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Monday, January 07, 2013

The Joe Posnanski HOF Ballot

Ballot: Bonds, Clemens, Bagwell, Biggio, Schilling, Piazza, Trammell, Raines, E. Martinez, L. Walker.

and this surprise on Dale Murphy…

I have voted for Dale Murphy every year because I think, in his prime, he played at a Hall of Fame level and because I think the character clause should cut both ways. Dale Murphy will come off the ballot after this year – and, in some ways, I think that’s a good thing, because I think the Veterans Committee needs to stop messing around with the picked-over eras they keep searching and start looking at players from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. I intend to keep making Dale Murphy’s case for them … though this year, because the ballot is so overstuffed, I did not vote for the Murph.

My Hall of Fame vote: No.

Repoz Posted: January 07, 2013 at 07:25 AM | 137 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

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   1. John Northey Posted: January 07, 2013 at 07:57 AM (#4340567)
Nice ballot and I love the comment on Murphy. I think the HOF needs to look at a new vets where they look at players who had a majority of their careers pre-1960 as being 'historical' and checked only every 4 years while the other 3 years are used for the 1960-today crew. Every 10 years shift it by a decade so older ones who were forgotten can still get in but the focus is on getting qualified living players into the HOF.
   2. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 07, 2013 at 08:44 AM (#4340571)
Excellent ballot! He is also one of the few voters I've seen explicitly acknowledge that the crowded nature of the ballot means that:

1) There are candidates you feel are qualified that you are simply not going to be able to support, because you'll run out of ballot space.
2) You're going to have to be strategic in whom you select. He loves Murphy, and has voted for Murphy in the past - but he acknowledges that he's not getting in on his 15th and last ballot, so don't waste a slot on it.

But - it takes three of these types of ballots to counteract one crappy ballot.
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 07, 2013 at 09:01 AM (#4340576)
I swap McGwire in for Martinez, but otherwise this is my ballot.

I'd have liked to see Kenny Lofton and Bernie Williams acknowledged at this level, rather than in a separate post.
   4. Blastin Posted: January 07, 2013 at 09:32 AM (#4340585)
No quibbles from me. We really are gonna have a zero inductee year, eh? So, Maddux, Biggio, Bagwell, Glavine, Piazza, Thomas next year maybe?

Pedro, Raines after that...? Maybe Smoltz too, or was he '10? Griffey pops in there too, of course.

Bonds and Clemens probably start to pick up steam in '17/'18 when this all starts to clear out.

I wonder how long it will take Mr. Wolf to show up and cry about cheaters.
   5. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 09:33 AM (#4340587)
Larry Walker

Length of career: 17 years, 8,030 games.


And people say he wasn't durable?
   6. AROM Posted: January 07, 2013 at 09:44 AM (#4340590)
I think this is the best ballot I've seen this year. I don't think you can do better, though you could change it slightly and have it be of the same quality. For example, vote McGwire and Lofton instead of Edgar and Walker. But to me there's not a lot of separation between the last few guys left off or included.
   7. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: January 07, 2013 at 09:44 AM (#4340591)
Larry Walker
Length of career: 17 years, 8,030 games.
And people say he wasn't durable?

That should read 8,030 PA.

[Edit to add: I never realized Walker had more PAs than Edgar Martinez, Mike Piazza, and Mark McGwire]
   8. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 07, 2013 at 09:58 AM (#4340596)
Year in, year out, Larry Walker's teams couldn't count on him to be in the lineup for that 474th game.
   9. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 07, 2013 at 10:01 AM (#4340598)
In another forum, I filled out a mock ballot. It was identical to this ballot, excepting I voted for Fred McGriff rather than Alan Trammel. I think both are qualified (as are Sosa, McGwire, Lofton, Bernie and Murphy*) but I was a fan of the Crime Dog and never really watched Trammel play.

*EDIT: I have always argued that Murphy was "the cutoff line" and left him outside on my personal HOF ballots, but given the character clause and Pos' argument that it should cut both ways, and given the dearth of center fielders represented in the Hall, I've moved him above the cut off line, which shall now be Don Mattingly and Raffy Palimiero. (Also, Dale Murphy was a much better player than Jim Rice.)
   10. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 07, 2013 at 10:15 AM (#4340600)
For example, vote McGwire and Lofton instead of Edgar and Walker. But to me there's not a lot of separation between the last few guys left off or included.
Yup. If we're talking "optimal" ballots, let's see. You absolutely must go 10 names deep, and you must have Bagwell, Bonds, Clemens, and Piazza. I think a fair reading of the numbers puts Schilling in that group. It's possible to make an argument based on a negative assessment of his defense that Biggio falls out of the necessary group into the grab bag, but I quite strongly disagree with that.

So I'm saying you've got to have Bagwell, Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Schilling.

I think Trammell's combination of peak/prime/career lifts him above the rest of the stars, but I don't think it's absolutely necessary to read the data that way. Same with Walker. And then past them, obviously Raines, McGwire, Palmeiro, Martinez and Sosa all have entirely reasonable Hall of Fame cases. With felicitous evaluations of their defense, and/or felicitous weightings of peak and career, Murphy and Lofton and the Crime Dog are defensible choices. I can almost squint to see the argument for including Bernie Williams in that group too. There are way too many good players on the ballot.
   11. bobm Posted: January 07, 2013 at 10:34 AM (#4340606)
FTFA:

I have written at some length about how I think Curt Schilling is not only a Hall of Famer but well above the line. His inconsistency and low win totals will be held against him -- he won't get in this year and probably won't get close to 50% of the vote. But I don't see him as a borderline case -- he had a dominant peak and strong career numbers and postseason excellence. I think he was a better pitcher than Tom Glavine, who I also believe is a Hall of Famer and who I believe will sail into the Hall next year because he had 300 wins.
   12. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 07, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4340608)
[Edit to add: I never realized Walker had more PAs than Edgar Martinez, Mike Piazza, and Mark McGwire]
Martinez wasn't a regular until he was 27 and Piazza was a catcher (he's 10th (EDIT: in PA) among those with 50% of GP at C). As for McGwire - that surprises you?
   13. Tippecanoe Posted: January 07, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4340619)
I've always liked the Tony Gwynn/Tim Raines comparison. Posnanski covers it pretty well, but he left out that Raines made 6670 outs, and Gwynn 6661. Irrelevant fun-facts include that they were born within 9 months of each other, that each has a namesake son who played in the majors, and that "Tim Raines" and "Tony Gwynn" both start with T and have a total of 9 letters.

