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Friday, June 18, 2010

Furman Bisher Unleashed: Chipper and the HOF

Chipper Jones ain’t no Red Smith...and neither am I!

Since I’m merely an observer, I have no serious conflict with Chipper Jones and his retirement. It is apparent that he has lost some agility around third base, that some swing power has gone with it, and if, as he has said, that when he is not the Chipper who once led the league in hitting—and that was only two seasons ago—it would be time to go. I don’t care to get into a spitting fight over his ticket to Cooperstown, but I don’t foresee him as a first-ballot inductee. Nor a second, but somewhere down the line. If he had hit 500 home runs, that might have been the decider. Sorry, but he’ll come in somewhere behind Griffey Jr.

Repoz Posted: June 18, 2010 at 01:48 PM | 129 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, hall of fame, history

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   1. Maxwn Posted: June 18, 2010 at 02:16 PM (#3562769)
Damn it, if Chipper had hit an extra 4 HRs a year, he wouldn't have been that much greater, but he would have 500 HRs. The only 3B with more homers than Chipper are Mike Schmidt and Eddie Matthews, unless you are giving Harmon Killebrew credit for being a 3B or I missed somebody else. Give me a damn break.
   2. TomH Posted: June 18, 2010 at 02:19 PM (#3562775)
Ladeis and gentlemen of the jury, I now present exhibit A - the baseball writer who admits he will vote for the HoF more strigently on a player's first ballot of eligibility than later. This is a prime example of why no one will get unanimously elected to the HoF, as no player will ever meet the collective standard as being better than Ruth AND Cobb AND Mays AND Walter Johnson.
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 18, 2010 at 02:24 PM (#3562778)
. . . no player will ever meet the collective standard as being better than Ruth AND Cobb AND Mays AND Walter Johnson.

Must not have heard about this Strasburg guy.
   4. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 18, 2010 at 02:37 PM (#3562785)
Damn it, if Chipper had hit an extra 4 HRs a year, he wouldn't have been that much greater, but he would have 500 HRs.


Even if you merely turn 70 doubles into HR, it raises his SLP by 17 points and his career OPS+ by 5 points. IOW, yes he would be much greater. But your overall point stands. Chipper is/was a much better player than Griffey.
   5. Rickey! No. You move. Posted: June 18, 2010 at 02:39 PM (#3562790)
If Chipper retires after 2010 he will be eligible for the HOF in 2016. The odds of Chipper being elected on his first ballot that year are greater than the odds of a then-98 year old Furman Bisher being alive to cast a "nay" in the process.
   6. Maxwn Posted: June 18, 2010 at 02:39 PM (#3562792)
I think this is another example of why 3B sometimes get the shaft in HOF voting. There are other reasons, but here Bisher is using raw HR totals to denigrate a guy who is 3rd all time in HRs by a 3B, with the possible exceptions of the Killebrews and A-Rods of the world. If you look at the guys who are ahead of Chipper on that list, it basically all corner outfielders and 1Bmen, with the aforementioned Schmidt and Mathews, a few SS like A-Rod, Ripken, and Banks, and CFs Mantle and Mays. My understanding was that 3B has historically not been as strong of an offensive position as the other corners, but they seem to be often compared to them without any recognition of that fact.

All that said, i actually think Chipper will go in first or second ballot easily. He may get a little knock because of the 3B thing, but he's got several of the things the writers like going his favor. Things like being the most memorable position player on a string of division, pennant, and 1 WS winners, playing for a single team, all the intangible leadership/plays the game the right way crap, won a batting title, etc, etc.
   7. Rickey! No. You move. Posted: June 18, 2010 at 02:44 PM (#3562819)
Bisher is just being a cranky old coot. Chipper will go in on the first ballot.
   8. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: June 18, 2010 at 02:45 PM (#3562820)
I'm betting the guy who voted against Robby Alomar because he was bad with the Mets won't cast a ballot for Chipper.
   9. Maxwn Posted: June 18, 2010 at 02:47 PM (#3562825)
Even if you merely turn 70 doubles into HR, it raises his SLP by 17 points and his career OPS+ by 5 points. IOW, yes he would be much greater.

I guess I was thinking that 5 pts of OPS+ isn't that much greater. Greater, sure, but it doesn't strike me as a huge difference. That's the difference between Mike Schmidt and Chipper (Edit: offensively, I mean) and BBref has their batting runs at 549 to 528. So a couple wins or so. That is a meaningful difference, but not a huge one, imo. It's really just semantics, though. My real point is that 70 hrs is not the difference between Chipper being a HOFer or not, or shouldn't be anyway.
   10. Maxwn Posted: June 18, 2010 at 02:52 PM (#3562838)
Bisher is just being a cranky old coot. Chipper will go in on the first ballot.

I think you are right. I am a little worried that in some minds the fact that Chipper missed about a month a year for the last 7 years of his career will become an injury-prone meme that will obscure the fact that he was as durable as anyone ever is for the first 9 years, while he was in his prime. Not that worried though, because I think he has enough of the other stuff going for him to overcome that in the BBWAA election. If he had played his whole career for a losing team in a small market and didn't get along with the media, I'm not sure I would want to bet on his candidacy however.
   11. BDC Posted: June 18, 2010 at 02:56 PM (#3562848)
Is it perhaps odd to see an old-school sportswriter like Bisher ignoring career batting average? Chipper is at .306, which is pretty impressive all-time, even in a high-offense era. In terms of career PAs and OPS+, the two most similar hitters ever are actually Killebrew and Mathews; Jones is also roughly comparable to Stargell, McCovey, and Thome; he's a notch below Schmidt, but not terribly far below him. All those guys have quite a few more HR, but Jones is in their class because he has a significantly higher batting average. Maybe we've been bashing the old Chadwick Ratio a bit too effectively :)
   12. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: June 18, 2010 at 03:03 PM (#3562864)
The only 3B with more homers than Chipper are Mike Schmidt and Eddie Matthews, unless you are giving Harmon Killebrew credit for being a 3B or I missed somebody else.

Thome? Also Chipper not going in on the first ballot would mean 26% of the electorate are morons.
   13. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: June 18, 2010 at 03:36 PM (#3562920)
Chipper is/was a much better player than Griffey.

