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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, January 27, 2014

Pedro Martinez

Eligible in 2015

DL from MN Posted: January 27, 2014 at 12:40 PM | 158 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Morty Causa Posted: January 31, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4649336)
I'm Mr. Sensitive. I simply (and bluntly) asked a couple of questions. No need to swoon at the outrage. Why don't you give us the "Mother, May I" protocol?
   102. AROM Posted: January 31, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4649359)
Yeah, A's would be tough to beat, since their history goes back through KC and Philly.

Angels would have:
C Parrish? Boone? Napoli? Downing? Unless I forgot they never had an alltime great stop by at the end of his career.
1B: Murray, Carew
2B: Grich, Carew
SS: Fregosi
3B: Pujols (played there regularly in STL, and actually did start a few games there as an Angel in 2012
RF: Robinson
CF: Trout (Edmonds on career value, but Trout's already an alltime great on short peak)
LF: Rickey!
DH: Reggie

Other greats: Vlad, Winfield, Abreu, Bobby Bonds, Dave Parker

Rotation:
Ryan
Blyleven
Sutton
John
Appier

Pen:
Lee Smith
Troy Percival
Hoyt Wilhelm
   103. Yardape Posted: January 31, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4649390)
Angels would have:
C Parrish? Boone? Napoli? Downing? Unless I forgot they never had an alltime great stop by at the end of his career.


Shawn Wooten.

What?
   104. tfbg9 Posted: January 31, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4649405)
The Red Sox have the best "all time guys who played for us" team, IMHO.
SP: Young, Grove, Clemens, Pedro, Seaver
RP: Eck, Radatz, Billy Wagner, Sparky Lyle (Papelbon?)

OF: Ruth, Teddy, Speaker, Yaz, Rickey!
3B: Boggs, Beltre
SS: Cronin, Nomar (Vern Stephens?)
2B: Doerr, Pedroia
1B: Foxx, Tony Perez
C: Fisk, Elston Howard

Pretty good OF and Starting rotation, to put it mildly. Weakest part of the squad is the middle infield.

Batting order:

1) Speaker CF
2) Rickey! LF
3) Williams DH
4) Foxx 1B
5) Ruth RF(and "emergency" LH pitcher)
6 Cronin SS
7) Boggs 3B
8) Doerr 2B
9) Fisk C

   105. Ron J2 Posted: January 31, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4649443)
#86 Thing is that his W-L record isn't out of line considering his run support. I know this because a couple of decades ago I made precisely thae point you made on RSB and Greg Spira responded with research showing the expected winning percentage given his runs allowed and the run support he was given.

One of the first research pieces to use Retrosheet data.

Quoting now:

The run support figures used are his run support per 9 innings when
Koufax was in the game. Run support per start is also available
(and in some cases, though not for Koufax, is the only information that's
been published for pitchers), and it does have the advantage of
including runs scored after Koufax was relieved, which certainly do affect
his records, but overall I think the run support for the innings Koufax
was still in games is slightly more indicative of the quality of
his support.

Note that Koufax had one win in relief in 1961, so his record
here differs from whats in baseball encyclopedias.

Year     Run Support     Runs Allowed   Projected W-L     Actual W-L
1961        4.11            3.89           16
-14            17-13
1962        5.00            2.98           15
-6             14-7
1963        4.18            1.97           25
-5             25-5
1964        3.48            2.00           18
-6             19-5
1965        3.70            2.43           24
-10            26-8
1966        4.26            2.06           29
-7             27-9
Total        
-               -            127-48           128-47 


These days we have the full info, but it doesn't change the basis point. Koufax's W-L record is in no ways unusual and the seemingly incredible record in low scoring games is basically caused by the conditions of the day.
   106. Morty Causa Posted: January 31, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4649444)
That's putting Ruth pretty far back in the order. I'd pluck Rickey! out and move everyone up (separating Williams and Ruth with the RH-ed Foxx is good). Put Rickey! after Ruth: he's got power to drive in runs and he could serve as the second lead off man for all those that follow.
   107. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 31, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4649445)
Toronto Blue Jays 25-man roster:

SP: Roger Clemens, Phil Niekro, Roy Halladay, Dave Stieb, Jack Morris,
MR: Mark Buehrle, David Wells, Jimmy Key, Frank Viola,
CL: Tom Henke

C: Lance Parrish, Benito Santiago
1B: Fred McGriff, John Olerud, Carlos Delgado
2B: Roberto Alomar, Jeff Kent
3B: Scott Rolen, Troy Glaus
SS: Tony Fernandez, Jose Reyes
OF: Rickey Henderson, Dave Winfield, Jose Canseco, Devon White
   108. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 31, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4649452)
So which pitcher appears on the most "all-time lists"?
Gaylord Perry?
Phil Niekro?
Steve Carlton?
Clemens or Maddux?

For position players, I don't think anyone tops Rickey Henderson (9?).
Rogers Hornsby should be up there (5 teams, top of 2B).

   109. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: January 31, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4649456)
Randy Johnson pitched for six teams.
   110. AROM Posted: January 31, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4649477)
#104, I see you are trying to break up the lefties and righties. But Rickey! must lead off. On this, there is no room for debate. It's in the constitution.
   111. AROM Posted: January 31, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4649481)
Yankees:

C Berra
1B Gehrig
2B Gordon
SS Jeter
3B A-Rod
RF Ruth
CF DiMaggio
LF Mantle

I think that lineup beats the Red Sox. They also have a better closer in Mo. But the Red Sox starting pitching beats the Yankees, even though they can go:

Clemens, Randy Johnson, Whitey Ford ...Give me a few before I figure out the best candidates. If I have to pick them off the top of my head I'd go Guidry, Cone, or Pettitte.
   112. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: January 31, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4649482)
How about the opposite extreme, the all time one teamers.

C Johnny Bench
1B Lou Gehrig
2B Charlie Gehringer
3B Mike Schmidt
SS Cal Ripken (I always thought Wagner was a career Pirate)
LF Ted Williams
CF Mickey Mantle
RF Mel Ott
DH Stan Musial (he's gotta be on the team)
LP Carl Hubbell (wasn't expecting that)
RP Mo

I can't imagine anyone having a different list. I suppose Koufax could be the LH if you're strictly a peaker.
   113. Morty Causa Posted: January 31, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4649483)
Tris Speaker was better. You go with the best. It's the unwritten law that should go without saying. Putting Ruth 5th makes him lose too many PAs. A lineup of this quality, it's best to just front-load it. It's not like there's a hole in the lineup that has to be covered.
   114. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 31, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4649484)
does the team in 112 beat the Yankees in 111?

The other starters can be Palmer, Verlander, Gibson, and Koufax.

Edit: and maybe Ford
   115. AROM Posted: January 31, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4649487)
OK, Yankee rotation:

Clemens, Randy, Ford, Niekro, Perry, Mussina

If the focus is peak and not career, then Guidry/Gooden get on the list. Mo has Gossage setting him up in the pen.

Still not as good as the Red Sox staff. Clemens/Johnson is a wash for Clemens/Grove, but Seaver-Pedro-Young beat any combination the Yankees can come up with.
   116. Morty Causa Posted: January 31, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4649488)
112

Walter Johnson isn't your RH-er?

   117. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 31, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4649494)
Oh, right...Johnson.
   118. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: January 31, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4649496)
Obviously an oversight on The Big Train or I just won't pitch in Fenway.
   119. Canker Soriano Posted: January 31, 2014 at 05:05 PM (#4649503)
Yankees:

C Berra
1B Gehrig
2B Gordon
SS Jeter
3B A-Rod
RF Ruth
CF DiMaggio
LF Mantle


I'd be tempted to put A-Rod at SS and let Wade Boggs play third (not technically cheating - he has played 8 innings there, according to BR).
   120. gehrig97 Posted: January 31, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4649509)
C Berra
1B Gehrig
2B Cano
SS Jeter
3B A-Rod
RF Ruth
CF DiMaggio
LF Mantle
   121. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: January 31, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4649513)
The A's everyday lineup might win this one:

C: Piazza or Cochrane
1b: Foxx
2b: E. Collins or Joe Morgan
3b: Baker or Bando
SS: Garciaparra
LF: Rickey!
CF: Speaker
RF: Cobb


Red Sox are probably better. Maybe the Giants too:

C - Carter
1B - McCovey
2B - Hornsby or Morgan
SS - Davis
3B - Frisch or Evans
LF - Bonds
CF - Mays
RF - Ott
DH - Mize
Rotation: Rusie, Mathewson, R Johnson, Hubbell, Marichal or Perry
CL - Nathan

Boy, the Giants are really stacked at first and second base. Frisch only makes the team as a 3b, and kent not at all. In addition to Mize and McCovey, Cepeda, Brouthers, Terry, Will Clark, and Roger Connor.

