PDA

View Full Version : Sadaharu Oh



Pages : [1] 2 3

julusnc
12-12-2004, 09:50 PM
Oh's 868 home runs in Japan set an all-time pro baseball record. The son of a Chinese father and a Japanese mother, he had trouble gaining acceptance with Japanese fans after signing for a $60,000 bonus as a pitcher. Switched to first base, he couldn't hit the curveball until he took up samurai swordsmanship as a practice method; he adopted a foot-in-the-air stance similar to Mel Ott's, though he was unaware of Ott's existence. He was noted for taking 30 to 40 minutes of batting practice a day

In 1965 Oh set the Japanese record of 55 HR in a 140-game season. His record of 54 HR for the revised 130-game schedule was tied by Randy Bass in 1986. He averaged 45 HR a year in winning 13 consecutive HR titles. On the dominating Yomiuri Giants, Oh batted third and Shigeo Nagashima hit clean-up as Japan's equivalent of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Oh won triple crowns in 1974 and 1975. He broke Hank Aaron's career HR mark in 1978, but Aaron, six years Oh's senior, out-homered him in contests held in 1974 and 1984. Oh became Yomiuri's manager upon retirement.

julusnc
12-12-2004, 09:53 PM
>>October 4, 1958: A Tokyo schoolboy star named Sadaharu Oh is signed by the Yomiuri Giants for a bonus of Y13,000,000 (about $55,000). Oh will become one of the most famous players in baseball, setting many world hitting records.

» April 26, 1959: Sadaharu Oh of the Yomiuri Giants hits the first of 868 career home runs.

» June 26, 1959: The "Emperor's game," the greatest in Japanese baseball history, is played by the Yomiuri Giants and the Hanshin Tigers, with Emperor Hirohito and his wife attending at Tokyo's Korakuen Stadium. The game is tied 4–4 in the 7th on Giants rookie Sadaharu Oh's 2-run home run, then won 5–4 in the last of the 9th on a home run by the Giant's Shigeo Nagashima. This starts the famed "O-N cannon," the hitting combination of Oh and Nagashima, that will bring the Giants nine pennants between 1965 and 1973. In all, the O-N cannon hits dual home runs in 106 games.

» May 3, 1964: Sadaharu Oh of the Yomiuri Giants hits four home runs in one 9-inning game against the Hanshin Tigers to set a Japanese record, and tie the American major-league record held by seven players.

» May 5, 1964: To foil Sadaharu Oh, the Hiroshima Carp use an exaggerated shift that places all fielders in right and center, leaving LF unguarded. Oh responds by hitting a 400-foot home run to RF.

» September 28, 1964: Sadaharu Oh hits his 55th home run of Yomiuri's 130-game season. It is his highest total and a Japanese record.

» June 6, 1972: Sadaharu Oh of the Yomiuri Giants (Japanese League) hits home runs 499 and 500.

» September 20, 1972: Sadaharu Oh of the Yomiuri Giants hits a home run to set a new Japanese record of seven home runs in seven consecutive games. Dale Long in 1956 hit in eight straight, and several players have hit in 6.

» May 30, 1974: Sadaharu Oh becomes the first player in Japanese baseball to hit 600 home runs. Only Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Willie Mays are ahead of Oh—and he will surpass them all.

» September 24, 1974: Clarence Jones of the Kintetsu Buffaloes hits his 38th HR to become the first American to win a Japanese HR title, topping the Pacific League in roundtrippers. Sadaharu Oh will lead the Central League with 49 homers. Jones will lead the league again with 36 HRs in 1976.

» October 12, 1974: Sadaharu Oh draws his 166th walk in a 130-game season, setting a Japanese record. At his retirement in 1980, Oh will hold the all-time world record for walks, 2,504, topping Babe Ruth's record of 2,056.

» November 2, 1974: The Braves trade Hank Aaron to the Brewers for OF Dave May and a minor league pitcher to be named later. Aaron will finish his ML career in Milwaukee, where he started it in 1954. Meanwhile, Aaron, the home run king of American baseball, and Sadaharu Oh, his Japanese counterpart, square off for a home run contest at Korakuen Stadium. Aaron wins 10–9.

» July 23, 1976: In a game against the Taiyo Whales, Sadaharu Oh of the Yomiuri Giants hits his 700th home run, the only player in Japanese baseball to do so.

» October 11, 1976: In the last of the 8th, leading the Hanshin Tigers 4-1 with 2 out and a full count, Sadaharu Oh socks his 715th HR to pass Babe Ruth's mark. He finishes the season with 716 HRs and takes aim at Hank Aaron's record.

» July 19, 1977: While pursuing Hank Aaron's home run record, Sadaharu Oh breaks one held by Babe Ruth when he draws his 2,057th base on balls.

» August 31, 1977: Hank Aaron's mark of 755 career home runs is tied by Sadaharu Oh.

» September 3, 1977: Sadaharu Oh hits the 756th home run of his career to surpass Hank Aaron's total and make him the most prolific home run hitter in professional baseball history.

» April 1, 1978: Starting off with a bang, Japanese star Sadaharu Oh hits a grand-slam home run on Opening Day. It is his 757th home run.

» August 30, 1978: Sadaharu Oh hits his 34th season home run and the 800th of his career. The ball lands in the shoe of a fan who had removed it to feel more comfortable.

» November 4, 1980: Forty-year-old Sadaharu Oh, professional baseball's all-time home run king with 868 in 22 seasons in Japan, retires.

julusnc
12-12-2004, 09:58 PM
Davey Johnson (the only man to have been a teammate of Oh and Aaron)[from the Sporting News, January 7, 1978, page 37]: "Oh would have hit 700 homers over here. He would be a good hitter anywhere in the world. Quality is still quality."

julusnc
12-12-2004, 09:59 PM
Frank Robinson: "I’m sure he would have hit in the 30’s (of homers per year) and probably in the low 40’s. . . . Thirty home runs a year add up to over 600 home runs, and he’d do that if he played the same number of years here that he played there."

julusnc
12-12-2004, 10:00 PM
Tom Seaver: "He sure hit me. He was a superb hitter. He hit consistently, and he hit with power. If he played in the United States, he would have hit 20-25 home runs a year, and what’s more, he’d hit .300. He’d be a lifetime .300 hitter. He had tremendous discipline at the plate. He knew the strike zone extremely well . . . .He could pull your hard stuff, and you couldn’t fool him off-speed."

julusnc
12-12-2004, 10:00 PM
Frank Howard: "You can kiss my ass if he wouldn’t have hit 30 or 35 home runs a year and hit anywhere from .280 to .320 and drive in up to 120 runs a year. The point being, he rates with the all-time stars of the game."

mac195
12-12-2004, 10:10 PM
Oh was as dominant in the 1960s Japan Leagues as Ruth was in 1920s MLB. But Japan League quality was probably similar to AAA ball. With the Negro Leaguers, at least we have all those exhibtion games to consider, and the advantage of having evaluations from lots of coaches and writers who watched both white and black baseball. It's harder to know where to rank Oh and other Japanese greats. The ridiculous numbers put up by marginal players like Bass, and recently by Rhodes and Cabrerra in the Japan Leagues, also taint the accomplishments of the Japanese greats somewhat.

prof93
12-12-2004, 10:12 PM
Oh was as dominant in the 1960s Japan Leagues as Ruth was in 1920s MLB. But Japan League quality was probably similar to AAA ball. With the Negro Leaguers, at least we have all those exhibtion games to consider, and the advantage of having evaluations from lots of coaches and writers who watched both white and black baseball. It's harder to know where to rank Oh and other Japanese greats.

Exhibition games against white semi-pro teams, because their is little evidence to back the statements that those white teams were made up of all MLB players. I have yet to see verifiable proof that Gibson and other NLers played many games against rosters made up of all MLB players. Oh at least can make that claim.

julusnc
12-12-2004, 10:38 PM
A little information can work wonders in ones understanding of a player and his career.

Oh deserves to be recognized for what he is and that is the greatest player Japan has ever had to offer.

julusnc
12-12-2004, 10:57 PM
The stance

cubbieinexile
12-12-2004, 11:07 PM
When the color broke how many blacks had the ability to become instant starters for a major league team. I would say quite a few. Off the top of my head are Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, Jackie, Campanella, Newcombe, Monte Irvin, Larry Doby, and Willie Mays. Even Paige was able to contribute. How many Japanese players can compare as favorably as these negro leaguers? It is true that the Japanese and Majors have set it up so that the stream of players is a trickle coming to America. But I have yet to see the enough players that would lead me to believe that Japan has the vast network of players capable of being as great as those I just mentioned. And that is talking in terms of the here and now. Going thirty years back it was probably much worse.


If I had to bet which player is more likely to succeed in the majors a black from the thirties or a Japenese from the 60's. I would put my money on the african-american. We know the impact that these players had only a short time later. While the jury is still out on whether or not large number of japanese ball players can compete in the majors.

leecemark
12-12-2004, 11:14 PM
--Mac has a very good point about marginal major leaguers going over to the Japanese leagues and being great stars. Randy Bass flopped in multiple opportunites in the majors, went to Japan and was the best player in the league, then came back and flopped again. Quite a few other quad A types have had similar success over there.
--Of course, no guys who tried and failed in the majors went on to play in the Negro Leagues (so far as I know) so I suppose you could make the arguement it would have happened there too, although I personnally wouldn't buy such an arguement.
--Oh was the best player in Japanese history. That should be honor enough for him. He could most likely have been a good major league player had he choosen to try. That is the other reason we shouldn't be too concerned about ranking Oh. Unlike the Negro Leaguers there was no prohibition on his giving MLB a try if he'd wished. He preferred being the best in Japan to a pretty good player in the U.S.

julusnc
12-12-2004, 11:19 PM
The majority of Japanese players would have never dreamed of coming to the United States to play baseball because they saw the Japanese League Baseball as superior in alot of ways to the American game.The Japanese have always been puriest in their thinking of how to take an idea from a given culture and make it into their own and thus in their mindset superior.

Only recently has this ideal changed due in part by high salaries and more "better feelings" towards America.

cubbieinexile
12-12-2004, 11:27 PM
Actually I believe there was and still is a prohibition against Japanese players coming to the majors. The two leagues signed an agreement in 1967 which was basically an agreement to respect both leagues reserve clause. Meaning you couldn't take our players without permission and we won't hire your players without permission. So in actuality Oh could not have gone to play for the Majors unless the Japanese leagues agreed to it.

Nowadays Japanese players can come to America but they must be free agents, and I believe Japanese players are eligible for free agency only after ten years.

leecemark
12-12-2004, 11:28 PM
--The Japanese may find some of the style of play there superior to MLB, but they are and have always been aware the the quality of play and players in the U.S. is far superior to that of Japan. They have long had a limit of 2 U.S. players per team to keep foreign imports from dominating the game.
--That despite the fact that was always little chance of stars players going over. Even before free agency and the multi-million dollar deals of recent years the pay scale in Japan was significantly lower than in MLB.

mac195
12-12-2004, 11:28 PM
the jury is still out on whether or not large number of japanese ball players can compete in the majors.

I think it is a pretty safe bet at this point to say that no, large numbers of Japanese players cannot compete in the Major Leagues. If the Japan Leagues folded, and every Japanese professional was competing for a job at the next MLB spring training, I don't think more than 20 or 30 would be successful. And I'm almost certain none of them would become as good as Ichiro or Hideki Matsui, who are far and away the best Japanese players of this generation. Japan is a great baseball nation, but it is not the Dominican Republic.

cubbieinexile
12-12-2004, 11:36 PM
But how many Japanese players could make a team if they only had to compete against the "white" ballplayers?

AG2004
12-13-2004, 02:32 PM
--Of course, no guys who tried and failed in the majors went on to play in the Negro Leagues (so far as I know) so I suppose you could make the arguement it would have happened there too, although I personnally wouldn't buy such an arguement.
--Oh was the best player in Japanese history. That should be honor enough for him. He could most likely have been a good major league player had he choosen to try. That is the other reason we shouldn't be too concerned about ranking Oh. Unlike the Negro Leaguers there was no prohibition on his giving MLB a try if he'd wished. He preferred being the best in Japan to a pretty good player in the U.S.

