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Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Most Meritorious Player: 1989 Discussion

An earthquake interrupts the World Series which is won in a sweep by Oakland. The Expos and Dodgers are rained out in a domed stadium. Dave Dravecky’s arm snaps while pitching. Pete Rose agrees to be placed on the permanently ineligible list. Commissioner Giamatti dies.

Vote for 13 this year.

Player			SH WS		BBR WAR
Will Clark		39.7		8.6
Kevin Mitchell		39.2		6.9
Rickey Henderson	31.9		8.6
Lonnie Smith		25.0		8.8
Ozzie Smith		20.3		7.3
Wade Boggs		30.4		8.4
Von Hayes		24.7		5.1
Barry Bonds		24.5		8.0
Ruben Sierra		32.9		5.9
Howard Johnson		35.7		6.9
Cal Ripken		25.0		6.6
Lou Whitaker		22.8		5.7
Fred McGriff		29.2		6.6
Jose Oquendo		23.9		5.4
Robby Thompson		21.8		6.1
Robin Yount		33.5		5.8
Julio Franco		26.0		5.3
Paul Molitor		28.0		5.7
Tim Raines		25.2		3.7
Glenn Davis		33.6		4.4
Ryne Sandberg		32.0		6.1
Barry Larkin		16.3		3.8
Jesse Barfield		17.2		4.4
Jack Clark		26.9		3.8
Tony Fernandez		19.3		4.3
Kelly Gruber		19.6		5.0
Eric Davis		22.7		2.9		
George Bell		19.0		3.0
Mickey Tettleton	24.4		4.2
Carlton Fisk		15.1		3.3
Mike Scioscia		17.7		3.0
Alan Trammell		12.2		3.7
Mark Grace		24.8		3.9
Bip Roberts		17.3		2.9
Tony Gwynn		30.1		2.5
Ken Caminiti		24.7		4.8
Jerry Browne		17.8		3.7		
Terry Pendleton		18.8		4.4
Kevin McReynolds	20.9		3.6
Kirby Puckett		26.8		4.9
Darryl Strawberry	18.4		4.7

Pitcher
Bret Saberhagen		29.1		9.7
Orel Hershiser		20.3		7.3
Bert Blyleven		22.4		6.0
Mark Langston		19.6		6.4
Roger Clemens		18.1		5.7
Sid Fernandez		15.2		3.6
Mark Gubicza		19.7		6.3
Chris Bosio		17.3		5.5
Mike Moore		18.1		5.5
Chuck Finley		18.9		5.0
Nolan Ryan		17.6		5.1
Doug Drabek		15.2		4.0
John Smoltz		14.9		3.9
Ed Whitson		17.5		6.7
Tom Candiotti		16.2		4.7
Kirk McCaskill		17.8		4.7
Dennis Martinez		15.8		4.6
Greg Maddux		18.8		5.3
Bruce Hurst		18.2		6.4
Scott Bankhead		15.7		4.6
Joe Magrane		17.9		3.6
Bryn Smith		14.8		4.8
Greg Swindell		14.5		4.6

Jeff Montgomery		19.5		4.6
Mark Davis		17.9		4.3
Les Lancaster		11.9		4.0
Greg Harris		12.1		3.9
Rob Dibble		13.4		3.9

 

DL from MN Posted: January 05, 2016 at 02:10 PM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: January 05, 2016 at 02:56 PM (#5126306)
Would like to end on 2/3/16
   2. DL from MN Posted: January 05, 2016 at 03:02 PM (#5126315)
1989 Prelim

1) Will Clark - 2nd best bat, good glove
2) Bret Saberhagen
3) Kevin Mitchell - best bat
4) Rickey Henderson
5) Lonnie Smith
6) Ozzie Smith - 3.6 FWAA!
7) Wade Boggs
8) Von Hayes
9) Barry Bonds
10) Ruben Sierra
11) Orel Hershiser
12) Howard Johnson - dreadful fielder -2.2 FWAA
13) Cal Ripken

