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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Neyer: Kissing the Rolaids Relief Award goodbye

In 2006…. the Rolaids brand was acquired… Johnson & Johnson drastically reduced its distribution of Rolaids-brand products, and the attendant promotion of those products… [Heath] Bell and Rafael Soriano, the winners in 2010, didn’t get their trophies. José Valverde and John Axford, the winners in 2011, didn’t get theirs, either…

The way the Players Association saw it, the Rolaids Relief Man Award was still being promoted on a corporate website in 2010 and ’11, so somebody owed four pitchers their trophies from those seasons….

Tuesday morning in Cleveland, Axford became the last known recipient of the Rolaids Relief Man Award…

While Jim Johnson did receive a bonus for finishing atop the (unofficial) Relief Man standings in 2012, neither he nor NL winner Craig Kimbrel received the hardware, nor are they likely to. The owners of the Rolaids brand didn’t maintain the Relief Man standings that year… Johnson told me last month, “I want my fireman’s helmet.”...

I agree with Jayson Stark: It’s time—actually well past time—for the BBWAA to introduce an award for relief pitchers. I wouldn’t call it the Jerome Holtzman Award, as Jayson would. It’s not a bad suggestion. I just think naming an award after a writer isn’t a great idea. I’ll suggest instead the Mariano Rivera Award for the American League, and the Trevor Hoffman Award for the National League…

POSTSCRIPT: Major League Baseball must have a spy somewhere. Before the above was published but after I submitted it, MLB announced two new awards for relief pitchers, named after ... Rivera and Hoffman.

The District Attorney Posted: April 13, 2014 at 12:52 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, history, relievers, rob neyer, rolaids relief award

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

MLB: Relief Awards named for Rivera, Hoffman

The American League’s top reliever will be given an award named for Mariano Rivera, and the National League winner will receive a trophy named for Trevor Hoffman. Rivera and Hoffman, Nos. 1 and 2 in career saves, spent their entire careers pitching in their respective leagues. . .

The new honors, beginning this season, will replace MLB’s Delivery Man of the Year Award, which was given to one reliever each year, as opposed to one reliever per league. . .

The award winners will be determined by a vote of other great relievers. Rivera and Hoffman will be joined by Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage and Bruce Sutter, who are the four living relievers in the Hall of Fame, and Lee Smith, John Franco and Billy Wagner, all of whom are among the top five in career saves.

The nine voters will rank the top three pitchers in each league based solely on regular-season performance, and each of their ballots will use a 5-3-1 weighted point system.

That’s an interesting way to pick an award.

The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 09, 2014 at 03:16 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, hoffman, mariano rivera, relievers

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Nick Piecoro: Explaining my MVP ballot

Win a game without RBIs! Oh, the comments…

Paul Goldschmidt had an incredible year, and I was lucky enough to see it all unfold right before my eyes. I saw the enormous hits he delivered late in games. I saw just how difficult of an out he was for opposing pitchers. I saw how well he played defensively. And I saw firsthand just how good of a person he is and can vouch that all the nice things you hear about him are 100 percent true.

But I did not give Goldschmidt my National League MVP vote. I understand this is not a popular decision around here. There are certain realities you have to accept in this job. One of them is that you’re never going to please everyone. Today is a day to keep that in mind.

Voting for these awards isn’t easy for beat writers when the players we cover are among the candidates. If you give them your vote, you risk looking like a homer nationally. If you don’t, you catch heat not only from the local fans but also within the clubhouse you cover. What you try to do – the only thing you can do – is make what you believe is the best choice. You don’t make your selection based on the team you cover or based on what other’s reactions might be. You make your selection based on your convictions.

...Goldschmidt was a terrific first baseman, among the best in the league, but, to me, the value of a good defensive center fielder far outweighs that of a good first baseman. Add in McCutchen’s base-running advantage and, in my eyes, that more than made up for the small advantage Goldschmidt had at the plate.

