Circle of Greats 1973 Part 3 Runoff: Manny Ramirez vs. Mordecai Brown

We need a quick runoff vote to resolve the tie at the top in the 1973 part 3 voting. Voting closes Sunday night, so vote early. More after the jump.

This is the first runoff vote since contemporaries and teammates Mickey Cochrane and Al Simmons squared off following the 1901 Part 1 election. Quite a different runoff this time, matching a pitcher and an outfielder separated in time by almost a century. Here are their career lines:

Rk Player WAR OPS+ G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
2 Manny Ramirez 69.2 154 2302 9774 8244 1544 2574 547 20 555 1831 1329 1813 .312 .411 .585 .996 79D/H CLE-BOS-LAD-CHW-TBR
Rk Player WAR G GS CG SHO GF W L W-L% IP BB SO ERA FIP K% BB% ERA+ WHip Tm
2 Mordecai Brown 55.1 481 332 271 55 138 239 130 .648 3172.1 673 1375 2.06 2.41 11.1% 5.4% 139 1.066 STL-CHC-CIN-SLM-BTT-CHI
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/19/2018.

The ranking of 2 for both players indicates that neither topped the WAR list for players of their birth year, with Ramirez trailing Chipper Jones, and Brown behind Rube Waddell by a hair.

To make your choice that much harder, those WAR totals both rank 64th in the modern era among, respectively, position players and pitchers. Other rankings for Ramirez include 8th in SLG and OPS, 15th in HR, 18th in RBI, 21st in OBP and 22nd in OPS+. Brown’s headline rankings include 2nd in ERA, 6th in ERA+, FIP and WHIP, 8th in W-L% and 12th in H/9 and SHO.

So, the choice is yours: Ramirez or Brown. However you decide, your ballot in this runoff round, unlike the usual three-name ballot, should identify just one name: Ramirez or Brown. You will also need to add at least a little bit of extra verbiage though, because the WordPress engine that supports the site won’t accept comments of only one or two words.

All votes must be in by 11:59PM EST on Sunday night, February 25th. If the result of this runoff is still a tie, the tie-breaker will give the win to the candidate who received the most runoff votes immediately before the very last runoff vote cast. So it may not be advisable to wait till the end of the runoff period to cast your vote, because if your vote happens to be the last one cast, your vote may not count for tiebreaker purposes. If you would like to keep track of the vote tally for the runoff, you can check this tally spreadsheet: COG 1973 Part 3 Runoff Vote Tally.

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120 Comments on "Circle of Greats 1973 Part 3 Runoff: Manny Ramirez vs. Mordecai Brown"

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e pluribus munu
Guest
I want to argue the case for Three-Finger Brown as a CoG choice in some detail. My basic argument will be that Brown is underrated by advanced stats and has a stronger CoG case than may first appear. This post does not compare him to Manny Ramirez. In the regular Round 127 vote, Dr. Doom made a strong case against Brown. Two of Doom’s arguments seemed to me perfectly valid: Brown’s career was short and his two years in the Federal League were not of true MLB quality. However, I think the arguments most central to Doom’s case against Brown… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
OK, here goes… epm, I didn’t respond the first time because you have a massive misunderstanding in your calculations. It bugged me the first time, and I didn’t respond to it, but I will here because I fear that someone will base their vote on your conclusion, which I believe to be incorrectly derived. It also has a huge effect on virtually every one of your arguments, so I’ll try to keep it as concise as I can. Here goes: OF COURSE Brown had a higher-than-average % of earned runs scored. You’re suggesting that this says something about the numerator;… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Doom, Your point makes perfect sense and there is, indeed, an elementary conceptual error in my choice of UER as a percent of total runs in Brown’s case. Perhaps I should have begun by using UER/IP and compared Brown with other Cub pitchers, factoring in WHIP rates, since Brown provided fewer base runners eligible to advance on an error, or base hits to advance runners who reached base on an error. That would yield a formula ((UER/IP)/WHIP): the UER enabled by Cub fielders relative to pitcher efficiency in keeping runners off the bases. I think that figure should correlate with… Read more »
Chris Bodig
Guest

Mordecai Brown. He managed to forge a highly valuable MLB career with just one finger more than Manny had PED suspensions.

Mike L
Guest

Perhaps the most concise but effective statement possible. Good exit velocity, Chris.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Oh, yeah. Chris reminds me: need to vote.

