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Monday, July 14, 2008

Ranking the Hall of Merit Third Basemen - Discussion

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

Dick Allen
Frank Baker
John Beckwith
Wade Boggs
George Brett
Ken Boyer
Jimmy Collins
Darrell Evans
Heinie Groh
Stan Hack
Eddie Mathews
Paul Molitor
Graig Nettles
Brooks Robinson
Ron Santo
Mike Schmidt
Ezra Sutton
Jud Wilson.

The election will start on July 20 and end on Aug 3.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 14, 2008 at 12:59 AM | 226 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 25, 2008 at 08:04 PM (#2873182)
Based on Dan's translation for Jud Wilson, I'm going to jump him from 15 to between #5-#7 on my ballot. Not sure if I'll have him above or behind Sutton and/or Baker yet (I wasn't giving Baker credit for the take care of the family season, incorrectly).

This seems like a massive jump, but it isn't. I've got the guys from 6-15, VERY tight on my ballot. Numbers wise it's the difference between .93 PA and 1.05 PA, or about one 7.5 WARP season - separating that entire group from top to bottom.
   202. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 25, 2008 at 08:04 PM (#2873183)
test
   203. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 25, 2008 at 08:23 PM (#2873221)
Is the consensus that Baker deserves credit for that missing time?
   204. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 25, 2008 at 08:34 PM (#2873262)
I think that one is pretty easy to give. I would also give him credit for the hold out year too.
   205. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 25, 2008 at 08:36 PM (#2873271)
Funny, there are two Trappe, MD towns out there. Anyone know if Baker was from the one in Talbot county or Worcester county?
   206. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 25, 2008 at 09:02 PM (#2873337)
Ah, well, with credit for 1915 and 1920, Baker moves past Santo on my ballot.
   207. Paul Wendt Posted: July 26, 2008 at 09:25 PM (#2875325)
203. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 25, 2008 at 04:23 PM (#2873221)
Is the consensus that Baker deserves credit for that missing time?

No consensus, and for many people there is nothing to force a decision. (One is forced to do something only if using a career-sum system strictly.)

Most of us did not want to face all that is involved in taking seriously the notion of "forces beyond his control". At the same time we prefer to face privately, rather than in public discussion, the consequences of distinguishing honorable and dishonorable alternatives to baseball.

As you may know, karlmagnus recognizes Sam Leever's work as a schoolteacher. Baseball was a bad job then, when Lajoie, Wagner, and Leever, and their mini-generation
--made crucial decisions about developing their skills (if they did)
--pursued their dreams without reflection (if they did),
etc.

Many ballplayers who served in the military were volunteers. At least they missed more baseball time than if they waited to be drafted or otherwise "impressed". Some volunteered for war work (pursued civilian jobs in war industries) rather than risk a combat role in the military by waiting.

I believe most of us recognize honorable alternatives, without looking too closely at the details. That is, few of us insist on plausible "forces beyond his control". Fewer still give no credit and claim to add up annual baseball performances without any adjustments similar to giving credit. (David C. Jones is one, back in 2002-2004.)

I agree with Joe Dimino --or I would if I "claim(ed) to add up annual baseball performances without any adjustments similar to giving credit", which is substantial agreement. It doesn't make sense to me, giving credit for war work or soldiering without giving credit to Frank Baker. (On the facts supposed here. I haven't read the Baker biography or engaged any Baker research.)
   208. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 27, 2008 at 08:41 PM (#2876935)
Goose Gossage just said that Dick Allen was the best player he ever played with, and he said he played with a lot of greats. Took him under his wing, taught him how to play the game right, etc..

I realize it's just one opinion, but the guy is a Hall of Famer. Doesn't sound like something you'd hear about a destroyer of clubhouses to me.
   209. Mike Green Posted: July 28, 2008 at 03:29 PM (#2877782)
Personally, I wouldn't attach the weight to something a teammate said 30 years after the fact that I would to the contemporaneous reports.
   210. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 28, 2008 at 09:16 PM (#2878365)
I think that's crazy Mike.

