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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Most Meritorious Player: 1986 Discussion

Red Sox take the Angels in the AL in seven and the Mets beat the Astros in the NL in six. The World Series goes seven games as the Mets slip by the Red Sox.

MMP voting will end on October 2, 2013.

Player			SH WS		BBR WAR
Wade Boggs		35.7		7.9
Don Mattingly		34.0		7.2
Tim Raines		32.1		5.5
Mike Schmidt		31.2		6.1
Jesse Barfield		27.7		7.6
Cal Ripken		28.1		6.6
Alan Trammell		25.4		6.3
Ozzie Smith		22.6		5.6
Gary Gaetti		23.3		5.7
Tony Gwynn		28.3		6.6
Gary Carter		20.7		3.6
Jody Davis		18.2		4.0
Bob Brenly		20.2		3.3
Tony Pena		16.9		3.8
Tony Fernandez		24.4		4.9
Rickey Henderson	26.2		6.3
Kevin Bass		26.5		5.3
Steve Sax		30.2		4.8
Joe Carter		28.0		5.7
Jim Rice		26.8		5.5
Keith Hernandez		28.9		5.5
Eric Davis		24.5		5.3
Kevin McReynolds	25.2		4.2
Gary Pettis		17.7		5.1
Darryl Strawberry	24.4		3.4
Len Dykstra		23.9		4.7
Tony Bernazard		24.6		3.0
George Brett		19.0		3.9
Kirby Puckett		26.8		5.6
Von Hayes		25.8		4.9

Roger Clemens		29.5		8.9
Ted Higuera		25.0		9.4
Mike Scott		26.6		8.2
Rick Rhoden		19.0		7.7
Mike Witt		22.6		6.2
Fernando Valenzuela	20.6		6.2
Bruce Hurst		16.7		4.6
Jack Morris		20.0		5.2
Kirk McCaskill		18.0		4.4
Bert Blyleven		17.3		4.3
Jimmy Key		15.1		5.0
Tom Candiotti		17.2		4.9
Mike Moore		14.5		4.7
Ron Darling		17.0		4.4
Bob Ojeda		17.9		4.3
Dwight Gooden		17.8		4.2

Mark Eichhorn		21.4		7.4
Dave Righetti		20.4		3.8
Danny Darwin		13.7		3.6


DL from MN Posted: September 04, 2013 at 02:29 PM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: September 04, 2013 at 02:45 PM (#4534251)
1986 by position

C Carter (again)
1B Mattingly
2B Sax
SS Ripken
3B Boggs
LF Raines
CF McReynolds
RF Barfield

SP Clemens, Higuera, Scott, Rhoden, Witt
RP Eichhorn
   2. Tyhand7 Posted: September 04, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4534279)
Hate to nitpick. It is Eichhorn. In case anyone wants to reference him...
   3. DL from MN Posted: September 04, 2013 at 03:48 PM (#4534303)
Fixed Eichhorn
   4. DL from MN Posted: September 04, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4534338)
1986 prelim

1) Roger Clemens - separates himself from the pack
2) Wade Boggs - good year in Boston
3) Ted Higuera
4) Cal Ripken - Higuera, Boggs, Ripken and Mattingly are bunched really tightly
5) Don Mattingly
6) Tim Raines - good year for the AL too
7) Mike Scott
8) Jesse Barfield
9) Mike Schmidt
10) Rick Rhoden
11) Alan Trammell
12) Mike Witt
13) Ozzie Smith

14-20) Gary Gaetti, Tony Gwynn, Gary Carter, Tony Fernandez, Kevin Bass, Steve Sax, Joe Carter

   5. Hombre Brotani Posted: September 04, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4534362)
In my 1986 DMB league, I had Gooden, Ojeda, Hurst, and Eichhorn on the pitching staff, and Raines and Barfield in the lineup. Won 109 games, then lost in the playoffs to a team with Clemens and Higuera. I was pretty crushed.

Was Higuera just a victim of injuries? Or was there something else?
   6. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: September 04, 2013 at 06:29 PM (#4534416)

(I'll have a ballot over the weekend, probably.)

(edited for brain fart)
   7. DL from MN Posted: September 05, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4534992)
Can anyone comment on what limited the playing time for Bruce Hurst and Darryl Strawberry?
   8. DL from MN Posted: September 05, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4535004)
Reminder on discussion schedule
1986 - September
1987 - October (I like remembering 1987 in October)
1988 - November (2014 HoM election should be heating up then too)
2013 - December
1950 - January

We'll finish the 1980s and 1990s in 2016. I hope 1987 gets some interest.
   9. Mr. C Posted: September 06, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4535779)
1986 All Star teams


C Tony Pena
1B Keith Hernandez
2B Johnny Ray
3B Mike Schmidt
SS Hubie Brooks (playing time is an issue, but even playing about 1/2 time, he has the best WARR rating). Ozzie probably deserves to be the All Star, taking playing time issues into account.
LF Eric Davis
CF Len Dykstra
RF Tony Gwynn
SP: Mike Scott, Rick Rhoden, Fernando Valenzuela, Bob Ojeda
RP: Todd Worrell (argument can be made for Lance McCullers but he also started 7 games)


C Lance Parrish
1B Don Mattingly
2B Tony Phillips (really a super utility guy, but 2B was the position he played most) Lou Whitaker is the best full time 2B.
3B Wade Boggs
SS Cal Ripken
LF Jim Rice
CF Ricky Henderson
RF Jesse Barfield
DH Johnny Grubb
SP Roger Clemens, Teddy Higuera, Mike Witt, Jimmy Key
RP Mark Eichorn

   10. DL from MN Posted: September 06, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4535786)
Very much a down period at second base.
   11. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: September 06, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4535800)
Can anyone comment on what limited the playing time for Bruce Hurst and Darryl Strawberry?
Hurst suffered a pulled groin in late May, Wiki says.

As for Straw, dunno. He sat out 10 games of a 22-game stretch in late May/mid-June. Missed another 8 of 24 in late July through mid-August. And down the stretch, with the Mets cruising, it appears he was sat for some rest; didn't play at all in six Sept./Oct. games, and saw limited action in another four.
   12. TomH Posted: September 06, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4535898)
strange fact about the 86 Red Sox: Boggs was obviously their best hitter, with his .357 AVG, .453 OBP, & .939 OPS. Their other main sticks were
player AVG HR
Rice.. .324 20
Baylor .238 31
Evans. .259 26

Where does Boggs rank among those 4 in R+RBI? Dead last. Rice 208, Baylor 187, Evans 183, Boggs 178. Wade batted in a non-RBI spot, and even with decent hitters behind him, he didn't score as many runs as one might suppose. Some of it probably was poor base-running; more than one person has mentioned that over time.

