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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Bill Freehan

Eligible in 1982.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 23, 2006 at 10:19 PM | 169 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. OCF Posted: September 07, 2006 at 11:12 PM (#2170906)
fra paolo - I can't see whatever it was you were trying to do. Can you try again? (And remember: if it looks right on preview, then it's wrong. Use square brackets, and it has to look wrong on preview.)
   102. OCF Posted: September 07, 2006 at 11:14 PM (#2170909)
Ignore what I just said.
   103. Mr Dashwood Posted: September 08, 2006 at 09:10 PM (#2171653)
Some hitting data to support my contention that Elston Howard is almost as good as Freehan.

OPS+ relative to league at catcher:

1958 132
1959 130
1960 93
1961 147
1962 126
1963 145
1964 143

1967 173
1968 149
1969 123
1970 101
1971 156
1972 103
1973 84
1974 130

Freehan's hitting edge lies in single-season achievements in 1967, 1968 and 1971, but Howard is more consistent, with only one season worse than 25% above the average catcher. And 1961, 1963 and 1964 aren't so bad.

If we're going to elect Freehan, we've got to accept that Howard has almost as good a case, and that Freehan's advantage is largely down to a bit more playing tiome. Personally, I'd take either of them way before Catcher Joe Torre, the Ernie Lombardi de nos jours, we've elected him. I can't help but think that both Torre and Freehan have benefited from a Shiny New Toy effect.
   104. Dizzypaco Posted: September 08, 2006 at 09:30 PM (#2171673)
Personally, I don't think Howard should be considered anywhere near as deserving as Freehan. Howard simply wasn't an every day catcher most of his career - he caught more than 100 games four times in his entire career. Freehan did it 10 years. I would be extremely reluctant to vote for anyone who was a part time player most of his career.

In general, I have a different philosophy than many voters. I believe that a player should be evaluated largely based on what he contributed to his team, not what he would have contributed had he had a chance to play (War time excepted). And by this standard, I don't think Howard has nearly as good a case as Freehan.
   105. Mr Dashwood Posted: September 08, 2006 at 09:48 PM (#2171684)
Howard simply wasn't an every day catcher most of his career - he caught more than 100 games four times in his entire career.

And yet, if you take that seven-year period I've identified as his prime, Howard averages 102 games at catcher per season. He certainly played at catcher during his prime years a lot more than Torre did.
   106. sunnyday2 Posted: September 08, 2006 at 09:50 PM (#2171686)
>I believe that a player should be evaluated largely based on what he contributed to his team...(War time excepted).

Well, you've just made the case for Elston Howard.

Freehan about 6700 PAs in the Bigs, Howard about 5600.

Freehan played 100 games as a 21 year old, Howard came up to the Bigs at age 26.

Howard 3 years in the NeLs and a couple years in the MiL when (in 1954, at least) he was pretty clearly already the player that he was with the Yankees. Oh, and 1951 and 1952 were spent in the military.

Add it all up, Howard played more baseball than Freehan did, and contributed very nearly as much (if not more) to his teams.

Now, with competition discounts (for Howard), I end up with Freehan at about #5 and already in my PHoM in advance of HoM status, and I have Howard about #20. But as many of us old HoM voters knows, a 15 slot spread on a ballot amounts to a hair's breadth. I can see how somebody might have Howard ahead.
   107. sunnyday2 Posted: September 16, 2006 at 02:40 PM (#2178748)
I was looking at 2006 win shares and thinking about the MVP race for this year. Then I noticed that Hardball Times includes career WS for all players as well as 2006 win shares.

Career Win Shares for Active Catchers
1. Piazza 321
2. IRod 296
3. Kendall 198
4. JLopez 196
5. Posada 193

Then I looked at where they plug into the all time lists. Suffice it to say that there are 9 catchers, ever, with 300 win shares, and they rank in the following order:

Berra, Fisk, Bench, Carter, Hartnett, PIAZZA, Simmons and Torre (tied), Dickey

Then IROD is 10th with 296, and it is possible that he may become the 10th catcher ever to reach 300 this year yet.

I would have to conclude that we will be electing Piazza and IRod to the HoM someday.

But then, after the top 10 with (almost) 300+ win shares, how many other catchers would you guess have more than 250? Go ahead, make a guess.

The correct answer is: TWO. Ten catchers have 296 or more, and TWO additional catchers have more than 250. They are Mickey Cochrane with 275 and BILL FREEHAN with 267.

10. IRod 296
11. Cochrane 275
12. Freehan 267
13. Parrish 248
14. Schang 245
15. Ewing 241

Just speaking numerically, Freehan is closer to Cochrane than to the third Tiger catcher, Parrish. Of course, I'm a peak voter, so the simple, raw career WS are hardly the whole story.

So, I'm not saying that everybody should vote for Freehan this year. But if we elect him, I don't want to hear a lot of stuff about him being a mistake. If he's a mistake, then there are only 12 catchers who aren't (top 11 plus Ewing who would be over 300 with seasonal adjustment), and that's just not enough HoMers from a key position.

And if we're going to elect more than 12 catchers, here are some of your choices: Freehan 267 Parrish 248 Schang 245 Bresnahan 231 Tenace 231 Lombardi 218

I think the burden of proof is to show why Lombardi or Bresnahan or Schang should be regarded as better than Freehan. Of course you've also got Trouppe still in the mix, and Ellie Howard with 203 WS + NeL and MiL credit. If there is anybody who might rate ahead of Freehan, it seems to me that it would be these two, rather than anybody with a clean career ML record because all of those careers clearly fall short of Freehan's.
   108. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 16, 2006 at 04:06 PM (#2178778)
sunny, if you adjust to 162 schedule to even everyone out, what's that list look like?
   109. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 16, 2006 at 04:15 PM (#2178781)
rather than anybody with a clean career ML record because all of those careers clearly fall short of Freehan's.

Actually, it's not that clear, Marc. One thing that hasn't been mentioned much is differing durability levels for their eras. I honestly don't think Freehan could have played a full schedule (154-games) during the Deaball Era without paying for it fairly quickly, for instance.

With that said, I have absolutely no problem with Freehan possibly going in this "year." He certainly was a terrific player.
   110. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 16, 2006 at 04:16 PM (#2178782)
BTW, Gibson should be #1 on that list.
   111. sunnyday2 Posted: September 16, 2006 at 05:06 PM (#2178812)
Obviously I didn't try to interpolate the NeLers, and I didn't schedule adjust. I think most of us can supply that in our sleep and evaluate the list accordingly.

