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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, February 28, 2020

Astros, ‘Field of Dreams’ game highlight 2020 MLB schedule

CHICAGO (AP) — The Washington Nationals defend their first championship. The Houston Astros take on, well, the world. Major league baseball comes to Iowa — and returns to London.

Here are a handful of dates to mark on the calendar:

THURSDAY, MARCH 26

St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds: Nick Castellanos brings his “Every day is opening day” mantra to Cincinnati, where opening day is pretty much a city-wide holiday. The quirky outfielder signed a $64 million, four-year contract with Cincinnati in January, a key part of an active offseason for the refurbished Reds. The Cardinals, led by Jack Flaherty and Paul Goldschmidt, are going for their second straight NL Central title.

So, see anything you want to attend?

QLE Posted: February 28, 2020 at 01:05 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: field of dreams, hall of fame, london, opening day, schedule

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Walker bundle of nerves after touring Hall of Fame

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Larry Walker’s right hand was shaking ever-so-slightly as he reached to sign the space where his plaque will hang in baseball’s Hall of Fame. Reality was still sinking in, a month after his selection.

“It doesn’t seem legit. I feel like I just won a lottery ticket,” Walker said Tuesday after a tour of baseball’s shrine to prepare for his induction in the summer. “I’m kind of trembling inside right now. Nothing seems real about it. I’m still trying to absorb it all. It hasn’t happened yet. I don’t know when it’s going to happen. Maybe it’s going to be in July. Maybe it’s going to be later today. I just don’t know, but it’s crazy to think what I just did.”

Now 53, Walker earned baseball’s highest honor in January on his 10th and final appearance on the writers’ ballot. He received 304 votes, six above the 75% needed, and will be inducted July 26 along with former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, catcher Ted Simmons and former players’ association head Marvin Miller.

A native of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, just outside Vancouver, Walker joins pitcher Ferguson Jenkins as the only Canadian-born players elected to the Hall of Fame, and it’s a source of pride.

A reminder of what selection for the Hall of Fame means to those who receive this honor.

 

QLE Posted: February 26, 2020 at 01:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, larry walker

Thursday, February 20, 2020

No, You Made It Awkward: On Steroid-Era Players and the Hall of Fame

Back in January, in a Facebook group devoted to the Effectively Wild podcast, one post noted how uncomfortable it would be if Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The poster discussed how the day in Cooperstown would be filled with awkward speeches, loud anti-PED rhetoric, and claims the Hall would be debased by their presence. But awkwardness is not an excuse. If the Pro Football Hall of Fame can enshrine Ray Lewis without a hitch, baseball can do something similar.

Baseball’s history is littered with greats who, if they were elected to the Hall of Fame today, would produce equally uncomfortable weekends, speeches and sentiments. Baseball, like America, tends to sanitize its history and mark acts of evil as “unfortunate.” In the social media age, some of the following players would have made Sunday in Cooperstown just as awkward.

So, do we buy these arguments, and why or why not, as the case may be?

QLE Posted: February 20, 2020 at 01:23 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cap anson, gaylord perry, hall of fame, paul molitor, pete rose, tris speaker

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Marlins’ Mattingly bothered by sign-stealing, Jeter vote

MIAMI (AP) — Baseball’s news cycle of late has been dominated by the sign-stealing scandal that led to upheaval in Houston and Boston, as well as Derek Jeter missing out on being a unanimous selection for Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Don Mattingly was bothered by both stories.

Miami’s manager spoke out Saturday at the team’s annual FanFest, expressing dismay over how Jeter — the Marlins’ CEO — was one vote away from appearing on 100% of the ballots submitted in this year’s Hall of Fame voting, as well as the sign-stealing controversy that is could well taint Houston’s World Series win in 2017 and Boston’s title in 2018.

“You could see it kind of coming, honestly, with the technology, with the cameras, just how fast that has come to the forefront with everything you can do with replay,” Mattingly said. “You could actually see how it could ... how something could start to happen. Unfortunately, it did.”

Well, we’ve managed to find out how Mattingly has managed to keep his head when everyone around him on the Marlins was losing theirs…..

