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Friday, January 14, 2022

Bill James: Vagabonds and Homebodies

    Comparing two players of reasonably equal Hall of Fame credentials, one of whom moves from team to team and the other of whom stays put for most of his career, the player who is easily identified with one team is not only more likely to be elected to the Hall of Fame, but MUCH more likely to be elected to the Hall of Fame.  A player who hopscotches from team to team may be reducing his Hall of Fame election chances by 50% or more by doing so.

        Last week on “Hey, Bill”  a reader (Phil Dellio) suggested that the knockaround, move-around, get-out-of-town nature of Gary Sheffield’s career might be impacting his Hall of Fame voting performance.  Actually, he was making a slightly different point, beyond that one, but anyway. . .that seems credible.  I may have suggested the same thing myself some time in the past, not sure, but it seems reasonably possible, so I responded that I would try to figure out how to study the issue.

        I have now done that study.  Staying with one team for a longer period of time either directly results in better Hall of Fame chances for the player, or is allied with some other trait, some skill not identified and adjusted for in this method, which results in a quite significant increase in the Cooperstown chances of any player with a less than impeccable Hall of Fame resume.  Or, frankly, even a player WITH an impeccable Hall of Fame resume.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2022 at 10:45 AM | 58 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   1. Adam Starblind Posted: January 14, 2022 at 11:03 AM (#6061049)
All small samples, but all cut in the same direction. Interesting piece.
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: January 14, 2022 at 11:32 AM (#6061054)
These kind of jumped out at me:

Player WS
Paul Konerko 254
Maury Wills 253
Wally Joyner 253
Curt Schilling 252



Ken Caminiti 242
Del Pratt 242
Kevin Brown 242
Bill Madlock 242



Yikes.
   3. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 14, 2022 at 11:37 AM (#6061057)
Not a surprise. Who would you vote for...the loyal, hometown kid or the guy who changed teams every few years in search of [GASP!] more money...?!
   4. JJ1986 Posted: January 14, 2022 at 12:03 PM (#6061065)
My instinct is that this is true and that this study is not any good. Is Bill controlling for PEDs at all?

I would also think that counting the number of teams is important. I don't think a guy like Mark McGwire suffers any penalty playing for two teams, but a guy like Gary Sheffield might.

   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 14, 2022 at 12:15 PM (#6061069)
These kind of jumped out at me:

Player WS
Dear lord, he’s still trying to make Win Shares happen?
   6. Howie Menckel Posted: January 14, 2022 at 12:19 PM (#6061072)
Bill is old enough to remember "The Bobby Bonds Issue" - he got traded six times in six years (in 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978 (twice!), and 1979) and also "purchased" in 1981.

vibe was that if he was REALLY so good, teams wouldn't trade him.

October 22, 1974: Traded by the San Francisco Giants to the New York Yankees for Bobby Murcer.

December 11, 1975: Traded by the New York Yankees to the California Angels for Ed Figueroa and Mickey Rivers.

December 5, 1977: Traded by the California Angels with Thad Bosley and Richard Dotson to the Chicago White Sox for Brian Downing, Dave Frost and Chris Knapp.

May 16, 1978: Traded by the Chicago White Sox to the Texas Rangers for Rusty Torres and Claudell Washington.

October 3, 1978: Traded by the Texas Rangers with Len Barker to the Cleveland Indians for Larvell Blanks and Jim Kern.

December 7, 1979: Traded by the Cleveland Indians to the St. Louis Cardinals for John Denny and Jerry Mumphrey.

December 22, 1980: Released by the St. Louis Cardinals.

April 17, 1981: Signed as a Free Agent with the Texas Rangers.

June 4, 1981: Purchased by the Chicago Cubs from the Texas Rangers.

October 23, 1981: Released by the Chicago Cubs.

May 18, 1982: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Yankees.

June 21, 1982: Released by the New York Yankees.
   7. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 14, 2022 at 12:24 PM (#6061073)
Bill is old enough to remember "The Barry Bonds Issue"
Someone’s memory has started to fade…
   8. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 14, 2022 at 12:25 PM (#6061074)
Kenny Lofton playing out his career in Cleveland, or maybe having a second act in just one other city, would have at least stuck on the ballot for another year. Though he debuted on such a crowded ballot that it might not have ultimately mattered.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: January 14, 2022 at 01:51 PM (#6061085)

Kenny Lofton playing out his career in Cleveland, or maybe having a second act in just one other city, would have at least stuck on the ballot for another year. Though he debuted on such a crowded ballot that it might not have ultimately mattered.


