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

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2014 Results: Maddux, Thomas and Glavine elected to the Hall of Merit!

Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine have been elected to the Hall of Merit!

Maddux was nearly unanimous, receiving 32 of 34 first place votes. Frank Thomas, who finished second received the other two and was the only other player named on every ballot. Thomas received 18 second place votes and was no lower than sixth on any ballot.

Glavine, who was named on 33-of-34 ballots, edged Curt Schilling for the final spot, 610-589. Mike Mussina was a strong fifth with 543 points. Sammy Sosa was far behind with 348 points in 6th place. If precedent holds, Schilling, Mussina and Sosa will all be elected to the Hall of Merit as soon as the flood of no-brainer candidates slows.

Kenny Lofton improved from 15th place in 2013 to 7th this year. He tops the long-term backlog (those who won’t easily be elected once there is a spot) with 200 points. Lofton is closer to Kirby Puckett, who finished 28th with 54 points, than he is to Sosa - so there’s a clear line for where the long-term backlog begins.

Jeff Kent finished 8th with 190 points in his first year of eligibility. Luis Tiant and Bobby Bonds each improved 3 places to round out the top ten, with 157 and 154 points, respectively.

The players from the 70s and 80s tended to improve on this ballot - the players from the 50s and earlier lost ground. Buddy Bell (139) improved from 17th to 11th and Sal Bando (102) moved from 23rd to 17th. But Phil Rizzuto (132), Ben Taylor (130) and Vic Willis (128) fell to 12-14, from 7-9. Gavy Cravath (107) fell from 11th to 16th and Hugh Duffy (112) lost a spot also, falling from 14th to 15th.

RK  LY  Player             PTS Bal  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
 1  n
/e Greg Maddux        814 34  32  2
 2  n
/e Frank Thomas       698 34   2 18  2  2  8  2
 3  n
/e Tom Glavine        610 33      3 11  9  6  1  2                    1   
************************************************************************************ 
 
4   5  Curt Schilling     589 30      9  7  8  3  2  1                        
 5  n
/e Mike Mussina       543 30      2  8  7  9  3     1                     
 6   6  Sammy Sosa         348 28         1     1  3  6  4  2  4  3  1  1  2   
 7  15  Kenny Lofton       200 18                  5        4  3     2  1     3
 8  n
/e Jeff Kent          190 15         1  3     1  1  3  1  1           2  2
 9  12  Luis Tiant         157 15                  1  2  2     2  1  2  3  2   
10  13  Bobby Bonds        154 13         1        1  2     3  2  1  1        2
************************************************************************************
11  17  Buddy Bell         139 13                  1  2  1     1  3  3  1  1   
12   8  Phil Rizzuto       132 12                  2     3  2     1  1     2  1
13   9  Ben Taylor         130 13                  1  1  1  2     1  2  1  4   
14   7  Vic Willis         128 12               1           2  2  5  1     1   
15  14  Hugh Duffy         112  9         1        1  2     1  1     1  1  1   
16  11  Gavvy Cravath      107 11               1           3  1  1  1     1  3
17  23  Sal Bando          102  9               1     1  1  1     3  1  1      
18  20  Don Newcombe        79  8                           1  1  4  1     1   
19  16  Bucky Walters       78  7            1        1     2        1     2   
20  24T Bus Clarkson        77  7                  1  1  1        1  2     1   
21  10  Dick Redding        75  6               1     2  1     1           1   
22  22  Hilton Smith        71  6                  1  1  1     2           1   
23T 24T Tommy Bridges       70  6                  2  1        1        1  1   
23T 28  Bert Campaneris     70  6                  1     3           1     1   
25  34  Urban Shocker       68  6                  1  1     2           1  1   
26  21  Fred McGriff        64  6               1  1              1  1  1     1
27  18  Tommy Leach         59  5                  1     2        1     1      
28  38  Kirby Puckett       54  6                        1  1        1  1     2
29T 41T Jim McCormick       50  5            1                 1        2     1
29T 29  Bob Johnson         50  5                     1     1        2        1
31  32  Mickey Welch        49  5                     1        1        3      
32  19  Ed Williamson       46  4               1        1           1  1      
33  30  Tommy John          43  4                  1     1              1  1   
34  26  Burleigh Grimes     37  3            1           1                 1   
35  
--  Thurman Munson      36  4                              1     1  2      
36T 50  Vern Stephens       35  4                              1     2        1
36T 39  John Olerud         35  4                           1           2  1   
36T 41T Bob Elliott         35  4                              1  1     1     1
39  37  Albert Belle        34  3         1                                   2
40  79T Orel Hershiser      33  3               1              1              1
41  33  Tony Perez          31  3                        1  1                 1
42  45  Addie Joss          28  2            1                 1               
43  51  Dolf Luque          27  2                  1        1                  
44  71T Luke Easter         27  2                     1  1                     
45  31  Kevin Appier        26  3                                 2           1
46  54T Tommy Bond          26  2                     1     1                  
47  27  Johnny Pesky        24  3                              1           1  1
48T 49  Babe Adams          24  2            1                             1   
48T n
/e Luis Gonzalez       24  2                        1     1               
50  64T Tony Mullane        23  3                              1              2
51  52T Wally Schang        23  2                     1              1         
52T 54T Dwight Gooden       22  2                        1           1         
52T 59T Lou Brock           22  2                        1           1         
54  41T Dizzy Dean          22  1         1                                    
55T 36  Lee Smith           20  2                        1                 1   
55T 56T Jim Rice            20  2                           1           1      
57  56T Frank Chance        19  2                              1        1      
58  59T Dale Murphy         18  2                                 1     1      
59  46  Pie Traynor         16  2                                 1           1
60T 47  Eddie Cicotte       14  1                     1                        
60T 67T Jack Quinn          14  1                     1                        
62  35  Dave Concepcion     12  2                                             2
63  69  Ernie Lombardi      12  1                           1                  
64  
--  Willie Davis        11  1                              1               
65T 
--  George Van Haltren  10  1                                 1            
65T 70  Lefty Gomez         10  1                                 1            
65T 67T Frank Tanana        10  1                                 1            
68T 71T Luis Aparicio        9  1                                    1         
68T 
--  Orlando Cepeda       9  1                                    1         
70T 
--  Art Fletcher         8  1                                       1      
70T 52T Dave Bancroft        8  1                                       1      
70T 40  Elston Howard        8  1                                       1      
70T 41T Carl Mays            8  1                                       1      
70T 
--  Lance Parrish        8  1                                       1      
75T 48  Norm Cash            7  1                                          1   
75T 76T Dave Parker          7  1                                          1   
77T 59T Al Rosen             6  1                                             1
77T 
--  Wilbur Cooper        6  1                                             1
77T 74T Roy White            6  1                                             1
77T 76T Sam Leever           6  1                                             1
77T 
--  Leroy Matlock        6  1                                             1
Dropped out
Ken Singleton (56T), Bernie Williams (62), Carlos Moran (63),
Chuck Finley (64T), Fred Dunlap (66), Bruce Sutter (73), Ron Cey (74T),
Gene Tenace (76T), Mark Belanger (79T), Bill Monroe (79T), Jim Sundberg (79T
Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2013 at 12:15 AM | 80 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2013 at 12:17 AM (#4619336)
Congrats to the winners . . . 34 ballots again too, glad to see the strong participation.
   2. Chris Fluit Posted: December 17, 2013 at 12:25 AM (#4619341)
Thanks for counting the ballots and posting the results, Joe. Heck, thanks for keeping this project running.
   3. rawagman Posted: December 17, 2013 at 12:30 AM (#4619347)
Seconded
   4. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2013 at 12:43 AM (#4619361)
Great job again guys. Now my gripes :-)

How is Buddy Bell 11th while Robin Ventura doesn't get a vote? I've got them practically even, maybe Bell a hair ahead.