 

QLE Posted: February 09, 2020 at 01:41 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, don mattingly, hall of fame, sign-stealing

Friday, January 31, 2020

The All Outside-the-Hall Team

As I’ve written several times in recent weeks, the past seven years have seen a flurry of candidates elected to the Hall of Fame — a record 22 by the BBWAA over that span, with another five by the various Era Committees. Eleven of those 22 were first-ballot selections by the writers, while another three made it in during their final year. Of the five committee selections, three spent a full 15 years on the writers’ ballot while the other two slipped below the 5% mark and fell off.

The mix of quick selections and long-awaited ones has been dizzying, and it’s significantly altered the landscape when it comes to the best players outside the Hall of Fame — the ones who might be considered in the on-deck circle. As it’s been a long time since I took a spin around the diamond in this context, I thought it would be a good way to close the books on this year’s election cycle. What follows here is a JAWS-driven spin in which I’ve identified both the best eligible candidate and the best who’s awaiting eligibility. That’s not to say that they’re all Hallworthy, or that I’d vote for all of them; in some cases, I’m merely pointing out the dearth of strong candidates. For the “eligible” category, the player must have been retired at least five years, even if he wasn’t on a 2020 ballot, and no, he can’t be under a lifetime ban, nor can he be stuck in that awful limbo between falling off the writers’ ballot with less than 5% of the vote and awaiting his 10-year eligibility window to expire. For the “not yet eligible” category, the player may be active, retired too recently to appear on a ballot, or stuck in that post-5% limbo. As I’ve written relatively recently about many of these players — and less recently at other sites about some of them — I’m going lightning-round style, with pointers to where I’ve expounded at greater length.

A considering of both players not in the Hall of Fame and coming candidates, by the leading expert in the field.

 

QLE Posted: January 31, 2020 at 01:03 AM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Odd Couple: Jeter, Walker take different routes to Hall

NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Jeter and Larry Walker rarely crossed paths during their time in the major leagues.

“There was one time in the Bahamas, playing blackjack, that we sat down for a little while with Matt Damon, and we sat there and played for a little while,” Walker recalled of a gambling evening where athletes and thespians mixed.

A baseball odd couple, they sat on the dais in a penthouse hotel ballroom, baseball’s newly minted Hall of Famers.

Jeter, a first-round draft pick, came within one vote of being the second unanimous pick.

A reminder of what the balloting that we saw come to a conclusion yesterday means to those voted in.

 

QLE Posted: January 23, 2020 at 12:55 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, hall of fame, larry walker

Larry Walker’s Hall plaque to feature Rockies cap, not Expos

NEW YORK (AP) — Larry Walker’s Hall of Fame plaque in Cooperstown will have a Colorado Rockies cap, not a Montreal Expos hat.

Walker spoke with Hall officials after he was elected Tuesday in his 10th and final appearance on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot.

Born in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Walker made his big league debut with the Expos in August 1989 and signed with the Rockies ahead of the 1995 season. He was traded to St. Louis in August 2004 and retired after the 2005 season.

“It’s a hard decision, being a Canadian,” Walker said.

So, will this please the people of Denver, alienate those of Montreal, both, or neither?

 

QLE Posted: January 23, 2020 at 12:48 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: caps, expos, hall of fame, larry walker, rockies

Baseball Hall of Fame Needs to Change 5% Voting Rule

For the first time in almost two weeks, the biggest story in baseball was not about sign stealing, the Astros’ horrible public relations strategy or the banging scheme. Instead, on Tuesday we got to celebrate the careers of two new Hall of Famers: Derek Jeter and Larry Walker. Sure, Jeets didn’t get in as a unanimous selection, but neither did Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Tom Seaver or Willie Mays. Let’s not lose sleep over it.

As I watched hours of MLB Network coverage, the two storylines I followed closest were far more important than Jeter getting 100% of BBWAA to agree he’s a Hall of Famer: (1) Would Larry Waker get in? (2) How many people would vote for Bobby Abreu?

Abreu, I suspected, would be an afterthought for most voters and fall dangerously close to the 5% minimum of the vote needed to remain on the ballot. But if there’s one thing the last few Hall of Fame classes show us, it’s that writers’ opinions change over time. It’s time for the Hall to reconsider its 5% policy and allow players to remain on the ballot for longer than one season.

Here’s a sample of some of the players who lasted just one year on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot in the last 20 years: Lance Berkman, Johan Santana, Jorge Posada, Jim Edmonds, Carlos Delgado, Kenny Lofton, David Cone and Lou Whitaker. In their second year of eligibility Bernie Williams, Albert Belle and Nomar Garciapara dropped below the 5% threshold.

