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Friday, November 10, 2017

Heyman | Hall Of Fame Historical Overview Committee Got It Right

Steve Garvey?

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2017 at 06:55 AM | 81 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   1. The Duke Posted: November 10, 2017 at 08:03 AM (#5573915)
Does anyone know who the 16 people are who will vote this time?
   2. Captain Supporter Posted: November 10, 2017 at 08:14 AM (#5573919)
Surprising, given the source, I found this to be a well written and balanced article. I particularly his calling out the use of highly questionable retroactive defensive metrics by 'saber guys'.

But, yes, the Steve Garvey love is somewhat hard to understand. Still, I think postseason performance is important, and Garvey excelled on the big stage.
   3. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: November 10, 2017 at 08:34 AM (#5573923)
There’s one site out there that has a scale that gives Rick Reuschel a 136 and Morris a 76. The same scale gives Lou Whitaker a 145 to 78 for Don Mattingly. It gives Bobby Grich a 140 and Garvey a 61.

Reuschel, Grich and Whitaker were all excellent players worth considering. But what kind of scale would suggest they are twice the players of Morris, Mattingly and Garvey? No scale I’d ever want to use, that’s for sure.


What site and scale is Heyman even talking about here?
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 10, 2017 at 08:48 AM (#5573930)
What site and scale is Heyman even talking about here?

I don't know, but it sounds pretty accurate. Those number seem to be about 2 X bWAR for those players.
   5. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: November 10, 2017 at 08:50 AM (#5573932)
Does anyone know who the 16 people are who will vote this time?

The HOF probably will not announce that until right before or after the vote in early Dec

That being sair here's the voting body from last year's Today's Game ballot:
The 16-member Today’s Game Era Committee commissioned with the review of the 10-name ballot of managers, executives and long-retired players was comprised of Hall of Fame members Roberto Alomar, Bobby Cox, Andre Dawson, Dennis Eckersley, Pat Gillick, Ozzie Smith, Don Sutton and Frank Thomas; major league executives Paul Beeston, Bill DeWitt, David Glass, Andy MacPhail and Kevin Towers; and veteran historians Bill Center, Steve Hirdt, and Tim Kurkjian. Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark served as the non-voting chairman of the Today’s Game Era Committee.

The Pre-Integration Committee voters from 2015:
Hall of Famers: Bert Blyleven, Bobby Cox, Pat Gillick and Phil Niekro
Executives: Chuck Armstrong, Bill DeWitt, Gary Hughes and Tal Smith
Media/Historians: Steve Hirdt, Peter Morris, Jack O'Connell, Claire Smith, Tim Sullivan, T.R. Sullivan, Gary Thorne and Tim Wendel

Golden Era voters from 2014:
Hall of Famers: Jim Bunning, Rod Carew, Pat Gillick, Ferguson Jenkins, Al Kaline, Joe Morgan, Ozzie Smith, Don Sutton
Executives: Jim Frey, David Glass, Roland Hemond, Bob Watson
Media: Steve Hirdt, Dick Kaegel, Phil Pepe, Tracy Ringolsby

Expansion Era voters from 2013:
Hall of Famers: Rod Carew, Carlton Fisk, Whitey Herzog, Tommy Lasorda, Joe Morgan, Paul Molitor, Phil Niekro, Frank Robinson
Executives: Paul Beeston, Andy MacPhail, Dave Montgomery, Jerry Reinsdorf
Media and historians: Steve Hirdt, Bruce Jenkins, Jack O'Connor, Jim Reeves

So as you can see it will be a mix of HOF players/mgrs/execs and old BBWAA voters. Also the HOF has their go to guys to use on these committees like Elias Sports Bureau's Steve Hirdt, Gillick, Carew, Glass & Dewitt
   6. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: November 10, 2017 at 08:56 AM (#5573936)
I am 43, and did not start following baseball until late in the 1981 season. Thus, by the time I saw Garvey play, he had passed his 1974-1980 peak. I never understood the love he got. He did make nine All-Star teams, and only 25 position players have made that many...but he is almost certainly the weakest player on that list. Was he lucky to play before the advent of sabermetrics? High average, low OBP, 20-25 HRs - but in a ton of PAs, good glove, played in Los Angeles, good-looking...I just get the sense that if Garvey was playing today, he would be looked at in a different, less positive, way.
   7. Lassus Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:02 AM (#5573943)
I am 43, and did not start following baseball until late in the 1981 season.

When you were 7? I mean, I remember Reggie's HRs and Nettles diving catches, but I can't say so much that I was FOLLOWING baseball at that point.


NOTE: That comes off dickish, I'm actually more impressed if your fandom was at that level.
   8. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:04 AM (#5573946)
The reason other players are preferred by the saber set has to do with a greater emphasis on certain things, such as walks and on-base percentage, and maybe defense to a degree. They do have their points. It certainly is a worth a closer look, but understandably, it is hard to accept a total reassessment of the era.

The original votes were based on impact, achievement, and yes, fame. These players, in many cases, won major awards.

The players they favor did not win major awards. Of course, the voting was imperfect at the time (but not as imperfect as they claim). And by the way, so, too, are retroactive defensive stats.



Heyman has mellowed from earlier in the decade when he dug his heels in during the Morris vs. Blyleven debate but I feel like he's trying to defend some of his old school minded pals on the Historical Overview Committee.

Baseball has gotten smarter by placing more value in walks and OBP. As for the defensive metrics, many of the candidates who were snubbed by the Historical Overview Committee have strong cases even without their fielding (Whitaker, Dwight Evans, & Grich) but their fielding metrics are very much in line with what they should be. Keith Hernandez's case rest largely on defense but even old school types regard him as the best defensive first baseman of all time

   9. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:23 AM (#5573957)
What site and scale is Heyman even talking about here?

