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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Posnanski: The Baseball Hall of Fame’s delayed election and the cost of waiting [The Athletic]

Sorry, sub required, but good piece for Posnanski

So this year is the perfect year to elect Buck. And it looked possible, even probable. This year, the Early Baseball Era Committee was supposed to meet to consider candidates whose primary contributions came prior to 1950. The Hall of Fame announced a couple of years ago that Negro Leaguers would be considered to be part of the Early Baseball Era, and that meant Buck was eligible for the first time since that cloudy day in 2006.

And I really thought this would be the year.

Apparently, it will not be. On Monday, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced that they are postponing the election for a year “as a result of uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“With the nation’s safety concerns, the travel restrictions, and the limitations on group gatherings in effect for many regions,” said Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the Hall of Fame, “it is not possible to ensure that we can safely and effectively hold these committee meetings.”

OK, I have to say: This decision and statement make absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. It’s like reading “The Odyssey,” you know? Like you understand some of the words but the full sentences do not compute. Why in the world would 16 people — the number in the Early Baseball Era Committee — have to travel and gather as a group? I mean, sure, I know going to Cooperstown is a bit like going back in time, but they do have WiFi there, right? They do have Zoom, yes?

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 25, 2020 at 02:36 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: buck o'neil, hall of fame

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

HAS YADIER MOLINA SUCCESSFULLY FRAMED HIS HALL OF FAME CASE?

In 16 seasons in St. Louis, Cardinal pitchers have posted a 3.68 ERA in the innings Yadier Molina has caught. During those same 16 years, Redbirds hurlers have logged a 4.12 ERA in the innings that he hasn’t caught. That’s a remarkable difference of nearly a half a run per game! The spread validates the reputation that Molina is superb at handling a pitching staff and calling a game. The question here is how unusual that is for a top flight backstop.

Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: July 22, 2020 at 08:12 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, hall of fame, yadier molina

Friday, April 17, 2020

Hall of Fame case closed? These baseball legacies could suffer if MLB’s season is canceled

The 2020 Major League Baseball season is delayed, indefinitely, and it’s not at all certain to ever begin. It’s not clear when the country will be able to lift measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, or how baseball could fit into the much larger puzzle of society this year.

With the season in question, there also come (less important, but nonetheless interesting) questions about how the history of the sport will reckon with the shortened slate or potential gap in action. Such as: Who in the game right now might eventually have their Hall of Fame case altered by the pandemic-stricken 2020 season?

There have been strikes, and players have left for military service, but missing games are missing games, and they will affect some more directly than others when legacies coalesce years down the line. With that in mind, the Yahoo Sports staff got together and explained why these Cooperstown hopefuls have the most riding on 2020. - Zach Crizer

A list that may be of interest to compare with the ones of Jay Jaffe’s I’ve linked to in the last few days.

 


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Missed Time and the Hall of Fame, Part 3

Picking up where we left off in my series on the impact of missed time on Hall of Fame candidates, we turn to the active pitchers whose shots at Cooperstown might be harmed most due to the loss of a significant chunk or even the entirety of the 2020 season. In Part 1, I noted that whether we’re talking about the effects of military service during World War II and the Korean War or the strike-shortened 1981, ’94 and ’95 seasons, it appears that fewer pitchers were harmed in their bids than was the case for position players. Even so, lost time can prevent hurlers from reaching the major milestones — most notably 200, 250, or 300 wins, and 3,000 strikeouts — that so often form the hooks for their candidacies, and right now, there exists a cohort of starting pitchers whose electoral resumés are coming into focus.

As with the position players, I’ll focus on that group rather than younger hotshots who not only have more time to make up ground but also, inevitably, will probably face some kind of injury-driven challenge along the way (hello, Chris Sale). I’ll spare a thought for a trio of closers as well. As with the other pieces in this series, all WAR totals refer to the Baseball-Reference version.

And now, a consideration of the effects that a shortened or cancelled season may have for contemporary pitchers.

 

QLE Posted: April 15, 2020 at 12:52 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, in search of lost time, pitching

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Missed Time and the Hall of Fame, Part 2

Mike Trout is going to be fine. Yes, for all kinds of reasons it would be a complete and total bummer if the 2020 season never gets started due to the the current pandemic, but Trout would hardly be the first elite player in his prime to miss at least a full year due to reasons far beyond his control. Ted Williams, Willie Mays, and Joe DiMaggio were just a few of the dozens of major leaguers who lost entire seasons due to military service, but given their elite performances throughout their careers, their absences didn’t cost them when they became eligible for election to the Hall of Fame.