Willard Brown didn't do too well in his trial in the majors. A star with the Kansas City Monarchs, he fared poorly in a handful of games with the St. Louis Browns in 1947. The St. Louis players weren't supportive of Brown at all. For example, after Brown hit his only MLB home run with a borrowed bat, he returned the bat to Jeff Heath, only to see Heath destroy the bat. Brown also came to believe that the Browns were worse than the Monarchs, and returned to Kansas City.

As for Oh, by the time he became a full-fledged star, the Murakami affair would have influenced MLB teams not to sign Japanese players, and the de facto ban on signing Japanese players had been initiated. If I recall correctly, the ban on Negro League players was also de facto, not de jure.

cubbieinexile: If you rank the top players in Japanese baseball history, probably the majority of the top ten would include players who reached their peak in the 1960s: Oh, Nagashima, Nomura, Kaneda, and Harimoto. I also think Oh would have been a great player if he had played MLB - the subjective opinions mentioned above, Oh's actual performance against major leaguers, and Jim Albright's sabermetric conversion of Oh's NPB statistics to Major League equivalents all produce roughly the same results. (See the articles found at http://baseballguru.com/bbjp1.html for details.)

Honus Wagner Rules
01-28-2005, 10:28 PM
Oh was as dominant in the 1960s Japan Leagues as Ruth was in 1920s MLB. But Japan League quality was probably similar to AAA ball. With the Negro Leaguers, at least we have all those exhibtion games to consider, and the advantage of having evaluations from lots of coaches and writers who watched both white and black baseball. It's harder to know where to rank Oh and other Japanese greats. The ridiculous numbers put up by marginal players like Bass, and recently by Rhodes and Cabrerra in the Japan Leagues, also taint the accomplishments of the Japanese greats somewhat.
I hear this argument all then time but I don't buy it. Yes, Bass, Rhodes were marginal major leaguers. They went over to Japan and did well. People use this to denigrade Japanese baseball. However it makes a conclusion without really looking at the issue. Isn't it quite possible that Bass and Rhodes went to Japan and became better players? The people who bring up Bass and Rhodes seem to forget Cecil Fielder. And What about Matsui, and Ichiro, and all the successful pitchers that have to come to the major leagues. If MLB was that substantially better than Japanese baseball then how did all these Japanese players succeed?

In the book, You Gotta Have Wa there was a part of the book that is quoting Warren Cromartie. He was talking about Randy Bass and how he has become such a good hitter and was probably a better player than about 90% of the first basemen in the majors at that time.

Cabrera is a different story. He played one season in the D-Back and had a hit .262 and slugged .500. A lot of "marginal" players that go over to Japan never really had an opportunity to establish themselves in the majors.

Honus Wagner Rules
01-28-2005, 10:30 PM
I think it is a pretty safe bet at this point to say that no, large numbers of Japanese players cannot compete in the Major Leagues. If the Japan Leagues folded, and every Japanese professional was competing for a job at the next MLB spring training, I don't think more than 20 or 30 would be successful. And I'm almost certain none of them would become as good as Ichiro or Hideki Matsui, who are far and away the best Japanese players of this generation. Japan is a great baseball nation, but it is not the Dominican Republic.
A seven games series between Japan and the D.R. would be fun to watch.

Honus Wagner Rules
01-28-2005, 10:42 PM
I'm a big fan of Sadaharu Oh so I am biased. However I have studied his career in great detail and I believe he likely would have been a HoF major leaguer. He WOULDN'T have been Hank Aaron or Willie Mays quality, of course, but along the lines of Eddie Murray, Willie McCovey, or Mike Schmidt. And those players are certainly HoFers. Oh had great patience at the plate and was a Gold Glove 1B. I know a lot of people downplay his stats, however, no one else has ever come close to his HR total. He leads in career HRs by over 200. in Japan. He also drew a huge number of walks. Many major leaguers who played against him were impressed by him and he hit well again major leaguers, granted it was only about 110 games. If you take 42% of his HRs he still has 500. And I cannot believe that MLB is 42% more difficult. Just my $0.02.

leecemark
01-29-2005, 05:43 AM
--The players comenting on Oh were on a goodwill tour of Japan, playing exhibition games in the middle of the offseason. When asked about the greatest star of their host country what are the chances they are going to say "oh, he couldn't make it in the states" or "yeah, he would be a nice mid-level player". I think it is likely they were giving best case scenarios for Oh. I also think that he never faced major leaguers at anything close to their top form.
--Bass came back from Japan and gave MLB another try. He flopped badly. If he became a better hitter in Japan, he forgot what he had learned on the trip home. Even still, if it had just been Bass maybe I could buy into his having been a late bloomer. Lots of guys who couldn't play or were washed up in the majors have been dominant players in Japan.
-- No average Japanese players have made the move to the U.S. to give us a benchmark on how they would fare. I think its safe to say that no team in MLB is interested in being the first to find out. Matsui was the best Japanese power hitter since Oh. He has been a good, but far from great power hitter in the U.S. If Matsui is a 30 HR guy in the HR environment of todays game, Oh was more likley a 20 HR guy in the less homer friendly era he would have come over in.

Yankees7
01-29-2005, 06:39 AM
Well I can't speak for todays MLB players, if thats what we call them. But in my day the teams who went to Japan to play, played to win. I think once Oh got to know the pitchers, and adapted to the style of play he would produced very nicely. As for Matsui, your not giving him much time before you pass judgement. He played decent his first season, and even better the next. Look at his huge jump in OBP,SLG,BA,HR. Your not being fair in making such a comment after only 2 seasons. Give the man his 3rd crack and see how he does. If Matsui improves again to the degree he did this past season, your hypothesis will prove to be incorrect

leecemark
01-29-2005, 06:51 AM
--I'm sure they tried to win. However, they also played those games in the middle of the offseason and I don't think they got alot of training time before hand. I wou;dn't put too much faith in the numbers compiled in those exhibitions.
--Also, I think the Japanese Leagues were in a more formative stage in the 1960s. MLB baseball was fully develped. Baseball in Japan has almost certainly improved over the time that has passed since then. MLB probaly less so, if it hasn't even regressed a little. It wouldn't be unreasonable to say that Matsui was better equipped to succeed than Oh might have been.
--I think Oh could have been a good major leaguer. I doubt he would have been a great. I think the earlier comparison to Eddie Murray was probably a top end translation for Oh. Strictly a guess, but I'd say his success range would have been somewhere between 260-15 HR and 285-30 in his prime.
--It really doesn't matter much, becasue Oh is already established in Japan as their Babe Ruth. There is no particualar reason to try to fit his accomplishments in a MLB context as we do with Negro Leaguers. The Jaopan Leagues still exist and they are a separate and unequal class of player. they are simply a different league in a different country.

Honus Wagner Rules
01-29-2005, 05:17 PM
--The players comenting on Oh were on a goodwill tour of Japan, playing exhibition games in the middle of the offseason. When asked about the greatest star of their host country what are the chances they are going to say "oh, he couldn't make it in the states" or "yeah, he would be a nice mid-level player". I think it is likely they were giving best case scenarios for Oh. I also think that he never faced major leaguers at anything close to their top form.
I'm not sure what your point is? I guess you are trying to say that major leaguers who saw him play were a little less than honest? Why wouldn't they be honest? They all said he could play and play well in the majors. As for never facing major leaguers at their top form,when they met in the offseason Oh wasn't in top form either right? It was his offseason, too.

Here are some actual quotes from players:

Tom Seaver: “He sure hit me. He was a superb hitter. He hit consistently, and he hit with power. If he played in the United States, he would have hit 20-25 home runs a year, and what’s more, he’d hit .300. He’d be a lifetime .300 hitter. He had tremendous discipline at the plate. He knew the strike zone extremely well…He could pull your hard stuff, and you couldn’t fool him off-speed.”

Hal McRae: “Oh had tremendous patience as a hitter . . . He had good power. I don’t know how many he would have hit here . . . start with 20 (a year) . . . at least. He was a great all-star. He’d have been a Hall of Famer.”

Don Baylor: “Oh could have played anywhere at any time. If he played in Yankee Stadium, being the left handed pull hitter he is, I have no doubt he’d hit 40 home runs a year.”

Frank Howard: “You can kiss my ass if he wouldn’t have hit 30 or 35 home runs a year and hit anywhere from .280 to .320 and drive in up to 120 runs a year. The point being, he rates with the all-time stars of the game.”

Frank Robinson: “I’m sure he would have hit in the 30’s (of homers per year) and probably in the low 40’s. . . . Thirty home runs a year add up to over 600 home runs, and he’d do that if he played the same number of years here that he played there.”

Don Drysdale: “He would have hit for average and power here. In a park tailored to his swing, there’s no telling how many he would have hit. . . . He was always ready for anything we threw him. We were all impressed.” Not all of these quotes came while the players were on a "goodwill tour". Of course there were others who were not as impressed. All of these quotes are subjextive of course.





--Bass came back from Japan and gave MLB another try. He flopped badly. If he became a better hitter in Japan, he forgot what he had learned on the trip home. Even still, if it had just been Bass maybe I could buy into his having been a late bloomer. Lots of guys who couldn't play or were washed up in the majors have been dominant players in Japan.
He did? According Baseball-Reference.com Bass played his last major league game in 1982.

Randy Bass major league stats (http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/bassra01.shtml)



-- No average Japanese players have made the move to the U.S. to give us a benchmark on how they would fare. I think its safe to say that no team in MLB is interested in being the first to find out. Matsui was the best Japanese power hitter since Oh. He has been a good, but far from great power hitter in the U.S.
I guess you don't remember Tsuyoshi Shinjo? He was an average player in Japan with a career .249 batting average in Japan. He hit .245 in his three major league seasons. Since Matsui's major league is not yet over we cannot say for certain that 30 HRs is his upper range. I believe he has a 40-45 HR season in him still. He is only 30 ears old. His 50 HR season in 2002 was by far his career best. His next best total is "only" 42. And Matsui is not the "best power hitter since Oh. Have you heard of Hiromitsu Ochiai? He was a third baseman in the 80s. He had acouple of 50 HR seasons and won three Triple Crowns. There are few others I could mention. Sure ,Matusi is one of the best since Oh but necessarily the best.



If Matsui is a 30 HR guy in the HR environment of todays game, Oh was more likley a 20 HR guy in the less homer friendly era he would have come over in.

The mid 1960s were a low batting average era not a low HR era.

Here are the HR league leaders for 1960-1975 (Oh's prime)

1962-49(NL)-48(AL)
1963:47-45
1964:47-49
1965:52-32
1966:44-49
1967:39-44
1968:36-44
1969:45-49
1970:45-44
1971:48-33
1972:40-37
1973:44-32
1974:36-32
1975:38-36

That's hardly a low HR era.

ElHalo
01-29-2005, 05:23 PM
-- No average Japanese players have made the move to the U.S. to give us a benchmark on how they would fare. I think its safe to say that no team in MLB is interested in being the first to find out. Matsui was the best Japanese power hitter since Oh. He has been a good, but far from great power hitter in the U.S. If Matsui is a 30 HR guy in the HR environment of todays game, Oh was more likley a 20 HR guy in the less homer friendly era he would have come over in.

To be fair,

Matsui's been a little better than you're giving him credit for. Yes, he's a 30 HR guy and not a 40 or 50 HR guy. However, he's a very good all around player, with nice contact hitting, excellent plate discipline, and very good fundamentals. He's not the best player in the league; he's really only the fourth best player on his own team. However, he is a legitimately deserving All Star outfielder, and one of the answers to this trivia question:

In the last fifty years, only three major leaguers have had 100 RBI in each of their first two MLB seasons. Name them.

Honus Wagner Rules
01-29-2005, 05:36 PM
To be fair,

Matsui's been a little better than you're giving him credit for. Yes, he's a 30 HR guy and not a 40 or 50 HR guy. However, he's a very good all around player, with nice contact hitting, excellent plate discipline, and very good fundamentals. He's not the best player in the league; he's really only the fourth best player on his own team. However, he is a legitimately deserving All Star outfielder, and one of the answers to this trivia question:

In the last fifty years, only three major leaguers have had 100 RBI in each of their first two MLB seasons. Name them.
I assume you means first two full seasons.

