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Wednesday, June 05, 2019

KYW Newsradio: Kenney, Wolf Join Campaign to Elect Dick Allen to the Hall of Fame

The Allen campaign is relentlessly driven by Mark “Froggy” Carfagno — a former Veterans Stadium groundskeeper who believes Allen was “the most productive offensive player from 1964 through 1974.”

“Better than Hank Aaron,” he continued, “Willie Mays, Willie Stargell, Johnny Bench, Ron Santo — all Hall of Famers. They’re all in the Hall of Fame. Why isn’t this guy?”

 

Players with a similar number of Batting Wins as Allen from age 22-32:

Rk         Player BtWins OPS+   PA From   To
16        Mel Ott   51.2  159 7025 1931 1941
17 Frank Robinson   51.1  160 6815 1958 1968
18     Dick Allen   48.6  165 6270 1964 1974
19   Jeff Bagwell   48.1  159 6519 1991 2000
20    Joe Jackson   47.8  171 5652 1910 1920
21  Dan Brouthers   46.6  180 4877 1880 1890
22 Alex Rodriguez   46.4  151 7553 1998 2008
23  Eddie Collins   46.2  152 7014 1909 1919
24  Manny Ramirez   45.6  157 6520 1994 2004 
DanG Posted: June 05, 2019 at 08:46 PM | 176 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dick allen, hall of fame, phillies

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: June 05, 2019 at 10:13 PM (#5848831)
Allen was certainly a beast in his prime. Unfortunately that's all he's got and even that prime provided no value beyond his hitting. And then there's walking out on his team mid-season. I'm fine with him in, I'm fine with him out. I'll agree that the line between him and some guys who are in is, at most, thin and of course that he is more deserving than some guys who are in (not sure I'd support a single one of those guys though). But that's the nature of the "borderline", it's pretty arbitrary as to which side you end up on.
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 05, 2019 at 10:28 PM (#5848848)
And then there's walking out on his team mid-season.
It’s certainly not a point in his favor, but Allen “retired” with 2 weeks left in the season, not at mid season.
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: June 05, 2019 at 10:40 PM (#5848865)
It’s certainly not a point in his favor, but Allen “retired” with 2 weeks left in the season, not at mid season


ehh... Whitey Herzog did that in July... it didn't hurt his hof chances.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 06, 2019 at 02:28 AM (#5848911)
Man sure could hit, but why Allen instead of Dwight Evans, or Reggie Smith, or Jim Edmonds, or Bobby Abreu, or Bobby Bonds?
   5. DanG Posted: June 06, 2019 at 08:26 AM (#5848934)
but why Allen instead of Dwight Evans, or Reggie Smith, or Jim Edmonds, or Bobby Abreu, or Bobby Bonds?
Because he's alive. It's despicable what the HOF did to Ron Santo.

The system of electing players used by the Veterans Committee was revamped just as Santo was about to fall under their review. The new system was an abject failure, electing one MLB player in ten years. By the time the Hall figured this out, Santo had died.

Like Santo, Dick Allen is not a borderline selection, but clearly crosses the line, given the HOF's established standards. The Hall of Merit easily elected Allen in his first year eligible.

Most WAA for living HOF candidates age 75 or older in 2019:

Player          WAAWAR/  Born    PA From   To
Dick Allen      32.9  58.7 1942  7315 1963 1977
Graig Nettles   32.8  68.0 1944 10228 1967 1988
Sal Bando       32.7  61.5 1944  8287 1966 1981
Pete Rose       29.1  79.7 1941 15890 1963 1986
Jim Wynn        28.8  55.9 1942  8011 1963 1977
Bert Campaneris 21.4  53.1 1942  9625 1964 1983
Bill Freehan    21.2  44.8 1941  6900 1961 1976
Rocky Colavito  21.2  44.5 1933  7559 1955 1968 

Pitchers
Player       WAA/pit  WAR Born     IP From   To
Luis Tiant      34.0 65.6 1940 3486.1 1964 1982
Wilbur Wood     25.9 52.1 1941 2684.0 1961 1978
Jerry Koosman   23.9 57.0 1942 3839.1 1967 1985
Sam McDowell    21.7 43.1 1942 2492.1 1961 1975
Tommy John      21.5 62.1 1943 4710.1 1963 1989 
   6. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 06, 2019 at 09:17 AM (#5848947)
The Allen campaign is relentlessly driven by Mark “Froggy” Carfagno — a former Veterans Stadium groundskeeper who believes Allen was “the most productive offensive player from 1964 through 1974.”

“Better than Hank Aaron,” he continued, “Willie Mays,


Wow, that's pretty ridiculous. Allen was more than ten years younger than Mays, and eight years younger than Aaron, and both of these men had won MVPs before Allen was out of high school. Allen was a better offensive player between 1964 and 1974 than Mickey Mantle, Ernie Banks, and Stan Musial, too.
   7. Sweatpants Posted: June 06, 2019 at 09:42 AM (#5848955)
Maybe they're worried that if they elect him then they'll have to let Hank Allen in, too, same as the '70s Sox.
   8. . Posted: June 06, 2019 at 09:51 AM (#5848960)
Him leaving "mid-season" was the functional equivalent of a college football junior/senior heading to the NFL blowing off the Taxslayer Bowl.
   9. QLE Posted: June 06, 2019 at 10:34 AM (#5848979)
Man sure could hit, but why Allen instead of Dwight Evans, or Reggie Smith, or Jim Edmonds, or Bobby Abreu, or Bobby Bonds?


Two different points come to mind:

1) Why would the Mayor of Philadelphia and the Governor of Pennsylvania campaign for Evans, Smith, Edmonds, or Bonds? None of those men played for teams based in their city and state.

2) In Allen's case, he's scheduled to next come up for review by the HOF in 2021- but, after that, would not be under their review again for another five years. As a result, there is a level of urgency present there that isn't for Edmonds (who isn't even eligible for further HOF consideration until 2027) or for Abreu (who we think should be helped at least somewhat by how much the BBWAA ballot has cleared) or for Evans, Smith, and Bonds (where the issue of those who engage in ballot selection is more at play, and who in theory could be on far more packed ballots than Allen).
   10. The Duke Posted: June 06, 2019 at 09:56 PM (#5849271)
I’d like to see Allen go in. Remind me again why Craig nettles is not in?
   11. bobm Posted: June 06, 2019 at 10:05 PM (#5849273)
The Allen campaign is relentlessly driven by Mark “Froggy” Carfagno — a former Veterans Stadium groundskeeper


Allen is also a former Phillie groundskeeper of sorts

Allen didn't make any friends with his famous remark: “I can play anywhere. First, third, left field, anywhere but Philadelphia.”

It got so Allen begged to be traded, particularly to the Mets. There was no such thing as free agency back then, so Allen was stuck with the Phillies. He began to scribble messages in the dirt at first base, saying, “BOO” and “Oct. 2,” which marked the end of the season.

MLB commissioner Bowie Kuhn ordered Allen to stop, so Allen wrote, “Why?” and “No.” An umpire eventually ordered Allen to stop, so he responded by writing, “Mom.” This was Allen's way of saying his mother was the only one who could tell him what to do.

Ironically, during the six-game span in which he wrote messages in the dirt, Allen hit five home runs.




Link
   12. DanG Posted: June 06, 2019 at 11:29 PM (#5849284)
Remind me again why Craig nettles is not in?
.248
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: June 06, 2019 at 11:35 PM (#5849286)
Man sure could hit, but why Allen instead of Dwight Evans, or Reggie Smith, or Jim Edmonds, or Bobby Abreu, or Bobby Bonds?


