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Friday, December 23, 2011

Most Meritorious Player : 1968 Discussion

The year of the pitcher and our final year voting for 10 per ballot. Dominant aces propelled the Tigers and Cardinals into the postseason.

Voting will end on January 25th 2012.

               Win     BB-ref
               Shares  WAR
Bob Gibson     34.4	11.9
Denny McLain   32.7	5.9
Luis Tiant     27.7	7.2
Dave McNally   24.7	4.7
Fergie Jenkins 23.7	6.9
Tom Seaver     22.9     7.5
Stan Bahnsen   22.7	5.7
Mel Stottlemyre 21.3	4.6
Juan Marichal  24.0	6.1
Tommy John     14.3	4.8
Jerry Koosman  22.7	6.8
Sam McDowell   22.4	4.9
Dean Chance    21.4	5.4
Gaylord Perry  19.3	6.2

Carl Yastrzemski 38.3  10.1
Bert Campaneris 29.7	5.9
Bill Freehan    32.7	7.0
Henry Aaron     32.2	5.7
Pete Rose       32.4	5.8
Willie Mays     31.2	6.6
Willie McCovey  33.6	7.1
Jim Wynn        32.3	6.4
Don Buford      24.7	4.6
Roberto Clemente 24.9   7.1
Dick McAuliffe  28.0	5.5
Ron Santo       26.8	5.6
Willie Horton   28.3	5.6
Reggie Jackson  25.3	4.9
Frank Howard    37.8	5.7
Brooks Robinson 24.7    7.2
Ken Harrelson   28.3	5.0
Felipe Alou     31.6	6.1
Willie Mays     31.2	6.6
Roy White       28.3	4.5
Dick Allen      31.4	4.4
Lou Brock       31.1	5.1
Billy Williams  30.1	4.3
Rick Monday     26.1	3.9
Tom Haller      27.1	4.4
Johnny Bench    23.8	4.7
DL from MN Posted: December 23, 2011 at 04:17 PM | 58 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: December 23, 2011 at 04:46 PM (#4022656)
The Win Shares are from seamheads.com. I have been spending more time over there lately.
   2. Chris Fluit Posted: December 23, 2011 at 04:58 PM (#4022664)
Easy 1-2 this year. The real battle is for third place.
   3. DL from MN Posted: December 23, 2011 at 05:00 PM (#4022665)
1968 prelim

1) Bob Gibson
2) Carl Yastrzemski (Will anyone else make one of the top 2 slots?)
3) Bill Freehan - catcher bonus makes him clearly one of the top 5
4) Bert Campaneris - Dan R's data loves him in 1968
5) Henry Aaron
6) Pete Rose
7) Denny McLain
8) Willie Mays
9) Willie McCovey
10) Luis Tiant

11-15) Jim Wynn, Roberto Clemente, Don Buford, Dick McAuliffe, Ron Santo
16-20) Dave McNally, Willie Horton, Reggie Jackson, Frank Howard, Brooks Robinson
   4. Chris Fluit Posted: December 23, 2011 at 05:38 PM (#4022687)
1968 Prelim

1. Bob Gibson, P, St. Louis Cardinals: 258 ERA+, 304 IP
2. Carl Yastrzemski, LF, Boston Red Sox: 170 OPS+, 125 Runs Created, +25 fielding
3. Denny McLain, P, Detroit Tigers: those 336 innings sure are nice, especially with a 154 ERA+
4. Luis Tiant, P, Cleveland Indians
5. Bill Freehan, C, Detroit Tigers
6. Sam McDowell, P, Cleveland Indians
7. Willie McCovey, 1B, San Francisco Giants- the best position player in the NL
8. Dave McNally, P, Baltimore Orioles
9. Hank Aaron, RF, Atlanta Braves
10. Fergie Jenkins, P, Chicago Cubs

11. Tom Seaver
12. Frank Howard
13. Jerry Koosman
14. Pete Rose
15. Stan Bahnsen
   5. OCF Posted: December 23, 2011 at 06:40 PM (#4022734)
How about a side issue? Rank the best single-season years by pitchers. Say we restrict it to MLB and to since 1920 - or maybe since the retirements of Johnson and Alexander.

Here's a list by RA+ Pythpat equivalent record, converted into single-season Fibonacci Win Points. Of course, that ignores defensive support and the pitcher's own offense. It also doesn't adjust either for differing IP expectations in different time periods, or for the decentralization of RA in some periods. Since 1990, these last two have worked in opposite directions, with low IP expectations and large spreads of RA+. Also nothing here for either game leverage (that should enhance Grove in a few cases) or pennant leverage (don't know that I'd want to get into that.)

