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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Buzz Arlett

An interesting career that deserves some scrutiny from us. That’s the Buzz that I’ve been hearing, anyway.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 22, 2004 at 01:30 AM | 174 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Daryn Posted: May 06, 2005 at 03:52 PM (#1316538)
David,

Along the same lines as schmeagol, I won't give him credit for 1923 and 1924. There are lots of players who put up good MLE numbers for a year or three in the minors who don't get called up because of either franchise inefficiencies or being blocked. I won't give credit to Durazo or Casey Kotchman or Michael Aubrey for any years they spend in the minors earning good MLEs -- they are blocked. We are not conducting that type of analysis for all the other candidates who maybe only lost a year or two due to blocking or being spotted a little late. That said I have Arlett in a virtual tie with GVH, Roush and Averill, three players who are getting some support from the electorate (but not from me).
   102. David C. Jones Posted: May 06, 2005 at 04:27 PM (#1316618)
Good observations. I agree that he probably shouldn't be given credit for his early pitching, but I would peg his time in the majors as beginning in 1924, so I give him credit for that season. By the projections, he rates right in the same company with Roush and Averill, and I think the projection are, if anything, conservative. I think I'm going to keep him at #3 on my ballot. I have Roush #9, and there isn't much difference between the two spots, so I'm comfortable with where I have him.
   103. Chris Cobb Posted: May 06, 2005 at 05:04 PM (#1316682)
For me, Arlett is a casualty of the "short ballot" :-) .

I have him at #19, 2 spots behind Averill, 9 behind Roush and 10 behind Van Haltren, 1 ahead of Cravath, 2 ahead of Bell, 4 ahead of Poles.

These are the borderline outfielders, and I don't see any of them as preferable at present to the top infield candidates (Foxx, Beckwith, Cronin, Jennnigs, Suttles) or the top pitching candidates (Griffith, Rixey, Ferrell) at present. The HoM has been very kind to borderline outfield candidates, so when those types need the benefit of the doubt from me to place high on the ballot, they don't get it just now.

Incidentally, my positional breakdown of the HoM, which looks for balance among 3 groups -- OF, P, 2b/3b/SS -- has 31 OF, 26 P, 24.5 IF . 1b and C are also a bit low, though both are going to do very well over the next 5 years.
   104. David C. Jones Posted: May 06, 2005 at 05:14 PM (#1316699)
Chris, that's an interesting point about positional distribution. Looking at my ballot right now, I have two shortstops (Cronin and Lundy, at opposite ends of the ballot), four first basemen (Foxx, Suttles, Taylor and Sisler), no second basemen, one third basemen/shortstop (Beckwith), three corner outfielders (Arlett, Cravath and Browning), one center fielder (Roush), and then four pitchers (Mendez, Waddell, Ferrell and Redding).

I think my general attitude is to try not to stress too much about positional distribution on my ballot, because my general feeling is that once you reach the elite class of players, which I feel all these guys are, the distribution will not be even at any one time. Looking at the fellows just outside my ballot, I have a catcher (Mackey), and a couple second basemen (Scales and Monroe).
   105. David C. Jones Posted: May 06, 2005 at 05:16 PM (#1316703)
A question about Arlett: Does anyone know when the Oakland club set the $100,000 price tag for his services?

Thanks.
   106. Brent Posted: May 07, 2005 at 04:07 AM (#1319050)
jschmeagol wrote:

For one I am not going to give him pitching credit. He had a few decent years, but he had quitpitching by the time (age 24 or 25) he would have been moving to MLB anyways and he obviously didn't attract their attention as a pitcher.

I know several people have said that they don't intend to give Arlett credit for pitching. Now I'm not going to tell any voter what he should or shouldn't give credit for, but I haven't heard a good reason why Arlett doesn't deserve pitching credit. He was primarily a pitcher for 5 1/2 years (1918-23), all in the PCL, before moving to the outfield.

Let's start with some of his actual PCL statistics. Over 4 seasons (1919-22) he pitched 1468 innings (actual PCL record). That's an average of over 350 innings per season, with as many as 427 in one season. His W/L record was 95-71 for a team with a winning percentage of .483. In 1920 he led the league in wins while pitching for a 6th-place team. His ERAs were 3.00, 2.89, 4.37, and 2.77. He hit well for a pitcher. You can compare him to the other PCL pitchers if you like, but to me it sure looks to me like he was one of the top 5 pitchers in his league for 1919, 1920, and 1922.

I don't see how you can say that someone who was one of the top 5 pitchers in the top minor league for 3 of 4 seasons "obviously didn't attract their attention as a pitcher." Of course Arlett would have caught their attention! The reasons that he stayed in Oakland were well described in the quote from Bill James in post # 2:
- there was no draft in effect that would have given major league teams unilateral power to take him,
- Oakland didn't want to sell him (or if it did sell him, it wanted a very high price),
- as a spitball pitcher who was grandfathered in the PCL but not the majors, Arlett was more valuable in the PCL than in the majors.

Now I have to admit that I have more uncertainty about his MLEs as a pitcher than as a batter. (Be sure to see post # 95 for his pitching MLEs and win shares, since there were computational errors in earlier versions.) We all know that pitching careers are tough to forecast. In doing the pitching conversions, I didn't have earlier studies to build off as we did for batting MLEs. And there are some big factors that we know affect pitchers, things like defensive support and run support, that we simply can't measure for the minors. A big uncertainty is workloads - similar pitchers are often assigned quite different workloads depending on quality of other pitchers on the team, manager preferences, and other unknown factors. Because Arlett had huge workloads in the PCL, I've projected quite a few innings pitched in the majors, but there is no way to know whether that is an accurate projection.

But I think there are a couple of reasons to think these pitching MLEs are at least in the ballpark. a) I've also done MLEs for the minor league seasons of a couple of pitchers with long major league careers--Lefty Grove and Jack Quinn--and their MLEs seemed reasonable. b) From 1919-22 Arlett pitched side-by-side on the Oaks with Ray Kremer, who later went on to a good major league pitching career. During the time they were together, Arlett outpitched him by a considerable margin.

Including pitching and batting win shares, I'm projecting Arlett as a pitcher worth 21 to 23 win shares per season in 1919, 1920, and 1922. That's a very good pitcher. I can't prove that these estimates are right, but considering his PCL records, his workloads, and his batting, the estimates seem reasonable to me.

David C. Jones asked:

Does anyone know when the Oakland club set the $100,000 price tag for his services?

I don't know. However, in the 1920s an asking price of $100,000 would not have been unreasonable for a PCL star of Arlett's stature. In 1922 the San Francisco Seals received $100,000 from the White Sox for Willie Kamm, and in 1925 they received $100,000 for Paul Waner and Hal Rhyne. In 1927 Portland sold Billy Cissel to the White Sox for a package of cash and players worth over $100,000 and Oakland sold Lyn Lary and Jimmy Reese to the Yankees for $100,000. (Source - an article by Bob Hoie on the minor leagues in Total Baseball.)
   107. Michael Bass Posted: May 07, 2005 at 04:47 AM (#1319117)
I've argued this before (in this thread in fact!), but no one actually thinks he would/should have been in the majors before 1920, so how exactly does one translate a spitball pitcher who wouldn't have been allowed to throw a spitball to the majors?

