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Who should be in the HOF? Will or Steve?

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  • Who should be in the HOF? Will or Steve?

    A few days ago, MLB.com published an article about Steve Garvey, who will be up for the 14th time in 2006, and another about Will Clark, who will have his first shot. Who do you think deserves it the most?

    I can't wait to read all those sabermetrics stats
    90
    Will Clark
    23.33%
    21
    Steve Garvey
    14.44%
    13
    They both deserve it.
    10.00%
    9
    Neither deserves it.
    52.22%
    47
    « But what's puzzlin' you is the nature of my game... »

  • #2
    Garvey- It takes alot to father 1000 children

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    • #3
      It's a close one, but Clark's sizeable lead in OPS+ is what tips the scales for me. Though I don't believe that either belong in Cooperstown.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DoubleX
        It's a close one, but Clark's sizeable lead in OPS+ is what tips the scales for me. Though I don't believe that either belong in Cooperstown.

        If Tony Perez is in Garvey should also

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        • #5
          At their best, I think Clark was better. That's an odd argument though, because Garvey has an MVP. Anyway, I hate saying it, but Garvey did it longer, and he does have more hardware, so you gotta say he's closer. That said, I wouldn't trade Clark for Garvey in a second.
          "Hall of Famer Whitey Ford now on the field... pleading with the crowd for, for some kind of sanity!"

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          • #6
            Garvey was the man during the 70's he was alot like Garett Anderson very underrated but put up about the same numbers for a long peroid of time
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            • #7
              There's this guy on the MLB.com boards named Caspian, who is a venomously orthodox citer of obscure statistics. He's, in my opinion, the type of guy who relies so heavily on cutting and pasting numbers and taking them as gospel, no matter how little sense they make to the eyes, that his entire approach actually backfires and he ends up turning a lot of people off to the numerical approach. Every once in a while, he'll come up with some comment that's so out there that, while people like us can probably understand it within a strictly formulaic context, it sounds so outlandish and out-of-touch with reality that everyone ends up just ripping into him for the rest of the thread. For example, he said before the season ended that Jones would only become a serious contender for MVP if he was hitting .330 with 50 HR, rather than winning it overwhelmingly, because Stats X, Y, and Z prove his defense has slipped. It's really frustrating and makes stats guys look like idiots, to be honest.

              Anyway, his newest claim is that Will Clark was actually better than the presiding dean of Great Bay Area First Basemen, Willie McCovey. What do you guys think about this? My personal opinion is that he's off his freakin' rocker, but I've been sung the praises of Mac so long that I'll admit I very well could be biased. Seems like a pretty humongous "stretch" to me, though.
              "Hall of Famer Whitey Ford now on the field... pleading with the crowd for, for some kind of sanity!"

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              • #8
                --I think Clark has easily the better statistical record, but Garvey was much more highly regarded when active. Which is more important is argueable, since it is the Hall of Fame, not the hall of stats. I'd say Clark was the better player, but Garvey the more famous. I wouldn't vote for either, but if I had to vote for one it would be Garvey.

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                • #9
                  The faintest tendency to put numbers in context and look below the surface would pierce the patina of Garvey's superficial numbers.

                  Will the Thrill is vastly underappreciated, escpecially in the day of the big sluggers, but IMO he falls short of the HOF bar.

                  You could justify his election based comparisons to the lower tier guys, but you know how I feel about that path of reasoning.
                  THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

                  In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

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                  • #10
                    Of course Clark isn't as good as McCovey. But he was better than Garvey.

                    Garvey had 2,599 hits, 272 home runs, 1,308 RBI, 479 BB and 83 SB. His BA/OBP/SLG was .294/.329/.446 and he accumulated 3,941 total bases in his career. His career numbers are as much a product of his longevity (19 seasons, 9,466 plate appearances) as they are his ability. He made 6,672 outs in those 9,466 plate appearances, creating just 1,307 runs (or 5.29 per 27 outs).

                    Garvey's batting average was 15% better than league average, his OBP just 2% better and his slugging 19% better. Garvey's runs created represented 163 over league average, but only 57 above the average for 1Bmen in his era. Garvey's secondary average was 8% below the league average.

