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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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   301. Jeff K. Posted: December 01, 2009 at 01:59 AM (#3399650)
And there we go.
   302. Steve Treder Posted: December 01, 2009 at 02:01 AM (#3399657)
Once Will Clark shows up on the ballot, why is it not "perfectly reasonable" to consider his
performance at Mississippi State? Or his performance playing for the Olympic team?


It is perfectly reasonable. All baseball playing performance of every candidate on the ballot is
perfectly reasonable for consideration.

Some, of course, is sensibly more heavily-weighted: such as, for instance, several years of
performance in a highly competitive professional league, as opposed to a few weeks of performance
in an Olympic tournament. But it's all perfectly reasonable for consideration.
   303. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 01, 2009 at 02:04 AM (#3399658)
This does not do anything to distinguish minor league performance, or collegiate performance, or independent league performance, from Ichiro's NPB performance.

No, it doesn't. I don't think considering minor league play is a foreign position around here.

If there's a college or independent league player whose performance shows up in MLEs as actually worthy of MLB playing time:
(a) I'd be willing to consider that.
(b) I'd be fairly surprised.
   304. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 01, 2009 at 02:19 AM (#3399665)
As an additional response, it may be reasonable for practical purposes for voters to ignore most, if not all, minor league/college performance while still crediting Ichiro's Japanese play, for the simple reason that there is so much more Japanese credit for Ichiro than there is viable minor league play for any Hall of Fame candidate. If a player won seven AAA batting titles while running and defending as well as Ichiro and wasn't called up to the majors for the first six years, it would be more than reasonable for voters to take that into account. Good luck finding a player who did that and still had a substantial 10-year MLB career.
   305. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 01, 2009 at 02:36 AM (#3399677)
No, it doesn't. I don't think considering minor league play is a foreign position around here.


And, yet, shockingly, nobody does it except when discussing Ichiro.
   306. PreservedFish Posted: December 01, 2009 at 02:51 AM (#3399684)
And, yet, shockingly, nobody does it except when discussing Ichiro.


It always comes up in Edgar Martinez discussions, despite the fact that Edgar Martinez was only "cheated" out of a year or two at most.

When else is it relevant?
   307. RJ in TO Posted: December 01, 2009 at 02:51 AM (#3399685)
This does not do anything to distinguish minor league performance, or collegiate performance, or independent league performance, from Ichiro's NPB performance.

No, it doesn't. I don't think considering minor league play is a foreign position around here.


It's not a foreign position around here for discussing the Hall of Merit. As far as I can tell, however, minor league credit is a very foreign concept when discussing the Hall of Fame. A BBWAA HOF voter may talk about Edgar spending too much time in the minors, but it's almost always in a "Well, tough luck for him" manner - I don't think I've ever seen any BBWAA guys suggest that he should get extra credit for it.
   308. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 01, 2009 at 02:56 AM (#3399690)
It always comes up in Edgar Martinez discussions, despite the fact that Edgar Martinez was only "cheated" out of a year or two at most.

When else is it relevant?


If it's always a valid consideration, it should always be relevant, and people should always look to it when discussing any player's HOF case.

And **bad** minor league performances should affect players negatively as well. Why wouldn't they?
   309. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 01, 2009 at 02:59 AM (#3399691)
If it's always a valid consideration, it should always be relevant, and people should always look to it when discussing any player's HOF case.

But again, most Hall candidates will have spent 1-2 MLB quality years in the minors at most. Ichiro had what, 7 in Japan? A couple dozen WAR worth of credit (conservatively) makes a much bigger difference than 5 or so.
   310. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:03 AM (#3399694)
And **bad** minor league performances should affect players negatively as well. Why wouldn't they?

They serve as evidence that the player wasn't of MLB quality during the season in question. That has a negative effect relative to someone else's good minor league performance.
   311. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:05 AM (#3399697)
But again, most Hall candidates will have spent 1-2 MLB quality years in the minors at most.


Again, I don't see why we're only looking at "MLB quality years." Why are some parts of a player's minor league career relevant, but not other parts?
   312. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:09 AM (#3399699)
Again, I don't see why we're only looking at "MLB quality years." Why are some parts of a player's minor league career relevant, but not other parts?