14-15) Fred McGriff, Bert Blyleven
16-20) Jose Oquendo, Robby Thompson, Mark Langston, Robin Yount, Roger Clemens
   3. Chris Fluit Posted: January 05, 2016 at 03:51 PM (#5126365)
I ran the numbers right after we finished the 1988 election (even though we were switching to the '50s). As I recall, Fred McGriff did very well.
   4. EricC Posted: January 05, 2016 at 06:19 PM (#5126510)
1989 prelim. Rankings use a blend of WS and WAR, with WS weighed more heavily.
The 2 players with the highest BBRef DWAR, O. Smith, and Bonds, are hurt by this.

At least it's fairly clear who the top pitchers are.

1. Will Clark
2. Bret Saberhagen
3. Kevin Mitchell
4. Ruben Sierra
5. Howard Johnson
6. Robin Yount
7. Rickey Henderson
8. Julio Franco
9. Orel Hershiser
10. Cal Ripken
11. Wade Boggs
12. Bert Blyleven
13. Lonnie Smith

Shoutouts to Jeff Montgomery for a 285 ERA+ in 92 IP and to
Bob Boone for catching in 129 games and doing a good job of
it at age 41.
   5. OCF Posted: January 05, 2016 at 06:54 PM (#5126535)
Once we start moving into this territory, I need to go back and find some ancient memos to friends that I wrote at the end of each season (if those aren't lost to backwards software incompatibilities). Those memos had post-season all-start teams and MVP and Cy Young opinions, and I'd like to respect my own at-the-time opinions as much as reasonable. But I don't think 1989 was on the list - I think I started after that.

The 1927 AL League Award had a rule that rendered Babe Ruth, a previous recipient, ineligible. And with that provision, the vote for Lou Gehrig was an easy one. But what if that vote had been held under modern MVP vote rules, with Ruth fully eligible? I'm convinced that Gehrig would have won anyway. And some of the reasons for that are reflected in the actual 1989 NL MVP vote for Kevin Mitchell.

Clark and Mitchell played for the same team, which was the pennant-winning team. So there was no preference between them on a team basis. Clark was already established as a major star, while Mitchell's season was unexpected. The writers like stories - and that made Mitchell more of a story. (Counter to that: although Clark was an established star, he hadn't won any MVP awards, and I think everyone missed at the time how much better Clark was in 1989 than in any previous year.) In the absence of sophisticated defensive evaluation tools, the comparison of a first baseman to a corner outfielder mostly didn't register as significant. And then we get to the main point: Clark normally batted ahead of Mitchell in the lineup. So Mitchell got the larger share of the RBIs. And, as the popular narrative is wont to do, Mitchell got the credit for "protecting" Clark. And even then, I was saying, "Don't you see it the other way around?" That Clark, by being on base constantly, was pumping up Mitchell's statistics?

Of course, this wasn't a 1987-level absurdity. Mitchell was not Dawson or Bell - he was an excellent MVP candidate. (As was Gehrig in 1927.) I think, if I can reconstruct my own opinions at the time, that I considered it a near-tie between Clark and Mitchell, and I was willing to use the fact that Clark was better established as a factor in his favor.
   6. OCF Posted: January 05, 2016 at 07:17 PM (#5126547)
Classic moment for screaming at a manager through a television screen:

1989 NLCS, Game 1. Top of the 4th, Giants leading 4-3. Greg Maddux pitching. Inning starts with the Giants #7 hitter. Single; single, runner to 3rd; SB; strikeout. So now it's 1 out, runners on 2nd and 3rd, Butler (the leadoff hitter) at the plate.

Intentional walk to Butler, bringing Robbie Thompson to the plate with the bases loaded.

