Circle of Greats 1974 Balloting Part 4

This post is for voting and discussion in the 132nd round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  This is the last 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 fourth group of 1974-born candidates, comprising those with P-Z 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 the main ballot election, voters must select three and only three eligible players, with the one player appearing on the most ballots cast in the round inducted into the Circle of Greats. For the secondary ballot election, voters may select up to three eligible players, with the one player appearing on the most ballots cast 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 EDT Sunday, March 17th, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:59 PM EDT Friday, March 15th.

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 4 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 BALLOT ELIGIBILITY SECONDARY BALLOT ELIGIBILITY
Luis Tiant 8 rounds Willie Randolph 10 rounds
Dick Allen 7 rounds Rick Reuschel 9 rounds
Manny Ramirez 7 rounds Todd Helton 8 rounds
Bill Dahlen 5 rounds Bobby Abreu 2 rounds
Graig Nettles 3 rounds Stan Coveleski 2 rounds
Bobby Wallace 3 rounds Monte Irvin 2 rounds
Ted Lyons 2 rounds Minnie Minoso 2 rounds
Don Sutton 2 rounds Andy Pettitte 2 rounds
Richie Ashburn this round ONLY Ken Boyer this round ONLY
Andre Dawson this round ONLY Hideki Matsui this round ONLY
Dennis Eckersley this round ONLY Bengie Molina this round ONLY
Ted Simmons this round ONLY Reggie Smith this round ONLY

Everyday Players (born in 1974, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR, P-Z surname):
Miguel Tejada
Shannon Stewart
Randy Winn
Richie Sexson
Jose Vidro
Preston Wilson

Pitchers (born in 1974, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR, P-Z surname):
Jamey Wright
Jarrod Washburn
Glendon Rusch
Ugueth Urbina
Luis Vizcaino
Mark Redman

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. Jamey Wright’s career spanned 19 years, but he played in the post-season in just one of those seasons. Which contemporary of Wright’s had a longer pitching career and never played in the post-season?
  2. Miguel Tejada played 1152 consecutive games from 2000 to 2007, a span that included six seasons of 30 doubles, 20 HR and 100 RBI, the most for any shortstop. Who was the first shortstop to record such a season? (Joe Cronin, 1940)
  3. Shannon Stewart is the only Blue Jay to record consecutive seasons (2000-01) batting .300 with 20 stolen bases and 60 extra-base hits. Who is the only player to match that feat for Toronto’s expansion cousins in Seattle? (Alex Rodriguez, 1997-98)
  4. Randy Winn played 400 games for the Rays, Mariners and Giants. Which other player played 400 games for two of those franchises? (Omar Vizquel)
  5. Jarrod Washburn posted a .568 W-L% thru age 30 but only .381 after, despite maintaining a respectable 100 ERA+ in the later period. Who is the only expansion era pitcher to experience a larger such W-L% drop among those, like Washburn, with 1000 IP thru age 30 and 600 IP after? (Roy Oswalt)
  6. Jose Vidro is the Expos/Nats franchise leader in games played at 2B. Which one-time Expos second baseman recorded the most 2B games for the expansion Senators franchise before it relocated to Texas? (Bernie Allen)
  7. Richie Sexson played 1B for every inning of every game for the 2003 Brewers. Before Sexson, which first baseman was the last to do this for his team? (Mickey Vernon, 1953)
  8. Glendon Rusch’s 5.04 ERA is the fourth highest career mark of any pitcher with 200 starts. Among such pitchers playing their entire careers in the 20th century, who had the highest career ERA? (Herm Wehmeier)
  9. Luis Vizcaino is one of 22 retired pitchers with fewer than 10 saves in a career including 500 relief appearances. Who is the only pitcher in that group to finish fewer than 100 games in his career? (Ray King)
  10. Ugueth Urbina is the only major leaguer whose first and last names both begin with the letter U. What is the only major league battery with both players having a U surname? (Cecil Upshaw/Bob Uecker, 1967 Braves)
  11. Mark Redman recorded at least 29 starts for five consecutive seasons (2002-06), each with a different team. For his career, Redman toiled for eight franchises, the most by a pitcher with 200 starts in a career of ten or fewer seasons. Which pitcher with 300 starts has played for the most franchises? (Edwin Jackson)
  12. Preston Wilson‘s 2000 season featured the rare trifecta of 30 doubles, 30 HR and 30 stolen bases. Which player did the same and, like Wilson, led his league in strikeouts? (Bobby Bonds, 1973)

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206 Comments on "Circle of Greats 1974 Balloting Part 4"

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Dr. Doom
Guest

I’ll take the easiest one off the board first:
3. Alex Rodriguez, 1997-98

Mike L
Guest

Q 10, Cecil Upshaw and Bob Uecker?

Doug
Guest

That’s it, on the 1967 Braves.

CursedClevelander
Guest

For Question 4, Vizquel definitely played 400 for both the Mariners and Giants.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Vote:

Richie Ashburn
Dennis Eckersley
Ted Lyons

Bobby Abreu
Willie Randolph
Rick Reuschel

CursedClevelander
Guest

The obvious guess for Question 12 is Bobby Bonds, so why not. I’ll guess Bobby Bonds.

Doug
Guest

Bonds leads everyone with 9 seasons of 20 HR + 30 SB. His son is second with 7 seasons. Nobody else has more than 4.

Richard Chester
Guest

Question #7: I’l try Mickey Vernon in 1953.

Dr. Doom
Guest
I should probably be jumping for joy or something… but my main problem right now is that, for the first time in like 130 rounds, my ballot doesn’t have one spot already filled. Don’t get me wrong – I’m pretty ecstatic about the election of Brown, and I hate to re-litigate… but I’m sincerely interested in people’s arguments. Who is the BEST candidate on the ballot right now? I promise to read, as non-prejudicially as possible, any replies below this post, because after, like FIVE years of advocacy, my guy got in, and my ballot is open. I have inklings,… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Congratulations on your fierce advocacy. My problem with this group is identical to my problem with the last group–a lack of excitement with the choices. No new blood.

Paul E
Guest

2. Glenn Wright ?

Richard Chester
Guest

Q. 2: It looks like it’s Joe Cronin in 1940. Glenn Wright came close in 1930 with 28 2B, 22 HR and 126 RBI. Also Arky Vaughan in 1935 with 34 2B, 19 HR and 99 RBI.

Paul E
Guest

Thanks Richard…… top of my head guess. Going backward, I thought “Vern Stephens”, “nah” then Cronin, remembered Vaughn never hit 20 homers and guessed Wright since one of those years with the Pirates or Dodgers had to be it…..and that would be incorrect 🙁

mosc
Guest

Dawson
Nettles
Eckersley

If Simmons drops off I don’t think we’ll forget about him and I’m starting to want Munson more.

Irvin
Randolph
Pettitte

Dr. Doom
Guest
Just some thoughts on some of the newcomers: Jamey Wright: an ever-present reminder of the teams I grew up rooting for that routinely lost 100 games. Ah, late-90s and early-aughts Brewers; I don’t miss you at all. Miguel Tejada: Tejada averaged 158 games played from 1999-2010, and that’s in spite of missing 29 games in ONE season. He sure was good at staying in the lineup and hitting baseballs very hard. He was less good at walking, avoiding double plays, and playing shortstop. Back when Melvin Mora was batting .340 and winning a batting title, having those two as the… Read more »
Paul E
Guest
Doom, ” “Back when Melvin Mora was batting .340 and winning a batting title, having those two as the left side of the infield was pretty darn good for the O’s. Brian Roberts and Rafael Palmeiro actually made for just a plain good infield. Of course, the rest of the team was terrible, so they never had a winning record in Tejada’s four years” WOULD HAVE THAT ENTIRE INFIELD BENEFITED FROM THE ADVANCEMENT IN PERFORMANCE ENHANCING DRUGS? To answer my own question, Roberts, Palmeiro tested positive, I believe Tejada dis as well….. and did not Mora have a “late peak”… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

Too bad they weren’t sharing with the outfield, then, isn’t it?

My other snark-loaded option was this one: Hey, it’s almost as if it was a problem MLB-wide, and not just isolated to a few people, isn’t it?

Paul E
Guest

“” it’s almost as if it was a problem MLB-wide, and not just isolated to a few people, isn’t it? “”
Yes, but here we only concern ourselves with the cheaters eligible for the CoG

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

As Chuck Knoblauch’s case proves, steroids did not benefit every user. Success depended on the drugs chosen, the talent of the trainer or other individual deciding dosage and frequency, and the particular body response of the player. Even if every player in the steroid era turns out to have been taking steroids, we can’t know the degree to which the on-field results were the product of each player’s talents and training or of their trainer’s pharmaceutical skills.

