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Monday, November 04, 2019

2020 MODERN BASEBALL ERA BALLOT

Nine former big league players and one executive comprise the 10-name Modern Baseball Era ballot to be reviewed and voted upon Dec. 8 at the Baseball Winter Meetings.

Dwight Evans, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Marvin Miller, Thurman Munson, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons and Lou Whitaker are the candidates the Modern Baseball Era Committee will consider for Hall of Fame election for the Class of 2020. All candidates are former players except for Miller, who was the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1966-82. All candidates except for Miller and Munson are living.

Any candidate who receives votes on 75 percent of the ballots cast by the 16-member Modern Baseball Era Committee will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 26, 2020, along with any electees who emerge from the 2020 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election, to be announced on Jan. 21, 2020.

The Modern Baseball Era is one of four Era Committees, each of which provide an avenue for Hall of Fame consideration to managers, umpires and executives, as well as players retired for more than 15 seasons.

The BBHOF season has now started- what say we concerning this ballot?

 

QLE Posted: November 04, 2019 at 05:01 PM | 242 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dale murphy, dave parker, don mattingly, dwight evans, hall of fame, lou whitaker, marvin miller, steve garvey, ted simmons, thurman munson, tommy john, veterans committee

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   101. bachslunch Posted: November 06, 2019 at 01:24 PM (#5899158)
Flip.

And why anyone wants to argue with Sugar Bear Blanks is beyond me.
   102. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: November 06, 2019 at 01:26 PM (#5899159)
As for peak, Murphy has more great years. Going best to worst:

DMatt 7.2 6.5 6.3 5.1 4.2 3.7 2.8 2.7
Murph 7.7 7.1 6.6 6.1 5.6 5.0 3.1 2.6

Going further down the list, Mattingly has a few more decent seasons whereas Murphy drops below replacement level. Decent seasons aren't going to get you into the HOF. I'm not sold on either being worthy, but I'd get on board for Murphy first.


Add Evans to this, and you see that their peak wasn't even all that special:

DMatt 7.2 6.5 6.3 5.1 4.2 3.7 2.8 2.7 2.3
Evans 6.7 6.4 5.4 5.1 4.8 4.5 4.4 4.1 3.8 3.7 3.2 3.1 3.0 2.0
Murph 7.7 7.1 6.6 6.1 5.6 5.0 3.1 2.6

Mattingly has a slight advantage on Evans for top 5 seasons, and they are tied through top 6, then Evans takes the lead.
Murphy has a higher peak, his top 5 are clearly better, and hold an advantage through 8 years, but then he dropped off a cliff and Evans kept playing well.
   103. Rally Posted: November 06, 2019 at 01:27 PM (#5899160)
Whitaker and Parker aren't remotely close. Parker was the better player in a short peak. Whitaker had the better career because he stayed in shape and didn't screw up his career with drugs.

If I knew exactly how each career would play out, and could have either one on draft day, I'd pick Whitaker every time.

Might not be the most analytically sound decision, that might be, "take Parker, get his MVP seasons, give him the qualifying offer and let him sign somewhere else" , whereas I'd have to pay Whitaker full price to get full production.

I don't care, I appreciate what Whitaker did to get the most out of his talents.
   104. . Posted: November 06, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5899162)
But Evans wasn't close to as good as Murphy when both were at their best, so it doesn't really matter what happened at any particular age. If Murphy had been hit by a bus in spring training of 1988 he would have been a better player than Evans. And that's the easy call. He probably could have been hit by a bus in 1985 or 1986, with the same conclusion. I'm fine with the 10-year rule weeding out injudicious application of this principle to Hall of Fame elections, but the principle still very much holds.
   105. Rally Posted: November 06, 2019 at 01:35 PM (#5899164)
Looks like Parker would have hit 6 years of service time after the 1979 season. Coming off a .310 season, 25 homers, 140 OPS+, 20 steals, gold glove. The All Star highlights where he threw out Brian Downing. 28 years old, the MVP a year earlier. Hit .345 in the WS and won a championship.

Put him in today's game with that and he sure makes some money. Roughly in the same place Anthony Rendon is right now, but would have been a year younger. Would have signed what, an 8 or 10 year deal? Would have been worth the salary exactly once, in 1985.
   106. SoSH U at work Posted: November 06, 2019 at 01:39 PM (#5899165)
Put him in today's game with that and he sure makes some money. Roughly in the same place Anthony Rendon is right now, but would have been a year younger


That would buy a lot of blow.
   107. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: November 06, 2019 at 01:39 PM (#5899166)
I wrote many years ago on these boards that St. Marvin's reputation was absurdly high given that in the wake of the Messersmith/McNally decision, he had the owners entirely by the shorthairs and yet still agreed to a Basic Agreement binding players to their initial organizations for roughly a decade. Now that we're seeing the fruits of that cave-in truly ripen, one would think that his reputation would be taking a hit. Maybe it is, but it certainly should be. There's really nothing to commend him as a Hall of Famer beyond "If Bowie Kuhn and Bud Selig are in, he should be too." That's an unconvincing argument.

I think it's an interview in the Ken Burns doc where Miller explains his reasoning for ceding so many years of control. He explained that by limiting the number of free agents, those FAs would draw higher salaries. And that would lead to higher arbitration awards. I didn't think his reasoning made economic sense then, and it certainly doesn't now.

They should have a separate ballot for non-players, IMO. There is no reason to force the VC to make the apples-and-oranges decision of whether Dwight Evans is more or less HOF worthy than Miller.
   108. Rally Posted: November 06, 2019 at 01:42 PM (#5899167)
Looking at the chart in #102, Murphy has the best top 6 compared to Evans, then Dewey takes over. But keep in mind that the 6.7 for Evans' best season was 1981. He only played 108 games due to the strike. That season was probably the best that any of these guys ever had.

If Murphy and Evans had both been hit by a bus in the spring of 1982 then Evans was the better player.

I reject the whole "what if hit by a bus" line of thinking because it never happened. Both players survived their careers without interruption by public transportation. I'd rather look at what they did over their whole careers.
   109. SoSH U at work Posted: November 06, 2019 at 01:43 PM (#5899168)
They should have a separate ballot for non-players, IMO. There is no reason to force the VC to make the apples-and-oranges decision of whether Dwight Evans is more or less HOF worthy than Miller.


Agreed.
   110. . Posted: November 06, 2019 at 01:47 PM (#5899171)
Put him in today's game with that and he sure makes some money. Roughly in the same place Anthony Rendon is right now, but would have been a year younger. Would have signed what, an 8 or 10 year deal?


There's no need to speculate or extrapolate; he made a bunch of money even back then. Looks like the Pirates bought out one of his arb years, because he signed a five-year deal for like $4 million or thereabouts after the 1978 season. (I actually had professional occasion to see the contract a long-ass time ago, my memory is that there was some incentive money in there too, maybe even quite a bit. Some of the salary was deferred and was eventually litigated over.)

That would buy a lot of blow.


It apparently did. (Thus, the litigation.)
   111. . Posted: November 06, 2019 at 01:58 PM (#5899175)
He explained that by limiting the number of free agents, those FAs would draw higher salaries. And that would lead to higher arbitration awards. I didn't think his reasoning made economic sense then, and it certainly doesn't now.


It doesn't even make sense on its own terms, because service time is a factor in arb awards.(*) It's idiotic.

(*) The current CBA language:

The arbitration panel shall, except for a Player with five or more years of Major League service, give particular attention, for comparative salary purposes, to the contracts of Players with Major League service not exceeding one annual service group above the Player’s annual service group.
   112. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 06, 2019 at 02:54 PM (#5899186)
But then, just like we have safe guys starting to be called out en masse because their foot left the bag for a tenth of a second mid-slide, and knock-off effects like wary refs not calling an obvious pass interference with two minutes to go in the NFC championship game, we have things like "Lou Whitaker is clearly a Hall of Famer."

