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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Jack Morris, Alan Trammell elected to Hall | MLB.com

Jack Morris and Alan Trammell were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame from among 10 candidates on the 2018 Modern Baseball Era ballot on Sunda

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2017 at 08:13 PM | 240 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   101. Booey Posted: December 11, 2017 at 01:37 PM (#5590207)
flip
   102. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: December 11, 2017 at 01:39 PM (#5590212)
If I had a vote, I wouldn't have voted for Jack Morris.

I'm really glad Jack Morris has been elected.

I'm also really glad that Alan Trammell has been elected, and I think that Trammell making it guarantees that Lou Whitaker will make it sometime down the line.

I remember all the fine young players who broke in for the Tigers in '77: Morris, Trammell, Whitaker, Lance Parrish, and Dave Rozema were the big names. Watching that '84 team being put together over several years was a treat for a young Tiger fan.

Bill James wrote about that long before it came to fruition; I think it was in an Abstract comment about Ron LeFlore. I'll have to look for it when I get home.
   103. BDC Posted: December 11, 2017 at 02:44 PM (#5590282)
Have we had this year's mock HOF ballot here yet? There are still more than 10 good candidates on the current BBWAA ballot. It would be interesting to see how BBTF folks discuss the options – or discussed them, if I missed the thread and it's in the archive somewhere :)
   104. SoSH U at work Posted: December 11, 2017 at 02:49 PM (#5590288)

Have we had this year's mock HOF ballot here yet? There are still more than 10 good candidates on the current BBWAA ballot. It would be interesting to see how BBTF folks discuss the options – or discussed them, if I missed the thread and it's in the archive somewhere :)


I don't believe so. We had a mock Veterans Committee vote, but not the big one.
   105. Spahn Insane Posted: December 11, 2017 at 02:49 PM (#5590289)
Dodgers, Angels, and 2003 Marlins are only real question marks.

2003 Marlins already have one, in Pudge II.
   106. BDC Posted: December 11, 2017 at 03:09 PM (#5590307)
Thanks, SoSH, I'll start thinking about how to mock the ballot.
   107. SoSH U at work Posted: December 11, 2017 at 03:12 PM (#5590313)

Thanks, SoSH, I'll start thinking about how to mock the ballot.


If I'm not mistaken, you had some experience getting mocked by the Meritors for your small-Hall ballots in votes past.

   108. Booey Posted: December 11, 2017 at 03:13 PM (#5590316)
2003 Marlins already have one, in Pudge II.


I think he meant 1997 Marlins.
   109. BDC Posted: December 11, 2017 at 03:23 PM (#5590336)
you had some experience getting mocked by the Meritors for your small-Hall ballots in votes past

I think so. I kept that up by voting Trammell-only in the mock VC ballot this year. But lately in the mock-BBWAA event I have always gone to ten because it has been absurd not to (especially if, like me, you don't care about steroids).
   110. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: December 11, 2017 at 03:32 PM (#5590347)
But lately in the mock-BBWAA event I have always gone to ten because it has been absurd not to (especially if, like me, you don't care about steroids).

With Jack Morris being the new standard for a Hall of Famer, I'm going to need a ballot with slots for everyone except Omar Vizquel.
   111. Jay Z Posted: December 11, 2017 at 04:06 PM (#5590377)
One of the things that astonished me BITD was the way saberists leapt on the Blylevyn bandwagon with alacrity. I'm apparently a bit older than this trio of commentators but, if you like, Blylevyn is a sort of 'anti-Morris'. I fell in love with baseball in the late 1960s, at the start of my baseball card collecting days, and this younger version of me NEVER thought of Bert Blylevyn as a future Hall of Famer. He was a good pitcher, but not that good. And yet, there he is, in Cooperstown.

By the time the 1980s arrived, I had shaken the dust of my Michigan boyhood off and left the United States altogether. I didn't think Morris was a HoFer either. In fact if in 1986 (the year before my first Abstract) you'd said to me, 'Morris is equivalent to Blylevyn', I probably would not have argued. NEITHER of them were HoFers.

And now they both are. 'It's a funny old world,' as a dreadful woman once said.


Blyleven, Rice, and Morris were all elected because of a big narrative push. That is what it takes to get borderline players in. No narrative, difficult election.

Morris and Rice were the best at what they did for their peers. Their peers were not that good, but it's a hard sell to fans that no one out of a major category of players be elected for a time period. Rice was better than Lynn, Parker, Foster, Garvey, etc. Morris was better than the early '80s starters. There was more sentiment to get the best of the group in than to keep 'em all out.

Blyleven was borderline to me. The stathead push ignored stuff like his 32-50 record in one run games from 1970-79. That sector of the baseball fanbase dislikes that sort of situational split. If you lived through Blyleven, there was always the talk like "he has all the tools to have the big year." That year never came in respect to W/L. Not because of crappy run support. Blyleven pitched great with 5+ runs of support, or with 0 or 1 runs of support. With 2-4 runs of support he was mediocre at best. Why? Dunno. But it's such a large sample size that it's bad work to dismiss it out of hand. And yet it was. Narrative push requires ignoring some subtleties.

I will maintain that if the baseball HOF was more like other HOFs, like the Hall of Merit, where the number of enshrinees each year was more or less fixed, that it would be easier to enforce a line as to who belongs and who does not. Players would be going in every year, some players at every position would be going in every so often, if a particular player was at that level but overlooked, easier to point out "he's just as good as A, B, C that are in the HOF."

But with the baseball HOF you've got the small hall rump, the steroids and gambling rump. So borderline players or poor narrative players get shut out unless there is a years long campaign, some big push. Not the best system IMO, but my calls fall on deaf ears.
   112. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 11, 2017 at 04:11 PM (#5590381)
I think he meant 1997 Marlins.


Yes. Sorry for the typo.
   113. Rob_Wood Posted: December 11, 2017 at 04:15 PM (#5590384)
With all due respect, the more you look into the totality of Blyleven's career, it is/was clear that he was over-qualified for the Hall of Fame. Any serious analysis of Blyleven's stats, at the game level, at the seasonal level, or at the career level reaches that conclusion. Plus, you and I use the word "narrative" much differently if you think Blyleven was elected due to a "big narrative push". Finally, lumping Blyleven in with Rice and Morris as "borderline" candidates is criminal.
   114. Walt Davis Posted: December 11, 2017 at 05:22 PM (#5590418)
Beltran faces some very weak ballots and will get in reasonably easily.

Rollins will do OK but I don't expect an election (you never know, also weak ballots). Even with a very short career and no MVP, Nomar survived his first year on a tough ballot so Rollins is nearly guaranteed to survive.

I wouldn't say Morris was better than the other 80s starters, he was just more durable (exc Martinez, Tanana and Reuschel) and played for better teams (wins).

Morris and Rice both certainly had narrative while they were playing but it didn't do them any good in early HoF voting. Their narratives were re-written -- somewhat honestly, somewhat exaggerated -- while they were on the ballot. Morris debuted behind John and Kaat, ahead of Blyleven. In his 2nd year, he and Blyleven switched places and he would never catch up. In his 4th year on the ballot, Morris was still 4th among that set of SPs while Blyleven had pushed his way to first ... all of them under 30%. That was Kaat's final year and in his 5th, Morris did push past John and then he and Blyleven basically rose together. Then Morris got caught when HoF SPs entered the ballot in his last chances.

Regardless, it wasn't until his 6th season on the ballot that Morris pushed past 27%. He didn't get past Lee Smith until his 11th year on the ballot -- that is not a player with a strong narrative that true baseball people understand, that's a guy voters needed convincing was more worthy than Lee Smith's closer narrative (beloved by the voters). I will agree that Morris deserves the HoF more than Smith (who I suspect will get the VC blessing eventually).

So it's true that Morris had a big reputation while he played -- and true it was nowhere near big enough to impress many voters, even "traditional" ones (he debuted in 2000). He was 4th for a few years when comped to BB, John and Kaat and, except for his first ballot, was always behind Blyleven. It took a long time to pass Lee Smith. SoSH is at least partly right that Morris's climb is a pretty standard story for a backlogger who gets ballot-lucky (until his last couple of years) but it's also the case that it was in the middle there when the drums starting banging out "most wins in 80s", "opening day starts", "pitched to the score" and other stuff.

Similarly with Rice -- definitely the rep of a "big-time run producer" when he played, all that fearsomeness was not so impressive when he hit the ballot. He debuted OK, again the sort of backlogger who will rise until better players of that type come on the ballot. But the invention of "Teh Fear" after he'd been on the ballot for about 5 years certainly didn't hurt him.

It's a weird turn that the "narrative narrative" has taken. It's understandable to argue that Brock's narrative (or fame or reputation or whatever term you want to use) did and maybe should have made him an obvious HoFer. It's not absurd to say the same for Hunter who debuted very high and got over pretty easily.

