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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Bobby Grich

Eligible in 1992.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 10, 2006 at 11:12 PM | 61 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 10, 2006 at 11:15 PM (#2257357)
Can Grich sneak in above Rose (who I admit was the superior player) in '92?

(keeps fingers crossed) :-)
   2. Juan V Posted: December 11, 2006 at 01:00 AM (#2257462)
I hope so (I will be boycotting Rose).

Grich played before my time (the first players of whom I have actual memories become elegible in ยด96 or so), but how could I have never heard of him before I got into sabermetrics, and learned of historically underrated players by that point of view? I guess that speaks of how underrated he was.
   3. Astro-Bonilla Posted: December 11, 2006 at 01:07 AM (#2257467)
Grich is before my time as well; does anybody know why he retired when he did? It seems as though he was still an above average player at his position when he called it quits.
   4. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 11, 2006 at 01:11 AM (#2257468)
Grich is before my time as well; does anybody know why he retired when he did? It seems as though he was still an above average player at his position when he called it quits.


I recall that he had chronic back problems.
   5. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 11, 2006 at 01:24 AM (#2257475)
He did. Rumor had it that he first hurt his back carrying an air conditioning unit up to his new apartment after he got traded to the Angels.
   6. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 11, 2006 at 05:04 AM (#2257643)
Peng, that's what I have read too. I think Grich's departure was part of the collusion issue. He left after 1986, and while he may have been hurting, he hadn't lost all his skills, and was a free agent, IIRC. I don't pine for Kingman, but I kind of do for Grich. The added career totals would have helped maybe just a little....
   7. DCW3 Posted: December 11, 2006 at 08:27 AM (#2257724)
I sometimes wonder which current player will end up being the Bobby Grich of his era. By that, I mean a player who puts up Hall of Fame-caliber numbers, yet never gets the recognition he deserves--someone whose Baseball-Reference page will be spotted twenty-five years from now by some aspiring sabermetrician who will think, "Holy ####! How come I've never heard of this guy?"

Brian Giles seems like the most likely candidate to me. Another Bobby--Abreu--looked like he was on his way there, but his profile is likely going to be raised quite a bit by his move to New York.
   8. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: December 11, 2006 at 01:48 PM (#2257767)
I sometimes wonder which current player will end up being the Bobby Grich of his era. By that, I mean a player who puts up Hall of Fame-caliber numbers, yet never gets the recognition he deserves--someone whose Baseball-Reference page will be spotted twenty-five years from now by some aspiring sabermetrician who will think, "Holy ####! How come I've never heard of this guy?"

Jim Edmonds maybe? Travis Hafner? Lance Berkman?
   9. rawagman Posted: December 11, 2006 at 02:34 PM (#2257779)
Vernon Wells if he stays with the Jays
   10. kthejoker Posted: December 11, 2006 at 03:02 PM (#2257787)
Todd Helton, maybe, because he'll get dinged bigtime for playing in Colorado, and probably unfairly.
   11. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 11, 2006 at 03:22 PM (#2257800)
Agreed with Wells and Abreu.

Four other off-the-wall guesses, well, speculation really, and just idle talking points, don't take too seriously:

Carl Crawford: He's awfully young still and has his peak years ahead of him; has a ton of hits for his age; is developing more power; plays a super LF and probably could play CF for many teams (and maybe will in his next contract?). But he's toiling in absolute obscurity in TB. If he doesn't go to a big-market team and he stays around a while, he could have a very impressive total career without much in the way of fanfare.

Mike Cameron: The one place where people will be underrated in today's climate is defense. But maybe not in 20 years. Cameron's a very good not great hitter, but supposedly he's a fabulous, knock-out defender. Perhaps in the future we'll have a better idea of just how good he is and that will raise his stock in all of our eyes.

Eric Chavez: Same kind of argument that Cameron has, only at 3B, though shoulder injuries have really hurt him recently, and there's the whole business of his trouble with lefites.

