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

Monday, January 13, 2020

2021 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion

2021 (December 2020)—elect 3

Top 10 Returning Players
Kenny Lofton, Johan Santana, Sammy Sosa, Jeff Kent, Lance Berkman, Bobby Abreu, Buddy Bell, Wally Schang, Bobby Bonds, Sal Bando

Newly eligible players

Tim Hudson
Mark Buehrle
Torii Hunter
Dan Haren
Barry Zito
Aramis Ramirez
Shane Victorino
Alex Rios
Grady Sizemore
A.J. Burnett

DL from MN Posted: January 13, 2020 at 02:06 PM | 651 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   301. progrockfan Posted: June 14, 2020 at 03:15 PM (#5957268)
@Dr. Chaleeko, PM me please.
   302. Yardape Posted: June 23, 2020 at 06:09 PM (#5959076)
Preliminary ballot. I am a former voter, but have been away for a long time. I use WAR on B-Ref as the foundation, I suppose I would say. But I'm a prime voter, so I'm not necessarily looking at career WAR, although I would use that for close cases. (And there are a fair number of close cases). I'm also partial to players who are frequently the best at their position, or nearly so.

1. Bert Campaneris I know he doesn't tower over his peers, but I think he's the best of his era and that carries weight. No long stretch of seasons where he's tops, but he's the best shortstop in baseball for three seasons and close in a couple of others.
2. Mike Tiernan I actually feel a little bad reviving the candidacy of a 19th-Century outfielder long passed over, but I think Tiernan belongs near the grouping of guys already inducted from that era. I don't hold any great hopes for him, but this is where I think he lands.
3. Johan Santana A tremendous extended peak. Not much bulk out of it, but as a prime voter it's hard not to like him.
4. Urban Shocker A strong peak, and a few more good seasons make him a solid candidate in my book. The peak doesn't look quite as good as Santana's to me.
5. Dizzy Dean Obviously a peak candidate, but it was a great one. The shortness of it keeps him belong Santana and Shocker.
6. Bob Elliott Elliott is someone I'm probably going to rate higher than consensus. Short productive career, but a run of seasons where he was the best as his position.
7. George Uhle Not as strong as the pitching trio above; in fact, I could probably draw a line between Elliott and Uhle on how strongly I believe they should be HoMers.
8. Roy Oswalt A textbook prime player, I think. No Santana-like peak as the best in the game, but very good for many seasons.
9. Mark Langston Surprised me by coming out really close to Oswalt in my consideration. I remember him from my childhood as a good, not great pitcher, but he had more good seasons than I recalled.
10. Frank Chance I think I still need to sort through some of the early 20th Century first basemen (Chance, Ben Taylor, Jack Fournier, Ed Konetchy). Right now, I think Chance was the best, despite the durability concerns. But he could slide in either direction as I dig deeper there.
11. Jorge Posada Can't really be called the best of his time, in large part due to defense, but he was probably the next rung down for many seasons, which gets him some credit with me.
12. Sal Bando I'm not as high on Bando as others, or as his raw WAR. I think that's been discussed many times, and obviously I lean toward Campaneris. But that doesn't mean Bando doesn't have a case. I just don't see him standing out as much compared to his contemporaries.
13. Fred Dunlap I understand why he's been passed over, but I still think he's got a candidacy. I believe I am properly discounting his 1884 season; just one season wouldn't affect my ranking too much anyway. He would need some good surrounding seasons, which he has. That gives him a case as a top 2B of his time.
14. Jim Gilliam Three-time best 2B in the majors, with some useful seasons surrounding those. Seamheads has him as the best Negro Leagues player in 1948, though the NeLs were starting to weaken by then so I'm not sure how much that's worth. Also had an MVP season in the International League in 1952.
15. Tim Hudson I was actually pretty surprised to see Oswalt so much higher than Hudson. I remember his peak Oakland years so well, but in retrospect there wan't as much there. He beats out Kenny Lofton for my final ballot spot. Lofton's career totals are nice, but he was rarely at the top of his position, or even as close as Hudson.

Others who just missed the ballot include Ned Williamson, Bill Bradley, Jack Fournier, Jim Fregosi, Dave Bancroft and Frank Viola.

Required disclosures:

Sammy Sosa I really thought his peak would look great, but it was relatively underwhelming, and if he's not a peak candidate, he's not much.
Jeff Kent Much closer than Sosa, but again I thought I would like him more than I did. I should probably take a closer look at him vs. Dunlap.
Lance Berkman and Bobby Abreu both good bats in a time when there were a lot of good bats. These two didn't stand out enough.
Buddy Bell Not the type of player that I'm usually high on. I certainly have Bando ahead of him in third base rankings. Long, good career but not much of a peak (relatively speaking).
Wally Schang Might need a re-evaluation, but I don't see much separating him from a glut of catchers in the early decades of the 20th century.
Bobby Bonds I have him a little above Berkman and Abreu, but his prime years aren't quite high enough to reach the ballot.

Thanks everybody!
   303. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 24, 2020 at 09:35 AM (#5959199)
Yardape, welcome back!!! So glad you have returned.
   304. DL from MN Posted: June 24, 2020 at 10:00 AM (#5959208)
I will echo the welcome back, and please vote in the MMP too.
   305. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 13, 2020 at 12:23 PM (#5962584)
Linking to a post at my blog that folks might find fun about "Contemporary Similarity Scores" for batters.

The idea is to create sim scores using WAR's component categories, and the linked spreadsheet atop the article does it for you. It also lets you play with weights for the categories. Also, while you'll see a top-ten list, the score is shown for every player among the 3855 hitters in the data set, so you can CTRL-F to find out how close Frank Thomas (technically, Frank Thomas4, please see the list of players who share a name in the file) is to Omar Vizquel.

Cool way to blow an hour, also it might help you build a more modern-looking comp set for a player. For example, Frank Thomas4 is comparable not only to Killebrew and Thome but also to Sam Crawford and Dan Brouthers, two names traditional sim scores would never give you.

Anyway, thought you all might enjoy it!

[I didn't realize that something like this had sorta been done before at the Hall of Stats, so there's an editor's note to that effect, though my implementation is pretty different than theirs.]

   306. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 13, 2020 at 12:44 PM (#5962590)
Just in case any of you missed it, Retrosheet released its semi-annual update over the weekend. Here's a link to their Twitter thread that quotes Dave Smith's e-mail to the RetroList.

Highlights: Deduced games to complete seasons back to 1928. Partial play-by-play released back to 1916. Box scores released back to 1901 - i.e., Retrosheet now has box scores for every game played in American League history.
   307. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 13, 2020 at 03:01 PM (#5962665)
Just noticed that the positions in the sim scores got goofed up somehow. I'll be fixing these tonight or tomorrow.
   308. Bleed the Freak Posted: July 14, 2020 at 11:14 AM (#5962801)
306. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 13, 2020 at 12:44 PM (#5962590)
Just in case any of you missed it, Retrosheet released its semi-annual update over the weekend. Here's a link to their Twitter thread that quotes Dave Smith's e-mail to the RetroList.

Highlights: Deduced games to complete seasons back to 1928. Partial play-by-play released back to 1916. Box scores released back to 1901 - i.e., Retrosheet now has box scores for every game played in American League history.


Sweet 1928-1931 are now complete!!!!
Partial data for the first time for 1916 and 1917.

Are you planning a mid-year update to your website?
Please share any takeaways yay or nay that you come across and thanks!
   309. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 14, 2020 at 11:19 AM (#5962803)
Are you planning a mid-year update to your website?


Yes. Probably August 1st, give or take. I'll mention it here.
   310. Bleed the Freak Posted: July 14, 2020 at 12:15 PM (#5962815)
Yes. Probably August 1st, give or take. I'll mention it here.


Happy Dance!
   311. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 15, 2020 at 06:06 PM (#5963198)
Hey, everyone, the trouble noted in post 307 is fixed, and the updated WAR-based sim scores spreadsheet is now live. Thanks for your patience.
   312. Bleed the Freak Posted: July 17, 2020 at 11:56 AM (#5963614)
Mid-year ballot prelim update, with ~100 representing a borderline HOF level:

1. Urban Shocker - 115
2. Wally Schang - 111
3. Andy Pettitte - 111
4. Lance Berkman - 109
5. Hurley McNair - 108
6. Joe Tinker - 106
7. Tommy John - 105
8. Babe Adams - 104
9. Jason Giambi - 104
10. Bobby Veach - 104
11. Tim Hudson - 104
12. Kenny Lofton - 104
13. Johan Santana - 102
14. Bert Campaneris - 102
15. Vic Willis - 102

Abreu, Bonds, Kent close. Bell, Bando, Sosa short of personal hall.
   313. cookiedabookie Posted: July 22, 2020 at 07:18 PM (#5964790)
Alright, updated my spreadsheet for the BB-Ref updates. Here's how my top 25 currently look:

1. Andy Pettitte, SP, PHOM 2020
2. Joe Tinker, SS, PHOM 1925
3. Thurman Munson, C, PHOM 1985
4. Buddy Bell, 3B, PHOM 1995
5. Kenny Lofton, CF, PHOM 2019
6. Bobby Bonds, RF, PHOM 1987
7. Wally Schang, C, PHOM 1937
8. Tim Hudson, SP, PHOM 2021
9. Willie Davis, CF, PHOM 1985
10. Bob Johnson, LF, PHOM 1955
11. Eddie Cicotte, SP, PHOM 1929
12. Sammy Sosa, RF, PHOM 2020
13. Mark Buehrle, SP, PHOM 2021
14. Art Fletcher, SS, PHOM 1928
15. Jorge Posada, C, PHOM 2021
16. Dwight Gooden, SP, PHOM 2006
17. Jeff Kent, 2B
18. Chuck Finley, SP, PHOM 2008
19. Urban Shocker, SP, PHOM 1942
20. Lance Berkman, LF
21. Norm Cash, 1B, PHOM 1980
22. Kevin Appier, SP, PHOM 2012
23. Gavvy Cravath, RF
24. Vic Willis, SP, PHOM 1930
25. Sal Bando, 3B, PHOM 1987
   314. cookiedabookie Posted: July 22, 2020 at 07:26 PM (#5964793)
Hey Kiko, is there a excel-friendly file for your pWORL? I'd like to incorporate it into my rankings.
   315. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 22, 2020 at 10:37 PM (#5964842)
Hey Kiko, is there a excel-friendly file for your pWORL? I'd like to incorporate it into my rankings.


Right now, the "easiest" way to do this would be to copy one of my tables and paste. I think they paste fairly cleanly into Excel although I realize that's not the best solution. But, for example, you could get the top X players in career pWORL by going to my Leaders page, setting the number of players equal to X and copying the pWORL table (it's the right-hand side of the second set of tables - here's the top 1,000 players in career pWORL using default positional averages and extrapolating missing games - note: the larger you set X, the longer this table takes to calculate).

