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Friday, January 24, 2014

Most Meritorious Player: 1950 Ballot

For 1950, each voter should rank their top 10 players from both leagues combined.

Balloting is scheduled to close at 4pm EST on 5 February 2014. (Happy Birthday Hank Aaron)

Anyone can vote, even if you do not normally participate in Hall of Merit discussions. If have never participated in an MMP election, just post a preliminary ballot in the discussion thread by 3 February 2014.

For detailed rules see one of our previous ballots.

DL from MN Posted: January 24, 2014 at 02:08 PM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: January 24, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4645840)
1950 ballot

1) Ned Garver - I see no reason to disbelieve that his teammates were awful defensively
2) Phil Rizzuto - no postseason bonus
3) Jackie Robinson - giving the benefit of the doubt to Robinson, he's basically tied with Stanky but better rate production
4) Eddie Stanky
5) Yogi Berra - C and small postseason bonus
6) Stan Musial - best MLB bat
7) Andy Pafko
8) Al Rosen
9) Robin Roberts - postseason bonus
10) Earl Torgeson

11-15) Ewell Blackwell, Larry Doby, Andy Seminick, Hank Thompson, Warren Spahn
   2. DL from MN Posted: January 24, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4645843)
39. Moeball Posted: January 09, 2014 at 09:18 AM (#4634391)

OK - here's my top 10 list:

1)Jackie Robinson - proved that 1949 MVP season was no fluke; was again brilliant for dem Bums
2)Scooter Rizzuto - just a fantastic all-around season for best SS in majors
3)Yogi Berra - breakout season; emerged from DiMaggio's shadow this season
4)Stinky Stanky - a rotten person but this was one heckuva season
5)Stan Musial - ho-hum, even when he's not at the top of his game he's still one of top 5 players in game
6)Al Rosen - spectacular rookie season foretold of even better things to come
7)Ned Garver - went totally unnoticed at the time but this was a great season in obscurity
8)Jim Konstanty - wouldn't normally have a reliever this high but this was a very exceptional season
9)Ewell Blackwell - sensational season for "The Whip" - held righties to .182/.276/.269
10)Larry Doby - this was the year he really came into his own with Cleveland

   3. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 24, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4645871)
1) Eddie Stanky
2) Jackie Robinson
3) Ned Garver -- maybe he was lucky and unclutch, but there it is
4) Yogi Berra -- catcher bonus
5) Phil Rizzuto
6) Larry Doby
7) Ewell Blackwell -- FIP- credit
8) Sid Gordon
9) Robin Roberts -- postseason credit
10) Stan Musial -- DRA hates his LF defense
   4. Mr. C Posted: January 24, 2014 at 11:39 PM (#4646085)
1950 Final Ballot

Batters: start with RAA (using XR runs), adjust for park, position and defense (average of TZ, and DRA) Convert adjusted RAA to wins. Add 60% of normal Runs above replacement to get WARR (wins above reduced replacement)

Pitchers: start with RAA adjust for quality of opposition, park, and team defense (average of TZ, DRA) Convert adjusted RAA to wins. Add 60% of normal runs above replacement to get WARR (wins above reduced replacement)

Tweaked park factors and defensive ratings since the supplementary ballot

1. Eddie Stanky 7.56 WARR
2. Ned Garver 6.90 WARR
3. Larry Doby 6.23 WARR
4. Jackie Robinson 6.10 WARR
5. Phil Rizutto 6.04 WARR
6. Andy Pafko 5.97 WARR
7. Al Rosen 5.75 WARR
8. Ewell Blackwell 5.72 WARR
9. Earl Torgeson 5.69
10. Stan Musial 5.58 WARR

Rest of the top 20

Sid Gordon
Robin Roberts
Yogi Berra
Monte Irvin Minor league consideration
Joe DiMaggio
Hank Thompson
Mel Parnell
Art Houtemann
Duke Snider
Murray Dickson
   5. Qufini Posted: January 26, 2014 at 08:40 PM (#4646575)
1950 Final Ballot

