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Monday, December 17, 2007

Morrissey: Sosa in clear? Sorry, no way (RR)

Watergate, Steroid Era, liver cancer, The Big Three…what is this, the latest offering from Vlautin of Richmond Fontaine?

In the same way, Watergate started with a break-in and an arrest at a Washington hotel, not with Woodward and Bernstein launching their own investigation.

On the other side are people who wish the media would leave the athletes to their various chemical activities.

To those folks who believe the only thing that matters in baseball is the entertainment value, even if it is enhanced by steroids, I hope your kids don’t grow up to be athletes. With that attitude, they’ll believe steroids are harmless. Some of them will believe it right up until they’re diagnosed with liver cancer.

The problem with what’s now called the Steroids Era is that a very large blanket is going to smother the reputations of some innocent ballplayers. Players who came by their greatness naturally will be doubted. I don’t believe Sosa to be among the unfairly accused.

As for the apology that some people believe is due him, it bears repeating: Not a chance.

Repoz Posted: December 17, 2007 at 11:01 AM | 61 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, steroids

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   1. no neck Posted: December 17, 2007 at 12:03 PM (#2647738)
Sosa along with McGwire, Bonds and now Clemens will always be MLB's Mount Rushmore of the "Steroid Era".
   2. Dudefella Posted: December 17, 2007 at 12:10 PM (#2647739)
Hang the blessed DH.
   3. CFiJ Posted: December 17, 2007 at 01:03 PM (#2647756)
If I had any doubts about my current position on Sosa, Rick Morrissey espousing the opposite position has certainly allayed them.
   4. Russ Posted: December 17, 2007 at 01:17 PM (#2647761)
If I had any doubts about my current position on Sosa, Rick Morrissey espousing the opposite position has certainly allayed them.


::golf clap::

Well played.
   5. SouthSideRyan Posted: December 17, 2007 at 03:30 PM (#2647871)
Tripe like this and Mariotti's article show perfectly how pointless this whole exercise was. Every mediot and non-media idiot will have their personal villains that they "just know" were using and no amount of reports and investigations will prove otherwise. Throw them all off the cliff to their good Christian deaths.
   6. AROM Posted: December 17, 2007 at 04:53 PM (#2647929)
If we get to Sammy's HOF eligibility 5 years after he retires and still nothing more than speculataion as to his steroid, use, I certainly wouldn't hold the speculation against him.

But I'm not sure I'd support his going in either, even with 600 homers. During Sosa's 5 year peak, 1998-2002, he averaged 5.5 batting wins per season. Knock off .5 for RF positional adjustment, and call him an average defender (which is extremely generous to Sosa, IMO) and he's 5.0 wins over average. Jim Edmonds, from 2000-2004, was 4.1 wins batting, and + 0.5 for center field. If he's even a +5 run defender, he's equal to Sosa. Sosa played more outside his peak than Edmonds, but he wasn't especially productive or valuable.

Unless Edmonds has a shocking rebound in San Diego, I don't think he's going in, so I'd have a hard time justifying a vote for Sosa.
   7. AROM Posted: December 17, 2007 at 05:03 PM (#2647933)
By career wins, Edmonds is +29.8 batting, +22.5 over replacement (+20 runs per 650 PA), and +4.5 for career games in center, a 56.8 total.

Sosa is +30.4 batting wins, another 30.4 over replacement, reflecting his longer career than Edmonds, and -6.1 for RF position adjustment, a total of 54.7

To put Sosa ahead you'd have to argue that his defense relative to other RF was superior than Edmonds compared to other CF, and that's an argument I wouldn't want to make.
   8. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 17, 2007 at 05:26 PM (#2647950)
To put Sosa ahead you'd have to argue that his defense relative to other RF was superior than Edmonds compared to other CF, and that's an argument I wouldn't want to make.


Or you could argue that Jim Edmonds deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, which isn't all that difficult an argument to make, is it?
   9. covelli chris p Posted: December 17, 2007 at 06:09 PM (#2648002)
To put Sosa ahead you'd have to argue that his defense relative to other RF was superior than Edmonds compared to other CF, and that's an argument I wouldn't want to make.



Or you could argue that Jim Edmonds deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, which isn't all that difficult an argument to make, is it?


i think voters are going to look at how players fared as the "steroid era" ended. right or wrong, guys like edmonds and sosa who got old real fast around that time are going to be hurt.
   10. AROM Posted: December 17, 2007 at 06:30 PM (#2648029)
Or you could argue that Jim Edmonds deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, which isn't all that difficult an argument to make, is it?