Both are under 6 feet tall and rather squarely built, though there was never a chance that Gwynn was going to get the nickname "Rock".
   14. Robinson Cano Plate Like Home Posted: January 07, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4340620)
He coulda been "Roll," though.
   15. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:02 AM (#4340623)
And people say he wasn't durable?


Durable may not be the right word, maybe dependable is a better one but I think it is a fair criticism. While 8,000 PA is nothing to sneeze at he played over 150 games just once in his career and over 140 just four times. He was not a player who you should have expected to be in the lineup everyday.
   16. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4340624)
Good ballot, apart from the PED folks.
   17. Matthew E Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:11 AM (#4340626)
I wouldn't be surprised if the Hall of Fame changed the voting rules again pretty soon. Because if nobody gets in this year, it's going to be a lot harder for anyone to get in next year... and there're going to be a lot more qualified candidates. I don't see this getting better without getting worse first.
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4340630)
Durable may not be the right word, maybe dependable is a better one but I think it is a fair criticism. While 8,000 PA is nothing to sneeze at he played over 150 games just once in his career and over 140 just four times. He was not a player who you should have expected to be in the lineup everyday.


Jose, our little boy Ray was making his first joke. He's grown up so fast.

   19. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:30 AM (#4340636)
Bonds, Clemens, Bagwell, Biggio, Schilling, Piazza, Trammell, Raines, E. Martinez, L. Walker.

That's about as good a Hall of Merit ballot as you're likely to see, and lop off Bonds and it'll serve for Cooperstown as well.
   20. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4340640)
That's about as good a Hall of Merit ballot as you're likely to see, and lop off Bonds and it'll serve for Cooperstown as well.


So you'll support Clemens, but not Bonds? You're pinstripes are showing.
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4340655)
Great ballot and a terrific column (I look forward to these every year from Pos). Also liked the "if not" grammatical diversion.


There is no question that Walker's home-road splits are over the top:

Home: .320/.374/.546
Road: .277/.330/.459

But still … oh, wait, those aren't Larry Walker's home-road splits. Those are Jim Rice's. Sorry.


LOL, I love that.
   22. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4340660)
So you'll support Clemens, but not Bonds? You're pinstripes are showing.

No, but I did follow the trial and the many discussions of it here, which caused me to change my initial opinion that the evidence against Clemens was convincingly credible, a POV reflected in his acquittals on all counts. If it were merely a case of pinstripes worship, I'd be voting for A-Rod down the road, but I won't be doing that unless another known steroid user gets in between now and then.
   23. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4340664)
No, but I did follow the trial and the many discussions of it here, which caused me to change my initial opinion that the evidence against him was convincingly credible. If it were merely a case of pinstripes worship, I'd be voting for A-Rod down the road, but I won't be doing that unless another known steroid user gets in between now and then.


A known steroids user other than Mantle?

But I don't know why it matters to you whether a "known" steroids user gets in between now and then, since you've proven that past standards of the Hall are irrelevant to you on this issue: the Hall let amps users in without hesitation, as it did the known cheater Gaylord Perry. The voters didn't stumble over the newfound character clause then.
   24. bunyon Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:02 PM (#4340679)
[Edit to add: I never realized Walker had more PAs than Edgar Martinez, Mike Piazza, and Mark McGwire]

and Mike Crudale.
   25. Blastin Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4340680)
I think Bonds gets in before 2023 (which is presumably A-Rod's year of eligibility, if he plays in every year of this contract).
   26. tshipman Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4340688)
Unless you provide for a steroids discount, I don't see how you vote in Edgar over McGwire.

McGwire was a better hitter and actually played the field.
   27. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4340695)
McGwire was a better hitter and actually played the field.


Disconcur.
   28. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4340697)
A known steroids user other than Mantle?

But I don't know why it matters to you whether a "known" steroids user gets in between now and then, since you've proven that past standards of the Hall are irrelevant to you on this issue: the Hall let amps users in without hesitation, as it did the known cheater Gaylord Perry. The voters didn't stumble over the newfound character clause then.


I sincerely hope that that wall you keep banging your head against is well-padded. We wouldn't want to lose such an illustrious contributor to something as preventable as a terminal concussion.
   29. AROM Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4340706)
McGwire was a better hitter and actually played the field.


Edgar had a longer career - a little over 1000 more PA - and played a good 3B at the start of his career, 500+ games with a slightly above average TZ rating.

I'm not saying I put Edgar ahead of McGwire (undecided), but I can see how one could make a case for either. In the past I have supported both. If I had a vote, I would have to make a choice between them this year.
   30. Rusty Priske Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4340716)
I would vote for Edgar AND McGwire.

My disagreements are Piazza and Schilling, but I totally accept that this is a minority opinion.