The other parts are relevant only in that they have no value. Only seasons in which the player demonstrated MLB level ability will make a substantial difference to a player's Hall of Fame case.
   313. PreservedFish Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:12 AM (#3399702)
And **bad** minor league performances should affect players negatively as well. Why wouldn't they?


You don't believe this, and it's not clear what you're trying to tease out of us
   314. Jeff K. Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:15 AM (#3399705)
I don't understand the dual positions of "take away PAs granted by managerial decision of batting order" and not granting credit for PAs in the minors that are due to organizational decision. I'm with you Ray (I don't agree with you, but I see your point) on the first, but it would seem the second has to come into play.
   315. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:24 AM (#3399710)

And, yet, shockingly, nobody does it except when discussing Ichiro.


Just because you don't pay attention doesn't mean that it doesn't happen, and it certainly doesn't keep you from sounding like an ####### when you use "shockingly" to describe something that's blatantly false.

It's also frustrating that several pages ago, I already anticipated and dealt with your argument that "only Ichiro receives this credit" for non-MLB years, and you've just ignored it and then mocked no one for anticipating it.

It matters, it's just that very few have his record and so it doesn't put them over the top.

As for negative MiL stats, I would argue that there is a minimum threshold where the player is sub-replacement level but still developing that it makes no sense to penalize them for. They are simply not playing well enough to contribute to the Major League club. It's not a personnel decision--the ability has simply not developed yet.

I would follow this strategy:
1. Compile all Major League Equivalencies
2. Drop the negative ones compiled for a non-ML team (keep the negative ones for NPB, MLB, etc.)
3. Add them to together and test for your minimum threshold.

I would apply this to all eligible players.

I would not count the pre-ML value years because it makes no sense whatsoever. Should A-Rod lose value because he hit .656 in T-ball and that's a low league difficulty? Should I lose HoF value because I'm eating a sandwich instead of producing for a baseball team.

As for Oh, what's so horrific about him being inducted. The fact that he isn't is simply because he hasn't been on the ballot. I think it'd be fine to elect the NPB standouts whose translated stats meet the minimum threshold. I don't understand what the damage would be.
   316. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:32 AM (#3399714)
And **bad** minor league performances should affect players negatively as well. Why wouldn't they?

You don't believe this, and it's not clear what you're trying to tease out of us


I don't believe that minor league performance, good or bad, should be relevant. Correct.

But what I'm getting at is, once one does believe that minor league performance is relevant, why is one picking and choosing which minor league performances to credit?

If the answer is: "Because we are only interested in minor league seasons in which the player showed MLB capability," then my question is why are you only interested in those kinds of minor league seasons? If we're working from the premise that minor league seasons are relevant, then it would seem that both good and bad minor league seasons should be relevant.

Otherwise, it seems completely arbitrary to me. The HOF is about great careers. If minor league performance is part of a player's "career" for HOF purposes, then the player's career should be great even after factoring in all of his minor league performance. Including his bad performance.

Why can't I start subtracting bad major league seasons from Luis Gonzalez's career to get him Hall-worthy? Why am I not interested only in "major league quality" seasons for Luis Gonzalez? We wouldn't even have to do MLEs.
   317. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:49 AM (#3399726)
Why am I not interested only in "major league quality" seasons for Luis Gonzalez?


I suppose I shouldn't speak for other people, but I don't understand why you would care about sub-"major league quality" seasons for Luis Gonzalez regardless of where he compiled them, in assessing his Hall-of-Fame case. I thought that the general consensus here at BBTF was that a player couldn't weaken his Hall-of-Fame case by playing bad major-league baseball - sub-replacement (or sub-average if that's your preferred measure of HOF-worthiness) seasons are simply zeroed out. In which case, of course, the issue of sub-MLB quality minor-leage (or college or high school or Little League) play becomes irrelevant - it just zeroes out just like sub-replacement MLB seasons.
   318. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 01, 2009 at 04:12 AM (#3399749)
Why can't I start subtracting bad major league seasons from Luis Gonzalez's career to get him Hall-worthy? Why am I not interested only in "major league quality" seasons for Luis Gonzalez? We wouldn't even have to do MLEs.

