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Monday, December 24, 2012

Peter Abraham: Eight votes for the Hall of Fame

Peter Abraham submits his ballot:

Here are the names I checked off on the Hall of Fame ballot:

Jeff Bagwell Craig Biggio Barry Bonds Roger Clemens Mike Piazza Tim Raines Curt Schilling Alan Trammell

And also explains his non-votes as well:

Toughest omissions: Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff. Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, Larry Walker, Bernie Williams.

 

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 24, 2012 at 05:01 PM | 170 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   101. AROM Posted: December 26, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4332421)
Surely when we are talking Hall of Fame and not Hall of Merit McGwire gets credit for being of the great "must see" players of all time. During his peak he was awe-inspiring, get to the ballpark early just for batting practice great.


I get that. McGwire is a player that motivated me to drive 4 hours to St Louis and pay for a hotel for no other reason than to watch him hit. I'm not a Cardinals fan, they were a middle of the pack club in 1998, and didn't have any other reason to visit STL (I did see other things, but would not have made the trip except for baseball).

But I'm undecided on how to weight that against his actual value in terms of wins and losses. While breaking the HR records he was a big negative at everything other than what he did in the batter's box. His peak was less likely to lead a team to the postseason than someone who was a good hitter combined with being a plus everywhere else, like Chase Utley's peak.

I'd vote for Mac, but he's not one of my top 10 choices on the current ballot.
   102. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 26, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4332422)
To me Palmeiro is a clear HOFer. He fits comfortably in with the middle tier. From 1988-2003 he provided a lot of value, and never had a bad season. His peak isn't special for a HOFer, but his prime is very nice, and he's more of a career candidate anyway.


Agree with Ray again. This is a bad habit.
   103. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: December 26, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4332425)
To me Palmeiro is a clear HOFer. He fits comfortably in with the middle tier. From 1988-2003 he provided a lot of value, and never had a bad season.


Palmeiro 1988-2003 - 10,651 PA 135 OPS+ Worst season 104 OPS+ Best 5 160, 150, 146, 145, 144 Primarily 1B with about 400 games at DH

Rusty Staub 1965-1981 - 9808 PA 130 OPS+ Worst season 100 OPS+ Best 5 166, 153, 148, 139 137 Primarily OF with about 475 at DH

Raffy is clearly better, but not by much.
   104. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 26, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4332432)
Staub always intrigues me. He's part of a group of players that I remember as a kid but in their post-prime years so my recollection of them is not as stars but of has beens. I feel like I can evaluate players I've seen in full (e.g. Cal Ripken, Jack Morris, etc...) and players I never saw (Mantle, Musial, Ruth) I understand I am limited to a statistical evaluation but it's always hard for me to mentally make that leap from "Rusty Staub, oh yeah, that old guy who pinch hits for the Mets every now and then" to "Rusty Staub, former star."
   105. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: December 26, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4332437)
it's always hard for me to mentally make that leap from "Rusty Staub, oh yeah, that old guy who pinch hits for the Mets every now and then" to "Rusty Staub, former star."


I used to have that same problem with Ernie Banks. I only really remember him from 1969 on, so I figured he was always a creaky old first baseman who happened to hit a lot of HR. And I still can't picture that guy playing SS.
   106. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4332440)
Misirlou, can you not tell the difference between Palmeiro and Staub? I agree that a HOF candidate has to show that he's better than Staub, since Staub is HOVG (although Staub was an OF so I'm not exactly sure why we're using him), but Palmeiro is much better than Staub. Better offense, better defense, a longer and better useful prime, a longer career, not a part-time player...

And I don't know where people got the idea that Palmeiro is a DH candidate. He had 2350 games in the field - mostly as a good fielder.
   107. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: December 26, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4332444)
Misirlou, can you not tell the difference between Palmeiro and Staub?


Yes I can.

Raffy is clearly better, but not by much.


See.
   108. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4332450)
Raffy is clearly better, but not by much.


See.


Yes by much. To start with, you have a 25 WAR edge to Palmeiro that you need to deal with. 66 to 41.
   109. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 26, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4332452)
Besides thinking that the morals, honesty, and integrity factors are being over-looked for the steriod group and not the others, is that the steroid group shattered the history and records that game has placed a high value on.


But the same can be said for the "greenies era" as well. 755, 104, 118, 383, 5714, 61,...I think you can make similar arguments about the 50s-70s relative to the history and records that you can you make regarding the 90s. Pre-steroid era 4 of the top 5, 7 of the top 10 and 8 of the top 13 career HR leaders started their careers in the 50s.
   110. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4332456)
Besides thinking that the morals, honesty, and integrity factors are being over-looked for the steriod group and not the others, is that the steroid group shattered the history and records that game has placed a high value on.


If it's about the records, Rose broke the all-time hits record using amps.

AAron broke the all-time home run record using amps.

Brock had the all-time SB record and played in the Amps Era.

Pitchers were throwing 300 innings and winning 300 games throughout the amps era. Ryan broke the single-season strikeouts record in this era, and finished with 5,700 Ks.
   111. Repoz Posted: December 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4332460)
Some Jeff Pearlman gems popping up on Twitter about Jeff Bagwell & steroids...

"blame the local newspaper for doing 0 investigative work. That clubhouse was crawling w PED. Crawling."

"there's 0 chance JB=clean"

"Find a trustworthy baseball contemporary of Jeff Bagwell's who believes he was clean. Then let's talk."

"The good news for all who disagree: I don't have a Hall of Fame vote. So my voice means a big fat stinkin' nothing. And Bagwell will get in"
   112. zonk Posted: December 26, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4332473)
What I have trouble with in most people thinking here, is that many are placing the steriod cheaters in the same group as the spitball, reds, corked bats maybe, and non-clean player "cheaters".

Besides thinking that the morals, honesty, and integrity factors are being over-looked for the steriod group and not the others, is that the steroid group shattered the history and records that game has placed a high value on.


At the end of the day, I just think it's generally best to side with the sinners than the stone casters...