Paul E
Guest

Knoblauch? Garlic? Who knew?

Paul E
Guest

Doom,
I checked…….Jay Gibbons and David Segui both were users with middling results. Gibbons had one good year but I believe Segui had a low-testosterone note from his doctor

Bruce Gilbert
Guest

Bill Dahlen, Ted Lyons and Ted Simmons. Minnie Minoso, Andy Pettitte & Ken Boyer. I’m pressed for time right now, but Dahlen was a great player; I am very surprised he’s not already in. Lyons just missed getting in yesterday, and Simmons was the fifth or sixth best hitting catcher in the 20th century—quite overlooked by both HOF voters and, so far, COG voters. Lots of great points made in the Lyons/Kevin Brown debate.

Richard Chester
Guest

There are 45 players with 3000+ PA and a higher HR/WAR ratio than Preston Wilson. Leader is Jim Presley with a ratio of 450. Of course players with negative WAR are factored out.

no statistician but
Guest
I may be the only one who doesn’t buy into Ted Simmons as COG material, but that won’t stop me from presenting my reasons: Simmons: PA 9685 WAR 50.3 dWAR 5.2 OPS+ 118 Fisk: ——–PA 9853 WAR 68.5 dWAR 17.0 OPS+ 117 Munson: —PA 5905 WAR 46.1 dWAR 11.9 OPS+ 116 Schang: —-PA 6432 WAR 45.0 dWAR 3.5 OPS+ 117 Lombardi:–PA 6352 WAR 45.9 dWAR 2.9 OPS+ 126 In terms of career length, Simmons is most comparable to Carlton Fisk, the only player listed currently in the COG. Fisk’s career WAR is 18.2 higher than Simmons, and his dWAR is… Read more »
Bruce Gilbert
Guest
Long careers are worth a lot. Here are some actual numbers on Simmons: in the 10 seasons from 1971 thru 1980 his OPS+ ranged from 114 to 148. After a down year in 1981, he came back with two more big years in 1982-83, delivering OPS+es of 112 and 126. In 82 & 83 Simmons drove in a combined 205 runs!! Keep in mind we’re talking 1971 to 1983 here; not 1994 to 2018. For the entire 12 seasons mentioned above Simmons averaged 92.3 RBI’s per year, AS A CATCHER!! In the seasons from 71-80, plus 82, Simmons averaged 134… Read more »
Bruce Gilbert
Guest
Long careers are worth a lot. Here are some actual numbers on Simmons: in the 10 seasons from 1971 thru 1980 his OPS+ ranged from 114 to 148. After a down year in 1981, he came back with two more big years in 1982-83, delivering OPS+es of 112 and 126. In 82 & 83 Simmons drove in a combined 205 runs!! Keep in mind we’re talking 1971 to 1983 here; not 1994 to 2018. For the entire 12 seasons mentioned above Simmons averaged 92.3 RBI’s per year, AS A CATCHER!! In the seasons from 71-80, plus 82, Simmons averaged 134… Read more »
Bruce Gilbert
Guest

Sorry that second entry occurred. I’m writing from the middle of the Pacific Ocean and the internet service is spotty. Again, my apologies. Bruce

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Bruce, I think RBIs are really tricky to work with. You are right to pick RBIs as a promising element for advocacy, But in his big RBI years with St. Louis and Milwaukee, Simmons generally batted clean-up, behind Lou Brock and Reggie Smith, or Robin Yount and Paul Molitor, and this explains much of his apparent productivity. He did fine as a clean-up hitter, but 100-110 RBI under those conditions is not really outstanding. It’s great to have a catcher able to do that, of course, since teams are willing to accept lower batting productivity to get a solid catcher,… Read more »
Doug
Guest

A few years ago, Richard Chester provided me with career %RDI number (% of baserunners driven in) for 297 players with 6200 PA since 1970. Simmons ranked 21st in number of baserunners in his PA and 28th in number of PA with runners on base, but only 106th in average number of baserunners in those PA. His efficiency in driving in those runners was 19.0%, ranking 45th of those 297. So, I would say, for Simmons, RBI are a useful measuring stick, because he had an unusually high number of opportunities and because he was unusually effective in those opportunities.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Doug, This is a good corrective to my post to Bruce. Richard’s methodology can indeed make RBI a stat that can yield useful information. The copy of the list I have only provides %RDI, not the ROB (runners on base) counts, so I may not be working from the same information as you, but there are also 297 names with Simmons 45th, so I presume the %RDI info is the same. For reasons I don’t understand, some of the names on the list don’t seem to belong in the post-1970 discussion: Jim Gilliam, Gil Hodges, Luis Aparicio, Norm Cash, Duke… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

I created the spreadsheet for %RDI after the end of the 2014 season. I had to use the names that showed up on the PI Batting Split-Finder. When running the PI Split-Finder for careers one cannot select the range of years played. Most of the players on the list had complete careers after 1970 but there were exceptions as you noted above. There were players such as Bench who had missing data and did not show upon the list. I did not count those PA in which the batter received a walk with ROB except for the bases loaded situation.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Richard, I think %RDI is a great contribution and I have referred to your list(s) frequently over the past year and a half.

Richard Chester
Guest

Bob Eno: Thanks for the kind words. And I am glad somebody sees fit to use that list.The spreadsheet that I created to calculate those stats was the most complex one that I ever worked on.

Josh Davis
Guest

I’d happily consider Munson, Schang and Lombardi in our discussions and think they do merit further conversation (Joe Torre as well). I see the point you’re making, nsb, and I can’t completely discount it. No, Simmons doesn’t measure up to the likes of Johnny Bench. But neither does Barry Larkin measure up to the standard of Honus Wagner. I don’t think that makes him unworthy of the COG; we’ve got a circle that is big enough to include more than just the slam dunk 130 WAR players. Which makes for good conversation. 🙂

Paul E
Guest

NSB’
FWIW,
oWAR, age 21-30; 66%+ games at catcher. Obviously, I’ve cherry-picked his prime….
1 Johnny Bench 50.1
2 Ted Simmons 45.3
3 Joe Mauer…… 44.8
4 Mike Piazza………..42.9
5 Gary Carter…. 41.6
6 Mickey Cochrane 40.9
7 Munson……… 38.1
8 Yogi Berra….. 36.2
9 Ivan Rodriguez 36.0
10 Bill Dickey…… 35.0

OPS+, ages 21-30, 3000+ PAs, 66%+ games at catcher (1893-2018 – I’ve eliminated Buck Ewing)
1 Mike Piazza 156
2 Buster Posey 135
3 Joe Mauer 135
4 Johnny Bench 132
5 Ted Simmons 131
6 Carlton Fisk 131
7 Yogi Berra 129
8 Ernie Lombardi 129
9 Bill Dickey 129
10 Mickey Cochrane 129

I would have sworn Bench placed higher on thisa list – just behind Piazza.

JEV
Guest

Ramirez, Simmons, Sutton

Abreu, Coveleski, Irvin

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Vote:

Main: Dahlin, Tiant, Wallace
Secondary: Coveleski, Irvin, Smith

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Someday I’ll get Dahlen’s name right; at least this time I nailed Coveleski.

Paul E
Guest

Allen, Simmons, Sutton
Coveleski, Randolph, Reuschel

Still amazed by Reuschel’s WAR – I just didn’t see it while it was happening.

bells
Guest
No vote from me yet – with a strong new class coming in next year, this might be the last tough vote in awhile so I want to sit with the candidates a bit. (also, I kept changing my mind in the runoff so much that I ended up deciding not to vote at all – I just couldn’t choose a single player, and didn’t want to commit a vote when I might disagree with myself an hour later). But I’ve been reading this article series this week and thought some here might be interested so I wanted to post… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

The scary thing about the class next year is that the BBWAA ain’t electing 4 guys next year. We might have to drag this very good class out for a few years. Could be very interesting.

