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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The 2013 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!

The 2014 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!

Final: Jan.9 - 11:30 ~ 209* Full Ballots ~ (36.7%* of vote ~ based on last year) (*new ballot/pct. record!)

99.5 - Maddux
95.7 - Glavine
89.0 - F. Thomas
79.4 - Biggio
———————————
67.9 - Piazza
61.7 - Jack (The Jack) Morris
56.5 - Bagwell
54.5 - Raines
42.1 - Bonds
40.7 - Clemens
36.8 - Schilling
26.8 - Mussina
25.4 - E. Martinez
24.4 - L. Smith
22.0 - Trammell
15.8 - Kent
12.0 - McGriff
10.5 - McGwire
  8.1 - L. Walker
  7.2 - S. Sosa
  5.7 - R. Palmeiro
———————————
4.8 - Mattingly
0.5 - P. Rose (Write-In)

Thanks to Butch, Ilychs Morales, leokitty & Barnald for their help.

As usual…send them in if you come across any ballots!

Repoz Posted: December 25, 2013 at 03:56 PM | 2002 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, hof

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   601. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 02, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4628347)
Carter is a better argument, but I think he suffers a bit from the Trammell "didn't feel like a HOFer" syndrome.


The Kevin Appier of catchers? "Wait, Kevin Appier had how good of a peak?!"
   602. AROM Posted: January 02, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4628359)
By WAR, Jason Kendall is actually pretty close to Munson. Can I say yes to Munson, while maintaining my belief that Kendall was in no way a HOF player?

I think so, when looking at peak. Munson put up about 45 WAR in a 10 year period. Kendall played at a HOF level for a few years, certainly 1998-2000 with the Pirates. But his best 10 year WAR stretch was about 35.

Darrell Porter is similar. He put up an alltime great catching year in 1979 (7.6 WAR), but in a 10 year stretch only had 31. He had a great postseason in 1982, and several good years.

I don't think opening the doors to Munson and Freehan would, if applied consistently, result in a flood of HOF catcher cases.
   603. John Northey Posted: January 02, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4628361)
Carter was an odd case. Loved by fans (voted into the ASG even though he played in Montreal) and a great quote, but according to a writer I met and an ex-manager of his ... well ... lets just say neither cared one iota for him and saw him as a clubhouse cancer which was 100% the opposite of what I thought of him. The rumours were ugly but never printed. I wonder how many players who do poorly on the ballot vs what one would expect had issues like that - rumours and stories that circulated between writers but not the public for whatever reason.
   604. SG Posted: January 02, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4628380)
It looks like for Maddux, Glavine, and Thomas not to make it at this point pigs would have to be flying past our windows, wearing snow jackets and dressed for hell.


Are you saying it's in the bag?
   605. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 02, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4628397)
Are you saying it's in the bag?


It's over. It's always been over.
   606. DL from MN Posted: January 02, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4628409)
Kevin Appier wasn't the best pitcher in baseball for 7 years running. Gary Carter was the best C in baseball that long.
   607. Fog City Blues Posted: January 02, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4628416)
Henry Schulman ballot (via twitter): Bagwell, Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Glavine, Kent, Maddux, Piazza, Raines, Thomas.

Of note: Schulman voted for Morris (and Smith) last year.
   608. Booey Posted: January 02, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4628420)
Kevin Appier wasn't the best pitcher in baseball for 7 years running. Gary Carter was the best C in baseball that long.


Yeah, but Bench had the record for gold gloves and homers at the position (right? too lazy to look it up). Fisk broke the HR record and set the games caught record. Piazza broke the HR record and set several other offensive records at the position. Pudge II broke the games caught record and matched or surpassed Bench's gold glove record (right?). So all of those guys have an argument for being the best ever at the position in 1 or 2 important categories (power, defense, durability/longevity). Carter doesn't have those arguments, even though he may have been just as valuable overall as any of them save Bench. Incorrect as it may be, I can see why voters might have taken longer to notice his greatness.
   609. Brian Posted: January 02, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4628432)
AROM, if Posada was merely average on pitch framing would you favor him going in?
   610. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 02, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4628433)

Just playing around with the numbers a bit for the four guys Ray mentioned as "bubble guys" earlier. If my calculations are right this is what each player needs the rest of the way to reach 75%;

Biggio - 80.2% so far, needs 73.9% of remainder
Piazza - 72.3%, 75.6%
Bagwell - 65.3%, 77.1%
Morris - 62.4%, 77.8%
   611. alilisd Posted: January 02, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4628449)
On the hitting side, that job is functionally the same (with variances, of course), no matter what position you play. Due to that, I do not agree that different positions shoudl be treated differently when comparing offensive production.


Which ignores the fact that catching is so demanding physically it precludes them from playing as many games as players at other positions. It also ignores that catching is so hard on the body, both legs and hands, the position's demands make it harder to perform at a high offensive level. This seems like an entirely unreasonable position.

The problem comes, with Piazza, that has was not an 'average catcher'. He was a substantially below average catcher.


In what way/ways was he "substantially below average"?
   612. alilisd Posted: January 02, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4628452)
but according to a writer I met and an ex-manager of his ... well ... lets just say neither cared one iota for him and saw him as a clubhouse cancer which was 100% the opposite of what I thought of him. The rumours were ugly but never printed. I wonder how many players who do poorly on the ballot vs what one would expect had issues like that - rumours and stories that circulated between writers but not the public for whatever reason.


Interesting stuff, John. Thanks!
   613. alilisd Posted: January 02, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4628453)
It's over. It's always been over.


Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is!
   614. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 02, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4628460)
The rumours were ugly but never printed. I wonder how many players who do poorly on the ballot vs what one would expect had issues like that - rumours and stories that circulated between writers but not the public for whatever reason.


Well print them! What's the deal? Was Gary Carter ####### his teammates' wives or something?
   615. Davo Dozier Posted: January 02, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4628478)
I was actually just looking up Kevin Appier's numbers for a different thread, and was just as surprised. Until his injury in 1998, he was probably behind only Maddux and Clemens as the best pitcher of the decade. And

1) It's a tad unfair to penalize him for being worse than Clemens and Maddux; and

2) He's really not that far behind those two demigods. Over 1600 innings with a 140 ERA+, good for 47 WAR in those 8 seasons--he was damn impressive.
   616. LargeBill Posted: January 02, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4628482)
610. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 02, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4628433)

Just playing around with the numbers a bit for the four guys Ray mentioned as "bubble guys" earlier. If my calculations are right this is what each player needs the rest of the way to reach 75%;

Biggio - 80.2% so far, needs 73.9% of remainder
Piazza - 72.3%, 75.6%
Bagwell - 65.3%, 77.1%
Morris - 62.4%, 77.8%


Getting fairly confident in Biggio chances. Hard to see the undisclosed being that far off the disclosed % once gizmo gets over 20% of total votes. If four go in then next year gets considerably smoother.
   617. maven of all things baseball Posted: January 02, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4628484)
for those interested, a guy on twitter (@weird_meat) has created a google doc which accounts for the "anonymous" voters. Here is a link to it: https://docs.google.com/a/cps.edu/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AmkBNPY405WAdFBOUVBhbjNRZjYzbWI2d201bm0tSmc&usp=drive_web#gid=7
   618. LargeBill Posted: January 02, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4628485)
614. Rickey! isn't one to complain... Posted: January 02, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4628460)

The rumours were ugly but never printed. I wonder how many players who do poorly on the ballot vs what one would expect had issues like that - rumours and stories that circulated between writers but not the public for whatever reason.

