Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jim Kaat: Dave Concepcion, Jim Bunning, Jack Morris and the Hall of Fame

Hey Meow Mixer…it might help if you stopped using the O’Connell/Madden/Ogle approved Elias ####### Sports Bureau.

I respect what the print media does and how they have helped publicize the game of baseball. I enjoy blogging on occasion, and don’t have the writing skills they possess. I was a player and I understand who was good, great, overrated and underappreciated. Writers can only go by numbers, but players know far beyond the numbers who is deserving to be callled a Hall of Famer.  If you ask Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez (all in the Hall) and Pete Rose (who had a Fall of Fame career) about Concepcion’s value to the Reds, I think they would say he is as much a Hall of Fame shortstop as Larkin.

This is not meant to diminish Barry’s credentials , it’s meant to accentuate and raise awareness to Davey’s. Food for thought to you who are voters. Why do names like Vinny Castilla and Brad Radke and some others get votes? To give them a chance to tell their grandkids that they once received votes for election into the Hall of Fame? If that is true, then the writers that do that are devaluing the importance of gaining entrance to Cooperstown.

Do they really do enough research and homework? Couldn’t they find comparable Hall of Famers and have my friends at the Elias Sports Bureau compare some numbers and get good idea if a player was Hall-worthy and if so elect him on the first ballot? Enough already with jamming this “first-ballot guy” or “may get in some day” down our throats. If one does the proper homework, research and talking to the player’s contemporaries, you shouldn’t have to wait 10 to 15 years to decide.

...Morris won 254 and helped three different teams win World Series titles. His 1-0 complete game extra-inning performance in the 1991 Series was more impressive to me than Don Larsen’s perfect game in 1956. With due respect to the Senator from Kentucky — the pitcher we affectionately called “The Lizard” because of his slinky frame and motion — Morris is more worthy of induction than Jim, and Jim obviously is worthy or he wouldn’t be there. It took the veterans committee to finally get him in.

Repoz Posted: January 11, 2012 at 08:01 AM | 62 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fantasy baseball, hall of fame, history, sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Rally Posted: January 11, 2012 at 08:32 AM (#4033963)
" I think they would say he is as much a Hall of Fame shortstop as Larkin."

There isn't much room for debate on their batting. Larkin's at +189 runs, Concepcion at -139. Only way this could be remotely true is if Concepcion was better than Ozzie on defense.
   2. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 11, 2012 at 08:43 AM (#4033966)
Morris is more worthy of induction than Jim, and Jim obviously is worthy or he wouldn’t be there

Mr. Kaat needs a tautology lesson, I fear.
   3. BrianBrianson Posted: January 11, 2012 at 08:46 AM (#4033970)
Helped is such a strong word to described Morris' relation to the Blue Jays' World Series titles.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 09:04 AM (#4033974)
His 1-0 complete game extra-inning performance in the 1991 Series was more impressive to me than Don Larsen’s perfect game in 1956.

OK, this is just crazy talk. It was a freakin perfect game. In the World Series.

I can't think of any single game feat more impressive than that (context considered).
   5. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 11, 2012 at 09:11 AM (#4033977)
If you ask Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez (all in the Hall) and Pete Rose (who had a Fall of Fame career) about Concepcion’s value to the Reds, I think they would say he is as much a Hall of Fame shortstop as Larkin.


Yawn. A bunch of players think their longtime teammate should be honored as well. This is some sort of revelation? Koufax and Drysdale probably think Maury Wills belongs. Winfield and Henderson probably think Mattingly belongs. Ask Brock and Gibson and they will probably say absolutely Joe Torre belongs. I'm sure Mantle, Berra. and Ford thought it was criminal that Maris wasn't inducted.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4033989)
It makes sense that Kaat would push for Morris' candidacy, because Kaat > Morris and if Kaat is more worthy of induction and Morris is obviously worth because he's in there, then that improves his case.
   7. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 09:30 AM (#4033990)
If you ask Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez (all in the Hall) and Pete Rose (who had a Fall of Fame career) about Foster’s value to the Reds, I think they would say he is as much a Hall of Fame left fielder as Rice.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4033998)
Foster’s value to the Reds, I think they would say he is as much a Hall of Fame left fielder as Rice.