Though apparently the fact that there is no way on this planet he would/could/should have pitched in the majors is not a "good" reason not to give him pitching credit.
   108. David C. Jones Posted: May 07, 2005 at 05:30 AM (#1319140)
Michael,

You've made similar arguments about Negro Leaguers, and I just want to point out that what you are arguing is in direct contradiction to the voting guidelines for the Hall of Merit.

To quote directly from the constitution:

"Voters are strongly encouraged to consider only a player’s on-field accomplishments and other factors which had an impact on the outcomes of the player’s baseball games." (emphasis added)

So when you nitpick that Dihigo never would have both batted and pitched in the major leagues, or when you nitpick that Arlett's pitching style wasn't acceptable in the major leagues at the time, you are not applying the above standard, whereby you consider only "on-field accomplishments." You are forcing every player to be judged according to the environment that prevailed in white major league baseball at the time.

I don't particularly care one way or the other how you consider Arlett's pitching, or if you consider it at all, but I wanted to address your line of reasoning, which you have repeated elsewhere.
   109. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 07, 2005 at 01:25 PM (#1319254)
If we only considered what a player did to halp his teams win games we would then be giving a bonus to those that didn't play in the world's best league, MLB. Why is it against the HOM's rules to try and figure out what someone in the PCL would have done in MLB. MLB wasn't the best white league or the best league on the east coast but the BEST LEAGUE IN THE WORLD. Did it have all the best players? No. But it had the highest replacment level, the highest average, and the most star players. Taken literally it seems you are advocating giving Arlett credit for his raw numbers and not his MLE's.

The rule you cite was made to discourage giving managerial or front office credit, or to discourage voters for taking points off because they didnt' like that player as an announcer, thought he cheated on his wife too much, or was so bad as the head of the VC that we had to create this project. I read nothing in the constitution saying that we shouldn't try and consider what an NeL or PCL or IL player would have done had he played his career in MLB. It is fine if you disgree, but please dont' cache your diagreement as you being one of a few upright citizens who is trying his best to make us outlaws follow the rules.

And if Buzz Arlett couldn't have pitched his best pitch the Major Leagues why should he get Major League credit for pitching with that pitch? It would be like giving an independent league guy with incredible numbers and a nasty sand papered ball Major League credit.

Why not say that I dont' think Dihigo (who is going into my PHOM this year by the way, just so I don't get ripped for not supporting him) wouldn't have been a full-timer as both a hitter and a pitcher in MLB. Why can't we say that John Beckwith (PHOM 1949) or Jud Wilson (first in my PHOM backlog) were only good enough at 3B to play there through maybe half there careers? If I really believe this, wouldn't it be giving them more credit than they deserve in comparison to MLB players?
   110. Michael Bass Posted: May 07, 2005 at 02:37 PM (#1319293)
While we're taking things out of context (and JoeD or someone else is free to tell me if the section jschmeagol quoted was actually meant to refer to these situations), the constitution also says at the end of its discussion on Negro League candidates:

Statistics covering the Negro Leagues are often sketchy; nevertheless it is clear that there were many blacks who would have been MLB stars pre-1947.

Which clearly implies to me that we're supposed to be electing the Negro Leaguers (and minor/Cuban/Mexican leaguers) who would have been MLB stars.

Meanwhile, your quote from the constitution says "stongly encouraged". While we're on the subject of persuasive but not quite direct order language relavent to this thread...

However, it would be extremely unlikely for a career minor leaguer or Cuban league player to be elected to the HoM.

But I don't seriously take that to mean Arlett's out, because I don't think that language contemplated the case where someone as good as Arlett spent almost his entire career in the minors. And I don't take the language you quoted to mean that if tomorrow the American Association re-legalized the fair-foul bunt, I'd be forced to consider Ross Barnes' great-great-great grandson tearing up that league.
   111. David C. Jones Posted: May 07, 2005 at 04:46 PM (#1319411)
It is one thing to project a player's performance into the best league in the world; it is another to apply the guidelines and rules of that league to their play, which occurred in a completely different context. The problem with taking the approach you advocate is that there are way too many variables. How do you know that Arlett wouldn't have adjusted to the new league, either by coming up with new pitches or circumventing the existing rules?

Michael's critique of Dihigo's would-be major league career was rife with unknown quantities. In order to do what he was trying to do, you have to figure out what position Dihigo would have played, HOW he would have developed defensively at whatever position that is, how he would have developed as a hitter, without having to concentrate on his pitching, etc. etc. This is taking us a long ways away from how Dihigo actually influenced the outcomes of the games he actually played in. The method you seem to be endorsing suggests that these players are completely incapable of adapting to their environments; when in fact the opposite is probably true, i.e., great players learn to adapt to the environments in which they play. And smart organizations figure out the best way to use great hitters like Beckwith or Suttles.

I don't care all that much if you guys follow the rules or not, but I'm 100 percent convinced that your methods, well, suck, to put it bluntly.
   112. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: May 07, 2005 at 06:10 PM (#1319615)
Here's the full paragraph from the Constitution that David quoted:

Voters are strongly encouraged to consider only a player’s on-field accomplishments and other factors which had an impact on the outcomes of the player’s baseball games. When tallying up value for an eligible player, any managerial contributions created as a player/manager should not be included under any circumstances. In addition to major league and Negro League accomplishments, particularly noteworthy minor league or non-US professional league accomplishments can also be considered meritorious (in a HoM perspective) in certain circumstances. However, it would be extremely unlikely for a career minor leaguer or Cuban league player to be elected to the HoM.
(Emphasis in original)

I think it's fairly clear from the context that the point of the sentence isn't the one that David has given it, so it's unfair to say people are violating the Constitution if they try to look at what a player would have done in MLB. That said, personally, I tend to agree with David's argument, to focus on what a player actually did for the teams he was playing for, but I don't think it's the only method someone can use for their analysis.

As for Arlett's pitching credit, let's ask this: If Arlett was playing in a modern farm system, would he have been in the major leagues by 1920, and thus eligible to make the MLB protected list? If so, I don't think there's any reason not to give him credit for his pitching. (Whether he would have actually been put on the list, given his lack of experience, I don't think is a question we can usefully answer.)
   113. sunnyday2 Posted: May 07, 2005 at 08:13 PM (#1319894)
David, where (if at all) do you draw the line? Not between MLs and NeLs, and not between MLs and AAA. How about between AAA and AA, or between AA and A? Or between AA and college, or between college and high school?