Brown.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
This is a crude argument (compared to the effort epm just put in)… but seeing as we are working with the outer tier candidates for the COG, consider the question of “if we elected This guy, why not This guy”? Here is Manny vs Killer: 9774 PA 9833 PA .312 / .411 / .585 / .996 / 154 .256 / .376 / .509 / .884 / 143 555 / 1831 573 / 1584 651 / -22 / -27 / -129 487 / -24 / -27 / -78 (note: I was adamantly against electing Killebrew, and I did not vote for… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
This is actually a REALLY fun comparison to me. Lots of considerations. Killebrew was a great guy, beloved of everyone. Manny was a space cadet. Killebrew worked hard on defense and sucked at it; Manny literally left the field because he cared so little (and he also sucked at defense, but at least the Red Sox could mitigate that by putting him in literally the smallest possible amoung of real estate for an outfielder). Manny played in great hitters’ parks in a great hitters’ era; Killebrew played in bad hitters’ parks in the worst post-deadball hitters’ era. Manny never won… Read more »
Dave Humbert
Guest
I took a look at the competition during Mordecai’s initial candidacy and it sure was a difficult road: Mordecai entered the ballot in round 111 (1877-76), which saw Brown, Willis, and Waddell join 17 holdovers in a very split vote. Crawford prevailed, and many were saved through strategic votes. Mordecai was tied with many others at 5 votes (just barely safe). Ballot 112 (1875) brought Plank, who took it easily (Mordecai barely survived at 4 votes). Ballot 113 (1874) brought Wagner (winner) and LaJoie, who gobbled lots of votes. At this point everyone knew only 8 rounds remained, and strategic… Read more »
Scary Tuna
Guest

Voting early this time: Three Finger Brown.

Before posting, I verified that I hadn’t accidentally typed “Boyer”.

Hartvig
Guest

Vote: M Brown

Setting aside PED’s for a moment, I cannot vote for a player in a team sport who gave up on his teammates.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Hartvig, are you still on the 2008 Boston media payroll? It is a dirty business, and there are few dirtier players than Scott Boras and the Red Sock management. Whatever happened that year was about 10% Manny’s personality and 90% politics.
Recycling 10-year old character assassination sound-bites is lame.
His last month in Boston he had a 1.060 OPS.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Pardon my impoliteness, hartvig. I could have phrased all that without the barbs.

Hartvig
Guest

No problem.

Dave Humbert
Guest

Vote: M. Brown, the more efficient knuckleballer.

239-130, over 100 more wins than losses. 55 wins (22%) were shutouts. Miniscule 2.06 career ERA. That is consistent high quality, even for a shorter career, in any era. Turned a handicap into a strength; three fingers were enough to get the job done well.

Paul E
Guest

Gotta go with The Beast with Three Fingers. Does anybody recall Ramirez getting caught at the Toronto airport with fertility drugs/hormones/steroids? Does anybody believe the last 6 years of his career (at the least) were not the product of chemical enhancing? Heavens to Scotty Boras, what’s the world coming to?

CursedClevelander
Guest

We also had the Walsh/Wilhelm run-off around the end of 2015.

Doug
Guest
One wonders what Brown’s totals might have looked like had he gotten an earlier start in pro ball. He was an infielder for local clubs in various Indiana mining towns until he was 23, only getting the chance to pitch as an injury replacement and impressing the opposing team that obtained his services the the next year. Only made it to organized ball (class D) at age 24, and the majors at age 26. Given Brown’s mangled pitching hand, it’s certainly not surprising that nobody (probably including Brown himself) figured him for a pitching prospect. So, should probably be thankful… Read more »
Hub Kid
Guest
Manny Ramirez 1. Hitting talent for the ages (.312/.411/.585!) 2. A big part of 2 World Series winners (so probably not so bad a teammate, really) 3. Caught using banned substances twice, but served punishment of two suspensions I don’t get M. Brown as top 128 of all time- a good Hall of Famer (great name and nickname combo, 3 great seasons, great ERA+, not much longevity) but aren’t we trying to be more selective than the HOF? Even counting Manny’s shortcomings (use of PEDs, etc.) I don’t think it’s very close between these two, but it looks like this… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest

Setting aside WAR for a moment, Brown pitched for a team that won 898 games (in a 154 game schedule) over his 9 years with the team. The best player on that team outside of Brown was Frank Chance, who was only a regular for 6 years.

Dr. Doom
Guest
I personally believe those Cubs teams to be about as close as one can get to the “everyone’s above average” team (maybe the 1955 Dodgers or the 2001 Mariners are as good of examples). 100 wins per year for 9 years in a 77-game schedule means 23 WAA or about 47 WAR. If you assume: A.) 8 starting fielders, B.) Three other regular position players (that is, a utility infielder, a fourth outfielder, and a backup catcher), C.) A four-man rotation, and D.) Two relievers You can get to 47 WAR as follows: 1.) 3.5 WAR for each regular and… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Here’s an aspect of these calculations I don’t understand. The 1906 Cubs won 116 games in a 152 game (average 76-76) schedule (I’m skipping the issue of how tie games figure in). I’d expect them to be assigned about 40 WAA, maybe 80 WAR. Yet the total WAA allocated to the players is in fact far, far lower: 26.7; the WAR total is 56.0. (The Cubs’ Pythagorean projection was 115 wins.) Here are the totals for the nine Brown seasons: Year….W (Pyth)….W over .500…Tot. WAA…WAR 1904…..93 (87)………..16.5 (10.5)…….7.5……..34.9 1905…..92 (104)………15.5 (27.5)…..17.4……..45.9 1906…116 (115)………40 (39)………..26.7……..56.0 1907…107 (102)………31 (26)………..18.1……..46.9 1908…..99 (98)………..22 (21)………..11.4……..41.3… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

Where was my mind (Doom might say, in its usual place). When I wrote “WAA isn’t like Runs Created,” I meant it isn’t like Win Shares.

