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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, January 16, 2012

2013 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion

2013 (November 26, 2012)—elect 3*
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos

705 186.2 1986 Barry Bonds-LF
437 146.4 1984 Roger Clemens-P
428 73.8 1989 Craig Biggio-2B
325 68.7 1993 Mike Piazza-C
322 61.0 1989 Sammy Sosa-RF
252 75.4 1990 Curt Schilling-P
288 51.7 1992 Kenny Lofton-CF
297 41.3 1989 Steve Finley-CF
280 45.0 1983 Julio Franco-SS/2B
210 55.2 1988 David Wells-P
237 41.8 1995 Shawn Green-RF
209 36.7 1992 Reggie Sanders-RF
230 28.9 1994 Ryan Klesko-LF/1B
185 33.7 1994 Jose Valentin-SS
169 33.1 1995 Jeff Cirillo-3B
144 38.6 1992 Roberto Hernandez-RP
193 23.7 1993 Jeff Conine-1B/LF
159 24.4 1992 Royce Clayton-SS
151 23.7 1994 Rondell White-LF/CF
121 32.4 1992 Bob Wickman-RP
118 31.9 1993 Woody Williams-P
125 27.7 1990 Jose Mesa-RP
122 27.4 1995 Mike Lieberthal-C
120 27.4 1996 Jason Schmidt-P*
109 30.8 1997 Kelvim Escobar-P*
111 21.9 1993 Aaron Sele-P
122 12.5 1997 Todd Walker-2B

* Might be an elect-4 election this year.

Thanks to Dan for the list.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:08 PM | 231 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. OCF Posted: October 17, 2012 at 01:51 AM (#4273715)
Chris: Indeed, welcome back. Since you contributed so much to our evaluation of players with value outside of MLB (specifically, Negro League players), do you have any insights into how to think about Orlando Hernandez?
   102. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 06:03 AM (#4275067)
I will try to update my position player WAR for this ballot. When does voting start?
   103. Chris Cobb Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4276092)
Regarding Orlando Hernandez: I have seen some summary data for his Cuban career on his wiki page at BBref, but I haven't seen any detailed, season-by-season Cuban data. If that is available, along with data for Livan Hernandez, Jose Contreras, Aroldis Chapman, and any other Cuban nationals who have reached the majors as pitcher recently, I would think that we could make at the very least some educated guesses about his merits or even develop full MLEs. Looking at conversion factors for Cuban position players could be helpful, too, in establishing the general level of competition, but in my experience with NeL conversions, pitchers and hitters will not necessarily have the same conversion factors.

In addition to the level of competition, it would be good to know something about workloads in Cuban ball.

In sum, if the data is available (and I would think that it is), we can make an informed estimate about El Duque.

Is there a thread for him?
   104. theorioleway Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:58 PM (#4276327)
John "Grandma" Murphy said in some thread to email him if anyone wanted a thread created, but I don't know his email. I think only Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Schilling, and Biggio got threads created of the newbies.
   105. DanG Posted: October 19, 2012 at 01:40 AM (#4276364)
I think only Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Schilling, and Biggio got threads created of the newbies.
Also Sosa and Lofton.

There is some discussion of El Duque in this thread, especially posts #16-31. Later, Chris Fluit [#72] mentions his attempt at MLE's for Orlando Hernandez.

I believe John Murphy can be contacted through the Yahoo site.
   106. OCF Posted: October 19, 2012 at 01:53 AM (#4276369)
I just sent an email to John about this. When I looked up the last messages I exchanged with John, from early this year, he was asking how to get in touch with DanG.
   107. DanG Posted: October 19, 2012 at 08:22 AM (#4276406)
asking how to get in touch with DanG
Just email me through BBTF. John is probably trying to use the email from my former job.
   108. DL from MN Posted: November 09, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4299139)
Did we decide that this is only an elect 3 year?
   109. bjhanke Posted: November 11, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4300138)
Sigh. I turn out to be terrible at navigating the Hall of Merit archives, looking for threads about individual players. I have done some research on Gavy Cravath and Dick Redding that is long enough that I don't want to just post it in this year's discussion thread, but on their individual threads, with notes on the discussion thread as to where to find the player threads. Are there individual threads for Redding and Cravath? If so, how do I get to them? In general, if I want to find a thread for a player, where should I look? Is there a list of links by name anywhere? Man, and I used to be a computer programmer and technical writer.

Thanks to anyone who can help, - Brock Hanke
   110. Esteban Rivera Posted: November 11, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4300228)
Hi Brock. On the main Hall of Merit page, the third item scolling down is the The Baseball Hall of Merit’s Important Links post. Clicking on the Read more link will open up the post with various sub links to different topics. Cravath is under the Selected 20th Century Candidates link. Redding is under the Links to discussions of Negro League Candidates link. The list is by last name alphabetical order (although they are listed by first name in the link title).

In any case, here are the direct links to their discussion threads:

Gavvy Cravath

Dick Redding

Hope this helps.
   111. bjhanke Posted: November 11, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4300351)
Esteban - Yes, that helped. THANK YOU! I would never have guessed to look under "read more", but that's where they are. BTW, just in case anyone is interested, I had no problem bookmarking Redding's thread, but Cravath and Bobby Bonds somehow kept failing to bookmark. This isn't a big deal, as I can always find their threads now, but I thought I should post it up just in case someone who actually works on the site here can use the info. - Brock
   112. DL from MN Posted: November 13, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4301370)
FYI - TR Sullivan is on the Hall of Fame Veteran's Committee and is interested in what we think. Here's the list of candidates:

Executives: Sam Breadon, Jacob Ruppert, Alfred Reach

Players: Bill Dahlen, Wes Ferrell, Marty Marion, Tony Mullane, Bucky Walters, Deacon White

Umpires: Hank O'Day
   113. Qufini Posted: November 13, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4301559)
Copied from the 2012 MMP thread because I think it's more appropriate over here:

Sam Breadon: I lean "No." The Cardinals were a perennial power during his leadership but I think a lot of that credit rightly goes to Branch Rickey. I don't believe that credit is a zero-sum proposition (the owner, general manager, manager and players from one franchise might all be deserving) but I think the sharp contrast in quality between Rickey's new team (Dodgers) and old team (Cardinals) after he moved on is quite telling.

Jacob Ruppert: Yes. He built the Yankees. He brought in the best players and created a winning environment that lasted for decades. In the early years, Ruppert often served as his own team president/GM since the separate position hadn't entirely evolved yet. I'm always amazed that he's not in already.

Alfred Reach: I lean "Yes" but it's a close call. I think he has a similar case to other pioneers like Spalding and Ward who contributed as players and as entrepreneurs. However, Reach's playing days came mostly before organized league play so it's hard to know how good he really was. He was arguably the first professional player which shows that he was considered to be the best in the game at least by some.

Bill Dahlen: Yes. One of the greatest remaining omissions now that Santo and Blyleven are in. He's a top ten shortstop all-time, a defensive wizard and a deserving inductee.

Wes Ferrell: I lean "No" but I didn't join the Hall of Merit until after he was inducted. A lot of his case is wrapped up in his value as a hitter as well as a pitcher but I'd be concerned that people would look at his pitching stats alone and use them to argue for similar borderline players. I'd much rather see Bob Caruthers on the ballot as a peak pitching candidate and a clear pitcher/hitter hybrid.

Marty Marion: Absolutely not. The worst candidate on this ballot. A great glove man and that's about it. He didn't play long enough to have the career impact of a Maranville. He didn't hit well at all, plus his hitting numbers are artificially inflated because two of his top three seasons came against weakened wartime competition. He's not even Hall of Very Good if you ask me.

Tony Mullane: No. There were a lot of great pitchers in the 19th century and I don't think Mullane is the best of them. I'd take Jim McCormick ahead of him (though I suspect Mullane's lead in wins 284-265 is partly responsible for his inclusion on this ballot).

Bucky Walters: I lean "No." My gut tells me that the pennant winning Reds should be represented by more than just Lombardi and Walters has an odd combination of peak and career numbers but he's been a borderline Hall of Merit candidate.

Deacon White: I lean "Yes." He's another one who was inducted before I joined the HoM but his 19th century numbers at difficult defensive positions are incredible. People tend to look at his low career totals and dismiss White, without reckoning for the shorter seasons of the time. Based on his context and his era, White is one of the best players in the game.

Hank O'Day: I lean "No." I feel like I don't know enough about old-time umpires to make an informed decision but the Hall has already inducted a lot of umpires from O'Day's time period. They couldn't have all been Hall of Fame quality umps, couldn't they?

Short answer: If I had a vote, I'd go for Reach, Ruppert, Dahlen and White.
   114. Chris Cobb Posted: November 17, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4304887)
I am very appreciative that a member of the Hall of Fame Veterans' Committee is interested in our judgments!

I won't comment on the executives and umpires because I have no expertise there. On the players, here's some brief commentary, highlighting the conclusions of the Hall of Merit's elections on these players, as well as some remarks on my own evaluations.

First, by and large the set of Bill Dahlen, Wes Ferrell, Marty Marion, Tony Mullane, Bucky Walters, Deacon White is, as a set, an excellent starting point.

In Dahlen and White, it includes the two best major-league players pre-1950 who are not already in the Hall of Fame. Electing this pair would substantially strengthen the Hall of Fame's representation of the pre-1920 greats. Dahlen is one of the top 10 shortstops of all time, and White has an argument to be a top 10 catcher, and he was probably one of the top 5 players of the 1870s.

Despite the lukewarm remarks about Ferrell above, he is in fact (and in the HoM's collective judgment) the best major-league pitcher from before 1950 not in the Hall of Fame (unless you count "slash" star Parisian Bob Caruthers purely as a pitcher). Now, he's a long step behind White and Dahlen, and there are a number of as yet unelected position players, especially from the 19th century and from the toop infielders of the early twentieth century, who would be better picks, but, if you are just looking at pitchers, Ferrell is deservedly next in line. He was comparable in quality to other deserving but lower-tier Hall of Fame pitchers like Rube Waddell, Clark Griffith, and Don Drysdale, and he was better than elected Hall of Fame contemporaries and near-contemporaries Dizzy Dean, Lefty Gomez, Waite Hoyt, Herb Pennock, Burleigh Grimes, Eppa Rixey, and so on.

Walters has not yet achieved election to the Hall of Merit, although he has been near the top of the longterm backlog for a long time. He is as good as a lot of the Hall of Fame pitchers I've just listed, but a number of them really aren't deserving Hall of Famers in the first place. And there are better pitchers than Walters from the 1900-1950 era who are not in the Hall. Urban Shocker is probably the best pre-1950 pitcher after Wes Ferrell not yet honored by the Hall of Fame (though the Hall of Merit has missed on him, too). Immediate contemporary Tommy Bridges would be a slightly better choice. Jack Quinn is possibly more deserving, especially if one gives credit for his PCL years. Nap Rucker, with his great peak, was highly comparable to both Walters and Dizzy Dean. Dean and Gomez from this tier of pitchers were elected because of talent + personality. All these pitchers were more or less their equals in on-the-field accomplishments (well, Gomez was really not as good,but, hey, he was lucky), but without the personality, I don't see that they are deserving of the Hall of Fame, because without the personality bonus, neither Dean nor Gomez would have been as famous as they were.

Marty Marion has never, to my knowledge, received a vote for the Hall of Merit. His selection would be a mistake on the order of Chick Hafey in terms of his talent. He has more notoriety than Chick Hafey because he was a contributor to the great Cardinals team of the early 1940s, but if you want somebody beyond Musial and Slaughter, Harry Brecheen would be a better choice. Later shortstops like Mark Belanger, Bert Campaneris, and Dave Concepcion were all excellent fielding, weak to decent hitting shortstops who were core contributors to baseball dynasties. All three had much better careers than Marty Marion. None is in the Hall of Merit or the Hall of Fame. Any way you look at it, Marion would be a mistake.

If anyone wants to look at how the Hall of Merit actually formally recommended Dahlen and White as the two top pre-1950 major-league players not in the Hall of Fame and Ferrell as the best remaining pitcher from that period can read the results of the election we held to determine that ranking (and the ballot and ballot discussion threads that preceded it). Here's the URL:
   115. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 20, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4307195)
Hey guys, I'm getting ready to get everything cranking for this year . . . we should start the election soon. I hope we still have a critical mass here.

Sorry I've been AWOL yet again, but it was a busy year. My first full year as a dad, and we built a house (well, paid someone to do that for us) and moved in October.

I'm finally getting settled in . . . is there any housekeeping that needs to be done? I'm going to update the important links thread with the most recent results.

Anything else?

I never was able to finish working out the math on how many players to elect this go round. Is the consensus to do that, or to stick with 3? Heck, I'll have to go back and read up some to see where I was at the time. It's probably on a few hours of additional work at this point, going from memory.
   116. DL from MN Posted: November 20, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4307219)
I say stick with three. We can always add one some other year if you have time to show us your work.

You need to set the election dates. I'll run the 2012 MMP after the 2012 HOM election is over.
   117. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 20, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4307221)
I'm thinking December 3-10 for voting, does everyone think that will work?

FYI, I sent this email to the Yahoo! group:

Hey everyone, it is time to start ramping up for the 2013 Hall of Merit election!

Here is a link to the ballot discussion thread:

We have a great ballot that needs to be sorted out - probably the best group to top the ballot since 1934.

Please head on over. I'm thinking we should vote December 3-10, I realize it is later than we would have liked, but we will still be done plenty before the Hall of Fame votes, if our goal is to help nudge any of the BBWAA voters.

Please respond on the ballot discussion thread, as I do not want to flood anyone's inbox.

Thanks, and Happy (US) Thanksgiving.

   118. DL from MN Posted: November 20, 2012 at 09:49 PM (#4307224)
Works for me
   119. karlmagnus Posted: November 21, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4307381)
I will crank out a ballot for this thread over the coming long weekend. Meanwhile, on the HOF Veterans' Committee, I agree mostly with Chris Fluit. Even speaking as a Red Sox fan, the fact that Yawkey's in the HOF and not Ruppert is a travesty. Yawkey may have been better liked by other owners, but he won ZERO RINGGZ and may have lost at least one available ring by not signing Jackie Robinson in 1945 when he had the chance.

I agree White and Dahlen deserve to be in, but where's Bob Caruthers? BY FAR the best 2-way player ever, though Ruth in 1917-18 runs him close. A Veterans ballot without Parisian Bob is simply a travesty.

And now, onto the HOM 2013 thought process...
   120. Rusty Priske Posted: November 21, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4307463)
Jumping back a ways...

Yes, Piazza is one of the best hitting catchers ever (not THE best... that would be Josh Gibson), but inducting him on that basis is giving him too much credit for being a catcher. He was a BAD catcher. He was a good hitter. (A very good hitter.)

So I ignore his relative merits among catchers and only look at his relative merits among all players. He is still good enough to get in (easily), but not this year. Biggio is far more deserving.
   121. bachslunch Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4307613)
How bad a fielder was Piazza, anyway? I've seen opinions that negative thoughts on his defense are exaggerated, mainly centered around problems throwing out baserunners -- that he called a good game and was actually not bad at such things as blocking balls in the dirt and the like.

No idea if this is a meaningful stat for catchers or not, but for what it's worth, Piazza ranks 16th all time in range factor for catchers per game and 17th all time in range factor for catchers per 9 innings.
   122. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 21, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4307682)
Sean Forman presented on this at SABR a few years ago . . . basically said exactly what you did, the reports of Piazza's horrible defense are greatly exaggerated. He was pretty good (not just adequate) at most things other than throwing out runners as far as I remember. Someone else might have more detail . . .
   123. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 21, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4307771)
According to (and Sean Smith's catcher defense numbers are quite good), Piazza was actually pretty close to average for most of his peak--he was just 13 runs below average with the glove from 1993-2000. Starting in 2001 he became a real liability, and probably should have been moved off the position earlier, but he only made a big contribution with the bat in '01 and '02 (and was hurt in '03) before starting to decline there as well.