Well print them! What's the deal? Was Gary Carter ####### his teammates' wives or something?


Hey, leave that sort of stuff to basketball players (Andrew Bynum)! Or does he even count since it is his allegedly ####### an assistant coach's wife that got him banned from the team.
   619. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 02, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4628489)
Was Gary Carter ####### his teammates' wives or something?


Ryne Sandberg has traded Carter's newsletter away and is no longer interested in it.
   620. AROM Posted: January 02, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4628502)
AROM, if Posada was merely average on pitch framing would you favor him going in?


I'd need to see Munson in first, but I could support Posada.

   621. AROM Posted: January 02, 2014 at 05:07 PM (#4628518)
Another catcher I'd strongly consider is Wally Schang. Way before my time. His statistical record is the best of the early century catchers who are not HOFers. He's far better than a contemporary who made it with a similar name, Schalk. With a player so far back in time, I wonder if there's something there that pushed others ahead, maybe he wasn't enough of a leader or something.

I kind of doubt it though, this is a guy who was much in demand for great teams. Probably just got lost in the shuffle as writers tried to figure out how to handle this HOF thing. He went to the World Series with Connie Mack, then went to the Red Sox for some of the Ruth years. When the Red Sox sold off that team, he was among those sold to the Yankees. If he wasn't an in demand player, that wouldn't have happened, he would have been sold to the Browns or Senators.

Edit: I see the HOM hasn't put him in either. I'll have to look to see if he generated a lot of discussion.
   622. ursus arctos Posted: January 02, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4628525)
The SABR Bio Project entry on Schang is quite good, and supports the idea that he was seriously under-appreciated.
   623. Morty Causa Posted: January 02, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4628530)
I believe Bill James thinks the same, and expressed that in the HBA, or even earlier in the HOF book.
   624. Davo Dozier Posted: January 02, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4628532)
Wally Schang is another guy like Babe Herman and Buddy Myer whom I always mistakenly "remember" as being in the Hall of Fame.

(Max Carey and Elmer Flick have the opposite problem.)

((Also, I can never remember which Ferrell brother is in the Hall of Fame but shouldn't be, and which one is out but should be in.)
   625. John Northey Posted: January 02, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4628540)
Probably shouldn't have mentioned it. I could confirm/deny aspects but in truth it is 2nd hand information with no way for me to confirm/deny any of it. The worst were from the sportswriter while the ex-manager was more deep sighs and a brief clubhouse issue comment at a SABR meeting that, mixed with the stuff I heard before, made me feel more confident of it being real but hardly enough to slander him more than to say 'clubhouse issues'. Given the details from the writer I've never heard even remotely rumored elsewhere I see it more as a way to help explain why some guys don't get support that one would expect. That there are things even writers won't post unless they have a heck of a lot more proof than clubhouse gossip. Well, unless you are Blogger Chass of course.
   626. Lassus Posted: January 02, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4628542)
All this national attention, Repoz is going to have to farm this out for faster updates.
   627. AROM Posted: January 02, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4628545)
Wes Ferrell was the better one. Beats his brother in OPS+, 100 to 95. Also could pitch.
   628. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 02, 2014 at 05:59 PM (#4628585)
All this national attention, Repoz is going to have to farm this out for faster updates.


Yeah, this day-long absence of Gizmovement is annoying.
   629. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 02, 2014 at 06:17 PM (#4628595)
I understand that Repoz gets access to some voters' ballots on the condition of anonymity, while others appear comfortable with Repoz revealing their ballot, and still others are revealed in more pubic ways (like columns explaining their votes). That said, it strikes me that if there was a compilation of who the voters are, we as a community could do a lot to help further track for whom the voters cast a ballot. Also, we could probably quickly develop email and/or social media lists for this list of voters. Is a reasonably full list available somewhere?

Note: Early in this thread (#58), I included a link from the BBWAA of 100+ voters who publicly revealed their ballot: http://bbwaa.com/13-hof-ballots/

Has this list been matched up against those who have revealed their vote thus far this year?

My point to all this is that it is a finite list - a list big enough to be a big project for one person, but a pretty manageable endeavor for a small group of people, in advance of the 2015 results.
   630. DL from MN Posted: January 02, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4628599)
Wally Schang is my pick for best C not in the HoM. He gets dinged for not being a "pure" catcher.
   631. Lassus Posted: January 02, 2014 at 06:38 PM (#4628603)
Thanks, Repoz. C'mon, Mike!
   632. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 02, 2014 at 06:47 PM (#4628611)
C'mon, Mike!


I am stunned that Thomas, Biggio, and Piazza seem to actually be increasing their percentages as the Gizmo adds voters. Even just over the past few days, my view of Thomas has shifted from "might squeak in" to "looks like he'll make it fairly easily", my view of Biggio has shifted from "probably not" to "maybe" and my view on Piazza has shifted from "no chance" to "maybe?" I'm very pleasantly surprised by the BBWAA so far.
   633. booond Posted: January 02, 2014 at 06:54 PM (#4628616)
It does look like the drama is down to Biggio, Piazza, Mattingly and Maddux.
   634. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 02, 2014 at 06:58 PM (#4628620)
I am stunned that Thomas, Biggio, and Piazza seem to actually be increasing their percentages as the Gizmo adds voters.


Wow, Frank is above 90 percent. That's shocking.
   635. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 02, 2014 at 07:08 PM (#4628627)
It does look like the drama is down to Biggio, Piazza, Mattingly and Maddux.


I think historically the non-Gizmo voters have tended to be a bit more anti-roid than the Gizmo voters, so there might still be some chance that Sosa and/or Palmeiro might also slip below 5%. But even there, before this process started, I thought those two dropping below 5% was a sure thing, along with Kent and perhaps a couple more (McGwire, Walker, maybe even somebody like Trammell?).
   636. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 02, 2014 at 07:18 PM (#4628637)
Well, I am a.) a bit biased and b.) of the opinion he's a no-doubter so I think "weird" covers his lack of election this year for me. I'm certainly not stunned or mortified or anything like that.

I am also a. and b. and I'm surprised he's doing this well. I think it bodes well for next year, especially if Biggio gets in this year.
   637. brutus Posted: January 02, 2014 at 07:33 PM (#4628650)
Barry Bloom ballot:
Barry Bonds, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent, Greg Maddux, Jack Morris Mike Piazza, Frank Thomas
   638. brutus Posted: January 02, 2014 at 07:34 PM (#4628652)
Bloom had to drop Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Lee Smith and Alan Trammell from his last years' ballot.
   639. alilisd Posted: January 02, 2014 at 07:36 PM (#4628654)
Bloom had to drop Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Lee Smith and Alan Trammell from his last years' ballot.