I'm sure it couldn't have hurt if he spent less of his career moving every year, but the strength of the ballot he appeared on was the bigger issue.
   10. BDC Posted: January 14, 2022 at 01:59 PM (#6061087)
My instinct is that this is true and that this study is not any good

There's certainly an awful lot of math in it to establish what's basically an impression about a very few cases.

My first thought was, couldn't one just eyeball this? I looked at guys with bWAR exactly between 54.0 and 52.0 inclusive. Some are in the HOF and some aren't, at that range. I don't think any were single-team players, except Bid McPhee, whose team jumped leagues but was the same organization. Considering McPhee was inducted to the HOF 57 years after he died, I am not sure his loyalty to Cincinnati carried much weight in the process.

The two players in that range most associated with a single team are maybe Babe Adams (Pirates) and Norm Cash (Tigers), who played elsewhere briefly and early in their careers. Neither is a HOFer.

I went up a range, to those between 64.0 and 62.0 inclusive, but few of them played for just one team, either. And nearly all are HOFers, or have a glaring reason why they aren't (Joe Jackson, Mark McGwire). Of the 21 players in that range, only three were one-team players, all HOFers: Red Faber, Jackie Robinson, and Bob Feller. Maybe it was a factor with Faber? But somehow I think Jackie Robinson would be in the HOF if he'd played for the 1957 Giants, and Feller if he'd pitched for the 1957 Athletics :)

Though it still seems plausible. Maybe it goes the other way around: only a darn good player gets to stay with the same team for an entire long career.
   11. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 14, 2022 at 02:16 PM (#6061089)
The thing about Binds getting traded a lot is that he typically was getting traded for a lot of value - so teams weren't just "unloading" him:

1974: Gets traded straight up for Bobby Murcer. Murcer was supposed to be the successor to the Dimaggio/Mantle line of great center fielders, and although he obviously wasn't quite that good, he was very, very good for the Yankees prior to the trade for Bonds. In the four years before he was traded for Bonds, he had finished 7th, 5th, 9th, and 21st in the MVP voting, and was coming off his age 28 season. Murcer was very valuable.

1975: Gets traded for Rivers and Figueroa. Rivers was a 26-year-old coming off of a season where he led the league in triples and SBs (at a time when I think stolen bases were overvalued, but that is part of the point here...). In 1976, Rivers makes his only All-Star game, and finishes third in the MVP voting. Figueroa was coming off his first full season as a starting pitcher, aged 26, going 16-13 with an ERA of 2.91 (5th in the league). These were both perceived as valuable young players, and both were critical parts of the Yankees getting to the World Series in 1976.

1977: Gets traded for Downing, Frost, and Knapp. Downing was still catching at this point, and had not yet developed the power he'd have a few years later. He was young, and had a .402 OBP the year he got traded. Obviously, he ended up having a heck of a career for California. Frost and Knapp were young starting pitchers who had experienced some early success for the White Sox.

1978: Traded for Washington and Torres. Washington is one of the more interesting players in history, in terms of their career trajectory. How many players can say they played for 15+ years, got almost 1900 hits...and had their best season at age 20? Anyway, he was still really young when this trade was made, and I presume he was seen as a high-ceiling young player?

1978: Traded for Blanks and Kern. Kern was coming off two straight All-Star games; the year after this trade, he would finish 4th in the Cy Young, and 11th in the MVP.

1979: Traded for Denny and Mumphrey. Denny would win a Cy Young four years later, but was only 26 at the time of the trade. He had enjoyed two really good years for St. Louis, mixed in with two pretty bad seasons, so I'm not sure how he would have been classified as a trade asset in 1979. Mumphrey was probably overvalued in 1979, as well, because he stole bases and hit for relatively high - but empty - batting averages. He ended up hitting .298 with 52 SBs the year after the trade, and would be a part of significant trades soon after this one, so a Denny/Mumphrey package for Bonds was probably seen as pretty significant at the time.

You look at this, and I think Bonds' vagabond career is pretty different from vagabond careers of more recent times. There isn't a lot of free agency here - so he's not going after the money every year. He's pretty clearly not getting bounced around because the word is out that he is a clubhouse problem or something, because teams are consistently trading meaningful value for him. If the teams trying to trade him were in a defensive position all the time, the return on the trades would reflect that - but they do not.