There are a lot of people around here who do exactly this, notably (if I recall) Dan Rosenheck and Joe Dimino over in HOM-land.
   319. Cuban X Senators Posted: December 01, 2009 at 04:43 AM (#3399791)
I don't know that Gonzalez' last seasons were bad enough to be negative . . . they don't help him, but I don't see him as not a contributing major leaguer . . . unless you're factoring in what he may have been paid to be mediocre.

The only players I can think of who really were allowed to stay around in their late-30s and be clearly harmful for more than a season or so are players coasting on a huge rep (Brooks, Rose). In a way it's a sign one is very likely to be Hall-worthy.

Should we hold it against Brooks that the Orioles were willing to continue to run him out there for years when he was clearly done? In some sense that's a poor club decision along the lines of holding a player in the minors who is clearly ready to be productive in the bigs.
   320. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:12 AM (#3399823)
I heard that Babe Ruth tried to help out on his nephew's softball season, and hit poorly thus, once factoring in equivalency, demolishing his career value.
   321. PreservedFish Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:18 AM (#3399828)
Ray, you are being a slave to an awkward conception of logic. Taking us down all of these slippery slopes is not convincing.
   322. shock Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:21 AM (#3399831)
I think [321] applies to [320] moreso than any other post in this or any other thread.
   323. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:22 AM (#3399832)
It means that the biggest argument in his favor -- high hit totals -- is a direct result of extra opportunity that is not available to other players.


Then it's a ridiculous statement. If he didn't have the skill, he wouldn't be afforded the opportunity. So is Lou Gehrig overrated becasue a manager decided to bat him 4th behind Ruth thus giving him extra opportunities for RBI? I guess Rickey must be overrated because a manager made the decision to give him the greenlight.
   324. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:25 AM (#3399835)
No no no. This is making a similar mistake to the people who say that Tim Raines should be in the Hall of Fame because he was one of the best leadoff hitters of all time.


Ah, good point. Thank you.
   325. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:29 AM (#3399841)
I think [321] applies to [320] moreso than any other post in this or any other thread.


The argument at hand was that any and all baseball experience should count in the analysis of the player. To call out an absolutist statement is not the same as invoking a slippery slope.

If it were fallacious, you would not be able to invoke counterexamples at all.
   326. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:29 AM (#3399843)
why are you only interested in those kinds of minor league seasons? If we're working from the premise that minor league seasons are relevant, then it would seem that both good and bad minor league seasons should be relevant.


This is not as hard to understand as you're making it out to be. Kiko spelled it out pretty well, so I won't belabor the point.

Once again, I'm completely befuddled by your professed confusion. Just so we're clear, I have no issue with you or anyone not thinking of Ichiro as a Hall of Famer. Grandma isn't sold on the idea, for example, but he doesn't sputter and fume at those who are. You, on the other hand, keep denying that the pro-HoF argument is intellectually consistent and in fact act as though it's completely unintelligible.

Your position is perfectly clear, I just happen to disagree with it.
   327. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:32 AM (#3399846)
#220, but compare Ichiro's run scoring to Tim Raines in his prime. For instance the 133 runs scored in 1983 on the team that scored a total of 677 runs.


OK, but how does this change the fact that Ichiro nearly scored 100 runs in an injury shortened season on the worst offensive team in the league? No doubt Raines' season was superior and he's a great player, but I don't think you can deny the fact that Ichiro's run scoring was significantly and negatively impacted by his team and not by any shortcoming of his.
   328. zenbitz Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:43 AM (#3399854)
Runs score are highly teammate dependent and as such I don't give them any weight at all in a HOF discussion.

So you are both wrong.
   329. shock Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:46 AM (#3399855)

Then it's a ridiculous statement. If he didn't have the skill, he wouldn't be afforded the opportunity. So is Lou Gehrig overrated becasue a manager decided to bat him 4th behind Ruth thus giving him extra opportunities for RBI? I guess Rickey must be overrated because a manager made the decision to give him the greenlight.


Nobody is using the word "overrated" except for you. All that anyone has said is that stats need to be looked at in context. Achievements balanced against opportunities. A player gets a lot of hits partly because of lineup position awarding him more opportunities; that's why someone invented "batting average" a few billion years ago*. And yes, of course you would take the same into account for RBI.

You can claim that he gets those opportunities because of the "type" of player he is, and I can claim that if he had more power, he would not get as much opportunity despite being a better player overall. It's all a bunch of silliniess. Value is value, and personally I am more interested in analyzing the actual value Ichiro brings to the table than I am in simply counting his hit totals and pointing out trivia.

