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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

B & C: Masahiro Tanaka: Hall of Famer

Hitomi, yes. Masahiro, not quite yet.

Masahiro Tanaka is, without doubt, a Hall of Famer. New York’s 155 Million Dollar Man spun another gem over the weekend, holding the Angels to 2 runs on 5 hits. Though he walked 4 and gave up a home run, Tanaka’s 11 Ks in 6.1 innings has click-baiters sportswriters foaming at the mouth. Nate Silver’s 538 blog at ESPN compared Tanaka’s start to that of Bob Feller, Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood.

Truly, by virtue of his first 5 MLB starts, Masahiro Tanaka has earned his spot in a Hall of Fame. Not the Baseball Hall of Fame, certainly (let’s see how he handles 25 starts first), but rather the (Bugs & Cranks Patent Pending) Hot-Start Hall of Fame.

The Hot Start Hall of Fame celebrates other entertainers, sportspersons and public figures of note, who, like Masahiro Tanaka, hit the ground running. He stands aside other luminaries such as:

The Spin Doctors, musicians; Inducted 1996. “Those who would decry Spin Doctors as a one-hit-wonder must now eat a healthy plate of crow. The group’s second single, ‘Two Princes,’ has jumped to the top of the pop charts, cementing these ska-hippies as a force to be reckoned with. It’s not a question of if their follow-up album to ‘Pocket Full of Kryptonite,’ will go platinum, but how many times platinum. Truly, ‘Little Miss Can’t be Wrong,’ when it comes to the Spin Doctors.”

Fred Taylor, NFL Running back; Inducted 1998. “Fred Taylor will certainly etch his face on the Mount Rushmore of all-time great NFL running backs. In just 12 games with Jacksonville, the rookie sensation has compiled over 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns. Extrapolate those numbers over a 10-year career and Fred Taylor will one day make fans say, ‘Jim Brown who?’”

Hall of Fame or no, the New York Yankees have paid 155 million dollars for 35 innings of quality work, which seems about the going rate in the Big Apple.

Repoz Posted: April 30, 2014 at 10:11 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: April 30, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4697384)
Nate Silver’s 538 blog at ESPN compared Tanaka’s start to that of Bob Feller, Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood.


No, it did not. His blog looked at strikeout rates compared to league average for all other pitchers in their first 5 MLB starts and 25-and-under pitchers first 5 April starts (regardless of which starts they were in their career). Those lists included Bob Feller, Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood.

The lists also included Hall of Famers Cliff Melton, Tom Griffin and Hank Johnson. It's clear that Nate Silver's 538 blog is foaming at the mouth trying to denigrate Tanaka's start.
   2. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4697402)
Masahiro Tanaka: Hall of Famer


Hmmmm, I wonder what Ray thinks about this.
   3. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4697405)
Just for fun, I looked up Mark Fidrych's first 5 starts. The Bird was very much not a strikeout pitcher (just 97 in 250.1 IP, or 3.48 K/9, well below the league average of 4.71), but in first 5 starts he did all right: 26 K in 48 IP, or 4.88, or 3% above league. (Among those games were a one-strikeout performance and two games of 8 K, tied for the most Fidrych ever had in a big-league game.)

Fidrych was successful with low strikeout numbers because he threw a lot of hard stuff down low (so mostly ground balls, and few home runs) and didn't walk people. But, even if he hadn't got hurt, you'd have to think it would've caught up with him eventually: if you don't strike guys out, then you gotta figure some other way to get them out...
   4. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4697416)
Fidrych was successful with low strikeout numbers because he threw a lot of hard stuff down low (so mostly ground balls, and few home runs) and didn't walk people. But, even if he hadn't got hurt, you'd have to think it would've caught up with him eventually: if you don't strike guys out, then you gotta figure some other way to get them out...


Catching up to him, sure, but he would still have been good. His FIP in that rookie season was 3.15, which is still ace-level (though not Cy Young Award-level). If you don't strike guys out, but don't walk people or give up homers, you're going to be a good pitcher. You'll have some clunkers when a few extra hits sneak through the defense in a game, but you're not going to be bad unless you start walking people or giving up homers.
   5. Greg K Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4697438)
26 K in 48 IP, or 4.88, or 3% above league

Man was that ever a different game.
   6. The District Attorney Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4697441)
Oh, I see! Sometimes athletes or bands that start off well are nonetheless unable to compile exceptional careers!

Great article. Smart take.
   7. depletion Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4697447)
My Hot Start Quick Burnout inner circle HOF starts with Wayne "16-1 at the All-Star Break" Simpson. The late '60's - early '70's Reds had other contenders, Gary Nolan and Clay Kirby, for example.
   8. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4697455)
My Hot Start Quick Burnout inner circle HOF starts with Wayne "16-1 at the All-Star Break" Simpson.


