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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The Bill James Mailbag

How dare you challenge Rick Aguilera and his 3 (0.6%) HOF votes!

It seems like a team of The Best Players Currently Excluded from the Hall would crush a team of the Worst Included Players. C – Piazza, 1B – Bagwell, 2B – Biggio, SS – Trammell, 3B – Darrell Evans, OF – Barry Bonds, Raines and Dwight Evans, SP – Clemens, Schilling, Tiant, Saberhagen, Kevin Brown, RP – Lee Smith, Reardon, Myers, Franco, Aguilera with a bench of Ted Simmons, McGwire, Whitaker, Concepcion, Torre, Dale Murphy and Larry Walker would be favored over C- Ferrell, 1B – George Kelly, 2B – Mazeroski, SS – Travis Jackson, 3B – Lindstrom, OF – Hafey, Lloyd Waner, Tommy McCarthy, SP – Haines, Marquard, Catfish, Candy Cummings, Rixey, RP – Sutter, Fingers, Gossage, Eck, Wilhelm, and a bench of Schalk, Bottomley, Joe Gordon, Rizzuto, Kell, Dawson and Jim Rice. I was wondering: if these two teams played each other heads-up for 162 games, what do you think their respective records would be?

1) Do you think Darrell Evans is the best third baseman not in the Hall of Fame? Intuitively, I would have gone with Graig Nettles.

2) There are weaker outfielders in the Hall of Fame than Dawson and Rice.

3) It is ALWAYS true that a team of the best players left out of the Hall of Fame would crush a team of the weakest players in the Hall of Fame. It is almost axiomatic, because if you construct a list of the best players at any position, 15 or 20 will be in the Hall of Fame, and it is almost impossible for those to be EXACTLY the 15 top players; therefore, there is almost always, at each position, at least one player excluded from the Hall of Fame who is better than one player selected, and therefore, when you make teams, the “excluded” team is always better at every position, and thus would always crush the “included” team.

4) This is especially true NOW because of the mess made of the voting by the combination of the expansion time bomb and steroids.


5) My guess. . .and it is just a guess. . .is that the “excluded” players would win at least 95 games, and the “included” players would win no more than 67.

Repoz Posted: April 03, 2013 at 08:14 AM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, hof

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   1. bobm Posted: April 03, 2013 at 08:40 AM (#4402908)
It seems like a team of The Best Players Currently Excluded from the Hall would crush a team of the Worst Included Players


I am surprised that Bill James did not distinguish between worst BBWAA inductees and worst VC inductees. Worst BBWAA inductees would be a more interesting team given the history of the VC. If only Bill James had written a book about the Hall of Fame and voting patterns etc. ...
   2. bobm Posted: April 03, 2013 at 08:50 AM (#4402913)
Not that voting pct is a uniformly good proxy for player quality, but with that said:


                                                                
Year                     Voted By Inducted As Votes % of Ballots
1953          Al Simmons    BBWAA      Player 199.0        75.4%
1991      Fergie Jenkins    BBWAA      Player 334.0        75.4%
1975         Ralph Kiner    BBWAA      Player 273.0        75.4%
1939       Willie Keeler    BBWAA      Player 207.0        75.5%
1972          Early Wynn    BBWAA      Player 301.0        76.0%
1937            Cy Young    BBWAA      Player 153.0        76.1%
2005       Ryne Sandberg    BBWAA      Player 393.0        76.2%
1987      Catfish Hunter    BBWAA      Player 315.0        76.3%
1947         Lefty Grove    BBWAA      Player 123.0        76.4%
2009            Jim Rice    BBWAA      Player 412.0        76.4%
1948         Pie Traynor    BBWAA      Player  93.0        76.9%
2006        Bruce Sutter    BBWAA      Player 400.0        76.9%
2000          Tony Perez    BBWAA      Player 385.0        77.2%
1991       Gaylord Perry    BBWAA      Player 342.0        77.2%
1970        Lou Boudreau    BBWAA      Player 232.0        77.3%
1954          Bill Terry    BBWAA      Player 195.0        77.4%
1999         Robin Yount    BBWAA      Player 385.0        77.5%
1962     Jackie Robinson    BBWAA      Player 124.0        77.5%
1948        Herb Pennock    BBWAA      Player  94.0        77.7%
1955      Gabby Hartnett    BBWAA      Player 195.0        77.7%
1939       Eddie Collins    BBWAA      Player 213.0        77.7%
1974         Whitey Ford    BBWAA      Player 284.0        77.8%
2010        Andre Dawson    BBWAA      Player 420.0        77.9%
2003         Gary Carter    BBWAA      Player 387.0        78.0%
1942      Rogers Hornsby    BBWAA      Player 182.0        78.1%
1984        Don Drysdale    BBWAA      Player 316.0        78.4%
1976           Bob Lemon    BBWAA      Player 305.0        78.6%
1956          Joe Cronin    BBWAA      Player 152.0        78.8%
1953          Dizzy Dean    BBWAA      Player 209.0        79.2%
1951         Jimmie Foxx    BBWAA      Player 179.0        79.2%
1969      Roy Campanella    BBWAA      Player 270.0        79.4%
1978       Eddie Mathews    BBWAA      Player 301.0        79.4%
1947     Mickey Cochrane    BBWAA      Player 128.0        79.5%
2000        Carlton Fisk    BBWAA      Player 397.0        79.6%
2011       Bert Blyleven    BBWAA      Player 463.0        79.7%
1985           Lou Brock    BBWAA      Player 315.0        79.7%
1954         Bill Dickey    BBWAA      Player 202.0        80.2%
1997         Phil Niekro    BBWAA      Player 380.0        80.3%
1938      Pete Alexander    BBWAA      Player 212.0        80.9%
1992      Rollie Fingers    BBWAA      Player 349.0        81.2%
1986      Willie McCovey    BBWAA      Player 346.0        81.4%
1998          Don Sutton    BBWAA      Player 386.0        81.6%
1955         Dazzy Vance    BBWAA      Player 205.0        81.7%
1990          Joe Morgan    BBWAA      Player 363.0        81.8%
1937        Tris Speaker    BBWAA      Player 165.0        82.1%
2001       Kirby Puckett    BBWAA      Player 423.0        82.1%
1988     Willie Stargell    BBWAA      Player 352.0        82.4%
1954   Rabbit Maranville    BBWAA      Player 209.0        82.9%
1984    Harmon Killebrew    BBWAA      Player 335.0        83.1%
1973        Warren Spahn    BBWAA      Player 316.0        83.2%
2004    Dennis Eckersley    BBWAA      Player 421.0        83.2%
1952          Paul Waner    BBWAA      Player 195.0        83.3%
1937          Nap Lajoie    BBWAA      Player 168.0        83.6%
1936      Walter Johnson    BBWAA      Player 189.0        83.6%
1983       Juan Marichal    BBWAA      Player 313.0        83.7%
1985        Hoyt Wilhelm    BBWAA      Player 331.0        83.8%
1977         Ernie Banks    BBWAA      Player 321.0        83.8%
1981          Bob Gibson    BBWAA      Player 337.0        84.0%
2001       Dave Winfield    BBWAA      Player 435.0        84.5%
1947      Frankie Frisch    BBWAA      Player 136.0        84.5%
1984       Luis Aparicio    BBWAA      Player 341.0        84.6%
1968         Joe Medwick    BBWAA      Player 240.0        84.8%
1956      Hank Greenberg    BBWAA      Player 164.0        85.0%
2004        Paul Molitor    BBWAA      Player 431.0        85.2%
2003        Eddie Murray    BBWAA      Player 423.0        85.3%
1972          Yogi Berra    BBWAA      Player 339.0        85.6%
1987      Billy Williams    BBWAA      Player 354.0        85.7%
1939       George Sisler    BBWAA      Player 235.0        85.8%
2008        Rich Gossage    BBWAA      Player 466.0        85.8%
2012        Barry Larkin    BBWAA      Player 495.0        86.4%
1955           Ted Lyons    BBWAA      Player 217.0        86.5%
1980         Duke Snider    BBWAA      Player 333.0        86.5%
1952      Harry Heilmann    BBWAA      Player 203.0        86.8%
1976       Robin Roberts    BBWAA      Player 337.0        86.9%
1972        Sandy Koufax    BBWAA      Player 344.0        86.9%
1947        Carl Hubbell    BBWAA      Player 140.0        87.0%
1951             Mel Ott    BBWAA      Player 197.0        87.2%
1974       Mickey Mantle    BBWAA      Player 322.0        88.2%
1980           Al Kaline    BBWAA      Player 340.0        88.3%
1955        Joe DiMaggio    BBWAA      Player 223.0        88.8%
1982      Frank Robinson    BBWAA      Player 370.0        89.2%
2011      Roberto Alomar    BBWAA      Player 523.0        90.0%
1991           Rod Carew    BBWAA      Player 401.0        90.5%
1936   Christy Mathewson    BBWAA      Player 205.0        90.7%
2002         Ozzie Smith    BBWAA      Player 433.0        91.7%
2005          Wade Boggs    BBWAA      Player 474.0        91.9%
1983     Brooks Robinson    BBWAA      Player 344.0        92.0%
1990          Jim Palmer    BBWAA      Player 411.0        92.6%
1969         Stan Musial    BBWAA      Player 317.0        93.2%
1966        Ted Williams    BBWAA      Player 282.0        93.4%
1993      Reggie Jackson    BBWAA      Player 396.0        93.6%
1962          Bob Feller    BBWAA      Player 150.0        93.8%
1989    Carl Yastrzemski    BBWAA      Player 423.0        94.6%
1979         Willie Mays    BBWAA      Player 409.0        94.7%
2009    Rickey Henderson    BBWAA      Player 511.0        94.8%
1936           Babe Ruth    BBWAA      Player 215.0        95.1%
1936        Honus Wagner    BBWAA      Player 215.0        95.1%
1994       Steve Carlton    BBWAA      Player 436.0        95.6%
1989        Johnny Bench    BBWAA      Player 431.0        96.4%
1995        Mike Schmidt    BBWAA      Player 444.0        96.5%
2007          Tony Gwynn    BBWAA      Player 532.0        97.6%
1982          Hank Aaron    BBWAA      Player 406.0        97.8%
1999        George Brett    BBWAA      Player 488.0        98.2%
1936             Ty Cobb    BBWAA      Player 222.0        98.2%
2007          Cal Ripken    BBWAA      Player 537.0        98.5%
1999          Nolan Ryan    BBWAA      Player 491.0        98.8%
1992          Tom Seaver    BBWAA      Player 425.0        98.8%


