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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Astros County: Jon Heyman, Jeff Bagwell and David Ortiz

Jon Heyman keeps referring to David Ortiz as “HOF Worthy.” Jon Heyman has never voted for Bagwell.


Source: FanGraphsJeff Bagwell, David Ortiz

Thanks to Mel.

Repoz Posted: May 15, 2014 at 05:42 AM | 117 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

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   1. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: May 15, 2014 at 08:56 AM (#4707202)
The argument for Ortiz over Bagwell for the Hall is 295/409/553 against 226/364/321. Those are their cumulative postseason batting lines.

Bagwell played in 14 playoff games before his 33rd birthday (his team going 2-12 in those games). These are the opposing starting pitchers from those 14 games:

Greg Maddux (3 starts)
Tom Glavine (3 starts)
John Smoltz (2 starts)
Kevin Brown (2 starts)
John Burkett
Kevin Millwood
Andy Ashby
Sterling Hitchcock

Burkett in 2001 was coming off his career year (a 147 OPS+). Millwood in 1999 had just put up a 2.68 ERA (167 ERA+) and led the league in WHIP. Andy Ashby in 2001 had a 117 ERA+. That's brutal-- 10 games against guys who will likely end up in the Hall of Merit, 2 games against good pitchers having great years, one game against a solid pitcher having a good year, and Sterling Hitchcock. (Bagwell went 1-3 with a walk.)
   2. Publius Publicola Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4707218)
How many rings does Bagwell have again?

129 post-season PA slashline:

.226/.364/.321

Outrageous to believe Ortiz deserves induction and Bagwell doesn't.
   3. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4707222)
I'd vote for Bagwell in a heartbeat but Ortiz has narrative in spades. I suspect he gets as much of a boost from narrative as any player since Morris.
   4. GregD Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4707229)
Can't wait for the Bucky Dent induction next year and Brian Doyle the year following
   5. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4707235)
How many rings does Bagwell have again?

129 post-season PA slashline:

.226/.364/.321

Outrageous to believe Ortiz deserves induction and Bagwell doesn't.


Sure, Bagwell was a much better hitter, and a much better fielder, and a much better baserunner, and had a much longer career, but that all pales in comparison to what he did in 33 specific games scattered across a nine-year period, along with how his teammates performed in those games.

How'd that Ted Williams fellow ever get into the Hall, anyway? He only hit .200/.333/.200 in the postseason - even worse than Bagwell!
   6. John DiFool2 Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4707246)
I like how people seem to think WAR was handed down from on high from God, and thus the foundations/assumptions of said stat must be taken completely on faith, and thus never questioned.

When my work schedule eases off, I might go and do that study I've been wanting to do, to evaluate just how much playing DH hurts some players' hitting stats.
   7. bobm Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:48 AM (#4707253)
Selected recent 1B and DH offensive player stats, sorted by oWAR

                                                                                         
Player           oWAR OPS+ From   To   Age    G    PA  HR   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS        Pos
Albert Pujols    80.2  165 2001 2014 21-34 1997  8722 502 .320 .408 .597 1.005 *37D5/9H64
Frank Thomas     79.8  156 1990 2008 22-40 2322 10075 521 .301 .419 .555  .974      *D3/H
Jim Thome        77.1  147 1991 2012 20-41 2543 10313 612 .276 .402 .554  .956       3D5H
Jeff Bagwell     74.0  149 1991 2005 23-37 2150  9431 449 .297 .408 .540  .948     *3/HD9
Edgar Martinez   66.4  147 1987 2004 24-41 2055  8674 309 .312 .418 .515  .933     *D5/H3
Mark McGwire     64.8  163 1986 2001 22-37 1874  7660 583 .263 .394 .588  .982    *3/HD59
Jason Giambi     58.6  140 1995 2014 24-43 2238  8849 438 .277 .400 .518  .918   *3DH7/59
Fred McGriff     55.5  134 1986 2004 22-40 2460 10174 493 .284 .377 .509  .886      *3D/H
Paul Molitor     52.0  125 1985 1998 28-41 1918  8688 174 .313 .378 .460  .838   *D53/4H7
David Ortiz      47.2  140 1997 2014 21-38 2006  8413 442 .287 .381 .550  .931       *D3H


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/15/2014.
   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:48 AM (#4707255)
When my work schedule eases off, I might go and do that study I've been wanting to do, to evaluate just how much playing DH hurts some players' hitting stats.


If Ortiz incurred any penalty to his offensive levels as a result of playing DH, it's more than cancelled out by the 5+ extra years the role added to the end of his career, after he became to fat and feeble to play the field on anything but an emergency basis.
   9. Astroenteritis (tom) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4707260)
How'd that Ted Williams fellow ever get into the Hall, anyway? He only hit .200/.333/.200 in the postseason - even worse than Bagwell!


Thank you. It's idiotic to rely on something as team dependent as post-season numbers as anything but a minor consideration in hall voting. Nothing against Ortiz, but he's also spent most of his career being half a baseball player.
Bagwell was also a good fielder, excellent baserunner and stole over 200 bases.
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4707261)
Wow, it's almost as if focus on the HOF gives a lot of attention to the HOF voters themselves. Whodathunkit?
   11. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4707265)
Just for reference, because I was curious:

As of today, the career bWAR gap between Ortiz and Bagwell is essentially the same size as the gap between Bagwell and Lou Gehrig, or the gap between Ortiz and Hal Morris.
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:57 AM (#4707269)
If Ortiz incurred any penalty to his offensive levels as a result of playing DH, it's more than cancelled out by the 5+ extra years the role added to the end of his career, after he became to fat and feeble to play the field on anything but an emergency basis.


He was just as fat 10 years ago as he is now. And he has never been feeble. As far as World Series games being an emergency, I guess that's a matter of opinion.
   13. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:04 AM (#4707279)
Steroids.
   14. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:05 AM (#4707280)
How many rings does Bagwell have again?

129 post-season PA slashline:

.226/.364/.321

Outrageous to believe Ortiz deserves induction and Bagwell doesn't.
Billy Hatcher (.404/.466/.654 postseason) for the Hall of Fame!
   15. Publius Publicola Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4707284)
Thank you. It's idiotic to rely on something as team dependent as post-season numbers as anything but a minor consideration in hall voting.


Umm, how is Ortiz' post-season slashline team-dependent again?

How'd that Ted Williams fellow ever get into the Hall, anyway? He only hit .200/.333/.200 in the postseason - even worse than Bagwell!


Math is simple- 33 > 7.

but that all pales in comparison to what he did in 33 specific games scattered across a nine-year period, along with how his teammates performed in those games.


Correction: the 33 games were the most important 33 games in Bagwell's career. And his team had a post-season record of 16-24 when he was the key guy. And in the one sustained post-season run the Astros mustered in '05, he was a bit player who didn't contribute very much at all. Anybody can have a bad series but he made a career out of having bad series. Major demerit for Bagwell. I know there's a lot of Bagwell fanboys here but his post-season record is what it is.
   16. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4707288)
He was just as fat 10 years ago as he is now. And he has never been feeble.


