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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ryan Thibs has his HOF Ballot Tracker Up and Running!

Ryan has received his first official ballot, courtesy of Adam Rubib. Ten votes, including Vizquel.

So who gets a higher percentage of vote this year, Trammell with the VC or Vizquel with the BBWAA? (Only partly a tongue-in-cheek question…)

TJ Posted: November 22, 2017 at 02:48 PM | 1774 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   1401. bachslunch Posted: January 13, 2018 at 04:33 PM (#5606001)
Flip again.
   1402. Srul Itza Posted: January 13, 2018 at 05:40 PM (#5606039)
Guerrero has more defensive value (and wins offensive Years 9-10), so he's better
but is he hundreds of votes better?


McGriff never had a WAR better than 6.6. His total years over 5: 6.6, 6.2, 5.2, 5.2. From 88-92 he was pretty good, and after that, mediocre. A 5 year prime, averaging 5.3.

Guerrero's bests: 7.9, 7.4, 5.9, 5.7, 5.6 . His peak ran from 1998 to 2005, an 8 year prime, averaging 5.5.

JAWS comparison: McGriff-44.1, 31st best, Guerrero: 50.2, 21st among RF


On both prime and career, Guerrero is at, or over, the borderline. McGriff very clearly falls short.

So yes, the difference is and should be hundreds of votes.
   1403. Baldrick Posted: January 13, 2018 at 06:08 PM (#5606048)
McGriff is a guy who 'felt like a Hall of Famer' when he was playing--at least during his 20s--but whose numbers just didn't end up looking like a HOFer's. Certainly, part of that is his having peaked during the mini-deadball era only to then continue playing through the sillyball era without his raw numbers seeming to improve.

One version of that story says that tons of players were cheating, McGriff wasn't, and that's it. Another version says that McGriff's (fairly steep) decline in his 30s was actually somewhat masked by the arrival of sillyball, helping propel him to some superficially interesting numbers (493 HR, 1550 RBI) which don't really prove a true HOF case.

I tend to think the truth is somewhere in between, and have (in past mock-ballots) included McGriff at least once that I can remember. But the more distance we get, the harder the case is for him, even if you give him a decent non-steroid-guy bonus.

All of which is to say: it doesn't surprise me that he continues to pull down 20%, nor does it surprise me that he's never really seen any movement.
   1404. Adam Starblind Posted: January 13, 2018 at 06:12 PM (#5606050)
Vlad was also such a unique player. Home runs from pitches that bounced off of third base, etc. There is also no question in my mind that he had Teh Fear, like Jim Rice with much more reason to be afraid. Also felt like a HOFer when he played. A creaky back brought him to earth a bit prematurely, but he's clearly over the line when you add in soft factors.
   1405. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 13, 2018 at 06:47 PM (#5606062)

I tend to think the truth is somewhere in between, and have (in past mock-ballots) included McGriff at least once that I can remember. But the more distance we get, the harder the case is for him, even if you give him a decent non-steroid-guy bonus.
The problem with McGriff is not that he's obviously unqualified, but just that he's not unique enough. There are too many 1Bmen who could be admitted if he's a HOFer. (Of course, that same argument applied to Tony Perez, and in their infinite wisdom the Hall put him in.)
   1406. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: January 13, 2018 at 06:55 PM (#5606064)
I'm amazed by the tight range of McGriff's best RBI years: 101, 102, 103, 104, 104, 106, 106, 107.
He also was on a 105 pace in 1995 (when he had played in all 144 games).
Then, of course, the one season where he was taking it to the next level was the strike season (135 pace).
   1407. QLE Posted: January 13, 2018 at 07:13 PM (#5606072)
There are too many 1Bmen who could be admitted if he's a HOFer. (Of course, that same argument applied to Tony Perez, and in their infinite wisdom the Hall put him in.)


These two lines nail it on the head- we tend to regard Perez's induction as a mistake, but there's really no way to justify that stance and at the same time support McGriff for the HOF, as in many regards the two are nearly identical in advanced statistics.

It isn't just Perez, either- John Olerud has a better case, Jason Giambi has a better one if you like high peaks, Will Clark has a case that at worse is equal and might be better if you like that he had no decline period, and Cepeda, Hodges, and Cash have cases that aren't far off from McGriff. Unless you want to blast the door wide open to first basemen, it makes more sense to keep them all out.

(Mind you, I also feel this way about David Ortiz, and that's a battle I seem to be losing....)
   1408. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 13, 2018 at 07:37 PM (#5606085)
It isn't just Perez, either- John Olerud has a better case, Jason Giambi has a better one if you like high peaks, Will Clark has a case that at worse is equal and might be better if you like that he had no decline period, and Cepeda, Hodges, and Cash have cases that aren't far off from McGriff. Unless you want to blast the door wide open to first basemen, it makes more sense to keep them all out.
Well, they already put Cepeda in, which I viewed as a mistake for the same reason. But you could add Jack Clark to your list (not a pure 1bman, but half of his career was 1b/dh). And Mark Teixeira.

As for Ortiz, he was a few WAR better, but his case relies on postseason contributions. (McGriff was a good postseason performer too, though.)
   1409. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 13, 2018 at 07:55 PM (#5606103)
Bonds & Clemens pick up their third new vote from returning voters, from Mike Bass. They are doing much better with first-time voters, but there are only ~ 10-20 virgin voters per year.
   1410. Walt Davis Posted: January 13, 2018 at 08:17 PM (#5606110)
We must close to the end of the process. I haven't chimed in much this year because there hasn't been much to talk about this year once we got past the panic of Omar's 7 for 7 start. Sort of a Rennie Stennett thing.

The only drama this year is Edgar. Looks like he's finally fallen a bit off the pace to squeak through but he's still got a chance (to my amazement) and my guesstimate is somewhere in the 70-75 range and almost certainly 68. That would make him a near-lock for next year and certainly an immediate VC selection if necessary.

Other than that, the only interesting development I see is that the backlog has clearly separated into two gropus: Edgar, Moose, Schilling and Walker are making substantial progress, everybody else is stuck. Of course I'm happy to see Walker's big gains -- barring a mix of a last ballot miracle and an Aparicio miracle, he won't make it but he should now finish with a high enough vote total to be a very attractive VC candidate in the day.

Vlad -- although I don't think he quite deserves it, I'm happy to see him go in. A very fun, enjoyable, likable player.

I see we're talking McGriff. I think the best case you can make for him is (a) excellent peak and (b) he got caught in the transition to sillyball. I've noticed in the past that players who get split between distinct eras (usually pitchers due to changes in usage) often get stuck on the border. Maybe it's that they end up getting compared to the more impressive numbers of their two eras or maybe it's just difficult for veteran players to make whatever adjustments might be necessary.

Anyway, from 87-94, he was cruising along with a 153 OPS+ and more than halfway to 500 HR. Of course as I see has been pointed out (probably several times), there are a lot of 1B/sluggers who put up excellent 8 year runs. And it was still "just" 36 WAR, he needed to add 12-15 just in the next two years to put himself seriously in the conversation, instead he added just 16 more for his career.

Still, compare his career line to Stargell and Billy Williams:

FM 284/377/509, 134 OPS+, 493 HR, 1550 RBI
WS 282/360/529, 147 OPS+, 475 HR, 1540 RBI
BW 290/361/492, 133 OPS+, 426 HR, 1475 RBI

Stargell had an MVP, probably undeserved, and Williams had two seconds, probably deserved but he certainly wasn't first. Stargell wins the OPS+ battle but of course nobody looked at that in those days. Stargell and Williams also easily win the WAR battle by 6 and 11 respectively. Arguably McGriff's 2nd half would have looked even worse in pre-sillyball but also arguably he just kept on being McGriff while everybody else cranked it up. Anyway, had his career run 1976-1994 rather than 1986-2004, he might have had pretty much the same results and be in the HoF. Or he'd be Cash or Cepeda.