I don’t so much care that McCutchen played on a playoff team or that he helped the Pirates reach the postseason for the first time in 21 years. It certainly makes for a better story, but value shouldn’t depend on the players surrounding you.

Neither should greatness be dependent on those who are watching it. I was lucky enough to cover Goldschmidt this season. But I shouldn’t allow that to cloud my objectivity. I might not have been able to see McCutchen nearly as often, but, best I can tell, he was just a little bit more valuable.

Repoz Posted: November 16, 2013 at 11:04 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, d-backs

Friday, November 15, 2013

Posnanski: Valuable by Any Other Name

More mindreading, which I didn’t like when Poz attempted to read the mind of anti-Pete Rose for the HOF folks, but I’ll throw it out there.

So here’s the explanation from Bill Ballou of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, who voted Mike Trout 7th on his MVP ballot:

I am a strict constructionist re: “valuable”. If the award were Player of the Year, Trout would get my vote. I’m of the school that in order to have “value” you have to help your team be good, at least to the point of contending. The Angels didn’t truly contend. To fully develop that logic, players from non-contenders should not be listed on the ballot at all, but the BBWAA insists that we fill out all 10 slots, so I did, even though I did not think there were 10 worthy candidates from contending teams.

... Bill says he would have voted for Mike Trout had it been called the Player of the Year award. Others have said things like this too. “It’s not Player of the Year,” they say. “It’s most VALUABLE player. There’s a difference.”

OK, let’s pretend we could go back to the beginning and replace “MVP” with “POY.” Would people’s view of the award change? Would there be different winners through the years. I spent too much thought on this and decided: No way. Absolutely nothing would chance. If anything, I think it’s possible people’s view about the award would be even MORE slanted toward narrative and contending teams and so on.

Why? Look at those words. Player of the year. What do you think those words would mean to people if that was the actual name of the award? The word “best” is not in there. If anything that is more vague than Most Valuable Player. I can see the columns in my mind:

“So, you wonder why I voted Miguel Cabrera Player of the Year. Well, it’s right there in the name. It says ‘Player of the YEAR’ That means the player who had the biggest impact on the year. Who is that? Mike Trout? Playing for a team that did not even finish .500? Miguel Cabrera led his team to a division championship. That’s what a Player of the Year does.

“You will hear people say that the award should go to the player with the most value. They will come up with all those “value-based” statistics like VORP and BLURP and MORPY and PAJAMAS. But, notice, the award isn’t called the “Most valuable player” award. That might be Mike Trout. But it says ‘Player of the year.” And this year that’s clearly Miguel Cabrera.”

No, it’s not the word valuable. It comes down to this powerful feeling people have that one player should be able to do much more than one player can do. We like story lines. We like things that add up in our mind. We like to believe that if a player is TRULY great, he somehow will carry his team, any team, to victory — by himself, if necessary. It’s illogical, of course… But illogical or not, baseball is more fun with the idea that Miguel Cabrera put Detroit on his shoulders and took them to the playoffs while Mike Trout could not do the same in Anaheim. It doesn’t matter if the word is valuable or productive or worthy or crucial. It doesn’t matter if the award is called Most Valuable Player or Player of the Year or American Idol or The Oscar. Miguel Cabrera still would have won.

The District Attorney Posted: November 15, 2013 at 08:13 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, joe posnanski, mvp

Internet Baseball Awards Results

AL MVP: Mike Trout (7826 points); Miguel Cabrera (6391); Chris Davis (3860); Josh Donaldson (3458); Robinson Cano (2316); Evan Longoria (1735); Max Scherzer (1319); Adrian Beltre (1066); Manny Machado (927); David Ortiz (804)

AL Cy: Max Scherzer (5384); Yu Darvish (2571); Felix Hernandez (1728); Chris Sale (1514); Anibal Sanchez (1440)

AL Rookie: Wil Myers (4918); Jose Iglesias (1985); Chris Archer (1648); Dan Straily (915); Sonny Gray (804)