Which isn’t to say that missing a full season, or even a significant chunk of one, in such fashion comes without cost. For the 28-year-old Trout, who already ranks fifth among center fielders in JAWS, major milestones could be at stake, though it’s far too early to suggest that a lost season will cost him a shot at 600 homers (as service in World War II and the Korean War did Williams) or even 700 (as the Korean War did Mays), or 3,000 hits, or whatever. For other players whose chances to reach Cooperstown are less secure, however, the loss of even a partial year could make a difference — at least temporarily — particularly if it leaves them short of certain plateaus.

That’s one of the take-home messages from my previous piece, which looked at the ways that time lost to military service during World War II and Korea, or to strikes in the 1981, ’94 and/or ’95 seasons, delayed or derailed certain players. Aided by additional chances in front of the voters, both with longer eligibility windows on BBWAA ballots and more frequent appearances on those of the Veterans Committee, it appears that the vast majority of borderline candidates who lost time to wars are in, leaving only a small handful of what-ifs. On the other hand, players who missed time due to strikes and fell short of notable hit and homer plateaus — not just 3,000 of the former or 500 of the latter, but also 2,000 or 2,500 hits, and 400 homers — have seen their chances take a hit. The much-derided 2019 election of Harold Baines, who fell short of 3,000 hits while missing time in all of the aforementioned strikes, suggests that voters have begun reckoning with that era’s impact on career totals, not that doing so will automatically make for strong selections; both Baines and Fred McGriff, who missed time in 1994-95, finished with 493 home runs, and could benefit similarly on the 2022 Today’s Game Era Committee ballot, are well below the JAWS standards at their positions.

As we look to the current landscape to see which players might be most vulnerable to a lost season, we should keep those lessons in mind. Younger players such as Trout, Mookie Betts, and Francisco Lindor have plenty of time to make up the lost ground, not that losing a prime season — if we’re talking the nuclear option here, which may be premature — would help. It’s the older guys who are running out of chances that have the real concerns. Here I’ll take a spin through the position players, working alphabetically, with the pitchers to come tomorrow. All WAR totals refer to the Baseball-Reference version.

Further consideration of the issues related to a shortened season, this time focusing on contemporary position players.

QLE Posted: April 14, 2020 at 01:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, in search of lost time, jay jaffe, milestones

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Missed Time and the Hall of Fame, Part 1

When Harold Baines was elected to the Hall of Fame via the 2019 Today’s Game Era Committee ballot, the argument that he would have reached 3,000 hits had he not lost substantial parts of the 1981, ’94 and ’95 seasons to player strikes must have weighed heavily on the minds of voters. How else to explain the panel shocking the baseball world by tabbing a steady longtime DH who never led the league in a major offensive category and whose advanced statistics equated his career value to good-not-great players such as Paul O’Neill or Reggie Sanders? That time missed was a major talking point for Tony La Russa, who managed Baines in both Chicago and Oakland and was one of several key figures in the slugger’s career who not-so-coincidentally wound up on the committee. Baines finished 134 hits short of the milestone, while his teams fell 124 games short of playing out full schedules in those seasons (never mind the fact that he missed 59 games due in those three seasons due to injuries and off days). On this particular committee, he received the benefit of the doubt regarding what might have been.

Baines was neither the first player nor the last to gain such an advantage in front of Hall voters. As you might imagine, the topic has been on my mind as we confront this pandemic-shortened 2020 season, and I’m hardly alone. In chats, article comments, and on Twitter, readers have asked for my insights into what the current outage might mean with regards to the Hall hopes for active players. I’ve spent the past four years weeks ruminating on the matter, but for as tempting as it may be to dive headfirst into analyzing the outage’s impact on Zack Greinke, Yadier Molina, Mike Trout et al if the season is 100 games, or 80, or (gulp) zero, the more I think about it, the more I believe that it’s important to provide some historical perspective before going off half-cocked.

According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, at least 69 Hall of Famers — from Civil War veteran Morgan Bulkeley, the first president of the National League, to Ted Williams, who served in both World War II and the Korean War — served in the U.S. Armed Forces during wartime. Fifty-one of those men were elected for their major league playing careers, and six more for their careers in the Negro Leagues, the rest being executives, managers, and umpires. Some players, such as Yogi Berra, Larry Doby, Ralph Kiner, and Red Schoendienst, served before they ever reached the majors, and others, such as Christy Mathewson, did so afterwards, but many gave up prime seasons to wars. Williams missed all of the 1943-45 seasons and was limited to just 43 games in 1952-53. Joe DiMaggio, Bob Feller, Hank Greenberg, Johnny Mize, Pee Wee Reese, Phil Rizzuto, and Warren Spahn all missed the entire 1943-45 span as well, with Greenberg missing most of ’41 and half of ’45, too. Several other players missed one or two years.