Anyway, judged against the standards of the era associated with the first half of his career, McGriff has a reasonable case; judged against the standards of the era associated with the second half of his career, he doesn't unless you really want to make a point about steroids. This is not a decision you can expect the BBWAA to make sensibly although, in this particular case, I think they have.

The main issue with Perez is that he was the ideal type for "the compiler" except that all he really compiled was RBI. In his very best years he was only as good as average peak McGriff. Perez was what Garvey would have been with a steadier decline -- lots of ABs, lots of hits, lots of RBI -- or he's what Dawson was but playing at 1B without distinction. Oh well, I really liked him as a kid growing up so I'm happy for him.
   1411. Booey Posted: January 13, 2018 at 10:32 PM (#5606148)
From 88-92 he was pretty good, and after that, mediocre. A 5 year prime, averaging 5.3.


McGriff's peak/prime was actually 7 years (1988-1994). During that time he put up a 155 OPS+ in 4353 PA's.

Crime Dog is one of the few players who had both HOF career totals AND "felt" like a HOFer at his peak - 6 straight years in the top 10 in MVP voting, 7 straight in the top 4 in homers and the top 5 in OPS - yet didn't end up with clear HOF career value. I understand why, of course; mostly cuz the 2nd half of his career he was basically a league average 1B (which at the time was still about 25 homers and 100 rbi per season, which helped add to the impressive career totals). Still, 9 full seasons with an OPS+ over 140 isn't too shabby. "Feared" HOF slugger Jim Rice had only 4.

I think McGriff was hurt by the strike more than anyone else. Not only did it cost him 500 homers (he also would have surpassed 2500 hits and 1600 rbi), but it cost him the signature season he seemed to be lacking. Career highs of 37 homers and 107 ribbies don't feel too impressive in the sillyball era, but in 1994 he was on pace for 48 homers and 135 rbi (with a .318/.389/.623 line). And according to OPS+, he had 3 other seasons as good or better than his 1994 (and another just below). That's another problem with how he's viewed; the bulk of his peak came in the mini deadball era of 1988-1992, and I don't think some voters realize how much lower offense was during those years (someone mentioned his lowish RBI totals, but his 104 in 1992 was a lot considering that Daulton led the league with 109). If McGriff played his whole career in the sillyball era and had 4 or 5 seasons like his 1994 pace (.318-48-135 in the TC categories) - and again, he did, according to OPS+ - would people view him as a HOFer then? I'd guess yes.

I'm amazed by the tight range of McGriff's best RBI years: 101, 102, 103, 104, 104, 106, 106, 107.


Chipper is similar: 9 seasons of 100+ rbi, but none higher than 111 - 100, 102, 102, 106, 107, 110, 110, 111, 111.
   1412. The Duke Posted: January 13, 2018 at 11:07 PM (#5606156)
Bonds/Clemens have picked up 2 votes with 43% of the vote in. Morgan was never going to get people to retract a previous bonds/Clemens vote, but it looks like he has stopped the inevitably of their rise to 75%. Plus a few voters returning this year left them off which offsets the newbies. Still several more years left for people to change their minds
   1413. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: January 14, 2018 at 01:40 AM (#5606181)
I have a question on 1993 Schilling. His ERA regressed quite a bit from 1992. I checked out his game log, and he had a
brutal stretch of five straight losses between June 21 and July 11 where he gave up 27 ER in 20.2 IP with 54 baserunners.
He had a 16-2 record with a 3.27 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in his other 1993 starts.
Did he have an injury or did he just go through a dead-arm period? After all, he didn't become a starter until mid-May 1992.
   1414. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: January 14, 2018 at 05:18 PM (#5606350)
The problem with McGriff is not that he's obviously unqualified, but just that he's not unique enough. ... (Of course, that same argument applied to Tony Perez, and in their infinite wisdom the Hall put him in.)

McGriff's biggest problem wrt Hall voting is that he didn't have the good sense to be Joe Morgan's teammate during the Big Red Machine era.
   1415. Walt Davis Posted: January 15, 2018 at 01:25 AM (#5606507)
Bonds/Clemens have picked up 2 votes with 43% of the vote in. Morgan was never going to get people to retract a previous bonds/Clemens vote, but it looks like he has stopped the inevitably of their rise to 75%.

I don't see any reason to think such a rise was "inevitable." They made a solid jump in 2016 due to the purge. They made a second solid jump in 2017 but so did a lot of players as the crowding eased off a bit -- they were picking up votes from guys who decided to give a boost to 10 other players knowing that B/C weren't going to fall off but also weren't going to go across. With less crowded ballots, those voters could now add them.

It seems odd to apply any sort of standard "backlog progress" model to these two. The standard backlog is about voters having to be convinced that a guy's numbers do deserve it or simply running out of better players to vote for. But nobody ever thought their numbers didn't deserve and never thought there were better players on the ballot. It is simply a question of whether you are going to punish them for (highly likely) steroid usage and no new info that I'm aware of has come to light since Clemens' acquittal.

Maybe Morgan's letter stopped momentun -- surely that was his intent -- but that's mostly supposition and supposition I don't particularly agree with. Or perhaps phrased more precisely, I don't think Morgan actually had anything to worry about but maybe the letter would have done the trick if he had.

But sure, one never knows. Every extra vote they got last year makes it a bit easier for a voter who was waffling to tip in their direction. I just can't imagine there are that many people waffling at this point.
   1416. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:53 PM (#5607064)
Ok, let's get these fellas elected. Chipper, Jimbo, Vlady and the 1-inning dude. I just can't get past the innings totals
of Hoffman from 2001-2009 (excluding 2003, when he was hurt). He averaged FIFTY-SIX innings !!!!!! And 40 saves !!!!
You can't go to your manager and volunteer to pitch SEVENTY-FIVE innings???? I just can't behind the saves statistic. It drives me nuts.
   1417. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 16, 2018 at 01:26 AM (#5607075)
Why is the announcement so much later this year than it has been in the past?!
   1418. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: January 16, 2018 at 01:37 AM (#5607076)
(1416) Typo correction....."I just can't GET behind the saves statistic".

(1417) All I can think of is that the HOF announcement will occur in a week where there are no upcoming
NFL games to compete with. But that seems like a real stretch.
   1419. reech Posted: January 16, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5607144)
Or, Joe Morgan has to sift thru all the ballots to make sure Bonds/Clemens are not getting in.
   1420. Baldrick Posted: January 16, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5607267)
Jeff Blair's ballot is...confusing.

Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Manny, and...Walker.

He really likes batting average, I guess. But really hates the DH?
   1421. ajnrules Posted: January 16, 2018 at 12:20 PM (#5607281)
But really hates the DH?

Also hates starting pitchers without 300 wins.
   1422. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 16, 2018 at 01:41 PM (#5607371)
Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Manny, and...Walker.


Canadian reporter throwing a vote to the Canadian player isn't too surprising.
   1423. Russ Posted: January 16, 2018 at 03:06 PM (#5607488)
I feel like Edgar is going to be about 20 votes short, which is a real bummer.
   1424. ajnrules Posted: January 16, 2018 at 03:42 PM (#5607532)
I feel like Edgar is going to be about 20 votes short, which is a real bummer.

I think it's very unlikely that he's getting in this year as well, but he should get close enough that he shouldn't have any problems with getting in next year.
   1425. shoewizard Posted: January 16, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5607538)
I realize it's not a unique ballot, and the issue has been beaten to death but I still just can't understand how someone, (in this case Jack Magruder) can vote for Hoffman and leave both Schilling and Mussina off his ballot. (And he did so with one open spot too)

There is a great deal of irony in that a made up junk stat like the Save has so much influence on how the game is actually played and strategies deployed, not to mention contracts, and eventual things like HOF voting. Other than the Save and the Win what other 'performance" stats actually directly influence how the game is played on the field ?

Less now than before, but teams will still let a struggling pitcher with a lead try to finish the 5th to be "in line" for the win, because win totals still directly influence what a guy can get in arbitration and free agency, and pitchers get really upset if they don't get a chance to get "their win".

