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Monday, February 07, 2005

1945 Ballot Discussion

Hall of Famers Heinie Manush and Tony Lazzeri lead the Class of ‘45. Will they both go in this election or will they be perennial returnees for decades to come?

1945 (February 13)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

285 67.5 1923 Heinie Manush-LF (1971)
252 76.7 1926 Tony Lazzeri-2B (1946)
203 55.1 1924 Earl Whitehill-P (1954)
183 50.6 1923 Ossie Bluege-3B (1985)
149 54.1 1928 Pinky Whitney-3B (1987)
139 37.6 1928 Carl Reynolds-RF/CF (1978)
128 37.7 1924 Luke Sewell-C (1987)
113 31.6 1928 Fred Frankhouse-P (1989)

1945 (February 13)—elect 2
HF% Career Name-pos (born) BJ – MVP - All-Star

12% 27-39 George Giles-1B (1909) #6 1b - 0 - 1*
12% 25-40 Webster McDonald-P (1900)0 - 0*
04% 27-39 Ted Trent-P (1903) 4 - 3*
00% 30-39 Harry Kincannon-P (??)0 - 0*

Players Passing Away in 1944
Age Elected


Age Eligible

85 1900 Tony Mullane-P
78 Kenesaw Mountain Landis
77 1905 Jouett Meekin-P
70 1917 Topsy Hartsel-LF
70 1918 Jack Powell-P
68 1917 Kid Elberfeld-SS
65 1921 Roger Bresnahan-C
63 1921 George Mullin-P
54 1926 Claude Hendrix-P
39 1944 Ed Brandt-P

For the great lists submitted by Dan and Chris, I thank them.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 07, 2005 at 03:16 AM | 211 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 08, 2005 at 01:57 AM (#1131289)
hot topics
   2. Chris Cobb Posted: February 08, 2005 at 02:30 AM (#1131345)
John, your intro of the leading candidates takes non-judgementality to a whole new level :-).
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: February 08, 2005 at 02:54 AM (#1131383)
It's our version, Chris, of the Super Bowl flip from edgy Janet Jackson to stodgy Paul McCartney!
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 08, 2005 at 03:29 AM (#1131442)
John, your intro of the leading candidates takes non-judgementality to a whole new level :-).

It's our version, Chris, of the Super Bowl flip from edgy Janet Jackson to stodgy Paul McCartney!


BTW, you definitely don't have to worry about any wardrobe malfunctions from me! :-)
   5. jimd Posted: February 08, 2005 at 03:34 AM (#1131455)
Can someone explain to me why Terry got elected on the first ballot and Sewell is dropping like a stone? I don't get it. Win Shares sees them as very similar in total value (278 to 277), and WARP prefers the glove-man (naturally). If it stays like this, one of them will be a mistake.
   6. andrew siegel Posted: February 08, 2005 at 03:41 AM (#1131478)
Just moving them all up and adding back in two of my favorites I get:

(1) Foster (3rd)
(2) Goslin (4th)
(3) Jennings (5th)
(4) Duffy (6th)
(5) Van Haltren (7th)
(6) C. Jones (8th)
(7) Beckwith (9th)
(8) Rixey (10th)
(9) Ferrell (11th)
(10) Childs (12th)
(11) Roush (13th)
(12) Moore (14th)
(13) Grimes (15th)
(14) Sewell (nr/16th)
(15) Chance (nr/17)

Among those I intend to reexamine this week are Redding, Lundy, Bresnahan, Schang, and Ryan.
   7. Brent Posted: February 08, 2005 at 03:51 AM (#1131503)
Two thoughts. I haven't checked WARP, but for WS Terry has a better peak.

WS top 3:
Terry_ 32, 32, 29
Sewell 29, 29, 26

WS top 5 consecutive:
Terry 142
Sewell 125

My other thought is that he may have been boosted by a reaction to the long drought of first base candidates.
   8. Chris Cobb Posted: February 08, 2005 at 04:10 AM (#1131536)
To get the ball rolling:

Very provisional preliminary ballot for 1945:

1. Clark Griffith (4)
2. John Beckwith (6)
3. Goose Goslin (3)
4. Eppa Rixey (5)
5. Hughie Jennings (9)
6. Wes Ferrell (8)
7. Willie Foster (7)
8. George Van Haltren (10)
9. Edd Roush (11)
10. Tommy Leach (12)
11. George Sisler (15)
12. Larry Doyle (16)
13. Carl Mays (23)
14. Rabbit Maranville (19)
15. Roger Bresnahan (26) or Wally Schang (27)

The bottom three ballot-spots are very much in flux, but with the slight drop for Redding and (I think) Mendez, I am looking at some changes down there. In looking at pitchers again, I have been impressed with Mays. Studying Ferrell closely has made it clear to me that pitchers' hitting matters quite a bit. Maranville's fielding value is too enormous to ignore, and I'm coming around to seeing Bresnahan and Schang as serious candidates.

Willie Foster stays at number 7, but he is the #4 pitcher on my ballot.
   9. The Honorable Ardo Posted: February 08, 2005 at 06:09 AM (#1131810)
I'll also set down my first-draft ballot:

1) Bill Foster (2)
2) Goose Goslin (5)
3) John Beckwith (6)
4) Clark Griffith (8)
5) George Sisler (4)
6) Edd Roush (7)
7) Joe Sewell (9)
8) Eppa Rixey (10)
9) Jose Mendez (12)
10) Wes Ferrell (14)
11) Tommy Leach (11)
----------- PHoM line ------------
12) Hugh Duffy (13)
13) Dick Redding (off)
14) Jake Beckley (15)
15) Hughie Jennings (off)

Questions for y'all:

- Does Foster deserve #1? (I am giving him Red Ruffing-like postseason credit.)

- I'm having a hard time ranking three very different pitchers: Rixey (many innings, shallow peak), Ferrell (few innings, sharp peak, great hitter) and Mendez (who appears to be a short-career type). I'd like to hear an advocate for each.
   10. DavidFoss Posted: February 08, 2005 at 06:13 AM (#1131823)
1945 Preliminary Depth Chart

Depth Chart:

C -- Bresnahan-14, Schang, Petway
1B -- Sisler-12, Chance, Beckley, BTaylor, Konetchy
2B -- Doyle-6, Childs-7, Lazzeri, Monroe, Dunlap
SS -- Jennings-2, Sewell-13, Lundy, Moore, Maranville, Bancroft
3B -- Beckwith-4, McGraw-9, Leach, Traynor, JJohnson, Williamson
LF -- Goslin-1, CJones-8, Poles, Veach, Manush, Burns
CF -- Browning, Roush, Van Haltren, Duffy, HWilson
RF -- Cravath, Cuyler, Ryan, Hooper, BHerman, SRice
P -- Griffith-3, BFoster-5, Redding-10, Ferrell-11, Rixey-15, Welch, Joss, Waddell, Grimes

Bresnahan & Rixey make return trips to my ballot.

Because there are and will be so many shoo-in outfielders, the top of my backlog is often filled with infielders. Still, the addition of Lazzeri is causing a bit of a '2B-glut' which is putting downward pressure on perennial faves Doyle & Childs. Unique candidates on the bottom half of my ballot may benefit from this as I think more over the week.
   11. jonesy Posted: February 08, 2005 at 10:35 AM (#1132229)
"- I'm having a hard time ranking three very different pitchers: Rixey (many innings, shallow peak), Ferrell (few innings, sharp peak, great hitter) and Mendez (who appears to be a short-career type). I'd like to hear an advocate for each."

Ardo, you can't be serious. :)
   12. Kelly in SD Posted: February 08, 2005 at 11:04 AM (#1132236)
First Draft, 1945 Ballot:

1. Welch - PHOM 1901
2. C Jones - PHOM 1906
3. Browning - PHOM 1921
4. Duffy - PHOM 1919
5. Foster - PHOM 1945
6. Goslin - PHOM 1945
7. Van Haltren - PHOM 1939
8. Childs - PHOM 1932
9. Moore -
10. Burns - PHOM 1938
11. Roush - PHOM 1940
12. Willis - PHOM 1942
13. Ferrell
14. Leach
15. Beckwith or Jennings

Next: Redding, Mendez, Cooper, Chance, Sisler, Monroe, Doyle

Manush: 45-50, just below Cuyler
Lazzeri: 60-65, 2B goes Childs, Monroe, Doyle, Evers, Lazzeri, Buddy Myer (is he eligible?), Pratt, McManus
   13. TomH Posted: February 08, 2005 at 12:19 PM (#1132244)
I just read the anecdote abotu Larry Doyle in the NBJHA; that in 1910, he had Steve Sax disease - couldn't find the 1Bman with his throws. If he had made 12 fewer errors that year, he still would have had the worst fielding pct among 2Bmen in the NL.

While defensive metrics already account for htis, I'm sure this was a Huge frustration on a pennant contender (Giants won 91, finished a distant 2nd to CHI. Offense just as good, ERA almost as good, many more unearned runs allowed).

Combined with Larry's poor 3 W.S. appearances, each of which were team losses, I may finally drop him from my ballot this week. Great hitter, underrated IMO, but somebody has to go....
   14. Rusty Priske Posted: February 08, 2005 at 01:27 PM (#1132267)
Minor shuffling and two stand-bys coming back on. The highest newcomer is at #32.

Prelim of course.

PHoM: Bill Foster, Bullet Joe Rogan

1. Goose Goslin
2. Bill Foster
3. George Van Haltren
4. Eppa Rixey
5. Jake Beckley
6. Mickey Welch
7. Tommy Leach
8. Edd Roush
9. Hugh Duffy
10. Jimmy Ryan
11. George Sisler
12. Sam Rice
13. Dobie Moore
14. Dick Lundy
15. Harry Hooper

16-20. Griffith, Powell, Monroe, J. Sewell, Childs
21-25. Grimes, Doyle, Mullane, Streeter, Cuyler
26-30. White, Willis, Burns, Poles, Gleason
   15. PhillyBooster Posted: February 08, 2005 at 02:43 PM (#1132323)
Can someone explain to me why Terry got elected on the first ballot and Sewell is dropping like a stone?

Greatest first basemen of all time: 1-3. Connor, Brothers, Anson, 4. Start 5-7. Beckley/Terry/Sisler

Greatest shortstops of all time: 1-5. Wagner, Davis, Dahlen, Lloyd, HR Johnson, 6-10, Wright, Pearce, Ward Glasscock, Wallace 11-12: Jennings/Sewell

Fighting for "fifth best" is a lot more impressive than fighting for "eleventh best."
   16. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: February 08, 2005 at 02:49 PM (#1132334)
Earl Whitehill: good offensive support, bad defensive support. Falls into the storied tradition of good-but-not-great Tiger pitchers with lots of starts (Wild Bill Donovan, Tommy Bridges, Frank Lary, Schoolboy Rowe, Hooks Dauss, Mickey Lolich, Virgil Trucks, Jack Morris, Dizzy Trout, the aging Frank Tanana, and maybe Dan Petry). It's like Hal Newhouser and Jim Bunning wandered onto the wrong team by mistake. And even then, Bunning only played part of his career in Detriot and both had to wait for the Veterans Committee to let them in.

For a franchise with so many good to really good pitchers, they sure are skimpy when it comes to great pitchers.
   17. PhillyBooster Posted: February 08, 2005 at 02:58 PM (#1132345)
And speaking of "fighting for eleventh best."

Left fielders, by WS/600 PA

31.00Joe Jackson
25.39Ed Delahanty
(Pete Hill)


Left fielders, by WARP-1/600 PA

9.51Ed Delahanty
9.44Joe Jackson
(Pete Hill)


There's a lot of high-vote love for a guy in one of the best represented positions on the diamond who has, by most measures, among the lowest peaks of the group, and will probably be about the 11th best left fielder inducted.
   18. DavidFoss Posted: February 08, 2005 at 03:36 PM (#1132400)
Well, I have Goslin higher than Wheat. Part of the low ranking you report may be due to Goslin playing in a "high-PA" era.

Still, your point is a valid one, its easy for corner outfielders to garner a lot of votes. I tend not to vote for a lot of outfielder because there are so many "shoo-in" outfielders. That said, Goslin has risen up to #1 for me this year, but only Charlie Jones joins him on my ballot.

