Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Hall of Merit > Discussion
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
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 5 of 5 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5
   401. DL from MN Posted: November 14, 2008 at 03:55 PM (#3009038)
Ewww, Mickey Welch #4 but no modern pitchers at all.
   402. Paul Wendt Posted: November 14, 2008 at 10:05 PM (#3009514)
399. Chris Cobb Posted: November 14, 2008 at 09:24 AM (#3008962)
Sure. If the election starts Monday, the polls won't close until the 24nd at least (maybe we'll have 2 weeks to vote?),

I recommend two weeks; at least close to that, closing at end or just after the Thanksgiving weekend.
That is a leisurely weekend for some, I know. The preceding ten days are a crunchtime for many, I believe.
   403. Paul Wendt Posted: November 14, 2008 at 10:11 PM (#3009525)
It's possible to sympathize either way way.
("either way way" records my sympathy with the word "eww")

Bucky Walters and Dick Redding are the two pitchers from the 2008 election top ten. --not "modern pitchers" if I understand correctly

Mickey Welch is the tenth ranking pitcher in the backlog (rank 24 among all players) and the ten include one or two "modern" pitchers, I guess.
In rough chron order:
Welch
Willis
Redding
Grimes
Dean
Bridges
Walters
Newcombe
Tiant
Cone
   404. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: November 14, 2008 at 10:40 PM (#3009546)
Everything I've ever heard or seen about Wagner said very clearly that he was a truly top shortstop.

I don't think there is any reason to disregard that. Modern play-by-play defensive analyses are flawed enough. One system using only raw statistical data from 100 years ago should inform our judgements, but not overwhelm the substantial anecdotal evidence.
   405. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: November 14, 2008 at 10:43 PM (#3009547)
I guess you guys are never going to get the new individual player discussion threads.
   406. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 15, 2008 at 12:29 AM (#3009613)
I agree that the weight we place on anecdotal vs. statistical evidence in terms of defense should decrease substantially as we go back in time (with cutoffs in 1987, for the advent of Zone Rating and Retrosheet hit type data, and now 1953, for Retrosheet itself). But I would be eextra wary of the defensive reputations of players who also happened to be superb hitters and were generally athletic. I'm not suggesting that Wagner was the Jeter of his day--he was clearly above average--but it would not surprise me at all if writers and observers elided "great hitter, good fielder" into "great hitter, great fielder."
   407. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: November 15, 2008 at 01:18 AM (#3009634)
But I would be eextra wary of the defensive reputations of players who also happened to be superb hitters and were generally athletic. I'm not suggesting that Wagner was the Jeter of his day--he was clearly above average--but it would not surprise me at all if writers and observers elided "great hitter, good fielder" into "great hitter, great fielder."

True enough. If it mattered (which it obviously doesn't, for Wagner's election to the HOM or his placement among SS), it would be worth reviewing the actual descriptions of Wagner's defense. All I can say from memory is that he scooped up clumps of dirt along with the ball, and he rated a +17 defensively in this Strat type game I played as a kid (which might have been the highest in the game). Did observers at the time marvel about his arm? His range? His sure hands? His heady play? His general athleticism? I don't know.
   408. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 18, 2008 at 01:35 AM (#3011211)
I did some research on my favorite 2B eligible candidate: Bill Monroe

http://www.americanbaseballchronicles.com/phil_giants_1905.htm#monroe

Nick-named “Money” for the sheer number of fans that flocked to see him perform, Monroe ranked among the greatest baseball players of his generation. (Image from the Philadelphia Inquirer)
An August 14, 1905 edition of the Trenton Times noted, “ Monroe is the best third baseman seen in Trenton. He made plays Saturday which saved his team. His speed is remarkable as is his fielding and base running. It is a pleasure to see him in action.” Similarly impressed, the Brockton Times of June 24, 1905 wrote, “In Monroe, at third, they [the Philadelphia Giants have a man who can play ball with the best of them.”

The following stats are for Pete Hill (Age 24), Home Run Johnson (Age 31), Bill Monroe (Age 28), Charlie Grant (Age 26), Sol White (Age 36)

PH - G – 128, AB 258, H 192, 2B 37, 3B 11, HR 10, R 137, TB 707, SB 32, SAC 12
HJ - G – 117, AB 191, H 152, 2B 23, 3B 4, HR 10, R 113, TB 546, SB 19, SAC 15
BM - G- 102, AB 185, H 139, 2B 25, 3B 15, HR 8, R 98, TB 501, SB 35, SAC 3
CG - G – 137, AB 254, H 186, 2B 29, 3B 4, HR 8, R 126, TB 653, SB 27, SAC 3
SW - G- 81, AB 113, H 84, 2B 10, 3B 0, HR 3, R 51, TB 325, SB 14, SAC 1

Pete Hill is outstanding, with Charlie Grant a notch below, and Bill Monroe and Home Run Johnson a bit below those two.

Monroe, to reiterate, was primarily a 3B this season.
   409. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 18, 2008 at 04:11 AM (#3011300)
Interesting article up at the below website, featuring the excellent Negro League researcher, Gary A:

http://scottsimkus.wordpress.com/

Below is a question posed from Simkus to Gary A and his response

Well, if you could vote for five more Negro Leaguers to be included in the HOF, would Beckwith be on YOUR list? Who would the others be?

how about: Grant “Home Run” Johnson, John Beckwith, Bill Monroe, Dick Lundy, and Ed Bolden.

The HOM has elected 3 of the 5 (Johnson, Beckwith, and Lundy) and has seriously considered the candidacy of another (Monroe).

Anyone have a grasp for Ed Bolden? I don't see a player page for him under the Negro League links. I only found information regarding him being an owner/executive. Maybe Gary A meant to include him in the executive wing?
   410. Paul Wendt Posted: November 18, 2008 at 03:34 PM (#3011429)
Money Monroe?
Evidently your source doesn't believe that "Money" is a nickname derived in the usual way from "Monroe".

Ed Bolden, executive, certainly
Baseball-fever elected him to its Hall of Fame last year.
Ed Bolden at BBFever, especially #852 (quoting Riley) and #864 (official election resuts)
   411. mulder & scully Posted: November 18, 2008 at 07:40 PM (#3011620)
I have a request that I hope one of our NeL translation experts could handle. Does anyone have the time to work through George Scales' numbers from the Hall of Fame NeL Project? I did some prelim work back over summer and he was looks like a power/on-base hitter, but at second. He really looks like a candidate. But I don't know enough about the translations to do more. And with my first semester of library school ending and a full time job, I don't have the time it needs. I'd be happy to talk/email someone interested. I have an Excel spreadsheet with his numbers and a lot of National League contextual numbers I can email.
I don't know if his fielding is good enough, but I don't want him to fall through the cracks.
Thanks.

Kelly

kelly98 at gmail dot com
   412. TomH Posted: November 21, 2008 at 05:28 PM (#3013803)
hey guys - I've pretty much bowed out of the HoM, but I was playing with something the other day, and would like some input from any of you 'brilliant insighters' who would care to spend some time mulling over an idea I have. If you're interested, email me at han60man@aol.com

---
I enjoy putting cute charts, tables, graphs, etc. on my wall at the office, or emial to my friends, to generate conversation with (often casual) fans.

One quick visual I am attempting to put together is an all-time team by eras. I'm considering how many eras to break into, how flexible to assign positions (and time), to allow the greatest players to be represented and not have to put in a guy solely because he was the only one to play a spot in a certain time period. Right now I'm thinking 4 major eras, with 8 batting and 4 pitching slots in most of them, which comes out to 48 players in total. Some of the calls are tough to make!

Tom
   413. Chris Cobb Posted: November 25, 2008 at 12:59 AM (#3015207)
2009 Second Preliminary Ballot

I've made a number of changes since my first preliminary ballot, so I thought I'd post a second. This one is a "full" ballot, fleshed out as my official ballot will be. I note the classes of player that are still not accounted for in this ballot. If you see any surprising omissions that are not covered by those categories, let me know!

Of the new eligibles, Henderson is a slam dunk, no doubt HoMer. The best of the rest are Appier, Bell, and Grace. None of them are HoMers, though Appier is close enough that I imagine he’ll get some votes. He’s around 75th in my rankings. Bell and Grace were very good players. Bell falls a little short of the top 100 eligibles. Grace is a lot short.

Following the model of my rightfielders ballot, I have now shifted over to basing my rankings fully on Dan R’s WAR for post-1892 position players. That’s both easier and more reliable than mucking about with lots of patches to WS and WARP1 to straighten out replacement-level issues. I still assess career and peak in the same manner, adding career value above replacement, career value above average, and 5*peak rate. For starting pitchers, I use the same calculation, using career RAR, career RAA, and 5*peak rate/250 IP. For ranking pitchers against position players, I have gone with Dan R’s suggested replacement level of 80 ERA+; that seems to put the pitching candidates and positional candidates on a reasonably level playing field.

