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Thread: Albright's musings

  1. #101
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    Pee Wee Reese ELECTED BBF HOF
    He lost three years to military service early in his career.

    Even without it, he's impressive: he's 15th in career win shares among shortstops in the latest BJHA, 16th for the total of his best three years, and 13th for the total of his best 5 consecutive seasons. His career win share total is good for 146th best all-time among all players.

    He led the league in steals once, was second five times, and was in the top five three more times.

    He also was a ten time all-star despite the time he lost in the service. Really, if you gave him those three lost seasons in his career, he would have had around 2600 career hits (around 70th all-time) and about 1600 runs scored (around 40th all-time). His career win share total would easily be in the top 100, since he's only 26 shy of that without his wartime years. A very marginal starter would exceed that in three years. Combine that with his open and public acceptance of Jackie Robinson when Jackie was breaking the color line and the fact Pee Wee was a shortstop, that's clear HOF material IMO.

    Jim Albright
    Last edited by jalbright; 05-06-2006 at 10:12 AM.

  2. #102
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    Billy Herman ELECTED BBF HOF

    He has 134 Gray Ink points, which is 120th all-time.

    He is 16th among second basemen in the latest BJHA in career win shares, 13th in the total of his best 3 seasons, and 12th in his total for his best 5 consecutive seasons. His career win share total, despite losing two years to military service, is 173rd best among all players. He also was a ten time all-star, all of them coming consecutively. That's consistent excellence, folks. Isn't that what a Hall of Famer should be?

    Of those ahead of him, Biggio and Alomar are not yet eligible for BBF HOF (Alomar will be in November), and we've elected Morgan, Collins, Hornsby, J. Robinson, LaJoie, Sandberg, Carew, Gehringer and Frisch. Those eleven are responsible for the vast majority of the better marks. Kid Gleason gets him twice, but only because he had a fine year as an 18th century pitcher. That leaves Grich. Really, they're tied (Grich is 3 points ahead, actually) except for Grich's 31 point lead in Win Shares versus Herman's 94 point lead in gray ink. I take Herman in that comparison.

    All of the above doesn't give Herman any credit for the two years he lost in the service during WW II. With those two years, he would have been likely to reach 2600 hits (around 70th all-time) with the significant kickers of 1) being a second baseman with 2) a career .300 average. Give him two more years, and his career win share total is almost surely in the top 130 all time, as he's only 23 away from that. Twenty three win shares is the level of a marginal starter for two years.

    Jim Albright
    Last edited by jalbright; 05-06-2006 at 10:12 AM.

  3. #103
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    Jim O'Rourke ELECTED BBF HOF

    According to baseball-reference.com, he has a great number of positives behind his case:

    In the top five in average five times
    Led the league in on base percentage twice
    In the top five in runs scored eight times
    In the top five in runs created eight times
    Had 25 Black Ink points against the average mark of 27 for an average HOF batter
    Had 288 Gray Ink points agains the average mark of 144 for an average HOF batter.

    To that we can add that he has been named as a Hall of Famer by Cooperstown, the Baseball Think Factory folks, and our own Timeline participants. He was good in 1871-75, at +2.2 TPR/162 games for 3.81 whole seasons, but that was just getting warmed up for his career after 1876, when he averaged 27.85 win shares/162 games for 16.85 whole seasons. That's averaging top All-Star quality of play for nearly 17 seasons! If that isn't HOF quality, I don't know what is.

    Even without accounting for the shorter seasons of his day, seven of the ten players most similar to O'Rourke according to baseball-reference.com are in Cooperstown.

    Jim Albright
    Last edited by jalbright; 05-06-2006 at 10:12 AM.

  4. #104
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    Phil Niekro ELECTED BBF HOF JULY 2005

    He's 26th in Bill James' latest historical abstract, which puts him at the top of the pitchers we haven't yet put in the BBF HOF. He had 43 black ink points and 191 gray ink points, both marks above average for a HOF pitcher. He also adds 375 career win shares, 30, 28 and 28 win shares in his best three years, and a best 5 year consecutive run of 118 win shares. That 375 career win shares is good for 11th all time among the top 100 listed in James' latest Historical Abstract. I agree with James that it's hard to do better than Phil Niekro at this point of the voting. I might add that of the 10 most similar pitchers to him as calculated by baseball-reference.com, 7 (G. Perry, Sutton, Carlton, Wynn, Spahn, Seaver and Roberts) are in Cooperstown and five of them are in the BBF HOF. His top four are all in Cooperstown as well.


    Jim Albright

  5. #105
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    George Davis ELECTED BBF HOF

    Here's some highlights of what Bill James has written about George Davis, most specifically from Chapter 16 of Politics of Glory, which in later editions appeared under the title Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame?

    James notes that Davis meets 60% of the Hall of Fame standards, when a score of 50 is average for a Hall of Famer. Then he writes (page 191 of my book):

    I made a list of all players according to runs scored plus RBI . . . The first 27 are all Hall of Famers except for Pete Rose . . . The 28th man is George Davis; then come another bunch of Hall of Famers. That doesn't give him any extra credit for being a shortstop.
    Later he observes "[f]rom 1897 to 1902 Davis was probably the best player in baseball."


    Then on page 192, James writes the following about Davis:

    Total Baseball ranks Davis as the second-best player in . . . baseball in 1893. He disappears from the list until 1897, but then he ranks as the second-best player in 1897, the third-best player in 1898, the best player in 1899, the second-best in 1900, the third-best player in the American League in 1901, and the fifth best player in the American League in 1902. After missing the 1903 season [ed. due to disputes over whether his contract rights were held by the New York Giants or Chicago White Sox] . . . Davis was ranked as the fifth best player in 1904. He was ranked as the best player in the American League in 1905, and just missed the top five in 1906. That . . . is a remarkable record, to stay right at the top of the league for ten years. Not many . . . can match that.
    On top of that, George finished fourth in career Win Shares among all shortstops listed in the 100 in the latest Bill James Historical Abstract with 398.