Also, see my comment #309. I'm in the process of updating to incorporate Retrosheet's latest release. So at this point, you probably want to wait the week or two for me to update that. Maybe I'll try to put a .csv or two up on the website. I know exactly enough website programming to put together my existing website, so anything that isn't already there, I have to figure out how to do. But I may look into doing something. I certainly want to make it as easy as possible to actually use the data!
   316. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 22, 2020 at 10:47 PM (#5964844)
Okay, Googling HTML to csv, I think this website will convert any website that has tables into a csv. At least it seemed to work with my link in #315. I may still try to add that as a feature on my website, though.
   317. cookiedabookie Posted: July 23, 2020 at 01:38 PM (#5964957)
Awesome, thanks! Have you done anything with the NgL players?
   318. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 23, 2020 at 03:38 PM (#5965009)
Have you done anything with the NgL players?


Short answer: No
Long answer:

My stats are calculated using play-by-play data. Hence, my source is Retrosheet. And Retrosheet has not released any play-by-play data for any Negro League games - nor has anybody else that I'm aware of. The best Negro League data - by far - is at Seamheads. But Seamheads only presents its statistics at the season level, not the game level.

I am on Retrosheet's board of directors (I'm Retrosheet's Treasurer) and at our last board meeting (last month), I raised the issue of potentially working to get Negro League play-by-play data on Retrosheet's website. We all loved the idea and I volunteered to head up the effort. According to Dave Smith, Retrosheet possesses some play-by-play - he specifically mentioned a scorebook with several games scored by the same person, I believe from the 1940s. But before you can create a play-by-play, you first need to set up roster files for all of your teams and give everybody ID numbers and what-not. So, that's kind of step 1. Step two would then be inputting what we already have. And step three would be to go out and try to find more. I'm hoping to e-mail Dave tonight to get started on steps 1 and 2.

Meanwhile, I had some conversations with the guys at Seamheads about possibly getting their data at the game level and hopefully at least putting together a set of box score files - which would be very helpful in trying to both find play-by-play accounts, but also to enter them as it's very helpful to have a box score and/or newspaper story or two to fall back on to help you interpret the scorecard in a lot of cases. I'm hopeful that there's mutual benefit to having box scores available somewhere, even if not at Retrosheet.

So, if any of you know of any possible sources for Negro League play-by-play data - does anybody know of any newspapers who might have reported such things (this was fairly common in white newspapers of the 1920s and 1930s, for example; your evening papers would frequently just print out a play-by-play of that afternoon's game(s)), please let me know. Any other potential sources - not just league games: All-Star games, Negro World Series, exhibitions between Negro Leaguers and white major leaguers? Anything?

So, to summarize, I'm cautiously optimistic that I might eventually get some play-by-play data with which I might be able to extend my Player won-lost records to the Negro Leagues. But, as of now, that's a fairly long-run ambition. But it is an ambition which I am actively working toward right now.
   319. cookiedabookie Posted: July 23, 2020 at 05:24 PM (#5965035)
Gotcha. Sounds like an ambitious and worthwhile project, for sure. I couldn't wait, and updated my list based on your current pworl numbers.

1. Andy Pettitte, SP, PHOM 2020
2. Thurman Munson, C, PHOM 1985
3. Wally Schang, C, PHOM 1937
4. Joe Tinker, SS, PHOM 1925
5. Tim Hudson, SP, PHOM 2021
6. Kenny Lofton, CF, PHOM 2019
7. Buddy Bell, 3B, PHOM 1995
8. Tommy John, SP, PHOM 2005
9. Bobby Bonds, RF, 1987
10. Jorge Posada, C, PHOM 2020
11. Urban Shocker, SP, PHOM 1942
12. Jeff Kent, 2B, PHOM 2021
13. Lance Berkman, LF, PHOM 2021
14. Eddie Cicotte, SP, PHOM 1929
15. Bob Johnson, LF, PHOM 1955
16. Sammy Sosa, RF
17. Dwight Gooden, SP, PHOM 2006
18. Vic Willis, SP, PHOM 1930
19. Ron Cey, 3B, PHOM 1997
20. Willie Davis, CF, PHOM 1985
21. Sal Bando. 3B, PHOM 1987
22. David Wells, SP
23. Mark Buehrle, SP
24. Art Fletcher, SS, PHOM 1928
25. Norm Cash, 1B, PHOM 1980
   320. cookiedabookie Posted: July 23, 2020 at 05:48 PM (#5965039)
Adding your info really knocked down Jim Sundberg. Curious if you could go into any detail why your system doesn't like him all that much?
   321. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 24, 2020 at 12:15 AM (#5965180)
Adding your info really knocked down Jim Sundberg. Curious if you could go into any detail why your system doesn't like him all that much?


If you click on "Value Decomposition" in the heading of either of the first two tables on a player page, it takes you to a table that's similar in structure to BB-Ref's WAR table. Here's Jim Sundberg's. That links to the breakdown of his eWORL - which controls for context. But Sundberg has 18.5 eWORL and 18.3 pWORL, so context isn't really the story here.

Anyway, here's how my numbers compare to BB-Ref's. Mine are wins; BB-Ref's are runs.

Batting: -7.4 eWins, -63 runs - so I like his offense a bit less than BB-Ref; my system tends to prefer power more than other systems (I included BB-Ref's double play number here because I count double play avoidance as a batting skill).
Baserunning: -1.4 eWins, -12 runs - nothing really to see there
Fielding: +4.4 eWins, +114 runs - well there's your biggest difference
Position: +8.3 eWins, +118 runs - and there's the rest of it. I checked and Sundberg's positional numbers don't seem to change much if I change between 1-year, 9-year, or long-run positional averages.

So, for whatever reason, I'm giving a lower positional advantage to catchers. As for fielding, all I include in catcher fielding is stolen bases, wild pitches and passed balls, and balls in play. Catchers handle exceptionally few balls in play and, in my system, they share credit with pitchers for the other two, which results in very small fielding numbers for catchers. I actually rate Sundberg as the fourth-best fielding catcher for whom I've calculated Player won-lost records. So, a phrase I've used before, it's a difference of valuation, not evaluation.

To be perfectly honest, I would say that catcher fielding and catcher positional averages might be the two aspects of my system with which I am the least comfortable. All indications are that Jim Sundberg was a wonderful defensive catcher and there's nothing in my system that really disagrees with that. And I'm actually fairly comfortable saying that my system probably isn't giving him enough credit for that. Now, is my system under-valuing him by the 10 wins implied by the above? Maybe?

But wait. There's one more thing and this one I don't understand. I'm not showing Sundberg 10 wins lower than BB-Ref. I'm showing him 22 wins lower than BB-Ref (18.5 vs. 40.5). Huh?

The rest of the difference is the shift from what I call WOPA to WORL and what BB-Ref calls WAA to WAR. I credit Sundberg with 14.7 wins of "replacement value" while BB-Ref credits him with 241 replacement runs. I'm going to be honest; I have no idea what's going on there. Skimming through a few players who played around the same number of games as Sundberg (just under 2,000), it looks like BB-Ref might be giving bonus replacement runs to catchers? Which maybe is defensible, I don't know. Sundberg was extremely durable for a catcher in his prime. It could also be a function of the fact that catchers have so few fielding decisions, so a catcher will earn fewer decisions in my system than, say, an outfielder over the same number of games, which will then translate into a smaller number of "replacement wins".

I don't know if any of that convinced you. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure how much it convinced me. I probably need to re-think how I treat catchers because I am clearly under-valuing them, I think.
   322. kcgard2 Posted: July 24, 2020 at 09:28 AM (#5965215)
Catcher valuation is something of a hot topic. For my 0.02, I think your system underrates them, Kiko. I'm more of the opinion that there's probably "undiscovered" credit out there to be apportioned to catchers above their current WAR (if they were average or good defensively, at least), but very certainly not less than they currently get.

Sundberg happens to be a pet candidate of mine, because he's one of the best test cases for this undiscovered credit. I currently have him just inside my top 100, I believe, so there would need to be MASSIVE credit finding to get him near a ballot, on the order of what Tango was insinuating in the article I linked a few weeks ago. If you find extra credit for catchers, Sundberg always pops to the very top of the list of biggest gainers - the universal consensus is that he was excellent defensively, plus he played tons of games at catcher whereas many others would have the credit tempered by virtue of playing big chunks of time at other positions. If you can find lots of credit, Sundberg becomes a very interesting candidate, and somewhere in a combination of my head and my heart, I feel like that credit is out there, so I like Sundberg. I still don't know if the credit could possibly be enough to get him to an election spot, even for me, but that's where I am.
   323. kcgard2 Posted: July 24, 2020 at 09:38 AM (#5965218)
Gents, I know some years ago Tango created a Hall of Merit website, but it seems to have been abandoned some time ago. To that end, I have created a new website for the Hall of Merit. This actually turned into a larger time sink than I expected it to, and since I work full time I wrangled it in my spare time. It represents a lot of work, so please don't be too harsh in your criticisms :)

https://sites.google.com/view/bbtf-hall-of-merit/home

A huge thanks is in order to Rob Wood, all of whose plaque corrections have been included. Actually, the plaques needed a ton of editing even of top of the corrections he found, but he found a lot that I wouldn't have. To that end, there are also many incomplete or missing plaques due to the size limitations on the plaque room located here, as well as the fact that the plaque room here is just out of date. If anyone knows where to find the plaques for the following players, please let me know. If you can email me, even better.

gary carter
steve carlton
max carey
bob caruthers
jim edmonds
bill freehan
frankie frisch
tom glavine
ken griffey
vlad guerrero
roy halladay
todd helton
derek jeter
randy johnson
andruw jones
chipper jones
greg maddux
pedro martinez
mike mussina
manny ramirez
dick redding
mariano rivera
ivan rodriguez
scott rolen
curt schilling
gary sheffield
john smoltz
frank thomas
jim thome
luis tiant

Also, if there are any requests for additions or edits to the site, I am open. I know in the past people have done things like a list of all HOM voters past and present, and the idea of making a searchable database of info on the HOM, and things like that, though the things done in the past are defunct and would have to be created over from scratch, it seems. Also, some of that (the database) may be out of my realm of ability, depending on...factors. Anyway, I hope you guys check it out.
   324. kcgard2 Posted: July 24, 2020 at 10:25 AM (#5965229)
Also, Kiko and Dr. Chaleeko, your names are mentioned on the site in reference to your own sites. I intended that as an honorarium of sorts, as well as more professionalism, but if you'd like your name removed, let me know.
   325. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 24, 2020 at 11:41 AM (#5965272)
kcgard2, your website is excellent. Very nice! And thank you for the mention on it. I appreciate that.