If I had a ballot, steroids wouldn't factor into my vote -- beyond an extreme instance where I might be trying to decide on a 10th name and my final two candidates were players so similarly valuable and one I knew to have used PEDs and another I knew to be clean (and such a scenario, in and of itself, is so outlier/such an exercise in futility that it would probably amount to a coin flip).

I think I'm fairly versed in baseball history - when you grow up a Cubs fan, you don't have a lot of choice but to learn Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance, know the bio of Mordecai Brown, or try to relive the homer in the gloamin' to find your glories... but the truth is -

The flawed nature of MLB 'records' doesn't really require much thought to call into the question the whole lot of them.

Should we have tossed all pre-1947 records when MLB eliminated the bar that kept plenty of luminaries - from Josh Gibson to Satchel Paige to plenty of others from besting Ruth, Hack Wilson, et al? And in truth - wouldn't it have been better to reset the books a few years after '47, once the color barrier hadn't been just breached, but annihilated in total?

Whither Ford Frick and his asterisk? Certainly - there was a difference between 154 games and 162 games, even if Frick was a hopeless Ruth fanboy for it.

What of the rather unsavory ownership moves and reserve clauses that most certainly impacted some careers?

Changes in ballparks? Expansion? Perfectly legitimate and accepted medical advances? Strikes and lockouts?

The only real ironclad morals clause I place above others is the one that keeps Jackson and Rose out of the Hall -- but frankly, I think I might even let that one go in exchange for a complete and lasting peace on the PEDs era.

Baseball history is a patchwork of good and bad, just like everything else in life. It seems terribly wrong to just black out an era - even if only selectively - because this one involved hypodermic needles, while the other ones involved owners run amok, racism run amok, gamblers in the hallowed halls, dilution/expansion, etc.

Better to take it all in, appreciate the good, accept the bad -- and let the Hall be what it ought to be: the collective history of a still great game and the men who played it.

For me, personally, the late 90s and early aughts was a baseball rebirth. I'm not going to pretend I didn't enjoy the Sosa/McGwire race in '98 -- though, in truth -- I was a lot happier with the WC than I would have been with Sosa topping McGwire... and I wouldn't want future generations of fans to have this black hole of deleted on field history any more than I would have wanted to grow up with a black hole of deleted on field history of the 20s/30s or whatever because we've got only scant accounts of barnstorming games where Paige, Wood, or Rogan faced Ruth, Hornsby, etc...
   113. AROM Posted: December 26, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4332474)
Does he say anything about Biggio?

For 2 guys who played next to each other so long, the guilt by association problem strikes each of them. Beyond that, any reason to suspect Bagwell but let Biggio slide by comes down to 1) Bagwell was bigger and 2) Bagwell hit more homers.

From the players who have been caught by testing it seems the idea that one can tell by looking at a player or his stats should be dead. Look at the Phillies last year. Ryan Howard didn't test positive, but Freddy Galvis did.
   114. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 26, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4332482)
Good post, zonk, but the only tangible difference between your position and mine is that with mine you won't see plaques of known juicers in the gallery room. Their records will remain intact and the memorabilia associated with their names will still be there in the rest of the museum.

The Hall of Fame is living history, and like all history, the questions surrounding it are often fought and re-fought with each generation as new facts emerge.

If we don't see Bonds in the Hall in 2013, all that means (objectively) is that for one voting season, 25% or more of the BBWAA hasn't been convinced by the sort of arguments that you and the great majority of Primates here have been advancing. Kind of like the way we felt after the 2004 and 2010 elections, but disgusted as we were with the voters those years, those results didn't invalidate the process's legitimacy.

If the arguments you're making are really all that great, then at some point they're bound to win the day. This isn't a case of trying to convince anyone of Bonds's statistical qualifications. Barry Bonds isn't Tim Raines or Allan Trammell, appreciated more by connoisseurs than by the sort of half-informed writers who make up a big chunk of the BBWAA. Paradigms can change over time, but until they do in this case, you're just going to have to keep plugging away and hope for some revelation about some current HoFer that will shift that paradigm closer to your perspective.
   115. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4332486)
Good post, zonk, but the only tangible difference between your position and mine is that with mine you won't see plaques of known juicers in the gallery room.


But we do see plaques of known amps users such as Mays and Aaron and known cheaters such as Gaylord Perry and Babe Ruth and at least one known steroids user - Mickey Mantle.

If the arguments you're making are really all that great, then at some point they're bound to win the day.


Why? There's absolutely no reason to believe this.
   116. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 26, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4332491)
Good post, zonk, but the only tangible difference between your position and mine is that with mine you won't see plaques of known juicers in the gallery room.

But we do see plaques of known amps users such as Mays and Aaron and known cheaters such as Gaylord Perry and Babe Ruth and at least one known steroids user - Mickey Mantle.


Great, now all you need to do is to get 75% of the BBWAA to buy into that sort of argument, but for your sake I hope you've got better ones than that.

If the arguments you're making are really all that great, then at some point they're bound to win the day.

Why? There's absolutely no reason to believe this.


As usual, you ignore the operative "If" word.

But here I thought that you'd been buying into Bill James's inevitability argument, which says that once younger and less sabermetrically challenged voters replace the anti-steroids voters on the current BBWAA roster, we'll start to see known steroids users being voted in. Were you arguing against James when he wrote that? It's been the basis of several threads at least.

   117. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4332494)
As usual, you ignore the operative "If" word.


I didn't ignore it at all. You said that "if" the arguments are that great, then they will win the day. So your rule is that great arguments - you may not agree that they're great but your premise assumes arguendo that they are - will win the day. I see no evidence that that's true.
   118. cardsfanboy Posted: December 26, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4332495)
What I have trouble with in most people thinking here, is that many are placing the steriod cheaters in the same group as the spitball, reds, corked bats maybe, and non-clean player "cheaters".

Besides thinking that the morals, honesty, and integrity factors are being over-looked for the steriod group and not the others, is that the steroid group shattered the history and records that game has placed a high value on.