Gibson 1968 27-7
Gooden 1985 25-6
Carlton 1972 28-10
Luque 1923 27-10 (might want to exclude this and the next under the "since Johnson and Alexander retired" idea)
Faber 1921 27-10
Clemens 1997 24-6
Grove 1931 25-7
Perry 1972 27-11
Hubbell 1937 26-8
Martinez 2000 21-3
Hubbell 1933 26-9
Koufax 1966 26-10
Guidry 1978 2407
Seaver 1971 24-8
Chance 1964 23-7 (but he was a terrible hitter)
Grove 1932 24-8
Newhouser 1945 25-10
Maddux 1995 20-3
Gomez 1937 23-8
Grove 1930 24-8
Koufax 1963 25-10
Blue 1971 25-10
Newhouser 1946 24-9
Vance 1924 25-10
Valce 1928 23-8
Walters 1929 25-11
Roberts 1953 26-12
Palmer 1975 25-11
Martinez 1998 21-5
Seaver 1973 23-9
Feller 1940 25-11
Gomez 1934 23-8
Feller 1946 27-14
Martinez 1999 19-4
Parnell 1949 23-9
Hubbell 1933 24-11
Dean 1934 24-11
Carlton 1980 24-10
Palmer 1973 23-10
Faber 1922 26-13
Feller 1939 23-10
Maddux 1994 18-4 (question: is it fair to extrapolate this to a full season?)

I've missed some 21st Century years, and I've probably missed some great years by pitchers with lesser careers.

And there are all those other considerations.
   6. OCF Posted: December 23, 2011 at 07:02 PM (#4022743)
Splitting up Gibson's year into three phases.

1. Early in the year, April 10 through May 28. Gibson made 11 starts and had 97.2 IP. The team was 6-5 in those games; Gibson came out of a few of those games late and had a personal 4-4 record. Gibson's RA was 2.12 and the team allowed 2.18 R/G. But the Cardinals only scored 2.09 R/G in these 11 games. In fact, Gibson was pitching quite well but suffering from lack of offensive support.

2. The streak, June 2 through July 30. For Gibson: 11 starts, 11 CG, 99 IP, 3 runs. Took a run at Drysdale's scoreless inning streak record, but lost the streak after 47 innings to a 1st inning WP (against Drysdale, on July 1). But he wasn't done with the streak, not yet. So his RA, and the team's runs allowed per game, were 0.27. And NOW he was well-supported. In those 11 games, the Cardinals scored 4.18 R/G. So naturally, they won all 11.

3. The rest of the season, August 4 through September 27. For Gibson: 12 starts, 108 IP. He got the decision in all 12, and was 7-5. His RA was 1.92, with the team allowing 2.00 R/G. But he was back to being not all that well-supported, with 2.83 R/G scored for him. Included in here is his worst performance of the year, giving up 6 runs to the Pirates on August 24. But there are also four more shutouts, and a 0-1 loss.

Overall, the Cardinals were 24-10 in Gibson's 34 starts; his personal record was "only" 22-9.

Two things to note: one is that he did allow a little more than his share of unearned runs, so it doesn't look quite as good by RA as it does by ERA (but it's still way out there, even by RA). The second is that it doesn't look quite as good by DIPS theory as by RA - he did have BABIP working in his favor that year.
   7. DanG Posted: December 23, 2011 at 10:20 PM (#4022817)
Our customary survey of the top RP for 1968

Rk               Player WAR ERA+    WPA  WHIP GF GS    IP Year Age  Tm Lg  G  W  L SV  ERA  OPS
1           Wilbur Wood 3.8  171  2.959 1.006 46  2 159.0 1968  26 CHW AL 88 13 12 16 1.87 .572
2            Phil Regan 2.9  139  1.371 1.069 62  0 134.2 1968  31 TOT NL 73 12  5 25 2.27 .615
3         Ted Abernathy 2.4  129 
-0.159 1.227 53  0 135.1 1968  35 CIN NL 78 10  7 13 2.46 .640
4          Hoyt Wilhelm 2.3  185  1.430 0.993 39  0  93.2 1968  45 CHW AL 72  4  4 12 1.73 .515
5          Clay Carroll 2.3  118  1.657 1.153 44  1 144.0 1968  27 TOT NL 68  7  8 17 2.69 .621
6          Vicente Romo 2.1  188  1.914 0.901 30  1  84.1 1968  25 TOT ML 41  5  3 12 1.60 .501
7             Ron Kline 2.1  173  0.487 1.109 31  0 112.2 1968  36 PIT NL 56 12  5  7 1.68 .600
8            Cal Koonce 2.0  125  0.967 1.159 31  2  96.2 1968  27 NYM NL 55  6  4 11 2.42 .595
9           Frank Linzy 1.8  145  0.322 1.080 45  0  95.1 1968  27 SFG NL 57  9  8 12 2.08 .547
10          Joe Hoerner 1.8  199  1.287 0.939 33  0  49.0 1968  31 STL NL 47  8  2 17 1.47 .495
11          Don McMahon 1.7  159  1.794 1.016 14  0  81.2 1968  38 TOT AL 45  5  2  1 1.98 .549
12              Jim Ray 1.6  112 
-0.197 1.111 14  2  81.0 1968  23 HOU NL 41  2  3  1 2.67 .607
13      Jack Billingham 1.6  129  0.765 1.178 26  1  71.1 1968  25 LAD NL 50  3  0  8 2.14 .571
14           Jim Brewer 1.6  111  3.462 1.211 39  0  76.0 1968  30 LAD NL 54  8  3 14 2.49 .595 
   8. OCF Posted: December 23, 2011 at 10:49 PM (#4022822)
Cardinal team record when Gibson allowed:

0 runs: 13-0
1 run: 8-3 (one of the three losses was 0-2, with a run allowed in relief)
2 runs: 0-0
3 runs: 2-4
4 or more runs: 1-3

Joe Hoerner was pretty effective per inning, somewhat surprisingly making DanG's list since he only had 49 IP. He wasn't exactly overworked. In 1967, the position of "bullpen ace" or most trusted reliever was shared between Hoerner (LHP) and Willis (RHP). In 1968, Willis had a bad year, although he still got some of the high-leverage outings. Of course, neither one saw much action in Gibson's starts.