*Yes, obviously Ichiro has a high BA, and I would honestly be less annoyed with people if they'd simply say ".333 hitter" rather than "9 200 hit seasons!!" or whatever the hell it is.
   330. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:47 AM (#3399857)
I suppose I shouldn't speak for other people, but I don't understand why you would care about sub-"major league quality" seasons for Luis Gonzalez regardless of where he compiled them, in assessing his Hall-of-Fame case. I thought that the general consensus here at BBTF was that a player couldn't weaken his Hall-of-Fame case by playing bad major-league baseball - sub-replacement (or sub-average if that's your preferred measure of HOF-worthiness) seasons are simply zeroed out. In which case, of course, the issue of sub-MLB quality minor-leage (or college or high school or Little League) play becomes irrelevant - it just zeroes out just like sub-replacement MLB seasons.


I certainly don't "zero out" bad seasons. Others may, but, then again, when people go around citing career numbers and doing comparisons with them I never see people posting "career numbers minus his bad seasons."
   331. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:53 AM (#3399863)
I think you can note the fact that it is more valuable to not miss games and have 700 PAs than it is to have 450 or 500 or 600 without "simply counting hit totals" assuming that you are performing at a high level.
   332. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:54 AM (#3399866)
I certainly don't "zero out" bad seasons. Others may, but, then again, when people go around citing career numbers and doing comparisons with them I never see people posting "career numbers minus his bad seasons."

But, then again, it's entirely possible that you're talking about completely different groups of people.
   333. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:59 AM (#3399870)
Should we hold it against Brooks that the Orioles were willing to continue to run him out there for years when he was clearly done?


Of course. He was hurting his teams.

I do think Pete Rose almost played himself out of the HOF. (Gambling aside.)

Bad seasons don't factor into a player's peak, but, while I certainly think peak is a valid HOF argument, that doesn't mean a player's non-peak seasons are irrelevant.
   334. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2009 at 06:00 AM (#3399871)
EqA takes into account SB value.


I disagree with your reliance on rate stats to evaluate Ichiro as it overlooks his playing time. Somehow I doubt we'll agree on this point. :-)

He's also a leadoff hitter who is expected to hit singles, steal bases and score runs, all of which he does at an unusually high level. He's not a typical corner OF, which in no way excluded him from legitimate HOF consideration.


I sign on to Bob's answer regarding this "expected to" nonsense.


I agree; I was wrong.

And where did you get the idea that he steals bases at an "unusually high level"? He has led the league in SB just once, despite all of those PAs and all of those crappy hitters surrounding him. He has also led in CS once. He has averaged 39-9 in SB-CS. That is not "unusually high." Carlos Beltran averages 30-4. Kenny Lofton (another player Ichiro needs to show he's more deserving than) is 48-12. Carl Crawford, another corner OF, is 54-12.


As you are consistently, except in this case, comparing him to corner OF, there are 3 active corner OF (have played greater than 50% of games in LF or RF) with over 300 SB. There are 23 corner OF all time with over 300 SB. That is someone who, for a corner OF, steals bases at an unusually high level.
   335. shock Posted: December 01, 2009 at 06:00 AM (#3399873)
I think you can note the fact that it is more valuable to not miss games and have 700 PAs than it is to have 450 or 500 or 600 without "simply counting hit totals" assuming that you are performing at a high level.


Absolutely. Ichiro deserves full credit for his durability. Who has claimed otherwise?

Are we really arguing about whether "hits" is a good way to measure a batter's value? What are we arguing about here?
   336. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 01, 2009 at 06:01 AM (#3399874)
Then it's a ridiculous statement. If he didn't have the skill, he wouldn't be afforded the opportunity. So is Lou Gehrig overrated becasue a manager decided to bat him 4th behind Ruth thus giving him extra opportunities for RBI?


Only if one is stupid enough to look at RBI.
   337. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: December 01, 2009 at 06:10 AM (#3399879)
Of course. He was hurting his teams.