Even Bill Buckner had 175 R+RBI, and Buckner was a seriously below-average hitter in '86.

90% of this might be happenstance, but I do think Boggs is a particularly challenging player to evaluate. His primary skill was getting on base, and avoiding outs. The various Runs formulae all give him much credit for this. I wonder at times if his poor baserunning negated more of his value than is true for many others.

Wade Boggs, rank in career time reached base; 22nd
Wade Boggs, rank in career runs scored; 65th
   13. Moeball Posted: September 07, 2013 at 01:06 AM (#4536299)
First I'm going to set the Wayback machine to 1986 and revisit a truly exciting time!

This was the Year of the Rookie Explosion! Jose Canseco, Wally Joyner, Pete Incaviglia, Cory Snyder and Danny Tartabull were the players everyone was talking about. Where did all this power come from? (Where, indeed?) Hey, at the time it was really exciting. Canseco had charisma, Wally had "Wally World" (yes, I used to sit out in the right field bleachers at Anaheim Stadium), Danny Tartabull was frequently playing second base for Seattle (never mind that he couldn't actually field the position, for crying out loud, a guy who could actually hit was playing second base), and the Indians kept talking about moving Cory Snyder to shortstop! Wow!

Tartabull Trivia - a week into the 1986 season Danny Tartabull had already hit more HRs than his father Jose Tartabull had hit in his entire major league career of 749 games! Jose joked at the time that "all Danny's power came from his mother's side of the family"!

Note that all this hysteria was centered around American League rookies, and it further looked like the AL had the NL outsmarted with the Incaviglia ploy. Montreal had drafted Inky out of Oklahoma State in 1985, but the Expos were mostly focused on his weaknesses, not his strengths. They constantly talked about how he struck out way too much and what a poor fielder he was. It makes me think they must have somehow been run by Bud Selig at the time, even though I know it isn't true. At any rate, the Expos wanted to send Inky down to work on the weaknesses. He refused to go and insisted he was ready to play major league ball already and sending him down was going to be a waste of time. They couldn't get past the impasse so eventually in November Montreal traded him to Texas. Texas promptly put him in the starting lineup in 1986 (with no minor league seasoning whatsoever) and, you know, Montreal was right - Inky did strike out way too much (180 times!) and he was a butcher in left field. But he also hit 30 HRs and drove in almost 100 runs. Here's the thing, though - at no time in major league history - not even during the biggest offensive eras - has a guy who can hit 30 HRs and drive in a bunch of runs not been able to find a starting job somewhere in the major leagues. Montreal was focused on all the wrong things about Inky and so they missed out on a few pretty decent seasons. Of course, when you already have Tim Raines I guess it makes you pretty picky about who else you want in your outfield!

Hmm - speaking of teams that maybe didn't know how to evaluate their talent as effectively as they thought they did - one of the biggest names in 1986 was Wade Boggs. Maybe some of the Boston fans can help me out here - if Boggs could hit .349 with a .406 OBA as a 24-year-old "rookie" in 1982 and, given that he had been drafted by Boston all the way back in 1976 - why did it take him so long to get to the big leagues? Was he held back in '81 due to Carney Lansford? I have to believe a guy who could put up a .406 OBA at age 24 in 1982 must have been able to do at least a .360 OBA in 1981, so why wasn't he up there doing just that? I always felt Boston waited too long to get Boggs up to the big team.

As time went by, it was interesting how the perceptions of 1986 changed. Oh, it was still viewed as an incredible season for great talent coming into the game, but the names associated with it began to change. In 1987 the focus was still pretty much on the Fantastic Five and in 1988 Canseco went 40-40, but by 1989 people were talking about players like Will the Thrill Clark and Kevin Mitchell (hey, some National Leaguers!) and Ruben Sierra, also part of that incredible 1986 rookie group although no one was paying much attention to them back in '86. By the time the '90s were here and gone, it turned out that maybe the best two rookies from that Class of '86 were the two Barrys - Mr. Bonds and Mr. Larkin. Still, it was an incredible array of talent that seemingly came out of nowhere.

Eric Davis! OMG, Eric Davis! In 1986 he just exploded on the scene and, in all honesty - looking at his 1984 and 1985 partial seasons which were decent - why the heck didn't Pete Rose make him a regular sooner? C'mon, Pete, what were you waiting for? Or did he seem like too much of a "gamble" before 1986?

BTW - I believe that there have been only 2 seasons in major league history where a player hit at least 25 HRs and stole at least 80 bases - and they both happened the same year! 1986 - Eric Davis and Rickey! Henderson. What a season!

OK, so I digressed a bit there, but I thought those young'uns who weren't there at the time might like to know a bit of what it felt like to be a fan in 1986. Maybe someday Sheldon on "Big Bang" will invent that time machine and you'll all get to see for yourselves what it was like!

My next post will get down to my actual MMP picks.
   14. Moeball Posted: September 07, 2013 at 05:03 AM (#4536342)
MMP picks 1986:

1. Roger Clemens - outstanding year largely responsible for getting BoSox into postseason, put up excellent numbers despite pitching in Fenway. The first of many brilliant seasons to come.
2. Mike Scott - Dominant year helped get Houston into playoffs - continued brilliant pitching in NLCS - yes, I sometimes give a little postseason credit. Many Mets players have said they were willing to play as many innings as it took in Game 6 to make sure they didn't have to face Scott again in Game 7 because they were convinced he would have shut them down. Of course, they were equally convinced that he had some "help" making his pitches so unhittable.
3. Teddy Higuera - Milwaukee lefty had unsung season that didn't get the PR Clemens did, but it was still a terrific season
4. Wade Boggs - super consistent, you couldn't get him out at home or on the road plus solid defense at 3B
5. Don Mattingly - for once the actual performance lived up to the hype - this was a truly great season
6. Mark Eichhorn - a reliever actually used in the way that makes sense - not as a closer who comes into a game in the 9th with a 2-run lead - but having to pitch a lot of innings in high-leverage situations. The kind of reliever who can come into a tie game in the 7th - sometimes even with runners on base - and give you two shutout innings while your team scores to get that lead for the closer to protect. 28 times that season he went more than an inning without giving up any runs. The total number of innings logged in those outings - 72, averaging almost 3 innings per appearance!
7. Tim Raines - yet another terrific season in the midst of a string of them.
8. Jesse Barfield - what a great year, the whole package - great offense, great D, that arm was a cannon!
9. Cal Ripken - just another, oh, BTW, he was the best SS in baseball - again.
10.Rickey! This is what secondary skills are all about. Sure, he only hit .263 - but he still walked 89 times, stole 87 bases, hit 28 HRs and scored 130 runs, while still capably covering CF in Yankee Stadium.
11.T.Gwynn - man, this guy was good when he still had some speed. Could hit, run and field.
12.Steve Sax - yeah, I know, who'd-a-believed it but he had a really outstanding season in '86. Best of a disappointing group of second basemen. With Morgan gone after '84 and Grich on the way out, it left a void for someone to take control of the position. For the most part that player would be Whitaker but this wasn't his year.
13.Rick Rhoden - not only had a very good year on the mound but contributed with the bat as well. How many pitchers have a .411 SLG in a season?