When the Red Sox came to Pittsburgh in 2011, they left Ortiz on the bench and started a totally finished (68 OPS+) J.D. Drew in right field rather than playing Ortiz at first and Adrian Gonzalez in RF, even though Gonzalez had done some prep work for RF the week before and PNC Park has one of the smallest amounts of RF ground in baseball.

Ortiz batted three times, and on both of his groundouts, he was visibly winded from the effort of trying to run to first base.
   17. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4707289)
This is the shitty part of the infatuation with the Hall of Fame. Rather than simply celebrating the great careers guys like Bagwell or Ortiz had we wind up with ###### arguments rather than enjoying the great players both were/are.
   18. Nasty Nate Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4707292)
When the Red Sox came to Pittsburgh in 2011, they left Ortiz on the bench and started a totally finished (68 OPS+) J.D. Drew in right field rather than playing Ortiz at first and Adrian Gonzalez in RF, even though Gonzalez had done some prep work for RF the week before and PNC Park has one of the smallest amounts of RF ground in baseball.

Ortiz batted three times, and on both of his groundouts, he was visibly winded from the effort of trying to run to first base.


cool story, bro
   19. Randy Jones Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4707294)
Vlad, you are arguing with kevin. It's just not worth it.
   20. MHS Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4707297)
If you accept the premise that winning the world world series is objective of a team in any given year (not in all cases but over the long term). It is only logical that playoff performance has a bigger impact in driving that objective.

That doesn't make regular season performance meaningless but it means that the bar must be higher for players that haven't driven teams towards teh world series (even if the team didn't ultimatly win).

   21. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4707301)
Umm, how is Ortiz' post-season slashline team-dependent again?


The number of postseason opportunities Ortiz has received has been a direct function of his teammates' postseason performances. If he had played for teams that weren't as good as the Red Sox, they would have gotten knocked out of some of those series instead of advancing, and wouldn't have advanced to the postseason at all in some of the years where they did.

Math is simple- 33 > 7.


Yes, and .685 > .533. If Ortiz is a better player than Bagwell because he delivered substantially better postseason performances than Bagwell in a substantially larger number of postseason opportunities, then the same should be true for Bagwell and Williams for the same reason.

Your logic, not mine.

Anybody can have a bad series but he made a career out of having bad series.


A 33-game career, apparently.
   22. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4707304)
cool story, bro


It actually was pretty cool. The Pirates took two out of the three games, in part because Ortiz was nailed to the bench, and I got to see Jeff Karstens pick up a hit and drive in a run against Tim Wakefield.
   23. villageidiom Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4707307)
Jeff Bagwell deserves to be in the HOF. That's basically it. If you're making any argument comparing Ortiz with Bagwell that doesn't start with "Jeff Bagwell deserves to be in the HOF" you're starting in the wrong place.

And even then, if you admit Bagwell should be in the HOF, comparing Ortiz to him is no different from comparing Ortiz to any individual player in the HOF. "Well, he's not as good as Babe Ruth, ergo he's not HOF worthy. Duh." Or "Well, he has a better argument than Jim Rice, ergo he is worthy. Duh." That's not the best way to determine his worthiness. Comparing to players in the HOF, sure. Comparing to an individual player, no.

If you want to argue about Ortiz being HOF-worthy, go right ahead. It's probably been a month since our last such discussion, and I'm sure everyone has fresh arguments to make given his career trajectory has changed so much in that time. But arguing that Ortiz belongs over Bagwell are silly, and arguments that Ortiz doesn't belong that start from a framework that has Bagwell not worthy are also silly because the framework itself is silly.
   24. Nasty Nate Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4707316)
It actually was pretty cool. The Pirates took two out of the three games, in part because Ortiz was nailed to the bench, and I got to see Jeff Karstens pick up a hit and drive in a run against Tim Wakefield.


I think you might actually have seen Ortiz at his most fat. IIRC, all his 1B starts in the last 2 years have been in non-emergency situations.
   25. Astroenteritis (tom) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4707317)
If he had played for teams that weren't as good as the Red Sox, they would have gotten knocked out of some of those series instead of advancing


Or, he wouldn't have been in the playoffs at all. Was it Ernie Banks' fault the Cubs never won the pennant?
   26. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4707323)
I wouldn't ding Bagwell for his lousy postseasons, but there is not question Ortiz deserves huge, huge credit for his. I would probably support Ortize for the HOF because of them. They don't nearly make up the gap on Bagwell, however.
   27. Publius Publicola Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4707325)
Your logic, not mine.


Vlad apparently missed the memo about the expanded post-season format beginning in 1969.
   28. AROM Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4707329)
Bagwell hasn't gotten into the hall yet because some voters think he might have tried steroids. And Bagwell didn't even have a leaked, alleged, positive test result from 2003.

He was a teammate of Caminiti, so that raises suspicions. And Ortiz was a teammate of Manny Ramirez.
   29. Publius Publicola Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4707333)
I would probably support Ortize for the HOF because of them. They don't nearly make up the gap on Bagwell, however.


This all depends on how important you view the post-season. Since championships are based on post-season play and not regular season play (even pennants are given to the winner of the championship series, not most regular season wins), then it's obviously really important. So it all depends on how much.

So it's not silly at all that someone would weigh post-season play so heavily as to tip the balance towards Ortiz, especially given how spectacular he has been, and how unspectacular Bagwell was.

That others think different doesn't make them right, it just makes them different.
   30. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4707334)
They're both Hallworthy. It's not a zero sum game.
   31. MHS Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4707347)
Major demerit for Bagwell.


Demerits are the wrong way to think about it, at least to me. From my perspective players are the sum of their regular season and post season work.

Bagwell, certainly towers over Ortiz during the regular season to date. Ortiz's has a much larger relative advantage in the post season. The only question is how much you weigh them the post season and the regular season.

One way I think you can try and quantify it, which will be controversial is that it takes about 94 wins to be a WS contender (average of last 10 years World Series teams). So each win the regular season gets you 1.06% (1/94) of a playoff appearance. If a regular season win gets you 1.06% a playoff appearance and once you make the playoffs you have roughly a 1 in 8 chance (12.5%) of winning the world series that makes every regular season win worth about 0.13% chance of winning the World Series.

You need to win 11 games to win the World Series, so each win the playoff gets you 9.1% (1/11) of a world series.

Which makes a playoff win worth about 68x a regular season win.

Which doesn't pass the smell test, for an actual number but it does make me think that intuitively we underrate the importanance of the playoffs. I'm open to other ways to think about it and what the best way to scale the importance of each is.



   32. gehrig97 Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4707348)
I dunno... if Ortiz finishes in the vicinity of 550 HRs, he might have a shot. But the voters have been very tough on DHs (Edgar's support was down to 25% last year). Ortiz has the post-season narrative, and you can't discount "this is our f'n city!", the larger-than-life stature (and he seems to have moved comfortably into an elder statesman role), and, well, his fame.

On the other hand: His "connection" to PEDs is much stronger than Bagwell's "connection," even the biggest Red Sox boosters concede he has been less than useless on defense and the basepaths, and he was never the best hitter in the league. You just can't justify his election while Bonds, McGwire and Bagwell are excluded (although I do think Bags makes it eventually).

He was, and is, a helluva hitter. Barring another PED revelation, I see him clearing 30% in his first ballot. We'll see where it goes from there.
   33. Publius Publicola Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4707349)
And Bagwell didn't even have a leaked, alleged, positive test result from 2003.