I saw on Twitter where Heyman is referencing Hall Rating from Adam Darowski's Hall of Stats site

http://www.hallofstats.com

I'm impressed Heyman used this, even if it was in a mocking way
   10. BDC Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:25 AM (#5573958)
Was he lucky to play before the advent of sabermetrics? High average, low OBP, 20-25 HRs - but in a ton of PAs, good glove, played in Los Angeles, good-looking.

Bill James had a famous analysis where he noted that every possible factor contributing to overrating a player converged in Steve Garvey. But IIRC he concluded by saying that Garvey was not really overrated. You can put him in the lineup and get 200 hits every year, said James, and there are very few players you can say that of.

If Garvey had played (much) after the advent of sabermetrics … I dunno. If he'd played since the mid-90s or so he would probably have hit 35-40 home runs a year. He might have had a career like Paul Konerko's, though more consistently at .300 or above; and I agree that would not make him a HOF candidate by any means. But he would still have been a pretty good player to have around.
   11. The Duke Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:27 AM (#5573962)
The composition on the committee really matters. I can see obvious conflicts with whitey herzog and Carlton Fisk voting For Simmons for instance so with 16 voters and needing 12 votes you better hope Bull is selecting the jury.
   12. Sweatpants Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:31 AM (#5573965)
I'm not a Morris backer, but with how close he got with the BBWAA he probably deserved to get a look here.
   13. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:38 AM (#5573970)
Lou Whitaker: 9967 PA, .276/.363/.426, 244 HR, 1084 RBI, 3 GG as a 2b.
Steve Garvey: 9466 PA, .294/.329/.446, 272 HR, 1308 RBI, considered a "good fielding 1B".

You don't need newfangled stats, or consider defense beyond "2b is tougher to play than 1b", to see Whitaker was a better player.
   14. TomH Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:48 AM (#5573973)
I agree, 13, but one legit argument to be made is Lou's stats were compiled over basically 18 years, while Garvey's in 16. Whitaker was platooned a LOT, inflating his rate stats somewhat and keeping him from wearing down during a year. One can see how 31 post-season RBI (Garvey) to 1 post-season RBI (Lou) would sway people.
   15. simon bedford Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:57 AM (#5573979)
I was very young in the 70s but I think part of the reason Garvey was so well though of was he was part of a very good infield with Cey Russell and Lopes, almost the same way that the casual fan thinks of Dave Conception perhaps?
   16. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:58 AM (#5573980)
I agree, 13, but one legit argument to be made is Lou's stats were compiled over basically 18 years, while Garvey's in 16. Whitaker was platooned a LOT, inflating his rate stats somewhat and keeping him from wearing down during a year.
Whitaker having 500 more PA over 2 more seasons shows anything?
One can see how 31 post-season RBI (Garvey) to 1 post-season RBI (Lou) would sway people.
I'll give you that one, but honestly - you have to make a "fame" argument, not a "better player" argument to pick Garvey over Whitaker.
   17. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: November 10, 2017 at 10:00 AM (#5573982)
Wasn't he largely platooned due to the emergence of super utility man Tony Phillips? Also, I doubt many of the historical Overview Committee members were looking that deep at his stats. I think the positive effects of platooning on Whitaker's career are somewhat overstated
   18. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 10, 2017 at 10:38 AM (#5574008)
I was very young in the 70s but I think part of the reason Garvey was so well though of was he was part of a very good infield with Cey Russell and Lopes, almost the same way that the casual fan thinks of Dave Conception perhaps?

Or like that iconic DP combo in Detroit around that same time...who were they again?
   19. simon bedford Posted: November 10, 2017 at 10:45 AM (#5574017)
Thing is Tramell and Whitaker did not have the same post season success as the dodgers which is probably why casual fans used to think Garvey was better than his stats indicate and why many probably feel that Whitaker and Tramell must be worse than their stats indicate. I am not arguing that casual fans are correct , I am suggesting it is where they get their perspective from.
   20. Hysterical & Useless Posted: November 10, 2017 at 11:10 AM (#5574047)
The fact that HOF voters thought processes seem to align so closely with those of "casual fans" is...depressing? infuriating? horrifying?

I'd go for "all of the above."
   21. puck Posted: November 10, 2017 at 11:40 AM (#5574066)
I was very young in the 70s but I think part of the reason Garvey was so well though of was he was part of a very good infield with Cey Russell and Lopes, almost the same way that the casual fan thinks of Dave Conception perhaps?


This is how someone from today would look at it. Association with the infield helps, but at the time, it was more that Lopes, Russell and Cey gained esteem from Garvey, not the other way around. Garvey was a huge star then.

A lot of it is what BDC brings up in #10. Back then, batting average and RBI were big, and Garvey did really well in both. He was a famously horrible thrower and everyone knew it, but he was still though of as a very good fielder because he seemed so good at scooping, and that is the skill people associate with first basemen. He was a strong looking guy, great athlete (his Michigan State football experience was brought up all the time), and seen as a leader on the team.

The Dodgers were good just about every year. So just as winning teams yield MVP candidates because people assume some guy must be stirring the drink pretty damn good, well, why are the Dodgers good every year. The guy who plays every game, hits .300+ and has a lot of RBI gets a lot of attention.

That said, even with the superficial eye test, Garvey could be annoying. They hit and run with him "a lot* with a runner on 1st and less than 2 outs due to his tendency for GIDP's.
   22. simon bedford Posted: November 10, 2017 at 11:49 AM (#5574078)
I was watching back then and I seem to recall most people were aware that Garvey was good with the bat but was moved to first due to not being such a great athlete, if you were around for the 70s you will recall the days of the "big fat slow guy" at first that was very much a thing for quite a number of years.
   23. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: November 10, 2017 at 12:29 PM (#5574107)
Wasn't he largely platooned due to the emergence of super utility man Tony Phillips?

Phillips was the guy taking the starts Whitaker wasn't making from '90-93, but the arrangement was "due to" Whitaker's helplessness against lefties. If the goal had been to get Phillips in the lineup, Detroit's outfield of the era, particularly left field, was generally terrible and offered ample opportunity. When Phillips finally became primarily an outfielder in '94, Whitaker continued in an even stricter platoon with the immortal Chris Gomez.
   24. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 10, 2017 at 12:50 PM (#5574117)
The fact that HOF voters thought processes seem to align so closely with those of "casual fans" is...depressing? infuriating? horrifying?