   3. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 03, 2013 at 08:51 AM (#4402914)
I'd put Larry Walker on the team over Dwight Evans.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: April 03, 2013 at 08:56 AM (#4402918)
5) My guess. . .and it is just a guess. . .is that the “excluded” players would win at least 95 games, and the “included” players would win no more than 67.


And he feels so strongly about this, he's saying it twice.

I never liked including the likely to be elected, such as Biggio, on comparisons such as this. I'd rather limit it to those guys considered and rejected (or ones like Trammel who are just killing time on the bottom of the ballot) than the guys who simply came up short on their first or second ballot but are making progress toward eventual enshrinement. It seems like a more appropriate comparison of mistakes vs. snubs. Jim Rice took 15 ballots to get in. Biggio will probably take 2. It's not like the voters really considered the former a more deserving Hall of Famer than the latter. It's just a new version of selective end points.

   5. BDC Posted: April 03, 2013 at 08:57 AM (#4402919)
a team of The Best Players Currently Excluded from the Hall would crush a team of the Worst Included Players

This is likely to be true of any comparison involving subjective honors voted on by groups. Think of Best Films That Didn't Win Best Picture vs. Worst "Best Pictures," or Best Writers Who Didn't Win the Nobel Prize vs. Worst Nobel Prize Winners. Pulp Fiction or Oliver!? Vladimir Nabokov, meet Pearl Buck.
   6. The District Attorney Posted: April 03, 2013 at 08:57 AM (#4402920)
It'd be fun and seemingly relatively easy to throw those teams into Out of the Park or something and give it a shot...
   7. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 03, 2013 at 09:02 AM (#4402922)
A list of writers that didn't win the Nobel Prize

I'm still waiting for Roth and Pynchon, myself, but not very intensely. Who really cares all that much?
   8. bobm Posted: April 03, 2013 at 09:07 AM (#4402927)
Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1871 to 2013, For players in the saved report : (MLB Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees BBWAA - Baseball-Reference.com: ), sorted by greatest WAR Position PlayersSpanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1871 to 2013, For players in the saved report : (MLB Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees BBWAA - Baseball-Reference.com: ), sorted by greatest WAR Position Players