And for what it's worth, I tend to agree with your comment #322. I have a lot of things going on right now (the two big baseball-related ones I mentioned earlier on this page, plus, you know, the whole having a full-time job thing), but I have some thoughts about catchers and would like to do a deep dive on them at some point, not just theoretically but try to do some digging into which catchers specifically warrant more credit than I'm giving them (based on everything I've seen from other people, I assume Sundberg will end up high on that list).
   326. Bleed the Freak Posted: July 24, 2020 at 12:08 PM (#5965300)
Great site kcgard2, would be cool to have a page with all HOM personal halls, we could post 'em here to start!
   327. DL from MN Posted: July 24, 2020 at 12:19 PM (#5965318)
Love the site, kcgard2. I've wanted that for years. Could you add sorting plaques by team on their cap as an option?
   328. DL from MN Posted: July 24, 2020 at 02:11 PM (#5965358)
DL from MN has been the moderator, ballot master, and organizer of HOM elections for most or all of its history.


I have pretty much owned the MMP project (which would be another great add to your HoM site) but I didn't even vote until the 1968 election. Joe Dimino deserves most of that credit.
   329. cookiedabookie Posted: July 24, 2020 at 05:34 PM (#5965434)
Thanks for that response, Kiko. Sundberg just stuck out to me, I haven't looked beyond that (he's one of my pet projects, and I had inducted him into my own personal HoM). I'll be interested in what you come up with during a deeper dive, as I am of the camp that catchers are missing significant value in most wins systems.
   330. kcgard2 Posted: July 25, 2020 at 08:18 AM (#5965585)
DL - cap standings is doable. I think the way I would do it is this: have a list for the 30 current teams, and historical players who played for that franchise would go under the current team. For example, Cap Anson would go under the Cubs (his official cap is the White Stockings, which is one of the previous names of the Cubs). I don't think I would link to different pages as I have done for positions, because there would be too many pages with only one or two players.

One idea I've been toying around with a "query tool," where you can filter based on certain options (of which cap could be one), and it would return a list of players who meet your criteria. However, my ability to get something like that functioning is a very real and open question. In short, cap standings are definitely doable it's just a question of what it will look like.

I will also update the note about being organizer - how long have you been doing that? I am trying to get accurate notes about the people who have contributed to the project, but it's kind of hard. I think the city/state and franchise caps may be done by new people now (maybe by theorioleway who does plaques now? or maybe by nobody?). If anyone knows this info, please let me know.

Bleed - thanks! I am willing to add pHOMs to the site for HOM voters. One of the things I plan to add is a voter history page, listing all the people who have voted and which years. The voter names could then be links to that voter's pHOM. Once I get the voter page set up I will accept pHOM submissions. Then we could summarize if there are common trends in pHOMs...ideas just keep sprouting up :) I'm gonna ask, for the sake of how much work I have to do, that people please submit in a specific way, but more to come when this idea is more ready to go.

Edit: oh, and adding MMP to the site is not on my radar. This was a lot of work already, with more in planning. Maaaybe someday, but I'm not promising.
   331. progrockfan Posted: July 27, 2020 at 12:05 PM (#5966046)
A question for the electorate:

Given only defensive innings, putouts, assists, errors and double plays for a league, does anyone here know of a decent formula by which to calculate that league's approximate ground ball/fly ball ratio?

Cheers! ;)
   332. DL from MN Posted: July 27, 2020 at 12:55 PM (#5966061)
I will also update the note about being organizer - how long have you been doing that?


Basically since the MMP started in 2011.

adding MMP to the site is not on my radar


If it helps I can send the spreadsheet that has all of the election data in it.
   333. cookiedabookie Posted: July 27, 2020 at 02:38 PM (#5966108)
Hey Kiko, another guy I have a question on is Richie Ashburn. He took a big hit with your system as well.
   334. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 27, 2020 at 03:42 PM (#5966136)
Hey Kiko, another guy I have a question on is Richie Ashburn. He took a big hit with your system as well.


Yeah, my system kind of hates Richie Ashburn. I've talked about that a bit before - probably in at least one earlier HOM thread (although Ashburn's already in the HOM, so it's not a hugely relevant fact).

Basically, my system values power more than most other offensive systems. My theory is that home runs are more valuable in terms of wins than in terms of runs because they're guaranteed runs (to be clear - this is an after-the-fact attempt to explain a result that simply fell naturally out of my system. I may be wrong about WHY home runs are more valuable than run-based systems say; but I'm pretty confident that the numbers are what they are.). So, Ashburn takes a pretty big hit for that. Defensively, Ashburn's teams tended to give up lots of extra-base hits, which my system blames him for partially - that's the one component of fielding that I think my system is the only one that explicitly measures - the ability to limit/allow extra-base hits. I can't swear that this is entirely fair to Ashburn (fielding stats get sketchier the farther back you go in time), but the high number of extra-base hits (especially triples) allowed followed Ashburn from the Phillies (who allowed an NL-high 56 triples in 1959, Ashburn's final season there) to the Cubs (who led the 1960 NL in triples allowed with 67 in Ashburn's first season there) to the Mets (who led the 1962 NL in triples allowed with 74 in his Ashburn's only season there).

Ashburn also looks a bit worse in context (pWins) than when I control for context (eWins) and depending on how you calculate positional averages, he's hurt a bit by having his career overlap with Mays, Mantle, Snider (and Larry Doby, who my system likes) in center field. But those are both fairly small relative to the lack of power and the poor Component 6 fielding (extra-base hits allowed).
   335. kcgard2 Posted: July 27, 2020 at 04:48 PM (#5966167)
If it helps I can send the spreadsheet that has all of the election data in it.

That would certainly help. When I finish the current stuff on HOM I will maybe reach out. I'll probably need some other project to keep my sanity during these covid times :)

Some updates: I made a franchise page. Google sites allows you to do collapsible text, so I was going to make the plaque room cooler by allowing you to click, say, "Cubs" and all the Cubs franchise players would remain and the other plaques would collapse - but you can't collapse images, only text. Google sites is great for ease of use, but the cost is more limited functionality on stuff like that. So the franchise page is more like I was envisioning up-thread.

The voter history page is a major slog. Like, 20 minutes per year times 123 years...I'm not going to finish that for several weeks at best. I think now that I am past the badly corrupted threads (~1898-1925), hopefully it might go down to 12-15 minutes per year. Anyway, once that's done, I will take pHOM submissions, which I think will be kind of fun to see how it differs from aHOM in the aggregate.

If anybody has other ideas or requests, let me know. I want the site to be as cool and comprehensive as my limited abilities allow!
   336. kcgard2 Posted: July 27, 2020 at 04:51 PM (#5966169)
@331, I would suggest a regression. You have those stats for a bunch of years where we know the GB/FB distributions. Use a regression to estimate the unknown year(s), unless the regression is a really bad fit, in which case I would say the inputs you have available are not sufficient for having a good idea of the GB/FB ratio of a league.
   337. Bleed the Freak Posted: July 28, 2020 at 08:26 AM (#5966314)
Rally has entered the conversation, yielding similar results to Tango on the WOWY catchers study:
http://tangotiger.com/index.php/site...catcher-wowy#6

Rally / Tango ranks
Gary Carter (1 / 1)
Yadier Molina (2 / 4)
Brad Ausmus (3 / 5)
Mickey Cochrane (4 / 2)
Tony Pena (5 / 3)
Andy Seminick ( / 6)
Rick Ferrell ( / 7)
Johnny Bench ( / 8)
Jason Varitek ( / 9)
Al Lopez ( / 10)
Russell Martin ( / 11)

Rally took a glance at other positions, though Tango rightly noted sample size challenges, Gehrig is first, but he didn't miss any games :

Best of the rest:
Lou Gehrig
Willie Mays
Indian Bob Johnson
Frank White
Curt Flood
Arky Vaughan
Willie Randolph
John Olerud
Brooks Robinson
Steve Garvey
Lu Blue
Willie Davis
Eric Chavez

The worst:
Derek Jeter
Carlos Lee
Alexei Ramirez
Bobby Abreu
Richie Ashburn
Magglio Ordonez
Dwight Evans
Ed Sprague
Eric Young Sr.


Andruw Jones, Dave Winfield, and Alex Rodriguez SS also perform poorly.
   338. DL from MN Posted: July 28, 2020 at 11:42 AM (#5966360)
Mickey Cochrane (4 / 2)


This is interesting as the MMP is just entering Cochrane's prime seasons and he is just missing my ballot.
   339. cookiedabookie Posted: July 28, 2020 at 01:43 PM (#5966403)
I've long argued among friends and online that Gary Carter is the best MLB catcher of all time, given his combined offense, defense, and longevity behind the plate. It's nice to see that these WOWY numbers look to back me up even more.
   340. cookiedabookie Posted: July 28, 2020 at 01:48 PM (#5966404)
Tango had a post about catcher value and how to adjust (http://tangotiger.com/index.php/site/comments/catchers-and-war). Interestingly, he came up with a 36% adjustment, which is what I came up with a few years back just so I could compare catchers more equitably to other positions, over at the Hall of Stats (http://www.hallofstats.com/articles/overlooked-legends-at-the-fred).

Quoted here:

"On a side note, I compared players at each position by rWAR rank at various intervals. Catchers tend to need about a 36% boost in WAR to match up to the median WAR of all other positions at various rankings from the 5th spot down to the 30th spot. Doing that makes catchers look more Hall worthy than their surface numbers. For instance, the 10th ranked catcher is at 52.1 rWAR, the median for all other positions at the ten spot is 68.9 rWAR. For the 15th spot, it's 45.9 versus 62.4 rWAR, and for the 20th spot it's 41 vs 54 rWAR.

If you do a 36% adjustment, Joe Mauer at #10 jumps up to 72.6 rWAR, a virtual tie with Larry Walker and in the top 60 all time. Ted Simmons is right there with Eddie Murray around the 80th ranked player. Thurman Munson is tied with Shoeless Joe, between Mark McGwire and Andruw Jones in the top 110. Bill Freehan and Wally Schang aren't far behind, in the top 120, just ahead of Harmon Killebrew. Even Posada is between Olerud and Sosa, around spot 130. And Kendall is basically tied with Will Clark in the top 140 all time. I think this helps reframe how we see and value catchers, and readjust accordingly when we talk about HoF/HoS worthiness."
   341. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 29, 2020 at 12:24 PM (#5966654)
Just in case any of you missed it, Retrosheet released its semi-annual update over the weekend. Here's a link to their Twitter thread that quotes Dave Smith's e-mail to the RetroList.