    Jim Albright
    Last edited by jalbright; 08-09-2005 at 06:28 PM.

  6. #106
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    Tim Raines--Elected BBF HOF

    Raines was an all-star 7 straight seasons and was in the top five in on base percentage seven times. He also is 7th in career Win Shares among the 100 LF listed in Bill James' latest Historical Abstract, and 5th in Win Shares for his top five consecutive seasons in that same group. If that's not enough for you, listen to this from another BBF poster:

    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001
    I'm suprised that this is even a debate at all, and that 14 people think that Raines shouldn't be in. Not to debase the HOF, but the HOF was long ago debased, electing a litany of players from the 20's and 30's who got in on cronyism and raw numbers (mostly BA and RBI's, which were the stats du jour).

    Someone else here wisely pointed out that Raines' .294 career BA was actually better than Hugh Duffy's (.324), Bill Lange's (.330), Lloyd Waner's (.316), Chuck Klein's 1.092 (.320), Goose Goslin's 1.090 (.316). It was also better than that of Mickey Cochrane, Chick Hafey, Pie Traynor, Frankie Frisch, and Earl Averill.

    And remember that Raines accomplished this relative BA against more athletic fielders playing with much bigger gloves, on better manicured fields, and with less overall space for hits to fall (given the comparative stadium dimensions).

    But it wasn't just batting average- Raines' career secondary average (all offensive value not represented by BA) was .356 (against a league secondary average of .250). For a guy whose career spaned 4 decades (and over 10,000 PA), this is pretty darn good.

    Raines' 390 career Win Shares (43rd alltime) ranks him ahead of Joe Dimaggio (true, he missed 3 full seasons to WWII). However, it also places Raines ahead of HOFers Jesse Burkett, Rod Carew, Charlie Gehringer, Cap Anson, Zack Wheat, Luke Appling, Yogi Berra, Al Simmons, Billy Williams, Rafael Palmeiro, and future HOFers Roberto Alomar & Jeff Bagwell. Raines is WAY ahead of HOFers Harmon Killebrew, Stargell, Fisk, Heilmann, Brooks Robinson, Arky Vaughn, Dan Brouthers, Delahanty, Goslin, Snider, Max Carey, Tony Perez, Frank Thomas, Ryne Sandberg, McGwire, Mize, Hamilton, Larkn, Banks, and Wee Willie Keeler.

    It should also be noted that there are many, MANY guys who aren't even on this list, and are already in the HOF.

    Raines led the league in Win Shares three years in a row (84-86). He was one of the best players in baseball during the 1980's, and this is playing in the NL before they expanded in 1993 (and then again in 1998).

    Side note regarding expansion...three of these four extra NL teams added during the 90's (Colorado, Florida, and the Brewers) have been doormats, with a combined winning percentage of .454 replete with a multitude of cellar finishes.

    More career value stats vindicating Raines-
    WARP 3- 121.4
    EqA- .307

    To show what a joke it is to compare him to his supposed contemporary "rival" Andre Dawson

    Win Shares- 340 (90th alltime)
    WARP3- 99.6
    EqA- .284

    Raines was almost everything one could ask from a leadoff hitter- tons of walks, relatively few K's, incredible speed, a great SB percentage, and a very good batting average.

    Plain and simple, Tim Raines is a Hall of Famer.
    Jim Albright

  7. #107
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    Amos Rusie ELECTED BBF HOF

    Rusie led the league in strikeouts five times, is second to Niekro among retired pitchers not in the BBF HOF according to the rankings in Bill James' latest Historical Abstract, and is named in the same book as one of the three best pitchers in the period 1890-1899 by virtue of his inclusion in the all-star team for that period. His career win share total is 184th best all-time per the Win Share book. His peak performance persuades me to move him higher than that.


    Quote Originally Posted by catcher24
    Averaged 29.11 win shares per season. Won 245 games although he only played nine seasons, winning over 30 four consecutive years. Career ERA+ of 130. Black Ink: 52, or 23rd all time; gray ink: 179, or 57th all time. Won the 1894 NL pitching triple crown.

    In his nine seasons, he:
    Led in ERA twice, top five five times
    Led in wins once, top five five times
    Led in fewest hits allowed per 9 IP four times, top five seven times
    Led in strikeouts five times, top five seven times
    Led in innings pitched once, top five six times
    Led in shutouts four times, top five six times.

    Jim Albright
    Last edited by jalbright; 10-28-2005 at 10:33 AM.

  8. #108
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    Gary Carter--ELECTED BBF HOF

    He's listed as the catcher of the 1980-1989 all-star team in Bill James latest Historical Abstract. He was an all-star 11 times, 10 of them consecutively. This last point fits well with something James wrote about him in his second Abstract:

    With the exception of Yogi Berra, no catcher in [ed major league] baseball history can match Gary Carter in terms of year-in and year-out offensive and defensive performance . . . . Only Carter and Berra were among the best players in the league year-in and year-out for a period longer than three years.
    That post brought the following response from 2Chance, which I answered:

    Quote Originally Posted by 2Chance
    Gary Carter didn't impress me as much as he did many sportswriters. The fact that he made every All-Star team in the 80s is more an indictment of the dearth of talent at that position than an endorsement of his skills.

    I need a lot more convincing before he ever makes my ballot.
    Well, 2Chance, I'll try to convince you with this:

    Bill James in his latest Historical Abstract uses win shares in several different ways to rate players. Three of them are career win shares, win shares in his three best seasons, and win shares in his best 5 consecutive seasons. Let's look at how Carter does in each. I will tell you that I'm a Carter backer at this point, and even I'm surprised at how well he does.

