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

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2009 Results: Henderson, McGraw and Smith are Now Immortalized in the Hall of Merit!

Legendary speedster and leadoff batter Rickey Henderson became the 15th player to earn a place in Hall of Merit unanimously (past unanimous selections include Hank Aaron, Wade Boggs, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Grove, Walter Johnson, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Mike Schmidt, Honus Wagner, Ted Williams and Cy Young).

Fiery Baltimore Oriole third baseman John McGraw finally made it after a near-record 100 previous attempts (Pete Browning entered the HoM on his 107th try). He had 31% of all possible points.

Last but not least, excellent switch-hitting outfielder Reggie Smith cracked the HoM on his 22nd try with 30% of all possible points.

Rounding out the top-ten were: Phil Rizzuto (first time in the top-ten!), David Cone (him, too!), Gavvy Cravath (another one!), Tommy LeachBucky Walters, Luis Tiant (another top-ten newbie!) and Cannonball Dick Redding (slipped a little this year).

Thanks to OCF and Ron with the tally, as well as Joe for creating the whole experience.

See all of you next year!

RK   LY  Player                   PTS  Bal   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1  n/e  Rickey Henderson         960   40  40                                          
 2    7  John McGraw              297   16      4  4  3  1  1  1  1              1      
 3    4  Reggie Smith             292   20      2  5  1  1  1  1  1        1  1  2  2  2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4   13  Phil Rizzuto             245   18         2  2  3     4     1  1  1  2        2
 5   15  David Cone               241   18      1  2     1  4  2     1  1  1  1  2     2
 6   11  Gavvy Cravath            240   22      1        1     2  3  2  3  2  2     3  3
 7    6  Tommy Leach              237   18      3  2     1  1     1     1  2     2  3  2
 8    5  Bucky Walters            232   17      2  2  2  1  1  1     1     1        5  1
 9   12  Luis Tiant               231   18      1  1  1     2  2  4  1  1        2  2  1
10    8  Cannonball Dick Redding  227   13      5  1  2     1     1     1     1  1      
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11    9  Kirby Puckett            202   14      3  2     1  1        1     1  1  1  1  2
12   10  Bob Johnson              194   15         1     2     3  3  2  1     2        1
13   29  Rick Reuschel            189   12      4     2           1  1  2  1           1
14   14  Hugh Duffy               185   13      1  2  1  1     1  2  1  1     1     1  1
15   23  Don Newcombe             183   15         1  2     2        3  2     2  1  1  1
16   22  Dave Concepción          161   12         1     1  2  1  2  1  2  1  1         
17   17  Tony Perez               146   10      1  1  2  2              1     1  1  1   
18   19  Dizzy Dean               144   10         2  1  1     1  1  1     2     1      
19   25  George Van Haltren       133    8      1  1  1  1  1  2     1                  
20   20  Vic Willis               131    9      1  1        2  2     1           2      
21   46  Johnny Pesky             126   10         1  1  1  1     1     1     1  2  1   
22   33  Bobby Bonds              122   10            2  1  1        2        2  1  1   
23   24  Burleigh Grimes          120   10         1     2     1           3     2     1
24   27  Mickey Welch             119    9         1     3     1     1           2  1   
25   28  Dale Murphy              113    9            1  1  1  2  1     1           1  1
26   18  Bus Clarkson             113    8      2        1     1  1        1     1     1
27T  44  Bill Monroe              105    8      1     1     1     1     1     2  1      
27T  16  Ken Singleton            105    8         1     1     1  1  1     1  2         
29   30  Albert Belle             103   10                  1  1     2     2  1  1  1  1
30   21  Tommy Bridges            103    7      1  1           2  1        1        1   
31   31  Elston Howard             99   10            1              1  3     1  2     2
32   43  Ben Taylor                87    8            1           2  1     1  1     1  1
33   34  Bob Elliott               81    6            1     2     1  1        1         
34   40  Ed Williamson             81    5      1  1        1  1                    1   
35   47  Bert Campaneris           80    5            2  1  2                           
36   26  Lou Brock                 79    7      1           1           1     1  1  1  1
37   42  Pie Traynor               75    7            1     1           2        1  1  1
38   32  Norm Cash                 72    7            1           1        2     1  2   
39   35  Tommy John                66    5               2     1     1           1      
40   37  Rusty Staub               61    5               1     1        2     1         
41   38  Lee Smith                 61    4         1        1     1     1               
42   55  Fred Dunlap               60    5      1                       1  1  1     1   
43   52  Urban Shocker             58    6                     1           2  1  1  1   
44   60  Frank Tanana              57    4      1     1                    1        1   
45   45  Vern Stephens             56    4               2        1     1               
46   51  Sal Bando                 53    4                  1  1  1     1               
47   39  Carl Mays                 52    4            1  1              1        1      
48   36  Larry Doyle               47    3            1  1     1                        
49T  67  Addie Joss                46    3      1                 1        1            
49T  41  Wally Schang              46    3               1  2                           
51   56T Ed Cicotte                44    3         1     1                             1
52   --  Babe Adams                39    2         1  1                                 
53   53T Chuck Klein               35    3               1           1              1   
54   78  Sam Rice                  34    3                        1  1        1         
55   86T Don Mattingly             33    2      1                          1            
56   53T Leroy Matlock             31    2               1  1                           
57   48  Dave Bancroft             29    4                                 1        1  2
58   65  Jimmy Ryan                29    2            1              1                  
59   68T Jack Quinn                27    2            1                    1            
60T  73T Jim Rice                  26    3                           1           1     1
60T  73T Rabbit Maranville         26    3                              1        1  1   
62T  50T Ernie Lombardi            26    2            1                       1         
62T  91  Dizzy Trout               26    2                        2                     
64T  58  Lefty Gomez               25    2                  1              1            
64T  71  Jim Kaat                  25    2                        1  1                  
66T  56T Wilbur Cooper             24    2                  1                 1         
66T  89T Sam Leever                24    2                        1     1               
66T  62  Bruce Sutter              24    2                     1           1            
69T  73  George J. Burns           23    2                           1  1               
69T  49  Orlando Cepeda            23    2                  1                    1      
71T  72  Dwight Gooden             22    2                           1     1            
71T  79  Dave Parker               22    2                              2               
73   68T Thurman Munson            21    3                                    1        2
74T  96T Tommy Bond                21    2                           1        1         
74T  76T Tony Oliva                21    2                  1                          1
74T  80  Bobby Veach               21    2                              1  1            
77   61  Al Rosen                  20    2                           1           1      
78   --  Hack Wilson               18    2                           1                 1
79  n/e  Kevin Appier              17    2                              1              1
80   83  Chuck Finley              17    1            1                                 
81   70  Buddy Bell                16    2                                    1     1   
82   66  Frank Chance              14    1                     1                        
83   64  Tony Mullane              13    1                        1                     
84  101T Ron Cey                   12    2                                             2
85T  92T Fielder Jones             12    1                           1                  
85T  --  Deacon Phillipe           12    1                           1                  
87T  94T Elmer Smith               10    1                                 1            
87T  96T Jack Fournier             10    1                                 1            
87T  --  Hilton Smith              10    1                                 1            
87T  59  Lance Parrish             10    1                                 1            
91T 101T Dom DiMaggio               9    1                                    1         
91T  81  Frank Howard               9    1                                    1         
91T  --  George Kell                9    1                                    1         
91T  94T Jack Morris                9    1                                    1         
95T  86T Tony Lazzeri               8    1                                       1      
95T  --  Bill Madlock               8    1                                       1      
97T  99T Charlie Hough              7    1                                          1   
97T  --  Al Oliver                  7    1                                          1   
99   --  Billy Nash                 6    1                                             1
Dropped Out: Luis Aparicio (75), Luke Easter (76T), Jim McCormick (82), Brian Downing (84),
Jose Canseco (85), Jack Clark (88), Carlos Morán (89T), Gene Tenace (92T), Virgil Trucks (96T),
Mickey Vernon (99T), Jim Fregosi (101T), Orel Hershiser (101T).
Ballots Cast: 40

 

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 16, 2008 at 01:19 AM | 158 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:02 AM (#3030083)
hot topics
   2. OCF Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:06 AM (#3030090)
Back to the old consensus score system, negative numbers and all. The highest possible score would have been +7, and the mean was -11.6. The mean consensus scores for 2005 through 2009: -13.1, -18.0, +2.9, -13.0, -11.6.

