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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lee Smith

Eligible in 2003.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 29, 2007 at 02:41 PM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 29, 2007 at 02:44 PM (#2460159)
His discussion thread may be the most interesting of the Class of 2003.
   2. BDC Posted: July 29, 2007 at 04:22 PM (#2460223)
Well, not with only one post :)

Smith may be an odd case where both common wisdom (remembering him as a somewhat overweight guy on undistinguished teams in his latter years, punching a clock that recorded saves routinely) and saber analysis (doubting the value of one-inning closers) conspire together to underrate a pitcher. Smith at his best was a formidable pitcher, never someone you wanted to see in the 8th or 9th. And he put in those formidable years over the course of a very long career. Whether that merits any Hall at all certainly does depend on your Hall-size and closer-value principles, of course ...
   3. John DiFool2 Posted: July 29, 2007 at 06:18 PM (#2460459)
His peak doesn't compare to Rivera of course but doesn't look too bad when looking at the likes of Sutter or Goose (and Rivera doesn't have a decline phase, which may have just started). I see youall elected Goose and Fingers but Sutter is still out there (and not getting much support oddly enough). Hoffman has a slightly better peak too, as does Eck.

Smitty pitched almost all of his career in the two best hitter's parks pre-Coors/MHS, Wrigley and Fenway, behind generally indifferent defenses. His election depends on how you view ace relievers-me I'd put him in because a Hall with only a meager handful of closers isn't much of a Hall (arguments about innings pitched vs. starters aside).
   4. 47YOUNEVERKNOW47 Posted: July 29, 2007 at 07:44 PM (#2460719)
Slowest walk to the mound from the bullpen I've ever seen.

Does the Hall of Merit have a podium for the inductees to give speeches? If so, I'd like to see big Lee take his time stepping up to it.
   5. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 29, 2007 at 10:31 PM (#2460901)
Right now I seem to have an in/out gap with relievers, Wilhelm, Fingers, and Gossage on teh one side and Sutter, Hiller, Marshall, Mayberry,e tc. on the other. Only Quiz is in my top 50 right now. I am not sure how I feel about smith, but I think I will take a pass as his peak is kinda low. That said, I am certainly open to any arguments about him.
   6. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 29, 2007 at 11:05 PM (#2460933)
As in life, so goes the HOM. Smith was the main pivot point in the decade-plus transition from Relief Ace to Closer. In the beginning of his career, he went 100+ innings three times (plus 67 in 1981), in the mode of Gossage, early Sutter, and early Quis. In 1985 and 1986, his innings dropped into the 90s. Then for the next several years, his innings dropped again, into the 80s. As he entered his 30s, his innings dipped into the 70s as the Eck model took over. Through age 34 Smith consistently took the ball 60-65 times a year, but beginning with age 35, he started taking it for just one inning or less per appearance in the mode of the era.

Here's a chart showing his progression of innings and innings/appearance. The 1980 entry includes his stint at AAA Wichita.

yr  age app  inn  inn/app  gs
------------------------------
1980 22  68  111.7  1.64 2
1981 23  40   66.7  1.67 1
1982 24  72  117 1.63 5
1983 25  66  103.3  1.57 0
1984 26  69  101 1.46 0
1985 27  65   97.7  1.50 0
1986 28  66   90.3  1.37 0
1987 29  62   83.7  1.35 0
1988 30  64   83.7  1.31 0
1989 31  64   70.7  1.10 0
1990 32  64   83 1.30 0
1991 33  67   73 1.09 0
1992 34  70   75 1.07 0
1993 35  63   58 0.92 0
1994 36  41   38.3  0.93 0
1995 37  52   49.3  0.95 0
1996 38  54   55.3  1.02 0
1997 39  25   21.7  0.87 0
==============================
 
1072 1379.1  1.29 8 


Smith, to me, looks like a shadow of the Gossage releiver (fewer innings) but not as flashy as the Mariano reliever (ERA+ of 132). This may be performance or it may be context/usage. I'm not sure. Either way, it leaves him as, essentially, the pivot point in HOM relief guys. As others have said before me, he's proably the in/out line.
   7. DL from MN Posted: July 30, 2007 at 01:36 PM (#2461299)
I have him just ahead of Fingers but I have Fingers out. He's right on the borderline but I'm going to say in. He has more PRAA than Fingers and approx the same WARP in fewer innings. That doesn't mean he makes my ballot this year but he'll be close.