Jimmy Rollins: He's over 1000 hits by age 27, Dewan sees him as a premium defender, and the Phils always fly under the radar. He could get really close to 3K and who would notice? Especially when he's in leagues with Jeter, A-Rod, Nomar, and Tejada? The line against says that he's not a good enough offensive player, and ends up like Omar instead of Nomar.
   12. andrew siegel Posted: December 11, 2006 at 03:39 PM (#2257810)
Edmonds without a doubt. He is goign to retire as one of the top 15 CF of All-Time and will fall off of the Hall of Fame ballot in one year.
   13. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 11, 2006 at 06:26 PM (#2257954)
Well there is Will Clark, though that isn't exactly a player of today...

I think that Giles and Abreu are decent guesses but neither is likely to be a real HOM/HOF candidate are they?

As for Grich, it turns out that he didn't look as good in my system as I have anticipated. Right now he ranks a little above Joe Gordon and Bobby Doerr (infact his prifle, good hitter, great fielder, isn't terribly different, though he had a longer career) and pretty close to Cupid Childs. Of course that is an easy PHOMer and probably a top five guy. However, he won't be #2 (I think I will boycott Rose) for me in 1992.
   14. Free Rob Base #3 Posted: December 11, 2006 at 06:32 PM (#2257959)
Some day nerds like us will wonder how Johnny Damon made the Hall of Fame, but Wells and Beltran didn't.
   15. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 11, 2006 at 06:37 PM (#2257960)
The All-Fell-Off-the-Ballot-in-One-Year Team is pretty dang good. I think there was some kind of rule change around 1987 that somehow made it possible to not fall off the ballot even if you were below a certain percentage (George Scott, for instance, got zero then one vote in 1986-1987) but I'm not certain. So I'll take it from 1987 onward:

C: Ted Simons (1994) Lance Parrish (2001) Gene Tenace (1989)
1B: Will Clark (2006)
2B: Bobby Grich (1992) Lou Whitaker (2001) Willie Randolph (1998)
3B: Darrell Evans (1995) Sal Bando (1987)
SS: Toby Harrah (1992) Bert Campeneris (1989)
CF: Reggie Smith (1988) Brett Butler (2003)
CR OF: Ken Singleton (1990) Jack Clark (1998)

SP: Dennis Martinez (2004)
SP: Dave Stieb (2004)
SP: Rick Reuschel (1997)
SP: Jimmy Key (2004)
SP: Steve Rogers (1991)
SP: Doc Gooden (2006)
SP: Frank Viola (2002)

RP: Dan Quisenberry (1996)
RP: Mike Marshall (1987)
RP: John Wetteland (2006)
RP: Jeff Montgomery (2005)
RP: Tom Henke (2001)
RP: Kent Tekulve (1995)
RP: Randy Myers (2004)
RP: Todd Worrell (2003)
RP: Doug Jones (2006)

Lots of should-be HOFs on this team. But that's not the issue to me. To me the issue is, in or out, the HOF voters have really missed the boat big time on a lot of great candidates.
   16. The District Attorney Posted: December 11, 2006 at 06:58 PM (#2257981)
I would say Edgar Renteria at SS, rather than Rollins. Renteria has 1,770 hits at the age of 31, but he probably won't reach 3,000 by virtue of simply not being good enough to play that long (I remember Steve Sax had a similar pace), and if he doesn't get the 3K, no one will much care how many he had. I do think he'll end up with a better career than Rollins, and of course he has the same "overshadowed" argument vis a vis Jeter, A-Rod, Nomar, Tejada, Vizquel. That said, I'm far from certain that Renteria will end up with a career actually deserving of the HOF himself.

Hell, Nomar himself might very well fade into history. He wasn't there when the Sox won (in fact, his being traded is generally regarded as a reason they won), and he had so many seasons where he didn't contribute much. People might not remember his tremendous years at SS, or they might think of him more as a good corner IF than as a superstar SS.
   17. rawagman Posted: December 11, 2006 at 07:00 PM (#2257986)
My ballot comment seems to think that Nomar will become this era's version of Vern Stephens.
   18. AROM Posted: December 11, 2006 at 07:00 PM (#2257987)
I think Grich had just gotten to the point where he was ready to leave the game. My memory is a little hazy 20 years later, but I think the Angels were interested in bringing him back, and Grich did not look at playing for other teams.

Crawford: He won't play his whole career in TB, but even if he does, he's probably going to be a 3000 hit man. Nobody who gets there is underrated.