Jose Canseco (played 29 games in '85)
Albert Pujols

leecemark
01-29-2005, 05:37 PM
--I was accusing the touring major leaguers of politeness, not dishonesty.
--As I recall, Bass came back and had a shot in spring training but couldn't make the team. I was actually living in Japan when Bass was playing there and it was a big story at the time. Long time ago though and the details are a little hazy.
--It was the offseason for Oh as well, but I beleive the Japanese trained harder and longer and felt they had more to prove than the vacationing Americans. I suppose I could be wrong about that.
--The 60s and 70s were a low HR era compared to today. There are alot more people hitting 40 and 50 and 60 (and obviously 70 since nobody did that before 1998).
--I think were most of the difference in the Japanese Leagues and Major Leagues lies is in their power numbers. The parks are smaller and few pitchers throw as hard as the average major leaguer. I think the average Japanese player may be more fundamentally sound than the average major leaguer. They just aren't as big or strong or fast (with a few obvious exceptions).

ElHalo
01-29-2005, 05:46 PM
I assume you means first two full seasons.

Jose Canseco (played 29 games in '85)
Albert Pujols

You assume wrong.

Pujols is one of the other answers. Canseco is not the third.

Honus Wagner Rules
01-29-2005, 06:01 PM
You assume wrong.

Pujols is one of the other answers. Canseco is not the third.
So guys who got a cup of coffee in September don't count? Canseco had over 100 RBI in 1986 and 1987.

Honus Wagner Rules
01-29-2005, 06:06 PM
--I was accusing the touring major leaguers of politeness, not dishonesty.
--As I recall, Bass came back and had a shot in spring training but couldn't make the team. I was actually living in Japan when Bass was playing there and it was a big story at the time. Long time ago though and the details are a little hazy.
--It was the offseason for Oh as well, but I beleive the Japanese trained harder and longer and felt they had more to prove than the vacationing Americans. I suppose I could be wrong about that.
--The 60s and 70s were a low HR era compared to today. There are alot more people hitting 40 and 50 and 60 (and obviously 70 since nobody did that before 1998).
--I think were most of the difference in the Japanese Leagues and Major Leagues lies is in their power numbers. The parks are smaller and few pitchers throw as hard as the average major leaguer. I think the average Japanese player may be more fundamentally sound than the average major leaguer. They just aren't as big or strong or fast (with a few obvious exceptions).
Very true. However the great HR era of the 1990s was really from 1994-2001. since then only A-Rod has hit 50 HRs and he played in a great hitter's park. I'd be interested to read the story about Bass, attempted return to MLB.

ElHalo
01-29-2005, 06:14 PM
So guys who got a cup of coffee in September don't count? Canseco had over 100 RBI in 1986 and 1987.

No, he doesn't count. This is the trivia question. If guys who had partial seasons their first year counted, then there would be a whole lot more than 3 answers.

Aegis
01-30-2005, 01:49 AM
--I was accusing the touring major leaguers of politeness, not dishonesty.

In this case that's the same thing. Being "polite" in saying Oh would be better than what you actually think is being dishonest.

EH, I just can't find who it is you're asking about. At all.

Except you know what? I just had a thought. I looked up Dale Murphy, who I knew wasn't it, just for the heck of it. And somehow that led me to...Wally Joyner! Bam!

Imapotato
01-30-2005, 02:58 AM
For every negative about Oh's accomplishment's due to park size, pitching I can rebutt with the fact that Oh's seasons were 20 to 40 games LESS per season then MLB

and is the all time HR king by a large margin.

Now I won't say he was Henry Aaron is longevity if in MLB
Nor will I say he was Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle in talent

However, it is safe to say, OH would have been very close to Frank Robinson...whom was also his biggest supporter

THAT my friend's is a damn fine HOFer to be associated with...

Like many guys state about greatness, it still is greatness...I just hold Oh above Charleston, Pop Lloyd and Buck Leonard because he had an organized, consistent league.

Imapotato
01-30-2005, 03:00 AM
To be fair,

Matsui's been a little better than you're giving him credit for. Yes, he's a 30 HR guy and not a 40 or 50 HR guy. However, he's a very good all around player, with nice contact hitting, excellent plate discipline, and very good fundamentals. He's not the best player in the league; he's really only the fourth best player on his own team. However, he is a legitimately deserving All Star outfielder, and one of the answers to this trivia question:

In the last fifty years, only three major leaguers have had 100 RBI in each of their first two MLB seasons. Name them.


I disagree...I think Matsui is the 2nd best player on that team after Jeter.
A-Rod, Sheffield have the flashy stats, but I know with my own eyes that Matsui was a key man in many a game for the Yankees last year, despite his struggles against Boston in the playoffs

leecemark
01-30-2005, 07:39 AM
--The Pacific Coast League was organized and consistent for many years before the Japanese leagues. Should we vote their stars into the Hall of Fame?
--There is no possible way to state with any accuracy how Oh might have done had he played in the major leagues. The quality of his competition was much lower. No players from his league made the move for 30 years after his career was over and only a handful (including easily the best two) have done so at all.
--I know Imapotato hates to give Negro Leaguers any credit at all, but the Negro Leaguers of the 20s and 30s have a much better case for comparison to major league stars than a Japanese player of the 1960s and 70s. Many of them were still active (or even got a brief run) when the color line was broken and large numbers of former Negro Leaguers became dominant players in the Majors.

leecemark
01-30-2005, 07:42 AM
--Aegis, if you are a guest in someones home and don't particularly care for the food what do you say if they ask you how it is? Is it "dishonest" to say its good or do you say "I could have cooked a better meal at home"?

ElHalo
01-30-2005, 10:42 AM
EH, I just can't find who it is you're asking about. At all.

Except you know what? I just had a thought. I looked up Dale Murphy, who I knew wasn't it, just for the heck of it. And somehow that led me to...Wally Joyner! Bam!

That is indeed the answer.

The only players in the last 50 years to have 100 RBI's in each of their first two seasons are Hideki Matsui, Albert Pujols, and Wally Joyner.

Aegis
01-30-2005, 12:58 PM
--Aegis, if you are a guest in someones home and don't particularly care for the food what do you say if they ask you how it is? Is it "dishonest" to say its good or do you say "I could have cooked a better meal at home"?

It would be dishonest to say you liked it. It would (probably; depends on the host) be unduly rude to say you could do better.

This is when you whip out a line like, "I'm enjoying this meal," or something like that.

Lying and deceiving are two totally different sins. :)

Imapotato
01-30-2005, 04:21 PM
--I know Imapotato hates to give Negro Leaguers any credit at all, but the Negro Leaguers of the 20s and 30s have a much better case for comparison to major league stars than a Japanese player of the 1960s and 70s. Many of them were still active (or even got a brief run) when the color line was broken and large numbers of former Negro Leaguers became dominant players in the Majors.

and many failed...the Negro Leagues of the 30's were a different entity then the NL of the teens and 20's. The 20's had one all star team playing weak teams. Like the Globetrotters vs. Generals.

Using VERY conservative analysis, one man has taken Oh's stats and made them ML stats.

Oh at a conservative clip would have hit .279 535 HRS .417 OBP .797 OPS. If he was in the AL, he would have led in HRS 3 times and been top 10 on many occasions. and THAT is a conservative estimate, with a neutral park...many parks in the AL were LH HR parks during Oh's time...the man also did not count Oh's 1st 3 seasons

He would have been a better OBP Frank Robinson (at the least)...that's not a HOFer?

prof93
01-30-2005, 05:46 PM
Overall the Negro Leaguers constitute the most overrated group of baseball players ever. The whole thing is everyone wants to right a injustice that occured. I agree it was deplorable what took place, but their is not one person who can factually state they know for sure the best NL's would have been successful in the Majors. The played Semi-Pro teams for the most part, and numerous Amateur teams put together by local communities. At the very least Oh competed in an actual recognized League and has stats that are verifiable. For anyone to claim the Negro Leagues has comparable baseball to the Japanese Leagues is based on guesswork at best.

cubbieinexile
01-30-2005, 07:23 PM
Overall the Negro Leaguers constitute the most overrated group of baseball players ever. The whole thing is everyone wants to right a injustice that occured. I agree it was deplorable what took place, but their is not one person who can factually state they know for sure the best NL's would have been successful in the Majors. The played Semi-Pro teams for the most part, and numerous Amateur teams put together by local communities. At the very least Oh competed in an actual recognized League and has stats that are verifiable. For anyone to claim the Negro Leagues has comparable baseball to the Japanese Leagues is based on guesswork at best.


This is kind of silly. Not one person could factually state that the best NL's would have been successful in the majors? Nobody could think of any players that did well in the majors from the Negro Leagues? What did Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby, Roy Campanella, Monte Irvin, Satchel Paige, Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, and many others do in the majors that would lead you to say that we cannot know for sure what negro leaguers would do?

Yankees7
01-30-2005, 08:41 PM
Growming up in the late 40's and 50's it was fairly clear that the very best of the Negro Leagues could play at a Major League Baseball level, that being said, it was also clear those players were few and far between. The Negro Leagues were probably Double A ball caliber at their very best. I lived in that period and the Negro Leagues had some awfully fine players, but to say on the whole they were top tier quality would be an incorrect statement.

Yankees7
01-30-2005, 09:09 PM
I would like to add one more thing in regards to Oh, and the Negro League players. When your looking at the upper tier of talent in any league, those players could play any where.

ElHalo
01-30-2005, 09:13 PM
Growming up in the late 40's and 50's it was fairly clear that the very best of the Negro Leagues could play at a Major League Baseball level, that being said, it was also clear those players were few and far between. The Negro Leagues were probably Double A ball caliber at their very best. I lived in that period and the Negro Leagues had some awfully fine players, but to say on the whole they were top tier quality would be an incorrect statement.

I think this is the general regard with respect to the Negro Leagues. Overall, AA quality ball... but Josh Gibson and Cool Papa Bell and Oscar Charleston and Buck Leonard and Pop Lloyd and Turkey Stearnes and etc. would have been stars who'd have shone just as brightly as their MLB counterparts. Nobody's saying that Josh Gibson would have hit .470 with 75 HR's like he did in the NL's, but he'd have hit enough to be a class 1 star.

Honus Wagner Rules
01-31-2005, 09:41 PM
--The Pacific Coast League was organized and consistent for many years before the Japanese leagues. Should we vote their stars into the Hall of Fame?
Some points:

1) The question is what is the purpose of the Baseball HoF? Is it to honor only the best players in American and National Leagues? Or is it to honor the best players everywhere? If so then then why are players like Josh Gibson, Rube Foster, and Oscar Charleston in the HoF?

2) The National Basketball HoF not only honors NBA players and coaches, but also college players, international players and women's players.



--There is no possible way to state with any accuracy how Oh might have done had he played in the major leagues. The quality of his competition was much lower. No players from his league made the move for 30 years after his career was over and only a handful (including easily the best two) have done so at all.
Not true. Baseball Prospectus has done much research in converting Japanese stats to MLEs. Here is some links:

Japanese Baseball-How Good Is it? (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1330)

Japanese Baseball, Part 2 (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1348)

Baseball Prospectus concluded that Japanese baseball is much more difficult that Triple-A.

Also, Jim Albright over at www.baseballguru.com has done some extensive research on the career of Sadaharu Oh. He came up with a major league "career" for Oh.

Oh's Major League Projections (http://baseballguru.com/jalbright/analysisjalbright14.html)

Oh's career analysis, Part 1 (http://baseballguru.com/jalbright/analysisjalbright12.html)

Oh's career anaysis, Part 2 (http://baseballguru.com/jalbright/analysisjalbright13.html)

Albright came up with these numbers for Oh, 2995 games

.279/.412/.484, 527 HRs, 1903 RBIs, 2778 hits, 1982 runs

For comparison here are Eddie Murray's numbers, 3026 games
.287/.359/.476, 504 HRs, 1917 RBI, 3255 hits, 1982 runs

I would love to see Oh and Murray's Similarity Score. It's got to be way over 900.

leecemark
01-31-2005, 09:55 PM
--The Baseball Hall of Fame is actually called the NATIONAL Hall of Fame. The Negro Leagues should be considered a competing major league like the American Association of the 1880s, from which the best players are in the Hall.
--Oh's hypotetical number's are indeed similar to Murray's real ones. It may well be that he was as good, or even better, than Murray. However, just because someone comes up with a formula for converting japanese numbers to mlb numbers doesn't mean they are right. I will stand by my previous statement that there is no possible way to say with accuracy what Oh or other Japanese stars might have done in the majors.