Who cares what the media thought? Dick Allen wasn't good with the media. We get it. I don't care if he was a distraction to them or didn't help them do their jobs. I love Howie, but I'm not going to knock Dick Allen because the media didn't like him.

When he traded they got value for him. It wasn't like he was given away. Besides, that part is a zero sum game anyway.

I do care that a Hall of Famer who could have not mentioned Allen at all, went out of his way to say he was the best player he ever played with (and this Hall of Famer played on multiple World Series teams), and that Allen went out of his way to help said Hall of Famer as a youngster. Especially since this Hall of Famer is white and so much of Allen's issues were related to race.

I will take that over a contemporary media report any time.

Where are all of the reports of teammates hating Allen? I haven't seen very much of that, other than the Frank Thomas incident, which was pretty much entirely Thomas' fault. It was always management or media that seem to have had the issues.
   211. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 28, 2008 at 09:17 PM (#2878369)
Who cares what the media thought? Dick Allen wasn't good with the media. We get it. I don't care if he was a distraction to them or didn't help them do their jobs. I love Howie, but I'm not going to knock Dick Allen because the media didn't like him.


Just to want to be clear I wasn't saying Howie had issues with Allen. I was trying to relay that I respect reporters and feel bad for them when athletes make their jobs tougher than they need to be. Still doesn't mean I'm going to dock the player for it, that's all I was getting at.
   212. TomH Posted: July 29, 2008 at 12:31 PM (#2879754)
Has the new Vets committee, made up of HoFers, some of whom played with/against Allen, weighed in on Dick?
   213. DanG Posted: July 29, 2008 at 02:15 PM (#2879809)
Has the new Vets committee, made up of HoFers, some of whom played with/against Allen, weighed in on Dick?

Outside of giving him crappy support I haven't heard anything. In the three elections 2003-05-07 Allen received 16%, 15% and 13.4%. Very much in line with his BBWAA support (who cheated him out of a year of eligibility, BTW).
   214. Mike Green Posted: July 29, 2008 at 07:06 PM (#2880269)
Joe,

The contemporaneous reports from teammates, managers and so on, were mixed. It seems clear that Allen did get along with some players (and not only Gossage) and not others, and when he did not get along, things got combustible quickly. He had problems with drinking and responsibility (not showing up at games...) that were not the invention of reporters.

Did he cause any more trouble than Albert Belle, say? Probably, but by all accounts, Philadelphia of the 60s was probably a tougher environment for a player like Allen than Cleveland of the 90s.
   215. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 30, 2008 at 05:37 AM (#2881714)
That seems fair Mike.

I don't really remember Belle causing much trouble though, he seemed to just be a real jerk outside the clubhouse (the trick or treater thing, etc.).

Regarding 212/213 - haven't many of the players received pretty poor support from the new Veteran's Committee?

For example, among HoMers he was middle of the pack . . .

Santo 57 (62 of 82 needed for election)
Torre 26
Minoso 12
Allen 11
Gordon 10
Boyer 9
Ferrell 7

Among players of his generation:

Santo 57
Kaat 52
Oliva 47
Torre 26
Pinson 16
Tiant 15
Flood 14
Oliver 14
Allen 11
Boyer 9
Lolich 8
Bonds 1

Not sure that that says much.
   216. TomH Posted: July 30, 2008 at 07:33 PM (#2882337)
good info Joe!
   217. DanG Posted: July 30, 2008 at 07:47 PM (#2882363)
Not sure that that says much.

Only that the HOFers agree with the writers' assessment of Allen; equally clueless.
   218. Howie Menckel Posted: August 01, 2008 at 02:59 AM (#2885767)
No offense taken, Joe.

Hell, I'm not THAT old....

:)
   219. Paul Wendt Posted: August 01, 2008 at 07:54 PM (#2886640)
213. DanG Posted: July 29, 2008 at 10:15 AM (#2879809)

> Has the new Vets committee, made up of HoFers, some of whom played with/against Allen, weighed in on Dick?

