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Monday, June 25, 2012

Most Meritorious Player: 1974 Discussion

Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s record is the top story in 1974. Lou Brock set the single season stolen base record. In infamous news, Cleveland’s 10 cent beer night also merits a mention. Oakland wins the World Series again, this time over the Dodgers. Other playoff teams were Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

Voting will end on July 18th 2012.

Player 			SH Win	BB-ref
        		Shares	WAR
Mike Schmidt		38.2	9.5
Joe Morgan		36.4	8.4
Bobby Grich		31.9	7.0
Willie Stargell		29.0	5.2
Reggie Jackson		30.1	5.4
Reggie Smith		24.9	5.4
Bert Campaneris		22.0	5.1
Rod Carew		31.5	7.2
Johnny Bench		35.4	7.7
Jimmy Wynn		32.2	7.6
Darrell Evans		28.0	7.1
Dave Concepcion		24.9	5.3
Pete Rose		26.3	5.9
Cesar Cedeno		27.0	5.6
Jeff Burroughs		31.8	3.3
Don Money		26.4	4.8
Ralph Garr		26.5	4.9
Steve Garvey		27.0	4.3
Richie Zisk		25.2	5.1

Gaylord Perry		29.2	8.2
Phil Niekro		28.4	7.7
John Matlack		23.7	8.4
Bert Blyleven		23.2	7.5
Luis Tiant		28.5	7.4
Ferguson Jenkins	26.3	7.4
Catfish Hunter		26.8	6.5
Andy Messersmith	24.1	6.3
Jim Barr		22.1	6.7
Buzz Capra		21.0	5.1
Tom Seaver		16.4	5.6
Nolan Ryan		21.1	5.5
Jim Rooker		20.6	5.7
Jim Kaat		21.5	6.7
Steve Busby		21.2	6.2
John Hiller		20.5	4.0
Tom Murphy		19.2	5.0
Bill Campbell		15.3	3.8
Mike Marshall		20.7	3.0
DL from MN Posted: June 25, 2012 at 12:44 PM | 52 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: June 25, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4165691)
hot topics
   2. DL from MN Posted: June 25, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4165692)
IMO the BBWAA did a particularly awful job selecting their award winners this year.
   3. DL from MN Posted: June 25, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4165722)
1974 prelim - no postseason credit calculated yet

1) Joe Morgan
2) Mike Schmidt
3) Johnny Bench - C bonus
4) Gaylord Perry
5) Phil Niekro
6) Rod Carew
7) Bobby Grich - good year for second basemen
8) John Matlack
9) Jimmy Wynn
10) Darrell Evans
11) Luis Tiant
12) Reggie Jackson

13-15) Catfish Hunter, Dave Concepcion, Jim Barr
16-21) Reggie Smith, Ferguson Jenkins, Bert Blyleven, Bert Campaneris, Andy Messersmith, Willie Stargell
   4. Mr. C Posted: June 26, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4166412)
The 1974 ballot should be interesting. Morgan probably had his best season to date, but the young Phillie third baseman certainly makes a case for himself. I think a lot will depend on how much credit Schmidt gets for his defense.
   5. Chris Fluit Posted: June 26, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4166456)
I have Schmidt ahead of Morgan but it's very close. It's not so much that Schmidt had a great year defensively (though he did) as that Morgan had a surprisingly mediocre year with the glove. He's at +4 fielding runs and +0.9 defensive WAR. That's a clear dip from '73 when he was +11 and +1.7 but at least Morgan rebounds in '75 with +14 and +2.0.

   6. OCF Posted: June 26, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4166577)
Lou Brock set the single season stolen base record.

At the time, that's what I was following. I remember frequently calculating linear extrapolations of what he was doing, and seeing the extrapolation mostly hold steady at around 120 SB, and that's about where it wound up.

In retrospect, one of the things to notice about that is what it did to Ted Sizemore, who carried most of the load of batting second in the order. In three previous years with the Cardinals, Sizemore had SLG of .333, .335, and .334 (OPS+ of 83, 89, 96). In 1974, while batting during all those SB attempts, his SLG was .296 (OPS+ 79). Of course that was maybe just Sizemore entering his decline phase (he was 29) and starting to have nagging injuries.

Reggie Smith, who was batting third, had 100 RBI. But then, Smith slugged .528 and might well have had about that many RBI had Brock been a little more conventional.