I wouldn't protest Edmonds going into the Hall of Fame, but if his career ends after a .240, 11 homer season in San Diego his case won't be very different than Fred Lynn, who didn't get much support at all.

Using the B-ref batting wins + replacement level (+2.0 wins per 650 plate appearances), here's how some of the outfielders stack up, including those eligible, soon to be eligible, and those near the end of their careers, excluding position/defense:

Rickey 93.8
Dewey Evans 68.0
Tim Raines 65.0
Sammy Sosa 60.8
Jim Rice 56.7
Dave Parker 55.8
Andre Dawson 55.5
Fred Lynn 52.7
Dale Murphy 50.2

Rickey will have no problems getting in unless he succeeds in making a comeback for a few games. Depending on who, if any, of these guys get in this year, Sosa would have a lot of company among players with similar value who fall short of the HOF voters.

Tony Gwynn, at 74.1, is comfortably ahead of those having trouble getting the 75%.

Edit: Edmonds at 52.3
   11. DCW3 Posted: December 17, 2007 at 06:39 PM (#2648041)
Wow, I'm surprised Evans comes out so far ahead of all those other players.

I don't think those numbers are park-adjusted. (And they don't incude SB/CS, which hurts Raines a lot.)
   12. AROM Posted: December 17, 2007 at 06:44 PM (#2648045)
Defense will give the biggest bonus to Lynn and Edmonds. Next would probably be Murphy and Dawson, who were good CF but moved to right for awhile, then Evans. His defensive peak is about the same as Parker, athletic guys with unreal arms, but Evans maintained it longer (by not beaching himself). Not sure where Raines fits in, the speed of a CF but played left and didn't throw that well. Sosa and Rice bring up the rear in defensive value, at least among this group.

I've always though Evans had the better career, and the outrage "why isn't he in the HOF yet" is misplaced on Rice.
   13. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 17, 2007 at 06:46 PM (#2648047)
here's how some of the outfielders stack up, including those eligible, soon to be eligible, and those near the end of their careers, excluding position/defense:

Aw, c'mon, no Bernie? PLEASE?!?!
   14. AROM Posted: December 17, 2007 at 06:47 PM (#2648050)
I'm using batting wins from B-Ref, I think they are park adjusted, but I might be wrong. I've got my own fancy baseruns formuli but if I stick to B-Ref batting wins + a simple replacement level estimate then anybody can check my numbers in a few seconds.
   15. Joe Bivens, Floundering Pumpkin Posted: December 17, 2007 at 06:48 PM (#2648052)
Sosa's not in the clear? Why, is the clear in him?

See what I did? I turned the tables on the headline.
   16. DCW3 Posted: December 17, 2007 at 06:50 PM (#2648054)
I'm using batting wins from B-Ref, I think they are park adjusted, but I might be wrong.

What makes me think they're not park-adjusted is that the column header doesn't have an asterisk, and usually all the park-adjusted numbers on BB-Ref have one.
   17. AROM Posted: December 17, 2007 at 06:52 PM (#2648060)
Its park adjusted:

This is the linear weights method pioneered by Pete Palmer. It is a bit more accurate than Runs Created and also handles differing offensive environments more easily. It is adjusted to the park and league the player played in.


But you're probably right about not including SB/CS. The glossary doesn't say but here's an easy check:

Herb Washington
   18. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 17, 2007 at 06:56 PM (#2648069)
I've always though Evans had the better career, and the outrage "why isn't he in the HOF yet" is misplaced on Rice.

Evans > Rice. It's CRAZY that Rice is considered a serious candidate by so many and Evans didn't get 5%. At least the HoM got it right.
   19. Loren F. Posted: December 17, 2007 at 06:56 PM (#2648070)
I get Bernie Williams at 56.2, solidly in the "just miss the Hall" category (which makes sense to me, even though he's one of my favorite players) but my math could be wrong.
   20. DCW3 Posted: December 17, 2007 at 06:56 PM (#2648071)
The batting runs numbers are park-adjusted, but I don't know about the batting wins. I don't know if it's a straight conversion, or an entirely new calculation.
   21. AROM Posted: December 17, 2007 at 06:56 PM (#2648072)
Bernie Williams: 56.2, right between Rice and Parker.

I'd compare his defensive value to Murphy/Dawson, while at first he was a good CF, they moved to corners and Bernie really should have. They also obviously had much better arms.
   22. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 17, 2007 at 06:59 PM (#2648077)
I get Bernie Williams at 56.2, solidly in the "just miss the Hall" category (which makes sense to me, even though he's one of my favorite players) but my math could be wrong.