Ted Cox is my go-to guy, but in the even smaller small-sample size division. He reached base his first seven trips to the plate (including an MLB-record six hits in his first six at bats) during his 1977 rookie season.

   9. nick swisher hygiene Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4697459)
Repoz, you just WISH the bands of hipsters you tirelessly tout could ever record anything as good as "Two Princes".....
   10. Rennie's Tenet Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4697465)
Everyone knows it but it still bears repeating: Fernando's ERA was 0.13 after 70 innings in the majors.
   11. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:55 PM (#4697489)
Everyone knows it but it still bears repeating: Fernando's ERA was 0.13 after 70 innings in the majors.


Fernandomania

1: The league hit .255/.319/.364 that year
2: Dodger Stadium
3: I saw him make 2 starts (both shutouts) during that stretch of tine, and holy hell did his ball move...

thought then that he was doing SOMETHING not entirely kosher to the ball...
was a good pitcher for a number of years, but never really replicated that original magic
   12. John DiFool2 Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:56 PM (#4697490)
Fred Taylor turned out to have a pretty decent career. 15th all time in yards gained, always a breakaway threat, many of the "rushers" ahead of him on the yards/rush chart are actually QB's. He probably won't be elected for a long time, but he has an argument.[/argueforlocalboymode]
   13. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4697522)
If you don't strike guys out, but don't walk people or give up homers, you're going to be a good pitcher.


Carlos Silva called to say, "Occasionally."
   14. valuearbitrageur Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4697558)
I'm fine with putting Tanaka in the HOF, combined with last year he's already had the highest peak in professional baseball history.

My only stipulation is he must retire immediately.
   15. jdennis Posted: April 30, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4697689)
It would be pretty sweet if Tanaka and Darvish both ended up as hall pitchers who played almost their whole career with one team, like Ichiro.

Also, Fred Taylor might actually be HOF worthy, and the Spin Doctors only stopped because the singer literally had his vocal cords removed.
   16. RJ in TO Posted: April 30, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4697697)
and the Spin Doctors only stopped because the singer literally had his vocal cords removed.

So you're saying Repoz finally caught up with him?
   17. valuearbitrageur Posted: April 30, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4697791)
the Spin Doctors only stopped because the singer literally had his vocal cords removed.


By a horde of angry grunge fans?
   18. Walt Davis Posted: April 30, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4697798)
Weren't the Spin Doctors more like Yangervis Solarte -- a band that had been around for a while in the minors who had their 15 minutes? Or am I confusing them with a thousand other bands?
   19. Walt Davis Posted: April 30, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4697803)
Hmmmm, I wonder what Ray thinks about this.

He's in. He's always been in.

But it's just an exhibition hall.
   20. Booey Posted: April 30, 2014 at 07:14 PM (#4697888)
Repoz, you just WISH the bands of hipsters you tirelessly tout could ever record anything as good as "Two Princes".....


Agreed. Maybe the Spin Doctors had an otherwise non-descript career, but Two Princes is brilliant, and on a very short list of the best rock/alt rock songs of the 90's.

If they're a one-hit-wonder (and they're really not, since Little Miss Can't be Wrong was fairly well known too), that one hit was like Roger Maris 1961 or something.
   21. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 30, 2014 at 07:27 PM (#4697895)
Masahiro Tanaka: Hall of Famer

Seems a little early. Shouldn't we at least wait until he completes another undefeated season in 2014?
   22. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: April 30, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4697897)
I used to work in Sunnyside, Queens and one early evening four years ago I walked by this little divey bar/cafe which had sign for a show that evening at 8. Turns out the this dude with some forgettable name, formerly the lead singer of the Spin Doctors, was playing a solo show there at 8. Just very bizarre. I mean I peeked in and the place had room for maybe 30 people. It was a free show. I didn't go, but I thought what a weird career trajectory. He's sort of like the Jose Canseco of crappy alt rock.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: April 30, 2014 at 09:15 PM (#4697946)
I used to work in Sunnyside, Queens and one early evening four years ago I walked by this little divey bar/cafe which had sign for a show that evening at 8. Turns out the this dude with some forgettable name, formerly the lead singer of the Spin Doctors, was playing a solo show there at 8. Just very bizarre. I mean I peeked in and the place had room for maybe 30 people. It was a free show. I didn't go, but I thought what a weird career trajectory. He's sort of like the Jose Canseco of crappy alt rock.

Well, having no vocal cords ....
   24. Mom makes botox doctors furious Posted: May 01, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4698294)
Two Princes vs. Over My Shoulder

Who wins THAT 90s slugfest??

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