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Friday, November 27, 2009

The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived: Ichiro and Rod Carew

What I really don’t understand is how Rod Carew was actually appreciated when he played. Ichiro plays an exaggerated style of Carew ball, yet he is always criticized. Rod Carew was on the cover of Sports Illustrated numerous times, usually when he was threatening .400 (which happened a lot more than you might think.) On Time Magazine, there he was, laughing in his greatness, heralded as “Baseball’s Best Hitter.” Ted Williams was constantly pestered about him by the media who continually asked, “Is Rod the man to do it?” So Ichiro does hit a lot of singles. But so did Rod Carew. 79 percent of Carew’s hits were singles. Ichiro scores more runs, gets more hits, steals more bases, plays better defense, and has a higher slugging percentage than Carew, who was a first ballot HOFer. Some idiotic people on other blogs are like, “Is Ichiro going to make it to the HOF? I think he has to have at least 10 straight 200 hit seasons for him to be considered.” WWWHHHHHHAAAAAAATTTTTTT? 9 200 hit seasons isn’t enough? Carew had four. Gwynn had five. Where’s the justice?

However, I do appreciate Carew a lot. It is players like Carew, Boggs, Gwynn, and Ichiro who bring back the REAL art of baseball. The Hall of Fame is a place to honor historic players. The aforementioned players help remind everyone that the game does have a history and that what happened 100 years ago can still be effective today. Now if only people viewed Ichiro in this way….

Thanks to tina’s empty phone booth.

Repoz Posted: November 27, 2009 at 01:55 AM | 362 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, mariners, sabermetrics

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   1. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: November 27, 2009 at 02:10 AM (#3397462)
Ichiro, of course, doesn't even have the highest average among active players...:-)
   2. Harry Balsagne, anti-Centaur hate crime division Posted: November 27, 2009 at 02:34 AM (#3397464)
Nosed around a little in this guy's filth-pile and came up with a few steaming nuggets:

The few people who actually read my blog are probably like, "Why does this Ichiro-possessed kid always harp on Ichiro's batting title total?" Well, ever since I started liking Ichiro, I've been obsessed with the idea of the batting title. It means you had the best hitting success in the league in my opinion and you get an awesome silver bat. And forever more in baseball almanacs, your name will be etched in hitting history. People think Ty Cobb and Ted Williams are the greatest hitters who ever lived. Why? BECAUSE THEY WON BATTING TITLES!


Well, today finally brings the 2009 season to a close, in my book at least. Joe Mauer steamrolled in the MVP race, leaving Teixera, Jeter, and Cabrera behind as roadkill. Ichiro did not finish in the top four in the MVP voting, which I expected since I know that the people who vote for MVPs are biased scumbags.


Then again, I guess you can't fault Mauer's season. Even I, his most intense hater, have to admit that he won the batting title, played the very exhausting position of catcher with gold glove quality, and led a Morneau-less team into the playoffs. I guess that out of all the AL stars, Mauer deserved the MVP. Congratulations Joe for your 2009 campaign. Just remember that next year, Ichiro will be back and better than ever. You are merely borrowing his MVP and batting title for a year. HA HA HA! Projected batting race of 2010: Ichiro .409, Mauer .294.


Enter 2009. Joe Mauer, Ichiro's nearest competitor had won two batting titles. But those two batting titles didn't even surpass .350. Mauer, though capable of getting hot, had shown he was susceptible to second half slumps. This is even more amazing: before the season, Mauer had two batting titles and two .300 seasons in four full seasons. How can someone who is capable of hitting under .300 bat over .360. People say Mauer is a pure hitter and yet he's not even a guarantee to bat .300? Interesting indeed. Well, here comes 2009 and Mauer comes out with guns a blazin'. He hovers in the .420s for the longest time. And he hits homeruns? I'm thinking steroids but then again I'm always biased against Joe Mauer.


And on and on. This blog is an official affiliate of MLB.com.

Though in his defense he is only 18 years old.
   3. Jacob Posted: November 27, 2009 at 02:35 AM (#3397465)
Poor Ichiro gets virtually no press coverage. There's no justice!
   4. Eugene Freedman Posted: November 27, 2009 at 02:39 AM (#3397466)
Superficially similar, yes. But, Carew led in OBP 4 times, BAvg 7 times, and had a 131 OPS+ for his career. He had 1 #1 in OPS+, a 3rd, 2 4ths, and a 5th. 3 times he led in Runs Created. Ichiro, granted he missed the first 7 or so years of his career to the Japanese contract rules, has led the league twice in BAvg and never in OBP or OPS+, which is 118 for his career and he's never reached Carew's career OPS+ in a single season. He has one 7th in OPS+.

Boggs had a 130 OPS+ career, led once, and had 5 batting titles and 6 OBP 1sts. Led 3 times in RC.
Gwynn 132 OPS+, 8 BAvg 1sts, once in OBP, led once in RC.

Yes, those three are quite similar. Ichiro- not so much.
   5. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: November 27, 2009 at 03:13 AM (#3397473)
first of all ichiro is on great actor look at phone booth and tigerland and the recruit with al pacino. so in three years became on the a-list of actors and suzuki is in demand now, now he is shooting alexander the great with angelina jolie. and he also worked with samuel jackson on swat which was great by the way. and bruce willis in harts war. so he worked with alot of great big actors. and was great in minority report with tom cruise. and daredevil and the villian bullseye with ben affleck. and suzuki was the best thing in the movie and the critics agree. so ichiro is a way better actor then ben affleck. im responding to the post from alex about at least ben affleck got some credit under his belt but ichiro is hotter and a better actor and he is getting alot more movies then ben. so please did you see bens last movie with jay-lo called gigli. need i say more the movie sucked as hell and even the critics said the worst movie of the century. it only made 20 million in the theatres now thats sad.
   6. AROM Posted: November 27, 2009 at 03:22 AM (#3397474)
Though in his defense he is only 18 years old.


That's no defense. I would have guessed 10-12 by the arguments used. A group of High School kids either won or came in very high in Tango's forecasting contest. Can't remember. I just know they beat me.
   7. Repoz Posted: November 27, 2009 at 03:26 AM (#3397477)
Brilliant, Mr Geiger.
   8. Darren Posted: November 27, 2009 at 03:43 AM (#3397481)
Boggs had a 130 OPS+ career, led once, and had 5 batting titles and 6 OBP 1sts. Led 3 times in RC.
Gwynn 132 OPS+, 8 BAvg 1sts, once in OBP, led once in RC.

Yes, those three are quite similar.


Superficially but the OBP titles tell the story. Boggs was a superior hitter (and player) to Gwynn and Carew.
   9. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 27, 2009 at 04:45 AM (#3397494)
You know, I had absolutely no clue that Mauer has lead the league in batting 3 times in the last four years. In fact, I read it once in a blurb in one of the articles saying he had won the MVP and just assumed that it was a typo just because it's so hard to hit for average for a catcher.
   10. bond1 Posted: November 27, 2009 at 05:04 AM (#3397499)
Although I've never met or even seen Rod Carew, he lives a few miles away from me in South Orange County. I know he conducts clinics for softballers and does fundraising for leukemia locally. I've always been a big Rod Carew fan. He stole home 17 times in his career, and 7 times in 1969. How the heck do you do that? I also read that he didn't make his high school baseball team because the coach said he was too small - four years later he was AL Rookie of the Year!! That's just an amazing story right there! I'm not exactly an Ichiro fan because his OBP is nothing to write home about but I'll admit he is one heck of a defensive player.
   11. AJMcCringleberry Posted: November 27, 2009 at 05:19 AM (#3397503)
Even I, his most intense hater, have to admit that he won the batting title,

Heh.

