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Friday, October 18, 2019

CC Sabathia leaves possible last appearance with injury

CC Sabathia was taken out of the game in the eighth inning of ALCS Game 4 after suffering an apparent shoulder injury throwing to George Springer. He relieved struggling setup man Adam Ottavino and recorded two outs before being checked on by the team’s training staff.

If the injury is serious and the Astros, who are up 2-1, win the series, it may be Sabathia’s last pitch in pinstripes. The lefty, who won 251 games over the course of his career and went 134-88 in the Bronx, announced his retirement before the season began.

Astros stars Gerrit Cole and George Springer, who slammed a three-run home run against starter Masahiro Tanaka, came to the top step to applaud alongside the Yankee Stadium faithful, who sent him off with a standing ovation. Jonathan Loaisiga retired the final batter to escape the jam.

Sabathia had experienced shoulder trouble shortly before the season ended, which led to him being left off the ALDS roster. The 39-year-old attempted to stay in the game, throwing a warmup pitch mid-batter to test his shoulder. But it didn’t work, and Sabathia walked off the field for likely the final time.

A crying shame, if this is indeed the end.

 

QLE Posted: October 18, 2019 at 12:08 AM | 55 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cc sabathia, shoulder

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   1. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: October 18, 2019 at 07:16 AM (#5891523)
Hall? Yeah. CC had about 53 WAR by age 30, and basically crawled across the finish line with 9 WAR over the last seven years. The 250 wins, the ring and the pinstripes should be enough.
   2. bunyon Posted: October 18, 2019 at 08:40 AM (#5891531)
That was a bummer.
   3. TribeGuy Posted: October 18, 2019 at 10:57 AM (#5891570)
I remember meeting him and getting his autograph after a Potomac Cannons game in 1999 or 2000 when he was with Kinston Indians. He was a big dude and stood out like a sore thumb in a crowd of regular sized people in his street clothes. Hard to miss him. He came across as very humble and soft-spoken then. I was very happy to see his success with the Indians and he has had a great career. Sad that it had to end this way.

   4. escabeche Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:14 AM (#5891577)
I hope he makes a surprise comeback in 2020 to lead the Brewers down the stretch one more time.
   5. RoyalFlush Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:26 AM (#5891581)
He's only had 8 innings of work since mid-August. Has to be hard coming into those high leverage playoff situations after not pitching much in live games the past two months. Tough way to go out.
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: October 18, 2019 at 12:12 PM (#5891612)

I hope he makes a surprise comeback in 2020 to lead the Brewers down the stretch one more time.


He won a Cy in Cleveland and a World Series in New York, but he was never better than in Milwaukee. He led the NL in complete games by two (and both leagues in shutouts, which has to be the only time in history that has happened. Or will ever happen).

   7. Booey Posted: October 18, 2019 at 12:13 PM (#5891613)
Hall? Yeah. CC had about 53 WAR by age 30, and basically crawled across the finish line with 9 WAR over the last seven years. The 250 wins, the ring and the pinstripes should be enough.


Pretty sure the "pinstripes are an advantage" myth has been debunked (at least for recent generations), but yeah, he should - and probably will - be a HOFer. He's basically Andy Pettitte with a CYA award, 650 extra k's, no PED connections, and an actual peak (5 straight top 5 CYA finishes). And while his WAR/WAA is only borderline, it's high enough that it'll keep the SABR crowd from mounting an anti-election campaign against him, a la The Jack.

Also, I still think it's cool that CC led BOTH leagues in shutouts in 2008. (Edit: dammit, SoSh!)
   8. Tilden Katz Posted: October 18, 2019 at 01:20 PM (#5891650)
It won't hurt CC's case that he seems to be universally loved by his teammates and coaches. I expect him to also so some media work, perhaps not right away but soon enough, which will help him with the writers. To the extent that "first ballot HOFer" is still a thing I don't think he qualifies, but I suspect he gets in shortly after that.
   9. flournoy Posted: October 18, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5891654)
(and both leagues in shutouts, which has to be the only time in history that has happened. Or will ever happen).


Probably the only time it's happened. Randy Johnson led MLB in shutouts in 1998, though led neither the NL nor AL.

