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Monday, May 15, 2006

Jim Bunning

Eligible in 1977.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 15, 2006 at 01:19 PM | 218 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 15, 2006 at 01:21 PM (#2020474)
Guys, please dont start a political flame war over him. Let's just keep it to his career and nothing more. Please? Pretty please with sugar on top? :-)
   2. DL from MN Posted: May 15, 2006 at 01:59 PM (#2020490)
Okay, his value isn't as high as Billy Pierce. I've seen Bunning referred to as a likely electee but I think Pierce was better.
   3. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:00 PM (#2020491)
I think Bunning is a very good candidate, he's basically Drysdale: a smidge better or worse.
   4. sunnyday2 Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:07 PM (#2020498)
Exactly my thought. Bunning = Drysdale?

Of course, Drysdale hasn't made my PHoM yet.
   5. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:10 PM (#2020500)
John,

I don't want to violate your request in number one, and i'm not interested in a flame war.

But I have sort of socio-political question about baseball culture that Bunning is the lightning rod for.

To wit: In the last 20 or so years, professional athletes in football and baseball who run for office or who speak out on political issues seem to be almost universally conservative/republican or at least expressing that point of view: Largent, Kemp, Bunning are officeholders; Schilling, Smoltz, Todd Jones are all commenters. Maybe throw John Rocker in there too.

The question is, are these guys representative of the majority or supermajority of baseballthought? Or is there a wider diversity of opinion among baseball players (and I suppose executives) that we don't hear about?

Howie, I have a feeling you'll be able to offer some insight on whether political thought in baseball is hegemonic or not. John, I hope you don't mind my asking this question as it's truly not an attempt to flame anyone's political thought.
   6. TomH Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:13 PM (#2020505)
Pro:
integrated competition, 1/2 time in NL
fine KO/BB ratio
workhorse, healthy, long career

Con:
actual W-L record less than expected from ERA/run support
didn't help himself with bat (or glove)
1964 pennant race: lost 3 games in late Sept while Phils collapsed, by scores of 5-3, 14-8, 8-5. Last two were on 2 days rest. Oh, and then on the season's last day with Philly eliminated, he tossed a shutout.

Q:
late career start for military service?
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:14 PM (#2020506)
Playing the non no-brainer HOM candidate SP game again with ERA+, min 154/162 IP:

Drysdale 154 49 40 29 28 22 18 17 15 13
JBunning 150 49 43 42 34 32 29 14 14 04
BilPierce 201 48 41 36 33 24 15 13 08 07 07 05 04 03
EarlWynn 154 42 36 35 26 18 15 10 09 03
MiPappas 137 33 33 28 21 16 16 13 13 12
EppRixey 144 43 42 39 36 29 24 15 15 13 10 09 09
BuGrimes 152 44 38 36 31 23 08 08 08 03
(Pierce's 201 is not a top-10 IP season.)

Drysdale top 10 in IP: 1 1 2 2 4 5 5 5 9 9 10
JBunning top 10 in IP: 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 5 6 8
EppRixey top 10 in IP: 1 3 3 3 4 7 8 8 9 9
BuGrimes top 10 in IP: 1 1 1 3 3 4 7 9 9 9
EarlWynn top 10 in IP: 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 6 6 6 6 7
BiPierce top 10 in IP: 3 3 3 5 5 7
MiPappas top 10 in IP: 7 10

Bunning by these measures beats out Drysdale and Wynn, I'd say, while crushing Grimes and maybe narrowly losing to Rixey (or not). Outdoes Pierce.

Drysdale was top 10 in IP every year from 1957-67.
JBunning was top 10 in IP every year from 1957-67 - except 1958, when he was 6 IP short.
Neither was in top 10 in any other year (Bunning was AL and NL, of course, Drysdale NL only).

This ain't the only measure, for sure, but it seems hard to picture someone saying Drysdale was much (any?) better than Bunning.
   8. Daryn Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:24 PM (#2020519)
I'm surprised at the support Bunning is getting (C. Cobb also sees him ahead of the backlog). I see him as Pierce-lite, and significantly behind Drysdale (who I had at the bottom of my ballot). I've got him behind Tiant, close to Hunter, both of whom exist here in 1977. We are going to be getting into a lot of these types of low 200s wins and ERA+ between 104 and 115 guys. Let's elect the right one's -- or perhaps preferably, none of them.

If Drysdale is a 10, I see Pierce as an 8.5, Tiant as an 8, Bunning as a 7.5 and Hunter as a 7. I actually love Hunter's 71-75, so may even put him higher when the time comes.
   9. DL from MN Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:25 PM (#2020521)
I agree he's a good candidate, I have Pierce #2 and Bunning #5. If I throw out Bunning's 1971 it gets really close. Pierce did have an OPS+ of 19 to Bunning's OPS+ of 9. Pierce also had the peak of 1955-1956 vs. Bunnings longer, lower peak. Pierce had 32 saves to Bunning's 16 saves and more leveraged innings. They both played in 7 all-star games. They both had 7 top 10s in Adjusted ERA+. Pierce led the league in complete games a couple times, Bunning never did but he was almost always top 10. Bunning has the higher K/BB ratio and a 1.18 WHIP to Pierce's 1.26 WHIP. Really it comes down to 400 extra innings for Bunning and 5 points of ERA+ and higher leverage for Pierce.

I've argued that you shouldn't have Pierce too far from Drysdale or Ford but Pierce and Bunning are so alike the pitcher to prefer might come down to a league strength argument.
   10. Daryn Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:33 PM (#2020531)
This ain't the only measure, for sure, but it seems hard to picture someone saying Drysdale was much (any?) better than Bunning.

For those of us who use career stats as a starting point, we see Bunning as Drysdale plus a 15-18 record in 328 innings and a 6.68 ERA. Closer, than I thought actually. Like I meant to imply in my earlier post, the shades of difference aren't great, but shades at this point in our process can keep pitchers 20 places apart on a ballot.
   11. Daryn Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:36 PM (#2020532)
If Drysdale is a 10, I see Pierce as an 8.5, Tiant as an 8, Bunning as a 7.5 and Hunter as a 7. I actually love Hunter's 71-75, so I may even put him higher when the time comes.

Revised: If Drysdale is an 8.75, I see Pierce as an 8.5, Tiant as an 8, Bunning as an 8 and Hunter as a 7.75. I actually love Hunter's 71-75, so I may even put him higher when the time comes.
   12. andrew siegel Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:36 PM (#2020533)
I have Bunning a little behind Pierce, who is around number 11 on my ballot. I'm not sure whether he would be just on or just off ballot, but that decision can wait a week because I am using the one-year rule to boycott him. I am going to honor John's request and refrain from stating my reasons.
   13. TomH Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:38 PM (#2020534)
Hmmm....Drysdale's ERA+ is much better overall, so how does Bunning match him yr by yr??

Don hit better.

Jim had better defenses behind him.

Slight bonus for Don's full NL career.
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:38 PM (#2020535)
I had Pierce 6th in my last ballot, so I like him too.
But the constant extra IP that Bunning gives you is even better than the Pierce leveraged innings, I'd say.