Still and all, it is stunning to me that there is in the entire history of MLB one catcher with 249-295 WS who is not in the HoF and one who is not in the HoM.
   112. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 16, 2006 at 05:18 PM (#2178818)
Obviously I didn't try to interpolate the NeLers, and I didn't schedule adjust. I think most of us can supply that in our sleep and evaluate the list accordingly.

Of course, but I think you would agree that Freehan would be pushed down the list when those adjustments and additions were done.

Again, this is not meant to be an "attack" on Freehan, only to justify my won catcher selection.

Still and all, it is stunning to me that there is in the entire history of MLB one catcher with 249-295 WS who is not in the HoF and one who is not in the HoM.

I have a feeling you wont be shocked anymore about the latter in a few days, Marc. ;-)
   113. DL from MN Posted: September 17, 2006 at 02:19 PM (#2179365)
I have 4 NgL catchers on the list ahead of Freehan, so actually the question you need to ask is "are we going to elect more than 16 catchers?". The one thing that is clear from the chart is Freehan is at the bottom of the list and he's closer to Schang than he is to Dickey; that's not including a seasonal adjustment for Schang. He's at the point where "fairness to all eras" is a reasonable reason to vote for Bresnahan or Schang instead.

I actually think his case for the Hall of Fame (11 all-star games) is stronger than his case for the Hall of Merit.
   114. sunnyday2 Posted: September 17, 2006 at 02:23 PM (#2179367)
That would have to be Gibson, Santop, Mackey and Trouppe. I like Trouppe (Mackey less so) but not more than Freehan.

Terry Steinbach is still playing town ball here in Minnesota. Freehan coulda played another 10 years at that level. I'm afraid that some of Trouppe's longevity is probably at that level, though i do have Trouppe ahead of Steinbach ;-)
   115. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 17, 2006 at 04:35 PM (#2179432)
Freehan coulda played another 10 years at that level.

Freehan was a decent player when he retired, so one has to wonder if he hanged it up too soon. A couple more seasons of just average production would have been enough to get him onto almost everyone's ballot.
   116. Mark Donelson Posted: September 17, 2006 at 06:04 PM (#2179537)
A couple more seasons of just average production would have been enough to get him onto almost everyone's ballot.

This kind of thing has a lot to do with why I'm a peak voter.
   117. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 17, 2006 at 06:14 PM (#2179558)
This kind of thing has a lot to do with why I'm a peak voter.

Except I think longetivity shouldn't be ignored when considering who to place on your ballot, IMO. Not that your criteria for greatness is incorrect, mind you, Mark. In the end, our methods are all arbitrary.
   118. Mark Donelson Posted: September 17, 2006 at 06:23 PM (#2179573)
Oh, I didn't mean I was right. I mean, I think I am, of course. :)

But I understand the other arguments, and I agree about the arbitrariness. I was just pointing out the point of difference, really.
   119. Howie Menckel Posted: September 17, 2006 at 06:36 PM (#2179593)
"A couple more seasons of just average production would have been enough to get him onto almost everyone's ballot."

That has a lot to do with why I'm a PRIME voter.
Although I see a healthy 101 ERA+ season for an SP as being more valuable than a healthy 101 OPS+ for a hitter. The latter is easier to find, I think - the former enables you to avoid a series of awful choices that really hurt.

And of course a 101 OPS+ for a catcher, or middle infield, is quite good. I do adjust for position...
   120. rawagman Posted: September 17, 2006 at 06:39 PM (#2179596)
Peak>Career - A token 101 can be of use. It's those superfluous 91's that cause me to blanch.
   121. sunnyday2 Posted: September 17, 2006 at 07:37 PM (#2179692)
I'm with Mark. Whether Freehan hung around for a couple years, even as an average hitter/average fielding catcher or even as a 1B, or not, really has nothing to do with whether he's a HoMer or not.
   122. eerbeek Posted: October 08, 2006 at 06:00 PM (#2203877)
Hi All,

You won't BELIEVE how I ended up here... after last night's stunning Tiger victory over the Yankee's, I popped in an old tape on the '68 Tigers and how their season that year essentially brought Detroit together after the riots. Sure, it's "just a game", but the whole city rallied around our Tigers, shoulder to shoulder, without regard to race (for a change). Everyone celebrated equally and together.

Bill Freehan was in the documentary and they highlighted two of his really outstanding plays of the series... tagging Gibson out at home and catching the series-winning pop up by McCarver (??). After watching that, I decided to google him to see what's new. I stumbled on this thread, which appears to be a vote for some kind of recognition of catchers. Sorry if I go off topic for a minute, here.

I lived next door to him from 1965 - the mid-70's. I played with his 3 daughters. I went to the neighborhood party as a 5-year old in her jammies when he returned home from Baltimore that night. His doggie's name was Rufus. My dad's friend used to go to ball games claiming to security to be my dad so Mr. Freehan would call him down to the dugout. His wife, Pat, had a recipe my mom gave me for "Puffy Pancakes", baked in the oven, that I still make on occasion.

When I was a kid, he wasn't that big of a Big Shot to us... he was just "Mr. Freehan". The guy who didn't mind that I would go over at 9PM on a summer night to get an autographed photo for my Grandpa (who kept it on his dresser for as long as I can remember).

It's weird to think that a draftsman for GM would have the same lifestyle as an MLB player... back then, salaries were NOTHING what they are now. I think it adds to the fact that they played more for the love of the game than the cash.

One thing I remember is being told that he had injured his back pretty badly and was in a "body cast" for some time. His knees were a mess from all that crouching. I don't think he retired a single second too soon. That position, more than others I assume, is pretty hard on the body.

I've read a few stats and see that he was an All Star more often than not during his career. I think 11 out of 15 years. Good enough for me! I, obviously, vote for Freehan!
   123. eerbeek Posted: October 08, 2006 at 07:03 PM (#2203931)
Make that "when he returned home from ST. LOUIS that night". Baltimore Orioles/St. Louis Cardinals... they're all BIRDS, right?

Hey! I was only FIVE at the time! (No accounting for being 43 NOW, however!) :-)
   124. sunnyday2 Posted: October 08, 2006 at 07:44 PM (#2203958)
Thanks, eer, very cool story. Makes one kinda wish that baseball players were still slave labor....

The Hall of Merit honors players at every position, not just catcher. Mr. Freehan is now on of (I am guessing) 150 players we have elected beginning in 1898 and continuing right up through the 1980s. We will catch up to the real world in 2007 or 2008. But among catchers, we have elected him before/instead of Roger Bresnahan, Ernie Lombardi, Rick Ferrell and Ray Schalk (there may be others) who are in the Hall of Fame, but who we don't believe were as good or as valuable as Mr. Freehan was.