                                                          
Rk               Player WAR/pos From   To   Age        Pos
1             Babe Ruth   163.3 1914 1935 19-40     971/83
2           Willie Mays   155.9 1951 1973 20-42   *8/39675
3               Ty Cobb   151.2 1905 1928 18-41  *89/73145
4            Hank Aaron   142.3 1954 1976 20-42  *9783D/45
5          Tris Speaker   134.0 1907 1928 19-40    *8/3971
6          Honus Wagner   130.4 1897 1917 23-43 *6935/8471
7           Stan Musial   128.2 1941 1963 20-42     3798/1
8        Rogers Hornsby   126.9 1915 1937 19-41  *465/3978
9         Eddie Collins   123.9 1906 1930 19-43   *4/69875
10         Ted Williams   123.2 1939 1960 20-41      *79/1
11     Rickey Henderson   110.6 1979 2003 20-44     *78D/9
12        Mickey Mantle   109.7 1951 1968 19-36  *8397/645
13              Mel Ott   107.8 1926 1947 17-38    *958/74
14           Nap Lajoie   107.2 1896 1916 21-41  *43/65987
15       Frank Robinson   107.2 1956 1976 20-40    97D38/5
16         Mike Schmidt   106.6 1972 1989 22-39     *53/64
17           Joe Morgan   100.3 1963 1984 19-40    *4/7D58
18          Jimmie Foxx    96.4 1925 1945 17-37  *352/7196
19        Eddie Mathews    96.1 1952 1968 20-36      *53/7
20     Carl Yastrzemski    96.0 1961 1983 21-43   *73D8/59
21           Cal Ripken    95.5 1981 2001 20-40      *65/D
22            Al Kaline    92.6 1953 1974 18-39   *98D3/75
23           Wade Boggs    91.0 1982 1999 24-41    *5D/317
24         George Brett    88.4 1973 1993 20-40   *5D3/796
25            Rod Carew    81.0 1967 1985 21-39    34/D657
Rk               Player WAR/pos From   To   Age        Pos
26      Brooks Robinson    78.4 1955 1977 18-40      *5/46
27         Joe DiMaggio    78.3 1936 1951 21-36     *8/793
28          Robin Yount    77.0 1974 1993 18-37    *68D/73
29          Ozzie Smith    76.5 1978 1996 23-41         *6
30         Paul Molitor    75.5 1978 1998 21-41  D543/6879
31         Johnny Bench    75.1 1967 1983 19-35   *253/798
32       Reggie Jackson    74.0 1967 1987 21-41     *9D8/7
33           Paul Waner    72.8 1926 1945 23-42     *9/378
34       Harry Heilmann    72.1 1914 1932 19-37    *93/847
35         Barry Larkin    70.3 1986 2004 22-40      *6/4D
36       Frankie Frisch    70.1 1919 1937 20-38      *45/6
37          Gary Carter    69.7 1974 1992 20-38    *29/375
38           Tony Gwynn    68.9 1982 2001 22-41     *98/7D
39           Al Simmons    68.6 1924 1944 22-42     *78/93
40         Carlton Fisk    68.4 1969 1993 21-45    *2D/735
41         Eddie Murray    68.0 1977 1997 21-41     *3D/57
42        Ryne Sandberg    67.7 1981 1997 21-37     *45/6D
43          Ernie Banks    67.7 1953 1971 22-40      36/57
44       Roberto Alomar    66.7 1988 2004 20-36      *4/D6
45          Duke Snider    66.6 1947 1964 20-37      *89/7
46           Joe Cronin    66.3 1926 1945 19-38    *6/5347
47         Andre Dawson    64.4 1976 1996 21-41      98D/7
48       Willie McCovey    64.4 1959 1980 21-42     *37/9D
49        Dave Winfield    63.9 1973 1995 21-43   *97D8/35
50       Billy Williams    63.9 1959 1976 21-38    *79D/38
Rk               Player WAR/pos From   To   Age        Pos
51         Lou Boudreau    63.1 1938 1952 20-34    *6/5324
52      Jackie Robinson    61.6 1947 1956 28-37   *4537/69
53     Harmon Killebrew    60.4 1954 1975 18-39    357D/49
54           Yogi Berra    59.3 1946 1965 21-40    *279/35
55       Hank Greenberg    57.6 1930 1947 19-36        *37
56      Willie Stargell    57.3 1962 1982 22-42     *73/98
57          Bill Dickey    55.9 1928 1946 21-39         *2
58          Joe Medwick    55.6 1932 1948 20-36     *7/938
59        Luis Aparicio    55.5 1956 1973 22-39         *6
60        George Sisler    54.6 1915 1930 22-37  *3/197845
61           Bill Terry    54.3 1923 1936 24-37      *3/97
62           Tony Perez    54.1 1964 1986 22-44     *35/D4
63        Willie Keeler    54.0 1892 1910 20-38   *9/54786
64       Gabby Hartnett    53.4 1922 1941 21-40       *2/3
65      Mickey Cochrane    52.0 1925 1937 22-34       *2/7
66        Kirby Puckett    50.9 1984 1995 24-35  *89/D7456
67          Ralph Kiner    49.4 1946 1955 23-32      *7/83
68             Jim Rice    47.3 1974 1989 21-36     *7D/98
69            Lou Brock    45.2 1961 1979 22-40       *798
70    Rabbit Maranville    42.8 1912 1935 20-43      *64/5
71          Pie Traynor    36.3 1920 1937 21-38      *5/63
72       Roy Campanella    34.1 1948 1957 26-35         *2
73       Walter Johnson    13.2 1907 1927 19-39     *1/897
74            Bob Lemon    11.2 1941 1958 20-37     *1/859
75           Early Wynn     9.7 1939 1963 19-43         *1
Rk               Player WAR/pos From   To   Age        Pos
76           Bob Gibson     7.7 1959 1975 23-39         *1
77         Warren Spahn     7.6 1942 1965 21-44         *1
78    Christy Mathewson     6.4 1900 1916 19-35     *1/397
79        Steve Carlton     6.3 1965 1988 20-43         *1
80         Don Drysdale     5.8 1956 1969 19-32         *1
81       Catfish Hunter     4.7 1965 1979 19-33       *1/3
82            Ted Lyons     4.5 1923 1946 22-45       *1/9
83           Tom Seaver     4.2 1967 1986 22-41         *1
84          Whitey Ford     3.5 1950 1967 21-38         *1
85       Pete Alexander     3.2 1911 1930 24-43       *1/7
86        Robin Roberts     2.8 1948 1966 21-39         *1
87           Dizzy Dean     2.2 1930 1947 20-37         *1
88       Fergie Jenkins     2.2 1965 1983 22-40         *1
89           Jim Palmer     1.2 1965 1984 19-38       *1/D
90        Juan Marichal     1.2 1960 1975 22-37         *1
91         Herb Pennock     1.0 1912 1934 18-40         *1
92       Rollie Fingers     1.0 1968 1985 21-38         *1
93         Bruce Sutter     0.0 1976 1988 23-35         *1
94     Dennis Eckersley    -0.1 1975 1998 20-43       *1/D
95         Carl Hubbell    -0.3 1928 1943 25-40         *1
96         Rich Gossage    -0.3 1972 1994 20-42       *1/D
97          Phil Niekro    -1.0 1964 1987 25-48         *1
98        Bert Blyleven    -1.4 1970 1992 19-41         *1
99           Don Sutton    -1.5 1966 1988 21-43         *1
100          Bob Feller    -1.7 1936 1956 17-37         *1
Rk               Player WAR/pos From   To   Age        Pos
101            Cy Young    -1.8 1890 1911 23-44       *1/3
102          Nolan Ryan    -2.2 1966 1993 19-46         *1
103        Hoyt Wilhelm    -2.6 1952 1972 29-49         *1
104         Dazzy Vance    -2.6 1915 1935 24-44         *1
105       Gaylord Perry    -2.9 1962 1983 23-44         *1
106        Sandy Koufax    -4.3 1955 1966 19-30         *1
107         Lefty Grove    -6.3 1925 1941 25-41         *1
   9. Zach Posted: April 03, 2013 at 09:19 AM (#4402937)
For the most part, the science Nobels avoid this trap. The winners are usually deserving, and most Nobel-worthy achievements pick up a prize sooner or later.