Seems like every year I read lots of stuff that puts quite a bit of negative pressure on players on my ballot. Often, this tends of balance out for I have trouble finding guys who are positioned to climb (though Griffith, Beckwith & Foster have made runs up my ballot recently).
   19. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 08, 2005 at 04:39 PM (#1132499)
Preliminary Ballot
With 1 and 2 elected last year, things just move up...for the most part.

1. GVH
2. Duffy
3. Goslin
4. Foster
5. Rixey (Mendez is sliding down somewhat pending CC's investigations of NgL pitchers.)
6. Beckwith
7. Burns
8. Mendez (He lands here. Not a big slide, but sliding to a place where I'm a little more comfortable.)
9. Poles
10. Roush
11. Leach
12. Jennings
13. Moore
14. Childs (Back on board after a two year hiatus)
15. W. Ferrell (On board for the first time; I prefer him to Griffith right now, though I could change my mind.)

1944 was my 15th year voting, and that seems like a good time to pause for reflection. I changed my system big time around 1937ish, maybe 1938ish to become much less peak- and equation-centric. I incorporated a lot of intra- and inter-positional comparisons which force me to make decisions and inquiries rather than leave me relying on what was clearly a faulty spreasheet-based system.

So, I'm going to navel gaze just a bit at my 1945 ballot:
6.5 OFs: Hmmm, 4.5 CFs... Ideally, I'd have one or two fewer OFs, I think, but that's the nature of our backlog as I see it. Perhaps, it's my personal blind spot to pitchers? Or catchers?

4.5 throwing IFs: This is just about right.

4 Ps: I rely on comparative intuition the most for slotting pitchers versus hitters. Four or five pitchers feels about right for any given ballot, depending on the mix of the backlog and newbies, so I think I'm doing OK, particularly since Griffith's on the bubble, I'm not too terribly concerned this year, but things will start getting kind of slim soon on the pitching side, and I wonder if my ballots will become too hitter-heavy?

0 1B: Beckley's never cut it for me, and Sisler is not impressive to me either. Ideally, there'd be one or two 1Bs on my ballot, but since I'm less worried over the Great Early-Century 1B Gap than some voters are, I'm not looking at the lack of 1Bs with alarm: particularly since we're hitting the F/G/G era.

0 Cs: Even after reforming my catcher adjustment, Bresnahan and Schang don't climb enough to get on the ballot. This may be a blind spot for me. On the other hand, now that my bonus system is working better, I'm feeling more confident in my assessment. Hartnett comes soon, so do Mackey, Gibson, and Dickey, so too lesser lights like Al Lopez, Ernie Lombardi, and Rick Ferrell, to help me assess whether I've got Roger and Wally appropriately assessed.

Overall, I feel OK about my voting status. Not super, but not terrible. I've might have some personal blind spots regarding over-ranking OFs, and underranking Ps and Cs. But mostly I feel like I'm doing a reasonable job identifying candidates and being decently consistent at applying my ideas to players at each position.

Action Items:
-Find a better way to rank pitchers among themselves
-Continue to investigate catching
-Consider whether I need to move some IFs up my ballot relative to the bloc of OFs at the top.
   20. jhwinfrey Posted: February 08, 2005 at 05:12 PM (#1132571)
1945 Preliminary Ballot

1. Bill Foster - Yep, I think he's worthy of #1
2. Jake Beckley
3. Mickey Welch
4. Eppa Rixey
5. Burleigh Grimes
6. John Beckwith
7. Tommy Leach
8. Dick Lundy
9. Carl Mays
10. Dick Redding
11. Jose Mendez
12. Ben Taylor--comparisons with Beckwith and Lundy drop him a bit
13. Jim McCormick
14. Rabbit Maranville
15. Edd Roush

16. Goose Goslin

50. Earl Whitehill--good career length, decent hitting pitcher.
65. Heinie Manush--all hit, no field, with only a medium-length career. But still ranks ahead of Groh.

Lazzeri and Giles don't make my top 100.
   21. sunnyday2 Posted: February 08, 2005 at 10:46 PM (#1133245)
Nice post, Chaleeko. Navel gazing is good.

I divide my picks into various categories--19 and 20C position players, 19 and 20C pitchers, and NeLers. I am comfortable with each category within itself except 20C pitchers. Very uncomfortable there.

Then integrating the lists--since I am uncomfortable with 20C pitchers, I am uncomfortable integrating them with 19C pitchers and/or with 20C position players. But be that as it may, here are the lists as of today.

20C Pos (pretty stable)

1. Goslin--frankly, I'm not nearly as impressed as I expected to be. 128 OPS+ vs. at least 8 other contenders in the 120s, some of the IFers! But his longevity and career value is a tie-breaker.

2. Sisler--124 career OPS+ is right in the ballpark with all the other candidates, plus that peak! It's tempting to move him ahead of Goose based on peak/prime...but no

3. Doyle--126 OPS+ and an IFer.

4. Roush--126 OPS+ and 60 defensive WS.

5. Traynor--position, consistency and 79 defensive WS makes up for 107 OPS+.

6. Sewell--if 13 years at SS, a different story.

7. H. Wilson--whattapeak!

8. Cuyler--incredible that he went into HoF same way/year as Goose. Still, underrated.

9. Veach
10. Burns--would like to support some more IF, or a C, but who? Leach and Bresnahan are tempting, but....

19C Pos (very stable, what with 2 years now to shake out)

1. Jennings
2. C. Jones
3. Williamson
4. Childs
5. Browning
6. Dunlap
7. Duffy
8. Van Haltren--much better than Ryan.
9. Tiernan
10. Dave Orr--the Hack Wilson of the 19C.

19C P (pretty stable)

1. Bond
2. Griffith
3. McCormick
4. Welch
5. Mullane
6. Whitney
7. Corcoran
8. S. King
9. Stivetts
10. W. White

NeLers (stable and easily integrated [pardon the pun])

1. Dobie Moore--13.5 HoM years, more than Sewell
2. Bill Foster--not as impressive as expected, but...
3. John Beckwith
4. Dick Lundy
5. Dick Redding
6. Bill Monroe
7. Jose Mendez--#4 through 7 close, but stable
8. Sol White
9. Spot Poles
10. Ben Taylor

20C P (very unstable, could change tomorrow)

1. Waddell
2. Joss
3. Cicotte
4. Rixey
5. Wilbur Cooper
6. Grimes
7. Ferrell? Lots of shiny ornaments and tinsel and flashing, colored lights hanging on him. Underneath, this Xmas tree has <3000 IP and <120 ERA+. #1 on extras as if the underlying pitching didn't count. Still #7.
8. Mays
9. Willis
10. Shocker

Now to integrate the lists....
   22. sunnyday2 Posted: February 08, 2005 at 10:54 PM (#1133253)
Re. MLEs, I think the MLEs that Chris and others provide here are wonderful, great and valuable work.

But what they really do is allow us (me) to rate and rank the NeLers among themselves.

I really don't think they allow me to rate and rank them vs. MLers. They help, absolutely. But I definitely do not use them as if they were a line out of bbref or whatever.

They are not, to me, illustrative at all of what the NeLers woulda/coulda done in the MLs. That, we will never know. They are equivalencies, they shine light, help make understandable what the NeLers did *in the NeLs.* (And that is all.)

IOW, I'm not voting for NeLers based on what they would have done in a different world, any more than I evaluate 19C players based on what they would have done in the 20C. I'm voting for them on the basis of what they did.

I think that's a very crucial distinction. But in the last analysis, it also means that the NeLers are to some degree being evaluated on a quota. Because I don't know how to compare them, one-to-one, head-to-head...Lundy to Sewell, Monroe to Doyle. But just as some see Goslin as only the 11th best LFer, too, I see Lunday and Moore and Monroe as the xth and yth best NeLers of all-time and/or at their position. I only have a vague idea whether it is more fair and more right to elect the 3rd best NeL 2B versus the 10th best ML 2B.

The MLEs are crucial in determining who is the 3rd best NeL 2B or SS. But they're not as helpful in determining whether that player is better than the 11th ML 2B or SS.

There I said it. Quota. And I'm glad ;-)))
   23. sunnyday2 Posted: February 08, 2005 at 10:56 PM (#1133256)
PS. Lazzeri is in the 2nd 10 20C Pos. Manush is not.
   24. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 08, 2005 at 11:50 PM (#1133318)
In my current projected top 50 I have the following breakdown by position:

c - 3 (Bresnahan, Schang, Schalk)
1b - 4 (Sisler, Chance, Taylor, Konetchy)
2b - 5 (Childs, Monroe, Doyle, Evers, Lazzeri)
3b - 4 (Beckwith, Leach, McGraw, Traynor)
ss - 6 (Jennings, Moore, Lundy, Sewell, Bancroft, Tinker)
cf - 8! (Duffy, GVH, Roush, Wilson, Thomas, Ryan, and the Joneses)
of - 8 (Goslin, Bronwing, Veach, Cravath, Burns, Manush, Rice)
p - 12 (Foster, Ferrell, Griffith, Rixey, Redding, Waddell, Mendez, Shocker, Joss, Graimes, Cocotte, Mays)

The players are in the order they are ranked in my top 50, so this also serves as a depth chart of sorts. The thing that jumps out here is that I may be overrating CFers. Every other position is represented roughly the same, anywhere from 3-6 (of is lf AND rf). I do rely heavily on Win Shares so maybe I am overrepresenting that position.

The bottm of my CF depth chart right now has guys like Fielder Jones, Charley Jones, and Jimmy Ryan. I would love to have some more catchers but I can't see Bruce Petway or Bob O'Farrell being better than the CFers named above. Same with guys like Fournier, Dunlap, Long, and Art Devlin.

How likely is it that CF is just a really strong position in baseball history up until this point? If my Top 50 is to be believed it could be contrued as being twice as deep as most other positions.
   25. karlmagnus Posted: February 09, 2005 at 12:07 AM (#1133348)
sunnyday2, you're underrating Beckley. If he were an outfielder he would be 1 or 2 with Goslin and Sisler (125 OPS+, more games, more hits than either) but he was a 1B, which was a more difficult position in 1888-1907, and he played short seasons, so his counting stats are about 250 hits low. So he ought to be up there towards the top somewhere, peak or no peak.

jschmeagol, same applies. Given his OPS+ and longevity, he can't not be on your 1B depth chart.
   26. karlmagnus Posted: February 09, 2005 at 12:22 AM (#1133373)
Incidentally, for those favoring say Goslin over Beckley because he has a "peak" why is a wimpy peak different from no peak? A truly historic peak like Jennings is different, but I don't see any reason, if you have two players with the same career value, to favor the one with a moderate peak over the one with no peak. The Drysdale/Pappas equation doesn't work if it's not a huge peak.
   27. The Honorable Ardo Posted: February 09, 2005 at 12:50 AM (#1133416)
I'll add my top-40 depth chart by position:

C: 2 (Bresnahan 14, Schang)
1B: 4 (Sisler 4, Beckley 15, Taylor, Chance)
2B: 4 (Monroe, Childs, Doyle, Lazzeri)
SS: 6 (Sewell 7, Lundy 10, Moore 17, Jennings 20, Maranville, Bancroft)
3B: 4 (Beckwith 3, Leach 9, Williamson 13, Traynor)
CF: 5 (Roush 5, Duffy 12, Ryan 18, Van Haltren, C. Jones)
OF: 6 (Goslin 2, Cuyler 19, Veach, Hooper, Rice, Manush)
P: 9 (Foster 1, Griffith 4, Rixey 6, Mendez 8, Redding 11, Ferrell 16, Grimes, Waddell, Welch)

These players are viable HoM candidates - but not necessarily viable electees.
   28. Chris Cobb Posted: February 09, 2005 at 03:57 AM (#1133648)
I've been trying to sort out Ferrell, Foster, and Rixey. No conclusions yet, but their career-shapes compare in interesting ways.

I've projected Foster to 3171 ip, 3.87 DERA, 254 ws (assuming bws are 0 and don't draw down pws)

Ferrell in his career had 2623 IP, 3.90 DERA, 208 PWS, 25 BWS

Rixey in his career had 4494.7 IP, 4.06 DERA, 310.5 PWS, 0.8 BWS (but for most of his career his hitting would subtract from his pws)

These three seem very different, but consider these overlaps.