Thanks Loren and AROM. I actually think I'll have more pride in Bernie as being a just miss then a borderline inductee. I think it's kind of a cool group he's valued with.
   23. AROM Posted: December 17, 2007 at 06:59 PM (#2648079)
Batting wins are based on batting runs and a runs per win value, so they are context adjusted. Check out Todd Helton if you want to verify it.

It's CRAZY that Rice is considered a serious candidate by so many and Evans didn't get 5%. At least the HoM got it right.


Rice was the third best outfielder produced by the mid 70's Red Sox.
   24. Darren Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:01 PM (#2648081)
Sosa's not in the clear? Why, is the clear in him?

See what I did? I turned the tables on the headline.


Way to go, Mr. Saturday Night! You see what I did there? You were looking this way and I went that way! Boom!
   25. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:01 PM (#2648082)
i think voters are going to look at how players fared as the "steroid era" ended. right or wrong, guys like edmonds and sosa who got old real fast around that time are going to be hurt.
Whereas people like Bonds who continued to play well...
   26. AROM Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:02 PM (#2648084)
There are surprisingly few outfielders that I've seen play (1981+) in the Hall:

Carl Yastrzemski 98.3
Reggie Jackson 87.5
Dave Winfield 81.9
Tony Gwynn 74.1
...
and Kirby Puckett 45.9

I consider Yount more as an infielder.
   27. AROM Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:05 PM (#2648091)
Then there's he-who-shall-not-be-named.

161.1 Wow, almost Gwynn + Reggie.

Barry had a HOF career, and then Beroids had a HOF career of his own.
   28. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:08 PM (#2648094)
It's CRAZY that Rice is considered a serious candidate by so many and Evans didn't get 5%. At least the HoM got it right.


Evans did get 5% Twice. but your point still stands.

For a real travesty, check out Ronnie Woo Woo in 1980. Keep in mind that at the time of the 1980 election (prior to the MVP seasons of Schmidt and Brett), Santo was arguably the second, and no worse than the third greatest 3B in history.
   29. AROM Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:12 PM (#2648100)
Tim Salmon, 47.3

No, he won't get any consideration, but I had to see where one of my favorites ranked.
   30. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:13 PM (#2648103)
I'm trying to remember how Total Baseball did the "runs per win" ... for some reason, I do think it's park-adjusted, or team-adjusted, in some way. I don't have a copy of the book around.

Anyway, "Chone", glad to have you on board this train. Danny and I welcome you.
   31. Meatwad needs baseball Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:14 PM (#2648105)
i refuse to recgonize the hall untill santo gets in.
   32. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:23 PM (#2648126)
no worse than the third greatest 3B in history

Hmmmm, I think there is more to it than that. There is some residual on the expectations of a 3B. His career was shrter than most at that point, wasn't it? And his career ended "red-assedly".
   33. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:25 PM (#2648131)
I think Lou Whitaker may be a top HOF snub historically.
   34. AROM Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:26 PM (#2648136)
And his career ended "red-assedly".


???

Did he over-use his ass as an insulin-injection site?
   35. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:31 PM (#2648141)
Santo:
Black Ink: Batting - 11 (206) (Average HOFer ? 27)
Gray Ink: Batting - 147 (90) (Average HOFer ? 144)
HOF Standards: Batting - 41.0 (135) (Average HOFer ? 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting - 88.0 (184) (Likely HOFer > 100)
Overall Rank in parentheses.
   36. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:34 PM (#2648143)
Santo Contemporary 3B NOT in the HOF:
Black Ink: Batting - 27 (67) (Average HOFer ? 27)
Gray Ink: Batting - 159 (73) (Average HOFer ? 144)
HOF Standards: Batting - 38.8 (159) (Average HOFer ? 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting - 99.0 (152) (Likely HOFer > 100)
Overall Rank in parentheses
   37. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:35 PM (#2648145)
AROM,
he had an ugly ending with the WhiteSox. Tony Giacalone did a presentation at SABR about it.
   38. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:35 PM (#2648146)
His career was shrter than most at that point, wasn't it?


Santo had 2130 games played at 3B. HOF 3B (at the time) with more:

Eddie Mathews 2181


HOF 3B since then:

Brooks Robinson 2870

Mike Schmidt 2212

Wade Boggs 2215

I think Lou Whitaker may be a top HOF snub historically.


