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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Hall for Halladay – Dizzy Deane

The reports invariably mention the highlights of Halladay’s career: a Cy Young Award in each league, a perfect game on May 29, 2010, and a divisional series no-hitter on October 6 of that same year.  Nice résumé items, people agree, but they are not so unanimous when it comes to the Hall of Fame.  Many seem to think Doc is a borderline candidate at best; after all, he won “just” 203 games with a modest 3.38 career ERA.

Borderline?  With the possible exception of Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay is the most-accomplished pitcher of the 21st century.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 11, 2017 at 06:59 AM | 184 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, roy halladay

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   1. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 11, 2017 at 10:05 AM (#5574465)
His tragic demise may accelerate the timetable by a year or two, but Halladay was always going to be elected quickly, IMO. He's not overwhelmingly qualified, but he's qualified*, and he was probably the most universally respected and admired pitcher of his era.

* At least he looks qualified to me; he's a tick below the average HOF pitcher in JAWS and the old HOF monitor.

To put it another way, his resume looks substantially similar to Jack Morris' (Pitcher of the Decade for the 2000s! Everyone knew what a badass he was! One legendary postseason performance!) with the added bonus that his career numbers actually look like those of a Hall of Famer.
   2. BDC Posted: November 11, 2017 at 10:23 AM (#5574469)
The only closely similar career, to my mind, is Hal Newhouser's. Centered on Halladay in terms of ERA+ and Games Started:

Player             WAR  GS ERAGF   W   L     IP  ERA  FIP
Carl Hubbell      67.8 433  130 82 253 154 3590.1 2.98 3.55
Roy Halladay      65.6 390  131  6 203 105 2749.1 3.38 3.39
Stan Coveleski    65.2 385  127 52 215 142 3082.0 2.89 3.19
Dazzy Vance       62.5 349  125 52 197 140 2966.2 3.24 3.18
Hal Newhouser     60.4 374  130 79 207 150 2993.0 3.06 3.19
Bret Saberhagen   59.1 371  126 13 167 117 2562.2 3.34 3.27
Tommy Bridges     52.5 362  126 47 194 138 2826.1 3.57 3.88 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/11/2017.

They're all Hall of Famers with very dominant peak seasons, except for Saberhagen who is in the HOM and was also dominant at his peak, and Bridges, who was pretty good, anyway. Saberhagen and Bridges are not quite as good as Halladay, though; I had to expand the search parameters pretty far to pull them in.
   3. PreservedFish Posted: November 11, 2017 at 11:58 AM (#5574485)
I would say that, by the time Halladay arrived in Philadelphia, there was no doubt in my mind that I was watching a Hall of Famer.
   4. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 11, 2017 at 01:47 PM (#5574500)
The only closely similar career, to my mind, is Hal Newhouser's.

I've never been sold on the case for Newhouser. Here's a pitcher with 207 wins and 60.4 WAR, with 62 of those wins and 20.9 of those WAR coming in the three years (1943-45) when the game's stars were virtually all missing.** He had 4 more years after that with 82 wins and 27.2 WAR, but then by the age of 30 he was over the hill and contributing only marginal value.

I know the argument about the war years is that "he dominated the best that there was, and you can't blame him for that", but that strikes me as a bit disingenuous, given that (a) those years make up such a big chunk of his case, and (b) even ignoring that, he was a decidedly marginal force once he turned 30. He never got in via the BBWAA, and I suspect it's because the writers knew to place those wartime years in context and voted accordingly.

** More than 500 ML players served in the WWII military

   5. Sweatpants Posted: November 11, 2017 at 02:00 PM (#5574505)
I know the argument about the war years is that "he dominated the best that there was, and you can't blame him for that", but that strikes me as a bit disingenuous, given that (a) those years make up such a big chunk of his case, and (b) even ignoring that, he was a decidedly marginal force once he turned 30.
The argument about the war years is that he remained a great pitcher even after the stars came back, so he probably would have have great seasons in 1944 and 1945 even had circumstances been normal. His 1946 doesn't look any different from the two seasons he had before that, except that his strikeouts shot up to almost nine per nine innings.
   6. John DiFool2 Posted: November 11, 2017 at 02:09 PM (#5574509)
His tragic demise may accelerate the timetable by a year or two, but Halladay was always going to be elected quickly, IMO.


More likely he'll just have to get in line behind Moose and Schill, if not Rocket (until they are off the ballot one way or another).
   7. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: November 11, 2017 at 02:49 PM (#5574515)
I very much doubt Halladay is going to have to wait behind Schilling or Musina. Halladay was generally considered the best in baseball for a long stretch by the people who vote for these awards - since he has enough Saber stuff to cover him, he was going in first ballot no matter what. As the poster above put it, he had the rep of Morris with the legit stats to include him.
   8. eric Posted: November 11, 2017 at 03:00 PM (#5574519)
Halladay was generally considered the best in baseball for a long stretch by the people who vote for these awards - since he has enough Saber stuff to cover him, he was going in first ballot no matter what.


I think this is a good point. I think the HOF voting body, as a whole, still goes largely by reputation. That's why players like Mattingly or Garvey or Morris still have such a strong following while other, more worthy, candidates disappear quickly or languish--Walker, Whitaker, Lofton.

We seem to feel that saber ideas have been taking over the voting process to some degree, and while I don't deny that more saber types are voting, I still think that reputation and narrative is still king and all we're seeing is that saber ideas have been driving reputations to some degree. Otherwise, there's no reason that Halladay should be held in such high regard whereas pitchers like Schilling or Mussina (or Kevin Brown) have to fight for relevance simply because their careers happened to coincide with some top-10 of all time greats. Because Halladay's peak allowed him to be viewed for a while as the best pitcher in the game, he will have a much easier road to Cooperstown (one that will probably be made somewhat easier by his premature death).
   9. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 11, 2017 at 03:09 PM (#5574523)
Halladay was generally considered the best in baseball for a long stretch by the people who vote for these awards


You're forgetting the ridiculous standards that the people who vote for these awards hold starting pitchers to when it comes to HOF voting. Of course, we will now never know how Halladay would have done had he lived to see his own vote totals.
   10. Jay Z Posted: November 11, 2017 at 03:18 PM (#5574528)
The argument about the war years is that he remained a great pitcher even after the stars came back, so he probably would have have great seasons in 1944 and 1945 even had circumstances been normal. His 1946 doesn't look any different from the two seasons he had before that, except that his strikeouts shot up to almost nine per nine innings.


The crop of '40s pitchers is also rather thin after Feller. I don't know who would be after Newhouser, Bucky Walters I guess. Walters didn't make it to 200 wins and also played through the war.

I don't see how Halladay is a slam dunk either with Mussina and Schilling out there. Early, non-tragic death probably hurts players who aren't slam dunks, and it may hurt Halladay.
   11. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 11, 2017 at 03:27 PM (#5574533)
I very much doubt Halladay is going to have to wait behind Schilling or Musina.

I think the still-crowded ballot might have been a problem for Halliday, along with the first ballot reluctance of at least some voters. The wins weren't overwhelming, although closer examination makes for a stronger case. I suspect a lot of voters would have seen Halliday as another player they had in their "Probably Yes" column, but we're not guaranteed to vote for him ahead of others they have been voting for. Halliday''s tragic death puts him in a special category, and I suspect that almost all who would have voted for him eventually will now do so at the first opportunity.
   12. Rob_Wood Posted: November 11, 2017 at 03:37 PM (#5574534)
There are, of course, two separate questions. (1) What will BBWAA HOF voters do? (2) What should BBWAA HOF voters do?

(1) I would think that Halladay will be a first-ballot HOF'er.