"You're doing what?!" Yes, Butler batted L to Thompson's R, against an R pitcher, and Butler had a higher BA (but less power) than Thompson. But this was the top of the order. And there was only one out. Which meant that unless Thompson grounded into a double play, Will Clark would bat in the inning. In what rational universe do you WANT to face Will Clark in this inning? And when I say I was screaming at the TV, it was right then - no hindsight involved.

Thompson popped out harmlessly (probably IFR).
Clark hit a grand slam.
The game got out of hand.

Oh, and it was already Clark's third AB of the game. He already had a double and a homer in the previous two. Clark would go on to bat .650/.682/1.200 for the 5-game series. (Mark Grace nearly matched that on the other side.)
   7. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2016 at 12:56 PM (#5128391)
NLCS

Player Name  G  AB  R  H  2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  BA  OBP  SLG  OPS  SB  CS  E
Will Clark  5  20  8  13  3  1  2  8  2  2  .650  .682  1.200  1.882  0  0  0
Kevin Mitchell  5  17  5  6  0  0  2  7  3  3  .353  .429  .706  1.134  0  0  1 
Robby Thompson  5  18  5  5  0  0  2  3  3  2  .278  .381  .611  .992  0  0  0  

Mark Grace  5  17  3  11  3  1  1  8  4  1  .647  .682  1.118  1.799  1  0  0
Ryne Sandberg  5  20  6  8  3  1  1  4  3  4  .400  .458  .800  1.258  0  0  0 

Pitcher Name  G  GS  ERA  W  L  SV  CG  IP  H  R  ER  BB  SO  WHIP
Greg Maddux  2  2  13.50  0  1  0  0  7.1  13  12  11  4  5  2.318  
   8. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2016 at 01:00 PM (#5128399)
ALCS

Player Name  G  AB  R  H  2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  BA  OBP  SLG  OPS  SB  CS  E
Rickey   5  15  8  6  1  1  2  5  7  0  .400  .609  1.000  1.609  8  0  1

George Bell  5  20  2  4  0  0  1  2  0  3  .200  .190  .350  .540  0  0  0
Tony Fernandez  5  20  6  7  3  0  0  1  1  2  .350  .381  .500  .881  5  0  0
Kelly Gruber  5  17  2  5  1  0  0  1  3  2  .294  .381  .353  .734  1  0  0
Fred McGriff  5  21  1  3  0  0  0  3  0  4  .143  .143  .143  .286  0  0  1

Pitcher Name  G  GS  ERA  W  L  SV  CG  IP  H  R  ER  BB  SO  WHIP
Mike Moore  1  1  0.00  1  0  0  0  7.0  3  1  0  2  3  0.714  
   9. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2016 at 01:04 PM (#5128407)
World Series

Player Name  G  AB  R  H  2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  BA  OBP  SLG  OPS  SB  CS  E
Rickey!  4  19  4  9  1  2  1  3  2  2  .474  .524  .895  1.419  3  1  0  

Will Clark  4  16  2  4  1  0  0  0  1  3  .250  .294  .313  .607  0  0  0
Kevin Mitchell  4  17  2  5  0  0  1  2  0  3  .294  .294  .471  .765  0  0  1
Robby Thompson  4  11  0  1  0  0  0  2  0  4  .091  .083  .091  .174  0  0  0

Pitcher Name  G  GS  ERA  W  L  SV  CG  IP  H  R  ER  BB  SO  WHIP
Mike Moore  2  2  2.08  2  0  0  0  13.0  9  3  3  3  10  0.923  
   10. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2016 at 01:19 PM (#5128427)
Rickey had a HUGE postseason. 11 steals, on base all the time, 17 runs scored. Mike Moore was pretty great also.

Clark and Mitchell had outstanding NLCS but cooled off in the World Series.
   11. toratoratora Posted: January 08, 2016 at 12:12 PM (#5129205)
The usual blend of WAR systems. Zero adjustments.

