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Monday, August 05, 2013

Most Meritorious Player: 1985 Discussion

Top players are well represented in the postseason. The Cardinals beat the Dodgers in the NLCS. The Royals beat the Blue Jays in the ALCS. The World Series is a memorable rivalry matchup with the Royals defeating the Cardinals in seven games.

MMP voting will end on September 4, 2013.

Player			SH WS		BBR WAR
Rickey Henderson	37.4		9.9
George Brett		37.1		8.2
Pedro Guerrero		34.2		7.9
Tim Raines		35.5		7.6
Gary Carter		33.5		6.9
Wade Boggs		30.2		9.1
Willie McGee		36.1		8.2
Ozzie Smith		25.4		6.4
Jesse Barfield		26.2		6.9
Ryne Sandberg		27.6		5.8
Cal Ripken		26.1		5.6
Dale Murphy		31.0		5.0
Don Mattingly		32.5		6.4
Eddie Murray		28.5		5.6
Garry Templeton		20.9		3.2
Tommy Herr		30.1		5.6
Darryl Strawberry	23.7		4.8
Kirk Gibson		24.3		5.3
Tim Wallach		23.2		6.1
Tony Fernandez		20.8		3.9
Tony Gwynn		20.1		5.2
Keith Hernandez		27.2		5.0
Mike Schmidt		26.2		5.0
Bill Doran		27.4		5.3
Rich Gedman		21.2		5.4
Mike Scioscia		26.8		5.4
Phil Bradley		25.7		4.8
Dave Parker		28.9		4.7

Pitcher
Dwight Gooden		32.0		13.2
John Tudor		26.5		8.3
Bret Saberhagen		24.5		7.3
Charlie Liebrandt	23.5		6.7
Rick Reuschel		18.4		6.4
Charlie Hough		19.5		6.3
Dave Stieb		24.2		6.9
Bert Blyleven		22.9		6.8
Orel Hershiser		22.0		6.3
Mike Moore		19.5		6.3
Oil Can Boyd		17.8		6.2
Jack Morris		19.0		4.9
Fernando Valenzuela	20.7		5.9
Doyle Alexander		19.4		5.0
Jimmy Key		18.3		5.0

Dan Quisenberry		23.1		4.4
Bob James		21.9		4.4

 

DL from MN Posted: August 05, 2013 at 02:50 PM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: August 05, 2013 at 02:56 PM (#4513215)
All Star team

C - Gary Carter
1B - Don Mattingly (just edges Murray)
2B - Ryne Sandberg
3B - George Brett
SS - Ozzie Smith
LF - Pedro Guerrero (best bat in the league)
CF - Rickey Henderson
RF - Jesse Barfield

SP - Dwight Gooden, Bret Saberhagen, John Tudor, Charlie Liebrandt
RP - Dan Quisenberry
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4513221)
I'm of course a huge George Brett fan, but when Royals fans complain that Brett was robbed by Mattingly, I have to point them to Henderson's numbers. Dude was unreal.
   3. DL from MN Posted: August 05, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4513228)
Prelim

1) Dwight Gooden - shouldn't be controversial
2) George Brett - 3B trumps LF
3) Pedro Guerrero - best bat, good glove this season
4) Rickey Henderson - going against WAR and WS. 1.5 Baserunning wins
5) Tim Raines - 1.3 baserunning wins
6) Gary Carter
7) Willie McGee
8) Bret Saberhagen
9) John Tudor
10) Ozzie Smith - there's a symbiotic relationship between Tudor and Ozzie. 2.4 FWAA
11) Wade Boggs
12) Jesse Barfield - 2.8 FWAA, more than Ozzie
13) Charlie Liebrandt

14-21) Rick Reuschel, Ryne Sandberg, Cal Ripken, Dale Murphy, Charlie Hough, Don Mattingly, Dave Stieb, Bert Blyleven

I count 8 people within the top 13 with cases for postseason credit. That's not typical. Mike Schmidt moves to 1B and leaves my MMP ballot though he's still probably an All-Star at first.
   4. DL from MN Posted: August 05, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4513237)
Mattingly ahead of Rickey points to a gross misunderstanding of how runs are created.
   5. AROM Posted: August 05, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4513246)
1985 was an incredible season for diverse individual accomplishments. Mattingly's RBI and Rickey's runs. Vince leading the SB fest. Brett and Guerrero with the OPS, Gooden, Tudor, and Saberhagen on the pitching side.

I look back and like that season a lot more than a 1998, 2001, or a 1968, where you have some record setting seasons but only on one side of the ball. 1985 was fun. Too bad the Angels couldn't hold on, but at one point, I think as late as August, they had the best record in baseball.
   6. DL from MN Posted: August 05, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4513252)
I have Dwight Gooden with the second best season score in my spreadsheet just behind Joe Morgan in 1975. That's in all 25 seasons of voting.
   7. DL from MN Posted: August 05, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4513266)
George Brett's season was good enough to win MMP about 20% of the time (5/25 years had a lower season score from the winner).
   8. AROM Posted: August 05, 2013 at 03:28 PM (#4513276)
Mattingly's RBI total had been topped only twice in the previous 20 years, by Bench and Foster on the Reds. I'm not saying it was a better year than Rickey, or Brett. I didn't think that now and I didn't back then. But it was a cool accomplishment in itself.

Rickey's 146 runs was more unique, that was the most since Ted Williams scored 150 in 1949.

Gooden's 1.53 ERA remains the second lowest for anyone pitching at least 200 innings since the live ball era began.

   9. EricC Posted: August 05, 2013 at 06:43 PM (#4513646)
1985 prelim. Ratings are based on a combination of about
75% win shares and 25% WAR, and include information about
rates, playing time, and performance relative to position.

An interesting year, with many noteworthy accomplishments, as
AROM has pointed out. I suspect, however, that there will not
be much suspense about the overall winner.

For the first time since 1978, a pitcher is #1 on my ballot.
There are 5 pitchers in the top 13, compared with only 1 in
1984, suggesting that my system does not underrate pitchers,
just that 1984 was not a year of great individual pitching
accomplshments.

My rating of Saberhagen might seem too low to some. Raw
W/L records and playoff accomplishments are not part of my
system, so Saberhagen can't catch up with the higher rated
pitchers, many with 30+ extra innings on him. (My rating
has nothing to do with lingering bitterness over the outcome
of the 1985 ALCS.)

1. Dwight Gooden
2. Rickey Henderson
3. George Brett
4. John Tudor
5. Dave Stieb
6. Pedro Guerrero
7. Gary Carter
8. Tim Raines
9. Don Mattingly
10. Wade Boggs
11. Willie McGee
12. Orel Hersheiser
13. Bert Blyleven

14-20. Charlie Liebrandt, Cal Ripken, Mike Scioscia, Eddie Murray,
Fernando Valenzula, Bret Saberhagen, Jesse Barfield

Top 2B: Tom Herr
Top RP: Quiz, I guess
Top DH: Ruppert Jones (meh)
   10. OCF Posted: August 06, 2013 at 02:25 AM (#4514005)
Ah, 1985. I think I should really put together a ballot for this one. I was a Cardinal fan in the late 60's (the time of Gibson, Brock, and Cepeda) faded away from baseball some by the late 70's, but re-discovered my fandom through reading Bill James in time for the Whiteyball Cardinals, for whom 1985 was perhaps their peak year (although the WS was in 82). So I'll have some things to say.