Cameron: Maybe in the future defense will be more highly regarded among the mainstream, but the play by play metrics have always loved him. Is there any reason to think he's even better than what the PBP says? Even considering his defense, I don't think Cameron has done enough to advance beyond the Hall of the Very Good.
   19. Free Rob Base #3 Posted: December 11, 2006 at 07:09 PM (#2257997)
Mike Cameron will be 34 next season and has 1228 career hits and a .252/.342/.447 line. His defense was superb earlier in he career and is now merely good. He's been a valuable player, but let's not go nuts.
   20. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 11, 2006 at 07:18 PM (#2258006)
The All-Fell-Off-the-Ballot-in-One-Year Team is pretty dang good.


Ron Santo at 3B. He fell off in 1980 and was re-instated in 1985.

Jimmy Wynn in CF?
   21. Daryn Posted: December 11, 2006 at 07:18 PM (#2258008)
(keeps fingers crossed) :-)

Whenever, I hear or read "fingers crossed" all I can think of is when someone says to Hugh Grant's cad character in About a Boy, "You'll end up childless and alone!" and he responds, "Fingers crossed".
   22. Jose Canusee Posted: December 11, 2006 at 08:13 PM (#2258065)
17. rawagman Posted: December 11, 2006 at 01:00 PM (#2257986)

My ballot comment seems to think that Nomar will become this era's version of Vern Stephens.


Maybe more like Ernie Banks Lite, tremendous offensive SS turned average 1B with famous name, 0 WS
   23. DCW3 Posted: December 11, 2006 at 08:29 PM (#2258073)
I thought about Edmonds, but, while he's unfortunately never going to come close to the Hall, I think with the Gold Gloves and everything he's probably created too much of a reputation for himself to end up forgotten entirely--at least, I hope so (he's maybe my favorite player of all time).

Giles, in my opinion, does have a pretty decent peak argument for the HoM/HoF. Abreu isn't quite as good, but with a few more strong seasons he could put himself in the same territory.
   24. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 13, 2006 at 06:46 AM (#2259744)
One way to look for such a player would be to look for a guy who we know is a great player but doesn't score well on the Hall of Fame monitor. Grich only scored a 42.5, which tells a lot about why the Hall of Fame missed him, despite his being a great defensive 2B with a 125 OPS+.

Wells, for example is only 27 and already has 41 points.

Robin Ventura is a good example, he's only got 32 points, but was a very good player, I mean a 3B with a long career, a 115 OPS+ and six Gold Gloves - there a plenty of worse players in the Hall of Fame.

Giles is a good one, he's only 45 points and is already 35 years old (wow, didn't realize he was THAT old).

Julio Franco is another one that should be a lot closer to the HoF than his 58 points would have you think he is.

And on the opposite end, how in the hell does Brad Ausmus have 65 points? Maybe that's how Ray Schalk got in?

But my money is on Jorge Posada as the most underrated player of this generation. As a comparison to Ausmus, he has only 70 points! That's with 1200 career games caught and a 122 OPS+. His most similar player is Roy Campanella, and before you jump out with sim scores don't adjust for era, Campy's OPS+ was 124 and he's caught 1183 games. Campy had the higher peak, but it wasn't a ton higher, and Jorge hasn't turned in any clunkers like the 1954, 57 and 58 Campy.
   25. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 13, 2006 at 06:52 AM (#2259748)
BTW, with the recent induction of Boyer - what's the difference between him and Ventura?

Ventura's career was exactly as long (within 3 PA), Ventura's OPS+ was basically the same (115/116, but Ventura's was more OBP-centric).

Ventura has 6 GG's to Boyer's 5.

Ventura had 5 years between 126-132 OPS+ for a peak and was in the low 120s 2x; Boyer hit 143 once, 135 once and 130 twice, and had 3 years in the low 120s.

