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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Pedro Martinez thinks he ‘should have a shot’ at the Hall of Fame in 2015

Hell, everybody has a higher WAR than Tom Glaivine.

Pedro Martinez should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when his name appears on the ballot for the first time next year.

He has a lower career ERA (2.93) than Greg Maddux, more strikeouts (3,154) than Sandy Koufax and a higher WAR (86.0) than Tom Glaivine. All of those pitchers were inducted on the first try.

Martinez, now a special assistant to Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, is confident, but not certain that he’ll get the news he’s looking for next year.

“I think I should have a shot but it’s not up to me,” he said Wednesday from the team’s spring training complex. “Like I said, it’s not up to me. I can only hope and wait.”

...He’ll learn his fate for the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown sometime early next year.

“I’m looking forward to that,” Martinez said. “There’s only so much I can do. As of now, I’m just like you, hoping and waiting to get another chance to actually make it back-to-back years. Boston, then the Hall of Fame.”

Repoz Posted: February 27, 2014 at 07:49 AM | 132 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, red sox

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   1. John Northey Posted: February 27, 2014 at 09:05 AM (#4663358)
Too many voters will see '219 wins' and say 'not a first ballot guy'. Pretty idiotic but I guarantee there is a portion of the electorate who will think Jack Morris was better. His 6-4 3.46 ERA in the playoffs including an 0-2 record in his last WS with the Phillies will hurt too as does his manager leaving him in too long back in 2003 iirc. Stupid, but it will affect things.

Now, one can hope the smart portion of the voters will go 'uh, he is a no-brainer you idiots' but I guess we'll see. Hopefully it will be a 3 or 4 man crew going in (Randy Johnson, Pedro, Biggio and someone else be it Smoltz, Bagwell, Piazza or whoever).
   2. Tim Raines Posted: February 27, 2014 at 09:07 AM (#4663359)
I think Martinez is being realistic. I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that at least 25% of voters think of him as a fragile, six-inning pitcher with a great peak but a short career. No way is he a lock to go in next year.
   3. AROM Posted: February 27, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4663382)
Pedro is right to not want to appear overconfident in these things. Saying what he said, a lot of people are going to respond "Of course Pedro should go in first ballot. Only question is should he be unanimous"

If he comes out and says "I'm a no doubt first ballot HOFer" then the reaction will be "Pedro sure is full of himself, isn't he?"
   4. TDF, situational idiot Posted: February 27, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4663386)
I think Martinez is being realistic. I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that at least 25% of voters think of him as a fragile, six-inning pitcher with a great peak but a short career. No way is he a lock to go in next year.
As opposed to Koufax???

IP: Martinez 2827, Koufax 2324 (take out Martinez's last 4 injury-riddled seasons, and he's still at 2505)
4+ WAR seasons: Martinez 11, Koufax 6
5+: Martinez 9, Koufax 5
7+: Martinez 5, Koufax 4
Top 10 IP: Martinez 6 (never higher than 4th), Koufax 4 (twice 1st)

And Martinez takes the stance I think every player should take, at least publicly (even a Greg Maddux type): I would be honored to be inducted, but I don't expect it.

EDIT: Hell, Pedro's prime (those 11 4+ WAR seasons are consecutive, totalling 2253 IP and 78.3 bWR) is as long and higher quality as Koufax's entire career (only 53.2 bWAR).

EDIT II: And all of this is significant beause Koufax got 87% of the vote his 1st year of eligibility.
   5. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: February 27, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4663416)
If you watched Pedro Martinez pitch in his prime and think "yeah, that's not a first-ballot Hall of Famer" then you should be banned from watching baseball games.
   6. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: February 27, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4663421)
As opposed to Koufax???

IP: Martinez 2827, Koufax 2324 (take out Martinez's last 4 injury-riddled seasons, and he's still at 2505)
4+ WAR seasons: Martinez 11, Koufax 6
5+: Martinez 9, Koufax 5
7+: Martinez 5, Koufax 4
Top 10 IP: Martinez 6 (never higher than 4th), Koufax 4 (twice 1st)


There should be a law against people pretending to use data to support their position when they are too ignorant to know what it means.

Variance in performance was much higher during Pedro's era than during Koufax's. Accordingly, looking at unadjusted sabermetric numbers exagerrates Pedro's prime relative to Koufax's (it is a curious coincidence that Pedro, Maddux, Clemens and Johnson are all in their historically-significant primes at the same time, isn't it?). It's just the flip side of using ERA without adjusting for ERA and park and claiming that Koufax was better. That's not to say that adjusting gets Koufax close to Pedro on a career basis, or even a prime basis; but on a pure seasonal peak basis, when accounting for Koufax's higher IP counts it's a lot closer than using black boxed WAR makes it appear. Pedro is obviously much better by rate.
   7. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 27, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4663422)
If you watched Pedro Martinez pitch in his prime and think "yeah, that's not a first-ballot Hall of Famer" then you should be banned from watching baseball games.

And forced to watch nothing but soccer and the Olympics for the rest of your sportswatching life.
   8. Tim Raines Posted: February 27, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4663423)
Oh, Martinez was a better pitcher than Koufax, and I don't think it was particularly close. But even at his peak, when he was clearly NOT a fragile, six-inning pitcher, Martinez had the reputation of being a fragile, six-inning pitcher. I expect that a significant number of voters will view him as such, and will view his career as short because they won't remember much of his time outside Boston. I don't expect him to get 75% next year.

Here's a fun Sandy Koufax thought experiment: rearrange the seasons of his career at random, then ask yourself if he'd have a snowball's chance in hell of being elected to the Hall of Fame. Most arrangements give the impression of either a flash-in-the-pan who fell off a cliff or an inconsistent feast-or-famine type. Neither of those end up in Cooperstown.
   9. Flynn Posted: February 27, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4663426)
I think Pedro gets in on the first try, although he might not clear the hurdle by much. Let's not forget the man won three Cy Youngs (one in Montreal), and nearly won an MVP as a pitcher, and that MVP has been retroactively agreed by most people to have been unfairly awarded to Ivan Rodriguez. I suspect if you got the same voters to revote that 1999 MVP award, he probably wins.
   10. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 27, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4663428)
Variance in performance was much higher during Pedro's era than during Koufax's. Accordingly, looking at unadjusted numbers exagerrates Pedro's prime relative to Koufax's (it is a curious coincidence that Pedro, Maddux, Clemens and Johnson are all in their historically-significant primes at the same time, isn't it?). That's not to say that adjusting gets Koufax close to Pedro on a career basis, or even a prime basis; but on pure peak basis it's a lot closer than using black boxed WAR makes it appear.

In layman's terms, the case for Koufax over Pedro comes down to two things: "World Series" and "Complete Games". Let's just hope that most of the people not named Larry King who think like that are living in Old Folks' homes down in Florida.
   11. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 27, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4663430)
Here's a fun Sandy Koufax thought experiment: rearrange the seasons of his career at random, then ask yourself if he'd have a snowball's chance in hell of being elected to the Hall of Fame. Most arrangements give the impression of either a flash-in-the-pan who fell off a cliff or an inconsistent feast-or-famine type. Neither of those end up in Cooperstown.

You mean like Dizzy Dean didn't?
   12. Tim Raines Posted: February 27, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4663436)
Dizzy Dean is a fair comparison to my imaginary Koufax. I'm guessing, of course, but I don't think Dean would be elected if he were on the ballot today.
   13. AROM Posted: February 27, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4663438)
Dwight Gooden didn't.
   14. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 27, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4663440)
And forced to watch nothing but soccer and the Olympics for the rest of your sportswatching life.


I enjoy soccer and the olympics so I'd be cool with that.

Pedro is a no doubt first ballot Hall of Famer for me but I'm biased. The innings are a bit low for a Hall of Famer but damn, he was so great I just can't imagine voting against him. Pedro is a really smart, well-spoken guy too, his acceptance speech would probably be very good.
   15. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: February 27, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4663443)
If you watched Pedro Martinez pitch in his prime and think "yeah, that's not a first-ballot Hall of Famer" then you should be banned from watching writing about baseball games.

FTFY
   16. ajnrules Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4663454)
If Jack Morris is still on the ballot it may be questionable, but now that Morris won't be on the ballot I expect Pedro to get in. Probably won't get more votes than Randy Johnson, but he should get in.
   17. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4663457)
Dizzy Dean is a fair comparison to my imaginary Koufax. I'm guessing, of course, but I don't think Dean would be elected if he were on the ballot today.

He'd be an interesting test, that's for sure. It's hard to think of a candidate who better symbolizes the split between the Narrative Added and Purely Sabermetric views of what the Hall of Fame should be all about. Much more of a test than Koufax, whose peak was longer and more consistent, and who had three outstanding World Series to Dean's one.
   18. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4663462)
And forced to watch nothing but soccer and the Olympics for the rest of your sportswatching life.

I enjoy soccer and the olympics so I'd be cool with that.


