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Monday, December 12, 2022

Baseball Hall of Fame tracker 2023

Baldrick Posted: December 12, 2022 at 09:22 AM | 738 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   1. SoSH U at work Posted: December 12, 2022 at 09:39 AM (#6109148)
You got keys just do this, didn't you Baldrick?

Most noteworthy development in the very early look is Wagner picking up four votes among the first 11 electors. Our long reliever nightmare is never going to end, is it?
   2. Adam Starblind Posted: December 12, 2022 at 09:47 AM (#6109149)
Nope. And relievers are becoming more important in the game, not less, so we may as well just move on.
   3. jmurph Posted: December 12, 2022 at 09:51 AM (#6109150)
Nope. And relievers are becoming more important in the game, not less, so we may as well just move on.

Individual relievers?
   4. Adam Starblind Posted: December 12, 2022 at 10:19 AM (#6109152)
Maybe. If relievers are soaking up more innings, it seems reasonable to guess that more of them might become prominent; maybe the group of starters who become relievers increases in quality. Or maybe not.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: December 12, 2022 at 10:43 AM (#6109155)
Relievers plural are gaining in importance, but it's certainly not resulting in individual relievers becoming more valuable. Individual usage isn't increasing, and their not being leveraged any more effectively than they have the last 25 years.
   6. DL from MN Posted: December 12, 2022 at 10:57 AM (#6109157)
By all means, let's fill the Hall of Fame with guys who played 75 innings a year.
   7. Adam Starblind Posted: December 12, 2022 at 10:58 AM (#6109158)
Here we go again.
   8. The Duke Posted: December 12, 2022 at 12:09 PM (#6109167)
The Wagner movement is sad. All those sabr guys promised when they got the ballot they would keep miscarriages of Justice perpetrated by old Neanderthal voters from happening but they all seem to have fallen in love with guys who hardly play.

most of these starters who never have a chance could do Wagner's job but Wagner could never have done their job. Smoltz and Eck proved that. Who's actually been successful going the other way.
   9. The Duke Posted: December 12, 2022 at 12:10 PM (#6109168)
Sheffield's mini-surge is interesting and looks like the kind of guy the vets committee might rally behind - a guy who played on a lot of teams and both leagues will have a built in advantage on the vets voting

I guess he would be a no hat guy. He bounced around too much
   10. Dolf Lucky Posted: December 12, 2022 at 12:15 PM (#6109169)
Has anyone else found their interest severely waning? I used to track the tracker religiously. This year, I haven't opened it yet and I suspect I might not at all. Not sure why, other than the HOF process is no longer compelling to me.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: December 12, 2022 at 12:16 PM (#6109170)
Sheffield's mini-surge is interesting and looks like the kind of guy the vets committee might rally behind


If they don't hold "the cream" against him.
   12. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 12, 2022 at 12:21 PM (#6109171)
most of these starters who never have a chance could do Wagner's job but Wagner could never have done their job. Smoltz and Eck proved that. Who's actually been successful going the other way.


Wilbur Wood.
   13. The Duke Posted: December 12, 2022 at 12:26 PM (#6109173)
That's a good one. Wow. What a peak. Two years of 10+ WAR.
   14. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 12, 2022 at 12:29 PM (#6109174)
Most noteworthy development in the very early look is Wagner picking up four votes among the first 11 electors.

Based on prior years, super-early results are often very misleading when it comes to balloting trends.

That said, there are three 10-player ballots so far. Only one includes Beltran - and all three include Vizquel, including two who didn't vote for him last year. BBWAA voters have interesting priorities.
   15. DL from MN Posted: December 12, 2022 at 12:33 PM (#6109175)
Sheffield's mini-surge is interesting and looks like the kind of guy the vets committee might rally behind


Jeff Kent is seeing a similar surge. I could totally see Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds sharing a ballot with Kent gaining induction.
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: December 12, 2022 at 12:37 PM (#6109177)
Based on prior years, super-early results are often very misleading when it comes to balloting trends.


Of course, but it's all about pickups for the guys who have a chance (so, not Jeff Kent).
   17. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 12, 2022 at 12:39 PM (#6109179)
Hoyt Wilhelm was made a full time starter for one season in mid career. He won the ERA title*. Wilhelm also once qualified for the ERA title as a reliever and also won. I'm sure he's the only pitcher to qualify only twice and won both times.

*This led to one of the great counter-examples, Goose Gossage in 1976.
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: December 12, 2022 at 12:49 PM (#6109181)
Derek Lowe moved from the pen to the starting rotation in 2002, and ended up having the most WAR* of any AL pitcher that year. He was never that good again, but remained a serviceable starter for almost a decade.

* He was second in pitcher WAR, but gained 0.1 WAR on offense while Roy Halladay lost 0.1.
   19. reech Posted: December 12, 2022 at 12:50 PM (#6109182)
Is anyone else sort of "Meh" about this year's election?
Maybe it's the lack of drama (ie Bonds, Schilling, etc) or guys about to fall off the ballot, but whether or not a Rolen or Beltran get in just ain't doing it for me.
   20. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 12, 2022 at 01:12 PM (#6109185)
McGriff but no Bonds took some of the wind out of my sails. The hall has always had lots of clutter (Chick Hafey anyone?), but its errors have almost always been errors of commission. And its errors of omission (Bobby Grich, Lou Whitaker) have usually been on players who, even if elected, would only have been averagish hall of famers. But now they're leaving out a significant chunk of the greatest players of all time. And it's to the point that the hall looks not just cluttered, but silly. The hall is leaving out baseball's all-time home run king, it's all-time hit king, the greatest post-integration pitcher, it's soon going to leave out the greatest 3B/SS since Schmidt/Wagner (take your pick), another guy with >600 home runs, and so on and so on. If you want to leave out one of the all-time greats, fine. The hall of fame still makes sense as an institution without Pete Rose. But when you leave out a _bunch_ of guys with unimpeachable statistical resumes, it doesn't make sense anymore.

Edit: And yes, I know that Rose doesn't have a huge WAR lead over Grich and Whitaker, and that Sosa trails them. But by traditional hall standards, Rose and Sosa have much better resumes than do the other two.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: December 12, 2022 at 01:20 PM (#6109186)
Reliever to starter is interesting but one thing that complicates it is that, in the past, the vast majority of relievers were "failed" starters. So guys who had already shown they could handle the physical load of 6 innings (in the minors), just weren't very good at it ... or guys who were pretty good at it but got hurt. Over the last 20 years or so, we see more and more guys who were relievers (or starters for 2-3 innings) for their entire development. Most of the older reliever-starter conversions were reliever "back to starter" conversions.