One last thing. Bobby Bonds died in 2003. When he passed away, his son was in the midst of the greatest streak of seasons since probably Babe Ruth. It seems like 100 years ago, but it was less than 20 years ago, and if we're being honest, most people in and out of the game were celebrating Barry Bonds' greatness, not dismissing it as a PED-fueled charade. Bobby Bonds must have passed away feeling secure in the knowledge that his son had secured his place as the greatest hitter of his generation, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and one of the five greatest players in the history of the sport. The son in the greatest father-son duo in the sport's history. Meanwhile, Willie Mays is still with us, and has seen his godson collpase in the eyes of the fans.

Has there ever been a book written on the relationship and history between Willie, Bobby, and Barry?
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: January 14, 2022 at 02:21 PM (#6061090)
Perhaps writers are just more likely to give the benefit of the juicing doubt to one-team players.

Craig Biggio? He couldn't have roided up. He never filed for free agency.

   13. alilisd Posted: January 14, 2022 at 02:37 PM (#6061094)
Considering McPhee was inducted to the HOF 57 years after he died, I am not sure his loyalty to Cincinnati carried much weight in the process.


I think this was one of the biggest issues with his work. There is no differentiation between players elected by the writers and those by the VC. Lots of those Frisch era (60's and 70's) VC picks would have been largely one team selections by his methodology.
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: January 14, 2022 at 02:48 PM (#6061096)
per Post 11 - I was talking about what I recall as a widespread knock on Bonds because he was traded so often.

Image is everything, a great philosopher (and tennis player) once said.
   15. The Duke Posted: January 14, 2022 at 03:11 PM (#6061101)
He couldn’t have been any good, he was traded a lot. He must have done something wrong if the police arrested him .

It would be my guess that multiple teams hurts guys on the margins but not sure fire bets. Allen, Sheffield - you can see where this might impact them whereas a guy like Whitaker, he goes right in……wait a minute.
   16. villageidiom Posted: January 14, 2022 at 03:58 PM (#6061104)
My instinct is that this is true and that this study is not any good. Is Bill controlling for PEDs at all?
In the grand scheme of who is or isn't in the HoF, players with a substantial PED effect in HoF voting (or in their WS totals) are insignificant. I'm not sure it needs to be controlled for at all.

But let's entertain the notion, and consider just the players with at least a hint of PED notions about them - not saying they used or not, but just some perception out there that they did. In terms of One Team %:

100% Bagwell
91% Ortiz*
80% Sosa
73% Gonzalez
59% Bonds
-------------
57% Knoblauch
49% McGwire
48% Palmeiro
48% Caminiti
46% Piazza*
-------------
44% Giambi
39% Clemens
38% Ramirez
36% Rodriguez*
31% Kent

* Using James' method, but with bWAR instead of WS because I didn't have James' WS handy.

The lines just break it into 3 groups of equal size. Of these, and assuming Ortiz is elected this round and nobody else is, we have:

Top 5: 2 in the HoF (Bagwell and let's say Ortiz)
Middle 5: 1 in (Piazza)
Bottom 5: 0 in

None of this, of course, is looking at them by comparable WS categories. It's just noting that the players who have a one-team association are tending to get picked more frequently than the ones who don't. And, yes, this is an incredibly small sample. But there are two things about it: (1) it's still consistent with James' conclusion and (2) it can't both be an insignificant sample and something that makes James' study invalid because he didn't control for it.
   17. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: January 14, 2022 at 04:57 PM (#6061109)
Without digging into the study it seems entirely reasonable to me that playing for one team (or being strongly associated with one team) can only help. If nothing else it makes you likely to get some pretty decent press and a bit of a push from that team.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: January 14, 2022 at 07:13 PM (#6061124)
I assume James gets enough clicks so I'll just ask ... how are players like Sandberg classified? I'm pretty confident there is something to this but we need some thought on definitions and under what circumstances it applies. Obviously it doesn't really matter for Frank Robinson (5 teams). Isn't Ozzie Smith viewed as a "one-team" player despite 4 full seasons in SD? Similarly I assume Vizquel's vagabond status at the end of his career wasn't hurting him. Surely nobody would look at Sosa's stops and no longer think of him as a "Cub."

