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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Sunday, December 10, 2006

1993 Ballot Discussion

1993 (January 22)—elect 3
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

444 123.2 1967 Reggie Jackson-RF
374 135.7 1965 Phil Niekro-P
366 133.4 1966 Steve Carlton-P*
280 97.0 1973 Ron Cey-3B
279 84.0 1970 Steve Garvey-1B
257 68.7 1973 Garry Matthews-LF
240 74.8 1973 Davey Lopes-2B
242 68.5 1974 Bill Madlock-3B
222 76.2 1973 Darrell Porter-C (2002)
241 65.6 1973 Cecil Cooper-1B
230 61.8 1970 Hal McRae-DH
205 64.1 1975 Doug DeCinces-3B
181 61.3 1975 Roy Smalley-SS
179 57.4 1973 Dan Driessen-1B
186 50.0 1974 Andre Thornton-1B/DH
152 65.1 1974 Rick Burleson-SS
160 45.3 1972 Jorge Orta-2B/DH
157 41.3 1973 Johnny Grubb-LF/CF
139 48.8 1977 Ruppert Jones-CF
138 47.1 1972 Lee Lacy-RF/LF
114 48.8 1975 Gary Lavelle-RP
121 42.6 1977 Scott McGregor-P*
117 42.5 1980 Tony Bernazard-2B*
107 44.0 1973 Bill Campbell-RP

Players Passing Away in 1992
Age Elected

83 1958 Billy Herman-2B

Age Eligible

84 1948 Babe Phelps-C
84——Red Barber-Broadcaster
79 1951 Harlond Clift-3B
75 1964 Sal Maglie-P
73 1961 Ed Lopat-P
71 1957 Chuck Connors-1B/Actor
53 1982 Deron Johnson-1B
44 1993 Aurelio Lopez-RP

Thanks, Dan!


John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 10, 2006 at 09:50 PM | 219 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. DavidFoss Posted: January 16, 2007 at 11:16 AM (#2281058)
   202. TomH Posted: January 16, 2007 at 04:11 PM (#2281170)
I'm having real trouble slotting 1994's Graig Nettles; like many superlative defensive players, it's difficult when on the edges of the bell curve to know how much credit to give. WAR Luvves his D. Win Shares, seemingly not as much, altho I don't have the specific breakdown. His fifth best overall season, by WS, is 22. That, of course, is NOT the mark of a HoMer. OTOH, somehow James has him as the 13th best 3Bman, which does not add up using the numbers; must be some subjective bonus.
A bunch of guys are much better hitters than Graig. Darrell Evans, for example. Is Nettles another version of Pie Traynor and Buddy Bell? Or more?
   203. TomH Posted: January 16, 2007 at 04:13 PM (#2281173)
*WARP luvves his D. make WARP, not WAR.
   204. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 16, 2007 at 10:44 PM (#2281443)
Well, James does use a huge timeline. Nettles may be the 20th best 3B with about 7 pre-WWII guys above him.
   205. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 16, 2007 at 11:05 PM (#2281452)
Win Shares, seemingly not as much, altho I don't have the specific breakdown.

His WS letter grade is A-. He had 90.6 defensive win shares, which is second behind Robinson among third basemen (his 4.40 WS/1000 is better than Robinson though).
   206. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: January 18, 2007 at 11:41 AM (#2282417)
In James' system your 3 best seasons have a very disproportionate weight, followed by your best 5 year run (which usually includes 2 or 3 of those best seasons, which is why they have so much weight).

Everything else is basically an elaborate tie-breaker.
   207. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: January 18, 2007 at 11:48 AM (#2282419)
Bowa had a .355 OWP, league average was .368 (according to the Sabermetric Encyclopedia). Career OPS+ 71. Career EQA .233.

He was also 32 run below average as a fielder for his career.

That's a pretty bad career. Maybe not as bad as I've always thought, but it's pretty bad.