Much? I think it's pretty close. Bisher's nonsense nothwithstanding, Griffey played a premium defensive position well for over a decade. He certainly slowed down, but in the end he played 400 more games and has an OPS+ within seven points of Chipper. Slight edge in WAR.
   14. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 18, 2010 at 03:51 PM (#3562978)
Griffey played a premium defensive position well for over a decade


3B and CF are pretty close on the defensive spectrum. In terms of batting lines, both CF and 3B tend to be right around league average. AROM shows Griffey with a positional adjustment of +2 for his career versus +1 for Jones.
   15. Maxwn Posted: June 18, 2010 at 04:02 PM (#3563009)
Thome?

I didn't even think about him, but looking at it, he played much less 3B than I would have guessed. Less than 500 games. He played 1B twice as much. A-Rod's played nearly twice as much 3B as Thome did.
   16. Graham Womack Posted: June 18, 2010 at 04:07 PM (#3563018)
I was reading that thinking it was really well-written for a blog. Then I checked and saw that Bisher's still alive (I think I confused him with another sportswriter who passed earlier this year.)

For what it's worth, I agree with Bisher. Five of the 10 batters that Jones compares most to on his Baseball-Reference page are in Cooperstown and only one, Mickey Mantle, was a first-ballot Hall of Famer. The others: Duke Snider (11th ballot), Billy Williams (6th ballot), Eddie Matthews (5th ballot) and Jim Rice (15th ballot.) Or, to put it another way, if you were filling out a Braves dream team and had a choice between Jones and Matthews at third, could you honestly take Chipper over Matthews? That's what, in effect, would happen with making Jones a first-ballot inductee.

The remainder of the Top 10 batters Jones compares to are all guys who could make Cooperstown at some point: Jeff Bagwell, Larry Walker, Vladimir Guerrero, Dwight Evans and Bernie Williams. Like Jones, I think they have just about as much chance as making the Hall of Fame on a late ballot as they do of being inducted by the Veterans Committee.
   17. JPWF13 Posted: June 18, 2010 at 04:18 PM (#3563037)
Five of the 10 batters that Jones compares most to on his Baseball-Reference page are in Cooperstown and only one, Mickey Mantle, was a first-ballot Hall of Famer. The others: Duke Snider (11th ballot), Billy Williams (6th ballot), Eddie Matthews (5th ballot) and Jim Rice (15th ballot.)



FWIW by WAR Chipper is ahead of Snider, Williams and Rice...
Per BBREF: Highest WAR, not o the Hall:
Rk      Player      WAR/pos      PA      From      To
1     Barry Bonds     171.8     12606     1986     2007
2     Alex Rodriguez     101.0     9874     1994     2010
3     Jeff Bagwell     79.9     9431     1991     2005
4     Albert Pujols     79.2     6373     2001     2010
5     Ken Griffey     78.4     11304     1989     2010
6     Chipper Jones     77.9     9490     1993     2010
7     Frank Thomas     75.9     10074     1990     2008
8     Bill Dahlen     75.9     10405     1891     1911
9     Pete Rose     75.3     15861     1963     1986
10     Derek Jeter     69.7     10118     1995     2010 
   18. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 18, 2010 at 04:19 PM (#3563039)
Or, to put it another way, if you were filling out a Braves dream team and had a choice between Jones and Matthews at third, could you honestly take Chipper over Matthews? That's what, in effect, would happen with making Jones a first-ballot inductee.


I really don't follow. A team can have only one first ballot HOFer at each position? What about Mantle/DiMaggio, Williams/Yaz, or Musial/Pujols?
   19. Maxwn Posted: June 18, 2010 at 04:26 PM (#3563053)
I really don't follow. A team can have only one first ballot HOFer at each position? What about Mantle/DiMaggio, Williams/Yaz, or Musial/Pujols?

I think he is referring to the fact that Mathews didn't get in until the 5th ballot, so putting Chipper in on the first would mean saying he's better than Eddie. But I for one don't think that the writers failing to elect Eddie on the first go, as they should have, should have anything to do with when Chipper Jones gets in. But then I think it's stupid to play all these first ballot, second ballot games anyway. If he deserves to be in, then vote him in.
   20. PerroX Posted: June 18, 2010 at 04:33 PM (#3563062)
Who cares, really, about the Bishers and all the arcane and useless data points that make up HOF discissions, esp about # of ballots to election. Jones is clearly, clearly a HOFer.

Awards are for the mediocre.
   21. Cooper Teenoh Posted: June 18, 2010 at 04:37 PM (#3563070)
Agreed with #19, that the writers' error on Eddie Mathews shouldn't mean Jones has to wait until later than Mathews to go in the Hall. Furthermore, #16's notes that Chipper's other comps took a while to go in the Hall overlooks that those are all corner outfielders. I'd say that putting up corner outfielder HoF numbers while playing 3B makes one an outstanding HoF candidate right away.
   22. Steve Treder Posted: June 18, 2010 at 04:42 PM (#3563076)
I for one don't think that the writers failing to elect Eddie on the first go, as they should have, should have anything to do with when Chipper Jones gets in. But then I think it's stupid to play all these first ballot, second ballot games anyway. If he deserves to be in, then vote him in.

I for two.
   23. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 18, 2010 at 04:45 PM (#3563080)
Jones will get a boost by being perceived as 'clean'.
   24. Graham Womack Posted: June 18, 2010 at 04:45 PM (#3563081)
Maxwn, you correctly read what I last offered.

It's an interesting point to say that if a player's Hall of Fame worthy, just vote him in. Still, I think it's important to distinguish who's a first ballot member, who's a fringe candidate, who's a Veterans Committee case. Otherwise, there's really no distinction between Travis Jackson and Babe Ruth, at least in the eyes of Cooperstown.

I have a "Does he belong in the Hall of Fame?" feature in my blog every Tuesday. I think I'll write more about Jones for my next piece.
   25. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 18, 2010 at 04:45 PM (#3563082)
He goes easily. Great hitter. Key part of Braves dynasty. And that's before considering the extra credit for being the next "last Hall of Famer we may ever see play for only one team in this era of greedy overpaid mercenary ballplayers."
   26. BDC Posted: June 18, 2010 at 04:53 PM (#3563093)
I was reading that thinking it was really well-written for a blog. Then I checked and saw that Bisher's still alive

I.e. you were thinking it was pretty good writing for a blog by a dead guy? :)
   27. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: June 18, 2010 at 04:56 PM (#3563096)
I.e. you were thinking it was pretty good writing for a blog by a dead guy? :)

You have to admit, it's one of the 3 or 4 best blogs written by dead people.
   28. Graham Womack Posted: June 18, 2010 at 04:56 PM (#3563098)
I.e. you were thinking it was pretty good writing for a blog by a dead guy? :)

More like really well-written for some random blogger writing under the name of a dead guy....