RA+ Pythpat equivalent pitching:

Gooden 25-6 (good hitter)
Tudor 22-8
Hershiser 17-9 (OK hitter)
Valenzuela 18-12 (OK hitter)
Reuschel 14-7 (OK hitter)
Lee Smith 7-4; 10-5 with inherited runner adjustment
Stieb 20-9
Saberhagen 18-8
Blyleven 20-13 (two teams)
Leibrandt 17-9
Quisenberry 10-4; 14-7 with inherited runner adjustment

A few comments:

Not a bad hitter among all of these top NL pitchers; all have positive RAA.

Quisenberry was one of the last relievers to see fireman-model IP in a season (in his case, 129).

Going by RA rather than ERA seems to particularly hurt Hershiser, who did allow a lot or UER.

But then, what about defense? Tudor clearly had a better defense behind him than Hershiser. And the backing varies quite a bit among the other pitchers, too.

I'll have more comments on Gooden and Tudor, later.
   11. OCF Posted: August 06, 2013 at 02:26 AM (#4514007)
What about Gooden's 1985 season? A sentiment I remember picking up from numerous newspaper stories was that "Gooden is so good so YOUNG" with the emphasis on "young". And that annoyed me at the time. I knew enough to realize what that year was; the emphasis shouldn't have been on Gooden's promise, or on speculation about how good he would get (as you all know, he did not put together a HoF career) - the emphasis should have been on the moment. "Gooden is SO GOOD right now." Accomplishment, not promise. (I wasn't in New York, so I don't know how the New York press played it.)

Draw a line at 1925. (Yes, I know that it's more conventional to draw a line at 1920, but I want to be sure to exclude the primes of Johnson and Alexander.) What was the single best major league pitching season in all that time, in nearly 90 years? And I should note that I don't want to go only on rate stats; innings pitched matter too. They matter enough to be a significant drag on the evaluation of any post-1990 season. What year comes out on top? Well, I'll still point to Gibson 1968 - but that may also be my fandom talking. Gooden 1985 is certainly in the running, and if you want to argue it for the top spot, I won't spend that much energy fighting you.
   12. OCF Posted: August 06, 2013 at 02:28 AM (#4514008)
And then there's John Tudor's season. Usually, that would be a Cy Young season. In fact, you often don't have to be anywhere near that good to win a Cy Young. Tudor was near-unanimous 2nd in the CY balloting, which was, of course, exactly right.

But how much of it was the creation of the team around him? One thing I was hearing from the Cardinals was that pitchers need to challenge hitters, and in particular, LH pitchers need to be able to throw inside to RH batters. (Of course, in retrospect, you're hearing Leo Mazzone, Tom Glavine, et al saying, "No, they don't.") But I heard that in 1985, and I heard that from John Tudor. Now, it's one thing for your head to believe something like that. Does your gut believe it? For most of his career, Tudor had pitched in Boston. When you look back over your right shoulder, you see the Green Monster. Sure you want to go in there? But in 1985, Tudor could look over his right shoulder and see a vast outfield with fast outfielders, and in the foreground, Terry Pendleton and Ozzie Smith. That makes it a lot easier for the gut to go along.
   13. OCF Posted: August 06, 2013 at 02:33 AM (#4514010)
The National League was a pitcher's league. In fact, there were 4.07 RPG in the NL and 4.60 RPG in the AL. That 0.53 difference between the leagues is the third largest over the last 50 years (after 1996 and 1994).

---

Late in the 1985 season, in a very short span of time, there were three games in the NL that had these characteristics: both starting pitchers went at least 9 innings, and neither starting pitcher allowed a run. That could have been up to 6 different teams and 6 different pitchers but in fact it was only 3 teams and 4 pitchers. And that's 6 shutouts deserved, but at most 3 (in fact, 1) shutouts credited. And one relief pitcher got 3 decisions in these 3 games.

The games:

September 6: NYM/LAD, Gooden versus Valenzuela. Gooden left after 9 ininngs, Valenzuela left after 11. The Mets won in the 13th, Orosco the winner, Niedenfuer the loser. Game scores: Gooden 87, Valenzuela 87.

September 11: STL/NYM, Tudor versus Gooden. Tudor the winning pitcher in 10 innings, Gooden lifted for a PH after 9. Orosco the loser on a HR by Cesar Cedeno (yes, he's a story, too). Game scores: Tudor 91, Gooden 81.

October 1st: NYM/STL, Tudor versus Darling. Both starters left after 9 innings. The Mets won in 11, Orosco the winner, Dayley the loser. Game scores: Darling 81, Tudor 84.

Tudor actually led the league in shutouts, with 10 to Gooden's 8. I did see mentioned that Gooden "really" had 10 shutouts, but if you're going to count that way, then Tudor would have 11.
   14. DanG Posted: August 07, 2013 at 10:04 AM (#4515027)
Relief pitchers for 1985. First John Franco sighting. The 8th (and final) time we'll see the Goose on these lists. Ditto for Quis, after a historic four-season run.

Rk            Player WAR ERASV   WPA  WHIP GF GS    IP Age  Tm Lg  G  W L  ERA   BA OPS+
1          Bob James 4.3  203 32 3.554 1.027 60  0 110.0  26 CHW AL 69  8 7 2.13 .226   53
2    Dan Quisenberry 4.3  174 37 2.559 1.225 76  0 129.0  32 KCR AL 84  8 9 2.37 .280   85
3       Donnie Moore 3.6  217 31 4.237 1.087 57  0 103.0  31 CAL AL 65  8 8 1.92 .237   65
4        Greg Harris 3.3  172 11 1.520 1.035 35  0 113.0  29 TEX AL 58  5 4 2.47 .186   54
5       Stew Cliburn 3.1  199  6 2.332 1.141 26  0  99.0  28 CAL AL 44  9 3 2.09 .241   70
6        John Franco 3.1  172 12 3.779 1.242 33  0  99.0  24 CIN NL 67 12 3 2.18 .234   79
7        Bob Stanley 3.0  149 10 0.379 1.209 41  0  87.2  30 BOS AL 48  6 6 2.87 .237   76
8          Tim Burke 2.9  143  8 3.393 1.080 31  0 120.1  26 MON NL 78  9 4 2.39 .204   75
9        Bob Shirley 2.9  153  2 1.054 1.183  9  8 109.0  31 NYY AL 48  5 5 2.64 .251   72
10        Don Carman 2.8  179  7 3.735 1.042 33  0  86.1  25 PHI NL 71  9 4 2.08 .178   56
11         Lee Smith 2.6  131 33 3.536 1.218 57  0  97.2  27 CHC NL 65  7 4 3.04 .242   89
12     Dave Righetti 2.5  146 29 0.614 1.318 60  0 107.0  26 NYY AL 74 12 7 2.78 .241   77
13   Steve Ontiveros 2.5  199  8 3.061 0.857 18  0  74.2  24 OAK AL 39  1 3 1.93 .174   40
14      Rich Gossage 2.5  195 26 3.998 1.025 38  0  79.0  33 SDP NL 50  5 3 1.82 .226   57
15        Jay Howell 2.4  135 29 2.881 1.316 58  0  98.0  29 OAK AL 63  9 8 2.85 .261   87
16      Brian Fisher 2.4  170 14 2.154 1.078 23  0  98.1  23 NYY AL 55  4 4 2.38 .216   53
17    Cecilio Guante 2.4  133  5 0.880 1.138 31  0 109.0  25 PIT NL 63  4 6 2.72 .214   80
18        Jeff Lahti 2.3  194 19 3.947 1.302 31  0  68.1  28 STL NL 52  5 2 1.84 .251   95
19    Tom Niedenfuer 2.2  128 19 1.490 1.034 43  0 106.1  25 LAD NL 64  7 9 2.71 .223   73
20    Roger McDowell 2.1  124 17 3.069 1.139 36  2 127.1  24 NYM NL 62  6 5 2.83 .230   78 
   15. OCF Posted: August 07, 2013 at 01:11 PM (#4515239)
Bill Doran 27.4 5.3