So sure, on the borderline it probably matters at least a bit. If Molina had played for 5 different teams, he probably wouldn't be so fawned over. It might matter how you change teams (Dawson "good", Reggie Smith "bad"?) Quite possibly it helped Puckett and Rice (and hurt Lynn and Grich??) Down at the border, there's really no rhyme or reason as to which make it and perception, intangibles, etc. can make all the difference. But it's still probably also affected by how it fits with the rest of the narrative -- the Twins and Jays picking up Jack Morris to "lead" them to the playoffs is a positve part of Morris's narrative while Sheffield is a "problem" or a "mercenary" (although he exercised FA only once really).
   19. SoSH U at work Posted: January 14, 2022 at 07:21 PM (#6061127)
I assume James gets enough clicks so I'll just ask ... how are players like Sandberg classified?


Sandberg is 100 percent Cub (it's the percentage of WS the player earned with each team).

Sheffield is a "problem"


Sheffield was a problem because he was a chronic pain in the ass.
   20. McCoy Posted: January 15, 2022 at 06:42 AM (#6061151)
It seems be a likeable star is the ultimate factor and either don't do anything for other teams or do a lot.
   21. djordan Posted: January 15, 2022 at 07:52 AM (#6061154)
"Has there ever been a book written on the relationship and history between Willie, Bobby, and Barry?"

#11, He's been approached for basically this topic (the definitive story of Barry & Bobby), but Barry's sitting on the sidelines for the time being.

I will that even Jeff Pearlman tends to talk down his Barry Bonds book, it's excellent and extremely well-researched. Outside of a deep-dive into Bobby's career (and especially the trade gossip) Jeff didn't leave a whole lot on the bone, beyond Barry's perspective of it all.
   22. Adam Starblind Posted: January 15, 2022 at 10:35 AM (#6061162)
Walt — RTFA.
   23. TJ Posted: January 15, 2022 at 11:53 AM (#6061163)
I wonder if there is a different effect for changing teams a number of times via free agency vs trade? Is it possible voters see candidates who moved around a lot by free agency as players their original teams still wanted as opposed to those who moved by trade as not wanted anymore by their original club (or at least not wanted as much as what the team got back in return). Jack Morris moved around , but always by free agency. Guys like Sheffield and McGriff moved around in trades- wonder if that affects their HOF cases in the eyes of the voters?
   24. Adam Starblind Posted: January 15, 2022 at 02:14 PM (#6061174)
. Jack Morris moved around , but always by free agency.


Not until the end of his career though. He’s overwhelmingly identified as a Tiger (and on the one-teamy end of things for James’s purposes).
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: January 15, 2022 at 03:33 PM (#6061178)
Yes, but his HoF case relies a whole lot on what he did with Team 2.
   26. baxter Posted: January 15, 2022 at 03:34 PM (#6061179)
How does this analysis affect Ed Kranepool's chances?
   27. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 15, 2022 at 03:49 PM (#6061180)
Obviously it doesn't really matter for Frank Robinson (5 teams). Isn't Ozzie Smith viewed as a "one-team" player despite 4 full seasons in SD? Similarly I assume Vizquel's vagabond status at the end of his career wasn't hurting him. Surely nobody would look at Sosa's stops and no longer think of him as a "Cub."


He has a formula for determining "one-team identification percentage." Bouncing around at the end of your career won't hurt you as much as changing teams in your prime.

When I did this, by the way, I learned that Gary Sheffield just missed having the MOST scattershot career in baseball history for a player with 150 Win Shares—and had EASILY the most broken-up career for a player of his ability. Sheffield has a one-team identification percentage of 14.4%. Only one player in history is lower than that. You won’t guess who it is, but I know that some of you will want to try, so I’ll leave that hanging for now, and then in one of the appendices I’ll tell you who the one player was whose career was even more broken up than Sheffield’s.


Yea, I've never heard of the player - he played in the 19th century if that gives you any clues.
   28. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 15, 2022 at 03:56 PM (#6061182)
Dear lord, he’s still trying to make Win Shares happen?


WS are perfectly good for this sort of retrospective exercise -- arguably better than WAR.
   29. Adam Starblind Posted: January 15, 2022 at 04:17 PM (#6061185)
. Yes, but his HoF case relies a whole lot on what he did with Team 2.