AL Manager: John Farrell (1479); Terry Francona (1364); Joe Maddon (677)

NL MVP: Andrew McCutchen (7500); Paul Goldschmidt (3971); Clayton Kershaw (3650); Matt Carpenter (2813); Yadier Molina (2513); Joey Votto (2491); Carlos Gomez (2024); Shin-Soo Choo (816); Freddie Freeman (698); Hanley Ramirez (639)

NL Cy: Clayton Kershaw (5809); Adam Wainwright (2873); Matt Harvey (1800); Jose Fernandez (1757); Cliff Lee (1166)

NL Rookie: Jose Fernandez (4881); Yasiel Puig (3877); Shelby Miller (1136); Hyun-jin Ryu (1108); Julio Teheran (746)

NL Manager: Clint Hurdle (2165); Mike Matheny (1215); Don Mattingly (654)

The District Attorney Posted: November 15, 2013 at 02:45 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, baseball prospectus, internet baseball awards

Mike Trout vs. Miguel Cabrera a proxy battle in a larger cold war | HardballTalk

Interesting but I don’t really agree with Craig. We will never get to the point where we’ll be rid of harsh rhetoric in the MVP debate. We will always have people who think differently. There will always be a healthy supply of iconoclasts, no matter who makes up the “old guard”. 

This is why we are where we are. This is why the rhetoric from some on the Trout side has turned, frankly, silly, what with references to “the intelligentsia” and “enlightened” people. They’re compensating. This is also why you see silly things like seventh place votes for Trout from the Old Guard/Cabrera folks. They’re compensating too.  Everyone is so damn worried about their place in the world that they’ll say and do the silliest things in order to justify it. And, for the moment anyway, the Cabrera folks have a greater hold on the BBWAA, so their reaction — and Cabrera’s attendant solidification as MVP despite no triple crown and a full season from Trout — is worth more in the voting.

This dynamic won’t last forever, of course. For one thing, the people involved in it are generally pretty smart and reasonable people and, if they haven’t already figured out that these skirmishes are dumb, they will eventually. This happens with all proxy wars. They are mere footnotes to and offshots of the larger cold wars which encompass far greater and far more fundamental political and philosophical differences.

But those end too and a new way of organizing the world is eventually agreed upon. It happens with things as large and as important as nation-states. It’ll happen with something as small and relatively unimportant as the world of baseball journalism too.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2013 at 10:45 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, media, miguel cabrera, mike trout, mvp, sabermetrics

Fletcher: A close one, but here’s a vote for Cabrera over Trout

Jeff Fletcher makes his case.

Finally, I like to look at the situations when a player produces because “value” is about winning games. Don’t confuse this for saying value is about winning the division. Forget the standings. A homer in a 5-0 game is not the same as a homer in a tie game, whether you’re in first or last.

Win probability added (WPA) measures that exactly. It uses the situation – inning, score, outs, baserunners – to determine a team’s chances of winning before and after a hitter bats. It then calculates how much better – or worse – the team’s odds of winning are based on what he did.

Cabrera’s WPA was 43 percent higher than Trout’s. That’s the result of another eye-opening stat: Cabrera’s OPS with runners in scoring position was 1.311 over 204 plate appearances. Trout’s was .993 over 184 plate appearances.

I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t believe “clutch” is a skill that’s predictive. In most cases, if a player is far above or below his normal numbers with runners in scoring position, it’s simply a fluke of a small sample size. Trout could be the one with the better numbers in 2014. But the MVP is not about skill or future value or talent. It’s about what the players actually did.

And in 2013, Cabrera produced better in the most meaningful situations than Trout, by a wide margin.

I haven’t even mentioned the fact that Cabrera performed in a pennant race while Trout did not. Not even for one day. Although that’s far down my list of criteria, it can’t be dismissed completely. (Mike Scioscia himself said this repeatedly in September.)

Repoz Posted: November 15, 2013 at 12:18 AM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: awards

Thursday, November 14, 2013

BBWAA.com: Official site of the Baseball Writers’ Assn. of America.