In what way did they shatter the records? All time homerun record was shattered by a guy who used an illegal bat(Ruth) and then by a guy who used amphetimines(Aaron) and finally by a guy who was a roider (Bonds) You could probably say the same thing about the single season record. Nobody posted 30 wins in a season, nobody broke the single season rbi record(or even mounted a serious challenge to it) yes the single season hit record did get broken, so there is that case of a cherished record going down, and the consecutive games record was broken near the start of the "roid" era.... but I'm just not seeing the shattering of favored records.


Not on the seasonal, or career rate wise. There might have been some team homerun records set, or league records set in that time frame or something silly like "most people with more than 40 homeruns in a season"...but these aren't records that anyone cares about.

Heck even numbers that usually indicate excessive offense, didn't happen, 400 total bases is the standard of offensive excellent in my mind.... it's a combination of health, power and not walking too much.

Sorted by year.... If you sort it by total bases, it's even more ridiculous. 2 of the top 13 are post 1950(Sosa and Luis Gonzalez)
Rk           Player  TB Year
                            
1        Sammy Sosa 425 2001
2     Luis Gonzalez 419 2001
3       Barry Bonds 411 2001
4       Todd Helton 402 2001
5       Todd Helton 405 2000
6        Sammy Sosa 416 1998
7      Larry Walker 409 1997
8          Jim Rice 406 1978
9        Hank Aaron 400 1959
10      Stan Musial 429 1948
11     Joe DiMaggio 418 1937
12      Joe Medwick 406 1937
13       Hal Trosky 405 1936
14       Lou Gehrig 403 1936
15       Lou Gehrig 409 1934
16      Jimmie Foxx 403 1933
17      Jimmie Foxx 438 1932
18      Chuck Klein 420 1932
19       Lou Gehrig 410 1931
20      Chuck Klein 445 1930
21      Hack Wilson 423 1930
22       Lou Gehrig 419 1930
23      Babe Herman 416 1930
24   Rogers Hornsby 409 1929
25      Chuck Klein 405 1929
26       Lou Gehrig 447 1927
27        Babe Ruth 417 1927
28   Rogers Hornsby 450 1922
29        Babe Ruth 457 1921 


   119. mulkowsky Posted: December 26, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4332496)
The voting criteria for the Hall are: "Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played." All involve judgment. Greenies, spitballs, racism, PED's, all are knocks against the integrity, sportsmanship and character criteria to some degree or another. Voters make different judgments about how bad each is the same way voters make different judgments on peak vs. career value, etc. There is certainly a case to be made that steroids are worse than greenies and spitballs, though reasonable people can differ, just as they can differ on peak vs. career and other playing record judgments.

IMO, players, owners, writers and fans are all blameworthy for not objecting to PED's at the time. But I'm puzzled that so many castigate writers for making moral judgments when BBWAA voters are explicitly told to assess a player's integrity, sportsmanship and character.
   120. cardsfanboy Posted: December 26, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4332498)
But I'm puzzled that so many castigate writers for making moral judgments when BBWAA voters are explicitly told to assess a player's integrity, sportsmanship and character.


It's the hypocritical nature of the writers. Where were they when it was happening? If it's anyone's job to report on the usage, it's the writers and they traded competency and integrity for access a long time ago, to moralize after they have gotten all they could get out of the players, and have very little use for the retired players, is hypocritical.

Ultimately it's going to have to be that it's the roid era, and people have to accept it as part of baseball lore, good or bad, just like segregation, the wars, 2 foot high mounds, etc.

   121. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 26, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4332500)
Very good post, mulkowsky.

-----------------------------------------------

If the arguments you're making are really all that great, then at some point they're bound to win the day.

Why? There's absolutely no reason to believe this.

As usual, you ignore the operative "If" word.

I didn't ignore it at all. You said that "if" the arguments are that great, then they will win the day. So your rule is that great arguments - you may not agree that they're great but your premise assumes arguendo that they are - will win the day. I see no evidence that that's true.


But your premise assumes that only by accepting your worldview on steroids can the BBWAA ever redeem itself. There is no other possible outcome that can ever be "legitimate" in your mind, or in your closed circuit world.

The more generic point here, as mulkowsky alludes to, is that the whole steroids / PED question is inherently subjective, and that nobody can "win" this argument "objectively." They can only "win" the argument by convincing the BBWAA. And both sides have perfectly coherent POVs, even if you and some of the equally self-referential writers don't want to acknowledge it.

   122. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 26, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4332503)
All time homerun record was shattered by a guy who used an illegal bat(Ruth)


Ruth openly used an innovative bat for a short while, and stopped using it when it was ruled illegal. He was not the only one to use such a bat, and presumably not the only one to stop when the ban was announced. Kind of like certain innovative training techniques that were quite popular for a few years in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

I'm puzzled that so many castigate writers for making moral judgments when BBWAA voters are explicitly told to assess a player's integrity, sportsmanship and character.


Just scroll back up the page a few posts:

Find a trustworthy baseball contemporary of Jeff Bagwell's who believes he was clean.


And the test of trustworthiness? Why, thinking that Bagwell used steroids of course! Pearlman doesn't have a vote, but his thinking is sadly representative of too many who do. That's why we castigate them.
   123. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 26, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4332505)
But your premise assumes that only by accepting your worldview on steroids can the BBWAA ever redeem itself.


This is of course the exact same assumption that the sanctimonious wing of the BBWAA makes about those who disagree with them. So are we done yet?
   124. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 26, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4332508)
But your premise assumes that only by accepting your worldview on steroids can the BBWAA ever redeem itself.

This is of course the exact same assumption that the sanctimonious wing of the BBWAA makes about those who disagree with them. So are we done yet?


I wish we were. In fact I only wish that Ray and some of those writers would just get a room and a cat o' nine tails and pleasure themselves to their heart's content. They're pretty much two sides of the same coin, even if both of them would consider that thought to be a blood libel.
   125. joeysdadjoe Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4332510)
And I don't know where people got the idea that Palmeiro is a DH candidate.

