Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

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

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Peter Gammons: The Hall of Fame Debate; Who belongs in Cooperstown?

If this is the Gammons ballot can I get a scriptio continua expert in here to figure it out? I think I count 10 though.

When the Hall of Fame balloting is announced January 8 on MLB Network, someone will ask, “who in the world did not vote for Greg Maddux.” Really. He certainly is one of the ten greatest pitchers, ever, whether you care for the 355 wins or being in the top ten in strikeouts or that in the heart of the roaring Nineties his earned run average was two-and-a-half runs better than the National League average.

And one can argue that day that of all the pitchers who have ever appeared on the ballot, Roger Clemens is the best pitcher not in Cooperstown. That side argument, which will carry to several other players of the last quarter century, will continue to rage.

...We may well have undervalued and done a disservice to Edgar Martinez. Ditto Larry Walker, a great all-around player whose place in history may have been clouded by where he played most of his home career. It may take a couple of years for Jeff Kent to creep up the vote percentage ladder, but he deserves serious consideration; he hit more homers than Ralph Kiner and is in the top dozen second basemen in games played and double plays turned at the position.

Putting the Clemens debate aside, for now, what is remarkable is that what is most remembered from the era of these players now on the ballot. Maddux is a certainty. Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling and Tom Glavine should be, and soon we will have Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez in front of us, as well as the underappreciated Kevin Brown. If one were to take Pitchers’ WAR, Maddux is the 8th best starting pitcher of all-time. Johnson is 9th. Pedro is 17th. Mussina is 24th. Schilling is 26th. Glavine is 28th. Kevin Brown is 31st.

The Steroids Era, we seem to have forgotten, is also a golden era for great pitchers, and the thought of Pedro Martinez taking the podium on that glorious stage, looking out at the rolling Woodstock setting and imaging what he will say is worth the anticipatory wait.

Repoz Posted: December 28, 2013 at 04:28 PM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

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

   1. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 28, 2013 at 05:16 PM (#4625268)
Maddux is a certainty. Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling and Tom Glavine should be, and soon we will have Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez in front of us, as well as the underappreciated Kevin Brown. If one were to take Pitchers’ WAR, Maddux is the 8th best starting pitcher of all-time. Johnson is 9th. Pedro is 17th. Mussina is 24th. Schilling is 26th. Glavine is 28th. Kevin Brown is 31st.

Brown was one-and-done in the 2011 HoF vote, a fact not mentioned in the article.
   2. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: December 28, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4625281)
Frank Thomas would seem to be a strong first ballot candidate, a great, patient offensive force who won two MVP awards and ranks in the top 22 all-time in on-base percentage, slugging, OPS, OPS+ and hit 521 homers without a suggestion of cheating.

So in which of those categories was he ranked 22nd?
   3. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: December 28, 2013 at 06:08 PM (#4625285)
SLG. He's 18th in home runs, 20th in OBP, 14th in OPS, and 19th in OPS+. That "top 22" thing isn't actually that far off base in this case.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: December 28, 2013 at 08:14 PM (#4625351)
That's right about when I decide to just say a guy is top 20 in OBP, OPS, OPS+ and HR or top 25 in all 5.

While I agree that it was an era of great pitching, it seems a little odd that 8 of the top 31 pitcher WAR of all-time would have pitched in a 20-year period and that half of it would be a high-scoring era. Especially since WAR is a counting stat and these guys are 13th (GM), 16th (RC), 30th (TG), 38th (RJ), 66th (MM), 96th (CS), 97th (KB) and 162nd (PM) in innings. And that he forgot Smoltz who is 74th in IP and 39th in WAR for pitchers.

Compare this to the 70s studs ... Niekro, Ryan, Perry, Sutton are #4-#7 in IP and Carlton is #9. Blyleven, Seaver, Kaat, John and Fergie are also top 30. Gibson from 46th in IP to 25th in WAR is about the biggest jump for that era (Marichal maybe). I like Mussina but a smidgen more valuable than Bob Gibson in 300 fewer innings (and lower career ERA+)?
   5. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 28, 2013 at 08:23 PM (#4625354)
I like Mussina but a smidgen more valuable than Bob Gibson in 300 fewer innings (and lower career ERA+)?


Where is Mussina rated ahead of Gibson? Certainly not by any of the uber-stats that I've seen.


edit: I guess you're referring to pitching only which is still hard to swallow.
   6. Publius Publicola Posted: December 28, 2013 at 08:25 PM (#4625356)
I never noticed before that Schilling has more WAR than Glavine. I never would have supposed that.

Also freakishly weird that the only time Mussina won 20 was in his last season. Then he immediately retired.
   7. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 28, 2013 at 09:25 PM (#4625387)
I never noticed before that Schilling has more WAR than Glavine. I never would have supposed that.


I guess you missed the discussion on another thread regarding Schilling/Mussina/Glavine
   8. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 28, 2013 at 09:33 PM (#4625396)
I never noticed before that Schilling has more WAR than Glavine. I never would have supposed that.