Missing multiple seasons often meant missing out on major milestones. Williams certainly would have surpassed the 3,000-hit and 600-homer marks, beating Willie Mays and Hank Aaron to that towering tandem. DiMaggio, Greenberg, and Mize all would have cleared 400 homers with Greenberg quite possibly reaching 500, a total that only Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, and Mel Ott had surpassed at that point. Feller would have been the second pitcher to reach 300 wins and 3,000 strikeouts, after Walter Johnson, while Spahn might have made it to 400 wins. Hell, Mays might have reached 700 homers had he not missed most of 1952 and all of ’53 in the Army.

A consideration of issues of deep familiarity for those who participate in the Hall of Merit discussions.

 

QLE Posted: April 11, 2020 at 12:58 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, in search of lost time, jay jaffe

Saturday, March 21, 2020

JAWS and the 2020 bWAR Update, Part 1

Poor Ernie Lombardi. The heavyset and heavy-hitting Hall of Fame catcher, who owns two of the position’s eight batting titles, was the player hardest-hit by Baseball-Reference’s latest update to their version of Wins Above Replacement. B-Ref rolled out a whole series of adjustments, both to current players and long-retired ones, into one big release earlier this week, which it explained via a Twitter thread on Tuesday morning and expounded upon at the site. Thanks to additional play-by-play baserunning and caught stealing data, Lombardi, whose career spanned from 1931-47, saw his career WAR total drop from 46.8 to 39.5. Well, he didn’t actually see it, as he’s been dead since 1977, but you know what I mean.

B-Ref’s version of WAR is different from that of FanGraphs, of course, though you may have noticed that our site also updated its Defensive Runs Saved totals after Sports Info Solutions made major changes to its flagship stat, in part to account for defensive shifting. I’ll get to that aspect in a separate follow-up post, but for the moment my concern is how the B-Ref changes affect my JAWS system for Hall of Fame evaluations. The overall answer is “not a whole lot,” though individual player WAR and JAWS, and thus the standards at each position, have shifted a bit, creating a ripple effect throughout my system. With no new baseball for the foreseeable future, it’s worth taking an inventory of these changes, in part because they give us a chance to dig into some baseball history and provide a bit of an escape from our current realities.

Incidentally, the Hall of Fame itself closed indefinitely as of Sunday, March 15, and has already canceled its 2020 Hall of Fame Classic Weekend, which was scheduled for May 22-24. Among other things, that weekend was to feature a seven-inning legends game featuring Hall of Famers and former major leaguers and a “Night at the Museum” program. Induction Weekend, scheduled for July 24-27, is still on the calendar and will hopefully take place as planned, but right now, there are no guarantees. Given that the advanced ages of many Hall of Famers put them at the highest risk for COVID-19 infections, attendance among the game’s legends could be more sparse than usual.

Lombardi’s 7.3-WAR change was the largest of any position player in either direction, positive or negative (you can view the full spreadsheet here via Google Docs). His total is one of just five — from among 19,682 players in all dating back to the birth of the National Association in 1871 — that moved by at least four wins in either direction. Hall of Fame shortstop Arky Vaughan, whose 5.1-WAR jump was the third-highest swing, was one of a handful of other denizens of Cooperstown among the 43 position players whose career WARs changed by at least 2.5.

Some notes on the calibration of bWAR that just took place, and its meaning.

 

QLE Posted: March 21, 2020 at 02:18 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, jaws, jay jaffe, war

Friday, January 20, 2012

Q&A: Larry Walker on his Hall of Fame snub

“Mr. Walker is not a suspect…We don’t know if the person was killed at the site or if his body was dumped there.”

CBCSports.ca: Who’s more upset about your low vote total in the second year of your 15 years of eligibility: you or your family, friends and former teammates with Colorado and Montreal?

LW: I don’t think it bothers me a lot. Why am I going to get my feathers all ruffled over something that’s out of my control? Obviously, it would be an amazing honour.

Some people have pointed some things out to me that made me wonder. [Designated hitter] Edgar Martinez [only played 592 of his 2,055 career games in the field] and he’s getting twice as many votes as me [36.5 per cent to Walker’s 22.9 per cent]. Is Edgar Martinez twice the better player than me?