People who don't like Bunning seemingly will be saying, "Sure, he was a HOMer thru 1967, but then he slipped quite a bit in those last 700 IP and pitched his way off the top of the ballot."

Now, those crappy IP in 3 of the 4 years did hurt, so that's not crazy to say.
But either the team had no else even THAT good, in which case Bunning in a sense helped - or the manager was dumb in throwing Bunning out there, thus pulling Bunning out of the HOM.

I think it's problematic to start an evaluation with career ERA+, personally.
   15. Daryn Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:39 PM (#2020536)
Are we allowed to boycott for political views? How about skin colour? Or state of origin? There is no way I'm voting for that Texan Banks this year.
   16. Howie Menckel Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:44 PM (#2020540)
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....

"A player’s “personality” is to be considered only to the extent that it affected the outcomes of the player’s games (e.g., via his positive or negative effect on his teammates). In rare and extreme cases, a voter may opt to exclude a player on “personality” grounds on the first ballot on which the player appears."

I believe that eliminates any boycotts for Bunning, no?
I think the second statement supplements the first one; I don't think one can take the second sentence and ignore the first...
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:45 PM (#2020542)
Wait, I may be wrong, as in Anson.

But I don't boycott anyone, and won't here either.
   18. rawagman Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:48 PM (#2020548)
I haven't had a chance to fully study Bunning's candidacy yet, but he does eyeball as very similar to Drysdale.
Drysdale did not make my ballot, but wasn't far from it. I have Tommy Bridges around 16 right now, and I have yet to decide if Bunning goes right in front of him, or right behind him ad Drydale (no room in between).
At best, he nudges on my ballot at 14 or 15. At worst, he debuts in the low 20's.
Banks to me is a bit more interesting.
   19. DavidFoss Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:51 PM (#2020553)
To wit: In the last 20 or so years, professional athletes in football and baseball who run for office or who speak out on political issues seem to be almost universally conservative/republican or at least expressing that point of view: Largent, Kemp, Bunning are officeholders; Schilling, Smoltz, Todd Jones are all commenters. Maybe throw John Rocker in there too.

I shouldn't add to this discussion -- I have the same fears as Grandma Johnny here -- but there was an article about the conservatism of sports stars in either the LA Times or the SD UnionTribune in the past few days. The subject came up because of the gubernatorial race of Lynn Swann. Maybe there is a thread on that article somewhere on BTF and all of that discussion can go there?

When you google "jim bunning" and click "images" its about a 50/50 split between old baseball photos and grey-haired senator pictures. To be honest with you, I often forget those are the same people. Like Larry Hagman in "I Dream of Jeannie" and "Dallas", there is a physical resemblance, but completely different characters.
   20. sunnyday2 Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:54 PM (#2020556)
>We are going to be getting into a lot of these types of low 200s wins and ERA+ between 104 and 115 guys. Let's elect the right one's -- or perhaps preferably, none of them.

Don't I wish.
   21. sunnyday2 Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:56 PM (#2020559)
Jocks are conservatives. They lifted themselves up by their bootstraps, and so should you.
   22. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 15, 2006 at 03:12 PM (#2020575)
John, I hope you don't mind my asking this question as it's truly not an attempt to flame anyone's political thought.

I honestly don't have a problem with an intelligent discussion about anything, including politics. But if you have waded through Primer, that's not always the case. ;-)

Since I'm not the policeman for this group, I have no problem going forward with your observation and thoughts. I only personally ask to think about the other side when you make your posts.

BTW, Mike Marshall will be a lighting rod for the other side when his time comes up. I would expect the same courtesy applied.

"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....

"A player’s “personality” is to be considered only to the extent that it affected the outcomes of the player’s games (e.g., via his positive or negative effect on his teammates). In rare and extreme cases, a voter may opt to exclude a player on “personality” grounds on the first ballot on which the player appears."

I believe that eliminates any boycotts for Bunning, no?
I think the second statement supplements the first one; I don't think one can take the second sentence and ignore the first...


Yes, but would anybody be boycotting Bunning in '77 anyway? I think not.

If we had an NFL version of the Hall of Merit, would anyone boycott O.J. in the mid-Eighties?
   23. Howie Menckel Posted: May 15, 2006 at 03:25 PM (#2020596)
Well, John, we already have one voter who wants to boycott (may require a ruling).

To gently wade into the conservatism of athletes, I can say from firsthand experience that they often refer to tax rates in their political discussions.
It has become more and more popular for states, including NJ, to have specific taxes that apply only to the wealthiest 1 pct or so. These are almost always Democratic initiatives.

There is a direct bottom-line cost for athletes, in many cases, to which party is in power - well beyond a stereotypical high-tax vs low-tax impression by the rest of us that may not always be accurate anyway.

Now, one can debate whether they should/not be singled out, or if they should care given the millions they make, and so forth.

But the issue is an important one to them.

Many teams also have small groups of born-again Christians, who tend to dine and travel together, and so forth. I don't know of many cliques of liberal thinkers on sports teams.

African-American athletes, in some cases, face more of a dilemma. They side one way on the tax issue, but they may be distrustful of the Republican party (again, whether rightly so or not is your own opinion to have).
   24. DL from MN Posted: May 15, 2006 at 03:33 PM (#2020610)
Bill Lee was/is pretty liberal as are many of the Latin stars. Athletes in general tend to believe they did everything themselves (ego) and forget about the enormous support system (coaching, scholarships, favoritism) that got them there.
   25. Mark Donelson Posted: May 15, 2006 at 03:41 PM (#2020619)
Well, John, we already have one voter who wants to boycott (may require a ruling).

We do? I thought that was a joke.

I'm about as liberal as they come, but I think a boycott of Bunning would be pretty clearly wrong. (Then again, I'm kind of anti-boycott for any reason, so maybe I'm not the best judge.)
   26. Howie Menckel Posted: May 15, 2006 at 03:43 PM (#2020620)
Well, it reads pretty serious to me. But who knows, with the internet?
   27. DL from MN Posted: May 15, 2006 at 03:44 PM (#2020622)
> But the constant extra IP that Bunning gives you is even better than the Pierce
> leveraged innings, I'd say.

Open question I don't have time to answer: Were Bunning's extra innings v. Pierce due to going deeper into games or due to extra starts? If extra starts, were those extra starts at the end of his career or did Bunning make more starts per season during his prime?

These questions make a difference with two players this close.
   28. Daryn Posted: May 15, 2006 at 03:51 PM (#2020629)
We do? I thought that was a joke.

My response was a joke, but like Howie, I took the original comment by andrew to be a serious one.
   29. Mark Donelson Posted: May 15, 2006 at 03:52 PM (#2020631)
Ah, you're right, Howie. I missed Andrew's post somehow, thought you meant Daryn's. (I think John may have missed it too, given his response.)
   30. Howie Menckel Posted: May 15, 2006 at 03:55 PM (#2020637)
Bunning started 39 to 41 games from 1964-67, which is his peak. Before that he was a 34 to 37-start guy.
Pierce started 26 to 34 games per year from 1949-61, which is his whole relevant career.