Doing a back-of-the-envelope calculation on his throwing, from 1992-2003, he threw out 388 of 1,575 runners who tried to steal. The league average in those years was 32%, so he threw out 116 fewer runners than an average catcher would have. Using 0.32 runs for eliminating a baserunner, 0.18 runs for creating an out, and 0.18 runs from preventing a runner from advancing, the difference between a SB and a CS is .68 runs, meaning his throwing cost his teams 116*.68 = 79 runs in that period, or 8 runs per 150 games. By my count, a -8 catcher still has more defensive value than a league-average 2B, 3B, or CF, though not as much as a good-fielding one or a league-average SS.
   124. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: November 21, 2012 at 08:33 PM (#4307823)
[121] Aren't most chances for catchers simply strikeouts? In which case high range factor for catchers is mostly a function of catching high K pitchers. Assists are a better way of counting meaningful plays made by the catcher.
   125. TDF, trained monkey Posted: November 21, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4307870)
Lurker, not a voter, so take my comments with a grain of salt...

Didn't someone look a Bench (who despite his reputation had a pedestrian CS%) and decide it was only the best base stealers who attempted againgst him? Isn't the opposite (that while Piazza has a near-average CS%, everyone and his crippled brother was attempting against him) possible?
   126. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 22, 2012 at 08:27 AM (#4307968)
I think you must be confusing Bench with someone else. He had an f'ing unbelievable CS%. During his defensive peak (through 1975) he threw out 265 of 539 runners, a 49% rate. The league average in those seasons was 36%, meaning he threw out 71.4 more runners than average. In 1972, when he posted a 166 OPS+ in 147 games, he also threw out 56% of basestealers!

Now, it's also true that his arm was so good that most runners were dissuaded from trying to steal: an average-throwing catcher like Ted Simmons typically faced around 120 attempts a year in the early 1970's, while Bench only saw 50-60. It does stand to reason that the quality of the runners who dared to test his arm was well above average. Nonetheless, he still gunned them down in enormous quantities.

That's why I can't understand for the life of me what was going on with Gary Carter in the early 1980's--he had a terrific CS%, and yet runners would just keep on testing his arm, like lambs to the slaughter. As a result, those are among the most valuable defensive seasons by a catcher ever.

I find it rather tricky to measure the value of "intimidating" baserunners. If the average SB attempt has a value of 0 (because game theory dictates that runners should try to steal at an equilibrium, break-even rate), then discouraging them from running also has a value of 0. I had the same issue valuing pre-war baserunning, and decided to give players significant credit for station-to-station baserunning--e..g, if a player had 0 SB and 0 CS, and a league-average runner with his number of BB+HBP+1B+2B would have had 8 SB and 11 CS, then I would give him (11/2)-(8*.18) = 4 baserunning runs above average that year.
   127. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:45 PM (#4309382)
I do not think equilibrium is zero for SB/CS. It has varied across time.

I think the better approach would be to value a SB and a CS based on the run environment, adjusting for park too.

Then take the league average of SB attempts per runner on first and see what the math says.

When base runners were stealing at 55-60%, I'd say the value of intimidating runners was negative. You want them to run and they don't. When they are stealing at 75-80%, the value in intimidating runners is pretty high.

IIRC, in normal run environments, stealing at 67-70% is about break even.
   128. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 25, 2012 at 09:47 PM (#4309384)
I would also think that game theory wise, the typical SB rate would tend to be above break even, since it is the offense that decides whether or not you play the game in the first place.

So they probably steal often enough for it to be a net positive, but not so often that other teams are forced to put a guy with a cannon arm back there, or that you lose the element of surprise. But that's just a guess.
   129. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: November 25, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4309405)
[128] Yeah, pretty much. The optimal strategy would be to steal at a rate at which the marginal stolen base attempt would have expected values of 0.
   130. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 26, 2012 at 07:06 PM (#4310079)
Prelim - post if unable to login during ballot period:

1. Barry bonds
2. Roger clemens
3. Mike piazza
4. Curt schilling
5. Craig biggio
6. Sammy sosa
7. Phil rizzuto
8. Bert campaneris
9. Don newcombe
10. Kenny lofton
11. Buddy bell
12. Hilton smith
13. Johnny pesky
14. Ned williamson
15. Urban shocker

20 who have strong arguments, but flaws in major ranking systems: any of these players would be a reasonable pick from 11 to 15 on my ballot

Solid across many metrics:
bob johnson
fred dunlap
gene tenace
ron cey
kevin appier
kiki cuyler

Dan rosenheck / favorable or excellent michael humphreys dra:
dave bancroft
Jim fregosi
Tommy leach

Dra candidates:
Bobby veach
thurman munson - also excellent br war

Extra credit:
gavvy cravath - mle
bernie williams - postseason
bill monroe - negro lg

Excellent sean smith/ br war, but poor joe d pa and fg war:
jim mccormick
tommy bond
vic willis

bobby bonds -good dra too
Luis tiant

Pa and fg war:
doc gooden - awesome fip, potential mle, 1 huge season
   131. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 27, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4310536)
Request to dan:

With the 2013 election being dominated by slam dunk candidates,
I thought we could examine some intriguing players for future elections.

Dan, if you can squeeze your analysis in for:
chase utley
andruw jones
carlos beltran
adrian beltre
todd helton
bobby abreu

I would be greatly appreciative.

Hope all is well with the electorate,

   132. bjhanke Posted: November 28, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4311424)
If the candidate list for the Veterans's Committee is this (and I have no reason to doubt DL):
Executives: Sam Breadon, Jacob Ruppert, Alfred Reach

Players: Bill Dahlen, Wes Ferrell, Marty Marion, Tony Mullane, Bucky Walters, Deacon White

Umpires: Hank O'Day

Then, I say O'Day (who was a pioneer of modern umpiring style and probably the most respected umpire in his day) is obvious.

Deacon White is obvious.

I have Bill Dahlen as a close call - a decent candidate, but not overpowering.

Mullane is the same, although I agree the pitcher that ought to be there is Bob Caruthers

Ferrell and Walters are REALLY on the borderline

Reach, yes, if for no other reason than that he kept Al Spalding from completely determining what baseball equipment, statistics and rules were going to look like.

Ruppert is a REAL reach. His most important contribution was to throw money at the Yankee franchise, which resulted in, possibly, a stronger national audience base, but also threw the
AL into a couple of decades where they really were Damn Yankees and the 7 dwarves.

Marion has no case. Neither does Breadon, whose cheapness is what drove Rickey to start looking for a way to get control of lots of players before they were worth big contracts, which led to the farm system. But Breadon did not come up with the farm system idea. That was Rickey's way of getting around Breadon's idea of salary structure.

- Brock Hanke
   133. Qufini Posted: November 28, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4311431)
To sum up: Ruppert shouldn't be in the Hall because he spent a lot of money and Breadon shouldn't be in the Hall because he refused to spend money.
   134. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 29, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4312541)
On the Buzz Arlett thread, James Newburg discussed his reliance on DRA as his main defensive metric.

The basis for my position player rankings is ~75% Dan R(25% Old Dan - 75% weight to salary, 25% to PA) and 50% Dan R modified for DRA defensive metrics, and 25 % WAR (12.5% Rally and 12.5% Baseball-reference).

Below is a list of players with the largest fluctations in my valuation system between:
Player value using Dan's defense and using DRA ratings:

Huge positive swing with use of DRA:
Cupid Chlds
Joe Gordon
Keith Hernandez
Richie Ashburn
Fred Clarke
Tommy Leach - straddles PHOM, though Rally/BR aren't at all fans
Art Fletcher - moves to consideration set
Ed Delehanty
Frankie Frisch
Ivan Rodriguez
Bobby Veach - moves to consideration set
Jimmy Sheckard
Mike Griffin
Bill Dahlen
Harry Hooper
Luke Appling
Joe Tinker
Dave Bancroft - moves to PHOM
Andruw Jones - potential PHOM
Roberto Clemente
Sam Rice
Roy White - moves to consideration set
Buddy Bell - everyone should review his case - solid to excellent by the metrics available
Rickey Henderson
Todd Helton - potential PHOM
Joe Cronin
Bobby Grich
George Sisler - cements PHOM status
Bill Terry - straddles PHOM line
Bobby Wallace
Tony Phillips
Jose Cruz - moves to consideration set

Huge negative swing with DRA:
Chipper Jones
Derek Jeter
Duke Snider
Willie Stargell
Wade Boggs
Dave Winfield
Craig Biggio
Roy Campanella
Bill Freehan
Stan Hack - straddles PHOM
Vada Pinson
Ozzie Smith
Harmon Killebrew - straddles PHOM
Scott Rolen
Harry Heilmann
Sam Crawford
Joe Kelley
Roger Bresnahan
Amos Otis
Earl Averill - straddles consideration set
Chuck Klein
Mickey Cochrane
Pete Rose
Bill Dickey
Jason Giambi
Nellie Fox - makes HOM selection look even worse
Sal Bando
Gary Sheffield
Joe Medwick - moves to thick of consideration set
Edd Roush - makes HOM selection look even worse
Kirby Puckett

The reliance on DRA to compute Dan R WAR has resulted in the following large variances when compared against baseball-reference WAR:

Dan R/DRA huge positive ranking difference:
Barry Larkin
Gabby Hartnett
Alan Trammell
Gary Sheffield
Joe Cronin
Jimmy Sheckard
Tommy Leach
Arky Vaughan
David Concepcion
Yogi Berra
Lou Boudreau
Pie Traynor
Paul Waner
Heinie Groh
Fred Clarke
Hughie Jennings
Jim Edmonds
Elmer Flick
Bert Campaneris
Tim Raines
Tim Salmon
Darrell Evans
Eric Davis
Luke Appling
Mike Piazza
Robin Yount
Rabbit Maranville
Brian Giles
Dick Bartell
Bill Dahlen
Bill Dickey
Mark McGwire
Max Carey

Baseball Reference WAR ranking significantly higher:
Sal Bando
Brooks Robinson
Kenny Lofton
Carl Yastrzemski
Andre Dawson
Pete Rose
Edgar Martinez
Duke Snider
Roberto Clemente
Larry Walker
Ron Santo
Vada Pinson
Ken Griffey Jr.
Paul Molitor
Wade Boggs
Mike Tiernan
Andruw Jones
Ken Boyer
Kirby Puckett
Willie Davis
Craig Biggio
Harry Heilmann
Earl Averill
Buddy Bell
Jake Beckley
George Davis
Bobby Abreu
Billy Hamilton
Tony Perez
Nellie Fox
Cesar Cedeno
   135. bjhanke Posted: November 30, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4313506)
Chris Fluit does see a contradiction in my evaluations above or Ruppert and Breadon. He has a point. This is how I see it. Ruppert is not a candidate because his ONLY game was throwing money around. As an owner, that's all he has. He didn't develop a great farm system, or hire a brilliant succession of managers or anything like that. He just bought star players, and the occasional obvious star manager (McCarthy) from teams that needed money. If they failed, he just bought more. Connie Mack, who had no excess money, had to develop a player acquisition system that could fit his budget, and then he had to sell off his best players every time the game's revenue went into the tank, or player salaries (Federal League) went through the roof. And he managed two great pennant runs with that handicap. THAT is a Hall of Fame owner, even if he was lousy at it when he got old.

Sam Breadon should not be under consideration at all, because all the teams of his that won were the product of another person. If Sam had had to operate without Branch, his lack of spending would simply have kept the Cardinals down in the second division, where they had been before Rickey came along. So, if you're trying to evaluate these owners as candidates for the Hall, neither one did anything great as an owner except throw around money in one case, and hire Branch Rickey in the other. If I had to elect one, it would be Sam, because at least he had to use judgment to decide who his GM should be, and he knew that the value of Rickey, in the long term, was going to be worth much more than the value of Rogers Hornsby, when the whole of STL wanted to lynch him for that decision.

TDF (#125) - I am probably the person you are thinking of who made the comments about Johnny Bench. My comment was not that Bench had a low CS%; it was that he had a low VOLUME OF ATTEMPTS. The way to look at stolen bases is as a profit/loss system. You gain something positive by getting a SB and lose something worth about twice as much when you get a CS. The equation (simplified by avoiding things like SBE and pickoffs) is SB - ((PCS) / (BPCS) * CS) = Profit (in bases). "PCS" is the catcher's (in this case, Bench) Personal Caught Stealing Percentage. "BPCS" is the CS% that produces a zero profit - the break-even point for stolen base attempts (historically, about 35% caught stealing, although the issue is not precise enough to really prevent you from just using 1/3). Bench's PCS is quite high, certainly above 35% caught, but his raw SB and CS numbers are small, so he doesn't make as much profit as someone who has a lower PCS but a greater volume of SB and CS (which add together to stolen base attempts).

Don Malcolm came visiting a few weeks ago, and we had a look at who was actually trying to steal on Bench, going through game logs. The list was mostly people like Lou Brock, Maury Wills and Tony Taylor, who were the A list at the time. What that information allows us to do is to adjust the PCS for Bench, since PCS is assumes that you're including everyone who attempts to steal bases in the league, at their normal rate of attempts, and Bench's numbers are skewed, since no one attempted to steal on Johnny at their actual normal rate of attempts. I don't care what Bench's actual CS% was, but I do know that it would be much higher if he had gotten to throw out some of the mediocre base stealers who would try to steal on lesser arms. Does that clear that issue up? I'll give it another try if it didn't work, because I think the principle is important in evaluating catchers.

- Brock
   136. bjhanke Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4313543)
Chris Fluit does see a contradiction in my evaluations above on Ruppert and Breadon. He has a point. This is how I see it. Ruppert is not a candidate because his ONLY game was throwing money around. As an owner, that's all he has. He didn't develop a great farm system, or hire a brilliant succession of managers or anything like that. He just bought star players, and the occasional obvious star manager (McCarthy) from teams that needed money. He actually tried to trade Lou Gehrig when Lou was young. If the new purchases failed, he just bought more. Connie Mack, who had no excess money, had to develop a player acquisition system that could fit his budget, and then he had to sell off his best players every time the game's revenue went into the tank (Great Depression), or player salaries (Federal League) went through the roof. And he managed two great pennant runs with that handicap. THAT is a Hall of Fame owner, even if he was lousy at it when he got old.

Sam Breadon should not be under consideration at all, because all the teams of his that won were the product of another person. If Sam had had to operate without Branch, his lack of spending would simply have kept the Cardinals down in the second division, where they had been before Rickey came along. So, if you're trying to evaluate these owners as candidates for the Hall, neither one did anything great as an owner except throw around money in one case, and hire Branch Rickey in the other. If I had to elect one, it would be Sam, because at least he had to use judgment to decide who his GM should be, and he knew that the value of Rickey, in the long term, was going to be worth much more than the value of Rogers Hornsby, when the whole of STL wanted to lynch him for that decision.

TDF (#125) - I am probably the person you are thinking of who made the comments about Johnny Bench. My comment was not that Bench had a low CS%; it was that he had a low VOLUME OF ATTEMPTS. The way to look at stolen bases is as a profit/loss system. You gain something positive by getting a SB and lose something worth about twice as much when you get a CS. The equation (simplified by avoiding things like SBE and pickoffs) is SB - (BPSB / (1-BPSB) * CS) = Profit (in bases). "BPSB" is the SB% that produces a zero profit - the league Break-even Point for Stolen Base attempts (historically, about 65% stolen, although the issue is not precise enough to really prevent you from just using 2/3). That will give you SB - ((2/3) / (1- (2/3))) * CS = Profit, or Loss if the result is a negative number. That simplifies to SB - ((2/3) / (1/3)) * CS = Profit, which further simplifies to SB - (2/1) * CS, or SB - 2 * CS = Profit (in bases). Note that, if you have absolutely nobody try to steal on you, this equation goes 0 - (2 * 0) = 0 Profit. That is, the base stealers of the league can ALWAYS reduce the value of the catcher's arm to zero by simply never trying. Bench's SB/CS ratio is quite low, certainly below 2/3% stolen, and therefore certainly below the BPSB, so he certainly makes a profit, but the runners of his league kept the SB and CS numbers very small, so he doesn't make as much profit as someone who has a lower SB/CS ratio but a greater volume of SB and CS.