Some individual consensus scores:

Bleed the Freak: -5
Dan R: -6
DL from MN: -6
mulder & scully: -6
TomH: -7
Chris Cobb: -7
...
Joe Dimino: -12
dan b: -12 (medians
...
OCF: -14
John Murphy: -14
...
Adam Schafer: -16
SWW: -17
Daryn: -19
Patrick W: -19
karlmagnus: -22
yest: -23

A listing of those who voted in at least one of 2006, 2007, or 2008 but not
in 2009:

Andrew M.
Andrew Siegel
DanG
David Foss
Don F (Pedro Feliz Navidad)
Eric Chalek (Dr. Chaleeko)
EricC
favre
Got Melky
Jim Sp
KJOK
rico vanian
Tom D
Craig K
fra paolo
Mark S. (jschmeagol)
Thane of Bagarth
Trevor P
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:07 AM (#3030093)
Those "last years" are a year old

Last year's top leftovers were Smith, Walters, Leach, McGraw

So McGraw not as big a surprise
   4. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:09 AM (#3030102)
Wow. What is it with these 3B, Nettles and now McGraw . . . crazy!

Very happy to see Rizzuto this close. Cravath with a nice bump too.
   5. greenback calls it soccer Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:10 AM (#3030104)
So I guess that makes the Carlton trade a little better.
   6. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:11 AM (#3030106)
Is changing the 'last year' column something you can easily fix in your spreadsheet John? Or will you have to manually edit that on the thread also? If that's the case, I can fix it. But if you have an easier way to do it, that'd be better of course.
   7. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:11 AM (#3030107)
Speaking as an outsider, I'm very pleased to see John McGraw make it as a player.
   8. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:13 AM (#3030111)
But the Ferguson trade much worse
   9. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:26 AM (#3030125)
Thanks to everyone that did vote.

We lost some very recognizable names this year, good list OCF.

To those of you on that list, any reason why you didn't vote? Anything we could have done differently that might have helped you send one in, that we could do for 2010?
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:32 AM (#3030131)
all-time 'votes points' thru 2009 - those still eligible in 2010 election are in CAPS

electees are not in caps

in a way, these are most-oft debated candidates

Redding passes Waddell for 8th, and 3rd among pitchers
Cravath grabs 21st
McGraw passes Pearce, McVey and Grant to retire at No. 36

Reggie Smith was in top 50 actives, now retired, I need a replacement, also did anyone catch Poles and/or Bancroft?

TOP 50, ALL-TIME
DUFFY...... 27018.5
VAN HALTREN 26786.5
Beckley.... 25856
Browning... 24502.5
Childs..... 18484
WELCH...... 18447
Griffith... 17924
REDDING.... 17765
Waddell.... 17596
Jennings... 16976

CJones..... 15875
TLEACH..... 15378
Bresnahan.. 14965
Sisler..... 13892
Pike....... 13399
Sewell..... 12769
RYAN....... 12641.5
Mendez..... 12555
Thompson... 12349
Roush...... 12005

CRAVATH.....11684
Bennett.... 11503
WALTERS.....11296
Moore...... 10904
Rixey...... 10789
Caruthers.. 10704
Beckwith.... 9896
DOYLE....... 9718
HStovey......9576
GRIMES.......9389

BJOHNSON.....9279
Mackey.......8930
AOms.........8385
Start........8378.5
McGinnity....8232
McGraw.......8145
DPearce......8073
McVey........7985.5
FGrant.......7969.5
Kiner........7746

BMONROE......7722
Suttles......7690
NFox.........7587
Trouppe......7494
WFerrell.....7259
CBell........6968
SCHANG.......6767
Galvin.......6585
WILLIAMSON...6502
Keller.......6424

Others in active top 50
Willis 5877, Dean 5618, Elliott 4979, Bridges 4689, Joss 4666, BTaylor 4351, Rizzuto 4121, TPerez 4013, FChance 3684, CMays 3633, Traynor 3601, NCash 3573, Cepeda 3428, (ReSmith 3397), Tiant 3279, SRice 3219, McCormick 3194X, Cicotte 3171, Brock 3053, EHoward 2719, Tiernan 2692X, FJones 2618, Singleton 2568, Klein 2529, BoBonds 2484, VStephens 2435, Veach 2389, GJBurns 2361, Staub 2309, Mullane 2274, BClarkson 2240, Lombardi 2155, Dunlap 2144, Bancroft 1988, Poles 1842X
   11. Juan V Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:48 AM (#3030147)
Well, going by these results, we have pretty decisively drawn a line between Cone and Appier. Now, will Cone actually make it in sometime?
   12. Repoz Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:54 AM (#3030153)
Phil Rizzuto (first time in the top-ten!)

Nice grab in getting Berra and White to join HOM.
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:55 AM (#3030154)
For clarity's sake for newcomers:
- We have elected these players to the Hall of Merit who are on the current Hall of Fame ballot - Blyleven, Dawson, Henderson, McGwire, Raines, and Trammell.

- All but Dawson were rather easily elected; we're not strongly endorsing Dawson, I'd say.


- We have ignored PEDs/steroids in McGwire's case.

- We are seriously looking at Cone, Murphy gets some support, and Tommy John gets a few votes. We've rejected the rest almost entirely.

- We are not heartily endorsting players like John McGraw (player only) or Reggie Smith or Dawson (or even Cone, who got close this year). Rather, we are saying that if we are to produce a matching number of HOMers to the HOF cast, these are the 'end-gamers' who would replace the mindless crony picks of HOF, basically.
   14. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:59 AM (#3030159)
So, in last years' results thread, I listed the leaders in eligible non-HoMers in a bunch of categories (basically, everything at b-r.com) And I threw in the highest WARPs I had in my spreadsheet, although it's not impossible I could be missing someone. I won't run through the whole thing, but here's my current WARP leaders, with last year's in parentheses.

