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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Ranking the Hall of Merit Left Fielders - Discussion

These are the Hall of Merit left fielders to be voted on (in alphabetical order):

Jesse Burkett
Fred Clarke
Ed Delahanty
Goose Goslin
Charley Jones
Charlie Keller
Joe Kelley
Ralph Kiner
Sherry Magee
Joe Medwick
Minnie Minoso
Stan Musial
Tim Raines
Jimmy Sheckard
Al Simmons
Willie Stargell
Harry Stovey
Zack Wheat
Billy Williams
Ted Williams
Carl Yastrzemski.

The election will start on Aug 10 and end on Aug 24.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 03, 2008 at 11:19 PM | 178 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 04, 2008 at 02:02 AM (#2888944)
hot topics
   2. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 04, 2008 at 02:33 AM (#2888973)
If Teddy Ballgame isn't a unanimous #1 here, I will be apoplectic. The gap between a fully-war-credited Williams and Musial is worth more than Duke Snider's whole career.

Salary estimator says of the post-1893 MLB'ers:

1. The Kid (#2 alltime)
(Barry)

ENORMOUS GAP

2. Musial

Big Gap

(Rickey)

---inner circle---

3. Delahanty
4. Raines
5. Yaz
6. Burkett
7. Clarke
8. B. Williams
9. Simmons
10. Kelley
11. Sheckard (based on WS' estimation that he's by far the greatest fielding corner outfielder evar--I may subjectively knock him down a bit)
12. Keller
13. Miñoso
14. Wheat
15. Magee
16. Stargell
17. Goslin
18. Medwick
19. Kiner
   3. sunnyday2 Posted: August 04, 2008 at 03:05 AM (#2889010)
As always, I'm with Dan.

1. T. Williams, unless you want to schtup the guy because he fought to make you free for more years than almost any other 2 MLers put together

(gap)

2. Musial

(gap)

3. A. Simmons played a lot of CF, that helps
4. Delahanty--monster peak
5. Yaz--better peak than I remembered, but still a little short on that score

(gap)

6. Raines--Brock in, Raines probably out, Cooperstown really sucks
7. Stargell--under-rated, including usually by me

(gap)

8. Minoso
9. Goslin
10. Kiner
11. Medwick
12. B. Williams--over-shadowed by a bunch of nobodies named Aaron, F. Robby, Yaz, and by Banks and Santo, too
13. Burkett--wait, this is too low
14. Keller--closer to Kiner than this would seem to suggest
15. F. Clarke
16. O. Rourke
(16a. Belle)
17. Magee

(small gap, but maybe the in/out line for a small Hall)

18. Wheat--this is probably too high compared to the 19C guys
19. Sheckard--not PHoM
(19a. J. Rice)
20. H. Stovey
21. C. Jones
22. J. Kelley--not PHoM
(22a. Bobby Estalella)
   4. AJMcCringleberry Posted: August 04, 2008 at 03:10 AM (#2889020)
Musial > Williams
   5. OCF Posted: August 04, 2008 at 03:26 AM (#2889040)
Musial > Williams

So said Bill James in 1986, in the original Historical Abstract. But he changed his mind when he revised the book.
   6. Tiboreau Posted: August 04, 2008 at 04:25 AM (#2889097)
IIRC, AJM doesn't give war credit.
   7. mulder & scully Posted: August 04, 2008 at 05:57 AM (#2889154)
Using DanR's WARP numbers, Williams w/o credit vs. Musial w/o adjustments:

Career: 132.4 to 129.7 (SM over TW). These are huge career totals by the way.
Peak (3 straight years): 36.4 to 30.3 (TW over SM). These are huge peak totals and Williams' is one of the highest ever.
Prime (best 7 years): 73.7 to 67.2 (TW over SM). Repeat above comment.
Per "Season" 8.70 to 6.84 (TW over SM). Both very good totals. Williams' 8.7 is the best so far. Hornsby: 8.41, Wagner: 8.39 were the top 2.

Of course if you add in almost 5 full years at 10 WARP per, for TW when he is fighting wars, it really is no contest at all.

By Win Shares, SM beats TW in career by 49, 604 to 555. With some rudimentary war credit, TW moves ahead by roughly 90, 733 to 641.
Even without any war credit, TW leads in peak: 139 to 121, prime: 298 to 283, and per season Win Shares: 37 to 31.1.

TW an easy number 1.
SM an easy number 2.
   8. OCF Posted: August 04, 2008 at 06:28 AM (#2889158)
Here's an offense-only chart in my usual style for Musial and Williams. I have taken a discount (by changing the park factor) for Musial's years during WWII, but not made any adjustments to Williams. Note that the 24 and the 3 in Williams's line are for 1953 and 1952, respectively.

Williams 118 116 111 108 98 97 96 81 72 63 63 57 55 52 47 43 24  9  3
Musial 
113 101  86  82 73 72 71 70 69 68 66 53 51 42 37 36 16 14  7  7  1 


One way to deal with war credit is to insert blanks into these lines in fairly arbitrary places, shifting the tail end down further. Since I'll be supplying such blanks for Williams's 1952 and 1953, I'll take the 24 and 3 out of his line first. Now we get:

Williams 118 116 111 108 ** 98 97 ** 96 81 ** 72 ** 63 ** 63 57 55 52 47 43  9
Musial 
113 101  86  82 73 ** 72 71 70 69 68 66 53 51 42 37 36 16 14  7  7  1 


But there are two factors this doesn't take into effect. One is defense - this is an offense-only measurement. The other is the integration-related NL/AL quality difference that developed in the later stages of their careers. Both of these factors tilt things back toward Musial.

I do intend to have Williams #1 on my ballot - but let's have recognition for what an astonishing player Musial was, as well.
   9. mulder & scully Posted: August 04, 2008 at 06:30 AM (#2889159)
Just a quick comment or two about Jim O'Rourke:

1. He played forever. 22 years as a regular.
2. He was good forever. His only year with an OPS+ under 114 was his last year, at age 42.
2.5. He was one of the 3 oldest players in his league, his last 7 years as a regular.
3. He didn't lead the league in much, only 25 Black Ink points.
4. He was always around the league in everything though, 288 Grey Ink points which is 15th all-time.
5. 12 top 10s in AVG.
6. 10 top 10s in OBP.
7. 11 top 10s in SLG.
8. 11 top 10s in OPS and OPS+.
9. 13 top 10s in Runs, Hits, Total Bases, and Doubles
10. 7 top 10s in HR and RBI
11. 12 top 10s in Runs Created

O'Rourke played in 12 full seasons before his team had even 100 decisions in a year. So you have to drastically increase his career totals as well as his individual season totals. The "neutralize" function on BB-Ref is not perfect, but it gives the following adjusted games played totals: from 1999 to 3344.

Even without adjusting for season-length, O'Rourke has 305 WS from 1876 to 1893. Including the National Association gives him about 40-45 more, for a total of 350 WS for his career. This is roughly the total that Jimmy Sheckard, Sherry Magee, and Ed Delahanty had. I adjust on a straight percentage basis for season-length and O'Rourke has the 3rd most WS of any LF, about 90 more than Yaz, and about 70 behind Musial.

Even without the black ink, he has a very good prime score, in a knot of 4 players for 3rd - 6th after Williams and Musial: Burkett, Jackson, and Delahanty. (plus Charley Jones with the credit that I feel he deserves. Whole other topic.)

I wasn't around in 1899 when he was voted on, but I urge all of our voters to check out O'Rourke again.
   10. OCF Posted: August 04, 2008 at 06:35 AM (#2889162)
I should add that my placement of the **s in Williams's line above is probably excessively conservative. His four triple-figure numbers on that chart are in the four "consecutive" seasons 1941, 1942, 1946, and 1947. The top number - the 118 - is for 1946.
   11. mulder & scully Posted: August 04, 2008 at 06:35 AM (#2889163)
I just want to say that I cannot imagine an argument for anyone other than The Splendid Splinter and The Man in a voter's top 2.

And Kiner, Medwick, and Minoso are looking at bringing up the back of the LF train currently. But I really need to read over some of the 1910 - 1925 threads to get a bit of feel for Kelley, Stovey, and Keeler.
   12. OCF Posted: August 04, 2008 at 07:15 AM (#2889171)
I was Stovey's biggest advocate back in the day. The essence of my argument: in his day, a much larger fraction of offense is not accounted for by standard individual offensive statistics than is true in later eras. For example, the 1882 NL hit .251/.279/.342 as a league and scored 5.41 runs per game. By contrast, the 1982 NL hit .258/.319/.373 (better across the board) but scored just 4.09 R/G.

Most of that is errors, but some of it is unrecorded baserunning. And there's some synergy among speed, baserunning aggressiveness, and those errors. The only traditional statistic that gives a window into this is runs scored. We tend to ignore R for 1982, because we can use other component offense stats to arrive in the same place, but for 1882, the other component stats don't tell us as much. And the one thing we know about Stovey: he was very, very good at scoring runs. (He wasn't Billy Hamilton, but that's another story.) In 1882, he scored 90 runs in 84 games for a terrible team on which no one else scored more than 33. He had a fairly low batting average, but tremendous power - although a significant fraction of that power might well be speed seen in another way. (In particular, I doubt that many of his HR flew over fences.)

But against that: as a 1B/LF/RF (with a little CF thrown in) his positional value was low. I'd feel better about him if he were a CF, but that's the least of his positions. His best years were in the AA and must be discounted to account for the AA's status as the lesser league.

I still think he belongs in the HoM, and I still like him better than his fellow AA player Browning (who didn't score runs), but he's a marginal HoMer. I can see him in the bottom handful on this vote.

As for Kelley and Keeler: I see the 1890's-centered outfielders as stratifying into three clear tiers:

The first tier is Burkett, Hamilton, and Delahanty. They're your all-star outfield for the decade.

The second tier is Keeler and Kelley.