Not to pat myself on the back but I think I was as good as Edgar Martinez.

But I’m not going to rack my brain. I’m sure there’s people that are in the Hall of Fame that a lot people think shouldn’t be there or some that should be there and aren’t.

CBCSports.ca: The knock against you when people say Larry Walker shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame is that you played 10 of your 17 seasons at hitter-friendly Coors Field in Colorado. But a lot of times players can’t control where they play, right?

LW: I was in the big leagues, man. Are you she—-in me? You can’t always pick where you go or what happens. You just roll with the friggin’ punches. I was in the dugout trying to beat the other 25 guys in the dugout beside us. That’s all I tried to do. I can’t control where I’m at and the numbers that go up. Every ballpark has its quirks.

If you read something in the paper or a magazine or hear something on TV, whether it’s negative or positive, people tend to want to go that way with it. If what was being printed all this time was ‘Walker deserves the [Hall of Fame nod], he’s going to make it,’ I bet my percentage would be a lot higher. But all you hear about is Coors Field. That’s all I’ve heard since my first game in Denver [in 1995].

Repoz Posted: January 20, 2012 at 05:51 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, hall of fame, history, rockies

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fergie Jenkins still emotionally invested in Cubs, keeping an eye on Epstein

Clumsy.

Ferguson Jenkins takes a wait-and-see attitude towards Theo Epstein’s appointment as president of baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs.

...The Cubs hired Epstein in October. Jenkins is holding off on giving Epstein his full endorsement.

“I really don’t know what to take of him yet,” Jenkins said Thursday in Calgary. “I tried to get a meeting with him and he was really busy.

“He’s young. He’s never put a jockstrap on though. See that’s the thing. I tell people all the time ‘this guy reads about the game and has seen it on TV or in stadiums,’ but he’s a pretty smart individual. He knows talent and that’s what it’s all about.

“People sit back and say ‘you know he never played’ but he watches and recognizes what individuals can do what and where they can play.”

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fantasy baseball, hall of fame, sabermetrics

The Platoon Advantage: Jack Morris is going to be a Hall of Famer, and that’s OK

BTW…I’m compiling a (H/T Moral Idiot) massivo (HA!) list of BBWAA ballotears for their Pro-Bonds/Clemens (9 as of now) ~ Anti-Bonds/Clemens (12 as of now) promised HOF ballots.

For a second thing: it’s getting to be a cliche by now, but it’s absolutely true that 2013 is going to be completely unlike any ballot that has come before. Jaffe’s reasoning is that “Morris probably won’t move up enough because it is such a strong batch of new guys.” I don’t think so. There are certainly a lot of should-be slam dunks coming in, but the only new guy who figures to finish particularly strong in the voting is Craig Biggio, and he’s far from a first-ballot lock. By and large, the guys interested in voting for Morris aren’t the same ones who might be tempted to bump Morris off because they’re voting for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and Biggio, and/or some combination of deserving first-timers or holdovers like Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa, Curt Schilling, Kenny Lofton, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Edgar Martinez. If anything, the vast majority of them will bump any of those guys off (even Bonds or Clemens, maybe especially Bonds or Clemens) in favor of the presumptively “clean” Morris, who won’t have the fourteen shots left most of these guys will (assuming they get 5% of the vote, which I think will be a problem for Lofton and possibly Palmeiro).

Rather, the real 1999-like year, in terms of players the voters are actually likely to want to enshrine, is the following year, 2014: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas are all pretty close to first-ballot shoo-ins. You might as well think of 2013 as Morris’ last year on the ballot, because he’s not going in with those dudes.

So, that’s why I think Morris goes in next year. As amazing as the talent on the 2013 ballot is, it’s not going to pull many votes off of Morris, thanks to the “PE"D questions and because it’ll be viewed as his last realistic shot. It’s 2013 or nothing…and for 75%-plus of the voters, it’s going to be 2013. He’s going in. Might as well get used to it.

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 06:01 AM | 193 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Genetti: Lack of black players will open baseball HOF doors to others

This anti-Jeter gunk has got to stop!

Lee Smith, Tim Raines, Fred McGriff, Bernie Williams and Willie McGee aren’t in the Hall of Fame.

But they will be.

...The last thing baseball is going to want is some statistic come out showing a small number of blacks inducted into the Hall of Fame over a certain amount of time, so the next thing — which will more than likely happen — is well-deserving black players will be inducted here and there over time.