All of Ferrell's batting value falls within his peak, making his peak certainly higher than Foster's. Does his peak advantage of about win shares outweigh Foster's 20 win-share advantage in career value?

Rixey in 1916-17, 1920-29 (12 seasons skipping WWI) threw 3246.7 IP with a 3.90 DERA. He earned 243 win shares during those seasons.

This is, more or less, Foster's career value, less a deduction for Rixey's bad hitting. On top of that, Rixey has 1228 IP as a precisely average pitcher.

Question: Does Foster's higher peak within his careerr outweigh Rixey's 1228 average innings, which earned him about 60 win shares?

Foster in his eight-year peak earned 198 win shares, with a 3.72 DERA in 2089 innings.

Rixey in his best eight-year run (1921-28) earned 173 win shares, with a 3.85 DERA in 2193 innings.

There are a variety of ways that one might ultimately rank these pitchers depending on how one weights peak and career and league competition levels.

However, the question that I would have for each voter is this: If you a) think the MLEs for Foster are reasonable and b) have Foster very high on your ballot, how could Rixey and Ferrell not be nearby, either above or below?

Foster beats the one on career, and the other on peak, but in each case he bests the other on their weakness, not on their strength.

With Foster on 47 ballots last time, Rixey 36, and Ferrell 28, I think that either Foster is being overrated or R & F underrated.

Of course, I still see Griffith as the best choice among pitchers, but the arguments for him require addressing more significant period differences, so I'll make that case another time.
   29. Chris Cobb Posted: February 09, 2005 at 04:06 AM (#1133659)
While I'm asking questions about pitchers, here's one in honor of Karlmagnus:

Why is Rube Waddell doing so much better in the voting than Carl Mays? Both WARP and WS give Mays the better career, and his peak, though a bit more fragmented than Waddell's, is very similar. Yet Waddell makes 23 ballots and Mays makes 4.

Neither have made my ballot for a long time, but Mays is closer (and might go on this year), so I don't see the evidence to support the preference for Waddell.
   30. Brent Posted: February 09, 2005 at 04:22 AM (#1133672)
# 9, Ardo asked:

I'm having a hard time ranking three very different pitchers: Rixey (many innings, shallow peak), Ferrell (few innings, sharp peak, great hitter) and Mendez (who appears to be a short-career type). I'd like to hear an advocate for each.

In 1944 I placed Ferrell second, making me his best friend (other than jonesy, of course), and placed Mendez eighth, making me one of his 6 best friends. I have posted a long defense of Mendez on his thread.

The case for Ferrell, I think, is much simpler. WS and WARP attempt to take account of non-ERA pitcher contributions such as hitting, and of outside influences, such as team defense. Ferrell does very well with these measures—more so for WARP than for WS—but very well with both. The other consideration is the extent to which you think peak matters. According to WS, Ferrell packed nearly as much value into 2600 innings as Vance did in nearly 3000. Ferrell has 6 seasons with 25+ WS; I believe the only other pitcher from 1920-43 with more is Grove (I think Hubbell has 5 seasons). (Note, standards for peak seasons for pitchers change over time – 25 WS is less impressive before 1920 than it is after.) For Warp, it is even more extreme; Ferrell is not far behind Rixey in Warp1 and passes him in Warp3, even though Rixey pitched nearly 4500 innings. I know some voters think value is value, but for me it is a lot more impressive if a player can pack the same value into fewer seasons.
   31. Brent Posted: February 09, 2005 at 04:33 AM (#1133683)
Why is Rube Waddell doing so much better in the voting than Carl Mays? Both WARP and WS give Mays the better career, and his peak, though a bit more fragmented than Waddell's, is very similar. Yet Waddell makes 23 ballots and Mays makes 4.

I wonder if "fragmented" may be the key. Although I'm a peak voter, I've never convinced myself that there is a compelling reason that consecutive peak years are worth more than non-consecutive ones. But I notice that players, like Mays, who don't seem to do as well as expected are often ones with good years mixed with bad ones, so I'm guessing that many of those voters who care about peak are defining it at least partially in terms of success over consecutive years.

It seems to me that rearranging a players career WS from:

5 15 32 11 17 35 16 24 10 25 19 30 12


5 11 15 16 24 32 35 30 25 19 17 12 10

will cost his team as much in the years that drop from 32 to 15 as will be gained in the years that go up from 16 to 35. Yes, I know management would prefer more predictability, but when it comes right down to it, no player's career is really "predictable" (except in hindsight).
   32. Rick A. Posted: February 09, 2005 at 04:49 AM (#1133703)
1945 Prelim ballot

1. Charley Jones
2. Pete Browning
3. John Beckwith
4. Goose Goslin
5. Cupid Childs
6. Hughie Jennings
7. Eppa Rixey
8. Vic Willis
9. Bill Monroe
10. Wes Ferrell
11. Hugh Duffy
12. Edd Roush
13. Bill Foster
14. Dobie Moore
15. Burleigh Grimes

16-20 Leach, Mendez, Redding, Sisler, Lundy
21-25 Cooper, Schang, McGraw, Williamson, Waddell
26-30 Mays, Taylor, Griffith, Poles, Tiernan
31-35 Bresnahan, Van Haltren, Doyle, Sewell, Traynor
36-40 Chance, Burns, McCormick, Bancroft, Griffin
41-45 F. Jones, Bond, Wilson, Long, Welch
46-50 Thomas, Cravath, Fournier, Konetchy, Dunlap
   33. Chris Cobb Posted: February 09, 2005 at 05:27 AM (#1133728)
Sunnday2, in your Negro League rankings, you list Dobie Moore as having 13.5 HoM seasons. I don't see how that number can be right, given what we know of Moore's biography.

On the Moore thread, c. posts 15-20, gadfly gives a good deal of background on Moore, including his probable birth year of 1895 (not the 1893 listed in Riley) and the following information about his playiing ball in the army:

1. Notes on Dobie Moore (early career):

Dobie Moore began his baseball career playing with local teams in his Atlanta home town. In 1916, Moore was recruited by the United States Army's 25th Infantry (one of four Black divisions in the Army) to play for their baseball team. This team was commonly known as the 25th Infantry Wreckers.

(Moore did not play for the 25th Infantry Wreckers from 1911 to 1920.)

From 1913 to 1918, lead by Wilber Rogan and Oscar Johnson, the Wreckers were quite well publicized in the Black Press. The team was stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii, during this time. The Wreckers played all comers, regularly beating virtually every team that they played, including Pacific Coast League teams.

If Moore joined the Wreckers in 1916, having played local ball in Atlanta prior to that time, even if you give him full MLE credit for all of his army years, that would only get him to 10.5 seasons by the time of his broken leg in the summer of 1926.
   34. TomH Posted: February 09, 2005 at 01:09 PM (#1134103)
Why is Rube Waddell doing so much better in the voting than Carl Mays? Both WARP and WS give Mays the better career
I was about to write a counter-response that Waddell's WARP was better, but apparently Waddell lost a few WARPies when I wasn't lookin since last time I put ##s in a table. So all of you anti-WARPites may insert your one-liners now...
   35. TomH Posted: February 09, 2005 at 01:19 PM (#1134107)
I like the breakdown by pos various voters do, but IMHO we already do a pretty good job collectively of balancing C/IFers vs 1B/OFers.

Where we are weaker on IMHO is balancing eras. Whoever runs the HoM-by-year table updates, THAT is a good tool. We continue to be too harsh on the 1890s guys, none of whom finished in the top 6 last ballot.
   36. Howie Menckel Posted: February 09, 2005 at 02:37 PM (#1134162)
coming right up:

HOMers by year (10 G min)
1856-59 - 1
1860-65 - 2 (3 in 1864)
1866-67 - 4
1868---- - 6
1869-71 - 8/9/10
1872-76 - 12
1877-78 - 11
1879-80 - 16/17
1881-84 - 20/21/20/22
1885-87 - 23/24/23
1888-89 - 25
1890-92 - 29/30/29
1893---- - 26
1894-99 - 21 (22 in 1895)
1900---- - 20
1901-03 - 22
1904-07 - 24/25/24/25
1908-09 - 26
1910-13 - 28/27/25/27
1914-15 - 26
1916---- - 31
1917---- - 26
1918-21 - 22 (25 in 1919)
1922-23 - 23
1924-25 - 24
1926-27 - 23/22
1928---- - 20
1929---- - 15
and drops steadily thereafter due to our only being in 1944.

Consistent climb until 1893, then there's a trough. The drop doesn't look as steep if 1890-92 is seen as an anomoly.

I think the main note is that the trough comes at a time of fierce, spike'em, one-league baseball. Those guys I think are being compared directly with two-league, somewhat less nasty ball of the 1900s and 1910s. There should be a significant adjustment, in my mind, of mid-1890s stats to account for it being more difficult to dominate one league, no?

I'll post some year-by-year position stuff in the relevant player threads.
   37. DavidFoss Posted: February 09, 2005 at 04:04 PM (#1134302)
Thanks Howie!

1904-1917 really sticks out. We've done a great job inducting deadball players. 1916 sticks out, but after checking your other lists, it appears to be a watershed year between eras (Plank, Walsh, Brown, Foster, Lajoie, Wagner, Crawford / Torriente, Charleston, Hornsby, Coveleski) so many HOM-ers were not in their primes that year.
   38. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 09, 2005 at 04:56 PM (#1134400)
RE Post #36 and a comment on another thread about the 1890s...

Yet more reason to vote for GVH and Duffy!

Vote for Van H and Duff,
They're career and peak
Are both up to snuff!
   39. PhillyBooster Posted: February 09, 2005 at 05:21 PM (#1134449)
I am in the process of going back to look over players who have dropped off or never been ranked to make sure I'm not overlooking someone important.

I am now going through the Negro Leaguers. As is my method, I look at players by position.

In that regard, I would appreciate it is some of you could help me put together an "All-Star Team" made up of Negro League players who are eligible, but not in the HoM.

This is what I have so far:

C - Bruce Petway
1B - Ben Taylor
2B - Bill Monroe
SS - Dick Lundy
3B - John Beckwith
LF - Jimmy Lyons
CF - Spot Poles
RF - Heavy Johnson
P - Jose Mendez
P - Willie Foster
P - Dick Redding

Any changes? Corrections? Additions?
   40. Chris Cobb Posted: February 09, 2005 at 05:23 PM (#1134456)
I can't match Dr. Chaleeko's jingle, but if we're looking at groups of players who are underrepresented by period, 1890s _outfielders_ are not one of them. See Howie's post of the HoM outfielders by year data on the Heinie Manush thread for confirmation.

It's pitchers and infielders where the shortfall is showing.
   41. jimd Posted: February 09, 2005 at 07:09 PM (#1134687)
Can someone explain to me why Terry got elected on the first ballot and Sewell is dropping like a stone?

I haven't checked WARP, but for WS Terry has a better peak.

Terry does have a better peak (absolute value, WARP or WS). OTOH, Terry's peak does not stand out relative to the other hitters (1B-OF) of his era; at his best (1926-30) he is still behind Ruth, Gehrig, Wilson, Simmons, and Waner
(not to mention glovemen Frisch, Hornsby, Gehringer, and Lazzeri). OTOH, Sewell's best (1922-26) is well above the other glove-men of the time, other than Hornsby and Frisch. (Peaks measured with WARP-1, fall edition).

This was why I rated Sewell ahead of Terry.

Greatest first basemen of all time: 1-3. Connor, Brothers, Anson, 4. Start 5-7. Beckley/Terry/Sisler

Greatest shortstops of all time: 1-5. Wagner, Davis, Dahlen, Lloyd, HR Johnson, 6-10, Wright, Pearce, Ward Glasscock, Wallace 11-12: Jennings/Sewell

Fighting for "fifth best" is a lot more impressive than fighting for "eleventh best."

Gehrig was not a great 1b-man? Knock Terry to "fighting for sixth".

I think we can argue the placements of Pearce, Ward (SS-only), and Wallace relative to Sewell. Raise Sewell to "fighting for eighth".

Also, Wagner and Lloyd are good enough hitters that they would be HOMers if they had played 1B; that is, they need no defensive credit for playing SS. (Maybe Wright also.) Players that can play anywhere will naturally play at the most challenging defensive position that doesn't interfere with their hitting. If a player could have played either position, I wouldn't include such players when arguing for positional balance. (There are no 1b-men that could have played SS.)