The third tier is Thompson, Duffy, Van Haltren, and Ryan. The only one of those we've elected is Thompson, and I personally think he was a mistake.
   13. Blackadder Posted: August 04, 2008 at 10:02 AM (#2889199)
This would have been even more fun if Bonds were on the ballot. Even using Dan R's approach, I would probably still subjectively rank Bonds ahead of Williams because:

1) Williams needs very generous war credit to pass Bonds. Now, clearly Williams should get more war credit than anyone else, but him maintaining his same incredibly high standards over another roughly 500 games, especially someone who had so much trouble staying the the lineup later in life, is not exactly a given. Some conservatism in granting credit seems justified. (I know I am latecomer to these discussions, and if I am am repeating discussions you guys have had many times before I apologize).

Furthermore, there is a specific issue with Williams's credit, namely, that he receives extremely high defensive rankings in BP FRAA and FWS in 1942 and 1946, out of line with the rest of his career, and those "propagate" across his 1943, 1944, and 1945, thus inflating his value.

2) Integration/weaker AL in the 1950's knocks Williams down a little.

3) I would give Bonds another 4 wins or so as collusion credit for 2008 :)

I would still take Ruth over Bonds, so my top three would be Ruth, Bonds, Williams. I don't know who I would put next.
   14. Paul Wendt Posted: August 04, 2008 at 11:19 AM (#2889210)
3. sunnyday2 Posted: August 03, 2008 at 11:05 PM (#2889010)
As always, I'm with Dan.
;)

7. Stargell--under-rated, including usually by me
(gap)
8. Minoso
9. Goslin
10. Kiner
11. Medwick

Dan didn't say Musial > Williams is the only route to apoplexy.
   15. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 04, 2008 at 12:21 PM (#2889241)
DanR's WARP converted to Pennants Added, with no war credit (or demerits to Musial for beating up a weak league)

Williams 2.16
Musial 2.15

It's very close if you don't give war credit.

If you do, it isn't close at all.

I'll post the entire list later, off to work for now . . .
   16. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 04, 2008 at 12:22 PM (#2889244)
Oh, Barry Bonds was at 2.67 after 2005.
   17. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 04, 2008 at 12:22 PM (#2889247)
Which is second to Babe Ruth, who had 2.70 PA, not counting his pitching.
   18. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 04, 2008 at 12:23 PM (#2889250)
Hans and Cobb both had 2.66 (Hans ahead on 'percentage points') . . . OK, really done for now.
   19. TomH Posted: August 04, 2008 at 12:54 PM (#2889272)
If Teddy Ballgame isn't a unanimous #1 here, I will be apoplectic.

I'll have Teddy #1, but apparently it takes a LOT more to make me apoplectic than Dan :) I'm with m&s; the gap between 2nd &3rd;is wider.

I think the most interesting comp is O'Rourke vs Yaz. Both thought of as fine defensive corner OFers, here is BP's translated career stats for the pair. See if you can guess which is which:

AB ....... H .. 2B 3B . HR . BB . SB CS OUT . RUN . RBI . BA OBA SLG UEQR EQA EQR
11885 3357 715 47 559 1791 169 103 8746 1840 1887 .282 .378 .492 2029 .294 2050
12220 3561 749 84 505 1539 146 . 74 8733 1879 1661 .291 .372 .490 1624 .291 1997

Two peas in a pod!
   20. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 04, 2008 at 01:27 PM (#2889294)
If Teddy Ballgame isn't a unanimous #1 here, I will be apoplectic.


I will have the Thumper numero uno, Dan. Pretty easy choice for me, too.
   21. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 04, 2008 at 01:29 PM (#2889296)
So said Bill James in 1986, in the original Historical Abstract. But he changed his mind when he revised the book.


Sometimes, Bill James will throw a bone to the people who don't like sabermetrics. This was one of those times.
   22. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 04, 2008 at 01:51 PM (#2889305)
OCF, I don't think you're explaining your (valid) point correctly.


The essence of my argument: in his day, a much larger fraction of offense is not accounted for by standard individual offensive statistics than is true in later eras. For example, the 1882 NL hit .251/.279/.342 as a league and scored 5.41 runs per game. By contrast, the 1982 NL hit .258/.319/.373 (better across the board) but scored just 4.09 R/G.
Most of that is errors, but some of it is unrecorded baserunning. And there's some synergy among speed, baserunning aggressiveness, and those errors.


What do you mean by "unrecorded baserunning?" You mean that the league, as a whole, was more likely to take the extra base on singles and doubles, or that there were more wild pitches and passed balls, as well as many more errors? That's all true, but none of that suggests that Stovey should receive extra credit, any more than any other player. The component stats-runs relationship should, in theory, be applied equally to every player, regardless of whether a hit was "worth" more or fewer runs in one year or another.

What you meant to say, I presume, is not that the run value of a hit/walk etc. was different in the 1880s than in the 1980's (which is completely irrelevant), but that run estimators in general are much less accurate in the 1880's than in the 1980's--their standard error is far, far higher. (This is why I have not produced my own WARP for the pitchers' box era). It doesn't matter that a hit was worth more runs in 1885 than it was in 1985; the argument would be exactly the same if a hit was worth much *less* in 1885 than in 1985. What matters is that the standard offensive stats have much less power to account for the differences in team run scoring in 1885 than in 1985: in 1985, they probably explain 98% of the variance, leaving 2-3% for unknown factors like non-SB baserunning, opponent errors/passed balls/wild pitches etc., and the stringing-together or cattering of hits; in 1885 that number would be far, far lower (BP's UEQR

As a result, we know much less about who the best players were back then than we do now. This is, by the way, I think, a *completely* legitimate pro-timelining argument: if we are honest researchers, we have to recognize that we do not have the evidence to say that Dan Brouthers' OPS+ "bought" as many pennants for his teams as Albert Pujols's does today. All of these other unknown factors mattered a lot more then than they do now, and we have no idea how Brouthers stacked up to his peers on them. So all we can do is assume that he was league-average in those aspects of the game, and regress his value to the mean accordingly. I had never thought about this before, but find this issue to be quite compelling.

(The counterargument to this is the Win Shares approach--a pennant is a pennant. We don't know *why* certain teams over- or under-performed their component stats by large margins, but we know that they did, and those wins counted, so rather than assigning a player a league-average "X factor," we should assign him a team-average "X factor." The more I think about it, the more I agree with Bill James that this is the right way to go for the 19th century, but not for the present. I'll have to come up with some mathematical way to decrease the weight of the team X factor value and increase the weight of the league X factor value as the magnitude of the X factor's relative importance, compared to the available statistics, declines over time. Win Probability Added would solve all of these problems, of course...)

Anyways, with that out of the way, let's return to Stovey. OCF's first contention is that Stovey's Runs scored rate is greater than what we would expect in his league-seasons given his component stats. Is this true? Let's do a quick spot-check on the 1882 season he mentions. Limiting my sample to players who had at least 40 games played in the 1882 NL, I get a 52% r-squared regressing OBP and ISO onto runs per plate appearance. Stovey was the league's third-highest outperformer, behind Abner Dalrymple and George Gore. We'd expect him to have scored 68 runs, instead of the 90 he actually did. Given how awful the team's hitting was, OCF has a point for this year that it's highly unlikely he managed to accumulate such a big total due to strong bats behind him. That said, this is just one league-season. Maybe I'll get around to testing his whole career on this basis by the time we actually have to vote.

Blackadder, great catch on Williams's '42 and '46 fielding. DRA does *not* agree that Williams was far above average on defense in those years. This is definitely an argument to lower his war credit, as well as his value for those two seasons. I will do so, when I get around to it. That might be enough to drop Williams below Bonds, but he's still on another planet compared to Musial.
   23. Chris Cobb Posted: August 04, 2008 at 02:35 PM (#2889330)
Left Field Preliminary Ballot

This position has an odd distribution. Two top-10 players, then a huge drop-off. We elected a lot of left fielders, but a lot of them are fairly weak. It’s tough to sort out 13-18 especially: that’s a very closely bunched group of lower-tier HoMers.

I. All-Time Top 10
1. Ted Williams. Total = 765. The second-best hitter in the Hall of Merit. Receives more war credit than any other player.
2.Stan Musial. Total = 613. Great, great hitter. Good defender, durable, long career.

II. Inner-Circle HoMers

none, until Rickey Henderson becomes eligible.

III. Among the best players of their generation
3. Ed Delahanty. Total = 380. I was surprised that he placed as highly as he did. The best hitter of the 1890s. Would probably have become an inner-circle HoMer if he had not died an untimely death.
4. Carl Yastrzemski. Total = 368. Fabulous, fabulous peak, but it was short, and outside that peak he was mostly a very good player for a very long time.

IV. Obvious HoMers
5. Tim Raines. Total = 342. Not quite as good a peak or career as Yastrzemski, but a better prime. BBWAA’s treatment of him in his first year of eligibility was pathetic. Given the low-SD era in which he played, Raines has an argument to be numbered among the best of his generation, but I see him as a level below players like Ripken, Brett, Boggs, and Yount.
6. Fred Clarke. Total = 336. Not especially durable within seasons, but a very high impact player when he was on the field, even late in his career.
9. Jesse Burkett. Total = 331. Second-best hitter of the 1890s after Ed Delahanty. Peak is lower than those of Simmons or Kelley, but he was above average to excellent fourteen years running, while neither of them managed to be much above average beyond a seven-year prime.
7. Jim O’Rourke. Est. total = 322. The Pete Rose of the nineteenth century, except for the gambling habit and the psychopathic tendencies.
8. Al Simmons. Total = 313. Outstanding peak, but didn’t have the late career value of the players above him in the rankings, even though he had a long career.
10. Billy Williams. Total = 290. Well-rounded ballplayer; Stan Musial lite? Seems less impressive than he was because there were so many great outfielders in the 1960s—Mays, Aaron, Robinson, Kaline, Yastrzemski, Clemente. He’s not in their class, but he’s still an obvious HoMer.
11. Joe Kelley. Total = 286. Al Simmons lite. Great peak on offense and defense in the 1890s: the tail of his career in the aughts was nothing special. Left field was a stacked hitter position in the 1890s: Kelley is the fourth best left-fielder of his era, and he is still not far from the middle of the Hall of Merit.