But the narrative narrative for Morris is a tough one to take seriously. All the narrative, fame, reputation, "guy I want starting game 1", "OMG that Game 7" -- when it was fresh in people's minds, it didn't matter much at all. Low 20s, 4th best SP on the ballot, not as good as Lee Smith. Whatever that was, it wasn't some undeniable narrative that we statnerds refused to recognize -- it was a narrative that didn't impress the voters who had lived through it ... or at least it didn't impress them enough to overcome his performance. Remember, this was a group of voters (changing slightly year to year) that had little problem recognizing the greatness of Tony Perez or Kirby Puckett or Dennis Eckersley (and Gossage/Sutter). Just as those same voters gave Morris almost no CYA recognition, they understood that his performance was not particularly outstanding and they voted accordingly.
   115. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: December 11, 2017 at 05:44 PM (#5590428)
If the Hall's big enough for Jack Morris, then it's big enough for Lou Whitaker, Lance Parrish, Chet Lemon, Darrell Evans and even Kirk Gibson. (And Dan Petry had 20 WAR thru age 26, but he went backwards after that.)

EDIT: Petry's sims thru age 26 include GMaddux, Eckersley and Van Lingle Mungo!
   116. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: December 11, 2017 at 06:09 PM (#5590445)
Darrell Evans is a glaring omission from the Hall of Fame.
   117. cardsfanboy Posted: December 11, 2017 at 06:20 PM (#5590451)
Halberstam has documented how the trade in 1964 contributed to his narrative. It also helps that Brock hit 391/424/655 in those three World Series.

Among Cardinals fans who are 5-10 years older than I am, it is absolute heresy to take WAR seriously with Lou Brock. Brock was a good player, but his career almost looks like it was built to explain why baseball needed better metrics than batting average and stolen bases:

1. He didn't draw walks.
2. He hit for modest power, even by the standards of the period.
3. He played an easy defensive position.
4. He played that position at a mediocre, at best, level.

Good luck trying to convince a Cardinals fan, or any fan, from that era that Ray Lankford was just as valuable.


I think people who argue for David Ortiz in, need to accept that Brock is every bit as deserving. And in some ways, when I think of it like that, I can almost see the David Ortiz argument . Brock has an equal post season record (without having 44% of his series being where he sucked, so we aren't creating a false narrative about Brock's post season dominance that the Ortiz fans(or Morris fans) do about their dominance.)

I was always a huge Ray Lankford fan, and telling anyone he's valuable at all was always a tough sell, the city of St Louis just has idiot fans when it comes to actually understanding baseball, they Love Whiney Herzog, an incompetent manager half the time, but hated TLR and downright despise Mike Matheny(you know the most successful manager in baseball history in their first 6 years---or something like that...-seriously, you cannot read a major Cardinal blog or 4/5ths of the writers at the post, in which they blame Matheny for any and everything---yes, they blame Matheny for the Cardinals not getting Stanton, that is how f-ed up these idiots are.)



(note: as a Cardinal fan if someone removed Brock or Sutter from the hof it wouldn't make me upset...but I think that both of these guys are poor examples when people point to players not deserving, if you want Cardinal examples that truly represent not deserving it's Dizzy Dean or Jesse Haines imho(Haines is a poor man's version of Jack Morris) ....Brock and Sutter both have narrative arguments beyond just their number pedigree)
   118. cardsfanboy Posted: December 11, 2017 at 06:31 PM (#5590455)
2002 Angels best shot for a HOFer is to have a HOF manager. Scioscia has a reasonable shot at that - he's currently 22nd in manager wins and there is no reason to think he won't stick around in his job.


As mentioned above, K-Rod isn't out of the question of someone who might get some votes. Lackey would need to have a Jaime Moyer like decline phase, while still playing on a championship team or two to get any real consideration, when K-Rod retires he'll be at least 3rd all times in save(he'll pass Smith either this year or next) and if he can manage to keep the closers job until he's 40, he might pass Trevor for second all time, and if he's actually good at closing, 652(which is 215 away from his current total) isn't out of the question... he's entering his age 36 season, and would need to 1. stay healthy 2. pitch well enough to keep his job 3. pitch for a team that ends up getting a lot of save chances, but 215 saves is just around 4 years as a primary closer. All of that is of course iffy, but it's what puts a person in the hof as a closer.
   119. SoSH U at work Posted: December 11, 2017 at 06:33 PM (#5590456)
Morris and Rice both certainly had narrative while they were playing but it didn't do them any good in early HoF voting.


That's true of all slow climbers, and thus ultimately irrelevant. Tim Raines didn't do well in early voting. Or Gary Carter. Or Bert Blyleven. Jim Rice and Jack Morris both debuted as you would expect a (perceived) borderliner to debut - in the 20s. Most times those guys don't make a push, but sometimes they do, if the conditions are right (and yes, having a little narrative doesn't hurt). In both their cases, the conditions were right. Rice didn't have a lot of big corner outfielding slugging peers hit the ballot after him. Morris didn't have any starting pitchers until the very end).

But both of them debuted with much stronger support than their most direct comparables (Parker, Foster for Rice), the other post-Bert, pre-Roger starters for Jack). They were perceived as the best of their type the moment they hit the ballot, and mostly stayed that way (Blyleven's path was the true outlier, with support bottoming out in the low teens before his climb, where he passed Jack).

But the invention of "Teh Fear" after he'd been on the ballot for about 5 years certainly didn't hurt him.


It wasn't invented then. It was merely dredged up. Anyone who didn't recall Rice being called the most feared hitter in the American League in the late 1970s-early 1980s simply wasn't paying attention. He was, and, if you understand what it really meant, it was an accurate assessment.

   120. cardsfanboy Posted: December 11, 2017 at 06:36 PM (#5590457)
Lou Whitaker was a platoon player. He doesn’t belong in the hall any more than Morris did.

Grich, on the other hand..


We've had entire threads on this discussion, Whitaker's "platooning" isn't that big of a deal as far as the numbers are concerned. He platooned a bit late in his career, and as DavidFoss pointed out, it was just a logical way to rest an older player. He still saw a sizable chunk of left handed pitching that the platooning didn't distort his stats. It was just a way to find rest for him more than anything.
   121. cardsfanboy Posted: December 11, 2017 at 06:45 PM (#5590462)
2015 Royals: Yes, only two years ago, but NOBODY here seems to be on anything close to a HoF track.


Salvador Perez just completed his age 27 season, he has been a 5 time all star, a 4 time gold glove at catcher, I'm not sure how you define hof track, but that is as good of a path as you can hope for out of a non-Johnny Bench catcher. The issue of course is War, but I'm pretty confident War isn't going to be the tool used to evaluate catchers in hof voting for quite some time.
   122. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 11, 2017 at 06:46 PM (#5590463)
but 215 saves is just around 4 years as a primary closer.

Wait, what? That averages out to nearly 54 saves a season. Something more like 30-40 is typical for a closer.
   123. cardsfanboy Posted: December 11, 2017 at 06:53 PM (#5590470)
With all due respect, the more you look into the totality of Blyleven's career, it is/was clear that he was over-qualified for the Hall of Fame. Any serious analysis of Blyleven's stats, at the game level, at the seasonal level, or at the career level reaches that conclusion. Plus, you and I use the word "narrative" much differently if you think Blyleven was elected due to a "big narrative push". Finally, lumping Blyleven in with Rice and Morris as "borderline" candidates is criminal.


I read the comment you were referencing and was about to bag on it also, but you did a much better job. I have to agree, Blyleven wasn't a borderline guy, he's so clearly over the line, that it was narrative dragging him down, not dragging him up.
   124. Rally Posted: December 11, 2017 at 06:54 PM (#5590471)
when K-Rod retires he'll be at least 3rd all times in save(he'll pass Smith either this year or next)


That assumes he isn't done. Last year he had an ERA over 7, lost his job, signed a minor league deal, and was not called back up. It's possible that he's thrown his last MLB pitch. He might not be done, but it is very unlikely that a MLB team will trust him with the 9th inning in 2018.
   125. BDC Posted: December 11, 2017 at 06:54 PM (#5590472)
Most similar careers to Bert Blyleven, by GS and ERA+:

Player           WAR  GS ERASHO GF   W   L     IP  ERA  FIP
Phil Niekro     97.4 716  115  45 83 318 274 5404.0 3.35 3.62
Bert Blyleven   96.5 685  118  60  3 287 250 4970.0 3.31 3.19
Gaylord Perry   93.7 690  117  53 33 314 265 5350.0 3.11 3.06
Warren Spahn    92.6 665  119  63 67 363 245 5243.2 3.09 3.44
Steve Carlton   84.1 709  115  55 13 329 244 5217.2 3.22 3.15
Tom Glavine     74.0 682  118  25  0 305 203 4413.1 3.54 3.95 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/11/2017.

On top of that Blyleven went 5-1, 2.47 in six postseason starts, and won two WS rings. He may have had some weird luck with W/L record, but so did Nolan Ryan (who is not a close comp because he pitched longer, though not as well). Niekro is a good comp, though, and so is Perry. Your basic indestructible 1970s ace pitchers.
   126. cardsfanboy Posted: December 11, 2017 at 06:58 PM (#5590474)
It wasn't invented then. It was merely dredged up. Anyone who didn't recall Rice being called the most feared hitter in the American League in the late 1970s-early 1980s simply wasn't paying attention. He was, and, if you understand what it really meant, it was an accurate assessment.