I'm really disappointed that Bernie Williams fell off completely. While I didn't vote for him, he was 26th on his first try in 2012 and his support completely evaporated. I have him just off my ballot, he'll be on once the flood of no-brainer newbies passes.

Looking at the top 20, I'm a bit concerned with the trend of the guys post 1970 moving up while everyone pre-1960 dropped significantly. Rizzuto, Taylor, Willis and Cravath took some hits this year. I was really disappointed with Taylor's showing. There is an argument that he's our biggest negative mistake right now (because of the uncertainty of his numbers)

Minor gripe - I don't get the love for Thomas over the pitchers. I had him 5th, and didn't have to work to hard to have Schilling ahead of him.

I'm also a little concerned at how much reliance there is on the fielding measures of b-r and fangraphs WAR.

That being said, once again, I'm really happy with the participation - these are just my concern points. Hopefully next year I'll have more time to get involved with the discussion.
   5. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2013 at 12:44 AM (#4619363)
Re: #2 OCF and rawagman counted the ballots (possibly Ron Wargo too). I just took their results and made them look pretty. Big thanks to them.
   6. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2013 at 12:46 AM (#4619365)
Heh, I should have checked my email! PKW sent me a perfectly formatted version around 10 p.m - I just opened it :-) Thanks PKW, appreciate the effort, and it's a great check as well.
   7. Mike Webber Posted: December 17, 2013 at 12:48 AM (#4619367)
I'm also a little concerned at how much reliance there is on the fielding measures of b-r and fangraphs WAR.


Only because I am not buying it completely do I have Kenny Lofton off my ballot.

But what would you have us do? I feel pretty comfortable questioning Kenny Lofton, because I saw his whole career, even the part of it when he was a point guard at Arizona, and I pretty sure that he is getting a lot of love from that system.

What are my alternatives?
   8. OCF Posted: December 17, 2013 at 01:04 AM (#4619375)
Consensus score average was +13.6. Down a hair from 15.6 in 2013, but still very high consensus, especially compared to our last backlog election in 2012 which was -14.6. Highest possible score would have been +26.

Some individual totals:

OCF: +21 (huh? unusual ... I don't think I've been there before)
Chris Cobb: +20
Willie Mays Yays: +20
Yardape: +20
Rob Wood: +20
Michael J. Binkley's: +20

Chris Fluit: +17
Al Peterson: +17 (Medians - meaning the top end of the scale was very closely packed together

dan b: +10
karlmagnus: +8 (so 30 of the 34 were between +8 and +21)

Rusty Priske: -4
Daryn: -4
fra paolo: -7
sunnyday2: -15

What the low outliers had in common was omitting all or most of Glavine, Schilling, and Mussina.
   9. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2013 at 01:09 AM (#4619377)
That's tough Mike, I agree. I also have Lofton comfortably off my ballot.

I like DanR's WAR but it isn't published. I have an Access Database I can get to anyone who wants it. Runs from 1893-2005. Although based on some of his comments, I think it's due for an update. Dan basically looked at all of the metrics and combined them for fielding. He can explain it a lot better.

My biggest issues, are like Dan says, with the structural issues where the IF/OF balance is off and the 2B/3B vs. SS balance is off too. I also don't like that some adjustments are decade based - as if something changed from 1979 to 1980 or 1999 to 2000, etc.

Michael Humphreys work seems promising for the old timers. There's Dewan's work which covers the last decade or so. Even Win Shares, while it has the spread wrong (too narrow), it's still worth looking at because of its top-down method - assuming some adjustments can be made. I realize that's not all necessarily within the skill set of every voter (including this one). I wish we would do more as a group to work on this.

But I would also just question it a bit. If something seems screwy, it might actually be. We are all still guessing on defense. I just get nervous when it seems like too many of us are using the same thing, especially when it isn't something that itself looks at all metrics. And when it's something that has known issues as mentioned above.

EDIT: I forgot to include BPro, whose fielding WAR also gives a different perspective. Their cards have Lofton and Williams practically even, for example.
   10. Chris Cobb Posted: December 17, 2013 at 01:15 AM (#4619380)
Re the post-1970 players moving up;

I see that mainly as a positive result. Bell has been ranked far below his numbers for years. As his numbers hold up in multiple systems through multiple revisions, the electorate is beginning to credit him. Lofton likewise was ranked below what his numbers show last year (though his fielding strength is less universally affirmed than Bell's). They made the biggest moves up, and I expect them to continue to consolidate support, as they are genuinely above, though not far above, the long-term backlog. Kent, on the other hand, probably opened a bit high: hitting numbers catch attention, while fielding numbers take a while to gain traction, and other things that draw Kent down--shift in defensive spectrum away from second base, high-SD era, mediocre defense--take a while to gain credit with the electorate.

And some pre-1970 players are doing very well: Urban Shocker has been moving up steadily in recent years, for example.

Re Robin Ventura: if you are worried about recent players passing pre-1960 players, don't go promoting Robin Ventura as wrongly overlooked! He is wrongly overlooked--if we relied a little bit more heavily on the fielding assessment of b-r and Fangraphs War and less on OPS+ when evaluating infielders, he'd be ahead of Kent and Bando. Ventura was the last cut from my ballot--he got bumped by Appier when I realized that I wasn't giving Appier peak credit for the 94-95 strike, but he will certainly make my ballot once the star-glut starts to clear. But players who are strong in "prime" but not especially in peak or career also take longer for the electorate to find, I think.

Re Taylor: I will really try to get MLEs for him for 2015 that will help establish a bit more certainty, one way or the other. There's certainly enough data, thanks to Gary Ashwill and Seamheads, to do very solid ones. It shouldn't be that hard to find the time. If the WARs out there would stay stable for a year or two so that I don't have to reenter data for all elected HoMers and serious candidates, that clears time for more focused projects.
   11. Patrick W Posted: December 17, 2013 at 01:30 AM (#4619389)
I've updated the election history database, but yahoo groups won't let me upload it. I'll try again later this week.