1-Will Clark
2-Rickey Henderson
3-Wade Boggs
4-Lonnie Smith
5-Bret Saberhagen
6-Kevin Mitchell
7-Howard Johnson
8-Barry Bonds
9-Glenn Davis
10-Robin Yount
11-Ruben Sierra
12-Ozzie Smith
13-Ryne Sandberg
14-Nolan Ryan
15-Orel Hershiser
16-Tony Gwynn

Weird year. Lots of disagreement among systems. Prelim has Lonnie ranked #4, but WS sees him outside of top ten. Ryan and Hersh make top ten in one system only. Sabes is 1st in bWAR and WS excludes him completely.
WS strongly deviates from fWAR and bWAR.
Toss in some great postseasons and this is going to be a fun season to rate.

Man, Rickey was terrific in the ALCS and he didn't slack off much in the series. In nine games, Rickey had 34 AB, 12 R, 15H, 2 2b, 3 3b, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 11 SB and 9 BB. That's freaking nuts
I remember him just terrorizing Toronto on the bases and Canseco hitting an absolute moonshot in the Skydome that silenced the crowd.
   12. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: January 09, 2016 at 01:15 PM (#5129936)
1989 prelim:

1. Bret Saberhagen, SP, KC
2. Will Clark, 1b, SF
3. Rickey Henderson, LF, NYY-Oak
4. Kevin Mitchell, LF, SF
5. Lonnie Smith, LF, Atl
6. Wade Boggs, 3b, Bos
7. Barry Bonds, LF, Pit
8. Howard Johnson, 3b, NYM
9. Orel Hershiser, SP, LAD
10. Fred McGriff, 1b, Tor
11. Ruben Sierra, RF, Tex
12. Cal Ripken, SS, Bal
13. Bert Blyleven, SP, Cal

14-20: Ozzie Smith, Bobby Bonilla, Robin Yount, Ryne Sandberg, Mark Gubicza, Roger Clemens, Marke Langston
   13. TomH Posted: January 09, 2016 at 07:20 PM (#5130075)
HoJo's fielding: I ponder if a measurement (of whichever system) of defensive runs does not capture his value sufficiently. He played some SS, in order to get another bat in the lineup. Davey Johnson often chose **when* to do this by the starting pitcher (high KO like El Sid, means fewer GBs). So HoJo's fielding value could be affected by this, PLUS his positional flexibility might be of some small extra value to team composiition; I would guess his manager thought so. Just a thought.
   14. Stevens Posted: January 13, 2016 at 10:40 AM (#5132922)

Player Name** G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Ryne Sandberg 5 20 6 8 3 1 1 4 3 4 .400 .458 .800 1.258


It's completely irrational, but I have never fully forgiven Ryne Sandberg for making the last out in that NLCS.
   15. Chris Fluit Posted: January 13, 2016 at 11:55 AM (#5133036)
HoJo's fielding: I ponder if a measurement (of whichever system) of defensive runs does not capture his value sufficiently. He played some SS, in order to get another bat in the lineup. Davey Johnson often chose **when* to do this by the starting pitcher (high KO like El Sid, means fewer GBs). So HoJo's fielding value could be affected by this, PLUS his positional flexibility might be of some small extra value to team composiition; I would guess his manager thought so. Just a thought.

WAR already accounts for this. That's why they incorporate both runs from fielding and runs from position in their final number. For example, HoJo is docked -9 fielding in 1989 but he's credited with +4 for his position. Meanwhile, a full-time third baseman like Tim Wallach is credited +2 for position. We see a similar effect in 1990 (-8 and +6 for HoJo, -3 and +2 for Wallach). So HoJo is getting 2-4 extra runs for playing a harder defensive position part of the time. Considering that HoJo is not significantly worse at SS than at 3B (he was -4 fielding as a full-time third baseman at the age of 25), though not great at either, it's probably a trade-off worth making. He loses a couple of points on fielding but makes them up on position. But again, it's already included in WAR so it's not like you need to make an extra adjustment for it.
   16. Chris Fluit Posted: January 14, 2016 at 03:33 PM (#5134348)
Is it just me or are there a lot more extreme defensive numbers this year than most? It reminds of the record-setting season a couple of years ago when everyone from Andrelton Simmons on down was posting huge defensive numbers, or the offensive explosion of 1987 when home run numbers were suddenly out of whack for one season. Just looking at the top NL candidates, Bonds is +37, Ozzie +32, Lonnie Smith +23, Caminiti +23 and Oquendo +20. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, Gwynn is nailed for a -20 and Eric Davis -21. Pedro Guerrero even managed a -19 while playing first base. Ouch!
   17. Chris Fluit Posted: January 14, 2016 at 03:41 PM (#5134358)
1989 Prelim- NL Only