Agree, I've got a couple of different books from the 70's(baseball dope book, digest or whatever) that used the words Fear(or fearsome) when describing Rice, and the only other instance from those same books was a reference to a Pirate player(I can't remember if it was Stargell or Parker)
   127. Booey Posted: December 11, 2017 at 06:59 PM (#5590476)
Salvador Perez just completed his age 27 season, he has been a 5 time all star, a 4 time gold glove at catcher, I'm not sure how you define hof track, but that is as good of a path as you can hope for out of a non-Johnny Bench catcher. The issue of course is War, but I'm pretty confident War isn't going to be the tool used to evaluate catchers in hof voting for quite some time.

Yeah, if he keeps racking up gold gloves, I could see him getting all the same voters that are going for Vizquel (and all the ones that refer to Molina as a future HOFer). Perez is also now hitting 20+ homers a year, which - like Omar's hits total - could easily cause people to overrate his offense.

Due to the dearth of quality catchers in the AL, Perez could be a 10 time All Star with 10 gold gloves by the time he's finished (with 200+ homers and a World Series MVP). For the voters that aren't down with WAR - and that's still a lot, based on Vizquel and Hoffman's early returns - that'd be a pretty solid case.
   128. John DiFool2 Posted: December 11, 2017 at 07:04 PM (#5590478)
So, Morris and Tram give the 1984 Tigers their first player HOFers. WS champs though 2009 without a HOF playewr on their roster at some point:

1981 Dodgers. Will likely be nobody. Sciosca or Dusty could get in as managers, but it's not the same thing.
1997 Marlins have 2 decent candidates in Brown and Sheff. Neither is likely, but not out of the question.
2002 Angels. Will likely be nobody, unless K Rod pulls off a late career miracle
2006 cardinals. Pujols
2007 Rad Sox. Ortiz and Schilling
2008 Phillies. Utley is deserving but questionable to make it. Hamels has a shot

Dodgers, Angels, and 2003 Marlins are only real question marks.


Where's my Coke? [70 & 84]
   129. cardsfanboy Posted: December 11, 2017 at 07:05 PM (#5590479)
Wait, what? That averages out to nearly 54 saves a season. Something more like 30-40 is typical for a closer.


You are right, I should have said 5...quick half ass math while looking at other things.... but yes my bad, it should have been 5 years.

That assumes he isn't done. Last year he had an ERA over 7, lost his job, signed a minor league deal, and was not called back up. It's possible that he's thrown his last MLB pitch. He might not be done, but it is very unlikely that a MLB team will trust him with the 9th inning in 2018.


Agree, I think he still gets enough chances that he just has to be his typical slightly above average self to get the saves, he's never actually been a great pitcher, which is what I find funny about his success, he had one outstanding season, and it wasn't even one in which he got a lot of saves(just 12) (and yes I look at fip and whip long before I look at era/era+ for a closer/reliever) and a couple of pretty good seasons, but there are at least half a dozen closers much more deserving of the hof than K-rod, but he's going to get a much better look than those because of timing.

Having said that, if he somehow does rebound to normal k-rod form, he'll be given a chance to continue his average of 6 blown saves a season while racking up 40 saves and throwing a 140 era+ with a whip over 1 and a fip in the 3.00's. Because he is an annoited closer.


Edit: Note I'm not saying he's on a hof path, it would require a resurgance to his normal above average form and health for him to have a chance, I was just trying to look at who was left from that Angels team that might get some hof love.
   130. John DiFool2 Posted: December 11, 2017 at 07:08 PM (#5590481)
I'll just note re: Morris and the postseason that such hasn't helped Schilling much (yet).


That assumes he [KRod] isn't done. Last year he had an ERA over 7, lost his job, signed a minor league deal, and was not called back up. It's possible that he's thrown his last MLB pitch. He might not be done, but it is very unlikely that a MLB team will trust him with the 9th inning in 2018.


I also note that Jon Papelbon got no sniffs at all after the Phillies released him.
   131. BDC Posted: December 11, 2017 at 07:12 PM (#5590482)
Offhand I would say that Salvador Perez is fairly comparable to Benito Santiago and Charles Johnson: highly-regarded defensive catchers with some power who made a lot of outs. Santiago and Johnson made one AS team apiece after age 27. If Perez is markedly better going forward, he will have a very fine career; Santiago and Johnson were pretty good as it was.
   132. cardsfanboy Posted: December 11, 2017 at 07:19 PM (#5590484)
Offhand I would say that Salvador Perez is fairly comparable to Benito Santiago and Charles Johnson: highly-regarded defensive catchers with some power who made a lot of outs. Santiago and Johnson made one AS team apiece after age 27. If Perez is markedly better going forward, he will have a very fine career; Santiago and Johnson were pretty good as it was.


I'm not seeing much difference between Perez and Yadier, with the exception that Perez was actually a better hitter at a younger age. They have similar reputations already, and contrary to the people around here, there is actually a pretty strong segment of writers who think Yadier is a hofer.(I think that what happens though is similar to what happens to a lot of players who aren't quite hofers, but are thought of one as they play, is that the five year wait gets the writers to back off on that assessment as a younger guy shows up doing pretty much the same thing and Yadier ends up peaking at about 20% of the vote...of course I thought the same thing was true with Vizquel, so we'll see)
   133. No longer interested in this website Posted: December 11, 2017 at 07:42 PM (#5590489)
"Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played."

Folks on this website want the determination to be based on the first item in that list to the exclusion of all others. Folks on this website have a hard-on for hating Morris, always have. Folks on this website want baseball reduced to numbers only and are condescending to anyone who sees it differently. Many folks on this website just only recently got laid for the first time and would rather argue about Trump than share an enjoyment of baseball. That's why this website jumped the shark a long time ago.

Jack Morris is a Hall of Famer, and his plaque will always be there.
   134. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: December 11, 2017 at 07:56 PM (#5590492)
Morris was better than the early '80s starters.
This is flat wrong. Heck, Morris wasn't even clearly the best pitcher on his own team in the early '80's.

Dave Stieb pitched more innings, with an ERA half a run better than Morris from '80-85.
Morris obviously wasn't better than Carlton, even with Carlton giving away '85.
Mario Soto: Much better than Morris

I could go on.
   135. SoSH U at work Posted: December 11, 2017 at 08:07 PM (#5590493)

Folks on this website want the determination to be based on the first item in that list to the exclusion of all others. Folks on this website have a hard-on for hating Morris, always have. Folks on this website want baseball reduced to numbers only and are condescending to anyone who sees it differently. Many folks on this website just only recently got laid for the first time and would rather argue about Trump than share an enjoyment of baseball. That's why this website jumped the shark a long time ago.


And yet, belying your handle Wahoo, you're back.
   136. Baldrick Posted: December 11, 2017 at 09:03 PM (#5590502)
133. No longer interested in this website Posted: December 11, 2017 at 07:42 PM (#5590489)

This place is pretty much the same as it was back in 2002. If anything, the tone and quality of conversation is much BETTER now than it was back in the day. But anyways, the door is right over there if you'd like to use it.
   137. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2017 at 09:48 PM (#5590509)
Oh dear. We need more contributors, not fewer. Don't go away, whoever you are.

But when you come back, please contribute a more substantive comment regarding Morris' qualifications. As a (fictional) voter, I am very much in favor of considering fame, narrative, etc. I get very frustrated and annoyed with the numbers-only Wahhabism propagated here. But even when I consider those soft factors, I don't see them putting Morris over the line. Morris was a good pitcher for a long time. He wasn't ever a great pitcher, really ... he was solid. He had an extraordinary moment in the World Series once, which is well worth celebrating, but I fear that in the 25 years since that happened people have allowed the memory of it to color their view of his entire career, painting him as the type of reliable ace superstar that he never really was.
   138. QLE Posted: December 11, 2017 at 09:48 PM (#5590510)
#133-

If those points you raise are to be considered, what do you make of #25's charge that Morris fails the character clause?
   139. SoSH U at work Posted: December 11, 2017 at 09:59 PM (#5590514)
Oh dear. We need more contributors, not fewer. Don't go away, whoever you are.


It's Wahoo Sam. He was here, but got pissed off about something and created that lovely handle.
   140. The Duke Posted: December 11, 2017 at 10:30 PM (#5590527)
I think Yadi has a shot at the Hall. He’s been the series with four different teams and he’s the only real constant. He will have to get in on a combination of the gold glove reputation, the series(and post-season) appearances, and longevity. At this point he just needs to keep racking up games caught like Vizquel did af SS. I think if he gets another 500-750 games caught he dramatically ups his chances. If he can take out Pudge which might take 6 years, he’s a shoo-in. His two thumb injurues have put him at risk of getting there though
   141. kwarren Posted: December 11, 2017 at 10:38 PM (#5590534)

   142. kwarren Posted: December 11, 2017 at 10:40 PM (#5590536)
I don't feel that he "cheapens" the HOF any more than Catfish Hunter or Lou Brock or Bruce Sutter did


I think that this is the best rationalization to induct Morris that I've seen. If we want to increase the Hall by about four times its present size, then he is a great selection.