No, he didn't have to. ;-)

He could have dropped Morris and kept Trammell. How do these guys keep voting for the wrong Tiger?
   640. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 02, 2014 at 07:36 PM (#4628655)
Bloom had to drop Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Lee Smith and Alan Trammell from his last years' ballot.


He only added 4 1st-year guys, though (no Mussina). Who else did he add new this year?
   641. brutus Posted: January 02, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4628656)
Didn't vote for Bagwell before
   642. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 02, 2014 at 07:40 PM (#4628659)
Didn't vote for Bagwell before


Thanks. This is the sort of thing that I didn't expect to see happen. I assumed that writers' ballots were sufficiently full and the freshman class was sufficiently strong that nobody would have room on their ballot - or enough interest - to re-consider holdover candidates.
   643. maven of all things baseball Posted: January 02, 2014 at 07:57 PM (#4628676)

Wow, Frank is above 90 percent. That's shocking.


I, for one, am not shocked to see Thomas getting this level of support. BBWAA members "know" that he was clean, and so his numbers stack up favorably with all-time greats (like the one he is tied with on the HR list) and point up the artificially-produced numbers of the PED cheats. Glavine's support is more over-the-top (IMO). On a different note, if Maddux stays "clean" through 20% of the ballots (several Chicago BBWAA people haven't posted ballots yet and ALL will vote for him) I think he has a real shot at 98.9+%
   644. ursus arctos Posted: January 02, 2014 at 08:22 PM (#4628699)
629, take a look at the google doc linked in 617. It's a good start to the kind if thing you envision.
   645. Srul Itza Posted: January 02, 2014 at 08:23 PM (#4628702)
I, for one, am not shocked to see Thomas getting this level of support.


I am not shocked, either. I think his support will slip some in the other ballots, and he will end up around between 85 and 90. That is not unusual for a high average slugger. .300 and 500+ HR is still a pretty rare combination -- Frank is only the 8th to accomplish that. That resonates with the rank and file.
   646. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 02, 2014 at 08:25 PM (#4628703)
Thomas is also bar none a guy who "felt like" a Hall of Famer in his youth. The White Sox were competitive, and Thomas was the premier offensive force in the game, viewed as largely responsible for the success of a team that had struggled to be consistently relevant since their mid-60s heydey. When people around here started making groaning noises about how he wasn't going to be elected, I was confused and aghast. Turns out it was just sturm und drang.
   647. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 02, 2014 at 08:28 PM (#4628709)
I am not shocked, either. I think his support will slip some in the other ballots, and he will end up around between 85 and 90. That is not unusual for a high average slugger. .300 and 500+ HR is still a pretty rare combination -- Frank is only the 8th to accomplish that. That resonates with the rank and file.


I'm surprised at the level of support across the board. I thought Glavine would sneak in and Thomas would come up just short, but I wouldn't have been surprised to see both slip over or neither. I couldn't imagine high 80s-low 90s for either, just based on how the electorate has behaved in the recent years. But as we've been saying for awhile, the votes per ballot is just through the roof, which has helped all but the deep backloggers and Maddux.

   648. brutus Posted: January 02, 2014 at 08:41 PM (#4628726)
I remember reading a blurb that someone recently put up on one of these Hall of Fame posts about Bagwell and explaining his apparent lack of power during his minor league years. I can't find the info now, can someone link or let me know where to find that info? I think there's a couple writers that need to receive that information based on their recent explanation for excluding him from their votes.
   649. Srul Itza Posted: January 02, 2014 at 08:44 PM (#4628732)
I couldn't imagine high 80s-low 90s for either, just based on how the electorate has behaved in the recent years.


I wonder if we weren't all overreacting a little to last year's shut out? I was expecting to see the bit 3 elected, but I was worried about guys slipping off the ballot who are now seen to be pretty secure.

I note also that Biggio, after dropping below 80%, has climbed back above.

   650. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 02, 2014 at 08:49 PM (#4628739)
I wonder if we weren't all overreacting a little to last year's shut out? I was expecting to see the bit 3 elected, but I was worried about guys slipping off the ballot who are now seen to be pretty secure.


Perhaps, but speaking for myself, the failure of anyone to get elected last year didn't surprise me. I thought Biggio was a borderliner going in, and didn't envision anyone else getting 75 percent.

So, yes, we were probably overreacting, but I think this is more the BBWAA is responding to last year's shutout in a way that simply wasn't reasonably expected. Jumping from 6+ names per ballot to over 9 per was not something we've seen before.
   651. gabrielthursday Posted: January 02, 2014 at 09:33 PM (#4628774)
I think this is more the BBWAA is responding to last year's shutout in a way that simply wasn't reasonably expected. Jumping from 6+ names per ballot to over 9 per was not something we've seen before.

The noise being made within the BBWAA about the problem of the 10-vote limit might well have had a significant effect on the willingness of many writers to fill out their ballots. That's the kind of thing that, for some people, will cause them to rethink their standards.
   652. GregD Posted: January 02, 2014 at 09:51 PM (#4628782)
The big group dump of ballots last year were from where? Trib, ESPN, and one other?
   653. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 02, 2014 at 09:55 PM (#4628786)
MLB.com, I think.
   654. Walt Davis Posted: January 02, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4628795)
Jumping from 6+ names per ballot to over 9 per was not something we've seen before.

True but ... with no election last year and only Murphy dropping off the ballot, that meant the carry-over was over 6. We haven't seen that too often either. For that to line up with 3 pretty slam-dunk guys coming on ... well I was expecting a high vote total but, no, not over 9 (much less 9.3). Maybe we should have expected that. I'm still not sure it's numerically possible for it to stay there -- I recall there being a lot of 8-10 name ballots posted on the BBWAA site last year so those guys can't go higher. Maintaining that 9.3 names per ballot means 14 full-ballot voters for each blank nincompoop or 9 of them to balance off Chass. Are we really going to see something like 2/3 10-name, 30% 9-name and a few weirdos? That's what I wasn't expecting.

Biggio - 80.2% so far, needs 73.9% of remainder

Which is a reminder that it's still too early to call Biggio. He still needs a nearly induction-level of support from the remainder. But it's pretty clear he'll be at least close enough that he'll go over next year at the latest.

On Piazza, Cs, etc. You've simply got to put Cs in their own pool -- that's the way baseball works. The same is largely true for SS as well. After that you can at least start to make the case that positional adjustments shouldn't matter a lot for the HoF. I still think you're wrong but at least you have a leg to stand on.

Basically, nobody ever moves to C, it's a very rare defensive skillset. Cs usually don't move to other positions either, at least not as long as they can still handle C ... and when they do it's to keep their bat in the lineup (Bench, Mauer, etc.) I even find the concept of dWAR or positional adjustment to be kinda of ridiculous for Cs -- it simply can't be compared to the other positions. Comparing a C to Prince Fielder is almost as absurd as comparing Verlander to Fielder.

Further you get that it is apparently physically impossible for a C to accumulate the playing time of a position player even when the C is perfectly healthy. Clearly you can't look for similar counting stats among Cs.