I still think Terry and Sewell are fairly equal (with an edge to Sewell).
   42. robc Posted: February 09, 2005 at 07:43 PM (#1134770)
Lave Cross helps fill our 3B shortage, a little bit of our C shortage, and our 1890s shortage.

All signs point to Lave.
   43. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 09, 2005 at 08:44 PM (#1134882)

Beckley is just outside my top 50.

I also don't see Goslin's peak as 'wimpy'. Goslin has a strong peak among corner guys and Beckley has a peak of 0 in my WS system and of 2.1 in my WARP system. NOT GOOD. NOT GOING TO MAKE MY BALLOT.

I am not underrating Beckley. You are overrating him. You have saying that a guy like Beckley, who was never one of the best players when he played, is one of the best ever.
   44. Daryn Posted: February 09, 2005 at 09:08 PM (#1134927)
Schmeagol and karl,

You are both right, or wrong. karl is overrating him and schmeagol is underrating him, at least according to the electorate. karl's closer though -- he's off by 8; schmeagol, you're off by 40+.

Ironically, yest, our most iconoclastic voter, was one of three voters who rated Beckley exactly in line with the electorate.
   45. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 09, 2005 at 09:20 PM (#1134948)

I think you've got a good list there. My main query would be

SS - Dick Lundy (Or Dobie Moore?)

The corner OFs are tough nits to pick because the candidates just aren't that impressive:
LF - Jimmy Lyons (Did Chino Smith play corner OF? If so, is his short career more impressive than Lyons's longer but much less peakish one?)

RF - Heavy Johnson (Oms maybe? Maybe not?)

None of the corner guys has much traction nor a very compelling case, so probably not too much of a concern.
   46. jonesy Posted: February 09, 2005 at 09:42 PM (#1135013)
Wes Ferrell's most timely hitting games.

1. 9/14/29: Pitched 5-hitter in Washington, winning 4-1. Doubled over CF's head to drive in two in the second. RBI single in ninth.

2. 10/5/29: Beat STL 3-2. Drove in game winner with 9th inning RBI single.

3. 6/8/30: Beat first place Senators 3-2. Drove in game winner with single in 9th.

4. 4/29/31: Tossed no-hitter vs Browns. Hit two-run shot in fourth - "a potent smash into the centerfield bleachers" - and a double off the right field wall in the eighth. 9-0 final.

5. 6/21/31: Beat Alvin Crowder and Senators 3-1. With game tied 1-1 in seventh, "blasted a towering shot over the screen in far right center."

6. 7/17/31: Beat Herb Pennock 2-1 in Yankee Stadium. Broke 1-1 tie in seventh when he hit homer "far into the left-field stands."

7. 8/2/31: 9-4 Victory over the Browns. Game 2-2 after five but Indians scored five times in the sixth, the "big blow being Ferrell's homer with two on." On the day Wes hit a homer, a single, had two walks, scored two and drove in 3.

8. 6/3/32: Beat Tommy Bridges 3-1. Trailing 1-0, Wes hit a two-run homer in the fifth.

9. 6/7/32: Beat A's 4-3. Knotted at 2-2, Wes opened 5th with a double and scored. Tied at 3-3, he lead off the seventh "slashing a double to the bleachers" and scored.

10. 7/7/34: Boston began the home ninth trailing the A's 10-7. PHer Ferrell plated the tying and winning runs with a walk-off double off the centerfield wall.

11. 7/13/34: Beat Browns in STL 7-2. Wes opened scoring in 3rd with HR that "landed in top row of the left field bleachers." Hit 3-run homer in 5th to make the score 4-0.

12. 8/11/34: PH walk-off single to beat the Yanks 3-2 in 13 innings at Fenway.

13. 8/22/34: Beat Chisox 3-2 at Fenway. Trailing 2-1 he hit a homer in the eighth to tie and a walk-off shot in the tenth to win.

14. 4/22/35: Beat Earl Whithill and Senators 4-2 in Washington. Wes had four of Boston's 11 hits. Two-out double contributed to first run. Ninth inning triple contributed to fourth run.

15. 5/13/35: Tossed 5-hitter in beating Browns in STL. Game winner was Wes' homer in the seventh, "a mighty clout into the distant pavilion, down toward the center field bleachers."

16. 7/21/35: PH three-run walk-off homer in ninth at Fenway for 7-6 win over Tigers.

17. 7/22/35: Walk-off homer in Fenway to beat STL 2-1.

18. 7/31/35: Beat Bobo Newsom 6-4 in Griffith. Belted three-run homer into "distant left field bleachers" in fourth and solo shot - "landed near the top of the concrete stand in left" - in the seventh.

19. 9/18/35: Walk-off PH single in ninth at Fenway to beat Tigers and Rowe 3-2.

20. 7/17/36: Beat Browns 2-1 in Boston. Trailing 1-0 with one down in last of ninth, doubled off left field wall to start winning rally.

21. 8/12/36: Beat A's 6-4 at Fenway. Had three of team's seven hits, including two-run shot in second and grandslam in 4th.

22. 8/29/36: Ninth inning PH fly to outfield in STL to beat Browns 2-1. Without sac fly rule, is charged with at bat and no RBI.

23. June 1937: Beat Newsome 6-4 in first meeting after trade. Trailing 4-2 in seventh, scored run, then drove in tying and go-ahead run with 8th inning single.

24. 7/24/37: Washington takes both games of DH in St. Louis. Wes' PH single in 8th inning of first game breaks 5-5 tie and is game-winner. Second game also tied 5-5 in seventh. Ferrell produces game-winner with outfield fly. No sac fly rule so charged with at bat and no RBI.

There were additional good hitting games but these were the most timely.
   47. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 09, 2005 at 10:44 PM (#1135149)
There should have been a smiley face after my last comment. My bad.
   48. Jim Sp Posted: February 10, 2005 at 02:12 AM (#1135451)
Manush and Lazzeri had nice careers, but aren’t particularly close. This year everyone gets bumped up two spots.

1)Goslin--comfortably over the line.
2)Sewell--109 OPS+, reasonably long career, good shortstop (A- Win Shares). Yes, I am allowing for his switch to 3B at the end of his career.
3)Schang--His rate stats would put him in the HoM, but a look at each individual year isn’t impressive. Still, a hitting catcher with his career length isn’t common...Bill James rates him a C+ fielder in Win Shares, but says he was a good catcher in the NHBA. Stands out from the extreme lack of catching candidates recently.
4)Doyle— His hitting is legitimately outstanding, he played 2nd base, and a C+ defender by Win Shares. 126 career OPS+, compare to contemporary George Cutshaw, who was a regular 2B for 11 years with an OPS+ of 86. #19 all time in innings at 2B. Regularly in the 2B defensive Win Shares leaders, WS Gold Glove in 1917. Top 10 in Win Shares 1909-12, 1915.
5)Beckwith-- Was Beckwith, in his prime, was the best hitter in the Negro Leagues? He played a considerable amount at the difficult end of the defensive spectrum. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on his “unusual circumstances”. His selection as manager indicates to me that his intangibles weren’t all negative. Could be higher. I might regret this, but he made my PHoM in 1940 over Coveleski and Faber.
6)Beckley— Behind the big 3, much better than other dead-ball 1B. Win Shares best fielder at 1B in 1893, 1895, 1899, and 1900. Add in 2930 hits, with power and walks. No peak but a lot of consistent production, we’re not talking about Ed Kranepool here.
7)Rixey—Early Wynn will be the next pitcher with more IP, his W/L percentage isn’t high because he didn’t get a lot of support. ERA+ is very good at 115 for such a long career.
8)Waddell—Waddell has a run of 7 years (1902-1908) in which he was blowing people away, in three of those years with an ERA+ over 165. A seven year peak for a pitcher is much more rare than a seven year peak for a hitter, I give the short peak pitchers a lot more credit than the short peak hitters.
9)Bill Foster--consensus seems to have him around Coveleski/Faber/Rixey, I’ll yield to those who know more than I. Was #3 on 1943 prelim.
10)Cravath— Great peak, great high minor league play.
11)Bill Monroe—Riley’s Biographical Encylopedia likes him a lot.
12)Cuyler--I think he’ll be below the in/out line.
13)Bancroft--Better than I thought.
14)Bresnahan--Best hitting year was as a CF, not a C, so he’s not quite as impressive as I thought at first glance.
15)Griffith—Comp is Marichal, plus he could hit.

Van Haltren--Good player, part of the OF glut with Ryan and Duffy.
Hughie Jennings—If he played SS his whole (short) career, I’d be listening. He played a lot of 1B, though. His peak is impressive but it’s just not enough career.
Ferrell—one of the top 100 pitchers of all time, but not on my ballot currently.
   49. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 10, 2005 at 03:01 AM (#1135512)
I have a question to those of you who seem to dock Jennings because he played the last part of his career as a 1B.


He played the position in the period of time that virtually nobody gives him credit for, i.e. the years that aren't 1894-1898. His candidacy is built solely on the fact that he was the best player in baseball during this time period. Whatever he should be docked for playing 1B during this time is already factored into WARP and WS.

He was only a 1B during the yeras in which he wasn't a very good player. Are you double docking him for these years? Or is the 1B thing just a comment?
   50. sunnyday2 Posted: February 10, 2005 at 03:50 AM (#1135663)
This is a response to Chris #33 re. whether Dobie Moore's career was 13.5 years or 10.5 years.

First, I'm not sure that is a settled question. You posted (citing Holway, Riley and Cool Papas) that he was born 1893, joined the army "sometime around 1911," and played for the Wreckers beginning in 1913.

Gadfly posted a little later that Moore was born in 1895 and joined the army in 1916. You asked him for a source and none was given (compared to the Beckwith thread, where he gave you detailed sources).

It seems to me entirely possible that even if born in 1895 he could easily have joined the army in 1913 (age 18). And if so, everyone agrees the Wreckers were playing a pretty elite brand of ball by 1913.

Second, while I said he had 13.5 seasons in the comment section of my prelim, that is of course a factoid. His case does not depend on whether it was 10.5 or 13.5. He is a peak candidate. Everyone agrees that he hit .365 with excellent power in the NeLs. And when a shortstop hits .365 with power, of course not much is said about his glove, but what was said about his glove (and more to the point, his throwing arm) is complimentary.

Your own WS projections show 96 for 3 best years and 155 for 5 best. This makes him (considering MLE value and style) the black Joe Cronin (or Hughie Jennings or Ernie Banks. This of course is his case.

Further, you and I both agreed to give him 3 years MLE for his play with the Wreckers, not 7. Now, that is important. That pushes his career WS from 194 to 253 and basically makes him Lou Boudreau for his career. At 194 he's, well, he's Hughie Jennings again. But this, again, is for 3 years with the Wreckers, which everybody agrees he played.

But again, I hadn't understood it to be settled whether he played 3 or 7 with the Wreckers. If 7, then, his career was almost exactly as long as Joe Sewell's and playing at a much higher level, it appears.

If only 3, well, he was still playing at a much high level than Joe Sewell for 10 years. That's the worst case that can be made of Dobie Moore, that he was much better than Joe Sewell (more like Joe Cronin or Lou Boudreau) but only for 10 years. (But maybe 13.)
   51. Chris Cobb Posted: February 10, 2005 at 04:09 AM (#1135725)

I think your assessment of Moore is reasonable, and I completely agree that his strength is in his peak. I see Beckwith's peak as better among NeL players, but that's a debatable point. I didn't mean my comment to call your ranking into question, and perhaps I should have said that.

It had been my sense also that we had agreed that 3 years of MLE credit for his time with the Wreckers was reasonable (that's what I'm giving him), which is why I was surprised to see your factoid listing him with 13.5 years of MLE credit. Now, in my rankings, which give more weight to career, three additional MLE seasons would make a substantial difference, so I thought I should ask about it.