V. Solid HoMers when you read the fine print
12. Jimmy Sheckard. Total = 283. Overrated by this number, but the combination of value from his outstanding early peak, his relatively long career, outstanding defense, and anomalous plate discipline make a solidly HoM-worthy package.
13. Willie Stargell. Total = 268. Overrated by history, for reasons Dan R. has documented, but probably the best power hitter of the 1970s, when healthy.
14. Sherry Magee. Total = 260. Underrated a little by my system: the Willie Stargell of the aughts, except that he lacked Stargell’s gracious declining years with successful teams.
15. Ralph Kiner. Total = 264. This ranking includes war credit: I think it’s clear Kiner would have reached the majors sooner if not for WW2. Rather a one-dimensional ballplayer, but nevertheless valuable.
16. Charlie Keller. Total = 262. Eerily similar to Kiner, except that he was a much more well-rounded ballplayer and his career was even shorter. Minor-league credit is reasonable in Keller’s case, but this ranking includes only war credit.
17. Zack Wheat. Total = 260. A very good player for a long time; successful adaptation to the lively ball sustained his late-career value and makes his HoM case despite his never having an outstanding peak.
18. Goose Goslin. Total = 259. A lot like Zack Wheat, except that Wheat lasted longer, and Goslin would take a walk.
19. Joe Medwick. Total = 251. I wasn’t sold on him when we elected him, but he did have a great peak. The rest of his career was nothing special, but there’s enough value overall to make him a creditable selection, I think.
20. Minnie Minoso. Est. total = 242. The mistaken belief that he was older than he was when he got his chance in the majors leads him to be overrated by many. He had a very nice prime, just enough to get him over the line into the HoM.

VI. Almost as good an argument to be out, as to be in
21. Charlie Jones. Est. total = 235. Probably the best hitter of the late 1870s. His case depends on blacklist credit. If you give it, he’s probably in, but if you don’t, he’s probably out. I give it, and I see him as just over the line. I’d really like to know more about his defensive reputation: his fielding numbers are all over the place in his career.

VII. Mistakes
22. Harry Stovey. Est. Total = 210. Unless there is a ton of hidden baserunning value in Stovey’s career (and I am sure that there is some, but probably not tons), he really belongs in the Hall of Very Good. His career might have been stronger if he had been shifted to the outfield earlier. I was an advocate for Stovey when he was elected, but I now think I rated him ahead of better players. If probability analysis his scoring corroborates the idea of hidden baserunning value, that would boost him up toward the pack. It wouldn’t change his rank order, probably, but it would narrow the gap.
   24. OCF Posted: August 04, 2008 at 04:08 PM (#2889398)
Dan: that's a reasonable clarification. When I was looking at 19th century run scoring, I certainly noticed Abner Dalrymple - but I saw that it would be hard to separate what he did (which he was clearly good at) from the lineup effects of having the teammates he had. And his career was fairly brief. And George Gore, Willie Keeler, and King Kelly stand out as run scorers as well.

At this point, I'm not going to spend any effort at all arguing against Chris's characterization of Stovey, and I don't particularly understand why sunnyday2 would have Kelley behind him.

It is a little odd to see Stovey, who might well have been the fastest man in the league, playing so much first base - but positions didn't work in exactly the same way then.

As for the relationship of LF to RF in the 19th century, here's my understanding. Please correct me if I have the wrong impression:

At the very dawn of the game, nearly everyone batted right handed and the meaning of RF was about what it would be in a Little League game today: the place you hide the last and least member of your team. The game matured from there, there was a considerable time during which substitutions were not allowed during games (at least not without the opponent's consent), so RF was used as a place to stash a player you might need later in the game - a second pitcher, or a backup catcher. The tradition died relatively slowly, even after the rules changed. Eventually some teams came around to the Sam Thompson solution: use RF for another bat. Even after that, most players were still RHB and many ballparks built on rectangular lots had short RF fences and long LF fences. This meant that LF had to cover lots of territory and would often make as many or more plays as CF. You saw LF (Duffy comes to mind) with CF skill sets.
   25. Mark Donelson Posted: August 04, 2008 at 06:31 PM (#2889532)
prelim

1. T. Williams

2. Musial. I'm with Dan and Marc--it's not close.

3. Delahanty
4. A. Simmons
5. Yaz
6. O'Rourke. I'm a believer.
7. Burkett. These five are pretty close together.

8. Raines
9. Magee. Seems to be doing better in my system than in everyone else's, will take another look at why.
10. Sheckard
11. Clarke
12. Keller. With war credit, I like him a lot better than Kiner, actually.
13. Wheat
14. Goslin
15. C. Jones. Being a peakster, I feel he does a lot more than squeak in.
16. Medwick. Used to be more of a fan, but I'm convinced that WS overrates him. Still quite a peak, though.
17. B. Williams. Clearly deserving, but not the most impressive peak out there.
18. Kiner
19. Stargell
20. Kelley. I seem to have him lower than many; I'll give him special focus along with Magee before the final vote.
21. Minoso
22. Stovey. In my pHOM (everyone on the list is), but that may be a mistake.
   26. ronw Posted: August 04, 2008 at 07:55 PM (#2889621)
Is Monte Irvin being viewed as a CF?
   27. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 04, 2008 at 08:38 PM (#2889691)
Is Monte Irvin being viewed as a CF?


Yes, Ron.
   28. Howie Menckel Posted: August 04, 2008 at 08:39 PM (#2889693)
Not nearly as dazzling as a group as I would have previously guessed for LFs.

You only get to slot No. 3 to start seeing at least a wart or two (longevity, durability, consistency, etc), and by mid-ballot, seems like we'll be voting for guys who got more resistance from the electorate than at other positions.

Is that accurate?
   29. ronw Posted: August 04, 2008 at 08:56 PM (#2889718)
Left Fielder ranking. MVP/AS are my own calculations, but for Negro Leaguers I use some combination of Holway/James MVP and AS selections. Monster = 15.0 WARP1 or WARP2 and above. Great=10.0 WARP1 or WARP2 and above. WAV is the average of career WARP1 and WARP2.

1. Ted Williams – 10 MVP, 16 AS. 165.9 WAV (Only Bonds (230.5), Musial and Henderson (176.0) have higher WAV) – war credit bumps him above Ricky and Stan the Man, but I think Teddy is below Barry. Monster 1942, 1946, Great 1939, 1941, 1947, 1949, 1951, 1957. Relatively poor fielding really limits his Monster WARP seasons.

2. Stan Musial – 10 MVP, 16 AS. 190.8 WAV – war credit. 1 Monster (1943!), 8 Great (1942, 1944, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1954). I thought 1948 would be a monster WARP season.

3. Ed Delahanty – 7 MVP, 11 AS. 111.5 WAV. No Monster, 6 Great (1893, 1895, 1896, 1899, 1901, 1902). Peak surpasses the long career guys, and he had enough of a career for this high placement.

4. Carl Yastrzemski – 3 MVP, 15 AS. 137.9 WAV. No Monster, 3 Great (1967, 1968, 1970). Yaz was steady for a long, long time.

5. Tim Raines – 5 MVP, 10 AS. 123.2 WAV. No Monster, 5 Great (1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1992).

6. Jesse Burkett – 6 MVP, 14 AS. 109.9 WAV. No Monster, 4 Great (1895, 1896, 1899, 1901). Can be interchangeable with Simmons.

7. Fred Clarke – 5 MVP, 14 AS. 127.3 WAV. No Monster, 5 Great (1897, 1901, 1902, 1908, 1909). Very underrated. WARP loves his fielding.

8. Jim O’Rourke – 3 MVP, 17 AS. 111.9 WAV. No Monster, 1 Great (1885). Very comparable to Yaz, without the triple crown.

9. Al Simmons – 5 MVP, 11 AS. 110.0 WAV. No Monster, 4 Great (1925, 1929, 1931, 1933). Played forever, but essentially nothing big past 1933.

10. Goose Goslin – 3 MVP, 13 AS. 104.3 WAV. No Monster, 5 Great (1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928). I like listening to Goose on the Glory of Their Times tapes. Better than I would have thought.

11. Sherry Magee – 3 MVP, 11 AS. 102.7 WAV. No Monster, 5 Great (1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1915). He played with the Phillies when the Braves went to the World Series and the Braves when the Phillies went. At least he got to play a little against the Black Sox.

12. Jimmy Sheckard – 3 MVP, 11 AS. 109.3 WAV. No Monster, 4 Great (1901, 1903, 1906, 1911). We now recognize the value of the walks.

13, Billy Williams – 2 MVP, 12 AS. 116.6 WAV. No Monster, 3 Great (1963, 1965, 1972). Overlooked because of 60’s contemporaries.

14. Willie Stargell – 3 MVP, 11 AS. 110.1 WAV. No Monster, 2 Great (1971, 1973). The Big Papi of the 70’s.

15. Joe Kelley – 3 MVP, 9 AS. 90.5 WAV. No Monster, 4 Great (1894, 1896, 1897, 1899). Always the last of the Big 4 Orioles I remember.

16. Zack Wheat – 3 MVP, 11 AS. 111.5 WAV. No Monster, 3 Great (1914, 1916, 1924). No real difference between Wheat and Williams.

17. Joe Medwick – 3 MVP, 11 AS. 98.6 WAV. No Monster, 3 Great (1935, 1936, 1937). Valuable enough player.

18. Charlie Keller – 4 MVP, 6 AS. 70.8 WAV – war credit. No Monster, 4 Great (1941, 1942, 1943, 1946). Probably my personal most surprising (but deserving) HOMer. He really had a fantastic peak, and may have been better than DiMaggio from 1941-1946..