Raffy had the one year he was mostly a DH with Lee Stevens playing 1b. Got a GG anyway.97 maybe?
   126. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4332512)
But I'm puzzled that so many castigate writers for making moral judgments when BBWAA voters are explicitly told to assess a player's integrity, sportsmanship and character.


There are a variety of reasons. One that I find particularly frustrating is that steroids are the ONLY time they do that. Cocaine is OK. Wife beating is OK. Spitballs are OK. Amphetimines are OK. Corked bats are OK. Racism is OK. I could go on and on but for whatever reason steroids is the one absolute disqualifier.
   127. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4332513)

Raffy had the one year he was mostly a DH with Lee Stevens playing 1b. Got a GG anyway.97 maybe?


'99 when he played 28 games at first base. That was a laughable awarding of the Gold Glove but doesn't change the fact that Palmeiro played over 2000 games at first base. It's the equivalent of calling Rich Gossage a starting pitcher because of '76.
   128. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4332516)
'99 when he played 28 games at first base. That was a laughable awarding of the Gold Glove but doesn't change the fact that Palmeiro played over 2000 games at first base. It's the equivalent of calling Rich Gossage a starting pitcher because of '76.


Well, not quite. He is credited with 2831 games played, and 2351 in the field. It's more than just '99
   129. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4332524)
But I'm puzzled that so many castigate writers for making moral judgments when BBWAA voters are explicitly told to assess a player's integrity, sportsmanship and character.


They never did before.

The steroids issue is not unique, and yet it's being treated as such. Players have always tried to gain an undue edge; have always cheated; have used illegal drugs to better their production. It never mattered to HOF voters before.
   130. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4332527)
The more generic point here, as mulkowsky alludes to, is that the whole steroids / PED question is inherently subjective,


No, Andy, the principles involved -- with respect to amps, corked bats, or spitballs, for example - are similar to steroids. So you can't make up new standards for steroids use and hide under the cover that this is all "subjective" and expect to be taken seriously.

And both sides have perfectly coherent POVs,


False.
   131. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4332532)
The steroids issue is not unique, and yet it's being treated as such. Players have always tried to gain an undue edge; have always cheated; have used illegal drugs to better their production. It never mattered to HOF voters before.
Yup, this is basically my position. The Hall of Fame is a self-defining institution. There are no clear rules for what makes a Hall of Famer other than the historical choices of the Hall of Fame electorate. You can argue that a player with "integrity, sportsmanship, and character" doesn't take amphetamines or load up a baseball with his own sputum, but the Hall of Fame electorate has not defined those terms in that way. While it is certainly plausible that steroids are more performance-enhancing than amphetamines - though there is no systematic evidence of such an effect - I don't see how they are more cheat-y. They're both performance-enhancing substances banned in many athletic settings. Neither were banned in MLB until both were banned.

The lack of any sort of fact-finding body to determine who used and who didn't also figures into my thinking. We'll just never know whether anyone used steroids, absent confessions. I think it's more likely than not that Bagwell used, but there's no actual evidence and he shouldn't be banned based on weak inference. And then you've just made the Hall of Fame the Hall of players who we don't have good evidence cheated in one particular way. It's not a good way to define the institution.
   132. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4332533)
Misirlou, I'm still waiting to hear how you handwave away a ~25 point edge in WAR for Palmeiro over Staub (66 to 42) by the statement that "Raffy is clearly better, but not by much."

That seems on its face to be a fairly ludicrous position to take. And by bringing up Staub and then making the statement, you give the impression that they were close as players, when that was not the case.
   133. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4332535)
We'll just never know whether anyone used steroids, absent confessions. I think it's more likely than not that Bagwell used, but there's no actual evidence and he shouldn't be banned based on weak inference. And then you've just made the Hall of Fame the Hall of players who we don't have good evidence cheated in one particular way. It's not a good way to define the institution.


Yes.
   134. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4332537)
They never did before.


Plus it was never clear they were going to. If all the players knew doing 'x' would hurt there HoF chances that is one thing (looking at you Pete Rose), but the retroactive assignment of guilt and penalties just annoyes me.
   135. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 26, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4332542)
Misirlou, I'm still waiting to hear how you handwave away a ~25 point edge in WAR for Palmeiro over Staub (66 to 42) by the statement that "Raffy is clearly better, but not by much."
Well, why do they have such a gap? From 1965-1981, Rusty Staub had 9800 PA with a 130 OPS+. Palmeiro from 1988-2002 had 10000 PA with a 136 OPS+. Staub's offense was a little more OBP-heavy than Raffy's, neither were baserunners of any note. But over that period, Palmeiro massively outperformed Staub in WAR (62 to 42) and in oWAR (56 to 47). So a big chunk is that Staub rates as a poor defender and Palmeiro as a good one. The defensive difference accounts for more than half of the gap. That's certainly reasonable, but it's worth noting that Palmeiro's Hall case rests not insignificantly on his being a plus defender.

But, still, 9 wins for 6 points of OPS+ and 200 PA? The oWAR difference also demands explanation. Where does it come from?

+ 306 Bat - 21 Run + 308 Rep - 134 Pos = +459 RAR (Staub)
+ 400 Bat - 10 Run + 328 Rep - 152 Pos = +566 RAR (Palmeiro)

I'd have to go deeper into the numbers to see where Palmeiro gets 100 batting runs over Staub. That seems like too many, based on just eyeballing things. But maybe I'm just missing something.

EDIT: Breaking down component batting runs and adjusting for era is more work than I feel like doing this afternoon. Fangraph's batting runs agree precisely with B-Ref's, finding Palmeiro to have created almost exactly 100 more runs above average than Staub over their comparable runs. Most likely OPS+ is obfuscating the issue somehow.
   136. AROM Posted: December 26, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4332556)
Misirlou, I'm still waiting to hear how you handwave away a ~25 point edge in WAR for Palmeiro over Staub (66 to 42) by the statement that "Raffy is clearly better, but not by much."