And of course relievers are deployed AROUND the save stat instead of the leverage of the situation.

Underlying stats like platoon splits influence the strategies, but those aren't "performance" stats in the way that Wins and Saves are.

The closest thing I can think of on offense might be the stolen base, because it's a choice, and plenty of stolen bases are stolen in junk or low leverage situations. But the impact isn't nearly the same.

   1426. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: January 16, 2018 at 04:03 PM (#5607555)
As a Brewer fan, I had the pleasure of watching Corey Knebel last season. The first time he ever pitched three days in a row was
August 30-September 1 of last year. So why ever waste him with a three-run lead in the ninth against the bottom of the order?
Wouldn't it make sense for him to always face the meat of the order, and if this happens to be in the EIGHTH inning, so be it?
   1427. cookiedabookie Posted: January 16, 2018 at 04:15 PM (#5607564)
Ran a quick bWAR/200 IP for pitchers, the only two pitchers with at least 50 WAR and 2000 IP, and a 5.0 WAR/200 or higher are Roger Clemens and Johan Santana. Not saying that means he deserves induction, but he should survive the first ballot. For comparison, Sandy Koufax is at 4.22 bWAR/200. Clayton Kershaw leads among pitchers with at least 50 bWAR, at 6.1 WAR/200, although he's just short of the 2000 IP. The top 11 for pitchers with at least 50+ bWAR and 2000 IP:

Rnk Name WAR/200
1 Pedro Martinez HOF 5.94
2 Roger Clemens 5.71
3 Walter Johnson HOF 5.60
4 Lefty Grove HOF 5.26
5 Johan Santana 5.07
6 Zack Greinke 4.94
7 Randy Johnson HOF 4.94
8 Curt Schilling 4.90
9 Roy Halladay 4.71
10 Wes Ferrell 4.70
11 Mike Mussina 4.66

Among those with 50+ bWAR and 3000 IP, here's the top ten:

Rnk Name WAR/200
1 Roger Clemens 5.71
2 Walter Johnson HOF 5.60
3 Lefty Grove HOF 5.26
4 Randy Johnson HOF 4.94
5 Curt Schilling 4.90
6 Mike Mussina 4.66
7 Bob Gibson HOF 4.63
8 Pete Alexander HOF 4.62
9 Tom Seaver HOF 4.62
10 Kid Nichols HOF 4.60

Why again are Schilling and Mussina still on the outside looking in?
   1428. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: January 16, 2018 at 04:55 PM (#5607593)
Is 2001/2002 Johnson/Schilling the best 2-year one-two punch in baseball history?
(especially when both have over 8 WAR)

Johnson....10.0 / 10.9
Schilling..8.8 / 8.7
   1429. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 16, 2018 at 08:21 PM (#5607724)
Hoffman picked up another vote from a returning voter, and is now +11 through 191 ballots on The Tracker. Only needs 5, based on last year's results, but it wouldn't take that many dropping him for him to fall short, although it's more likely he's in. Edgar at 80.6% and +21. I think he falls about 10-15 votes short, but if he does better on the non-public ballots this year he has a chance. Must be tough to be on the cusp.
   1430. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: January 16, 2018 at 10:51 PM (#5607780)
After Mariano, it will be at least a dozen or so years before the next closer is elected. But the next three candidates are all halfway there and
entering their age-30 season. Who can stay healthy and pitch at least eight more seasons?

Kimbrel.....(29 years 10 months on opening day).....291 saves.....470.1 IP.....1.80 ERA (222+).....WHIP=0.910
Chapman.....(30 years 1 month on opening day).....204 saves.....427.1 IP.....2.21 ERA (183+).....WHIP=1.009
Jansen......(30 years 6 months on opening day).....230 saves.....477.0 IP.....2.08 ERA (183+).....WHIP=0.872

Wagner..............................................422 saves.....903.0 IP.....2.31 ERA (187+).....WHIP=0.998

It's pretty obvious that the only thing keeping Billy Wagner out of the HOF is two more years of good pitching.
He made the choice to retire, as did Mike Mussina, and that's fine.
Eight more seasons of 37 saves gets these fellas to 587, 526, and 500. Kimbrel is looking mighty fine.
Jansen has a sensational WHIP. Chapman has never notched 40 saves yet, he might need to pick it up a bit.
   1431. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: January 17, 2018 at 06:53 AM (#5607827)
I don't understand why Omar Vizquel is crushing Andruw Jones in the balloting. It's true that Vizquel topped Andruw in d-WAR 28.4-24.1,
but it took him 772 additional games. But even if their defense is considered equal, Andruw was a much better hitter (39.3-32.2 o-WAR).
It must be the longevity. Also, it must be easier to remember stellar SS defense than stellar CF defense. Andruw covered a ton of
ground, but he made it look so effortless that the writers aren't giving him his due.
   1432. bachslunch Posted: January 17, 2018 at 07:57 AM (#5607832)
@1432: Andruw doesn't excel in the traditional counting statistics (his BA in particular is not impressive) and a lot of his value comes from his glove, both making him Vizquel-like. But unlike Vizquel, Andruw didn't steal a lot of bases and has a shorter career (plus he fell off a cliff his last 5 years or so, which makes his career look worse than it was, a problem that likely affected someone like Tim Raines). Plus there's at least a weak precedent for electing SSs like Vizquel (Maranville, Aparicio), while it's tougher to find HoF CFs like Andruw (maybe Duke Snider comes closest, though he was a better player in traditional stats and advanced metrics).
   1433. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 17, 2018 at 09:46 AM (#5607875)
But even if their defense is considered equal, Andruw was a much better hitter (39.3-32.2 o-WAR).
It must be the longevity. Also, it must be easier to remember stellar SS defense than stellar CF defense. Andruw covered a ton of
ground, but he made it look so effortless that the writers aren't giving him his due.


Rightly or wrongly, Jones is perceived as not having realized his potential or getting the most out of his talent. Vizquel's offensive flaws are obvious and his defense may be overrated. But since he played decently well into his 40s, there are no doubts that he didn't maximize his talent. I think this counts for a lot of voters.
   1434. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: January 17, 2018 at 10:09 AM (#5607899)
(1432,1433) Good points. Dale Murphy also had a drop in production in his early thirties, but his was due to injury. I know he scored points
with the voters because of the two MVPs and his Thome-esque likeability, but I think Andruw deserves to hang around in the teens for the full
run a la Murph. I'm rooting for him to squeak through this year and then pick up a few votes in 2019.
   1435. Booey Posted: January 17, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5607931)
After Mariano, it will be at least a dozen or so years before the next closer is elected.


I assume you mean via the writers, but I suspect Lee Smith will get in through the VC before that.
   1436. SoSH U at work Posted: January 17, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5607948)
Hoffman picked up another vote from a returning voter, and is now +11 through 191 ballots on The Tracker. Only needs 5, based on last year's results, but it wouldn't take that many dropping him for him to fall short, although it's more likely he's in.


I don't think there's any doubt. It's just like Biggio when he was in a similar position in Year 3. Guys in that position don't net negative on the remaining outstanding voters.

   1437. soc40 Posted: January 17, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5607951)
I, second, the Lee Smith VC election also.
   1438. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: January 17, 2018 at 11:05 AM (#5607969)
Yeah, the Big Fella probably has a chance. I like him more than Hoffman because of his more ambitious workload.
The only thing that might hold him back is that his WHIP is a little high for a closer. I know Gossage has a
similar WHIP to Lee, but that was hurt by his White Sox years and his later years. During his 1977-1985 peak he
had a 2.10 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 833 innings.
   1439. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: January 17, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5608016)

Somewhat off-topic but has anyone gone down for Induction Weekend before? Is is worth going? Any tips? I'm strongly considering attending now that my alltime favourite player (Trammell) is going in, but I want to know if it's worth the expense/hassle.
   1440. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 17, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5608036)
I don't understand why Omar Vizquel is crushing Andruw Jones in the balloting.