    In career win shares, he's fourth among the catchers listed among James' top 100 with 337. This total is also 105th best overall all time.

    In win shares for his best five consecutive seasons, he had 141, which is good for fifth among those same 100 catchers.

    In his three best seasons, he totalled 94 win shares, which is good for a fifth place tie with Campanella and Fisk among that same 100 catchers.

    In MVP Award shares, he's 91st overall, and he was a catcher who finished in the top ten in HR in seven seasons.

    In light of this, I don't think your argument about the weakness of the catching field of Carter's time holds water.

    Jim Albright
    Last edited by jalbright; 02-23-2006 at 06:34 PM.

  9. #109
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    Best players not in Cooperstown, by position
    Note: Ineligible players, notably Pete Rose and Joe Jackson are not considered here.

    C---Katsuya Nomura , Ted Simmons
    1B--Sadaharu Oh , Dick Allen
    2B--Joe Gordon
    3B-- Ron Santo
    SS--Bill Dahlen, Vern Stephens
    OF--Paul Hines, Minnie Minoso
    Isao Harimoto, Harry Stovey, Andre Dawson,
    Sherry Magee
    SP--Bert Blyleven
    Masaichi Kaneda, Carl Mays
    Victor Starffin, Bucky Walters
    Kazuhisa Inao, Wilbur Cooper
    RP--Dan Quisenberry

    The first name is my first choice, but if he's in green print, he's from the 19th century, if in red, Japan. The name next to any 19th century guy is a 20th century player from the majors, and the name next to a Japanese player is a major leaguer. If the second choice to a Japanese player is from the 19th century, then I give a third choice from the 20th century major leagues.
    Last edited by jalbright; 01-25-2008 at 04:39 PM.

  10. #110
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    In case anyone is interested in Mexican stars, William McNeil covered them in his book Baseball's Other Stars. The only two he named to his all non major league team were Hector Espino and Andres Mora. I won't vouch for his numbers, as I have some qualms about his methods for comparison. However, using those numbers to project them as major leaguers means Espino is a first baseman averaging about .280 with about 380 career homers, and Mora an outfielder averaging about .260 with about 360 homers. Those numbers, with a ton of walks or some other qualifications might be enough to put a guy in HOF company, but they sure don't jump out at you as clearly indicating a HOFer. Both men played in the states (Mora had a brief, uneventful major league career, Espino returned home while a relatively successful minor leaguer) without demonstrating they belonged in Cooperstown, and McNeil's thumbnail sketches fail to change my belief the evidence on their behalf is insufficient.

    Jim Albright
    Last edited by jalbright; 08-10-2005 at 09:09 PM.

  11. #111
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    Bill Mazeroski

    His defense was excellent, but his batting was not. A few numbers:

    2 Black Ink points (571st among position players)
    12 Gray Ink Points (1227th among position players)
    16 HOF Standards (1001st among position players)
    715th in MVP award shares
    84 OPS+

    His Win Shares numbers are hardly inspiring: 219 career, 92 for his best five consecutive, and top three seasons of 23, 21 and 20. Those last three marks are low for an All-Star, much less for the best three years of a HOFer. Ninety-two WS for his best five consecutive means that on average, in his best five years, he wasn't legitimate all-star quality (which usually begins at 20 WS). His win shares per 162 games is a pedestrian (by HOF standards) 16.40. All those things led to Bill James putting him 29th among second basemen. I figure a guy should be in the top 20 at his position to have a good claim, though it might in some cases stretch out to 25th. Maz is well below those lines. This isn't one of the cases where James cooked the books against Maz the player, either. In fact, if James cooked the books on Maz, it was in his favor. Maz is 33rd in career win shares among the 100 second basemen in James' latest historical abstract--and that's his best finish in the four win share categories James uses. In his top three seasons, his total of 64 is 58th, in his best five consecutive, his total is 59th, and in win shares per 162 games, he's 75th. His career win share mark is 448th best all-time per the Win Share book.

    Additionally, none of the ten most similar players as determined by baseball-reference.com are in the Hall.

    Those numbers aren't good for anyone's case to be considered worthy of any Hall of Fame. Personally, I think the weak bat drains too much out of his value to even put him in the gray area of HOFers.

    Jim Albright
    Last edited by jalbright; 02-23-2006 at 06:39 PM.

  12. #112
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    Joe Carter and Jim Rice

    Looking at Win Shares, Carter finishes significantly below Jim Rice in all the following categories: career WS (JC 240- JR 282), Top 3 seasons (JC ttl 78, JR ttl 92), Best 5 consecutive (JC 109-JR 127) and WS/162 (JC 17.76-JR 21.86). Rice finished 30th, 26th, 33rd and 49th respectively in those four categories among the 100 LF listed in Bill James latest Historical Abstract. I don't think Rice's performance is HOF worthy, which means to me we shouldn't even be talking about Joe Carter. Rice's 282 career win shares is 213th best all-time per the Win Shares book, and since we have less HOFers than that who played in the majors (the Negro Leaguers are in as well), that leaves him outside. He needs something to move him up, and his peak win share marks don't do it.

    Rice did faily well in the inks, HOF standards, all-star appearances and MVP voting, but I don't think they're enough to put him over the top in spite of his weaknesses in win shares, especially since those numbers benefit to a significant degree from his playing in a quite favorable home park. As further proof, please look at his career road splits: 1148 hits, 174 HR, and an avg/obp/slg of 277/330/459. Is a nothing great defensive left fielder with a .277 average, 2296 hits and 348 HR (and a mediocre at best OBP) your idea of a HOFer? It sure isn't mine.