It's more than just that. His minor league career indicated he'd be a high average, low power (he hit a total of minor league 6 homers in 847 pre-MLB plate appearances) linedrive hitter. His slashline was .321 /.410 /.436. There was nothing at all in his record or makeup to suggest he had it in him to become a historically great slugger.

That's rather unusual and, considering the era his career spanned, people are going to construct reasons why it happened.
   34. tfbg9 Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4707352)
Bohemian Grove.
   35. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4707353)
This all depends on how important you view the post-season. Since championships are based on post-season play and not regular season play (even pennants are given to the winner of the championship series, not most regular season wins), then it's obviously really important. So it all depends on how much.


Please refresh my memory: How many championships does Ted Williams have, again?
   36. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4707357)
His minor league career indicated he'd be a high average, low power (he hit a total of minor league 6 homers in 847 pre-MLB plate appearances) linedrive hitter.


Yeah, all one-and-a-half years of it.

Like nearly all good hitters, Bagwell was a doubles hitter when he was younger, and as he got bigger and stronger with age, he developed more power. His big power breakout was in his age 26 season, which is just about as bog-standard normal as it gets for a ballplayer.
   37. tfbg9 Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4707363)
Ted had an elbow injury for the '46 Series. Just sayin'.
   38. Publius Publicola Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4707369)
Like nearly all good hitters, Bagwell was a doubles hitter when he was younger, and as he got bigger and stronger with age, he developed more power. His big power breakout was in his age 26 season, which is just about as bog-standard normal as it gets for a ballplayer.


For the tech-savvy, can someone dig out a list of minor leaguers who averaged at or below 1 HR/141 minor league plate appearances who went on to average at least 1 HR/21 major league PAs as Bagwell did?
   39. Publius Publicola Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4707371)
Ortiz batted three times, and on both of his groundouts, he was visibly winded from the effort of trying to run to first base.


I have to say, it cracks me up when Vlad trots out evidence like this, while at the very same time raising the sample size issue over the post-season stats.
   40. AROM Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4707376)
Probably about as rare as a guy with no position value being a slightly above average hitter (108 OPS+) through age 26, and then turning into a HOF candidate slugger.
   41. AROM Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4707384)
Bagwell in the minors: 6 homers in 731 AB. Also 48 doubles.

Next up on the career HR list is Yaz. 22 homers in 1021 AB. He hit 15 at age 19 in class B, then in AA hit 7 in 570 AB.

I'll keep looking when I get a chance.
   42. villageidiom Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4707390)
It's more than just that. His minor league career indicated he'd be a high average, low power (he hit a total of minor league 6 homers in 847 pre-MLB plate appearances) linedrive hitter.
Pretty much anyone in the minors projecting as a linedrive hitter is usually expected to develop significant power. I think you used to say this about Ellsbury in 2007 or so - that he wasn't hitting for power much (early in his career) but should be expected to do so in future years, and you were right. In retrospect this shouldn't have been unusual.

I agree that generally Bagwell wasn't expected to develop as much as he did, but I think that could say more about the scouting world in the late 1980s than it did about the possibility of PED use.

And even if it speaks more to the latter, it's still a level of suspicion I feel Bagwell hasn't earned any more than anyone else in the era.
   43. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4707396)
It's more than just that. His minor league career indicated he'd be a high average, low power (he hit a total of minor league 6 homers in 847 pre-MLB plate appearances) linedrive hitter. His slashline was .321 /.410 /.436. There was nothing at all in his record or makeup to suggest he had it in him to become a historically great slugger....For the tech-savvy, can someone dig out a list of minor leaguers who averaged at or below 1 HR/141 minor league plate appearances who went on to average at least 1 HR/21 major league PAs as Bagwell did?
Joey Votto's first 2 years (736 PA) in the minors: .275/.393/.436. PA/HR as a major leaguer: (EDIT) 24/1 (EDIT: 24 HR every PA would probably set a record of some type).

Just sayin'.
   44. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4707407)
What's surreal about this whole thread is that Kevin is arguing that a known PED cheater deserves to be in the HOF.
   45. Ron J2 Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4707424)
#36 As I've noted before, Bagwell played in some really tough places to hit in the minors. New Britain was probably the toughest place to hit in all of baseball at the time, and Winter Haven is not what you'd call a great place to hit either.
   46. The_Batguy Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4707433)
If you look at the scouting reports for Bagwell, all from 1989 or 1990, posted at http://scouts.baseballhall.org/ you see things like "has power to all fields" "He has always hit for both (power and average) during his Collegiate Career" "Smooth fluid powerful swing" and "Really like bat!!!"

If you look at the rest of his New Britain teammates the year he hit just 4 HR in 481 at bats, you see that the team leader only had 5 and that the entire team hit just 31 that year. That the year before Mo Vaughn led the team with 8. That from 1988 to 1991 not a single New Britain player was able to reach double digits in home runs.
   47. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4707434)
Bagwell deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and deserves to be in the Hall of Merit.
Ortiz probably deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, depending on how much you emphasize the Fame part of the equation. He needs more to make the Hall of Merit depending on how great his postseason credit is and how big a DH penalty you apply.

Ortiz's career isn't over, he's currently got the highest OPS in the American League and is 38 years old. If he stays healthy he could end up with not just HoF and HoM worthy counting stats but a worthy WAR number.

Heyman is a putz for not voting for Bagwell, but that doesn't mean that Ortiz is undeserving of the HoF.

eta:
You just can't justify his election while Bonds, McGwire and Bagwell are excluded (although I do think Bags makes it eventually).


See the above. I can justify it by saying that the voters are tendentious moralizing ######## and that all four of them should be in the HoF.
   48. base ball chick Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4707437)
bagwell played for some team nobody cares about. no narrative. and he was really lousy in every postseason he played in. not a clutch guy

ortiz played for the Glamourous Important Franchise that half of BBTN and ESPN roots for and he was a Clutch God who led his StoryTale Franchise to 3 WS in 10 years and was a complete and total Clutch God who didn't Wilt in the playoffs, unlike whatshisname steroid guy who led his poor innicent teammate bigglesworth to a drug infested roided up late carre hanging on by his fingertips

no one CARES that ortiz can't play in the field. they only care about how he's so Clutch

no one CARES that bagwell was a true 5 tool player, because, you know, CLUTCH GOD WINS WS!!!!
   49. Moeball Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4707440)
People can argue all they want about Bagwell vs. Ortiz; both have been terrific players.

I do take issue with one particular statement here, and I do so because it isn't just one person who truly believes it - there are a whole slew of people who honestly believe this:

the 33 games were the most important 33 games in Bagwell's career


No, they weren't.

Think of it this way - when looking to hire someone, a company has a set of minimum prerequisites that must be met for an employee to be able to do the job. There are some other things that are nice to have on the resume, too, but a candidate without the basic prerequisites will never even get interviewed, much less be given the job.

People may not like to hear this, but playing well in the regular season is the prerequisite to getting to the postseason. No one just hands you a playoff spot before the season begins and tells you to have at it (at least not yet although B-Sel would probably like to do that). A team that plays poorly during the regular season doesn't meet the basic minimum standards to qualify for the job of playing in the postseason.