(#) = Last year’s ranking
Total = result of new system

1. Ricky Henderson (n/e). Total = 230.6. An inner-circle Hall-of-Meriter; #3 left-fielder after Williams and Musial (will be #4, of course, after Bonds becomes eligible). My in-out line is about 120 points, so Rickey is pretty close to having two Hall-of-Merit careers, just as Bill James has argued.
2. Rick Reuschel (4). Total = 140.1. The best combination of peak and career among eligible pitchers, and the strongest candidate in the backlog. Sure, there may be reasons to ding him a bit for weak finishes in pennant race seasons or for not being a Steve Carlton-level workhorse in his prime, but he’s so far ahead of the rest of the pack in value that those kinds of penalties shouldn’t matter.
3. Reggie Smith (6) Total = 126.0. Finished at #4 on our 2008 ballot. Never had dominating seasons because his batting and fielding peaks are separate and he was out of the lineup a lot, but he never had a bad year, either. We’re short on both 1970s shortstops and 1970s outfielders, even though we are long on both positions overall, so Smith should go in with Concepcion and Campaneris. His total in my system does not include Japan credit; accounting for it moves him up to #3 on this ballot.
4. John McGraw (n/r). Total = 131.4. Finished at #7 on our 2008 ballot. Long examination of Dan R’s WAR has convinced me that his assessment of McGraw is correct. Despite his brief career, the value is there. I rank him behind Smith both because of the Japan credit factor for Smith and because I am not quite sure that the ease-of-dominance adjustors in Dan R’s systems are entirely sufficient for cross-era fairness when comparing the 1890s to the 1970s and 1980s.
5. Bert Campaneris (60). Total = 129.2. First of four shortstops on my ballot. I don’t think we’ve yet honored all the deserving players from the 1960s and 1970s. Shortstops Campaneris and Concepcion are the two of the most significant omissions among position players.
6. Phil Rizzuto (27). Total = 127.8. Finished at #4 on our 2008 ballot. Uneven performance in the late 1940s as he recovered from his wartime activities keeps him from being higher on the ballot, but a deserving HoMer.
7. Luis Tiant (12). Total = 126.5. Finished at #12 on our 2008 ballot. A nice combination of prime effectiveness and career durability. Rick Reuschel lite, except with respect to style!
8. Dave Concepcion (5). Total = 125.8. See Campaneris comment.
9. Johnny Pesky (25). Total = 123.8. WAR highlights the strength of his peak. The presence of McGraw, Pesky, and John on my ballot should show that I am not favoring either peak or career at the expense of the other!
10. Urban Shocker (9). Total = 123.3. Steadily excellent in a tragically shortened career.
11. Tommy John (7). Total = 122.2. He doesn’t have a great peak, but his 12-14 year prime is about as good as any eligible pitcher’s, and he adds another 4-6 good years on top of that, which is quite extraordinary.
12. Gene Tenace (57). Total = 121.6. Top eligible catcher. As Tenace’s ranking last year shows, my system had been underrating catchers. In switching to my new system, I made some changes to my catcher adjustments, and Tenace arrived here. I think he is a deserving HoMer: his total in my system is slightly behind Ted Simmons, virtually even with Roger Bresnahan, and substantially ahead of Bill Freehan, who now seems to me a very questionable selection.
13. Tommy Leach (19). Total = 121.5. Finished at #6 on our 2008 ballot. Fine player for a long time. Andrew Siegel’s brief analysis of his case is excellent, and Dan R’s war2 shows that his play in relatively high SD leagues was still very valuable, as does Joe Dimino’s PA analysis using Dan’s numbers.
14.David Cone (10). Total = 120.86. Slips a little bit in my new pitcher system, but not much. Excellent peak, and just enough career added by several effective seasons after coming back from arm injuries.
15. Don Newcombe (35). Total = 120.6. My new pitcher rankings help him a lot, mostly by giving him appropriate credit for his hitting: he is one of the best hitting pitchers of all time, quite a bit better even than Walters. I also decided to give him one more season of minor-league MLE credit than I had been previously. 1946 was his first minor-league season pitching at above major-league average quality, so I decided I should credit him for 1947, which I had not done previously. In competition with very, very similar players, I also give the nod to Newcombe because he represents an era not heavily represented in the HoM, and one in which pitcher SDs appear to have been low.

I still need to place pre-1892 stars, both pitchers and position players, modern relief pitchers, and some remaining NeL stars like Bill Monroe and Hilton Smith. Monroe, Dunlap, and Lee Smith will almost certainly be in my top 50.

The next seventeen

16) Buddy Bell (3). Total = 120.86. Very similar to the recently and deservedly elected Nettles, though not as good as I thought when I was overadjusting for the DH. Just gets edged out on this ballot, but I think he’s a deserving HoMer.
17) Dave Bancroft (11). Total = 122.1. The best combination of bat and glove among eligible shortstops, but in an easier era. If he could have stayed in the lineup more, we’d have elected him long ago, as he was a slightly better ballplayer than Sewell with a longer career. But having few seasons of 145+ games hurts him. I’ve also decided to drop him a little bit because his era is very well represented, including at the shortstop position when his NeL contemporaries are considered. Would probably be in my pHoM, however, in place of Dobie Moore.
18) Bob Johnson. Total = 120.2. I think Johnson is good enough to go in to the Hall of Merit, but he has just too many ahead of him to make my ballot at present. Like Bancroft, he represents a very well represented era.
19) Gavvy Cravath. Estimated Total = 119. This is about where Cravath ranks when I use rough estimates for his minor-league seasons. More exact totals from Dan R for those seasons may move him up onto my ballot or down farther into the backlog.
20) Toby Harrah. Total = 118.73. I’ve been ranking him below where his numbers place him for a while, because his reputation never suggested that he could possibly be a HoMer, but he nearly hit enough to make up for being a weak defensive shortstop.
21) Bus Clarkson. Estimated Total = 118.7. Harrah and Cey seem the right players to group Clarkson with prior to getting a more exact estimate of his value.
22) Ron Cey. Total = 118.68. Very similar to Toby Harrah.
23) Norm Cash. Total =118.4. Excellent rates, but platooning, which helped the rate, hurt his seasonal value.
24) Vern Stephens. Total = 118.3. In a cluster with other good-hit, mediocre-field, moderate career shortstops.
25) Jim Fregosi. Total = 118.2. Another member of the Stephens cluster.
26) Bobby Bonds. Total = 117.65. Could help a team in many, many ways. To be the fifth-best outfielder eligible is no shame.
27) Chuck Klein. Total = 117.2. I’m surprised he isn’t doing better with peak voters.
28) Kiki Cuyler. Total = 116.8. Surprisingly high. The Bobby Bonds of the 1920s?
29) Eddie Cicotte. Total = 116.6. The first of a trio of pitchers who fall about one great season short of the HoM. Cicotte’s case is the most regrettable, of course, since he actually had that season, but threw the Series at the end.
30) Burleigh Grimes. Total = 116.1. A true workhorse, but he lost a little too much effectiveness in exchange for innings to make it over the line. His best years were in the early 1920s when he wasn’t worked quite so hard as he was later.
31) Wilbur Cooper. Total = 115.5. Another pitcher who could eat innings. Like Cicotte and Grimes, he is just one excellent season short.
32) Dick Redding. Estimated Total = 115. I’m trying to find a way to decide if he was better than Cooper, who is his immediate contemporary. Until I make up my mind, I’m going to slot him here.

The rest of the Current top 50

33) Bucky Walters. 114.47
34) Brett Butler. 114.0
35) Tommy Bridges. 113.7
36) Dutch Leonard. 113.5
37) Tony Fernandez. 113.3
38) Nap Rucker 112.9
39) Leroy Matlock 112.5
40) Vic Willis. 111.7
41) Chet Lemon. 111.4
42) Dizzy Dean. 111.3
43) Bobby Veach. 110.8
44) Eddie Rommel. 110.5
45) Roy White. 110.0
46) Albert Belle. 109.97
47) Jose Cruz. 109.7
48) Noodles Hahn. 109.51
49) Addie Joss. 109.50
50) Carl Mays. 109.3

Top 10 returnees not on ballot
#5 in 2008: Bucky Walters – I have him ranked at #33. I can see how peak voters would favor him, as he does have one of the best peaks available, when rate and durability are considered together. However, his peak is only about 15% better than, say, Rick Reuschel’s, and Reuschel’s career is 30% better than Walters. In general, I don’t see how any of the remaining “peak-only” candidates have peaks good enough to outweigh the fact that there are pitchers with a ton more career value ABOVE AVERAGE who remain unelected.
#8 in 2008: Dick Redding – A puzzle. I have him ranked at #32 right now. I’ve been working with his 1921-22 statistics in Gary A’s wonderful compilations of those seasons to see if that will help me figure out how many really good seasons he really had. These were the last two when he was likely an above average pitcher by major-league standards. But how to know how good he really was during his peak??
#9 in 2008: Kirby Puckett – Way overrated. I have him ranked around #88. Unlikely, I think, to have been a HoMer even with a full career.
#10 in 2008: Bob Johnson – Just off my ballot at #18, and a hair above my personal in-out line. Deserving, but there’s no room for him in my top 15.
#11 in 2008: Gavvy Cravath – Just off my ballot at the moment at #19. I hope to have Dan R WAR numbers for his minor-league seasons before we vote!
   414. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 25, 2008 at 08:16 AM (#3015334)
Chris, have you seen my position-corrected numbers for Tenace (posted on his thread)? He's one of those multi-slot guys who gives my spreadsheet fits. He loses a meaningful chunk of his apparent value after I adjusted him properly (because my robotic sheet credits him for time at C when he was actually playing 1B half the time).
   415. Chris Cobb Posted: November 25, 2008 at 05:38 PM (#3015512)
Dan, thanks for bringing this up! At some point I saw your position-corrected numbers for Tenace, but those are not the basis of my current placement of him, because I didn't have ready access to them when I was running catchers through my system. I had looked for them on the Tenace thread, but they do not appear to be there. My guess is that they are posted in a ballot discussion thread somewhere, and I haven't taken the time to look further for them. If you or anyone can find where they are, I'd appreciate having them. I wasn't certain whether looking for them myself or using playing time your replacement level data to adjust Tenace myself would be easier, so I just put it off, but I was intending to get to it one way or the other before I posted my ballot.
   416. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 25, 2008 at 07:26 PM (#3015614)
Chris, you inquired about Dan R's Tenace position-corrected numbers.

Crossposting from the Elected Results for Catchers by Rank:

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/hall_of_merit/discussion/election_results_hom_voters_think_gibson_bench_berra_and_carter_are_the_fin

18. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 22, 2008 at 07:26 PM (#2791222)

On Freehan and Tenace, I'm pretty sure the group has this one right. Here are my standard charts for the two. SFrac measures playing time, BWAA is batting wins above a league average hitter (with no DH adjustment), BRWA is baserunning wins above a league average runner, FWAA is fielding wins above a league average fielder at the same position, Replc is the number of wins above average (BWAA+BRWA+FWAA) a replacement player at the same position would have had in the same playing time (which is lower in DH leagues), WAR1 is raw wins above replacement (the sum of these 4), LgAdj is the ratio of the 2005 standard deviation to the regression-projected standard deviation of the league-season in question, and WAR2 is standard deviation-adjusted wins above replacement. TXBR is career totals excluding below-replacement seasons.