The other thing that happened with that team: Al Hrabosky emerged into stardom, or at least notoriety. If you're too young to remember his act: he would stand at the back of the mound facing away from the batter and talking to himself, apparently working himself into a seething rage. Then he'd turn and stomp back onto the rubber, ready to throw a pitch or kill someone, whichever came first. He got some downballot votes for CYA and MVP that year, and from looking at his statistical line, it's hard in retrospect to see why.
   7. DL from MN Posted: June 26, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4166579)
I might have 5 pitchers on the ballot but none had a season as strong as Schmidt and Morgan. A good year for pitchers but no great seasons. It's possible we may be giving too much credit to pitchers and not enough to shortstops.
   8. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: June 26, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4166755)
If knowledge is the key then show me the lock
I got the scrawny legs but I move just like Lou Brock
With speed, I'm agile
Plus I'm worth your while
100% intelligent black child

Anyway. Brock is the only player I see who showed up in a great song 20 years later, but for me it'll come down to how I parse out Morgan's defense. I kinda wish we could vote for two #1s.
   9. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: June 26, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4166827)
   10. DL from MN Posted: June 26, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4166839)
Rod Carew showed up in a great song 20 years later...
   11. DL from MN Posted: June 26, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4166970)
Review of postseason credit

Campaneris 4 17 0 3 0 0 0 3 0 3 .176 .167 .176 .343
Bando 4 13 4 3 0 0 2 2 4 0 .231 .412 .692 1.104
Reggie! 4 12 0 2 1 0 0 1 5 2 .167 .412 .250 .662

Grich 4 16 2 4 1 0 1 2 0 1 .250 .250 .500 .750

Hunter 2 2 4.63 1 1 0 0 11.2 11 6 2 6 1.114
   12. DL from MN Posted: June 26, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4166976)
Review of postseason credit

Wynn 4 10 4 2 2 0 0 2 9 1 .200 .579 .400 .979

Stargell 4 15 3 6 0 0 2 4 1 2 .400 .438 .800 1.238

Messersmith 1 1 2.57 1 0 0 0 7.0 8 2 3 0 1.571
Marshall 2 0 0.00 0 0 0 0 3.0 0 0 0 1 0.000

Rooker 1 1 2.57 0 0 0 0 7.0 6 2 5 4 1.571
   13. DL from MN Posted: June 26, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4166990)
World Series
Campaneris 5 17 1 6 2 0 0 2 0 2 .353 .389 .471 .859
Bando 5 16 3 1 0 0 0 2 2 5 .063 .200 .063 .263
Reggie! 5 14 3 4 1 0 1 1 5 3 .286 .474 .571 1.045

Wynn 5 16 1 3 1 0 1 2 4 4 .188 .333 .438 .771

Hunter 2 1 1.17 1 0 1 0 7.2 5 1 2 5 0.913

Messersmith 2 2 4.50 0 2 0 0 14.0 11 7 7 12 1.286
Marshall 5 0 1.00 0 1 1 0 9.0 6 1 1 10 0.778
   14. Jay Z Posted: June 27, 2012 at 12:56 AM (#4167450)
IMO the BBWAA did a particularly awful job selecting their award winners this year.

The media fell in love with Garvey, and Brock to some degree. It was sort of weird. An MVP 1st baseman should be like McCovey, leading the league in homers, or at least a batting title.

Burroughs was the better choice by the media's usual standards. He is remembered as being bad for his mediocre career, but this choice was not all that bad. Grich was overlooked, but it wasn't that unusual by the standards of the time, plus he had Carew to contend with at his own position. Rangers were a surprise contender, Jackson was probably a little better than Burroughs but he'd won the year before. At the time if you won the year before and weren't definitive in your follow-up year, the benefit of the doubt went to the new guy.
   15. OCF Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:10 AM (#4167453)
I'm probably more familiar with the post-retirement version of Jeff Burroughs than I am with his major league career. He went to the second-closest high school to where I now live (Long Beach Wilson), and after he left the majors he moved right back to the same neighborhood he came from. He got involved in youth baseball camps. He coached Little League (getting to make the trip to Williamsport). He managed professional indy league teams. If I try to visualize what he looks like, the picture I get of him is from the 1990's.
   16. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:26 AM (#4167455)
Rod Carew showed up in a great song 20 years later...

He converted?
   17. DL from MN Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4167518)
Not THAT song.
   18. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4167524)
Oh, he has mad hits. I remember now.
   19. Chris Fluit Posted: June 27, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4168145)
1974 Prelim

1. Mike Schmidt, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies
2. Joe Morgan, 2B, Cincinnati Reds
3. Johnny Bench, C, Cincinnati Reds- catcher bonus pushes Bench up to 3rd
4. Joe Niekro, P, Atlanta Braves
5. Gaylord Perry, P, Cleveland Indians- top AL pitcher
6. Rod Carew, 2B, Minnesota Twins- top AL position player
7. Mike Marshall, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers- an incredible 208 innings in relief
8. Catfish Hunter, P, Oakland A's
9. Fergie Jenkins, P, Texas Rangers
10. Luis Tiant, P, Boston Red Sox
11. Nolan Ryan, P, California Angels
12. Willie Stargell, 1B, Pittsburgh Pirates

