Circle of Greats 1974 Balloting Part 1

This post is for voting and discussion in the 129th round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  This is the first of four rounds of balloting adding to the list of candidates eligible to receive your votes those players born in 1974. Rules and lists are after the jump.

The new group of 1974-born players, in order to join the eligible list, must, as usual, have played at least 10 seasons in the major leagues or generated at least 20 Wins Above Replacement (“WAR”, as calculated by baseball-reference.com, and for this purpose meaning 20 total WAR for everyday players and 20 pitching WAR for pitchers). This first group of 1974-born candidates, including those with A-C surnames, joins the eligible holdovers from previous rounds to comprise the full list of players eligible to appear on your ballots.

In addition to voting for COG election among players on the main ballot, there will be also be voting for elevation to the main ballot among players on the secondary ballot. For both ballots, which may be voted at the same time or in separate posts, voters must include three and only three eligible players. For the main ballot election, the one player who appears on the most ballots cast in the round is inducted into the Circle of Greats, while for the secondary ballot election, the one player appearing on the most ballots cast is elevated to the main ballot for the next COG election round. In the case of ties, a runoff election round will be held for COG election, while a tie-breaking process will be followed to determine the secondary ballot winner.

Players who fail to win either ballot but appear on half or more of the ballots that are cast win four added future rounds of ballot eligibility. Players who appear on 25% or more of the ballots cast, but less than 50%, earn two added future rounds of ballot eligibility. One additional round of eligibility is earned by any player who appears on at least 10% of the ballots cast or, for the main ballot only, any player finishing in the top 9 (including ties) in ballot appearances. Holdover candidates on the main ballot who exhaust their eligibility will drop to the secondary ballot for the next COG election round, as will first time main ballot candidates who attract one or more votes but do not earn additional main ballot eligibility. Secondary ballot candidates who exhaust their eligibility will drop from that ballot, but will become eligible for possible reinstatement in a future Redemption round election.

All voting for this round closes at 11:59 PM EST Thursday, January 31st, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:59 PM EST Tuesday, January 29th.

If you’d like to follow the vote tally, and/or check to make sure I’ve recorded your vote correctly, you can see my ballot-counting spreadsheet for this round here: COG 1974 Part 1 Vote Tally. I’ll be updating the spreadsheet periodically with the latest votes. Initially, there is a row in the spreadsheet for every voter who has cast a ballot in any of the past rounds, but new voters are entirely welcome — new voters will be added to the spreadsheet as their ballots are submitted. Also initially, there is a column for each of the holdover candidates; additional player columns from the new born-in-1974 group will be added to the spreadsheet as votes are cast for them.

Choose your three players from the lists below of eligible players. The current holdovers are listed in order of the number of future rounds (including this one) through which they are assured eligibility, and alphabetically when the future eligibility number is the same. The 1974 birth-year players are listed below in order of the number of seasons each played in the majors, and alphabetically among players with the same number of seasons played.

Holdovers:

MAIN BALLOTELIGIBILITYSECONDARY BALLOTELIGIBILITY
Kevin Brown11 roundsAndre Dawson10 rounds
Luis Tiant8 roundsTed Lyons
4 rounds
Dick Allen5 roundsRick Reuschel
4 rounds
Bill Dahlen5 roundsWillie Randoph
3 rounds
Manny Ramirez5 roundsTodd Helton
3 rounds
Graig Nettles3 rounds Andy Pettitte
this round ONLY
Bobby Wallace
3 rounds
Richie Ashburn
2 rounds
Dwight Evans
2 rounds
Ken Boyerthis round ONLY
Ted Simmons
this round ONLY
Don Sutton
this round ONLY

Everyday Players (born in 1974, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR, A-C surname):
Bobby Abreu
Miguel Cairo
Orlando Cabrera
Frank Catalanotto
Jamey Carroll
Marlon Anderson
Sean Casey
Jose Cruz
Roger Cedeno
Mark Bellhorn
Emil Brown

Pitchers (born in 1974, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR, A-C surname):
Chad Bradford

As is our custom with first time candidates, here is a factoid and related quiz question on each of the new players on the ballot.

  1. Bobby Abreu recorded thirteen straight seasons (1998-2010) playing 150 or more games, tied with Willie Mays (1954-66) for the longest such streak in majors history. Excepting strike-shortened campaigns, which three players have longer streaks of such seasons? (Pete Rose, Cal Ripken, Rafael Palmeiro)
  2. Miguel Cairo played in 29 post-season games, but never in the World Series. Which player has appeared in the most post-season games without playing in the World Series? (Russell Martin)
  3. Orlando Cabrera is one of three five players with 600 games at shortstop in each league. Who are the other two four? (Monte Cross, George Davis, Leo Cardenas, Royce Clayton)
  4. Frank Catalanotto topped 100 OPS+ and 15 oWAR for his career. Among such players with careers starting in 1995 or later, which retired outfielder hit fewer home runs than Catalanotto’s total of 84? (Angel Pagan)
  5. Jamey Carroll played over 250 games at 2B, SS and 3B. Who was the first expansion era player with such a career? (Tony Phillips)
  6. Chad Bradford recorded a 0.39 ERA for his post-season career. Who is the only pitcher with a lower career ERA in 20+ post-season games? (John Rocker)
  7. Marlon Anderson’s 7 home runs for the Dodgers are tied for the most by any player with fewer than 50 games for LA. Who was the first player with this achievement? (Steve Bilko)
  8. Jose Cruz’s .198 career ISO is fifth highest in a 5000 PA career with OPS+ under 105. Which player with OPS+ under 105 as a Blue Jay has the only ISO higher than Cruz’s in 2500 PA in Toronto? (Joe Carter)
  9. Sean Casey’s 197 hits in 1999 are the most by a Reds first baseman in the post-war era. Which post-war era Reds first baseman recorded a season leading the NL in hits? (Ted Kluszewski, 1955)
  10. Roger Cedeno’s age 24 season for the 1999 Mets featured a .300 BA, 60 steals and 60 walks. Which other NL player posted these totals at as young an age and, like Cedeno, did not lead his league in steals? (John McGraw, 1894-95)
  11. Mark Bellhorn‘s best season came in 2002 for the Cubs with 27 HR and an .886 OPS, but only 56 RBI. Who is the only Cub to post a higher OPS and fewer RBI in a 400 PA season? (Topsy Hartsel, 1901)
  12. Emil Brown logged 600 PA and stroked 150 hits in consecutive seasons (2005-06) aged 30-31, the oldest player to do so in his first two years in Kansas City. Who is the youngest player to post these totals in his first two seasons as a Royal? (Amos Otis)

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229 Comments on "Circle of Greats 1974 Balloting Part 1"

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CursedClevelander
Guest

8. This is definitely HHS favorite Joe Carter.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

The answer to the first question must be Rose and Ripken.

Doug
Guest

Not sure why I wrote two, but there are actually three players, those two and one more.

Dr. Doom
Guest

Lower the threshold to 146 games and Ichiro joins them at 13 seasons. I haven’t the foggiest who the third player would be.

Doug
Guest

Lou Gehrig makes 13 seasons at 149 games, dipping that one game below 150 just once.

Richard Chester
Guest

Rafael Palmeiro?

Doug
Guest

That’s it.

Dr. Doom
Guest

Is #4 Denard Span, or are we assuming he gets a job this summer?