Thanks, again, for a great story. Congrats to the 2006 edition, from a Twins fan. If the Twins were not destined for the 2006 World Series, then better the Tigers than any of the other contenders, says I.

Here's an interesting thought for everybody. Make up an all-star team of Tigers from 1968, 1984 and 2006.

C- Freehan
1B- Cash
2B- Whitaker
SS- Trammell
3B- ???
LF- Horton
CF- ???
RF- Kaline
DH- ???

SP- Lolich, McLain, Morris, ???
RP- Hernandez?

Pretty good team. So much so that no current player makes the cut, though I suppose that depends on the criteria. Their play just in the playoff season, or entire career?

I have done this for the Twins, combined the 1965, 1987 and 1991 teams: Battey, Hrbek, Knoblauch (Carew not on any of these teams), Versalles, Gaetti, Allison, Puckett, Oliva, Killebrew (DH), Kaat, Viola, Blyleven, Morris, Aguilera. (If any of the 200X teams had advanced to the World Series, Santana is the only guy that would probably break in unless I only considered the players Twins record, in which case Morris drops out and maybe Radke has a shot.)
   125. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 08, 2006 at 08:08 PM (#2203974)
I would put Granderson in CF, maybe Gibson can play DH? Don't know about 3B.

As for the Rotation, Verlander and Bonderman would have to be on it and Zumaya is a stud.
   126. OCF Posted: October 09, 2006 at 04:36 PM (#2204739)
Here's an interesting thought for everybody. Make up an all-star team of Tigers from 1968, 1984 and 2006.

I'll play that game, using the Cardinals of 1967, 1968, 1982, 1985, and 1987.

C: Choices are Tim McCarver, Darrell Porter, and Tony Pena. I would have guessed Porter '82, but going back and looking: Porter's OPS+ was 109 that year; McCarver's was 136 and 94 over the two years. I'll have to go with McCarver.

1B: Choices are Orlando Cepeda, Keith Hernandez, and Jack Clark (with a cameo role for Cesar Cedeno). Clark '85-'87 is the choice, despite Cepeda's MVP. (Too bad we can't hybridize them to pick up Hernandez's glove.)

2b: Choices are Julian Javier and Tommy Herr. I'll go with Herr (best year, '85).

SS: Dal Maxvill or Ozzie Smith. Ozzie, of course.

3B: Mike Shannon, Ken Oberkfell, or Terry Pendleton. Close call, but I'll go with Oberkfell ('82).

LF: Lou Brock, Lonnie Smith, or Vince Coleman. I'll take Brock - but Smith was almost exactly the same player, at least for a little while.

CF: Curt Flood or Willie McGee. This time, I'll take McGee, although his '85 MVP year doesn't represent his true talent level.

RF: Roger Maris, Goerge Hendrick, Andy Van Slyke, or Jose Oquendo (!). Not that attractive a choice - I'll say Van Slyke. Would it be fair to push Clark back to the outfield and let Cepeda play 1B? Probably not - Clark wasn't terribly mobile by 1985.

#1 SP: Bob Gibson, of course.

Other starters: John Tudor ('85), Joaquin Andujar ('82). After that, we've got quite a litter of one-year wonders: Dick Hughes, John Stuper, Joe Magrane. Steve Carlton is available, but he wasn't yet the pitcher he would become.

Relief ace: Choices are Joe Hoerner, Bruce Sutter, or Todd Worrell. Sutter is the famous one, but I'll probably take Worrell. Hoerner and Ken Dayley can be the leftys, with Ron WIllis and Jeff Lahti as the setup men.

Including any 21st century Cardinal teams would change quite a few things, including that we'd obviously have to have Pujols, Rolen, and Edmonds.
   127. DL from MN Posted: October 09, 2006 at 04:47 PM (#2204748)
> If any of the 200X teams had advanced to the World Series, Santana is the only guy that would
> probably break in unless I only considered the players Twins record, in which case Morris
> drops out and maybe Radke has a shot.)

<Cough> Mauer <Cough>
   128. DL from MN Posted: October 09, 2006 at 04:47 PM (#2204750)
> If any of the 200X teams had advanced to the World Series, Santana is the only guy that would
> probably break in unless I only considered the players Twins record, in which case Morris
> drops out and maybe Radke has a shot.)

[Cough] Mauer [\Cough]
   129. DL from MN Posted: October 09, 2006 at 05:03 PM (#2204777)
Sorry, it's a bad cough. I'd have to seriously consider Joe Nathan and Justin Morneau as well.
   130. DavidFoss Posted: October 09, 2006 at 05:46 PM (#2204841)
Sorry, it's a bad cough. I'd have to seriously consider Joe Nathan and Justin Morneau as well.

Agreed on Mauer. I'd probably stick with Aggie and Hrbek for now.

Aggie was a top tier reliever for quite a while. Nathan's three seasons have been amazing though and he'll likely pass Aggie in a couple of years.

Hrbek had three years better than Morneau's 140 OPS+ this season. (I can say that now because all the MVP ballots are now in :-)).
   131. sunnyday2 Posted: October 09, 2006 at 05:52 PM (#2204846)
>Would it be fair to push Clark back to the outfield and let Cepeda play 1B? Probably not - Clark wasn't terribly mobile by 1985.

If you had Cepeda and Clark, I'm guessing you'd push Clark out to RF.

As for the Twins, I was conflicted about whether to pick an all-star team reflecting just play in the pennant winning season, or whether to pick the best careers among those players.

For Twins catcher, Battey is still the career choice. Obviously I would take Mauer 2006 if I included divisional pennants, not just AL pennants. If he plays a full year in '07 Mauer will also become the career choice. Also if I included divisional pennants, then I get Rod Carew at 2B. If I'm only considering the pennant winning season, that would be 1969 when Rodney won his 1st batting title at .332 (but only 123 games). But Knobby didn't have a great (rookie) year in '91.

Single Seasons including divisional pennants

C- Mauer '06
1B- Morneau '06--Killebrew was never a regular 1B in a pennant year
2B- Carew '69
SS- Versalles '65
3B- Killebrew '69
LF- Allison '65
CF- Puckett '87
RF- Oliva '70
DH- Chili Davis '91 (or slotting in the best unrecognized season of any kind probably Jimmie Hall '65 or Gaetti '87; I would slot Gaetti in at 3B and move Killebrew to DH, duh)

Short story long, the recent crew ('02-'06) doesn't have the talent of those earlier groups in terms of the daily positional lineup.