Dr. Doom
Guest
🙂 There are a few possible reasons for some of this happening. 1. Changes in the replacement level (the difference between “average” and “replacement” has been different in different eras of baseball history); 2. Rounding errors (a bunch of people rounding up or down could change a team totally pretty dramatically); 3. Part-time players (small amounts of playing time REALLY mess with WAR)’ 4. As you note, the run ratio of the team is ACTUALLY where the WAR comes from, and that might not line up particularly well with the team’s wins. Those are just off the top of my… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

Thoughtful reply, Doom. Enjoy your event.

Hub Kid
Guest
I’m getting disillusioned here, so I’ve probably been a bit hard on Mordecai “Three Finger”. Brown (and the majority that is voting for him in this run-off). 1. Pitting two borderline candidates, one a known PED user (with other weaknesses), and the other a long ago great already in the HOF is not likely to be much of a contest for the COG. 2. Rehashing which pretty-darn-good Hall-of-Famers we are going to vote in is getting a bit dull. Nothing against Goslin, or Winfield, or Brown, but they’re not why I’m interested in the Circle of Greats and COG voting;… Read more »
Mike L
Guest
Picking up on something Doom alludes to below, this is a binary choice and doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s an optimal one. Brown’s stats, like many of the better Dead Ball Era pitchers, are really hard to evaluate, except in comparison to his direct competition. These guys are really pitching a different game than we know. The fielding behind them is hampered by bad equipment, there are no night games but a lot of double headers. field conditions are often idiosyncratic. Their usage is crazy by modern standards, but really just moderately evolutionary from the decades before. And they are… Read more »
Jeff Harris
Guest

Brown

dr. remulak
Guest

Brown. He excelled despite a physical disadvantage, whereas Manny excelled with help from an artificial advantage.

JEV
Guest

I’ll go with Manny.

CursedClevelander
Guest
A quick Keltner Test for Mr. Aristides Onelcida: 1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball? Doubtful. He was contemporaneous with far superior overall players like Bonds, A-Rod and Griffey. His lack of contributions outside of pure offense makes him a hard sell for ‘best in baseball.’ For the two year period of 1999 and 2000, he was probably the best hitter in baseball. 2. Was he the best player on his team? Yes, several times, though he played on some… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

I’d add a 16th….bringing to a new generation an updated “Rickey being Rickey” meme.

Richard Chester
Guest

I’m voting for Brown.

CursedClevelander
Guest

I’m voting Manny.

I have no quarrel with Brown winning, though. All of his superior contemporaries have already been elected, and I do feel he’s better than the remaining deadball pitchers with some support in the Redemption Rounds (Joss, McGinnity). I’m not sure he’s a ton better than those two, but I’m confident he’s the best of the 3.

opal611
Guest

My vote is for Manny Ramirez.

Thanks!

Andy
Guest

I’m going with Manny, but I would not have a problem with Brown being inducted.

Mike L
Guest

I realized I may have buried my vote under a ton of verbiage. Brown

Josh Davis
Guest
I think I’m a little newer to the party than most of you voters here, so forgive me if this issue has been discussed already, but I’d like to hear how other voters rationalize their votes/non-votes for Manny Ramirez, particularly in regards to his steroid suspension. I’ve noticed a number of voters comment that they won’t consider Ramirez because of his PED use. Completely understandable. I’m loathe to honor cheaters as well, but I also want to be fair across the board and that is where my dilemma with Ramirez comes in. There’s no doubt that he took banned substances.… Read more »
Doug
Guest
Josh, Our regulars exhibit a range of positions on PED use, some of which have been elaborated here. On the whole, if the prevailing judgment is that a player’s greatness was such that PED use was irrelevant (i.e. they were clearly “above the bar” before PED use was proven or suspected), then we’ve looked past that transgression, certainly more so than HoF voters who, as an example, are still shunning COG honorees Clemens and Bonds (who are tarred only with the “suspicion” of PED use, though their performance levels late in their careers make those suspicions quite strong). For players… Read more »
Josh Davis
Guest

Was there discussion on Perry’s spitballing? Or on Nettle’s corking? Do others tend to dock them for such transgressions?