And Johan Santana won't get a sniff. The really sad part is how many "baseball experts" actually think that Morris was better than Santana by a very wide margin. Kind of like how Tony Gwynn was so much better than Larry Walker.
   143. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: December 11, 2017 at 10:42 PM (#5590540)
Folks on this website want baseball reduced to numbers only

This site actually needs more contributors like Wahoo Sam/no longer interested in this website. Wahoo Sam adds a lot when discussing the interworkings of the HOF. He worked at the HOF if I recall correctly & his firsthand accounts of Jeff Idelson, Jane Forbes Clark & Steve Hirdt were interesting. Wahoo Sam, I know you're glad to see two of your Tigers--Tram & The Jack--make it in. I hope to see you dip in from time to time and give your opinions, especially in HOF debates
   144. kwarren Posted: December 11, 2017 at 11:19 PM (#5590547)
I wonder if in an alternate reality Lonnie Smith kept running in the 8th inning and scored thus Morris lost game 7 1-0 in 9 innings instead of winning it and never gets close to election.


Such a blasphemous comment. In any event the Twins would have tied the game and then won it in the 10th.


Heck, Morris wasn't even clearly the best pitcher on his own team in the early '80's.

Dave Stieb pitched more innings, with an ERA half a run better than Morris from '80-85.
Morris obviously wasn't better than Carlton, even with Carlton giving away '85.
Mario Soto: Much better than Morris


Very good points. But he did pitch to the score and was the only pitcher in MLB history to not pitch worse after two times through the line-up, so unlike Stieb, there was no point in having him not finish games.
   145. Jay Z Posted: December 12, 2017 at 12:58 AM (#5590568)
Most similar careers to Bert Blyleven, by GS and ERA+:

Player           WAR  GS ERA+ SHO GF   W   L     IP  ERA  FIP
Phil Niekro     97.4 716  115  45 83 318 274 5404.0 3.35 3.62
Bert Blyleven   96.5 685  118  60  3 287 250 4970.0 3.31 3.19
Gaylord Perry   93.7 690  117  53 33 314 265 5350.0 3.11 3.06
Warren Spahn    92.6 665  119  63 67 363 245 5243.2 3.09 3.44
Steve Carlton   84.1 709  115  55 13 329 244 5217.2 3.22 3.15
Tom Glavine     74.0 682  118  25  0 305 203 4413.1 3.54 3.95 


Blyleven only has 18 fewer wins than the next lowest. I have already explained why this happened. Wasn't due to poor run support or bad teams. He lost a ton of one run games in the 70s. Didn't pitch very well when he got moderate run support. Again, I have no idea why.

I studied this using old Sporting News guides way before Baseball Reference ever existed, FWIW. Looked at a group of 25 pitchers, everyone who started for about a 10 year period in the 1970s. Blyleven's data was by far the most bizarre. There was no anti-Blyleven or anyone else with a significant trend.

Blyleven's pattern of losing close games did not continue into the 1980s. He won close games at a normal percentage then. Didn't gain back ground, just held his own.

A 32-50 record in one run games, when an expected record would be a little above .500, is statistically significant. So I take it into account. I don't hate Blyleven, don't really care if he choked or not. He was what he was.

I have a significant problem with waving away statistical significance.

I fully expected the usual sneering condescension when anyone challenges the statistical orthodoxy.
   146. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 12, 2017 at 02:38 AM (#5590585)
96. John DiFool2 Posted: December 11, 2017 at 12:32 PM (#5590141)
I kind of doubt Rollins will do any better than Utley will, much less Omar, who has the glove rep that Rollins doesn't have. The backlog will probably be history by the time he's 1st eligible, so he may clear 5%, but I doubt he'll do much better.

You're going to be wrong about this.
   147. DavidFoss Posted: December 12, 2017 at 05:30 AM (#5590589)
A 32-50 record in one run games, when an expected record would be a little above .500, is statistically significant. So I take it into account. I don't hate Blyleven, don't really care if he choked or not. He was what he was.

I have a significant problem with waving away statistical significance.


I don't think there is any argument that his W/L record underperforms his peripherals. From a narrative perspective, he was quite a petulant guy in his 20s. Flipping off fans and demanding a trade in MN. Leaving the team and threatening retirement in Pittsburgh. He was able to channel that energy into being more of a lovable prankster as a veteran and jokester as a broadcaster but his personality was a bit more negative.

What that says to me was that if he had retired in 1983, he would have had HOF-caliber numbers (3177 IP, 125 ERA+, 68.4 WAR, ring) but he probably wouldn't get in because he only had a 176-160 record. But he didn't. He pitched 1700 more innings, won 111 more games, 18 more shutouts, the second ring, 28 more WAR. There's just too much value. Dock him 10-15% for his W/L record and he's still way over the line.
   148. Rally Posted: December 12, 2017 at 08:40 AM (#5590610)
Blyleven only has 18 fewer wins than the next lowest. I have already explained why this happened. Wasn't due to poor run support or bad teams. He lost a ton of one run games in the 70s. Didn't pitch very well when he got moderate run support. Again, I have no idea why.


Even if Blyleven's great run prevention did not result in as many real world wins as you would expect, he's still way over the line. Maybe he was only as valuable as a 108 ERA+, but over 5000 innings that still makes him an equal to Don Sutton. Sutton wasn't for everybody, and took 5 ballots to get in, but he always had my vote.
   149. Jay Z Posted: December 12, 2017 at 08:55 AM (#5590616)
I don't think there is any argument that his W/L record underperforms his peripherals. From a narrative perspective, he was quite a petulant guy in his 20s. Flipping off fans and demanding a trade in MN. Leaving the team and threatening retirement in Pittsburgh. He was able to channel that energy into being more of a lovable prankster as a veteran and jokester as a broadcaster but his personality was a bit more negative.

What that says to me was that if he had retired in 1983, he would have had HOF-caliber numbers (3177 IP, 125 ERA+, 68.4 WAR, ring) but he probably wouldn't get in because he only had a 176-160 record. But he didn't. He pitched 1700 more innings, won 111 more games, 18 more shutouts, the second ring, 28 more WAR. There's just too much value. Dock him 10-15% for his W/L record and he's still way over the line.


I usually slot him close to Tommy John. John was on better teams but had a better W/L pct.

Then again, I'd vote for John. So I suppose I'd vote for Blyleven as well. Over the borderline is over the borderline. But I would get why other people didn't make that vote. And I could also be persuaded that Blyleven was a bit better than John.

Sam McDowell was another young pitcher who let his moods impact his performance. Evidently, Blyleven figured it out and McDowell didnt.
   150. DanG Posted: December 12, 2017 at 08:56 AM (#5590617)
Expansion era pitchers with most shutouts

Player        SHO  GS SO/W     IP From   To  CG
Nolan Ryan     61 773 2.04 5386.0 1966 1993 222
Tom Seaver     61 647 2.62 4783.0 1967 1986 231
Bert Blyleven  60 685 2.80 4970.0 1970 1992 242
Don Sutton     58 756 2.66 5282.1 1966 1988 178
Bob Gibson     56 482 2.33 3884.1 1959 1975 255
Steve Carlton  55 709 2.26 5217.2 1965 1988 254
Jim Palmer     53 521 1.69 3948.0 1965 1984 211
Gaylord Perry  53 690 2.56 5350.0 1962 1983 303
Juan Marichal  52 457 3.25 3507.0 1960 1975 244
Fergie Jenkins 49 594 3.20 4500.2 1965 1983 267
Luis Tiant     49 484 2.19 3486.1 1964 1982 187 
   151. simon bedford Posted: December 12, 2017 at 09:12 AM (#5590623)
Bob Dylan wrote a song about Jim Hunter! I guess growing up in the 70's I always assumed Catfish was heading to the hall, he was a towering figure in the game back then , up there with Seaver and Palmer and Ryan as one of the biggest names and he seemed to have a bigger public image than any of them.
Could it be that Hunter was a pick like Rabbit Maranville or Dizzy Dean where his actual character and personae played a bigger part than his stats?
My recollection is Hunter was a vastly better pitcher than Morris, but maybe thats my youthful eyes remembering him different than he was.
   152. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 12, 2017 at 09:25 AM (#5590635)
Could it be that Hunter was a pick like Rabbit Maranville or Dizzy Dean where his actual character and personae played a bigger part than his stats?

Just a lot of factors, I think. His nickname, his perfect game, pitching in the World Series just about every year for a decade for very charismatic teams. Don't underestimate the perfect game. When I was a kid, people played the "where were you when this happened" game with Hunter's perfecto.

I'm ok with Morris getting in as I'm a big Hall guy and I'm at peace that the inductions are never going to be perfect. I think it helps to keep banging the drum for guys like Bobby Grich even if it seems hopeless at times. I think the election of Blyleven, Trammell and Raines are directly the result of nerds who won't shut up.
   153. Rally Posted: December 12, 2017 at 09:36 AM (#5590644)
Could it be that Hunter was a pick like Rabbit Maranville or Dizzy Dean where his actual character and personae played a bigger part than his stats?
My recollection is Hunter was a vastly better pitcher than Morris, but maybe thats my youthful eyes remembering him different than he was.