Schilling finished with the highest score since '99 (Ryan) that wasn't good enough for election. Until that last ballot or two, it was the highest score to miss since the record was set in '93.

pkw
   12. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 17, 2013 at 01:32 AM (#4619390)
I had Ventura in the close consideration set before adjusting for less outstanding DRA defensive scores.

Agreed with Chris that Bell is showing up as worthy in almost all metrics, and all that I use.

Bernie Williams remains in the consideration set - if given postseason credit and a half split of reputation/defensive metrics, I could see him ballot worthy.

Regarding the oldies, I am still a fan, with Rizzuto/Smith/Newcombe/Leach/Shocker/Cravath on ballot, and Taylor could vault if Chris's MLE's come back favorably...and I think I like Willis more than you - he's PHOM.

Regarding The Big Frank, his peak was pretty stellar when looking at offensive metrics, maybe overshadowing the awesome hurlers?

Agreed that pinpointing which system should be used for defense is a toughie - Humphrey's DRA seems to show more promise than the others, but it isn't as widely available to the public/known.

As usual, Cobb's comments are straight forward and accurate.
   13. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2013 at 01:49 AM (#4619392)
Chris - I was looking at general trends, Ventura is a different thing entirely. Not to mention, I think neither should be on the ballot - I just see them as very close and maybe 2 good seasons away from my ballot. Kind of like Lofton and Bernie Williams - the difference mainly being one metric's evaluation of their respective fielding. BPro for example has Lofton and Williams within 2 WAR of each other. Win Shares has Bernie Williams with 309 and Lofton with 293 in a slightly longer career. If we were using a better cross section of metrics we wouldn't have one getting named on 18 ballots and the other on zero. I will take a closer look at Bell - but DanR's fielding system tends to move guys up on my ballot not down and that's already accounted for.

My concerns with all of the new guys moving up, while the pre-retrosheet guys fall back is that it's a sign to me that as new voters come in, things like WWII and Negro League credit drop. People look at the players they saw - voters 50 and under saw baseball since 1970 or so. Things like that. It seems like a reasonable explanation for the trending over the last two years.

Not that we don't want new voters. That's a great thing. I just want to make sure that all eras are getting a fair shake, that's all. As time moves on, some of the more nuanced cases need to be made to the new voters too. I wouldn't have even noticed Gavy Cravath if someone else hadn't told me to take a closer look.

Bucky Walters fell from 16 to 19. He's been in the top 10 before. Urban Shocker did move up, again it's not entirely going one way - but really that means he was named on 6 ballots instead of 3. Tommy Leach dropped 9 spots while Kirby Puckett moved up 10. There are many more of those matches than examples like Shocker, whose move from 34 to 25 was the only relatively big one for an old-timer. Ed Williamson dropped 13 spots from 19 to 32. Dick Redding fell from 10 to 21.
   14. Rob_Wood Posted: December 17, 2013 at 01:51 AM (#4619394)
Thanks to everybody who voted, tabulated, etc. The project seems to have sufficient momentum to keep chugging along.

Just a couple of suggested edits to the intro write-up above:

(1) Mussina received 543 points (not votes)

(2) Schilling, Mussina and Sosa (need to insert comma)

(3) Technically, Schilling still tops the backlog (not Lofton)

This reminds me ... has anyone yet looked into that spate of suggested edits I made to the HOM plaques last year? I would hate for all those errors on the plaques to go unmended.

If there is anything I can do to effectuate the corrections, please let me know.
   15. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2013 at 02:00 AM (#4619395)
I want to be clear, I'm not nitpicking about specific players. It's just the general trend of new > old and what seems like many voters converging on the easily available metrics, that's all.

And on the concern meter this is a 2 on a 1-5 scale (5 is highest). I don't mean to overstate it. I hesitated to say anything because I didn't want to get too caught up in the details. I'm using a few obvious specific examples for expedience while trying to paint in broad strokes.

I think it's great that we are showing those that follow our results that Mussina and Schilling, while not elected yet, are clear Hall of Famers based on the historical standard. It's great that we are giving Lofton a lot of credit. It shows that the Hall of Fame letting people drop off quickly is a mistake. While I don't think he should be in yet, he definitely should be seriously considered, not discarded after a year.

I think we did great electing Glavine over Schilling and Mussina - of the three I think it's pretty reasonable that he went first. I also think it's great that Frank Thomas cleared the bar easily, i'm not sure he will in the Hall of Fame voting.
   16. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2013 at 02:05 AM (#4619396)
Thanks Rob, fixed!

As far as your edits - I thought I would have the time to fix them, but I haven't.

Do you have editor access? If not would you have the time to do it if I can get you editor access? Your post makes me think you might be able to :-) If not I understand, but if you can do it, I can give you a quick tutorial on how to edit. Let me know what you think.
   17. JoeC Posted: December 17, 2013 at 04:15 AM (#4619408)
Thanks everybody - from another semi-lurker who is constantly kicking around putting together a system and participating "one of these years," I just want to let you know how much I've learned from following the HOM over the years and how happy I am that voters take the challenge so seriously.

I was curious to see the respective opinions on Schilling/Mussina/Glavine and was pleased to see that they appeared in each possible permutation on at least one ballot! The most common was Glavine/Schilling/Mussina (12 voters), and it's interesting to note that they aren't ranked in that order by any one of the usual metrics. The full list:

G/S/M - 12
S/M/G - 10 (this is their order by JAWS and fWAR)
G/M/S - 6 (their order by the version of WS quoted here)
S/G/M - 4
M/S/G - 1 (2 if you count Mike Gimbel's late ballot)
M/G/S - 1 (their order by bWAR)
   18. Chris Fluit Posted: December 17, 2013 at 09:28 AM (#4619426)
Minor gripe - I don't get the love for Thomas over the pitchers. I had him 5th, and didn't have to work to hard to have Schilling ahead of him.


On the other hand, I was surprised Thomas did so poorly. Going into this election, I thought we had a shot at pulling off the opposite of last year when Bonds was unanimous #1 and Clemens unanimous #2 but with the best pitcher being the number #1 this year (Maddux missed it by this much) and the best hitter at #2. I was very surprised when Thomas showed up 5th and even 6th on some ballots. The end result was fine as more than half of the voters saw Thomas as #2 but I didn't think it was even that close.

The big question going into next year- for me, at least- is whether Schilling will finally be able to slip into that top 3 spot. He's not going to finish ahead of Randy or Pedro and he'll face strong competition from newcomers Sheffield and Smoltz. I have Schilling ahead of Smoltz- barely- but haven't dug into Sheffield's numbers yet.