Hoffman has just recently separated himself from Lee Smith but is still about 2 more years like his 2007 away from Gossage on my list. The only other currently active guy who deserves to be in the discussion is Billy Wagner.
   8. JPWF13 Posted: July 30, 2007 at 02:01 PM (#2461311)
I see youall elected Goose and Fingers but Sutter is still out there (and not getting much support oddly enough).


Nothing odd at all about it, his election to the HOF despite the presence of a vastly superior competitor- Gossage- is what's odd.

Look at Sutter's BBREF page, NOTHING about his career stands out against 10-15 other relief aces/closers- not ERA/ERA+, saves, games, etc.
Why Sutter and not Quiz?
Why Sutter and not John Wettleland? (I'm serious- look at Sutter's career and then look at Wettleland's). Sutter is much closer to Wettleland- a non-candidate- than he is to Gossage or Rivera.
   9. DL from MN Posted: July 30, 2007 at 02:43 PM (#2461351)
Pitchers 14-23 in my list of best relievers.

Tekulve, Kent
Kinder, Ellis
Wetteland, John
Reardon, Jeff
Lyle, Sparky
Sutter, Bruce
Orosco, Jesse
Marshall, Mike
Quisenberry, Dan
McDaniel, Lindy

None of them distinguishes themselves from the surrounding pitchers very well.
   10. Mark Donelson Posted: July 30, 2007 at 05:02 PM (#2461582)
Does anyone have leverage numbers on Smith handy?
   11. McLovin Posted: July 30, 2007 at 05:13 PM (#2461596)
Look at Sutter's BBREF page, NOTHING about his career stands out against 10-15 other relief aces/closers

Really? Not the single-season saves record? Not the CYA? Not the 5 top-10 MVP finishes? Nothing?

Why Sutter and not Quiz?

Well I've asked that myself. Inherited runners seems the major difference.
   12. DL from MN Posted: July 30, 2007 at 06:02 PM (#2461684)
They gave a lot of relievers CYA in the 1970s and 1980s: Steve Bedrosian, Guillermo Hernandez, Mark Davis, Sparky Lyle, Rollie Fingers, Mike Marshall. The single season saves record was broken shortly thereafter and has been matched multiple times over (currently tied for 28th with 16 other relievers). Why Sutter and not Sparky Lyle?
   13. JPWF13 Posted: July 30, 2007 at 06:08 PM (#2461698)
Really? Not the single-season saves record? Not the CYA? Not the 5 top-10 MVP finishes? Nothing?


Nope
1: Single seasons saves record- nope- he tied the record set only 1 year before - then it was broken 2 years later- completely shattered 4 years after that. the record was more a function of Sutter being one of the first relievers used with an eye turned to the save rule, usage which has since become common place. 45 saves is now tied for 27th all time - it's been beaten 26 times in the last 20 years. Not impressed.

2: Not the CYA? Nope, I don't particularly care for awards the recipients didn't deserve. I'm not even sure he was the best reliever that year.

3: Not the 5 top-10 MVP finishes? Nope, see #2. See the abuse heaped upon JJ Putz in the thread where someone declared that he was an MVP candidate (in a year where he's on pace to have a better season than Sutter's best)

Sutter was in between the old "ace reliever"/ "fireman role" and the modern closer- his usage was different and enabled him to compile #s (ERA and Saves) which looked tremendous compared to relievers who came before him, but are actually quite common if you look at relievers whose careers either overlapped his or came right after his.

Someone could come up now (and many have) put up Sutter's numbers, and no one would bat an eye, "oh just another good closer".