1. Will Clark, 1B, San Francisco Giants
2. Kevin Mitchell, LF, San Francisco Giants: the Bay Area teammates came out tied in my initial calculation but Clark did better in secondary stats like baserunning to pull ahead
3. Howard Johnson, 3B/SS, New York Mets: 3rd in both OPS+ and RC while playing on the left side of the infield
4. Lonnie Smith, LF, Atlanta Braves: a career year with both the bat and the glove
5. Orel Hershiser, P, Los Angeles Dodgers: a nice sequel to his excellent '88
6. Ryne Sandberg, 2B, Chicago Cubs
7. Bobby Bonilla, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates: Bobby Bo's -12 fielding seems pedestrian this year
8. Mark Langston, P, Seattle/Montreal: combined for a 135 ERA+ in 250 innings between the two leagues
9. Bobby Bonds, LF, Pittsburgh Pirates: defense pushes him ahead of other outfielders like Jack Clark, Glenn Davis and Von Hayes
10. Bruce Hurst, P, San Diego Padres: slightly better than teammate Whitson and some kid named Maddux
   18. DL from MN Posted: January 14, 2016 at 05:41 PM (#5134507)
There was a lot of turf in 1989, that could widen the spread among players.
   19. Chris Fluit Posted: January 14, 2016 at 11:28 PM (#5134721)
1989 Prelim- AL Only

1. Bret Saberhagen, P, Kansas City Royals: 180 ERA+ is 31 points better than 2nd place
2. Wade Boggs, 3B, Boston Red Sox: ho-hum, another great season with the bat (142 OPS+) and the glove (+19 fielding)
3. Fred McGriff, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays: league leading 165 OPS+
4. Robin Yount, CF, Milwaukee Brewers: 152 OPS+ and league-leading 125 runs created
5. Ruben Sierra, RF, Texas Rangers: top four in both OPS+ and RC
6. Dennis Eckersely, RP, Oakland Athletics: 239 ERA+
7. Gregg Olson, RP, Baltimore Orioles: 224 ERA+ in 85 IP
8. Julio Franco, 2B, Texas Rangers
9. Rickey Henderson, LF, New York/Oakland: does everything well
10. Paul Molitor, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers
   20. Chris Fluit Posted: January 14, 2016 at 11:34 PM (#5134723)
1989 Prelim- Combined

1. Will Clark, 1B, San Francisco Giants
2. Kevin Mitchell, LF, San Francisco Giants: the Bay Area teammates came out tied in my initial calculation but Clark did better in secondary stats like baserunning to pull ahead
3. Bret Saberhagen, P, Kansas City Royals: 180 ERA+ is 31 points better than 2nd place
4. Howard Johnson, 3B/SS, New York Mets: 3rd in NL in both OPS+ and RC while playing on the left side of the infield
5. Wade Boggs, 3B, Boston Red Sox: ho-hum, another great season with the bat (142 OPS+) and the glove (+19 fielding)
6. Lonnie Smith, LF, Atlanta Braves: a career year with both the bat and the glove
7. Fred McGriff, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays: league leading 165 OPS+
8. Orel Hershiser, P, Los Angeles Dodgers: a nice sequel to his excellent '88
9. Robin Yount, CF, Milwaukee Brewers: 152 OPS+ and AL-leading 125 runs created
10. Ryne Sandberg, 2B, Chicago Cubs
11. Ruben Sierra, RF, Texas Rangers: top four in both OPS+ and RC
12. Dennis Eckersely, RP, Oakland Athletics: 239 ERA+
13. Gregg Olson, RP, Baltimore Orioles: 224 ERA+ in 85 IP