I think the better analogy to instant replay is the VC era committees themselves. Few players were being elected and a number of deserving players were being kept out of the HOF, so they created this system to remedy that situation, but the result was that Jack Morris, Harold Baines and Lee Smith went in while Bobby Grich couldn't even get on the ballot. Yes, in theory having these VC era committees are a good idea, but they've been implemented poorly and the results have been bad.

Lou Whitaker should be a Hall of Famer. By next year he probably will be. Beyond that, you're just arguing the definition of "better" -- you have an idiosyncratic definition, I have a different one, no point in arguing it.
   113. . Posted: November 06, 2019 at 03:35 PM (#5899200)
Beyond that, you're just arguing the definition of "better" -- you have an idiosyncratic definition, I have a different one, no point in arguing it.


I don't think mine is ideosyncratic in the least (*); it only seems that way for the very same reasons I explained before -- the premises of the "mainstream" definition. It's also no coincidence that the "mainstream" definition of how to measure "better" happens to coincide with the definition for which we have the most "exact" and "complete" data -- the career WAR chart. This is a textbook example of the form and content of the available data driving the premises and conclusions. Any other definition would be less "exact" and (more importantly) less comfortable and therefore it is eschewed.

(*) "A player who was better at his best is the better player" isn't any more "ideosyncratic" than "A player with more career WAR is the better player." It's less.
   114. Booey Posted: November 06, 2019 at 04:37 PM (#5899223)
It's silly to suggest that anyone who had a span of 5 or 6 great years should automatically be a HOFer no matter how the rest of their career played out. The HOF is for players who actually put up HOF caliber CAREERS, not just guys who showed they have HOF caliber TALENT at some point. There's WAY too many of the latter.

The rise of WAR and other value stats didn't torpedo the chances of players like Murphy and Mattingly. They were on the ballot before WAR became mainstream and they still never went anywhere. Seems the majority consensus when they retired was already that their production dropped off a bit too early to warrant election.

Who had the better career has always been more relevant than who was the better player at their absolute peak. Short career, "peak" guys are already rewarded with MVP's and All Star selections. The HOF is for players with longevity (usually).
   115. Rally Posted: November 06, 2019 at 04:46 PM (#5899227)
Forget career here, which player was better at his best?

Pitcher A came up, was a bit wild but with great stuff in his rookie year. He was a .500 pitcher. In his 2nd season he found control and went 25-5. He was so good he pitched a ton of innings, and pitched deep into October, helping to win a championship. Next spring he had some arm trouble, spent most of the year on the DL, and never had another good season.

Pitcher B was outstanding for 3 years. Never had as good a season as A, never did much outside of those 3 years.

Pitcher C was not as good as B for any 3 year stretch, but was an all star caliber pitcher in 7 of his 12 years in the league.

Which pitcher was best at his best?
   116. . Posted: November 06, 2019 at 04:59 PM (#5899238)
It's silly to suggest that anyone who had a span of 5 or 6 great years should automatically be a HOFer no matter how the rest of their career played out.


I never suggested that. Parker and Murphy were elite, best player in baseball types -- not guys who just put together 5 or 6 great years. Even that doesn't "automatically" get them in; I already noted that I'm fine with the 10-year rule eliminating dumb applications of the principle. That doesn't make the principle wrong. Parker and Murphy were better players than Simmons/Lou/Dewey. They were better at their best, clearly, they meet the 10-year threshold, and they had plenty of excellent seasons right below their elite ones. That's a better case to me than the WAR compilers. Others' mileage obviously varies, but IMHO, that mileage is the product of bias and the availability of data driving the premises and conclusions. (With a little bit of the frisson of intellectual revolution, albeit self-styled.)

The HOF is for players who actually put up HOF caliber CAREERS, not just guys who showed they have HOF caliber TALENT at some point.


That begs the question entirely, and mischaracterizes Murphy's and Parker's applied talent as merely talent. (And mischaracterizes my argument as being about merely talent.)

Who had the better career has always been more relevant than who was the better player at their absolute peak. Short career, "peak" guys are already rewarded with MVP's and All Star selections. The HOF is for players with longevity (usually).


The first and third sentences beg the question. I'm not sure what the relevance of the second is. Ten years isn't a short career and no one has ever suggested and it makes no sense that the HOF and MVPs/All-Star games would be independent of each other. Why would the HOF be merely a post-career participation trophy for the compilers? Yuck.

   117. . Posted: November 06, 2019 at 05:09 PM (#5899240)
Forget career here, which player was better at his best?

Pitcher A came up, was a bit wild but with great stuff in his rookie year. He was a .500 pitcher. In his 2nd season he found control and went 25-5. He was so good he pitched a ton of innings, and pitched deep into October, helping to win a championship. Next spring he had some arm trouble, spent most of the year on the DL, and never had another good season.

Pitcher B was outstanding for 3 years. Never had as good a season as A, never did much outside of those 3 years.

Pitcher C was not as good as B for any 3 year stretch, but was an all star caliber pitcher in 7 of his 12 years in the league.

Which pitcher was best at his best?


Fair question, good example. One year isn't enough for me. I'd have to know more about Pitcher B, i.e., did he have arm problems, etc, and I'd have to know the exact discrepancy between Pitcher B's and Pitcher C's three best years.

With that said, the career WAR chart presents only the illusion of exactitude.
   118. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2019 at 06:11 PM (#5899247)
I'm sympathetic to SBB's arguments.

Once in a thread here, and partially as a joke, I invented a statistic that tried to assess the peakiness of candidates. I called it PF WAG. It simply adds up all the WAR that any player ever achieved in a season above 4.0, the idea being that a season of <4 WAR isn't really adding much to a HOF case. So a 6.2 WAR season gets 2.2 PF WAG points. A 3.9 WAR and a -1.0 WAR season are identical, both fat zeros. It has its flaws, obviously, but it's mine.

Dave Parker: 12.1 PF WAG
Don Mattingly: 9.3 PF WAG
Dale Murphy: 14.1 PF WAG

But the compilers show up pretty good too:

Lou Whitaker: 12.7 PF WAG
Darrell Evans: 9.4 PF WAG
Dewey Evans: 9.4 PF WAG

This jibes with my general feeling that these are all roughly similar candidates.

For reference, some values from another thread where I was looking at pitchers:

Halladay: 24.7
Koufax: 22.6
Verlander: 16.9
J Santana: 16.4
Oswalt: 12.2
C Lee: 10.8
King Felix: 10.5
Pettitte: 8.8
D Price: 8.2
Lincecum: 7.2


I concluded:

If PF WAG was a real thing I assume I'd draw the border somewhere around ~15.
   119. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 06, 2019 at 06:39 PM (#5899254)
I don't think mine is ideosyncratic in the least (*); it only seems that way for the very same reasons I explained before -- the premises of the "mainstream" definition. It's also no coincidence that the "mainstream" definition of how to measure "better" happens to coincide with the definition for which we have the most "exact" and "complete" data -- the career WAR chart.

No, it's idiosyncratic because it's not really reflective of how the Hall-of-Fame voters -- either the BBWAA or the VC committees -- have voted over the years. I mean, Dave Parker and Dale Murphy, the guys you've been using to make your point, never got more than 25% support from the writers and haven't had much success with the VC. Meanwhile Harold Baines, the consummate compiler, is in the Hall and Omar Vizquel is getting over 40% support with the BBWAA.

Also, the "career WAR list" isn't really anyone's definition, even here, and it certainly isn't the "mainstream" definition, as evidenced by the fact that Lou isn't in yet and Grich can't even get on the ballot.