13. Reggie Jackson, RF, Oakland A's- essentially tied with Stargell for 12th, Pops is ahead based on league strength
14. Bert Blyleven, P, Minnesota Twins
15. Bobby Grich, 2B, Baltimore Orioles
16. Jon Matlack, P, New York Mets
17. Andy Messersmith, P, Los Angeles Dodgers
18. Buzz Capra, P, Atlanta Braves
19. Jimmy Wynn, CF, Houston Astros
20. Bill Freehan, C/1B, Detroit Tigers- half a catcher bonus lands Freehan in the top 20

AL MVP Jeff Burroughs shows up 23rd. NL MVP Steve Garvey is well below that.
   20. DL from MN Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:01 PM (#4168194)
4. Joe Niekro, P, Atlanta Braves

Wrong Niekro
   21. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:26 PM (#4168210)
So, what do people think about Mike Marshall? His numbers in the heading aren't enough to get him noticed much. My player won-lost records actually think his 1973 was probably more valuable than his 1974. And yet ... 208 innings pitched in relief! He finished over half of the Dodgers' games that year (83). And had the 4th-best ERA+ in the National League.

I mentioned briefly in the 1973 discussion, I wonder if a traditional "replacement level" undervalues Marshall because you really can't replace him with a single relief pitcher pitching 208 innings. Such pitchers don't exist. To replace Marshall, you'd probably have to use 3 different replacement-level pitchers. But, of course, that would cost you two extra roster spots. So, to replace Marshall, you'd have to also replace two other guys on the 1974 Dodgers: say Manny Mota and Ken McMullen, who seem to have been used mostly as PHs - maybe a team that needed a deeper bullpen couldn't have afforded to carry guys who couldn't really play the field? (Then again, giving Marshall credit for Mota and McMullen's wins over replacement in my system only adds maybe 0.5 win, which still doesn't get him into the top 50 players in the majors that year.)

I don't know. I'm tempted to sort of abandon the statistics for Marshall and give him at least a down-ballot vote even though my system doesn't really show him deserving it. Is that kosher? What do other people think?
   22. OCF Posted: June 27, 2012 at 11:01 PM (#4168226)
I haven't worked up my usual numbers for pitchers yet - maybe this weekend - but I assure you that I'll be taking a look at Marshall.
   23. sunnyday2 Posted: June 28, 2012 at 04:13 AM (#4168300)

This is "by the numbers." I kind of expect to move Bench up to #1 by the time we're done, and Morgan seems undervalued. OTOH if Bench and Morgan are so good how come Cincy lost the NL West? Oh yeah, and guys who played for the '74 Rangers said at the time that Fergie was their MVP, so there might be some more work to do with him and Burroughs.

1. Jim Wynn, Los Angeles, cf 154 OPS+

2. Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia, 3b 156 OPS+
3. Johnny Bench, Cincinnati, c 144 OPS+
4. Reggie Jackson, Oakland, rf 171 OPS+
5. Jeff Burroughs, Texas, lf 164 OPS+

6. Joe Morgan, Cincinnati, 2b 160 OPS+
7. Steve Garvey, Los Angeles, 1b 132 OPS+
8. Willie Stargell, Pittsburgh, lf 169 OPS+
9. Joe Rudi, Oakland, lf 143 OPS+
10. Darrell Evans, Atlanta, 3b 119 OPS+

11. Sal Bando, Oakland, 3b 134 OPS+
12 (tie). Bobby Grich, Baltimore, 2b 137 OPS+
Mike Marshall, Los Angeles, rp 141 ERA+

14. Ferguson Jenkins, Texas, sp 126 ERA+
15. Dick Allen, Chicago White Sox, 1b 164 OPS+
   24. AndrewJ Posted: June 28, 2012 at 07:55 AM (#4168312)
IMO the BBWAA did a particularly awful job selecting their award winners this year.

Schmidt might have gotten the National League MVP had he not struck out 138 times. Sportswriters in that era saw that as a detriment.
   25. TomH Posted: June 28, 2012 at 08:08 AM (#4168316)
If Schmidt had traded in 75 walks (so he drew a free pass as often as Garvey) for 50 singles and 25 outs, he would have EASILY been the MVP; hitting .327 and driving in 130 runs sells a lot better than hitting .282 with 116 RBI. Or it did in 74. Garvey had the best triple crown stats for a division winner.
   26. Chris Fluit Posted: June 28, 2012 at 08:47 AM (#4168335)
Re #20

Right. That should be Phil, not Joe. I'm glad I didn't mix up two Perrys at least.
   27. DL from MN Posted: June 28, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4168358)
how come Cincy lost the NL West?