Highlights: Deduced games to complete seasons back to 1928. Partial play-by-play released back to 1916. Box scores released back to 1901 - i.e., Retrosheet now has box scores for every game played in American League history.


My Player won-lost records are now updated to include Retrosheet's latest data. This article summarizes Retrosheet's play-by-play data. I put together a set of players based on my customized uber-statistic page before and after the update. I'm going to try to write something up about the differences at some point this week which I'll either summarize or link to here.
   342. kcgard2 Posted: August 09, 2020 at 09:15 PM (#5968701)
cookie: be careful with the adjustment you are providing to catchers. If I give a 36% adjustment to Mauer's WAR only for his playing time at catcher, I get him to about 65 bWAR, not 72.6. I don't think we should take the ~20 career WAR he has as a 1B/DH (mainly) and apply any adjustments to that, it gives him quite an unfair advantage.

Also, 36% seems big to me. But I get where that number is coming from, it's the simple adjustment needed to make catchers as a position line up with the medians for the other positions' top players.
   343. kcgard2 Posted: August 09, 2020 at 09:20 PM (#5968704)
Also, I finished the voter history work (man, what an effort). If voters would like to submit PHOM I'd be interested in doing a summary of what that looks like among the electorate. If anyone wants to submit, my email is krisgardner -at- twc -dotcom-. I request that you submit in the following format, please:

In
Eddie Cicotte (1930)
Bob Johnson (1960)
Dizzy Dean (1972)
Jack Quinn (1973)
Larry Jackson (1979)
Sal Bando (1987)
Bobby Bonds (1987)
Marvin Williams (1991)
Tommy John (1995)
Buddy Bell (1996)
Chet Lemon (1997)
Ron Cey (2000)
Chuck Finley (2008)
Kirby Puckett (2008)
Kevin Appier (2009)
Robin Ventura (2012)
John Olerud (2012)
Kenny Lofton (2019)
Lance Berkman (2020)
Johan Santana (2020)

Out
Hardy Richardson (1905)
Sam Thompson (1929)
Bob Caruthers (1930)
Jimmy Sheckard (1930)
Dickey Pearce (1931)
Max Carey (1939)
Lip Pike (1940)
Willie Foster (1945)
Ray Brown (1955)
Mule Suttles (1956)
Wes Ferrell (1964)
Early Wynn (1970)
Cool Papa Bell (1973)
Willard Brown (1976)
José Méndez (1985)
Nellie Fox (1997)
Edd Roush (1997)
Rollie Fingers (2000)
Charley Jones (2003)
Alejandro Oms (2006)

The players who are in and the year, the players who are out (and the year the HOM elected them). I kind of wanted to make a thread for this rather than make the request in the ballot discussion, but I don't seem to have that ability.
   344. cookiedabookie Posted: August 11, 2020 at 09:57 AM (#5969013)
@kcgard yeah, I actually adjust this catcher adjustment for time behind the plate. So Mauer doesn't have this number in my final adjustment. And because I adjust for time behind the plate, guys like Kendall and Sundberg jump up to borderline HoF
   345. kcgard2 Posted: August 16, 2020 at 01:39 PM (#5969953)
DL - I've finished the site for MMP as well.

Many thanks to Rob Wood for copious amounts of editing beyond the mountain he and I already did before. THE HOM site is now something I think I would not be embarrassed for the general public to see.
   346. theorioleway Posted: September 05, 2020 at 11:42 AM (#5974670)
FYI for those who use data from the Baseball Gauge, it has been acquired by Baseball Reference. Some of the stuff (such as cWPA) is going to go onto the Baseball Reference site. I don't know if they'll transfer over the DRA fielding stats he has. I'd be surprised if gWAR is kept, and I don't know about Win Shares. After they're done, they are going to shut the website down. So if you use that stuff, you might want to export the data from the site you need so you have it in the future.
   347. DL from MN Posted: September 05, 2020 at 05:29 PM (#5974688)
Shutting down Baseball Gauge? I don't go there for the numbers. I go there for the way they present them.

What is happening to Seamheads and the Negro League database?
   348. Carl Goetz Posted: September 17, 2020 at 10:56 AM (#5977166)
KC, I wrote up plaques for Halladay, Rivera, and Redding that are in the 2019 Election Results thread. Not sure about the others on your list.
   349. kcgard2 Posted: September 19, 2020 at 10:53 AM (#5977656)
Thanks, Carl. With Redding's plaque, the site now has plaques for every inducted player :)
   350. Bleed the Freak Posted: September 20, 2020 at 05:57 PM (#5977784)
Cool podcast celebrating 100 years of the Negro Leagues: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/celebrating-the-100th-anniversary-of-the-negro-leagues/id1461705002?i=1000490773496

Comments jive with Docs research that Newt Allen could be a serious candidate.
   351. Bleed the Freak Posted: September 24, 2020 at 11:58 AM (#5978462)
Great article by the Doc on Luque and El Duque:
https://homemlb.wordpress.com/2020/09/24/special-consideration-cuban-imports

Dolf needs to be taken seriously as a 2021 HOF contender, especially with this being a backlog driven election.
   352. John DiFool2 Posted: September 24, 2020 at 12:22 PM (#5978468)
Defensively, Ashburn's teams tended to give up lots of extra-base hits, which my system blames him for partially...


Just throwing this out there: his home stadiums tended to have pretty large centerfields.
   353. Bleed the Freak Posted: October 02, 2020 at 12:20 PM (#5980539)
Ron Cey - Minors Review

Check out Doc's article, Ron Cey should be given SERIOUS thought for our ballots/consideration set.
   354. DL from MN Posted: October 02, 2020 at 01:22 PM (#5980563)
Ron Cey should be given SERIOUS thought for our ballots/consideration set.


I was a big Ron Cey booster but I think this falls into the same category as Buddy Bell and Sal Bando. It doesn't make any sense that half of the HoM caliber 3B all played in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
   355. Bleed the Freak Posted: October 02, 2020 at 02:13 PM (#5980581)
I was a big Ron Cey booster but I think this falls into the same category as Buddy Bell and Sal Bando. It doesn't make any sense that half of the HoM caliber 3B all played in the late 1970s and early 1980s.


I understand the sentiment, I suppose if nothing else, Bando and Bell are potentially on the door step of election, were either better than Cey.
Do they all belong, do some, do none?
   356. kcgard2 Posted: October 05, 2020 at 11:30 AM (#5981139)
It doesn't make any sense that half of the HoM caliber 3B all played in the late 1970s and early 1980s

I don't agree with this (beyond "half" being an obvious exaggeration). It's not even as concentrated as 1B between 1990-2010, or arguably SS between 1920-1940. Is it more concentrated than CF between 1950-1970? Clusters happen, it's just randomness. Nobody is arguing to keep out qualified players from those other era-positions, just the 3B cluster.
   357. DL from MN Posted: October 05, 2020 at 01:17 PM (#5981157)
It makes more sense for outlier talent to cluster at CF/SS/P/C than at 1B/2B/3B/LF/RF. There's also the explanation that BBREF WAR grades out 3B as a net "above average" for the time period in question. You can't have an entire position providing above average results.
   358. Jaack Posted: October 05, 2020 at 01:24 PM (#5981161)
Some of the support for the third basemen comes from wanting positional balance. I'm not against that idea, but I don't think that inducting the sixth and seventh best third basemen of their era is the best way to solve it. If the positional adjustment in WAR is overrating 60s/70s third basemen, and we elevate 3B a bit to keep positional balance, then we run the risk of compounding the error.
   359. kcgard2 Posted: October 05, 2020 at 06:19 PM (#5981219)
It's strange to me that you lump 2B in the no-defense positions (and 3B for that matter, but OK), particularly putting CF with the talent outliers. Checking the clusterings I mentioned, CF from 50-70 blows 3B away in grading out net above average for the time period. Because WAR doesn't force positions to be average on a year-by-year basis (as it shouldn't, for precisely the reason that particularly good players or particularly good performances can cluster in a season or group of seasons, and vice versa). 1B from 1990-2010 also grades out net above average, but not as much as 3B under discussion. This is not a novel event or by any means confined to this 3B cluster of players. SS from 20-40 does not, which kind of highlights the point that raw WAR at a position isn't exactly what we're examining here anyway, since 1/3 to 1/2 the teams in MLB in that time had arguably a HOM quality SS in this cluster of time, which WAR by position does not show at all.

I kind of agree with Jaack's point about electing the 6th best player at his position during an era. At least I see it as a reasonable caution. But then I also think if the 6th best guy at one position was better than the 3rd best guy at another, I'd pick the better player.
   360. Bleed the Freak Posted: October 05, 2020 at 07:06 PM (#5981227)
When our backlog is this splintered, it's fair to wonder whether metrics are overrating the 6th best at a position and underrating the best at another (Bell, Bando, Cey, versus Campaneris). If Bert wasn't that valuable, we don't need to over credit, but maybe he's underrated a bit by WAR. Maybe playing SS in the astroturf era took a bit more talent than given credit for. Campy is a big plus on clutch at +6 wins, while Cey is a -6, Bell -5, Bando -3. Don't sleep on Dagoberto I guess is my point :)
   361. DL from MN Posted: October 06, 2020 at 09:16 AM (#5981312)
3B and 2B aren't "no defense" but if the player was really that good at defense they would probably play SS. Same with CF - if you throw lefthanded and run fast you will end up in the outfield. BTW - I'm also lower on CF than the HoM consensus partly because I compare players to positional average in my scores.
   362. kcgard2 Posted: October 06, 2020 at 04:41 PM (#5981419)
DL, that's a good point - I can buy a little bit more into the likelihood that CF will cluster talent a bit more than other positions due to LH throwers who are good at defense being funneled there.
   363. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 06, 2020 at 11:22 PM (#5981515)
I know, I know, I’ve said this before, but....

IMO, you can’t look at the 1960s and 1970s and say “too many good 3Bs” without simultaneously saying “where’d all the shortstops go?” I don’t think these two situations exist apart from one another. My theory is that many 1970s third basemen would have been SS in other eras, and many 1970s SS would have either been UTs or AAA players at another time. Mike Schmidt was a MiL SS and converted late in his apprenticeship. Did he convert because of turf? Because the team perceived Larry Bowa as superior to Don Money?

But to KCG’s point, look at Joe Cronin. Not exactly a prototype shortstop body wise. He was listed at 5’11” and 180 pounds, which is pretty big and thick and would have dwarfed the Ray Oylers of the world. But in his own time, it’s not that special. Barry Larkin was 6’ 0” and 180 pounds and played on turf, clearly dispelling the idea that only little lithe guys could play on turf.