I am with Poz on Murphy. He, along with McGriff and Bernie Williams, woudl be on my ballot if there were room. (And I, you know, HAD a ballot, which most of you are probably glad that I do not...)

````````````````

Seperate point: any Hall of Fame without Bonds and Clemens is a joke.
   31. tshipman Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4340725)
My disagreements are Piazza


How do you have a hall of fame without any catchers?

If you have Piazza out, then you only have two catchers in your personal HoF.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4340728)

How do you have a hall of fame without any catchers?


If you don't you're likely to have a lot of passed balls.
   33. vivaelpujols Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4340740)
I swap McGwire in for Martinez, but otherwise this is my ballot.


Yeah I agree and I also want Lofton in there. But the ballot's simply too crowded. By by Kenny!
   34. jingoist Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4340742)
"He coulda been "Roll," though"

In his later years I always thought of Gwynn as a parker house roll
   35. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:51 PM (#4340743)
I have Edgar and McGwire just out, as well as Walker. But I wouldn't be that upset if any got in and I've back and forth on each. Otherwise, Pos reflects my ballot.
   36. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4340752)
Tony Gwynn career OPS+ 132
Tim Raines career OPS+ 123

Maybe a function a bit of the different shapes of their careers, but thought that was interesting.
   37. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4340754)
Personally I would swap McGwire for Martinez and Sosa for Walker, but I lean towards counting narratives in my HOF votes more than most of the crowd here.
   38. attaboy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 01:24 PM (#4340783)
McGwire was a better hitter and actually played the field.


Disconcur.


Concur with your disconcur.
   39. Lassus Posted: January 07, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4340818)
My disagreements are Piazza and Schilling, but I totally accept that this is a minority opinion.

And the reason for your opinion?
   40. John DiFool2 Posted: January 07, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4340823)
[dp]
   41. John DiFool2 Posted: January 07, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4340824)
Tony Gwynn career OPS+ 132
Tim Raines career OPS+ 123

Maybe a function a bit of the different shapes of their careers, but thought that was interesting.




OPS doesn't include stolen bases. Hope this helps.
   42. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 07, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4340825)
Tony Gwynn career OPS+ 132
Tim Raines career OPS+ 123

Maybe a function a bit of the different shapes of their careers, but thought that was interesting.


Tony Gwynn career basestealing: 319/125.
Tim Raines career basestealing: 808/146.

Difference: 489/21.

That makes up a lot of OPS+ ground.
   43. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4340827)
Tim Raines: "Rock"
Tony Gwynn: "he seems so articulate"
   44. Tippecanoe Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4340859)

Gwynn + 500 walks + 500 stolen bases - 500 singles = Raines
   45. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4340878)
Certainly a defenseable ballot. A little too big Hall for me, I would lop off Schilling, Edgar and Walker but he'll get a chance to do that next year when none of the current guys get in and Maddux, Glavine and Hurt come along.
   46. Swoboda is freedom Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4340891)
Tim Raines: "Rock"
Tony Gwynn: "he seems so articulate"


Tim Raines: Rock, liked rock cocaine
Tony Gwynn: Liked Rock Candy
   47. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4340906)
OPS doesn't include stolen bases. Hope this helps.


Yes, I know, and that's great and all, but I wasn't trying to claim that Gwynn was better than Raines. But Pos makes a big point in the article about how close their hitting stats are:

Raines: 10,359 plate appearances
Gwynn: 10,232 plate appearances

Raines: .294 batting average
Gwynn: .338 batting average

Raines: .385 on-base percentage
Gwynn: .388 on-base percentage

Raines: 4,076 times on base
Gwynn: 4,094 times on base

yet Gwynn comes out with 9 points of OPS+ advantage, which isn't a small number.
   48. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4340911)
A little too big Hall for me, I would lop off Schilling, Edgar and Walker but he'll get a chance to do that next year when none of the current guys get in and Maddux, Glavine and Hurt come along.

Poz says that he considers Schilling one of the 25 best starting pitchers ever. I don't think he's getting lopped off next year.
   49. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4340925)
Gwynn + 500 walks + 500 stolen bases - 500 singles = Raines


Right, that's the raw numbers, but OPS+ seems to indicate Raines needs the stolen bases to make up the batting ground.

9 points of OPS+ is the difference between Reggie Jackson and Dave Winfield, or between Wade Boggs and Scott Rolen.

I do think they are roughly equivalent players in terms of overall value, but my impression at the time was that Gwynn was clearly the superior hitter, and I don't see any reason to change that, despite similarities in their overall raw numbers.

   50. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4340926)
Well, I'd think Poz would then also think that Maddux and Glavine are better as well as Frank Thomas being better as well. So if no one gets in and he rates those three guys highly then 3 guys have to come off of his ballot from this year. Which 3 would it be?
   51. The District Attorney Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4340939)
I swap McGwire in for Martinez, but otherwise this is my ballot.
((( Ballot Buddies ))))

TFA:
My buddy Vac -- the great Mike Vaccaro -- wrote this in Sunday's New York Post:

"I voted for [Piazza] because he was the best offensive catcher I ever saw, because he assembled one of the greatest -- if not the greatest -- offensive résumé of any catcher ever born."

Now, people use "if not" two ways -- and those two ways are very different. The first way they write it, "if not" generally means "maybe." So the sentence would read: Piazza assembled one of the greatest -- maybe the greatest -- offensive résumés ever.

The second way, "if not" means "but not." So the sentence would read like this: Piazza assembled one of the greatest -- but not the greatest -- offensive résumés ever.

I've seen "if not" used both ways, and it drives me nuts because I often can't tell which way the author meant.
Not sure what Joe is talking about here. I have always seen it as the first one.
   52. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4340940)