Wasn't there a poster on this site who didn't like WAR and preferred to use OPS+ and games played to evaluate players?
   137. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4332560)
Wasn't there a poster on this site who didn't like WAR and preferred to use OPS+ and games played to evaluate players?


I never claimed that WAR was useless or that it wasn't a good blunt tool or that a 25-point difference in WAR wasn't something substantial that needed to be explained if one were taking the position that the two players were close.

But thanks for the non-responsive response. Mocking people for using your stat is a great way to boost interest/usage of your stat, I guess is what your marketing research is telling you.
   138. SG Posted: December 26, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4332565)
Most likely OPS+ is obfuscating the issue somehow.


Staub hit into 65 more DPS, and Palmeiro stole 50 more bases than Staub while getting caught 7 more times. That's about 25 runs that should be part of their batting runs that's not reflected in OPS+.
   139. SandyRiver Posted: December 26, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4332607)
Heck even numbers that usually indicate excessive offense, didn't happen, 400 total bases is the standard of offensive excellent in my mind.... it's a combination of health, power and not walking too much.

Interesting thought, and list. Tghough the "not walking too much" has some obvious exceptions - Ruth, Gehrig, Foxx, Barry. 10 such seasons in total and only Foxx with 96 in 1933 failed to reach 100 BB.

Also interesting is the clustering of 400 TB seasons:
-None in the deadball era - surprise!
-19 from 1921-37, 17 seasons. 1.118/yr
-3 in 59 seasons, 1938-96. 0.051/yr
-7 in 5 seasons, 1997-2001. 1.4/yr
-Zero in the past 11 seasons, and only 2 within 10 TB during that time. Going into another 40s-80s drought? Probably not.
   140. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 26, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4332620)
RE: post 132

It's all about the needles, baby!
   141. alilisd Posted: December 26, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4332634)
Staub hit into 65 more DPS, and Palmeiro stole 50 more bases than Staub while getting caught 7 more times. That's about 25 runs that should be part of their batting runs that's not reflected in OPS+.


I don't think so. Pretty sure they would be included in oWAR, but not in batting runs.
   142. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 26, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4332647)
Good point about amps users vs. Steriod and HGH users. But I still feel the single season HR record that was smashed was tied directly to steriods. Maybe the amps users like you mentioned may have been assisted during the the 50's - 60's but the many seasonal records I tied into the fact the the schedule 154 games vs 162 games enabled many of those.


That's a possibility but not one I'm comfortable just accepting as fact for a couple of reasons;

1. There was a pretty dramatic increase in offense/home runs at the same moment (1993). I think expansion and the baseballs being juiced are more likely to have created such a sudden and widespread leap.

2. If steroids are truly "performance enhancing" then why did they help hitters more than pitchers when the anecdotal evidence suggests that pitchers were using at least as often as hitters?

Also, you noted the strike zone in your discussion of the 60s. It's entirely observational on my part but it seems that the strike zone decreased in size dramatically during the 90s. I don't know if others feel the same way but I think that's true. The "high strike" seems to have completely gone away.
   143. vivaelpujols Posted: December 26, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4332658)
But I'm puzzled that so many castigate writers for making moral judgments when BBWAA voters are explicitly told to assess a player's integrity, sportsmanship and character.


Yeah but the moral judgements aren't supposed to swamp out everything else. It's fair, I guess, to ding someone 10-20 wins in the character clause for taking steroids. That would be enough to keep Raffy and Mac out of the HOF. That's not *nearly* enough to keep Bonds and Clemens out.

I agree that character can be used as part of the criteria. I don't agree that it should be a disqualifier.
   144. dlf Posted: December 26, 2012 at 06:53 PM (#4332662)
It's entirely observational on my part but it seems that the strike zone decreased in size dramatically during the 90s.


I wish we had PitchFX going back far enough to study the issue, but my recollection is that the strize zone started dropping vertically (and expanding horizontally) when the AL Umps stopped using the outside balloon chest protector and that trend accelerated when Tony Pena and other catchers started moving their crouches lower to the ground. Just as I can't believe steroids could have a dramatic, league wide change in such a short period, I don't think that the gradual change in strikezone would explain the sudden increase in offense in '93 / '94. I think this supports your (and plenty of others') juiced balls theory.
   145. mulkowsky Posted: December 26, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4332668)
But I'm puzzled that so many castigate writers for making moral judgments when BBWAA voters are explicitly told to assess a player's integrity, sportsmanship and character.


There are a variety of reasons. One that I find particularly frustrating is that steroids are the ONLY time they do that. Cocaine is OK. Wife beating is OK. Spitballs are OK. Amphetimines are OK. Corked bats are OK. Racism is OK. I could go on and on but for whatever reason steroids is the one absolute disqualifier.


Well, the spitting incident was definitely mentioned a lot with Alomar, and I've seen and recall references to cocaine and Dave Parker, so it's not accurate to say that steroids are the ONLY time this gets mentioned. I think it's a reasonable position that steroids are worse than greenies, scuffing the ball or corking a bat. Part of the volume on this issue now certainly is that so many said nothing before and now are guiltily covering their tracks. But that fact doesn't mean that there isn't a decent, honest argument that a player's steroid use could cause a writer to flunk him on the integrity, character and sportsmanship clauses.
   146. vivaelpujols Posted: December 26, 2012 at 07:18 PM (#4332673)
But that fact doesn't mean that there isn't a decent, honest argument that a player's steroid use could cause a writer to flunk him on the integrity, character and sportsmanship clauses.


Even if Bonds flunks that clause there's no way he's not a HOFer unless you're counting those things at 90% of the criteria. In that case be prepared to embrace a David Eckstein, Dale Murphy, Sean Casey HOF.
   147. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 26, 2012 at 07:32 PM (#4332678)
Part of the volume on this issue now certainly is that so many said nothing before and now are guiltily covering their tracks. But that fact doesn't mean that there isn't a decent, honest argument that a player's steroid use could cause a writer to flunk him on the integrity, character and sportsmanship clauses.

