Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Hall of Merit > Discussion
Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ranking the Hall of Merit Players That Are Not in the Hall of Fame

OK, I think our next order of business, after catching our breath and watching college football over the holidays should be to rank the Hall of Merit players that are not in the Hall of Fame.

One main requirement - we’re finished by next November - so if anyone with a ballot were to care, the results would be available before the Hall of Fame votes for 2009. There will be 57 or 58 players to rank, depending on whether or not Tim Raines is elected to the Hall of Fame.

I guess we should just start with brainstorming - how should we do it? One election, rank them from 1-58? Start with ranking them by era? Then have a weekly ballot among the highest ranked players from each era? We wouldn’t finish that by November, but we’d have the top guys done by then. Maybe that’s all we need anyway, to just start with ranking the top 20 players?

Other ideas?

I’ll list the 58 players on the thread.

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 04, 2007 at 06:49 AM | 157 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 04, 2007 at 07:00 AM (#2633346)
HOM-not-HOF

1 Allen, Dick
2 Barnes, Ross
3 Beckwith, John
4 Bennett, Charlie
5 Blyleven, Bert
6 Boyer, Ken
7 Browning, Pete
8 Caruthers, Bob
9 Childs, Cupid
10 Clark, Will
11 Dahlen, Bill
12 Dawson, Andre
13 Evans, Darrell
14 Evans, Dwight
15 Ferrell, Wes
16 Freehan, Bill
17 Glasscock, Jack
18 Gordon, Joe
19 Gore, George
20 Gossage, Rich
21 Grich, Bobby
22 Groh, Heinie
23 Hack, Stan
24 Hernandez, Keith
25 Hines, Paul
26 Jackson, Joe*
27 Johnson, Home Run
28 Jones, Charley
29 Lundy, Dick
30 Keller, Charlie
31 Magee, Sherry
32 McGwire, Mark
33 McVey, Cal
34 Minoso, Minnie
35 Moore, Dobie
36 Nettles, Graig
37 Oms, Alejandro
38 Pearce, Dickey
39 Pierce, Billy
40 Pike, Lip
41 Raines, Tim
42 Randolph, Willie
43 Richardson, Hardy
44 Rose, Pete*
45 Saberhagen, Bret
46 Santo, Ron
47 Sheckard, Jimmy
48 Simmons, Ted
49 Start, Joe
50 Stieb, Dave
51 Stovey, Harry
52 Sutton, Ezra
53 Torre, Joe
54 Trammell, Alan
55 Trouppe, Quincy
56 Whitaker, Lou
57 White, Deacon
58 Wynn, Jimmy
   2. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 04, 2007 at 07:01 AM (#2633347)
I suppose we should leave Pete Rose and Joe Jackson out of our ranking project.
   3. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 04, 2007 at 07:07 AM (#2633354)
I think you should leave Rose & Jackson in the project, especially Jackson. Be interesting to see where he'd rank among the rest.
   4. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 04, 2007 at 07:11 AM (#2633358)
I'd say weekly elections, picking #1 the first week and going down from there...
   5. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 04, 2007 at 07:56 AM (#2633411)
Dan, I think it's too big a group to just pick number one week one. The vote will be too split up, and one guy with strong but narrow support would likely win.

I still like the idea of splitting them up by era, ranking within the era groups first - say 19th century, deadball, pre-WWII, pre-expansion, 60-79, 80-present?

The would accomplish multiple objectives - make it easier for us to focus on the best of each era that were excluded. That could be especially useful if a 19th Century Committee is ever formed by the Hall of Fame, for example.
   6. sunnyday2 Posted: December 04, 2007 at 07:56 AM (#2633412)
I'd leave Rose and Jackson in. Why not a 15 man ballot as per usual. I'd be OK picking 3, but I'm OK with 1, too.
   7. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 04, 2007 at 07:56 AM (#2633413)
Interesting point on leaving Rose and Jackson in - I'm convinced.
   8. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 04, 2007 at 12:49 PM (#2633492)
Should Raines be included since he's never actually been eligible for HOF?
   9. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 04, 2007 at 01:48 PM (#2633506)
I'd like to see you guys create a HOM for teams now.
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: December 04, 2007 at 01:50 PM (#2633507)
Well, Raines was eligible by the time we vote on this.

I realize that ranking 1-58 might not be practical, but I also think a "top 15" approach where someone is rated highly based on only a few votes might not be optimal, either.

Some sort of "runoff" approach might be good.
For instance, the top 20 or everyone with 1/3 of ballot placements might be eligible for the "finals." Then voters rank all of the finalists, including several that never sniffed their ballot.

This would ease the "intense but hardly widespread" support bias. Otherwise a player with 2-3 acolytes may pull ahead of another player who is almost universally seen as superior (as we'd find out if everyone rates that top 20 or so).
   11. rawagman Posted: December 04, 2007 at 02:45 PM (#2633528)
How about everyone take a month and then submit a full ranking as a starting point. That would at least gauge who is interested and give some idea of any sort of general consensus - if there is one. Then it can move on from there.
   12. DanG Posted: December 04, 2007 at 03:14 PM (#2633559)
Let me try again. I see this entire exercise, as presently envisioned, as having very limited value. Suppose we do this and we conclude that Bill Dahlen is the best HoM-not-HOF. So what? Does that mean the HOF should elect him? Not necessarily.

They could easily assume that Dahlen is of similar quality to the HOF mistakes. Well, he must be - who's ever heard of him? Ever win a MVP? Oh, they didn't have that award. OK, lots of league leaderships then? You say he led in RBI once - with 80?!? What a joke, I'm impressed. His lack of quality is shown by the fact that the HOF voters have always given him scant support.

If our #1 can be so easily dismissed, it tends to invalidate our entire list.

We must assume the audience we're trying to influence, the HOF voters, are idiots. Oh, not ALL of them are, but well over the 25% needed to block a player's election. Our appeal must be to the lowest mentality if we are to have an effect.

So we need to be able to show that Bill Dahlen (or whomever) is of the same general quality as players they "know" are all-time greats. If we can say that, We conclude Bill Dahlen is the best player the Hall could elect; he is in a group with Willie McCovey, Bill Dickey and Harmon Killebrew", then we've made a statement of his quality that anyone can comprehend. It should give them pause, to maybe try and see how we could make such a ridiculous statement. IOW, we have a much better chance of influencing "the usual gang of idiots" if we can slap them awake, get them to think.

Thus, a simple ranking of the HOF-less HoMers is inadequate. It's a mute determination. They can all be dismissed as being the best of a bad lot. Unless we put them in context.

I have a proposal to easily accomplish this in the "Once We Catch Up" thread, post #242. Please reconsider The Ten Level Spectrum of HoMers.
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: December 04, 2007 at 03:31 PM (#2633597)
Actually, I think that telling voters that Dahlen is as good as beloved McCovey, Dickey and Killebrew might tend to invalidate the entire list in the minds of those voters - however much of a mistake that might be on their part.

And calling people you disagree with "idiots" isn't exactly conducive to persuasion, in my experence. Insults tend to make people not only defensive, but also suspicious that you're trying to bully your way through because the facts can't speak for themselves.
   14. Patrick W Posted: December 04, 2007 at 03:42 PM (#2633614)
A modest proposal:

Vote #1: 58 players, vote for the 20 best (no rankings). Top 20 vote getters are <u>Group 1</u> (Players 1-20)
Vote #2: 38 players (losers from Vote #1), vote for the 20 best (no ranking). Top 20 vote getters are <u>Group 2</u> (Players 21-40). Remaining 18 players form <u>Group 3</u> (41-58).
Vote #3: Group 1, vote for the 10 best (no rankings). Top 10 vote getters are <u>Group 1A</u> (Players 1-10). Remaining 10 players are <u>Group 1B</u> (Players 11-20).
Vote #4: same as Vote #3, except for Group 2. <u>Groups 2A</u> (21-30) and <u>2B</u> (31-40) are created.
Vote #5: same as Vote #4, except for Group 3. <u>Groups 3A</u> (41-50) and <u>3B</u> (51-58) are created.
-----
Vote #6: Group 3B Election, vote for the top 8 in order of preference on an MVP-style ballot (8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1). Results form group’s ranking of players 51-58.
Vote #7: Group 3A Election, vote for the top 10 in order of preference on an MVP-style ballot (10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1). Results form group’s ranking of players 41-50.
Vote #8: Group 2B Election, same as Vote #7. Results form group’s ranking of players 31-40.
Vote #9: Group 2A Election, same as Vote #8. Results form group’s ranking of players 21-30.
Vote #10: Group 1B Election, same as Vote #9. Results form group’s ranking of players 11-20.
Vote #11: Group 1A Election, same as Vote #10. Results form group’s ranking of players 1-10.
------
Positives: Total of 11 votes (roughly 1 per month), fits Joe’s desired timeline for complete by Nov. ’08.
Negatives: Voters may not be concerned with voting in all elections, only caring about top 10 (for instance).
Questions: Only past HOM voters eligible to vote?