Hall voting is notoriously inconsistent but the voters tend to like guys who have long careers. A long career is not sufficient in itself, but you usually need a really great peak to get in without accumulating some impressive counting stats.
   120. karlmagnus Posted: November 06, 2019 at 08:49 PM (#5899265)
PreservedFish, Harold Baines scores 0.3 in PF WAG, which sort of proves your point. Useful.
   121. karlmagnus Posted: November 06, 2019 at 08:56 PM (#5899266)
And Parisian Bob Caruthers, my favorite non-elected candidate, gets 28.6 PF WAG. Nice.
   122. Booey Posted: November 06, 2019 at 09:06 PM (#5899267)
PF - That's interesting, but I'm not sure how well it works. It certainly ends up with some interesting results, at the very least, like Dave Parker and Dale Murphy finishing higher than Eddie Murray (11.6) and Harmon Killebrew (10.7). Don't think I agree with that...

I also think a cut off of 15 would probably trim the number of HOFers in half.

Edit: And it puts Nomar (16.6) in the HOF
   123. Booey Posted: November 06, 2019 at 09:16 PM (#5899271)
No Gwynn (13.6) or Molitor (13.0).

Edit: Jeter is right on the borderline (14.7).
   124. Booey Posted: November 06, 2019 at 09:37 PM (#5899276)
Edmonds is in (15.8). Helton's a no brainer (18.7).

Sorry, now I'm just satisfying my own curiosity. :-D
   125. Booey Posted: November 06, 2019 at 09:51 PM (#5899278)
Dave Stieb - 16.6
Bret Saberhagen - 15.4
Kevin Appier (!) - 15.2

(Pitching WAR only)
   126. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2019 at 09:55 PM (#5899280)
Oh, it's sure as hell not perfect, I spent about 20 seconds on the formula. And maybe 15 is a terrible place to put the in/out line. I haven't scored enough players to have a good feeling for it.

In response to some reasonable criticism I designed a second, more complex version that gave some limited credit for above-average seasons, the type of thing that might boost Eddie Murray over Nomar Garciaparra, but I can't really be bothered. If I were serious about it I'd also put in some playing time adjustments, to deal with partial seasons, which would help with '81 and '94 and all the players that had terrific years cut short by injury. A guy with 4 WAR in 120 games probably deserves more credit than a guy with 4 WAR in 162 games.

As it is, it's just a goof stat but it's based on my feeling that Hall of Famers are, at heart, players that are playing at a standard way above "replacement" or "average." If a player strings together several 3.5 WAR seasons, he's not on my HOF radar yet. It also reflects my belief that we shouldn't deduct credit for bad play. When a player is adding 2 WAR seasons again and again, to me that says almost nothing about his HOF case, neither good nor bad. It's just neutral. (Sure I'd give credit for extreme compiling and consistency and longevity, but I'd have a high standard for that)

As an extreme peak guy, I'm frustrated by candidates like Nomar because he doesn't feel like a HOFer and yet he was unquestionably playing at a true HOF standard for years. He was better in his prime than many surefire HOFers. I do think the Hall is too tilted towards longevity. There should be at least as many short peak guys inducted as there are compilers.
   127. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2019 at 09:59 PM (#5899281)
Gooden scores a 10.1 in his first 3 seasons. Never added a point after that.
   128. Booey Posted: November 06, 2019 at 10:08 PM (#5899283)
Glavine doesn't come close via pitching WAR only (11.9)
   129. Booey Posted: November 06, 2019 at 10:11 PM (#5899284)
Yaz had 20.5 in his best 3 seasons (1967, 1968, 1970), and 9.5 total in his other 20 years.
   130. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2019 at 10:25 PM (#5899285)
Glavine ranking below Appier does seem wrong.

The whole thing is of course subject to the vagaries of WAR.

In 1996 Appier threw 211 innings of 137 ERA+ ball. 5.9 WAR.
In 1996 Glavine threw 235 innings of 147 ERA+ ball. Also 5.9 WAR. Why isn't it higher? He pitched more and better.
   131. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 06, 2019 at 10:27 PM (#5899286)
I do think the Hall is too tilted towards longevity. There should be at least as many short peak guys inducted as there are compilers.


I've got the opposite reaction. Dizzy Dean has no business in the hall of fame. He was teh awesome at one point, but he just didn't win his team that many games. And it's winning games that it is, after all, all about.

Now, I'm assuming that you're advocating inducting peak guys with lower career value than compilers with greater career value. That's what I think is wrongheaded, because the latter did more for their teams than did the former. But if you want peak guys with WAR equal to compilers, then that's a different story and I'm totally on board. But not because it recognizes their awesomeness, rather it's because concentrating your production is more valuable to your team.
   132. Howie Menckel Posted: November 06, 2019 at 10:30 PM (#5899288)
I wrote many years ago on these boards that St. Marvin's reputation was absurdly high given that in the wake of the Messersmith/McNally decision, he had the owners entirely by the shorthairs and yet still agreed to a Basic Agreement binding players to their initial organizations for roughly a decade.

I have no knowledge of the topic to add, but boy are you "poking the bear" at BBTF - he really is exalted round these parts.

would be interested to read more - pro or con - on this notion.....
   133. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2019 at 10:31 PM (#5899289)
Glavine won 300 games and he helps point out the shortcomings of looking obsessively only at peak. I'm also a softie for narrative and fame, so Glavine would be in my hall very easily.

But Appier did reach a height that Glavine apparently never did. His 92-93 was masterful, and even if you add Glavine's best nonconsecutive years he doesn't quite touch that level of quality. So maybe the result is less wrong than it initially looks.
   134. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2019 at 10:32 PM (#5899290)
But not because it recognizes their awesomeness, rather it's because concentrating your production is more valuable to your team.


I want to recognize awesomeness.
   135. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 06, 2019 at 10:34 PM (#5899292)
Why isn't it higher? He pitched more and better


My first thought was differences in defense, but upon an irresponsibly cursory examination of their respective teams' defenses, that doesn't seem to be it. The 1996 Braves and 1996 Royals had basically the range factor, and the Royals turned considerably more double plays. Does pitching WAR have a strength of opponent adjustment or something? It does have a leverage component, but for starting pitchers over the course of a full season that shouldn't make any appreciable difference.
   136. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 06, 2019 at 10:48 PM (#5899299)
I want to recognize awesomeness.


The rules for voting get ignored pretty often, but the hall does tell the voters what to take into consideration. There's playing ability, contributions to the team, and stuff about character. If awesomeness is to count (under the hall's rules), it's got to be reflected in playing ability. But the problem there is that awesomeness is a poor proxy for playing ability. Some awesome players don't have much ability (Bo Jackson comes to mind). And if you want to recognize awesome performance (as opposed to awesome players), then you have the problem that what you're recognizing isn't playing ability. The hall does, of course, let you recognize performance, but under the rubric of "contributions to the team" and peak guys with lower career value simply contributed less to their teams than compilers who won more games.

Now, you did say that you want to recognize awesomeness, not that it's permitted by the hall's voting rules. And if that's really what you meant, great. I've got no beef with that.
   137. Booey Posted: November 06, 2019 at 10:48 PM (#5899300)
#131 - That's mostly my view, too. If your peak is high enough, you can get into HOF WAR territory even without a long career (see the hypothetical hit by a bus Mike Trout, who's already produced more wins than Murray and Gwynn and about the same number as Jeter and Thome). If you're not in at least the borderline range, well, then your peak just mustn't have been THAT amazing. And Murphy, Mattingly, and Parker's weren't. They were very good, sure, but no better than a bunch of other players from their eras. So in the end, an all peak, no career guy like Murphy ends up about on par with a long career, no peak guy like Torii Hunter. Dave Stieb and Bret Saberhagen end up on par with Tim Hudson and Mark Buehrle. All that sounds about right to me.
   138. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 06, 2019 at 10:52 PM (#5899301)
I'm sympathetic to SBB's arguments.