Sorry, mulkowsky, but our geniuses here have the exclusive BTF copyrght on honesty, and only dishonest people can possibly disagree with their logical© interpretation of everything relating to steroids. You haven't really been initiated into BTF until you're been called "dishonest" by Ray DiPerna.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Even if Bonds flunks that clause there's no way he's not a HOFer unless you're counting those things at 90% of the criteria. In that case be prepared to embrace a David Eckstein, Dale Murphy, Sean Casey HOF.

Yeah, that's just what we're going to get. And Vegas will be glad to take your money if you choose to cash in on this astute analysis.
   148. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4332684)
But that fact doesn't mean that there isn't a decent, honest argument that a player's steroid use could cause a writer to flunk him on the integrity, character and sportsmanship clauses.


I'll bite: What is the "decent, honest argument" of such, taking into account established precedent?

   149. vivaelpujols Posted: December 26, 2012 at 08:06 PM (#4332687)
Yeah, that's just what we're going to get. And Vegas will be glad to take your money if you choose to cash in on this astute analysis.


I'm sorry, but that's the logical conclcusion a system that weighs character so much. Oh wait you're telling me that the voters don't have a system of any kind and they are constantly contradicting themselves? How dare you, sir.
   150. Walt Davis Posted: December 26, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4332691)
IMO, players, owners, writers and fans are all blameworthy for not objecting to PED's at the time. But I'm puzzled that so many castigate writers for making moral judgments when BBWAA voters are explicitly told to assess a player's integrity, sportsmanship and character.

As noted, they've never done it before.

I'm also not comfortable with the term "moral" with regard to "integrity, sportsmanship and character" within the context of a sport. It's baseball, not world politics or murder. Nobody was harmed by Bonds hitting so many HR. It was less immoral than speeding. There seems general agreement that genuinely immoral behavior such as racism shouldn't be held against a player, that the character clause only pertains to actions within the game of baseball. I'm fine with that, but let's not call that morality eh? Part of the problem is that many see this as a MORAL issue when it's no more moral/immoral than a bunch of 20-year-old college kids sneaking into a bar.

But, yes, they are asked to assess those three items so, despite a lack of precedent, it's difficult to complain that they're doing what they've been told to do. But what they're told to do is to WEIGH THEM IN BALANCE WITH THE OTHER CRITERIA. There's absolutely nothing in that sentence to suggest that these are of tantamount importance, nothing to suggest they should receive more weight than performance, nothing to suggest that each of the conditions is a necessary condition. And, of course, PED use was not against the rules at the time these players allegedly used them (other than Palmeiro).

In short, a lack of sportsmanship might be enough to disqualify a borderline player. But, even if you think that Bonds was unsportsmanlike, to not vote him into the HOF is to ignore the PERFORMANCE AND ABILITY CLAUSE IN ITS ENTIRETY.

Some of the voters are treating this as a violation as severe as the gambling rule. But there is absolutely no reason to think this was any more serious than the use of greenies.

As to post-testing ...

There is now a rule saying that roid and amp use are against the rules of baseball. Violating the rules of baseball does potentially speak to the integrity and sportsmanship of a player within the game. But, along with those rules came the punishment. So not only do we have "time served" but, more importantly, the punishment was games missed:

Roberto Alomar spit in the face of an umpire and was suspended for 10 games (I think it was).
Manny used steroids and was suspended 50 games. (The second suspension was never actually served I don't think ... or did the A's let him serve it then release him?)

OK, so what Manny did was worse and it was conduct detrimental to the team. But it was detrimental to the team for just 50 games. That's serious damage without question -- roughly equivalent to Dick Allen walking out on his team.

And judge it just like that.

I would put Dick Allen in the HoF despite his character flaws but the writers chose not to -- maybe due to character issues or maybe due to the short career or maybe due to the combination. (I'll have to see what the ballot looks like before telling you if I will vote for Manny ... but under normal circumstances, unless you can convince me he was even worse defensively than WAR think, sure)

Note also that the HoF has made it crystal clear that even Palmeiro remains eligible for election. This means that steroid use is not automatically disqualifying for the HoF by the HoF's very standards.

Note also that McGwire was allowed back into the game after his confession and that Giambi and AROD and others have been allowed to continue to play and weren't even suspended. This means that pre-testing steroid use was not even temporarily diqualifying by MLB's standards.

Even the lifetime suspension has appeal clauses and the commissioner has the discretion to limit it to a 2-year ban. Moreover, near as I can tell, it is a lifetime suspension from playing not a lifetime suspension from association with the game (this is not spelled out in detail ... but I'd think it would be if that was included).

So this is the writers -- a group of writers, maybe as high as 50% -- deciding to impose standards that neither the rules of the HoF nor the rules of MLB have applied. To not vote for Bonds and Clemens is to completely ignore the performance, ability and contribution to team criteria. To vote for the HoF is to accept the criteria you are voting upon. Therefore, to not vote for Bonds and Clemens is to vote without integrity.
   151. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 26, 2012 at 08:32 PM (#4332692)
Even if Bonds flunks that clause there's no way he's not a HOFer unless you're counting those things at 90% of the criteria. In that case be prepared to embrace a David Eckstein, Dale Murphy, Sean Casey HOF.

Yeah, that's just what we're going to get. And Vegas will be glad to take your money if you choose to cash in on this astute analysis.

I'm sorry, but that's the logical conclusion a system that weighs character so much. Oh wait you're telling me that the voters don't have a system of any kind and they are constantly contradicting themselves? How dare you, sir.


Your "logic" here is like Ray's, entirely self-referential. You made a statement that we should "be prepared to embrace a David Eckstein, Dale Murphy, Sean Casey HOF," as if that were likely to happen, and as if rejecting Barry Bonds on character grounds means that every marginal candidate or every joke candidate is somehow the only alternative. Tell that to Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez.