   19. Chris Fluit Posted: December 17, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4619431)
My concerns with all of the new guys moving up, while the pre-retrosheet guys fall back is that it's a sign to me that as new voters come in, things like WWII and Negro League credit drop. People look at the players they saw - voters 50 and under saw baseball since 1970 or so. Things like that. It seems like a reasonable explanation for the trending over the last two years.

Not that we don't want new voters. That's a great thing. I just want to make sure that all eras are getting a fair shake, that's all. As time moves on, some of the more nuanced cases need to be made to the new voters too. I wouldn't have even noticed Gavy Cravath if someone else hadn't told me to take a closer look.


I wonder if it's something as simple as ignoring schedule length. A 162 game schedule is 5% longer than a 154 game schedule. That doesn't mean that every player after 1961 deserves a Marisian asterisk. But some voters who are using WAR may want to consider a 5% bonus to pre-1960s players in order to compensate for the change in schedule.
   20. Chris Fluit Posted: December 17, 2013 at 09:36 AM (#4619432)
(3) Technically, Schilling still tops the backlog (not Lofton)


Realistically, Schilling tops the frontlog. He's clearly at the front of the line, just waiting for a spot to open up.


ps. Joe, did say "longterm backlog" about Lofton, which I think is accurate.
   21. Chris Fluit Posted: December 17, 2013 at 09:52 AM (#4619442)
Top Ten Returnees who haven't been elected yet:

Ed Williamson: he had one top ten finish in the very first election of 1898 but hasn't come as close since

Hugh Duffy: He's one of "the big three" with 20 top ten finishes- the first batch coming from 1908-15, a second batch from '75-'81 and a more recent surge from 2010-12.

Jimmy Ryan: Originally considered one of the big three centerfielders, he hasn't sniffed a top ten since 1931 though that was his 8th overall.

George Van Haltren: Another one of the big three, Van Haltren has 23 top ten finishes. His first burst came from 1928-33, a shorter second one came from '40-'45 and his final push lasted from '61-'73.

Mickey Welch: He made two appearances in the top ten, way back in 1933 and '38.

Tommy Leach: Leach had six top tens, starting with three straight from 1940-42 and ending with three straight from 2007-09.

Dick Redding: The last of the big three, Redding has 30 top ten finishes to his name. He first showed up on the list in 1967 and made his most recent appearance last year (2013).

Tony Perez: 5 top ten finishes, the first in 1996 and the last in 2006.

Bucky Walters: He was making a steady climb towards election with 10 top ten finishes between 1997 and 2010 but he got too close to the sun, burned up, and fell back into the backlog.

Bob Johnson: he's Bucky's batting twin with 10 top tens between 1997 and 2008.

Kirby Puckett: 5 straight top 10 finishes from 2003-08 but nothing since.

Gavvy Cravath: The surprising slugger showed up 4 times between 2005 and 2012.

Phil Rizzuto: Scooter was making a push before we ran into the new ballot armageddon. He had 5 straight top tens from 2009-13.

Luis Tiant: He's the only holdover who seems to be holding his own against the wave of newcomers. He has 5 top ten finishes since 2009, including one this year.

Curt Schilling: He was the top returnee in both 2013 and 2014. He may be elected as soon as next year.

Sammy Sosa: Another newbie who cracked the top ten his first two years.

Vic Willis: He's been around for a long time but he didn't make the top ten until 2013.

Ben Taylor: Ditto.

Mike Mussina: One of the top newbies, Mussina will be elected in short order.

Kenny Lofton: He's the opposite of the shiny new toy. After conservative placement in his first year, Lofton rocketed into the top ten in his second.

Jeff Kent: The newly eligible Kent cracked the top ten in his first year out.

Bobby Bonds: He's been hanging around in the top twenty for a while but the senior Bonds didn't crack the top ten until this year.
   22. Esteban Rivera Posted: December 17, 2013 at 10:09 AM (#4619445)
In my case, guys like Rizzuto, Cravath, Bernie, Perez, Bob Johnson and Walters have been pushed off the bottom of my ballot with all of the worthy newcomers (along with some reevaluations of others). It's more of a case that we're getting an influx of really good candidates that queue up ahead of the existing candidates.
   23. fra paolo Posted: December 17, 2013 at 10:26 AM (#4619456)
Picking up on two points raised by OCF in the ballot thread:

What if you project out [Maddux's] 1994 and 1995 {seasons] to 162 games?

Given the way my system works, that wouldn't have any impact in terms of ranking players. I'll explain a bit more after I respond to the next point

I'm also a little confused by your career/prime/peak distinctions.... you declare yourself a peak/prime voter and put Glavine 6th and Schilling off ballot?

Definitions:

Career is an absolute value. This is the value that gets a player into the consideration set. After that, I largely ignore it.
Peak is simply a rank of seasons from best to worst, and taking the best three or the best five. Here I use Win Shares Above Bench. I don't make much use of this, except when looking at two or three closely aligned players, such as Walters, Grimes and Willis over the years.
Those two are easy. It is the way I use Prime that is complicated.
To start with, Prime is the highest WSAB value over ten consecutive seasons. Schilling's is 119.9. Glavine's is 121.9. It's close, but at some point one has to apply the numbers. But there's more to it than that, as I look at where each individual season ranks among other pitchers. So Glavine's 1991 season led the National League in pitching WSAB. None of Schilling's best finishes tops the league, so his main advantage comes from finishing second more times than Glavine did. But then Glavine finishes 3rd and 5th more times than Schillng does. I am particularly interested in Top 3 finishes for pitchers, and Glavine has the advantage here during his prime, 5 vs 3.

To me, the key Keltneresque question in relation to Merit is the 'was he the best player at his position in his league?' one. On that basis, and given the data above I don't see how one can favour Schilling over Glavine. What I did do slightly differently this year was to give a bit more weight to how far below that standard a player's season might fall, which pushed Glavine above Grimes on my ballot; and also pushed Mussina ahead of Schilling. I rather like the effect this has had, and plan on making more use of it in subsequent ballots.
   24. fra paolo Posted: December 17, 2013 at 10:55 AM (#4619468)
We are all still guessing on defense. I just get nervous when it seems like too many of us are using the same thing, especially when it isn't something that itself looks at all metrics. And when it's something that has known issues as mentioned above.

These are very wise words. Any player whose case against another is significantly based on the effect of BB-ref rfield needs to be treated with caution. Anyone using it should note the players and try plugging in alternative pseudo-rfield numbers from one or more of at least three sources.

Humphrys' DRA is available on Seamheads. One could also download some spreadsheets from his publisher's web site after the book came out, but I don't know if that is still possible. I think Humphrys' system is excellent if one wants a fielding equivalent to linear weights on offense that is fairly consistent as a formula across baseball history.

Win Shares is also available on Seamheads, on individual player's pages. Simply take the fielding Win Shares, divide by three and multiply by ten and that number can be used instead of rfield.

Finally, I'd also recommend BPro's fielding which, as I understand it, is like Win Shares in that it first calculates the value of fielding at the team level, and then distributes that value among the fielders.