How about town ball? Every state has its local legends who played for 25-30 years and hit 1000 HR or won 500 games and won several state titles and is in the state amateur baseball HoF. They were pretty damn important to their teams. How do we (you) decide that they're not HoMers (and they're not, but your method doesn't seem to see that).

One final question. Why do you spend all your time hangin' around with a bunch of arrogant, repulsive guys who suck?
   114. Brent Posted: May 07, 2005 at 10:02 PM (#1319963)
I've argued this before (in this thread in fact!), but no one actually thinks he would/should have been in the majors before 1920, so how exactly does one translate a spitball pitcher who wouldn't have been allowed to throw a spitball to the majors?

And I've responded before [switch to replay], a) there is no reason he couldn't have been in the majors before 1920 - there were _many_ young major league pitchers in 1918-19 who were no better than Arlett, and b) one translates him exactly the same as the other pitchers who were allowed to throw a spitball in the majors (including Coveleski, Faber, Shocker, and Grimes).

And if Buzz Arlett couldn't have pitched his best pitch the Major Leagues why should he get Major League credit for pitching with that pitch?

Because the PCL _did_ count too. My problem with these arguments is that they seem to be based on a premise that _only_ the major leagues really counted. When that premise is applied to the minor leagues, I think it exhibits a misunderstanding of baseball's history, because the minor leagues of that era were essentially independent.
   115. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 07, 2005 at 10:26 PM (#1319985)
Because the PCL _did_ count too. My problem with these arguments is that they seem to be based on a premise that _only_ the major leagues really counted. When that premise is applied to the minor leagues, I think it exhibits a misunderstanding of baseball's history, because the minor leagues of that era were essentially independent.

I 100% agree, Brent. That's why Michael's example of Ross Barnes V in the minors of today is not really analogous to the PCL of Arlett's time (or the NeL, for that matter).
   116. Michael Bass Posted: May 07, 2005 at 10:28 PM (#1319988)
And I've responded before [switch to replay], a) there is no reason he couldn't have been in the majors before 1920 - there were _many_ young major league pitchers in 1918-19 who were no better than Arlett, and b) one translates him exactly the same as the other pitchers who were allowed to throw a spitball in the majors (including Coveleski, Faber, Shocker, and Grimes).

This is a fine argument; if you want to say he would have/should have been in the majors then, I disagree, but that's a valid argument. Though earlier in the thread, you yourself said you were chucking 1918 and 1919, but it's probably I missed where you explained your decision to change that.


Because the PCL _did_ count too. My problem with these arguments is that they seem to be based on a premise that _only_ the major leagues really counted. When that premise is applied to the minor leagues, I think it exhibits a misunderstanding of baseball's history, because the minor leagues of that era were essentially independent.

I understand that part of baseball history. I just don't care. To give Arlett credit for performance that was achieved in a manner which was not available to the vast majority of the best players on earth is absolutely ridiculous to me.

I don't care if it's the spitball, the fair-foul bunt, or bringing back the old call for a high or low pitch, and I don't care how much the other league meant. If it was banned in the majors, and he would not have been grandfathered, it should not count toward his case.

--------------------------

And as an aside, how much the games meant doesn't much matter to me either. I care about the skill level of the league, nothing more. Though baseball is sufficiently efficient today that it is not likely to happen, if a 1990s Buzz Arlett tore up AAA for 15 years, I'd give him exactly as much credit as I give the 1920s Buzz Arlett (assuming of course that the skill levels of the leagues were the same).

------------------------

The only style of baseball that matters to me is major league baseball. I am perfectly happy to translate ones performance to that template when they were unfairly barred from major league baseball, either due to the color of their skin or the less efficient major league pipelines of the early 20th century. My ballot tends to be among the more Negro League heavy of the ballots, so I don't think I'm being unfair to these candidates on the whole.

In Arlett's case, I think in the normal world, he would have had a decent career from about 1924 or 1925 to about 1936. He was a good hitter, great at his peak, with virtually zero defensive value. I can't come up with a comp at the moment, but I know that for me, that's not a HOMer. I don't begrudge those with a more rosy view of him, I just think it's overly optimistic.
   117. Michael Bass Posted: May 07, 2005 at 10:38 PM (#1320001)
This isn't something I expect will change people's mind, but maybe a better analogy than Ross Barnes V...


In 1999, the AL and players union come to their collective senses ;) and the DH rule is removed.

Edgar Martinez is crushed. He gives first base a shot, but his body can't take even that minimal fielding wear and tear.

Situation A:

Edgar tearfully announces his retirement from major league baseball. Edgar then heads to Japan (or if they don't have the DH, Mexico or what have you). He proceeds to rake for another 5 years while maintaining an allergy to a fielding glove.

Situation B:

Edgar sticks around as a pure pinch hitter. Edgar continues to smack the ball around, and with that kind of stick available, Seattle finds a way to get him in as many games as possible, but still he only gets about 120 PAs a year for the rest of his career.


Should Edgar get more credit for Situation A than siutation B?
   118. Brent Posted: May 07, 2005 at 10:38 PM (#1320002)
AI understand that part of baseball history. I just don't care.

If that's your attitude, nothing I say is going to matter.
   119. David C. Jones Posted: May 07, 2005 at 10:57 PM (#1320010)
The only style of baseball that matters to me is major league baseball.

I feel sorry for you. Baseball history is so much more interesting and meaningful than that.
   120. David C. Jones Posted: May 07, 2005 at 11:09 PM (#1320019)
Sunnyday2,

I have never called anyone on this board arrogant or repulsive, and I've never said that anyone sucks. I've said that their arguments are arrogant and repulsive, and their arguments suck. There is a major difference between the two, principly because I only actually KNOW one or two voters here (that is, have met them in person, hung out with them, etc.)

Your analogies about high school, town ball, etc. reveal the paucity of your thinking. For the HOM, what matters is peak and career, in some combination which is up to the discretion of the individual voter. The best tool we have for analyzing the peak and career of a player is his statistics. The only way that a player's statistics can be properly evaluated is within the context of the league in which he played. How good a league was it? There are reasonable estimates for league quality for the Pacific Coast League of the 1920s, and I'm sure for other leagues of that time and others as well. Do you downgrade a player's achievements for 1901 in the American League? How about the Union Association in 1884? The Federal League? The AL and NL in 1943-1945? I'm sure most voters probably do. But do they discount them entirely, throw them out, pretend they never happened? I would hope not, because the numbers put up in those leagues are evidence just like any other stat, but just like any other stat they need to be understood within the context of the league's quality of play.

I find it fascinating that you make the leap of comparing the PCL, the most competitive baseball league west of the Mississippi River for half a century, to town ball or high school baseball. This shows either that you have no ####### idea what you are talking about, or that you are being disingenuous.

Either way, my interest in this site is in ranking the best players of all time. I don't spend "a lot of time here", I spend as much as I need to in order to participate in the elections in a meaningful way.
   121. David C. Jones Posted: May 07, 2005 at 11:16 PM (#1320034)
Should Edgar get more credit for Situation A than siutation B?