Anyway, CJ Wilson had some good years (842 IP, 122 ERA+, a big contract 29-32). Dempster was an erratic, mostly failed starter with "great stuff." The Cubs turned him into an OK reliever (one big year) then turned him back into a very successful starter. I don't remember if that was his idea or theirs. Anyway, he had a 5-season run of 1000 innings and 114 ERA+. Jeff Fassero was a very good reliever from 28-30, was a very good starter (with one horrific season) from 31-37, then back to relief/swingman from 38-43. I assume the guy I always confuse with Jeff Fassero but whose name is not coming to mind, did something similar (it's not Darren Oliver).

These days I suspect the only reliever to starter conversions we'll be seeing are younger guys who were being developed as SPs, happened to break in as RPs, did well but got moved back. But if teams are looking to have more 2-3 inning relief stints, maybe these guys will just stick as RPs anyway. Keegan Thompson of the Cubs is a guy currently caught in this dilemma.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: December 12, 2022 at 01:28 PM (#6109188)
#19: Sure, I'm on team meh. I suspect any season where there's a good chance nobody will be elected inspires meh ... unless maybe it's a year of high anti-roid dudgeon, it means none of the candidates are awe-inspiring. Whether Rolen finishes on 72 or 77 is pretty much a random outcome, slighly more exciting than a Lotto draw. Beltran was a probably slightly better version of Dawson except Beltran never played for a team I care about; Rolen is surely a more talented version of Santo but mostly played for teams I dislike. And as much as I "love" good all-around players (which both were), they don't post memorable numbers or usually many memorable moments. (Beltran has some.) The last few years, the backlog has seemed even more boring than usual -- maybe we just need a Raines or Blyleven type these days. So Helton is also a blah candidate and there's nothing exciting about watching him slog his way up weak ballots.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: December 12, 2022 at 01:29 PM (#6109190)
WTF: I clicked on the link and it says I'm accessing "sensitive" info and need to provide my MS password.
   24. alilisd Posted: December 12, 2022 at 01:50 PM (#6109192)
These days I suspect the only reliever to starter conversions we'll be seeing are younger guys who were being developed as SPs, happened to break in as RPs, did well but got moved back. But if teams are looking to have more 2-3 inning relief stints, maybe these guys will just stick as RPs anyway.


Openers?
   25. alilisd Posted: December 12, 2022 at 01:53 PM (#6109194)
Most noteworthy development in the very early look is Wagner picking up four votes among the first 11 electors. Our long reliever nightmare is never going to end, is it?


If they were long relievers, maybe they'd be more worthy. Anyway, no, it's not looking like there's an end in sight. K-Rod has 2 votes already, as many as Buehrle.
   26. Walt Davis Posted: December 12, 2022 at 02:00 PM (#6109195)
Openers?

Sure but they aren't starters, they just pitched the first inning. If the trend continues -- and other than bullpen days, I didn't notice much use of openers last season -- they will need to fix the start/relief splits somehow.
   27. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 12, 2022 at 02:04 PM (#6109197)
Relievers plural are gaining in importance, but it's certainly not resulting in individual relievers becoming more valuable.
Not that many relievers remain healthy & effective long enough to merit Hall of Fame consideration. Despite the relatively modest innings pitched, it appears that warming up repeatedly and pitching several days in a row takes a toll beyond the innings actually pitched. At least that’s my gut feeling - I don’t think we’ll see that many relievers being considered, regardless of whether Wagner makes it.
   28. alilisd Posted: December 12, 2022 at 02:07 PM (#6109199)
Beltran was a probably slightly better version of Dawson except Beltran never played for a team I care about; Rolen is surely a more talented version of Santo


I'm not at all sure about the Rolen comment. Through age 29 Rolen 46 WAR, 30.5 WAA 5122 PA's, Santo 57.6 WAR, 33.3 WAA 6531 PA's. If we leave out his age 20 season, Rolen's first year was at 21, it's 56.6, 34, and 6149. You could leave out Santo's very good age 21 season, start with his very poor age 22 and he'd still have an edge in nearly identical playing time. Rolen does close the gap, and then some, in their 30's, but I don't see how it is such a sure thing he's more talented. Could simply be the beneficiary of better training and nutrition practices, or just aged better due to not being a diabetic.
   29. alilisd Posted: December 12, 2022 at 02:09 PM (#6109200)
Sure but they aren't starters, they just pitched the first inning.


Right, I was just thinking about your comment that they might pitch 2-3 innings at a time as an opener. But agree that doesn't make for a starter as we know it.
   30. alilisd Posted: December 12, 2022 at 02:11 PM (#6109201)
By all means, let's fill the Hall of Fame with guys who played 75 innings a year.


I would prefer not to.
   31. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: December 12, 2022 at 02:11 PM (#6109202)
While I never root for Yankees I always kind of wanted Betances to be an HoF reliever. It would have been great if a Hall of Fame reliever made one start in his career and it was on one of the most memorable days in recent history (day 162, 2011).
   32. Adam Starblind Posted: December 12, 2022 at 02:36 PM (#6109206)
The hall is leaving out baseball's all-time home run king, it's all-time hit king, the greatest post-integration pitcher, it's soon going to leave out the greatest 3B/SS since Schmidt/Wagner (take your pick), another guy with >600 home runs, and so on and so on. If you want to leave out one of the all-time greats, fine. The hall of fame still makes sense as an institution without Pete Rose. But when you leave out a _bunch_ of guys with unimpeachable statistical resumes, it doesn't make sense anymore.


All of these guys except Rose played at exactly the same time. Even if they weren't all roided up, that alone should make us suspicious that most or all of these superlatives are attributable to conditions in the game that made outliers lie way the hell out there.
   33. Karl from NY Posted: December 12, 2022 at 02:44 PM (#6109208)
Despite the relatively modest innings pitched, it appears that warming up repeatedly and pitching several days in a row takes a toll beyond the innings actually pitched.

This has to be true, to at least some extent. We do this with catchers - we give them some boost for the physical toll required by the position that doesn't show up in a playing-time stat. Relief pitchers should get some similar credit, though we'd certainly debate about the magnitude, and whether it would ever lift a 75 IP/year career into a HOF candidacy.
   34. Booey Posted: December 12, 2022 at 03:17 PM (#6109213)
#32 - Ruth, Cobb, Speaker, Walter Johnson, Hornsby, Collins, and Alexander all played at the same time too; all 7 of them were active for an incredible 13 season stretch from 1915-1927. Would the Hall be more or less credible as an institution if it turned out that betting on games was common in this era and most of those players were denied election because of it?

Mays, Aaron, Mantle, Williams, Musial, Mathews, Spahn, Clemente, and Frank Robinson were all active at the same time too for five seasons (1956-1960). If the majority of those players were snubbed for greenies, wouldn't it be understandable if fans thought the Hall was becoming a joke?