Tenace


Year SFrac BWAA BRWA FWAA Replc WAR1 LgAdj WAR2
1970 0.19 1.3 -0.1 0.2 -0.4 1.7 0.949 1.7
1971 0.31 1.3 0.0 0.0 -0.7 1.9 0.962 1.8
1972 0.40 0.3 0.2 -0.2 -0.7 1.0 0.970 1.0
1973 0.92 3.7 0.1 -0.5 -0.9 4.1 0.947 3.9
1974 0.90 2.9 -0.4 0.5 -1.2 4.3 0.963 4.1
1975 0.92 3.9 0.2 0.4 -1.9 6.3 0.943 6.0
1976 0.75 3.3 -0.3 -0.3 -1.3 3.9 0.948 3.7
1977 0.84 4.1 -0.1 -0.2 -1.2 5.0 0.972 4.9
1978 0.77 3.5 -0.1 0.2 -0.7 4.4 0.988 4.3
1979 0.86 4.3 -0.2 0.3 -1.0 5.4 0.981 5.3
1980 0.61 2.7 -0.3 -0.4 -0.9 2.9 0.985 2.9
1981 0.39 1.9 0.0 -0.3 -0.6 2.2 0.975 2.2
1982 0.24 1.6 -0.1 0.0 -0.4 1.9 0.985 1.9
1983 0.12 -0.1 0.0 -0.1 -0.0 -0.2 1.004 -0.2
TOTL 8.22 34.7 -1.1 -0.4 -11.9 44.8 0.971 43.5
TXBR 8.10 34.8 -1.1 -0.3 -11.9 45.0 0.971 43.7
AVRG 1.00 4.2 -0.1 0.0 -1.4 5.5 0.971 5.3



Freehan


Year SFrac BWAA BRWA FWAA Replc WAR1 LgAdj WAR2
1963 0.51 0.3 0.0 0.2 -1.1 1.6 0.968 1.5
1964 0.84 2.6 0.1 0.5 -1.7 4.9 0.983 4.8
1965 0.72 -0.5 -0.1 0.5 -1.5 1.4 0.977 1.3
1966 0.81 -0.7 0.0 0.4 -1.6 1.3 0.999 1.3
1967 0.92 4.6 -0.2 -0.1 -1.9 6.2 0.985 6.1
1968 0.96 4.6 -0.2 0.9 -1.9 7.2 1.003 7.3
1969 0.81 0.9 -0.1 0.3 -1.8 2.9 0.948 2.7
1970 0.67 0.8 -0.2 0.2 -1.4 2.2 0.949 2.1
1971 0.87 2.5 -0.3 0.1 -1.8 4.1 0.962 3.9
1972 0.68 2.1 0.0 0.4 -1.4 3.9 0.970 3.8
1973 0.63 -1.4 -0.1 0.5 -1.7 0.7 0.947 0.6
1974 0.73 2.1 0.1 0.8 -0.5 3.5 0.963 3.3
1975 0.69 -0.6 0.0 -0.1 -1.8 1.1 0.943 1.1
1976 0.38 0.0 0.0 -0.3 -1.0 0.7 0.948 0.6
TOTL 10.22 17.3 -1.0 4.3 -21.1 41.7 0.969 40.4
AVRG 1.00 1.7 -0.1 0.4 -2.1 4.1 0.969 4.0


So on the surface of it, these two are pretty close. Tenace was light years better as a hitter, but Freehan was a better fielder and played two full additional seasons, with a ton more time behind the plate in them. It would seem to be a tossup, with Tenace having a bit more career value and Freehan having a notably higher peak. The gap, however, opens up once you apply a catcher bonus. If we just went by straight WAR2 or my raw salary estimator, Berra and Bench would be the only catchers in the HoM. To get a reasonable representation of catchers in the HoM, we have to give them an extra kick for playing the position, which I have calculated to be a 58% bonus applied to catcher playing time. This factor obviously favors Freehan, who played 90% of his career games at C, in relation to Tenace, who played just 58%. The result of this is a substantial gap between the two, with Freehan clearly on the right side of the in/out line and Tenace on the wrong one.
   417. Chris Cobb Posted: November 25, 2008 at 08:09 PM (#3015653)
Thanks, Bleed the Freak!
   418. stax Posted: November 26, 2008 at 02:56 AM (#3016002)
Alrighty guys, lets try to fix that ballot up then.

Puckett: I don't know what the heck I was reading. Reevaluated based on that lower OPS+.
Top 10 comments-

Dick Redding: I have a very hard time putting someone in the HoM for, according to post 119 in his thread, 628 innings of recorded work. Also incredibly confusing to find good standard numbers for him, his Yahoo Group file has him at 800ish innings. Looking at Chris Cobb's post #23 and in his thread he goes through a complex methodology ending up with Redding with 3500 IP at a 114 ERA+. His projected 267 win shares would immediately make him one of the worst HoM pitchers in that category (only really ahead of guys like Sandy Koufax who aren't there for mega-career value). As KJOK quite nicely put it in post 33 Redding's projection is amazingly close to Rick Reuschel, and does ANYONE have Rick Reuschel on their ballot? (actually, looking at the 2009 prelim thread, Chris Cobb does) He finished 29th last year despite his actual MLB #s looking quite similar to Redding's MLE'd ones (with Redding finishing Top 10).

Bucky Walters: Just looks like Redding/Reuschel with 400 fewer IP and a higher WHIP. Honestly would vote for Rick Reuschel before either of them.

Luis Tiant: ANOTHER one. Why are there so many 3500ish IP, 115ish ERA+ pitchers out there, and why is one a better HoM candidate than another?

Bob Johnson: My fault. Very similar simple batting stats (ABs, OPS+) to my own 11 and 12 with a fantastic glove and potential minor league credit to boot. He's going on my ballot.

Phil Rizzuto: I have to admit that, despite being a huge Yankees fan, I never realized quite how good old "Holy Cow!" was. I want to give huge credit to Brent in post #48 of Rizzuto's thread for an excellent comparison to Nellie Fox. He'll crack my fixed ballot.
   419. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 26, 2008 at 03:11 AM (#3016007)
stax, a number of our most committed and experienced voters support Reuschel, and quite strongly at that. (In general, I would say that his backing comes from those who have a rigorous quantitative approach whose conclusions they trust, rather than those who just sort of eyeball a bunch of guys and couldn't possibly consider voting for Rick F'in Reuschel). The main reason that one 3500ish IP, 115ish ERA+ pitcher (Reuschel) is better than another (Tiant) because his innings were higher relative to his contemporaries--he had twice as many top 10 IP finishes.

Bob Johnson had a fantastic glove? That's news to me...
   420. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 26, 2008 at 03:15 AM (#3016008)
Also, while I am one of Rizzuto's most enthusiastic backers, being better than Nellie Fox is hardly a qualification for the HoM. Fox is the worst inducted player by some margin; nonentities like José Cruz Sr. and Dolph Camilli were also better than Fox, and no one puts them on their ballots.
   421. stax Posted: November 26, 2008 at 03:15 AM (#3016009)
I, I really dunno guys. I had a way easier time of things in the positional rankings thread because the choices were laid out for me. This poll is insanity, quite frankly, I have no idea how I should rank a Dizzy Dean vs. a Tony Perez, for example. I don't have the time to lay out the kind of complex rating models that some of the more advanced voters seem to use, I really dunno. I want to participate but within a couple hours of my ballot's posting it was torn to shreds.
   422. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 26, 2008 at 03:29 AM (#3016013)
stax, don't get discouraged. We are a very passionate, opinionated, and informed group, and many of us are constantly patrolling for inconsistencies in others' voting as opportunities to advocate for our preferred candidates. Moreover, many of us have refined our voting methodology over "decades," whereas you are just starting out. I would say you have three courses of action:

a) Drop out. This would be a loss both for you and the HoM, so I hope you don't.
b) Do what far too many of our voters unfortunately do, which is just throw a bunch'o'names together and move'em around from time to time. This is somewhat better than a), but not much.
c) Develop a consistent ranking methodology, and apply it. Obviously, this option would be the most rewarding for the HoM, and I daresay you might find it the most fruitful as well. It's really not as daunting as it sounds. You just need to choose the stats you trust, figure out your peak vs. career preference, and see what comes out. If you just review the 2008 ballots, you can get an idea pretty quickly of what the main underlying stats are (ubers like my WARP, BP WARP, and Win Shares, and basics like ERA+/IP for pitchers and position-adjusted OPS+/PA for hitters) and ranking categories (top 5 seasons, career value above average, etc.) In my case, for example, I just vote straight down my published salary estimations (calculated by applying an exponential formula derived from the 2007 free agent market to my WARP statistic), with the exception of a segregation penalty for pre-1947 players and a few league strength tweaks.
   423. stax Posted: November 26, 2008 at 03:38 AM (#3016019)
But that's what I'm saying. I tried B and got rather quickly shouted down and shown to be foolish in many different ways (multiple players I'd never heard of or considered who were similar to or better than those I'd voted for posted in hours, 2 #10s for 16 total people on the ballot, etc) and I don't have time to do C. I could clone someone else's method, but that doesn't seem like it'd help anyone.

I like career but I also don't love Julio Franco-style "Around forever and decent". I like WARP, OPS/ERA+, etc, have no idea how I would assign value for defense outside of complex metrics like your fielding stuff which I don't have easily sortable data for a lot of guys on... It's just a ton of stuff that I don't have time for. And then at the end of the day we have to, apparently even though it's not in the Constitution, pick 15 guys. WHY? I really don't think many more than 2-3 of those sitting out there are really serious HoM players, why do we have this elect-3 system still up? Why should Player X in 2050 get to get in the HoM just because there were a lot of crappy guys retired around him and the hall had already eaten up the legitimate backlog candidates?
   424. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 26, 2008 at 04:04 AM (#3016032)
In that case, it sounds like you should be voting on something like total value above positional average, tossing out all below-average years. That would keep out both the Beckleys and the Kiners, and push you towards more well-rounded, prime-type candidates.

My "fielding stuff" is most certainly available in an easily sortable form. Go to groups.yahoo.com, sign up for the Hall of Merit, and download the Rosenheck WARP.zip file. The FWAA there are just a hybrid of BP FRAA and Fielding Win Shares for 1893-1986. For post-1987 seasons, there is a separate file (included in the same archive) that uses actual play-by-play and Retrosheet data. The numbers are presented in both raw and standard deviation-adjusted versions, and can be sorted however you like. It shouldn't take you more than three minutes. (The file also includes batting and baserunning wins above average, and my calculation of positional value, for all player-seasons since 1893).
   425. Chris Fluit Posted: November 26, 2008 at 04:11 AM (#3016035)
stax, please don't get discouraged and please don't give up. We want you to stick around. Your ballot is pretty reasonable and you're simply being subjected to the hazing that is done to most newcomers. Take note of the inconsistencies that have been presented. Adjust your ballot as you see fit based on the new information. And stick by your guns. One of the comments directed your way was "if you're voting for Tony Perez, why aren't you also voting for Rusty Staub?" Well, Perez was ranked 17th in the last election (and has been in the top ten in the past) while Staub was ranked 37th. Obviously, you're not the only one who sees a significant difference between the two. The comments that are provided on the ballots are (or at least should be) summaries and highlights that give the other voters an approximate idea of your methodology. You've done that, showing us that you primarily rely on OPS+/AB for batters (and presumably ERA+/IP for pitchers). They're not meant to answer every qualitative difference.
   426. stax Posted: November 26, 2008 at 04:19 AM (#3016039)
Those aren't the only tools I use to evaluate, but they seem like the simplest available.

