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

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

2009 Ballot Discussion

2009 (November 3, 2008)—elect 3
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos
535 178.1 1979 Rickey Henderson-LF
294 96.5 1988 Mark Grace-1B
245 92.0 1987 Jay Bell-SS
241 91.0 1987 Matt Williams-3B
251 63.5 1986 Andres Galarraga-1B*
189 87.3 1990 Kevin Appier-P*
206 63.4 1988 Ron Gant-LF
199 63.8 1990 Greg Vaughn-LF
200 59.8 1991 Mo Vaughn-1B
151 65.8 1991 Mike Bordick-SS
140 61.9 1982 Jesse Orosco-RP
129 49.8 1990 John Burkett-P
109 53.6 1991 Charles Nagy-P
113 50.7 1986 Dan Plesac-RP
115 46.0 1992 Denny Neagle-P
125 37.4 1991 Orlando Merced-RF/1B
038 15.4 1991 Kazuhiro Sasaki-RP

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 05, 2007 at 09:23 PM | 486 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. OCF Posted: October 16, 2008 at 09:51 PM (#2984142)
My reactions to the two Appier-cohort charts that DanG posted:

1. Ultimately, Martinez, Maddux, Johnson, and Clemens aren't particularly relevant to the debate, because they're so far from the border of the HoM. The only lingering question: to what extent are they simply one of those clusters of talent that happen by accident, or were there structural factors that made the league easier to dominate for a pitcher? I lean mostly towards the first explanation - a cluster of talent that just happened - but there are structural factors, as well. The biggest one in my mind: as the complete game disappeared and 210-220 IP started looking like what a full-time ace starter throws, ERA decentralized because it's easier for the very best to dominate over 7 innings in a game rather than 9.

2. But even if you remove the top 4 from the argument, you're still left with a very deep pool. Glavine, Brown, Smoltz, Schilling, Mussina, Cone and so on. That's the competition for Appier - can he stand up to it? (I need to work up his case, so I'm not going to try to answer it yet.) How many pitchers would be too many from this era? And the issue of structural enabling factors becomes more acute at this level.

3. I remember many "years" ago when occasionally a player not yet eligible for HoM induction got pulled into an argument and occasionally someone sounded an warning of possible anachronism - how much are we supposed to know about him, anyway. Now that we're in real time, there is no danger of anachronism at all. It is perfectly fair to bring any and all of the pitchers on Dan's lists into the discussion, even though quite a few are not yet HoM-eligible. In fact, even though some are still active, it seems most likely that none of them will add more than negligible amount to his resume.

The pitchers that we really don't know about are the likes of Halladay, Santana, Sabathia - and we really don't know how their careers are going to turn out. That's a different generation.
   202. stax Posted: October 16, 2008 at 10:16 PM (#2984160)

Actually, that IS a requirement.


Voters will vote for 15 players on each HoM ballot. They will list the players from best to worst, identifying their top ranked player with a 1, their second ranked player with a 2, etc. Voters are encouraged to include 15 players on each ballot, though ballots with fewer than 15 players will be accepted.
   203. stax Posted: October 16, 2008 at 10:19 PM (#2984162)
Actually, that IS a requirement.

Constitution:
Voters will vote for 15 players on each HoM ballot. They will list the players from best to worst, identifying their top ranked player with a 1, their second ranked player with a 2, etc. Voters are encouraged to include 15 players on each ballot, though ballots with fewer than 15 players will be accepted.
   204. stax Posted: October 16, 2008 at 10:19 PM (#2984163)
D'oh, double post.
   205. Mark Donelson Posted: October 16, 2008 at 10:25 PM (#2984171)
Who knew? I thought someone once tried to submit fewer than 15 and John or someone asked them to complete the ballot or it wouldn't count...am I making that up?
   206. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: October 16, 2008 at 10:31 PM (#2984177)
I noticed and brought that up once a couple years ago. I don't remember exactly what was said in response, but essentially I got the impression that ballots must have 15 names, and there's a number of things in the Constitution which are no longer accurate. Why it has never been corrected, I have no idea, but I'm just a lurker....
   207. Paul Wendt Posted: October 16, 2008 at 11:42 PM (#2984236)
There is a body of case law generated(? underwritten?) during the 110 years history. The ballot counters and Secretary General John Murphy have been influential there, I believe. My understanding is that it mandates the 15-man rank order ballot and no ties in rank. (If I clerk correctly more than 100 years have passed since the last ballot cast with a tie in rank.)


Let me underscore a point made by DanR and a lurker.
stax #191
14. David Cone - I make no bones about him getting in, really. He was a very good pitcher, infamous for a crazy toolbox ability to throw almost any pitch.
15. Dick Redding - I just don't think there's enough career there to seriously consider him.


DanR #193
3. If you are looking for "ballot filler" candidates, there are about a zillion far superior to Lou Brock!
...
5. If you don't think Redding has enough career to be seriously considered, what, exactly, is he doing on your ballot?


Rank 15 on a ballot is not a vote against someone but a vote for him.
Indeed, in three of 111 elections, unanimous rank 15 has been enough support to elect the third of three winners. See Jake Beckley, Charley Jones, Graig Nettles. In percent terms, which JTM uses in the annual Election Results announcement, rank 15 represents 25% support.

The rules impose that structure but it should also be comfortable for everyone, in my opinion.
It should be impossible to oppose someone's election strongly (not consider a player seriously) and also to rank him 15th best of everyone eligible (cast him a serious rank 15 vote). In that case your standard for serious consideration is too high, you should adapt to the set of 234 players previously elected. After the 2009 cycle there will be 237 players in the Hall of Merit. It is unlikely that any one participant will personally rank every one of them in the top 250 eligible and, even if so, the gaps in quality from rank to rank down near 250 are too small for anyone's personal rank 255 candidate to be noticeably out of place.
   208. Paul Wendt Posted: October 17, 2008 at 12:08 AM (#2984259)
179. RedSoxBaller Posted: October 15, 2008 at 05:45 PM (#2983132)
2. Dizzy Dean- heck of a pitcher, may have been a better broadcaster.

Better pitcher!


OCF #201
>>
2. But even if you remove the top 4 from the argument, you're still left with a very deep pool. Glavine, Brown, Smoltz, Schilling, Mussina, Cone and so on. That's the competition for Appier - can he stand up to it? (I need to work up his case, so I'm not going to try to answer it yet.) How many pitchers would be too many from this era? And the issue of structural enabling factors becomes more acute at this level.
<<

also Bret Saberhagen, who has been elected. He is another 1963-71 birth, 1984-92 debut, Roger to Pedro.


OCF #184
Grove: 143
Clemens: 138
(Nichols: 138) - before defense adjustment; adjusted down to 130.
W. Johnson: 136
Alexander: 133
Walsh: 133
Young: 132
(M. Brown: 132) - before defense adjustment; adjusted down to 121
Koufax: 131
. . .


OCF, Do you rely on RAA and PRAA by Clay Davenport, which underly DERA? If not how do you estimate the necessary adjustment for "defense", which is evidently an alternative or supplement to the official adjustment for unearned runs?

Is your version of the adjustment complicated? I guess so because you have it for Nichols and Brown only, who must be candidates for the very best team fielding support since 60'6".


172. Juan V, posting on behalf of Juan V. Posted: October 15, 2008 at 04:49 PM (#2983084)
I'm still not done with my pitcher re-evaluation, but I wanted to ask about Babe Adams, who surprised me a lot. It looks like he had two peak-heavy HoVG careers rolled into one. Am I missing something?
. . .
178. OCF Posted: October 15, 2008 at 05:33 PM (#2983123)
<i>Juan: Babe Adams does look at first glance like a serious candidate. My RA+ PythPat equivalent record for him is 201-132, which is clearly ahead of Stieb's 190-131 and nearly the same as Newhouser's 202-131. Two things knock Adams down: he was a pre-1920 pitcher, which made IP easier to rack up, and he seems to have been backed by unusually good defenses, so some portion of the credit for that RA+ goes to the defense rather than him. But I never attempted a quantitative estimate of how much Adams benefitted from his defenses.

The early Pirates had quite a collection of HoVG pitchers: Adams, Phillippe, Tannehill, Leever. (Well, Leever does have a supporter around here - perhaps you've noticed that?)


Wilbur Cooper too. Adams and Cooper are rough contemporaries, moreso than Adams and the early-aughts staff.

Vic Willis shared Nichols's later seasons with Boston and Leever & Phillippe's later seasons with Pittsburgh. Although Boston was a very weak team for a few seasons, which hurt his W-L record, that team's decline in fielding was neither so great nor so quick as its general decline.
   209. Paul Wendt Posted: October 17, 2008 at 12:14 AM (#2984274)
194. RedSoxBaller Posted: October 16, 2008 at 11:01 AM (#2983739)
Reupdating my ballot, rechecked Dean's stats, he was a lot less impressive than I remembered....

198. RedSoxBaller Posted: October 16, 2008 at 04:49 PM (#2984086)
Is anyone going to comment on my prelim ballot, or is it so terrible that no one cares?

The voting does not begin for almost two weeks(?). The prelim ballot doesn't need re-posting every time you tweak it, but when you do post a new version you should draw attention to the revisions --and briefly indicate why, perhaps with revised comments on those players.


179. RedSoxBaller Posted: October 15, 2008 at 05:45 PM (#2983132)
2. Dizzy Dean- heck of a pitcher, may have been a better broadcaster.

Better pitcher!
   210. OCF Posted: October 17, 2008 at 12:31 AM (#2984310)
I don't use Davenport stuff; this is home-brew. The defensive adjustments came from some estimates of the I got from fellow posters here about the strengths of particular defenses; I mostly only concerned myself with cases of pitchers known to have pitched in front of truly outstanding defenses (Brown, Nichols, Willis, Palmer). It's quite sporadic, and in particular I never adjusted up anyone who pitched in front of bad defenses. At this point, I'm not altogether sure where to look for the stuff I used.
   211. Paul Wendt Posted: October 17, 2008 at 01:52 AM (#2984512)
Ryan Marchand (Bleed) #174
>>
From the Deeper Backlog:
. . .
1920s – Buzz Arlett, Burleigh Grimes, Dolf Luque, and Jack Quinn</i>

and Urban Shocker #11 on the ballot.
I wonder you do prefer all four to Wilbur Cooper and why if so?

1990s – Kevin Appier and Dennis Martinez

What distinguishes Dennis M from Frank T, Jack M, and David W?

5. Bert Campaneris – a player greatly benefited by lightly documented value, namely, his baserunning ability and glove defense. In a season of dominating pitchers, Campaneris and his 4 HR’s were nearly an MVP caliber season in 1968, and his 1970 (20 HR’s!) and 1973 seasons where outstanding as well. Additional all-star seasons in 1971-72, 1974, and 1976-77. Solid filler in four other seasons. Quite valuable in a time when Jackie and Enzo Hernandez dotted the diamond.

Ironically it seemed to me that he was a big star in 1960s when he was featured on Salada Tea lids that my aunt saved for me. In the 1970s I was disappointed that he wasn't so great as he should be. But you have him as a perennial all-star then. Probably he benefat ;-) earlier from playing on a weak team, the KC Athletics, and from maturing as a player before Catfish and Reggie.

12. Dave Bancroft – poor basestealing skills and lack of in-season durability is what knocks Bancroft below Concepcion.

Have you checked any of the play-by-play or expanded box score data that Retrosheet has published for 1921 and 1922 (but no other early seasons except 1911)? I have barely checked it on a few points, nothing systematic. I ask because your seem confident of the baserunning assessment, which we don't often see here for players of that time.

11. Urban Shocker – Don’t forget an all-star type season for Urban in 1918. He put a Cy Young Award type performance in 1921, and an excellent 1922. 1920 and 1923-26 are all-star caliber years, and he throws in a couple filler seasons. He comes up quite impressively in the PA system.

Why does he fare quite well there? I suppose it is primarily because he fares so well in Davenport's analysis of team fielding support; that is, in DERA and its underlying RAA vs PRAA. He suffered with some poor fielding teams. Contrast Wilbur Cooper for relevant example.


Bucky Walters – Jim Palmer lite for the 1930s & 40s. A good pitcher made excellent by some of the greatest defenses every assembled (Bill McKechnie LOVED gloves). I would choose Virgil Trucks before Walters for war-era hurlers from the pros.

How about Dizzy Trout?
Some people give Jim Palmer credit for pitching to his fielders, enough credit to be significant in ranking the all-time greats. Maybe Walters too?
(I have not supported Walters for the Hall of Fame and I don't know how one makes such judgments. At the same time, I don't know how Davenport and others quantify the team fielding support that official unearned runs do not capture.)
   212. Bleed the Freak Posted: October 17, 2008 at 03:05 AM (#2984686)
Paul, Thanks for the discussion on my rankings.

I only see Cooper as better than Quinn in best of 3, 5, 7, or 10 years, but the margin is narrow at each interval, and Quinn has a huge career edge.

I see Shocker as slightly more valuable than this grouping by WARP 1 data in best of 5, 7, or 10 years, but Grimes is very close. Shocker does excellent in NRA and DERA too and is only behind Quinn in PA, but has a strong peak.

Luque has the best three years of the bunch, but falls off after that from the well-documented MLB seasons. Does anyone have reliable data from his age 23-26 seasons?

As for Dennis Martinez, I stretched on including him, but wanted some names for the 1990s. Tanana and Morris are comparable or better to Martinez, although there best seasons are from the 70s/80s, while Dennis was actually quite good in the 90s. You can take Dennis off and replace him with Joey Belle amongst the notable 90s guys (too bad he didn't have an additional peak season).

On Bert Campaneris, I was not careful in my wording, I meant to say all-star "type" of seasons, since I'm not trustworthy of the actual men chosen as All-Stars (Bert was actually selected in 1968, 1972-75, and 1977- 6 times.)
Case in point, King Hubris "Steve Garvey" was selected to 10! A-S games!

