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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tom Henke, Dave Stewart and Dave Righetti

All eligible in 2001.

Tom Henke

Dave Stewart

Dave Righetti

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 25, 2007 at 05:30 PM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 25, 2007 at 05:37 PM (#2416739)
Of the three, I like Henke the best.
   2. plim Posted: June 25, 2007 at 06:44 PM (#2416812)
someone remind me how dave stewart won 84 games in 4 years, and 84 games in his other 12?!
   3. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 25, 2007 at 06:50 PM (#2416823)
Some of the best games I've ever seen, were those Dave Stewart/Roger Clemens duels in the late 80's. Stew always seemed to do what he had to to win those games. A fierce, fierce competitor and the guy Dave Duncan made his reputation as a reclamation expert on. One of the most beloved Oakland A's of all time. A scary looking dude, with a small, Mike Tyson voice. Now, I'm heading to retrosheet to find a couple of those Clemens/Stewart games...
   4. OCF Posted: June 25, 2007 at 07:00 PM (#2416834)
I already posted this on the discussion thread, but I'll post it here too since it now has a home:

Dave Stewart: Kicked around for a long time, for multiple teams, before suddenly emerging as a star at the age of 30. Had a 4-year run in which he won 20 every year. By RA+ Pythpat, I have those 4 years as 16-13, 17-14, 16-12, 19-11. He was, at least, an innings-eating workhorse during that time. Once, uncharacteristically, led the league in balks. If you just saw a picture of him, you could imagine him as having that Bob Gibson intimidating face thing going; if you ever heard him speak, the high-pitched voice ruined the effect.

I have his career RA+ equivalent record as 149-143, a rather large gap apart from his actual 168-129. Compare Bob Forsch at 153-157 (actual 168-136) and I didn't correct Forsch for his own hitting; doing that would probably move Forsch above .500 equivalent.

Of the three, I like Henke the best.

I haven't looked that closely yet, but I think John is probably right.
   5. Squash Posted: June 25, 2007 at 07:11 PM (#2416843)
What made Stewart great after he came to the A's (and made Duncan's rep, as noted above) was the forkball Duncan taught him. It was an intertesting time between Duncan in the east bay teaching forkballs and Craig in the city teaching split-finger fastballs.

The balk thing was weird - does anyone else remember? The league announced during spring training that they were going to crack down on pitchers not coming to a full stop in the stretch. A lot were called but Stewart had something like 8 just in April. Everyone was going insane ... I remember him doing the stare down thing on an umpire, freaking out and getting ejected from the game after #8. At that point the league realized that it was getting out of control and suddenly no more balks were called on anyone. What year was this, 88 or 89 or something like that?
   6. BDC Posted: June 25, 2007 at 07:28 PM (#2416856)
remind me how dave stewart won 84 games in 4 years, and 84 games in his other 12?

Well, he was mostly a middle reliever till he turned 30 ...
   7. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 25, 2007 at 08:32 PM (#2416904)
Squash, I remember balkfest pretty well, too. Stewart had come out of (or spent time in) the Dodger chain, where they had taught the balk-move for years.

I also like Henke the best of this bunch. In terms of relief-career-only, there may be something to the idea that his relief career surpassed Eckersley's. WXRL sees it that way: Henke 36.9 (14 seasons with a relief appearance and 790 innings) of them to Eck's 30.4 (15 different seasons with a rel appearance, and 811 innings in relief). Here's their best to worst WXRLs in all relief seasons of ten or more relief innings (wxrl rounded to tenths):

NAME YR1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 career
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
HENKE 5.3 4.7 4.7 4.3 3.7 3.6 3.6 2.9 2.5 2.4 0.5 0.1 -0.4 -1.0 36.9
ECK 6.6 6.4 4.5 4.0 3.9 1.9 1.1 1.0 0.9 0.5 0.4 0.2 0.1 -0.9 30.4

Eck's all over him for years one and two, but thereafter, it's all about the Terminator making up ground and finally surpassing Eck in year seven.

Now here's the thing I don't quite understand about WXRL. How can it be combined with regular BP WARP? I think it must supplant it, actually. Eck's best five RP WARPS1 are 8.4, 8.1, 6.6, 6.1, 5.8. Obviously this is not the same as his WXRL, it's puffier. Yet WXRL by its PBP nature seems to have a claim for being more accurate since it takes game situations (and change in game state) and opposing-batter quality into account, and those are vital to understanding a reliever's real value. I'm inclined to think that WXRL should simply be added to any SP WARP in palce of RP WARP. Anyone else have any ideas? Or can tell me why I'm off base?