Why Sutter and not Tekulve? Tekulve was just as effective and threw 400 more innings. Tekulve has "just" 182 saves- because he wasn't used by his manager to "close"- he was used when teh game was in jeopardy, whether that be the 9th or the 8 the or the 7th.

Sutter was used to "close" games in the 9th- big whoops- when every team uses a designated closer to close games in the 9th guess what, racking up 300 saves isn't that hard to do- 20 guys have done it- and ALL (including Sutter) pitched the majority of their careers in 1980 and afterwards.

He was a good pitcher, but he was no HOFer, his election was pretty terrible- especially when Gossage who pitched nearly twice as many innings was available.

How does Sutter get in and not Lee Smith?
   14. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 30, 2007 at 06:26 PM (#2461725)
I've got Lee Smith as the in/out line for relievers.

Wilhelm, Goose, Fingers, way ahead.

Sutter, Miller, Franco, way behind.

Smith - right on the line. If you don't want a lot of relievers you won't like him. If you think as many as 6 or 8 relievers belong, I don't see how you can't include Smith. If you think about 5 is the right number (including Rivera), then he's right there.

He's definitely better I remember him as.
   15. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 30, 2007 at 06:30 PM (#2461732)
SUTTER INVENTED THE SPLITFINGER FASTBALL

HE SHOULD BE IN THERE JUST LIKE CANDY CUMMINGS
   16. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 30, 2007 at 06:31 PM (#2461735)
DL - how do you rank relievers? I can't see Sutter not in the top 5 or 6 of the currently eligible, and I'm a career guy to boot.

I don't have him in, but I still have him as #5 overall among eligibles, a little bit a head of Stu Miller. I can't imagine there are that many non-eligibles that would drop him as low as you have him - and I can't see him ahead of Tekulve either.

I do account for leverage, and Sutter was leveraged as highly as anyone - I wonder if that's where the disconnect is.
   17. DL from MN Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:23 PM (#2461893)
Same way I rank all pitchers, a combination of PRAA and PRAR with PRAA getting the larger weight. Relievers get a little different weighting and I'm not specially accounting for leverage.
   18. Cblau Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:37 PM (#2462065)
Someone could come up now (and many have) put up Sutter's numbers, and no one would bat an eye, "oh just another good closer".
Oh, yeah? A closer could pitch 122 2/3 innings with a 1.54 ERA, and no one would bat an eye? Why do I have a hard time believing that? Anyway, the key to Sutter is to look at his first half stats with the Cubs. That's what impressed contemporary observers, got him MVP votes, etc.
   19. DL from MN Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:55 PM (#2462092)
The innings aren't quite there, but JJ Putz is putting up a really low ERA as a closer this season. There seems to be someone similar every year.
   20. AJMcCringleberry Posted: July 30, 2007 at 11:15 PM (#2462122)
A closer could pitch 122 2/3 innings with a 1.54 ERA, and no one would bat an eye?

Guillermo Mota pitched 105 innings with a 1.97 ERA. Doug Jones pitched 111 innings with a 1.85 ERA.

Were those years big deals?

Yes, Sutter's year was better, but not so much so that he's a CY/MVP candidate and the others don't get a sniff.
   21. Cblau Posted: July 31, 2007 at 01:42 AM (#2462330)
Mota had 1 save.

Jones is a lot closer to Sutter, although with fewer innings and a higher ERA. But he never got much respect because his best pitch was a change-up. And that was in 1992; standards have changed since then. Since he became a closer, Mariano Rivera hasn't pitched as many as 81 innings in a season. Trevor Hoffman's high is 88. And going back on topic, after 1986, Lee Arthur Smith didn't throw as many as 84 innings in a season while having his 5 highest save totals.
   22. thetalkingmoose Posted: July 31, 2007 at 01:36 PM (#2462733)
I know we're here to discuss his Hall of Merit credentials, but I just had to pass along a story related to a game he pitched in. I was at the Mother's Day game against the Phillies back in 1993 when Lee Smith came in for what would have been a four-out save. I went to the game because I was looking for escape from a relationship that was going horribly wrong, but by the eighth inning my moode was even worse. I was horribly sunburned and the Phils were losing 5-2. When the Cards brought Smith in with two out and two on that inning, I really thought the game was over. Instead, Smith walks Milt Thompson and then gives up a grand slam to Mariano Duncan. Almost instantaneously my mood did a complete turnaround and I forgot all about everything that was bothering me up through the 8th.