   15. Mr. C Posted: September 07, 2013 at 09:59 AM (#4536375)
The NL was not exactly lacking in rookies itself. They didn't impact in 1986 the way that the the AL rookies did,and admittedly some of them only made brief appearances in 1986: Barry Bonds, Will Clark, Greg Maddux , Barry Larkin, Rafael Palmeiro ,Robbie Thompson and Todd Worrell.
   16. toratoratora Posted: September 07, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4536389)
Fun Wade Boggs 1986 fact. Through June 6‚ Boggs hit .400 over his past 162 games beginning with June 9‚ 1985.
-Comments on Boggs and runs scored. Boggs lived on base, but he was slow as a rock.More importantly, he had Buckner and Rice, two douple-play machines, hitting behind him. DP wise, Rice had a down year for him in 86, with only 19 (The four years prior he led the league with 29,31,36,and 35) but Billy Bucks had 25 and he hit, IIRC, third a lot that season. Toss in Tony Armas and a relatively slow, station to station offense and those Sox scored less than they should have.
This is also the year Clemens started 14 and 0 (Personal note-I was at the 14th win. Great game. The first of many times seeing him pitch. He had tough stuff that night) as well as striking out 20 for the first time.
   17. lieiam Posted: September 07, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4536466)
I haven't finished coming up with compiling my ratings yet, but I was pretty impressed by the variety of leaders in the systems I use.
Here's the top player in each system I'm using:
Baseball Reference WAR= Teddy Higuera
Baseball Gauge WAR= Roger Clemens
Dan R WARP= Cal Ripken
Fangraphs WAR= Mike Scott
Win Shares= Wade Boggs
Win Shares Above Bench= Wade Boggs

I still need to get numbers for a bunch of players (hopefully will get back to this today) but thought the variety of leaders was too damn cool not to post.
   18. Qufini Posted: September 07, 2013 at 02:55 PM (#4536486)
1986 Prelim Ballot

1. Wade Boggs, 3B, Boston Red Sox: Looks like I'm going to be the iconoclast this year.
2. Don Mattingly, 1B, New York Yankees: 1st in the AL in OPS+ and Runs Created but Boggs passes him by due to better defense (+8 to +1) at a harder position.
3. Mike Scott, P, Houston Astros: Led the Senior Circuit in ERA+ with 161 and innings with 275. His period of excellence was brief (only 5 seasons with an ERA+ over 100) but memorable.
4. Rogers Clemens, P, Boston Red Sox: Not what I expected before I ran the numbers. Clemens led the majors with a 169 ERA+ but his 254 innings were only 4th in the American League.
5. Mike Schmidt, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies: The old man's still got it. 1st in OPS+, 2nd in Runs Created.
6. Jesse Barfield, RF, Toronto Blue Jays: A big bat at the plate (146 OPS+) and a big arm in the outfield (+21 fielding runs thanks, in part, to 20 assists).
7 Cal Ripken, Jr., SS, Baltimore Orioles: +16 fielding runs at shortstop plus he cracked the top ten in Runs Created with 102.
8. Teddy Higuera, P, Milwaukee Brewers: A 156 ERA+ in 248 innings.
9. Mark Eichhorn, RP, Toronto Blue Jays: 157 innings as a reliever with a 246 ERA+.
10. Tim Raines, LF, Montreal Expos: Second to Schmidt in OPS+ (145), first in Runs Created (130).
11. Mike Witt, P, California Angels: A 144 ERA+ in 269 innings.
12. Kirby Puckett, CF, Minnesota Twins: Makes the ballot thanks to a 142 OPS+ and 127 Runs Created. 13. Rickey Henderson, CF, New York Yankees: Makes the ballot thanks to +12 baserunning and +6 fielding runs in centerfield.

14. Alan Trammell, SS, Detroit Tigers: just a warm up for '87
15. Steve Sax, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers: the best 2B in the majors this year but a brutal -14 fielding runs denies him a spot on the ballot.
16. Jim Rice, LF, Boston Red Sox
17. Rick Rhoden, P, Pittsburgh Pirates
18. Jack Morris, P, Detroit Tigers
19. Gary Gaetti, 3B, Minnesota Twins: cracks the consideration list as a glove-first candidate
20. Tony Gwynn, RF, San Diego Padres
   19. AndrewJ Posted: September 07, 2013 at 05:19 PM (#4536562)
5. Mike Schmidt, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies

Schmidt played at first for most of 1985. The following year he was back at third for good.
   20. lieiam Posted: September 08, 2013 at 12:58 AM (#4536778)
Here's my prelim... most likely will be the same as my final:
1 Clemens, Roger 9309
2 Boggs, Wade 9081
3 Scott, Mike 8526
4 Mattingly, Don 8417
5 Barfield, Jessie 8193
6 Higuera, Teddy 7954
7 Raines, Tim 7707
8 Schmidt, Mike 7438
9 Ripken, Cal 7212
10 Gwynn, Tony 6969
11 Hernandez, Keith 6777
12 Henderson, Rickey 6651
13 Trammell, Alan 6584

14 Witt, Mike 6547
15 Eichhorn, Mark 6429
16 Rhoden, Rick 6319
17 Carter, Joe 6279
18 Valenzuela, Fernando 6148
19 Davis, Eric 6136
20 Rice, Jim 6033

   21. EricC Posted: September 08, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4536848)
1986- a great year for postseason drama.