A mediocre pitching staff?
   28. AndrewJ Posted: June 28, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4168407)
Garvey was also very photogenic, apparently clean-cut and a family man. This, too, went a long way with the media in 1974.
   29. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 28, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4168453)
Oh yeah, and guys who played for the '74 Rangers said at the time that Fergie was their MVP, so there might be some more work to do with him and Burroughs.

My player won-lost records agree with the players that Fergie was the MVP of the Rangers. My system actually thinks that Toby Harrah was probably also more valuable than Burroughs (who was a terrible, terrible fielder by my system (and by reputation if I remember correctly)). My system has Fergie pretty clearly in the top 3 that year (Morgan, Schmidt) with a case for #1.

I'm going to try to put together a preliminary ballot later today or tomorrow.
   30. DanG Posted: June 29, 2012 at 12:56 AM (#4169205)
Innings for individual relief pitchers was at its zenith in 1974, it wasn't just Marshall. Hiller's 31 decisions are a record for RP. Marshall's 27 are second most all-time.

Rk           Player WAR ERASV   WPA  WHIP GF GS    IP Age  Tm Lg   G  W  L  ERA OPS+
1        Tom Murphy 4.9  189 20 4.210 1.203 66  0 123.0  28 MIL AL  70 10 10 1.90   74
2       John Hiller 4.0  143 13 0.598 1.260 52  0 150.0  31 DET AL  59 17 14 2.64   78
3     Bill Campbell 3.8  145 19 1.990 1.363 55  0 120.1  25 MIN AL  63  8  7 2.62   83
4       Sparky Lyle 3.4  215 15 2.750 1.193 59  0 114.0  29 NYY AL  66  9  3 1.66   70
5      Chuck Taylor 3.2  178 11 2.057 1.170 39  0 107.2  32 MON NL  61  6  2 2.17   85
6         Doug Bird 2.9  140 10 0.957 1.375 44  1  92.1  24 KCR AL  55  7  6 2.73  103
7     Mike Marshall 2.9  141 21 0.276 1.186 83  0 208.1  31 LAD NL 106 15 12 2.42   79
8         Tom House 2.9  196 11 3.064 0.984 38  0 102.2  27 ATL NL  56  6  2 1.93   54
9      Oscar Zamora 2.7  123 10 2.358 1.207 31  0  83.2  29 CHC NL  56  3  9 3.12   91
10      Dale Murray 2.6  374 10 2.354 0.990 23  0  69.2  24 MON NL  32  1  1 1.03   34
11   Steve Foucault 2.6  159 12 1.393 1.129 53  0 144.1  24 TEX AL  69  8  9 2.24   81
12     Clay Carroll 2.4  163  6 2.111 1.252 30  3 100.2  33 CIN NL  57 12  5 2.15   80
13    Terry Forster 1.9  105 24 1.364 1.251 49  1 134.1  22 CHW AL  59  7  8 3.62   82 
   31. Chris Fluit Posted: June 29, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4169597)
Sunnyday, I'm curious that you have Bando ahead of Grich considering that Grich has the higher OPS+ and the better defensive numbers.
   32. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 29, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4169893)
Here's my preliminary ballot. I calculate my own player won-lost records, which are calculated from Retrosheet play-by-play data. I calculate two sets of numbers: pWins and pLosses are tied to team wins, eWins and eLosses are context-neutral. Top 25s for both sets of numbers are here - pWins, eWins - these numbers include postseason games (weighted the same as regular-season games). Numbers below are pWins - pLosses, pWOPA (pWins over positional average), and pWORL (pWins over replacement level).

I weight WOPA a bit more than WORL in constructing my ballot. I look at both pWins and eWins, trying to balance them fairly equally, perhaps leaning toward eWins a bit more. I also tend to value being the best player in the majors at a position, using that mostly as something of a tiebreaker (i.e., all else equal, I'll value the best 3rd-baseman above the 3rd-best right fielder).

Here's my top 12 with comments.