Jones' collapse was so early & so complete that it became a huge part of his narrative. His HoF case stops at age 29, and depends heavily on his being seen as the All-Time Best Centerfielder, yet he hardly played any CF after his age-31 season. If the field were less crowded, maybe a few more voters sort it out a little differently and he stays on the ballot for awhile, but with many voters finding more than 10 worthy candidates, there are a lot of reasons to give Jones short shrift. IIRC, when Jones was about halfway into his tailspin, someone here asked if Andruw would be the first player to play himself out of the Hall of Fame. I think the answer is Yes.
   1441. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 17, 2018 at 12:23 PM (#5608075)
I'm pro Jones. I think I'm pretty analytics friendly, and would actually describe myself, if forced to pick, as a guy who values Career WAR the most when it comes to the Hall.

But I think with Jones, there's too much focus on the trees and not the forest.

He was an all-time elite defensive CF for a decade straight, and during that time was a solid hitter overall, though he was more power than average and OBP. Whether he was the greatest ever, or if the numbers were inflated by whatever amount by stealing popups, doesn't really change the fact that he was an all-time great at a premium defensive position for a long time. And during that time, he was +127 rBat, so this is hardly an Omar situation. I think, broadly speaking, this is the type of career and player the Hall should recognize. An all-time great glove man who helped a decent amount with his bat and on the bases.

   1442. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: January 17, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5608108)
I have a little extra love for Larry Walker, Billy Wagner, and Andruw Jones because of fantasy baseball. When you get them as a rookie
for a cheap price in the auction, you kind of feel like a real scout who is smarter than the others. I actually had Andruw in my minor
leagues and he was a comet in 1996, starting in high-A and finishing with a 2-HR game in the World Series. Proud-Papa syndrome.
   1443. PepTech Posted: January 17, 2018 at 01:06 PM (#5608123)
The first blank ballot was posted today; from a newspaper in St. Paul. I'm not rising to the clickbait to learn the guy's reasons; whatever they are, I'd disagree.
   1444. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 17, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5608138)

The first blank ballot was posted today; from a newspaper in St. Paul. I'm not rising to the clickbait to learn the guy's reasons; whatever they are, I'd disagree.
Nothing on his twitter feed -- well, a podcast, but I don't listen to those -- and there's nothing obvious in the guy's voting history to explain it.
   1445. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: January 17, 2018 at 01:26 PM (#5608141)
Nothing on his twitter feed -- well, a podcast, but I don't listen to those -- and there's nothing obvious in the guy's voting history to explain it.

After checking LaVelle Neal's Twitter feed and seeing no reference to a recent podcast, I'm shocked that he's not the blank ballot voter from St. Paul. Is there actually an MSP voter denser and more inconsistent than him?
   1446. PepTech Posted: January 17, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5608149)
It says Mike Berardino of the Pioneer-Press.
   1447. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 17, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5608150)
Mike Berardino was on a podcast today, the Tracker showing: Guerrero, C. Jones, Martinez, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. Edit: He is talking about using the Tracker as an aid in strategic voting.
   1448. Rally Posted: January 17, 2018 at 01:39 PM (#5608158)
Dale Murphy also had a drop in production in his early thirties, but his was due to injury.


Jones had an injury too. He had knee surgery during his terrible year with the Dodgers.
   1449. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 17, 2018 at 01:39 PM (#5608159)
   1450. Baldrick Posted: January 17, 2018 at 01:47 PM (#5608167)
I don't understand why Omar Vizquel is crushing Andruw Jones in the balloting. It's true that Vizquel topped Andruw in d-WAR 28.4-24.1,
but it took him 772 additional games. But even if their defense is considered equal, Andruw was a much better hitter (39.3-32.2 o-WAR).

Do you really have a hard time understanding?

I can sure tell you that the 28.4 vs. 24.1 comparison of dWAR is not an important part of the answer.
   1451. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 17, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5608179)

Mike Berardino was on a podcast today, the Tracker showing: Guerrero, C. Jones, Martinez, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. Edit: He is talking about using the Tracker as an aid in strategic voting.
Yes. So the problem was with the Tracker not being properly updated, not with Berardino turning in a blank ballot.
   1452. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 17, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5608192)
I don't understand why Omar Vizquel is crushing Andruw Jones in the balloting.


Voters, on the whole, value longevity more than peak
   1453. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 17, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5608220)
Tracker now showing Berardino voting for 10: Hoffman, both Jones, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, Wagner & Walker.
   1454. PepTech Posted: January 17, 2018 at 02:33 PM (#5608227)
Yep, the tracker has changed. There's now no blank ballots and Berardino's votes are on record. Weird.
   1455. TomH Posted: January 17, 2018 at 03:00 PM (#5608261)
Puckett 7831 PA, 124 OPS+, 234 Rbat, 13 Rbaserunning, -14 Rfield
AJones 8664 PA, 111 OPS+, 119 Rbat, 9 Rbaserunning, 236 Rfield

Problem is, Puckett was THOUGHT to be a great defender (see gold glove awards), probably thought to be more superior a bat than 10 runs per year, did much better in MVP voting, and had some great post-season moments.

Putting Puckett in the Hall has the result of lots of guys being favorably comparable but not getting in.
   1456. Booey Posted: January 17, 2018 at 03:26 PM (#5608287)
Putting Puckett in the Hall has the result of lots of guys being favorably comparable but not getting in.


Value wise, yes, but there aren't a lot of (post WW2) players with a .318 avg, or ones that had such a sudden, tragic end to their career while still an All Star caliber player. Puck was fairly unique. The combination of circumstances that led to his election don't really apply to pretty much anyone else.
   1457. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 17, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5608312)
I'll echo 1456:
t
We simply have to throw out comps wrt Puckett. It's pretty clear voters were giving him "what if" credit
   1458. SoSH U at work Posted: January 17, 2018 at 04:08 PM (#5608325)
We simply have to throw out comps wrt Puckett. It's pretty clear voters were giving him "what if" credit


It's much more than that. He was a 10-time all-star, six times a starter. He was perceived as the best player on two World Series champions. He was arguably the biggest star in the game when he hit free agency, and he opted against a big offer from Boston to stay in the Twin Cities.

Kirby Puckett would have had a much more difficult time getting into the Cooperstown that some people want the Hall of Fame to be*. But Kirby Puckett was a very easy choice for the Hall of Fame that actually exists (that's the same one that's going to welcome in Vlad Guerrero long before it invites Larry Walker).

*Or, obviously, if the revelations had come in his first five years after retirement.
   1459. Booey Posted: January 17, 2018 at 04:25 PM (#5608335)
It's much more than that. He was a 10-time all-star


In only 12 years, too. 6 gold gloves, 6 silver sluggers, 7 top 10 MVP finishes (including a 2nd and two 3rds), had over 200 hits 5 times (including 4 straight), one team superstar, phony nice guy credit, etc, etc. And of course the BA, which ties Vlad* for the 4th highest of anyone who debuted post WW2, trailing only no power guys Gwynn, Boggs, and Carew.

* I think the BA and narrative is also the main reason Vlad is going to make it so much easier than Bagwell, Walker, etc (Walker had the avg too, but it was "fake").

Guys like Vlad and Puckett are major stars in ways that go well beyond WAR. Their elections won't (and shouldn't) open the door to everyone with similar career value.
   1460. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 17, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5608347)
It's much more than that. He was a 10-time all-star, six times a starter. He was perceived as the best player on two World Series champions. He was arguably the biggest star in the game when he hit free agency, and he opted against a big offer from Boston to stay in the Twin Cities.

Kirby Puckett would have had a much more difficult time getting into the Cooperstown that some people want the Hall of Fame to be*. But Kirby Puckett was a very easy choice for the Hall of Fame that actually exists (that's the same one that's going to welcome in Vlad Guerrero long before it invites Larry Walker).

