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Friday, February 22, 2013

Most Meritorious Player: 1979 Ballot

For 1979, each voter should rank their top 13 players from both leagues combined.

Balloting is scheduled to close at 4pm EST on 06 March 2013.

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 04 March 2013.

For detailed rules see one of our previous ballots.

DL from MN Posted: February 22, 2013 at 01:24 PM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: February 22, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4374094)
Decided to post now to allow 2 weekends
   2. EricC Posted: February 23, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4374660)
1979 MMP ballot. Unchanged from prelim. Unlike some years, the candidates are tightly
bunched, making their rankings rather imprecise. I have no idea what the consensus
will look like, other than confirming my good choices and rejecting my mistakes.

1. Darrell Porter 141 G caught with good defense and offense. Nearly led majors
in OBP. "Catcher bonus".

2. Fred Lynn 143 G in CF. Led majors in OPS+, WAR, and Win Shares. Might
deserve to be #1.

3. Gary Carter 138 G caught; 2nd in NL defensive WAR; above average bat.

4. Bobby Grich Best ML 2B.

5. Ken Singleton Not convinced by arguments that show him as #1 with the bat,
but had a fine season for a World Series team, a season that looks better by Win
Shares than by WAR.

6. George Brett 2nd in majors in WAR. Will he ever top his 1979 season?

7. Dave Winfield 3rd in majors in WAR.

8. Jim Kern It's hard to know how to rate a season such as this. If he had
pitched 19 more innings and given up 23 (!) or fewer ER, he would have been the ML ERA

9. Mike Schmidt 4th in ML WAR. Might deserve to be higher.

10. Phil Niekro At age 40, having already pitched 3000+ innings, set a new career
high for IP! The level of play was a notch below 1978, but the quantity has a quality all
its own.

11. Jim Rice Actually exceeded his 1978 OPS (although not relative to league).
No doubt the Fenway-inflated raw stats from this year greatly helped with his eventual
HoF election.

12. Don Baylor Not the MVP that the writers thought he was, and should have
been a DH, but I like his bat, his Win Shares rating, and that he played every day.
BBRef shows him as murder on defense; he might deserve to be lower.

13. J.R. Richard ML ERA and strikeout leader.

Top SSs: Templeton, Smalley & Concepcion
Top 1B: Hernandez
Top DH: Gamble
Next pitchers: Eckersley, John, Guidry
   3. SavoyBG Posted: February 23, 2013 at 11:26 PM (#4375024)
1 - Fred Lynn
2 - George Brett
3 - Dave Winfield
4 - Mike Schmidt
5 - Keith Hernandez
6 - Dave Parker
7 - Darell Porter
8 - Ken Singleton
9 - Don Baylor
10 - Bobby Grich
11 - Dennis Eckersley
12 - Jim Kern
13 - Larry Parrish

   4. SavoyBG Posted: February 23, 2013 at 11:49 PM (#4375028)
Top DH: Gamble

He was my favorite player then, and that 1979 season was incredible.

With the Yankees he was .389/.452/.735
   5. lieiam Posted: February 24, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4375259)
Same as my prelim:
Method- My usual uber-stat blender with no postseason bonus and a 10% catcher bonus.

1 LYNN, FRED 9829
10 PARKER, DAVE 7364
13 RICHARD, J.R. 7021

14 RICE, JIM 7021
15 KERN, JIM 6968
16 TENACE, GENE 6853
17 GUIDRY, RON 6827
20 JOHN, TOMMY 6699

   6. Mr. C Posted: February 24, 2013 at 04:58 PM (#4375302)
Final ballot: 1979

WAR framework: have changed the way I determine RAA from linear weights to Value added runs. Then adjust hitter's RAA for park, position and defense. Adjust pitcher's stats for park, role, defensive support. Convert RAA to WAA. Use 60% of the "normal" replacement runs to create Wins Above Reduced Replacement. (WARR)

