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Monday, December 02, 2013

Adam Rubin: My Hall of Fame ballot

Mike Piazza, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Curt Schilling and…........jack morris.

Here is my Hall of Fame ballot.

Second-year candidates Mike Piazza, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens appear on my ballot for the first time. I also voted for Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas in their first year of eligibility. Because 10 candidates is the maximum for which to vote, I could not fit Tim Raines or Lee Smith this time after voting for them a year ago.

Repoz Posted: December 02, 2013 at 05:46 PM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

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   1. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: December 02, 2013 at 06:02 PM (#4608991)
Oh geesh! It's great until it's not.

Hard to snub Raines for Morris.
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: December 02, 2013 at 06:02 PM (#4608992)
Not horrible, I can accept it, even though I don't agree with the Jack Morris vote, at least he voted 10 spots.
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: December 02, 2013 at 06:28 PM (#4609009)
Hard to snub Raines for Morris.


On a full ballot, there is no "snub". If the voter thinks 15 people are deserving, he's fully free to vote for whichever 10 he wants without ridicule. Again, I think Morris is a piss poor choice, but there were 67% of the writers last year who thought he was good enough, can't really fault a guy for picking him. I can fault a guy for picking him and not having a full ballot though, as there are clearly 10+ more deserving candidates on the ballot.

   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 02, 2013 at 06:51 PM (#4609030)
Again, I think Morris is a piss poor choice, but there were 67% of the writers last year who thought he was good enough, can't really fault a guy for picking him.


Sure you can. 49% of the country voted for George Bush, and we rightly fault them for that, don't we? It was a stupid decision.

That said, this ballot is pretty good other than the Morris thing.
   5. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: December 02, 2013 at 06:54 PM (#4609032)
So close! I think he's wrong on Morris, but at the same time I can give him credit for the rest of the ballot.
   6. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: December 02, 2013 at 07:02 PM (#4609039)
I would have dumped Morris for Raines (obviously) and probably have found someone to vote for rather than Curt Schilling.
   7. The District Attorney Posted: December 02, 2013 at 07:04 PM (#4609040)
Hope he actually explains his reasoning at some point, that'd be a little more useful.
   8. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 02, 2013 at 07:10 PM (#4609041)
Second-year candidates Mike Piazza, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens appear on my ballot for the first time


I don't think this is going to be common, but it's interesting to see.
   9. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: December 02, 2013 at 07:23 PM (#4609046)
I don't think this is going to be common, but it's interesting to see.


Agreed. It's possible that the low showing for those two was a "first ballot" penalty, though we've heard a lot of talk about "I'll never vote for PED users."
   10. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 02, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4609050)
Well, I do expect Piazza at least to see significant gains. The stacked ballot is an issue, but I feel like Piazza is clearly enough one of the ten best players on the ballot for it not to matter much. It's the Trammel/Martinez/Walker types who are going to get hit hard.
   11. tfbg9 Posted: December 02, 2013 at 07:41 PM (#4609054)
I don't really get the "Tim Raines is a HOF'er Thing". I willing to be convinced I guess.
   12. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 02, 2013 at 07:43 PM (#4609055)
I don't really get the "Tim Raines is a HOF'er Thing". I willing to be convinced I guess.


Do you feel the same about Tony Gwynn?
   13. tfbg9 Posted: December 02, 2013 at 07:45 PM (#4609057)
Do you feel the same about Tony Gwynn?


No.
   14. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 02, 2013 at 07:49 PM (#4609059)
You should. Gwynn was more famous, but he and Raines were nearly equally valuable. If Gwynn was better, he was only 5% or so better.
   15. tfbg9 Posted: December 02, 2013 at 07:51 PM (#4609060)
I am fine with him getting in, don't get me wrong, but I dunno. He had like 6 good years. Gywnn won about 8 Batting Titles. Its the HOF, not the HOW.
   16. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 02, 2013 at 08:01 PM (#4609063)
Gywnn won about 8 Batting Titles.