Mike L
Guest

Josh, I’m a “redline” on PED use, but the larger group shows more nuance than I do. I wanted to point out something else, though. HOF voting requires 75%, and the percentage of HOF voters who have found a way to rationalize PED use is presently in the mid-fifties (and only for Bonds and Clemens). A COG candidate who gets 50+ of our voters is going to get in.

e pluribus munu
Guest
I think Doug and Mike have captured most of the dynamic here when it comes to PED players. I’m not a principled vote against any player found to have used, like Mike; I fit more closely Doug’s description: Bonds and Clemens seemed so clearly CoGworthy players who then added PED’s in order to illegitimately rise to the level of all-time leaders that I was able to vote for both despite feeling deeply resentful that the Top-5 quality of their career stats is fraudulent. As for Ramirez, there are some players you like in spite of their negative qualities and I… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
epm, excellent essay. I agree with almost all of it. Everything but the sentence: “they are the products of conduct outside baseball culture.” This is where I have a hard time dismissing PED players. The raw numbers of how many players we know were doing it say that it was absolutely part of the culture. It was a known fact of the locker room, that went unregulated by both management and media. There is a lot of willful ignorance in our (american)culture. And we fans are not without blame here either. We knew what we were looking at in 1998.… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
We’ve had this discussion before, Voomo. I think I understand and respect your point of view. I agree that PED use was a known fact in the locker room. However, it was a fact non-users deeply resented, different in kind, I believe, from the cases of spitballers and greenies. I don’t think it speaks poorly of fans that they’ll give players the benefit of the doubt until the evidence is strong. I don’t extend that view to baseball executives who became aware of what was going on and permitted fraud to continue as a business decision. I recognize that members… Read more »
Paul E
Guest
Voom, “……went unregulated by both management and media.” Jayson Stark of the Philadelphia Inquirer (and later, ESPN) wrote a “numbers” column every week (on Sunday, IIRC) where he espoused the Olympian feats of McGwire and, later, others. In response to questions I forwarded, he indicated in an e-mail that he had absolutely no idea, at that point, what was going on. My question is, “If the media is unaware, who informs the general public”? I believe it was later on, after the Sosa / McGwire gloat-fest of 1998, that McGwire’s jumbo size Andro jug was spotted by a reporter at… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

I just want to add that my discussion above talked about how people felt and feel, but not everyone feels the same. I think it’s fine that HHS voters who don’t see PED use the way I’ve described are making a different judgment if they think Manny’s the right choice.

Josh Davis
Guest
I appreciate the thoughtful response. I can see where one could make a distinction between types of cheating, but my knee-jerk reaction is that corking a bat is a fraudulent action as well. A players tools are not what they seem and statistics are affected. One could argue that athletes who take “performance enhancers” are maximizing their abilities, but still have to perform the physical feats demanded of them. In contrast, the doctoring of a ball or bat fundamentally changes the supposed basics of the game (i.e. we’re all using the same ball and same materials at the same distance).… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest
I am one of the people who penalize players on the fence for steroid use. If there’s any question at all about whether or not they would have made it without PED’s, they don’t get my vote. As far as other forms of cheating, it gets more complicated but in my mind it boils down to what I think of as “the gladiator effect”. Yeah, maybe some kid is going to try and throw the spitter or cork his bat but it ain’t going to work for long and in the end it does no lasting damage. And while Greenies… Read more »
Hub Kid
Guest
This is a remarkably well-tempered discussion (not out of the ordinary for HHS) about one heck of a controversy. I don’t like PEDs, or any unfair advantage, and I didn’t vote for Bonds or Clemens (who incidentally got about 60-70% of the COG vote each, which was easily a 25% drop compared to other of their calibre). We’ll never know all of the players who used (or are using now, despite a proper policy). I take the position that as a fan of baseball I can judge stats and careers and games, but innocence and guilt are mostly out of… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Kid, On the issue of having served time, I think there’s an additional factor. It can be highlighted by the way penalties are sometimes handled by the NCAA. (I do not want to be mistaken for an NCAA shill; I’m just pointing to this example.) When the NCAA penalizes a school for an extremely serious breach of rules, they have available and often use the option of changing the record book — wins, even championships, are taken away from the team. The goal is not only to punish individuals, but to preserve the “ethical integrity” of the record, even at… Read more »
Brendan Bingham
Guest

Voting for Mordecai Brown. Thanks.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Here’s where Manny measures up among players from 1991-2013 (2 years on either side of his career):

OPS:
1.124 .. Barry
1.043 .. McG
1.008 .. Pujols
.996 … MANNY
.982 … Booger
.974 … Big Hurt
.967 … Miggy
.960 … Vottomatic
.956 … Thome
.953 … Helton
.950 … Edgar

Paul E
Guest

OPS+ 1991-2013 among 20 best in OPS
1 Barry Bonds ……..197 1.124
2 Mark McGwire 173 1.043
3 Albert Pujols.. 165 1.008
4 Joey Votto…… 155 .960
5 Frank Thomas 155 .974
6 Miguel Cabrera 154 .967
7 Manny Ramirez 154 .996
8 Edgar Martinez 150 .950
9 Jeff Bagwell… 149 .948
10 Ryan Braun ……..147 .938
11 Jim Thome ……..147 .956

Dr. Doom
Guest
My vote IS in this post. I’ll put it on its own line so people can find it. I’ve only not voted in one election in COG history. It was the one in which Hank Aaron was elected. I was just a space cadet that week – i participated in the discussion, I was posting regular vote tally updates… I just forgot to vote. Anyway, every tiebreaker, every redemption round, every round, I’ve been here. Never have I cared as little about the result as this round. It’s not because these are borderline candidates – EVERYONE is a borderline candidate… Read more »
robbs
Guest

Always appreciate your elegant comments.