Beyond that you get the fact that teams clearly prioritize defensive competence for Cs over offensive. Piazza and Posada types are occasional exceptions perhaps but as long as you can still catch, you will continue to be employed. If you are wanting offensive similarity in rate stats between HoF Cs and HoF position players, you therefore should really only look at it for the first 10 years or so of their respective careers. After that, the wear and tear will break down the offensive game but the C will continue to get a lot of playing time (for a C) as long as the defense and overall health holds out.

For example, for the first 11+ seasons of Carter's career, he hit 273/347/463 for a 124 OPS+. He had 247 HR and nearly 900 RBI in about 6300 PA.

First-ballot CFer Puckett had 7800 career PA -- about 25% more than Carter which is about the playing time difference between a full C and a full CF season. He hit 318/360/477, a 124 OPS+ with 207 HR and about 1100 RBI (playing time difference again).

For the remainder of his career, Carter didn't hit much -- 93 OPS+ which is still average or better for a starting C. All told, a smidgen below-average over his last 2700 PA. But of course Puckett added legitimately zero.

Dawson's not much different -- over the best hitting years of his career, he had about 6500 PA and a 129 OPS+. That 11 year period accounts for about 50 of his 65 WAR. We like Trammell around here and his best 11-year run was a 123 OPS+ in 5900 PA. From ages 21-32, Ripken had a 124 OPS+ in 7800 PA. Brooks's hitting peak was a 117 OPS+ in 6700 PA. Kent's 11-year peak was a 131 in 6700 PA; Alomar was 126 in 7000.

Finally, to not make positional adjustments for position players in the HoF is equivalent to saying that the only thing that really matters for the HoF is hitting. That's not how the game is played.
   655. GregD Posted: January 02, 2014 at 10:19 PM (#4628804)
While we're on catchers, I've always been curious about properly evaluating Bob Boone. Not as an HOFer but in terms of wondering how far from the line he squats. 15th in all-time DWar, 3rd in games caught, 7 Gold Gloves including 2 in the NL while Bench and Carter were active. What's interesting is the guys above and around him on catching defensive stats are mostly (but for Carter and Bench) not within shouting distance of the HOF--though IRod will get in. But otherwise you're talking Sundberg, Dempsey, Ausmus, Crandell, Charles Johnson, Yeager...a lot of the catchers who played a long time were truly terrible hitters which confirms your point, Walt.
   656. vivaelpujols Posted: January 02, 2014 at 10:21 PM (#4628806)
I even find the concept of dWAR or positional adjustment to be kinda of ridiculous for Cs -- it simply can't be compared to the other positions. Comparing a C to Prince Fielder is almost as absurd as comparing Verlander to Fielder.


I get what you're saying, but catchers produces wins and loss just like any other position so I think the positional adjustment is perfectly fair (of course it's hard to know if the one we have now is correct).
   657. Davo Dozier Posted: January 02, 2014 at 10:31 PM (#4628813)
Interesting little tidbit I noticed while reviewing Thomas's stats (I was surprised to learn in #645 that Frank Thomas was a lifetime .300 hitter):

In the past 50 years, Frank Thomas is one of just 4 players to put up a season with 40+ homers but fewer than 60 strikeouts (In 1993, Thomas had 41 homers but only struck out 54 times). The only other three are Albert Pujols, Hank Aaron, and Barry Bonds.

Anyway, Frank Thomas's strikeout rates are all over the place. 22.5% in his rookie cup of coffee (60 games), and 16% his first full season... and still as high as 18% in 2002 and 2003...yet in 1993 he cut it down to 8%--he was the 10th hardest batter to strike out in the American League that year!
   658. Peter Farted Posted: January 02, 2014 at 10:56 PM (#4628833)
As awesome a hitter as Frank Thomas was, there was one pitcher that destroyed him: 0-for-12 vs Nolan Ryan, with 11 strikeouts.
   659. Peter Farted Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:13 PM (#4628848)
Just for funsies: What hitter hit .500 (min. 20 PA) vs both Phil Niekro and Nolan Ryan?

Hint: Without him, a certain player on the current ballot would have no HOF case.
   660. cardsfanboy Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:17 PM (#4628849)
I even find the concept of dWAR or positional adjustment to be kinda of ridiculous for Cs -- it simply can't be compared to the other positions. Comparing a C to Prince Fielder is almost as absurd as comparing Verlander to Fielder.


As vivapujols pointed out, value is pretty much how much wins/losses you brought to the team and for that, assuming everything is properly accounted for, you most definitely can compare Verlander, Fielder and Posey to each other.(at least on a seasonal basis) Now for arguing hof value etc, I agree, as you pointed out, catchers just don't have the ability to have the career length of other positions and in that type of argument, you can't look at Piazza's 60 or so war and say it's less hof worthy than say a Larry Walker with 70 (note numbers made up for illustrative purposes)

At that point in time, you need to expand you evaluating techniques. Of course nobody is saying that there is an in/out career War-line that is the same for every position. But I think that if you have a perfectly developed War, it's absolutely can be used to compare players from vastly different positions.

So it's very possible that depending on what positions(or tiers of positions) that the borderline career candidate accumulated war could be different based upon where he accumulated their value, a primary catcher might be over the line at 50 (again, this is of course ignoring the arc of their career which has it's own affect on the evaluation) while a relief pitcher might be over 40 or a middle defender over 60 and maybe a corner fielder over 70... just because some positions it's easier to accumulate because it's easier to stay on the field more.

   661. Good cripple hitter Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:17 PM (#4628850)
Just for funsies: What hitter hit .500 (min. 20 PA) vs both Phil Niekro and Nolan Ryan?

Hint: Without him, a certain player on the current ballot would have no HOF case.



It's either Chuck Knoblauch or Lonnie Smith, and Knoblauch couldn't have faced Niekro. It has to be Smith.
   662. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:18 PM (#4628851)
Just for funsies: What hitter hit .500 (min. 20 PA) vs both Phil Niekro and Nolan Ryan?

Hint: Without him, a certain player on the current ballot would have no HOF case.


My guess was Brian Harper, but it was incorrect.
   663. cardsfanboy Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:19 PM (#4628853)
Hint: Without him, a certain player on the current ballot would have no HOF case.


Lonnie Smith? (I'm just assuming you meant Jack Morris, and without Lonnie Smith, he would have no case)
   664. Davo Dozier Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:24 PM (#4628855)
I would have loved if it was possible for the answer to be Xavier Nady (he hit a 3-run homer for the Yankees in the final start of Mike Mussina's career, giving him his only 20-win season), but, well, time doesn't work that way.
   665. brutus Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:29 PM (#4628856)
Sorry to interrupt the entertainment...

Tony Massarotti ballot:
Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, Clemens, Bonds, Edgar
   666. Davo Dozier Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:30 PM (#4628857)
In the final start of his career, Lee Smith hit a homer off Phil Niekro. It was the only homer of his career.