Bunning did only have 151 CGs to Pierce's 193, oddly enough.
So in effect, Bunning looks like he got the extra IP from extra starts, not from going deeper into games.

Does that make much of a difference to you in perception of value? I'd be interested...
   31. BDC Posted: May 15, 2006 at 03:58 PM (#2020638)
Mario Cuomo played professional baseball. And Bill Bradley alone would seem to balance a fair number of right-wing Republican athletes turned politician, considering either his prominence as an athlete or as a politician.

To try to turn back toward topic, I remember reading a Baseball Digest article during the 1969-70 offseason titled something like "Jim Bunning telegraphs his pitch to big-league clubs." Bunning was 38 and out of a job. He wrote letters to every front office in the majors, basically applying for a job, arguing that he would win 15 games as a starter or win 10, save 15 as a reliever, something like that. The Phillies liked his resume and signed him as a free agent. He didn't pitch extremely well for them either, but IIRC it was during those last two seasons in Philadelphia that he got to 100 wins and 1,000 strikeouts in each league, which at the time was considered a distinctive feat. So to some extent Bunning's lobbying skills got him a little more career mileage ...
   32. BDC Posted: May 15, 2006 at 04:02 PM (#2020643)
I did not remember correctly :) Bunning already had 1,000 NL strikeouts, but he did win his 100th NL game in 1970 with Philadelphia.
   33. DL from MN Posted: May 15, 2006 at 04:10 PM (#2020653)
Actually it makes Pierce's peak look more impressive to me. I am going to posit that his leveraged innings took away potential starts but that in his starts he was better than Bunning. Managerial usage patterns explain the extra innings, not in-game durability issues.
   34. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 15, 2006 at 04:12 PM (#2020654)
BTW, Mike Marshall will be a lighting rod for the other side when his time comes up. I would expect the same courtesy applied.

Here's a much beter candidate: Carlos Delgado. Should conservatives boycott him for not singing the National Anthem (I say no, BTW)? Unlike Bunning, his political act occured as a player.

We have to be very careful about using the boycott rule. For an Anson, Jackson, or (in the future) Rose, it's not a big deal since their credentials are strong, but for the guys close to the borderline, it's crucial.

Well, John, we already have one voter who wants to boycott (may require a ruling).

I doubt Joe likes his politics, but I'd be shocked if he would be happy with a boycott of a player for something non-related to baseball that he did in the future. He hates boycotts as it is.
   35. BDC Posted: May 15, 2006 at 04:23 PM (#2020659)
The strikeout feat that Bunning accomplished in his second tour with the Phillies was to pass Cy Young for second place on the career strikeout list; there was quite a bit of local media coverage of the event. This was a fairly awesome achievement before fourteen other guys went on to do it, andt of course 2,855 strikeouts is still rather impressive.
   36. OCF Posted: May 15, 2006 at 04:38 PM (#2020669)
How does this work in other countries? For instance, what were Ivan Lendl's politics?

Rest assured that politics will play no role in what I think of Bunning. I haven't yet plugged him into my system, so I don't yet know where he'll go.
   37. rawagman Posted: May 15, 2006 at 05:24 PM (#2020722)
Wayne Gretzky's status as a folk hero dropped a bit based on his management career. Especially his handling of Team Canada.
   38. TomH Posted: May 15, 2006 at 05:37 PM (#2020752)
re: boycotts, we did say "in rare or extreme cases". And we may have to let the common sense of each voter apply that clause.
To postulate a silly hypothetical, what if Jim Bunning had an affair with my mom which led to the breaking up of my family when I was a kid? But I didn't care to divulge this fact in the HoM discussion? I might boycott him for his first year. Would I *encourage* this practice for other voters? Absolutely, positively Not; it could lead to all sorts of backlash and nonsense as we begin to pile on each others politics, beliefs, etc. But if one or two voters with honest intent choose to use the option we gave them, even if it seems like the reasoning is somewhat borderline, whaddarwegonna do, shoot em? I know and am sympathetic to the argument about 'letting the camel's nose in the tent'; but we let it in "years" ago, and we've been able to contain him to date; I wouldn't make a big stink of it.
   39. andrew siegel Posted: May 15, 2006 at 05:49 PM (#2020765)
If I can't boycott him, that is fine--I'll consider him. But I was serious; his racist and homophobic campaign in 2004 was worse--in the context of his times--than anythign Cap Anson did.
   40. Howie Menckel Posted: May 15, 2006 at 06:14 PM (#2020806)
What office did Cap Anson run for?
What did Bunning do wrong that has anything to do with baseball?
   41. Daryn Posted: May 15, 2006 at 06:24 PM (#2020824)
For the record, andrew, I think few of us disagree with your dislike of a racist and homophobic campaign -- we were (As I am sure you know) just setting aside the actual facts and talking about the policy of considering off-field (and future) repugnant behaviour.
   42. Howie Menckel Posted: May 15, 2006 at 06:28 PM (#2020828)
Yeah, strike my snarky comment on the record, especially since it has nothing to do with anything about Bunning's politics.
My confusion is about how his politics would apply to a baseball hall of merit vote, but I think that issue has already been solved now.

So, how 'bout that parallel between Bunning and Drysdale?
He's DD with a ratty-looking tail (of a career), no?
   43. andrew siegel Posted: May 15, 2006 at 06:37 PM (#2020843)
On the merits, I think he has to rank at least a little behind Drysdale as they were very similar on the mound and Don has the huge edge with the bat.
   44. CraigK Posted: May 15, 2006 at 06:54 PM (#2020865)
Well, even without the fact I hate his politics </declaration of bias>, I don't see what he's got; 224-184, 114 ERA+. (Sure, he's got a perfect game, but so does Tom Browning and Don Larsen.)

Top 4 ERA+ seasons are 150, 149, 143, 142; all he's really got going for him is 15th most K's in history.
   45. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 15, 2006 at 07:34 PM (#2020923)
I think the post about selective taxation etc from Howie was a pretty good elaboration, thanks Howie.

Sunny, I think your point "jocks are conservatives" is very interesting. Someone else here said that not only do they believe they bootstrapped, but that they forget the support structures that enable them to achieve. I guess it's like Rickey and his ego. Or Barry. They need the ego in order to keep getting up in the morning and doing all the boring baseball sh*t they have to do in order to play in the 17,000th baseball game of their career against a bunch of guys trying to take their job. If you don't have a sturdy ego, some might call it an inability to see outside the self, maybe you don't achieve as highly in the game? I dunno. But it's interesting that it seems to lead to a conservative world view. (Well, that and the heavy doses of homophobia that that seem to ooze from every virtually every jock I ever met....)

As for boycotting Bunning, I say, deep six the boycott in 2006! Ain't no good can come of it. If it didn't happen during his career, it won't impact the results of my voting machine.

BUT in the SHOM (Senatorial Hall of Merit) Bunning wouldn't sniff my ballot.
   46. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 16, 2006 at 01:49 AM (#2021698)
I get teh feeling that many athletes, especially baseball players are conservaitve. They are rich, so they fit into the elite tax groups. Many white baseball players are form the south, which today is conservative. Many baseball players aren't educated (obviously those that are elected to the senate are) and many that did go to sollege weren't there to learn. Most uneducated whites tend to be conservative (the opposite seems to happen with African Americans).

