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Monday, November 18, 2019

Ryan Thibs’ Hall of Fame Tracker

The Thibs Hall of Fame Tracker is back.

Baldrick Posted: November 18, 2019 at 12:27 PM | 1475 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, son of gizmo

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   1101. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 17, 2020 at 06:03 PM (#5917052)
Flip, I say. Flip!
   1102. SoSH U at work Posted: January 17, 2020 at 06:08 PM (#5917054)

Also, both of them could get in.


I expect Freddie will get in. If Walker's on the ballot, they'll both go.

If Walker makes it this year, it's anyone's guess if someone joins McGriff. It's still a pretty uninspiring group (if you don't consider McGwire), which is a big reason Baines was able to slide in.
   1103. The Duke Posted: January 17, 2020 at 07:04 PM (#5917065)
I don’t think vizquel’s case has ever been about 3000 hits. I think it’s “world class defensive shortstop who played forever and he lasted long enough to get 2877 hits which is 123 less than automatic”. The problem is that most people today don’t think his defense was world class and the stats don’t seem to support that. I’m not one to put a lot of faith into defensive stats and I don’t think all these people who saw him and think he was great can all be wrong.

As for me, I don’t buy into the peak 7 year method being the only reason to select hall of Famers. I think there is room for tommy john and Jim Kaat and Omar vizquell and also room for guys like Dave Parker and Andruw Jones who had stellar but abbreviated successes. I happen to believe that showing up everyday for 20-25 years and starting in the majors is a pretty amazing skill set. Castro is the current day version of this but I don’t think he’s good enough to keep getting 600 ABs into his late 30s. In fact he might not even make it that far but he’s putting up some hellacious amount of appearances at his young age
   1104. gabrielthursday Posted: January 17, 2020 at 07:39 PM (#5917068)
I don't think anyone is saying Omar was a good hitter, though. It's more along the lines of him being roughly the same quality of hitter overall as Ozzie (87 OPS+ for Ozzie, vs. 82 OPS+ for Omar, with the split being 87 vs. 84 for the age 23 to 41 years for roughly an equal number of PA), and his defense being good enough to justify selection even with his weak bat. I realize 3 or 5 points of OPS+ adds up to a notable difference over 12000 PA in terms of runs, but it's also effectively nothing when looking at two players career rate stats.
While OPS+ is a pretty good stat, it understates the value of walks. A better stat is wRC+, which puts Ozzie at 90 and Vizquel at 83, a slightly more substantial 7-point gap.

I would understand the case for Vizquel if he was really a near-rival of Ozzie defensively - but even the most favourable statistic (Fangraphs TZ/UZR) has him at +135 at SS (he loses a little defensive value elsewhere, for a total of +129.5); Ozzie Smith was +239; Belanger +238, Ripken +180, Aparicio +149. Going further back, you have Joe Tinker, Glasscock, Travis Jackson, Marty Marion, Art Fletcher and Germany Smith all at or above Vizquel's total. That's a tonne of guys equal or ahead of Vizquel, and a lot of them are pretty substantially ahead. And then there's Andrelton Simmons, who should soon surpass Vizquel (he's already done so by DRS, used by B-R).

Even taking Vizquel's defence at its best, he's very clearly far from extraordinary. You even have to be generous in citing him as the best shortstop of his generation, as he overlapped 8 years of his career with Ozzie and 13 years with Ripken (though the last 5 of those Ripken played almost entirely at 3B), never mind being in the same exact period as guys like Rey Sanchez and Adam Everett who were much better at their peaks and on a per-inning basis.
   1105. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 17, 2020 at 08:13 PM (#5917081)
I’m not one to put a lot of faith into defensive stats and I don’t think all these people who saw him and think he was great can all be wrong.
My impression was that Vizquel looked better than most making routine plays - real smooth - but I didn’t think he made enough difficult plays to be a defense-only Hall of Famer. However, on the MLB Network today Jayson Stark put forth what might be the best case for Vizquel’s defense that I’ve heard: Vizquel was extremely sure-handed. He has 3 seasons with 140 games at SS in a season with 5 or less errors, all other shortstops in MLB history also have 3. Impressive, but I can’t quite see a couple of errors a season being the difference between making the Hall or not.
   1106. Srul Itza Posted: January 17, 2020 at 09:22 PM (#5917091)
Vizquel was extremely sure-handed


He in fact has the highest fielding percentage for short stops in the history of baseball, among short stops who played at least 500 games at the position, while also holding the record for the number of games played at shortstop.

Which still does not make him a Hall of Famer. But I could see where it would make an impression on some of the voters.
   1107. Howie Menckel Posted: January 17, 2020 at 09:38 PM (#5917094)
Vizquel was extremely sure-handed. He has 3 seasons with 140 games at SS in a season with 5 or less errors, all other shortstops in MLB history also have 3.

"fewer" looks better.
also, I can think of one reason he had so few, without even squinting (not that he really deserved 20 a year or something. but if that obscure record gets in the press box notes....)
   1108. The Duke Posted: January 18, 2020 at 02:43 PM (#5917194)
It ticks the box of something where he was the best ever. It’s not nothing even if a little obscure and I still don’t buy into the narrative that he snowed everyone with pretty ballet moves but really wasn’t one of the best. Boils down to eye test vs stats which is basically Starks point
   1109. SoSH U at work Posted: January 18, 2020 at 03:41 PM (#5917196)
also, I can think of one reason he had so few, without even squinting (not that he really deserved 20 a year or something. but if that obscure record gets in the press box notes....)


He wasn't likely to get any more official scorer gifts than any other longstanding shortstops with good reps. It comes with the territory.
   1110. TJ Posted: January 18, 2020 at 04:08 PM (#5917204)
And that is my problem with the “eye test”. Nothing against Jayson Stark, but how many times did he see Vizquel play an entire game opposed to how many times did he see highlights? How many times did he specifically watch Vizquel play opposed to how many times did he watch a game in which Vizquel was playing? How many times of watching Vizquel play makes the eye test conclusive? I’m not totally rejecting some value in the eye test- what we see can help us form a perception. But when other forms of evidence (acknowledging the empirical inexactness of defensive stats) contradict our “eye test” and we cannot reconcile those differences, going solely with your eyes and eschewing any other evidence seems to ignore the possibility that you could be wrong. That’s not confidence, that’s arrogance, not a very intellectual or professional position to take.

Voting for Vizquel because he had the softest hands you’ve ever seen is like voting for Dwight Evans because he had the best arm you’ve ever seen. Both may be accurate, but neither can be proven without a lot more study and research than I suspect that even Jayson Stark has made. You can make a much bigger HOF case for Evans. I’m not sure you can for Vizquel.
   1111. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 18, 2020 at 10:19 PM (#5917275)
Voting for Vizquel because he had the softest hands you’ve ever seen is like voting for Dwight Evans because he had the best arm you’ve ever seen.