19. Ralph Kiner – 4 MVP, 8 AS. 72.4 WAV – small amount of war credit. No Monster, 3 Great (1947, 1949, 1951). Great peak, but that’s about it.

20. Harry Stovey – 4 MVP, 11 AS. 82.8 WAV. No Monster, 3 Great (1884, 1888, 1889). Deserving enough rep from the AA.

21. Minnie Minoso – 2 MVP, 11 AS. 82.1 WAV – Negro League credit. No Monster, 1 Great (1954). Not enough heft to a decent-sized career.

22. Charley Jones – 3 MVP, 9 AS. 55.2 WAV. No Monster, 2 Great (1879, 1884). Hurt by the blacklist.

WARP generally agrees with our selections. Only Stovey, Minoso, Kiner, Keller, and Jones are below 90 WAV. Besides Bonds (230.5), and Henderson (176.0), only Jose Cruz!!! (103.9) surpasses 100 WAV among unelected players. Of the remaining eligibles, only Bob Johnson (95.8), Lou Brock (95.1), and Bobby Veach (90.1) break 90. George J. Burns (89.9), George Foster (89.2), Roy White (87.8) each surpass the bottom 5 HOM for career WAV. Besides the foregoing, only Augie Galan (80.7), Albert Belle (77.4), Frank Howard (76.6), Jim Rice (75.8), and Dusty Baker (74.7) even manage beat Charlie Keller. Johnson could be elected very soon, but no other left fielder is within sniffing distance. Among active players, Luis Gonzalez has the career, and a decent peak to be considered. Garrett Anderson and Moises Alou don't quite have enough peak or career. Lance Berkman has a decent chance if he can keep things up, but he probably won't be a career LF. I still consider Manny a RF, despite his sojurn in front of the Green Monster.
   30. OCF Posted: August 04, 2008 at 09:25 PM (#2889752)
Given the way I organize my data, I'm going to have to build a ranking of all 40 or so LF and RF, and then edit it down to this group of LF. Does anyone have the list of RF handy?
   31. Chris Cobb Posted: August 04, 2008 at 09:27 PM (#2889754)
Howie wrote:

Not nearly as dazzling as a group as I would have previously guessed for LFs.

You only get to slot No. 3 to start seeing at least a wart or two (longevity, durability, consistency, etc), and by mid-ballot, seems like we'll be voting for guys who got more resistance from the electorate than at other positions.

Is that accurate?


I think so. In my system, I see 270 points as the line between "obvious" and "somewhat flawed" HoMers. Of the positions we have so far ranked, LF has more "somewhat flawed" candidates than any other position. Leaving out catcher, which doesn't use exactly the same scale, here are the HoMers below 270 at each position in my system:

1B - 6
2B - 6
3B - 9
SS- 5
LF - 10

Looking ahead CF has 11, so it's got a large weaker cohort, too. RF has only 2.

Another way to judge positional strength is to look at players over 300. Here's the count by position:

1B - 9
2B - 12
3B - 5
SS - 19
LF - 8
CF - 11
RF - 12

Looking from these perspectives, left field is probably the second weakest of the positions in the quality of its HoMers after third base.
   32. sunnyday2 Posted: August 04, 2008 at 10:03 PM (#2889784)
Willie KEELER is not a LF. Charley KELLER is.
   33. TomH Posted: August 04, 2008 at 10:40 PM (#2889830)
from ronw: Left Fielder ranking. Monster = 15.0 WARP1 or WARP2 and above
...
4. Carl Yastrzemski – 3 MVP, 15 AS. 137.9 WAV. No Monster, 3 Great (1967, 1968, 1970). Yaz was steady for a long, long time.
----

Not picking on ron at all; it is factually true that Yaz' 67 did not generate 15 WARP.
But most who would look closely at that year would call it one of true 'monster' seasons in MLB history. Incredible clutch play (7 for 8 with 6 RBI against Minn the last 2 days of the year) to win a pennant by one game over 2 teams. Great World Series stats to boot. Yes, yes, I know, the 67 season has been re-hashed enough already... at least the Red Sox fans have something else to talk about now.
   34. OCF Posted: August 04, 2008 at 10:47 PM (#2889842)
The five prelim ballots posted so far all have the same first two (obvious enough), and all have Delahanty ahead of Raines, with Raines battling with Simmons, Yaz, and in one case, O'Rourke and Burkett, to rank between 4th and 8th. That's the state of the HoM as of 2008. The 2009 HoM will include Rickey Henderson. Rickey Henderson is very directly comparable to Raines, and I don't see how you can avoid putting Henderson ahead of Raines. (An extremely narrow short-peak emphasis might tip slightly in favor of Raines, but it's hard to see that stand up to Henderson's extended prime and obvious career advantage.) On the other hand, I don't see putting Henderson ahead of Musial - there's just too much hitting value there to overcome, even with all the other things (baserunning, SD/ease of domination) that you might lean the other way.

So that leaves a very narrow window for placing Henderson. Let's make it a two-man race: Henderson or Delahanty?
   35. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 04, 2008 at 11:16 PM (#2889883)
TomH, I don't see why the timing of Yaz's hits matters. His RBI on the first two days of the year helped Boston win the pennant just as much as those on the last two. That said, it was a historically great year: the only post-1893 MLB corner OF seasons that were better were by Ruth, Bonds, Williams, Cobb, and Sosa. If that ain't a monster, I don't know what is.

Rickey couldn't hold Stan the Man's jockstrap, but he just had so much more career than Big Ed that it's not really close in my view. Now, if Delahanty had managed to steer clear of waterfalls, it might be a different story...
   36. OCF Posted: August 04, 2008 at 11:41 PM (#2889913)
Re-reading their original posts, I see that Dan and Chris both clearly ranked Henderson third -well behind Musial but ahead of Delahanty and everyone else.
   37. Chris Cobb Posted: August 04, 2008 at 11:44 PM (#2889919)
As I see it, you could almost add an entire HoM-level career (at the minimum HoM standard) to Ed Delahanty, and that would only bring him even with Stan Musial, so the window into which Henderson would need to fit is narrow only if you say he must land between slot #2 and slot #3. If you look at it in terms of value, there's plenty of real estate to enable Rickey to ease in between Big Ed and Stan the Man. In fact, Rickey is more than half way from Ed Delahanty to Stan the Man, as I see it. Rickey is clearly an inner-circle HoMer--the top position player of the 1980s--and Ed Delahanty falls short of that standard.
   38. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 05, 2008 at 12:17 AM (#2889962)
I have Rickey and Ripken tied. Is Schmidt more 70s than 80s? He was better than both of them.
   39. Chris Cobb Posted: August 05, 2008 at 12:37 AM (#2889999)
I have Rickey and Ripken tied. Is Schmidt more 70s than 80s? He was better than both of them.

When I think of "best player of x decade," I tend to think in overlapping terms.

1970-79, Joe Morgan is the best player
1975-84, Mike Schmidt is the best player
1980-89, Rickey Henderson is the best player (though I could see Ripken for 80-89 and Henderson for 85-94. Bonds gets 90-99 and 95-04.)

I would agree that Schmidt was a bit better than Henderson; my system is slightly more career-oriented than Dan's, so that gives Rickey the edge over Cal for me.
   40. Howie Menckel Posted: August 05, 2008 at 12:38 AM (#2890003)
Right, preliminarily I'd have Rickey way ahead of Delahanty et al for 3rd, and closer to Musial (but not that close) than Delahanty and friends - which is one heckuva compliment.
   41. Bleed the Freak Posted: August 05, 2008 at 01:01 AM (#2890045)
30. OCF Posted: August 04, 2008 at 05:25 PM (#2889752)
Given the way I organize my data, I'm going to have to build a ranking of all 40 or so LF and RF, and then edit it down to this group of LF. Does anyone have the list of RF handy?


Right Fielders (20): Hank Aaron+*, Roberto Clemente+, Sam Crawford**, Dwight Evans+, Elmer Flick, Tony Gwynn+, Harry Heilmann, Joe Jackson, Reggie Jackson+, Al Kaline+, Willie Keeler, King Kelly+, Mel Ott+, Frank Robinson+**, Pete Rose, Babe Ruth+*, Enos Slaughter+, Sam Thompson, Paul Waner+ and Dave Winfield+.

Joe Jackson is split almost evenly between RF/LF by Davenport WARP1, at about 38 apiece. Rosenheck WARP2 sees Jackson as about 28 RF and 17 LF. Quite a difference!

LF's would receive a nice boost if Jackson was slotted at Position 7, but appears appropriate as a RF.
   42. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 05, 2008 at 01:10 AM (#2890064)
My system stops distinguishing between RF and LF after 1918. I took my lead on that from BP, which starts crediting them equally in 1919.
   43. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 05, 2008 at 01:37 AM (#2890138)
Rickey couldn't hold Stan the Man's jockstrap,


While I agree that Musial was the greater player, we're still talking about Rickey Henderson, not Steve Henderson. :-)
   44. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: August 05, 2008 at 04:03 AM (#2890432)
Well, would you trust Rickey with your jockstrap? He'd probably lose it in a card game.
   45. OCF Posted: August 05, 2008 at 06:34 AM (#2890508)
A very preliminary ballot, with most of the ranking being about offense, opting for an ad hoc blend of career and prime (as in career at a high baseline) with some bonuses for peak. There are things that could change between now and the LF ballot, with a few more changes possible before the RF ballot.