SP- Mudcat Grant '65 (21-7, 3.30, 270 IP)
Jim Kaat '65 (18-11, 2.83, 264 IP)
Jim Perry '69 (20-6, 2.82, 262 IP) over '70 (24-12, 3.03, 279 IP) close call
Frank Viola '87 (17-10, 2.90, 252 IP)
Johan Santana '04 (20-6, 2.61, 228 IP) by a whisker versus '06

RP- Ron Perranoski '69 (10-9, 2.10, 31 S) by a whisker versus Aguilera '91
Joe Nathan '06 (7-0, 1.62, 36S) by a whisker versus '04

For career but now including divisional pennants it would be Battey, Hrbek, Carew, Versalles, Gaetti, Allison, Puckett, Oliva, Killebrew; Blyleven, Kaat, Radke, Perry and Viola; and Aggie and Worthington.
   132. eerbeek Posted: October 10, 2006 at 04:20 AM (#2205382)
Sunny: thanks for the comments and good wishes... I'm sure you guys could care less about my childhood, but I really got nostalgic there for a minute. I'm glad you all made the "right" choice in electing Mr. Freehan to this prestigous club. I don't understand why he isn't in the Hall of Fame, though. 11 out of 15 seasons as an All Star should get him a little SOMETHING, don't you think?

Detroit is out of our collective mind about this week's playoff series. We're one of those cities where we play hard and party hard with a great season outcome in ANY sport. Who would have thunk it only a few years after being the losing-est club in America?

1984 was an absolute blast! One of the most exciting seasons of baseball, IMO. We just couldn't be stopped all season long and literally danced in the streets. What a party! I moved to Hawaii on the day we won the World Series and had to watch it happen on TV in a bar at the airport after having spent most of my summer at Tiger Stadium. It was all good, though. My "Olde English D" ball cap afforded me lots of free drinks while waiting to leave! LOL!

OK... I'll add a couple of cents to the little game we have going on here. I don't go on stats like you guys do, but on key moments. I'm a girl... not much into the stats game and vote more emotionally than logically. Surprise!

I agree that Kirk Gibson should be in the Tigers' all star line up as DH. He did, after all, make that last run to win the series in '84 and he was a very powerful hitter all season long. He was a hottie back then, too, but I digress.

I'm not so sure that I would pick Flood from the Cardinals. His miserable failure in CF during '68 helped to cost them game 7. It's in the documentary or I wouldn't know this, but he missed a hit to deep CF because he lost his balance and just wasn't "there" for it. In a scoreless game at inning 7, he really couldn't afford that mistake allowing us to score.

Gibson from the Cardinals was a stellar athlete, so I agree he should be in there somewhere. However, he also seemed a little cocky back in the day, so I'm not so sure he would "deserve" it. He seems to have grown out of that, though, so let's put him in as SP.

I remember LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOU (Whitaker) as being CF in '84. Did he switch and excel in later years at 2B or is my memory failing me and he was never in CF? Once I moved to Hawaii and then CA before coming home, I kind of lost track of my Tigers, so maybe he moved to 2B when I wasn't looking. Lou had great personality... put him in... anywhere!

McCarver... poor slob who lost the big game in '68 with his little foul pop up that Mr. Freehan caught. I say put him in just to make him feel better. He must have been an absolute mess for a while after that hit. I bet he cried when he got home that night, poor guy!

Back to the Tigers, Lolich was the winning pitcher for '68, but my understanding is that a very unruly kid named McLean was actually the star with a great arm. Now, we also have to consider that McLean was not a nice person as a grown up, went to jail and now works at 7-11 in mid-Michigan somewhere. He didn't have the smarts to do well later in life. My vote is for Lolich.

That cute Bonderman guy should get a spot in the line up, too, JUST for being a cute kid. However, he also pitched a great game the other night. Maybe he and Lolich could trade off each inning, just to be fair?

Zumaya... a hottie. However, with his MLB debut at the same time as Bonderman (4/06), he needs to pay a few more dues. ESPECIALLY since he wasn't even BORN YET when we won in '84. Bonderman was a toddler of 2 in 1984, so he has a little more behind him.

God, I feel OLD!

Wouldn't it be awesome to get all these guys together on a field at the same time? Sadly, my '68 Tigers are now all well into their 60's and shouldn't even THINK about such a thing. They could break a hip!

There! Now I feel better about being Old!
   133. eerbeek Posted: October 10, 2006 at 05:04 AM (#2205405)
My bad... Bonderman debuted in MLB 4/03, so he's paid a few more "dues" than Zumaya.
   134. eerbeek Posted: October 10, 2006 at 05:22 AM (#2205413)
Fun Fact to know and tell: Flood and Lolich are both on the HoF ballots for 2007! So is Tony Oliva, just for YOU, Sunnyday!
   135. sunnyday2 Posted: October 10, 2006 at 11:41 AM (#2205441)
There's a discussion of the VC HoF ballot somewhere, anybody remember where? Or maybe it was in the Newsblog. But anyway, Hodges, Oliva and Santo are the 3 leading returnees on the VC ballot. All got around 60 percent of the vote last time. Anybody think the VC will actually elect anybody this time around? I didn't think so.

eer, Whitaker never played a ML game that was not at 2B or DH.

Who was the Tigers MVP in '84? (And don't say Willie Hernandez.)
   136. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 10, 2006 at 12:06 PM (#2205448)
Anybody think the VC will actually elect anybody this time around? I didn't think so.

If they don't again, expect some major tinkering with the rules again, Marc.
   137. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 10, 2006 at 01:33 PM (#2205499)
Who was the Tigers MVP in '84?

Jack Morris has an argument. During the Tigers 38-9 start (which, amazingly, left them just 5 1/2 games in front of Toronto), Morris threw seven of his 9 complete games, posted a 1.88 ERA, and was 10-1.

In June and July, when the Tigers started pulling away from the Blue Jays, Alan Trammell (the best offensive player the rest of the season) played poorly, and then missed time with an injury. The Tiger offense during that time was carried mostly by Chet Lemon and (to a lesser extent) Whitaker and Gibson. One could make a pretty good argument for Lemon as the team MVP, also.

-- MWE
   138. DL from MN Posted: October 10, 2006 at 01:40 PM (#2205501)
Has anyone told the Veteran's Committee that we've already elected Dick Allen, Wes Ferrell, Joe Gordon, Ron Santo and Joe Torre? We're also on the brink of electing Minoso. They're actively seeking feedback, we should give them feedback.
   139. DL from MN Posted: October 10, 2006 at 01:44 PM (#2205505)
Please fix the link it worked in the preview section.