As you point out, Evans actually has a good Hall case. It's probably closer to voting for Jesse Barfield for having the best outfield arm. It might be true, but it doesn't make him a Hall of Famer. (Vizquel actually has more bWAR than Barfield, largely because Barfield was done at 32. But Barfield has five seasons as good as or better than Vizquel's second-best.)
   1112. Howie Menckel Posted: January 18, 2020 at 11:01 PM (#5917279)
He wasn't likely to get any more official scorer gifts than any other longstanding shortstops with good reps. It comes with the territory.

ok - until the "5 errors or fewer" meme comes into play. no chance he's getting that sixth error at home, unless he throws one into the 25th row of the stands. all these years later, he's being touted for precisely this stat.
   1113. SoSH U at work Posted: January 18, 2020 at 11:16 PM (#5917283)

ok - until the "5 errors or fewer" meme comes into play. no chance he's getting that sixth error at home, unless he throws one into the 25th row of the stands. all these years later, he's being touted for precisely this stat.


Yeah, I'm sure the Tribe's hometown scorer had the eventual 5 errors or fewer meme at the top of mind. Who among us didn't?

   1114. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 18, 2020 at 11:42 PM (#5917284)
ok - until the "5 errors or fewer" meme comes into play. no chance he's getting that sixth error at home, unless he throws one into the 25th row of the stands. all these years later, he's being touted for precisely this stat.

For what a sample size of 12 is worth, in the three seasons in question ('98, '00, '06), Vizquel's errors were a 6-6 split between home and road. (Also, the year he had more on the road was '06, when he was a Giant, not an Indian.)

Also for what it's worth, of Vizquel's 5 errors in '98, two of them came in the same game. They were errors 4 and 5, and it was a home game. If only the scorer had known that it could otherwise have been a "4 errors or fewer" meme...
   1115. LargeBill Posted: January 19, 2020 at 10:30 AM (#5917332)
1114. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 18, 2020 at 11:42 PM (#5917284)
ok - until the "5 errors or fewer" meme comes into play. no chance he's getting that sixth error at home, unless he throws one into the 25th row of the stands. all these years later, he's being touted for precisely this stat.

For what a sample size of 12 is worth, in the three seasons in question ('98, '00, '06), Vizquel's errors were a 6-6 split between home and road. (Also, the year he had more on the road was '06, when he was a Giant, not an Indian.)

Also for what it's worth, of Vizquel's 5 errors in '98, two of them came in the same game. They were errors 4 and 5, and it was a home game. If only the scorer had known that it could otherwise have been a "4 errors or fewer" meme..


Good point. Official scorers are not that in tune with oddball stats like that. Top of the 7th inning of a no-hitter, they know what's going on and might err on the side of an error. A season-long total type of thing? Not a chance. I'm an Indians' fan and I had never heard it previously.
   1116. Howie Menckel Posted: January 19, 2020 at 11:55 AM (#5917352)
thanks for the stats that clarify that issue.
   1117. cookiedabookie Posted: January 19, 2020 at 01:53 PM (#5917374)
So given all the talk about Wagner and his dominance from those that vote for him, I decided to take a look at him. I think only two relievers should definitely be in the Hall - Rivera and Wilhelm - with a strong argument for Gossage as a strong third. But, I do think Wagner is the fourth-best closer in MLB history. And given the closers voted in, he is better than the majority of them. I'm not sure there's enough room to vote for him given the candidates on the ballot - next year looks like a year he could see a huge jump, with Jeter and Walker off the ballot.

So anyway, back to the dominance question. Among players with 900 innings, which Wagner barely cleared, Wagner is first all time in strikeouts per hits allowed, at 1.99. Here's the top 15:

1 Billy Wagner 1.99
2 Francisco Rodriguez 1.55
3 Chris Sale 1.53
4 Yu Darvish 1.53
5 Octavio Dotel 1.49
6 Kerry Wood 1.46
7 Randy Johnson 1.46
8 Nolan Ryan 1.46
9 Clayton Kershaw 1.44
10 Stephen Strasburg 1.43
11 Max Scherzer 1.43
12 Pedro Martinez 1.42
13 Joe Nathan 1.41
14 Jacob deGrom 1.40
15 Sandy Koufax 1.37

Another way to look at dominance that factors in control is strikeouts per total baserunners. Once again, Wagner ranks first all time, min 900 IP. Here's the top 15:

1 Billy Wagner 1.28
2 Chris Sale 1.13
3 Jacob deGrom 1.06
4 Clayton Kershaw 1.06
5 Stephen Strasburg 1.05
6 Max Scherzer 1.04
7 Yu Darvish 1.02
8 Pedro Martinez 1.01
9 Francisco Rodriguez 1.00
10 Trevor Hoffman 0.98
11 Corey Kluber 0.97
12 Randy Johnson 0.97
13 Gerrit Cole 0.96
14 Octavio Dotel 0.94
15 Sandy Koufax 0.93

So there's a pretty strong argument that Wagner was the most dominant pitcher ever, on a per inning basis. Of course, this isn't era-adjusted, which is why the top of the lists are filled with modern game pitchers.

Among pitchers with at least 3000 IP, here's the top ten in K/H:

1 Randy Johnson 1.46
2 Nolan Ryan 1.46
3 Roger Clemens 1.12
4 Curt Schilling 1.04
5 John Smoltz 1.00
6 Bob Gibson 0.95
7 Tom Seaver 0.92
8 CC Sabathia 0.91
9 Steve Carlton 0.89
10 Chuck Finley 0.85

Sabathia and Finley are pretty surprising entrance, but the rest of the names make sense, especially Johnson and Ryan tied at the top. And here's the top ten in K/TBR:

1 Randy Johnson 0.97
2 Nolan Ryan 0.83
3 Curt Schilling 0.83
4 Roger Clemens 0.79
5 John Smoltz 0.74
6 Tom Seaver 0.67
7 CC Sabathia 0.67
8 Bob Gibson 0.66
9 Mike Mussina 0.65
10 Steve Carlton 0.63

Sabathia surprisingly joins the top ten again, along with Mussina. And here we see Johnson separate himself from Ryan, who is now tied with Schilling.
   1118. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 19, 2020 at 03:52 PM (#5917389)
On Twitter, Thibs says he doesn’t expect many votes today, but teases that there will be dozens Monday.
   1119. Howie Menckel Posted: January 19, 2020 at 04:13 PM (#5917394)
there's a pretty strong argument that Wagner was the most dominant pitcher ever, on a per inning basis.

this is kind of like comparing a 100-meter dash champion to a 1500-meter runner. funny how the former runs faster in his 100 than the latter does in any of his 1500. almost as if it's a lot easier to just run the 100.

Wagner had one job - pitch one inning with the lead, and end the game before the other team catches up.
good closers succeed at this 80 to 90 pct of the time. if one allowed a 0.792 WHIP and the other a 1.100 WHIP, who cares, if the results were the same?

so much value gets imputed into the extra K or the one fewer hit. it's one thing to prefer the more dominant guy in a predictive sense, but it turned out that the "excess" dominance by Wagner didn't amount to all that much in the grand scheme of things.

if your running back is so elusive that he scores without being touched, and mine tumbles into the end zone with 3 tacklers on his back as he falls past the line - well, we each have a touchdown. turns out they don't award "dominance points."

   1120. alilisd Posted: January 19, 2020 at 04:26 PM (#5917395)
1117: When you decided to take a look at him you should have stopped after you saw he barely cleared 900 IP. He’ll Babe Ruth has more IP than that!
   1121. SoSH U at work Posted: January 19, 2020 at 04:37 PM (#5917401)
This is how few innings Billy Wagner pitched (and how poorly he pitched in the playoffs).

If you roll his postseason career into his regular season numbers, his career ERA jumps from 2.31 to 2.44.