Honus Wagner Rules
01-31-2005, 10:01 PM
--The Baseball Hall of Fame is actually called the NATIONAL Hall of Fame. The Negro Leagues should be considered a competing major league like the American Association of the 1880s, from which the best players are in the Hall.
--Oh's hypotetical number's are indeed similar to Murray's real ones. It may well be that he was as good, or even better, than Murray. However, just because someone comes up with a formula for converting japanese numbers to mlb numbers doesn't mean they are right. I will stand by my previous statement that there is no possible way to say with accuracy what Oh or other Japanese stars might have done in the majors.
It doesn't mean they are wrong either.

Interestingly, here is the intro to one of Albright's articles:


Sadaharu Oh and Cooperstown, Part II



III. Statistical Analysis
A. My projection

You have now entered the section of the discussion of Sadaharu Oh some will dismiss as pure fantasy. If you are one of the folks who do not believe it is possible to project what a player would do in the major leagues from his performance in another league, you may want to skip this section entirely. We will use projections because they place the accomplishments for a player from a non-major league situation into a readily understood context, namely major league performance. Once we enter such a readily understood context, it is easier to get a reasonable fix on the quality of the player.

Sabermetricians has been doing major league equivalencies for quite some time now. Bill James was doing back in the 80s, taking a players minor league stats and "projecting" what he would in the major leagues bases on those minor league stats.

leecemark
01-31-2005, 10:21 PM
--Translating minor league numbers has a much more solid foundation than translating Japanese numbers. We have a huge sample size (almost every major leaguer) to work with in respect to minor leaguers. We have a tiny and brief one with Japanese Leagers. Even still, while minor league translations are valuable and fairly accurate, they are often off by alot. Many minor leaguers who are projected for stardom flop at the big league level.
--I'm not saying Oh wouldn't have been a good or even great player in the U.S. Maybe he would have, but there is no good foundation for claiming that we can accurately predict what a Japanese star of 30-40 years ago might have done had he played in the U.S. Oh is already recognized as the greatest player ever in the country where he played. That seems honor enough to me.

Honus Wagner Rules
01-31-2005, 10:40 PM
--Translating minor league numbers has a much more solid foundation than translating Japanese numbers. We have a huge sample size (almost every major leaguer) to work with in respect to minor leaguers. We have a tiny and brief one with Japanese Leagers. Even still, while minor league translations are valuable and fairly accurate, they are often off by alot. Many minor leaguers who are projected for stardom flop at the big league level.
--I'm not saying Oh wouldn't have been a good or even great player in the U.S. Maybe he would have, but there is no good foundation for claiming that we can accurately predict what a Japanese star of 30-40 years ago might have done had he played in the U.S. Oh is already recognized as the greatest player ever in the country where he played. That seems honor enough to me.
It is true only recently have sabermetricians been translating Japanese baseball stats. However, the methodology is the same. How are the Japanese leagues any different from the Pacific Coast League or the International League or the Texas League in terms of generating MLEs? Of course we will never know for sure how Oh would have fared in the major leagues This is true. But this is one of the most fun "what-ifs" in baseball.

cubbieinexile
01-31-2005, 10:47 PM
It's different because of the sample size issue. We have scores and scores of players coming up and going down to the american leagues. We have only a handful for the Japanese leagues. To me using any of todays data to guesstimate a players stats in america 30 to 40 years ago is bound to have enough pitfalls to not even really bother with it.

Honus Wagner Rules
01-31-2005, 10:54 PM
It's different because of the sample size issue. We have scores and scores of players coming up and going down to the american leagues. We have only a handful for the Japanese leagues. To me using any of todays data to guesstimate a players stats in america 30 to 40 years ago is bound to have enough pitfalls to not even really bother with it.

It's actually a bit more than a handful. Why would Baseball Prospectus bother with research if they didn't have the sample size. Remember they look at players coming from Japan AND players going over to Japan. I just thought their research was interesting. :)

Imapotato
01-31-2005, 11:20 PM
and just to let you all know

Randy Bass is getting unfair treatment here.

Bass could and WOULD have made a transition like Cecil Fielder, if not BETTER!

However, tragedy struck as his 8 yr old developed a brain tumor, he had fights about medical expenses with the Japan team and decided to hang them up...I don't know if his son died or not,,,but it seems like he would have.

cubbieinexile
01-31-2005, 11:35 PM
It's actually a bit more than a handful. Why would Baseball Prospectus bother with research if they didn't have the sample size. Remember they look at players coming from Japan AND players going over to Japan. I just thought their research was interesting. :)


I have seen their research and it is a handful. First part of BP's article

Japanese baseball performance should, in theory, be as translatable as performance from any baseball league in the United States. The process has had its challenges, though: the data is not as easy to find, and much of what is available is in a language and a character set that I can't read. (I still don't have complete data for 1996).
More serious a problem is the small number of players moving between Japan and the United States. The Translations system depends on being able to set a difficulty level for each league. To do that, I need to have a sizable group of players who have played in both the leagues I am testing and in leagues whose difficulty level I already know. Every player who played in both leagues needs to be compared to the league average; if, as a group, one set is league average, and the second set is 10% above average, you can assume that the second league is 10% worse that the first league.

With the Japanese leagues, there really haven't been enough comparisons to get a firm grip on the appropriate difficulty level, especially since almost all the comparisons were of players who went from the U.S. to Japan, and not from Japan to the U.S..



Around 2001 we start to see an increase, but of course it isn't even close to the size of data available between high school and organized ball, or college and organized ball, and minors and majors.

leecemark
02-01-2005, 07:13 AM
--Randy Bass had a line of 212/284/326 in 325 AB over 6 ML trials. He was 29 when he went to Japan. There was virtually no chance he was going to develop into a productive major leaguer. He did, however, immediately become the best hitter in the Japanese Leagues.
--Cecil Fielder slugged over .500 in two of his 4 trials and hit 31 HR in 406 AB over that period. He was held back by the presence of one time star Willie Upshaw and another young slugger, Fred McGriff, in Toronto. All he needed was a chance to play. Almost as important he was only 26 when he went to Japan. He was younger when he came back from Japan than Bass was when he went over.

Honus Wagner Rules
02-01-2005, 06:41 PM
I have seen their research and it is a handful. First part of BP's article


Around 2001 we start to see an increase, but of course it isn't even close to the size of data available between high school and organized ball, or college and organized ball, and minors and majors.

You took the quote out of context. The author was trying to make a point that the in the past it was difficult determine the difficulty of the Japanese leagues but now with more players in thier primes from Japan coming here it can be done. Also the amount of data for minor leaguers is completely irrelevant to whether it is possible to "translate" Japanese stats. Even if the amount of data for minor leaguers was a million fold over the Japanese data that doesn't mean we can't translate Japanese stats. Later on in the article Davenport states this :


In Baseball Prospectus 2001, I wrote that the difficulty level of Japan was "about even with the Triple-A leagues." Looking at it more comprehensively--I was basing my assessment on a scattering of players, rather than off a full list of Japanese player data--that was a silly thing to say, as the Japanese leagues have clearly and consistently rated as tougher than the American Triple-A leagues. Every case from the 1990s shows that players do worse as a CPA-weighted-average group in Japan than they do in Triple-A, and by a considerable margin. The Triple-A/majors multiplier is .860; if the transitive property holds, then Japanese EqA is worth about .948 of a major-league EqA, which conveniently enough is almost identical to what we got from major leaguers.

What I didn't realize that there have been a significant number of career minor leaguers that have gone over to Japan thus increasing the reliability of the statistical translations.

As for Bass I have to go check out his Japanese stats. I'm not sure that he IMMEDIATELY became the best hitter in Japan. I'll have to check it out. :lookitup


I've looked at his ML stats and in only one season did he even get over 100 ABs. The other season he got 49 ABs or fewer. I'm be curious to find out what happened to him. With so few ABs it seems that he might not have had a real opportunity to establish himself...I dunno...

Aegis
02-01-2005, 07:04 PM
Around 2001 we start to see an increase, but of course it isn't even close to the size of data available between high school and organized ball, or college and organized ball, and minors and majors.

But that may not even be relevant. So long as there's enough of data for Sample A to distill a reliable answer from, it doesn't really matter if there's 10x as much data for Sample B. All the extra samples will do for B is make it even more apparent where the mean averages are. Flipping a coin 5000 times as opposed to 500 will only iron things out by a percent or two, which in both that example and in baseball doesn't amount to much. Unless you're Tony Oliva going for a batting title.

cubbieinexile
02-01-2005, 08:56 PM
You took the quote out of context. The author was trying to make a point that the in the past it was difficult determine the difficulty of the Japanese leagues but now with more players in thier primes from Japan coming here it can be done. Also the amount of data for minor leaguers is completely irrelevant to whether it is possible to "translate" Japanese stats. Even if the amount of data for minor leaguers was a million fold over the Japanese data that doesn't mean we can't translate Japanese stats. Later on in the article Davenport states this :



What I didn't realize that there have been a significant number of career minor leaguers that have gone over to Japan thus increasing the reliability of the statistical translations.

As for Bass I have to go check out his Japanese stats. I'm not sure that he IMMEDIATELY became the best hitter in Japan. I'll have to check it out. :lookitup


I've looked at his ML stats and in only one season did he even get over 100 ABs. The other season he got 49 ABs or fewer. I'm be curious to find out what happened to him. With so few ABs it seems that he might not have had a real opportunity to establish himself...I dunno...


Actually I didn't take it how of context. I was using it as a point against using these translations for Oh.

As for the minor leagues and Japanese. In terms of reliability and precision the winner is the minor leagues not the Japanese leagues. We have at our disposal thousands upon thousands of points of evidence whereas with the Japanese leagues we have maybe hundreds spread out over a wide timeline and with a diverse group of people. Does that mean it cannot be done? No it does not and I never said it could not be done. You asked how was Japanese league different then minor leagues and the simple answer is sample size. In ten years will the difference still exist? Probably not but right now it does, though the data is growing faster now then it has ever done before.

leecemark
02-01-2005, 09:05 PM
--There isn't a 500 man sample size for Japanese-major league translations. There is a limit of 2 foreign players per team and many do not use them. Those who do go over are almost all either washed up major leaguers or guys who stalled out in AAA ball. If your measuring stick is players who either can no longer or never could play MLB how good can your measurements be.
-- Honus, while you are investigating Randy Bass I'd be interested in a comparison between his AAA stats in the states and his stats in Japan. We already know he couldn't hit major league pitching. I wonder if he dominated Japanese ball to a greater extent than he did in the minors . Of course, if he did (which I think you will find is true) that is also a very small small size and doesn't prove anything. It would be interesting though.

Honus Wagner Rules
02-01-2005, 09:06 PM
Actually I didn't take it how of context. I was using it as a point against using these translations for Oh.

As for the minor leagues and Japanese. In terms of reliability and precision the winner is the minor leagues not the Japanese leagues. We have at our disposal thousands upon thousands of points of evidence whereas with the Japanese leagues we have maybe hundreds spread out over a wide timeline and with a diverse group of people. Does that mean it cannot be done? No it does not and I never said it could not be done. You asked how was Japanese league different then minor leagues and the simple answer is sample size. In ten years will the difference still exist? Probably not but right now it does, though the data is growing faster now then it has ever done before.

No one is is saying that the Japanese translations are as precise as the minor league stats. I was just saying the the methodology is the same. As you said, in 10 years the Japanese translations will be more precise. I wasn't using the Baseball Prospectus to evaluate Oh's career. Bill Albright did his own independent evaluation of Oh's career based on his statistics and subjective views from comtempories who actually say him play. Actually, it would be very interesting to read comtemporary MLB scouting reports if they exist. What did MLB scouts think of him? An interesting research project perhaps...

cubbieinexile
02-01-2005, 09:07 PM
But that may not even be relevant. So long as there's enough of data for Sample A to distill a reliable answer from, it doesn't really matter if there's 10x as much data for Sample B. All the extra samples will do for B is make it even more apparent where the mean averages are. Flipping a coin 5000 times as opposed to 500 will only iron things out by a percent or two, which in both that example and in baseball doesn't amount to much. Unless you're Tony Oliva going for a batting title.