As far as it never happening again... with the near-extinction of shutouts these days, I can envision a guy throwing one shutout, getting traded midseason to the other league, throwing one more, and leading both leagues with one apiece.
   10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 18, 2019 at 01:32 PM (#5891657)
Sabathia off playoff roster, replaced by Ben Heller. “Partial dislocation of the shoulder joint” was the injury. Not the ending anyone wanted, but a heck of a career.
   11. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 18, 2019 at 01:36 PM (#5891660)
Those games in Milwaukee in '08, even when he wasn't starting, were some of the best energy crowds I've ever been to for baseball games, and I've been to several hundred baseball games. Of course many of those games involved Garner, Lopes, Royster, Stewart, etc. era teams. At the time I'd say they were best days in Milwaukee baseball since a few weeks in '92 and '87.
   12. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: October 18, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5891661)
It's mildly amusing to me that he was, I believe, second all time in career starts without a relief appearance then made a relief appearance in his final regular season game.
   13. Booey Posted: October 18, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5891675)
#9 - Yeah, I think it's actually becoming MORE likely that someone could do that again rather than less. In 2018 the leaders in each league had just a single shutout.
   14. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 18, 2019 at 02:26 PM (#5891682)
My most vivid memory about CC's 2008 season remains the two home runs he hit that year. Both absolute bombs, one for the Indians and one for the Brewers.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: October 18, 2019 at 03:29 PM (#5891698)
Happy trails to the big guy.

As to the HoF, he'll be entering on pretty weak ballots and will be the only serious SP candidate on them for a few years. However if he doesn't make it before Verlander, Greinke then Scherzer enter, he might get Bunning-ed (or whatever it's modern equivalent is).
   16. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2019 at 03:34 PM (#5891701)
My most vivid memory about CC's 2008 season remains the two home runs he hit that year. Both absolute bombs, one for the Indians and one for the Brewers.
Wow. Can you imagine what he must have been like in Little League?
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: October 18, 2019 at 03:58 PM (#5891712)
I was talking about leading both leagues in the same season in any category. I doubt it's ever happened before. But yes, if there is one category where someone could do it in the future, shutouts is definitely the category.

   18. Nasty Nate Posted: October 18, 2019 at 04:07 PM (#5891716)
CGs also possible. Triples could be done, although it's very unlikely.
   19. Adam Starblind Posted: October 18, 2019 at 05:42 PM (#5891744)
Wow. Can you imagine what he must have been like in Little League?


About 6'6", 250.
   20. Uncle Willy Posted: October 19, 2019 at 11:20 AM (#5891866)
What would really be impressive is leading each league in a different category - say, lead AL in complete games and lead the NL in shutouts.
   21. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: October 19, 2019 at 11:27 AM (#5891868)
I'll always remember him as the guy who got a first place ROY vote the year a rookie won the MVP.
   22. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: October 19, 2019 at 03:50 PM (#5891949)
What would really be impressive is leading each league in a different category - say, lead AL in complete games and lead the NL in shutouts.


Not sure you meant to allude to it but CC actually did lead the AL in shutouts and the NL in CG in 2008.
   23. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: October 20, 2019 at 07:54 AM (#5892276)
Pretty sure the "pinstripes are an advantage" myth has been debunked (at least for recent generations)


I remember when the Hall inducted the entire Yankees franchise back in '72. (Pee Wee Wanninger's speech was especially moving.) No, you're probably right about that, but I'd like to see a recent study about it. (Bill James did one in one of the Abstracts, which I have, but I'm too lazy to go through them, and besides that was ~35 years ago.)

And while his WAR/WAA is only borderline, it's high enough that it'll keep the SABR crowd from mounting an anti-election campaign against him, a la The Jack.


...which didn't actually keep him out, of course. (I can almost see the "SABR crowd" twirling their mustaches and muttering, "Curses! Foiled again...!")
   24. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 20, 2019 at 08:54 AM (#5892278)
Pretty sure the "pinstripes are an advantage" myth has been debunked (at least for recent generations)


It doesn’t get guys in by itself, but it does provide a noticeable bump in support (see, for example, Mattingly).
   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 20, 2019 at 09:08 AM (#5892280)
I think Sabathia is deserving, though, FWIW.
   26. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: October 20, 2019 at 10:37 AM (#5892296)
My recollection of James’ work is that he was focused on in-season awards (e.g. MVP, Cy Young) rather than the Hall but I’m old and forget things.