The biggest exceptions are the people who were inexplicably passed over. Ted Maiman, the inventor of the laser, is the poster child for that. George Gamow also should have won for explaining the ratio of hydrogen to helium in the universe in terms of the big bang.
   10. bobm Posted: April 03, 2013 at 09:21 AM (#4402939)
Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1871 to 2013, For players in the saved report : (MLB Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees BBWAA - Baseball-Reference.com: ), sorted by greatest WAR for Pitchers

                                                            
Rk              Player    WAR From   To   Age  GS  SV     IP
1             Cy Young  170.2 1890 1911 23-44 815  17 7356.0
2       Walter Johnson  152.5 1907 1927 19-39 666  34 5914.1
3       Pete Alexander  116.8 1911 1930 24-43 600  32 5190.0
4          Lefty Grove  110.0 1925 1941 25-41 457  55 3940.2
5           Tom Seaver  106.1 1967 1986 22-41 647   1 4783.0
6          Phil Niekro   97.3 1964 1987 25-48 716  29 5404.0
7        Bert Blyleven   96.4 1970 1992 19-41 685   0 4970.0
8    Christy Mathewson   95.3 1900 1916 19-35 552  30 4788.2
9        Gaylord Perry   93.7 1962 1983 23-44 690  11 5350.0
10        Warren Spahn   92.7 1942 1965 21-44 665  29 5243.2
11       Steve Carlton   84.0 1965 1988 20-43 709   2 5217.2
12          Nolan Ryan   83.8 1966 1993 19-46 773   3 5386.0
13       Robin Roberts   83.0 1948 1966 21-39 609  25 4688.2
14      Fergie Jenkins   82.6 1965 1983 22-40 594   7 4500.2
15          Bob Gibson   82.0 1959 1975 23-39 482   6 3884.1
16          Don Sutton   68.7 1966 1988 21-43 756   5 5282.1
17          Jim Palmer   68.0 1965 1984 19-38 521   4 3948.0
18        Carl Hubbell   67.7 1928 1943 25-40 433  33 3590.1
19           Ted Lyons   67.3 1923 1946 22-45 484  23 4161.0
20          Bob Feller   65.3 1936 1956 17-37 484  21 3827.0
21         Dazzy Vance   62.5 1915 1935 24-44 349  11 2966.2
22    Dennis Eckersley   62.4 1975 1998 20-43 361 390 3285.2
23       Juan Marichal   61.8 1960 1975 22-37 457   2 3507.0
24        Don Drysdale   61.2 1956 1969 19-32 465   6 3432.0
25         Whitey Ford   53.8 1950 1967 21-38 438  10 3170.1
Rk              Player    WAR From   To   Age  GS  SV     IP
26        Sandy Koufax   53.1 1955 1966 19-30 314   9 2324.1
27          Early Wynn   51.6 1939 1963 19-43 612  15 4564.0
28        Hoyt Wilhelm   50.0 1952 1972 29-49  52 227 2254.1
29        Herb Pennock   44.1 1912 1934 18-40 419  33 3571.2
30          Dizzy Dean   42.7 1930 1947 20-37 230  30 1967.1
31        Rich Gossage   41.9 1972 1994 20-42  37 310 1809.1
32           Bob Lemon   37.4 1946 1958 25-37 350  22 2850.0
33      Catfish Hunter   36.5 1965 1979 19-33 476   1 3449.1
34      Rollie Fingers   25.2 1968 1985 21-38  37 341 1701.1
35        Bruce Sutter   24.5 1976 1988 23-35   0 300 1042.0
36           Babe Ruth   20.7 1914 1933 19-38 147   4 1221.1
37       George Sisler    2.7 1915 1928 22-35  12   3  111.0
38         Jimmie Foxx    1.0 1939 1945 31-37   2   0   23.2
39             Ty Cobb    0.1 1918 1925 31-38   0   1    5.0
40          Wade Boggs    0.0 1997 1999 39-41   0   0    2.1
41        Ted Williams    0.0 1940 1940 21-21   0   0    2.0
42        Tris Speaker   -0.1 1914 1914 26-26   0   0    1.0
43        Honus Wagner   -0.1 1900 1902 26-28   0   0    8.1
44                Stan Musial 1952 1952 31-31   0   0    0.0