I had absolutely no clue that Mauer has lead the league in batting 3 times in the last four years.

I thought this was his second one, I didn't realize he won last year. In my defense .328 doesn't usually lead the league. And surprisingly Ichiro only has two titles.
   12. DL from MN Posted: November 27, 2009 at 05:26 AM (#3397504)
How the hell can you be a big fan of Sir Rodney and have irrational jealous hatred for Joe Mauer? Joe Mauer is perhaps the least hateable player in MLB.
   13. Snowboy Posted: November 27, 2009 at 05:28 AM (#3397506)
At this point, Ichiro has 2 batting titles in 9 seasons, and Mauer has 3 batting titles in 6 seasons. And that has nothing to do with "biased scumbag" voting.

Ichi's career OBP is 378, which is below average for HOF hitters.

Waste of energy to comment more. Being 18 is no excuse. Read, kid.
   14. Harry Balsagne, anti-Centaur hate crime division Posted: November 27, 2009 at 05:53 AM (#3397509)
How the hell can you be a big fan of Sir Rodney and have irrational jealous hatred for Joe Mauer? Joe Mauer is perhaps the least hateable player in MLB.

He's obviously placing way too much value on batting titles, hitting .300, getting 200 hits in a season--basically the main signifiers of Ichiro's hitting ability--which Joe hasn't been as good at as Ichiro has. Basically, he hates Mauer for getting credit as the best hitter in the AL, when he is in fact not Ichiro, and therefore overrated and inferior. Ichiro hits over .300 EVERY YEAR, and since that makes him the best hitter, Joe Mauer is, in fact, not the best hitter, and therefore stole Ichiro's MVP.

He likes Carew because in his time Carew was decidedly Ichiro-like. But if Rod Carew were playing today, he'd likely hate Carew as well, as Carew would be getting recognition for doing Ichiro-like things, but which Ichiro is better at.
   15. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 27, 2009 at 06:07 AM (#3397511)
What I really don’t understand is how Rod Carew was actually appreciated when he played. Ichiro plays an exaggerated style of Carew ball, yet he is always criticized. Rod Carew was on the cover of Sports Illustrated numerous times, usually when he was threatening .400 (which happened a lot more than you might think.)
...
So Ichiro does hit a lot of singles. But so did Rod Carew. 79 percent of Carew’s hits were singles. Ichiro scores more runs, gets more hits, steals more bases, plays better defense, and has a higher slugging percentage than Carew, who was a first ballot HOFer. Some idiotic people on other blogs are like, “Is Ichiro going to make it to the HOF? I think he has to have at least 10 straight 200 hit seasons for him to be considered.” WWWHHHHHHAAAAAAATTTTTTT? 9 200 hit seasons isn’t enough? Carew had four. Gwynn had five. Where’s the justice?


1) Batting average was generally taken more seriously when Carew played than it is now.

2) Carew had a higher SLG relative to the league than Ichiro does.

3) Carew played a lot of 2B, whereas Ichiro is a corner OF.

4) Nobody serious thinks that the issue is that Ichiro has 9 200-hit seasons, not 10, or that the issue is "200-hit seasons" at all.
   16. Shilzzz Posted: November 27, 2009 at 06:08 AM (#3397512)
the REAL art of baseball? that statement alone made me forget anything worthwhile that was stated otherwise.
   17. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: November 27, 2009 at 07:51 AM (#3397519)
To give the kid a break, I kind of agree. While hitting for average isn't the be-all and end-all of the game, I like to see hitters swing the bat. I know walks and home runs are important, but if there was a way to tweak the rules to diminish their role slightly without completely imbalancing the game, I'd be all for it.
   18. hokieneer Posted: November 27, 2009 at 08:14 AM (#3397521)
I know walks and home runs are important, but if there was a way to tweak the rules to diminish their role slightly without completely imbalancing the game, I'd be all for it.

I agree with you. The easiest solution would be move the fences 25-40 feet further back. This would make big power hitters (Dunn, Howard, Reynolds, Pujols, Branyon, etc) more valuable; but at the same time more balls would be hit into play. Nearly every HR would be a jaw-dropper, and I believe the games would be more exciting.
   19. tjm1 Posted: November 27, 2009 at 11:27 AM (#3397527)
I agree with you. The easiest solution would be move the fences 25-40 feet further back. This would make big power hitters (Dunn, Howard, Reynolds, Pujols, Branyon, etc) more valuable; but at the same time more balls would be hit into play. Nearly every HR would be a jaw-dropper, and I believe the games would be more exciting.


Softening the ball slightly, and requiring thicker bat handles would also do it. There are some parks where it's not possible to move the fences back, and others where the loss of those seats would cost teams serious money. Moving the fences back would have another positive effect, where it's possible, though. It would increase the value of fast outfielders defensively, which would increase the chance that a Dave Roberts type player would be played regularly instead of spending most of his 20's in the minors.
   20. Jeff K. Posted: November 27, 2009 at 11:41 AM (#3397528)
MLBlogs are "official affiliates of MLB" in the very barest of senses. I don't even have to look to know who posted this thread, as it was, is, and forever shall be a favorite thing of Repoz to cast the net through the MLBlog waters. You can find some really, really interesting and informative/insightful posts. Not whole blogs, but random ones will have excellent things to say, or somebody like Tommy Ten Dogs' blog will suck eggs 90% of the time and be great the remainder.

(Apropos of nothing, if two blogs are having a war of words, are they at bloggerheads?)
   21. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 27, 2009 at 12:51 PM (#3397534)
4) Nobody serious thinks that the issue is that Ichiro has 9 200-hit seasons, not 10, or that the issue is "200-hit seasons" at all.

And nobody but a handful of baseball birthers seriously thinks that there's any real issue of any kind with Ichiro's HoF candidacy that hasn't already been raised and answered.
   22. Harry Balsagne, anti-Centaur hate crime division Posted: November 27, 2009 at 12:55 PM (#3397535)
Still, Jeff, MLB is putting it's brand to it, and that is funny.

Apropos of nothing, if two blogs are having a war of words, are they at bloggerheads?

I don't know but I hear them things live to be like 200 years old.
   23. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 27, 2009 at 01:07 PM (#3397537)
Sorry about the last week. My computer was infected with viruses and I could not post on my blog.


I'm more sorry that the computer viruses were eradicated.
   24. Jeff K. Posted: November 27, 2009 at 02:07 PM (#3397547)
And nobody but a handful of baseball birthers seriously thinks that there's any real issue of any kind with Ichiro's HoF candidacy that hasn't already been raised and answered.

Uh, I do. Unless you just mean that the issues have been raised and discussed; if that's what you mean, sure, I think all relevant issues have probably been brought up. If you mean that the issue of whether he's a legitimate MLB HOFer right now is largely settled in favor of, I hardly think that's the case.
   25. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 27, 2009 at 03:52 PM (#3397573)
And nobody but a handful of baseball birthers seriously thinks that there's any real issue of any kind with Ichiro's HoF candidacy that hasn't already been raised and answered.