Don Malcolm came visiting a few weeks ago, and we had a look at who was actually trying to steal on Bench, going through game logs. The list was mostly people like Lou Brock, Maury Wills and Tony Taylor, who were the A list at the time. What that information allows us to do is to adjust the break-even point (BPSB) for Bench, since BPSB is assumes that you're including everyone who attempts to steal bases in the league, at their normal rate of attempts, and Bench's numbers are skewed, since no one attempted to steal on Johnny at their actual normal rate of attempts. I don't care what Bench's actual CS% was, but I do know that it would be much higher if he had gotten to throw out some of the mediocre base stealers who would try to steal on lesser arms. Does that clear that issue up? I'll give it another try if it didn't work, because I think the principle is important in evaluating catchers.

- Brock
   137. bjhanke Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4313549)
I tried to get rid of comment #135, since it has the equations messed up, but I haven't been able to do that. If someone else can, please delete #135. It's #136 that I actually mean. - Brock
   138. Howie Menckel Posted: November 30, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4313564)

I'm still around, haven't missed a Hall of Merit vote yet so why start now?


   139. theorioleway Posted: December 01, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4314151)
I would like to agree with the others who have mentioned recently that Buddy Bell should get renewed consideration...he ended up being what I thought Olerud would be.
   140. Chris Cobb Posted: December 02, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4314713)
2013 Preliminary Ballot, Part 1

My 109th ballot, after a layoff of two years. If I had voted in the last 2 years, it would have mainly served to further solidify the consensus picks: 5 of the 6 players elected would have been in elect-me positions on my three ballots. In 2011 it would have been Bagwell, Brown, Walker; in 2012 Palmeiro, Reuschel, and (if I hadn’t rethought in the intervening year) Cravath instead of Cone. I like Cone well enough, so I wasn’t sorry to see him go in.

To prepare this ballot, I have had to overhaul my ranking system quite a bit. I am still satisfied with my approach to combining peak and career value, which basically adds career WAR to career value above average to 5x peak rate (with some variations), but the sources of WAR data have changed quite a bit, so I have traded out Win Shares and BP’s old WARP1 for the WAR values from Baseball Reference and Fangraphs, neither of which requires me to make elaborate adjustements before I average them with Dan R’s WAR values. I also average in BP’s new WAR values for post-1960 players, and for pre-1892 players for which Dan R’s WAR is not available, I average BBRef and Fangraphs. That’s what I do for position players, anyway. For pitchers, my approach is a bit different. I don’t think Fangraphs’ strict FIP approach is sound, and Dan R’s data doesn’t include pitchers, so I am relying on BBref alone for pitchers at this point. I balance peak and career for them using the following formula: career pitching WAA+ career pitching RAR/10 + pitching WAR for top 5 consecutive seasons + 2x career batting WAA + 2 WAR/1000 ip to adjust replacement level to about 80 ERA+, since BBref’s is a bit higher than that (for position players, averaging BBRef with Fangraphs has a similar effect. I leave out this replacement level adjustment for pre-1892 pitchers). Unlike position players, I do not adjust pitchers’ stats to 162-game seasons—the data strongly suggests that pitcher usage has always varied to get as many quality pitches out of the best pitchers’ arms as possible. I acknowledge that in shorter seasons with more off days, the top pitchers had greater Pennants Added value per season than a modern pitcher, but that is an artifact of the schedule, not of the pitchers’ own merit, so I don’t give it weight in my system. For pitchers, I also calculate a peak rate measure and peak durability measure, which I am looking at but not including in my formula, because I haven’t yet found a way to normalize for usage differences by period in a manner that is more effective than just adding up the WAR from a five-year peak. I am still working on integrating non-ML players into the new system. Fortunately for me, none of them are on the cusp of election this year, so I will have all of next year to get that part of my rankings into really good order.

When I make my ballot, I compare players in two ways: to all eligible players and to their contemporaries. Because I am not confident that any WAR system perfectly balances differences among eras in competition levels and impacts of changes in the game on aspects of player value, I rank players within decade cohorts and examine where they rank in relation to a hypothetical in-out line that would keep the percentage of HoM players constant, decade by decade, if each decade’s share were based on the number of major-league equivalent teams active in the majors, the NeL, and significant professional leagues outside the U.S. that shared players with U.S. baseball. This in-decade rank is something I refer to mainly for borderline players, those who are within 2-3 spots of the hypothetical in-out line for their decade. Here the players are very closely packed, differing by just a few career WAR and thus by just a few points in my system. (Basically the players in this group fall between 118 and 135 points.) Leaving out the obvious HoMers from this year’s entering class, here’s a decade-by-decade look at what is basically my consideration set for the backlog, with players’ distance above or below the all-time in-out line for their decade noted.

1990s – 3+ Kevin Appier (126.4), 2+ Chuck Finley (125.3), 1+ Robin Ventura (118.9), +0 Bernie Williams (117.4)
1980s – 9+ Buddy Bell (137.9)
1970s – 3+ Bobby Bonds (131.4), 2+/-? Bert Campaneris (133.7/111.4), 2+/1+ Luis Tiant (127.9), 1+/+0 Frank Tanana (120.4) +0/-1 Sal Bando (118.8)
1960s – None
1950s – None
1940s – 1+ Phil Rizzuto (128/120.9)
1930s – None
1920s – 1+ Urban Shocker (131.5)
1910s – 5+ Gavvy Cravath (129.3), 2+ Ben Taylor (??), 1+ Eddie Cicotte (120.2), +0 Wilbur Cooper (115.6)
1900s – 1+ Vic Willis (132)
1890s – 1+ Ted Breitenstein (131.5)
1880s – 2+ Fred Dunlap (134.6), 1+ Jim McCormick (134.5)
1870s – None
1860s – None

Overall, I find that the all-time in-out line is quite close to 120 points in my system, so I also include in my consideration set those players who fall below their decade’s in-out line but whose totals are above 120. These players are
1980s: -1 Orel Hershiser (123.9), -2 Chet Lemon (122.4)
1930s: -3 Bob Johnson (124.6)
1880s: -1 Ned Williamson (131.8), -5 Tony Mullane (124.5)

Those are the 25 players, plus newly eligibles, that I have put together to make my 2013 preliminary ballot. I have run the numbers on other players, so I am not ignoring them, but I am not going to the trouble of balancing period ranking versus all time numerical ranking in their cases.

The Ballot

(#) = 2010 ballot ranking (n/e = not eligible) (n/r = not ranked)
Total = score in my system

1. Barry Bonds (n/e). Total = 359.7. He has a good case for being the best player of all time, although I still have him behind Babe Ruth.
2. Roger Clemens (n/e). Total = 291.0. He has good case for being the best pitcher of all time, although I still have him behind Walter Johnson and Cy Young.
3. Mike Piazza (n/e). Total = 172.6. He has a good case for being the best catcher of all time, and certainly he is the best hitting catcher of all time. His numbers place him at the top in my system, but in actual rankings, I would put him behind Johnny Bench because Bench was the more complete player and catcher defensive statistics still can’t give full due to shutting down the running game as Bench did.
4. Curt Schilling (n/e). Total = 178.7. Better than I realized; all the systems like him substantially better than his contemporaries Brown and Cone, who have achieved election already. I put him behind Piazza because my system may somewhat overrate pitchers of the high-offense 1993-2008 era. Schilling is excellent, but he’s still only the fifth-best pitcher of that era, trailing Clemens, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, and Pedro Martinez. And it’s basically a coin-toss between Schilling and Mussina for fifth place, although if post-season performance is the tie-break Schilling wins that. Still, I am unwilling to rank the fifth-best pitcher of his era ahead of perhaps the #2 or #3 catcher of all time.
5. Craig Biggio (n/e). Total = 143.3. Obvious HoMer. Overrated in general because his relatively poor defense doesn’t show up in popular assessments, and his padded counting stats get a lot of attention. Nevertheless, he’s still a shoo-in, although it may take him a few years with the large number of all-time greats moving through the system in the next few years. My system sees him as almost exactly equal to Roberto Alomar.
6. Buddy Bell (15). Total = 137.9. Very similar to the already elected Nettles, except that he peaked earlier and higher and had less value later in his career. His peak gets flattened by 1981 being his career year (a factor also for Andre Dawson and Dave Stieb). All four WAR systems I can consult (Dan R., BBref, Fangraphs, BP) show him very similar in value to Biggio and Sosa, and even the very SS-friendly Dan R WAR puts Bell ahead of all of the SS candidates, so I think this placement is pretty solid. Bell is a player who deserves a much closer look when we get into the backlog. An above average hitter and a great fielder at a plus defensive position, with a strong peak and a solid career.
7. Sammy Sosa (n/e). Total = 134.6. Dan R, Fangraphs, and BP all show Sosa to be a very solid HoMer; BBref has him more marginal, hence the nudge below Bell. He had a great peak, and he was a very good player before his peak because he was an excellent defender in right field during the first half of his career.

After those seven, things get much more difficult, but here’s what I have now.

8. Bobby Bonds (29). Total = 131.4 (4 above decade in-out line). The shift in WAR systems contributing to my rankings heavily favors Bonds, and given his completeness as a ballplayer, it’s not hard to accept that change. If Bell is the best player from the 1980s backlog remaining, Bonds is the best from the 1970s. The HoM has not yet finished bringing in the bottom tier of HoM-worthy players after 1970, so the bottom half of my ballot consists mainly of those players, who rank more highly relative to their peers, given their number of peers, than do the top players remaining from earlier decades.
9. Gavvy Cravath (4). Total = 129.3 (4 above decade in-out line). The 1910s are the only “underrepresented” decade before 1970. Cravath is well above the quota in-out line, and his raw total also justifies a solid ballot placement, so he follows Bonds. He drops from his near-elect spot on my 2010 ballot, for obvious reasons.
10. Kenny Lofton (n/e). Total = 127.9 (5 above decade in-out line). Lofton is terribly underrrated—I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t even get the 5% he needs to stay on the BBWAA ballot—but he was an outstanding player. He’s more of career candidate than a peak one, as he had only a few great seasons, and durability issues kept out of the lineup quite a bit, but he was highly effective when he played for a long time, and most systems see him as an excellent defensive centerfielder.
11. Kevin Appier (n/r). Total = 126.4 (3 above decade in-out line). I saw him pitch only after his injury, when he was a battler without great stuff, but he was brilliant in the first half of the 1990s. Being in KC and losing part of his peak to the strike don’t help his reputation, but he’s a HoM pitcher at about the Dave Stieb level.
12. Luis Tiant (?). Total = 127.9 (2 above decade in-out line)
13. Bert Campaneris (?). Total = 133.7/111.4 (2 above decade in-out line)
14. Ben Taylor (?) Total = ? (2 above decade in-out line)
15. Chuck Finley (n/r). Total = 125.3 (2 above decade in-out line)

   141. Chris Cobb Posted: December 02, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4314714)
2013 Preliminary Ballot, Part 2

The next 17. I can see some justification for the election of any of these players. I think the top half of this group should be elected at some point. By my calculations, we would never get deep enough into the backlog to elect anyone from the second half of this group, if my rank ordering were followed, but the distinctions among these 15 players are so fine that I wouldn’t argue (much) if Williamson were preferred to Dunlap, or Williams to Ventura, or something like that.

16. Fred Dunlap (?). Total = 134.6. 2 above decade in-out line.
17. Urban Shocker (?). Total = 131.5. 1 above decade in-out line.
18. Phil Rizzuto (?). Total = 128.0/120.9. 1 above decade in-out line.
19. Robin Ventura (?). Total = 118.9. 1 above decade in-out line.
20. Ted Breitenstein (?). Total = 131.5. 1 above decade in-out line.
21. Vic Willis (?). Total = 132.0. 1 above decade in-out line.
22. Jim McCormic (?). Total = 134.5. 1 above decade in-out line.
23. Orel Hershiser (?). Total = 123.9. 1 below decade in-out line.
24. Chet Lemon (?). Total = 122.4. 2 below decade in-out line.
25. Sal Bando (?). Total = 118.8. On decade in-out line.
26. Bob Johnson (?). Total = 124.6. 3 below decade in-out line.
27. Frank Tanana (?). Total = 120.4 1 above decade in-out line.
28. Bernie Williams (?). Total = 117.4. On decade in-out line.
29. Ned Williamson (?). Total = 131.8. 1 below decade in-out line.
30. Tony Mullane (?). Total = 124.5. 5 below decade in-out line.
31. Wilbur Cooper (?). Total = 115.6. On decade in-out line.
32. Eddie Cicotte (?). Total = 120.2. 1 above decade in-out line.

Top 10 returning candidates not on my ballot
Phil Rizzuto – Near my ballot at #18, and I support his election. He was on my 2010 ballot, but adding seven new players to the ballot this year has pushed him off. I need also to think through the disparity between Dan R’s evaluation of shortstops and that of the other WAR systems. If I ranked him purely by his Dan R numbers he might make the bottom third of the ballot even this year.
Dick Redding – As the data from his career fills out, I don’t see him as being a dominant pitcher. Very good, for sure, and durable, but I don’t think the data suggest a HoM-quality career.
Hugh Duffy – The best of the remaining 1890s outfielders, but not really close. If we were to elect him, we’d be dipping down into the Kirby Puckett/Fred Lynn/Kiki Cuyler level of player. He had one great year and had a good peak, but he’s not anywhere near my ballot. A further note: he is the #2 unelected player from the 1890s after Ted Breitenstein, but (a) he’s 4 below the decade in-out line, (b) we’ve already elected 17.5 players from that decade, which is probably already a couple more than should have gone in, and (c) his score in my system is only 104.1, which provides no justification for electing a player who is below the decade’s in-out line. The best remaining 19th-century candidates are from the 1880s.
Vic Willis – Near my ballot at #21, and he has a good case for election. I never supported Willis in the past, because his run-support index indicated he under-performed his run support by quite a bit, which undermines the value of his raw numbers. My new system doesn’t factor that in (yet?), so he looks better to me than he used to. I’d rather we had elected him than Mordecai Brown among pitchers of the 19-aughts.
Sal Bando – Near my ballot at #25, and right now I see him as someone who ought eventually to be elected. The different systems see him very differently. Dan R and BPRO rate him poorly, BBRef and Fangraphs rate him very favorably. (Apparently he gets very different fielding evaluations from different systems?) So he’s right on the in-out line for the 1970s for me. If I could decide which view was more accurate, he’d either jump onto my ballot or disappear into the backlog. Still, among third base candidates he has no business ranking above Buddy Bell, and I can’t imagine why Bando is top 10 while Robin Ventura didn’t even get a single vote in 2012.
Don Newcombe – Like the other players whose cases can’t be evaluated just through the available comprehensive stats, I need to give him another look. The comprehensive stats from his major league seasons aren’t all that impressive (Sal Maglie is looking better there), but I’m going to have to review his case in detail for next year.
Tommy Leach – New WAR systems don’t support his case to be a top candidate anymore, though Fangraphs likes him pretty well.

   142. Daryn Posted: December 02, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4314746)
I value career over peak, but can be entranced by a great prime. I look at traditional statistics, ERA+, OPS+, Win Shares and Ink. I will fill in some detail on my real ballot. I am not a big fan of Schilling -- I also had Cone and Resuchel off ballot last year. He is in that group between 15 and 50.