Try looking at it this way. Consider Tony Gwynn (my favorite baseball player):

Tony: 10232 PA, 3141 H, 790 BB

Now, take 540 of those hits away (they're all singles we're taking away, I promise) and turn them into walks. He basically turns into Tim Raines:

Tim: 10359 PA, 2605 H, 1330 BB

Okay, so singles are better than walks. To make up for that, factor in Tim's baseruning: 808 SB/146 CS. That's quite a bit better than what Tony had (319 SB/125 CS).

So Tim Raines is very much like Tony Gwynn, except that his value is less concentrated in hits.
   17. Tippecanoe Posted: December 02, 2013 at 08:03 PM (#4609066)
It's Gwynn + 500 walks + 500 SB - 500 singles = Raines. It doesn't have to be about tallying up WAR, unless you want to.

Edit: Fizzy beverage to Monty
   18. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 02, 2013 at 08:06 PM (#4609069)
And you're welcome to still prefer Gwynn. I do! But they're close enough in value that it seems hard to justify one as "automatically into the Hall of Fame with 97.6% of the vote" and the other as "not in at all."
   19. tfbg9 Posted: December 02, 2013 at 08:15 PM (#4609071)
Again, I'm fine with Raines going in. I just feel its not a crime against all that is good and decent if he doesn't.

I know he has about 70 WAR.

   20. Tippecanoe Posted: December 02, 2013 at 08:22 PM (#4609074)
Right - It's only a crime against all virtue when Morris goes in instead.
   21. tfbg9 Posted: December 02, 2013 at 08:30 PM (#4609076)
Raines tallies poorly on the HOF monitor/standards, IIRC. I 'Spos the Vet Commitee will enshrine him. Pun intended.

At their peaks, I would rather have Raines than Gwynn.
   22. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 02, 2013 at 08:33 PM (#4609077)
Its the HOF, not the HOW.


You are right, it's not the hall of war, but funnily enough that hall of FAME part works great for Raines because he is pretty much known as the 2nd best leadoff guy ever. Not that I believe this is the best part of his case, but he famously known for something seemingly significant.

   23. tfbg9 Posted: December 02, 2013 at 08:35 PM (#4609079)
The nose candy has hurt his rep.
   24. Howie Menckel Posted: December 02, 2013 at 08:58 PM (#4609090)

Raines is best presented as a peak candidate, maybe the only guy on earth who has been eligible for the ballot more than 10 years who has an argument about whether he was the best player in baseball over a 4-6 year stretch.

Then he spent a decade as a pretty good but not all that memorable player, which is why he understandably doesn't "feel like a HOFer" to some.
   25. tfbg9 Posted: December 02, 2013 at 09:05 PM (#4609092)
Well, more like 15 years like that, Howie.
   26. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 02, 2013 at 09:38 PM (#4609101)
Raines tallies poorly on the HOF monitor/standards, IIRC.


You do, in fact, RC:

Black Ink Batting - 20 (107), Average HOFer ? 27
Gray Ink Batting - 114 (180), Average HOFer ? 144
Hall of Fame Monitor Batting - 90 (192), Likely HOFer ? 100
Hall of Fame Standards Batting - 47 (103), Average HOFer ? 50

...although all that means is that Tim Raines did poorly (or at least "not superlatively great" -- no one's saying the guy was terrible or anything) at the things that HoF voters traditionally look at. Which we already knew, because there he is, not in the Hall of Fame.
   27. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 02, 2013 at 09:54 PM (#4609112)
Raines had a high peak, but as someone whose fandom came mostly after 1987, growing up I remember thinking of him more as a guy who hadn't fully lived up to his potential, rather than as a future HOFer. That's not necessarily fair and it's not a reason to keep him out of the Hall now that we know better -- if he had kept up that pre-1988 level for his whole career he'd be inner circle.