How do teams make the postseason? By having players who played well during the regular season.

Let me state this as bluntly as I possibly can: Playing well during the regular season isn't just more important than playing well in the postseason, it is vastly more important. It always has been and always will be unless they just make every game a playoff game and eliminate the regular season. If you don't play well during the regular season there are no playoff games to play.

So let's stop this BS right now about how the playoffs are so much more important than the regular season. They aren't. The playoffs are shiny extras on the resume. The regular season is the prerequisite.

Now, of course I know why a lot of people think the playoffs are more important - the goal of each team is to win rings. I get that. But there's much more to it than that. We have a society today that openly despises work ethic. We want to win the lotto; we don't want to work 80 hours a week to build a consistently successful business. We hate to work. Because it's hard.

Example: Michael Jordan got his zillion dollar Nike contract with what logo? A silhouette of him flying through the air going in for a dunk, right? How many fancy dunks a game did Michael actually have? 2 or 3 per game? That's 4 or 6 points a game. Nike doesn't give zillion dollar contracts to guys who only score 4 or 6 points a game. In reality, Michael usually scored over 30 points a game. So where did the bulk of the points come from? From a deadly medium range jumper, the quickness to drive around defenders to the hoop and being a good free throw shooter. Where did Michael's superior skills at these facets of the game come from? From thousands upon thousands of hours of practice. Yes, Mr. Iverson, practice. That thing most people don't want to do because it is hard work. But no one cares about having a good jump shot or being good at free throws. Those aren't glamorous; Nike doesn't give you shoes with a logo of a guy shooting free throws. They put the logo on of the guy making a fancy dunk, because the thing that represents a quarter of your success as an offensive player is so much more important to the fans than the stuff that represents three quarters of your success - and this doesn't even take into account that Michael was a great defensive player as well, which really requires a lot of hard work and isn't very glamorous. How about a shoe with a logo of a guy playing defense?

There's a scene in "A League of Their Own" where Geena Davis' character is going to quit the team. She tells Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) that "it just got too hard". His response was one of the all time great lines:

"Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. If it was easy everyone would do it. It's the hard that makes it great."

Anyone who has ever worked their a** off to accomplish something knows this is true. But most people don't see this because they're not willing to work that hard.

This is why we think the playoffs are more important than the regular season. The playoffs are short and glamorous and everyone is watching. The playoffs are fancy dunks. The regular season is a long grind and a lot of it goes unnoticed. You have to work your tail off and stay focused for a long period of time to have a successful regular season. That's not glamorous. It's not pretty. It's hard work. And it's the prerequisite.

Well, I'll get down off my soapbox now and go shut up for a while. I suppose I've told enough kids to get off my lawn for one day.

   50. Booey Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4707441)
What's surreal about this whole thread is that Kevin is arguing that a known PED cheater deserves to be in the HOF.


Ortiz plays for Boston. It's only cheating when YOUR guys do it. Duh.
   51. base ball chick Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4707447)
as for bagwell and the new britian thingy

1 - 21 year old males never EVER get bigger or stronger unless they are EVULL and shoot up with roids. it has never happened naturally in the known history of human beings. Also, males are not able to put on more than a maximum of 5 lbs of muscle at any age without shooting up steroids

2 - no ballplayer has ever EVER improved his game from age 22 on. it can't happen.

3 - scouts/ FO judgements of young males are infallible
- you see how well they predicted the ML success of jose altuve, dallas keuchel, JD (julio daniel martinez) - all alotted as disposable minor league filler (to name a few) and jarred cosart was a 38th rounder

david ortiz, on the other hand, was full grown at 18, like all normal males, who never fill out after that second they hit adulthood, and was a slugger at all levels of the minors, correctly and accurately predicting his major league success at boston. his slash lines remained exactly the same from the day he first came up until today. you see? perfection without possibility of EVULLLLL roids or any sort of growth and maturity

   52. Lars6788 Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4707458)
How you do in the postseason isn't going to ding most players' achievements but it's like being a quarterback and winning a Super Bowl. - the perception matters, especially when you are a star who was part of some playoff runs.
   53. Danny Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4707459)
The argument for Ortiz over Bagwell for the Hall is 295/409/553 against 226/364/321. Those are their cumulative postseason batting lines.

If people are going to use this as an actual argument, substitute Berkman in for Bagwell.

Here's that same WAR Graph with Berkman versus Ortiz.

And here are their postseason lines:
Berkman.317/.417/.532 in 224 PA2.7 WPA
Ortiz
:   .295/.409/.553 in 357 PA3.3 WPA 

They were nearly equal as hitters, in the postseason and refular season, with Berkman having a small edge for his OBP advantage. Berkman laps Ortiz in defense and has an edge in baserunning. Berkman is well ahead in regular season WPA and WPA/LI. They have both been excellent in the postseason and at their best in the World Series. They have both played 12 seasons for a single team. Ortiz was on the 2003 list, while Berkman has (to my knowledge) been taint free. The only advantages Ortiz seems to have are (i) the Curse and (ii) better teammates--leading to more postseasons and more titles.
   54. Rob_Wood Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4707461)

Well I respectfully disagree for the reasons you cite. And Michael Jordan is a bad example to use. Michael had his best *regular seasons* early in his career. He only won one MVP during this time. Of course, he became the super-superstar when his team won all those championships and he collected all those MVP's -- and his post-season performances were the best of all time.

But getting back to baseball, it isn't about work ethic or such. The most important thing is winning championships. Of course players like Ted Williams or Ernie Banks were great players. That is not even a question. But players who significantly contributed to championships (including pennants) deserve special consideration too.

   55. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4707464)
Michael Jordan got his zillion dollar Nike contract with what logo? A silhouette of him flying through the air going in for a dunk, right? How many fancy dunks a game did Michael actually have? 2 or 3 per game? That's 4 or 6 points a game. Nike doesn't give zillion dollar contracts to guys who only score 4 or 6 points a game. In reality, Michael usually scored over 30 points a game. So where did the bulk of the points come from?


Deferential protection from league referees.
   56. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4707472)
I have to say, it cracks me up when Vlad trots out evidence like this, while at the very same time raising the sample size issue over the post-season stats.


He was still just as fat in all the games I didn't attend that year, Kevin. It's not like he swallowed the contents of a 30-gallon tub of lard on his way to the park that morning, just for shits and giggles.
   57. alilisd Posted: May 15, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4707499)
I suspect he gets as much of a boost from narrative as any player since Morris.


Way more, IMO. It took the writers years to come up with a Morris narrative, Ortiz will have one going into his first year on the ballot.

   58. Danny Posted: May 15, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4707503)
If he stays healthy he could end up with not just HoF and HoM worthy counting stats but a worthy WAR number.

Ortiz has very little chance of having a "worthy" WAR number.

He needs 14 WAR to get to 60--which would put him about even with Keith Hernandez, John Olerud, Todd Helton, and Bobby Abreu--and get him into the "worthy" WAR conversation.

Here are all of the position players in baseball history who have put up at least 14 WAR at age 38 and beyond: Barry Bonds, Honus Wagner, Luke Appling, Willie Mays, and Ted Williams.
   59. alilisd Posted: May 15, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4707504)
I like how people seem to think WAR was handed down from on high from God, and thus the foundations/assumptions of said stat must be taken completely on faith, and thus never questioned.