Dal Maxvill batted .253. With a laughable lack of power. Which was well above his career raw BA, and which made him, in a 1968 offensive context, an unsung hero.
   9. fra paolo Posted: December 23, 2011 at 11:58 PM (#4022847)
I did this for DL only to find he'd already posted the thread. It has a Win Shares Above Bench column, which makes an interesting comparison with WAR:
Player WSAB WS WAR (BB-ref)
Bob Gibson 24.1 34.4 12.2
Carl Yastrzemski 25.8 38.3 10.1
Tom Seaver 13.5 22.9 7.4
Brooks Robinson 10.5 24.7 7.2
Ferguson Jenkins 13.2 23.7 7.1
Roberto Clemente 14.2 24.9 7.1
Willie McCovey 22.6 33.6 7.1
Bill Freehan 17.9 32.7 7.0
Jerry Kooseman 13.7 22.7 6.8
Willie Mays 19.1 31.2 6.6
Luis Tiant 18.9 27.7 6.4
Jimmy Wynn 19.2 32.3 6.4
Juan Marichal 12.9 24.0 6.2
Felipe Alou 16.5 31.6 6.1
Bert Campaneris 13.4 29.7 5.9
Don Drysdale 9.9 18.0 5.8
Pete Rose 19.1 32.4 5.8
Hank Aaron 19.2 32.2 5.7
Frank Howard 25.5 37.8 5.7
Willie Horton 17.3 28.3 5.6
Jim Northrup 11.6 24.5 5.6
Ron Santo 12.6 26.8 5.6
Dick McAuliffe 13.3 28.0 5.5
Tony Perez 10.5 24.9 5.5
Denny McLain 21.3 32.7 5.4
Dick Allen 20.1 31.4 4.4
Lou Brock 18.0 31.1 5.1
Ken Harrelson 16.4 28.3 5.0
Rusty Staub 16.0 28.4 3.8
Curt Flood 13.1 27.2 4.0
Tom Haller 14.3 27.1 4.4
Reggie JAckson 13.2 25.3 4.9
Dave McNally 15.5 24.7 5.0
Don Buford 14.5 24.7 4.6
Rick Monday 13.9 26.1 3.9
Mickey Mantle 13.9 23.9 `3.6
Stan Bahnsen 13.5 22.7 5.0
   10. fra paolo Posted: December 24, 2011 at 12:01 AM (#4022849)
The columns lined up in the preview, sorry.
   11. OCF Posted: December 24, 2011 at 12:45 AM (#4022861)
Since 1921, league seasons with runs per team game below 4.0. (Technically, this is runs per 9 IP, not runs per game).

1968 AL 3.42
1968 NL 3.42
1972 AL 3.48
1967 AL 3.69
1963 NL 3.82
1967 NL 3.84
1943 AL 3.85
1988 NL 3.87
1992 NL 3.88
1972 NL 3.89
1971 AL 3.89
1966 AL 3.90
1981 NL 3.90
1942 NL 3.91
1971 NL 3.92
1945 AL 3.93
1989 NL 3.94
1943 NL 3.95
1965 AL 3.96
1946 NL 3.99
1976 NL 3.99

1968 was, shall we say, different?

Let's go the other way. Before 1921, what years show up below 3.42?

NL 1908 3.34 (Honus Wagner's biggest year)

And that's it. There were years like 3.44 and 3.48 in the Dead Ball era - but not 3.42 or below.
   12. OCF Posted: December 24, 2011 at 01:31 AM (#4022886)
A few pitchers, by RA+ PythPat:

McLain 25-13
Tiant 21-8 (bad hitter)
Bahnsen 18-11 (bad hitter)
Chance 19-14 (bad hitter)
Wood 12-5 (17-8 with inherited runner adjustment)

Gibson 27-7 (fairly good hitter)
Seaver 20-11
Jenkins 21-13 (fairly good hitter)
Koosman 19-11 (fairly bad hitter)
Perry 20-16 (bad hitter)
Marichal 18-14
Drysdale 16-11 (with a famous scoreless inning streak early in the season)

The #2 and #3 pitchers are McLain and Tiant in some order. The order between them is not clear to me.
   13. AndrewJ Posted: December 24, 2011 at 08:35 PM (#4023120)
OCF>> Thanks for the list in #5. Two questions:

1) Where would Randy Johnson's best season rank on that list?

2) Has any post-1920 pitcher ever been more awesome over a three-year span than Pedro from 1998-2000 (a RA+ Pythpat of 61-12)?
   14. OCF Posted: December 24, 2011 at 09:41 PM (#4023138)
For Randy Johnson, I have 22-8 in 1999, 21-7 in 2001, and 22-7 in 2002. Make those 22.3-7.9, 21.1-6.6, and 21.7-7.2 so that all three are essentially equal in single-year FWP.

To answer your other question, I looked at two consecutive years, three consecutive years, and 4 consecutive years. Of course, "consecutive" might not be a particularly good criterion, but I suppose it's an outgrowth of talking about single seasons.