I do think they are roughly equivalent players in terms of overall value, but my impression at the time was that Gwynn was clearly the superior hitter, and I don't see any reason to change that, despite similarities in their overall raw numbers.

Yes, Gwynn was the better hitter, because 500 singles are better than 500 walks; this difference also explains his OPS+ advantage, because the extra singles give him a higher SLG.

But Raines also has the extra 500 steals, which more or less make up the difference. Which you've already said. So I'm not even sure what we're talking about.
   53. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4340941)
Poz says that he considers Schilling one of the 25 best starting pitchers ever. I don't think he's getting lopped off next year.

Wow, that's ridiculous. But good to know, thanks. It sure does pay to be a good quote. I would guess he'd drop Trammell then and that's just crazy.
   54. alilisd Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:27 PM (#4340948)
Unless you provide for a steroids discount, I don't see how you vote in Edgar over McGwire.

McGwire was a better hitter and actually played the field.


The aforementioned PA advantage to Edgar should be some of it. I don't think you need to provide for an AAS discount, but I do think you should consider a Sillyball discount. As to McGwire being a better hitter, here are their 10 best seasons by Rbat with McGwire first:

83, 63, 60, 51, 47, 46, 39, 31, 31, 22 totalling 477
68, 62, 57, 52, 52, 48, 45, 43, 31, 30 totalling 488

So McGwire does have the one big year where he clearly stands out, but other than that they're pretty even over the remaining four seasons of their top five years. In the following five years Edgar has a big edge in three of them and a slight edge over the 10 year span. For career it's 545 for McGwire to 532 for Martinez. I don't see McGwire as a significantly better hitter and perhaps not a better hitter at all. I also do not believe being a poor 1B is a particularly strong argument in his favor.
   55. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:27 PM (#4340953)
Poz says that he considers Schilling one of the 25 best starting pitchers ever. I don't think he's getting lopped off next year.

Wow, that's ridiculous. But good to know, thanks. It sure does pay to be a good quote. I would guess he'd drop Trammell then and that's just crazy.


He's 26th all-time in bWAR, without crediting him for postseason performance. He's a debatable choice for the top 25, obviously, but ridiculous is a bit strong.
   56. alilisd Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4340959)
Poz says that he considers Schilling one of the 25 best starting pitchers ever. I don't think he's getting lopped off next year.

Wow, that's ridiculous.


Why is that ridiculous?
   57. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4340968)
I also do not believe being a poor 1B is a particularly strong argument in his favor.


Mac was clearly the superior *slugger.* He was not the superior *hitter.* 'Gar was a better all around hitter. And I don't discount him for being a DH any more than I discount him for not getting called up until he was 27. That was a condition of his game, but a condition of his environment. If Edgar Martinez had been called up as a 24 year old in the National League he would have put up even better numbers than McGwire while playing a moderately useful 3B, until switching to 1B (where he would have been better defensively than Mac.)
   58. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4340972)
So I'm not even sure what we're talking about.


Success then! We can all declare victory.
   59. cardsfanboy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4340983)
Yup. If we're talking "optimal" ballots, let's see. You absolutely must go 10 names deep, and you must have Bagwell, Bonds, Clemens, and Piazza. I think a fair reading of the numbers puts Schilling in that group. It's possible to make an argument based on a negative assessment of his defense that Biggio falls out of the necessary group into the grab bag, but I quite strongly disagree with that.

So I'm saying you've got to have Bagwell, Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Schilling.

I think Trammell's combination of peak/prime/career lifts him above the rest of the stars, but I don't think it's absolutely necessary to read the data that way.


That is my thinking more or less, I'm more positive on Trammell and Biggio being in the "required" grouping than you are, but more or less the same thought process.

My disagreements are Piazza and Schilling, but I totally accept that this is a minority opinion.


I don't see how either of these are disagreements. There is a reason it's a minority opinion. I don't get how anyone keeps Piazza out of the hof. Even assuming the unfounded reasoning that his defense was below average or even historically bad, he easily clears the mark. (and of course the simple fact of the matter is his defense wasn't historically bad, in fact by all measures other than his arm, there is significant evidence his defense was good)
   60. The District Attorney Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4341007)
It sure does pay to be a good quote.
I didn't read Poz as being at all impressed that Schilling spent the night after winning a World Series start writing to sportswriters...
   61. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4341011)
Why is that ridiculous?


Because Schilling isn't even close to being "one of the 25 best starting pitchers ever".
   62. cardsfanboy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:53 PM (#4341018)
The aforementioned PA advantage to Edgar should be some of it. I don't think you need to provide for an AAS discount, but I do think you should consider a Sillyball discount. As to McGwire being a better hitter, here are their 10 best seasons by Rbat with McGwire first:


McGwire career rBat 545 in 7660 pa (42.7 per 600 pa)
Edgar career rBat 532 in 8674 pa. (36.8 per 600 pa)

I don't think it's a close comparison, McGwire was clearly the better hitter, his inability to play 150 games a year when he was good was his problem.


83, 63, 60, 51, 47, 46, 39, 31, 31, 22 totalling 477
68, 62, 57, 52, 52, 48, 45, 43, 31, 30 totalling 488


Minor nitpick.. the second 31 you have was a partial season and it should be combined with the 20 he posted in his first year in St Louis so Mcgwire's numbers should have read

87, 63, 60, 51, 51, 47, 46, 39, 36, 31, totalling 511.
68, 62, 57, 52, 52, 48, 45, 43, 31, 30 totalling 488

So McGwire does have the one big year where he clearly stands out, but other than that they're pretty even over the remaining four seasons of their top five years. In the following five years Edgar has a big edge in three of them and a slight edge over the 10 year span. For career it's 545 for McGwire to 532 for Martinez. I don't see McGwire as a significantly better hitter and perhaps not a better hitter at all. I also do not believe being a poor 1B is a particularly strong argument in his favor.