Well, you can still blow Ortiz away by comparing him to Bagwell on more traditional stats. Defense is obviously a HUGE edge to Bagwell, baserunning as well. OPS+ favors Bagwell as well. Even if you feel DH is more difficult, and thereby makes up the OPS+ difference, you're still looking at insurmountable advantages in defense and baserunning.
   60. alilisd Posted: May 15, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4707515)
Let me state this as bluntly as I possibly can: Playing well during the regular season isn't just more important than playing well in the postseason, it is vastly more important. It always has been and always will be unless they just make every game a playoff game and eliminate the regular season. If you don't play well during the regular season there are no playoff games to play.


Well said.
   61. alilisd Posted: May 15, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4707516)
But players who significantly contributed to championships (including pennants) deserve special consideration too.


Only if they were HOF players in the regular season. I think it's silly to believe otherwise, as the Mickey Hatcher references clearly show. Now you may believe Ortiz has been, he's certainly close, and so it's reasonable to give him some extra credit for post season excellence, but if he were not at least borderline to begin with, post season play has no impact on HOF consideration.
   62. Publius Publicola Posted: May 15, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4707528)
Let me state this as bluntly as I possibly can: Playing well during the regular season isn't just more important than playing well in the postseason, it is vastly more important.


You can say it as bluntly as you want but it doesn't make it any less false than it already is. The Astros could have gone 162-0 and they still don't win a championship unless they win in the post-season. That's just a fact.
   63. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4707535)
Ortiz has very little chance of having a "worthy" WAR number.


That's true, I should have said "debatable"- which starts a bit lower. Combined with postseason credit and adjusting for the DH hitting penalty I think that he'd get there.

And I think his HoF argument is vastly stronger than his HoM argument, he'd definitely be one of the weakest HoM members.
   64. Ron J2 Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4707558)
#51 And Bagwell was coming up when all of the sutpid beliefs about adding upper body strength being harmful to baseball players were in the process of being overturned. He's part of the first generation where serious workouts were the norm and not an aberration to be commented on.


There's no doubt that Bagwell added quite a bit of upper body strength. There's no doubt he worked out unusually hard even by the standards of professional athletes. There's no doubt that steroids were entering the game in a major way in this time frame.

But there's no reason to link all of the factors specifically for Bagwell.

Oh and for major league careers (and power numbers) well out of line with minor league results, I'd suggest looking at Roberto Clemente. And Bobby Bonilla.

   65. Publius Publicola Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4707563)
He's part of the first generation where serious workouts were the norm and not an aberration to be commented on.


This simply isn't true. That type of conditioning got going in earnest in the seventies.

Of course, I think we all know what distinguished the training techniques of Bagwell's era from others so we don't have to drag out that dead mule.
   66. villageidiom Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4707578)
david ortiz, on the other hand, was full grown at 18, like all normal males, who never fill out after that second they hit adulthood, and was a slugger at all levels of the minors

...including in New Britain, which between Bagwell's time there and Ortiz's time in AA had become a Minnesota Twins franchise.

Granted, Ortiz's half-season at AA in New Britain was in New Britain Stadium (330 / 400 / 330, 16' high walls all around), as opposed to Bagwell's full season at AA in New Britain, which was in Beehive Field (330 / 409 / 330, 16' high walls all around). Although technically it was a different place, they essentially played in the same place. (Want to do a side-by-side comparison? Look at satellite view on Google Maps for New Britain Stadium. Both are still standing, side by side. Beehive is on the left.)

Ortiz had a .585 SLG there, Bagwell .457.

None of the above should be taken as determinative. They played in essentially the same place at AA, so to excuse Bagwell's low power in the minors when comparing to Ortiz, when they essentially played in the same place for a time and Ortiz outslugged him, is pointless. OTOH, relying on one AA season to make the counterargument is also pointless. I present the above as trivia, more of a fun fact.

The important takeaway is still that Jeff Bagwell deserves to be in the HOF.
   67. villageidiom Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4707583)
This simply isn't true. That type of conditioning got going in earnest in the seventies.
Brian Downing is known for being an outlier with weight training. And he started with this in 1978-79. So, yes, "got going" in the '70s is true. But so is the claim that it wasn't until Bagwell's era that it was "not an aberration to be commented on".
   68. Publius Publicola Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4707587)
Brian Downing is known for being an outlier with weight training.


He wasn't an outlier. He might have been an extreme case but he wasn't an outlier. Most major leaguers were doing something with resistance training, even pitchers.
   69. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4707592)
Still, Kevin likes PED users as long as they are on the Sox..
   70. Danny Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4707600)
Dan's zMLEs for Ortiz and Bagwell at New Britain:

Ortiz: .226/.274/.400
Bagwell: .265/.343/.377

Bagwell was playing in a league that slugged .344 and scored 3.9 runs/game, while Ortiz's league slugged .418 and scored 5.1 runs/game.
   71. Canker Soriano Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4707609)
Was it Ernie Banks' fault the Cubs never won the pennant?

He's lucky they didn't get in in 1969. He was at the end of his career, and a bad slash line in that NLCS probably would have kept him out of the Hall.

(Am I doing this right? Or because he played for my favorite team, do I get to interpret the outcome however I want?)

   72. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4707616)
That's brutal-- 10 games against guys who will likely end up in the Hall of Merit, 2 games against good pitchers having great years, one game against a solid pitcher having a good year, and Sterling Hitchcock. (Bagwell went 1-3 with a walk.)


That's postseason God Sterling Hitchcock to you buddy, 1.76 ERA and a 12.0 k/9 career postseason (31 ip, which is roughly comparable to Bagwell's 129 post season PAs)

   73. AROM Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4707618)
I like how people seem to think WAR was handed down from on high from God, and thus the foundations/assumptions of said stat must be taken completely on faith, and thus never questioned.


Not true. The god called For-Man bought the code to generate WAR from me.
   74. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4707628)
Of course, I think we all know what distinguished the training techniques of Bagwell's era from others so we don't have to drag out that dead mule.


Don't forget what distinguished David Ortiz's training techniques!


My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard,
And they're like
It's better than yours,
Damn right it's better than yours,
I can teach you,
But I have to charge
   75. Baldrick Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4707646)
This is the shitty part of the infatuation with the Hall of Fame. Rather than simply celebrating the great careers guys like Bagwell or Ortiz had we wind up with ###### arguments rather than enjoying the great players both were/are.

If you don't like HOF comparison threads, don't read them. If you do read them, maybe pay attention to the discussions that occur, which do celebrate the players by identifying their accomplishments, discussing their histories, etc. If you can't handle celebration linked together with criticism and comparison, maybe the internet isn't for you.

And, you are of course always welcome to submit the thread: "You know who is great? David Ortiz. You know who is also great? Jeff Bagwell. Yay" - where you can chat with the crickets about how wonderful those two players are, without making any comparison between them, or referencing an institution that is designed to elicit conversation about great players.
   76. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4707668)
I'd rather celebrate the entertaining and interesting career of David Ortiz instead of having to somehow "degrade" his career by saying it is not HOF worthy. Likewise, Game 7 was awesome, and the Jack Morris debates turn it into a negative, which I don't like. Hurray for baseball!

