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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sporting News: Luis Tiant on Hall of Fame: “I think it’s wrong what they do.”

“I already told my family, ‘They put me after I die, don’t go anywhere. Don’t go to the Hall of Fame, don’t go to Cooperstown, don’t go no god— place,’” Tiant said. “‘Cause I think it’s wrong what they do.”

Tiant doesn’t see the benefit of posthumous induction.

“What good is that they put you after you die?” Tiant said, adding, “You can’t do nothing with your family and your friends.”

Tiant went 229-172 with a 3.30 ERA, which sounds fairly pedestrian, especially for the years he pitched.

But his Hall of Fame case benefits with some contextualizing.

Tiant’s 65.9 Wins Above Replacement as a pitcher are eighth-best for the years he played, 1964 to 1982, according to the Play Index tool. Every pitcher in front of Tiant for WAR for the years he pitched is in the Hall of Fame. Overall, Tiant has the second-best WAR behind Rick Reuschel of any pitcher since 1900 retired at least 20 years and not in the Hall of Fame

Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: April 18, 2017 at 08:54 AM | 115 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, veterans committee

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   101. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 20, 2017 at 01:36 PM (#5439018)
That also means we found 30 mistakes among players now in the HOF born in just those 30 years:

Dave Bancroft George Kelly
Chief Bender Chuck Klein
Jim Bottomley Tony Lazzeri
Earle Combs Freddie Lindstrom
Andy Cooper Heinie Manush
Kiki Cuyler Rabbit Maranville
Rick Ferrell Rube Marquard
Lefty Gomez Herb Pennock
Burleigh Grimes Eppa Rixey
Chick Hafey Ray Schalk
Jesse Haines Ben Taylor
Harry Hooper Pie Traynor
Waite Hoyt Lloyd Waner
Travis Jackson Hack Wilson
Judy Johnson Ross Youngs

Pie Traynor. To go from being the consensus "best third baseman in baseball history" to "a mistake" in 50 years...
   102. DanG Posted: April 20, 2017 at 02:00 PM (#5439040)
As for the Hall of Merit, none of the 30 mistakes are in. Only six (Bancroft, Cuyler, Gomez, Maranville, Taylor, Traynor) have received more than token support.
Actually, one of them is a HoMer: Eppa Rixey.

The electorate in my project at BBF had a number of Negro league advocates, so exactly a third of the 78 "deserving" HOF players (born 1884-1913) was from Black baseball. Personally, I would have preferred to see Hilton Smith relegated to the mistake list rather than Rixey.
   103. Booey Posted: April 20, 2017 at 02:04 PM (#5439044)
Possibly. It could be more (since some guys wouldn't be around the following year to gobble up votes as they were in real life).

True. But it would still be guys who are going to make it eventually anyway. Pretty much anyone who finishes as high as 2nd on a modern ballot is going to be get elected sooner or later (and usually sooner).
   104. Booey Posted: April 20, 2017 at 02:07 PM (#5439049)
Actually, one of them is a HoMer: Eppa Rixey.

Just wanted to say that Eppa Rixey has always been one of my all time favorite baseball names. Sounds like a 19th century disease that would take out half your wagon in the old Oregon Trail game: Clementine has died of epparixey.
   105. QLE Posted: April 20, 2017 at 03:19 PM (#5439118)

In comparison, here is that same list, had they started in 1993 (the start of a six-year period where only five people where inducted in real life):

1993: Jackson, Niekro
1994: Carlton, Cepeda
1995: Schmidt, Sutton
1996: Perez, Garvey
1997: Santo, Rice
1998: Carter, Sutter
1999: Ryan, Brett, Yount
2000: Fisk, Gossage
2001: Winfield, Puckett
2002: Ozzie Smith, Dawson
2003: Murray, Sandberg
2004: Molitor, Eckersley
2005: Boggs, Blyleven
2006: Lee Smith, Morris
2007: Ripken, Gwynn
2008: John, Raines
2009: Henderson, McGwire
2010: Alomar, Larkin
2011: Bagwell, Martinez
2012: Trammell, McGriff
2013: Biggio, Piazza
2014: Maddux, Glavine, Thomas
2015: Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz
2016: Griffey, Hoffman
2017: Ivan Rodriguez, Guerrero

On the positive side, this does mean that a lot of inductions of deserving players came much quicker, and it means Santo is inducted when alive as well as induction for McGwire, Trammell, and Martinez, who respectively seem in our timeline to have no chance, requiring VC support, and an unclear chance respectively.