Once in a thread here, and partially as a joke, I invented a statistic that tried to assess the peakiness of candidates. I called it PF WAG. It simply adds up all the WAR that any player ever achieved in a season above 4.0, the idea being that a season of <4 WAR isn't really adding much to a HOF case. So a 6.2 WAR season gets 2.2 PF WAG points. A 3.9 WAR and a -1.0 WAR season are identical, both fat zeros. It has its flaws, obviously, but it's mine.


I like this a lot - not as a stand-alone metric, but as a measure worth considering. In fact, I've played with something very similar with my Player won-lost records, which I called "Wins over Star" (or WO*) - basically, "star" level is as far above average as replacement level is below (which is basically what you have here - 2 WAR is essentially an average full-time season). I have a page where you can create your own "uber-stat" with my Player won-lost records with WO* being one of the options. Here's an article that talks about the various options. And here's what you get is you create an uber-stat using WO* and none of the other options (wins, WOPA, WORL - the latter two are wins over positional average and replacement level). The top of the list is largely unchanged - Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Ted Williams, etc. But Pedro Martinez shows up at #20 (note: this is only since 1919); Mariano Rivera is at #30, whereas, say, Nolan Ryan is down at #174. Anyway, I agree that it's an interesting way to look at things.
   139. PreservedFish Posted: November 06, 2019 at 11:47 PM (#5899313)
There's playing ability, contributions to the team, and stuff about character. If awesomeness is to count (under the hall's rules), it's got to be reflected in playing ability. But the problem there is that awesomeness is a poor proxy for playing ability. Some awesome players don't have much ability (Bo Jackson comes to mind). And if you want to recognize awesome performance (as opposed to awesome players), then you have the problem that what you're recognizing isn't playing ability. The hall does, of course, let you recognize performance, but under the rubric of "contributions to the team" and peak guys with lower career value simply contributed less to their teams than compilers who won more games.


This is incoherent.

There is nothing in the voting instructions that requires us to conclude that the ultimate standard is career value. Record, ability, and contributions are all listed, with no guidance on how to weigh one vs another.

When I said "awesomeness" what I meant was "peak quality," not "whoa he ran up a wall one time," and by "peak quality" I don't mean the best day or the best week of a player's life, but a period of at least a few years, preferably consecutive or almost consecutive. We are all always weighing ability vs record/contributions in our own way, and we are all always negotiating what to use as a baseline against which to judge performance.

Everyone is aware of this, which is why almost everyone is OK with Sandy Koufax getting more votes than Dennis Martinez, and also almost everyone is OK with Dave Winfield getting more votes than Dick Allen. There's no one right way to interpret the voting instructions, and it is extremely easy to justify a preference for peak over career without flouting them.
   140. Rennie's Tenet Posted: November 07, 2019 at 08:35 AM (#5899323)
a long career, no peak guy like Torii Hunter.


Terrible example. If he's a long career guy then I'm 60, and we can't have that.
   141. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2019 at 08:51 AM (#5899325)
They were very good, sure, but no better than a bunch of other players from their eras. So in the end, an all peak, no career guy like Murphy ends up about on par with a long career, no peak guy like Torii Hunter.


For a period of about 7-8 years Dale Murphy was unquestionably one of the handful of best players on earth, playing at an unmistakable HOF level.

Hunter was a terrific player, but he was never in that type of conversation. Shouldn't that matter?

Hunter did have about 5 more productive seasons than Murphy did, and those seasons were real and have value, but it seems strange to me to say that they could close the gap. Solid, productive, 2-3 WAR seasons aren't really the stuff that famous careers are made from.

Voters obviously want to see careers that have some bulk to them, so in practice those productive, unexceptional seasons end up being very significant. But I don't think it really stands scrutiny. If two guys both establish a HOF quality prime, does it make sense that the difference maker is which one can string together enough extra seasons playing at a Joe Randa level of quality?
   142. Booey Posted: November 07, 2019 at 09:06 AM (#5899327)
#141 - Murphy added almost literally nothing outside of his peak. Shouldn't THAT matter? He was pretty similar to Nomar, whom you agreed doesn't feel like he should be a HOFer.

And I'm not saying that Hunter is a HOFer. I don't think he's that close, either. But yes, I think remaining productive after your absolute peak is over is important and rightfully adds to a players case.
   143. Rusty Priske Posted: November 07, 2019 at 09:13 AM (#5899329)
You don't have to choose between peak and career. Both count. Different players are rewarded for different things.
   144. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2019 at 09:15 AM (#5899331)
Booey, neither of them feel like HOFers, but I think that's largely because we've grown up with the Hall as it is. We've been taught to recognize HOFiness mostly in players over 30, the guys that have become elder statesmen of the game, the guys chasing big counting numbers.

But I think there's an alternate reality where the preferred borderline candidates are the guys that were exceptional for 6-8 years, rather than the ones that were merely very good for 13-15. I think that reality would make just as much sense. Maybe more.
   145. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 09:25 AM (#5899335)


In 1996 Appier threw 211 innings of 137 ERA+ ball. 5.9 WAR.
In 1996 Glavine threw 235 innings of 147 ERA+ ball. Also 5.9 WAR. Why isn't it higher? He pitched more and better.


Glavine allowed 13 unearned runs that year while Appier only allowed 2, and WAR is based on RA rather than ERA.
   146. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 07, 2019 at 09:28 AM (#5899336)
Per the instructions, peak performance matters only if it is reflected in "playing ability" or "contributions to the team". "Playing ability" refers to ability, not anything that you did on the field, but what you were capable of doing. So this isn't what you're talking about. Peak performance absolutely counts towards "contributions to your team", but so does non-peak performance. So does average performance. So does below-replacement performance (in a bad way). You can contribute to your team in consecutive years, or non-consecutive ones, or a little bit at a time, or all at once. But since what happens on the field isn't captured by the ability clause or the character clause, everything that happens on the field - peak, career, all of it - must be captured by the "contributions to the team" clause. That requires some common denominator, so that one's contribution to the team can be measured. And since everything you do on the field contributes to your team, that common denominator must take everything that you do on the field into account. That at least requires us to focus not only on top X seasons. Calling whatever we're supposed to translate on-field production into 'career value' seems reasonable. Now, you can still argue that great seasons contribute more to your team than a bunch of WAR-equal average seasons - and I think you'd be right if you did that. (That's why Koufax is a more deserving hall of famer than Don Sutton.) But it's still got to be career value (in the sense specified) that you're measuring.
   147. Rally Posted: November 07, 2019 at 09:30 AM (#5899337)
I look at it like this, a player can qualify on peak value, or career value. If he hits either, then I'll support him going in. Career value is fairly easy to define.

Peak is not, as seen in my example of #115. Looks like we all agree one year is not enough. Beyond that, we can look at 3 year, or 10 year peaks, or anything in between. I don't think it's possible to come up with a definition that everyone will agree on.

On Hunter vs. Murphy:

1. I agree with the numbers that Hunter had the more valuable career. I'm a bit biased, I loved watching old man Hunter play alongside 20 year old Trout in 2012. And Hunter still had 2 good years left after that.
2. Despite that, I don't think Hunter meets the HOF level on either peak or career. He's a top notch HOVG player.
3. Murphy might deserve HOF election on peak. I'm not sure on this, but a maybe.
   148. Booey Posted: November 07, 2019 at 09:31 AM (#5899338)
PF, I think that HOF you describe does exist, it just (generally) requires a higher peak than Murphy's for players who add nothing outside of it (Koufax, Pedro, Kiner, Snider, etc).