On that specific question (comparison to Rice only), would they be wrong?
   9. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 11, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4034007)
I'm sure Mantle, Berra. and Ford thought it was criminal that Maris wasn't inducted.

Unlikely. They might say something nice but Roger kept everyone at a distance.

It's been re-worked to make Maris out to be some Gary Cooper type character but in his day he was not regarded as such.
   10. Anonymous Observer Posted: January 11, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4034009)
If Joe Morgan had his way, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum would be changed to the National 1975 Big Red Machine Museum.
   11. Rally Posted: January 11, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4034020)
"Foster’s value to the Reds, I think they would say he is as much a Hall of Fame left fielder as Rice.

On that specific question (comparison to Rice only), would they be wrong?"

About as close as two players can be. Both in career WAR and for being the exact same type of slugger at their peaks, and peaking at the same time in the late 70's.
   12. Rally Posted: January 11, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4034022)
And let's not forget their left handed mirror image, Dave Parker.
   13. BDC Posted: January 11, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4034030)
Kaat would push for Morris' candidacy, because Kaat > Morris

I was going to say, I read the headline without noticing the colon and figured TFA would be about the relative merits of all four for the HOVG.

As AROM points out in #1, the argument for Concepcion being as good as Larkin is pretty dire. I understand Dan R's argument about DC's value relative to his own contemporary SS, but that's not Kaat's argument. The traditional stats look like this:

G   PA    R    H  HR RBI  BB   SO  SB   BA  OBP  SLG
Barry Larkin        2180 9057 1329 2340 198 960 939  817 379 .295 .371 .444
Dave Concepcion     2488 9640  993 2326 101 950 736 1186 321 .267 .322 .357 


Concepcion had an admirably long career, but Larkin's edge in rate stats is overwhelming. The traditionalist argument for Concepcion is entirely intangible (because I don't think Kaat is trashing Larkin's defense, or particularly exalting Concepcion's; even if Concepcion was great, Larkin was still very, very good).
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4034061)
.267 .322 .357

That's just ugly. The 88 OPS+ would be among the very worst in the HoF.

Only Ozzie (87), Maz (84), Schalk (83), Aparicio (82) and Marranville (82) are worse. Hell Bob Lemon has an 82.

Never heard Concepcion considered as near the glove man as the other no hit SS's. Am I wrong?
   15. Downtown Bookie Posted: January 11, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4034063)
I was a player and I understand who was good, great, overrated and underappreciated. Writers can only go by numbers, but players know far beyond the numbers who is deserving to be callled a Hall of Famer.


This is why former players always make for great GMs.

[/sarcasm]

DB
   16. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4034081)
His 1-0 complete game extra-inning performance in the 1991 Series was more impressive to me than Don Larsen’s perfect game in 1956.

OK, this is just crazy talk. It was a freakin perfect game. In the World Series.

I can't think of any single game feat more impressive than that (context considered).


I disagree; I think Morris's game was more impressive. He held the opposing team scoreless for 10 innings in a Game 7. Larsen was pitching a Game 5 with the series tied at 2, so not win-or-go-home, and his team scored 2 runs for him in the 9 innings (as opposed to Morris's team, who didn't score for him at all over 9 innings).

Perfect games, at their core, are flukes.
   17. GEB4000 Posted: January 11, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4034110)
I'll take Campaneris over Concepcion any day of the week.
   18. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 11, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4034111)
Perfect games, at their core, are flukes.

Yeah, and in the case of the Larsen game, there were three defensive gems and a ball hit into the stands down the line that was foul by not that much. The most impressive thing about Larsen that day was his 97-pitch count, and the fact that he went to three balls on only one batter.

And even Morris's fabulous performance was to some extent a fluke, as it hinged upon Lonnie Smith's baserunning boner, which would've likely given the Braves the win if he hadn't made it.

In terms of pitching performance under pressure, I can't think of any game I've ever seen that topped Chris Carpenter in last year's deciding Division Series game against Roy Halladay. 1-0 on the road against the best pitcher in baseball, in a win-or-go-home situation, how in the hell can you possibly beat that?
   19. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4034120)
Yeah, and in the case of the Larsen game, there were three defensive gems and a ball hit into the stands down the line that was foul by not that much. The most impressive thing about Larsen that day was his 97-pitch count, and the fact that he went to three balls on only one batter.

some dumb reporter asked Stengel afterwards if that was the best game he had ever seen Larsen pitch, and Casey said "so far"
   20. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 11, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4034122)
Never heard Concepcion considered as near the glove man as the other no hit SS's. Am I wrong?