It's possible that gadfly is wrong about Moore's career history, but he's been so consistently good on biographical facts (even though I frequently disagree with his interpretation of them), that I have been accepting of his authority on these points as well. He does say that his sources on Moore's birth are census data, but I suppose we could ask him for more info about his sources on Moore's stint in the armed forces . . .
   52. sunnyday2 Posted: February 10, 2005 at 04:11 AM (#1135737)
Some pitcher primes as I see them. Listed in order of (IP/100) + (ERA+ - 100)

Joss 8 years, 2220 IP, 148 ERA+ (e.g. 22 + 48 = 70)
Waddell 6 years, 1772 IP, 152 ERA+
Mullane 8 years, 3243 IP, 132 ERA+
Bond 6 years, 2865 IP, 130 ERA+
Cicotte 12 years, 2905 IP, 129 EERA+
Griffith 6 years, 2221 IP, 135 ERA+
Hahn 6 years, 1910 IP, 138 ERA+
Welch 7 years, 3121 IP, 126 ERA+
Luque 5 years, 1397 IP, 141 ERA+
Corcoran 5 years, 2476 IP, 130 ERA+
McCormick 5 years, 2689 IP, 128 ERA+
Mays 7 years, 1748 IP, 136 ERA+
Foutz 5 years, 1634 IP, 135 ERA+
Willis 5 years, 1605 IP, 135 ERA+
Ferrell 8 years, 2256 IP, 128 ERA+
Rixey 11 years, 2633 IP, 122 ERA+
Grimes 14 years, 3644 IP, 112 ERA+
Overall 5 years, 1323 IP, 133 ERA+
Cuppy 5 years, 1408 IP, 131 ERA+
Shocker 5 years, 1408 IP, 131 ERA+ (yes, same as Cuppy)
Leever 6 years, 1547 IP, 128 ERA+
Quinn 8 years, 2028 IP, 120 ERA+

It's possible that Rixey and Grimes would rate higher if I took a more focused slice of their careers, more their peak rather than prime. And certainly they should not be penalized for maintaining consistent performance for a longer period of time. But the truth is that their established level, even if cut off at 5-6 years, would be lower than most (or in Grimes case, lower than all).

Further, even I consider total career value.

But as for Ferrell, there's not a lot of value outside of what is shown here. I could see him over the 5 year prime guys at his general level--e.g. Willis. But how can he rank ahead of the 7-8+ year prime guys like Mays, Welch and Cicotte who had better primes and more career? Or Rixey, who had a fairly comparable prime level but for a longer prime period and a much longer career?
   53. sunnyday2 Posted: February 10, 2005 at 04:14 AM (#1135748)
Also, compare Addie Joss and Ferrell. How can Ferrell rate ahead of Joss???
   54. Michael Bass Posted: February 10, 2005 at 04:26 AM (#1135789)
Joss vs. Ferrell


51.3 vs. 81.4

Best 3
22.7 vs. 34.1

Best 5
34.3 vs. 52.6


57 vs. 88.6

Best 3
25.3 vs. 37.6

Best 5
37.9 vs. 58

Win Shares

191 vs. 233

Best 3
88 vs. 95

Best 5
131 vs. 146

Exactly on what measure does Joss beat Ferrell? In Win Shares, in WARP3, timelined, and not, Ferrell destroys Joss.

To reiterate, he has the most career WARP3 of any pitcher on the ballot. And he is a peak candidate. He'll be #1 on my ballot this year.
   55. Chris Cobb Posted: February 10, 2005 at 04:50 AM (#1135850)

What would happen if you ran this list only for post-1893 pitchers, in win shares, including batting? That's not at all a rhetorical question; I'd like to see the results.

My guess is that, if you would, Ferrell would have the best prime available.

I don't have the WS data at hand to show this comprehensively (which is why I hope you would have a list) but here's a couple of snap comparisons:

Rixey best 8 consecutive years 16-17, 20-25 (giving Rixey a pass on his WWI seasons): 180 ws, 179.4 of them pitching.
Ferrell best 8 consecutive years 209 ws, 188 of them pitching.

Ferrell's prime level is 3.5 win shares a year higher than Rixey's, and 1 of those is pitching. In ERA+, it doesn't look like Ferrell could possibly be ahead of Rixey as a pitcher, but Ferrell's pitching is underrated by ERA+ and Rixey's overrated because of fielding issues (DERA shows this).

On the hitting side, Rixey is giving his team an 22 OPS+ to Ferrell's 100. Some folks have called pitcher offense a kind of ancillary matter, but in this head to head comparison it shows up as worth 2.5 win shares a year. That's significant.

Let me toss up one more example. Joss has an 8-year peak, almost the same number of innings as Ferrell, awesome 148 ERA+.
His win shares: 184, practically all pitching. Ferrell is three win shares a year better than Joss.

If you use IP and ERA+, Ferrell's not going to stand out. There's no answer to your objections according to those measures, and if those are the measures you decide to trust, you won't see much in Ferrell's candidacy. But if you go to a comprehensive metric, he stands out, as I hope I've started to show here. WARP likes him even more than win shares, and I think that they do a better job with separating pitching and fielding than WS does.
   56. Chris Cobb Posted: February 10, 2005 at 05:01 AM (#1135876)
In ERA+, it doesn't look like Ferrell could possibly be ahead of Rixey as a pitcher, but Ferrell's pitching is underrated by ERA+ and Rixey's overrated because of fielding issues (DERA shows this).

When wrote this, I was misreading the listing for Ferrell's ERA+ as Marc calculated it for Ferrell's prime as 118. ERA+ would lead one to expect more pitching win shares for Ferrell than for Rixey, just as we find. Also, Rixey threw 2301.7 innings in his best eight consecutive seasons.
   57. Chris Cobb Posted: February 10, 2005 at 05:02 AM (#1135880)
Shouldn't post in such haste, but I wanted to get that in before I fell asleep . . . Sorry!
   58. Howie Menckel Posted: February 10, 2005 at 01:22 PM (#1136519)
I tried posting these in other threads, but it didn't take. Apologies for this taking up a lot of space; I put the pitching version with the Bill Foster thread, the OF one in the Heinie Manush thread, 2B in the Tony Lazzeri thread, and the 3B in the Pie Traynor thread.

HOM Cs, by year, through 1944 election. Must have played half a team's games and mainly this position to be listed:
1861 - Pearce C-SS
1862-63 - Pearce
1864-65 - Pearce C-SS
1869-70 - White
1871-73 - White, McVey
1874-76 - White
1877 - McVey
1878 - White, Bennett C-OF
1879 - White
1881 - Bennett, Ewing C-SS
1882 - Bennett
1883-86 - Bennett, Ewing
1887 - O'Rourke C-3O
1888 - Bennett, Ewing, Kelly C-OF
1889 - Bennett, Ewing
1890 - Bennett, Ewing, Kelly C-SS
1891 - Bennett, Kelly
1892 - Kelly
1910-17 - Santop
1920-24 - Santop
1925-35 - Cochrane
Bresnahan would be 1901, 1905-08, 1911, 1914-15
Schang would be 1913-14, 1917-24, 1926-29.

HOM 1Bs, by year, through 1944 election. Must have played half a team's games and mainly this position to be listed:
1860-71 - Start
1872 - Start, Hines
1873 - Start, Anson, O'Rourke 1B-OF
1874 - Start, Anson 1B-3B, O'Rourke
1875 - Start, Anson 1B-OF, McVey 1B-OC
1876 - Start, McVey
1877 - Start, Spalding, White 1B-OF, Sutton 1B-2B
1878 - Start
1879 - Start, Anson, McVey, Brouthers
1880 - Start, Anson
1881 - Start, Anson, White 1B-2O, Connor
1882 - Start, Anson, Brouthers, Stovey 1B-OF, Connor 1B-O3
1883 - Start, Anson, Brouthers, Stovey, Connor
1884 - Start, Anson, Brouthers, Stovey
1885 - Start, Anson, Brouthers, Stovey, Connor
1886-88 - Anson, Brouthers, Connor
1889-90 - Hines, Anson, Brouthers, Connor
1891 - Anson, Brouthers, Connor
1892 - Anson, Brouthers, Connor, Ewing
1893-94 - Anson, Brouthers, Connor
1895-96 - Anson, Connor, Ewing
1897 - Anson, Lajoie
1898 - Wagner 1B-3B
1900 - Delahanty
1901 - Kelley
1904 - Kelley
1911 - Lajoie 1B-2B
1918 - Magee 1B-OF
1919-20 - Heilmann
1921-23 -
1924 - Terry
1925-28 - Terry, Gehrig
1929 - Lloyd, Terry, Gehrig
1930 - Lloyd, Terry, Charleston, Gehrig
1931-36 - Terry, Charleston, Gehrig
1937 - Charleston, Gehrig
1938 - Gehrig
Beckley would be 1888-1906
Jennings would be 1900-02
Sisler would be 1915-22 and 1924-30

HOM SSs, by year, through 1944 election. Must have played half a team's games and mainly this position to be listed:
1856-60 - Pearce
1864 - Wright
1866-67 - Pearce, Wright
1868-70 - Pearce, Wright, Barnes
1871 - Pearce, Wright
1872 - Pearce, Wright, O'Rourke SS-C
1873-75 - Pearce, Wright
1876 - Wright
1877- Sutton SS-3B
1878 - Wright
1879 - Sutton SS-3B, Barnes
1880 - Sutton SS-3B, Glasscock
1881 - Barnes, Glasscock
1882 - Wright, Glasscock, Kelly SS-OF
1883-84 - Glasscock
1885-86 - Glasscock, Ward
1887 - Sutton SS-OU, Glasscock, Ward
1888-89 - Glasscock, Ward
1890 - Glasscock, Ward, Delahanty SS-2O
1891 - Glasscock, Ward
1892 - Glasscock, Dahlen SS-3B
1893 - Glasscock, Dahlen
1894 - Glassock, Dahlen SS-3B
1895-96 - Dahlen, HR Johnson
1897-98 - Dahlen, Davis, HR Johnson
1899 - Dahlen, Davis, HR Johnson, Wallace SS-3B
1900 - Dahlen, Davis, HR Johnson, Wallace
1901 - Dahlen, Davis, HR Johnson, Wagner SS-O3, Wallace
1902 - Dahlen Davis, HR Johnson, Wallace
1903 - Dahlen, HR Johnson, Wagner, Wallace
1904-06 - Dahlen, Davis, HR Johnson, Wagner, Wallace
1907 - Dahlen, Davis, HR Johnson, Wagner, Wallace
1908 - Dahlen, HR Johnson, Wagner, Wallace, Lloyd
1909-11 - HR Johnson, Wagner, Wallace, Lloyd
1912 - Wagner, Wallace, Lloyd
1913-16 - Wagner, Lloyd
1917-18 - Lloyd, Hornsby
1919-22 - Lloyd
Jennings would be 1891-92, 1894-98
Moore would be 1920-25 (roughly)
Lundy would be 1919-34 (roughly)
Beckwith would be 1920-22, 1924, 1928 (roughly)
Sewell would be 1921-28
   59. Al Peterson Posted: February 10, 2005 at 01:34 PM (#1136524)
Brent said it earlier in this discussion but I wish to repeat it. What is the fascination with consecutive seasons?

Don't vote for Ted Williams. He kept going off to war. Obviously you can't be good unless you're helping the team year after year :)

Seriously though, Rixey doesn't have that nice bell-shaped career you'd like with the high peak and lower ends. But when you factor in 1800 more IP than Ferrell that's a lot of distance to makeup. Add in any war credit in 1918 for Eppa and that gap widens.
   60. Howie Menckel Posted: February 10, 2005 at 01:51 PM (#1136530)
Rixey's best ERA+s, any order
144 143 142 139 136 129 124
The 144 is in only 162 IP, but he was a workhorse the others. Nothing else was above 115.

Ferrell's best ERA+s, any order
146 135 133 130 128 124 124
Nothing else above 92 (!).

Slight edge to Rixey, even without the 144 season. But then we have Rixey's longevity and WW I factor vs Ferrell's hitting and WARP/win shares advantages.

I think one clearly could go either way. I have Rixey near the top and Ferrell in the middle, but I need to factor the hitting in more with Ferrell I think.
   61. Mike Webber Posted: February 10, 2005 at 02:35 PM (#1136563)
Players Ranked by Their Average Rank in Total Win Shares and Win Shares per Plate Appearance

This popped up on SABR-L today, and I wasn't exactly sure where to put it in the discussion (uberstats?) but I thought it was interesting. One way to balance Peak and Career.