The idea that players continuing to add value with 3 WAR seasons shouldn't affect their case doesn't make sense to me. How is adding more value not a good thing? (I know that's not exactly what you're saying; it's just an argument I've heard many times)
   149. Booey Posted: November 07, 2019 at 09:48 AM (#5899340)
I agree with the posts that you don't need to pick between peak vs career; you can consider both, and you can weigh them however you want. I just think that a peak only player needs a REALLY high peak to overcome the lack of bulk, and I don't think Murphy's hits that bar. Pujols, for example, would have been a HOFer even if he'd never played a game for the Angels.
   150. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: November 07, 2019 at 10:08 AM (#5899348)
Glavine allowed 13 unearned runs that year while Appier only allowed 2, and WAR is based on RA rather than ERA.


Glavine still has a lower RA/9 than Appier in 1996.

1996 AL scored 5.39 r/g, NL scored 4.68 r/g.

That is most of the difference right there. Appier gave up 3.71 ra/9 in a 5.39 league, and Glavine gave up 3.48 ra/9 in a 4.68 league.
   151. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2019 at 10:08 AM (#5899349)
I just think that a peak only player needs a REALLY high peak to overcome the lack of bulk, and I don't think Murphy's hits that bar.


Yes, I think that's entirely possible. If one were to reshape the entire HOF to be much more peaky, I don't have a good idea of where the new in/out line would be. It's certainly possible that Murphy would be out.
   152. jmurph Posted: November 07, 2019 at 10:21 AM (#5899358)
PF, where did you stand on Tim Raines?
   153. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5899364)
For a period of about 7-8 years Dale Murphy was unquestionably one of the handful of best players on earth, playing at an unmistakable HOF level.


Which players get in the HoF? These are all consecutive 8 year peaks. Top one is Murphy, there are a few HoFers in the list, but this is mostly all people that really don't have a shot.

24.7 WAA 42.2 WAR 43.7 oWAR -2.5 dWAR
26.9 WAA 43.7 WAR 33.7 oWAR 13.9 dWAR
27.2 WAA 41.2 WAR 37.3 oWAR 9.6 dWAR
20.7 WAA 40.0 WAR 41.3 oWAR 6.3 dWAR
20.0 WAA 33.6 WAR 32.7 oWAR 1.5 dWAR
18.5 WAA 34.8 WAR 32.5 oWAR -2.8 dWAR
25.4 WAA 40.3 WAR 40.7 oWAR 1.8 dWAR
32.2 WAA 48.1 WAR 43.7 oWAR -2.2 dWAR
28.1 WAA 41.9 WAR 39.9 oWAR 4.1 dWAR
25.8 WAA 42.6 WAR 34.7 oWAR 10.2 dWAR
25.1 WAA 42.1 WAR 45.2 oWAR -9.7 dWAR
22.5 WAA 37.4 WAR 38.3 oWAR -7.1 dWAR
   154. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2019 at 10:57 AM (#5899365)
At the time, lukewarm support. Didn't think it was exactly an injustice that he was outside looking in. I'm a smaller Hall guy than the most of the community here. And my ideas about baseball are always evolving.

I do think he was a super fun guy to watch, and had an unusual skillset, so I'm happy for him to be in there. Looking back now, in the frame of this debate and accepting the WAR uncritically, he's similar to Dale Murphy but probably with a somewhat better peak and certainly more value outside the peak. And probably better than the other guys on this ballot. I think he probably deserves it.
   155. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2019 at 11:01 AM (#5899366)
Jacksone, who are the other names? Curious. As I conceded above, I'm not sure that Murphy would meet an in/out line. I have not looked at this rigorously.

And I'm not arguing in favor of him for the Hall. I'm arguing for him as at least as good a candidate as, for example, the two D Evanses.
   156. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2019 at 11:02 AM (#5899367)
Ziggy, my only response to #146 is that I find your weird exegesis singularly uncompelling.
   157. . Posted: November 07, 2019 at 11:06 AM (#5899368)
#141 - Murphy added almost literally nothing outside of his peak. Shouldn't THAT matter?


In what sense? In the sense that if he had, he'd be a clearer HOFer? Sure? In the sense that because he didn't, therefore he can't be an HOFer? Not so much. What would adding a few meh 1-2 or even a 3 WAR seasons here and there added to what we know about him as a player? His body got shot and prevented him from doing that. Why would we care about that?
   158. Rally Posted: November 07, 2019 at 11:09 AM (#5899369)
Thinking about Murphy a bit. If he had a normal decline phase he would have hit 500 homers and easily made it in. So in comparing him to sluggers that aged better and made it into the hall, I think Murphy has to show at least as good a peak as they had, and probably a better one to make up for not lasting as long.

Doesn't mean he has to hit the peak of Willie Mays or Mike Schmidt, inner circle guys, but he's got to match the peak of normal HOFers. By a similar test, Koufax would have no trouble. While his career value isn't that much higher than Chuck Finley, practically nobody has a better peak than Koufax.

The comps I picked for Murphy are Reggie Jackson and Manny Ramirez. Ramirez was a better hitter than either but an awful fielder, and has similar value overall at their best years.
Through age 31, Dale had 310 homers, Reggie 313, Manny 347. If either of the other guys hit a wall like Murphy they would have made it past 400 homers (Reggie - 401), but well short of 500.

For their best 6 consecutive years (a peak definition that is optimal for Murphy) I have Murphy at 34 WAR, same with Manny, and Reggie at 37. Dale only finished with 46, the other 2 had career WAR totals that doubled their 6 year peak.

Murphy is probably better on peak than Rafael Palmeiro. I assume so, didn't check the numbers. But Palmeiro is only HOF worthy* because of his longevity, he's a classic case of compiler. For Murphy to make it on peak, I want to see his peak as better than guys who made it in with good peaks and long careers. He matches Reggie and Manny, but does not exceed them.

In my opinion, it's just not enough. Close though, and sure I'd rather see him in than Baines.

*Raffy, and Manny, are clear HOFers by the numbers. They are out of course, but that's due to steroids. I'm not telling you they should be in or to ignore steroids, just saying that if they had never been caught their careers looked good enough to go in with little or no controversy.
   159. Rally Posted: November 07, 2019 at 11:16 AM (#5899373)
Why would we care about that?


Because Manny Ramirez was a key contributor to a world championship when he was 35. OK regular season, but great playoff run. Reggie Jackson was a key contributor to division winning teams that were SO CLOSE to world series, at ages 36 and 40. That matters.

It's not as important as dominant peak performance, but it's not meaningless. If I am going to ignore Murphy doing nothing of baseball value after age 31, I want to see he was better at his peak than they were, not just close or equal.
   160. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2019 at 11:17 AM (#5899374)
For Murphy to make it on peak, I want to see his peak as better than guys who made it in with good peaks and long careers. He matches Reggie and Manny, but does not exceed them.


I think that's very fair and would probably ultimately agree.
   161. Rally Posted: November 07, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5899377)
I'm open to the idea that Manny and Reggie are far enough over the line that being as good as them at peak might be enough. But I don't think so. I didn't choose Aaron, Mays, or Williams here.

Reggie and Manny had normal shaped careers, and by career WAR they were 69 and 74. That's pretty close to the line, players above them get in easily unless they are named Lou Whitaker. Some players just below them get in (Vlad), some don't (Abreu), both around 60 WAR. Below that, you don't get in by career WAR, you need some other compelling case.

   162. . Posted: November 07, 2019 at 11:44 AM (#5899392)
Because Manny Ramirez was a key contributor to a world championship when he was 35. OK regular season, but great playoff run. Reggie Jackson was a key contributor to division winning teams that were SO CLOSE to world series, at ages 36 and 40. That matters.