It was different when there was one cardinal sin in baseball (gambling) that would keep you out of the Hall, regardless of qualifications. The HOF can exist without Rose and Shoeless Joe. But now the list of cardinal sins has expanded to include PED's (Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Sosa, ARod, Sheffield, Palmeiro, Ramirez, eventually Cano, maybe Pettitte), domestic violence (Vizquel), Twitter a$$holery (Schilling), and apparently sign stealing (Beltran). And I'm sure some new reasons to snub players will come up in the next decade or so too (my guess is pitchers like Gerrit Cole using sticky substances to alter spin rate). Modern players are simply being held to much higher character standards than players of the past were, and we're reaching a breaking point where so many of the top players are being left out for one reason or another that the whole exercise is starting to feel pointless.
   35. DL from MN Posted: December 12, 2022 at 03:27 PM (#6109215)
Early returns say Beltran doesn't have a chance this election.
   36. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 12, 2022 at 03:31 PM (#6109217)
Primey for #34

   37. Booey Posted: December 12, 2022 at 03:33 PM (#6109218)
#35 - I made the fearless prediction a few weeks back that sign stealers will be lumped into the same "cheaters" category as PED users, and none of them will be elected by the writers. In addition to Beltran, that means Altuve, Correa, and Bregman's HOF chances are already screwed, regardless of how they finish out their careers.

There just isn't any evidence yet of modern players eventually overcoming a character clause driven snub. Once the voters decide you're guilty, your chances are toast.

Edit: I suppose the closest counter example would be Alomar, but only a handful of voters mentioned they were penalizing him for the spitting incident in the first place, and he narrowly missed being first ballot regardless (and if he was on the ballot now, he wouldn't stand a chance in hell).
   38. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 12, 2022 at 03:42 PM (#6109220)
I'm reminded of the Bill James essay "Will the McMeeting come to order?"
   39. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 12, 2022 at 03:50 PM (#6109222)
Not that many relievers remain healthy & effective long enough to merit Hall of Fame consideration. Despite the relatively modest innings pitched, it appears that warming up repeatedly and pitching several days in a row takes a toll beyond the innings actually pitched. At least that’s my gut feeling - I don’t think we’ll see that many relievers being considered, regardless of whether Wagner makes it.

I'm not sure it's that. I just think most relievers aren't that good. They have one plus pitch and another OK pitch, and that's it. As soon as their stuff declines at all, they're toast. They never learn how to pitch.
   40. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 12, 2022 at 03:53 PM (#6109223)
Hoyt Wilhelm was made a full time starter for one season in mid career. He won the ERA title*. Wilhelm also once qualified for the ERA title as a reliever and also won. I'm sure he's the only pitcher to qualify only twice and won both times.


He is, but only by the skin of his teeth - and it involved the same season that Wilhelm won his first ERA title. Stu Miller led the NL in ERA in 1958. In 1959, he came second to Giants' teammate Sam Jones by the slimmest of margins, 2.84 to 2.83 (when Miller led the league in 1958, Jones, then with the Cardinals, finished second). Those were the only seasons Miller qualified for the ERA title, and if he had won in 1959, he would have gone two for two.

   41. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: December 12, 2022 at 03:53 PM (#6109224)
Reliever to starter is interesting but one thing that complicates it is that, in the past, the vast majority of relievers were "failed" starters.

Not the least of which being Mr. Unanimous himself.
   42. The Duke Posted: December 12, 2022 at 04:01 PM (#6109225)
33. I'm certainly open to the issues of closers getting worked hard in the pen but can it really be harder than going 6,7,8 innings when you are exhausted and don't have your stuff ? Bruce Sutter had a trick pitch which worked well for 5-8 batters. He never could have hacked being a starter. I just don't see that as HOF material. To me, it's like putting Rusty Staub in because he was a relatively good pinch hitter (I didn't look it up but from memory he seemed to excel at pinch hitting).

I've changed my view a lot - I used to think closers were special but I've come to believe any good pitcher could close.
   43. DL from MN Posted: December 12, 2022 at 04:07 PM (#6109226)
Mock ballot voting will end tomorrow. Our participation is pretty light so far.
   44. Adam Starblind Posted: December 12, 2022 at 04:10 PM (#6109228)
[34] I sort of thought I put the steroid issue aside. I guess I should have bolded or underlined that.
   45. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 12, 2022 at 04:40 PM (#6109238)
… domestic violence (Vizquel)
Didn’t the sexual harassment of the batboy precede the domestic violence? Either would be problematic in the current climate, both seems like an insurmountable obstacle.
   46. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: December 12, 2022 at 04:41 PM (#6109239)
Mock ballot voting will end tomorrow. Our participation is pretty light so far.

I'm not able to comment in that thread. Is there an extra registration step or something I need to do?
   47. Walt Davis Posted: December 12, 2022 at 04:44 PM (#6109241)
This has to be true, to at least some extent. We do this with catchers - we give them some boost for the physical toll required by the position that doesn't show up in a playing-time stat. Relief pitchers should get some similar credit, though we'd certainly debate about the magnitude, and whether it would ever lift a 75 IP/year career into a HOF candidacy.

Of course Jerome Holtzman was kind enough to create a largely inconsequential counting stat to put them on the map to begin with. And the role itself is easier, allowing them to post great rate stats ... and in small samples so the variance is greater meaning crazy ERAs like Eck's become more possible just due to randomness (which is not to deny ones that good will be rare). WAR penalises them for the ease of the role but rewards them for leverage (i.e. how they're used). That usage is tied to the risk of the frequent use and warming up so even if the leverage "reward" is earned, the injury risk is part of the package (sim to catching).

Snapper's point may be relevant as well, not just in the short career sense but the day-to-day usage sense as well -- if a reliever is tired if he wasn't rested the day before, his more marginal stuff (his one magical pitch) suffers, maybe similar to 3rd time effects.

Rolen vs Santo -- Rolen was clearly a far better defender than Santo, GGs or not. The baserunning gap isn't nearly as large as I expected but it's pretty clearly in Rolen's favor. Santo was incredibly durable then totally collapsed (possibly the diabetes) -- while obviously important, I don't really consider durability to be "talent." That leaves us with offense and context which, per bWAR, greatly favors Santo although the gap wouldn't seem to be that big:

Santo 23-32: 6659 PA, 288/377/490, 137 OPS+, 292 Rbat
Rolen 22-33: 6701 PA, 283/371/504, 126 OPS+, 217 Rbat

Add it all up, Santo had 366 RAA while Rolen had 401. But the context turns Santo's 366 RAA into 42.3 WAA (!) while Rolen's 401 translates to 38.5 WAA. Then because Santo's league was considered superior, he gets 233 Rrep vs 210 for Rolen. So Santo got a WAA for every 8.7 RAA while Rolen gets 1 for every 10.4 RAA. All told that's about a 10-win swing due to context -- we need to adjust for context of course but that seems pretty extreme. Or I'd expect a much bigger difference in OPS+.