WARP1: Rabbit Maranville 134.9 (133.5)
Pitcher: Frank Tanana 109 (112.5)

WARP3: Tanana 106.5 (111.3)
Non-Pitcher: Tony Perez 106.4 (Dave Concepcion 109.7)

And with McGraw's induction, there are new leaders for OBP, single-season and career

OBP: Hugh Duffy, 1894 .502 (18th overall)/Bill Joyce .435 (7th)
   15. Guapo Posted: December 16, 2008 at 05:23 AM (#3030173)
It looks like the "LY" results are actually the 2007 results, if you look at the 2008 results (which came out in late 2007).
   16. OCF Posted: December 16, 2008 at 05:44 AM (#3030185)
OBP: Hugh Duffy, 1894 .502 (18th overall)/Bill Joyce .435 (7th)

Well, that was 1894. BB-ref gives a ballpark-adjusted league average OBP as .405. Or in other words, Duffy's .440/.502/.694 was an OPS+ of 172, which is essentially the same OPS+ as Yaz's 1968 .301/.426/.495. BB-ref gives an "AIR" factor of 138 for Duffy's 1894, as opposed to 86 for Yaz 1968.

The .435 for Joyce is his career OBP. Fun fact about Bill Joyce: he had fewer than 1000 career hits and more than 500 career errors.
   17. KJOK Posted: December 16, 2008 at 06:53 AM (#3030227)
To those of you on that list, any reason why you didn't vote? Anything we could have done differently that might have helped you send one in, that we could do for 2010?

I stopped voting after 'phase I' of the HOM project. I thought about voting this time, but didn't because I didn't think it was necessarily 'fair' for me to jump back in, having not kept up with all that has gone on, and being such as big McGraw backer all of these years - glad he got in without my help....
   18. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:22 AM (#3030234)
KJOK, thanks for your comment.

I would not have had any issue with you voting, even though you didn't keep up.

I assume a voter would catch up a bit, review the recent threads over the last month or so, etc.. Becoming a part of the current discussion, especially with a 3 week ballot, I'm sure you (and others) would have been fine.

I do not expect every voter to keep constant pace with everything that happens here over the course of the year, it's certainly not a pre-requisite for voting.

And in your specific case, I'm quite sure you would still be able to make a very well informed ballot even if you read nothing on the threads the entire year :-)
   19. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:53 AM (#3030244)
The last year results are now correct.
   20. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 16, 2008 at 03:25 PM (#3030324)
Those "last years" are a year old

Last year's top leftovers were Smith, Walters, Leach, McGraw


Looks like the ballot counter is not working properly, since that shouldn't have happened. Oh, well.
   21. karlmagnus Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:07 PM (#3030368)
Reggie gets a Red Sox cap, right?
   22. Paul Wendt Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:20 PM (#3030391)
14. Devin McCullen cries "Enraha!" Posted: December 15, 2008 at 11:59 PM (#3030159)
So, in last years' results thread, I listed the leaders in eligible non-HoMers in a bunch of categories (basically, everything at b-r.com) And I threw in the highest WARPs I had in my spreadsheet, although it's not impossible I could be missing someone.

What Daven-WARP data do you have in a spreadsheet?

A couple of months ago, Dan Greenia (who did not vote here but chimed in many times) mentioned to me that he checks a batch of players manually during every baseball offseason. We exchanged a few notes to the effect maybe we should cooperate this year (I think I said maybe December).

Yesterday Joe Dimino mentioned that he would like to get some data automatically, I think he means at least NRA and DERA at the season level. That makes me wonder, does anyone already get some data from DT cards automatically?
(That conversation is over at "Pitchers for the Hall of Merit".)
   23. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:31 PM (#3030407)
Reggie gets a Red Sox cap, right?


No, because I feel like slighting you, karlmagnus.

Alright, I'll give him a BoSox cap anyway. ;-)

BTW, I'll have the plaques posted within the week. It'll give you something to anticipate.

The last year results are now correct.


Thanks, Joe!
   24. andrew siegel Posted: December 16, 2008 at 04:42 PM (#3030424)
I missed my first annual election ever this year. Having turned to othr projects, I didn't really feel prepared to vote, but was planning to anyway until work and life got the better of me yesterday. My votes would have added to the consensus. I had Reggie Smith #3 and McGraw somewhere between 5 and 8. For next year, my big project is to drum up support fo my #2, Tommy Bridges. Oh, and to remember to vote.
   25. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2008 at 05:21 PM (#3030482)
As far as the 'hat' thing, my breakdown for Reggie is:

Red Sox: 46%
Dodgers: 36%
Cardinals: 13%
Giants: 4%

A little bit closer of a call than I would have thought, but still clearly Red Sox.

This doesn't count his time in Japan. And it gives all of his credit for 1976 to the Dodgers, but since he was pretty terrible for the Cards that year, it's close enough for government work.
   26. Paul Wendt Posted: December 16, 2008 at 05:36 PM (#3030508)
Congratulations to Rickey, Muggsy, and Reggie.

John McGraw didn't approve that nickname so he gets these two lines under his given name.

He raises eyebrows
but he doesn't raise floodgates.
(Complete this haiku.)
   27. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2008 at 05:42 PM (#3030515)
Robbie Alomar next year will be one of the toughest 'hat' cases ever, assuming he's elected.

He was one of my favorite players, he filled the gap as my favorite player once Dawson, Raines, Righetti and Randolph got old. But, he's not as slam-dunkish as I thought. I'd still make him a strong favorite, he'll be in the upper-middle of my ballot probably (and better on most others I imagine), but I don't think he'll get all 'elect me' votes or anything.

Anyway, this is what I have for his hat; first number is value, second is PT:

Blue Jays: 34% (32%)
Indians: 29% (19%)
Orioles: 22% (17%)
Padres: 14% (19%)
Mets: 0.4% (9%)
White Sox: 0% (3%) (below replacement level)
Diamondbacks: 0% (1%) (below replacement level)

He had 3 straight 6th place MVP finishes with the Jays (and two rings); but he also was 3rd and 4th while with the Indians.
   28. DanG Posted: December 16, 2008 at 06:16 PM (#3030574)
I won't run through the whole thing, but here's my current WARP leaders, with last year's in parentheses.

WARP1: Rabbit Maranville 134.9 (133.5)
Pitcher: Frank Tanana 109 (112.5)

WARP3: Tanana 106.5 (111.3)
Non-Pitcher: Tony Perez 106.4 (Dave Concepcion 109.7)

That looks right.

Top 5 WARP1
134.9 R. Maranville
124.8 T. Leach
114.5 T. Perez
114.1 L. Cross
113.4 D. Bancroft

Top 5 Pitchers WARP1
109.0 F. Tanana
108.9 T. John
106.2 J. Kaat
106.0 L. Tiant
101.3 R. Reuschel

Top 5 WARP3
106.4 T. Perez
106.2 T. Fernandez
106.1 B. Bell
105.2 D. Concepcion
101.9 B. Campaneris

Top 5 Pitchers WARP3
106.5 F. Tanana
103.8 T. John
101.2 R. Reuschel
100.6 L. Tiant
99.2 C. Finley
   29. Mike Webber Posted: December 16, 2008 at 06:18 PM (#3030576)
FYI From Dan G's post here.
2010
Roberto Alomar
Rod Beck
Dave Burba
Ellis Burks
Doug Glanville
Juan Gonzalez*
Tom Goodwin
Ricky Gutierrez
Pat Hentgen
Mike Jackson
Eric Karros
Ray Lankford
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Brent Mayne
Fred McGriff
Mark McLemore
Benito Santiago*
David Segui
Robin Ventura
Fernando Vina
Todd Zeile
   30. sunnyday2 Posted: December 16, 2008 at 06:50 PM (#3030630)
I don't even need to go back and look. I am sure that we have never elected a guy who was on fewer ballots than 6 count'em SIX other players who we did not elect.