Outside of giving him crappy support I haven't heard anything. In the three elections 2003-05-07 Allen received 16%, 15% and 13.4%. Very much in line with his BBWAA support (who cheated him out of a year of eligibility, BTW).
--

The veterans committees were rearranged last summer, even for jurisdiction over recent players, which revisions will be in effect this fall and winter.

There were 84(?) men privileged to vote in 2007, with about 25 players on the ballot.
Only a few of them did not vote.
About 50 were Hall of Fame players, about 30 were honored broadcasters and beatwriters.
Does anyone have the precise numbers?

This fall the Hall of Fame players alone will have jurisdiction over the recent players (HOM "Group 2")
--and they have no vote except for recent players.

Dick Allen may be as likely as anyone to "gain" from cutting out the Frick and Spink honorees.

From mlb.com, 2007-07-28, emphasis mine
>>
Candidates on any ballot require 75-percent plurality for election. The numbers that will change on the Veterans Committee ballots are the total of candidates, down to 10 from 25-30 on the players' ballot and from 15 on the composite ballot.

"I thought the players' ballot was too big and so did a lot of Hall of Famers," board member Tom Seaver said. "This will make it easier for the Hall of Famers to digest. You still have to get 75 percent."

The major changes were to keep the players' ballot in the hands of living Hall of Fame players, removing Ford C. Frick Award winners for broadcasting and J.G. Taylor Spink Award winners for writing from the electorate, and to establish a 16-member, Board-appointed committee of Hall of Famers, executives, veteran writers and historians to vote on the managers/umpires ballot.
<<
   220. Paul Wendt Posted: August 01, 2008 at 07:57 PM (#2886646)
Dick Allen may be as likely as anyone to "gain" from cutting out the Frick and Spink honorees.
and Ron Santo may be as likely as anyone to "lose"?

Santo polled 57 of 82 votes. He will need something like 45 of 60.
   221. DL from MN Posted: August 01, 2008 at 08:07 PM (#2886684)
This feels like it will help Santo. I can imagine he polled better among players than among writers and broadcasters. I couldn't say if it will help Kaat. It would suck if Jim Kaat is the first elected player from the current incarnation of the VC.
   222. DanG Posted: August 02, 2008 at 08:19 PM (#2887751)
IIRC, voters will be limited to picking five players max from the 10-man ballot. Can't find the reference for that right now.
   223. Paul Wendt Posted: August 03, 2008 at 11:23 PM (#2888829)
Quoting bjhanke (Brock) from the ballot thread.
He is out of town and plans to return comments and discussion after he returns.

>>
11. Ron Santo

I spent more time comparing Dick Allen to Ron Santo than I did on anything else except Jimmy Collins.
[Maybe that refers to ISO-specific adjustment for ballpark or home/away -Ed.]

Santo's personal batting splits are astonishingly in his favor, even given Wrigley. I only adjust for that if the difference is significant. It is here.

[later]
Paul Wendt says, "Be careful about presuming that a bandbox is a bandbox or once a bandbox always a bandbox."

Oh, boy is THAT true! It's one of the factors that really figures in my ranking of Santo. He was in Wrigley during one of it's super-bandbox phases, as best I can tell from here in LA.
<<

Brock,

Naturally, yours is one of the lowest rankings, biggest downgrades for Ron Santo.

- "bandbox". Are you measuring and adjusting for run environment, homerun environment, or some composite such as ISO? (I have been using it generally, presuming that detail makes no difference, but your remarks on Collins and other beaneaters at South Side Grounds suggests otherwise.)

- "even given Wrigley". Does that mean after some adjustment that is uniform for all batters or all right-hand batters or something along those lines (a traditional adjustment)?
Maybe "day baseball" was good for Ron Santo?


Everyone,

For Wrigley Field in Ron Santo's time, day/night may be an important cause of performance including some differences between players. Home games were all day games and most road games were night games.