Bigger point: Are we really electing 1970s 3Bs, or are we electing the best players from the left side of the infield from the 1970s?
   364. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: October 06, 2020 at 11:31 PM (#5981523)
There's also the explanation that BBREF WAR grades out 3B as a net "above average" for the time period in question. You can't have an entire position providing above average results.

To take the CF in the '50s example, there were several years in the '50s when center fielders as a group outhit right fielders as a group. Would Mays (or Mantle or Snider or Doby or Ashburn, pick your poison) have been a better player if he'd played right instead of center?

I'm not saying that WAR's positional ratings are flawless or that it should be taken as gospel. But it's also not inherently incorrect to have one position grade out as better than another position on the whole over a moderate span of time, especially if it has two all-time greats show up at the same time like 3B did in the '70s.

Maybe shortstop was actually tougher in this period - or maybe teams overrated how tough it was, and some of the third basemen could have been playing short. Ripken started out at third, then moved to short when he came up in the early '80s and handled it pretty well.
   365. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: October 07, 2020 at 06:23 PM (#5981643)
Couple of extra points on 3B vs. SS in the '70s.

First, WAR does actually reflect some level of additional difficulty at short in and around this period; the position adjustment difference between 3B and SS ranges between 6 and 7.5 runs from 1960-89 (the most recent value in the WAR explained article is 5 runs, from 2017, and the difference was also 5 from 1871 through 1926). The difference was at its highest point in the '40s and '50s (going as high as 10 runs before falling back to 6), but apart from that, it was never higher than the 7.5 runs seen in the mid-late '80s.

Second, that number is taken from looking at the fielding performance of players who played different positions in the same year; you'll occasionally run into trouble with good sampling on that (especially with catchers), but 3B/SS should have a pretty good overlap, and should provide a reasonable sample. (For instance, Toby Harrah played quite a bit of both third and short in the '70s; TotalZone grades him as slightly below average at both positions, where you would expect a mediocre third baseman to be a lousy shortstop, especially if the difference in difficulty between the positions is heightened. This remains true if you look at the two seasons where he played substantial amounts at both positions, so it's not just an artifact of him moving to third more as he aged.)
   366. DL from MN Posted: October 09, 2020 at 09:50 AM (#5981861)
CF will cluster talent a bit more than other positions due to LH throwers who are good at defense being funneled there.


And I guess I hadn't thought of it but if you throw LH and can't run you will contribute to a glut at 1B. The argument for a 1970s 3B glut is essentially managers were stupid and decided to lose games rather than play a stud at SS and 3B.
   367. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: October 09, 2020 at 06:02 PM (#5982016)
The argument for a 1970s 3B glut is essentially managers were stupid and decided to lose games rather than play a stud at SS and 3B.

This is rather reductive, but it also would not be the only example of baseball as a whole making strategic decisions that look pretty stupid with the benefit of hindsight.

A quote from the SABR player biography of Cal Ripken Jr:

Because of Ripken’s size (6-feet-4 and about 225 pounds), a number of people in the Baltimore front office opposed the move [from third base to shortstop]. Years later, when asked about playing Ripken at shortstop, Weaver remarked, “I was an organization man. Been with Baltimore my whole career. Did what they said and didn’t mind doing it, either, but this time I put my job on the line. Fire my butt out of here, I told ’em, but as long as I’m here, the kid’s at short every day.”


That's a Hall of Fame manager who's been with the same team for 15 years, having to fight his front office in order to move a future Gold Glover (with 181 RField for his career per B-R) to shortstop, just because he was tall, and shortstops weren't tall. And that's the Orioles, who were generally one of the more sensible organizations around at the time.

The "two studs" part of the argument is borderline specious, because it's not necessarily about having a star on the bench; it's about possibly having a better way to use the players you have. But there is at least one actual case of two stud third basemen on a team in the '70s:

The 1972 Indians had 27-year-old Graig Nettles at third base, and added 20-year-old rookie Buddy Bell. The two of them would go on to win a combined 8 Gold Gloves at third base (possibly should have been more; they didn't start winning until Brooks Robinson retired). Nettles hit pretty well in '72 (111 OPS+); Bell hit OK (97 OPS+). They played a combined zero innings at shortstop that year; Bell spent his entire rookie year in the outfield, split evenly between right and center. Cleveland had Frank Duffy (82 OPS+, good glove) at short, and Jack Brohamer (66 OPS+, solid glove) at second. It wouldn't have been worth trying Bell or Nettles in one of the middle infield spots? Maybe not in Duffy's place specifically, but Duffy only started 117 of the team's 156 games that year. Eddie Leon made 54 starts between short and second, posting a 58 OPS+ with average RField. Bell could at least have been tried in a Zobrist-type infield/outfield role, spelling the starters on their days off and getting John Lowenstein's 105 OPS+ in the lineup a bit more often. If Bell in fact couldn't handle short, at least you tried something interesting in a year when you were going 72-84. But if he can play an average shortstop, which seems reasonably possible given his later fielding at third, then maybe the Indians don't dump Nettles on the Yankees for relatively unimpressive returns after the '72 season, and actually have two studs on the left side of the infield for a while.
   368. Bleed the Freak Posted: October 21, 2020 at 11:15 PM (#5984466)
Kiko, I was looking around your site for an article on Amos Otis, I noticed the following links are dead:
http://baseball.tomthress.com/Articles/UltimateStat.php
https://baseball.tomthress.com/Articles/HittingPositions_v_FieldingPositions.php
https://baseball.tomthress.com/Articles/ComparingPositions.php
https://baseball.tomthress.com/Articles/Value_v_Talent.php
https://baseball.tomthress.com/Articles/Fielding.php

Can you direct me to the one with Otis, it highlights why you have him as a top flight defensive player, thanks!
   369. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 22, 2020 at 02:50 PM (#5984588)
Kiko, I was looking around your site for an article on Amos Otis, I noticed the following links are dead:


Bleed, sorry about that.

Last summer, when I changed the way I calculate WOPA and WORL to put them on the same scale as WAA and WAR, I cleaned out my articles to try to get rid of ones that were obsolete or inconsistent with the new results. Which isn't really true of fielding - when I looked at fielding, I had always tended to focus on "net wins" (fielding wins minus fielding losses) which are generally consistent with other fielding measures (except that other fielding measures tend to be denominated in runs instead of wins, of course).

Anyway, lucky for you, I am a digital pack rat, so I didn't outright delete my old articles; I merely moved them to a hidden directory. So, if you ever look for an article and can't find it, try changing "/Articles/" to "/OldArticles/" (note: my webhost's default is for file names to be case-sensitive, so be sure you capitalize the "O" and the "A" and nothing else.)

Now, these files haven't necessarily been updated to reflect my most recent updates, so the numbers here may not match the numbers on players' pages or my leader tables or what-not. But the concepts are unchanged and, generally speaking, my evaluations of specific players haven't changed outside of getting additional information in some cases (and Amos Otis is not one of those cases).

My long article about fielding that more or less eventually became chapter 7 in my first book is here. The sub-section of that which relates to Amos Otis that you're probably thinking of is here (note the latter link here is a smaller article that I believe is included in its entirety in the former link).

At some point, I may try to work through some of these old articles and update and/or re-post them. But I am currently distracted by other things - mostly, working to try to get Negro League games added at Retrosheet.
   370. Bleed the Freak Posted: October 23, 2020 at 10:11 AM (#5984707)
Thanks Kiko...and much appreciated on the Negro Leagues, anything to share from the Retrosheet data mining?
   371. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 01, 2020 at 02:12 PM (#5986943)
The latest Retrosheet updates indicate we are now sleeping on Lonny Frey as a prime candidate, he's at about a 106 CHEWS with war credit, Matthew Cornwell gets a similar result at baseball-fever...Kiko, your W-L records have him more like a 90, thoughts on him, and all?
   372. Jaack Posted: November 01, 2020 at 08:08 PM (#5986971)
I'm pretty skeptical of Frey - the PBP data makes him interesting, but there is still a pretty sizable gap between him and Billy Herman, who is an exact contemporary with better offense and 2200 more PAs and Herman's probably in the bottom quartile of the HoM for me. Frey was a better fielder than Herman, but not by enough to make up the gap in playing time, offense, and peak performance between them.
   373. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 02, 2020 at 02:29 PM (#5987043)
I would basically second Jaack's comments on Lonny Frey. He definitely does well in the things which benefit from play-by-play data - baserunning, fielding. He looks better in context than out and he looks better with the Reds than otherwise. I suspect these two factors are related. I think the Reds of that era were probably better than the sum of their parts and Frey gets some of that "excess" value - which was real; the 1939-40 Reds really did win back-to-back pennants. I do think it's open for debate how much credit Frey specifically (and his teammates) should get for that when evaluating him as an individual.

Just glancing at his record, I'm also a little skeptical as to how much war credit he deserves. He was a very good 32-year-old second baseman in 1943 (who perhaps benefited a bit from the loss of some guys who were drafted before him) and an average-ish 35-year-old second baseman in 1946 when he got back. That's not a terribly unusual career path but it's hard to know whether his war credit should be keyed off of his pretty good 1943 or his nothing-special 1946.

Jaack's reference to Billy Herman is, I think, both apt and somewhat damning. I think I would have Herman in around the same place as Jaack - lower-tier HOF/HOMer - and Herman is clearly better than Frey, by a large enough margin that it would be hard for me to make a case for Frey without a much larger Hall. Probably not in my top 100 eligible candidates.

But certainly, he had a very, very good career with a nice peak that contributed heavily to a couple of pennant-winners. No shame in any of that.
   374. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 02, 2020 at 02:33 PM (#5987046)
Following up, to tie together your questions in #370 and #371, I'm pretty sure I'd vote for Newt Allen ahead of Frey.
   375. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 24, 2020 at 09:31 PM (#5991044)
The argument for a 1970s 3B glut is essentially managers were stupid and decided to lose games rather than play a stud at SS and 3B.

This is rather reductive, but it also would not be the only example of baseball as a whole making strategic decisions that look pretty stupid with the benefit of hindsight.

A quote from the SABR player biography of Cal Ripken Jr:

Because of Ripken’s size (6-feet-4 and about 225 pounds), a number of people in the Baltimore front office opposed the move [from third base to shortstop]. Years later, when asked about playing Ripken at shortstop, Weaver remarked, “I was an organization man. Been with Baltimore my whole career. Did what they said and didn’t mind doing it, either, but this time I put my job on the line. Fire my butt out of here, I told ’em, but as long as I’m here, the kid’s at short every day.”


That's a Hall of Fame manager who's been with the same team for 15 years, having to fight his front office in order to move a future Gold Glover (with 181 RField for his career per B-R) to shortstop, just because he was tall, and shortstops weren't tall. And that's the Orioles, who were generally one of the more sensible organizations around at the time.