Two consecutive years:

Grove 49-15 (1931-32)
Gibson 51-18 (1968-69)
Martinez 41-7 (1999-2000)
Faber 53-23 (1921-22, which might be too early)
Hubbell 50-19 (1933-34)
Newhouser 49-18 (1945-46, not war-adjusted)
Koufax 51-22 (1965-66)
Maddux 38-8 (1994-95, strike-asterisk)
Clemens 43-13 (1997-98)
Johnson 43-14 (2001-02)
Feller 48-21 (1939-40)
Marichal 47-20 (1965-66)
Roberts 51-25

Then the consecutive three years, which is what you asked:

Grove 73-24 (1930-32)
Martinez 61-13 (1998-2000) (Differs from what you said because of roundoff)
Gibson 72-29 (1968-70)
Newhouser 72-30 (1944-46)
Hubbell 71-30 (1932-34)
Koufax 69-29 (1964-66)
Maddux 59-17 (1993-95)
Feller 73-34 (1939-41)
Roberts 75-38 (1952-54)
Johnson 62-22 (2000-02)
Faber 74-37 (1920-22)
Seaver 66-28

And four consecutive years:

Grove 94-33 (1929-32)
Martinez 82-19 (1997-2000)
Koufax 94-38 (1963-66)
Hubbell 95-41 (1933-36)
Johnson 85-30 (1999-2002)
Maddux 80-25 (1992-95) (and nearly as good 1994-97)
Newhouser 91-42 (1944-47)
Roberts 97-51 (1951-54)
Seaver 86-37 (1968-71)
Gibson 87-41 (1968-71)
   15. AndrewJ Posted: December 24, 2011 at 09:58 PM (#4023145)
Much appreciated. Reaffirms my belief that we've just concluded a truly historic era for dominant starters.
   16. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 24, 2011 at 11:15 PM (#4023168)
...and the name of the best pitcher of the era (80's-90's-00's) doesn't even appear on the list, because his best seasons were nonconsecutive.
   17. OCF Posted: December 24, 2011 at 11:42 PM (#4023176)
I noticed that. That's exactly why I made the remark about "consecutive" not being a particularly good criterion. (Although if you recheck my post you will see Clemens on the two year list.)

To bring it back to 1968, Gibson does very well based on in 1968 (27-7) and 1969 (24-10) seasons, and very well for three years with 1970 (21-11). But trying to go to four years consecutive runs us into his subpar 1971 (15-12) and his subpar and hurt 1967 (11-8), with better years on the other sides of this in 1972 and 1964-66. Four consecutive years (and ignoring his own offense) is precisely how to display Koufax in the best possible light.

I haven't checked Dan R's numbers on the issue of best single season, but I have a feeling that his vote is going to be for Gooden 1985.
   18. Chris Fluit Posted: December 24, 2011 at 11:47 PM (#4023178)

The #2 and #3 pitchers are McLain and Tiant in some order. The order between them is not clear to me.


I agree. I have McLain ahead of Tiant but it's very close.
   19. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 25, 2011 at 03:52 AM (#4023227)
Ah yes, there he is. The second back-to-back Cys.

Indeed--counting for standard deviations Gooden stands out.
   20. Giants fan since 66 Posted: December 26, 2011 at 03:35 AM (#4023397)
ocf I am not a sabermetrics guy but in your analysis of great seasons by pitchers you had no reference to any of Juan Marichals great seasons why not?
   21. Giants fan since 66 Posted: December 26, 2011 at 03:36 AM (#4023399)
I saw Marichal and Gibson pitch and Juan was as good as Gibson, only surpassed by Koufax in that era.
   22. Giants fan since 66 Posted: December 26, 2011 at 03:41 AM (#4023401)
Gibson had one of the great seasons of all time in 1968, but like Drysdale during his streak and Hershiser in 1988 let's look at their body of work for their career, Marichal had a better career than Gibson, shortened because of back problems. Of course Gibson had those great WS, the 60's Giants (5 hall of famers) were the great underachievers of all time.
   23. OCF Posted: December 26, 2011 at 03:58 AM (#4023402)
Marichal's 1965 should have been on the list, at an equivalent 24-9. And his 1966, at 23-11, isn't that far off the list.

let's look at their body of work for their career, Marichal had a better career than Gibson

No he didn't. I've got Gibson's career equivalent record at 265-166 and Marichal's at 226-164. That's a pretty substantial difference in Gibson's favor.

Marichal is one of the handful of modern pitchers whose credited W-L record is far better than his RA+ equivalent record; it's in the same general territory as Jack Morris and even more extreme than Catfish Hunter. Marichal was very well supported by his offenses. (More so even then his sometimes teammate Gaylord Perry - Dag Nabbit could tell you more about that.) Now, Marichal was a great pitcher anyway, and fully deserving of his election to the HoM (unlike Morris or Hunter) - but he wasn't Gibson.
   24. Howie Menckel Posted: December 26, 2011 at 04:14 AM (#4023405)
Yes, I believe the weird run support difference between Marichal and Perry may be the most extreme in history re 2 great pitchers and extended time as teammates.

The Hall of Merit's 'modern era' pitcher voting on this site had Gibson trouncing Marichal; I think all 19 voters may have had Gibby 1st, otherwise 18:

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

And yes, Marichal HOFer and HOMer of course.