Michael Sullivan
Guest
I only see two fairly obvious COG members in the 75 class, and one or two borderliners that will probably stick on some ballot or in the group of candidates we talk about during the redemption rounds. There are other cool players on the ballot that will get some discussion in remembrance but aren’t really anywhere near COG level. If the BBWAA is willing to elects 2 of the 4-6 blatantly obvious hall non-PED associated hall candidates, that will be enough to take care of 1975 and then 76 is a down year with only Berkman worthy of even cursory… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Question #8: Herman Wehmeier, ERA= 4.84

no statistician but
Guest
Herm Wehmeier, a name out of the past. Journeyman fourth or fifth starter/swing man for the Reds, Phils, and Cards. We’re often disposed here to talk about ‘luck’ as a negative factor for pitchers with disappointing W-L records incommensurate with high WAR and ERA+. Herm seems just the opposite. In 1948, on a team that finished 64-89, his record was 11-8 despite having an ERA of 5.86, ERA+ of 67, and WAR of -1.1. To me, poor, misguided non-statistician that I am, these figures make absolutely no sense. The guy is credited with 17% of the team’s wins, only 9%… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
The main potential issue with B-R pitching WAR (per the James/Tango discussions linked in the runoff thread) is that fielding is distributed evenly, even though realistically, what each pitcher experiences from fielders is as varied as the offensive perfomance they experience. That said, if fielders were overperforming in Whemeier’s starts that would mean his WAR was too *high* and should be even more negative. And if they were underperforming, they weren’t positively contributing to wins and that would show up as an even lower ERA+. His FIP was also in line with what you’d expect from a below replacement pitcher.… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

A different kind of “sequencing” when everything just happen to fall in the right place. Reminds me in the reverse of Anthony Young’s epic losing streak.

Doug
Guest
I suspect Wehmeier hung around as long as he did because he was considered a “can’t miss” prospect coming up. And, he came up pretty early, partially because of the war but probably also because he was so highly regarded (the Dodgers offered $300,000 for Wehmeier in 1948). His 1945 debut at age 18, the Reds’ youngest player that year, was forgettable (5 ER on 6 hits in 1+ IP), but also notable because he was relieved by the league’s oldest player, 46 year-old Hod Lisenbee, making the final appearance of his career and the last for any player born… Read more »
opal611
Guest

For the 1974 Part 4 election, I’m voting for:

-Manny Ramirez
-Dennis Eckersley
-Andre Dawson

Other top candidates I considered highly (and/or will consider in future rounds):
-Sutton
-Tiant
-Ashburn
-Nettles
-Allen
-Wallace
-Dahlen
-Lyons

Thanks!

opal611
Guest

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

Thanks!

Hub Kid
Guest
Has anyone tried to answer Dr. Doom’s question above, “Who is the BEST candidate on the ballot right now?” I can’t really offer much of a statistical argument since this question is getting really difficult, with so many similar career values on the ballot. One way I look at this question is by keeping an eye on Hall of Stats’ rankings as a yardstick, and it is statistics-only (although catchers do get a bonus, and old-time pitchers get a penalty). It is mostly a mix of WAA and bWAR, so it doesn’t include comparative career value statistics at all, but… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Kid, I haven’t responded because Doom, you, and everyone else here knows my answer and all my longwinded arguments. The Hall of Stats seems emphatically to agree.

Dr. Doom
Guest

Bob, due to your years of advocacy, I hereby exempt you from participation in my above question. 🙂

And Hub Kid, thank you for your fory at tackling the question.

Richard Chester
Guest

Question 5: Roy Oswalt. .668 W-L% thru age 30, .472 W-L% from age 31 and on. Differential of .196 versus .187 for Washburn.

Chris C
Guest

Main Ballot:
Ramirez
Eckersley
Simmons

Secondary Ballot:
Helton
Randolph
Minoso

Josh Davis
Guest
Just a thought and a plea for Ken Boyer….. Ramirez and Simmons are getting raked over the coals here for being subpar defenders. How come no love for Boyer? He won five gold gloves and has a total zone RAA of +70 at the hot corner (19th all time). He was athletic enough to have played over 100 games in center field! He won an MVP award and his hitting (while not historic) compares favorably to many others on the ballot. OPS+ Allen 156 Ramirez 154 ——————- R.Smith 137 Helton 133 Minoso 130 Abreu 128 Irvin 125 ———————- Dawson 119… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Josh, Boyer is not currently getting my vote — though I’ll considering a vote change on the Secondary Ballot by Friday — but I agree with you that he is a highly viable CoG candidate. I wrote an advocacy comment for Boyer during Round 2 a few weeks ago, and I’ll stick by it.

Josh Davis
Guest
Yes, I read it at the time and liked it. Thanks for reminding me about it. For those who may have missed it, it is well worth a read, but Bob’s main points in favor of Boyer (if I may be so bold as to summarize) were: 1) He has a higher 5 year WAR peak than any candidate on the main ballot. 2) His WAR per qualifying season trails only Dick Allen on the main ballot. 3) He played a transformative role in the way baseball was played at 3rd base, and may have been better remembered for his… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
I agree he’s a viable candidate. And I think clearly, there’s a critical mass of others here that do as well, otherwise he wouldn’t have hung around on the ballot for so long. After looking at the lifetime 3B WAR list, It seems to me that the question of whether he deserves enshrinement hinges on the comparison to two 3B ahead of him in the WAR list (nettles and Bell) and one right on his heels (Bando). One of these guys is on the ballot as an option to vote for, and the other two are in redemption discussion hell.… Read more »
Josh Davis
Guest
Thanks for the thoughts, Michael. Bob Eno and I had a short conversation in the last voting thread about Boyer versus Nettles and I think we both had Boyer slightly ahead. It seems to me, if you’re willing to admit that Nettles (and Bell) was a better fielder than Boyer, but Boyer was the better hitter, than how much better was either player at their respective strength. For my part, I’ll take Boyer’s superior hitting and slightly worse (but still excellent) defense. But, that is a short, simplistic explanation. I am willing to be convinced otherwise. As to Bando, I… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Here are the stats I’d use to compare these guys: WAR(fWAR)……….…Pk5….Top5….WAR/500PA….OPS+…Career length 61.5 (56.2)……………33.0….33.2……..3.7…………….119……….1.1………..Sal Bando 66.3 (61.7)……………30.0….31.4……..3.3…………….109……….1.4………..Buddy Bell 62.8 (54.7)..………….33.0….34.0……..3.8…….………116……….1.2………..Ken Boyer 68.0 (65.7)……………28.7.…32.2……..3.3…….………110……….1.4………..Graig Nettles If bWAR is our guide, then Boyer prevails in peak and rate stats, exceeds his closest competition (Bando) in career length, and both Bell and Nettles in OPS+. But these four guys are very closely clustered; fWAR seems them very differently; and I think we’d need to do a much more thorough analysis to rank them with any responsibility. I did try pretty hard with Boyer and Nettles, but there was still not much to choose… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
Concerning Boyer, part of the trouble is that, in his prime he was overshadowed first by Eddie Mathews, really overshadowed at the plate, and Mathews was a good glove, not spectacular. Then Santo came along, and for a couple of years during the overlap Boyer was third best at third base in the NL. 1956 and 1961, off-years for Eddie, Boyer did have a slightly higher WAR, but in his time he was never considered the equal of Mathews, not close. Was that fair? Well, Eddie had an Rbat of 506 and an Rfield of 33, Ken an Rbat of… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
Well, Boyer is getting played up, because he’s not getting compared to Mathews here. He’s getting compared to other borderline COG candidates. Mathews sailed into the COG and is really just a step below Schmidt, He’s got the second most WAR of anyone who played 3B for 50% of their games, and in fewer seasons and PAs than anybody that’s close. He’s probably the second best 3B of all time (even if you favor others for the #2 spot, you’d have to say it’s a close call), and I don’t think there’s any question he was better than Boyer. The… Read more »
Paul E
Guest
Michael, here are Mathews and Boyer at or near retirement, 1893-1968, 50% of games @ 1B & 3B, WAR. 1 Lou Gehrig 112.4 1923 1939 2 Eddie Mathews 96.6 1952 1968 3 Jimmie Foxx 96.1 1925 1945 4 Johnny Mize 70.9 1936 1953 5 Ken Boyer 63.0 1955 1968 6 Home Run Baker 62.8 1908 1922 7 Hank Greenberg 57.6 1930 1947 8 Bill Terry 54.2 1923 1937 9 George Sisler 54.0 1915 1930 10 Jimmy Collins 53.3 1895 1908 11 Stan Hack 52.6 1932 1947 Quite surprised to see Boyer so high on this list; shocked to see Smiling… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
“I dunno why Mathews wasn’t the third baseman (pie Traynor) on the all-time team in 1969.” The old sportswriter crew (Lieb & Co.) was still shaping opinion — in those times, the story line that played best was that the postwar newcomers were not at all in the class of the old timers. (It’s how I was indoctrinated as a young fan.) The reason Boyer stands out despite Mathews was that while Mathews established a new model for the third baseman as slugger (something unseen in the lively ball era) — and was much celebrated for it in his day… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

Two other well-known Eddie Mathews facts:

1. He was the only player to play for the Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta Braves.
2. He’ll always be the cover boy from the first-ever issue of Sports Illustrated. For my money, it’s still the best cover they’ve ever published (with an honorable mention to Vince Lombardi being carried off by Jerry Kramer).