The "two studs" part of the argument is borderline specious, because it's not necessarily about having a star on the bench; it's about possibly having a better way to use the players you have. But there is at least one actual case of two stud third basemen on a team in the '70s:

The 1972 Indians had 27-year-old Graig Nettles at third base, and added 20-year-old rookie Buddy Bell. The two of them would go on to win a combined 8 Gold Gloves at third base (possibly should have been more; they didn't start winning until Brooks Robinson retired). Nettles hit pretty well in '72 (111 OPS+); Bell hit OK (97 OPS+). They played a combined zero innings at shortstop that year; Bell spent his entire rookie year in the outfield, split evenly between right and center. Cleveland had Frank Duffy (82 OPS+, good glove) at short, and Jack Brohamer (66 OPS+, solid glove) at second. It wouldn't have been worth trying Bell or Nettles in one of the middle infield spots? Maybe not in Duffy's place specifically, but Duffy only started 117 of the team's 156 games that year. Eddie Leon made 54 starts between short and second, posting a 58 OPS+ with average RField. Bell could at least have been tried in a Zobrist-type infield/outfield role, spelling the starters on their days off and getting John Lowenstein's 105 OPS+ in the lineup a bit more often. If Bell in fact couldn't handle short, at least you tried something interesting in a year when you were going 72-84. But if he can play an average shortstop, which seems reasonably possible given his later fielding at third, then maybe the Indians don't dump Nettles on the Yankees for relatively unimpressive returns after the '72 season, and actually have two studs on the left side of the infield for a while.


Hi guys! Been awhile, catching up some.

This has a lot to do with turf I assume right? I can't imagine those managers were all that dumb. I mean they've made and will make dumb decisions on the margins forever. But they tend to get the big things right. I think huge outfields and lots of turf meant you needed much better defenders and more speed up the middle than you do now, and you had to sacrifice offense to get that.
   376. Howie Menckel Posted: November 24, 2020 at 09:51 PM (#5991050)
Joe D, our benevolent overlord!

I remember the early 1970s and the Astroturf era.

yes, most teams seemed to demand a whippet at SS - hitting be damned.

so it was.
   377. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 29, 2020 at 08:41 PM (#5991538)
Can’t get at the Perucki Cepeda thread because Primer. So I’ll respond to Bleed here. I haven’t seen anything or been made aware of anything. I think the PRWL is still a ways in the offing for the NLDB, and who knows how much of Cepeda’s career that data will cover. For sure, I look forward to complete league and player data do we can run the numbers on him. Pancho Coimbre is in the same boat, by the way, although we have a handful of MXL seasons for him, but not enough to do much with.
   378. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 29, 2020 at 09:37 PM (#5991542)
I thought so, thanks Doc!
   379. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 29, 2020 at 11:07 PM (#5991552)
This has a lot to do with turf I assume right? I can't imagine those managers were all that dumb. I mean they've made and will make dumb decisions on the margins forever. But they tend to get the big things right. I think huge outfields and lots of turf meant you needed much better defenders and more speed up the middle than you do now, and you had to sacrifice offense to get that.

I mean, the parks were basically the same in the '80s (only one new park opened between '77 and '89, and that was the turfed-up Metrodome), and Ripken did fine without world-class footspeed. Turf was new; I'm not willing to assume that the managers and executives of the time immediately figured out how to handle it flawlessly, especially when these were the same managers and executives who were largely still sticking the fastest guy in the leadoff spot regardless of what his OBP was.

As mentioned in #365, bWAR looks at the difference in fielding performance (to the extent that it's reliably measurable, of course) for players who spent time at multiple positions. It seems to think that 3B/SS (which would generally have significant overlap in playing time by utility infielders and such) had a slightly higher difference in the '70s and '80s than they do now, but not nearly enough to justify the collapse of hitting among shortstops in the turf era.

Also, if it's a turf effect that hits the up the middle positions, why did second base not take the same hit? The average OPS+ for a second baseman in the '60s was 90.1; in the '70s, 91.2. For shortstops, it was 89.5 in the '60s, down to 78.2 in the '70s. B-R's position adjustment between second and short remained stable at 5 runs (+4 for 2B, +9 for SS) every year from '61 to '80 as turf was becoming more prevalent, then dropped to 4.5 runs for the rest of the still-turfy '80s.

Also, since this was the original comparison, OPS+ by third basemen was stable from the '60s into the '70s; 107.8 in the '60s, 107.4 in the '70s. Center field, the other up-the-middle position, did decline somewhat from the '60s to the '70s (from 114.1 to 109.4) but that's about 40% of the decline that shortstop saw, and shortstop didn't lose Willie Mays between the two decades.
   380. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 01, 2020 at 10:04 PM (#5991958)
In the 1920s, even though scoring increased by run or more, lots of managers and players still sac bunted with much higher frequency than conditions called for. Why? My guess is that the managers already in place and the players who became managers in the 1920s were weaned on scientific baseball during the dead ball era. So they continued to pursue those strategies even though the game had passed them by.

Managers in the early 1960s when scoring decreased by half a run a game or more decided they needed to tighten up their defense, and the best place to do so was shortstop. By 1968, Ray Oyler had a starting job but Mickey Stanley had to cover for him in the WS because Oyler couldn’t make the hits if James Brown screamed all day for them. Some guys who were managing then continued to manage into the 1970s, and players who had come of age in the 1960s started to get managing jobs. And they kept sending shortstops out who looked good in the field and couldn’t hit an ice berg with the Titanic. And, eventually, Cal came along and some folks changed their mind about SS or played with or against big SS and made the switch.

I kinda think that’s part of the mass hallucination about weak hitting SS happened.

Or I could be completely wrong.

And I will probably go to my grave believing that the best shortstop in the 1970s and 1980s was Mike Schmidt. ;)
   381. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 01, 2020 at 11:00 PM (#5991963)
Just an FYI for anybody who uses either my Player won-lost records or Retrosheet data in general. Retrosheet did its Fall release last night but the only new season which it included was 2020. Pandemic restrictions made library access sketchy, so rather than try to, for example, deduce baseball games using only a couple of newspaper stories, the plan is to wait this period out and hopefully get back on track with a big release next summer.

Retrosheet is tentatively planning another release next month which will be our first set of pre-integration Negro games. I'm working on this and am really excited about it, but I will warn you that it's going to be a relatively small set of games so I'm not sure how much use it will be for this project. But hopefully that will grow over time and Retrosheet can add box scores (and, fingers crossed, maybe even some play-by-play) for a big chunk of pre-integration Negro baseball. But that probably won't happen for several years.

Anyway, bottom line: I'm not going to bother updating my Player won-lost records for this release (I haven't figured out how to deal with the damn zombie runner atrocity in my calculations), so, what's on the website right now is all you're getting for this ballot.
   382. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 02, 2020 at 04:05 AM (#5991976)
Thanks Kiko, with no additional updates coming, do you have a prelim you can share, say top 30 or so/any significant changes from your past analysis?
   383. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 06, 2020 at 09:57 PM (#5992836)
Can’t post in the estimating QoP thread again, so responding here.

A couple thoughts.
A) I really like Michael Humphreys’ TPAR (Talent Pool Adjusted Runs) for considering QoP. Check it out in Wizardry.
B) Would we all agree that the quality of baseball now is higher than ever for all the usual reasons we muster. And we can all agree that baseball in the 1800s was way behind the 2010s. Way way behind. I don’t think this is at all a controversial position. So if we are talking about QoP, it would extraordinarily unlikely that messers Mullane or Buffinton or MCormick or Bond are better candidates than Pettitte, Hudson, or Buehrle.
C) To think of it another way we have inducted six or seven pre 1893 pitchers (Hoss, Keene, Clarkson, Galvatron, Caruthers, Spaulding, and part of Ward) to cover a span of just twenty years and relatively few team-seasons. If all four of the 1800s guys I mentioned above are thought by various parts of the electorate to be meritorious, then the HOM would probably have to expand by something like 30-50% (OTTOMH) for all four of them to be elected. I believe we are a little over on pre-1893 players.
D) Other guys who could be better candidates than the 1880s guys: Hershiser, Finley, Shocker, Santana, appier, and Willis (not in any particular order).
E) If the seasonal innings pitched by the 1880s guys overrides anything that the nine moderns I’ve mentioned has done, we may be overemphasizing the importance of 1880s innings given the context and expectations of the time. RJ going 271 innings feels more impressive RELATIVE TO JOHNSON’s TIME than Mullane throwing 420 in 1891. (Interestingly, Mullane never led his league in innings.)
   384. DL from MN Posted: December 10, 2020 at 10:14 AM (#5993510)
I'd like to start voting in a week, vote for two weeks. Are my ballot counters coming back?
   385. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: December 10, 2020 at 01:48 PM (#5993558)
I can count ballots again, DL.
   386. kcgard2 Posted: December 10, 2020 at 05:50 PM (#5993634)
I can help count ballots, even though I made a mistake last time...
   387. The Honorable Ardo Posted: December 10, 2020 at 05:56 PM (#5993637)
I'm available to help in any way necessary.
   388. rwargo Posted: December 14, 2020 at 04:58 PM (#5994156)
Ready to count. This time, Hall of Famer Happy Jack Chesbro is going in.
   389. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 14, 2020 at 11:43 PM (#5994225)
Thanks Kiko, with no additional updates coming, do you have a prelim you can share, say top 30 or so/any significant changes from your past analysis?


I hadn't realized that I hadn't shared a preliminary ballot at any point in this thread. Comparing to last year, the one guy who's slid up my ballot a bit based on some earlier Retrosheet data is probably Urban Shocker. Other than that, not a lot of shifting. The only first-year player who will make my ballot looks to be Tim Hudson who my system likes very much. In fact, playing around with my HOM-specific custom uber-stat (warning: the guys we elected last year still show up on the ballot), I tend to get a fairly consistent top 3 of Tommy John, Tim Hudson, and Andy Pettitte - not necessarily in that order.