I may have mentioned it previously but my recollection of James’ work is that he was focused on in-season awards (e.g. MVP, Cy Young) rather than the Hall but I’m old and forget things.
   27. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: October 20, 2019 at 10:54 AM (#5892298)
It doesn’t get guys in by itself, but it does provide a noticeable bump in support (see, for example, Mattingly).


For a counter-example, see Willie Randolph, Graig Nettles, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams.
   28. Booey Posted: October 20, 2019 at 11:17 AM (#5892303)
I remember when the Hall inducted the entire Yankees franchise back in '72. (Pee Wee Wanninger's speech was especially moving.) No, you're probably right about that, but I'd like to see a recent study about it. (Bill James did one in one of the Abstracts, which I have, but I'm too lazy to go through them, and besides that was ~35 years ago.)


I added the "at least for recent generations" disclaimer cuz it did seem to help borderline-ish players from distant generations, like Earle Combs, Tony Lazzeri, Lefty Gomez, Waite Hoyt, and Phil Rizzuto. That said, borderline (and worse; sometimes MUCH worse) players from the 1920's - 1940's are hugely overrepresented in the Hall altogether. Thanks to Frankie Frisch and the early incarnations of the VC, there's way too many mediocre Giants and Cardinals from that time period too.

It doesn’t get guys in by itself, but it does provide a noticeable bump in support (see, for example, Mattingly).


Sometimes, but not nearly as often as people seem to think. From recent decades, you could find just as many examples of Yankees being properly rated or even underrated by the voters as you can of them being overrated. And even the ones that were overrated there's usually an additional reason why beyond "they wore pinstripes". Examples:

Overrated -

- Mattingly - Yeah, he hung around on the ballot for the duration when lots of better players fell off, but he debuted at 28% and never made any progress, finishing with just 10-15% for most years. Plus he was one of the most beloved players of his era (comparable to Cal, Ozzie, Gwynn), he had an MVP, a brief peak where he was considered one of the best players in the game, and he finished with a BA over .300. He's the type of player that may have been overrated by the voters no matter where he played. There's guys from other teams who stick around with middling support for similar or lesser reasons too (Garvey, Concepcion, etc).

- Rivera - I know that making a guy with only borderline HOF value the first ever unanimous selection irked some, but Rivera was a truly unique player in baseball history, and legitimately one of the best postseason players of all time. He'd be getting a huge "narrative" bump if he did the same thing anywhere else (see Ortiz, David). Plus the voters had already established a (low) HOF bar for closers, and he literally doubles it. If you think that Fingers, Gossage, Sutter, Smith, and Hoffman belong in the HOF (I don't), then Rivera really is one of the most obvious choices ever.

- Jeter - Predicting the future here, but I expect Jeter to join Mo in the exclusive unanimous category. Of course, a SS with Captain Giftbasket's career accomplishments (6th all time in hits, 11th in runs, etc) would be a no brainer HOFer no matter where they played. It's really splitting hairs to argue that he should have only gotten in with 90% of the vote rather than 100% (and really, all obvious HOFers should be getting 100%).

- Roger Maris/ Don Larsen - These guys hung around for the duration despite career stats that normally wouldn't have earned them a single vote, but it had nothing to do with being Yankees and everything to do with a single historic accomplishment.

Who else?

And on the flipside, there's a bunch of Yankees that voters could have made excuses to give a lot MORE support if the pinstripes bump was a real thing:

- Bernie Williams - Career Yankee. Hit well over .300 (and won a batting title) with 25 homers and 100 rbi almost every year for a dynasty that reached 6 WS and won 4. Also won 4 gold gloves in centerfield. Well liked player. Fairly similar career to 1st ballot HOFer Kirby Puckett, actually. Debuted at 9.6% and dropped off the ballot the following year (3.3%).

- Paul O'Neill - Clearly not a HOFer, but seemed like the type of player who might stick around for a bit if there was a Yankee bias. Hit .300 with 20 HR and 100 rbi regularly for 5 championship teams. Similar player to Steve Garvey, who lasted the duration. O'Neill even made a Seinfeld appearance! He was still one and done with 2.2% of the vote, and he debuted well before the ballot glut.

- Jorge Posada- Career Yankee. 5 all stars and silver sluggers, starting catcher for a dynasty, and by WAR a legit borderline-ish HOFer for a catcher. One and done.