As usual, a mix of ~75% Win-Shares and ~25% WAR, with consideration of
position and rates of production. My pitcher calibration generally seems to
be a little more sensitive the consensus, putting 5 pitchers in the top 8.
My system doesn't seem to like CF or RF this year.

My prelim has a pitcher who didn't qualify for the ERA title and a
batter that didn't qualify for the batting title.

1. Wade Boggs
2. Roger Clemens- top batter and top pitcher on the same team
3. Mark Eichhorn(!)- similar to when Jim Kern made my ballot in 1979.
4. Mike Scott
5. Tim Raines
6. Ted Higuera
7. Don Mattingly- turns it up another notch.
8. Mike Witt
9. Cal Ripken- strong defense helps bring him back
10. Mike Schmidt- welcome back, old friend.
11. Steve Sax
12. Jim Rice- another season, like 1979, where the Fenway-inflated numbers
probably helped his eventual HoF election.
13. Eric Davis(!)- Despite his short playing time, good enough to make the
top 5 in some MLB offensive wins added measures.

14. Alan Trammell
15. Jesse Barfield
16. Keith Hernandez
17. Rick Rhoden
18. Gary Carter
19. Tony Gwynn
20. Joe Carter

Top CF: Kirby Puckett
Top DH: Larry Parrish
Top closer-type RP: Righetti

Henderson's raw numbers are almost the same as in 1985, but he used some
60 more outs getting there, making the difference between #2 and off-ballot.
   22. Qufini Posted: September 08, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4536894)

Schmidt played at first for most of 1985. The following year he was back at third for good.

Good catch, though still not quite right. Schmidt played 124 games at third and 35 at first. Looking at my crib sheet, I gave Schmidt 75% of the position bonus for playing at the hot corner. So his ranking doesn't change, but I'll fix his position on the final ballot.
   23. Mr. C Posted: September 08, 2013 at 04:07 PM (#4537000)
1986 Preliminary Ballot

Batters: start with RA (using value added 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 RA (using value added runs) adjust for quality of opposition, park, team defense and role (reliever or starter) Convert adjusted RAA to wins. Add 60% of normal runs above replacement to get WARR (wins above reduced replacement)

1. Jesse Barfield 7.96 WARR good offensive season, but, his rating is this high because of his high defensive rating +28(average of TZ and DRA). Must do some more thinking about before the final ballot
2. Wade Boggs 7.79 WARR Boggs and Clemens have essentially the same rating. Must look more closely at that before final ballot
3. Roger Clemens 7.78 WARR
4. Teddy Higuera 7.48 WARR
5. Mike Scott 7.24 WARR
6. Mark Eichorn 6.93 WARR
7. Don Mattingly 6.24 WARR
8. Rick Rhoden 5.91 WARR Good batting numbers improve his rating
9. Mike Schmidt 5.75 WARR
10. Cal Ripken 5.67 WARR
11. Alan Trammell 5.59 WARR
12. Gary Gaetti 5.41 WARR
13. Keith Hernandez 5.33 WARR

Rest of the top 20
Tony Gwynn
Fernando Valenzuela
Gary Carter
Eric Davis
Ricky Henderson
Mike Witt
Pete O'Brien
   24. AndrewJ Posted: September 08, 2013 at 09:45 PM (#4537186)
The Mets ran roughshod over the 1986 National League, but had comparatively weak MVP candidates. Raines probably deserved the award over Schmidt, but Schmidt was robbed in 1974 (and quite possibly 1977 and '82), so there was a little cosmic justice.
   25. DanG Posted: September 09, 2013 at 12:36 AM (#4537236)
Relief pitchers for 1985. Eichhorn is the last man to pitch 130 relief IP. Righetti has his greatest year, establishing a new record for saves. We won't see him him again on these lists. Worrell is the NL ROY.

Rk             Player WAR ERASV    WPA  WHIP GF GS    IP Age  Tm Lg  G  W  L  ERA   BA OPS+
1       Mark Eichhorn 7.4  246 10  4.959 0.955 38  0 157.0  25 TOR AL 69 14  6 1.72 .192   47
2       Dave Righetti 3.8  168 46  2.422 1.153 68  0 106.2  27 NYY AL 74  8  8 2.45 .226   60
3     Lance McCullers 3.3  132  5  1.689 1.184 29  7 136.0  22 SDP NL 70 10 10 2.78 .216   82
4           Lee Smith 3.2  131 31  1.174 1.229 59  0  90.1  28 CHC NL 66  9  9 3.09 .215   71
5          Dan Plesac 3.2  147 14  3.743 1.209 33  0  91.0  24 MIL AL 51 10  7 2.97 .240   70
6         Greg Harris 3.1  153 20  0.897 1.302 63  0 111.1  30 TEX AL 73 10  8 2.83 .251   93
7         Gene Garber 3.0  156 24  2.191 1.231 48  0  78.0  38 ATL NL 61  5  5 2.54 .260   78
8    Calvin Schiraldi 2.9  299  9  1.521 1.000 21  0  51.0  24 BOS AL 25  4  2 1.41 .201   58
9        Kent Tekulve 2.7  153  4  1.519 1.127 34  0 110.0  39 PHI NL 73 11  5 2.54 .240   63
10         Mark Clear 2.6  199 16  2.393 1.208 52  0  73.2  30 MIL AL 59  5  5 2.20 .201   56
11       Todd Worrell 2.6  176 36  3.001 1.225 60  0 103.2  26 STL NL 74  9 10 2.08 .229   85
12         Steve Farr 2.5  136  8  2.714 1.180 33  0 109.1  29 KCR AL 56  8  4 3.13 .228   79
13         Rob Murphy 2.5  541  1  1.526 0.934 12  0  50.1  26 CIN NL 34  6  0 0.72 .155   20
14           Don Aase 2.3  140 34  0.156 1.212 58  0  81.2  31 BAL AL 66  6  7 2.98 .234   77
15        Buddy Black 2.2  133  9  1.685 1.182 26  4 121.0  29 KCR AL 56  5 10 3.20 .225   81
16       Jesse Orosco 2.2  154 21  1.585 1.222 40  0  81.0  29 NYM NL 58  8  6 2.33 .217   76
17       Ron Robinson 2.2  119 14  1.414 1.311 32  0 116.2  24 CIN NL 70 10  3 3.24 .253   97
18      Dale Mohorcic 2.2  173  7 
-0.100 1.278 20  0  79.0  30 TEX AL 58  2  4 2.51 .279   85 
   26. bjhanke Posted: September 11, 2013 at 01:54 AM (#4538633)
The Incaviglia thing is just the tip of an iceberg caused by the DH rule. I still remember that the Cardinals had the #6 pick one year, and the decision came down to Frank Thomas the Greater and a 5-tool kid from a small Texas high school named Paul Coleman. They took Coleman because they could see that Thomas was headed for the DH, and they didn't have that spot to give him. I still think that this process accounts for any advantage the AL might have in quality of play. The NL just has some top hitters that their teams can't draft, or can't keep past age 30. Those guys end up in the AL, sooner or later. - Brock Hanke
   27. DL from MN Posted: September 11, 2013 at 09:32 AM (#4538730)
That's a silly way to draft. Take the best player available and trade them for what you need.
   28. Qufini Posted: September 11, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4538950)
What I remember about the 1986 season was that this was the peak of the Toronto media making a big deal out of the Blue Jays having the "Best Outfield in Baseball." This had obviously been building for a bit but it really took off after the 1985 playoff appearance. It also helped that Jesse Barfield and George Bell finished 7th and 8th in the 1985 AL MVP vote. Then they followed that up with an even better '86. Barfield went from 27 homers and 84 RBI to 40 homers and 108 RBI, while Bell went from 28 homers and 95 RBI to 31 homers and 108 RBI. I didn't remember the exact numbers without looking them up, but I know it was a big deal at the time that they each had over 100 RBI. They were also lauded, along with Lloyd Moseby, for being great all-around players. Barfield would win a Gold Glove in '86 (as well as '87), Moseby had a great defensive reputation (though his bat was starting to fade) and even Bell was considered an asset in the field thanks to his high assist totals (he led left fielders in that category from '85-'87). Bell and Barfield eventually improved on their '85 MVP showing by moving up to 4th and 5th in 1986.