Gwynn, on the other hand, basically just kept doing what he'd been doing--racking up hits, winning batting titles, making All-Star teams--until he couldn't stay on the field anymore.
   28. flournoy Posted: December 02, 2013 at 10:00 PM (#4609116)
Raines is best presented as a peak candidate, maybe the only guy on earth who has been eligible for the ballot more than 10 years who has an argument about whether he was the best player in baseball over a 4-6 year stretch.


How about Dale Murphy? He might not win the argument, but he's in the picture there. And Raines hasn't been eligible for more than 10 years yet anyway, so he doesn't even qualify for this himself.
   29. Morty Causa Posted: December 02, 2013 at 10:02 PM (#4609119)
I, too, don't get the lovefest some have with Raines. For a peak candidate he sure didn't lead the league in anything very often. Nor is his gray ink impressive. What kind of peak is that? See Similarity Scores. All are in the HOF except Oliver. See who Tim Raines compares to.

Sure he was good, very good, but...well, there are others on that ballot who are better than Raines. Larry Walker has more WAR in 2000 fewer PAs. Did better on the HOF stats, too. And compares to some better players. Edgar Martinez was better, too. Sammy Sosa? There's your peak candidate. McGwire, too. Palmeiro? Now, really, who would take a baserunner/basestealer over 600 home runs? Mike Mussina put up more value than Raines. And he stacks up better on the Hall of Fame Statistics.

It isn't that Raines is necessarily categorically undeserving. It's that so many here are so confidant he's an elite candidate. Is there a way of buying stock in Raines's election or something? How about more angst over the oversight of Trammell?
   30. Cooper Nielson Posted: December 02, 2013 at 10:09 PM (#4609121)
I don't want to get into the Jack Morris debate anymore, but this is the type of ballot I can live with. Rubin (apparently) has a one-year steroid penalty, and since there is a de facto difference between "first-ballot" and other types of HOFers, I can understand withholding a vote from Clemens/Bonds for a year just as kind of a public slap on the wrist. (I wouldn't do it personally, but I'm OK with it.)

Then he fills up his ballot with guys I think most of us agree are worthy HOFers (arguably the top 9 candidates), and reserves the 10th and final spot for Jack Morris. As pointed out above, this does not necessarily mean that Rubin thinks Morris is better than [Raines, Mussina, Edgar, Kent, etc.]. It could be some kind of combination of (i) Morris being a personal favorite, and (ii) Rubin recognizing that this is Morris's last year on the ballot.

I don't think every voter has to go with an all-WAR, or strictly-ranked-by-his-own-preferred-metric ballot. One of the rewards of earning a ballot is that you get to do whatever you want with it. If I was a voter, I think I would probably choose the guys I thought were the most deserving by some semi-rigorous standards, but save one spot for one of "my guys" like Dennis Martinez or Tony Fernandez. Maybe that's what Rubin is doing.

Anyway, when all the ballots are collected, I expect this will be in the top 10% of "ballots I like." He didn't blacklist PED guys and he filled up all 10 slots.
   31. ajnrules Posted: December 02, 2013 at 10:18 PM (#4609124)
I personally would have liked to see his last slot go to Mussina over Morris, although #30 is right in that most people would vote Morris over Mussina even if they think Mussina was better just because this would be Morris's last year on the ballot while it's Mussina's first year. I don't necessarily agree with this voting pattern, but what can you do? I sure hope Mussina gets to 5% this year and next year (with Randy and Pedro) so we can have a proper discussion of his candidacy.
   32. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 02, 2013 at 10:28 PM (#4609135)
I, too, don't get the lovefest some have with Raines.


He's an easy comparison to a Hall of Famer who was an absolute shoo-in. And you can do it without Similarity Scores (which are nonsense) or WAR (which, to many in the BBWAA, are also nonsense).

And stop quoting "Hall of Fame statistics" as though that's a thing. All that measures is "whether HoF voters would traditionally vote for this person," which, as I already said, we can already observe by seeing who they voted for. They do not, in any way, measure Hall of Fame qualifications.
   33. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 02, 2013 at 10:31 PM (#4609137)
"Hall of Fame voters have overlooked Candidate A in favor of Candidate B, who was not as good a player."
"But Candidate B did better in these statistics that explicitly model what Hall of Fame voters tend to look at."