With regard to Dave Bancroft, his rookie season, he stole 15 bases and was caught 27 times. For 1920-25, he was 60 SB, 58 CS. On Dan Rosenheck's revised WARP data, Bancroft fell 5.6 points, thanks in large part to tweaks Dan made to the system in baserunning abilities.

I mentioned Trucks over Trout because of the PA numbers on first glance, but a reasonable voter could go either way on Trout versus Trucks.
   213. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 17, 2008 at 03:56 AM (#2985073)
stax--Thanks for the quick response.

Not sure what you mean by "not punishing." Dean's MLB record is what it is, and he deserves credit for it, nothing more, nothing less. Either you evalute him based on his actual MLB performance, or you give extra credit. The fact of the matter is, his career was phenomenally short, so short that only a *pure* peak voter would vote for him. If you say you think of yourself as a career voter, that's an awfully strange choice. If Dean's on your ballot, I'd expect to see guys like Al Rosen, Frank Chance, and Dale Murphy there as well.

Brock was a stunningly unspectacular runner given his raw SB total. Dan Fox's EqBRR, which is by far the most comprehensive baserunning stat available for the post-1956 Retrosheet era, gives Brock a mere 32 baserunning runs above average: six from advancing on groundouts, 17 from stolen bases, negative two from advancing on flyouts, and 10 from advancing on hits. The truly elite runners (Rickey, Raines, Vince Coleman, and Willie Wilson) are all over plus-100.

Moreover, whatever benefit Brock should get from his running his more than cancelled out by his noodle arm. Sean Smith gives Brock 47 arm runs below average for his career, which is just about as bad as it gets. (His range and hands, according to Smith's TotalZone, were exactly league-average: -4 putout runs for his career). Put more directly, for every marginal base above average that Brock took with his own legs, he allowed opposing runners to take 1.4 with his pathetic excuse for an arm. He turned opposing runners into better runners than he himself was!

So then we're left with the offense...where his OPS+ was 109. That's good for a shortstop, but it's not even Hall of the Very Good for a corner outfielder. I'm sorry, but Lou Brock is barely halfway to the Hall of Merit's established standard.

Oh sure, there's no doubting that Belle was a monster hitter in the 90's. The guy could mash. But it's just a very, very short career. He wouldn't be the *worst* guy in the HoM--he's a perfectly reasonable choice for a true pure peak voter--but for a guy with no significant defensive or baserunning value, it's just not much of a body of work.

RedSoxBaller--well, I disagree with the majority of the players you've listed. But since you give no indication of your ranking process, it makes it rather difficult to have a discussion, doesn't it?

OCF--the standard deviation of ERA+ was definitely far higher in the 90's-00's than in any other era of baseball history. But of course, that factor is counteracted by lower seasonal IP totals. It seems to me you can do fine by simply ignoring both factors and letting them cancel each other out, but obviously the superior approach is to correct for both. (I have a stdev adjustment I am quite comfortable with, and an IP adjustment that's very much in the works).

Paul Wendt--as Bleed the Freak notes, CS records were kept for the NL for 1915 and 1920-25. Bancroft was a ghastly 15 SB/27 CS his rookie year and a pretty putrid 8/12 in 1920. The rest was close enough to league average.

Bleed the Freak--Don't Call Him Joey! :)
   214. Paul Wendt Posted: October 17, 2008 at 06:35 AM (#2985475)
>>
> 12. Dave Bancroft – poor basestealing skills
> and lack of in-season durability is what knocks Bancroft below Concepcion.

Have you checked any of the play-by-play or expanded box score data that Retrosheet has published for 1921 and 1922 (but no other early seasons except 1911)? I have barely checked it on a few points, nothing systematic. I ask because your seem confident of the baserunning assessment, which we don't often see here for players of that time.
<<

That is clearly written but I misinterpreted it as baserunning in general.
   215. bjhanke Posted: October 17, 2008 at 08:29 AM (#2985491)
Apparently, I need to post a preliminary ballot in order to participate in this yearly voting. I hope I'm not too late, but if I am, please discard this. I'm a big boy. I can wait for next year. Also, this is VERY preliminary, as I'm spending most of my efforts right now on right fielders. When that ends on Sunday, I can start looking at the wide world of the unelected. No comments yet; too preliminary for that.

1. Rickey Henderson
2. Babe Adams
3. John McGraw
4. Reggie Smith
5. Don Newcombe
6. Bobby Bonds
7. Dizzy Dean
8. Luis Tiant
9. Sam Leever
10. Hilton Smith
11. Tommy Bond
12. Tommy Leach
13. Rabbit Maranville
14. Lou Brock
15. Kevin Appier

Thanks, Brock
   216. stax Posted: October 17, 2008 at 02:09 PM (#2985595)
Thanks DanR, that's all I was looking for. I trust your baserunning work as it really seems pretty comprehensive. Any chance of posting a... say top 50 baserunners list at some point? I think it'd make for an interesting read. Anyways, updating due to seeming progress on Appier as a candidate and knocking Lou Brock off the island.

1. Rickey Henderson
2. Reggie Smith
3. Kirby Puckett
4. Tony Perez
5. Gavvy Cravath
6. Dave Concepción
7. Bert Campaneris
8. Lee Smith
9. Dizzy Dean
10. Tommy Leach
11. Bobby Bonds
12. Albert Belle
13. Kevin Appier
14. David Cone
15. Lefty Gomez
   217. stax Posted: October 17, 2008 at 02:13 PM (#2985598)
For some reason my posts don't want to show up, I bet this ends up as a double post but here's my ballot again...


1. Rickey Henderson
2. Reggie Smith
3. Kirby Puckett
4. Tony Perez
5. Gavvy Cravath
6. Dave Concepción
7. Bert Campaneris
8. Lee Smith
9. Dizzy Dean
10. Tommy Leach
11. Bobby Bonds
12. Albert Belle
13. Kevin Appier
14. David Cone
15. Lefty Gomez
   218. DanG Posted: October 17, 2008 at 02:33 PM (#2985620)
also Bret Saberhagen, who has been elected. He is another 1963-71 birth, 1984-92 debut, Roger to Pedro.

Here is the larger cohort. All pitchers 2560+ IP, 1984-2008:

Cnt Player            OPSERA+  W   L    IP   From  To
+----+-----------------+----+----+---+---+------+----+----+
    
1 Pedro Martinez      60  154 214  99 2782.2 1992 2008 
    2 Roger Clemens       68  143 354 184 4916.2 1984 2007 
    3 Randy Johnson       70  137 295 160 4039.1 1988 2008 
    4 Greg Maddux         75  132 355 227 5008.1 1986 2008 
    5 John Smoltz         75  127 210 147 3395   1988 2008 
    6 Curt Schilling      76  127 216 146 3261   1988 2007 
    7 Kevin Brown         78  127 211 144 3256.1 1986 2005 
    8 Mike Mussina        81  122 270 153 3562.2 1991 2008 
    9 Bret Saberhagen     81  126 167 117 2562.2 1984 2001 
   10 David Cone          82  120 194 126 2898.2 1986 2003 
   11 Kevin Appier        83  121 169 137 2595.1 1989 2004 
   12 Dwight Gooden       86  111 194 112 2800.2 1984 2000 
   13 Jimmy Key           86  122 186 117 2591.2 1984 1998 
   14 Tom Glavine         88  118 305 203 4413.1 1987 2008 
   15 Orel Hershiser      88  112 204 150 3122.1 1984 2000 
   16 Andy Pettitte       89  116 215 127 2731.2 1995 2008 
   17 Chuck Finley        90  115 200 173 3197.1 1986 2002 
   18 Tim Wakefield       91  108 178 157 2802   1992 2008 
   19 Tom Candiotti       92  108 147 160 2669.1 1984 1999 
   20 David Wells         93  108 239 157 3439   1987 2007 
   21 Mark Langston       93  108 179 158 2962.2 1984 1999 
   22 Jamie Moyer         96  106 246 185 3746.2 1986 2008 
   23 Kenny Rogers        96  108 219 156 3302.2 1989 2008 
   24 John Burkett        98   99 166 136 2648.1 1987 2003 
   25 Terry Mulholland   106   93 124 142 2575.2 1986 2006 
   219. OCF Posted: October 17, 2008 at 04:29 PM (#2985734)
OCF--the standard deviation of ERA+ was definitely far higher in the 90's-00's than in any other era of baseball history. But of course, that factor is counteracted by lower seasonal IP totals.

That was Dan R's comment. There's a third factor, which I really don't know what to do with: even as seasonal IP have shrunk, there's been a massive expansion in the numbers of effective old pitchers. Look at Dan G's latest chart - four 4000 IP careers, two more 3500 IP careers, several more not far behind that. It's hard for a pitcher to accumulate a peak value case, because of the limited IP per season, but there are quite a few pitchers there with substantial career value cases - like Glavine and Mussina.
   220. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: October 17, 2008 at 05:57 PM (#2985820)
Is there anybody else besides Bancroft who stands out in the CS data from that era? Were the overall percentages different than later eras?
   221. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 17, 2008 at 07:45 PM (#2985928)
stax--It's not my baserunning work, it's Dan Fox's. The next version of my WARP will include that data. But sure, I could post a list when I get a sec.

Devin McCullen--you could just sort my sheet for lowest BRWAA to find the high-CS guys...if I recall correctly Charlie Hollocher had one particularly ghastly year in there somewhere. Yes, the success rate was much lower back then, more like 55-60% than today's 70%-plus.
   222. Paul Wendt Posted: October 17, 2008 at 08:06 PM (#2985963)
Why does Dwight Gooden stand out for permitting relatively poor OPS+ but achieving relatively poor ERA+ ?
   223. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 17, 2008 at 08:09 PM (#2985970)
Normally that would mean either that he pitched worse from the stretch than with the bases empty, or that an unusually high percentage of his runs allowed were earned.
   224. OCF Posted: October 17, 2008 at 08:41 PM (#2986011)
WIth Gooden, I'd want to specifically ask about his 1984 season, when he was a 19 year old rookie. 218 IP, 276 SO (Wow!), 73 BB, 7 HR. (It's a monster season by DIPS.) ERA 2.60, ERA+ 137. I have it as an RA+ of 134 (so UER don't seem to be the explanation for that season) and a 15-9 equivalent record. So the actual results are good - but not the monster season that DIPS would project.

If I calculate H/(BFP-SO-BB-HBP) for Gooden I get .305 for his career and .305 for 1984. (This was .273 and .268 in 1985 and 1986.) If I take the HR out of that - (H-HR)/(BFP-SO-BB-HBP-HR) - I get .287 career, .296 for 1984, and .259 and .250 for 1985 and 1986.)

Those numbers don't look particularly unusual to me, although I don't have a strong sense for such things.

My career RA+ equivalent record is 174-137, which matches an RA+ of 113, compared to his actual career ERA+ of 111. Again, UER don't seem to to be the explanation.
   225. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: October 17, 2008 at 09:03 PM (#2986030)
B-R's splits pages have BABIP. Gooden was .291 for his career. .297 in '84, .262 in '85, .254 in '86. The slight differences may lie in using actual AB, rather than BF.

Gooden actually pitched better with men on than bases empty over his career. (Typically, offense is a little better with men on base.) In 1985, especially, he was unhittable (.448 OPS) with men on base.
   226. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: October 17, 2008 at 09:05 PM (#2986033)
In '84 he performed worse with men on base, though not egregiously so -- about the same as the typical split.
   227. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 18, 2008 at 12:42 AM (#2986130)
Was he unhittable? Or simply unhit--that is to say, lucky? And if we think it's the latter, does he deserve full credit for the fortuitous timing of the hits against him, when it is impossible for us to give the same credit to position players? I have not yet made up my mind about this, but my instinct is certainly to give more credit to DIPS dominance than fluky variations in BABIP or strand rate.
   228. Howie Menckel Posted: October 18, 2008 at 12:55 AM (#2986135)
"In 1985, especially, he was unhittable (.448 OPS) with men on base."

I went to at least a dozen of these starts at Shea, always behind home plate (best spot, for me, to watch a dominating pitcher).

The question of luck is very fair, and there are sample size issues.
But.... he did indeed feel like a guy who could 'dial it up' when needed. Once people got on base, it seemed the foul balls were only backwards, as if they were lucky even to graze it (zero statistical evidence here).

We've seen Jim Palmer intriguingly both allow a lot of fair balls, while blessed with some of the best defenders in history. And he never once allowed a grand slam.

Wang had an interesting 2007, iirc, with K rate with runners on 3rd and one out.
Matsuzaka this year - his numbers scream fluke, but I watched him that one playoff game and... I'm not sure.
Glavine confounded some SABRmeticians for years. Knuckleballers have done it, too.

There have been plenty of lucky hit rate players, one year with silly h pct rates that balloon an AVG, and we know why. I am comfortable giving credit for results.
The longer it goes, the less likely it's all luck.

It's like why I don't care about K rate in evaluating history.
For my 2009 fantasy rankings, absolutely I boost high-K guys significantly. Better chance of success.

But looking back? These are their results. I don't much care how you got 'em (after proper adjustments of course), unless you can prove luck...
   229. Paul Wendt Posted: October 18, 2008 at 01:39 AM (#2986143)
Here is a table (fingers crossed) that repeats the first four columns and then gives the product/100.

