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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Gary Sheffield and the war on WAR - Beyond the Box Score

Even if you buy the idea that his defensive WAR is overestimated, he’s still a poor defensive player. I don’t believe this is a winning argument for his candidacy.

The math problem then amounts to this: If you’re willing to consider that Sheffield’s negative defensive numbers might be overblown by 15 to 25 percent, you’re looking at a case that ranges from, “Well, he’s definitely better than Tony Gwynn,” to “Um, yes, we need to enshrine turn-of-the-millennium Reggie Jackson.”

Considering “factors that lie outside those player’s control” is a rabbit hole not worth entering.

And this is where WAR’s usage becomes tricky. It is extremely helpful in comparing the values of a competent shortstop who can hit and a not-very-good right fielder who can mash. But it is a formula, and it can’t fully account for the many factors that lie outside those player’s control; the logical breakdowns that might occur in the course of reality.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2017 at 09:20 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: gary sheffield, hall of fame

Saturday, January 21, 2017

MLB Tonight: Jorge Posada | MLB.com

I’m a big fan of Brian Kenny. I’m not sold on Posada’s Hall of Fame case.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 21, 2017 at 08:54 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, jorge posada

Chris Russo thinks the latest selections have ruined Hall of Fame

Occasionally he’s entertaining. His Hall of Fame rants are tough to get though. It’s usually when I change the channel.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 21, 2017 at 08:47 AM | 93 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hall of Fame’s Rule of 10 should be changed | MLB.com

I don’t get it either. The limit leads to all kinds of unintended consequences.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2017 at 07:09 PM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Jayson Stark: Casting my 2018 Hall of Fame ballot ... today

Look, I know the range data shows he wasn’t really a modern Ozzie Smith. But this just in: Nobody was. Still, those 11 Gold Gloves—the third most by any infielder in history—tell us exactly what the rest of baseball thought of Vizquel in his prime. Plus, I think I can make a case he was the most sure-handed shortstop ever.

I can throw lots of numbers at you, but my favorite is this: Incredibly, he had three seasons in which he played at least 140 games and made five errors or fewer. That’s as many seasons like that as all the other shortstops since 1900 combined.

And one more thing. Despite Vizquel’s offensive limitations, he still finished with 2,877 hits. And here’s your complete list of players with as many hits and Gold Gloves as Vizquel: Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente and that’s it. So is there a Hall of Fame argument for this man? Heck yeah, there is.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2017 at 04:45 PM | 85 comment(s)
  Beats: andruw jones, hall of fame, jayson stark, omar vizquel, scott rolen

Predicting every Hall of Fame class through 2045 | ESPN.com

David Schoenfield breaks out his crystal ball.

2043

Elected: Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, Theo Epstein

Executives have to be retired for five years to be considered or 70 years old if they’re still active. This is the year Theo will turn 70. He could have 10 World Series titles by then, he could be commissioner of baseball, he could be president, or he could simply be retired and watching YouTube clips of cats clawing at dogs.

Baldrick Posted: January 19, 2017 at 03:19 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Read the open letter Tim Raines wrote after learning he’d been inducted into the Hall of Fame | MLB.com

Hello all,

I am extremely honored and humbled to have received the call today that I will be enshrined into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s the perfect way to cap my 23-year career. When I began playing professional baseball, I just wanted to be one of the best at my position. I wasn’t thinking of Cooperstown. But now that I will be inducted next summer, I am overcome with a wave of emotion and I am so excited to share this honor with my family. I would like to thank everyone who helped me become who I was on the baseball field, including my family and teammates. I would like to thank everyone in the media who advocated for my Hall of Fame candidacy. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that this honor was so important to you as well. Lastly, I want to thank the fans from all of the cities that I played in. You gave me strength and support to do things I did on the field. And merci Montreal. See you all in Cooperstown this summer.

- Rock

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2017 at 06:35 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, hall of fame, tim raines

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 Baseball Hall of Fame election results | MLB.com

Premier leadoff man Tim Raines, Astros slugger Jeff Bagwell and strong-armed backstop Ivan Rodriguez have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2017 at 06:13 PM | 202 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame


Class of 2017 awaits call from Hall of Fame | MLB.com

Today’s the day!

Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2017 at 09:55 AM | 92 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Willie McCovey Pardoned by Obama

McCovey pleaded guilty to income tax-fraud conspiracy in 1995, alongside fellow baseball star Duke Snider, for failing to report thousands of dollars each in fees received from memorabilia and autograph shows.