    However, should you insist on considering Joe Carter, let's see where in that list of 100 LFs Carter finishes in those four categories, shall we? Career win shares: 43rd; top 3 seasons in win shares: tied for 52nd, omitting Elmer E. Smith's inflated 19th century pitching year; best 5 consecutive years in win shares: tied for 50th; and win shares per 162 games: 87th. His best finish is 43rd, two others are in the low fifties and the last one well into the eighties. That's just among the left fielders, and we've only got 220 or so players currently in the Hall. Carter's career win share total is 349th all-time, and nothing he did overcomes that

    Some more nails in the coffin that should contain Carter's HOF case:
    only two of the ten most similar to him according to baseball-reference.com are in the HOF, and during Carter's prime (1986-94) Carter had an OPS of .797. (Bonds, McGriff and Griffey were over .900.) Among players with more than 3300 plate appearances in those years, Carter ranks 50th. That's awfully low for a HOF-caliber leftfielder/DH at his peak compared to his peers. Let's also look at some other measures:

    Black ink: 9 points, 234th best all time
    Gray ink: 103 points, 203rd best all time
    HOF standards 31.2, 254th best all time

    None of the above three categories deal with defense, which is not something Carter was renowned for. He's right at the edge of the total number of players in the HOF, including pitchers and Negro Leaguers. The limit for MLB positon players should currently be no higher than 150, and for MLB pitchers about 70. He'd have to significantly improve his standing based on his defense, which would be quite difficult for any left fielder/DH.

    Another consideration for Carter is that only two of the ten most similar players to him as determined by baseball-reference.com are in the Hall, Cepeda and Stargell. They're sixth and ninth respectively, and are both distinctly superior players IMO.

    Jim Albright
    Last edited by jalbright; 04-17-2006 at 11:13 AM.

  13. #113
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    Steve Garvey

    Some folks like him for the HOF, but even with his off the field issues aside, I can't see it. If a guy is in the top 20 at his position (except pitcher), that essentially translates to the top 240 of all time (8 position players and 4 pitchers per team equals 12, then 20 * 12 = 240) Thus, even the 20th guy at a position is at best in the gray area for the HOF, since they haven't honored that many yet. What does this have to do with Steve Garvey? Well, look at where he ranks in various Win Shares categories: 26th in career WS among first basemen listed in the latest Historical Baseball Abstract, 44th for the total of his best 3 seasons, 30th for his best 5 consecutive, and 63rd for his WS/162. The best he can do is 26th, which is well below where the gray area should be--and he does significantly worse than that overall.

    Another way to look at it is how many of the most similar players to him have made the hall. Baseball-reference.com has such a list, and Garvey's has precisely one-Orlando Cepeda, and he's only the 7th most similar. I'd definitely prefer the Baby Bull.

    Jim Albright
    Last edited by jalbright; 09-03-2005 at 09:27 AM.

  14. #114
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    I'll first list the Japanese position players I'm certain I'd vote into Cooperstown in my order of preference, and then do the same for the starting pitchers. We can add Yutaka Enatsu to the pitching queue, as a reliever, though his career is the Japanese version of Eckersley.

    Position players:
    1B-----Sadaharu Oh
    C------Katsuya Nomura
    3B-----Shigeo Nagashima
    LF-----Isao Harimoto
    1B-3B--Hiromitsu Ochiai

    Starting pitchers:
    Masaichi Kaneda
    Victor Starffin
    Kazuhisa Inao
    Akira Bessho
    Masaaki Koyama

    All but two pitchers (Koyama and Enatsu) are guys I rated among the top dozen Japanese players ever--and they're ranked among the top ten Japanese pitchers ever. Enatsu ranks lower primarily because he spent the second half of his career as a closer, and the system I use isn't particularly kind to them.
    Last edited by jalbright; 01-18-2008 at 05:26 PM.

  15. #115
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    Here's a superb article from the Baseball analyst website:

    Only The Lonely
    By Rich Lederer
    The Hall of Fame Trials and Tribulations of Bert Blyleven

    .... I would like to review the candidacy of a Hall of Fame-worthy player who is on the ballot for the seventh time. With that in mind, ladies and gentlemen of the selection jury, I hereby introduce Exhibit One in The Case For Bert Blyleven.

    CAREER STRIKEOUTS
    Code:
    1	Nolan Ryan………...	5714
    2	Steve Carlton……..	4136
    3	Roger Clemens…..	4099
    4	Randy Johnson…..	3871
    5	Bert Blyleven…….	3701
    6	Tom Seaver………...	3640
    7	Don Sutton………...	3574
    8	Gaylord Perry…….	3534
    9	Walter Johnson….	3509
    10	Phil Niekro………....	3342
    11	Ferguson Jenkins	3192
    12	Bob Gibson………...	3117
    Every pitcher with 3,000 or more strikeouts who is eligible is in the Hall of Fame except for one pitcher. His name? Well, for those of you who may be color blind, the lone exception is none other than Rik Aalbert Blyleven. As shown, the Holland-born righthander ranks fifth all time in strikeouts. Other than Mr. Blyleven, there are only two pitchers--Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson--on the above list who are not in the Hall, and both will surely be inducted on the first ballot. Bert Blyleven, Only The Lonely.

    Maybe strikeouts are not all that important as a standalone measure, you say? Well, you may be right. The object of the game is to shut down the opposing team no matter how you get them out, correct? With that understanding, ladies and gentlemen, I hereby present Exhibit Two for your consideration.