Mostly because the reason he is kept out is considered because of either latent racism or lack of understanding numbers... I have never been a pro-Allen supporter.. not against his inclusion in the slightest... but he's just not the mountain I want to plant my flag on. Obviously he's a much better selection than Jim Rice... but that is a completely different discussion. I get that the stat community wants Allen... but at the same time, he has so many negatives that for a guy that is "over the line" there is probably enough there to pull him back below the line or at least make it a discussion.

   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 06, 2019 at 11:58 PM (#5849288)
Because he's alive. It's despicable what the HOF did to Ron Santo.
Wait, when did Dwight Evans, Reggie Smith, Jim Edmonds and Bobby Abreu all die? Was there a HoM outfielder Rapture that I missed?
   15. Howie Menckel Posted: June 07, 2019 at 12:21 AM (#5849295)
Remind me again why Craig nettles is not in?

the 1981 Fleer baseball card had him as "Craig" and not the correct "Graig" on the back.

I think he had a Topps card where the 'fun fact' was the spelling of his name.

anyway, he's in the Hall of Merit - so who needs the HOF?
   16. Hank Gillette Posted: June 07, 2019 at 12:32 AM (#5849296)
Remind me again why Craig nettles is not in?


Because his brother Graig was much better, and they split the vote.
   17. BrianBrianson Posted: June 07, 2019 at 09:26 AM (#5849305)
Man sure could hit, but why Allen instead of Dwight Evans, or Reggie Smith, or Jim Edmonds, or Bobby Abreu, or Bobby Bonds?


These all guys I'd probably be fine with either way. So, to pick your favourite and push for him makes perfect sense to me.
   18. Rally Posted: June 07, 2019 at 10:01 AM (#5849314)
Mostly because the reason he is kept out is considered because of either latent racism or lack of understanding numbers...


I don't know how any of that puts him over say, Reggie Smith. Allen came up only 3 years earlier. 1964 Philadelphia or 1967 Boston? I don't know which was worse for a young A.A. player. Allen was the superior hitter but Smith was an excellent hitter himself and a far better defender.

Some coincidences in their careers - both played for the Cardinals and Dodgers after early runs with their original franchises.
   19. DanG Posted: June 07, 2019 at 10:01 AM (#5849315)
Wait, when did Dwight Evans, Reggie Smith, Jim Edmonds and Bobby Abreu all die? Was there a HoM outfielder Rapture that I missed?
Refer to the chart in post #5. None of those four is listed among the oldest candidates.

Granted, those players are also deserving of the Hall. But none of those will be on the Golden Days Era ballot with Allen in December 2020. More importantly, there is a groundswell of support for his election. Five years ago, Allen missed being elected by one vote. So now is the time to join the push for his election, while he’s still around to be honored in person.

Reggie Smith is nearly as old as Allen, and was just as good. Unfortunately, there is no campaign for his election to the HOF. He’ll be lucky to even make the ballot for the Modern Baseball era election this December.
   20. DanG Posted: June 07, 2019 at 01:32 PM (#5849395)
Mostly because the reason he is kept out is considered because of either latent racism or lack of understanding numbers... I get that the stat community wants Allen... but at the same time, he has so many negatives that for a guy that is "over the line" there is probably enough there to pull him back below the line or at least make it a discussion.
Yes, latent racism and the era of depressed offense that Allen played in are factors. But the bigger reason, as you say, is that “he has so many negatives”. The infamous “character clause”.

While I don’t just want to hand wave that away, I think we need to understand the context of the young Allen’s behavior. When you look into that, I think it’s easy to sympathize with his occasional immature reactions to the difficulties that he faced. Later in his career he became a respected mentor to younger players and “the manager on the field” per manager Chuck Tanner.

His Wikipedia entry has this show of support:

Willie Stargell countered with a historical perspective of Dick Allen's time: "Dick Allen played the game in the most conservative era in baseball history. It was a time of change and protest in the country, and baseball reacted against all that. They saw it as a threat to the game. The sportswriters were reactionary too. They didn't like seeing a man of such extraordinary skills doing it his way. It made them nervous. Dick Allen was ahead of his time. His views and way of doing things would go unnoticed today. If I had been manager of the Phillies back when he was playing, I would have found a way to make Dick Allen comfortable. I would have told him to blow off the writers. It was my observation that when Dick Allen was comfortable, balls left the park." The two managers for whom Allen played the longest—Gene Mauch of the Phillies and Chuck Tanner of the White Sox—agreed with Willie Stargell that Allen was not a "clubhouse lawyer" who harmed team chemistry. Asked if Allen's behavior ever had a negative influence on the team, Mauch said, "Never. Dick's teammates always liked him. I'd take him in a minute." According to Tanner, "Dick was the leader of our team, the captain, the manager on the field. He took care of the young kids, took them under his wing. And he played every game as if it was his last day on earth." Hall of Fame player Orlando Cepeda agreed, saying to author Tim Whitaker, "Dick Allen played with fire in his eyes." Hall of Fame teammate Rich Gossage also confirmed Tanner's view. In an interview with USA TODAY Sports, Gossage said: "I've been around the game a long time, and he's the greatest player I've ever seen play in my life. He had the most amazing season (1972) I've ever seen. He's the smartest baseball man I've ever been around in my life. He taught me how to pitch from a hitter's prospective, and taught me how to play the game right. There's no telling the numbers this guy could have put up if all he worried about was stats. The guy belongs in the Hall of Fame." Another of Allen's ex-White Sox teammates, pitcher Stan Bahnsen, said, "I actually thought that Dick was better than his stats. Every time we needed a clutch hit, he got it. He got along great with his teammates and he was very knowledgeable about the game. He was the ultimate team guy." Another Hall of Fame teammate, Mike Schmidt, credited Dick Allen in his book, Clearing the Bases, as his mentor. In Schmidt's biography, written by historian William C. Kashatus, Schmidt fondly recalls Allen mentoring him before a game in Chicago in 1976, saying to him, "Mike, you've got to relax. You've got to have some fun. Remember when you were just a kid and you'd skip supper to play ball? You were having fun. Hey, with all the talent you've got, baseball ought to be fun. Enjoy it. Be a kid again." Schmidt responded by hitting four home runs in that game. Mike Schmidt is quoted in the same book, "The baseball writers used to claim that Dick would divide the clubhouse along racial lines. That was a lie. The truth is that Dick never divided any clubhouse."
   21. Rally Posted: June 07, 2019 at 02:27 PM (#5849414)
Mike Schmidt is quoted in the same book, "The baseball writers used to claim that Dick would divide the clubhouse along racial lines. That was a lie. The truth is that Dick never divided any clubhouse."


I've seen a lot of players talk like that about Allen. Is the negative stuff coming from other teammates, those on the other side of the dividing line? Or sportswriters? Schmidt and Gossage were white, as were managers Mauch and Tanner, so that's a big strike against him dividing on racial lines.

He's still got some big negatives, he declined early compared to other great players, and his defense was bad. On the off field stuff, seems like there's a lot of positives to balance out the negatives. At the plate, the only better hitters outside the hall are Bonds, McGwire, and Shoeless Joe.
   22. . Posted: June 07, 2019 at 02:35 PM (#5849418)
He didn't divide jack #### on racial lines. That is and always was a small faction of sportswriters talking. There was some residual racism in Philly and among some of the Phillies players and staff, it rubbed him the wrong way as it should have, and he didn't stand still for it. BFD. He still raked and that's all that really matters. Plus all the non-racists like Tanner and Schmidt thought the world of him and say so out loud.