Feedback appreciated.
   15. DanG Posted: December 04, 2007 at 03:46 PM (#2633621)
Howie,

We're dealing with a monolithic institution. Shocks are necessary to animate their intractable nature.

If we simply tell them Bill Dahlen is the best, and they're interested enough to ask, Why?, we'll have to tell them about McCovey, Dickey and Killebrew anyway. Unless we haven't stratified the HoM, then we can only hem and haw when asked about the quality of our selections. I think it's much better to lay it right out, who is comparable to our selections.

And the "idiots" terminology is for our consumption in this discussion. It's not a statement about their overall mental capability, it's meant to capture the actual level of appropriateness of many of them re the task of electing players to the Hall.
   16. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 04, 2007 at 03:54 PM (#2633635)
McCovey and Killebrew are near the bottom of the HoM in my view, while Dahlen is near the top. Both played at the all-time high of depth at the 1B position through a mega-expansion period, and ranged between mediocre and atrocious in the field and on the basepaths.

I would not participate in a ten-tier-HoM project. Not sure if that's good or bad from the rest of the electorate's point of view. :)
   17. DanG Posted: December 04, 2007 at 03:58 PM (#2633644)
I would not participate in a ten-tier-HoM project.

Why not?
   18. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 04, 2007 at 04:23 PM (#2633687)
I don't like the idea of tiering all that much either. I don't really see the purpose of it. But I was never much for 'inner circle' designations either. I've never seen the point of a small Hall, so I guess I don't love the idea of tiers as an extension of that.
   19. DanG Posted: December 04, 2007 at 04:38 PM (#2633713)
I don't like the idea of tiering all that much either.

Call it something else then.

The idea is to give context to our rankings. Ranking the HoMers-not-HOFers as an isolated exercise leaves them hanging in space; there's no point of reference to those actually in the Hall. Calling a player "the best" means nothing. Relative to what? He's "the best" player in his class. How good is that? Is it Mays and Aaron good? Is it Manush and Sam Rice good? Is it Pafko and Northrup good? If we don't tell them they won't know.
   20. AlanNYC Posted: December 04, 2007 at 04:41 PM (#2633717)
How can you leave Jim Kaat with 287 wins and all those Golden Gloves off this list?
   21. DavidFoss Posted: December 04, 2007 at 04:49 PM (#2633743)
How can you leave Jim Kaat with 287 wins and all those Golden Gloves off this list?

Jim Kaat is not in the HOM, so that's a question for a different thread.

The HOM electorate did not think he was a dominant enough pitcher. Career ERA+ of only 107 and not all of that is due to his decline phase. Ordinary seasons (e.g. 1967-70) are speckled inside his prime as well. I'm one of Kaat's biggest fans -- collected all his Topps cards as a kid -- but its understandable why we left him out. We didn't induct Tommy John or Mickey Welch either.
   22. DL from MN Posted: December 04, 2007 at 05:09 PM (#2633790)
I say just vote your top 15 on the list of 53 and come up with our top 3 unelected. If you want smaller ballots I suggest the same voting method but split into pre-1893, 1893-1945, 1946-present.
   23. sunnyday2 Posted: December 04, 2007 at 05:50 PM (#2633872)
Ordinary seasons (e.g. 1967-70) are speckled inside his prime as well.


If that's a killer diller, how the heck did we elect Early Wynn.
   24. sunnyday2 Posted: December 04, 2007 at 05:51 PM (#2633876)
I'm with DL and not just meaning in MN. I say just vote your top 15, just like we always did, and (to Howie's point) identify our top 3. Then do it again, and identify 4 through 6. Then do it again for 7 through 9, and so on. That way, no, we're not picking our 20th versus our 30th on the basis of 3 ballots. The top 3 eventually will be guys getting 25-35 percent, just like some of our backlog electees, but it shouldn't get any worse than that.
   25. DanG Posted: December 04, 2007 at 06:14 PM (#2633941)
and identify our top 3. Then do it again, and identify 4 through 6. Then do it again for 7 through 9, and so on.

OK, that means 19 biweekly elections.
   26. Howie Menckel Posted: December 04, 2007 at 06:40 PM (#2633993)
Actually, I was thinking more something like this (many variations can work):
- first, vote for top 15 or 20 out of 58
- then have a second vote with only the top x (maybe 20, 29, whatever). at that point the outlier voters have a lot of changes to make - many of their favorite sons are gone, so who do they prefer of the more popular guys?
- you could even then drop to 10 or 15 finalists, and vote again. at this point some people have few changes to make, others again have a lot of holes to fill.
   27. sunnyday2 Posted: December 04, 2007 at 07:36 PM (#2634100)
I guess the question is what's the objective?

We want to rank #1 through #N so we can provide better direction to HoF voters (LOL).

But what else? Do we want a long series of votes a la the HoM? Or do we want wham bam thank you maam and we're done?

And who's gonna decide?
   28. Chris Cobb Posted: December 04, 2007 at 07:43 PM (#2634120)
I think Dan G has a good point about the value of ranking the HoM-not-HoF cohort against players who are in the HoF: that will make our claims more specific and more readily understandable.

If there isn't enthusiasm for "stratifying" the HoM, what about doing rankings by position? We use those comparisons a lot, and comparing players at the same position would eliminate some of the sabermetric problems that we face in our regular rankings.

As for a voting system to rank HoMers-not-HoFers, I have no specific method to propose, but I think a process that has more discussion and fewer votes would be desirable. 19 biweekly votes to rank 57 players seems a bit tedious! Since we are dealing with a fixed set of players, it shouldn't take very many votes to determine our aggregate opinion of their merits.

Myself, I'd rather spend, say, three months ranking the HoM-not-HoF, and then six months doing positional rankings than spend nine months on just 57 players. Others' mileage may vary, of course.
   29. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 04, 2007 at 08:50 PM (#2634252)
For the HoM-not-HoF we could have a 20 man ballot and "elect" the top 5. That would take 11 votes to rank all the players. There doesn't need to be two week in between ballots, things won't change much.

If there isn't enthusiasm for "stratifying" the HoM, what about doing rankings by position?

I wouldn't mind doing this.
   30. djrelays Posted: December 04, 2007 at 08:58 PM (#2634267)
As a long-time lurker, I hesitate to get involved in your deliberations. On the other hand, this outsider's view is that you've done great work, and have made a significant contribution to the game and research by inventing and adapting ranking techniques. I'll take a plunge on a next step without the presumption that I'm right, but with the thought that an outsider might see something you're too close to see.

Because the HoF changed their Veterans' Committee procedures in July, it would be valuable to see your guidance into each of the new categories for players. The new procedures for the HoF are given in this press release:
http://web.baseballhalloffame.org/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070728&content_id=4525&vkey=hof_pr

From what I make of it, there are now three pools of players: those under consideration by the BBWAA; those players no longer under consideration by the BBWAA whose careers began 1943 and later; and those players whose careers began prior to 1943. All players must have 10 MLB years and may not appear on MLB's ineligible list.

In the case of the pre-1943 players, here is the wording from the HoF release: "Additionally, the Veterans Committee will review the candidacies of all players who played in at least 10 major league seasons, whose careers began in 1942 or earlier, who are not on Major League Baseball's ineligible list, are eligible for election."

As this says "10 major league seasons" this omits Negro Leaguers, consideration of foreign league accomplishments, and begs the question of which pre-1900 leagues MLB considers "major." Which of the NA, AA, UA, PL or FL does MLB consider a "major leage?"