Somewhere in mid 80's I managed to convince myself that Bill Doran was every bit as good as Ryne Sandberg and that the apparent differences between Sandberg and Doran were entirely park effects. I was wrong, of course. Properly quantified, the park effects aren't that large. But Doran was a very good player for a few years, and the effects of the Astrodome made that hard to see.

-----


The actual NL MVP vote:

McGee 280 (14 1st place)
Parker 220 (6 1st place)
Guerrero 208 (3 1st place)
Gooden 162 (1 1st place)
Herr 119
Carter 116

Tudor was tied for 8th. Sandberg was 13th.

If - and it's a giant honking if - you adopt as an axiom that starting pitchers are not eligible for the MVP, then the vote for McGee was justifiable. Ichiro won an MVP once, and Ichiro's MVP year is really pretty similar to McGee's 1985. Of course McGee's 1985 was a spike year for him, a year out of the context of his career. (Something Bill James wrote should have been considered when comparing him to Willie Wilson in pre-WS player comparisons.)

One comparison I was making in retrospect after 1986 involved two pairs of teammates: McGee and Tudor for the 85 Cardinals and Boggs and Clemens for the 86 Red Sox. WAR has McGee and Tudor both at around 8.1-8.3; in 1986 Boggs was 7.9 and Clemens 6.6.

An argument for Clemens over Boggs as the 1986 AL MVP could have been backdated to the 1985 NL (yes, I know it's not exactly the same electorate) to be an argument for Tudor over McGee. Except that there is a glaringly obvious reason why you can't vote for Tudor for MVP.
   16. Mr. C Posted: August 08, 2013 at 12:42 AM (#4515745)
OCF: Was the reason being that he wasn't Gooden'uf
   17. OCF Posted: August 08, 2013 at 01:26 AM (#4515751)
Mr. C: Of course. It's very hard to vote for anyone for MVP when there's an easily comparable someone at the same position who clearly wins the head-to-head battle.

Above, I gave the MVP vote for the NL. The name that seems out of place in retrospect, placing 2nd with some first place votes: Dave Parker.

Parker was not among the names listed at the top of this thread. He was not in the top 10 in WAR among NL position players. (It took 5.3 to hit 10th place; Parker was at 4.7). So how did Parker place so high in the MVP vote? It's the RBI. He led the league by RBI by a margin of 14: 125 for Parker to 111 for Murphy and 110 for Herr (!). Maybe a little more broadly, it's .312/34/125.

Now, how did he get all those RBI? Maybe most important is that he played 160 games, and, batting mostly third in the order, he had 694 PA. Then, at .312/.365/.551, he had relatively few walks. While having relatively few walks leaves fewer opportunities on the table for his teammates, it does result in him claiming a larger share of RBI for himself. And finally, he had quality people in front of him in the order - mostly Redus (.366 OBP), Milner (.342 OBP), and Rose (.395 OBP), with none of them hitting many HR and with Redus and Milner stealing bases. (This was the year after which Bill James introduced "secondary average" in an article in which is spotlighted both Rickey Henderson and Gary Redus.)

The interesting thing is that I think the voters did understand how Herr got all of those RBI with only 8 HR, because he was batting behind Coleman (more than 100 SB) and McGee, and they went ahead and voted for McGee.

In the following Abstract, when he talked about the NL MVP vote, James chose not to dwell on the injustice to Gooden but instead chided the voters for ignoring Ozzie Smith: OPB-heavy 101 OPS+, efficient baserunning, and he was Ozzie in the field, anchoring the defense (and hence deserving some of the credit for Tudor's season). But I don't think that James was seriously claiming that Ozzie should have taken the top spot.

----

Just for grins, two monthly splits from Pedro Guerrero's season:

June: .344/.436/.860, with 15 HR
July: .460/.563/.794
   18. DL from MN Posted: August 08, 2013 at 10:03 AM (#4515864)
I think 1985 is the year I started following baseball outside of the Twins. I remember watching Gooden pitch on the Saturday game of the week (could have been 86) and the fans hanging up "K"s. I had to explain to the kids at the game this past week that "K" means strikeout and why they mark some of them backwards. I think everyone who followed baseball in 1985 understood that.
   19. Mike Emeigh Posted: August 08, 2013 at 10:14 AM (#4515882)
September 11: STL/NYM, Tudor versus Gooden. Tudor the winning pitcher in 10 innings, Gooden lifted for a PH after 9. Orosco the loser on a HR by Cesar Cedeno (yes, he's a story, too). Game scores: Tudor 91, Gooden 81.


I believe that Bill James listed this game as the best pitcher's duel of the 80s.

-- MWE
   20. DL from MN Posted: August 08, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4515939)
Added Dave Parker. He is the top RF by Win Shares.
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 08, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4515950)
There is something weird going on in this thread where I am allowed to edit everyone's posts.

Which I haven't, but I feel weird having this much power.
   22. TomH Posted: August 08, 2013 at 11:11 AM (#4515963)
oh, I WISH I could edit the previous post. But I can't. But if you want to edit mine, you have my permission to make it funny, gibberish, or anything but offensive. I just want to see what happens.
   23. OCF Posted: August 08, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4516028)
All Star team

C - Gary Carter
1B - Don Mattingly (just edges Murray)
2B - Ryne Sandberg
3B - George Brett
SS - Ozzie Smith
LF - Pedro Guerrero (best bat in the league)
CF - Rickey Henderson
RF - Jesse Barfield

SP - Dwight Gooden, Bret Saberhagen, John Tudor, Charlie Liebrandt
RP - Dan Quisenberry


If it's a DH league, then we can make Guerrero the DH, move Rickey to left, and put McGee in center. Oh, and I'd rather have Stieb in that rotation than Liebrandt. Toughest omission is Boggs, who is blocked behind Brett.
   24. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 08, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4516074)
Of course McGee's 1985 was a spike year for him, a year out of the context of his career. (Something Bill James wrote should have been considered when comparing him to Willie Wilson in pre-WS player comparisons.)