DanR: Yes, I realize they are in that file, but my god the thing is unwieldy it's so big. Also, as far as I can tell, it has seasonal values not career values. Your summary of "total value above positional average" is just about right for how I see value (though I wouldn't toss out below average years, they would be a negative on the guy's career). How can you normalize... say OPS+ and your FWAA and BRWAA to develop a scale? Does your WARP do that? In that case couldn't I just vote by top 15 eligible on your WARP scale still outside the HoM?
   427. stax Posted: November 26, 2008 at 04:37 AM (#3016045)
In fact I may just use your WARP2 scale. One question DanR, how do you deal with pitchers, since I only see batting, baserunning, and defensive wins listed there. This was my biggest problem, how do you cross-rank between pitchers and hitters.
   428. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 26, 2008 at 04:49 AM (#3016051)
stax, please tell me you don't mean that. You're telling me that if a player has already established a HoM-worthy career, and his manager continues to play him through his decline phase because he is still better than the available alternatives, you think that would actually make him less deserving? No way.

I don't particularly see why you'd use OPS+ instead of my BWAA, since my BWAA are measuring the same thing, just more accurately (by taking account of things like net double plays, OBP-heaviness, etc.). The overall conversion rate between the two for non-DH leagues is OPS+ = 90.8 + (11.43*BWAA1/SFrac).

Of course you could vote by top 15 eligible on my WARP scale still outside the HoM if you wanted. That is, of course, exactly what I do.

I have preliminary pitching numbers which I can send you, although they are not as sophisticated as the position player figures and require a few caveats. Give me an email address and I'll send them to you, along with an explanation of their flaws.
   429. Chris Cobb Posted: November 26, 2008 at 04:50 AM (#3016053)
stax,

You certainly received a lot of comments that I would call constructive criticism, but please don't take that as "shouting down" your ballot. If I were to "judge" your ballot on its merits, I would say that it is a better ballot, in judgment and in presentation, than some other ballots that have been submitted by longtime voters. You are getting comments not because your ballot is bad as such, but because you are new, and that means you

1) have a new perspective that can add to the HoM conversation that we want to hear
2) have probably made choices that you haven't thought through fully yet
and
3) are probably willing to consider new evidence and change your mind.

All three of these factors make it worthwhile for us to ask you questions about your ballot, while it isn't worthwhile for us to ask questions about the ballots of long-time voters like karlmagnus and Rusty Priske, for example. I disagree with both of them on a number of substantive issues, especially Rusty, but I know what those issues are and he knows what they are and I know that he's not going to re-think what he's doing and change his system because I ask him why he doesn't have John McGraw on his ballot! So instead I ask you a question about Tony Perez and Rusty Staub and point out a detail about Bob Johnson, because I want to hear what you have to say, and because I think you might be willing to change what you have done if you see a way to make your ballot better.

When you believe that your choices are well-justified, you are under no obligation to change them on account of any objection that might be raised about it (except in those rare cases where Constitutionality is an issue), but we hope that, when you see information that can improve your ballot by making it more consistent and by giving more thorough consideration to all the serious candidates, you'll make use of that information and revise your ballot.

Frankly, if your first ballot only has 4-5 things that, upon reflection, you decide need to be changed, that's very good. There is no such thing as a perfect ballot, and people who are not comfortable submitting a ballot that is full of imperfections (like the esteemed Paul Wendt) end up not voting. You have to find your own comfort level of imperfection, of course. Dan R withdrew into hermetic solitude for about a year to bring his system to a point where he was comfortable using it, then he returned and resumed voting. I've always kept voting, but I have been continually tinkering with my system over--what is it now, five years or something like that?--as new information and new ideas have become available.

As to why we do it this way: after much deliberation, the HoM decided that the best way to establish and maintain a consistent and meaningful standard of excellence for the Hall of Merit was to elect a fixed number of players each year, with the number of players to be elected determined by a formula based on the number of major-league teams at that point in baseball history. The rate of induction was set, originally, so that we could match the HoF in size while being fair to all eras by electing the same percentage of players, in proportion to major-league teams, from the early years of baseball history to the present.

When we reached the present, we decided that the best way to keep our standard consistent in the future was to continue to induct players at the same rate, going forward, and to use the same balloting system. One reason is that the balloting system itself has merit. No voting system is perfect, but this one avoids many of the pitfalls of the HoF's system. To work well, though, we need to have each voter's take on who the best 15 eligible players are, whether or not that voter believes all or any of the 15 are worthy of induction that year. Otherwise, people who submitted fewer than 15 names would be able to leverage the system in favor of their candidates. We have debated the ballot structure regularly over the years, discussing expanding the ballot, and going to a run-off system, but in the end the consensus has been that it's best to stay with what we have. It's consistent, and any new system that was truly better would require more work from the voters than the pay-off in increased validity would justify: the current system is burdensome enough :-).

Another reason is that, if we are always electing the best players eligible, we are always going to be honoring, overall, the best players. You put the question:

Why should Player X in 2050 get to get in the HoM just because there were a lot of crappy guys retired around him and the hall had already eaten up the legitimate backlog candidates?

If Player X is the best player eligible not already elected to the HoM, but he is not as good as all the players already in the HoM, then the HoM will be lowering its standards by the distance between, in 2050, about the 350th and the 351st best player of all time. Given what I know about the distribution of talent in baseball history, I am pretty confident that this would not be a huge change.

Yes, the in-out line for the Hall of Merit is not constant, but its defining principle is consistent, and that's what helps us to avoid the kind of egregious errors that the Hall of Fame has made, which make it impossible now for the Hall to have any clear standard, which reduces the meaning of its elections.
   430. stax Posted: November 26, 2008 at 04:55 AM (#3016057)
"stax, please tell me you don't mean that. You're telling me that if a player has already established a HoM-worthy career, and his manager continues to play him through his decline phase because he is still better than the available alternatives, you think that would actually make him less deserving? No way."

You don't think hanging around too long should be counted? If your performance is 1 win below average and you were 100 wins above average before that season, how are you not now 99 wins above average? You already have WARP2's that are negative in your file.

"Of course you could vote by top 15 eligible on my WARP scale still outside the HoM if you wanted. That is, of course, exactly what I do.

I have preliminary pitching numbers which I can send you, although they are not as sophisticated as the position player figures and require a few caveats. Give me an email address and I'll send them to you, along with an explanation of their flaws."

I'd love them, staxringold@yahoo.com . But heck, how's this for a system: DanR's WARP2 for hitters and the Wins Above Replacement in the "Pitching DIPS" file? That 2nd set of WAR doesn't appear to be scaled to standard deviation like WARP2, but it's a decent start.

Is there any simple way to generate career WARP2 numbers from your giant WARP file though? It'd really cut down on things if you didn't have to go through for every player you're interested in and sum it up (currently I'm thinking I'll look at the listed new eligibles plus the top 40 from the previous poll with this WARP2 + WAR system).

Chris: Thanks for the long comment!
   431. stax Posted: November 26, 2008 at 04:59 AM (#3016059)
I've just realized one immediate flaw in my WARP2 + WAR method, and that is that relievers would be nonexistent in the Hall, basically. I suppose I can pull out those I feel worthy specifically, really only Lee Smith on this ballot anyways
   432. stax Posted: November 26, 2008 at 05:19 AM (#3016069)
One more question, does anyone know how to set a total'ing formula that uses only the value from that line? As in I have a WARP2 column and a WAR column, how do I get it to add Babe Ruth's WARP2 and WAR (without going through individually for each player's total). What's the variable for Excel's formula tool that uses that line's #?
   433. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 26, 2008 at 05:26 AM (#3016072)
I DEFINITELY don't think hanging around "too long" should be held against a player. Yes, I have negative WARP scores, but I don't have negative salaries--anyone at 0 WARP or below is just credited with the league minimum salary. I find completely baffling the idea that somehow the end of Steve Carlton's career, or the fact that Roberto Clemente was brought up to the majors before he was ready to be a major contributor, somehow makes them less deserving of enshrinement--and I don't think there is a single voter here who disagrees with me.

What is the "Pitching DIPS" file? If it's based on the DIPS I know (K/BB/HR rates), I certainly wouldn't call that a good metric for HoM discussions, since DIPS is NOT intended to tell us how valuable a pitcher was to his team, but rather to forecast how good he will be in the future.

Sure, of course there is:

1. Sort the sheet by player ID
2. In cell W2, type "if(d2=d1,s2+s1,s1)"
3. In cell X2, type "if(d2=d3,0,1)"
4. Click on any cell with data in it, and type Control-A to select the whole sheet
5. Turn on AutoFilter
6. In column X, set the filter to only display rows where column X is 1
7. Type Control-C to copy the sheet
8. In a new worksheet or workbook, type Control-V to paste the sheet. You will have one row per player, and column W will be their career WARP2.

There SHOULDN'T be any relievers in the HoM besides Wilhelm, Rivera, and Gossage, in my opinion, so no trouble there. :)
   434. stax Posted: November 26, 2008 at 05:35 AM (#3016079)
"
What is the "Pitching DIPS" file? If it's based on the DIPS I know (K/BB/HR rates), I certainly wouldn't call that a good metric for HoM discussions, since DIPS is NOT intended to tell us how valuable a pitcher was to his team, but rather to forecast how good he will be in the future."

Yeah, I've realized pretty quickly it's a bad WAR measure. I just wish you had hard WARP2 numbers for pitchers on the same scale with hitters, as now even that simplistic system I put forth doesn't work. Until you have such a scale the best I could do would be BP's, which is also not searchable (so I'd just have to pick a few pitchers, plus it'd be on a different scale from your WARP2 numbers).

Also, your totaling function isn't doing anything, the function is just sitting in cells W2 and X2 as text
   435. stax Posted: November 26, 2008 at 05:38 AM (#3016081)
"I DEFINITELY don't think hanging around "too long" should be held against a player. Yes, I have negative WARP scores, but I don't have negative salaries--anyone at 0 WARP or below is just credited with the league minimum salary. I find completely baffling the idea that somehow the end of Steve Carlton's career, or the fact that Roberto Clemente was brought up to the majors before he was ready to be a major contributor, somehow makes them less deserving of enshrinement--and I don't think there is a single voter here who disagrees with me."

Why is that baffling? If you are below replacement level then you are hurting your team a measurable amount. Why does that get washed away?
   436. mulder & scully Posted: November 26, 2008 at 06:44 AM (#3016099)
Stax -

I know the others have said it, but please keep on with the project. And it is honestly quite rewarding when you come up with your own ranking system. I was a devoted Win Shares person for a lonnnnggg time. Then I started to play with Dan's numbers and started ranking players with both numbers. Now, I am a Dan R WARP convert, but I value peak and prime differently from others, definitely have my own opinions when it comes to pitchers, and most voters have different ways of valuing minor league and War credit.

And some of the postings are probably because you have shown yourself to be open about your vote and willing to reconsider in light of new evidence. That's very cool. Many voters are type B and don't have good explanations for why they rank the way they do.