One thing not addressed in the release is if players who have been bounced from the BBWAA ballot on the 5% rule are eligible for the 1943-and-later ballot, or whether they have to wait until they would normally be passed along to the VC.

With all this in mind, I'd separate your HOM-non-HOF list into four groups to be ranked separately:

1) Current BBWAA considerees (excludes all 5% eliminations)

2) 1943-and-later players, including those recent retirees not under consideration by the BBWAA as 5% exclusions (must have played as recently as 1988)

3) Pre-1943 players (last year playing must be pre-1988)

4) Remaining players not eligible in one of the first three groups by virtue of being Negro Leaguers or pre-NgL blacks, 19th century players in non-MLB-recognized leagues (whatever those may be), lacking 10-MLB sesons, or players on the ineligibles list.

From your list of 58 people to look at, here's how I slot them:

Group 1, 6 players) Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson, Rich Gossage, Mark McGwire, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell;

Group 2, 19) Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Bill Freehan, Bobby Grich, Minnie Minoso, Billy Pierce, Ron Santo, Joe Torre, Jimmy Wynn; including these players who still would be considered by the BBWAA had they not been eliminated by the 5% rule--Will Clark, Darrell Evans, Dwight Evans, Keith Hernandez, Graig Nettles, Willie Randolph, Bret Saberhagen, Ted Simmons, Dave Stieb, Lou Whitaker;

Group 3, 22) Charlie Bennett, Cupid Childs, Bill Dahlen, Wes Ferrell, Jack Glasscock, Joe Gordon, George Gore, Heinie Groh, Stan Hack, Paul Hines, Charlie Keller, Sherry Magee, Hardy Richardson, Jimmy Sheckard, Joe Start, Ezra Sutton, Deacon White; including these players whose careers included 10 years total but less than 10 yrs NL/AL--Pete Browning, Bob Caruthers, Charley Jones, Lip Pike, Harry Stovey;

Group 4, 11) Ross Barnes (9yrs), John Beckwith (NgL), Joe Jackson (inel), Grant Johnson (NgL), Dick Lundy (NgL), Cal McVey (9yrs), Dobie Moore (NgL), Aljandro Oms (NgL), Dickey Pearce (7yrs), Pete Rose (inel), Quincy Trouppe (NgL).

There's enough time to do a one-off ranking of Group 1 while the BBWAA is still considering this year's ballot. Then rank groups 2 and 3 separately, perhaps selecting them in sets of c.4 every two weeks (5 votes for group 2, 6 for group 3).

Lastly, take three votes to rank group 4. One hopes this group will be considered at some point by the HoF.

That would give you 16 ballots with which to occupy the better part of the next year. Upon conclusion, you ought then go back and rank all the HoMers within primary positions, so you can add to Alan Trammell's bio that the group ranks him behind Hall of Famer shortstops A, B and C through G, on a par with H,I , and J, and ahead of L through X, Y and Z. This accomplishes a portion of DanG's suggestion, but does so in a time-sensitive fashion to predate the next VC elections.

Then go back and tackle the DanG proposal, which seems the best way to put a bow on the HoM ribbon!
   31. DL from MN Posted: December 04, 2007 at 09:04 PM (#2634278)
Since the overall list isn't changing you can go quick and have everyone rank the whole list and then give points on a 58-1 scale. That takes a week and gives you the same results as re-ranking over and over. I'd split it into 3 eras, tell everyone to rank the whole list and add it up. I joined in the 60s so I'm still unfamiliar with some of the early electees. I'd like to abstain from that ranking but rank the rest.
   32. sunnyday2 Posted: December 04, 2007 at 09:16 PM (#2634299)
I love djrelays proposal. Good thinking.

One question, though. If I understand correctly, those who failed to get 5% are still not eligible for VC consideration until 20 years are up. Is that correct? If so, they are, in a sense, ineligible. And, if so (again), maybe Group 2 should split in two.
   33. DanG Posted: December 04, 2007 at 09:37 PM (#2634319)
Players must be retired for 21 years before the VC can consider them. For the 2009 VC modern players election, players who debuted 1943 and later and retired before 1988 will be eligible. Marc is right that players who retired after 1988 are still under the jurisdiction of the BBWAA voters, including the victims of the 5% Rule.

Re the 10-year requirement, the HOF has never considered the NA to be a major league. So Pike slips to Group 4.
   34. dan b Posted: December 04, 2007 at 10:04 PM (#2634367)
djrelays proposal looks good to me preferably with Marc's suggestion to split group 2. Let's do it.
   35. DL from MN Posted: December 04, 2007 at 10:13 PM (#2634383)
I love that stratification - it sets up perfectly with the different audiences. I don't see any reason to do more than one ranking of each group - just give points in reverse order.
   36. Chris Cobb Posted: December 04, 2007 at 10:17 PM (#2634388)
djrelays' categories are quite useful!

We could, of course, rank all the players in a single group, from which the rankings of players within the HoF's categorical subsets could then be easily derived. It may be more interesting and/or manageable, though, to vote on them separately.
   37. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 04, 2007 at 10:53 PM (#2634436)
djrelays:

YES YES YES YES YES!!!

If we want to influence the HOF in any way, then we need to speak directly to its individual voting blocs.

And we need to present them with our list in order of preference.

And we need to present them with useful information that THEY will understand and appreciate in languag THEY will understand and acknowledge.

If that's our mission, to get the HOM-not-HOFs into the HOF, let's be very goal-oriented.
   38. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 04, 2007 at 10:55 PM (#2634440)
I also like djrelays' proposal.
   39. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 04, 2007 at 10:56 PM (#2634441)
Pursuant to my last post, when I mean we are talking to these guys, I mean:

BBWAA: Imagine you're talking to your nearest city's voting member.
pre1943 VETS: Imagine you're talking to Bob Feller
post 1943 VETS: Imagine you're talking to Joe Morgan
The "other" group: Imagine you're talking to Dale Petrovsky, Joe Morgan, and Dick Clark/Larry Lester.

IIUC, those are the guys who do the voting, so we got to speak their language. Anyone know Iowan?
   40. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 04, 2007 at 11:01 PM (#2634445)
Imagine you're talking to Joe Morgan

We should have Concepcion's biggest fans do that.
   41. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 04, 2007 at 11:22 PM (#2634476)
I really like djrelays idea also.

I do see now what Dan has been saying about how ranking the players allows us to compare them to others when making their cases. I think I prefer positional ranking to stratification though.
   42. user Posted: December 04, 2007 at 11:32 PM (#2634489)
I'd imagine positional ranking has a lot of issues with hybrid careers though.
   43. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 04, 2007 at 11:46 PM (#2634511)
That's true user, but most anyone can be lumped into one position fairly easily. And of course you grade the player's entire career, not just at that position.

Bill James had the best criteria, IMO. Put the player on the list where he'll rank the highest, provided he played a significant portion of his career there.

With a few exceptions (Dawson should be in CF, not RF) I thought the decisions James used were fine.
   44. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 04, 2007 at 11:46 PM (#2634513)
Another criteria might be put the player at the position he played during his peak.
   45. sunnyday2 Posted: December 05, 2007 at 12:41 AM (#2634597)
Well, the HoF doesn't elect by position. They elect by the categories that djrelay outlined. As Doc said, if we want to talk to them, let's speak their language.
   46. Chris Cobb Posted: December 05, 2007 at 02:21 AM (#2634749)
Well, the HoF doesn't elect by position.

No, but doesn't everybody in baseball think about players by position?

Ranking within position should not be an alternative to ranking players within the groups created by the Hall of Fame's rules. It makes good, practical sense to group the players by their categories.

I am suggesting that positional rankings are the most straightforward route to supplementing a rank ordering of HoMers-not-HoFers in each of the HoF player pools. Having positional rankings would establish an easily understood contextual and comparative value for each player in the HoM. It's an alternative to rank-ordering (or placing in tiers) every player in the HoM. And a more

I'm actually a bit surprised, sunnyday, that you would doubt the utility of positional lists, since you use them all the time, yes?
   47. sunnyday2 Posted: December 05, 2007 at 03:02 AM (#2634810)
Well, it depends on our goal. But I'm not sure that anything is going to happen, even if we agreed on what it would be, which we don't.
   48. DanG Posted: December 05, 2007 at 05:43 AM (#2635021)
Thinking a bit about djrelays' scheme, I think it should be tweaked.