- David Cone - 62 WAR/36 WAA, CYA, two 20 win seasons, perfect game (back when that was a very big deal), 4 rings with the Yankees. One and done (before ballotgeddon)

- David Wells - 239 wins, perfect game, 18-4 on their 114 win juggernaut 1998 title team, at least borderline-ish on WAR (53.5). One and done with virtually no support (0.9).

- Thurman Munson - Career Yankee. Borderline HOFer by WAR/WAA for a catcher (46.1/25.5), and that's if you don't give him any early death/short career sympathy and/or bump. Starting catcher for 3 WS, 2 champions. MVP, ROY, 7 time AS, 3 GG's, .292 lifetime BA. Debuted at 15% on the ballot and never cracked 10% again.

- Ron Guidry - Career Yankee. Short-ish career, but some dominant peak seasons, including win totals of 25, 22, and 21. Two ERA titles, an epic CYA season (plus a 2nd and 3rd place finish), 5 gold gloves, dominant in 3 WS (3-1 with a 1.69 ERA in 32 WS innings), 2 championships. Never hit 10% of the vote.


Who else am I missing on either side? I don't know if I'm seeing any kind of pattern with the way Yankees are treated by the voters.

Edit: Oh yeah, Randolph, Nettles. Coke to Misirlou.
   29. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 20, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5892319)
Paul O'Neill - Clearly not a HOFer, but seemed like the type of player who might stick around for a bit if there was a Yankee bias. Hit .300 with 20 HR and 100 rbi regularly for 5 championship teams. Similar player to Steve Garvey, who lasted the duration. O'Neill even made a Seinfeld appearance! He was still one and done with 2.2% of the vote, and he debuted well before the ballot glut.


O’Neill got twelve votes as a corner OF with a career WAR total under 40 and exactly one season above 5 WAR (not to mention a sub-300 HR total). The year he got twelve votes, Albert Belle got nineteen, Jose Canseco got six, and Devon White got a big, fat zero. O’Neill absolutely got a Yankees bump. It just doesn’t look like much because he wasn’t even close to a serious candidate.

With guys like Williams and Posada and Nettles, you don’t have a refutation of the Yankee bump. You have the Hall rejecting classes of players in whom the BBWAA has traditionally shown zero interest with regard to Hall voting: center fielders without obvious statistical milestones, defensively-challenged catchers, third basemen of any sort, etc.
   30. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 20, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5892328)
David Cone - 62 WAR/36 WAA, CYA, two 20 win seasons, perfect game (back when that was a very big deal), 4 rings with the Yankees.
Cone also won a ring with the 1992 Blue Jays.
   31. Booey Posted: October 20, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5892344)
O’Neill got twelve votes as a corner OF with a career WAR total under 40 and exactly one season above 5 WAR (not to mention a sub-300 HR total). The year he got twelve votes, Albert Belle got nineteen, Jose Canseco got six, and Devon White got a big, fat zero. O’Neill absolutely got a Yankees bump. It just doesn’t look like much because he wasn’t even close to a serious candidate.

I don't think it's obvious at all that O'Neill got a "Yankee bump" rather than a "key player on 5 championship teams bump" or a "guys who regularly hit .300 with 100 rbi's have always been overrated" bump (again, see Garvey, Steve). Your own post mentions Albert Belle, who got more votes than O'Neill despite also being a corner outfielder with a near identical WAR total (40.1 to 38.9). Canseco was by his own admission basically the Godfather of PED's, and Devon White was a .263 hitter without big HR totals and whose value came mostly from defense (IOW, the type of player that's always been underrated).

With guys like Williams and Posada and Nettles, you don’t have a refutation of the Yankee bump. You have the Hall rejecting classes of players in whom the BBWAA has traditionally shown zero interest with regard to Hall voting: center fielders without obvious statistical milestones, defensively-challenged catchers, third basemen of any sort, etc.


And the guys who are getting a "Yankee bump" are the kind of guys that have always been overrated by the BBWAA; key players on dynasty's (Jeter, Rivera), closers (Rivera), .300 hitters (Mattingly, Jeter), super popular players (Jeter, Rivera, Mattingly), rbi guys (Mattingly), guys who broke records and/or had historic achievements (Rivera, Maris, Larsen).