So, I'm going to say that's somehow the correct answer.
   667. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:32 PM (#4628858)
Tony Massarotti ballot:
Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, Clemens, Bonds, Edgar


No offense to Edgar, who I'd vote for on an unlimited ballot, but he kind of looks out of place on a ballot that otherwise includes five players who combined to win 10 MVP awards and 13 Cy Young awards.
   668. Davo Dozier Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:32 PM (#4628859)
665--that's one helluva interesting ballot. Super-duper-high standards/no steroid punishment, I guess?
   669. EddieA Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:34 PM (#4628860)
kirby puckett?
   670. brutus Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:35 PM (#4628861)
Yeah, I would guess small hall guy with no PED issues. No backup for it yet, just twitter.
   671. Davo Dozier Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:36 PM (#4628862)
667--he's voted Edgar every year eligible, oddly:

2010: Roberto Alomar, Andre Dawson, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez

2011: Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez

2012: Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez

2013: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Edgar Martinez


While I would obviously prefer to see every ballot have all ten spots completed, there's not much to argue with here. His standards are just really really high, but he's (quite possibly) voted for the six best guys eligible. We're just drawing the line in a (very) different place.

...what I'm saying is, I'm just glad every time I see a ballot submitted that doesn't have Jack Morris's name on it.
   672. Peter Farted Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:39 PM (#4628864)
It is indeed L. Smith, but not the pitcher. Congrats to the winners...here's your complimentary imaginary Jack Morris bobblehead, complete with groomable mustache! *applause*
   673. Davo Dozier Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:42 PM (#4628865)
And Massarotti explaining last year's ballot:

So why did I vote for Martinez? Precisely for the same reason, at least in part. The DH has been in existence for 40 years now, and yet no true DH has ever been elected to the Hall of Fame or been elected as the Most valuable Player. Let's hope the voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of American (BBWAA) someday call this what it is - discrimination - and I admit that the decision to vote for Martinez is, in part, political.

Here's the other reason: he was a great DH, arguably the best that has ever held the position. As a hitter, he was highly skilled. Martinez had career totals of .312/.418./.515 and he walked more than he struck out. For chunks of his time with the Seattle Mariners, Martinez batted behind both Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey, serving as the No. 4 hitter in a mighty Seattle lineup. He won the Silver Slugger Award five times. He twice finished in the top 10 of the MVP voting, no small feat for a DH on teams with Griffey and Rodriguez.

Can we please stop with the nonsense that DHs are somehow less than whole? The Mariners used Martinez as a DH because they could. There are plenty of players in the Hall of Fame whose defense hurttheir respective teams and who would have better off at DH. Harmon Killebrew. Ted Williams. Willie Stargell. The list goes on.

But he actually does have an issue with PEDs:

Somewhere along the line, there is every chance that Mike Piazza or Jeff Bagwell will get my vote. Right now, I have little choice but to look at them skeptically. (Again, the MLBPA sacrificed the right to be innocent until proven guilty.) Bagwell hit for virtually no power in the minor leagues and finished with career totals similar to those of Juan Gonzalez, who is not in. Piazza was a 62nd round draft pick -- the 62nd round doesn't even exist anymore, for goodness sake -- who turned into one of the greatest power-hitting catchers of all-time.

Do people really expect us to take guys like that at face value now? Sportswriters are dumb. But we're not that dumb. (OK, debatable.) Maybe there will someday be reason to believe that Bagwell and Piazza were clean. But given the damage that players did to their own game during the Steroids Era, they cannot honestly expect us to grant them the benefit of the doubt.

(...)The bottom line?

We shouldn't loosen standards on the Hall of Fame because of the Steroids Era.

We should tighten them.
   674. cardsfanboy Posted: January 03, 2014 at 12:02 AM (#4628871)
While I would obviously prefer to see every ballot have all ten spots completed, there's not much to argue with here. His standards are just really really high, but he's (quite possibly) voted for the six best guys eligible. We're just drawing the line in a (very) different place.


Five guys and Edgar.... I would vote for Piazza, Biggio, Trammell, Bagwell, Palmiero and Walker before Edgar(and that is just among the position players, add in Mussina and Schilling)
   675. GregD Posted: January 03, 2014 at 12:05 AM (#4628873)
While I would obviously prefer to see every ballot have all ten spots completed, there's not much to argue with here. His standards are just really really high, but he's (quite possibly) voted for the six best guys eligible. We're just drawing the line in a (very) different place.
Possibly I have too high a DH penalty or too high a Catcher reward, but I put Piazza way ahead of him and would have to think hard about Biggio, Bagwell, and Trammell at least. I can see putting Martinez on a 10-man ballot but him on a 6-man ballot just makes no sense to me.
   676. ursus arctos Posted: January 03, 2014 at 12:31 AM (#4628890)
From the quote in 673, he is clearly applying a PED discount to Piazza and Bagwell.
   677. GregD Posted: January 03, 2014 at 12:40 AM (#4628891)
From the excerpts (I don't see a link) he presumably counts Clemens and Bonds as so high that they deserve to go in no matter what as they would have deserved to go in if their careers ended before their first-known use. Which is fine. The problem is that is also true of Piazza. He's so far ahead of the line that it's ridiculous. Bagwell, I understand, is a different case if you follow the illogic, since there are other first basemen close to him. But Piazza raises the average quality of catcher in the HOF pretty healthily by his admission.
   678. Davo Dozier Posted: January 03, 2014 at 12:47 AM (#4628895)
To be clear, the excerpts I posted were from the article he posted 365 days ago, explaining last year's selections.
   679. ursus arctos Posted: January 03, 2014 at 12:47 AM (#4628896)
His theory seems to be that magic beans turned him from a 62nd round draft pick into "Mike Piazza".

I find it bizarre as well, but there is a consistency among his ballots.
   680. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: January 03, 2014 at 12:57 AM (#4628900)
I even find the concept of dWAR or positional adjustment to be kinda of ridiculous for Cs -- it simply can't be compared to the other positions. Comparing a C to Prince Fielder is almost as absurd as comparing Verlander to Fielder.

I could kiss you, Walt.

All the other adjustments are based on position switchers, but very few players move to or from catcher, and the performances of those who do certainly don't justify catcher's exalted place in relation to the other positions. It's its own population, and players add wins with their offense and defense relative to the position, not relative to everyone else. There's no other way to see it that doesn't boil down to "just because."
   681. Pete L. Posted: January 03, 2014 at 02:52 AM (#4628938)
On Massarotti's ballot: I am a MAJOR Edgar homer, and I am truly grateful for the comments he made about Edgar and the DH (which I agree with), but that is a weird ballot.

While I believe Edgar is a solid HOF choice, on this particular ballot I don't believe Edgar belongs on a ballot with less than 10 - possibly 9 - ballots. And for the most part, to get him on a ballot, you are either a bright line PED guy, or are voting strategically with PEDs used to exclude or downgrade otherwise worthy candidates. But Massarotti has Clemens and Bonds on his ballot (most likely the "he was a Hall of Famer before he used" argument) but no Piazza or Bagwell (assuming he didn't vote for Biggio on the merits - which I also think is defensible on a ten player ballot - rather than based on Chass-like nonsense), even though there is less evidence of their use. Or players who were solidly tied to PEDs as Bonds and Clemens (McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro), and arguably roughly comparable to Edgar. Only way to resolve that is by resort to some sort of argument such as I suggested above (which I don't really have a problem with), combine with a really headline PED stance even based on suspicion (which I do have a problem with) Then, no Mussina or Schilling, even though they don't look a lot different from Glavine to me, and both are arguably better choices than Edgar, though I don't really like directly comparing pitchers and hitters, and maybe he'll only put so many of each....