I think casting a vote for your least favorite ballot redeems your lapse in not voting for Hank Aaron.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Vote:

Manuel Aristides Ramirez

(I agree with most of what Doom wrote in the post above.)

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Manny would probably also lose a run-off vote for Best Player from George Washington High School.
Rod Carew also went there.
One curious b-r note on Carew – in the JAWS calculations they have him listed as a 2B, even though his games played are:
1184 … 1B
1130 … 2B
68 ……. DH

Dr. Doom
Guest

JAWS follows what Bill James does and lists players by the position assert which they earned the most value, rather than most games played. See also Ernie Banks.

e pluribus munu
Guest
Earlier on the string, Josh Davis opened up what I think is a very interesting line of discussion by pointing to the problem of treating different kinds of cheaters differently. Now Dr. Doom has added to that by his comparison of Manny Ramirez to Pete Rose, suggesting that Rose’s actions were far worse than Ramirez’s because betting could affect game outcomes more directly than PEDs. I think the Rose case, which is unique, can help clarify some of these issues. I believe that the ban on Rose playing a role in MLB is completely appropriate, but that his Hall ban… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
#1) I have found that those who watched Pete Rose in their formative years as baseball fans are far more likely to dismiss his sins than those older than they were. Somehow, they often don’t see that they do the same thing with steroid players that the older generation did to them, only they attempt to erase, essentially, an entire generation of baseball. I wonder why baseball struggles to sometimes connect with younger fans when Baby Boomers have systematically told older Millenials (like me): “The players you grew up watching were all cheaters and frauds, and they can’t be in… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Well, Doom, I expected my post might upset some people, but I didn’t mean to distract you from your weekend activities! #1, as a fan, I hated Rose and I still find him personally despicable. I rooted for the Mets in those days, and I’ll take John Rocker over Rose any day. I believe you have made an illegitimate substitution by arguing that old guys like me see PEDs as uniquely reprehensible because they are the sins of a different generation from ours. I can understand the appeal of that view and I am not in a position to dispute… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

I loved John Rocker. I’ll take unsavory honesty from a celebrity every single time.
Though, I was sort of rooting for him to get traded to Montreal.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

McGwire morally bankrupt? I doubt that. Seemed like a good guy. As for the morals of his cheating, you gotta give him credit for thinking ahead. In ’98, when the (very quiet) questions of “how is he doing that?” started swirling, suddenly a big jar of andro (legal, over the counter) appeared in his locker.
Beautiful piece of deflection.

Here’s an article a year later, still artfully deflecting:
http://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/06/sports/baseball-mcgwire-stopped-his-use-of-andro-four-months-ago.html

Paul E
Guest
I’m no attorney, nor was I ever that guy on the ‘forensics” team. But, I will say this regarding Rose and baseball gambling: Since he was a little boy at Macon in A ball or D ball or God knows whatever it may have been in 1959 or 1960, there was a sign on the wall that basically stated, “No gambling allowed”. It was baseball’s only rule; their “Golden Rule” that baseball was going to defend come hell or high water. If he was too stupid or too arrogant to think he could get away with it, tough shit. If… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

Paul, I have no good response to an argument that posits that violating the betting rule is, in itself, valid grounds for exclusion from the Hall. On those grounds, Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker should almost certainly be banned too. I don’t happen to agree with that position. I do feel it is valid grounds for a ban from any role in MLB baseball, and I’ll be happy to go along with any nasty things you may say about Pete Rose’s character and social intelligence.

Good story.

Paul E
Guest
Pete also owned and played his horses….at Delaware Park, he would put down a boatload on his horse and totally change the board. He might not have won often while betting sports (of all kinds) but he certainly made enough money to pay his bills. I guess that’s what the state lottery commission calls “betting responsibly”. Pete (and Jetes?) may have had the best teammates, of anybody, in the history of the game. CF Pinson 2B Morgan 3B Schmidt RF Robinson C Bench LF Foster 1B Perez SS Concepcion While Pete played with this guys, they all seemed to be… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

This is a 5-minute video of Pete Rose and Jose Canseco talking with the Big Hurt:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0Jv6cMu7bg

robbs
Guest

And don’t forget Ken Griffey Jr’s dad.