1    Pedro Martinez      60    154     92.40     very low
2    Roger Clemens       68    143     97.24
3    Randy Johnson       70    137     95.90
4    Greg Maddux         75    132     99.00
5    John Smoltz         75    127     95.25
6    Curt Schilling      76    127     96.52
7    Kevin Brown         78    127     99.06
8    Mike Mussina        81    122     98.82
9    Bret Saberhagen     81    126    102.06     high
10    David Cone          82    120     98.40
11    Kevin Appier        83    121    100.43
12    Dwight Gooden       86    111     95.46     very low
13    Jimmy Key           86    122    104.92     high
14    Tom Glavine         88    118    103.84     high
15    Orel Hershiser      88    112     98.56
16    Andy Pettitte       89    116    103.24     high
17    Chuck Finley        90    115    103.50     high
18    Tim Wakefield       91    108     98.28
19    Tom Candiotti       92    108     99.36
20    David Wells         93    108    100.44
21    Mark Langston       93    108    100.44
22    Jamie Moyer         96    106    101.76
23    Kenny Rogers        96    108    103.68     
24    John Burkett        98    99     97.02     very low
25    Terry Mulholland    106    93     98.58 


There is some trend so I haven't marked RJ or Smoltz low, or Rogers high. But I have done and not done by the eyeball method.
   230. OCF Posted: October 18, 2008 at 01:40 AM (#2986145)
Why does Dwight Gooden stand out for permitting relatively poor OPS+ but achieving relatively poor ERA+ ?

Is it really Gooden that's out of line? Or is it Key and Glavine behind him? (I assume that Paul is reading DanG's chart in post 218). Probably a little of both.

Ask this: what offensive events enhance or deflate run-scoring but are not counted in OPS+? Basestealing and double plays. (And of course, one of the effects of basestealing is to cut down on double plays.) Gooden was a FB pitcher, hence probably on the low side on DP, and he was very easy to run on. Key and Glavine were GB pitchers (I think) and generally hard to run on. Probably it's the DP that are the big deal, and the SB is a lesser effect but one that points in the same direction.
   231. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 18, 2008 at 01:44 AM (#2986146)
Also, GB pitchers give up fewer sac flies.
   232. Blackadder Posted: October 18, 2008 at 06:05 AM (#2986196)
Dan, I am sympathetic to your point about weighting DIPS, but I think one needs to be careful about using luck alone as a justification. The problem, I think, is that there are a lot more ways in which someone can be "lucky", for many of which everyone here would give credit. Jorge Posada, for instance, was almost certainly extremely hit lucky last year; he just happened to be one of the few guys out there who hit at something like two SDs above their actual talent batting average over the course of a season. Everyone would, I take it, give Posada just as much credit for last year as they would if he were a career .338 hitter. But in some sense, Posada was just as "lucky" in hitting far above his true hitting talent as Gooden was in 1985 in pitching above his true talent level when men were on base. Both produced real runs and wins for their teams, and both were to a large extent the result of chance.

As I said before, I am actually sympathetic to your position, as well as that of many people here. It seems, intuitively, much more plausible to give Posada credit for his hitting last year than Gooden for his fortuitous distribution of hits; however, I am not entirely sure how the relevant distinction between them ought to be drawn. I am pretty sure that chance alone does not do the trick, but I think it should be possible come up with some other, more sophisticated principle separating the two. I am not sure, at the moment, what that principle ought to be.
   233. OCF Posted: October 18, 2008 at 06:10 AM (#2986197)
Appier by RA+ PythPat: 172-116 overall. Best 5 years: 20-7, 17-6, 17-9, 16-8, 13-8.

Compare Cone: 190-132 overall. Best 5 years: 18-10, 14-5, 15-7, 16-9, 16-12.

And Saberhagen: 174-111 overall. Best 5 years: 20-10, 19-8, 18-8, 14-6, 13-8.

And Key: 171-117 overall. Best 5 years: 20-9, 17-9, 15-8, 16-10, 14-9.

In none of the cases are the five best years consecutive or even particularly close to consecutive. I haven't applied any corrections for 1994-1995 shortened seasons.

My own 2008 ballot had Saberhagen 4th and Cone 7th. We elected Saberhagen (3rd in the vote, appearing on 24 of 50 ballots) and put Cone in 15th place, appearing on 17 of 50 ballots.

Appier has a slight peak advantage over Cone. He has the best single year of these five pitchers. For my own sake, I will put Appier begind cone, based on the career value - but it's not a night and day difference. I'll have Key and Appier very close to each other, in an order to be determined.
   234. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: October 18, 2008 at 06:31 AM (#2986203)
I'm not sure the calculation in #229 is that meaningful. In addition to the effects listed by OCF in 230, the relationship between OPS+ and ERA is not linear. Allowing just a few less baserunners can result in a large decrease in runs allowed. More accurate would probably be to do some sort of runs-created calculation based on the hits/walks/etc allowed by the pitcher, and compare that to actual runs allowed. Or something like component ERA compared to actual ERA.
   235. bjhanke Posted: October 18, 2008 at 07:02 AM (#2986209)
OCF says, "I'll have Key and Appier very close to each other, in an order to be determined."

As I wrote, I've had little time to deal with this ballot yet. Bu I did not the similarity between Appier and Key, and went to the trouble to look up the records of their teams. Jimmy Key did benefit, in won/lost, from being on better teams, but the margin is not great - just about enough to make the difference in their individual w/ls. I, right now, can't see any way to slide someone in between them. Appier is slightly better, but very little. If I don't list Appier 15th on my ballot, then Key will be right behind him on it.

- Brock
   236. sunnyday2 Posted: October 18, 2008 at 01:18 PM (#2986237)
Saberhagen doesn't look like such a great precendent all of a sudden.
   237. DanG Posted: October 18, 2008 at 02:00 PM (#2986249)
More accurate would probably be to do some sort of runs-created calculation based on the hits/walks/etc allowed by the pitcher, and compare that to actual runs allowed.

Same pitchers from #218, Runs Created, Runs Allowed and Earned Runs

Cnt Player             RC    R   ER    IP   From  To
+----+-----------------+----+----+----+------+----+----+
    
1 Pedro Martinez     957  988  901 2782.2 1992 2008 
    2 Bret Saberhagen   1088 1036  952 2562.2 1984 2001 
    3 Jimmy Key         1183 1104 1010 2591.2 1984 1998 
    4 Kevin Appier      1189 1168 1078 2595.1 1989 2004 
    5 Dwight Gooden     1189 1198 1091 2800.2 1984 2000 
    6 David Cone        1218 1222 1115 2898.2 1986 2003 
    7 Tom Candiotti     1248 1278 1110 2669.1 1984 1999 
    8 John Smoltz       1332 1336 1229 3395   1988 2008 
    9 Kevin Brown       1339 1357 1185 3256.1 1986 2005 
   10 Orel Hershiser    1361 1360 1208 3122.1 1984 2000 
   11 Curt Schilling    1381 1318 1253 3261   1988 2007 
   12 Andy Pettitte     1386 1308 1180 2731.2 1995 2008 
   13 John Burkett      1413 1374 1268 2648.1 1987 2003 
   14 Mark Langston     1416 1438 1306 2962.2 1984 1999 
   15 Terry Mulholland  1454 1396 1262 2575.2 1986 2006 
   16 Tim Wakefield     1468 1522 1345 2802   1992 2008 
   17 Randy Johnson     1543 1648 1461 4039.1 1988 2008 
   18 Chuck Finley      1547 1517 1366 3197.1 1986 2002 
   19 Mike Mussina      1624 1559 1458 3562.2 1991 2008 
   20 David Wells       1796 1702 1578 3439   1987 2007 
   21 Kenny Rogers      1804 1739 1568 3302.2 1989 2008 
   22 Roger Clemens     1855 1885 1707 4916.2 1984 2007 
   23 Jamie Moyer       1988 1881 1743 3746.2 1986 2008 
   24 Greg Maddux       2006 1981 1756 5008.1 1986 2008 
   25 Tom Glavine       2035 1900 1734 4413.1 1987 2008 
   238. Paul Wendt Posted: October 18, 2008 at 02:26 PM (#2986258)
229. Paul Wendt Posted: October 17, 2008 at 09:39 PM (#2986143)
Here is a table (fingers crossed) that repeats the first four columns and then gives the product/100.

----- --------    OPS+    ERA+    /100
1    Pedro Martinez      60    154     92.40     very low
2    Roger Clemens       68    143     97.24 


234. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: October 18, 2008 at 02:31 AM (#2986203)
<i>I'm not sure the calculation in #229 is that meaningful.

What sort of meaning are you seeking? The product reveals where pitcher OPS+ is high and low given ERA+, and vice versa. Both directions are meaningful but the former is important because ERA+ is the established measure and OPS+ is the newcomer. If pitcher OPS+ has anything to contribute to evaluation or pitcher quality, that will be by praising Gooden and others whose OPS+ is low, damning Key and others whose OPS+ is high, given what we already know by reference to ERA+.

Pitcher OPS+ is essentially unknown and ERA+ is the most popular measure of pitching quality. DanG presents them side by side, without comment, but clearly in order to facilitate sound comparative judgment about Kevin Appier and contemporary pitchers. Is OPS+ valuable for that purpose? Should it be considered an equal partner with ERA+? Ordering table #218 by OPS+, DanG clearly answers yes to the first and it is natural to interpret the table in favor of the second too. Hey, pitcher OPS+ is available for reference (where?). Use it along with ERA+.
   239. Paul Wendt Posted: October 18, 2008 at 03:20 PM (#2986277)
The same point regarding #237:

From our perspective having and (over)using a valuable measure of pitching quality based on Earned Runs, namely ERA+,
is there valuable information about pitching quality in the facts that Jimmy Key and Andy Pettitte yielded many Runs Created and Randy Johnson yielded few Runs Created?

Among those on the agenda, Bret Saberhagen is also on the high side; given Earned Runs, he yielded many Runs Created.
Appier, Gooden, and Cone are close to average.

There may be some discernable pattern:
low RC given ER
Randy Johnson
(gap)
Pedro Martinez
Roger Clemens
Mark Langston
John Smoltz
Tim Wakefield
   240. DanG Posted: October 18, 2008 at 03:29 PM (#2986280)
Hey, pitcher OPS+ is available for reference (where?).

I finally broke down and bought access to the Play Index at BB-Ref. Tremendous tool, I'm just beginning to dig into its capabilities.
   241. OCF Posted: October 19, 2008 at 02:30 AM (#2987359)
This doesn't have anything to do with this election, but I was just browsing through the comments on fivethirtyeight.com when I saw a post suggesting to Nate Silver a name for his model. In the same spirit as PECOTA, an acronym that happens to spell out a former Royal untilty player, this suggestion was for an acronym that spelled out the name of a certain prominent red-haired former Missouri congressman. Why do I mention this at all? Becuase the poster called himself "Dr Chaleeko." There can't be two people out there that would call themselves that, right?
   242. AJMcCringleberry Posted: October 19, 2008 at 03:40 AM (#2987713)
I missed most of the positional ballots, but I'm back for this.

Prelim:

1. Rickey!
2. Perez
3. Walters
4. Ryan
5. Staub
6. Matlock
7. Murphy
8. Trout
9. Johnson
10. Cravath
11. Cone
12. Puckett
13. Belle
14. Tanana
15. Lee Smith

21. Appier

Grace is the only other newbie in the top 100.
   243. Howie Menckel Posted: October 19, 2008 at 02:39 PM (#2987907)
No, I'm sure many fans of Nate's baseball SABRmetric work have gravitated to his political-election analysis as well.
   244. Chris Cobb Posted: October 20, 2008 at 01:31 AM (#2988410)
Although the pitcher OPS+ vs. ERA+ is a kind of interesting debate, in my view neither of these measures is as useful a measure as ones which adjust systematically for pitcher's defensive support.

Here are some data from one such measure: DERA from Clay Davenport's WARP1.

WARP1 adjusts pitcher's runs allowed in two ways. First, it normalizes runs allowed to a 4.50 r/g environment. This turns a pitcher's RA into NRA--normalized runs allowed. Second, it adjusts NRA for team defensive efficiency to show what a pitcher's rate of runs allowed would be with league average defensive support: this is DERA.

It is the NRA->DERA adjustment that sets David Cone apart from Kevin Appier, as the following table shows.


Pitcher------DERA NRA  Diff –IP -- Career
P
Martinez3.16 3.10 +.06 2782.2 1992 2008 
R
Clemens-- 3.17 3.28 -.11 4916.2 1984 2007 
R
Johnson-- 3.48 3.52 -.04 4039.1 1988 2008 
C
Schilling 3.51 3.53 -.02 3261   1988 2007 
Saberhagen
-- 3.53 3.62 -.09 2562.2 1984 2001 
John Smoltz
3.61 3.61 0.00 3395   1988 2008 
Greg Maddux
3.67 3.61 +.06 5008.1 1986 2008 
M
Mussina-- 3.69 3.68 -.01 3562.2 1991 2008 
Kevin Brown
3.77 3.79 -.02 3256.1 1986 2005 
David Cone
-- 3.78 3.84 -.08 2898.2 1986 2003 
K
Appier--- 3.85 3.76 +.09 2595.1 1989 2004 
Tom Glavine
3.95 3.90 +.05 4413.1 1987 2008
D
Gooden--- 3.97 4.09 -.12 2800.2 1984 2000 
Chuck Finley 3.99 3.99 0.00 3197.1 1986 2002 
Jimmy Key
--- 3.99 3.76 +.23 2591.2 1984 1998 
A
Pettitte4.02 4.00 +.02 2731.2 1995 2008 
M
Langston4.13 4.20 -.07 2962.2 1984 1999 
David Wells
4.16 4.18 -0.2 3439   1987 2007 
O
Hershiser 4.17 4.17 0.00 3122.1 1984 2000 
Kenny Rogers 4.23 4.32 
-.08 3302.2 1989 2008 
T
.Candiotti4.28 4.33 -.05 2669.1 1984 1999 
T
Wakefield 4.34 4.37 -.03 2802   1992 2008 
Jamie Moyer
4.36 4.26 +.10 3746.2 1986 2008 
J
Burkett-- 4.57 4.53 +.04 2648.1 1987 2003 
Mulholland
-- 4.81 4.83 -.02 2575.2 1986 2006 


This table includes all the pitchers from Dan G's extended list above. The top 9 by this measure are pretty much obvious HoMers: Pedro through Kevin Brown. (Glavine is an obvious HoMer also, of course, though with a somewhat different profile.)