I'd go for "all of the above."


The HoF is for the casual fan. It wouldn't exist without the casual fan.

From Bill James's book: When Lee Allen was the HoF historian in the 60s, he was primarily responsible for bringing a number of overlooked 19th-century candidates to the attention of the Veterans Committee, a number of whom were elected. These selections were all worthy candidates, unlike some of the ones elected earlier, but the universal reaction from the baseball community at large was, essentially, "Who are these guys? Why aren't we electing players that anyone has ever heard of?" - and after 1965 the VC stopped doing that.

-- MWE

   25. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 10, 2017 at 01:15 PM (#5574143)
I was watching back then and I seem to recall most people were aware that Garvey was good with the bat but was moved to first due to not being such a great athlete,

Before my time, but wasn't it because he couldn't throw from 3B? Same principle, I guess, but I had always heard it was more specific.
   26. SoSH U at work Posted: November 10, 2017 at 01:22 PM (#5574148)
Before my time, but wasn't it because he couldn't throw from 3B? Same principle, I guess, but I had always heard it was more specific.


Hell, he couldn't throw from first. To first.
   27. Mefisto Posted: November 10, 2017 at 01:54 PM (#5574179)
Virtually all of Garvey's value was compressed into the 5 year period from ages 25-29 (1974-8). Those seasons account for 22.7 of his career 37.7 WAR and 11.9 of his career 6.6 WAA (yes, I did that right -- the rest of his career was below average). Those were the 5 seasons the Dodgers were good/successful in the mid-70s. As we can see now, Lopes and Cey were much better players, while the Dodgers' pitching was putting up an ERA+ of 112 or better all 5 of those seasons.

You can ask why it was Garvey who got disproportionate credit for that, and I don't have a good answer beyond the fact that baseball analysis back then was focused on the Triple Crown stats, and all of Garvey's value was focused on those 3 numbers.

And just to confirm: Garvey was moved off third because he couldn't throw. As SoSH says, he couldn't really even make the toss to the pitcher covering.
   28. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: November 10, 2017 at 02:21 PM (#5574208)
ISTR Garvey also getting a lot of positive ink over his "system" for getting 200 hits. That he was going to bunt for a hit once a week, take a pitch the other way some number of times a week, look for a pitch he could pull with power some number of times, etc. Seems like the kind of thing writers would praise as someone who's not overlooking the "little things" they love to glorify.
   29. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 10, 2017 at 02:29 PM (#5574211)
ISTR Garvey also getting a lot of positive ink over his "system" for getting 200 hits.

Pick up at the hotel bar 3 times a week, toss ball with room number to groupie at ballpark twice, strip club every other week, etc.
   30. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: November 10, 2017 at 02:31 PM (#5574212)
I have no opinion on whether the HOF is "for" the casual fan, but things the casual fan likes are rightly brought to bear in HOF voting.

The fanatics here sound like the snobbiest of the wine snobs, who then turn out not to actually be able to taste the difference between a $500 cab and a $10 pinot.
   31. Darren Posted: November 10, 2017 at 03:38 PM (#5574241)
I bet you can't even tell the snobbiest of wine snobs from the run-of-the-mill wine snobs.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: November 10, 2017 at 04:40 PM (#5574293)
In this case, us snobby wine snobs agree with the slobbiest of wine slobs (the BBWAA) who also didn't think Garvey was remotely worthy of the HoF. An interesting voting history -- he started out pretty well at 42% and that's usually a point where you start a sometimes long but steady climb to 75%. He went nowhere. He's the Lee Smith of position players -- a sizable chunk thought he belonged but a larger chunk were absolutely convinced he didn't. When the sleeping around became known, he dropped and was done for.

The BBWAA (of the 90s and early 00s) decided he wasn't as good as Orlando Cepeda or Jim Rice and they were correct. That's not the fault of wine snobs.

Garvey was primarily a media creation -- big market, good-looking, he and Cyndy became immensely popular as the All-American couple (ha!). He has a long list of non-baseball credits at IMDB -- talk shows, game shows (fewer than I remember), Celbrity Battle of the Sexes, even Fantasy Island then, after he retired, Baywatch.
   33. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: November 10, 2017 at 04:43 PM (#5574295)
No problem with push back on the wine snobs thing, but I don't support Garvey in the HOF or even close.
   34. Lest we forget Posted: November 10, 2017 at 05:07 PM (#5574306)
The whole "fanatics here sound like" etc. etc. - why go that route?

The point you made was actually kinda thought provoking; inserting the second sentence detracted from it to the point that .. wait, what was the point?

Carry on.
   35. cmd600 Posted: November 10, 2017 at 05:12 PM (#5574310)
I'm not a Morris backer, but with how close he got with the BBWAA he probably deserved to get a look here.


Isn't this the complete opposite way we should look at this? Morris got scrutinized for 15 years. We know where he is on the scale. We should be looking for guys who maybe got overlooked. Having the Vets Committee, or whatever they want to call it now, focus on guys who got close is the equivalent of lowering the bar to 65 or 60%.

The fact that HOF voters thought processes seem to align so closely with those of "casual fans"


This should be entirely expected. The voters are/were newspaper writers, which is where the more casual fan is/was likely to get his news. When you grew up reading that RBIs and pitcher wins separated the men from the boys, and you weren't all that interested in diving deeper, you went with that narrative too.
   36. cmd600 Posted: November 10, 2017 at 05:14 PM (#5574312)
The fanatics here sound like the snobbiest of the wine snobs, who then turn out not to actually be able to taste the difference between a $500 cab and a $10 pinot.