1. Stan Musial, 1B/LF, St. Louis Cardinals
2. Yogi Berra, C, New York Yankees- I thought about flipping Musial and Berra after my prelim but I already give a pretty hefty catcher bonus so I decided to stick with my original calculation.
3. Al Rosen, 3B, Cleveland Indians- I attended a local SABR event last night and heard Johnny Antonelli talk about facing Rosen and the '54 Indians in the World Series. Great player.
4. Larry Doby, CF, Cleveland Indians
5. Jackie Robinson, 2B, Brooklyn Dodgers
6. Andy Pafko, CF, Chicago Cubs- I didn't realize he was ever this good.
7. Robin Roberts, P, Philadelphia Phillies
8. Phil Rizzuto, SS, New York Yankees
9. Joe DiMaggio, CF, New York Yankees
10. Ralph Kiner, LF, Pittsburgh Pirates

11. Duke Snider, CF, Brooklyn Dodgers
12. Ned Garver, P, St. Louis Browns
13. Larry Jansen, P, New York Giants
14. Ewell Blackwell, P, Cincinnati Reds
15. Roy Campanella, C, Brooklyn Dodgers
16. Eddie Stanky, 2B, Boston Braves
17. Sid Gordon, LF/3B, Boston Braves
18. Luke Easter, 1B, Cleveland Indians
19. Vern Stephens, SS, Boston Red Sox
20. George Kell, 3B, Detroit Tigers
   6. DL from MN Posted: January 27, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4646779)
Not a lot of consensus so far
   7. bjhanke Posted: January 27, 2014 at 10:04 PM (#4647074)
DL - I'm not expecting any consensus. I ran the ordinals on the header list in the discussion thread, and it's hard to believe that Win Shares and WAR are looking at the same season. The disparity is even worse than the seasons we've been doing, and I noted a lack of consensus in those years. The Win Shares ordinals make MUCH more sense to me, because they have the players you'd expect at the top of the list. I'm not a Phil Rizzuto fan, but I'm much more likely to buy a system that tells me that Phil's fluke season was the best in baseball in 1950, followed by Yogi and Musial, and that Robin Roberts was the best pitcher in the game, than a system that tells me that Ned Garver lapped the field of pitchers, Eddie Stanky was clearly the best position player in the game, and that Rizzuto clocks in at 7th or so on the ballot. And if you want to convince me that Stan Musial was a lousy defensive outfielder in any year, you're going to have to convince me he was hurt. I saw Stan play a lot between 1954 and 1963, and he was OK out there even in 1963, much less 1950. If the WAR ranking takes his play at 1B into account, that's not so bad. Stan wasn't a natural infielder, a fact that was lost on a few of his managers. - Brock Hanke
   8. bjhanke Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4648080)
A quick confession and amendment - my computer has gotten so old that it will no longer go to BB-Ref at all. It just hangs with the rainbow clock running. I have to actually force-crash the entire computer to get out. Therefore, I am limited in my ability to check things over there, as in I can't do that until I get an upgrade.

However, I found, in the back of Win Shares, a breakdown of Musial's career, with offensive and defensive Win Shares split. And in fact, the list shows that Stan had an unusually low number of defensive WS in 1950, compared to his surrounding seasons. So, it is possible that he was hurt, although I think he was still working on his consecutive games streak at the time, and so couldn't have been TOO hurt. He was certainly not done as an outfielder, but he did have a weak season (for Musial) overall in 1950 and, in particular, on defense, at least according to Win Shares. - Brock
   9. Qufini Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4648193)
Both fielding runs and bbref defensive WAR see Musial as having a down year defensively as well, though not outside of his usual range. Musial is credited with -2 fielding runs, bookended by a +3 in each of '49 and '51. He also has -0.9 dWAR, surrounded by -0.4 dWAR in '49 and '51. So, yeah, it's a down year defensively but enough to completely undermine his huge offensive advantages.
   10. DL from MN Posted: January 31, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4649589)
Only 5 ballots, I'd like at least 15
   11. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 31, 2014 at 07:36 PM (#4649641)
1. Eddie Stanky
2. Robin Roberts
3. Yogi Berra
4. Larry Doby
5. Ewell Blackwell
6. Phil Rizzuto
7. Jackie Robinson
8. Stan Musial
9. Ned Garver
10. Al Rosen
   12. toratoratora Posted: February 01, 2014 at 08:35 PM (#4649957)
1950 Final MMP ballot