On the negative side, this means induction for four people (Garvey, Lee Smith, John, and McGriff) who are unlikely to be inducted in our timeline and who are not deserving, and, worse still, the doors swinging wide open for relievers.
   106. Booey Posted: April 20, 2017 at 03:47 PM (#5439159)
On the negative side, this means induction for four people (Garvey, Lee Smith, John, and McGriff) who are unlikely to be inducted in our timeline and who are not deserving

Yeah, my solution isn't one that would have been better if it had been in place forever, but I think it makes sense now because: A) there's 4 more teams than there were when all those guys entering the ballot in the 1990's and 2000's were playing, so it makes sense to have a few more HOFers from the last couple decades (and all decades going forward) than from the 70's and 80's, and B) with the advancement of SABR stats, there is (or should be, at least) a better understanding now of what makes someone a HOF caliber player than there was 20 years ago. For example, I don't think someone like Steve Garvey gets anywhere near the same support if he debuted today than he did back then. And even though I wouldn't vote for John and am lukewarm on McGriff, John has 288 wins and 62 WAR; Crime Dog has 493 homers and 52 WAR. Neither would be embarrassingly bad selections that lowered the standards of Hall.

worse still, the doors swinging wide open for relievers.

How so? The only additional reliever we'd be adding is Smith, who A) probably has a decent chance with the VC anyway, B) held the saves record at the time so you can almost, sorta understand his case if you squint hard enough, and C) isn't swinging the door wide open for relievers any more than Sutter and Hoffman already did/will.
   107. QLE Posted: April 20, 2017 at 05:34 PM (#5439255)
Fair enough involving advanced statistics- my list above would look better if, instead of Cepeda, Perez, Garvey, Rice, Puckett, and McGriff, Boyer, Nettles, Hernandez, Allen, Whitaker, and Walker were inducted instead, and there would still be deserving players missed.

As for the reliever issue: in this world, relievers enter the Hall a lot quicker (it would have taken Lee Smith only four tries, Sutter five, and Gossage and Hoffman become first ballot Hall of Famers), and I suspect that, in this environment, it probably results in the set that supports relievers in the HOF (who in our timeline have been stalled) to push as a bloc for other relievers- I suspect Billy Wagner would be in a stronger position among that set with Hoffman gone, for instance.

Finally, turning to John and McGriff: The issue with John is that he's pretty much the epitome of how WAR have have accumulation issues like any other stat (note that his WAA is a far less impressive 21.9, or that he only had four seasons with 5+ WAR). In McGriff's case, the issue is one of when the line can be drawn- he's a reasonable pick inasmuch as he's about the same as Cepeda and Perez, but then you'd have to answer why Will Clark and Norm Cash (who are also at the same level) or John Olerud and Jason Giambi (who are slightly better) are out, and that's just first basemen. I'm more inclined to regard them as the best of those who are out, as there's no real shame in being in that position.
   108. Booey Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:01 PM (#5439268)
The issue with John is that he's pretty much the epitome of how WAR have have accumulation issues like any other stat (note that his WAA is a far less impressive 21.9, or that he only had four seasons with 5+ WAR).

Agreed. I wouldn't vote for TJ and I don't think he's got nearly as good a case as many here do. As I've said in the Vizquel threads, to deserve baseball highest honor you need to do more than just show up for a really long time. He's better than future HOFer Jack Morris, though, plus a bunch of other (mostly VC) HOF pitchers, which is why he wouldn't be an egregiously bad pick. Just a garden variety one.

McGriff is in the same boat. Amongst relatively recent BBWAA picks, he and John would be in the same group as Puckett, Rice, and Perez, still ahead of Gossage/Sutter/Hoffman. So they'd "merely" add to the lowest tier of the BBWAA electees, not drop it another rung lower like Garvey would.