These are the same statement.
   34. cardsfanboy Posted: December 02, 2013 at 10:33 PM (#4609141)
I personally would have liked to see his last slot go to Mussina over Morris, although #30 is right in that most people would vote Morris over Mussina even if they think Mussina was better just because this would be Morris's last year on the ballot while it's Mussina's first year. I don't necessarily agree with this voting pattern, but what can you do? I sure hope Mussina gets to 5% this year and next year (with Randy and Pedro) so we can have a proper discussion of his candidacy.


I know I'm being unrealistically optimistic, but I have a very funny feeling that the hof is going to make a few minor changes to it's eligibility requirements in the next couple of years, and I fully expect a few names that have fallen off in recent years(Kevin Brown, and probably Palmiero this year and who knows maybe Mussina)will be put on the ballot again (there is precedent for that, happened to Santo and a couple of other guys-Flood, Dick Allen, and Boyer---wiki says it's Boyer, Flood and Santo only, but it has to be wrong.)

I can see either unlimited sized ballots happening, there is a very real possibility that eventual hofers are going to fall off the ballot with this glut.
   35. Morty Causa Posted: December 02, 2013 at 10:33 PM (#4609142)
So, if WAR is out, HOF stats are out, comparisons are out, OPS+ is out (?), what are you left with--the feeling in your scrotum?
   36. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 02, 2013 at 10:40 PM (#4609144)
Larry Walker has more WAR in 2000 fewer PAs. Did better on the HOF stats, too

I assume by HOF stats, you're referring to the HOF Monitor/Standards? Because it's worth pointing out that those are not context adjusted, and Walker's context adjustment is... large.

Which isn't to say that Walker is undeserving of support; I'd vote for both of them if the ballot were big enough. (Not sure who I'd put on a 10-man ballot yet - there may not be room for either of them, actually.)
   37. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 02, 2013 at 10:54 PM (#4609156)
So, if WAR is out, HOF stats are out, comparisons are out, OPS+ is out (?), what are you left with--the feeling in your scrotum?


You are either deliberately misunderstanding me or I have been unclear.

HOF stats are, definitely, out, for reasons I explained in 32 and 33.

WAR is fine if everyone in the conversation is okay with it and is willing to skip the "Hall of WAR" cracks. Assuming you are, is Tim Raines above the line for the Hall of Fame or not? If so, what are you complaining about?

If people aren't into WAR (as tfbg appears not to be, judging by post 15), it's easiest to use traditional statistics to show that Tim Raines is basically equivalent to someone who they consider a shoo-in Hall of Famer than it is to do it with Larry Walker.

No one even mentioned OPS+, so I don't know where you're pulling that from. For what it is worth, Tim Raines had 123 OPS+ in over ten thousand Plate Appearances with great baserunning.

As to why people talk more about Tim Raines than Larry Walker, Edgar Martinez, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Rafael Palmeiro, we're talking about someone on his seventh ballot as compared to people on their fourth, fifth, second, (eighth), and fourth. Except for McGwire, none of them have been "snubbed" as long as Raines has. And everyone knows why McGwire hasn't been elected, so talking about how great he was would be beside the point.

Does that explain what you perceive as a "lovefest"?
   38. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 02, 2013 at 10:54 PM (#4609157)
Oh, I left this off:

what are you left with--the feeling in your scrotum?


Go #### yourself.
   39. Morty Causa Posted: December 02, 2013 at 10:55 PM (#4609158)
And what do you assume I mean by WAR? And OPS+? And ERA+? And similarity scores?

No one is saying that any one of that stuff is absolutely dispositive of the issue. For any candidate, or the quality of any candidate. (Or, I would they aren't.)

So, what does dispose of the issue?