I think you can undeservedly be in the Hall of Fame for more than one bad reason. In fact it probably helps to have two bad reasons. James should study that.
   30. The Duke Posted: January 15, 2022 at 04:32 PM (#6061187)
I gotta think a guy like Lester did it perfectly. Long stretches in his prime with a popular big-market AL team and NL team and wins series with both. All the writers see him because he pitches a long time in both leagues. I don’t think you could orchestrate a better career if you wanted to build a HOF narrative on a thin stat line.
   31. Jaack Posted: January 15, 2022 at 04:38 PM (#6061188)
I think you can undeservedly be in the Hall of Fame for more than one bad reason. In fact it probably helps to have two bad reasons. James should study that.


I've always thought an underwhelimg HoF candidate needed two hooks to let people justify their votes and gain momentum. Morris always had Game 7, but the 'most wins in the 80s' is what got the majority of voters in his camp. Vizquel had a similar thing - voters liked him because of the flashy glove, and then justified their votes with the 'most games at shortstop' stuff that mataters for Vizquel, but didn't ever come up for Bob Boone, and wouldn't have come up for Steve Finley if the Orioles futzed around with Mike Devereaux less in 1990.

Even for good candidates, having a second hook really helps - for Raines no one ever doubted his base-stealing, but he didn't start to gain momentum until there was the 'got on base more times than Tony Gwynn' line that pushed him over the edge.

On the other hand, guys like Roger Maris, who have nothing other than their one big achievement, don't gain much momentum.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: January 16, 2022 at 12:52 AM (#6061212)
I think you can undeservedly be in the Hall of Fame for more than one bad reason.


Of course, but if the big hook (or one of them) occurs on his second team, it kind of refutes James' characterization of him as a one-team guy and how that aided his Hall case. He's not in the Hall without his Game 7 shutout with the Twins.
   33. Adam Starblind Posted: January 16, 2022 at 09:09 AM (#6061215)
I’m not seeing it, SOSH. Not sure if you RTFA, but James applies a formula to give each player a score on the extent to which they are associated with one team. Morris has a high score, but he’s just put into the sample with the others. Every player has other facts about them that contribute to their hall case or lack thereof. That’s why you aggregate them.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: January 16, 2022 at 09:34 AM (#6061216)

I’m not seeing it, SOSH. Not sure if you RTFA, but James applies a formula to give each player a score on the extent to which they are associated with one team. Morris has a high score, but he’s just put into the sample with the others. Every player has other facts about them that contribute to their hall case or lack thereof. That’s why you aggregate them.



I read it. He says this:

Gil Hodges, Frank Chance, John Smoltz, Hal Newhouser, Lou Boudreau, Tony Lazzeri, Earl Averill, Lloyd Waner, Nellie Fox, Chief Bender, Joe Sewell, Stan Coveleski, Jack Morris, Freddie Lindstrom and others all have less-than-50% chances of making the Hall of Fame, based on their career Win Shares, but all have one-team identification percentages over 85%, and are all in the Hall of Fame.

And I'm saying that Jack Morris shows the limitations of the exercise. Because without the sub-15 percent other team percentage for Jack Morris (and possibly Hodges, given his managerial stint), he is not making the Hall of Fame.

There are players who have benefited from being associated with one team. Jack Morris is decidedly not one of them.

   35. Adam Starblind Posted: January 16, 2022 at 10:15 AM (#6061220)
I don’t think the fact of the 10-inning shutout proves that at all. James’s hypothesis is that one teaminess may give you a bump, but he doesn’t point to any single player as having made the Hall because of it. I’m no mathematician, but “less than 50%” isn’t the same as zero.

EDIT from “gives you a bump” to “may give you a bump,” which is a more accurate statement of his hypothesis.
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: January 16, 2022 at 12:12 PM (#6061223)
I don’t think the fact of the 10-inning shutout proves that at all. James’s hypothesis is that one teaminess may give you a bump, but he doesn’t point to any single player as having made the Hall because of it. I’m no mathematician, but “less than 50%” isn’t the same as zero.


I didn't claim any of this. I think calling Jack Morris more than 85 percent Tiger because of some Win Share formulation does not match reality. His most indelible moment on a baseball diamond was in a Twins uniform. Without it he's not in the Hall of Fame.

Likewise, I'd say the reverse is true of Adrian Beltre. He built a very nice HoVG career in LA, Seattle and Boston, but he was largely remembered as a fluke season-having, nut-rupturing, Ellsbury-destroying fellow from his time there. In Texas, not only did he become a superstar, but one of baseball's most beloved players. His Rangerness is far more than 50 percent of his reputation, even if Win Shares* or WAR says otherwise.