But, since these debates keep appearing, I will say what I always try to remind people of...

David Ortiz has had a career clearly inferior to that of Edgar Martinez. If Edgar is a borderline HOFer (which seems like a reasonable statement to make), then Ortiz isn't anywhere near Cooperstown. Anyone that thinks Ortiz is even a candidate ought to be up in arms over the tragic denial of Edgar's obvious worthiness. It ain't close folks. Maybe Ortiz defies aging and makes it close someday, but right now, it ain't close. Edgar has more than 50% more WAR. Ortiz's best year (2007) would rank as Edgar's 4th best, his 2nd best would tie Edgar's 6th best, and his 3rd best would be Edgar's 9th best. (All by BBRef WAR.) Ortiz is a worse hitter than Edgar, his OPS is slugging heavy (Edgar is OBP heavy), and he played a lot less and a lot worse in the field.

If people are seriously thinking that Ortiz is HOF worthy, I think they might want to recalibrate. Instead of trying to compare him to a clear HOFer like Bagwell, compare him to a guy that played the same position (roughly speaking), and is not an obvious HOFer, and see how he compares.
   77. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 15, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4707703)
But, since these debates keep appearing, I will say what I always try to remind people of...

David Ortiz has had a career clearly inferior to that of Edgar Martinez.


You know what surprised me?

Ortiz has 442 home runs, 1454 ribbies, and 2066 hits, his counting stats are much better than I would have guessed given his late start.
Bagwell has 449, 1529 and 2314, and his rate stat edge is not huge, 149 to 140 (of course Bagwell mops the floor with Ortiz when it comes to defensive value, but many BBWAA voters pay no mind to that unless a player's rep is 95%+ defensive, or if a guy is a DH- which may ding Ortiz a bit when he's on the ballot.

Which is way of saying that I suspect Ortiz is gonna end up with better counting stats than Bagwell (and Edgar), giving the false impression to some that Ortiz was the better more valuable hitter,
but how on earth does Ortiz have a better case than Delgado? (by playing past et point Delgado retried and amass significantly more counting stats) Or Lance Berkman (ditto)

Ortiz has a reasonable shot at 500 homers, he's got the big game rep, what remains to be seen is how badly he's dinged by PEDs allegations and how much of a DH penalty he gets hit by
   78. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 15, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4707710)
It's not like he swallowed the contents of a 30-gallon tub of lard on his way to the park that morning, just for shits and giggles.


It would likely result in one, but not the other.
   79. Nasty Nate Posted: May 15, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4707712)
If you don't like HOF comparison threads, don't read them.

The thread title doesn't indicate HOF.

If you don't like people pointing out the downside of HOF-obsessiveness, don't read their posts.
an institution that is designed to elicit conversation about great players.

Your fantasyland must be fun. In reality, HOF obsession elicits sniping between posters and conversations about baseball writers (i.e. the voters).
   80. Booey Posted: May 15, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4707743)
Only if they were HOF players in the regular season. I think it's silly to believe otherwise, as the Mickey Hatcher references clearly show. Now you may believe Ortiz has been, he's certainly close, and so it's reasonable to give him some extra credit for post season excellence, but if he were not at least borderline to begin with, post season play has no impact on HOF consideration.


Agreed. I'm fine giving a little extra credit to a borderline player for a great postseason resume. Half the borderline guys are gonna make it anyway; postseason success seems like as good a way to differentiate between those that do and those that don't as anything else. But yeah, it should only be a consideration if the players election wouldn't be an embarrassment without it.

Ortiz seems likely to finish with similar numbers to McGriff and Delgado, who aren't sniffing the HOF (at least not via the writers). Should Papi's postseason heroics be enough to add 50-65% of the vote to his totals (which is what it would take to get McGriff into the Hall at his current level of support)? That seems...excessive.

I'm hoping Ortiz continues to mash for a few more years so the postseason narrative makes up only a part of his case rather than the majority of it.
   81. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 15, 2014 at 06:57 PM (#4707807)
I'm hoping Ortiz continues to mash for a few more years so the postseason narrative makes up only a part of his case rather than the majority of it.
Andy seems to prefer the HOF to the HOM because of narrative; there are guys in the HOF because of a great story beyond their stats. I'm not unsympathetic to this view, so I have no problem with Morris or Ortiz being HOFers per se.

However, the media often creates the positive/negative stories, or ignores other stories - hence, Kevin Brown is vilified and Jeff Bagwell is ignored while putting up superior numbers to Morris and Ortiz. So I do have a problem with Morris or Ortiz compared to guys who are massively more qualified but lack a "narrative".

That's why Ortiz doesn't belong - not that he's unworthy but because he's deemed more worthy simply because of a story about a very small part of his career, a story that isn't written about Kirk Gibson or Alan Trammel or Dave Stewart simply because...well, just because.

Further, the narrative of Ortiz's post season doesn't match the reality - he's been about as good in the post season (.295/.409/.553) as in the regular season (.287/.381/.550) - 2 more singles (actually, 2 half-singles to get the AVG and SLG right) and 8 more walks in 357 PA than what his career stats suggest. Even if "post season clutch god" gives you a million extra HOF points, that doesn't seem like it should apply to him (again, especially compared to Gibson, Trammel, Stewart and the previously mentioned Hatcher who all massively over performed in the post season).
   82. alilisd Posted: May 15, 2014 at 07:48 PM (#4707835)
TDF, I think it's a stretch to say Bagwell is being ignored. He's done quite well, especially considering the crowded ballot. Is he also being penalized by PED avengers? Yes. Is he being overlooked by less stat savvy voters? Probably. But for a guy to debut at 42% and then move up to the mid 50's is pretty good.
   83. John DiFool2 Posted: May 15, 2014 at 08:34 PM (#4707850)
Further, the narrative of Ortiz's post season doesn't match the reality - he's been about as good in the post season (.295/.409/.553) as in the regular season (.287/.381/.550) - 2 more singles (actually, 2 half-singles to get the AVG and SLG right) and 8 more walks in 357 PA than what his career stats suggest.


The weather is crappier in October and the pitchers are better.

Just for the record, yes, Edgar is better, as is Bags. I just think that the DH "penalty" that the various WAR systems use is just a series of not-too-carefully considered factors dragged out of the butt of the people who designed such systems, and that a different set of assumptions might cause both Papi and Edgar to rate higher than they do. Another angle I'll just toss out there: doesn't the presence of the DH role automatically lower the replacement floor for yes all hitters in that league? Since the talent would thus be spread more thinly, a superior hitter should be rated against a lower replacement "floor", shouldn't he? Which equates to teams finding it hard to find superstar-quality hitters for the role, for whatever reasons (and historically that seems to be the case), which equates to an excellent-hitting DH deserving more credit for his accomplishments, right?
   84. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 08:47 PM (#4707855)
If people are seriously thinking that Ortiz is HOF worthy, I think they might want to recalibrate. Instead of trying to compare him to a clear HOFer like Bagwell, compare him to a guy that played the same position (roughly speaking), and is not an obvious HOFer, and see how he compares.