Some interesting Players: Frisch 10th 2b, Leach 51st OF, but 10th at 3b, Goslin 44th OF, Terry 17th 1B, SS - Sewell 18, Jennings 19, Tinker 14 - every system has a few klunkers I guess - Bresnahan 11th at C's, Lazzeri 20th at 2b, Manush 93rd in OF, and Jake Beckley 37 1b.
   62. Chris Cobb Posted: February 10, 2005 at 02:42 PM (#1136569)
Brent said it earlier in this discussion but I wish to repeat it. What is the fascination with consecutive seasons?

Although I do not stress consecutive seasons in my own ranking, I think that consideration of consecutive seasons, when comparing the impact of players of different career lengths, can be useful.

Ferrell's best 8 consecutive years are essentially his career value, so we can ask the question of whether there is a Ferrell-career contained within Eppa Rixey's career, for example.

Ferrell gave his team that sustained peak value without mixing in off years, or (to be entirely accurate) even with an injury year mixed in, so he should get some credit for that consistency.

Put it this way: if Rixey's career had been ended after 2600-3000 innings, would he be a serious candidate for the HoM? Looking at his 8-year peak in comparison to Ferrell's, probably not. This doesn't hurt Rixey's candidacy much because he has the career, but it ranking Rixey against Ferrell, Ferrell should get credit for being the better player than Rixey over a significant stretch of time.

To go back to the Carl Mays example: If Mays and Ferrell are otherwise equal in career value and value above average (my first two measures), the tiebreak goes to Ferrell for the better consecutive peak.

Although I've here been promoting Ferrell in comparison to Rixey, I have Rixey ahead of Ferrell in my rankings: I don't believe that Ferrell's peak advantage, which is significant, outweighs Rixey's significant career advantage. The comparison also cuts both ways: Rixey was no scrub during his peak. Ferrell outclasses him, but only by about 1 win per year (according to WS -- WARP gives Ferrell more of an advantage).

The two are worth comparing closely because they are two of the four top pitchers available, along with Foster and Griffith, and they are the most easily comparable because of their closeness in time and their both playing in the majors.

I'm continuing to plug Griffith without giving numbers, but I have a big-number study in the works.

And I'll add also that Sunnyday2's IP ERA+ list has Griffith looking very good on peak. And since Griffith's ERA+ was achieved in a high-offense era, without exceptional fielding support, and since Griffith was also a good hitting pitcher, I think "the little things" that put Ferrell well ahead of Joss when you look at them through comprehensive metrics would not similarly switch Griffith and Ferrell if the two of them were compared side-by-side.
   63. PhillyBooster Posted: February 10, 2005 at 02:59 PM (#1136601)
Pennants Added:

Rixey: .685
Ferrell: .611
Joss: .491

Those are the order I see them in, and it's not really close. Rixey's clearly on top. Ferrell I keep wanting to see on the ballot (call him Caruthers-lite), but I keep running into problems, namely:

Vic Willis: .732
Carl Mays: .671
Burleigh Grimes: .662
Wilbur Cooper: .661

Certainly, if your metric of choice is "Top 8 Consecutive Years", then you may not find anyone who tops Ferrell, 1929-1936.

But if you look at a broader range of numbers, Carl Mays -- for example -- had more innings, a higher ERA+, and a not-so-shabby "Ferrellesque" 82 OPS+. And his top 8 (non-consecutive) seasons, (1916-1922, 1924, 1926) measures up fine.

They are, at least, very very close, and I can't see a high ranking for Ferrell without a comparable one for Mays.
   64. Michael Bass Posted: February 10, 2005 at 03:17 PM (#1136625)
They are, at least, very very close, and I can't see a high ranking for Ferrell without a comparable one for Mays.

Unless you use WARP (1 or 3), which has Ferell ahead in peak (use any measure you want) by a ton, and career by a smaller, but still substantial, number.
   65. PhillyBooster Posted: February 10, 2005 at 03:28 PM (#1136639)
But my point, though, is that at this point we should be using everything. Very few players (the easy ones) beat everyone else on every measure.

For everyone else, my guy beats your guy on Top 15 non-consecutive win shares, but your guy beats my guy on Top 8 consecutive WARP, so we're back to debating "my stat's better than your stat," when they are all flawed, to some extent, and all better to some other extent.

I guess I just don't see the point of just pointing to the one metric that puts a guy on top of the pack.
   66. Chris Cobb Posted: February 10, 2005 at 03:29 PM (#1136645)

This is the best discussion of pitchers we've had in a while.

Thanks, everybody!
   67. Michael Bass Posted: February 10, 2005 at 03:55 PM (#1136692)
I guess I just don't see the point of just pointing to the one metric that puts a guy on top of the pack.

Because I simply trust WARP more than Win Shares. I think it's a better metric overall, and especially for pitching and fielding. I'm not cherry picking WARP for Ferrell, I use WARP for virtually every player since 1890.

So that means I am debating "my stat is better than your stat". I realize that is unlikely to be a winning argument for WARP non-believers. But arguing Win Shares is going to be equally unpersuasive to me. I think it's simply an inferior metric.


As for Rixey vs. Ferrell, in the end, that's not about WARP or Win Shares. It's about peak vs. career. It's an argument that is at once pointless and eternal. :) Some people are going to like the Rixey/Beckley model. Some are going to like the Ferrell/Jennings model. Some will be a mixture, or not really fit into one of those categories at all. I'm in the 2nd mold: those are the top 2 players on my 1945 ballot.
   68. The Honorable Ardo Posted: February 10, 2005 at 04:59 PM (#1136802)

Thanks y'all for answering my question from post #9. FYI, I consider Foster, Griffith, Rixey, Mendez, Ferrell (in that order) HoMeriters.
   69. jimd Posted: February 10, 2005 at 07:47 PM (#1137153)
Pennants Added:
Vic Willis: .732
Carl Mays: .671
Burleigh Grimes: .662
Wilbur Cooper: .661

The raw data for Pennants Added is Win Shares. There is always going to be a debate here between advocates of Win Shares and WARP, their division between Pitching and Fielding, and WARP's application of "league quality". So PA will share the biases built into Win Shares.

From a WARP perspective: Willis, Grimes, and Cooper are overrated because they played in the weaker league; Willis, Mays, and Cooper are overrated because they played in front of good to great defenses.

WARP 1st-team MLB All-Star team appearances
(one of the top 4 pitchers in majors that season):
5 Ferrell
2 Willis
1 Mays
0 Cooper
   70. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 10, 2005 at 08:24 PM (#1137209)
As far as Joss v. Ferrell, I dont 'think that their peaks are comparative. The reason the Ferrel comes out ahead in WS and WARP is that during Joss's time pitchers went deeper into games. You can't simply do a study comparing the ERA+ and IP of two pitchers 30 years apart. One way I combat this is to lok at BP's translated IP and DERA. If you do this then Ferrell comes out ahead.

On reason that I don't have Carl Mays high while Ferrell will be my #2 pitcher, behind Foster, is Mays DERA. Mays DERA is 4.38, which is nothign special in the group taht we are talking about while Ferrell's in 4.11, which is in the upper quadrant (in fact I think only 5-6 pitchers have DERA's under 4.00). The two have roughly equal numbers of Translated IP and Ferrell has the larger peak by far in WARP. I believe their WS peak is similar, but I dont' ahve the numbers in front of me.

Add it all up and Ferrell will be anywhere from 5-7 on my ballot (competing with Rixey and Griffith) and Mays is around #40 (behind Foster, Ferrell, Rixey, Griffth, Redding, Waddell, Mendez, Shocker, Joss, and quite possibly Cicotte and Grimes).
   71. Jim Sp Posted: February 10, 2005 at 09:11 PM (#1137320)
I have a question to those of you who seem to dock Jennings because he played the last part of his career as a 1B.


He was only a 1B during the yeras in which he wasn't a very good player. Are you double docking him for these years? Or is the 1B thing just a comment?

See also my comment on Bresnahan, the 1B thing is just a comment. I'm not double docking him.
   72. andrew siegel Posted: February 10, 2005 at 10:22 PM (#1137492)
Also, if you look at the WARP stats, once you do all the appropriate context translations, Ferrell has nine good years in a row, not 8, earning a number in the high fives for 1937.
   73. sunnyday2 Posted: February 11, 2005 at 12:20 AM (#1137718)
Amplifying my post #52 above and responding to some comments.

I put the pitching consideration set in a certain order but it is also interesting to list them in order of the length of the prime. If you do that, there are four clusters:

1. The 10+ year primes
2. The 8 year primes
3. The 6-7 year primes
4. The 5 year primes

First the 10+ years: Cicotte, Rixey and Grimes. To Al Peterson's point, these are the guys who mixed in a down year or two into their prime. I think that is a coincidence. But oddly they also had at least some value outside of their already long primes and that is not a coincidence. IOW the durability to have a long prime and the durability to maintain value outside the prime are the same attribute.

But anyway, I don't see how Cicotte can't be ranked first in this group. Of course I'm a peak-prime voter though certainly I factor in career as well. But the rarity of a 10+ year peak puts all 3 in my consideration set for a long time to come, I guess.

Second, the 8 year primes. There is nothing magic about 8, it is just that with this specific set, the 8 year guys are all oddities. Joss and Ferrell having little value outside the prime, Ferrell also with unusual offensive value, Mullane of course needing an AA discount, and Quinn just about the flattest long career ever. I can see people ranking these in different ways. As to Joss and Ferrell and W3, it is pretty much a tautology that W3 prefers the more recent pitcher. W1 is similar in that they pitched similar numbers of innings, Joss with an ERA+ of +20 points yet Ferrell is more valuable. Why? Well, offense, yes. But obviously there is a leveraging going on here beneath the surface that I don't agree with. An IP in 1900 is fundamentally equal to an IP in 1930. So... Joss, Ferrell, Mullane, Quinn.

(Maybe someone can explain to me how Joss has +20 ERA+ points over the same IP and gets killed. Offense is not even half of that difference, because then Joss is still +10 ERA+ points in the same number of IP. I mean on W1.)

Third are the 6-7 year primes, or the Massive Middle of Merely Mortal Men. Waddell has by far the highest ERA+, Bond and Welch the most IP, and Mays some offensive value. Griffith shows well in the aggregate. But of course here you also have a wide range of values outside the prime (career values) and the primes count for a lesser percentage of the total ranking. I still like a big big ERA+ and Waddell delivers there. Waddell, Bond, Griffith, Welch, Mays.

Finally the 5 year primes. Here I'm looking for a 140-150+ ERA+, a Dizzy Dean or a Sandy Koufax, and none of these guys fills the bill. McCormick has the most IP within the prime--twice as many as Luque who himself special case--so he rises to the top of this group for me. Willis has by far the most value outside the prime and can reasonbly rise to the top for career voters. For supporters of Sam Leever, hey, what about Hahn, Overall and Cuppy?

For me, it's McCormick, Willis, Luque and out.

Once again, each of these lists is fairly easy. Integrating them is hard. But at least the top dog in each of them is Cicotte, Joss, Waddell and McCormick. Not that they're nec. the top 4.
   74. Michael Bass Posted: February 11, 2005 at 02:47 AM (#1138020)
(Maybe someone can explain to me how Joss has +20 ERA+ points over the same IP and gets killed. Offense is not even half of that difference, because then Joss is still +10 ERA+ points in the same number of IP. I mean on W1.)

Because Joss's IP were nothing special for his era, and Ferrell's were.

Joss had all of 2 top 10 apperances: a 2nd and a 5th

Ferrell had 3 1sts, a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

As said above, you simply cannot compare IP in the 1890s to the 1930s without some serious adjusting for context.
   75. Brent Posted: February 11, 2005 at 03:22 AM (#1138085)

I know you may find it hard to believe, but the difference in ERA+ between Joss and Ferrell - at least according to BP, is all due to defensive support.

Over their 8-year primes, Joss (1902-09) has an ERA+ of 143, Ferrell (1929-36) of 128. (Joss's ERA+ is a little lower than the number you listed earlier, 148, but I've double checked my math and I'm pretty sure it agrees with what's on bbref.)

Adjusting for defensive support over those same years, however, Ferrell has a lower DERA than Joss: Ferrell's is 3.54, Joss's is 3.65. Or, putting in units relative to the league (similar to ERA+), Ferrell's DERA+ is 127, while Joss's is 123. According to BP's analysis, Joss had pretty great defensive support during his prime. Now some of that fielding support came from Joss himself, who was apparently a pretty good fielder. But it doesn't make up for the vast difference in hitting ability between Ferrell and Joss.