(2) Halladay is very comparable (at some level) to Kevin Brown. Who, if memory serves, is not in the Hall of Fame. :)

Two more different reputations than Halladay and Brown could probably not be found.
   13. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 11, 2017 at 03:55 PM (#5574536)
Early, non-tragic death


Early death is tragic by definition, with very rare exceptions. I don't see how the specific circumstances of Halladay's death make it non-tragic.
   14. Jay Z Posted: November 11, 2017 at 04:09 PM (#5574537)
Early death is tragic by definition, with very rare exceptions. I don't see how the specific circumstances of Halladay's death make it non-tragic.


To me, a 57 year old dying of cancer is more tragic than Halladay's death. YMMV.
   15. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 11, 2017 at 04:26 PM (#5574543)
More (or less) tragic certainly is something where MMV. Tragic or not tragic -- not so much.
   16. shoewizard Posted: November 11, 2017 at 07:27 PM (#5574575)
Which of these two pitchers should go into the HOF first ?

Pitcher    IP  RA-9  ERA WAR  WAA  ERA+  BBSO%  SO/W HR%
Pitcher A 2751 3.41 3.25  78   55  139  5.024.4%  4.9 2.7%
Pitcher B 2749 3.72 3.38  66   41  131  5.218.83.6 2.1


Post Season

Pitcher A 133 IP, 11-2, 2.23 ERA, 3 rings 1 WS MVP

Pitcher B 38 IP ,, 3-2, 2.37 ERA, No RIngs
   17. shoewizard Posted: November 11, 2017 at 07:46 PM (#5574577)
Pitcher B obviously is Doc, Pitcher A is Curt Schillings best 2750 IP, which pretty clearly are of superior quality to Doc's career, as great as Doc was.

Schilling had another 500 IP of slightly above replacment level pitching. I know the sequence of his peak years, and the political narrative post career hurts him. But it's just crazy to me to thing that ANY pitcher goes in the HOF before Schilling at this point.
   18. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 11, 2017 at 08:21 PM (#5574585)
Mussina thru age 34 also had basically Halladay's career. I guess not having a decline phase can help, but how much?
   19. shoewizard Posted: November 11, 2017 at 09:17 PM (#5574587)
Moose best 2650 IP, 3.61 RA-9, 3.35 ERA, 136 ERA+ WAR 70.7, WAA 45.4

So slots right in between Schilling and Halladay

   20. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: November 12, 2017 at 12:17 AM (#5574616)
I don't see how Halladay is a slam-dunk candidate, given the performance of Mussina and Schilling in HOF voting thus far, the absolute lack of interest in Kevin Brown, etc. Look at the last several pitchers to make the HOF as starting pitchers:

Johnson
Pedro
Glavine
Maddux
Blyleven
Ryan
Sutton
Niekro
Bunning
Carlton
Newhouser
Perry
Palmer
Jenkins
Hunter

That's everybody since 1985 (15 pitchers). Most of them won 280+ games: Jenkins, Perry, Carlton, Niekro, Ryan, Sutton, Ryan, Blyleven, Maddux, Glavine, Johnson.

The other three are Palmer, Newhouser, and Pedro.
Pedro is one of the greatest pitchers of all time, period.
Palmer, I think most would agree, was exceptionally good. 268 wins, most of it at an elite level, low ERA, almost 4000 innings.
Newhouser was a veterans' pick.
Hunter is the one legit example - a starting pitcher clearly below the standard of this current trio of candidates, in terms of basic counting stats.

I think the problem here is that the voters have shown no interest in electing starting pitchers who don't win 300 games, or pretty close to it, unless you are Pedro-level special. Halladay, Schilling, Mussina are all worthy, IMO - but I am not optimistic about them...
   21. PreservedFish Posted: November 12, 2017 at 12:28 AM (#5574619)
The comparisons of Halladay with the (non-consecutive?) peaks of Mussina and Schilling are interesting. For the most part neither added much of note to those excellent 2,700 innings, just a few WAR here or there, which in my opinion doesn't put them far ahead of Halladay despite all the extra innings. I think Schilling has the best case, with the best peak results and also probably the best argument for fame/history/personality/etc, which I do think is worth considering.

But with all that said, Halladay was probably the consensus best pitcher in baseball for at least a couple years, and that's no joke. It makes him a completely different candidate from Schilling and Mussina and certainly Kevin Brown.
   22. PreservedFish Posted: November 12, 2017 at 12:43 AM (#5574621)
Halladay age 25-34 put up 2,200 IP of 148 ERA+ ball, 62 WAR, 42 WAA.

Schilling's best consecutive 10 years appears to be 2123 IP, 140 ERA+ 61 WAR, 44 WAA. Pretty darn close, huh? Of course that omits two or three All-Star quality seasons from the big guy.

Looking at it this way, you realize that Mussina isn't a good comparison for a couple reasons. First, his 10-year peak ERA+ was 130, a notch down from Schilling and two notches from Halladay. But also, he strung together 12 years consecutive years at peak quality, and matched it again at ages 37 and 39. And that, in a nutshell, is why his case has such little traction ... just wasn't quite good enough to blow anyone's mind, and his rare consistency was never going to get him over that hump.
   23. QLE Posted: November 12, 2017 at 01:41 AM (#5574623)

You're forgetting the ridiculous standards that the people who vote for these awards hold starting pitchers to when it comes to HOF voting.


On the one hand, that's a bit overblown- note that five of the last twelve players inducted into the HOF by the BBWAA are starting pitchers (unless we wish to deny that of Smoltz, which strikes me as a stretch). If the ratio of starting pitchers to position players is somewhere between a third and a quarter, that means the HOF should have inducted between three and eight more position players than they have (come to think of it, if Biggio gets a few more votes in the 2014 ballot, we'd probably be closer to there.....)

On the other hand, the problem strikes me as such: I suspect that the issue is that the BBWAA voters overrate Glavine and Smoltz, in part because of all those division titles the Braves won (and the publicity TBS coverage gave them), and in part because they like things the two of them did (Glavine getting to 300 wins; Smoltz spending a few years as a reliever) without thinking of greater context (Glavine being the weakest of the four contemporaries who got to that; the tendency to overrate relievers generally). As a result of this, they aren't seeing Schilling and Mussina as the fifth and sixth-best starting pitchers of their era, but, rather, as the seventh and eighth- and I get the feeling that a considerable number might be deeply reluctant to admit that that many starting pitchers from the same point in time merit induction (note what energies it took to get Blyleven inducted).

I suspect that, in Halladay's case, a lot of it will depend on one simple question: will he be viewed as being essentially in the same generation as the aforementioned pitchers, or will they regard him as standing somewhat alone? If the former, I suspect he might get stuck with Schilling and Mussina; if the latter, his chances would be considerably better.

Finally, I think the comparison with Kevin Brown is, regardless of which of these turns out to be the case, is not especially relevant for the following reasons:

1) Kevin Brown is in the Mitchell Report;
2) And has a reputation as deeply unpleasant;
3) And had negative publicity connected to the image of his time with the Dodgers being a major bust;
4) And has a win-loss record that has 39 more losses and only 8 more wins;
5) And, while he does have a World Series ring, has the image of being a guy the team won the series in spite of, not because of;
6) And did much worse than Halladay in terms of award voting;
7) And faced an electorate that was even less sabermetric-friendly than the current one.

In other words, I don't think the fact that they are close to equal in value in those terms will be meaningful, as it is fairly clear that most of what Kevin Brown didn't have going for him has nothing to do with sabermetric value.
   24. Morty Causa Posted: November 12, 2017 at 04:30 AM (#5574624)
Schilling has 15 more WAR than Halladay. That's a lot. He has a good bit more total WAA, too. And he ended his career stronger. Not to mention, his superlative post-season numbers over a large number of innings pitched. Schilling actually pitched better in the post-season against the best teams than in the regular season against the pack, and this was in over half a season worth of innings, and his post-season is capped by the bloody sock. That's pretty impressive to many. His JAWS ranking is also a good bit better than Halladay's.
   25. shoewizard Posted: November 12, 2017 at 06:59 AM (#5574626)
My guess is Doc sails in first ballot and Schilling and Mussina will have to go down to the wire in years 9 or 10 if they are to be voted in.