Perhaps it’s a stretch to have this thought, but if you look at the great white and Hispanic players that have dominated the game over the last couple of decades, there’s really no outstanding black players to get excited over. That’s why this lack of African-American players in baseball will give those currently on the ballot a bigger opportunity. Even at this moment the only black player who is baseball Hall of Fame-worthy is Prince Fielder.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not going to be done out of sympathy, I just believe the powers that be are going to conserve these players so there’s no absence of African-Americans going into Cooperstown over the next 10 or more years.

All of the players I’ve mentioned are very much worthy of the Hall of Fame, I just hope they’re inducted sooner rather than later.

Repoz Posted: January 17, 2012 at 11:24 PM | 241 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, hall of fame, history

BPP: An interview with Robert Creamer

Creamer: His Life and Times. Terrific interview with Womack. (answers shortened here to save site/brain from exploding)

Who’s the greatest baseball player you covered?

Willie Mays. Period.

I seem to remember that Bill James, using his fabulous, desiccated statistics, demonstrated that Mickey Mantle, who was Willie’s almost exact contemporary, was actually the better player, and I’m not equipped to argue with Bill, although I’ll try. And there are DiMaggio, Williams, Musial, Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez – no, wait. I didn’t cover DiMaggio, who retired after the 1951 season — I didn’t start with Sports Illustrated until 1954. But that’s still a pretty impressive collection of players to put Willie on top of.

You’ve written biographies on Casey Stengel and Babe Ruth. If steroids had been a part of the game when Stengel and Ruth were players, do you think they would have used?

Sure. Yes. Absolutely. Hell, for decades before the big scandal about steroids in baseball, clubhouses used to have plates or dishes filled with little candy-like pills players gulped or chewed on routinely. My mind is gone – I forget what they were called.. Uppers? Bennies? I can’t recall. But that was standard. Athletes are always looking for an edge and that was a way to get them fired up. I have never been as upset by steroid use as the moralistic holier-than-thou baseball writers who vote on the Hall of Fame. What a bunch of self-important phonies!

I mean, you’d think all an ordinary player would have to do is take steroids to hit 70 home runs or bat .350. But I think McGwire was telling the truth — he took steroids to hold back distress, to make him physically able to play the game. Steroids don’t make a player good. Think of the hundreds, even thousands of players who have been in and out of the major leagues and who may have dabbled in steroids and think how few have hit 50, let alone 60 or 70 homers.

Repoz Posted: January 17, 2012 at 05:41 AM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, media, steroids

Monday, January 16, 2012

THT: Jaffe: The possible upcoming Cooperstown ballot apocalypse

What should happen? Well, among non-Bonds/Clements voters, Biggio should get around 85 percent. With the others, he’ll get less in what’s already a crowded ballot for people willing to support PED-rs. I’d guess he gets 65-70 percent of their vote. Maybe less.

Upshot: Biggio has a very good shot to get in. Assuming he gets 85 percent of the non-Bonds/Clemens guys (and he really should, given the clustering of Molitor/Winfield/Murray right at 85 percent), and assuming Bonds and Clemens get about 40 percent of the vote, Biggio needs only 60 percent of the votes from the supporters of Bonds and Clemens. That should happen.

Actually, I find this a bit surprising. A week ago, I assumed that Biggio was doomed on this messy ballot. That would set off the real nightmare, because if everyone from this year’s vote went into next year, it would be that much harder for anyone to rise up.

But Biggio should go in next year. No one else should. If Fisk couldn’t get elected as the fourth-best new guy in 1999, Piazza won’t in 2012. Schilling will finish further down, and Sosa may be under 10 percent. As for the backloggers, Morris probably won’t move up enough because it is such a strong batch of new guys. I think he’ll get close but ultimately have to go to the VC.

VC = Viva Caputo!

Repoz Posted: January 16, 2012 at 02:17 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, site news

CAPUTO: Why I won’t vote for Bonds, Clemens or Sosa for the Hall of Fame

Former Tigers pitcher Jack Morris was named on the second-most ballots - nearly 67 percent.

In the aftermath, Peter Gammons, one of the preeminent baseball writers of all time, talked on MLB Network about how he put Morris on the ballot the first three years he was eligible, but stopped because another baseball writer had displayed extensive statistical proof to him that Morris’ 3.90 ERA was “not because he pitched to the score” but rather because he lost a lot of leads.

Right then I decided this coming year, the first time they are eligible for election to the Hall of Fame, I am not voting for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens or Sammy Sosa.