McCutchen wins in a surprising landslide.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2013 at 08:09 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, awards, mvp

Tony Jackson: Some insight into BBWAA postseason awards voting

King #######, “Bleacher Report, of all things”...and other goodies from Jackson.

The voting for these awards is the same now that it always has been. The only thing that has changed is the available pool of voters. And I’m not being critical of the people who are in that pool. It isn’t their fault their outlets don’t have the money to send them on the road. But there was a time, and it wasn’t that long ago — it was still going on when I began covering ball in 1995 — when there were about eight papers that traveled with the Dodgers. That’s eight postseason award voters right there, without having to even dip into the columnist pool. Today, not counting this blog, there are TWO media outlets (the Times and the Orange County Register) that go on EVERY trip, and the Times guys aren’t allowed to vote. There is a third, MLB.com, that goes on MOST of the trips, and none of their people are allowed to vote because the BBWAA, for whatever reason, won’t let them. And unless it’s the playoffs or the heat of a September pennant chase, there are NO other traveling media outlets covering the Dodgers. So do the math. It’s just hard to come up with eight guys from that, and this is one of the largest media markets in the N.L. So just imagine how difficult it is to find eight qualified voters in St. Louis, Milwaukee and, yes, Cincinnati.

In light of all that, we shouldn’t be surprised if someone gets it wrong once in a while. Check that. No one ever gets it WRONG. These things are always in the eye of the beholder, which is why they try to get such a wide swath of voters in the first place. So there is no right or wrong. There are only ballots with which you may agree or disagree. And to cast a ballot with which you disagree does not make someone a joke, an idiot or King #######. It merely means they saw things differently from the way you saw things.

At the end of the day yesterday, Kershaw was the N.L. Cy Young winner for the second time in the past three years. That one ballot kept him from winning it unanimously was irrelevant, insignificant and immaterial. And by the time Kershaw is actually handed that award at the New York BBWAA chapter’s annual awards dinner next month, it probably won’t even be remembered.

Repoz Posted: November 14, 2013 at 02:17 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: awards

Hoornstra: Seeing was believing: White Sox’s Sale was AL’s best pitcher

JP Hoornstra explains his Cy Young vote for Chris Sale.

Numbers have taken a lot of heat these days. #Killthewin is an actual, recognizable hashtag among advocates of advanced baseball metrics (not murderous losers). I’m more egalitarian than murderous when it comes to numbers, but I wanted to know if there was a reliable statistic that confirmed that Chris Sale and Yu Darvish were the two best pitchers in the AL this season. If they weren’t, I would change my vote.

...At some point on that late September afternoon, I concluded these were the five best AL pitchers in 2013. They had repeatedly passed the numbers test; the two that I saw they passed the eye test. But in what order?

I went with the two best pitchers I saw. Sale one, Darvish two. This is why I have a vote — because I’m there.

Scherzer’s repeated appearances across these leaderboards (and probably to a degree, sure, his won-loss record) made it impossible to leave him out of my top three.

Hernandez four, with a big assist to WAR, FIP, xFIP and DIPS.

Sanchez five. I couldn’t ignore his ERA and WAR. Iwakuma was a close sixth but didn’t make my ballot.

I didn’t poll any other writers, so I had no idea that Scherzer was going to win this award running away. Mine was not a token vote for Sale because I knew Scherzer would win — an argument that’s been used to justify Hall of Fame votes for Aaron Sele and Brad Radke in the past (to name two).

My vote was the result of scouting and numbers. Lots and lots of numbers, and a little bit of scouting to break the tie at the end.

 

 

Repoz Posted: November 14, 2013 at 12:53 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, sabermetrics

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Monday, November 11, 2013

The 2013 Gold Gloves and the SABR Defensive Index - Beyond the Box Score

Congrats to all the BBTF members who contributed to the process!