I say that's complete BS, and unless you're as dumb as that statement of yours implies, you couldn't possibly even believe it yourself. But in the 1% chance that your capacity for self-hypnotism exceeds your capacity for predictions, there's always Vegas ready to take your cash.

   152. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 26, 2012 at 08:42 PM (#4332693)
Sorry, mulkowsky, but our geniuses here have the exclusive BTF copyrght on honesty, and only dishonest people can possibly disagree with their logical© interpretation of everything relating to steroids. You haven't really been initiated into BTF until you're been called "dishonest" by Ray DiPerna.


Therefore, to not vote for Bonds and Clemens is to vote without integrity.

Mulkowsky, I guess I should have added that you're not only dishonest, but you lack integrity. There's no way out other than full confession and repentance, followed by priestly forgiveness, probation, and if you're lucky, acceptance.
   153. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 26, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4332694)
You made a statement that we should "be prepared to embrace a David Eckstein, Dale Murphy, Sean Casey HOF," as if that were likely to happen, and as if rejecting Barry Bonds on character grounds means that every marginal candidate or every joke candidate is somehow the only alternative.


Come on, he doesn't mean that at all and you know it. The "be prepared to embrace a David Eckstein, Dale Murphy, Sean Casey HOF," was conditional -- that's what "(I)n that case" means. So "(E)ven if Bonds flunks that clause there's no way he's not a HOFer unless you're counting those things at 90% of the criteria." And if you're counting "character, integrity, and sportsmanship" enough to knock a player with the performance resume of a Bonds or a Clemens out of the HOF, then it stands to reason that there must be some players on the ballot who had such stellar "character, integrity, and sportsmanship" resumes that they are HOFers despite on-field performance that is not close to HOF caliber. You guys ought to be able to argue against each others' positions without pretending that you don't know what each other are saying.
   154. AROM Posted: December 26, 2012 at 09:04 PM (#4332703)
Ray, sorry about that. I was trying to kid, not mock. Should have put a smiley face in there or something. Staub is the opposite of Ichiro when defense and baserunning are considered. I don't know if he was always a terrible fielder, but my memory of him is the old slow pinch hitter for the Mets.
   155. mulkowsky Posted: December 26, 2012 at 09:46 PM (#4332719)
I'll bite: What is the "decent, honest argument" of such, taking into account established precedent?


Where does it say that an individual voter has to be consistent with the 70+ year history of voting by thousands of different writers? Would we want Veteran's Committee members to vote in accordance with precedent? An individual voter should be consistent with their own votes or be willing to logically defend apparent inconsistencies but doesn't need to be consistent with anything else other than the voting rules. As the rules are written, each individual voter is instructed to judge a player on those six criteria, but there is no guidance to voters on how to weigh those criteria against each other.

   156. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 26, 2012 at 09:59 PM (#4332726)
McGwire hit a lot of fly balls. For whatever reason (steroids, juiced ball, strike zone, global warming, whatever), fly balls were anomalously likely to turn into home runs during McGwire's stint in the league. Here is the breakdown of McGwire's balls in play:

GB 1159 / FB 2171 (416 HR) / LD 818 (68 HR)

Compare this to Sosa:

GB 2649 / FB 2524 (507 HR) / LD 1354 (94 HR)


I'm not sure where you get these numbers but they conflict with b-r. B-R puts McGwire's HR/FB at 22.5% for his career and Sosa at 18.6%. McGwire's 22.5% is higher than anybody I've found yet -- Thome is at 19-20% and even Bonds in his HR-hitting heyday only barely beats Mac at 22.8%. (Numbers don't go back very far but true TTO hitting is fairly new so I'm not sure we're missing many legit candidates.)


Walt: I got these from B-R, under Splits -> Career and then Hit Trajectory (i.e. here for McGwire). Where did you get your BR numbers from?

I feel compelled to point out that OPS does not treat a single and a walk equally. The single and walk raise your OBP by the same amount, but the single raises your SLG by some amount, while the walk leaves it constant. For instance, here are some actual numbers:

Suppose Joe Blow goes 70-for-280 with 20 walks and 62 extra bases, making him a 250/300/400 hitter, 700 OPS. If we turn 10 of his outs into singles, he ends up at 287/333/437 (770 OPS). If we turn 10 of his outs into walks, he ends up at 259/333/415, 748 OPS. To OPS, a single is worth like 1.45 times as much as a walk (the ratio depends on where you start but this example hitter, with fairly typical stats, has it end up at 1.45).
   157. Karl from NY Posted: December 26, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4332735)
To OPS, a single is worth like 1.45 times as much as a walk (the ratio depends on where you start but this example hitter, with fairly typical stats, has it end up at 1.45).

This is true, but essentially a mathematical coincidence that the impact on OPS approximates the linear weights value. There's nothing structurally in the math that makes that hold true. Start Joe Blow with no extra bases and no walks, so that his OBP = SLG. Then a single is worth 2x a walk. You've discovered an artifact of the fact that typical realistic numbers for SLG are around 1.45x typical numbers of OBP.
   158. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4332752)
I'll bite: What is the "decent, honest argument" of such, taking into account established precedent?


Where does it say that an individual voter has to be consistent with the 70+ year history of voting by thousands of different writers?


Nowhere. But, then, the individual should be honest enough to concede that he's applying different standards to the steroids players than were applied to the amps/spitball/corked bat players.

It's when people like Andy and Mike Lupica try to draw laughable distinctions between the steroids and amps players that I object.
   159. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 27, 2012 at 03:07 AM (#4332799)
Right, I agree that it's a mathematical coincidence, didn't mean to imply that the math would force the ratio to work out to the lwts value. Just wanted to clarify after various people in the thread asserted that OPS counts a single as 2x a walk.
   160. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 27, 2012 at 03:09 AM (#4332800)
No edit? Yeah, I misread and was countering the 1x argument which nobody made. 2x is just as wrong though about what OPS thinks about single versus walk. In general, it ends up happily being in the right ballpark.
   161. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 27, 2012 at 06:04 AM (#4332814)
Many cokes, and never mind.
   162. Moeball Posted: December 27, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4333119)
Re: McGwire's quick exit - IIRC, after the monster seasons in '98 and '99, Mac had half a monster season in 2000 (203 OPS+), injuries pretty much wiping out the second half of the season.