Babe Ruth
1. Ted Williams
2. Stan Musial

Hank Aaron
Mel Ott
Frank Robinson
Rickey Henderson
3. Ed Delahanty

Reggie Jackson
Sam Crawford
4. Carl Yastrzemski
Pete Rose
Joe Jackson
Harry Heilmann
Al Kaline
Paul Waner
Tony Gwynn
5. Tim Raines
6. Jesse Burkett
7. Fred Clarke

Roberto Clemente
8. Jim O'Rourke
9. Willie Stargell
10. Al Simmons
11. Billy Williams

Enos Slaughter
King Kelly? (Really not sure what to do with him)
12. Sherry Magee
Elmer Flick
Dave Winfield
13. Goose Goslin
14. Zack Wheat
15. Joe Medwick
16. Joe Kelley

Willie Keeler
17. Minnie Minoso
18. Ralph Kiner

Dwight Evans
19. Charlie Keller
20. Jimmy Sheckard
21. Harry Stovey

Sam Thompson
22. Charlie Jones
   46. OCF Posted: August 05, 2008 at 06:58 AM (#2890517)
I've got 43 names on that list in #45. Which general part of it - near what neighbors - do you think Manny Ramirez will belong to? (And what position and what cap - RF and Cleveland?)
   47. Blackadder Posted: August 05, 2008 at 09:33 AM (#2890540)
The cap and placement issue is also pretty interesting for Gary Sheffield.
   48. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 05, 2008 at 12:13 PM (#2890572)
Eyeballing I'd say Marlins/RF for Sheffield.

Manny is too close to eyeball. Right now, I'd still say Cleveland RF, but it's pretty close, and I'm not all that confident it's correct without looking.

I don't know that I agree with lumping LF/RF at all. I think there's a slight but significant difference in terms of RF vs. LF in defensive responsibility at least since 1919 when BPro and Dan lump them together.

And in the 19th Century, it's very clear that LF was more important than RF. RF back then looked worse than modern DH IIRC (it's been awhile since I've looked).
   49. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 05, 2008 at 01:20 PM (#2890610)
Joe is 100% right about LF and RF. They're close, but not identical positions.

As for the 19th century, Joe is also correct. Lumping right fielders with left fielders makes absolutely zero sense, since LF for a time was more like CF today.
   50. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 05, 2008 at 01:22 PM (#2890613)
Sheff had more value with LA than with Florida.

Joe Dimino, replacement LF hit and field just the same as replacement RF, which is what matters for valuation purposes.

With Manny, it's all about how you count the D. We *know* how bad Jeter is, Manny is a mystery. I'm glad he's left Boston so now we'll be able to get a better read on his abilities.
   51. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 05, 2008 at 01:25 PM (#2890616)
Eyeballing I'd say Marlins/RF for Sheffield.


The battle is between Florida and LA. If you give strike credit, it's the Marlins. If you don't, it's the Dodgers.
   52. Blackadder Posted: August 05, 2008 at 01:32 PM (#2890621)
What about the other part of OCF's question, i.e. about where on the list would people put Manny (and Sheffield)?
   53. Chris Cobb Posted: August 05, 2008 at 02:30 PM (#2890687)
In the 19th century, there were a lot of people playing right field who were not capable of playing left field acceptably. I would guess that Harry Heilmann was probably the last HoM right fielder to fit in this category (the only other one being Sam Thompson).

Since the 20th century, or at least since 1920, there have been a lot of people playing left field who were not capable of playing right field acceptably. I would guess that Ralph Kiner was probably the first HoMer to fit in this category.

That general distinction may be reversed in some ballparks due to the configurations of the field.

Most HoMers were pretty good all-around athletes, so for our cohort, the distinction is somewhat less meaningful than it is when considering all outfielders.

The two positions have usually differed a small amount in their defensive demands, but the nature of that difference has not been constant.

For the purposes of our positional rankings, it's probably more important to recognize that left field was much closer to center field in defensive responsibilities in the early game than it has since become, especially since 1970.
   54. ronw Posted: August 05, 2008 at 03:42 PM (#2890774)
TomH

I too think of Yaz's 1967 as a "Monster" season. (Soo too Teddy's 1941 and Stan's 1948.) Perhaps my definition of "Monster" should be expanded to include 14.0+ WARP seasons, which would include 1967 for Yaz. Actually, it is truly difficult it is to get a 15.0 WARP season, particularly for an offense-first position. Other than Babe Ruth (with 7 such seasons) we have Wagner 6, Eddie Collins 6, Lajoie 5, and Hornsby 5 as your all-time leaders.

As an example, Williams, Bonds, and Musial only had 2 such seasons each, but had some close (14.5+) seasons. Gehrig and Foxx never had one. WARP really values fielding.
   55. OCF Posted: August 05, 2008 at 03:54 PM (#2890790)
One way to look at the LF/RF split is to think about defense.

Who played a season or two in CF, holding down the position adequately? Musial, Henderson, Raines - anyone else?

Whom would you clearly associate with whichever of the two positions carried the greater defensive responsibilities? Ott, Kaline, Clemente, Slaughter, Minoso, Evans, Sheckard. Probably O'Rourke since he's a dawn-of-the-game LF, maybe some of the other 19th century LF.

Whom would you clearly associate with whichever of the two positions carred the lesser defensive responsibilities? Williams, Stargell, Kiner, Thompson.

There are probably some others you would want to stuff into one or the other of these categories. Everyone else, you have play whichever of the two positions your team has available.
   56. TomH Posted: August 05, 2008 at 05:38 PM (#2890961)
prelim:
1 Ted
2 Musial
3/4 Yaz / Delahanty

5 Raines
6 O'Rourke
7/8 B Williams / Burkett
9 Clarke
10 Simmons
gap
and the next 7 are hopelessly unentangleable (if that's a word)
Wheat
Stovey
Stargell
Kelley
Sheckard
Goslin
Magee

18/19 Minoso / Medwick
20 Keller
21 Jones
22 Kiner - on my PHOM border
   57. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 05, 2008 at 06:32 PM (#2891054)
Manny is a mystery. I'm glad he's left Boston so now we'll be able to get a better read on his abilities.


Don't we have 7 seasons of data from Cleveland to work with? He's 36 now, I don't know that that's going to tell us a lot about how good he was in his early 30s, don't players decline rather quickly in terms of range in their early 30s?
   58. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 05, 2008 at 06:34 PM (#2891058)
Joe Dimino, replacement LF hit and field just the same as replacement RF, which is what matters for valuation purposes.


Exactly the same? Or just close enough that it doesn't matter? Guys like Tim Raines with awful arms could not have played RF. There has to be some difference, no?
   59. Paul Wendt Posted: August 05, 2008 at 06:37 PM (#2891063)
DanR #2
7. Clarke
8. B. Williams
9. Simmons
10. Kelley
11. Sheckard (based on WS' estimation that he's by far the greatest fielding corner outfielder ever--I may subjectively knock him down a bit)


fielding win shares and gold gloves
Jimmy Sheckard, 3.6 per1000; five
Fred Clarke, 3.3 per 1000; four (never in the same league)


Chris Cobb
13. Willie Stargell. Total = 268. Overrated by history, for reasons Dan R. has documented, but probably the best power hitter of the 1970s, when healthy.
14. Sherry Magee. Total = 260. Underrated a little by my system: the Willie Stargell of the aughts, except that he lacked Stargell’s gracious declining years with successful teams.


Magee had a mean streak or at least a temper. By reputation Stargell was the polar opposite. In Magee's time, a player with a mean streak or a temper might hit the umpire hard. Today, don't let your shirt make contact with his shirt.


25. Mark Donelson Posted: August 04, 2008 at 02:31 PM (#2889532)
1. T. Williams

2. Musial. I'm with Dan and Marc--it's not close.

3. Delahanty
4. A. Simmons


and firmly with Marc on bucketfoot Al Simmons!
Bill James(?) wrote a biographical blurb that drew attention to several Simmons strengths and highlights, I remember thinking. Concluded that Simmons was probably an impact player like Al Oliver, iirc.


outfield positions
This project covers the Negro Leaguers, right? Our pools of Ls and Cs and Rs may be distorted because all the Negro Leaguers are Cs.

42. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 04, 2008 at 09:10 PM (#2890064)
My system stops distinguishing between RF and LF after 1918. I took my lead on that from BP, which starts crediting them equally in 1919.

Is that Clay Davenport on the public site?
Is that an inference or somewhere stated, even reasoned?

Chris Cobb #53 on RF and LF
That general distinction may be reversed in some ballparks due to the configurations of the field.

This occasional flip-flop by ballpark and the historical change, too, call for some care in marketing the results. Problem is, it can't be done without some careful exposition, and the point of a series of lists is that they do capture most of what is important. They are offered in lieu of prose.

Better player (HOM candidate, HOF candidate) among players classified as leftfielders doesn't mean better leftfielder, or RF -- or 3B, or 2B, or C . . . ?
Does everyone here interpret the ordering in one way:


OCF #55
Who played a season or two in CF, holding down the position adequately? Musial, Henderson, Raines - anyone else?

O'Rourke played more than a season or two in center and merely finished his long versatile career in left. He played a lot of center, McVey and Kelly didn't.

HOM outfielders, seasons fielding CF
(2 or more major league full seasons equivalent games)
(13 omitted, Mays and Speaker 18.0 to Doby 8.5)
7.2 Jimmy Wynn
7.1 Billy Hamilton
7.1 Robin Yount
6.6 Andre Dawson
5.4 Jim O'Rourke
5.0 Al Simmons
3.7 Pete Browning
3.7 Lip Pike
3.0 Sam Crawford
3.0 Al Kaline
2.6 Charley Jones
2.2 Joe Kelley
2.0 Stan Musial

--
50. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 05, 2008 at 09:22 AM (#2890613)
Sheff had more value with LA than with Florida.

LA? Did Sheffield play for LA? Dodgers or Angels?
Seriously, will he be the first journeyman are in the Hall of Merit? ;-)
   60. Paul Wendt Posted: August 05, 2008 at 06:42 PM (#2891074)
undisentangleable - hopelessly entangled

Joe #58
Exactly the same? Or just close enough that it doesn't matter? Guys like Tim Raines with awful arms could not have played RF. There has to be some difference, no?