They are basically the same player, with a very slightly higher peak for Boyer. So I expect all of you Boyer supporters to be hitched up on the Ventura bandwagon as well . . .
   26. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 13, 2006 at 06:55 AM (#2259752)
I moved that last comment to the election results thread, please comment there. Sorry for steering the subject off.
   27. sunnyday2 Posted: December 13, 2006 at 02:16 PM (#2259886)
>C: Ted Simons (1994) Lance Parrish (2001) Gene Tenace (1989)
1B: Will Clark (2006)
2B: Bobby Grich (1992) Lou Whitaker (2001) Willie Randolph (1998)
3B: Darrell Evans (1995) Sal Bando (1987)
SS: Toby Harrah (1992) Bert Campeneris (1989)
CF: Reggie Smith (1988) Brett Butler (2003)
CR OF: Ken Singleton (1990) Jack Clark (1998)

This team would absolutely dismantle a team made up of all the VC selections ever. That's discouraging.
   28. DavidFoss Posted: December 13, 2006 at 02:41 PM (#2259900)
This team would absolutely dismantle a team made up of all the VC selections ever.

Just for fun...

Omitting NeL-ers and pre-1930 guys -- who never really got a legitimate first shot with the BBWAA -- I have compiled the following list of best VC selections:

C-(Lombardi)
1B-Mize
2B-Doerr,BiHerman,(Fox)
SS-Vaughn,Reese
3B-(Kell)
LF-Goslin
CF-Doby,Ashburn,Averill
RF-Slaughter
SP-Newhouser,Bunning

I guess its tricky the early line in the 1930s. I included Goslin to fill LF, but I could have included Carey, Faber, Sewell. At the point these guys were first eligible, the BBWAA was still focused on filling the early inner-circle so they may not have gotten their fair shake with them. Anyhow, the back door has been handy for some legitimate inductions on occasion.
   29. sunnyday2 Posted: December 13, 2006 at 02:53 PM (#2259907)
The modern "outs" have a clear advantage at C and 3B.

The old-timer "ins" have a clear advantage at SS and the OF.

Pretty much even at 1B and 2B.

I guess it would come down to pitching. But I guess the cream of the VC is better than I woulda thought.

Still the idea that these two "teams" would be close or competitive is not much of an endorsement of the modern voting.
   30. DavidFoss Posted: December 13, 2006 at 03:08 PM (#2259920)
Still the idea that these two "teams" would be close or competitive is not much of an endorsement of the modern voting.

I'd take Mize at 1B, but otherwise I agree. It looks like the BBWAA is becoming too dependent on career milestones (500 HR, 300 W, etc). That and they are not increasing the number of inductees because of expansion.
   31. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 13, 2006 at 03:20 PM (#2259939)
It looks like the BBWAA is becoming too dependent on career milestones (500 HR, 300 W, etc).

Which is funny because we're becoming increasingly peak centric!

I don't think I'm the first to observe this, but the Hall of Fame voters seem to underrate big seasons in general, unless those seasons contain a record-breaking number (60,61,190,1.12, etc...)
   32. rawagman Posted: December 13, 2006 at 03:24 PM (#2259943)
61?!?! But Roger Maris isn't close to either the HOF or the HOM, doc!
   33. sunnyday2 Posted: December 13, 2006 at 04:30 PM (#2260028)
Yeah, I think the BBWAA is just doing what it always did--"I know one when I see one." The difference is that in the old days the writers were in the hero worship business, now they're just a bunch of bitter old drunks. (I guess that should be, in the old days they were a bunch of bitter old hero-worshiping drunks, now they're just a bunch of bitter old jealous drunks.)
   34. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 13, 2006 at 05:04 PM (#2260075)
You're right, Wag, I just punched it without thinking. But obviously 190 is that kind of number. Or .422.
   35. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 13, 2006 at 07:30 PM (#2260283)
61?!?! But Roger Maris isn't close to either the HOF or the HOM, doc!

True, but he's still considered a viable Vet candidate. If he had 59 homers instead, he wouldn't be.
   36. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: December 13, 2006 at 11:51 PM (#2260664)
As I stated in the Rose thread, I have Grich at 2 or 3, depending on my mood at the time- I have them that close. Grich is the type of player I love; great glove, much better than position with the stick. Of course, it helps that he was in the greatest Nintendo game ever ;-).

