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Monday, March 11, 2019

Most Meritorious Player: 1914 Discussion

The Boston “Miracle” Braves swept the Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series.

The Indianapolis Hoosiers claimed the Federal League crown.

There was no formal challenge for the championship of black baseball but that didn’t stop Rube Foster’s Chicago American Giants from claiming the title on film.

Vote for 10.

Player			SH WS		BBR WAR
Tris Speaker		44.8		9.9	
Eddie Collins		42.4		9.1
Frank Baker		33.7		7.4
Sam Crawford		29.6		6.2
George Burns		31.9		6.5		
Tillie Walker		26.4		5.8
Ty Cobb			26.0		5.6
Zack Wheat		25.2		4.9
Buck Herzog		22.1		5.3
Rabbit Maranville	24.7		5.0
Red Smith		25.1		4.3
Donie Bush		23.2		5.6
Johnny Evers		24.2		4.9
Del Pratt		25.9		4.6
Wally Schang		16.8		3.4
Ray Schalk		16.6		3.7
Sherry Magee		29.1		4.9
Joe Connolly		24.8		3.8
Miller Huggins		22.0		4.1
Dots Miller		20.3		4.1
Joe Jackson		19.7		4.6
Tommy Leach		26.4		3.7
Gavy Cravath		27.6		4.0
Art Fletcher		21.2		4.3
Honus Wagner		18.7		3.5
Larry Gardner		20.9		3.8
Casey Stengel		19.6		2.4
Chief Wilson		17.6		2.4
Vic Saier		23.8		4.2
Eddie Murphy		23.7		2.5

Benny Kauff		38.0		7.8

Ben Taylor		23.1		6.1 (includes 59IP)
Cristobal Torriente	14.4		2.1
John Henry Lloyd	11.0		1.5
Dick Wallace		5.3		2.2
Pete Hill		10.9		1.6
Louis Santop		6.0		1.0
George Shively		12.6		2.7
Candy Jim Taylor	12.6		3.4
Spotswood Poles		9.0		2.0


Pitcher			SH WS		BBR WAR
Walter Johnson		35.5		12.7
Pete Alexander		24.9		9.1
Bill James		34.5		8.6
Dutch Leonard		28.1		9.3
Jeff Pfeffer		25.9		7.5
Erskine Mayer		19.5		6.0
Dick Rudolph		29.9		6.4
Ray Caldwell		20.3		6.7
Jeff Tesreau		25.6		5.6
Carl Weilman		23.3		6.8
Slim Sallee		23.8		5.7
Harry Coveleski		21.9		5.7
Bill Doak		23.8		5.0
Babe Adams		19.3		3.9
Bill Steen		9.8		4.5
Earl Hamilton		20.0		6.0

Claude Hendrix		36.8		7.6
Cy Falkenberg		34.0		8.4
Jack Quinn		32.7		6.7

Joe Williams		6.4		1.6
Frank Wickware		7.9		3.0
Lee Wade		10.1		2.0
Pastor Pareda		12.5		5.1
Rube Foster		11.0		2.1
Jose Mendez
DL from MN Posted: March 11, 2019 at 12:35 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: March 11, 2019 at 12:45 PM (#5821873)
Interesting year. I have Speaker, Johnson, Collins topping the ballot but the rest is taking a while. Part of the reason the thread was late.
   2. DL from MN Posted: March 11, 2019 at 01:57 PM (#5821893)
1914 Chalek MLEs
Player Age Lg Pos   PA Rbat Rbaser Rfield  Rpos RAA   WAA  Rrep RAR   WAR
========================================================================
BTaylor  25 NL  1B  610   28    0       4   - 4   28   3.2   19   47   5.5
Johnson  41 NL 2B    200    9    0    0     2     0   12   1.3    6   18   2.1
PHill  31 NL CF   570   12    0    0     2    -3   11   1.3   18   29   3.4
Torriente 20 NL  CF  400   32    0       0   - 2    30   3.4   12   42   4.9
Lloyd  30 NL SS    590   15    0    0     2     9   26   3.0   18   44   5.2
Santop  25 NL  C  480   17    0       0    7   24   2.8   15   39   4.5
Poles  26 NL  CF  500   14    1    0     3   - 3    15   1.8   17   32   3.8
Earle  30  NL RF   590   10    1      5     - 7     8   0.9   18   26   3.1