   26. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 12, 2017 at 08:44 AM (#5574631)
Curt Schilling is an easy Hall of Famer. Two things keep him out and will probably continue to: Some of his best years were spent in Randy Johnson's long shadow, and he's an incorrigible dick with deeply unpopular opinions and great willingness to share them.

The open ballot is going to work against Schilling. Everyone who votes for him is going to get besieged with Twitter outrage. I'm sure numerous voters won't care about that--but some will, and Schilling will need every last vote he can get. He actually dropped from 52% to 45% last year, with five years to go. I don't think the BBWAA will elect him. Probably a future veteran's committee will, after he's dead.
   27. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 12, 2017 at 08:51 AM (#5574632)
By the way, it seemed like a cinch that Vlad Guerrero would be elected in 2018, with 71% this year... but with Chipper and Thome hitting a crowded ballot, I wonder if he won't fall just short again.

Could be a crowded Hall of Fame class next year, with Hoffman definitely going in, those three hitters all on the ballot, plus Halladay.
   28. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 12, 2017 at 10:23 AM (#5574639)
For the most part neither added much of note to those excellent 2,700 innings, just a few WAR here or there, which in my opinion doesn't put them far ahead of Halladay despite all the extra innings.


My point is that it shouldn't put them behind Halladay either.
   29. shoewizard Posted: November 12, 2017 at 10:33 AM (#5574642)
MY point actually was there was a significant gap between Schillings best 2750 and Halladys best 2750.

12 WAR, 14 WAA and 8 ERA + Points, and .31 RA-9 advantages in this many innings , all why pitching in higher run scoring environments through peak shows one clearly superior to the other. If anyone is looking at that comparison and seeing “roughly equal” they might have too broad a defintion of equal
   30. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 12, 2017 at 10:47 AM (#5574645)
Curt Schilling is an easy Hall of Famer. Two things keep him out and will probably continue to: Some of his best years were spent in Randy Johnson's long shadow, and he's an incorrigible dick with deeply unpopular opinions and great willingness to share them.

The open ballot is going to work against Schilling. Everyone who votes for him is going to get besieged with Twitter outrage. I'm sure numerous voters won't care about that--but some will, and Schilling will need every last vote he can get. He actually dropped from 52% to 45% last year, with five years to go. I don't think the BBWAA will elect him. Probably a future veteran's committee will, after he's dead.


That'a pathetic reflection on a large segment of the BBWAA. What in the hell should Schilling's political opinions have to do with his HoF candidacy?
   31. Sweatpants Posted: November 12, 2017 at 11:06 AM (#5574648)
I don't see how Halladay is a slam-dunk candidate, given the performance of Mussina and Schilling in HOF voting thus far, the absolute lack of interest in Kevin Brown, etc.
Mussina, Schilling, and Brown were hurt by being direct contemporaries of four of the best pitchers of all time. Halladay was arguably the best of the pitchers who came along between those guys and Kershaw (right now it looks like it's down to him and Verlander). He stood out a lot more.
On the other hand, the problem strikes me as such: I suspect that the issue is that the BBWAA voters overrate Glavine and Smoltz, in part because of all those division titles the Braves won (and the publicity TBS coverage gave them), and in part because they like things the two of them did (Glavine getting to 300 wins; Smoltz spending a few years as a reliever) without thinking of greater context (Glavine being the weakest of the four contemporaries who got to that; the tendency to overrate relievers generally). As a result of this, they aren't seeing Schilling and Mussina as the fifth and sixth-best starting pitchers of their era, but, rather, as the seventh and eighth- and I get the feeling that a considerable number might be deeply reluctant to admit that that many starting pitchers from the same point in time merit induction (note what energies it took to get Blyleven inducted).
Glavine was a better player than Schilling. He got to 300 wins and Schilling didn't in part because he threw about five seasons' worth of innings more than Schilling, and because he had Tom Glavine hitting when he played rather than Curt Schilling.
5) And, while [Kevin Brown] does have a World Series ring, has the image of being a guy the team won the series in spite of, not because of;
Is this true? I just looked it up and saw that, yeah, he pitched poorly in the World Series, but how many people remember that? No one talks about John Smoltz as someone the Braves won the World Series in spite of. I think the general public is aware that Brown was a genuine ace during that time, but they underestimate how good he was and for how long (154 ERA+ from 1995-2003).
   32. Booey Posted: November 12, 2017 at 11:09 AM (#5574649)
I don't see how Halladay is a slam-dunk candidate, given the performance of Mussina and Schilling in HOF voting thus far, the absolute lack of interest in Kevin Brown, etc.


CYA's:

Halladay - 2
Schilling, Moose, Brown combined - 0

All time rank, CYA shares:
Halladay - 9th
Schilling - 23rd
Brown - 48th
Mussina - 66th

Black Ink:
Halladay - 48
Schilling - 42
Brown - 19
Mussina - 15


20 win seasons:
Halladay - 3
Schilling - 3
Mussina - 1
Brown - 1


I don't think any of these guys are good comps for Doc's chances. He did way better than any of them in CY voting. Only Curt challenges him in black ink and 20 win seasons. None of them have a perfect game or a postseason no hitter. Granted, they have their own unique hooks that Halladay didn't, but none of them had a half decade or so stretch as the near consensus best pitcher in the game like Roy did, either. Plus Schilling and Brown are colossal pricks. And Halladay debuted more than a decade behind Clemens/Maddux/Glavine/Unit, so he might not be competing against any 300 game winners that the voters view as contemporaries to make his win total look unimpressive.

Edit: partial coke to Sweatpants and others

Could be a crowded Hall of Fame class next year, with Hoffman definitely going in, those three hitters all on the ballot, plus Halladay.


I thought Halladay wasn't going to debut on the ballot until 2019? My reading of the death exemption is that it's too close to voting time to make it on this coming ballot, so it would kick in the following year (which was his scheduled year anyway).

My guess is that Chipper, Hoffman, and Vlad make it in 2018, with Thome barely missing. And then Rivera, Thome, and Doc represent 2019.
   33. shoewizard Posted: November 12, 2017 at 11:39 AM (#5574652)
Glavine was a better player than Schilling. He got to 300 wins and Schilling didn't in part because he threw about five seasons' worth of innings more than Schilling, and because he had Tom Glavine hitting when he played rather than Curt Schilling.


More durable and consistent, and many more years on really good teams.

By Traditional Win totals, Glavine better. By advanced value Metrics, Schillings career actually still adds up to more than Glavine's



   34. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 12, 2017 at 11:57 AM (#5574656)

That'a pathetic reflection on a large segment of the BBWAA. What in the hell should Schilling's political opinions have to do with his HoF candidacy?


You don't see how calling for the lynching of the people voting on your case might affect your candidacy?
   35. shoewizard Posted: November 12, 2017 at 12:03 PM (#5574661)
I don't think any of these guys are good comps for Doc's chances. He did way better than any of them in CY voting. Only Curt challenges him in black ink and 20 win seasons.


Because Doc didn't have anyone like Randy Johnson around blocking his Cy Young seasons. Doc's 3 best seasons and Schillings 3 best seasons are almost exactly the same, (25.4 WAR for CS, 25.3 WAR for RH).

none of them had a half decade or so stretch as the near consensus best pitcher in the game like Roy did


Same point. By coincidence and happenstance, there just wasn't the same number of all time greats pitching at the same time as Doc. The distribution of such players is uneven throughout history. We often point to the 1980's as a time with far fewer all time great pitchers performing at their peaks compared to the decades before and after that.

None of them have a perfect game or a postseason no hitter.


And yet despite that, Schillings post season track record SWAMPS Halladay's in greatness. It's not even close.

Plus Schilling and Brown are colossal pricks.