I know that is stereotyping, but those are a few reasons why most ballplayers seem to be conservative.
   47. Rick A. Posted: May 16, 2006 at 03:49 AM (#2021817)
Personally, I think a boycott based on politics is unconstitutional, as well as repugnant. As much as I enjoy this project, I will drop out if a person's political views disqualify him or allow a boycott for the HOM. This goes for liberal candidates as well as conservative ones.

At times, primer gets into political discussions, and I avoid those like the plague. They always degenerate into insults, hurt feelings, and unfair demonization of both sides. I don't want to see this occur on the HOM threads. Let's please keep the politics out of the HOM!!
   48. Paul Wendt Posted: May 16, 2006 at 03:55 AM (#2021825)
As for boycotting Bunning, I say, deep six the boycott in 2006! Ain't no good can come of it. If it didn't happen during his career, it won't impact the results of my voting machine.

So I anticipate that Knepper, Show, and dozens of relief pitchers will suffer by boycott.

Chris Cobb expects Bunning to go in pronto. I guess not. But I haven't checked *who* by past ballots judges Bunning and Pierce close kin.

Jim Bunning may be the last of the candidate pitchers I remember as not very good by accident of when the memories begin. Our older tier must remember the heyday with Frank Lary, Hank Aguirre, and Chris Short a string of sidekicks --a bit inconsistent but a fine string of sidekicks on the whole.

I just learned that the 1961 Detroit Tigers outpitched the Yankees while Kaline, Colavito, and Cash Carried a dozen fieldeers with OPS+ 85. http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/DET/1961.shtml

And that my friend Neal Traven, SABR Statistical Analysis Committee, sponsors the 1964 Phillies. http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/PHI/1964.shtml

P.S. Jim Bunning is available for only $77
   49. Rob_Wood Posted: May 16, 2006 at 05:19 AM (#2021858)
My two cents, largely based upon a career value perspective -- my top pitchers in order from best to worst
(all are pretty close):

Bridges
Pierce
Drysdale
Bunning

I did not have Drysdale on my ballot and will very likely not have Bunning on my ballot this year.
   50.   Posted: May 16, 2006 at 05:56 AM (#2021870)
Sorry fellas, just stepping in here for a correction.

Here's a much beter candidate: Carlos Delgado. Should conservatives boycott him for not singing the National Anthem (I say no, BTW)?


It wasn't the National Anthem that he refused to stand (not sing) for, it was God Bless America.

Carry on!
   51. sunnyday2 Posted: May 16, 2006 at 11:23 AM (#2021909)
Well, if he sang sitting down, then that's ok.
   52. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 16, 2006 at 11:41 AM (#2021913)
It wasn't the National Anthem that he refused to stand (not sing) for, it was God Bless America.

You're right, Corpse. I saw it in my head, but my hand wrote the opposite.

Thanks for the correction.
   53. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 16, 2006 at 01:50 PM (#2021980)
So I anticipate that Knepper, Show, and dozens of relief pitchers will suffer by boycott.

Paul, I was trying to say the opposite. Not deep-six Bunning, but deep-six the boycott of Bunning.

I agree with Rick A. that not-voting for (or voting for) a person's political values in the HOM is repugnant. A strong argument can be made that Anson's actions were political, but instead I see them as "in the worst interests of the game" to quasi-quote familiar baseball language. Same goes for the rovin' gamblers like Joe Jackson. Bunning did nothing to diminish the game, and even if you dislike his politics, the fact that he's a Senator probably burnishes the game's image in some way.

So no boycotts for Bunning---at least while he's running (for HOM)!
   54. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 16, 2006 at 02:04 PM (#2022003)
A strong argument can be made that Anson's actions were political, but instead I see them as "in the worst interests of the game" to quasi-quote familiar baseball language. Same goes for the rovin' gamblers like Joe Jackson.

Correct, Those examples were what the boycott was set up for, not for Bunning, Cobb, Delgado, etc.
   55. andrew siegel Posted: May 16, 2006 at 02:48 PM (#2022058)
I'm dropping my boycott and no one else has suggested that they intend to boycott, so I think the issue is dead. Having said that, as someone who was around at the beginning, I was under the impression that the one-year boycott rule was a compromise that allowed us to register a very limited repugnance to a candidate while still ensuring that he was ultimately (and very quickly) considered solely for his on-the-field accomplishments. I also resent the implication that I would have been boycotting Bunning for "his politics." I would have been boycotting Bunning because, when it looked like he was going to lose his last re-election bid, he and his minions started whispering campaigns about the sexual orientation and alleged Arab parentage of his opponent. Anyhow . . .

Borderline pitcher; despicable human being.
Right now he slots in 17th for me. If and when he makes my top 15, he'll have my vote, though.
   56. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 16, 2006 at 03:28 PM (#2022115)
I'm dropping my boycott and no one else has suggested that they intend to boycott, so I think the issue is dead.

Seconded! ;-)
   57. rawagman Posted: May 16, 2006 at 05:46 PM (#2022281)
For all the talk about his politics (what do I know? - I'm Canadian-Israeli!) I have yet to see any in-depth detailed discussion about why voting for Jim Bunning (for the HOM) would be a good idea.
I have yet to do my full research on him, and I know my voting tends to be different from most of yours (Lefty Gomez is in my PHoM!?!), but Bunning eyeballs around 19th right now.

If someone out there loves Bunning, please tell me why
   58. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 16, 2006 at 06:08 PM (#2022303)
I also resent the implication that I would have been boycotting Bunning for "his politics." I would have been boycotting Bunning because, when it looked like he was going to lose his last re-election bid, he and his minions started whispering campaigns about the sexual orientation and alleged Arab parentage of his opponent.

Interior Monologue: AGREEMENT NOTED, URGE TO BE POLITICAL RISING.... MUST SAY BAD THINGS ABOUT THE OTHER PARTY

Iterior John Murphy: No flametastic posts, Chaleeko! You said you wouldn't.

Interior Javier Perez de Cuellar: It's OK, Doc, just let this pass in the name of peace and civility.

Interior Monologue: URGE TO BE POLITICAL NEARING BOILING POINT... MUST HIT SUBMIT BEFORE DISOWNED BY NOT-GRANNY!!!!!!!!


In the name of the HOM I officially forbear any political speech on the matter of Jim Bunning!

Ahhhhhhhhh.....

Namaste.
   59. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 16, 2006 at 06:28 PM (#2022324)
Thank you, Eric. :-)
   60. sunnyday2 Posted: May 16, 2006 at 07:13 PM (#2022391)
>I have yet to see any in-depth detailed discussion about why voting for Jim Bunning (for the HOM) would be a good idea.

#7 and #8 pretty much cover it.

He's one of a crowd and some people think he's the best of that crowd and being the best of that crowd is good enough.

I agree it's not much of an argument and yet he's #15 on my prelim (subject to some more pushing numbers around on my plate).
   61. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 16, 2006 at 07:40 PM (#2022445)
Dyrsdale was my number five or six or something, so that's exactly where I see The Easter Bunning falling in.