That is not a theorem.
That Raines has no arm doesn't mean arms are scarce.
   61. Rusty Priske Posted: August 05, 2008 at 07:09 PM (#2891146)
Prelim

The first bunch don't look very different than what the general consensus seems to be.

1. Ted Williams
2. Stan Musial
3. Ed Delahanty
4. Carl Yastrzemski
5. Tim Raines
6. Jesse Burket
7. Al Simmons
8. Fred Clarke
9. Billy Williams
10. Willie Stargell
11. Zack Wheat
12. Jim O'Rourke
13. Sherry Magee
14. Jimmy Sheckard
15. Goose Goslin
16. Joe Kelley
17. Joe Medwick
18. Minnie Minoso
19. Harry Stovey

Here is my non-PHoM line

20. Charlie Keller
21. Ralph Kiner
22. Charley Jones
   62. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 05, 2008 at 07:25 PM (#2891195)
The battle is between Florida and LA. If you give strike credit, it's the Marlins. If you don't, it's the Dodgers.


I definitely give strike credit.

Looking at Dan's WARP, but in the eyes of Pennants Added, I get . . .

Florida:
Year   WARP   PA 
1993    1.1 .0151 
(season split FL/SD)
1994    3.5 .0506
1995    3.2 .0458
1996    7.6 .1234
1997    4.3 .0637
1998    1.3 .0197
TOTAL  21.0 .3183 


Los Angeles
Year   WARP   PA
1998    3.8 .0576
1999    4.8 .0721
2000    6.5 .1025
2001    6.3 .0988
TOTAL  21.4 .3310 


That's as close as it gets.

Technically I'd say LA, but I still lean Florida. He won a World Series with them and played there longer. That's a very close call. Maybe he'll go back to Florida to lock it up. I definitely think "Marlin" more than "Dodger" when I think of Sheffield.

Now Manny

Cleveland
Year   WARP   PA
1993   
-0.6 .0000
1994    2.8 .0396
1995    5.2 .0791
1996    5.6 .0861
1997    4.7 .0704
1998    5.3 .0808
1999    7.9 .1292
2000    5.9 .0915
TOTAL  36.8 .5767 


Boston
2001    4.3 .0637
2002    5.4 .0826
2003    5.3 .0808
2004    2.6 .0366
2005    2.3 .0320
TOTAL  19.9 .2957 


Something fishy is going on there. Manny's OPS+ and BWAA were better in Boston than Cleveland. So unless you think his D fell off a cliff, there's a Fenway effect.

From 1993-2000, Manny had +.7 FWAA, total (0, .1, -.1, .7, .1, .2, .3, -.6).

Starting in 2001, we get 0, -.9, -1.1, -2.4, -3.3.

Now maybe it did fall off a cliff, who knows, it did drop from 1999 to 2000. I tend to lean towards some combination of fall off exacerbated in the stats looking through the lens of Fenway.
   63. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 05, 2008 at 07:29 PM (#2891206)
That is not a theorem.
That Raines has no arm doesn't mean arms are scarce.


That is reasonable Paul. I believe LFs make more plays than RFs; maybe the extra range needed for LF is offset by the extra arm needed for RF. That would be a reasonable explanation.
   64. sunnyday2 Posted: August 05, 2008 at 08:29 PM (#2891461)
I hate to say it but Manny would be somewhere around #8-10.
   65. OCF Posted: August 05, 2008 at 08:39 PM (#2891516)
I hate to say it but Manny would be somewhere around #8-10.

On which list? LF only? (~ Stargell/Goslin/Simmons/B. Williams.) Or RF only since he's probably a RF? (~ Heilmann/Kaline/Clemente/Waner.) Or the combined LF+RF list? (Like that RF-only list, but shaded more towards Rose/Jackson/Jackson.)
   66. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 05, 2008 at 08:56 PM (#2891589)
Joe Dimino, the Cleveland numbers are reliable. But where to place Manny all-time depends very much on just how bad you think his Boston defense was or wasn't.

As for LF vs. RF, I actually mis-remembered Nate's study, which found that replacement LF were 5 runs a year worse than replacement RF. But he directly renounced this result, saying "FAT does posit a fairly large difference between left fielders and right fielders, with LF rating as the more difficult position. This is a bit strange, since I can’t think of any reason why LF should be more difficult than RF, and is probably a sample size fluke." That was what made me call them even for the purposes of my WARP.

Joe, those Manny numbers are wrong. They come from Chris Dial's Zone Rating data and the Fielding Bible, neither of which are park-adjusted. Dial himself has publicly discredited his Manny results. I'd plug in something like -1.5 FWAA for 2004 and maybe -2.0 for 2005. Although UZR *is* park-adjusted, and it puts Manny at an astonishing -77 for 2005-06...

Paul Wendt, 0.3 FWS per 1000 is *big*--over 3.5 runs per season, after you expand the stdev of FWS at corner outfield to match Chris Dial's numbers. Over a 15-20 year career, we're talking 6-7 wins there!

I just checked FRAR-FRAA for the various positions over time, and found that the values for LF and RF started to match in 1919.

Of course Sheffield played for the Dodgers...he really has been quite the nomad.
   67. Chris Cobb Posted: August 05, 2008 at 09:15 PM (#2891637)
Re replacement level for RF vs. LF:

One would think that the replacement levels would, at the very least, be quite close, since a replacement level outfielder has a job (generally speaking) because he can play both corners, yes?

The fact that replacement right fielders were not the same pool as replacement left fielders in the 19th century is part of what causes the value of the positions to diverge in those years, yes?
   68. Chris Cobb Posted: August 05, 2008 at 09:26 PM (#2891642)
It's a bit off-topic, but I should mention that with CF rankings coming up and my having a little bit of late summer free time, I am going to do full MLEs for Oscar Charleston and Turkey Stearnes, which I never got around to during the regular elections, b/c it was completely obvious they were top-notch players. I'll post them on their threads and then again in the discussion list for CF when it goes up in three weeks.

I've finished a first pass on Charleston's hitting, and he really was a monster during the 1920s: by fully regressed MLEs, he hit .400 twice and had an OPS+ of over 200 three times. He tailed off a lot in the 1930s, however. Some of that may be the one-league effect--raised competition levels should mean higher conversion factors, but I don't know exactly what they should be, so I use a single rate for 1916-1946--but the decline clearly begins in 1928, so it's not only an effect of contraction.
   69. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 05, 2008 at 09:30 PM (#2891647)
Chris Cobb, I thought we already had Charleston MLE's no? Maybe I was using Eric's, but I definitely ran numbers on him that showed him as an inner circle great, but more at the Frank Robinson/Mel Ott/Rickey Henderson level than a top 10 all-time guy. (That one is Gibson, if he gets a full catcher bonus). We never got them for Pop Lloyd, though. I look forward to seeing Stearnes; I'm under the impression he might have been near inner circle territory.
   70. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 05, 2008 at 09:33 PM (#2891651)
Dan, I got those Manny numbers directly from your spreadsheet. Do I have an old version or something? Or have you just not corrected for Fenway?

I imagine this would impact, Williams, Rice, and Yaz as well . . .
   71. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 05, 2008 at 09:37 PM (#2891657)
LA? Did Sheffield play for LA? Dodgers or Angels?
Seriously, will he be the first journeyman are in the Hall of Merit?


Sheffield's not too much better-traveled than Roberto Alomar (7 teams in 21 years to 5 in 15, if you ignore Alomar's last 1.5 years with the White Sox/Diamondbacks). Neither spent more than 5 years on one team.

I assume Alomar gets in...
   72. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 05, 2008 at 09:50 PM (#2891669)
No, you have the right version. There are just some players who confuse teh spreadsheet and have to be dealt with manually. Normally, it's guys who split time among different positions in the same season, like Tenace, Torre, and Molitor. Manny is for a different reason--my FWAA are only as good as the defensive numbers I have to work with, and those just clobber him for the Green Monster. There's no "corrected" version to provide, because no one really knows just how bad Manny's fielding was or wasn't in recent years; just use whatever FWAA score you find reasonable at 10 runs a win.

No, Williams/Rice/Yaz seem to come out fine using FRAA/FWS (eventually I'll have SFR, DRA, and TotalZone for better numbers there). It's exclusively a Manny phenomenon, it seems (which suggests that he really is an atrocious fielder, and it's not just the wall, the only question is, How atrocious?) Actually FRAA's -18 and -21 for Manny in 05-06 look just about right to me.
   73. OCF Posted: August 05, 2008 at 10:03 PM (#2891683)
Raines didn't make Paul's list in #59 because he only played 165 games in CF, which is less than I remembered. (And 53 games at 2B early in his career, which I didn't remember at all). Rickey Henderson, who had 446 games in CF didn't make Paul's list becuase he isn't in the HoM - yet. But his 2009 election is such a foregone conclusion that he might as well be.

LA? Did Sheffield play for LA? Dodgers or Angels?

When he was a Dodger, the LA media never seemed to have the slightest clue that he was a better hitter than Shawn Green. They thought Green (or before him, Karros) were the hitting stars.
   74. Tiboreau Posted: August 05, 2008 at 10:29 PM (#2891698)
How much credit is everyone giving for Minnie Minoso's Negro League career? 3 years, 4 years, or all 6 (aged 19 to 24)?
   75. Chris Cobb Posted: August 05, 2008 at 11:23 PM (#2891762)
Chris Cobb, I thought we already had Charleston MLE's no? Maybe I was using Eric's, but I definitely ran numbers on him that showed him as an inner circle great, but more at the Frank Robinson/Mel Ott/Rickey Henderson level than a top 10 all-time guy.