   1122. flournoy Posted: January 19, 2020 at 04:50 PM (#5917403)
#1117: Wagner was great, but I don't like your methodology here. If your analysis shows Octavio Dotel among the most dominant pitchers of all time, then either you did something wrong or your definition of dominance isn't very useful.
   1123. The Duke Posted: January 19, 2020 at 04:56 PM (#5917405)
the voters sure do love relievers - I’m surprised how many are in
   1124. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 19, 2020 at 05:11 PM (#5917407)
Thibs’ promise if dozens of ballots sounds right. Last year ESPN, USA Paper, The Boston Globe, and the NY Post all dumped on the day before the announcement. So did several additional solo voters. I don’t remember if the Chicagoans have dumped yet or not. They used to dump all at once, but I couldn’t find a record of it in the latter pages of last years’ thread, so I’m not sure that my middle-aged mind isn’t accurate. I hope you all are staying at 39....
   1125. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: January 19, 2020 at 05:33 PM (#5917414)
I think only two relievers should definitely be in the Hall - Rivera and Wilhelm - with a strong argument for Gossage as a strong third.


No. No relievers should be in the HOF.

Mark Buehrle - - 60 WAR; Mariano Rivera - - 56 WAR

And no one is letting Buehrle in the hall without a ticket. And I really like Buehrle, one of my favourite players, who has some really neat narrative with the no-no, the perfecto, the great fielding, awesome pick off move, freakish control of the running game, etc

Rivera's case is similar to Vizquel, sure he was the best at something, but still not among the greatest MLB players of all time.
   1126. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 19, 2020 at 05:38 PM (#5917416)
No. No relievers should be in the HOF.

Mark Buehrle - - 60 WAR; Mariano Rivera - - 56 WAR


Not a fan of postseason credit?
   1127. SoSH U at work Posted: January 19, 2020 at 05:42 PM (#5917418)
Mark Buehrle - - 60 WAR; Mariano Rivera - - 56 WAR


The only way you can keep Rivera out of the Hall is if you believe in the RDP philosophy of no postseaason credit. And it's been firmly established that ignoring the postseason for pitchers is ridiculous.

So when you include the postseason in your consideration, and you throw in 142 innings of 0.70 ERA pitching (which looks like it would be around an 8 WAR season), then he's comfortably over any line.

   1128. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 19, 2020 at 05:45 PM (#5917419)
No relievers should be in the HOF.
That ship sailed long ago. And just last year, not a single Hall of Fame voter agreed with your sentiment.
   1129. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: January 19, 2020 at 06:02 PM (#5917422)
Not a fan of postseason credit?


Rivera was amazing in the postseason, but it does add both positive and negative stats to players who had the benefits of playing with good teammates as opposed to those who didn't. I admit I go back and forth on this one.

That ship sailed long ago. And just last year, not a single Hall of Fame voter agreed with your sentiment.


Oh I realise that, but it doesn't matter to me. Outside of the freakish Rivera, no other reliever should even be considered IMHO.

I'm not asking anyone to agree with this position and happy to discuss Rivera and post season credit at length with respect to the matter.
   1130. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 19, 2020 at 06:03 PM (#5917423)
The only way you can keep Rivera out of the Hall is if you believe in the RDP philosophy of no postseaason credit. And it's been firmly established that ignoring the postseason for pitchers is ridiculous.

So when you include the postseason in your consideration, and you throw in 142 innings of 0.70 ERA pitching (which looks like it would be around an 8 WAR season), then he's comfortably over any line.


When you look at the postseason leaderboards for rate stats on B-R, the leaders are almost always driven by the required sample - that is, if the standard is 40 PA, the leaders in average or slugging will usually have 40-60 PA, because it's easier to put up crazy rate stats in smaller samples.

B-R's cutoff for pitching leaders is 30 career innings. Rivera has 141 postseason innings, and is still the all-time leader in postseason ERA. He has significantly more postseason innings than anyone else in the ERA top 10, which includes guys like Koufax and Mathewson (both of whom, it should be mentioned, pitched in more favorable run environments than Rivera did).

I'm not a big proponent of most of the relief candidates - I wouldn't vote for Wagner, and wouldn't have voted for Hoffman or Sutter or probably even Gossage. But Rivera's regular season record is basically the best of any reliever, and his postseason performance is just incomparable.
   1131. SoSH U at work Posted: January 19, 2020 at 07:11 PM (#5917436)
Rivera was amazing in the postseason, but it does add both positive and negative stats to players who had the benefits of playing with good teammates as opposed to those who didn't.


Ignoring postseason pitching ends up benefiting those players with crappier teammates. Because your rotator cuff doesn't know the difference between the real pitches thrown in the regular season and those exhibition ones tossed in the postseason.


   1132. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 19, 2020 at 07:58 PM (#5917448)
Ignoring postseason pitching ends up benefiting those players with crappier teammates. Because your rotator cuff doesn't know the difference between the real pitches thrown in the regular season and those exhibition ones tossed in the postseason.

Even if you don't consider the bulk value for whatever reason, Rivera's postseason pitching lowers his overall ERA from 2.21 to 2.06; his ERA+ goes from 205 to (approximately) 220. For the sake of comparison, Wagner (in far less but MUCH worse work) goes from 2.31 to 2.41 (187 to 179).
   1133. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 19, 2020 at 09:32 PM (#5917478)
538 just weighed in with its adjusted projections of Thibs' tally. Pardon the screwed up formatting.

Players projected to fall short
% of Public Ballots Adjustment Factor* Estimated % of Private Ballots Projected Final Vote
Larry Walker 85.5% -20.3 65.2% 73.3%
Curt Schilling 80.0 -19.6 60.4 68.3
Barry Bonds 73.9 -23.6 50.4 59.8
Roger Clemens 72.7 -22.8 49.9 59.0
Omar Vizquel 47.9 +4.2 52.1 50.4
Scott Rolen 50.3 -19.8 30.5 38.4
Gary Sheffield 38.2 -8.3 29.8 33.2
Todd Helton 35.8 -9.1 26.6 30.3
Billy Wagner 34.5 -6.6 28.0 30.6
Manny Ramírez 33.9 -7.8 26.1 29.3
Jeff Kent 29.7 -2.0 27.7 28.5
Andruw Jones 27.3 -2.9 24.4 25.5
Andy Pettitte 11.5 +7.7 19.2 16.1
Sammy Sosa 17.6 -7.0 10.6 13.4
Bobby Abreu 7.3 -0.9 6.4 6.7

Jeter's the only projected newcomer, at 100%.
   1134. The Duke Posted: January 19, 2020 at 09:42 PM (#5917483)
I’m having a hard time understanding why the private voters don’t like walker and with an 11% differential. I find it odd that he is a “sabr” candidate and that the old school doesn’t like him.

I’m betting that 11% gap closes quite a bit and he gets in comfortably. I’m guessing he’ll be closer to 77-78%.
   1135. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 19, 2020 at 10:11 PM (#5917488)
Thibs doesn’t make predictions (“pure cowardice”, he says) but has a tweet linking to some who do. Their latest has Walker at 78%, 74%, 75.2% & 74% when all is said & done. Looks close.
   1136. BrianBrianson Posted: January 20, 2020 at 03:24 AM (#5917504)
I’m having a hard time understanding why the private voters don’t like walker


Il a joué à Montréal, c'est pas cool, là, and in Colorado, where offensive performances don't count.
   1137. . Posted: January 20, 2020 at 07:50 AM (#5917508)
Pro-Rivera: The criteria is "playing record," not "playing record except for in games where players with lesser teammates might not have played."

