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Thread: 1993 Best of Baseball election thread

  1. #26
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    I've explained my support for Joss and support against Grimes before. What I want to know is why Billy Pierce is so far behind Tiant, who may very well be elected this season. Tiant had 7 votes for 51 points last time and Pierce had nothing. Compare the two and you will see (I hope) there is little statistical difference. I don't get it. Kind of the same way I don't get why Red Faber made it in while Eppa Rixey is struggling.

    In fact, I just looked up Tiant's Hall of Merit page for the first time. The very first reply is "He looks a LOT like Billy Pierce. Was he leveraged like Pierce?"
    http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/...on/luis_tiant/

    Tiant will be elected without my help it seems, but he is very close on my pitcher's queue (behind Pierce). The only remarkable stat he has over the field of holdovers is a pitching WAR of 60.1 (batting WAR is -0.7). I'm having trouble figuring out where the extra (guestimate) 8-10 points comes from. Could be the ballpark... except his ERA+ is only 115. Could be the pitching age... except he pitched through the silver age of pitching, where all kinds of starting pitchers were having great years. Could be team defense... but nothing jumps out to me from those Cleveland teams of the 60s and Boston teams of the 70s as being bad. He didn't pitch particularly long for a HOF career either (77th in career BF). He's got a Gray Ink of 112 (179th all time). Yet there he is with an eqERA under 3.90 and a WAR approaching Palmer and Marichal.

    I don't mean to come across as saying I do not support Tiant -- I do, or at least would be soon as a few more players are elected from my ballot. I'm showing why he's behind Joss in my queue. As well as the likes of Faber, Rixey, Ruffing, and Lemon.
    Last edited by J W; 03-11-2011 at 07:57 AM.

  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by J W View Post
    ... What I want to know is why Billy Pierce is so far behind Tiant, who may very well be elected this season. ... I just looked up Tiant's Hall of Merit page for the first time. The very first reply is "He looks a LOT like Billy Pierce. Was he leveraged like Pierce?"
    http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/...on/luis_tiant/
    There may be a plurality for Billy Pierce as the least of the Hall of Merit pitchers. Founder and "commissioner" Joe Dimino, whose research focus is Pennants Added for pitchers, has named Joe McGinnity and Bob Lemon. Officially Pierce ranks last in the 1923-1958 group, Ted Lyons to Whitey Ford.

    Annually Luis Tiant is one of the best supported candidate pitchers, clearly behind only David Cone.


    JW continues with the observation that
    here at the Best of Baseball, Tiant leads the holdover pitchers only by pitching WAR 60.1.
    I'm having trouble figuring out where the extra (guestimate) 8-10 points comes from. Could be the ballpark... except his ERA+ is only 115. Could be the pitching age... except he pitched through the silver age of pitching, where all kinds of starting pitchers were having great years.
    (my emphasis)
    That crowd does not much influence any version of WAR, whose reference point is "replacement level" play.

    There is some reason to believe that the entire cohort benefited from relatively easy circumstances (as did Joss & Co. in the 19-aughts). First, they joined the major leagues soon after the second biggest permanent expansion, 1960-1962 (compare the biggest, 1899-1901). Tiant & Co. also benefited from the third biggest expansion, 1969. Second, per Craig Wright/Tom House and Bill James, pitchers benefit in longevity from physically easier work when young. The high pitching mounds and big strike zones of the 1960s major leagues provided relatively easy conditions that may have balanced or overbalanced the high numbers of starts and innings. The second point pertains only to big careers, not to big seasons.
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 03-15-2011 at 06:44 AM. Reason: ack paraphrase of JW

  3. #28
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    Just because we're on topic... highest pitching WAR among eligible holdovers:

    (35) 64.7 - Jim McCormick (?!?)
    (41) 60.1 - Luis Tiant
    (42) 59.0 - Tommy John
    (44) 58.8 - Jerry Koosman
    (48) 57.2 - Vic Willis
    (49) 56.5 - Mickey Welch
    (52) 56.1 - Charlie Buffinton (?)
    (54) 55.6 - Larry Jackson (!!)
    (64) 53.8 - Silver King
    (67) 53.5 - Billy Pierce

    That list surprises me. Looks heavy on 19th century players. I did not expect to see half of those names.

  4. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by J W View Post
    That list surprises me. Looks heavy on 19th century players.
    It is.

    It is also heavy on the cohort under discussion, Tiant & Co.

    Of course any list such as this is merely a red flag, not strong evidence for any particular problem ("bias"). It flags at least bias in WAR, bias in Best of Baseball participants, and structural bias in the Best of Baseball.

    Here the likely-important aspects of "structure" are that we started in virtual 1936 and we are now in virtual 1993. Neither the 1880s cohort nor the 1960s cohort has been considered in just the same way as the 1910s cohort.
    FWIW i don't believe structural bias in the BoB is important regarding the composition of that list.
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 03-11-2011 at 08:30 AM.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Wendt View Post
    There may be a plurality for Billy Pierce as the least of the Hall of Merit pitchers. Founder and "commissioner" Joe Dimino, whose research focus is Pennants Added for pitchers, has named Joe McGinnity and Bob Lemon. Officially Pierce ranks last in the 1923-1958 group, Ted Lyons to Whitey Ford.