That depends. How valuable was Edgar in the Japanese league? You say he "rakes" but has no defensive game to speak of. How does the Japanese League compare to the major leagues in terms of the level of competition? I would think that Edgar's performance in his last ML season would go a long way towards determining the quality of play in his new league. If he batted .264 with 12 home runs over a full season in the major leagues at the age of 40, then moved to Japan where he hit .340 with 40 home runs, that would suggest the quality was pretty low.

My best guess answer to your hypothetical scenario is that the difference between the two (situations A and B) would probably be insignificant, and since it came at the end of his career probably wouldn't do much to add or detract from his HOM candidacy.
   122. Chris Cobb Posted: May 08, 2005 at 12:05 AM (#1320105)
Umpire: Did you call me a ####-sucker?!?
Almost-Famous Fictional Minor-League Catcher: No, I said it was ####-sucking call!!

It's a slippery slope . . .

Anyway, some time back we have gone so far as to discuss whether or not certain 1860s stars should get credit for being awesome cricket players. The more important debate was whether 1860s base ball players should get credit for playing baseball or not. Not everyone was convinced that they should, but those of us who argued that they should get credit convinced enough people to get Dickey Pearce elected.

We didn't accomplish that goal, as I recall, by insulting the people who disagreed with us (at least not as a standard practice), and if saying somebody's methods of evaluation suck isn't an insult at the HoM, I'm an almost-famous fictional minor-league catcher. It's unpleasant and counterproductive.

Myself, I have decided to credit to Buzz Arlett for his minor-league pitching, though I'm still not sure exactly how much credit he deserves for it, since MLEs for pitchers are such a nightmare to work out with any accuracy.

The key question is: was he good enough to pitch successfully in the majors?

The spitball question, though fascinating, seems to me to be a red herring. If he was good enough to win in the majors, he might have been grandfathered (grandfathering a young pitcher was a smart move -- See Burleigh Grimes) or he might have adapted, or he might not. An astute ML manager might have converted him to hitting sooner. Not pitching in 200-game seasons might have kept him pitching longer, or his arm might have fallen off sooner and he would have had to return to the minors to develop as a hitter. We just don't know. Given these uncertainties, if he was pitching well enough in the PCL to win in the majors, he ought to be credited for it.

To argue otherwise is to go too far down the road of the counterfactual.

He was a good hitter, great at his peak, with virtually zero defensive value. I can't come up with a comp at the moment, but I know that for me, that's not a HOMer.

Harry "Slug" Heilmann is a contemporary comp: I haven't looked lately to see how Arlett's hitting comps to Heilmann's, but they are similar types, I think.
   123. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 08, 2005 at 01:39 AM (#1320356)
I just ranked Arlett without pitching credit, i.e. as an outfielder and his career seems very similar to Kiki Cuyler's to me. He is currenlty in a group with Cuyler, Manush, and Charley Jones, the latter because I don't see him as a complete victim in his blacklisting. This group is in contention to make my top 50, so even with pitching credit, Arlett would ave a long ways to go to make my ballot.

I quesion I do have with him is whether or 1923 was a good enough season to get him to the majors as a hitter. I am a believer that a player genereally needs one very good season in the minors to get noticed, those that didnt' are just lucky. So was 1923, where I credit Arlett with 14 WS (no pitching which was -2.7) enough? If yes he may move above Cuyler.
   124. David C. Jones Posted: May 08, 2005 at 02:49 AM (#1320433)
Hmmm. Looks like I have been spending too much time hanging out here. I think it's time for me to make myself scarce again...
   125. David C. Jones Posted: May 08, 2005 at 03:03 AM (#1320442)
No, #### that. I don't care how unpleasant it is, the fact of the matter is that evaluating a player by the criteria of how he would have fared in the major leagues is insulting to the player, because it denies him the very gifts that made him special or unique, while at the same time positing that not only were the major leagues the best baseball leagues in the world, they also boasted the best kind of baseball, and that every player, regardless of whether he was even allowed to play in that league, must be judged by the rules, standards and expectations of major leaguers at the time.
This is absolutely absurd. It is a method of analysis that robs unique players of their special gifts, that in essence asks them to be worse baseball players than they actually were. Martin Dihigo could have been a more one-dimensional player for his NeL teams, and those teams would have been worse off for it, but perhaps he would have boosted his standing in the minds of some HOM voters in the process.

No, sorry, I have absolutely no sympathy for this line of argument. It's anti-everything I believe in about what makes baseball such a great sport, and it's history so interesting and compelling.
   126. Brent Posted: May 08, 2005 at 03:08 AM (#1320446)
David - On this issue I agree with you 100 percent.
   127. Michael Bass Posted: May 08, 2005 at 03:25 AM (#1320462)
And your method of analysis rewards candidates for being in inferior leagues as compared to most of those who we are studying. I find this absurd, but I guess we'll have to learn to deal.
   128. Brent Posted: May 08, 2005 at 03:41 AM (#1320477)
And your method of analysis rewards candidates for being in inferior leagues as compared to most of those who we are studying. I find this absurd, but I guess we'll have to learn to deal.

If I understand correctly, you are proposing giving zero credit to Arlett for the 103 games he won in 6 seasons in the PCL, right? And we, by proposing that pitching in the PCL involves at least some component of merit, are considered to be "rewarding candidates for being in inferior leagues"? Well, I guess fairness is in the eye of the beholder, but...
   129. David C. Jones Posted: May 08, 2005 at 04:57 AM (#1320553)
And your method of analysis rewards candidates for being in inferior leagues as compared to most of those who we are studying. I find this absurd, but I guess we'll have to learn to deal.

No, it doesn't reward them, it just recognizes that they existed, and that their performances mattered. Otherwise, somebody better go dig up the graves of all the poor souls who paid good money to go watch Martin Dihigo play baseball, or good money to watch Buzz Arlett smash a baseball, or pitch a shutout, and let them know that they were ripped off because they were watching a kind of baseball they wouldn't have seen in the white major leagues at the time.
   130. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 08, 2005 at 05:02 AM (#1320561)
David - On this issue I agree with you 100 percent.

Ditto.
   131. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 08, 2005 at 02:25 PM (#1320797)
Brent,

Should we give everyone who won 103 games in the PCL credit? Everyone who won 145 games int he AA? Or IL? You have decided to give full minor league credit to every player and I have decided to give MiL credit only where I believe that player would/should have been in the majors. I believe that giving a player full credit for two way playing in the minors is in a away rewarding him for playing in an inferior league in which playing two ways was possible. Maybe his career would have been identical to his PCL career (with league adjsutments of course) and maybe he never would have burned out while pitching and not switched to hitting hwile he was in the majors. I am givinghim full credit for his hitting, including 1923, but I am against giving him pitching credit.

David,

Had Dihigo not played both ways he most likely would have been lower in my ballot. To think that I am punishing him because he happened to pitch is mistaken. I gave some pitcing credit but not full-time for both. As just an outfielder he wouldn't be in my PHOM right now.