The plea carried a sentence of up to seven months in jail. Both McCovey and Snider, who died in 2011, were given two years’ probation and a $5,000 fine in 1996.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 17, 2017 at 09:33 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: barack obama, crimes & misdemeanors, giants, willie mccovey

Ratto- “Hall of Fame voters’ biggest issue: Do they work for the job or the sport?”

Love him or hate him, it’s Ray Ratto- accept no substitutes…

TJ Posted: January 17, 2017 at 02:34 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Monday, January 16, 2017

Five Candidates Who Have Fallen a Single Vote Shy of Election to the Baseball Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame only started publically releasing voting percentages for the Era and Veterans Committees elections in 2003, yet in that short period of time the tiny electorate has had five candidates miss being voted into Cooperstown by a single tally.  Each of those five candidates have appeared on both the Veterans Committee and Era Committee ballots where their Hall of Fame candidacies have been affected by the frequent changes in the format used by this voting body


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Hall of Fame voting shifts in Jeff Bagwell’s favor - Houston Chronicle

Is there any other actual “evidence”?

Fairly or not, last year’s election of Piazza also helped Bagwell’s case. As home run hitters who played in the steroid era, each long faced similar obstacles to election. Both have been suspected by writers of using illegal performance-enhancing drugs despite never failing a drug test or showing up in the Mitchell Report. (Both also admitted using the testosterone-boosting androstenedione back when it was legal in MLB.)

Jim Furtado Posted: January 15, 2017 at 03:07 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, jeff bagwell

Thursday, January 12, 2017

We assigned cooler names to old players to get them into the Hall of Fame

His career ERA+, however, was 104. To put it another way, if Tim Lincecum comes back and pitches for five seasons at an Ervin Santana level, he’s basically the modern day Catfish Hunter. Yet, there’s no way Lincecum would get the same kind of Hall of Fame support that Hunter did. What’s the difference?

My theory is that Catfish Hunter was one of the best baseball names ever, and it added to the mystique whenever he came to town and blew your team away. Scott Kazmir (who also has a career 104 ERA+) is too ... too Scott. But Catfish Hunter was an imposing fella before he even threw a pitch. Right there in the name, it is.

This allows us to introduce the Catfish Theory Equation of Hall of Fame Qualifications:

Good player + High visibility + Badass Name = Hall of Fame player
You can call the Kirby Puckett Theory if it will help your cause more. Use Harmon Killebrew if you need. I’m not selfish. Badass names make the world go ‘round.

With this in mind, we need to go back in time, and rename some very good players to get them into the Hall of Fame. Some of these players are borderline candidates, at best, but they’re all comparable to Hunter in career value. It’s time to give them a PR makeover that starts with a really cool name.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 12, 2017 at 10:50 AM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: catfish hunter, hall of fame

Checking in on Chase Utley’s Hall of Fame chances

Better argument than I could have made, and he’s my favorite Phil since Schmidt, but I guess he comes up short…

Utley was part of the core that led the Phillies during the most successful period in their history and to a championship. He may not have hit 58 home runs or stole more than 40 bases in a season like Ryan Howard or Jimmy Rollins, but he was arguably the most valuable part of that team. Utley is worth 63 career WAR, the highest among 2007-2011 Phillies not named Roy Halladay (65.6). In comparison, Rollins is the next highest at 49.4.

eddieot Posted: January 12, 2017 at 10:03 AM | 81 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, phillies

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Former Giants closer Casilla nearing deal with A’s - SFGate

Athletics buying low.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2017 at 08:24 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, giants, santiago casilla

Hall of Fame: Why Tom Verducci won’t vote for steroid users | SI.com

Some people don’t know how to use a check book. That doesn’t mean nobody should have a checking account.

Wins Above Replacement

Like RBIs and saves, Wins Above Replacement is a semi-junk stat. Bill James has no use for it, yet some writers wield it incessantly. It is a measurement of nothing. It is an approximation, an attempt to roll everything about a player into one number. So it’s useful as a rule of thumb, like walking off the distance between two points and using your strides to “calculate” the distance. It tells you something, but I don’t want my contractor building my house like that. Yet writers are using WAR as an exact measurement, including the folly of using numbers after decimal points to split hairs. If you blindly believe in a stat that considers Bobby Abreu better than Yogi Berra, Lou Whitaker better than Reggie Jackson and Jeff Bagwell better than Joe DiMaggio, you better do some more homework.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2017 at 02:20 PM | 125 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, steroids

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Who will be the next Hall of Famer for each team?