Koufax was a GREAT peak pitcher, but he didn't blow away many of these other guys once adjusting for pitcher's park and non-scorin era. And the other guys threw in 8-10 extra strong seasons, which is why Koufax can't compete career-wise, though he's another easy HOFer and HOMer. tough field...
   25. Giants fan since 66 Posted: December 26, 2011 at 06:34 AM (#4023438)
I agree Gaylord never got any support much like Matt Cain today. I agree Marichal benifited from The Giants offense but Gibson wasn't better, I saw them pitch against each other Marichal had pinpoint control and threw 5 different pitches for strikes consistently, Gibson was great amd like Drysdale a fearless competitor, but Juan was a freak of nature.
   26. OCF Posted: December 26, 2011 at 07:28 AM (#4023446)
Just for grins, I looked up all games in which Gibson and Marichal opposed each other. I only found 8. (There were two more games, both in 1960, in which Marichal started and Gibson appeared in relief; I ignored those two games.) The distribution of those games: 1 in 1960, 2 in 1962, 1 in 1964, 1 in 1965, 1 in 1967, 1 in 1968, 1 in 1969. Which skews early in Gibson's career and note that Marichal peaked before Gibson did.

In those 8 games, the Cardinals outscored the Giants 40-21 and won 6 of the 8 games. Gibson averaged 7.8 innings per start and a game score of 62.5; Marichal averaged 7.1 innings per start and a game score of 52.4. Each pitcher had three complete games, but all three of Gibson's CG were shutouts.

Conclusion: they didn't face each other all that much (I wasn't copying it down, but I got the impression that Gibson faced Perry more often), but when they did, Gibson was the better pitcher.

Which is all a small sample that proves nothing. But if you want large samples, see posts 23 and 24, and read the Gibson and Marichal threads here in the HoM.
   27. OCF Posted: December 26, 2011 at 06:02 PM (#4023553)
Our guest, in his screen name, proclaims himself to be a Giants fan since '66. Of the 8 games mentioned in the previous post, only three qualify as "since '66":

April 11, 1967, in St. Louis. Gibson pitched a complete game shutout with a game score of 90. (!) Marichal stayed in through 7 innings but allowed 6 runs, for a game score of 26. The Cardinals won the game 6-0.

July 6, 1968, in San Francisco. As part of his fabulous mid-summer hot streak (see post 6 above), Gibson pitched a complete game shutout with a game score of 80. Marichal also pitched a complete game, allowing 3 runs with a game score of 60. The Cardinals won the game 3-0.

August 10, 1969, in San Francisco. Through 7 innings, the Giants held a 4-2 lead. Gibson was pulled for a pinch hitter in the top of the 8th. The Cardinals scored one run that inning but still trailed 4-3. The Giants then pinch hit for Marichal in the bottom of the 8th, with the score staying 4-3. In the top of the 9th, Don McMahon came in with the one-inning save opportunity. He blew the save with a 1-out solo HR by Mike Shannon. A double by Javier and a strikeout-wild pitch left two runners on. Mudcat Grant (who had pitched the bottom of the 8th) batted for himself and singled to drive in the winning run. Two more runs would score, leaving it 7-4 Cardinals. Grant then closed out the bottom of the 9th, and the Cardinals won the game 7-4. Grant was the winning pitcher (and got the GWRBI); McMahon was the losing pitcher. Marichal (8 IP, 3 R, game score 61) pitched somewhat better than Gibson (7 IP, 4R, 2 ER, game score 53).
   28. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 26, 2011 at 06:19 PM (#4023567)
Gibson started eight times each against both Marichal and Perry in his career. There were only four pitchers Gibson faced more often: Seaver (11 times), Chris Short (10 times), Drysdale (9), and Fergie Jenkins (9); he also faced Spahn, Ken Johnson, and Jim O'Toole eight times apiece. He faced Koufax just five times.

-- MWE
   29. Giants fan since 66 Posted: December 27, 2011 at 01:50 AM (#4023728)
Ok guys obviously I don't have access to the statistics that u do and I don't know sabermetrics... yet. I didn't mean to say that I saw them face each other, because I don't recall any of the games u mentioned although I probably listened to them on the radio. I am going on the fact that I saw both of them pitch many times. Thanks for setting me straight... In my opinion as someone who has played the game and been a fan for many years, Marichal was as good as Gibson and should have gone into the hall on first ballot. It's the same argument I have with guys about Aaron and Mays. Anyone who saw Willie play day in and day out would conclude he was a greater player. I am here to learn, how do I get started on sabermetrics, any suggestions?
   30. Giants fan since 66 Posted: December 27, 2011 at 01:55 AM (#4023730)
Just an aside, Herman Franks the Giants manager at the time had a habit of pitting Perry against other teams aces, so Marichal would have a better chance of winning, could this explain the lack of support? Is that worth looking up "just for grins"?
   31. Howie Menckel Posted: December 27, 2011 at 02:11 AM (#4023733)
I would suggest, in getting started, looking at OPS+ and ERA+ as numbers on baseball-reference.com.

ERA+ is a number where 100 is average for that league in that year, adjusted for that park.
OPS+ (simplifying here) is on-base pct and slugging avg, similar adjustments.