But if you were forced to choose between baseball and soccer/Olympics, which would be kicked off your island?
   19. dave h Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4663464)
I will happily make my first bb-ref bet with anyone who thinks Pedro is not going in first ballot. Everyone knows Pedro was awesome, it's not just restricted to the statheadiest.
   20. cardsfanboy Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4663480)
Pedro is right to not want to appear overconfident in these things. Saying what he said, a lot of people are going to respond "Of course Pedro should go in first ballot. Only question is should he be unanimous"


Not really. I think he's an easy first balloter, but he's not an inner circle guy, and when people talk about unanimous, you are talking about hopefully the Willie Mays of pitchers (Greg Maddux being the most obvious example of that) (Mind you, I don't think you were saying he should go in unanimous, you were talking about the talk that would come after his comments)

EDIT II: And all of this is significant beause Koufax got 87% of the vote his 1st year of eligibility.


and with a normal ballot that is probably where you would expect Pedro to wind up at also.... this ballot is far from normal.


Variance in performance was much higher during Pedro's era than during Koufax's. Accordingly, looking at unadjusted sabermetric numbers exagerrates Pedro's prime relative to Koufax's (it is a curious coincidence that Pedro, Maddux, Clemens and Johnson are all in their historically-significant primes at the same time, isn't it?). It's just the flip side of using ERA without adjusting for ERA and park and claiming that Koufax was better. That's not to say that adjusting gets Koufax close to Pedro on a career basis, or even a prime basis; but on a pure seasonal peak basis, when accounting for Koufax's higher IP counts it's a lot closer than using black boxed WAR makes it appear. Pedro is obviously much better by rate.



This is the one comparison that we need to get comfortable going away from era+ and instead use one of the few stats that fangraphs has that is actually useful, and use era-... it would be better if bb-reference had it so that we could sort by it and that we can sum multiple years, but that isn't the case.

Pedro era- (ip)
1997 42 (233.6)
1998 61 (213.3)
1999 42 (217)
2000 35 (116.6)
2001 53 (199.3)
2002 50 (186.6)
2004 48 (217)

Koufax


1962 70 (184.3)
1963 62 (311)
1964 53 (223)
1965 63 (335.6)
1966 53 (323)

Summed up Pedro has an era- of 48 over 1383 ip for that time frame, while Koufax has a 60 over 1376 ip. Pedro does have the rate stats and it only takes pitching an extra two years to get to the innings pitched. Argue anything else you want about Pedro or Koufax, but I really don't think it's possible to separate the two players. Both had some of the best peaks in history, did it for a fairly long time(in regards to pitchers peaks) and had relatively short careers. I have and will probably in the future argue that relying on the pen improves a pitchers era (which is a big reason to have one of course, but it makes it somewhat unfair to compare eras because those who didn't have a pen doesn't have this advantage...converse argument is that pen pitchers generally have better eras than starters so it hurts when comparing players which is what era+/- do.)

   21. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4663503)
But even at his peak, when he was clearly NOT a fragile, six-inning pitcher, Martinez had the reputation of being a fragile, six-inning pitcher.

He wasn't a six-inning pitcher, but between his annual DL stint and need for long rest, he averaged about 28 starts per season when he was "clearly NOT" fragile, while the league leaders were making 35-36.
   22. TDF, situational idiot Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4663504)
There should be a law against people pretending to use data to support their position when they are too ignorant to know what it means.
Screw you and your FOX News-approved smugness while taking a quote completely out of context.

I was specifically responding to the argument that "I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that at least 25% of voters think of him as a fragile, six-inning pitcher with a great peak but a short career" which I quoted in my post and comparing Martinez to someone specifically mentioned in the article, someone who sailed into the HOF in his 1st year of eligibility (and was included in the All-Century team, to boot).

And this:
Accordingly, looking at unadjusted sabermetric numbers exagerrates Pedro's prime relative to Koufax's (it is a curious coincidence that Pedro, Maddux, Clemens and Johnson are all in their historically-significant primes at the same time, isn't it?).
Is it any different than the "curious coincidence" that Mays, Mantle, F. Robinson, and Aaron "are all in their historically-significant primes at the same time"? EDIT: From '56-'64, those 4 players averaged just under 8 WAR/season - including Mantle's 65-game '63 season.
   23. alilisd Posted: February 27, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4663522)
Too many voters will see '219 wins' and say 'not a first ballot guy'.


Too many? Sure (in a literal sense, even one would be too many), but too many for him to be elected? I'm sceptical of that. While a voter can certainly look and see "only" 219 wins, they can also see 20 wins twice in the era of 5 man rotations. They can see a league leader in wins once, WPct three times, ERA five times, K's three times, WHIP six times, CY three times, over 100 more W's than L's, trails only Whitey Ford in WPct for pitchers with at least 200 W's. These are as readily noticed by the non-Saber type voters as his win total.

Pretty idiotic but I guarantee there is a portion of the electorate who will think Jack Morris was better.


Yes, a portion, but a very, very small portion. And, again, not enough to prevent him from being elected.
   24. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: February 27, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4663526)
Is it any different than the "curious coincidence" that Mays, Mantle, F. Robinson, and Aaron "are all in their historically-significant primes at the same time"? EDIT: From '56-'64, those 4 players averaged just under 8 WAR/season - including Mantle's 65-game '63 season


Very different, because looked at quantitatively, variance was far higher in the 90s/early 00's than in the 60s. Also, curious to know how you determined Koufax's peak began in 1956.

Screw you and your FOX News-approved smugness while taking a quote completely out of context.


I don't even know what this means, but eat my #######.
   25. TDF, situational idiot Posted: February 27, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4663531)
Also, curious to know how you determined Koufax's peak began in 1956.
Once again, nice reading comprehension.

You said it was a "curious coincidence" that 4 pitchers had "historically-significant primes" at the same time; I pointed out that 4 hitters had a more historically significant prime over a similar period - Mays, Mantle, F. Robinson, and Aaron. Koufax had nothing to do with that post.
I don't even know what this means
You cut out the context of my post, then used what was left to say I was "too ignorant" to "know what (the data) means".
   26. The District Attorney Posted: February 27, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4663537)
Agreed with 'zop (in substance, if not in phrasing); we should be looking at standard deviations, not percentages of the average.

That means re-calibrating everything, but hey. It's not even a difficult task, really; it's just a question of Baseball-Reference hasn't yet done it that way.

And I think there's a decent chance there are 26% of voters who think "Hall of Famers have more than 219 wins". At least, I think there is a good number of voters like that. Maybe not quite 26%. One interesting thing will be Pedro vs. Smoltz. I would be willing to bet that that will be a much closer race than we here would have it. (Smoltz' own "low" win total will be mitigated in the voters' minds by his closer years.)
   27. alilisd Posted: February 27, 2014 at 12:34 PM (#4663541)
He wasn't a six-inning pitcher, but between his annual DL stint and need for long rest, he averaged about 28 starts per season when he was "clearly NOT" fragile, while the league leaders were making 35-36.


I think that's overstating things by a bit. I do not see any reasonable range where one might say "he averaged about 28 starts per season..." From age 23, when he first made 30 starts, to age 33 he averaged 29.6 starts, and that's including his injury shortened age 29 season with only 18 starts. Also, the 30 starts at age 23 was the strike shortened 1995 season, he had made 23 starts in 1994, so that's likely another season which would have been at least 30 starts. His average is 30.8 starts for 10 years in an 11 year span (removing the 18 start 2001 season, but without giving any strike credit).

While your statement that league leaders were making 35-36 is valid, it is still overtating it as they were few and far between. In the NL from 1994 to 1997 only eight pitchers reached that level. It was much more common to be in the range of 31-33, which is where Pedro was. The same is true of the AL after he moved to Boston. From 1998 to 2004 only 13 pitches made 35 or more starts. But it was still much more common to be in the 31-33 range, which, but for the one injury season, he was on the low range of, averaging 30.5.

If you want to look at in terms of whether he was a 6 IP or not, he clearly was not. During that 11 year span he averaged 6.83 IP per start. Was he a workhorse? No, only a bit of grey ink for GS and IP, but he was not below average either. Seven IP from your starter during the Silly Ball Era, and in the modern bullpen era, is just what you're looking for, and Pedro delivered it as well as anyone and far better than most.
   28. only once Posted: February 27, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4663546)
I very much enjoy coming to this site. I don't understand a great deal of the detailed discussion, but I am slowly learning and enjoy the give and take.

"There should be a law against people pretending to use data to support their position when they are too ignorant to know what it means"

The above response however, is very unfortunate. I have absolutley no idea who is correct in this little spat - and let's be clear - this is a little spat. If either of you think this has one whit of importance, you are sadly mistaken. It is entirely possible to disagree without insulting people. I for one would love to hear the debate on this topic, but instead I am treated to a junior high level name calling contest started by zop. Perhaps you are correct, zop. I don't know. I do know however, that your response was rude and arrogant. I don't know much about baseball, but I do know something about civility.

'Only once' is my name because this is the only time I have ever responded to anything on this site. I will certainly never do so again.

So, now have at it - tell me why I am ignorant and exactly what part of your anatomy I should eat- it really elevates the conversation.
   29. Booey Posted: February 27, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4663550)
Hopefully it will be a 3 or 4 man crew going in (Randy Johnson, Pedro, Biggio and someone else be it Smoltz, Bagwell, Piazza or whoever).