The point is, it's funny what you remember first and foremost about a player when you hear their name years after they've retired. He was a very good reliever for a long time, but it's that day and that grand slam that I always think of first whenever I hear his name.
   23. JPWF13 Posted: July 31, 2007 at 01:55 PM (#2462749)
A closer could pitch 122 2/3 innings with a 1.54 ERA, and no one would bat an eye?

Guillermo Mota pitched 105 innings with a 1.97 ERA. Doug Jones pitched 111 innings with a 1.85 ERA.

Were those years big deals?


Orosco pitched 110 ip with an ERA of 1.47
He's the all time leader for games by a pitcher.

Mike Marshall 116 ip and 1.78 ERA (and another year with 208 ip (as a reliever) and an era of 1.78

Dick Radatz 1.97 132 ip

and btw both the year before and after the Sutter year you mentioned his ERA was over 4.00
which brings me to Gossage 1.62 ERA and 133 ip- followed up by 2.01 in 134 ip
Lee Smith had 1.65 in 103 ip once
Quiz had 1.94 in 139 ip
Montgomery 1.37 in 92
Willie Hernandez 1.92 in 140 ip

yada yada yada
   24. andrew siegel Posted: August 04, 2007 at 03:52 PM (#2470735)
I have the relievers as follows:

(1) Group one--Wilhelm, Gossage, and Rivera--each clearly the best of their model; hard to compare across eras; all clearly belong.

(2) Group two--Fingers--came up at perfect time to combine innings and leverage; postseason work extraordinary; add it all up and he is the next best reliever; glad he's in but wouldn't cry if he wasn't

(3) Group three--Smith, Hoffman, Franco--have top 20 peaks and lots of innings compared with others of similar peaks; I could go either way on them

(4) Group four--Sutter, Quiz, Wagner, Tekulve, Henke--Three guys with great peaks (Sutter, Quiz, and Henke--Henke's fewer innings drops him a few slots); a guy whose numbers are great but put up lots of his innings in middle relief (Tekulve); and another modern guy who has a shot at group three or maybe even two (Wagner); I think they are all HOVG at least for now

I don't particularly care for the early relievers other than Wilhelm. The game was different and they were mostly all nothing more than failed starters. I haven't looked at Stu Miller or Face recently, however, and will give them each one more perusal.
   25. andrew siegel Posted: August 04, 2007 at 04:00 PM (#2470744)
Eck and Smoltz obviously ranked on a separate list. Both would be in (or above) group one here. Doug Jones also comes out surpisingly strongly and deserves another look.
   26. sunnyday2 Posted: August 04, 2007 at 05:20 PM (#2470822)
I dont' rate active players.

1. Wilhelm and Gossage. Check. In.

1A. Eck. In.

2. Fingers. Check. In.

3. Quiz, Sutter. Check. Out.

4. Who cares?

But yes, Rivera is in. Hoffmann is iffy, between groups 2 and 3 right now.
   27. Howie Menckel Posted: August 05, 2007 at 02:52 PM (#2471839)
I'm in virtual total agreement with Andrew on the relievers - I suspect a lot of us are.
I'm a little more down on Smith, but will look closely.