Let's be perfectly clear on this frontlog vs backlog comparison: Jose Mendez has it all over Jim Bunning.
   62. Chris Cobb Posted: May 16, 2006 at 08:15 PM (#2022537)
In early comments, I suggested Bunning a little ahead of Drysdale; I revise that now to a little behind.

He's currently at #15 on my preliminary ballot. 15 is where I put Drysdale, but the pool is shallower than it was then.

Thus, among pitching eligibles, I favor Redding, Mendez, and Pierce over Bunning, and I favor Bunning ever so slightly over Walters and Waddell.
   63. rawagman Posted: May 16, 2006 at 08:37 PM (#2022604)
I've looked into Bunning more now ranking him as I do with other pitchers, and he comes out lower than I first thought. 9th among eligible pitchers - 11 if I include Drysdale and Roberts (who I have yet to elect to PHoM - Roberts should get in this year).

His ERA+ is relatively low. DERA is also lower than those above him.
His ink is a little above my consideration set's average, whuch somewhat negates his other scores, but not as much as it does for someone like Robin Roberts.

Also, while he had some great years (and games), he had some dross as well. See 1963, and anything 1968 and later.

Finally, his lowish winning % raises an extra flag against the man.

Unless I'm convinced to change my mind, Bunning debuts somewhere between 28 and 44.
   64. DavidFoss Posted: May 16, 2006 at 08:38 PM (#2022610)
Bunning has 300 extra innings on Drysdale, but at a cost of 7 points of ERA+. He's got 400 IP more than Pierce but at a cost of only 5 points of ERA+. Its all very close.

The thing about a guy like Bunning is that he's not that much better than a slew of other guys (Koosman, Reuschel, Tiant, etc). It appears that he is indeed incrementally better than all of them, though. He'll get left off a lot of ballots because of this, but if it turns out that we will be inducting from the group of borderline guys then his name will be near the top of the list of those borderline guys.
   65. jingoist Posted: May 16, 2006 at 09:47 PM (#2022727)
How many pitchers, in total, will be elected to the HoM?
Will it be a set % of the top 200/225/250 players of all time?
I've seen some previous discussions whereby folks suggested 35% or 37% of the elected should be pitchers.
That works out to be about 75 to 90 pitchers if that logic is followed.
Is Bunning one of the 75 to 90 best all-time?
Probably.
Is he in the top or bottom 50% of those slots?
Bottom, I'd say.
But then again Pierce and Drysdale would/should make that top 75-90 list as well.

And yes, he did a number of repugnant things as US Senator, as have many US Senators.
I saw him on C-SPAN several times; very unimpressive speaker.
Bush-like in his inability to articulate his thoughts in a consise or persuasive manner.

But you don't need to be eloquent to throw a baseball effectively; not a mandatory skill-set.
   66. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 16, 2006 at 10:27 PM (#2022771)
How many pitchers, in total, will be elected to the HoM?

There is no set number, jingoist. Any numbers that you have seen are just what some of the electorate feel the number should be,
   67. Chris Cobb Posted: May 17, 2006 at 12:01 AM (#2023025)
How many pitchers, in total, will be elected to the HoM?

There is no set number, jingoist.


We've now elected approximately 2/3 of the players who will constitute the Hall of Merit when we reach the historical present. Although the election patterns may change, they are unlikely to change radically.

So far, by my count, we have elected 41 pitchers, out of 148 total electees (I count Ward, Caruthers, Rogan, and Dihigo as 1/2 a pitcher each: I do not count Ruth, Wallace, or anybody with a little bit of pitching early in their career). That's 27.7%, quite a bit less than the 35% to 37% mentioned above, and we will not get close to that percentage. I think it possible that the percentage of pitchers elected will rise, though I do not advocate for it, but to get to 35% for the HoM as a whole, we would have to elect 37 pitchers out of the remaining 75 spots (assuming we end with 223, that may not be quite right), or 50% pitchers from here on. Not going to happen. If current trends continue, we'll elect 61-62 pitchers. Eyeballing the pitchers coming along, I think that's about what we'll do. If the percentage rises a bit, we could elect as many as 67. That'd be 30% of total electees.

I think Bunning will go in. If we elect 62, he'll be in the bottom 5 pitchers overall. If we elect 67, he'll be bottom 10.
   68. Howie Menckel Posted: May 17, 2006 at 12:54 AM (#2023245)
HOM by pct at position, thru 1976
(I gave Brown 80 for OF and 20 for SS; subject to change)


HOM batters by percentage of games played at position (min. 10 pct to be listed)

C (9.70) - Cochrane 100, Dickey 100, Hartnett 98, Gibson 95, Campanella 95, Bennett 88, Berra 87, Mackey 80, Santop 75, Ewing 47, Kelly 36, McVey 30, White 28, O'Rourke 11

1B (13.95) - Start 100, Gehrig 100, Mize 100, Terry 99, Brouthers 98, Leonard 95, Connor 88, Foxx 87, Anson 83, Greenberg 83, Suttles 70, Wilson 45, Stovey 37, Charleston 35, Musial 35, McVey 31, Jennings 26, Lloyd 25, Heilmann 22, Ewing 19, Kelley 16, Delahanty 15, Hines 12, Lajoie 12, Spalding 11, Mantle 11, O'Rourke 10, Dihigo 10, JRobinson 10, Irvin 10

2B (12.13) - McPhee 100, Doerr 100, Gehringer 99, E Collins 98, Gordon 98, Herman 95, Lajoie 83, Frisch 77, Hornsby 72, Grant 70, Barnes 69, JRobinson 65, Richardson 43, Ward 26, HR Johnson 25, Groh 20, Hill 20, Pike 18, Dihigo 15, Wright 10, Wilson 10

3B (7.23) - Baker 100, J Collins 98, Hack 98, Groh 79, Sutton 69, White 51, Beckwith 50, Wilson 40, Davis 22, Frisch 20, Wallace 18, Dihigo 15, JRobinson 15, McVey 14, Richardson 13, Vaughan 11, Ott 10

SS (15.38) - Pearce 96, Boudreau 95, Reese 95, Glasscock 94, Appling 94, Cronin 92, Wells 90, GWright 89, Dahlen 88, Vaughan 85, Wallace 77, Jennings 70, HR Johnson 70, Lloyd 70, Wagner 68, Davis 58, Ward 44, Beckwith 35, Barnes 28, Grant 20, WBrown 20, Sutton 19, Hornsby 16, Dihigo 15, Irvin 10

OF (43.25) - Carey 100, Clarke 100, Hamilton 100, Thompson 100, Wheat 100, Goslin 100, DiMaggio 100, Averill 100, Doby 100, Slaughter 100, TWilliams 100, Ashburn 100, Snider 100, Simmons 99, Burkett 99, Cobb 99, Flick 99, Gore 99, Sheckard 99, Speaker 99, Medwick 99, Jackson 98, Stearnes 98, Keeler 97, PWaner 97, CP Bell 95, Crawford 94, Ruth 92, Magee 91, Ott 90, Mantle 88, Hines 82, Torriente 80, WBrown 80, Kelley 79, Heilmann 77, Irvin 75, Pike 73, Delahanty 72, Hill 70, O'Rourke 69, Rogan 65, Musial 65, Stovey 63, Charleston 60, Caruthers 50, Kelly 47, Richardson 40, Suttles 30, Santop 20, Dihigo 20, McVey 18, Ewing 17, Greenberg 17, Davis 13, Spalding 13, Wagner 13, Berra 13, Ward 11, White 10, JRobinson 10