                    Garvey accumulated 279 win shares in 19 seasons (14.7 per). However, it was really from 1974-80, a period of just 7 years, that Garvey performed at an "all star" level. The other 12 years of his career never saw a seasonal win share value over 17. During those 7 "peak" years, Garvey averaged 24 win shares per year (as opposed to the 9.25 he averaged throughout all those other seasons.) Garvey managed "just" a 116 OPS+ in almost 10,000 plate appearances. A terrible level for a post-1920 first baseman.

                    Garvey's hardware is more a testament to his popularity, not his greatness.

                    Clark had 2,176 hits, 284 home runs, 1,205 RBI, 937 BB and 67 SB. His BA/OBP/SLG was .303/.384/.497 and he accumulated 3,562 total bases in his career. His career numbers were accumulated in spite of serious injury in mid-career. Clark nevertheless saw 8,283 plate appearances, making 5,259 outs and creating 1,369 runs (or 7.03 per 27 outs).

                    Clark's batting average was 16% better than league average, his OBP 16% better and his slugging 24% better. Clark's runs created represented 473 over league average, 294 above the average for 1Bmen in his era. His secondary average was 30% better than league average.

                    Clark earned 331 win shares in 15 seasons (22.1 per). However, it was really from 1987-92, a period of just 6 years, that Clark performed at an MVP-caliber level. During those years, Clark averaged 32.2 win shares per season, leading the National League in 1989 (when he should have won the MVP Award). The other 9 years of his career were productive, though certainly not at the same level. Clark averaged 15.3 win shares per season outside his peak years. Furthermore, the end of Clark's peak seasons correspond with the elbow injuries Clark suffered in 1992-93, robbing him of his power.

                    Clark finished his career with an outstanding 138 OPS+. Among first basemen with at least 8,000 PA (of whom there are 41), Clark's 138 OPS+ ranks #7 all-time, behind only Gehrig, Foxx, Thomas, Connor, Bagwell and McCovey.

                    Clark was a 6-time all-star and finished among the top 5 in MVP voting four times from 1987-91 (compared to Garvey who finished in the top 5 only twice.)

                    Clark was as good a post-season competitor as Garvey. As good a fielder. And a much better hitter. Clark had a much bigger prime and more career value, despite playing 4 fewer seasons and playing the second-half of his career in a diminished capacity (versus Garvey who simply aged over time.)

                    One thing I often see mentioned in regards to Garvey's candidacy is his string of 200-hit seasons. In point of fact, Garvey only led the league in hits twice during those seasons. The ability to collect 200 (or near 200) hits on a regular basis is certainly a valuable one, but reaching that "magic" number is the product of ability and opportunity. Garvey led the league in games played and at bats several times each, facilitating his run at those 200-hit seasons.

                    Garvey's 2599 career hits, moreover were 462 over the league average. Clark's 2,176 hits were 436 hits above league average. A discrepancy of just 26 hits. Using ratios to compare their career hits to league average, Clark comes out on top, 25% above league average to Garvey, 22% above league average. Another way to look at it? Garvey collected 137 hits per season played while Clark collected 145 hits per season played. As a "hit machine" Garvey was more like Mark Grace than Pete Rose.

                    In fact, I can't see anything about Garvey's career that doesn't point directly to Mark Grace without the awards and pageantry. Clark, on the other hand, is like a modern (but better) George Sisler.
                    "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                    "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                    "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                    "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

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                    • #11
                      They both fall short of the HOF, but I would give Garvey the nod over Clark. I think 70's/80's players tend to be viewed poorly in history. A lot of the players that we argue about deserving the Hall are players fromt his era. I think one of the problems is that park/era adjusted stats, like OPS+, are good measuring sticks, but don't always tell the whole story.

                      When looking at a HOF canditate, raw and adjusted stats are obviously important. But as important to me is where they stood against there conteporaires. Garvey could be argued to be the best first basemen from 1975-1985. You would never argue Clark to be the best at his position.