In this scenario, is $500 cab represented by exit velocity and $10 pinot by pitcher wins?
   37. cmd600 Posted: November 10, 2017 at 05:16 PM (#5574314)
Heyman: "Committee of my close long-time peers and a job that I would like to hold in the near future is super-smart, for real"
   38. Sweatpants Posted: November 10, 2017 at 05:37 PM (#5574325)
Isn't this the complete opposite way we should look at this? Morris got scrutinized for 15 years. We know where he is on the scale. We should be looking for guys who maybe got overlooked. Having the Vets Committee, or whatever they want to call it now, focus on guys who got close is the equivalent of lowering the bar to 65 or 60%.
This is a fair point, but a lot of the other guys on this ballot were around for as long as Morris was and didn't come as close as he did. If Tim Raines hadn't made it in, I'd have hoped that his strong showing would convince the committee to give him a shot.

Just getting on the VC ballot doesn't guarantee that a guy gets in, anyway, so it doesn't really lower the standards to 60%.
   39. Walt Davis Posted: November 10, 2017 at 05:40 PM (#5574328)
I used to think platooning was a big deal with Whitaker but I realized I was wrong (probably after somebody here pointed it out).

First, the guy got to over 10,000 PA which is a ton.

Second, he had a very common usage pattern for top players. From ages 21-23 he was a regular starter but received some time off -- common. From ages 24-32, he was as full-time as full-time gets. Skipping the 1981 split-season (when he led the AL in games), he had 5100 PA over 8 seasons which would be higher if he hadn't missed the last month of 1988. So that's about 650 PA per full season of availability. Then from age 33-35 he cut back a bit to 550 PA, then from 36-38 he was given lots of rest. That's very typical old player usage.

Third, for his career, he had 26.9% PA vs LHP. McCovey had 24.2%; Morgan had 31.5%; Carew 31.4%; Griffey 30.9%; Thome 28.1%. I don't recall anybody raising an issue with McCovey's usage (I could be wrong) nor do I expect anybody to raise it for Thome. Relative to the other guys, 4-5% over 10,000 PAs is shifting 400-500 RHP PAs to LHP PAs ... that will hurt Whitaker a bit but it's not gonna make a big difference. (This contrasts to guys like Reggie and Brett who had 33-34% vs LHP.)

Fourth, the platooning is almost entirely in the latter part of his career -- which again is quite typical for aging LHB. Of those 400-500 "missed" LHP PAs, about 400 of them came from age 33 on when he averaged only 16% of PAs vs LHP.

Fifth, in contrast to somebody like Garvey ... he played every day for a long time and was a freak in that way. (3rd longest streak of all-time I think.) He ended up with just 26.8% PA vs LHP himself -- which is to his detriment but it's a little odd to criticize Whitaker for having the same percentage. But early in his career, he was platooned heavily, receiving 42.5% of his first 1000 PAs vs LHP. Somehow there are some later years where, despite playing every day, he received LHP PA proportions as low as 16%. Presumably that's because teams were using ROOGys in relief against him (unless the NL had simply lost all its LHP starters). But his L/R splits were pretty trivial -- same BA and OBP, 40 points lower SLG vs RHP.

Anyway, by career splits:

SG vs RHP: 6922 PA, 295/329/434, 179 HR (38.7 PA per HR)
LW vs RHP: 7285 PA, 290/378/460, 208 HR (35.0 PA per HR)

SG vs LHP: 2544 PA, 292/330/478, 93 HR
LW vs LHP: 2682 PA, 239/323/334, 36 HR

So Lou out-hit Garvey vs RHP although the SLGs are close; Garvey did substantially better against LHP although the OBPs are close. They faced the same mix of pitchers -- which of course is to Lou's advantage but isn't heavily usage related.

It all boils down to they were about equal as hitters. This is also reflected in career OPS+ (both 117) and Rbat (Whitaker 209 to Garvey 183 which is mostly the extra 500 PAs). They're even close in K/PA (10.6 Garvey to 11.0 Whitaker) and doubles (440 to 420 in Garvey's favor partly balanced by Whitaker's 22 edge in triples). Garvey's big edge in singles is balanced by Whitaker's big edge in walks.

But yeah, one was a solid-fielding 2B hitting like an average 1B and the other was an average 1B (yeah, he was a bit better than that). One can argue whether Whitaker belongs in HoF but there's no serious argument that Garvey was a better player.

   40. Hysterical & Useless Posted: November 10, 2017 at 05:57 PM (#5574338)
The HoF is for the casual fan. It wouldn't exist without the casual fan.


I have to admit, I do not at all mind being schooled by Mike Emeigh, a poster I have long and sincerely respected. And certainly, the HoF is and should be for casual fans, super-casual fans, totally laid-back fans, as well as thinking fans and mom's-basement-dwelling fans.

But shouldn't at least part of the Hall's mission be to point out things that the casual group may have missed? It's not like Bobby Grich and Lou Whitaker are these totally obscure Union Association players, remembered only by their immediate families. True, they didn't get the ink that Garvey did BITD, but they had distinguished and not-unnoticed careers, and the fact that advances have been made in assessing player value ought to weigh something here. A veteran's committee that simply ratifies a 40-year old misunderstanding of player value doesn't seem to add anything useful.
   41. Howie Menckel Posted: November 10, 2017 at 06:25 PM (#5574348)
Garvey also getting a lot of positive ink over his "system" for getting 200 hits.

BINGO

the man was obsessed with getting 200 hits, and so was everyone else.

if MLB had a 152-game schedule, he'd come up short annually.
at 172 games, he'd do it all the time - but so would far more rivals.

Garvey H, G, PA, OPS+

1974 - 200, 156, 685, 130
1975 - 210, 160, 704, 134
1976 - 200, 162, 696, 133
1977 - 192, 162, 696, 122
1978 - 202, 162, 689, 138
1979 - 204, 162, 697, 130
1980 - 200, 163, 704, 125

avg 201 H, 161 G, 695 PA, 130 OPS+ (and 104 avg RBI)

the consistency and durability are off the charts, of course.

but that's the peak - and this guy is playing a lowly position on the defensive spectrum and he wasn't exactly Keith Hernandez over there.