               PITCHING          |  BATTING    |  TOTAL
Player  AGE   IP  RAA   WAA   WAR  |  PA    WAR  |   WAR
========================================================
Mendez   29  170   21   2.6   4.2  |   57   0.1  |    4.3
Williams  28  270   34   4.2   6.7  |   90   0.5  |   7.2
RFoster   34  150  - 7  -0.8   0.7  |   50   0.3  |   1.0
Pedroso   27  310   15   1.8   4.8  |  103   0.7  |   5.5 
Redding   24  270  -12  -1.4   1.3  |   90   0.2  |   1.5

   3. DL from MN Posted: March 11, 2019 at 02:07 PM (#5821896)
Joe Williams pitched 3 games against major league competition with a 1.08 ERA.

http://www.seamheads.com/NegroLgs/year.php?yearID=1914&lgID=NvM&tab=pit_basic
   4. DL from MN Posted: March 11, 2019 at 02:59 PM (#5821911)
1914 Prelim

1) Tris Speaker - best bat and best CF glove
2) Walter Johnson - merely outstanding this season
3) Eddie Collins - flip a coin between 2 and 3
4) Frank Baker - four AL players head the ballot
5) Joe Williams - 2nd best pitcher
6) Sam Crawford - big bat
7) Pete Alexander - best NL player and pitcher
8) Dutch Leonard - the lefthanded one
9) Bill James - the Braves pitcher
10) Ben Taylor - pitching value moves him here (not included in the MLE), best available 1B

11) George Burns - The NL one, not the AL one, best NL position player
12) Tillie Walker
13) Ty Cobb
14) Zack Wheat
15) Jeff Pfeffer
16-20) Pastor Pareda, Buck Herzog, Rabbit Maranville, Red Smith, Louis Santop
   5. DL from MN Posted: March 12, 2019 at 01:22 PM (#5822110)
Was this World Series thrown?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1914_World_Series

At least one publication, To Every Thing A Season by Bruce Kuklick,[4] has suggested other factors that might have contributed to the sweep, noting that some of the A's may have been irritated at the penny-pinching ways of their manager/owner Connie Mack and thus did not play hard, and also noting the heavy wagering against Philadelphia placed by entertainer George M. Cohan through bookmaker Sport Sullivan, who was also implicated in the 1919 Black Sox scandal. Chief Bender and Eddie Plank jumped to the rival Federal League for the 1915 season. Mack unloaded most of his other high-priced stars soon after and, within two years, the A's achieved the worst winning percentage in modern history (even worse than the 1962 New York Mets or the 2003 Detroit Tigers).
   6. DL from MN Posted: March 13, 2019 at 12:02 PM (#5822415)
1914 World Series
Player Name G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SB E WPA
Joe Connolly 3 9 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 .111 .200 .111 .311 0 1 0.03
Johnny Evers 4 16 2 7 0 0 0 2 2 2 .438 .500 .438 .938 1 1 0.46
Rabbit Maranville 4 13 1 4 0 0 0 3 1 1 .308 .400 .308 .708 2 1 0.06

Home Run Baker 4 16 0 4 2 0 0 2 1 3 .250 .294 .375 .669 0 0 0.15
Eddie Collins 4 14 0 3 0 0 0 1 2 1 .214 .313 .214 .527 1 0 -0.17
Wally Schang 4 12 1 2 1 0 0 0 1 4 .167 .231 .250 .481 0 1 -0.28

Pitcher Name G GS ERA W L SV CG IP H R ER BB SO WHIP WPA
Bill James 2 1 0.00 2 0 0 1 11.0 2 0 0 6 9 0.727 0.91
Dick Rudolph 2 2 0.50 2 0 0 2 18.0 12 2 1 4 15 0.889 0.56
   7. DL from MN Posted: March 13, 2019 at 12:07 PM (#5822416)
Bill James SABR bio is really good.

Info on the 1914 season

From July 9 until the end of the season, he went 19-1 with a 1.51 ERA. His only loss came on August 22 in Pittsburgh, when he was beaten 3-2 in 12 innings. Without that setback, James would have ended his season with a record-breaking 20-game winning streak. With it, he still assembled the best season of any pitcher in the National League. James led the NL in winning percentage (.788), and he finished in the top five in wins (26), ERA (1.90), innings pitched (332.1), and strikeouts (156).


And his quick exit from baseball

the 24-year-old pitcher was placed on the voluntary retired list. The press described the injury as a "dead arm," but in all likelihood James suffered from a torn rotator cuff, a condition the medicine of the day was powerless to correct.