Maybe put Davis at 3rd, Hornsby at SS, and Morgan at 2nd.
   122. DL from MN Posted: January 31, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4649524)
How can Garciaparra be the best SS the A's have to choose from?
   123. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: January 31, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4649532)
Can't seem to be able to edit. Put Gossage in as the Giants closer.
   124. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: January 31, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4649536)
Forgot about Dahlen for the Giants. Maybe the best arrangement is Morgan at 2B, Dahlen at SS, Davis at 3B, and Hornsby at DH.
   125. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: January 31, 2014 at 05:38 PM (#4649537)
How can Garciaparra be the best SS the A's have to choose from?
For peak value he probably is. For career value, though, I'd go with Campy. Miguel Tejada also has a place in the discussion, perhaps as the backup at short and third.
   126. Sweatpants Posted: January 31, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4649539)
C - Torre
1B - Brouthers
2B - Hornsby
3B - Mathews
SS - Dahlen
LF - Ruth
CF - Hamilton
RF - Aaron

SP - Young
SP - Nichols
SP - Maddux
SP - Spahn
SP - Niekro

RP - Wilhelm

The Braves are better if you're able to realistically fudge positions (Aaron played 300+ games in CF, for instance).
   127. alilisd Posted: January 31, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4649587)
But Rickey! must lead off. On this, there is no room for debate. It's in the constitution.


Ted Williams fought for his country and defended that Constitution! He also has the highest career OBP of all time, and decent power. If you don't lead off with Williams, you're crazy! :-)

Seriously though, I'd put Williams, Foxx, then Ruth at the top of the lineup. As great as Rickey! was, he wasn't as good as those three. After that you could go with Rickey!, Speaker, Boggs, and the other three. It shouldn't much matter at that point.
   128. tfbg9 Posted: January 31, 2014 at 06:43 PM (#4649593)
Eh.

I wanted to go L/R/L..etc., and I wanted speed at the top of the order (SB, scoring from 1st on two-out doubles from the 3-4-5 hitters, etc.), and in order to maximize the L/R, I had to lead off Speaker.

You might put Ruth 3rd I suppose, but Teddy had the OBP advantage, and Ruth the slugging % advantage, and you need the RH in
between the two LH's, IMO.

I think the Sox team is the best. Seaver is the #5 starter, and the relief is great: two relief aces from either side of the mound, and the penultimate Larussa closer, and a loogy who hits 100 on the gun. And the offense is otherworldly: BA, OBP, power, doubles, triples, SB's.
   129. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: January 31, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4649617)
White Sox. Not a contender, but interesting. Lot of vulturing going on here.:

C - Fisk
1B - Thome
2B - Collins
SS - Appling
3B - Davis
LF - Jackson
CF - Griffey
RF - Sosa
DH - Thomas
Rotation: Seaver, Carlton, Walsh, Faber, Wynn or Pierce
CL - Wilhelm
Setup - Gossage
   130. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: January 31, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4649620)
I think the Sox team is the best. Seaver is the #5 starter, and the relief is great: two relief aces from either side of the mound, and the penultimate Larussa closer, and a loogy who hits 100 on the gun. And the offense is otherworldly: BA, OBP, power, doubles, triples, SB's.


I see that Red Sox team is a little weak at 2B. I'll (White Sox) trade you Robbie Alomar for any of your 5 OF's. Any one would be an upgrade over Sosa. Now I have to find someone with extra starting pitching I can trade Dick Allen for.
   131. God Posted: January 31, 2014 at 08:10 PM (#4649630)
Finishing up the Dodger team... their pitching blows everyone away except for the Red Sox. Boston has a slightly better staff if you only look at the starting five. If you were filling out an entire 10-12 man pitching staff LA would probably have the best one.