No, his manager was choosing to hurt the team. I don't see how you can say that players have no responsibility for lineup decisions and then penalize a player for lineup decisions.
   338. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2009 at 06:22 AM (#3399883)
The conclusion that Ichiro has had an "exceptional" career cannot simply be assumed, as you are doing;


There is no assumption. There is conclusive statistical (in a baseball sense of stats) evidence he has been exceptional. Have you looked at B-R PI for guys like Ichiro in their first 9 seasons or their age 27-35 seasons? Guys who have high average, high hits, high SB and high runs scored?

Ages 27-35, at least 750 R, 1,300 H, .300 BA, and 250 SB:
Bonds, Ichiro, Cobb, Wagner, Collins, Carey, and Carew. All, except Ichiro, of course, HOF.

First 9 seasons, same criteria:
Ichiro, Ben Chapman, Lofton, Alomar, Sisler, Frisch, and Cobb. 3 HOF and 3 guys who have an argument. Chapman is interesting, too. Missed his decline, it appears, due to WW II, but he had a very nice prime and a good bit of his career was in CF. Wonder what the HOM thought of him.

Looks pretty darn exceptional to me.
   339. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2009 at 06:29 AM (#3399889)
Only if one is stupid enough to look at RBI.


Way to ignore the point and go for the ad hominem.
   340. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 01, 2009 at 06:32 AM (#3399891)
There is no assumption. There is conclusive statistical (in a baseball sense of stats) evidence he has been exceptional. Have you looked at B-R PI for guys like Ichiro in their first 9 seasons or their age 27-35 seasons? Guys who have high average, high hits, high SB and high runs scored?


Sigh. Average, hits, SB, and runs scored are crappy ways to evaluate hitters.

And putting together groups of players in this way is either seriously misguided or deliberately misleading. Case in point:

Ages 27-35, at least 750 R, 1,300 H, .300 BA, and 250 SB:
Bonds, Ichiro, Cobb, Wagner, Collins, Carey, and Carew. All, except Ichiro, of course, HOF.


You're putting Ichiro in a group with hitters like Bonds, Cobb, Wagner, and Collins? Eek.

Looks pretty darn exceptional to me.


No. It looks like trivia.
   341. shock Posted: December 01, 2009 at 06:36 AM (#3399893)


Ages 27-35, at least 750 R, 1,300 H, .300 BA, and 250 SB:
Bonds, Ichiro, Cobb, Wagner, Collins, Carey, and Carew. All, except Ichiro, of course, HOF.


You can do this with anyone.

Ages 23-31, at least 775 R, 1600 H , .300BA and 400 SB:
Ty Cobb, Juan Pierre
   342. Lassus Posted: December 01, 2009 at 06:39 AM (#3399895)
Runs score are highly teammate dependent and as such I don't give them any weight at all in a HOF discussion.

So you are both wrong.

Given everything else that's gone on in this thread, I have to admit this made me chuckle.

"And you're also ugly!"
   343. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2009 at 06:47 AM (#3399902)
Sigh. Average, hits, SB, and runs scored are crappy ways to evaluate hitters.


It's not an evaluation of him as a hitter; it is meant to point out he has been exceptional.

You're putting Ichiro in a group with hitters like Bonds, Cobb, Wagner, and Collins?


No, the search on PI puts him into this group based on the criteria used.

No. It looks like trivia.


I guess it depends on your pov.
   344. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2009 at 06:54 AM (#3399907)
You can do this with anyone.


Really?

Ages 23-31, at least 775 R, 1600 H , .300BA and 400 SB:
Ty Cobb, Juan Pierre


This looks different to me somehow. Oh, yes, they were 4 years younger. Hm, and since Ray dislikes such lame stats, perhaps we should take it a step further and recognize Pierre had an OPS+ of 85 and a rag arm in the OF and led the league in CS 5 times.
   345. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 01, 2009 at 06:55 AM (#3399908)
It's not an evaluation of him as a hitter; it is meant to point out he has been exceptional.


I'm sorry; I thought we were discussing whether Ichiro deserves to be in the HOF. Had I known you weren't discussing that I wouldn't have taken the time to respond to your posts.
   346. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2009 at 06:56 AM (#3399909)
Runs score are highly teammate dependent and as such I don't give them any weight at all in a HOF discussion.

So you are both wrong.

Given everything else that's gone on in this thread, I have to admit this made me chuckle.

"And you're also ugly!"