With the proper numbers in there, you have Mac with the one big year and then they more or less trade off on the remaining years.
   63. cardsfanboy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:07 PM (#4341032)
Why is that ridiculous?


I find it hard to think of Schilling as a top 25 pitcher myself, but even a top 40 pitcher isn't going to get lopped off next year, so have to agree with this question. If Schilling isn't a top 25(or 40)pitcher, what are the guys ahead of him?

I have (not in order)
1. Maddux
2. Clemens
3. Randy
4. Pedro
5. Walter Johnson
6. Pete Alexander
7. Cy Young
8. Lefty Grove
9. Christy Mathewson
10. Niekro
11. Spahn
12. Perry
13. Blyleven
14. Ryan
15. Gibson
16. Carlton
17. Seaver
18. Nichols

On the list of obvious better pitchers... beyond that you get into territory of debate. I might be missing a few from this list, but it seems to be pretty comprehensive.
   64. Bug Selig Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:12 PM (#4341045)
Martinez wasn't a regular until he was 27


This is a point in his favor?
   65. cardsfanboy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:16 PM (#4341047)
This is a point in his favor?


The Edgar supporters have created this belief that he was hurt by not being allowed to play when he would have been putting up monster numbers at 24-25 years old, even though the evidence says he would have put up poor numbers, it doesn't prevent them from rattling off their belief that he was unfairly held back. At best he posts a season as a third baseman with a 100 ops+ when he was 26... but in their alternate universe, he's an all star hitter already.
   66. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4341050)
And manages to stay healthy for all those years as well.
   67. cardsfanboy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:19 PM (#4341051)
And manages to stay healthy for all those years as well.


That too.
   68. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:26 PM (#4341065)

On the list of obvious better pitchers... beyond that you get into territory of debate. I might be missing a few from this list, but it seems to be pretty comprehensive.


That's what I love about the Bill James rankings. It seems at first blush that its ridiculous that Curt Schilling is one of the top 25 pitchers of all time or that there aren't more than 100 catchers better than Mike MacFarlane. But once you start listing them all, its hard to find that many players that were better.
   69. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4341068)
Excellent ballot! He is also one of the few voters I've seen explicitly acknowledge that the crowded nature of the ballot means that:

1) There are candidates you feel are qualified that you are simply not going to be able to support, because you'll run out of ballot space.
2) You're going to have to be strategic in whom you select. He loves Murphy, and has voted for Murphy in the past - but he acknowledges that he's not getting in on his 15th and last ballot, so don't waste a slot on it.

But - it takes three of these types of ballots to counteract one crappy ballot.


Jayson Stark's ballot column is well worth a read. He focuses on the same conditions for this year's ballot and goes even further on Murphy.

He also comes up with a similar final ballot to Posnanski's (and mine, and all the others here who agree with me/us).
   70. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4341069)
Joe Sheehan, in today's newsletter:

Me, I am agnostic about sports drugs. Players have been cheating for time immemorial, and the practice has largely been glorified, so spare me the idea that this is a moral issue. If it's about drugs, well, drawing a line between steroids and amphetamines is a bankrupt position, and the Hall is loaded with amphetamine users. If it's about statistics, my god, please show me data. You can't just use single data points, outliers, to prove a statistical case. Barry Bonds' 73-home-run season counts as much as whatever the hell Adam Piatt did in 2002. Look at the players named in the Mitchell Report, look at the players suspended during the testing era, and show me the effects of steroids on baseball performance. Then, consider that what we don't know about who used -- dating back 40 years -- dwarfs what we do know. It's not enough to be a factor in my balloting. The dusting-off of the character clause this year to justify a witch hunt is arguably the most shameful moment in the history of Hall voting.

So you won't find any steroids in this discussion, just as you found no amphetamines -- just as illegal, arguably as much or more a performance-enhancer -- in Hall of Fame discussions over the last 30 years.

...(Aside: Were the character clause a real thing, Dale Murphy would have gotten more than 15% of the vote last year and been a more viable candidate throughout his time on the ballot. The sudden discovery of the character clause in the 2013 election cycle is fraudulent and shameful.)

   71. JJ1986 Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:34 PM (#4341074)
I might be missing a few from this list, but it seems to be pretty comprehensive.


Paige and Williams are missing if you want to count them.
   72. Ron J2 Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4341077)
#65 He put up relatively poor MLEs but that's because he was playing in an extreme offensive environment (Calgary/PCL) and couldn't take advantage of the relatively cheap HR available.

As with the whole Ichiro/Matsui question, his value in context isn't great, but there are reasons to think he'd have lost less than most players moving from a hitter's park in the PCL.

There's no reason to think he'd have put up monster seasons, but add a couple of Dave Magadan years to the front end of his career and he starts to look a lot better to pure career voters.
   73. Baldrick Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4341097)
The Edgar supporters have created this belief that he was hurt by not being allowed to play when he would have been putting up monster numbers at 24-25 years old, even though the evidence says he would have put up poor numbers, it doesn't prevent them from rattling off their belief that he was unfairly held back. At best he posts a season as a third baseman with a 100 ops+ when he was 26... but in their alternate universe, he's an all star hitter already.

This is all incorrect.

We believe that Edgar had demonstrated his capacity to hit big league pitching - and would very likely have turned out some solid seasons. Solid meaning: average or somewhat above average. His ACTUAL MLB numbers during 87-89 place him as average. His MLEs suggest he was better. There's no reason to think his 'best case' is a 100 OPS+. That's approximately what I would expect. And it's quite possible he would have started to churn out seasons closer to his 1990 earlier. Maybe not likely, but possible.