I also think we should run the vet's ballot eligibles through our system and rank the candidates. That could help focus support on a particular player. For HoF type elections it's almost always better to focus on electing the best player rather than saying 5 are worthy.

Dick Allen
Mickey Lolich
Tony Oliva
Bobby Bonds
Sparky Lyle
Al Oliver
Ken Boyer
Marty Marion
Vada Pinson
Rocky Colavito
Roger Maris
Ron Santo
Wes Ferrell
Carl Mays
Luis Tiant
Curt Flood
Minnie Minoso
Joe Torre
Joe Gordon
Thurman Munson
Cecil Travis
Gil Hodges
Don Newcombe
Mickey Vernon
Jim Kaat
Lefty O'Doul
Maury Wills
   140. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 10, 2006 at 02:05 PM (#2205527)
DL, great idea. We should do it posthaste. Whether it will do any good, I doubt it. I don't think Joe Morgan will change his vote unless Tony Perez and Johnny Bench tell him to. But it can't hurt.
   141. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 10, 2006 at 02:17 PM (#2205544)
Please fix the link it worked in the preview section.

Fixed it, DL.
   142. eerbeek Posted: October 10, 2006 at 02:41 PM (#2205560)
Sunny... Ummm... yeah, Willie Hernandez was MVP in '84. He also got the Cy Young award that year. While this may be a disappointment to you and not who you would pick, it's the truth. Sorry!

Our little felon, McLean was MVP in '68. Amazing he could go from such glory to such a horribly low point in his lifetime. He literally had it all at a young enough age to enjoy it (had his own plane, even!) and blew it with his greed for money.

I could have SWORN it was Lou out there playing to the Bleacher Creatures (cheap seats). Guess it was Chet, another very cool guy.

Fun Fact to know and tell: Today is the 38th anniversary of that stellar Game 7 in 1968. I wonder what all the boys are doing today??? I would love to know they are all together tonite reminiscing as they watch the first playoff game against Oakland.

Seems like demanding 75% of the vote to reach HoF status might be a high threshold to meet. I hope Lolich makes it in. We have painfully few HoFers... out of only 20 Tigers in the HoF, only 8 actually played more games for the Tigers than on other teams. That's kind of sad!
   143. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 10, 2006 at 03:45 PM (#2205619)
Willie Hernandez was MVP in '84.

I think sunny knows that. But as far as actual impact on the pennant race goes...

Hernandez had only eight saves during the 38-9 stretch that started the season. He added 13 more over the next couple of months as the Tigers went 33-24 and opened up their lead. At the end of July, the Tigers had 71 wins and a 12-game lead. Hernandez had 50 appearances, 6 wins and 21 saves at that point. He starting having a more frequent impact as the Tigers relaxed a bit with their big lead and the rest of the pitching fell off down the stretch - which is when he started gathering MVP and CYA support - but he really had no business winning either award.

-- MWE
   144. sunnyday2 Posted: October 10, 2006 at 03:47 PM (#2205621)
I meant who "was" the Tigers MVP in '84, not who did the writers say was the MVP. Who should have been?

I always thought Morris, just to put my 2 cents in there. He probably had more to do with the fast start and the no-hitter was such a nice exclamation point! He gave them the swagger that the rest of the guys picked up over the course of the season. You know, intangibles.
   145. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 10, 2006 at 04:18 PM (#2205659)
I always thought Morris, just to put my 2 cents in there. He probably had more to do with the fast start and the no-hitter was such a nice exclamation point!

Well, that's what I said above. Morris and Petry were lights-out during that stretch.

But as I also said, the fast start wasn't quite enough to give them separation from Toronto, and the pitching declined quickly after the first two months. The team ERA was 2.85 through the end of May, 3.61 in June and July, 3.89 in August and September. And the Tigers had just a 5 1/2 game lead on Toronto at the end of the day on June 1.

At the end of the day on September 5, the Tigers had an 8 1/2 game lead on Toronto, and were about to play the Blue Jays in a three-game set at Exhibition Stadium. Toronto jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Dan Petry, and maintained that lead into the eighth behind Doyle Alexander. But Kirk Gibson hit a three-run HR, then Lemon drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game. Hernandez shut the Jays out over the last three innings, and Dave Bergman's three-run dinger off Bill Musselman in the 10th gave the Tigers a 7-4 win. The following day, Morris had to come out of the game in the fifth inning of a 2-2 tie, but Bill Scherrer and Aurelio Lopez held the fort and the Tigers scored eight runs in the seventh and eighth to take a 10-4 decision. In the finale, Mile Wilcox took a 3-2 lead into the seventh, and once again the offense struck late on another Gibson 3-run shot to turn a close game into a 7-2 blowout. The Blue Jays were virtually done at that point, and the Tigers won 2 of 3 in Tiger Stadium a week later to nail the coffin shut.

Looking at that group of games, what strikes me is how much this was a *team* effort. You can point to any number of heroes - guys like Barbaro Garbey, Lynn Jones, and Tommy Brookens all delivered key hits at various points in those contests, as well as the stars.

-- MWE
   146. DL from MN Posted: October 10, 2006 at 04:46 PM (#2205691)
> DL, great idea. We should do it posthaste.

All we need is a mock ballot thread with a list of eligibles and instructions to vote for 15. I think next week (between 'real' ballots) would be good.
   147. eerbeek Posted: October 10, 2006 at 05:11 PM (#2205715)
I know sunny knew about Willie... that's why I added the part about his disappointment and that Willie was probably not his choice.

I like to think that no one guy made that season, the playoffs or the series. For the most part, they were a well-oiled machine and each contributed in his own way to the ultimate success.
   148. sunnyday2 Posted: October 10, 2006 at 06:44 PM (#2205792)
Not unlike the '06 edition. Good team, no obvious MVP candidate, though I have Guillen in my top 10 and Verlander would be in my first string rotation.
   149. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: October 11, 2006 at 05:39 AM (#2206640)
That's a great link DL thanks!

Question - would it be more effective to send one note, or have multiple people each send a note?

Is there a character limit on the comment? We'd need to keep it short but sweet, but if we could explain the group a little, it would probably help for credibility.

Personally, among those we've elected, I'd rank them:

Ron Santo and Joe Torre (take your pick, they are way ahead of the others, IMO)
Joe Gordon
Wes Ferrell
Dick Allen
   150. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: October 11, 2006 at 05:42 AM (#2206641)
Whoops, forgot Freehan. I'd slot him above Ferrell and behind Gordon.
   151. DL from MN Posted: October 11, 2006 at 01:40 PM (#2206731)
I think we can send one "official" note from the Hall of Merit. That doesn't mean individual participants should refrain from sending their preferences along with some supporting information.