Anti-Rivera: With what we know about the diminishing returns to pitchers from going through the order multiple times, it makes little sense to fully credit the record of a guy who never had to do that and, in his short time of having to do it, essentially failed in the role. Closers are specialists -- narrow niche specialists -- and it's clearly a plausible position that specialists shouldn't be in the HOF.
   1138. Hot Wheeling American Posted: January 20, 2020 at 10:14 AM (#5917518)
Rosenthal: Favorites, first-timers, who else? Here’s my Hall of Fame ballot
I voted for nine players this year, but strongly considered 12. It is entirely possible I will vote for the three candidates I omitted in the future. But in each case, for reasons I will explain, I wasn’t ready to include them on my ballot just yet.

My ballot includes five players for whom I’ve voted in the past: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, Billy Wagner and Larry Walker. It also includes four players for whom I have not previously voted: Derek Jeter (eligible for the first time), Jeff Kent, Scott Rolen and Omar Vizquel. The three close calls I chose not to include were Andruw Jones, Todd Helton and Gary Sheffield.
   1139. SoSH U at work Posted: January 20, 2020 at 10:28 AM (#5917520)
I see Rolen has slipped behind Omar.

   1140. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 20, 2020 at 10:35 AM (#5917527)
Walker flipped another few votes so far this this morning. His flip rate is increasing and now at 58%, which means he needs around a 60% flip rate the rest of the way to make it without any additional help from private voters.

If he stays at his current public flip rate, he's going to need a pair of flips among private voters. Doable. I'm optimistic.

Schilling, on the other hand, while not mathematically eliminated, is toast.

Quick notes:
Bob Nightengale released his ballot, so he's no longer in the partial ballot category.
David Haugh, a new voter, released his ballot and is a YES to both Walker and Schilling.
A doozy from Paul Gutierrez: Jeter, Kent, Omar.
   1141. alilisd Posted: January 20, 2020 at 10:42 AM (#5917530)
#### Rosenthal and all the jackasses voting for one inning relievers! I would love to see him contort himself publicly into a position where he can justify voting for Wagner but not Helton.
   1142. RJ in TO Posted: January 20, 2020 at 10:50 AM (#5917534)
#### Rosenthal and all the jackasses voting for one inning relievers! I would love to see him contort himself publicly into a position where he can justify voting for Wagner but not Helton.
Wagner is arguably a Top 5 of all time closer (Rivera, Wilhelm, Gossage, other, Wagner), while Helton is arguably not a Top 5 first baseman during his career - overlapping with him at least partially are Pujols, Bagwell, Thomas, Thome, Cabrera, Palmeiro, Votto, McGwire, Olerud, Giambi, Clark, and Ortiz, and that's before getting into guys like Delgado and McGriff. If you feel that closer is a distinct position, and a lot of voters seem to, then Wagner can look more deserving than Helton.
   1143. . Posted: January 20, 2020 at 10:55 AM (#5917537)
There's really no serious sense in which "closer" is a distinct position. If holding a tight 9th inning lead was some kind of magic thing, people would have been keeping track at how many times starters held a tight 9th inning lead -- or would retroactively take a crack at it. But through the whole of baseball history up to now, there's been the functional equivalent of zero effort to identify the best "closers" among starting pitchers.(*) I doubt the idea has even occurred to one in 10,000 commentators.

(*) And if anything, holding a tight 9th inning lead would be significantly tougher for a guy whose already pitched 8 innings and gone through the order multiple times.
   1144. TJ Posted: January 20, 2020 at 10:56 AM (#5917538)
A doozy from Paul Gutierrez: Jeter, Kent, Omar.


From the Gutierrez article:

“Kent had at least 100 RBIs eight times (in a nine-season stretch), more than Charlie Gehringer (seven), Roberto Alomar (twice), Paul Molitor (twice), Ryne Sandberg (twice), Joe Morgan (once) and Craig Biggio (never).”

I am trying very hard not to say an individual voter is unqualified to make HOF decisions, but any voter who cites a middle of the order hitter having more 100-RBI seasons than guys who hit in the top three spots in the batting order is sorely testing my resolve.

That Jeff Kent had eight 100-RBI seasons in nine seasons might be a point in his HOF favor. The fact that Craig Biggio had none as a top of the order hitter is surely not, and a qualified HOF voter should know that.
   1145. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 20, 2020 at 11:00 AM (#5917541)
Walker flipped another few votes so far this this morning. His flip rate is increasing and now at 58%, which means he needs around a 60% flip rate the rest of the way to make it without any additional help from private voters.

There is no particular reason to think Walker will get zero flips among private voters. He is a final-year candidate who was over 50% last year; that kind of candidate will basically always gain support unless he runs into an obviously superior candidate at his position joining the ballot.
   1146. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 20, 2020 at 11:12 AM (#5917544)
I agree with . in 1137 and 1143.

It also bothers me that we've only carved out this one exception. Why not for elite 8th inning guys? Why not LOOGYs? Why not the R. Mendoza types where you start 15 games, close half a dozen others, and appear as a long man for 20 more? Heck, what are we going to do if openers become standard? Are they starters because they started the game? Relievers, because they only threw one or two innings? Do they become a special class too?

I also believe that we're not going to unring the bell, and as much as I'd like to have a Hall of Fame where Rivera is the only relief pitcher, that's not what's happening. The voters have decided to make 1-inning, 9th inning closers a special class for the Hall of Fame. So, we should at least try to get the better ones in there.
   1147. taxandbeerguy Posted: January 20, 2020 at 11:25 AM (#5917547)
It only took 183 ballots, but now there is at least one that would be in complete agreement with my personal hypothetical ballot. Thanks Joe Posnanski.
   1148. . Posted: January 20, 2020 at 11:25 AM (#5917548)
Just at random back of the enveloping this, in 1983, Jack Morris had 20 complete games. Seven of them included situations in which if a closer had came into the game for the 9th inning, it would have been a save situation.(*) He went 7 for 7 in these "save situations," giving up zero runs, earned or unearned. There hasn't been the slightest hint that he should get any "credit" for this, leaving it analytically unclear why a replacement pitcher who pitched only those innings should.

(*) June 8, June 12, July 19, August 3, August 13, August 24, and September 13.
   1149. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 20, 2020 at 11:28 AM (#5917549)
RE 1145: Agreed. Just presenting it as a scenario in which he can lock down the vote without having to count on wildcat private voters. The total he would need from private voters is well within any reasonable projection of increases among private voters.
   1150. taxandbeerguy Posted: January 20, 2020 at 11:36 AM (#5917551)
I suppose some of the extra hand wringing with Walker this year is the fact that there is so much real estate he has to make up. Martinez was at 70.4% the year before election. Raines was at 69.8%. Walker was at 54.6% last year. Big difference. Given the trend for some voters to vote for a guy in his 10th year, plus a little available space (compared with say 2014 and 2015), it was less of a stretch to imagine that they (Martinez and Raines) were going to go over the line. They were also polling higher than Walker (by 2-4%) for the majority of time on the tracker. They did get in reasonably comfortably (85-86%). Mussina had a little more drama, but if he didn't make it in for 2019, he still had up to another 4 ballots.
   1151. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 20, 2020 at 11:50 AM (#5917553)
There's really no serious sense in which "closer" is a distinct position. If holding a tight 9th inning lead was some kind of magic thing, people would have been keeping track at how many times starters held a tight 9th inning lead -- or would retroactively take a crack at it. But through the whole of baseball history up to now, there's been the functional equivalent of zero effort to identify the best "closers" among starting pitchers.(*) I doubt the idea has even occurred to one in 10,000 commentators.