1. George Brett 8.75 WARR
2. Dave Winfield 8.45 WARR
3. Mike Schmidt 8.00 WARR
4. Keith Hernandez 7.15 WARR
5. Darrell Porter 7.10 WARR
6. Fred Lynn 7.00 WARR
7. Phil Niekro 6.85 WARR
8. Dennis Eckersley 6.70 WARR
9. Jerry Koosman 6.55 WARR
10. Dave Parker 6.35 WARR
11. Bobby Grich 6.35 WARR
12. Gene Tenace 6.25 WARR
13. Buddy Bell 6.05 WARR

The rest of the top 20
Jim Kern
Ken Singleton
Johnny Bench
Sixto Lezcano
Ron Cey
Bruce Sutter
Paul Molitor

   7. Qufini Posted: February 24, 2013 at 07:13 PM (#4375370)
1979 Ballot

1. Fred Lynn, CF, Boston Red Sox: #1 in OPS+ and Runs Created, +10 fielding runs
2. George Brett, 3B, Kansas City Royals: 148 OPS+ and +16 fielding runs
3. Darrell Porter, C, Kansas City Royals: 142 OPS+ and 119 runs created as catcher; 15 games at DH drop him below Royals teammate Brett
4. Dave Winfield, RF, San Diego Padres: #1 in OPS+ and #2 in Runs Created in NL
5. Mike Schmidt, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies: 154 OPS+ and +7 fielding runs
6. Keith Hernandez, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals: 151 OPS+ and 135 Runs Created
7. Jim Rice, RF, Boston Red Sox: Another solid season with a 154 OPS+ and 138 Runs Created
8. Phil Niekro, P, Atlanta Braves: the top pitcher in either league thanks to 342 innings pitched
9. Bobby Grich, 2B, California Angels: 145 OPS+ while playing up-the-middle position
10. Ken Singleton, RF, Baltimore Orioles: 155 OPS+ and 127 Runs Created
11. J. R. Richard, P, Houston Astros: best combination of rate and bulk (130 ERA+ in 292 innings)
12. Tommy John, P, New York Yankees: best combination of rate and bulk in the AL (137 ERA+ in 276 innings)
13. Jim Kern, RP, Texas Rangers: didn't see this one coming; Sutter had the Cy Young year but Kern had the better relief season with a 1.57 ERA (264 ERA+) in 143 innings

14. Dave Parker, RF, Pittsburgh Pirates: the Cobra just misses this year's ballot
15. Sixto Lezcano, RF, Milwaukee Brewers: essentially tied with Parker for 14th
16. Dennis Eckersley, P, Boston Red Sox
17. Gary Carter, C, Montreal Expos
18. Ron Guidry, P, New York Yankees
19. Mike Flanagan, P, Baltimore Orioles
20. Gene Tenace, C/1B, San Diego Padres
   8. bjhanke Posted: February 25, 2013 at 02:40 AM (#4375493)
This is Brock Hanke’s ballot for 1979. As most of you probably remember by now, I start out by sorting the players listed in the Discussion Thread header first by Win Shares, and then by BB-Ref WAR, looking for whatever consensus is there, and then making adjustments where there is no consensus. For several years, WAR has had pitchers, in general, ranked higher than Win Shares, and I am inclined to believe Win Shares about that. This year, though, consensus is at an all-time low, and the pitchers are at the center of it.

Actually, there is some good consensus as to the top six players, none of whom are pitchers. But then, things get out of hand. WAR has spots 7 through 9 filled by Phil Niekro, Dennis Eckersley, and Jerry Koosman. None of these guys is in Win Shares’ top 25. Nor is Ron Guidry, whom WAR ranks #12. Over at Win Shares, there is only one pitcher in the top 25, Jim Kern at #21. Kern is ranked #14 by WAR, and that’s an OK consensus, except that WAR thinks that there are four pitchers better than Kern, much less position players.

There are other complete disconnects. WAR has Buddy Bell ranked #10; he not in Win Shares’ top 25 any more than the pitchers are. Meanwhile, Win Shares has Ken Singleton ranked #6, while WAR does not have Ken in the top 25. WAR has Rick Reuschel and Jack Morris ranked #19 and #21, which is not ballot material anyway, but the Win Shares list has those two at the absolute bottom of the players listed in the header, #47 and #48. Win Shares has Pete Rose ranked #17; WAR has him dead last on their list, #48.