I recall his whole career and yes, all of the attributes noted really did make him an enormous star at the time.
   42. Tony S Posted: November 10, 2017 at 06:31 PM (#5574349)
Steve Garvey isn't a Hall of Famer and shouldn't be, but I think he gets underrated a bit by the saber crowd, which sometimes glosses over the value of durability and consistency. He wasn't a GREAT hitter, but he was a productive one, with OPS+ figures between 122 and 138 during his 1974-1980 prime. He played every game, which made his managers' jobs that much easier, and his teams won consistently. True, he had great teammates, but he contributed his share.

Edit: Soft drink to HM.

Edit II: He's kind of the hitters' version of Jack Morris.
   43. cmd600 Posted: November 10, 2017 at 06:39 PM (#5574350)
but a lot of the other guys on this ballot were around for as long as Morris was and didn't come as close as he did.


This is still just repeating the same bias that existed before.


If Tim Raines hadn't made it in, I'd have hoped that his strong showing would convince the committee to give him a shot.


I don't mean to suggest to exclude guys who have been on the ballot for a long time, but to see if there is a completely new way to evaluate them. That Morris or Raines did well in the first round should be mostly ignored during the second round of evaluation. We're looking for mistakes they made. Starting with a bias that they were probably at least close to right is likely to just give us very similar results.
   44. Rally Posted: November 10, 2017 at 06:40 PM (#5574351)
How would Garvey be perceived if he were playing today?

I think he would do pretty well. The first thought for a comp I had was Eric Hosmer, a high average hitter with moderate power for the position, good reputation on defense without the metrics to back it up. Hosmer is about to become a very rich man, but the truth is, Garvey was better.

Hosmer has the up and down pattern, for the last few years he has alternated between pretty good (3.5-4 WAR) and barely tolerable for a regular. When Garvey was 27 he had 3 season in a row better than Hosmer's 2017 (which was his best). Garvey remained at that level for the next 4 years before declining a bit.

He should not be a HOFer but in a way I am happy he is on this ballot, it gives the smart voters (if there are any) a player you don't have to seriously consider and increases the chances that someone like Trammell actually makes the cut. Replace Garvey with Hernandez, and put Whitaker and Grich on in place of some of the other weaker candidates, and I'm not sure Trammell could make it even if BTF was doing the voting, just because of the structure of the process. Trammell probably doesn't make it anyway, but I hoping he gets a good consideration.
   45. cmd600 Posted: November 10, 2017 at 06:52 PM (#5574359)
the saber crowd, which sometimes glosses over the value of durability and consistency


Does it? You can still rack up plenty of WAR by being an above-average player who is on the field all the time - see Jeter.

but he was a productive one, with OPS+ figures between 122 and 138 during his 1974-1980 prime.


Sure, and this is where the sabermetric-types really help out, he averaged just a hair over 4 WAR/season during this fairly long prime, but then put up <10 WAR over the remaining 12 years of his career.

Compare him to Tony Perez, a low end HoF 1B, from pretty much the same time. Perez put up 5.2 WAR/season in his best seven year stretch, and a 138 OPS+ over those 4606 PAs, to Garvey's 130 over 4871. Garvey's numbers go from looking pretty good in a vacuum, to very clearly short of a HoF when put up against his peers. And this is kind of the problem with Garvey and Whitaker. 1Bmen pretty much need to hit the crap out of the ball to be special. 2Bmen don't.
   46. Man o' Schwar Posted: November 10, 2017 at 07:03 PM (#5574369)
How would Garvey be perceived if he were playing today?

Honestly, I think the best comp is like Derek Jeter, but turned down to about 75% of Jeter's actual performance. Good average, some power, won some gold gloves he probably didn't deserve. Garvey had more power, Jeter had more speed and drew more walks (and had the positional adjustment). Career OPS+ for Garvey was 117, Jeter was 115.

Both were good looking guys playing in a big media market whose celebrity was probably out of proportion to their talent, and both had a good reputation for postseason performance and at least one memorably indelible postseason moment. Jeter had the clearly better peak, and had better seasons at the top of his career (though of the 2 only Garvey won an MVP).

Jeter had 3000 more plate appearances than Garvey - give Garvey that extra time at his career averages, and he's looking at 3200 hits and an easy HoF case.

(Jeter was better than Garvey, no question, both on peak and career value. I'm not making that argument.)
   47. Sweatpants Posted: November 10, 2017 at 07:10 PM (#5574372)
Starting with a bias that they were probably at least close to right is likely to just give us very similar results.
Not really. Morris' is a special case. Very few players ever get over two-thirds of the BBWAA vote and then fail to get in. Giving Morris another chance is not necessarily going to lead a ballot that includes Lee Smith just because a slight majority of voters once thought that he belonged, and it's not necessarily going to lead to a ballot that leaves Lou Whitaker off just because he left a lot of the public unimpressed. I can say, "Wow, Morris just missed getting in; let's see if the relative few who didn't vote for him were just missing something," and also say, "Look at Lou Whitaker's WAR." I have room in my life for plenty of biases.
   48. cmd600 Posted: November 10, 2017 at 07:12 PM (#5574373)
but turned down to about 75% of his actual performance.


The difference between playing SS and 1B is not 25%.

give Garvey that extra time at his career averages


Garvey didn't get an extra 3000 PAs because he wasn't good enough. He wouldn't have come close to his career averages.
   49. cardsfanboy Posted: November 10, 2017 at 07:21 PM (#5574375)
I'm not a Morris backer, but with how close he got with the BBWAA he probably deserved to get a look here.


I just think there should have been a "wait" year for guys leaving the bbwaa ballot, I know that isn't the way it's set up, but that just seems prudent to me.
   50. cardsfanboy Posted: November 10, 2017 at 07:25 PM (#5574378)
Phillips was the guy taking the starts Whitaker wasn't making from '90-93, but the arrangement was "due to" Whitaker's helplessness against lefties. If the goal had been to get Phillips in the lineup, Detroit's outfield of the era, particularly left field, was generally terrible and offered ample opportunity. When Phillips finally became primarily an outfielder in '94, Whitaker continued in an even stricter platoon with the immortal Chris Gomez.