Actually, I think Edgar Martinez is a very clear Hall of Famer. That you don't think he is says more about you than Edgar's obvious bonafides. He's getting screwed by the voters.

So, no, I don't need to recalibrate. Perhaps you need to stop assuming that people who think Ortiz is HoF worthy are idiots who haven't thought it through?
   85. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:07 PM (#4707863)
There have been other David Ortiz-HOF threads before, and people are always missing the point: He's a very good player who:

1) is still adding counting stats, which is putting him close to things like 500 HRs, 1,600 RBI, etc.;
2) most importantly, has as strong a narrative as any player in baseball today.

Comparing Ortiz to Edgar Martinez is ridiculous. It completely ignores the key to Ortiz's case: The Narrative. Edgar has ZERO narrative.
   86. Baldrick Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:49 PM (#4707875)
There have been other David Ortiz-HOF threads before, and people are always missing the point: He's a very good player who:

1) is still adding counting stats, which is putting him close to things like 500 HRs, 1,600 RBI, etc.;
2) most importantly, has as strong a narrative as any player in baseball today.

Comparing Ortiz to Edgar Martinez is ridiculous. It completely ignores the key to Ortiz's case: The Narrative. Edgar has ZERO narrative.

There have indeed been other threads. Like this one, where you posted something very similar. The fact that you continue to tell the same story suggests that maybe you should go back and re-read the old threads before posting the same comment. For ease of reading, here's my response to you from the last thread:

Do you actually know anything about Edgar Martinez?

Apart from playing for Seattle - as opposed to Boston or New York or something - he's got great intangibles. Single-team player, saved baseball in the city, incredible hard-worker (he did several HOURS of eye work every day in addition to everything else), he's pretty much universally beloved. He's the one that stuck around after Johnson, Griffey, and A-Rod left - and the key player who unites the 1995 and 2001 stories. Which, no, didn't end an 86 year drought, of course. But Edgar was instrumental to the team's first winning season in its history, its first playoff appearance (in epic style), and tying the record for the most victories ever. Those are pretty cool.

If all you mean is that Ortiz is a lot more famous than Edgar, well sure. But the idea that Edgar has no narrative is crazy. If that narrative doesn't 'stick' in the same way, it's because people are ignoring it, not because it's not there to be seen.
   87. TJ Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:22 PM (#4707893)
Personally I'm looking forward to watching BBWAA voters heads explode when they struggle on voting for Ortiz because of his "post season clutchness" with not voting for him because "DH's are only part-time players". Nothing better than when two sportswriter stereotypes run face first into each other...
   88. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:44 PM (#4707903)
If all you mean is that Ortiz is a lot more famous than Edgar, well sure. But the idea that Edgar has no narrative is crazy. If that narrative doesn't 'stick' in the same way, it's because people are ignoring it, not because it's not there to be seen.
Well, I disagree that Edgar has no narrative. And I would put him in the Hall without really having to think too hard about it. But he clearly does not have a narrative approaching Ortiz's.

I personally think--based just on observation and gut feeling--that you'll eventually get more research that significantly reduces the DH penalty as it applies to things like WAR, and in that retrospective view both Papis will be obvious HoFers based on value/merit.
   89. bookbook Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:00 AM (#4707934)
+This simply isn't true. That type of conditioning got going in earnest in the seventies.+

Look at film of baseball games from the seventies and eighties. Those men did not look like people who exercised, much less pursued any sort of weight training.

It distresses me that Ortiz will go into the HOF before Edgar, because there is literally zero merit to that. (It's like putting Jack Morris in the HOF over Mussina, except that Edgar's a good guy whereas Mussina's probably getting some karmic justice thrown his way.)

I wonder if a book about the Hall of Merit might help to popularize the better list of baseball's greats?

Edit: I just went to fangraphs and added Edgar. To my surprise, Edgar's late start isn't really the difference maker against Ortiz--nor his defense at 3b--the two are tied at age 32. Then Edgar just pulls steadily away as a DH. I wonder why no one has tried to copy his eye exercise routine. Maybe it's just too much work.
   90. Booey Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:06 AM (#4707935)
Personally I'm looking forward to watching BBWAA voters heads explode when they struggle on voting for Ortiz because of his "post season clutchness" with not voting for him because "DH's are only part-time players". Nothing better than when two sportswriter stereotypes run face first into each other...


I'm more looking forward to hearing the reasoning behind the typically anti-steroid zealots who place votes for Papi while rejected infinitely superior players like Bonds and Clemens. Ortiz is different because...well, they really, really want him to be elected!

If Ortiz doesn't make it, it'll probably be because of the DH thing or the advancement of SABR awareness by the time he's eligible. I'm guessing he mostly gets a free pass for the steroid connections.

   91. MuttsIdolCochrane Posted: May 16, 2014 at 05:17 AM (#4707975)
We all know what a zero Heyman is. (The fact that he's a zero with a vote only makes everything uglier - he'll probably vote for Boras someday.) Ortiz = PEDs is a known fact, and his years of lying about it - He's going to get to the bottom of the allegations!! - Oh well, it's not really that important, only fools his fans, not the rest of baseball. Shouldn't even be mentioned along with Bagwell or Edgar. At least not in the real world.
   92. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 16, 2014 at 08:57 AM (#4707996)
Apart from playing for Seattle - as opposed to Boston or New York or something - he's got great intangibles. Single-team player, saved baseball in the city, incredible hard-worker (he did several HOURS of eye work every day in addition to everything else), he's pretty much universally beloved. He's the one that stuck around after Johnson, Griffey, and A-Rod left - and the key player who unites the 1995 and 2001 stories. Which, no, didn't end an 86 year drought, of course. But Edgar was instrumental to the team's first winning season in its history, its first playoff appearance (in epic style), and tying the record for the most victories ever. Those are pretty cool.


This is all true but as you note Ortiz is a lot more famous than Edgar. He's going to get credit for the narrative that Edgar doesn't and from a Hall of Fame perspective that is what matters. I'd vote for Edgar in a heartbeat but it's clear he's not getting credit from the voters for any narrative.
   93. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 16, 2014 at 09:00 AM (#4707997)
However, the media often creates the positive/negative stories, or ignores other stories - hence, Kevin Brown is vilified and Jeff Bagwell is ignored

TDF, I think it's a stretch to say Bagwell is being ignored. He's done quite well, especially considering the crowded ballot. Is he also being penalized by PED avengers? Yes. Is he being overlooked by less stat savvy voters? Probably. But for a guy to debut at 42% and then move up to the mid 50's is pretty good.
I should have been more clear - it's not Bagwell, but Bagwell's narrative that's ignored. The guy was a great baserunner (he had 31 Rbaser; the only other 1B in MLB history with more than 20 is Frank Chance (28.5)) and a very good fielder (only 15 1B accumulated more Rfield) - how many people know that (especially among average fans and sprotswriters)? Guys who spend their entire career with one team are supposed to be special - is that story told? And no one talks about just how good of a hitter he was - more batting runs in 1000 fewer PA than direct contemporaries Jim Thome or Chipper Jones. Bagwell accumulated 50% more Rbat than Eddie Murray; Murray was inducted his 1st year of eligibility. In fact, only 3 1B in MLB history (Pujols, Gehrig, Foxx) had more Rbat.