Shouldn't be relevant , although I concede that it is. If some want to invoke the character clause in Schilling's case, just remember no PED claims against him, no DUI's, no Salacious Scandals. Not to mention that would be stirring up a whole other debate with regards to MANY players in the HOF.
But if a failed business and some questionable loans and some really lousy political opinions are enough to invoke the character clause to keep him out of the HOF, then just shut the entire process down.


At the end of the day I understand perfectly why Schilling is the perfect storm for being underrated and passed over by some voters. But lets not kid ourselves, the number ONE reason is because:

216 Wins and a 3.43 ERA does not look like a HOF career to half of the BBWAA

Everything else is secondary. Not saying everything else doesn't contribute to this situation, but the inability or unwillingness of many voters to look past Wins and ERA, and consider context, such as

UER vs ER, & RA-9 vs ERA
Run Environment, (Ballparks and league)
Defenses played in front of







   36. Jay Z Posted: November 12, 2017 at 12:37 PM (#5574667)
I don't think any of these guys are good comps for Doc's chances. He did way better than any of them in CY voting. Only Curt challenges him in black ink and 20 win seasons. None of them have a perfect game or a postseason no hitter. Granted, they have their own unique hooks that Halladay didn't, but none of them had a half decade or so stretch as the near consensus best pitcher in the game like Roy did, either. Plus Schilling and Brown are colossal pricks. And Halladay debuted more than a decade behind Clemens/Maddux/Glavine/Unit, so he might not be competing against any 300 game winners that the voters view as contemporaries to make his win total look unimpressive.


203 wins is fewer than just about anybody except Koufax, Dizzy, and a bunch of VetCom guys. Halladay's peak isn't as impressive as what Koufax or Dizzy did. He clearly isn't the equal of Pedro.

A lot of his black ink is IP, CG, Shutouts. 2 win titles, but no ERA titles. No strikeout titles. Yeah, Halladay led the league in shutouts 4 times, Mussina only once, but Mussina still has more career shutouts. Any team can use a shutout, no matter what season it's pitched in.

No rings. Moreover, he went to a team that had been to the WS twice and they regressed. A peak value argument is less convincing when the results don't follow. A Halladay booster has to make the argument that Halladay should go in front of Mussina because peak value matters, even though Mussina has more games above .500 than Halladay (270-153 to 203-105), yet wave away the fact that Halladay's peak didn't result in postseason appearances or rings.
   37. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 12, 2017 at 01:01 PM (#5574674)
That'a pathetic reflection on a large segment of the BBWAA. What in the hell should Schilling's political opinions have to do with his HoF candidacy?

You don't see how calling for the lynching of the people voting on your case might affect your candidacy?


Obviously it has, but it shouldn't. He should be judged by his on-field performance only, not by a message on a T-shirt. Baseball is full of obnoxious pricks, many of them Hall of Famers.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

No rings. Moreover, he went to a team that had been to the WS twice and they regressed.

Well, Mussina also doesn't have any rings, and he certainly regressed in his performance once he came from the O's to the Yanks, from a 130 ERA+ to a 114. Halladay's was 133 in Toronto and 122 with the Phillies, with 167 and 163 in the two years with them that he was injury-free.

That said, Mussina's more Hallworthy than Holladay, based on his longer career and greater career value. But they're both eminently qualified.
   38. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 12, 2017 at 01:16 PM (#5574679)
By the way, it seemed like a cinch that Vlad Guerrero would be elected in 2018, with 71% this year... but with Chipper and Thome hitting a crowded ballot, I wonder if he won't fall just short again.

I don't think the voting works that way. Those on the cusp of election, especially after their first year on the ballot, are the focus of the next vote, along with the new crop of 1st-year eligibles. Vlad & Hoffman will make it fairly easily, IMHO, along with Chipper & Thome, I think. Even those who favor other players more strongly probably see the value of Vlad & Hoffman clearing the ballot to allow more room for those candidates.
   39. Morty Causa Posted: November 12, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5574683)
Vlad, looking at his conventional hitting stats, looks imposing. He better no one wakes up to the advance metrics. He doesn't look bad, but he really doesn't separate himself from the herd. I mean, 59 WAR and 29 WAA?
   40. Rob_Wood Posted: November 12, 2017 at 01:36 PM (#5574686)
Speaking only to the "Where does Halladay rank among recent pitchers?" question, I present the following table of sabermetrically-derived stats that I have developed over the years.

CPASR (Career pennant added using a sliding replacement level) uses seasonal WAA and WAR data to estimate how many pennants the pitcher contributed to his team over his career.
WVA (Win values above average) uses a pitcher's game-by-game performance to estimate how many wins the pitcher contributed to his team compared to a league average pitcher.
WVR (Win values above replacement) uses a pitcher's game-by-game performance to estimate how many wins the pitcher contributed to his team compared to a replacement level pitcher.


Pitcher          CPASR    WVA    WVR
Roger Clemens    2.065    82.4   123.3
Randy Johnson    1.553    54.0    88.2
Greg Maddux      1.540    65.2   106.9
Pedro Martinez   1.333    51.6    74.3
Bert Blyleven    1.325    34.6    75.9
Phil Niekro      1.299    23.7    66.6
Steve Carlton    1.249    33.6    76.6
Mike Mussina     1.208    39.0    68.7
Gaylord Perry    1.193    34.7    77.6
Fergie Jenkins   1.145    34.4    70.7
Curt Schilling   1.129    38.4    64.1
Tom Glavine      1.060    37.9    74.7
Roy Halladay     1.010    34.2    56.6
Kevin Brown      0.997    32.1    59.0
Rick Reuschel    0.989    22.0    51.2
Jim Palmer       0.974    45.7    77.8
David Cone       0.971    27.2    50.8
John Smoltz      0.967    30.8    57.6
Luis Tiant       0.904    28.1    56.1
Nolan Ryan       0.877    33.1    77.5
Dave Stieb       0.870    22.8    43.3
Jim Bunning      0.845    20.3    50.5
Kevin Appier     0.839    26.8    48.2
Johan Santana    0.813    28.0    43.5
Tim Hudson       0.785    30.7    56.7
Orel Hershiser   0.784    21.2    46.7
Bret Saberhagen  0.778    28.3    49.0
Chuck Finley     0.778    23.5    49.1
Andy Pettitte    0.776    25.9    53.4
Roy Oswalt       0.765    28.1    46.5
Don Sutton       0.677    28.7    72.5
Tommy John       0.595    23.7    62.2
Catfish Hunter   0.533     8.0    36.3
Jack Morris      0.519    19.0    50.2


   41. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 12, 2017 at 01:53 PM (#5574693)
Y'all are talking past each other. Half of you are arguing why Schilling SHOULD go into the Hall before Halladay, while the other half are arguing why Halladay WILL go into the Hall before Schilling (for narrative reasons). There's no disagreement that Schilling actually had the better career.
   42. Morty Causa Posted: November 12, 2017 at 01:57 PM (#5574694)
Schilling has a pretty good narrative, too, considering his post-season performance and everything.
   43. Morty Causa Posted: November 12, 2017 at 01:59 PM (#5574696)
Part of what comprises that perception that tends to devalue Schilling is that split his career between the two leagues to a much greater extent than Halladay.
   44. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 12, 2017 at 02:07 PM (#5574699)
Nah, not really. It's just that Schilling spent all of his best years either on an irrelevant also-ran (in Philadelphia), being the second best pitcher on his own team (in Arizona) or being the best pitcher but still kind of perceived as Pedro Martinez's sidekick (Boston in 2004). That, plus Schilling is an almost exact contemporary of Maddux, Clemens, and Johnson, who are three of the ten best pitchers in history.

Whereas Halladay was perceived as The Ace of his team without fail from his first good year to his last one, and had some of his best years after Maddux, Clemens and Johnson were off the scene.
   45. Booey Posted: November 12, 2017 at 02:33 PM (#5574703)
Y'all are talking past each other. Half of you are arguing why Schilling SHOULD go into the Hall before Halladay, while the other half are arguing why Halladay WILL go into the Hall before Schilling (for narrative reasons). There's no disagreement that Schilling actually had the better career.