SP (39.18) - Alexander 100, Covaleski 100, Faber 100, Plank 100, Vance 100, Grove 100, Hubbell 100, Lyons 100, Newhouser 100, Feller 100, Ruffing 100, Rixey 100, Wynn 100, Spahn 100, Roberts 100, Koufax 100, W Ford 100, Drysdale 100, R Foster 99, Brown 99, Mathewson 99, Walsh 99, SJ Williams 99, Young 99, B Foster 99, Paige 99, W Johnson 98, McGinnity 98, WFerrell 97, Lemon 97, Keefe 96, Nichols 96, Rusie 95, RBrown 95, Griffith 95, Clarkson 94, Galvin 92, Radbourn 78, Spalding 72, Caruthers 47, Rogan 35, Dihigo 25, Ward 16

Caveats: Totals treat all careers as equal. A little off on players like McVey and Sutton due to changing schedule length. Guesstimates on Negro Leaguers. Doesn't sufficiently represent pitching weight of players like Ruth or Caruthers.

P.S. I'd be open to 'improvements' on numbers for McVey/Sutton/Ruth/Caruthers types, and all Negro Leaguers.
   69. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 17, 2006 at 01:44 AM (#2023450)
Running Bunning through my system, Bunning will wind up at #3 next week. Not as good as Drysdale (#1 in '75), but not that far off.
   70. Cblau Posted: May 17, 2006 at 01:53 AM (#2023500)
Getting back to TomH's question, no, Bunning didn't have a late start due to military service. His first year in pro ball was 1950, his age 18 season. By 1953, he'd worked his way up to the Southern Association, where he had a poor year (5-12, 4.56.) He did marginally better there the next year and split the next two seasons between AAA and the Tigers. Looks like he just took a while to become a good pitcher.
   71. jimd Posted: May 17, 2006 at 02:14 AM (#2023605)
If I throw out Bunning's 1971 it gets really close.

How can playing at the major league level be worse than not playing? (I'm not intending to pick on this one comment in particular, but I'm using it as a representative of some similar comments on this thread.)

IMO, any rating system that penalizes a player for playing, for making a living, is flawed. I have no problem with giving zero credit for "bad" seasons, however defined, but no season actually played in MLB should lower the final rating more than retiring or playing in the minors would have. You can't be a HOMer and then play your way out of the HOM because some team is willing to pay and play you.

The only exception I could see for this is if there was strong evidence that the player was actively "dogging" it, refusing to play his best for some reason. Then a penalty would be in order.
   72. Ardo Posted: May 17, 2006 at 02:42 AM (#2023716)
DavidFoss: If it turns out that we will be inducting from the group of borderline guys then his name will be near the top of the list of those borderline guys.

I agree. Bunning (3760, 115) compares favorably to the whole cohort:

L. Jackson (3262, 113)
Tiant (3486, 114)
Lolich (3638, 104)
Blue (3343, 108)
Reuschel (3538, 114)
Koosman (3839, 110)
Pappas (3186, 110)
Hunter (3449, 104)
Jim Perry (3285, 106)

I'd rather have Bunning in the HoM than any of these guys - his drastic fall at the end of his career only underscores how good he was from 1957-67.
   73. Chris Cobb Posted: May 17, 2006 at 03:04 AM (#2023780)
I'd rather have Bunning in the HoM than any of these guys - his drastic fall at the end of his career only underscores how good he was from 1957-67.

I mostly agree, though I would keep an open mind about Tiant and especially Reuschel, who put up a lot of his innings after the advent of the five-man rotation. It will be interesting to see if, in the context of wasteland that is 1980s starting pitching, Reuschel will appear electable.
   74. rawagman Posted: May 17, 2006 at 08:47 AM (#2023963)
Thing is about borderline pitchers - why elect them when there are guys who are not borderline (Waddell) still out there?
   75. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 17, 2006 at 10:08 AM (#2023966)
NO WAY on using the personality clause on Bunning. Can't be more clear.
   76. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 17, 2006 at 10:24 AM (#2023969)
My system likes Bunning a little better than Drysdale and Pierce. He's essentially equal to Pierce on career, higher DERA (4.00 to 3.91), but more translated IP (3717-3428). Then Bunning's higher peak takes over.

Compared to Drysdale their peaks are essentially equal, Bunning 34.7 score, Drysdale 35.1, but Bunning nudges him on career. He'll probably be near the top of my ballot this year.

I'll probably be buying the Sinins Encyclopedia as soon as motivation overtakes laziness. At that point, I'll add in RCAP for all of the pitchers which will account for offense. Right now offense is only a part of my peak metric. Stay tuned.
   77. Howie Menckel Posted: May 17, 2006 at 11:16 AM (#2023972)
Yeah, I'll say it again myself - how can someone play oneself out of the HOM with a crappy tail of a career?
Starting with career ERA+, seems like you could wind up ranking these guys as equal:

(154/162 min IP, 100 ERA+ or better)
JBunning 150 49 43 42 34 32 29 14 14 04
JoelBlow 114 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14

Hey, those extra 114s are indeed worth something, absolutely.
But Bunning has FOUR seasons over 140 ERA+ and SEVEN over 129.

I am more of a career guy than a peak guy - actually I'm a long prime guy, I suppose, so I even love a Beckley guy for his uniqueness. But having a real peak and a prime is nice, too.

Ironically, I rarely recall seeing someone start a hitter off by looking at a good/not great OPS+ and saying he's no good. Usually in those cases it seems that the end-career or early-career dips are better adjusted for, why I don't know.
   78. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 17, 2006 at 11:27 AM (#2023975)
Yeah, I'll say it again myself - how can someone play oneself out of the HOM with a crappy tail of a career?

If your system works like TPI did years ago, you could. A reason why I long ago gave up TPI.
   79. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 17, 2006 at 11:29 AM (#2023976)
Thing is about borderline pitchers - why elect them when there are guys who are not borderline (Waddell) still out there?

Because the electorate feels Rube is borderline, too? ;-)
   80. sunnyday2 Posted: May 17, 2006 at 12:26 PM (#2023987)
There are no pitchers who are not borderline, acc. to the electorate, with the possible exception of Bunning. Well, I mean, ML pitchers. Each of us may have our favorite toy, but the electorate just does not see any ML pitchers in the backlog as anything more than borderline, or maybe below borderline.

In '76 we had Redding and Mendez in the top 10, then the top ML pitchers are Pierce and Waddell in the second ten followed by Walters, Welch and Grimes. Nobody else is on 10 ballots.