I think Santo actually has a shot if you can get the media aligned.
   152. DL from MN Posted: October 11, 2006 at 01:59 PM (#2206753)
Freehan's not on the final ballot, he was on the list of 200.

HOM not HOF Electees on the list of 200 but not final ballot:
Bill Freehan, Bob Caruthers, Bill Dahlen, Jack Glasscock, Heinie Groh, Stan Hack, Sherry Magee, Billy Pierce (TBD), Harry Stovey

HOM not HOF Electees not on the list of 200
Ross Barnes, John Beckwith, Charlie Bennett, George Gore, Paul Hines, Cal McVey, Joe Jackson, Dickey Pearce, Lip Pike, Hardy Richardson, Jimmy Sheckard, Joe Start, Ezra Sutton, Deacon White

If you look at our top 10 returnees:
Kiner, Ralph - HoF
Pierce, Billy - 200
Minoso, Minnie - ballot
Boyer, Ken - ballot
Childs, Cupid - not on 200
Fox, Nellie - HoF
Redding, Dick - not on 200
Wynn, Jimmy - 200
Beckley, Jake - HoF
Moore, Dobie - not on 200
   153. Qufini Posted: October 11, 2006 at 03:49 PM (#2206882)
For the Tigers 3B spot, I think you take Brandon Inge over Howard Johnson- more home runs, more RBIs and a much better glove.
   154. Qufini Posted: October 11, 2006 at 05:21 PM (#2206994)
I'm a little late for the game, but I'd like to enter a Baltimore Orioles contingent.

C: Ellie Hendricks, 1969-1971: not as good a hitter as Earl Williams ('73-'74) and not as good a fielder as Rick Dempsey ('79, '83) but Ellie is a better hitter than Dempsey and a better fielder than Williams making him the best all-around candidate at catcher

1B: Eddie Murray, 1979, 1983: this was a tougher call than I thought it would be and I have to stretch the rules to make it work. It's easy to defend the choice of Murray on career value (four straight seasons of 156 OPS+!) but looking only at playoff seasons, Powell's best three seasons ('66, '69 and '70) have Murray beat. However, I'm going with Murray at 1B and Powell at DH, even though the DH rule didn't enter until after Powell's peak.

2B: Roberto Alomar, 1996-1997: Alomar's best years are significantly better than those of Bobby Grich ('73-'74) or Davey Johnson.

3B: Brooks Robinson, 1966, 1969-1971, 1973: BRobby's best offensive year occured in the non-playoff year of '64 but his '66 season is still more than good enough to get him onto the list.

SS: Cal Ripken, Jr., 1983, 1996, 1997 (at 3B): a pretty easy choice, clearly better than defensive specialists Aparicio and Belanger.

LF: Frank Robinson, 1966, 1969-1970, 1971 (at DH): Robinson's 1971 was the best year for any Orioles DH, but I'd much rather have him in the field, especially for that incredible 1966 season.

CF: Brady Anderson, 1996-1997: Anderson takes a lot of heat for supposed steroid use (unfairly, in my opinion, as Jeff Burroughs, Davey Johnson and Joe Torre all had similar one-year freak-out peaks in the 1970s) but there's no arguing with the results. 1996 happens to be his 50-homer season and he was no slouch defensively either. Obviously ahead of Curt Blefary, Al Bumbry and Don Buford.

RF: Ken Singleton, 1979, 1983 (at DH): 1979 was Ken Singleton's best year which nicely coincides with a trip to the World Series. Of course, with Paul Blair and Bobby Bonilla being the other choices, it's easy to go with Singleton.

DH: Boog Powell, 1966, 1969-1971, 1973: I admit it, Powell played first not DH. And even when the DH rule was introduced, Baltimore moved Frank Robinson out of the field not Powell. But despite being able to take Robinson or Singleton as legitimate DH's, I don't like my options in OF without them. So I'm stretching the rules, giving myself a line-up with both Eddie and Boog. And hey, I still don't have room for Rafael Palmeiro.

SP: Jim Palmer, 1966, 1969-1971, 1973-1974, 1979, 1983
SP: Dave McNally, 1966, 1969-1971, 1973-1974
SP: Mike Cuellar, 1969-1971, 1973-1974
SP: Mike Mussina, 1997-1998; the first three were all easy choices, even if Palmer and McNally's best years don't coincide directly with playoff years ('68 for McNally, '75 for Palmer). Cuellar's Cy Young year of 1969 is pretty impressive though. The tough call was on the fourth starter. Mussina's steadiness pushed him ahead of most of the others, and his 1997 still trumps Flanagan's incredible 1979 and Boddicker's great rookie season in 1983.

RP: Randy Myers, 1997-1998: Wow, I have some great options out of the 'pen. However, I pick Myers as my closer. Those 45 Saves and that 291 ERA+ in 1997 are hard to ignore, even if he did pitch in only 59.7 innings. Surprisingly, the Orioles have employed a lot of left-handers as closers over the years: Pete Richert, Grant Jackson, Tippy Martinez, Myers and more recently B.J. Ryan (who hasn't been to the playoffs and therefore isn't eligible for this list). I've also got a good collection of right-handers to choose from: Watt's 216 in '69, Reynolds' 193 in '73, and Stoddard's 235 in '79. Surprisingly, with those seven (all those that I've mentioned, not including Ryan), I've already got a great bullpen without turning to Myers' actual set-up men Jesse Orosco and Armando Benitez or the great reliever Stu Miller whose best years came before Baltimore started making the playoffs. As for Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm, he never went to the playoffs as an Oriole.
   155. DL from MN Posted: October 11, 2006 at 05:50 PM (#2207029)
The Yankee list wouldn't be any fun.
   156. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 11, 2006 at 06:26 PM (#2207062)
Since we're playing this game:

All-Star team of Pirates from 1960, 1971, 1979 and 1990-1992:

C: Manny Sanguillen (1971). Also on the 1979 team. Pretty easy choice, actually, when one considers both offense and defense. Burgess could hit, but couldn't run or throw and didn't move around very well behind the plate; was often replaced for speed and/or defense in the late innings. Lavalliere could hit singles but not much else.

1B: Willie Stargell (1979). Was a LF in 1971, and was a better player then, but I'm putting him here largely because (a) he wouldn't have made the team in LF and (b) he was the best 1B on any of these teams.