In 2003 voting, we already know that Franco and Hoffman and Reardon have done a lot or even all of their good work, Gossage finally has quit, etc. We know that Smith was good but isn't seeming unique.
   28. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 05, 2007 at 02:55 PM (#2471841)
I'm in the same boat. Wilhelm, Gossage, and we'll see if that Rivera guy can keep it up long enough to get in (I suspect he will). After that, bah.
   29. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 05, 2007 at 02:59 PM (#2471843)
I haven't rung up the numbers yet for Smith myself, but I'm not too crazy about him at this point.
   30. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 05, 2007 at 06:34 PM (#2472030)
Hmmm...it appears my system actually likes him, almost as much as it liked the Goose! Admittedly, his career shape and era are very difficult to analyze, so I don't know if I have him right. But he may be receiving an elect-me vote from me.
   31. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 05, 2007 at 06:57 PM (#2472060)
John's #29 and #30 are very important regarding Smith.

Don't just blow him off. I wasn't a big fan either until I ran him through the ringer and realized, damn, there's a lot of value there.

I think part of that, for use 30 somethings and lower is that our mental image of Smith is that of the old man - we don't remember how good he was in the early 80s before we started high school nearly as much.
   32. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 05, 2007 at 07:24 PM (#2472088)
Don't just blow him off.


Anybody who held a significant record as he did should not be taken lightly.

I think part of that, for use 30 somethings and lower is that our mental image of Smith is that of the old man - we don't remember how good he was in the early 80s before we started high school nearly as much.


I happen to remember him during his prime with the Cubbies and he was extremely impressive.

The thing that screws up my impression of him is the transitional state of relief pitching during his time, plus the cheapness of the save relative to my childhood years observing baseball during the Seventies.
   33. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 05, 2007 at 08:10 PM (#2472136)
Digging out some BP info I gathered in the last six months or so....

Here's some WXRL numbers (1959-2006) for several top RPs in the queue

WXRL RANKED BY CAREER TOTAL (1959-2006)
NAME  BEST NC 3  BEST NC 5   BEST NC 10  CAREER
-----------------------------------------------------
WILHELM (EST*) 16.5   26.0   45.1   63.5 
GOSSAGE  22.6   34.5   53.3   58.6
FINGERS  15.5   24.3   41.1   46.1
WILHELM 
(ACT)  15.7   24.4   36.8   39.0

HOFFMAN  22.5   33.3   53.0   59.6
RIVERA   20.6   32.1   56.5   59.0
L
SMITH 16.0   24.0   38.8   46.8
FRANCO   15.7   23.0   36.9   45.1
MCGRAW   19.0   28.4   41.8   40.0
SUTTER   20.7   29.8   39.7   37.6
HENKE 14.7   22.7   37.7   36.9
WAGNER   18.2   25.7   38.6   36.6
QUISENBERRY 21.9   32.1   36.0   34.0
OROSCO   13.2   18.8   29.5   33.8
D
JONES 17.0   24.4   35.6   33.1
TEKULVE  16.2   23.7   32.4   30.7
ECKERSLEY   17.5   25.4   30.7   30.4
R
HERNANDEZ   17.6   24.4   31.4   29.3
LYLE  14.0   19.1   27.2   25.4
MARSHALL 13.9   22.1   27.3   23.6
HILLER   16.3   19.6   23.6   21.9
GARBER   12.7   18.0   23.6   21.5
HRABOSKY 12.2   14.9   17.1   15.9

(*Estimate prorates Wilhelm's known WXRL per RInn over his pre-1958 RInn.) 


WXRL sees Smith as being a slightly peakier version of Fingers. But come to look at it, Franco looks like Fingers, too. And McGraw too, with a couple of bad post-prime seasons where Fingers was still productive.

Sutter and Quis look very close here, and their peaks mirror Rivera's, though their prime clearly does not.

And none matches up quite to Gossage.

I'm always interested in player typologies, and this little chart suggests two major strands for HOMable relievers: The Gossage line of high-everything, lights-out relievers and the Wilhelm line of guys who pitched very well forever and ever. Smith, it seems, falls into the latter. Given my own inclinations away from RP, I'm not terribly interested in Smith just as I wasn't in Fingers, but the drift of our elections has shown that the HOM electorate values the Wilhelm profile.
   34. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 05, 2007 at 08:15 PM (#2472153)
stupid pre tag!