All that stuff was and is pretty much 100% BS. Easy to see through. The idea that he should be left out of the HOF in 2019 because of a few leftover racist players and sportswriters from the 1960s is abjectly absurd.
   23. Howie Menckel Posted: June 07, 2019 at 03:22 PM (#5849433)
pitcher Stan Bahnsen, said, "I actually thought that Dick was better than his stats. Every time we needed a clutch hit, he got it."

ok, I looked it up.
all of his "clutch" tOPS+ numbers are over 100 EXCEPT when team leading by 4+ runs, which of course = not-clutch scenarios.

but he had a tOPS+ of 103 when the team was ahead and 91 when behind.

some of his weaknesses were runners on first and second, or runner on third and nobody out - or first and second with nobody out.

but loaded up and nobody out? try a 159 tOPS! man on 3rd, ONE out? 169 tOPS!

bases loaded, 1 out? a pitiful 20 tOPS+

finally, a 136 tOPS+ in Wins, and a 62 tOPS+ in Losses

add it all up and....

   24. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: June 07, 2019 at 06:20 PM (#5849471)
Allen's only at 58 WAR, hardly the slam-dunk everybody seems to think he is. No rings, horrible defense and a bad reputation...that's a no from me, dawg.
   25. DJS Thinks Apples and Oranges are Similar Posted: June 07, 2019 at 07:02 PM (#5849475)
Those clutch numbers have significant, overwhelming issues of sample bia\s. Teams are more likely to be facing worse pitchers, on average, when they have a lead versus when they're behind. And in games in which X player is good, his team is also slightly more likely to win games than in the games in which the X player played poorly.

The league-average splits, in OPS+ points, between ahead and behind, relative to overall, tend to be somewhere between +6 and +15 in any given season.

It's the same in wins and losses. The OPS+ points for the league, in wins versus losses, is usually somewhere between 60 and 70 points. Every single player above Allen in the OPS+ career leaderboards is at least 51 (Mize) and some closer to 70. Allen's splits are a little larger, but nowhere near what the gulf given above implies. It's essentially noting that pitchers that win games are better pitchers, as a group, as pitchers that don't win games and that winning teams are better than losing teams.

When you look at actual leverage index for clutch, a far more sophisticated application of clutch-hitting, Allen has career splits, relative to overall, as 9 points better in high-leverage than low-leverage. And after faring slightly worse above, he's in the middle of the pack among those at the top of the OPS+ leaderboard (remember, larger positive numbers are better here).

Rogers Hornsby: +18
Hank Aaron: +18
Mickey Mantle: +15
Jimmie Foxx: +15
Mark McGwire: +15
Stan Musial: +13
Lou Gehrig: +11
Manny Ramirez: +10
Dick Allen: +9
Barry Bonds: +7
Willie Mays: +6
Johnny Mize: +4
Ted Williams: 0
Joe DiMaggio: 0
Mike Trout: -5
Frank Thomas: -5
Frank Robinson: -6
Mel Ott: -7
Hank Greenberg: -10
Babe Ruth: -11

I just don't see the evidence for Allen falling short because of any kind of incompetence in high-leverage situations.

As to the career WAR, while you can make the argument that his peak wasn't good enough to make the Hall -- I would disagree with this, but it's an argument -- his career WAR is kind of besides the point since his case for the Hall is based on peak value rather than career value. It may be *interesting* that Sandy Koufax has fewer career fWAR than Chuck Finley, David Wells, or Frank Tanana, but the case for Sandy Koufax being more Hall-worthy than any of these three was little to do with career WAR measures.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 07, 2019 at 07:50 PM (#5849489)
Allen's only at 58 WAR, hardly the slam-dunk everybody seems to think he is. No rings, horrible defense and a bad reputation...that's a no from me, dawg.

Concur.
   27. Howie Menckel Posted: June 07, 2019 at 09:03 PM (#5849498)
I just don't see the evidence for Allen falling short because of any kind of incompetence in high-leverage situations.

did anyone suggest that?
   28. Rob_Wood Posted: June 07, 2019 at 11:21 PM (#5849531)
Here are the 20 players centered around Dick Allen according to my Career Pennants Added using a Sliding Replacement (CPASR) stat.

.886 Reggie Smith
.885 Andruw Jones
.885 Mordecai Brown
.877 Nolan Ryan
.877 Jake Beckley
.874 Pete Rose
.872 Graig Nettles
.871 Keith Hernandez
.870 Dave Stieb
.869 Red Faber

.864 Dick Allen

.864 Bill Terry
.864 Hardy Richardson
.859 George Sisler
.857 Dwight Evans
.855 Carlton Fisk
.855 Noodles Hahn
.854 Todd Helton
.854 Willie Randolph
.853 Ivan Rodriguez
.852 Jim Edmonds 

For what it is worth, Dick Allen is in the Hall of Merit and 17 of the 20 players centered around him are also in the Hall of Merit.
   29. Howie Menckel Posted: June 07, 2019 at 11:43 PM (#5849540)
ooh, off the top of my head: Hahn isn't in, I think Helton may not be in yet but will be soon, and.... Faber?
   30. QLE Posted: June 08, 2019 at 12:25 AM (#5849556)
WAR10 for Dick Allen and the players mentioned in association with him:

Dick Allen: 55.9
Jim Edmonds: 55.5
Bobby Bonds: 53.3
Bobby Abreu: 52.4
Reggie Smith: 51.5
Dwight Evans: 48.9

As one can see, Allen's peak is clearly better than anyone but Edmonds.

As for the career WAR of these folk over Allen:

Evans: 8.4 more WAR, 3,254 more plate appearances.
Smith: 5.9 more WAR, 736 more plate appearances.
Edmonds: 1.7 more WAR, 665 more plate appearances.
Abreu: 1.3 more WAR, 2,766 more plate appearances.
Bonds: 0.8 less WAR, 775 more plate appearances.

In other words, other than Smith, the additional value that these players brought was below-average, and, in Bonds' case, below replacement-value. Given this, it's really hard to see how any of them could claim priority over Allen, especially if you feel that peak matters.
   31. Sweatpants Posted: June 08, 2019 at 01:34 AM (#5849567)
WAR10 for Dick Allen and the players mentioned in association with him:

Dick Allen: 55.9
Jim Edmonds: 55.5
Bobby Bonds: 53.3
Bobby Abreu: 52.4
Reggie Smith: 51.5
Dwight Evans: 48.9

As one can see, Allen's peak is clearly better than anyone but Edmonds.
Is 4.4 WAR over ten years clear evidence of superiority? If I were looking only at WAR, I'd see that list and say, "Wow, for a peak-heavy player, his peak doesn't look that different from that of Smith, Bonds, or Abreu, none of whom was a monster at his best." Smith and Abreu particularly are players I think of as consistent producers rather than big-season guys.
   32. . Posted: June 08, 2019 at 08:03 AM (#5849572)
Call me stubborn, trollish, stupid, whatever, but I'll never buy the assertion that one of the top three or four offensive players of that era (arguably the best) gave back 16-20% of that elite-level offense, on defense -- primarily at 1B. He wasn't a good defender, but that scale is just way off. He's not even a 4 every year in SOM, and he's never a 5, at least at his primary position.(*) That obviously isn't definitive, but it's at least probative.

(*) Though for some of his years, the 5 didn't exist. Many of his years have been recarded in the last 5-10 years, when the 5 did exist, and he's never been assigned a 5. 1973 was recarded maybe 5 years ago and he's a 3 at 1B. He's a 3 at 3B in 1965, also a redone year.
   33. AndrewJ Posted: June 08, 2019 at 12:43 PM (#5849601)
Mike Schmidt is quoted in the same book, "The baseball writers used to claim that Dick would divide the clubhouse along racial lines. That was a lie. The truth is that Dick never divided any clubhouse."