I can't imagine that on the typical ballot this would affect more than three or four players. Lofton versus Williams is an obvious example. On that note, I probably should apply a dose of my own prescription in reverse, as I use Win Shares Above Bench which may not give Lofton enough credit.
   25. Rusty Priske Posted: December 17, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4619472)
I was worried about Thomas.

An interesting thing is that I was worried I was undervaluign pitchers. After lookin gover the ballots, I think many people are overvaluing pitchers, if Frank Thomas isn't at least in the top 2 on a ballot.

The other thing is that I cringe when peope downgrade him for playing at DH while Mike Piazza was given credit for being a catcher.

I would rather a player DH than play a defensive position poorly.
   26. Rusty Priske Posted: December 17, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4619490)
I think might have the 1-2 spots different again next year as most people will have Randy Johnson at #1 and I will have him at #2, just behind Gary Sheffield...

... but that is just speculation at this point.
   27. DL from MN Posted: December 17, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4619638)
You don't like poor defenders but you'll have Sheffield ahead of Randy Johnson?
   28. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4619660)
Regarding #20 . . . I edited that based on Rob's suggestion :-)
   29. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4619662)
Re #21 that is a great list Chris!

I wonder if it would be good to say anyone who has ever made a top 10 deserves a comment . . . or is that too much to ask? I wouldn't want to lost voters over it, but forcing people to go back and look at those guys can only be a good thing, right?
   30. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2013 at 02:55 PM (#4619665)
Mike Piazza wasn't a bad catcher at all. He was actually very good at 'catching' and blocking the plate. He was bad at throwing out runners, and that can easily be accounted for.

I'll take anyone who gets behind the plate at a major league level (they won't let you do it if you are *that* bad) over a DH assuming the same bat without blinking.
   31. rudygamble Posted: December 17, 2013 at 03:09 PM (#4619685)
Hard to argue with the top 5 this year. All 'no-brainer' HOMers. Interesting that Schilling beat Glavine in top 2, top 3, and top 4 votes but still lost out. Without combing through the votes, it seems like there's a block that prefer Schilling's peak and another block that bump Schilling down (or out) for some reason. If 3 of the 4 Schilling-abstainers had just voted him 13th, he'd have beat out Glavine.

Appreciate all the research/passion here for the backlogged players even though next year also shapes up as a 'no-brainer' year (Pedro+Randy+one of Schilling/Mussina/Smoltz/Sheffield).




   32. Howie Menckel Posted: December 17, 2013 at 03:33 PM (#4619711)


All-time 'Votes Points' thru 2013 - those still eligible in 2015 election are in CAPS

electees are not in caps

ronw or RickA likely will fix the occasional mistakes, and thanks for that

Redding moves up to 6th, but starting to look now like he'll never catch Welch for all-time P lead

Grimes up to 28th, Willis up to 49th


TOP 50, ALL-TIME, unofficial (pts this year)
DUFFY...... 27829.5 (112)
VAN HALTREN 26923.5 (10)
Beckley.... 25856
Browning... 24502.5
WELCH...... 18781 (49)
REDDING.... 18546 (75)
Childs..... 18484
Griffith... 17924
Waddell.... 17596
Jennings... 16976

LEACH...... 15976 (59)
ChaJones....15875
Bresnahan.. 14965
Sisler..... 13892
Pike....... 13399
Sewell..... 12769
RYAN....... 12663.5 (x)
Mendez..... 12555
CRAVATH.....12502 (107)
Thompson... 12349

Roush...... 12005
WALTERS.....11968 (78)
Bennett.... 11503
Moore...... 10904
Rixey...... 10789
Caruthers.. 10704
Beckwith.... 9896
GRIMES.......9846 (37)
DOYLE....... 9816 (x)
BJOHNSON.....9729 (50)

HStovey......9576
Mackey.......8930
AOms.........8385
Start........8378.5
McGinnity....8232
McGraw.......8145
DPearce......8073
McVey........7985.5
FGrant.......7969.5
BMONROE......7947 (x)

Kiner........7746
Suttles......7690
NFox.........7587
Trouppe......7494
WFerrell.....7259
CPBell.......6968
WILLIAMSON...6953 (46)
SCHANG.......6921 (23)
WILLIS.......6632 (128)
Galvin.......6585


Others in active top 50 (X if no votes this year):

DDean 5977, Elliott 5262, Rizzuto 5189, Bridges 5166, BTaylor 4937, Joss 4870, TPerez 4373, Tiant 4154, FChance 3881, Traynor 3848, NCash 3786, CMays 3786, Cepeda 3465, McCormick 3351, Cicotte 3329, SRice 3301X, LBrock 3198, BoBonds 3169, EHoward 2931, Singleton 2723X, Tiernan 2709X, BClarkson 2676, VStephens 2638, FJones 2636X, Klein 2601X, Puckett 2549, Staub 2396X, Veach 2388X, GJBurns 2388X, Mullane 2387, Dunlap 2298X, Lombardi 2266, Concepcion 2149, Bancroft 2115, Newcombe 1938
   33. Rob_Wood Posted: December 17, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4619726)
Joe, I do not have "access" to make the HOM plaque edits myself. I do have time so if you'd like me to take a crack at them, I am willing to do so.
   34. Rusty Priske Posted: December 17, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4619735)
#27, I never said I don't like poor defenders. What I don't like whenever Piazza comes up is the idea that he deserves EXTRA credit for being a bad catcher. Yet some people will devalue someone for being a DH.

I have maintained for years that Piazza would have been MORE valuable as a DH because he was a negative behind the plate.

For Sheffield, his defense is included for what it is.

As for him versus Johnson, my initial analysis has Johnson fourth. That does not pass the sniff test for me, so I am assuming that by next year I will have moved him up to AT LEAST second. Sheffield is the best hitter on the ballot. Johnson is the best pitcher. The question is, which one will come out ahead?

(Overall, based on past voting patterns, it will be Johnson... but that doesn't mean it will be that way on MY ballot.)
   35. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2013 at 05:00 PM (#4619807)
OK Rob, thanks! I will talk to the powers that be about getting you access.
   36. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4619809)
There is no such thing as a negative behind the plate. Just being there has massive value. Just look at the bottom 3-4 catchers (replacement level) each year and how bad they hit. There is no way Piazza, who was not a bad catcher was giving anything remotely close to that back with his defense.
   37. rawagman Posted: December 17, 2013 at 06:03 PM (#4619852)
Rusty - why do you think Piazza was a bad catcher? Most enlightened studies of his defense actually had his as an above average catcher at every component of the trade except for throwing out baserunners - which was a pretty small component during most of his era.
   38. DL from MN Posted: December 17, 2013 at 07:00 PM (#4619890)
I'm trying to determine whether Randy Johnson was the greatest LHP that ever lived. He's in the top 3 for sure. Gary Sheffield was never the greatest anything that ever lived. Sheffield is going to be my top position player but he will be slotted behind about 6 pitchers.
   39. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 17, 2013 at 08:10 PM (#4619921)
As far as I can figure the median starting 1B during Piazza's career hit for a 117 OPS+, the median starting catcher hit 91
the replacement level starting 1B was around an 84, replacement level starting C was a 54.

to offset that, to make Piazza more valuable as a DH than a catcher, he'd have to be far far far worse than any fielding metric has him at.
   40. Howie Menckel Posted: December 17, 2013 at 08:16 PM (#4619923)

The "Piazza was a bad defensive catcher" theme almost seems to be based on the idea that caught-stealing pcts are all we need to know. I don't know of any statistical or anecdotal evidence that he was lousy at any other part of the position. A ding for CS % is ok, but he was no bumbler overall at the position.