There's no way he should have got 9100 career PA.
   208. DanG Posted: January 18, 2007 at 03:38 PM (#2282508)
Howie Menckel Posted:

Whew, this thread opened up on DECEMBER 10.

Hows about a 1994 Ballot Discussion thread?
   209. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 18, 2007 at 03:44 PM (#2282510)
There's no way he should have got 9100 career PA.

Unless all of the analytical systems are undervaluing his defense, of course. But at this point, it's hard to pin Bowa as an exceptional defender (as he was recognized at his peak), at any rate.
   210. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 18, 2007 at 03:55 PM (#2282511)
Hows about a 1994 Ballot Discussion thread?

Do you guys want the new discussion thread to be posted on the final day of the election (as we used to) or post the next one (in this case, that would be '95) on that day instead?

If a majority want the latter, I'll post '94, too. As the former, I mention that option since we have another week to review each candidate's credentials now.
   211. OCF Posted: January 18, 2007 at 04:12 PM (#2282517)
Now that we're going to the 3-week cycle, let's save the '95 stuff until much later. Just the '94 discussion thread, and '94 individual player threads - with the rate at which the individual player threads are posted rationed so as not to knock the '93 ballot and discussion threads off of hot topics.
   212. djrelays Posted: January 18, 2007 at 05:26 PM (#2282582)
I'll chime in on Bowa, as the Phillies of the '70s were my hometown team.

I think Bowa's defense is downplayed by SABR types because he's short on assists. Blame the exceptional defense of Mike Schmidt for part of that. Schmidt was good on the backhand-stop-and-throw, great (the greatest?) at going into the shortstop hole. That allowed Bowa to shade toward the middle more. And Bowa's greatest weakness was probably the throw form the hole, the necessity for which was greatly eliminated by Schmidt.

I think the Phillies of the era were a perfect example of a team defense covering ground in a manner to accentuate the positives by taking chances away from the negatives. Another example was the outfield play. Gary Maddox could run down almost anything in center field, and when Bake McBride came in to play right field in mid-'77, it meant the outfield could cheat towards left and relieve Luzinski of a fair amount of territory. And as defense related to offense, having enough bats in the lineup allowed them to play a weaker hitting shortstop than other times might have.

While I'm thinking of those teams, I have to stick up for Pete Rose, which rankles in several ways. Before Rose's appearance, the Phillies were not good at small-ball. Which was fine if you can afford to consistently win 3 out of 5 games, but doesn't help in a short series where you need a win now. Rose changed that. And while Rose's offensive numbers were not good for a first baseman, what happens if you play a little mind game? Put Rose's bat with Schmidt's glove at 3B. Put Schmidt's bat with Rose's glove at 1B. Now you have a more traditional lineup, and I doubt people are complaining as much. Granted, you can't make that equation for each individual, Rose was a 1B at the time and not a 3B, but you're trying to put together a team, so it works.

In a similar context, the offensive effect that the Phillies needed was a sparkplug lead-off hitter, which they'd been struggling to find and which Rose gave them. McBride was brought in to be that lead-off hitter. He'd certainly showed what you want out of that spot while he was with the Cardinals. But in '78, his first full season with the Phillies (and the year before they get Rose), McBride's AVG is in the low .270s, and he didn't draw enough walks to make up for it. So they still needed the lead-off, which Rose became.

But Rose's contribution went well beyond his own numbers. One measure of Rose's effect is to see what happened with Schmidt's play. In his pre-Rose years as a regular (1973-78, ages 23-28), Schmidt has the following finishes in the MVP voting: x, 6, 16, 3, 10, x. Once Rose comes along, Schmidt becomes a great player and not just a great talent, and Schmidt himself credits Rose with the change. Schmidt's MVP finishes in his remaining seasons as a regular (1979-1988, ages 29-38): 13, 1, 1, 6, 3, 7, x, 1, 14, x. I think the claim could be stretched to say that Rose's positive influence on the Phillies extended even after he'd left.
   213. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 18, 2007 at 05:49 PM (#2282608)
Fun question about Schmidt peaking after Rose comes along.