C Mike Piazza
1B Jim Thome
2B Jackie Robinson
3B Adrian Beltre
SS Arky Vaughan
LF Manny Ramirez
CF Rickey Henderson
RF Frank Robinson

Bench: Duke Snider, Eddie Murray, Roy Campanella, Fred McGriff, Zack Wheat, Paul Waner, Pee Wee Reese, Hughie Jennings, Gary Carter

SP Greg Maddux
SP Pedro Martinez
SP Sandy Koufax
SP Clayton Kershaw
SP Juan Marichal

Bullpen: Hoyt Wilhelm, Dazzy Vance, Don Drysdale, Don Sutton, Kevin Brown, Joe McGinnity
   132. OCF Posted: January 31, 2014 at 08:46 PM (#4649645)
Marichal was a Dodger? What the what? (Furiously tabs over to bb-ref.) Whaddaya know. There it is: 2 G, 6 IP, 9 runs allowed. ERA+ 27, which would sound more impressive if you switched the definition of ERA+ to its reciprocal and called that 370.

Frank Robinson at least had a whole (likely injury-shortened) season and hit better than average (albeit worse than average F. Robby).
   133. AROM Posted: January 31, 2014 at 09:02 PM (#4649648)
"How can Garciaparra be the best SS the A's have to choose from?
For peak value he probably is. For career value, though, I'd go with Campy. Miguel Tejada also has a place in the discussion, perhaps as the backup at short and third."

Nomar wasn't even a shortstop when he played for the A's, but under the scenario constructed I don't think that matters. You want a SS, and if he ever suited up for the team you get his best. I think he definitely beats Miggy and Campy.
   134. AROM Posted: January 31, 2014 at 09:04 PM (#4649649)
I think the Sox team is the best. Seaver is the #5 starter, and the relief is great: two relief aces from either side of the mound, and the penultimate Larussa closer, and a loogy who hits 100 on the gun. And the offense is otherworldly: BA, OBP, power, doubles, triples, SB's.


Relief doesn't come into play much if you have starters that good.
   135. Baldrick Posted: January 31, 2014 at 09:08 PM (#4649652)
Here’s the Mariners’ team, such as it is. They’ve got a couple inner-circle guys but also have a few places they’re struggling to even stay afloat.

C – Lance Parrish
1B – Olerud, I guess?
2B – Yikes. Probably Bret Boone. In a couple months we’ll be able to slot in Cano
SS – A-Rod
3B – Beltre
LF – Rickey!
CF – Griffey
RF – Ichiro
DH – Edgar

SP Randy Johnson
SP Gaylord Perry
SP Felix
SP Langston
SP Cliff Lee (or one of Moyer/Dennis Martinez if you value career over peak)

RP – Goose Gossage and Bobby Ayala
   136. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: January 31, 2014 at 10:07 PM (#4649673)
The Marlins don't do too bad, due to their boom and bust nature:

C - IRod
1B - Cabrera
2B - Jose Reyes
SS - Hanley
3B - Sheffield
LF - Raines
CF - Devon White
RF - Dawson
DH - Piazza
Rotation: Brown, Beckett, Buehrle, Hough, Leiter
CL - Hoffman
Setup - Nen

Infield defense is scary, but the OF would be historically good, with 3 CF talents out there. A bit of a cheat with Reyes at 2B, but he did play there some, and if you could choose between Reyes and Luis castillo or Dan Uggla, who would you take? This team has some wheels.
   137. God Posted: January 31, 2014 at 10:43 PM (#4649679)
Edit: Was going to point out Piazza but I now see he's at DH.
   138. cardsfanboy Posted: January 31, 2014 at 11:30 PM (#4649686)
I don't mean to be that guy....but why in the world are people talking about era+ with Pedro Martinez. If there is one single player in the history of baseball that the discussion should be directed towards era-, it's absolutely Pedro Martinez. Here is a guy who posted a great era relative to era, who capitalized on how easy it is to dominate an era, and people are using a stat that exploits his advantages...