He was considered a great glove man. Even in Philly, there was an argument about whether Bowa** or Concepcion was a better fielder.


** Bowa set the record at the time for fewest errors in a season, ergo, he was a great fielding SS.

Side note, Bowa's humor claim to fame is that he called Concepcion "Elmer", which Bowa thought was his name because he always saw E Concepcion in the box score. Bowa, at least, felt a real rivalry with Concepcion. I'm not sure it wasn't 1-sided.
   21. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4034130)
In terms of pitching performance under pressure, I can't think of any game I've ever seen that topped Chris Carpenter in last year's deciding Division Series game against Roy Halladay. 1-0 on the road against the best pitcher in baseball, in a win-or-go-home situation, how in the hell can you possibly beat that?


See: Game 7, 1991 World Series.

I do think it's a huge deal that this was a Game 7 in a World Series. The entire season, the championship, swung on the game; they had gone as far as they could go, and with a win there would be no more work to be done (unlike Carpenter's game or Larsen's game). It was immortality.

I would never downplay Morris's effort. I just don't think it is a significant point in his case for the Hall of Fame. I don't think it makes him a great postseason pitcher per se. It was -- and as you note he had help from his fielders, as all pitchers do -- a great single game performance at a time when his team could not afford to settle for anything less than that performance.
   22. bunyon Posted: January 11, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4034136)
as it hinged upon Lonnie Smith's baserunning boner

I have a simple rule in life. I never have a drink earlier than noon or whatever time it is that I first see/hear reference to Lonnie Smith's baserunning.
   23. Howie Menckel Posted: January 11, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4034141)

Agree that Morris's performance in that game is an all-time classic gem, and there's no need to downplay it.

Does that make him a Hall of Famer?
Of course not.

   24. Johnny Slick Posted: January 11, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4034154)
Only Ozzie (87), Maz (84), Schalk (83), Aparicio (82) and Marranville (82) are worse. Hell Bob Lemon has an 82.
This actually makes me think that Concepcion has a better claim to the HOF than I did before. Concepcion's claim is that he was essentially a good field no hit shortstop who played with an historically great team. That's comparable, and apparently slightly better, to 3 guys who are already in the Hall (I'll exclude Ozzie because he's similar and was an otherworldly defender and Schalk because he was a catcher, not a middle infielder, and got in in large part because he was one of the Clean Sox).
   25. kthejoker Posted: January 11, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4034156)
The original assertion was without context that his "performance" was better. With context, who cares?

If we are talking just pure pitching performance, Larsen's perfect game was much more impressive.

Morris allowed 7 hits and 2 walks to go with 8 Ks in 10 innings. He wasn't in any way unhittable, he had runners in scoring position in three innings, and as stated, only Lonnie Smith's baserunning error prevented him from losing. It was a perfectly fine performance, but it wasn't even his best performance of all-time.

   26. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4034161)
The original assertion was without context that his "performance" was better. With context, who cares?


? I responded to Snapper's #4, which specifically considered context:

OK, this is just crazy talk. It was a freakin perfect game. In the World Series.

I can't think of any single game feat more impressive than that (context considered).
   27. LargeBill Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4034163)
Concepcion obviously did not merit Hall of Fame consideration with his bat. Likewise, his defense was not spectacular to rate that honor on its own. I will say he is a tweener of sorts. He provided slightly more offense than majority of MI of that era. His defense was consistently good to very good. Also, some credit him with being first to regularly use the hard surface like at Riverfront to bounce the throw to 1B. We've seen in many cases that BBWAA does not value well rounded players as much as those that excel in just one facet of the game. I'm not advocating Concepcion be enshrined, just saying it isn't as much of a joke to those of that era as some make it out to be. To a much greater degree Trammell is hurt by the same mentality. Don't get me wrong, Trammell was a much, much better overall player than Concepcion. Their similarity is in being balanced players.
   28. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4034165)
Frankie Frisch approves of this message.
   29. Rally Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4034171)
"Never heard Concepcion considered as near the glove man as the other no hit SS's. Am I wrong?"