These facts don't invalidate James' research. I think there probably is some bump to being associated with one team, and may very well be justified.
   37. Adam Starblind Posted: January 16, 2022 at 02:39 PM (#6061233)
Not sure I understand the point then. That’s why you aggregate instead of relying on anecdotes.
   38. toratoratora Posted: January 16, 2022 at 07:49 PM (#6061293)
he was largely remembered as a fluke season-having, nut-rupturing, Ellsbury-destroying fellow from his time there.

I'm going to disagree on this.
Can't think of a Sox fan that didn't like and appreciate Beltre.
After several quasi lost seasons in Seattle, he re-emerged in Boston as the great player he had been expected to be.
Most of the Red Sox faithful I know wish they had found a way to keep him.
   39. SoSH U at work Posted: January 16, 2022 at 08:29 PM (#6061303)
Can't think of a Sox fan that didn't like and appreciate Beltre.


As a former Sox fan, I wouldn't dream of suggesting otherwise. The point is, Beltre's Rangerness is far more than 44 percent of his career, or whatever James's formula would indicate.
   40. alilisd Posted: January 16, 2022 at 09:09 PM (#6061305)
Likewise, I'd say the reverse is true of Adrian Beltre. He built a very nice HoVG career in LA, Seattle and Boston, but he was largely remembered as a fluke season-having, nut-rupturing, Ellsbury-destroying fellow from his time there. In Texas, not only did he become a superstar, but one of baseball's most beloved players.


Beltre is such an interesting player. He was clearly, as noted, a really good ball player through age 30, but if you didn't have a good feel for his defense, he was nothing special. Then from 31 to 37 if you look at WAR greater than 40, you end up with a top 10 of the usual suspects: Ruth, Bonds, Wagner, Mays, Clemente, Aaron, Lajoie, Gehringer, Speaker, and Schmidt. But then there's a group of 4 guys who are virtually indistinguishable by WAR or WAA: Robinson, Gehrig, Beltre, and Musial.

If you look at players through age 30, he's in a considerably different group. Still plenty of really good and great players, but nothing like the first list. The only one on the first list anywhere near Beltre is Clemente.
   41. villageidiom Posted: January 17, 2022 at 11:42 AM (#6061345)
The point is, Beltre's Rangerness is far more than 44 percent of his career, or whatever James's formula would indicate.
Flip it the other way around. If James had asked, "Which prominent players were mostly associated with one team?" you would be listing off 1000 players before you'd even think of suggesting Beltre. You probably wouldn't think to list him at all.
   42. SoSH U at work Posted: January 17, 2022 at 12:23 PM (#6061355)
Flip it the other way around. If James had asked, "Which prominent players were mostly associated with one team?" you would be listing off 1000 players before you'd even think of suggesting Beltre. You probably wouldn't think to list him at all.


That doesn't flip around what I said.

I don't think there are close to a thousand players I would primarily associate with one team.

   43. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: January 17, 2022 at 03:22 PM (#6061377)
On the other hand, guys like Roger Maris, who have nothing other than their one big achievement, don't gain much momentum.
Good old Roger, the only one-season wonder to win the MVP twice.
I didn't claim any of this. I think calling Jack Morris more than 85 percent Tiger because of some Win Share formulation does not match reality. His most indelible moment on a baseball diamond was in a Twins uniform. Without it he's not in the Hall of Fame.
And with it, he doesn't deserve to be so he's a funny case to use in any argument. All of that aside - I'm a lifelong Twins' fan, and Jack Morris was a Tiger.
   44. villageidiom Posted: January 17, 2022 at 03:33 PM (#6061380)
I don't think there are close to a thousand players I would primarily associate with one team.
You're getting closer to my point.
   45. SoSH U at work Posted: January 17, 2022 at 03:48 PM (#6061382)
You're getting closer to my point.


Good. You still missed mine.

   46. BDC Posted: January 17, 2022 at 05:25 PM (#6061399)
After thinking about this more than I really wanted to :) I conclude that the correlation does seem to be there, is clearly mild (because no range of players you look at in detail seems explicably consistent), and is probably inextricable from the effect of being associated with championship teams.
   47. villageidiom Posted: January 17, 2022 at 08:00 PM (#6061411)
Good. You still missed mine.
No, your wrong point was quite clear. Maybe you ignore Beltre's career before Boston, but, like, it happened, and many of us remember him for it. I still think of him as a Ranger and a Mariner and a Dodger.
   48. SoSH U at work Posted: January 17, 2022 at 08:17 PM (#6061412)
Maybe you ignore Beltre's career before Boston, but, like, it happened, and many of us remember him for it.