1. Bonds.
2. Clemens
3. Piazza
4. Biggio

5. Burleigh Grimes – as a career voter, I have difficulty seeing the vast difference others see between Rixey and Faber (both now elected) and Grimes.

6. Dick Redding – probably the 6th best blackball pitcher of all-time (behind, at least, Williams and Paige and likely behind the Fosters and Brown), and that is good enough for me.

7. Sosa

8. Tommy John – not too far from Grimes, a step above Kaat. No credit for the surgery, but medical pioneers (even the guinea pigs) get my respect.

9. Lou Brock – I think the post season value and the tremendous speed puts him ahead of the similar long-career peakless Beckley, who, of course, is now in our Hall.

10. Tony Perez – 34th all-time in total bases, no black ink – the weight of his career totals push him above what otherwise looks like a definitional bubble candidate’s resume.

11. Addie Joss – I don’t like short careers much, but I cannot ignore the best WHIP of all-time, the second best all-time ERA, the 12th best ERA+ and the nice winning percentage.

12. Fred McGriff -- most would agree with me that he is definitely better than Rice, with his substantially longer peak (though many of those people would have both 50 spots lower). I really like the consistent shape of his career. It doesn't bother me that he plied his trade among many other great firstbasemen (see my comment on Tiant).

13. Jim Rice – I like the 77-79 peak. I like the runs created in his ten+ year prime and I like his overall totals. I do adjust raw totals significantly, but I think people are holding Fenway too much against him. From 1975 to 1986, Rice led the American League in total games played, at-bats, runs scored, hits, homers, RBIs, slugging percentage, total bases, extra-base hits, go-ahead RBIs, multi-hit games, and outfield assists.

14. Dave Parker – I think he is very similar to Rice, but I like Rice’s peak better. Their career counting stats impress me.

15. Albert Belle – I thought I would love him. What a peak! I had hoped the peaksters would put him higher, but as a career voter, this is as high as he can get for me. Pretty clearly behind Walker.

16. Luis Tiant – I don’t have a problem with 11+ pitchers from the 70s making our Hall. Talent isn’t evenly distributed and I have no problem with acknowledging value attached to favourable conditions.

17. Sam Rice -- 2987 hits speaks to me.

18. Orlando Cepeda – He is a very difficult choice for me because he isn’t significantly better than Howard, Colavito and Cash, but the slight difference means 20+ spaces on this ballot.

19. Pie Traynor -- I think he would have been a multiple time all-star.

20. Harold Baines – 32nd all time in total bases, the DHing keeps him well behind Perez. I see him as a better candidate than Staub.

21. Jim Kaat
22. Lance Parrish
23. Jack Morris
24. Bernie Williams
25. John Olerud
26. Aparicio -- those 1000 extra outs separate him from Fox, as does the poorer defence.
27. Rusty Staub
28. George Van Haltren – 40 wins, 2500 hits, never dominated. Pretty good adjusted win shares.
29. Jimmy Ryan – 2500 hits, good speed, lots of runs. Hurt by timelining.
30. Schilling
31. Dizzy Dean
32. Tommy Leach – 300+ WS has to mean something.

Cravath -- I like the idea of Cravath but don't trust the translations enough to put him in my top 40.

Scooter -- I don't see him as a top 50 candidate, but I am sure I am undervaluing middle infield defence from his era. I get mocked for having Aparicio so high, but I'll take his longevity (and, I believe, a better glove) over the 11 points of OPS+ he cedes to Rizzutto.

Duffy -- I used to have him right beside Van Haltren and Ryan on my ballot and then I dropped him a bit. Either way, he is just outside my top 30.

Willis and Bando are not close for me.

   143. Chris Cobb Posted: December 02, 2012 at 09:23 PM (#4314812)
Daryn, I don't see how your placement of Schilling makes sense by your own standard, especially when you have Joss at 11, Tiant at 16, Kaat at 21, and Morris at 23.

I don't have time to raise all of the questions that I might about this, but here's just a couple of items that may encapsulate the issue. You say you look at Ink:

Pitcher -- Black/Gray Ink

Schilling -- 42/205
Morris -- 20/193
Joss -- 19/139
Kaat -- 16/125
Tiant -- 13/112

There's a lot of traditional stats behind those numbers.

You look at career. Tiant has only a little more career than Schilling, 3486.3 IP vs. 3261 IP. So that's a small advantage, but Schilling is at a 127 ERA+ for that career, while Tiant is at 114. Tiant has pretty much no value for his last three seasons (-2 WAR, if you trust that sort of thing), and they bring his ERA+ down a bit (being seasons of 81, 93, and 71, respectively, with replacement level being around 80-82). Thanks to baseball-reference, it's easy to see what his stats without those last three seasons would be: 3263 IP, 118 ERA+. Compare that to Schilling's actual career: 3261 IP, 127 ERA+. So in the parts of their careers that had value above replacement, which were equal in length, Schilling's ERA+ is quite a bit higher. Combine that with the difference in inks, and I can't see how Schilling could be not be considered a better pitcher than Tiant, by either peak or career standards. I'm not saying Schilling should go into the top 3, given what you value, but how can he not make your ballot, with Tiant sitting at 16?

I won't try to talk you into putting him ahead of Addie Joss, but just for fun, here's the 9-year core of Schilling's career, 1996-2004 (again thanks to BBRef) vs. Joss's full career:

Joss 160-97, .623, 2327 IP, ERA+ 142
Schilling 141-81, .635, 2007 IP, ERA+ 141

And just in case you aren't impressed with Schilling's IP, keep in mind he led the league in IP twice and finished in the top 3 three other times during that period (no other top 10 finishes). Joss was in the top 10 twice (2nd once and 5th once). Joss led the league in WHIP twice, and finished in the top 5 eight times. Schilling led the league in WHIP in these nine years once and finished in the top 5 eight times (he was 6th in the 9th season). So, I'd just say that Curt Schilling was pretty close to having Addie Joss's career in the middle of his own, except with more durability--and then there was the other 1200 IP, which included several other very strong seasons, as well as some injury-plagued ones.

What do you look at, then, that drops Schilling way off of your ballot?
   144. rawagman Posted: December 02, 2012 at 09:51 PM (#4314840)
2013 Preliminary Ballot

1) Barry Bonds (PHOM)
2) Roger Clemens (PHOM)
3) Mike Piazza (PHOM)
4) Curt Schilling (If this is an elect-4 year, then Schilling obviously joins my PHOM. Otherwise, he becomes the top of my backlog)
5) Craig Biggio
6) Hugh Duffy (PHOM)
7) Tommy Bridges (PHOM)
8) Ben Taylor (PHOM)
9) Kirby Puckett (PHOM)
10) Lefty Gomez (PHOM)
11) Bus Clarkson (PHOM)
12) Dale Murphy (PHOM)
13) Dick Redding (PHOM)
14) Vern Stephens (PHOM)
15) Sammy Sosa
Next 15
16) Fred McGriff (PHOM)
17) Gavvy Cravath (PHOM)
18) Bob Johnson (PHOM)
19) Tony Oliva (PHOM)
20) Dizzy Dean
((20a)Andre Dawson))
21) Orlando Cepeda (PHOM)
22) Bobby Veach (PHOM)
23) Al Oliver
24) Don Mattingly
25) Albert Belle
26) Rocky Colavito
27) Jack Clark
28) Jim Rice
29) Wally Berger
30) Ernie Lombardi
((30a) Jimmy Wynn))

Others of note:
32) Luis Tiant
55) Phil Rizzuto
64) Kenny Lofton
75) Sal Bando
85) Vic Willis
* I will try to re-examine the top ten returnees before submitting my final ballot.
   145. DL from MN Posted: December 02, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4314854)

Damn, who the hell is Ted Breitenstein?
   146. Daryn Posted: December 02, 2012 at 10:49 PM (#4314872)
Chris -- Thanks for the comments on Schilling. I will take another look. First of all, Schilling, is not "way off my ballot". I had just concluded that he wasn't in my top 15 (therefore behind Grimes, Redding, John and Joss and possibly ahead of Tiant). The placeholder at 30 should have been removed when I added the comment in the first paragraph saying he could be as high as 15.

I don't like him better than the hitters at the end of my ballot but I do think he could move to 16 by the final ballot.

To be clear, I know I like him better than Morris.
   147. Daryn Posted: December 02, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4314882)
I can't seem to work the edit to move Schilling, but I think I'll put him at 16 for now and think between now and the actual ballot whether he deserves to jump over prime candidate Belle into 15th.
   148. DL from MN Posted: December 02, 2012 at 11:14 PM (#4314899)
Sorry if I confused anyone but I haven't been stumped by a name on a ballot here in years. Congratulations Chris, someone new to run the numbers on.
   149. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: December 02, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4314911)
Second year voter. At heart, I am a peak voter, but I do recognize the value of a pure career candidate. I revised my system this year to a DanR-style salary estimator, but instead of using just his WARP, I use a combination of uber-stat systems (DanR, B-R, FG, SH WAR and WSaB, Chone, Davenport and new BP).

I am fairly liberal in giving credit (war, blacklist, MiL), but try to be conservative in the amount of credit I give. I do not boycott for any reason.

I am still in the process of back-filling my PHoM (I am through 1974), but have evaluated all borderline HoMer’s in my system, so I know what my PHoM would look like, just not by year yet.

HoM not PHoM: Nellie Fox, Edd Roush, Bob Lemon, Max Carey, Bill Terry, Eppa Rixey, Stan Hack, Cool Papa Bell, Hardy Richardson, Joe Medwick, Ralph Kiner, Charlie Bennett, Biz Mackey, Dave Stieb, Rollie Fingers, Will Clark, Willie Randolph, Bret Saberhagen, Red Faber.

Preliminary Ballot (will obviously have comments on final ballot):

1)Barry Bonds
2)Roger Clemens
3)Mike Piazza
4)Curt Schilling
5)Craig Biggio
6)Sammy Sosa
7)Eddie Cicotte
8)Elston Howard
9)Vic Willis
10)Ned Williamson
11)Luke Easter
12)Ben Taylor
13)Kenny Lofton
14)Dave Concepcion
15)Tommy Bond

16-20)Newcombe, Cravath, Buddy Bell, Dunlap, Poles
21-25)Schang, Tenace, Hilton Smith, Arlett, Babe Adams
26-30)Gooden (PHoM line), Tiant, Monroe, Mullane, Campaneris
31-35)Bobby Bonds, Rizzuto, Silver King, Rosen, Norm Cash
36-40)Pesky, Duffy, Leach, Munson, John
41-45)Chance, Willie Davis, Bando, Perez, Dean
46-50)Grimes, Breitenstein (who knew? - just plugged him in), Walters, Appier, Belle

   150. Chris Cobb Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:09 AM (#4314937)
To be clear, I know I like him better than Morris.

Thanks, Daryn, for that clarification. That makes much more sense! It appeared to me, from looking at Schilling in relation to your criteria, that Tiant is the key head-to-head comparison for Schilling in your system. I'll repeat that I think clear, trad-stats (but context-sensitive) evidence is there that Schilling is Joss+, but your mileage may vary.

Damn, who the hell is Ted Breitenstein?

I've long had my eye on Breitenstein as the "next-best pitcher of the 1890s" after the all-time greats Young and Nichols, the great-peak-until-his-arm-fell-off Rusie, and the wily-enough-to-win Griffith, but my home-grown pitching analysis never put him quite high enough to bring him into the conversation. The first project I took on when I began rebuilding my ballot was running all my pitchers through the new system, so Breitenstein was in the batch with the rest, and he came out a nudge higher than he had before, possibly b/c of a better assessment of the fact that he was pitching in front of atrocious defenses for bad teams, so he ended up in the consideration set. I haven't looked back to see if he has ever gotten a vote . . .
   151. bjhanke Posted: December 03, 2012 at 04:28 AM (#4314993)
I looked up Breitenstein, and his career could look a lot better, although a lot of that was bad management by whoever was managing the STL franchise in the early 1890s. In 1893, the 60-foot rubber was introduced, making pitching much harder than it had been before. STL responded by giving him an IP load as if it was still 1883. They got an ERA title (and ERA+), although the team was so bad that he still won fewer games than he lost. So, in 1894, they gave him even more innings (447) which got them an IP title and an arm in trouble. Still in denial, they gave him essentially the same 400+ IP in 1895, which blew out his arm for a year. They sold him to Cincy, who got his IP down to a reasonable number, a little over 300. That got them a couple of pretty good years, but then his arm had had enough.

At the end of the career, he has only 11 seasons, two of them very very small in IP, with no MLE credit that I know of. His raw ERA should be ignored, because his career is almost entirely in the 1890s, one of the highest-scoring periods of all time. He very possibly could have ben a Hall pitcher if the STL management hadn't destroyed his arm, but they did, so he only really has the one feature season. Very short career. One feature season. Unless you want to get into the business of speculating on how good he would have been, and for how long, if the STL franchise hadn't blown his arm out from 1893-95, there's no real candidacy here. His good years are few and not Dizzy Dean anyway. And he lost ten more games than he won.

He is famous as part of the "Pretzel Battery" in STL, with catcher Heinie Peitz. According to the New Historical Abstract, the battery was so famous under that name that it appears on both players' headstones.

I have sympathy for him, because he was brutally abused, but that only leads to speculation, and applies to loads of pitchers, including really weird cases like Herb Score. None of these pitchers is in the Hall, and none deserve to be, according to any standards that I have seen any voter use. - Brock Hanke
   152. Chris Cobb Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:14 AM (#4315058)
Not that I am advocating Ted Breitenstein's election (he's not actually on my ballot), but his case illustrates why (a) contextual evaluation of merit is important and (b) why advanced metrics are needed to give proper credit to pitchers working in contexts highly favorable to hitters.

While 1893 was certainly Breitenstein's best season, he had several other excellent years: he was among the top 5 in pitching WAR (by BBRef) four times: 1893, 1894, 1895, and 1897. That level of excellence doesn't show up in his rawer stats, not even fully in ERA+, because he was pitching hitters' parks in front of poor-to-terrible defenses.

Yes, he was abused, but so were most pitchers in the 1890s, who fell into one of four groups: (1) the pitchers who couldn't adjust to the new distance and declined sharply in quality, (2) Young and Nichols, who adjusted to the new distance, pitched outrageous numbers of innings and didn't break down, (3) the pitchers who adjusted to the new distance, had a couple of great years throwing an outrageous number of innings, and then broke down, and (4) Clark Griffith, who, for whatever reason, didn't get horrendously overworked. In category 3, Amos Rusie had enough great years before he broke down to be a clear HoMer. Of the rest, Ted Breitenstein is the best, by quite a bit, because he had four excellent seasons and a couple of good ones, which is quite a bit more than the rest have to offer. He's the fifth-best pitcher of his era, no speculation needed. That might not be enough to merit election to the Hall of Merit, but we'd be doing a better job if we were at least giving him that much credit for his accomplishments.
   153. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4315081)
I will be voting, getting it done by next Monday shouldn't be a problem.
   154. DL from MN Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4315104)
DanR, B-R, FG, SH WAR and WSaB, Chone, Davenport and new BP

How redundant are these? Aren't Seamheads, Chone and Baseball Reference WAR essentially the same numbers now? If so you're not really getting a broad spectrum, you're triple counting one method.
   155. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4315129)
On their player pages, Seamheads display current B-R WAR, but their slighty different calculation of WAR is available from their download page. And their are some significant differences between B-R's new WAR and their old WAR (Chone WAR - available at B-R highlighted all the differences when they switched over to their new WAR earlier this year (Sorry, typing from my phone so I can't easily get the link).

