Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, February 04, 2013

Brandon Webb retires at 33

Players to finish in Top 3 in Cy Young balloting three straight years - Sandy Koufax, Warren Spahn, Fergie Jenkins, Catfish Hunter, Jim Palmer, Steve Carlton, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson…and Brandon Webb.

Brandon Webb, the 2006 National League Cy Young Award winner and one of the most dominant starters in the game during a five-year stretch with the Arizona Diamondbacks, is officially retiring from baseball, according to his agents at Millennium Sports.


Webb, 33, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2009 because of shoulder problems. He had been pursuing another comeback attempt, but announced his retirement Monday in a statement released by agents Jonathan Maurer and Mike Montana.

“With retirement, Brandon looks forward to focusing on more time with his family,’’ the statement said. “He would like to thank all the countless coaches, players and friends for their support during his career.’‘

Webb, a University of Kentucky product, made three All-Star teams and averaged 227 innings a season with the Diamondbacks from 2004 through 2008. He won the NL Cy Young Award with a 16-8 record and a 3.10 ERA in 2006.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 04, 2013 at 04:34 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brandon webb, cy young, diamondbacks, retirements

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. jacjacatk Posted: February 04, 2013 at 05:40 PM (#4362581)
In the alternate universe where Webb's shoulder falls apart 3 years later (so he makes the 10 year minimum), HOFer?
   2. TJ Posted: February 04, 2013 at 05:43 PM (#4362583)
"Players to finish in Top 3 in Cy Young balloting three straight years - Sandy Koufax, Warren Spahn, Fergie Jenkins, Catfish Hunter, Jim Palmer, Steve Carlton, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson…and Brandon Webb."

What, no Jack Morris? Perish the thought!
   3. Guapo Posted: February 04, 2013 at 05:59 PM (#4362600)
In the alternate universe where Webb's shoulder falls apart 3 years later (so he makes the 10 year minimum), HOFer?


Good question! Let's run him through the Keltnermatic 2013:

1. Did the candidate play during the Steroid Era?

If YES: MAY HAVE DONE STERIODS- NOT A HALL OF FAMER.

Well, that was easy.
   4. The District Attorney Posted: February 04, 2013 at 06:06 PM (#4362606)
In the alternate universe where Webb's shoulder falls apart 3 years later (so he makes the 10 year minimum), HOFer?
Webb had a nice peak, but I think you'd have to have a Koufax/Pedro type peak to get elected off a 10-year career, unless it was a total sympathy vote.¹ So unless he was Superman in those three extra years, no.

That said, the guy was really good, and I also admire that he tried to come back for so long. It's quite sad that he couldn't even get back on a major league mound once, as e.g. Ben Sheets could. I hope Mark Prior gets to, BTW.

¹ Counter-examples are presumably Ross Youngs and Addie Joss, but those are the kinds of votes -- nepotism in one case, context-oblivious in the other -- that hopefully wouldn't happen today. I guess one could argue Kirby Puckett, but A) that's 12 seasons rather than 10, B) there was in fact a sympathy factor there, C) Kirby was (fairly or not) probably viewed as more "dominant" than Webb, and D) Kirby was so well-liked that the system just went kind of goofy. I think Webb would be more like the Albert Belle/Don Mattingly situation where the peak argument got virtually no traction.
   5. Sweatpants Posted: February 04, 2013 at 06:24 PM (#4362624)
His ERA+ of 142 is the eleventh-best of all time (well, among pitchers with at least 1,000 innings). Actually, he's tied with the aforementioned Joss.
   6. StHendu Posted: February 04, 2013 at 06:34 PM (#4362630)
If Noodles Hahn is in the HOF, then so should Brandon Webb.
   7. Chris Fluit Posted: February 04, 2013 at 06:58 PM (#4362657)
Noodles Hahn is not in the Hall of Fame.
   8. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: February 04, 2013 at 07:00 PM (#4362661)
Labrum tears remain like baseball cancer.
   9. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 04, 2013 at 07:05 PM (#4362668)
If he had three more seasons close to his 2007/2008 and then his arm fell off he'd be a decent candidate for the HOF on the merits. He'd have had 45-50 WAR and a couple thousand innings with an outstanding ERA+. But with only 140ish wins I can't imagine the writers would vote for him.
   10. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: February 04, 2013 at 07:05 PM (#4362670)
You can beat cancer, I can't think of anyone off the top of my head who came back successfully from a labrum tear.
   11. greenback calls it soccer Posted: February 04, 2013 at 07:41 PM (#4362699)
I can't think of anyone off the top of my head who came back successfully from a labrum tear.