14. Julio Franco, 2B, Texas Rangers
15. Bobby Bonilla, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates
16. Rickey Henderson, LF, New York/Oakland
17. Mark Langston, P, Seattle/Montreal
18. Paul Molitor, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers
19. Lou Whitaker, 2B, Detroit Tigers
20. Mike Moore, P, Oakland Athletics
   21. DL from MN Posted: January 15, 2016 at 09:59 AM (#5134841)
I don't get Eck ahead of Rickey! in 1989
   22. lieiam Posted: January 16, 2016 at 11:29 AM (#5135552)
Here's my prelim ballot. Unlikely to change.
10% catcher bonus (based on playing time at catcher) and no postseason bonus.

1 Clark, Will 9389
2 Mitchell, Kevin 8833
3 Saberhagen, Bret 8782
4 Henderson, Rickey 8499
5 Johnson, Howard 7848
6 Boggs, Wade 7689
7 Smith, Lonnie 7491
8 Sierra, Ruben 7108
9 McGriff, Fred 6946
10 Yount, Robin 6945
11 Sandberg, Ryne 6690
12 Bonds, Barry 6536
13 Bonilla, Bobby 6238

I used 6 different systems, and there were 4 different leaders in those 6 systems.
   23. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 16, 2016 at 07:03 PM (#5135794)
Howard Johnson started 22 games at shortstop for the Mets in 1989. Nine were behind Sid Fernandez, seven behind David Cone, three behind Ron Darling, two behind Doc Gooden, and one behind David West (who would be sent to Minnesota in the Frank Viola deal two weeks later). Only one of those starts came after mid-July.

-- MWE
   24. TomH Posted: January 17, 2016 at 07:15 AM (#5136061)
Chris F - Thanks for the answer, but yes I agree WAR accounts for the actual # of games played. But I don't think it (nor any system) accounts for the positional flexibility in how he was used that may have allowed different people into the lineup. It's probably not huge in this case. I do think in rare instances, like Sparky using Tony Phillips all over the field in order to give each of his regulars a day off (or at DH), there is a good deal of value in Phillips' use that is unaccounted for.
   25. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: January 17, 2016 at 03:21 PM (#5136295)
Prelim ballot, no postseason credit but some small credit for playing on a division-contender:
1. Will Clark--edges out his teammate, seemed like a can't miss HOFer at the time
2. Kevin Mitchell--caught a ball barehanded and put up gaudy power numbers
3. Bret Saberhagen--keeps his streak of great odd numbered years going (85, 87, 89)
4. Rickey Henderson--#4 through 7 are very close for me
5. Lonnie Smith--an unexpectedly great year, not killing former boss John Schuerholz worked out well for Skates
6. Fred McGriff--one of his best seasons, I'd love to see Crime Dog make the HOF
7. Wade Boggs--hey no sex scandal this year! But no AL East crown either...
8. Ryne Sandberg--biggest part of Cubs winning NL East, I hope to see him get another chance at managing a major league team
9. Cal Ripken Jr--had he had a little better offensive stats, he probably would've edged Yount & Sierra for the AL MVP. It is odd that the O's had two HOF players at or near their prime yet were so bad from '86 to '88. Who'd have guessed they would do so well in '89 after Murray left for LA
10. Howard Johnson--the hitting version of Saberhagen--great in odd years (87, 89, 91)