All joking aside, I wish I were old enough to see Grich in his peak. My only memories of him are his last season in the Bigs, and from the aforementioned RBI Baseball, where will live forever.
   37. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 13, 2006 at 11:56 PM (#2260673)
where will live forever

Or until your NES finally craps the bed, whichever comes first.... ; )
   38. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: December 13, 2006 at 11:59 PM (#2260676)
Or until your NES finally craps the bed, whichever comes first.... ; )


Emulators, my friend, emulators.
   39. OCF Posted: December 14, 2006 at 12:05 AM (#2260681)
I have Rose ahead of Grich, but I'm not going to poke fun at anyone who flips that. It's prime and defense (in Grich's case) versus career and offense (in Rose's case). We have a number of reasonable precendents for electing Grich, including Joe Gordon and Frankie Frisch. Consider Ken Boyer a precedent - I would have Grich ahead of Boyer.
   40. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 14, 2006 at 12:33 AM (#2260705)
This might sound strange, but IMO the modern day Grich could be Roberto Alomar. To me, Alomar is a no-brainer, slam dunk HOFer, but b/c he fell apart so quickly in the end I think he might have a hard time getting in. He certainly won't get in quickly. It's odd b/c, of course, in the early 90's, Alomar was widely seen as one of the best players in the game (fairly or not) and a megastar. It's incredible how quickly he seemed to diminish in the public eye.

What is it with 2b, anyway? Biggio will probably get in b/c of the 3000 hits (assuming he isn't hit by a bus), but he doesn't get nearly the recognition he deserves as one of the alltime great 2b. And how on earth did Whitaker fall off the ballot after one year?

But great question DCW3.
   41. sunnyday2 Posted: December 14, 2006 at 02:42 AM (#2260817)
Yeah, people absolutely have a hard time evaluating 2Bs. In TNBJHBA the HoF has passed over #12, 13, 16, 17 and 20. And #5 (Biggio) and #10 (Alomar) remain to be seen.

But then among 3Bs it #9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 18 and 19.

And among SS there's #9, 15, 19 and 20 (and #21 and 22), with #6 remaining to be seen.
   42. OCF Posted: December 14, 2006 at 02:51 AM (#2260829)
And how on earth did Whitaker fall off the ballot after one year?

I don't know whether or not we'll elect him, but I guarantee we won't drop him from consideration immediately.
   43. Juan V Posted: December 14, 2006 at 03:23 AM (#2260851)
Funny that Alomar should be mentioned, on my OPS+ system (which I use for other stuff besides the HOM), him and Grich have practically identical scores.
   44. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 14, 2006 at 04:18 AM (#2260912)
Re Lou Whitaker and the 5% rule and whatnot...

[big, huge, screechy rant]

Any voting system that equates Lou Whitaker with Bobby Witt (or pick your favorite less-than-5% guy who shouldn't have even sniffed a ballot) is either no well thought out or has a very different motivation than actually electing the best players. I could be wrong, but I assume the motivation to have a cut-off line is so the electors don't have to sift through 100 years of candidates---that is, to keep their list short. Well, boo-hoo, breakin' my heart, cry me river. This isn't a hotel, it's the Hall of Fame vote! If they don't feel comfy comparing Tommy Leach and Rick Leach and Tommy John and Terry Leach, well, then they shouldn't be voting on the award, or at least not by themselves. I mean we're talking about baseball's highest honor, not some daily task where you use shortcuts to be more efficient. If they feel inconvenienced, there's plenty of others willing to be enfranchised and put the time in to do the thing right.

That said, let me simmer down a sec. I don't think the Hall vote is an easy task, nor do I think the writers take it unseroiusly, but I do think they simply don't have the time to really give it the in-depth analysis it should require. This lack of time should be obvious given all the outstanding non-5%-getters and all the excellent backloggers out there who don't get much support. Getting 75% of the HOF-level guys correctly identified is great, but the Hall and the writers can and should aim for better and do better. It's time for the Hall to open the vote up to a bigger group of writers, broadcasters, analysts, historians, researchers, and scholars, to really put the delphi/wisdom-of-crowds notion to use by including all the experts, not just the ones who had the most knowledge in 1951.

Maybe when that happens, Bobby Grich and George Scott won't occupy the same dust bin in the Coop's history.