IOW, overall the Hall has treated Yankees pretty much the same way they've treated everyone else.
   32. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: October 20, 2019 at 03:38 PM (#5892345)
And the guys who are getting a "Yankee bump" are the kind of guys that have always been overrated by the BBWAA; key players on dynasty's (Jeter, Rivera), closers (Rivera), .300 hitters (Mattingly, Jeter), super popular players (Jeter, Rivera, Mattingly), rbi guys (Mattingly), guys who broke records and/or had historic achievements (Rivera, Maris, Larsen).

IOW, overall the Hall has treated Yankees pretty much the same way they've treated everyone else.


Johnny Vander Meer
Dave Concepcion
Tony Oliva


   33. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 21, 2019 at 01:06 PM (#5892551)
Your own post mentions Albert Belle, who got more votes than O'Neill despite also being a corner outfielder with a near identical WAR total (40.1 to 38.9).


Yes, and it mentions Belle because Belle had a much higher peak AND more career value even though his career was substantially shorter than O'Neill's. Belle finished in the top three in MVP voting for three consecutive years, while O'Neill had one finish in the top 10. Belle had 28 points of black ink on his record, which would be an above-average total for a Hall of Famer, while O'Neill had 4 (from his batting title in 1994 - he also led the league in GIDP twice). Yet somehow, O'Neill only received seven fewer votes than a guy who should have been an actual quasi-legitimate candidate. I wonder why?

Devon White was a .263 hitter without big HR totals and whose value came mostly from defense (IOW, the type of player that's always been underrated)


He's also a good illustration of the problem with citing Bernie Williams as a Yankee who didn't get a "Yankee bump". They were, on paper, very similar candidates. They played the same position in the same league at the same time, they were both multi-year All-Stars and multi-year Gold Glove recipients, and they both had strong individual postseason records that included multiple World Series titles. They had peaks of similar value and ended up with career WAR total within 2 1/2 wins of each other. But Williams got 9.6% on his first ballot, while White got literally zero support. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

super popular players (Jeter, Rivera, Mattingly)


Yes, disproportionately popular relative to their actual levels of skill specifically because they played for the Yankees. Thank you for illustrating my point.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: October 21, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5892558)
I think it's possible Yankees can be both hurt and helped in Hall voting, depending on the candidate.

Don Mattingly stuck around on the ballot for 15 years, which a similar guy might not have. But he was loved by the New York media, and they make up a substantial percentage of the voting body.

On the other hand, those stealth candidates like Nettles or Randolph may get hurt on a national scale because the rest of the country, quite rightly, hates the Yankees. And so those guys don't do as well as they might have had they played for a less malevolent organization.
   35. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 21, 2019 at 01:40 PM (#5892569)
On the other hand, those stealth candidates like Nettles or Randolph may get hurt on a national scale because the rest of the country, quite rightly, hates the Yankees.


With regard to Randolph, I think it's important context that three years after Randolph was on the ballot, a substantially more qualified 2B (Lou Whitaker, who really should've been a first-ballot guy) got only 15 votes and fell off the ballot as a one-and-done. So while Randolph certainly deserved more support than he got, I think his level of support is more illustrative of positional headwinds pushing against players of his type than of any factor related to his degree of Yankee-ness.
   36. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 21, 2019 at 01:49 PM (#5892574)

They were, on paper, very similar candidates. They played the same position in the same league at the same time, they were both multi-year All-Stars and multi-year Gold Glove recipients, and they both had strong individual postseason records that included multiple World Series titles. They had peaks of similar value and ended up with career WAR total within 2 1/2 wins of each other.

He and Devon White look almost nothing alike on paper. White was a below-average hitter, .263/208/846 career traditional stats. Fewer than 2,000 career hits. Never batted over .300 or had more than 100 RBIs (never higher than .283 or 87, actually).

Bernie OTOH was a .297/287/1,257 guy. 2,336 hits. Batted over .300 eight times, with 5 100+ RBI seasons.

If people really thought that Bernie was a GG caliber CFer he should have received a lot more HOF support. Not sure if he was hurt by staying at the position so long that people only remembered his terrible years out there.
   37. Booey Posted: October 21, 2019 at 03:03 PM (#5892591)
O'Neill only received seven fewer votes than a guy who should have been an actual quasi-legitimate candidate. I wonder why?