I do not suggest that we should "adjust away" those differences. For now, were there real differences among players in their skills at day and night baseball? Where would we see it? One large-sample location would be in home/away splits for Chicago Cubs. There would be greater variation in home/away splits for Cubs than for other teams, both at season and career levels of analysis. Among Cubs players for about 40 years there would be some regular strong performers and some regular weak performers at home, measured relative to the team-average home/away split.
   224. Paul Wendt Posted: August 04, 2008 at 04:25 PM (#2889417)
continuing #219 on the veterans committees

Here is Wikipedia's bullet summary concerning the recent players.
222. DanG Posted: August 02, 2008 at 04:19 PM (#2887751)
IIRC, voters will be limited to picking five players max from the 10-man ballot. Can't find the reference for that right now.

Changes affecting player elections
* The players ballot is now restricted to players whose careers began in 1943 or later.
* Voting for the players ballot is now restricted to Hall of Fame members. [not players; all members]
Winners of the Frick and Spink Awards are considered "honorees" and are thus ineligible to vote on the main players ballot.
* The list of those eligible for the players ballot will be separately reviewed by a six-member panel of Hall of Famers, which will select five players for the ballot.
* The two lists are then merged, with duplicate selections appearing only once, creating a single ballot of 20 to 25 players. This specific part of the voting procedure was not changed in 2007.
* Next, all living Hall of Famers are invited to a meeting at the Hall of Fame during induction weekend. The Hall of Famers who are present at this meeting will narrow the list to a final ballot of 10 players.
* The final players ballot is sent to all living Hall of Famers, who can vote for as many as four individuals.


This is discouraging. How will they elect anyone without discussion? Cutting from 20-25 to ten candidates will cut some of the favorites of some voters but the limitation to vote for 4 of 10 will be harsh.
They may need a public campaign to draw attention to the leading candidates and persuade them that no one else is viable now. Or some internal leadership. Or a consensus-building experience on induction weekend. If most of the living members are present and most of them come away with a sense of which candidates have big majorities in their favor, the whole body might elect someone by mail.

It will be a challenge, quite unlike the self-governing committee of 12 that includes 7 ballclub owners and chief executives, sitting at a conference table together and all knowing that it takes 9 votes to elect someone. "Do you think we are ready to vote?" "No, I don't think we have a consensus yet."
   225. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 04, 2008 at 08:40 PM (#2889700)
Winners of the Frick and Spink Awards are considered "honorees" and are thus ineligible to vote on the main players ballot.


Hey, wait a minute, Paul! Every morning I hear Mike Greenberg refer to Peter Gammons as "Hall-of-Famer Peter Gammons." Greenie wouldn't be wrong, would he? ;-)
   226. Paul Wendt Posted: August 05, 2008 at 04:17 PM (#2890823)
This is discouraging. How will they elect anyone without discussion? Cutting from 20-25 to ten candidates will cut some of the favorites of some voters but the limitation to vote for 4 of 10 will be harsh.
There will be voters who support 6 or 8 players and find 5 or 6 of them on the final ballot.

Here is some related analysis of the executives election last fall.
Results, executives election 2008 (12 members, 10 nominees, vote for no more than 4)
10 Bowie Kuhn
10 Barney Dreyfuss
9 Walter O'Malley
5 Ewing Kauffman
4 John Fetzer
3 Marvin Miller
3 Bob Howsam
* Buzzie Bavasi
* Gabe Paul
* John McHale

The first seven are official tallies and they sum to 44. The committee's collective resources were 48 votes.
The three also-rans reaped ;-) "fewer than three" votes each. We may deduce that they scored 0 to 4 votes jointly and we may infer 4 votes divided 2-2-0 or 2-1-1. If the members did not cast all 48 of their votes they were very close to that. Kauffman, Fetzer, and Miller may have the support of 9 or more members. Logically, it's possible that the four general managers all have unanimous support of the members!

[There is more to be said but this isn't a good place to say it.]
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