I'm guessing RJ gets around 95%, Pedro around 85%, and Biggio finally makes it with around 80%. Piazza probably gets up to around 70%, putting him in line to go in with Griffey in 2016.

I'm not nearly as confident about Bagwell being on a HOF trajectory as I used to be. His support seems to have stalled a bit. Yes, that could largely be due to some stacked ballots the last couple years, but A)the ballots aren't getting any weaker any time soon, and B)all it takes is 25% of voters that just "know" he's a roider to keep him from getting elected.

Smoltz is a tough one to predict. I doubt he comes particularly close to election on the 1st ballot, but voters love saves for some reason, so I'd guess he does much better than Schilling or Moose. 50% maybe?
   30. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 27, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4663562)
His 6-4 3.46 ERA in the playoffs including an 0-2 record in his last WS with the Phillies will hurt too


His game in the LDS against the Dodgers was a thing of beauty. He'd thrown 9 regular season games, pitching against the fourth-highest scoring team in the league, and he threw 7 IP of 2-hit ball, with only 3 K's and no walks.
   31. alilisd Posted: February 27, 2014 at 01:00 PM (#4663564)
And I think there's a decent chance there are 26% of voters who think "Hall of Famers have more than 216 wins".


When I first read John's post my reaction was immediately, "No way." However, your statement made me think about it a bit more, and this will be an interesting case. He clearly has a LOT more going for him than W's, but the writers have not had to deal with anyone below 300 W's in a long time. The last guys they elected with fewer than 300 W's were Hunter, Palmer, and Jenkins who were late 80's/early 90's candidates (I know there was also Blyleven, but I think he was quite a distinct case from the three mentioned as well as from Pedro). So it's been over 20 years since they've had to deal with this sort of pitcher.

Perhaps there will be more than just a few who won't vote for him "first ballot." However, there is much which has changed since they were voting on those three, not the least of which is the composition of the electorate. Next year will be 28 years since they elected Hunter. Certainly there are many voters who were active then who are not active now. Also, about 160 more voted last year than in 1987. It seems the composition of the electorate would be vastly different, though not entirely without the same prejudice against low W totals to be sure.

I'm still going to go with Pedro has too much to recommend him beyond W's for him not to be elected. But you and John raise some interesting ideas.
   32. BDC Posted: February 27, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4663568)
It could have been worse, Only Once: somebody could have expressed an opinion about wine instead of Sandy Koufax :)

Martinez is an interesting case rhetorically, because I sense that a lot of Boston fans have a metaphysical view of Pedro's perfections, much as with David Ortiz. But if one smokes the objective pipe, Pedro has to rate much higher among peak starting pitchers than Ortiz ranks among peak cleanup men. Ortiz's candidacy was met here with a lot of ifs ands & buts. Pedro's is being met with "75%, 85%, or 95%?" I think most people outside of Boston (or Montreal) form a pretty strong consensus that Martinez is an easy HOFer, as several have said. (Those within Boston would treat it as an article of faith, and with some reason.)
   33. bjhanke Posted: February 27, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4663584)
1) If the question is whether you were better than Sandy Koufax or not, I don't think you're going to have to wait for the Veterans' Committee.

2) Koufax, Dean, and Joss (and Sisler over in position players) were pulled out of the pack partially because they were, according to contemporaneous accounts, jaw-dropping to watch. I got to see Koufax, and yes, that was a mind-boggling combination of huge fastball and even huger curve. That the Dodgers blew his arm out for him isn't a point against him. Dean produced the same reaction. Also, he was injured in the All-Star Game, which may have caused HoF voters to cut him breaks because he did not get hurt during the regular season, but in what amounted to a publicity game for MLB (I've read that, but it doesn't seem to be a complete consensus). Joss was also like that - contemporary observers were just blown away by his stuff, and then his arm died. Martinez has some of that, but he also has Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens and Nolan Ryan to compete with visually. I don't know how that will play out in his first ballot, but as I said, he's not going to have to wait for the VC. - Brock Hanke
   34. Baldrick Posted: February 27, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4663588)
Yay, a conversation about Pedro and Koufax. Wild assertions that it's easier/harder to dominate now. Insistence that ERA- reveals some fundamentally different information than ERA+, even though they're literally the same stat. Arguments about whether Pedro was genuinely fragile, or whether it was just a different era.

Maybe go read the 50 other threads about these things?
   35. alilisd Posted: February 27, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4663592)
I'm not nearly as confident about Bagwell being on a HOF trajectory as I used to be. His support seems to have stalled a bit. Yes, that could largely be due to some stacked ballots the last couple years, but A)the ballots aren't getting any weaker any time soon, and B)all it takes is 25% of voters that just "know" he's a roider to keep him from getting elected.


I thnk Bagwell will be fine. I think his being "stalled" is clearly a result of the full ballot, but I think, for someone near the top of the backlog like him, it will clear up somewhat over the next few years. Next year obviously won't allow him to gain any ground with three big guys coming on (even if two go in, they'll soak up too many votes), but Mattingly drops off, Trammell drops off the year after that, and then Lee Smith the following year. The 2016 ballot only adds Griffey, and he should be elected easily, so no one moves in front of him on the backlog (except perhaps Smoltz) and Piazza likely is elected, which moves him higher up the backlog (perhaps even to the top). Then in 2017 there will be Ivan Rodriguez and Vlad Guerrero as the leading candidates. That should allow Bagwell to make a big move. I don't have any concern over your B, and, for someone at the top of the backlog, I think your A may clear up sooner rather than later.
   36. alilisd Posted: February 27, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4663593)
Yay, a conversation about Pedro and Koufax. Wild assertions that it's easier/harder to dominate now. Insistence that ERA- reveals some fundamentally different information than ERA+, even though they're literally the same stat. Arguments about whether Pedro was genuinely fragile, or whether it was just a different era.


I'm going to respond to your snark, but only once, and tell you to eat my shorts! ;-)
   37. jdennis Posted: February 27, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4663606)
This will sound stupid, but here goes:

Last year, I thought Thomas would get 70-75% and get screwed, and Pedro would in 2015. But Thomas ended up getting in with over 80. So now I adjust my expectations for Pedro to the same. I think Pedro is a top 10 pitcher all time, and think he should be 95%+, but I no longer think the BBWAA will screw him over.

Randy will get 90+ and Biggio will get the final couple of votes he needs. But that will be it for the writers, none of the others will get in.
   38. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 27, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4663614)

Randy will get 90+ and Biggio will get the final couple of votes he needs. But that will be it for the writers, none of the others will get in.


That sounds right. I think Piazza makes some nice gains, putting him in position to make it during the light ballot of 2016.

Smoltz is the wildcard. If he gets lumped in with Schilling and Moose, he's got a long slog.

If the writers see him as an Eck-style hybrid, against whom he compares more favorably, he could debut above Bagwell.

   39. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 27, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4663624)
Yay, a conversation about Pedro and Koufax. Wild assertions that it's easier/harder to dominate now. Insistence that ERA- reveals some fundamentally different information than ERA+, even though they're literally the same stat. Arguments about whether Pedro was genuinely fragile, or whether it was just a different era.

Maybe go read the 50 other threads about these things?


You know who could resolve this? Ichiro...if he wanted to.
   40. Captain Supporter Posted: February 27, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4663632)
I saw them both, and I would take Koufax in a minute, particulalrly in a game I really needed to win. Sandy went nine when he needed to do so. If you pick Pedro over Sandy, you better have a Mariano like closer behind him. The Yankees made an art form of working up Pedro's pitch count, getting him out of there and beating up the bullpen.

Pedro is a great pitcher and deserves to be a first ballot Hall of Famer. But the his inability to complete games is a flaw that for me makes it pretty clear that he was not the top five all time pitcher that many people on this site make him out to be.
   41. tfbg9 Posted: February 27, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4663657)
Koufax did not have to face the kind of lineups Pedro did. I'm not sure he'd have lasted more than ~7 innings against the 1998-1999 Yankees. Hell, Sandy got a two-thirds of an inning "head start" just by getting to blow away the other pitcher at least twice a game.
   42. tfbg9 Posted: February 27, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4663662)
Pedro's inner circle in terms of peak. I've been watching ball since '71 or so, and he was the best pitcher I ever saw.
   43. Captain Supporter Posted: February 27, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4663678)
Koufax had an 0.95 ERA in 8 world series starts with a .082 WHIP facing the lineups of the best teams in his era. Pedro had a 3.46 era in 14 starts and 2 relief appearances with a 1.080 WHIP.

You saw Pedro, I saw them both, including every one of those games. I can't tell you what Koufax would have done against the 1998-1999 Yankees, but I saw what he did to the 1963 Yankees.

Pedro was great, but Sandy was simply better. Watch him pitch some time on one of those rare occasions when the replay one of those games and you will see why people from that era rave about him the way they do.
   44. bobm Posted: February 27, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4663695)
Variance in performance was much higher during Pedro's era than during Koufax's. Accordingly, looking at unadjusted sabermetric numbers exagerrates Pedro's prime relative to Koufax's 

How many standard deviations from the mean was each one's ERA etc.?
   45. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: February 27, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4663703)
I saw them both, and I would take Koufax in a minute, particulalrly in a game I really needed to win. Sandy went nine when he needed to do so. If you pick Pedro over Sandy, you better have a Mariano like closer behind him. The Yankees made an art form of working up Pedro's pitch count, getting him out of there and beating up the bullpen.