2B: Bill Mazeroski (1960). Dave Cash was a youngster in 1971, and wasn't as good a hitter then as Maz was in 1960. Garner was a better hitter but not nearly as good defensively. Another relatively easy choice.

SS: Dick Groat (1960). Jay Bell (1990-1992), an underrated player, made this closer than I expected it would be, but Groat did win the batting title (and a questionable MVP) and Bell hadn't yet come into his prime.

3B: Bill Madlock (1979). Bonilla only played 3B one full season for the 90s Bucs, and by 1992 he was in New York. Madlock was never as good as he thought he was, but his midseason acquisition from San Francisco provided a spark to the team, allowing Garner to shift to second to replace the declining Rennie Stennett and solidfying the lineup.

LF: Barry Bonds (1990-1992). Duh.

CF: Andy Van Slyke (1990-1992). What, you thought this would be Omar the Outmaker? Nearly as good defensively as Virdon, and Bill couldn't carry AVS's bat.

RF: Roberto Clemente (1960, 1971). Rivals Mays as the most talented player I've ever seen (as opposed to the most valuable). There was nothing he couldn't do on the field, and he was smart enough to take what the park gave him; he'd have been a 40-HR man IMO had he (and the Dodgers) stayed in Ebbets Field.

SP: Doug Drabek (1990-1992): As a lot of people have noted, the Pirates have had very few pitchers who have had quality careers with the team. Drabek was easily the best pitcher on any of these teams.

SP: Vernon Law (1960): Hurt himself late in the season, but pitched through it in the WS, and probably made it worse. Never really got it back together, except for one brief shining return to glory in 1965. One of the most dogged competitors I've ever seen.

SP: Bob Friend (1960): Actually had a better ERA in more innings than Law in 1960, and gave up fewer UER as well; Law got the CYA because he was 20-9 while Friend was 18-12. One of the classic hardluck pitchers of all time, and still (I think) the only pitcher to win an ERA title while pitching for a last place team.

SP: John Candelaria (1979). As I've pointed out before on a number of occasions, Blyleven really didn't pitch all that well in Pittsburgh; 1979 was the year he got 20 no-decisions in 37 starts, and probably would have had a record of something like 16-15 without the Chuckster's early hooks. Candelaria was a bit of a head case, but there was no denying the talent. He just beats out Steve Blass (1971), whose later meltdown obscures the fact that he was a heck of a pitcher for a couple of very good teams.

RP: The Bucs had three very good ones. I went with Roy Face (1960), but one could make a good argument for either Dave Giusti (1971) or Kent Tekulve (1979); they were very close, but Face was used in tougher situations, typically. If only Jim Leyland had had someone like one of those guys in 1992 instead of Stan F. Belinda!!

Manager: I'd take Jim Leyland (1990-1992) over Danny Murtaugh (1960, 1971), with Chuck Tanner (1979) a very distant third. Leyland was in a very difficult situation in 1992, with Bonilla already gone and Bonds and Drabek going, and still got the team to within a couple of bad plays of making it to the World Series. Maybe some day I'll forgive him for sending Drabek out to start the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS, though.

-- MWE
   157. sunnyday2 Posted: October 11, 2006 at 07:09 PM (#2207106)
Hey this is fun!
   158. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 11, 2006 at 07:33 PM (#2207139)
Here's the Met team using players from '69, '73, '86, and 2000:

C) Mike Piazza (2000): Gary Carter in '86 is close and was the better defensive player (duh!), but Piazza's bat was really something. Jerry Grote (1969, 1973) combined efforts bring him in the vicinity of these two.

1B) Keith Hernandez (1986): No one else is close to him at first. Surprisingly, Todd Zeile would be my number two pick, while John Milner (1973) would be #3. Ed Kranepool (1969, 1973) is number 4 and Donn Clendennon (1969) follows.

2B) Edgar Alfonzo (2000): He owns this position. Felix Millan (1973) is a worthy second, though Wally Backman's (1986) shorter season is not that far behind due to fine production. Ken Boswell (1969) and (big space between) Tim Teufel (1986) bring up the rear.

3B) Wayne Garrett (1969, 1973): The Mets' black hole for many a decade, I'm surprised to see Garrett in this spot, but he deserves it just for '73 alone. Ray Knight (1986) and Robin Ventura (2000) follow with decent efforts. Ed Charles (1969) just wasn't that good, while Howard Johnson (1986) didn't play many games at the hot corner.

SS) Bud Harrelson (1969, 1973): Buddy wins it on quality and quantity, having basically identical seasons of quality. Eating his dust are (in this order) Rafael Santana (1986), Melvin Mora (2000), and Mike Bordick (2000).

RF) Darryl Strawberry (1986): Rusty Staub is a very strong second. Art Shamsky is not far behind with a productive, but short season of work (1969), shocking Derek Bell (2000) into another Operation Shutdown. Ron Swoboda (1969) is numero cinco.

CF) Tommy Agee (1969): An excellent regular and postseason gives him the nod, though Lenny Dykstra (1986) is not that far behind. Jay Payton (2000) owns third; I'll slot Willie Mays (1973) over his "Gotta Believe" teammate Don Hahn.

LF) Cleon Jones (1969, 1973): A great '69 and a so-so '73 bring him to the head of the class. For the rest, they're fairly similar in proctivity, but I'll give third to Mookie Wilson (1986) for obvious reasons :-), while Benny Agbayani (2000) and Kevin Mitchell (1986) are respectfully fourth and fifth.

If we need a DH, Staub would easily be the man.

SP) Tom Seaver (1969, 1973)
SP) Jerry Koosman (1969, 1973)
SP) Bob Ojeda (1986)
SP) Mike Hampton (2000)
RRP) Tug McGraw (1969, 1973)
LRP) Jesse Orosco (1986)

Seaver, Koosman, and McGraw have the benefit of playing in two series, not to mention quite well during those respective seasons (okay, McGraw wasn't that good during the '73 regular season, but... :-).

Honorable mentions go to Gary Gentry (1969), Jon Matlack (1973), George Stone (1973), Ron Darling (1986), Dwight Gooden (1986), Sid Fernandez (1986), Al Leiter (2000), and Rick Reed (2000).

Roger McDowell (1986) and Armando Benitez (2000) had arguably better seasons for any right-handed relief pitcher than McGraw in '69.

All together, that gives us 7 picks from the '69 team, 6 from '73, 4 from '86, and 3 from 2000. If I were to narrow it down to the strongest season from the players from '69 and '73, then we would have 5 from '69 and 1 from '73 (I give a tie for Harrelson's seasons).

I'll update this post with the 2006 guys if they make the WS in a week or two.