I've seen a lot of players talk like that about Allen. Is the negative stuff coming from other teammates, those on the other side of the dividing line? Or sportswriters? Schmidt and Gossage were white, as were managers Mauch and Tanner, so that's a big strike against him dividing on racial lines.

Here's Craig Wright's 1995 SABR article, where most of Allen's managers defend him.
   34. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: June 08, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5849602)
Remind me again why Craig nettles is not in?

the 1981 Fleer baseball card had him as "Craig" and not the correct "Graig" on the back.


Could be a helluva lot worse. I'm pretty sure Brian Piccolo died because Topps misspelled his first name two different ways on his '69 card.

Luckily, back in '65 Jim "Katt" escaped a comparable fate.

   35. Rob_Wood Posted: June 08, 2019 at 01:02 PM (#5849606)
ooh, off the top of my head: Hahn isn't in, I think Helton may not be in yet but will be soon, and.... Faber?


andruw jones, noodles hahn, and todd helton
   36. Rennie's Tenet Posted: June 08, 2019 at 01:06 PM (#5849608)
It has only a marginal relationship to this question, but I think Chuck Tanner is a preposterous source for what was going on in clubhouses. Allen walked out on him. His Pittsburgh clubhouse became one of the most notorious in the history of baseball, Tanner's only excuse being that he was oblivious to what went on a few feet from his office door.
   37. Rennie's Tenet Posted: June 08, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5849623)
Just occurred to me that Blyleven also walked out on Tanner. What other players of that calibre have walked during a season?
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 09, 2019 at 10:26 AM (#5849759)
Call me stubborn, trollish, stupid, whatever, but I'll never buy the assertion that one of the top three or four offensive players of that era (arguably the best) gave back 16-20% of that elite-level offense, on defense -- primarily at 1B.

Makes total sense. He's -110 rField, which comes out to -7 per season, or -9 per 650 PA. That's bog standard for bad, but not unplayable fielders.

Of that damage, -45 runs came at 3B, -40 at 1B, and -24 in the OF. By GS he was 795 at 1B, 646 at 3B, and 249 in LF.
   39. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 09, 2019 at 10:27 AM (#5849760)
Is 4.4 WAR over ten years clear evidence of superiority? If I were looking only at WAR, I'd see that list and say, "Wow, for a peak-heavy player, his peak doesn't look that different from that of Smith, Bonds, or Abreu, none of whom was a monster at his best." Smith and Abreu particularly are players I think of as consistent producers rather than big-season guys.

Agree. As a peak candidate, Allen should blow away that list.
   40. cardsfanboy Posted: June 09, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5849761)
Agree. As a peak candidate, Allen should blow away that list.


Not that I have looked at the numbers, but for a peak candidate, that list should have showed both war and waa....I don't know if it would make a difference in opinions (I haven't looked at the numbers) but I imagine that by waa allen might separate himself even more from the crowd... and again... I'm not an Allen supporter, I'm the guy who prefers war over waa simply because I think health is a skill and war includes that in it's numbers a bit more.


But I agree with the assessment that 4.4 war over 10 years is not clear evidence of superiority.
   41. base ball chick Posted: June 09, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5849768)
i can't believe this is being argued

harold baines has not re-set the bar and dick allen far passes him, as do like 40 other guys who now all need election.

as long as he didn't beat/rape females/children and didn't bet on baseball or deliberately throw games evcen if not for $$$ then he passes the "character clause"

also, he didn't commit the most terrible of sins - use of roids
   42. Hank Gillette Posted: June 10, 2019 at 04:59 AM (#5849892)
Allen's only at 58 WAR, hardly the slam-dunk everybody seems to think he is. No rings, horrible defense and a bad reputation...that's a no from me, dawg.


You can argue that 58 WAR is low, but it’s really not fair to say he had horrible defense on top of that, because the 58 WAR includes his defense. Allen had 70.2 offensive WAR.

   43. DanG Posted: June 10, 2019 at 11:49 AM (#5849996)
Allen had 70.2 offensive WAR.
Allen ranks 62nd all-time in offensive WAR. All 61 players ahead of him are in the HOF, except for ineligible and blackballed players. Just as impressive, Allen ranks 33rd all-time in Offensive Win % with a mark of .741.
   44. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: June 10, 2019 at 11:56 AM (#5850015)
I certainly hope to see Allen elected--particularly after falling one vote shy the last time around. Realistically, with their advancing age & the five years between votes for the Golden Days Era, Allen along with Kaat and Oliva are running out of chances & I hope voters take that into consideration since they already missed electing Santo while he was living and passed on Miñoso
   45. BrianBrianson Posted: June 10, 2019 at 11:58 AM (#5850023)
If Harold Baines became the line, there aren't 40 guys who need admission, it's far more like four hundred.

But that's not how it works.

Dick Allen is about the line. He's a perfectly suitable in, a perfectly suitable out. So, perfect argument fodder.
   46. DanG Posted: June 10, 2019 at 12:58 PM (#5850119)
4.4 war over 10 years is not clear evidence of superiority
How about 5.5 WAR over three years?

WAR10 is not a measure of peak; a peak is the top 3 or 4 or 5 years. The classic exemplar of a "peak" hall of famer, Koufax, had four years where he topped 6 WAR; six years where he topped 2 WAR. His peak was so high that many consider him among the greatest pitchers of all-time.

Allen didn't quite have Koufax' peak, but he had a longer prime. On balance, there isn't much difference between them.

When you compare Allen's peak with the five players here mentioned in association with him, they pale in comparison. Allen had 24.9 WAR in his top three years; the other five averaged 19.4 WAR in their top three years.

Here's a comparison of their top four WAR years:

Allen Evans Smith Edmo Abreu Bonds
8.8 
6.7 6.7 7.2 6.6 7.8
8.6 
6.4 6.1 6.7 6.4 6.7
7.5 
5.4 5.6 6.3 6.2 6.3
6.4 
5.1 5.5 6.0 6.1 5.2
total     
31.3
|23.6 |23.9 |26.2 |25.3 |26.0
ave     
7.8 
5.9 6.0 6.6 6.3 6.5 

   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5850128)
The classic exemplar of a "peak" hall of famer, Koufax, had four years where he topped 6 WAR; six years where he topped 2 WAR. His peak was so high that many consider him among the greatest pitchers of all-time.

No one seriously considers him among the greatest pitchers of all-time. Lots of the all-time great pitchers had peaks equivalent to his (~1400 IP of 167 ERA+) and then tacked on 2000 more IP of quality baseball.

Koufax's numbers are gaudy b/c he pitched in perhaps the single greatest pitcher's environment ever: 1960s Dodger Stadium with the illegally high mound. Bill James wrote about this in one of his books.
   48. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: June 10, 2019 at 01:18 PM (#5850139)
47--Don't know all the previous debates on Koufax but this 63-66 road record is pretty incredible. If you extrapolated that out for each of his seasons and the Dodgers still do what they did, 3 pennants and 2 World Series wins), isn't that still a guy who in his day gets all kinds of awards?
   49. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 01:24 PM (#5850145)

Call me stubborn, trollish, stupid, whatever, but I'll never buy the assertion that one of the top three or four offensive players of that era (arguably the best) gave back 16-20% of that elite-level offense, on defense -- primarily at 1B.

I think you're right to be somewhat skeptical of defensive numbers from that time period, although as snapper notes a majority of the negative value was not at 1B.