James let his mask slip a bit in the 1986 Abstract when writing about his beloved Royals finally wining the WS- he was quite petulant that people thought the 1985 Cardinals were the better team and lost due to Don Denkinger... He took offense at a pre-World Series article that had compared the Royals line up position by position to the Cardinals and found that the Royals had an edge only at 3B, one thing in particular he objected to was ranking McGee over Wilson (by WAR: McGee 8.1 Wilson 4.3, in 1984 McGee 4.2, Wilson 1.6) basically he claimed that Wilson's batting title in 1982 meant that he was as good a player in 1985 as McGee was in 1985...

basically his analytic style went totally out the window and his inner fan-boy/id emerged- he used stats in his article, but he mis-used them in exactly the same way that the sportswriters he'd been decrying for years did. James was still far and away the best baseball writer and stat analyst of the 1980s, but the 86 Abstract article showed that he was not above resorting to the rhetorical devices he criticized in others

   25. DL from MN Posted: August 08, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4516078)
Guerrero rates as an above average left fielder in 1985. If we move Guerrero to DH I would pick Raines. I could move Brett to 1B and grab Boggs too.
   26. Chris Fluit Posted: August 08, 2013 at 06:05 PM (#4516347)
I had no idea that Tom Seaver pitched for the White Sox and Red Sox at the end of his career until I researched this season.
   27. Chris Fluit Posted: August 08, 2013 at 06:23 PM (#4516356)
1985 Prelim

1. Dwight Gooden, P, New York Mets: Just a monster season. A league-leading 276 innings to go along with an astronomical 229 ERA+.
2. George Brett, 3B, Kansas City Royals: A 179 OPS+ while still making a positive contribution at the hot corner (+1).
3. Rickey Henderson, CF, New York Yankees: I've usually had Henderson lower than consensus but his 157 OPS+ in '85 and a defensive bonus for playing center finally get him close to the top.
4. John Tudor, P, St. Louis Cardinals: A 185 ERA+ in 275 innings.
5. Wade Boggs, 3B, Boston Red Sox: Mattingly had the better defensive rep at the time but Boggs contributed +8 fielding runs at the tougher position. Oh yeah, he also had 143 runs created to go along with his 151 OPS+.
6. Pedro Guerrero, LF/3B, Los Angeles Dodgers: The best position player in the NL, leading the senior circuit with a 182 OPS+. He even contributed defensively (+4 runs and a partial bonus for spending a third of the season at third base).
7. Dave Stieb, P, Toronto Blue Jays: The best pitcher in the AL for the fourth year in a row.
8. Tim Raines, LF, Montreal Expos: Third in OPS+ with 151 and second in Runs Created with 124, plus contributions on the basepaths and in the field.
9. Gary Carter, C, New York Mets: Carter is an even better player than I remember. Another huge OPS+ from behind the plate (138) plus he gets the full catcher bonus as the Mets didn't flirt with playing him in the outfield.
10. Don Mattingly, 1B, New York Yankees: Third in OPS+ with 156 and fourth in Runs Created with 136 but a down year defensively with an even zero fielding runs.
11. Orel Hershiser, P, Los Angeles Dodgers: A 171 ERA+ in 239 innings.
12. Willie McGee, CF, St. Louis Cardinals: A 147 OPS+ and +5 fielding runs in center field.
13. Bert Blyleven, P, Cleveland/Minnesota: He may have been traded mid-season but he put together another stellar campaign with a 134 ERA+ in a league-leading 293 innings pitched.

14. Fernando Valenzuela, P, Los Angeles Dodgers
15. Eddie Murray, 1B, Baltimore Orioles
16. Ryne Sandberg, 2B, Chicago Cubs
17. Rich Gedman, C, Boston Red Sox
18. Dale Murphy, CF, Atlanta Braves
19. Jesse Barfield, RF, Toronto Blue Jays
20. Charlie Leibrandt, P, Kansas City Royals
21. Mike Scioscia, C, Los Angeles Dodgers
22. Mike Schmidt, 1B/3B, Philadelphia Phillies- kind of weird to not have him on the ballot after all these years
23. Dave Parker, RF, Cincinnati Reds
24. Bret Saberhagen, P, Kansas City Royals
25. Cal Ripken Jr, SS, Baltimore Orioles- edges Kirk Gibson out based on position
   28. OCF Posted: August 08, 2013 at 08:20 PM (#4516392)
I don't really remember all that much about having seen Pedro Guerrero hit. What more recent players might he remind you of? In particular how would you compare him to Manny Ramirez?
   29. Mr. C Posted: August 08, 2013 at 09:51 PM (#4516423)
All Star Teams

AL
C Rich Gedman
1B Eddie Murray
2B Lou Whitaker
3B Wade Boggs
ss Cal Ripken
RF Jesse Barfield
CF Ricky Henderson
LF Phil Bradley
DH Rupert Jones
Pitchers Bret Saberhagen, Dave Stieb, Charlie Liebrandt, Bert Blyleven
Reliever Bob James

NL
C Gary Carter
1B Keith Hernandez
2B Tommy Herr
3B Tim Wallach
SS Ozzie Smith
RF Dave Parker
CF Willie McGee
LF Pedro Guerrero
Starters Doc Gooden, John Tudor, Rick Reuschel, Orel Hershiser
Reliever: Jesse Orosco
   30. TomH Posted: August 08, 2013 at 11:00 PM (#4516441)
Chris: The Red Sox had Seaver in 86. It would have been great to have him pitch vs the Mets the Series, but he was hurt. Having to start the immortal Al Nipper in a W.S. game killed the Sawx there.
   31. Mr. C Posted: August 09, 2013 at 01:03 AM (#4516455)
1985 Preliminary Ballot

Batters: start with RA (using value added runs), adjust for park, position and defense (average of TZ and DRA) Convert adjusted RAA to wins. Add 60% of normal Runs above replacement to get WARR (wins above reduced replacement)

Pitchers: start with RA (using value added runs) adjust for quality of opposition, park, team defense and role (reliever or starter) Convert adjusted RAA to wins. Add 60% of normal runs above replacement to get WARR (wins above reduced replacement)

1. Doc Gooden 12.65 WARR Not only did Gooden have one of the best pitching performances of modern times, but also added 1 1/2 wins as a hitter as well.
2. Ricky Henderson 8.44 WARR An excellent season. Outstanding defense in centrefield puts him at the top of the position players
3. Wade Boggs 7.79 WARR Bogg's superior defense gave him a slight edge over Brett.
4. John Tudor 7.63 WARR
5. George Brett 7.52 WARR
6. Eddie Murray 6.96 WARR
7. Willie McGee 6.82 WARR
8. Tommy Herr 6.64 WARR
9. Pedro Guerrero 6.56 WARR
10. Jesse Barfield 6.31 WARR
11. Bret Saberhagen 6.19 WARR
12. Gary Carter 6.14 WARR
13. Dave Stieb 5.85 WARR

