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Jimmy Wynn

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  • #16
    Originally posted by willshad View Post
    I can agree with someone attempting to argue that a player was deeply disadvantaged by his home park...IF the stats actually show that was the case. There is no evidence in Wynn's stats that show he would have been much better had he played somewhere else. His road stats for his career are about the same as his home stats...neither are hall worthy. he isnt like Mike Piazza, who has consistently put up better road numbers throughout his career. He not only was in the most severe pitcher's parks in baseball, and subpar lineups his whole career, but played by far the most demanding POSITION as well, and still has hall of fame numbers. Had he played in better hitting environments, he would have been even MORE obvious of a hall of famer. To me, THAT is what makes someone an all time great...not saying well he MIGHT HAVE had great numbers had circumstances been different. Especially when the stats don't back up that statement. I think if Wynn was THAT hampered it would also show in his OPS+, which is adjusted for era and park effects. A 128 OPS+ for a very short career isnt hall of fame territory for an outfielder. If you can make a case for Wynn over Dale Murphy Id love to hear it. Murphy is basically Wynn with more longevity, an even better peak, 2 MVPs, and 5 gold gloves.
    To compare Wynn to Piazza is a bit unfair as well. Piazza is an inner-circle no-questions-asked HOFer. Wynn is, at best, a borderline case, requiring explanation for his candidacy.

    Wynn put up five (5) seasons with an Offensive Winning Percentage over .700, plus a sixth season at .690. That's HOF level for a CENTER fielder; the problem was that Wynn was somewhat inconsistent from year to year. He had a terrible 1971 (after being stabbed by his estranged wife), and he had off years in 1966 and 1973.

    I have little doubt that had Wynn be a Cub, he would have reached 400 HRs, along with a BA of around .260. I don't know if that would have put him in the HOF, but it would have made him a more viable candidate than he has proven to be. His splits don't seem to be that great, but part of what needs to be taken into account is the favoritism toward the pitcher of Wynn's era; that factor would tend to cut down on home-road differentials.

    I agree that Wynn falls short as a HOFer. I do think that circumstances COULD have been different to where his candidacy would have been perceived as stronger than it was.

    I should also point out that Wynn, by no means, would be the worst CF in the HOF. Lloyd Waner and Earle Combs have him beat; Wynn was, IMO, more valuable than either of those guys. That's not an argument, but it is an observation.
    "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

    NL President Ford Frick, 1947


    • #17
      Originally posted by willshad View Post
      Perhaps I am mistaken, but the way I understand 'win shares' is that it distributes the team's wins amongst all players on the team. Thus, no matter how much better Wynn's stats were, his win share total would not change unless the team won more games. If he has 30 win shares hitting 30, 80, .250, then if he hit 50, 120, .320, and his team still won the same amount of games, he could not be awarded more win shares. Well he COULD, but that would mean other players would have to have less, even though their stats have not changed. Either way, doesnt make sense to me.
      In real life, if Wynn's hitting had improved that much, his team would have won more games as a result, and Wynn would have gotten the credit. How many blowouts were there to concentrate those extra hits in? And what is the probability that all of those extra hits would have come in those blowouts?

      Furthermore, in practice, players on good teams win as many win shares as players who are just as good who happen to be on bad teams. The difference, of course, is that the good player on a bad team doesn't have nearly as many good teammates as the good player on a good team.

      Roush and Averill are both borderline hall of fame guys (as is Rice). Wynn may well have been as good as these players , if he was in a more favorable environment. But me presonally, if choosing between 2 guys like that, Id always pick the guy who DID post the good numbers (yes triple crown stats included..batting average , RBI ), rather than the guy who MIGHT HAVE, under different circumstances.
      What I'm saying is that Wynn did post good numbers, and that he was better than those players. Yaz won the AL batting crown in 1968 with a .301 average. The NL's batting average -- for all players -- was .303 in 1930. Did an average batter in the NL in 1930 have better numbers than Yaz in 1968?

      Good numbers depend on context. If I change the circumstances in such a way that helps batters and hurts pitchers, offensive numbers and total runs will increase. However, since the total number of wins doesn't change, it will now take more runs to win a ballgame. Hence, if we express a run in terms of a fraction of a win, the value of a run goes down.

      Saying Wynn MIGHT HAVE dirven in more runs in a better lineup (guess having Joe Morgan lin front of you isnt enough), or he MIGHT HAVE batted for a better average in another stadium, is akin to saying Don Mattingly MIGHT HAVE had 3000 hits if he didnt injure his back, or that Harold Baines MIGHT HAVE played gold glove defense if given the chance during his DH years. is it based on luck? Sure, to an extent. Playing in a 'bad' environment is just bad luck, as is getting injured.
      True. However, according to statistical analysis, RBI numbers can be predicted to a high degree just by looking at (a) a player's other batting statistics and (b) the number of men on base when he comes to the plate. If we already have all the other batting statistics, then the only thing RBIs add to our knowledge is part (b) - how good a player's teammates are.