Mike L
Guest
I’m going to make just one argument against this closely-reasoned post. Rose bet on games when he was managing. For me, that would have ended it. We have no idea whether he bet on each game or how much he bet when he bet. But unless he bet the same amount every single day, his roster management comes into question. How he puts together his lineup,, when he pulls his starter, how he uses his bullpen, when he gives his regulars an off-day are all relevant to the chances of winning games. And unless he bet on each game the… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Since Rose’s betting slips show only bets for his team, I don’t see how the influence on the game works. I think your logic is: If he tries harder on the days he bets, he must not try hard on the days he doesn’t bet. It is a logical assertion, but not a necessary one, and I don’t know of any evidence that it’s true. If Rose bet when he thought his team was a good bet to win and didn’t bet when he thought his team was not a good bet to win, the implication is that he might… Read more »
Mike L
Guest
Thanks for the response. My reaction is a narrow one–and a hypothetical: It’s 1986, Rose has retired as a player, and is now purely a Manager. My Catcher is 34 year old Bo Diaz, my 3B 35 year old Buddy Bell, and my right fielder 36 year old Dave Parker. John Franco is my closer, two other relief pitchers, Frank Williams and Rob Murphy pitch in 85 and 87 games respectively. I have a day game on Saturday, and a double header Sunday. How am I betting on the three games, and who am I using?
e pluribus munu
Guest
Mike, I think your hypothetical relates to what Paul wrote below, which I responded to before seeing your post. Perhaps my response to Paul will serve here as well. But to add something in light of your scenario, I think our presumption should be that Rose bet on his team when he thought it was a good bet to win and not when he didn’t think it was a good bet to win. I suspect your hypothetical, given the cluster of games, would be a case where Rose would be less likely to bet at all. After all, there may… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Or, to put it bluntly “it’s 4-3 going into the top of the 9th, but I’ve got nothing on this game but do have a big bet down on the front end of tomorrow’s double header. If I use Franco now, he’s not coming in tomorrow.”

e pluribus munu
Guest

Not sure if you’d read my reply before posting this, Mike. If you had then I was obviously unconvincing, but I don’t think I have anything to add.

Mike L
Guest

I think I must have missed it. I’ve blathered enough, anyway

e pluribus munu
Guest
Yes, one can construct those hypotheticals, Doug. I pointed out that manager Rose throwing a game might make choices motivated by his bet that worked to his team’s long-term benefit. Those issues are interesting and relevant to the reasons betting is outlawed in baseball, but don’t bear on the intrinsic ethical qualities of betting for or against one’s team, which are fundamentally different. By betting on his team, Rose may have put himself in a position where he would be tempted to make an unethical choice during the game. But unless he makes that unethical choice for reasons of his… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

PS: I’m writing as if all my assertions were correct. I believe they are, which is a very different matter.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

epm, can you elaborate on this:
“I thought it was insane for anyone to hire him as a manager, and I was completely unsurprised by the results.”

What results do you mean?

1982 … 61-101
1983 … 74-88
1984 … 70-92
Pete Rose Hired as Manager
1985 … 89-72
1986 … 86-76
1987 … 84-78
1988 … 75-59 (30-day suspension for touching umpire Dave Pallone’s arm)
1989 … 59-66 (might have been a bit distracted)

e pluribus munu
Guest

Oh, I didn’t mean W-L, Voomo. I meant conduct. I saw Rose as a great baseball man and a socially immature person. I felt he was a powder keg and that some incident would blow things up. I didn’t expect it to be betting: I thought it would be conflict with players or something like that, so I was no prophet. But I wasn’t surprised by the gambling.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

He can definitely talk baseball:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIcfFozZnyI

Doug
Guest

I remember reading of how Rose could give you a pitch-by-pitch recap of the game he had just played in (not just his PAs but the whole game). Definitely had his head in the game playing and, one would assume, when managing.

Hartvig
Guest

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Rose’s managing record is that in 85 and 86 he pretty much had an offensive black hole at first base, at least a significant portion of the time.

Paul E
Guest

Mike L
or, “how much he currently owes his bookie”, might be some real motivation to go with a starter (or closer) for too long. Risking possible injury to players? Yeah, sure – “throw the book at him”

e pluribus munu
Guest
There’s some legitimacy to this argument, which essentially opposes long-term team goods against short-term betting goods. I suppose the counter is that, as a manager, the balance of Rose’s interests were firmly rooted in the horizon of the team’s season record. You could, of course, push the issue of short-term desperation, or just posit that Rose was so stupid that he couldn’t recognize his interest in long-term player health in the face of short-term gains. But now you’re into both hypotheticals and post hoc reasoning, still without any evidence that this sort of thing actually happened. (Still, again, the argument… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

But, all in all, he bet on baseball. Which, at the time (as well as now), was illegal and against baseball’s ‘cardinal’ rule (as opposed to, “No Playing Pepper”). We’re arguing hypothetical scenarios when, factually/actually, he bet on baseball.
In a society where you now can’t even make a suggestive comment to an actress, waitress, or secretary (yeah, sorry to go there), we’re sure giving Pete the benefit of the doubt for his past illegal indiscretions.