Josh Davis
Guest

Mathews should have been on the all time team — I wonder if it was not a function of BA still being held in high esteem. Traynor’s .320 looks pretty good next to Mathews .271. (And Traynor actually had more 100-RBI seasons too).

koma
Guest

main:

Manny Ramirez
Dennis Eckersley
Ted Simmons

secondary;

Andy Pettitte
Minnie Minoso
Hideki Matsui

Dr. Doom
Guest
My vote is below, I promise. But I have to ramble for a bit. Been wracking my brain on all these candidates. It seems to me that they all have such OBVIOUS weaknesses; again, this is not a surprise; we’re definitely picking guys who belong in the bottom-10 of the COG. As I said in my earlier post, I’m really trying to start from scratch. I tried doing some of my own calculations. Whenever I do, I keep coming up with the same issue: the fact that, in my opinion, almost all of our pitchers are more qualified than almost… Read more »
mosc
Guest
I agree we’re really getting down to players with serious holes in their credentials. It’s inevitable as the actual HOF seems to be voting in more players per year than the birth-years we’re going through. I agree with the general gist of your analysis. There are a couple of factors I don’t think you’re fulling considering, but those are just my personal takes on importance: *** Non-MLB stats: We do have some negro league stats on Irvin… and they are jaw dropping. His NLB slash line is .354/.393/.532/.924 (a lot of parks without outfield walls tended to reduce raw power… Read more »
mosc
Guest
I took a comparative approach at some other MiLB slash lines for contestants on this ballot: .293/.375/.452/.827: Abreu. Certainly not rushed along by his major league line, he seemed to show the normal progression you’d expect from somebody who was ready to star at age 24 but wasn’t ready nearly as early as Irvin .285/.369/.464/.833: Smith. Roughly a year ahead of Abreu’s pace by age, we see much the same pattern. .289/.401/.433/.834: Randolph. Arguably a little rushed, at least with the bat, Randolph was still ready to hit MLB pitching at age 22. .330/.417/.492/.908: Helton. Keeping in mind half of… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Thanks for those thoughts. Again, I voted for Irvin… I’m just doing so with some, what I think is healthy, skepticism. One thing: why would Reuschel get dinged for the steroid era? I mean, I understand that he had some very good years in his late 30s, but he had as many bad ones as good ones. I don’t think it’s really THAT unusual an aging pattern, particularly for the guys of that 300-win generation, which Reuschel was a part of – or darn close to – even if he didn’t actually get to 300 wins. It just surprises me… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

Mosc,
“” I don’t know what other 36 year old has had to spend 75 games in AA like Irvin did in 1955 but I bet they didn’t OPS 1.069.”
Check out the career of Luke Easter….he was pounding the ball into his forties:
https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=easter001lus

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
mosc, I’m in full agreement with your case for Irvin and there’s no question that players before 1947 were not facing as robust a talent pool as were those after segregation’s effects were significantly attenuated, say, after the late ’50s. But I’m puzzled by the way you apply the latter criterion here. You note, correctly, that Lyons “pitched segregated baseball at the height of the negro leagues.” The reason this is a problem for Lyons is not because he was personally implicated in the policy of segregation, but because the excluded talent pool was so rich in his day. In… Read more »
mosc
Guest
Doom, you’re right. It looks like I have the years wrong on my mental image of Rick Reuschel by nearly a decade. The only real knock on him is his lack of a continuous peak, with stress on the continuous. He had a monster season in 1977 and I doubt his 85-87 success in Pittsburg was overlapped much with the roids era as I somehow remember. The ’85 pirates lost 100 games with a lack of power (ISO .100 flat) and pitching (other than Reuschel) so you’re right, we shouldn’t have any qualms attributing rebuilding his career to anything other… Read more »
mosc
Guest
Bob Eno (epm), I don’t know what to make of the worlds Lyons spans. I think of the peak of segregated baseball as like 1920-1942. Cool Pap Bell was 1922-1946, something like that. Lyons is nearly a perfect mirror 1923-1946. They could have been top rivals, instead they never faced each other at the major league level. I voted for Lyons last round… mostly over Ramirez but that’s a different matter. I think his candidacy is tough because he has to deal with the segregation impact, the war impact (he pitched during the early war), and how to project his… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
mosc, I was agreeing with you on the segregation issue as it applies to Lyons. My disagreement concerned Dahlen and Wallace. There are no Cool Papa Bells or Satchel Paiges that they did not face. I think Rube Foster is the peak of the competition they were spared, and we don’t have much of a basis to assess Foster as a pitcher; his fame is as an executive. And, as I noted, the impact of the War on Lyons pitching in 1942 was minimal (in ’41 none at all); the league was not in any sense “depleted,” though if you… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
Bob, I can’t speak for mosc, but my skepticism about 19th century players has more to do with overall league quality than that they were not facing specific, known likely MLB star/HOF level performers like CPB/SP etc. It’s just a lot easier to stand out from average or replacement level, when that level is lower because don’t have a fully professionalized league yet. By the 20s, things are starting to get much more professional, and the standard of an average and replacement player is getting better, but… That’s also exactly when the impact of segregation starts to become more apparent… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Michael, I think I understand your argument, and I recall your making it before in abbreviated form (when I used it to argue that standouts from the PED era would be similarly suspect because of the way ordinary non-PED users were operating at a comparatively non-competitive level). When you write, “it was easier to stand out in pre-integration ball and that includes the deadball era and pre-deadball era,” I think it is not at all as clear as you intend. (I assume from the arc of your larger argument you mean more than simply that there was a growing pool… Read more »
bells
Guest
Michael, reading your breakdown of league strength yesterday made me chew on a few things, both in terms of your premise and the specific applications of your analysis. I hope you’ll indulge me as I engage further with this. First, it touches on a point that I’ve often wondered, whether WAR has the same ‘standard deviation’ effect as, say, batting average. I think I’ve mentioned before (well, maybe like a few years ago) that I use in the stats class I teach the example of batting average over time to teach standard deviation – basically the point is that the… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Read Doom’s comment (and Mosc’s) below, and, while I know I’m repeating myself, but I’m just not enthused by this group. I’m going to read everyone’s analysis (and advocacy) carefully, but if I’m not fully persuaded, I’m going to pass this round. Doom’s point about Reuschel is a good one, but I see Reuschel sort of a pitching Willie Randolph–another player who virtually any Manager would be thrilled to have on his team, but…

Andy
Guest

Primary:
Manny Ramirez
Andre Dawson
Dennis Eckersley

Secondary:
Todd Helton
Stan Coveleski
Ken Boyer

Dr. Doom
Guest
Vote update! With 11 votes in (* means on the bubble): Primary Ballot 6 – Dennis Eckersley* ====50% 5 – Manny Ramirez, Ted Simmons* 4 – Andre Dawson* 3 – Don Sutton ====25% 2 – Dick Allen, Bill Dahlen, Ted Lyons ====10% 1 – Richie Ashburn*, Graig Nettles, Luis Tiant, Bobby Wallace Ashburn is in the most trouble; on the one hand, a single vote would likely save him; on the other hand, failing to get one likely demotes him to the Secondary Ballot. Once again, it’s a tight one at the top. And, strangely, Dick Allen moved from a… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
It’s a small sample size, but what I see on the primary ballot so far is a division between more recent and more distant playing careers. The top five vote getters—plus Nettles, the outlier—versus players from earlier times, Tiant being the most recent, and his career was effectively over in 1980. Preferring the most recent candidates has always been an option here—the bigger, faster, stronger modern players with better training, better equipment, better everything but sense. Dahlen and Wallace to me are still demonstrably the best on the ballot, but they played in the ancient past, their stats result from… Read more »
mosc
Guest
I love the narrative, I really do, but I have trouble thinking of this white-only league with less stress on athleticism as a fielding dominated era. Certainly fielding contributed more to wins and losses back then than it does today. I agree with that analysis but I don’t think these guys were good fielders by modern standards either. I also am reminded how in modern times it’s been a hard transition to remove a player’s offense from the public’s perception of their defense. The gold glove winners have some alarming correlation with offensive production at a position. We as analysts… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
mosc, When you say, “less stress on athleticism,” what are you thinking of? I really don’t understand it. Do you mean lower standards of athleticism? I wonder whether you think Jeter playing with the baseball equipment of 1900 could survive as a shortstop, or even Nettles as a third baseman. We sometimes say the earlier players were poorer fielders, but to me that means two things: tiny gloves and a future history of position play innovation that had not yet occurred. Wallace is the fielder who first invented the modern infielder style of eliminating the set position when moving from… Read more »
mosc
Guest
A touch personal there, I didn’t meat to strike a nerve. My apologies respected colleague. I think of athleticism as less valued in the older game. You could argue by comparison that it was more valuable and I’d generally agree with you but I think the reputation of players is most of what we have to go on and that’s pretty flawed (hence my comments about gold gloves in later years). It’s hard to suss out what was really good or bad so long in the past through the lens of the statistics that survive. The context is different, the… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Actually, baseball players in the era 1890-1920 were paid much more than the average worker — there are countless narratives of players who gave up their jobs for a baseball salary, although today we consider it a pittance. I know of no study that examines whether the attraction of a baseball salary in that era was lower than other times during the pre-free-agent period, which is most of baseball history. So when you say, “Players weren’t compensated enough to attract the nation’s best talent,” I don’t know why we should assume that to be true. Of course, players did work… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
I want to add a little specificity to my comment about early baseball salaries. B-R has only scattered salary figures for earlier periods, but we do have a few and we can make use of inflation calculators to get a general idea of the scale of money then and now. For example, in 1901, Bill Dahlen received a salary of $3000. He was then 31 years-old, and that may sound like peanuts, but for the same buying power in 2018 you’d need to pay Dahlen $91,369. That may not compare with minimum salaries in the free-agent era, but the median… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