He's absolutely clearly, beyond any shadow of a doubt a hof/hom....but there is literally no way that anyone can justify him as better than Randy. It's insane to say otherwise. Era+ over rates his advantage.
   139. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: February 01, 2014 at 02:44 AM (#4649720)
If there is one single player in the history of baseball that the discussion should be directed towards era-, it's absolutely Pedro Martinez.

Like I said before, CFB's not Pedro's biggest fan.

ERA- and ERA+ essentially tell you the same thing if you understand numbers. They are just reciprocals of each other. There is certainly arguments to take Randy over Pedro. He had a magnificent peak and had a long career. Using ERA- instead of ERA+ adds nothing to that argument if you understand that 15 apples are not necessarily more than 12 oranges.
   140. AROM Posted: February 01, 2014 at 03:09 AM (#4649721)
"RP – Goose Gossage and Bobby Ayala"

What made you think of Ayala? Just to show how crappy their bullpen has been? I thought I might have forgotten some good years by Ayala, but looking him up he's got a sub 100 ERA+, basically replacement level.

Kaz Sasaki was really good.
   141. Baldrick Posted: February 01, 2014 at 04:48 AM (#4649726)
What made you think of Ayala? Just to show how crappy their bullpen has been? I thought I might have forgotten some good years by Ayala, but looking him up he's got a sub 100 ERA+, basically replacement level.

Yep. My dreams are still haunted by Bobby Ayala.

Sasaki and Putz were both good, but apart from that run of six or seven years, the closer role has never been much of a strength. And some of the guys were just awful.

In the eight year period from 1991-1998 (coincidentally when I was age 11-18), the team leader in a given season recorded the following number saves: 17, 13, 18, 18, 19, 20, 14, 19. That's not very good. They finally broke the string in 1999 with Jose Mesa and his 4.98 ERA.
   142. alilisd Posted: February 01, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4649887)
Yes, it was so easy to dominate the AL during the Silly Ball era. Amazing more pitchers didn't do it.
   143. dave h Posted: February 01, 2014 at 11:52 PM (#4649993)
who capitalized on how easy it is to dominate an era

but there is literally no way that anyone can justify him as better than Randy. It's insane to say otherwise

(Emphasis mine)
I think there's a Princess Bride quote that covers your use of the English language.
   144. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 02, 2014 at 12:48 AM (#4650006)
"That Cardsfanboy, he can fuss."
"I think he doesn't like ERA+."
"Probably he means no harm."
"Unit got more innings from his arm."
"You have a great gift for rhyme."
"Pedro might win on peak, but loses on prime."
"Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?"
"If he pitched in '66, his rotator cuff would shred."
"No more rhymes now! I mean it!"
"Gibson always wins when you time machine it."
   145. bobm Posted: February 02, 2014 at 01:09 AM (#4650009)
So which pitcher appears on the most "all-time lists"?Gaylord Perry?Phil Niekro?Steve Carlton?Clemens or Maddux?

For position players, I don't think anyone tops Rickey Henderson (9?).Rogers Hornsby should be up there (5 teams, top of 2B).


Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2013, (requiring WAR_bat>=65), sorted by greatest franch_count

                                                                                        
Rk                 Player WAR/pos        Pos                                          Tm
1        Kenny Lofton  11    67.9    *8/H7D9 HOU-ATL-CLE-SFG-CHW-CHC-PIT-NYY-PHI-LAD-TEX
2    Rickey Henderson   9   110.5    *78HD/9         NYY-TOR-OAK-ANA-SDP-NYM-SEA-BOS-LAD
3      Roberto Alomar   7    66.8     *4/HD6                 SDP-TOR-BAL-CLE-NYM-CHW-ARI
4          Al Simmons   7    68.6    *78/H93                 PHA-CHW-DET-WSH-CIN-BSN-BOS
5           Jim Thome   6    73.0       3D5H                     CLE-PHI-CHW-LAD-MIN-BAL
6      Ivan Rodriguez   6    68.3    *2H/D34                     TEX-FLA-NYY-DET-HOU-WSN
7          Tim Raines   6    68.8   *7H8D/49                     MON-CHW-NYY-OAK-BAL-FLA
8     Willie Randolph   6    65.6     *4/HD5                     PIT-NYY-OAK-LAD-MIL-NYM
9       Graig Nettles   6    67.9 *5H/739D68                     MIN-CLE-NYY-SDP-ATL-MON
10     Carlos Beltran   5    67.6    *89/HD7                         KCR-HOU-SFG-NYM-STL
11      Manny Ramirez   5    69.3      79D/H                         CLE-BOS-CHW-LAD-TBR
12       Eddie Murray   5    68.0    *3D/H57                         BAL-LAD-NYM-CLE-ANA
13         Joe Morgan   5   100.3   *4H/7D58                         HOU-CIN-SFG-PHI-OAK
14     Frank Robinson   5   107.2   97D3H8/5                         CIN-BAL-LAD-CAL-CLE
15     Rogers Hornsby   5   126.9 *465/H3978                         STL-NYG-BSN-CHC-SLB