[/rant]

Sorry, sometimes I have to blow off some steam on this subject.
   45. sunnyday2 Posted: December 14, 2006 at 05:36 AM (#2260968)
The writers may take the HoF vote seriously, but not half as seriously as they take themselves.
   46. rawagman Posted: December 14, 2006 at 07:10 AM (#2261022)
On the HoF voting process:
I have always had my own ideas, and some were fortified by Bill James's book on the subject.
There is some merit to the 5% drop-out rule. However - it should not be put into effect after only one run. The HOF ballot requires that a player have played a minimal length of time and be retired for minimal length of time as well. (10 & 5 - right?) Fine, say I.
Well, what if a candidate cannot be dropped for 5 years? Then after 5 years on the ballot, the ballot makers review the total number of votes and if the player in question has not received 5% in accumulation, he's out.
Such an adjustment wouldn't make a whit of difference for the Gary Gaettis and Doug Decinces' of the world, but would have infinitely helped out the Will Clark's and several other of the first time drop-outs of recent seasons. We all know, and many of us loath the practice of many writers that ignores a player in their first year out of tradition. With a revised system, that tradition can be maintained and meritorious players will not unduly suffer.
   47. Chris Fluit Posted: December 14, 2006 at 07:14 AM (#2261024)
re: post #42

Sunnyday, not everybody has TNBJHBA; do you mind sharing the names as well as the numbers?
   48. alilisd Posted: December 16, 2006 at 11:35 AM (#2263081)
His defense was superb earlier in he career and is now merely good.

Not saying Cameron is either an HoM or HOF player, but his defense is still superb. I watched him play CF in Petco last year and he still has a great first step, takes great routes to the ball, has excellent range, a strong arm, and good hands. Beleve me, it is obvious if someone is a great CF if you watch them play enough games in Petco.
   49. sunnyday2 Posted: December 16, 2006 at 02:02 PM (#2263090)
Here you go Chris. These are top 25 guys whom the HoF has rejected, you might say, plus some upcoming guys who don't look like locks to me but who should be.

Catcher

10. Ted Simmons
11. Joe Torre
12. Bill Freehan
(13. Ivan Rodriguez)
14. Thurman Munson
15. Elston Howard
18. Darrell Porter
19. Lance Parrish
21. Bob Boone
23. Gene Tenace
24. Tim McCarver
25. Darren Daulton

Comment: Giant disconnect here. HoF has inducted #29, 35, 41. Of course HoM has inducted #49.

Second Base

(5. Craig Biggio)
(10. Roberto Alomar)
12. Bobby Grich
13. Lou Whitaker
16. Joe Gordon
17. Willie Randolph
20. Larry Doyle
22. Dick McAuliffe
23. Davey Lopes
24. Buddy Myer

Not as big of a disconnect as I thought but still--Grich, Whitaker and Gordon kinda stick out. HoF has inducted #28, 29, 37.

Shortstop

(6. Barry Larkin)
9. Alan Trammell
15. Jim Fregosi
19. Maury Wills
20. Johnny Pesky
21. Bill Dahlen
22. Vern Stephens
(24. Tony Fernandez)
25. Bert Campaneris

Again, not as much disconnect as I woulda thought based on Trammell, one of the more egregious oversights by this (or any) measure.

Third Base

6. Ron Santo
9. Stan Hack
10. Darrell Evans
11. Sal Bando
12. Ken Boyer
13. Graig Nettles
14. Al Rosen
16. Ron Cey
18. Bob Elliott
19. Buddy Bell
20. Tommy Leach
21. Heinie Groh
(22. Robin Ventura)
24. Eddie Yost
(25. Ken Caminiti)

I guess this is where we all have the hardest time determining what an all-time great player really looks like.

Center Field

10. Jim Wynn
12. Dale Murphy
13. Wally Berger
17. Fred Lynn
18. Vada Pinson
21. Cesar Cedeno
22. Amos Otis
24. Dom DiMaggio
(25. Brett Butler)

Not as many hanging out there.

My point in this is that the HoF clearly is applying a different, higher standard today than it has done through most of its history, which seems terribly unfair to modern players. (This is based on my reading that many if not most of the players listed above would be above average HoFers, not just better than Tommy McCarthy or Travis Jackson, but above average.) This would seem to militate against the marketing needs of the HoF, which would seem to cry out for the induction of players whom living fans remember. And as James showed in the Politics of Glory, marketing drove a lot of the HoF election process early on. I guess now they're more established.