Since the two big knocks on Edgar are 1) short career and 2) DHs produce zero defensive value, this helps on both counts.

Those seasons would have included him playing third base in MLB - and thus eroding the notion that he was 'nothing but a DH.' Add the 250 games he played as a minor leaguer in 87-89 to his career totals and he becomes a guy who played over a third of his (normal length) career at third base, with decent defensive numbers during that time.

Obviously I don't think that you can simply add those numbers in and treat them as REAL. I just think it's a useful experiment to ask how much his HOF narrative changes based on better usage by the M's.
   74. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:46 PM (#4341099)
You can't just use single data points, outliers, to prove a statistical case. Barry Bonds' 73-home-run season counts as much as whatever the hell Adam Piatt did in 2002. Look at the players named in the Mitchell Report, look at the players suspended during the testing era, and show me the effects of steroids on baseball performance


I'm probably on Joe's side overall, but I find this to be a bad argument. Why would PEDs make everyone equally good? Aren't they just a tool like anything else, and thus, some will use that tool to great success, while others will use it crappily? You could give me PEDs too, and I would suck at baseball, but that doesn't mean they don't help some baseball players.
   75. cardsfanboy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4341104)
Paige and Williams are missing if you want to count them.


Yep, I would count them. I just looked at bb-ref war and of course it was going to be missing negro leaguers and there is no reason to ignore those who were obviously among the best.
   76. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4341109)
Cardsfanboy, Edgar is borderline for a lot of people. If he were given Ichiro Credit it would very likely push him over the line, but of course literally only Ichiro gets Ichiro Credit.
   77. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:54 PM (#4341114)
I'm probably on Joe's side overall, but I find this to be a bad argument. Why would PEDs make everyone equally good? Aren't they just a tool like anything else, and thus, some will use that tool to great success, while others will use it crappily? You could give me PEDs too, and I would suck at baseball, but that doesn't mean they don't help some baseball players.


He doesn't say they would make everyone equally good; he says that the evidence isn't being considered as a whole, and as a whole you have Bonds and McGwire and then you have the Adam Piatts.

The point is that the anti-steroid crusaders such as Andy only want to look at the Bonds's and McGwires. Andy literally has based his entire argument on Bonds's late-career surge.
   78. Baldrick Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4341116)
And manages to stay healthy for all those years as well.

He did stay healthy for those years. More or less.

I mean, I get that the minor leagues aren't MLB. But they still play baseball. On grass. With cleats and a ball and bats and everything. He played a bunch of minor league games during that time. If he had been a regular on the M's instead, there's no reason to think he would have gotten injured more than he did with Calgary.
   79. cardsfanboy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 05:00 PM (#4341123)
Cardsfanboy, Edgar is borderline for a lot of people. If he were given Ichiro Credit it would very likely push him over the line, but of course literally only Ichiro gets Ichiro Credit.


Not really, several arguments have been given to give players credit for war time service, Negro leagues and yes, for not playing in the majors when they were already ready. Ichiro is the only player who people are arguing to include those credits to the Japanese league, and most people who do that, are using it as an argument to augment Ichiro's hof case, not as an argument in and of itself(which is why Matsui or Sadaharu Oh isn't included in those arguments, they don't have a legitimate ML case to use as a baseline)

Those seasons would have included him playing third base in MLB - and thus eroding the notion that he was 'nothing but a DH.' Add the 250 games he played as a minor leaguer in 87-89 to his career totals and he becomes a guy who played over a third of his (normal length) career at third base, with decent defensive numbers during that time.


The problem is that his MLE's aren't really impressive at all, and of course the fact that Edgar couldn't stay healthy when he was in the majors playing third base. What makes anyone think that would have changed when he was younger?

I have Edgar equal to Larry Walker, I don't think a couple of average seasons is going to make any difference, and that is assuming a couple of average seasons, when it looks to me like that is a very optimistic take on his ML performance. To say he had shown the ability to hit big league pitching, is a stretch. A 93 ops+ in 280 pa is more indicative of a guy who needed a little more seasoning.
   80. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 07, 2013 at 05:00 PM (#4341125)
baldrick

edgar is a borderline hall of fame candidate and is being treated as such.

on a persona level my opinion is 'no' but if he were voted in i wouldn't be outraged. edgar is by all accounts a swell guy

and he was a heckuva hitter

now if dick allen were inducted...................................
   81. Tippecanoe Posted: January 07, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4341135)
Unless you provide for a steroids discount, I don't see how you vote in Edgar over McGwire.


The list as described in the article works as a PED discounter's ballot. Posnanski doesn't actually say he's a discounter, but reading between the lines...

   82. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 07, 2013 at 05:22 PM (#4341148)
Martinez wasn't a regular until he was 27

This is a point in his favor?
I don't know if you're addressing my #12, but I was only responding to #7's "The seemingly always hurt Larry Walker had more PA than the seemingly always healthy Martinez" comment. Before his age-27 season, Walker already had 2238 PA, but Martinez had only 280 at that point of his career. That's 3 season's worth of PA to make up.
   83. Ron J2 Posted: January 07, 2013 at 05:27 PM (#4341154)
His MLEs suggest he was better


His MLEs weren't that good. He's moving from an offensive context of about 5.5 runs per game to something around 4.5. Takes away almost all of his power. As I said before, his most likely comp is Dave Magadan, but he wouldn't be the first walk heavy guy to struggle at the major league level. Walks are the least consistent part of the transition from minors to majors.

Oh he should have been playing on merit. He really was likely to have given the Mariners more than Jim Presly
   84. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 05:30 PM (#4341157)