Also with the lapse of a year and the selective list of voters, changes from last year were inevitable. Supporters of Leach and Walters have no one to blame but themselves for not showing up. Supporters of Rizzuto, Cone and Cravath, well, the same thing can happen to you a year hence.

I'm OK with McGraw. But Smith over Puckett? No. Reggie is in my PHoM, but over Puckett? No.
   31. karlmagnus Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:14 PM (#3030668)
Great to hear Smith makes it, Grandma. Of course the battle I can really see looming in a few years is Manny Ramirez. Damn that Theo!
   32. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:25 PM (#3030688)
McGriff shows up surprisingly low in Dan R's WARP, lower than Tim Salmon and Robin Ventura. Way below Edgar.

Converting Dan's old WARP (I don't have the new WARP for 1987-2005 in my DB yet) to Pennants Added; with historically similar players in parenthesis:

1.33 Larkin (Robin Yount, Alan Trammell)
0.93 Alomar (Graig Nettles, Willie Stargell, Joe Sewell)
------------
0.86 Edgar (Reggie Smith, Hernandez)
0.83 Ventura (Norm Cash, Bobby Bonds)
0.75 Salmon (Bobby Veach, Paul O'Neill)
0.73 McGriff (Jack Clark, Dale Murphy, George Burns)
0.61 Lankford (Augie Galan, David Justice, Johnny Callison)
0.60 Burks (Babe Herman, Dave Parker)
0.60 JuanGone (Jim Bottomley, Ken Williams)
0.41 Higginson (Ted Kluszewski, Sixto Lezcano)
0.41 Santiago (Manny Sanguillen, Bob O'Farrell)

The line is where my ballot cutoff was this year.

I'll update the new WARP later . . . but that is somewhat interesting to me.
   33. Juan V Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:35 PM (#3030714)
Yeah. I just took a preliminary look at McGriff and Edgar, and I concluded that there might still be room for a backlogger to sneak in next year.
   34. Chris Cobb Posted: December 16, 2008 at 07:49 PM (#3030745)
My initial take on 2010 is that Larkin and Alomar will sail in (Larkin really ought to be unanimous, but he probably won't be).

Edgar and McGriff against the backlog will be interesting. I see Edgar as eventually making it, if he doesn't go immediately. McGriff ending up in the close-but-not-quite bag with Tony Perez.

I think the pitcher positional rankings will be highly beneficial for building consensus on pitchers for the 2010 ballot: we'll hash through a lot of methodological improvements that have been on the back-burner for the ten elections or so while we focused more on the implications of Dan R's work for position player rankings.
   35. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:39 PM (#3030835)
Paul, no, I just do it manually. Which I'm guessing Dan does as well, because he's missing a couple of guys for WARP1 that I know of - Joe Tinker, 126.0 and Johnny Evers, 120.6.
   36. Chris Fluit Posted: December 16, 2008 at 08:51 PM (#3030860)
From the ballot thread:

67. Chris Fluit Posted: November 28, 2008 at 12:36 PM (#3017109)

Apart from Henderson (no obvious obstacle to unanimity), this is a deep backlog election. Votes will be very scattered, consensus scores will be very low, and I am certainly not going to make any predictions.


I have a pretty good guess (and I'd even make a formal prediction except that I don't want to influence the results).


I guessed correctly. Reggie Smith had a decent lead over the rest of the backlog (a couple of ballots and thirty points) and I didn't see that going away. Plus, he was doing well in elect-me spots and in just making the ballot spots. The extra elect me votes and the lack of no vote penalties meant Smith would sail in. I figured he would be an easy second (even though he didn't make my ballot). I was right about him getting in, but wrong about his placement.

I also thought that John McGraw would get elected in another Dan R led charge. We've previously seen Graig Nettles and Dick Lundy make big jumps thanks to Dan's numbers, advocacy and persistence (I was an even earlier supporter of the one, and the other is scheduled to make my PHoM next year). I had a feeling it would happen again. The one thing that could have prevented it was voter turnout. McGraw relied heavily on high ballot support from a few voters. If those voters didn't show up, McGraw might not have made it. As it was, the low turnout actually helped McGraw as it gave those few voters a greater percentage of the total.

I thought that Bucky Walters had a chance to pull off the upset of McGraw, depending on turnout. However, one of the things working against Walters was being the top ballot candidate. A lot of times the guy who's at the top of the returnee list will face intense opposition. People argue against him because he's so close to getting in, which diminishes his support and occasionally allows a lesser player to leapfrog him without facing the same scrutiny. That wasn't the case here (McGraw has faced plenty of scrutiny in 100 elections). But I think it does partially explain why Walters was leapfrogged by four other guys (and nearly a fifth in Tiant) despite the fact that so many were advocating for the induction of a pitcher.

I was still pulling for the increasingly unlikely Dick Redding induction. He actually did very well with early voting but slowly lost his lead as the balloting progressed. It wasn't just the extra week that killed him. I think he lost his lead on the original final weekend.
   37. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:22 PM (#3030898)
"We'll hash through a lot of methodological improvements that have been on the back-burner for the ten elections or so while we focused more on the implications of Dan R's work for position player rankings."


While I feel I have a very solid framework, including adjusting for things like team defense, relief pitching support, expansion and some other things; I plan on making some strong tweaks to my system as well, including trying to account for chaining of leverage.
   38. Mark Donelson Posted: December 16, 2008 at 09:35 PM (#3030914)
However, one of the things working against Walters was being the top ballot candidate.

Yes, I wonder whether Chris Cobb's comparison of all eligible pitchers to Walters had any effect on anyone's vote. (It convinced me to drop Walters, but he had no longer been on my ballot anyway, so that wouldn't have affected the voting.)
   39. Mike Webber Posted: December 16, 2008 at 10:03 PM (#3030957)
Of course the battle I can really see looming in a few years is Manny Ramirez.


Karl, unless the defensive metrics really evolve in the next decade, and they paint Manny's defense to be equal to Bill Bergen offense, I think Manny just sails in.
This isn't the BBWAA, and unless Manny gets caught actually taking payments for throwing games, I can't see any scenario where he has to wait more than one year. McGwire had no problems with us. Rose and Joe Jackson no real problems either.

Sheffield, now there is an argument :)
   40. OCF Posted: December 16, 2008 at 10:10 PM (#3030966)
The two questions about Manny that don't have obvious answers:

1. HoM cap - Cleveland or Boston?
2. Which positional list does he go on - LF or RF?
   41. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2008 at 10:31 PM (#3030989)
I think Cleveland for Manny, without looking too hard. Although that one will probably boil down to getting a feel for how much of his D in Fenway was a park effect. With a significant bump to his D he could end up with more value in Boston, I suppose.

The LF/RF question might also be decided by the same thing. Again, this is just from my impression of him, without looking at the numbers.

I cannot imagine he'll be a questionable HoMer.

Sheffield for me is pretty easily in as well.