Of course, it is also true that many HoFers waited years and years to go in through the back door, so why shouldn't Ron Santo or Bobby Grich wait 50 years and go in that way? (Playing devil's advocate on behalf of the HoF, there. Those are two examples I think should go in the front door. Graig Nettles and Willie Randolph would be better e.g. of VC-type players.)

The really silly thing is allowing the tail (the BBWAA) to wag the dog. The VC should be electing the Simmonses, the Griches, the Santos. If they were doing so it would go a ways toward equity with the older generations of players, yet the VC has become this exclusive club dedicated more to keeping people out than bringing them in, and why? Because the BBWAA objected to players they had rejected getting elected by other means. This is not the BBWAA Hall of Fame. Or is it?

My original comment was that 2Bs and defensive positions generally seemed to be the hardest to agree on. But just eye-balling the hitting positions, the list of players in James' top 25 whom the HoF has rejected is just as long.
   50. jingoist Posted: December 16, 2006 at 07:53 PM (#2263244)
Sunnyday2...I appreciate your effort to show, position-by-position, how the HoF has "blown it" with their selections; but I think that the average HoF voter has only a passing knowledge of who Bill James is and many neither subscribe to James' type of analysis or reject it outright.

I think the judgement used by most HoF voters is like that of a judge, who, 20 or so years ago said about pornography, "I cant define it per see, but I know it when I see it".

The images locked inside the voters brains will drive them to select, or not (with the exception of steroids and I don't want to beat that horse here), not a book of statistics that could possibly remove the bias of hazy memories.

*SIDE NOTE* Sad to see it happen but it was totally expected: Bagwell's retirement.
Now there is a guy who ought to be a shoe-in; maybe the best all-around 1B-man since Musial retired.
   51. sunnyday2 Posted: December 16, 2006 at 08:48 PM (#2263283)
>I think that the average HoF voter has only a passing knowledge of who Bill James is and many neither subscribe to James' type of analysis or reject it outright.

Of course.

But if they could/would only fix one of their problems (ie. subjective judgments OTOH, and moving the bar ever high OTOH), I would hope that they would just elect a few more modern players. Simmons, Torre, Freehan, Grich, Trammell, Santo, Evans, Bando, Boyer, Nettles, Wynn, Murphy, don't care. Any 5. Just stop pretending it's some exclusive club that it isn't. I mean, if you gotta boycott McGwire because of 'roids, well, I don't agree, but we have guys saying his numbers aren't good enough! This is just flat out delusional.
   52. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 17, 2006 at 02:44 PM (#2263709)
but we have guys saying his numbers aren't good enough!

Even with the home run explosion of the Ninenties, saying Big Mac's numbers are not enough is just ludicrous. Take away the steroid cloud away from them and they are way over the line needed to be inducted.
   53. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 17, 2006 at 07:22 PM (#2263817)
The biggest arguemnt against McGwire (I think it was made by someone over on THT) is that his career numbers aren't eye-popping when compared to other 1B of his era. This of course completely misses teh point that a) McGwire case rests on a peak that was large enough to give him some milestones (500 HR) and b) he played in an era loaded with great 1B, maybe teh deepest pool of 1B ever. So he isn't as good as Thomas and Bagwell. So what? So maybe Palmeiro and McGriff have more hits. Again, so what? Not electing McGwire because he wasn't Thomas or Bagwell is akin to not electing Jim Palmer or Fergie Jenkins because they weren't Perry, Seaver, or Carlton or not electing Mathewson because he wasn't Young or Johnson. It's flat out ridiculous.
   54. rawagman Posted: December 17, 2006 at 07:26 PM (#2263818)
Not electing McGwire because he wasn't Thomas or Bagwell is akin to not electing Jim Palmer or Fergie Jenkins because they weren't Perry, Seaver, or Carlton or not electing Mathewson because he wasn't Young or Johnson.