Unrelated note: Henke had one of the best last-years you'll ever see. His best WXRL was his last year. He retired too soon (or maybe while on top).
   8. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 25, 2007 at 09:14 PM (#2416955)
I actually have Righetti slightly ahead of Henke (and it's obvious from earlier posts that I love Henke).

The issues are that Henke didn't pitch enough - his workload was light, even though he was like Koufax when he was actually out there.

Righetti's first 3 years as a starter give him a nice bump, especially when you strike-adjust 1981. He's my all-time favorite player (tied with Dawson, Raines and Randolph), and I was glad he looked a little better when I crunched the numbers than I thought he would. He's not a HoMer, but he had a very nice career. He also broke the single season saves record in 1986, and held until Bobby Thigpen's crazy season in 1990.
   9. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 25, 2007 at 09:14 PM (#2416957)
BTW, Treder, if you can ever get him to a SF SABR chapter meeting, I'll fly out for it!
   10. Chris Cobb Posted: June 25, 2007 at 10:20 PM (#2417018)
I'm inclined to think that WXRL should simply be added to any SP WARP in palce of RP WARP. Anyone else have any ideas? Or can tell me why I'm off base?

It's not so much that you are off base but that you are outside the "baseline."

Unless WARP and WXRL are calculating "replacement level" in the same way, the numbers from the one system can't simply be plopped down in the other. I certainly trust WXRL more than I trust WARP for reliever vs. reliever comparisons, of course.
   11. Padgett Posted: June 25, 2007 at 10:26 PM (#2417026)
One of the most beloved Oakland A's of all time. A scary looking dude, with a small, Mike Tyson voice.
It's easy to have an irrationally high opinion of Stew. But speaking of his Tyson voice, here's the obligatory link to his Anaconda story.
   12. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 25, 2007 at 10:42 PM (#2417039)
It's good to be a ballplayer. I have to admit, if I'd had access to that much money and, um, comaraderie when I was in my 20's, I would probably have very similar stories to tell. Yes, I am bad.
   13. Padgett Posted: June 25, 2007 at 11:05 PM (#2417068)
It's been posted before, but here's the rundown on Stewart v. Clemens over 8 meetings from 1986 to 1990. I'll leave it to the reader to figure out which pitching line belongs to whom:
W-L  IP    H   R   ER  BB  SO  HR
8
-0  60.0  44  12  12  18  29  2
0
-7  45.3  49  27  23  23  41  4 


After four defeats in 1990 alone, it's no wonder Clemens got tossed in the fifth one.
   14. jimd Posted: June 25, 2007 at 11:41 PM (#2417124)
WXRL

Is it fielding adjusted?

Or does it ignore fielding by assuming all pitchers have average fielders behind them and get average fielding in each appearance?
   15. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 25, 2007 at 11:46 PM (#2417137)
Since I brought up WXRL, I have done a little combing through the BP stats to count up career WXRL for a dozen or so prominent relievers (through 2006). It gives a sense of scale. Here's the career totals I've gotten for them plus other info:
NAME         WXRL  top 5 top 10
-------------------------------- 
Wilhelm est1 64.0  26.0  45.1
Wilhelm est2 61.0  25.2  43.5
Hoffman      59.6  33.3  53.0
Rivera       59.0  32.1  56.5
Gossage      58.6  34.5  53.3
L Smith      46.8  24.0  36.0
Fingers      46.1  24.3  41.1
Franco       45.1  23.0  36.9
McGraw       40.0  28.4  41.8
Wilhelm act
39.0  24.4  36.8
Sutter       37.6  29.8  39.6
Henke        36.9  22.7  37.7
Wagner       36.6  25.7  38.6
Quisenberry  34.0  32.1  36.0
Orosco       33.8  18.7  29.5
D Jones      33.1  24.7  35.6
Tekulve      30.7  23.7  32.4
Eckersley    30.4  25.4  30.7
R Hernandez  29.3  24.4  31.4
Lyle         25.4  19.1  27.2
Marshall     23.6  22.1  27.3
Hiller       21.9  19.6  23.6
Garber       21.5  18.0  23.6
Hrabosky     15.9  14.9  17.1

-Wilhelm est1 is a simple proration of Wilhelm's known WXRL/rel. inn from 1959-1972 onto his rel inn from 1952-1958.
-Wilhelm est2 does the same, but at 90% of the known WXRL/rel. inn rate to form a more conservative estimate. 