Well, given how the backlog is clearing, now’s as good a point to consider this as any.

 

QLE Posted: January 23, 2020 at 12:42 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, rules of the game, voting

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Craig Calcaterra’s Imaginary Hall of Fame Ballot

As the title says, he doesn’t have a vote, but I thought the Schilling comments were notable, especially since he used to be a supporter of his HOF case.

I’d guess that Trump support among ballplayers runs markedly higher than in the population at large and even higher than it does among Republicans at large, and my appreciation of a ballplayer’s career has never hinged on that. In light of that, the argument that I or anyone else discount a ballplayer’s career because of “politics” is utter baloney.

My problem with Schilling is not that he’s got bad politics as such. It’s that he has gone out of his way over the past several years to show himself to be a demonstrably awful human being who has used his considerable platform to propagate hatred.

Schilling has spread conspiracy theories that survivors of school massacres were paid crisis actors and has voiced his support of the so-called “QAnon theory” which holds that a cabal of “globalist elites” — transparent antisemitic code —  are engaged in an international child sex trafficking ring and wish to commit a coup d’état in America. He has espoused transphobia, xenophobia, islamophobia, antisemitism, racism, and has promoted the idea that violence against those with whom he disagrees — particularly the media — is at best a laughing matter and, arguably, is a good idea.

 

Perry Posted: January 22, 2020 at 12:41 PM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: curt schilling, hall of fame

Goold: A modest proposal to improve Hall of Fame voting | Derrick Goold: Bird Land | stltoday.com

Goold retweeted this yesterday. I like the idea.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2020 at 06:00 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Derek Jeter gives expected response to Hall of Fame vote snub

“I look at all the votes that I got,’’ Jeter said of falling one vote short of being unanimous, posting a 99.7 percentage. “Trying to get that many people to agree on something, it is pretty difficult to do.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2020 at 05:57 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, hall of fame

Curt Schilling misses out on Hall of Fame, but he’ll get in next year - The Boston Globe

I very, very rarely link to Shaughnessy. He’s a decent writer but has really bad takes on just about everything. I link to him now because his view on Schilling is representative of the views of quite a few writers.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2020 at 05:42 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: curt schilling, hall of fame

Here’s a vote for getting sportswriters out of the balloting process - The Washington Post

I sometimes disagree with their votes but the writers have done a pretty good job overall.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2020 at 05:23 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

With no sure things, next year’s Hall of Fame ballot could be unpredictable

The 2020 Hall of Fame class is set after the Baseball Writers Association of America elected Derek Jeter and Larry Walker. They will join Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons, who were elected by the veterans committee in December.

For the new Hall of Famers, the celebration is on. For those whose candidacy will begin or continue on next year’s ballot, it’s time to look ahead. That’s also what we’re here to do.

Our first glance tells us there are a wide range of possibilities in 2021. That’s in part because the next crop of first-time eligible candidates is remarkably underwhelming. There’s not a slam dunk like Mariano Rivera and Jeter have been the last two years. In fact, there’s not a new candidate that appears likely to reach the 75 percent required for election now or in the future.

It’s also because there’s a group of returning candidates that haven’t been fully embraced by the voters. Curt Schilling had his strongest showing yet in 2020 at 70 percent. Will he finally make the big leap? Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are inching closer to 75 percent, but with only two years remaining on the ballot can they make up the necessary ground?

The Baseball Hall of Fame ballot discussion is over- long live the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot discussion!

 

QLE Posted: January 22, 2020 at 12:57 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, the future

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Jeter’s Hall call near-unanimous; Walker elected

Derek Jeter barely missed unanimity. Larry Walker barely eluded agony. What matters most is that both men are now enjoying entry into baseball’s hallowed Hall.

The subjects of two very different versions of Hall of Fame voting drama, Jeter and Walker both had their names called Tuesday night on MLB Network’s presentation of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot results. All but one of the 397 BBWAA members who cast a vote had Jeter’s name checked off in his first year of eligibility, and just enough of those writers checked Walker’s name in his 10th and final year to push him above the 75-percent threshold.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 21, 2020 at 09:38 PM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, hall of fame

Friday, January 17, 2020

MLB Ineligible List Ends at Death for Banned Players

So there’s this minor kerfuffle about how maybe Joe Jackson can get into the hall now, because MLB has this new rule that you’re removed from the ineligible list when you die.  Except here’s the quote from ESPN’s source:

“From our perspective, the purpose of the ineligible list is a practical matter,” the source told ESPN. “It’s used to prevent someone from working in the game. When a person on the ineligible list passes away, he’s unable to work in the game. And so for all practical purposes, we don’t consider a review of the status of anyone who has passed away.”