The problem though is that each individual player is a small subset of the total data. Players are not robots each player succeeds or fails for different reasons. Granted we are not all one of kind beings meaning that at some point we can divide people into groups but at smaller pools of players those groups can be hidden. I don't know if that was understood or not. I guess an example would BP's Pecota projections. They don't just look at the numbers but also look at a players size, height, build, injury history, and style of play to see if they can find similar players to create a trend line. This segment of baseball analysis is one of Bill Jame's favorite aspects of the game. He is always putting players into groups based on common characteristics. He is always comparing rookies who had comparable initial seasons and seeing why the two diverged.

Right now in terms of Japanese translations we have a very very small group of Japanese players coming to America, a very small group of major leaguers going to Japan, and a small group of minor leaguers going and coming back to America. Are these translations reliable? I don't know, probably in a ballpark sort of way. Are they as reliable as MLE's? Probably not even close, simply because there is so small a sample group that even a handful of bad reads will skew the result. Whereas MLE's can weather a handful of bad reads because they deal with hundreds of cases every year. IF you have a groupd of 20 players and were told that 5 of there translations (but not told which ones)were horribly off you would probably have no confidence in any of the translations. You would probably try to find another tool to pick players. Whereas if you 500 players and were told that 20 were horribly off you would still have a high confidence level in the overall numbers.

Honus Wagner Rules
02-01-2005, 09:16 PM
--There isn't a 500 man sample size for Japanese-major league translations. There is a limit of 2 foreign players per team and many do not use them. Those who do go over are almost all either washed up major leaguers or guys who stalled out in AAA ball. If your measuring stick is players who either can no longer or never could play MLB how good can your measurements be.
-- Honus, while you are investigating Randy Bass I'd be interested in a comparison between his AAA stats in the states and his stats in Japan. We already know he couldn't hit major league pitching. I wonder if he dominated Japanese ball to a greater extent than he did in the minors . Of course, if he did (which I think you will find is true) that is also a very small small size and doesn't prove anything. It would be interesting though.
So I guess we are all back to where we started. We don't know. :laugh

I guess that's why baseball is such a fun game. I'll look into Bass's minor league stats. I'd be more intested to research why he failed at the major league level. In only one season he only got 100 ABs. In all other seasons he got fewer than 49 ABs. I'm sure there is a hidden story in there.

There seems to be a paradox. Several "marginal" players have gone over there and dominated. That seems to indcate a great disparity in quality between MLB and Japan. Yet the majority of the Japanese players that have come over here have done well, even mediocre players like Shinjo (.249 caerer BA in Japan vs .245 career BA in the majors). It doesn't make sense. :confused:

So what was the purpose of this thread again? ;)

Aegis
02-01-2005, 09:17 PM
The problem though is that each individual player is a small subset of the total data. Players are not robots each player succeeds or fails for different reasons. Granted we are not all one of kind beings meaning that at some point we can divide people into groups but at smaller pools of players those groups can be hidden. I don't know if that was understood or not. I guess an example would BP's Pecota projections.

You mean that when the overall sample size is small, the sub-groups are sometimes too small to see? And since we're talking people, not cogs, the sub-groups are requisite to understand the players more effectively? If so, I'd agree with you on both counts. That also makes my initial analogy of flipping a coin somewhat ludicrous, but oh well.

Aside: Pecota projections are odd things. They're always guessing the player to have an average year, comparatively speaking. It's really the smart thing to do--when you guess something to be in the middle, you'll be more accurate in the long run than if you shot for an extreme. But I still don't like it much.

Honus Wagner Rules
02-01-2005, 09:18 PM
The problem though is that each individual player is a small subset of the total data. Players are not robots each player succeeds or fails for different reasons. Granted we are not all one of kind beings meaning that at some point we can divide people into groups but at smaller pools of players those groups can be hidden. I don't know if that was understood or not. I guess an example would BP's Pecota projections. They don't just look at the numbers but also look at a players size, height, build, injury history, and style of play to see if they can find similar players to create a trend line. This segment of baseball analysis is one of Bill Jame's favorite aspects of the game. He is always putting players into groups based on common characteristics. He is always comparing rookies who had comparable initial seasons and seeing why the two diverged.

Right now in terms of Japanese translations we have a very very small group of Japanese players coming to America, a very small group of major leaguers going to Japan, and a small group of minor leaguers going and coming back to America. Are these translations reliable? I don't know, probably in a ballpark sort of way. Are they as reliable as MLE's? Probably not even close, simply because there is so small a sample group that even a handful of bad reads will skew the result. Whereas MLE's can weather a handful of bad reads because they deal with hundreds of cases every year. IF you have a groupd of 20 players and were told that 5 of there translations (but not told which ones)were horribly off you would probably have no confidence in any of the translations. You would probably try to find another tool to pick players. Whereas if you 500 players and were told that 20 were horribly off you would still have a high confidence level in the overall numbers.

Good post. :)

cubbieinexile
02-01-2005, 09:26 PM
You mean that when the overall sample size is small, the sub-groups are sometimes too small to see? And since we're talking people, not cogs, the sub-groups are requisite to understand the players more effectively? If so, I'd agree with you on both counts. That also makes my initial analogy of flipping a coin somewhat ludicrous, but oh well.

Aside: Pecota projections are odd things. They're always guessing the player to have an average year, comparatively speaking. It's really the smart thing to do--when you guess something to be in the middle, you'll be more accurate in the long run than if you shot for an extreme. But I still don't like it much.

Yep, you pretty much said it better then I could. Thank you for that.

As for PECOTA I don't even look at it for much the same reason you say. Everyone is averaged and they give you a percentage chance of it being higher or lower. I have never been big on projections systems, I have never liked the unknown. I have always liked looking back into history and measuring what was done not what could be done.

I use the PECOTA as an example because I like the fact that they don't just lump everybody into groups based on numbers alone.

Be The Reds!
03-22-2005, 12:24 AM
Oh is racist and arrogant.

As the manager of the Hawks, he deliberately instructs his pitchers to walk anyone coming close to his HR record, even if it means walking in the winning run for the other team.

2 people have managed to tie his record, but both Tuffy Rhodes and Alex Cabrera would have broken it had they not faced the Hawks at the end of the seasons which they tied it.

As someone who wasn't fully accepted by the Japanese he has the nerve to discriminate against non-Asian foreigners.

cubbieinexile
03-22-2005, 09:18 AM
I think it is a little presumptious to call him a rascist simply because he holds his record in high esteem. Now then if an Asian gets close to the record and he doesn't pitch around him you might have something. Otherwise its just another baseball player holding on to past glory or following the book.

moviegeekjan
03-22-2005, 09:26 AM
I think it is a little presumptious to call him a rascist simply because he holds his record in high esteem. More than a "little" ...

jalbright
03-22-2005, 01:23 PM
I have to agree with the last two posters about the "racist" tag--it's over the top. Nonetheless, while I am definitely an admirer of Oh's, his behavior in this one area does not reflect well on him. Here's what I said to another person about the incidents:


I'm aware of the cases of Bass, Cabrera, and Rhodes and I agree they do not reflect well on Oh. He tried a fig leaf of saying his pitching coach ordered the walks against these players, but since he never to my knowledge disciplined anyone over it, that story won't wash. It clearly shows he is a competitor who desperately wants to hang on to that single season home run record. His behavior still is petty and beneath him, but other than this and a very murky sign stealing allegation, his record as a sportsman and ambassador of the sport is quite good. I think these aspects balance the scales at the very least.

I wish Oh could grasp something Bill James wrote about Babe Ruth losing the single season and career records. Of course, Oh will retain the career mark in NPB for the foreseeable future, which to my mind only emphasizes the point I am about to make. James wrote that once "Ruth's records" were held by others, people began to look at his overall record--and there is none better in the history of the majors. If Oh loses the single season record, people will focus on the career record and may look a little at the overall record--and there's none better in Japanese baseball history. That should be more than good enough for anyone. Single season marks are far more vulnerable than the career HR mark, and that in turn is more vulnerable than the overall broad based excellence which makes Oh Japan's best.

Back to the discussion of Oh and Cooperstown: where do we draw the line on morality? Cap Anson and Ty Cobb are notable as racists, Babe Ruth was a womanizer of epic proportions even though he was married, the Lord himself only knows how many HOFers were alcoholics, Orlando Cepeda trafficked in drugs, Gaylord Perry frequently threw an illegal pitch (the spitter) and all of them are in. Pete Rose is out because of betting problems that mandated he be banned for at least a time, but many, myself included, believe he no longer should be being punished. Some even want to pardon Joe Jackson, who was by his own admission (under oath, no less) at least complicit in the fixing of the World Series, for heaven's sake. Jackson can rot as far as I'm concerned, and maybe Cepeda bothers me, but beyond that I'm not troubled by the idea that these men are honored by the HOF for their exploits on the field. Jackson clearly knew about the fix, did nothing to stop it and may have even participated, so I'm not going to give him a pass. Drug dealing is far more offensive than Oh's petty transgressions, I'm sure you'd agree. Frankly, to me even Perry's cheating with the spitter is less in the spirit of fair play than Oh's refusal to let his pitchers give Bass, Cabrera and Rhodes a chance to break his single season HR record.

The bottom line is, all of these "heroes" are men blessed with tremendous athletic talent and are just as human as the rest of us in all other respects. Some are very good men, some not. Most, like Oh, fall somewhere in between. Short of Joe Jackson-like actions which would make the game nothing more than pro wrestling, I'm not keen on trying to impose moral standards here. After all we're honoring baseball players, not evaluating people for sainthood. It's hard enough to evaluate what happened on the field in some cases without getting into such philosophical issues. It seems that the HOF implicitly agrees, given the characters who have been honored.

Jim Albright

jalbright
03-22-2005, 01:36 PM
Right now in terms of Japanese translations we have a very very small group of Japanese players coming to America, a very small group of major leaguers going to Japan, and a small group of minor leaguers going and coming back to America. Are these translations reliable? I don't know, probably in a ballpark sort of way. Are they as reliable as MLE's? Probably not even close, simply because there is so small a sample group that even a handful of bad reads will skew the result. Whereas MLE's can weather a handful of bad reads because they deal with hundreds of cases every year. IF you have a groupd of 20 players and were told that 5 of there translations (but not told which ones)were horribly off you would probably have no confidence in any of the translations. You would probably try to find another tool to pick players. Whereas if you 500 players and were told that 20 were horribly off you would still have a high confidence level in the overall numbers.

My own conversion for Oh's major league performance is based on those players who played in the major leagues and then played in Oh's Central League in the years Oh did, 1960 to 1980. I used all such players, but if he had only 4 MLB AB, he was prorated to the same number in Japan, and vice versa. When all is said and done, there are over 23,800 AB--by the same group of players, each getting the same number of AB in each league. That's over 4 full team/season's worth of data in each league. It may not give us perfect guidance, but it sure should be enough to put us very much in the right neighborhood--and isn't that what we're looking for in a projection?

What I use for modern Japanese players is over 40,000 matched AB in the 1990's into the early 2000's using the same technique. I daresay that overall for hitters those projections have performed rather well--at least as well as season to season comparisons for actual major leaguers.

Jim Albright

Be The Reds!
03-22-2005, 05:34 PM
OH doesn't belong in cooperstown because cooperstown is the National baseball hall of fame, meaning the USA. Oh didn't play in the US.

Also he's a racist. It's not a little presumptuous.

cubbieinexile
03-22-2005, 05:39 PM
So your translations are based on only 24,000 AB's spread out over 20 years? A little over a thousand at bats a year. Doesn't sound like much to me. Plus how many of those at bats were taken from 1960-1965, 1961-1966, so on and so on? Were the majority of at bats happening in the 1970's? Were they spread out? As the years went on did one side get progressively better and the other side progressively worse? And if so is that factored into the stats? How many of those 23,800 at bats were by players who had less then 100 at bats on either side? How many on both sides?

cubbieinexile
03-22-2005, 05:46 PM
OH doesn't belong in cooperstown because cooperstown is the National baseball hall of fame, meaning the USA. Oh didn't play in the US.