Well, last year Rawlings announced that they would be using input from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) to help decide the winners of the Gold Glove awards going forward. At the time, there was quite a bit of healthy skepticism about the who, what and how of this new methodology, but then the 2013 Gold Gloves came out, and most sabermetrically-minded folks had precious little to complain about.*

* - Little to complain about is relative, especially on the internet. And we’ll get to this later. Promise.

At any rate, SABR and Rawlings invented not a true metric, but an index: the SABR Defensive Index (SDI). SDI was developed by the SABR Defensive Committee (good, smart folks), and takes into account most major defensive metrics and, well, you should probably just read a lot about it here. More importantly, this page also shows us how qualified players scored on the SDI. This is good. Transparency is very, very good. Take a minute and see where the actual winners and the SDI leaders intersect:

Here’s the full SABR SDI results.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 11, 2013 at 09:48 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, gold gloves, sabermetrics, sabr

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

MLB’s top hitters earn Silver Slugger Awards | MLB.com: News

2013 SILVER SLUGGER WINNERS:

National League

1B: Paul Goldschmidt, ARI (.302, 36 HRs, 125 RBIs)
2B: Matt Carpenter, STL (.318, 11 HRs, 78 RBIs)
SS: Ian Desmond, WAS (.280, 20 HRs, 80 RBIs)
3B: Pedro Alvarez, PIT (.233, 36 HRs, 100 RBIs)
C: Yadier Molina, STL (.319, 12 HRs, 80 RBIs)
OF: Jay Bruce, CIN (.262, 30 HRs, 109 RBIs)
OF: Michael Cuddyer, COL (.331, 20 HRs, 84 RBIs)
OF: Andrew McCutchen, PIT (.317, 21 HRs, 84 RBIs)
P: Zack Greinke, LAD (.328, 0 HRs, 4 RBIs)

American League

1B: Chris Davis, BAL (.286, 53 HRs, 138 RBIs)
2B: Robinson Cano, NYY (.314, 27 HRs, 107 RBIs)
SS: J.J. Hardy, BAL (.263, 25 HRs, 76 RBIs)
3B: Miguel Cabrera, DET (.348, 44 HRs, 137 RBIs)
C: Joe Mauer, MIN (.324, 11 HRs, 47 RBIs)
OF: Torii Hunter, DET (.304, 17 HRs, 84 RBIs)
OF: Adam Jones, BAL (.285, 33 HRs, 108 RBIs)
OF: Mike Trout, LAA (.323, 27 HRs, 97 RBIs)
DH: David Ortiz, BOS (.309, 30 HRs, 103 RBIs)

Jim Furtado Posted: November 06, 2013 at 08:15 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, silver slugger

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

BBWAA announces finalists for four major awards

Could be worse.

Awards will be announced next week with daily announcement shows at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network, beginning with Rookie of the Year awards on Monday, Managers of the Year on Nov. 12, Cy Youngs on Nov. 13 and MVPs on Nov. 14. Voting was conducted by BBWAA members prior to the end of the regular season, so postseason performances do not count.

Here are the finalists as announced Tuesday on MLB Network, each category listed in alphabetical order:

AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis, Mike Trout…

NL MVP: Paul Goldschmidt, Andrew McCutchen, Yadier Molina…

AL Cy Young: Yu Darvish, Hisashi Iwakuma, Max Scherzer…

NL Cy Young: Jose Fernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright…

AL Manager of the Year: John Farrell, Terry Francona, Bob Melvin…

NL Manager of the Year: Fredi Gonzalez, Clint Hurdle, Don Mattingly…

AL Rookie of the Year: Chris Archer, Jose Iglesias, Wil Myers…

NL Rookie of the Year: Jose Fernandez, Shelby Miller, Yasiel Puig


Mariano Rivera, Francisco Liriano named Comeback Players of the Year

Nice to see Rivera finally get some recognition.

Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano posted his best season since 2006, one year after notching a 5.34 ERA, and was named the National League Comeback Player of the Year on Monday, becoming the first player to win the award twice.