Which sounds to me like it means that you don’t get removed.  Jackson is banned, and they stopped reviewing his case after he’s dead - which means that he stays banned.


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Top 25 Baseball Stories of the Decade — No. 20: The Hall of Fame Logjam

Hall of Fame voting is pretty simple. Each year the Hall releases its ballot of candidates to the eligible voters from the Baseball Writers Association of America. The voters can pick up to ten candidates on their ballot. Any candidates who get 75% or more of the vote are elected. Candidates who get less than 5% of the vote fall off. Candidates who get more than 5% of the vote but less than 75% of the vote can stay on the ballot until they either get elected, fall below 5%, or appear on ballots for ten years without election (it used to be 15 years). If they haven’t been elected in that time they are done, unless the Veterans Committee puts them in later.

The system is designed to furnish new names on the ballot at more or less the same rate that old names fall off the ballot, giving voters similarly-sized pools to vote on each year. The ballot thresholds — 5% for falling off and 75% for induction — are designed to get the very, very deserving and the very, very undeserving cleared off the ballot quickly in order to keep the ballot from getting clogged up. As baseball history progresses, Hall of Fame voting is supposed to, at least roughly, track baseball history, lagging by about five years due to the post-retirement waiting period until guys become eligible.

In the early 2010s, however, it appeared as if this system was going to break down. The reason? Performance enhancing drugs.

The “Steroid Era” of the 1990s and 2000s began to wind down on the field — at least ostensibly — due to the release of The Mitchell Report in late 2007 and the subsequent strengthening of drug testing in its wake. Around this same time, and in the few years just after, the players most prominently associated with the Steroid Era retired. Soon they would be hitting the Hall of Fame ballot.

A take on the last decade in Hall of Fame history- any thoughts that the rest of you may have on the arguments made here?

 

QLE Posted: December 19, 2019 at 01:17 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: bbwaa, hall of fame

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Baseball Hall of Fame: Ted Simmons honors late Marvin Miller

Ted Simmons spent a lot of time talking about Marvin Miller.

Marvin Miller is a very, very special man,” Simmons said. “Just to have been associated with him and look in his window for as long as I got to, life lessons, you know, life knowledge, lucky boy having done that.

“As far as my pursuit of the Cooperstown Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, it’s taken this long. It may sound so trite because it’s used so often, but it’s a hard place to get into. It should be. There is no reason for me to feel in any way, shape, or form that my journey to this place is any more or any less than anybody else’s. It is hard. It’s an excruciating wait, and until it happens for you, you just can’t describe what it’s like.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2019 at 06:50 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, ted simmons

The HoF Review - by Joe Pos

Joe Posnanski’s take on the Modern Era Committee’s inductions. 

In very general terms, Joe seems a bit surprised by how Ted Simmons got in but other players didn’t.

JRVJ Posted: December 10, 2019 at 06:07 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, veterans committee

Sunday, December 08, 2019

BBO—Hall of Fame-Simmons

Jumping ahead to a section of this that some here may find of interest:

Simmons said he thought his one-and-done on the BBWAA ballot would forever keep him out of Cooperstown.

But then analytics came along.

“If it weren’t for the analytics people, my career as a potential Hall of Famer probably would have been shut down and forgotten about a long time ago,” he said. “When people started talking about on-base percentage and WAR, and explained how WAR comprised, then it became a real look into a real study and thena real comparison started to develop.

“”I played in an era with Bench and (Manny) Sanguillén and Fisk, Carter, (Bob) Boone, (Steve) Yeager, all those people through that period as catchers. It’s difficult to match up with people like Bench, who won World Series year in, year out, Fisk in Boston, who had great, great years.

 

QLE Posted: December 08, 2019 at 11:44 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, ted simmons

Lou Whitaker snubbed from the Hall of Fame again

Long time Tigers second baseman Lou Whitaker has long been one of baseball history’s most underrated players. He and Hall of Fame shortstop Alan Trammell formed one of the best up-the-middle combos ever, teammates since Whitaker’s debut in 1977 to his final year in 1995.