1. Joe Morgan, 23.1 - 15.7, 4.0, 5.8 - he was also #1 on my ballot in 1973
2. Mike Schmidt, 23.8 - 17.0, 3.1, 4.9 - clearly a top-2 player in context-neutral stats.
3. Fergie Jenkins, 23.0 - 14.8, 4.4, 6.1 - he's #1 in pWOPA and pWORL; I drop him to #3 because Morgan and Schmidt are better in eWOPA and eWORL, the NL was probably a bit stronger than the AL, and my system seems to like Jenkins a bit more than other systems. See my next comment for a bit more on this last issue.
4. Johnny Bench, 22.1 - 15.5, 3.5, 5.2 - you could probably make a case for him for any of the top 3 slots if you give any kind of extra catcher bonus.
5. Bobby Grich, 22.9 - 17.7, 3.2, 5.0 - my system thinks this was probably the best season of Grich's career.
6. Jimmy Wynn, 24.9 - 17.7, 2.9, 4.8 - best OF in MLB by any of the measures I looked at; led the majors in raw pWins.
7. Gaylord Perry, 18.1 - 15.5, 1.6, 3.1 - top 5 or 6 in context-neutral stats (19.4 - 14.4, 2.8, 4.3); he looks much worse in pWOPA/pWORL.
8. Rod Carew, 21.3 - 18.1, 2.2, 4.0 - ranks 4th in eWORL; like Perry, does a lot worse in pWOPA/pWORL.
9. Luis Tiant, 20.5 - 13.5, 3.7, 5.3 - ranks 3rd in pWOPA/pWORL, off-ballot (i.e., not in top 12) in eWOPA/eWORL.
10. Andy Messersmith, 19.6 - 15.8, 2.7, 4.3 - pretty well-balanced in pWins and eWins (ranks 9th - 11th in both WOPA and both WORL measures).
11. Davey Concepcion, 22.1 - 18.3, 2.6, 4.5 - top 10 in pWOPA/pWORL, not even top 20 in eWOPA/eWORL; he gets a ballot slot here by virtue of him being the best SS in MLB (even context-neutral).
12. Catfish Hunter, 19.5 - 14.6, 2.7, 4.3 - excellent World Series performance clinches a ballot slot for him over several pitchers with similar resumes.

Two more guys I want to comment on.

Mike Marshall, 13.9 - 12.8, 0.2, 1.9 - As I discussed earlier (comment #21), I thought about giving Mike Marshall extra credit for the unusualness of his 1974 season, even though on the raw stats it doesn't warrant a ballot slot. I decided against doing so because, ultimately, I decided I thought the 12 guys I voted for had better/more valuable seasons, even accounting for the fact that Marshall threw 208 innings in relief and finished half of the Dodgers' games.

Jim Rooker, 16.3 - 13.4, 2.2, 3.5 - Rooker ranks 6th in eWOPA and 8th in eWORL in 1974 according to my system (18.1 - 14.3, 2.7, 4.1). Looking at his statistics, I'm not really seeing what my system is seeing in him. He was 8th in NL in ERA, 9th in ERA+, 9th in IP, 10th in WHIP, and these are just for the NL, he obviously ranks lower in all of these stats for the entire majors. He was a good hitter and great fielder (according to my system) that year, which probably helps explain some of it. He also drops down to 22nd in pWOPA and 26th in pWORL, which made it somewhat easy for me to drop him off-ballot. But he caught my eye as somebody who appears to have been doing something right (for this one season) that maybe didn't necessarily translate into obvious stats (or, unfortunately, team wins, hence his somewhat poorer showing in pWins (and his 15-11 traditional W-L record, despite pitching for a playoff team)).
   33. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 29, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4169894)
Following up on my comment in #29, my system seems to like Fergie Jenkins more than most of the other preliminary ballots listed here seem to. I thought that might warrant a bit more investigation/explanation.

Based on the "raw" statistics, it seems kind of easy to see where everybody else is coming from on Jenkins. He was 2nd in the AL in IP but 8th in ERA+, which presumably gets you to a player who's kind of on the borderline for a 12-player ballot, if not just off-ballot.

But looking a bit closer, Jenkins is 1st in the AL in BB/9, 3rd in K/9, 1st in K/BB, and 2nd in WHIP. Jenkins' problem, from my system's perspective, was that he played in front of a lousy defense. The fact that the Rangers' defense was fairly bad isn't all that controversial: they were 11th in the 12-team AL in defensive efficiency and also 11th in Rtot on BB-Ref (-29). My system agrees that the Rangers overall were a fairly bad defense (W-L record of 42.5 - 45.7, or -3.2 net wins, which is really close to BB-Ref's Rtot measure). But what my system also sees is that the Rangers were especially bad defensively in the outfield. Their three starting outfielders were Jeff Burroughs (4.9 - 6.3, .435 winning percentage, -1.4 net fielding wins), Cesar Tovar (5.1 - 6.1, .455, -1.0), and Alex Johnson (3.7 - 4.1, .446, -0.4). Those three combined for -2.8 net fielding wins (i.e., the Rangers' infield was fairly average defensively).

Jenkins' problem was that he was a pretty extreme flyball pitcher. In 1974, his GO/AO (ground out / air out) ratio was 0.79. That was the 6th-lowest GO/AO ratio in the 1974 AL; the average GO/AO ratio was 1.03. So, my system views the Rangers' defense as being particularly costly to Jenkins. Properly (in my opinion) assigning that blame to the Rangers' outfielders instead of to Jenkins, then, leads to a valuation of Jenkins that shows him to have been the best pitcher in the major leagues in 1974.
   34. OCF Posted: June 30, 2012 at 06:17 PM (#4170223)
OK, the yearly RA+ equivalent record look at pitchers:

In the AL runs per game dropped from the 4.30 in the first year of the DH all the way back down to 4.12, while the NL stayed at 4.15 - so even with the DH, the NL outscored the AL. Pitcher loads remained at historically high levels, and we'll see quite a few virtual 20 game winners, but that was largely an AL phenomenon.