Totaling everything (pitching, fielding, and hitting), WARP1 shows Ferrell ahead of Joss by 80.1 to 54.4. The difference is not quite so large with WS, but Ferrell is still well ahead, 209 to 184. If you throw in the difference between pitching in the middle of the live ball era versus the depths of the dead ball era, it's not even close -- Ferrell is far ahead.
   76. Kelly in SD Posted: February 11, 2005 at 06:10 AM (#1138510)
Re: Consecutive Seasons:

I have long used a mix of consecutive seasons and any best seasons. To me, peak is not the single best season a player has, but the best established level at which someone plays. Also, I choose to reward those players who can play consistently well without suffering an injury. Those two things helped me create my definition of peak. But, I realize that pitching became more difficult in the 20s and especially the 30s with the rise of the "lively ball" and doubleheaders. So for pitchers, my peak is half 3 straight seasons and best 3 any seasons.
Oh, and peak is 3 straight seasons playing. War years are not counted for this.
I also include a prime figure: best 7 seasons in a career. I wanted 7 years because I did not want to reward a player with too short a career. This rewards a player for their best seasons regardless of injury - benefits Mickey Vernon w/o question.
   77. Kelly in SD Posted: February 11, 2005 at 06:19 AM (#1138534)
RE: peaks of pitchers.

I have been working on top10 lists for pitchers and players based on Win Shares. I am up to 1945. I thought I would put up some totals for some of the pitchers people have been posting about recently. I'll just post Ferrell and Joss for right now.

Ferrell: rank among pitchers in AL
1929: 3rd
1930: 2nd
1931: 3rd
1932: 3rd
1933: 8th
1935: 1st
1936: 2nd

1905: 7th
1906: 6th
1907: 4th
1908: 2nd
1909: 7th

Definitely a big difference in rank among their leagues. Difference in context.
   78. Kelly in SD Posted: February 11, 2005 at 09:50 AM (#1138911)
Now that I have a little more time...

Here are the win shares numbers for a few pitchers along with how they compared to other league pitchers and the top total for the year.
Top Ten Years Only.

1929: 25, 3rd, Grove 28, Marberry 26
1930: 32, 2nd, Grove 37
1931: 28, 3rd, Grove 42, Earnshaw 29
1932: 26, 3rd t, Grove 33, Crowder 30
1933: 18, 8th, Harder 24
1935: 35, 1st, Best player in American League
1936: 27, 2nd, Grove 29

1905: 25, 7th, Waddell 35
1906: 23, 6th, Orth 36
1907: 28, 4th, Walsh 37
1908: 35, 2nd, Walsh 47
1909: 20, 7th, F Smith 31

1895: 34, 4th t, Hawley 44, Young 37, Hoffer 35, Nichols 34
1896: 30, 6th t, Young 43, Cuppy 38, Nichols 33, Killen 32, Hoffer 31
1898: 32, 4th, Nichols 44, Young 34, J Tannehill 34
1901: 27, 3rd, Young 41, Miller 30

1902: 33, 2nd, Young 38
1903: 27, 3rd t, Young 38, Plank 28
1904: 32, 3rd, Chesbro 53, Young 35
1905: 35, 1st
1908: 21, 7th t

1898: 25, 10th t, Nichols 44
1899: 39, 1st
1901: 33, 1st
1902: 29, 2nd, J Taylor 32
1903: 19, 9th t, McGinnity 40
1906: 29, 2nd, T F Brown 35
1907: 20, 9th, Overall 32
1908: 20, 8th t, Mathewson 39
1909: 24, 5th t, Brown 36, Mathewson 34, Camnitz 30, Overall 30

1916: 24, 3rd t, Alexander 44, Pfeffer 32
1917: 20, 6th, Alexander 40
1921: 22, 4th t, Grimes 29, W Cooper 27, Luque 23, Alexander 22
1922: 23, 2nd, W Cooper 27
1923: 26, 3rd, Luque 39, Alexander 27
1924: 21, 3rd tied with 3, Vance 36, W Cooper 24, Barnes, Grimes, Kremer 21
1925: 26, 3rd, Donohue 28, Luque 27
1928: 22, 7th, Vance 32

W Cooper:
1916: 20, 6th t, Alexander 44
1917: 22, 4th, Alexander 40, Vaughn 24, Schupp 23
1918: 23, 4th, Vaughn 28, Grimes 25, Tyler 24
1919: 25, 5th, Vaughn 30, Adams 27, Alexander, Ruether 26
1920: 31, 3rd, Alexander 36, Grimes 32
1921: 27, 2nd, Grimes 29
1922: 27, 1st
1923: 21, 5th t, Luque 39, Alexander 27, Rixey 26, Morrison 23
1924: 24, 2nd, Vance 36

1918: 25, 2nd, Vaughn 28
1920: 32, 2nd, Alexander 36
1921: 29, 1st
1923: 21, 5th t, Luque 39, Alexander 27, Rixey 26, Morrison 23
1924: 21, 3rd tied with 3, Vance 36, W Cooper 24, Barnes, Rixey, Kremer 21
1927: 19, 10th, Alexander, Haines 28
1928: 30, 2nd t, Vance 32, Benton 30
1929: 23, 2nd t, Lucas 26, Clark, Malone 23

To me, Ferrell has the highest peak/best prime with 6 top 3 finishes behind an inner-circle HoMer. Willis is close with 2 firsts and 2 seconds. Grimes also has 6 top 3 finishes, but his totals are lower than the other 2 by a bit.
Cooper gets the consistency prize: 9 straight years in the top 10, 8 straight top 5.

Waddell's BIG peak is on display, but so is his lack of supporting seasons.

Griffith has some big numbers, but they were in a context where the best pitchers had much bigger numbers. And only 4 years among the league's best and never within fewer than 10 win shares of the top.

Joss just lacks the innings that the pitchers of his era had. He has the rate stats, but not the time on the field. I have his career broken down by start and just about every season there gaps where he doesn't make a start.

Then there is Cooper, Grimes, and Rixey. They (and Alexander) are definitely the best 3 of the National League from 1915-1929. Rixey has 8 top 10s in 13 years with service in WWI, but his high is 26 and best finish is 2nd once. Grimes has 8 top 10s in 12 years with a high of 32, with 1 first and 4 seconds. Cooper has 9 top 10s in 9 years with 1 first and 2 seconds. Each of the 3 was an "All-Star" 6 times where "All-Star" is finishing in the top 4.

Looking at those totals, how do voters with Rixey in your top 5, not also have Cooper and Grimes somewhere on your ballot?
   79. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 11, 2005 at 02:45 PM (#1139061)
As said above, you simply cannot compare IP in the 1890s to the 1930s without some serious adjusting for context.

That can not be said enough. Durability-wise (and I'm not even talking about Joss' untimely death), Ferrell destroyed Addie.
   80. PhillyBooster Posted: February 11, 2005 at 03:25 PM (#1139097)
Looking at those totals, how do voters with Rixey in your top 5, not also have Cooper and Grimes somewhere on your ballot?

I agree that if you look at extended primes, the three look comparable. As one with Rixey in the Top 5, and no votes for the others, I answer as follows:

Three reasons:

First, "with service in WWI" is not just a throwaway line for me. I add one full peak season there, and give him the equivalent of about 20 win shares/ 200 IP credit for 1918.

Second, prime is only one way to cut the apple. There is also "career", where Rixey has 315 WS (335 with War Credit), to Cooper and Grimes with 286 and 266. That is a huge difference. (For WARP, lovers, Rixey leads 98.6 (about 105 with war credit) to 77.3 (Cooper) and 92 (Grimes)).

Third, I weigh total innings pitched (in context) highly. But I discount useless innings. Rixey has Cooper lapped by 1000 innings (1200 with war credit), so no competition there. Grimes looks to be at least comparable (300 fewer innings, 500 with war credit), but the gap widens if you exclude "crappy innings" (that's a technical term for innings pitched in a season where your ERA+ is 90 or worse, based upon Goose Gossage's ill-fated numbers as a starter in 1976).

Rixey has about 250 "crappy innings" -- 1914 and 1919*. The latter gets a "Guilty with an explanation" asterisk because it was the year immediately following the missed war year. Grimes had about 1,000 crappy innings -- 1917, 1919, 1922, 1925, 1932, 1933, and 1934. He had a 19 year career, but he completely sucked for 7 of them! You miss that if your only basis of comparison is their best ten years. Thus, Rixey has a "war-adjusted, crappy inning adjusted" 1,250 inning advantage over Grimes, and 1,200 inning advantage over Cooper.
   81. Chris Cobb Posted: February 11, 2005 at 03:31 PM (#1139104)
I have Rixey, Grimes, and Cooper ranked similarly to Phillybooster, for the similar reasons.
   82. andrew siegel Posted: February 11, 2005 at 04:29 PM (#1139205)
I've got the eigible pitchers:

(1) Rixey
(2) Ferrell
(3) Grimes
(4) Willis
(4) Griffith
(5) Cooper
(6) Welch

All the rest no longer under serious contention.

So, I essentially agree with Kelly. Still, I have Rixey 8th and Cooper down around 30, so I need to explain why?

Here are some partial reasons:
(1) Even using WS, Rixey's career number is signficiantly better, even without war credit.
(2) Rixey's numbers hold up better on WARP than Cooper's, suggesting that Cooper's defenses were likely better.
(3) Rixey spread his success out over a longer period of time, while Cooper's was slightly more concentrated in the late 1910's when the NL was particularly weak.
(4) There isn't a heckuva a lot of difference between 10th and 30th on this tightly packed ballot.
   83. jimd Posted: February 11, 2005 at 07:06 PM (#1139528)
But obviously there is a leveraging going on here beneath the surface that I don't agree with.

Joss benefited from great defensive support behind him; that has already been discussed here (thank you Brent).

However, there is another factor that has not been discussed for Joss, though it has been for Waddell. Joss also gave up an unusual number of unearned runs: Joss 33.2 % of runs surrendered were unearned, Waddell 33.1%, major league average 29.9% (1901-10).
   84. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 11, 2005 at 08:47 PM (#1139792)
That Joss received great defensive support yet gave up a really substantial number of unearned runs feels counterintuitive. Did he have trouble pitching in a pinch? Is it that the errors his defense did make behind him were incredibly untimely? Random variation? Or something else?
   85. Michael Bass Posted: February 11, 2005 at 08:53 PM (#1139809)
More likely (and I'm on pure speculation here), he had a team of Jose Valentins behind him. Guys with great range (which would boost ones ERA+), but error prone (which would boost ones UER).
   86. PhillyBooster Posted: February 11, 2005 at 09:00 PM (#1139831)
Let's look at Joss's "Best" year by ERA+: in 1908 he had an ERA+ of 205, with 42 Earned Runs, but 77 Total Runs (55% earned, 45% unearned runs).

The non-Joss Indians had 277 earned runs, out of 380 total runs (73% earned, 27% unearned).

The options are either (a) the defense was much worse when Joss pitched, or (b) Joss got rattled after an error, and gave lots of runs (the 17 home runs that Joss gives up after a two out error are all "unearned"). The second seems more likely.
   87. sunnyday2 Posted: February 11, 2005 at 09:28 PM (#1139904)
See, this is the problem! I mean, the question is: Joss and Ferrell have about the same prime IP, Joss' ERA+ is 20 points better, yet Ferrell kills him on WARP1 (let alone WARP3).

And let's stipulate that offense is half of the difference. That is what I have read and I understand that. But that's only half of the difference. The rest of the difference remains *plus all of Ferrell's advantage.*

So why? I've gotten two answers:

1. Ferrell's IP are leveraged because it was harder to pitch all those innings in the '30s than in the '00s.

2. Joss had a better defense behind him.

I have a problem with both answers, the first one on theoretical grounds, the second on more practical grounds.

1. Leveraging Ferrell's innings, to me, is timeline bias. It springs from an a priori assumption that the quality of play was improving. It springs from a rating that is not value-based. The fact is that in a 154 game season, Joss getting 3 batters out has exactly the same value as Ferrell getting 3 batters out. In fact, I could argue the reverse, that Joss is more valuable because the smaller talent pool makes it harder to replace his innings.

If this is about value, not ability, then leveraging Ferrell's innings makes no sense, at least not to me.