But I will concede that it's not "surely" in Rolen's favor. I think it's pretty "sure" that Rolen was the better all-around player but Santo was probably the better hitter, sufficiently so to close and maybe even exceed the gap in terms of overall value. (I'm leaving aside that Santo's H/R splits are pretty extreme because I don't think that really matters for HoF plus I have no idea what Rolen's are.)

HoF and eras -- it's all like that really. Have we finally passed the point where more than half the pitchers in the HoF were 19th c guys? In the late 60s through mid-70s, it was "common" for somebody to pass 500 HRs and, a decade or so later, 250+ wins, 3000 Ks were pretty common. In the 30s, "everybody" hit 330 and Frisch eventually put in anybody who didn't anyway. Obviously the best pitchers weren't in the 1890s, the best average hitters weren't all playing in the 30s and we'll never know if peak ARod was really any better than peak Banks.

But the argument in #34 holds whether you want to look at raw counting/rate stats or relative stats. There are still only so many WAR to go around and Barry Bonds was so much better than his contemporaries that he accumulated a ####-ton of them. There are some statistical reasons (greater variance) why extreme OPS+ and ERA+ numbers should be more common in high-scoring eras but even if we magically neutralize all eras, he's still gonna be top 10, somewhere around Gehrig, Mantle. So the best of the last 30 years are largely excluded and the argument that it was more context than that they are among the all-time greats can just as easily be applied to Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, Hornsby, Young, Johnson, etc.

Anyway, what we have now is that HoF vote announcement day is the real-world Damon Rutherford Day when some selected ballplayer pays for the collective sins of the past.
   48. DL from MN Posted: December 12, 2022 at 05:00 PM (#6109246)
I'm not able to comment in that thread. Is there an extra registration step or something I need to do?


No, that's just typical for this website.
   49. Booey Posted: December 12, 2022 at 05:03 PM (#6109247)
#44 - Even putting the PED issue aside, I disagree with the idea that the number of great players in the 90's and early 2000's is sufficient reason to denigrade their accomplishments as merely products of the condition of the game, unless we're also willing to do the same with other "Golden Ages" of baseball talent like the 1910's/1920's and the 1950's/1960's. All numbers are a product of their times. The 1990's/2000's weren't unique in that regard.
   50. base ball chick Posted: December 12, 2022 at 05:51 PM (#6109252)
 Booey Posted: December 12, 2022 at 03:17 PM (#6109213)


Modern players are simply being held to much higher character standards than players of the past were, and we're reaching a breaking point where so many of the top players are being left out for one reason or another that the whole exercise is starting to feel pointless.


PREACH

the HOF is not worthy when they won't elect the second best position player and the best righty evah on grounds of suspected substance use

BAH
   51. alilisd Posted: December 12, 2022 at 05:54 PM (#6109254)
domestic violence (Vizquel)


As Yankee Clapper noted, it was the pedophilia which was a bridge too far for Vizquel. As for Beltran, far too early to write him off. He's nothing resembling a first ballot candidate, but a pretty solid candidate who is likely to build over time. Maybe it will be held against him enough to keep him out, but you have to give him time on the ballot to know one way or the other. Also, Schilling would likely have gone in even with his doucheiness had he not also been on the most crowded ballot of the modern era for 10 years. Being a Jackass certainly hurt him, but he would have been in before he shot himself in both feet but for the sort of company he had for 10 years.
   52. Howie Menckel Posted: December 12, 2022 at 06:03 PM (#6109255)
I'm not able to comment in that thread. Is there an extra registration step or something I need to do?

if you can comment in the discussion thread, a kindly soul might migrate your vote to the ballot thread that is unavailable to some of us losers (perhaps trying a different browser would work?)...
   53. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: December 12, 2022 at 06:17 PM (#6109259)
No, that's just typical for this website.

For whatever reason it's working for me now. Voted!
   54. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 12, 2022 at 06:24 PM (#6109264)
To me, it's like putting Rusty Staub in


I love Le Grand Orange. Let's put him in just for the hell of it.

A probably non-exhaustive list of hall of famers with lower career WAR than Rusty:

Harold Baines
Ross Youngs
Addie Joss
Bill Mazeroski
Chick Hafey
Tommy McCarthy
Jessie Haines
Herb Pennock
Lefty Gomez
Lee Smith
Rich Gossage
Trevor Hoffman
Edd Roush
Catfish Hunter
   55. alilisd Posted: December 12, 2022 at 06:30 PM (#6109266)
All told that's about a 10-win swing due to context -- we need to adjust for context of course but that seems pretty extreme. Or I'd expect a much bigger difference in OPS+


But the context for each was pretty extreme, no? Santo is playing in the second deadball era, and he's an on base machine leading the league in BB four times and OBP twice. Relative to league for the years you used his OBP was 45 points above league average. Rolen is playing in the highest offensive era since the roaring 30's, and was "only" 30 points higher than league average for OBP.

Not sure how pertinent this may be, but using B-R neutralized stats (2022 season NL and neutral park) Rolen has 1005 RC for the ages used and Santo 1159. Seems like even in a neutralized context Santo has a big edge. Again, not sure how useful Gray Ink may be, but, although Rolen is competing against twice as many players, you'd still expect him to put up some top 10 finishes in those offensive categories if he was even relatively comparable as ahitter to Santo. Yet Rolen's Gray Ink is only 27, which is really low for a HOF not going in at Short or Catcher. But yes, Rolen has a similarly large edge in fielding so it does balance them out overall in terms of value.
   56. Booey Posted: December 12, 2022 at 06:43 PM (#6109269)
Note - I'm NOT advocating for Vizquel to be elected; just pointing out that he was on a clear HOF trajectory before character issues sank his candidacy. Of all the modern players being snubbed for non statistical reasons, his snub is the most reasonable (even ignoring the fact that he's not worthy to begin with).
   57. Jaack Posted: December 12, 2022 at 06:45 PM (#6109270)
Modern players are simply being held to much higher character standards than players of the past were, and we're reaching a breaking point where so many of the top players are being left out for one reason or another that the whole exercise is starting to feel pointless.


I think that the heart of the matter is that writers want easy opinion pieces to write. Most of them dont want to do any sort of statistical analysis to determine whether Jeff Kent is a good Hall of Fame choice and that type of story doesn't get clicks anyway. Now before, a writer could just vote based on how a player makes you feel. Jim Rice feels like a Hall of Famer, Bert Blyleven doesn't. But know fans have pushed back on that nonsense as, well, nonsense.