Put Pedro on that 6 foot tall mound and the cavernous confines of Dodger Stadium give him the high strike that was regularly called back then and have him face those weak-ass lineups Koufax faced and he'd be going 9 at least as often as Koufax did.

I don't think it's up to question that the conditions in which Koufax pitched were significantly slanted in favor of pitching.

Also, it seems strange to hold this "Koufax went 9!" thing high in favor of Koufax when he had to retire at 32 because his arm was so shredded. For a guy whose supporters always say was more durable than Pedro, he had an early end to his career.
   46. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 27, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4663711)
Koufax had an 0.95 ERA in 8 world series starts with a .082 WHIP facing


I think that WHIP is off by an order of magnitude.
   47. tfbg9 Posted: February 27, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4663719)
Koufax had an 0.95 ERA in 8 world series starts with a .082 WHIP facing the lineups of the best teams in his era. Pedro had a 3.46 era in 14 starts and 2 relief appearances with a 1.080 WHIP.


OPS+'s of the teams Sandy faced in the WS: 91, 99, 100, 111. Average = 100

OPS+'s of the teams Pedro faced in the postseason: 103, 111, 110, 96, 115, 103, 112, 114, 115. Average =109

   48. BDC Posted: February 27, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4663723)
Sandy went nine when he needed to do so. If you pick Pedro over Sandy, you better have a Mariano like closer behind him. The Yankees made an art form of working up Pedro's pitch count, getting him out of there and beating up the bullpen

But in terms of era, teams were doing that to every starter, and less to Pedro than most. Of starters who pitched 200 games between 1994 and 2006 (the bulk of Martinez's career) only eight guys completed more than 12% of their starts, and only seven of them more than Martinez: Johnson, Schilling, Erickson, Wells, Maddux, Hernandez, and Halladay. Two of those guys you won't see much argument about being better than Pedro except maybe at tip-top peak (the Unit and Greg Maddux), and two others have excellent peak HOF cases also (Schilling and Halladay). And then three guys who could throw marginally more CG, but weren't nearly as good as the other five. And the percentage differences are small: Johnson and Schilling each completed 18.7% of their starts during those years.

This is just another way of ceaselessly repeating that Martinez was a durable pitcher, in the context of his contemporaries (as has been related here quite a bit). I grew up watching Jenkins and Carlton and guys like that, and the loss of the CG pitcher is a bummer, but that's the way history go.
   49. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 27, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4663725)
Koufax had an 0.95 ERA in 8 world series starts with a .082 WHIP facing the lineups of the best teams in his era. Pedro had a 3.46 era in 14 starts and 2 relief appearances with a 1.080 WHIP.

You saw Pedro, I saw them both, including every one of those games. I can't tell you what Koufax would have done against the 1998-1999 Yankees, but I saw what he did to the 1963 Yankees.

Pedro was great, but Sandy was simply better. Watch him pitch some time on one of those rare occasions when the replay one of those games and you will see why people from that era rave about him the way they do.


I also watched every one of Koufax's World Series games, beginning with his 1-0 loss to Bob Shaw in the Coliseum in 1959 and ending with the Willie Davis "Fun in the Sun" day of 1966. And of course I've also watched Pedro pitch many more times than that.

And frankly, I think trying to rank Koufax and Pedro is an impossible task, apples and oranges with too many different factors to boil down into one number.

Koufax pitched complete games. Pedro didn't. Advantage Koufax. You can blame it on the era, but you still have to deplete the roster with those extra bullpen spots.

Koufax sparkled in October. Pedro only had a handful of golden moments in that month. But then Koufax quit at his peak and Pedro kept going after he began losing his best stuff, which works against the Costanza principle for maintaining one's reputation.

Those Yankees teams that Pedro faced were stacked from top to bottom with good to great hitters, and included a DH. The AL teams that Koufax faced, including the 1963 Yankees, had to bat the pitcher and had big gaps in other places.

Koufax's numbers were clearly helped by Dodger Stadium. So were Pedro's in Fenway, but not by nearly as much.

The AL of 1998 averaged about 13 K's per game. The NL of Koufax's prime years, which included pitchers batting, averaged between 11 and 12. And the juiced up power during Pedro's peak years produced far more home run threats than Koufax ever had to face.

That's what the numbers say, and numbers can't always put a handle on transcendent greatness. For one game with all the money riding on it, I'd take Sandy Koufax over Superman, Super Fly, and even Sidd Finch. But in terms of who accomplished more within the context of his era and the quality of the competition he had to face, I can't see anyone but Pedro. I know that sounds wishy-washy, but then you're talking about two of the top dozen peak pitching talents in history. I emphasize those two words in order to avoid dragging apricots and pears into the discussion.



   50. Jeltzandini Posted: February 27, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4663728)
including an 0-2 record in his last WS with the Phillies will hurt too


He pitched in three WS games in his brilliant career, and two of them were with the 2009 Phillies. Funny old world.

Prime Pedro only overlapped a little with Postseason Pedro.
   51. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 27, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4663739)


OPS+'s of the teams Sandy faced in the WS: 91, 99, 100, 111. Average = 100

OPS+'s of the teams Pedro faced in the postseason: 103, 111, 110, 96, 115, 103, 112, 114, 115. Average =109


That's not quite a fair comparison. The league average OPS+ of the four teams Sandy faced in the World Series was only 93, whereas the league average OPS+ was 100 for most of the teams Pedro faced in the playoffs (exceptions being the Cards in the 04 World Series and the Dodgers in the 09 NLCS).

   52. Zach Posted: February 27, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4663764)
I predict Pedro will get the full benefit of the "feels like a Hall of Famer" vote, and will enter the Hall through the Koufax door.

The 219 wins are a red herring. Pedro was an exact contemporary of Clemens, Johnson, and Maddux, and he had no trouble at all attracting attention as something special.
   53. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 27, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4663767)
The 219 wins are a red herring. Pedro was an exact contemporary of Clemens, Johnson, and Maddux, and he had no trouble at all attracting attention as something special.
This. Despite the murmurings, the writers voted him the Cy Young three times. They're going to be just as quick to get him into the Hall, and the only question will be by what margin.
   54. The District Attorney Posted: February 27, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4663769)
Well, it's "talent" vs. "value", right? Pedro may have been more talented than Koufax. But, if he pitched as well as Koufax in only 60% as many innings, then he only had 60% of Koufax's value. And if every individual pitcher pitches less now than they did back then, then every individual pitcher (at a set level of performance) is less valuable now than they were back then.

Following through in full on that principle would, naturally, lead to a Hall of Fame that preferred Jim McCormick to Whitey Ford.¹ We probably don't want that, but luckily it makes sense -- for not only this reason, but many other reasons as well -- to have a guideline that each era should have approximately equal HOF representation.

"Talent" seems more relevant to the "who would you pick to pitch one game?" question, so #40 is a strange point to me.

¹ Although Pedro does have more WAR than McCormick, despite a 1,450 or so IP disadvantage... obviously it is possible to do stuff like that, if you pitch well enough... although see the earlier points about different variance in different eras.
   55. The District Attorney Posted: February 27, 2014 at 05:05 PM (#4663774)
Hell, everybody has a higher WAR than Tom Glaivine.
Not Mike Glavine!
   56. John Northey Posted: February 27, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4663780)
Every era has a group of super-talented guys at a certain position it seems.
1990/2000's: pitching with Clemens/Johnson/Maddux/Martinez
1970/80's: 3B with Schmidt/Brett/Boggs (arguably the best 3 ever to that point)
1950/60's: OF with Mantle/Mays/Aaron/Robinson
   57. Moeball Posted: February 27, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4663799)
Pedro was an exact contemporary of Clemens, Johnson, and Maddux, and he had no trouble at all attracting attention as something special.


Agreed - and when you win 3 Cy Young awards going up against the likes of 3 pitchers who have, what, 16 Cy Young awards amongst them - that's a tough club to break into. That Pedro was able to deflect attention away from the other 3 was quite an accomplishment.

I know we give the BBWAA a lot of crap here, much of it deserved - but I think I have to believe they're getting a little smarter than they used to be, aren't they? I mean, at least they now get the idea that someone can be superior to the rest of the league for many years and not just a couple of times*. I have to believe they will recognize Pedro's superiority and vote him in. I'm guessing he'll be somewhere around 80+% when the final votes are in.

*Remember the good old bad old days when Willie Mays was clearly the best player in his league something like 10 times but got only 2 MVP awards out of it? Or when they gave Cy Young awards to the likes of LaMarr Hoyt? Or when Mike Trout was the best player in baseball back-to-back years but had nothing to show for it? Oh, wait...


   58. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 27, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4663801)
Screwing around with numbers. This is looking at the bottoms of lineups only (#6 through #9), which is where I think the real differences between 1960s and 2000s team construction begins to pop, and also speaks to complete game totals.

Koufax had six postseason starts. In the opponents' #6 through #9 slots, Koufax faced a batter with an OPS+ of 110 or higher 6 times in 24 slots. That was Bob Allison (118) and Don Mincher (135), three times apiece in 1965.