Uh, I do. Unless you just mean that the issues have been raised and discussed; if that's what you mean, sure, I think all relevant issues have probably been brought up. If you mean that the issue of whether he's a legitimate MLB HOFer right now is largely settled in favor of, I hardly think that's the case.


But who, other than Ray and a handful of holdouts in places like this, is raising these "issues"? How many actual HoF voters have you seen who are saying that Ichiro isn't a HoFer, because of these "issues" that Ray has been harping on for the past 57 threads?

That's why I made the allusion to birthers: It's not that there aren't people like who keep raising "issues" about Ichiro's qualifications, just like there are people who "question" Obama's citizenship, it's just that unless you require unanimity to say that these "issues" have been resolved, to the overwhelming majority of the public, they've already been resolved in Ichiro's favor. Whether or not the baseball birthers are convinced is irrelevant.
   26. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: November 27, 2009 at 04:26 PM (#3397596)
This would make big power hitters (Dunn, Howard, Reynolds, Pujols, Branyon, etc) more valuable; but at the same time more balls would be hit into play. Nearly every HR would be a jaw-dropper, and I believe the games would be more exciting.


I think you have a point here. I was looking at Hit Tracker Online today. Eyeballing their stats, it looked like Dunn is the major league leader with no doubt home runs over the past five years. He's also the only one to hit a 500 footer.
   27. Jeff K. Posted: November 27, 2009 at 06:02 PM (#3397644)
But who, other than Ray and a handful of holdouts in places like this, is raising these "issues"? How many actual HoF voters have you seen who are saying that Ichiro isn't a HoFer, because of these "issues" that Ray has been harping on for the past 57 threads?

How many are saying that he is? He's only got 9 years in. I don't see much talk, except around here, about Ichiro for the HoF at all.
   28. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 27, 2009 at 06:33 PM (#3397653)
But who, other than Ray and a handful of holdouts in places like this, is raising these "issues"? How many actual HoF voters have you seen who are saying that Ichiro isn't a HoFer, because of these "issues" that Ray has been harping on for the past 57 threads?

How many are saying that he is? He's only got 9 years in. I don't see much talk, except around here, about Ichiro for the HoF at all.


If you google "Ichiro" + "Hall of Fame" you get 136,000 hits. If you add "Baseball Think Factory" it drops to 3,180. That leaves a mere 132,820 for everyone else. The baseball world doesn't begin and end with BTF.
   29. Jeff K. Posted: November 27, 2009 at 06:52 PM (#3397662)
And how many of those 136,000 hits are from the actual HoF voters that you're asking about? I'm not claiming BTF is the center of the baseball universe, I was just posing your question back to you. This is the only place I see discussion of the topic, pro or con. I'm sure it is discussed on USSM and Fangraphs, or MarinerWank.com. But those sites, and BTF, aren't the mainstream. You're claiming that the notion of Ichiro not being a HoFer is outside the mainstream to an extreme, I'm simply saying that I don't think the plebeian mainstream has really even started the discussion, and I've seen no indication the actual voters have, either. And for good reason: he's still not eligible in a technical sense (though if he got hit by a bus tomorrow, they'd vote on him.)
   30. RJ in TO Posted: November 27, 2009 at 06:53 PM (#3397663)
If you google "Ichiro" + "Hall of Fame" you get 136,000 hits.


And if you google Toilet Party Favors, you get 159,000 hits. This obviously means that people are much more obsessed with the fringe activity of toilet partying than they are with discussing Ichiro and the Hall of Fame.
   31. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 27, 2009 at 06:57 PM (#3397666)
If you Google "shiite pie love" you get 279,000 hits!
   32. Jeff K. Posted: November 27, 2009 at 06:58 PM (#3397668)
When I google 'is ichiro a hall of famer' without quotes, I do indeed see articles from USSM, THT, some dude at Fox Sports.com that used to write for the P-I (which seems to have touched off a number of these other articles from lower traffic sites, as they're all a day or two later), and some quotes from a handful of current or future HoFers, but while I see a majority view, I don't see consensus even here, much less the notion that the debate is done except for the holdout whack-jobs.
   33. GregD Posted: November 27, 2009 at 06:59 PM (#3397669)
And if you google Toilet Party Favors, you get 159,000 hits. This obviously means that people are much more obsessed with the fringe activity of toilet partying than they are with discussing Ichiro and the Hall of Fame.
And if you add Ichiro to Toilet Party Favors, you still get 7520 hits!
   34. RJ in TO Posted: November 27, 2009 at 07:02 PM (#3397672)
And if you add Ichiro to Toilet Party Favors, you still get 7520 hits!


Thus making Ichiro a central figure in the Toilet Partying world.
   35. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 27, 2009 at 07:19 PM (#3397679)
You're claiming that the notion of Ichiro not being a HoFer is outside the mainstream to an extreme, I'm simply saying that I don't think the plebeian mainstream has really even started the discussion, and I've seen no indication the actual voters have, either. And for good reason: he's still not eligible in a technical sense (though if he got hit by a bus tomorrow, they'd vote on him.)

Well, if the notion of Ichiro not being a HoFer isn't outside the mainstream to an extreme, I doubt if that last sentence would be true, although Ray would probably attribute such a vote to misplaced pity.
   36. Darren Posted: November 27, 2009 at 07:35 PM (#3397685)
And if you add Ichiro to Toilet Party Favors, you still get 7520 hits!


But how many of those are inferior Japanese League hits?
   37. Jeff K. Posted: November 27, 2009 at 07:37 PM (#3397688)
I'm of the impression that anybody of notoriety that is that close to the line or over and who dies in that manner would get voted on with an exemption from the 5-year rule and the 10-year rule if necessary. Kile did, and he was nobody's Hall of Famer.
   38. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: November 27, 2009 at 07:51 PM (#3397697)
And by "Kile" I assume you mean "Joss."
   39. Orangepeel Posted: November 27, 2009 at 07:57 PM (#3397699)
I really don't know why this is here. It's a random MLBlog. This guy is most likely largely messing around.

But how many of those are inferior Japanese League hits?


Awesome.
   40. Dr Stankus and the Semicolons Posted: November 27, 2009 at 08:30 PM (#3397711)
Love the tina call back.

These other posts suck as hell.
   41. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 27, 2009 at 08:42 PM (#3397717)
And if you google Toilet Party Favors, you get 159,000 hits. This obviously means that people are much more obsessed with the fringe activity of toilet partying than they are with discussing Ichiro and the Hall of Fame.
This is just Andy's usual shtick; actually arguing facts is beyond him, so he just tells you what everyone thinks, as if that's relevant.
   42. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 27, 2009 at 09:38 PM (#3397739)
And if you google Toilet Party Favors, you get 159,000 hits. This obviously means that people are much more obsessed with the fringe activity of toilet partying than they are with discussing Ichiro and the Hall of Fame.


This is just Andy's usual shtick; actually arguing facts is beyond him, so he just tells you what everyone thinks, as if that's relevant.