The moral judgment is the same level of evaluation - it's just a knee jerk opinion that a writer can talk about. But it's an opinion on something more real than the Skip Bayless-esque blather that they use to rely on.
   58. The Duke Posted: December 12, 2022 at 07:21 PM (#6109275)
46. just post your ballot here and I'll go over and repost it in the HOF thread
   59. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 12, 2022 at 07:39 PM (#6109280)
I'm NOT advocating for Vizquel to be elected; just pointing out that he was on a clear HOF trajectory before character issues sank his candidacy.
Vizquel might have hit a firewall just above 50% given the oft-discussed weaknesses of his Hall of Fame case. That level of opposition wasn’t the normal situation. We’ll never know since the intervening sexual harrasment of the batboy (FWIW, not a minor, IIRC) & domestic violence appear to be disqualifying.
   60. Howie Menckel Posted: December 12, 2022 at 08:02 PM (#6109282)
I love Le Grand Orange. Let's put him in just for the hell of it.

I was in the stands for his final appearance in the field, on April 28, 1985 at Shea.

a bizarre game even aside from Rusty's exploits, as the Mets got a first-inning grand slam by Strawberry but then the bats went cold.

it's 4-4 in the top of the 12th when the Mets reluctantly make a double switch so roly-poly Rusty can bat in the bottom of the inning. Creative MGR Davey Johnson plays a wacky, shades-of-Little-League card, having Rusty play RF against righty batters and LF against lefty batters.

we were in LF, and wildly cheered whenever our hero waddled over - and RF fans responded in kind with their chances. it only happened once in the 12th (future MGR Clint Hurdle played the role of "ambulatory corner OF.")

then bottom 12, leadoff single and then Trusty Rusty doubled - but the runner is held at third base. Backman walks, and Knight hits into a DP, runner out at home and he's out at first. Keith Hernandez walks to reload the bases, and Gary Carter pops out to end the threat.

on we go to the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th innings - still 4-4.
at one point, a righty batter frighteningly hit a looper down the RF line - and Rusty hustled in for a diving catch as the crowd went wild.

Mets finally won it in 18 innings, 5-4, in a manageable 5 hours, 26 minutes (it was a day game).

a year before the fateful '86 World Series, Lee Mazzilli appeared in this game - but as a Pirate.
and Calvin Schiraldi also played - but as a Met.

good times


   61. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 12, 2022 at 08:16 PM (#6109288)
#44 - Even putting the PED issue aside, I disagree with the idea that the number of great players in the 90's and early 2000's is sufficient reason to denigrade their accomplishments as merely products of the condition of the game, unless we're also willing to do the same with other "Golden Ages" of baseball talent like the 1910's/1920's and the 1950's/1960's. All numbers are a product of their times. The 1990's/2000's weren't unique in that regard.

I think the argument can be made that certain periods produce greater extremes than others (even in metrics like WAR), and that we should give more consideration to the top tier players in less-extreme times than to second-tier players in more-extreme times. (For instance, I would strongly consider voting Dave Stieb over Kevin Brown if they were on the same ballot.)

But that's very different from omitting Bonds and Clemens.
   62. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 12, 2022 at 08:18 PM (#6109289)
I'm not able to comment in that thread. Is there an extra registration step or something I need to do?

The best solution I've found when this happens is commenting in a thread on the main site and then checking the HOM again. May not be perfectly reliable but it works a decent amount of the time.
   63. Booey Posted: December 12, 2022 at 11:24 PM (#6109301)
I think the argument can be made that certain periods produce greater extremes than others (even in metrics like WAR), and that we should give more consideration to the top tier players in less-extreme times than to second-tier players in more-extreme times.


I agree, although I'm more inclined to believe that an integrated, modern (1990's/2000's) or semi-modern (1950's/1960's) era might simply have been a "Golden Age" for baseball talent rather than a segregated league from 100 years ago (1910's/1920's). Even with 124 WAR, Eddie Collins for example, was probably only the 5th best position player of his era (and that's not even counting NeL stars), so I'd rank him about on par with the 5th best position player of other eras, most of whom seem to be 90-ish WAR guys; Foxx, Mathews, Clemente, Kaline, Yaz, Brett, Ripken, Boggs, Beltre, etc. I'd definitely put Collins behind lower WAR players Mantle, Schmidt, Rickey, Morgan, ARod, and Pujols; I think all of those guys were much closer to being the best players of their eras than Eddie was.

Also, when we're talking about value stats like WAR, the position players of the sillyball era (other than Bonds, of course) really don't stand out compared to the best position players of the other modern eras. There was one 100 WAR position player who debuted in the 1980's (Bonds), one who debuted in the 1990's (ARod), and one who debuted in the 2000's (Pujols, and he's actually the only position player from the 2000's to even crack 70 WAR). Compare that to the 1950's (Mays, Aaron, Mantle, Robinson), 1960's (Morgan), and 1970's (Henderson, Schmidt), and the latter decades don't look extreme at all (the 1950's actually do). Ironically, in an era known for hitting, the 1990's-early 2000's actually has a better argument for producing PITCHING extremes (three 100 WAR pitchers plus 4 more at 80-ish debuted between 1984-1992).
   64. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 12, 2022 at 11:52 PM (#6109303)
I agree, although I'm more inclined to believe that an integrated, modern (1990's/2000's) or semi-modern (1950's/1960's) era might simply have been a "Golden Age" for baseball talent rather than a segregated league from 100 years ago (1910's/1920's).

The obvious X factor here is expansion. Particularly in terms of pitching (which is where most of my spare time stuff has been done lately), the two recent periods of large numbers of high-WAR pitchers (the early '70s and mid-late '90s) came on the heels of multiple expansions, which by definition would lower replacement level and make it easier to exceed that level by wide margins. Compare that to the '50s, which saw a massive influx of previously-denied talent and kept the size of the league constant, which would push replacement level higher. The 10th-best yearly WAR for a pitcher from '69 to '73 averaged about 5.9. 15 years earlier, from '54 to '58, the 10th-place average was 4.4; a 5.9-WAR season would have ranked in the MLB top 5 in each of those years.

I'm not 100% sure what my point is here beyond joining the occasional chorus of "WAR is the beginning of the discussion, not the end."
   65. John Reynard Posted: December 13, 2022 at 03:05 AM (#6109306)
When people are trying to measure player quality across eras, it always seems we compare players to players, across eras, as if we can do so directly. What we're trying to measure at some level is something ridiculous like "how many standard deviations better than a random guy 20-40 years old is this person at hitting a baseball", perhaps even with iterations for hitting for average, power, and ability to control the strike zone. This can be done for every "skill" that baseball has, hitting, fielding, throwing, pitching, running.