*Or, obviously, if the revelations had come in his first five years after retirement.


I mean, I'm not doubting that, at the time of his retirement, he had all those old school checkmarks voters love. But it helps when you don't have the memories of your peak tarnished by a lousy decline phase. (Not that it would have happened to Puckett).
   1461. Booey Posted: January 17, 2018 at 04:41 PM (#5608352)
I mean, I'm not doubting that, at the time of his retirement, he had all those old school checkmarks voters love. But it helps when you don't have the memories of your peak tarnished by a lousy decline phase. (Not that it would have happened to Puckett).


A typical decline phase leaves our hypothetical Puckett with over 3000 hits. Sub "what if" credit with "3000 hits credit", and he might've gotten an even higher percentage of the vote.
   1462. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 17, 2018 at 04:42 PM (#5608353)
Guys like Vlad and Puckett are major stars in ways that go well beyond WAR.


So were Dale Murphy and Darryl Strawberry.

   1463. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 17, 2018 at 04:48 PM (#5608359)
A typical decline phase leaves our hypothetical Puckett with over 3000 hits. Sub "what if" credit with "3000 hits credit", and he might've gotten an even higher percentage of the vote.


Yes, and a typical decline phase from 29 would leave Andruw Jones as an obvious HOF, not a guy in danger of not getting 5%. The point remains that going out on top and letting people give him the benefit of the doubt helped Puckett. Maybe he's a HOFer anyway, but we can't just ignore those circumstances helping him
   1464. Booey Posted: January 17, 2018 at 05:13 PM (#5608376)
Yes, and a typical decline phase from 29 would leave Andruw Jones as an obvious HOF, not a guy in danger of not getting 5%. The point remains that going out on top and letting people give him the benefit of the doubt helped Puckett. Maybe he's a HOFer anyway, but we can't just ignore those circumstances helping him


Sure, but I think it's just one of several factors. He was getting in at that point regardless of how the rest of his career played out.

I disagree with whoever said that Jones played his way out of the HOF. He was on a HOF pace, of course, but so are lots of guys. I don't think there was ever a point where he could've retired and been elected. If sudden injuries forced him to retire after his last season with the Braves (2007; also his last year with over 2 WAR), he'd have been at 1683 hits, 368 HR, and 1117 rbi in 12 years (same career length as Puckett), with a .263/.342/.497 line (113 OPS+). I think those percentages are just too low to get many votes for a short career player. Other than 2005, he was never the super-duper star that Puckett was considered (5 AS selections, just 2 top 10 MVP finishes for Jones). IMO he always felt like the type of player that would need a long career to get much HOF consideration.

A .318 avg is special. 368 homers isn't.
   1465. soc40 Posted: January 17, 2018 at 05:44 PM (#5608397)
I do think Andruw played himself out of the Hall. If he would have pulled a Dave Chappelle and disappeared off the face of the earth pre-disaster years, he could have received the Koufax treatment. He didn't and we're all left with a sour taste in our mouths.
   1466. Booey Posted: January 17, 2018 at 06:36 PM (#5608418)
I do think Andruw played himself out of the Hall. If he would have pulled a Dave Chappelle and disappeared off the face of the earth pre-disaster years, he could have received the Koufax treatment. He didn't and we're all left with a sour taste in our mouths.


But Koufax was considered THE BEST for a 5 year stretch, not just a regular all star caliber player. Hit by a bus versions of Clayton Kershaw or Mike Trout are much better Koufax comps. A suddenly retiring Andruw Jones is, I don't know, maybe a less hated version of Albert Belle?
   1467. Greg Pope Posted: January 17, 2018 at 06:45 PM (#5608420)
The point remains that going out on top and letting people give him the benefit of the doubt helped Puckett. Maybe he's a HOFer anyway, but we can't just ignore those circumstances helping him

Don't forget that Puckett retired due to an actual health problem. And at the time, many people thought that it was due to him getting hit in the head. Retiring due to an injury that occurs on the field gets you a lot of "what if" credit with a lot of people. Jones simply retiring would not get that.
   1468. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 17, 2018 at 06:46 PM (#5608421)
I tend to think the comparison to focus on among excellent defensive players who are debuting on the ballot this year and won't get elected isn't Vizquel vs. Jones; it's Vizquel vs. Rolen. Andruw is entirely dependent on his defensive numbers to make the Hall (not just his excellent defensive reputation, but the numbers that outstrip that reputation), whereas Rolen has over 50 oWAR and a defensive reputation (8 Gold Gloves) that more or less matches the metrics.
   1469. cardsfanboy Posted: January 17, 2018 at 07:22 PM (#5608432)

I disagree with whoever said that Jones played his way out of the HOF. He was on a HOF pace, of course, but so are lots of guys.


That is the way I look at it, considering that the voters do like longevity and counting stats, Andruw needed more of a career with his peak to get in, and he just didn't do that.

And this Puckett conversation just ignores what Bill James knew years ago, there are things that the voters look at, and Puckett did it, Jones didn't....look at black ink (Puckett 22, avg hofer 27, Jones 10) Gray ink (puckett 122, avg hofer 144, Jones 47) Hof monitor Pucket 160, likely hofer 100, Jones 109. hof standards, Puckett 39, Jones 34, avg hofer 50... by what the voters traditionally vote upon, Puckett going in is not a surprise and Jones struggling is equally not a surprise. Even with an improved electorate, it's going to be hard to see that helping Jones at all.
   1470. cardsfanboy Posted: January 17, 2018 at 07:29 PM (#5608436)
I tend to think the comparison to focus on among excellent defensive players who are debuting on the ballot this year and won't get elected isn't Vizquel vs. Jones; it's Vizquel vs. Rolen. Andruw is entirely dependent on his defensive numbers to make the Hall (not just his excellent defensive reputation, but the numbers that outstrip that reputation), whereas Rolen has over 50 oWAR and a defensive reputation (8 Gold Gloves) that more or less matches the metrics.


Isn't the actual argument who is more deserving among excellent defenders on the ballot, and if that is the case, that would be Rolen vs Jones. Vizquel is an entirely different debate, in which the voters might be over rating him and there is no logical way to combat that type of argument (although the vote totals look like that isn't the case) Vizquel really doesn't belong in a discussion of hof worthy players, while Jones and Rolen both deserve a legit discussion(no matter what side you have them on the line) (to me, talking about Vizquel for the hof is like talking about Ray Lankford or Willie McGee or even Jim Rice for the hof, guys who clearly don't belong in, but who's fanbase might appreciate them)
   1471. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2018 at 07:43 PM (#5608443)
Wandering by .... cokes to everybody who has already said this stuff ...

what other 'performance" stats actually directly influence how the game is played on the field ?

Not anymore but back in the day, the RBI did a bit, in the area of mid-game sac bunts by position players. Never that common and maybe I'm just scarred by Don Baylor, but a fairly common situation when the leadoff man reached was for the #2 hitter to sac him to second to put him in "scoring position" for the big run-producer Sosa. Now run expectancy effects of sac bunts aside, Sosa was a run producer primarily because of HRs and doubles -- one of which always scores a guy from first and the other of which often does, especially on gappers or deep fly balls that bang off the wall. Second base is "scoring position" for a single of which Sosa had relatively few.

so it's a mix of being misled by a stat and the nomenclature. Linguistically, it makes sense to put guys into scoring position for the guy who drives in a lot of runs.

As I said, early/mid-game sac bunts by position players (in the non-DH league) were never all that common anyway ... and for certain hitters or certain eras, may have even made sense ... or at least made no less sense than a run expectancy table would lead you to believe. And of course it's not like Sammy had no singles (e.g. 83 singles and 103 XBH in 2001) but any sensible understanding of how he produced runs would make it clear that you wanted to do everything possible to get him up there with two men on rather than giving up an out for a base that probably did you almost no good.

Not that I'm bitter or anything.