2 cents.
   437. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 26, 2008 at 06:56 AM (#3016107)
stax:

1. I will send you my pitching #'s tomorrow. They are on the same scale with hitters.
2. Ah, that's because I forgot to say you need to put an equals sign at the beginning. You type =if(d2=d1,s2+s1,s1)
3. Because it's not your fault--if you are below replacement level, you should be benched. That's the manager's job, not yours. Look at Minnie Miñoso, who was brought back to go 1-for-8 at the age of 50 and 0-for-2 at the age of 54. Do you hold that against him? No, you hold it against the manager for playing a guy who shouldn't have been playing. That can't possibly cancel out the value he provided his teams in his 20s and 30s.
4. This is even more true when your baseline level is average, because average players don't grow on trees--they are scarce, and have real value. (League average pitchers earn about $11 million a year these days). So if you have a guy who is, say, 1 win below average, he is still *helping his team*--providing value above replacement level, and therefore deserving of a job--and you are going to penalize him for it? No way. It's one thing to say, "I want to value greatness, not just goodness, so I will only start counting value once it exceeds average." It is *quite* another to *cancel out* preexisting greatness, especially when a guy is still helping his team win games.
   438. mulder & scully Posted: November 26, 2008 at 08:19 AM (#3016128)
And Stax, I have a career totals spreadsheet for about 230 players including the seasons, hitting, baserunning, fielding above average, positional adjustment, WARP2 totals, number of times they were either League All-Stars or Gold Glovers in Dan's system, and a few other items. I'll email it to you if you can use it. It is Excel '07 though.
   439. sunnyday2 Posted: November 26, 2008 at 03:13 PM (#3016199)
stax,

Let's be clear. Your ballot is perfectly acceptable just the way it is. Any discussion here has to tacitly recognize that. So whether you want to take any advice or stick to your guns is up to you.
   440. DL from MN Posted: November 26, 2008 at 04:00 PM (#3016230)
I agree, stax's ballot is acceptable now that he's considered the top 10 returnees. There's a few simple rules if you want to play the game - rank 15, add comments that show your reasoning, show that you have considered the top 10 returnees.

Don't feel you have to get it all right the first ballot, none of us did. It's a little less daunting now - you have a whole year to tweak ballots. It was pretty intense to jump methodologies when there were 2 weeks between ballots.

As Paul Wendt has noticed we have a larger number of pitchers on the ballot. I'm pretty pleased to see that. A pessimist would say we've run out of position players worth a darn. I don't think that's the case, I think perhaps I've made my point.
   441. stax Posted: November 26, 2008 at 04:23 PM (#3016246)
"3. Because it's not your fault--if you are below replacement level, you should be benched. That's the manager's job, not yours. Look at Minnie Miñoso, who was brought back to go 1-for-8 at the age of 50 and 0-for-2 at the age of 54. Do you hold that against him? No, you hold it against the manager for playing a guy who shouldn't have been playing. That can't possibly cancel out the value he provided his teams in his 20s and 30s.
4. This is even more true when your baseline level is average, because average players don't grow on trees--they are scarce, and have real value. (League average pitchers earn about $11 million a year these days). So if you have a guy who is, say, 1 win below average, he is still *helping his team*--providing value above replacement level, and therefore deserving of a job--and you are going to penalize him for it? No way. It's one thing to say, "I want to value greatness, not just goodness, so I will only start counting value once it exceeds average." It is *quite* another to *cancel out* preexisting greatness, especially when a guy is still helping his team win games."

3. It's not your fault, perhaps, but you're still doing it. It's not necessarily Jimmie Foxx' fault he was an alcoholic or Lou Gehrig's that he had Lou Gehrig's Disease, but they did and that affected their performance. In your example no it doesn't cancel it out because it's 10 ABs. But those 10 bad ABs don't disappear just because you make the judgement he shouldn't have been playing those years. By that logic every player should have a 1.000 OBP because every time they make an out they shouldn't have been playing. Every time you take a baseball field professionally it affects your career professional value.
4. True, I should not have said average. Average players still help teams.
   442. stax Posted: November 26, 2008 at 04:27 PM (#3016250)
Oh, and thanks for the little fix-up DanR, but it still doesn't do anything in the spreadsheet. W2 just says "WARP2" now and X2 says "0".
   443. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 26, 2008 at 04:37 PM (#3016262)
Stax, I think

2. In cell W2, type "if(d2=d1,s2+s1,s1)"


should be

"if(d2=d1,s2+s1,s2)" - changing the last cell reference from s1 to s2.
   444. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 26, 2008 at 05:12 PM (#3016321)
Eric J is right, and I am officially a moron. That said, stax, I'll just email you career totals now (using version 2.1 for post-1987 years).
   445. stax Posted: November 26, 2008 at 06:30 PM (#3016408)
Heh, thanks DanR, though I hardly think moron is a fair term to apply to yourself.
   446. stax Posted: November 26, 2008 at 06:32 PM (#3016410)
Does anyone have a list of the top... Say 5 NeL contenders for this election by WARP2?
   447. DL from MN Posted: November 26, 2008 at 07:04 PM (#3016433)
Here's the numbers I'm using - can't say for certain they're correct but nobody else can either.

Candidate BWAA2 BRWAA2 FWAA WARP2 PRAR PRAA
Taylor, Ben 37 0.5 8 60
Clarkson, Bus 27.5 0 2 62
Redding, Dick -9 - - - 850 240
Smith, Hilton -1.2 - - - 905 190
Matlock, Leroy -7.5 - - - 685 232
Easter, Luke 39.5 0 2.5 50
Moran, Carlos 30 1 0 44
Poles, Spots 26.5 1.5 9 40
Williams, Marvin 20.3 1 0 45
Scales, George 28 0 -4.5 43
Monroe, Bill 22 0 2 40

I haven't bothered running Artie Wilson
   448. stax Posted: November 27, 2008 at 12:21 AM (#3016643)
Thanks DL, my only question is that for most of those guys you only have 4 numbers listed for 6 categories. What does with what?
   449. DL from MN Posted: November 27, 2008 at 05:10 AM (#3016727)
The batters don't have PRAR or PRAA. The pitchers have those but only have BWAA2.
   450. Howie Menckel Posted: November 27, 2008 at 02:54 PM (#3016804)
Some voters penalize "arrived too early" or "stayed too long" players via rate stats.
Others reward them for having extra counting stats.

I don't really care for either approach. I mainly like "prime relevance" that can be anything from Koufax short/great to Niekro long/good.

Seems a little weird to have a guy whose career is HOM quality at age 35, but then below the line at age 38.
   451. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 27, 2008 at 06:40 PM (#3016862)
Put me in the camp with Howie. I don't see how it's justifiable to give anyone negative credit for a season. I zero out any negative final season WARP values, and as was said earlier, I blame it on the manager and/or GM. If they pay you, you are going to play.
   452. Chris Cobb Posted: December 02, 2008 at 06:04 PM (#3018869)
Brock,

I just can’t let your arguments on Phillippe and Leever stand without comment. The idea that either of these guys merit ballot spots because they would somehow turn into Maddux and Glavine if transported to the modern game has little relation to the evidence of their careers, and this line of reasoning leads you to rank them ahead of near-contemporary pitchers who are (in my view) very obviously more qualified based on what they actually accomplished, and who would undoubtedly have benefited much more significantly from time travel than Phillippe and Leever, namely, Addie Joss and Urban Shocker.

There are two big reasons that Phillippe and Leever have careers that are not only short but small (only c. 2600 IP), neither of which has to do with their pitch selection. One is that they did not break into the majors until their age 27 seasons, so that puts them 6-7 seasons behind Maddux/Glavine. Research might turn up that they were pitching at what was clearly a major-league level during those years, for which they ought to be credited, but this aspect of the shortness of their careers is totally unrelated to wear and tear on their arms from having to throw curveballs. (In fact, in the case of Leever, we know that he was not pitching at a major-league level in the minors. He was playing semi-pro baseball and working as a school-teacher. When he developed a great curveball, that changed his prospects as a pitcher and hence, his career. I don’t know anything about Phillippe’s career prior to his entry into the majors. That would be worth knowing.) They pitched as full-time starters through ages 35-36, which was quite late for their era, and continued pitching effectively through age 38.

The second reason that their careers are small is because they threw comparatively few innings within seasons. Phillippe placed in the top 10 in IP only once, placing ninth in 1903. Leever placed twice, leading the league in 1899 in his one workhorse year and placing one spot behind Phillippe in 1903. Glavine and Maddux were workhorses: Glavine had 12 top 10 finishes in IP, Maddux had 17, including 5 consecutive #1 finishes in the early 1990s. A change of venue is not going to turn pitchers with the Phillippe/Leever profile (which, in modern terms, is that of a Ron Guidry) into a pitcher with a Glavine/Maddux profile in terms of durability. Surely the team’s decision about how to use them as pitchers has something to do with their workload, but if they could have carried a larger workload well, they surely would have: Vic Willis placed in the top 10 in IP three out of three seasons during his stint with the Pirates 1907-1909. There just isn’t a good argument here for turning two moderate workload pitchers into heavy workload pitchers. (If you want an aughts version of Tom Glavine, Eddie Plank is the obvious parallel. As Bill James might put it, he is a member of the same pitching family as Glavine—the soft-tossing lefty—where Leever and Phillippe are not.)

In sum, the case for saying they were a lot better than their records because they would have been much greater in another context is weak, because it doesn’t address either the late start to their careers or their relatively light workloads.

Still, they are pitchers with 2600+ IP and a 120 and 123 ERA+, which is not a shabby combination (although I think ERA+ overrates them because they spent their careers pitching in front of good to excellent defenses). They were both almost exactly average as hitters. On the merits of that case, how do they compare to other pitchers?

Two who immediately attract my attention in comparison are Shocker and Joss. Both have similarly sized careers:

Shocker, 2681.7 IP, 124 ERA+

Joss 2327 IP, 142 ERA+

Shocker adds value to his otherwise similar package in three ways. First, he was a more durable pitcher in-season than Leever and Phillippe, with 6 top 10 IP finishes in his career. Second he was a good hitter, 17 RCAP for his career. Third, he lost time to WW1, so he in fact deserves a bit of war credit on top of his recorded innings.

Joss’s advantage in ERA+ is obvious and significant (though he too benefits from good defensive support). His in-season durability was comparable; he was a below average hitter.

But if you want to think about benefiting from a modern context, you are looking here at two pitchers whose careers were cut short by deaths that modern medicine probably would have prevented (more likely in the case of Joss than Shocker).