.
.
.
WXRL RANKED BY CAREER TOTAL (1959-2006)
.
NAME   BEST NC 3  BEST NC 5   BEST NC 10  CAREER
-------------------------------------------------------
WILHELM (EST*) 16.5 26.0  45.1   63.5 
GOSSAGE  22.6 34.5  53.3   58.6
FINGERS  15.5 24.3  41.1   46.1
WILHELM 
(ACT)  15.7 24.4  36.8   39.0
.
HOFFMAN  22.5 33.3  53.0   59.6
RIVERA   20.6 32.1  56.5   59.0
L
SMITH 16.0 24.0  38.8   46.8
FRANCO   15.7 23.0  36.9   45.1
MCGRAW   19.0 28.4  41.8   40.0
SUTTER   20.7 29.8  39.7   37.6
HENKE 14.7 22.7  37.7   36.9
WAGNER   18.2 25.7  38.6   36.6
QUISENBERRY 21.9 32.1  36.0   34.0
OROSCO   13.2 18.8  29.5   33.8
D
JONES 17.0 24.4  35.6   33.1
TEKULVE  16.2 23.7  32.4   30.7
ECKERSLEY   17.5 25.4  30.7   30.4
R
HERNANDEZ   17.6 24.4  31.4   29.3
LYLE  14.0 19.1  27.2   25.4
MARSHALL 13.9 22.1  27.3   23.6
HILLER   16.3 19.6  23.6   21.9
GARBER   12.7 18.0  23.6   21.5
HRABOSKY 12.2 14.9  17.1   15.9 
   35. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 05, 2007 at 08:16 PM (#2472156)
What good is a space bar if the spaces don't take? What good is a preview if the preview doesn't work? Seriously, I'm not as retarded as this chart makes me look.
   36. Esteban Rivera Posted: August 06, 2007 at 04:44 PM (#2473841)
I'm looking over Smith and am wondering, how much adjustment do you see his 81, 94 and 95 seasons receiving?
   37. TomH Posted: August 08, 2007 at 07:42 PM (#2477127)
riddle me this, Batman:

[first, a quick review of Glacier National Park:
1. wonderful, beautiful place
2. probably looked even nicer without haze from forest fires
3. shoulda gone when I was much younger and more ready for strenuous hikes. Wife and I had to settle for the easier ones. Of course, we didn't have the $$ to dash off to Montana when we were in our 20s and 30s....]

I'm poozzled by Smith's Win Share totals. A career-stats comparison of Lee Smith to Quiz and the Goose: (not that I advocate using career stats, but to show apples-to-apples)

name carIP ERA+ WS WS/200IP
Smith 1289 . 132 198 . 30.7
Quiz.. 1043 . 146 157 . 24.4
Goose 1809 . 126 223 . 24.7

I would expect WS per IP to roughly match ERA+, since they are both measures of rate effectiveness, altho WS has some leverage adjustments. So why is Lee's WS per IP so much higher than the other two; especially compared with Quisenberry?
   38. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 08, 2007 at 08:04 PM (#2477150)
Possible the others played behind better defenses. ERA+ doesn't account for defensive quality and this can have a huge effect - as many as 12 points in either direction (for a guy like Palmer, who played his entire career in front of insanely good fielding teams) - higher even for some of the deadball and earlier pitchers, when the difference between best and worst fielding teams was higher.re

WS attempts to adjust for this at least.

Also, for my DRA+ stat (which adjusts for this and other issues and leaves and ERA+ type of stat), Smith is way up there (I want to say 136, but I don't the numbers handy). Quis drops signifcantly (132?) because he was terrible with inherited runners.
   39. TomH Posted: August 08, 2007 at 08:21 PM (#2477167)
I know your DRA+ does this, Joe, but WS does not, so inherited runners wouldn't explain it.
   40. Jim Sp Posted: August 08, 2007 at 08:39 PM (#2477188)
Joe,
Can you post your DRA+ numbers, maybe put a spreadsheet on the yahoo group? Or just email me.