Perry: 24-12
Tiant: 23-12
Hunter: 22-13
Blyleven: 20-12
Jenkins: 22-15
Kaat: 18-12
Busby: 19-14
Wood: 19-17
Murphy: 11-3; 16-7 with inherited runner adjustment
Hiller: 11-6; 13-9 with inherited runner adjustment
Campbell: 9-4; 13-7 with inherited runner adjustment
Lyle: 9-4; 13-7 with inherited runner adjustment

Niekro: 23-10
Matlack: 23-8, bad hitter
Barr: 17-9, excellent hitter
Seaver: 15-11, bad hitter
Taylor: 9-3; 11-6 with inherited runner adjustment, good hitter
Marshall: 15-9; 18-13 with inherited runner adjustment

Some notes:

Chuck Taylor batted .300/.364/.400 but it was only 15 PA, so the impact is not large. And Terry Forster was in the AL and didn't bat at all.

Hiller had been fabulous against inherited runners in 1973, 13 scored out of 84 inherited. In 1974 he was quite bad: 27 scored out of 54 inherited. That has to color any analysis of him. It might also be a reason why he had so many decisions, including that he might have had some "vultured" wins.

For all of his appearances and innings, Marshall did not see all that many inherited runners - just 75 as opposed to 76 for Lyle and 96 for Murphy.

As always, I have made no effort to adjust for team defense. In fact, since I'm using RA instead of ERA, I'm slicing a little bit in the other direction. Hence if you want to look at something like what Kiko Sakata just wrote, you can take what I said as a baseline and then make adjustments for what Kiko said.
   35. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: June 30, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4170284)
4. Joe Niekro, P, Atlanta Braves

Wrong Niekro

They all look alike to me.
   36. Mr. C Posted: July 01, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4170949)
Preliminary list for 1974

The extraordinary number of innings that starting pitchers continued to pitch this year,particularly in the AL, again gives pitchers the edge in the top 12. However, unlike my ratings in last few years, a couple of position players lead the way.

A WAR framework, with about 60% of normal replacement value. Wins above reduced replacement (WARR)
1. Mike Schmidt- 9.01 WARR Slightly below Morgan offensively, but has significantly better defensive numbers.
2. Joe Morgan-7.71 WARR probably Morgan's best year to date.
3. Luis Tiant- 7.60 WARR
4. Jon Matlack - 7.45 WARR
5. Gaylord Perry- 7.26 WARR
6. Bert Blyleven - 7.21 WARR
7. Johnny Bench - 6.85 WARR
8. Jim Kaat - 6.84 WARR
9. Phil Niekro - 6.79 WARR
10. Ferguson Jenkins- 6.63 WARR
11. Rod Carew - 6.38 WARR
12. Jimmy Wynn- 6.29 WARR

Rest of the top 20
Jim Barr
Darrell Evans
Bobby Grich
Reggie Jackson
Steve Busby
Wilbur Wood
Dace Concepcion
Richie Zisk
   37. Chris Fluit Posted: July 03, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4172025)
The Mike Marshall discussion prompted me to take a look at how relievers have fared in the voting so far. I thought that I was one of the more reliever-friendly voters because I give a leverage-index to relievers so that their innings weigh a little more than that of a starter. But it looks like I'm within the margin of error for the electorate as a whole- a little high on one, even on a second, and out on a limb by myself for a third.

Here are the relievers who have received a vote so far

1964: Dick Radatz, 18th place (one 10th place vote)
1965: Stu Miller, tied for 17th (one 10th place vote)
1967: Ted Abernathy, 13th place (3 votes; I had him 9th on my ballot)
1971: Tug McGraw, tied for 26th (one 12th place vote in a wide open ballot)
1972: Mike Marshall, tied for 19th (one 11th place vote)
1973: John Hiller, 6th place (the best showing for a reliever so far, making 11 of 14 ballots; I had him 6th on mine)
1973: Mike Marshall, tied for 19th (I was the lone vote for Marshall with a 10th place spot)