Group 1 - Current BBWAA players. djr has the six currently on the ballot (which could be 5 or 4 by the time the BBWAA 2008 results are in). This makes for too small a group. I would definitely add the 5% Rule victims retired since 1990. These players are still under BBWAA jurisdiction and could theoretically be reinstated to their ballot. (Thinking wishfully, our advocacy for them could be an impetus for reinstatement.) That adds these 7 players: Will Clark, Dwight Evans, Keith Hernandez, Willie Randolph, Bret Saberhagen, Dave Stieb, Lou Whitaker. This makes Group 1 no more than 13 players in size.

Group 2 – Modern VC players. 1988 retirees Graig Nettles and Ted Simmons are now in their final year under BBWAA control; Darrell Evans is done after the 2009 election, so I think we should pass these three and keep them in Group 2. (In effect, for Nettles, Simmons and Evans we would be giving them a preemptive ranking for the 2011 VC election.) Along with these nine: Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Bill Freehan, Bobby Grich, Minnie Minoso, Billy Pierce, Ron Santo, Joe Torre, Jimmy Wynn. This gives Group 2 a total of 12 players.

Group 3 - Oldtime VC players. We remove Pike; his NA years don't count, so he's ineligible, having less than ten years in "MLB". We keep Charlie Bennett, Cupid Childs, Bill Dahlen, Wes Ferrell, Jack Glasscock, Joe Gordon, George Gore, Heinie Groh, Stan Hack, Paul Hines, Charlie Keller, Sherry Magee, Hardy Richardson, Jimmy Sheckard, Joe Start, Ezra Sutton, Deacon White, Pete Browning, Bob Caruthers, Charley Jones and Harry Stovey. This gives Group 3 a total of 21 players.

Group 4 - Players not being considered (Negro leaguers and pre-NL stars). I thnk this should include Lip Pike, Ross Barnes, John Beckwith, Grant Johnson, Dick Lundy, Cal McVey, Dobie Moore, Alejandro Oms, Dickey Pearce and Quincy Trouppe. This gives Group 4 a total of 10 players.

I recommend we don't vote on Pete Rose and Joe Jackson. Nobody doubts they were HOF-quality players who would rank near the top of any listing. Along with this, the Hall has no plans to consider them anytime soon. Leave them aside for this voting, their presence would be a distraction, as always.
   49. Chris Cobb Posted: December 05, 2007 at 06:11 AM (#2635054)
With the groups DanG is proposing, which seem reasonable to me, would there be any need to do anything more complicated for the voting than a single ballot, rank ordered and weighted according to our current system, probably without "elect me" bonuses at the top, and shortening or extending the ballot as needed to fit the number of players?

The main shortcoming of our current voting system for generating a reliable rank order is that it doesn't provide enough information about the support for candidates that don't make the ballot. Since everyone would be on each ballot, that wouldn't be an issue.

I mean, we could have shorter ballots to leave people off and create an on-ballot bonus, elect-me bonuses at the top, and multiple run-offs, but would that produce more reliable results than a single rank order ballot that includes all candidates?

People who know more voting theory than I do, please correct my misapprehensions!
   50. Paul Wendt Posted: December 05, 2007 at 06:56 AM (#2635091)
19. DanG Posted: December 04, 2007 at 10:38 AM (#2633713)

> I don't like the idea of tiering all that much either.


Call it something else then.

The idea is to give context to our rankings. Ranking the HoMers-not-HOFers as an isolated exercise leaves them hanging in space; there's no point of reference to those actually in the Hall. Calling a player "the best" means nothing. Relative to what? He's "the best" player in his class. How good is that? Is it Mays and Aaron good? Is it Manush and Sam Rice good? Is it Pafko and Northrup good? If we don't tell them they won't know.


The main point is that for DanG the main point is influencing HOF voters; indirectly influencing HOF membership. . . .
and for the first time in a while he seems to have won a point

--
dj
Which of the NA, AA, UA, PL or FL does MLB consider a "major league?"

All but the first.
   51. DanG Posted: December 05, 2007 at 02:54 PM (#2635243)
and for the first time in a while he seems to have won a point

I keep pitching my best stuff; they keep knocking it out of the park.
   52. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 05, 2007 at 03:42 PM (#2635299)
I think Dan's groupings (#48) based on djrelays idea (#30) make sense.

I would think in this case, going with a straight rank order ballot also makes sense. At most we'll be ranking 21 players in any group.

Addressing this:

But I'm not sure that anything is going to happen, even if we agreed on what it would be, which we don't.


I don't know why you'd say that, but how is this for a 'discussion/schedule'?

1/14-1/20 - discuss Group 1 (BBWAA)
1/21-1/28 - vote Group 1

1/28-2/3 - discuss Group 2 (Modern VC)
2/4-2/11 - vote Group 2

2/11-2/17 - discuss Group 3 (Pre WWII VC)
2/18-2/25 - vote Group 3

2/25-3/2 - discuss Group 4 (Currently left out)
3/3-3/10 - vote Group 4

That finishes us up at the beginning of Spring Training and just in time for the NCAA Tournament :-)

After that, we could discuss ranking by position:

3/17-3/23 - determine position eligiblity

3/24-4/7 - catchers

4/7-4/21 - first basemen

4/21-5/5 - second basemen

5/5-5/19 - third basemen

5/19-6/2 - shortstops

6/2-6/16 - left fielders

6/16-6/30 - centerfielders (SABR weekend, but it's during voting not discussion, so should be OK)

6/30-7/14 - right fielders

7/14-7/28 - pre-1893 pitchers

7/28-8/11 - modern (post-1893) starting pitchers

8/11-8/25 - relief pitchers

How does that look as a plan?
   53. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 05, 2007 at 03:43 PM (#2635302)
I would think in this case, going with a straight rank order ballot also makes sense. At most we'll be ranking 21 players in any group.


If anyone disagrees, I'm all ears.
   54. DanG Posted: December 05, 2007 at 03:57 PM (#2635334)
Schedule looks good. Now we need to determine a point system for the ballots. Also, when would the positional voting be conducted?
   55. DL from MN Posted: December 05, 2007 at 04:25 PM (#2635376)
Voting theory says rank everyone and forget the elect-me bonuses. The errors in voting will be due to the consideration set - there are other non-HoM who are eligible in this group that might be ranked higher if we threw them in (players currently in the top 10 returnees).

Not that I'm an expert, but I did read Saari's book Geometry of Voting.

I'll second the groups, voting and schedule.
   56. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 05, 2007 at 04:25 PM (#2635377)
when would the positional voting be conducted?


Second half of the periods above. I got lazy and didn't feel like typing two sets of dates.

I would think just straight line ballot, rank everyone from 1-x. No elect me bonus.

But if the 'voting theory' people have a better idea, I'm definitely all ears.

Actually, the largest group is modern starting pitchers. I think there are 52 or 53 . . . 62 - 6 19th Century and 3 or 4 relievers. I'd count Eck as a reliever, he wasn't going in as a starter though that value helps, but if he'd been a reliever his entire career he probably would have.

Anyway my point is that we take the largest group and scale the points for all groups so that in the end the point totals are all on the same scale and the totals can be compared across positions.

Not sure if anyone finds that of any value, but I think it'd be better to do it than not, if it's easy.

But I guess that would only work if we had the same number of voters for each election. It probably isn't worth the trouble, someone could always go back and figure it retroactively or something if we deem it of value.
   57. Howie Menckel Posted: December 05, 2007 at 04:43 PM (#2635404)
This all looks pretty good.
The dividing by position seems to make the OF totals manageable.