Running can actually be measured pretty well. We have an idea that Trea Turner is really quite fast, though, not world-caliber fast, because sprinters are selected JUST for that, and have a broader pool of people drawn from than just Americans, so, yeah, they're faster. But, it probably wouldn't be too hard to look this type of data up if someone cared and knew where to find it.

The best thing (which has now been taken from us with hitting anyhow) for measuring of course is to have a control group. I propose that pitcher hitting across eras is a potential control group, at least for much of the time period we're examining. Since pitchers are not selected to play in MLB for their hitting ability, it seems reasonable to assume most are no more than 1-3 standard deviations better than a random person of the right age to play MLB (they're still pro athletes). Some extreme examples like Don Carman (12/209 with no extra base hits and only 2 walks career) might be exactly like a guy off the street at hitting, perhaps even a smidge worse, who knows, we'd need more data on random guys off the street facing MLB pitching to know for sure.

There must be a way of using pitcher hitting as a control group to try to normalize hitting across eras, assuming that as pitcher hitting gets worse (and it does over ML history), that players hitting "the same stats" are actually better by that same ratio, since the pitching's measured improved quality (vs the other pitchers, who are assumed to be relatively static) would show an improvement over time.

I suppose someone would also need to do some sort of test on pitcher hitting for long-careered pitchers and see if their hitting declined enough over time to not only show pitching improvement, but, also outweight their expected decline as they aged.

You could cross-test the hypothesis against position player pitching (which presumably would be getting worse over time as well) to help confirm.

This all sounds terribly complicated. But, its probably not if you had the time and the data (which I'm reasonably sure is available).

And, you probably for purposes of the data, have to consider outlier players like Ruth and Ohtani as both pitchers and hitters for purposes of the data. Otherwise you're going to see a massive spike recently in pitcher hitting in places, especially since Ohtani probably makes up 95%+ of those PA now. You might want to toss match-ups like David Robertson's PA against Diego Castillo this year as well, if you can find them all. I'm less sure on those and have to give it some consideration since its a double-control group situation....perhaps that is what random semi-athletic guys not selected for skills would look like?

Given all this, I tend to weight more recent contributions that were massively better than league average more highly than ones done 30, 50, 80, or 100+ years ago. The number of people competing to fill each MLB spot is much higher than in the past too, especially since we have not only black American players available, but, plenty of overseas imports. I find it hard to believe also that sports progress in areas easier to measure (lets look at sprinting again for example) over time but that humans haven't simply gotten better at baseball's core skills as well.

   66. Baldrick Posted: December 13, 2022 at 07:02 AM (#6109310)
You got keys just do this, didn't you Baldrick?

No keys. I just submitted the link and eventually one of the absentee landlords approved it, I guess.

I always loved Wagner, so I'm not going to be incredibly upset if he joins the many undeserving relievers in the hall. But man, he was not a hall of famer.
   67. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 13, 2022 at 07:19 AM (#6109311)
There must be a way of using pitcher hitting as a control group to try to normalize hitting across eras

This may be difficult moving forward...
   68. Adam Starblind Posted: December 13, 2022 at 07:35 AM (#6109312)
Hey Duke, I’m also unable to post in the mock ballot thread:

Beltran
Andruw
Rolen
Helton
   69. John DiFool2 Posted: December 13, 2022 at 09:43 AM (#6109319)
What's lessening my appreciation of the Hall is how these character standards have suddenly been applied much more strictly that they were in the past.

A pitcher passed away last week who got in without too much trouble, where his cheating shenaningans were typically seen as nothing more than a cute joke, wink wink nudge nudge style. Oh, he struck out Reggie with something that plummeted off the table, how we all laughed (except Reggie of course).

We have Cobb and Speaker, whose gambling scandal pretty quickly slid off of them, and was forgotten by the time their election came up a decade later.

Funny how the 1951 Giants' sign stealing didn't stop Willie Mays or Leo Durocher from being elected. Again with the wink wink nudge nudge perspective.

[Insert assholeish behavior on the part of other electees here which at the moment I cannot recall]

I am starting to not care who gets elected, if the standards have become this FUBARed, where Baines, Morris, and Rice get in, while vastly superior players are kept out, likely indefinitely now. They are being held to much more stringent standards than candidates in the past were, and it's massively ####### up the institution.

   70. DL from MN Posted: December 13, 2022 at 09:55 AM (#6109321)
This website seems like it's about to fall apart under it's own weight.
   71. SoSH U at work Posted: December 13, 2022 at 09:59 AM (#6109323)
It all comes back to roids. Before, there was the one dealbreaker, gambling, and nothing else. You might have a borderliner fall short because of character concerns (Dick Allen, for instance). But character wasn't going to keep an obvious Hall of Famer out.


Now, because the gatekeepers (and, let's face it, it's all of them. Bonds and Clemens got more support from the writers than their peers) have put up a blockade for the PED convicted*, it invites the application of character to become more of a hard stop. If you're going to keep B/C out because of steroids, then how can you let Vizquel in with his transgressions, or Beltran when he was also cheating, etc., I'm sure the reasoning goes.

* In the court of public opinion.
   72. The Duke Posted: December 13, 2022 at 11:10 AM (#6109334)
68. Done
   73. sanny manguillen Posted: December 13, 2022 at 12:41 PM (#6109343)
The character decisions of fifty or a hundred years ago just aren't relevant. No organization says we tolerated this behavior fifty years ago so we have to tolerate that analogous behavior today.

The rule itself is the Hall's problem. The Hall should either eliminate the provision or bring it in-house somehow, as the writers aren't even rational gatekeepers on character issues.
   74. Guapo Posted: December 13, 2022 at 12:52 PM (#6109344)
Also unable to post in the mock ballot thread:

Bobby Abreu
Carlos Beltran
Mark Buehrle
Todd Helton
Andruw Jones
Jeff Kent
Manny Ramirez
Alex Rodriguez
Scott Rolen
Gary Sheffield
   75. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 13, 2022 at 12:52 PM (#6109345)
This website seems like it's about to fall apart under it's own weight.


It all comes back to roids.


I like these comments back-to-back. Like the problem is a bunch of guys in their mom's basements with the cream and the clear.