Setting aside time-travel arguments, if you compare Shocker to Leever and Phillippe, straight up, you have a pitcher who threw slightly more innings, was significantly more durable in season, was as or more effective on a per-inning basis, was a better hitter, and his ERA+ is not called into question by his pitching in front of great defensive teams. In sum, there is no aspect of the game in which he did not perform more effectively, overall, than Leever and Phillippe. I do not see what, aside from an extremely fanciful comparison between Leever and Phillippe and Maddux and Glavine, could justify ranking the two Pirates stars ahead of Urban Shocker, and I think Joss’s case for being better is nearly as strong.
   453. OCF Posted: December 02, 2008 at 07:35 PM (#3018973)
The oughts were a time of experimentation in pitcher roles. There's plan A: find the one or two best pitchers you can and get as many innings out of them as you can - having Mathewson and McGinnity thow 800 innings in 1903 and nearly that many in 1904 is a high point for that plan. And then there's plan B: get more pitchers, spread the load more widely, and don't overwork anyone (works best if you have a very good defense). I think of this as the Frank Selee plan, but it seemed to reach its peak under Frank Chance and Fred Clarke. If you look at the Cubs rather than the Pirates, you'll see Brown who was great (but perhaps a little overrated when you account for what he owed to the system) and Reulbach who was very good, but there are also some itinerant pitchers in there who had a great year or two pitching for the Cubs and weren't even any good when they pitched for other teams. Compared to the Cubs, Pittsburgh seemed to have a deeper and stabler group of very good pitchers (including Leever and Phillippe) without the one top star that the Cubs had in Brown, and fewer one-year wonders.

The general principle is that pitchers will pitch better if they pitch less, although you'll need more pitchers that way. We recognize this principle from 1990's-2000's baseball, and the nineteen-oughts didn't go nearly that far. Chris is suggesting that Leever and Phillippe were less durable than their contemporaries; perhaps it's not really their durability as a personal trait as much as it's a usage pattern, the way Clarke deployed them. But they probably benefited from that usage pattern in effectiveness per inning.
   454. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 02, 2008 at 09:21 PM (#3019143)
I have always found the voting history of the HOM particularly interesting.

Patrick W submitted an excellent Excel file on the HOM yahoo group that I recommend everyone read, which goes through great detail on the history of the HOM.

It seemed that someone asked a short time ago who had voted in every election.

Here is a rundown of voters participating in over 100 elections, the first 10 have appeared in each election:

1898 111 Howie Menckel
1898 111 Andrew Siegel
1898 111 Sean Gilman
1898 111 Rick A
1898 111 Rob Wood
1898 111 Tom H
1898 111 John Murphy
1898 111 Al Peterson
1898 111 jimd
1898 111 Esteban Rivera
1898 110 dan b
1898 110 Devin McCullen
1898 110 Dan G
1898 109 Adam Schafer
1900 109 karlmagnus
1898 108 KJOK
1898 108 Joe Dimino
1900 108 Rusty Priske
1902 107 Chris Cobb
1898 106 Marc (sunnyday2)
1904 105 OCF
1900 104 favre
1906 103 Jim Sp (encer)
1899 102 Ken Fischer

With the assistance of Patrick W's, file I was able to quickly generate a list of the top vote getter in each election who has not subsequently been elected.

Four players have missed by one spot:
George Van Haltren - 1932
Dick Redding - 1998
Bob Johnson - 2005
Reggie Smith - 2006 and 2008

The following players received the most votes in each election, but have not yet been elected:
Ed Williamson 1898-1903
Mike Griffin 1904
Mike Tiernan 1905-06
Hugh Duffy 1907-08, 1910-1917, 1920-22, 1946, 1978, 1980, 1982-83, 1988
Jimmy Ryan 1909, 1923-34
George Van Haltren 1918-19, 1925-36, 1939, 1942-45, 1947-1972
Mickey Welch 1937-38
Tommy Leach 1940-41
Dick Redding 1971, 1973-77, 1979, 1981, 1984-87, 1989-94, 1998-2001
Tony Perez 1995, 1996
Bucky Walters 1997
Bob Johnson 2002, 2005
Kirby Puckett 2003-04
Reggie Smith 2006-08
   455. Paul Wendt Posted: December 02, 2008 at 09:26 PM (#3019156)
450. Howie Menckel Posted: November 27, 2008 at 09:54 AM (#3016804)
Some voters penalize "arrived too early" or "stayed too long" players via rate stats.
Others reward them for having extra counting stats.

I don't really care for either approach. I mainly like "prime relevance" that can be anything from Koufax short/great to Niekro long/good.

Seems a little weird to have a guy whose career is HOM quality at age 35, but then below the line at age 38.


451. Joe Dimino Posted: November 27, 2008 at 01:40 PM (#3016862)
Put me in the camp with Howie. I don't see how it's justifiable to give anyone negative credit for a season. I zero out any negative final season WARP values, and as was said earlier, I blame it on the manager and/or GM. If they pay you, you are going to play.

I agree with JoeD concerning seasons at the beginning or end of a player's career, and therefore with Chris Cobb's examples Roberto Clemente and Steve Carlton.

I don't agree concerning a season in the middle of a player's career. One season is a timespan too short to excuse the player with explanation that management should bench such a player. This is one reason (but not very important in practice) why

20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, -10, -10, -10

is better than

20, -10, 20, 20, -10, 20, 20, -10, 20

during a nine-year run on the calendar, say 2000-2008.

Suppose that -5 is the replacement-level production on this scale. So it is a point of reference or zero point in the definition of net value (value = whatever these numbers measure; net value = value + 5). The first player's net value is +150 during that six-year prime, 2000-2005. The second player cannot match that. He never gives management sufficient grounds to bench him, so the fans and owner cannot blame management for playing him. His net value is +135 during that nine-year prime, 2000-2008.

This approach is a little generous to the first player. Why should management bench him during 2006, after a "millenium" of great play? For the sake of exposition, let's say that the first spring training after a counter-productive season is the moment of truth for management. Then we should excuse the first player for 2007-2008 only; blame management for only net value -10 of his career-ending -15 ==> credit the player with +145 during 2000-2006. The general point holds but the first player's margin by net value is only 10 points, not 15.

Here I believe that I am making explicit, in numerical terms, something that may be implicit for Howie M and others. Why do the "prime seasons" matter more than the fringe seasons? Of course this is only one route to that conclusion, and it is quite limited in its practical scope.
   456. Paul Wendt Posted: December 02, 2008 at 09:38 PM (#3019175)
440. DL from MN Posted: November 26, 2008 at 11:00 AM (#3016230)
As Paul Wendt has noticed we have a larger number of pitchers on the ballot. I'm pretty pleased to see that. A pessimist would say we've run out of position players worth a darn. I don't think that's the case, I think perhaps I've made my point.

Yes, we have more pitchers, although not so many as I imagined a few months ago we might see on the ballots cast this fall. We have some new resources for ranking pitchers with a little more confidence. I supposed that a few people may have been holding back, while pitchers were in the shadows for a year or two after DanR weighed in, before JoeD returned to the "pennants added" for pitchers.

As for me, I changed my mind and upgraded my assessment of 3500ish innings at 115 ERA. If that pitcher can swing the bat, that pitcher has a lot of merit.

And I have this list of Rickey Henderson and 14 pitchers. If you all will elect Reggie Smith, Tommy Leach, and Gavy Cravath it may yet be that elusive "perfect ballot" for 2010!
   457. bjhanke Posted: December 02, 2008 at 10:22 PM (#3019265)
Chris -

You make some very good arguments there about Leever and Phillippe. I just haven't had time to go into depth, so I can't compare them to Joss or Shocker. I don't think that the point I was trying to make about Sam and the Deacon being "like" Maddux and Glavine was about piling up huge numbers of IP. I did know that both S and L started late. I was trying to get a handle on what TYPE of pitcher was there, rather than how much they pitched. I will, of course, have this much better sorted out in the coming months. Right now, I'm not going to get into a discussion about this because all it would do is expose how little depth I've had time to put in. I'll keep your post in mind as I try to sort the early pitchers out. Thanks for taking the time to look at my work!

- Brock
   458. bjhanke Posted: December 03, 2008 at 11:06 AM (#3019592)
Paul says, in the middle of post #455, "The second player cannot match that. He never gives management sufficient grounds to bench him,...."

Not to mention that he doesn't give them time enough to locate a replacement player of any value, so they may just get stuck playing what they have. The "first" player in Paul's example should be setting off alarm bells by at least the second weak season late in his career. If the team doesn't realize that it's time to get a new guy, that's their problem, not the player's. - Brock
   459. Mark Donelson Posted: December 04, 2008 at 12:24 AM (#3020259)
(I'm bringing this over from the Cone conversation on the ballot thread, since I didn't quite realize I was posting my "David Cone: The Epic Saga" essay there yesterday.)

I didn't mean to say anything that strong at all, and I'm sorry if you read what I did say that way.

I'm sorry right back for having misinterpreted you, Brock. :)

It is worth mentioning, I think, that Joe Torre's primary skill as a manager is the ability to get along with people, handling the clubhouse, the press box and the ownership. For him to take a guy who had been a bit of a rebel and work with him to get him focused would be the exact thing he does best. That doesn't reflect badly on Cone.

That's true enough if that had been the case, but frankly it's not the impression I had watching Cone in his Yankees years, even at the beginning. Seems to me he'd done his maturing long before he got back to New York--he didn't appear to me by then to need any "focusing," and he was no longer really a "rebel" (though he did still like to party, as his close friendship with David Wells indicated). He was among the leaders of the players' union, and possibly its most public face in press conferences other than good ol' Don Fehr, and he was generally acting serious and professional in public by 1994-5.

Really, he was pure veteran presence from the moment they got him--which I say with tongue somewhat in cheek. But seriously, I do remember him as a real quality addition in '95, an indication that the Yankees were really going for it. He wasn't acquired with the hope that Torre could stabilize the guy; he was acquired to stabilize the team himself. And he pretty much did until running out of gas in the the ALDS game 5 against Seattle after something like 140 pitches.
   460. Paul Wendt Posted: December 04, 2008 at 06:34 AM (#3020475)
The following players received the most votes in each election, but have not yet been elected:
Ed Williamson 1898-1903
Mike Griffin 1904
Mike Tiernan 1905-06
Hugh Duffy 1907-08, 1910-1917, 1920-22, 1946, 1978, 1980, 1982-83, 1988
Jimmy Ryan 1909, 1923-34
George Van Haltren 1918-19, 1925-36, 1939, 1942-45, 1947-1972
Mickey Welch 1937-38
   461. bjhanke Posted: December 04, 2008 at 11:05 AM (#3020509)
Re: David Cone. You know what? Everyone here has been more than willing to take my word for things I saw in St. Louis when I was a teenager, as well as for things I heard from my father and Bob Broeg. The least I can do is return the favor. Therefore, I am taking the word of at least two people here that David Cone had gotten over whatever demons plagued him as a Met well before he hit the Yankees. When he was a Yank, he was a solid veteran presence. I'm going with that, and appreciate those who saw his later career setting me straight. In general, any baseball analyst has to be wary of his emotional biases, especially if his team had "mortal enemies." Because my dad was a Browns fan born in 1911, I can't help responding to the 1922 Yanks as though they were demons from heck. I know better, but it's emotion from my dad. Similarily, I have to be careful when dealing with the "cheater" Yanks of the 1950s, the "Pond Scum" Mets of the 1980s, and anyone on the Big Red Machine Reds other than Joe Morgan. And sometimes, that means that I make a stronger statement, or a weaker one, than I really think, because I'm trying to counter bias. In Cone's case, the bias is strong, and worse, it's backed up by well-documented incidents. But that's with the Mets, not the Yanks, and it really doesn't affect his career much. This is also why I am so careful about the foul strike rule and John McGraw and Billy Hamilton. I love John and Billy, so I tend to force myself to lean to harder questioning that might be justified, in order to counter the bias. I'm sure all of you have these situations as well. These just happen to be some of mine. - Brock
   462. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 04, 2008 at 02:33 PM (#3020548)
Paul,

Nice catch. Jimmy Ryan is 23-24, George Van Haltren is 1925-1936. I apologize for the typo.