   11. GregD Posted: April 03, 2013 at 09:46 AM (#4402955)
I'm still waiting for Roth and Pynchon, myself, but not very intensely. Who really cares all that much?
The juror who promised to stay alive as long as it took to ensure Graham Greene wouldn't ever win one?

I wouldn't bet on Roth or Pynchon at this point. The jury is obviously interested in world literature for now and by the time it swings around they'll be gone.
   12. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: April 03, 2013 at 09:49 AM (#4402957)
How about the worst BBWAA vs the best VC? Not counting 19C guys who never had a chance with the writers.

BBWAA:

C - Gabby Hartnett
1B - Tony Perez
2B - Ryne Sandberg*
SS - Luis Aparicio
3B - Pie Traynor
LF - Lou Brock
CF - Kirby Puckett
RF - Dave Winfield
SP - Catfish Hunter
* - 2 or 3 more votes in 1985 and Nellie Fox gets this spot.

VC:

C - Ernie Lombardi
1B - Johnny Mize
2B - Billy Herman
SS - Arky Vaughan
3B - Ron Santo
LF - Goose Goslin
CF - Richie Ashburn
RF - Sam Crawford
SP - Hal Newhowser

Close, but I think the VC wins this one.
   13. Russ Posted: April 03, 2013 at 10:00 AM (#4402966)
Not that voting pct is a uniformly good proxy for player quality, but with that said:


Wouldn't time on the ballot before getting in be the best proxy for player quality? In fact, that would probably be the "fairest" comparison. Create teams stratified by number of years on the ballot (choosing the categories so that you have sufficient numbers in each group). Create another team for VC candidates who got in after not being elected. Do the same stratification for those who have not yet been elected (categorize by number of years on the ballot). My guess is the "right" comparison is people who were on the ballot for 10-15 years and fell off/expired vs. people who were on the ballot for 10-15 years and got in. Build the "best" team in each category and my guess is that they'll be almost indistinguishable.


   14. bobm Posted: April 03, 2013 at 10:07 AM (#4402976)
Low WAR by position, BBWAA inductees (excluding Robinson and Campanella):

   Roberto Alomar 66.7 1988 2004 20-36 *4/D6
       Tony Perez 54.1 1964 1986 22-44 *35/D4 63 
    Willie Keeler 54.0 1892 1910 20-38 *9/54786 64 
  Mickey Cochrane 52.0 1925 1937 22-34 *2/7 66 
    Kirby Puckett 50.9 1984 1995 24-35 *89/D7456 67 
        Lou Brock 45.2 1961 1979 22-40 *798 70 
Rabbit Maranville 42.8 1912 1935 20-43 *64/5 71 
      Pie Traynor 36.3 1920 1937 21-38 *5/63
   15. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 03, 2013 at 10:08 AM (#4402979)
The juror who promised to stay alive as long as it took to ensure Graham Greene wouldn't ever win one?

I can't imagine not liking Graham Greene. There are weirdos out there, man.
   16. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 03, 2013 at 10:11 AM (#4402985)
The Hall of Fame could fix its upcoming attendance bomb this summer by inducting Thomas Pynchon, and getting him to that podium.
   17. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 03, 2013 at 10:17 AM (#4402988)
I never liked including the likely to be elected, such as Biggio, on comparisons such as this. I'd rather limit it to those guys considered and rejected (or ones like Trammel who are just killing time on the bottom of the ballot) than the guys who simply came up short on their first or second ballot but are making progress toward eventual enshrinement. It seems like a more appropriate comparison of mistakes vs. snubs. Jim Rice took 15 ballots to get in. Biggio will probably take 2. It's not like the voters really considered the former a more deserving Hall of Famer than the latter. It's just a new version of selective end points.