1-Rizzuto: .324/.418/.439/.857 122 OPS+, terrific SS, the best season of his career
2-Stanky: 144 BB,.300/.460/.412/.872 130 OPS+, led league in OPS, 14 Rfield at 2b
3-Berra: 151 Games, 30 2b, 28 HR, 124 RBI, 12K, only 11 DP,.322/.383/.533/.915, 135 OPS+. I might be underrating Berra’s year.
4-Musial: Monster season for anyone else. An average at best prime season for Stan the Man. 41 2b, 28 hr, .346/.437/.596/1.034,164 OPS+, led league in BA, SLG, OPS and OPS+. 331 TB. Likely would have been MMP save poor defense
5-Doby:.326/.442/.545/.986,Plus CF, Plus BR, Plus DP.
6-Robinson: Good baserunner, wonderful fielder, small comedown from the prior season .323/.423/.923 139 OPS+
8-Garver: 3.39 era, 146 ERA+, Sportsman Park has a 112 PF in 1950
9-Rosen:37 HR, .287/.405/.543/.948, 145 OPS+, Plus fielder at a prime position
10-DiMaggio-The last big hurrah for the Clipper.32 HR,.301/.394/.585/.979 151 OPS+, Neutral CF, led the league in slg, a helluva nice year for a 35 year old CF, Hurt by negative baserunning and only 139 games

The best of the rest
11-Blackwell:2.97 era, 143 ERA+,4 saves, 261 IP, Crosley Field had a 107 PF.
12-Pafko: Career year.36 HR,.304/.397/.591/.989,157 OPS+, decent fielder
13-Roberts: 3.02 era, 133 ERA+,304 IP, I originally had him higher but he's hurt by Shibe's 96 PF
14-S.Gordon:.304/.403/.557/.960 156 OPS+, average baserunner, decent fielder
15-Snider: 31 hr,.321/.379/.553/932 139 OPS+, league leading 343 TB, meh fielder, average baserunner, hurt by Ebbets Field PF of 107
   13. DL from MN Posted: February 01, 2014 at 09:19 PM (#4649970)
toratoratora - no number 7?
   14. toratoratora Posted: February 02, 2014 at 12:22 AM (#4650013)
7-Kiner: 47 hr, 122 BB,156 OPS+.
   15. EricC Posted: February 02, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4650051)
1950 ballot

1. Yogi Berra (C). 135 OPS+ while leading the majors in games caught. First of a string of 7 great seasons.
2. Phil Rizzuto (SS).
3. Robin Roberts (P).
4. Ned Garver (P). AL ERA+ title and could hit a little. Voting this high for a 13-18 pitcher would have gotten me locked away in 1950, but his W/L % was still better than the Browns' overall W/L %.
5. Stan Musial (OF/1B).
6. Ewell Blackwell (P).
7. Jackie Robinson (2B). Robinson's rates trump Stanky's playing time in this case.
8. Eddie Stanky (2B).
9. Sid Gordon (LF).
10. Larry Jansen (P).
   16. DL from MN Posted: February 03, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4650657)
Reminder - ballots should be in by tomorrow for new voters and voting is scheduled to end Wednesday. Close election at the moment.
   17. Qufini Posted: February 03, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4650677)
Mr. C- no Berra in your top 10? Everybody else has him in the top 5.
   18. DL from MN Posted: February 03, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4650859)
Chris Fluit - not seeing that as an issue this year since it is so fragmented. You're the only voter to leave Stanky off ballot, for example.
   19. Mr. C Posted: February 03, 2014 at 01:17 PM (#4650862)
Looking at Berra offensively, in my system he is the third best hitter in the AL; using OPS+, he is the sixth best hitter in the AL. So certainly by hitting standards, he is probably top 5 in the AL, but not in both leagues combined. In the NL, offensively, I have 8 players whose offense is better than Berra's and there are 11 with a better OPS+. So based on offense, he would not fall into the top 10 hitters.