Yes, those were Eric's. My results are not greatly at variance with his: inner-circle great but not top 10. Eric's system of filling in the playing time gap between actual NeL games and ML playing time projections by using career averages rather than regression to a 5-season mean flattens careers out more drastically than mine, so I think mine shows Charleston's 1920s peak much more fully, as well as his 1930s decline. Also, I decided there was enough data from Holway to do MLEs for 1917-19, with some missing data filled in based on estimates from surrounding seasons, which Eric didn't attempt, because we didn't need to see those seasons to decide that Charleston was a first-ballot HoMer. I thought a fuller picture which includes a more precise tracking of career shape would be useful when we are trying to place Charleston against the likes of Speaker, Mantle, Dimaggio, and Stearnes, plus I was just curious.

(That one is Gibson, if he gets a full catcher bonus). We never got them for Pop Lloyd, though.

Brent's work on Lloyd is about as good as we can get, I think, given that we have so little data from his prime in the 1910s. Sometime I may do seasonal MLEs for the 1920s, but they won't tell us much about how great he actually was.

I look forward to seeing Stearnes; I'm under the impression he might have been near inner circle territory.

Yes. I won't be surprised if Stearnes comes out looking comparable to Ott and Robinson, too; Charleston, I think, is a little bit above those guys. Certainly his peak was superior: he hit like Jimmie Foxx, played a mean centerfield, and was an outstanding baserunner.
   76. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 05, 2008 at 11:37 PM (#2891783)
I was under the impression Charleston's CF defense and baserunning were average-plus rather than sublime; that he was really much more Mantle than Mays.
   77. OCF Posted: August 05, 2008 at 11:42 PM (#2891792)
On his thread, the question has been raised as to whether O'Rourke belongs on this ballot or whether he should be moved to the CF ballot. Either way, may we please clarify that issue before we open the polls?
   78. whoisalhedges Posted: August 05, 2008 at 11:51 PM (#2891808)
prelim:

1. Ted Williams - one of the three best hitters ever. With war credit, it's not close.

2. Stan Musial - without war credit, it does start to get close. More durable and a better glove than Ted.

3. Ed Delahanty - greatest hitter before Ruth; good glove, could be stretched to play infield.

4. Carl Yastrzemski - odd career shape, played seemingly forever after his peak was over. Still, a decade as an above-average 1B who rarely misses a game has a lot of value. Enough value to put him above...

5. Tim Raines - one of the more unjustly underrated players of all time. Only durability issues have him below Yaz.

6. Al Simmons - I always feel he's been overrated by history dur to all those RBI he piled up in a big-hitting league and era, hitting behind Bishop and Foxx. I didn't want to rank him this high, but his peak and defense make this ranking look fair. As a Milwaukee boy, he gets a bonus. ;)

7. Billy Williams - gets a huge bounce from his long career of never missing a game. Not as good in any one facet of the game as many of those ranked beneath him; but a very, very good all-around player for a long time.

8. Jim O'Rourke - I give O'Rourke a lot of credit for his ability to play anywhere on the diamond. Outstanding hitter for his era.

9. Jesse Burkett
10. Joe Kelley
11. Sherry Magee
12. Fred Clarke - these four are very, very close for me. Burkett was the best hitter, Kelley and Magee were close, but were better fielders. Even with credit given for maintaining a high level of play while managing, I can't quite get Clarke above them.

13. Willie Stargell - one of the great home run hitters of all time. Fairly one-dimensional game, and was pretty fragile.

14. Minnie Minoso - great all-around player, maybe could have come to the majors earlier; but I don't give him much credit for that, because I think he'd have spent a couple of years in the minors rather than being in MLB at 19. If I were timelining like I really want to, he'd be top-10.

15. Charley Jones - truly a monster hitter.

16. Jimmy Sheckard - probably made the HoM for his defense. Which was very good.

17. Ralph Kiner - I wonder what kind of numbers he could have created in the DH era.

18. Charlie Keller - at his best, the equal of anyone not named Williams, Musial, or Delahanty. Simply did not play long enough or often enough to rank higher. Lost his entire age 27 season to WWII, for which he absolutely deserves some credit.

19. Harry Stovey - if the AA had been a real major league, he might be top-10. It wasn't, so he's not. Still a good player, and a solid HoMer.

20. Zack Wheat - Billy Williams-type player of the late deadball/early Ruth era. Not outstanding in any one aspect of the game, above average all-around. There's nothing inspiring about him to me.

21. Joe Medwick - I'm not sure I'd vote for him. Nice peak, though.

22. Goose Goslin - yawn. He was okay, I guess.
   79. sunnyday2 Posted: August 06, 2008 at 12:54 AM (#2891949)
hate to say it but Manny would be somewhere around #8-10.

On which list?


#8-10 in LF. #11-12 in RF.
   80. sunnyday2 Posted: August 06, 2008 at 12:55 AM (#2891956)
Charleston's CF defense and baserunning were average-plus rather than sublime; that he was really much more Mantle than Mays.


With those 200 OPS+ numbers, yeah, that makes him more Mantle than Mays. Which is better, right?
   81. sunnyday2 Posted: August 06, 2008 at 12:56 AM (#2891960)
Goslin last!? Wow.
   82. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 06, 2008 at 01:20 AM (#2892019)

3. Ed Delahanty - greatest hitter before Ruth


You wouldn't like the Georgia Peach when he's angry. Guy put up a 195 OPS+ for a decade before Ruth became a full time position player.

At peak, yes, Mantle > Mays.
   83. Chris Cobb Posted: August 06, 2008 at 01:55 AM (#2892118)
I was under the impression Charleston's CF defense and baserunning were average-plus rather than sublime; that he was really much more Mantle than Mays.

By "top-notch," I meant that at his peak he was among the five-ten best baserunners in baseball, and an above average defensive center-fielder. If the numbers bear out my impressions, he would have more baserunning and defensive value at his peak than Ott or Robinson in addition to out-hitting them.
   84. Brent Posted: August 06, 2008 at 02:03 AM (#2892159)
I've just completed MLEs for Pete Hill using the same methods that I used for Lloyd--not season by season estimates, but estimates of his average MLE rates for his prime years and for his post-prime years. As Chris Cobb noted above, we just don't have enough data pre-1920 to do realistic estimates season by season. I'll post the results for Hill on his thread in another day or two.

Among the HoM Negro league center fielders, Hill played the most left field--I'd guess around a third of his defensive games. This suggests to me that he might have been a left fielder in the majors (remembering that when he played, LF was still a speed position).
   85. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 06, 2008 at 02:35 AM (#2892224)
Well, that would just make Charleston God. How strong is the reputational evidence about his D and baserunning? How sure can we be that people weren't just saying that because he was such a good hitter?
   86. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 06, 2008 at 02:53 AM (#2892262)
I am leaning towards O'Rourke to CF. If anyone objects, speak up ASAP.
   87. Chris Cobb Posted: August 06, 2008 at 03:15 AM (#2892295)
I'm not an especially good one for assessing the strength of reputational evidence -- my study of the Negro Leagues just isn't deep enough, but here's my two cents, anyway.

Gary A. has suggested that Charleston's fielding rep is overblown, and his judgment is much better than mine. I think the 1921 fielding numbers suggest that Charleston was an above-average center-fielder, definitely not the top one in the league (that looks to have been Valentin Dreke), but one of the next two or three. Fielding stats are notoriously hard to interpret, though, and then there's the issue of league strength. I can't see projecting much more than as an above average CF to his mid-twenties, a below average CF after that.

For base-running, I think the case for him being outstanding is much stronger. People said he was one of the fastest men in baseball, and that's easier to judge accurately than fielding skill. (Riley reports that he ran track in the army, running 23 seconds in the 200-meter dash. People who know about track can judge the meaning of that anecdote in a 1915 context.) People say he was a very aggressive base-runner; again, that's a matter where judgments seem more likely to be trustworthy. It also fits with all the testimony concerning his aggressive temperament, not all of which is flattering.

The records show that he led the league in stolen bases in 1921 and 1923, placing third in 1922, and that he led the CWL in steals several times. We know that players coming out of the NeL in the 1940s and early 1950s were outstanding baserunners by major-league standards, so this is an area of the game in which I am ready to believe that the top runners in the NeL were as good as the top runners in the majors, because the top runners in the NeL _became_ the top runners in the majors when integration happened. There's no way Charleston would have stolen as many bases per game in the majors as in the NeL because the game was different, but I judge that if he was among the leading stealers in black baseball, he would likely have been among the leading stealers in the majors.

That's my view of the reputational and statistical evidence on base-running and fielding. Does that seem plausible? I'm particularly concerned to see if there are any significant flaws in my reasoning on the base-running.
   88. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 06, 2008 at 03:52 AM (#2892354)
Chris, that is EXACTLY what I was looking for, thanks very much. Yeah, so he's average in CF, and something like +3 per season on the basepaths, scaled for career shape (so +60 total). That's great.
   89. mulder & scully Posted: August 06, 2008 at 06:24 AM (#2892414)
Comparison of Jim O'Rourke by WS and Position:

Columns are age, year, WS, WS adjusted to 154g (why to 154, b/c that's what I have in my spreadsheet)

CF:
24, 1875, 16 WS, 29 WS
25, 1876, 17 WS, 40 WS
26, 1877, 15 WS, 38.5 WS
27, 1878, 12 WS, 30.5 WS
31, 1882, 11 WS, 20 WS
34, 1885, 24 WS, 33 WS
35, 1886, 24 WS, 30 WS

Total: 119 WS, 221 WS

LF
32, 1883, 17 WS, 27 WS
33, 1884, 25 WS, 34.5 WS
37, 1888, 17 WS, 19 WS
38, 1889, 19 WS, 21.5 WS
40, 1891, 17 WS, 19 WS
41, 1892, 15 WS, 17 WS
42, 1893, 11 WS, 11 WS

Total: 121 WS, 149 ws

By value, CF in a landslide.
   90. bjhanke Posted: August 06, 2008 at 07:28 AM (#2892420)
Chris Cobb says, "That general distinction may be reversed in some ballparks due to the configurations of the field."