    Annually Luis Tiant is one of the best supported candidate pitchers, clearly behind only David Cone.
    So, if Pierce is at or near the bottom of elected pitchers, and Tiant is at or near the top of the holdovers, then they would have similar value right?

    That crowd does not much influence WAR, whose reference point is "replacement level" play, nor TPI whose reference point is league average.
    So replacement level is constant regardless of age, using normalized stats I assume?

  6. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by J W View Post
    So, if Pierce is at or near the bottom of elected pitchers, and Tiant is at or near the top of the holdovers, then they would have similar value right?
    Similar esteem among Hall of Merit voters, yes.
    (I haven't checked the career Pennants Added measure which once fingered McGinnity and once Lemon.)

    So replacement level is constant regardless of age, using normalized stats I assume?
    I don't understand.
    :nicht verstehe:

  7. #32
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    If Player A plays in league average X, and Player B plays in league average Y:
    - Player A is compared to replacement level normalized to X
    - Player B is compared to replacement level normalized to Y

    Or is replacement level the same no matter what the era? I guess in a roundabout way I'm asking, how is replacement level determined?

  8. #33
    No, replacement level is not constant.
    Every measure of wins above replacement tries to measure it under particular circumstances.

    "Normalize" may be a misleading term. If expansion depresses replacement level, that does make all players more valuable, except as their skills decline in concert. What should be the base for normalization, the "norm"?

    From Dan Rosenheck at the Hall of Merit, I understand that the author of Baseball-Reference WAR, Sean Smith estimates replacement level W rates for groups defined by decade and fielding position, such as 1960s shortstops. In general such an approach means that the estimate "jumps" between 1959 and 1960 and then remains fixed until it jumps again between 1969 and 1970. (This is bad in principle, I don't know how bad in magnitude.)

    Unfortunately I don't "know" from Dan or anyone else how Smith handles data from before and after any plausibly important change such as expansion.
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 03-11-2011 at 11:47 AM.

  9. #34
    1 Hardy Richardson
    2 Hugh Jennings
    3 Cal McVey
    4 Eppa Rixey
    5 Joe Kelley
    6 Jimmy Sheckard
    7 Roger Bresnahan
    8 Lip Pike
    9 Joe Torre
    10 Jake Beckley
    11 Darrell Evans
    12 Bill Freehan
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 03-15-2011 at 06:59 AM.

  10. #35
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    Just a reminder that this election will be open only a little over another 7 hours.
    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
    Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

  11. #36
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    We had 13 player ballots and 10 contributor ballots. We elected Roger Bresnahan, Hughie Jennings and Luis Tiant. On the contributor side, Gus Greenlee got the nod on the second tiebreaker (4 voters named him higher than Rizzuto, 4 did the opposite, so it went to how many votes each man got, and Greenlee won 6-5).

    The full results, players first:

    Code:
    Players……………..	votes	pts
    Bresnahan , Roger	10	78
    Jennings , Hughie	9	77
    Tiant, Luis	9	73
    Torre, Joe	9	70
    Joss , Addie	6	60
    Roush , Edd 	7	58
    Kelley , Joe	9	54
    Wynn, Jimmy	8	53
    Brown, Willard	8	49
    Rixey , Eppa	5	38
    Grimes , Burleigh	4	37
    Evans, Darrell	5	28
    Keller , Charlie	4	27
    Sheckard , Jimmy	5	27
    Brock, Lou	4	26
    Berger , Wally	3	23
    McVey , Cal	3	23
    Beckley , Jake	3	22
    Cepeda, Perucho	5	16
    Smith, Reggie	2	15
    Aparicio, Luis	3	14
    Richardson , Hardy	2	13
    Freehan, Bill	4	11
    Childs , Cupid	2	9
    Howard, Frank	1	9
    Lundy , Dick	1	9
    Pike , Lip	2	9
    Cepeda, Orlando	1	8
    Gomez, Lefty	1	8
    Bando, Sal	2	7
    Rizzuto , Phil	1	6
    Sewell , Joe	1	6
    Fingers, Rollie	1	5
    Matlock, Leroy	1	5
    Perez, Tony	1	5
    Rice , Sam	1	5
    Shocker, Urban	3	5
    Bancroft , Dave	1	4
    Newcombe, Don	1	4
    Yamamoto, Koji	1	4
    Dandridge, Ray	1	3
    Mullane , Tony	1	3
    Trouppe, Quincy	2	3
    Leach , Tommy	1	2
    Maranville , R	1	2
    Next, the contributors:
    Code:
    contributors…………	votes	pts
    Greenlee, Gus	6	20
    Rizzuto, Phil	5	20
    Caylor , O. P.	5	15
    Harris, Vic	5	13
    Scully, Vin	5	13
    Ferguson, Bob	4	11
    Chandler, Happy	2	8
    Elias, Al Munro	4	8
    Evans, Billy	2	8
    Krichell, Paul	2	6
    Abe, Iso.....	2	5
    Jobe, Frank	1	5
    Caray, Harry	1	4
    Smith, Red	1	4
    Martin, Billy	1	3
    McCarthy, Tommy	1	2
    Murnane, Tim	1	2
    Murtaugh, Danny	1	2
    Grimm, Charlie	1	1
    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
    Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

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