This. I agree that Schilling and Moose had better careers than Doc (and that Brown was essentially equal). I was pointing out why I think many of the voters will see it differently. Ultimately their opinions are the ones that matter, not ours.
   46. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 12, 2017 at 03:22 PM (#5574722)
No rings. Moreover, he went to a team that had been to the WS twice and they regressed.

How's that? The Phillies won 185 games in the two years before Halladay arrived, and 199 games his first two years there. The postseason results didn't follow, but the team hardly regressed.

And yet despite that, Schillings post season track record SWAMPS Halladay's in greatness. It's not even close.

Schilling's postseason track record swamps Halladay in OPPORTUNITY. Their ERAs are basically identical; Schilling had 3.5 times as many innings.

Here's a thought on Schiling vs. Halladay... Halladay won Cy Young awards where Schilling didn't (because of circumstances outside their control); Schilling had postseason performances that Halladay didn't (because of circumstances outside their control).

Raise your hand if you trust the BBWAA to parse that circumstantial discrepancy in a sensible fashion.
   47. PreservedFish Posted: November 12, 2017 at 03:35 PM (#5574725)
I honestly didn't remember if the Phillies did or did not win the WS the years they had Halladay - what with Halladay's hype in changing leagues and the postseason no-hitter, I imagine many people "remember" that Halladay was the ace that helped an otherwise excellent team finally win it all, Justin Verlander style.
   48. Walt Davis Posted: November 12, 2017 at 03:54 PM (#5574728)
Halladay isn't getting in on career, he's getting in on peak. Pedro (and Koufax) broke the barrier on <3000 innings and a "low" win total. Halladay's peak wasn't nearly as good but Pedro (and Koufax) are not the borderline, they're inner circle. Halladay was going in, his death has made that more likely. I was curious to see whether he'd debut in front of or behind Mussina and Schilling but I expected him to be at the front (thought that depended on how high they'd gotten).

That peak is one CYA in his pocket then a run of CYA finishes: 3, 5, 2, 5, 1, 2 with the last two including some MVP votes. 48 points of black ink is a lot. Sure, Halladay is the 21st century equivalent of Jim Palmer -- who got in on the first ballot.

Sure Schilling is nearly as good a candidate and if he'd been a good boy, he'd be closing in on election. Mussina is not a peak candidate in any way so there's no point in comping to Halladay.

If you want to take advantage of Halladay's eventual election, it is in making a case for Santana or, if his late career stinks, Verlander ... or Scherzer when he comes around. Halladay can serve as the first candidate for the current era of starters who are going to have trouble topping 3000 innings and 220 wins and will have to build cases primarily on rate stats and peaks.

A fairly amazing comparison through age 34:

RH 2531 IP, 188-92, 3.23 ERA, 138 ERA+, 48 black ink, 8 AS, 2 CYA
JV 2545 IP, 188-114, 3.46 ERA, 124 ERA+, 50 black ink, 6 AS, 1 CYA, 1 MVP, 1 RoY

Mussina will make the HoF. I want to see what kind of bounce back Schilling gets -- seems to me he hasn't said anything publicly stupid in a while. (I agree his politics shouldn't enter into it. But it's not exactly his politics as it is that he keeps shouting dumb stuff from the rooftops ... but still, that shouldn't matter either. Then again, I'm not one of those people who think "fame", popularity and "reputation not supported by the numbers" should matter either. (If popularity and positive reputation justify** a Lou Brock or Jack Morris then it's not clear why negatives shouldn't be a detriment.)

As to next year, it's Chipper, Hoffman and Vlad. I'm not sure where Thome starts (tough ballot for him) but am reasonably confident he won't be first ballot and very confident he makes it eventually. It's not impossible he'll be first ballot, there are enough votes being freed up accommodate it, but I am guessing he'll be 3rd in line among the hitters, maybe 4th and will be comped more to Edgar than Chipper/Vlad. Mainly I think we're going to start seeing the number of votes drop. At this point, the ballot isn't crowded and the main question is whether Edgar will make it in year 10 (i.e. he's really the only one being "crowded" on the current ballot).

Looking at the 2018 ballot -- Chipper, Hoffman and Vlad easily; Thome and Mussina certainly make it over the next 4 years; Schilling probably; Edgar has two years left either way. The rest of the backlog has no hope but also isn't eating up enough votes to cause a problem for anybody else. All of that leaves plenty of room for the obvious 1st ballot guys coming and plenty of room for any future back-loggers to progress.
   49. Rob_Wood Posted: November 12, 2017 at 05:01 PM (#5574745)
While I agree with what Walt is saying (as I usually do), I want to make one small quibble.

Many smart people reject the artificial "peak" vs. "career" distinction in these types of discussions. (I am using Walt's excellent post above as an opportunity to make this point.) Total value is total value (appropriately measured). Kinda like the old arguments about the area of a rectangle. Some rectangles are tall and skinny, some are short and wide, and some are all sizes in between.

What matters is the total area (total value), not whether a candidate is a "peak" candidate or a "career" candidate. Of course we can (and should) compare Sandy Koufax to Don Sutton. It's a cop-out and an abrogation of responsibility for those charged with making these judgments, or those among us informing those so charged, to throw up our hands and say, no we cannot compare a "peak" candidate (like Koufax) with a "career" candidate (like Sutton).

So it is important that we are not only capable of making those tough comparisons but also that we do indeed make the tough comparisons such as Halladay vs. Mussina or anybody else for that matter.
   50. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 12, 2017 at 05:11 PM (#5574747)
I think Thome might take longer than he should. It's a crowded ballot, and some voters are going to mentally put him in the Steroid Era Slugger basket, which is the most crowded part of the ballot.
   51. eric Posted: November 12, 2017 at 05:18 PM (#5574749)
Just looking at total career value vastly undersells some players. Yes, Koufax was barely above 50 WAR and Sutton was pushing 70, but I doubt anyone would say that Sutton was a better pitcher than Koufax. Sutton was more durable.

And while I agree that Sutton did in fact pitch all those extra innings that Koufax did not--Sutton is a deserving HOFer for sure--total value again undersells Koufax in that the rectangle analogy is not all that accurate. The goal of a baseball team is to win the World Series, and so concentrated value is of the utmost importance. Rectangles indeed come in all different sizes and shapes, but if you need one that's at least 10 inches (WAR) high to complete your puzzle, or see over the hedge, or pick your own metaphor, then all those other ones of the same area aren't nearly as useful.

I am in no way a Koufax fanboy; I believe him to be one of the most overrated players in MLB history. I just don't think we can look at total value and call it a day, unless you are including in your definition of total value some variability for the shape of that value--that is, recognizing that higher peaks contribute more to championship seasons.
   52. BDC Posted: November 12, 2017 at 05:34 PM (#5574753)
Many smart people reject the artificial "peak" vs. "career" distinction in these types of discussions

I'm not very smart, and I rarely express this well, but I think that peak and career show a high correlation. Ernie Banks is a peak HOF candidate, and hit 500 home runs. Eddie Murray is a career HOF candidate, and had five straight top-five MVP finishes.

It's the cases that seem way off, like Koufax and Sutton, that get the arguments started. But I don't think those cases are very common; they just absorb most of the words devoted to HOF arguments.
   53. Rob_Wood Posted: November 12, 2017 at 05:44 PM (#5574755)
Of course taking into account the fact that higher peaks contribute more to championship seasons is what modern analysts mean by "total value". I am far from the first, but I have created my own version of a stat (CPASR) to estimate how many pennants a player contributed to his team over the course of his career, and underlying my new stat and the whole notion of pennant added (which has been around for decades) is the very fact that higher peaks contribute more to championship seasons.