Anyway, I'm grateful he helped get Edgar that much closer to being assured of staying on the ballot, but this is a hard one to follow. Unless it is a very "strategic" ballot.
   682. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: January 03, 2014 at 03:08 AM (#4628943)
While I believe Edgar is a solid HOF choice, on this particular ballot I don't believe Edgar belongs on a ballot with less than 10 - possibly 9 - ballots.


That's how I feel. I wouldn't mind Edgar in the Hall of Fame, but this is a rough ballot to find room on.
   683. Walt Davis Posted: January 03, 2014 at 03:44 AM (#4628946)
As vivapujols pointed out, value is pretty much how much wins/losses you brought to the team and for that, assuming everything is properly accounted for, you most definitely can compare Verlander, Fielder and Posey to each other

#680 pretty much answers it for me. The "concept" of dWAR is how a player would do at another position. That's a silly concept for Cs -- players from other positions can't really play C; Cs can play other positions but rarely get a chance to while they're still able to play C.

I don't have a big problem with an old-school "the average C hits X while the average 1B hits Y and so we'll guess that's the correct positional adjustment."

And comparing Verlander to Prince is also actually quite hard -- how much is the defense worth when Verlander pitches; how much should he be credited/punished for the sequence of events (FIP, xFIP, etc.); what is the value in bullpen management if he goes an extra inning.

Compare pitchers to pitchers, compare position players to position players ... and for the most part, compare Cs to Cs. Let the theologians argue over Verlander vs Fielder vs Carter.

And, yeah, that ballot in #665 may be the worst non-Morris ballot I've seen.

EM: 8674 PA, 312/418/515, 147 OPS+, 529 Rbat, 560 career starts in the field
JB: 9431 PA, 297/408/540, 149 OPS+, 587 Rbat, 2091 career starts in the field

Essentially identical as hitters with Bagwell with the slight career edge ... and a mere 1500 more games in the field. Even if a DH penalty is "discrimination" there's no question a good-fielding 1B (who also added about 5 wins of baserunning vs. Edgar) beats an otherwise equal DH.

Walker, Trammell, Raines, Biggio vs. Edgar are all pretty close ... and then you've got to figure out how to place him vs. the pitchers and Piazza. I think he's 13th or 14th on my personal ballot but can see how folks might put him as high as 8th. But man that's one thin line between him and everybody else I just mentioned and I don't think it's discriminatory in that situation to say "under the circumstances, I'm putting the DH at the end of the line.

Some fun with numbers ... Edgar's career was 1987 to 2004 so I took 5 years either side:

he's 10th in Rbat from 1982-2009. 4 of the guys ahead of him are on this ballot. Of the other guys ahead of him, you can argue he was better than Sheffield (a lot more PAs explaining the counting stat difference and lousy defense) and Thome (barely ahead of him in about 800 more PA. On the other hand, if you take Sheff from ages 23-36, you get a few more Rbat than Edgar in 500 fewer PA, Sheffield's extra PAs were pretty empty ones at the beginning/end of his career. The same is roughly true of Thome -- virtually identical Rbat from 22-36 in 500 fewer PA. So squabble as to where he ranks among that trio but that's where I consider him to be.

In that list, he is also just ahead of Chipper (we miss his last few years). From 24-37, Chipper is a smidgen short in Rbat in the same number of PA and of course spent his entire career in the field where he was far from sucking.

So just taking Edgar as a hitter he's anywhere from #8 to #11 of his "era". Not that there's anything wrong with that. :-)

Now baserunning ... as you might guess, these 11 are not the fleetest of foot. Edgar (-18) is right at home among Mac (-14), Manny (-20), Thomas (-22) and Thome (-23). Those are also similar to Giambi, McGriff, Berkman with Delgado and Piazza really stinking up the joint. That gives us some idea of how good Edgar might have been had he stayed in the field.

That's pretty much the group he's in for DPs as well although he was near the top of the slow-footed slugger brigade for this one and not substantially worse than Bagwell (or he was substantially better than Thomas and Manny). Not surprisingly this terrible group is all RHB. McGriff at a mere -13 (Edgar at -20) is the worst of the LHB.

The differences there don't help Edgar's case at all thought. Edgar gave back 38 runs with Rbase and Rdp while Sheff gave back just 10, Thome 18 and Chipper gains 10.

What about below Chipper. There's a big gap. Chipper is about 30 ahead of Rickey but Rickey's profile is so distinct he's not really comparable to anybody else on this list. The gap between Chipper at 11 and Giambi at 13 is 73 Rbat in 1100 PA (again, we miss the end of Chipper in this comp). The gap in Rbat between Giambi and Edgar is either one monster Giambi season (seasonal high of 77 Rbat) or two damn good ones. Giambi had about 1400 starts in the field and gave back only 23 runs but that's probably not enough to close the gap on Edgar without considering defensive quality (which Giambi did not have).

Griffey is just behind Giambi but he gets killed by OBP relative to Edgar; Boggs comes next and he gets killed on SLG. Helton has better raw rate stats (through 2009) but comes up short after adjusting for Coors and is about 1000 PA behind; Walker has similar OBP/SLG to Thome but again loses ground on Rbat due to Coors and is 700 PA behind. Still, just baserunning and DP avoidance picks up nearly 9 wins for Walker which does move him essentially equal to Edgar.

The wild card here is Berkman whose raw rate stats through 2009 were 299/412/555, 144 OPS+ in just 6355 PA. But he wasn't able to keep that up after 2009 so he's no match for Edgar on a career scale. Other than that you have guys who slugged like crazy but come up 40 points short of Edgar on OBP.

Now we'll bring defense and (more concretely) playing time into it with WAR. He comes in 17th for 1982-2009 with 68.1 WAR. Within a measly +/- 1 WAR, we've got:

Gwynn 68.9
Manny
Pudge
Edgar
Lofton
Sandberg
Thome
Jeter 67.3

Good company to keep and (PED issues aside) clear HoFers except possibly Lofton. An issue is that there are 8 1B/LF/RF/DH from this era ahead of him plus Thome right behind. There is then a bit of a gap though with Raines at 65 and Molitor/Mac at 62 as the next "corner" players. (Note we miss quite a bit of good young Molitor, he zips past Edgar when we consider that.) It's reasonably easy to draw the "corner player" line somewhere after Thome than before him.

Then we do start getting into "prejudice" about the DH position -- or preferences for breaking ties by rewarding infielders, guys who stayed in the field, etc. That is I'm reasonably comfortable still ranking Edgar (and essentially Thome and maybe Manny although I have a hard time believing his defense was THAT terrible) below Sandberg, Jeter, Alomar, Ozzie, Raines, Biggio and probably Rolen.