Honorable mention:
Orel Hershiser--the top NL pitcher for me, had his records not been 16-16 in '87 & 15-15 in '89, could he have won three straight Cy Young Awards? It would be hard to ignore him in HOF voting had he accomplished that
Ruben Sierra--why was he so good young & so meh later?
Nick Esasky--a career year for the Boston first baseman, signed a 3-yr deal with Atlanta but vertigo ended his career after just 39 PAs for the Braves. I remember seeing him in uniform in the dugout during the postseason & he looked like he was having a blast, cracking jokes & being a good teammate. Who knows how much having a healthy Esasky at first base would've helped Atlanta
Mike Bielecki--a forgotten contributor to Cubs NL East winning team
Joe Magrane--injuries limited him after this career year
Jack Clark--.410 OBP with 132 BBs
Alvin Davis--.424 OBP with 101 BBs
Lou Whitaker--a career high 28 HRs for a terrible Tigers team (the glory days of the '83-'88 teams were over), he belongs in the HOF
Dwight Evans--.397 OBP & 100 RBIs,one last great season for another player overlooked by the BBWAA & the Historical Overview Committee which puts together Expansion Era ballot
   26. DL from MN Posted: January 17, 2016 at 04:38 PM (#5136355)
Tubbs - vote for 13 in 1989
   27. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: January 17, 2016 at 06:17 PM (#5136481)
Oops.
11. Ruben Sierra
12. Robin Yount
13. Orel Hershiser
   28. ThickieDon Posted: January 21, 2016 at 11:10 AM (#5139121)
1. Saberhagen - an all-time great pitching season (top 10 or so since 1970)
2. W. Clark - one of the best offensive seasons of the 80's
3. R. Henderson
4. L. Smith
5. Boggs
6. Bonds - possibly the best LF fielding season of all-time
7. H. Johnson - one of the best offensive seasons of the 80's + a small SS bonus
8. Mitchell - one of the best offensive seasons of the 80's
9. O. Smith - one of the greatest fielding seasons of all-time, any position
10. Hershiser
11. McGriff
12. Ripken
13. Yount
   29. DL from MN Posted: January 21, 2016 at 12:31 PM (#5139202)
Looks good new voter. Can you go into a little more detail about what you look at before voting? Do you give postseason consideration, for example?
   30. ThickieDon Posted: January 21, 2016 at 01:52 PM (#5139285)
@29: Hey, thanks for the feedback.

My ranking is pretty much a composite of fWAR and BWAR, at least as far as the position players go, albeit with a slight weight toward overall offensive contribution when a tie-breaker was needed (Will Clark vs. Lonnie Smith vs. Rickey Henderson). I also considered playing time (Lonnie vs. Rickey).

I looked at a bunch different pitcher valuation metrics, including traditional stuff. Hershiser's season was not quite MVP-caliber but still fairly exceptional - I felt it warranted a top 10 vote, especially when you include his fielding. Saberhagen had one of the great modern pitching seasons, and in a year with no clear cut stand-out among position players, I went with his 9.7 bWAR in the top spot.

Boggs, Clark, Smith, and Henderson were certainly all stand-outs with 8-ish WAR, don't get me wrong. However, none were an overwhelming choice for me like Rickey in '90 or Ripken in '91.

When I saw the fielding numbers for Barry and Ozzie, I wasn't totally shocked - I remember seeing their plays often on TV that year, especially Ozzie. But when I took into consideration how highly both metrics valued their fielding - all-time best seasons for SS and LF - I felt they could not be left out of the top 10 despite pedestrian offensive numbers.

I couldn't decide between Howard Johnson and Kevin Mitchell at 7 and 8, but Hojo's subpar SS/3B play seemed more valuable than Mitchell's poor LF play so I bumped him up. I know WAR already accounts for this but I needed a tie-breaker.