Ran a quick bWAR/200 IP for pitchers

As with any rate stat, it goes down with the decline phase. Santana had just 2025 IP. Over his first 8 seasons (2176 IP), Seaver had a bWAR/200 rate of 5.35. From 22-30, Maddux had over 2000 IP and a rate of 5.32. Maddux's peak 2000-ish innings were at a rate of 5.97. I'm not sure it's his absolute peak but Randy Johnson hits 6.56.

Of course being comped to those guys is complimentary ... but Kevin Brown's peak was 5.03. It's not consecutive but from 22-27 Stieb averaged 5.08 over 1525 then added another 10 WAR over 415 innings later. From 22-29, Appier had 1644 IP at a rate of 5.65 ... add two later good seasons to get him over 2000 IP and he's still a bit ahead of Santana. If you take Sudden Sam's best 7 years, you get over 1700 IP at about 4.9 ... not as good as Santana but not that far off. Saberhagen from ages 21-30 had 1917 IP at a rate of 5.10 and that's even counting his even years! :-)

That somebody like Saberhagen hung on to pitch another 500 innings, including seasons of 2.9 and 3.7 WAR are to his credit not his detriment. Of course that's not necessarily an argument for anything other than maybe Saberhagen belongs in the HoF too. With his peak and 2 CYAs, I think we should be more annoyed that he's not making VC ballots (or is my memory off). (Note, I probably wouldn't put him in but if we're going to have VC ballots ...)

I disagree with whoever said that Jones played his way out of the HOF.

I have to agree with the disagreement, at least if we take that literally. Andruw was on an HoF track but he wasn't good enough to get in on a super-short career. Almost nobody is. And that HoF track he was on was more of a compiler track -- given his early start, 500 HRs and 1500 RBI seemed nearly in the bag and 3,000 hits was unlikely but not impossible.

Young Beltre is an interesting comp for young Andruw ... ages 19-30:

AJ 263/342/497, 368 HR, 1117 RBI, 113 OPS+, 61 WAR, 9 GG, 5 AS, 1 2nd-place MVP (Surprised not more AS)
AB 270/325/453, 250 HR, 905 RBI, 105 OPS+, 45 WAR, 2 GG, 0 AS, 1 2nd-place MVP

No way you'd bet on Beltre being the one to make it to 3000 hits, 1500 RBI and maybe 500 HR. He still trails Andruw in AS games (and GG of course).
   1472. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 17, 2018 at 07:47 PM (#5608446)
I do think Andruw played himself out of the Hall. If he would have pulled a Dave Chappelle and disappeared off the face of the earth pre-disaster years, he could have received the Koufax treatment.


My recollection when we'd have the occasional debate over which active players were going to make the Hall of Fame during Andruw's prime, his name would come up, but always under two premises - (i) once you start winning Gold Gloves, you keep on winning them, and (ii) Jones debuted at such a young age that by the time he hit his mid-30's, he'd have counting stats that would make voters sit up and take notice (specifically, he was on pace to hit 500 home runs without needing to repeat his 51-homer season or become better than he was; he just needed to keep showing up and hitting 30-35 homers a year until he was 35). The idea was that by the time he retired, Andruw was likely to have 15 Gold Gloves and 550 home runs. So, very much on pace to become a Hall-of-Famer, but not there yet: not in the sense of Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw; maybe more like a Bryce Harper or Kris Bryant?

Very similar to the conversations I remember about Adrian Beltre - "hey, did you guys realize that Adrian Beltre has a real shot at 3,000 hits if he plays into his late 30's?" Difference, of course, being that Beltre DID play into his late 30's and DID get that 3,000th hit. Whereas Andruw got fat and ended up with only 434 home runs (which really does highlight how seemingly easy it should have been for him to get to 500).

EDIT: I actually typed up the paragraph on Beltre before reading Walt's post that makes the same comparison.
   1473. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2018 at 08:07 PM (#5608456)
by what the voters traditionally vote upon

Careful. James's scoring system was based on analysis that included all those lousy VC selections and such. The BBWAA voters have generally had much higher standards than the Monitor, Stanards, Black/Gray average/medians would suggest. Which of course doesn't help Andruw in his comparison to Puckett just that I'm not sure Puckett really met "the voters'" standards by those metrics either.

In CF, black/gray ink, for the BBWAA selections:

Obvious: Mays (57/337), Cobb (154/417), Speaker (38/346), Mantle (62/272), Griffey (26/162), DiMaggio (34/226)

Took a while: Snider (28/183), Dawson (11/164)

Some VC: Ashburn (32/156), Doby (18/124), Averill (6/145), Wilson (31/110)

Puckett 22/122

So he fits much more comfortably in the "take a while" to "reject" crowd although he is not far off Griffey.

And not that there's anything magical about WAR7 but he's 25th among CF on that metric. Jimmy Wynn is nearly 1 WAR per year ahead of him. So it's not Puckett's (short) peak.

I think 300 BA, "quick end and filling in" and the big smile had more to do with it than any other numbers he put up.

Puckett by JAWS "CF"

PA: 37th (fewer than Andruw)
R: 49th
H: 25th
HR: 43rd
RBI: 26th
SB: 157th (fewer than Andruw)
BA: 14th
OBP: 92nd (wow, on 14th BA)
SLG: 31st
OPS+: 42nd (despite missing a decline phase)

It's really, really hard to make a case that he belongs. What he did on the baseball field just wasn't that special.
   1474. cardsfanboy Posted: January 17, 2018 at 08:18 PM (#5608463)
I think it's hard to argue he belongs also. But I think it's pretty clear that based upon what the writers have traditionally voted for (and James monitor doesn't separate the different outfielders, but does include gold gloves and reward cf for being on division winning teams) that he was on a track that they would have easily voted him in with a traditional decline phase, and that the writers just gave him that decline phase in their voting.

As mentioned by others earlier, Puckett is not a good comp for anything because of his unique case (he's the Koufax/Dizzy Dean of position players) But at the same time, it's pretty clear WHY they voted for him, even if you and others don't agree with their ultimate assessment. He looked like a guy who by their methodology was a hof player, who was still playing at a hof level(130 ops+ his last season while still being a starter for the season....Andruw at 35 years old hadn't been able to keep himself in the lineup for five seasons, while Kirby was averaging the equivalent of 150 games played in the previous five seasons. (108 games played in a 113 game season, and 137 games played in a 144 game season) )

I get disagreeing with the Kirby Puckett selection, but the vote should not be a surprise to anyone.
   1475. cardsfanboy Posted: January 17, 2018 at 08:39 PM (#5608477)
As mentioned above

Puckett played 12 seasons was an all star in 10 of those (and finished third in rookie of the year in one of those other seasons, and actually received mvp votes in the other one) Andruw Jones played in 17 seasons, and made the all star team 5 times (and that is with his manager often times being the guy picking the reserves) Puckett 6 times gold glover, Jones 10 times. Puckett 6 silver sluggers, Jones 1. Puckett received votes 9 times for mvp and has 2.56(53rd all time) mvp shares, Jones received votes 5 times and has 1.10 shares(233rd all time) These are things that the writers are going to notice.

Arguing for Jones over Puckett is not really a good way to make an argument for Jones, simply because Puckett is such a unique case. Puckett is in because he looked like a hofer who retired while still being a quality player. A guy who put up a 3.7 war when he retired and who has literally no history of missing games (I think if you do the math, he played in something along the lines of 95% of his team games throughout his career) is the type of guy you project pretty optimistically going forward. And I think the writers felt confident that without his eye issues, he easily clears 3000 hits, (list of players with more hits from age 24-35----Paul Waner, Pete Rose, Lou Gehrig, Derek Jeter and Ty Cobb...all of them made it to 3000 hits except Gehrig, who had a similar career ending injury) (the next names on the list is Gehringer who didn't make it, Brock, Boggs, Gwynn, Heilman(who didn't make it) Speaker, and Aaron(then you start to get to some names who didn't make it---but of the top 25 the only non hofer is Michael Young--assuming Rose and Jeter should be in by the metrics)


Edit:the reason I listed 24-35 is that is the entirety of Puckett's career, so it made sense to compare to players who played at that level when talking about what the writers perceived to be a hof player.