On this ballot of course ... well, Edgar is 13th in career WAR and 12th in WAR7 (close enough to prime and easily available). Somehow that adds up to 11th in overall JAWS score but I don't know enough about JAWS scores to let them sway me. In career WAR he's ranked ahead of Biggio and Piazza who I both move ahead of him; but he's behind Palmeiro who I'd probably move behind him. WAR7 somehow puts him equal to Sosa and ahead of McGwire which I have a very hard time believing but am willing to concede that I've probably been under-rating Edgar's prime. (He does have 1100 more AB than Mac for his WAR7 so I guess that explains that one.) Anyway, my point being I have (until now at least) been moving Mac ahead of him based on peak.

And my magic 8 ball puts him behind Glavine, Mussina, Schilling too.

Anyway, I rate this ballot as Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, Bagwell, Piazza, Thomas as a cut above the rest. After that it's a mish-mash of the 3 pitchers, Biggio, Trammell, Walker, Raines, Mac, Sosa, Edgar, Palmeiro in that order this week. As I just said, probably Edgar should be ahead of Sosa if his peak is really anywhere near that close. I've never been able to move him ahead of Walker and Raines though and I have a bias towards defensive positions.

But he's still right in there with Thome and Palmeiro and
   684. vivaelpujols Posted: January 03, 2014 at 04:16 AM (#4628952)
So why did I vote for Martinez? Precisely for the same reason, at least in part. The DH has been in existence for 40 years now, and yet no true DH has ever been elected to the Hall of Fame or been elected as the Most valuable Player. Let's hope the voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of American (BBWAA) someday call this what it is - discrimination - and I admit that the decision to vote for Martinez is, in part, political.


This is an interesting point. Might DH's be undervalued in the same way that catchers are? Someone has to play DH in the AL and the bar for being a valuable DH is incredibly high.

The "concept" of dWAR is how a player would do at another position.


The concept of WAR as a whole is that all players contribute to wins and losses, that they are all valued on the same unit. I don't understand how you could disagree with that, so while you may disagree with lumping catchers in with other positions their value has to be accounted somehow in wins or runs. How else would you suggest doing so?
   685. vivaelpujols Posted: January 03, 2014 at 04:29 AM (#4628956)
Anyway, I rate this ballot as Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, Bagwell, Piazza, Thomas as a cut above the rest


Why Thomas so far ahead of the three pitchers? He had about 70 career WAR which is bested by each of the pitchers. Thomas' peak is stronger than Glavines or Mussinas, but not as strong as Schillings.
   686. cardsfanboy Posted: January 03, 2014 at 04:46 AM (#4628959)
#680 pretty much answers it for me. The "concept" of dWAR is how a player would do at another position. That's a silly concept for Cs -- players from other positions can't really play C; Cs can play other positions but rarely get a chance to while they're still able to play C.


That is not the way I see it, dWar rates defensive value and it has nothing to do with how they would do at another position, but instead how much defensive value(wins/losses) they provide.

It's a simple math construct. You take offensive value(regardless of position, but relative to average) add in positional adjustment(which is just a rating) and add defensive value relative to average .. in fact on a per game basis, fWar does a semi-decent job of over compensating for catchers defensive adjustment (the problem is that rField doesn't include everything for defense for a catcher, it's over obssessed with arm for a catcher, etc)


I'm not 100% a fan of War, but I'm fully an 85% convert and the concept is a great concept. And it works on a seasonal basis for the most part. (it has it's flaws, I absolutely agree with that, and yes a good percentage of it's flaws is related on how it handles catchers, but a 95% accurate War is a potentially feasible concept.)


And comparing Verlander to Prince is also actually quite hard -- how much is the defense worth when Verlander pitches; how much should he be credited/punished for the sequence of events (FIP, xFIP, etc.); what is the value in bullpen management if he goes an extra inning.


And I agree... not saying it's there yet, I just said if it was accurate you can legitimately compare. There are flaws with it... I've argued against it dozens of times, but it's not about the concept, it's about the execution.

Trust me, I'm no where the first person that is going to use War as the be-all, end all of the argument, and I pretty much agree with everything you said in the post 683.... but that doesn't negate the value of the stat, it only negates blind loyalty to the stat, it has value, just as every other stat (except maybe wpa and rbi) has value when put in proper context. I absolutely agree that there is absolutely no way I would rank Edgar ahead of Piazza or Biggio, I think anyone who does is closer to a robot than a thinking human being. But no matter what, outside of the Rays of the world, for the most part, most people are nuanced enough to have a functionally logical circuit in their brain to delve deeper than into just one or two sets of stats for these debates.


But again... Ultimately on a seasonal basis, a 100% perfect war stat, can legitimately argue for the MVP with no other information needed(as long as you understand the concept of margin of error) ----we aren't there, and we'll probably never be there, but we are probably pretty close....I have a few personal pet peaves but eventually most of those discrepencies will be ironed out with math.
   687. cardsfanboy Posted: January 03, 2014 at 04:57 AM (#4628960)
Why Thomas so far ahead of the three pitchers? He had about 70 career WAR which is bested by each of the pitchers. Thomas' peak is stronger than Glavines or Mussinas, but not as strong as Schillings.


Because blindly listing career War sucks...(or more accurately a sign of a Ray level deficiency of the brain)

Thomas had roughly speaking 10 MVP level seasons, even extending Cy Young ballots out to multiple spots the pitchers never really approached what Thomas did in his peak.

3 seasons leading the league in ops+, another 4 seasons in second place. There is literally no doubt that from 1991-1997 Frank Thomas was the single best offensive force in baseball. Thomas owns Schilling and Mussina in peak, and equals them in career....


the single biggest indication of a blind ass robot, is someone saying "see, look at their career war"..
   688. vivaelpujols Posted: January 03, 2014 at 05:34 AM (#4628962)
So what you're saying is that WAR is flawed but OPS+ is the answer? Thomas was either a DH or a poor fielding first baseman all those times he was leading in the league in OPS+ he wasn't as good a players who had better all around games.

Maybe Thomas wins on some intangible "greatness" scale, but as far as I can tell all three of those pitchers were arguably as or more valuable. Do you have any rebuttal to this besides "WAR is not perfect".
   689. gabrielthursday Posted: January 03, 2014 at 06:53 AM (#4628973)
The "concept" of dWAR is how a player would do at another position. That's a silly concept for Cs -- players from other positions can't really play C; Cs can play other positions but rarely get a chance to while they're still able to play C.

I don't really think this is entirely accurate. What we are really talking about here is positional adjustments, and we have positional adjustments not in order to determine what kind of defensive work other players could produce at a given position, but to determine what the replacement level is at a given position. Determining replacement level is, of course, quite difficult, and positional switching has been used to come up with those values.