He doesn't have more WAR. He has more pitching WAR, but Glavine edges him out when you add offense to the mix.
   9. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 28, 2013 at 10:48 PM (#4625414)

He doesn't have more WAR. He has more pitching WAR, but Glavine edges him out when you add offense to the mix


Geez, I hope Glavine ain't depending on his bat bootstrapping him into the HOF.
   10. TRBMB Posted: December 29, 2013 at 09:57 AM (#4625523)
Gammons should stop claiming himself to be a Hall Of Famer before he submits who belongs, and doesn't, in Cooperstown. He is a Spink Award winner, which doesn't make him a Hall Of Fame member.
   11. BDC Posted: December 29, 2013 at 10:42 AM (#4625540)
it seems a little odd

Can it be that the 90s-00s greats have enhanced WAR (compared to the 60s-70s greats) because they pitched in an era of strict five-man rotations? IOW the guy replacing Bob Gibson should he go down is a significantly better pitcher (relative to league) than the guy replacing Mike Mussina. Just a question; I have no idea whether this is a factor in the WAR calculations.
   12. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 29, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4625601)
I like Mussina but a smidgen more valuable than Bob Gibson in 300 fewer innings (and lower career ERA+)?


Where is Mussina rated ahead of Gibson? Certainly not by any of the uber-stats that I've seen.


edit: I guess you're referring to pitching only which is still hard to swallow.

Why is it hard to swallow? The 100th best pitcher by fWAR between 1961 and 1973 -- Bill Stoneman -- had a 3.98 ERA (3.76 FIP) in 1177 IP or 13 fWAR. Gibson had a 2.70 ERA (2.72 FIP) in 3370 IP or 87 fWAR. The 120th best pitcher by fWAR between 1992 and 2008 -- Chan Ho Park -- had 1800 IP of 4.34 ERA (4.50 FIP) or 16 fWAR, while Mussina had a 3.70 ERA (3.58 FIP) in 3475 IP or 81 fWAR. During the same periods Gibson is ahead in bWAA 49 to 47. Even compared to a mid-rotation pitcher, they both seem better by a comparable amount, enough to pass the reality check test. I think the replacement level pitcher in a high scoring environment was just really bad by raw stats.
   13. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 29, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4625659)
Lots and lots of pitchers belong in Cooperstown, if most of the ballots being filed are any indication. I hope Dennis Martinez is working on his speech.
   14. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 29, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4625663)
During the same periods Gibson is ahead in bWAA 49 to 47. Even compared to a mid-rotation pitcher, they both seem better by a comparable amount, enough to pass the reality check test. I think the replacement level pitcher in a high scoring environment was just really bad by raw stats.


Probably why WAA is a better metric when comparing pitchers from different era's.
   15. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 29, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4625676)
Also freakishly weird that the only time Mussina won 20 was in his last season. Then he immediately retired.


Immediately indeed, as his 20th win was in the first game of a double-header on the last day of the season. And that was the year the Yankees finished third, so no playoffs.
   16. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 29, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4625677)
Probably why WAA is a better metric when comparing pitchers from different era's.

Well I like WAA better for comparing "greatness" anyway. I guess there's value in being averageish for a long time, but it doesn't scream "great" to me.
   17. cardsfanboy Posted: December 29, 2013 at 01:55 PM (#4625684)
Well I like WAA better for comparing "greatness" anyway. I guess there's value in being averageish for a long time, but it doesn't scream "great" to me.


I think being average for a long period of time as a pitcher is much more valuable than being averagish for a hitter. I think they are both valuable skills though. I do like WAA, but with one modification...same thing I do for war. I throw away any negative numbers in there. Others argue against that, and I understand, but I'll ignore the bad years, especially if they are years tacked on at the beginning or end of the career.
   18. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 29, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4625695)
I think being average for a long period of time as a pitcher is much more valuable than being averagish for a hitter. I think they are both valuable skills though. I do like WAA, but with one modification...same thing I do for war. I throw away any negative numbers in there. Others argue against that, and I understand, but I'll ignore the bad years, especially if they are years tacked on at the beginning or end of the career.


You're Robin Roberts best friend.
   19. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 29, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4625711)
Roberts is a guy that's either a top-20 all-time pitcher or down around 50th depending on whether you value peak or career more, isn't he?
   20. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 29, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4625716)
For sure, but that peak* was GARGANTUAN! Off the top of my head, among the top 5 of all-time? Maybe higher post-integration.




* 5 yr. run.



   21. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 29, 2013 at 06:03 PM (#4625861)
For sure, but that peak* was GARGANTUAN!


Best 5 year ERA+
Robin Roberts - 153, 141, 136, 133, 133
Brandon Webb - 165, 158, 152, 140, 128

Um, ok.