Chris Carpenter.
   12. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: February 04, 2013 at 07:44 PM (#4362704)
You can beat cancer, I can't think of anyone off the top of my head who came back successfully from a labrum tear.


Chris Carpenter missed 2003 with a labrum tear, and Curt Schilling had labrum surgery fairly early in his career. Roger Clemens had a labrum repaired in 1985 and he did OK. Looking further, here are a few case studies. Trevor Hoffman and Jon Rauch are other success stories.

That said, there are far more failures than successes.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: February 04, 2013 at 07:47 PM (#4362707)
Unfortunate that it came to this.

The CYA list at the top does give you an impression of how well Hunter was perceived at the time. He had a 4th place finish the year before that run as well ... in fact that year was better than his next year.

Webb at 10 years ... well, Hunter would probably be the best recent comp. After his first 11 seasons, Hunter had about 2800 IP, 184 wins and was coming off that nice run of CYA finishes ... also only a 109 ERA+. In theory Webb at 10 years looks much better on the rate stats but can't match the wins or IP.

But I don't think Hunter through 11 years gets elected. Those last 4 years weren't particularly good (91 ERA+, 40-39 record) but those 40 wins took him over 220 and the 665 innings got him to nearly 3500.* I don't think he's in the conversation with fewer than 200 wins and 3000 innings.

* He also went over 2000 Ks which can't have hurt but may not have mattered.
   14. The District Attorney Posted: February 04, 2013 at 08:15 PM (#4362729)
But I don't think Hunter through 11 years gets elected. Those last 4 years weren't particularly good (91 ERA+, 40-39 record) but those 40 wins took him over 220 and the 665 innings got him to nearly 3500.* I don't think he's in the conversation with fewer than 200 wins and 3000 innings.
Right, which at least to me illustrates a superficiality in the voting. Even if your HOF "replacement level" is identical to regular season, I think it's tough to construct an argument that going 40-39 over four years should be the pivotal factor in making the HOF. But, that's the kind of pattern the writers show in the voting, so regardless of whether Spun Out Slightly Longer Webb would actually deserve the Hall or not, I don't think they'd vote him in. Heck, Johan Santana has a similar (better?) peak than Webb and the potential to add some bulk to it, but even if he does throw in a couple more decent seasons, I bet they don't elect him either.
   15. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: February 04, 2013 at 08:45 PM (#4362748)
Poster child for signing a long-term "team-friendly" contract.
   16. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: February 04, 2013 at 08:52 PM (#4362757)
I'm not believing this his agent has the birth name "Mike Montana". Sounds like an unoriginal baseball video game name.
   17. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: February 04, 2013 at 09:45 PM (#4362785)
I'm not believing this his agent has the birth name "Mike Montana". Sounds like an unoriginal baseball video game name.

What about Ron Mexico. That's a great name!

Sorry to see Webb hang 'em up so young, but I guess he still wants to be able to pick up his kids without too much pain.

I was going to say that he was a pretty good batter "for a pitcher", then I looked him up. Yech! I was thinking about My Cojones when they were both pitching for Arizona.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: February 04, 2013 at 10:47 PM (#4362799)
I think it's tough to construct an argument that going 40-39 over four years should be the pivotal factor in making the HOF

Well, no. But for any "borderline" player whose case is basically pure peak, having some counting stats that push you over a line or two seems a reasonable tie-breaker. My main problem would be that Hunter's peak wasn't as great as we all thought it was at the time.

It's also an excellent example of the "felt like an HoFer" effect. As those CYA finishes show, Hunter did feel like an HoFer in real time. My guess is once you feel like an HoFer, you have to do something fairly extraordinary to not make the HoF -- like say have your career end at 29 as 11-year Hunter would have.

Not that there's really an explanation for Hunter in the HoF. But, this just in, real-life human beings (well, in theory) have Hunter a couple spots ahead of Juan Marichal on the ELO rater. Right there between them is Herb Pennock. Hunter and Pennock are an excellent match ... and Marichal has no business being lumped with these guys. But, lo and behold, similar win totals, similar IP. What's 20 WAR between friends, eh?
   19. Austin Posted: February 05, 2013 at 12:36 AM (#4362841)
I was going to say that he was a pretty good batter "for a pitcher", then I looked him up. Yech! I was thinking about My Cojones when they were both pitching for Arizona.