Me too, and I was one of the ones who was wrong. Now I find out I'm ugly, too. I'm going to go home now, turn out the lights and pull the covers over my head.
   347. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 01, 2009 at 06:59 AM (#3399911)
Hm, and since Ray dislikes such lame stats, perhaps we should take it a step further and recognize Pierre had an OPS+ of 85 and a rag arm in the OF and led the league in CS 5 times.


Um, that was the point. That Pierre didn't belong with Cobb in any meaningful way.
   348. shock Posted: December 01, 2009 at 07:00 AM (#3399912)

This looks different to me somehow. Oh, yes, they were 4 years younger. Hm, and since Ray dislikes such lame stats, perhaps we should take it a step further and recognize Pierre had an OPS+ of 85 and a rag arm in the OF and led the league in CS 5 times.


Did you miss my point? I'm not comparing Ichiro to Juan Pierre FFS. I am pointing out what a silly, arbitrary exercise it is to tailor-make a report by cherry-picking statistics that the player you want to prop-up is good at and picking baselines you know he's achieved to try and weed out others. Bob Abreu misses your list by 5 points of BA. Lofton misses it by 2; Brock by 1.

It's a silly argumentative tactic. Using it, you can even get a player as awful as Juan Pierre put into a report of exclusive HOF company. That's my point.
   349. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2009 at 07:05 AM (#3399916)
Nobody is using the word "overrated" except for you.


No, that's not true. Ray is the one who uses the word overrated and in this specific context. He says Ichiro is "overrated" because of the managerial decsion to bat Ichiro in the leadoff spot thus affording him PA opportunities others do not have.

Value is value, and personally I am more interested in analyzing the actual value Ichiro brings to the table than I am in simply counting his hit totals and pointing out trivia.


OK, then let's discuss this. How would you determine his value? And, once it is determined, how would you rank him in terms of being on track for a HOF career? I'm not interested in the is he a HOF now argument as I believe he still has a decline phase of his career which will have to be included in the evaluation.
   350. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 01, 2009 at 07:08 AM (#3399917)
No, that's not true. Ray is the one who uses the word overrated and in this specific context. He says Ichiro is "overrated" because of the managerial decsion to bat Ichiro in the leadoff spot thus affording him PA opportunities others do not have.


My point was that if one is using PA as one's metric for playing time, it overrates Ichiro by virtue of manager decision.
   351. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2009 at 07:33 AM (#3399923)
Did you miss my point? I'm not comparing Ichiro to Juan Pierre FFS. I am pointing out what a silly, arbitrary exercise it is to tailor-make a report by cherry-picking statistics that the player you want to prop-up is good at and picking baselines you know he's achieved to try and weed out others. Bob Abreu misses your list by 5 points of BA. Lofton misses it by 2; Brock by 1.

It's a silly argumentative tactic. Using it, you can even get a player as awful as Juan Pierre put into a report of exclusive HOF company. That's my point.


Hm, I didn't think it was particularly cherry-picking, and I do beleive the age difference is important as performing at a high level at later ages is frequently representative of/seen in great players. My intent in using the criteria is to develop a list of similar players to Ichiro since the usual B-R comps don't really work as he started his career at 27. Therefore, I use the criteria which, I feel, best define him. You could throw in OPS+ to make it more evaluative, to better represent value than the counting stats and lesser rate stat of BA.

27-35, at least 700 R, 1000 H, 200 SB and OPS+ 115 (dropped the criteria down some). This still puts him in with guys who are either HOF, future HOF or in the discussion/Hall of Very Good (though clearly behind top HOF guys). Of course he still excels in counting stats, but using the more value oriented rate stat still puts HOF guys like Sisler, Brock, Max Carey and Sam Rice in his realm, Raines and Alomar, too, and then the HOVG guys such as Brett Butler and Amos Otis.

Also, the players you point out who just missed are certainly excellent players, too; 1 is in and the other 2 are certainly worth considering. Personally, I think Abreu should go in once eligible and, although I haven't considered Lofton much myself, I've seen compelling arguments for his case.
   352. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2009 at 07:35 AM (#3399924)
I'm sorry; I thought we were discussing whether Ichiro deserves to be in the HOF.


If we're discussing the HOF as it exists, then yes, we are; if we're discussing the Ray DiPerna HOF, then no, we're not.
   353. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2009 at 07:50 AM (#3399929)
My point was that if one is using PA as one's metric for playing time, it overrates Ichiro by virtue of manager decision.