We have been doing this stuff for more than 30 years. Don't you think we have come up with ways to estimate the "total value" of different {WAR, WAA} profiles? Nobody with an ounce of intelligence looks exclusively at a player's career WAR figure. That is stupid now and was always stupid. (I am not saying that anyone on this fine website would ever do such a thing!)

Edit to add: I just saw BDC's fine post and I agree completely.
   54. eric Posted: November 12, 2017 at 05:59 PM (#5574760)

We have been doing this stuff for more than 30 years. Don't you think we have come up with ways to estimate the "total value" of different {WAR, WAA} profiles? Nobody with an ounce of intelligence looks exclusively at a player's career WAR figure. That is stupid now and was always stupid. (I am not saying that anyone on this fine website would ever do such a thing!)


Then I don't understand what you are arguing about. Koufax is a peak candidate. Sutton is a career candidate. That's not a false distinction, as most players with 12 seasons played aren't even considered for the HOF, and most people with Sutton's top level of play aren't considered. So metrics have been developed that help make the comparison easier? Great.
   55. Rob_Wood Posted: November 12, 2017 at 06:04 PM (#5574762)
Thanks for your comment. Your contributions have been invaluable. You have made my day. Peace out.
   56. djordan Posted: November 12, 2017 at 06:56 PM (#5574768)
Kevin Brown's career happened about five years too early for his resume to be taken as seriously as it should have.
   57. Morty Causa Posted: November 12, 2017 at 07:17 PM (#5574771)
I don't know. Seems some here think that explanation suffices for justification when it comes to comparing Halladay with Schilling (and others). It is understood that Doc was lucky that he didn't pitch in an environment inhabited by the uber-alphas, and Schilling was unlucky in that regard. That should be taken seriously into account.
   58. BDC Posted: November 12, 2017 at 07:42 PM (#5574775)
Cheers, Rob!
   59. Sweatpants Posted: November 12, 2017 at 10:56 PM (#5574802)
By advanced value Metrics, Schillings career actually still adds up to more than Glavine's
The one most commonly cited on this site, Baseball-Reference's WAR, has Glavine ahead (and I think it undersells the difference between them, if anything).
   60. No longer interested in this website Posted: November 12, 2017 at 11:05 PM (#5574803)
Halladay's WAR7 ranks ahead of Palmer, Hubbell, Drysdale, and many other HOFers. His career WAR is also in the neighborhood of those three, and higher than many in the Hall. Of course, he has the narrative and black ink too. Never won a title, that hurts some, but not much. I think he's one of the 30 best starting pitchers in history (I value peak more than some might). Doc rates ahead of Schilling in WAR7.

But, the writers are boneheads, and will look at his win total.
   61. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: November 12, 2017 at 11:11 PM (#5574804)
The one most commonly cited on this site, Baseball-Reference's WAR, has Glavine ahead (and I think it undersells the difference between them, if anything).

By 1.5, needing 1200 more innings to do so. That hardly convinces me of Glavine's superiority. By WAA, it isn't close.

Glavine got better run support (though his bat is part of the reason why) in a lower scoring environment and pitched in front of much better defenses. I think that explains the win gap, for the most part.
   62. No longer interested in this website Posted: November 12, 2017 at 11:16 PM (#5574805)
I found this interesting: since 1900 there have been 19 pitchers who've had at least six seasons of 6+ WAR. 17 are in the HOF, the other two are Clemens and Halladay.

Halladay has a very consistent WAR8 (if you will), his top eight seasons range between 5.4 and 7.5 WAR, with his top six ranging from 6.5 to 7.5. Those are a lot of really good seasons. Most great starters have a range with a larger deviation. For example: Steve Carlton had three off-the-charts great seasons and then a ton of 4-5 WAR seasons. Kershaw is shaping up to have a similar pattern of top-heavy seasons in his WAR7, WAR8 lists of seasons.

Halladay kept it dialed up to "excellent" for a sustained stretch that only about 20 pitchers ever have. He just didn't have the gas to add the three or four more 3-4 WAR seasons to get up to 80+ WAR for his career.
   63. Sweatpants Posted: November 12, 2017 at 11:17 PM (#5574806)
By 1.5, needing 1200 more innings to do so. That hardly convinces me of Glavine's superiority. By WAA, it isn't close.
53.3 to 46.6 is hardly definitive.
Glavine got better run support (though his bat is part of the reason why) in a lower scoring environment and pitched in front of much better defenses. I think that explains the win gap, for the most part.
That and the fact that Glavine pitched a lot longer, sure.
   64. shoewizard Posted: November 12, 2017 at 11:29 PM (#5574808)
Sweatpants, I'm confused. In comment 59 are you comparing Glavine to Schilling or Halladay ?

Pitcher     G  GS  IP  WAR  WAA ERA+
Schilling 569 436 3261 80.7 54.1 127
Glavine   682 682 4413 74.0 39.1 118 



EDIT: Oh I see, you are adding in the Batting WAR/WAA
   65. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: November 12, 2017 at 11:31 PM (#5574810)
When you add in offense, Glavine pulls ahead in total WAR, shoe.
   66. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: November 12, 2017 at 11:37 PM (#5574812)
53.3 to 46.6 is hardly definitive.

Definitive? No, but I'm not sure why that is suddenly the standard here.
   67. shoewizard Posted: November 12, 2017 at 11:41 PM (#5574814)
14% more peak value is fairly definitive actually.

   68. Sweatpants Posted: November 12, 2017 at 11:45 PM (#5574816)
Definitive, no, but I'm not sure why that is suddenly a standard here.
By WAA, it isn't close.
I was responding to that.
   69. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: November 12, 2017 at 11:51 PM (#5574817)
Well, it isn't close. It's not definitive, because that's a really high bar to clear, but it's substantial. What's your evidence for Glavine's superiority, beyond wins?
   70. TR_Sullivan Posted: November 13, 2017 at 12:02 AM (#5574818)
Some late night thoughts on Kevin Brown.... who I covered with the Rangers at the beginning of his career. Our careers basically started at the same time. Full disclosure...I really really liked Brown... enjoyed covering him, enjoyed talking with him....Which puts me in the minority but it's not that small of a group.

Why he is not in the Hall of Fame...these are observations, not stat-based....

1. His career did not get off to a great start. It probably wasn't until 1997 that he was widely perceived as one of the best pitchers in the game. To that point, opinion was lukewarm at best.
2. His best years... 1996-2000... were spread over three teams
3. People probably perceived that his record-breaking contract with the Dodgers was basically a flop....No Cy Youngs, Only once did he win over 14 games...No post-season in LA... a lot of injuries.
4. His career stats are not overwhelming
5. If a voter studied hard enough, they could be convinced he was a HOF guy. But a lot of voters weren't going to go out of their way on Brown.
6. He had a reputation for a volatile temper and it was well-deserved...at least in Texas. The stupid #### he did was true...not an urban legend. I actually saw the glass shattered over the training room in Kansas City where he smashed a window between the training room and the whirlpool room.
7. The famous broken hand with the Yankees in 2004 was just another in a long line of dumb moves
8. A guy like that ain't getting no benefit of the doubt when your name is in the Mitchell Report
9. Great pitcher but his own worst enemy

But what do I know... I think Catfish Hunter is one of the greatest pitchers who ever lived
   71. No longer interested in this website Posted: November 13, 2017 at 12:04 AM (#5574819)
Glavine vs. Halladay

Making up 17 WAR is a tall task, but Doc *almost* does it. His peak is significantly better than Glavine's, but ultimately, Glavine also has a WS title and that 17 WAR lead in career value.

I use a method where I factor career WAR, WAR7, WAR3, and contributions to pennant success. Doc gains a lot of ground on Glavine in WAR3 and WAR7, but Glavine pitched for five pennant winning teams and averaged 5 WAR in those seasons. Very important contributions. Plus that 17 WAR lead in career value. Ultimately I have Glavine a few spots ahead of Halladay. Both are well within the HOF circle.
   72. shoewizard Posted: November 13, 2017 at 12:16 AM (#5574821)
I'm not sure I'm comfortable including batting war to compare pitchers that pitched most or all of their career in different leagues.