You are a natural at editor work.
   463. Paul Wendt Posted: December 07, 2008 at 07:35 AM (#3022287)
419. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 25, 2008 at 10:11 PM (#3016007)
stax, a number of our most committed and experienced voters support Reuschel, and quite strongly at that. (In general, I would say that his backing comes from those who have a rigorous quantitative approach whose conclusions they trust, rather than those who just sort of eyeball a bunch of guys and couldn't possibly consider voting for Rick F'in Reuschel).

Soon after immersing himself in the Pennants Added waters for all-time pitchers, as I recall, Joe Dimino degraded a few HOM members (McGinnity, Lemon) and extolled the virtues of a few outsiders (Quinn, Reuschel).

Acknowledging that I need to do something intelligent about the different measures of innings (see "Pitchers" #375ff), but postponing it,
I think the pool of candidates has reached the point where ^a non-rigorous but quantitative approach whose conclusions one trusts a little^ is enough to support an up-ballot vote for Rick Reuschel.

Re the next point, the difference between Reuschel and Tiant may be little, because Tiant may be up-ballot too.

The main reason that one 3500ish IP, 115ish ERA+ pitcher (Reuschel) is better than another (Tiant) because his innings were higher relative to his contemporaries--he had twice as many top 10 IP finishes.

Bob Johnson had a fantastic glove? That's news to me...


arm?
   464. Paul Wendt Posted: December 07, 2008 at 07:59 AM (#3022289)
Chris Cobb #413
(Reuschel 2, Tiant 7)

Following the model of my rightfielders ballot, I have now shifted over to basing my rankings fully on Dan R’s WAR for post-1892 position players. That’s both easier and more reliable than mucking about with lots of patches to WS and WARP1 to straighten out replacement-level issues. I still assess career and peak in the same manner, adding career value above replacement, career value above average, and 5*peak rate. For starting pitchers, I use the same calculation, using career RAR, career RAA, and 5*peak rate/250 IP. For ranking pitchers against position players, I have gone with Dan R’s suggested replacement level of 80 ERA+; that seems to put the pitching candidates and positional candidates on a reasonably level playing field.
(my emphasis)

By this method a posited share of pitchers in the Hall of Merit yields a method for weighing quality and quantity, putting pitcher skill and playing time in the balance.

It works in this direction because the pitchers are relatively simple. Their fielding matters little or not at all. Their batting is bad enough that they never pinch-hit or half-platoon, much less move down the defensive spectrum as they age. Even their moves to and fro relief pitching roles are few; at least, in the major leagues since 1893 there have been many many practically full-career starting pitchers.
   465. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2008 at 03:18 PM (#3022323)
Re the next point, the difference between Reuschel and Tiant may be little, because Tiant may be up-ballot too.

The next point is:

The main reason that one 3500ish IP, 115ish ERA+ pitcher (Reuschel) is better than another (Tiant) because his innings were higher relative to his contemporaries--he had twice as many top 10 IP finishes.

As I see it, the gap between Reuschel and Tiant is large for exactly the reason stated here, but they are relatively close on my ballot because there are few other candidates who rank as high as they do. In my system, the pool really begins to broaden out at 121 wins (where wins = career wins above replacement, career wins above average [which is approached slightly differently for pitchers and position players], and 5*peak rate (for wins above replacement). Both Reuschel (#2 at 140) and Tiant (#8 at 126.5) are comfortably above that threshold, so they are separated by only 6 ballot spots, even though they are separated by more wins than Luis Tiant and Bucky Walters (#32 at 116.9), who are separated by four times as many ballot spots. Players who score above 125 are not so historically rare as all that, of course, but we have elected all but 9 who have previously been eligible.

I should note, in case it is not clear from what Paul Wendt quoted from my description of my system, that I include pitcher hitting and fielding in my RAR and RAA totals for them.
   466. Paul Wendt Posted: December 07, 2008 at 09:28 PM (#3022444)
Re #465
Since #464, where I commented on #413, Chris Cobb has posted a 2009 ballot (#124 on the other thread). Concepcion has bumped Luis Tiant down from the 7 slot to the 8 slot; Gavy Cravath and Fred Dunlap have joined them on the list of eligible players with ratings above 125 (ten, or Rickey plus 9 previously eliglbe; up from eight or seven).

I should note, in case it is not clear from what Paul Wendt quoted from my description of my system, that I include pitcher hitting and fielding in my RAR and RAA totals for them.

Chris,
Do you include season-by-season estimates of batting runs (from Lee Sinins?) before the calculation of peak rate?

All,
What did I mean by that remark 12 hours ago? It's the potential, plausible simplicity of considering pitcher batting (although Chris Cobb probably isn't doing it in a simple way).

"Their batting is bad enough that they never pinch-hit or half-platoon, . . . Even their moves to and fro relief pitching roles are few; at least, in the major leagues since 1893 there have been many many practically full-career starting pitchers."

What follows is that career batting rate, such as measured by OPS+, may be a very good measure of batting in the overall evaluation of pitchers, where one presumably makes some use of innings. Even grade A batting pitchers have not worked much as part-time outfielders and pinch-hitters; that has been common only "off the charts", grade A+ or A++. Relief pitchers bat much less than starting pitchers do, relative to their pitching workloads, but many many pitchers who might be considered here at the Hall of Merit have worked more than 90% of their innings in the starting role, taking their regular turns at bat.
   467. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 07, 2008 at 10:00 PM (#3022464)
Cross posting this here as well:

I just updated the main post as well.

Here's the email that was sent, in case you aren't on the list:

Hello Everyone!

John and I were just talking. As of now, we have about 23 ballots, give or take (counting mine and John's).

We hope many of you are finishing up your ballots now, as we had 50 ballots last year.

We've decided that extending the election a week (through 8 p.m., Sunday 12/14/2008) won't hurt anything, as we are hoping this will give those of you that haven't voted yet a little more time.

So please stop by and check out the (excellent) discussion from the past few weeks, and get those ballots in, especially if you've voted throughout but have not been by in awhile . . . thanks!

--
--Joe


A second email followed, after seeing Esteban's post:

I apologize for a second email, but please make that Monday 12/15/2008, 8 p.m. EST.

We've decided to go with a Monday deadline since that's what everyone is used to for these elections (we had switched to Sundays for the positional ranking elections).

Thanks,

--Joe
   468. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 07, 2008 at 11:47 PM (#3022517)
The main reason that one 3500ish IP, 115ish ERA+ pitcher (Reuschel) is better than another (Tiant) because his innings were higher relative to his contemporaries--he had twice as many top 10 IP finishes.

That's true, but OTOH, Tiant was pitching among a historically unique group of contemporaries. To quote Bill James, "A list of the most innings pitched in a season since 1920 has three types of pitchers:

1. Bob Feller
2. Robin Roberts
3. Pitchers from the 1970-1975 era"

It's true that Reuschel did overlap with that era a bit, but it was at the start of his career, when he was still getting established. He didn't have a top 10 finish in IP until 1976. For Tiant, this peak came in the middle of his career, and he was pitching in the AL, where this trend was even more pronounced, partly because of the DH.

If you list their seasons by IP, and compare the best, second best, etc., Tiant wins the first 6 years. Then Reuschel wins the next 9, and Tiant 3 of the last 4. Tiant's 1973 season, where he had 272 IP (his 3rd best), didn't make the AL top 10 that year (it would have beeen 5th in the NL), but it was more than Reuschel ever threw in a season. His 1975 season (4th best), matched Reuschel's best, and again did not make the AL top 10 (6th in the NL).

There is an argument to be made for Reuschel, in that the seasons he was ahead of Tiant, he was usually ahead by more. He was ahead of Tiant more in seasons 7-11 than Tiant was in 1-6. But it's an argument for extended durability, not for a more impressive peak.

Given that their careers started only 8 years apart, I don't think there's a huge difference in the conditions Tiant and Reuschel pitched in. I do think that there's a specific difference in this particular measurement (top 10 IP) that makes the "won twice as much" argument invalid.
   469. Howie Menckel Posted: December 08, 2008 at 12:05 AM (#3022521)
"I do think that there's a specific difference in this particular measurement (top 10 IP) that makes the "won twice as much" argument invalid."

I'm a big fan of "top 10 IP" and "top 10 ERA+" - but you make a valid point. It works most of the time, but in extreme cases, it's good to have the context.
   470. Blackadder Posted: December 08, 2008 at 12:46 AM (#3022529)
Thanks a lot for extending Joe. I have never voted before, but was thinking of putting together a ballot. However, I have been busy lately and did not get the chance to do so. Hopefully I will be able to prepare something for next Monday.
   471. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 08, 2008 at 01:01 AM (#3022532)
That's true, but OTOH, Tiant was pitching among a historically unique group of contemporaries.


The era was certainly historical, but I'm not sure that all of the pitchers in question would have won 250-300 wins during the '20s or '50s. The flip side is that I feel certain that Robin Roberts, for example, would have won at least 300 games fairly easily if he had started his career 15 years later.
   472. Chris Cobb Posted: December 08, 2008 at 01:26 AM (#3022541)
Chris,
Do you include season-by-season estimates of batting runs (from Lee Sinins?) before the calculation of peak rate?


This question does not have as simple an answer as one might expect.

Yes and no.

The background:

The peak rate scores that I am using are the one element that I have kept from my old pitcher evaluation system, which is win-based. It uses RSI data, pitcher OPS+, batting win shares, and my own calculation of team defensive efficiency to calculate the number of wins that a pitcher earned above or below what an average pitcher with average defensive support would earn, given the same offensive support. This system was scaled to match the 0 point in the win-share system for hitters. In the original version of that system, I made a rough adjustment to a pitcher's seasonal RSI based on the pitcher's OPS+ for each season for seasons with an OPS+ less than 30; for seasons with OPS+ of 30 and up I added a pitcher's batting win share totals to the pitching win shares.