   38. DL from MN Posted: July 03, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4172085)
I think I've been able to sort out how postseason credit is affecting my ballot but I'm tied up in knots about whether to slot Hunter or Reggie in the #12 slot on the ballot. Wish we were voting for 15 this year.
   39. bjhanke Posted: July 04, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4173166)
OCF (#6) remembers Al Hrabosky, but wasn't sure what made him look so great. As I said as we entered the 1970s, my memories are few of the first half-decade, but I do remember Al. What he had was a "hopping" fastball. If you saw any women's college softball a decade ago, or if you've seen semi-pro softball, you've seen pitchers do this. The ball comes in very fast and seems to "hop", to actually gain height at the last minute. I've played against pitchers who had that pitch, and from the hitter's viewpoint, the ball does indeed seem to hop up at the last minute. I imagine that this is an optical illusion, but that's what Al had. I remember him most vividly from one game against the Pirates, perhaps not in 1974. The game came down to Willie Stargell and Al, straight up, for the game in the 9th. Al threw three of those hoppers, and Willie swung right under all three of them, ending the contest. I always thought that what Al was doing with his behind-the-mound routine was working himself into a state where he could throw the absolute hardest fastball he could throw, pitch after pitch. Sort of like Nolan Ryan, but Al had to work at it each pitch. Anyway, that's what made him seem so effective: The best fastball hitters in baseball could not hit his, and it didn't look like anyone else's fastball. - Brock Hanke
   40. OCF Posted: July 04, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4173171)
What I meant by that comment about Hrabosky is that his results didn't really justify his 5th place finish in the CYA voting, since in 1974 he was an 88 inning relief pitcher with a 122 ERA+. He had an 8-1 record and just 9 saves. That doesn't stand out all that much. He got famous in 1974, but didn't at that point really have the results to back it up. He went on to have a much better season in 1975.

Marshall won the CYA that year. You might not agree with that in retrospect, but it was, as we've all said, a highly unusual season. Messersmith was 2nd and Niekro 3rd. I didn't include Messersmith in post #34 above but should have: an equivalent record of 20-12 and an excellent hitter with a 90 OPS+. I'll still put Niekro ahead of Messersmith, but that hitting line looks like enough to move Messersmith ahead of Matlack. (Matlack got no CYA votes at all; he probably should have gotten some.)
   41. bjhanke Posted: July 06, 2012 at 03:50 AM (#4174277)
OCF - I understood what you were saying, although that may not have been clear from what I wrote. What I was trying to say was that Al had something very visible that made him look more effective than his stats. The comparison to Ryan was deliberate; Nolan had some of the same thing. You'd see him pitch and wonder how anyone could hit him. That's what Al looked like. There were people who could hit him, but you didn't remember those. You remembered the extreme movement of the fastball and the really large distances by which some bats missed the thing. Bruce Sutter had that sort of thing going for him. He'd throw the split-finger, and the hitter would miss it by what looked like 8 inches. That made Bruce look unhittable, although he obviously did get hit upon occasion.- Brock
   42. lieiam Posted: July 09, 2012 at 11:53 PM (#4178006)
I just got started on my spreadsheet.
I thought I'd mention that Fangraphs has pitcher WARs for this year... although I'm not sure if hitting is included.
Still, I thought it was worth a mention!
   43. bjhanke Posted: July 10, 2012 at 05:10 AM (#4178072)
I just had a thought about Mike Marshall. He pitched 208 innings in 106 games, with 83 games finished. In modern terms, that makes him a team's closer, the backup closer who gets used when the closer is overworked, and both of the team's setup men. I don't know if that concept will work for anyone but me, but it will induce me to place him somewhere on my ballot. That's a lot of high-leverage IP, and, in modern terms, would occupy between 3 and 4 roster spots. - Brock
   44. DL from MN Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4178333)
Top 1974 albums

Kraftwerk - Autobahn
David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
Brian Eno - Taking Tiger Mountain, Here Come the Warm Jets
Lou Reed - Rock 'n Roll Animal
Tom Waits - Heart of Saturday Night
Big Star - Radio City
Can - Soon Over Babaluma
Funkadelic - Standing on the Edge of Getting It On
Neil Young - On the Beach
Blue Oyster Cult - Secret Treaties
   45. TomH Posted: July 11, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4180144)
Hi all, long time no chat. Please excuse my interruption of 1974 with a question. You guys have deabted WS and WAR, etc, and myabe this Q was answered a while ago, but if so it has slipped my mind.

Has anyone solved the problem of similar batters getting more WS in an NL (no DH) game than the AL? It was shown a while back that guys with the same stats would have fewer WS when the offense is divided among 9 'real' hitters vice 8+the pitcher. Has there been a way to account for that?

Tom H
   46. lieiam Posted: July 11, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4180682)
For me, 1974 is the one year of music since the mid sixties that there isn't an album I can pick as my favorite. Nothing has impressed me. But soon, oh so soon, punk rock will make everything better (well, for me anyway!)
   47. DL from MN Posted: July 12, 2012 at 09:02 AM (#4180792)
Nothing has impressed me.