So while the numbers aren't wildly off, there is still differentiation.
   156. DL from MN Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4315283)
Former New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, longtime umpire Hank O'Day and barehanded catcher Deacon White have been elected to the baseball Hall of Fame for their excellence through the first half of the 20th century.

Take Deacon White of the HoM not HoF list. Bill Dahlen two votes short.

Results of the Pre-Integration Era Ballot (12 votes needed for election): Jacob Ruppert (15 votes, 93.8%); Hank O’Day (15 votes, 93.8%); Deacon White (14 votes, 87.5%); Bill Dahlen (10 votes, 62.5%); Sam Breadon, Wes Ferrell, Marty Marion, Tony Mullane, Alfred Reach and Bucky Walters each received three votes or less.
   157. DL from MN Posted: December 03, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4315330)
Here is the full article

The Pre-Integration Era Committee will next consider candidates in 2015 for the 2016 Induction year, as the process to consider candidates by era repeats on a three-year cycle. In 2013, the Expansion Era Committee – which met previously in 2010 – will consider candidates whose main career contributions came from 1973 through the present. In 2014, the Golden Era Committee – which met previously in 2011 – will consider candidates whose main career contributions came from 1947-72. Committees will continue to meet at the Winter Meetings.

So Dahlen's next shot is 2015. Next year's top guys to consider include Bobby Grich, Lou Whitaker, Darrell Evans and Ted Simmons. 2014's list includes Joe Torre, Dick Allen, Minnie Minoso, Billy Pierce and Bill Freehan.

If you want to lobby the committee they are listed in the link.
   158. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4315398)
Chris Cobb from post 141:


First, welcome have been missed by all and referenced NUMEROUS times.

Second, your ballot looks excellent/well though out as always...I like Chuck Finley too, but how many 1990s pitchers can we put in...I think I might find a spot for Appier at 14/15 this year.

All of your hitters in the just off ballot are excellent candidates.
Pitching is always tough to get a grip on, so I have a few differences.

Glad you mentioned Breitenstein...he looks quite good by WAR standards, and for a period BP WARP had him in electable territory.
His candidacy boils down to how bad/terrible his defense was, so reasonable arguments can be made for him, especially since he was the 5th best pitcher of a decade...make sure to consider Doc Gooden for top 5 pitcher of the late 1980s/early 1990s...zop even mentioned potential MLE credit for his dominating minor league career.

Frank Tanana is in the 1970s glut, but has a reasonable case. His Joe D's PA and FG WAR are below Tommy John, but his BREF WAR is a smidge better.

Tony Mullane is a case in blacklist credit/how to properly discount AA figures...the old version of BREF was quite fond of Mullane...Mickey Welch is in the ballpark, looks good in BREF WAR, but not in Joe D's PA or FG WAR.

Since you are using BREF for pitchers, the following should be close to your off ballot group: Tommy Bond, Burleigh Grimes, George Uhle, Wilbur Wood, and Bobby Mathews.

Dan R has stumped for Dolf Luque - he was likely trapped due to color of skin, and he has a monster season in '23?.

Check out the player threads - the biggest finds/estimations since you were absent the last two years:
Alex King has QUITE a convincing argument in favor of Hilton Smith.
James Newburg has also done excellent writeups for Luke Easter and Buzz Arlett.
If we are to believe the MLE work by these men, they should all be elected to the HOM.

Also, if you have already done so, please post your new PHOM not HOM listing, and if you have it, who used to be in your HOM and has since been replaced.

Great to have you back Chris!
   159. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 03, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4315447)
Michael J Binkley post 149:

1)Barry Bonds
2)Roger Clemens
3)Mike Piazza
4)Curt Schilling
5)Craig Biggio
6)Sammy Sosa
7)Eddie Cicotte
8)Elston Howard
9)Vic Willis
10)Ned Williamson
11)Luke Easter
12)Ben Taylor
13)Kenny Lofton
14)Dave Concepcion
15)Tommy Bond

Excellent and intriguing ballot...Elston Howard has been a point of contention for the electorate, I previously supported him, while Sunnyday and Mark Donelson continue to stump...for us who don't have him, what were the persuading factors for you to place him on ballot.

If you like David Concepcion, what system does Bert Campaneris do poorly in to drop him below Davey.

Love the Tommy Bond shoutout...another tough one for the electorate to much credit goes to his awesome fielding supporting cast, how much does he deserve.

HoM not PHoM: Nellie Fox, Edd Roush, Bob Lemon, Max Carey, Bill Terry, Eppa Rixey, Stan Hack, Cool Papa Bell, Hardy Richardson, Joe Medwick, Ralph Kiner, Charlie Bennett, Biz Mackey, Dave Stieb, Rollie Fingers, Will Clark, Willie Randolph, Bret Saberhagen, Red Faber.

Agreed with the ugly four of Fox, Roush, Lemon, Fingers, and I add two more.
Incorporating DRA into my fielding rankings, Averill moves from in/out line consideration to the dustbin.
Pete Browning is a case of trusting AA numbers and or accepting his defense as tolerable/poor, I can't get myself to so just yet.

With regard to Charlie Bennett, maybe I missed the curveball with him. I thought he was a safe pick.
And where does Bret Saberhagen struggle...I thought he was pretty solid across the board.

A few other guys who were ranked low in the HOM ballot rankings:
Harry Stovey, Sam Thompson, Dobie Moore

WAR credit is also in order for Eppa Rixey, though he mainly looks rosey through Joe D's does he stack up in the other areas?

Ralph Kiner was fighting in Korea, leaving him on my HOM bubble, from an underrepresented 1950s decade.

Hardy Richardson was a star in the International Assocation for the Buffalo squad that later joined the National League...this team in particular, could beat a handful of the NL/AA squads of the period.

Your analysis appears to be quite detailed...any chance you can upload your downloaded figures to the Hall of Merit Yahoo page...I would like to incorporate some of your findings if possible, with the detailed work you have from various systems.
I currently work two jobs with a long commute to work, so a dedicated 80 hrs per week is gone quickly.
Plus, sharing knowledge/discussion has made the Hall of Merit the finest shadow Hall of Fame on the planet, IMO.

Thanks for all the hard work!

   160. Yardape Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4315516)
I guess it's time to put up a prelim ballot. As always, I wanted to do a more in-depth evaluation but didn't get around to it. Wait 'til next year! Nevertheless, I am fairly pleased with this year's ballot.

1. Barry Bonds Fairly easy choice, even on this stacked ballot. No steroid boycott for me, obviously.

2. Roger Clemens Most years (like last year) he'd be an easy #1. Bad timing to fall behind Barry Bonds.

3. Mike Piazza I think his defensive shortcomings have been overstated, and he is an inner-circle catcher.

4. Craig Biggio A very strong career. He's just behind the all-time greats on this ballot.

5. Dagoberto Campaneris The first holdover. I've come quite aways around toward Dan R's view of 1970s shortstops. Campaneris was probably the best shortstop of the era, and I think that makes him worthy least strong consideration.

6. Bucky Walters

7. Ed Williamson I believe we have overlooked not-Ned. He looks to me like one of the best third-basemen of the 19th Century and a key part of some excellent teams.

8. Vic Willis

9. Burleigh Grimes

10. Curt Schilling Three very strong but not overwhelming pitchers. I probably need to do more sorting of these.

11. Davey Concepcion A rank him a little below Campaneris because I think Campaneris was more consistently among the best at his position. Concepcion has a similar case, though.

12. Gavvy Cravath One of the areas I need to look more closely at is MLEs. So this is Cravath with very conservative credit. For my tastes, which run to peak and prime, the MLEs probably wouldn't make a huge difference. Cravath may have one of the best MLE cases, however, so I will try to examine that next year.

13. Carlos Moran A word about Carlos Moran: Last year I voted him #1, which made me an outlier. He has dropped this year, and not just because of the newcomers. Why did I downgrade him? Well, the defensive portion of WAR is a little shaky even for modern MLB players. There must be a substantial margin of error on the Cuban League WARs on the Baseball Gauge, as awesome as that database is. So I'm being a little more conservative with Moran this year. That being said, I do think Moran is worth a long look from our electorate. I think there is an excellent chance that he is the best third baseman of his era behind Home Run Baker.

14. Sal Bando Bando suffers a bit from my change of heart concerning Campaneris and Concepcion. He's still a plausible candidate, however.

15. Mark Belanger The greatest defensive player ever? Maybe. His offense is weak, but he did just enough to get on my ballot here.

The "just-missed" players: Don Newcombe, Bobby Bonds (bumped by his own son!), Dick Redding, Ben Taylor and Dolf Luque. Taylor in particular needs a closer look from me next year. That will be a priority.

Rizzuto and Duffy are a notch below that, between 20-30. Both had some good seasons, but not enough top-quality to crack my ballot. Tiant is another step below them; solid career but not enough peak for me.
   161. DL from MN Posted: December 03, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4315536)
I can't understand Rizzuto behind Belanger. There can't be enough difference with the glove to make up the difference with the bat.
   162. Rob_Wood Posted: December 03, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4315660)
My prelim ballot (I am predominantly a career value voter and I impose absolutely no steroids/PED discount):

1. Barry Bonds - 2nd greatest player of all time
2. Roger Clemens - 2nd greatest pitcher of all time
3. Mike Piazza - best hitting MLB catcher of all time
4. Craig Biggio - he and Piazza are virtually tied
5. Curt Schilling - boost for post-season performance
6. Tommy Bridges - voted for him since he appeared on 1949 ballot (with WWII credit)
7. Bob Johnson - with minor league credit
8. Sammy Sosa - not an easy case to evaluate
9. Bobby Bonds - very good all around player
10. Bob Elliott - 1940s NL third baseman (unlikely 1947 MVP)

11. Bernie Williams
12. Fred McGriff
13. Bus Clarkson
14. Tony Perez
15. Tommy Leach

16-20. Maranville, Klein, Traynor, Staub, B.Bell
21-25. Lofton, Van Haltren, J.Clark, D.Parker, T.John

Others in last year's top 10:
Rizzuto - 75th
Tiant - 50th
Redding - 75th
Duffy - 50th
Cravath - 100th
Willis - 100th
Bando - 75th

   163. theorioleway Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:40 PM (#4315877)
DL from MN, the Baseball Gauge/Seamheads downloadable WAR is fairly different from B-R, especially since it incorporates DRA for the fielding.
   164. Nate the Neptunian Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:14 PM (#4316022)
Yeah, that difference between the two is pretty significant. They also tend to disagree a lot on 19th century players, for whatever reason. Here's the most significant differences. The columns are player, BG WAR, BR WAR, and BG WAR - BR WAR:

Al Spalding 102.89 64.4 38.49
Mike Griffin 61.74 37.9 23.84
Billy Hamilton 82.37 61.1 21.27
Jimmy Sheckard 64.78 46.7 18.08
Tommy Leach 60.92 43.8 17.12
George Gore 54.91 38.4 16.51
Harry Stovey 57.28 41.6 15.68
King Kelly 56.99 41.4 15.59
Hugh Duffy 53.77 40.1 13.67
Jim Fogarty 27.31 13.7 13.61
Bob Caruthers 72.01 58.7 13.31
Curt Welch 31.19 17.9 13.29
Arlie Latham 40.69 27.5 13.19
Tom Brown 24.2 11.6 12.6
Pete Browning 50.42 38 12.42
Bill Lange 33.63 21.4 12.23
Fred Clarke 76.13 64.2 11.93
Bobby Bonilla 38.51 27 11.51
Charley Jones 36.33 24.9 11.43
Tris Speaker 139.06 127.7 11.36
Chief Wilson 22.77 11.5 11.27
Adam Dunn 27.19 16 11.19
Dom DiMaggio 40.52 29.8 10.72
Tommy McCarthy 23.13 12.6 10.53
Jim Edmonds 67.82 57.3 10.52
Roy White 53.49 43 10.49
Vince DiMaggio 26.22 15.9 10.32
Yank Robinson 19.94 9.7 10.24
Jim McTamany 21.82 11.6 10.22
Sal Bando 36.86 57.1 -20.24
Larry Bowa 
-0.63 20 -20.63
Bobby Mathews 37.98 58.8 
Jake Beckley 35.63 56.7 
Wade Boggs 66.75 88.3 
Harry Heilmann 45.46 67.3 
Joe Quinn 
-20.7 1.4 -22.1
Vada Pinson 27.75 50.2 
Nellie Fox 22.91 46.3 
Derek Jeter 42.89 66.3 
Cal Ripken 67.03 90.9 
Luis Aparicio 27.68 51.7 
Ozzie Smith 48.95 73 
Walter Johnson 130.55 157.8 
Jim McCormick 44.77 72.7 

I like Al Spaulding as much as the next HoMer, but I have a hard time believing he collected over 100 WAR in 6ish (documented) seasons. OTOH, it hates Derek Jeter, probably because DRA sees his fielding as horrific, so it can't be all bad.
   165. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4316065)
Bleed the Freak -

First I want to thank you in advance because a couple of your questions have made me go back and double check my spreadsheets/listings and you've helped me discover a couple of errors. But let me address you questions in order:

Elston Howard - Like I said, I use a DanR-style salary estimator that has a peak rate emphasis. It also includes a 50% catcher bonus (unlike DanR's 58%). Thus peaky catcher seasons can boost a catcher's case more than any other position because of the bonus. Almost 65% of Howard's value in my system comes from his 4-year peak from 1961-64. As you can also probably surmise from my support of Howard, Easter and Newcombe, I am a big fan of the "integration squeeze" guys. I give Howard three years of NeL credit, from 1952-54, which puts him over the top in my system.

After double checking my Concepcion Vs. Campaneris numbers, I realized I had made a decimal point error in Concepcion's favor, resulting in him getting credited with an undeserved extra $11M+ in salary. Subtract that, and he actually falls to just under $122M, whereas Campaneris clocks in at just over $123M. Unfortunately, that means both are now just outside my PHoM (the line is just about $125M). So I guess now Newcombe gets bumped up to #15 on my ballot.

Tommy Bond: If I used all the various uber-stat systems for pre-1893 pitchers, everybody who pitched in that era would be in my PHoM, since their WAR(P) values are so high, given the exponential nature of the salary estimator. Thus, for pre-1893 pitchers, I use primarily WSaB to evaluate them. Using this system, I just have the 6 pre-1893 HoM pitchers (Clarkson, Spalding, Caruthers, Radbourn, Keefe and Galvin) and Bond in my PHoM, with Silver King the next one in line at just under $122M. (For reference, Welch is just over $102M and Whitney and McCormick are just over $91M).

Regarding HoM, not PHoM, your queries caused me to notice that I had omitted Thompson from my list, meaning that Faber then actually is is my PHoM.

Earl Averill - Without MiL credit, he wouldn't really be terribly close. But like I said, I tend to be liberal in giving credit, so he ends up at $134M in my system.

Pete Browning - Yes, it was fair defense at best in the AA, but it was still a 163 OPS+. Luckily for him he played 12+ years and played CF, which makes the difference for him vs say the 162 OPS+ of 1B Dave Orr.

Bennett gave me trouble and pause. I decided I had to abandon my catcher bonus for 19th century players because otherwise Deacon White would be easily the #2 catcher in my system behind Gibson and Ewing would easily be #4. It just threw all my values out of common sense. Thus while McVey still makes my PHoM, Bennett falls just short at $122M.

Saberhagen is also just one semi-decent year away from my PHoM, at just under $120M - which actually shocked me when I calculated it - I thought he would make it just eyeballing the numbers.

In reality, I would be comfortable with everyone at around $120M and above (segueway - basically Saberhagen and above) being in my long run PHoM. But I don't really fault anyone for having anyone over $100M in my system in their PHoM's - at this point, it is really just hair-splitting. The difference of .1 WAR per year over a 20 year career is over $5M in my system (I have 25+ players within $5M of my PHoM line). I have Fingers under $100M, but since relievers are extra tricky, I have no problem with him. Likewise any 19th century pitchers (e.g. McCormick, who like I said, I had less than $100M, but I am not going to browbeat his supporters). In reality, the only truly egregious pick I think the HoM has made has been Nellie Fox.