But I checked Wikipedia and see, indeed, Bisher is still alive.

Can anyone offer a good dead guy blog?
   29. The District Attorney Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:04 PM (#3563113)
Still, I think it's important to distinguish who's a first ballot member, who's a fringe candidate, who's a Veterans Committee case.
If I quizzed you on who was and was not elected on the first ballot, do you think you would do much better than 50/50?

It's tough to have an "highest honor in baseball" that virtually no one is even aware of.

Even if people did in fact pay attention to "1st ballot" after the voting is concluded -- which, let me emphasize, they totally don't -- the fact that ballots vary in strength so much would still screw up the whole thing. It'd be somewhat analogous to saying that Kenyon Martin being #1 in the 2000 NBA draft was a similar honor to Hakeem Olajuwon being #1 in the 1984 (Jordan, Barkley, Stockton) draft...
   30. Jick Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:08 PM (#3563116)
You have to admit, it's one of the 3 or 4 best blogs written by dead people.


Samuel Pepys has a pretty popular blog, and he's been dead for four hundred years.
   31. RJ in TO Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:09 PM (#3563117)
If I quizzed you on who was and was not elected on the first ballot, do you think you would do much better than 50/50?

I'm sure he could. Just guessing not-first-ballot for everyone would get you significantly better than 50/50.

Your overall point is probably right. For the majority of players who aren't first ballot, people don't really know whether they were 2nd ballot, 3rd ballot, or final ballot. They just know that they're in the hall.
   32. Steve Treder Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:12 PM (#3563118)
Otherwise, there's really no distinction between Travis Jackson and Babe Ruth, at least in the eyes of Cooperstown.

Well, the thing is, in the eyes of Cooperstown there is really no distinction between Travis Jackson and Babe Ruth. Everyone elected gets the same size plaque, mounted in the same hall, with no mention on the plaque of their vote total, or which voting body elected them. There is no "inner circle" or other manner of tiering.

Clearly, the "which ballot" issue attempts to serve as a proxy for that. While one can be sympathetic to the desire for such a tiering mechanism, IMO the focus on "which ballot" is an awfully clumsy way to deal with it.
   33. Graham Womack Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:12 PM (#3563120)
Sure, quiz me. I know Joe DiMaggio wasn't a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Nor was Jimmie Foxx. I'm up for the challenge if you are.

My email address is on my blog or you can post it here.
   34. GuyM Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:12 PM (#3563122)
Chipper's candidacy really depends a lot on how much confidence you have in the "advanced" fielding metrics. UZR and Total Zone both say that Chipper has been basically an average fielder. But if you looked only at his plays made, you would conclude he was far worse than average. So much worse, in fact, that he really wouldn't be a HOF player in terms of his WAR.

It's interesting to compare Chipper and Schmidt. Schmidt had 360 assists per season (150 games), compared to 273 for Chipper. The average NL 3B had 15 more assists in Schmidt's day, so call the gap 70 assists per season. Let's ignore putouts (where Schmidt recorded 19 more per season), on the theory that these might just be taking easy infield flies (or foul balls). And let's ignore Chipper's play in LF, where he was clealy terrible. Even so, that leaves Schmidt with an advantage of 877 plays, or 614 runs (about 60 wins). But TZ says that Schmidt (+129) was just 154 runs better than Chipper (-25) -- a difference of 460 runs. So the metrics are saying that Schmidt had vastly more fielding opportunities each year than Chipper, about 55 extra chances each season of his career.

Chipper's perceived value depends a lot on the proposition that he faced an extremely unusual distribution of balls in play over his career. Perhaps he did, as a result of Mazzone telling his pitchers to throw outside (or Braves pitchers trying to avoid Chipper). If not, he cost the Braves so many runs that he was really just a very good player, despite his awesome bat.
   35. BDC Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:16 PM (#3563123)
the fact that ballots vary in strength so much would still screw up the whole thing

True. And even if you take "first ballot" to mean that there were few doubts about a player, the 75% rule means that there's a range of first-ballot doubt from Robin Yount with 22% to Tom Seaver with 1%. That's a fairly wide inner circle.
   36. BFFB Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:25 PM (#3563132)
just looking at that table you could double Albert Pujol's career to date and still not have a player as good as Barry Bonds...!
   37. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:27 PM (#3563135)
Chipper was an average defender with a good arm. Any other assessment is misguided at best and utterly wrong at worst.
   38. Sheer Tim Foli Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:28 PM (#3563136)
Otherwise, there's really no distinction between Travis Jackson and Babe Ruth, at least in the eyes of Cooperstown.


Wait. Isn't the HOF supposed to be like the word "Unique" - something without qualification? Aren't all HoFers in the same physical zip code? Twenty years from now all we should care about is that between Pedroia, Cano, Utley and Gator only two (obviously) are Hall of Famers.

My work here is done.
   39. Jick Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:35 PM (#3563140)
Was the legendary ZIP code thread deleted for some reason, or do I just have bad Google-fu?

Or did it even occur at all? At this point I'm beginning to think the allusions to it are akin to the "noodle incident" from Calvin and Hobbes.

PS (edit) - I'll finish your work for you, Tim, and say you're begging the question as to which two are HOFers.
   40. Maxwn Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:35 PM (#3563142)
Otherwise, there's really no distinction between Travis Jackson and Babe Ruth, at least in the eyes of Cooperstown.

Sure there is. If everyone follows the simple rule of "Vote for the candidate if you think he is worthy, don't if you don't," you can still judge the relative merits of each candidate by the percentages that they get. The weaker candidates will get less support.

If instead you play all these games with "What ballot is this guy?" you muddle the process because there's all this extraneous crap involved. For instance, you might think that player X is a HOFer, but only a 3rd ballot guy. You think player Y is a first ballot guy. But when the votes happen, the rest of the BBWAA doesn't put player Y in till his 3rd ballot. Now do you have bump player X back further than you originally thought because you think he's worse than Y, a 3rd ballot guy? And it goes on and on. It's just an ass-backwards way of trying to sort out the relative strength of HOFers and is totally unnecessary.