...Gammons said Bagwell is like a hockey player (whatever that means) and was one of those 10-to-12 hour per day in the weight room guys, who lost weight later in his career (ala Pudge Rodriguez) because he had a shoulder injury that prevented him from lifting. It’s the type of thinking that was prevalent from many baseball writers during the steroids era. Always buying the story. Unfortunately, I was one of them. I’d like to think I’ve learned my lesson.

...But if Hall voters are going to be so picky about the career ERA of Jack Morris, why not about possible PED use?

I strongly feel this: If Morris gets in, it will still be the Hall of Fame.

If Bonds, Clemens and Sosa are inducted, it would become

(Yanks out Rogers’ Dictionary of Cliches ~ Looks for entry form)

the Hall of Shame.

Repoz Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:40 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, media, steroids, tigers

Friday, January 13, 2012

BBPro:  Heartburn Hardball - Jack Morris in Motion

Morris, who was the face of the Detroit Tigers’ pitching staff for the entirety of the eighties before spending the early nineties hopping between the Twins, Blue Jays, and Indians, has every right to be thrilled at the news. And the rest of us, especially those who were too young to see him pitch, have every right to ask…why Jack Morris? Why now?

To answer that question, I decide to watch the most famous performance of his career, the game that proved once and for all that he was a true ace and a true winner.

....

The Twins will win 1-0 in the bottom of the 10th, winning the second World Series title in franchise history and solidifying Jack Morris’s place in baseball history.

And when it’s over, I will be more convinced than ever that Jack Morris is not a Hall of Fame pitcher.

 

 

Completely Unbiased 3rd Party Lurker Posted: January 13, 2012 at 01:39 PM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, hall of fame, tigers, twins

BPP: Darowski: The Small Hall (of wWAR)

Erardiabolical!

Joe recently wrote a post called To the BBWAA: Focus on the Great, Not the Very Good. In the post, Joe explains his “small Hall” stance. It’s not a stance I agree with, but I’ve been intrigued by the idea of a “small Hall” since coming up with my system to rank Hall of Famers (via Weighted WAR and the Hall of wWAR). To get a “small Hall” by wWAR, you just have to pick a higher cutoff than I use for my Hall.

So, let’s see what a Small Hall of wWAR would look like.

Center Field

  Ty Cobb (305.5)
  Willie Mays (298.8)
  Tris Speaker (247.9)
  Mickey Mantle (228.4)
  Joe DiMaggio (145.7)
  Billy Hamilton (118.6)
  Duke Snider (115.0)

There are not very many center fielders in the Hall of wWAR. But gosh is the position top-heavy. Look at that. Four guys above 200 (225, even). And that doesn’t even include Joltin’ Joe and the Duke. Who’s next? There’s a huge 20 wWAR drop-off before we get to Jimmy Wynn (95.1). Then there’s Richie Ashburn (84.8) and 19th century stars George Gore (82.9) and Paul Hines (78.3). Exiting the Hall would be Ashburn, Hugh Duffy, Larry Doby (again, just because this is purely statistical), Earle Combs, Kirby Puckett, Edd Roush, Earl Averill, Hack Wilson, and Lloyd Waner.

Repoz Posted: January 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics

Wezen-Ball: HOF Candidates as Prospects

As we wait for the Hall of Fame announcement to come sometime Monday morning - for the record, I’m predicting that Barry Larkin will be the only new inductee this year, with Jack Morris getting dangerously close to the 70% mark - it seems like the perfect time to go back and look at how the main candidates on this year’s ballot looked coming into the major leagues. Using my collection of annual baseball preview magazines from the likes of Street and Smith’s and The Sporting News, I’ve gone back and found each candidate’s name in the various “minor leagues” sections of the magazines. It’s always fun to see what everyone was saying about some of the game’s greats before we knew them to be so.


Neyer: Did Joe Torre Cost Jorge Posada His Shot At Cooperstown?

Joe Torre - history’s greatest monster.

Anyway, you can read all about that. In the wake of the reports, I got this e-mail message:

I am looking over the 3 part time years that Jorge split with Girardi. Joe must have been drunk. This friggin’ loyalty may have cost Posada the HOF.

1997 - Posada 188 AB, 101 OPS+
1997 - Girardi 398 AB, 69 OPS+


1998 - Posada 358 AB, 115 OPS+
1998 - Girardi 254 AB, 85 OPS+


1999 - Posada 379 AB, 91 OPS+
1999 - Girardi 209 AB, 60 OPS+


Man, I did not know Girardi was his bad. But Torre gave Girardi 600 ABs for 2 years, when he could not crack the 70 OPS+ line. I think was never noticed or talked about because those Yankee teams won so much.