   1476. homerwannabee Posted: January 18, 2018 at 07:17 AM (#5608582)
Still amazed at the difference between the public, and private ballot with Martinez and Hoffman. Publicly with 46% of the vote Martinez is up 81% to 77.9% for Hoffman. Privately Martinez still needs to turn 52 votes while Hoffman is up 6 votes above the HoF threshold.
   1477. homerwannabee Posted: January 18, 2018 at 07:22 AM (#5608584)
To be honest, I don't see Kirby Puckett is the Sandy Koufax of position players. I'd give that to Albert Belle. OPS+ of 144. In a ten year span he 374 Home Runs, 1199 RBI's, 1673 hits, and a slugging average of .565. Unfortunately because of his personality, and his bad defense he didn't get a sniff at the HoF.
   1478. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 18, 2018 at 09:12 AM (#5608603)
But for the purposes of this discussion, the Sandy Koufax of position players has to be a HOFer, and that ain't never gonna be Belle. Maybe Ralph Kiner?
   1479. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 18, 2018 at 09:49 AM (#5608625)
A .318 avg is special. 368 homers isn't.


Right, but the whole point I'm making is that a Jones tragically forced to retire due to a medical condition after his age 29 season with 368 homers will have voters mentally filling in his career. Coming off 41 and 51 HRs in his final two seasons, how many of them will think he's going to end up with just 434?

I'm not saying Pucket is comparable to Jones. I'm saying it helps Puckett that he didn't have a decline phase and got sympathy votes, and it hurts Jones that his decline happened almost overnight and was one of the more drastic we've seen, and that he was seen as just lazy.

   1480. Rally Posted: January 18, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5608629)
Kiner's 5 year peak OPS+ was 169 from 1947-51. Koufax from 1962-1966 had a 167 ERA+. Pretty close, but Koufax is clearly at a higher level despite the absolute value of the metric.

If Koufax had pitched that well for a career, he would be easily #1 all-time except for a reliever. Next best starter is Kershaw (161), next best retired starter is Pedro at 154.

If Kiner had a 169 for his whole career, that's only good for 11th among hitters. All the ones ahead of him had reasonably long careers except for Trout and Shoeless Joe Jackson. Even Jackson, not a regular until 23 and banned at 32, had a full decade as a dominant hitter.

There really isn't a good hitting comp for Koufax but Kiner might be the best.
   1481. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 18, 2018 at 10:00 AM (#5608630)
Though to be clear, Jones is more deserving IMO than Puckett. But I agree with SoSh's point about how they were perceived.
   1482. Rally Posted: January 18, 2018 at 10:01 AM (#5608632)
As far as Belle goes, despite impressive numbers at the peak of silliball he just wasn't dominant enough to be in the conversation as the best. The most favorable peak you can give him is 1994-1998, where his OPS+ was 161. There were 6 hitters who had better numbers for those particular seasons, even though that selection might not represent the best peak for the other 6. McGwire, Bonds, Bagwell, Thomas, Piazza, Edgar.
   1483. Rally Posted: January 18, 2018 at 10:03 AM (#5608633)
Even a more restricted 3 year peak, 1994-96, which excludes his not so great 1997 season, has Belle behind four other players and only one OPS+ point ahead of Sheffield.

Albert Belle's pitching equivalent is Joe Horlen. Not a historically great pitcher but a guy who was pretty good right around the best years to be a pitcher, and ended up with a short career. From 1964-1968 Horlen pitched over 200 innings every year and had an ERA of 2.32.
   1484. Greg Pope Posted: January 18, 2018 at 10:22 AM (#5608644)
I assume you mean via the writers, but I suspect Lee Smith will get in through the VC before that.

What's the saber argument against Lee Smith? I have a Cubs fan friend who is stunned that Smith isn't in the hall. He cites that he was the career saves leader for a while, and he pitched some in the multi-inning era. My friend seems to think that Smith would be a better selection than Gossage.

Anyone want to give me some ammo for my next discussion?
   1485. Sweatpants Posted: January 18, 2018 at 10:47 AM (#5608667)
Quick Keltner List for Andruw:

Was he ever the best player in baseball? While he was active, did anyone ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?
No.

Was he the best player on his team?
He had some seasons when he was. 2005-06 was really the only period when he was generally considered the best player on the Braves.

Was he the best player in baseball at his position? Was he the best player in the league at his position?
After Griffey's decline, the best CF in baseball was Andruw, Jim Edmonds, or Carlos Beltran.

Did he have an impact on a number of pennant races?
Yes, although there aren't a lot of memorable pennant race moments associated with him specifically. He had some big playoff moments.

If he was the best player on a team, could that team win the pennant?
Yes, he was very likely the best player on the 95-win 2000 Braves and the division-winning 2005 Braves. WAR actually has him as the best player on the 106-win 1998 Braves and the 103-win, pennant-winning 1999 Braves, although he wasn't thought of as the best player on either of those teams.

Was he good enough to keep playing regularly past his prime?
Probably the biggest reason he doesn't have much HOF support is his sudden crash. I've never quite understood the way this question is worded - prime Andruw was good enough that a normal decline would have made him a fine player after his prime ended, so in a sense he was good enough that he could have. He just didn't.

Does he meet the statistical standards of the Hall of Fame?
Most modern catch-all statistics have him as what their users consider borderline. That's why people are arguing about him.

Are most players with comparable statistics in the Hall of Fame?
From his era, no - not in terms of WAR or more traditional statistics.

Is there evidence to suggest that he was better or worse than his statistics?
There's evidence in support of and against giving him credit for saving over 200 runs on defense. There isn't much evidence of him being better than his B-R WAR, though. That seems to be about as highly as he could be rated.

Did he ever have an MVP type season, and did he ever win the MVP award? How did he perform in MVP voting over the course of his career?
His 2000 and 2005 were MVP-caliber seasons. By WAR, he had other seasons that were of MVP quality, although those are harder to support. He finished second in the 2005 MVP vote and was generally a non-factor otherwise.

Is he the very best player in the history of baseball who is not in the Hall of Fame? Is he the best player at his position who is not in the Hall of Fame?
No, obviously not, even excluding the unique circumstances presently keeping some all-timers out. His case is about as good as that of Kenny Lofton or Jim Edmonds.

Edit: Copied this from a Keltner test from this site, but it doesn't seem to be the original version of the list and I don't have time to edit it. Ah, well. He didn't make any changes on the game, I don't think.
   1486. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: January 18, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5608731)
I don't think that Lee Smith had a peak like Goose Gossage had. Between 1977 and 1985, Goose had a 2.10 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over 833 innings.
He also had 124-107 career record compared to Lee Smith's 71-92. Although Gossage was on a better hitting team than the crappy Cubs.
   1487. cookiedabookie Posted: January 18, 2018 at 06:17 PM (#5609092)
#1471, number of innings obviously is a factor when looking at bWAR per 200 IP. If you separate into tiers, here's what you get:

4000+ IP:
40 total, 30 in the HoF, median of inductees is 3.62 bWAR/200. The only eligible pitcher to meet or exceed that is Roger Clemens at 5.71. Jim McCormick is close at 3.55.

3500-4000 IP:
30 total, 12 in the HoF, median of inductees is 3.42 bWAR/200. There's only two eligible pitchers that meet or exceed: Mike Mussina at 4.66 (second only to Lefty Grove in this group), and Rick Reuschel at 3.95 (4th, behind those two and Bob Gibson). Tommy Bond is close at 3.37.