Starting from my ballot last year, then, I'm probably leaning something like this for a top 30:

1. Tommy John
2. Tim Hudson
3. Jeff Kent
4. Vern Stephens
5. Andy Pettitte - I feel like my rankings are a bit too pitcher-heavy, so I slid a couple of infielders in to break up my top 3. I'd say I'm pretty sold on this as my top 5.
6. Jason Giambi
7. Lance Berkman - I could easily flip these two. They're fairly interchangeable to me.
8. Wally Schang - this is largely moving outside of my stat as his prime still mostly pre-dates my stat.
9. Darryl Strawberry - I really like his peak/prime.
10. Urban Shocker
11. Johan Santana - I'm giving him a bit of a judgmental boost relative to my system.
12. Tommy Henrich - WW2 credit
13. Toby Harrah
14. Bert Campaneris
15. Dave Concepcion - these three tend to look pretty similar in my system. They're all over my pHOM line and I think fill a gap in the Hall of Merit.
16. Sammy Sosa
17. Jack Clark - he's started bubbling up onto my lists in the last year or two.
18. Jorge Posada - I'm starting to be sold on how bad his defense was. Still an awfully good hitter for a catcher.
20. Ben Taylor - I go back and forth on him. I know the latest MLE's don't love him but I tend to give "best _ of his generation" credit and I think Taylor was probably the best first baseman of his era.
21. Gil Hodges - see my explanation for Taylor
22. Johnny Evers - I was hoping that Retrosheet would start to pick up his career - as well as Tinker and Chance. I feel like at least one of them is probably a HOMer given how many games their teams won.

This becomes around the spot for most of the required disclosures that I haven't mentioned yet: Abreu, Bonds, Bando. They're all fine players. All would be perfectly cromulent Hall-of-Meriters (and/or Hall-of-Famers). Just not quite enough to get onto my ballot.

Other guys who pop up as guys around here in my consideration set would be Ron Cey, Dwight Gooden, Orel Hershiser, Dale Murphy. Not necessarily in that order.

Other required disclosures.

Kenny Lofton is somewhere between 50-100 for me probably. Good first half wasn't quite great enough on its own and the back half of his career didn't really add much in my system.

Buddy Bell is far lower, well behind several of his contemporaries including Ron Cey, Sal Bando, and the man he was traded for, Toby Harrah. My system's not much of a fan of his batting profile and while he was a fine defender, it doesn't make up the difference.

I think that's a top-30 or so plus required disclosures. I may tinker with the exact rankings before I post a final ballot.
   390. progrockfan Posted: December 15, 2020 at 07:48 AM (#5994242)
A very weak incoming crop of eligibles means my 2021 prelim is substantially similar to my 2020 ballot:

1. Luke Easter. I’ve put in the sweat and done the research and math (which I’m working to get published as part of a much larger project, so please pardon my not posting it here). An unrecognized McCovey or Stargell, an absolute no-brainer HoMer, the top unelected player by a huge margin.

2. Bobby Abreu. A durable five-tool player with broad-based offense: 8x 100+ runs scored, 7x 40+ doubles, 9x 20+ home runs, 8x 100+ RBI, 8x 100+ walks, 6x .300+ average, 8x .400+ OBP, 5x .500+ slugging, 13x 20+ steals with a 76% career success rate. Averaged 156 games played over a 13-year span, 1998-2010. Slightly minus overall defense is compensated by excellent range and a very good arm. My pick as the most underrated player of the new century, every inch the equal of Reggie Smith in my view and an easy HoM choice.

3. Hugh Duffy. My research on Duffy, which I’ll post here when I acquire several more lifetimes, shows him as consistently well above average in all facets of hitting, year after year. The greatest defensive outfielder of the 1890s and greatest post-season hitter of the 19th century. I think the electorate is significantly under-valuing him.

* * * * *

4. Bobby Bonds. A masher with six 30-HR seasons and a 73% base-stealer with seven 40-steal seasons. Decent plate discipline despite the strikeouts, with plenty of walks to boost his offense. Outstanding range on defense. The more I look, the more I like.

5. Ben Taylor. The top defensive first baseman in NgL history, ranked third all-time by James and Holway. NgL first basemen are under-represented in the HoM.

6. Wally Schang. His .393 career OBP ranks second all-time at catcher. Good career longevity and brilliant defense in four World Series. Until Joe Mauer becomes eligible, I see Schang as the best catcher not in the HoM.

7. Bob Johnson. A teriffic combination of steady offense, above-average defense and tremendous longevity. Had substantial careers both before and after his MLB playing time; given the right opportunities he might well have been a Winfield-type 3000-hit man, with less basepath speed but more walks and possibly a bit more XBH power.

8. Johan Santana. The electorate has sold me on his greatness. Three firsts and a second in ERA, three firsts and two seconds in strikeouts, four firsts in WHIP. His career, while very short, was the definition of ‘high-impact.’

9. Kenny Lofton. A monster center fielder with outstanding range and arm; a basepath blazer with 622 steals at a 79.5% rate and five stolen base titles. Not very durable, and couldn't maintain his initially very high levels of offense.

10. Phil Rizzuto. Great defense up the middle, an MVP, and a solid chunk of WWII credit – but as Bill James once observed, “when you’re dealing with a New York player, you do have to let some air out of the press notices.”

11. Kirby Puckett. Five 420+ putout seasons in center, some nice World Series heroics; not the hitter that Twins fans thought he was, of course, with poor plate discipline, but five 200-hit seasons, two titles in total bases and a rare right-handed batting title place him comfortably above the average. Nowhere near an elect-me slot on my ballot, but better, I think, that the electorate regards him.

12. Jeff Kent. If he’d led the league in even a single major offensive category, a positional bonus would edge him into my top ten; as it is, there’s just not quite enough there.

13. Torii Hunter. Despite the stellar defense, a 110+ OPS+ in center with zero offensive titles isn’t enough for me.

14. Gavy Cravath. The six home run titles were largely a product of the Baker Bowl, but Gavy was a truly great hitter for a brief window, with MVP-quality seasons in 1913 and 1915. Deserving of substantial pre-career MLEs.

15. George Van Haltren. An idiosyncratic holdover for a long-time personal favorite. His runs scored stand out even in a high-scoring era. And 40-31 as a pitcher besides!- God bless you, George, you’ll probably always be somewhere on my ballot.

* * * * *

A cluster of five pitchers with meh credentials here:

16. Addie Joss. Theoretically a sort of 19th-century Santana, among AL leaders in ERA and WHIP every year he was a regular; not remotely as dominant as Johan in my view, and therefore much lower on my ballot. The timeline mauls his candidacy – but the charter mandates that we fairly consider players from all eras…

17. Andy Pettite. Above-average consistency, with year after year of the same basic solid value, is a valuable asset for a pennant contender, and is the best thing Andy's got going for him. Decent in the postseason but not overwhelming.

18. Dolf Luque. Cuba credit pushes him ahead of Luis Tiant for me; otherwise I see them as quite similar, and Tiant was low on my 2020 ballot. I'll say this though: Tiant's in, and electors who voted for him should have a long hard squint at Luque.

19. Mark Buehrle. Led his league once in WHIP, but also four times in hits allowed. A durable innings-eater and not much more.

20. Tim Hudson. Another innings-eater, valuable to a real-world pitching staff but not my idea of a HoMer. Zero titles in IP, H/9, ERA, ERA+, WHIP, SO, SO/9 or SO/W, and a 6.14 ERA in two Series starts. Good enough to make the lower rungs of my ballot, but that’s about it.

21. Thurman Munson. I suspect at least a partial illusion of context re: his superficially excellent counting stats. A decent player – everyone on my ballot was a decent player – but many steps behind Mauer and Schang in my book.

22. Aramis Ramirez. A long career at third, OK defense, one title in doubles and two in sac flies, I guess he deserves a low-end ballot place.

23. Dan Haren. Three SO/W titles and that’s all.

24. Lance Berkman. Seven consecutive seasons of .920+ OPS in a sub-2000 game career.

25. Buddy Bell. A good but not elite hitter, a vacuum cleaner at third.

Required disclosure: Sammy Sosa. The corked bat. The multi-year clubhouse disruption. The abandonment of his team on the final day of the season. His persona non grata status with the team for which he won his MVP. He hit a bunch of home runs... It’s not enough for me.
   391. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 15, 2020 at 08:10 AM (#5994245)
Thanks Kiko.

When I run your key-stat through a peak/prime friendly lens you've recommended in the past, I get the following, credit for war/minors approximate:

On ballot:
Urban Shocker - 414
Vern Stephens - 412.3
Tim Hudson - 403.2 - I LOVE THIS, rooted for Hudson his whole career and he was kind enough to sign an autograph for this young fella.
Jason Giambi - 402.4
Tommy Henrich - 400.4
Tommy John - 395.9
Lance Berkman - 392.5
Jeff Kent - 387
Darryl Strawberry - 384.8
Andy Pettitte - 370.6

huge positional value to grapple:
Toby Harrah - 359.1 - too bad he had ZERO opportunities to shine in the playoffs.
Wally Schang - 335.4 - best catcher between Ewing and Hartnett?
Dave Concepcion - 334.8 - I flip him and Campaneris, better hitter, less adept on defense and speed.
Bert Campaneris - 314 - defense, speed, serious clutch value compared to context neutral, just enough besides to make him a good candidate.

Best pitcher in baseball argument for a long stretch:
Johan Santana - 323.7 -

Thoughts on Hurley McNair?

Of ballot:
Dave Bancroft - 378.4 - Retrosheet is missing his fine 1915 season, a real candidate that could be a little under or overrated here.
Indian Bob Johnson - 377.8 - smidge of MLE credit, hall worthy, a matter of how much to dock for WWII.
Dolf Luque - 376 - MLE / integration credit
Jack Clark - 372.4 - can you talk about how the ripper does so well?, You've noted why Strawberry stands out in your system in the past.
Ron Cey - 370.0 - stuck in the minors, he may move to my ballot.
Sammy Sosa - 369.8 - this and the all-time bad clutch metrics at Baseball-Reference knock him out for me.
Kiki Cuyler - 367.6 - a little stuck in minors / coaching malfeasance credit.
Dale Murphy - 367.5
George Foster - 361.2 - B-R is low, B-G is warmer, and he's a HOFer by you, and additional details on his case?
Tony Perez - 357
Gil Hodges - 356.1
Jorge Posada - 354.8
Burleigh Grimes - 353.1 - seems to have pulled away from Carl Mays and Herb Pennock as the best MLB only arm from his time left.
Fred McGriff - 351.5
Tommy Bridges - 351.0 - WWII / PCL credit

Mentions:
Ben Taylor / Johnny Evers ?
Bobby Abreu - 334.7
Dwight Gooden - 332.1
Sal Bando - 326.6
Orel Hershiser - 324.6
Bobby Bonds - 314.4
Kenny Lofton - 290.6
Buddy Bell - 248
   392. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 15, 2020 at 08:30 AM (#5994247)
13. Torii Hunter. Despite the stellar defense, a 110+ OPS+ in center with zero offensive titles isn’t enough for me.

I agree with your comments, he's light years from a ballot spot from me, did you mean to put him at 13?

20. Tim Hudson. Another innings-eater, valuable to a real-world pitching staff but not my idea of a HoMer. Zero titles in IP, H/9, ERA, ERA+, WHIP, SO, SO/9 or SO/W, and a 6.14 ERA in two Series starts. Good enough to make the lower rungs of my ballot, but that’s about it.