   146. bobm Posted: February 02, 2014 at 01:13 AM (#4650010)
[145] Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2013, (requiring WAR_pitch>=65), sorted by greatest franch_count

                                                             
Rk               Player   WAR                              Tm
1     Gaylord Perry   8  93.6 SFG-CLE-TEX-SDP-NYY-ATL-SEA-KCR
2     Randy Johnson   6 104.1         MON-SEA-HOU-ARI-NYY-SFG
3       Kevin Brown   6  68.7         TEX-BAL-FLA-SDP-LAD-NYY
4     Steve Carlton   6  84.0         STL-PHI-SFG-CHW-MIN-CLE
5        Luis Tiant   6  65.9         CLE-MIN-BOS-NYY-PIT-CAL
6    Pedro Martinez   5  85.9             LAD-MON-BOS-NYM-PHI
7    Curt Schilling   5  80.7             BAL-HOU-PHI-ARI-BOS
8     Bert Blyleven   5  96.4             TEX-PIT-MIN-CLE-CAL
9        Don Sutton   5  68.8             HOU-MIL-OAK-CAL-LAD


   147. Baldrick Posted: February 02, 2014 at 03:29 AM (#4650019)
With this and the post in the Young/Jeter thread, I officially declare Gonfalon Bubble to have won BBTF for the night.
   148. DL from MN Posted: February 02, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4650069)
Forgot about Tiant in MIN. That gives them Johnson, Carlton, Blyleven, Tiant and Santana.
   149. dave h Posted: February 06, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4652853)
I don't mean to be that guy....but why in the world are people talking about era+ with Pedro Martinez. If there is one single player in the history of baseball that the discussion should be directed towards era-, it's absolutely Pedro Martinez.


I want to resuscitate this thread just to point out:

1. CFB is probably the greatest detractor of Pedro in this thread
2. ERA+ is a hugely cited statistic, possibly #1 for judging pitchers, used by just about everyone on this site
3. CFB (correctly, I think) points out that Pedro Martinez breaks ERA+

ERA- is pretty clearly the better way to calculate it, but I think it's awesome that even when it's being pointed out that Pedro Martinez is not as awesome as we all think he goes out and does something awesome like break a commonly used stat.

   150. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: February 07, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4653149)
I still don't understand why b/a tells you more than a/b if you get numbers.
   151. dave h Posted: February 07, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4653175)
The short answer is that 1) an ERA+ of 110 doesn't mean that the pitcher is 10% better than average, it means that the average is 10% worse than him. These two statements are not equivalent, and get especially far apart as ERA+ goes up (to Pedro levels) and 2) since (taking a=lgERA, b=ERA in your example) a is a constant, some mathematical operations (such as subtraction) work on b/a but not a/b.

A quick read on the subject, and something more in depth.
   152. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: February 07, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4653199)
I understand that that 10 points better by era plus us different than 10 points by minus. Still don't get how they tell you fundamentally different things.
   153. Baldrick Posted: February 07, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4653202)
The short answer is that 1) an ERA+ of 110 doesn't mean that the pitcher is 10% better than average, it means that the average is 10% worse than him. These two statements are not equivalent, and get especially far apart as ERA+ goes up (to Pedro levels) and 2) since (taking a=lgERA, b=ERA in your example) a is a constant, some mathematical operations (such as subtraction) work on b/a but not a/b.