I bet you guys have had some good debates on this in the HOM

   73. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: November 13, 2017 at 12:33 AM (#5574823)
Sam, your methodology gives Glavine credit simply for being on better teams than Halladay was. I can't get on board with that.

Halladay was excellent and memorable in his few postseason opportunities. Better than Glavine per inning. And Glavine has season-killing disasters like the 2002 NLDS and 2007 game 162 that don't appear on Halladay's resume. If he gets credit for the pennants, the failures need to count too.
   74. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: November 13, 2017 at 12:49 AM (#5574824)
I haven't finished reading all the comments, but anybody who thinks Halladay's gonna get in line behind anybody with two Cy Young Awards and a tragic death at just 40 is nuts.
   75. Sweatpants Posted: November 13, 2017 at 01:41 AM (#5574827)
Well, it isn't close. It's not definitive, because that's a really high bar to clear, but it's substantial. What's your evidence for Glavine's superiority, beyond wins?
<7 WAA is pretty close. I don't think I've ever heard an argument in which that isn't close, over the course of a career.

I've never once said that Glavine was the better pitcher because he won more games (or because he had more WAR). I've said that he had better longevity and hit better.

From 1991-2005 Glavine threw 3305.2 innings. Schilling had 3261 for his career, basically even. Glavine had a 128 ERA+ for that period. Schilling's career ERA+ was 127, basically even again. Glavine allowed 116 unearned runs in that period. Schilling allowed 65 for his career. That's a 51-run lead for Schilling. Glavine makes up some ground with his bat, 24 runs if you go by pure batting runs or 65 if you go by runs above replacement. I'll call it 44, which puts them basically even again. For Schilling to rate ahead of Glavine, the runs Glavine's defenses saved for him from 1991-2005 have to outweigh his unspectacular but decent work in the seven (really five-and-a-half seasons worth of IP) other years in his career.

I'm more sure of those seasons for Glavine than I am of the extent to which he was aided by the fielders playing behind him. 1993, for one example, sticks out as a year when B-R's numbers for defense don't work for me. Glavine loses .55 runs per 9 IP because of how good the Braves' defense supposedly was. They did hold opponents to the lowest BAbip in the league, but Glavine's that year was .284 vs. a career mark of .285. It's not clear that they were helping Glavine as much as WAR gives them credit for. I also don't know that I buy Gant-Nixon-Justice as an outfield that saved 45 runs that year. That's an extreme example, but it's part of why I'm not totally comfortable docking Glavine for defensive support as much as B-R does.
I'm not sure I'm comfortable including batting war to compare pitchers that pitched most or all of their career in different leagues.
Over 75% of Schilling's IP were in the National League.
   76. QLE Posted: November 13, 2017 at 01:52 AM (#5574828)
I'm not sure I'm comfortable including batting war to compare pitchers that pitched most or all of their career in different leagues.


It doesn't help that I really am having the greatest of difficulty seeing how a career OPS+ of 22 can be used to burnish a HOF case- yes, Glavine is a pitcher, but that's still at the Oyler/Mendoza level of batting.

Similarly, I'm not seeing how pitching 1200 more innings by itself makes a difference- it means he lasted longer, but not that there was more total value in his career.
   77. QLE Posted: November 13, 2017 at 03:21 AM (#5574829)
As for the discussion of the Braves and fielding:

It actually has a considerable amount of relevance given the current HOF ballot- Andruw Jones' HOF case depends on how much we trust his fielding statistics, and, if we don't trust the idea that his defense aided Glavine (and the rest of the Braves' pitching staff) to the degree found in the statistics, there goes his claim for induction.

This isn't the place to fully discuss that, but it is something to keep in mind when we do discuss the BBWAA ballot.....
   78. BDC Posted: November 13, 2017 at 08:05 AM (#5574834)
I'm not sure I'm comfortable including batting war to compare pitchers that pitched most or all of their career in different leagues

I'm not sure about including it for any pitcher. Bob Lemon would be the clearest example: he jumps from 38 to 49 WAR when you include batting. But he was your basic bad hitter: .232 lifetime, OPS+ of 82. I realize that a run is a run, and must be to some extent compared to others at a position. But Lemon wasn't creating very many runs.

Just a thought, not any principle I've examined very closely.
   79. PreservedFish Posted: November 13, 2017 at 08:07 AM (#5574835)
Hey now, Bob Lemon had a hitting prime just like everyone else, and was damn near a 100 OPS+ during it. Let's not demerit him just because he remained a viable pitcher into his mid-30s.

He also had a lifetime 1:1 K:BB ratio and a 119 ERA+. That was a different time, huh?
   80. shoewizard Posted: November 13, 2017 at 08:28 AM (#5574841)
Over 75% of Schilling's IP were in the National League.


Yeah, I know, I wasn't talking about Glavine vs Schilling specifically. I was speaking in general, i.e. if you wanted to compare Glavine vs Halladay, just wondering how you deal with that type of situation.

As for Schilling vs. Glavine, it's classic Peak vs. Career debate. It's not that complicated. Also, in your efforts to deconstruct WAR above you neglected to address park factors.



   81. PreservedFish Posted: November 13, 2017 at 08:50 AM (#5574845)
As for Schilling vs. Glavine, it's classic Peak vs. Career debate.


That doesn't seem quite accurate. Glavine had a wonderful actual peak (that is, consecutive years) with 12 years of 2700 IP and 134 ERA+.

Schilling's best 13 year stretch (I added a year to be generous) was also 2700 IP and 134 ERA+.

Schilling has a higher WAR and WAA over that interval. Maybe that's the unearned runs factor. Within those peaks, Schilling was less consistent, higher highs and lower lows. But I don't think all that is enough to act like these are wildly different pitchers.
   82. PreservedFish Posted: November 13, 2017 at 09:00 AM (#5574847)
I always like to click on Fangraphs and see how they have it. They've got Schilling with 80 WAR to Glavine's 67. But, at the bottom of the page, you can see that Glavine is getting zero credit for 11 BIP wins and 10 LOB wins, because Fangraphs sees those factors as luck. But there's probably no recent starter that more deserves credit for good performance in those two categories - he was famous for inducing soft contact and he was also famous for switching strategies with men on base. Schilling, by contrast, has essentially zero BIP or LOB wins to his credit.
   83. Rally Posted: November 13, 2017 at 09:33 AM (#5574865)
He also had a lifetime 1:1 K:BB ratio and a 119 ERA+. That was a different time, huh?


Sure was. Lemon was pretty close to league average for strikeouts and walks.
   84. shoewizard Posted: November 13, 2017 at 09:40 AM (#5574870)
PF, it just depends on how you want to define "peak". That is very subjective, and we all move that line around to suit our needs depending on the player.

Best 3 ?

Best 5 ?

Best 7 ?

Best 10 ?

Or in this case, best 13 ?

etc etc

I know we are more enamored generally with "consecutive" peaks, and for good reason. It really is amazing when a pitcher can have a long sustained run of uninterrupted excellence. But due to the fickle nature of pitching injuries and performance variance, I think that consecutive is a bit more relevant to hitters than pitchers. Not that great hitters don't have down years too, but the sudden total collapse of value in any given year "mid peak" you often see even with GREAT pitchers seems less frequent with GREAT hitters.

By the way, I asked Sean once if there was any chance he would add RA-9+ to the site, and he said he didn't think they would. Thats too bad really.
Does anyone know of any sites that have RA-9+ ?

For the record, I am not invested at all in a Glavine vs. Schilling who was better debate. Both had HOF worthy careers. My obvious beef is that the only pitcher that is not in the HOF, (Other than Clemens of course) that might have a strong case to get in ahead of Schilling based on play and actual merit is Mussina, and that is very debatable too.