In the American League, Mariano Rivera completed the turnaround from a torn ACL in 2012 to save 44 games, a new record for a closer in his final season. The 43-year-old right-hander went 6-2 with a 2.11 ERA, 54 strikeouts and nine walks.

The Comeback Player of the Year Awards are presented annually to one player in each league who has re-emerged on the field during the season. The 30 club beat reporters from MLB.com selected the winners from an original list of 30 candidates (one per MLB club). The winners were revealed Monday night on ESPN2…

Both pitchers also won the Players Choice Award for Comeback Player in their respective leagues.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Top stats to know: 2013 Gold Glove Awards - Stats

Smarter picks this year. No doubt due to the influence of the many new people involved in the process. Here’s the list of the members of the research committee who helped to stir things in a more analytical direction:d

Committee chair Vince Gennaro, SABR President and author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball
Sean Forman, founder of Baseball-Reference.com
John Dewan, owner of Baseball Info Solutions
Bo Moon, executive vice president and co-founder of Bloomberg Sports
Chris Dial, author and recognized expert on defensive metrics
Michael Humphreys, author of Wizardry: Baseball’s All-Time Greatest Fielders Revealed
F.X. Flinn, SABR board of directors

Jim Furtado Posted: October 29, 2013 at 09:12 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, gold glove, history, sabermetrics

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fielding Bible names six first-time winners | MLB.com

A 12-person panel handed out the 2013 Fielding Bible Awards on Monday to three repeat winners and six first-timers.

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina received his sixth Fielding Bible Award, while Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia and Royals left fielder Alex Gordon each won a second award.

The six first-time winners were D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons, Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez, D-backs right fielder Gerardo Parra and Blue Jays right-hander R.A. Dickey.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 28, 2013 at 08:40 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, fielding

Friday, October 25, 2013

2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Award® Finalists Announced

A number of players are vying for the designation as the best defender at their respective positions, including 26 former Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners.  The Baltimore Orioles™ lead all teams with six finalists, with first-time finalists Chris Davis and Manny Machado joining Hardy, Wieters, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis.  The Kansas City Royals™ and Los Angeles Dodgers™ follow with five Rawlings Gold Glove Award finalists each.

Tampa Bay’s entire infield – first baseman James Loney, second baseman Ben Zobrist, third baseman Evan Longoria and shortstop Yunel Escobar – earned Rawlings Gold Glove Award finalist status.  Last year, all three Atlanta Braves™ outfielders were nominated for the prestigious defensive honor….

Each manager and up to six (6) coaches on his staff vote from a pool of qualified players in their League, and cannot vote for players on their own team.  For the first time in its 57-year history, Rawlings added a sabermetric component to the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process, as part of its new collaboration with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).  The SABR Defensive Index comprised of approximately 25 percent of the overall selection total, with the managers and coaches’ vote continuing to carry the majority.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 25, 2013 at 01:23 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, gold glove

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

MVP Ryan Braun to speak at dinner

BBWAAH, must we?

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, who faces a 50-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, is expected to speak at a banquet where he will accept his award for being voted National League MVP.

Braun will appear at the annual awards dinner of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Saturday in New York, a spokesman for the player told The New York Times.

“He will be there and he will accept his award,” Matthew Hiltzik told The Times.

...He has not made a public appearance since news of the positive test broke on Dec. 10. Hiltzik told The Times that Braun does not intend to do interviews Saturday. Braun was named MVP on Nov. 22.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:14 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, brewers, rumors, steroids

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pedro Martinez on The Big Show: Of MVP and Cy Young snubs, the Steroid Era

Weeee! More fun than Whack-A-Gerbil!

Still, the fact that Tigers ace Justin Verlander was named the AL MVP re-opened an apparent wound for Martinez about his distress in being snubbed in the 1999 MVP voting, a year when Martinez went 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA and 313 strikeouts but was left off the ballots of two writers (George King of the New York Post and LaVelle Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune), resulting in Martinez finishing second to Ivan Rodriguez in the race. Martinez also rankled at the memory of finishing second to Barry Zito in the 2002 AL Cy Young race.