David Cone is 10th and Kevin Appier 11th, and you can see that defensive support pretty much flips the two of them in the rankings, though Cone also has an not insignificant IP edge on Appier. If the in-out line runs between these two, it's pretty clear by this measure that Cone would be in and Appier out, though it could be that both should be out or both in.

DERA splits Jimmy Key off decisively from Cone and Appier: his career defensive support was far and away the best of any pitcher listed here. When durability is also factored in, Key drops from looking like a borderline candidate to looking not even close: he clearly trails Appier, Gooden, and Finley, and probably Pettitte and Wells (Wells has 1/3 more career IP!)

Also, DERA shows part of why we elected Saberhagen over those who are being compared to him: his IP are not impressive, but his effectiveness certainly is! I would be remiss in not mentioning also that Saberhagen put up his best seasons during the 1980s, before the 7 innings-and-out model of starting pitcher usage caused standard deviations on runs allowed to increase dramatically, so his performance is even a bit more impressive than it appears, when compared to players whose big years came in the mid-1990s.
   245. Chris Fluit Posted: October 20, 2008 at 03:39 PM (#2989985)
Apparently, I need to post a preliminary ballot in order to participate in this yearly voting. I hope I'm not too late, but if I am, please discard this. I'm a big boy. I can wait for next year. Also, this is VERY preliminary, as I'm spending most of my efforts right now on right fielders. When that ends on Sunday, I can start looking at the wide world of the unelected. No comments yet; too preliminary for that.

1. Rickey Henderson
2. Babe Adams
3. John McGraw
4. Reggie Smith
5. Don Newcombe
6. Bobby Bonds
7. Dizzy Dean
8. Luis Tiant
9. Sam Leever
10. Hilton Smith
11. Tommy Bond
12. Tommy Leach
13. Rabbit Maranville
14. Lou Brock
15. Kevin Appier

Thanks, Brock


Brock, you're not required to submit a preliminary ballot if you're a returning voter (though of course, we encourage all voters to submit prelims for the sake of discussion). If you are a new voter, then a preliminary ballot is required. The point of the prelim is for current electorate to be given the chance to vet the newcomer. Part of that vetting includes having the newcomer provide comments as well as picks, so that we can understand your methodology. We know that not everyone will use the same methodology (there are drastic disagreements within the electorate) but we do want to insure that new voters are voting consistently, and also that they're being fair to all eras. Your inclusion of a 19th century player (McGraw), a Negro League player (H. Smith) and an integration era player (Newcombe) shows that you are probably being fair to all eras. However, some notes about your methodology would be helpful, especially because of the intriguing mix of candidates. Also, we're not necessarily trying to change your ballot, so much as testing your ability to defend your ballot.
   246. DL from MN Posted: October 20, 2008 at 05:14 PM (#2990085)
RedSoxBaller, please indicate more than your top 15, that would help me figure out if there is someone in your next 15 (or so) that you may be underrating. Also, for all new voters you need to comment on your placement of all of the following top 10 returnees:

Smith, Reggie
Walters, Bucky
Leach, Tommy ***
McGraw, John
Redding, Dick ***
Puckett, Kirby
Johnson, Bob ***

bjhanke - Babe Adams?! You're going to have to write an essay to explain this one.

2009 Prelim Ballot

PHoM this year is Rickey Henderson, Urban Shocker and Wally Schang. Vic Willis and Alejandro Oms just missed.

My system is rather back of the envelope but it gives me the results I want. First is to give simple credit for career value over replacement using Dan R's WARP numbers. Second is to add in bonuses based on career value above average. I make no attempts to confine value within a particular season. I have about 30% pitching in my PHoM vs. the 25% in the HoM so my ballot gets pitching heavy. The top of my ballot after Raines are approx 25th percentile in my PHoM.

1) Rickey Henderson - Better than Ted? No, but right up there with Gehrig, Ott and Robinson.
2) Luis Tiant - Does well in comparison to other elected pitchers on peak, prime and career. Not strikingly different than Marichal, Pierce, Bunning, Drysdale.
3) Tommy Bridges - Best rate production of the pitchers available, maintained that rate for a long period of time despite (perhaps because of) innings pitched numbers that aren't overwhelming. There are fewer pitchers elected from Bridges' era than any other. It wasn't easy to pitch in the AL of the 1930s and early 1940s. Deserves some war credit. Better choice than Trout who I saw on another prelim.
4) Rick Reuschel - Good hitter and fielder for a pitcher, as good of a pitcher as Jim Bunning.
5) Tommy Leach - Looks like he's my top backlog position player. Not as much bat as McGraw but more glove and just as good on the basepaths. Played two mid-spectrum defensive positions very well. Long career, especially for his era.
6) David Cone - Just a little bit less impressive than Saberhagen. Nobody thinks of either Saberhagen or Cone as a type of player you should enshrine which means people are underappreciating just how well they pitched.
7) John McGraw - Those are some astounding rate statistics for any era. It's also a short career which is why he only gets this high on the ballot.
8) Reggie Smith - Best available outfielder, in my PHoM. Good defensive value helps his case along with the relatively long career. Gets a little Japan credit.
9) Jim McCormick - Don't forget that he's a good hitter as well. Certainly more impressive than Mickey Welch's mediocrity.
10) Virgil Trucks - Needs a little war credit to make the ballot but he deserves it.
11) Bob Johnson - Similar to Reggie Smith how he kept putting up good numbers year after year but never led the league in anything. Good fielder. I don't agree that war discounts make up for his missing PCL years. In order to make that claim you'd have to discount WWII baseball more than 33% which would mean the league went from MLB quality to AA in 2 years. Better than 3-4 contemporary outfielders who have been elected.
12) Lee Smith - Gets the final ballot spot because nobody has been able to shed any more light on Dick Redding. Smith is my in-out line for relief pitchers (and Fingers is out).
13) Ben Taylor - Terrific glove for a first baseman, long career and a very good bat. I'm not sure why we collectively like Jake Beckley so much better.
14) Bus Clarkson - I like his bat over Lundy's glove. The new information on the Mexican League ban helps to explain further how he slipped through history relatively unnoticed.
15) Urban Shocker - The average bat versus typically below average bat for a pitcher and the war credit allow him to just barely edge out Vic Willis.
16-19) Vic Willis, Wally Schang (PHoM), Dick Redding (PHoM), Norm Cash (PHoM), (Alejandro Oms)
20-25) Dutch Leonard, Tommy John, Gene Tenace, Nap Rucker, Gavy Cravath (PHoM), Lave Cross
26-30) Chuck Finley, Johnny Pesky, Jack Quinn, Phil Rizzuto, Dizzy Trout
31-35) Ron Cey, Dom DiMaggio, Jerry Koosman, Frank Tanana, Bobby Bonds

38) Kevin Appier
77) Mark Grace
98) Matt Williams

43) Bucky Walters - not sure he was better than Dizzy Dean
91) Kirby Puckett - an exceptionally short career, especially for his era, although if you extend his career logically I still see him falling just short
   247. DL from MN Posted: October 22, 2008 at 09:49 PM (#2992109)
So I ran Babe Adams and he's kind of a Nap Rucker type of surprise. I'm still not convinced he's worthy of an elect-me spot on a ballot though.

I'm interested in continuing the pitcher "replacement value" discussion since I'm still using BP numbers and that's part of why John, Koosman and Tanana make the top 30 - longe career with high cumulative value over replacement.
   248. Bleed the Freak Posted: October 23, 2008 at 01:04 AM (#2992317)
246. DL from MN Posted: October 20, 2008 at 01:14 PM (#2990085)

20-25) Dutch Leonard, Tommy John, Gene Tenace, Nap Rucker, Gavy Cravath (PHoM), Lave Cross

Interesting mix of names here. I have Gavvy Cravath #13th on ballot, and am seriously considering Nap Rucker and Dutch Leonard as candidates.

Rucker looks to have some Cannonball Dick Redding like value to him.
Excellent peak, with Two CY Young quality seasons, and another four all-star type seasons adds up to a solid prime.
I would rate Rucker a nudge above Redding, placing him 5th amongst pitchers centered around the 1910's (Pete Alexander, Walter Johnson, Jose Mendez, Smokey Williams). Since the 20th century, only the 1980's and 1940's have had four electees or less for the decade.

Which brings me to Dutch Leonard, an interesting career/prime candidate. No Cy Young type seasons, but 1940 and 47-48 are good all-star type seasons, along with '38, '41, and '45 as nearly all-star type seasons, he throws in four filler type of seasons too. Dutch and Virgil Trucks are real close in value in my mind, placing 3rd/4th from the 1940s, behind Bob Feller and Hal Newhouser.

Anyone else feel Dutch, Nap, or Virgil are ballot worthy type players?
   249. DL from MN Posted: October 23, 2008 at 01:21 PM (#2992912)
I like these pitchers but I'd prefer you look up at the top of my ballot (Tommy Bridges) if you're looking for a 30's/40's pitcher to get excited about.
   250. RedSoxBaller Posted: October 23, 2008 at 01:26 PM (#2992915)
I dont see how Bridges is better than Walters, Trucks, or Gomez. Could you please kindly explain what factors make him a better pitcher than those 3? Thanks, I want to make sure Im not underrating Bridges, but I find Gomez and Walters to be better, and I want a good ballot
   251. Mark Donelson Posted: October 23, 2008 at 05:51 PM (#2993158)
I like Rucker (and even Noodles Hahn, being peaky and all), but not that much. Both are in my top 50 backloggers (and maybe Adams should be too, will check on that), though.
   252. DL from MN Posted: October 23, 2008 at 06:00 PM (#2993162)
To start, with Bridges you really need to look at credit for the war due to his terrific performance in the PCL after the war. Then, you have to consider that Bridges is the leader in PRAA/RSAA for that time period among those pitchers. Bridges has 12 years in the top 10 in strikeouts. The biggest knock on Bridges is his in-season durability - he didn't pitch as many innings as contemporary HoM pitchers. However, he was in the top 10 in IP 5 times, CG 6 times and SO 10 times. He has about 7 definite all-star type seasons and his bad seasons still have good ERA+ though the innings weren't there. He most definitely deserves war credit and pitched well in the postseason (4-1 3.52 ERA). 10 top 10s in ERA+ also. 32-37 is a pretty damned good 5 year run if you're a peak guy and he has a rather long career. I like those other guys you mentioned but I think Bridges is a cut above the in-out line.

I'm not a Bucky Walters fan. Too much of his run prevention can be attributed to his outstanding infield defense behind him.
   253. Juan V Posted: October 23, 2008 at 06:09 PM (#2993170)
Were MLEs for his PCL years ever made?
   254. RedSoxBaller Posted: October 23, 2008 at 06:24 PM (#2993181)
Do you have some sort of statistics that back the claim that Walters had a great defense? Just eyeballing the players and from what I know, it does not appear he had any good fielders on his team, cept McCormick. Could you provide me with this data? Thanks, want to make sure I evaluate Walters properl
   255. Paul Wendt Posted: October 23, 2008 at 07:38 PM (#2993244)
The champion Reds are famous as one of the all-time great fielding teams, or in-fielding teams. Billy Werber and Lonny Frey.

Bill James uses this illustration, Bill McKechnie's tenure as manager of the Cincinnati team (1938-1946) and portrays McKechnie as the great fielders manager, if you take my meaning. The one exception who pursued that deviant route to winning and enjoyed some success.

I suppose that Indy winning the Federal League with himself at third was a formative experience.
;-)
   256. Paul Wendt Posted: October 23, 2008 at 07:43 PM (#2993245)
PS
FL moved the club to Newark NJ and its best player Benny Kauff to Brooklyn. With young Bill McKechnie as rookie 3B-manager the Newark team finished fifth, but 80-72 only six games behind. Brooklyn parlayed another MVP season by Kauff into a slide down from .500 to seventh place.
   257. stax Posted: October 23, 2008 at 08:12 PM (#2993262)
Do you have some sort of statistics that back the claim that Walters had a great defense?


Fielding %age: .974 (.961 league average)
Range factor: 2.61 (1.11 league average) (and this excludes a lot of his younger, likely better fielding years where RF isn't calculated)
Fielding runs above average (FRAA) from Baseball-Prospectus: 19
   258. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 23, 2008 at 08:39 PM (#2993296)
Walters obviously deserves credit for his OWN fielding prowess, stax! That's not in discussion here. The issue is that his batting average allowed on balls in play was far below average because he had brilliant infielders pickin' it behind him, a la Jim Palmer. BP has the Reds' D (excluding Walters himself) at +70 in 1939 and an ungoldly +130 in 1940, so something like 40 points of ERA the first year and 75 the second were shaved off Walters' mark (if you trust that metric).
   259. RedSoxBaller Posted: October 23, 2008 at 09:07 PM (#2993316)
Dan R do you have some evidence for that statement? I need to see these metrics you are using. Thanks a lot
   260. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 23, 2008 at 09:23 PM (#2993328)
?????????