Is Berra's defensive contribution as a catcher compared to other positions enough to make him a top 10 player. My system says that it is not; whereas the system that others use must say it is.

So be it.

   20. lieiam Posted: February 04, 2014 at 12:20 AM (#4651206)
here's my usual system results; no post season, 10% catcher bonus
1 Rizzuto, Phil 9247
2 Stanky, Eddie 8654
3 Musial, Stan 8628
4 Berra, Yogi 8626
5 Robinson, Jackie 8612
6 Garver, Ned 8137
7 Doby, Larry 8123
8 Rosen, Al 7975
9 Torgeson, Earl 7791
10 Blackwell, Ewell 7718
   21. DL from MN Posted: February 04, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4651431)
my computer has gotten so old that it will no longer go to BB-Ref at all.

Seamheads/Baseball Gauge has the data without the video ads.
   22. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 04, 2014 at 07:40 PM (#4651763)
1950 Official MMP Ballot (no postseaon bonuses and includes league adjustments):

1) Phil Rizzuto: Best ML player and shortstop - the writers got this one right.
2) Stan Musial: Best NL player.
3) Yogi Berra: Best ML catcher.
4) Larry Doby: Best ML center fielder.
5) Earl Torgeson: Best ML first baseman.
6) Eddie Stanky: Best ML second baseman.
7) Sid Gordon: Best ML left fielder.
8) Ewell Blackwell: Best ML pitcher.
9) Jackie Robinson
10) Joe DiMaggio
   23. bjhanke Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:09 AM (#4651867)
This is Brock Hanke's final ballot for 1950. As per usual, I've listed the players without comments, for ease of tabulation, and then have the same list, with comments.

As I said, I find almost no consensus between Win Shares and WAR this year. Win Shares produced much more plausible rankings, by which I mean that their list coincides more with common reputation and the observations of the time than the WAR list does. This is not meant as a criticism of the WAR team. They are, right now, working with a new evaluation of defense. As with any new technique, there are going to be some things that don't work, and you have to tweak when that happens. To the extent that my comments sound like a criticism of WAR, it's much more meant as a note about warning flags. When you have Ned Garver and Eddie Stanky ranked much higher than anyone else, and the game has Musial, Berra, DiMaggio, Robin Roberts, Al Rosen and other historical superstars in it, that's a warning flag, saying, "Guys, you might want to take a look at this issue and see if anything here helps you tweak your new system." That is, in my mind, I'm trying to help, rather than just throwing out negative commentary. WAR deserves respect; it's earned that. But ANY new system can have problems.

Win Shares as of 2000 had its problems, too, and still does with the 19th century. I regard having Sliding Billy Hamilton as the only 19th century player to rank in the top ten at any position as a huge warning flag, and complain about nothing being done about it by whoever all is working on Win Shares now. That doesn't mean that I think Win Shares is a lousy system. I just think it got off track about the 1800s, and no one has figured out how to fix that yet.

1. Phil Rizzuto
2. Yogi Berra
3. Stan Musial
4. Eddie Stanky
5. Jackie Robinson
6. Ned Garver
7. Earl Torgeson
8. Larry Doby
9. Robin Roberts
10. Al Rosen

Here's the same list, but with comments:

1. Phil Rizzuto
Joe DiMaggio's last good year, but not a pr1me year for Joe. Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle will be rookies next year. Stan Musial and Jackie Robinson had mild off years (for Stan and Jackie). This left a hole at the top, and Rizzuto had a fluke year.

2. Yogi Berra
Win Shares has him second; WAR has him in a tight pack of 8 players, from Earl Torgeson to Warren Spahn. Any kind of catcher bonus at all will resolve this in Yogi's favor, plus there just aren't any other star years by catchers this time.

3. Stan Musial
If I were trying to go just by the combined ordinal rankings of Win Shares and WAR, Stan would be #1, where some voters have him. He has the most consensus of anyone.