I've often noted the converse, too - that catchers can't hit sometimes seem to get too much credit for their defense, as a university with a lousy FB team seems to be more respected academically.

But some catchers suck at everything, and some schools can't win even with easy courses.
:)

   41. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 17, 2013 at 08:31 PM (#4619927)
I like DanR's WAR but it isn't published. I have an Access Database I can get to anyone who wants it. Runs from 1893-2005. Although based on some of his comments, I think it's due for an update. Dan basically looked at all of the metrics and combined them for fielding. He can explain it a lot better.

My biggest issues, are like Dan says, with the structural issues where the IF/OF balance is off and the 2B/3B vs. SS balance is off too. I also don't like that some adjustments are decade based - as if something changed from 1979 to 1980 or 1999 to 2000, etc.

I'd be interested in getting it. I exclusively used Baseball Reference for fielding. It would be nice to have something else.
   42. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 17, 2013 at 09:06 PM (#4619945)
The "Piazza was a bad defensive catcher" theme almost seems to be based on the idea that caught-stealing pcts are all we need to know. I don't know of any statistical or anecdotal evidence that he was lousy at any other part of the position.


Leading the league in passed balls twice? And in errors (at catcher) four times?
   43. Baldrick Posted: December 17, 2013 at 09:45 PM (#4619968)
Leading the league in passed balls twice? And in errors (at catcher) four times?

Presumably a big part of that is simply from playing more than most guys. He was third in innings in 1995, but was a full 100 innings more than the guy in 4th place. And while he had seven more PB than Girardi that year, he had 13 fewer WP. I'm guessing that WP are to catchers much like unearned runs are to pitchers: some are not their fault but good players will stop a bunch of them. In 1996, he had 12 PB but three other guys had 11, all of whom had a lot less innings (400! less for Jeff Reed). And once again he allowed a pretty small number of WP.

And those were his worst years.

I have no idea if he in fact was bad on these metrics. But simply leading the league doesn't seem to mean a ton. I don't have the skills to do it, but I'm sure the people who know how to measure this stuff can provide a more generalizable estimate of his non-throwing defensive contributions. But my quick glance leads me to think he wasn't terrible and may have been average. Certainly he doesn't look like a disaster by any measure other than arm.
   44. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: December 17, 2013 at 09:48 PM (#4619970)
He led the league in passed balls when he was with the Dodgers and catching Tom Candiotti every year. Catching a knuckleballer is going to skew PB numbers.

And with respect to the errors, catchers get so many more chances than any other position. And Piazza got more chances than most catchers because he played more games than most catchers because it hurt his teams so much more to take his bat out of the lineup. So some of it surely is just a function of his extra chances.

Edit: Partial beverage to Baldrick.
   45. Chris Fluit Posted: December 17, 2013 at 10:09 PM (#4619981)
Re #21 that is a great list Chris!

I wonder if it would be good to say anyone who has ever made a top 10 deserves a comment . . . or is that too much to ask? I wouldn't want to lost voters over it, but forcing people to go back and look at those guys can only be a good thing, right?


Thanks, Joe.

I think requiring comments on every one of those guys might be overdoing it. However, with the huge influx of new candidates, it might not be a bad idea to expand the required comments to the top 12 or 15. Right now, we're really only commenting on 2 relative old-timers (Tiant and Bonds). It could be helpful to mandate further discussion on Buddy Bell sitting in 11th or to ask for comments regarding recent top tenners like Rizzuto and Taylor.

   46. Chris Cobb Posted: December 17, 2013 at 11:50 PM (#4620010)
re required comments on more players:

fwiw, I've usually made it my practice to comments on the top 10 returning players, not just the returning players from the top 10. That would include Bell, Rizzuto, and Taylor in this case.

Of course, I am a high-consensus voter and I prepare comments on my ranked players down to 35, so commenting on all of the top 10 returning players doesn't add much work. For the low-consenus, stick-to-the-ballot voter, this would be adding work, for sure.
   47. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 18, 2013 at 01:33 AM (#4620028)
I'm happy to send you the file, Ivan. But just to be clear, I do not think my defensive numbers are better than what's on BB-ref for seasons before 1987. They're just a 50/50 weighting of the useful info contained within the old BP FRAA and Fielding Win Shares, which were all we had before TZ and DRA and SFR came along. I would strongly recommend a simple average of those three metrics for seasons up to 1986, and then yes definitely my FWAA after that.
   48. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 18, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4620168)
Thanks Dan, I think my e-mail is up to date.
   49. Howie Menckel Posted: December 18, 2013 at 01:38 PM (#4620198)

"fwiw, I've usually made it my practice to comments on the top 10 returning players, not just the returning players from the top 10."

I've always done that as well

   50. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 18, 2013 at 06:50 PM (#4620470)
Rob, you should be in . . . my email through site works, ping me off line and I can get you started, thanks a ton!
   51. Rob_Wood Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:45 PM (#4620622)

Joe, I tried to email you via the site but I don't think it worked. Why don't you email me when you get a chance? My email is robertowood@yahoo.com

   52. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 19, 2013 at 10:30 AM (#4620750)
Re:#13

Given the returning and imminent influx of high-quality contemporary candidates, i don't see the issue re the oldies because they are clearly inferior candidates. Else they would have been elected eons ago.

Also, we are not hurting at all for oldtimers. We have been abundantly fair. Especially because one era we might have too few of is the WW2 generation, and even with appropriate War credit, we just cant account for those whose careers never started or whose careers were nipped too early.

Taylor, Willis, and the rest have had plenty of time to be evaluated tirelessly, and they dont measure up to Schilling, Moose, or Smoltz, and probably not Edmonds or Lofton. So i do not see a big issue facing new voters at all. It will be years before any mistakes they make with backlog can truly affect anything. They have plenty of time to get into the swing.
   53. DL from MN Posted: December 19, 2013 at 12:13 PM (#4620862)
Joe - Are you running the mock-HOF ballot?
   54. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 19, 2013 at 04:31 PM (#4621137)
But what would you have us do? I feel pretty comfortable questioning Kenny Lofton, because I saw his whole career, even the part of it when he was a point guard at Arizona, and I pretty sure that he is getting a lot of love from that system.