ERA+ (from Baseball Encyclopedia, 2004, Palmer and Gillette; ?100 and ERA_eligible in IP)

Brunning 114/149-49-43-42-33-32-28-15-13-4 (10 seasons)
Pierce 119/200-148-42-36-33-23-15-13-9-7-4-4-3 (13)
Waddell 135/180-79-65-53-27-25-23-21-8-2 (10)

WS (?10, *normalized season length)

Bunning 257/30-27-26-25-22-21-20-19-17-14-11-11 (12 seasons, 10 of them >100 OPS+)
Pierce 248/24-23-23-22-21-19-18-16-14-13-13-11-10 (13 seasons, all > 100)
Waddell 240*/35-33-32-27-21-20-18-18-17-12 (10 seasons, all > 100)

If you didn't know anything but this, there is no reasonable way to rate Bunning and Pierce ahead of Waddell, unless the actual shape of the career is of no interest. Knowing more than only this, of course, FORW must accept that it is reasonable to eval pitchers throughout the decades based on the typical workloads of their time, and Waddell's WS edge reflects IP as well as his greater effectiveness. Compared to later decades, his workload is higher. Compared to his peers, it is not so much the case. Secondly, his effectiveness is alleged to be overstated here because he gave up a lot of UER. Yet we now know that to be a red herring.

IMO, it is unfair to downgrade Waddell on context for IP while ignoring the context of his UER. (Those who make the IP argument need to explain why Vic Willis is not on your ballot.) But his UER are not much more than the norm at the time. This red herring (that he uniquely gave up a lot of UER) has probably single handedly kept Waddell out of the HoM, and it turns out to be false.

There may well be a competition discount due for Waddell, at least for part of his career, but for those who factor this in, the same can be said of Pierce and Bunning, though only for half of Bunning's career. But then there are those also who like to factor in MLEs for players unfairly held out of ML competition--surely Waddell should get a little tweak for this. He appeared ready to pitch in the NL in '97-'98 yet only got 93 IP through '99, pitched effectively in the high minors, then burst on the scene with a 153 ERA+ and 16 WS (18 if normalized only to 154 games) in '00. He was not really given a fair opportunity to "settle in" and carry a normal workload in a stable situation until '02 with Connie Mack and responded with 179-25-65 ERA+ and 38-27-32 adjWS. Sure he was 25 years old by 1902, he better have been ready. Well he was, and clearly he could have achieved a lot more prior to then if given the chance.

None of that is factored into his adjusted record on my spreadsheets, BTW. The only adj I make is to 154 games (not 162). But there it is.

Again, "timeline" ("competition discount," whatever) his record in whatever way you like. But the UER red herring is just that, a red herring. Maybe he was stupid, that is already in the numbers. I just don't see how Pierce or Bunning, both pitching much to most of their careers in the "weaker" league, were better. The career ERA+ numbers do not lie, UER or no. Yet, in context, I see Bunning as ballot worthy. He is #15 on my prelim, though I am not committed to that just yet. I am too much of a WS guy to have Pierce on or even near my ballot with that peak of 24-23-23.

Bottom line: I guess I am basically an ERA+ and WS voter, and when a pitcher has both, that's the deal. Obviously many voters aren't as committed to those particular measures. Otherwise, Waddell would be doing a little better.
   81. sunnyday2 Posted: May 17, 2006 at 12:37 PM (#2023993)
Actually I didn't mean to focus on Waddell so much, but after all he is my favorite toy among ML pitchers. The real point is that even though I do see Bunning as the best of what is clearly a second tier group of candidates, he is more *like* the pack than unlike the pack. It is hard in fact to see what makes him special and ballot-worthy, EXCEPT for the dearth of pitchers who are obviously better.
   82. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 17, 2006 at 12:44 PM (#2023995)
I'd rather have Bunning in the HoM than any of these guys - his drastic fall at the end of his career only underscores how good he was from 1957-67.

I was going to say that Reuschel might be the best guy on the list, but CC beat me too it!

Sunnyday2,

Why are the UERs for Waddell a red herring? It was my understanding that despite the vagaries of the era, Waddell still out UERed his peers. Maybe Chris J can add a little on this too?
   83. rawagman Posted: May 17, 2006 at 01:13 PM (#2024009)
I did a study looking at Waddell's UER % as compared to a number of his peers in his generation. The numbers are only very slightly higher than the norm and even after you turn enough of the UERs to ER', his ERA+ is still very impressive.
I'll find where I posted my results.
   84. rawagman Posted: May 17, 2006 at 01:28 PM (#2024015)
1975 Ballot discussion - post 148.
   85. DL from MN Posted: May 17, 2006 at 01:52 PM (#2024036)
How far do you go in discounting poor performance? Do I delete the poor games Bunning pitched in his good seasons? Should I only focus on who had the most strikeouts because a pitcher can't control anything else? I think 1971 is an important part of who Bunning was as a pitcher, especially since he was openly lobbying for a team to allow him to stink it up.
   86. TomH Posted: May 17, 2006 at 02:28 PM (#2024058)
it is reasonable to eval pitchers throughout the decades based on the typical workloads of their time, and Waddell's WS edge reflects IP as well as his greater effectiveness. Compared to later decades, his workload is higher. Compared to his peers, it is not so much the case. Secondly, his effectiveness is alleged to be overstated here because he gave up a lot of UER. Yet we now know that to be a red herring.
agree with all of this!
Tossing out Bunning's last 4 ineffective years, his career in context is much (up to 30%) longer than Rube's, so Jim is slotting in slightly above Waddell.
   87. sunnyday2 Posted: May 17, 2006 at 02:50 PM (#2024086)
Doc,

I was indeed referring to rawagman's data re. Waddell's UER.

I repeat. The notion that Waddell's UER are off the charts is wrong. He is on the high end of the range at about 33 percent, but it appears that most of his contemporaries were in the 25-33 percent range.

He may have been stupid but the hypothesis that stupid = massive numbers of UER, that essentially has been used to justify blowing Rube off, does not test out.

Then if you consider that he probably would have been an effective ML pitcher in '98-'99 if given the chance, the short career theory goes away, too. Now, I'm not much myself for MLE credit for MiL play, but for those who have credited Averill and Cravath and Arlett and Keller, why not Rube?
   88. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 17, 2006 at 02:55 PM (#2024091)
Then if you consider that he probably would have been an effective ML pitcher in '98-'99

Is there evidence that he was an effective pitcher during that time? If there is, that would help Rube in my book.
   89. rawagman Posted: May 17, 2006 at 03:36 PM (#2024136)
Someone mentioned the absurdity of docking a player for having poor seasons.
How can one not look at the poor seasons?
If I have to judge players and rank them, I have to look at the entire picture of their career. Not just the good times.
I can't look at Bunning and only see the no-hitters or only see the poor career finish. I have to see all of it.
I look at the downside of every player's career.

Why leave out something? The backlog has guys so closely together that everything counts.

Make it a microcosm. Single game. Team A beats Team B 4-2. The three-run home run hit by team A's 1B was great and all credit to him for the fact, but don't forget that the pitcher who served up the gopher gets some blame. Likewise the 2B who muffed the potential DP ball the batter before.