Yeah, when I if I really want to note what's "relevant," I should instead be paying attention to what you and Ray and the rest of the baseball birthers think.
   43. Srul Itza Posted: November 27, 2009 at 09:44 PM (#3397743)
If Ichiro has a standard, or even slightly substandard, Ichiro season next year, he will have concluded 10 years of MLB with:

-- 10 consecutive 200 hit seasons (record)
-- Over 2,230 hits
-- Career Batting Average over .320
-- Over 1,000 runs scored
-- Over 360 Stolen Bases
-- 2 Batting titles
-- 6 Times leading the league in hits
-- ROY and MVP for team which won 116 games (record)
-- 262 hits in 2004 (record)
-- 9 (probably 10) All Star Game Appearances (8 or 9 starts)
-- 9 (probably 10) Gold Gloves

Even without considering his unique style and colorful personality, which fans and writers both love, and the "pioneer cred" as a Japanese position player, which gives him a great story line, does anybody seriously doubt that the above will get him elected to the MLB Hall of Fame?
   44. RJ in TO Posted: November 27, 2009 at 09:49 PM (#3397745)
Yeah, when I if I really want to note what's "relevant," I should instead be paying attention to what you and Ray and the rest of the baseball birthers think.


Out of curiosty, have David and Ray ever denied that Ichiro is going into the Hall of Fame? From what I recall, their position has never been that he won't get in, but rather that his statistical line (as compiled in MLB) currently doesn't, and is unlikely to at the end of his career, match up to the normal election standards of the BBWAA (as based on the quality of player that they've historically elected).

While I happen to disagree with them on that current and likely future statistical merit (since AROM's WAR system already has Ichiro being within the lower realms of HOF quality), their position is not insane by any means, as much of it relies on the differences between the values determined by the various fielding evaluation systems. If AROM/Tango's evaluation of his fielding merits are correct, then he's of HoF quality. If Chris Dial's are, then he's probably not. If it's somewhere in between, then it's probably up in the air.

And if you want to have an actual discussion on this, you might want to drop the deliberately inflamatory birther shtick.
   45. greenback calls it soccer Posted: November 27, 2009 at 09:49 PM (#3397746)
does anybody seriously doubt that the above will get him elected to the MLB Hall of Fame?

Wait till Lou Dobbs has a few months to put his newly found free time to use.
   46. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 27, 2009 at 09:50 PM (#3397747)
Even without considering his unique style and colorful personality, which fans and writers both love, and the "pioneer cred" as a Japanese position player, which gives him a great story line, does anybody seriously doubt that the above will get him elected to the MLB Hall of Fame?


If he gets 500 more hits (which is probable), he might be as close to unanimous as you can be in a HOF election. Not saying he deserves the inner-circle treatment (he obviously doesn't), but I certainly wouldn't bet against him getting 99% of the vote.
   47. RJ in TO Posted: November 27, 2009 at 09:54 PM (#3397749)
If he gets 500 more hits (which is probable), he might be as close to unanimous as you can be in a HOF election.


Probable? It's almost inconceivable that he doesn't. I think it's actually more likely that he gets 1000 more hits than he gets less than 500 more.

EDIT: But you're right, in that (absent some major scandal) Ichiro is about as big a lock as there is for the Hall of Fame.
   48. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 27, 2009 at 09:57 PM (#3397752)
Probable? It's almost inconceivable that he doesn't. I think it's actually more likely that he gets 1000 more hits than he gets less than 500 more.


No disagreement, Ryan. Just being conservative. :-)
   49. RJ in TO Posted: November 27, 2009 at 10:02 PM (#3397754)
Conservative? On BTF? Someone better tell robinred, so he can update his politics list.

Come on, John. This is no place for being conservative. This is the place for grand pronouncements, non-stop bluster, and knee-jerk reactions.
   50. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 27, 2009 at 10:02 PM (#3397755)

While I happen to disagree with them on that current and likely future statistical merit (since AROM's WAR system already has Ichiro being within the lower realms of HOF quality), their position is not insane by any means, as much of it relies on the differences between the values determined by the various fielding evaluation systems. If AROM/Tango's evaluation of his fielding merits are correct, then he's of HoF quality. If Chris Dial's are, then he's probably not. If it's somewhere in between, then it's probably up in the air.


His defense is definitely the key, since his offense, while quite good, is not really what we're used to for HOF outfielders. If he was indeed an outstanding outfielder, I would say he's a legit HOFer.
   51. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 27, 2009 at 10:03 PM (#3397756)
Come on, John. This is no place for being conservative. This is the place for grand pronouncements, non-stop bluster, and knee-jerk reactions.


(hides his head in shame)
   52. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 27, 2009 at 10:32 PM (#3397773)
But who, other than Ray and a handful of holdouts in places like this, is raising these "issues"? How many actual HoF voters have you seen who are saying that Ichiro isn't a HoFer, because of these "issues" that Ray has been harping on for the past 57 threads?

That's why I made the allusion to birthers: It's not that there aren't people like who keep raising "issues" about Ichiro's qualifications, just like there are people who "question" Obama's citizenship, it's just that unless you require unanimity to say that these "issues" have been resolved, to the overwhelming majority of the public, they've already been resolved in Ichiro's favor. Whether or not the baseball birthers are convinced is irrelevant.


You're citing (made up) public opinion polls, and the general consensus among HOF voters, none of which has anything to do with my position.

I have never argued that Ichiro wouldn't be easily voted in, so, as usual, your comments are utterly irrelevant to anything.
   53. Spahn Insane Posted: November 27, 2009 at 11:04 PM (#3397780)
If you Google "shiite pie love" you get 279,000 hits!

All irrelevant. There was no love involved.
   54. RJ in TO Posted: November 27, 2009 at 11:06 PM (#3397781)
Only in it for the sex?
   55. Spahn Insane Posted: November 27, 2009 at 11:06 PM (#3397782)
Wait till Lou Dobbs has a few months to put his newly found free time to use.

It'll have to be after he serves a term or two as POTUS.
   56. Spahn Insane Posted: November 27, 2009 at 11:06 PM (#3397783)
Only in it for the sex?

I'm a dude, aren't I?
   57. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 27, 2009 at 11:14 PM (#3397786)
Yeah, when I if I really want to note what's "relevant," I should instead be paying attention to what you and Ray and the rest of the baseball birthers think.

Out of curiosty, have David and Ray ever denied that Ichiro is going into the Hall of Fame?


No, but my original point was directed against the idea that the "discussion" about Ichiro's candidacy isn't by this time long since resolved. Of course I know that Ray and David aren't claiming that Ichiro won't get in. They may be baseball birthers, but they know that they don't have the votes to overturn the electorate.

From what I recall, their position has never been that he won't get in, but rather that his statistical line (as compiled in MLB) currently doesn't, and is unlikely to at the end of his career, match up to the normal election standards of the BBWAA (as based on the quality of player that they've historically elected).

While I happen to disagree with them on that current and likely future statistical merit (since AROM's WAR system already has Ichiro being within the lower realms of HOF quality), their position is not insane by any means, as much of it relies on the differences between the values determined by the various fielding evaluation systems. If AROM/Tango's evaluation of his fielding merits are correct, then he's of HoF quality. If Chris Dial's are, then he's probably not. If it's somewhere in between, then it's probably up in the air.


Except that this (once again) treats the Hall of Fame as the equivalent of some sort of statistical Hall of Merit, which (once again) it isn't. But as all this has been gone over in the previous 878 Ichiro threads, I don't see any need to re-hash it once more, except to note that those dreaded "intangible" factors play far more of a role in HoF voting than in our beloved HoM.

And if you want to have an actual discussion on this, you might want to drop the deliberately inflammatory birther shtick.

If the shoe fits, wear it. These two birther groups have one thing in common: They can never just let anything go, and they both seem to think that they possess some special insight that the rest of the world is incapable of grasping.

----------------------

does anybody seriously doubt that the above will get him elected to the MLB Hall of Fame?