Confronted with this, what I did was weigh my ballot towards the guys who had at least some consensus, with the result that some players who are ballot-worthy on one system’s list don’t make the ballot because they are so far down on the other list. In general, I have at least a little confidence in my rankings of the top 8 guys, but after that, it’s as much my memory as any numerical analysis. If I've shafted anybody, it's Ken Singleton.

I also didn’t make individual comments, because they would almost all be “there’s at least some consensus here” or “there is no consensus, but this guy ranked really high on one list.” So, without further comment, here’s my ballot:

1. Fred Lynn
2. Darrell Porter
3. George Brett
4. Dave Winfield
5. Gary Carter
6. Mike Schmidt
7. Keith Hernandez
8. Dave Parker
9. Jim Rice
10. Jim Kern
11. Bobby Grich
12. Phil Niekro
13. Dennis Eckersley
   9. DL from MN Posted: February 25, 2013 at 11:46 AM (#4375635)
1979 Ballot

1) Mike Schmidt - Lynn has a better rate of production but Schmidt has more value and more value above positional average due to more playing time and a terrific defensive year. League adjustment is also a factor as AL run scoring had higher standard deviation.
2) Darrell Porter - C bonus gets him to the top. Very good defender with a very good season at the plate
3) Fred Lynn - Terrific season but his production is mitigated by above average (not great) defense, league run scoring adjustment and only 147 games played. Still the best CF in baseball
4) Dave Winfield - Fielding is still pretty good at this stage of his career
5) Dennis Eckersley - best pitcher by a large margin, remember that Boston was one of the highest run scoring environments of the era
6) Keith Hernandez - best 1B
7) Garry Templeton - best SS and they've been ignored on all the ballots so far
8) Dave Concepcion - small postseason bump for a very good postseason performance to move him up a slot
9) George Brett - 1.4 standard deviation adjusted batting wins worse than Schmidt and a little less glove
10) Gene Tenace - Partial catcher bonus
11) Ron Guidry - not quite as good as 1978 but a pretty good performance nonetheless
12) Dave Parker - best player on the WS winning team but that doesn't get quite as far in MMP voting
13) Ron Cey - just barely edges Koosman and Grich for the last slot

14-21) Jerry Koosman, Bobby Grich, Roy Smalley, Phil Niekro, Ken Singleton, Jim Kern, Tommy John, Paul Molitor

Interesting contrast between Kern and Niekro. 200 innings difference and nearly identical value. Kern did about as well as he could in the innings he was asked to pitch and I can see giving credit for rate production that good.

Eckersley v JR Richard - Fenway v Astrodome. DERA is 0.66 higher for Richard.
   10. Kiko Sakata Posted: February 27, 2013 at 10:59 PM (#4377433)
See comment #72 of the discussion thread for my explanations, etc.

1. Darrell Porter
2. Fred Lynn
3. Mike Schmidt
4. J.R. Richard
5. Mike Flanagan
6. Dave Concepcion
7. Gorman Thomas
8. Tommy John
9. Bobby Grich
10. Dave Winfield
11. Keith Hernandez
12. Roy Smalley
13. Jim Kern
   11. DL from MN Posted: February 28, 2013 at 10:01 AM (#4377563)
Kiko - where do you have George Brett ranked? You're the first to leave him off-ballot.
   12. Kiko Sakata Posted: February 28, 2013 at 10:13 AM (#4377568)
Kiko - where do you have George Brett ranked? You're the first to leave him off-ballot.

Probably 14th. He's pretty closely bunched with Hernandez (who I give a bit of a boost as the best 1B in MLB and because I think my system might be underrating his defense), Smalley (you could probably flip a coin between Smalley and Brett in my system; when in doubt, I tend to prefer the SS over the 3B), and Kern (who I give a boost as the best relief pitcher in MLB). Dave Parker, Sixto Lezcano, Ron Guidry, and Ken Singleton would probably be the next four guys just off-ballot for me, not necessarily in that order.
   13. Cassidemius Posted: February 28, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4377639)
My 1979 ballot. I moved Keith Hernandez up because I felt I was undervaluing his defence:

1. J.R. Richard: Best pitcher in baseball. Using FIP, by a large margin. Using RA he was pretty good too.
2. Darrell Porter: A good offensive season from a good defensive catcher. AL MMP.
3. Fred Lynn
4. George Brett
5. Mike Schmidt: Edged out by Brett by the slimmest of margins
6. Ken Singleton
7. Dave Parker
8. Jim Rice
9. Tommy John: Best AL pitcher
10. Roy Smalley
11. Keith Hernandez
12. Phil Garner
13. Davey Lopes
14. Don Baylor
15. Dave Winfield

Next: Mike Flanagan, Garry Templeton
   14. DL from MN Posted: February 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4377672)
And that ballot ties the 1971 and 1973 elections for most players with a 1st place vote. This is a great election for people to jump in. The consensus is not clear at all.
   15. Rob_Wood Posted: February 28, 2013 at 09:06 PM (#4378077)
My 1979 MMP ballot:

1. Fred Lynn -- fairly easy choice for me
2. George Brett -- his defense was still good
3. Dave Winfield -- led NL in WPA
4. Keith Hernandez -- as good as he ever was
5. Bobby Grich -- great offensive season with good 2B defense

6. Dave Parker -- slight boost for post-season
7. Mike Schmidt -- his 253 bavg does not reflect his true worth
8. Darrell Porter -- very good offensive season as catcher
9. JR Richard -- luv the strikeouts; led the NL in ERA
10. Phil Niekro -- 342 IP at a 119 ERA+ (low 1.1 win values)

11. Dave Concepcion -- very solid season as shortstop
12. Dennis Eckersley -- best in fairly weak season for AL pitchers
13. Sixto Lezcano -- career year for sixto
   16. DL from MN Posted: March 01, 2013 at 01:06 PM (#4378406)
FYI - I probably won't be checking the thread from Sunday to Tuesday.
   17. DL from MN Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:13 PM (#4381535)
Still planning on closing this on Wednesday
   18. Mr Dashwood Posted: March 06, 2013 at 10:25 AM (#4381850)
Partly owing to being distracted by other things (both legitimate and indolent), and partly owing to having turned into taxi fra paolo for my family this term, I will not be able to post a ballot in a timely fashion. I suggest carrying on without me.

I am also about to be inundated with this term's marking, so I may have to sit out the next one as well, depending.
   19. DL from MN Posted: March 06, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4381883)
Thanks for letting me know. The only other voters last year and not this one are TomH and John Murphy.
   20. DL from MN Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4382017)
Will extend the deadline to Friday as requested. I keep forgetting to update the Yahoo page when I post the thread.
   21. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 07, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4383058)
1979 MMP Ballot (no credit for postseason efforts):

1) Fred Lynn: Best ML player.
2) Dave Winfield: Best NL player.
3) Jim Kern: Best ML pitcher. Yeah, I was extremely surprised myself.
4) George Brett: Best ML third baseman.
5) Darrell Porter: Best ML catcher.
6) Mike Schmidt: Best NL third baseman.
7) Ken Singleton: Best AL right fielder.
8) Dennis Eckersley: Best AL starting pitcher.
9) Dave Parker: Best NL right fielder with an earring.
10) Bruce Sutter: Best NL pitcher.
11) Gary Carter: Best NL catcher.
12) Bobby Grich: Best ML second baseman.
13) Davey Lopes: Best NL second baseman.

Thanks for the extension, Dan!
   22. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 07, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4383062)
I keep forgetting to update the Yahoo page when I post the thread.

I hate to say it, but I don't check this site out like I used to. Therefore, unless I'm notified of the election, it will be out of sight-out of mind for me.
   23. sunnyday2 Posted: March 07, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4383173)
1. Fred Lynn. #1 in OPS+ and Win Shares. If he'd won the MVP like he should have, he might be in the Hall of Fame today.