Sure, but you added the team factor and that I agree with. But the two have to be separated, IMO. A bunch of 2 WAR seasons for crap/mediocre teams is essentially meaningless to me. You start adding in championship-caliber teams and postseason performance and being part of the sport's biggest moments then I start to listen.
   163. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 11:45 AM (#5899393)

24.7 WAA 42.2 WAR 43.7 oWAR -2.5 dWAR - Murphy
26.9 WAA 43.7 WAR 33.7 oWAR 13.9 dWAR - Pedroia
27.2 WAA 41.2 WAR 37.3 oWAR 9.6 dWAR - Garciaparra
20.7 WAA 40.0 WAR 41.3 oWAR 6.3 dWAR - Tejada
20.0 WAA 33.6 WAR 32.7 oWAR 1.5 dWAR - Molitor
18.5 WAA 34.8 WAR 32.5 oWAR -2.8 dWAR - Rice
25.4 WAA 40.3 WAR 40.7 oWAR 1.8 dWAR - Wright
32.2 WAA 48.1 WAR 43.7 oWAR -2.2 dWAR - Helton
28.1 WAA 41.9 WAR 39.9 oWAR 4.1 dWAR - Edmonds
25.8 WAA 42.6 WAR 34.7 oWAR 10.2 dWAR - Longoria
25.1 WAA 42.1 WAR 45.2 oWAR -9.7 dWAR - Giambi
22.5 WAA 37.4 WAR 38.3 oWAR -7.1 dWAR - Stargell

Taking just an 8 year peak into account I think highlights how important those other years in a career are. 2-3 WAR seasons may not be sexy, but they certainly move the needle when it comes to the HoF vote.
   164. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2019 at 11:47 AM (#5899396)
I'm mostly just amazed at how good Helton was. I had no idea.
   165. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5899399)
Murphy is probably better on peak than Rafael Palmeiro. I assume so, didn't check the numbers. But Palmeiro is only HOF worthy* because of his longevity, he's a classic case of compiler.


Palmeiro is actually pretty close to Murphy over his 8 year consecutive peak - 22.0 WAA 40.2 WAR. Think that highlights your point about Murphy, he had baseline HoF talent - but it wasn't no doubt, holy #### top line talent.
   166. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: November 07, 2019 at 11:52 AM (#5899400)
20.0 WAA 33.6 WAR 32.7 oWAR 1.5 dWAR - Molitor


From 1987-1994 Molitor was 23.3 WAA 39.4 WAR, 40.1 oWAR, -5.8 dWAR

edit:

are you using bWAR or fangraphs WAR?
   167. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5899401)

I'm mostly just amazed at how good Helton was. I had no idea.


Really helped that he was very good defensively - only -5.5 dWAR for his career (keep in mind K Hernandez only had 1.3 - position impact at 1B is huge).
   168. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 11:55 AM (#5899402)
The thing underlying these conversations about Murphy is that his peak isn't *that* great by WAR/WAA, which is probably something worth digging into a bit more. People keep saying that he was clearly among the best players on earth, playing at a clear HOF level, and as someone who was like 5 years old at the time that's what it seemed like to me, too. But 7.7 WAR is not that great for a guy's best season -- there were 24 seasons in the 80s alone over 8 WAR.

From 1980-1987 he was #9 among position players in WAA, in a pack alongside Murray (career candidate), Dawson (career candidate), Ripken (inner circle), Hernandez (not a HOFer, but arguably deserving), and Raines (similar career shape, put up a lot more value outside of his peak and still struggled to get in).

1 Rickey Henderson 41.3
2 Mike Schmidt 38.2
3 Wade Boggs 31.8
4 Gary Carter 28.7
5 Robin Yount 28.5
6 Alan Trammell 28.1
7 George Brett 27.6
8 Eddie Murray 24.8
9 Dale Murphy 24.7
10 Cal Ripken Jr. 24.6
11 Andre Dawson 24.2
12 Keith Hernandez 23.9
13 Tim Raines 23.9

Another way to look at it is that his top 6 years (non-consecutive) were very close in value to Bobby Abreu's, and Abreu is almost a textbook low-peak guy. Murphy's top 2 years were better, but unlike Murphy, Abreu's top 6 years were consecutive and he added a 7th almost identical year which isn't included below, plus a number of additional above-average seasons:

Murphy: 38.1 WAR, 24.2 WAA
Abreu: 36.5 WAR, 24.5 WAA

I'm not saying this is a reason to exclude Murphy, I'm just saying that it's a disconnect between the perception of Murphy's value and the numbers. Part of it might be that ATL was a pretty strong hitter's park during those years (although Murphy was still the third best hitter in the league by OPS+). Part of it is that WAR says he was a below average fielder from 1980-87 despite winning 5 Gold Glove awards. And part of it is that he gets no positional benefit despite playing CF most of those years. So I'd want to unpack some of that a bit more rather just trusting WAR.
   169. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2019 at 11:58 AM (#5899405)
2-3 WAR seasons may not be sexy, but they certainly move the needle when it comes to the HoF vote.


RIght, but should they?

To take an example, I certainly thought Pedroia was a HOFer in his prime. He looked like a HOFer to me.

In reality, his career fizzled out, and that's that.

But in a hypothetical where a healthy but diminished Pedroia slogs out another 5-6 years of mediocre play, adding about 8 WAR, 500 hits, etc, he's still a HOFer? That seems wrong. The many years of diminished play shouldn't be the thing.
   170. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 11:58 AM (#5899406)


From 1987-1994 Molitor was 23.3 WAA 39.4 WAR, 40.1 oWAR, -5.8 dWAR


Missed that, I started from '82.
Giambi and Tejada match up pretty well with Murphy with games played as well.
   171. . Posted: November 07, 2019 at 12:06 PM (#5899410)
The thing underlying these conversations about Murphy is that his peak isn't *that* great by WAR/WAA, which is probably something worth digging into a bit more. People keep saying that he was clearly among the best players on earth, playing at a clear HOF level,


He was the back to back NL MVP, both entirely earned. He was an earned GGer at a premium position. In the second of the two years, he stole 30 bases with only 4 CS's. In the year after the two MVPs, he led the NL in HRs and the majors in slugging percentage. He had every tool and was applying all five very effectively. Given his age at the time, he was arguably the most valuable non-pitching asset in the sport.

I also use kind of a rough criteria, which is would a GM have traded player 1 for player 2, kind of a "who-says-no?" test.(*) It works well for peers. Lou and Murphy are essentially the same age and if the Braves offered Murphy to the Tigers for Lou in the spring of 1984, the Tigers' GM would have walked over hot coals to say yes. And rightly so. (I know the retort to that can be the standard, "Yeah, but GMs were valuing the wrong things," but that's vastly overstated bordering on pure rubbish.)

(*) Which is kind of an offshoot of the Jack Morris always being very highly paid test. Contemporary opinion is virtually always far more probative than the WAR chart, as Bill James understood (and taught).
   172. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5899413)

But in a hypothetical where a healthy but diminished Pedroia slogs out another 5-6 years of mediocre play, adding about 8 WAR, 500 hits, etc, he's still a HOFer? That seems wrong. The many years of diminished play shouldn't be the thing.


Let's say that 5-6 years produces 10-15 WAR (I said 2-3 WAR/year not 1-2). That puts Pedroia at 61.7-66.7 with 2300 hits. Isn't that basically Ryne Sandberg? Slightly less peak, but he certainly has the narrative. I say Pedroia goes in easily with those extra numbers.

And consider this when you dismiss a 2-3 WAR season - the Sox have absolutely sucked at 2B the last two years. The team could be expected to win at least 4 more games per year with Pedroia 'slogging' along. Again, might not be sexy, but there is definite value in plugging a guy in and getting 2-3 wins from them.
   173. cookiedabookie Posted: November 07, 2019 at 12:21 PM (#5899419)
My own shorthand is if a player has 40+ WAR7 but less than 60 WAR, they should be considered for the Hall, but fall into the gray area. Same thing for those with 60+ WAR but less than 40 WAR7. If you hit 40 WAR7 and 60 WAR, you should be a HoFer.
   174. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2019 at 12:23 PM (#5899420)
there is definite value in plugging a guy in and getting 2-3 wins from them.