He doesn't say they would make everyone equally good; he says that the evidence isn't being considered as a whole, and as a whole you have Bonds and McGwire and then you have the Adam Piatts.

The point is that the anti-steroid crusaders such as Andy only want to look at the Bonds's and McGwires. Andy literally has based his entire argument on Bonds's late-career surge.


Okay, if you consider them as a whole, you still have to consider them though, right? I get what you're saying, there isn't a conclusive correlation, but I don't see Adam Piatt as conclusive evidence a correlation either. I guess maybe Joe is saying the onus is on the anti-steroids crusaders, but since the evidence you would need to arrive at such a conclusive is super-secret, I don't think we should totally dismiss it as he seems to be doing.

I don't think PED suspicion should disqualify anyone from the Hall, but it certainly does raise my eyebrows at some of their achievements.
   85. cardsfanboy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 05:36 PM (#4341166)
I don't know if you're addressing my #12, but I was only responding to #7's "The seemingly always hurt Larry Walker had more PA than the seemingly always healthy Martinez" comment. Before his age-27 season, Walker already had 2238 PA, but Martinez had only 280 at that point of his career. That's 3 season's worth of PA to make up.


Of course that is a factually in correct statement(the first part)

Walker 8030 pa
Edgar 8674 pa.
   86. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 07, 2013 at 06:05 PM (#4341190)
Of course that is a factually in correct statement(the first part)
I wasn't fact-checking. Sue me.
   87. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 07, 2013 at 06:08 PM (#4341192)
Okay, if you consider them as a whole, you still have to consider them though, right? I get what you're saying, there isn't a conclusive correlation, but I don't see Adam Piatt as conclusive evidence a correlation either.


The problem here is that you're using the vagueness of correlation to argue correlation.

A. Barry Bonds was rumored to use PEDs.
B. Adam Piatt was rumored/tested positive to use PEDs.
C. Manny Alexander was arrested with PEDs in his possession.
D. Jordan Schafer was arrested with PEDs in his possession.

There is no conclusion to draw from this set of data, about the use of PEDs on performance. Any conclusion is neither cogent nor valid.
   88. Baldrick Posted: January 07, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4341195)
His MLEs weren't that good. He's moving from an offensive context of about 5.5 runs per game to something around 4.5. Takes away almost all of his power. As I said before, his most likely comp is Dave Magadan, but he wouldn't be the first walk heavy guy to struggle at the major league level. Walks are the least consistent part of the transition from minors to majors.

Sure. But Magadan was a perfectly cromulent hitter. I think most 'Edgar deserved better' folks would be perfectly willing to posit a Magadan year as a decent guess for 87-89.

I don't know of anyone who thinks it was LIKELY that Edgar would have raked starting in 1987 - just that it was pretty clear he was roughly league average and exhibited potential to be better (which was, of course, realized a few years later).

Getting back to Pos, his ballot is exactly my ballot. And it's a copy of Larry Stone's as well.
   89. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 07, 2013 at 06:27 PM (#4341204)
it somewhat galls me that molitor continues to get lumped in with edgar martinez knowing that:

--molitor only moved to dh because he kept getting hurt playing defense
--when not hurt molitor wasn't just an ok defender, he was good.
--molitor was one of the best baserunners of his era

basically, molitor had a breadth of things he brought to the table save for resistance to injury. edgard only brought a great bat.

i know as a brewer fan i am deemed biased but based on the above which are all factually accurate points i think there is a real difference between the two players
   90. alilisd Posted: January 07, 2013 at 06:30 PM (#4341207)
Because Schilling isn't even close to being "one of the 25 best starting pitchers ever".


Based on?
   91. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 06:36 PM (#4341212)
I'm sure Molitor was a better defender than Edgar, but Edgar was generally a better-than-average third baseman when he played there. He wasn't a stiff in the field. He was moved because the M's thought he'd stay healthier as a DH, and hey, it was the American League and they had that option.

Couldn't run to save his life, though.
   92. villageidiom Posted: January 07, 2013 at 06:38 PM (#4341213)
I guess maybe Joe is saying the onus is on the anti-steroids crusaders, but since the evidence you would need to arrive at such a conclusive is super-secret, I don't think we should totally dismiss it as he seems to be doing.
Options are:

a. dismiss it
b. take it into account subjectively
c. defer voting for them until later, in case super-secret info becomes available

If you do (b) on the basis of on-field performance, you're adjusting for the context of the individual player relative to history. That's fine, but you also need to adjust his competition - non-HOF-level hitters, defense, pitchers - relative to history. It's one thing to argue that Barry Bonds wouldn't have been in the top 3 in history without PEDs, but it's another to suggest, had there been no PED use by anyone during his career, Barry Bonds wouldn't have been far better than the rest of the league by leaps and bounds. You can go down the list all the way to Todd Walker, and it's hard to say one player is out of the HOF after adjustment but was in before adjustment. I don't think it changes the vote, at least not materially.

If you do (b) based on character, I find it incredibly hard to exclude someone based on suspicion of character, instead of actual evidence of character.

If you do (c), realistically that train ain't coming. I don't see a need to wait for it, but I don't object to waiting. Then again, why vote for anyone until their 15th year of eligibility? You never know what you'll learn, nor about whom you'll learn it. Maybe Derek Jeter killed JonBenet, and it would be a shame if he made it in despite that.

(a) is both a viable option, as well as roughly equivalent to (b) based on on-field performance, based on what little we know.
   93. alilisd Posted: January 07, 2013 at 06:49 PM (#4341220)
I don't think it's a close comparison, McGwire was clearly the better hitter, his inability to play 150 games a year when he was good was his problem.


If he's not on the field, he's doing no one any good. I don't see how him not playing and not being productive makes him better than Martinez.

Minor nitpick.. the second 31 you have was a partial season and it should be combined with the 20 he posted in his first year in St Louis so Mcgwire's numbers should have read

