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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

FanGraphs: Q&A: David Cone, Stat-head All-Star

“When I started looking deeper into my own career, I thought 1993 was interesting. Jack McDowell was with the White Sox and I was with the Royals. He won the Cy Young award and I went 11-14 with the lowest run support in the league. I was in the top 10 in innings pitched and ERA. Some of my other metrics were good as well, including strikeouts. If you look at the two lines — Jack McDowell’s numbers and my numbers — you’d have a hard time picking out which one of us won the Cy Young award.

“The year I did win [the Cy Young award], I think I deserved it based on the numbers. Overall, it was one of my best years, even though I may have had other years that would rate higher in terms of WAR. I know that Jimmy Key had a good year. It was a strike-shortened season, so it was kind of a quirky year.

“Won-lost records, or even ERA, don’t tell the whole story, and I guess that’s the idea behind a lot of the metrics. There’s just so much more, but for a lot of years, that’s solely how we were judged. It was also how we were compensated. I’ve always thought there was a better way to judge — a better way to look at things — and I think a lot of pitchers have felt that way.

“When you look at Felix Hernandez getting the Cy Young in a year he won 13 games, the writers have come a long way. There’s a lot more thought going into it, which is really nice to see, A lot more writers are on board with advanced stats, and them having votes is changing the system.”

Thanks to Butch.

Repoz Posted: November 20, 2012 at 09:08 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, sabermetrics

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 20, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4306655)
I remember that '93 season. So many fans were getting upset with him because he had just signed that big contract, and he didn't know how to "win" games, while I thought he was throwing darts out there and the team wasn't scoring runs for him. Same problem plagued Appier in his career, although the fans were way more forgiving of him.
   2. rconn23 Posted: November 20, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4306658)
David Cone was my favorite pitcher growing up and I think he's one of the most insightful analysts around. I want him to get a national job. Perhaps pairing him with Boog Sciambi?
   3. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: November 20, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4306690)
I always liked David Cone, but he's one of the players I always miss on Sporcle quizzes, along with Jimmy Key, Rafael Palmeiro, and Larry Walker.
   4. Flynn Posted: November 20, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4306724)
David Cone was the first player who made me wonder whether he was a Hall of Famer or not. The answer is no, of course, but he certainly had Hall of Fame ability.

He was one of the few positive memories from the 2001 Red Sox as his pitching kept the Red Sox in the race for longer than you'd expect given the Jimy meltdown. I remember him pitching his butt off with not much beyond guile and heart against Mike Mussina, who nearly threw a perfect game. Virtually everybody else on the team had given up by that point except for Cone.
   5. valuearbitrageur Posted: November 20, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4306809)
David Cone was the first player who made me wonder whether he was a Hall of Famer or not. The answer is no, of course, but he certainly had Hall of Fame ability.

No of course? Really?

His career ERA+ is only tied for 101st (with Appier ironically among others), at 121 and he only pitched 2,900 innings, but I think both measures are deceiving.

In this era 2,900 innings is more than reasonable for a starter, that's 14 full years at 207 innings average.

And the career ERA+ list has more than a few pitchers who pitched less than 1,500 innings (Tekulve, Lee Smith, and Brandon Webb and his OMG 142 ERA+).

In BBREF Pitcher WAR Cone is tied for 50th. In Fangraphs Pitcher WAR he's 70th. Do you really think that the HOF should contain less than 1 pitcher for every 2 years of it's existence? And of course the minor accomplishments of pitching in 21 playoff games, overall he sucked in the ALDS, but was excellent over 5 world series and 6 league championships. And toss in a Cy Young award.

But most importantly, we have recently discovered the Fangraphs interview, which clearly makes his candidacy a lock. Even for me, who hated this Met/Yankee ########## from the moment he pitched in NY until the very second I read the Fangraphs piece. Now I realize he's the greatest eligible pitcher ever snubbed by the HOF, and probably one of the best guys ever to play in the MLB, and would be ecstatic if he married my daughters, both of them.

It is time for the a new saber campaign!
   6. The District Attorney Posted: November 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4306823)
Cone is in the Hall of Merit, which to me is more than enough to consider him a plausible HOF candidate.

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