Trammell is actually a great jumping-off point to support Whitaker’s candidacy. Here are their career counting stats:

Whitaker: .276/.363/.426, 420 doubles, 65 triples, 244 homers, 1084 RBI, 1386 runs, 143 stolen bases, 1197 walks (9967 plate appearances)
Trammell: .285/.352/.415, 415 doubles, 55 triples, 185 homers, 1003 RBI, 1231 runs, 236 stolen bases, 850 walks (9376 plate appearances)

Whitaker also had slightly more Wins Above Replacement over his career according to Baseball Reference, besting Trammell 75.1 to 70.7. FanGraphs’ version of WAR puts both players slightly lower but with Whitaker still in the lead, 68.1 to 63.7.

On the bright side, this does give us an idea as for who to campaign for in three years’ time, particularly given the nature of who was inducted this time around.

 

QLE Posted: December 08, 2019 at 11:26 PM | 150 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, lou whitaker

Miller, Simmons elected to HOF on Modern Era ballot

On the eve of baseball’s Winter Meetings getting underway in San Diego, the Hall of Fame Class of 2020 officially has its first members. Of the 10 candidates on the Modern Baseball Era ballot, the Veteran’s Committee announced on Sunday night that former MLBPA director Marvin Miller and Cardinals, Braves and Brewers catcher Ted Simmons had both been selected for induction in the Hall.

The other nominees on the ballot—made up of a group whose primary contributions to baseball came between 1970 and 1987—included Dwight Evans, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Thurman Munson, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker and Lou Whitaker.

Congratulations to Simmons and to the Miller family.

 

QLE Posted: December 08, 2019 at 08:21 PM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, marvin miller, ted simmons

Friday, December 06, 2019

Ahoy, San Diego: 2019 Winter Meetings Preview

Commentary on what to expect from the Winter Meetings- here is a sample of this approach:

Major League Baseball vs. Minor League Baseball

One thing a lot of people don’t know about the Winter Meetings is that it’s put on, primarily, by Minor League Baseball as an organization and the vast majority of the people on the ground at the Winter Meetings either run or work for or are trying to sell stuff to minor league teams. Almost every team’s owner comes and brings along some staffers. Coaches, trainers, scouts, and other team employees who spend most of their year out in the bushes as opposed to back at the big club’s home base attend meetings and hobnob with one another.

Normally that’s all pretty routine. This year, however, it probably won’t be thanks to Rob Manfred’s plan to contract 42 minor league clubs and rearrange a great many more of them across levels and leagues.

As we noted earlier today, that scheme has set off a political firestorm and is no doubt the top agenda item and point of concern for every single minor league official and employee at the Winter Meetings. There are, reportedly, already meetings going on in San Diego about all of this. Expect some news about it at any point in the next week. At this point I’d expect anything from Manfred totally scrapping the plan, to him doubling down on it, to reports of general acrimony and possible legal action and everything in between.

 

QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:21 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: business, free agents, hall of fame, managers, minor leagues, rule 5 draft, trades, winter meetings

The Hall of Fame Case for Thurman Munson

To share an opinion against my own:

The case against his induction:

We cannot know where Munson’s career would’ve ended up had he not died in that 1979 plane crash. The big question — unanswerable in my view — is what to do about that with respect to his Hall of Fame case.

Given that Munson had shown a pretty noticeable offensive decline in 1978 and the first half of 1979, it seems analytically unwarranted to make assumptions that he’d have continued to be an elite-hitting and fielding catcher for several more years into the 1980s. Of course it also seems kind of heartless to say “welp, sorry, he only played ten and a half seasons, so he falls short.” I suppose this is part of why I left Munson’s story for last. I really didn’t want to contend with that. It’s just sad.

Where does that leave us? With a nice but not overwhelming peak, and with career value that is a notch below his ballot-mate Simmons. If you’re a voter who is big on peaks, postseason performance and fame, Munson probably passes muster for you. If you like to see greater overall career value or a period of unequivocal dominance you might find him lacking. Either way, he’s one of the tougher cases on the ballot.

Well, that’s all the candidates- it will be interesting to watch Sunday night for the results.

QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:17 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, thurman munson

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