Mike Schmidt's EQAs:



Looks like a late peaker, but his pre-Rose stats do not look like an underachiever, but rather like the HOFer he was. His post-peak numbers (after the 331-362-330 string) are basically the same as his pre-peak numbers but are more consistent. Even so the matter of his late peak coniciding with Rose's arrival is muddy because Nate Silver's research suggests that 3Bs peak late anyway. "Third base is the one position with a definitively late peak--the only position, for example, where a player is on average more valuable at age 29 than he is at 25." On the other hand, we have been presented oral evidence that Schmidt gives some credit to Rose for taking it up a notch.

I'll let you all decide what you think.
   214. OCF Posted: January 18, 2007 at 07:35 PM (#2282685)
"Third base is the one position with a definitively late peak ..."

I wonder what happens to that if we include the likes of Perez, May, Thome, Foxx, Garvey, et al. in the mix? Third base is an in-between position that's well-wired into the defensive spectrum. Those who start at 3B frequently move further to the left, becoming mostly 1B, while there are others who start at SS and move over to 3B. Anyone who starts at 3B and stays at 3B (at least for long enough for us to think of him primarily as third basemen) is already showing some age-defying characteristics in maintaining defensive quality. With a more normal defensive decline, if he was only good enough to start at 3B, we'd be thinking of him as 1B, and if he was good enough to finish at 3B, he'd have started at SS. [Hmm.... the Weaver/Altobelli Orioles defied some conventional wisdom by making Ripken a SS. What would they have done with Schmidt?]

As for djrelays post: if Bowa had weaknesses, then that's on Bowa - you can't take it away by citing how good Schmidt was. There were still balls that went between them. And Maddox did not make Luzinski a good outfielder. And as for skill-swapping between Schmidt and Rose, remember this: half a player is much, much easier to find than a whole player. Schmidt was a whole player, great both offensively and defensively. That's a capital asset; that's something you can't just go out and pick up. And Rose the 1B was ... well, what was he? The real question is whether they could have done better with that position.

There's a trap in the whole line of thought that uses player A's strengths to excuse player B's weaknesses. I remember an essay in an early Abstracts in which James took on "Tim Raines is so great that it doesn't matter that Doug Flynn is crappy" by comparing a whole range of teams by the combination of LF and 2B. He came to the conclusion that Flynn's crappiness essentially negated Raines. And of course, from a team construction point of view - who's easier to improve on, Raines or Flynn? You're not likely to improve on Raines - you thank your lucky stars that you have him. But Flynn ...
   215. Mike Webber Posted: January 18, 2007 at 08:17 PM (#2282705)
Now that we're going to the 3-week cycle, let's save the '95 stuff until much later. Just the '94 discussion thread, and '94 individual player threads - with the rate at which the individual player threads are posted rationed so as not to knock the '93 ballot and discussion threads off of hot topics.

I agree with OCF - I never have thought much of the overlapping ballot threads.
   216. TomH Posted: January 18, 2007 at 09:09 PM (#2282735)
For Bowa's first decade, 1970-79, age 24-33, Baseball Prospectus has him as an average shortstop. (+3 FRAA). And he hit like an average shortstop. Which makes him..... not eligible for Lake Wobegone.
   217. sunnyday2 Posted: January 18, 2007 at 09:39 PM (#2282749)
I've said that before--if we've got a whole 2 weeks for each thread anyway, let's not overlap. I get confused which list I'm voting on.
   218. Howie Menckel Posted: January 19, 2007 at 01:37 PM (#2282972)
Yeah, I say we leave '95 alone for now.
'94 has plenty of intriguing candidates, more than most years. Let's give 'em their due.
   219. Sean Gilman Posted: January 22, 2007 at 01:22 AM (#2284056)
We're on 3 weeks now?? I must have totally missed that in all the HOF chaos. . . .
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