4. Eddie Stanky
I have no idea what happened here with WAR. Win Shares has this as a very good year, ranked tied for 6th with Jackie Robinson. But #2 in the game, by a wide margin? That I don't get.

5. Jackie Robinson
Tied with Stanky in Win Shares, and ranked just behind Eddie in WAR at #3, although there is a gap.

6. Ned Garver
I do have some idea of what WAR is seeing here. I recognized Garver's name, and remembered that he played for the Browns. I live in STL and my dad was a Browns fan (dad was 11 in 1922). Unable to use BB-Ref, I went to Win Shares the book, where Bill put up a listing of every player, divided by team/season, and looked at the 1950 Browns. They were, indeed, legitimately awful in the infield. They actually did not have a regular second baseman, third baseman, or shortstop, and none of the guys they tried played well. The only name you'd recognize is Snuffy Stirnweiss, nowhere near his peak.

The infield is so bad overall that it cannot be a case of having infielders who could not hit, but who could play defense. There's not enough there for them to be good at anything. The two third basemen they tried, for example, contributed a whole three Win Shares to the Brownie effort, BETWEEN them. So, I get the idea of giving Garver some credit for pitching better than his defense would let his numbers reflect.

The problem is that the difference between Win Shares and WAR is very large. And we're talking about the effect of a bad defensive infield on just those games that Ned Garver pitched. There's just not enough playing time for bad infield defense to drag Garver's effort down THAT much.

Wishing to help the WAR team deal with this, if they try to do that, I did notice that the Browns did have a quality defensive starting catcher, Sherm Lollar. If WAR has misrated Lollar's defense (and catcher defense is still as hard as anything to get right), it might end up asking the infield defense to counteract that as well as reflect their own problems. I don't know. But I do know that the adjustment for infield defense is just way too high for me.

7. Earl Torgeson
As I mentioned in the Yogi comment, Earl is in a cluster of 8 players between 5.6 and 5.9 WAR. You just can't ask any system to be completely reliable at making distinctions that fine. So I essentially used Win Shares as a tiebreaker.

8. Larry Doby
Fifth in Win Shares; 8th in WAR. That's about as much consensus as we're getting here.

9. Robin Roberts
In another tight WAR group of 5 players between 6.6 and 6.9 WAR, essentially tied with Ewell Blackwell. I discarded Blackwell and Andy Pafko from the group on the basis of Win Shares and their general reputations. The remaining two players are Rizzuto and Doby, who are already ranked. The odd thing is that I am an Andy Pafko fan, and have been since the 1950s. But I've never thought he was a top ten player in any season.

10. Al Rosen
In another grouping, not as tight as the others, with Joe DiMaggio and Duke Snider, actually ranks just a bit behind Snider in both systems. Rosen, as opposed to Blackwell and Pafko, can rank in that league based on reputation. Two CFs, one 3B. I went with the guy who has almost no competition.
   24. bjhanke Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:16 AM (#4651868)
DL - Thanks for the reminder about seamheads. I'll try it for 1951. However, I try to start these analyses by looking for consensus between Win Shares and BB-Ref WAR, because that's what's there in the discussion thread header. It just gives me a foundation for the year's analysis. So, I'll continue to do that but use seamheads if I need more data and Win Shares the book doesn't have the detail I need. But THANKS! - Brock
   25. DL from MN Posted: February 05, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4651985)
Voted 2013 or 1988 but not 1950

fra paulo
   26. DL from MN Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4652201)
Last call
   27. DL from MN Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4652228)
Election is closed
   28. Qufini Posted: February 05, 2014 at 07:13 PM (#4652359)
Chris Fluit - not seeing that as an issue this year since it is so fragmented. You're the only voter to leave Stanky off ballot, for example.

Yeah, I knew I was an outlier this year. I didn't have Stanky or Garver on my ballot and I had Musial first overall. If we ran consensus scores for the MMP votes, I'd have a shot at the low score for this season. I don't try to be idiosyncratic but it worked out that way this year.

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