I don't know if it was actually his "character and personae", but he pitched in extreme pitcher's parks, with a good defense behind him, and a great offense that scored a ton of runs despite being in a pitcher's park. His circumstances elevated him to a greater status than his ability alone would have warranted.
   154. simon bedford Posted: December 12, 2017 at 09:42 AM (#5590647)
But here is the thing that it seems that posters here are missing, Hunter had a HUGE personae back in the day, he was a larger than life character (albeit in a very weird way) so getting wrapped up in stats and saying "well he wasn't that good" really is not the point. He was beloved by fans back then , he was openly considered a hall of famer while he played, nobody thought twice that he was compiling the wrong kind of stats so in the end they did not matter.
And I guess thats how he is very much like Morris, but having seen both Jim Hunter seemed the better pitcher.
   155. DavidFoss Posted: December 12, 2017 at 10:29 AM (#5590696)
he was openly considered a hall of famer while he played, nobody thought twice that he was compiling the wrong kind of stats so in the end they did not matter.

He played like a HOF-er during from 1972-75. That just happened to be the years of the three-peat, him becoming the first free agent and signing the then-huge five year deal and then pitching even better his first year with the Yankees. I imagine it is these four years (plus 1971) that everyone remembers.
   156. simon bedford Posted: December 12, 2017 at 10:40 AM (#5590714)
Indeed David, there was a narrative around Hunters story that I don't find in the Jack Morris story, although there is the "boy that game 7 performance!" and the sort of made up one later on of "most wins in the 80s " which everyone here correctly points out is just a matter of arbitrary start and end points.
   157. bobm Posted: December 12, 2017 at 10:56 AM (#5590736)
Looking forward to the eventual Bartolo Colon induction...

Jack Morris

         Year   W   L  W-L%  ERA   G  GS GF  CG   IP ERA+  FIP WHIP 
18 Yrs        254 186 0.577 3.90 549 527 10 175 3824  105 3.94 1.30 
162 Game Avg.  16  12 0.577 3.90  35  33  1  11  242  105 3.94 1.30


Bartolo Colon

         Year   W   L  W-L%  ERA   G  GS GF CG     IP ERA+  FIP WHIP
20 Yrs        240 176 0.577 4.04 537 528  1 37 3315.1  107 4.09 1.31
162 Game Avg.  15  11 0.577 4.04  34  34  0  2  212.0  107 4.09 1.31

   158. wjones Posted: December 12, 2017 at 11:54 AM (#5590808)
(note: as a Cardinal fan if someone removed Brock or Sutter from the hof it wouldn't make me upset...but I think that both of these guys are poor examples when people point to players not deserving, if you want Cardinal examples that truly represent not deserving it's Dizzy Dean or Jesse Haines imho(Haines is a poor man's version of Jack Morris) ....Brock and Sutter both have narrative arguments beyond just their number pedigree)

As does Dean. Can't imagine the need to have a Hall of Fame is Dean isn't in it. If the name was "Hall of Great Players Who Played a Requisite Number of Years and Produced Consistent Results Over at Least a 10 Year Period", then I guess you'd have a point. But maybe Dean makes it even without the gaudy pre-broken toe stats; with them he's a shoo-in.
   159. The Duke Posted: December 12, 2017 at 12:17 PM (#5590830)
Morris was a better hitter than Colon
   160. BDC Posted: December 12, 2017 at 12:20 PM (#5590834)
In retrospect I've usually thought of Catfish Hunter as quite similar to Dave Stewart. Hunter had the better 4-year peak by bWAR (22 to 18), in part because he was pitching more innings. But both were big ace starters on three-in-a-row pennant winners for Oakland. Hunter went 9-6 career in the postseason and Stewart 10-6.

Hunter was a little better – he won 20 games five times in a row to Stewart's four, his teams won five Series to Stewart's three (three to Stewart's one at their peaks). But a similar profile and narrative.

That is not to say that Dave Stewart should be a Hall of Famer, just that he too was a huge presence for a few years there.
   161. PreservedFish Posted: December 12, 2017 at 12:40 PM (#5590848)
Yes it's strange to look back at Stewart and see a 100 ERA+ and only 2 WAA. He had a 4 year peak where he kept hitting 20 wins, 260+ innings, Cy Young contention, and famous Roger Clemens ownage. He was legit.
   162. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 12, 2017 at 01:08 PM (#5590873)
Bob Dylan wrote a song about Jim Hunter!

I assume you also support the candidacies of Rubin Carter, Hattie Carroll and the Mighty Quinn the Eskimo.
   163. dlf Posted: December 12, 2017 at 01:11 PM (#5590874)
He was legit.


As was his arrest with Lucille, the transvestite prostitute with whom he was busted while playing for Texas.

...

At what point in time did the advocacy about the HOF become negative? I remember a lot of folks advocating *for* marginal candidates, whether eventually inducted (Rizzuto, Appling, Drysdale) or not (most famously Ken Keltner). But until the Bill James book "Politics of Glory" my memory is that there was no push back. Is the Morris response something new?

Edit: not that Morris would be the first, certainly. We have Jim Rice just a few years ago and I'm sure there are others. By new, I just mean is this a creature of the last decade or two or is my memory flawed.
   164. eric Posted: December 12, 2017 at 01:40 PM (#5590888)

Blyleven was borderline to me. The stathead push ignored stuff like his 32-50 record in one run games from 1970-79. That sector of the baseball fanbase dislikes that sort of situational split. If you lived through Blyleven, there was always the talk like "he has all the tools to have the big year." That year never came in respect to W/L. Not because of crappy run support. Blyleven pitched great with 5+ runs of support, or with 0 or 1 runs of support. With 2-4 runs of support he was mediocre at best. Why? Dunno. But it's such a large sample size that it's bad work to dismiss it out of hand. And yet it was. Narrative push requires ignoring some subtleties.


I studied this using old Sporting News guides way before Baseball Reference ever existed, FWIW. Looked at a group of 25 pitchers, everyone who started for about a 10 year period in the 1970s. Blyleven's data was by far the most bizarre. There was no anti-Blyleven or anyone else with a significant trend.


Can you give the other data points you looked at? What is the definition of a significant trend?



Blyleven's pattern of losing close games did not continue into the 1980s. He won close games at a normal percentage then. Didn't gain back ground, just held his own.

A 32-50 record in one run games, when an expected record would be a little above .500, is statistically significant. So I take it into account. I don't hate Blyleven, don't really care if he choked or not. He was what he was.

I have a significant problem with waving away statistical significance.

I fully expected the usual sneering condescension when anyone challenges the statistical orthodoxy.


Statistical significance? You are abusing statistical significance. The typical definition of statistical significance is at the 95% level. That means that, given pure random chance, those are the bounds in which 95% of the expected outcomes would fall. As an example, if someone flipped a coin 82 times, 95% of the time you'd expect there to be between 32 and 50 heads, inclusive, with a mean of 41.

That does not mean if heads came up 55 times it is a fixed coin. It just means it passed a given threshold level. Then you may use that data for further investigation (a series of trials would be ideal, but that's getting beyond the scope here).

Let's pretend that there was absolutely no psychology in the game of baseball. Pitchers performed as well as they could, and the hitters, and all randomess was pure luck. Sometimes the HR comes with a bases loaded, sometimes not. Sometimes the ball drops right in front of the CFer's glove, sometimes not. Errors still happened, just not because a player was intimidated or fired up or what have you.

Variations between pitcher performance in, for example, one run games, would still be distributed across a spectrum. If you have 100 pitchers, about 5 off them would still fall outside the 95% confidence interval--i.e., their performance (or lack thereof) would be considered statistically significant. But of what? There was nothing there. Just like coins--if you flip a fair coin 82 times, and do that 100 different times, about 5% of those trials will be outside of the 32 to 50 range.

Which is all to say, statistical significance is a starting point to determine if something else is going on, not proof within itself. You have to show that there was some bizarre mental affliction Blyleven had that caused him to lose medium-scoring*, one-run games for only half his career, rather than that he was just the unluckiest of a large group of pitchers (someone has to be).

Which is the second point. You are cherry picking like crazy. So not only are you looking at the most extreme pitcher, and saying QED, you are just looking at one-run games, but not only that, only one-run games in medium-scoring affairs, and of course you don't stop there, you are cherry-picking the starting and ending points.

To me, the fact that you've chosen the unluckiest pitcher you could find, have shown no data so people could see the spread of data (how close behind others was he?), had to cut out both high- and low-scoring games, and then at that whittle it down to half of his career, just in order to find something that was at the very edge of statistical significance means that your entire argument is more convincing that there isn't some strange psychological defect that only effects Blyleven. You've just found a (quite narrowly-defined and bizarre) outlier in a sport that produces reems and reems of data, and therefore many expected outliers.