Also he's a racist. It's not a little presumptuous.


Why is he a rascist? If the only reason is because he pitched around 2 batters and there is no other proof that it is a lot more then just a little. Now if you have Oh on record saying rascist things then you might have something. Do you have anything besides pitching around two players who were attempting to break the home run record?

Scale of racial tension.

0- Acceptance
1- Tolerance
2- Prejudice
3- Bigot
4- Rascist

To me its a long way to go to the bottom of that list and unless you have something more concrete then free passes I don't think Oh has earned a level 4.

Be The Reds!
03-22-2005, 06:37 PM
Why is he a rascist? If the only reason is because he pitched around 2 batters and there is no other proof that it is a lot more then just a little. Now if you have Oh on record saying rascist things then you might have something. Do you have anything besides pitching around two players who were attempting to break the home run record?

Scale of racial tension.

0- Acceptance
1- Tolerance
2- Prejudice
3- Bigot
4- Rascist

To me its a long way to go to the bottom of that list and unless you have something more concrete then free passes I don't think Oh has earned a level 4.

For one, being proud that the Giants he played for were able to be sucessful without integrating (or being the last team to integrate).

Wishing Hideki Matsui luck in breaking the single season HR record in the same year he pitched around Alex Cabrera... (Matsui was pretty close behind Rhodes and Cabrera that year until the end of the season...)

I'm not trying to say that Oh is the most racist of racist Japanese people ever, or that he's anything compared to Tokyo's Mayor Ishihara.

But he doesn't want his record cheapened by being broken by a foreigner.

If the Sisler's daugther were to say something like, I don't want my dad's record to go to a Jap, people would scream racism and everyone would agree.

Oh however is in a position where he actively can ensure his record is protected against foreigners, by intentionally walking them in dubious situations (bottom of the 9th, tie game, bases loaded). All the while encouraging Matsui to break his record.

Saying that he doesn't want his record to go to a gaijin. (Which doesn't really just mean foreigner...)

jalbright
03-22-2005, 07:31 PM
So your translations are based on only 24,000 AB's spread out over 20 years? A little over a thousand at bats a year. Doesn't sound like much to me. Plus how many of those at bats were taken from 1960-1965, 1961-1966, so on and so on? Were the majority of at bats happening in the 1970's? Were they spread out? As the years went on did one side get progressively better and the other side progressively worse? And if so is that factored into the stats? How many of those 23,800 at bats were by players who had less then 100 at bats on either side? How many on both sides?

I'm not going to get into that minutae--but if you want the spreadsheet that has everything but the homers, I'll send it to you and you can do what you want with it. However, I did not break it down season by season--it was quite enough work as it was.

I didn't say it was perfect, and more AB probably would refine things--but it's what evidence is available. If you have a better technique, I'm all ears.

Besides, I think the most impressive part of the argument for Oh is how the projection is certainly no more optimistic in its indications of what Oh could do than both his performance against good major league pitching (albeit in Japanese parks) and the subjective opinions of major league baseball people who actually saw him play.

Jim Albright

jalbright
03-22-2005, 07:45 PM
OH doesn't belong in cooperstown because cooperstown is the National baseball hall of fame, meaning the USA. Oh didn't play in the US.

One more recitation of that pearl of wisdom about the "National" Hall of Fame as though it really meant something. If Cooperstown stopped acting as though it had all the greatest players despite at least tacitly following the policy you apparently are advocating, it might not bother me so much. But they do--and they are full of crap when they do it. Anyway, I'll use my standard response to this line of argument below:

The “National” Hall of Fame

The last argument against Oh we will address is the argument that Cooperstown is the National Hall of Fame and is limited to those who have contributed to the game in North America. First of all, no one in the debate has yet cited anything beyond the name of the institution as proof there is any formal restriction on who the Hall of Fame may honor. Second, even if such a restriction exists, it certainly can be changed about as easily and rapidly as the sudden decision to allow Negro Leaguers to be honored on an equal basis with white major leaguers. Third, the Hall should honor all the best players in the game, no matter where they played or who they played against, because they all have helped to make it the great game it is. Fourth, the game is becoming increasingly international in scope. In 2002, nearly a quarter of the major leaguers were born outside the 50 states. Seventeen different countries are represented in the majors, and a total of 31 in the minors. About half of all minor leaguers were born outside the 50 states. We now have major league all-stars from the Orient, and undoubtedly we will have more. We even allow those outside North America to vote for the major league all-star teams. Under such circumstances, the “National” argument seems to me to be hopelessly parochial and possibly even self-defeating. It certainly looks hypocritical to promote diversity on one hand while denying the game’s highest honor to foreigners who have been subjected to the major leagues being an accomplice in keeping them out of the majors. Even honoring the players in Japanese baseball history who are worthy of Cooperstown seems to be inadequate compensation for siphoning off at least some of Japan’s elite players. Maybe the Japanese wouldn’t have come even if they were given a realistic opportunity to do so, but to deny them plaques in Cooperstown solely on such speculative reasoning is plainly ridiculous.

Furthermore, Oh has had a tremendous influence on Japanese baseball as its greatest player, as its goodwill ambassador, and as a successful manager. He came into contact with many major leaguers, and his career has touched present day major league managers like Jim Tracy, Davey Johnson, Charlie Manuel and Bobby Valentine. Isn’t it likely Ichiro learned something from Oh, whether as a youngster or as an opponent of Oh’s teams, or some other way? Oh’s influence upon major league baseball may be small today, but that influence will almost surely grow with the increased influx of Japanese players. Also, listen to Steve Garvey: “ I learned a lot . . . from Sadaharu Oh. I spent some time with him in spring training in 1971, and again in ’75 and ’79. He always talked about the use of his legs as the single biggest asset to his power . . . . You’ve got to use your whole body to hit the ball effectively, not just your arms. That’s the difference between a power hitter and a slap hitter.” I might add that Hideki Matsui tried to pattern his swing after Oh's teachings in a book in Japanese by Oh, though without the leg lift.

The “National” argument is at best a dinosaur doomed to extinction by the existing trend toward international growth in the game. Eventually, the majors will have a permanent presence in Japan, and at that point, baseball will need to please its Japanese fans. When that occurs, the “National” argument will surely fall. It may hold sway until that time, but it is only staving off its eventual losing fate.

Jim Albright

leecemark
03-22-2005, 07:47 PM
--Jim, I didn't understand that part of your MLB projections before. To be sure I do now, your projections are based on facing major league pitching, but NOT in major league parks? So Oh would still be hittting in the same small parks he actually hit his 800 HR? That makes a huge difference in his likely HR totals if I'm getting it right now.

jalbright
03-22-2005, 08:03 PM
cubbieinexile:

The reason I can't give homers is I did that earlier by hand, and have since lost the papers on which it was done. My sense is that the records were pretty evenly spread out over the period, and did not show much if any dramatic change. BTW, the offer of the spreadsheets extends to anyone who contacts me by private message through this site.

I can tell you that when the Oh numbers are compared to the numbers of more recent times, the Japanese homers have risen relative to the majors despite larger Japanese parks and a major league trend toward more homer friendly parks. However, where players in Japan used to walk less in Oh's day than in the majors, they now walk more. This is probably a function of changes in pitcher usage. When a guy's pitching 400 innings in a 130 game season, he'll be better off if he can get balls in play quickly.

There's no question there's a huge difference in home run data. Even today, there's about 60% as many homers per AB in the majors as in Japan. Adjusting for the shorter Japanese season might bring the number up to 70% of NPB seasonal totals or so, but that's it. In Oh's day, it was closer to 52% of homers per AB in the majors, and might have gotten as close as 65% of actual NPB seasonal totals, as seasons then were usually 130 games, and they've been around 140 lately. So the differences in the numbers are not pronounced. Japanese players have seemingly closed the gap in HR rates to a small degree despite factors which should have increased the gap--though it's hard to quantify how much.

Jim Albright

Be The Reds!
03-22-2005, 08:13 PM
One more recitation of that pearl of wisdom about the "National" Hall of Fame as though it really meant something. If Cooperstown stopped acting as though it had all the greatest players despite at least tacitly following the policy you apparently are advocating, it might not bother me so much. But they do--and they are full of crap when they do it. Anyway, I'll use my standard response to this line of argument below:

The “National” Hall of Fame

The last argument against Oh we will address is the argument that Cooperstown is the National Hall of Fame and is limited to those who have contributed to the game in North America. First of all, no one in the debate has yet cited anything beyond the name of the institution as proof there is any formal restriction on who the Hall of Fame may honor. Second, even if such a restriction exists, it certainly can be changed about as easily and rapidly as the sudden decision to allow Negro Leaguers to be honored on an equal basis with white major leaguers. Third, the Hall should honor all the best players in the game, no matter where they played or who they played against, because they all have helped to make it the great game it is. Fourth, the game is becoming increasingly international in scope. In 2002, nearly a quarter of the major leaguers were born outside the 50 states. Seventeen different countries are represented in the majors, and a total of 31 in the minors. About half of all minor leaguers were born outside the 50 states. We now have major league all-stars from the Orient, and undoubtedly we will have more. We even allow those outside North America to vote for the major league all-star teams. Under such circumstances, the “National” argument seems to me to be hopelessly parochial and possibly even self-defeating. It certainly looks hypocritical to promote diversity on one hand while denying the game’s highest honor to foreigners who have been subjected to the major leagues being an accomplice in keeping them out of the majors. Even honoring the players in Japanese baseball history who are worthy of Cooperstown seems to be inadequate compensation for siphoning off at least some of Japan’s elite players. Maybe the Japanese wouldn’t have come even if they were given a realistic opportunity to do so, but to deny them plaques in Cooperstown solely on such speculative reasoning is plainly ridiculous.

Furthermore, Oh has had a tremendous influence on Japanese baseball as its greatest player, as its goodwill ambassador, and as a successful manager. He came into contact with many major leaguers, and his career has touched present day major league managers like Jim Tracy, Davey Johnson, Charlie Manuel and Bobby Valentine. Isn’t it likely Ichiro learned something from Oh, whether as a youngster or as an opponent of Oh’s teams, or some other way? Oh’s influence upon major league baseball may be small today, but that influence will almost surely grow with the increased influx of Japanese players. Also, listen to Steve Garvey: “ I learned a lot . . . from Sadaharu Oh. I spent some time with him in spring training in 1971, and again in ’75 and ’79. He always talked about the use of his legs as the single biggest asset to his power . . . . You’ve got to use your whole body to hit the ball effectively, not just your arms. That’s the difference between a power hitter and a slap hitter.” I might add that Hideki Matsui tried to pattern his swing after Oh's teachings in a book in Japanese by Oh, though without the leg lift.

The “National” argument is at best a dinosaur doomed to extinction by the existing trend toward international growth in the game. Eventually, the majors will have a permanent presence in Japan, and at that point, baseball will need to please its Japanese fans. When that occurs, the “National” argument will surely fall. It may hold sway until that time, but it is only staving off its eventual losing fate.

Jim Albright

First, the HOF isn't controlled by MLB and to appease its fans, MLB can't alter the qualifications for entering the HOF. Only the people in control of the HOF can do that... though I'm sure they are very open to suggestion.

Second, as for JApanese players going in as players...Put Nomo and Ichiro or any other Japanese player who has or will play 10 years in the Majors and made a significant impact. Oh didn't take a single at bat in the majors, thus he can't go in as a player.

He can probably go in as "The father of real Japanese baseball" or whatever other titles they like to give to guys who go in who never played, or for guys who go in for other reasons besides being a player.

And I'll ask you, how many non-Japanese players are there in the Japanese baseball hall of fame, even if they have played in the Japanese leagues?

The only two non Japanese inductees are
Horace Wilson, for introducing baseball to Japan in 1872
and Frank O doole, for taking the San Francisco Seals on a tour of Japan in the 30's and cementing the popularity of baseball.