He got a total of nearly 850 AB during this 3 years span. That is a damn near
travesty.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 07:22 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, yankees

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Neyer: Who Will the Cardinals Miss the Most?

Rally squirrel, obv.

Thursday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s website ran a poll:

Whose departure will have the biggest impact on the Cardinals?

The choices: Dave Duncan, Tony La Russa, Albert Pujols…

What I found most interesting about the poll wasn’t that Pujols finished last, but that Dave Duncan finished first, with 42 percent next to La Russa’s 30 and Albert’s 28… I’m intrigued by the notion that Cardinals fans might actually give more credit to Duncan than La Russa for the team’s recent successes. Partly because I’m not completely sure they’re wrong.

But hey, let’s make this about the Hall of Fame, since we could never get tired of that.

This isn’t an original thought, either for me or the rest of the Internet, but I believe Dave Duncan deserves, if not more credit than La Russa, at least some real Hall of Fame consideration…

In the five years before Duncan got hold of Dave Stewart, he went 30-35 with a 98 ERA+. In the next five years, he went 93-50 with a 118 ERA+.

I don’t know how much of that was Dave Duncan, how much was Tony La Russa, and how much was just Dave Stewart getting a chance to pitch. But if I were somehow involved with the Hall of Fame, I would like to know.

I would like to know that, and a lot more.

The District Attorney Posted: January 12, 2012 at 07:40 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, hall of fame

Rob Neyer/BN: Hey, While We’re At It, Can We Kick Mickey Mantle Out Of Cooperstown?

Terence Moore, Mr. Neyer has a response for you..

Here’s what I think. With all due respect, I think that the great majority of the writers who disqualify Hall of Fame candidates based on the “integrity and character” clause in the voting rules have not considered the implications of their position. Have not begun to consider the implications of their position.

The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: January 12, 2012 at 01:51 PM | 79 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Corcoran: The Hall of Fame chances of Jorge Posada, baseball’s Ringo Starr

Yeah, but shouldn’t Posada then be put through the Jim Keltner List and not the Ken Keltner List?

Yet, even moreso than his Beatles analog, Ringo Starr, Jorge Posada was an equal partner in baseball’s fab four, the quartet of Yankees teammates who debuted in 1995 and won seven pennants and five World Series together (though Posada, who played in just eight major league games in 1996, sat out the first of those).

That Posada is so comparable to Ringo, “the funny one,” who wrote just two Beatles songs and two of the worst at that, helps explain why he has had such a hard time being taken seriously as an all-time great at his position. However, news of his impending retirement, first reported by WFAN beat reporter Sweeny Murti last weekend, gives us a much-needed occasion to revisit Posada’s significance in baseball history. It’s fitting that the news about Posada arrived just days before the announcement of this year’s Hall of Fame class, as a case can be made that Posada is worthy of enshrinement, and it has nothing to do with his having kept time with sure-fire first-ballot inductees Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera or fellow borderline case Andy Pettitte, his Core Four brethren.

...Do the player’s numbers meet Hall of Fame standards?

This refers to James’ own formula-based Hall of Fame Standards, which are listed on the player pages at Baseball-Reference. Posada falls just short, scoring 40 points against the average Hall of Famer’s total of 50.

Jay Jaffe’s JAWS system has Posada even closer (40.2 points to the Hall standard of 42.6), but still just shy.

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 01:00 PM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics, yankees

Murray Chass on Baseball: JACK MORRIS ADVANCES

MIKE PIAZZA’S BACK LOOKS LIKE IT WAS ON FIRE AND SOMEBODY PUT IT OUT WITH A PAIR OF CLEATS, MR. PRESIDENT.

What about next year? Morris’ chances in 2013 could depend on the writers’ reaction to first-timers Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mike Piazza.

The past several years the voters have overwhelmingly rejected Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro for their use of performance-enhancing substances. Some voters, however, might have rejected them without the steroids link, believing their careers did not merit Hall of Fame election.

That belief would most likely not exist for Bonds and Clemens and probably not Sosa and Piazza. But Bonds and Clemens have been clearly implicated in their use of illegal substances, and Sosa and Piazza have been suspected of their use.

Sosa and Piazza have never been convicted by testing or their own admission, but they may find it impossible to overcome the circumstantial evidence that has grown around them.