Are you really telling me that this guy really is "doing quite well" in voting? If his regular season story was told with the same fervor as Ortiz's "post-season clutchiness", he'd already be in the HOF. Instead, a guy who, among all the 1B to ever play the game, was (a) one of the 4 best hitters, (b) the best baserunner, and (c) one of the best handful of fielders has lost support for the HOF over the past 2 elections.
   94. AROM Posted: May 16, 2014 at 09:36 AM (#4708009)
I reject all of this narrative BS written here not because I want stats to be the only criteria considered for the HOF, but because it's 100% driven by where the players played.

If David Ortiz had been kept by the Twins in 2003, and if the Red Sox of 1990 hadn't needed Larry Anderson so badly, then all the narrative BS would be about Bagwell.
   95. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 16, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4708025)
If David Ortiz had been kept by the Twins in 2003, and if the Red Sox of 1990 hadn't needed Larry Anderson so badly, then all the narrative BS would be about Bagwell.


Oh bull ####.

If the Twins had won three World Series with David Ortiz as the sole player to play on all three title teams, and if David Ortiz had contributed the same number of memorable hits/series as he has with his current team, and if David Ortiz was considered the leader of those clubs, the narrative would be pretty much the same. For example, see the last Twin to fit that bill, a guy with typically below-borderline career numbers but a lovely pre-sordid history narrative, who sailed into the Hall on the first ballot.

Guys who lead teams to multiple World Series titles get outsized support come Hall-voting time. It has always been that way, and likely always will.

Jeff Bagwell is one of the Top 5 first basemen who ever played. Unfortunately, as TDF shows, he's got one of those Cooperstown cases that require more sophistication than the voters have thus far demonstrated. Great baserunner, excellent defender and a tremendous hitter who played a lot of time in a ballpark that suppressed his numbers. Moreover, as a hitter he was an all-around great hitter, not a true slugger like so many of his peers. Those kinds of guys have always had a more difficult climb than guys who excelled in one facet of the game (we expect a similar tough slog for Carlos Beltran).

Many people here who look at Hall voting history, before anyone started throwing around ridiculous steroid whispers, thought that Bagwell would not have an easy road to the Hall.

Is Ortiz going to get a little extra for doing it in Boston? Possibly. But keep in mind that a great many sportswriters have grown to loathe the Sox as much as they do the Yankees (and as much as many Primates do), so he may face some anti-NE corridor sentiment by the time he hits the ballot. Which, it's probably important to remember, won't come for another 10 years or so.
   96. SandyRiver Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:01 AM (#4708033)
I find it sadly ironic that some folks are using the BBWAA's shameful failure to elect Bagwell as a club to hammer Ortiz. I can see no cogent reason for Bagwell's non-enshrinement, but IMO that's irrelevant to Ortiz' case. The comparison with Edgar is more useful, though it points out how poorly I understand oWAR - it must really realy like OBP. Using the numbers shown way upthread and simply multiplying OPS+ by PA, Martinez comes out 21% above Ortiz. His oWAR is 41% better, so something, OBP and perhaps something of which I remain unaware, has nearly doubled Edgar's advantage over David compared to my very simplistic calculation. I personally see Ortiz as still borderline at best, but also predict that - in the absence of later PED evidence or some other malfeasance - will be voted in by the writers. Unfortunately I don't see that happening for Edgar even though he was the better player.

Ortiz = PEDs is a known fact, and his years of lying about it - He's going to get to the bottom of the allegations!! - Oh well, it's not really that important, only fools his fans, not the rest of baseball. Shouldn't even be mentioned along with Bagwell or Edgar. At least not in the real world.


Posts like this bother me, probably more than they should, even though I'm a Bosox and Papi fan. "Known fact?" "...years of lying about it..." If there's more proof out there than a 2009 article and some comments about DR milkshakes, please let us know what it is so we Sox fans are fooled no longer. It's late July of 2009, Yankees and Sox are each in a pennant race, and a NYT reporter illegally (and perhaps more important, unverifiably - could be fact, could be fabrication) publishes info purportedly from a court-blocked document - and, oddly, the two and only two names revealed just happen to be the two best hitters on the local team's biggest rival. Ortiz may have juiced, may still be juicing for all I know, but the source, timing and selectivity of the revelation (plus MLB's and the Players' Assoc reactions) lead me to assign very little weight to this bit of evidence.
   97. BDC Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:16 AM (#4708043)
Moeball is eloquent about the importance of the regular season in #49, but I find myself disagreeing. MLB has increasingly emphasized the postseason by expanding it during the era that Bagwell and Ortiz have played in. And any postseason, any championship round or tournament or Olympics or that kind of event, simply has greater rewards and a stronger level of competition than the preliminaries. It's a built-in feature of sports. Naturally you must win some money in stakes races to run in the Kentucky Derby, or win an ordinary weekend golf tournament to play in the Masters; qualifying is a sine qua non in any sport. But the championships are where something more special and momentous happens.

That said, I don't think it's at all a negative in Bagwell's HOF case that his postseason record is spotty and his teams only moderately successful. He's more than proven himself in the regular season alone.
   98. Danny Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4708088)
Using the numbers shown way upthread and simply multiplying OPS+ by PA, Martinez comes out 21% above Ortiz. His oWAR is 41% better, so something, OBP and perhaps something of which I remain unaware, has nearly doubled Edgar's advantage over David compared to my very simplistic calculation.

oWAR adjusts for position--as does dWAR, which is incredibly confusing. Edgar's 4600 innings at 3B are worth a lot more in a positional adjustment than Ortiz's 2050 innings at 1B.
   99. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4708098)
If David Ortiz had been kept by the Twins in 2003, and if the Red Sox of 1990 hadn't needed Larry Anderson so badly, then all the narrative BS would be about Bagwell.


Oh bull ####.

If the Twins had won three World Series with David Ortiz as the sole player to play on all three title teams, and if David Ortiz had contributed the same number of memorable hits/series as he has with his current team, and if David Ortiz was considered the leader of those clubs, the narrative would be pretty much the same.


I agree with all that, but I think the point is also that if Bagwell had been in Boston, his ringless "narrative" would have been much more appreciated, and if Ortiz had stayed in Minnesota, he likely wouldn't have gathered those three rings. At least that's what I took out of it.

And FWIW I think that Bagwell, Ortiz and Edgar all belong in the HoF. No need to knock one in order to to elevate the others.
   100. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4708099)
Guys who lead teams to multiple World Series titles get outsized support come Hall-voting time. It has always been that way, and likely always will.


I think this is an important point. The standard around here is to judge someone's Hall of Fame case on some sort of pure value rating, which means they then assume the voters are doing the same thing. But many of the voters - maybe a majority of them - think of Hall of Famers not as players who have accumulated the most value but as players who have achieved great things. That's related to value, but it's not the same thing. It's why Sandy Koufax and Lou Brock got in easily, why Roger Maris and Don Larsen got more than a handful of votes.

If David Ortiz gets into the Hall of Fame - and we're a very long way from even knowing how likely that is - it will be because the voters thought he did great things, not because he provided more value to his teams than Edgar Martinez.
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