“I was kind of pissed off at first [when Verlander won the MVP], but then I went to realize that they are the [voters] are going to have to live with that label on their back. If anyone calls them prejudice or racist for not voting for me, everyone will have to understand that it’s their responsibility for not voting for me at that time,” said Martinez.

...“I was ripped apart,” added Martinez. “I’m not afraid to say that the way that George King and Mr. LaVelle Neal III went about it was unprofessional.”

On pitching during the Steroid Era:

At the time, all I wanted was to compete. To me, it was normal. There were so many players doing it that it was normal. … You could see the guys being beefed up from one year to the next. I told so many guys, I remember Brady Anderson going from 40 homers to nearly seven the next year. I saw Luis Gonzalez go from 57 to, what, 17 the next year? It was weird. It was weird.

Everybody just admired what I was doing. Everyone was so caught up in my success. But I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do. All I wanted to do was to compete, to help the Red Sox win. It didn’t matter to me what I did individually. If I left Boston without that ring, without that championship, I’d feel like a bitter man right now. It didn’t matter to me that I was called a prima donna when I would miss two or three starts. I never did a steroid to [recuperate] in the time those guys would recup. I know how much a quad would probably hurt someone or a hamstring, how long it would take. I saw guys like [Clemens] sometimes get a hamstring or a quad or something, and in two days, he was right back and throwing 97.

I don’t know what went on. I certainly know that he recuped a lot quicker than I would, and I was younger. I pitched less, a lot less, than Roger did. He wasn’t young. He was a Hall of Famer before he got into that.

Repoz Posted: January 10, 2012 at 09:57 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, hall of fame, history, red sox, sabermetrics

Brisbee: Alan Trammell: Victim of Context

[Barry] Larkin getting in after a couple of decades or a Veteran’s Committee ballot wouldn’t add to Trammell’s cause. But Larkin got in on his third year of eligibility with 86 percent of the vote. Larkin wasn’t a borderline case—he didn’t satisfy the extra-super-special-first-ballot-bonus-points ninnies, but he was clearly a Hall of Famer in the voters’ eyes right from the beginning.

It’s that last statistic up there that’s the reason for the gap between the HOF perception gap between Larkin and Trammell. CRiL is a proprietary statistic I developed specifically to measure shortstops against each other. It’s a park- and era-adjusted stat that can sum up a shortstop’s Hall-of-Fame chances in a single number. It stands for “Cal Ripkens in League.” Larkin outpaces Trammell easily on this one.

Again, it’s not that Larkin wasn’t better than Trammell. By most metrics (and obviously in the court of public opinion), he certainly was. But if Larkin is a Hall of Famer, Trammell certainly deserves a closer look. The gap between them wasn’t that big…

Another difference between Larkin and Trammell is that the latter had a sidekick who was also worthy of the Hall of Fame. For just under two decades, Lou Whitaker played along Trammell, making All-Star teams and hitting at a position where most teams shouldn’t have a hitter. The two rode around on tandem bikes and finished each other’s sentences, and there might have been a tendency to pretend that the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. If Trammell played a couple decades with Doug Flynn, maybe he would have stood out more.

I’m sure many of us remember the Trammell/Whitaker Starting Lineup figures.

The District Attorney Posted: January 10, 2012 at 02:40 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, hall of fame, history, tigers

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Neyer: Elect Jeff Bagwell To The Hall, And Cooperstown Will Bloom Again

Apparently “Craig” only needs a first name, like Cher, Madonna or Snooki.

This morning, Craig [Calcaterra] wrote a couple of compelling Hall of Fame-related posts.

In the first, he noted that attendance at the Museum is way, way down: more than 20 percent just from 2007 through 2011… In the second, Craig gave some Calcaterrian whatfor and whatnot to three Chicagoland Hall of Fame voters who have (again) not voted for Jeff Bagwell because of suspicions that he used performance-enhancing drugs (not including amphetamines, because hey if Willie Mays used greenies it’s cool)...