Heck, I've got Sheffield ahead of Reggie Jackson, just through his 2005 numbers. He should sail in.
   42. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 16, 2008 at 11:26 PM (#3031065)
Mike Webber, I have Sheffield comfortably above Manny--even though my updated defensive numbers show Sheffield as a Jeter-level liability in the field for his career. Joe Dimino, Sheff takes a hit in the '87-'05 spreadsheet. His defense was REALLY bad.
   43. Juan V Posted: December 16, 2008 at 11:59 PM (#3031117)
By '05, I had Manny about even with Dwight Evans, so yeah, he's in already. If ranked among LFs, he might catch Yaz/Simmons/Raines, or Kaline/Kelly/Jackson/Rose if grouped with the RFs, but I guess that's the optimistic scenario.
   44. OCF Posted: December 16, 2008 at 11:59 PM (#3031118)
I think if I were to wander around Southern California now striking up conversations with random baseball fans, a majority would simply refuse to believe me when I tried to tell them that Sheffield (and not some combination of Eric Karros and Shawn Green) was the best hitter on the Dodgers during his years here.

Of course, picking a cap for Sheffield would be even harder.
   45. Juan V Posted: December 17, 2008 at 12:06 AM (#3031125)
Of course, picking a cap for Sheffield would be even harder.


Eyeballing it.... Marlin or Dodger, trending towards the former.
   46. karlmagnus Posted: December 17, 2008 at 12:09 AM (#3031129)
I assumed we'd pick Manny; it was the cap I was querying. If Theo had picked up his option for '09 (even if he'd left after that) he'd have been a clear Boston cap; as it is I fear Cleveland may get him. No fair -- they got Speaker too -- we ought to get one of them.
   47. Juan V Posted: December 17, 2008 at 12:16 AM (#3031131)
Speaking of, which cap does Kevin Brown get? It will be amusing to see him getting a Dodger cap, after all the fuss about the contract. And eyeballing it as well, they might be my choice.
   48. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 17, 2008 at 12:22 AM (#3031137)
After his stunt last season, I don't know why anybody would want to claim Manny. In fact, I may even give him a protest non-vote the year he's eligible.
   49. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 17, 2008 at 12:25 AM (#3031138)
...and Cone is a Met.
   50. karlmagnus Posted: December 17, 2008 at 12:43 AM (#3031151)
There was no stunt, just a sleazy negative PR operation by the Sox management and the Boston press. Manny made it quite clear he wanted his first option picked up at the All Star break and instead of doing so they embarked on a smear campaign to blacken his name among the Sox fans. Since they're about to pay as much as Manny for twice as long to a player who's only 1/2 as good, I trust they are now regretting this. However protest votes against Manny are DEFINITELY inappropriate.
   51. karlmagnus Posted: December 17, 2008 at 12:44 AM (#3031152)
Incidentally I would guess they won't in fact get Teixeira since they are short of money and cutting budget, and the Teix attempt is just flim-flam. The hedge fund business hasn't exactly been a money spinner this year.
   52. Wes Parkers Mood (Mike Green) Posted: December 17, 2008 at 12:56 AM (#3031160)
2010 will be interesting. Larkin will be easy for you and Alomar will probably go in too, but after that, nothing but questions.
   53. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 17, 2008 at 01:00 AM (#3031164)
However protest votes against Manny are DEFINITELY inappropriate.


Actually, jaking it the way he did is quite appropriate and constitutional for a protest.
   54. DL from MN Posted: December 17, 2008 at 01:09 AM (#3031174)
> For next year, my big project is to drum up support fo my #2, Tommy Bridges.

Bridges will be #2 on my ballot next year (unless I rip apart my system in the next year) even with Alomar and Edgar to choose from.
   55. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2008 at 01:52 AM (#3031194)
John, did you read Joe Sheehan's comment on the subject? How did he 'jake' it. He was the best player on the team in July. The whole incident is a joke, and makes the Red Sox organization look petty, IMO. Not that I'm biased or anything.
   56. jimd Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:40 AM (#3031279)
Manny Ramirez

WARP1
48.7 Cle 45.5%
53.0 Bos 49.5%
5.3 LAD 5.0%

WARP3
54.8 Cle 46.9%
56.4 Bos 48.2%
5.6 LAD 4.8%

Very close but Boston
   57. Mike Webber Posted: December 17, 2008 at 04:23 AM (#3031304)
Karl wrote:
I assumed we'd pick Manny; it was the cap I was querying.


umm, sorry. I can be an idiot at times, or drunk. Right now its more drunk than idiot. Earlier, more idiot than drunk.

And Cone should have a Royals cap, if they hadn't had about 15 years (and possibly counting, we'll see) being run by drunks or idiots.
   58. Mike Webber Posted: December 17, 2008 at 04:25 AM (#3031306)
Our beloved founder wrote:
John, did you read Joe Sheehan's comment on the subject? How did he 'jake' it. He was the best player on the team in July. The whole incident is a joke, and makes the Red Sox organization look petty, IMO. Not that I'm biased or anything.


Take off the Yankee Reggie Jackson model sunglasses Joe!

When you can't even remember which friggin' leg to limp on, you are jaking it.

Or you are and idiot. Or Drunk. Or both.
   59. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 17, 2008 at 04:27 AM (#3031308)
Manny Ramirez

Zeroing out negative seasons, giving '94 *1.5 for strike, and '95 *1.15 on to WARP 1

WARP 1
51.6 Cle Total, 25.5 Top 3, 40.3 Top 5, 51.6 Top 7
53.0 Bos Total, 24.2 Top 3, 37.9 Top 5, 48.5 Top 7

WARP 3
55.1 Cle Total, 27.6 Top 3, 43.6 Top 5, 55.1 Top 7
56.4 Bos Total, 24.2 Top 3, 38.9 Top 5, 51.2 Top 7

Unless WARP is docking Manny's defense too harshly, I'd go with Cleveland by WARP measures
   60. bjhanke Posted: December 17, 2008 at 05:08 AM (#3031334)
Mike Webber says, "And Cone should have a Royals cap, if they hadn't had about 15 years (and possibly counting, we'll see) being run by drunks or idiots."

I know a few baseball fans in KC - someone else here may know quite a bit more - and the impression I get isn't that the team is run by incompetents. The problem is Ewing Kaufmann's will. Apparently, it says that the Royals cannot be sold except to an ownership from KC itself. Otherwise, it has to be run by some sort of bizarre trust, which doesn't have enough money to actually own a Major League baseball team. So far, no giant millionaires have appeared in KC wanting to own a baseball club. The result is that, whenever a Royals players gets any good, they have to dump him, because the trust can't afford even medium level good player salaries. Now, as I said, there may be someone here who knows a lot more than I do, and I'm quite willing to be corrected. But that's what I have as of now. Also, if any of this is true, it probably results in their having to underpay people like the GM and other front office types, so they don't get the best people in there. So, doesn anyone here know more?

Thanks, Brock
   61. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2008 at 05:33 AM (#3031348)
Our beloved founder wrote:

John, did you read Joe Sheehan's comment on the subject? How did he 'jake' it. He was the best player on the team in July. The whole incident is a joke, and makes the Red Sox organization look petty, IMO. Not that I'm biased or anything.



Take off the Yankee Reggie Jackson model sunglasses Joe!

When you can't even remember which friggin' leg to limp on, you are jaking it.

Or you are and idiot. Or Drunk. Or both.


Mike, I am an idiot, unfortunately, I'm not drunk.

But basically if the guy plays like a champ, and takes two days off after being bad-mouthed by his boss all year, I'm not really going to have much issue with that.