Also, enjoyment to the fans should't have any bearing on these proceedings. If so, then we should be reviewing the candidacies of the House of David. I just dont' see how fans enjoying what a player does makes him any greater. And it isn't like we are going out of our way to give the short shrift to NeL players, whom we seem to electing just fine with two at the top of the backlog (who are in my PHOM), I gave MiL creidt to Averill and Cravath, and am looking at Boone, Estalella and a few more, And buzz Arlett is oging to make my top 50 (a slight revision) so there fans can actually stop turing in the their graves. I also think these fans had no pretensions that their league was the best and most important in the country.

Finally, it is odd. I believe that Michael and I have been sworn at, told that our thought processes are arrogant and stupid (and I dont' see a real diffference between calling a thought process and a person these things since it is the thought process that makes one arrogant or stupid), told that our system sucks, that we make baseball history less fun, and that we are breaking the rules. And somehow I feel that it is us that are considered obstinate.
   132. Michael Bass Posted: May 08, 2005 at 02:45 PM (#1320819)
To be less snippy, a better explanation of why I do things the way I do.

If we were ranking minor league players vs. minor league players and NL players vs. NL players and major league players vs. major league players, I would be all for looking at the record simply as it is. But we are not.

We are including Buzz Arlett and Martin Dihigo and Joe Cronin in the same list. For me to even pretend to rank these differing types of players on the same list, I believe they must be ranked in the most context-neutral way possible. To do otherwise is to hose someone who didn't have the same opportunities that others have. Whether that lost opportunity was to play for a World Series title or to throw a spitball or to switch to being a pitcher halfway through ones career. As far as I am concerned the only fair way to judge candidates is to put them all in the same context.

I was imprecise when I said "I do not care" earlier. I do care about these portions of baseball history, especially the bios of Negro League players, as well as the interesting differences between the minors today and then. What I meant "I do not care" about is the amorphous "people cared" standard...as I said above, it is not likely to happen today, but I would consider a Buzz Arlett career in the 1990s every bit as much as I would in the 1920s (say: Roberto Petagine, though he wasn't as good as Arlett).
   133. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 08, 2005 at 04:09 PM (#1320893)
what Michael said
   134. David C. Jones Posted: May 08, 2005 at 04:24 PM (#1320921)
We are including Buzz Arlett and Martin Dihigo and Joe Cronin in the same list. For me to even pretend to rank these differing types of players on the same list, I believe they must be ranked in the most context-neutral way possible.

You aren't picking a neutral context, though. You are picking the white major league context, which will inherently favor major leaguers over NeL and other candidates on the margins, because they didn't play in that context. Don't you see that a baseball player's responsibility is to win games for his team? And don't you see that the context in which his team plays will determine to a large extent how he fares, and specifically what methods he employs to excel?

When the time comes, will you be throwing out the performances of all Designated Hitters and using the National League as your "neutral context"?
   135. Chris Cobb Posted: May 08, 2005 at 04:53 PM (#1320982)
Michael wrote:

As far as I am concerned the only fair way to judge candidates is to put them all in the same context.

This is a good principle, and one to which I subscribe in large part -- I wouldn't spend time working out MLEs for NeL players otherwise. However, it is impossible for "the same context" to be a completely "neutral" context. It is always the context for which some players specifically developed and employed their skills, while others did not. This is a problem with WARP2-3's handling of fielding value, for example. So there should also be a component in evaluation in which the player's accomplishments in his own context, for which he developed his skills, is also considered. Part of that context is the overall level of competition, and accomplishments against weak competition need to be given an appropriate discount.

jschmeagol wrote:

You have decided to give full minor league credit to every player. I have decided to give MiL credit only where I believe that player would/should have been in the majors.

How much of your decision not to give Arlett MLE credit for his pitching is influenced by his throwing the spitball at just the time when the spitball was firmly outlawed? Are you saying that he wasn't good enough to pitch in the majors, or are you saying that the historical circumstances would not have made it possible?

David,

I didn't mean for my comments to drive you away, and I'm glad to see that your impulse to be driven away lasted less than five minutes :-) .

I think your contributions to the discussions and debates have been greatly beneficial and I want them to continue.

I hope I don't come across as sanctimonious in asking for a more moderate tone -- it's just that arguments can degenerate so easily on-line, and I find the friction created when posters get angry with each other puts a big drag on me (and I suspect on other readers and posters) that I'd much rather not face.

Risking further sanctimoniousness: arguments get won in meaningful ways here by their impact on the 45 voters who are not arguing but are reading both sides of the argument while deciding what to do with their own ballots. I never expect to convince a person against whose position I am arguing (though it's nice if I do, and I try to be open to convincing), but I expect that if I'm making the better case, the majority who don't have a direct stake in the argument itself will be swayed by it in some measure.
   136. Chris Cobb Posted: May 08, 2005 at 04:56 PM (#1320987)
I didn't see David's post until I had submitted my own: sorry for the duplication of the argument!
   137. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 08, 2005 at 05:07 PM (#1321002)
When the time comes, will you be throwing out the performances of all Designated Hitters and using the National League as your "neutral context"?

That's a good point, David. One has to pick sides there to stay consistent, I would think.
   138. Michael Bass Posted: May 08, 2005 at 05:44 PM (#1321146)
The DH is going to be a mess, and not only for me. As I'm sure you know, uberstats like Win Shares and WARP as messed up by one league having the DH and the other not as well, because offensive replacement level is higher in one league than the other, making a player who hits just as well "less valuable" in the AL.

I can't honestly say how I'm going to deal with that when the time comes, I expect sometime in the mid-70s, we as a group are going to have to have a serious discussion of how to handle it.

Aside: A lesser related issue will be pitchers' hitting. Good hitting AL pitchers didn't have the chance to use that skill, and bad hitting NL pitchers didn't have the chance to not bat. Both of these will also be WS/WARP issues.
   139. David C. Jones Posted: May 08, 2005 at 08:53 PM (#1321902)
Risking further sanctimoniousness: arguments get won in meaningful ways here by their impact on the 45 voters who are not arguing but are reading both sides of the argument while deciding what to do with their own ballots. I never expect to convince a person against whose position I am arguing (though it's nice if I do, and I try to be open to convincing), but I expect that if I'm making the better case, the majority who don't have a direct stake in the argument itself will be swayed by it in some measure.

Chris, I wish I didn't have to remind you of this, but it seems to bear repeating: Right now, you are speaking with the man, no, man is too superficial a word, the genius, who sparked la gran Revolución de Martin Dihigo de 1950.

¿Quizá sé más acerca de este que usted piensa?
   140. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 08, 2005 at 10:53 PM (#1322172)
¿Quizá sé más acerca de este que usted piensa?

I can still read that 22 years after I graduated from high school. I rule!