Vote for the players that you think are worthy. Then when Babe Ruth gets 100% and Travis Jackson gets 75.1% or doesn't get in, you know that Babe Ruth was better than Travis Jackson, at least in the eyes of Cooperstown.
   41. DL from MN Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:39 PM (#3563151)
Better question - why is Chipper going to retire? He's having a down spring and is still in the middle of the pack for MLB third basemen. If he bounces back at all he has a chance at a couple more pennants.
   42. Sheer Tim Foli Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:40 PM (#3563152)
PS (edit) - I'll finish your work for you, Tim, and say you're begging the question as to which two are HOFers.


Nice. There was most certainly a zip code thread. In my mind it was awesome but I doubt it will live up to my hyperbolic memory. I'll see if I can find it before Ryan joins the thread and posts the link.
   43. Sheer Tim Foli Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:40 PM (#3563153)
I know #38 is trolling me and it's still taking all my effort not to respond. Nice work!

Sorry, I am in a silly Friday mood.
   44. GuyM Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:41 PM (#3563154)
Chipper was an average defender with a good arm. Any other assessment is misguided at best and utterly wrong at worst.

And you think he made so few outs because....?
   45. Maxwn Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:48 PM (#3563169)
Better question - why is Chipper going to retire? He's having a down spring and is still in the middle of the pack for MLB third basemen. If he bounces back at all he has a chance at a couple more pennants.

Well, we don't know that he's going to retire. He specifically said that he won't say one way or another till the end of the year. It was mostly media guesswork and speculation about a meeting or two he's had with management about his future with the team.

That said, he's in the middle of the pack of MLB third basemen right now because he's walking like crazy. His bat is slow and he has no power at the moment, so it's really uncertain how long he can keep walking with no power to speak of. Until a day or two ago, he had more walks than hits. Now he 41 of each, but only 15 of his hits were for extra bases. Unless he heats up and gets some of his batspeed and power back, he will probably retire because he's about this close to falling off the cliff. I hope he bounces back, but he's surviving on plate discipline alone at this point, and really has been since the middle of last year.
   46. Graham Womack Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:48 PM (#3563167)
Okay, I have to leave for work, so I won't be available to do the quiz until this evening. If it gets posted, my vote is "Not a first-ballot Hall of Famer" for everyone. Without checking, I'm guessing I score 85 percent or better.
   47. The District Attorney Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:49 PM (#3563170)
my vote is "Not a first-ballot Hall of Famer" for everyone. Without checking, I'm guessing I score 85 percent or better.
Yeah, that's stupid.

Wanna try it for real? Admittedly, I don't see the point, since 1) even if you do very well, I still strongly, strongly speculate that the vast majority of even very intense fans would not replicate that, and 2) it still wouldn't address the problem that different ballots have drastically different strengths, which, again, screws up the whole thing.

But, if you wanna give it a shot...

Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Bill Dickey

Jimmie Foxx, Harmon Killebrew, Willie McCovey, Eddie Murray

Rod Carew, Charlie Gehringer, Joe Morgan, Ryne Sandberg

George Brett, Eddie Mathews, Brooks Robinson, Mike Schmidt

Luis Aparicio, Ernie Banks, Joe Cronin, Ozzie Smith

Lou Brock, Al Kaline, Mel Ott, Al Simmons, Duke Snider, Willie Stargell, Paul Waner, Dave Winfield

Dennis Eckersley, Bob Feller, Whitey Ford, Bob Gibson, Lefty Grove, Carl Hubbell, Fergie Jenkins, Juan Marichal, Phil Niekro, Jim Palmer, Gaylord Perry
   48. JustDan Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:53 PM (#3563179)
Sporcle has a quiz on first time ballot here.
   49. Graham Womack Posted: June 18, 2010 at 05:58 PM (#3563191)
Okay, I've got eight minutes. Let's see how I do. On my honor, this is off the top of my head.

Johnny Bench - Yes
Yogi Berra - Yes
Roy Campanella - No
Bill Dickey - No
Jimmie Foxx - No
Harmon Killebrew - No
Willie McCovey - No
Eddie Murray - Yes
Rod Carew - Yes
Charlie Gehringer - No
Joe Morgan - Yes
Ryne Sandberg - Yes
George Brett - Yes
Eddie Mathews - No
Brooks Robinson - Yes
Mike Schmidt - Yes
Luis Aparicio - No
Ernie Banks - Yes
Joe Cronin - No
Ozzie Smith - Yes
Lou Brock - Yes
Al Kaline - Yes
Mel Ott - No (the answer for anyone pre-1960 is usually no)
Al Simmons - No
Duke Snider - No
Willie Stargell - Yes
Paul Waner - No
Dave Winfield - Yes
Dennis Eckersley - Yes
Bob Feller - No
Whitey Ford - No
Bob Gibson - Yes
Lefty Grove - No
Carl Hubbell - No
Fergie Jenkins - No
Juan Marichal - No
Phil Niekro - No
Jim Palmer - Yes
Gaylord Perry - No

Let's see how I do, and thanks for posting this.
   50. Sheer Tim Foli Posted: June 18, 2010 at 06:00 PM (#3563195)
I cannot find the ZIP Code thread. I am sure it is not my poor Google-fu. I suspect it is lost. We'll see if Sensei Ryan Jones can pull it off.
   51. Steve Treder Posted: June 18, 2010 at 06:02 PM (#3563196)
I don't see the point, since 1) even if you do very well, I still strongly, strongly speculate that the vast majority of even very intense fans would not replicate that, and 2) it still wouldn't address the problem that different ballots have drastically different strengths, which, again, screws up the whole thing.

This.
   52. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 18, 2010 at 06:02 PM (#3563197)
I know Joe DiMaggio wasn't a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Nor was Jimmie Foxx.


Joe DiMaggio was inducted into the Hall of Fame earlier (1955) than he would have been eligible under current voting rules (1957).
Jimmie Foxx was inducted the same year he would have been eligible under current voting rules (1951, last game played in 1945).