Bob eno,
Agreed. They couldn’t play pro football or basketball. If young men imagined themselves athletes 120 years ago, their only other choice was the prize ring

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
nsb, I think that when our CoG debates were proceeding through early birthdates, it helped everyone focus on the context of the earlier game and see the earlier players in terms of baseball history and the universe of players who formed their competition. Now that we’re far from that context with each new group, encountering players much more familiar in terms of both their identities and the game as they play it, there’s simply less inclination to revive that former interest in the earlier players, which at a certain point could lead to George Davis’s election, but that ran out… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
For all you enthusiastic Eck voters out there, I just don’t get it. I mean, I kind of think he’s getting bonus, “pioneer” credit. Which is fine, I guess, if a little against the spirit of the COG, which is about electing the best PLAYERS. I just kind of think that, had Frank Tanana been made a reliever in the early ’80s, we’d be looking at him in this spot. I don’t know… maybe I just don’t “get” Eckersley. He is, for me, one of the lowest ranking players on the ballot right now. I kind of think he’s going… Read more »
mosc
Guest

WAA+ with a relief pitching adjustment (which to me basically means using a reliever’s WAR vs a starter’s WAA). With no adjustment he still has more WAA+ than Sutton, Lyons, or Tiant.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
I’m pretty neutral on Eckersley — I’m unexcited by his case, but I would not be upset if he were elected (he will be eventually) — but I think WAA+ is not a very appropriate measure for a pitcher who spent a quarter of his seasons below average. WAA- is a major element in his profile. (I commented in more detail in Round 3.) Moreover, I don’t see where he actually does have more WAA+ than Tiant. (I understand WAA+ as equivalent to WAA with negative seasons eliminated — perhaps that’s not right, but if it is, Tiant prevails 37.5… Read more »
mosc
Guest
I guess I fundamentally disagree that a pitcher’s ERA+ would go up as a reliever compared to mediocre or worse starting. Similarly I think some guys wouldn’t get any better if they got however many days rest. It’s just not that deterministic. I think someday we’ll land in a world when pitchers are more varied in their pitches per outing and their rest. The good part to me is it should reduce the 1-inning pitcher. We’ve already virtually eliminated the 1-hitter pitcher and I think that trend is going to continue. Reliever’s average outing is going to go back up… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
mosc, I ran a Play Index search for the top season ERA+ marks among pitchers with 50+ IP over the postwar period (1946-2018). Of the top 100, ninety-six were by pitchers with zero starts, one by a pitcher with 7 starts in 34 games (Bob Veale, 1963, #38), one by a pitcher with one start in 39 games (Gene Thompson, 1946, #89). That leaves two true starting pitchers among the 100 best: Pedro Martinez 2000 (#62) and Greg Maddux 1994 (#86). As for #101-200, eighty-six had zero starts; #201-400, one hundred and sixty-one and (the majority with starts had fewer… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
Bob: Thanks for substantiating something I have also observed. I’m sure that there have been many seasons when middle relievers or closers haven’t been all that great, but those guys were either having an off year or they weren’t around long. MLB ERA by year broken down 2013: Innings 1-3 3.94; 4-6 4.11; 7-9 3.53 2014: Innings 1-3 3.67; 4-6 3.99; 7-9 3.59 2015: Innings 1-3 4.06; 4-6 4.39; 7-9 3.64 2016: Innings 1-3 4.22; 4-6 4.39; 7-9 3.97 2017: Innings 1-3 4.43; 4-6 4.54; 7-9 4.07 2018: Innings 1-3 4.08; 4-6 4.30; 7-9 4.06 Only in 2018 of the… Read more »
mosc
Guest

I would love to see some thoughts on comparing these guys:
Drysdale
Cone
Tiant
Reuschel
Sutton

That’s listed in my rough order which seems to be the complete opposite of the folks on here.

Michael Sullivan
Guest
Not quite opposite — I’d say Cone, Reuschel, Drysdale, Tiant, Sutton. One of the things I’d say about this list, is that I’d be happy putting any of them in the COG. I was down on Sutton, but Doom has convinced me that if you give any significant weight to FIP vs. B-R WAR, Sutton belongs, despite his lack of a great peak. In fact, I’d put every single one of these guys in ahead of at least 5-6 (a dozen or more in some cases) of our existing selections. I think we’re offense heavy and pitcher short, and these… Read more »
mosc
Guest
It’s an interesting take. I think though that we have to keep in mind we’re all going to have probably 10 guys we want out of the COG with 10 ready replacements. It’s a consensus effort by nature. I don’t like Larry Walker, Kevin Brown, Lou Whitaker, Harmon Killebrew, and a couple others. I see these 5 pitchers I mentioned and guys like Palmer and Mussina all as fairly tight. There are definitely some tough calls. I’m sure there are those that are grumpy about Satchel Paige, Wes Ferrell, and others I have championed. At least we can all agree… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest
I think Mussina outclasses these guys pretty clearly. Palmer not so much after adjusting for park and the historically excellent defense behind him. I think he probably belongs, but IMO he’s one of the weaker pitchers we’ve selected but not really better than any of these guys we’re debating. FIP is also not kind to him suggesting that B-R is not only not overcorrecting for fielding but may even be *under-correcting*. If you believe FIP, he’s not a COG pitcher at all, but borderline big hall. Mussina OTOH, gets rated quite highly by both measures, has significantly more WAR and… Read more »
Gary Bateman
Guest

Main Ballot–Dahlen, Ashburn, Eckersley
Secondary Ballot–Minoso, Boyer, Abreu

mosc
Guest

Vote change. Give me Reuschel over Pettitte on the secondary and Simmons over Nettles on the primary.

Reuschel should get more of a chance, I agree and Pettitte is a fill-in vote, not somebody I think actually should get in. Simmons has a chance, and I have some residual Manny Ramirez fear so I’ll give him a go. Nettles has rounds to spare and I’m still rather puzzled he doesn’t get more support but meh, that’s a fight for future rounds.

Dawson, Simmons, Eckersley
Randolph, Reuschel, Irvin

Josh Davis
Guest
I’m a little surprised that Luis Tiant isn’t even getting the level of support that Sutton and Lyons are. I’ve got Tiant tops out of the starters on the main ballot (Eckersley is different story and hard to compare because of his unique career arc). Others have written more eloquently on Sutton and Lyons, but here’s my two cents on why I think Tiant is better. I’m willing to be convinced otherwise. 1. Tiant scores better in some basic rankings, like WAA and the Hall of Stats: WAA Tiant 34.5 Lyons 28.1 Sutton 23.3 HOS Tiant 130 Lyons 126 Sutton… Read more »
mosc
Guest

I buy it, but I don’t want to vote for Sutton or Lyons either. I totally agree with you though. More interesting to me is Tiant vs Reuschel.

Gary Bateman
Guest

On #6, is the answer Bernie Allen?

Doug
Guest

Indeed it is. Truly, a forgotten player.