The problem is everyone is coming from every direction because they begin with a conclusion and just look for what supports that conclusion. And when it is shown that what's sauce for the gander is sauce for this other goose, then something else is cherry-picked as telling. If that's what you do, don't complain if someone does it, too--does it even to your favorite. Arguments about the HOF for marginal candidates becomes like a free for all Dodge Ball game.
   40. Morty Causa Posted: December 02, 2013 at 10:58 PM (#4609161)
Does that explain what you perceive as a "lovefest"?

It explains it, but it doesn't justify it.

So, what sorts Raines out from the herd? (And please notice that a lot of people comment on these things. Everything stated is not about you personally.)

   41. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 02, 2013 at 11:01 PM (#4609166)
So, what sorts Raines out from the herd?


That he is an easy example to use for people who are not into advanced statistics. You see, he is a very close comparison to somebody who they consider a shoo-in --

I've just invented a new rule. Whenever I find myself typing the same thing for the third time in response to someone who has shown no sign of reading it the first two times, I'm done with the discussion. You may continue to pretend that nobody's explained anything to you.
   42. Morty Causa Posted: December 02, 2013 at 11:03 PM (#4609169)
I guess I was just assuming you were better than that. And that Raines had more going for him than ___lite.
   43. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 02, 2013 at 11:06 PM (#4609172)
comparisons are out


That's not what he said. He said that Similarity Scores are nonsense, which is true.
   44. Morty Causa Posted: December 02, 2013 at 11:07 PM (#4609173)
Jeez, Monty, it's just an internet argument. Is it really worth it to you that much that have what seems like a mental breakdown in real time?
   45. Morty Causa Posted: December 02, 2013 at 11:08 PM (#4609174)
That's not what he said. He said that Similarity Scores are nonsense, which is true.

So, what are your comparisons, and how do you formulate and structure them?
   46. Shoebo Posted: December 02, 2013 at 11:16 PM (#4609181)
On the Gwynn vs. Raines front.....while I agree with the basics of the argument, Tony Gwynn is one guy that is really very easy to identify as "clutch". Pretty much every single measure, RISP, 2 out RISP, Close and Late, High Leverage, etc etc, he is better than overall and better than league averages by a large margin. All the Win Probability metrics at FG, (braces for CFB's wrath) show the same thing too. Rock was excellent in those situations too....just not as good as Gwynn.



   47. Greg K Posted: December 02, 2013 at 11:20 PM (#4609187)
So, what sorts Raines out from the herd?

I think it's as simple as this:

When you look at the ballot you have a few groups of players
Guys who will probably get in easily (Biggio, Maddux, Glavine)
Guys who are not getting in at the moment, but we all know why, so evaluating how good they were is irrelevant (Bonds, Clemens, to a lesser extent Piazza, Bagwell, McGwire, Palmeiro...though Palmeiro is a unique case I think)
Guys where it's too early to say what's going to happen (Mussina, Thomas, Schilling)
Guy that is still on the ballot, but realistically, and for whatever reason that ship has sailed (Trammell)
Guys that might deserve it, and have had a rough initial showing, still time, but I'd think it's doubtful (Edgar, Walker)
Guy that has been on the ballot for a while now and appears to be teetering on the knife's edge enough that judicious weight put in the right spot may push him over (Raines)

I have Raines in a group with McGwire, Palmeiro, Walker, Trammell, Schilling, Mussina and Edgar as guys who I think you could put in the Hall of Fame and they wouldn't move the average base line of Hall of Fame value much...perhaps some guys would nudge it a tick down, but they're all solid, if not overwhelming choices for me. I think you can almost make any ranking of that group and defend it without being too unreasonable...I guess I might put Schilling as a notch above the rest perhaps. In a couple years you can add Jim Thome and Scott Rolen to that group...perhaps going back in time Kenny Lofton deserved a mention in there before he fell off the ballot (though I'm noticing that I am a bit of a Lofton-lover in these discussions).