Generally I won't do any post-season bonus, although in Clark's and Rickey's cases, since their performances were so exceptionally strong, it did play a role in sorting out the top three.
   31. ThickieDon Posted: January 21, 2016 at 02:05 PM (#5139301)
McGriff and Yount had really strong offensive years and deserved to be in MVP consideration (though Yount should never have won - I even remember thinking that at the time when I was 9). Ripken's case was similar to Bonds and O. Smith in that, despite his average offense, I couldn't overlook his superior glove, which was rated highly across the board.
   32. Yardape Posted: January 27, 2016 at 09:32 PM (#5144359)
Prelim ballot. I have started looking at Baseball Gauge's WAR, because I felt that there was not enough confusionw with only two WAR variations. (Kidding, I am intrigued by their integration of DRA). I do add postseason bonuses, I try to estimate additional WAR earned in the postseason. Because baseball playoffs are so short relative the regular season, it generally doesn't come out to much, but it can sometimes make a difference.

1. Bret Saberhagen - Tremendous pitching season.
2. Will Clark - Top position player, and a good postseason, but not quite enough to catch Saberhagen
3. Rickey Henderson - Here is where postseason credit makes a difference, as Rickey vaults above Mitchell. Best AL position player.
4. Kevin Mitchell - I was surprised how good he was, I always kind of figured this was a blown MVP vote.
5. Bobby Bonilla - Best 3B
6. Bert Blyleven
7. Roger Clemens
8. Orel Hershiser - Best NL pitcher
9. Howard Johnson - Fascinating season for an interesting player
10. Fred McGriff
11. Ryne Sandberg
12. Robin Yount
13. Mark Gubizca

Mark Grace had a good NLCS, and I thought he'd be closer to the ballot, but his full-season numbers were worse than I remembered. Also, I don't think he's eligible for my ballot, but P Saito Masaki had an outstanding season in Japan.
   33. Moeball Posted: February 03, 2016 at 10:01 AM (#5148585)
Sorry, late to the party, missed out on all the early 1900s seasons.

At any rate - 1989 was the year of the Californians:

AL MVP - Robin Yount, Taft HS, Woodland Hills, CA
NL MVP - Kevin Mitchell, Clairemont HS, San Diego, CA
AL CY - Bret Saberhagen, Grover Cleveland HS, Reseda, CA
NL CY - Mark Davis, Granada Hills HS, Granada Hills, CA
AL Comeback Player - Bert Blyleven, Santiago HS, Garden Grove, CA
NL Comeback Player - Lonnie Smith, Centennial HS, Compton, CA

My system blends WAA/WS approaches from Bref, Baseball Gauge, etc. Had some surprising results I wasn't counting on. I have Bonds and Ozzie as only very good defensively, not all-time greatest seasons, which knocks them out of the rankings. Mr. Bonds will get plenty of years at the top of the rankings in the years to come.

So here goes:

1)Bret Saberhagen - was surprised that he actually surpassed Clark and Mitchell, but I see some others have him at the top, too.
2)Will Clark - I have Mitchell better offensively but the Thrill added more defensively that makes up for it
3)Kevin Mitchell - this year came out of nowhere but I don't think his MVP award was necessarily a bad choice; man, he could crush it!
4)Rickey! Need I say more?
5)Lonnie Smith - really put it all together this season, offensively and defensively
6)Orel Hershiser - so it wasn't 1988? So what - still a terrific season
7)Bobby Bonilla - yeah, I know, I was surprised, too. I don't have him as bad defensively as others which boosts his stock; had a big bat in '89
8)Fred McGriff - another excellent year for the Crime Dog
9)Robin Yount - closer look at his season reveals it was a better year than I thought he had
10)Mark Langston - went over to NL and led league in ERA
11)Bruce Hurst - some excellent pitchers on the Padres this year
12)Ed Whitson - like I said, Padre pitching was pretty good, but Ed Whitson a better season than Clemens? Hard to believe...
13)Ryne Sandberg - he's the main reason the Cubs were in the NLCS

Others who just missed - Molitor, HoJo, Blyleven, Bonds, Boggs (yeah, I have him downgraded defensively, too)

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