As I recall, Mac at his peak preferred those thigh-high fastballs that he could just crush, but had some difficulty handling high heat. The weird thing is, when we think of how the strike zone changed over the years, we usually think of pitchers like Greg Maddux who adapted to the extra-wide strike zones of many umpires, being able to consistently throw pitches 6 inches off the plate but catch the outside "corner" of many umpires' zones. But, just as the strike zone grew wider, it also became shorter. There were many umpires that just wouldn't call a pitch above the belt a strike. Mac was a batter who feasted on this sort of thing - a couple of high fastballs trying to get him to chase and he would have a 2-0 count and could then sit on the pitch he wanted.

Now, I need some other memories hopefully better than mine to help out here - I think 2001 was the year that umpires said they were going to start calling the high strike again and I think at the beginning of the season they actually were, for the most part. I seem to recall McGwire starting off a lot of at bats that year with 0-2 counts from taking those high fastballs whereas he was previously getting the 2-0 counts and he apparently couldn't adapt. He was also still battling injuries but I think he really got into a funk that he couldn't seem to get out of. I also recall that although Mac may have been a TTO sabr-favorite type of hitter, he didn't actually think that way himself. He appeared to really be bothered by the low batting average and had doubts if he could really hit anymore. I think this played a large role in the decision to retire.

Personally, I think he retired too soon - he probably could have had 3 or 4 more productive years as a hitter, but we'll never know for certain.
   163. AROM Posted: December 27, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4333176)
When Mark retired I certainly thought he had a bounceback season in him or 3. At that point he probably would have been better off going back to the AL to DH.

As for his 2001 struggles, the strikezone might have hurt a bit but I think the main thing was the injured knee which totally screwed up his hitting mechanics.
   164. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4333178)
Ray, sorry about that. I was trying to kid, not mock. Should have put a smiley face in there or something.


Fair enough. I should probably adjust my sarcasm detector.
   165. alilisd Posted: December 27, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4333208)
I don't understand why McGwire gets labeled a borderline guy so often ('roids aside). 12 AS teams, best AB/HR ratio ever, .394 career OBP, 8th all-time in SLG, 10th all-time in OPS, scores great on Black Ink and Hall of Fame monitor. That's a clear HOF in my book.


Well, let's start with the criteria you used to define him as "a clear HOF." AS teams, an awful criteria for the HOF as they are influenced by all sorts of things other than performance. After that it's ratio after ratio after ratio, all of which ignore playing time. The ratios are nice, great in some cases, but they totally ignore playing time. McGwire is borderline because of a lack of playing time. He's a perfectly reasonable HOF still, because of the ratios, depending on where you fall along the Peak/Prime/Career spectrum and/or where you fall along the Big Hall/Small Hall spectrum, but it's seeing him as anything other than borderline given 7,660 PA's.

An average HOF (an average which inlcudes Catchers who legitimately play less due to the rigors of their position, players who legitimately receive credit for Military Service, 19th C players who played shorter seasons and players excluded by MLB's segregation) has 8,996 PA's. That's two full seasons worth more despite inlcuding the aformentioned categories of players with legitimately lower PA's in the average. So if you look at HOF with similar PA's you'll see a number of 19th C players, some Catchers, some guys who missed time due to Military Service, some questionable VC selections and Kirby Puckett, a poor BBWAA selection, imo. IOW, there are no players elected to the HOF who are "clear HOF" with similar numbers of PA's who don't fall into one of the categories of players who have legitimate claims to lesser playing time. If that's where McGwire falls in terms of career, it seems to be clearly in the borderline to me.

If you look at it in career value terms, WAR puts him in the borderline area, too. He's sandwiched by McCovey above and Helton below, nearer to Keith Hernandez than he is to Eddie Murray, and nearer to John Olerud than Edgar Martinez (those are the next two pairings below and above him in terms of career WAR for 1B/DH). So of the six guys nearest him in WAR, three above and three below, two are in, two are out, one is getting marginal support and one is not yet eligible. Again, this seems to be clearly borderline.
   166. alilisd Posted: December 27, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4333226)
When Mark retired I certainly thought he had a bounceback season in him or 3.


Could be, particularly if he was a DH, as you mention, but history argues against it. I'm assuming by "bounceback" you mean some combination of increased performance and playing time. With that in mind there are only 131 seasons from 1901 forward by a 38 year old with at least 105 OPS+ and 400 PA's, both very slight increases from his last season's 103 OPS+ and 364 PA's. Even with just the very slight improvements, the least bit of a bouncebak, that's very, very few seasons. Still, there are nine players who did at least three times and the DH definitely factored into several of those. I guess it's possible, but I'm sceptical if he really had that much in him.
   167. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: December 27, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4333230)
I guess it's possible, but I'm sceptical if he really had that much in him.


Even if he did, it's not like he'd have added that much WAR. His 105 OPS+ in 364 PA got him a 0.1. It's unlikely he would have added more than 1 or 2 to his career total.
   168. Ron J2 Posted: December 27, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4333271)
#121 It's also the way the character clause has been applied in the past. I can see one player -- Hal Chase -- who would probably have been elected if not for his character (assuming that Jackson was never in the picture -- that players on the ineligible list simply were never allowed in)

It's arguably been a deal breaker for some guys who were close to the in/out line. Bill Dahlen, Carl Mays, Sherry Magee, Dick Allen come to mind.

It probably delayed Marichal's election, but he made it. It might have cost Alomar a year's wait.

And maybe it was a deal maker for Rabbit Maranville (though this was more about his personal popularity). Can't really think of anybody else. Puckett might not have made it in (or at least not quickly) if he hadn't been so personally popular. Maybe Catfish Hunter.

In other words, in the past if it's been considered at all it was strictly a minor thing.
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