      I see no real reason to give one guy more credit, and not the other. I realize that is the whole basis of even out the playing field, and try to predict what the players would all have done given the same situations.
      No, no, no. Sabermetrics abandoned that approach at the very beginning, since it was impossible to determine what the "same situation" was, and since variations would have been different for each individual player. Instead, the attempt was made to determine the player's actual value in the actual circumstances in which he played. Win shares doesn't tell us what Jimmy Wynn would have done if he had played for the Boston Red Sox in 1978; it tells us the value of what he did for the Houston Astros in 1969. If a player is playing in a low-run environment, each run that player creates is more valuable, in terms of a fraction of a win, than a run in a high-run environment; the win shares system reflects that fact.

      If teams are averaging 3.33 runs per game, then someone who creates 100 runs in this environment is creating as many runs as the average team scored in 30 games. However, if teams are averaging 4.75 runs per game, someone who creates 133 runs in that environment has created only as many runs as the average team scored in 28 games. Who posted the better numbers offensively? This isn't a rhetorical question; it comes down to the heart of our dispute.

      I realize this. yet I still go more by that the player DID do, then what he MIGHT HAVE done. There are of course exceptions, such as players in Coors field, whose stats are obviously inflated. Those guys, and guys like Chuck Klein (Baker Bowl)are probably the only ones Id 'adjust' do a great degree.
      To a large extent, I also go by what the players did accomplish. However, the win shares system gives those accomplishments in terms of wins created by those players, with three win shares corresponding to one win created. When I compare players across eras, I make some schedule length adjustments, but that's a "What If" question, and reflects the fact that shorter schedules provide fewer win shares for players to earn.

      What did Jimmy Wynn actually accomplish in 1969? According to the win shares system, he earned 36 win shares, which means he created 12 wins that year with his offensive and defensive play. What did Jim Rice actually accomplish in 1978? According to the win shares system, he earned 36 win shares, which is equivalent to having created 12 wins that year with his overall play. Since the most important statistic in baseball is the win, it makes sense to express a player's accomplishments in terms of wins; this is simply how win shares indicates what a player did in his own park and era.


      • #18
        very well explained.
        I think Win shares can be valuable for judging a players' whole game. I like the way it balances quality and quantity. Yet, i think you cannot go JUST by win shares. You also have to look at the actual stats, for reasons I have mentioned. It is very possible to have a lot of value in games where your team doesnt get a win..and win shares basically doesnt count these stats at all. i think it is entirely possible for a player to have a lot of production that doesnt lead to wins, but that doesnt mean its all worthless. You can say well probably the added hits and rbi will lead to more wins, but not necessarily so. Over the course of a 162 game season that includes maybe 100 losses, it can easily been seen possible that he could have 20 , 30, or 40 more RBi spread out that only occur in the losses.
        Last edited by willshad; 04-06-2008, 12:59 PM.


        • #19
          Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
          I miss 538280.
          I miss him too. Really nice kid. Oft we clashed, but that's what happens when two stubborn people regularly disagree on a subject they're incredibly passionate about.

          Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
          Bill and I suspect he has found a young lady to hold his hand.
          Hopefully! I'm inclined to believe his parents put the kabbosh on surfing the net....


          • #20
            --Maybe it was both. He could have found a girl to "hold his hand" on the net. Or something along those lines anyway. I've heard there are other kinds of sites besides baseball where a young lad might get himself into trouble.


            • #21
              Originally posted by willshad View Post
              Roush and Averill
              Wynn may well have been as good as these players , if he was in a more

              Don Mattingly MIGHT HAVE had 3000 hits if he didnt injure his back, or that

              Those guys, and guys like Chuck Klein (Baker Bowl)are probably the only ones Id 'adjust' do a great degree.
              Michael Schell tries to do everything in his power to level the playing field in his book Baseball's Greatest Sluggers. This includes parks (including handedness) and all offensive events. He adjusts all players to see how they'd do playing in a neutral 1976-1992 timeframe.

              Not saying I agree with the determinations or methodology, but this does add to the discussion.

              FWIW, seasonal averages, via Schell, along with where they rank in career value (adjusted for position):

              Wynn: .253/.372/.460 25 HR, 80R, 70RBI, 85 BB, 98 SO, 30 SB

              Wynn ranks 101st in career value before positional adjustements are made, 136th afterwards. He ranks in the top 100 in seasonal averages for walks, runs, and home runs. He's 28th in walks.

              Here are some guys around 136th all time in career value, after adjusting for position- many of these are fence HOF guys who are being discussed.

              Through 2004, HOF players emboldened:

              Goose Goslin: 138th
              George Grantham: 139
              Ralph Kiner: 135
              Ducky Medwick: 134
              John McGraw: 137
              Joe Sewell: 132
              Earl Averill: 130
              "Indian" Bob Johnson: 131
              Albert Belle: 126
              Gary Carter: 119 (238th before positional adjustment)
              Orlando Cepeda: 157
              Will Clark: 122
              Andre Dawson: 153
              Bill Dickey: 146
              Frankie Frisch: 128
              Jason Giambi: 129
              Frank Howard: 120
              Joe Kelley: 149
              Boog Powell: 142
              Willie Randolph: 144
              Pee Wee Reese: 143
              Ken Singleton: 127

              Basically, Wynn played in a very strong, balanced league. Perhaps as strong as the game ever got. He played in a terrible environment for HR hitters, but for whatever reason he wasn't held down by the Astrodome. He did just as well there as elsewhere.