(note: I'm not really disagreeing with you here.)
There was a poster presentation at the SABR convention the last time it was in Chicago (2015). I can't find the actual poster online, but here's an abstract (it's P11 by Herm Krabbenhoft). It was a really interesting poster and I remember chatting with him about it. Basically, yeah, old-timey "self-closers" had save percentages comparable to modern closers. I think Charlie Root, for example (the convention was in Chicago so he threw in some good, but non-HOF Chicago pitchers), had the same save percentage as Mariano Rivera (whose save percentage really isn't all that much better than most closers - Howie, I think, has made that point quite a bit here).

The next year, Dave Smith (President of Retrosheet) gave a presentation titled "The Myth of the Closer". You can probably guess his conclusion from the title, but here's the presentation if you're interested.
   1152. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 20, 2020 at 12:00 PM (#5917555)
Is the announcement of the balloting later than it’s usually been this year? I always had it in my head that it was the Tuesday of the first full week of the year.
   1153. Hot Wheeling American Posted: January 20, 2020 at 12:10 PM (#5917560)
HOF announcements:

2019: January 22
2018: January 24
2017: January 17
2016: January 6
2015: January 6
2014: January 8
2013: January 9
   1154. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 20, 2020 at 12:11 PM (#5917561)
Is the announcement of the balloting later than it’s usually been this year? I always had it in my head that it was the Tuesday of the first full week of the year.


It's (essentially) the same time as last year, but your memory is right. It used to be in early January; they moved it either last year or the year before: no idea why.

EDIT: Okay, I guess they moved it three years ago. Still no idea why.
   1155. SoSH U at work Posted: January 20, 2020 at 12:50 PM (#5917565)
EDIT: Okay, I guess they moved it three years ago. Still no idea why.


Starting in 2018, the last three announcements have come after the conference championships, but before Super Bowl week. MLB might have thought that spot worked best to earn maximum attention.
   1156. bbmck Posted: January 20, 2020 at 12:54 PM (#5917566)
Since 1908 and only in the regular season, except*:

15+ CG Wins with a 1 Run differential which does include games that became 1 Run Wins in the bottom of the final inning:

Final Year 1910-1920: 44 pitchers, leader Christy Mathewson 51
Final Year 1921-1930: 55 pitchers, leader Walter Johnson 107
Final Year 1931-1940: 36 pitchers, leader Eppa Rixey 54
Final Year 1941-1950: 49 pitchers, leader Ted Lyons 72

Final Year 1951-1960: 34 pitchers, leader Bob Feller 44
Final Year 1961-1970: 22 pitchers, leader Warren Spahn 82
Final Year 1971-1980: 27 pitchers, leader Bob Gibson 54
Final Year 1981-1990: 20 pitchers, leader Gaylord Perry 58

Final Year 1992: Bert Blyleven 36, Mike Flanagan 21
Final Year 1993: Nolan Ryan 44, Frank Tanana 20
Final Year 1994: Jack Morris 20
Final Year 1997: Fernando Valenzuela 27
Final Year 1998: Dave Stieb 16, Dennis Eckersley 16
Final Year 2008: Greg Maddux 20

All pitchers combined:

In 2010 : 14
In 2011 : 19
In 2012 : 13
In 2013 : 14
In 2014 : 11

In 2015 : 6
In 2016 : 14
In 2017 : Jimmy Nelson Wins 2-1
In 2018 : Patrick Corbin, Andrew Heaney and Noah Syndergaard all Win 1-0
In 2019 : Noah Syndergaard Wins 1-0

2017 is the only season without a 1-0 Complete Game Win, 2006, 2015 and 2019 are the seasons with 1. 2019 is the only season without a 1-0 Complete Game Loss, 2018 is the only season with 1, Brad Keller on the Road pitching 8 innings while James Paxton who has allowed 2 Hits and 2 Walks and none of either since the 5th is pulled for Edwin Diaz who strikes out the side.

The most recent 1-0 games with only 2 pitchers used are in 2016 Matt Shoemaker beats James Shields and Clayton Kershaw beats Brandon Finnegan. The most recent 1-0 extra inning games with only 2 pitchers used are in 1980 Mike Torrez beats Roger Erickson and Jesse Jefferson beats Mike Norris. Since 1990 there have only been 4 extra inning 1-0 CG, Rich Hill losing in 2017, Mark Mulder winning in 2005, Roy Halladay winning in 2003 and the far more famous Jack Morris* winning in 1991.

49 players have more Games Finished as reliever than Walter Johnson has as a Starter that their team Won and a 1 Run differential, only Mariano Rivera 286, Trevor Hoffman 270, Lee Smith 235 and John Franco 224 have twice as many.

Mariano Rivera in Games Finished as reliever by margin of victory:

1 Run: 316.2 IP, 1.71 ERA and 0.92 WHIP
2 Runs: 227 IP, 0.67 ERA and 0.76 WHIP
3 Runs: 190.1 IP, 0.33 ERA and 0.69 WHIP
4+ Runs: 179 IP, 0.55 ERA and 0.60 WHIP
In Losses: 93.2 IP, 9.42 ERA and 2.21 WHIP

Mariano has the most Games Finished as reliever in 1, 2, 3 and 4+ Run Wins and Tied for 294th most in Losses. The stats are results driven since most of the time he enters with his team leading by 1-3 Runs and his team doesn't bat after he enters the game.
   1157. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 20, 2020 at 01:07 PM (#5917567)
I see Rolen has slipped behind Omar.
I wouldn’t vote for Vizquel, but I can see (if I squint a bit) why some might. However, those voting for Vizquel on 3 & 4 person ballots, excluding clearly better players such as Rolen, do richly deserve their membership in the Bad Ballot Caucus. That may be why they released their votes in the flurry of pre-announcement ballots today.
   1158. TJ Posted: January 20, 2020 at 01:13 PM (#5917569)
I see the Boston Globe has dropped their group reveal. Shaughnessy went with a Jeter-only ballot. I understand feeling that there may only be one HOF-worthy candidate. What I can’t understand why you would submit a ballot if that one person is clearly going to be inducted regardless of your vote. A Jeter-only ballot doesn’t help Jeter get inducted- he’s going in easily no matter what. But a Jeter-only ballot hurts everyone else up for consideration. I suppose if you were absolutely certain there was no one else on the ballot remotely worthy of induction a one-person ballot makes sense. Personally, I have never seen a HOF ballot like that, so maybe I’m just not discerning enough to be a HOF voter.
   1159. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 20, 2020 at 01:15 PM (#5917570)
TJ, it's CHB. That's how he rolls.
   1160. reech Posted: January 20, 2020 at 01:16 PM (#5917571)
But a Jeter-only ballot hurts everyone else up for consideration.