   8. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 22, 2019 at 07:39 PM (#5824763)
Prelim:

1) Eddie Collins
2) Tris Speaker
3) Walter Johnson
4) Jose Mendez
5) Smokey Joe Williams
6) Bill James
7) Dutch Leonard
8) Home Run Baker
9) John Henry Lloyd
10) Benny Kauff
   9. progrockfan Posted: March 25, 2019 at 01:38 PM (#5825123)
Prelim for 1914:

1) Eddie Collins
2) Tris Speaker
3) Jose Mendez
4) Benny Kauff
5) Dutch Leonard
6) Ty Cobb
7) Walter Johnson
8) Frank Baker
9) Spottswood Poles
10) Joe Williams

   10. DL from MN Posted: March 26, 2019 at 09:33 AM (#5825321)
A bit surprised to see Benny Kauff showing up on anyone's top 10. He had a good year in the Federal League but that league was clearly lesser quality. If you like Kauff you should be checking the PCL for high performers also. I think the PCL might have had more talent than the Federal League.
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 26, 2019 at 10:12 AM (#5825336)
A bit surprised to see Benny Kauff showing up on anyone's top 10. He had a good year in the Federal League but that league was clearly lesser quality. If you like Kauff you should be checking the PCL for high performers also. I think the PCL might have had more talent than the Federal League.


After my 16% deduction for FL players, Kauff's adjusted numbers appear reasonably where they should have been had he played in the NL. I'm perfectly comfortable having him at the tail end of my ballot.
   12. Qufini Posted: March 26, 2019 at 11:06 AM (#5825375)
1914 Prelim- NL Only

1. Bill James, P, Boston Braves: 2nd in ERA+ with 150; 3rd in IP with 332
2. Sherry Magee, LF/SS, Philadelphia Phillies: 3rd in OPS+, 1st in RC and a shortstop bonus almost closes the gap with James
3. Jeff Pfeffer, P, Brooklyn Robins: 3rd in ERA+ with 144; 315 IP
4. Gavvy Cravath, RF, Philadelphia Phillies: 1st in OPS+ with 162 but takes a hit with -10 fielding runs
5. Pete Alexander, P, Philadelphia Phillies: 355 IP leads the NL but 122 ERA+ misses the top five
6. George Burns, LF, New York Giants: 148 OPS+ is 4th in NL, +8 fielding
7. Johnny Evers, 2B, Boston Braves: the ex-Cub has one of his best seasons with 113 OPS+ and +16 runs fielding
8. Art Fletcher, SS, New York Giants: 115 OPS+ and +6 fielding is pretty nice for a shortstop
9. Zack Wheat, LF, Brooklyn Robins: not far behind Burns
10. Bill Doak, P, St. Louis Cardinals: 162 ERA+ leads NL but 256 IP is well outside the top ten
   13. DL from MN Posted: March 27, 2019 at 02:13 PM (#5825759)
Prelim for 1914:

1) Eddie Collins
2) Tris Speaker
3) Jose Mendez
4) Benny Kauff
5) Dutch Leonard
6) Ty Cobb
7) Walter Johnson
8) Frank Baker
9) Spottswood Poles
10) Joe Williams


Three Negro Leaguers and a Federal Leaguer but nobody from the National League is a pretty big statement, especially when the Braves swept the A's. I also don't understand how Poles ranks ahead of Torriente, let alone most other ballplayers. I'm not sure Poles is in my top 10 Negro League players for 1914.
   14. DL from MN Posted: March 28, 2019 at 10:00 AM (#5826014)
After my 16% deduction for FL players


Are you sure that's enough? Kauff never had a WAR above 4.6 in the National League. I pulled some of the other top performers:

Player Name Best NL 1914 FL
Benny Kauff 4.6 6.6
Claude Hendrix 4.7 6.5
Cy Falkenberg 7.2 8.5
Jack Quinn 5.2 5.6
Dutch Zwilling 0.0 5.2
Art Wilson 1.2 6.4
Al Wickland 2.5 3.5
Bill McKechnie 1.7 2.9
TOTALS
NL BEST 27.1 1914 FL 45.2

That's not an average WAR, that's the best WAR for any of these players in their entire career in the NL/AL. I would say a 30% discount for Federal League stats would be more reasonable than 16%.
   15. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 28, 2019 at 05:09 PM (#5826394)
Are you sure that's enough? Kauff never had a WAR above 4.6 in the National League. I pulled some of the other top performers:

Player Name Best NL 1914 FL
Benny Kauff 4.6 6.6
Claude Hendrix 4.7 6.5
Cy Falkenberg 7.2 8.5
Jack Quinn 5.2 5.6
Dutch Zwilling 0.0 5.2
Art Wilson 1.2 6.4
Al Wickland 2.5 3.5
Bill McKechnie 1.7 2.9
TOTALS
NL BEST 27.1 1914 FL 45.2

That's not an average WAR, that's the best WAR for any of these players in their entire career in the NL/AL. I would say a 30% discount for Federal League stats would be more reasonable than 16%.