The point being, I'm not sure Raines really separates himself much from this group. He's firmly in the middle of it. But in my opinion they are all (or almost all) Hall of Famers, and it just so happens that now is Raines' time. Before was Blyleven's time, and that campaign was a success. Trammell had his time, and he didn't make it for some reason. Sad, but you move on. Attention will likely turn to Walker and Edgar next (or maybe Mussina or Schilling depending on how voting goes).
   48. TJ Posted: December 02, 2013 at 11:23 PM (#4609188)
Morris was the winningest pitcher in the 1980's- big deal. If you want to vote for the best Tiger from the 1980's, you don't vote for Jack Morris- you vote for Alan Trammell...
   49. Greg K Posted: December 02, 2013 at 11:33 PM (#4609197)
So, what are your comparisons, and how do you formulate and structure them?

You could pop out one of bobm's lists. Or those handy ones (I think) BDC likes to write up...corner outfielders with a similar range of OPS+ and PAs as Raines. Though keeping in mind Raines likely laps everyone else on the list in terms of non-batting value.

Apologies for the formatting which I'm sure will come out awfully...

Player - PA - OPS+ - Running and Fielding Runs Above Average - WAR

Al Simmons - 9518 - 133 - 70 - (68.6)
Goose Goslin - 9829 - 128 - 62 - (66.1)
Billy Williams - 10159 - 133 - 18 - (63.7)
Fred Clarke - 9838 - 133 - 90 - (67.7)
Paul Waner - 10766 - 134 - 18 - (72.8)
Sam Crawford - 10595 - 144 - 39 - (75.1)
Tony Gwynn - 10232 - 132 - 29 - (68.9)
Tim Raines - 10359 - 123 - 108 - (69.1)

You need to believe in the running numbers, but if you do Raines looks at home in the middle of that group. All Hall of Famers and (as far as I know, I don't participate in a lot of Hall of Fame debates) none of them controversial selections.

EDIT: ACK...just realized the dashes cancelled out the negative run/field numbers...I think Williams and Crawford had negative value there.
   50. cardsfanboy Posted: December 02, 2013 at 11:54 PM (#4609207)
So, what sorts Raines out from the herd? (And please notice that a lot of people comment on these things. Everything stated is not about you personally.)


From a stats fan perspective, it's precisely because him and Gwynn are more or less exactly as valuable, in an easy to show example, that separates him from the herd.

There are a lot of hof guys who aren't getting the love they deserve, from Larry Walker to Lou Whitaker or Bobby Grich, but they don't have an easy to show example in the same way that Raines/Gwynn does. The stat crowd for years have bad mouthed stolen bases(when they were really just bad mouthing the caught stealing) while the non-stats crowd would defend it with vigor, and here we have a guy who is probably the greatest base thief of all time(or second best) that the traditionalist aren't taking a liking too.

He's equally as valuable as Tony Gwynn no matter how you cut it up and it's easy enough to show, whether you want to go career or peak. Add in the collusion story, the second greatest leadoff hitter of all time, the under rated while he played partially due to his skills, and partially due to the team he played for, and you have a lot of convergent factors making him the guy that the stats community jointly have decided to support.

On the Gwynn vs. Raines front.....while I agree with the basics of the argument, Tony Gwynn is one guy that is really very easy to identify as "clutch". Pretty much every single measure, RISP, 2 out RISP, Close and Late, High Leverage, etc etc, he is better than overall and better than league averages by a large margin. All the Win Probability metrics at FG, (braces for CFB's wrath) show the same thing too. Rock was excellent in those situations too....just not as good as Gwynn.


Risp is basically the same when you factor in the extra 50 gidp that Gwynn had (and we are talking roughly 25% of their career plate appearances)
2 out risp..you are talking about roughly 10% of their at bats and a minor advantage to Gwynn again. I would say that close and late is pretty close between the two, the extra 19 gidp that Gwynn got negates the slight difference between them, same with the high leverage situation... And of course any argument that focus's just on the hitting aspect basically intentionally ignores the base running aspect of Raines...


