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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Edgar Martinez is a deserving player to get into the Hall of Fame | SI.com

Jay Jaffe loves Edgar.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2017 at 10:03 AM | 117 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: edgar martinez, hall of fame

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   101. Morty Causa Posted: November 30, 2017 at 06:34 PM (#5583772)
Oh, and just looking at oWAR, Walker, in a 1000 fewer PAs, has more WAR than Vlad.

Which is pretty much all baserunning and DPs. They were pretty much equivalent as hitters.

No, they aren't. Walker has significantly more WAA and is almost tied with Vlad in Rbat, in, as you point, a 1000 fewer PAs.

Same comparison between Edgar and Vlad shows Edgar has much more Rbat and significantly more WAA. To say Vlad is more deserving you have to ignore this and inflate the value of mediocre/sub-mediocre right-fielding.
   102. Jay Z Posted: November 30, 2017 at 06:58 PM (#5583781)
Yes. If a guy hit .320 instead of .300 b/c he played in Fenway, or hit 40 HRs a year instead of 30 b/c he was a LHB in Old Yankee Stadium I want to walk back that value.

I want to know who was the better player.


The better player is the one who had more value. As an analyst, walking things back the way you want to provides negative value. You'd be better off doing nothing.

There is no such thing as a context neutral game. Never has been, never will be.

If every team tomorrow decides to build a replica of the Polo Grounds, or Fenway, or the Astrodome, or whatever park, and play every game in identikit stadia for a million years, that is not going to change the games that were played prior. Despite the fact that that future park will feel like a "context-neutral" stadium to that group of fans, because it's all they know and want, it is not in fact a neutral context. Because that sort of thing does not and cannot exist.

The games are played by the rules to determine a winner. Then you look at what happened and figure out the value in the context of the game. That's it. You don't look at some fly ball and say "that would have been a home run in Yankee Stadium" or "that would have been caught in the LA Coliseum." Because the fly ball cannot be frozen in time and taken to another time and place. It has value only in that time and place.

Baseball events are not tradeable chits, and analysis treating them as such is flawed at its very base.
   103. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 30, 2017 at 07:45 PM (#5583804)

The better player is the one who had more value.


I disagree. I want to know who would have been better all else being equal.

That's far more in keeping with the HoF approach to the Negro leagues and war credit. We know Jorge Posada created more value in winning baseball games than Josh Gibson, but Gibson is the one who should be in the HoF.
   104. Rally Posted: November 30, 2017 at 09:00 PM (#5583844)
That's a tough one. Gibson contributed to a lot of wins for his teams, but the quality of competition is uneven and records are scarce. I would say it's an unknown whether he created more value than Posada. In any case, he was certainly the better player.
   105. bookbook Posted: November 30, 2017 at 09:04 PM (#5583847)
I think the argument that DH’s should be worth negative one million runs is rather tedious. To me, the strongest argument against Edgar being a HOFer is the idea that his walks might have been worth less than most anyone else’s. Edgar was a smart baserunner, but man was he slow (at least in his 30’s). On the intangible front, no better team mate, nor person, were you likely to find.
   106. bookbook Posted: November 30, 2017 at 09:07 PM (#5583848)
In fairness, his doubles may have been worth more than most people’s for driving in runs, if Seattle ever had baserunners. For Edgar to get to second on a hit, Ichiro or Billy Hamilton would often have a triple.
   107. Baldrick Posted: November 30, 2017 at 09:09 PM (#5583849)
The guy who can play in the field is a much better player than the guy who can't. Much more than 8 runs a year.

You can visualize this by thinking how bad a RF Edgar Martinez or David Ortiz would have been.

The guy who can throw 100 MPH is a much better player than the guy who can't.

You can visualize this by thinking how bad a pitcher Mike Trout or Jose Altuve would be.
   108. Jay Z Posted: November 30, 2017 at 09:50 PM (#5583859)
I disagree. I want to know who would have been better all else being equal.


There is no "equal."

That's far more in keeping with the HoF approach to the Negro leagues and war credit. We know Jorge Posada created more value in winning baseball games than Josh Gibson, but Gibson is the one who should be in the HoF.


We don't really know that Posada created more value in winning baseball games.

Negro leagues were a legitimate context. Not something I would want today, but it was a legitimate, competitive context given the times. With those players though, you have to consider the barnstorming, games against white players, tournaments, and foreign leagues as part of the whole package.

Gibson belongs in the HOF because he excelled in a legitimate context. What he would have done in the various MLB contexts we'll never know. Could have been better or worse than we perceive. Maybe some of the Negro Leaguers would have done better in MLB than some of their more impressive peers in Negro ball. We'll never know, and the Negro League games had their own legitimacy, so that's what we go with.
   109. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 30, 2017 at 10:06 PM (#5583862)
There is no "equal."

Sure there is. It's just impossible to estimate with certainty.

But teams are trying to do the translation from one context to another all the time when they look at trades or Free Agents.

Literally no one working in MLB cares how many wins JD Martinez contributed last year. They care how many he will likely contribute in the context of their team, league, and ballpark.