I remember those three players fondly even if their final resumes don't quite live up to their reputations at the time. It's interesting that they were all the same age (born in 1959) but that their peaks were staggered. Moseby peaked first, having his best seasons in '83 and '84. It's not surprising that he had his best defensive seasons at a younger age (+20 runs fielding as a 24-year-old in 1984) but it is a little surprising that he had his best year with the bat at 23 (134 OPS+ in 1983). Barfield peaked in '85 and '86 (OPS+ of 141 and 145) at the ages of 25 and 26. His defensive peak lasted a little longer than his offensive one with +20 fielding runs from '84 to' 87. Bell peaked in '86 and '87 (133 and 146 OPS+), providing a bit of an overlap with Barfield. However, Bell didn't pair his best defensive season (a meager +4 in '85) with his better offensive ones and so he was never quite as valuable as Barfield (my little way of saying Bell didn't deserve that '87 MVP).

One thing they had in common though was that they all aged quickly. Moseby's OPS+ dropped in 89 in '89 and, after two season with the Tigers, he was done at the age of 31. Barfield was traded to the Yankees in '89 and had a good year for them in 1990 but he was done at the age of 32. Bell's OPS+ dropped to 96 in 1990, and the Blue Jays let him go to Chicago where he had one decent year with the Cubs and two bad ones with the White Sox. His last season came at the age of 33. The Blue Jays' former "Best Outfield in Baseball" faded quietly away with other franchises while they went on to win back-to-back World Series without them. Yet, for a time, they were widely acclaimed (or at least loudly acclaimed locally) as "The Best Outfield in Baseball."

   29. DL from MN Posted: September 13, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4540771)
Postseason Credit

Carter 6 27 1 4 1 0 0 2 2 5 .148 .207 .185 .392 0 0 
Dykstra 6 23 3 7 1 1 1 3 2 4 .304 .360 .565 .925 1 0  
Hernandez 6 26 3 7 1 1 0 3 3 6 .269 .345 .385 .729 0 0  
Strawberry 6 22 4 5 1 0 2 5 3 12 .227 .308 .545 .853 1  

Bass 6 24 0 7 2 0 0 0 4 4 .292 .393 .375 .768 2 3 

Gooden 2 2 1.06 0 1 0 0 17.0 16 2 5 9 1.235  
Ojeda 2 2 2.57 1 0 0 1 14.0 15 4 4 6 1.357  
Darling 1 1 7.20 0 0 0 0 5.0 6 4 2 5 1.600 

Scott 2 2 0.50 2 0 0 2 18.0 8 1 1 19 0.500   !!

   30. DL from MN Posted: September 13, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4540783)

Boggs 7 30 3 7 1 1 0 2 4 1 .233 .324 .333 .657 0 0 
Rice 7 31 8 5 1 0 2 6 1 8 .161 .188 .387 .575 0 0  

Schofield 7 30 4 9 1 0 1 2 1 5 .300 .323 .433 .756 1 0 

Clemens 3 3 4.37 1 1 0 0 22.2 22 11 7 17 1.279 
Hurst 2 2 2.40 1 0 0 1 15.0 18 4 1 8 1.267  

McCaskill 2 2 7.71 0 2 0 0 9.1 16 8 5 7 2.250 
Witt 2 2 2.55 1 0 0 1 17.2 13 5 2 8 0.849  
   31. DL from MN Posted: September 13, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4540789)

Boggs 7 31 3 9 3 0 0 3 4 2 .290 .371 .387 .759 0 0  
Rice 7 27 6 9 1 1 0 0 6 9 .333 .455 .444 .899 0 0  

Carter 7 29 4 8 2 0 2 9 0 4 .276 .267 .552 .818 0 0
Dykstra 7 27 4 8 0 0 2 3 2 7 .296 .345 .519 .863 0 0  
Hernandez 7 26 1 6 0 0 0 4 5 1 .231 .344 .231 .575 0 0 
Strawberry 7 24 4 5 1 0 1 1 4 6 .208 .321 .375 .696 3 1 

Clemens 2 2 3.18 0 0 0 0 11.1 9 4 6 11 1.324 
Hurst 3 3 1.96 2 0 0 1 23.0 18 5 6 17 1.043 

Gooden 2 2 8.00 0 2 0 0 9.0 17 8 4 9 2.333  
Ojeda 2 2 2.08 1 0 0 0 13.0 13 3 5 9 1.385 
Darling 3 3 1.53 1 1 0 0 17.2 13 3 10 12 1.302 
   32. OCF Posted: September 13, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4540907)
Postseason Credit


Scott 2 2 0.50 2 0 0 2 18.0 8 1 1 19 0.500 !!