Santo got 15 votes in 1980. Here are some of he players who got more, most of them a lot more:

Roy Face
Don Larsen
Elston Howard
Alvin Dark
Lew Burdette
Harvey Kuenn
Mickey Vernon
Roger Maris
Maury Wills
Ted Kluszewski
   39. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:36 PM (#2648148)
Santo contemporary IN the HOF:
Black Ink: Batting - 10 (226) (Average HOFer ? 27)
Gray Ink: Batting - 133 (129) (Average HOFer ? 144)
HOF Standards: Batting - 34.0 (202) (Average HOFer ? 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting - 137.0 (93) (Likely HOFer > 100)
Overall Rank in parentheses.
   40. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:39 PM (#2648150)
FWIW, Santo also won 5 gold gloves.
   41. DCA Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:40 PM (#2648154)
Clearly, by #40, if he'd won 11 more than would have been enough.
   42. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:42 PM (#2648156)
I don't have a problem with most of those names.

Santo has no sexy numbers. Yes, his OPS+ is great, but he didn't hit a ton of HRs, and his BA is just .277.
   43. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:42 PM (#2648158)
Santo Contemporary 3B NOT in the HOF:
Black Ink: Batting - 27 (67) (Average HOFer ? 27)
Gray Ink: Batting - 159 (73) (Average HOFer ? 144)
HOF Standards: Batting - 38.8 (159) (Average HOFer ? 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting - 99.0 (152) (Likely HOFer > 100)
Overall Rank in parentheses


What does this mean? That Santo ranks 159th among non-HOF 3B in HOF standards?
   44. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:44 PM (#2648159)
Brooks Robinson 2870

When Santo retired, Brooks had already played more games then he had.
   45. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:49 PM (#2648165)
Santo ranks 159th in HoF Stds of all players.
   46. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2007 at 07:50 PM (#2648168)
I think Pete Rose was right there too, and voters could see what a 3B had done. Either hit 500 HRs or bat .320.
   47. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: December 17, 2007 at 08:00 PM (#2648179)
I think Lou Whitaker may be a top HOF snub historically.

I think he's right behind Grich amongst position players (non-Negro League).
   48. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 17, 2007 at 08:05 PM (#2648189)
Santo ranks 159th in HoF Stds of all players.


No, he ranks 135th as per your post # 36
   49. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 17, 2007 at 08:09 PM (#2648194)
I think Lou Whitaker may be a top HOF snub historically.

I think he's right behind Grich amongst position players (non-Negro League).


Would that be Lou Whitaker of the 1 black ink, 31 gray ink fame and the Bobby Grich of the 206th ranked HOF standards?
   50. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: December 17, 2007 at 08:27 PM (#2648216)
if Sammy Sosa is not in the HOF, they just need to bulldoze the place. sorry.
   51. Srul Itza Posted: December 17, 2007 at 08:56 PM (#2648248)
Santo Contemporary 3B NOT in the HOF

Is Dick Allen really a "contemporary 3B?" He played all of 652 games at third, and 807 at 1st.
   52. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 17, 2007 at 09:08 PM (#2648253)
I think he's right behind Grich amongst position players

Bill Dahlen.
   53. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: December 17, 2007 at 11:40 PM (#2648357)
Using the B-ref batting wins + replacement level (+2.0 wins per 650 plate appearances), here's how some of the outfielders stack up, including those eligible, soon to be eligible, and those near the end of their careers, excluding position/defense:


Albert Pujols is at 53.9 by this method. Uh, wow.
   54. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 17, 2007 at 11:46 PM (#2648360)
Albert Pujols is at 53.9 by this method. Uh, wow.


And Santo's 59.6
   55. AROM Posted: December 18, 2007 at 12:41 AM (#2648390)
Here's some more:

Recently retired:
Larry Walker 66.2
Harold Baines 61.5
Jose Canseco 55.3
Juan Gonzalez 47.9
Joe Carter 30.2

Larry Walker is about as deserving as Dwight Evans, he also brought the great RF defense. Baines doesn't have the defensive value to push him out of the gray area, same as Canseco and Gonzalez, among other problems. Neither one has a snowball's chance in hell.

Active, 35+

Gary Sheffield 86.5
Manny Ramirez 80.9
Ken Griffey Jr 79.1
Brian Giles 56.8
Luis Gonzalez 56.5
Kenny Lofton 37.7
Steve Finley 35.5

That's a pretty clear dividing line as to who goes in and who stays out. We'll see if voters hold steroids against Sheffield, though his story of being a dabbler instead of a fiend seems plausible. Seeing that the Murphy/Rice/Dawson/Parker group compares a lot better to Giles and Gonzalez makes me think the voters have been wise in keeping them out.