If, on the other hand, writers vote for some or any of them, they may not want to add Morris to their ballot.

...I have not voted for McGwire or Palmeiro and don’t expect to vote for Bonds, Clemens, Sosa or Piazza next December. I will vote for Morris.

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 12:45 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history

Don Malcolm: JIM, JACK AND THE LASH OF THE BACK: BASEBALL’s CULTURE WAR HEATS UP

Pulling a…

Pull a

While yesterday’s Hall of Fame vote didn’t deliver a lethal blow to our little scenario for future results (more on that below…), it did crystallize the dynamics of the culture war that continues to rage between two increasingly armed camps: the mainstream media and the blogosphere.

What’s clear from the increase in the support for Jack Morris (up to 67% from the low-to-mid fifties in the two previous years) is that the mainstream media has been listening to the blogosphere. But what they’ve heard—much as was the case with Jim Rice—has caused them to dig their heels in.

It’s plain as the nose on Pinocchio’s face that the BBWAA writers have taken umbrage at the ridicule that has been relentlessly sent their way by a very vocal minority (a kind of “Green Party” of “baseball activists”) that hounds them. As is the case with any stacked deck, there are essentially two choices for alleviating the effects of such a condition: evolution or revolution.

...Rich Lederer’s campaign for Bert Blyleven was effective not so much because it encompassed all of the deep technical truths that animate the world of “advanced metrics,” but because it was an example of positive advocacy. By contrast, the neo-sabe campaigns against Jim Rice (and, now, Jack Morris) have failed to gain traction. If anything, they may have helped hasten the very thing they were attempting to avoid.

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 06:16 AM | 170 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history

Goldman: Bernie Williams vs. Kirby Puckett

Let’s ask Erardi!...okay, maybe not.

I was watching the Hall of Fame announcement show on the MLB Network on Monday–congratulations to a very deserving Barry Larkin–and something Peter Gammons said as an aside in a discussion of Bernie Williams’ suitability for the Hall of Fame stuck with me: “He wasn’t as good as Kirby Puckett,” the Great Gammo almost muttered, as they cut to a commercial break.

I haven’t been able to put that comment out of my mind, because I’m not certain why Gammons is so sure. Both were excellent hitters with very different skills who nonetheless arrived at similar results. Puckett was short and stout, Williams long and lithe. Puckett reaped a huge benefit from his Metrodome home park, hitting .344/.388/.521 at home, .291/.331/.430 on the road. Williams was about the same hitter everywhere. Both were Gold Glove center fielders who won several of the defensive awards with their bats. Both won a single batting title. Puckett led the AL in hits four times; Williams walked too much to compete in that department.

Career-wise, Williams looks a little worse overall, but that’s because his peak isn’t quite so high and his career is a little longer. Due to glaucoma, Puckett’s career came to an abrupt end, depriving him of a decline phase, whereas Williams got to play until he was no longer useful. If you consider both through their age-35 seasons, it’s a virtual tie: Williams had hit .301/.388/.488 in 1804 games, while Puckett hit .318/.360/.477 in 1783 games.

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 05:52 AM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics, twins, yankees

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Erardi: HOF voter’s view on cheaters

Here’s how the big-time names that are already before or soon to be before the BBWAA electorate would shake out using my “good-standing” test . . .

Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro:. In my opinion, their “off-the-field conduct significantly altered” their performance on it, and “in a transformative way altered the general regard for the game by the custodians of it.”

They are Out. Does it matter to me that Bonds and Clemens would have been Hall of Famers had their careers ended before they ever started using? Yes. Does it matter enough to change my vote? No. They trashed the record books on the way to record earnings and an exalted, fraudulent, place in the game.

And now for the mud-fueled cleansing stand of grubby principled contrition salvo!

Andy Pettitte: Interesting case, isn’t he? If he hadn’t been caught or admitted using steroids, he would probably be just another south-of- the-border Hall candidate. But I would argue that without steroids, and with adequate weight given to postseason performance—Pettitte played the equivalent of 1¼ regular seasons in his 13 postseasons—he should not be automatically ruled out.

Why? He simultaneously stood up to Clemens and for truth, at a time when baseball needed a principled stand. (Cynics say it was just a save-my-own- posterior move. I don’t rule that out, but I still like the way he handled himself.) Pettitte’s cleansing contrition is worth something. To me, it’s worth not writing him off. Still alive as a potential “in” candidate.

Repoz Posted: January 11, 2012 at 06:59 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, hall of fame, history

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