Most of us have called in sick for much less.
   62. Chris Cobb Posted: December 17, 2008 at 05:51 AM (#3031357)
Quick preliminary run at the class of 2010 gives the following placements for the top new candidates:

Barry Larkin -- easy #1.
Roberto Alomar -- #4, about even with the top of the backlog, which for me is Campaneris, Concepcion, and Rizzuto.
Edgar Martinez -- #12, about even with Urban Shocker, Tommy John, David Cone, Buddy Bell, who are the bottom 4 on my ballot. My all-time in-out line is around 120 points in my system. Edgar is at 122.7.
Fred McGriff -- somewhere around 80, most similar in merit and career shape to guys like Harry Hooper and Jerry Koosman. Solid HoVG but not borderline HoM.
   63. Chris Cobb Posted: December 17, 2008 at 07:18 AM (#3031397)
Oops!

Robin Ventura is certainly a top candidate as well -- missed him in the quick skim of the list. He will certainly merit discussion, and should make some ballots.

He looks to be around #35-36 on my 2010 preliminary ballot.
   64. Obama Bomaye Posted: December 17, 2008 at 08:00 AM (#3031409)
Not sure why the early consensus seems to have Larkin clearly ahead of Alomar. Larkin was a hell of a player, but missing a month or two every season has to matter.
   65. The District Attorney Posted: December 17, 2008 at 08:12 AM (#3031415)
So far, no giant millionaires have appeared in KC wanting to own a baseball club.
I dunno, the owner is the former CEO of Wal-Mart. He's really rich.
   66. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 17, 2008 at 09:00 AM (#3031429)
Alomar #1, Larkin #2.

Edgar/McGriff - Somewhere near the top to mid ballot.

Ventura may make sneak on the ballot. I had Buddy Bell #17, I have to see how he compares.

How about a 2010 discussion thread? It's never too early to get started!
   67. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 17, 2008 at 01:09 PM (#3031474)
Take off the Yankee Reggie Jackson model sunglasses Joe!

When you can't even remember which friggin' leg to limp on, you are jaking it.

Or you are and idiot. Or Drunk. Or both.


That's it for me, Mike. If your leg hurts, there is no way that you can forget which one. Trust me on this, guys.

Mike, I am an idiot, unfortunately, I'm not drunk.


Joe, I believe Mike was referring to Manny, not you.
   68. Chris Cobb Posted: December 17, 2008 at 02:09 PM (#3031496)
Not sure why the early consensus seems to have Larkin clearly ahead of Alomar. Larkin was a hell of a player, but missing a month or two every season has to matter.

Sure, it matters, but not enough to make up the difference in quality between Larkin and Alomar, which is large.

Look at it this way. My system sees Larkin's peak rate (his rate of wins above replacement during his best five or more consecutive seasons) as 8.22 WAR/162 games. That is a top-5-of-generation total. Roberto Alomar's peak rate was 5.47. That's excellent, a typical peak rate for a solid HoMer in the 1980s and 1990s. But it's not close to Larkin's. If Alomar played 162 games in a year during his peak, Larkin would have to play 108 games to add a similar amount of value to his teams, because Larkin was as good a hitter as Alomar and a great defensive shortstop and a great baserunner during his peak, where Alomar was as good a hitter as Larkin, but was merely a very good defensive second baseman and a good baserunner. So if Larkin misses a month and a half of the season, it matters to this extent: it means that he is no more valuable than Alomar, if Alomar is in the lineup every day for his teams.

When Larkin was healthy for a full season, he was far more valuable than Alomar. That's part of why he has an MVP, and Alomar doesn't.

If you want to see a full rundown of the numbers on them from Dan R's WAR, I can provide them.

As with a number of modern shortstops, Larkin is underrated because a lot of his value is in baserunning and defense. Unlike Dave Concepcion and Bert Campaneris, who were good hitters for their position but not good hitters by the standard of all position players, Larkin was a good hitter by any standard. Thus, Larkin will easily be elected, where they are only gradually gaining traction in the backlog. But Larkin should be an obvious no-doubt top of ballot player this year, but he probably won't be.
   69. Mike Webber Posted: December 17, 2008 at 02:49 PM (#3031521)
One more Manny hat question, how does his value break down between Cleveland and Boston, with no fielding credit/penalty in Boston?

I ask because I don't think the fielding metrics work (yet!) in Boston. I'm not trying to argue that Manny is an average fielder, I think he is probably below average BUT I don't think he is as bad as some of the systems rate him.
   70. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2008 at 02:54 PM (#3031526)
When Larkin was healthy for a full season, he was far more valuable than Alomar. That's part of why he has an MVP, and Alomar doesn't.


Chris, Alomar has nearly double (1.9) the MVP award shares of Larkin (1.1). Alomar was a little unlucky in the MVP voting (he easily could have won it in 1999 or 2001) and Larkin was a little lucky (Dante Bichette was #2 the year Larkin won his), that's why he has an MVP Award and Alomar doesn't.

Larkin played as a regular for 18 years, Alomar just 16, that helps Larkin make up for some of his in-season durability issues, when comparing him to Alomar.

I still like Larkin much better, but Alomar was top 6 in the MVP voting 5 times, and generally did much better than Larkin, I wouldn't use that as a point in Larkin's favor. Larkin only had one other top 10 finish in his career.
   71. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:15 PM (#3031536)
I would rate Larkin above Alomar, though Roberto did play almost 200 games more than Barry. That doesn't negate the positional advantage Larkin has, but it makes it very close between the two, IMO.
   72. TomH Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:16 PM (#3031541)
Of course, Alomar was much "luckier" in MVP voting in general due to this teams making the playoffs 7 times, as opposed to Larkin's total of 2; the voters don't like middle infielders who play on also-rans, unless they put up highly unusual #s like leading the league in RBI. But yes, Larkin was 'lucky' to actually garner one piece of hardware.

Humorous but sad Larkin stats, combined with his MVP finish:

Year AB ... R .. H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG *OPS+ MVP voting
1995 496 . 98 158 29 .6 15 . 66 .51 .5 . 61 49 .319 .394 .492 133 .... FIRST
1996 517 117 154 32 .4 33 . 89 .36 10 .96 52 .298 .410 .567 154 . TWELFTH

The team falls apart in 96, so obviously Larkin wasn't nearly as 'valuable' :)
   73. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:17 PM (#3031543)
But Larkin should be an obvious no-doubt top of ballot player this year, but he probably won't be.


I'd probably bet money on the latter, unfortunately.
   74. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:19 PM (#3031544)
The team falls apart in 96, so obviously Larkin wasn't nearly as 'valuable' :)


Yeah, right. :-)
   75. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:24 PM (#3031551)
I thought the Reds were pretty competitive during most of Larkin's career. They made the playoffs a few times, won a WS. The team was .500 or better 10x between 1986-2000, with 2 post-season appearances (only 6 of those seasons were post-WC), would have had another in 1994, and made the one-game playoff in 1999.

The Reds really didn't fall off the cliff until 2001, when Larkin himself did also.
   76. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:28 PM (#3031556)
I do agree 1996 was strange. They team only fell to .500. Very similar to Ripken in 1984, who had a better year than his 1983.