The rest of the top 20
Don Mattingly
Ryan Sandberg
Orel Hershiser
Rich Gedman
Rick Reuschel
Fernando Valenzuela
Charlie Liebrandt
   32. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: August 10, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4517376)
FWIW, Tudor's 1985 also has that early about-face in it that makes it even more remarkable. I'm sure Brock Hanke can tell the story better and more accurately, but my memory of it is that Tudor was scuffling at 1-6 the first month or so of the season (I just checked; he was 1-7 on May 29th) and despairing, then a high school team mate made contact with him -- the man had noticed a hitch in Tudor's delivery that neither Herzog nor Roarke had caught. Tudor made the adjustment and went 20-1 with only 3 non-quality starts after, two of which were clustered in mid-late September and could have been fatigue-related. 1985 was my first year really following baseball, Tudor my favorite player.
   33. Publius Publicola Posted: August 10, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4517384)
The Red Sox had Seaver in 86. It would have been great to have him pitch vs the Mets the Series, but he was hurt. Having to start the immortal Al Nipper in a W.S. game killed the Sawx there.


I always wondered what would have happened if Seaver had been available to pitch an inning in game 6.
   34. Publius Publicola Posted: August 10, 2013 at 03:16 PM (#4517385)
basically his analytic style went totally out the window and his inner fan-boy/id emerged- he used stats in his article, but he mis-used them in exactly the same way that the sportswriters he'd been decrying for years did. James was still far and away the best baseball writer and stat analyst of the 1980s, but the 86 Abstract article showed that he was not above resorting to the rhetorical devices he criticized in others


He also poopoo'd the missed call at first base as irrelevant and inconsequential, not very convincingly. And there was a long prelude about how little respect KC gets- the whole thing smacked of small town insecurity.
   35. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: August 10, 2013 at 03:32 PM (#4517390)
but also added 1 1/2 wins as a hitter as well.


1.1 as per BBREF. The BBREF positional adjustment for pitchers seems off. Gooden gets 12 runs for only 107 PA. That implies the pitcher position gets about 80 runs teamwide. That doesn't seem right. Cal Ripken, playing every inning at SS got only 10 in 1985.
   36. DL from MN Posted: August 12, 2013 at 05:12 PM (#4518427)
Postseason credit NLCS

Pitcher G GS ERA W L SV CG IP H ER BB SO WHIP
Tudor 2 2 2.84 1 1 0 0 12.2 10 4 3 8 1.026

Hershiser 2 2 3.52 1 0 0 1 15.1 17 6 6 5 1.500
Valenzuela 2 2 1.88 1 0 0 0 14.1 11 3 10 13 1.465

Player G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SB CS
WMcGee 6 26 6 7 1 0 0 3 3 6 .269 .345 .308 .653 2 3
OSmith 6 23 4 10 1 1 1 3 3 1 .435 .500 .696 1.196 1 0

Guerrero 6 20 2 5 1 0 0 4 5 2 .250 .385 .300 .685 2 0
   37. DL from MN Posted: August 12, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4518430)
Postseason credit ALCS

Pitcher G GS ERA W L SV CG IP H ER BB SO WHIP
Liebrandt 3 2 5.28 1 2 0 0 15.1 17 9 4 6 1.370
Saberhagen 2 2 6.14 0 0 0 0 7.1 12 5 2 6 1.909
Quisenberry 4 0 3.86 0 1 1 0 4.2 7 2 0 3 1.500

Stieb 3 3 3.10 1 1 0 0 20.1 11 7 10 18 1.033

Player G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SB CS
Brett 7 23 6 8 2 0 3 5 7 5 .348 .500 .826 1.326 0 1

Barfield 7 25 3 7 1 0 1 4 3 7 .280 .357 .440 .797 1 1
Fernandez 7 24 2 8 2 0 0 2 1 2 .333 .346 .417 .763 0 0
   38. DL from MN Posted: August 12, 2013 at 05:20 PM (#4518439)
Postseason credit WS

Pitcher G GS ERA W L SV CG IP H ER BB SO WHIP
Liebrandt 2 2 2.76 0 1 0 0 16.1 10 5 4 10 0.857
Saberhagen 2 2 0.50 2 0 0 2 18.0 11 1 1 10 0.667
Quisenberry 4 0 2.08 1 0 0 0 4.1 5 1 3 3 1.846

Tudor 3 3 3.00 2 1 0 1 18.0 15 6 7 14 1.222

Player G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SB CS
Brett 7 27 5 10 1 0 0 1 4 7 .370 .452 .407 .859 1 0

WMcGee 7 27 2 7 2 0 1 2 1 3 .259 .286 .444 .730 1 2
OSmith 7 23 1 2 0 0 0 0 4 0 .087 .222 .087 .309 1 1
   39. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: August 12, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4518455)
James let his mask slip a bit in the 1986 Abstract when writing about his beloved Royals finally wining the WS...

By the time of publication he was sufficiently back to normal in order to make fun of a nine-year-old's hope for Buddy Biancalana to become a quality shortstop when signing the boy's copy of that Abstract.

And there was a long prelude about how little respect KC gets- the whole thing smacked of small town insecurity.

In his writing about Kansas City, Calvin Trillin quite aptly described this as "rubophobia" -- not the fear of rubes, but the fear of being perceived as a rube.
   40. Moeball Posted: August 12, 2013 at 10:17 PM (#4518636)
1985 first look:

1)Gooden, easily a historic season that made people think it was 1968 all over again.
2)Rickey gets on...and moves himself over. He was so good at doing this that sometimes the Yanks would move Mattingly up from 3rd to 2nd in the lineup because there was no need for a classic #2 "good at moving the leadoff hitter into scoring position" guy. Rickey was always in scoring position on his own so why not give Donnie Baseball more opportunities to get to the plate by moving him up? This was one of Billy Martin's first games managing the Yanks in '85 after taking over for Yogi Berra and it looked like the experiment worked pretty well. One weird note about this game - Rickey lined into a triple play!
3)George Brett - what a truly magnificent season! One of the things I liked about the '80s was you kept seeing seasons that illustrated one of the Ken Keltner Kwestions: If this player was the best on his team, could that team win the pennant? 1982-Robin Yount. 1983-Cal Ripken. 1984-Ryne Sandberg, Alan Trammell. 1985-George Brett. Absolutely carried a mostly mediocre KC team.
4)Pedro Guerrero - Speaking of guys who carried their teams, Pedro put up these numbers playing in Dodger Stadium? Very impressive
5)John Tudor - where did this come from? Also, look at what Bobby Ojeda did with the Mets in '86. I think lefties really like escaping from the nightmare that is Fenway.
6)Willie McGee - it was a fluke season, but one heckuva fluke!
7)Tim Raines - it took one of Rickey's very best seasons to overshadow this outstanding effort by Raines
8)Ryne Sandberg - not quite up to his '84 season but still pretty amazing.
9)Wade Boggs - all this guy does it get on base, again and again and again. At his peak he sure was fun to watch.
10)Dave Stieb - top AL pitcher again. Nobody in the BBWAA at the time noticed.
11)Gary Carter - his last really good season - what a run! I have his 1977-85 as the best 9-year stretch for any catcher in history. At single-season "peak" Bench was better, but over an extended period of about a decade nobody was better than Carter. Maybe Josh Gibson? I'm still trying to figure out how Fisk got in the HOF before Carter did. Carter was better. I think Kid was severely underrated.
12)Mattingly - you may have heard he had a pretty good season in '85. His 145 RBI almost evenly matched by Rickey's 146 runs. Not a coincidence.
13)Bert Blyleven. Remember, this wasn't even his good decade and he was still better than Morris.
   41. bjhanke Posted: August 13, 2013 at 05:12 AM (#4518724)
OCF - I remember watching Pedro Guerrero hit very well (both the memory and the hitting). It was watching him hit that gave me the term "bat accuracy." Pedro, it seemed to me, very seldom swung and did not hit the ball. He was the best I've seen (remembering that visual impact isn't necessarily reality) at tracking things like sharp curves, sinkers and sliders. The NEXT best was Stan Musial, which should give you an idea of how good Pedro's bat accuracy looked to me. Other than that, he was "good" or "very good" at everything. He had good power, good walks, but nothing completely outstanding except that he seldom missed a pitch when he decided to swing. We now know that he has an I.Q. of about 60 (which is the Steve Dalkowski / Rube Waddell range). Maybe that meant that he was not distracted by overthinking, and just followed the ball and let his athletic talent do its job.