The system has gone through two changes since its inception. First, I re-scaled the replacement level to fit with my best guess of what replacement level actually was (85 DERA+); I have been re-scaling that to an 80 DERA+ replacement level for the purposes of calculating peak rate for my new system. Second, I was in the process of reworking the spreadsheet so that it made a more exact calculation of the contribution of pitcher's hitting to his own run support, using Lee Sinin's seasonal RCAP numbers. This second change was a lot more complicated than the first change, and I was only about 25% of the way through the pitchers when the old PC laptop that I was using to access Sinins' encyclopedia quit reading the disk. I had already gotten the career RCAP numbers for all the HoM pitchers and most of the sixty+ serious candidates, fortunately, but I had been getting the seasonal numbers on a pitcher-by-pitcher basis, rather than grabbing all the data in advance. My intention is to get to a publicly available PC sometime over the holidays and get the data that I need to integrate seasonal RCAP into my system for all pitchers. Once I have done that, the answer to the question will be a simple "yes." For now, the peak rate numbers I use all include hitting, but the hitting element is derived in two different ways. I am sure that the RCAP method produces more accurate results, but I simply don't have access to the data at present to convert all the pitchers to it at the moment.

I use the peak rates from my old system for two reasons: first, because I think win-based evaluation of pitching performance has some validity and so I wanted to keep some element of it in the new system; second, because, without access to seasonal RCAP totals, I was not in a good position to calculate peak rate in a way that included batting that was based on WARP1's PRAA. I have career and seasonal RCAP data on enough pitchers that I could convert WARP1's BRAA into RCAP for any pitcher, but the time involved in that was prohibitive, not to mention the time involved in entering seasonal PRAA into a spreadsheet, which I have not yet done, either.
   473. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 08, 2008 at 02:16 AM (#3022556)
I've been using the equivalent of an 82 ERA+ for replacement level. 5.48 RA in a 4.50 environment. This works out to a .406 WPct, but why I chose it is escaping me right now.
   474. Chris Fluit Posted: December 08, 2008 at 05:33 AM (#3022655)
Re: Post #467

Good decision, Joe. (And Grandma, too).
   475. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 08, 2008 at 06:44 PM (#3022917)
This is a good ol' chicken-and-egg question: did 1970-75 hurlers accumulate huge IP totals because era conditions made it easy to do so, or did it seem that it was easy to do so because you just happened to have a crop of incredibly durable pitchers? With the standard deviation issue, I've been able to "solve" this conundrum via multiple regression, but I don't see how I could use the same methodology with IP leaders (although perhaps it's worth giving it a whirl). As it stands, if you think the former, then Reuschel >>> Tiant; if you think the latter, then they're probably rather comparable.

Chris Cobb, as I've said, you can "back out" pitcher RCAP (well, WCAP) from my starting pitcher WARP spreadsheet. Only problem is that pitchers are compared to their positional offensive average just for the league-season in question, which leads to extreme fluctuations in the baseline for their performance. A multi-year moving average would be a better approach, but I haven't gotten around to that yet.

As far as SP replacement level, I've been using Tango's figure, which is that long relievers promoted to the rotation are .410 pitchers as starters and .500 pitchers as relievers, and that replacement relievers are .470 pitchers as relievers. After "chaining" through a few long reliever and mopup man roles, I get a replacement level around .390-.395, or 2.3-2.4 wins per 200 IP.
   476. Chris Cobb Posted: December 08, 2008 at 11:24 PM (#3023374)
This is a good ol' chicken-and-egg question: did 1970-75 hurlers accumulate huge IP totals because era conditions made it easy to do so, or did it seem that it was easy to do so because you just happened to have a crop of incredibly durable pitchers? With the standard deviation issue, I've been able to "solve" this conundrum via multiple regression,

So what is the solution, as you see it? You have probably mentioned it before, but I confess I don't remember what you have concluded.
   477. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 08, 2008 at 11:34 PM (#3023384)
For stdevs, the solution is to use a regression-projected stdev rather than the actual one. But I don't quite see how the same approach could be used for IP.
   478. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 09, 2008 at 12:35 AM (#3023423)
FYI to all: I'll be posting a ballot before the 15th, especially if Dan R reminds me when we get drinks later this week.
   479. DL from MN Posted: December 09, 2008 at 03:26 AM (#3023505)
I think you have to look at usage patterns and opportunity. How many starts did starters average. How many innings were typical per start. Then consider how many innings a pitcher "should" throw in that particular season. Individual numbers are going to vary too much based on health and managerial preferences.
   480. Juan V Posted: December 09, 2008 at 03:41 AM (#3023516)
I think you have to look at usage patterns and opportunity. How many starts did starters average. How many innings were typical per start. Then consider how many innings a pitcher "should" throw in that particular season. Individual numbers are going to vary too much based on health and managerial preferences.


I'm not sure if that solves the chicken-egg question. I think one variable could be league-wide run scoring, but that doesn't seem like it would be enough, and I don't have any other ideas.
   481. Chris Cobb Posted: December 09, 2008 at 03:51 AM (#3023525)
I think you have to look at usage patterns and opportunity. How many starts did starters average. How many innings were typical per start. Then consider how many innings a pitcher "should" throw in that particular season.

I am working on a study of patterns of this sort for the 1900-09 decade. I've gathered most of the data I need for the NL, but I haven't touched the AL yet. I hope to be able to post some numbers and analysis by the time we start working on pitcher rankings.

All I can say for now is that it is pretty clear that usage patterns are the result of interaction between manager preferences and pitcher ability. Even if managers are ready to use a pitcher for more than 40 starts in a season, they usually do so only when they have a pitcher who is an established workhorse. On the other hand, a manager whose preference appears to be to avoid heavy use of any starter will use a workhorse pitcher more frequently than his managing pattern would permit with any other pitcher. For example, McGraw gives a pitcher 40+ starts seven times from 1903-09 with the Giants, but five of those seasons are McGinnity and Mathewson, so although McGraw is interested in pitchers throwing 40 starts, he doesn't always have them, and he doesn't even use his two horses that way every season. He needs a particular kind of pitcher to follow this usage strategy. On the other hand, from 1900-05, Fred Clarke never gave a single starter 35 or more starts in a season. From 1906-09, he gave Vic Willis, and only Vic Willis, 35 or more starts every season. He never runs Willis out for 40+ starts, as Willis's Boston managers had done, but he adjusts his usage pattern to take advantage of Willis's capacity as an innings-eater.

Those are the two clearest stories I have read out of the data so far, and this work may lead mostly to narratives rather than to statistical tools for adjusting pitcher innings. But maybe something of that sort will turn up.
   482. Chris Cobb Posted: December 09, 2008 at 03:54 AM (#3023526)
As an addendum, finding a way to appropriately adjust pitcher innings for different eras feels to me quite similar to working out playing time estimates for MLEs, and that is a process that I don't think can be accomplished by any formula, though one can use some formulas as part of the process.
   483. DL from MN Posted: December 09, 2008 at 04:36 AM (#3023555)
Yeah, but innings/start could be a better way to adjust. If pitchers typically go 7 innings, then the guy who goes 9 gets more credit. This explains somewhat why I like Tommy Bridges and Billy Pierce - when the manager gave them the ball, they pitched deep into the games. Pierce was used in relief which limited his starts. Bridges did some relief work but also the Tigers had a pretty deep rotation. I'm not going to give either player demerits for not being a workhorse when they performed well given the opportunity.
   484. Chris Cobb Posted: December 09, 2008 at 06:01 AM (#3023584)
Yeah, but innings/start could be a better way to adjust. If pitchers typically go 7 innings, then the guy who goes 9 gets more credit.

But this is also influenced by manager preferences. Of course, the pitcher who goes 9 innings has more value than the pitcher who goes 7 innings, but when we are talking about normalizing IP across eras, it's not safe to assume that IP/start is a straightforward benchmark of durability, any more that starts/season is.
   485. Paul Wendt Posted: December 15, 2008 at 02:19 AM (#3028893)
Suppose I am in a voting booth at 8:00 on election night. The following seven pitchers are on my ballot in slots 2-4-5 and ? ? ? ?.

1. ,Rick Reuschel*
2. ,Luis Tiant*
6. #URBAN SHOCKER (145, 94, 211 inns 1917 to 1919; then 211, 245)
(This rank 3 among pitchers includes +5% for WWI.)
5. +Vic Willis*
7. ,WILBUR COOPER
8. +David Cone (needs up-grade 1994-95)
10. #JACK QUINN (needs up-grade --maybe as much as 10%?)

Lee Smith?
Don Newcombe?
Dick Redding?

After informal downgrades for Bridges, Trout, and Leonard there is a gap here, enough to make clear that I need to handle Lee Smith, Don Newcombe, Dick Redding, and maybe others (Jack Stivetts or some earlier 19c pitcher?) before putting Bridges, Trout, Leonard, or John on the ballot. It looks like they may all fall off the ballot.

9. -Bridges (needs down-grade WWII)
4. -Trout (includes -5% for WWII)
11. -Leonard (needs down-grade for WWII)
12. ,John

Six more starting pitchers at 60'6" probably rank among the high honorable mentions. After the charge against Cicotte, the

3. =CICOTTE (includes -10% for ykw)
Kaat
+Powell
-Walters (needs down-grade)
+Hahn
+LUQUE (needs up-grade)

That third group incorporates a big charge against Cicotte, who is "down" from the first group. It appears to me that the smaller pluses and minuses that others may deserve will not move them up or down out of the honorable mentions, although there are some bigger factors just off stage for Luque.

It is past 8:00 and it isn't election night so that's all for now.
   486. Paul Wendt Posted: December 15, 2008 at 02:31 AM (#3028896)
The numerals 1 to 12 at left of some player names represent ranks in a preliminary quantitative rating of major league career playing records. Among the "Chris Cobb 60" pitchers, that rating implies a gap between ranks 2 and 3 (distinguishing Reuschel and Tiant from everyone else) and another gap between ranks 12 and 13 (distinguishing those with a numeral from everyone else).

To those who rely heavily on quantitative measures based on season playing records:
How much do you "down-grade" Tommy Bridges, Emil Leonard, Bucky Walters, and Dizzy Trout for their work during World War II?

My notes just above include a down-grade for Dizzy Trout, defined to be just large enough to move him down from the preliminary non-ballot into the prospective honorable mentions. And it includes a parenthetical note for the other three because they seem to be merely "second ten" candidates rather than "first ten".
Page 5 of 5 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
JE (Jason)
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 1.1459 seconds
68 querie(s) executed