Which makes them both excellent examples of the silliness of trying to distinguish between First-Ballot and Not First-Ballot Hall-of-Famers.
   53. Mom makes botox doctors furious Posted: June 18, 2010 at 06:03 PM (#3563199)
"Or, to put it another way, if you were filling out a Braves dream team and had a choice between Jones and Matthews at third, could you honestly take Chipper over Matthews? That's what, in effect, would happen with making Jones a first-ballot inductee."

No, because it's the Baseball Hall of Fame. Year one, Year six, whateve', at the end of the day you're in or not, and the ebbs and flows of voter insanity or reasonableness doth not need impact your Braves dream team.
   54. Jick Posted: June 18, 2010 at 06:04 PM (#3563201)
Alas. Thanks for trying...I couldn't tell if my inability to find it before was due to the short search words or what.
   55. Ron Johnson Posted: June 18, 2010 at 06:12 PM (#3563206)
#28 I happen to think the first ballot distinction makes no sense. You simply can't argue that Lou Brock belongs in the elite category and that (say) Mathews, Vaughan, Mize ... (note that I'm not including the guys who missed out in the early days due to ballot strength) don't.
   56. Sheer Tim Foli Posted: June 18, 2010 at 06:16 PM (#3563212)
You rock Monty.
   57. Jick Posted: June 18, 2010 at 06:20 PM (#3563217)
Oh, man, this is amazing. I was expecting something like the libertarians arguing that the USPS is an instrument of tyranny and a twelve-page argument ensuing, but this is a thousand times better. Thanks, Monty.
   58. Sheer Tim Foli Posted: June 18, 2010 at 06:28 PM (#3563229)
Note Harveys is lamenting the eroding quality of umpiring a year ago!
   59. RJ in TO Posted: June 18, 2010 at 06:28 PM (#3563230)
You guys are bums. Here is the ZIP code discussion, which I found by searching for the world "polygon".

Thanks. I'll remember that keyword for the next time someone asks.
   60. McCoy Posted: June 18, 2010 at 06:36 PM (#3563240)
Warm grape jelly has no taste at all. I just discovered this.
   61. Srul Itza Posted: June 18, 2010 at 06:38 PM (#3563244)
I'm betting the guy who voted against Robby Alomar because he was bad with the Mets won't cast a ballot for Chipper.


If he did it because he's a Mets fan, then he is probably more likely to vote FOR Chipper. Mets fans have always been among Chipper's biggest supporters, because if your team is going to be regularly beaten like a rented mule, you would like to think that the guy doing it is something special.
   62. JL Posted: June 18, 2010 at 06:44 PM (#3563258)
If instead you play all these games with "What ballot is this guy?" you muddle the process because there's all this extraneous crap involved

The idea of voitng based on the ballot is silly. If everyone voted this way, only first ballot HOFers would get in.
   63. Srul Itza Posted: June 18, 2010 at 06:47 PM (#3563261)
And you think he made so few outs because....?


GuyM, the last living proponent of Range Factor.
   64. BDC Posted: June 18, 2010 at 06:48 PM (#3563265)
Warm grape jelly has no taste at all

Well, why do you think it had to wait till the third ballot to make the Sandwich Filling Hall of Fame? Nobody had such problems with liverwurst or Nutella.
   65. flournoy Posted: June 18, 2010 at 06:53 PM (#3563277)
Liverwurst is great stuff, but it's so fattening; I just can't bring myself to buy it.
   66. GuyM Posted: June 18, 2010 at 06:55 PM (#3563281)
Srul, you drop in to make occasional comments like this. Do you actually know anything about fielding statistics? Do you have any idea what you're talking about? If so, please contribute something. Why do you think Chipper made hundreds of fewer plays than other third baseman over his career -- hundreds -- while his pitchers were actually giving up slightly more groundballs than average?

Suppose I told you that Chipper appears to be a great hitter, but 75% of the difference between him and an average hitter is that he really got much easier pitches than average. Wouldn't you be a tad skeptical? Well, that's what the "advanced" metrics are saying here. And it's possible -- maybe it really is a "Mazzone effect." But there are a lot of reasons to be skeptical about this....
   67. McCoy Posted: June 18, 2010 at 06:57 PM (#3563287)
I have always thought liverwurst is one of the foulest things on earth. The only pureed meat I can eat is the hot dog/sausage. Pate, terrines, and meat spreads I find to be disgusting.


Grape Jelly is great cold, honey is disgusting when cold. Both great with peanut butter.
   68. Ron Johnson Posted: June 18, 2010 at 07:07 PM (#3563310)
while his pitchers were actually giving up slightly more groundballs than average


Very unusual distribution of balls in play. Glavine for a fairly lengthy period was the pitcher least likely to be pulled.

As Chris Dial pointed out (when Clay Davenport came up with his range factor based defensive system) the major problem in using range factor (with an attempt to adjust for staff composition) these days is that it rejects data in hand (I'm almost certain we were taling about how Jeter fared under various systems). We're not guessing about the general distribution of chances. (Unequal distribution of difficult chances is a separate issue that we're still grappling with.)

And the problem with simple adjustment for staff composition can be summed up with "Al Leiter and Tom Glavine are both lefthanded". In the same 5 year time frame when Glavine was the least frequently pulled pitcher, Leiter was the most likely to be pulled.

EDIT: This comes off as taking a stronger position on Jones' glove than I'd intended. I honestly don't recall how Jones did in the various PBP based metrics and can't check right now.

But it wouldn't surprise me at all if there was no consensus.
   69. Graham Womack Posted: June 18, 2010 at 08:26 PM (#3563420)
Just checked, since I couldn't wait any longer for someone else to do so. I got a 35/39 on that quiz. My misses? Yogi Berra, Willie McCovey, Ryne Sandberg and Bob Feller.
   70. The District Attorney Posted: June 18, 2010 at 08:27 PM (#3563422)
#50: Excellent job. You were only wrong on Berra, McCovey, Sandberg and Feller.

It's true that, if you know the history of the voting, you can guess quite accurately. If you know the Original Five, and also know that the next 1st balloter was 1962, then you can be sure that those are the only five 1st balloters whose careers ended before the late 1950s, which is obviously a huge help. (If you furthermore know that the post-1962 pace started out slow but has since ramped up to about one per year since the '80s, even better.) If you throw in that 500 HR/3,000 hits are huge factors, then you've almost got them all. (300 wins, oddly, not so much.) Memorize a few "exceptions" like Stargell and (one I didn't list) Puckett, and you can literally get all of them.