While I believe Bagwell should be in the Hall of Fame, I’ve never quite understood the argument that a Hall of Fame voter—if he thinks steroid use is germane—should ignore every scrap of evidence that doesn’t appear in the Mitchell Report or wherever… I believe that it’s intellectually indefensible to disqualify a player solely because you think he used steroids ... but I also believe it’s perfectly defensible to decide for yourself, based on everything you’ve seen and heard, if a player did use steroids.

Some of that makes sense, I hope. And I really didn’t intend to get into this whole thing. Really, I just wanted to express my mild surprise that Craig didn’t make any connection between Hall of Fame voting and Hall of Fame visitors. The Hall of Fame derives 98 percent of it publicity from one thing: new Hall of Famers. But lately—and for some years into the future, I’m afraid—a great deal of that 98 percent is going to be negative. It will be about Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds and Gary Sheffield and Mike Piazza and all the terrible things they did, and there might well be years when literally nobody is elected to the Hall of Fame. You think attendance has been down? You ain’t seen nothing.

The District Attorney Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:50 PM | 240 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, awards, baseball geeks, hall of fame, history

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

HOF Ballot: William Faulkner

There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only the question: When will the ballot be stuffed up?

Edgar Martinez – Called ‘gar’ after the fish that has lurked in reed lined waters still and waiting since there were fish and waters and lesser animals condemned to a perdition life of preydom and chased by higher forms make thinbodied and needleteethed by time or Godhand and touched with the breath of life. Called that by the denizens of a rain-soaked city not because he was thin but because his bat would hold still and then lash out at the rotating sphere of cowhide and twine stitched by women in Costa Rica who will hear tonight the low call of the yigüirro and catch sight: a shift of red-gray holding briefly the last rays of light coming through the canopy above.

Dave ParkerAnd you are?
Dave Parker.
And you have been on the ballot –?
Fifteen years.
And your career was—?
Up and down. Undone by cocaine.
Cocaine?
Yes, cocaine.
And you have been on the ballot—?
Fifteen years.
And you are?
Dave Parker.

The District Attorney Posted: December 27, 2011 at 11:22 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, hall of fame, history, special topics

Davidoff: My 2012 Hall of Fame ballot

Also featuring interesting commentary on the also-rans!

Mark McGwire : I’ve documented my feelings previously (see the older ballots) on why I’ve switched on McGwire; it ties into my comments on [Jeff] Bagwell that I see my role as upholding the laws at the time, rather than retroactively legislating…

Jack Morris : ... Morris felt like a Hall of Famer. He did to me, for sure… And I voted for Morris in my first two years with this privilege.

But there are simply no numbers to support his candidacy. I don’t see one…

Rafael Palmeiro : OK, so last year, he was a No for me, for this reason: I had 11 candidates that I really liked, and you can list only 10… he cheated, he was caught and he served the time, all fair and square - and for what it’s worth, that ‘05 positive test pretty much ended his career. But should that be a disqualifying factor for his Hall of Fame candidacy, or merely a damaging one?

I’m going with “damaging.” Next year, with the influx of candidates, I might find myself with a surplus once more and keep Palemeiro off. Right now, though, he’s a Yes ...

Lee Smith : I’ve gone from No (2007) to Yes (2008) back to No (2009-11) on him, and I’m staying on No . The big debate on closers is, “How much can one separate himself from the pack?” My belief is, “Not very much, unless you’re Rivera.” And you can’t get the dominance part of the equation if your Wins Above Replacement aren’t high…

Tony Womack : No , although, in his defense, he wasn’t a very nice guy .

End result: Bagwell, Larkin, E. Martinez, McGwire, Palmeiro, Raines, Trammell, L. Walker

The District Attorney Posted: December 27, 2011 at 05:59 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, hall of fame, history

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