I didn't ignore it vi, which is why I said you missed my point. I didn't say he's 100 percent a Ranger, and I don't know why in the hell you would think that, since it's in the very quote of mine you used. I said he's more than 44 (or however he would shake out in Bill's formulation) percent Ranger, because not only was Texas where he was best, by far, but it's also where he established himself (with help from Andrus) as one of the game's most popular players.

I only used him to show that while sometimes Bill's formula can skew low (as it does with Morris - the most indelible moment of his career was done in Minnesota. It doesn't make him more Twin than Tiger, but it rebuts the idea, expressed by Adam, that he's overwhelmingly a Tiger and on the one team end of things. He's not a one-team guy in any legitimate assessment of how baseball fans see him - for instance, if you do a Google Image search for the Jack, the primary ones that pop up are of him throwing Game 7), it can also understate the degree to which a player is identified by a team.
   49. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 18, 2022 at 08:39 AM (#6061445)
I appreciate Bill James trying to quantify answers to questions, even if they are relatively quick and imperfect efforts. When I was first introduced to him in 1984, I would never have assumed he'd still be turning over rocks in the world of baseball in 2022, so I'm always happy to see him still out there.

That said, I actually think a less quantitative means of answering this question might work better:

If you polled 1000 well-informed baseball fans, gave them a series of names of players, and simply asked them what team's uniform the player is wearing when that player's name is mentioned, what would they say? I'm just guessing, but if the second-highest answer for a player is more than 20%, or if at least three answers received at least 10%, etc., then it would tell me that the player's image is that of a vagabond. For example, without thinking long about it, what uniform first comes to mind for the following 10 Hall of Famers:

1) Gaylord Perry
2) Nolan Ryan
3) Frank Robinson
4) Dave Winfield
5) Andre Dawson
6) Roberto Alomar
7) Paul Molitor
8) Jack Morris
9) Luis Aparicio
10) Mike Piazza
   50. Adam Starblind Posted: January 18, 2022 at 09:45 AM (#6061453)
(as it does with Morris - the most indelible moment of his career was done in Minnesota. It doesn't make him more Twin than Tiger, but it rebuts the idea, expressed by Adam, that he's overwhelmingly a Tiger and on the one team end of things.


It was expressed by James and repeated by Adam. But it is true that he's overwhelmingly remembered as a Tiger who bounced around at the end of his career, and it was during the bouncing that he pitched a historic game. Frankly, I imagine that many fans would have a hard time remembering what team he was on that day, even assuming as I do (I think) that most would probably remember he wasn't a Tiger during those three and a half hours.
   51. Adam Starblind Posted: January 18, 2022 at 09:50 AM (#6061454)
1) Gaylord Perry - Braves, for some reason
2) Nolan Ryan - Astros
3) Frank Robinson - Orioles
4) Dave Winfield - Yankees (SoSH probably says Twins)
5) Andre Dawson - Cubs
6) Roberto Alomar - Padres
7) Paul Molitor - Brewers
8) Jack Morris - Tigers, for crying out loud
9) Luis Aparicio - Red Sox (we are doing the first thing that comes to mind, right??)
10) Mike Piazza - Mets
   52. SoSH U at work Posted: January 18, 2022 at 09:59 AM (#6061457)
It was expressed by James and repeated by Adam. But it is true that he's overwhelmingly remembered as a Tiger who bounced around at the end of his career, and it was during the bouncing that he pitched a historic game. Frankly, I imagine that many fans would have a hard time remembering what team he was on that day, even assuming as I do (I think) that most would probably remember he wasn't a Tiger during those three and a half hours.


Just because you forgot he was on the Twins doesn't mean most baseball fans do.

He's certainly more a Tiger than anything else. I would never argue otherwise. He's just not overwhelmingly one. He's not in the Hall of Fame without what he did in Minnesota. The fact the most memorable moment of his career, from one of the most memorable Series and memorable games of the 1990s, happened in a Twins uniform keeps him from this one-team status that you insisted he has. It simply takes on more weight than James' win share formula would indicate, as postseason glory often does.