And yes, I will post up some long comments on this season, including a VERY long piece on the Denkinger call, which I've been tracking down for ages, and think I've finally figured out. Essentially, it amounts to Jack Clark tossing the ball to Todd Worrell, covering first base, very high, so that even Worrell, who was about 6' 5" tall, had to reach up for it. Well, Denkinger could not possibly have seen when the ball hit the glove and also seen when Orta's foot hit the bag. I think that what happened was that the toss was so high that he just figured Worrell had had to jump. The THIRD base umpire in that game gave a confusing sort-of confirmation of this, but that's for the big comment. I'm off to GenCon today, so I won't be making an of those comments until next week. - Brock
   42. DL from MN Posted: August 13, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4518939)
Brett was a beast in the postseason hitting .360/.475/.600 in 61 plate appearances, a little better than his in-season rates. Willie McGee didn't add much and Ozzie only adds bulk if you average his numbers. Pedro Guerrero doesn't help his case, Barfield might a little bit. Postseason makes Brett the clear best position player for me.

For pitchers, Tudor added 30 innings of his usual very good work. Saberhagen was bad in one series and phenomenal in the next. Liebrandt didn't add much to his resume. Hershiser and Valenzuela were both very good. Stieb was really good, enough to get him close to the ballot but not quite on it.
   43. Mike Emeigh Posted: August 13, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4519007)
Denkinger's missed call was a big deal, yeah, but the Cardinals shot themselves in the foot, too. Steve Balboni, the next batter, should have been out, but Clark and Darrell Porter botched his foul pop and he eventually singled to put the eventual winning run on base. And after Jim Sundberg bunted into a forceout at third, Porter let a pitch get by him to put both runners into scoring position with McRae (batting for Biancalana) at the plate. People forget those.

-- MWE
   44. OCF Posted: August 13, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4519065)
Transactions involving Cesar Cedeno:

August 29, 1985: Traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the St. Louis Cardinals for Mark Jackson (minors).

Mark Jackson was a 20-year-old in a rookie league who who would never get higher than A ball. Note the date: clearly a post-waiver deal, and a cheap one.

Jack Clark could hit, and since he could hit for power, that magnified his importance in the low-power Cardinal lineup. But he also displayed an inability to stay on the field for the Cardinals, and he went down with an injury with the team in the thick of a furious pennant race with the Mets. So they needed help, but it was after the waiver deadline and the Cardinals didn't have much to offer.

Cesar Cedeno was once a shooting star - a fast, multi-skilled centerfielder, a perennial all-star and Gold Glover. 15 years later, he was a fourth outfielder sporting a .241/.307/.336 line (OPS+ 78) for the season so far. He was, officially, 34 years old. You'll find plenty of people who look at the arc of his career and come to the conclusion that he was likely several years older than that. The chances of him being an effective replacement for Jack Clark's bat? You wouldn't have bet on it.

And yet it happened. In his first game in St. Louis, he homered off of Mike Scott. He went 3 for 4 on Sept. 5. On Sept. 6, he hit a pinch-hit grand slam. On Sept. 11 (game noted above) he homered off Jesse Orosco in the 10th to win a 1-0 game. On Sept. 15, he went 5 for 5 with two doubles and a home run. I think one of his 6 HR for the Cardinals was an inside-the-parker, but I haven't tracked it down. In 28 regular-season games for the Cardinals, 82 PA, he hit .434/.463/.750.

He didn't hit in the postseason (and Clark was back by then, but Cedeno still played). He played part of the next season, did badly, and his career was over. But while it lasted - there can't be very many waiver-wire veteran pennant race pickups better than that, can there?
   45. AROM Posted: August 13, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4519116)
15 years later the Cards did it again in similar circumstances. Mark McGwire was down, so they traded for Will Clark. They gave up Jose Leon, a 1b/3b who lasted for 88 games and a 55 OPS+. Clark proceeds to hit 345/426/655.

Not as amazing and out of nowhere like Cedeno. It was well above Clark's typical production at the time, but he's a guy who never had a bad year. He kept playing well into the playoffs, then walked away from the game.
   46. OCF Posted: August 13, 2013 at 07:52 PM (#4519445)
Preliminary ballot. Based on a non-systematic mishmash of my older HOM methods, occasional glances at what WAR says, and my memories of 1985.

1. Dwight Gooden. One of the greatest seasons ever.
2. Rickey Henderson. Scoring a run a game - that meant something.
3. George Brett. Fabulous as Guerrero was, I think Brett was better as a hitter - and he could play a good 3B, as well.
4. John Tudor. A great season, obscured behind the brilliance of Gooden.
5. Willie McGee. Apart from the whole ignoring Gooden bit, not a ridiculous MVP.
6. Tim Raines. Similar value to McGee.
7. Pedro Guerrero. Pure bat.
8. Gary Carter. There has to be some reason besides Gooden that the Mets won so many games.
9. Wade Boggs
10. Ozzie Smith. Hard to imagine the Cardinals succeeding without him.
11. Don Mattingly
12. Dave Stieb
13. Cal Ripken
   47. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 13, 2013 at 08:06 PM (#4519455)
I think there's a good argument that 1985 was the best season of the last 50 years.

Historic performances? Yep, both offensive and defensive. Good pennant races - not necessarily the most dramatic, but yes, between great teams (NL East, AL East, where top two teams were over 95 wins each). Good, memorable World Series. Good teams in small markets (KC) and big (up years for both NY teams, LAD). Wild contrast in playing styles between the best teams. Rare year in the 80s with great starting pitching.

EDIT: I was 4 in 1985, so this isn't a case of baseball-was-best-when-I-was-12.