*You focused on medium-level of run support, so wasn't sure if that was a filter in your 1-run game statistic. If those are separate, points still hold.
   165. GGC Posted: December 12, 2017 at 02:13 PM (#5590921)
At what point in time did the advocacy about the HOF become negative? I remember a lot of folks advocating *for* marginal candidates, whether eventually inducted (Rizzuto, Appling, Drysdale) or not (most famously Ken Keltner). But until the Bill James book "Politics of Glory" my memory is that there was no push back. Is the Morris response something new?

Edit: not that Morris would be the first, certainly. We have Jim Rice just a few years ago and I'm sure there are others. By new, I just mean is this a creature of the last decade or two or is my memory flawed.


Rich Lederer's Baseball Analysts site is not navigable for me. But back in 2008, Mark Armour wrote about this topic in "In Defense of the HOF."
   166. BDC Posted: December 12, 2017 at 02:27 PM (#5590932)
Interesting analysis in #164, eric.

The other thing I wonder about is the focus on Blyleven's W-L record. The warrant is that his decisions were under his control, but as we often note here, teams win or lose games, not starting pitchers on their own.

Is the 32-50 the team record, or just Blyleven's? I wonder because in 1976, when he went 13-16, he went 5-5 in one-run games, but his team went 9-6 in one-run games that he started. IOW he pitched pretty well in his five one-run no-decisions (2.32 ERA in 43 innings, one UER) and his team went 4-1 in those games. If one leaves out those NDs and those team results, that gives only a partial picture of his effectiveness. But maybe those games were included.
   167. Rally Posted: December 12, 2017 at 02:31 PM (#5590935)
It's probably just a consequence of the internet giving any fan who cares a chance to voice an opinion. Back when only the writers had a means of getting their voice out, they are probably mostly going to write about the guys they want to put in.
   168. Rob_Wood Posted: December 12, 2017 at 02:32 PM (#5590938)
This entire skein on Blyleven makes absolutely no sense. If Pitcher B lost 100 3-2 games in his career, does that make him a bad pitcher?

Nobody who understands how baseball is played or how pitchers should be evaluated would use that against Pitcher B.

The flip side of an over-emphasis on pitcher wins is an over-emphasis on pitcher losses. Surely this is not news in the year 2017.

Why don't we blame the hitters who only managed to score 2 measly runs in those 100 games??

Everybody, and I mean everybody, who has studied the career of Bert Blyleven has concluded that he was much better than his career W-L record reflects (and his career W-L record is great) and discussing and disseminating the results of this analysis is what finally and belatedly got traditional sportswriters to elect him to the Hall of Fame. To argue the reverse of this is just plain wrong and offensive.

   169. simon bedford Posted: December 12, 2017 at 02:41 PM (#5590949)
Hattie Carrol lacked any kind of durability to be considered for the hall.
   170. Rally Posted: December 12, 2017 at 02:48 PM (#5590955)
Rubin Carter and Mighty Quinn both played in my APBA league, neither one was close to the HOF although Quinn did hit 44 homers one year. I am disappointed that he never had a chance to play for the Alaska Snow Sox.
   171. dlf Posted: December 12, 2017 at 02:48 PM (#5590956)
Everybody, and I mean everybody, who has studied the career of Bert Blyleven has concluded that he was much better than his career W-L record reflects (and his career W-L record is great)


I'm not sure that is correct. There is some evidence of not matching his runs allowed to his teams' runs scored as well as other contemporary pitchers. See, for example, this ten year old Bill James article. However, as James - and many, many others - noted, that mismatch was small and even debiting Blyleven for it, he was still well over the line for a HOF pitcher.
   172. Baldrick Posted: December 12, 2017 at 03:06 PM (#5590981)
To me, the fact that you've chosen the unluckiest pitcher you could find, have shown no data so people could see the spread of data (how close behind others was he?), had to cut out both high- and low-scoring games, and then at that whittle it down to half of his career, just in order to find something that was at the very edge of statistical significance means that your entire argument is more convincing that there isn't some strange psychological defect that only effects Blyleven. You've just found a (quite narrowly-defined and bizarre) outlier in a sport that produces reems and reems of data, and therefore many expected outliers.

I agree with all this.

But let's pause for a moment and pretend that none of it is true, and that Blyleven really was an extreme outlier here and that we are quite confident in that assessment. Well, that just means that you could probably justify downgrading his numbers to the point where he'd be if he'd just been a normal sort of unlucky. But you're talking as if his 32-50 record demonstrates that he cost his team nine games, when it would be far more reasonable to say that he may have cost his teams a couple games and that the rest is inconclusive. After all, if he'd gone just 37-45, he wouldn't be an outlier and we wouldn't have any reason to think it was anything other than normal random variance.

Moreover, even if Blyleven was personally responsible for losing those nine games and you should take them all out of his record one by one. That reduces his career value by...well...nine games. Which, in a career where he produced almost 100 WAR, just isn't all that significant.

Also, everything that Rob Wood said in 168.
   173. Rob_Wood Posted: December 12, 2017 at 03:09 PM (#5590985)
I give up. That makes him better than his W-L record, not worse.

You can't say look at how "poor" his career W-L record is, and then pile on by saying that he lost a lot of close games.

That's penalizing him twice for the same "crime".

And, it's not even a crime in the first place.
   174. Rally Posted: December 12, 2017 at 04:01 PM (#5591055)
Blyleven was better than his W-L record and not quite as the record you'd expect from his run prevention. Somewhere in the middle it works out to a pitcher who deserved to have won 300 games, and certainly deserves his place in the HOF.
   175. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 12, 2017 at 04:13 PM (#5591075)
boop.
   176. Walt Davis Posted: December 12, 2017 at 05:08 PM (#5591142)
That's true of all slow climbers

You've completely missed the point. Of course that's true of all slow climbers, it's the definition of slow climbers. The point is that it is a very strong argument against the narrative narrative. Jack Morris's narrative wasn't worth anything when he entered the ballot. It wasn't worth anything about 5 years into his candidacy.

The "narrative" crowd argues that "fame" and "reputation" both do and should matter. It's an argument about how you had to be there and about "feeling" like a HoFer. And if you're talking Lou Brock or Catfish Hunter or (likely) David Ortiz, it's easy to argue that they were famous and considered among the best when they played and were super-clutch and had huge moments, etc. Their vote totals certainly seem to reflect that.

You can't argue that for Morris (especially) or Rice. The vast majority of voters did not think their fame and reputation deserved induction when that fame and reputation was most recent. It was not in any way a case where people who truly understood baseball recognized their greatness while statnerds did not -- it was a case where the traditionalists did not think they measured up and needed a lot of convincing. The re-emphasis and revision of their narrative likely played a role -- but may not have, maybe they'd have been slow climbers anyway.

On Rice, you again didn't absorb what I said. I openly stated that he was considered a big-time run producer at the time. But "Teh FEAR" was an amplification of that. Regardless, it's clear that voters did not think that Rice's narrative extras were very important when he hit the ballot. I said essentially the same about Morris -- yes, he was considered a big game pitcher in real time. That wasn't enough for the voters and his supporters were doing somersaults coming up with "narrative" for him.

So there are two possible stories for Rice and Morris. The first is that they are just standard back-loggers who slogged their way up in weak ballot years until they made it (or nearly so in Morris's case). The second is that they were standard back-loggers who were also helped by a revision of their narrative after a few stagnant years on the ballot. What is clearly not the case is that they are candidates elected because of their strong narratives.

My point is not about the worthiness of Morris and Rice. My point is about the emptiness of the new narrative narrative that has shifted from "Brock is in because he's famous and fame is important" to "Jack Morris had fame and a HoF narrative ... it's just that very few of the actual voters noticed it even though they are supposedly the sort of real baseball people who recognize the greatness of Morris and Rice."
   177. fra paolo Posted: December 12, 2017 at 05:26 PM (#5591162)
Prior to the 1987 season, with Morris coming off a 20-win, 200-strikeout season, an important sportswriter had this to say [his emphasis]:
Last year he did a couple of major things to solidify his credentials, winning 20 games for the second time and striking out 200 batters for the second time. He's probably three or four good years away from the Hall of Fame now.

So the question is whether Morris had those three or four more good seasons during 1987-1994. He had one more 20-win season, and one more 200-K season. I'd give him two, 1987 and 1991, so it really depends on how I want to regard 1992. However, if I give it to him, he's only just tipped the scales, and I don't think I can find a fourth.

My point is that Morris is, on the basis of this, a borderline candidate. The same writer had this to say about Blyleven before the 1985 season:
The 1984 season establishes Blyleven as a very legitimate Hall of Fame candidate. At 195-167 he is now 28 games over .500 lifetime....More importantly, the wins start to count big after 200. He turns 34 this spring and could easily win 260, 27 and that's Hall of Fame territory.

So even in the 1980s Morris and Blyleven were in two different categories. Blyleven was a strong candidate, but Morris still had something to prove. The question is whether Morris proved it. It seems this Veterans' Committee thought he did.
   178. reech Posted: December 12, 2017 at 06:36 PM (#5591209)
Here's a possibly weird question.

Given some of the vitriol exhibited over Jack Morris' election, can you forsee "passionate" Sabremetrecians going to the induction ceremony and booing him?


