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Hall of Merit
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Thursday, January 03, 2013

2014 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion

2014 (December 2, 2013)—elect 3
WS WAR Name-Pos

398 96.9 Greg Maddux-P
405 75.9 Frank Thomas-DH/1B
314 71.6 Tom Glavine-P
270 74.6 Mike Mussina-P
339 59.4 Jeff Kent-2B
318 46.3 Luis Gonzalez-LF
206 46.3 Kenny Rogers-P
277 38.2 Moises Alou-LF/RF
231 32.7 Ray Durham-2B
179 34.4 Tom Gordon-RP*
186 24.3 Mark Grudzielanek-2B/SS*
125 21.2 Steve Trachsel-P
156 19.8 Shannon Stewart-LF
128 17.7 Armando Benitez-RP
113 21.4 Jon Lieber-P
156 15.8 Sean Casey-1B
129 22.0 Jose Cruz-CF/RF
115 20.1 Keith Foulke-RP
124 18.1 Mike Timlin-RP
107 21.1 Esteban Loaiza-P
146 17.6 Damion Easley-2B
135 19.3 Geoff Jenkins-LF
157 14.0 Jose Vidro-2B
154 14.4 Richie Sexson-1B
127 15.4 Paul LoDuca-C
112 19.6 Trot Nixon-RF

DL from MN Posted: January 03, 2013 at 12:58 PM | 212 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. DL from MN Posted: December 14, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4618050)
Ivan - ballot looks good to me.
   202. Rob_Wood Posted: December 14, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4618055)
It was 1923 according to this link:

http://www.stevesteinberg.net/baseball_history/baseball_personalities/urban_shocker/UrbanShocker_FreeAgency.asp
   203. DL from MN Posted: December 14, 2013 at 04:17 PM (#4618086)
Shocker's career was also cut short because he died of a heart valve condition that would probably be repairable today.
   204. bjhanke Posted: December 14, 2013 at 09:06 PM (#4618159)
Ivan - I'll go a bit further than DL. That's one hell of a ballot for a first-timer. I don't agree with it all, but you've covered all the bases I could possibly expect from a "rookie." - Brock
   205. fra paolo Posted: December 15, 2013 at 12:31 AM (#4618201)
Replaced by version in 206.
   206. fra paolo Posted: December 15, 2013 at 12:36 AM (#4618202)
My aging laptop overheated and crashed. My detailed ballot was lost, so at this stage I'm just going to post a short preliminary, as opposed to my usual detailed version. You can find a description of my system in the 2013 ballot page. Essentially, I use Win Shares Above Bench and apply quotas to ensure a ballot that is fair to all positions.

1) Frank Thomas - Best AL hitter of early 1990s.
2) Greg Maddux - Phenomenal pitcher whom as a GM I'd want more than Clemens.
3) Albert Belle - Returns to my ballot after Frank Thomas' eligibility leads to a re-examination of the 1990s AL.
4) Burleigh Grimes - Quality pitcher from a hitter's era.
5) Bucky Walters - Something of a Roger Clemens Lite, in that he has seasons of a quality that can carry a team to a pennant.
6) Hugh Duffy - Sustained excellence over a four-year period.
7) Vic Willis - Dropped a couple of places from last year, as he lacks the sustained period found in Duffy's career.
8) Tom Glavine - A fine pitcher, but too often there was one better.
9) Jim Rice - He had two superb years in the 1970s, and had a few doinant hitting seasons during baseball's most balanced period.
10) Thurman Munson - Catchers are undervalued, in my opinion, by all uber-stat systems, and an old favourite returns to the ballot. He kept Carlton Fisk from dominating the AL in the 1970s May yet move higher.
11) Pie Traynor - Greatest 3B of his era.
12) Ben Taylor - Similar case to Traynor as best of his time.
13) Kirby Puckett - Equivalent to Rice, but not as peaked.
14) Phil Rizzuto - He doesn't really need war credit to get here. 1950 carries him on to my ballot
15) Jeff Kent - Not entirely convinced of his placement here. Very much a Sillyball Era creation. Makes my ballot on account of my positional balance appraoch.