3000-3500 IP:
64 total, 11 in the HoF, median of inductees is 3.56 bWAR/200. Here, we see the quality of innings increase, after a surprising decline between the last two groups. Also, this is the area most ripe, and most overlooked, for the Hall of Fame. There are twelve pitchers that meet or exceed the median of this group of Hall inductees, and only one is still active (Sabathia). Here's the list:

Curt Schilling 4.90
Kevin Brown 4.19
Luis Tiant 3.83
Tim Hudson 3.75
CC Sabathia 3.71
Andy Pettitte 3.67
Chuck Finley 3.65
Charlie Buffinton 3.65
Orel Hershiser 3.63
Eddie Cicotte 3.60
George Uhle 3.59
Mark Buehrle 3.56

Again, those pitchers would be above the median for pitchers in that tier of innings that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. You can argue their merits, but they fit in with previous inductees, and would actually raise the standards.

2500-3000 IP:
101 total, 9 in the HoF, median of inductees is 4.04 bWAR/200. Here, we see a big jump in the required quality of innings. But there are still 9 pitchers that meet or exceed that median, including two that are active (Felix and Verlander):

Roy Halladay 4.71
Wes Ferrell 4.70
Bret Saberhagen 4.62
Justin Verlander 4.45
Urban Shocker 4.38
David Cone 4.31
Bob Caruthers 4.28
Kevin Appier 4.23
Felix Hernandez 4.19

The last tier is the Sandy Koufax tier, 2000-2500 IP. While Addie Joss and Candy Cummings are both in this group, if we just focus on pitchers who can match Sandy's 4.22 bWAR/200 IP mark, we have two active pitchers who should move up to the next tier this year (Grienke and Hamels), and three retired pitchers:

Johan Santana 5.07
Roy Oswalt 4.47
Noodles Hahn 4.40

Santana seems to clear the mark here pretty easily. Although, as you mention, 2100 IP of 5 bWAR/200 inside a pitcher's career isn't unheard of, it is rare enough that it merits serious consideration. And Noodles Hahn looks like a perfect turn of the century comparison to Sandy Koufax - a fireballer lefty who burned bright and killed his arm quick.

Of the non-HoFers you mention, Saberhagen and the Kevins Brown and Appier are all above the median HoFer in their innings tiers - like Johan, they have a strong argument for induction. The one that doesn't is Sam McDowell, who at 3.35 bWAR/200 IP is not quite good enough given how many innings he pitched.
   1488. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: January 18, 2018 at 06:41 PM (#5609100)
I love Lefty Grove so much. The undisputed pitching king of the 20's and 30's. No deadball overlap, no wartime pitching.
   1489. DanG Posted: January 18, 2018 at 07:02 PM (#5609116)
What's the saber argument against Lee Smith?
List of pitchers with about the same career WAR as Smith:

288.Ice Box Chamberlain 29.6
        General Crowder 29.6
        Scott Sanderson 29.6
291.       Frank Killen 29.5
           Don Newcombe 29.5
293.        Syl Johnson 29.4
          Sonny Siebert 29.4
              Lee Smith 29.4
296.       Mike Cuellar 29.3
297.          Bill Doak 29.2
             Frank Lary 29.2
           Billy Rhines 29.2
           Kevin Tapani 29.2 

292 pitchers are ahead of Smith on the career pitching WAR list. A lot of them were fine pitchers for a while but none are hall of famers.
   1490. Booey Posted: January 18, 2018 at 07:13 PM (#5609128)
#1489 - It's a damn shame we don't see players with names like "Ice Box Chamberlain" anymore...
   1491. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 18, 2018 at 07:22 PM (#5609133)
HoF voters undervalue nicknames.
   1492. DanG Posted: January 18, 2018 at 07:30 PM (#5609139)
we don't see players with names like "Ice Box Chamberlain" anymore
From his SABR bio:

"Elton got his nickname because he was said to possess “austere calm in the face of all hostility by the enemy.” It didn’t matter whether he was facing hostility on the baseball diamond or in a barroom."
   1493. Srul Itza Posted: January 18, 2018 at 07:34 PM (#5609141)
I love Lefty Grove so much.


Does anyone know why Left Grove received 6 votes for the Hall of Fame in 1960 -- when he had already been inducted 13 years previously (per BB-REF)? Is it some kind of name confusion?
   1494. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 18, 2018 at 07:50 PM (#5609151)
1493: Nobody knows, but the most reasonable speculation that I've seen is that these people were intending to vote for Lefty Gomez (51 votes that year) and somehow screwed up.
   1495. DanG Posted: January 18, 2018 at 07:50 PM (#5609152)
Is it some kind of name confusion?
Yes. They meant to vote for Lefty Gomez.

Edit: no coke, we tied.
   1496. cardsfanboy Posted: January 18, 2018 at 08:43 PM (#5609177)

What's the saber argument against Lee Smith? I have a Cubs fan friend who is stunned that Smith isn't in the hall. He cites that he was the career saves leader for a while, and he pitched some in the multi-inning era. My friend seems to think that Smith would be a better selection than Gossage.


He's a reliever, that is pretty much the entire argument against any reliever, and it would even work for guys like Wilhelm and Rivera if taken to the extremes, but basically in saber circles, they reluctantly accept Wilhelm and Rivera(and maybe Gossage) as somewhat deserving, but the rest of the relievers are either combo careers (eck/Smoltz) mistakes(Fingers/Sutter) (although I point to Sutter as being a Candy Cummings with the split finger)

   1497. cardsfanboy Posted: January 18, 2018 at 08:49 PM (#5609178)
Ah, well. He didn't make any changes on the game, I don't think.


Very minorly he made a change on evaluating the game, in that his outwordly defensive numbers caused people to re-evaluate the defensive numbers. I know that is a stretch, but to be honest, how many players "changed" the game... From memory I'm thinking (again Sutter with the split finger) Keith Hernandez where they had to change the rules that only the catcher is allowed to be in foul territory, Bob Gibson with the mound change.... and I'm sure there are a few others, but it's a list of maybe 10-15 people over the past 90 years probably.
   1498. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 18, 2018 at 09:15 PM (#5609201)
Very minorly he made a change on evaluating the game, in that his outwordly defensive numbers caused people to re-evaluate the defensive numbers. I know that is a stretch, but to be honest, how many players "changed" the game... From memory I'm thinking (again Sutter with the split finger) Keith Hernandez where they had to change the rules that only the catcher is allowed to be in foul territory, Bob Gibson with the mound change.... and I'm sure there are a few others, but it's a list of maybe 10-15 people over the past 90 years probably.
Chase Utley, obviously.
   1499. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 18, 2018 at 09:16 PM (#5609203)
From memory I'm thinking (again Sutter with the split finger) Keith Hernandez where they had to change the rules that only the catcher is allowed to be in foul territory, Bob Gibson with the mound change.... and I'm sure there are a few others, but it's a list of maybe 10-15 people over the past 90 years probably.

Buster Posey got his leg broken, and now you can't plow over the catcher any more. (I honestly have no idea if this counts.)
   1500. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: January 18, 2018 at 09:28 PM (#5609212)
I was looking for the most Home Runs hit by a player who received zero HOF votes. It is currently Greg Vaughn with 355 (30.7 WAR).
It will soon be Carlos Lee with 358 (28.2 WAR).....As far as the retired players in the five-year waiting period, Helton with 369 is
obviously safe.....I believe Berkman (366) and Teixeira (409) will receive a decent amount of votes.
So, that leaves five players that could come up with a goose egg.....Will Jason Giambi and his 440 HR get a vote with the steroids?
I'm not sure.....How about Alfonso Soriano? He only accumulated 27.4 WAR with his 412 HR, but his 289 SB might help.....
Ryan Howard? 382 HR, but only 14.9 WAR. Maybe a Philly writer gives him a shout-out.....Aramis Ramirez? 386 HR with 32.2 WAR, maybe
because he was a 3B....But I think the champ for a long, long time will be Mr. Adam Dunn with 462 HR and 16.9 WAR.....Maybe I'm
wrong, maybe a Reds writer will vote for him?.....I'm not saying he had a bad career, just saying he might not get a HOF vote.
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