                      Garvey made 10 All star teams to Clark's 6
                      Garvey has 1 MVP and 2.46 MVP shares to Clark's 0 and 1.84
                      Gavey's Black/Grey ink is 12/142, Clark's is 13/94
                      Garvey won 4 gold glove, Clark 1

                      These are the types of stats I look at to see how the player was against their contemporaries. While Clark's raw numbers are clearly better than Garvey's, Garvey was beter compared to his era that Clark to his. I have to give the edge to Garvey.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Garvey was not "better compared to his era" than Clark was to his.

                        You say that stats "don't tell the whole story," and that's true, but they tell a much less biased picture than the opinions of observers. I'd rather trust measurements of what Garvey and Clark did than measurements of what people thought about what they did.

                        The all-star games, MVP, and gold gloves are testament to Garvey's popularity versus Clark's. Clark actually leads Garvey in black ink while Garvey's lead in gray ink can be attributed to (a) having played 5 more seasons; and (b) having not been riddled with debilitating elbow injuries throughout half his career.

                        While 1970's players are, as a group, ignored by most fans, so are 1980's players, one of whom was Will Clark. And while Garvey may "arguably" been the best first baseman in baseball from 1975-85, win shares pegs him as having the sixth-highest value of any first baseman in those eleven years. To wit:

                        Win Shares, Players w/ 4,000+ PA at 1B, 1975-85
                        243 Keith Hernandez
                        242 Eddie Murray
                        221 Rod Carew
                        218 Pete Rose
                        216 Cecil Cooper
                        215 Steve Garvey
                        192 Mike Hargrove
                        168 Chris Chambliss
                        164 Jason Thompson
                        151 Dan Driessen
                        150 Bill Buckner
                        123 Tony Perez
                        122 John Mayberry

                        Win Shares, Players w/ 4,000 PA at 1B, 1987-1997
                        270 Will Clark
                        242 Mark McGwire
                        241 Fred McGriff
                        232 Frank Thomas
                        230 Rafael Palmeiro
                        203 Mark Grace
                        197 Jeff Bagwell
                        194 Wally Joyner
                        175 Andres Galarraga
                        175 Eddie Murray
                        161 Don Mattingly
                        149 Cecil Fielder

                        So much for the idea that Garvey is "arguably" the best of his time, but Clark was not.

                        None of this is to say that Garvey and/or Clark are or are not worthy of Cooperstown. But I have yet to see credible evidence that Garvey was the better player of the two.
                        "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                        "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                        "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                        "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Nice post, Chancellor. I gotta say, I often forget Garvey's OPS is as "low" as it is. I usually think of Garvey's OB% at around .345 and his HR total at around 320. I certainly assumed he had more homers than Clark. I may have to change my vote to the Thrill.
                          "Hall of Famer Whitey Ford now on the field... pleading with the crowd for, for some kind of sanity!"

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                          • #14
                            Chancellor has done the work of putting together the stats so I will not add anything, but Clark was far better than Garvey, and it is not even close. That Garvey was voted to all-star games shows that people really did not have a good grasp of his abilities. He was very overrated, and belongs nowhere near the hall of fame. While I do not think stats tell the whole story, an OPS+ of 116 is nowhere near hall level for a first baseman. Garvey had a little bit of power, but really not great power for a first baseman, and his plate discipline was awful. He is an example of how far baseball has come in evaluating it's players. I think people today would understand how limited his abilities were. Will Clark I think would have been a hall of famer if he had not gotten hurt. He lost his power right when the steroid era exploded.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Where is Chone Figgins
                              Garvey was the man during the 70's he was alot like Garett Anderson very underrated but put up about the same numbers for a long peroid of time
                              First, it's pretty silly to say Garvey was underrated. He was a very popular player, won a highly questionable MVP, and made 10 all-star teams, several of those questionable too. A lot of people want to put him into the Hall of Fame, despite the fact that his OPS would be, in context, the worst by a first baseman to reach the Hall of Fame aside from George Kelly, an obvious mistake.

                              Anderson was a good player in 2002 and 2003. Aside from that, he's been just a slightly above average player. He put up good numbers in 2000 and 2001 but those were insane hitter's years, so in context they weren't that great. Coincidently, the knock on Anderson is also the knock on Garvey; they just absolutely cannot take a walk to save their lives.
                              "Hall of Famer Whitey Ford now on the field... pleading with the crowd for, for some kind of sanity!"

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