What that does is allow you to compare a batter in a 1930s bandbox with one in current-era San Diego. Any current Padres hitter would do better in that park, and vice versa. The adjustments give a rough approximation of where that Padre batter matches the quality of that bandbox hitter.

As you look closer, you see that great hitters have OPS+s of 150-16-170 - and the out-of-this-world guys can hit 200 or more.

We agree with you on Mays vs Aaron, but it would be more complicated if Mays only was "Mays" for 7 or 8 years. Then Mays would have the better "prime," but we'd give credit for Aaron's endless string of strong years, too. The point at which a long-career quality hitter catches up to a short-prime great hitter is a fair point of debate.

I think someone here may have the answer to your "Perry vs aces" question.
But a point to consider is that however great Marichal was (and I used to imitate that leg kick as a kid, albeit left-handed), his W-L record had as much to do with how many runs he was given that day - true for all pitchers.
   32. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: December 27, 2011 at 02:33 AM (#4023740)
Just an aside, Herman Franks the Giants manager at the time had a habit of pitting Perry against other teams aces, so Marichal would have a better chance of winning, could this explain the lack of support? Is that worth looking up "just for grins"?


Probably not. Franks was his manager for 4 years, 1965-1968. In 1965 and 1966, his record at a glance looks to be in line with his performance. In 1967 and 68 it is well below his performance. Looking at his 1967 game logs, his opponents when he got 3 or fewer runs of support:

STL - Ray Washburn
CIN - Mel Queen
NYM - Jack Fisher
HOU - Larry Dierker
PHI - Jim Bunning
CIN - Milt Pappas
STL - Dick Hughes
ATL - Phil Niekro
STL - Jim Cosman
PHI - Chris Short
CHI - Ray Culp
PHI - Bunning
STL - Nelson Briles
CIN - Mel Queen
STL - Hughes
CIN - Queen
HOU - Dave Guisti
CHI - Fergie Jenkins
PIT - Steve Blass
PHI - Rick Wise

5 starts against the Cardinals, and no Bob Gibson. Now, that was a poor (for him) year for Gibson, but there is no doubt he was the Card's ace. Likewise, 5 games against the Reds and no Jim Maloney. Phil Niekro was certainly the best pitcher on the Braves, but as a 28 year old getting his first significant playing time, he was nobody a manager would arrage his rotation around. Bunning, Short, and maybe Jenkins were legit aces, but that's just 4 of 20 starts. feel free to check out 1968 here.
   33. Giants fan since 66 Posted: December 27, 2011 at 03:48 AM (#4023764)
starts against the Cardinals, and no Bob Gibson. Now, that was a poor (for him) year for Gibson, but there is no doubt he was the Card's ace. Likewise, 5 games against the Reds and no Jim Maloney. Phil Niekro was certainly the best pitcher on the Braves, but as a 28 year old getting his first significant playing time, he was nobody a manager would arrage his rotation around. Bunning, Short, and maybe Jenkins were legit aces, but that's just 4 of 20 starts. feel free to check out 1968 here.

Great Information gentlemen, thanks! I just checked out Baseball reference site, it is a treasure trove of info. thanks.


"We agree with you on Mays vs Aaron, but it would be more complicated if Mays only was "Mays" for 7 or 8 years. Then Mays would have the better "prime," but we'd give credit for Aaron's endless string of strong years, too. The point at which a long-career quality hitter catches up to a short-prime great hitter is a fair point of debate."

Yeah that is a problem when comparing Mantle with Mays, or comparing Koufax to say, Spahn.
   34. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 27, 2011 at 02:44 PM (#4023839)
Just an aside, Herman Franks the Giants manager at the time had a habit of pitting Perry against other teams aces, so Marichal would have a better chance of winning, could this explain the lack of support?


Franks did tend to spot Marichal against secondary starters, although there wasn't necessarily any one pitcher he'd use against the ace. Marichal did have fewer starts than Perry against opposition aces from 1966-1968, although most of that advantage was due to Perry being used heavily against them in 1966.

Opposition aces, in this context, is defined loosely as the team's Opening Day starter - I say loosely because there were occasional circumstances where a team would start someone else on Opening Day who was clearly not the ace - for example, Alston usually didn't start Koufax on Opening Day.

But as Misirlou correctly notes, that doesn't explain Perry's lack of run support when compared to Marichal.

-- MWE
   35. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 29, 2011 at 10:43 PM (#4025438)
Prelim (No post-season bonus and a 6% demerit for AL players):

1) Bob Gibson
2) Carl Yastrzemski
3) Frank Howard
4) Willie McCovey
5) Pete Rose
6) Bill Freehan
7) Denny McLain
8) Jim Wynn
9) Willie Mays
10) Luis Tiant
   36. OCF Posted: December 29, 2011 at 10:47 PM (#4025440)
The only thing that surprises me about that is finding enough space between Tiant and McLain to fit four other players.
   37. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 29, 2011 at 10:55 PM (#4025445)
The only thing that surprises me about that is finding enough space between Tiant and McLain to fit four other players.


That was an error, OCF. Tiant should have been at the bottom.
   38. fra paolo Posted: December 30, 2011 at 11:54 AM (#4025680)
Using Win Shares Above Bench, which players' contributions were hardest to replace during the 1968 season?

Bert Campaneris, with 13.4, offers more than double the value of Dal Maxvill, with 6.4.