Dr. Doom
Guest

9. Definitely Ted Kluszewski, 1955.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
For several years I’ve been posting a table of certain stats for all the CoG candidates I regard as viable. The key figures include: Total WAR Peak 5-yr WAR Best 5 yrs for WAR WAR/G or WAR/9IP WAR/yr (with certain minimal criteria for a season to count) OPS+/ERA+ Career length, with the shortest career among the candidates (hitters & pitchers separate) the reference point at 1.0. I don’t know if anyone pays the least attention to these tables. Obviously, they present an incomplete picture because they are so reliant on WAR, an imperfect measure. But I’m posting them again, mostly… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

If you ranked the main ballot position players, 1-10, for each category and added them up, F W I W, it would look like:
27 Allen
28 Boyer
31 Ashburn
32 Manny
37 Nettles
37 Abreu
38 Wallace
42 Evans
55 Simmons

Whether or not this is relevant from a “logic” standpoint is anybody’s guess. If you asked me (and no one is asking), I’d go with oWAR and/or rBAT as some sort of tie-breaker in any discussion on the merits of any of these players. But, again, no one asked

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
An awfully odd approach, Paul. By the way, Dahlen would be at 36, but I have no idea what that means. I think rBAT or oWAR make sense for outfielders and first basemen, whose defensive contributions lie in a narrow range, and who are expected to produce most of their value at bat. For the keystone infielders and catchers, I don’t think they are a fair measure, since they are expected to produce much more value in the field. Third basemen, it seems to me, vary by era on that score. In theory, oWAR and dWAR are on the same… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Dept. of Shameless Self-Promotion Last spring, I wrote a series of posts for HHS devoted to baseball in the 1890s, which I regard as the point where the sport exits its early phase and enters its “modern” one (for reasons I explain ad nauseum in the posts). One of my goals in writing those posts was to create some interest in the era during which two of our CoG candidates played significant portions of their careers: Bill Dahlen and Bobby Wallace. My thinking was that those two players, who are the WAR leaders among current candidates, lose support because, although… Read more »
Joseph
Guest

Wallace’s stats are so unimpressive it’s hard for me to understand how he accumulated so much WAR.

I’m going to go read your Part 1 through 3 articles in hopes of understanding. But maybe you have an explanation?

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
The most relevant data would be in Part 3, Joseph, where fielding is a topic, but I don’t deal with Wallace individually. The period of Wallace’s career saw a dramatic change in fielding standards, and Wallace was a leader of that change. This was a time of very low TTO play: in baseball before Wallace’s career period fielders allowed many more batters to reach base and there was about a 7% likelihood that a chance would lead to an error (by the end of Wallace’s career that figure would be about 4%, an enormous change). Wallace was famous for realizing… Read more »
Joseph
Guest

Thanks for the extensive reply. Makes sense.

koma
Guest

2: Russel Martin 57 games
3: Royce Clayton, Monte Cross, Leo Cardenas, George Davis (hmm 4 players?!?)

Main Ballot Vote: Manny Ramirez, Luis Tiant, Kevin Brown
Secondary Ballot Vote: Andy Pettitte, Todd Helton, Andre Dawson

Doug
Guest

I hadn’t considered 19th century players, but thanks for pointing out Cross and Davis.

koma
Guest

4: Angel Pagan hit 64 HR with an OPS+ of 102 and 18.6 oWAR

koma
Guest

5; Tony Phillips

koma
Guest

7: Steve Bilko in 1958

koma
Guest

10: George Burns 1914 (was only third)
John McGraw 1894 (second) and 1895 (third)

koma
Guest

11: Topsy Hartsel in 1901 with OPS of .886 and 54 RBI

koma
Guest

12: George Brett in his age 22 and 23 seasons

Dr. Doom
Guest
My ballot is below. I’ve decided to put in a little bit of work that I haven’t done in a few years. I have always included a (peak-weighted) modified version of Baseball-Reference WAR to determine my votes (with some extra credit given for catchers, as well as the logical considerations of wartime service, racial segregation, etc.). I’ve long thought that I should include Fangraphs’ WAR in my considerations. You might think, “That only matters for pitchers,” but that’s just not true. Sure, Bobby Abreu (60.3, 59.6) looks the same by either measure. But that’s not everybody. Here are three non-pitchers… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Since I’m playing the role of 1890s-defender, I want to respond to Doom’s comment: “. . . I don’t believe they were really playing Major League Baseball. Even in the late-1890s, I think it’s unclear that the level of competition was that great.” (I originally wrote, “respond briefly,” but when the data changes, I change my mind!) To take the last part first, level of competition generally rises throughout MLB history. The CoG rules, which try to replicate the psychology of the early BBWAA voters, rather than the rules, assume that there is some significant feature to the year 1901,… Read more »
Dr, Doom
Guest
I mean, we’ve had this discussion before. But let’s have it again; it’s a fun one. 1. There was no “rule” about pre-1901 balloting. I (and some others) have chosen not to vote for pre-1901 players, partly because we were reliving the BBWAA. They didn’t consider those guys, because that was “a different game.” They had an expert committee. If I can vote for those players, I probably should’ve been writing in Josh Gibson and Bullet Joe Rogan for a LONG time, since A.) I’m sure that the Negro Leagues of the ’30s and ’40s were of higher quality than… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Doom, You make some good points: The low point of 1901 was quickly repaired and in a few years MLB did cast a broader net for talent. (But 1901 was a low point.) The syndicate baseball year of 1899 produced the absurd anomaly of the Cleveland Outcasts, and competitive balance was disrupted as a result (though no other syndicate result was extreme, and 1899 was the only year of syndicate baseball). Let me respond to your other points by number. 1. You say that the BBWAA didn’t vote for 19th century players because baseball then was “a different game.” I… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Fair enough. I want to make a couple of points. First, about the grab-bag. I don’t disagree that this is a grab-bag; I don’t disagree that it’s irrelevant. However, think about this: do top-tier leagues share these features? They do not. They simply don’t; as quality of play improves, so do these other features; it’s inevitable. The game of the first decade of the twentieth century was radically improved from the game of the last decade of the 19th in all of these regards. Second, a minor quibble: you say that I pointed to 1899, a famously rough year in… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Well, Doom, if the series last spring didn’t convince you, or at least pique your interest, I think it would be futile to try to do so here. Really, that’s pretty much all I got. But the focus of the series was on changes in the game itself, not on the ancillary features that you take to be a certain index of game quality. When you say, “Do top tier leagues share these features?” I think the answer in the 1890s is obviously, “yes,” and the answer in later decades is increasingly, “no.” But this is not a mystery: the… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
I blew by this really good exchange between you and Doom when it happened a couple days ago. Something I’ve felt for a long time (and used to post about when I was here regularly) is that I believe that your characterization is roughly correct — that the quality of play has been going up over time, and that the curve is especially steep between 1947 and 1960. But I think it was also pretty steep between 1900 and 1930. I agree with Doom that 1920 might be as good a starting point as 1900. Things don’t really feel “major… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
A very thoughtful post, Michael. The point of view you’re expressing makes perfectly good sense, but I believe that the price of adopting it is to unnecessarily devalue baseball’s entire history, relegating it to a prelude to the present, which will someday in the future do the same to today’s players. Baseball differs from other professional sports in the degree to which its history is expressed through the length, detail, and integrity of its statistical record. No other sport debates the relative worth of its history of players to the degree baseball does because the early data is too sparse… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
I should be clear — I really don’t mean to take the tack that we should be looking at absolute value! In that case, you’re right that we’d probably have to ignore everybody that wasn’t outerworldly from before 1960ish, and how do you even know — is Ruth comparable to Barry Bonds, or Albert Belle, or some dude that never made it out of AAA? So I still want to compare people to the era they played in, but I don’t like seeing what seem like inflated WAR totals based on the fact that replacement players were much further below… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Michael, This sounds a lot more interesting. You seem to be interested in analyzing competitive balance, and for that we’d need to assemble curves for each season, plotting the distributions of OPS+ and ERA+. Wouldn’t the notion then change from a steady improvement of skills and performance to a more rapid rise in quality among the least talented, with average talent rising in quality faster than outstanding talent? If that’s the model, wouldn’t we expect the highest career OPS+/ERA+ figures to come disproportionately from the early (or perhaps early and PED) eras? At a first glance, that does not seem… Read more »
Gary Bateman
Guest