Martinez had fourteen postseason starts, plus that long relief stint. In the opponents' #6 through #9 slots, Martinez faced a batter with an OPS+ of 110 or higher 20 times in 60 slots.

In those same games, Koufax faced a batter with an OPS+ lower than 90 eleven times in 24 slots. Martinez faced a batter with an OPS+ lower than 90 sixteen times in 60 slots.

Drop it to an OPS+ lower than 80, and Koufax had eight out of 24, Martinez had twelve out of 60.

Raise it to an OPS+ higher than 120, and Koufax had three (all Mincher), Martinez had thirteen.

Also, Martinez threw zero postseason innings in 2000-2002 because God was punishing us for cancelling "Freaks and Geeks."
   59. Publius Publicola Posted: February 27, 2014 at 06:06 PM (#4663806)
Agreed - and when you win 3 Cy Young awards going up against the likes of 3 pitchers who have, what, 16 Cy Young awards amongst them - that's a tough club to break into.


It wasn't just the winning either. In all three of his Cy's, he ran away from the field. Of the 84 1st place votes, he got 81 of them. Two of the votes he got all the first place votes and the third he got 25 of the 28, the other 3 going to Maddux.
   60. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 27, 2014 at 06:16 PM (#4663815)
(it is a curious coincidence that Pedro, Maddux, Clemens and Johnson are all in their historically-significant primes at the same time, isn't it?)


Do you also downgrade Maddux, Clemens, and Johnson for this?
   61. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: February 27, 2014 at 06:17 PM (#4663817)
I also think that Pedro will get some benefit from being someone that most people think is "clean". There's no way to know for sure and it may not be fair to give him credit for that but I do think that's going to to give him something of a boost.

Edit: Saying that ERA+ is fundamentally different from ERA- is basically saying that these two statements are fundamentally different.

Statement #1: A pitcher with a 50 ERA- would give up half as many earned runs in the same amount of innings as a pitcher with a 100 ERA-.

Statement #2: A pitcher with a 100 ERA+ would give up twice as many earned runs in the same amount of innings as a pitcher with a 200 ERA+.

   62. Mefisto Posted: February 27, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4663819)
Joss was also like that - contemporary observers were just blown away by his stuff, and then his arm died.


It was more than just his arm that died, unfortunately.
   63. GuyM Posted: February 27, 2014 at 06:56 PM (#4663833)
There should be a law against people pretending to use data to support their position when they are too ignorant to know what it means.
Variance in performance was much higher during Pedro's era than during Koufax's. Accordingly, looking at unadjusted sabermetric numbers exagerrates Pedro's prime relative to Koufax's (it is a curious coincidence that Pedro, Maddux, Clemens and Johnson are all in their historically-significant primes at the same time, isn't it?).

In fact, it was a coincidence that Pedro, Maddux, Clemens and Johnson pitched at the same time. While it is often claimed that it is easier to post a great ERA+ in a high run environment, there is basically no evidence that this is true. And the amount of variance is basically meaningless. What we care about is wins, and that is a function of runs allowed. Yes, runs were more valuable in Koufax's time, but that is accounted for in the WAR calculation.

Good thing for you that your law isn't an actual law. :>)
   64. Walt Davis Posted: February 27, 2014 at 06:57 PM (#4663834)
Pedro's going in with around 90% of the vote. Nobody remembers him as a fragile pitcher, everybody remembers him as one of the all-time greats. Nobody thinks of him as a playoff choker, everybody remembers him coming out of the pen on little rest to shut down the Indians.

The man won 3 CYA and finished 2nd twice and even 2nd in the MVP voting once. He led the league in ERA 5 times, his career ERA is under 3. He led the league in Ks 3 times and has over 3000 for his career. He is, at worst, the Pujols of pitchers. Pedro was a HoFer a long time ago, he punched his ticket sometime around 2003-5 and it's really hard to un-punch one of those. If he wasn't on the ballot with Johnson, he'd push 95%.

The BBWAA is not stark raving mad. Nobody is sitting there thinking "well, Bonds needed to do a little more to deserve it." A substantial chunk of the BBWAA is drawing a very strict line on steroids and the vast majority are drawing a strict line. That and the Morris fetish explain all the "crazy" results, it's simply not hard to understand. As long as Pedro stays roid-taint-free through this year, he'll go in easily.
   65. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 27, 2014 at 06:59 PM (#4663835)
Screwing around with numbers. This is looking at the bottoms of lineups only (#6 through #9), which is where I think the real differences between 1960s and 2000s team construction begins to pop, and also speaks to complete game totals.

Koufax had six postseason starts. In the opponents' #6 through #9 slots, Koufax faced a batter with an OPS+ of 110 or higher 6 times in 24 slots. That was Bob Allison (118) and Don Mincher (135), three times apiece in 1965.

Martinez had fourteen postseason starts, plus that long relief stint. In the opponents' #6 through #9 slots, Martinez faced a batter with an OPS+ of 110 or higher 20 times in 60 slots.

In those same games, Koufax faced a batter with an OPS+ lower than 90 eleven times in 24 slots. Martinez faced a batter with an OPS+ lower than 90 sixteen times in 60 slots.

Drop it to an OPS+ lower than 80, and Koufax had eight out of 24, Martinez had twelve out of 60.

Raise it to an OPS+ higher than 120, and Koufax had three (all Mincher), Martinez had thirteen.


Thanks for those numbers, which pretty much confirm what anyone watching the postseasons of those two pitchers would have suspected with extreme prejudice. To go into a bit of detail for just one game, here's the lineup Koufax faced** in his record breaking game 1 of 1963, along with each batter's OPS+ in a decidedly inferior league:

Kubek, SS - 79
Richardson, 2B - 76
Tresh, LF - 140
Mantle, CF - 196 (65 game season)
Maris, RF - 146
Howard, C - 141
Pepitone, 1B - 109
Boyer, 3B - 84
Ford, P - 10

That 1963 team averaged 4.43 RPG. By contrast, the 1999 Yanks that Pedro shut down in the ALCS averaged 5.56 RPG, and the 2003 Yankee team that cleaned Pedro's clock in game 7 averaged 5.38 RPG, with a regular lineup that had 8 players with OPS+ numbers from 107 to 148, and the 9th regular with a 96.

Yeah, I think that Pedro's road to travel was a bit tougher than Sandy's.

**With the added assistance of those old Yankee Stadium shadows and uncovered bleachers in the background.
   66. GuyM Posted: February 27, 2014 at 07:05 PM (#4663837)
Edit: Saying that ERA+ is fundamentally different from ERA- is basically saying that these two statements are fundamentally different.
Statement #1: A pitcher with a 50 ERA- would give up half as many earned runs in the same amount of innings as a pitcher with a 100 ERA-.
Statement #2: A pitcher with a 100 ERA+ would give up twice as many earned runs in the same amount of innings as a pitcher with a 200 ERA+.

That's fine as far as it goes, but keep going: are a 75 ERA- and a 150 ERA+ the same? No. If league ERA is 4.00, you get this:

ERA / ERA+ / ERA-
4.00 100 100
3.00 133 75
2.67 150 67
2.00 200 50

One of these metrics makes sense, the other does not.
   67. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 27, 2014 at 07:24 PM (#4663845)
Smoltz is a tough one to predict. I doubt he comes particularly close to election on the 1st ballot, but voters love saves for some reason, so I'd guess he does much better than Schilling or Moose. 50% maybe?

I have a good friend who is a baseball beat writer (not yet a HOF voter) and he is convinced that Smoltz will easily sail into the HOF. I don't know what he's basing that on. To me Smoltz looks very similar to Schilling, with the main difference being a couple of years closing and the fact that that he was part of the Big Three. But that doesn't seem like it will be enough to bridge the gap between 40% and 75%. I think they'll both eventually get in but it will take 5-10 years.
   68. Cat Named Manny Posted: February 27, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4663847)
The man won 3 CYA and finished 2nd twice and even 2nd in the MVP voting once.


One of those second-place finishes seemed particularly egregious: In 2002, he lost to the 23-win Zito despite having a lower ERA and more strikeouts. Even if you can argue that Zito deserved the award for pitching less spectacularly in 30 more innings, that fails to explain the five voters who gave Martinez and his 20-4 record, 2.26 ERA and 239 K in 199.1 IP third-place votes that season.

And the MVP second-place finish was the epitome of asshattery, as George King left him off the ballot entirely on the purported theory that pitchers shouldn't win MVPs – one season after putting David Wells and Rick Helling on his ballot.

I think it's situations like those that make some fans fear, rationally or not, that enough members of the BBWAA will somehow manage to screw up a Martinez-related voting scenario yet again.

(Although, in fairness to the 2002 voters, Pedro did rank third by WAR that season, which is a bit surprising, considering Martinez's dominance in all major categories except wins and innings that year.)