No, that's not a reason. It's just a restatement of the stat. They're the same number looked at from different directions. You don't lose anything when you calculate ERA+. In fact, you can generate the ERA- FROM the ERA+ if you want.

It's not nothing to say that the scale grows exponentially faster at the extremes in ERA+. That's certainly true. But to me that's just as much of a feature as it is a bug. Being 10% better than average is a lot easier than being 20% above average, which is a lot easier than being 30% above average. ERA+ models that to some extent. A 90 ERA- has almost the same distance from 100 as a 111 ERA+, but you can start to see a gap develop at 80/125 and 70/143. To me that's a helpful reminder.

If you think ERA+ is telling you that the pitcher is X above average, then sure it fails. But I don't see why 'percentage better than average' is the gold standard here. Why does it MATTER if ERA+ tells us something different?
   154. villageidiom Posted: February 07, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4653211)
Here is a guy who posted a great era relative to era, who capitalized on how easy it is to dominate an era, and people are using a stat that exploits his advantages...
IT IS NOT EASY TO DOMINATE AN ERA IN WHICH IT IS HARDER TO PERFORM. That there is more room between the average ERA and 0.00 does not make it easier to perform close to 0.00. Logic would suggest that it would be harder.

If you are arguing the chosen stat overstates the achievement when comparing across different eras, fine. One can't have an ERA three points below the average if the average is below 3.00. But it does not follow that what Pedro did was easy.
   155. dave h Posted: February 07, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4653226)
No, that's not a reason. It's just a restatement of the stat.


ERA+ and ERA- use the exact same data in very similar ways, of course. I mean instead of ERA you could have something based on IP/ER - it would just be a restatement of the stat but would anyone argue that it would be as good as ERA?

The way most people think ERA+ works is the way that ERA- actually works. Because we use ERA+, people make incorrect statements all the time (and sure they're often only slightly incorrect, but why be wrong at all?) If someone says Pedro in 2001 had an ERA+ of 188, they probably think that means he was 88% better than average. They don't think that he was 47% better than average but that's really hard so it's kind of equivalent to being 88% better. (EDIT: My phrasing even for ERA- here isn't great: the clearest statement I think is that he allowed runs at 53% the rate of the league average.)

And you didn't address the second point, which is that you can add and subtract ERA- (which means you can also do things like averages) a ton easier than you can with ERA+. As the articles I linked to states, ERA+ puts runs allowed in the denominator, and no one thinks that way. When was the last time you reported a pitcher's performance as a 2.39 ERA with 31 ER? Everyone would say 2.39 ERA in 116.2 IP. ERA+ is the former, ERA- is the latter.
   156. Baldrick Posted: February 07, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4653306)
There is not reason why expressing ERA in terms of IP makes more or less objective sense. We talk about a 2.39 ERA in 116.2 IP because that's how we're accustomed to doing it. if the standard was to talk about it in terms of ER allowed, it would make perfect sense to us. Because it's the exact same information.

This reminds me of metric vs. imperial system counting. If you're starting fresh, metric is probably better since it permits more simple operations and is intrinsically a bit easier to manage. But once you have path dependency, it's really hard to convince people to change for such marginal benefits.

ERA- seems like a very marginally more helpful stat. But given that people are familiar/comfortable with ERA+ and the scale it sets, I don't really see the problem.
   157. dave h Posted: February 08, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4653600)
This isn't metric vs imperial, it's whether to use gallons or liters once you've already decided to use centimeters. We already talk in IP (and it is objectively better, since there is a constant number of IP in a season, while ER can vary), so we might as well have an adjusted ERA stat that can be weighted by IP. It's not just consistency though - additivity is a great characteristic to have. How much better is a 190 ERA+ pitcher than a 160 ERA+ pitcher? Isn't that the whole discussion we're having regarding Pedro? It's not easily determined by ERA+, and it is by ERA-.

I'm not saying ERA- is vastly superior. But is ERA+ so entrenched? What percentage of baseball fans have any idea what it is? I think it's still reasonable to push for ERA- given that it is clearly (if only slightly) better.
   158. DL from MN Posted: February 09, 2014 at 08:47 PM (#4653974)
I still like things like SIERA which give you runs/innings. Normalizing takes away some information.
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