87, 63, 60, 51, 51, 47, 46, 39, 36, 31, totalling 511.
68, 62, 57, 52, 52, 48, 45, 43, 31, 30 totalling 488


Thanks for catching that. I'd missed it when I put together the spreadsheet. Another nitpick, it's actually now:

87, 63, 60, 51, 51, 47, 46, 39, 31, 22 totalling 497 for McGwire. Not sure where you're getting the season of 36 from.
68, 62, 57, 52, 52, 48, 45, 43, 31, 30 totalling 488. Still extraordinarily close and no clear advantage for McGwire (beyond the per PA argument you like to make but which I'm just not buying :-)
   94. cardsfanboy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 06:50 PM (#4341223)
it somewhat galls me that molitor continues to get lumped in with edgar martinez knowing that:

--molitor only moved to dh because he kept getting hurt playing defense
--when not hurt molitor wasn't just an ok defender, he was good.
--molitor was one of the best baserunners of his era


--Molitor had nearly 7000(6833) plate appearances as a position player. (at roughly .304/.363/.445/.808 while playing primarily 2b/3b--over 1200 games at 3b/2b/ss)

Molitor should never be compared to a guy who is more or less a pure Dh, yes he had 5334 plate appearances as a DH, but that is out over 12,000 in his career.
   95. cardsfanboy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 06:54 PM (#4341229)
Not sure where you're getting the season of 36 from.


Me neither... was looking or cutting and pasting must have looked at it wrong.

Still extraordinarily close and no clear advantage for McGwire (beyond the per PA argument you like to make but which I'm just not buying :-)


I think that it's pretty clear that McGwire was the better hitter, quality of hitting is a rate stat, value is a cumulative stat. Mcgwire is clearly the better quality hitter, Edgar only makes it close because of health.
   96. tshipman Posted: January 07, 2013 at 07:09 PM (#4341242)
Because Schilling isn't even close to being "one of the 25 best starting pitchers ever".


Based on?


To get him there requires you to rely heavily on WAR. The problem with judging pitchers across eras is that modern pitchers get a lot more strikeouts, while older pitchers threw a lot more innings. So you have issues with how you account for that.

If you do some form of a "defense adjustment" then you end up with large penalties for some pitchers. Alternately, since WAR is a career stat based on the modern era of baseball, you end up with statements like Tim Hudson (51.1 career WAR) being better than Sandy Koufax (50.3 WAR). This is how you end up with Mike Mussina (who most people view as borderline) being considered the 20th best starter in the history of the game.

The other problem that you have is that your list of greatest pitchers of all time ends up being really recent. Is Curt Schilling better than Whitey Ford? WAR says that he is, fairly easily. Whitey had a higher ERA+ in almost an identical number of innings. Carl Hubbell's another example, as is Hal Newhouser. Despite Bob Gibson pitching 700 more innings than Schilling at around the same rate, WAR says Schilling is within a win of him.

I think that WAR is really difficult to use to compare between eras for pitchers.
   97. alilisd Posted: January 07, 2013 at 07:29 PM (#4341251)
The Edgar supporters have created this belief that he was hurt by not being allowed to play when he would have been putting up monster numbers at 24-25 years old, even though the evidence says he would have put up poor numbers, it doesn't prevent them from rattling off their belief that he was unfairly held back.


I don't. I think he's electable as a DH based on what he did at the ML level, but I recognzie I'm in the minority there. He is clearly the greatest DH in the 40 year history of the position/role and an all time great hitter. It seems some people think being a DH is easy, but my impression is there are more players who express a dislike of the position/role and find it difficult to only hit without taking the field in the other half of the inning. I also believe if it truly were so easy, we would have more great ones by now. Instead, after Edgar, we have Ortiz, a distant second, and Travis Hafner, a distant third to Ortiz's distant second.
   98. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 07, 2013 at 07:34 PM (#4341254)
Is Curt Schilling better than Whitey Ford? WAR says that he is, fairly easily. Whitey had a higher ERA+ in almost an identical number of innings.

If you correct for unearned runs allowed, this advantage goes away. If I'm reading the WAR tables correctly, at least, I get Schilling's RA+ as 134, and Ford's as 128. Ford also spent the vast majority of his career pitching in front of excellent defenses.

There is an adjustment in WAR that accounts for the differing ERAs of starters and relievers after 1960. If you don't buy that, it'll make Schilling look worse compared to Ford or Hubbell, but probably not enough to let Ford catch him; this adjustment isn't factored into the above RA+ calculation.
   99. cardsfanboy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 07:39 PM (#4341256)
To get him there requires you to rely heavily on WAR. The problem with judging pitchers across eras is that modern pitchers get a lot more strikeouts, while older pitchers threw a lot more innings. So you have issues with how you account for that.


I agree about the conclusion of war, but you can get Schilling there without using war at all. Use era+ and recognize that Schilling is hurt in era+ comparisons. Among pitchers with over 2500 ip Schilling is 20th all time.

Heck is Schilling better than Whitey Ford? It's a legitimate debate, which only accents how good Schilling is, not hurts his case. Whitey Ford was a no doubt hofer, went in on the second ballot, scored in the high 60's on his first ballot. (same ballot that Warren Spahn only got 83% of the votes) Could I make a case for Schilling over Ford? Yes, the other way around? Yes. I gave a list earlier of 18 no doubters in my mind better than Schilling, I personally said I don't see him as a top 25(even though the more I look into it, the less confident I am in that assumption) is a top 30 all time pitcher a hofer? top 40? Where is the cutoff for no doubters?

I think that WAR is really difficult to use to compare between eras for pitchers.


I absolutely agree with this. Schilling is the poster boy for both 1. Don't just look at ERA 2. War also has flaws when comparing eras. Even with the flaws, I just don't see how you can keep Schilling off of your ballot.
   100. alilisd Posted: January 07, 2013 at 07:39 PM (#4341258)
I think that it's pretty clear that McGwire was the better hitter, quality of hitting is a rate stat, value is a cumulative stat.


Ah, I see what you're saying now. OK, from that perspective McGwire would get a slight edge as the better hitter, but I still wouldn't say it's a big edge. Thanks for clarifying!
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