Required disclosures
Curt Schilling is like Tom Glavine, in that there is always someone better in a given season, but not quite as good as Glavine as being second- or third-best.
Cannonball Dick Redding's case has been mortally wounded by the Seamheads' research, IMO.
Sammy Sosa is like Jeff Kent, in that outside the Sillyball Era there is just not enough excellence to attract my attention.

New Guys
Mike Mussina has more Merit than Schilling, but not as much as Glavine.
   207. rawagman Posted: December 15, 2013 at 08:39 AM (#4618237)
@ fra paolo - what do you see as the difference between Grimes and Glavine > Mussina > Schilling?
   208. fra paolo Posted: December 15, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4618268)
rawagman, the longer description of my 2013 ballot explains that my key interest once I come to ranking players on my ballot is not at the level of career, but at the level of individual seasons. I am interested in accumulating seasons of value. What many would see as the problem of my system is that this means that a 2nd-place finish among one's league's starting pitchers for 1929 is better than a 5th-place finish for starting pitchers in 1996. In the past I have tried to set an objective standard of value for an 'All-Star Season' (eg, 13.2 WSAB?), but I've never been entirely happy with the results. So the simple difference reflects All-Star (top 3 finish as pitcher) plus MVP seasons. In raw terms this is

Grimes 5
Glavine 5
Mussina 4
Schilling 3

Grimes is given the tiebreaker because I've got his 1920 season as of MVP-calibre. Glavine has no such seasons. Especially for pitchers, I favour these kinds of high-impact seasons, which is why Walters is ranked so high on my ballot. For hitters, I am not quite as aggressive in giving an advantage to big seasons, although 'not quite' still means I might be more aggressive than the typical HoM voter, as my voting for Rice shows.

For me, the interesting debate between here and the final ballot is whether Willis really is ahead of Glavine. Last year I was UP on Willis, but this year I'm down. Glavine is best positioned to take advantage of that.
   209. DL from MN Posted: December 15, 2013 at 11:34 AM (#4618277)
11) Pie Traynor - Greatest WHITE 3B of his era.


FTFY

And "top 3 finish" for All-Star consideration doesn't even make sense in an era with a 5 man pitching rotation. That's like a top 0.6 finish at 1B.
   210. rawagman Posted: December 15, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4618337)
fra paolo - thanks for the response. I would agree with DL from MN in that without making adjustments for the vastly different usages of pitchers in the modern era and the substantial increase in the competition, scaling those numbers over time would be fairer to all and sundry.
   211. fra paolo Posted: December 15, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4618349)
And "top 3 finish" for All-Star consideration doesn't even make sense in an era with a 5 man pitching rotation.

You appear to misunderstand my conception of an All-Star, which is the pitchers who will pitch through a single game, not the pitchers who make up a rotation. A really good season for a relief pitcher theoretically might push aside a starter.

I would agree with DL from MN in that without making adjustments for the vastly different usages of pitchers in the modern era and the substantial increase in the competition, scaling those numbers over time would be fairer to all and sundry.

I've thought about this a lot over the years, and once on the ballot I prefer evaluating players largely in relation to their peers. The fundamental questions to me, drawing on the Keltner list, are

1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?
...
3. Was he the best player in baseball at his position? Was he the best player in the league at his position?
Grimes, at either end of what I have identified as his prime (1920-1929), fits #3 better than Glavine.
   212. fra paolo Posted: December 15, 2013 at 05:46 PM (#4618498)
After thinking about it a bit more, and comparing rankings during primes, I think I might rank the pitchers after Maddux fighting for a place on my ballot as follows:

Walters
Willis
Glavine
Grimes
Mussina
Schilling

Grimes has some duff seasons in between his better ones during his prime. Therefore, I ought to give Glavine a bit more credit for not being nearly so bad in comparison. But if I do that, the same applies to Willis. At the moment, I see Willis and Glavine as roughly equal in terms of Merit, and the same for Grimes and Mussina.


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