There's value, but it's not the type of value that the Hall should be overly concerned with recognizing. I agree that it could be a tie-breaker, but it seems like it's in fact a virtual necessity.
   175. Rally Posted: November 07, 2019 at 12:30 PM (#5899425)
He was an earned GGer at a premium position.


It's very reasonable to question the defensive numbers. We certainly don't have precision here. But do they look off? He rated excellent in center for 1980, his first year there, when he was 24. About average, just slightly above, the next 3 years. Below average in 1984, and worse in 1985 and 86.

My opinion at the time was that Murphy had lost a step and was a guy who just didn't have the speed to play the same position where other teams were using guys like Willie McGee.

These defensive numbers were generated long after the 1980's were over, but the evidence on the field is that the Braves would have agreed. They moved Murphy out of center field and into right. He was a fine right fielder, above average for the next 3 years.
   176. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 12:38 PM (#5899430)

Another CFer (top 6 years):

Murphy: 38.1 WAR, 24.2 WAA
Edmonds: 37.7 WAR, 25.6 WAA

Edmonds also added seasons of 5.0, 4.7 and 4.4 outside of those 6 years.
   177. . Posted: November 07, 2019 at 12:54 PM (#5899437)
There's value, but it's not the type of value that the Hall should be overly concerned with recognizing.


I'd call it "utility" or something similar more than I'd call it "value." "Value" gives it too much moment. A 2 WAR season by a 36 year old geezer for a 75 win team has "value"? And then we all have to bend the knee to that "value"? Seems a bit much.

Plus and more to the point, WAR is filled with all kinds of assumptions and adjustments that don't really have a lot to do with actual output. For HOF purposes, I entirely ignore the position adjustment and go with a better qualitative assessment of fielding prowess and premium/non-premium position. I also essentially write off extranormal walks, and since extranormal walks are by far the biggest factor in the 21st century WAR revisionist movement, it obviously puts me directly at odds with a lot of the revised assessments. Walks, I guess, have "value," but value isn't my primary criteria and a lot of walks are accidental and especially were BITD. I'm not going to credit a tennis player for "drawing double faults," either. I have no issue whatever in recognizing actual hitting for HOF purposes in excess of its WAR "value" relative to walks. You can't walk your way out of San Pedro de Macoris, the saying went ... and you shouldn't be able to walk your way to Cooperstown.
   178. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5899438)
So, after some struggle with Excel, I have provisional PF WAG numbers for all position players. This is only for qualified seasons and god knows what other flaws I've included for this stupid meaningless statistic, but just for fun, here it goes. Starting in the year 1945:

Bonds 83
Mays 72
Aaron 56
Schmidt 47
ARod 46
Mantle 45
Trout 41
T Williams 41
Musial 40
Pujols 37
E Matthews (!) 37
Rickey! 34
Morgan 33
Boggs 30
FRob 30
Griffey 28
Ripken 28
Yaz 27
Santo (!) 27
Brett 25
Bagwell 25
Bench 22
Andruw Jones 21
Kaline 21
Clemente 21
M Cabrera 21
Chipper 21
Snider 21
Big Hurt 21
Ernie B 20
Jackie R 20
Utley 20
G Carter 19
Piazza 19
Brooks R 19
Posey 19
Reggie 18
Rose 18
Edmonds 17
D Allen 17
Rolen 17
Beltre 17
E Mart 17
Carew 17
Beltran 17
McGwire 17
Sosa 17
McCovey 16
Grich 16
Ryne 16
Berkman 16
Mookie B 16
Yount 15
Helton 15
L Walker 15
Votto 15
Boyer 15
Kiner 15
   179. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 12:58 PM (#5899439)
(I know the retort to that can be the standard, "Yeah, but GMs were valuing the wrong things," but that's vastly overstated bordering on pure rubbish.)

That would have been a stupid retort because Murphy was clearly the better player at the time (and for the next ~5 years), although the difference wasn't as great as many people thought at the time. The question is whether the difference was enough to make up for the fact that after that, Lou continued to play at an above average level for another 7 seasons while Murphy was never above average again?
   180. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2019 at 01:08 PM (#5899446)
Roughly tied at 14:

Nomar, Cutch, J Donaldson, Raines, Larkin, Nettles, Giambi, Ichiro, Trammell

Half a step below:

Abreu, Bando, Killibrew, Bobby Bonds, Robinson Cano
   181. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2019 at 01:12 PM (#5899447)
David Ortiz: 5.6
Mo Vaughn: 5.6
   182. . Posted: November 07, 2019 at 01:16 PM (#5899448)
That would have been a stupid retort because Murphy was clearly the better player at the time (and for the next ~5 years), although the difference wasn't as great as many people thought at the time. The question is whether the difference was enough to make up for the fact that after that, Lou continued to play at an above average level for another 7 seasons while Murphy was never above average again?


Murphy had 7 seasons in the top 10 in league offensive WAR; Lou had 4. Both were Gold Glove fielders at premium positions and I personally wouldn't tinker with it beyond that. Honestly, seven top 10 oWAR finishes in eight years (*) and consistent GG defense at a premium position very well might be enough in and of itself for me to vote "Yes." In fact, it is. I'd vote for him. (**)

(*) 6, 6, 1, 4, 3, 9, 4; 1980-87, with only 1981 missing. From 1982-87, six full seasons, he was 6, 1, 4, 3, 9, 4 in NL oWAR. That's an HOFer for me.

(**) Edmonds had 4 in five years, 8, 8, 9, 5. His peak doesn't really compare with Murphy's. Dewey: 4 in 7 years from 81-87, including a 1 in the 81 strike year. Ditto.
   183. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2019 at 01:20 PM (#5899451)
Dale Murphy and Dave Parker both score 12 PF fWAG. That puts them in the same general neighborhood as Sheffield, Robbie Alomar, Palmeiro, Mauer, Minoso, Lofton, R Ventura, and Ozzie Smith.
   184. . Posted: November 07, 2019 at 01:32 PM (#5899459)
Simmons, four years in the top 10 out of six between 75 and 80. The list of 7 out of 8 with Gold Glove (*) defense at a premium position has to be quite exclusive. Maybe not, but it seems like it would be. Murphy's an even better candidate than I thought.

(*) Or even Gold Glove-ish.
   185. Rally Posted: November 07, 2019 at 01:38 PM (#5899461)
A can't think of any reason why Murphy should be in and not Edmonds. Sure, Dale won MVP awards. Not sure he would have won them had his top competition been Jim Edmonds at his best seasons. If he did, doubt he would have deserved them. Edmonds had Baroids and Albert as his competition.

Peak candidate hitters, post-integration. Guys who probably don't make it by career numbers, but peak got them in:

Ralph Kiner
Larry Doby
Kirby Puckett

I think that's it. I can find a lot more high WAA, moderate WAR guys in the early days of baseball, but a lot of that is due to the shorter schedules.
   186. . Posted: November 07, 2019 at 01:42 PM (#5899464)
I think that's it. I can find a lot more high WAA, moderate WAR guys in the early days of baseball, but a lot of that is due to the shorter schedules.


How many guys who were in the top 10 in league oWAR seven out of eight years and during that time won a bunch of Gold Gloves, including at premium positions ... aren't in the HOF?

   187. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 01:57 PM (#5899475)
One thing worth noting is that in the 80s, it looks like CF was a +1-2 positional adjustment while 2B was +5-6. Today, it looks like CF is +2-3 while 2B is +4. I'd want to better understand why that is before I just said that both Whitaker and Murphy played at "premium positions" as we think of them today. If the implication is that the competition at 2B was better and the competition in CF was worse in the "Modern Era" than it is today, it would be good to know as it has a bearing on the conversation.