That is why they do it- to screw the other nominees
   1161. SoSH U at work Posted: January 20, 2020 at 01:21 PM (#5917573)
Not to defend Shank or this case in specific, because a Jeter-only ballot is ridiculous. But if you think there is only one Hall-worthy candidate on the ballot, that's how you should vote. If you don't think Omar Vizquel warrants election, you don't have to make it easier for him by abstaining.
   1162. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 20, 2020 at 01:22 PM (#5917574)
CHB likes the clicks, doesn't care about facts, consistency, intellectual honesty, and stuff like that.
   1163. alilisd Posted: January 20, 2020 at 01:44 PM (#5917576)
1142: RJ you’re going to have to contort yourself to a far greater degree than that! Closer is not a position, it’s simply a role. Find any support for it being a position anywhere in the rules of baseball or even at the HOF itself and you’d be fine. But you can’t because it’s not a position. Limiting HOF worthiness to the top five is also a poor justification, even more so when he left a blank space on his ballot. The HOF has long since gone beyond five on its depth chart.

Remember we’re talking about a guy who has only 903 innings in the field and virtually no offensive appearances (21 career PA’s!) versus a player who has more than 900 innings in the field, while also playing offense, in 14 different seasons! The absurdity is beyond belief! The mental gymnastics are incomprehensible to a rational, sane person!
   1164. RJ in TO Posted: January 20, 2020 at 01:49 PM (#5917577)
1142: RJ you’re going to have to contort yourself to a far greater degree than that!
I'm not going to have to contort myself at all. I'm talking about the reasoning the voters appear to be using, in their support of Wagner.
   1165. taxandbeerguy Posted: January 20, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5917578)
Peter Gammons appears to have an issue with Colorado. Only voted 6, dropped Helton and Walker. Added Kent in the process. His ballot - Bonds, Clemens, Jeter, Kent, Rolen, Schilling.
   1166. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 20, 2020 at 01:55 PM (#5917579)
Peter Gammons drops Larry Walker in his final year on the ballot, while voting for Bonds, Clemens, Jeter, Kent, Rolen & Schilling. That’s only 6, so it wasn’t a matter of room. Gammons has lost a lot since his stroke.

EDIT: A highly-taxed, lightly-hopped lager for #1165.
   1167. alilisd Posted: January 20, 2020 at 01:59 PM (#5917580)
1164: Sorry didn’t mean to make it personal
   1168. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 20, 2020 at 02:01 PM (#5917581)
After 197 public+anon votes, Rolen retakes the lead from Omar by a full percentage point!
   1169. SoSH U at work Posted: January 20, 2020 at 02:02 PM (#5917582)
Peter Gammons drops Larry Walker in his final year on the ballot,


Gammo has been all over the map with Walker. Yes votes in 19, 16 and 14. No in 20, 18, 17, 15, 13 and 12.

   1170. SoSH U at work Posted: January 20, 2020 at 02:04 PM (#5917583)

After 197 public+anon votes, Rolen retakes the lead from Omar by a full percentage point!


Rolen will get in over the next few years. I think Omar will have a tougher time. I suspect his No votes will be harder to convert, and there may be a cap to his support well below 75 percent.

   1171. flournoy Posted: January 20, 2020 at 02:32 PM (#5917585)
Closer is not a position, it’s simply a role. Find any support for it being a position anywhere in the rules of baseball or even at the HOF itself and you’d be fine. But you can’t because it’s not a position.


You're correct that isn't not a position separate from "pitcher," but the distinction between pitching roles is viewed much differently than the distinction between other roles. Guys who are lights-out relievers usually won't even get an opportunity to start because they're so effective in the bullpen. Conversely, nobody leaves a position player in a bench or platoon role in lieu of starting because he's so good off the bench. Guys are groomed and drafted as relievers as early as college, or maybe even high school nowadays.
   1172. bbmck Posted: January 20, 2020 at 02:35 PM (#5917587)
Opener, middle reliever, closer or starter doesn't matter as long as you evaluate pitchers the same way as you do position players. Players can hit or rob a HR in a blowout or close game and it counts exactly the same in every system I'm aware of, even Win Shares. The adjustment to Win Shares is based on the team's seasonal results and not whether you slugged better in blowouts or close games.

Mariano Rivera pitched about as well over 1000+ consecutive innings as anyone in baseball history in terms of getting batters out. One of a handful of pitchers who statistically exceed peak Sandy Koufax 1963-1966: 1192.2 IP, 36.3 WAR, 172 ERA+, 56 OPS+. Koufax and Rivera additionally have really impressive post season resumes. Clayton Kershaw and Roger Clemens are currently the only pitchers outside the Hall of Fame with a stretch of consecutive innings which statistically matches up to or exceeds peak Koufax.

Billy Wagner: 903 IP, 27.8 WAR, 187 ERA+, 49 OPS+
Joe Nathan as a reliever: 739.2 IP, 25.2 WAR, 179 ERA+, 51 OPS+
Jonathan Papelbon: 725.2 IP, 23.5 WAR, 177 ERA+, 59 OPS+
Craig Kimbrel: 553.1 IP, 19.6 WAR, 195 ERA+, 41 OPS+
Aroldis Chapman: 535.2 IP, 17.5 WAR, 185 ERA+, 41 OPS+
Pedro Martinez: 2827.1 IP, 86.1 WAR, 154 ERA+, 61 OPS+
Clayton Kershaw: 2274.2 IP, 65.4 WAR, 157 ERA+, 63 OPS+

Dave Stieb: 2895.1 IP, 56.5 WAR, 122 ERA+, 81 OPS+
Dave Stieb 1982-1985: 1098.1 IP, 29.3 WAR, 148 ERA+, 69 OPS+
Trevor Hoffman: 1089.1 IP, 28.1 WAR, 141 ERA+, 67 OPS+

Hoffman and the vast majority of relievers and openers fall around or below a standard of peak Stieb who was soundly rejected by the HoF and I don't believe Stieb has ever even appeared on a committee ballot and based on comments is considered around the HoM in/out line. Hoffman's case purely depends on valuing results.

Even removing the consecutive aspect doesn't change much, outside the Hall of Fame seasons since 1908 (the OPS+ cutoff), of 40+ IP, 170+ ERA+ and 65 or lower OPS+:

1469 IP - Roger Clemens in 7 seasons
(1027 IP - Mariano Rivera in 14 seasons)
991 IP - Clayton Kershaw in 5 seasons
724.1 IP - Felix Hernandez in 3 seasons
613 IP - Billy Wagner in 9 seasons

Selected others:

474 IP - Justin Verlander in 2 seasons
452.2 IP - Zack Greinke in 2 seasons
444 IP - Keith Foulke in 4 seasons
411 IP - Joe Nathan in 6 seasons
369 IP - Tom Henke in 6 seasons
358.1 IP - Aroldis Chapman in 6 seasons
337.1 IP - Craig Kimbrel in 5 seasons

330.1 IP - Jonathan Papelbon in 5 seasons
311.1 IP - Robb Nen in 4 seasons
309.2 IP - Mark Eichhorn in 3 seasons
309.1 IP - Tug McGraw in 3 seasons
289.1 IP - Dick Radatz in 2 seasons
204.2 IP - Josh Hader in 3 seasons the longest active streak of seasons

Tweak the end points in favor of Justin Verlander and he has 926.1 IP in 4 seasons, Billy Wagner has 681.1 IP in 10 seasons and Hoyt Wilhelm has 931.1 IP in 9 seasons. The BBWAA largely evaluates relievers based on results and dominance is the only other way non-Rivera relievers are going to elevate themselves above many un-inducted starting pitchers. Those 4 seasons for Verlander are Cy 1-1-2-2, MVP 1-8-10-11 and pitching WAR: 8.6, 8.1, 7.8 and 6.2. Justin also has a 7.2 pitching WAR and 140 ERA+ season, a 6.3/131 and another 4 seasons with at least 4 pitching WAR. If Verlander needs most or all of that to reach the Hall of xxxx and you evaluate relievers by the same standard instead of just peak Verlander there are very few credible reliever candidates.