Whitaker's platoon disadvantage is frequently mentioned, and frequently overstated, it's a relatively insignificant number of plate appearances that he lost by being platooned, and because of that, his career numbers don't get a noticeable platoon bump.

Edit: I should have read Walt's post in 39, but I'm reading this thread from the beginning and replying to the comments as I go. But I've been talking about how Whitaker platoon disadvantage has been overstated for a while now. Glad to see others agreeing with that point.
   51. cardsfanboy Posted: November 10, 2017 at 07:43 PM (#5574383)

He should not be a HOFer but in a way I am happy he is on this ballot, it gives the smart voters (if there are any) a player you don't have to seriously consider and increases the chances that someone like Trammell actually makes the cut. Replace Garvey with Hernandez, and put Whitaker and Grich on in place of some of the other weaker candidates, and I'm not sure Trammell could make it even if BTF was doing the voting, just because of the structure of the process. Trammell probably doesn't make it anyway, but I hoping he gets a good consideration.


This is the thing I like about this ballot, the ballot isn't overloaded with great selections, instead you have a couple of groups represented by different thinking, and it increases the likilihood of one of the groups winning out(or not, depending on the makeup of the voters) The Cardinals currently have an annual hof vote for players, and it's pretty apparent that the ballot is set up to guarantee that the best names win the vote, and the lesser names are just put on their as recognition for their contributions, this is so that the results are pretty predictable and that they are able to honor people from different periods. (there is a reason why Edgar Renteria has made the ballot already and Ray Lankford hasn't, the team doesn't want the likely winners eventually to be rejected on a strong ballot)

To a person like me, this ballot is pretty obvious, Trammell/Simmons are the clear best, and you throw in Miller and since I like maximizing my ballot, Tiant is the next best...for someone like Chass it would be Morris, Mattingly, Miller, and Murphy(yes I was going with an M theme after I got the first three names)
   52. cardsfanboy Posted: November 10, 2017 at 07:51 PM (#5574388)
Does it? You can still rack up plenty of WAR by being an above-average player who is on the field all the time - see Jeter.


Originally I was actually going to comment on the original comment, but the more I thought about it, the more I agreed. (and I've made the argument on both sides of the aisle on this.) It's not so much that the saber crowd ignores durability, but they don't focus on lack of durability. A guy who has 70 war, 30 waa over 18 seasons and 9000 pa, is viewed the same as a guy who has 70 war, 30 waa over 16 seasons and 9000 pa. The saber view is that value is only accrued by a player for when he is on the field, and that there is no lost value for a guy who is off the field a significant amount of time. From a war/waa viewpoint that is true, but from building a team viewpoint, that is absolutely not true.


Edit:(note, I'm using 9000 pa as a proxy for games played/games started as a down and dirty way of looking at playing time, of course there is more in depth ways of looking at it, but over the course of a season, a player who is going to enter a hof discussion, pa is probably good enough for that discussion, it undervalues defensive specialists of course, but that isn't a hof player, a hof player is going to get his pa anyway)
   53. cardsfanboy Posted: November 10, 2017 at 07:57 PM (#5574389)
The difference between playing SS and 1B is not 25%.


I don't think that was the point he was making, he was more or less talking about the shorter career and the relative difference in importance in the baseball world between the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. (note I could be wrong about his point, but that is the way I read it)
   54. Man o' Schwar Posted: November 10, 2017 at 08:05 PM (#5574392)
I don't think that was the point he was making, he was more or less talking about the shorter career and the relative difference in importance in the baseball world between the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. (note I could be wrong about his point, but that is the way I read it)

Pretty much. I'm not saying Garvey was as good as Jeter, or even that Garvey was 75% as good as Jeter. But from a perception standpoint (which was the question), they're pretty good comps - good players who the media blew up as better than they really were, and big celebrities with postseason resumes from major markets.

I don't think people who weren't around in the 1970s/1980s understand how big of a star Garvey was. He was everywhere in commercials and on TV. He did Carson, he was a frequent panelist on game shows, he did guest spots on actual TV shows. He was the 100% clean cut all-American ballplayer at a time when baseball was still the #1 sport.

If this place had been around 40 years ago, it would have been awash with discussions about how Garvey was overrated by the media, how he wasn't even the best player on his own team, etc.
   55. Sunday silence Posted: November 10, 2017 at 08:09 PM (#5574394)
.The Cardinals currently have an annual hof vote for players, and it's pretty apparent that the ballot is set up to guarantee that the best names win the vote, and the lesser names are just put on their as recognition for their contributions, this is so that the results are pretty predictable and that they are able to honor people from different periods.


But is that a good thing or a bad thing?for the mlb hof I mean. It sounds intellectually dishonest to tip the scales this way. And if people are being elected under different standards at some pt there comes a time when it feels cheap. We're not there yet cause everyone is sort of ok with the vast majority of picks. I guess the rules have always been fluid there didn't used to be a wait period for instance but this new modern committee thing with hand picked candidates. In dunno, dangerous trend??
   56. Sunday silence Posted: November 10, 2017 at 08:23 PM (#5574397)


Honestly, I think the best comp is like Derek Jeter, but turned down to about 75% of Jeter's actual performance. Good average, some power, won some gold gloves he probably didn't deserve


I got another comparison.lets say in alternate world the dodgers win those three world series with Garvey. Garvey is the face of the franchise an arguably the best position player. He's got some flashy numbers but some of it's overrated. like Lou Brock?
   57. cardsfanboy Posted: November 10, 2017 at 08:31 PM (#5574399)

But is that a good thing or a bad thing?for the mlb hof I mean. It sounds intellectually dishonest to tip the scales this way. And if people are being elected under different standards at some pt there comes a time when it feels cheap. We're not there yet cause everyone is sort of ok with the vast majority of picks. I guess the rules have always been fluid there didn't used to be a wait period for instance but this new modern committee thing with hand picked candidates. In dunno, dangerous trend??