Early 30's

Vlad Guerrero 61.3
Bobby Abreu 54.8
Andruw Jones 33.3
Carlos Beltran 29.3
Ichiro Suzuki 27.8
   56. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: December 18, 2007 at 01:08 AM (#2648397)
Would that be Lou Whitaker of the 1 black ink, 31 gray ink fame and the Bobby Grich of the 206th ranked HOF standards?

Yeah, probably. I don't care about those things. I care about who helped their teams win.

Those measures are predictive -- based on how voters vote -- not descriptive -- an actual attempt to evaluate a player's contribution.
   57. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 18, 2007 at 01:12 AM (#2648400)
Yeah, probably. I don't care about those things. I care about who helped their teams win.

Those measures are predictive -- based on how voters vote -- not descriptive -- an actual attempt to evaluate a player's contribution.


I agree. It was just a dig at Dial who was quoting them as some sort of evidence of Santo's unimpressive HOF resume. That and his batting average.
   58. Chris Dial Posted: December 18, 2007 at 01:41 AM (#2648407)
It was just a dig at Dial who was quoting them as some sort of evidence of Santo's unimpressive HOF resume. That and his batting average.

I was explaining to you *why* Santo got such a poor showing. If you think a BA that low didn't count against HOF wannabees, you are sadly mistaken. They cared about the things the monitor looks at. Regardless of Santo's OPS+ and bw+rl, he did poorly because he didn't stack up well to what the voters wanted.

And he wasn't better than his contemporaries.
   59. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 18, 2007 at 02:08 PM (#2648645)
I was explaining to you *why* Santo got such a poor showing.


Well, sure, but that's not terribly interesting, and non-responsive to the statement that it was one of the biggest HOF snubs ever.

And he wasn't better than his contemporaries.


The same can be said, for your biggest snub, Whitaker.

Whitaker:

Black Ink: Batting - 1 (711) (Average HOFer ? 27)
Gray Ink: Batting - 31 (736) (Average HOFer ? 144)
HOF Standards: Batting - 41.9 (126) (Average HOFer ? 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting - 92.5 (168) (Likely HOFer > 100)

Sandberg Contemporary HOF

Black Ink: Batting - 14 (164) (Average HOFer ? 27)
Gray Ink: Batting - 134 (124) (Average HOFer ? 144)
HOF Standards: Batting - 41.9 (126) (Average HOFer ? 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting - 157.5 (73) (Likely HOFer > 100)

Willie Randolph Contemporary Not HOF

Black Ink: Batting - 2 (582) (Average HOFer ? 27)
Gray Ink: Batting - 39 (611) (Average HOFer ? 144)
HOF Standards: Batting - 32.9 (217) (Average HOFer ? 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting - 92.0 (169) (Likely HOFer > 100)

If you think a BA that low didn't count against HOF wannabees, you are sadly mistaken.

Of the 14 position players to receive more votes than Santo in 1980, 5 had a lower batting average, including a first baseman who got 260 votes.

Anyway, my point was that a guy, who at the time of the election was 3rd all time in games played at the position, and with damned fine rate stats to boot, could reasonably be argued to have been the third best ever at the position (at the time), to be summarily booted from the ballot with 3.9% of the vote, has got to rank as one of, if not the definitive HOF goof.
   60. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 18, 2007 at 02:25 PM (#2648664)
And he wasn't better than his contemporaries.


These are Santo's contemporaries:

Brooks Robinson
Ken Boyer
Eddie Mathews
Sal Bando
Clete Boyer
Graig Nettles
Aurelio Rodriguez
Ken McMullen
Doug Rader
Frank Malzone

Those are all the players who compiled at least 1200 games at 3B from the years 1955-1979 (Santo's career +/- 5 years).

Among them, Santo clearly ranks behind Mathews and, in the minds of the voters if not in fact, Robinson. He clearly ranks ahead of all the rest, especially considering Nettles only through 1979.

And that is the problem, he was in the minds of the voters), merely the third best of his era, and thus not worthy of consideration. Much like, ironically, a guy who did finally get elected in 1980 after a fairly inauspicious debut 10 years earlier, Duke Snider. The fact that being third best of his era also meant third best all time obviously did not occur to the voters.

BTW, it took Eddie Mathews 5 ballots to get elected in 1978, which shows you just how little the electorate though of third basemen at the time. But at least he debuted with 32%, not 4.

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