Because that would be messed up.
   179. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 12, 2017 at 09:25 PM (#5591276)
Here I was going to look at Blyleven's team's record in his no-decisions during his career and compare it to those of the comps listed upthread... and I found out that B-R got rid of the way I knew to do that, because their pitching splits no longer include stats based on game outcome for the team.

If anyone else knows a way to get at this information (that doesn't require play index), let me know and I'll pull the numbers.
   180. cardsfanboy Posted: December 12, 2017 at 09:55 PM (#5591291)
A 32-50 record in one run games, when an expected record would be a little above .500, is statistically significant. So I take it into account. I don't hate Blyleven, don't really care if he choked or not. He was what he was.


That is one of the stupidest things I have ever ####### heard of... it absolutely matters what the score of the game is... a 32-50 record in one run games in which you allowed only one run clearly has nothing to do with the pitcher of record, if it's two runs, it still has nothing to do with the pitcher of record, you would have to actually look at his record in one run games where his team scored within a margin of league average run scored to produce anything resembling a reasonable argument. Anything else is just a monkey ####### a coconut.
   181. cardsfanboy Posted: December 12, 2017 at 10:00 PM (#5591297)
Given some of the vitriol exhibited over Jack Morris' election, can you forsee "passionate" Sabremetrecians going to the induction ceremony and booing him?


Nope. People with brains generally aren't negative a-holes, we reserve that for religious nutters and politicians. You go and just give a golf clap.
   182. Lars6788 Posted: December 12, 2017 at 10:05 PM (#5591301)

So the question is whether Morris had those three or four more good seasons during 1987-1994.


1991 World Series Game 7
   183. SoSH U at work Posted: December 12, 2017 at 10:38 PM (#5591339)
You've completely missed the point. Of course that's true of all slow climbers, it's the definition of slow climbers. The point is that it is a very strong argument against the narrative narrative. Jack Morris's narrative wasn't worth anything when he entered the ballot. It wasn't worth anything about 5 years into his candidacy.c


I don't know if I missed it so much as I just think it's wrong.

Of course Jack Morris' narrative was worth something when he entered the ballot, otherwise he wouldn't have polled much, much better than Hershiser or Cone or Saberhagen or a dozen other pitchers better/no worse than him. It just wasn't enough to give him an easy path to the Hall. There's nothing different about the undeserving's slow path to the Hall than there is the deserving's. They gain during weak ballots, slide during strong ones. They gather momentum. Original no votes come around on them as their strong supporters push their case.

But Jack Morris's Game 7 heroics and Opening Day starts and guy you want to have the ball for one big game and most wins over a 15-year period all were very much a part of why he debuted at a level that made his eventual induction possible.
   184. kwarren Posted: December 12, 2017 at 11:45 PM (#5591412)
Prior to the 1987 season, with Morris coming off a 20-win, 200-strikeout season, an important sportswriter had this to say [his emphasis]:


Why is this "important sportswriter" anonymous. Is he more important than other sportswriters who might of had different opinions. Did he believe in sabremetric analysis ? Was he a traditionalist ? Was he a "small hall" guy or a "large hall" guy ? Was he associated with one particular franchise? This information would put his quotes in some perspective.

   185. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: December 13, 2017 at 12:02 AM (#5591422)
Jack Morris is a Hall of Famer, and his plaque will always be there.

And once the Baby Boomers die off, the institutional memory of him will consist of him being present on occasional lists of the worst Hall of Fame inductees, like Rube Marquard.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
   186. Jay Z Posted: December 13, 2017 at 12:16 AM (#5591430)
That is one of the stupidest things I have ever ####### heard of... it absolutely matters what the score of the game is... a 32-50 record in one run games in which you allowed only one run clearly has nothing to do with the pitcher of record, if it's two runs, it still has nothing to do with the pitcher of record, you would have to actually look at his record in one run games where his team scored within a margin of league average run scored to produce anything resembling a reasonable argument. Anything else is just a monkey ####### a coconut.


Breakdown of Blyleven's one run games, 1970-79:

Won 1-0 - 13
Lost 0-1 - 8
Total - 13-8

Won 2-1 - 7
Lost 1-2 - 13
Total - 7-13
Running Total = 20-21

Won 3-2 - 6
Lost 2-3 - 15
Total - 6-15
Running Total = 26-36

Won 4-3 - 3
Lost 3-4 - 8
Total - 3-8
Running Total - 29-44

Won 5-4 - 3
Lost 4-5 - 2
Total - 3-2
Running Total - 32-46

He lost three 5-6 games and one 6-7 games to get to 32-50.










   187. Rob_Wood Posted: December 13, 2017 at 04:10 AM (#5591454)
People may know (especially since I mention it so often) that I introduced a stat back in the old Baseball Primer days to evaluate how much "win value" a starting pitcher contributed to their team winning each one of their starts based upon how many runs they gave up in the game versus how many runs their team scored in the game.

Fifteen or so years ago the traditional "old school" way of evaluating starting pitchers was to look at W-L records. New school sabermetric methods emphasized run prevention stats such as ERA+ (which begat WAA and WAR). Notice that not much has changed in 15 years!

My method attempted to incorporate elements of both approaches to fairly put the pitcher's run prevention into context. A pitcher who wins a game 2-1 contributed a great deal to his team winning the game (the team won a game in which they only scored two runs). Another pitcher who wins a game 12-0, it could be argued, didn't contribute all that much to his team winning the game (since the team would win a game in which it scored twelve runs with just about any pitching performance out of their starter that day).

By doing an after-the-fact review of how many runs the pitcher allows and how many runs the pitcher's team scores while he was in the game (and how many innings he pitched in the game), my framework estimates the team's win probability given the pitcher's performance and the team's win probability assuming a league average pitching performance in the game. The difference is the pitcher's "win value" in that game.

Using the Retrosheet database of game accounts for the 1941-2017 seasons, I have estimated the win value of every starting pitcher in every game played in the past 77 major league seasons. I have developed two measures: (1) Win value relative to a league average pitcher; and (2) Win value relative to a league replacement pitcher.

The table below presents the best 50 pitchers in 1941-2017 according to Win Values. As a convenient short-hand to reflect that value above league average is roughly twice as "pennant valuable" as value above league replacement (but below league average), the table below also reports (and is sorted by) the sum of these two measures as a way to "balance" peak vs career.

.                              WIN    WIN
RANK   PITCHER        STARTS  VALUE  VALUE   SUM
.                              AVG    REPL
 1  Roger Clemens        707   82.4  123.3  205.7
 2  Greg Maddux          740   65.2  106.9  172.1
 3  Tom Seaver           647   56.0   95.8  151.7
 4  Randy Johnson        603   54.0   88.2  142.1
 5  Warren Spahn         665   44.6   87.1  131.6
 6  Pedro Martinez       409   51.6   74.3  125.9
 7  Jim Palmer           521   45.7   77.8  123.5
 8  Tom Glavine          682   38.0   74.7  112.7
 9  Bob Gibson           482   40.4   72.0  112.4
10  Gaylord Perry        690   34.7   77.6  112.3

11  Bert Blyleven        685   34.6   75.9  110.6
12  Nolan Ryan           773   33.1   77.5  110.6
13  Steve Carlton        709   33.6   76.6  110.2
14  Mike Mussina         536   39.0   68.7  107.7
15  Fergie Jenkins       594   34.4   70.7  105.1
16  Curt Schilling       436   38.4   64.1  102.5
17  Don Sutton           756   28.7   72.5  101.2
18  Robin Roberts        609   30.1   68.1   98.2
19  Whitey Ford          438   34.2   59.5   93.6
20  Clayton Kershaw 
(a)  290   37.9   54.0   91.9

21  Kevin Brown          476   32.1   59.0   91.1
22  Roy Halladay         390   34.2   56.6   90.8
23  Phil Niekro          716   23.7   66.6   90.2
24  John Smoltz          481   30.8   57.6   88.4
25  Tim Hudson           479   30.7   56.7   87.3
26  Tommy John           700   23.7   62.2   85.8
27  Luis Tiant           484   28.2   56.1   84.2
28  C
.CSabathia (a)    509   27.1   54.8   81.9
29  Sandy Koufax         314   31.0   49.4   80.4
30  Juan Marichal        457   25.6   54.6   80.2

31  Andy Pettitte        521   25.9   53.4   79.3
32  Zack Greinke 
(a)     381   29.5   49.5   79.0
33  Don Drysdale         465   25.6   53.4   78.9
34  David Cone           419   27.2   50.8   78.0
35  Bret Saberhagen      371   28.3   49.0   77.3
36  Felix Hernandez 
(a)  375   27.5   48.4   75.9
37  Hal Newhouser 
(inc)  353   26.5   48.8   75.3
38  Kevin Appier         402   26.8   48.2   75.1
39  Billy Pierce         433   24.5   50.2   74.7
40  Roy Oswalt           341   28.1   46.5   74.7

41  Cole Hamels 
(a)      362   27.0   46.7   73.7
42  Rick Reuschel        529   22.0   51.2   73.2
43  Chuck Finley         467   23.5   49.1   72.5
44  Johan Santana        284   28.0   43.5   71.6
45  Jimmy Key            389   25.3   46.2   71.5
46  Jim Bunning          519   20.3   50.5   70.8
47  Jack Morris          527   19.0   50.2   69.3
48  Ron Guidry           323   24.6   43.8   68.3
49  Justin Verlander 
(a385   23.6   44.8   68.3
50  Orel Hershiser       466   21.2   46.7   68.0 


An (a) denotes a pitcher who is still active, and an (inc) denotes a pitcher for whom the Win Value data is incomplete (meaning that he pitched prior to 1941, seasons for which I have not yet calculated Win Values).