Mininum 500 games in relief it's a pretty steep drop off in career pitching WAR: 52nd Dennis Eckersley 62.2, 78th Mariano Rivera 56.3, 106th Hoyt Wilhelm 49.8, 165th Rich Gossage 41.7 and T213th Tom Gordon 35. Only Dick Radatz 6.1, 5.7 and 5.4 and Rich Gossage 8.2 and 6 have more than one season of 5+ pitching WAR with at least 80% of games in relief.
   1173. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 20, 2020 at 02:41 PM (#5917589)
Personally, I have never seen a HOF ballot like that


It’s not the only Jeter-only ballot.
   1174. SoSH U at work Posted: January 20, 2020 at 02:55 PM (#5917591)
based on comments is considered around the HoM in/out line.


Stieb got into the HoM pretty comfortably. He went in on his fifth ballot, but they were still dealing with a backlog then (Nolan Ryan only went in two years earlier, on his second year on the ballot).
   1175. TJ Posted: January 20, 2020 at 02:58 PM (#5917593)
Personally, I have never seen a HOF ballot like that


It’s not the only Jeter-only ballot.


Sorry, JCI, maybe I should have been clearer. I meant I’ve never seen a generic HOF ballot that had only one player with even a remotely reasonable HOF case. Sorry for the confusion.
By the way, I have been tutoring at-risk high schoolers in calculus as part of a program where I work. That you can be joyful instructing students in that subject makes you a better man than I...
   1176. bbmck Posted: January 20, 2020 at 03:16 PM (#5917598)
Outside both the HoF and the HoM and retired in 2014 or earlier:

100 RBI seasons:

10 - Joe Carter
9 - Carlos Delgado, Sammy Sosa
8 - Albert Belle, Bobby Abreu, Jeff Kent, Fred McGriff, Juan Gonzalez, Bob Johnson
7 - Magglio Ordonez, Jason Giambi, Del Ennis

100 Run seasons, Kent 3:

11 - George Van Haltren
10 - Johnny Damon, Mike Griffin
9 - Dummy Hoy, Arlie Latham
8 - Bobby Abreu, Bernie Williams, Jimmy Ryan

30 HR seasons, Kent 3:

11 - Carlos Delgado, Sammy Sosa
10 - Fred McGriff
9 - Adam Dunn
8 - Jason Giambi, Albert Belle, Jose Canseco

20 HR seasons:

15 - Fred McGriff
13 - Paul Konerko, Carlos Delgado, Sammy Sosa
12 - Alfonso Soriano, Adam Dunn, Jeff Kent, Joe Carter, Jose Canseco, Dale Murphy, Dave Kingman
   1177. taxandbeerguy Posted: January 20, 2020 at 03:21 PM (#5917600)
Now with 191 public votes - same as before

Previous percentages at 138, 96 and 49 votes. Projections based on the data, but I am mistrustful of the results.

Pettitte 13.6% (15.8%, 15.3%, 16.0%) - trending the wrong way
Sosa 14.6% (14.3%, 15.0%, 16.0% ) - very steady
Jones 24.2% (26.2%, 28.4%, 18.4%) - trending down but still a big jump from 2019.
Ramirez 30.3% (31.3%, 31.3%, 37.4%) - pretty steady around 30%
Kent 33.7% (32.3%, 33.0%, 37.8%) - steady above 30%
Helton 35.0% (37.4%, 38.3%, 37.1%) - dropping a bit
Wagner 35.9% (36.2% 36.9%, 32.3%) - might actually stay above 35%
Sheffield 38.1% (40.5%, 42.2%, 34.0%) - also dropping some
Rolen 46.6% (48.3%, 46.8%, 45.1%) -cooling off just a smidge but great gains in 2020.
Vizquel 54.4% (52.1%, 51.5%, 43.9%) -picking up some gains
Bonds 62.4% (60.2%, 60.4%, 60.4%) - picked up a handful of voters
Clemens 62.6% (60.2%, 60.7%, 60.7%) - ditto
Schilling 71.1% (72.1% (71.8%, 73.8%) - dropping a bit, likely to slide below 70% when all is said and done
Walker 80.6% (78.9%, 82.0%, 79.4%) - Walker's election is looking increasingly possible.
   1178. alilisd Posted: January 20, 2020 at 03:42 PM (#5917603)
1171: Actually guys who are lights out relievers are usually failed starters. Very few pitchers are groomed to be relievers, and the one under discussion right now was not, nor are any of the current HOF relievers (Hoffman is the lone exception but even he was a failed position player, not someone groomed to be a reliever).
   1179. SoSH U at work Posted: January 20, 2020 at 03:48 PM (#5917606)
It's not accurate to call Rivera a failed starter. He got 10 starts, at a time when he wasn't even an effective reliever. It took a hell of a lot more big league starts for Greg Maddux, for example, to get it right than Rivera got.

Wade Davis was a failed starter. Goose was a failed starter.
   1180. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 20, 2020 at 03:51 PM (#5917608)
Through 200 ballots, Walker is now at 85%. I think he might make it, but the margin could be a few votes either way.
   1181. . Posted: January 20, 2020 at 03:54 PM (#5917610)
You can't evaluate a starter and a closer the same anymore than you can evaluate a 100 meter sprinter and a 3,000 meter runner the same.

It's not accurate to call Rivera a failed starter.


Well, he did fail; it's just that the sample size is probably too small to be statistically significant. It's meaningful that Yankee management -- people who have run winning teams -- cut the cord on the idea so early on.
   1182. SoSH U at work Posted: January 20, 2020 at 03:56 PM (#5917611)
Well, he did fail; it's just that the sample size is probably too small to be statistically significant.


In other words, it's not accurate to call him a failed starter.
   1183. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 20, 2020 at 03:58 PM (#5917612)
Through 200 ballots:
Derek Jeter 100.0%
Larry Walker 85.0%
Curt Schilling 79.0%
Barry Bonds 72.5%
Roger Clemens 71.5%
Scott Rolen 50.0%
Omar Vizquel 49.0%
Gary Sheffield 36.5%
Billy Wagner 34.5%
Todd Helton 33.5%
Jeff Kent 33.0%
Manny Ramirez 32.0%
Andruw Jones 25.0%
Sammy Sosa 17.0%
Andy Pettitte 10.0%
Bobby Abreu 6.5%
   1184. bbmck Posted: January 20, 2020 at 04:03 PM (#5917615)
Many starters are failed starters, Phil Niekro, Roy Halladay, Tom Glavine, Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax and Randy Johnson. Once Mariano has a cutter if he was given as many chances to crack the rotation as those players he's quite possibly a career starter, although possibly they repeat the Dave Righetti experiment 15 or so years later.
   1185. EddieA Posted: January 20, 2020 at 04:13 PM (#5917618)
Vizquel at 50% bothers me because he simply was not a great player, which seems a minimal requirement for the HOF. He might have been if his position hadn't required him to hit.
I see he's in the top 10 in dWAR. Is there a dWAA stat? I wonder how much dWAR is accumulated just by playing average ss for so many games.
Anyway, looking at the "similar" Bill Dahlen, that guy was a great player who should be in the Hall.
   1186. alilisd Posted: January 20, 2020 at 04:16 PM (#5917620)
1179: It’s entirely accurate. He was a starter throughout his minor league career. He was not groomed as a reliever as flournoy suggested.