   48. Canker Soriano Posted: August 13, 2013 at 08:35 PM (#4519470)
He didn't hit in the postseason (and Clark was back by then, but Cedeno still played). He played part of the next season, did badly, and his career was over. But while it lasted - there can't be very many waiver-wire veteran pennant race pickups better than that, can there?

There's the immortal Neifi Perez, picked up by the Cubs in August 2004 after being released by the Giants. Against all odds, he proceeded to hit .371/.400/.548 the rest of the way as the Cubs stumbled their way out of the playoffs and wasted what turned out to be the last gasp of the abortive Wood/Prior dynasty.

It was insane. At least Cedeno was a former star and All-Star. Perez had, to that point in his career, put up 0 WAR - above replacement with the glove, below replacement with the bat. But for the last 30 games of 2004, he was a star.

Of course, then we couldn't get rid of him. Like an elder day Jeff Francoeur, he hit well enough in a short stint with his new team to ensure he'd be around sucking it up for 500+ PAs the next season.
   49. OCF Posted: August 13, 2013 at 10:36 PM (#4519576)
Two years later, Clark went down again and the Cardinals tried again with Dan Driessen. That turned into .233/.309/.317. Doesn't always work.
   50. DL from MN Posted: August 16, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4520359)
I'm without internet next week so I'll post the ballot thread the week following.
   51. lieiam Posted: August 17, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4521198)
Here's my prelim ballot for 1985.
no postseason credit given; 10% catcher bonus given

1 Gooden, Dwight 9532
2 Henderson, Rickey 9201
3 Brett, George 8444
4 Guerrero, Pedro 7782
5 McGee, Willie 7766
6 Raines, Tim 7705
7 Boggs, Wade 7446
8 Carter, Gary 7171
9 Tudor, John 6751
10 Mattingly, Don 6607
11 Barfield, Jessie 6531
12 Saberhagen, Bret 6308
13 Murray, Eddie 6011

14 Blyleven, Bert 5880
15 Scioscia, Mike 5871
16 Stieb, Dave 5850
17 Sandberg, Ryne 5790
18 Murphy, Dale 5697
19 Leibrandt, Charlie 5552
20 Herr, Tommie 5542

   52. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 23, 2013 at 02:46 PM (#4526255)
Preliminary

1 Dwight Gooden
big gap
2 Rickey Henderson
gap
3 Wade Boggs
gap
4 George Brett
5 John Tudor
6 Willie McGee
7 Pedro Guerrero
8 Tim Raines
9 Bret Saberhagen
10 Dave Stieb
11 Charlie Leibrandt
12 Don Mattingly
13 Rick Reuschel
14 Bert Blyleven
15 Jesse Barfield
16 Gary Carter
17 Orel Hershiser
18 Mike Moore
19 Charlie Hough
20 Oil Can Boyd

Used WAR, modified the replacement level upward (about half way to average), regressed fielding by 20% towards average...
Looks too pitcher heavy, will look at that.

   53. Tubbs & Minnie MiƱoso don't fear Sid Monge Posted: August 23, 2013 at 08:19 PM (#4526503)
Prelim ballot. No postseason bonus but instead a small bonus if the player's team was a Division winner or in a closely contested Division race. The 1985 season is the first season where I really paid attention to stats so I may be a little more tied to some of the traditional counting stats than in future MPP elections.

1. Gooden 24-4 1.53 268, those are the stats I remember and the WAR says he was even more dominant
2. Brett had an incredible year, he sure got intentionally walked a lot, amazing he put up the numbers he did in that line up
3. R Henderson one of the stats I was obsessed with from '85 is Mattingly's 145 RBI--at the time I didn't notice Rickey's 146 runs scored
4. Tudor 21-8 1.93 one of the best seasons for a non-CY winner 20-1 finish, did great against the Mets. Soon or later I will write an article about his wonderful season
5. Mattingly 35 145! .324 they're just RBI...I know I know
6. McGee
7. Boggs 240 hits .368 I withheld the desire to penalize him for being Wade Boggs
8. Murray
9. Saberhagen
10. Carter great first season as a Met
11. Herr 8HR but 110RBI, seasons with less than 10HR but more than 100 RBI are rare. I look at it this way, Herr who prior to '85 never had driven in more than 49 did a great job helping the team score
12. Raines
13. Hershiser 19-3 2.03 for NL West winner is hard not at least put in top 13

Honorable mention:
Barfield--I didn't include a Blue Jay but he was the closest for me
Hernandez--I wanted to but couldn't bring myself to give him a bonus for writing "If at First"
Dale Murphy
Ozzie Smith--sorry my love of Tommy Herr's 8 110 won out
Sandberg--not a terrible drop from '84
Schmidt--no MVP votes but a good season
Guerrero
Blyleven--wow that was a lot of innings
Darrell Evans---I wrestle with whether I think he belongs in the HOF or not
   54. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 01, 2013 at 08:49 PM (#4532637)
I calculate Player won-lost records using Retrosheet play-by-play data. I calculate these records both in (pWins) and out of (eWins) context and judge players vs. both average (WOPA) and replacement level (WORL). I give bonuses to catchers and relief pitchers, treat postseason games the same as regular-season games, weight WOPA and WORL the same, pWins and eWins the same. For tiebreakers, I may give slight bonuses to being the best player in MLB at a particular position, I have a weak preference for WOPA over WORL, and may give a little tiebreaker credit for strong postseason performance.

Mix it all in the blender and this is what comes out. My preliminary top 13 (numbers in parentheses are pWins - pLosses, pWOPA, pWORL, all including postseason) with some explanation.

1. Dwight Gooden (22.0 - 11.0, 6.5, 8.2) - one of the truly great seasons ever
2. George Brett (24.2 - 16.9, 3.7, 5.5) - best player in AL, best 3B in MLB, best player for World Series winner (playoff credit helps get him up to #2)
3. Rickey Henderson (23.9 - 16.2, 3.6, 5.4) - best CF in MLB, 146 runs scored > 145 RBI (in this specific case)
4. John Tudor (19.0 - 13.0, 3.8, 5.5) - one of the best pitcher seasons ever, kind of a shame he was so overshadowed by Gooden
5. Pedro Guerrero (24.5 - 15.8, 3.7, 5.6) - best non-pitcher in the NL
6. Tom Herr (26.0 - 19.9, 3.0, 5.0) - best 2B in MLB
7. Jesse Barfield (23.9 - 16.8, 3.2, 5.0) - best RF in MLB, best outfield throwing arm I ever saw
8. Bret Saberhagen (17.4 - 9.6, 4.1, 5.6) - best P in AL, strong World Series performance
9. Willie McGee (26.5 - 20.2, 2.6, 4.7) - terrible choice as MVP, but he still had an excellent season
10. Gary Carter (19.7 - 14.5, 2.7, 4.3) - best C in MLB
11. Ozzie Smith (23.6 - 19.3, 2.9, 4.8) - arguably best SS in MLB, definitely best defensive SS in MLB and best overall SS in NL
12. Cal Ripken (22.8 - 20.3, 2.3, 4.3) - arguably best SS in MLB, definitely best SS in AL, despite dropoff from '83-'84
13. Ryne Sandberg (23.7 - 18.9, 2.3, 4.3) - step down from '84 but still an excellent season
   55. Sunday silence Posted: September 01, 2013 at 10:37 PM (#4532676)
James let his mask slip a bit in the 1986 Abstract when writing about his beloved Royals finally wining the WS- he was quite petulant that people thought the 1985 Cardinals were the better team and lost due to Don Denkinger... He took offense at a pre-World Series article that had compared the Royals line up position by position to the Cardinals and found that the Royals had an edge only at 3B, one thing in particular he objected to was ranking McGee over Wilson (by WAR: McGee 8.1 Wilson 4.3, in 1984 McGee 4.2, Wilson 1.6) basically he claimed that Wilson's batting title in 1982 meant that he was as good a player in 1985 as McGee was in 1985...