EDIT: I will say these perceived slights tend to linger more than perhaps they should in part because they fed that pre-2004 Red Sox mentality of anything that could go wrong, would go wrong – even when you somehow managed to have Pedro Martinez on your team. The emotion isn't there anymore, at least not to the same extent, but the memories are still pretty strong.
   69. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: February 27, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4663849)
One of those second-place finishes seemed particularly egregious: In 2002, he lost to the 23-win Zito despite having a lower ERA and more strikeouts. Even if you can argue that Zito deserved the award for pitching less spectacularly in 30 more innings, that fails to explain the five voters who gave Martinez and his 20-4 record, 2.26 ERA and 239 K in 199.1 IP third-place votes that season.

Pedro did not make his last start of that season because he wanted to give Josh Hancock, a prospect trying to establish himself as a major leaguer, a start. At the time, Pedro said he remembered what it was like hoping for a shot. Pedro did complain about not winning the award and I think he believed he had already had done enough to win the award. Does he win the award if he finishes with 21 wins and over 200 IP? Possibly.

Lowe should have done better that year in the voting. He had a great year.
   70. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 27, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4663850)
If you take Koufax's 86.9% vote as a rough ceiling for Pedro's vote in a "normal year", that still leaves him with a bit of a cushion after discounting his vote due to the crowded ballot. Given the "logic" displayed by some of the anti-PED zealots, it's possible he'll also lose a few votes to those suspicious of anyone with ready access to Dominican pharmaceuticals, and with Schilling still on the ballot, there may be some voters reluctant to add a second pitcher on the same team, which overlaps with the crowded ballot concern. But I'd be surprised if all the justifications amount to 25.01% of the BBWAA electorate, although if I had to guess I'd put Pedro's vote closer to 80% than Koufax's number.
   71. Cat Named Manny Posted: February 27, 2014 at 07:53 PM (#4663854)
Lowe should have done better that year in the voting. He had a great year.


Hard to do better than third, given the competition. I do recall thinking at the time that Zito should have been the one in third; the numbers say he had a better season than I thought he did at the time.
   72. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 27, 2014 at 08:04 PM (#4663858)
Hard to do better than third, given the competition.


Lowe should have been first. Twenty more innings than Pedro, only three extra runs.
   73. PepTech Posted: February 27, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4663859)
This thread is one of those rare situations that compels me into a meta discussion, which normally I hate, but Only Once made a great post and it shouldn't be swept under the rug.

I post sometimes, rarely anything hardhitting statistically. I too thoroughly enjoy the level of discussion here - I should say both levels of discussion, because I get a kick out of both the stathead stuff (even if I don't get all the math) and the centaur jokes. I am vaguely aware that there are a few issues which polarize the community (cough *PEDS* cough) and that there are specific individuals who don't like each other very much. Mostly I can ignore anything unpleasant.

I agree with Only Once that zop's lead comment in this thread is totally out of line. TDF may or may not have made an ignorant statement (I doubt it, based on the dozens of subsequent posts, but who knows), but the way to combat ignorance is to attack the statement, not the person.

Maybe zop is just having a bad day, or is always like that; I don't know and don't care. Maybe there's some history between those two; I don't know and I don't care. Maybe worse attacks occur daily, by any number of people, all over this site, in threads I don't open (I stay away from the OT politics threads, for the most part, but when I do wander over they seem largely civil) - but this is the one I happened across, and it happened to strike a nerve. Maybe I'm being quixotic, or stupid, or overreacting, or all three. But I am protective of this community, and the opening line of Post #6 should not be tolerated (particularly by inaction) and I hope other posters join me in pressing zop to apologize for it.

Pretend every thread is the first thread some new visitor reads, and that each post reflects on all of us as community members.
   74. Cat Named Manny Posted: February 27, 2014 at 08:30 PM (#4663865)
Lowe should have been first. Twenty more innings than Pedro, only three extra runs.


Maybe. He also allowed 28 more baserunners and struck out 112 fewer batters, which means his defense was helping him out a whole lot to put up the ERA numbers he did. I think I'd still go with Pedro, then Lowe, then Zito – although the whole question is closer than I'd have given it credit for before I went back and looked at it.

On a side note, anyone have any recollection why Martinez gave up 12 unearned runs to Lowe's two? Martinez's 162-game average is just six unearned runs, and in the years around 2002, he gave up 2, 2, 6 and 5, so it doesn't appear to be part of a Kevin Brown-like pattern...
   75. cardsfanboy Posted: February 27, 2014 at 09:03 PM (#4663878)
Yay, a conversation about Pedro and Koufax. Wild assertions that it's easier/harder to dominate now. Insistence that ERA- reveals some fundamentally different information than ERA+, even though they're literally the same stat. Arguments about whether Pedro was genuinely fragile, or whether it was just a different era.

Maybe go read the 50 other threads about these things?


Wow...It's hard to imagine a thread about Pedro's hall of fame chances, that talks about the most comparable player to him that is in the hall of fame. Who would have imagined that...I bring up era- because it's a much better stat. Era works downwards has a downwards limit and is more accurate as a comparison tool. A guy with a 0 era has a 0 era-, while has an infinite era+.... ERA+ overstates the differences between two pitchers. Doesn't matter who they are or when they played, it overstates the differences. It becomes especially obvious in high scoring environments.


And the MVP second-place finish was the epitome of asshattery, as George King left him off the ballot entirely on the purported theory that pitchers shouldn't win MVPs


This is something that bothers me about the people who vote on the MVP (and yes I know that I mention it frequently) Why is the guy being on a non-contender worthy of a second place vote, but not a first place vote? I absolutely understand that you can argue for a contender if you think they were basically tied and needed a narrative tie breaker, but how can you argue for a guy must be on a contender for the mvp then vote a guy on a non-contender in any downspot vote. I generally don't think a pitcher is generally as valuable as an everyday player in todays game (30 years ago of course that was different) but a dominant performance can transcend the average and should get an MVP vote.
   76. toratoratora Posted: February 27, 2014 at 09:35 PM (#4663885)
Koufax's numbers were clearly helped by Dodger Stadium. So were Pedro's in Fenway

Wait. What?
Since when has Fenway helped pitchers?
Especially since in the years 98-2004 had a pitching PF of,respectively, 102 in 98,104 in 99,102,102,98(Eureka!),105 and finishes with a 107 in 2004.
How is that Pedro friendly?

Meanwhile, color me as another who is skeptical of the very high ERA+'s put up in the steroid era. Z-scores is a much better way to make comparisons of extreme environments.
   77. dave h Posted: February 27, 2014 at 09:36 PM (#4663886)
#61, the biggest problem I have with ERA+ is that the difference between a 200 ERA+ and a 150 ERA+ is not the same as the difference between a 150 ERA+ and a 100 ERA+. Basically, differences of any sort don't work with ERA+. Since you expressed things specifically as ratios, you're fine (ratios work for both ERA- and ERA+). Averaging ERA+ over multiple seasons, etc is also very non-intuitive (you weight by runs, not innings).

That's where my agreement with CFB ends though. There is still a significant difference between a 48 ERA- and a 60 ERA-, so the idea that you can't tell Koufax apart from Pedro is false just based on that very stat. (And despite lots of calls to do so, no one has come up with any actual evidence that high-scoring environments make ERA differences inherently larger.)
   78. John Northey Posted: February 27, 2014 at 09:37 PM (#4663887)
One thing about Koufax is how his career ended due to injury while he was still at his peak (his final season also saw his best ERA, ERA+, starts, complete games, and second best K and IP totals). Hmm... gee, think it was a bad idea to use a guy with arthritis in his pitching arm that much? Especially on a team with Phil Regan (a solid reliever in that era, with a 1.62 ERA in Koufax' final season. Killer rotation that year too - 3 of the 4 starters (only 8 starts by other pitchers) made the HOF. Just 11 2/3 IP by guys after the 9th pitcher and just 22 IP for the #9 guy in innings. This was a team that rode its staff hard. To make matters worse, Koufax had complete games where his team won by 5+ runs 6 times. His last 6 regular seasons starts were all complete games then he lost his one WS start that year, not able to finish more than 6 innings (Dodgers lost 6-0, 4 runs via Koufax). Of course, a mitigating factor is the Dodgers only won by 1 1/2 games and 3rd place was just 3 back.

Yeah yeah, I know, back in the 60's people didn't worry about pitch counts like today but still that was really not thinking beyond the current season to put it mildly. Baltimore, who they faced in the WS that year, had no one over 33 starts and no one with more than 6 complete games. It almost looks like a modern staff with a peak inning total of 213 and just 2 guys qualifying for the ERA title. 12 guys with 60+ innings pitched, 2 more over 20 innings. An interesting contrast.
   79. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 27, 2014 at 09:41 PM (#4663889)
Re: #65-- Koufax's opponent OPS+ totals have to be adjusted up or down by one. Elston Howard (141 OPS+) hit 5th in Game 4, but bat 6th in Game 1. I mistakenly omitted that slot from the totals.
   80. cardsfanboy Posted: February 27, 2014 at 10:10 PM (#4663894)

That's where my agreement with CFB ends though. There is still a significant difference between a 48 ERA- and a 60 ERA-, so the idea that you can't tell Koufax apart from Pedro is false just based on that very stat. (And despite lots of calls to do so, no one has come up with any actual evidence that high-scoring environments make ERA differences inherently larger.)