Some do. It's a minority opinion, but he has his supporters. A lot of it for being innovative in how he played on turf. I think this would get him more support if "turf shortstop" had turned out to be an evolution instead of an evolutionary dead end.
   30. CrosbyBird Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4034180)
I can't think of any single game feat more impressive than that (context considered).

That it was game 7, and went into extra innings with no margin for error, makes Morris' feat barely more impressive.

What's the most impressive showing for a position player in a WS game? Reggie's 3 HR on 3 swings?
   31. Steve Treder Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4034182)
I have a simple rule in life. I never have a drink earlier than noon or whatever time it is that I first see/hear reference to Lonnie Smith's baserunning.

Sound principles to live by, my good man. Sound principles to live by.
   32. Steve N Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4034185)
Greatest pitching performance ever: read up on Harvey Haddix.
   33. BDC Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4034195)
It's hardly analytical, but as someone who watched them both a lot in the 1970s (from the vantage of Philly), even I had to admit, and even at the time, that Concepcion was superior to Bowa. If Concepcion's signature was the topspin bounce throw, Bowa's was a sort of primeval jump throw, where he would get to the ball in the hole, stand up on his tiptoes, strain and heave. It was clear that Concepcion was just a stronger, surer fielder; his range and quickness were better than Bowa's, too.

Some of the newer metrics hate Bowa a lot; DRA has him as one of the worst SS of his, or any, era. Here's WAR Fielding Runs for shortstops (1970-79 only), however:

Player            Rfield    G
Mark Belanger        193 1402
Bert Campaneris       86 1342
Dave Concepcion       55 1349
Bill Russell          47 1317
Larry Bowa            43 1489
Tim Foli              43 1165
Bud Harrelson         28 1009
Freddie Patek         25 1329
Chris Speier          25 1295
Roger Metzger        
-32 1191
Don Kessinger        
-42 1355 


Bowa doesn't look ridiculous there. But it does show that Belanger and Campaneris were the gold standard. I was an NL fan and only got to see Belanger or Campaneris on TV, usually in the postseason, so can't comment much from observation, but the rankings of the NL shortstops in that list are similar to what I would have come up with at the time. (Yes, we did think Bowa was pretty good :)
   34. DanG Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4034201)
One problem I have with putting Concepcion in the Hall is I don't see him as a top 50 candidate. The last couple years, the HOF has done its job, picking guys off the top of the list (Larkin, Santo, Blyleven, Alomar). I even have no problem with guys like Dawson and Gordon. However, unless you give him tremendous credit for being the best of a weak crowd of shortstops, Concepcion is nowhere near the Hall. Who would be a worse shortstop in the HOF?
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4034203)
Greatest pitching performance ever: read up on Harvey Haddix.

Yes. If you remove the World Series context, you have Haddix to consider, other perfect games, The Spahn/Marichal 16 inning duel, the 20K games, etc.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4034205)
Player Rfield G
Mark Belanger 193 1402
Bert Campaneris 86 1342
Dave Concepcion 55 1349
Bill Russell 47 1317
Larry Bowa 43 1489
Tim Foli 43 1165


If that's close to accurate, Concepcion doesn't deserve a sniff. If you're going in with a 88 OPS+ you better be an elite fielding SS, best in your era. He's in a lump of guys for 3rd best.
   37. Baldrick Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4034220)
Absent playoff context, the best single pitching performance has to be Kerry Wood, doesn't it?
   38. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4034227)
Absent playoff context, the best single pitching performance has to be Kerry Wood, doesn't it?


FWIW, highest 9 inning game score ever.
   39. Johnny Slick Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4034229)
As a corollary to thus, how do Omar Vizuel's HOF chances look? He was a fantastic fielder in his prime, definitely a notch above Concepción in my book, his hitting a couple notches below, and he played even longer so has the counting stats. I'd be inclined to vote him in but then I'm a Mariner homer. What are his real chances?
   40. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4034234)
As a corollary to thus, how do Omar Vizuel's HOF chances look?


Not good. He'd have to retire first.
   41. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4034239)
Absent playoff context, the best single pitching performance has to be Kerry Wood, doesn't it?