For those skeptical about Joe's claim of Palmer getting 12 points of ERA+ over a career, look at the 1973 defense behind him: Grich, Brooks Robinson, Mark Belanger, and Paul Blair. Palmer walked 113 while striking out only 158, and came out with a 156 ERA+ (2.40 ERA).

Rick Reuschel on the other hand in 1974 has a defense that is terrible. 83 walks to 160 strikeouts, but an 89 ERA+ (4.30 ERA).

It doesn't necessarily even out over a career.
   41. Mike Green Posted: August 08, 2007 at 08:45 PM (#2477197)
The problem with using DRA+ or PRAA/PRAR for relievers is that they do not adjust for the fact that it is an easier role. The average reliever performs significantly better than the average starter, as documented very well by Steve Treder in THT last year. You've got to add roughly 10% to walk and HR totals, and deduct 10% from K totals to get the comparison right. Lee Smith in and Tommy John out looks strange when you make that adjustment; Smith was really no more effective than John (at least through age 40) and threw a fraction of the innings. They were leveraged, but not that much.
   42. Jim Sp Posted: August 08, 2007 at 08:45 PM (#2477199)
John,
How about a thread that has the instructions on how to format a table? That way we could find the instructions when we need them.
   43. Paul Wendt Posted: August 08, 2007 at 09:11 PM (#2477230)
I agree with John, Joe, and (in 2003 Discussion) Howie Menckel. This one deserves consideration. Because his career has no hook, everyone who does use a system should --at long last, if not yet-- figure out how to encompass the relief pitchers systematically.


"47" #4
Does the Hall of Merit have a podium for the inductees to give speeches? If so, I'd like to see big Lee take his time stepping up to it.

So far, the living inductees have shown little enthusiasm for emails of any length, not to mention speeches. And those contacted have been non-members of the Hall of Fame, who might appreciate it. But they may not read far enough to understand that it is selective.
(Dear Ron Santo, We have elected you but rejected Luis Aparicio and Tony Perez. Who are we? The Hall of Merit . . .)


Eric Chalek
As in life, so goes the HOM. Smith was the main pivot point in the decade-plus transition from Relief Ace to Closer.

In life, Smith and Jeff Reardon, who was not as good as Smith.


JPWF13 #13
Sutter was in between the old "ace reliever"/ "fireman role" and the modern closer- his usage was different and enabled him to compile #s (ERA and Saves) which looked tremendous compared to relievers who came before him, but are actually quite common if you look at relievers whose careers either overlapped his or came right after his.

Of course, for Cooperstown that is part of the point. He is recognized partly for doing it before others did, for being the one whom others followed --that is, the one whose success other managers tried to replicate on their own pitching staffs, by selecting one pitcher and making him a Sutter.


Cblau
18. Cblau Posted: July 30, 2007 at 06:37 PM (#2462065)
Someone could come up now (and many have) put up Sutter's numbers, and no one would bat an eye, "oh just another good closer".
Oh, yeah? A closer could pitch 122 2/3 innings with a 1.54 ERA, and no one would bat an eye? Why do I have a hard time believing that? Anyway, the key to Sutter is to look at his first half stats with the Cubs. That's what impressed contemporary observers, got him MVP votes, etc.


That is 2/3 of the story. But 1/3 is St Louis and especially the cited 1984 season (122-2/3, 1.54, 45 saves). People including numerous Hall of Fame voters, I believe, credit Sutter with inventing the closer. That's ridiculous, given the innings pitched, usually more than 1.5 per appearance.

In a few years we will debate the Eck and his genius, Tony LaRussa, the last people (with pitching coach Dave Duncan) sometimes credited with inventing the closer --last as far as I know.


by the eighth inning my moode was even worse. I was horribly sunburned and the Phils were losing 5-2.

The Vet didn't have much shade. None of the cookie cutters had much shade, I guess.

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