RedSoxBaller, you and I just can't seem to get on the same wavelength...what do you mean do I have any evidence? Are you asking me where I find the stats? They're here and here...and you can go to BP's glossary to see how they're calculated. A more basic spot-check would be to look at team defensive efficiency, where Cincinnati led the league with a .709 mark in 1939 and a phenomenal .730 mark in 1940. But of course that can be influenced by other factors (ballpark, etc.).
   261. RedSoxBaller Posted: October 23, 2008 at 11:18 PM (#2993395)
Thats what I meant Dan R, I wanted to see the metrics you were using. Thanks.
   262. Paul Wendt Posted: October 23, 2008 at 11:55 PM (#2993409)
Abstracting the pitchers from DL's preliminary ballot
2) Luis Tiant - Does well in comparison to other elected pitchers on peak, prime and career. Not strikingly different than Marichal, Pierce, Bunning, Drysdale.
ok
3) Tommy Bridges - Best rate production of the pitchers available, maintained that rate for a long period of time despite (perhaps because of) innings pitched numbers that aren't overwhelming. There are fewer pitchers elected from Bridges' era than any other. It wasn't easy to pitch in the AL of the 1930s and early 1940s. Deserves some war credit. Better choice than Trout who I saw on another prelim.
"best rate production"? which rates? see Shockcor
4) Rick Reuschel - Good hitter and fielder for a pitcher, as good of a pitcher as Jim Bunning.
6) David Cone - Just a little bit less impressive than Saberhagen. Nobody thinks of either Saberhagen or Cone as a type of player you should enshrine which means people are underappreciating just how well they pitched.

ok, ok
9) Jim McCormick - Don't forget that he's a good hitter as well. Certainly more impressive than Mickey Welch's mediocrity.
do you use OPS+? See Shockcor.
10) Virgil Trucks - Needs a little war credit to make the ballot but he deserves it.
Howso even Trucks > Leonard, Trout? not to mention anachronisms named here
(maybe later: note on Bill James rankings)
12) Lee Smith - Gets the final ballot spot because nobody has been able to shed any more light on Dick Redding. Smith is my in-out line for relief pitchers (and Fingers is out).
"the final ballot spot" - evidently obsolete
how far out is Fingers? evidently not among the listed 35 and that includes many many starting pitchers, so I wonder

15) Urban Shocker - The average bat versus typically below average bat for a pitcher and the war credit allow him to just barely edge out Vic Willis.
"average bat"? Here is some error regarding McCormick and Shocker, the latter not former a well above average batting pitcher
(born Shockcor - give me another 'c' as in Schockcor!)

16-19) Vic Willis, Wally Schang (PHoM), Dick Redding (PHoM), Norm Cash (PHoM), (Alejandro Oms)
20-25) Dutch Leonard, Tommy John, Gene Tenace, Nap Rucker, Gavy Cravath (PHoM), Lave Cross
26-30) Chuck Finley, Johnny Pesky, Jack Quinn, Phil Rizzuto, Dizzy Trout
31-35) Ron Cey, Dom DiMaggio, Jerry Koosman, Frank Tanana, Bobby Bonds


pitcher subset: Willis, Redding, Leonard, John, Rucker, Finley, Quinn, Trout, Koosman, Tanana (that is 10 and it makes 18 of 35; don't rely on either count)
Did you consider Wilbur Cooper and find him coming short in this crowd? Howso?
I am not sure Vaughn and Luque would be out of place here, focusing on their contemporaries Redding and Rucker as I suggest that.

and Walters does not rate even grouping with this 18 of 35?

Literally but not figuratively the bottom line, and worth saying to help interpret all this:
Probably I don't object to any one of these pitchers in the top 35 candidates and it may be reasonable to fit them all, including my suggestions, in the top 50.
   263. Paul Wendt Posted: October 24, 2008 at 12:28 AM (#2993420)
more DL from MN, which I overlooked early this hour
38) Kevin Appier
. . .
43) Bucky Walters - not sure he was better than Dizzy Dean
. . .
So I ran Babe Adams and he's kind of a Nap Rucker type of surprise. I'm still not convinced he's worthy of an elect-me spot on a ballot though.



In comment on DL from MN:
250. RedSoxBaller Posted: October 23, 2008 at 09:26 AM (#2992915)
I dont see how Bridges is better than Walters, Trucks, or Gomez.

Gomez is another who should be counted in my next paragraph.
Mays too.

RSB
Anyone else feel Dutch, Nap, or Virgil are ballot worthy type players?
The preceding article names 21 starting pitchers and Lee Smith iicc.
Noticing John and Finley, I would add Kaat and Appier as two who may fit in the top 50 eligible for this 2009 election.

At the moment I think Leonard > Trucks, Rucker and none of the trio higher than about tenth among the more than 25 pitchers named here.

aside:
Bill James ranked Leonard 30 by career in BJHBA twenty years ago (#30 among 30 listed) and he ranked Trucks 61 in NBJHBA at the turn of the millenium (#61 among 100 listed with Leonard not listed). He virtually admits that the new ranking of Trucks is groundless. Anyway I would have welcomed some comment on the guys who dropped from top 30 out of the top 100 with the help of Win Shares and modest extension of the timespan (nominally 30 years on the front end but James doesn't recognize many pitchers there).

Nap Rucker in his time:
I don't buy the loose decadal analysis. That can be no more than a point of entry to further investigation. Rucker is nearly a perfect match for Ed Walsh and not a bad one for Morde Brown. Three of his 7 seasons fall in the aughts not teens and if we count decades as we count centuries, beginning in 1901 not 1900, then the majority of Rucker's peak=prime is in the first decade of the century.

At the same time, 3/5 and 4/5 of the five-year peak seasons by Stan Coveleski and Wilbur Cooper are in the traditional 1910s. And I'm not sure that Rucker > Vaughn during 1907-1920, not to mention during the 1910s.
Judging full careers, my current opinion there is
Cooper > Vaughn > Rucker

But Rucker was a fine pitcher. I don't object to all three of that trio in the first 35 now eligible and it's possible although not probable I would put them all in the first 50 myself.
--Cooper probably on my ballot with Shockcor
--Vaughn and Rucker, if in the first 50, I should say at the same time that I don't believe either one will rise to the top of my ballot if the Hall of Merit runs forever, or not until "elect five annually" kicks in

Last night I was dabbling with a conjecture:
No matter how late you tune in to Game One of the World Series, it hasn't started yet.
Clever idea, but I don't believe it's a theorem.

Good night.

(oh, I'll vote in the pitchers ranking and, I hope, in the 2009 HOM and 2009 BBTF)
   264. Chris Cobb Posted: October 24, 2008 at 02:05 AM (#2993565)
OK. One of the issues with our discussion of pitchers is that there is a lot of them. Prior to analysis, here's a list of the 35 pitchers who received votes in the 2008 election, divided into period-based groups, along with another 31 pitchers who have some argument to be as good as the pitchers who were getting votes. Number in parentheses after the period indicates number of pitchers in that group. Numbers in parentheses after pitchers indicate their rank on the 2008 ballot.

One version of an HoM Pitcher consideration set: 35 pitchers receiving votes, 31 additional pitchers of interest.

1871-82 (6) – Mickey Welch (27), Tony Mullane (64), Jim McCormick (82), Tommy Bond (96T), Jim Whitney, Charlie Buffinton

1893-1919 (11) – Dick Redding (8), Vic Willis (20), Eddie Cicotte (56T), Wilbur Cooper (56T), Addie Joss (67T), Jack Quinn (68T), Sam Leever (89T), Babe Adams, Nap Rucker, Hippo Vaughn, Ted Breitenstein, Jesse Tannehill, Joe Wood

1920-29 (8) – Burleigh Grimes (24), Carl Mays (39), Urban Shocker (52), Wilbur Cooper (56T), Jack Quinn (68T), Eddie Rommell, George Uhle, Bob Shawkey

1930-39 (8) – Dizzy Dean (19), Tommy Bridges (21), Leroy Matlock (53T), Lefty Gomez (58), Lon Warneke, Mel Harder, Hilton Smith, Bobo Newsom

1940-59 (8) – Bucky Walters (5), Don Newcombe (23), Dizzy Trout (91), Virgil Trucks (96T), Hilton Smith, Dutch Leonard, Johnny Sain, Mel Parnell

1960-79 (11)– Luis Tiant (12), Rick Reuschel (29), Tommy John (35), Frank Tanana (60), Bruce Sutter (62), Jim Kaat (71), Larry Jackson, Wilbur Wood, Bob Friend, Catfish Hunter, Jerry Koosman

1980-99 (14) – David Cone (15), Lee Smith (38), Dwight Gooden (72), Chuck Finley (83), Jack Morris (94T), Charlie Hough (99T), Orel Hershiser (101T), Ron Guidry, Frank Viola, Mark Langston, Kevin Appier, Jimmy Key, Dennis Martinez, Dan Quisenberry
   265. Chris Fluit Posted: October 24, 2008 at 04:47 AM (#2993736)
I figured I'd throw in a prelim for discussion purposes. Here's what I had last time I looked at my ballot (which would have been sometime this summer).

Personal Hall of Merit: 2009: Henderson, Traynor and Rizzuto

1. Rickey Henderson, LF (n/e).

2. Cannonball Dick Redding, P (2). PHoM- 1975. Great peak years between 1914 and 1919 including an estimated 2.14 ERA in 321 innings for Chicago in 1917 (according to i9). Lost a half a year in each of ’18 and ’19 due to military service. Even so, his career MLEs of 234-174 put him in the neighborhood if not ahead of contemporaries like Coveleski, Faber and Rixey.

3. Dave Concepcion, SS (3). PHoM- 2005. No other eligible shortstop can match Concepcion for length and quality of prime. Excellent all-around shortstop for 8 out of 9 years from 1974 to 1982 (1980 was a down-year exception), 8 ½ if counting his 89 game season in 1973.

4. Don Newcombe, P (4). PHoM- 1987. Great years in ’50-’51 and ’55-’56 interrupted by military service in the Korean War. Missing a rise to his career due to integration and a tail due to his own personal issues (and no, he doesn’t get credit for the latter). With proper credit, he’s well over 200 wins for his career and though he isn’t in the same class as contemporaries like Whitey Ford and Billy Pierce, he’s close enough to be worthy of induction.

5. Hugh Duffy, CF (5). PHoM- 1995. An excellent center-fielder who could have won Gold Gloves in ’93 and ’95, he was moved to left not because of poor play but because his team acquired Billy Hamilton. Also, an excellent offensive player for 8 seasons from 1890 to 1897. That’s not quite as valuable as what Concepcion did at SS, but its close.

6. Pie Traynor, 3B (12). PHoM- 2009. The best third baseman available. Good career rate (.320/.362/.435 in 1941 games) and cumulative stats (2416 hits, 321 doubles, 1183 runs, 1273 RBI). Not much of a peak but a solid 11-year prime from 1923 to 1933.

7. Tommy Bridges, P (7). PHoM- 2002. I love that long prime. Top ten in ERA+ 10 times in 12 seasons (Addie Joss is only other eligible 20th century with more than 7 and he has 8). Top ten in IP 5 straight seasons from 1933 to 1937 for a suitable peak. Would be higher with a bit more career value.

8. Bob Johnson, LF (8). PHoM- 2003. We’ve already got plenty of players from his era, but Bob Johnson’s prime is almost as good as Bridges’. Top ten in OPS+ 10 times in 12 seasons. Top ten in RC 9 times. 13 seasons with OPS+ over 125 (Jack Clark is only other eligible outfielder with more than 10 and he has 11). Similar to Bridges, would be higher with a bit more career value.

9. Phil Rizzuto, SS. (14). PHoM- 2009.

10. Lou Brock, LF (10). PHoM- 1985. 1622 career RC are best of any eligible player not named Rickey. Very consistent for 13 years from 1964 to 1976 with OPS+ always between 106 and 128 and RC/27 over 5.00 for all 13 seasons. Among the worst defensive outfielders but that doesn’t hurt him as much as it might as there are few eligible corner outfielder candidates with outstanding gloves.

11. Burleigh Grimes, P (11). PHoM- 1984. My ballot is filled with this kind of player- missing the huge peak but a long excellent prime for a decade or more which results in great career numbers. Still, Grimes did have two separate peaks: first in 1920-’21 when he was the best NL’s pitcher in 1921 (138 ERA+ in 302 IP, compared to Adams 144 in 160 and Doak 142 in 208), and a second in 1928-29 (1st in Wins, 2nd in WHIP in ’28; 1st in ERA+, 2nd in ERA in ’29).

12. Bill Monroe, 2B (15).

13. Vic Willis, P (13). Had an incredible peak from 1899 to 1901-02. His league-leading ERA of 2.50 was 1.66 better than league average in ’99. He led his league in ERA+ in both ’99 and ’01, before posting a 2.20 ERA in 410 IP in ‘02. After that, he became more of a workhorse though his ’06 season stands out as a fourth excellent year

14. Kirby Puckett, CF (n/a).

15. Elston Howard, C (n/a).

Obviously, by the time the actual election rolls around, I'll have to include comments for the new additions (such as Henderson, who's newly eligible, and Puckett and Howard who made the ballot after some of my '07 candidates were elected) and top returnees that I don't support.
   266. Bleed the Freak Posted: October 24, 2008 at 11:14 AM (#2993799)
264. Chris Cobb Posted: October 23, 2008 at 10:05 PM (#2993565)

That was an excellent list. I would throw Dolf Luque into the 1920-29 pile too.
   267. DL from MN Posted: October 24, 2008 at 01:56 PM (#2993870)
Yeah, the Lee Smith comment was from the pvs ballot which I pretty much copied over. Urban Shocker had a league average bat - which I agree was terrific for a pitcher. I agree that there are a ton of available pitchers. The ones that top my list tended to produce better in RSAA than the others. Most of the pitchers in the uberlist Chris provided have similar value above replacement. It's hard to make the fine distinctions stand out.

Luque is one where I don't have a good handle on how much credit to give him. He's in my consideration set (77) near Lefty Gomez (82) and Grimes (84). Dizzy Dean makes it to 50; I'm a career voter and he didn't have enough. Leroy Matlock is close to Dean, both are behind Bucky Walters.

Fingers is not listed among my eligibles but he would place right around Kevin Appier if he were still eligible - 39/40.

I'd add Chuck Finley and Orel Hershiser to Chris' modern list.
   268. DL from MN Posted: October 24, 2008 at 02:02 PM (#2993876)
> Pie Traynor, 3B (12). PHoM- 2009. The best third baseman available.

Not on my list he isn't.