Mike L
Guest
Since we have Matsui, Lyons and Monte Irvin on the ballot, I wanted to pull out the discussion on “how much credit should they be given…” My problem with the concept is that, by imputing a level of performance to them for time lost which they did not actually achieve, we are assuming two things that are not certainties: A) that they would have performed at the COG level for the “phantom” years, and B) as it relates to Matsui and Irvin, that the quality of the baseball in the Japanese or Negro leagues, respectively, was, if not equivalent, at… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Mike, I think your question is well asked, but that the optimal method for answering it may be different from the tack you take. First, I’d rule out Matsui from the question altogether. Nothing impeded his MLB career; he chose to continue playing in Japan. There seems to me no reason to give him compensatory consideration for a choice he made to spend his chronological peak living the life of a sports star in his native country — a perfectly reasonable decision for which he was rewarded appropriately. He’s not comparable to those who lost significant MLB time or playing… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
A.) Why would we assume the Negro Leagues in which Irvin played weren’t very good? Bill James has a wonderful quote in the NBJHBA that was something along the lines of, “If the Negro Leagues produced Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Don Newcombe, and others in its dying breath, can’t we assume they were the equals or betters of MLB?” That’s a big misquote; it was in the top 100 players essay, I believe, in which Bill worries that having only 4 or 5 Negro League players in his all-time top-100 was not enough. B.) Why do we have… Read more »
mosc
Guest

Great post Doom…

Though I’m still upset with you for making me vote for Brown.

Mike L
Guest
I wasn’t looking for a confrontation, just a discussion, but I’m going to take one thing head on. I didn’t say the quality of Negro League “wasn’t very good.” What I don’t think anyone is in a position to say is whether it was as good in the aggregate as MLB. That does not diminish the incredible talents of Mays, Banks, etc, any more than Mike Trout’s are playing on a team that hasn’t broken .500 in the last few years. The greatness of some does not define the level of them all. No where did I say don’t consider… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Doom, I think there are a few of problems in your response to Mike. B) . . . ” . . . he was Black, so let’s not consider him, on the basis that his league was inferior.” That’s not the basis we don’t consider Rogan; it’s because he doesn’t meet the criteria for the CoG and no one has argued, after Paige, that we should further bend or alter those criteria. If you think we’re doing an injustice, why not just make that argument: I’m sure you’d find support. (I’d support it, but only if we agreed on some… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
mosc, I regret nothing! It took me five years (I think) and a SUPER-weird runoff to get you to vote for Kevin Brown. I take nothing back. But… well, a sincere “thank you” from a person who advocated very hard for a player who I think belongs. That said, I don’t really LIKE Kevin Brown, so I understand your disgust. Mike L, wasn’t trying to be confrontational, just trying to continue the discussion from a different viewpoint. I suppose that’s the definition of confrontation; what I mean to say is, I think the topics were spot-on and worth discussing, and… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Doom, You explanation of your initial post is much more measured than the initial post was and much more interesting. I’ll try to respond to your various points. “We don’t consider Rogan because we don’t have the statistics to measure him (at least, not enough of them).” I think that’s not accurate, but it’s a lot closer than the pair of reasons you initially linked: because he was black and [we think] his league was inferior. The reason we don’t consider Rogan is because birtelcom’s project was based on the BBWAA context and we all agreed to that framework at… Read more »
mosc
Guest
I think you do consider Matsui’s Japanese career. You just then rule him out because it wasn’t good enough. Also, I think if you compare the relative strength of the negro leagues in the 20s-40s to japanese baseball in the 90s and 00s, the negro leagues were like quad-A roughly and the japanese league was like half way between double and triple-A. Matsui himself helps define that by never remotely hitting like he did in Japan once he came over.If he at a 1.100 OPS for a couple seasons stateside like he did in japan, it would elevate his previous… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Bob made a good observation in comparing Irvin’s WAR/500 PA to Matsui’s (both having come to MLB at roughly the same age). Matsui’s was 2.1, Irvin 3.7, and I agree that Matsui clearly doesn’t make the cut. If you extrapolate out and assume Matsui started in the AL, maybe he would have had career WAR of 45-ish, which feels about right for a player we all saw. Very solid player, not a transcendent star. Irvin was clearly better, but maybe he makes it to the 60’s–discussable for COG, electable in a weak year, not a clear must have.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Mike, If you project Irvin’s 21.3 WAR against a career length midway between the extremes among the current main ballot candidates (that is, Allen and Dawson), you get 66.6 WAR. That is projected from Irvin’s WAR rate at ages 30-37 (and 30 was a cup of coffee as a “rookie”). If you make the normal assumption that his peak would have occurred earlier, that WAR number would rise by quite a lot (though some of that rise in volume would need to remain in the later age bracket at his actual rate). I think there’s no question that a statistical… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Bob, no question you could be right. One of the things I noticed about Irvin’s Negro League stats was that he didn’t play a lot in either 1947 or 1948 (mirroring his experience in MLB, in which he missed significant parts of seasons with injury). So, I did a back of the envelope extrapolation based on Plate Appearances.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Mike, What you’re seeing in ’47-’48 is the lack of team stats, not Irvin’s absence. If you look at Newark’s line-up record those years you’ll see that Irvin’s PAs are second in ’47 and seventh in ’48 (but just 12 PA behind the leaders). NLB baseball’s issues include large amounts of missing records.

So for Irvin, the 1947-48 seasons don’t have anything in common with 1952 and ’55.

Mike L
Guest

Thanks, I obviously missed that

mosc
Guest

11. Mike Morgan? He started in 411 games amazingly. Played at 18 and 42 and for 12 different teams.

mosc
Guest

His ’78 debut is also weird. It includes a complete game and just 12.1 total innings. I bet there is somebody else who threw fewer total innings in a season with a complete game but I couldn’t name him. Maybe even some like 6 inning rain shortened cameo? Also has a CG in a season with no strikeouts, not sure how many have pulled that feat either.

Richard Chester
Guest

Since 1871 there have been 156 occasions of a pitcher with one 9 inning CG and no other IP in that season, most recently by Steve Barr in 1974. In 26 of those games there were 0 strike outs, most recently by Babe Ruth in 1933.

Doug
Guest

There have been 34 debut seasons like Morgan’s, with two or more starts, a CG, and 12.1 or fewer IP. Most recent was by Devern Hansack of the Red Sox in 2006, with two 5 IP starts, the second a no-hit shutout. Most recent including a 9 inning CG is Morgan, followed by Jim Hughes of the Twins in 1974, whose other start was only 1.1 IP. Morgan and Johnnie Williams in 1914 are the only two on that list to have three starts, with Williams also posting a relief appearance, but totaling only 11.1 IP.

Doug
Guest

It’s not Morgan. Someone else has played for more teams.

Paul E
Guest

11. Bobo Newsom ?

Doug
Guest

A hint is the player is still active.

Dr. Doom
Guest
It’s Edwin Jackson! I can’t believe I didn’t think of this earlier! I even thought about him when I was writing a comment on here about bad no-hitters. I mentioned Francisco Liriano’s no-no instead, because I actually watched that one on TV (in a hotel room; it’s a very distinct memory for me). But I thought about Jackson’s famous (infamous?) 8 walk no-hitter when I wrote that comment. In that no-hitter, a 1-0 shutout, Jackson threw 149 pitches. I’m quite sure no one’s thrown more since; I don’t think anyone else has topped 140, and I’m not even sure there’ve… Read more »
Doug
Guest
Jackson has played for 13 teams, only one of which has given him a return engagement (a marked contrast to Newsom, for example). Jackson’s 149 pitches in 2010 are one more than Tim Lincecum in his 2013 no-hitter. Livan Hernandez (2005) is the last to throw 150 pitches (exactly). Tim Wakefield has the two highest pitch counts since 1988 with 172 (1992) and 169 (1997). The most pitches between Wakefield and Hernandez are 155 by Randy Johnson, a month after Wakefield threw 169. In all, there are 79 games of 150+ pitches from 1988 to 2005, including 12 by Rogers… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

My vote:

Main: Allen, Lyons, Dawson
Secondary: Abreu, Helton, Minoso

I’d like to take the opportunity to provide an off-topic factoid that some of you might be interested in. A few years ago I did a search to find players who had a .300 BA after each and every AB during their careers (3000 PA min.). I was able to confirm Jimmie Foxx and Earle Combs, with Joe DiMaggio and Riggs Stephenson as possibilities that I could not confirm due to missing data. The missing data for Stephenson is now available and he joins Foxx and Combs on the list.

Doug
Guest

It’s odd they have the play-by-play for DiMaggio’s second game, but not his first, given that both were in the same series.