At Hall voting time, he received no one-team bump. Arguing otherwise is silly.
   53. John DiFool2 Posted: January 18, 2022 at 10:26 AM (#6061460)
Yeah, we already knew this, but Wild Card Weekend sure seemed like a massive waste of time to me. Only one road team won (arguably the best of them all too natch), while the road losers all pretty conclusively showed why they didn't belong with 4 out of 5 blowout losses. The two teams which would have gotten byes in the past played the best. But the level of play for the most part was pretty mediocre at best.

Yeah, we already know why-extra moolah. I really hope MLB doesn't go this route at some point, but it's probably inevitable. <sigh>
   54. Adam Starblind Posted: January 18, 2022 at 11:30 AM (#6061465)

Just because you forgot he was on the Twins doesn't mean most baseball fans do.

He's certainly more a Tiger than anything else. I would never argue otherwise. He's just not overwhelmingly one. He's not in the Hall of Fame without what he did in Minnesota. The fact the most memorable moment of his career, from one of the most memorable Series and memorable games of the 1990s, happened in a Twins uniform keeps him from this one-team status that you insisted he has. It simply takes on more weight than James' win share formula would indicate, as postseason glory often does.

At Hall voting time, he received no one-team bump. Arguing otherwise is silly.


I know you are but what am I?
   55. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 18, 2022 at 11:35 AM (#6061466)
To add to #53:

Put me in the camp of "more NFL games on TV = better outcome". Most of the games this weekend were not competitive (Bengals/Raiders and 49ers/Cowboys were both tight at the end, but even the 49ers were firmly in control of that game, for the most part), and the #7 seeds in both conferences were pretty obviously not really playoff teams (Steelers and Eagles).

However, there was an element of bad luck, in terms of the quality of the #7 seeds, and the potential attractiveness of their potential matchups.

The Chargers were pretty obviously better overall than Pittsburgh, and they are absolutely more entertaining and capable of putting a scare into any team.
The Saints, with Sean Payton, were more capable of scaring Tampa Bay (in fact, they beat the Bucs twice this year already!).

Anyway, the basic problems with expanding the baseball playoffs, as compared to the NFL, are:

1) Generally, the quality of NFL teams shines through in the playoffs. There are teams that go 13-4, and teams that go 3-14. And being the higher seed in football generally correlates to a much higher likelihood of winning the game. In MLB, if you keep lowering the bar for making the playoffs, it also means you're going to increase the number of teams eliminated via a single-game playoff, or a best-of-three. There is much, much more randomness of outcomes in a single game of baseball than football.

2) If you're going to try to address this first problem by adding more games to each series, you've really got to shorten the season, or else the World Series will creep deeper into November. Game 6 was on November 2nd this past year; this would be like the NFL having its Super Bowl in late March - seven months after Opening Day. Shorten the season to 144 games, and get the World Series done by October 20th or so.
   56. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: January 18, 2022 at 08:35 PM (#6061521)
1) Gaylord Perry - Braves, for some reason
2) Nolan Ryan - Astros
3) Frank Robinson - Orioles
4) Dave Winfield - Yankees (SoSH probably says Twins)
5) Andre Dawson - Cubs
6) Roberto Alomar - Padres
7) Paul Molitor - Brewers
8) Jack Morris - Tigers, for crying out loud
9) Luis Aparicio - Red Sox (we are doing the first thing that comes to mind, right??)
10) Mike Piazza - Mets

And when I glanced at the list I had a few different results then you did right off the top of my head.

Perry-Giants
Ryan-Angels
Windfield-Padres
Alomar-Jays
Aparicio-White Sox

The rest were the same.
   57. The Duke Posted: January 18, 2022 at 11:18 PM (#6061536)
Perry - Giants
Ryan - Mets
Robinson - orioles
Winfield - padres
Dawson - expos
Alomar - blue jays
Molitor - brew crew
Morris - tigers
Aparico - white Sox
Piazza - Mets
   58. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 19, 2022 at 12:17 AM (#6061541)
Love this.
Perry-Mariners
Ryan-Astros
Robinson-Indians
Winfield-Yankees
Dawson- Expos
Alomar-Blue Jays
Molitor-Brewers
Morris-Tigers
Aparico-White Sox
Piazza- Dodgers

I feel ashamed about my Robinson placement. Perry, only because I saw him pitch and was stunned how old he looked out there.

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