Tommy Leach
John McGraw
Bus Clarkson
Lave Cross
Ron Cey
Buddy Bell
Bob Elliott
Carlos Moran
Pie Traynor - 9th best available

I know you're not looking at ink but others might be. Traynor looks good with black ink (All-Star appearances, etc) because the best 3B of his era were in the Negro Leagues.
   269. stax Posted: October 24, 2008 at 02:13 PM (#2993885)
Walters obviously deserves credit for his OWN fielding prowess, stax!


Hahaha, wow, I completely misunderstood the statement "Walters had a great defense" as just "Walters played great defense". Whoops.
   270. Chris Cobb Posted: October 24, 2008 at 02:28 PM (#2993903)
Bleed the Freak:

Good call on Luque -- not including him was absolutely an oversight on my part. I'll make sure he is included in my next post on pitchers!
   271. sunnyday2 Posted: October 24, 2008 at 07:49 PM (#2994149)
I will be traveling for a good bit. Please grab the following if I don't submit an official ballot myself.

2009 Ballot

Where was I? Oh, I’m mostly a peak/prime Win Shares voter though I look at a lot of information—especially my own annual MVP ballot and all-star selections, OPS+ and ERA+, HoFS, HoFM, ink, etc.—in trying to correctly interpret the numbers. Lately I’ve been looking at WS above the position median.

2009 PHoM—Rickey, John McGraw, Quincy Trouppe
Maybe next year, a 2B--Lou Whitaker, Bobby Avila, Fred Dunlap

1. Rickey Henderson (new, PHoM 2009)—Raines was #1 last year; their juxtaposition makes me realize that Rickey was mo’ better than Raines than I had thought, that is to say by a much wider margin that I had thought

2. Kirby Puckett (5-5-13, PHoM 2001)—+107 WS versus the median CF compared to Dale Murphy at +75.5 or Reggie Smith at +71; another classic case of “so over-rated, he’s now under-rated”

3. Ed Williamson (2-4-2, PHoM 1924)—great glove, spent 2 years at SS; led the league in games played 4 times; good bat, good enough to take unfair advantage of the short LF porch for bunches of ground-rule 2B when hitting it into the stands was a ground-rule 2B, and when they decided to call them HR, well, I don’t see how hitting it out there hurt his team, +109.5 WS over position medians

4. Bucky Walters (4-13-12, PHoM 2006)—the big mover in my pitcher re-eval at +47 WS versus the median “ace” (not just the median starter, but the median ace) AFTER discounting his WWII years

5. Dizzy Dean (6-6-1, PHoM 2002)—for a peak voter, the one big oversight of the HoM project to date; even with a short prime (6 years), the +39 WS above the “median ace” is among the best available

6. Don Newcombe (9-10-4, PHoM 1997)—missed more opportunities than anybody—NgL, quotas during integration transition era, WWII—coulda been Robin Roberts

7. Larry Doyle (7-9-8, PHoM 1975)—at his best, a deserving NL MVP on a pennant-winning team; +116 WS over the position median

8. Gavvy Cravath (11-18-17, PHoM 1995)—moves up, +13 WS per year versus the position median, ties for the best among 20C players; yes, against weak competition and for a short period of time, but still that is a monstrous advantage

9. Tommy Bond (13-12-9, PHoM 1929)—he’s baaaack; pretty much the all-time WS peak monster even after I give his defenses half his credit

10. Elston Howard (12-11-3, PHoM 1994)—after Newk, missed more opportunities than anybody, the comp is somewhere between Freehan and Cochrane, +9.5 WS per year versus position median

11. Tommy Leach (14-21-18, PHoM 1998)—what a valuable guy to have around, a rich man’s Roger Bresnahan, +13 WS per year and +102 total WS over position median though that is against a fairly weak cohort, it’s true

12. Albert Belle (10-8-6, PHoM 2006)—WS peak beyond question at 37-34-34-31 (with 1994 and 1995 adjusted appropriately), +108 WS versus position medians

13. Al Rosen (8-14-11, PHoM 2005)—the #1 WS peak of anybody in my top 30 hitters, and +11 WS per year versus position median; basically, Albert Belle with a glove

14. Johnny Pesky (19-15-10, PHoM 2004)
15. Phil Rizzuto (22-19-15, PHoM 1995)—Pesky +74, Rizzuto +62 WS, but against one of the best cohorts ever, including one another, plus Boudreau, Stevens and Joost, among others

(15a. Quincy Trouppe [18a-40a-38a], PHoM 2009)--+108.5 (MLE)

Also PHoM and/or HoM-Worthy

16. John McGraw (15-39-37, PHoM 2009)
17. Dick Redding (18-20-19, PHoM 1971)
(18a. Lou Whitaker [29a-39a-37a])--+100
19. Thurman Munson (26-NR-NR, PHoM 2002)
20. Dale Murphy (16-16-16)--+84 WS versus position medians

21. Frank Howard (21-36-32, PHoM 1987)--+98
22. Vern Stephens (23-23-20)--+82
23. Hugh Duffy (24-17-14, PHoM 2005)--+88.5
24. Orlando Cepeda (37-49-43, PHoM 1987)--+104, so far ahead of Perez it ain’t funny
25. Fred Dunlap (17-HM-44)--+94 WS
26. Ken Singleton (20-22-21)--+91
(26a. Wes Ferrell [15a-22a-16a])
(26b. Jim Bunning [23a-24a-21a])
27. Reggie Smith (36-24-25, PHoM 1988)--+71
28. Don Mattingly (41-43-40, PHoM 2001)--+79.5
29. Addie Joss (NR-50-26, PHoM 1967)
30. Bobby Avila (43-HM-50)--+56 with no MLE credit, would probably have half-again as many (est. + 84 WS vs. position median) with MLE

HoVG

31. Dan Quisenberry (27-25-24)
(31a. Dewey Evans [39a-43a-40a])--+97.5
(31b. Dave Stieb [23a-27a-29a])
32. Tony Perez (45-26-23)--+73
(32a. Roger Bresnahan [24a-26b-29b])--+57
33. Sal Bando (35-34-34)
(33a. Bret Saberhagen [25-27-27]
34. Jim Rice (NR-47-42)
35. Burleigh Grimes (28-33-30)
36. Hack Wilson (30-31-31)
37. Chuck Klein (42-40-38)
(37a. Early Wynn [45a-NR-HM])
38. Wilbur Cooper (29-30-NR)
(38a. Ken Boyer [37a-37a-34a])--+91
39. Orel Hershiser (31-37-NR)
40. Wally Berger (44-41-39)

41. Bill Monroe (32-32-33)
42. Bruce Sutter (46-40-35)
43. Dave Concepcion (33-28-28)--+71.5
44. David Cone (48-NR-HM)
(44a. Jimmy Sheckard [35a-19a-19a])--+64
45. Bus Clarkson (40-NR-NR)
46. Pie Traynor (38-38-35)
47. Bob Elliott (39-NR-NR)--+81
48. Luis Tiant (50-45-49)
49. Dave Bancroft (47-NR-HM)
50. Bob Johnson (NR-46-46)

Drops Out of Top 50

Vic Willis (49-NR-48)

Honorable Mention

Dave Parker (HM-29-29)
Norm Cash (HM-NR)
(Biz Mackey [HM-NR-HM])
Jim McCormick (HM-NR)
Lance Parrish (HM-NR)
Hilton Smith (HM-HM-47)
George Van Haltren (HM-NR)
Eddie Cicotte (NR)
Luis Aparicio (NR)
Bobby Estalella (NR)--probably a HoMer by now if he had played a normal career either in the ML or the NeL
   272. Paul Wendt Posted: October 26, 2008 at 12:56 AM (#2994722)
270. Chris Cobb Posted: October 24, 2008 at 10:28 AM (#2993903)
Bleed the Freak:

Good call on Luque -- not including him was absolutely an oversight on my part. I'll make sure he is included in my next post on pitchers


But the counts 35 and 31 are correct because Hilton Smith is listed twice.
   273. Chris Cobb Posted: October 27, 2008 at 03:09 AM (#2996189)
But the counts 35 and 31 are correct because Hilton Smith is listed twice.

The double-listing of Smith was deliberate (as was the double-listing of Wilbur Cooper and Jack Quinn-it was not obvious which group they belonged in.

The double-counting of Smith (which I managed to avoid in the cases of Cooper and Quinn) was unintended.
   274. Paul Wendt Posted: October 27, 2008 at 08:53 PM (#2996884)
:-)
The list seems to be a good one. For evidence that it is a good list consider this coda, some of the best pitchers passed over.
Noodles Hahn
Deacon Phillippe - what separates Leever from Phillippe? karlmagnus' interpretation of his schoolteaching? :-)
Chief Bender
John Donaldson
Bill Jackman
Leon Day - what separates Matlock from Day?
Max Lanier
Ellis Kinder
Sal Maglie

Jamie Moyer - not yet eligible and if the Phillies win tonight he may go to bed with this resume
   275. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: October 28, 2008 at 08:10 PM (#2998051)
The only pitchers in my consideration set who isn't on Chris' list are Tom Henke and Bill Byrd. (Although there are a lot of guys there who aren't on my list.) I actually have Henke ahead of Sutter and Quisenberry. Also, does anyone think Jesse Orosco's a candidate?
   276. Chris Cobb Posted: October 28, 2008 at 08:52 PM (#2998089)
Quick comments on Paul's "best pitchers passed over"

Noodles Hahn: should be included, I think. I made 2000 career innings a cutoff line for pitchers not already getting votes or listed in the BJ top 100, but Hahn is over that line. Given that he has a lower DERA than Dizzy Dean in more innings, he ought to be included.

Deacon Phillippe: Paul asked, "what separates Leever from Phillippe? karlmagnus' interpretation of his schoolteaching? :-)." Yep. Leever is only in the group because he gets a vote from karlmagnus. I don't believe he is the worst pitcher getting a vote (that's probably Lefty Gomez or Bruce Sutter), but there are a lot of guys who aren't getting votes who were better.
Chief Bender: Definitely as good as some of the pitchers listed--better than Leever and Phillippe.
John Donaldson: I'm not convinced he had much value outside of a very short but brilliant peak.
Bill Jackman: When we are in a position to actually assess the quality of Bill Jackman's career, there will be few sabermetric questions left to answer . . .
Leon Day: Paul asks, "What separates Matlock from Day?" Matlock's record as a pitcher was a lot stronger than Day's. Matlock has an argument to have been the best pitcher during the one-league period in the mid-1930s. I'm pretty confident that he is the best unelected NeL pitcher, though Redding, Smith, and, I guess, Lefty Andy Cooper have arguments. Day was, I think, a huge mistake by the HoF.
Max Lanier: Not sure why he is on this list. Paul?
Ellis Kinder: If we had better tools for assessing pre-1960 relievers, we could tell for sure whether he ought to be in the consideration set or not.
Sal Maglie: Probably should be included; I'd guess he was better than Johnny Sain. Estimating MxL credit for pitchers is tough, though.

Re Tom Henke:

Agreed, he's better than Sutter and Quisenberry. I listed the former because he gets votes from us, the latter because he is in the BJ 100.

Soon I'll be making some posts with actual statistical analysis of pitchers . . .
   277. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: October 28, 2008 at 10:37 PM (#2998164)
How do you get Henke ahead of Quiz and Sutter? He is underrated and I guess I could see him close, but not ahead. I did a quick search to see how each ranked among his peers during his best 10-year period. All 3 are at or near the top in ERA+ and WHIP. But Henke was pitching a lot fewer innings, even if adjusted for his time period. Sutter and Quiz were pitching the most innings and being the most effective. Henke had the effectiveness but in much less work. I don't think a 5-year period will help him relative to those guys either. Admittedly this is a very cursory look and a more sophisticated analysis may show what I'm missing. If it's his superior ERA+, obviously that's a result of pitching fewer innings.
   278. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: October 28, 2008 at 10:42 PM (#2998168)
I could see giving him some extra credit for the strikeouts. I know some people don't agree with that -- not sure if you guys do.
   279. Juan V Posted: October 28, 2008 at 11:05 PM (#2998184)
. I don't believe he is the worst pitcher getting a vote


That's Bucky Walters :-)
   280. Chris Cobb Posted: October 28, 2008 at 11:38 PM (#2998202)
<i>How do you get Henke ahead of Quiz and Sutter?<?i>

By speaking off the top of my head :-).

He trails Sutter by a pretty substantial margin. I have him a little bit ahead of Quisenberry, however, who was considerably less effective than Henke, even though he pitched more innings.
   281. bjhanke Posted: October 29, 2008 at 10:33 AM (#2998428)
Well, you do want me to defend my choices for this ballot. Unfortunately, I'm not going to have anything like the time to do that right. The problem is numbers. There are just too many candidates who are too similar for me to take the time to sort them all out.

I did a project like this once, about 30 years ago, for a group called the Baseball Maniacs. Those of you who remember the old yearly Bill James Abstracts may remember his giving them credit for inventing the use of the terms Inner and Outer Circle for the Hall of Fame. That was a part of the project. Basically, The Holder of the election sent out a ballot every month or two with every single player who was eligible for the HoF during a whole decade. He had an elaborate voting structure that prevented you from just voting for the top 30 or so. You had to sort everyone out. So, after the week or so it took to get the top guys cleaned out, you were down to 75 points and 75 guys, trying to figure out who would get 3 points, 2, 1, or zero. You'd never heard of most of the players involved, and they all looked about equal. Drove you nuts and took forever.

Well, the first yearly ballot of a HoM voter is like that. There are maybe 200 plausible players who I should really sort through to get to the 15 top ones. I mean, look at my Babe Adams defense. I have a group of five comps, from the same team during the same 20-year period. And they're all about equal to Appier, Key, and Newcombe, plus maybe 40 more guys I didn't get to. But the deadline is Nov. 4. There's no time to do the full analysis.