Wait till Lou Dobbs has a few months to put his newly found free time to use.

In this 999th hour of the Ichiro "discussion" Lou Dobbs might actually raise the level of the debate. It wouldn't take much.
   58. RJ in TO Posted: November 27, 2009 at 11:27 PM (#3397791)
Except that this (once again) treats the Hall of Fame as the equivalent of some sort of statistical Hall of Merit, which (once again) it isn't.


Yes, they're not exact equivalents. So what?

The Hall of Fame has, and always will have, a strong statistical component to its selections. While it may consider other intangible aspects in their selections, these have not typically been the dominant part of the election of individual players - most players have been elected based on some form of statistical evaluation, with the intangible component being a secondary consideration, usually only considered for more marginal candidates.

If there isn't a strong statistical leaning among the BBWAA voters (even if they're not necessarily the statistics we would prefer), why hasn't the Hall been packed with nothing but "intangibles" and "good quote/story" guys"?

If the shoe fits, wear it. These two birther groups have one thing in common: They can never just let anything go, and they both seem to think that they possess some special insight that the rest of the world is incapable of grasping.


I find it hilarious that anyone on this site is accusing anyone else of this sort of thing.
   59. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 28, 2009 at 12:07 AM (#3397799)
I find it hilarious that anyone on this site is accusing anyone else of this sort of thing.

Yeah, me included, no question about that. The shoe fits here sometimes as well, at least the part about never letting anything go.

But to the substantive issue: While it's true that the HoF has a strong (even dominant) statistical component, it's also screamingly obvious that Ichiro's "intangibles" are as great as anyone's you're likely to find in this day and age, both in the form of statistics (that career [to date] .333 average; all those 200 hit years) and elsewhere (his earlier career; his charisma). And even if you put his statistical accomplishments in the marginal category (which might be a reasonable Hall of Merit position if you exclude his Japanese career entirely), it's also true that it's the marginal candidates for whom these intangibles play an outsized role. It's not as if we're talking about Mark Fidrych or Joe Charboneau, and that Ichiro's main intangible is petting imaginary birds or chewing glass. This is a guy who's been in 8 of 9 All-Star games and has been a Gold Glove every year. You really do have to be a baseball birther to claim that this isn't a legit Hall of Famer.
   60. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 28, 2009 at 12:13 AM (#3397800)
it's also screamingly obvious that Ichiro's "intangibles" are as great as anyone's you're likely to find in this day and age, ... that career [to date] .333 average; all those 200 hit years ... This is a guy who's been in 8 of 9 All-Star games and has been a Gold Glove every year.


That word, it does not mean what you think it means. You just laid out the "tangible" statistical case for Ichiro being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
   61. pinball1973 Posted: November 28, 2009 at 12:14 AM (#3397801)
Quite odd how the usual anti-Ichiro HoF "arguments" and moaning are being made to supposedly contrast the juvenile article, when they themselves have all the maturity of a two-year-old with a full nappy.

Thanks to the couple of reasonable people, who simply note he isn't Mays or Ruth but one of the great players in today's very big world of MLB.
   62. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 12:25 AM (#3397806)
This is just Andy's usual shtick; actually arguing facts is beyond him, so he just tells you what everyone thinks, as if that's relevant.

Yeah, when I if I really want to note what's "relevant," I should instead be paying attention to what you and Ray and the rest of the baseball birthers think.
Perhaps you didn't read what I wrote. This time, I boldfaced the pertinent language for you, to help you spot it.
   63. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 12:33 AM (#3397809)
Except that this (once again) treats the Hall of Fame as the equivalent of some sort of statistical Hall of Merit, which (once again) it isn't.
Once again, it is. The Hall of Fame has always been about "statistical merit." (*) Sometimes very poorly done statistics, but statistical merit nonetheless. "Intangible" factors don't play a discernable role, and you never once managed to find an example of someone about whom the voters said, "He's not qualified, but I'm voting for him anyway because of intangibles." If Ichiro gets in, it will be because of his on-field performance, not intangibles. That doesn't mean the assessment of his performance will be correct, but there's a big difference between making a mistake and voting based on "intangibles."


(*) I'm using 'statistical merit' because you used the phrase, but I really mean performance; for instance, his defense will not be evaluated by voters based on statistics per se, but will be a major plus for him.
   64. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: November 28, 2009 at 01:04 AM (#3397812)
I think of the bouquet of what are for the most part insanely moronic arguments against Ichiro's candidacy, there are a couple that are actually reasonable.

Beyond "It's the NATIONAL HoF!!!!!", "I haven't looked at Petagine's stats, so I'm just going to bring him up a lot to be an #######!" and "Ichiro is not Jackie Robinson-->?????-->Not HoF!!!!", I can see how if you don't count his time in Japan, there's a statistical case to made (without shouting "He has a low OPS+" over and over again) that he hasn't made it yet.

What always bothered me was the tendency to simply pretend that he didn't play in Japan and everyone who's not an idiot should know that.

It seemed to me that it should be relatively obvious that NPB is a major league and it was not and is still not easy to change one's place of birth. Furthermore, had Ichiro played his first decade in MLB, he would have MORE hits now, not less.

But I respect the arguments to the contrary, just not the way that several of the usual suspects would take up the "7 games! He's only played 7 games! That's not enough to be a HoFer!" schtick and compare him to guys who got fat and old at 31.

That hasn't taken place in this thread, so people should lay off of the anti-Ichiro crowd.
   65. PreservedFish Posted: November 28, 2009 at 01:46 AM (#3397820)
I think Ray's anti-Ichiro stance is unfairly maligned here. He makes a compelling case.

He gets my theoretical vote because I give him extra credit for Japan and for being really fun. I don't think that the pro-Ichiro case is very strong without those two factors.
   66. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 28, 2009 at 02:36 AM (#3397844)
While it's true that the HoF has a strong (even dominant) statistical component, it's also screamingly obvious that Ichiro's "intangibles" are as great as anyone's you're likely to find in this day and age, both in the form of statistics (that career [to date] .333 average; all those 200 hit years) and elsewhere (his earlier career; his charisma). And even if you put his statistical accomplishments in the marginal category (which might be a reasonable Hall of Merit position if you exclude his Japanese career entirely), it's also true that it's the marginal candidates for whom these intangibles play an outsized role. It's not as if we're talking about Mark Fidrych or Joe Charboneau, and that Ichiro's main intangible is petting imaginary birds or chewing glass.

That word, it does not mean what you think it means. You just laid out the "tangible" statistical case for Ichiro being inducted into the Hall of Fame.


Of course I note that when you quoted what I wrote, you omitted the parts about his Japanese career and his charisma, which are key components to his candidacy in the minds of many potential voters, and yet are discarded by the literalminded Primates who deny their relevancy. To these same Primates, Ichiro's nine 200-hit years and .333 aren't enough; they're but a statistical quirk that's overridden by his not getting enough walks to bring his OBP high enough, and his singles are dismissed as being tainted by including too many of the infield variety.

----------------

Except that this (once again) treats the Hall of Fame as the equivalent of some sort of statistical Hall of Merit, which (once again) it isn't.

Once again, it is. The Hall of Fame has always been about "statistical merit." (*) Sometimes very poorly done statistics, but statistical merit nonetheless. "Intangible" factors don't play a discernable role, and you never once managed to find an example of someone about whom the voters said, "He's not qualified, but I'm voting for him anyway because of intangibles."