Allen is a guy who should probably be in the Hall, but he's also not the first guy I'd campaign for. He had a relatively short career, some of which was self-inflicted -- he was either suspended or refused to report (have seen alternative explanations) for a month in 1967 after missing part of a doubleheader to go watch a horse race. He left the Sox a few weeks early in 1974, and then refused to report to the Braves at the beginning of 1975 so missed the first month or so of the season until the Phillies acquired him.
   50. . Posted: June 10, 2019 at 01:33 PM (#5850150)
He's right on the borderline for me, probably leaning in. If I had a vote, I'd vote for him.

I do find it a bit hard to stomach him as the guy being racisted against then losing support because of the purported "divisions" he caused. And by hard to stomach, I pretty much mean appalled. And I have little doubt that's cost him support.
   51. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 01:34 PM (#5850151)
47--Don't know all the previous debates on Koufax but this 63-66 road record is pretty incredible. If you extrapolated that out for each of his seasons and the Dodgers still do what they did, 3 pennants and 2 World Series wins), isn't that still a guy who in his day gets all kinds of awards?

I don't know. 1963 home 11-1 1.38, road 14-4 2.32, '64 H 12-2 0.85, R 7-3 2.93, '65 H 14-3 1.38, R 12-5 2.72, '66 13-5 1.52, R 14-4 1.96.

I'm pretty sure if he had just doubled his road record, Koufax wouldn't be in the HoF.
   52. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 01:36 PM (#5850152)
I do find it a bit hard to stomach him as the guy being racisted against then losing support because of the purported "divisions" he caused. And by hard to stomach, I pretty much mean appalled.

Did he face more racism than any of the other black stars of the 1960's? I don't recall hearing about divisiveness about literally anyone else but Allen.
   53. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: June 10, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5850153)
Koufax's numbers are gaudy b/c he pitched in perhaps the single greatest pitcher's environment ever: 1960s Dodger Stadium with the illegally high mound.


Makes me wonder whether the illegally high mound was a post-1962 development. Koufax' first unworldly season was '63 (though Drysdale had a really nice '62).

Otherwise, Tommy Davis' 1962 numbers seem all the more staggering. He was as good at home as on the road. (In 1963 he hit better on the road than in LA.)

So of course Maury Wills was MVP. (Davis came in 3rd, after Willie Mays.)
   54. Rally Posted: June 10, 2019 at 01:39 PM (#5850154)
Don't know all the previous debates on Koufax but this 63-66 road record is pretty incredible. If you extrapolated that out for each of his seasons and the Dodgers still do what they did, 3 pennants and 2 World Series wins), isn't that still a guy who in his day gets all kinds of awards?


His ERA+ adjusts for the low offense league and pitcher's park. While it's great, there have been better ERA+ stretches (like Kershaw). What puts Koufax ahead is the rate and the volume. He was at 36 WAR for those 4 seasons, starting with the live ball era in 1920 only 3 pitchers have ever been so valuable in a 4 year stretch: Pedro, Lefty Grove, and Randy Johnson.
   55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 01:39 PM (#5850155)
Makes me wonder whether the illegally high mound was a post-1962 development. Koufax' first unworldly season was '63 (though Drysdale had a really ice '62).

Don't know. I'm cribbing from my hazy memories of a Bill James book, in which he discussed both Koufax and Drysdale as huge beneficiaries from Dodger Stadium. It might have been "Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame?".
   56. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: June 10, 2019 at 01:40 PM (#5850156)
Royally dumb question not being schooled in the many debates. But if Allen why not Sal Bando? WAR even after defense. Both had four seasons of 6 plus WAR. Allen won an MVP and top four once while Bando had a second and top four three times. Bando played on what I have read was a mini dynasty and was one of the top players on the team. Went to the Brewers and helped that team become really competitive. Bando was a good player until age 34 while Allen was washed after age 32. Not into the If, then stuff typically but the resumes have a lot in common so felt like asking. If I missed something major that made this a terrible comparison, apologies
   57. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 10, 2019 at 01:50 PM (#5850160)
I'm pretty sure if he had just doubled his road record, Koufax wouldn't be in the HoF.


Here are the doubled road records from the years when he was SANDY KOUFAX:

1962: 14-6, 3.53 ERA, 196 Ks: He led the NL in ERA this year in real life, but his road stats wouldn't have even been in the Top Ten
1963: 28-8, 2.31 ERA, 324 Ks: A monster year, might still have won the MVP with just his road stats
1964: 14-6, 2.93 ERA, 198 Ks: Hurt part of the year, and back to being nothing special. ERA not in the Top Ten
1965: 24-10, 2.72 ERA, 348 Ks: Very strong again, but in the context of the mid-1960s, nothing special. ERA would have placed 7th in the NL
1966: 28-8, 1.91 ERA, 314 Ks: Another monster season

So we're down to two huge seasons, one Marichal- or Gaylord Perry-like year, and a couple years as a good pitcher. Probably closer to HoVG than HoF.
   58. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: June 10, 2019 at 01:50 PM (#5850161)
54--Kind of my point also. If the adv metrics adjust for context and those measurements say the dude was still great then what's the problem? Sometimes the people in the moment get the assessment correct.
   59. . Posted: June 10, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5850166)
Did he face more racism than any of the other black stars of the 1960's?


There's empirical evidence that he did and it's supported by the fact that he gave off the impression of giving far fewer ##### than many of the other black players, which would engender the racist response. I think of him as sort of the Rasheed Wallace of the MLB 1960s; if he played now he'd be far more understood and feted -- as Sheed is -- then he was a perfect target for crackers and their dumbass, relentless bullshit. There was really very little language and infrastructure in place to defend someone like Dick Allen in his true prime, it got a little better in the 1970s and now obviously it's everywhere and much to the better.

I don't recall hearing about divisiveness about literally anyone else but Allen.


Come again? Huh?

   60. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 10, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5850167)
Did he face more racism than any of the other black stars of the 1960's? I don't recall hearing about divisiveness about literally anyone else but Allen.


He might very well have. Allen integrated the team at Little Rock, where he was the only black player on the team; infamous segregationist governor Orval Faubus threw out the first pitch at their home opener. And Philadelphia was probably the most racist city in the majors at that point, with the possible exception of Boston. The Phillies were the last NL team to integrate, in 1957.

The thing that strikes me about Allen is his tenure in Chicago. He was widely beloved in the city, his manager let him do whatever he wanted, including spending batting practice at the racetrack - and he still walked out on the team in the middle of the season.
   61. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: June 10, 2019 at 02:05 PM (#5850170)
57--would have led the league in wins in 1963 and 1966 and tied for NL lead in 1965. Strikeouts in 1963, 1965, 1966 and still by a lot in those seasons. Still playing in LA. Assuming the team still wins like it won that dude is still getting all the kudos. I know this crew has probably had this discussion like a 1000 times so I will let it go but nobody here has convinced me that Koufax was anything but great when he could pitch. PLus there is no word that Koufax ordered the Dodgers to do anything to the mound. His hands are clean.
   62. . Posted: June 10, 2019 at 02:10 PM (#5850175)
The thing that strikes me about Allen is his tenure in Chicago. He was widely beloved in the city, his manager let him do whatever he wanted, including spending batting practice at the racetrack - and he still walked out on the team in the middle of the season.


The "middle of the season" thing really needs to be dropped. He retired on September 12, 1974 -- 147 games into a 160 game season.
   63. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 02:28 PM (#5850186)
I don't recall hearing about divisiveness about literally anyone else but Allen.


Come again? Huh?