End of argument.

jalbright
03-22-2005, 08:13 PM
--Jim, I didn't understand that part of your MLB projections before. To be sure I do now, your projections are based on facing major league pitching, but NOT in major league parks? So Oh would still be hittting in the same small parks he actually hit his 800 HR? That makes a huge difference in his likely HR totals if I'm getting it right now.

Let me try to be clear: The adjustment factors are meant to account for two factors which I cannot separate: the differences in parks and pitching. I am taking the same exact hitters in the same exact number of AB in Japanese parks against Japanese pitching as AB in major league parks against major league pitching. That's 23,800 in each case for Oh.

I think the confusion may have arisen when I mentioned how Oh performed against actual major league pitchers (actually a well above average group of them from what I see) who toured Japan for exhibitions. I did not use these numbers for any projections. However, in Oh's case, the numbers against the major leaguers are similar, though a little better (not surprisingly given smaller parks) than what my projection comes up with.

Hope this clears things up.

Jim Albright

Jim Albright

leecemark
03-22-2005, 08:22 PM
--Jim, Sorry to belabor the point, but I want to make sure I understand exactly what your projections are intended to mean. Your MLB projection numbers for Oh are what you think he would have done had in played in the majors, against MLB pitchers and in MLB parks. That he actually did slightly better in his exhibition games vs MLB pitchers in JL parks reinforces your belief that you are on the right track with your projections. Do I have that correct now?
Thanks, Mark

jalbright
03-22-2005, 08:45 PM
First, the HOF isn't controlled by MLB and to appease its fans, MLB can't alter the qualifications for entering the HOF. Only the people in control of the HOF can do that... though I'm sure they are very open to suggestion.

Second, as for JApanese players going in as players...Put Nomo and Ichiro or any other Japanese player who has or will play 10 years in the Majors and made a significant impact. Oh didn't take a single at bat in the majors, thus he can't go in as a player.

He can probably go in as "The father of real Japanese baseball" or whatever other titles they like to give to guys who go in who never played, or for guys who go in for other reasons besides being a player.

And I'll ask you, how many non-Japanese players are there in the Japanese baseball hall of fame, even if they have played in the Japanese leagues?

End of argument.

Geez, I thought neither of us is on the Hall of Fame's Board of Directors, but by your tone, I'm beginning to wonder. The point is, they can change the rules from what they currently are to what I suggest they should be rather easily if they want to. No question that for the forseeable future, they won't want to make the change I think they should.

Actually, Lefty O'Doul has been inducted into the Japanese Hall for the tours of major leaguers he arranged. Victor Starffin, a Russian who played there is in, as are two Japanese-Americans, Wally Yonamine and Tadashi Wakabayashi. There's a fifteen year wait for everybody to get in, and it's even more if you're in uniform as a coach when that time is reached. Randy Bass came within two votes last year of making it despite playing only six years there--and the circumstances of his departure from the Japanese game left some hard feelings on both sides--though I think Bass had the right to expect that the Hanshin club would keep its word--and he had to do what he could to keep his child alive and remain fiscally solvent.

Bobby Rose won't be eligible for about another decade, but he'll deserve serious consideration whern that time comes. Tuffy Rhodes is still active and will also deserve great consideration when he's eligible. Beyond that, Americans have had limited impact primarily because few stayed even five years. The difference is, the Japanese Hall is advertised and conducts itself as a purely Japanese affair. Heck, guys who were stars only at the high school or collegiate level in Japan have been inducted. Cooperstown's own mission statement talks about a "global audience" and it likes to pretend it has all the greatest players, despite excluding Japanese players, some worthy Negro Leaguers, not to mention some of their own horrible selections.

If you intend to argue that simply because Japan's Hall doesn't honor many Americans, we shouldn't honor Japanese players, you'll be using a red herring IMO. That idea is based on what I can only describe as a childish approach--they won't let us in, so we won't let them in, nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nah. Who cares how Japan approaches its Hall? I care about how Cooperstown does things. If Cooperstown drops the crap about a "global audience" and stops pretending that it has all the greatest players in the world in it as opposed to the greatest to play x number of years in North America, I'll stop pushing for Japanese players. However, so long as they keep acting like that and I draw breath, I will advocate what I have advocated here.

Jim Albright

jalbright
03-22-2005, 08:48 PM
--Jim, Sorry to belabor the point, but I want to make sure I understand exactly what your projections are intended to mean. Your MLB projection numbers for Oh are what you think he would have done had in played in the majors, against MLB pitchers and in MLB parks. That he actually did slightly better in his exhibition games vs MLB pitchers in JL parks reinforces your belief that you are on the right track with your projections. Do I have that correct now?
Thanks, Mark

I don't know that I could have said it any better. Right on the nose!

Be The Reds!
03-22-2005, 10:47 PM
If you intend to argue that simply because Japan's Hall doesn't honor many Americans, we shouldn't honor Japanese players, you'll be using a red herring IMO. That idea is based on what I can only describe as a childish approach--they won't let us in, so we won't let them in, nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nah.
Sigh, no that's not what I was advocating. I was offering a comparison.
Japan's Hall doesn't honor foreign players who played in its own leagues, and you want Cooperstown to break already established rules to allow Oh, a player who never took an MLB at bat, into the hall of fame because of speculation that he may have inspired people like Ichiro and Nomo.

We should honor the Japanese players who played in the Major leagues for ten or more years and had exceptional careers and/or were pioneers.



Who cares how Japan approaches its Hall? I care about how Cooperstown does things. If Cooperstown drops the crap about a "global audience" and stops pretending that it has all the greatest players in the world in it as opposed to the greatest to play x number of years in North America, I'll stop pushing for Japanese players. However, so long as they keep acting like that and I draw breath, I will advocate what I have advocated here.

Jim Albright


The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of the game and its impact on our culture by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collections for a global audience, as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to our National Pastime.


It doesn't say anything about honoring the greatest ever players in the world. It says more about what impact the people have had on American baseball, and as the majority of the enshrined athletes in Cooperstown are MLB players, and as the MLB is the top level of baseball in the World, it's only natural that they would want that collection to be available to a global audience.


Oh does not belong in the Hall of fame as a player, because he didn't play Major League baseball. Period.

He may be the greatest player to ever play the game, but he didn't play the game in America, so he doesn't belong in America's hall of fame as a player.

He may have done a lot to inspire players and fans ALL OVER THE WORLD during his playing career, but he did not play Major League Baseball, thus he can't go in as a player.

moviegeekjan
03-23-2005, 12:22 AM
We should honor the Japanese players who played in the Major leagues for ten or more years and had exceptional careers and/or were pioneers..
While "10" is a nice round figure that the media generally rallies around, why set that particular figure... It's not like the HOF hasn't bent that number previously (Monte Irvin played 6 years in the majors while Satchel Paige played 6 partial seasons).




Oh does not belong in the Hall of fame as a player, because he didn't play Major League baseball. Period.

He may be the greatest player to ever play the game, but he didn't play the game in America, so he doesn't belong in America's hall of fame as a player.

He may have done a lot to inspire players and fans ALL OVER THE WORLD during his playing career, but he did not play Major League Baseball, thus he can't go in as a player. Semantics here. Is the HOF at Cooperstown only for Major League Baseball, American baseball, or all of baseball?

It would appear that it presently honors baseball on American soil since it has a wing devoted to the Negro Leagues (as well as honoring a few individuals in the main hallway of plaques from the Negro Leagues that never played MLB). It also has a wall that recognizes women players.

But what if the museum decided to expand its present definition to reflect a more worldwide view of baseball? That is the question being asked.

Similar issues arise when declaring the winner of the World Series "the World Champion" since that team doesn't compete with the champions from the other leagues around the world.

jalbright
03-23-2005, 12:31 PM
Well, BeTheReds, it's obvious you're happy with the status quo, I'm not. It's an age-old conflict, one which will never go away, no matter how much either of us would like it to.

For further information on "foreigners" in the Japanese Hall of Fame, we can include two Taiwanese, Shosei Go and Hiroshi Oshita. There are also two guys born in Japan to Korean parents, which I beleive made them Korean under Japanese lawat least in their time: Masaichi Kaneda and Isao Harimoto, two of the ten best players in Japanese history.


Cubbieinexile:

You may not be impressed with 23,800 AB in Japan matched to the same number in the majors, but consider the following: I chose to limit it to Oh's league and time to avoid any possibility of differences from irrelevant times and leagues polluting the data. The Central League has been a six team league since the early fifties, and remains so. In Oh's day, most of the seasons were 130 games in the CL--and Oh's manager, Tetsuharu Kawakami, chose to use only Asian players on his roster. So that leaves five teams. There were and remain restrictions on the number of foreigners who may be on Japanese rosters. I believe in Oh's day it was at least usually two. Some of those players pitched, and I didn't consider them because for purposes of studying position players, I don't care what pitchers hit. So if I could have used all the possible at bats by gaijin position players, it would have had to have been less than one team's worth of hitters per year, and in a 130 game season. Add to that the restriction of matching the numbers of AB to control as much as possible for the issue of talent, and 1200 or so AB a year isn't bad at all. Certainly, under these circumstances it is hard to have huge fluctuations in the numbers of AB season to season.

Jim Albright

Be The Reds!
03-23-2005, 06:25 PM
While "10" is a nice round figure that the media generally rallies around, why set that particular figure... It's not like the HOF hasn't bent that number previously (Monte Irvin played 6 years in the majors while Satchel Paige played 6 partial seasons).


Semantics here. Is the HOF at Cooperstown only for Major League Baseball, American baseball, or all of baseball?

American baseball at its highest level, MLB and the Negro Leagues... (because blacks couldn't play in MLB) If a rival league were to spring up and we were to see an exodous of players, then it wouldn't be too hard to believe that the HOF would have to allow players of that league into the HOF too.



But what if the museum decided to expand its present definition to reflect a more worldwide view of baseball? That is the question being asked.

Well, then it would cease to be the National Baseball Hall of Fame and become the International Baseball Hall of Fame. In which case, Oh goes in first ballot!



Similar issues arise when declaring the winner of the World Series "the World Champion" since that team doesn't compete with the champions from the other leagues around the world.

Well, the idea is that MLB is the greatest baseball leagues by far, (which they are), and the championship team from MLB would trounce the champion from other leagues, (Which they probably would).

I'd even argue that the worst team in MLB could hold its own against the best in NPB.

Either way, that's an entirely different issue altogether, and is MLB's problem, not the HOF's.

Be The Reds!
03-23-2005, 06:31 PM
Well, BeTheReds, it's obvious you're happy with the status quo, I'm not. It's an age-old conflict, one which will never go away, no matter how much either of us would like it to.

For further information on "foreigners" in the Japanese Hall of Fame, we can include two Taiwanese, Shosei Go and Hiroshi Oshita. There are also two guys born in Japan to Korean parents, which I beleive made them Korean under Japanese lawat least in their time: Masaichi Kaneda and Isao Harimoto, two of the ten best players in Japanese history.


#1, those players are as UN-Japanese as Alex Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro are UN-American, only Japanese citizenship was witheld from them and their families because of the reluctance of JApanese to ease their citizenship requirements for koreans and chinese trapped in Japan after WW2. So yes, by citizenship, they were foreigners when they played. If they were true foreigners and weren't conditioned thruout their childhoods to hide their names and ethnic origins (as many overseas Koreans and Chinese in Japan are) don't you think they would have wanted to live, play, and be honored by their true names?

jalbright
03-23-2005, 07:23 PM
American baseball at its highest level, MLB and the Negro Leagues... (because blacks couldn't play in MLB) . . .

Well, then it would cease to be the National Baseball Hall of Fame and become the International Baseball Hall of Fame. In which case, Oh goes in first ballot! . . .

I'd even argue that the worst team in MLB could hold its own against the best in NPB.

Either way, that's an entirely different issue altogether, and is MLB's problem, not the HOF's.

I'm glad to see you at least recognize Oh's quality as a player. Japanese players really didn't have the opportunity until recently to come to the majors. Here's what I said in another thread:


Sadaharu Oh has been quoted as saying he would have liked a shot at the majors, but it wasn't going to happen. The major leagues, through the "Working Agreement" with NPB, were complicit in that because they agreed to respect the NPB reserve clause--and NPB teams weren't going to let their players move if they could help it. Certainly, if one sees NPB as a "cage", it was a gilded one, especially compared to the Negro Leagues.