And full context (playoff implications, state of the game, state of his body), the most impressive I've seen was Pedro's six innings of no-hit ball in what had been a slugfest Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4034240)
Absent playoff context, the best single pitching performance has to be Kerry Wood, doesn't it?

Not better than either of these.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SFN/SFN196307020.shtml
   43. Rally Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4034251)
Best game by a pitcher is slightly different than best pitched game. For the latter it has to be Rick Wise: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN197106230.shtml

No hitter and hits 2 homers.
   44. Grumbledook Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4034254)
Heck, Harvey Haddix even has a song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFHZGIQusOg
   45. OCF Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4034261)
If that's close to accurate, Concepcion doesn't deserve a sniff. If you're going in with a 88 OPS+ you better be an elite fielding SS, best in your era. He's in a lump of guys for 3rd best.

Dan Rosenheck has Concepcion's name in his screen name, but actually pushes Campaneris as the best remaining SS candidate from that era in HoM arguments.
   46. baerga1 Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4034263)
And full context (playoff implications, state of the game, state of his body), the most impressive I've seen was Pedro's six innings of no-hit ball in what had been a slugfest Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS.


I might have to institute a #22-style drinking rule with respect to that game. When Pedro came in, you knew it was over. In the damn 4th inning.. sigh.
   47. BDC Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4034301)
Best pitching performance I ever saw in person was Dwight Gooden in this game, accentuated by the fact that the aged Steve Carlton was craftily unhittable on the other side. Which is not quite what people were asking, I know, but hey, it's Dwight Gooden. He probably constitutes many 1980s fans' BPPIESIP.
   48. Don Malcolm Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4034318)
If Concepcion is a Hall of Famer (and that is a long discussion that may well already exist over at the Hall of Merit archives), two points are likely to be prominent:

--In the HoF structure, he'd be a VC pick.
--That case would rest on the ten solid years at the core of his career, age 25-34, when he put up 99+% of his total value according to WAR.

His 25-34 years rank 19th all-time for SS according to WAR.

Top twenty-one:

Wagner*
----------70
----------60
----------55
Ripken*
Larkin*
----------50
Trammell
Jeter
----------45
Smith*
Appling*
Reese*
Boudreau*
Cronin*
Tejada
Wallace*
----------40
Bancroft*
Campaneris
Vaughan* (better earlier...)
Fletcher
Tinker*
----------35
Peckinpaugh
Bell (Jay)
Concepcion
Parent
Dark
----------30

*HOF

NOTES: Damn, that Honus!!! Rizzuto would probably be on the list, but he missed three years (age 25-27) due to WWII. Jimmy Rollins will probably make the list, as he has two more years to go before he's filled up the 25-34 years and is currently hovering at just under 29. A-Rod not here because he switched to 3B at age 28.
   49. Baldrick Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4034354)
A-Rod almost makes the list anyways. In the three years before he switched he had 24 WAR. One more year at SS in there and he'd make the cut.
   50. OCF Posted: January 11, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4034362)
Here's a link to Concepcion's HoM page. That thread was all posted 2007, and included many postings by Dan R discussing not only Concepcion but also Trammell, Smith, Larkin, and several other shortstops. But I think Dan's views have evolved somewhat since then, and as I said, he has gravitated toward Campaneris.
   51. Bob Evans Posted: January 11, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4034604)
Mr. Malcolm brings up some interesting questions. E.g., Tejada: in? Vaughan: 2nd best ever, really? Tram = Jeter, seriously? (and I think Tram s/b in)... Jay Bell: Jay F. Bell?
   52. DanG Posted: January 11, 2012 at 07:05 PM (#4034625)
Other shortstop types, added in CAPS

Wagner*
----------70
----------60
----------55
Ripken*
DAVIS G*
Larkin*
BANKS*
----------50
Trammell
Jeter
GLASSCOCK
WALLACE
DAHLEN
----------45
Smith*
Appling*
Reese*
Boudreau*
Cronin*
Tejada
Wallace*
----------40
Bancroft*
Campaneris
Vaughan* (better earlier...)
Fletcher
LONG H
MCKEAN
Tinker*
----------35
Peckinpaugh
Bell (Jay)
Concepcion
Parent
Dark
----------30
   53. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: January 11, 2012 at 07:25 PM (#4034634)
It genuinely did not occur to me that the two asterisks in "Bowa**" in comment 20 were actually being used to denote an incidental note at the bottom of the comment. My natural reaction, which seemed perfectly reasonable to me, was to read it as a bowdlerization of a nickname of Bowa's that I hadn't heard before, but that nonetheless seemed appropriate.
   54. Walt Davis Posted: January 11, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4034658)
ON Concepcion:

Dan R's main point is that replacement-level SS was so horrid in that era that Concepcion shines. I think he ends up rating him the equivalent of McCovey. Anyway, he's got a point. From 73-82 (the period identified by Don), Cocnepcion had a 101 OPS+ which was good for third best of those 10 years among players with at least 800 games at SS with Robin Yount leading at 106. Of the players who made it to 800 games in that 10-year period, the median OPS+ is 77 (DeJesus). Tim Foli got 5100 PA with a 66, Veryzer almost 3000 PA with a 62. Drop it to 400 games and the median becomes Kessinger with a 75 but the bottom plummets and you get Luis Gomez with about 1400 PA at 40; the infamous Mendoza is here with a 41 in nearly 1500 PA. In WAR terms, he's 2nd with 33.5, only 1.5 behind Yount and way ahead of Templeton in 3rd with 20. In WAR terms he was playing at an HoF level for those 10 years.

Whether the talent pool was awful or there was a collectively insane response to astroturf resulting in all-defense, no-hit SS I don't know. I am not a fan of putting a guy in the HoF just because his competition at the position stunk at an historical level but I can see where it greatly increases his "value." (Similar to our recent discussion about durable average pitchers being valuable.)

As to his actual HoF chances, he's got a shot with the VC. His fate with the writers was pretty much sealed because he wasn't considered one of the great fielding SS of all-time but he was on the ballot for 15 years peaking at 16%.

On Vizquel: He's got a shot. The HoF does historically go for great-fielding SS. Maranville was considered the best ever to that point -- it took him a while but he made it. He was superceded by Aparicio who also added a ton of steals (and has one of the oddest HoF voting histories you'll ever see). Then of course Ozzie. Nobody thinks Vizquel is Ozzie's equal so I don't see him making it but his 11 GG are second only to Ozzie's 13 at SS. I'm expecting him to have a Concepcion-like existence at the bottom of the backlog for a long time.

And of course his offensive performance is simply proof he didn't use PEDs. :-)

EDIT: Back to the Concepcion bit ... guys like Mendoza/Gomez were generally the replacement-level guys but each spent about 1.5 seasons as a starter. From 76-81, Veryzer averaged about 400 PA per season with a 55 OPS+ -- he was the Tigers primary SS during that period. The 80s weren't really much better with Rafael Belliard plus Andres Thomas spending a fair time as starters. From an arbitrary 1972-1990 I get 28 seasons with 400+ PA and an OPS+<55 with 80% games at SS. Mendoza with a 25, Piccolo with a 31, Bowa a 39. Look at 100-400 PA and you get 68 more seasons with an OPS+ under 55 with Angel Salazar contributing 300 PA of 23 and another nearly 200 PA of 9. Replacement level SS was way, way down there for that period. Not that TPJ has anything to brag about in the 00s.
   55. The District Attorney Posted: January 11, 2012 at 08:37 PM (#4034675)
I think the knee-jerk reaction to the Rosenheck argument is to say "so what, there were a bunch of crappy shortstops in the league and Concepcion/Campy were the best of the bad bunch." That was my first reaction as well. But the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. For one thing, although there are certainly going to be up and down blips from season to season, it seems a little implausible that there could be a decade-plus period where the entire major leagues has a hard time producing any decent players at a position. And at least if you can come up with an explanation for why a position's requirements might have changed at a given time, it just makes more sense to say that things happen for reasons than to say that everything is either dumb luck or managers being stupid. As mentioned, there certainly is such an explanation for '70s shortstops: the rise of turf and the return of speed to the game, which demanded a better defensive SS. And I think that very often, there will in fact be an explanation for the state of the position in a given era that is pretty easy to see. For instance, it isn't hard to come up with a reason why there were an unusual number of 1B/DHs putting up big offensive numbers in the mid-1990s.

Since the vast majority of us believe in the "replacement level" principle, I really think we should be taking this system more seriously. I think it is finding true replacement value a lot better than the more generic methods.