Not saying there isn't a difference, saying the difference is much less pronounced with the better stat. (and if you look at the innings difference per season, it's easy to see they were probably equally valuable in their best seasons) Mind you, I'm not even here to argue Koufax over Pedro(or vice versa) just pointing out their peaks are very comparable and and that Koufax is a good comp for Perdo's chances at the hall on the first ballot(in a normal ballot) I think he takes a hit because of the crowded ballot. But he should still make it pretty easily.
   81. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 27, 2014 at 10:31 PM (#4663897)
The reason I think Pedro will sail in with a very high vote total is that he does very well on both extreme voting styles. If you like sabermetrics, he's well qualified. And if you vote by how awesome it felt to watch him play at his peak, he's also great. The only way he doesn't pass is if you fall somewhere in the middle and just look at something like win total. But I don't think many voters actually do that. I think most of them vote by feel and some of them vote by complicated stats.
   82. AndrewJ Posted: February 27, 2014 at 10:57 PM (#4663904)
Dizzy Dean is a fair comparison to my imaginary Koufax. I'm guessing, of course, but I don't think Dean would be elected if he were on the ballot today.

Jack Coombs also had a 30-win season, a dominant World Series performance and roughly the same number of career wins (158 to Dean's 150) and his maximum BBWAA tally was 1.7% in 1948. Dean got in the Hall because he was Ol' Diz.
   83. cardsfanboy Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:07 PM (#4663906)
The reason I think Pedro will sail in with a very high vote total is that he does very well on both extreme voting styles. If you like sabermetrics, he's well qualified. And if you vote by how awesome it felt to watch him play at his peak, he's also great. The only way he doesn't pass is if you fall somewhere in the middle and just look at something like win total. But I don't think many voters actually do that. I think most of them vote by feel and some of them vote by complicated stats.


He doesn't do well in the career category. His comps among expected votes should be Catfish Hunter and Koufax, guys with a dominant reputation for a short period of time. Pedro is going up on the ballot at the same time as Randy, a guy who similar peak and the better career, Pedro is going to look bad in comparison. Add in that the ballot is still stacked. If he beats Koufax % total I will be surprised.
   84. cardsfanboy Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:14 PM (#4663910)

Jack Coombs also had a 30-win season, a dominant World Series performance and roughly the same number of career wins (158 to Dean's 150) and his maximum BBWAA tally was 1.7% in 1948. Dean got in the Hall because he was Ol' Diz.


Jack Coombs was out of baseball for 15+ years before the hof was formed and with the messed up system they created at the start of the hof, he wasn't going to gain any momentum. Mind you Dizzy dean led the league in innings pitched three times, strikeouts 4 times, won an mvp award. Another way to look at it, is their black and gray ink totals.

11 and 87 for Coombs, while 52 and 137. And of course the hall of fame monitor had Dean at 112 to Coombs 95. (and of course the 99 era+ to 137...era+ may not have existed then, but people did know how well a pitcher was compared to his contemporaries) Dean was helped tremendously by timing and being ol diz, but that isn't why he's in and Coombs isn't.
   85. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:16 PM (#4663911)
Jack Coombs also had a 30-win season, a dominant World Series performance and roughly the same number of career wins (158 to Dean's 150) and his maximum BBWAA tally was 1.7% in 1948. Dean got in the Hall because he was Ol' Diz.

Of course that's why Dean got over the top, which is why I said he was the perfect symbol of the split between the Narrative Driven and Sabermetric Driven HoF voters.

EDIT:
   86. GregD Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:24 PM (#4663915)
Jack Coombs also had a 30-win season, a dominant World Series performance and roughly the same number of career wins (158 to Dean's 150) and his maximum BBWAA tally was 1.7% in 1948. Dean got in the Hall because he was Ol' Diz.


I don't think Dizzy was a great choice; I wouldn't vote for him. But the Coombs comparison collapses right away.

Dean was in the top 3 in MLB in WAR for pitchers 6 years in a row. I don't know how many other people have done that; I imagine you get a mix of HOFers and would-be HOFers who got hurt. Diz belongs in that second group but you can see why there was room for confusion. In that run he put up 38 WAR which again shouldn't get you in the HOF alone but is more than 50% of Coombs lifetime total. In four consecutive of those six years, he finished first or second in wins. In five of them he was in the top 3 in innings. In four in a row he led in strikeouts; the fifth year he came in second. He won an MVP, finished 2nd twice, and is 40th in all-time MVP shares. Coombs placed 4th in WAR one time; he did lead in wins twice and shutouts once.

I think Dean clearly was on an HOF pace in 1937 at age 27; it would be hard to argue he wasn't. I don't think he needed much more of a peak to get in. But he did need more of a career to meet my standards, and he didn't have it, but he's plausible not just as a narrative guy but as a peak. Was Coombs ever on an HOF pace? He basically had one great season.

   87. cardsfanboy Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:31 PM (#4663918)
I think Dean clearly was on an HOF pace in 1937 at age 27; it would be hard to argue he wasn't. I don't think he needed much more of a peak to get in. But he did need more of a career to meet my standards, and he didn't have it, but he's plausible not just as a narrative guy but as a peak. Was Coombs ever on an HOF pace? He basically had one great season.


Being a Cardinal fan all my life, I have always thought that Dean was the greatest peak pitcher of all time a clear hofer.... over the years(last 15 or so) I have come to re-evaluate that position. I cannot justify him as a hofer by the numbers, but I will generally let the narrative convince me, because I want it to. If I was uninformed on who he was and was voting on just the numbers, there is no way I could realistically vote for him. Just not enough of a career and even the peak isn't really long enough. I had to be convinced that Koufax's peak was enough, I don't think there is anyway someone can convince me that Dean's peak is enough. Without narrative, no way does Dean deserve to go in, he's still not a Jim Rice level bad of a selection, but he's not a good pick.
   88. Howie Menckel Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:38 PM (#4663919)
Dean was an excellent choice for the Hall of FAME, as was Catfish Hunter. I don't know why this has to be so complicated. These were living, breathing organisms watched by same, and they are a significant and well-remembered component of the fabric of baseball history, WAR and the like be damned from that conversation.

And people wonder why some dopes claim that some stat geeks don't even seem to LIKE baseball.

.............

"I will happily make my first bb-ref bet with anyone who thinks Pedro is not going in first ballot. Everyone knows Pedro was awesome, it's not just restricted to the statheadiest."

yes, he sails in next year, and Koufax's win total inoculates him against any of those supposed hesitations by voters.

   89. Morty Causa Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:41 PM (#4663922)
"Dean was not vetted for the HOF on the terms we here do now, true, but he still was a great pitcher. He was seen more or less as Koufax later was. Great pitcher ( he won 20+ games four of his first five full seasons, and in the fifth one he won 18), supremely famous, and (break out the violins) a competitor who was disabled when at a young peak.

When he was elected, and for some time afterwards, he had the pitching equivalent to Ruth's 60-homer season (and this was how he was viewed at the time); he was then the last pitcher in MLB to win 30 games and it didn't look like anyone was going to do it again. He had Roger Maris’s 61 season and ’60 season, then two or three more near ’60 seasons. Look at his CGs, his shutouts, his innings pitched per season, his strikeouts, his low walk totals, all in a time when offense was high.

Finally, he was seen as having ruined his arm by selflessly coming back too soon to help his team. He was the most famous National Leaguer (the "biggest draw") of his time, the signature player on a great team, and Dean was just a wonderful ambassador for baseball during his prime retirement years.

Even under present standards, he has a career 131 ERA+ (about 40 WAR in less than 2000 innings), and that's counting those three or four seasons that depreciated his rates, years he spent hanging on in heartfelt and stalwart denial that his arm wasn’t somehow magically going to come back. Check the Hall of Fame Statistics at BB-ref. Despite his abbreviated career, he has enough black ink and meets the hall of fame standards. Given any sort of natural decline, such as Gooden’s, is there any doubt he would have easily exceeded the gray ink and the hall of fame monitor thresholds?"
   90. Walt Davis Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:42 PM (#4663923)
If you take Koufax's 86.9% vote as a rough ceiling for Pedro's vote in a "normal year"

But that's a bad place to start. Generally speaking, the "not a first ballot guy" thing doesn't seem to happen much anymore (a few holdouts but really just guys looking for a reason not to vote) and "super high %age" is the criteria for "inner circle."

That is, Puckett got 82% on his first ballot; Eck 83%; Frank Thomas just got 84% as the #3 guy on the ballot; Winfield got 84%. Boggs got 92%, Ozzie got 92%, Gwynn and Ripken were 98-99%. Schmidt, Carlton, Reggie, Carew all over 90%. Jim Palmer got 93% on the same ballot with (and more votes than) Morgan. If Koufax was as idolized and came onto a "normal" ballot today, he'd get a Rivera-like ridiculous percentage if not a Maddux-like one.

Voters were very stingy in those days -- Mantle only got 88%, Spahn only 83%, Berra took two tries, Snider waited years. It's hard to say when that broke -- maybe Aaron at 98% followed by Brooks (of all people) at 92%. But it becomes fairly regular starting with Yaz and Bench in the 95-96 range in 89 and you see a first-ballot guy of 90%+ each year through 95, including Seaver's record.