Willie McCovey's 22.6 at 1B approaches half as much again as his closest rival, Houston's Rusty Staub at 16.

Bill Freehan (17.9) is 25 per cent better than Tom Haller (14.3).

By contrast, Carl Yastrzemski has a minute advantage over Frank Howard (25.8 to 25.5), Jimmy Wynn and Willie Mays are awfully close in centre and their 19.2/19.1 ratio is identical to that offered by Hank Aaron and Pete Rose in right.

Rounding out the positions:

At pitcher, Bob Gibson 24.1 over Denny McLain 21.3
At 2B, Don Buford 14.5 over Dick McAuliffe 13.3
At 3B, Ron Santo 12.6 over Brooks Robinson 10.5

If one finds merit in being siginficantly better than one's positional peers, Campaneris, McCovey and Freehan all look to deserve a bit of a lift.
   39. DL from MN Posted: December 30, 2011 at 12:43 PM (#4025682)
I agree about Freehan but Yaz could play 1B if you needed him to do so. That doesn't help McCovey's case. Also McAuliffe could play SS which doesn't help Campaneris. "Position" is a somewhat flexible idea.
   40. Howie Menckel Posted: December 31, 2011 at 03:37 AM (#4026110)
Giantsfan, I hope you are enjoying your visits here.

A little dizzying at first, but lots of hardcore baseball fans. We may interpret the game differently, but we love baseball and so do you...
   41. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: December 31, 2011 at 05:49 AM (#4026139)
A little dizzying at first, but lots of hardcore baseball fans. We may interpret the game differently, but we love baseball and so do you...

I DONT LIKE BASEBALL I JUST LIKE ARGUING

AT GUNPOINT

NOT EVEN IN THE SAME ZIP CODE
   42. OCF Posted: December 31, 2011 at 07:01 AM (#4026147)
Fred et al.: what was that comment for? "Giants fan" has not behaved like a troll, and there's no call to insult him.
   43. lieiam Posted: January 01, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4026643)
Here's my preliminary ballot.
It still only consists of 6 of the 7 systems I usually use so I presume it will change when I get around to getting bpWARP1 included. This list includes my usual (10%) catcher bonus.
1-bob gibson 9581
2-carl yastrzemski 9296
(i'm surprised how close gibson and yaz are)
3-bill freehan 8127
4-willie mccovey 7469
5-denny mclain 7405
6-hank aaron 7300
7-frank howard 7226
8-willie mays 7061
9-luis tiant 6876
10-jimmy wynn 6832
next up:
Rose, Campaneris, FAlou, Clemente, Allen
   44. Giants fan since 66 Posted: January 01, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4026645)
"Giantsfan, I hope you are enjoying your visits here."

Thanks Howie M, I am.


"Fred et al.: what was that comment for? "Giants fan" has not behaved like a troll, and there's no call to insult him."

Thanks for the kind words OCF. I apologize if I came across as a argumentative. I have admitted I am just beginning to learn sabermetrics, but A knowledge of baseball involves much more then analyzing numbers on paper. I am very knowledgable about traditional numbers and have seen all of the great players of the last 50 years play and have an opinion on them. I am here to learn your methods to add to my knowledge, I also apologize for detracting from your great discussion about 1968, a season I remember well, but when attacked I must respond.

I have one more question if I may, OPS is an interesting number, but wouldn't it be more accurate to include SB minus CS in total bases when figuring SlugPct.? This gives 5 tool players Granderson, Kemp, etc. their due when comparing them to guys like Pujols, Fielder etc.
   45. OCF Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4026707)
OPS+ is a crude measure, and intentionally doesn't included a lot of things, including baserunning. And we argue some about what it distorts - that it may undervalue OBP. More comprehensive systems - WAR, WARP, Win Shares, Dan R's numbers - do try to include everything.

SB-CS by itself would be far too generous to basestealers, since it would make 50% success the break-even point. Every study that has looked at it puts the break-even point at a much higher percentage than that. Two other points: it would make more sense to me to charge CS against OBP than against SLG, and SB are not like SLG in that they don't advance other baserunners.

Another point is that a speedy player's double may be less likely to drive in a runner from first than a slower player's double.

Base stealing is only part of baserunning. Some players are good or bad baserunners in ways that don't correspond all that well to SB-CS statistics. Two places to look for a discussion of this are the individual player threads for Paul Molitor and Robin Yount. (You can find those through the "important links" page, which you have found.) Some of comprehensive systems do take non-SB baserunning into account.
   46. Carl Goetz Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:06 AM (#4027026)
Alright, here's my crack at top 10 based on Wins Shares Above Bench (WSAB)

1)Bob Gibson 24.1 - Slightly smaller number than Yaz, but Yaz has closer competition in LF (and overall hitter) from Frank Howard. Gibson was clearly the best pitcher by a long shot in the NL and only McLain was somewhat close overall.
2)Carl Yastrzemski 25.8 - Best WSAB in baseball deserves a top 2 ranking.
3)Frank Howard 25.5 - Very close to Yaz, but slightly behind.
4)Denny McLain 21.3 - Clearly the 2nd best pitcher behind Gibson.
5)Bill Freehan 17.9 - 17.9 is a fantastic WSAB for a Catcher so he ranks higher than his number would indicate.
6)Willie McCovey 22.6 - Alot of strong performances in 1968 makes Willie 6th with a pretty impressive WSAB.
7)Luis Tiant 18.3 - Again, clearly the 3rd best pitcher in baseball.
8)Dick Allen 20.1 - A step above the 4 man OF Glut below.
9)Don Buford 14.5 - A Strong total for a middle infielder and I wanted to include one in the top 10. Buford narrowly edges Campameris and McAuliffe for the honor.
10) 4- way tie right now between Jimmy Wynn, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Pete Rose who were all in the 19.1-19.2 range. I'll select one of the 4 before ballots are due.
   47. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:59 AM (#4027078)
"Fred et al.: what was that comment for? "Giants fan" has not behaved like a troll, and there's no call to insult him."