But isn't this beside the point then? If we're discussing value, playing time is part of value. Playing time is part of a player's contribution to his team. Focusing solely on the rate stat of EQA you ignore a portion of the value Ichiro has. I can understand why you would say someone is underrated by playing time given high rate stats (for example, their value as a player was not recognized by a manager who did not play them), but it doesn't seem right to say someone is overrated because they are healthy and recognized as valuable enough to be in the lineup everyday.

At what point does Ichiro's playing time intersect with someone of a higher EQA? Is he more, less or equally valuable to someone with a higher EQA who plays less often and how do you quantify this? I'm being serious and I'm genuinely curious. If his EQA is low for a corner OF, then how many points of EQA higher does a corner OF who plays only 140 games a year have to be to equal or exceed him?

For example, I've looked at EQA for corner OF because you use it to point out how he is poor offensively. It's certainly true (at least over the past 3 years I looked at) that his EQA is nothing special for a corner OF, but EQR, which I believe takes playing time into account, rates him much higher. Why isn't this a valid way to look at his value?
   354. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 01, 2009 at 08:50 AM (#3399935)
My point was that if one is using PA as one's metric for playing time, it overrates Ichiro by virtue of manager decision.

So when a decision over which the player has no control limits his playing time artificially (being stuck in the minors for no good reason), it can count against him. But when it inflates his playing time, it can't count for him. Good to know.
   355. Jeff K. Posted: December 01, 2009 at 09:57 AM (#3399939)
I certainly don't "zero out" bad seasons. Others may, but, then again, when people go around citing career numbers and doing comparisons with them I never see people posting "career numbers minus his bad seasons."

I certainly don't do so as a rule, but "never" isn't correct, as you saw me do exactly this in the Mussina thread. In fact, that was in direct response to a discussion between you, me, Kiko, and Crosbybird (post 113):

I like this "take the padding out" idea (not that's a new one, I know some HOMers do it.) While I was making sure I remembered how to do ERA+ for a career, I turned up homework from this course. I don't know what it is, but I wish I could have taken it.

I considered padding the years before a guy established himself at the level we know, and years after he lost that. Mussina's tough with 2006 and 2008 mixed in with 2004, 2005, and 2007, so I'll present full, full minus 2007-2008, and full minus 2003 on.

Name

Years counted
New IP total
Average pitcher (park and era adjusted) would have given up X runs over the same career (so you can check my math if you'd like)
New ERA+ for career

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cone:

1988-1999
2468 IP
1131

131 ERA+


Glavine
1991-2006
3503.6 IP
1641

127 ERA+

Now to Mussina:

Removing no padding: 1991-2008, 3562 IP, 1786 ER by average, 123 ERA+
Removing 2007-2008: 1991-2006, 3210 IP, 1612 ER by average, 124 ERA+
Removing 2003-2008: 1991-2002, 2669 IP, 1346 ER by average, 129 ERA+

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

So his last two seasons wash out 352 IP at basically his own average, leaving him notably behind Cone but over 800 more innings and significantly behind Glavine in 300 less innings.

Removing everything from the first sign of downturn brings him in the middle of the two in ERA+. 2 points ahead of Glavine but in 830 less IP, 2 points behind Cone still but 200 more innings.
   356. villageidiom Posted: December 01, 2009 at 01:29 PM (#3399949)
No, his manager was choosing to hurt the team. I don't see how you can say that players have no responsibility for lineup decisions and then penalize a player for lineup decisions.
When in LF, Manny Ramirez has no responsibility for where the ball is hit. Does that mean he shouldn't be penalized for what he does when the ball comes his way?

I think everyone's point - including yours - is that (a) you can't just look at rate stats, as they ignore playing time, and (b) when looking at counting stats you must adjust for (or at least be aware of) context. You can use PA, but you need to consider lineup position. You can use RBI, but you need to consider opportunity.
   357. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 02, 2009 at 12:01 AM (#3400638)
Should A-Rod lose value because he hit .656 in T-ball and that's a low league difficulty?