As far as win probability, I'm not sure it's an accurate enough stat that you can take a difference of 55 to 47 over 10000 plate appearances with any certainty, and of course wpa/L1 is closer at 49 to 52. And again, it's not including base running, by war you have a difference of 115 to 23 on the base paths.
   51. Cooper Nielson Posted: December 03, 2013 at 12:17 AM (#4609225)
Add in the collusion story,

And don't forget the 1981 strike -- imagine what Raines could have done in a full season. He stole 71 bases (vs. 11 CS) and scored 61 runs in just 88 games (108 team games).
   52. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 03, 2013 at 01:38 AM (#4609279)

And don't forget the 1981 strike -- imagine what Raines could have done in a full season. He stole 71 bases (vs. 11 CS) and scored 61 runs in just 88 games (108 team games).


Labor-management issues cost Rock more than just about any other player. He lost games in his great 81, a month out of a possible MVP season in 87, then more in 94-95 that make his latter years look more part-timey than they were.

And he came back from missing a season with Lupus. That seems like that should be a nice hook for the BBWAA, but it doesn't seem to resonate.

   53. MelOtt4 Posted: December 03, 2013 at 01:39 AM (#4609280)
The Morris vote doesn't bother me (that much) since he had voted for him previously. The ballots to watch are the ones who did not have Jack Morris on the ballot last year.
   54. Cooper Nielson Posted: December 03, 2013 at 03:14 AM (#4609302)
Labor-management issues cost Rock more than just about any other player.

Yes, I think Raines is the biggest "victim" (in terms of legacy) of MLB's labor wars, though there's an argument to be made for Mike Mussina as well.

Without the 1994-95 strike, Mussina probably has two more 20-win seasons, has a chance of winning a Cy Young in 1994 (he didn't deserve it when the season ended, but he was close enough that things could have changed with another 10 starts), and with an extra 5-8 wins, he might have been more inclined to stick around to try for 300. Also, IIRC, Mussina was very involved with union leadership so the strike made him look like a bad guy.
   55. TJ Posted: December 03, 2013 at 07:31 AM (#4609315)
Guess I'm bothered by the votes for Bonds, Clemens, and Piazza. If you weren't going to vote for them last year because you felt that what they did (or suspected they did) was so heinous that they didn't warrant your HOF vote, why vote for them this year because you now feel that it wasn't? I can't see any other reason for changing your vote. Is this an example of a "I punished them by making them wait a year for my vote" ballot?

Either you feel they cheated or they didn't. Vote accordingly.
   56. Moeball Posted: December 03, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4609402)
I, too, don't get the lovefest some have with Raines. For a peak candidate he sure didn't lead the league in anything very often.


Well...maybe part of the problem is looking at things too closely. Sometimes we spend so much time looking at individual seasons under the microscope that we miss the forest for the trees. If we pull back a little and look at things from a distance, i.e., multiple seasons, maybe we can start to appreciate Raines a little more.

Raines was the quintessential leadoff man. His job was to get on base and get things going, any way he could. So how did he do at this?

1)Getting walks - that's one way to get on base. For the first 8 years of his career (1981-88) Raines was 4th in the NL in walks. Ok, not bad for a start.
2)Getting hits - Raines had more hits from 1981-88 than anyone else in the NL
3)So how did he do at getting on base? He had the highest OBP in the league (.392)(criteria selected with minimum PA = 3000 - Raines had almost 5000 PA during this time)

What should a great leadoff hitter do once he reaches base? Get himself in scoring position without the team having to use up any additional outs, right?

1)Obviously, Raines led the NL in stolen bases for the period in question and averaged about 1 stolen base for every 2 games played. That's one way to wreak havoc on the opposition.
2)But he also led the league in doubles during this period, yet another way a player can move himself into scoring position
3)And no one in the league hit more triples than Raines, either, so he excelled here as well.