I wonder if there should be a 3rd tier for SPs, though?
maybe pre-1893, post-1893 to WW II, and post-WW II to current.
   58. karlmagnus Posted: December 05, 2007 at 04:44 PM (#2635407)
I like the proposal as finally outlined by the Commish; I think just ranking all the playters in the group with no bonuses produces the fairest and most complete result. Preevts the possibility of someone ranked high by a small group sliding in on a splintered ballot -- if everybody else has the guy 20 out of 21, he won't make it. 4 groups, one vote each, sorted by eligibility status seems manageable and indeed optimal.
   59. karlmagnus Posted: December 05, 2007 at 04:46 PM (#2635409)
Oh and I don't like splitting by position, and don't think it accomplishes much. This is not in any way necessarily a balanced grouping, because it's the difference between two differently balanced groupings.
   60. Howie Menckel Posted: December 05, 2007 at 04:55 PM (#2635421)
Well, I think the two sets of votes are doing very separate things.

The first set applies specifically to making the Hall of Fame.

The second set is "water cooler stuff" - we're telling people who we think is better, Johnny Bench or Yogi Berra, etc. It also has a secondary effect of showing where the non-HOFers rank vs the favored sons.

Yes?
   61. DanG Posted: December 05, 2007 at 04:56 PM (#2635422)
OK, I'm starting to get jazzed up about this project!

A couple more ideas to pitch:

1) The HOF voter can look at our results and say [haughty tone]"So what! Their criteria is different from ours. We're considering the whole of the man, more than mere numbers."[/ht]

Well, hells bells--we can nip this in the bud. Let's use HOF criteria for these elections: "voting shall be based upon the individual's record, ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the game.” I don't think it would be that hard for us to do and it would be fun to explore other sides of the players we've elected.

2) To further bring those HOF voters into our circle, lets toss some of their favorite candidates into these elections. Pick Five, the five non-HoMers getting the best support in their voting. For Group 1 (based on 2007 BW election) that's Jim Rice, Lee Smith, Jack Morris, Tommy John and Dave Concepcion. For Group 2 (based on 2007 VC election) it's Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, Maury Wills and Don Newcombe. For Group 3 (based on 2007 VC election) it's Lefty O'Doul, Mickey Vernon, Cecil Travis, Marty Marion and Carl Mays. Again, it'll be fun to touch on the intangibles of these guys, as well as an opportunity to debunk them as legitimate Hall candidates.
   62. sunnyday2 Posted: December 05, 2007 at 04:58 PM (#2635425)
39. DanG Posted: December 04, 2007 at 02:21 PM (#2634200)
97.7 - Tim Raines (2008)
94.4 - Deacon White (1898)
94.0 - Paul Hines (1898)
93.4 - Bert Blyleven (1998)
92.3 - Pete Rose (1993)
88.9 - Bill Dahlen (1915)
87.7 - Ron Santo (1980)
86.0 - Alan Trammell (2002)
85.9 - Mark McGwire* (2007)
82.4 - Jack Glasscock (1904)
79.5 - George Gore (1898)
77.5 - Lou Whitaker (2001)
75.5 - Will Clark (2006)
75.6 - Ezra Sutton (1908)
74.7 - Rich Gossage (2000)
74.4 - Joe Jackson (1927)
73.5 - Cal McVey (1914)
72.5 - Joe Start (1912)
68.9 - Dick Allen (1983)
68.4 - Ross Barnes (1898)
67.1 - Grant Johnson (1925)
65.2 - Bobby Grich (1992)
64.9 - Heinie Groh (1938)
63.2 - Harry Stovey (1916)
61.6 - Jimmy Sheckard (1930)
60.9 - Charlie Bennett (1921)
60.2 - Sherry Magee (1926)
59.9 - Joe Torre (1984)
58.0 - John Beckwith (1957)
56.6 - Bob Caruthers (1930)
53.0 - Dickey Pearce (1931)
49.8 - Keith Hernandez (1996)
48.6 - Stan Hack (1958)
43.6 - Darrell Evans (1995)
43.0 - Bill Freehan (1985)
42.6 - Dwight Evans (1997)
41.8 - Joe Gordon (1976)
41.3 - Wes Ferrell (1964)
40.5 - Lip Pike (1940)
39.1 - Billy Pierce (1987)
36.2 - Quincy Trouppe (1995)
35.5 - Cupid Childs (1988)
35.1 - Ken Boyer (1991)
34.7 - Minnie Minoso (1987)
34.2 - Charlie Keller (1996)
32.4 - Dick Lundy (2008)
31.7 - Jimmy Wynn (1996)
29.9 - Dobie Moore (1991)
28.7 - Bret Saberhagen (2008)
28.2 - Willie Randolph (2001)
28.1 - Pete Browning (2005)
26.7 - Dave Stieb (2002))
25.3 - Alejandro Oms (2006)
25.2 - Andre Dawson (2005)
25.1 - Graig Nettles (2006)
25.0 - Jake Beckley (1998)
24.9 - Charley Jones (2003)
   63. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 05, 2007 at 05:04 PM (#2635432)
Howie, it's a smaller group, but for SPs, what would you (or anyone else) think of:

pre-1893
1893-1925
1925-present

I realize the groups aren't even, but pitching significantly changed in the early 1920s, I don't know how much it really has since then. Those would be logical groups to me at least.
   64. andrew siegel Posted: December 05, 2007 at 05:36 PM (#2635477)
For the positional rankings, are we only ranking the HoMers or are we ranking the best ever at the position in our estimation? And, assuming the latter, are we including the active and recently retired players or only the HoM-eligible?

FWIW, I would vote for including as many folks as possible--certainly the HoM-eligible and probably everybody.
   65. sunnyday2 Posted: December 05, 2007 at 07:40 PM (#2635680)
It seems that the discussion is going down two paths.

1. It's about the HoF.
2. It's about us.

Could we answer that one? Then the rest might fall into place. Right now, it's not.
   66. jimd Posted: December 05, 2007 at 08:23 PM (#2635758)
If we're ranking the players of any group from 1-N, we don't need to convert to points. It's mathematically equivalent to just calculate an average ballot ranking, and leave it that way -- e.g. Catchers: JGibson 1.12 Berra 2.55 Bench 2.62 etc. (which also may make the results easier to understand for outsiders). Only if we want to give extra weight to being on the top-of-the-ballot or getting-on-the-ballot (like on the HOM ballot) do we need to convert everything to a point system.
   67. Chris Cobb Posted: December 05, 2007 at 08:29 PM (#2635774)
Sunnyday,

The project is by definition about the HoF: Joe has built that into the groundrules.

The project is necessarily also about us, since we are the ones who are doing it, and we are the ones who have to decide what kind of approach will make the results reliable and useful.

We have to work through each proposal for how to proceed in light of both realities.
   68. DanG Posted: December 05, 2007 at 08:34 PM (#2635782)
1. It's about the HoF.
2. It's about us.

Could we answer that one?

It's no secret my interest is #1. IMO, "we" should be about #1, outward looking.

Which way do you think this should aim, Marc?
   69. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 05, 2007 at 08:47 PM (#2635800)
Positional Rankings include everyone.

Marc, I don't understand what you are asking.

I think it's about both. I don't see them as mutually exclusive. First we rank the HoM not HoF. Then we rank the HoM by position - where is the disconnect?
   70. Chris Cobb Posted: December 05, 2007 at 08:53 PM (#2635821)
Some reactions to recent proposals:

1) Dan G's proposal that we use the HoF's criteria. I do not favor this. We are the Hall of Merit electorate. Our conclusions are meaningful because our criteria are clear and consistent. I'd rather have results that an interested HoF voter could then factor into whatever blender of "integrity, sportsmanship, and character" influences their thinking. We _will_ be dealing with two players whose perceived lack of "integrity, sportsmanship, and character" has significantly affected their standing with the HoF electorate: Dick Allen and John Beckwith. We actually talked a lot about those matters, and looked into the historical record in both cases. If either of them came out as the top-ranked candidate from one pool or another, we could, if we decided to prepare a brief to send to an HoF committee, as we did with the Negro League committee, we could address our findings on those controversial issues in the brief. I think we are better off dealing with those matters in the context of our established criteria, rather than arguing over what the HoF's criteria really mean and how much weight to give them.

2) Dan G's proposal that we bring HoF favored candidates into the pool. I do not favor this, either. The Hall of Merit project to date has had the purpose of distinguishing the players who should be in a Hall of Fame with reasonably consistent standards of excellence. We have already made the judgment that these players are to be preferred, as of our understanding at the present time of baseball history and how value is created in the game of baseball. I think we should stand by that judgment and keep the initial focus on players we have elected. If we were not going to do positional rankings or some other broader ranking, it might be more meaningful to include other eligibles. But I like the idea of keeping the initial rankings focus on elected Hall-of-Meriters.