e pluribus munu
Guest
Paul, I’ve acknowledged that if you believe that violation of the no-betting rule is in itself sufficient for a Hall ban, then a Hall ban should be your position. I don’t share your view when it comes to the Hall, though I think a lifetime baseball ban for Rose was entirely appropriate. I see no argument between us: this is simply a matter of opinion about the degree of seriousness pertaining to this rule violation. Arguing that there is an essential distinction in kind between betting for or against one’s team is not a matter of hypotheticals; it is a… Read more »
Paul E
Guest
My point merely is that MLB has a rule and Giamatti, obviously, agreed to the point of enforcement. Cooperstown is kind of like a country club, a church, even a corporation, in that they all have rules and requirements for being a member. We could get into degrees of morality (Speaker was possibly a member of the KKK , Cobb was a racist, Anson was a racist, etc….) but my feeling is that the CoG holds these athletes to a higher standard of performance and behavior. Or, were we merely to eliminate the Chick Hafeys of the world, based on… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

And far more briefly, here is a video of Pete Rose getting exactly what he deserves:

https://youtu.be/LxmvAFGbeFA?t=3m33s

Paul E
Guest

ahhh, the pile driver – a horrible comeuppance for any shill. Not quite as sweet as the 3-6-3 double play but, I guess it’s a quicker payday than signing autographs for 8 hours and trying to avoid the IRS.
BTW, like who isn’t digging Pete’s current arm candy? But, I digress…..

e pluribus munu
Guest
Replying to Paul on Giamatti: I think Giamatti was a good guy and Vincent just as fine. But I don’t share their view of Rose and the Hall. I believe both became understandably frustrated and angry about Rose’s refusal to admit guilt and negotiate a penalty in good faith, and that the outcome of those angry dynamics transformed the view of the Hall’s status into those you state, significantly heightened over the way the Hall’s exclusionary aspect was viewed pre-Rose. Yes, the CoG process is democratic. If you want to see the vote as holding athletes to a higher standard… Read more »
Paul E
Guest
E P M, I dunno if it’s unethical or not to bet or your own team. If you’re a player or a manager, you certainly have “inside” information regarding injuries and miscellaneous player idiosyncrasies; however, if the inside information fails you, you could have a possible problem with unsavory gambling types. This is probably what Landis was trying to avoid 100 years ago. If you’re a manager, there’s always the temptation and dilemma of Mike L’s hypothetical above. If you’re a bookie, obviously you might think this guy knows what he’s doing and it might behoove me to lay off… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Paul, I’d agree entirely that Landis made the right decision in cutting baseball off from all contact with gamblers and making “No Gambling” an absolute rule, one that Rose flagrantly broke. You’re perfectly right that there might be issues about inside information, etc., which would concern the ethics of the relation between the bettor and the bookie. And all sorts of bad consequences can result from dealing with bookies, but those are not ethical issues: they’re prudential ones. When you bet against your team and you’re involved in the game, the outcome is to a greater or lesser degree in… Read more »
Paul E
Guest
If he tries to win a game going with Franco on a third straight day (in lieu of Murphy or Hume), he’s putting Franco at risk. That, to me, is a problem. If he plays Parker, at age 37, in three games in 2 days, that certainly can create a potential problem come September. You can’t go 162-0 but if he’s betting the Reds every night, though he might be foolish enough to try. AAA players are not adequate replacements for injured stars. That, is a problem for Pete’s long term interests. Tommy John surgery for your closer, Thomas Howard… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Paul, I didn’t claim betting on your team enhances the integrity of the game. I said it was not intrinsically unethical, in contrast to betting against your team, which is intrinsically unethical. You’ve imagined a number of cases where unethical conduct could arise, and they are well imagined. You can continue to imagine more. I think they are significant, but I don’t think they pertain to my argument, which concerns the dramatically different intrinsic ethical natures of the acts of betting for and against your team. Because I am interested in the intrinsic nature of the acts, I haven’t tried… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

I get it. Absolutely, betting on your team is not akin to throwing games.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Here is Dykstra talking about both Pete Rose, and the reality of why and how he did steroids in the 90’s

https://youtu.be/uZHoq4oeUOw?t=1m33s

e pluribus munu
Guest
It is very hard for me to watch this engaging video and not think harder about the reality facing PED users, Voomo. Good choice. But now look at Dykstra’s B-R page. How are we to assess his excellent four-year 20+ WAR peak, 1990-93? He’s got a 137 OPS+: 37% better than players, most of whom were not using steroids — but what percent better on an even playing field (who knows?). Lennie did the deal and earned many millions of dollars. I liked him as a player (I remember him as a Met in the Ron Hunt mold of toughness);… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

You might want to watch a few more Dykstra interviews before you decide you like him.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

By with regards to roids, here he is with Dan Patrick going into more detail:

https://youtu.be/xrg2ppO23ec?t=5m11s

e pluribus munu
Guest

Halfway was more than enough for me on this one, Voomo. I prefer him straight — who knows what he was on during the Patrick interview.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Yeah, you should (shouldn’t) hear him on howard stern discussing his, um, technique with 80-year-old women who hire him for companionship.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Ok, pass.