Stovey I have at just under $133M, so he didn't exactly blow open the doors to my PHoM.

However, I do have Moore up at $154M, having made my PHoM in his first year of eligibility. However, his is a peak case, so that gives him extra credit in my system. Plus, I gave him credit for 4 seasons with the Wreckers. Without those, he would still be in my PHoM, but just barely.

Rixey I have at just under $119M. His lack of any real peak, really hurts him in my system. OTOH, Beckley is in my PHoM at $129M, but his lack of peak was just better than Rixey's, even giving Eppa war credit.

I didn't think Kiner fought in Korea, given that he played in 150, 151, 149 and 158 games from 1950-1953. Did you mean WWII credit, because I did give him credit for 1944 and 1945, which brings him up to just over $124M, just outside my PHoM.

I have Richardson at $122M. He has one good peak year, but then just a bunch of goodish years. Despite the lack of peak, I have McPhee in my PHoM ($130M) because his extra 6-7 good years more than make up for Richardson's 1886. And for contrast, Dunlap is also in my PHoM because his peaky years more than make up for his lack of career.

Thanks for the request for my work. I probably can't upload anything this year for a few reasons: 1) I don't have a master spreadsheet of all accumulated players - well, I tried to, and I do save an individual sheet for each player after I calculate them, but I do most of my work on our desktop, which my wife barely uses, but since I had everything sort of backed-up by having the saved individual pages, when my wife does decide to use the desktop, she tends to close my excel spreadsheets instead of minimizing them, so I probably only have a third of all my completed players so far on my master spreadsheet; and 2)Though not as much as you, and in a different way, I am also pressed for time and had to squeeze in ballot research/prep whenever I can, especially now because my aforementioned wife is a week overdue with our second child, so I might be on hospital duty in any second; and 3) since it was mainly just a bunch of data entry, copying and pasting, I never figured anyone else would want to use it as a resource - but I guess that is a project for next year.
   166. Chris Cobb Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:32 PM (#4316098)
Michal J. Binkley's anxiety closet--

This is great stuff--thank you for examining your choices so closely and sharing your findings. Just one quick bit on Charlie Bennett and 19th-century catchers in response. You wrote:

Bennett gave me trouble and pause. I decided I had to abandon my catcher bonus for 19th century players because otherwise Deacon White would be easily the #2 catcher in my system behind Gibson and Ewing would easily be #4. It just threw all my values out of common sense. Thus while McVey still makes my PHoM, Bennett falls just short at $122M.

Catcher use and abuse changed a lot between 1871 and 1885, so much so that it's not appropriate to apply a consistent adjustment to catchers across this period. In 1871, catchers are standing well back of home plate and catching underhand pitches, but by 1885, they are crouching much closer and catching overhand pitches still more or less barehanded. I have studied catcher games played, and for the 1870s, there is little difference in games per season between catchers and players at other positions. Around 1879, when pitchers arms begin to go up and the number of major-league games in a season increases, catcher playing time drops steadily, until by 1885 it reaches a steady usage pattern that will continue until the introduction of more complete protective gear in the late aughts, when games caught rises to a percentage of season games that remains consistent at least through the 1960s. Between 1885 and 1908, catchers deserve more of a bonus than during any other period of the game's history! Deacon White was finished as a catcher about the time these changes are beginning, so in my system he gets no catcher bonus, because the position doesn't really reduce his career. Without a bonus, White remains outside the top 5 catchers, though he's probably still top 10. Buck Ewing gets some catcher bonus, but he spent a lot of time at other positions, so I adjust him season by season and prorate bonuses for seasons in which he caught part time. That still places him quite high among catchers, but considering he was widely regarded back in the day as the best player of the nineteenth century, it's not unreasonable that he could break the top 5 catchers. Charlie Bennett gets a smaller bonus from 1880 to 1884, when catching was a bit less brutal and he was also spending some time in the outfield, but he gets, and deserves, a full bonus from 1885 on, as do the 1890s catchers like Jack Clements, Chief Zimmer, and Deacon McGuire.
   167. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:24 AM (#4316158)
Hey guys, I'll catch up and post the ballot thread later today. I was traveling all last week for work, and since I've been home I've been crazy home busy, this is really the first I'm getting a chance to look.

I will post the ballot thread now . . .
   168. bjhanke Posted: December 04, 2012 at 04:23 AM (#4316165)
A note on Charlie Bennett and 19th century catchers in general. I've worked this group up in detail three times in my life (Baseball Maniacs, Gravengood's magazine - lasted all of 1 issue, and the HoM here). That doesn't mean I have everything right - the stats of the period really don't allow that - but it does mean that I have spent a lot of time looking at these guys.

There are three 19th c. catchers whom I group together not by quality but by the shape of their careers. Basically, all three started out as catchers, were defensively at least adequate back there, but were moved out from behind the plate because they hit too well for their teams to have them missing the games they were missing due to the physical problems of playing catcher at the time. The best of the lot, one of the best hitters at any position at the time, very likely the best power/speed guy of the period, and a Gold Glove candidate behind the plate, was Buck Ewing. I buy completely into the idea that Anson and Ewing were the two best 19th c. players who had long careers in the major leagues (meaning that I don't have to wrestle with George Wright and a couple of other guys).

Next is Deacon White. I, personally, count him as a third baseman, but I put that case down in serious detail a few years ago and convinced nobody, so I'm not going to repeat that here. White was a very good hitter and a good defensive catcher. He was moved because, as the schedules started getting up to 60 games, he started to miss too much playing time.

Next is Tom Daly, a 1890s player who was the weakest of the three with the glove, but an adequate catcher who hit well. He was moved to third base pretty early in his career, and then very quickly to second base, where he probably is ranked by anyone who ranks him.

Charlie Bennett is, IMO, the best-hitting catcher of the period who did NOT get moved out from behind the plate to keep his bat in the lineup. That is, I count him as the #4 hitting catcher of the 1800s, the #2 hitter if you count White and Daly as infielders. If you go back into the Guides of the period, and check out Charlie, you may well conclude that he was the absolute Gold Glove catcher of the time (Ewing and Pop Snyder have cases). Essentially, Bennett is #1-#3 every year in just about every defensive category for catchers. He ranks below Ewing in most evaluations because Buck laps the field in throwing out baserunners (assists), year after year. Buck was very good aside from that, but not as good as Charlie. Charlie was a strong thrower, but nothing like Ewing. Part of this is speed. One thing that most people don't know about 19th century catcher is that it was a speed position. You didn't crouch much, the backstop was, by rule, 50 feet behind the plate, and there were WP and PB galore because there were no mitts. So you spent a lot of time running back to the backstop and trying to throw out a runner trying to go from first to third, second probably being generally conceded. Ewing was the absolute best at this. Bennett is in contention for second best, and probably ranks first, over a span of years, in everything else. Ewing probably ranks #3 or #4 or so in everything else over a period of years. Pop Snyder is, IMO, similar in shape of defense to Charlie, but just a little weaker.

Needless to say, the being the 19th c. and catcher to boot, statistical evidence can't really produce a full capture of the players' various abilities. But this is the best I can do with the stats I have. Hope it helps. - Brock Hanke
   169. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: December 04, 2012 at 08:50 AM (#4316231)

First of all, I'd like to echo the sentiments of others by welcoming you back to the project and also to convey my thanks to you for your (And Dr C and KJOK and others') invaluable work with regard to NeL MLE's.

Like I said, deep down, I felt that Bennett definitely belonged, and in my previous system that I used last year, he was easily in. I just went straight by the numbers so far this year. But thanks to your input, I've now given Bennett my full catcher bonus starting in 1885. This bumps him up to $147M, clearly over the in/out line, and a level at which I am comfortable placing him.


I also reevaluated Ewing. He was clearly in already before, but I had him as a "stats not quite matching the reputation" type of player. After applying the bonus, he bumps up from about $164M in my system to $187M. This moves him up to my #10 C all time (Gibson, Bench, Piazza, Berra, Carter, Campanella, White, Dickey, Santop, Ewing - although he may fall to 11th - I haven't calculated Fisk, yet).
   170. Howie Menckel Posted: December 04, 2012 at 09:01 AM (#4316242)

Have the MMP threads bounced out the "HOM positional vote" threads?
I don't mean the 10-yr-old position threads, I mean the rank 'em by HOM electees by position threads from a few years ago....

   171. DL from MN Posted: December 04, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4316312)
I'm sure you can still search and find those threads. It would be nice to tie them all up in a bow.
   172. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 04, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4316357)
Per Howie in post 170: It would be fun to run these again sometime, since it's been more than 3 years and opinions/electorate has changed.

Can these be dropped in with the other important links?

Links to player ranking threads:

HOM electees by HOF designated time era/circumstance:

   173. DL from MN Posted: December 04, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4316371)
I think the most important to re-run are the ballots that fit with the Hall of Fame veteran's committee groupings.
   174. Chris Cobb Posted: December 04, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4316508)
Bleed the Freak:

Thank you for your comments on pitchers! Some quick notes in response:

Re Chuck Finley, you wrote, "I like Chuck Finley too, but how many 1990s pitchers can we put in?" That's a good question. Since a lot of the top pitchers of the 1990s were the top pitchers of the 2000s as well, with a fairly small number of current pitchers looking to be on HoM trajectories, I am thinking that the answer will probably be "quite a lot," but it's hard to tell yet where to draw the line, and one thing I have not examined for my 2013 ballot is positional balance, which I have historically considered. That will be another project for next year. Fortunately, we won't be getting into the borderline 1990s cases for a few years, so for now I am just following the results of my system in ranking the 1990s candidates. I may drop Finley off my actual ballot: there are a number of just-as-good candidates in the near backlog.

Re Gooden: he is next on my list of 1980s pitchers after Hershiser, so he's definitely on my radar. I go by WAR and not by a salary estimator or pennants added, so my system is less influenced by a single monster year than some others are. He could certainly get support from me in the future.

Re Tanana vs. John: My system prefers Tanana because he has a real peak. John did accumulate a lot of value, but he was never a #1 starter who could carry a team. I am not enthusiastic about Tanana, but he's in the mix with other pitchers Appier, Hershiser, and Gooden who had a nice peak early, then got injured, then had a fairly long stretch as a good, not great pitcher. Tanana has more after his peak than the others, but he has the least impressive peak in the group.

Re Bond, Uhle, Wilbur Wood, Grimes, Bobby Mathews: Bond, Uhle, and Wood do indeed do well in my system: they are a step or two below the players I have included in the consideration set this time. Grimes and Mathews don't do as well. Grimes I may need to examine to make sure I haven't made an error somewhere, as he used to do well in my system . But even seeing him as a stronger candidate than I do now, I wasn't supporting his election.

Re Mullane: I suspect my current level of support may drop when I add an adjustment for AA into my system for pitchers, which it needs. For position players, I do all my calculations using WAR, which in BBRef already has a competition adjustment built in. For pitchers, I also use "raw" WAA, which has not yet been competition adjusted, so I need to build in a tweak for AA pitchers. For now, I maintain balance by not giving Mullane blacklist credit.

Re Luque: he goes into the set of players with non-ML credit that I will be reviewing over the next year. Back in the day, I was not persuaded that his CWL credit was sufficient to make him a worthy HoMer, but there may be more reliable conversions than there were 2+ years ago. I will check his thread.

Thank you for the heads-up about additional information on the Hilton Smith and Buzz Arlett threads! Those two players will definitely be part of my review of non-ML stars for 2014.

Re PHOM vs. HOM: I have never kept a PHOM, so posting a PHOM not HOM list will take a little work, and will be something of an "eyeball it" affair, as I am not going to go back and reconstruct my own elections from 1898 on. But putting together a list of the players I and the HoM election results disagree upon should be doable.
   175. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 04, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4316605)
165. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:52 PM (#4316065)

Thanks for the explanation on Howard, glad to see that Campaneris has moved ahead, your 1800s hurlers match up with the HOM plus Tommy Bond so I don't see any flawed reasoning, Averill is reasonable - tough to gauge MLE credit for mashing in PCL, where is Browning $ wise?, good to see that Saberhagen is close and that Fingers is a troubling pick, I have warmed to Stovey and he is nearing the PHOM line - all those runs stand for something, right?, Moore is certainly a peaky/MLE case, Rixey and Beckley surely have no peak, but Beckley likely has a stronger prime - he sits on my in/out fence, correct that Kiner fought in WWII - Korea was a gaffe on my part, with regard to Hardy Richardson - a prime candidate, his 1878 IA season might be required for entry to PHOM.
   176. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 04, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4316626)
Chris Cobb, post 174:

Grimes I may need to examine to make sure I haven't made an error somewhere, as he used to do well in my system . But even seeing him as a stronger candidate than I do now, I wasn't supporting his election.

Grimes has a shot at election if you consider his BREF WAR numbers as:
ignore below replacement level seasons
hitting (6 WAR career)

2 8 WAR years, 2 additional 6 WAR, 2 4 WAR, 2 3 WAR, 3 2.5 WAR - 51.7 WAR in 11 seasons

I show him, in BREF WAR #s, as slightly below Kevin Appier, Rube Waddell, Don Newcombe, Red Faber, and Early Wynn, and slightly superior to George Uhle, Wilbur Cooper, Whitey Ford - depends on how much Korean war credit he receives - the new BREF really is down on some of the 50s/60s hurlers, Wilbur Wood, and Clark Griffith.

Re PHOM vs. HOM: I have never kept a PHOM, so posting a PHOM not HOM list will take a little work, and will be something of an "eyeball it" affair, as I am not going to go back and reconstruct my own elections from 1898 on. But putting together a list of the players I and the HoM election results disagree upon should be doable.

Thanks for looking at this...the PHOM not HOM has always been of interest to me.
   177. theorioleway Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4318286)
Yardape, yes, please do consider Ben Taylor! Also, why Grimes but not John or Kaat (pitchers who threw a lot of innings but don't have great ERA-)?
   178. Mike Webber Posted: December 06, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4318665)
From the Ballot thread
20. theorioleway Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4318282)
Mike Webber--what are your thoughts regarding Ben Taylor? It seems that he would at least rank favorably with Chance and Olerud, but not only is he not on your ballot, but he's also not grouped in your consideration set.

Here is the why. I keep a spreadsheet to help organize my thoughts, and in that spread sheet I have him with 300 win shares and an 86 win share three year peak. I have 16 first basemen on that spreadsheet. I can't tell you exactly why I have those numbers, but I think it is mostly based on Chris Cobb's projections in the Ben Taylor discussion thread. (This spreadsheet has been around for "years" in HOM time.)

The idea I get from that discussion is he was not a guy with a lot of MVP seasons, so comparing him with Chance isn't really the same thing.

And in the discussion thread I see John Murphy's comment:
18. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 13, 2004 at 10:26 PM (#914715)
Going over Ben Taylor's credentials again, I still have him as slightly behind Konetchy, though I think he was the best first baseman (black or white) for 1913, 1914, 1916 and 1918. He could make my ballot sometime in the future.

And that is why I have him right with Konetchy and Mickey Vernon and Fred McGriff. If Taylor doesn't have a bunch MVP type seasons then his value fits better with this group. With Tony Perez being the top end of this group - more win shares/War value plus 3 MVP type seasons.

Now most of this thinking was Pre-Seamheads database. I could be persuaded that new research changes the discussion, and would listen if the supporters of Taylor tried to convince me that the earlier numbers were flawed.
   179. Chris Cobb Posted: December 06, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4318738)
Since Mike mentioned my MLEs for Taylor, I thought I should put in a comment.