SoSH is absolutely right. This is little more than another in a series of pointless points that Bill James has been grinding out lately.
   18. GregD Posted: April 03, 2013 at 10:23 AM (#4402993)
I can't imagine not liking Graham Greene. There are weirdos out there, man.
I forget the precise reason, whether it was personal or religious or political or literary, but Greene was a runner-up in the 1960s and one of the jurors promised to outlive Greene so that it wouldn't get that close again, and in fact stayed on at least 1 year while he was an invalid because Greene was still alive, and then (I could be misremembering) retired immediately once Greene died.

What did it hurt Greene, though? He had his yachts and as long as he hit word 500, his late morning martinis.
   19. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 03, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4402997)
What did it hurt Greene, though? He had his yachts and as long as he hit word 500, his late morning martinis.

I'm sure he didn't care just as I'm sure Pynchon would probably prefer not winning it. I think Roth would be happy to win it, though.
   20. The District Attorney Posted: April 03, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4403097)
I never liked including the likely to be elected, such as Biggio, on comparisons such as this. I'd rather limit it to those guys considered and rejected (or ones like Trammel who are just killing time on the bottom of the ballot) than the guys who simply came up short on their first or second ballot but are making progress toward eventual enshrinement.
Okay, so what that'd team be? I'll nominate...

C: Ted Simmons, Joe Torre
1B: Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro
2B: Bobby Grich, Lou Whitaker
3B: Dick Allen
SS: Alan Trammell, Bill Dahlen
OF: Pete Rose, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Sammy Sosa, Larry Walker, Kenny Lofton, Jimmy Wynn
SP: Kevin Brown, Rick Reuschel, Luis Tiant, Dave Stieb, Bob Caruthers
RP: Dan Quisenberry, John Franco, Tom Henke, John Hiller, Firpo Marberry

I think the guys I put on there who are still on the ballot have no realistic chance of BBWAA election. (I classified Bonds, Clemens, Raines, E. Martinez, L. Smith as having a realistic chance -- I think that's being optimistic about their chances, if anything.)

You could leave off Rose/Shoeless Joe if you want, but I think it's fair -- even though I'd agree with the choice made by the HOF to leave them out, it was nonetheless a choice made by the HOF.

Even with the two next best OF (there are several good options) instead of them, and even with what I'd consider to be a very weak pitching staff by all-time great standards, I nonetheless think that team has absolutely no problem disposing of:
C- Ferrell, 1B – George Kelly, 2B – Mazeroski, SS – Travis Jackson, 3B – Lindstrom, OF – Hafey, Lloyd Waner, Tommy McCarthy, SP – Haines, Marquard, Catfish, Candy Cummings, Rixey, RP – Sutter, Fingers, Gossage, Eck, Wilhelm, and a bench of Schalk, Bottomley, Joe Gordon, Rizzuto, Kell, [Ross Youngs and Hack Wilson].
   21. GregD Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4403118)
I'm sure he didn't care just as I'm sure Pynchon would probably prefer not winning it. I think Roth would be happy to win it, though.
That sounds about right to me.

Leaving aside the early years when they missed Tolstoy and people like that, and just going with the people who lived into the 1940s, the non-Nobel team gets to start with Joyce, Nabokov, Borges, Auden, Frost, Achebe, which is a pretty formidable lineup before you even get to Updike and people like that.
   22. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4403122)
Achebe never won? It tells you how much I follow it that I assumed he had won a long time ago.
   23. GregD Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4403127)
Achebe never won? It tells you how much I follow it that I assumed he had won a long time ago.
me, too
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4403137)
Okay, so what that'd team be? I'll nominate...

C: Ted Simmons, Joe Torre
1B: Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro
2B: Bobby Grich, Lou Whitaker
3B: Dick Allen
SS: Alan Trammell, Bill Dahlen
OF: Pete Rose, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Sammy Sosa, Larry Walker, Kenny Lofton, Jimmy Wynn
SP: Kevin Brown, Rick Reuschel, Luis Tiant, Dave Stieb, Bob Caruthers
RP: Dan Quisenberry, John Franco, Tom Henke, John Hiller, Firpo Marberry


And a fully rejected, but considered list:

1B Will Clark,
2B Grich, Whitaker
SS Dahlen
3B Allen, Darrell Evans
LF: Sherry Magee
CF: Jimmy Wynn
RF: Dwight Evans
SP: same.
RP: same.
   25. zonk Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4403142)
I agree with SoSH and the DA.... you can't really have Biggio because he'll probably go.

I'd personally not even let you have Sosa -- I think to make it fair, you've can only build your non-HOF team from guys that have already slipped past the BBWAA (we'll set VC aside).

The other thing -- do you normalize a season for the selected players? Normalize a peak season? Take the best season? I mean - I don't think anyone would say Albert Belle belongs in the HoF... but if I'm building a team to beat the HoF team consistently -- and I get to take say... Albert Belle circa 1994 - I think I might want his bat on my team.