I'm basing the 16% deduction on the comparison between all FL players in relation to what they did in the other leagues, FWIW.
   16. DL from MN Posted: March 28, 2019 at 05:19 PM (#5826400)
I'm basing the 16% deduction on the comparison between all FL players in relation to what they did in the other leagues, FWIW.


Fair enough. Is it standard deviation adjusted as well? 16% would move the averages closer together but it wouldn't do anything about the spread of talent.
   17. Qufini Posted: March 29, 2019 at 08:01 AM (#5826558)
1914 Prelim- AL only

1. Eddie Collins, 2B, Philadelphia Athletics
2. Tris Speaker, CF, Boston Red Sox: close battle at the top with Collins taking the lead with better baserunning and positional bonus
3. Walter Johnson, P, Washington Senators: 371 IP is absolutely insane
4. Dutch Leonard, P, Boston Red Sox: 279 ERA+ leads the AL by more than 100 points
5. Ty Cobb, CF, Detroit Tigers: puts up a league leading 190 OPS+ in limited playing time
6. Carl Weilman, P, St. Louis Browns
7. Frank Baker, 3B, Philadelphia Athletics: another Philly infielder brings a 151 OPS+ and +4 fielding
8. Sam Crawford, RF, Detroit Tigers: the old veteran can still hit with a 158 OPS+
9. Eddie Cicotte, P, Chicago White Sox
10. Wally Schang, C, Philadelphia Athletics: a catcher with a 137 OPS+
   18. Qufini Posted: March 29, 2019 at 08:17 AM (#5826563)
1914 Prelim- Combined

1. Eddie Collins, 2B, Philadelphia Athletics: 176 OPS+, +1 fielding at 2B and +4 baserunning
2. Tris Speaker, CF, Boston Red Sox: 178 OPS+ and +14 fielding in CF
3. Bill James, P, Boston Braves: one of the great single seasons, the Herb Score/Mark Fidrych of his day
4. Walter Johnson, P, Washington Senators: 371 IP is absolutely insane
5. Sherry Magee, LF/SS, Philadelphia Phillies: 3rd in NL OPS+, 1st in RC and a shortstop bonus to vault into the top 5
6. Dutch Leonard, P, Boston Red Sox: 279 ERA+ leads the AL by more than 100 points
7. Ben Taylor, 1B/P, Indianapolis ABCs: 187 OPS+ in 272 PA and 247 ERA+ in 59 IP
8. Jeff Pfeffer, P, Brooklyn Robins: 3rd in NL ERA+ with 144; 315 IP
9. Gavvy Cravath, RF, Philadelphia Phillies: 1st in NL OPS+ with 162 but takes a hit with -10 fielding runs
10. Pete Alexander, P, Philadelphia Phillies: 355 IP leads the NL but 122 ERA+ misses the top five

11. George Burns, LF, New York Giants: 148 OPS+ is 4th in NL, +8 fielding
12. Ty Cobb, CF, Detroit Tigers: puts up a league leading 190 OPS+ in limited playing time
13. Frank Baker, 3B, Philadelphia Athletics: another Philly infielder brings a 151 OPS+ and +4 fielding
14. Johnny Evers, 2B, Boston Braves: the ex-Cub has one of his best seasons with 113 OPS+ and +16 runs fielding
15. Sam Crawford, RF, Detroit Tigers: the old veteran can still hit with a 158 OPS+
   19. The Run Fairy Posted: March 29, 2019 at 06:02 PM (#5826820)
At least one publication, To Every Thing A Season by Bruce Kuklick,[4] has suggested other factors that might have contributed to the sweep, noting that some of the A's may have been irritated at the penny-pinching ways of their manager/owner Connie Mack and thus did not play hard, and also noting the heavy wagering against Philadelphia placed by entertainer George M. Cohan through bookmaker Sport Sullivan, who was also implicated in the 1919 Black Sox scandal


That wasn't Cohan conspiring to throw the series, he was just doing advanced research for his Broadway play Elmer the Great.

I don't own a copy of it, but I believe that the first book of Norman Macht's three book Connie Mack biography (Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball) discussed the idea that the World Series might have been fixed.

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