The problem, of course, is that that is no way to actually identify the best HOFers. The bias towards recent years is extremely strong, and there are many HOFers without 500 HR/3,000 H who are better overall players than those who hit those marks. Plus, again, the ballot strength issue... for instance, it won't surprise you to hear that no one else on Stargell's ballot was ultimately elected by the BBWAA. Plus the fact that I bet you were like 90th percentile on this quiz ;)
   71. Graham Womack Posted: June 18, 2010 at 08:44 PM (#3563450)
Yeah, I recognize my knowledge isn't representative of most fans (I have excerpts from an interview with John Thorn up on my blog today where he guesses that 60-70 percent of fans might still think Abner Doubleday founded the game.)

I didn't know this much about Cooperstown a year ago, or probably even a few months ago, but I have been doing a lot of writing and original research about the Hall of Fame as of late for my blog. That has meant hours and hours on Baseball-Reference scouring old ballots. I'd like to become an expert on this stuff, so I consider every minute of research money in the bank.

As an aside, I think it's way easier to be a first ballot Hall of Famer today. It seems it was almost impossible in the early days because of the huge number of great players to choose from. Now, the field's weaker, and I think there's pressure for the writers to elect at least one player every year which gets guys like Morgan and McCovey in sooner than they would've forty years earlier.
   72. Steve Treder Posted: June 18, 2010 at 08:51 PM (#3563458)
I think it's way easier to be a first ballot Hall of Famer today. It seems it was almost impossible in the early days because of the huge number of great players to choose from. Now, the field's weaker, and I think there's pressure for the writers to elect at least one player every year which gets guys like Morgan and McCovey in sooner than they would've forty years earlier.

OK, so do you or do you not agree with those of us who assert that it's a dumb idea for a HOF voter, when considering whether to vote for a given player, to be concerned with the "which ballot" status of current HOFers with whom he might be comparing the player?
   73. Graham Womack Posted: June 18, 2010 at 08:57 PM (#3563465)
If I held a BBWAA card, I'd probably reserve first ballot votes for a select number of players like Greg Maddux, Albert Pujols and Griffey (who I doubt will crack 90 percent of the vote his first year, by the way. If I had to guess, I'd say Griffey gets 88 percent, the same number another hobbled center fielder, Mickey Mantle, got on his first ballot.)

I agree the distinction of being a first ballot member has probably changed significantly over the years, but I still think it's a special honor, totally symbolic of course, that should be reserved for a select number of players, the elite, once-in-a-generation stars of the game.

That's just me and, I'm guessing, a minority of the BBWAA electorate, though.
   74. GuyM Posted: June 18, 2010 at 09:00 PM (#3563468)
Ron: Chipper's distribution might well have been unusual. The question is: how unusual? It would have to be VERY skewed to make him an average fielder. Even after adjusting for individual pitchers, as you suggest, Tango's WOWY method estimates that Chipper was -261 plays at 3B through 2008. That is, comparing Chipper's outs to the number of outs made by all the other 3Bmen who have played behind Glavine, Maddux, etc., he is still -23 runs per season. Now, maybe these pitchers pitched very differently when they were in Atlanta. It's possible. But differently enough to make Chipper an average fielder while making 300+ fewer plays? (if we include LF and 2009) That would be pretty extraordinary.
   75. alilisd Posted: June 18, 2010 at 09:10 PM (#3563477)
Chipper is/was a much better player than Griffey.


Really? Griffey 79.2 career WAR, best 5: 9.7 9.4 8.5 7.3 6.6. Chipper 76.7 career, best 5: 7.9 7.4 7.0 6.6 6.0. Griffey looks better to me. Still, the idea Chipper isn't a first ballot HOF is silly. He's top 5 all time at 3B.
   76. Rickey! No. You move. Posted: June 18, 2010 at 09:15 PM (#3563481)
Ron: Chipper's distribution might well have been unusual. The question is: how unusual? It would have to be VERY skewed to make him an average fielder.


Let me put this very, very succinctly. Baseball Prospectus is full of ####.

Chipper Jones as an average defender at worst. He had very quick hands to his right, a strong and accurate arm and charged bunts and squibbers as well as anyone in the game. He had limited mobility to his left. He played the vast majority of his career behind a pitching staff that pounded the outside corner when they weren't K'ing batters. There's a reason that every Braves 2B from the 90s was a "great defender" for a year or two while Chipper was "below average."

Get your head out of the spreadsheet and watch a game, kid.

Chipper Jones is the third best 3B in the history of baseball. He is a fist ballot, no doubt HOFer and anyone who says otherwise needs to be kicked in the teeth.
   77. CrosbyBird Posted: June 18, 2010 at 09:28 PM (#3563484)
I'm sympathetic to your position, Graham, but I think the HOF is too important an honor (or at the very least, should be treated as such) for us to start making up our own rules as individuals that are absent from the HOF charter. The criteria for selection are already highly subjective without adding in extra conditions for particular ballots.

It's not as big a deal if it's a minority position, but if more than 95% of the voters ever felt that way at the same time, we'd have huge numbers of HOFers falling off the ballot in the first year. Imagine the very best player that you don't think is a "first-ballot guy," and think about whether the HOF is a meaningful institution without that player.
   78. CrosbyBird Posted: June 18, 2010 at 09:40 PM (#3563494)
In my opinion, Chipper Jones cannot possibly have defense that is so terrible that his offense doesn't get him into the HOF. Even if he's the worst defensive 3B in the history of the sport that was not permanently moved off of the position (which would be downright shocking to me if it were true).
   79. Steve Treder Posted: June 18, 2010 at 09:44 PM (#3563495)
Even if he's the worst defensive 3B in the history of the sport that was not permanently moved off of the position (which would be downright shocking to me if it were true).

I haven't watched Jones play defense enough to form a subjective opinion of his defensive quality, but for what it's worth, by definition SOMEBODY is the worst defensive 3B in the history of the sport that was not permanently moved off of the position.
   80. Graham Womack Posted: June 18, 2010 at 09:44 PM (#3563496)
We'd have huge numbers of HOFers falling off the ballot in the first year.

We do
   81. pinball1973 Posted: June 18, 2010 at 09:59 PM (#3563507)
Chipper, playing for the NL team I most hate, has never been a player I've taken much time to follow very closely, so, let me think....