As for Eddie Collins - this is really a question of what you want to measure. Eddie won (rather: would have been expected to win) a ton of games for his teams. More than Joe Morgan won for his. Was this due to a lower average level of play during Eddie's day? Absolutely. But what I care about when doing cross-era comparisons is how much a player mattered in the context in which he played. And if that's what interests you, you can set aside concerns with expansion and integration and so on. Of course players in the 1920s weren't stronger or faster or whatever than players in later years. But great players are great because they win lots of games for their teams - that's what's baseball greatness is. We care about strength and speed and so on only because they are instrumental to our more fundamental interest in winning games. And Eddie won lots of games for his teams.
   76. Baldrick Posted: December 13, 2022 at 01:00 PM (#6109348)
Sean Forman's ballot just dropped. And it's exactly the same as the one I just posted here. Yes! Validation.
   77. Booey Posted: December 13, 2022 at 02:01 PM (#6109358)
#75 - Yes, but that's why I think it's important to compare players not only to their average or replacement level contemporaries, but also to the top stars of their eras. The more contemporaries you have that surpass your production, the less impressive your production looks on an all time list. 120 WAR is awesome is any era, but it's less awesome in an era where multiple opponents were able to put up 130+. That tells me that WAR was simply easier to accumulate back then.
   78. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: December 13, 2022 at 02:12 PM (#6109359)
It all comes back to roids. Before, there was the one dealbreaker, gambling, and nothing else. You might have a borderliner fall short because of character concerns (Dick Allen, for instance). But character wasn't going to keep an obvious Hall of Famer out.
Schilling wasn't an obvious Hall of Famer, but fairly close.
   79. SoSH U at work Posted: December 13, 2022 at 02:24 PM (#6109361)
Schilling wasn't an obvious Hall of Famer, but fairly close.


And had Schilling's issues come up before the steroids mess hit, I think his grotesque behavior would not have derailed his candidacy. But once the voters started blocking qualified Hall of Famers because of their dalliances with PEDs, it opened the floodgates for them to start blocking candidates for other indiscretions (being a hateful troll, or an abuser, or a Trash Can Sinatra).
   80. reech Posted: December 13, 2022 at 02:50 PM (#6109374)
In five more years, voters will start banning players who spit on the field or argue with umps.
   81. DL from MN Posted: December 13, 2022 at 02:51 PM (#6109375)
This website seems like it's about to fall apart under it's own weight.


I was referring more to the inability to have a discussion because the thread is only open part of the time due to some random glitch. It's amazing anyone comes here at all.
   82. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 13, 2022 at 03:14 PM (#6109378)

And had Schilling's issues come up before the steroids mess hit, I think his grotesque behavior would not have derailed his candidacy. But once the voters started blocking qualified Hall of Famers because of their dalliances with PEDs, it opened the floodgates for them to start blocking candidates for other indiscretions (being a hateful troll, or an abuser, or a Trash Can Sinatra).


In five more years, voters will start banning players who spit on the field or argue with umps.

I guess the BBWAA invented cancel culture. Who'd a thunk it!
   83. reech Posted: December 13, 2022 at 03:34 PM (#6109382)
They probably think they are morally superior now that Bill Conklin and Dick Young are dead.
   84. alilisd Posted: December 13, 2022 at 03:37 PM (#6109383)
56. Booey Posted: December 12, 2022 at 06:43 PM (#6109269)
Note - I'm NOT advocating for Vizquel to be elected


Definitely never thought that, just clarifying what I thought the cause of his downfall was.
   85. alilisd Posted: December 13, 2022 at 03:39 PM (#6109385)
I think that the heart of the matter is that writers want easy opinion pieces to write. Most of them dont want to do any sort of statistical analysis to determine whether Jeff Kent is a good Hall of Fame choice and that type of story doesn't get clicks anyway.


I agree with you this is a big part of the electoral problem, perhaps not as large an issue as it was 10 or 20 years ago, but still a part of it. Still, I would hope a conscientious voter would do their due diligence for voting, and then they can write whatever sort of article they like.
   86. alilisd Posted: December 13, 2022 at 03:40 PM (#6109386)
I think the argument can be made that certain periods produce greater extremes than others (even in metrics like WAR), and that we should give more consideration to the top tier players in less-extreme times than to second-tier players in more-extreme times. (For instance, I would strongly consider voting Dave Stieb over Kevin Brown if they were on the same ballot.)


This is a very interesting perspective. Thank you
   87. alilisd Posted: December 13, 2022 at 04:03 PM (#6109398)
I agree, although I'm more inclined to believe that an integrated, modern (1990's/2000's) or semi-modern (1950's/1960's) era might simply have been a "Golden Age" for baseball talent rather than a segregated league from 100 years ago (1910's/1920's). Even with 124 WAR, Eddie Collins for example, was probably only the 5th best position player of his era (and that's not even counting NeL stars), so I'd rank him about on par with the 5th best position player of other eras, most of whom seem to be 90-ish WAR guys; Foxx, Mathews, Clemente, Kaline, Yaz, Brett, Ripken, Boggs, Beltre, etc. I'd definitely put Collins behind lower WAR players Mantle, Schmidt, Rickey, Morgan, ARod, and Pujols; I think all of those guys were much closer to being the best players of their eras than Eddie was.


Maybe WAA would be better used for this? Collins still does really well by that method, partly because he was able to stay healthy/above average for so long, but Mantle does pass him by a small amount, and Gehrig pulls even with him. Some measure of peak would be a good method to add as well. Collins is probably 5th, as you say, behind Wagner, Cobb, Speaker and Lajoie, but he stands out in total WAR/WAA because of longevity. In fact, just looking at career numbers for those one would likely put him in front of Lajoie, but peak tells a very different story.
   88. alilisd Posted: December 13, 2022 at 04:14 PM (#6109402)
Of course players in the 1920s weren't stronger or faster or whatever than players in later years. But great players are great because they win lots of games for their teams - that's what's baseball greatness is. We care about strength and speed and so on only because they are instrumental to our more fundamental interest in winning games. And Eddie won lots of games for his teams.


Love this! And, yes, he sure as hell did! He was a 2B who from 1909-1916 averaged 150 Games and 659 PA's while putting up a 161 OPS+! Oh and threw in 56 SB's per seasons as well. Only two of those seasons were below 9 WAR if you're willing to round up an 8.8 to 9, which I am. One time leading the league in WAR with four times finishing 2nd, also one 3rd, 4th and 5th. Damn fine peak!
   89. SoSH U at work Posted: December 13, 2022 at 04:22 PM (#6109406)
What I love about Eddie Collins is he's the only player in history who put up a legitimate Hall of Fame career for two different teams. (Bonds in Pittsburgh is pretty close though lacking the 10-year requirement).

   90. alilisd Posted: December 13, 2022 at 04:27 PM (#6109409)
The more contemporaries you have that surpass your production, the less impressive your production looks on an all time list. 120 WAR is awesome is any era, but it's less awesome in an era where multiple opponents were able to put up 130+. That tells me that WAR was simply easier to accumulate back then.