None of the other major black stars of the 1960s were viewed as divisive, even though they likely faced the same racism as Allen (and worse for the guys that started in the 50s). If it were a simple situation of racism, i.e. black star = divisive, we would have heard that about Mays, and Aaron, and Frank Robinson, etc., etc., and we don't. We only hear it about Allen.

So, I'd guess the reality is both that Allen faced horrible racism, and was also a jerk.
   64. . Posted: June 10, 2019 at 02:40 PM (#5850191)
None of the other major black stars of the 1960s were viewed as divisive, even though they likely faced the same racism as Allen (and worse for the guys that started in the 50s). If it were a simple situation of racism, i.e. black star = divisive, we would have heard that about Mays, and Aaron, and Frank Robinson, etc., etc., and we don't. We only hear it about Allen.


Frank Robinson got traded in his prime. I'd bet a lot of money that a scouring of the news archives right around that time would find the word "divisive" or some synonym therefor.
   65. Rally Posted: June 10, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5850192)
PLus there is no word that Koufax ordered the Dodgers to do anything to the mound. His hands are clean.


His opponents got to pitch on the same mound, at least I presume. The grounds crew didn't tear it down and rebuild it every half inning, did they? So if their mound was a few inches higher than the rest of the league, it's all baked into the Dodger pitcher park factor. And therefore all baked into the ERA+ and WAR numbers.
   66. SoSH U at work Posted: June 10, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5850193)
The "middle of the season" thing really needs to be dropped. He retired on September 12, 1974 -- 147 games into a 160 game season.


His team was still on the fringes of the race (second place about 5 games out). They were still alive. It's not like the games were meaningless when he bolted.

I have no doubt that MLB (Players, managers, media) didn't respond well to a personality such as Allen, and his poor treatment likely exceeded that of other players. I also have no doubt that his contemporaneous reputation as difficult is not wholly unfounded, as evidenced by the White Sox incident and the fact that he was traded three times* when he was an elite hitter, for not a whole lot. If he was really the benign presence some want to claim, I don't think he's getting peddled for a whole lot of nonentities.

* How many players of his ability were traded that often in the primes of their careers? I can think of Hornsby, which is not exactly company you want to keep if the question is one's degree of ass painedness.

This thread really begs for Harvey.

   67. Blastin Posted: June 10, 2019 at 02:47 PM (#5850198)
So, I'd guess the reality is both that Allen faced horrible racism, and was also a jerk.


I really don't know with this stuff.

They picked Jackie because he wasn't going to fight back. I think being deeply angry about his treatment and just not being able to swallow it like the other stars is actually just standard humanity. I was rarely called slurs but I had a tendency towards volatility for a long time until I got some treatment, and a lot of that was likely due to things even less severe than Allen's experience.

But I also don't necessarily think he needs to be in the HOF because he simply had a short career and wasn't a world beater during it.
   68. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 10, 2019 at 02:49 PM (#5850199)
His team was still on the fringes of the race (second place about 5 games out)
Playing the race card, eh?
   69. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: June 10, 2019 at 02:51 PM (#5850201)
And Philadelphia was probably the most racist city in the majors at that point, with the possible exception of Boston. The Phillies were the last NL team to integrate, in 1957.

I have a hard time believing Philadelphia was more racist than, say, Cincinnati or St. Louis at that time. The Allen as both victim and jerk explanation seems to make the most sense.
   70. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 02:54 PM (#5850202)
I really don't know with this stuff.

They picked Jackie because he wasn't going to fight back. I think being deeply angry about his treatment and just not being able to swallow it like the other stars is actually just standard humanity. I was rarely called slurs but I had a tendency towards volatility for a long time until I got some treatment, and a lot of that was likely due to things even less severe than Allen's experience.


I totally understand Allen's reaction from a human level, but he is the outlier in how he handled it. I don't think he should be condemned for it, but I also don't think he should get bonus points for reacting in a sub-optimal way to the same thing every other black player faced with greater equanimity.

At the end of the day, he should be judged on his numbers, and, to me, they're a bit short for a post-War, all-bat player. It wouldn't be a tragedy if he got in, he's clearly borderline. This wouldn't be a Jim Rice/Jack Morris level eff up.
   71. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 10, 2019 at 02:56 PM (#5850204)
The "middle of the season" thing really needs to be dropped. He retired on September 12, 1974 -- 147 games into a 160 game season.


I meant "during the season," as opposed to in the off-season. Allen left the team on September 9, after their 142nd game.

Also, baseball teams play a 162-game season. The 1974 White Sox had two ties.
   72. Blastin Posted: June 10, 2019 at 03:00 PM (#5850207)
I totally understand Allen's reaction from a human level, but he is the outlier in how he handled it. I don't think he should be condemned for it, but I also don't think he should get bonus points for reacting in a sub-optimal way to the same thing every other black player faced with greater equanimity.

At the end of the day, he should be judged on his numbers, and, to me, they're a bit short for a post-War, all-bat player. It wouldn't be a tragedy if he got in, he's clearly borderline. This wouldn't be a Jim Rice/Jack Morris level eff up.


I don't actually disagree with this. I wouldn't give him bonus points so much as say the ones who didn't react his way should get more bonus points. I wish I'd been less angry and commend those who were stable enough to do so while understanding why I (and others) couldn't.
   73. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 03:03 PM (#5850210)

Frank Robinson got traded in his prime. I'd bet a lot of money that a scouring of the news archives right around that time would find the word "divisive" or some synonym therefor.

Robinson had some off-field issues early in his career as well. Got arrested for carrying a concealed weapon (a gun) at one point after he brandished it during a dispute at a restaurant.

And Robinson did threaten to retire in September 1962 -- in a move probably not that different in motivation from Allen's leaving the White Sox in mid-September. However, I believe Robinson's threat was after the season was over, and in any event he didn't miss any games.

But in his 30s I believe he had a reputation as a great clubhouse guy. It's not an accident he was the first black MLB manager.
   74. . Posted: June 10, 2019 at 03:11 PM (#5850211)
How many players of his ability were traded that often in the primes of their careers?


Bobby Bonds, for likely very similar reasons.
   75. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 03:13 PM (#5850213)

To add to the comments earlier about Koufax, his legacy is also in part due to his two World Series MVP awards. In 1965, he pitched a complete game shutout in game 5, then came back to throw a complete game shutout in game 7 on two days' rest -- on the road.
   76. . Posted: June 10, 2019 at 03:14 PM (#5850214)
I meant "during the season," as opposed to in the off-season. Allen left the team on September 9, after their 142nd game.


I got September 14 from Sox.net. I guess its possible they're wrong, but it's a five day difference in any event. He was hurt, so maybe he hung around without being able to play before finally "retiring."

September 14 link.
   77. SoSH U at work Posted: June 10, 2019 at 03:21 PM (#5850217)
Bobby Bonds, for likely very similar reasons. Dick/Richie seemed a bit more "difficult" than Bobby, but I'm going on warmed-over memories from when I was like 10 and 11 years old and then non-contemporaneous material.


Bobby also was first dealt for Bobby Murcer, then Brian Downing (coming off an excellent season with the bat when the Angels were crappy at C). The Bonds' deals look more like good old-fashioned trades (like the first Robby Alomar package deal) than the Allen ones do.

   78. Sweatpants Posted: June 10, 2019 at 04:08 PM (#5850230)
The elder Bonds wasn't without problems off the field, either. He had issues with alcohol, although I've never heard about them causing problems with his teams.

Allen passes a basic HOF test for me, in that I can very briefly explain to someone why he was one of the greatest players in history. For ten seasons or so he was one of the game's elite hitters. His resume doesn't really have anything that builds on that, though. I suppose you could give him leadership credit for the surprise '72 Sox, but they were a one-season wonder that didn't even finish first. In the end you're left trying to figure out if eleven years of elite, but not routinely league-leading, offense is enough. Even without getting into the controversial stuff, it's a tough call to make.