That's very true, and it happens to apply to Stan Musial's defense. First off, boy am I glad there's no argument about where Stan should be placed. I had worked up the case for him as a left fielder, but it was going to be long. I'm glad I don't have to post it.

Regarding Chris' comment and Musial: Stan came up as, basically, a raw center fielder. He was famous for his speed (his initial nickname was "The Donora Greyound," which indicates that the observers of his time were more impressed with his speed than with anything else about him(!)), but he hadn't been a position player for very long. He didn't end up in center because the Cards had Terry Moore out there, who is generally considered to be one of the top ten defensive outfielders ever (I don't know if that's true, but it is the consensus). However, when Moore went into the army, it was Harry Walker who was moved to center. Musial was sort of the guy who got moved to center when Moore or Walker was hurt. That is, the Cards thought of him as an acceptable option in center, but not Moore or Walker.

But more to Chris' point, the reason he ended up in left rather than right (for which he certainly had the arm) was that Sportsman's Park was asymmetrical, with a normal left field and a very small right field. In that particular ballpark, you put your WORST corner outfielder in right and your best in left. That even applies to arms. Right field was so small that the worst arm ended up there.

BTW, part of my left field argument is that Musial's time at first base is mostly due to management problems after Branch Rickey's organization began to collapse about a decade after he left the team. Musial just had a bunch of poor managers to deal with, and they put the lefty at first base. The proof of this is that they moved Musial BACK to the outfield in 1960, at the age of 39, because Bill White simply could not play the outfield at all. I watched White try in 1959. He was fast enough - they even tried him out in center - but he just had no idea at all where a fly ball might be going. Anyway, enough of this. Every one seems happy to have Musial in left. Whew!

Oh, yeah. Musial is my absolute favorite baseball player of all time, which is what happens when you grow up in St. Louis in the 1950s and 60s. But I got to see Ted Williams on TV, as well as Musial live, and Ted was just plain better. It hurts to say it, but he was. A lot of it is the walks. Musial takes a small number of walks for a man with his power. Williams we all know about.
   91. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 06, 2008 at 08:01 AM (#2892426)
As far as I'm concerned, the "worse than Ted Williams" classification includes every baseball player in history save Babe Ruth and possibly Barry Bonds. That's no disrespect to Musial, who's one of the ten greatest position players evar.
   92. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 06, 2008 at 08:04 AM (#2892427)
Also, Musial is twelfth all-time in walks. Shawon Dunston he wasn't.
   93. Blackadder Posted: August 06, 2008 at 09:22 AM (#2892435)
I think it only "seems" like Musial didn't walk that much because he was so good one can't help but compare him to guys like Williams and Bonds.
   94. Tiboreau Posted: August 06, 2008 at 11:06 PM (#2893288)
Also, Musial is twelfth all-time in walks. Shawon Dunston he wasn't.
Bonds  . . . .  2558 12606 20.3%
Henderson  . .  2190 13346 16.4%
Ruth   . . . .  2062 10616 19.4%
Williams . . .  2021  9791 20.6%
Morgan . . . .  1865 11329 16.5%
Yastrzemski  .  1845 13991 13.2%
Mantle . . . .  1733  9909 17.5%
Ott  . . . . .  1708 11337 15.1%
Thomas . . . .  1658  9985 16.6%
Yost . . . . .  1614  9175 17.6%
Da.Evans . . .  1605 10737 14.9%
Musial . . . .  1599 12712 12.6%
Rose . . . . .  1566 15861  9.9%
Killebrew  . .  1559  9831 15.9%
Thome  . . . .  1524  8841 17.2%
Gehrig . . . .  1508  9660 15.6%
Schmidt  . . .  1507 10062 15.0%
E.Collins  . .  1499 12037 12.5%
Mays . . . . .  1464 12493 11.7%
Foxx . . . . .  1452  9670 15.0%
Mathews  . . .  1444 10101 14.3%
F.Robinson . .  1420 11743 12.1%
Sheffield  . .  1414 10455 13.5%
Boggs  . . . .  1412 10740 13.1%
Aaron  . . . .  1402 13940 10.1

Musial was obviously above average, but compared to his compatriots among the career walk leaders he was below average, and this list doesn't include lesser hitters with better patience since it's purely based on career numbers. But all that matters concerning bjhanke's point:
Williams . . .  2021  9791 20.6%
Musial . . . .  1599 12712 12.6
   95. OCF Posted: August 06, 2008 at 11:18 PM (#2893310)
All right, a completely silly exercise in response to #91-94 (and to drawing walks at a higher rate than Mays, Aaron, Robinson, and Rose).

Take Musial in my offensive system. Take his 22 years, sort them best to worst, and take the best 20. Then take both Ralph Kiner and Reggie Jackson, which gives you 31 total years. Sort those 31 years best to worst, and keep the best 20. (The #1 year is from Jackson, the #2 year from Kiner, and so on.) The result:

StanMan  113 101 86 82 73 72 71 70 69 68 66 53 51 42 40 37 36 16 14  7
RegRalph  92  81 76 70 67 64 64 52 52 49 42 42 41 40 40 38 35 33 28 24 


So even taking Jackson (who was pretty good himself) and splicing in the best of Ralph Kiner's peak, I still can't come close to touching Musial.
   96. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 07, 2008 at 12:21 AM (#2893395)
FYI: Jim O'Rourke has been moved to the center fielder list. An explanation can be found on his eponymous thread.
   97. bjhanke Posted: August 07, 2008 at 03:00 AM (#2893694)
Blackadder says, "I think it only "seems" like Musial didn't walk that much because he was so good one can't help but compare him to guys like Williams and Bonds."

That is exactly what I was trying to say. You just said it better. Thanks!

One factor involved here is that there is an overall spike in walks right after WWII. Possibly it came from pitchers back from the war who hadn't regained all their control yet, or maybe something else. Musial benefits from it, as does Williams, but not Mays, Aaron, Robinson, or Rose, all of whom are later. Oh, and Rose isn't really relevant to the point I'm trying to make. What I'm trying to say is that there is a built-in walk amplifier if you have a lot of power. You guys all know that. What I was trying to fumble around saying about Musial is that he took less advantage of that than other guys with big power, and that this is possibly the biggest advantage Ted has over Stan. It's also a big advantage for Mantle over Mays (Mays still wins overall, in my book). - Brock

And Grandma says, "FYI: Jim O'Rourke has been moved to the center fielder list. An explanation can be found on his eponymous thread."

I agree completely. - Brock
   98. bjhanke Posted: August 07, 2008 at 09:35 AM (#2893791)
Regarding the thread including posts 22 and 24 (too long to quote): One of my little insider things is that, one year, Bob Broeg asked me to work up the American Association to see if there was a Hall of Famer there and if so, then who. What had apparently happened was that the committee had reduced its consideration of the AA to Pete Browning for about 3 decades(!) and had finally decided not to induct him, and someone had suggested Harry Stovey. I took a long look at the top end of the AA, although the tools available at the time (mid-1990s) are primitive compared to now. I concluded the following: 1) there was no obvious candidate in the AA, unless you were willing to talk pitchers, in which case it was Bob Caruthers. This was a huge surprise, as you usually have a Bonds or Schmidt or Williams or Musial in a league's decade, who is clearly #1. It's as if the AA could recruit major league players, but not superstars, possibly because the NL had more money and/or stability. 2) Stovey was certainly among the top 5 candidates, along with Browning, Ed Swartwood, and Arlie Latham (I didn't know about Latham's defense at that time). 3) If someone told me that I had to induct just one position player from the AA, it would be Stovey, because he was so fast.

The reason was a variant of the thread including posts 22 and 24. I realized that a lot of early offense came from errors, and that faster runners put more pressure on fielders, which ought to result in more errors, as well as more extra bases taken on throws, etc. Of the candidates, Latham was the fastest, but the weakest hitter. Stovey was the next fatest, and at least the second best hitter, behind only Browning. It's sad. We will probably never find out who hit into how many errors - it's not tracked now, except as a byproduct of play-by-play databases. And in the 19th century, it's potentially really important. I do tend to give extra credit to faster runners from that era for that reason, although I don't give a lot of credit. I do think that the HoF could safely induct Stovey without compromising the integrity of the institution any more than it already is. I don't know if the thread was exactly dealing with this precise issue, but I do think there is extra credit there for the faster runners. I don't KNOW that it's true, but it makes a whole lot of sense. I would really love to see some play-by-play database kick out modern hit-into-error stats so we could check up on what sorts of hitters hit into more errors than others. It would at least give us some sort of window into the 19th c. - Brock
   99. sunnyday2 Posted: August 07, 2008 at 02:50 PM (#2893966)
Based on the first 8 ballots, here's where we may be headed, and here are the questions this raises.

Tier 1

1. T. Williams

Tier 2

2. Musial

Tier 3

3. Delahanty
4. Yaz
5. Raines

Tier 4

6. Burkett
7. A. Simmons

So far so good.

Tier 5

8. F. Clarke
9. O'Rourke--now moving to CF however
10. B. Williams

(big Gap)

Tier 6

11. Stargell--wow, B. Williams obviously better than Stargell?
12. S. Magee
13. Goslin
14. Sheckard
15. Wheat--this seems too high too me? I have him not only in Tier 7, but low Tier 7.

With the exception of Wheat, how is anybody in better than the guys in Tier 6? Or at least, how is there a "big gap" right there? I don't see it.

Tier 7

16. J. Kelley
17. C. Keller
18. Medwick
19. Minoso
20. H. Stovey

Tier 8

21. Kiner--how is Keller that much better than Kiner? How is he better at all?
22. C. Jones--how is any of Tier 7 better than C. Jones?

But who really cares about #20 and 22. The top tiers seem pretty solid, making this a fairly easy ballot down through about #7.
   100. sunnyday2 Posted: August 07, 2008 at 02:52 PM (#2893971)
How is anybody inn Tier 5 better than the guys in Tier 6?
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Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats

 

 

 

 

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