    CAREER SHUTOUTS
    Code:
    1	Walter Johnson…..	110
    2	Grover Alexander..	90
    3	Christy Mathewson	79
    4	Cy Young…………....	76
    5	Eddie Plank………....	69
    6	Warren Spahn……..	63
    T7	Tom Seaver………...	61
    T7	Nolan Ryan………....	61
    9	Bert Blyleven……..	60
    10	Don Sutton………...	58
    11	Ed Walsh…………....	57
    T12	Three Finger Brown	56
    T12	Pud Galvin……….....	56
    T12	Bob Gibson………....	56
    15	Steve Carlton…….	55
    T16	Jim Palmer……….....	53
    T16	Gaylord Perry…….	53
    18	Juan Marichal…….	52
    T19	Rube Waddell……...	50
    T19	Vic Willis………….....	50
    Bert Blyleven ranks ninth in career shutouts. Other than Mr. Blyleven, every pitcher with 50 or more shutouts has been enshrined in Cooperstown. Nineteen pitchers on the inside, one pitcher on the outside. Bert Blyleven, Only the Lonely.

    Still not convinced, ehh? Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce into evidence Exhibit Three. Runs Saved Above Average (RSAA) represent the number of runs that a pitcher saved his team versus what an average pitcher would have allowed, adjusted for ballpark effects.

    ALL-TIME RUNS SAVED ABOVE AVERAGE
    Code:
    1	Cy Young…………....	813
    2	Kid Nichols………....	678
    3	Lefty Grove………...	668
    4	Walter Johnson…..	643
    5	Roger Clemens…..	613
    6	Greg Maddux……....	540
    7	Grover Alexander..	524
    8	John Clarkson…….	508
    9	Randy Johnson…...	461
    10	Pedro Martinez…..	453
    11	Christy Mathewson	405
    12	Tom Seaver………...	404
    13	Tim Keefe…………...	377
    14	Amos Rusie………....	370
    15	Carl Hubbell………...	355
    16	Bob Gibson………....	350
    17	Bert Blyleven……..	344
    18	Phil Niekro……….....	322
    19	Whitey Ford………..	321
    20	Warren Spahn……..	319
    Every pitcher in the top 20 who is eligible for the Hall is in with one exception. And who might that pitcher be? Once again, it's none other than the Only The Lonely man himself, Bert Blyleven.

    What about ERA? Well, thank you for asking. Ladies and gentlemen, I take this opportunity to introduce Exhibit Four.

    ERA VS. LEAGUE AVERAGE (MINIMUM 4,000 IP)
    Code:
    Place	Name…………….......	Diff	Player	League
    1	Roger Clemens…..	1.20	3.19	4.39
    2	Walter Johnson…..	1.07	2.17	3.24
    3	Kid Nichols………....	0.94	2.95	3.89
    4	Cy Young…………....	0.92	2.63	3.54
    5	Grover Alexander..	0.83	2.56	3.39
    6	Warren Spahn……..	0.81	3.08	3.89
    7	Tom Seaver………...	0.79	2.86	3.66
    8	Christy Mathewson	0.78	2.13	2.91
    9	John Clarkson……...	0.73	2.81	3.54
    10	Tim Keefe…………...	0.71	2.62	3.34
    11	Ted Lyons……….....	0.68	3.67	4.34
    12	Red Faber……….....	0.64	3.15	3.79
    13	Old Hoss Radbourn	0.59	2.67	3.26
    14	Red Ruffing………....	0.56	3.80	4.36
    15	Gaylord Perry…….	0.53	3.11	3.63
    16	Eddie Plank………....	0.53	2.35	2.88
    17	Nolan Ryan………....	0.53	3.19	3.72
    18	Robin Roberts…….	0.51	3.40	3.91
    19	Bert Blyleven……..	0.50	3.31	3.81
    20	Eppa Rixey………....	0.50	3.15	3.64
    Nineteen of the top 20 pitchers have had their day in upstate New York or, in the case of Clemens, have already made reservations. The omission this time? You got it. Bert Blyleven, Only The Lonely.

    For those of you who still need more information, I would like to present Exhibit Five. Neutral Wins is a statistic that projects the number of victories the pitcher would have if he was given average run support, considering his total number of decisions.

    NEUTRAL WINS
    Code:
    1	Cy Young…………....	533
    2	Walter Johnson…...	470
    3	Grover Alexander...	374
    4	Kid Nichols………....	373
    5	Christy Mathewson	361
    6	Pud Galvin……….....	359
    7	Warren Spahn……..	353
    8	Tim Keefe…………...	346
    9	Phil Niekro……….....	337
    T10	Gaylord Perry……...	336
    T10	Nolan Ryan………....	336
    12	Steve Carlton……..	327
    13	John Clarkson……...	323
    14	Bert Blyleven……...	313
    15	Tom Seaver………...	312
    16	Eddie Plank………...	311
    17	Don Sutton………...	310
    18	Roger Clemens…....	306
    19	Old Hoss Radbourn	300
    20	Lefty Grove………...	298
    Please excuse Mr. Blyleven for feeling a little paranoid at this time but, as you can see, he is the only pitcher in the top 20 in Neutral Wins who is eligible for baseball's highest honor but has not yet been voted in. Only The Lonely.

    Think the above stat is a little too theoretical? Well, members of the selection committee, let's take a look at Exhibit Six. Actual wins. Nice and simple, just the way you guys and gals like it.