3) Andrew Siegel's proposal that we make all players eligible for the positional rankings. I am ambivalent about this. It would certainly make the process more complicated and make designing the voting system more complicated. On the other hand, it would give us more meaningful lists in the end, though lists that might conflict with HoM choices on some points, depending on who votes and what the voting system is. If we open the pool, we would also need to decide how far down in the rankings we should go: 20? 25? 30? Number of players inducted into the HoM at that position? Number of players inducted + 5? If our judgment has been generally good, we ought to have the top N players at each position already in the HoM, and I am pretty comfortable a) relying on that judgment (despite an itch to rank Sam Thompson down around 35 among right fielders . . . ) and b) leaving active or recently retired players out of the picture for now. But if people _like_ the positional rankings better with an open pool, that consideration would far outweigh my reservations about complicating the process!
   71. Chris Cobb Posted: December 05, 2007 at 08:56 PM (#2635828)
I think it's about both. I don't see them as mutually exclusive. First we rank the HoM not HoF. Then we rank the HoM by position - where is the disconnect?

Looks good to me!
   72. DanG Posted: December 05, 2007 at 09:13 PM (#2635861)
Chris, you just came out firmly on the side of #2 in Marc's question. You would limit the usefulness of the ranking project in order to stay consistent with how we do things here.
   73. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 05, 2007 at 09:19 PM (#2635872)
Dan G's proposal that we bring HoF favored candidates into the pool. I do not favor this, either.


I agree.

Andrew Siegel's proposal that we make all players eligible for the positional rankings.


I strongly disagree. If the players eligible were better than a Hall of Merit player, they should be in the Hall of Merit.

This would open the whole timelining can of worms again, etc..

I'm strongly in favor of only dealing with players we've elected to the Hall of Merit in this extension project.
   74. Howie Menckel Posted: December 05, 2007 at 09:23 PM (#2635885)
Using the HOF criteria seems like a rabbit hole to me.
"Contributions to the game" - suddenly managing and broadcasting come into play?

We tried to pick the best 230+ best players, period.
Not the "230 guys we'd pick if only we'd have started out from the beginning using the same criteria as the Hall."

I don't want non-HOMers, either.

But should we be voting on "best ever" with a group that includes all the HOMers and HOFers? That might make sense. Not insisting on it, though. But it's a little different if Thompson at least beats out ALL the dumb HOF choices, compared to being middle of the pack even among that shaky bunch.
   75. mulder & scully Posted: December 05, 2007 at 09:46 PM (#2635939)
Comments:

I like Joe's schedule from #52.

Chris's #70 (and DanG and Andrew by extension):
I agree with point 1. The Hall of Merit should its own standards.
I agree with point 2.
Thoughts about point 3. I lean toward restricting it to ranking the HOM players at various positions, but I also like the idea (Howie's) of including the HOF/nonHOM players at each position also.

2 cents
   76. DanG Posted: December 05, 2007 at 10:05 PM (#2635973)
Knocked out of the park again!

OK, we'll just keep this in our little corner. We won't try to build bridges between our work and that museum in upstate New York. They'll do their thing and we'll do ours.

Yes, our standards are different and BETTER than theirs, no question. But our criteria will never be theirs, so we have to play their game in order to make meaningful comparisons. It's like we're looking to avoid really arguing their selections, because we refuse to ever consider evaluating players using the same criteria.

And it's not only with the HOF and its voters, it's to the entire baseball community. There's always that BUT. "Yeah, your guys were great, BUT you can't really say they belong in the Hall because your criteria are different."

Well, I'd like to say our guys belong in the Hall. I'd like to show that a holistic look at our guys leaves them miles ahead of the Hall's favorite candidates. But nonbody else here is interested in this, so be it.

We'll just play our game on our little field amongst us expert guys.
   77. Sean Gilman Posted: December 05, 2007 at 10:57 PM (#2636056)
And it's not only with the HOF and its voters, it's to the entire baseball community. There's always that BUT. "Yeah, your guys were great, BUT you can't really say they belong in the Hall because your criteria are different."

One couldn't say that, as our criteria is almost entirely a subset of theirs. With the exception of Rose, Jackson and arguably Allen and Beckwith.

What we can't say is that the people they've inducted using their broader 'contribution to the game' type criteria are mistakes (Rizzuto, Chance, and so on).
   78. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 05, 2007 at 11:27 PM (#2636097)
FWIW, DanG, I completely agree with you. What the group should be focusing on now is getting the qualified players elected to the real Hall.

And most importantly, we should be working on disseminating our judgments about who is worthy of a spot in the Hall, using the language of the HoF voters. Preaching to them about how they just DONT consider OBP, and oh they're so stupid, and, Bruce Sutter, like what the ####?; none of that is what we need.

There are many HoM-not-HoF guys for whom we could potentially influence their chance of election, because their body of work is such that they don't require "new-fangled stats" or "moneyball" or whatever the people who look down on us think we do, and we should try to make that happen.
   79. mulder & scully Posted: December 05, 2007 at 11:35 PM (#2636110)
wow, poor proofing on my part.

It should read The Hall of Merit should USE its own standards.

DanG - I don't want to knock you out of the park. I agree with Sean's comments. Beyond that, I think when we include "contributions to the game" it becomes too big of a bullsh t dump. We all have our various BS dumps, but one problem with the HoF's "sportsmanship, character and contribution to the game" for me is that these undefined terms can be used as excuses for inducting/voting for a player with lesser on-field accomplishments or as excuses for not inducting/voting for a player who would seem to have HOF-worthy numbers.

One reason I have thought of the HOF as a joke for 20+ years were the elections of various players (usually VC, but not all) over very comparable players because of who they were teammates with, because "they helped their teams win," or because they were more famous. The HoM is attractive to me precisely because we are trying to have more concrete standards than the memories of 75 year old men (referring to the 1944/45 elections specifically) or being teammates of Frankie Frisch.

Whatever we decide to do, this new chapter has reinvigorated my interest in the project which had greatly waned once Jones and Browning got in.
   80. mulder & scully Posted: December 05, 2007 at 11:54 PM (#2636130)
zop,

I agree with your third paragraph. I do think the information / knowledge that this community has gathered could make excellent arguments for getting players elected to the HoF and that shrill arguments about Sutter or the fact that general HoF voters are statistical idiots would get us nowhere.

General comment:
Helping the general voter understand the importance of home parks historically (which I think many will find acceptable after experiencing Coors Field), the changes in the game (which based on voters comments about 500 homeruns this summer, they may be recognizing), and similarity of non-HOF to non-Frisch HOF are things the HOM could do well. But I think that arguing sportsmanship, character, contributions to the game gets into the idea of "insider" knowledge and old comments about "We don't know what goes on in a clubhouse" or "Their contributions can't be seen in the numbers."
   81. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 06, 2007 at 12:05 AM (#2636138)
Just taking the first 20 names on the HoM-not-HoF list, and picking out guys off the top of my head who might have some traction among the BBWAA or VC...

7 Browning, Pete-has the reputation and the raw stats; he's also the famous Louisville Slugger which probably counts for something.


11 Dahlen, Bill- he had some excellent offensive years, and his defensive reputation can be substantiated by some historical research. Again, you don't need stats to put him over the top.

12 Dawson, Andre-He's close as is, and I think the stat-crowd's attack on his undeserving 1987 MVP has given him a rep as a anti-saber player. Our imprimatur upon his merit might make a real difference.

18 Gordon, Joe- Has the good team gloss, and I think that if we make the case that the Hall has been too stingy with war credit, that's an argument people will support; who wants to penalize guys who served in WWII?

20 Gossage, Rich- He'll probably get elected this year, but I think the support from a statistically-minded group would make a difference when it's commonly known that sabery fans are unfriendly to relievers
   82. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 06, 2007 at 12:31 AM (#2636179)
I like the schedule proposed by Joe in #52.