The result is that my ballot is a culled ballot. I took your holdover guys, sorted them down to 15, and threw in Babe Adams. I did not have a list handy of the best 500 players in history, nor a nice math method that would do the work for me. If you don't want culled ballots, please eliminate me until next year. By then, I should have a full analysis done.

If you're willing to go with a culled ballot, well, this is what my analyses look like. I've done only three, because I write long, and you wanted to know how I think, not a summary in a sentence or two per player. If you do decide to include me, my further defenses will not be anything like this long. The deadline is Nov. 4. These show me at the best I can do. If it's good enough, fine. If not, or if you don't want culled ballots, please just let me know, and I'll wait a year. Like I said much earlier in this thread, I'm a big boy. I won't be insulted.

Oh, yeah. This is going to take 3 posts, just to analyze 3 guys, because the list here has a 10,00-character limit per post.

- Brock

1. Rickey Henderson
Hopefully, I don't have to write an essay to explain this one. Best leadoff man ever, passing Billy Hamilton about 2/3 of the way through his career.
   282. bjhanke Posted: October 29, 2008 at 10:34 AM (#2998429)
2. Babe Adams
Well, Chris Fluit (who apparently hasn't followed my ballots in the positional ranking elections) said that I need to write comments to defend my picks (as if I wouldn't anyway). DL from MN, who knows what I'm like, asked me to write an essay to defend Adams. OK, DL. You know what I'm like. Here it is:

First, here's a chart of selected Pittsburgh pitchers from the deadball era, sorted in ascending order of Innings Pitched:

NAME YEARS IP W L W% ERA+
Deacon Phillippe 13 2607 189 109 .634 120
Sam Leever 13 2660 194 100 .660 123
Jesse Tannehill 15 2750 197 116 .629 114
Babe Adams 19 2995 194 140 .581 117
Wilbur Cooper 15 3480 216 178 .548 116

As you can see, there's a couple of oddities here. First, the number of seasons is only loosely correlated to the number of innings pitched. The long career guys, particularly Cooper, have more innings than Leever and Phillippe (LP), but not by as much margin as you'd expect, given the number of years, except for Cooper himself, who is the outlier. As a group, they're reasonably well bunched in IP. Second, the more IP, the lower the Winning Percentage. This, I believe, is mostly a result of the long career guys playing a higher percentage of their seasons on weaker teams than LP did. And third, Babe Adams has a very low ratio of IP to seasons pitched. This is the result of some very low IP seasons caused by injury.

Why these five guys? Well, first, in addition to being pretty closely matched in the stats above, they have something else in common: extreme control. Leever and Cooper walk more guys than the other three, but none of these five are anything but extreme control pitchers. Deacon Phillippe is, if I remember right, the actual historical leader in lowest walks per inning pitched. Tannehill and Adams aren't far behind. And second, they all pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates during the deadball era. In fact, they are the backbone of the Bucs' deadball pitching staffs (well, Tannehill got traded early, and is borderline for the time period).

So, from my point of view, defending my placement of Adams involves two items: defending this group as being really good, viable candidates; and defending Adams as being the best of them. Let's get started.

First, it's obvious that these are good pitchers, not at all swamped by the other ones on the holdover list. For example, Don Newcombe's career OPS+ is only 114, which would tie Tannehill for lowest on this list. Kevin Appier and Jimmy Key (AK) are at 121 and 122, in between Leever and Phillippe at the top. So, the entire list of five is in play as candidates, based on that stat alone. Neither Appier nor Key pitched as many innings as Phillippe, much less Cooper. Yes, some of that is time period, but it does negate any advantage AK might get for pitching more seasons than LP. I really don't see any way you can defend just throwing the whole group of five out of play.

But there is another factor, which is one of my idiosyncrasies. I tend to give players a boost if they are extreme. The reason is that an extreme player can force the issue in his specialty. An extreme strikeout guy, confronted with a man on third and none out, can often reach back and force a K against anyone but the best of hitters. Ask modern closers. Ask Goose Gossage. Rickey Henderson, Lou Brock and Vince Coleman could often force a stolen base in a late close game, even though everyone in the ballpark knew they were going to steal. Jack Clark was famous for forcing home runs in extra-inning ballgames.

What could the Bucco Five force? Ground balls. You get the bases loaded on one of these guys, and they're going to force grounder after grounder. You don't even have to play for the DP. You can play in for the forceout at the plate. And one more thing: they're NOT going to walk anyone home. Ain't happening. That has extra value, when you really really need it.

One more factor. Their particular skill has its LEAST value in the time period in which they played. Preventing walks has its highest value in high-scoring eras, because the chance of other good things happening after the walk is so high. It has its least value in low-scoring eras. Well, the deadball era is the poster boy for low scoring. My opinion is that all five of these pitchers would have been even better in a different time. I'd love to have them right now. Or, to crack a quip, Deacon Phillippe is the answer to Barry Bonds. No homer. No walk. Sorry Barry. You're a singles hitter now. Sorry, David Ortiz. Sorry, a whole bunch of the best hitters in history. And yes, I do count that. I will give a boost to a player (or five) who I think could have succeeded at least as well as they did succeed in any time period of baseball. If you've read my comments in the various positional ballots, you know that I'm being consistent here.

And a final factor. Many people downgrade these five guys because their teams' defenses look so good. Well, what kind of pitchers do we have here? Guys who give up a LOT of ground balls. All of them. If it were just one of them, we could look, theoretically, at infield plays behind the one guy as opposed to his more normal teammates. But all five of these guys are like that. They make their infields look good. I'm not saying that the Pirate infields of the time were not excellent. I am saying that they are not quite as eyepopping as they look at first glance. The pitchers act in synergy with the fielders because the whole staff is Deacon's Disciples. The real superstar fielders on these teams were Fred Clarke in left and the center fielders, who had to go chase what few fly balls they got. Wagner and Ritchie are just a tad worse than they look, in my opinion. The defense wasn't making these pitchers look good. Their low walk rates do that. Their ground balls make the infields look tremendous, instead of just great.

OK, that's a defense of the group. Why Babe Adams?

Well, first, I have a confession to make. My actual favorite of the group is the Deacon. I actually think that he's a better pitcher than Sam Leever. But that's hard to defend. Sam has a few more wins, a few fewer losses, a bit higher ERA+, and a few more IP. So I went with the guy who had some backlog support, although I would not now, since I now know that there's only one Leever supporter. Sorry, guy. I prefer the Deacon.

So, why Phillippe over Leever? Well, first, Deacon's the most extreme, and I give credit for that. But more important, this is the deadball era, and Phillippe was the staff ace. In that time period, that meant that he got to pitch many more games than his share against the other teams' aces, and also against the best-hitting teams. That is, his opponents were better than Sam's, even though they're on the same team at the same time.

How do I know Deacon was the staff ace? Well, look at 1903. Sam Leever went 25-7. That's a good year. Deacon went 25-9. That's good, too, but just a little worse. But in the World Series? Phillippe got 5 starts. Leever got 2. Deacon Phillippe was the staff ace, in the opinion of his manager. And that meant that, during the season, he got to face the toughest of the tough.

Just in case someone thinks this does not exist in the deadball era, try looking at some posters and ads for games at the time. You'll find a bunch that essentially say, "Cubs vs. Giants: THREE FINGER BROWN vs. CHRISTY MATHEWSON." I don't know that I've seen a lot that tout the Deacon like that, but the principle applies. In the deadball era, teams and fans paid a lot of attention to pitching matchups. Matchups of aces drew more fans, so the rotations got adjusted to maximize that.

This still exists. Managers were talking about arranging their rotations to get matchups this year, late in the pennant races. Bob Gibson got asked, this year, about how he could "only" go 22-9 with that 1.12 ERA in 1968. His response was that he had to pitch against the Juan Marichals of the game, and so he was on the wrong end of some shutouts and other low-scoring games. One of the local sportswriters looked up Gibby's starts that year, and it was true, although not to the extent that Bob remembered it. But he did, in fact, pitch a large percentage of his games against other staff aces. This factor has always existed. Usually, you don't need it in HoM analysis, because you're comparing aces to aces. But here, we're comparing two guys on the same team. And Deacon Phillippe was the ace.

OK, so I want to replace Leever on my ballot with Phillippe. What has that got to do with Babe Adams? It's this: starting in 1910, Babe Adams was the Pirates' staff ace whenever he was healthy. This is documented, although not obsessively. What happened was the 1909 World Series, which Adams just detonated. By then, Phillippe and Leever were playing out the string, while Adams was the hot rookie. After the series, there was no doubt who was the staff ace. It was the Babe. And what does that mean? It means that Adams spent most of his career facing the toughest of the tough.

In my analysis, that pulls Adams a bit ahead of the pack, along with Phillippe. Adams had a worse W/L, because he played on weaker teams, but he was those teams' ace, just like the Deacon had been. It doesn't pull him much ahead of Appier or Key, who were their teams' aces in a later time, but it does pull him ahead of Leever, Tannehill, and Cooper.

There is one last factor, the one that pushes the Babe ahead of the Deacon. It's that 1909 Series. I very seldom give World Series credit to anyone. For example, I give none to Reggie Jackson. Yes, he blew up a couple of Series. But overall, his postseason performance is just about his normal. In the postseason, Reggie was just Reggie. He had his hot streaks, and then his cold ones. Overall, no bonus. Compare him to a relevant position player that I do give credit to: Lou Brock. Now, THAT's destroying the postseason, whenever he got into it. For position players, I want to see at least a few postseasons destroyed, not just one out of a whole career.

But with pitchers, because they can make so much difference in their games, I'll take one series. I don't need to see Bob Gibson. I'll take Babe Adams. In 1909, he pitched 3 complete games, won all three, with an ERA of 1.33. That's basically his only series (in the other one, he got one whole inning to pitch), and he won it almost like he was Hoss Radbourne.

And so, I end up ranking the five of them in this order: Adams, Phillippe, Leever (rate), Cooper (career length), and Tannehill. I could be wrong - there are a lot of stats that, whenever we get them, could confirm or deny my opinions - but that's where I am right now.

Well, DL, that's the best I can do. And don't think I didn't know you were expecting it. You've read my positional ballots. You know perfectly well what I'm like. You were just trapping poor Chris Fluit, who probably (unless he was lurking) didn't see those posts I wrote. You villain you.
   283. bjhanke Posted: October 29, 2008 at 10:35 AM (#2998430)
3. John McGraw
Everyone knows the basic case here, right? Very high rates, enormous OBP, very short career due to injuries. He is high on the holdover list. However, when I went to do the actual analysis for this, I found that I'm not sure I have the right guy. What I did was go to BB-Ref and use Play Index to sort by OPS+ for guys who played 50% of their careers at third, from the whole of 1871-2008, playing more than 750 career games. I assumed that McGraw would rank highly, and would be alone, from his time period, except for Home Run Baker, whom I analyzed in detail over in the third base discussion and ballot, and who is in the HoM anyway.

That proved to be half true. McGraw does indeed rank 9th among third basemen in OPS+ despite having almost no S, when I used 750 games played as the cutoff. But Baker had a much longer career (quite a long career for a third baseman of his time), so I had never used a cutoff as low as 750 games before. When I dropped the games played requirement down to McGraw's level, I also picked up Bill Joyce and Denny Lyons. I don't know if Joyce is even eligible, because he played in so few championship seasons. But Lyons is clearly eligible, and perhaps just as good if not better than McGraw.

Lyon's OPS+ is 139. McGraw's is 135. Joyce's is 143. Lyons played 1121 games, McGraw, 1099, and Joyce only 904. But still, they're all pretty much in a group. To distinguish them from each other, you need to look at stuff that isn't in OPS+: defense and baserunning.

In baserunning, McGraw has the clear victory. He stole about twice as many bases as the other two, in an era where that was a much more important stat than it is now (in general, SB are more important in low-scoring eras than in high ones, because SB is a one-run strategy). So, edge to McGraw there. I don't know whether the edge is worth the 4 OPS+ points that Lyons has as his edge, but it probably is, given the SB volume. There are no CS data to check.

Defense is not so clear cut. Looking at range factors, which is most of what you can really do with early stats, Lyons has the edge. He was, by range, a good third baseman. But that was the only position he played. McGraw has worse range factors than Lyons, but played a significant amount of shortstop, where he has weak range. Joyce has third base range about where McGraw does, and played some first base, where he has very good range.

So which is a better indicator? Third base range factors or getting in some shortstop? I don't know. Third base is a strong defensive spot at the time. There's a lot more to defense than raw range factors. Bill James has McGraw graded as a B+ third baseman, which is very good. He has Lyons at C-, which means he's looking at a lot more than raw range factors. He has Joyce at F, which is completely consistent with Joyce's contemporary reputation.

If you believe Bill, McGraw is your man. I think he probably is, because he has the SB edge, and because he has two of three indicators on defense (shortstop and Win Shares, opposed to raw range). But there is a possibility that Denny Lyons was, indeed, a bit better. None of the defense indicators is definitive. There is a much smaller probability that people have Joyce's defense ranked all wrong, in which case his offensive rates pull him up.

In short, I'm pretty convinced about McGraw. What I'm not sure of is that I should not include Denny Lyons on my list somewhere.

4. Reggie Smith
This one is pretty simple, at least for me. Larry Doby has a career OPS+ of 136 in 1533 games, and Bill James grades him as an A defender, as does everyone else including his contemporaries. Reggie Smith has an OPS+ of 137 in 1987 games, and an A- defense grade. Bill's defense system is biased towards center fielders. Doby played his entire career there. Reggie played more games in right than in center. A- is a huge grade for Reggie, and is consistent again with his contemporary rep. Doby gains ground in games played when you factor in the Negro Leagues, but Reggie had an edge to start with. These are very close comps to each other, as far as I can see.

I couldn't find a link to the final results in the center field ranking among HoM center fielders, but I remember Doby as being somewhere in the upper middle. There is no way to get from there down to "does not belong in the HoM" using the difference between Doby and Smith.