OK. He's not Ruth, Aaron, Mays, Schmidt, Wagner, Cobb-like "inner circle" but he is very, very easily, according to every measure I consider of ANY importance, a first ballot HOFer.

Crikes and Cheeses! Feckin' "sportswriters" and their determination to ruin any and every aspect of Baseball!
   82. GuyM Posted: June 18, 2010 at 10:14 PM (#3563523)
Chipper Jones as an average defender at worst.... He played the vast majority of his career behind a pitching staff that pounded the outside corner when they weren't K'ing batters. There's a reason that every Braves 2B from the 90s was a "great defender" for a year or two while Chipper was "below average."

I don't know who said his 2B were "great defenders." Lemke, Lockhart, and Boone were the main 2B during Chipper's years in the 90s. Every one of them was a bit below average in plays made in those years. Veras was average in 2000-2001. So the balls weren't going to 2B. And while Braves pitchers may have pitched outside, they also gave up more GBs than average.

Clearly, you believe you can evaluate defense just by watching players. Is there any reason the rest of us should have confidence in that metric?
   83. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 18, 2010 at 10:33 PM (#3563538)
BBTF has had the BP defensive metric assessment discussion. When it comes to C Jones their metric is confusing him with Jim Hart.

If he truly was such a disaster he would have been moved years ago
   84. GuyM Posted: June 18, 2010 at 10:59 PM (#3563551)
If he truly was such a disaster he would have been moved years ago

Ummm, he was. But he was an even worse disaster in LF. And "teams would never make a mistake like this" is an argument that seems to be credited here only to defend the fielding of a few star players.

Chipper Jones is the third best 3B in the history of baseball.

You're putting him ahead of Boggs and Brett? Hard to see that. Depending on the final verdict on his defense, I could see an argument for 5th. But also an argument that he's on the same level as Brooks, Santo, and Rolen, and maybe even Nettles.
   85. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: June 18, 2010 at 11:31 PM (#3563590)
Chipper was an average defender with a good arm. Any other assessment is misguided at best and utterly wrong at worst.
THis is a fair assessment. I would say he was above average, but close enough to not matter. He's NOT a below average defender, and that WOWY is so far off shows how poor that type of analysis can be.
   86. Srul Itza Posted: June 18, 2010 at 11:32 PM (#3563592)
Do you actually know anything about fielding statistics?


Enough to know that you are the only one touting Range Factor as being valid for any purpose.

Enough to know that BP is utterly full of crap.

Enough to know that pbp metrics do not show Chipper to be as terrible as you proclaim.

Enough to know that combined offense and defense, Chipper is clearly a first ballot Hall of Famer, and the fact that you doubt he belongs at all says all we need to know about your so-called analysis.
   87. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: June 18, 2010 at 11:32 PM (#3563593)
Chipper, iirc, wasn't a disaster in lf either.
   88. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 18, 2010 at 11:52 PM (#3563620)
Don't forget, the reason Chipper was moved to left wasn't because they thought he sucked was because they thought they liked Vinny Castilla. Yeah, that's pretty funny, but if you're established that you actually like Vinny Castilla as a hitter, he was the better defensive 3B.

Also, I don't think Chris would go out on a limb to defend an Atlanta Brave!
   89. OCF Posted: June 19, 2010 at 12:03 AM (#3563639)
At the Hall of Merit, we haven't been shy about voting for candidates in their first year, and they often don't move much from where they start, except for the effects of other candidates coming on or off the ballot. (A few have moved significantly, on the basis of further argument.)

On the other hand, with our must-elect quota system per year, rather than a sufficient-vote standard, it would be completely ridiculous to make any distinction at all about first-ballot HoMer. Or to put it another way: Bill Terry was elected on the first ballot. Eddie Collins was not. That has nothing to do with their relative qualities but rather reflects the state of the ballot when they became eligible.

An HoM distinction we can make is "frontlog" versus "backlog" candidates. A backlog candidate has his relative ranking in the eyes of most voters thoroughly mixed and interchanged with a large number of other candidates. A frontlog candidates ranks ahead of all the backloggers in the eyes of a supermajority of voters, mixing with or finishing behind only other frontlog candidates. A backlog election year happens when there aren't enough frontlog candidates available for our election quota but we still have to elect someone. Eddie Collins was a gold-plated frontlog candidate; his election had to wait a year behind Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker (*). Bill Terry was a lot closer to being a backlog candidate, elected first-ballot in a backlog year.

Chipper Jones has yet to be discussed by the HoM, but I would guess that he'll turn out to be a frontlog candidate.

(*) My personal ballot in that election went Cobb - Collins - Speaker - Joe Williams - Pop Lloyd - Torriente. Torriente earned a large majority of the 6th place votes, which is really hard to arrange.
   90. Steve Treder Posted: June 19, 2010 at 12:13 AM (#3563654)
Chipper, iirc, wasn't a disaster in lf either.

As I understood it, the reason they didn't leave him out there wasn't so much that he played it terribly (though there wasn't anyone asserting that he'd played it particularly well), it was that he wasn't shy about saying that he didn't like it, and wanted to go back to 3B.
   91. Dale H. Posted: June 19, 2010 at 02:42 AM (#3563884)
As I understood it, the reason they didn't leave him out there wasn't so much that he played it terribly (though there wasn't anyone asserting that he'd played it particularly well), it was that he wasn't shy about saying that he didn't like it, and wanted to go back to 3B.

John Scheurholz says in his book that it was a leg injury that forced Chipper back to the IF.
   92. Sam M. Posted: June 19, 2010 at 03:28 AM (#3563935)
You're putting him ahead of Boggs and Brett? Hard to see that.

It isn't hard to see it at all. As of today, Chipper has played 2219 major league games, accumulating just a shade under 9500 PAs. In that time, he has an OPS+ of 142. George Brett played in 2707 games, in which he had 11624 PAs. In that time, he had a 135 OPS+. You might decide you like Brett better based on the extra career length, but then again you might not; it's a reasonable debate, and then take into account that Brett played fewer games than Chipper at 3B (1692 for Brett, 1736 so far for Chipper), so how much credit do you give Brett for the longer career when evaluating him as a third baseman? If you honestly think that Chipper is a butcher at 3B, then of course you aren't going to think he's been better than Brett, but those of who don't agree with you and BPro on that think it's a very close call.