Now Sutter was a reliever during his minor league career so I was incorrect that all HOF relievers were failed starters, but Wagner definitely was. And to be more accurate, considering Eckersley, it should probably be converted starters, as he certainly didn’t fail as a starter.
   1187. SoSH U at work Posted: January 20, 2020 at 04:22 PM (#5917622)
1179: It’s entirely accurate. He was a starter throughout his minor league career. He was not groomed as a reliever as flournoy suggested.


He got 10 starts at the big league level (he certainly wasn't failing as a reliever in the minors), a not-uncommon debut where he struggled to get batters out as either a starter or reliever. That is the extent of his failure as a starter. If that's a failed starter, then the phrase is too broad to have any meaning.

Yes, he wasn't groomed as a reliever. Those aren't the only choices.

   1188. . Posted: January 20, 2020 at 04:23 PM (#5917623)
In other words, it's not accurate to call him a failed starter.


I tried to be nuanced and open-minded and meet the counter-argument halfway -- my typical leanings -- but I guess I forgot this was the internet.

He had 10 shitty starts at age 25 and then his team pulled the plug on the idea of him being a starter. The best word to describe that is failure. It's an accurate description.

After his failure, his innings unfolded on an entirely different path than starters' innings. He didn't have to go through the order multiple times. He could get away with essentially one-pitch. He could go balls out rather than pacing himself. Etc. There's no serious comparison to be made between his 1000 innings (or whatever) and 1000 innings from a starter.
   1189. flournoy Posted: January 20, 2020 at 04:25 PM (#5917625)
He was not groomed as a reliever as flournoy suggested.


I certainly never suggested anything about Rivera in particular.

Wagner was not a failed starter either. He was a minor league starter, yes, that is correct. The Astros called him up to use out of their bullpen because they liked his stuff and their major league bullpen was garbage. Then Todd Jones got hurt, Wagner took over as the closer, and the Astros left him there since he was so good. He never made a single major league start, so how could he have failed as a starter?
   1190. Lassus Posted: January 20, 2020 at 04:26 PM (#5917626)
ok - until the "5 errors or fewer" meme comes into play. no chance he's getting that sixth error at home

I know this is late, but it's always hard for me to come to a conclusion based on to the "everyone is a liar and no one is to be trusted" theorem. Call me naive, I guess.
   1191. alilisd Posted: January 20, 2020 at 04:26 PM (#5917627)
1185: In the glossary at B-R it says they use replacement level for dWAR as league average, so I think dWAR is essentially dWAA if I’m reading the glossary correctly
   1192. . Posted: January 20, 2020 at 04:30 PM (#5917629)
He got 10 starts at the big league level (he certainly wasn't failing as a reliever in the minors), a not-uncommon debut where he struggled to get batters out as either a starer or reliever. That is the extent of his failure as a starter. If that's a failed starter, then the phrase is too broad to have any meaning.


He was so bad, they pulled the plug after only 10 starts. He was basically a dreadful failure. If a fake lawyer starts work at a law firm and they assign him three briefs, he writes them and they all suck, and then they move him to the corporate department and he's great at drafting and redlining documents, he's still a failed litigator. You don't need to let him write a statistically significant amount of briefs to reach this conclusion. The Yankees were in the business of winning baseball games, not the charity business.
   1193. RJ in TO Posted: January 20, 2020 at 04:30 PM (#5917630)
Is there a dWAA stat?
Isn't this just fielding runs, using whichever system you prefer? Vizquel was +129 for his career. Overall, he was at 29.5 dWAR, with the split being 129 for fielding and 159 for position. It looks like a career leaderboard is available here for Total Zone runs. Omar is 31st overall, and fifth among shortstops, behind Belanger, Ozzie, Aparicio, and Sanchez, for whatever period the stat covers.
   1194. SoSH U at work Posted: January 20, 2020 at 04:33 PM (#5917631)
I tried to be nuanced and open-minded


As is your nature...

After his failure, his innings unfolded on an entirely different path than starters' innings. He didn't have to go through the order multiple times. He could get away with essentially one-pitch. He could go balls out rather than pacing himself. Etc. There's no serious comparison to be made between his 1000 innings (or whatever) and 1000 innings from a starter.


He couldn't go balls out, because he wasn't shifted directly to a one-inning relief role. He went the long reliever path, throwing 3 innings on eight occasions, throwing more than 50 pitches on eight occasions with no visible damage to his effectiveness. He ended up throwing more than 120 innings that year (counting the postseason), or not that far off a starter's workload today.

   1195. . Posted: January 20, 2020 at 04:37 PM (#5917634)
As is your nature...


Actually, it's very much my nature -- just not on the internet. We can see why in this late exchange. While it's my nature to be nuanced and open-minded, it's not my nature to unilaterally disarm.

He couldn't go balls out, because he wasn't shifted directly to a one-inning relief role. He went the long reliever path, throwing 3 innings on eight occasions, throwing more than 50 pitches on eight occasions with no visible damage to his effectiveness. He ended up throwing more than 120 innings that year (counting the postseason), or not that far off a starter's workload today.


I wasn't talking about that one transition year, which I'm guessing you knew without me repeating it.
   1196. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 20, 2020 at 04:38 PM (#5917635)
Did some folks miss the memo? Rivera was unanimously elected last year. What’s the purpose of bring him up again now, other than enhancing one’s contrarian credentials?
   1197. SoSH U at work Posted: January 20, 2020 at 04:39 PM (#5917636)
Actually, it's very much my nature -- just not on the internet.


That's the only nature any of us experience. If there's another SBB that doesn't drive everyone nuts, could you invite him over?

   1198. SoSH U at work Posted: January 20, 2020 at 04:41 PM (#5917637)
I wasn't talking about that one transition year, which I'm guessing you knew without me repeating it.


I can understand why you wouldn't want to talk about the transition year, since it takes a big dump on the argument you made. Rivera shifted to a role that required him to go multiple innings, occasionally facing a batter more than once and throwing 2/3 of a starter's innings about eight times. The idea that he could only be successful going balls out isn't supported by his history.
   1199. . Posted: January 20, 2020 at 04:41 PM (#5917638)
1137 and 1181 were met with 1182.

   1200. bbmck Posted: January 20, 2020 at 04:43 PM (#5917639)
Omar Vizquel has 159 Rpos, overall for his career it's 10.5 Runs per WAR so 15.1 or just under a third of his career WAR is from being an average SS and 12.3 WAR from his 129 Rfield subject to year-to-year variance in scoring environment. 191 Runs for his offense since in theory a replacement level player is average defensively, 427 Runs for his playing time, -244 for below average batting, +8 for combined baserunning and DP avoidance or 18.2 WAR. If he was an average hitter he has 68.8 career WAR. If he was an average fielding SS he has 33.3 WAR.
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