Four teams are still not represented in Cooperstown—at least not by the caps worn on players’ Hall of Fame plaques. Three of those are expansion teams from the 1990s: the Rockies, Marlins and Rays. The fourth is the Angels, born in 1961. Nolan Ryan spent eight years with the Angels and nine with the Astros, but he wears a Rangers cap on his plaque, which leaves the Angels without a Hall of Famer. The franchise will likely have to wait for Mike Trout, assuming Vladimir Guerrero eventually goes in with an Expos cap.

That brings up a fun idea: Who is the next Hall of Famer for each team? This requires some speculation not only on who gets elected—and what active players’ final stats will be—but also in predicting the cap. Let’s take a guess.

cardsfanboy Posted: January 08, 2017 at 02:34 PM | 90 comment(s)
  Beats: espn, hall of fame

Murray Chass On Baseball » BARRY AND ROGER, THIS BUD’S FOR YOU

Every time someone passes along a link to Mr. Chass’ most recent column, I’m conflicted. Should I post a link or ignore him?

He was once among the best reporters around. (Notice I said reporters, not analysts.) There are some very interesting reporters who regularly generate interesting information but are terrible analysts. When they stick to reporting news, they are great. We can overlook their analytical shortcoming because, on balance, their overall product is interesting and useful. Mr. Chass, unfortunately, is no longer reporting the news. We are left with his analysis, which is, frankly, horrible. Since he still writes pretty regularly and has residual prominence, people still pay attention to him. Eventually, though, when all we are left with is his shoddy, and often times, bitter writing, our criticism devolves into ridicule, which I’m not sure is something worth posting here.

In this column he breaks the news that he submitted a blank Hall of Fame ballot. Doing that by itself isn’t reason for tar and feathering. That’s assuming the voter does his due diligence and honestly, if only by his own point of view perhaps, comes to the conclusion that no player is worthy of his vote.

If a writer takes such an extreme viewpoint, he owes it to the players, fans, and fellow writers to explain his thought process behind his decision. If his decision was thoughtful and well-reasoned, its future impact on the electorate will make the process better. If it’s not, though, the transparency is equally important because the BBWAA is entrusted with the privilege, honor, and responsibility of voting the most deserving players into the Hall of Fame. It can’t execute that responsibility faithfully, however, if voters submit empty ballots based on motivations other than each player’s suitability for enshrinement. Based on his writing over the last few years, it is not unreasonable to question his motivations.

Mr. Chass, we are waiting.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2017 at 12:42 PM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Friday, January 06, 2017

Active Starting Pitchers Have Virtually No Shot at Hall

Kershaw is four good seasons from Pedro territory, and while injuries do happen, the only active player on a Hall of Fame trajectory and a realistic shot at meeting the standards set by the current writers is Kershaw. He’ll need to add a few more seasons to even be eligible, but it is difficult to imagine a reasonably healthy Kershaw for even just five more MLB seasons failing to gain entry into the Hall of Fame….

Given the absurd demands required of the pitchers here to make a plausible Hall of Fame case by the current standards, you learn two things:

Mike Mussina was incredibly good, as he’s above the standard those players are trying to reach; and
Unless people believe Clayton Kershaw is the only pitcher active who should make the Hall of Fame, then the Hall of Fame needs to adjust their standards to recognize great pitchers.

Justin Verlander seems like the best bet, although a resurgence from Felix Hernandez could give him a shot. If Scherzer and Price can maintain their peaks and have long careers, they might be deserving as well. Sale and Bumgarner have a ways to go.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 06, 2017 at 10:26 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, hall of fame

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Mike Mussina Should Be in the Hall of Fame | FanGraphs Baseball

This is head scratcher for me.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 05, 2017 at 09:38 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, mike mussina

Black MLB players get little Hall of Fame help from Veterans Committee | MLB | Sporting News

Is it really race keeping these players out?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 05, 2017 at 10:19 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Why this ‘scumbag’ (me) will never give Curt Schilling another Hall of Fame vote | NJ.com

In this fight it’s kinda tough to tell which pig is which.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 05, 2017 at 09:49 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: curt schilling, hall of fame

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

The Selig Years

Allan “Bud” Selig, HOF class of 2017. His impact on the game was monumental; his legacy is mixed. Did he ultimately leave the game better than he found it? Part One of a detailed post-mortem of the Selig era.


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