What are my alternatives?


Depends. What do you do for a pitcher like Jim Palmer, who is worthy in part because he was backed by one of the best defensive teams around? Do you discount him because of the quality of his fielders, and if so how much?

Defensive metrics assume that the fielder is entirely responsible for what happens on a ball in play; it doesn't matter who's pitching. It's the flip side of using FIP/xFIP for evaluating pitchers, and it has the same issue - the underlying assumption that pitchers have no impact on ball-in-play results is incorrect, but because for most pitchers and fielders the results are sensible, and because it's an easy model to use conceptually, it's used uncritically even when it leads to results that appear at first blush to be nonsensical. But the further away we get from the center of the distribution - and when we're discussing elite players that is exactly where we are - the more likely it is that the model distorts the value of the player. If pitchers have any impact on BIP results > 0, then the 100/0 fielder/pitcher model undervalues above-average pitchers and overvalues above-average fielders, and those effects are most likely to be visible at the extremes.

As to what to do about it - pretty much the best we can do is to make a subjective adjustment at the extremes, based on the effects that we can see that various types of pitchers have and the limitations of the specific position.

-- MWE
   55. bjhanke Posted: December 20, 2013 at 04:33 AM (#4621506)
Mike - Not only is what you just said true, but it becomes more and more true the further you go back in history, because there are more errors. Trying to figure out how to split responsibility for unearned runs between pitcher and fielder is, as far as I know, a matter of taste. I don't know that anyone has presented a convincing argument as to where to draw that line. I do know that I stopped campaigning for Will White when Dan pointed out that he has a LOT of unearned runs, compared to other pitchers. Back in the 1880s, UER were a huge thing to account for. I don't agree that you should assign all responsibility to the pitcher, but I was assigning everything to the fielders, which is no better. Sooner or later, somebody, probably not me, will do a study of whether UER rates follow pitchers from team to team, or remain where the fielders are, regardless of pitcher. But I don't know of anyone who has done that yet, and it's a huge project.

On a completely different note, here's the comment that I had planned for Greg Maddux, but came up short of time to do before deadline. Also, it doesn't actually address anything that should affect Maddux's ranking. But it is about the godawful art of making predictions.

Last year, I said that the third-worst prediction I had ever made in writing about baseball was Sammy Sosa. The second-worst was Greg Maddux. When he moved from the Cubs to the Braves, I, noticing that his IP were huge, and that other pitchers attempting those IPs were having their arms fall off, predicted that Maddux would probably collapse soon. I spent the next three years repeating this. He spent the next decade proving me wrong. In my defense, there were three things I did not know about Greg that, if I had known them, would have kept me from embarrassing myself that badly. First, I didn't know about Bobby Cox and pitchers at that time. Second, I didn't know about Leo Mazzone and pitchers. I may not have known who Leo was, actually. And third, but most important, I did not know that Greg threw almost no curve balls. 57 different varieties of slider, yes, but very very few curves. I've known for decades that curve balls were possibly the worst thing you can do to your arm - maybe screwballs, and some of the spitball variants seem to have been very bad, as well. But at the time I made those predictions, there was no way for someone not actually employed in baseball to get the data on who threw how many of what. Now, you can. That's progress; even I can make better predictions than I used to. But there's no denying that my prediction on Greg was laughably bad. Even if you note that he got an IP break from the 1994-95 work stoppage, it was still a truly lousy prediction.

I also need to include the worst prediction I ever made, since the player involved will never appear on a HoM ballot. Geronimo Pena. Pena came up to the Cardinals at the same time as Ray Lankford and Todd Zeile. I did a book for The Sporting News, with Rob Rains, called The Top 100 Prospects in Baseball. I had all three of those guys in the top 20. In general, I was right about that. Lankford had exactly the career I predicted him to have. Zeile hit just about what I had predicted him to do, but I had placed him as a good defensive catcher, which he was. Not great, but good. Joe Torre, essentially, destroyed Zeile's chances of being any kind of truly good player. The Cards came up with a hot kid glove named Tom Pagnozzi, and manager Torre, remembering his own career, moved Zeile to third base. The problem was that Zeile was not nearly as bad a catcher as Torre had been. Moving him to third didn't take any great pressure off his game, so his bat didn't explode, like Joe's had. Instead, he went from being an A- hitter for a catcher to being a B- hitter for a 3B, to being a C hitter for a first baseman. Same hitter, but not behind the plate.

Pena was far, far, worse. He simply could not stay healthy. Geronimo Pena makes Bob Horner look like Cal Ripken. The prospect I saw looked like he would hit .300+, with 20+ homers, and a Gold Glove at second base. At the time, that's an All-Star. And he did that, for 62 whole games in 1992 (take a look at his career on BB-Ref, and you'll see what I mean). But then he got hurt, just like every other year. His career high in games played was 102. He got hurt, every year, with weirder and weirder injuries. Finally, his body could take no more, and he left the game. Joe Torre's response to Pena was to try to get him to pinch hit. Say what? Pena didn't need any help hitting. He needed help staying in the lineup. Torre's treatment of Pena and Zeile are two of the reasons that I think so little of Joe as a manager (although looking at Torre's managing career outside of the Yankees will wake you up, completely aside from Pena). Meanwhile, I spent about five years assuring Cardinal fans that Pena would have to stop getting weirdly hurt year after year, and we'd get the star we should. My fiasco with Pena, where I was widely ridiculed all over the STL press box for years, is one of the reasons that I make so few (approximately no) predictions about injuries. I'm just not any good at it. But man! That was one lousy set of predictions. All-Star to someone hitting a bit over .250, in a third of a year. Every year but 1992. Yeah. That will get you credibility among sportswriters.

Anyway, that's what I intended to write as a Greg Maddux comment. I sincerely doubt that it would have changed anyone's vote. Thanks for reading. - Brock Hanke
   56. Fridas Boss Posted: December 20, 2013 at 10:06 AM (#4621551)
Is there gonna be a BBTF Hall of Fame ballot like in year's past?
   57. DL from MN Posted: December 20, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4621588)
I'll post a mock-HoF ballot.
   58. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:30 AM (#4622844)
Mike, I do discount Palmer - a lot. After accounting for team defense and park, I have Palmer and Reuschel practically even. That being said, I agree with you wholeheartedly that pitchers having no impact on balls in play is simply not true.

Rob, just checked in, was away for a few days. Email pending. My email hasn't changed in eons, so it must be an issue with the site. I tried emailing you and also had issues. Maybe it's a javascript blocker thing - do you use one also?