I guess it's debatable whether adding to the lowest rung of almost passably acceptable HOFers is worth eliminating voting shutouts and weak 1 player elections (and speeding up the process for deserving players), but again, I would only have implemented this voting change relatively recently due to the increase in qualified candidates from an expanded league with a deeper, more international talent pool.

   109. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:12 PM (#5439274)
I had to chuckle at the quoted line in 56:

There’s his .285 batting average and 2,365 hits, both respectable for a shortstop, though Trammell acknowledges that his stats weren’t eye-popping.

2,365 career hits is "respectable for a shortstop"? 133rd on the all-time hits list.

Also pretty cool to see the player directly above him on the career list, with 2369 . . . any guesses?
   110. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:20 PM (#5439282)
Also pretty cool to see the player directly above him on the career list, with 2369 . . . any guesses?

Sweet Lou?
   111. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:25 PM (#5439287)
Sweet Lou?

   112. BDC Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:37 PM (#5439294)
Pie Traynor. To go from being the consensus "best third baseman in baseball history" to "a mistake" in 50 years…

Much of that has to do with re-evaluation of Traynor's defense, of course, and that's still a bit controversial. bWAR puts him in the middle of 3B defensively for his era; Michael Humphreys puts him near the top (just behind Billy Werber). Assume (as people did 50 years ago) that Traynor was considerably better than even Willie Kamm and Ossie Bluege (the great glove men), and he gets up to more like 50 bWAR, rather than 39 as we now see it. That would have put him sixth (in hindsight) among third basemen after the 1966 season, trailing Mathews, Baker, Boyer, Collins, and Hack.

Thus most of it has to do with a heck of a lot of great third basemen coming along in the past 50 years, both offensively and defensively, and pushing Traynor way, way down the list. But in 1967, Eddie Mathews and Ken Boyer were still active, Frank Baker had had a pretty short career, Jimmy Collins was a long time ago, and there was no compelling reason to think that Stan Hack or Heinie Groh or somebody like that was better than Traynor. So if you wanted a third baseman in the HOF at all, especially if you wanted a National League third baseman, Traynor was plausible enough.

Not really defending the choice, but people weren't dumb when they made it :)
   113. Tony S Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:52 PM (#5439303)
After reading the quotes by the not-quite-Hall-of-Famers posted above, in which even Dale Murphy comes across as a bit grumpy, I'm inclined to cut them all a little slack (regarding their attitudes, not their HoF qualifications). It's true that a plaque is not and shouldn't be an entitlement, but they were all outstanding players, and they probably do very reasonably perceive themselves as being as good as other players who did get the call. I don't think you can really blame them for being a bit cynical about the process -- you don't have a good major league career without being a fiercely competitive individual at some level, and the competitiveness carries over after retirement.

And it's got to be especially frustrating for someone like Tiant, who sees contemporaries of his who weren't any better (Catfish Hunter) pretty much waltz into the Hall.
   114. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 20, 2017 at 07:26 PM (#5439316)
As far as their significance, all I know is you'd trick a lot of people by asking them which Martinez brother threw more of them.

You'd trick a lot of people by asking them if Pedro Martinez has a brother who also pitched in the majors.
   115. Howie Menckel Posted: April 20, 2017 at 08:29 PM (#5439354)
"Speaking of Shut Outs, I regard this as the most under rated baseball card stat out there. Getting a shut out is an extremely hard thing to do, but I rarely hear anyone talk about it."

for this guy, one year it was easy if the Dodgers were on the field
"A rookie and fifth starter on a Cardinals pitching staff that included Hall of Famers Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton, along with Ray Washburn and Al Jackson, the 22-year-old Jaster shut out the defending world champion Dodgers five consecutive times.

The feat's only reference point belongs to Philadelphia's Grover Cleveland "Ol' Pete" Alexander, who tossed five blankets over the Cincinnati Reds in 1916. But Pete's repeats did not happen in consecutive starts. "Larry Legend" went five for five against the Dodgers in the Summer of '66....

"In 45 innings Jaster allowed the Dodgers 24 hits — all singles. He struck out 31, walked eight and limited Los Angeles to a .157 batting average."

Jaster had another shutout in 1967 and one more in 1968, finishing with a career total of 7 shutouts. he's still alive at age 73, btw

coincidentally I know this because it mystified me when I saw the blurb on the back of his 1969 Topps card
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