A 20th place spot = HOMer level, you just don't like how he achieved this?

   393. DL from MN Posted: December 15, 2020 at 08:55 AM (#5994251)
progrockfan Posted: December 15, 2020 at 07:48 AM (#5994242)


9 outfielders in your top 15, even though we've elected more outfielders than we probably should have.

Sal Bando is a required disclosure.
   394. bachslunch Posted: December 15, 2020 at 09:59 AM (#5994261)
Progrockfan: question. Aramis Ramirez isn’t anywhere near my radar screen for 3B, but you have him just off ballot at 22 and ahead of every other player at the position. How do you see him as better than Bell, Bando, Ventura, Cey, Elliott, and Harrah? Just curious.
   395. progrockfan Posted: December 16, 2020 at 07:04 AM (#5994431)
13. Torii Hunter. Despite the stellar defense, a 110+ OPS+ in center with zero offensive titles isn’t enough for me.

I agree with your comments, he's light years from a ballot spot from me, did you mean to put him at 13?

I think the ballot is weak right now, so yeah, I did - the man was phenomenal defensively, and he did what he did for a long time - but I'm 100% open to influence as always.

I'll freely admit that I'm busy as hell right now & therefore didn't notice things like this:

9 outfielders in your top 15, even though we've elected more outfielders than we probably should have.

I agree with this criticism, and will re-think some ballot positions.

20. Tim Hudson. Another innings-eater, valuable to a real-world pitching staff but not my idea of a HoMer. Zero titles in IP, H/9, ERA, ERA+, WHIP, SO, SO/9 or SO/W, and a 6.14 ERA in two Series starts. Good enough to make the lower rungs of my ballot, but that’s about it.

A 20th place spot = HOMer level, you just don't like how he achieved this?

Well, the way I see it, a 20th place spot = no points counted towards his candidacy. So yeah, I don't view him as a HoMer. Like I said, I regard the ballot as especially weak this year. Were I to devise my rule set I'd probably just vote for the top 8; from #9 down there's not a name I'd personally elect. But these players do have merit, and I'm obliged to reflect that in my ballot.

Progrockfan: question. Aramis Ramirez isn’t anywhere near my radar screen for 3B, but you have him just off ballot at 22 and ahead of every other player at the position. How do you see him as better than Bell, Bando, Ventura, Cey, Elliott, and Harrah? Just curious.

Hmm, my era adjustments are apparently insufficient, so yeah, Elloit and Bando should probably rank above Ramirez. Ramirez has longevity on Harrah and hitting (imho) on Ventura... For Cey I admit a bias: I saw the man play in person, a lot, and I thought he was an awful third baseman, just terrible, a slug in a world of gazelles. Part of the reason I love Ichiro so much is that he mopped the floor with every other defensive outfielder I've ever seen; part of the reason I don't love Cey is that from the evidence of my eyes, in the absence of a DH slot, he should have been mopping floors.

Would anyone object if I just did a top 15 + discosures? That would really help me in the time crunch I'm experiencing atm...
   396. DL from MN Posted: December 16, 2020 at 08:57 AM (#5994444)
Would anyone object if I just did a top 15 + discosures? That would really help me in the time crunch I'm experiencing atm...


That meets the minimum for a ballot
   397. progrockfan Posted: December 16, 2020 at 10:59 AM (#5994463)

Revised provisional. My positional balance now stands at 2 catchers, 2 first basemen, 1 second baseman, 1 shortstop, 5 outfielders, 4 pitchers. That’s still high on outfielders - but several points: 'Outfielder' isn't really one position, it's three; I honestly believe that Abreu is much the strongest candidate after Easter, and don’t see a deep pool of talent at other positions — at least, not this time around; and I'm still in the same position as before: I'd personally only advocate for my top 8, and my top 8, as objectively as I can determine, includes 4 outfielders, plus I have to make room for Van Haltren.

I’ll continue to entertain challenges, though, on positional balance.

1. Luke Easter. I’ve put in the sweat and done the research and math (which I’m working to get published as part of a much larger project, so please pardon my not posting it here). An unrecognized McCovey or Stargell, an absolute no-brainer HoMer, the top unelected player by a huge margin.

2. Bobby Abreu. A durable five-tool player with broad-based offense: 8x 100+ runs scored, 7x 40+ doubles, 9x 20+ home runs, 8x 100+ RBI, 8x 100+ walks, 6x .300+ average, 8x .400+ OBP, 5x .500+ slugging, 13x 20+ steals with a 76% career success rate. Averaged 156 games played over a 13-year span, 1998-2010. Slightly minus overall defense is compensated by excellent range and a very good arm. My pick as the most underrated player of the new century, every inch the equal of Reggie Smith in my view and an easy HoM choice.

3. Wally Schang. The most under-represented group in the HoM is third basemen, but I don’t see any eligibles who are (imho) worthy of election—whereas catchers are the second most under-represented group, and I can see a case for Schang. If he doesn’t make it this year, though, Mauer will push him down the list. His .393 career OBP ranks second all-time at catcher. Good career longevity and brilliant defense in four World Series.

* * * * *

4. Ben Taylor. The top defensive first baseman in NgL history, ranked third all-time in NgL history by James and Holway. NgL first basemen are definitely under-represented in the HoM.

5. Johan Santana. Agreeing with the principle that outfielders are over-represented, Santana leaps up my list; I’ve probably been under-rating him for some time. Three firsts and a second in ERA, three firsts and two seconds in strikeouts, four firsts in WHIP. His career, while very short, was the definition of ‘high-impact.’

6. Hugh Duffy. My research on Duffy, which I’ll post when I acquire several more lifetimes, shows him as consistently well above average in all facets of hitting, year after year. The greatest defensive outfielder of the 1890s and greatest post-season hitter of the 19th century. I think the electorate is significantly under-valuing him.

7. Bobby Bonds. A masher with six 30-HR seasons and a 73% base-stealer with seven 40-steal seasons. Decent plate discipline despite the strikeouts, with plenty of walks to boost his offense. Outstanding range on defense. The more I look, the more I like.

8. Bob Johnson. A teriffic combination of steady offense, above-average defense and tremendous longevity. Had substantial careers both before and after his MLB playing time; given the right opportunities he might well have been a Winfield-type 3000-hit man, with less basepath speed but more walks and possibly a bit more XBH power.

9. Jeff Kent. If he’d led the league in even a single major offensive category, a positional bonus would earn him a higher placement; as it is, there’s just not quite enough there for me.

10. Phil Rizzuto. Great defense up the middle, an MVP, and a solid chunk of WWII credit – but as Bill James once observed, “when you’re dealing with a New York player, you do have to let some air out of the press notices.”

11. Addie Joss. Theoretically a sort of 19th-century Santana, among AL leaders in ERA and WHIP every year he was a regular; not remotely as dominant as Johan in my view, and therefore much lower on my ballot. The timeline mauls his candidacy – but the charter mandates that we fairly consider players from all eras…

12. Dolf Luque. Cuba credit pushes him ahead of Luis Tiant for me; otherwise I see them as quite similar, and Tiant was low on my 2020 ballot. I'll say this though: Luis is in, and electors who voted for him should have a long hard squint at Dolf.

13. Andy Pettite. Above-average consistency, with year after year of the same basic solid value, is a valuable asset for a pennant contender, and is the best thing Andy's got going for him. Decent in the postseason but not overwhelming.

14. Thurman Munson. I suspect at least a partial illusion of context re: his superficially excellent counting stats. A decent player – everyone on my ballot was a decent player – but many steps behind Mauer and Schang in my book.

15. George Van Haltren. An idiosyncratic holdover for a long-time personal favorite. His runs scored stand out even in a high-scoring era. And 40-31 as a pitcher besides!- God bless you, George, you’ll probably always be somewhere on my ballot.

Required disclosures:

Sal Bando. A decent glove, but not enough stick to crack my top 15.

Lance Berkman. Possibly a solid candidate in a weak year, but I’ve got too many guys roaming my outfield already… I could possibly, I think, be sold on him, but with <2000 games and <2000 hits I’d need to see a well-structured argument for him, which I can’t quite see for myself.

Kenny Lofton. A monster center fielder with outstanding range and arm; a basepath blazer with 622 steals at a 79.5% rate and five stolen base titles. Not very durable, and couldn't maintain his initially very high levels of offense; therefore pushed off my ballot for reasons of balance.

Sammy Sosa. The corked bat. The multi-year clubhouse disruption. The abandonment of his team on the final day of the season. His persona non grata status with the team for which he won his MVP. He hit a bunch of home runs... It’s not enough for me.
   398. Rob_Wood Posted: December 16, 2020 at 11:10 AM (#5994467)
Here's my prelim ballot:

1. Kenny Lofton
2. Tim Hudson
3. Jeff Kent
4. Johan Santana
5. Sammy Sosa
6. Bobby Abreu
7. Tommy Bridges
8. Bob Johnson
9. Urban Shocker
10. Buddy Bell
11. Bobby Bonds
12. Sal Bando
13. Phil Rizzuto
14. Andy Pettitte
15. John Olerud

16. Lance Berkman
17. Kevin Appier
18. Tommy John
19. Thurman Munson
20. Ben Taylor
21. Bucky Walters
22. Brian Giles
23. Roy Oswalt
24. Bert Campaneris
25. Orel Hershiser
   399. kwarren Posted: December 17, 2020 at 01:34 AM (#5994604)
Here is my preliminary ballot:

1. Vic Willis
2. Kenny Lofton
3. Buddy Bell
4. Sal Bando
5. Urban Shocker
6. Tommy John
7. Andy Pettitte
8. Sammy Sosa
9. Bobby Abreu
10. Bobby Bonds
11. Johan Santana
12. Tim Hudson
13. Mark Buehrle
14. Lance Berkman
15. Jeff Kent

Disclosure

Wally Schang - Had no peak whatsoever. Best 7 years of WAR = 27.6 the lowest of anybody among the 27 top catchers. He was a good solid catcher for a long time, but never a great one. Not good enough to be on a Hall of Merit Ballot.

The top two players on the ballot, Willis & Lofton are worthy candidates. After that it is very questionable.

Willis had a 165 ERA+ over 343 IP at age 23, and a 154 ERA+ over 305 IP at age 25. Career ERA of 2.63 over 4,000 IP. His JAWS total of 56.7 is close to the average pitcher in the Hall and is better than Drysdale, Bunning, Smoltz, Koufax, Sutton & Ford. Hard to believe that he has been over looked by the electorate.
   400. bachslunch Posted: December 17, 2020 at 08:43 AM (#5994611)
Flip.
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