Of course, this is not Kaat's argument, and the "ask his teammates" argument is stupid. (BTW, I believe Bowa's beef with Concepcion dates back to Davey's public badmouthing of Bushmills.) And I can't help thinking, as post #6, that Morris's election would help Kaat's own case. On the bright side, I think most of us would agree with Kaat's thoughts on the "first ballot." And if his argument isn't intended to be "ask Concepcion's teammates whether he was any good" but rather a more general "players should be allowed to vote too", he's probably right about that.

Oh, and Vizquel is 100% in. 2,841 hits from a SS, 11 Gold Gloves, career makes for a good story, very well-liked personally. The steroid trainwreck will affect the timing, that's all. Totally in at this point.
   56. jingoist Posted: January 11, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4034718)
I have a 10 year old Bill James abstract and I believe he stated in that version that Arky Vaughn was the second best SS of all time.
Might Mr James have a different opinion in his latest abstract?
If yes, what is his current take on the top 10 of all time.

As I recall he was also a big fan of Bagwell, thinking him a shoo-in for the HoF if he continued unabated (which he unfortunately didn't).
   57. cardsfanboy Posted: January 11, 2012 at 09:57 PM (#4034736)
Reggie's 3 HR on 3 swings?


the three homers is impressive, the three swings point is just a minor bit of trivia, it doesn't affect the value of each at bat in the slightest and outside of a story perspective it has absolutely no bearing or relevance on the type of performance.
   58. Sunday silence Posted: January 12, 2012 at 12:40 AM (#4034860)
the three homers is impressive, the three swings point is just a minor bit of trivia, it doesn't affect the value of each at bat in the slightest and outside of a story perspective it has absolutely no bearing or relevance on the type of performance.


Right, but doesnt the same reasoning apply to these "pitchers scores" that first Bill James come up with? They quote Kerry WOods's score or whatever, does it matter if he KO's them or gets them on a ground ball? At a certain pt. you just can't quantify it to the pt. of a single number. There are several basic skills involved at even it's barest level...

*******

I dont think the discussion of best player at his position is so cut dried as some of you think. You put different players in different eras with a different emphasis on skills and you might find vast discrepancies. Most eras probably have at least two guys who can be put forth as best at that position. And once you factor in park effects, league wide effects, injuries, usage, big game performance, etc. there is a large area of grey.

ANd then you, as a researcher try to figure out what the turnover rate is or what the average longevity should be for such a player. Be it ten years or 5 years or whatever. There might be 20 generations of CFs with 2 guys for every generation. Sure Mays and RIcky would always have longer careers but for a given stretch, one year, or one month or one week. WHo knows?

That much is hard to argue. As a personal opinion it rankles me to no end that people are willing to re-characterize a players career or somehow look at him differently by assuming he plays at a time when he didn't. LIke giving Rizzuto war time credit. Or credit for Lefty ODoul, or for Minoso. THere's lots of reasons could be race, could be sitting in the minors. I understand the logic, or fairnes of it. But nobody wants to oh, I dunno say compare Clemente to Aaron say there could not possibly be an argument.

WIth Frank Robinson, OK I can him I guess. But take all three of them: Clemente, Aaron, Robinson.

What if they played in the dead ball era? WHo gets more love? People will easily assume Rizzuto will perform just as Rizzuto in years even when he didnt play or that Ted Williams won't get hurt if he plays during WW II and/or Korea. Well who knows?

YOu dont even have to change a players temporal data. Just plug Clemente and Aaron into the large ball parks in the Latin American leagues where they played winter ball in the 60s. CLemente might come out ahead as larger ball parks might test a different skill set.

It's not all that cut and dried if you are willing to place players in different contexts. Not just years, but ball parks, or against different pitchers, or in overcast conditions etc. etc.

But like I said, the latter part of this rant is just personal. I just see SABR guys buying completely into an argument that Bill James made 30 years ago without even allowing for the full consequences of it..


   59. The District Attorney Posted: January 12, 2012 at 12:53 AM (#4034865)
I have a 10 year old Bill James abstract and I believe he stated in that version that Arky Vaughn was the second best SS of all time.
Might Mr James have a different opinion in his latest abstract?
That is the latest one.