Josh Davis
Guest

I appreciate the various opinions and friendly discussion. Not everyone draws the same line on steroids or cheating and that is what makes such discussions interesting I suppose. I wasn’t here for the Perry or Rose votes, but personally I’m unwilling to draw a line that includes gamblers and spitballers but excludes PED users. I can see the argument for doing so, but I’m uncomfortable with it. So, my vote remains with Manny Ramirez, who I think, sans the cheater label, would sail into the Circle based on his spectacular hitting.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Your posts really enhanced this discussion, Josh.

Doug
Guest
My vote goes to Ramirez, baggage and all. – 9 qualified .300/.400/.500 seasons incl. 6 with .600 slugging. Only Bonds has more among his contemporaries. – Difference maker for two notoriously underachieving franchises. Two pennant-winning seasons with each. – 29 post-season home runs, including 14 in only 21 WS games. Multiple home runs in 12 post-season series. – Despite his well-deserved reputation as a liability in the field, Manny twice led all AL outfielders in assists, and had one season with the best fielding percentage among left-fielders and another season (albeit only 55 games) without an error committed. (alas, he… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Doug, I’m never going to argue Manny’s raw hitting stats. But I’m going to push back on the assists titles. Dante Bichette led in 1998 and 1999, and managed -1.3dWAR in 1998, and an impressive -3.9 dWAR in 1999.

Doug
Guest

The last point was mainly in jest. I expect Bichette and Manny got some of those assists throwing out a runner on the bases after dropping an easy fly.

CursedClevelander
Guest

I do think in 1996 as a RF in Cleveland when he led the league in OF assists his assist total was earned largely through having a decent arm, and not just because of park effects or runners testing him more often. Of course even back then he also led the league in errors and had a negative Rfield, so I’m under no illusion that he was ever an acceptable fielder.

Richard Chester
Guest

And my analysis for highest percentage of runners driven in (after eliminating PA with BB) for the searchable era shows Manny as number 1.

e pluribus munu
Guest
Just a general comment as this interesting runoff moves into its last day (Brown’s lead having slipped to 11-9, by my count) . . . I wonder what makes some great hitters bad fielders. Is it indifference, or are the hand/eye skills involved so different? Ted Williams, the guy with the best eye ever, was notorious for being a bad fielder (his stats actually say that till his final years he was perfectly adequate patrolling the small area of Fenway’s left field, but that wasn’t his rep). The reason isn’t really a mystery: Williams said he didn’t much care and… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

As a tangent to the Rose tangent, to illustrate just how good Ty Cobb was, here are the number of batting titles some of his contemporaries won (with their lifetime BA noted):

0 … .356 … Joe Jackson
0 … .333 … Eddie Collins
1 … .345 … Tristram Speaker
1 … .342 … George Ruth
2 … .340 … George Sisler

note: Both Tyrus and Nap Lajoie are credited with the batting title in 1910.
But on each of their pages, Nap has a .384, and Cobb has a .383

227/591= .3840947
194/506= .3833992

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Ah yes, the issue of the 1910 batting title has been thoroughly investigated:

http://cleveland.indians.mlb.com/cle/history/story1.jsp

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

And of course, 8 of the top 13 seasons in Rbat (batting runs better than average) belong to G.H. Ruth.
It was 8 of the top 10 before Barry Bonds became a late-autumn bloomer.

Paul E
Guest

Kind of remiscent of Hal McRae crying about the 1976(?) AL batting race results on the final day of the season

Josh Davis
Guest

There is an excellent book on the 1910 batting race and its aftermath (still controversial decades later) by Rick Huhn titled “The Chalmers Race.” I’d highly recommend it.

CursedClevelander
Guest
In regards to Hal Chase, I’ve often posited two theories: 1. No one doubts Chase was an attractive man – not physically, but he had something about him that made others want to believe in him. As Bill James notes, here’s a man who was called out as crooked by Matty and Frank Chance, two of the most respected men of their time, and yet he continued to skate by for almost another decade. People *wanted* him to be clean, and so they convinced themselves that all these little coincidences must mean nothing. Chase gave a player that helped lose… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

“People *wanted* him to be clean, and so they convinced themselves that all these little coincidences must mean nothing.”
Interesting comment.

e pluribus munu
Guest
The Round 127 Runoff seems to have ended quietly, with no votes being cast on the final day. According to my tabulations, after piling up an early lead with nine of the initial ten votes, Mordecai Brown has held on to prevail by a final vote of 11 to 9. Votres were (in order of votes cast): Chris Bodig, epm, Scary Tuna, Hartvig, Dave Humbert, Paul E, Hub Kid, Mike L, Jeff Harris, dr. remulak, JEV, Richard Chester, Cursed Clevelander, opal611, Andy, Brendan Bingham, Dr. Doom, Voomo Zanzibar, Josh Davis, and Doug. If anyone spots a missed vote or error,… Read more »
robbs
Guest

Voting for 3 finger Brown. Manny used after explicitly against the rules.

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