Of course, but his playing time was limited enough that it doesn't affect his case. (Unless his manager hit him low in the order. Then it should be inflated.)
   358. JPWF13 Posted: December 02, 2009 at 12:49 AM (#3400661)
Ages 27-35 most outs :-)

Rk      Player      Out      OPS+      BA      OBP      SLG      To      From
1     Lou Brock     4331     116     .299     .351     .420     1966     1974
2     Miguel Tejada     4192     116     .299     .346     .481     2001     2009
3     Ichiro Suzuki     4191     118     .333     .378     .434     2001     2009
4     Luis Aparicio     4178     83     .257     .304     .344     1961     1969
5     Pete Rose     4128     136     .319     .395     .444     1968     1976
6     Maury Wills     4118     92     .288     .335     .338     1960     1968
7     Joe Carter     4091     108     .258     .307     .472     1987     1995
8     Cal Ripken     4087     111     .272     .342     .438     1988     1996
9     Doc Cramer     4085     86     .302     .346     .384     1933     1941
10     Nellie Fox     4071     94     .289     .350     .363     1955     1963 


Hey there is Ichiro!
Juts to pile on the bandwagon, all this does:
Ages 27-35, at least 750 R, 1,300 H, .300 BA, and 250 SB:
Bonds, Ichiro, Cobb, Wagner, Collins, Carey, and Carew. All, except Ichiro, of course, HOF.

Is matches Ichiro up with 5 guys who were much better than he is (Max Carey is a decent comp I suppose)

Replace the 250 steals with an ISO under .125 and you get:
Rk      Player      OPS+      R      H      BA      ISO      To      From
1     Rod Carew     146     792     1660     .345     .116     1973     1981
2     Wade Boggs     140     890     1736     .332     .123     1985     1993
3     Pete Rose     136     994     1863     .319     .125     1968     1976
4     Eddie Collins     136     844     1536     .325     .091     1914     1922
5     Stan Hack     123     883     1557     .306     .097     1937     1945
6     Ichiro Suzuki     118     973     2030     .333     .101     2001     2009
7     Max Carey     117     834     1437     .307     .109     1917     1925
8     Sam Rice     117     751     1578     .324     .105     1917     1925
9     Richie Ashburn     113     781     1453     .305     .071     1954     1962
10     Luke Appling     111     768     1460     .318     .088     1934     1942
11     Pie Traynor     111     753     1623     .328     .111     1926     1934
12     Frankie Frisch     109     811     1554     .316     .117     1926     1934
13     Charlie Jamieson     107     812     1517     .320     .092     1920     1928
14     Doc Cramer     86     906     1731     .302     .082     1933     1941 
   359. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: December 02, 2009 at 01:29 AM (#3400696)
If the t-ball average was .400 then A-Rod should have his HOF increased by .00000000001, shouldn't he?

Of course, you're all idiot barbarians for looking at batting average. You should be looking at OBP. I took tons of walks in t-ball.
   360. alilisd Posted: December 02, 2009 at 08:04 AM (#3400926)
Ages 27-35 most outs :-)


Hey, no fair!

Juts to pile on the bandwagon


Ouch! Man, I already was runover by that bandwagon. In fact, I think it backed up and ran over me again. :-)

Thanks for the education, all! I appreciate those of you who took the time to point out my fallacies, poor reasoning, errors, call them what you will (except stupidity, Ray :-), just kidding; it's the internet, ad hominem attacks are to be expected).
   361. CFiJ Posted: December 02, 2009 at 09:49 AM (#3400934)
Ages 27-35 most outs :-)
I count four HOF'ers on that list, plus Rose, and one guy who has a good case (Tejada).

Replace the 250 steals with an ISO under .125 and you get:
Wow, nine HOF'ers here, plus Rose.

Just sayin'.
   362. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 02, 2009 at 07:51 PM (#3401337)
I never see people posting "career numbers minus his bad seasons."

Actually, "career numbers minus bad seasons" is fairly common. You hear "From 1980-87, Dale Murphy..." or "from 1975-86, Jim Rice..." pretty often. People just don't phrase it as "when this guy wasn't useless, this is what he was doing."

For fun...

Roberto Clemente without his first 3 years:
.325/.369/.491 (138 OPS+), 8664 PA, 2596 H, 370/141/224 XBH.

Al Kaline without his awful 1953-4:
.299/.379/.487 (137 OPS+), 11032 PA, 2861 H, 480/72/394 XBH.
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