As I recall he was also a big fan of Bagwell, thinking him a shoo-in for the HoF if he continued unabated (which he unfortunately didn't).
James may have wrote that elsewhere (and his ranking of Bags as the #4 all-time 1B would certainly suggest he believed it), but his comment on Bagwell in the New Historical Abstract famously consisted of the single word "Pass."
   60. cardsfanboy Posted: January 12, 2012 at 02:28 AM (#4034892)
Right, but doesnt the same reasoning apply to these "pitchers scores" that first Bill James come up with? They quote Kerry WOods's score or whatever, does it matter if he KO's them or gets them on a ground ball? At a certain pt. you just can't quantify it to the pt. of a single number. There are several basic skills involved at even it's barest level...


technically a K is a more or less a true pitcher out, while a ball in play is a team out. That is why the ko gets bonus points. Game score is really a score about dominance, and getting strikeouts is about dominance.
   61. cardsfanboy Posted: January 12, 2012 at 02:31 AM (#4034893)
Oh, and Vizquel is 100% in. 2,841 hits from a SS, 11 Gold Gloves, career makes for a good story, very well-liked personally. The steroid trainwreck will affect the timing, that's all. Totally in at this point.


Yep, I gave up that fight this year. I think Viz is massively overrated, but there is no way he is not eventually going in, he was borderline at 2300 hits, and nobody on the planet cares how he got to 2800.
   62. LargeBill Posted: January 12, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4035039)
Vizquel is a shrewd guy & very smart business man. I wouldn't doubt that part of reason he is handing on well into his 40's is he saw the ridiculous number of superstars hitting the ballot in a condensed period and he decided he's start his 5 year waiting period a little later in hopes some of the backlog is cleared before he shows on the ballot. Could work. 2013 we will likely see a couple go in and couple guys fall off the ballot who in past would have gotten the 5% to stay. I don't know if he has found a team for 2012, but if he's willing to be paid like a utility IF he should be able to find work. 2017 or 2018 ballot may be friendlier to new candidates than next couple years. On that thought, if I were Mark McGwire I'd ask team to activate me for PH duty to restart his 15 years. I'm still betting Vizquel will get his 3,000th hit off Jamie Moyer in Moyer's 300th win. Moyer is attempting a comeback after TJ surgery and teams that have worked him out say he's throwing well.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
phredbird
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP 2018 2018 Nov 5 - The Trump dilemma hits the Boston Red Sox amid a wave of White House boycotts in sports
(2343 - 2:30am, Nov 13)
Last: Proo

NewsblogOT - NBA Thread (2018-19 season kickoff edition)
(2141 - 2:14am, Nov 13)
Last: there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135

NewsblogOT - November* 2018 College Football thread
(165 - 1:28am, Nov 13)
Last: there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135

Hall of MeritMock 2018 Today’s Game Hall of Fame Ballot
(29 - 11:21pm, Nov 12)
Last: Dr. Chaleeko

NewsblogNo MLB rule changes likely until eve of spring training
(28 - 11:16pm, Nov 12)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogJoe Mauer Retires After 15 Seasons
(58 - 10:40pm, Nov 12)
Last: Sweatpants

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (November 2018)
(106 - 9:32pm, Nov 12)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogRed Sox: Bill James “is not an employee nor does he speak for the club”
(180 - 8:47pm, Nov 12)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogDodgers release Utley to facilitate retirement
(42 - 8:27pm, Nov 12)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogReport: Nationals Ownership Rejected Bryce Harper Trade to Astros
(21 - 8:06pm, Nov 12)
Last: Adam Starblind

NewsblogOT: Soccer Thread (2018-19 season begins!)
(1189 - 7:26pm, Nov 12)
Last: Mefisto

NewsblogIt's not just the worst teams not spending money in baseball free agency — it's the richest, too
(41 - 7:02pm, Nov 12)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogOT Gaming: October 2015
(914 - 3:18pm, Nov 12)
Last: Zonk is Just the Right Amount of Wrought

NewsblogMLB owners expected to unanimously approve extension for Rob Manfred next week, report says
(14 - 2:44pm, Nov 12)
Last: shoewizard

Gonfalon CubsNow what?
(216 - 2:28pm, Nov 12)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

Page rendered in 0.5271 seconds
46 querie(s) executed