Ralph Kiner had a vaguely similar career (dominant hitter with nothing else to enhance his legend in a short career) and isn't usually viewed as a poor HOF selection. That's a point in Allen's favor, as Allen was clearly the better of the two.
   79. Padraic Posted: June 10, 2019 at 04:36 PM (#5850234)
No rings, horrible defense and a bad reputation.


Well, as others mentioned, his WAR already accounts for defense, and I never see "no rings" in baseball HoF discussions, for obvious reasons (see Bonds, Barry). That leaves "bad reputation," which for almost everyone hear is pure hearsay from a bunch of events that took place before we were born and in a context we (likely) cannot imagine.

He was a dominant player for a pretty good stretch. Only things that keeps him from total lock is 3 average seasons and a good press agent. Should be in.
   80. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: June 10, 2019 at 04:57 PM (#5850239)
Would Allen win the MVP now when he had such extreme splits in 1972? That is some Rockies like action with the 27/10 homer and .287 diff on OPS
   81. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 05:10 PM (#5850242)
Only things that keeps him from total lock is 3 average seasons

Three average seasons is a lot of value, and it puts him in to the more likely category, not a lock. Still nowhere near as good as Grich, or Whitaker. Grich's peak crushes Allen's: 1972-76, 35 WAR, 24 WAA.
   82. . Posted: June 10, 2019 at 05:48 PM (#5850249)
Still nowhere near as good as Grich, or Whitaker. Grich's peak crushes Allen's: 1972-76, 35 WAR, 24 WAA.


I won't be provocative and say "Garbage In, Garbage Out," but something's amiss (*) if the data and the model is leading to the conclusion that Dick Allen was "nowhere near as good" as Bobby Grich or Lou Whitaker. I mean, look at Dick Allen's numbers from 1966-74, look at all the black for leading the league in things. 168 OPS+ over a nine year period. I was a Michigander, Tiger Guy for almost all Lou's career and he's just not remotely at that level.(**) Miguel Cabrera's best nine-year period only generated a 161 OPS+ and no one sane would ever say Lou Whitaker was better than Miguel Cabrera.

Dick Allen's best nine-year peak OPS+ is seven points higher than Miguel Cabrera's. That pretty much mic drops the discussion as far as I'm concerned. What else is there?

(*) And of course those things are, inter alia, the defensive positional adjustment, the poorly-scaled defensive measurement, and the overvaluation of walks in OPS+. Those things too easily negate the difference between a very good or even excellent, and an utterly elite, hitter.

(**) Much less Dick not being "anywhere near as good" as Lou. Just ... no. That's not right. Abandon ship.

EDIT: I actually understated it. For an 11-year period, 1964-74, Dick's OPS+ was 165. Cabrera's from 2006-16 was 160. Nothing more need be said. Mic drop.
   83. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 05:56 PM (#5850250)

Ralph Kiner had a vaguely similar career (dominant hitter with nothing else to enhance his legend in a short career) and isn't usually viewed as a poor HOF selection. That's a point in Allen's favor, as Allen was clearly the better of the two.

I don't know what the HOM discussion was on Kiner. He has fewer career WAR than Allen but may have also missed some productive years at the beginning of his career due to military service. After leading the league in HRs for his first 7 seasons I would have thought he'd have a relatively easy time getting elected to the HOF, but he actually didn't get in until what I think was his last year on the ballot, and even then he just squeaked by with 75.4%.
   84. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 05:59 PM (#5850251)

Dick Allen's best nine-year peak OPS+ is seven points higher than Miguel Cabrera's.

Allen averaged 24 fewer games per season than Cabrera during their respective stretches, to be fair.
   85. . Posted: June 10, 2019 at 06:03 PM (#5850252)
Allen averaged 24 fewer games per season than Cabrera during their respective stretches, to be fair.


That is fair. Allen was banged up a lot, Cabrera held together a couple years longer but is now badly on the down side. It's a factor.
   86. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 06:04 PM (#5850253)
(82) Defense counts. A 130 OPS+ from a very good 2b is worth more than a 165 OPS+ from a bad 3b.
   87. . Posted: June 10, 2019 at 06:08 PM (#5850254)
Defense counts. A 130 OPS+ from a very good 2b is worth more than a 165 OPS+ from a bad 3b.


Without using WAR, show your work. Sure, of course defense counts, but in what way does it precisely and certainly close a 35 point OPS+ gap? How do the plays Lou makes on defense that Allen doesn't close a gap that size?
   88. Hank Gillette Posted: June 10, 2019 at 06:30 PM (#5850259)
So, I'd guess the reality is both that Allen faced horrible racism, and was also a jerk.


It’s hard to see that now, but the 60s were a turbulent time, and not responding well to institutional and individual racism does not necessarily make you a jerk. In fact, he may have been a jerk, but I’m not going to fault Allen for not being willing to take the treatment that other black players were somehow willing to accept.

I can’t put myself in his place, but I have been treated badly (for other reasons than racism, obviously), and it made me furious. I can’t imagine having to deal with that on a daily basis. A lot of people have acted much worse for less reason.
   89. . Posted: June 10, 2019 at 07:06 PM (#5850265)
When Whitey Herzog was making wild claims about how many runs Ozzie Smith was saving on defense, Bill James did an essay in one of the Abstracts deconstructing it. My recollection is that his conclusion is that defense didn't really matter all that much, certainly not to the extreme Herzog was attributing to it.
   90. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 07:13 PM (#5850266)

#89 maybe so, although just looking back at the Ozzie HOM thread might indicate otherwise:

In the 1986 Baseball Abstract, Bill James wrote with some passion about how Ozzie should have been seriously considered for the 1985 MVP (given to McGee), but the voters did not see it that way at all, Ozzie getting just a few scraps.


Bill James even suggested in the 1988 Abstract that Ozzie was "as valuable, year in and year out, as anybody in the game" (page 5). He eventually settled on Ozzie as the third-best, behind Boggs and Raines but ahead of Mattingly, Gwynn, Clemens, and Henderson.


   91. . Posted: June 10, 2019 at 07:22 PM (#5850267)
James’ 1983 review of Ozzie Smith challenged the faith among many fans that the slick-fielding shortstop was one of the game’s premier players despite his meager offensive stats. Smith was universally loved by baseball fans for his wide smile and acrobatics in the field, and there was a popular belief that Smith was a legitimate MVP candidate because he saved the Cardinals countless runs with his glove. Only, this didn’t sit well with James, who couldn’t find any evidence of Smith’s larger-than-life impact on the Cardinals’ overall performance:

The arguments for Ozzie Smith as the National League’s Most Valuable Player shine with a pristine logical clarity, unpolluted by evidence.

For James, the runs saved by Smith weren’t as countless as many broadcasters, columnists and fans believed (some maintained that number was as high as 100). James demonstrated that the Cardinals’ pitching staff actually had a lower ERA when Smith wasn’t in the field. More impressive than his pursuit of empirical truth was his humility in the face of his findings. Sabermetricians are often tarred with the charge that they’re dogmatic or unwilling to entertain opposing arguments. Yet James almost always left room for the mysteries of the game. After laying out his elaborate argument rebutting the impact of Smith’s fielding, James concludes his long essay with a disclaimer that combines modesty with a faith in his work:

Perhaps I have not plugged the right numbers into the scheme. I do not know, exactly, how many runs Smith saved the Cardinals. But I have a hell of a lot better reason for thinking it was 25 or 35 than anybody has for thinking it was 100.
   92. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 07:24 PM (#5850268)

Without using WAR, show your work. Sure, of course defense counts, but in what way does it precisely and certainly close a 35 point OPS+ gap? How do the plays Lou makes on defense that Allen doesn't close a gap that size?