Bert Blyleven comes in at number 11. This is from a detailed examination of each and every of Blyleven's 685 starts in his career. The good, the bad, and the ugly. By this Win Value metric Blyleven is best thought of as being part of a group with Tom Glavine, Bob Gibson, Gaylord Perry, Nolan Ryan, and Steve Carlton. All more-than-qualified Hall of Famers.

Tommy John comes in at number 26 in a group with Phil Niekro, John Smoltz (removing his relief pitching), Tim Hudson, Luis Tiant, and C.C. Sabathia. This is a mixed bag that perhaps can be considered in the middle of the Hall of Fame consideration range (maybe around halfway between fully qualified and borderline qualified).

Jack Morris comes in at number 47 in a group with Chuck Finley, Johan Santana, Jimmy Key, Jim Bunning, Ron Guidry, and Orel Hershiser. These were all great pitchers, of course, but I think it is fair to say that these guys are near the borderline of meriting Hall of Fame selection.

Anyway, there are two germane points that need emphasizing. First, an analytical method has been developed over the years that goes beyond simply looking at a pitcher's W-L records (career, seasonal, in one-run games, etc.) or ERA stats (even ERA+). This method coldly undertakes an ex-post evaluation of how a pitcher performed on a game-by-game basis without delving into murky issues such as "pitching to the score", "choking", etc. Second, by using this analytical method we see that Bert Blyleven was indeed extremely valuable to his teams over the course of his career and actually belongs in a lofty cohort of great pitchers Tom Glavine, Bob Gibson, Gaylord Perry, Nolan Ryan, and Steve Carlton.

   188. BDC Posted: December 13, 2017 at 07:24 AM (#5591459)
Breakdown of Blyleven's one run games, 1970-79

To sort-of-answer my own question from above, Blyleven's teams went 32-23 in one-run games that he started, but personally had no decision, 1970-79. I don't know how great that is, but if a one-run decision is a coin flip, it looks OK to me. Steve Carlton's teams went 21-18, and Phil Niekro's went 23-21, in one-run-game starts where they got NDs 1970-79, for a bit of comparison. (This also means that the 32-50 mark represents all levels of run support and is solely in Blyleven's own decisions. I actually got 32-47 from B-Ref but I might have missed something. I was looking just at starts, and he had three relief appearances, all of which the Twins might have lost by one run or something.)

Anyway, add 32-23 to 32-50 and you get 64-73, which looks somewhat closer to a random coinflip.

I think (as others were saying) that the putative mechanism here is important. Blyleven doesn't know as he's pitching that there will be a one-run result, or whether he'll get a decision in the game. All he does is try to stop the opponents from scoring. That clearly kept his team in enough games that they won a good percentage of close ones after he'd left in the late innings. If he gets dinged for his own W/L record he should get something back for his team's W/L record in his NDs.

All of which is divorced from the quality of those teams, as if W/L in Blyleven starts were completely on Blyleven, again not a great assumption to start with. A system like Rob's is much better at correcting for that, I think.

   189. Rally Posted: December 13, 2017 at 08:30 AM (#5591476)
By doing an after-the-fact review of how many runs the pitcher allows and how many runs the pitcher's team scores while he was in the game (and how many innings he pitched in the game), my framework estimates the team's win probability given the pitcher's performance and the team's win probability assuming a league average pitching performance in the game. The difference is the pitcher's "win value" in that game.


That's pretty cool but one thing (unless there is more to the method than I see here) is that it gives credit for all run prevention to the pitcher. Or do you have some way to account for defensive support? Not a big deal for probably 80% of the pitcher careers, but makes a big difference on some outliers like Jim Palmer.
   190. Fiore Gino Posted: December 13, 2017 at 08:40 AM (#5591484)

41 Cole Hamels (a) 362 27.0 46.7 73.7
42 Rick Reuschel 529 22.0 51.2 73.2
43 Chuck Finley 467 23.5 49.1 72.5
44 Johan Santana 284 28.0 43.5 71.6
45 Jimmy Key 389 25.3 46.2 71.5
46 Jim Bunning 519 20.3 50.5 70.8
47 Jack Morris 527 19.0 50.2 69.3
48 Ron Guidry 323 24.6 43.8 68.3
49 Justin Verlander (a) 385 23.6 44.8 68.3
50 Orel Hershiser 466 21.2 46.7 68.0


Interesting that Rick Reuschel isn't that far ahead of Morris since in metrics like WAR there is a significant advantage to Reuschel
   191. DL from MN Posted: December 13, 2017 at 09:08 AM (#5591503)
Reuschel has a big advantage in WAR because he pitched in front of bad defensive teams and Morris pitched in front of Trammell, Whitaker, Lemon, etc.
   192. Rally Posted: December 13, 2017 at 09:21 AM (#5591516)
I don't know if I'd phrase it quite that way. On the field Reuschel had a big disadvantage in that he pitched in front of awful defenses. WAR attempts to correct for that. It's all from his 1970s work with the Cubs, his late career seasons with the Giants and Pirates he pitched in front of average to good defenses, and his BABIP against was .277. Up through 1980 his BABIP was .300. That sounds like a normal figure, and it is for post 1993 sillyball seasons, but in the 1970s the league BABIP was generally between .280-.285.
   193. simon bedford Posted: December 13, 2017 at 09:33 AM (#5591527)
A system that has Nolan Ryan that high is doing several things wrong .
   194. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 13, 2017 at 09:55 AM (#5591537)
I'm curious as to if VC elections ever influence BBWAA vote totals. I often find myself debating Mike Mussina's worthiness, and one guy who was pretty solidly anti-Mussina has already said. "Mussina's better than Morris, so now that Morris is in, I guess I wouldn't have a problem with Mussina being elected" I wonder if it will help guys like Mussina and Schilling to have Morris in.

   195. simon bedford Posted: December 13, 2017 at 09:57 AM (#5591539)
Maybe I am reading what you are saying wrong a pitcher who tosses a shutout but his team scores 12 runs is penalized because things he cannot control in the least led to his team winning while all the things he could do to help his team win are discounted because of ???
Not sure I follow how that kind of "qualifying" has any kind of value at all, you are literally adjusting the "value" of a start to the score while at the same time saying that you are not.
   196. Booey Posted: December 13, 2017 at 10:48 AM (#5591584)
Given some of the vitriol exhibited over Jack Morris' election, can you forsee "passionate" Sabremetrecians going to the induction ceremony and booing him?

Because that would be messed up.


It would be, but no, I don't see anyone doing that.

One good thing about Cooperstown being located in the middle of nowhere is that it likely prevents people from going out of their way just to be a d!ck during the election speech of someone they didn't like. I don't see anyone - sabermetricians or other - doing that anyway for someone who's merely statistically unworthy, but in other circumstances I could see protests against PED suspects were they ever elected. In reality though, the remoteness of the HOF will probably prevent most of that from happening.
   197. Rally Posted: December 13, 2017 at 11:23 AM (#5591628)
Yes, that would be messed up. I don't think there is a baseball HOF precedent for that kind of behavior, but I don't want to go on record and overestimate the public. I would hope the troll people can confine that type of behavior to those whom they disagree with politically.

I would not have voted for Morris, but if I were there I'd clap, and if I ran into him I'd congratulate him.
   198. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: December 13, 2017 at 11:34 AM (#5591649)
A system that has Nolan Ryan that high is doing several things wrong .

That's the result of it being an accumulating stat and Ryan pitching forever. In terms of Win Value Average per start, Ryan ranks 44th on the list. The bottom 10:

Roberts
Carlton
Hershiser
Ryan
Reuschel
Bunning
Sutton
Morris
John
Niekro
   199. fra paolo Posted: December 13, 2017 at 11:50 AM (#5591681)
All of which is divorced from the quality of those teams, as if W/L in Blyleven starts were completely on Blyleven, again not a great assumption to start with.

While I agree that it's not a good idea to place the W/L record in a pitcher's starts completely on the pitcher, it's a useful piece of information.

Although the Quality Start was a maligned stat in its day, in retrospect it retrospect it does tell one which pitchers were good at keeping their team in the game.

Unfortunately, career aggregates in that category don't appear to be easily accessible. (One can find season totals via the team pages at BB-ref.)
   200. bachslunch Posted: December 13, 2017 at 12:55 PM (#5591805)
I wouldn’t clap or congratulate someone like Morris, but I wouldn’t boo or catcall either. Sitting quietly seems like a good middle ground.

Or maybe not going is the answer — keeping your money in your pocket might be the best statement.
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