I look forward to Brandon's comeback and ten years of mediocrity to ensure his HOF election.
   22. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 29, 2013 at 06:09 PM (#4625868)
Also

Halliday - 167, 163, 159, 157, 152 (+ 185 ERA+ in 141 IP in 2005)
Lee - 167, 160, 133, 133, 131
Verlander - 172, 161, 131, 125, 125

Have I found the top 5 already? The HOF is really gonna be full soon.

   23. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 29, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4625876)
Oops, I found some more

Pedro - 291, 243, 219, 211, 202
W. Johnson - 259, 240, 215, 214, 191
Grove - 217, 189, 185, 175, 165
Hoyt W - 230, 194, 192, 192, 185
SJ Wood - 188, 179, 162, 151, 129
Kershaw - 194, 161, 150, 143, 133 (so far)

As they say down under, Robin Robert's is not a peak, mate, THESE are peaks.
   24. cardsfanboy Posted: December 29, 2013 at 06:19 PM (#4625879)
Robin Roberts - 153, 141, 136, 133, 133
Brandon Webb - 165, 158, 152, 140, 128


Really? Innings pitched for those years
Roberts 346/330/336/304/191 (leading the league 3 times with another 2 more leads in subsequent years)
Webb 180/236/235/226/208..

It's easier to put up higher era+ in fewer innings if you have relievers saving your behind.
   25. cardsfanboy Posted: December 29, 2013 at 06:36 PM (#4625894)
Not that I support war for pitchers, but it at least combines ip and quality (at least it attempts, fails frequently)

Roberts 9.8/9.0/8.3/8.0/7.3/6.2 = 48.6/8.1 average
Webb 7.0/6.4/5.8/5.0/3.2 = 27.4/5.48
Halladay 8.9/8.3/8.1/7.4/6.9/6.2 = 45.8/7.6
Lee 8.6/7.3/6.9/5.4/4.5/3.4 = 36.1/6.0
Verlander 8.4/7.8/5.6/4.6/4.3/4.2 = 34.9/5.8
Pedro 11.7/9.7/9.0/8.0/7.2/6.9 = 52.5/8.75
Kershaw 7.8/6.5/6.2/5.5/4.7 =30.7/6.14


Pedro is probably on the very short list as greatest peak pitcher in history, but the rest of the guys aren't really comparable (and all caveats apply to this war comparison. It's not the end all of the discussion or even the majority, but the problem with era+ is it overstates the differences between pitchers from different eras, era- is better but not as easily to work with)

I think that it's very safe to say that Roberts peak is one of the best, at least post WWII.
   26. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 29, 2013 at 07:06 PM (#4625913)
Thank's for saving me the trouble. Robin Roberts 5 yr. run is basically Brandon Webbs HOF quality 5 yr. peak plus Tony Cingrani's 2013 thrown in every year.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Backlasher
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogJohn Torres: Baseball must bag sickening farewell tours
(14 - 12:03pm, Apr 20)
Last: The District Attorney

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread March, 2014
(943 - 12:02pm, Apr 20)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

NewsblogTim Federowicz has rough night behind the plate - True Blue LA
(6 - 11:52am, Apr 20)
Last: Tom Nawrocki

NewsblogOMNICHATTER for April 20, 2014
(1 - 11:48am, Apr 20)
Last: Rickey! In a van on 95 south...

NewsblogRB: Carlos Beltran: more of a center fielder than Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb or Duke Snider. So what?
(43 - 11:46am, Apr 20)
Last: BDC

NewsblogA’s Jed Lowrie “flabbergasted” by Astros’ response to bunt
(18 - 11:43am, Apr 20)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogOT: The NHL is finally back thread, part 2
(155 - 11:31am, Apr 20)
Last: zack

NewsblogPirates Acquire Ike Davis From Mets
(42 - 11:19am, Apr 20)
Last: formerly dp

NewsblogRaissman: After cheating scandal, former Mets GM Steve Phillips back calling the shots
(2 - 11:11am, Apr 20)
Last: spike

NewsblogDesign Room: Top 10 Logos in MLB History.
(79 - 11:05am, Apr 20)
Last: Nats-Homer-in-DC

NewsblogDoug Glanville: I Was Racially Profiled in My Own Driveway
(369 - 10:54am, Apr 20)
Last: CrosbyBird

NewsblogChase Utley is the hottest hitter in baseball and has a shot at .400
(64 - 10:51am, Apr 20)
Last: GregD

NewsblogOTP April 2014: BurstNET Sued for Not Making Equipment Lease Payments
(1743 - 10:49am, Apr 20)
Last: Morty Causa

NewsblogDaniel Bryan's 'YES!' chant has spread to the Pirates' dugout
(101 - 10:35am, Apr 20)
Last: Infinite Joost (Voxter)

NewsblogBryce Harper benched for 'lack of hustle' despite quad injury
(66 - 9:45am, Apr 20)
Last: The Id of SugarBear Blanks

Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats

 

 

 

 

Page rendered in 0.3312 seconds
52 querie(s) executed