We agree that most years, cellar dwelling major league teams would be competitive with a Japan Series winners. It's getting even harder for Japanese teams now that they're losing guys like Ichiro and H. Matsui to the majors.

We also agree that the Hall can take its own path. I'm saying that it would be great if Cooperstown got out in front on what I see as forward thinking for once, though I doubt they'll do anything but follow on this one.

Jim Albright

cubbieinexile
03-23-2005, 10:25 PM
You may not be impressed with 23,800 AB in Japan matched to the same number in the majors, but consider the following: I chose to limit it to Oh's league and time to avoid any possibility of differences from irrelevant times and leagues polluting the data. The Central League has been a six team league since the early fifties, and remains so. In Oh's day, most of the seasons were 130 games in the CL--and Oh's manager, Tetsuharu Kawakami, chose to use only Asian players on his roster. So that leaves five teams. There were and remain restrictions on the number of foreigners who may be on Japanese rosters. I believe in Oh's day it was at least usually two. Some of those players pitched, and I didn't consider them because for purposes of studying position players, I don't care what pitchers hit. So if I could have used all the possible at bats by gaijin position players, it would have had to have been less than one team's worth of hitters per year, and in a 130 game season. Add to that the restriction of matching the numbers of AB to control as much as possible for the issue of talent, and 1200 or so AB a year isn't bad at all. Certainly, under these circumstances it is hard to have huge fluctuations in the numbers of AB season to season.

Jim Albright

My question about the at bats have more to do with the spread of the at bats. For instance there might only be 200 at bats that occurred in 1961 but 3,000 at bats in 1979. There might be 3 players getting a total of 300 at bats in 1962 but 20 players getting 6,000 at bats in 1980. In 1960 there might be 4 players who went to Japan with a total of 250 at bats in the Majors while in 1980 it was 25 players with a total of 12,000 at bats.

I am not calling into question your data or your findings because quite simply i don't have the info to be able to agree or dispute your findings. I am just curious as to what the spread of those 24,000 at bats were.

Be The Reds!
03-23-2005, 10:59 PM
I'm glad to see you at least recognize Oh's quality as a player. Japanese players really didn't have the opportunity until recently to come to the majors. Here's what I said in another thread:



While they didn't have the opportunity because of the restrictions NPB put on free agency in their own league, that's not MLB's fault.

In contrast he racist thinking and practices that kept blacks out of MLB is MLB's fault, thus the Negro Leagues players deserve to be honored in the same light as MLB players.


Yea, you're punishing individual Japanese players given this stance, but your'e also punishing the Japanese owners for their stubbornness, and Japan in general for allowing the owners to keep the players from doing what they want to.

Why are there no Japanese in the HOF right now? It's the selfish NPB owners' fault.


Here's a list of players I believe should go into the hall of fame...
For either being "firsts", "pioneers", "having exceptional careers", or some combination of the three.

1. Masanori Murakami (Giants, 1960's)- for playing in the Majors during that era where NPB was a cage. While he only played two years, that's 2 years more than Oh. Perhaps he doesn't deserve to get in as a player, by virtue of not playing 10 years in the majors, but he at least deserves recognition.

2. Hideo Nomo (Lots of teams, 1990's, 2000's) - The true pioneer that started the exodous of Japan's greatest to MLB

3. Ichiro Suzuki - If he can actually last 10 years, he's already done enough in his short MLB career to go into the HOF. Even if he doesn't last 10 years, I'd reccomend that the HOF make a special exception in Ichiro's case.

4. Hideki Matsui, maybe - Well, his career is far from exceptional so far, but he has lots of time left. He was the highest profile free agent coming out of Japan (possibly moreso than Ichiro) and unfortunately, by playing for the Yankees, and playing well for them (god I hate them, but have to respect what they mean to baseball) he has increased the visibility of Japanese in the Majors.

5. Chan Ho Park... is the first Korean in the Majors. He deserves to be recognized for that even if he is simply an average pitcher. Most americans unfortunately don't know the difference between Japan and Korea, and most of the writers who can vote probably will pass on Park, even though he represents so much for Koreans and Korean Baseball.

cubbieinexile
03-23-2005, 11:18 PM
The restrictions are not unilateral. It isn't only the Japanese keeping the Japanese players from playing ball in America. It is the Americans agreeing to honor these restrictions as well. Just like the Japanese honor the restrictions the Americans put on American players.

Is this different then the Negro Leagues? Of course it is, in that situation an entire group is disallowed without any input from them, while in this situation both groups agree to the segregation. But of course that does not mean that individuals are free from being victims, only the organizations are free from that.

Wouldn't the true pioneer be Nomo's agent? The one that found the loophole. Afterall nobody comes over unless the loophole is their, not even Nomo. Even after Nomo the floodgates don't open because the loophole is closed. If anything it is Sasaki and Ichiro that open the floodgates. After Nomo you have what Irabu a couple of years later and nothing until Kaz. After Kaz come Ichiro, Shinjo, and everybody else. I count 22 Japanese players who have played in the Majors starting from Hideo Nomo at 1995, in 1997 you get three more pitchers, all of which is probably because of Nomo. Two are busts with one being an infamous and damaging bust while the third did nothing to really increase the flood of talent. Then in 2000 Sasaki comes over and the presence of Japanese players in MLB balloons.

Be The Reds!
03-23-2005, 11:27 PM
The restrictions are not unilateral. It isn't only the Japanese keeping the Japanese players from playing ball in America. It is the Americans agreeing to honor these restrictions as well.



Wait, what do you mean? That American owners are at fault for not going after players under contract with Japanese teams, or not buying their contracts out?

Players who don't want to be restricted by NPB can join the Majors foregoing any NPB step.

Once you've signed a contract with an NPB team it is legally binding that you abide by it, unless they release you or you retire. Are you suggesting that a high profile Japanese player just up and says, to heck with my 4 remaining years in my contract, I'm going to MLB seeya!

Not only is that illegal.. well.... it's illegal.

Be The Reds!
03-23-2005, 11:29 PM
Wouldn't the true pioneer be Nomo's agent? The one that found the loophole. Afterall nobody comes over unless the loophole is their, not even Nomo. Even after Nomo the floodgates don't open because the loophole is closed. If anything it is Sasaki and Ichiro that open the floodgates. After Nomo you have what Irabu a couple of years later and nothing until Kaz. After Kaz come Ichiro, Shinjo, and everybody else. I count 22 Japanese players who have played in the Majors starting from Hideo Nomo at 1995, in 1997 you get three more pitchers, all of which is probably because of Nomo. Two are busts with one being an infamous and damaging bust while the third did nothing to really increase the flood of talent. Then in 2000 Sasaki comes over and the presence of Japanese players in MLB balloons.


Hmm, that's a good point, but in most people's view, and in the comomn Japanese view, Nomo was the pioneer for motivating other JApanese players to want to come to the majors. Kaz et al probably wouldn't have even thought of it had Nomo not done it first.

jalbright
03-24-2005, 08:45 AM
My question about the at bats have more to do with the spread of the at bats. For instance there might only be 200 at bats that occurred in 1961 but 3,000 at bats in 1979. There might be 3 players getting a total of 300 at bats in 1962 but 20 players getting 6,000 at bats in 1980. In 1960 there might be 4 players who went to Japan with a total of 250 at bats in the Majors while in 1980 it was 25 players with a total of 12,000 at bats.

I am not calling into question your data or your findings because quite simply i don't have the info to be able to agree or dispute your findings. I am just curious as to what the spread of those 24,000 at bats were.

Fair enough. I renew my offer of the spreadsheet I have. However, I also told you my sense that there weren't the kinds of fluctuations you are talking about. I've also showed why no season could possibly have more than say 2500-3000 AB in it, and probably less. The lower that number goes, the more even the distribution has to be. If you need more resource material, I can point you in the proper direction on that as well. I just don't intend to go back and derive the answers you raise--but I'll make it so you can get those answers yourself if you want to do the work.

Jim Albright

jalbright
03-24-2005, 08:50 AM
Wait, what do you mean? That American owners are at fault for not going after players under contract with Japanese teams, or not buying their contracts out?

Players who don't want to be restricted by NPB can join the Majors foregoing any NPB step.

Once you've signed a contract with an NPB team it is legally binding that you abide by it, unless they release you or you retire. Are you suggesting that a high profile Japanese player just up and says, to heck with my 4 remaining years in my contract, I'm going to MLB seeya!

Not only is that illegal.. well.... it's illegal.

How about for guys whose contract is up, but the majors still choose to honor the Japanese view of the reserve clause? Kids out of high school and college often aren't sophisticated enough to realize how much they're signing away--and the majors aren't exactly giving them a lot of attention, even today. Once they've signed, they're tied even today for nine or ten years (I think only big club service counts). I think that's where MLB's complicity in this whole thing is still glaring.

jalbright
03-24-2005, 08:52 AM
Hmm, that's a good point, but in most people's view, and in the comomn Japanese view, Nomo was the pioneer for motivating other JApanese players to want to come to the majors. Kaz et al probably wouldn't have even thought of it had Nomo not done it first.

Also, Nomo was the one putting his career on the line, and the one who took the most public heat in the whole matter. Of course, he also got the biggest benefit when he succeeded, but I think it only fair.

Jim Albright

skeletor
03-24-2005, 09:01 AM
It's all moot points, fans...It'll be probably years, players like Oh, will get
consideration to the Hall...perhaps like the olde negro leagues and players
..the majority of players during OH's era in Japan, weren't very good, basically
AA type players....but OH, could have played in the show, and did his thang,
and would have done it well..I had the good fortune of visiting Japan, one
year, and watch him send a couple of balls into orbit...He had very quick
hands and wrists..Pitchers made an mistake to him..like Mantle, it's was
gonesville..Also like Aaron...I think the day is coming when more and more
players from outside the United Snakes, will play in the ML..Canada, Korea,
Australia, Japan, England, eventually, might start sending quality players
to the show..heck, how about a real ' world series?' the American champion
playing the Japenese or Aussie champs ?

cubbieinexile
03-24-2005, 09:24 AM
Wait, what do you mean? That American owners are at fault for not going after players under contract with Japanese teams, or not buying their contracts out?

Players who don't want to be restricted by NPB can join the Majors foregoing any NPB step.

Once you've signed a contract with an NPB team it is legally binding that you abide by it, unless they release you or you retire. Are you suggesting that a high profile Japanese player just up and says, to heck with my 4 remaining years in my contract, I'm going to MLB seeya!

Not only is that illegal.. well.... it's illegal.


The problem as Jim already said is that I can sign a one year contract with a Japanese team and then after that one year is up my contract will be up, but not the service agreement. The rights to me are still owned by the Japanese team for another 8 years. I can't simply say see ya I'm going to America to play ball. Why? Because the American teams have chosen to honor Japan's reserve system. Just like Japan has chosen to honor America's.




After Nomo I believe Japan changed is labor practices. Before Nomo there was no such thing as free agency and teams basically owned you forever. After Nomo they allowed free agency but I believe they closed the retirement loophole.

jalbright
03-24-2005, 02:09 PM
After Nomo I believe Japan changed is labor practices. Before Nomo there was no such thing as free agency and teams basically owned you forever. After Nomo they allowed free agency but I believe they closed the retirement loophole.

Actually, free agency came to Japan in 1993, and Nomo's exit came before the 1995 season. They did try to close the loophole after a few guys went that route, but they didn't notify the majors of the change. So Soriano was able to use the loophole. After that, they went to the posting system, and Ichiro used that means. I think K. Sasaki did before that, but I'm doing it from memory, not any sources.

cubbieinexile:

I should also point out in the discussion we've had about the matched AB I used for Oh that it took a while to compile, and at intervals in the process of doing it, I checked the HR and BA adjustment figures, and they remained fairly consistent. I think I did the HR chronologically and the other alphabetically. Even the more recent figures are fairly consistent with the Oh figures. I just don't think that if you dug into it, you'd find any significant distortion due to timing of the comparisons. But if you don't want to take my word for it and want to see for yourself, let me know and I'll set you up so you can do so.

Jim Albright