Of course not, and I've never said that. What does happen, though, is that these intangibles sometimes make the difference on the margins, either helping to put a player in (like Dean) or out (like Allen). Of course there will be writers whose formal justification for their vote will include a statistical fig leaf of an argument, but it's not all that hard to figure out what's really going on. And in some cases they'll lay those intangibles right out front.

Or to take the two examples I've cited: Give Dick Allen and all his personal baggage the career stats of Dizzy Dean. And then see how far those statistics get him.

But then it's beyond your limited comprehension to imagine that the human factor ever goes into any human decision, so this is like arguing with a brick wall.
   67. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 28, 2009 at 02:38 AM (#3397845)
I think Ray's anti-Ichiro stance is unfairly maligned here. He makes a compelling case.

He gets my theoretical vote because I give him extra credit for Japan and for being really fun. I don't think that the pro-Ichiro case is very strong without those two factors.


But according to Nieporent, no HoF voter would ever think like that. People like you get stripped of your voting credentials before you ever get a chance to cast your tainted ballot.
   68. Nineto Lezcano needs to get his shit together (CW) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 02:53 AM (#3397853)
Andy, what you seem to fail to comprehend is that what the Hall of Fame is about is baseball. Specifically, being really good at baseball. The "statistics" are ways of measuring how good at baseball someone is. It turns out that the vast majority of things that make one good at baseball are imminently quantifiable - especially when it comes to hitting, so many things are tabulated that using a sensible model of how things contribute to run scoring, we can do an excelent job of quantifying how good someone is at baseball, relative to someone else.

The stats aren't an end to themselves, but a means of measuring baseball performance. It is not the Hall of Stats, sure. But it's not the Hall of Good Character. You have to at least be really, really good at baseball to get into the conversation.
   69. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 03:24 AM (#3397866)
You really do have to be a baseball birther to claim that this isn't a legit Hall of Famer.


Yes, because there are scores of corner OF in the HOF with .298 EqAs in 1400 games.
   70. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 03:34 AM (#3397869)
Of course I note that when you quoted what I wrote, you omitted the parts about his Japanese career and his charisma, which are key components to his candidacy in the minds of many potential voters, and yet are discarded by the literalminded Primates who deny their relevancy.


You haven't established that they're "key components." Most writers I have seen have talked about hits, batting average, steals, and defense - not "charisma."

To these same Primates, Ichiro's nine 200-hit years and .333 aren't enough; they're but a statistical quirk that's overridden by his not getting enough walks to bring his OBP high enough, and his singles are dismissed as being tainted by including too many of the infield variety.


His singles are not "dismised," but, rather, are counted as singles rather than as doubles or home runs.

He doesn't hit for power relative to elite corner OFs.

And citing batting average and "200-hit years" is not serious analysis. You've not seen me ever tout a player based on his batting average and raw hits totals, so I've not been inconsistent here in the least. I've not treated Ichiro differently from any other player... And perhaps that's the real "problem" that many in the pro-Ichiro crowd have with me. I don't give him special consideration, as they do.

Shockingly, I don't think games played in Japan are games played in MLB.
   71. Lassus Posted: November 28, 2009 at 03:56 AM (#3397880)
You haven't established that they're "key components." Most writers I have seen have talked about hits, batting average, steals, and defense - not "charisma."

I don't think your arguments are ridiculous regarding Ichiro, Ray, even if I think your energy would be better served in a more winnable battle; but I do think you're splitting hairs and being semantic regarding "charisma". I'm sure he means popularity, which is and has been a prominent factor in the voting. Puckett, et al.
   72. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 28, 2009 at 04:06 AM (#3397883)
I'm sure he means popularity, which is and has been a prominent factor in the voting.


To the extent that it translates into things like All-Star game appearances (10 for Puckett, 9 for Ichiro) and awards (6 GG, 7 top 7 MVP votes for Kirby, 9 GG, 4 top 10 MVPs for Ichiro). Really, Dave nails it in his footnote to #63: Hall-of-Fame voting is based on baseball performance. Dick Allen is hurt because his issues led to a short career and many of his issues negatively affected the performance of his teams (mid-season retirement, etc.). Dizzy Dean is in the HOF, not HOM, because HOF voters viewed his statistical record more favorably than HOM voters did.
   73. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 04:19 AM (#3397886)
I'm sure he means popularity, which is and has been a prominent factor in the voting. Puckett, et al.


Puckett was a .320 hitter with power who played a key defensive position, was on two WS winners, and who suffered a career-ending injury on the field while still playing at a top level. That is why he is now a HOFer.
   74. RJ in TO Posted: November 28, 2009 at 04:22 AM (#3397887)
and who suffered a career-ending injury on the field while still playing at a top level.


His doctors repeatedly indicated that the eye problems that ended his career were unrelated to the beaning.

However, you are correct, in that the sudden end to his career meant that he went out while still playing at a top level.
   75. Lassus Posted: November 28, 2009 at 04:22 AM (#3397889)
I don't know that Dave nails it, really

"Intangible" factors don't play a discernible role, and you never once managed to find an example of someone about whom the voters said, "He's not qualified, but I'm voting for him anyway because of intangibles." If Ichiro gets in, it will be because of his on-field performance, not intangibles. That doesn't mean the assessment of his performance will be correct, but there's a big difference between making a mistake and voting based on "intangibles."

The point isn't that someone's election is BASED on intangibles, but that it is and has been affected - and for the close cases, significantly - by such extra-statistical factors. Isn't Rice the perfect example of this? His statistical merit is inferior, but the intangibles affected the writers so much they did indeed let it affect their votes and overcome the statistical deficiencies. If Morris makes it, the same thing would be true, the intangibles will have played a big part in that.


...[Puckett] was on two WS winners

This is as bad an argument as the ones you can't stand in favor of Ichiro.
   76. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 04:25 AM (#3397890)
His doctors repeatedly indicated that the eye problems that ended his career were unrelated to the beaning.


Yes, you're right; I had misremembered that and thought he got beaned near the eye.
   77. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 04:27 AM (#3397892)
...[Puckett] was on two WS winners

This is as bad an argument as the ones you can't stand in favor of Ichiro.


No, I'm making a statement about why he's a HOFer, not why I'd have voted for him.
   78. RJ in TO Posted: November 28, 2009 at 04:30 AM (#3397893)
Yes, you're right; I had misremembered that and thought he got beaned near the eye.


You're not the first one to do that. I'm always surprised that, even with the doctors saying the beaning had nothing to do with the glaucoma, Dennis Martinez didn't get blamed for ending Puckett's career.
   79. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 28, 2009 at 04:44 AM (#3397897)
The point isn't that someone's election is BASED on intangibles, but that it is and has been affected - and for the close cases, significantly - by such extra-statistical factors.

Nice to see that someone else gets it. Maybe by about 2020 Ray and David will, too, though I doubt it. And I'd still love to see a marginal case get in if he had Dick Allen's personality.
   80. RJ in TO Posted: November 28, 2009 at 04:46 AM (#3397900)
And I'd still love to see a marginal case get in if he had Dick Allen's personality.


Jim Rice got elected despite being both marginal (to be generous about it) and having a pretty damn unpleasant personality.
   81. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 28, 2009 at 04:51 AM (#3397903)
Jim Rice got elected despite being both marginal and having a pretty damn unpleasant personality.