Hmmm, I get that, and it makes sense. But it's also sort of hard to define "era," especially for players with longevity who tend to be at the top of the career counting stat leader boards like career WAR. Wagner and Lajoie both started in the 19th century, but they're essentially a Deadball Era players, IMO. Collins, Speaker and Cobb cross eras though. Cobb has over 40 WAR in the live ball era using 1920 as a start, Speaker over 50, and Collins 40. Are they Deadbll guys, live ball guys, an amalgamation of sorts? How broad are eras? For example, Speaker is a top 20 player by WAA with an era running from 1920-1940, Cobb and Collins both top 30. I'd hesitate to say WAR was simply easier to accumulate when three of the top five players from the first two decades of the modern era are still amongst the top players of the next two decades. It's possible they were really, really good baseball players.
   91. Booey Posted: December 13, 2022 at 04:57 PM (#6109415)
"Era" is indeed hard to define, but if we consider Collins contemporaries to be say, anyone who debuted within 10 years of him in either direction, or anyone whose career overlapped his for at least a decade, he finishes 6th amongst position players in WAR (behind Ruth, Cobb, Speaker, Wagner, and Hornsby), and 7th overall (add Walter Johnson). That's why even though he's 13th all time in WAR (and 10th amongst position players), I'd probably have him closer to 30th on my all time list. That's not a "dis"; 30th all time is still really damn good. I just have a hard time believing that 9 of the top 15 players ever (by WAR) debuted in a 26 season span from 1890-1915, and only 6 in the 90+ years since (capping it in the 2000's, to allow for active players to finish their careers). If we stick to position players since pitcher usage has varied drastically from one era to another, we still get 6 of the top 10 debuting in a 19 season span from 1897-1915, and only 1 (Bonds) debuting in the last 60 years. And this is before we even make adjustments for 154 game schedules or add NeL players into the conversion.

The most logical explanation IMO is that with the average and replacement level players so much worse than they are today, high WAR and WAA totals were simply easier for mega stars to rack up back then than they are now.
   92. John Northey Posted: December 13, 2022 at 05:34 PM (#6109421)
Booey - that makes perfect sense. Given in the early 1900's you had a league for white and a league for black players it is obvious you'd have diluted talent, mix in few from the Caribbean and no Japanese players and it gets even more nuts. Give a league a ton of guys who wouldn't reach AAA 30 years later and the stars will eat that up, plus the bar for replacement level will be lower too thus making their stats jump out even more (much like how you see nutty stats in high school, a bit less nutty in college, less crazy in the minors and by the time you get to the majors it gets hard to have 300/400/600 seasons, let alone 400/500/800 ones).

For example, no ML has hit 400 since 1941. Last minor leaguer was Erubiel Durazo .404 in 1999 between AA/AAA (409 PA). Division I college ball had 10 guys with a 402 average or higher last year, lord knows how many in high school. Pre 1900 MLB regularly had 400 hitters show up.
   93. alilisd Posted: December 13, 2022 at 06:14 PM (#6109426)
That's why even though he's 13th all time in WAR (and 10th amongst position players), I'd probably have him closer to 30th on my all time list. That's not a "dis"; 30th all time is still really damn good. I just have a hard time believing that 9 of the top 15 players ever (by WAR) debuted in a 26 season span from 1890-1915, and only 6 in the 90+ years since (capping it in the 2000's, to allow for active players to finish their careers). If we stick to position players since pitcher usage has varied drastically from one era to another, we still get 6 of the top 10 debuting in a 19 season span from 1897-1915, and only 1 (Bonds) debuting in the last 60 years. And this is before we even make adjustments for 154 game schedules or add NeL players into the conversion.


Great points. Sort of the idea of timelining and how would it best be done. I certainly agree the level of competition today, and for the past 30 years or so, is significantly higher than it was in the first half of the 20th century.

The most logical explanation IMO is that with the average and replacement level players so much worse than they are today, high WAR and WAA totals were simply easier for mega stars to rack up back then than they are now.


This certainly would be the case, and I wonder if anyone has ever tried to adjust replacement levels for this. I bet some of the posters here have given it some thought at least.
   94. kcgard2 Posted: December 13, 2022 at 06:48 PM (#6109429)
One of the more straightforward ways is to use Z scores for performance (i.e. standard deviations from the league mean).
   95. Jaack Posted: December 13, 2022 at 07:01 PM (#6109432)
This certainly would be the case, and I wonder if anyone has ever tried to adjust replacement levels for this. I bet some of the posters here have given it some thought at least.


I like to use the world's laziest timeline, which is take away 1% of a players replacement runs for every year since they retired.

I use fWAR for it, so numbers might be a little different, but that method spits out Eddie Collins as the 18th best position player in history. That still seems a little higher than intuition would say, but it think that speaks more to perhaps Collins being a pretty underrated player historically.
   96. baxter Posted: December 13, 2022 at 08:05 PM (#6109434)
93 year old Curt Simmons has passed; got votes on a couple ballots; damn fine pitcher; pitched well for Philly; then for Stl
His 1967 Topps does not do him justice; good looking fella (as was Robin Roberts); veteran who lost a toe in a lawnmower accident; kept pitching.
Ring w/Stl. in '64.
   97. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 13, 2022 at 08:58 PM (#6109437)
This certainly would be the case, and I wonder if anyone has ever tried to adjust replacement levels for this. I bet some of the posters here have given it some thought at least.

The way I think about it is that there are two ways league strength has changed over time: quality of the best players, and ability to get the best players into the majors. I would timeline much more on the second factor than on the first; there should be a quasi-scientific way to adjust for things like integration and MLB taking over the minor leagues. Once both of those things are complete (mid-late '60s, give or take), you also suddenly see far fewer 100-WAR players coming into the league, as noted upthread.
   98. Howie Menckel Posted: December 13, 2022 at 08:59 PM (#6109438)
CSimmons also was the last of the 1950 Whiz Kids who won a rare Phillies pennant.

not often that one of a team's better players grabs the final brass ring.

all but 10 starts in 1950 for that team were made by pitchers in their 20s (led by Robin Roberts).
9 of the exceptions were by Ken Heintzleman, who had debuted with Pie Traynor (who also managed Ken as a rookie) and the Waner brothers in the 1930s.

Simmons began his last season in 1967 with the "Cub" pitchers Fergie Jenkins, Ken Holtzman, Joe Niekro, and Bill Hands, and of course the young Cubs INF core that somehow never won a pennant.
all but 14 of the starts were by pitchers age 27 and under - and Simmons made 11 of those starts.

a nice bookend for Simmons. RIP.
   99. TomH Posted: December 14, 2022 at 09:21 AM (#6109463)
I have Collins
- #31 overall
- #3 overall at 2B
- #8 overall among C-2B-SS-3B "harder to find" positions
- #13 among all pre-integration players (placing Williams and Musial post-integration)
- #10 among MLB-only pre-integration (Gibson/Paige/Charleston ahead of him)

his post-season stats help his case some
   100. The Duke Posted: December 14, 2022 at 10:00 AM (#6109467)
Some guy just submitted his ballot which dropped A Rodriguez and added F Rodriguez. Must be a mistake, right?
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