It used to be the veteran's committee met and they negotiated for player elections, and THAT was an issue, but they have eliminated that aspect, but then they completely lost consensus on any votes. The Veteran's committee hasn't elected a player since 2013(Deacon White...unless you count Joe Torre...and 2012 Santo was the most recent player elected that someone living might have saw.) 2009 you had Joe Gordon... and 2001 Bill Mazeroski.... the veteran's committee doesn't elect players any more(and by anymore I mean this century)..... So yes, a push by the selection committee to help move things along isn't a bad thing. Provided you trust the selection committee.
   58. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: November 10, 2017 at 08:31 PM (#5574400)
Museums are educational institutions. Heck, from their website: "The Museum is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational institution". If it's for causal fans, it's (in part) for educating causal fans. Putting up a plaque of Jack Morris isn't going to do that.

(And, well, it's for fans who aren't so casual that they mind driving up to Cooperstown to look at a museum.)
   59. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: November 10, 2017 at 08:41 PM (#5574403)
If this place had been around 40 years ago


If? It was up and running 40 years ago, just as a mailing list. At 13 cents a post (that's like 50 cents today) you had to think carefully about what you wanted to say. When Admiral Ackbar first announced that it's a trap (circa 1983, right after Return of the Jedi was released) we were all amazed that someone had spent 20 cents to say that. Little did we know.

Anyhoo, the real problem with the old system was the delay involved between reading other peoples' posts and them reading your response. The omnichatter for game 4 is still going, just wait until you get the read the snark that I've got for Ron Cey after Piniella robs him of a homer. Check your mailbox.
   60. PreservedFish Posted: November 10, 2017 at 08:54 PM (#5574408)
Museums are educational institutions. Heck, from their website: "The Museum is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational institution". If it's for causal fans, it's (in part) for educating causal fans. Putting up a plaque of Jack Morris isn't going to do that.


This argument goes the opposite way, in my opinion. The Baseball Hall of Fame exists much more to educate fans about the history of the game than it does to educate fans on how to assess statistical excellence. And whether he deserved it or not, Morris was a star.

The actual mission of the Hall is encapsulated thusly: "PRESERVING HISTORY. HONORING EXCELLENCE. CONNECTING GENERATIONS." There's a tension between those two first items that thoughtful voters will know how to balance. But those of you that hold to this austere vision of the Hall as concerned with WAR alone are in the wrong.
   61. Baldrick Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:01 PM (#5574409)
There's a lot of room in the Hall for preserving history and connecting generations. I'll happily suggest that the plaque room should be primarily about honoring excellence.
   62. PreservedFish Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:09 PM (#5574411)
It obviously is primarily about honoring excellence, and always has been, and always should be.

But Ziggy's argument in #58 was not a good one.
   63. Tony S Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:10 PM (#5574412)
Anyhoo, the real problem with the old system was the delay involved between reading other peoples' posts and them reading your response. The omnichatter for game 4 is still going, just wait until you get the read the snark that I've got for Ron Cey after Piniella robs him of a homer. Check your mailbox.


Somehow this reminded me of those old B.C. comic strips where the caveman carves some text on a slate, sends it off in the ocean and has a response wash up the next day...
   64. cardsfanboy Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:11 PM (#5574413)
This argument goes the opposite way, in my opinion. The Baseball Hall of Fame exists much more to educate fans about the history of the game than it does to educate fans on how to assess statistical excellence. And whether he deserved it or not, Morris was a star.


So was a lot of other players, what separates Morris from the others. There are ton of stars from Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, Darryl Strawberry, Willie Mcgee or Bill Freehan?
   65. PreservedFish Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:18 PM (#5574417)
Cfb, do you really think I support Deion Sanders for the hall of fame? Give the other guy some credit once in a while.
   66. SoSH U at work Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:20 PM (#5574419)
I don't mean to suggest to exclude guys who have been on the ballot for a long time, but to see if there is a completely new way to evaluate them. That Morris or Raines did well in the first round should be mostly ignored during the second round of evaluation. We're looking for mistakes they made. Starting with a bias that they were probably at least close to right is likely to just give us very similar results.


That's my feeling. And I think that the Hall should do its best to divorce the Vet's Committee from the BBWAA vote (no writers on either the nominating committee or the voting panel, for staters). This should be a time of reevaluation, not taking cues from the people who rejected all of these guys the first time.

He should not be a HOFer but in a way I am happy he is on this ballot, it gives the smart voters (if there are any) a player you don't have to seriously consider and increases the chances that someone like Trammell actually makes the cut.


This is true. The last time the Golden Era committee (or whatever the 60s committee is called), the problem wasn't a willingness to elect, but the fact that voters couldn't distinguish between a lot of decent Hall candidates (and Maury Wills).

   67. Bug Selig Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:25 PM (#5574422)
Of course, the voting was imperfect at the time (but not as imperfect as they claim). And by the way, so, too, are retroactive defensive stats.
I like the #### out of retroactive defensive stats. What's the other option - measuring defense before it happens?
   68. cardsfanboy Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:25 PM (#5574423)
Cfb, do you really think I support Deion Sanders for the hall of fame? Give the other guy some credit once in a while.


I didn't think you supported Morris either, I just assumed you were being a devils advocate.
   69. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:25 PM (#5574424)
The instructions to voters tell them to consider "actual contribution to their team", "playing ability", and "character". Being a star is at best roughly correlated with these things. See, e.g., the guy who was discussed at the top of this thread.
   70. PreservedFish Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:27 PM (#5574426)

I didn't think you supported Morris either, I just assumed you were being a devils advocate.