Maybe one day, we can get Expected Wins Added accumulated for career lengths. That would beat out WS anyday.
Hell of a chore, though, eh?
   90. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 17, 2006 at 03:54 PM (#2024168)
I look at the downside of every player's career.

The problem is, if some idiot allowed Hank Aaron to start in RF for the past thirty years, the career that we all know about would have been negated (and then some) by his more recent stinktitude. IOW, if you want to punish someone for Bunning's ineffectiveness, I would look at the GM instead. :-)
   91. sunnyday2 Posted: May 17, 2006 at 04:00 PM (#2024175)
The problem here is semantic: What does it mean to "dock" a player?

The classic objection to linear weights is the fact that it gives out negative ratings for below average seasons. So if Joe Blow is MVP and earns a 7.5 one year, then has a -2 the next, what? They're gonna take back the trophy? No. Yet he comes out as a 5.3 for the two years--less of a player than we know he was.

That is "docking" a player.

With WS you don't get that. The two seasons in question might be a 35 and a 10. Joe Blow gets credit for his great year and its value isn't denigrated because he was below average the next. This is not "docking."

What is complicated is those who rate players using rate stats. Now Joe Blow has an EqA of .333 one year, but after the two years in question he is at .300. He has been "docked" for having had a below average year. This is what most (or at least I) would object to.

But it even gets more complicated than that. If you forget individual seasons and just rate a guy on his career OPS+ of 130, so far, so good. But then somebody will say, yeah, but for 10 years he was a 140, and that's how I'm going to rate him. From that perspective, rating him as a 130 means he has been "docked" for having had a series of average or below average seasons during his decline. Here it is harder to say that this sort of "docking" is wrong.

Still, this is one of the reasons I'm a peak/prime voter. It allows me to equalize players who had an above average decline, but were in no way instrumental in defining pennant races, from guys who had below average declines, and no real influence on pennant races, versus guys who just said the hell with it and hung up their spikes (or jumped out of a whorehouse window). I don't expect others to agree with this approach, but it makes life easier by simply nullifying all of the debate about "docking" value for those mediocre years that most players have but that are clearly not part of their real legacy.
   92. rawagman Posted: May 17, 2006 at 04:01 PM (#2024179)
I don't think I'm punishing Bunning at all. I am judging his whole career. The merit of him as a ballplayer. I would be doing him and others a disservice if I didn't look at the whole picture.
When a player keeps playing when he is past his prime, he gains some points on one hand, and loses points on a different scale. How far past his prime he is will be reflected in how much he gains and loses.

I don't take this to extremes, though.
There is the small sample size caveat.
I didn't judge Willard Brown based on his 60 odd PA's for the Browns. I won't dock a player for a season in which he makes 7 crappy starts then misses the rest of the season due to injury.
The same would go for a blistering September callup.

Basically, I try to find a balance of career value in order to rank players.
   93. rawagman Posted: May 17, 2006 at 04:07 PM (#2024188)
sunnyday2 - I kind of combine them.

I start with career rates (the forest). Then I look at seasons (the trees). It's a juggle.
Without a forest, I won't look at the trees.
   94. KJOK Posted: May 17, 2006 at 04:45 PM (#2024233)
The problem here is semantic: What does it mean to "dock" a player?

The classic objection to linear weights is the fact that it gives out negative ratings for below average seasons. So if Joe Blow is MVP and earns a 7.5 one year, then has a -2 the next, what? They're gonna take back the trophy? No. Yet he comes out as a 5.3 for the two years--less of a player than we know he was.

That is "docking" a player.


It may be semantics, but I strongly object to calling this "docking"?

If I'm comparing Joe Blow to John Doe, and John Doe has, in roughly the same PT:

Year 1 7.5
Year 2 0.0

then for me to NOT compare them as 7.5 vs. 5.3, is what I would call ignoring the evidence, NOT docking.
   95. KJOK Posted: May 17, 2006 at 04:48 PM (#2024240)
The problem is, if some idiot allowed Hank Aaron to start in RF for the past thirty years, the career that we all know about would have been negated (and then some) by his more recent stinktitude. IOW, if you want to punish someone for Bunning's ineffectiveness, I would look at the GM instead. :-)

No, it would not be a problem, because NO OTHER PLAYERS played for 50 seasons, so he would not lose any ground in comparison. However, if Willie Mays is still playing CF for the past 30 years, and I'm comparing Aaron to Mays for a spot on my ballot, and Mays had less "stinkitude", then he would gain some ground on Aaron in the past 30 years in my analysis.
   96. Chris Cobb Posted: May 17, 2006 at 04:55 PM (#2024248)
In KJOK's example, it's right right to rate a player with two seasons of 7.5 and 0 over a player with two seasons of 7.5 and -2.0.

"Docking" a player for below-average seasons only becomes a problem when players with careers of different lengths are being compared.

Many voters would accept the argument that of two players with equal "career value" over an equal number of games, the one with the higher seasonal peak value is to be preferred.
   97. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 17, 2006 at 04:59 PM (#2024257)
then for me to NOT compare them as 7.5 vs. 5.3, is what I would call ignoring the evidence, NOT docking.

In regard to the HoM, I don't understand how a person playing a season worth of crap is worse than someone who retired. Yes, Bunning hurt the Pirates and Phillies with his pitching, so it makes perfect sense for a baseball historian to illustrate this. But if someone is willing to pay you and your arm doesn't feel like it's falling off, the average guy is going to keep going until nobody wants him.

I'm only semi-facetious when I state that my pitching rating is better than Bunning's post-1967 because every ML club had the good fortune of not adding me to their rosters, so I get only a zero rating.
   98. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 17, 2006 at 05:01 PM (#2024265)
Chris, I agree entirely with your post #96.
   99. sunnyday2 Posted: May 17, 2006 at 05:38 PM (#2024324)
>In KJOK's example, it's right right to rate a player with two seasons of 7.5 and 0 over a player with two seasons of 7.5 and -2.0.

My point was to clarify the question: Can a player be less valuable, can he rate less highly after X+1 seasons than he did after X?

Forget comparing him to somebody else. The question was how he compares to himself over time.

For me, the answer is no, he cannot rate lower in terms of cumulative value. Sure, he rates lower on average but not in a cumulative sense.* The objection (not mine) to rawagman's method was based on the assumption that in his systems players can and do rate lower in X + 1 seasons than they do in X. I didn't understand rawagman's discussion well enough to know if that is a fair conclusion.

Of course, compared to another player with the same number of seasons, the cumulative values will vary--one more and one less.

*This for example is why Ernie Banks ranks ahead of Dobie Moore. (Actually he didn't on my prelim but I have seen the error of my ways.) It is also why George Sisler A + B has to rate and rank ahead of George Sisler A (only).
   100. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 17, 2006 at 05:41 PM (#2024332)
The guy most hurt by rawagman's data was Addie Joss, turns out that he has the same % of UER as Waddell and only Waddell has been hurt by this in the past. Of course Waddell is a stronger canddiates and pitched more innnings, so he has more raw UER than Joss.

rawagman's data forced me to move Waddell up my ballot.
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