Re Taylor: I haven't had an opportunity to reexamine thoroughly Taylor's case (i.e. run new MLEs using the Seamheads data). I intend to do that prior to the 2014 election. That said, it is my strong impression that the new data will make Taylor's case stronger. As a result of that impression, I am planning on putting Taylor on my ballot in the lower third this year.

Re Dick Redding: Similarly, I have not had time to re-do MLEs for Redding, but my strong impression is that the Seamheads data do not help his case, so I have moved him out of my top 30.

Both of these impressions could be completely incorrect and I wouldn't use them to attempt to persuade others about either player, but I have enough confidence in them to use them in my rankings choices. I think the Seamheads data are important, and decisions about players made before that data became available should be revisited as we interpret the new data.
   180. Carl Goetz Posted: December 06, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4318765)
Hello All, getting almost done with my ballot for 2013. Will post next week, but wanted to go through my methodology quick here so as not to clutter the ballot page.

WSAB is my Uber-stat of choice. I switched over this year from WAR because I am more comfortable with the methods WS uses for evaluating defense. Previously did not like WS because there was minimum consideration on replacement value. I found the WSAB calculations on which eliminates that problem for me. I am a peak/prime voter using career value only as a tiebreaker for close calls.

Prime: I use best 8 consecutive seasons for a player. I also picked all-star teams based on full season WSAB for most every major league ever. (It took awhile). It all the All-CG team since I selected the teams. Number of All-CG selections factors into my prime calculation as well.

Peak: I look at best-3 and best 5 seasons overall (they do not have to be consecutive). I also developed a WSAB threshold for what I consider an MVP caliber season. In any given league-season maybe nobody reached that threshold or maybe 5 guys did. All I tried to determine was whether a given season by a player would be 'in the discussion' for MVP in an average league-season. Number of MVP caliber seasons factors into my peak calculation.

I don't have a specific formula for how I weight the above factors since every career takes a different trajectory. If I'm being honest with myself, I'm probably about 60-40 in weighting Prime vs Peak.

   181. Mr Dashwood Posted: December 06, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4318801)
WSAB is my Uber-stat of choice. I switched over this year from WAR because I am more comfortable with the methods WS uses for evaluating defense. Previously did not like WS because there was minimum consideration on replacement value. I found the WSAB calculations on which eliminates that problem for me.


I think I switched to WSAB last year, when I found carried it.
   182. Mr Dashwood Posted: December 06, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4318816)
On Negro League's data, and Taylor and Redding, I spent some free time just now going through their WSABs.

Taylor is without doubt, by that standard, the best 1B in the Negro Leagues for the period 1913-22. He has a bit of an off year in 1919, but I'm not going to use that to break up his decade of dominance.

Having said that, he isn't a slam-dunk MVP very often. I only give him 1914, when he was boosted by his pitching performance. Usually there is another player better than him.

In 1915, that player happens to be Redding. And Redding is arguably the MVP for his league in SIX seasons: 1912, 1915, 1917, 1919, 1921 and 1922. But when there are two or three Negro Leagues, Redding seems, given his and others' WSAB totals, to suffer from either being in the weaker league, or sample-size issues.

At the moment, I have Taylor on my ballot, but a few slots down from last year. He may yet drop further, possibly off my ballot altogether. I have always been a bit suspicious of Redding's value, and the Seamheads data has made me moreso. It's still possible that Redding has a good peak case to make my ballot, but that's going to take further research, and it is extremely unlikely I'll have the time for that to happen this year.

   183. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 06, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4319132)
The key argument for Grimes and Luque is the low pitching standard deviation of the 1920's. In a lot of those years there weren't 10 guys with even a 140 ERA+.
   184. theorioleway Posted: December 06, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4319200)
Dan R: Thanks for the comment re Grimes and Luque and the 1920s.
Mike Webber: You're right that comparing Chance and Taylor probably isn't the best way to go about things. I was thinking when I made the comment was how Chance and Taylor seem to be the two best eligible 1B from the deadball era, but it is true that Taylor is more of a career vote while Chance is more of a peak vote. As to the others you mention (Konetchy, Vernon, McGriff, and Perez), here are their collective OPS+: 123, 116, 134, and 122. Furthermore, with the exception of Konetchy, none of the players mentioned were good with the glove. On the Ben Taylor thread lower down from where you quote, there are estimates that Taylor was closer to a 130 OPS+ which is more in line with Keith Hernandez, Rafael Palmeiro, and John Olerud (although it should be noted Palmeiro has many more PA than Hernandez or Olerud. Also, no one is arguing over Taylor's glove, just like Hernandez and Olerud. Important for Taylor (and Konetchy) is that their 1B defensive value was especially important since it was the deadball era. As noted right above for the Seamheads data, it indicates that Taylor enjoyed a monster 1914 season and hit pretty well overall for the data Seamheads has, which doesn't include the end of his career and the beginning is not as documented (and also unclear how much he pitched vs. played first). I can appreciate that there can be enough uncertainty to maybe not put him on your ballot, but I feel he should be at least close to it, especially if you're valuing Olerud pretty highly.
   185. Nate the Neptunian Posted: December 07, 2012 at 12:55 AM (#4319261)
Here's my prelim. I still need to write up comments on the top 10 guys from last year, and in a couple cases take a closer look at them. I'll admit to not looking all that closely at Gavy Cravath's minor league numbers, since he's not in the top 100 of my system currently, and would need a massive boost to make my ballot, but I'll re-examine him over the weekend. Still I wanted to post my prelim with plenty of time to go, in case anyone would like to comment.

I'm a prime/peak voter. I went into more detail about the system I use in the 2012 ballot discussion thread, but the long and short of it is that for each year since 1871 I assign points to players based on where they rank amongst their peers. A player gets 20 points for being the best player in baseball, 10 points for being one of the top 2% of players, 5 points for having a prime year, 14 points for being the best at their position and so on. My goal is basically to pick the best players of each era. I use a mix of stats, some uber and some not, to arrive at a player's ranking.

There's two significant changes to my system since last year, which has resulted in the movement of a fair amount of players compared to their placement on my previous ballot. One, I changed the uber stats I use. Last year I used Baseball Gauge's WAR and WSAB, and a homegrown Wins Above Average system I cobbled together from DRA, wOBA and Pitching Runs. I wasn't satisfied with that WAA system (plus Baseball Gauge's WAR started using DRA for its fielding component, eliminating an important difference between the systems), so I dropped it and added rWAR (since it's now easily downloadable from BR) and Baseball Gauge's Win Shares as well (I hadn't used that last year, as I figured WSAB was just the same thing but with a higher replacement level, but I've changed my mind).

Also, I bumped up the point values I give for being the best pitcher or being amongst the top 20% of starters, as otherwise only Clemens (and maybe Hilton Smith, when I add points in for his hitting) would have made my ballot. Last year I voted for four pitchers: Reuschel, Hilton Smith, Grimes, and Carl Mays. But Reuschel got elected, Mays suffered from the change of uber systems and lost points, and Grimes would have been on my ballot again this year, but I took a closer look at him when he ranked above Schilling and decided to downgrade him as I felt he was benefiting unduly from a quirk in my system that I hope to fix for next year. Still, it didn't seem like I was being fair to pitchers, so I made the change. The big winner of this move is Schilling, who was just off my ballot but now is on it.

One change I had hoped to make for this year I didn't. Right now I give a constant amount of points anytime I reward a player for being amongst a certain percentage of players (like being one of the top 20% at his position). So, say, for 1939 first basemen, Johnny Mize, Jimmie Foxx and Dolph Camilli all earn 7 points for being top 20% at their position (and then Mize and Foxx earn another 14 for being the best at their position, as they tied for 1st). Hank Greenburg, who was 4th that year, gets no points for that category. This is, of course, somewhat arbitrary. I was hoping to change the system to award points on a sliding scale, so the cutoff wouldn't be so drastic, but after tinkering with that for awhile I couldn't get it work in a way I liked before running out of time, so that didn't change. Maybe next year.

1) Barry Bonds (1079) Second best player ever in my system, behind Ruth and before Mays. Was the best player in MLB 7 times, tied with Mays. Only Ruth, at 9 such seasons, had more. 21 year prime, which ties him for 2nd all time in MLB, with Cobb and Cap Anson. The only player with more prime years was...
2) Roger Clemens (741) Yup, you guessed it, he had a 23 year prime, which is doubly amazing for a pitcher. I have him as the 12th best player of all time, and the 2nd best pitcher (the controversial part is he's actually ahead of Johnson, but behind Cy Young, but that's because IMO the uber stats give too much credit to 19th century pitching, something I haven't bother to correct since it's not affecting anyone on the ballot). Was only the best player in MLB once though (1997) and because of that he's still not very close to Bonds. Was the best pitcher in '86, '87, '90, '91, '92, and, of course, '97.
3) Mike Piazza (403) Not as high on him as I'm sure many will be. Not quite a top 50 player in my system and only the 3rd best MLB catcher ever (behind Carter and Berra, but ahead of Bench). I haven't tried to work up Josh Gibson but I have little doubt he'd be higher as well. 11 year prime, which is on the short side for a HoMer. Was the best catcher in MLB from '93 to '98. Gets very little points from defense though, which hurts him. All this is without a catcher bonus, however, which I go back and forth on the correctness of. Since he's in an elect me spot already and there's no way he's catching Clemens (pun intended) even with a bonus, I won't bother applying one just to move him up my all time list.
4) Ben Taylor (386) I'm feeling a little better about his career than I was last year, with more years added to Seamheads. There's still a lot of uncertainty though, considering the last MLEs on his thread were done in 2004 before that data came to light, or even the HOF data was available (which is hard to interpret with no OBP numbers, but seems to indicate he was an above average hitter for the years the file contains and Seamheads doesn't have, excepting 1926). He seems to have been a top player in the NgLs in '14 and '21, and an above average player a bunch of other years, for a long prime. So my best guesswork is 15 year prime (75 points), 61 points each for '14 and '21 (which is more than I gave him for these years last year, but that's because I gave him no points for fielding, which was probably a mistake given his reputation), and 21 points each for each for '15, '17, '18, '20, '22, '24, '25, '27, and '28.
5) Hilton Smith (346) Using Alex King's WAR numbers on Smith's thread. Estimated 11 year prime (55 points), including 2 years in Bismark. Those numbers have him as the best player in baseball in '37 and '38 (93 points each for those years). I've also slotted him in as a top pitcher in '39, '40, '41, '46, and '47 (21 points each). He has really benefited, compared to last year, from a) my bumping up the point values for pitchers and b) my rereading his thread and realizing I needed to add in points for him being a very good hitter at his position.
6) Dave Bancroft (341) Was on my list last year, but has benefited from my change of uber systems by moving up from 11th. He's always looked like a good fielder in DRA, but he gains points in both offensive and fielding categories in the new mix of systems, so they just see him as an all around better player. Only 10 year prime but best MLB shortstop in '15, '20, '21 and '22 (and 2nd in '23, '25 and '26). Best fielder in MLB in '17, '20 and '23.
7) Craig Biggio (331) 14 year prime. Was a poor defender at 2B which costs him points. Was a top 2% player in MLB in '94, '95, '97 and '98. Was the best secondbaseman in those same years.
8) Ned Williamson (326) Short career, at least by modern standards, with a 9 year prime. The big winner from last year to this year, as he gains more points than any player who was in my top 100 both years other than Tommy Bond (who was also helped by my tweaking points for pitchers). Benefits from the new mix of uber systems by now being the best 3rd baseman in MLB 3 times (only had him as that once on last year's list): '81, '82 and '85. Also is seen as a good fielder in more years, bolstering his total.
9) Pie Traynor (315) 11 year prime. Actually gains 2 points from last year, when I had him in an elect me spot at 3rd, but the new guys plus Bancroft, Williamson, and the two NGLers leapfrogged him. Loses points in fielding compared to last year, which is not suprising since rWAR hates his defense (which is at odds with his reputation and with his DRA numbers) but actually gains number of times he was best MLB 3rdbaseman (from 4 to 6): '23, '25, '27, '29, '31, '32. I don't
10) Sammy Sosa (315) Just doesn't stand out from the backlog really. 11 year prime, and only 3 times a top 2% player (1998, 2000 and 2001). The best RF in MLB those same years. Add in a modest amount of fielding points racked up in his younger years and there's not much else.
11) Tommy Leach (299) My number one player last year. 13 year prime. Had earned more points via fielding than any other player in my top 100 last year, except for Buddy Bell (who wasn't as good of a hitter, in context), but under the new mix of DRA and the fielding components of the uber stats he drops below Bell, Joe Tinker, Davy Force, and Rabbit Maranville in fielding value amongst my consideration set, which explains some of his fall. Still a very good fielder at 3B according to DRA (which makes me wonder why he was moved), and later excelled at CF.
12) Buddy Bell (297) And speaking of Buddy Bell, I'm not suprised he's on my ballot now as rWAR loves him. 13 year prime. Unusual amongst players in my top 15 in that he was never the best at his position (the one year he was a top 2% player, 1981, which was also the only year he finished 2nd at 3B, was one of the years Mike Schmidt was the best player in MLB). But as the previous entity states, picks up a ton of points from his fielding.
13) Curt Schilling (291) 14 year prime, which is pretty long for a pitcher. Was never the best pitcher in MLB, but was consistently amongst the top 30 starters, including the 2nd best pitcher three times: '01, '02 and '04.
14) Art Fletcher (288) I certainly wasn't expecting to be voting for this dude. Has he ever gotten a vote before or am I the first one? He was in my top 100 players last year though, so it's not a complete suprise. Modest 10 year prime. Half of his gain since last year is that the system now sees him as the best fielder in MLB for two years: '18 and '19. He was also the best SS two years, though it was two different years: '13 and '16. Oddly, his career year, 1917, when he posted a very nice 7.2 rWAR, 7.4 bWAR, 27 Win Shares and 12.5 WSAB he was third at his position thanks to Rogers Hornsby and Ray Chapman. And only the 14th best overall player that year (which netted him no points in my system) thanks to those two guys, Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker, a lot of great pitching performances, and the fact that the two WARs ranked him signifcantly higher than the two Win Share based systems (which I suppose is pretty typical for a SS, thanks to the different emphasis put on defense).
15) Bobby Bonds (286) 12 year prime. 3 times among the top players in baseball, and the best at RF ('70, '71, and '73).
16) Joe Tinker (281) The 3rd excellent fielding, relatively light hitting SS on my ballot, and probably the best fielder of the three. 13 year prime. Only once the best fielder in MLB (1904), but gets credit for being a top fielder in MLB for 14 years, more than anyone else in my top 100 (Bell still ends up with more fielding points though, because he was the best fielder at his position 6 times, while Tinker was only 4 times: '04, '05, '08, '09).
17) George Foster (276)
18) Jack Clark (276)
19) Frank Chance (275)
20) Carlos Moran (268) His stats on Seamheads shows a player who was among the best in the Cuban League during his prime, but he also has some years with very low PAs. I'm not sure if this was due to injuries, splitting time between the winter and summer leagues, or what. 12 year prime (60 points). 15 points each for '07, '10, '11, and '13. 37 points each for '03, '05, '06, and '12.
   186. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2012 at 08:16 AM (#4319298)
Dan R --

I was reviewing the Campaneris/Bando question by reading your excellent discussion of the case from the thread you pointed out, and i noticed that the numbers you post from your system differ significantly from the ones that I have from your system from a few years back. Is that because you injected some different numbers into that particular calculation in order to tighten the comparison to Chone WAR, or have you revised your whole WAR in the last couple of years? As it happens, both Bando and Campaneris were higher in the 2012 thread presentation than in the numbers I have from the spreadsheet. I am trying to decide what to do with both players now, so it would be helpful to know what the latest, best assessments of their value are.
   187. Mike Webber Posted: December 07, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4319325)
I'd like to apologize to Chris Cobb for my comment "would listen if the supporters of Taylor tried to convince me that the earlier numbers were flawed." I re-read it last night and realized it was unclear, and because of that possibly very rude.
I meant the I9 figures that Chris used as the basis for his work might not be as accurate as the work done by the Seamheads crew, not that Chris' conversions were flawed. Again, I apologize.
   188. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4319353)
Mike, no apology necessary. It seems only reasonable to expect that both the data and the methodology that I employed in doing Taylor's MLEs eight (!) years ago could now be improved upon, given how far recovery of early NeL records and win-based sabermetrica analysis have progressed since then, so I took your statement as a purely factual description of how we refine our interpretations of player merit here at the HoM--it never occurred to me to feel slighted in some way. I would certainly listen if the supporters of Taylor try to convince me that the earlier numbers are flawed, too!
   189. DL from MN Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4319379)
Pie Traynor... number of times he was best MLB 3rdbaseman

Be careful making those comparisons during segregated competition. The best 3B of that era were black. Your ballot looks rather 3B heavy (Williamson, Traynor, Leach, Bell and Moran in the top 20). Make sure there isn't some systemic bias.