They really don't like to give back to back MVPs, unless you have an incredible 2nd year, or, like you said, the team wins again.
   77. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 17, 2008 at 04:35 PM (#3031625)
They really don't like to give back to back MVPs,


If they really gave the MVP to the most valuable player every year, they wouldn't care, Joe. Not that you disagree with that, of course.
   78. DL from MN Posted: December 17, 2008 at 07:13 PM (#3031786)
Funny the debate, I have Larkin as no doubt above the rest of the backlog and between Appling and Ozzie among SS. Alomar is in Joe Gordon / Bobby Doerr territory and will barely make the bottom of my ballot. This is 81 DanR WARP2 to 58. Not particularly close. They have the same OPS+ and Alomar has 1000 plate appearances more but SS is _that_ much more valuable than second base especially when you have a good glove like Larkin.
   79. OCF Posted: December 17, 2008 at 07:31 PM (#3031805)
When the time comes, I hope we give Ray Lankford a thread. No, he's not a HoM candidate - but he was a good player, and underappreciated for what he did. If you look at the Cardinals and ask who the best player on the team was, he bridges the the whole territory between Ozzie Smith and Mark McGwire.
   80. Juan V Posted: December 17, 2008 at 07:40 PM (#3031814)
Lankford's time is next year, right?
   81. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 17, 2008 at 07:58 PM (#3031830)
The key points on Alomar vs. Larkin are:

1. Alomar had an outstanding defensive reputation, with a bunch of Gold Gloves. Our defensive statistics, which are extremely reliable for seasons after 1987 (r of .85 or better with a weighted average of UZR, Plus/Minus, and PMR, thanks to the availability of SFR with hit type data and Zone Ratings), most definitely do not support this notion. They show him as below average in the field for his career, with a mix of good and bad fielding seasons during his prime. If he were a +100 guy instead of -50 guy (or -10 if you ignore seasons after 2001), he'd be an easy no-brainer HoM'er. But quantitatively, he wasn't.

2. Alomar's entire career was played after the 2B/3B convergence of the mid-1980's, when 2B stopped being a "middle infield" position second only to SS in difficulty and evolved into its modern role as a mid-spectrum position comparable to 3B and CF. The 2B on the scrap heap were far better in the days of Alomar, Biggio, and Knoblauch than they were when Grich, Morgan, and Carew patrolled the keystone.

3. Larkin played during a transitional era for shortstops, one that began when the likes of Alfredo Griffin and Rafael Ramírez still roamed major league infields, and ended when you weren't going to do much worse than a César Izturis or Royce Clayton (the occasional '02 Neifi Pérez or '05 Cristian Guzman aside). During the first half of Larkin's career, SS looked a lot like C does now, a "feast or famine" position, where you either have a star (Ripken/Larkin/Trammell/Tony Fernández in those days; Mauer/McCann/Posada/VMartínez/Soto/Martin now) or you have an absolute sinkhole. The baseline for SS offense was REALLY low when Cincinnati won the World Series. You can't think of Larkin as a fully modern SS; his contextual value was strongly magnified in his early years.

4. Larkin had TREMENDOUS value above and beyond his position-adjusted offense. He was a world-class baserunner and a slick fielder, clocking in at 7 wins above average in each of those categories. Those contributions are worth an extra 12 points of OPS+. Alomar was also a plus runner, albeit not as good as Larkin, but his value in the field just doesn't compare from a quantitative standpoint.
   82. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 17, 2008 at 08:05 PM (#3031838)
With McGraw, Lundy, R. Smith, and Nettles all immortalized, I feel like the Merit of most of the leading lights on my ballot have been recognized by the group. At this point, the backloggers on my 2010 ballot are likely to be virtually all shortstops and pitchers, the two groups I think are now underrepresented in the HoM. I will post on the Shortstops and Pitchers threads with a comparative analysis of the various choices.
   83. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 17, 2008 at 08:10 PM (#3031852)
Our defensive statistics, which are extremely reliable for seasons after 1987 (r of .85 or better with a weighted average of UZR, Plus/Minus, and PMR, thanks to the availability of SFR with hit type data and Zone Ratings), most definitely do not support this notion.


They are extremely consistent, in that they all point in the same direction. Whether they are reliable - whether they accurately measure what they purport to measure - is another beast all together.

-- MWE
   84. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 17, 2008 at 09:08 PM (#3031913)
They are extremely consistent, in that they all point in the same direction. Whether they are reliable - whether they accurately measure what they purport to measure - is another beast all together.


Age and, hopefully, wisdom lead me to concur with Mike on this matter.
   85. Daryn Posted: December 17, 2008 at 09:36 PM (#3031945)
As someone who saw Alomar in person 30+ times a year and watched on TV another 110+ games per year while he was a Jay, he sure looked like a superlative defensive player. Should we never trust our own eyes? I've said this before, but Alomar was also the smartest defensive player I ever saw -- it seemed like almost monthly he would get an out by using his head. I wonder if that is a mirage. Do the stats show how many times he got a non-force assist for a putout at thirdbase? He seemed to do that a lot more than anybody else I ever saw, including and especially the times he would catch people rounding too far. He was a joy to watch.
   86. RedSoxBaller Posted: December 17, 2008 at 09:39 PM (#3031947)
^^ What he said. Alomar was a great fielder to those who actually watch baseball. Maybe the guys sitting behind a computer who never played disagree, but I will agree with my eyes, not a flawed formula
   87. bjhanke Posted: December 17, 2008 at 09:49 PM (#3031957)
The District Attorney says, about the Royals, "I dunno, the owner is the former CEO of Wal-Mart. He's really rich."

Ah! That's why I posted up so hesitantly. I wasn't sure the trust hadn't sold the club. Obviously, the team now has money. Do you know offhand when this particular owner bought the club? My hunch is that he will have to take some time to build the organization back up to something reasonable. If he's had it for a few years, things are probably looking up. If he's only had it for a year or two, he may still be rebuilding the front office.

Thanks for the info! - Brock
   88. rawagman Posted: December 17, 2008 at 10:00 PM (#3031970)
According to Wikipedia, David Glass bought the franchise in 2000.
   89. DL from MN Posted: December 17, 2008 at 10:06 PM (#3031981)
Alomar was a really good 2B as far as I could tell, smart ballplayer also. Who are the best defenders among 2B during Alomar's career according to the metrics? If the metrics spit out "Jeff Kent" then we know something is incorrect.

Let's take 1991 - the year of Alomar's 1st gold glove. According to Dan R's WARP the best 2B defenders were:
Jose Oquendo
Ryne Sandberg
Mike Gallego
Jose Lind
Luis Sojo
Lance Blankenship
Bip Roberts
Donnie Hill
Jody Reed
Mark Lemke

Alomar grades out as average. Worst 2B were Bill Doran, Delino DeShields, Gregg Jeffries and Julio Franco.

Jump to 1995 - Alomar is -0.6
Mark Lemke
Jody Reed
Bret Barberie (BAL)
Dave Howard (KC)
Brian Gates
Rex Hudler
Chuck Knoblauch
Jose Oquendo

Worst players are Craig Biggio, Ray Durham, Carlos Garcia and Joey Cora.

1998 - one of Roberto's best defensive seasons (+1.0) he's 3rd behind Mike Benjamin and Miguel Cairo and followed by Craig Counsell and Mark Lemke (the system loves Lemke). Jose Vidro and
Todd Walker bring up the rear.

So, although there are some seasons where Alomar is a top 5 defender, he never tops the list and is never consistently in that top 5 (although rarely far below average). I have no reason to seriously doubt this. Lemke and Oquendo certainly made their share of highlight reel plays.