If you were remembering Owings as merely a pretty good batter "for a pitcher", your memory was failing you. The man hit .319/.355/.552 for Arizona in 2007-2008, for a 127 wRC+. His career line is .283/.310/.502 (104 wRC+). If you ignore the whole career value and sustainability thing, that puts him 17th all-time among pitchers. rWAR and fWAR agree that his hitting has been worth over three wins in total, which is substantially more than what his pitching has been worth.

For fun, I tried subtracting 12 singles from his batting line, to return his BABIP to a more normal .293. It obviously hurts him, but he still comes out looking pretty darned good: .224/.256/.444. I'd probably accept that line from a good defensive shortstop or a catcher, never mind a pitcher. If history remembers Micah Owings, his hitting as a pitcher will definitely be the reason.
   20. Cooper Nielson Posted: February 05, 2013 at 01:56 AM (#4362863)
I wonder how it feels to be Webb, or a similar athlete, in this situation. Do you feel more regret about what "could (should) have been" or do you feel more joy that you had a major league career, and it was an excellent one while it lasted?

It's a little sad that he'll never have a chance at the Hall of Fame, and he probably missed out on another $100 million of income. But at the same time, he probably did reach his peak, which is usually what regrets are about. ("If I hadn't gotten injured, I could have done this..." -- well, Webb already did it.)
   21. Flynn Posted: February 05, 2013 at 07:41 AM (#4362888)
I'm not believing this his agent has the birth name "Mike Montana". Sounds like an unoriginal baseball video game name.


He changed his name - it's really David W. Gibson.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:41 AM (#4363636)
.224/.256/.444

The second coming of Tony Batista!

(Just trying to bring back some fond memories for our DBack contingent)

Actually it seems that AZ got most of Tony's walks. Jays and Nats fans might have a different opinion.
   23. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: February 06, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4363860)
And it's deja vu all over agin: Micah Owings signs minor league contract as a first baseman with Nationals, gets invitation to Spring Training. I'm prescient!!!111!11

Owings declared himself to be in the best shape of his life.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogRingolsby: Helton's numbers stack up against the best
(62 - 4:44am, Aug 20)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 8-19-2014
(72 - 4:09am, Aug 20)
Last: Dan

NewsblogDerek Jeter's historic hit that tied Honus Wagner ruled an error by MLB
(3 - 4:01am, Aug 20)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogGammons Notes - 8/17/14
(54 - 3:06am, Aug 20)
Last: JAHV (DanF)

NewsblogPosnanski: The need – the need for speed
(9 - 2:57am, Aug 20)
Last: Cooper Nielson

NewsblogKeidel: Don’t Be Fooled — The Yankees’ Season Is Over
(58 - 2:52am, Aug 20)
Last: TerpNats

NewsblogKepner (NYT): Astros’ Jose Altuve Doesn’t Let Height Be a Disadvantage
(3 - 2:43am, Aug 20)
Last: TerpNats

NewsblogIwakuma gives Mariners a second true ace
(5 - 2:24am, Aug 20)
Last: 6 - 4 - 3

NewsblogMinor League manager undresses during epic home plate tirade
(8 - 2:09am, Aug 20)
Last: The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season

Newsblog[Ubaldo] Jimenez to the bullpen
(9 - 2:03am, Aug 20)
Last: 6 - 4 - 3

NewsblogOT August 2014:  Wrassle Mania I
(40 - 1:14am, Aug 20)
Last: steagles

NewsblogPirates activate Andrew McCutchen from the disabled list
(8 - 12:57am, Aug 20)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - August 2014
(271 - 12:40am, Aug 20)
Last: robinred

NewsblogMooney: Javier Baez, Kyle Hendricks aren’t showing any nerves with Cubs
(33 - 11:48pm, Aug 19)
Last: Spahn Insane

NewsblogRoth: The Mets' Matt Harvey problem is a Mets problem
(6 - 10:55pm, Aug 19)
Last: MNB

Page rendered in 0.3784 seconds
52 querie(s) executed