DL - wasn't planning on it (don't think I've done that before, it was always a Grandma thing) but it looks like you have it covered? Thanks for setting up the thread.
   59. Ardo Posted: December 24, 2013 at 12:15 AM (#4623284)
Joey, what defensive metrics are you using to rank 3B? I reconsidered Bell vs. Ventura and the difference is in Bell's fWAR edge; their offense comes out equal. If you recommend something else, let me know.

Right now I have:
Bell
(Ken Boyer)
Bando
Ventura
Cey
   60. Ardo Posted: January 09, 2014 at 09:04 PM (#4635279)
I believe this is the first occasion when the HoM and HoF (player) inductees have matched perfectly.
   61. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 09, 2014 at 09:09 PM (#4635285)
Heh, good catch #60.
   62. bjhanke Posted: January 10, 2014 at 03:51 AM (#4635457)
Chris Fluit - If it makes you feel any better, I am one voter who discounts heavily for DH lack of defense (my vote was one of those who prevented Frank from reaching #2), but I did not give Piazza any defensive credit, for exactly the reason you mention. I see an undercurrent in the comments about pitch framing that indicate to me that, while the skill certainly exists, the ability to analyze it is not sufficiently developed to rely on, and so there seems to be a bit of overenthusiasm, which happens when you find out something new.

Chris Cobb - In my comment on Ben Taylor, I said that what I needed to make up my mind about him was to know if the very unusual defensive assignments of the white majors applies also the the black players, whether they were in leagues or not. It's the huge defensive responsibility of 1B in the DBE that makes them look so bad because they hit so badly. The best, actually, is George Sisler, who only played about 5 years before 1920, but was clearly the dominant first baseman in the game from the time he took over 1B until 1922 (his first cup of coffee was as a pitcher). If you can figure out whether those conditions applied to Taylor, or if the lack of quality competition allowed black teams to put slow sluggers there, because the barnstorming teams they mostly faced couldn't hit like major leaguers could, I'd know what to do. You are the only person I know who might know that, unless I can find a contact for Lloyd Johnson. So, do you have any info as hard to figure out as that? What did DBE 1B hit like? How were they rated as fielders? You tell me that, and I have my ranking settled. That's"all" I need right now. On offense, he certainly looks qualified to me. - Thanks in desperate advance - Brock Hanke
   63. IcicleReeder Posted: January 14, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4638751)
I've updated the election history database, but yahoo groups won't let me upload it. I'll try again later this week.

Is this "election history database" (spreadsheet?) available to anyone, or just to HOM voters.

If it's available to anyone interested, how could I obtain it?

Thank you.
   64. DL from MN Posted: January 14, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4638818)
We really need to have our own webpage or the history is going to fade away.
   65. DL from MN Posted: January 14, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4638946)
I created (and abandoned) a Google+ page a while ago. I can see if we can put the files up there.
   66. DL from MN Posted: January 15, 2014 at 12:36 AM (#4639211)
Looks like Google+ will allow you to share files directly from Google Drive. I'll see this weekend about getting a Hall of Merit account for Google Drive / Gmail / G+ and we can use that for collaboration.
   67. bjhanke Posted: January 15, 2014 at 02:52 AM (#4639245)
I was going through this thread, and noted that, in my Geronimo Pena paragraphs, I wrote that Joe Torre tried to make him "pinch hit." This is a brain fart. The accurate phrase would be "SWITCH hit." I'm serious. Torre had a hot prospect who could not stay in the lineup, and his response was to try to make a switch-hitter out of him. I have no idea how Torre came to that absurd conclusion. I can figure out what he did to Todd Zeile, because he was just revisiting his own career. But Pena a a switch-hitter? Why? He could hit just fine if he could stay healthy. - Brock
   68. djrelays Posted: January 15, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4639457)
I note this from Brock Hanke in post #55: "Not only is what you just said true, but it becomes more and more true the further you go back in history, because there are more errors. Trying to figure out how to split responsibility for unearned runs between pitcher and fielder is, as far as I know, a matter of taste. I don't know that anyone has presented a convincing argument as to where to draw that line. I do know that I stopped campaigning for Will White when Dan pointed out that he has a LOT of unearned runs, compared to other pitchers. Back in the 1880s, UER were a huge thing to account for. I don't agree that you should assign all responsibility to the pitcher, but I was assigning everything to the fielders, which is no better."

It makes me wonder at what point official scorers began to develop a group-think mentality. How far back does one go to find that the scorers were often beat writers who picked up the scoring assignment when the team was at home? Scorer/writer A would have seen how scorer/writer B was scoring similar plays when A was on the road. But when did that happen? And have there been other jumps in group-think, perhaps when games began to become nationally televised (Game of the Week, etc.)? Is there a timeline and continuum of people who might have been referred to as "the dean of scorers," someone so respected that other people adopted his view of ruling on hits and errors?
   69. DL from MN Posted: January 28, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4647493)
Plaque room needs updating and theorioleway is officially in charge of it at the moment. I'll try to update the "important links" thread.
   70. DL from MN Posted: February 04, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4651427)
Important links should be up to date (mostly). We do need plaques for Maddux, Thomas and Glavine.
   71. IcicleReeder Posted: February 07, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4653220)
I created (and abandoned) a Google+ page a while ago. I can see if we can put the files up there.


Long term, this is most likely the right thing to do.

Short term, it might be easier to simply email me directions on how to access the yahoo site.
If there is a problem with granting that access to me, then I guess I just have to wait. (sigh)
   72. DL from MN Posted: February 07, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4653325)
I think you just go to Yahoo Groups - Hall of Merit and sign up
   73. IcicleReeder Posted: February 10, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4654145)
Thank you. That wasn't hard. I just submitted my application there and will await approval by the group moderator.
   74. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 14, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4656771)
#64: Not volunteering, but Wordpress is free and easy to use. For things like plaque rooms and stuff it can do a nice job. And it's archives are searchable and tag able.
   75. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 16, 2014 at 12:12 AM (#4657509)
Hey, I don't really know where to put this but this is the most recently posted in HoM topic, so...

I've noticed that Bob Caruthers was elected in 1930 but doesn't have a plaque in the Hall of Meriters A-F topic. Just FYI.
   76. theorioleway Posted: June 06, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4720517)
I apologize for taking so long, but I just drafted the plaques for Maddux, Thomas, and Glavine and have sent it to rawagman and Rob Wood, who can edit and post on the site.
   77. theorioleway Posted: June 22, 2014 at 10:42 PM (#4733218)
Apparently Rob can't post them on the site - who should I send them to?
   78. Howie Menckel Posted: June 22, 2014 at 11:45 PM (#4733246)

a sincere thank you to everyone who points out any misses

internet being the internet, it can make one hesitate of course

but keep those fixes coming, says a Day One 1898 voter....
   79. DL from MN Posted: June 23, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4733581)
You can always e-mail them to Murphy
   80. theorioleway Posted: July 02, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4741855)
I've emailed them to Joe, and he's indicated he'll be able to put them up.

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