Main ballot-Boyer, Ashburn, Dahlen
Secondary-Dawson, Randolph, Helton

no statistician but
Guest
Before we get back to the dogfight over the same 10 or 15 marginally acceptable COG entries that have been on ballots for what is now literally years, I’m going to try to probe the worthiness for inclusion in this group of Bobby Abreau by comparing his record with that of someone already in the group, Dwight Evans. Both played right field, both had long careers, both hit for medium power for their eras, Evans a little more. Other similarities: Both walked a lot, Abreau early in his career while with Houston especially, Evans later. OPS+ Abreau 128, Evans 127.… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Well presented, nsb.

I was hedging on whether to give a vote to Abreu but, as you’ve demonstrated, he just seemed to come up a little short.

I’ve found the 65 WAR test (maybe 55 WAR for catchers) to be pretty reliable in guiding my selections. Most above that line seem to merit serious consideration as borderline candidates, most below somehow not.

Dr. Doom
Guest
Well-put, nsb. BTW, Abreu (0.7) and Evans (2.3) have two of the smallest differentials on the ballot between bWAR and fWAR. Only Dahlen (2.1) slides between them, with Nettles (2.3) having the same difference as Evans. Another player we’ll see this year in the balloting (Jeter, 0.2 difference); but he’s not here yet. The biggest differences belong to Tiant (11.2), Secondary Ballot candidate Ted Lyons (12.7), and Don Sutton, who is unrecognizable between the two systems at a difference of a whopping 16.7 WAR. As for HOF voting, I expect Abreu won’t do much better than Evans did. I probably… Read more »
koma
Guest

12: Amos Otis in his 23 and 24 age seasons comming from the Mets

PS: Q6: Postseason search is very difficult on BR;-)

Bruce Gilbert
Guest

This is Bruce Gilbert: my main ballot picks are Don Sutton, Ted Simmons and Dwight Evans. My Secondary threesome is Ted Lyons, Andre Dawson and Andy Pettite.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Doom has raised the issue of whether we should consult Fangraphs WAR. I have a very strong objection to fWAR for pitchers — I could explain those objections again, but I won’t — but it seems to me reasonable to consider fWAR for position players. Here is the list of the current main ballot position players, with fWAR indicated:

Abreu (59.6)
Allen (61.3)
Ashburn (57.6)
Boyer (54.7)
Dahlen (77.5)
Evans (65.1)
Nettles (65.7)
Ramirez (66.3)
Simmons (64.9)
Wallace (62.4)

Wallace has an additional 5.8 for his pitching, but since I don’t believe fWAR is reliable for pitchers, I have not added it in.

Michael Sullivan
Guest
So, I started to write a comment about the dramatic difference in Simmon’s fWAR v. bWAR and what it might mean — perhaps fWAR takes framing into account (no), or some other stat that makes a big difference. I went over to fangraphs (which I don’t visit as often as b-r) to check on what exactly goes into their catcher WAR, and then look at Simmon’s chart to make sense of the differences, and what I found was that it was much simpler — looks like Bob made a typo — Simmon’s fWAR is 54.2 (needs a catcher adjustment to… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

You’e right, Michael: Simmons’ fWAR figure was a typo. Sorry! Wish I could get in there and correct it. (Doug . . . ?)

I agree with you on fWAR for pitchers. I think B-R takes the right approach by calculating the quality of the defense behind pitchers and adjusting on that basis. Although there are plenty of flaws in defensive stats and another layer of problems in applying season defensive stats in a blanket way, it’s certainly far better than evaluating pitchers without to BiP outcomes, which generally constitute more than half of each game.

Mike L
Guest

OMG, I don’t think I can cope with this so sooooooon. Miguel Cairo does look tempting.

Dr, Doom
Guest
Vote Cairo! He was an original Devil Ray! He somehow played for 9 franchises in 17 seasons! He had two stints with the Cubs… and the Cardinals… and the Yankees! He had two different seasons in which he played first, second, short, third, left, right, and DH! He had double-digit sac bunts three times! More career WAR (7.7) than Willie Bloomquist (1.6)! He led the league in Range Factor per 9 among second basemen in 1999! He had the third-best dWAR in the AL in 1998! He once stole 28 bases (2000)! He nearly managed double-digit homers once (8 in… Read more »
CursedClevelander
Guest

Off Topic: Some of you may remember that I taped Jeopardy! a couple months ago. My show is finally airing – tomorrow, January 25th! If you are able to watch and cheer me on, I’d very much appreciate it. I’m Steven, the contestant on the right-most podium.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Glad you posted this reminder here, CC, since the CoG posts generally bring in a wider HHS group. Hopefully, some of our long-lost friends will return over the next day (or over the next few days, if they have cable access to past shows) and learn about your breakthrough as the first HHS regular to do combat on Jeopardy! I know the show was taped awhile back, but, nevertheless, Good Luck!

Mike L
Guest

Thanks, Cursed. If I can get home in time, I’ll tune in and cheer.

mosc
Guest

Oh man. Is there a way to stream this? I cut the cord but I would love to watch this. What network is Jeopardy even on? I’ll find some way to watch it tonight!

CursedClevelander
Guest

For people without TVs, I have a link to the episode on Dailymotion I can post after it airs.

Michael Sullivan
Guest

Please do, would be fun to watch.

CursedClevelander
Guest
Michael Sullivan
Guest
Very nice! Congrats! So you’ll be on again as the champ? Love the confidence and game theory with your bid on final to guarantee the win if you get it right. Hey, Jeopardy question, as someone who’s clearly pretty good at the game, if you don’t mind answering: For playing successfully, based on your sample size of presumably one to a few rounds — How would you balance the value of these various things in percentages or ratios: 1. Knowing the answers (at least within the time limits) 2. Knowing the answers instantly or super quickly. 3. Timing the buzzer… Read more »
CursedClevelander
Guest

I’d say about 60% buzzer, and then a mix of knowledge and nerves. Like you noted, everyone on the show knows a ton. It’s all about being able to buzz ahead of people, and keeping your cool so that you don’t blank on the things you know.

mosc
Guest

Does the buzzer penalize you for buzzing early? Is there some deterrent for buzzing before the question is complete?