Time to re-live one of the most amazing post-season games ever, NLCS Game 6. Scott was a dominant figure in that game, and all he did was sit in the dugout, bearing the designation of "Game 7 starter." Everyone's thought patterns as that game extended through knuckle-biting extra inning after inning was, "It's now or never for the Mets - they'll never win an actual Game 7."
   33. jdennis Posted: September 14, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4541509)
I only have pitcher ratings, and it's only for pitching right now, but here are my 1986 results:

*1986 NL
1. Mike Scott 89
2. Rob Murphy 75.5
3. Bob Ojeda 41.4
4. Rick Rhoden 41
5. Frank Williams 35.39
6. Dwight Gooden 35.38
7. Mike Krukow 31.5

*1986 AL
1. Mark Eichhorn 93.8
2. Roger Clemens 87.4
3. Mike Witt 61.1
4. Teddy Higuera 53.8
5. Jack Morris 37.5
6. Calvin Schiraldi 37.3
7. Dave Righetti 28.8

So whatever you want to take from that. Simplifying, I pool WHIP+ and ERA+ roughly equally after a regression analysis on R, multiply by IP/162 for the scalar, correct for epoch (but this year is in base epoch), and correct for unusually large # of UER vs. LgAvg (but none of these guys got docked, there would be an asterisk after their number).

A quick glance at the batting encyclopedia on bbref indicates that the top hitting score would be Mattingly at 90. He would not get past Eichhorn on his running or fielding. Boggs is next at 76, everyone else below 70. So for my ranking, the only challengers would be Boggs, Raines with his running, and possibly Schmidt if he has a great fielding score. Looking at fielding, Boggs appears positive but not overwhelmingly, neither Raines nor Schmidt will get much of a boost, in fact I think both would be negative. Raines gets about a 75 total due to 59 batting score and 15 running. Therefore my MMP would probably be Eichhorn, as he would not get docked at all for hitting and little for fielding.

The top of my tentative ballot would be

Eichhorn about 93
Mattingly about 91
Clemens about 87
Boggs about 82
Raines about 75
   34. Qufini Posted: September 15, 2013 at 09:49 AM (#4541970)
Based on the prelims, we could have as many as 4 different players receive first place votes. When was the last time that happened?
   35. DL from MN Posted: September 15, 2013 at 10:58 PM (#4542430)
only for pitching right now

Rick Rhoden had a good year at the plate in 1986.

I think we only had 4 get 1sts once before. I'll look it up tomorrow.
   36. DL from MN Posted: September 16, 2013 at 05:21 PM (#4543043)
1979 had four players get a 1st place vote (Fred Lynn, Darrell Porter, George Brett, Mike Schmidt). 1973 had five (Joe Morgan, Tom Seaver, Bert Blyleven, Darrell Evans, Willie Stargell). 1971 had five (Tom Seaver, Ferguson Jenkins, Wilbur Wood, Willie Stargell, Joe Torre). 1969 had four (Reggie Jackson, Rico Petrocelli, Willie McCovey, Bob Gibson). 1966 had four (Frank Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Juan Marichal, Willie Mays).

Not as rare as I thought.

   37. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: September 21, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4547056)
Prelim ballot--as usual no postseason bonus but rather a small bonus if they were part of a Division race

1. Clemens--Excellent season
2. Scott--I don't care how he doctored the ball--what a great season
3. Mattingly--awesome season though the Yanks fall short again
4. Higuera--I'm surprised I have 3 of the top 4 as pitchers, I remember this year as more of a hitter's year. I also remember alot of what Moeball said about the young power hitting rookies
5. Schmidt--what an amazing run
6. Barfield
7. Raines
8. Boggs--as always I ignored the temptation to punish him and rank him lower for being Wade Boggs
9. Hernandez--what a great leader for an ensemble cast of veterans and young phenoms--this is probably his last appearance on the MMP--he belongs in the HOF, hopefully he gets on the Expansion Era ballot & gets some support
11.Witt--best player on the Angels
12.Eichhorn--I had like 13 '88 Topps Eichhorn cards and fit them all into one sleeve, I think that was a record for me. Eichhorn has one of the great overlooked relief seasons here, him and Jesse Barfield certainly didn't slump in '86
13.Rickey Henderson--it ain't 146 runs but it's Rickey still flexing his power and speed

Honorable mention:
Bobby Friggin' Grich--the final season for this overlooked HOFer. What an up and down '86 ALCS--difficult Gm 2: the sun getting in his eyes and nearly Stubbing Moose's head in (Grich was a high strung but I always felt that was a bit out of character and just him realizing his career's own mortality and wanting to win the Pennant so bad at the end), the Gm 4 heroics and what should've been the Gm 5 heroics to put them into the WS, and finally Gm 6 & 7's disappointment, feeling overmatched by Clemens and the tearful retirement

Dwight Evans--good season but not quite top 13, also belongs in HOF, people forget he put Boston up 1-0 in Gm 7 w/his HR, then help draw them to within 1 with a 2-run double in the top of the 8th
Joe Carter--the best season for the villian slugger of sabermetrics ( Morris is the villian pitcher), in the late '80s/early '90s I always wanted him to drive in 100 runs and/or hit 30 HRs and he usually did. I, of course, did not realize at the time how overrated he was. However, now he's so saber-hated that he's almost underrated
Ojeda/Gooden/Valenzuela--not sure if park factors of pitching at Shea & the LA Coliseum are too harsh since they all seem a little underrated WAR-wise
   38. OCF Posted: September 23, 2013 at 12:43 AM (#4547998)
A few pitchers, by RA+ equivalent record:

Scott: 22-9 (bad hitter)
Rhoden: 19-9 (great hitter)
Valenzuela: 16-14 (good hitter)
Gooden: 16-12 (bad hitter)
Worrell: 8-3 (12-5 with inherited runner adjustment)

Clemens: 20-8
Higuera: 19-8
Witt: 20-10 (This is Mike Witt of the Angels, not Bobby Witt of the Rangers who was a rookie at the time)
Morris: 18-11
Eichhorn: 15-3 (18-6 with inherited runner adjustment)

Clemens won the AL MVP. And I clearly remember at the time that I was objecting to that, and I knew that it was just 24-4 without any deeper thought than that. Sure, it's a fine year for a pitcher. But..