Paul E
Guest
Richard, DiMaggio went 3 for 6 in his debut on May 3,1936. Unfortunately, there is no PBP to indicate whether those hits were garnered early or late in the game through Retrosheet……perhaps local archived newspapers? I have a DiMaggio box set of books on his entire professional career , including the PCL days. Its loaded with photos and comments from the national press along the order of, “he’s a dago but doesn’t like too much garlic in his food”. Pretty strange….but, I’ll check there. FWIW, his low point in batting average post-game appears to be .314 shortly after his debut… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest
i wonder if you have what I have, a 2-volume set of books entitled “The DiMaggio Albums” which is a compilation of newspaper articles about him. There is an article about his debut game in which his 3 hits in 6 at bats are mentioned. His 3rd hit came in his last AB, his 2nd hit in his 4th or fifth AB and his 1st hit in one of his 1st 3 AB. Also he needed a hit in 1 of his 1st 2 AB in the game following the one with the .314 BA. And he was occasionally referred… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

Probably, beautiful navy blue binding, IIRC?

Paul E
Guest

Joe picked a great time to debut – The average score of an AL game in 1936 was 6.17 to 5.17. His somewhat astronomical .928 OPS was only good for a 123 OPS+ . How about 24 BB and 88 XBH ?

bells
Guest
Richard, thank you for mentioning this – truth be told, your offhanded mention of that search on a thread awhile ago has stuck in my mind. One of my own slow-going processes is to read through the stats and sabr bios of the top 1000 WAR career list, just to learn a little more depth about baseball history. I’ve been quite heavily going through the list in the last few months, and with every player I take note of whether they might have had a .300 career, although I hadn’t done follow up to see for sure. I was just… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

You are welcome.

Josh Davis
Guest

VOTE:
Primary: Simmons, Ramirez and Tiant
Secondary: Boyer, Helton and Abreu

koma
Guest

Q9: Ray King had 593 games with 2 saves and 97 GF.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Vote Change By my count, Eckersley is now tied with Ted Simmons for the lead in the CoG vote. This doesn’t seem like a good direction to me (though I do see it as better than the next choice, Ramirez, one vote behind). Obviously I’m in the minority. I’ve written several comments on both Eck and Simmons. In Eck’s case, I feel he’s short of the borderline, but he has some unique qualities, chiefly his five outstanding years as a reliever. His first five seasons as a starter were good too, and he might have headed for the CoG that… Read more »
Bruce Gilbert
Guest

Bob: First, according to your percentage of games at catcher stats, Simmons and Yogi aren’t tied at the bottom with 87%. On the bottom is Johnny Bench with 79%. Second, That is NOT a negative, it’s a positive! It means that their offensive production was so valuable to their team that they were included in the lineup at their second best defensive position; and that they were athletic enough to play a second position is a positive. Bruce

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
You’re right, Bruce, I somehow overlooked Bench’s number — my error. But the argument about percentage doesn’t have to do with the issue you raise. It has to do with the “catcher bonus,” which we implicitly give because of the physical toll of playing the position, day after day. It’s because of this issue that I did not include Gene Tenace on the list. Tenace has 46.8 WAR, more than Munson and Lombardi, and a far higher rate stat of 4.2, but he caught in only 58% of his the games he played, and I think that calls into question… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

PaWaa

185.7 … Bench
509.7 … Simmons … They were within 6 PA of one another.
___________________

185.7 … Bench
210.4 … Cochrane
223.6 … Dickey
231.6 … Munson
260.3 … Lombardi
509.7 … Simmons
___________________

PaWaa obviously dings guys who hang around.
Simmons had a monstrously awful age 34 season (-2.6 WAR / -4.3 WAA).

Here are the same guys through the age 32 season (a reasonable decline year, and when Munson passed):

161.2 … Bench
209.5 … Dickey
210.2 … Cochrane
231.6 … Munson
238.2 … Lombardi
302.6 … Simmons

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

And compared to other long-playing catchers:

(and by the way, Simmons is “only” 16th all time in games played at Catcher. Bench is 17th.)

224.9 … Carter
245.7 … Hartnett
245.9 … Yogi
279.1 … Fisk
307.5 … Ivan
433.9 … Yadi*
509.7 … Simmons
596.0 … Kendall
6790.0 .. Bob Boone (yes, thousands)
23576.7 . Pena

Through age 32:

160.1 … Carter
177.5 … Fisk (less than half his career)
209.1 … Ivan
215.1 … Yogi
288.8 … Hartnett (he got better with age)
302.6 … Simmons
371.7 … Yadi
396.7 … Kendall
502.9 … Pena
2293.6 .. Boone

Dave Humbert
Guest

Vote time:

Primary – Eckersley, Ramirez, Wallace
Secondary – Randolph, Coveleski, Reuschel

I think the dropoff in productivity per PA for Simmons vs COG catchers is a telling separator, and that Munson (among others) fits better. Once again sad that Dahlen and Wallace are penalized for excelling in their era, through no fault of their own. The secondary ballot is very tough to pick out any gems at this point, and I can’t see Abreu’s case…

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

So, Ive never played Fantasy baseball.

Last week a friend hired me as a consultant.
Gave me a piece of his action, and I worked with him through the auction.

And now he’s off making dopey moves and I have no control.
And I’ve got the itch.
And what am I gonna do, go join a random league? That’s lame.

So I ask this with a quiver of trepidation… because I know that I am in a room full of addicts……..

Y’all want to play?

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Voomo, Although I’m always glad when my efforts as an addict receive recognition, I have to confess that I’ve already taken on more addictions than I can responsibly fulfill.

Josh Davis
Guest

I’d play for fun…..though not interested in a league that requires real money to play.

Hub Kid
Guest

Primary: Ted Lyons, Manny Ramirez, Dick Allen

Secondary: Reggie Smith, Minnie Minoso, Rick Reuschel

Doug
Guest

Main: Eckersley, Wallace, Ashburn
Secondary: Randolph, Reuschel, Boyer

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Hmmm. According to my count you’ve created a potential headache for yourself, Doug. Randolph and Reuschel are now tied for the Secondary Ballot lead with your vote. How are you going to break the tie? (You listed Randolph first . . . ?) Well, let’s hope there are more votes to come.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

I just looked at your vote spreadsheet, Doug, and I see figures different from mine, including on Reuschel, where it may make a difference. It looks as though mosc’s vote change (Simmons over Nettles; Reuschel over Pettitte) may have been missed.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Also, Gary Bateman’s vote seems to be missing (Dahlen, Ashburn, Eckersley / Minoso, Boyer, Abreu).

bells
Guest

Well, it’s been a slice to see these discussions reinvigorated over the past couple of months, will be happy when we get another (couple of?) round(s) next January. Can’t say that I’m personally much of the sentiment that Eck should be in, but I certainly respect the process and the intelligence of the posters at this site.

Main ballot: Bobby Wallace, Luis Tiant, Graig Nettles
Secondary ballot: Rick Reuschel, Reggie Smith, Monte Irvin

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
A quiet end to this year’s Circle vote. My figures differ a bit from Doug’s, and the difference actually affects the outcome on the Secondary Ballot. The reason for the discrepancies are noted just above bells’ closing vote. Subject to correction, this is what I have for the final results. With a total of 18 votes cast: Primary Ballot 10 – Dennis Eckersley* ===============50% (9) 8 – Manny Ramirez 7 – Ted Simmons* 5 – Andre Dawson* ===============25% (5) 4 – Dick Allen, Ted Lyons 3 – Richie Ashburn*, Bill Dahlen, Don Sutton, Luis Tiant, Bobby Wallace ==============10% (2) 1… Read more »
Bruce Gilbert
Guest

Bob, I voted in both primary and secondary.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

Apologies, Bruce. I omitted your name (which should have been after mosc’s), but not your vote. Seventeen names but 18 votes — your missing name is the difference. You’re really there.

That’s two errors you caught me on this round!

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest

I still see a slight discrepancy between Doug’s total and what I posted, but it’s not significant. (For the record, Doug, I have mosc voting for Dawson rather than Dahlen.)

Michael Sullivan
Guest
Woops, was going to swoop in and vote at the last minute and then got embroiled in a family discussion before bed. Turns out, it wouldn’t have made any difference if this tally is accurate. I’m not really a fan of Eck going in after the discussion this round. One thing that I don’t much like about this vote is that there were a lot of good points made against him with basically no response, and yet he wins. I’m not saying he’s the worst selection ever or anything, but it does bother me that people are either not reading… Read more »
Bruce Gilbert
Guest

I also don’t think Eck belongs, in either the HOF or the COG, and I was a huge fan of the A’s back then, and still like them. But he got the most votes. Question for Doug and/or Bob: will this string stay open for further discussion? If so, perhaps it would be fruitful to discuss ideas to strengthen COG membership. Just wondering. Thanks, Bruce

Doug
Guest
Actually, I am skiing this week, so won’t have a new post up for a few days. So, yes, the post will remain open. As to Eck, he is hard to evaluate because of his unique career, so nobody really to compare him to (Tom Goodwin might be the closest). You’ve got the dominant closer of his time for half his career and an okay starter for the other half. The total WAR fits for the CoG even though his career trajectory as a starter wouldn’t have done it. If he is a closer his entire career, he’s probably a… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

Doug,
Tom Gordon? As opposed to the skinny flychaser, Tom Goodwin? But, yeah, there arent’t too many. Smoltz maybe – but not a closer as long as Eck.
“Eck” ? Baseball has some piss-poor nicknames

Doug
Guest

Thanks Paul,

Tom G. at any rate. Coming up with names off the top of my head has never been a strong suit for me (at least not since I’ve turned sixty).