Paul E
Guest

CC
You da man! That was some second half performance by you! I’m a little surprised no one else got the final jeopardy question correct but no matter since you wagered enough to cover even a correct answer from them. Again, congratulations!!

mosc
Guest

I think a lot of the questions I would know the answer but I could never formulate it that quickly. I get tongue tied so easily. Especially under stress, it’s a staggering skill.

I loved “Pikachoooooo”! I’m glad they didn’t make you answer that as a question.

bells
Guest

Steve-O! I had to drive across Canada for a funeral last weekend so even though I had it marked in my calendar I had to catch up in the last couple of days. Congrats on a good run! Very close on the second game too, if you had gone into Final with the lead you would’ve got it, but a worthy opponent. As someone who has friends that are Jeopardy fanatics, it was exciting to tell them about it and have someone to root for.

no statistician but
Guest
This is going to be a long one: Here is a comparison of some essential career stats of this round of contenders for the Circle of Greats versus those of select COG members —those who aren’t in the HOF, who aren’t currently ineligible for the HOF, and who aren’t named Bonds or Clemens. First, position players. WAR, PA, and OPS+ mean just what they say. HOS is the rating given to the player at Adam Darowski’s Hall of Stats. The final stat is my own corrective to what I see as the tendency of both WAR and the HOS rating… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

nsb, I notice Dahlen and Wallace are not included on your list. Here are their stats (I assume the parenthetical figure next to WAR is dWAR):

Dahlen——-75.2 (28.5)—-10411—-110—–145—–72.2
Wallace——70.2 (28.7)——9617—-105—–145—–73.0 . . . (pitching 6.1—402—-125—-xxx—–15.17)

no statistician but
Guest

Right. The chart took so long to lay out that my brain failed more seriously than normal, and I forgot to mention those facts. Nothing against the dead-ball guys—I just wanted to focus, to be honest, on the way the live-ball position players don’t match up to the live-ball COG inductees not in the Hall. With the pitchers, the ‘pitchur’—as we illiterati say—is clouded by Ferrell’s inclusion, since his hitting put him over the top.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
The question of how we should view career longevity is not simple. In general, we could think of comparing players with comparable qualifications for the CoG and significantly different career lengths as a contest between a player making his case on the basis of the high quality of his realized potential and a player making his case on the basis of total accomplishment. There is something to be said for each measure, and nsb’s table gives us both. (I’ve been using WAR per G and qualifying season for rate measures in my tables, but I’m jealous of nsb’s approach because,… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
It’s interesting; I guess I would argue that WAR itself already accounts for playing time on a seasonal basis. I mean, there are two reasons to use WAR rather than WAA. First, average players have value. A team made up entirely of average players will nearly make the playoffs – add in another star, and you’ve got a good shot at a Wild Card. But the second reason to use replacement rather than average is that it accounts for playing time. Is it better to be 50% better than average and only play 50% of the season, or is it… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
What a well thought, cogent post! I’m going to have to catch up over time to really test out some of your ideas so that I fully understand them, but you carried me along well enough for a first take. One detail: I do think assuming that a non-playing player earns 0.0 is only a strategy of convenience. As you say about Allen in his post-age-35 seasons, he was contributing nothing. But a player with 0.0 WAR contributes at replacement level. They’re different levels of contribution, I think. I’d be thrilled to think I’ve racked up scores of 0.0 WAR… Read more »
mosc
Guest
I think the consensus is that below average WAR is mostly the Team’s fault. They do not have the talent or the analysis to deploy what is expected as a major league level minimum. I discount any negative WAR from a player’s career. I find it unnecessarily cruel. If the team wants the player to play, they must think he’s better than a replacement. If he’s not better, that’s on the team. To me, WAA is very valuable for this specific conversation. You’re not talking about comparing players that are on either side of average, you’re talking about comparing the… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
mosc, I take WAA+ into account as one measure I consider (entirely because of your repeated arguments, which I think have merit). But I disagree that it is the fault of the team and not the player when he earns negative WAR. Perhaps I really don’t understand the argument, since you say it may be a consensus one. Look at Albert in recent years. Of course the Angels could let him go and eat his contract, but they’d have to pay additional money for a replacement, and while a replacement might be better, if it’s a new player that’s a… Read more »
mosc
Guest

I would say that there’s consensus that negative WAR is the team’s fault. Negative WAA is a different story. That’s mostly a contrivance I use when looking at all-time greats. I wouldn’t use WAA+ to compare single season excellence or evaluating a team’s performance.

I don’t like negative WAR. It’s mathematically necessary don’t get me wrong but I think it’s a little unfair.l

Dr. Doom
Guest
I mean, you can’t punish him for not playing, right? Ted Williams lived into his nineties and spent much of that time in a wheelchair. We obviously don’t take away wins for that, nor do we punish for once upon a time having been eight years old and inadequate baseball players. WAR is measuring how much or little someone contributed to winning or losing. If you didn’t play, you didn’t contribute, nor did you hurt. So you get zero. It’s the same logic that says you shouldn’t punish Nettles for playing for teams desperate enough to play him in his… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
Ferrell makes for a bit of an unusual comp here, because there’s no way he gets voted into the COG or even taken all that seriously for it without his 11.8 batting WAR. If you count that in, his WAR total is 60.6, right behind Pettitte, and his WAR/1000IP is second to Schilling and ahead of all the current ballot members at 23.1. Sutton really stands out as a “complier” relative to the other candidates with your WAR/mIP stat, which also seems to show why ferrell made it, and Schilling made it easily while the others lingered on the ballot.… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Michael, I think you’re right on all this, but I wouldn’t say anyone necessarily “hates” Brown. The problem is that Brown’s clear PED use in his later years undermines his statistical advantage. The PEDs allowed Brown to lengthen his career by overcoming injuries and pitching with an enhanced body. If you take away those years, his stats don’t look as exceptional (although his peak is still great), and his short career, relative to other candidates, becomes even shorter. Naturally, some voters simply won’t vote for someone they believe cheated in an essential way, but even those who will vote for… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
Perhaps you are right. I tend to largely ignore PED considerations here because there is no character clause, and also we seriously do not have any clue who was or wasn’t taking them beyond the few people who were caught. And I didn’t realize/remember that he was a definite user and not just suspected (perhaps new shit has come to light since I was active here during the original COG process). I’m really down on penalizing people for suspected PED use, because I think there are probably a LOT of players who used them but were never suspected and assumed… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Michael, the Mitchell Report goes into great detail on Brown and PEDs. I cited the full entry in a comment to last year’s CoG Part 2 string (near the top, in reply to the second comment, from Doom) — I don’t want to repeat it here, chiefly because I think it would irritate Brown’s supporters, but if you’re interested, it’s available. Based on the Mitchell report, I estimate up to 25% of Brown’s career WAR was PED-based.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Here’s my vote: Main ballot: Dahlen, Tiant, Wallace Secondary ballot: Dawson, Lyons, Reuschel An extra word about Wallace. In past CoG rounds, I’ve often chosen only one between Dahlen and Wallace, and it has usually been Dahlen, who has a clear and outstanding profile as a premier shortstop, and whose WAR as an infielder is significantly (but not overwhelmingly) higher than Wallace. But in supplementing nsb’s table, I noticed that in his 400 innings as a pitcher, Wallace’s WAR rate was more or less competitive with others whom we’re considering for the CoG on the basis of pitching skills. It… Read more »
mosc
Guest