    CAREER WINS
    Code:
    1	Cy Young………......	511
    2	Walter Johnson…...	417
    3T	Christy Mathewson	373
    3T	Grover Alexander...	373
    5	Warren Spahn……..	363
    6	Kid Nichols………....	361
    7	Pud Galvin……….....	360
    8	Tim Keefe…………...	341
    9	Steve Carlton……..	329
    10	John Clarkson……...	328
    11	Eddie Plank………....	326
    T12	Nolan Ryan………....	324
    T12	Don Sutton………...	324
    14	Phil Niekro……….....	318
    15	Gaylord Perry……...	314
    16	Tom Seaver………...	311
    17	Roger Clemens…....	310
    T18	Mickey Welch……...	309
    T18	Old Hoss Radbourn	309
    T20	Early Wynn………....	300
    T20	Lefty Grove………...	300
    22	Greg Maddux……....	289
    23	Tommy John……....	288
    24	Bert Blyleven……...	287
    25	Robin Roberts……...	286
    T26	Ferguson Jenkins...	284
    Although the number of wins is not the end all for evaluating pitchers, I am proud to say that our man once again finds himself in the company of nothing but Hall of Famers with just one other exception. Furthermore, there are dozens of pitchers who have won fewer games, yet you have found reason to induct each and every one of them.

    Who would some of those fortunate souls be? None other than famous oldtimers such as Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown (239), Bob Feller (266), Carl Hubbell (253), and Joe McGinnity (246); greats from the '50s and '60s like Jim Bunning (224), Don Drysdale (209), Whitey Ford (236), Bob Gibson (251), Sandy Koufax (165), Juan Marichal (243), and Robin Roberts (286); and more decorated contemporaries over the first half of Mr. Blyleven's tenure such as Catfish Hunter (224), Ferguson Jenkins (284), and Jim Palmer (268).

    Speaking of Mr. Blyleven's peers, I thought it might be instructive to compare how he ranks in RSAA over the course of his career. I would like to offer Exhibit Seven for your review.

    RUNS SAVED ABOVE AVERAGE, 1970-1992
    Code:
    1	Bert Blyleven……...	344
    2	Roger Clemens…....	329
    3	Tom Seaver………...	321
    4	Jim Palmer……….....	289
    5T	Dave Stieb………....	241
    5T	Phil Niekro……….....	241
    7	Steve Carlton……..	239
    8	Gaylord Perry……...	228
    9	Nolan Ryan………....	215
    10	Dennis Eckersley...	204
    Not only is Mr. Blyleven number one but he is the only pitcher on this list who has come before you and not been so honored. I recognize that the time period chosen favors our man because it conveniently covers his entire career. Nonetheless, if you run the same screen ten times using the various career lengths for each of the above moundsmen, the pitcher ranked first in every sort is in the HOF or will be in the HOF (in the case of Clemens, who is #1 over his playing days as well as Dave Stieb's career).
    Want a "cleaner" period like the decade of the 1970s instead? Ladies and gentlemen, I provide you with Exhibit Eight.

    RUNS SAVED ABOVE AVERAGE, 1970-1979
    Code:
    1	Tom Seaver………...	281
    2	Jim Palmer……….....	280
    3	Bert Blyleven……...	261
    4	Phil Niekro……….....	248
    5	Gaylord Perry……...	237
    6	Ferguson Jenkins	195
    7	Steve Carlton……..	176
    The top seven are all in the HOF except for the fellow with the initials "BB", who ranks third. The two hurlers ahead of him--Tom Seaver and Palmer--are multiple Cy Young Award winners and first-ballot HOF inductees. Bert Blyleven. Only The Lonely (Know How I Feel).

    Bert Blyleven also ranks in the top ten for the decade of the 1980s, and he is second for the ten-year period (1975-1984) overlapping these two decades--behind only Steve Carlton, who is also a multiple Cy Young Award winner and first-ballot HOF inductee.

    In addition to the above qualifications, Mr. Blyleven meets or exceeds three of the four Hall of Fame measures established by Bill James, one of baseball's foremost analysts. Only 21 pitchers in the history of the game have met all four standards, including just nine who began their careers after World War II. I present Exhibit Nine for your consideration.

    Black Ink: Pitching - 16 (128) (Average HOFer ~ 40)
    Gray Ink: Pitching - 239 (22) (Average HOFer ~ 185)
    HOF Standards: Pitching - 50.0 (36) (Average HOFer ~ 50)
    HOF Monitor: Pitching - 120.5 (65) (Likely HOFer > 100)
    Overall Rank in parentheses.

    Furthermore, as displayed in Exhibit Ten, eight of the most similar pitchers according to Baseball-Reference.com (one of the most widely used and highly respected baseball statistical sources) are in the Hall of Fame.

    SIMILAR PITCHERS

    Don Sutton (914) *
    Gaylord Perry (909) *
    Ferguson Jenkins (890) *
    Tommy John (889)
    Robin Roberts (876) *
    Tom Seaver (864) *
    Jim Kaat (854)
    Early Wynn (844) *
    Phil Niekro (844) *
    Steve Carlton (840) *

    *Denotes Hall of Famer.

    The two pitchers not in the HOF are most similar to Mr. Blyleven in terms of their number of wins, but neither ranks among the top 20 in any of the other Exhibits that I have presented before you. Seven of the remaining eight show up not only on the career wins table alongside my client but at least once more. As such, I would contend that the following seven pitchers (Hall of Famers all) are the most statistically comparable to Mr. Blyleven:

    Steve Carlton
    Ferguson Jenkins
    Phil Niekro
    Gaylord Perry
    Robin Roberts
    Tom Seaver
    Don Sutton

    Herewith is Exhibit Eleven in The Case For Bert Blyleven.

    Code:
    Name…………	IP	H	ER	BB	SO	HR	ERA	W	L	pct
    Blyleven………	4970	4632	1830	1322	3701	430	3.31	287	250	0.534
    Group average	5032	4577	1800	1379	3396	448	3.22	316	239	0.569
    As detailed, Bert Blyleven's stats are roughly in line with the average of these seven pitchers across the board with the possible exception of wins, losses, and winning percentage. However, as shown in Exhibit Twelve below, his rate stats for the three areas controlled by the pitcher are actually better than this exclusive group.