I could go either way about including non-HoMers in the positional rankings. I disagree with this though:

If the players eligible were better than a Hall of Merit player, they should be in the Hall of Merit.

You don't have any PHoM players behind some non-PHoM players? I know I do.
   83. sunnyday2 Posted: December 06, 2007 at 01:13 AM (#2636224)
Which way do you think this should aim, Marc?


I suppose they were numbered #1 and #2 for a reason.

I just thought that djrelays proposal in #30 was dead on and I thought it was getting watered down. And as much as it pains me, I have to agree 110 percent with zoperino,if you're not into the whole brevity thing in #78. (Though I have to say I really don't understand that if it's zoperino, then how come the brevity thing is 'zop. Wouldn't that be zop'...?)
   84. Chris Cobb Posted: December 06, 2007 at 04:27 AM (#2636379)
And most importantly, we should be working on disseminating our judgments about who is worthy of a spot in the Hall, using the language of the HoF voters.

The thing is, what the electorate does is form judgments.

Disseminating those judgments is not a project for the electorate as a whole to work on together. That's a job for a small groups of writers or individual writers, with the rest of the electorate able to offer editorial advice on documents that are being prepared. We did this kind of advocacy when the Negro League committee created a comment period, which gave us an opening to send them a brief. We don't know how much of an impact we had (perhaps very little), but their selections did agree quite well with our comments. We don't know if we will have other formal opportunities to send comments, but we might think of the ranking of the HoMers in each of the voting pools as our forming a judgment of which players we ought to advocate for first, and most strongly. If voters want actually to seek out our judgments, we're not hard to find!

I think we would do better to make our case for the players we think are most deserving, seizing opportunities to provide comment, rather than advocating for players who are "our guys" just because those are the ones who seem to have the best chance of getting the attention of the Hall. We don't do strategic voting, and I think we would be ill-advised, in the long run, to do "strategic advocacy."

That's partly why I disagree with DanG about adopting the Hall's election criteria as our own for the rankings project. In the longer term, if we are in it for the longer term, we ought to sustain and foster our mission of offering carefully reasoned, value-based judgments about players' on the field merits. That's what, in the longer term, will lead people to listen to what we have to say, because we have built a deserved reputation for credibility and reliability in what we do. We've just spent five years building the Hall of Merit! What we do, as the Hall of Merit electorate, should continue to build on that achievement. That doesn't mean we are navel-gazing or unconcerned about what happens at the Cooperstown hall. Of course we care: the Hall of Merit exists because we care. But I think we can best serve the cause of reform in the Hall of Fame by serving as an example and as a source of advice given on the basis of our methods and criteria, but given in ways that are, as much as we can make them, respectful of Cooperstown's mission and couched in terms that will be meaningful to their voters.
   85. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 06, 2007 at 05:14 AM (#2636409)
(Though I have to say I really don't understand that if it's zoperino, then how come the brevity thing is 'zop. Wouldn't that be zop'...?)

It's a (slightly modified) quote from the Big Lebowski.

Don't feel bad about agreeing with me, sunnyday. You may even come to like the feeling after awhile.
   86. DanG Posted: December 06, 2007 at 04:37 PM (#2636776)
Chris, you’re probably twice the chess player I am, but with all due respect, you’re advocating for a passive strategy. “We’re here if you need us, whenever you’re ready to be informed.” I see this as neither respectful to Cooperstown nor very meaningful.

What is the point of the ranking project? What question do we seek to answer? Is it not “Whom should the Hall of Fame elect next?” Right? The assumed preface to this question is “Given the scholarship and diligence of the HoM assessments,….” That’s how we want it to be understood. But, it’s too easy to cast the primary assumption to say, “Given the rules and procedures of the HoM,….”

If we do the ranking project using HoM criteria, both assumptions are true. Wouldn’t it be better if we operated under the first assumption only? Using the HOF rules would make our results more relevant. They could be directly applied to the question “Whom should the Hall of Fame elect next?” rather than having to adjust them later to fit the HOF.

=========================================================

Of equal importance is the question, “How can we get them to listen?” Where is our best lever? How best to penetrate The Wall and influence what happens in there?

Chris say stay the course. Do our thing. I’m saying look up! Yes, “we ought to sustain and foster our mission of offering carefully reasoned, value-based judgments about players”, as Chris wrote. But I think we are entirely capable enough to continue assessing players in this manner while incorporating the elements of the HOF criteria into our evaluations.

In the end we’ll have two lists. The first is essentially the one in #62 that only assesses players’ on the field merits that we just spent five years creating. The second list starts with that and incorporates a players’ “ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the game.” As always, (and indeed, like the Hall voters themselves) each voter will decide just what that means, what is important in that evaluation.

By doing it EXACTLY like them, only doing it better, we have the opportunity to demonstrate to the world how things could be; that there is a better way. Making carefully reasoned, value-based judgments of merit is the path to true honor for baseball’s greats. How do you feel more honored, knowing you made it because your friends voted for you, or knowing that a comprehensive look at your accomplishments demonstrated to others that you deserve the honor? This is the contrast we need to promote, between how they do things and our better way. That it is our knowledge and care that lead to a better result, more so than a difference in criteria.

So we can sit back and say, here’s how you should change your rules and procedures, and be ignored. Or we can go and beat them at their own game. I think the second way is a better lever.

=========================================================

Howie said: “Using the HOF criteria seems like a rabbit hole to me.
"Contributions to the game" - suddenly managing and broadcasting come into play?”

This is EXACTLY where we should go. Despite Chris’ optimism, the walrus ain’t coming here anytime soon. We need to go through the looking glass into their realm. This is an active strategy. Hitting them where they live, being on the offense in the battle, at the risk of being offensive. But that is how you move people who will not be moved – going on their ground, playing by their rules and grabbing them by the shirt collar until they listen.

We’re operating from a position of strength. They hold the citadel of power but we are legion. What are they gonna do, shut down the HoM? They have no strong defense for giving major support to Oliva and Wills and little to Grich and Simmons. We can beat them at their own game, so why not do it?

=========================================================

The more I think about doing the rankings project on our own turf, the less jazzed up I feel. The results are already known, for the most part; it’s gonna look a lot like the list in #62. Any significant movements are predictable. Taking months just to tweak that list isn’t very exciting. I suppose I’d participate, but eh.

But if we consider Being Joe Morgan, and entering the mind of a Hall voter? Now that’s interesting!

I remind myself that radical ideas don’t become mainstream overnight.
   87. DanG Posted: December 06, 2007 at 04:48 PM (#2636799)
The list from #62, with corrections. Simmons and Richardson added. Beckley deleted.

97.7 - Tim Raines (2008)
94.4 - Deacon White (1898)
94.0 - Paul Hines (1898)
93.4 - Bert Blyleven (1998)
92.3 - Pete Rose (1993)
88.9 - Bill Dahlen (1915)
87.7 - Ron Santo (1980)
86.0 - Alan Trammell (2002)
85.9 - Mark McGwire* (2007)
82.4 - Jack Glasscock (1904)
81.5 - Ted Simmons (1994)
79.5 - George Gore (1898)
77.5 - Lou Whitaker (2001)
75.5 - Will Clark (2006)
75.6 - Ezra Sutton (1908)
74.7 - Rich Gossage (2000)
74.4 - Joe Jackson (1927)
73.5 - Cal McVey (1914)
72.5 - Joe Start (1912)
68.9 - Dick Allen (1983)
68.4 - Ross Barnes (1898)
67.1 - Hardy Richardson (1905)
67.1 - Grant Johnson (1925)
65.2 - Bobby Grich (1992)
64.9 - Heinie Groh (1938)
63.2 - Harry Stovey (1916)
61.6 - Jimmy Sheckard (1930)
60.9 - Charlie Bennett (1921)
60.2 - Sherry Magee (1926)
59.9 - Joe Torre (1984)
58.0 - John Beckwith (1957)
56.6 - Bob Caruthers (1930)
53.0 - Dickey Pearce (1931)
49.8 - Keith Hernandez (1996)
48.6 - Stan Hack (1958)
43.6 - Darrell Evans (1995)
43.0 - Bill Freehan (1985)
42.6 - Dwight Evans (1997)
41.8 - Joe Gordon (1976)
41.3 - Wes Ferrell (1964)
40.5 - Lip Pike (1940)
39.1 - Billy Pierce (1987)
36.2 - Quincy Trouppe (1995)
35.5 - Cupid Childs (1988)
35.1 - Ken Boyer (1991)
34.7 - Minnie Minoso (1987)
34.2 - Charlie Keller (1996)
32.4 - Dick Lundy (2008)
31.7 - Jimmy Wynn (1996)
29.9 - Dobie Moore (1991)
28.7 - Bret Saberhagen (2008)
28.2 - Willie Randolph (2001)
28.1 - Pete Browning (2005)
26.7 - Dave Stieb (2002))
25.3 - Alejandro Oms (2006)
25.2 - Andre Dawson (2005)
25.1 - Graig Nettles (2006)
24.9 - Charley Jones (2003)
   88. DL from MN Posted: December 06, 2007 at 05:21 PM (#2636859)
I think # of years on ballot would be useful in that table.