I'd agree with you except for Kraftwerk. Autobahn was a brand new musical direction. Everything else seems to be more of the same.
   48. lieiam Posted: July 12, 2012 at 11:22 PM (#4181491)
Well, I'm certainly not arguing with the importance of Kraftwerk. And I like some of their stuff, but just not much of a fan of them. [there was an article in the most recent issue of The Big Takeover where Tim Sommer was raving about the impact Kraftwerk has had].
   49. sunnyday2 Posted: July 14, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4182355)
Agreed that '74 was not a great year. The rock n roll peak was over for sure. Folk-rock and/or the so-called singer-songwriter really buried it. But there was some fine music in both sub-genres. Obviously this is a boomer list. I knew Blue Oyster Cult and Bowie and Lou Reed, was vaguely aware of Kraftwerk and Eno, but totally oblivious to the other artists DL mentions, well except for Neil, obviously. And I was totally oblivious to the dissatisfaction with the rock music scene that you younger folks were feeling. Sorry ;-)

1. The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle--Bruce Springsteen
2. Day to Day Dust--Murray McLauchlan
3. Paradise and Lunch--Ry Cooder
4. Pretzel Logic--Steely Dan
5. Apostrophe’--Frank Zappa
6. The Heart of Saturday Night--Tom Waits
7. Over-Nite Sensation--Frank Zappa

I first saw Tom Waits at the Circle Star Theatre in San Carlos, CA, with a circular rotating stage opening for Frank Zappa. Thus the bracketing of Zappa-Waits-Zappa. This was probably the 2nd of about 5 or 6 times that I saw Frank, and this was the best Zappa concert. Hey, it was the best Zappa band with George Duke, Ruth Underwood, Tom Fowler and Chester Thompson plus of course the incomparable Napoleon Murphy Brock. We were almost as amazed at the new guy, Waits, and took all of our friends out to see him that fall in Minneapolis.

These top 7 are pretty much the music that I still listen to today from that era. Those listed below are fondly remembered relics, I guess.

8. Court and Spark--Joni Mitchell
9. Crime of the Century--Supertramp
10. 461 Ocean Boulevard--Eric Clapton

11. Sense of Direction--Climax Blues Band
12. Ferguslie Park--Stealers Wheel
13. War Child--Jethro Tull
14. Feats Don’t Fail Me Now--Little Feat
15. Tom Waits

I was totally unaware of Big Star, too, but thought I would mention I once saw Alex Chilton and the Box Tops which was quite a thrill at a tender age.

Top songs Rosalita and Sandy, Revelations by Murray McLauchlan, but my all-time fave tune from '74 Pamela Brown, actually written by Tom T. Hall but performed most memorably by Mpls. artist Leo Kottke.
   50. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 14, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4182404)
I don't think I'm going to have time to vote this season, unfortunately. Too much travelling, and I can't decide b/w Morgan and Schmidt anyway.
   51. DL from MN Posted: July 15, 2012 at 09:05 PM (#4183403)
Voxter - would an extension help? The election is going pretty slow this far, I can bump it out another week if necessary.
   52. OCF Posted: July 17, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4185296)
I have a little bit more time than usual to look at this today.

Some notes about 1974: It might have been the best year of Steve Garvey's career and the best year of Bill Buckner's career. Fat lot of good that does. And Robin Yount was surviving in the major leagues at the age of 18.

I've got a hodgepodge of old methods that I was using in HoM votes; I'd like to still make some use of them.

My first draft is a "depth chart" by position, except that I'm throwing the "bat" positions together into one pile. My final ballot will preserve the order in each line; it will be a matter of blending the lists together.

C: Johnny Bench, Bill Freehan, Gene Tenace

2B: Joe Morgan, Rod Carew, Bobby Grich

3B: Mike Schmidt, Darrell Evans, Sal Bando, Ron Cey

SS: Bert Campaneris, Davey Lopes, Dave Concepcion

CF: Jimmy Wynn, Cesar Cedeno, Al Oliver

LF/RF/1B/DH: Reggie Jackson, Willie Stargell, Jeff Burroughs, Reggie Smith, Carl Yastrzemski, Dick Allen, Steve Garvey, Willie McCovey, Frank Robinson

SP: Phil Niekro, Gaylord Perry, Luis Tiant, Ferguson Jenkins, Jim Barr, Jon Matlack, Bert Blyleven

RP: Tom Murphy, Mike Marshall

To make it an all-star team lineup, put Stargell at 1B, Jackson in LF, Smith in RF, and Burroughs at DH. Or something like that.

Tentative vote. I'll give myself a few hours to reconsider some details.

1. Morgan
2. Schmidt
3. Niekro
4. Perry
5. Jackson
6. Tiant
7. Bench
8. Jenkins
9. Wynn
10-12: Carew, Grich, Stargell, Barr, Murphy. Gotta pick three of them.

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