Cuz he was a pretty good player on a perennial contender, same way that Dave Concepcion, Tony Perez, Gil Hodges, and others got more support than their numbers warranted too. O'Neill averaged .308 with 20 homers and 100 rbi's for an 8 year span from 1993-2000. Put those numbers on a team that also won multiple World Series during that span, and yes, I think he gets the same amount of votes no matter what the name of that team was. I suspect a perennial .300/20/100 guy (or whatever the equivalent numbers would be for those time periods) on the 1970's Reds or 2010's Giants could muster up 12 votes, too. Ken Griffey Sr got 22 votes (4.7%) in his lone year on the ballot (or is that cuz he played a few years for the Yankees too?).

He's also a good illustration of the problem with citing Bernie Williams as a Yankee who didn't get a "Yankee bump". They were, on paper, very similar candidates.


What #36 said. Bernie and White weren't similar players at all at a glance. Bernie had a 7 year stretch from 1996-2002 where he hit .323/.408/.538 (144 OPS+) and averaged 25 homers, 104 rbi, and 106 runs scored. He won a batting title and had two 200 hit seasons. Devon White at his peak was averaging about .270/.330/.440 (about a 100 OPS+) with around 15 homers and 60 rbi. His WAR came from defense and steals. Racking up value via batting average and rbi's has always gotten players more recognition than putting up similar value via defense and stolen bases.

Yes, disproportionately popular relative to their actual levels of skill specifically because they played for the Yankees. Thank you for illustrating my point.


Not at all. Weren't they considered some of the most likable people in the game? Likable/popular players usually get a bump, regardless of where they played. Gwynn breezed into the HOF a lot easier than most 70-ish WAR players do (See Rolen, Raines, etc). Puckett went 1st ballot despite only 50 WAR (he was a pretty comparable player to Bernie, actually). Ortiz is so popular that he'll likely become the first player to overcome a PED taint to get elected. Ichiro is gonna sail in on the first ballot - probably with over 90% of the vote - despite a career that's borderline statistically. Sure, those guys were pretty unique players with accomplishments that go beyond mere popularity...but so were Rivera and Jeter.
   38. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 21, 2019 at 03:28 PM (#5892598)
They were, on paper, very similar candidates.


Yeah, that kind of gave the game away. Bernie Williams got MVP votes in six different seasons; Devon White was mentioned in the MVP voting once, when he finished 16th.

I gotta say, if the sum and substance of the Yankee bias in Hall of Fame voting is that somebody like O'Neill gets 2.2% of the vote, rather than the 0% he deserves, I can live with that.
   39. QLE Posted: October 21, 2019 at 03:42 PM (#5892600)
I wonder why?


An obvious issue- how much of it is O'Neill being overrated, and how much of it is the BBWAA really not liking Albert Belle?

They had peaks of similar value and ended up with career WAR total within 2 1/2 wins of each other.


How many people who have their values calculated that way in 2007? Looking at their Baseball-Reference pages on Internet Archive, the earliest WAR listings I've found (from April 2011) have Williams at 47.3 WAR to 41.3 WAR for White, with Williams having more seasons with 6+ WAR (two to one) and 5+ WAR (five to four), as well as three additional seasons with more WAR than White's fifth-best season. Moreover, going back to the Hall of Merit discussions in the mid-2000s, defensive play seems to have been given even shorter shrift.

You have the Hall rejecting classes of players in whom the BBWAA has traditionally shown zero interest with regard to Hall voting: center fielders without obvious statistical milestones, defensively-challenged catchers, third basemen of any sort, etc.


Yeah, but, to be perfectly blunt about it, if the HOF voters were engaging in shenanigans, wouldn't it be more less exactly these sorts of players for whom it would be most evident?

Yes, disproportionately popular relative to their actual levels of skill specifically because they played for the Yankees


In the first place, I'd argue that this is statistically unfair to Rivera, who (regardless of what we think about relievers overall) clearly has a career much different from virtually every other reliever in the history of the game.

Secondly, as noted before, this isn't just an aid to Yankees- there's a strong case to be made that the only reason we didn't end up with Steve Garvey in the HOF is because of how awful a human being he was publicly revealed as being, Tony Perez's being in the HOF owes itself heavily to his being on the Big Red Machine (both in publicity and in terms of being surrounded by good players to boost his RBI totals), and it's an open question if John Smoltz makes the HOF if he spent the bulk of his career on a team other than the Braves of the 1990s and early 2000s, to use just three relatively recent examples concerning the BBWAA.
   40. Ithaca2323 Posted: October 21, 2019 at 03:50 PM (#5892601)
Yet somehow, O'Neill only received seven fewer votes than a guy who should have been an actual quasi-legitimate candidate. I wonder why?