As for Boggs, I don't think it's that close. 2439 career grames for Boggs, 10740 PAs, with a career OPS+ of 130. Granted, Boggs's offense was OBP-heavy and that is to his advantage, but his OBP over the course of his career isn't that much higher than Chipper's (.415-.406, though adjusted for era the advantage is greater). But Chipper's slugging advantage is so much more pronounced, I think he's clearly superior. To me, it's:

1) Schmidt
2) Mathews
3) Jones
4) Brett
5) Boggs

But I could be persuaded to flip Brett and Jones, especially if Chipper keeps playing the way he is now and ends up doing it for another couple of years. Decline phases will do that to a guy.
   93. GuyM Posted: June 19, 2010 at 03:38 AM (#3563938)
Chipper was actually about average his first year in LF, then terrible in 2003 (he actually made 60 fewer plays in about the same number of games). He continued to be terrible in early 2004, when he returned to 3B. Maybe the injury occured early in 2003? Of course, being an average LF is usually comparable to being about -8 to -10 runs at 3B, so his initial average performance there would be entirely consistent with being a poor 3B.

He's NOT a below average defender,

Chris: as I keep asking you, please produce the evidence. I'm quite happy to believe Chipper was an average fielder at 3B. My view is that it's unlikely, but not impossible. I'd just like to see the evidence. Where did all the balls go that weren't near Chipper?

Enough to know that....
Enough to know that....
Enough to know that....
Enough to know that combined offense and defense, Chipper is clearly a first ballot Hall of Famer, and the fact that you doubt he belongs at all says all we need to know about your so-called analysis.

Translation: "no, I don't know anything, but I believe in Chipper." Look, I've said Chipper may be the 5th best 3B in the history of baseball. I've never said he doesn't belong in the HOF. Only if he is truly as bad a fielder as his raw stats indicate (or WOWY) would there be an argument against his candidacy. I think it's unlikely he's that bad. If I had to guess, I'd say he's about 100 runs (10 wins) worse than Rally has him -- which would still put him in my HOF. I think it's interesting to try to figure out what the truth is. But Srul's perspective is that no doubt may be expressed, nor should we listen to any doubters -- just put our fingers in our ears and yell "range factor' (which I haven't mentioned). Sad....
   94. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 19, 2010 at 03:42 AM (#3563940)
Chipper Jones is the third best 3B in the history of baseball. He is a first ballot, no doubt HOFer and anyone who says otherwise needs to be kicked in the teeth.

I'm glad I at least agree with that last sentence**, because a mouthful of missing teeth would clash with my artfully slashed neck.

**I'd still take Brett over him, but not by much, and it's mostly because of Brett's otherworldly postseasons. But of course Chipper should be a first ballot shoo-in.
   95. GuyM Posted: June 19, 2010 at 03:53 AM (#3563946)
Sam: You left one element out of your analysis, which is fielding. If you use Total Zone (which I think may be kind to Chipper, but let's use it), Boggs is +13 wins over Chipper with the glove, while Brett is +8 wins. As it happens, Chipper trails Boggs by 12 WAR and Brett by 8. So yes, if you ignore fielding entirely you can make the case that Chipper is their peer. But why would you want to do that?

And just for the record, I have no idea what BPro says or said about Chipper's defense. And don't really care.
   96. Dale H. Posted: June 19, 2010 at 08:22 AM (#3563996)
Chipper was actually about average his first year in LF, then terrible in 2003 (he actually made 60 fewer plays in about the same number of games). He continued to be terrible in early 2004, when he returned to 3B. Maybe the injury occured early in 2003?

According to here, it was a series of hamstring injuries that kept him out of the lineup in 2004. http://www.baseballinjurytool.com/ doesn't find anything in 2003 but there are several DTD results on the hamstring for 2004.
   97. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 19, 2010 at 12:58 PM (#3564033)
Can anyone offer a good dead guy blog?

Not a guy, and not quite dead, but this site had its Camelotian "one brief shining" heyday.
   98. Josh1 Posted: June 19, 2010 at 02:03 PM (#3564064)
As for Boggs, I don't think it's that close. 2439 career grames for Boggs, 10740 PAs, with a career OPS+ of 130. Granted, Boggs's offense was OBP-heavy and that is to his advantage, but his OBP over the course of his career isn't that much higher than Chipper's (.415-.406, though adjusted for era the advantage is greater). But Chipper's slugging advantage is so much more pronounced, I think he's clearly superior.


Boggs and Chipper have almost exactly the same number of career batting runs over replacement (Chipper has a mid-70s run advantage over average). Regardless of if you think Chipper was an average (most likely the case) or a bad defender, Boggs was clearly a good to great defender over 18 seasons, and the defense should easily be enough to make up a fairly small difference in offense. Boggs also had the better peak in pure offense, though his prime was worse. When you count offense plus defense, I don't see how Chipper was particularly close to Boggs in peak.

To 10 seasons in Batting Runs
_Boggs: 68,63,57,50,46,41,29,28,25,18
Chipper: 61,52,52,49,48,43,37,36,34,32
   99. Morty Causa Posted: June 19, 2010 at 08:00 PM (#3564464)
Why is Jones being compared to Brett and Boggs? Especially since the consensus is he wasn't more than a mediocre third baseman at best, and third base, anyway, isn't a premium defensive position like short or second or centerfield.

What you should be looking at first is how he ranks against his contemporaries generally as a hitter. How many players were and are better than Chipper Jones? When you look at it that way, how select is he? Since he was no hotshot at third, comparing him only to thirdbaseman is misleading. There's nothing that says, and nothing should say, that a certain number of players at X position should go into the HOF, especially when, as here, the position isn't all that treasured defensively, anyway, and, to boot, the player in question didn't stand out, much less excel, at that position. This isn't to say Jones wouldn't make the HOF when viewed like I think he should, but it's the better way of judging if he's qualified.
   100. mex4173 Posted: June 19, 2010 at 11:05 PM (#3564558)
Why is Jones being compared to Brett and Boggs? Especially since the consensus is he wasn't more than a mediocre third baseman at best, and third base, anyway, isn't a premium defensive position like short or second or centerfield.


He isn't being compared to Brett/Boggs for HoF worthiness, but for historical rank at 3B.
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