In 1969, Musial got 93.2%; in 1979, Mays got 94.7; in 1989, Yaz got 94.6. Yaz was a great player but not in that class. That's an example of how vote totals have shifted.

Johnson will likely steal some of Pedro's spotlight, possibly lowering Pedro's final vote. But Pedro's ceiling is somewhere around 95-97% I'd guess. I don't see how we can put his ceiling at less than Palmer. The real debate is whether Pedro beats Glavine or comes up a bit short.

   91. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:45 PM (#4663924)
Without narrative, no way does Dean deserve to go in, he's still not a Jim Rice level bad of a selection, but he's not a good pick.

I wouldn't vote for him for the Hall of Merit, either, but Dean's narrative may be third only to that of Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson. It's fine to have beancounting gatekeepers for the Hall of Merit, but the Hall of Fame should be big enough to include players like Diz. (EDIT: And Catfish Hunter.)

(Uh, oh, I hope that last crack doesn't bring Ray out of retirement. (smile))
   92. Howie Menckel Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:49 PM (#4663925)

Exactly. I've never given Dean (or Hunter) a spot on my Hall of MERIT ballot, and few others ever have, either.

apples and orsnges, those cases

   93. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:50 PM (#4663926)
He doesn't do well in the career category.


He's 17th in career WAR for pitchers on bbref and 16th on Fangraphs. That seems pretty good.
   94. cardsfanboy Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:52 PM (#4663927)
But that's a bad place to start. Generally speaking, the "not a first ballot guy" thing doesn't seem to happen much anymore (a few holdouts but really just guys looking for a reason not to vote) and "super high %age" is the criteria for "inner circle."


Glavine got 91% of the vote. There are plenty of people not voting for a guy because he's not the best on the ballot. Randy Johnson is obviously the better candidate, he's next years Greg Maddux. Pedro is a great peak guy, but lacks the career and that is going to hurt him, add in that it's a crowded ballot and yes, I think Koufax's vote total is a pretty good proxy...Of course the point is that he'll clear the 75% hurdle, he won't break 95% and will probably be between 85-90% range...maybe a tad higher, but I imagine there are enough career voters and guys who whine about the lack of complete games for a first balloter, that I think over 90% is stretching it.
   95. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 27, 2014 at 11:54 PM (#4663928)
Good post about Dean, Morty. To me the clincher for Dean was the interviews he gave prior to and during the 1934 World Series, where he pulled out a stuffed tiger doll and started twisting its tail as he rattled off one boastful prediction after another, mocking the Tigers from top to bottom on behalf of "me and Paul". He then came up to Hank Greenberg at the batting cage and start playfully ragging on him, and then struck him out three times in game 7. Dean played many different roles in his day, but whenever I think of him I often think of Muhammad Ali and Joe Namath.
   96. cardsfanboy Posted: February 28, 2014 at 12:00 AM (#4663929)
I wouldn't vote for him for the Hall of Merit, either, but Dean's narrative may be third only to that of Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson. It's fine to have beancounting gatekeepers for the Hall of Merit, but the Hall of Fame should be big enough to include players like Diz.


Trust me Andy. I let your arguments for Dean convince me. But I have to also be honest to myself and say that my Cardinal fandom is allowing those arguments to work on me. I'm fine with the narrative argument because it's Dean.... but where do we stop. I mean technically 20 years from now, Jose Canseco is going to have a fantastic narrative.(obviously not as positive of a story...my point is how much does a narrative matter?)

   97. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 28, 2014 at 12:14 AM (#4663932)
One thing about Koufax is how his career ended due to injury while he was still at his peak (his final season also saw his best ERA, ERA+, starts, complete games, and second best K and IP totals). Hmm... gee, think it was a bad idea to use a guy with arthritis in his pitching arm that much? Especially on a team with Phil Regan (a solid reliever in that era, with a 1.62 ERA in Koufax' final season. Killer rotation that year too - 3 of the 4 starters (only 8 starts by other pitchers) made the HOF. Just 11 2/3 IP by guys after the 9th pitcher and just 22 IP for the #9 guy in innings. This was a team that rode its staff hard. To make matters worse, Koufax had complete games where his team won by 5+ runs 6 times. His last 6 regular seasons starts were all complete games then he lost his one WS start that year, not able to finish more than 6 innings (Dodgers lost 6-0, 4 runs via Koufax). Of course, a mitigating factor is the Dodgers only won by 1 1/2 games and 3rd place was just 3 back.

Yeah yeah, I know, back in the 60's people didn't worry about pitch counts like today but still that was really not thinking beyond the current season to put it mildly. Baltimore, who they faced in the WS that year, had no one over 33 starts and no one with more than 6 complete games. It almost looks like a modern staff with a peak inning total of 213 and just 2 guys qualifying for the ERA title. 12 guys with 60+ innings pitched, 2 more over 20 innings. An interesting contrast.


According to Jane Leavy's bio of Koufax, he had decided before the 1966 season began that it would be his last year, although he didn't tell the Dodgers or anyone else. So he himself knew that there was little point in saving his arm for the future. According to Leavy, late in the 1966 season, "...Koufax went to Alston and told him , 'Use me any way you want, as often as you want. He did not explain his reasoning. Alston took him at his word."

There's a quote from Eddie Mathews about a game that August in Atlanta that was delayed several times by rain, where he hit a ninth inning home run off Koufax at two o'clock in the morning. Koufax had to sit through several rain delays, and kept getting sent out there. Mathews says, "Never in the world did I understand why they did that...I've never seen a pitcher abused like that in my life."

Dodger infielder John Kennedy is also quoted, "Alston never took him out. It could be 10-2, 10-4, 10-5, 10-6. Alston wouldn't take him out unless it was tied. He was afraid to take him out."

Given that Koufax told him that, it would be logical to assume that Alston at least suspected Koufax was retiring, even if not told directly, and he decided to make the most of it.
   98. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 28, 2014 at 12:22 AM (#4663936)
One thing about Koufax is how his career ended due to injury while he was still at his peak (his final season also saw his best ERA, ERA+, starts, complete games, and second best K and IP totals). Hmm... gee, think it was a bad idea to use a guy with arthritis in his pitching arm that much? Especially on a team with Phil Regan (a solid reliever in that era, with a 1.62 ERA in Koufax' final season. Killer rotation that year too - 3 of the 4 starters (only 8 starts by other pitchers) made the HOF. Just 11 2/3 IP by guys after the 9th pitcher and just 22 IP for the #9 guy in innings. This was a team that rode its staff hard. To make matters worse, Koufax had complete games where his team won by 5+ runs 6 times. His last 6 regular seasons starts were all complete games then he lost his one WS start that year, not able to finish more than 6 innings (Dodgers lost 6-0, 4 runs via Koufax). Of course, a mitigating factor is the Dodgers only won by 1 1/2 games and 3rd place was just 3 back.

Yeah yeah, I know, back in the 60's people didn't worry about pitch counts like today but still that was really not thinking beyond the current season to put it mildly. Baltimore, who they faced in the WS that year, had no one over 33 starts and no one with more than 6 complete games. It almost looks like a modern staff with a peak inning total of 213 and just 2 guys qualifying for the ERA title. 12 guys with 60+ innings pitched, 2 more over 20 innings. An interesting contrast.


According to Jane Leavy's bio of Koufax, he had decided before the 1966 season began that it would be his last year, although he didn't tell the Dodgers or anyone else. So he himself knew that there was little point in saving his arm for the future. According to Leavy, late in the 1966 season, "...Koufax went to Alston and told him , 'Use me any way you want, as often as you want. He did not explain his reasoning. Alston took him at his word."

There's a quote from Eddie Mathews about a game that August in Atlanta that was delayed several times by rain, where he hit a ninth inning home run off Koufax at two o'clock in the morning. Koufax had to sit through several rain delays, and kept getting sent out there. Mathews says, "Never in the world did I understand why they did that...I've never seen a pitcher abused like that in my life."

Dodger infielder John Kennedy is also quoted, "Alston never took him out. It could be 10-2, 10-4, 10-5, 10-6. Alston wouldn't take him out unless it was tied. He was afraid to take him out."

Given that Koufax told him that, it would be logical to assume that Alston at least suspected Koufax was retiring, even if not told directly, and he decided to make the most of it.
   99. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 28, 2014 at 12:23 AM (#4663937)
Sorry - I tried to edit it to show the game I was talking about, and somehow double posted.
   100. Howie Menckel Posted: February 28, 2014 at 12:43 AM (#4663940)
"Dean played many different roles in his day, but whenever I think of him I often think of Muhammad Ali and Joe Namath."

exactly.

There are numerous embarrassing geek posts about Namath wondering how he got into the Hall of Fame with such a weak pass completion percentage.

sigh
#foundingfather

If I could gain two revolutionary concepts tried before I pass, it would be:

- NFL coaches no longer trying to use all but the last 20 seconds before scoring a TD that gets them within one TD. yes, longer throws might hurt the QB's passer rating if incomplete, but the "better odds of winning the game" policy possibly should apply. go deep sooner, and catches and interference calls might ensue. the defense enjoys your dink and dunk stats padding for a reason - it helps ensure they win the game.

- great RPs skipping 3-run leads in the 9th and being deployed in tie games instead.

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