I also have no idea how Curt Schilling would rate below Hilton Smith. Schilling has a higher peak and longer prime.
   190. Al Peterson Posted: December 07, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4319389)
2013 prelim ballot. An excess of riches in the newly eligibles so the backloggers get to take a seat this goaround. I’ve voted every year (I think) but don't get in discussions much anymore - life got busy.

Methodology in brief: The system used for my ranking entails a little bit of everything including WS, WAR, OPS+/ERA+ with Dan R’s WARP based material.Ratings include positional adjustments, additions to one’s playing record for minor league service, war, and NeL credit and for our real oldtimers some contemporary opinion thrown in. Weighting the various measures smoothes any outliers and helps get my ordering. The results of this work tend to favor prime/peak players over career types but that is not 100% tried and true. Last year’s placement is in parenthesis.

Disclaimer: PEDs are no factor for me. You played, you get credit without a one-year protest.

1. Barry Bonds (-). Uh, he was a five tool player who put up video game numbers at the end of his career. I'd take Ruth all-time but Bonds is in the rarest of air. Still couldn't throw out Sid Bream for some reason.

2. Roger Clemens (-). Should be changing the Cy Young to the Roger Clemens since he won it more than his fair share. Will pop up on some minor league team this year for some attention I'm sure.

3. Mike Piazza (-). Catcher who hit with such authority don't exist normally. Will go into HOM with the A's cap?

4. Craig Biggio (-). Sure he stuck around too long - wouldn't we all in whatever you do in life. Slight catchers bonus to go along with fine leadoff hitter skills.

5. Curt Schilling (-). Add to the 216 wins an 11-2 record in the postseason and no worries for putting him here. Power pitcher, good control, workhorse, lots to like.

6. Tommy Leach (2). Combination hot corner/centerfielder could field a little, hit a little. Second all-time in inside-the-park home runs to Wahoo Sam Crawford. Someone else stated he was uniquely valuable in his particular era and I agree he meant more in the particular era he performed in. Useless trivia: Still holds World Series record with 4 triples in a single series.

7. Dick Redding (1). Career was long – decent peak along the way. Outstanding fastball in his day according to James/Neyer book. So he didn’t get into the Hall of Fame; maybe the information collected by HOF committee wasn’t pertinent to Redding’s prime years. He deserves some WWI credit, thus patching up a bald spot in his prime years as 1918 and 1919 were affected. The last NeL pitcher I’d deem as worthy of induction.

8. Bobby Bonds (4). Even with the constant trades, drinking problem and whatnot his combination of speed/power made him a very valuable player. He wasn’t the next Mays, or as good as his son, but we’re talking about a RF who could steal bases and field his position. All five tools on display.

9. Norm Cash (5). Nice run from 1961-66 in terms of placing among the OPS+ leaders in the AL. Seems to be a decent glove to go with good on-base skills. Took an interesting route to the league – didn’t play high school ball so late start to the game, spent a year (1957) in the military.

10. Phil Rizzuto (6). I’ve done my minor league & WWII absence calibration so Scooter scoots to ballot position. Glove first but the offense during prime years was nothing to sneeze at either. Holy Cow!

11. Sammy Sosa (-). Peak power that was enough to make people start walking him. This increased his value as it upped his OBP skills, doubling the value added. Early in his career he had base stealing and defense as assets. He also seemed to miss cutoff men whenever I watched on WGN.

12. Tony Mullane (7). Old time pitcher who threw plenty well, a good hitter to boot. Had some playing time issues since he missed seasons due to being blacklisted. He’s amongst the best of his era when accounting for the time outside of baseball due to conflicts with different leagues. Goes on the all-Nickname team as well.

13. Mickey Welch (8). 300 game winner in the house. Was it due to luck, run support, bad opponents? Still a feat to accomplish, sometimes I need to remind myself that and not totally overlook Smilin’ Mickey. Seemed to pitch well against the other front line starters of his day.

14. Fred McGriff (9). I see a nice prime 1988-94 before the silly ball era takes place. Adds on plenty of career length (60th all-time in games) who didn’t DH much. A very good hitter in the playoffs over many series, slight bump for that.

15. Bob Johnson (10). Argument in brief:

Batting Win Shares misses the mark on his value due to quality of teams he played on. They were horrible and likely cost 20-25 win shares over his 10 year prime with the A’s.

The teams he played on underperforming pythag wins vs. actual, thus a hit to Win Shares. Additionally his teams would end up leaving 2-4 decisions short per year. These incomplete games outcomes shorten Win Shares to divide up.

His career has war years that need discount. But also a couple years at the beginning of his career were in the PCL where he was more than major league quality. MLEs for 1931-32 show a player worthy of starting in the bigs. The tail of his career is nonexistent since the 1946 avalanche of returning War players pushed him back to the minors.

When he retired, Bob Johnson ranked eighth all-time in home runs. lists him as having the strongest arm among left fielders, a sentiment echoed by Bill James in his historical Abstract.

For me he goes ahead of electees like Medwick, Averill, and Willard Brown from his era.

Immediately off ballot:

16. Luis Tiant (11)
17. Bus Clarkson (12)
18. Bucky Walters (13)
19. Orel Hershiser (14)
20. Luke Easter (15)
21. Lance Parrish
22. Jack Clark
23. Vic Willis
24. Hugh Duffy
25. Spotswood Poles

Next 10 (no order) Tommy John, Carl Mays, Kenny Lofton, Lou Brock, Buddy Bell, Don Newcombe, Ben Taylor, Bert Campaneris, Burleigh Grimes, Tommy Bridges

Cravath - Got him in the 70-80 range. I'll have to relook at the minor league numbers, he needs them to hop farther up the backlog. Rest of his game besides power is not going to earn admission.

Sal Bando - I'm more of Buddy Bell/Bob Elliott fan, not to say Bando doesn't have his merits. Probably in the 60s range.

   191. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 07, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4319724)
Chris Cobb--I was using a lot of Sean's numbers to make the comparison closer. That said, I would definitely use the fielding numbers on that thread as opposed to the ones in my spreadsheet, since those were based on BP FRAA and Fielding WS (back when that was all we had).
   192. Nate the Neptunian Posted: December 07, 2012 at 07:31 PM (#4319766)

Be careful making those comparisons during segregated competition. The best 3B of that era were black.

That's probably true, but I was careful to state that Traynor was the best 3B in MLB for those years, not in all of baseball. And I deliberately don't factor NgL players into my rankings when I award points to MLB players from that era. I think there's still too much uncertainty regarding NgL numbers (even though they're better now than they have ever been) to make that viable. I realize that may result in my voting for a few too many players from that era, but I'm OK with that compared to the alternatives.

I also have no idea how Curt Schilling would rate below Hilton Smith. Schilling has a higher peak and longer prime.

Yes and no. Schilling did have a longer prime (well, probably, since it's not totally clear what to make of Smith's time in the Negro Southern League, which I don't count towards prime, but then I do give him credit for some borderline years at the end of his career), but I'm not sure how you arrive at him having a higher peak (at least not if you use Alex King's MLEs that include hitting, as I do). Hilton Smith's best two years were 1937 and 1938 when he had a 9.1 and 9.7. Since the start of the Liveball era, 12 MLB pitchers have posted 2 or more seasons of 9 wins if I use gWAR (Baseball Gauge's WAR) and 13 if I use rWAR (Baseball Ref's WAR). That's not an automatic qualifier for the HoM of course, since the one guy who only shows up in rWAR is Wilbur Wood, and I'm not voting for him, but it's something that 4 of Schilling's contemporaries accomplished (Maddux, Johnson, Martinez and Clemens) but he did not, as he had no years over 9 wins. His best two years were 8.27 (2001) and 7.37 (2004) in gWAR, and 8.2 twice (2001 and 2002) in rWAR. I won't list his best two Win Share or WSAB years, since they're harder to compare to Smith's estimated WAR figures, but he doesn't have a super high peak in those metrics either.

So Smith's two year peak is about 2 to 3 wins better than Schilling's. Now Schilling closes the gap a bit in three year peak, but Smith (25.3 WAR) is still ahead enough compared to either WAR system for Schilling (22.87 gWAR/23.8 rWAR) to call it a win for Smith. Even for 5 year peak Smith (36.6 WAR) is a bit ahead of Schilling (35.1 gWAR/ 35.5 rWAR), though it's getting close.

More importantly for my system though, Smith's two best years rank better among his peers, and he picks up a lot of points for that that Schilling doesn't. In 1937 his 9.1 would give him a legit case for the best player in MLB, since if I compare that number to an average of gWAR and rWAR he basically ends up tied with Lefty Gomez for #1. And in 1938 his 9.7 is easily the best result, at more than a win and a half better than Bill Lee and Arky Vaughn. Schilling never had a year where he was particularly close to being the best player in MLB (I have his best finishes as 14th in 2001 and 2002), much less two. I reward those types of years heavily, so while Schilling has more prime value and a better career, it's not enough to make up the difference.
   193. DL from MN Posted: December 07, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4319775)
That's a pretty high peak to project out of 160 IP for Smith. There are small sample size issues with Negro League projections that really need to be regressed to neighboring seasons. In contrast Schilling's 2 year peak (2001-02) is 570 IP.
   194. Nate the Neptunian Posted: December 07, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4319794)
Well, sure, there are obviously going to be issues with how much do you trust any MLEs, but the ones in post 69 of Smith's thread that I was citing are regressing to neighboring seasons, according to what was posted. If other numbers come along that downgraded his performance in those years I might change my mind, but currently I feel better about his numbers than I do about, say, Taylor's or Moran's.
   195. Alex King Posted: December 07, 2012 at 11:51 PM (#4319831)
As the guy who created those MLEs...yes, they're regressed, but not necessarily correctly; I really took a pretty seat-of-my-pants approach. So I wouldn't necessarily consider the difference between 9.7 and 9 WAR to be significant. That said, Smith does look like a pretty good peak candidate. He also has a very solid anecdotal reputation which should certainly help his case (as opposed to someone like George Scales or Bus Clarkson).

Another point of caution is that these MLEs are from before the BBref Negro leagues data came out. Though Smith's numbers look largely the same, the new data should help with two major sources of uncertainty: the conversion rate between Negro Leagues and the majors, and league and park effects.

I feel better about his numbers than I do about, say, Taylor's or Moran's.

A big part of the uncertainty about Moran, in my opinion, is whether we really should be treating early-1900s Cuban league stats as equivalent to Negro Leagues play. The Seamheads data should help address this, since we can now directly compare Negro Leagues and Cuban stats.

Re Taylor: I haven't had an opportunity to reexamine thoroughly Taylor's case (i.e. run new MLEs using the Seamheads data). I intend to do that prior to the 2014 election. That said, it is my strong impression that the new data will make Taylor's case stronger. As a result of that impression, I am planning on putting Taylor on my ballot in the lower third this year.

Fantastic! I was thinking about trying to create MLEs for Taylor, but I'll gladly defer to your expertise, Chris! The Seamheads release is certainly very exciting and should add a lot to our understanding of Negro Leaguers.
   196. Nate the Neptunian Posted: December 08, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4319951)

Another point of caution is that these MLEs are from before the BBref Negro leagues data came out. Though Smith's numbers look largely the same, the new data should help with two major sources of uncertainty: the conversion rate between Negro Leagues and the majors, and league and park effects.

Well, the numbers should be basically the same for Smith, since BR is using the HOF data and the Seamheads data, and Smith's career was later than anything I believe Seamheads has posted yet, so it's essentially the same data source as what you used for the MLEs (minus the hitting numbers). But yes, the best part of that HOF study data being on BR is it should allow people to get a much more complete look at the NgLs during Smith's era for a better understanding of the context.
   197. Mr Dashwood Posted: December 08, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4319966)
My preliminary ballot is brief. The full ballot will contain much longer explanations, and more detail about my system. My voting record has consistently emphasised positional balance as an important consideration for me.

I am a consecutive prime/peak voter, and give most weight to career in creating a consideration set (where when I started voting I gave all weight to peak). My uber-stat of choice is Win Shares Above Bench.

I have some reservations about 'Sillyball' candidates on the same grounds that people might have reservations about Deadball pitchers and wartime play. Perpetual eligibility means we don't have to have complete answers right away, so I anticipate continuing to work through the 1997-2003 period in particular, where the jump in power puts the power factor greatly ahead of the rise or fall in runs per game line, per the work of Eric Walker.

1) Barry Bonds — MVP-quality seasons in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996.
2) Roger Clemens — MVP 1986, 1987, 1990
3) Bucky Walters — MVP 1939, 1940. I've always had him on the fringe of 'elect-me' positions on my ballot.
4) Mike Piazza — MVP 1997. Long run as '#1 catcher'.
5) Vic Willis — MVP 1899, 1901. Hurt by some contextual adjustments.
6) Craig Biggio — Best 2B in NL in 1990s, plus a brief spell as a top catcher.
7) Hugh Duffy — MVP 1894. Hurt even worse by contextual adjustments than Willis.
8) Jim Rice — MVP 1978. That .502 career slugging in an exceptionally balanced era of baseball sells him to me.
9) Pie Traynor — Best 3B in MLB in the 1920s.
10) Ben Taylor — Best 1B in NgLgs for 'teens and early 20s.
11) Burleigh Grimes — MVP 1920. Maybe too low here. Could move up to (7), if not higher.
12) Kirby Puckett — Top AL CF in 1980s.
13) Lou Brock — To me, best pure career case going.
14) Phil Rizzuto — Best SS not in Hall of Merit.
15) Lee Smith — New to my ballot. Six seasons of excellence, but like Brock usually outclassed by someone else.

Luis Tiant is a pure career case, and his 1971 season in the midst of his prime really hurts his case to my mind.
Cannonball Dick Redding raises questions of competition level. Taylor made the transition to the more structured 1920s leagues better.
Gavy Cravath and Sal Bando lack career value, by my measures.

New Guys
Curt Schilling fell off my ballot at the last draft. He has more virtues than Tiant, but essentially the same case. May yet get back on.
Sammy Sosa was hurt badly by my sceptical attitude to 1997-2003.
Ken Lofton is behind Bernie Williams.

I can see a further revision to my ballot, but the sixteen contenders (1-15 + Schilling) are clear. They may shuffle around a bit after I give another look to ranking their ten-year primes with WSAB.
   198. DL from MN Posted: December 08, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4320135)
I appreciate your perspective but no major league general manager (with perfect foresight) would have traded Curt Schilling straight up for Lee Smith.
   199. Carl Goetz Posted: December 09, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4320348)
Have there been any MLEs done for Julio Franco's time in Japan/Korea/Mexico? I don't think he's ballot-worthy, but he's much better than I realized.
   200. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 09, 2012 at 09:41 PM (#4320542)
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