Raines did the best job in the league of getting on base and he did by far the best job of getting himself into scoring position. What does this translate to? Well, the name of the game is to score runs and, oh, yeah, he led the league in that, too.

So - in a nutshell:

For a period of almost a decade, Tim Raines led his league in on-base percentage, hits, doubles, triples, stolen bases and runs scored. I'd say that's worthy of a little black ink.

If you think an 8-year peak is too short for a HOF candidate, that's fine. You're entitled to that opinion. But there's a whole lot of players in the HOF who never dominated a league in such a fashion for so long a period of time so I think Raines did just fine. It's not Rogers Hornsby, who led the NL in Runs, Hits, Doubles, Triples, HRs, RBIs, Walks, BA, OBP and SLG for the entire decade of the '20s, but, hey, if you're not in Rogers Hornsby's league, that's ok, too. Hardly anybody is, and that shouldn't really be the standard for HOF admission.
   57. cardsfanboy Posted: December 03, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4609428)
Either you feel they cheated or they didn't. Vote accordingly.


Or you just wanted another year to dwell on it. Several writers have stated that they might not vote for an accused roider off the bat, but that they are going to evaluate their position on a yearly basis. I think changing your vote is an example of integrity to yourself and the process. I don't agree with withholding a vote for an assumed roider, but I understand the position. Mind you, I also don't believe in the "not worthy of a first ballot" thought process, but at least it's a defensible (if asinine) position.
   58. Ron J2 Posted: December 03, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4609495)
#23 And yet the whole nose candy thing didn't affect Paul Molitor's votes in any way that I can see.
   59. The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4609510)
   60. alilisd Posted: December 03, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4609546)
Nice take Moeball!
   61. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: December 03, 2013 at 01:10 PM (#4609549)
The stat crowd for years have bad mouthed stolen bases(when they were really just bad mouthing the caught stealing) while the non-stats crowd would defend it with vigor


Agreed for the most part about Raines but the quoted passage is a masterpiece of bad writing, bad faith, and bad history.
   62. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 03, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4609556)
The argument for Raines is pretty simple: He was one of the best players in baseball for 6-7 seasons; he is one of the greatest baserunners in MLB history (led the league 4 times in SB, 5th all-time in SB); he hit over .300 a bunch of times and led the league once; and his career totals fit easily with other HOF corner OFs.
   63. Eddo Posted: December 03, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4609632)
#56 (Moeball) is an excellent post.
   64. Morty Causa Posted: December 03, 2013 at 07:45 PM (#4609981)
47:

Just wanted to acknowledge this. A pretty fine and nuanced explanation from a psychological point of view of voters. Recherché, even, I might venture to say. I'd hate to depend on a explanation like that if my life depended on it, though. It's a precedent for justifying a whole lot of touchy-feely marginal selections.
   65. Shoebo Posted: December 06, 2013 at 01:10 AM (#4611673)
CFB, good counter point on the DP's. Still, late in the game, one run game, RISP, who do you want at the plate ? Gwynn or Raines ?

Their career WAR and JAWS scores, (if you want to look at peak as well) are pretty darn similar. Gwynn did bring a little extra something something in key situations. DP's notwithstanding.
   66. PreservedFish Posted: December 06, 2013 at 01:21 AM (#4611676)
Still, late in the game, one run game, RISP, who do you want at the plate ? Gwynn or Raines ?


This is like the argument that Kobe Bryant is the best player in basketball because you want him to have the ball in your last possession. Ok, fine. But that's not everything.
   67. Shoebo Posted: December 06, 2013 at 02:51 AM (#4611697)
Nobody said that was everything, it's not like that at all.......please read the points and the entire discussion.

WAR is same. Peak is same. Overall value is same.

Clutch metrics slightly favor Gwynn. It's an edge. Thats all I'm saying. Sheesh....some people see the mention of clutch and leverage and RISP and the like, and they assume the "worst".

There IS a narrative to baseball games. The sequence of events DO matter in the context of the narrative. Remember this is entertainment.




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