I didn’t even know he pitched. I don’t really like either guy to be honest but I will keep that in mind when it comes up again if I’m picking between them.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Why are we only having 4 rounds of voting?
Smith and Baines were also elected.

no statistician but
Guest

Irony? Or did it slip your mind that the COG duplicates the regular BBWA number of electees?

mosc
Guest

I think it nicely rounds things out that we exclude the supplemental. We have fewer spots but the actual hall has a lot of stupidity. The “level” is more closely aligned when we are forced to pick with fewer spots.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Re-introducing PaWaa Designed to measure “greatness”. This is Plate Appearances per Win Above Average Here are the career leaders: PaWaa – Career – Minimum 2000 PA 84.4 … (10622) Babe Ruth 96.0 … (4673) Mike Trout* 97.2 … (9480) Rogers Hornsby 102.1 … (12606) Barry Bonds 104.0 … (9788) Ted Williams 113.5 … (12496) Willie Mays 123.1 … (9663) Lou Gehrig 125.7 … (9907) Mickey Mantle 127.7 … (11748) Honus Wagner 128.5 … (13084) Ty Cobb 135.8 … (11992) Tris Speaker 137.3 … (10062) Mike Schmidt 138.9 … (2084) Red Ruffing 140.5 … (7673) Joe DiMaggio 141.3 … (5695) Joe… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Interesting stuff, Voomo.

Especially liked the last, showing others with similar rankings as those currently on the ballot; by that measure would seem that most of our candidates are worthy of consideration.

Mike L
Guest

Great work, Voomo. Also reminds you of who really is “Inner Circle”. One small question, since I noticed Red Ruffing on there, who had Did you adjust Ruth’s PaWaa for his pitching WAA?

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Those are purely Ruth’s offensive numbers.

His IpWaa is 132.7
Which is good, but not great.
Here is a sample of where that stacks compared to some guys we know:

73.5 …. (1969) Dean
80.3 …. (3256) Brown
93.1 …. (3548) Reuschel
101.0 … (3486) Tiant
107.4 … (3286) Eckersley
109.3 … (3170) Ford
136.6 … (2719) Claude Passeau
141.8 … (3219) Dutch Leonard
144.8 … (2781) Lon Warneke
152.1 … (3104) Bucky Walters

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Vote:

Kevin Brown
Dwight Evans
Manny Ramirez

Todd Helton
Ted Lyons
Willie Randolph

mosc
Guest
Of all the people on either ballot, I think Andre Dawson was the best player listed. I’m confused why he has long been relegated so low in favor compared to Lofton, Evans, Ashburn, and others. Dawson’s defense is getting overlooked. Old Dawson could not play center. He didn’t keep his defense in his later years like Lofton, Hunter, or Cameron but in his prime he was a gold glove center fielder and I think that’s lost. His offense was consistently above average but I think we’re discounting the overall value of the 8-time gold glove winner by selectively remembering his… Read more »
mosc
Guest

Doom, I read your posts on Kevin Brown every cycle. Even the ones where you copy and paste some stuff from the previous threads. I hear you, I just can’t look at his raw numbers without some kind of correction and it doesn’t hold up.

When do I get to vote for Monte Irvin again?

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
It’s going to take a while before that chance to vote for Irvin comes up, mosc. According to the rules Doug proposed and we accepted last year, governing the Secondary Ballot: – players appearing on fewer than 10% of the secondary ballots cast will drop from the secondary ballot and will only become COG-eligible again if elected in a future Redemption round – future redemption rounds will occur when there are three or fewer players on the secondary ballot Judging by the vote so far (only 8 ballots, if I’m counting right), no Secondary Ballot candidate has less than 37.5%… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Mosc, that’s an interesting comment about Dawson. Made me reevaluate him and hold up voting. I think Dawson is too identified with the “blank contract collusion” year, 1987, and after, when he was still a great power hitter, but his knees started betray him, He had negative dWAR for all but one season from 1985 on. And his profile, which included about a 5% walk rate, is disfavored by modern metrics. But I’m going to look again.,

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Ok, CC. I just turned off the TV and I’m swearing off challenging you on anything you say here.

Richard Chester
Guest

CC: Congratulations. And it’s ironic that the Final Jeopardy answer was the name of a baseball team.

Mike L
Guest

Aaackkk, I missed Cursed. Fail!

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Oh, that sucks, dude.
Too bad there isnt some magic machine that just lets you watch whatever you want whenever you want.

Oh, wait…

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

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Nice, Voomo. I had no idea these things went up so instantly.

I advise all HHSers to check out the link and find out what we’re up against here.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Wow. I hadnt watched Jeopardy in a long time.
That was terrific.

Mike L
Guest

Doomed….um, wait. Cursed?

mosc
Guest

oh man! Thank you for the link so much!

opal611
Guest

For the 1974 Part 1 election, I’m voting for:

-Manny Ramirez
-Don Sutton
-Luis Tiant

Other top candidates I considered highly (and/or will consider in future rounds):
-Abreu
-Evans
-Brown
-Boyer
-Ashburn
-Nettles
-Allen
-Wallace
-Dahlen

Thanks!

opal611
Guest

For the Secondary Ballot, I’m voting for:
-Andre Dawson
-Todd Helton
-Willie Randolph

Thanks!

Joseph
Guest

Hey, it’s been a couple of years since I stopped by; hope you all are doing well.

I’m going to show my complete bias here and vote for favorites, even though some others may be more qualified.

Nettles
Randolph
Pettitte

And–wow–there are some excellent players on this ballot. I’d have a hard time choosing if I weren’t so biased. Except for Nettles; he always gets my vote.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Hi Joseph – Welcome back! The rules have changed since your last visit. We now have two ballots. The ballot for the Circle itself is the Primary Ballot. Nettles is on it, but not Randolph and Pettitte. There is a Secondary Ballot, and the candidates on it compete to be added to the Primary Ballot: that’s the race Randolph and Pettitte are in. To cast a valid vote, what you can do is resubmit your ballot with a list of three names from each of the ballots (that is, Nettles plus two others from the Primary Ballot, and Randolph &… Read more »
Joseph
Guest
Okay, thanks. Primary: Nettles, Sutton, Boyer. Last two are strategic votes–that’s allowed, right? (none of the new guys, but I considered Abreu). Funny, a co-worker and I were discussing the new admittees to the the HOF just the other day, in particular Harold Baines (WTH?) and I mentioned Nettles as someone I think has been unjustly overlooked. His response was, “I think he should be in the HOF just for his plays in the 78 World Series.” It’s funny how when we were kids and baseball meant so much to us, we have a hard time letting go of those… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
Yeah, strategic voting is still allowed — you can vote for any player on a ballot for any reason (and in the redemption round, I believe any player at all). And strategic voting has been necessary at times in this format to keep players on the ballot who clearly belong. I’m not sure there’s anybody on our list currently that you can say indisputably does belong, but there’s still more than three I’d personally be ok with enshrining and vote for if they were the best three on the ballot, so I’ll be choosing between them based on strategic considerations… Read more »
Dave Humbert
Guest
Hi gang, it’s that time of year again…..and 4 rounds of voting! Noticed that the secondary ballot voting will likely be churning with no one dropping off – I think last year it was suggested we do a redemption round each year to ensure the secondary ballot gets refreshed with alternate candidates. Otherwise we may never lose anyone from the secondary ballot by drop-off and cripple the ability of anyone not on the ballots to have a shot at reconsideration. Doug – are we having a redemption round at some point among this year’s efforts? Palmeiro, Reuschel, Clarke, Newhouser, and… Read more »
Dave Humbert
Guest

Oops…..Reuschel did make it onto the secondary ballot already……how about Coveleski?