It's not quite as good as Tudor's season the year before. And the MVP went to Tudor's high-BA teammate, McGee, so what about Clemens's high-BA teammate, Boggs?
Of course, Tudor couldn't have been the 1985 NL MVP because his year was nowhere near what Gooden had done. A large fraction of my 1986 negative reaction to Clemens had to do with what I understood to have been a historic snub of Gooden.
And then, looking at it now: it's not all that clear that Clemens was better than Higuera. My crude RA+ record methods lean slightly towards Clemens; WAR leans slightly toward Higuera. They're close.
And for that matter, Eichhorn is in the mix as well. My "inherited runner adjustment" is overdone, but that's a monster year for a relief pitcher.
   39. Qufini Posted: September 23, 2013 at 08:28 AM (#4548035)
Your 1986 quandary demonstrates one of the downsides of undeserved MVP winners. The bad selection isn't necessarily restricted to that one season; it can have a cascading effect on following years. In your example, Clemens can't be the '86 MVP because Gooden wasn't the '85 MVP. I think we're seeing multiple baseball writers twist themselves through similar mental gymnastics this year: how can McCutchen be the 2013 MVP when he was better in 2012 and didn't win the award then!? The previous season's results should be pretty much ignored. The question isn't whether McCutchen was better in '13 than in '12 but whether McCutchen's '13 is better than anyone else's '13 (NL only, of course). If the answer to the second question is "yes," then give the award to McCutchen. Similarly, it doesn't matter if Gooden's '85 was better than Clemens' '86. If Clemens had the best '86, then he deserves the award.

Note: I'm not implying that you are doing or will do anything irregular- only illustrating the problems that occur when voters use bad logic or emotionally based reasoning.
Note #2: I'm voting for Boggs in '86, so this is a theoretical argument on my part and not a plea for Clemens.
Note #3: the answer in my example might not be McCutchen so all of you Kershaw supporters can stop sharpening your knives.
   40. OCF Posted: September 23, 2013 at 10:14 AM (#4548108)
Chris Fluit: just so you're clear, I'm reporting on my actual 1986 feelings. I'm pretty sure that I thought at the time that Boggs should have been the AL MVP, and it seems reasonably likely that I'll put Boggs on top of this MMP vote. I don't think this is a year to put the top pitchers ahead of the top position players.

I was at the time accusing the writers of bad logic, in a very standard way: they were looking at Clemens's 24-4 W-L record and acting as if he won all of those games all by himself. That's an old story.

jdennis: you also made a post about pitching. The only thing I'd comment on is that I think you're underrating Teddy Higuera. Or maybe not.

The particular issue is that you're making WHIP a major component of your ratings. The conundrum of Higuera 1986 is that he achieved stellar run prevention (and my own ratings are entirely about RA) without correspondingly stellar base runner prevention.

WHIP is the flip side of OBP; evaluating pitchers by WHIP is like evaluating offense entirely on OBP. There are some other factors. The biggest of those is power - but Higuera wasn't unusual in power prevention. In 1986 his batting-against line was .241/.296/.379 and he allowed 26 HR in 248 innings. He wasn't a ground ball pitcher, and the double plays weren't unusual. He did seem to have a good year in 1986 shutting down base stealers. So how did he allow so few runs? I don't know.

One other thing: NL pitchers do bat. You might want to take a look at that in the particular cases of Scott and Rhoden, with Scott being a bad hitter even for a pitcher while Rhoden carried a 93 OPS+.
   41. Qufini Posted: September 23, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4548255)
Chris Fluit: just so you're clear, I'm reporting on my actual 1986 feelings.

You had been clear about that. I was referring to your quandary in 1986, rather than your quandary about 1986.
   42. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 23, 2013 at 12:27 PM (#4548266)
8. Boggs--as always I ignored the temptation to punish him and rank him lower for being Wade Boggs

I don't think you did as good of a job at ignoring that temptation as you think
   43. OCF Posted: September 23, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4548277)
Barry Bonds watch:

The Pirates made Bonds their 1985 first round draft pick out of Arizona State. He played about 70 games in 1985 in A ball - showed some patience, some power, some speed, but he didn't blow the league away. He started 1986 at age 21 in AAA ball, and got his OBP well above .400. The Pirates called him up at the end of May and made him the regular CF and leadoff hitter for the rest of the season.

It looks like for the first two months of the season, the Pirates were mostly using Joe Orsulak in CF, or occasionally moving R.J. Reynolds or Mike Brown over from a corner spot to play center. All three were stretched defensively in center, and none of them were bats that had to be in the lineup. Reynolds was mostly the leadoff hitter. The Pirates had hit a low water mark in 1985 and were starting to rebuild; they had no reason not to play the 21-year-old possible star.

In his 113 game season, Bonds struck out 102 times. He would never have that many K's again even in full seasons. That held his BA down to .223, but his secondary average (old Bill James gimmick stat) was an outstanding ..438. He was an excellent defensive CF. For all of that, he finished 6th in the NL Rookie of the Year vote, behind Todd Worrell, Robby Thompson, Kevin Mitchell, Charlie Kerfeld, and Will Clark. With John Kruk and Barry Larkin also getting RoY votes, that looks like a rookie group that was both very strong and full of entertaining characters. (Worrell was still officially a rookie but he had already been elevated to the closer position for the Cardinals in the 1985 post-season.)
   44. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: September 24, 2013 at 11:39 PM (#4549889)
8. Boggs--as always I ignored the temptation to punish him and rank him lower for being Wade Boggs

I don't think you did as good of a job at ignoring that temptation as you think're probably right...wait until we get to '88 and the Margo Adams scandal. I did, however, resist the temptation to put Hernandez above him
   45. lieiam Posted: September 28, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4552911)
Looking back, 1986 has a bunch of albums I love.