I don't, but I'm not playing devil's advocate, I think that Ziggy made a legitimately bad argument that was worth responding to.
   71. QLE Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:32 PM (#5574429)
He should not be a HOFer but in a way I am happy he is on this ballot, it gives the smart voters (if there are any) a player you don't have to seriously consider and increases the chances that someone like Trammell actually makes the cut. Replace Garvey with Hernandez, and put Whitaker and Grich on in place of some of the other weaker candidates, and I'm not sure Trammell could make it even if BTF was doing the voting, just because of the structure of the process. Trammell probably doesn't make it anyway, but I hoping he gets a good consideration.


Quite, which I think can be demonstrated in one way:

This is the ballot that they will actually be voting on:

Steve Garvey
Tommy John
Don Mattingly
Marvin Miller
Jack Morris
Dale Murphy
Dave Parker
Ted Simmons
Luis Tiant
Alan Trammell

And here is a variant I have compiled, removing the players I wouldn't induct and replacing them with ones I would:

Sal Bando
Bobby Bonds
Bobby Grich
Keith Hernandez
Marvin Miller
Graig Nettles
Ted Simmons
Luis Tiant
Alan Trammell
Lou Whitaker

If we were to vote on my ballot (following the rule of only four votes cast and 75% needed to elect a candidate), would we come up with consensus enough to clear the field?
   72. SoSH U at work Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:38 PM (#5574431)
If we were to vote on my ballot (following the rule of only four votes cast and 75% needed to elect a candidate), would we come up with consensus enough to clear the field?


Let's try it. Since we typically run a mirror election of the actual Veteran's Committee vote, we can run a simultaneous effort based on yours (or some other saber-friendly ballot).

My guess is, in this case, both elections would produce two Hall of Famers (Trammell and Miller on the real one, Grich and Sweet Lou on the BTF one).

   73. cardsfanboy Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:42 PM (#5574432)
If we were to vote on my ballot (following the rule of only four votes cast and 75% needed to elect a candidate), would we come up with consensus enough to clear the field?


Maybe. I imagine Trammell still goes in, but Simmons falls short..... Grich actually might go in around here(I would swap him immediately over Tiant) but Miller would face issues I imagine on this ballot.
   74. Rob_Wood Posted: November 10, 2017 at 09:51 PM (#5574433)
Yes, it is weird. Perhaps deliberately so. The stronger the ballot, the fewer (if any) will be elected.

Anyway, other names (in addition to those appearing in #71) that have been mentioned as deserving to be on the ballot:

Reggie Smith
Buddy Bell
Dwight Evans
Willie Randolph
   75. DanG Posted: November 11, 2017 at 09:09 AM (#5574458)
Yes, it is weird.
The HOF wants to elect people, but not too many people. The four vote limit (and the 10 vote BBWAA limit) exists to regulate the number of players that can be elected at one time. What's truly weird is they don't step up and a simply prescribe how many players will be elected.

For these Eras Committee elections they can say, "The reason we have these elections is prima facie: we believe there are players deserving of enshrinement who were overlooked in the BBWAA elections. Here are the ten best candidates we found from this era. Our crackerjack electorate will identify the one who is most worthy." Then have an MVP-style vote where each voter ranks the candidates. The HOF has been "enshrining" the Frick and Spink award winners in a similar manner for decades.

But the HOF is too namby-pamby to directly regulate the number of electees in a manner such as this. The dysfunction you're comfortable with is preferable to the risks of change.
   76. DanG Posted: November 11, 2017 at 09:47 AM (#5574462)
Let me restate that last part. It's not that the HOF is too namby-pamby; the problem is they simply don't care. They're really not concerned with creating a great election process or getting it right.

Their main concern is to keep everyone happy (or as happy as possible). They're motivated to keep the money rolling in and keep their seats on the dais. When someone complains, fix the system to quell their dissatisfaction. Don't be concerned with whether or not it has any rational underpinning, or any unintended effects, or whether it improves the quality of selections.
   77. John Northey Posted: November 11, 2017 at 10:59 AM (#5574474)
I'd love to see Trammell in although it seems wrong that he is on the ballot without Sweet Lou. The two should go in together.

And what drunken person put Steve Garvey on the ballot over Dwight Evans (among others)? The only thing Garvey has is batting average really. His best possible triple crown stats are 319/353/499. His best OPS+ was 138. For a first baseman that is very unimpressive. Fred McGriff has a higher lifetime OBP & Slg than the best Garvey ever did. His 134 OPS+ lifetime is better than all but one season from Garvey (his 138). I mean, c'mon, what is he doing on this ballot? He is not that much better a candidate than Al Oliver - in fact I'd say they have pretty much the same case except Oliver wasn't as durable and played for multiple non-big market teams (and had slightly better offensive stats). If Garvey had set the consecutive games record instead of Ripken doing it he'd have had a real shot and I might have accepted it (being the best ever at one thing in the majors is always impressive - even if it is just showing up for work every day for a decade and a half). However, he didn't. He didn't really come close (he was about half way when he got hurt).

If Garvey gets more than 1 or 2 pity votes from the vets committee then this committee should be written off imo.
   78. The Duke Posted: November 11, 2017 at 01:17 PM (#5574492)
Maybe garvey is a glitch designed to detect bad voters. If anyone votes for him a trap door opens and the voter falls through and is condemned to being a beat writer in Kansas City while they rebuild. I’m not sure that’s penalty enough for voting for garvey, but it’s a start.
   79. Rally Posted: November 11, 2017 at 05:05 PM (#5574557)
I think its as simple as the fact that Garvey lasted a lot longer on the BBWAA ballot and got a lot more votes there than Whitaker, Evans, and Hernandez did.
   80. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: November 12, 2017 at 10:24 AM (#5574640)
If this place had been around 40 years ago

If? It was up and running 40 years ago, just as a mailing list.


My grandpa was on the original BBTF, which consisted of people sending telegraph messages. (The first post read, "WHAT HATH COBB WROUGHT?")
   81. BDC Posted: November 12, 2017 at 01:27 PM (#5574682)
Highly tangential, but I wondered if postal chess is still a thing, and of course it still is.

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