Fun idea!
   159. Qufini Posted: October 11, 2006 at 09:28 PM (#2207300)
If sunnyday can do both the Tigers and the Twins, then I can do both the Orioles and the Blue Jays. While the Orioles gave me plenty of World Series champs ('66, '70 and '83), AL champs ('69, '71 and '79), division winners ('73, '74 and '97) and even a wild card ('96), the Blue Jays don't have nearly the same array of options. They've got two World Series ('92 and '93) and three division titles ('85, '89 and '91) but all of their playoff appearances occured within one 9-year period. The result is that most choices boil down to '80s vs. '90s.

C: Ernie Whitt, 1989 (also 1985): While Pat Borders may have won a playoff MVP, Whitt's 1989 was the best season for any Blue Jays catcher.

1B: John Olerud, 1993 (also 1991, 1992): Fred McGriff's 1989 is better than either of Olerud's first two years, but John's incredible 1993 which included his chase at .400 puts Olerud ahead of the Crime Dog.

2B: Roberto Alomar, 1993 (also 1991, 1992): Is it any wonder that I like Alomar. His OPS+ got better for all three seasons, topping out at 140 in 1993.

3B: Rance Mulliniks, 1985: I almost gave this to Kelly Gruber who was the third baseman for three of the playoff teams but there's no question that Mulliniks' 1985 was the best single year for a third baseman.

SS: Tony Fernandez, 1993 (also 1985, 1989: Fernandez had one of his best years in 1987 when the Jays fell just short of the Tigers. However, his 1993 year after coming over from the Mets is still the best for a playoff shortstop.

LF: George Bell, 1989 (also 1985): His MVP year may have been in 1987 but I'll still take Bell's 1989 over Candy Maldonado's World Series year in 1992.

CF: Devon White, 1991 (also 1992, 1993): Although he slumped pretty badly in 1992, White was a great lead-off hitter in 1991 and '93. I'll take his '91 year as his best and as better than anything Lloyd Moseby did.

RF: Jesse Barfield, 1985 (also 1989): How could I not pick Joe Carter of the World Series winning home run? Admittedly, he has great cumulative stats in 1991 with 33 home runs and 108 RBI. But Barfield beats Carter on all three rate stats (AVG-OBP-SLG) as well as OPS+ in 1985.

DH: Paul Molitor, 1993: The Blue Jays were blessed with great DH's in back-to-back years. I'll take Molitor's 1993 ahead of Winfield's 1992.

SP: Dave Stieb, 1985 (also 1989, 1991, 1992): Stieb wasn't blessed with a good record thanks to poor run support but his 2.48 ERA and 167 Ks make him a must for this team.
SP: Jimmy Key, 1985 (also 1991): The lefty had a great ERA (3.00 even) in 1985.
SP: David Cone, 1992: Cone was a great deadline acquisition in '92 with a 2.55 ERA and 161 ERA+.
SP: Juan Guzman, 1992: The youngster on the staff, Guzman had great stuff in '92, with a miniscule 2.64 ERA and a massive 156 ERA+.

RP: Tom Henke, 1989 (also 1985, 1991, 1992): A great consistent closer for many years, I take Henke's 1989 ahead of '85 even though '85 has the better rate stats because he wasn't yet a full-time closer.
RP: Duane Ward, 1992 (also 1993): Ward took over the closer's role in '93 but before that he was one of the best set-up men in the game.
RP: David Wells, 1989 (also 1991, 1992): Though Wells is best-known as a starter, he was a great lefty reliever when he first came up with Toronto.
   160. eerbeek Posted: October 12, 2006 at 12:46 AM (#2207615)
The Yankee list wouldn't be any fun.

Ironically, you posted this only an hour before Lidle died in the crash. Now, it REALLY wouldn't be fun and it would probably border on disrespect tonite.
   161. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 12, 2006 at 04:46 PM (#2208339)
still (I think) the only pitcher to win an ERA title while pitching for a last place team.

As someone reminded me in an E-mail, Steve Carlton did it as well.

-- MWE
   162. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 12, 2006 at 04:53 PM (#2208353)
As someone reminded me in an E-mail, Steve Carlton did it as well.

And now I checked BB-Ref - which I should have done the first time :) - and found Craig Swan (1978 Mets), Rick Sutcliffe (1982 Indians) and Dennis Martinez (1991 Expos).

It's a little easier to do now when you have multiple last-place teams, but the Phillies and Mets both had the worst record in the league as well.

-- MWE
   163. Qufini Posted: October 12, 2006 at 07:18 PM (#2208533)
You're right, TSiGDtT. I was just looking at the rate stats. Gruber would be the better choice.
   164. eerbeek Posted: October 15, 2006 at 12:07 PM (#2212421)
   165. eerbeek Posted: October 15, 2006 at 12:17 PM (#2212423)
It's like 1968 all over again!!

Last night, our beloved Tigers won the AL penant. What a party this city is having!!! Fireeworks immediately went off in the suburbs and I think everyone is STILL downtown celebrating.

Of notable relation to this thread: Pudge Rodriguez made almost the EXACT SAME foul pop up catch that Freehan did to win the WS in '68 during the game last night.

And, St. Louis won last night to bring them 2-1 over the Mets. It very well could be a '68 match up in 2006.

And, to make it even sweeter, we won the AL Penant on the 22nd anniversary of our WS win in '84. Just 3 years ago, we were the worst team in MLB. Now we are AL Champs. Talk about Rags to Riches. AND, We get to open the WS at home!!!


   166. The District Attorney Posted: April 28, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4118574)
From Bill James' mailbag:
Is there a decent Hall-of Fame case to be made for Bill Freehan?
Asked by: Uncle Leo
Answered: 4/27/2012

I think not. Freehan had a career won-lost record (win shares/loss shares) of 212-128, which is a very good player. The standard to be considered a possible Hall of Famer, in my view, is 300 Win Shares or +100, 100 more Win Shares than Loss Shares. One can cut catchers some slack, perhaps, but this is not a Hall of Fame qualification standard; it is more a standard to be considered. If he is considered, he would appear to be behind at least three other catchers--Torre, Simmons, and Piazza. He was better defensively than they were, but they had more good years. He was an excellent player and he didn't miss the Hall of Fame by a wide margin, but it is my opinion that he did miss it.
   167. Mark Donelson Posted: May 10, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4128382)
If he is considered, he would appear to be behind at least three other catchers--Torre, Simmons, and Piazza.

Of course, the HOM does have the first two in as well, and Piazza is only not there as well because he only becomes eligible with this year's vote.
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