Like not electing Bobby Grich because he wasn't Joe Morgan?
   55. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 17, 2006 at 08:23 PM (#2263854)
Way to bring the discussion back to Grich Ryan! Bravo!
   56. Mark Donelson Posted: December 17, 2006 at 08:51 PM (#2263866)
Yes, I think maybe we have to close the thread now, so as not to damage the perfect structure. :)
   57. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 19, 2009 at 03:34 AM (#3080793)
Does Grich have an argument for MLE credit? He hit .383 and slugged .570 in half a season's worth of International League play in 1970, and then hit poorly in the bigs when he was called up in September. But then in 1971, he absolutely obliterated the IL (how's .336/.439/.632 sound to you over 130 games at shortstop--that must MLE to a major league MVP-caliber season) and only got 30 MLB at-bats that year, because he was blocked at every position on the O's All-Star infield (Boog Powell, Davey Johnson, Mark Belanger, and Brooks Robinson). In '72 he got 528 PA filling in for Belanger and Johnson, and then in '73 Johnson went over to hit 43 dongs in the NL and Grich got the 2B job. (Might he have been a SS if Baltimore didn't have Belanger??) It seems to me he deserves about half a season's worth of Keller-style "blocking" credit for the second half of 1971, when any other team would have plugged him into the lineup given his minor league stats.
   58. Howie Menckel Posted: February 19, 2009 at 03:43 AM (#3080800)
A reasonable case for his HOF credentials, but he's already glided into the HOM and this is not the type of extra boost that will captivate a traditional HOF voter, will it?

Fair point, nonetheless.
   59. Paul Wendt Posted: February 19, 2009 at 04:11 AM (#3080826)
What Howie said well.
   60. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 19, 2009 at 04:53 AM (#3080865)
It might matter for his ranking on our 2B list if I had noticed it earlier.

I'm returning to Grich because I'm responding to a skeptical reader of my NYT column on victims of the 5% rule. In my correspondence with him, I recalculated Grich's WARP using my 1987-2005 methodology--Dan Fox's EqBRR for baserunning, and a weighted average of defensive stats derived by regressing the available numbers against an average of modern PBP metrics, plus Sean Smith's double play-turning numbers. The absence of Dial's Zone Rating data and SFR with full hit type info decreases the reliability of the data substantially (the r is just .69, compared to .87 for post-'87 stats) and leads to much more regression to the mean (around 30-35%), but more conservative estimates of pre-'87 fielding are just the cost of doing business. Here are revised numbers for him:

Year SFrac BWAA BRWAA FWAA Replc WARP1 LgAdj WARP2
1970  0.15 
-0.5   0.0  0.1  -0.5   0.1 0.949   0.1
1972  0.83  3.0   0.3  1.0  
-2.4   6.8 0.970   6.6
1973  1.02  2.2   0.1  2.3  
-3.2   7.8 0.947   7.4
1974  1.03  3.4   0.5  1.2  
-3.2   8.3 0.963   8.0
1975  0.96  3.4  
-0.1  1.6  -3.0   8.0 0.943   7.5
1976  0.90  3.2   0.4  0.7  
-2.8   7.0 0.948   6.7
1977  0.33  0.5   0.0 
-0.3  -1.5   1.6 0.907   1.5
1978  0.85  0.5   0.1  0.3  
-2.7   3.6 0.919   3.3
1979  0.88  3.1  
-0.1  0.0  -2.7   5.7 0.913   5.2
1980  0.86  1.5  
-0.4  0.5  -2.6   4.2 0.929   3.9
1981  0.89  5.0  
-0.4  0.7  -2.6   7.9 0.950   7.5
1982  0.88  1.8  
-0.3  0.4  -2.3   4.2 0.963   4.1
1983  0.69  2.8   0.1  0.0  
-1.8   4.7 0.954   4.5
1984  0.62  1.4   0.2 
-0.4  -1.4   2.5 0.980   2.5
1985  0.83 
-0.1  -0.2  1.5  -1.8   3.0 0.979   2.9
1986  0.52  0.4  
-0.2  0.1  -1.1   1.4 1.001   1.4
TOTL 12.25 31.4  
-0.1  9.8 -35.7  76.8 0.950  73.0
AVRG  1.00  2.6   0.0  0.8  
-2.9   6.3 0.950   6.0 


3-year peak: 23.1
7-year prime: 48.9
Career: 73.0
Salary: $213,103,677

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