    Code:
    Name…………	BB/9	SO/9	HR/9
    Blyleven………	2.36	6.70	0.78
    Group average	2.47	6.07	0.80
    How was it possible that Mr. Blyleven could have better rate stats yet have 22 fewer wins and five more losses than the group average? Well, ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you that the difference in my client's won-loss record was nothing more than being a victim of poor support. For example, do you realize that his team scored just 18 runs in his 15 losses in 1971? In fact, I would argue that Mr. Blyleven is one of the "unluckiest" pitchers in the history of baseball.

    To compare "apples to apples", I hereby offer Exhibit Thirteen, which reveals the won-loss records of Mr. Blyleven and the group average by equalizing the run support for my client and the same seven starters, all of whom are among the elite group of pitchers in the Hall of Fame.

    Code:
    Name…………	NW	NL	pct
    Blyleven………	313	224	0.583
    Group average	316	239	0.569
    Neutral Wins and Losses prove my point that the only differences in Bert Blyleven's actual won-loss totals and winning percentage are a function of run support (or lack thereof). Recall that Mr. Blyleven broke in with the Minnesota Twins after the franchise's hey day in the second half of the 1960s, then played for the Texas Rangers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians, the Twins again, and the California Angels.

    Sources: Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia and Baseball-Reference.com
    Last edited by jalbright; 01-19-2008 at 07:50 AM.

  16. #116
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    My personal ten worst HOF pitchers, ignoring Candy Cummings and possibly Hilton Smith are:

    1. Jesse Haines
    2. Rube Marquard
    3. Catfish Hunter
    4. Addie Joss
    5T Herb Pennock
    5T Chief Bender
    7 Rollie Fingers
    8. Lefty Gomez
    9. Dizzy Dean
    10. Waite Hoyt

    I'm big on career value, which certainly hurts Dean and Joss. Really, the only two I'd clearly choose to eliminate from the hall are the first two. Catfish through Gomez are marginal, but decent arguments can be made for them.

    Jim Albright

  17. #117
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    One way to look at who probably doesn't belong in the HOF is to see who hasn't met certain standards. I've talked about the idea that a player should be in the top 15-20 at his position in Win Shares type measurements. Another way to look at it is an everyday player has to be among the top 140 or so major leaguers. This helps bring measures like HOF standards or sums of black ink and gray ink into play. The breakpoint for HOF standards is around the 30 point mark.

    Career win shares reach 200th place around 280, so that's another measure--and this one can be applied to all players

    I prefer to add black ink and gray ink because while black ink is useful, the totals are often so low as to have little meaning. However, I think being a league leader is an especially important HOF qualification and deserves recognition. Also, if a guy is a little below the gray ink mark but makes it up in black ink, I think it's better to see him as on the plus than the minus side.

    Overall, black ink plus gray ink reaches the breakpoint at about 140 points for everyday players. We'll wind up using this level for OF/1B/DH types. This is a harsh standard for the middle infielders and catchers, and slightly tough on third basemen. For them, I will propose a standard between the third and fourth worst HOFers at their position. The results are: catchers and shortstops, 50; second basemen 95, and third basemen, 135. Certainly, good glovemen at any spot can move up a bit and poor ones drop, but the further they are from these standards, the more difference their defense has to make to change their status.

    Jim Albright
    Last edited by jalbright; 09-19-2005 at 07:02 AM.

  18. #118
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    Gil Hodges

    I doubt the supporters of Hodges like the verdict of the win share system, but the verdict they give clearly supports declining to induct Hodges.

    We all know the HOF has made its mistakes, but the number of inductees can provide a nice guideline. That means a guy has to be among the top 140 or so position players from the MLB or at least in the top 20 at his position. Hodges is 33rd in career win shares among the first basemen listed in the latest historical abstract. His career win share total is 266th among all players per the Win Share book. His total win shares for his best three years of 80 ranks 37th among that same list of first basemen. His five year peak of 129 ranks 26th among those first basemen. He doesn't come close to cracking the top 20 first basemen, which IMO is a must.

    Don't like win shares? He comes in 336th in MVP award shares. In Black Ink (league leaderships) he's 571st. He is right on the borderline with gray ink at 138th place all time--and that's his only arguable positive in the things I give significant weight to yet. In HOF standards, he's 247th. Additionally, none of the ten most similar players to him as determined by baseball-reference.com are in the Hall. Overall, he's short of the mark, and managing the miracle Mets and his untimely death don't make up for it IMO.

    With respect to the argument Hodges misses out because of his military service in WW II: Generally, I have limited patience for what-ifs, except for guys who were prevented by business decisions of baseball (Japanese players, Lefty Grove), the color line, or military service from playing in the majors. Those things all come from forces outside the player's control and have nothing to do with the player's ability or desire to play in the majors. Hodges may be able to make the argument about military service, but because he didn't produce like a major leaguer until 1949, this argument must be especially carefully developed and documented to be persuasive. We've got to know what the circumstances were for Gil's call-up in 1943, what he was doing in 1946, and what finally helped him become productive in 1949. I don't have any information saying he was injured during his military service, so I'm not willing to give him a break if all that happened was physical or emotional maturation. I don't see the military being a hindrance in that case. On the other hand, if, for example, he needed to learn to hit a curve and had two to four years away from the game while he was serving in the military, there's much more reason to give him a break--and the difference in longevity between Hodges and Perez is about two season's worth.
    Last edited by jalbright; 12-24-2007 at 12:50 PM.

  19. #119
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    Spottswood Poles

    The Baseball Think Factory guys came up with 310 career win shares, 89 for his best three seasons and 141 for his best 5 consecutive. I think that puts him a hair behind Jimmy Wynn and Edd Roush.