Because Albert Belle was an ***hole who nobody in the media liked?
   41. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 21, 2019 at 04:16 PM (#5892608)
Yeah, that kind of gave the game away. Bernie Williams got MVP votes in six different seasons; Devon White was mentioned in the MVP voting once, when he finished 16th.


Yankees also tend to get more MVP votes than they deserve, because there are sportswriters who insist on voting primarily for players from playoff teams, rather than the players who had the best seasons.

What #36 said. Bernie and White weren't similar players at all at a glance. Bernie had a 7 year stretch from 1996-2002 where he hit .323/.408/.538 (144 OPS+) and averaged 25 homers, 104 rbi, and 106 runs scored. He won a batting title and had two 200 hit seasons.


The shape of their performances was different, but the value of those performances was extremely similar. Bernie had one 6+ WAR season (1995), and White had three (1991-1993). Bernie had six 5+ WAR seasons (1995, 1997-2001), and White had four (1987 and 1991-1993). Bernie had nine 3+ WAR seasons (1994-2002), and White had eight (1987-1989, 1991-1993, 1996, and 1998).

Bernie was a significantly better hitter, but White was a significantly better fielder, and the value of the two ended up being basically the same. And while Bernie had a large edge with the bat, he did end up missing nearly all of the common statistical markers that Hall of Fame voters usually look for. He wasn't a .300 hitter. He had fewer than 300 home runs. He only made it to 2,3336 hits, and even that took him hanging on for two seasons where he was below replacement level. And big chunks of his value were tied up in doubles and walks, categories about which the BBWAA almost never gives a #### when they're attached to non-Yankees.

Weren't they considered some of the most likable people in the game?


I've never heard anyone, anywhere call Paul O'Neill "likeable". He was a belligerent red-ass, and it seemed like he spent most of his time either whining about calls or beating up inanimate objects in the clubhouse. If he'd spent his entire career with the Reds, he'd have gotten about as much Hall of Fame support as Eric Davis did.
   42. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 21, 2019 at 04:19 PM (#5892610)
Because Albert Belle was an ***hole who nobody in the media liked?


And Paul O'Neill wasn't?
   43. Karl from NY Posted: October 21, 2019 at 04:31 PM (#5892615)
No mention of Catfish Hunter for the Yankee effect? Career 104 ERA+. Most of his value didn't come for the Yankees, but it's hard to imagine he'd get noticed for election if not for those years including the 1977-78 title winners. Without that time in the NY spotlight and the catchy nickname, he's Vida Blue.

and the pinstripes should be enough.

I saw one article that concluded C.C. was literally the record holder for pinstripes, based on his girth and that the Yankees had just changed to a slightly narrower gauge of stripe spacing.
   44. Howie Menckel Posted: October 21, 2019 at 04:43 PM (#5892622)
I have never heard of anyone over 50 years old - like me - griping about Catfish Hunter and the Hall of Fame. you can't describe 1970s baseball without him.
   45. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 21, 2019 at 04:48 PM (#5892627)
Catfish Hunter has a HOF Monitor of 134. Won 20 games 5 years in a row (only once for the Yanks). 5 rings (2 with the Yanks). He's the kind of guy that the HOF has historically liked.

Bernie Williams also has a HOF Monitor of 134 (Devon White: 39), which is one reason I was surprised he got very little support. Granted the HOF Monitor meant a lot less after sillyball, but I still expected him to hang around the ballot for a while.

EDIT: Sabathia has a 128 HOF Monitor. Incidentally, tied with Pettitte.
   46. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 21, 2019 at 04:48 PM (#5892628)
I've never heard anyone, anywhere call Paul O'Neill "likeable".
What about the time he hit two home runs for the sick kid in the hospital?
   47. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 21, 2019 at 04:55 PM (#5892632)

What about the time he hit two home runs for the sick kid in the hospital?