So Wilhelm and Gossage look choice picks among RP by WXRL. Fingers looks iffy, especially, if has been suggested, Lee Smith is the in/out line. And who knew John Franco would end up looking that good? OK, Queens did.

So this sorts them out nicely among RP. Now how to figure out what WXRL means in WARP/WS terms....
   16. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 25, 2007 at 11:50 PM (#2417147)
jimd,

Not sure. The definitions of it the iterative stats leading up to WXRL don't say anything about fielding. Going back to the WX glossary entry:

Win expectancy looks at the inning, score, and runners on base when the reliever entered the game, and determines the probability of the team winning the game from that point with an average pitcher. Then it looks at how the reliever actually did, and how that changes the probability of winning. The difference between how the reliever improved the chances of winning and how an average pitcher would is his WX.

So nothing about fielding. One might be able to guesstimate the effect of fielding by going back to DERA/NRA, but I'm not sure (a) whether it's compatible (b) how/where you'd make the adjustment.
   17. Paul Wendt Posted: June 26, 2007 at 03:45 AM (#2417881)
here's the rundown on Stewart v. Clemens over 8 meetings from 1986 to 1990.

It was a raw April afternoon at Fenway Park, 1990-04-29. Rickey Henderson led off with a walk, took second on a groundout, and scored the only run. That is still my only visit to a luxury box during a game, co-owner Haywood Sullivan's box. Sullivan and John Harrington were present for part of the game, Harrington splitting time with Jean Yawkey's box next door. Sullivan was prideful that Cam Neely was there, but Neely had given the tickets to a friend and Sullivan didn't recognize the mismatch. We had an aluminum tray piled high with Fenway Franks --steamed hot dogs in flimsy white rolls. The novelty of it all must explain why it rings no bells for me that a 1-0 game with six hits and four walks for each team consumed more than three hours.
   18. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 26, 2007 at 11:52 AM (#2418174)
It's been posted before, but here's the rundown on Stewart v. Clemens over 8 meetings from 1986 to 1990. I'll leave it to the reader to figure out which pitching line belongs to whom:

W-L IP H R ER BB SO HR
8-0 60.0 44 12 12 18 29 2
0-7 45.3 49 27 23 23 41 4


Damn, I knew it was lopsided, but I hadn't realized it was THAT lopsided. I be $100 Clemens still hates Stewart's guts.
   19. JPWF13 Posted: June 26, 2007 at 07:24 PM (#2418561)
And then in 91/92 Stewart stopped pitching against Clemens and was a lot less effective against the BoSox, then on 8/15/93 he finally faced Clemens again- and won 9-1

that was his last start versus Clemens, his last start against Boston he lost 4-1 (to Wakefield)

The Clemens v. Stewart head to head match ups were just one of those inexplicable things
   20. Chris Cobb Posted: June 26, 2007 at 07:43 PM (#2418581)
So Wilhelm and Gossage look choice picks among RP by WXRL. Fingers looks iffy, especially, if has been suggested, Lee Smith is the in/out line. And who knew John Franco would end up looking that good? OK, Queens did.

In defense of Fingers, I'll note that his peak is significantly higher than Smith's. Its value shows up in pennants added, which flips Fingers ahead. And then there's Fingers' post-season performance, which had some impact on his merit.

I would also likr a fuller accounting of how the WXRL formulas values multi-inning saves, before I accept at face value its account for pre-1980 relief pitchers.

I would agree that in a smaller hall, Wilhelm and Gossage would be in and Fingers would not, but given the particular size of our hall it is quite conceivable that Fingers would be in and Smith not, or Fingers and Smith in and Franco not. The in-out line falls whenever we reach player 232, no matter how close in merit player 233 is.
   21. a bebop a rebop Posted: July 01, 2007 at 05:49 AM (#2425013)
here's the obligatory link to his Anaconda story.


It cracks me up that the song playing at the start of that video is All About U by 2pac.

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