Let Dick Allen be a valued member of the Phillies organization for about 15 years and maybe he'll get elected, too. And let the Phillies cultivate a rabid fan base whose biggest minor league affiliate organizes a big campaign to get him in. Otherwise let's not compare apples and oranges.
   82. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 04:55 AM (#3397904)
And I'd still love to see a marginal case get in if he had Dick Allen's personality.


Jim Rice is a marginal case with a negative points on "personality" who got in.

No, he didn't have Allen's personality, but Allen was rather unique, as I'm sure you know.
   83. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 04:59 AM (#3397906)
I see Ryan thought of the Rice example as well... and I see that Andy, as usual, refuses to acknowledge that the example is on point.
   84. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 28, 2009 at 05:14 AM (#3397910)
Isn't Rice the perfect example of this? His statistical merit is inferior, but the intangibles affected the writers so much they did indeed let it affect their votes and overcome the statistical deficiencies.


No, as Ryan and Ray suggest, Jim Rice is NOT the perfect example of this. Jim Rice is the perfect example of how BBWAA voters use poor statistical measures - overvaluing RBIs, failing to account for park factors. But Jim Rice was elected because HOF voters BELIEVED that Jim Rice was one of the best hitters of his generation.
   85. Downtown Bookie Posted: November 28, 2009 at 05:26 AM (#3397918)
Personally, I think the best example of a marginal case with Dick Allen's personality is...Dick Allen.

DB
   86. RJ in TO Posted: November 28, 2009 at 05:32 AM (#3397920)
Personally, I think the best example of a marginal case with Dick Allen's personality is...Dick Allen.


But Dick Allen wasn't marginal by a standard Hall of Fame case. For a 1B, he had the basic numbers of 1099/341/1119 with a 0.292 BA and only 1848 career hits. By BBWAA standards, that's nowhere close.
   87. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 05:46 AM (#3397927)
Of course I note that when you quoted what I wrote, you omitted the parts about his Japanese career and his charisma,
Ah, yes, Andy's bizarre argument style:

Andy: Such-and-such is true because of A, B, C, D, and E.
Reply: No, B and D aren't even accurate, and E doesn't help your argument.
Andy: You ignored what I said about A and C!

which are key components to his candidacy in the minds of many potential voters, and yet are discarded by the literalminded Primates who deny their relevancy. To these same Primates, Ichiro's nine 200-hit years and .333 aren't enough; they're but a statistical quirk that's overridden by his not getting enough walks to bring his OBP high enough, and his singles are dismissed as being tainted by including too many of the infield variety.
Whether or not Ichiro gets credit for Japan, that's not an intangible either. (The only way it's "intangible" is if he's getting credit for being a "pioneer," which I don't think any voter is doing, which is good because he wasn't one. Rather, I think they're either giving him credit for his play, or they're simply excusing his shortened MLB career. Neither one of those, contra Andy, somehow distinguishes the HOF from the HOM.)
   88. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 05:50 AM (#3397929)
His doctors repeatedly indicated that the eye problems that ended his career were unrelated to the beaning.
Yes, but I don't think the writers really know/believe that. I've read far too many columns linking the two. (Just as many writers still think -- not to start this topic up -- that Lyle Alzado died from steroid use, rather than an unrelated brain tumor, notwithstanding what doctors say.)
   89. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 28, 2009 at 05:52 AM (#3397930)
I see Ryan thought of the Rice example as well... and I see that Andy, as usual, refuses to acknowledge that the example is on point.

-------------------

No, as Ryan and Ray suggest, Jim Rice is NOT the perfect example of this. Jim Rice is the perfect example of how BBWAA voters use poor statistical measures - overvaluing RBIs, failing to account for park factors. But Jim Rice was elected because HOF voters BELIEVED that Jim Rice was one of the best hitters of his generation.

But funny that they didn't seem to "BELIEVE" that for 14 years. And funnier still that over the past decade and a half we've seen a growing appreciation for the sort of statistical measurements that by logic should only work against Rice, not for him. Rice was known as a "feared" hitter almost from the first time he swung a bat for the Red Sox, but that wasn't good enough until 10 months ago to get him into the Hall.

What's really changed over the past few years is that Rice has been seen more as a member of Red Sox Nation than as a sullen loner. It's not that he's changed into Ernie Banks, but he's mellowed enough with the media that he's now seen as a non-threatening old school curmudgeon rather than someone you'd always want to avoid in the locker room. He's worked with minor leaguers and has been with NESN---do you count this sort of networking as "tangible"? Does it show up in a statistic? And has Dick Allen done anything remotely like this in order to ingratiate himself with anyone who has an ounce of influence in baseball?

I swear that some of you people are as thick as a fucking brick. First you repeatedly bewail the narrowminded stupidity of writers who ignore your pet statistics. Then you cry about their various irrational biases and prejudices. And then you say that these same writers would never, ever consider anything but statistics when choosing Hall of Famers! You say that those coldly objective folks may "misinterpret" a few stats now and then, but they never let their judgment of personalities cloud their spreadsheets---perish the thought.

And when someone mocks you for that sort of inanity, you turn around and claim (falsely, of course) that we're claiming that intangibles are the ONLY thing that's important. As if we haven't said repeatedly that they only come into play in the case of the marginal candidate with pronounced positive or negative personality or charisma issues.
   90. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 06:00 AM (#3397932)
I swear that some of you people are as thick as a ####### brick. First you repeatedly bewail the narrowminded stupidity of writers who ignore your pet statistics. Then you cry about their various irrational biases and prejudices. And then you say that these same writers would never, ever consider anything but statistics when choosing Hall of Famers!


Writers always make their case on statistical grounds -- maybe not always the best statistics, and sometimes silly ones and grouped in a silly fashion -- and never say "there is no statistical case for him but I'm voting on intangibles."
   91. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 06:17 AM (#3397934)
Isn't Rice the perfect example of this? His statistical merit is inferior, but the intangibles affected the writers so much they did indeed let it affect their votes and overcome the statistical deficiencies.

No, as Ryan and Ray suggest, Jim Rice is NOT the perfect example of this. Jim Rice is the perfect example of how BBWAA voters use poor statistical measures - overvaluing RBIs, failing to account for park factors. But Jim Rice was elected because HOF voters BELIEVED that Jim Rice was one of the best hitters of his generation.
In addition, I would note that even by BBWAA measures, Rice was a marginal candidate... and he was barely elected on his fifteenth try. In other words, his fate mirrored his statistical case.

For Andy to have any case, he'd need to find someone who did much better/worse than his statistics -- his traditional statistics, not his sabermetric ones -- would indicate. (And to actually demonstrate his thesis, he'd need to find more than just one someone.)


The point isn't that someone's election is BASED on intangibles, but that it is and has been affected - and for the close cases, significantly - by such extra-statistical factors. Isn't Rice the perfect example of this? His statistical merit is inferior, but the intangibles affected the writers so much they did indeed let it affect their votes and overcome the statistical deficiencies. If Morris makes it, the same thing would be true, the intangibles will have played a big part in that.
As to Rice, see above; as to Morris, (1) his hypothetical election obviously can't prove anything until it becomes non-hypothetical; (2) I don't hear voters pushing him for intangible reasons, as opposed to performance-related reasons. ("Most wins of the 80s.") As to the underlying claim, as with all of Andy's arguments, once you add in all the caveats and exceptions needed to make it true, it becomes trivial. Of course an election might be "affected" by intangibles; given two statistically identical candidates, it's very possible that the more charismatic player will get more votes. That's a fair descriptive statement, even if it has not actually been proven.