Maybe there's an easy way to do this....

Build a team of players in the HoF but not in the HoM and then a team of players in the HoM, but not in the HoF....
   26. JJ1986 Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4403155)
1B Will Clark,


I think Keith Hernandez is better.
   27. The District Attorney Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4403160)
Yeah, I'd take Keith Hernandez before Clark... you could throw Reggie Smith into the OF with Magee, Lofton, Dewey and Wynn... however you do it, it'd still wipe the floor ;-)

EDIT: Damn, got jinxed about Hernandez. Or, you could put Allen at 1B and add a Graig Nettles, Stan Hack or Ken Boyer at 3B. Anyway, same basic end result, although obviously less dramatic the more guys you take off the team.
   28. Swedish Chef Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4403193)
and in fact stayed on at least 1 year while he was an invalid because Greene was still alive, and then (I could be misremembering) retired immediately once Greene died.

Sounds unlikely. The prize is awarded by the Swedish Academy, and once you're one of them* you can't ever retire from it, a couple tried to resign after they didn't issue a robust enough response after Rushdie. The Academy has spent over 20 years pretending they went out for a coffee, and will turn up any Thursday** now.

*) and it's an exclusive club, it (always) has eighteen members, writers and other literary types.

**) Traditional date for their meetings, where they traditionally eat a traditional soup for lunch.***

***) To me the whole millieu sounds like a recipe for driving people mad. It's possible that was the intention of King Gustav III when he founded the Academy.
   29. GregD Posted: April 03, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4403293)
***) To me the whole millieu sounds like a recipe for driving people mad. It's possible that was the intention of King Gustav III when he founded the Academy.
this! Awesome details here.
   30. bigglou115 Posted: April 03, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4403367)
***) To me the whole millieu sounds like a recipe for driving people mad. It's possible that was the intention of King Gustav III when he founded the Academy.


Since you seem to know a ton more about this than most, any chance you could tell me what the rational is for not allowing posthumous nominations?
   31. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 03, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4403388)

Since you seem to know a ton more about this than most, any chance you could tell me what the rational is for not allowing posthumous nominations?


It makes sense to me. Otherwise, you would end up with people wanting to give Shakespeare the Nobel Prize for literature, or Jesus the Nobel Peace Prize.
   32. Moeball Posted: April 03, 2013 at 04:48 PM (#4403441)
Okay, so what that'd team be? I'll nominate...

C: Ted Simmons, Joe Torre
1B: Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro
2B: Bobby Grich, Lou Whitaker
3B: Dick Allen
SS: Alan Trammell, Bill Dahlen
OF: Pete Rose, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Sammy Sosa, Larry Walker, Kenny Lofton, Jimmy Wynn
SP: Kevin Brown, Rick Reuschel, Luis Tiant, Dave Stieb, Bob Caruthers
RP: Dan Quisenberry, John Franco, Tom Henke, John Hiller, Firpo Marberry


It's one thing to talk about the mistakes the VC let in, but the crazy thing is, the BBWAA has overlooked some truly quality ballplayers. The "rejected by the BBWAA" team has so much freakin' depth! If it was just maybe one guy here or there that they missed, that would be one thing. But you can go multiple players deep at every position (well, ok, maybe not catcher) that are clearly better than some of the guys the BBWAA elected. You could even have "super subs" like Darrell Evans who could give you solid batting plus excellent defense at both 3B and 1B. It just makes me shake my head to wonder what game the BBWAA has been watching over the years that they really can't tell that certain players were outstanding.
   33. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: April 03, 2013 at 05:05 PM (#4403459)
Since you seem to know a ton more about this than most, any chance you could tell me what the rational is for not allowing posthumous nominations?



It makes sense to me. Otherwise, you would end up with people wanting to give Shakespeare the Nobel Prize for literature, or Jesus the Nobel Peace Prize.


Yeah, the prize is supposed to honor someone living, not necessarily be a way to rank authors all-time. It's still stupid to overlook brilliance when it's obvious, of course.
   34. Swedish Chef Posted: April 03, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4403462)
Since you seem to know a ton more about this than most, any chance you could tell me what the rational is for not allowing posthumous nominations?

No idea, it's also a fairly new invention, since the seventies. Not that there were a lot of posthumous prizes before.

To speculate, maybe they just discovered one day that Nobel's will assumed a living recipient.
   35. Swedish Chef Posted: April 03, 2013 at 05:11 PM (#4403469)
Not that they're all that good at following the will as is:
The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: the capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind. The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics; one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement; one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine; one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction; and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.
   36. Walt Davis Posted: April 03, 2013 at 05:30 PM (#4403491)
Thing is, the team in the question would likely beat a team of average HoFers and maybe hold its own against a team of average BBWAA HoFers (pitching looks weak though). Piazza, Bonds, Bagwell, Clemens, Schilling are certainly above-average even for the BBWAA.

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