Hey he could have used his Pythagorean formula in which case the Royals would have won the series 5.76 games to 1.24.
   56. lieiam Posted: September 01, 2013 at 11:23 PM (#4532692)
My favorite albums from 1985:
1- The Dentists- Some People Are On The Pitch They Think It's All Over It Is Now
2- The Chameleons- What Does Anything Mean? Basically
3- The Jesus and Mary Chain- Psychocandy
4- Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians- Fegmania
5- New Model Army- No Rest For The Wicked
6- Husker Du- Flip Your Wig
   57. DL from MN Posted: September 03, 2013 at 11:02 AM (#4533251)
1985 albums I like (USA for Africa omitted)

Husker Du - New Day Rising
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
Einsturzende Neubauten - Halber Mensch
Replacements - Tim
Husker Du - Flip Your Wig
Jesus and Mary Chain - Psychocandy
Run DMC - King of Rock
REM - Fables of the Reconstruction
Tom Petty - Southern Accents
Prince and the Revolution - Around the World in a Day
Talking Heads - Little Creatures
The Fall - This Nation's Saving Grace
Love and Rockets - Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven
Minutemen - Three Way Tie for Last
Skinny Puppy - Bites
Mantronix - The Album
Foetus - Nail
Rites of Spring - S/T
Camper Van Beethoven - Telephone Free Landslide Victory
LL Cool J - Radio
   58. Chris Fluit Posted: September 03, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4533458)
Various Positions- Leonard Cohen
a great album which includes Heart With No Companion, Coming Back to You and Dance Me to the End of Love plus the often overlooked The Captain and the timeless Hallelujah
   59. Yardape Posted: September 03, 2013 at 05:13 PM (#4533563)
My prelim ballot. I used a Win Shares system, with Extrapolated Runs as the offensive base. For pitching, I blend FIP and RA-type systems.

1. Dwight Gooden. My system actually makes it pretty close; if I squint, I could probably justify having someone else at the top. But why would I want to do that? A season this great deserves recognition.
2. Willie McGee. Win Shares is kind to the Cardinals and makes McGee's MVP look not too shabby.
3. Rickey Henderson. My AL MMP
4. George Brett. Gets postseason credit.
5. Tom Herr. Another Win Shares winner. Great offense from 2B, and played up the middle on a very good defensive team.
6. Gary Carter. Carter/Gooden is a heck of a battery.
7. Ryne Sandberg. I had him first last year, he can't quite match it.
8. Dave Parker. Best RFer.
9. Dale Murphy
10. John Tudor. Overshadowed by Gooden, but a great season and the next-best pitcher.
11. Ozzie Smith. The third-up-the-middle defender from the Cardinals on my ballot.
12. Pedro Guerroro. Tremendous hitting season, and even played a little 3B.
13. Tim Raines. 70-9 stolen bases. That's amazing to me.

Barfield, Mattingly, Bell and Ripken (in that order) were close but not quite. Mattingly was about equal to several players on my ballot in offensive value, but picked up many fewer defensive Win Shares to miss out.

Bret Saberhagen, including postseason, is my AL MMPitcher.
   60. Yardape Posted: September 03, 2013 at 09:33 PM (#4533734)
My all-world team for 1985:

Starters
C Gary Carter
1B Don Mattingly
2B Tom Herr
3B George Brett
SS Ozzie Smith
LF Pedro Guerrero
CF Willie McGee
RF Dave Parker

Rotation - Dwight Gooden, John Tudor, Bret Saberhagen, Komatsu Tatsuyo, Orel Hershiser
Bullpen - Bob James, Bert Blyleven, Dave Stieb, Fernando Valenzuela
Bench - Mike Scioscia, Tim Raines, Ryne Sandberg, Ochiai Hiromitsu, Cal Ripken, Jr., Dale Murphy, Rickey Henderson, Jesse Barfield

Also of note: this was the season that Randy Bass hit 54 home runs for the Hanshin Tigers, narrowly missing Oh Saharu's Japanese record. Bass also led the Tigers to their first Japan Series title, winning both the regular season and Japan Series MVP awards, and also creating the Curse of the Colonel, one of my favourite baseball stories. As great a season as Bass had, my quick-and-dirty MLE leaves him a little short of the all-star team.
   61. ajnrules Posted: September 04, 2013 at 02:30 AM (#4533884)
Prelim ballot
1. George Brett
2. Dwight Gooden
3. Rickey Henderson
4. Wade Boggs
5. John Tudor
6. Pedro Guerrero
7. Tim Raines
8. Willie McGee
9. Charlie Leibrandt
10. Bret Saberhagen
11. Gary Carter
12. Don Mattingly
13. Bert Blyleven
   62. Chris Fluit Posted: September 04, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4534024)
ajnrules, that looks like a pretty decent ballot. You're not the only one to list Gooden 2nd (or 3rd) and you have a strong top five. Do you mind providing a few comments as to why you ranked the players the way you did? Plus, don't forgot to post your final ballot over to the ballot thread sometime this afternoon.
   63. DL from MN Posted: September 04, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4534112)
It is unusual to see a system that likes Brett over Gooden but Liebrandt over Carter and Mattingly.
   64. DL from MN Posted: September 04, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4534244)
Yardape, you didn't address Boggs.
   65. DL from MN Posted: September 04, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4534245)
moved comment
   66. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2013 at 04:02 PM (#4534316)
Hey he could have used his Pythagorean formula in which case the Royals would have won the series 5.76 games to 1.24.


He did.
   67. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 04, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4534344)
OCF - I remember watching Pedro Guerrero hit very well (both the memory and the hitting). It was watching him hit that gave me the term "bat accuracy." Pedro, it seemed to me, very seldom swung and did not hit the ball. He was the best I've seen (remembering that visual impact isn't necessarily reality) at tracking things like sharp curves, sinkers and sliders.
Now that I really think about it, the guys I think remind me most of Pedro are Vlad Guerrero and Frank Thomas. Thomas was bigger, but Pete was a big, muscular presence at the plate just like Thomas, and even though is swing wasn't as long as looping as Vlad's was, it came with the same crazy violence. People talk about Jim Rice and The Fear? Pedro Guerrero definitely inspired The Fear.

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