No insult intended - I was just being silly. Sorry 'bout that.
   48. Howie Menckel Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:21 AM (#4027087)
Well, I think OCF backstopped you, so maybe we're all good again....

welcome, Giants fan since 1966
   49. sunnyday2 Posted: January 07, 2012 at 08:45 AM (#4031055)
Circa 1968 there would have been no doubt whatsoever that it was 1) McLain and 2) Gibson. Much to my surprise my prelim says Yaz.
   50. DanG Posted: January 07, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4031090)
Don Buford 14.5 - A Strong total for a middle infielder
Buford played more innings in the OF than at 2B in 1968, 511 to 369 DI.
   51. DL from MN Posted: January 11, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4034079)
Bump to the top, we have a week until voting begins.
   52. lieiam Posted: January 14, 2012 at 10:31 PM (#4037255)
Dan G:
Any chance you can provide us with the baseball prospectus WARP leaders like you usually do?
If so that would be great!
   53. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 16, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4038219)
Circa 1968 there would have been no doubt whatsoever that it was 1) McLain and 2) Gibson. Much to my surprise my prelim says Yaz.


Yaz is going to look good in 1968 in large part because he led the majors in OBP, 35 points higher than anyone else, in a run-scoring context where isolated OBP wasn't as valuable. Not to say that he *wasn't* one of the top performers in the league - he did have a top-10 finish in the MVP voting - but most offensive methods break down to some extent when applied to extreme environments - both extreme hitting and extreme pitching.

-- MWE
   54. DanG Posted: January 18, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4039218)
Any chance you can provide us with the baseball prospectus WARP leaders like you usually do?
Better late than never.

1968          WARP1 WARP3
Bob Gibson     14.1 13.3
Denny McLain   10.7 9.2
Luis Tiant      9.9 8.7
Bill Freehan    8.7 8.4
Dave McNally    9.0 7.8
Henry Aaron     8.6 8.2
C
Yastrzemski  8.7 7.9
Fergie Jenkins  8.6 7.7
Stan Bahnsen    8.3 7.1
Tom Seaver      8.1 7.3
Bert Campaneris 8.0 7.2
Wilbur Wood     7.6 7.0
Willie Mays     7.2 6.8
Jim Wynn        7.1 6.8
Mel Stottlemyre 7.5 6.1
Jerry Koosman   7.2 6.3
Ron Santo       6.9 6.6
Willie McCovey  6.8 6.4
R
Clemente     6.8 6.4
Juan Marichal   6.8 5.6
Tony Perez      6.3 6.0
Dean Chance     6.7 5.4
Brooks Robinson 6.4 5.7
Bob Veale       6.4 5.7
Don Drysdale    6.3 5.7
Pete Rose       6.2 5.8
Tommy John      6.2 5.6
Sam McDowell    6.5 5.2
Luis Aparicio   6.1 5.6
Gaylord Perry   6.0 5.1
Tom Haller      5.5 5.3
Ron Hunt        5.5 5.3
Don Buford      5.6 4.9
Jim Nash        5.7 4.7
Johnny Bench    5.2 5.2 
   55. sunnyday2 Posted: January 18, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4039323)
Prelim

1. Gibson
2. Yaz--I said above that he was 1st in my 1st cut. But I know I'm gonna have Gibson above him regardless so I'll fix it now. Even so, I gotta say that DanG's WAR numbers for the pitchers seem so extreme as to defy credibility, don't you think?
3. Freehan
4. McLain
5. McCovey
6. Howard--the top 6 are soooo close, I could argue almost any order though, like I said, I know I want Gibson #1. After that, it's all still up in the air.
7. Tiant--below Tiant is a total crapshoot, I have no clue who I like, so these 3 guys are placeholders.
8. Rose
9. B. Williams
10. Mays or Harrelson or Brock
   56. lieiam Posted: January 18, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4039969)
Thanks DanG for the numbers in comment 54!
   57. Al Peterson Posted: January 23, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4043813)
1968 MMP Prelim ballot. Year of the pitcher indeed!

1. Bob Gibson
2. Carl Yastrzemski
3. Denny McLain
4. Luis Tiant
5. Bill Freehan
6. Willie McCovey
7. Henry Aaron
8. Willie Mays
9. Frank Howard
10. Tom Seaver

11-15: Jenkins, McNally, Wynn, Campaneris, Allen
   58. neilsen Posted: January 27, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4047550)
My favorite play of the run starved 1968 season - Willie Mays at the age of 37 goes from 1st to home on a single to left against the Astros...and the Ginats win the game 1-0.

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