Doug
Guest

Let’s see how it plays out before deciding on another redemption round. If there’s enough support for the primary ballot candidates, the secondary ballot may shrink each round. But, if not, might consider upping the redemption round threshold from 3 secondary ballot candidates to 4 or 5.

T-Bone
Guest

Dick Allen, Dwight Evans, Ted Simmons

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Initial vote tally! We have 11 votes for the Primary Ballot, and I thought it would be good to bring everyone up to date about where the voting stands. Only 10 have voted for the Secondary Ballot, but since all candidates are well above the 10% mark I’m including that tally too. (Asterisks are for Primary Ballot players on the bubble, who will drop from the ballot of they draw under 10% of the votes.) Primary Ballot With 11 ballots submitted, with these results: =================50% (6) 4 – Dwight Evans, Luis Tiant =================25% (4) 3 – Kevin Brown, Bill Dahlen,… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
Don Sutton? Let’s compare him with the six other pitchers—all in the COG—who have the same approximate numbers of innings pitched: Ph. Niekro——-97.2 pWAR, 50.8 WAA, 188 Hall of Stats Rating No. Ryan——–84.1 pWAR, 35.4 WAA, 146 HOS Ga. Perry——–93.4 pWAR, 45.3 WAA, 174 HOS Wa. Spahn——92.6 pWAR, 41.1 WAA, 177 HOS St. Carlton——-84.4 pWAR, 40.0 WAA, 168 HOS Pe. Alexander–117.1 pWAR, 77.0 WAA, 252 HOS Do. Sutton——-68.6 pWAR, 23.3 WAA, 113 HOS So-o-o, yeah, he’s last in all categories—but that wouldn’t matter if he were, say, five or even ten percent down from the lowest figures of his nearest… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
It’s always interesting to see how differently those who comment on HHS assess players. I’d love to see someone actually make the CoG case for Sutton. . . . If you except 1981, only two-thirds of a season, from 1966-86 Sutton had 20 straight seasons of 200+ IP; only one early season was seriously below average and one was very fine (maybe two). In the business world, a guy like that is simply invaluable. And baseball’s a business. . . . Really, I admired Sutton. He seemed like an honest working stiff: at best, the second starter on a top… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest

I think you just made a reasonable case, honestly. I mean, I don’t think fangraphs is correct that FIP is the be all and end all, but the fact that his FIP results are better than his RA results, suggests that the results (and bWAR) may be underestimating his value as a pitcher, even if I don’t really trust fangraph’s number.

Michael Sullivan
Guest
I’m not voting for Sutton, he not in my COG, and he’s probably my least favorite of the candidates on the current ballots, but.. 1. Anybody who was worth roughly 70 wins over the course of their career is not going to be a travesty of a selection, no matter how weak their peak relative to other enshrinees. Yeah, Sutton is the classic compiler, but unlike raw counting stats, you can’t compile any significant amount of WAR unless you’re adding value to your teams. 2. You’re not comparing him here to any pitcher that had trouble getting selected to the… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
Before leaving this subject I would like for everyone to recall a couple of things: 1) The title of the hypothetical group of superior players the voting enshrines is called the Circle of Greats. I urge you to consider the listings of those players, only a couple of clicks away from this page. When I personally look at those listings, I see an element of “Greatness” in nearly every player, either from their statistics alone or from some facet or several facets of their playing or pitching performance. Ford, who gets heavy bombardment here, was arguably a great pitcher for… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
Well, whatever you do, you have to draw the line somewhere. Somebody is going to be the last guy in, that some people feel belongs and some people don’t. And realistically, it’s going to be a bunch of guys just in or just out, that we could have endless arguments about. IMO, Ford is basically what the BBWAA *thought* Jack Morris was — a guy who’s traditional stats look spectacular and who had very good press in his day Unlike Morris, he still looks HoF quality after going through the sabermetric ringer and accounting for all the great teams he… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

I’m having a hard time getting excited about this crew. Need more time.

Andy
Guest

Primary: Kevin Brown, Don Sutton, Graig Nettles
Secondary: Todd Helton, Andre Dawson, Rick Reuschel

JEV
Guest

Glad to vote again.

Brown, Manny, and a vote to a personal favorite, Bobby Abreu.

Secondary, Dawson, Lyons, and Helton.

mosc
Guest

Why is he a personal favorite? I never thought the guy got much fan connection thanks to moving around a lot and general disposition.

Chris C
Guest

Main ballot vote:
Manny
Kevin Brown
Dwight Evans

Secondary Ballot vote:
Dawson
Randolph
Pettite

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Since the 1901 border has become an issue for the assessment of Bill Dahlen and Bobby Wallace, I thought I’d try an experiment. Using the B-R Play Index, I sorted on WAR for players who played at least 60% of their games at shortstop in the decade 1901-10. The top 8 formed a natural cutoff point. Shortstops of 1901-1910; 800+ games, sorted by WAR WAR … WAA … Games … Ages ….. Player 84.6 ….. 64.5 ….. 1406 ….. 27-36 ….. Honus Wagner (CoG) 52.4 ….. 30.5 ….. 1374 ….. 27-36 ….. Bobby Wallace 37.8 ….. 22.4 ……. 990 …..… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
Bob: You’re on the money re Wallace especially, according to me. Frank Chance’s name popping up here is very interesting. He’s in the HOF, but gets demerits for his short career. His WAR/PA (x 10000) for the decade is 94.91, a terrific rate. In spite of averaging only 483 PAs a season, in other words, he generated 41.6 WAR. Injuries and managerial concerns kept him on the bench a quarter of the time in his peak years. Despite that he led the league in SBs twice, runs scored once, OBP once, and from 1903-07 he finished third, second, fourth, third,… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest

Not that anyone cares, but the above should read 438 PAs per year for Chance in the decade, not 483.

Doug
Guest
For the record, Dahlen was 3 years, 10 months older than Wallace. – Dahlen was a regular from 1891 at age 21. – Wallace was a regular as a pitcher in 1895 and 1896 (6.2 WAR at age 21-22, 8th ranked ERA+ in 12 team league), and as a position player starting in 1897 (age 23). – Their last seasons as regulars were in 1908 for Dahlen (age 38) and 1911 for Wallace (age 37). So, Dahlen’s top 3 oWAR and top 2 WAR seasons come from his first six years that include: – two with the 50 foot pitching… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Doug, I don’t think the figures for Dahlen are correct. Dahlen’s top three WAR seasons come in his first 8 years (not 6): 6.1 (1892), 7.1 (1894), and 5.7 (1898), and he produced four additional 5+ WAR seasons (1903-5, 1908). I suspect you were just looking at oWAR.

It’s correct that Dahlen moved from a hitter’s profile to a fielder’s.

Doug
Guest

Right you are, Bob. I was looking at the oWAR column. I’ve corrected the comment.