:-)
   141. Chris Cobb Posted: May 08, 2005 at 11:10 PM (#1322211)
¿Quizá sé más acerca de este que usted piensa?

Perhaps you do.

I can still read that 22 years after I graduated from high school. I rule!

A bigger reason that John Murphy rules:

In 1898 Dickey Pearce received 1 15th place vote.
In 1931, Dickey Pearce was elected to the Hall of Merit.
His chiefest advocate was John Murphy.

In 1951 Buzz Arlett received 1 14th place vote.
The record to beat is 33 years; you have a 1 pt. head start . . . .
   142. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 08, 2005 at 11:43 PM (#1322307)
In 1951 Buzz Arlett received 1 14th place vote.
The record to beat is 33 years; you have a 1 pt. head start . . . .


LOL

I have a feeling that the supreme leader for the Arlett forces won't be me, however. :-)
   143. David C. Jones Posted: May 09, 2005 at 12:54 AM (#1322403)
We are gathering our strength for the battles to come...I will not rest until I see a career minor leaguer in the Hall of Merit!

(evil laugh)
   144. Daryn Posted: May 09, 2005 at 01:31 AM (#1322438)
When the time comes, will you be throwing out the performances of all Designated Hitters and using the National League as your "neutral context"?

That's a good point, David. One has to pick sides there to stay consistent, I would think.


This is such a good point that anyone who is using the "how would they have performed in the ML" as their only test or a significant test really should address that now (internally, not necessarily on the site).

A lesser related issue will be pitchers' hitting. Good hitting AL pitchers didn't have the chance to use that skill, and bad hitting NL pitchers didn't have the chance to not bat.


There will also be the issue of teams who have two good firstbasemen and one of them DHs -- does the DH get some added fielding WS or credit because on any other team, or certainly on any NL team, he would have fielded?
   145. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 09, 2005 at 02:11 AM (#1322503)
I know David didn't particularly like my method of dealing with Dihigo, but I think it at least straddles the fence enough to anger everybody equally: Figure out where a guy's MLEs would generally slot him in my rankings, then let his value-to-team lead to a more precise placement.

With Dihigo it meant that he stood to be as low as 8th or as high as fifth. I chose sixth early last week. Because I haven't pHOMed Martin, I'll be revising him ahead of Duffy (whom Dihigo finished behind last week) after a week to mull his candidacy further.

Another case is C.P. Bell. Bell's MLEs don't do it for me (I went by the 10% discount), which puts him well below my ballot threshold. However, his value-to-team seems higher in his league context than it would have been in MLB, so he rises somewhat more than a similar MLB guy would (see Rice, Sam). In addition, I intend sometime soon to give a little closer analysis to his MxL years which could help him sneak on board my ballot some year soon (like, perhaps, 1958). But I'm not going to be sure until I complete my reconsideration of him.

Anyway, this is all to suggest that one needn't be hidebound to one argument or the other. In this clash of idealism, you can incorporate elements of both sides to arrive at reasonable conclusions. You just better be ready to here naysaying from one side and/or the other.
   146. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 09, 2005 at 01:32 PM (#1322919)
Just as an FYI, after digesting the Buzz words, I'm moving him up considerably. He isn't likely to make my ballot, but he's very close. I've got him ahead of Veach (whom I like) while solidly behind Geo Burns (even with the pitching).
   147. andrew siegel Posted: May 09, 2005 at 04:59 PM (#1323304)
Can someone post PCL stats for Lefty O'Doul? It seems to me that O'Doul (who spent about a third of his productive career in the majors) is falling between the cracks, while Cravath (about 2/3 of his best years in majors) and Arlett (almost none) have their backers. If we give full and appropriate credit for all achievments both majors and minors, I'm not sure Arlett is ahead of O'Doul.
   148. karlmagnus Posted: May 09, 2005 at 05:21 PM (#1323351)
Good Lord yes, it just shows what one can miss -- was eligible in 1946, I think, and we never mentioned him. Unlike Arlett, O'Doul's ML rate stats clearly suggest HOMer; if we're taking account of monor league careers, this may well push him over the top. Looks at first glance a better candidate than either Cravath or Arlett.
   149. Sean Gilman Posted: May 10, 2005 at 09:45 PM (#1326863)
55 years early. . .

In 1999, the AL and players union come to their collective senses ;) and the DH rule is removed.

Edgar Martinez is crushed. He gives first base a shot, but his body can't take even that minimal fielding wear and tear.


Edgar Martinez would have been a fine first baseman, and would have played there regularly had the Mariners not had a succession of excellent defensive first basemen: Tino Martinez, David Segui, John Olerud.

If you want to get counterfactual in some cases, but not in others. . .
   150. Paul Wendt Posted: June 04, 2005 at 07:16 PM (#1381323)
SABR BioProject Chair Mark Armour has announced the biography of Buzz Arlett. (I haven't read it.)

newer biographies, SABR BioProject

Hank Greenberg is another of those.
   151. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: December 15, 2006 at 05:27 AM (#2262062)
This is my first post here, so I apologize if my comment doesn't make sense. (I also apologize for rehashing a topic that hasn't been touched in a year and a half.) But... why would we even consider putting Buzz Arlett in the Hall of Merit? Sure, if you do MLEs for his years in the PCL, it looks like he could have been a great Major Leaguer. But...he wasn't. He was just a lifetime minor leaguer. This differs enormously from Negro League players, as they were not allowed to join the Major Leagues. But nothing was stopping Arlett; he just never made the jump (excluding that one year).

What got me thinking about this was the career of a current player: Brian Giles. As he stands right now and barring a miracle, Giles will not get to the Hall of Fame (nor the Hall of Merit). Best case scenario for him looks like career totals of >2,000 hits and 300-350 home runs (and maybe a .295/.390/.500 line). Good, but not great. We all know this.

But Giles's career is unusual. He was an outfield prospect on the mid-90s Cleveland Indians teams--who trotted out Belle, Ramirez, Lofton, and Justice every night. He was stuck, and no matter how well he played, he just couldn't get any consistent playing time. It wasn't until he was 28--after they traded him to the Pirates--that Giles got 500 plate appearances for the first time. During his tenure with the Pirates he kept hitting like he'd done with the Indians, only he was getting more time. And...well, he hasn't stopped. However, the late start has kept him out of any serious consideration for HOF or HOM status...

or has it? Why does it make sense to give Arlett full Major League credit for his Minor League seasons, but it's wrong to do the same with Brian Giles's early years (in addition to his partial Major League Seasons from age 25 to 27, he also dominated AAA pitching for three straight years; there just wasn't any room for him in the Indians lineup!). If he'd been signed by the Pirates from the start, there's every reason to suspect he'd have been playing every day and playing well by age 24. (And, of coure, if we give him full credit for those seasons, we're looking at 400-450 home runs and 2500 hits.)

Can someone explain this away for me?
   152. sunnyday2 Posted: December 15, 2006 at 05:54 AM (#2262076)
Not everyone here would agree with this, but I think we are trying to elect the best ballplayers, not just the players who had the most value in the MLs.