But that's not Andy's claim about Ichiro. The debate about Ichiro isn't whether he will go in, but whether he should go in. In other words, Andy isn't claiming that Ichiro will likely do better than a statistically equivalent player; he's claiming that Ichiro should do better than a statistically equivalent player. He has repeatedly set up a false dichotomy between the HOF (which in his view does and should take into account intangibles) and the HOM (which in his view doesn't and shouldn't). But the HOM voters are humans, not computers, too; "intangibles" can "affect" their elections too. Showing that voters may be "affected" by intangibles doesn't distinguish these two Halls.

Andy has never understood the difference between a descriptive claim and a normative one.
   92. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 06:23 AM (#3397935)
What's really changed over the past few years is that Rice has been seen more as a member of Red Sox Nation than as a sullen loner. It's not that he's changed into Ernie Banks, but he's mellowed enough with the media that he's now seen as a non-threatening old school curmudgeon rather than someone you'd always want to avoid in the locker room. He's worked with minor leaguers and has been with NESN---do you count this sort of networking as "tangible"? Does it show up in a statistic? And has Dick Allen done anything remotely like this in order to ingratiate himself with anyone who has an ounce of influence in baseball?
I would count "this sort of networking" as intangible. I would also point out that you don't have the slightest evidence that his "sullenness" kept him out of the HOF before, or that his "mellowing" got him into the HOF now. Anything is possible, but "it's possible that it's true" -- or even "it's plausible that it's true" -- does not constitute evidence.

In any case, your entire little rant here misses the point. If his sullenness kept him out, that was wrong; if his mellowing got him in, that was wrong. And if it was wrong, it provides no useful argument regarding Ichiro.
   93. Zoppity Zoop Posted: November 28, 2009 at 06:45 AM (#3397948)
They can never just let anything go, and they both seem to think that they possess some special insight that the rest of the world is incapable of grasping.

Says the guy who brings up a 30-year-old speech that Reagan made in Philadelphia, MS at every possible opportunity. I'd be shocked if you don't bring it up when a restaurant overcooks your steak.
   94. Lassus Posted: November 28, 2009 at 06:46 AM (#3397949)
Jim Rice got elected despite being both marginal (to be generous about it) and having a pretty damn unpleasant personality.

I see Ryan thought of the Rice example as well... and I see that Andy, as usual, refuses to acknowledge that the example is on point.



I don't understand this at all in relation to what I said, and I do think Ryan bringing up Rice's personality threw everything off. I didn't say anything about personality, my point was simply that "intangibles" will have an effect. Rice had "THE FEAR", and that was an intangible. People, writers, the BBWAA think he was walked intentionally with the bases loaded. Without that intangible, he doesn't make it in on his fifteenth try. Morris will be argued to have these intangibles, as you certainly can't measure the statistical reason why he belongs.

How nice Dick Allen was or how nice Jim Rice wasn't has nothing to do with my point about intangibles and the fact that they affect the vote. I really did mean BASEBALL intangibles. I think Nieporent was right about intangibles being negligible, but only personality intangibles are. The BBWAA takes baseball intangibles and turns them in their mind into statistical greatness.
   95. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 06:52 AM (#3397952)
Just to make my point from 91-92 clearer: let's suppose that it could be shown that race "affected" HOF voting outcomes -- that all else being equal, a white player was historically more likely to get elected than a black or Hispanic (or Asian, for that matter) player. Obviously we're not going to see too many voters come out and say so, and maybe we can't prove it, but at least subconsciously some voters probably did so.

As a descriptive claim of what may have happened, that's unobjectionable. But it obviously wouldn't justify a vote for Dale Murphy now. The fact that a voter let race subconsciously affect his vote in the past doesn't mean that it makes sense for that voter (or a different one) to say, "Murphy's below the line statistically, but I'm going to consciously give him a boost because he's white." If it subconsciously affects his vote for Murphy, well, there's nothing we can do about that -- but we shouldn't validate it by endorsing him taking it into consideration now.


EDIT: Just want to add that Andy might protest that obviously taking race into account is bad, but that doesn't mean that all intangibles are. But look at the things he's talking about in #89 -- Rice "worked with minor leaguers and has been with NESN" and Allen not having done so. Maybe those aren't morally equivalent to racism, but they're pretty damn stupid reasons to put someone into the HOF.
   96. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 07:02 AM (#3397957)
I don't give him special consideration, as they do.


This reminds me of the political arguments against granting "special rights" to gays and lesbians. As if it would be bizarre to partially excuse the relatively short career of some alternate-reality Cuban Ichiro who'd been able to defect only late in his career.

Ichiro's fame certainly outweighs his performance--he's not an inner-circle guy--and there's a case to be made that he might not be a qualified Hall of Famer, but you can't make it while you're wearing these blinders. "We must pretend that all players didn't exist before they set foot on an MLB field! It's intellectually dishonest to use any other evidence!" Hooey.
   97. Roy Hobbs of WIFFLE Ball Posted: November 28, 2009 at 07:10 AM (#3397959)
Yes, because there are scores of corner OF in the HOF with .298 EqAs in 1400 games.


Forget the .333 BA, 9 Gold Gloves, 9 100-run seasons, 9 200-hit seasons, 341 steals, etc. There's a three-digit metric that says Ichiro is teh suck! I found another one: LOL, Ichiro, your peers are Matt Stairs, Gary Matthews, Nick Swisher, and Ron Fairly! Welcome to the Hall of Fame - the Hall of Fame of FAIL!
   98. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 07:11 AM (#3397960)
Ichiro's fame certainly outweighs his performance--he's not an inner-circle guy--and there's a case to be made that he might not be a qualified Hall of Famer, but you can't make it while you're wearing these blinders. "We must pretend that all players didn't exist before they set foot on an MLB field! It's intellectually dishonest to use any other evidence!" Hooey.
Nobody is "pretending they didn't exist." We're just not giving him credit for something he didn't do -- play MLB. We don't think it matters why, whether it's because he spent the first decade of his adult life as a bad player, or as a stockbroker, or as a Cuban player. There's nothing "blind" about saying that the Hall of Fame is for U.S. play, not for play -- no matter what quality -- in a foreign league. Players don't exist for HOF purposes before they set foot on an MLB field. Nobody is saying that Ichiro couldn't have played at a high level in MLB before 2001 -- only that he didn't.
   99. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 07:12 AM (#3397961)
I mean "hooey" in the friendliest way possible, by the way. To start a less heated and personal argument, let me go back to an earlier comment about moving the fences back. I say let's return to the faux-pastoral roots of the game and get rid of them. Who's more valuable then, a lumbering slugger like McGwire or a decent runner who can hit line drives into the gap?
   100. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 07:18 AM (#3397962)
Forget the .333 BA, 9 Gold Gloves, 9 100-run seasons, 9 200-hit seasons, 341 steals, etc. There's a three-digit metric that says Ichiro is teh suck! I found another one: LOL, Ichiro, your peers are Matt Stairs, Gary Matthews, Nick Swisher, and Ron Fairly! Welcome to the Hall of Fame - the Hall of Fame of FAIL!
I'm trying to interpret this in a way that isn't stupid, but no matter how many ways I look at it, it comes out that way. (And false, too; Ichiro does not have 9 100-run seasons.) I guess if I interpret it as parody, it isn't stupid.
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