    Jim Albright

  20. #120
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    Bingo DeMoss:

    The Baseball Think Factory guys call him a "poor man's Bill Mazeroski". I think that's accurate, and since I don't think Maz is a legitimate HOFer for reasons which appear in this thread . . . .

    Oliver Marcelle

    Maybe 220 Win Shares for his career per the Baseball Think Factory guys. About as valuable as Judy Johnson, and since I've dissed Johnson below . . . .

    Ben Taylor

    I don't see him as HOF quality. The Baseball Think Factory guys' Win Shares estimates for him are 326 career, 80 for his best three seasons, and 115 for his best five consecutive. I'd put those marks below Keith Hernandez and Norm Cash.

    Jim Albright

  21. #121
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    Judy Johnson

    The evidence at hand is over his career, Judy Johnson didn't walk much, had little or no power, and hit for at best a mediocre average. The evidence supports his fine defensive reputation, but that's not a great player in my book.

    Probably more valuable than Marcelle because his career was longer.

    Jim Albright

  22. #122
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    I looked into the percentage of team games by the average of the 3 most games by a player whose primary position is catcher over history. There are a couple of distinct periods, with significantly varying percentages of play.

    Code:
    Begin-End	% of avg team games	
    1876-1883	88.0	
    1884-1889	65.0	
    1890-1913	75.0	
    1914-1972	87.5	
    1973-date	90.0
    I'd guess that the low number of games, pitching rules, and perhaps movement from catching to other positions is why the first period is so much higher than the second. The numbers go up and down over those years, but the figures I've chosen are fairly representative.

    If you want to adjust for the fact a guy is primarily a catcher, first of all, I'd insist he be primarily a catcher in the season in question to avoid giving the Joe Torres an unfair advantage. The method I used breaks down to:
    Win Shares times Team games adjustment divided by catcher adjustment

    Win Shares is self-explanatory. The Team games adjustment is one for seasons from 1904 on. Up to 1903, the figure is the greater of 1 or 154 divided by Team games (watching out for teams that folded or were in-season additions). The catcher adjustment is one if the player did not play more games at catcher than any other positon (outfield counts as one spot). If he played more games at catcher than any other position, use the greater figure of the table two posts above or his games played divided by team games.

    If you want to do this for 1871-1875 catchers, use the 1876-1883 adjustment figure and also make sure the team played a fairly standard number of games, because the schedules for that time are quite unbalanced.

    Jim Albright
    Last edited by jalbright; 01-18-2008 at 12:52 PM.

  23. #123
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    Joe Torre and Roger Bresnahan are really tough cases because they played significant time at other spots, most importantly first for Torre and outfield for Bresnahan. I figured if I was going to allow them more playing time because they were catchers and my method allowed more playing time for seasons when they were primarily catchers but played significant time at other spots, they should also bear a proportional share of the higher HOF standards for outfielders/1B/DH players. Doing so was enough to keep them out of my queue as players.

    I might add that of the ten most similar players to each of these guys, only two of Torre's and one of Bresnahan's are in the Hall of Fame--and Bresnahan's one is Bucky Harris, who's in as a manager. Probably the most serious demerit for Bresnahan in my mind, though, is the brevity of his career (4481 AB). He almost can overcome it for me, but not quite.
    Last edited by jalbright; 01-27-2008 at 08:46 AM.

  24. #124
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    Deacon White ELECTED BBF HOF

    He averaged 23.70 Win Shares in the majors (post National Association) per 162 games for 13.18 whole seasons. That's sold all-star territory on average throughout his career. He added to that 3.97 whole seasons in the National Association at a fine 3.1 games above average in TPR. That type of performance has landed him in Baseball Think Factory's "Hall of Merit" and our own Timeline's Hall.

    He twice led the league in average, three times in RBI, led the league in runs created once and was third twice more in that category. In Black Ink, he amassed 28 points, good for 62nd best of all time, and in Gray Ink, he scores 178 points, good for 55th best all time. All data in this paragraph is from Baseball-reference.com.
    Last edited by jalbright; 05-06-2006 at 10:14 AM.

  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by catcher24

    Tony Mullane, Pitcher

    9th in wins all time
    9th in innings pitched all time
    9th in strikeouts all time
    7th in games started all time
    8th in complete games all time
    7th in Win Shares all time for pitching
    45th in Total Win Shares all time (this includes his pitching, batting and fielding WS)
    Black Ink 55th all time
    Grey Ink 42nd all time
    HOF Standards 40th all time

    Also a decent hitter, with a career OPS+ of 87.
    Seven of the ten most similar pitchers to him (as determined by baseball-reference.com) are in the HOF.

    OK, so Mullane's league, the American Association was weaker. However, let's compare him to his contemporaries:

    Code:
    Pitcher....	career	best3	5Consecutive
    Radbourn..	391	199	270
    Clarkson..	396	173	248
    Keefe......	413	159	236
    Galvin.....	403	155	187
    Welch.....	354	145	193
    Mullane....	399	159	229
    Caruthers	335	162	254
    McCormick	334	136	196
    Whitney...	275	139	200
    Hecker....	259	155	221
    His career value matches up well with everybody from his time, and he stands up well to Galvin and Keefe, though Galvin would look better without having to include one bad year in his 5 consecutive. We've included Caruthers in the BBF HOF, and their top 3 are a good match, but Mullane has the much better career mark and Caruthers the much better consecutive five year mark. With my preference for the career, you should know that means I prefer Mullane, but others wouldn't share that sentiment. However, Mullane is clearly superior to one HOFer on the list (Welch, who is receiving more support in BBF HOF voting as I write) and the other non-HOFers (McCormick, Whitney, Hecker). He belongs.
    Last edited by jalbright; 01-13-2008 at 07:58 AM.

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