Hub Kid
Guest
Primary ballot: Tiant, Evans, Boyer I guess I’m going with an All-Overlooked ballot, obviously somewhat swayed by being a Red Sox homer, and the chance to vote for Tiant & Evans together. If fWAR can’t tell Sutton’s and Tiant’s careers apart, I can; while the career value between the two might be debatable, one of them did get into the Hall of Fame, and I still think the fun and interesting part of voting on borderline players here is to debate the non-HOF players who are probably Hall-worthy. Oh, and hooray for the Abreu vote (thanks, JEV); all of those… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

Just a minor correction: fWAR sees an ENORMOUS difference: 30.9 WAR difference, to be clear – 85.6 for Sutton and 54.7 for Tiant. On the other hand, bWAR sees only 1/10 of that difference, with Sutton being given a 68.9-65.9 advantage.

Hub Kid
Guest

I stand by my point about overlooked players, although I confused the numbers when writing above (probably reverting in my head to bWAR because I am so much more familiar with it).

mosc
Guest

I’m hoping Evans doesn’t win this first round not because I don’t think he’ll be inducted this year but because I’d like to have a more thorough discussion of Dawson vs Evans. If Evans DOESN’T win and Dawson gets redeemed, then it’s on for Part 2.

Dr. Doom
Guest
I want to say something about Don Sutton and the two WAR systems, and I’m worried it’s going to get lost in the weeds if I put it up higher in the Don Sutton discussion, so I’m putting it here. I hope that’s okay. This is going to be VERY math-heavy, so I’m sorry for that. But if you really want a good dissection of what the WARs are doing, I hope this can help you. Don Sutton is a fascinating Hall of Fame case. He won 324 games, losing only 256 in a very long career. That .559 winning… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

Doom,
I’m sold on Sutton. Just goes to show there had to be some reason for a 20+ year major league career
SUTTON
ALLEN
SIMMONS

DAWSON
RANDOLPH
LYONS

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Doom, I think this is a wonderful post. I feel like an idiot for having assumed with such certainty that FIP was the root of the issue that I didn’t even bother to check for an ERA/FIP gap. You’ve done great research. When I said I’d like to see someone make the positive argument for Sutton, I didn’t expect anything this powerful. I don’t see Unearned Runs as the source of the discrepancy. Sutton’s surplus over Earned Runs is a little over 10%, which seems to be the norm for the span of years Sutton bridged. I compared him to… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
In my reply, I wondered why those five 300-game winners would have faced such different levels of opponents. On reflection, I suppose the way to approach strength of schedule issues is, for years when our pitchers were active and the season schedule “unbalanced,” to look at the offensive strength of the teams in their division, other than their own, compared to league average. I suppose that way you could get a good first glimpse . . . Someone like Seaver, who spent many seasons playing for offensively puny Mets teams, would get a boost from recognition that for those years… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest

Thanks, Doom for picking up the challenge I laid down re Sutton. This is what HHS does best, or so say I.

no statistician but
Guest
Let’s posit that Don Sutton’s case for admission to the Circle of Greats depends on whether his performance equals that of Whitey Ford in general terms, since Ford is regarded as one of the COG’s lesser lights. Ford’s innings pitched are almost exactly 60% of Suttons, giving us a rough picture of how to equate certain of the statistics. It’s also good to note that Ford pitched mostly in a medium to high run-scoring environment, while Sutton labored much of the time in a low to medium run-scoring environment. Park Factors are nearly the same for the two careers, 94.9… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Lots to think about, nsb, and much more extensive than my response to Doom’s blockbuster. In terms of the current ballot, why not make the comparison to Tiant, rather than the Perennial Comparator, Whitey Ford? (I know Ford is an example of borderline CoG, but so is Luis on the other side of threshold, so far.) Sutton’s stats cover about 52% more IP than Tiant’s, which frequently gives Sutton higher absolute numbers compiled at a lower rate, but also reflects his ability to contribute steadily over a long period. (The two overlap for 17 seasons, which makes the comparison, perhaps,… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Looking at these figures for Sutton and Tiant, it seems pretty reasonable that B-R assesses their WAR levels as only 3.0 WAR apart (Sutton having the edge: longevity edging out quality). But how does FanGraphs come up with a differential of 30.9 WAR, ten times as great a disparity? As Doom noted, Sutton’s +16.7 with fWAR was not a matter of FIP vastly superior to ERA (his FIP is lower, but only fractionally, 3.26 to 3.24). In Tiant’s case there’s a modest distinction: FIP 3.47; ERA 3.30, but that would seem pretty minor compared to a drop of 11.2 WAR,… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Main vote:

Allen
Evans
Boyer

Secondary:

Dawson
Helton
Evans

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Richard, your Secondary Ballot is not valid because Evans is not a candidate. Looks like a slip, thinking back to the Primary Ballot. Could you correct it?

CursedClevelander
Guest

So, a cool out of the blue thing happened today after my 2nd episode aired. Because the jumbo shrimp question I got mentioned the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the Marlins AA affiliate, they invited me to be a guest at a game this year and they’re sending me some gear. I didn’t even get to talk on the show about how much I love baseball so it’s a nice coincidence.

Of course, I still have some issues with the Marlins because of 1997, but I think for a moment or two I can let bygones be bygones.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

That adds to another great round, CC. You were just as sharp and it was hard to believe that your reign could close on such a strong performance — it looked like extra innings for a second. You had a terrific two days. We’re all basking in reflected glory at HHS.

mosc
Guest

Who’s got the video link to day 2?

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
mosc
Guest

eh, got axed already

mosc
Guest

I did find one, god bless random youtubers

Dr. Doom
Guest

Sounds cool, CC! I’m glad you had that very cool opportunity! Enjoy your winnings, your new pinball machine, and have fun at the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp game! If you’d like to work up a post for all of us to read here at HHS after you’ve gone to the game, we would more-than enjoy reading it!

Michael Sullivan
Guest

Do you get to keep the 30k you won while “losing”? Not bad for 2 days. Seemed like she was pretty good with the buzzer (she got in for a bunch of stuff I can’t believe you didn’t know), and she was killing it for the insurance category. A bit surprised she didn’t get double indemnity too, but then she’s 31, perhaps not an old movie buff, and hardly anybody uses that term anymore (source: I’m a life insurance agent).