That's a value translation. Translating to neutral context is just a variation on that. And it's the variation I thing we should use for HoF and other player ranking purposes. But that's a matter of opinion.

I don't think a mediocre player should be rewarded because the quirks of his stadium fit him particularly well.

We don't really know that Posada created more value in winning baseball games.


He must have. He just played in so many more major league games.

Gibson belongs in the HOF because he excelled in a legitimate context. What he would have done in the various MLB contexts we'll never know. Could have been better or worse than we perceive. Maybe some of the Negro Leaguers would have done better in MLB than some of their more impressive peers in Negro ball. We'll never know, and the Negro League games had their own legitimacy, so that's what we go with.

Disagree. If we actually thought Josh Gibson would have had a 20 WAR career in MLB, he wouldn't be in the HoF, no matter how good he was in the Negro leagues. Negro league players are in the HoF because we believe they would have been elite major leaguers if allowed to play.

   110. PreservedFish Posted: November 30, 2017 at 10:19 PM (#5583868)

I don't think a mediocre player should be rewarded because the quirks of his stadium fit him particularly well.


What if it requires particular skill or craftiness to take advantage of those quirks?
   111. Jay Z Posted: December 01, 2017 at 12:31 AM (#5583911)
What if it requires particular skill or craftiness to take advantage of those quirks?


Like handedness?

Left-handed hitters have an unfair advantage in every game I've ever seen. Why not reverse the bases once in a while? The results would clearly be different were the bases run in reverse order.

This is what I mean when I say there is no such thing as a neutral context.

Eddie Stanky hit almost all of his home runs in the Polo Grounds. Maybe that was the only place he could hit them. But Stanky was a guy who looked for every advantage, and maybe he changed his approach there when he got a pitch he thought he could pull. We're supposed to penalize him for that?
   112. John DiFool2 Posted: December 01, 2017 at 07:11 AM (#5583928)
To me, the strongest argument against Edgar being a HOFer is the idea that his walks might have been worth less than most anyone else’s. Edgar was a smart baserunner, but man was he slow (at least in his 30’s).


Keep in mind walks can still be valuable if they prolong the inning, even if the walk-er in question does not score himself.
   113. Rally Posted: December 01, 2017 at 08:35 AM (#5583933)
To me, the strongest argument against Edgar being a HOFer is the idea that his walks might have been worth less than most anyone else’s. Edgar was a smart baserunner, but man was he slow (at least in his 30’s).


It's all accounted for though. Edgar loses 2 wins from slow base running, and another 2 from hitting into DPs. If he hadn't been on base so much he would not have as many negative runs from base running, but that is not a trade you'd ever want. Better to have a slow man on base than a fast one in the dugout.
   114. Morty Causa Posted: December 01, 2017 at 08:43 AM (#5583935)
I forget who it was Bill James had in mind (maybe Ted Williams) when he commented that the player could have run the bases in Nancy Reagan's high heels and he would still have scored a tone of runs.
   115. SandyRiver Posted: December 01, 2017 at 09:09 AM (#5583945)
It's just like players who are very specifically helped or hurt by their home parks. I wouldn't want to include that in published WAR, but I do want to include it when I'm asking how good Joe DiMaggio was vs. Ted Williams.

I don't understand why you are worried about this.

Players presumably has some ability to respond to their home park.


Certainly. Ted Williams hit 47.6% of his HR at Fenway. David Ortiz hit 45.8% of his Bosox HR at Fenway, so much the same split for these LH sluggers. I'm not sure how to find this out, but I'd guess that Ortiz hit a lot more over the Monster than did Teddy Ballgame, and that Papi's road dingers included a lot lower proportion of opposite field blasts than at home.
   116. Zach Posted: December 01, 2017 at 08:09 PM (#5584566)
Almost everyone who plays professional baseball is at least capable of playing a sub-average first base. There are people who would be -15, -25 runs playing first base - but they don't play baseball. They are not good enough athletes to be capable of hitting.

Yes, but most of the value of defense comes from playing the position for a certain number of innings, not from being better or worse than average.
   117. Russ Posted: December 04, 2017 at 09:25 AM (#5585500)
I love Edgar. I lived in Seattle for four years during the glory years and there was no person that I would rather see hit (and I had plenty of company). One thing that I think is complicated for Edgar is that he didn't get 500+ plate appearances in any year until his age 27 year, because the Mariners front office was full of tooligans. He was crushing the ball in the minors for two full years before he became a regular. At 90% of his age 27 season, he would get another 10 WAR and 280 hits. And that assumes the wouldn't have had a BETTER age 27-30 stretch if he had more experience in the majors (which is a fairly strong assumption). With those numbers, he's at 78 WAR and sandwiched in between Molitor and Bagwell instead of Manny Ramirez and Dwight Evans.

Mentally we adjust for players going away to war because it's out of their control. For someone like Edgar, where the team was screwing him over by keeping him the in the minor leagues for too long, I don't see where there is a dramatic difference.

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