I don't think Lou and Murphy should be directly compared given how different the nature of their careers was, although it's somewhat inevitable since they both appear on this ballot.

I mean, Lou played 2,300 games at 2B and was well above average both at the plate and in the field for most of that time. That's pretty incredible.

Murphy was one of the best hitters in the league over an 8-year stretch (even with a couple of down years in there), with good fielding at a premium position and good baserunning. That's also pretty incredible. WAR may understate his value depending on how much faith you put in the defensive numbers. Everything I've heard indicates that he's a great guy as well, which counts for something.
   188. . Posted: November 07, 2019 at 02:00 PM (#5899479)
If the implication is that the competition at 2B was better and the competition in CF was worse in the "Modern Era" than it is today, it would be good to know as it has a bearing on the conversation.


There's no implication or artifice. I'd hope we could all agree that CF and 2B are premium positions on the defensive spectrum. I don't really have an opinion on which, if either, is "more" premium.
   189. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 02:07 PM (#5899482)
There's no implication or artifice. I'd hope we could all agree that CF and 2B are premium positions on the defensive spectrum. I don't really have an opinion on which, if either, is "more" premium.

You're entitled to your lack of opinion, but that doesn't mean we should be constrained by it.

I think the implication is that back in the 80s, teams were less willing to put "good hit, no field" guys at 2B and more willing to do so in CF. If Lou was indeed an above average 2B all those years despite the tougher competition it is even more impressive. And Murphy's record in CF may be a bit less impressive than it would be if he were winning the same award today.
   190. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2019 at 02:10 PM (#5899485)
With my fancy spreadsheet all loaded up, I can now easily calculate WAR:PF WAG ratio, in order to determine the peakiest and least peaky players.

The players with the highest WAR and 0 PF WAG are Wally Joyner, Elvis Andrus, Gary Matthews, Paul Konerko, Chris Chambliss, Michael Young, Asdrubal Cabrera, Don Baylor, Phil Garner...

Looking at the guys with high peaks and lesser tails: it's Nomar, Utley, Andruw, Edmonds, Al Rosen, Dick Allen, Dave Parker, Wright, Rolen, Berkman, Grich, Boyer... some of these fellows fulfill SBB's Murphy standard as Top 10 hitters with very strong defense.

Take Boyer for instance, obviously a tremendous fielder at 3B. He was top 10 in oWAR 7 times in 9 years. (Peaked at 26% HOF support)
   191. Booey Posted: November 07, 2019 at 02:16 PM (#5899489)
#186 - Probably not many, because most players who can do that don't nosedive off a cliff as suddenly as Murphy did.

They don't make the HOF just cuz of that peak; they make it cuz they keep putting up value AFTER that peak.
   192. . Posted: November 07, 2019 at 02:58 PM (#5899505)
Roy Campanella did it three times in five years and then nosedived off a cliff.
   193. . Posted: November 07, 2019 at 03:47 PM (#5899522)
Looking at the guys with high peaks and lesser tails: it's Nomar, Utley, Andruw, Edmonds, Al Rosen, Dick Allen, Dave Parker, Wright, Rolen, Berkman, Grich, Boyer... some of these fellows fulfill SBB's Murphy standard as Top 10 hitters with very strong defense.


Let's be expansive and call 3B a premium position along with the up the middles:

Nomar: 5 in 7 years, 2 top 5s, not really Gold-Glove-ish defense IMO but he was top 10 in dWAR 3 years so I wouldn't belabor the point. .975 postseason OPS in a decent sample size. Sub-Murphy, but not bad. The cosmos wouldn't be misaligned if he got voted in.

Utley: 5 in 5 years, 3 top 5s, no GGs, six years in top 10 dWAR. Kind of meh in the postseason. Sub-Murphy, not quite enough there for me. Nomar won two batting titles with fantastic BAs.

Andrew: Two in 6 years, no top 5s, obviously elite defense, better than Murphy's. Not enough pop, clearly sub-Murphy overall. No for me.

Edmonds: 4 in 5 years, one top 5, elite defense. Sub-Murphy, IMO. Don't really have an opinion, which means I probably think he's a no.

Wright: 5 in 9 years, four top 5s, two GGs, one dWAR top 10. Tough one. He's probably the dividing line between getting in if he'd played an up the middle position and not getting in because he played "merely" 3B. So a good case study. Plus, as the exercise goes along we're really seeing the difference between guys with 4s and 5s in top 10 oWAR years and Murphy's 7 in 8.

Rolen: 2 in 2 years, both 10th. No.

Grich: 7 in 10 years, 3 top 5s (all 2s). Elite defense. I see the case for him, but he doesn't do so well on my "extranormal walks" test, so bring on the tomatoes to pelt me with. He should be faring way better, though, that I would readily concede. Make him a SS and I'd warm to his case. I'm open about it. 7 in 10 years is very impressive.

Boyer: 7 in 9 years, three top 5s (all 5), MVP in 1964. Santo has 7 in 8 years, four top 5s, no MVPs. Ron's basically Ken born 10 years later, which likely impacted their BBWAA support when they were on the main ballots. Ron passes the Murphy test, Ken misses by a year, which is pretty trivial. Hard to see Ron in, Ken out.



   194. cookiedabookie Posted: November 07, 2019 at 04:00 PM (#5899526)
Not sure how you can see Edmonds as sub-Murphy? Similar peak, but Edmonds has significantly more career value...
   195. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 04:06 PM (#5899528)
Bernie Williams - 6 in 8 years, 4 Gold Gloves. .850 OPS, in line with his regular season .858, in 121 postseason games. Won an ALCS MVP and 5 WS rings. But WAR *really* hates his defense even in his Gold Glove seasons.
   196. . Posted: November 07, 2019 at 04:08 PM (#5899529)
I'd forgotten how great a hitter for average Nomar was. .313 career BA, .324 in eight full years between 97 and 04, two batting titles at .372 and .357. Wow. I know it's not supposed to be, but that's really the standout piece of data in that group for me, and really the one that someone like Grich falls short in. Again I know Grich isn't *supposed to* fall short, but for me he still does. Hitting .372 and .357 in the major leagues is just a very impressive athletic feat -- and a cool one -- far more so than having a good batting eye IMO. I don't begrudge the utility of a good batting eye, but it's not hitting .372.(*)

Fun exercise.

(*) Same essential concept as with Ichiro, when people start whining about the "shape" of his OPS.
   197. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 04:16 PM (#5899531)
Not sure how you can see Edmonds as sub-Murphy? Similar peak, but Edmonds has significantly more career value...

Yeah, Edmonds gets penalized for playing against the roiders and coming up short in the "top 10 oWAR" column. But I think it's wrong to keep the roiders out of the Hall *and* keep ostensibly clean guys like Edmonds out.
   198. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2019 at 04:31 PM (#5899538)
Nomar was a no-brainer HOFer, until all of a sudden he wasn't. If the Hall is going to make a "mistake" I'd prefer it to make a mistake for a guy like Nomar than a guy like Baines or Tony Perez or whoever.
   199. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 04:37 PM (#5899541)
If the Hall is going to make a "mistake" I'd prefer it to make a mistake for a guy like Nomar than a guy like Baines or Tony Perez or whoever.

Agree, but I'd prefer they didn't make either mistake.
   200. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: November 07, 2019 at 06:38 PM (#5899579)
But Appier did reach a height that Glavine apparently never did. His 92-93 was masterful, and even if you add Glavine's best nonconsecutive years he doesn't quite touch that level of quality. So maybe the result is less wrong than it initially looks.


Why do I get the feeling than in a different thread, Mr. Dot would be railing at the notion that Kevin Appier would be a better HOF candidate than Tom Glavine?
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