Mike L
Guest
Since we are considering Sutton and there’s some very good work below by Michael Sullivan, NSB, and Bob, I want to talk about Sutton in the context of….Harold Baines (groans permissible here). Old guys (like me) remember when Sutton was approaching his 300 win and there was a debate going on about how you could let this “compiler” (we didn’t use that phrase then) into the rarified Hall–but how could you keep him out? Sutton had a terrific age-35 year (6.6 BWAR) and spent the next 8 seasons being a useful mid-rotation arm (a total of 18WAR) None of us… Read more »
mosc
Guest
I think the thrill of looking at his fWAR against his bWAR should be taken with some perspective. fWAR is a much more simplistic calculation. Using league average everything for every ball in play tells a very different story and not just FIP vs ERA. BBREF also factors in team defense and the expected run output of the opposition. Sutton did not play against average competition and he did not play in front of an average defensive squad. LA is an extreme pitchers park too remember which is somewhat ignored by FIP (because all balls in play are treated the… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
One quick note about b-r’s use of a defensive adjustment: that’s not perfect, either. The reason it’s not perfect is the same that assuming pitchers had a league-average offense is a bad idea. Defenders do not play the same for every pitcher, every year. Tango has written about this a couple of times (I checked the old blog for the Verlander-Scherzer-Porcello posts; I remember reading them, but I couldn’t find them). You can chalk this disparity between pitchers on the same team up to a skill for the pitcher if you like; I would argue that the fact that the… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
To play devil’s advocate to your argument: if Cone or Saberhagen had added another 5-6 years of useful (average) pitching (10-12 WAR) to their resumes, or Gooden another 8-9 to get into Sutton’s WAR range — wouldn’t they be *fairly obvious* COG members? As it was, they got a lot of play and conversation, and I honestly thought we had put Cone and Saberhagen in! Damn, they should be on the ballot! And in the alternate world where Colon has no bad seasons and end up with 65+ WAR to go with his 197 RAA or Moyer has more good… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
Your comment as an ‘Old Guy” makes me feel ancient (as do most things these days), and it also brought to my deteriorating mind another possible comp for Don Sutton, but from out of the past—Early Wynn. I won’t detail their similarities—Sutton was better in most respects—but I will relate these facts: Wynn’s win total reached the 290s in 1961. In 1962 there was a lot of fanfare about him making the 300 level, and you have to remember that back then very few 20th Century pitchers had passed the mark, Warren Spahn being the seventh in 1961, but the… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Regarding Early Wynn: When I did my analysis of what a pitcher’s record “should” be, given his ERA+ and innings pitched, Early Wynn shows up as one of the luckiest pitchers of all-time, and one of those who is most helped by his actual, rather than projected, pitching record. First, he had 544 decisions; at one decision per nine, a normal distribution would’ve given him 507. His winning percentage was actually .551; normally, a player with a 107 ERA+ would have a .534. Using 507 decisions and a .534 rate, we get a 271-236 record. That is definitely worse than… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

On 9-29-1943 Early Wynn started against the Indians while pitching or the Senators. The Senators won 7-4. Wynn pitched 4.2 innings but was given credit for the win.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Thank you, nsb, for that trip to the past. I remember listening to the end of Wynn’s 300th wynn in a motel room somewhere in the midwest, rooting for Jerry Walker (who pitched the last four innings) to put an end to the suspense. I really liked Wynn, and had been in a state of infantile apoplexy when the Sox discarded him. Although his 300th win was a very mediocre start, Wynn actually pitched extremely well in ’63: his OPS+ was 161 in 55.1 IP. (I was surprised at the time that Wynn didn’t retire as soon as he hit… Read more »
Paul E
Guest
As far as being a compiler, Lou Whitaker’s “peak” doesn’t seem all that superior when compared to Sutton and Whitaker was good enough for this group. As far as peak, there isn’t a hitter on this board (save for multiple-PED-offender Manny on steroids) that can match Allen’s 165 OPS+ from age 22-32. If we damn Sutton for being a “compiler” (unlike our treatment of ‘Sweet Lou’) , then why don’t we praise Allen for his peak? There is no detritus in Allen’s age 33-35 demise-it was literally worthless. I would suggest he is our test of peak value as there… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
Why did Sandy Koufax make the COG and Dick Allen not? Why ask why? They both have had hard core supporters but not quite enough support on a lot of ballots, but Koufax finally saw a ballot with just enough. Two other factors — Koufax’s career was cut short by injury, but it’s not clear exactly what happened to Allen. He’s also got more fame and ridiculous raw numbers on his side. IMO, even saber-minded fans have trouble not having their perceptions skewed just a little bit by unadjusted numbers (except when it comes to Coors field for some reason,… Read more »
Paul E
Guest
Michael S ” it’s not clear exactly what happened to Allen”: I believe he was frequently injured during his peak as well as suspended in 1969. 1966 – 20 games – shoulder separation while stealing a base 1967 – 40 games – lacerated wrist and severed ulna nerve while pushing a Ford in the rain 1969 – ~ 30 games – suspended for missing a double header while stuck in the Holland Tunnell 1970 – 40 games – torn hamstring stealing second base 1973 – 80+ games – broken tibia run over while fielding a throw at 1B 1974 –… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Dick Allen had an OPS+ at least 145 in all 11 of his 2nd through 12th seasons. Ted Williams is the only other player who has done that. One of Allen’s seasons was non-qualifying and Williams had 2 such seasons.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Paul, I think you’ve restated the case we all face when evaluating Allen very well — it echoes the Allen vs. Nettles discussion above. I think everyone praises Allen for his peak. The question is how much peak for how long do you need to overcome a short duration of career contributions. On averaging pitcher bWAR and fWAR 50/50, I get the intuitive angle, but I don’t think it stands up. There are, admittedly, problems in bWAR’s component measures — fielding, strength of schedule, and so forth. Doom focused on the simplistic measure of RA9def above — not all a… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
Oh, to answer about Whitaker. Whitaker’s peak may not stand out, but that’s mostly because his typical season was so good! Whitaker played 19 seasons and had only *4* with less than 3WAR or 1.5 WAA! 3 of them were his initial cup of coffee and his last two before retiring. Both of those were still above average, and the penultimate season his WAR/PA was still equivalent to a 4 WAR full season. From his first full rookie year to his second to last season, excepting only one weird 1980 season, where he must have been playing hurt or messing… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

Michael
Very enlightening. Is fWAR as kind to Lou as it is to Sutton? It’s the tale of two Suttons…..

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Whitaker: bWAR 75.1; fWAR 68.1

For position players, fWAR and bWAR don’t have the structural divergence in method that is the case for pitcher WAR.

Paul E
Guest

Michael ,
FWIW, per fangraphs
Top 11 Seasons
6.1 6.0 5.1 4.8 4.7 4.5 4.4 3.8 3.8 3.5 3.5 Louie W. (50.2 fWAR)
7.1 6.8 6.0 5.4 4.7 4.6 4.3 4.0 3.9 3.9 3.7 Donny S. (54.4 fWAR)
Peak 5 Consecutive
4.8 6.0 3.8 4.7 4.5 (Lou 23.8)
7.1 6.8 6.0 4.3 5.4 (Donnie 29.7)

Michael Sullivan
Guest

If you trust fangraphs WAR for pitchers (I don’t), then Don Sutton is a ridiculously obvious COG candidate, not borderline at all, and comparable to or clearly better than a number of pitcher’s we’ve already elected without much opposition.

If you don’t, then this comparison is basically meaningless.

Paul E
Guest

Hey, I understand. Believe it or not, I still have a problem with Coors Field despite all the back and forth on that.
By the same token, Sutton did play ~23 years in the majors and there aren’t too many others that did. If he’s the weakest of the 23 year veterans or guys that threw 5,000 innings, so be it

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Sutton does have the third most games started of all time. That right there is pretty impressive.

And nobody in the current generation is going to come anywhere near that.

Unless Ryne Stanek starts half of the Rays’ games… for the next 10 years.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Since this is the first CoG round of the year, it may be good to point out that the deadline Doug has posted for voting is the final minute of January, as measured in Punxsutawney PA, which falls on Thursday night. There are several contributors who have been active on this string but have not yet voted, so I thought a reminder might be helpful.

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