But I agree that positional switching is basically useless for determining replacement level for catchers, since almost no positional switching to catcher takes place. It seems to me that replacement level for catchers would be better calculated by looking at what the offensive and defensive value of the easily-available backups are, and setting replacement value there. The saber community often doesn't like to do this since it typically involves making somewhat debatable determinations of where players are on depth charts, who is easily available, and so forth. The fact we don't have particularly good metrics for catcher contributions to pitching performance is an additional problem. Perhaps an easy way to look at replacement level would be to estimate that 90% of playing time is occupied by those above-replacement level, and see what the 10th percentile level of production is.
   690. Sunday silence Posted: January 03, 2014 at 08:19 AM (#4628981)
while we're on the subject of catchers/defense, isnt it also difficult to quantify the value of a SB because unlike most stats, these are more likely in high leverage situations. Way back when, Pete Palmer seemed to have undervalued them alot. Do we have a better idea of what the linear wt of a SB is?

Also can arguments be made for Lance Parrish and Tim McCarver for HoF due to their exceptional longevity at this position?
   691. Oscar Geronimo Posted: January 03, 2014 at 08:53 AM (#4628983)
At 60.7% with nearly a fifth of the ballots in the books, time is running out for Morris... Although it is a big downer to realize that the Veterans will vote him in within 5 years anyway.
   692. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 03, 2014 at 09:20 AM (#4628987)
Updating my list from yesterday of what people need from the remaining ballots;

Biggio - 73.8%
Piazza - 75.5%
Bagwell - 77.1%
Morris - 78.4%
Sosa - 4.3% (to stay at 5%)
Palmeiro - 4.5%
Mattingly - 5.2%
   693. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 03, 2014 at 09:36 AM (#4628990)
jose

interesting. thanks

rooting for the top 3. ambivalent on morris. surprised at the sosa number.

   694. GregD Posted: January 03, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4628992)
So why did I vote for Martinez? Precisely for the same reason, at least in part. The DH has been in existence for 40 years now, and yet no true DH has ever been elected to the Hall of Fame or been elected as the Most valuable Player. Let's hope the voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of American (BBWAA) someday call this what it is - discrimination - and I admit that the decision to vote for Martinez is, in part, political.
Discrimination? Political? Boy, that's a terrible argument. This is someone who seems unfamiliar with the English language.

Also can arguments be made for Lance Parrish and Tim McCarver for HoF due to their exceptional longevity at this position?
McCarver is only 41st in games caught, but it is a good question.

I am cherry-picking a bit, but the top 8 in games at Shortstop include 1 not-yet-eligible but slam dunk (Jeter), 1 not-yet-eligible but likely (Vizquel), 4 HOFers, Concepcion and Bowa. The top in catchers include 2 HOFers, 1 not eligible but slam dunk if PEDs don't ding him in I-Rod, and 5 guys who ain't going anywhere near the hall.

The Hall has neither recognized longevity nor short-term greatness in catchers, penalizing good hitters who moved off the position as they aged while not rewarding guys who could stay on the position
   695. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 03, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4628996)
ted simmons continues to get the shaft from the hof

I understand the why but it's still disappointing.
   696. LargeBill Posted: January 03, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4629011)
659. Peter Farted Posted: January 02, 2014 at 10:13 PM (#4628848)
Just for funsies: What hitter hit .500 (min. 20 PA) vs both Phil Niekro and Nolan Ryan?

Hint: Without him, a certain player on the current ballot would have no HOF case.



Actually an argument could be made that Smith's base running has impacted two players Hall of Fame cases. Obviously, that one game elevated Morris from likely having a stint on the ballot similar to Dennis Martinez to being a fifteen year guy. However, by helping Morris stay on the ballot 15 years, Smith also hurt Trammell's case. I say that because some of the justification for voting Morris is someone should represent the 80's Tigers (particularly the great 84 team). If Morris had fallen off the ballot after a couple years, Trammell would have rightly gotten the "need a Tiger" vote.
   697. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 03, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4629020)
And don't forget the one HoF vote that Chuck Knoblauch got.
   698. John DiFool2 Posted: January 03, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4629086)
This is an interesting point. Might DH's be undervalued in the same way that catchers are? Someone has to play DH in the AL and the bar for being a valuable DH is incredibly high.


As I've said on several occasions here (only to be roundly ignored as the flame war over whatever trivialities continues unabated), the WAR replacement level floor for DH's is too low IMNSHO (yes most people here know I am a huge Papi fan, but whatever). The WAR formulas assume that you can find anyone and stick anyone into the DH role and they'll be just fine (that positional scarcity is thus very low if I have that term applied here correctly). Yet the record shows many hitters over the years who seemingly cannot hit as well there as they can while playing the field (Hurt himself and Reggie Jackson are the first ones that come to my mind), and that teams often have trouble filling the slot with someone who can, you know, hit. Many years DH's have the 3rd-5th best offensive stats among all of the AL positions. In other words the WAR floor for the position has been set where people "feel" it should be ("Oh everybody knows DH's are usually sucky defensive players..."), and not based on any actual attempt to empirically measure said floor and account for these factors. If teams don't use the slot optimally and not every player can hit well there, I don't see how that is Papi's or Edgar's fault.
   699. Davo Dozier Posted: January 03, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4629101)
That makes me think of players who made the Hall of Fame by the narrowest of margins.

* Bill Mazeroski only made the Hall of Fame because Rocky Nelson missed the tag on Mickey Mantle in the top of the 9th.

* Catfish Hunter only made it because Rich Reese struck out with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th of this game.

* Ray Schalk only made it because Charles Comiskey passed on the good champagne in 1919.

* George Kell only made it because he had 179 hits in 1949 instead of 178.
   700. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 03, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4629128)
I hear Tony Massarotti a fair amount on Boston-area radio when I am driving, and he does strike me as a terribly unreasonable guy, unintelligent, etc. To me, he is an example of a guy who, if he gets a year of periodic calls (on his afternoon drive-time radio show) and emails (as a Boston Herald columnist) with thoughtful arguments for certain players, we could make an impact.

Look, he probably is a Small Hall guy, which is fine. Three of his votes this year appear to be going in (Maddux, Glavine, Thomas). It is also clear that he is going to vote for Edgar Martinez every year until he is off the ballot, one way or another. That's fine. Bonds and Clemens will also stay his ballot, we could presume. So, look at his 2015 ballot:

He's definitely voting for Bonds, Clemens, and Edgar.
He's definitely voting for Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez.

That's five.

He doesn't have any history of going much higher than that, so we shouldn't assume any argument is going to get more than another person or two on his ballot.

Smoltz is a strong candidate, but he didn't vote for Schilling or Mussina, so I find it hard to believe he'd vote for Smoltz, either.

He said he was open to Piazza and Bagwell, but couldn't quite go there yet.

If Piazza doesn't make it this year, he'll be damned close - with a couple of points, probably. He'll get it next year.

Bagwell is going to need a little more additional voting support in 2015. To me, this is an example of targeting a pro-Bagwell message to Massarotti, and express appreciation for him putting together a ballot of Bonds, Clemens, Pedro, Johnson, Bagwell, and Edgar.

This is an example, to me, of how a forum like BBTF could realistically, diplomatically, and surgically have a positive impact on getting certain candidates the support they need to get over the top.
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