   85. PreservedFish Posted: November 13, 2017 at 09:54 AM (#5574885)
I find non-consecutive peaks to be something of a curiosity. If one guy hits 30 HR, 30 HR, 30 HR and the other guy 20 HR, 50 HR, 20 HR, it could mean that the other guy has a higher natural talent level that for some reason (injuries, motivation, whatevs) he isn't able to access every year. Or it could be meaningless.

Who was more durable, Curt Schilling or Tom Glavine? Glavine had fewer injuries but he also never topped 250 IP, which Schilling did several times.
   86. shoewizard Posted: November 13, 2017 at 09:59 AM (#5574889)
I always like to click on Fangraphs and see how they have it. They've got Schilling with 80 WAR to Glavine's 67. But, at the bottom of the page, you can see that Glavine is getting zero credit for 11 BIP wins and 10 LOB wins, because Fangraphs sees those factors as luck.


By the way, FG also gives you the RA-9 WAR. Of course it's IP/Playing time dependent, but still worth looking at for total career value

Glavine comes out ahead here.

RA-9 WAR leaders since 1984

RA-9 WAR leaders since 1960



   87. Sweatpants Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:05 AM (#5574899)
It doesn't help that I really am having the greatest of difficulty seeing how a career OPS+ of 22 can be used to burnish a HOF case- yes, Glavine is a pitcher, but that's still at the Oyler/Mendoza level of batting.
It was brought up specifically in comparison to Schilling's hitting, though. If a 22 OPS+ is Oyler level, then what is a -9? John Vukovich?

Pitchers' hitting is rarely the stuff of greatness, but if I'm comparing the careers of Bob Abreu and Gary Sheffield, I'm not going to ignore their defense just because neither man excelled in that area.
Also, in your efforts to deconstruct WAR above you neglected to address park factors.
ERA+, which was the backbone of the comparison I made, includes park factors.
   88. SoSH U at work Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:06 AM (#5574901)
I find non-consecutive peaks to be something of a curiosity


I find non-consective peak to be an oxymoron.
   89. shoewizard Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:13 AM (#5574908)
ERA+, which was the backbone of the comparison I made, includes park factors.


Actually you shifted from ERA+ and then deconstructed WAR. To me it's two different things.

In any case, the links I provided above to the RA-9 WAR ranks SUPPORTS your case. Cheers :)
   90. shoewizard Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:23 AM (#5574920)
I find non-consective peak to be an oxymoron.


I get that, but how do you deal with a guy like say Steve Carlton ? His two great seasons were 72 & 80(12.1 & 10.2). In between that he averaged just 3.5 WAR per year, with lows of 2.1, 2.3, & 2.4.

Or Zach Greinke, 2009 10.4 WAR, 2015, 9.3 WAR, in the 5 years in between avgd just 3.3 WAR with a low of 1.4.

How do you define their peaks ?

This is kind of my point. Pitchers are more likely to have extreme individual peak seasons spaced further apart than hitters.

EDIT: Not always of course, plenty of examples the other way too...Ripken comes to mind. But even there, between his 84 and 91 seasons he still avgd 6 WAR in the years in between. I'm guessing an actual study would support my theory. ;)
   91. SoSH U at work Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:27 AM (#5574924)
This is kind of my point. Pitchers are more likely to have extreme individual peak seasons spaced further apart than hitters.


I don't care if you think it doesn't matter if a player's top performances are spaced-out rather than consecutive for evaluation purposes. I just think it should be called something other than peak, which that clearly is not.

   92. shoewizard Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:34 AM (#5574935)
Ok, please define peak for us then.

Is a peak 1 Year ?

3 Years ?

5 Years ?

7 Years ?

10 Years ?

Please tell me what the universally accepted definition of a peak is in the context of evaluating pitcher careers. I mean there have been Peak vs. Career debates going on since time began. There is the phrase "Peak Voter".

So please define Peak.

Thanks
   93. jmurph Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:37 AM (#5574943)
I think Thome might take longer than he should. It's a crowded ballot, and some voters are going to mentally put him in the Steroid Era Slugger basket, which is the most crowded part of the ballot.

Totally agree. My sense is he'll be perceived as a one-dimensional slugger during a time that everyone and their brother hit 40+ homeruns. I think he'll take a few years to get in.
   94. PreservedFish Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:43 AM (#5574951)
I agree with SoshU on this point, but I should make it clear that I don't conceive of the Hall of Fame as a reward for accumulation of value, but more like a storytelling exercise highlighting excellence in the game's history. If I think that a non-consecutive peak has some good explanation, that's part of the story. But if it's just one great season, one crappy one, one great one, one ok one, with no rhyme or reason, then I don't think the great seasons have much narrative heft.

If you were like Willie Mays quality in 1993 and 1997 and 1998 and 2001 but not any other time, then I'm doubtful that it's an important part of your story. Whereas if you were Willie Mays quality for four years running, then I'm convinced that you were truly of Willie Mays quality, at least for a time.

But I do agree with BDC's point in #52 that this is usually splitting hairs.
   95. Hysterical & Useless Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:46 AM (#5574956)
2007 game 162


And afterward, he acted like it was no big deal.

I hated Glavine when he was with the Braves, hated him more when he was on the Mets. And that game 162 convinced me that he'd been a plant all along, sent by the no-longer-invincible Braves to sabotage the Mets for a couple of years.

HoFamer for sure, but one of my least favorite players ever.
   96. SoSH U at work Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:47 AM (#5574958)

So please define Peak.


Best consecutive years, of whatever length you want. That's what a peak is.

My problem is with the terminology, not the concept.

   97. PreservedFish Posted: November 13, 2017 at 10:49 AM (#5574961)
HoFamer for sure, but one of my least favorite players ever.


Me too. And while I admired his pitching strategy, I hated watching it, both for and against my team. Maddux was a joy to watch, Glavine a chore.
   98. shoewizard Posted: November 13, 2017 at 11:04 AM (#5574971)
Best consecutive years, of whatever length you want. That's what a peak is.



Thats fine, as long as we all acknowledge that then we are all just subjectively defining what a peak is to suit our argument, much like PF just did in comment 94 where he says :


if you were Willie Mays quality for four years running, then I'm convinced that you were truly of Willie Mays quality, at least for a time.


OK, lets look at Schillings best 4 year stretch, which was 2001-2004. Keep in Mind his 2003 was interrupted by appendicitis , not a pitching injury,and he missed 10-11 starts due to that surgery and recovery. Still put up 6 WAR anyway.

Since we are narrowed down to best consecutive 4 years: (I kid...I kid, but to illustrate the point)

WAR/WAA
Schilling. 01-04 31.4/23.9
Halladay. 08-11 30.3/21.9
Mussina. 00-03 23.8/15.2
Glavine.. 95-98 22.3/15.3



   99. shoewizard Posted: November 13, 2017 at 11:12 AM (#5574976)
Or how about this one

best 9 consecutive seasons from

Schilling 96-2004 58.8 WAR, 42.7 WAA,
Glavine.. 91-1999 42.8 WAR, 27.1 WAA

Why 9 ? Why not ?

   100. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 13, 2017 at 11:12 AM (#5574978)
PF, it just depends on how you want to define "peak". That is very subjective, and we all move that line around to suit our needs depending on the player.

My preference, in order to avoid the negative effects of arbitrarily picking one specific number of years for peak, is to take the average of all of the possible options. That is, (best season) + (best 2 seasons) + (best 3 seasons) + ... + (best N seasons) out as far as you want, then divide by N. Which ends up being mathematically equivalent to weighting each season by its rank among all of the player's seasons. (Unless you insist that each selection be consecutive, in which case you would get different results - for instance, John Olerud's best year is 1993, but his best 2 consecutive years are '98-'99, best 3 consecutive years '97-'99, and best 4 consecutive years '98-'01.)

I also tend not to care whether the player's best years are consecutive or not, but the above method can be adapted to either preference.
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