40% 1st ballot is different than 40% 23rd ballot
   89. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 06, 2007 at 05:49 PM (#2636921)
Another key point is that we need to consider the implications of "fairness to all eras"

A major factor determing the HoM-not-HoF list is that we smoothed out the glut of 30's players (not as much as we should've, perhaps, but relative to the HoF), and we took those excess spots and redistributed them to other eras. Look at that list; its highly heterogeneous by decade.

If we advocate for the most marginal HoMers from the eras underrepresented in the HoF, we are essentially making the "better than the worst" fallacy; we're advocating a standard set by the worst members of the Hall. The voters of the Hall might not want to be "fair to all eras"; they might recognize the Frisch-blip as an unfortunate aberration. Candidates whose merit requires a standard set by the inclusiveness of that era, even when redistributed through time, are not going to get traction with Hall voters. As many in our electorate have noted, when you match the hall's numbers distributed over all eras, the standard seems to low; the Hall will not admit, and should not admit, Nettles and Keller.

It is important to figure out what the "true" modern standard for the hall is, throwing out the obviously fallacious old VC members. Assess where that line falls in our HoM-not-Hof list. Then advocate for the players who are above it.
   90. DanG Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:27 PM (#2636991)
It is important to figure out what the "true" modern standard for the hall is, throwing out the obviously fallacious old VC members. Assess where that line falls in our HoM-not-Hof list. Then advocate for the players who are above it.

Right. I think that means that doing a ranking project for the HOFer-not-HoMer group would be useful, as well.
   91. sunnyday2 Posted: December 06, 2007 at 06:59 PM (#2637067)
It is important to figure out what the "true" modern standard for the hall is, throwing out the obviously fallacious old VC members. Assess where that line falls in our HoM-not-Hof list. Then advocate for the players who are above it.


As a practical matter, it will be the top 2 on each list. I mean, seriously. If they listen to us at all, it will be no more than that. They might take 1 or 2 names from us and add them to THEIR list. Like they did with G. Davis. They're not gonna replace THEIR list.
   92. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 06, 2007 at 08:21 PM (#2637199)
Hahah, 'zop, funny you singled out Nettles and Keller--two of your faves--as undeserving of admission to a smaller HoM. By my criteria at any rate, if you give Keller credit for 1938 as well as the war (as I know you do), he's not far from the HoM median...I love Nettles and was one of his biggest advocates, but I agree he's near the bottom of the HoM.
   93. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 06, 2007 at 08:51 PM (#2637251)
Hahah, 'zop, funny you singled out Nettles and Keller--two of your faves--as undeserving of admission to a smaller HoM.

That was intentional. I don't think that this should be about our favorite pet candidates anymore. If the HoM consensus thought that Joe Torre was a much stronger candidate than Charlie Keller, then I'll go along with it even if I think it's slightly touched.
   94. buddaley Posted: December 06, 2007 at 10:16 PM (#2637388)
I disagree about leaving Rose on the ballot. The issue with him is not whether he was a HOF caliber player but is unrelated to his play on the field. It is an entirely different issue whether Rose belongs in than whether Santo or Blyleven does and muddies the discussion. The only question with Rose is whether a banned player should be allowed into the Hall, or alternatively, whether he should have been banned. Had that issue not arisen, Rose would have been elected on the first ballot overwhelmingly. If Rose is left on and there are limits on how many a person may vote for, his inclusion creates a confusing debate that leads discussion into digressions.

The Jackson discussion is slightly different in that there might be some argument that his short career should be held against him. Otherwise, if there is consensus that purely on his playing performance he belongs in, there is no reason to include him either as it causes the same confusion.

If you want to consider a player who was banned it should be Cicotte, but as he is not in the Hall of Merit (I wonder why) that point is moot. In his case, an argument both ways could be made purely on his pitching career.
   95. sunnyday2 Posted: December 06, 2007 at 10:23 PM (#2637399)
By standards of HIS day, even when he was pitching--that is, ignore for a moment that he had a short career and that it was as a result of his own actions--even when he was pitching, Cicotte was not consistently a dominant pitcher. He had a tendency to have a good year and a bad year. It just didn't add up. Grimes was better and he's not in.
   96. Mark Donelson Posted: December 06, 2007 at 10:49 PM (#2637428)
The second list starts with that and incorporates a players’ “ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the game.”

DanG, while I think you make a lot of good points, the fact remains that I, for one, am really not at all interested in incorporating all those things into rankings of the HOM-not-HoFers. I don't want to enter the mind of an HOF voter. It just isn't very interesting to me. It's as if we were making lists of great movies, and then we said, "Now let's fold in how these movies did at the box office, and rank them with that criterion added somehow."

I can completely see how that might be interesting to some people too, actually. But I don't care enough to even make the effort to take part in either case.

Now, if it's just me, or even just me and a couple of others, that doesn't matter much or at all, of course. But I suspect that at least a portion of the existing electorate might feel the same. The real question is, how much of the electorate would you get to participate in a vote such as the one you're describing? Would it be enough to be representative?

More broadly, though, I agree with Marc that before proceeding much further with this ranking idea, we need to figure out which fork in the road we're taking, because this thread is splitting off into two distinctly different camps, and there seems to be less and less common ground between them with every post. The way things are going, we're not going to be ranking anything....
   97. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 06, 2007 at 11:47 PM (#2637486)
I will comment more in detail later - but for now suffice it to say that I firmly believe we should do what we do.

We want to influence the Hall of Fame, sure. But we do that by doing what we do and building respect for that, as some said above. We never endorsed the Hall of Fame's criteria, there is no reason to start now.

We are advocating for the best players, period. If the best players don't fall under the Hall of Fame's criteria, than that is on them. All we can and should do is advocate for the best players. If they turn around and say, "sure he was great, but doesn't meet this portion of our criteria" then that's up to them.

We are hoping they notice, but we are doing this for ourselves - so we can focus on which candidates to push first. As an institution, we don't care about their BS dumps. If anything, I'd rather push for them to remove the BS dumps from their criteria.
   98. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 06, 2007 at 11:50 PM (#2637488)
Bill James, in explaining his criteria for advocating a Hall of Fame case used the question:

Is he the very best player that is not enshrined?

That's what this ranking projected is attempting to answer, so we can focus on who to push.
   99. buddaley Posted: December 07, 2007 at 12:28 AM (#2637524)
But with Rose and Jackson you are not asking that question because the answer is self-evident. Of course Rose and Jackson are the two best players not inducted (again, unless you hold Jackson's short career against him), so just say they are should be in and take it out of the discussion or separate them into a different discussion. If you leave them in the discussion, it confuses the issue because their worthiness is not in dispute, nor are they comparable to anyone else on the list.

The issue in their case is not even comparable to a discussion that might arise about Dick Allen, for example. It is possible some voters would oppose him because they believe he was a disruptive influence and so not a winner. The issue with Rose and Jackson is not one of character exactly; especially in Rose's case, it is a purely technical issue. In fact, if "baseball character" is important, that would be to his advantage.
   100. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: December 07, 2007 at 12:34 AM (#2637527)
Has anyone else noticed the amazing coincidence that the top 58 rated players not to make the HoF happen to also fall in alphabetical order? What is the mathematical probability of that??
Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Infinite Joost (Voxter)
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.6743 seconds
49 querie(s) executed