Lou vs. Allen isn't a great comparison because Allen had a higher peak even if you take WAR at face value. If you take WAR but assume that they were both average fielders for their position, then Allen has 4 more WAR instead of 16 fewer. And a much higher peak. I don't think anyone believes that about their defense (Lou was a 3x Gold Glove winner; Allen led the league in errors twice), but my point is it doesn't take much discounting of the fielding numbers to narrow the career value gap, and Allen has the higher peak.

They are both decent candidates for the HOF -- if I had to choose between them I'd probably choose Whitaker, but they should probably both be in.
   93. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 07:31 PM (#5850269)
Without using WAR, show your work. Sure, of course defense counts, but in what way does it precisely and certainly close a 35 point OPS+ gap? How do the plays Lou makes on defense that Allen doesn't close a gap that size?

This is basic sabre stuff that's been around for decades. Look at BRef Rfield. Per 650 PA, Whitaker was +6 on defense, Allen was -15 at 3B. That's 20 extra runs per season. And Allen almost never played a full season, so OPS+ seriously overrates him. Even excluding his last 2 years, he only averaged 133 Gs per season.
   94. . Posted: June 10, 2019 at 07:46 PM (#5850271)
No, I meant literally start from scratch and show how the 35 point gap in OPS+ is closed by defense.

Total Zone Runs
There are three methods used to calculate the range portion of TotalZone, and depend on how much data is available from the Retrosheet files. The first is used when there is limited information on who fielded each hit, and whether the hits were grounders, flies, line drives, or popups.

For most games, I have information on which fielder makes each out, and the batted ball type. Without information on the hits, I have to make an estimate. I look at each batter's career rates of outs by position. For example, if 30% of a batter's outs are hit to shortstop, then every time that batter gets a hit the shortstop is charged 0.3 hits. Repeat for every position. I look at batting against righthanded and lefthanded pitching separately, as switch hitters will have very different ball in play distributions depending on which side of the plate they hit from. I sum the fractional hits for every fielder, combine with plays made and errors, and get a totalzone. This is then park adjusted, and converted to runs. This method is used for all seasons before 1989, and for the dark years of 2000 to 2002.

The second method is used when hits are coded with a batted ball type and we know who fielded each. The responsibility for ground ball singles hit to left field is split between the third baseman and shortstop, for center field it is between the shortstop and second baseman, and for right field, the second and first basemen. Groundball extra base hits are charged to the first or third baseman. Outfielders are charged with line drive and fly ball hits that they field. The responsibility split between infielders was originally 50/50, but has been refined based on more detailed analysis. Singles to left are charged 60/40 to third and short, to center it is 52/48 between short and second, and to right it is 55/45 first base/second base.

Players are compared to league average for specific parameters, such as batted ball type (for outfielders, line drives are much harder to field), pitcher and batter handedness, and for infielders, whether or not there is a runner on first. Results are park adjusted and converted to runs. This method has been used for years 2003 to 2008.

Finally, for years 1989 to 1999 Retrosheet includes the project scoresheet zones. This allows more detailed assignment of hits, and when comparing to the league average, I compare to the league average for that particular zone to account for difficulty.

Runs estimates are constant using run values from recent seasons. While this may overestimate the value of a hit saved in seasons with a low offensive context, it does allow us to compare fielders from different eras.


The word "estimates" kind of stands out here, no? Lots of premises and assumptions, and estimates have error bars. Given the embedded assumptions here, those bars are invariably wide. This is educated guesswork, no more. Fielders are getting charged with hits that they might very well have had literally nothing to do with. It's aggregation, not individual work. Lou was +6/650 on defense by the educated guesswork, but as far as we know he might have been 0 or +12.
   95. . Posted: June 10, 2019 at 07:56 PM (#5850275)
And Allen almost never played a full season, so OPS+ seriously overrates him.


It doesn't "overrate" him in the least. It shows definitively that he was an elite, fantastic hitter -- one of the best the game has ever seen.
   96. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 08:01 PM (#5850277)
No, I meant literally start from scratch and show how the 35 point gap in OPS+ is closed by defense.


I'll do that after you show me from scratch the run value of the 35 OPS+ pts.

It doesn't "overrate" him in the least. It shows definitively that he was an elite, fantastic hitter -- one of the best the game has ever seen.

Sure it does. His team got 155 OPS+ in 130 Gs, and some schlub's 85 OPS+ in the other 30.
   97. . Posted: June 10, 2019 at 08:10 PM (#5850280)
I'll do that after you show me from scratch the run value of the 35 OPS+ pts.


There's no need to. The points speak for themselves. 165 is super elite, 120 is very good/excellent. Beyond that, the value of each additional information piece is marginal.

OPS+ is significantly more precise than fielding runs. It's not even close. After rereading the total runs methodology, I'd probably cut the fielding runs impact relative to offense by half to two-thirds.

Sure it does. His team got 155 OPS+ in 130 Gs, and some schlub's 85 OPS+ in the other 30.


Irrelevant. You aren't suggesting that Jerry Adair is a better hitter on the days he played but Dick Allen didn't, are you? And of course, the answer is no: There is literally no sense in which Jerry Adair was a better hitter than Dick Allen.(*) You're deploying a meaningless tautology.

(*) The confusion here is probably this: Dick Allen wouldn't be going into the HOF because of the "value" he generated -- though he did generate a lot of value. He'd be going in because he was an elite, fantastic hitter for a long period of time. He's not "overrated" because he isn't being rated on the "value" he generated.
   98. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 11:11 PM (#5850362)
Come on. In his first season, Allen committed 41 errors at 3B. That’s the second highest total of the Integration Era, 6 more than the third highest total, held by...Allen in 1967 (in just 121 games). In 1966, they tried him in LF, where he committed 5 errors in just 47 games, a league-leading pace that was good for 5th in the league in just that short time period. In 1974 and ‘75, he led the league in errors as a 1B, in just 125 and 113 games. It is right to treat modern defensive metrics with healthy skepticism. I don’t think Allen is the guy to rest your case on. (If anything, I would be skeptical of the numbers that say he was *only* -2 on D in 1964, the year he committed 41 errors).
   99. QLE Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:03 AM (#5850823)
After leading the league in HRs for his first 7 seasons I would have thought he'd have a relatively easy time getting elected to the HOF, but he actually didn't get in until what I think was his last year on the ballot, and even then he just squeaked by with 75.4%.


In terms of Kiner, I'd argue that the following all seemed to play a role:

1) The HOF voters of that era weren't particularly enthralled by either home runs or power hitters- look how long it took Eddie Mathews to get in.

2) It seems that, after the 1956 ballot, something happened (beyond just the shift to voting every other year instead of annually) that threw off their ability to induct anyone- note that there are ballots in that era with votes-per-ballot not that far off from what we've seen lately, but with them having hard times inducting anyone.

3) Some of the stuff the BBWAA seems to have rated highly in the period didn't help him- he didn't play in NYC, spent his career on losing teams, didn't come close to a .300 batting average, and didn't have a dazzling reputation as a fielder.

Add these points together, and one can see how it took Kiner so long.

(The bigger question, in retrospective: how the likes of Arky Vaughan, Johnny Mize, and Billy Herman, who would seem to fit the BBWAA logic of the time better, didn't get in through them....)
   100. DanG Posted: June 12, 2019 at 11:17 AM (#5850940)
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