2. As to the defense, I just don't understand how you know he had a better defense. His UER suggest otherwise. And how good the Indians defense was when other people were pitching is irrelevant. Joss could simply have suffered from randomly bad defense. The point is what kind of defensive support *he* got. Michael's hypothesis is reasonble but a hypothesis. How do we know that Joss got great defensive support? And Matt's (Philly's) e.g. is also speculation and based on a small sample.

And Joss and Waddell are at 33% vs. league average 30%. Is that a statistically significant difference? I can easily trot out the Mickey Welch argument on that one. Maybe they each gave up 10 UER in one inning once, and that accounts for most of the difference. I don't know that, but I don't know that 3% (or 10%) is significant either.

Does anyone have the real answer? i.e How did WARP do what it did? Leverage? Defensive support? And why is whatever it did valid?

And I don't mean that I want to know that his DERA is not as good. Convince me that DERA is valid. That's the challenge.

Up above I was told that Ferrell is better because the numbers say so. To that I say BR549. Numbers that we (I) don't understand don't say nuthin' (to me). And that in a nutshell is my problem with WARP. Like I say, BR549, let's rank these guys based on their last known telephone number.

Days like this, I think maybe yest is the one who's got it all figured out.
   88. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: February 11, 2005 at 09:42 PM (#1139936)
However, there is another factor that has not been discussed for Joss, though it has been for Waddell. Joss also gave up an unusual number of unearned runs: Joss 33.2 % of runs surrendered were unearned, Waddell 33.1%, major league average 29.9% (1901-10).

Well now that's interesting! Could we have a new King of the Unearned Run? The real test is how he does in comparison to his team's % of unearned runs. Looking at it year-by-year, compaing Joss's % of UER with that of the rest of the Indians staff:

1902..+5 ER more earned runs than he should have allowed
1903..+2 ER
1904..-1 ER
1905..-2 ER
1906..-1 ER
1907..+3 ER
1908..-14 ER
1909..-3 ER
1910..+2 ER
Total: -9 ER.

So he allowed 9 fewer ER than he should've. That changed his career ERA from 1.89 to 1.92, and his ERA+ from 142 to about 140.

Rube Waddell's still the king.
   89. Daryn Posted: February 11, 2005 at 09:48 PM (#1139943)
I don't use WARP at all because I don't know how they come up with their numbers. Now it appears that EVERYONE admits they don't know exactly how WARP is calculated. How can anyone justifying using it?
   90. jimd Posted: February 11, 2005 at 09:50 PM (#1139948)
That Joss received great defensive support yet gave up a really substantial number of unearned runs feels counterintuitive.

You know, I didn't word that properly. I really don't know whether or not Joss recieved great fielding support (in the sense that some pitchers get great run support as individuals as opposed to pitching for a good hitting team).

What is true is that Joss played in front of a good defensive team. They were usually 1st or 2nd in AL FPCT; his 1906 and 1908 teams maxed out their Fielding Win Shares. Win Shares gives Gold Gloves to Lajoie(2B), Bradley(3B), Turner(SS), Stovall (1B), and Birmingham (LF) at various times. Lajoie, Bradley, Turner, and Flick (RF) get WARP gold gloves at various times.

Maybe they only kicked the ball around when he was pitching.
   91. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 11, 2005 at 10:06 PM (#1139990)
1. Leveraging Ferrell's innings, to me, is timeline bias. It springs from an a priori assumption that the quality of play was improving. It springs from a rating that is not value-based. The fact is that in a 154 game season, Joss getting 3 batters out has exactly the same value as Ferrell getting 3 batters out.

If this is about value, not ability, then leveraging Ferrell's innings makes no sense, at least not to me.

As the archduke (yes, I'm being presumptuous :-) of the anti-timeline forces, you've lost me, Marc. I don't understand why pointing out that pitching 300 IP during the thirties was a more impressive and valuable thing to do than racking up 300 IP during Joss' era. Speaking for myself, it's no different than pointing out that it was vastly easier to hit .300 during the thirties than it was during the sixties. Am I creating a timeline bias against the Depression-era hitters, too?

In fact, I could argue the reverse, that Joss is more valuable because the smaller talent pool makes it harder to replace his innings.

Wouldn't replacement level for innings pitched during the Deadball Era be higher than during the Lively Ball Era?
   92. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 11, 2005 at 10:16 PM (#1140001)
DERA is DIPS ERA. This means that they took the things that a pitcher can control, K's, BB's, and HR's and made everything else league average (like defense, single rates, BABIP, etc.). It isnt' perfect but it takes a lot of the bias out of ERA and ERA+.

And sunnyday, Am I to believe that you think that the average 00's pitcher was better than the average 30's pitcher because he pitched more innings? Wouldnt' this be an anti timeline bias?

We are not adjusting to competition, but instead adjusting to the league environment that the two players played in. Are all dead ball era pitchers better than all 30's pitchers because they had lower ERA's? No, runs were just more scarce in the dead ball era. Same thing applies to Innings Pitched.

And if you ask why, my answer would probably be that when Home Runs (and other extra base hits)can be hit with frequency the pitcher must bear down on a greater percentage of his pitches. During the dead ball era, when some players purposely hit the ball into the ground, you didn't have to worry about a ball traveling 400 feet on you very often. You could take some pitches off and save your arm. That is one theory.
   93. jimd Posted: February 11, 2005 at 10:58 PM (#1140067)
Convince me that DERA is valid. That's the challenge.

Convince me that ERA+ is valid.

To me, it can't be because it assumes that the range difference between having Derek Jeter and Ozzie Smith as your shortstop makes no real difference when evaluating a pitcher. Not adjusting for fielding is like not adjusting for park.

I wish I knew the details of how exactly DERA is calculated. But I don't. I use WARP anyway because it's numbers agree more with my own appraisals of the players that I am familiar with.
   94. jonesy Posted: February 11, 2005 at 11:06 PM (#1140077)
Not that I expect this to means anything, but here is what Stuart Bell wrote in the Cleveland Press right after Ferrell tossed his 1931 no-hitter (and just before he hurt his arm for the first time).

"Billy Evans, general manager of the Indians, who beat the Browns behind Ferrell's superb performance, 9 to 0, declared Ferrell to be one of the greatest pitchers he had ever seen in action....

"Not only that but Evans declared Ferrell to be an even greater pitcher than Addie Joss, the immortal of all Cleveland immortals who pitched one of the five perfect games in the history of the game at Cleveland, October 2, 1908...

"Evans ought to know because he umpired the game that Joss pitched in which Walsh allowed the Naps only hit...

"Billy Evans said last night that Addie Joss was one of the greatest pitchers he had ever seen and that even the Joss fast ball, which was the best pitch of the famous right-hander, was no better than the fast one Ferrell tossed yesterday.

"And furthermore, Evans said Ferrell's curve far supassed the Joss curve and that all Joss had superior to Ferrell was that accomplishment of 'hiding' the ball from the batter until it was too late to swing effecively...

"This from the general manager of the Indians whose big job each spring is to convince Wesley Cheek Ferrell that the Cleveland club has offered him everything in the way of salary it can afford. Even the prospect of another salary duel with Ferrell next spring could not restrain Evans from giving Ferrell the praise his experience and judgment prompted."
   95. Jim Sp Posted: February 11, 2005 at 11:23 PM (#1140106)
It does seem to me that the BP timeline on pitchers is excessive.

Looking at equivalent records:

Al Spalding 71-122 (???)
Mickey Welch 144-141
Bob Caruthers 94-77 (comments, karl?)
John Clarkson 179-115
Christy Mathewson 280-170
Addie Joss 123-85

I ran a list of Fibonnaci Win Points on the BP equivalent records, only 5 pitchers born before 1900 are in the top 65. On the other hand 15 pitchers born after 1960 are already in the top 65 (!).

Some modern notables:

Al Leiter 195-105
Chuck Finley 265-155
David Wells 251-146

So Chuck Finley was a 15-15 season away from matching Christy the BP alternate universe, I guess. BP shows Ferrell as much greater than Joss, but maybe that should be taken with a grain of salt or three.

Not that timelining is a bad thing...
   96. karlmagnus Posted: February 12, 2005 at 01:07 AM (#1140267)
If Caruthers went 94-77, the 1886 Browns went 40-46. Tough to understand how they won the league and the World Series!

You guys KNOW my views on both timelining and fancy sabermetric constructs! Unfortunately, enough of us seem to believe in both that we may never elect another pre-1920 player again.
   97. OCF Posted: February 12, 2005 at 01:24 AM (#1140286)
Could we have a new King of the Unearned Run?

Well, that's interesting. I've been using RA+ all along rather than ERA+, so I've been holding everyone's unearned runs against them. I don't actually compute a career RA+, but I do compute an equivalent W-L record. One could take the career equivalent W-L record and back-calculate it to a number that looks like RA+.

Here's the "mere mortals" part of my list (leaving off guys like Johnson, Alexander, et al.) sorted by this "sort of looks like career RA+" number. Of course, there is IP to consider as well.

Dean 129
Wood 129
Joss 128
**Ferrell 126 ** (with his own offense adjusted into his environment)
Coveleski 125
Gomez 125
Vance 125
Reulbach 125
Waddell 124
Shocker 124
Bridges 124
Leever 124 (down, karl - don't get too excited. See Reulbach for comparison)
Adams 123
*Brown 121* (one of the few cases in which I tried to adjust for defense; without that, he's at 132.)
McGinnity 121
Ruth 121
Phillippe 120
... I'll start skipping some names ...
Warnecke 120
Cicotte 118
Marberry 118
Griffith 116
[Ferrell 116 without the offense adjustment]
Luque 115
Mays 114 - but needs offense adjustment
Lyons 114
Faber 113
*Willis 113* (with a defense adjustment; would be 118 without it)
Rixie 111
Grimes 104

But it's a rate stat.
   98. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: February 12, 2005 at 01:32 AM (#1140297)
Mays 114 - but needs offense adjustment

The thing is, a defensive adjustment for Mays will mostly even out his hitting adjustment. Ferrell gains 10 points with his bat, and Mays was almost as good a hitter. Brown loses 11 points with his defense, and Mays had similar defensive support. So he wouldn't move around much when all the adjustments are adjusted for.

Also, Reulbach and Leever would also both get nailed in defensive adjustment.
   99. jimd Posted: February 12, 2005 at 02:00 AM (#1140331)
Can someone name me a HOM pitcher who played his whole career for mediocre-to-bad teams? Aside from Pud Galvin (and he gets a lot of flack). I mean, we've got a number of HOM hitters who did. Is it likely that this would be the case? Or is the W-L/ERA+ lens overly distorting the picture in favor of the pitchers who benefit from their quality teammates.

BP sees Addie Joss and Nap Rucker as nearly identical twins, separated at birth. One spent his career on a good team with a good defense; the other keeping a very bad Brooklyn team out of the basement. Is this conceivable in your view? Or did Rucker need to have also posted a 140 ERA+ and won 60% of his games to be Joss' equal?
   100. sunnyday2 Posted: February 12, 2005 at 02:45 AM (#1140401)
I seem to have flushed out two kinds of views. One, from people who don't use/trust/like WARP because they don't understand it. And two, those who use WARP even though they don't understand it.

A couple things:

I quite expressly did not say that Addie Joss' 2500 IP were more valuable than Ferrell's. I said they were equal in value, in that they each represent 7500 batters out. One inning out of a 154 game season in 1900 got you just as far toward your goal as it did in 1930.

Second, jimd, I believe in adjusting for everything, and I believe in stamping out world hunger. But do we really know how? I mean, how do we know that Joss had better defensive support and therefore how to adjust for it? I didn't ask, should we adjust for defensive support? I asked, how do we adjust for defensive support? How does WARP adjust for defensive support?

Thanks to jschmeagol for trying to explain DERA but I just can never get the hang of it. It turns out that DERA assumes a league average defense? Then how does Joss' DERA show that he had better defensive support?

And to answer some specific questions: No, I don't think every deadball pitcher is better than every lively ball pitcher because they have lower ERAs! Do you believe that every lively ball pitcher is better because of his environment?

Yes, I believe in adjusting for fielding support! Can you explain your method for doing so?

No, I don't think W-L pct. is the uber stat! What's your uber-stat? BP equivalent W-L?
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