Reggie is a clear HoM guy. My only question to myself is whether I have him too low here. I think I do. If you read the Adams and McGraw comments above, you'll see that I'm taking groups of comparable players, none of whom is in the HoM, and arguing that Adams and McGraw are the top ends of those groups. In Reggie's case, I'm arguing that his comp is Larry Doby, who is not only in the HoM, but is way over the borderline. That's a much stronger argument. If I had to fill out my final ballot right now, Reggie would be #2.
   284. DL from MN Posted: October 29, 2008 at 01:41 PM (#2998491)
I think part of the reason the Pirates staff was able to give up so few HR wasn't just that they were groundball pitchers but that _the ball was dead_. I don't think you could necessarily replicate the high groundball, low walk, low HR pitching staff of the Pirates as effectively with a live ball. Low walks correlates fairly well to high HR these days.
   285. DL from MN Posted: October 29, 2008 at 01:44 PM (#2998494)
To answer another point, I don't think there is necessarily a problem with "culled" ballots. If you just limited your consideration set to everyone who received a vote in last year's election you would have plenty to choose from and wouldn't be likely to miss anyone.
   286. DL from MN Posted: October 29, 2008 at 03:02 PM (#2998549)
I'm adjusting my spreadsheet for the new Dan R WARP and I overwrote Pesky's war credit. Dan R - can you re-post?
   287. OCF Posted: October 29, 2008 at 05:55 PM (#2998772)
I don't know if Joyce is even eligible, because he played in so few championship seasons.

Brock: there is no statutory minimum number of seasons played for Hall of Merit consideration. Joyce is eligible, as is everyone who ever played. For a player with a short career, it is a perfectly fair argument to say that he did not accumulate enough total value over that career. A good place to see that argument playing out is the electoral history of Addie Joss. It's why Al Rosen gets only a few votes; it's why George Stone never got any votes. It is also fair for supporters of a candidate with low career value to argue that his peak was high enough that he did accumulate enough value in a very short amount of time to be worthy of consideration anyway. The supporters of Hughie Jennings sold enough of the electorate on that argument in his case, and the supporters of McGraw are trying to sell that now.

As for the particular case of Joyce: yes, his career is short, so he needs a very strong peak argument to get considered. As to why he dropped off the listed of candidates getting votes a long time ago (I don't know if he ever got any votes) - you gave the reason yourself: "[Bill James in his defensive ratings] has Joyce at F, which is completely consistent with Joyce's contemporary reputation."

You also ask about Doby in the CF rankings: He was 13th out of 26, with an average placement of 14.39. He was well behind Hines (11.57) and decently ahead of Gore [15.22]. Other post-WWII CF: Mays 2nd, Mantle 4th, Snider 11th, Asburn 16th, Wynn 18th, Dawson 26th. So how do you compare Smith to Wynn and Dawson? (Bearing in mind that there are many who didn't vote for Wynn or Dawson.)
   288. DL from MN Posted: October 29, 2008 at 06:30 PM (#2998814)
Revised prelim

I looked over the list of pitchers on my ballot and after sorting through comments from the past couple weeks decided to take a deeper look using Dan R's pitching WARP numbers. Dan R's numbers don't include relievers (at least in the version I have) so I'm not using his numbers entirely but I have adjusted the placement of several pitchers on my ballot.

1) Rickey!
2) Tommy Bridges - looks even better in the standard deviation adjusted numbers. Incredibly strong PWAA - even with Ed Walsh, Ted Lyons, Bret Saberhagen, Jim Bunning. Best pitcher currently eligible (though he's not as good as Kevin Brown).
3) John McGraw - moves up to an elect-me spot because the others moved down
4) Luis Tiant - looks more like a poor man's Marichal or Stieb with less peak using the standard deviation adjusted numbers. Still a worthy inductee.
5) Tommy Leach
6) Rick Reuschel - good fielding helps him out
7) Reggie Smith
8) Bob Johnson - looks an awful lot like the Reggie Smith of his era once you add in the PCL credit
9) Lee Smith
10) Urban Shocker - vaults up the rankings partly due to the value of his bat. Wes Ferrell fans should be considering him strongly.
11) Ben Taylor
12) Dick Redding - No real standard deviation adjusted numbers which may falsely help him out.
13) Jim McCormick - slight downgrade
14) David Cone
15) Bus Clarkson
16-20) Norm Cash, Gavy Cravath, Wally Schang (PHOM 2008), (Oms - not PHoM), Ron Cey (PHOM), Jack Quinn (not PHoM)

26) Virgil Trucks - standard deviations during the war bump him down the list, still ahead of Trout and Hilton Smith
37) Dizzy Dean - helped quite a bit by Dan R's data but still on the outside of the PHoM
38) Vic Willis - glad I didn't PHOM him this year
   289. bjhanke Posted: October 29, 2008 at 07:52 PM (#2998888)
OCF asks, "You also ask about Doby in the CF rankings: He was 13th out of 26, with an average placement of 14.39. He was well behind Hines (11.57) and decently ahead of Gore [15.22]. Other post-WWII CF: Mays 2nd, Mantle 4th, Snider 11th, Asburn 16th, Wynn 18th, Dawson 26th. So how do you compare Smith to Wynn and Dawson? (Bearing in mind that there are many who didn't vote for Wynn or Dawson.)"

This is exactly the kind of thing that I lack the time to do well. There are just too many players to compare to each other, and a deadline of Tuesday. VERY quick and dirty, it goes like this:

NAME GAMES OPS+
Smith 7033 137
Wynn 6653 128
Dawson 9920 119

Smith is obviously better than Wynn, no matter how you slice it. Dawson has career length to sell, but his rate is so low that I don't see how even his huge games edge can make up the difference. Neither is likely to gain any serious ground due to fielding or baserunning, because Smith could do those. It's a pitiful analysis, but there's just not enough time. It illustrates the problem, which is why I did it at all. Best I can do this year. - Brock
   290. Al Peterson Posted: October 29, 2008 at 07:58 PM (#2998892)
While we wait for 2009 voting I'll throw out my top 100 as a prelim. No comments til after...

1. Rickey Henderson (I lied - he's hanging with company definitely beneath him :) )
2. Dick Redding
3. Tommy Leach
4. Norm Cash
5. Reggie Smith
6. Bobby Bonds
7. Phil Rizzuto
8. Tony Mullane
9. Mickey Welch
10. Bob Johnson
11. Lance Parrish
12. Buddy Bell
13. Luis Tiant
14. Bucky Walters
15. Bus Clarkson
16. Hugh Duffy
17. Tommy John
18. John McGraw
19. David Cone
20. Spotswood Poles
21. Jimmy Ryan
22. Bill Byrd
23. Vic Willis
24. Carl Mays
25. Thurman Munson
26. Luke Easter
27. Urban Shocker
28. Tony Perez
29. Ron Cey
30. Orel Hershiser
31. Don Newcombe
32. Ben Taylor
33. Bob Elliott
34. Dave Bancroft
35. Lee Smith
36. Ed Williamson
37. Wally Schang
38. Kevin Appier
39. Ed Cicotte
40. Larry Doyle
41. Gene Tenace
42. Ernie Lombardi
43. Dolph Luque
44. Tommy Bridges
45. Cesar Cedeno
46. Lou Brock
47. Burleigh Grimes
48. Dizzy Trout
49. Jack Clark
50. Rick Reuschel
51. Sal Bando
52. Tony Lazzeri
53. Jack Quinn
54. Bill Monroe
55. Jose Cruz Sr.
56. Jim Kaat
57. Mike Griffin
58. Bruce Sutter
59. Daryl Porter
60. Wilber Cooper
61. Sam Rice
62. Lefty Gomez
63. Johnny Evers
64. Fred Dunlap
65. Leroy Matlock
66. Kirby Puckett
67. Kiki Cuyler
68. Jimmy Key
69. George Van Haltren
70. Vern Stephens
71. Lave Cross
72. Frank Tanana
73. George Burns
74. Fielder Jones
75. Ken Singleton
76. Dick Bartell
77. Pie Traynor
78. Mel Harder
79. Orlando Cepeda
80. Dutch Leonard
81. Wally Berger
82. Frank Chance
83. Joe Tinker
84. Waite Hoyt
85. Tony Fernandez
86. Willie Davis
87. Rabbit Maranville
88. Ron Guidry
89. Frank Howard
90. Matt Williams
91. Frank Viola
92. Harry Hooper
93. Don Mattingly
94. Gavvy Cravath
95. Dizzy Dean
96. Ed Konetchy
97. Billy Nash
98. Vada Pinson
99. Albert Belle
100. Bobby Veach

The highest ranked 2008 holdovers not in my top 100 are Dave Concepcion and Elston Howard. They are both in the 101-125 range. I try to credit for NeL, war service, MiL, level of competition, etc. There is a lot of room for up/down movement below the top 20, splitting hairs is tough work. All our elections have added far too many candidates...if you have a pet candidate not listed they are still probably being considered.
   291. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 29, 2008 at 08:01 PM (#2998894)
DL from MN, it's posted in the war credit thread (http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/hall_of_merit/discussion/credits_and_deductions_for_ww_ii_players/P100/).

I should add that I'm really not much of a fan of using pitching wins above average. Since position players all play roughly the same amount of games, using batting/fielding runs/wins above positional average can be a reasonably straightforward shortcut to prioritize rate over bulk (although it can still be problematic in extreme cases like Frank Chance). But obviously, innings totals for starting pitchers vary wildly, and are of enormous importance. League-average innings munchers earn $12 million a year these days with good reason: I'm sure every single HoM voter has had the dreams of a few teams they rooted for dashed by ghastly fourth and fifth starters, or pitchers who taxed their bullpens too heavily (ahem...Scott Kazmir?). Do we really think that, say, Kyle Lohse is worth absolutely zero for HoM purposes? Or that, say, David Bush's season this year (185 IP, 1 PRAA) was less valuable to the Brewers than Todd Coffey's (7.3 scoreless innings, 4 PRAA)? It's just too far removed from how baseball works. I think using average as a baseline for starting pitchers obscures more than it clarifies.
   292. DL from MN Posted: October 29, 2008 at 08:12 PM (#2998902)
Well, I guess it's good that I consider both wins above average and wins above replacment then. I don't believe a strictly average pitcher who pitched for 20 years should make it into the HoM - see Jim Kaat.
   293. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: October 29, 2008 at 08:23 PM (#2998911)
Kaat wasn't an average pitcher -- average pitchers don't last 25 years. He was a good to very good pitcher whose final career ERA is not that much above average. But I agree with your general point. Were I a voter, I'd say yes, Kyle Lohse is worth zero for HOM purposes. He has value to a team, but there is nothing Great about him, and if he pitched for another 30 years the way he's pitched the last 7 or 8, he still has no HOM case.
   294. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 29, 2008 at 08:47 PM (#2998920)
Well, a strictly average pitcher would need to pitch something like 30 years just to have an extreme career voter consider him. The point I am trying to make is that I think it is far preferable to simply reward peak wins above replacement (using a tool like my salary estimator, which values each marginal win more than the preceding one) to keep the "hangers-on" out of the HoM, rather than to use a flawed tool like wins above average which privileges rate over durability.
   295. DL from MN Posted: October 29, 2008 at 08:57 PM (#2998925)
> flawed tool like wins above average

What's flawed about it? I thought it was relatively easy to calculate league average.
   296. Bleed the Freak Posted: October 30, 2008 at 12:24 AM (#2999003)
There has been a lot of discussion about pitching.

To add to this, I was wondering where Joe Dimino's most recent update on Pennants Added is located at BTF.

I have checked many a thread and google searched Joe's PA, but I cannot find the most recent version, only one that posted numbers through 1983.

Joe, if you have an updated PA, myself, along with the other newbies for 2009, would benefit from your analysis.
   297. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 30, 2008 at 12:46 AM (#2999019)
I do have that freak . . . I will upload when I get on that computer later tonight.

Should we put the ranking the pitchers off until after the 2009 election?
   298. Juan V Posted: October 30, 2008 at 01:51 AM (#2999156)
I think that would be best, Joe.

Prelim ballot. Quite pitcher heavy, and since may pitcher/position player equivalencies are still somewhat raw, I expect some of them to miss the final ballot.

1-Rickey says Rickey
2-Rick Reuschel
3-Fred Dunlap
4-Luis Tiant
5-Eddie Cicotte
6-David Cone
7-Kevin Appier
8-Jack Quinn
9-David Concepción
10-Babe Adams
11-Nap Rucker
12-Albert Belle
13-Dizzy Dean
14-Phil Rizzuto
15-Vic Willis
   299. Juan V Posted: October 30, 2008 at 01:52 AM (#2999157)
may=my, of course.
   300. Paul Wendt Posted: October 30, 2008 at 05:54 AM (#2999348)
I don't think a 5-year period will help [Tom Henke] relative to those guys either. Admittedly this is a very cursory look and a more sophisticated analysis may show what I'm missing. If it's his superior ERA+, obviously that's a result of pitching fewer innings.

Five-year period won't help Henke unless relative ten-year period except in comparison with Mark Davis & Co. Among great relief pitchers Henke must be one of the leaders over ten years, relative to five years, because he more nearly maintained his performance for ten full seasons than almost all of them. (Except measured by innings he did maintain it. Tom Henke's retirement is one of the most disappointing to me.)

Tom Henke's superior ERA+ isn't only a result of pitching fewer innings. See the preceding paragraph for example. See "no declining years" for the number one reason. But I agree, the magnitude of his ERA+ margin over Bruce Sutter, for example, is largely a result of Sutter's pitching more innings in many of his seasons.

Regarding Tom Henke's Rookie of the Year candidacy in his first big season, 40 innings at ERA+ = 211.
It makes me wonder,
Some day we will have a closer complete a Hall of Fame career as a rookie in every season!
(I know it doesn't work that way, but that is what Tom Henke's 1985 rookie candidacy makes me wonder.)
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