posted: January 08, 2008 at 06:02 PM (#2663381)
I suppose part of my impatience on this subject comes from the "we've had this discussion already" part, which is a bit unfair to kwarren, since mostly we had that discussion over at the HOM voting when the '70s relievers first started coming up.

Of course, regardless of any of that, I agree that the Timlin-Gossage comparison is absurd, especially if you put any weight at all into peak/prime and are not a pure career voter.
   64. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: January 08, 2008 at 06:46 PM (#2663439)
139 out of 143 is not 99%.
   65. Newtype Posted: January 08, 2008 at 08:13 PM (#2663533)
Tim Raines only got 24%, ugh.

Full Results:
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080108&content_id=2341502&vkey=news_mlb&fext;=.jsp&c_id=mlb
   66. DL from MN Posted: January 08, 2008 at 08:51 PM (#2663631)
HoM not HoF team just lost it's closer.

Bert goes to 62% but I think he needs 70% next year if he wants to get in.
   67. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 08, 2008 at 09:00 PM (#2663642)
Bert goes to 62% but I think he needs 70% next year if he wants to get in.

He's still got 4 more years. 2010 and 2011 have no lock first ballot guys so I can see a big jump for the holdovers then.
   68. DL from MN Posted: January 08, 2008 at 09:08 PM (#2663654)
> 2010 and 2011 have no lock first ballot guys

That says just how screwed up this system is when Barry Larkin and Jeff Bagwell aren't 1st ballot locks.
   69. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 08, 2008 at 09:13 PM (#2663657)
Yup.

Though I missed Bagwell when I scanned the list, I'm not sure what they'll do with him.
   70. jimd Posted: January 09, 2008 at 12:47 AM (#2663934)
I mean, not to belabor a point, but is there any basis for expecting that Baldy Louden, who had two OPS seasons above 100 in the effing Federal League, would be the equal of Charlie Gehringer, who has fifteen consecutive such seasons, six of them above 130?

No, I think that sums it up in a nutshell, don't you think?
   71. jimd Posted: January 09, 2008 at 01:04 AM (#2663941)
What was the average number of players on a ballot?

5.80, likely higher than tommorrow's average.


HOM voters average 7.53 compared to 5.27 for the other voters.

HOM voters voted 91% for McGwire compared to 72% from the other voters, enough for him to get "elected" with 1 vote to spare.

New candidates: Rod Beck, Shawon Dunston, Travis Fryamn, David Justice, Chuck Knoblauch, Rob Nen, Jose Rijo and Todd Stottlemyre received no votes.

Along with Anderson, Finley, Baines, Morris, and Mattingly, they all would be banished from next year's ballot due to the 5% rule. HOM voters gave Mattingly, Morris, and Finley enough votes to keep them on ballot, but were overruled by the other voters, who also would have banished Parker except for the support from the HOM voters.
   72. jimd Posted: January 09, 2008 at 01:19 AM (#2663943)
New candidates: Rod Beck, Shawon Dunston, Travis Fryamn, David Justice, Chuck Knoblauch, Rob Nen, Jose Rijo and Todd Stottlemyre received no votes.

With the writers, Rijo and 50-HR Brady got no votes; the others (and Finley) got 1 or 2 each. Baines got 28, exactly the 5% minimum necessary to return next year.
   73. Paul Wendt Posted: January 10, 2008 at 06:19 AM (#2665169)
HOM voters voted 91% for McGwire compared to 72% from the other voters, enough for him to get "elected" with 1 vote to spare.

We'll have another chance next year, and the next.
But we won't read any more about Timlin, I mean Gossage.
. . .

New candidates: Rod Beck, Shawon Dunston, Travis Fryamn, David Justice, Chuck Knoblauch, Rob Nen, Jose Rijo and Todd Stottlemyre received no votes.

For the peak voter Jose Rijo puts them all to shame.
   74. sunnyday2 Posted: January 10, 2008 at 01:21 PM (#2665237)
Well, I dunno, was Lee Smith any better than Mike Timlin? ;-)
   75. jobu Posted: January 10, 2008 at 05:48 PM (#2665477)
Jose Rijo got a HOF vote in 2001, prior to his comeback.
   76. yest Posted: January 11, 2008 at 06:22 PM (#2666274)
Ive been too busy to keep up with the HoM for now (especially when where not holding annual elections) I plan too catch up in the near furture
but I noticed that this years HoF elections have the will have least returning players on the ballot next year (13)
   77. Richard Gadsden Posted: January 19, 2008 at 01:55 AM (#2671584)
I still can't see steroids in the same way that I see gambling, IMO.


One possible argument is that steroids endangers other people's health, by "forcing" other players to take steroids.
   78. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 20, 2008 at 03:05 PM (#2672367)
One possible argument is that steroids endangers other people's health, by "forcing" other players to take steroids.


Which I agree with it and is one reason that I'm against PEDs. But I still don't see it as something that could remotely topple baseball, unlike gambling.

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