2. George Brett. #1 in WAR (not in peace, however).

3. Dave Winfield. Tied with Brett and Schmidt for #2 in WS, tied with Lynn and Porter for #2 in WAR.

4. Mike Schmidt.

5. Darrell Porter. With catcher bonus.

6. Ken Singleton. #2 in MVP voting, but what do they know.

7. Jim Rice. "Most feared"!

8. Keith Hernandez. Better than Pops anyway.

9. Larry Parrish.

10. Bobby Grich.

11. Don Baylor. AL MVP! Yippee.

12. Dave Parker. What might have been.

13. Sixto Lezcano. Who?
   24. DL from MN Posted: March 07, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4383239)
Put a reminder in to check on the first of the month and you won't need to check more often than that.
   25. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 07, 2013 at 06:43 PM (#4383351)
Put a reminder in to check on the first of the month and you won't need to check more often than that.

Well, there's that, too. :-)
   26. bjhanke Posted: March 08, 2013 at 01:54 AM (#4383778)
sunnyday - I can't be sure whether you're making a joke about Sixto Lezcano, but just in case you're not, here's the deal - Sixto was 25 in 1979, playing for the Brewers, and looking, based on several years of ever-increasing production, like he was going to be a serious star, perhaps a superstar RF. Then he just fell apart in 1980, missing enough time that I imagine he got hurt, although I don't know for sure. He was the key player for the Cardinals in the gigantic Ted Simmons / Rollie Fingers deal that Whitey Herzog engineered in the 1980 offseason. However, he missed more than half the season in 1981, and became, essentially, a throw-in on the Garry Tempelton / Ozzie Smith trade the next year. He never got better, and his career eventually drifted away. As I said, I'm not sure about this, but it does look like he had one mother of an injury in 1980, and it killed an outstanding career start. 1979 was the peak of his good years, and it was one hell of a season, but not out of place in the context of the several years preceding it. - Brock Hanke
   27. SavoyBG Posted: March 08, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4384273)
Then he just fell apart in 1980, missing enough time that I imagine he got hurt, although I don't know for sure.

If he had an injury is does not seem to have been reported. The 1981 Baseball Guide just says that he was a big dissapointment in 1980. The brewers led baseball in HRs and runs scored that year even with his bad year.

Lezcano is presently the batting coach for the Danville Braves (the Rookie league affiliate of the Atlanta Braves).

   28. DL from MN Posted: March 08, 2013 at 05:01 PM (#4384423)
election is closed
   29. bjhanke Posted: March 09, 2013 at 05:32 AM (#4384846)
Savoy - Thanks for the info. I'm bad at keeping track of injuries, and don't know of any source that is good at it. Part of the problem, I would think, is that teams, in all sports at all levels, routinely lie about player injuries, to avoid giving their opponents a competitive advantage. They only come clean after it's become obvious that something must be very wrong. That may well frustrate anybody's attempt to compile an injury list, beyond the DL cases. - Brock
   30. DL from MN Posted: March 09, 2013 at 09:02 AM (#4384882)
The guy isn't dead. You could probably reach him by e-mail.
   31. bjhanke Posted: March 10, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4385440)
DL - That was a good suggestion, and one that I should have thought of my self. However, I've found it hard to come up with an email addy for Lezcano. I can find bios, but they don't mention any injuries. Apparently he has an autobio book, but I don't want the info enough to buy a whole book to get it. But I imagine that, if I persevere looking at sources, I'll eventually find out. So, thanks! - Brock
   32. DL from MN Posted: March 10, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4385500)
Someone posted that he's coaching in the Braves organization
   33. TomH Posted: March 12, 2013 at 08:04 AM (#4386760)
sorry, gang, I plead being distracted by a Florida vacation!

my ballot would have been:
1 Lynn
2 Porter
3 Brett
4 Winfield
5 Schmidt
6 Parker - fine world series
7 Hernandez - led league in 2B, runs scored, avg, and supreme def at 1B
8 Singleton
9 Rice
10 Carter
11 Grich
12 Stargell - huge playoff and clubhouse credit
13 Baylor

   34. DL from MN Posted: March 12, 2013 at 09:53 AM (#4386813)
TomH - no pitchers? Your ballot wouldn't have changed the rankings at the top.
   35. TomH Posted: March 12, 2013 at 04:06 PM (#4387078)
no, the highest was #15 or so. Odd year.

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