(We should really be discussing this in another thread)
   90. bjhanke Posted: December 17, 2008 at 10:09 PM (#3031984)
OCF says, "When the time comes, I hope we give Ray Lankford a thread. No, he's not a HoM candidate - but he was a good player, and underappreciated for what he did. If you look at the Cardinals and ask who the best player on the team was, he bridges the the whole territory between Ozzie Smith and Mark McGwire."

This is true except for the occasional odd season, but it's partially luck. Lankford came up at the same time as two other really hot prospects (all listed in everyone's list of the top 20 prospects in all of baseball): Geronimo Pena and Todd Zeile. Of the three, Lankford was probably the weakest, coming into the majors. But Zeile got moved off of catcher, due to one of Joe Torre's very worst managerial moves (which is saying something), and Pena, the best hitter of the three and a great defensive second baseman, simply could not stay healthy. At all. There is one half of one season when Pena got to show what he really had in terms of talent, but other than that, he was always out of the lineup or playing hurt. Since the Cardinal farm system dried up right after those three made the big club, Lankford continued to be the best player on the roster for years. But I'd still like to see what the team could have done if Pena had stayed healthy, Zeile had stayed at catcher, and the management had been just a wee tad better. The lineup would have been something like Lankford leading off, either Jose Oquendo or Luis Alicea playing third and hitting second, Pena hitting third, and Zeile cleanup, and you've still got two corner outfield spots and first base to fill. With decent management, that could have been one heck of a lineup.

- Brock
   91. DL from MN Posted: December 17, 2008 at 10:15 PM (#3032000)
Eyeballing the results - 23 different players scored a #2 vote on a ballot. Phil Rizzuto was not among them. Players 3-9 are all within one voter (15 points) of rearranging themselves in the rankings. That's an incredibly fractured backlog.
   92. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 17, 2008 at 10:18 PM (#3032011)
I myself am much less inclined to give substantial weight to anecdotal defensive reports for post-1987 guys than I am for earlier players--who's to say Alomar wasn't just another Derek Jeter? I think they have an important, but secondary, role for the 1956-86 period, where our defensive stats are good-not-great, and absolutely essential for pre-'56, when we have to rely on things like raw context-adjusted putouts and assists for our quantitative estimates.
   93. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 17, 2008 at 10:33 PM (#3032037)
^^ What he said. Alomar was a great fielder to those who actually watch baseball. Maybe the guys sitting behind a computer who never played disagree, but I will agree with my eyes, not a flawed formula


Except your eyes are not always perfect either.

If we didn't have batting stats during the '70s, how many of us would have voted for Dave Kingman for the HOF judged by the distance of his clouts? Maybe Danny Heep could have played for 20+ years and made it to Cooperstown based on his pretty swing, too.
   94. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2008 at 10:38 PM (#3032042)
Daryn and redsoxballer - can you just look at a couple of hitters and tell who is better? All you need is a videotape to tell the difference between say, Fred McGriff and David Justice? Or between Paul O'Neill and John Olerud? Stats don't help at all?

What makes you think you can see everything that there is to see fielding wise? How can you tell that he got to balls other fielders wouldn't get to? Because he dove and made the play look tough? There's a lot more to fielding that just looking good on the balls you do get to.

For example, did you really pay attention to where he positioned himself relative to other fielders, for example? As John Dewan said in the Fielding Bible, Jeter looks great, he just doesn't get to about 30-40 balls a year others guys get to, because he has to cheat in 3-4 steps on every play to cover for his (relatively) lousy arm.

You guys must have an amazing set of eyes, I know I can't tell the difference by looking at fielders, other than telling who is fundamentally sound and who isn't.

I'm not saying the new metrics are perfect. I absolutely agree with Mike in post 83.

But to dismiss them out of hand and say, "I know what I saw," seems like folly to me. How much of that was colored by what you heard? If everyone tells you how great someone is, you are going to notice the brilliant plays and dismiss the bad ones as 'everyone drops one occasionally'. When he misses one, you'll just assume no one could have made that play, etc..

I think both sides should be open minded on the issue regarding how good a player's fielding is. I know Jeff Francouer looks like a heckuva hitter, but the numbers don't really prove that out. He hits .336 when he doesn't whiff. But he never walks and strikes out one in every 5 AB. Your eyes can't tell you everything.
   95. Mike Green Posted: December 17, 2008 at 10:41 PM (#3032048)
I saw Alomar a lot. His range was very good, but he was awful on the pivot. He bailed out at the slightest chance of contact.
   96. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: December 17, 2008 at 10:55 PM (#3032064)
Alomar was very much like Jeter in that he had a penchant for the spectacular-looking plays...catching looping flies in the shallow outfield and sliding around the turf to pick up gounders, etc. That, coupled with his smarts and good throwing arm made him look like a Gold Glover.

I recall highlight reel plays and plenty of chatter from commentators about his prowess in the field.

Did he have plenty of flair in the field? Absolutely.

Was he a good defensive 2B, relative to his peers? I have no idea.
   97. fra paolo Posted: December 17, 2008 at 10:57 PM (#3032066)
To those of you on that list, any reason why you didn't vote?

Mainly lack of time, partly a lack of motivation. I found the old schedule was too demanding (was it two ballots a month?), and annual elections have too big a gap so I get distracted. You should put up a 2010 ballot thread more or less straightaway on Jan 1st to help me out!
   98. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2008 at 10:58 PM (#3032068)
I saw Alomar a lot. His range was very good, but he was awful on the pivot. He bailed out at the slightest chance of contact.


Which was probably a good thing, considering the value of his bat. He didn't need to ruin his career taking one for the team on a DP.
   99. fra paolo Posted: December 17, 2008 at 11:01 PM (#3032073)
I've just noticed the 2009 discussion went up in December 2007. So I can't blame that.
   100. OCF Posted: December 18, 2008 at 12:02 AM (#3032133)
Lankford is a classic "how to be underrated" type of ballplayer. He had no one single skill to form the headline of what he did, but he did multiple things well. He hit for power, but never hit 40 HR, seldom slugged .500, and only once ever had 100 RBI. He drew lots of walks. He struck out. He struck out A LOT, which has always bothered people. He didn't hit .300 - how could he with those strikeouts? (Except somehow he did hit .300 once and .290 several times.) He played a key defensive position - CF. I never heard that he didn't belong out there but he didn't win Gold Gloves. He was fast. He stole some bases but didn't lead leagues and did get caught a little too much. He could be reasonably used in several different batting order positions, including both leadoff and cleanup. He WAS used in multiple batting order positions, often in the same year, which keeps his statistics for such things as R and RBI from assuming a recognizable shape.

I was curious about one thing: given how much he struck out, what was he hitting when he didn't strike out? I went back and figured that: .372 BA and .653 SLG when not striking out. I guess he swung hard.

He got old as a player before he was 35. He didn't take it well when the Cardinals pushed him aside, although he did come back for a farewell fling a couple of years later. All told you have a 1700 game career, 1100 games of it in CF, with an OBP-heavy 122 career OPS+. That doesn't make the HoM, of course, but the list of better CF isn't all that long.

bjhanke's alternate universe plan has Zeile catching and batting cleanup. I'm not sure I see that - Zeile the 3b probably hit better and certainly played in more games than would have Zeile the catcher, but even with that, he doesn't look all that much like a cleanup hitter to me - in particular, he looks less like a cleanup hitter than Lankford.
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