Paul E
Guest

Yes, welcome to the club. I can recall the ’67 Astros lineup but can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday. THAT is not a good sign.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
I agree that Eck’s not a disaster (after all, I wound up voting for him, after a fashion), but for some of us he was just the least problematic among poor options, and Bruce’s unease fits with Michael Sullivan’s points. I think the most promising way to improve this process is to attract our lost participants to rejoin it for future rounds. Here’s one suggestion for how we might do that (I don’t have confidence that this is the best approach, but something along these lines, anyway). Assuming that it’s possible to make one-time email contact with former participants, perhaps… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
I think all HHS strings are eternally open, Bruce, at least until the day the Great Internet in the Sky decides she’s had enough of the likes of us. I think the main issues with the CoG are low total participation rates (down from the 60-70 votes common in the early rounds), and relatively high rate of voters who don’t really engage with the discussion, as Michael Sullivan noted. Because I usually tabulate votes, I’ve become aware that among those who join the argument during voting, there’s a balanced diversity of views, while those whom we usually hear from just… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

I didn’t vote in this round–I just didn’t feel strongly enough about anyone on the primary ballot, much less three of them. I haven’t voted in the secondary round in the past, although I would agree with Michael Sullivan that there are names there that are stronger than some of those on the primary one. I think this is just a lull in the process accentuated by the quirk of there being 4 spots opened up with a comparatively mediocre pool to vote from.

Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
Mike, I understand your feeling, though it’s easier for me because I do have guys I feel really belong. But the nature of the CoG project makes this problem almost inevitable. We each have a vision of what a reformed Hall of Fame should look like, and for many of us it involves contracting below the number the BBWAA have admitted. For people like us, “Greats” should be those who set standards, not those who meet a continually sinking threshold. For “small Circle” posters, with the exception of rounds that happen to rope in an occasional true “Great” from their… Read more »
Mike L
Guest
Bob, a very eloquent (and elegant) response. I agree with the thrust of it. I had voted in the previous three elections, but this time couldn’t settle on people I felt comfortable with, so I took a pass with the idea of letting other people, who had stronger feelings, possibly giving their preferences a slightly stronger chance. My position on PEDS has never changed, so I don’t regret that. I do regret Brown in more than, say, Bonds and Clemens because I think his cheating was integral to what may have differentiated him from the rest of the pack. But,… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Don’t know if I missed it in the comments, but the answer to the Jamey Wright question is Danny Darwin. Darwin also beat Wright in their head-to-head matchup.

Doug
Guest

Eckersley is just the second CoG pitcher born in the 1950s (Bert Blyleven is the other). That compares to four from the 1920s, five from both the 1930s and 1940s, and nine (!) from the 1960s.

Paul E
Guest

If i ran the PI on baseball reference correctly, there are only seven Hall of Fame pitchers born in the 1960’s? Maybe someone with a subscription can verify but I imagine Cooperstown is missing kevin Brown and Clemens from our group?

Richard Chester
Guest

7 is correct, Rivera, Mussina, Hoffman, Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux and Johnson.

Paul E
Guest

Thank you

Doug
Guest

Mariners draw first blood in the new season. Ichiro becomes oldest opening day starter for an AL team.

Paul E
Guest

I think he’s after that 4,256 career hits record. I imagine he would still be productive in Japan along the order of .290/.335/.400

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

He already has 4367.
But if you include Rose’s minors’ stats, Pete’ s at 4683.

Ichiro did recently break Cobb’s all-hits number of 4362.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Well shoot, Im here and procrastinating, might as well do a proper list.
Taking the Top 20 career hits leaders:

4683 … Rose
4367 … Ichiro
4362 … Cobb

4095 … Aaron
4019 … Jeter
4001 … Musial
3965 … Speaker

3787 … Waner
3782 … Yaz
3709 … Lajoie
3706 … Murray
3682 … Honus (missing 1895 stats)
3647 … Ripken

3529 … Beltre
3479 … Brett
3478 … Mays (negro league stats probably incomplete)
3435 … Anson (no minors stats)
3405 … Molitor
3387 … Gwynn
3342 … Alex Rod
3337 … Collins (missing 1906)
3236 … Pujols*
3211 … Yount
3110 … Winfield (never played in minors)

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Or, I could have just posted this link from b/r:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Most_Career_Hits

Paul E
Guest

Voom,
I was going to reprimand you for missing the Jigger but you posted the link…it mus thave been nice playing in the PCL back then – you know, as opposed to working for a iving

no statistician but
Guest
I thought sure I had a missed player for the list—kind of— but I was wrong. The player I had in mind was Ray Perry—Raymond Lawrence Perry, to be more specific—who plied the trade of baseball mostly in the low minors for around 20 years, sort of. Bill James devotes a two-page spread to Perry in his NBJHBA (p. 243-5 in my copy) that is one of the best things he ever wrote. I recommend it to anyone who loves baseball more than stats. Perry, unfortunately, did not reach the high hit production I assumed, mainly because of three things:… Read more »
Bob Eno (epm)
Guest
nsb, Statz, at least, has a certain fame as one of those guys who couldn’t quite stick in MLB despite his dynamite record in the Minors, like, say, Lou Novikoff. Perry is so obscure that B-R doesn’t even know his death date, maybe because he never had a cup of coffee. I’d forgotten the James essay, and only when rereading it, prompted by your comment, did it come back to me. The fact that James has stats for Perry that B-R doesn’t have tells me that B-R really doesn’t see the Minors as worth a full investment of time and… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

hey,
let’s not forget Morrie Arnovich 🙁

Paul E
Guest

Mike Hessman broke Buzz Arlett’s career minor leagur HR record. In 1984, the Society for American Baseball Research voted Arlett the most outstanding player in the history of minor-league baseball. Hey, who knew, right?

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Josh Tomlin was released by the Brewers today. I see that he gave up 25 HR in 70 IP last year. And that is a record. An ugly record. Highest HR/9. Minimum 60 IP: 3.20 … Tomlin 2.93 … Amir Garrett 2.92 … Bronson Arroyo 2.85 … Glendon Rusch 2.84 … Chris Young 2.66 … Ken Dixon (1987) 2.62 … Miguel Batista 2.57 … Russ Ortiz 2.57 … Dylan Covey __________________________ Dixon stands out as the only pitcher from last century, and the only one with 100+ IP. The “leaders” for 100+ IP: 2.66 … Dixon 2.52 … Andy Benes… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

And going back to the first record, here are the leaders for 60+ IP, up to 1986:

2.20 … Herm Wehmeier
2.15 … Oscar Zamora
2.09 … Jim Waugh
2.05 … George Lauzerique
2.04 … John Pacella
2.02 … Ernie Broglio
2.01 … Jay Hook
2.01 … Camilo Pascual
2.00 … Sal Maglie

Mike L
Guest

Amazing to think that, if his team had played errorless ball, and every single one of his HR’s were a solo shot, and he struck out the side each and every time otherwise, his ERA would still have been 3:20

CursedClevelander
Guest
I have a soft spot for the Lil Cowboy, though I won’t miss watching the classic “Tomlin games” (among my friends, any start with 0 BB and all runs allowed coming off of HR’s is a Tomlin, much like CG’s with under 100 pitches are a Maddux). Tomlin has, by far, the biggest positive disparity between HR allowed and BB allowed as a pitcher. In fact, he’s the only pitcher with any real career length to satisfy the condition HR allowed > BB issued. Others who qualify and their net disparity and career IP. Tomlin – +34 – 898.2 IP… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

CC
“……. he’s out of a job. He may be out of one anyway,…”
No, he can always continue pitching batting practice. After all, he’s got a distinguished resume of 898+ innings of major league level experience pitching batting practice already

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Brooks Pounders is not a good name for a pitcher. Dude is 6 foot 5 265. Too bad he didn’t learn first base and how to swing a bat

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