One of those was a triple with an error, so he's stick a redass.
   48. Karl from NY Posted: October 21, 2019 at 05:00 PM (#5892635)
Compare Catfish to Vida Blue. Both had the same three rings and one Cy with the A's. Vida leads in career pitching WAR 45 to 36. Give Vida's later years the exposure and rings of those Yankee teams while putting Catfish on the forgettable Giants, and I say Vida is the one that makes the HOF.
   49. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 21, 2019 at 05:00 PM (#5892636)
Bernie had a 7 year stretch from 1996-2002 where he hit .323/.408/.538 (144 OPS+) and averaged 25 homers, 104 rbi, and 106 runs scored.
Until Bernie banged his knee on the outfield wall in Anaheim, I thought he could have made the Hall by hitting .300/.400/.500 every year for a decade. It might have taken some persuasion, but that would have been hard to ignore. Alas, Bernie was never the same after the injury, but he had a very impressive stretch on the most successful team of the Wildcard Era. It shouldn’t be a surprise that some remember his peak.
   50. SoSH U at work Posted: October 21, 2019 at 06:44 PM (#5892657)
I've never heard anyone, anywhere call Paul O'Neill "likeable".


I gotta defend Booey here. He was responding to the post that included Jeter, Rivera, Mattingly. He was not claiming Paul O'Neill was likable.

And the whole, "he only received seven more votes than Paul O'Neill" is a little silly. Albert got 19, O'Neill got 12. Moreover, it was Albert's second year on the ballot. He got 40 his first year, so among the spectacular ######## who played corner outfield in the 1990s, his support was almost 3X greater.

   51. Booey Posted: October 21, 2019 at 08:04 PM (#5892663)
Yankees also tend to get more MVP votes than they deserve, because there are sportswriters who insist on voting primarily for players from playoff teams, rather than the players who had the best seasons.


If he'd spent his entire career with the Reds, he'd have gotten about as much Hall of Fame support as Eric Davis did.


Agreed, but that's because the Reds weren't a great team for most of that span (now, if it was the 1970's Reds...). That's the "key player on a perennial contender" bias I mentioned in both #31 and #37. It's not specifically a Yankee thing. I suspect O'Neill could've gotten the same 2.2% of the vote if his 1993-2000 peak had come with the Braves instead.

I gotta defend Booey here. He was responding to the post that included Jeter, Rivera, Mattingly. He was not claiming Paul O'Neill was likable.


This. His Seinfeld appearance was amusing, but other than that, Paul O'Neill was not likable at all. He was a d!ck (probably still is).

The shape of their performances was different, but the value of those performances was extremely similar.


Come on, man. You know that the shape of a players performance has always been huge with the writers. Why did Tony Gwynn (69.2 WAR) debut with 97.6% of the vote while Scott Rolen (70.2) debuted at 10.2%, and Lou Whitaker (75.1) debuted at just 2.9%? Why were John Smoltz (69.0) and Roy Halladay (64.3) first ballot guys while Rick Reuschel (69.5) got 2 votes? Why did Jack Morris and Omar Vizquel do so much better than...well, almost every other 45 WAR player? We could find dozens more examples like this.
   52. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 21, 2019 at 10:40 PM (#5892689)

Compare Catfish to Vida Blue. Both had the same three rings and one Cy with the A's. Vida leads in career pitching WAR 45 to 36. Give Vida's later years the exposure and rings of those Yankee teams while putting Catfish on the forgettable Giants, and I say Vida is the one that makes the HOF.

Maybe, but I think you're applying a 2019 framework to a 1980s question. Nobody was talking about ERA+ and WAR when these guys were on the ballot. Hunter had more wins, more rings, a virtually identical ERA in more IP, and a much better postseason record (9-6, 3.26 ERA vs. 1-5, 4.31).

Blue was also disadvantaged by debuting on the ballot with Tom Seaver, then Niekro debuting the following year and Carlton and Sutton the year after that.
   53. Howie Menckel Posted: October 21, 2019 at 11:46 PM (#5892694)
I should add that Hunter never got a single HOM vote, in a format where 15 players must be chosen each year. he retired in a competitive voting environment, but he never revived once the backlog cleared, either.

and that's exactly right: a clear HOFer, but no dice on the HOM. at all.
   54. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 22, 2019 at 08:52 AM (#5892714)
And while Bernie had a large edge with the bat, he did end up missing nearly all of the common statistical markers that Hall of Fame voters usually look for.


That's probably why Bernie didn't come close - at all - to making the Hall of Fame.
   55. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: October 22, 2019 at 09:35 AM (#5892724)
What would really be impressive is leading each league in a different category - say, lead AL in complete games and lead the NL in shutouts.

Ichiro could have led the AL in hits and led the NL in home runs in one year, if he had wanted to.

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