Here's my Top Ten (and a bonus compilation album)
1- Felt- Forever Breathes The Lonely Word
2- The Smiths- The Queen Is Dead
3- XTC- Skylarking
4- The Fall- Bend Sinister
5- New Model Army- The Ghost Of Cain
6- The Stranglers- Dreamtime
7- The Wipers- The Land Of The Lost
8- The Woodentops- Giant
9- Throwing Muses- Throwing Muses
10-Robyn Hitchcock- Element Of Light
* The Chills- Kaleidoscope World (the "bonus" compilation album I couldn't resist listing)

   46. DL from MN Posted: September 29, 2013 at 10:11 PM (#4554269)
1986 music I like

Run DMC - Raising Hell
Love and Rockets - Express
PIL - Album
Husker Du - Candy Apple Grey
Beastie Boys - Licensed to Ill
Coil - Horse Rotorvator
Skinny Puppy - Mind TPI
fIREHOSE - Ragin' Full On
New Order - Brotherhood
They Might Be Giants - S/T
Sonic Youth - EVOL
Ramones - Animal Boy
Butthole Surfers - Rembrandt Pussyhorse
REM - Life's Rich Pageant

Honorable mention to Janet Jackson for Nasty
   47. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 29, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4554323)
My preliminary ballot. I calculate my own Player won-lost records from Retrosheet play-by-play data. I calculate them two ways: pWins tie to team wins, eWins are context-neutral; I look at wins over positional average (WOPA) and replacement level (WORL). I include postseason games, weighted the same as regular-season games; I give a slight boost to catchers and relief pitchers; I give some weak preference to players who are the best in the majors at their position.

Mixing it all together, I get weighted stats here, which I then tweak a little bit to create my final ballot:

(numbers here are pWins - pLosses, pWOPA, pWORL, all including postseason games)

1. Mike Scott, 20.9 - 13.5, 4.6, 6.2 - best player in MLB
2. Roger Clemens, 18.9 - 11.7, 3.8, 5.3 - best P & player in AL
3. Wade Boggs, 24.2 - 16.7, 3.5, 5.4 - best position player in MLB
4. Jesse Barfield, 24.5 - 19.0, 2.4, 4.4 - best OF in MLB
5. Fernando Valenzuela, 18.7 - 14.8, 2.9, 4.5 - last pitcher to throw 20 complete games
6. Jim Rice, 26.6 - 21.0, 2.4, 4.6 - best LF in MLB
7. Darryl Strawberry, 22.4 - 15.2, 2.9, 4.6 - best OF in the NL, looks much better in context (pWOPA/pWORL) than context-neutral
8. Gary Carter, 20.1 - 14.9, 2.8, 4.4 - best C in MLB, again!
9. Teddy Higuera, 17.8 - 11.7, 3.3, 4.7 - I could have him higher, but I already have 3 pitchers in top 5
10. Cal Ripken, 21.5 - 19.9, 1.7, 3.6 - best SS in MLB
11. Dwight Evans, 23.2 - 17.2, 2.6, 4.4 - looks much better in context (pWOPA/pWORL) than context-neutral
12. Mike Schmidt, 20.7 - 15.4, 2.1, 3.7 - best 3B in the NL
13. Mike Witt, 16.2 - 12.9, 1.8, 3.2 - looks much better in eWOPA/eWORL (top 5/6)

Honorable mentions (roughly in order): Bob Ojeda, Dwight Gooden, Don Mattingly, Alan Trammell, Eric Davis, Brian Downing, Rick Rhoden, Mark Eichhorn (Eichhorn's the best RP in my system, but is pretty far off-ballot)
   48. Cassidemius Posted: September 30, 2013 at 11:50 AM (#4554585)
Hmm, I thought I was going to be the only one with Mike Scott at the top of my ballot. And now it looks like I'll be the second in a row. I use a Win Shares system as the basis of my ballot, especially for defence. For pitchers I try to blend FIP and RA results. I give postseason credit, counting each game as equal to a regular season game.

1. Mike Scott. I expected a pitcher to lead my ballot, but I thought it would be Clemens. Even though his team lost the NLCS, Scott still received a sizable postseason bump for his incredible pitching in that series.
2. Gary Carter I'm pretty generous when it comes to catcher fielding credit, so Carter ends up with a lot of fielding wins to go with his great offense. Best NL position player.
3. Wade Boggs AL MMP.
4. Roger Clemens I had guessed he would win but he didn't have as many innings as I had assumed. Still, best AL pitcher by a healthy margin.
5. Kirby Puckett His fielding looks stronger in my system than in any other, for reasons I'm not entirely clear on.
6. Mike Schmidt In the discussion Moeball talked about all the great rookie sluggers, but Schmidt is one of several greybeards who had surprisingly good seasons this year.
7. Jim Rice Another greybeard that I never thought I'd be putting on a ballot again.
8. Rickey! Henderson A slightly down year for Rickey, which says a lot.
9. Joe Carter Check out the RBI! No, seriously, that was a pretty good offensive season.
10. Keith Hernandez Edges ahead of Mattingly for best ML first baseman on the strength of his defence and postseason play.
11. Jesse Barfield
12. Tony Gwynn Barfield's defence/arm lift him above Gwynn.
13. Marty Barrett Another playoff beneficiary.
14. Tony Bernazard
15. Don Mattingly

Raines, Dykstra, Kevin Bass and Alan Trammell all just missed the ballot. Kevin McReynolds and Mike Witt were a step behind that group. Eichhorn had a really impressive relief season, but it was still only good for about 35th.
   49. Cassidemius Posted: October 01, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4555948)
1986- a great year for postseason drama.

The 1986 Japan Series looks like it was pretty dramatic too. Game 1 ended in a tie. The Hiroshima Carp won the next three to go up 3-0, then the Seibu Lions came back to win the final four and take the series. All of the Lions' wins were by 1 or 2 runs. The Series featured two of the best pitchers in Japan, Kitabeppu Manabu of Hiroshima and Watanabe Hisanobu of Seibu, although I can't tell if they faced each other during the series.

Randy Bass followed up his 54-homer season with one that was probably even better: he won the Central League triple crown, including hitting .389, which is still a single-season record. I translate that season as just a hair behind Mattingly's 1986, meaning Bass would just miss my ballot if Japanese leaguers were eligible for our project.
   50. DL from MN Posted: October 02, 2013 at 10:42 AM (#4557038)
Yardape - you're the first ballot without Higuera. Any reason why?
   51. Cassidemius Posted: October 02, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4557136)
I think it's because I use FIP for part (not all!) of my pitcher ratings. Looking at b-ref's WAR, Higuera is the top pitcher, but Fangraphs has him fifth. That lower FIP rating pushes him down in my ranking. Also, Higuera pitched fewer innings than any pitcher in my consideration set except Krukow, Eichhorn, Righetti and Worrell. I have him as the fourth-best pitcher of the season (behind Scott, Clemens and Witt) but that's not enough to get him to the ballot, or even the edge of it.

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