If Giles was good enough to be in the MLs at age 22, based on the best evidence, then he was good enough to play in the MLs. Why pretend otherwise.

The difficulty with this is how to determine he was really that good, and i'm not saying he was. But the fact that he wasn't in the MLs doesn't automatically prove that he wasn't good enough, either.

In the case of Arlett (unlike Giles), I personally don't think that he ever proved that he WAS a ML caliber player. With Giles it's really just a case of when, not if. With Arlett, it's an if.
   153. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 15, 2006 at 06:08 AM (#2262082)
The other big thing davoarid is that the PCL was much less 'minor' of a league in the 1920s than it is in the 21st Century. For the a time the PCL was pushing to become a 3rd major league. It was closer to the modern equivalent of playing in Japan than to being "AAA purgatory".

Minor league baseball was completely different back then. You didn't 'make the jump' unless your team wanted to sell you. Lefty Grove was a major league pitcher for several years before Baltimore finally decided he was worth more to them as cash than as a pitcher.

Bill James wrote a great article about this in one of the old Abstracts.
   154. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 15, 2006 at 06:12 AM (#2262085)
As to Giles specifically, he had a good year in AAA at age 23 (1994) but it wasn't mind blowing or anything (.390/.479), and he basically had the same year in 1995. But yes, I would be inclined to give him some MLE credit for those years when his case comes before us . . .
   155. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 15, 2006 at 06:15 AM (#2262090)
"However, the late start has kept him out of any serious consideration for HOF or HOM status..."


By late start, I assume you mean his 1971 birthday . . . we're only considering players that retired as of 1986 right now! I'm sure he was a good high school player, but at that time he was only a freshman.

:-)
   156. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 15, 2006 at 06:18 AM (#2262092)
Also, Arlett was from California, it wouldn't shock me at all if he just didn't have much desire to head east and play. I'm sure he did just fine financially as a PCL star.
   157. DanG Posted: December 15, 2006 at 02:42 PM (#2262216)
In the case of Arlett (unlike Giles), I personally don't think that he ever proved that he WAS a ML caliber player.

Actually, I think he did. Buzz headed east for a year and, despite battling injuries, compiled a 138 OPS+ at age 32. In addition, we do have some idea of the quality of the leagues he dominated; there's no question he was playing at the level of a MLB star player.

Read through this thread for a fuller picture.
   158. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 15, 2006 at 03:41 PM (#2262254)
I think the biggest gray area with Arlett (and I think this happens with Cravath as well, not sure) is that the PCL gave Arlett the opportunity to both hit and pitch, something he would not have had in MLB. So, at least in his early years, there was some argument as to whether or not we should count Arlett's pitching in teh yeras that he was both pitchign and hitting. To me this seemed like giving him value that he only could have gotten in the PCL and therefore a little unfair as there wa sno way he would have been doing both in MLB in the 1920's and 30's. On the other hand, some argued that this was value that Arlett gave his teams and it should count. Kinda like the Dihigo argument.

I used to have Arlett as high as about 38 or so, right around Kiki Cuyler, which to me means that he was solidly a HOVGer. However, had he been given teh opportunity to fully prove himself in MLB like CUyler there is a decent shot he coudl have been a HOFer. I mean Cuyler was nad he didn't play with Frankie Frisch (that I can recall).

As for MLE credit in the modern day, I can see giving Giles and Edgar Martinez a little credit. Trick is, I think they need to have one above average MLB caliber year to say, "Hey, look at me!" before I start giving credit.
   159. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 15, 2006 at 05:40 PM (#2262333)
The big issue for me with Arlett is what Joe touched on. Was Arlett held back by his team's having a reserve on him? This is the same argument for Averill, Cravath, and the rest of the gang, so he'll get that benefit of my doubt.

But he's also someone who confounds me.... One year of MLB and 20 of MiL is, indeed, kind of skimpy.
   160. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 15, 2006 at 07:31 PM (#2262473)
What's odd about Arlett is that every year there were lots and lots of rumors that he was "about to be sold" to someone - in 1926 it was reported that he actually had been sold to Brooklyn, although he was to be allowed to finish the season in Oakland - but somehow those deals never came to fruition.

-- MWE
   161. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: July 06, 2011 at 07:26 AM (#3869815)
   162. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: July 06, 2011 at 07:44 AM (#3869817)
Season  Age    G     PA     wOBA    lgwOBA    PitRA PitRep   PitR BatR    Fld Runs    Pos Adj    Pos Rrep    WAR
1918    19    27.    82.    0.235    0.283    47    67   21    
-3    0    0    2    2.0
1919    20    49.    134    0.283    0.292    87    128  41    
-1    0    0    4    4.4
1920    21    53.    160    0.282    0.306    122   168  45    
-3    0    0    5    4.6
1921    22    55.    123    0.258    0.323    144   152  8     
-7    0    0    4    0.5
1922    23    60.    160    0.300    0.323    125   163  38    
-3    0    0    5    3.9
1923    24    120    401    0.372    0.320    67    51  
-16    18    -9    -4    12    0.1
1924    25    154    638    0.401    0.322    0     0    0     44    
-3    -6    19    5.3
1925    26    153    661    0.395    0.331    0     0    0     37    
-26    -7    19    2.4
1926    27    154    615    0.451    0.317    0     0    0     72    
-19    -6    18    6.5
1927    28    154    626    0.414    0.318    0     0    0     52    4    
-6    18    6.8
1928    29    160    544    0.420    0.319    0     0    0     47    4    
-5    16    6.2
1929    30    160    674    0.445    0.332    0     0    0     67    
-11    -7    20    6.8
1930    31    142    578    0.430    0.339    0     0    0     46    
-14    -6    17    4.4
1931    32    127    492    0.395    0.348    0     0    0     20    
-13    -5    14    1.7
1932    33    142    561    0.406    0.322    0     0    0     41    
-9    -6    16    4.3
1933    34    153    572    0.386    0.310    0     0    0     38    
-13    -6    17    3.6
1934    35    122    501    0.371    0.324    0     0    0     20    20    
-5    15    5.0
1935    36    128    481    0.378    0.323    0     0    0     23    
-6    -5    14    2.6
1936    37    53.    230    0.375    0.330    0     0    0     9    
-3    -2    7    1.0
ML
/MLE Car.  2165   8231    0.396    0.324    592   729 137    517    -98    -76    241    72.1 
   163. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: July 06, 2011 at 08:05 AM (#3869825)
Season  Age    G      PA    wOBA    lgwOBA    PitRA PitRep PitR  BatR  FldR PosAdj Rrep  WAR
1918    19     27     82    0.235    0.283    47    67     21    
-3    0    0      2     2.0
1919    20     49    134    0.283    0.292    87    128    41    
-1    0    0      4     4.4
1920    21     53    160    0.282    0.306    122   168    45    
-3    0    0      5     4.6
1921    22     55    123    0.258    0.323    144   152    8     
-7    0    0      4     0.5
1922    23     60    160    0.300    0.323    125   163    38    
-3    0    0      5     3.9
1923    24    120    401    0.372    0.320    67    51     
-16   18    -9   -4     12    0.1
1924    25    154    638    0.401    0.322    0     0      0     44    
-3   -6     19    5.3
1925    26    153    661    0.395    0.331    0     0      0     37    
-26  -7     19    2.4
1926    27    154    615    0.451    0.317    0     0      0     72    
-19  -6     18    6.5
1927    28    154    626    0.414    0.318    0     0      0     52    4    
-6     18    6.8
1928    29    160    544    0.420    0.319    0     0      0     47    4    
-5     16    6.2
1929    30    160    674    0.445    0.332    0     0      0     67    
-11  -7     20    6.8
1930    31    142    578    0.430    0.339    0     0      0     46    
-14  -6     17    4.4
1931    32    127    492    0.395    0.348    0     0      0     20    
-13  -5     14    1.7
1932    33    142    561    0.406    0.322    0     0      0     41    
-9   -6     16    4.3
1933    34    153    572    0.386    0.310    0     0      0     38    
-13  -6     17    3.6
1934    35    122    501    0.371    0.324    0     0      0     20    20   
-5     15    5.0
1935    36    128    481    0.378    0.323    0     0      0     23    
-6   -5     14    2.6
1936    37     53    230    0.375    0.330    0     0      0     9     
-3   -2     7     1.0
ML
/MLE Car.  2165   8231    0.396    0.324    592   729    137   517   -98  -76    241   72.1 
   164. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: July 06, 2011 at 08:41 AM (#3869834)
I took Brent's Arlett batting MLEs in Post #76 and pitching MLEs in Post #95, and used them as the basis for calculating WAR figures. Here's how I did it:

Playing time: Per Brent's comments in Post #97, I added 5.5 percent to Arlett's plate appearances to correct an issue with estimating playing time in his set of MLEs, and also added another 5 percent to extrapolate to the 162-game schedule.

Batting: I took Arlett's component stats and used them to calculate his wOBA, then did the same for MLB to get the league average. I subtracted the league wOBA from Arlett's wOBA, divided by 1.15 and multiplied by his plate appearances to calculate his batting runs.

Pitching: Each season, I matched Arlett with the closest pitchers in ERA+ in each league to help set the pitching replacement level. In this group of pitchers, replacement level fluctuated between 108-117% of the league average RA. To calculate Arlett's RA, I rescaled his ERA from 4.50 to the MLB average for each season, and assumed he was MLB average in the rate of unearned runs allowed per nine innings. I subtracted Arlett's RA from the replacement level RA to determine his pitching runs above replacement.

Fielding: First, I use Michael Humphreys' DRA fielding runs in all of my player evaluations (buy his book "Wizardry" if you have not!). I did not assign Arlett any fielding runs from 1918-1922, when he was primarily a pitcher. From 1923-1935 (except 1931), I gave him Harry Heilmann's DRA fielding runs at the corresponding age, adjusted for playing time. Arlett was -13 in 1931, which helps us better understand his release from the Phillies. For his last two seasons, I simply gave Arlett his career average prorated for playing time. He is -98 fielding runs for his career, which seems a reasonably conservative estimate.

Positional Adjustment: In seasons where he was a position player, I gave him what appeared to be the positional adjustment for outfielders in the 1920s and 1930s (-7 runs per 700 PA), adjusted for playing time.

Replacement Level: I calculated the MLB replacement level, adjusted for playing time.

WAR: I simply added his pitching runs (PitR), batting runs (BatR), fielding runs (FldR), positional adjustment (PosAdj), and replacement level (RRep), and divided by 10.

I'm certain this can be improved upon, but I think it gives us a more realistic estimate of Arlett's career. He rates as a plus (plus-plus?) version of Bob Johnson. The pitching seasons give Arlett extra career bulk, but aren't germane to his HOM case. He doesn't have an outstanding season, but has a 1926-1929 peak of fringe MVP candidate seasons that does the job. I have him slotted at #10 on my ballot.
   165. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:09 PM (#4311132)
James...will you have Arlett on your 2013 ballot...does anyone else see Buzz as worthy this election...anyone else have personal MLEs figured?
   166. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: November 28, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4312031)
Arlett is going to be #15/16. It's between him and Olerud:

1) Bonds
2) Clemens
3) Piazza
4) Biggio
5) H. Smith
6) Lofton
7) Sosa
8) Schilling
9) Bu. Bell
10) Williamson
11) Bando
12) Redding
13) Sundberg
14) Appier
15) Olerud

16) Arlett
   167. Alex King Posted: November 28, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4312055)
Is that Jim Sundberg at #13?
   168. lieiam Posted: November 29, 2012 at 12:28 AM (#4312101)
I'm not an actual Hall Of Merit voter... but I'd love to see Arlett (and Luke Easter) start getting some VOTES!!
   169. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:43 AM (#4312122)
Yes, it's Jim Sundberg. I use DRA and also include catcher game calling runs in my rankings, so Sundberg does quite well: about 45 WAR, if I remember correctly (writing this on my phone). A catcher bonus, plus the relative density of his career value pattern, slots him well into the bottom third of pHOM catchers.
   170. Alex King Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:26 PM (#4312980)
Where are you getting catcher game-calling runs from? I'd be interested in incorporating those into my rankings...
   171. theorioleway Posted: December 01, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4314138)
lieiam, why aren't you voting?
   172. theorioleway Posted: December 01, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4314149)
James Newburg, why Olerud but not Ben Taylor? It can't be a bias towards Negro Leaguers as you have Smith and Redding on your ballot (and Smith high). In Taylor's thread, the estimate is around 130 OPS+ with excellent defense--just like Olerud. Now considering that would make Taylor the best hitting 1B of his era (something that can't be said for Olerud) and that Taylor's 1B defense was more important in his era than Olerud's and I'm wondering why Olerud over Taylor. And this is coming from someone who wanted to vote for Olerud (although upon further analysis I think he ends up short, in part because his strike seasons weren't that good).
   173. lieiam Posted: December 01, 2012 at 09:00 PM (#4314282)
theorioleway: I've just never been able to come up with something (system or combination of systems) that I am comfortable with. For the Most Meritous Player stuff I simply plug in numbers from various uber-stat systems. But for the Hall Of Merit... it's too big a task for me to do with the time I'm willing to put into it. I still ponder doing it, or getting to work on it... But don't think it will happen anytime soon.
   174. DL from MN Posted: December 01, 2012 at 09:21 PM (#4314289)
lieiam - If you limit your consideration set to 50 or so (to start) it is an easier task. Don't worry about leaving out someone, there's always next year to correct that. After you have the initial 50 you only have to evaluate 10-15 more each year.
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