              I wouldn't call him a Hall of Famer, but my standards are higher than most. I'm not a "well, if Joe Kelley and Earl Averill are in, we need to induct Wynn" type of guy.

              However, Wynn is a player who looks significantly better after we try to account and adjust for historical context.


              • #22
                Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
                Michael Schell tries to do everything in his power to level the playing field in his book Baseball's Greatest Sluggers. This includes parks (including handedness) and all offensive events.
                I have read the earlier book, Baseball's All-Time Best Hitters: How Statistics Can Level the Playing Field. Did he reuse the subtitle?

                Hitters focuses on base hits and bases on balls, no extra bases.
                What may be worthy here is the longevity adjustment. For everyone with more than 8000 major league atbats, Schell uses only the first 8000 ab. (I don't know why ab rather than pa, maybe because he cares more about hits than walks.)

                Anyway, 8000 ab is a good long career. Wynn and Lynn finished with about 8000 plate appearances. While it has been common for Hall of Fame players to surpass 8000 ab, many have not.
                Yesterday I observed that 225 retired players have 8000 pa. Only 116 have 8000 ab. (There are also 25 and 11 players on the two lists active in 2007.)


                • #23
                  Who makes the best argument for Jimmy Wynn?

                  Probably Jimmy Wynn's mother.

                  Sorry for that one guys.


                  • #24
                    What Hall of Famer best makes the case for Jimmy Wynn?

                    Excerpt from my first post in bold. Neither Reggie Smith nor Fred Lynn are appropriate for this discussion.
                    "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."

                    - Alvin Dark


                    • #25
                      As an example, I don't think Earl Averill is roundly considered a mistake, the way George Kelly and Freddie Lindstrom are, for example. But I look at the numbers. Wynn's OPS+ was five points lower, but he had more PA and played in a stronger league. Averill had a good peak, but I believe Wynn's was better. Averill was probably the better fielder, but Wynn makes up for that with his hitting. Baseball Prospectus has them both at a .303 EqA, without league quality adjustments. WARP-1 has Averill as the superior player by the margin of about 1 win. When they do their LQ adjustments, Wynn moves ahead by 9 wins. Bill James, in the New Historical Baseball Abstract, places Wynn 10th, Averill 13th. James's Objective functions rates Wynn as the 78th greatest player of all time, Averill out of the top 100. Kevin Harlow, who calculated the objective function, also found rankings for players based on Win Shares Above Average, Above Replacement, and the average of those two. Neither player made the top 100 in any of the methods, but Wynn and Averill placed 112th and 113th respectively, in the third. This makes them indistinguishable, and it cannot be said that Wynn is better just because that method has him one point ahead. By the third method, Wynn ranks 16th among CF, Averill 17th. At the very least, Wynn is seen as Averill's equal by Win Shares. Of course, those are simply two popular uberstats. But I think if one were to analyze their total hitting stats, Wynn would be considered superior. Averill would close the gap with fielding, but with Wynn's LQ advantage, and with them being about even on the basepaths, I can't imagine Jimmy Wynn not being viewed as a better player than Earl Averill, provided we can get past the batting average. And yet Jimmy Wynn will never get into the Hall, while no seems to have a problem with Earl Averill's selection. Why is that?
                      "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."

                      - Alvin Dark


                      • #26
                        The Hall of Fame can place a lot of emphasis on counting statistics, as they rightly or wrongly, stand for some measure achievement. Take hits for example - the most basic goal and fundamental skill of the game is to put bat on ball. Everyone, from the little leaguer to the major leaguer, aspires to excel in this skill and rack up hits, so the Hall of Fame places a lot of emphasis on that. In this vein, Wynn's 1665 hits, 291 homeruns, and 964 RBI look rather unimpressive by Hall of Fame standards, and he doesn't have a dominating Koufaxesque peak to make up for the counting numbers shortcoming.

                        I'm not saying this is right or wrong, and I've actually warmed up to Jimmy Wynn's case lately (he was my third pick in the SoC project), but I'm just going on the reality of what is the Hall of Fame, which places an emphasis on counting stats as a measure of achievement. This is why Averill is in and Wynn is not, despite Wynn being arguably the better player. I will say though that Wynn is usually higher in player rankings than he is in my deserving of the Hall rankings, as it's really just two kettle of fish, IMO, due to the subjective elements involved in the Hall.

                        Wynn also suffers from the fact that it wasn't until recently really that there has been a growing appreciation for what he brought to the table. More specifically, for generations people were stuck in judging a player by his raw stats, impressed by shiny batting averages, and without the more advanced statistics we have now that shed better light on a player's value, take into account park factors and era, and place more emphasis on things like getting on base and making less outs. To establish Wynn's case, you really have to look past the superficial traditional measurements, and that's still hard to do for many. Perhaps that fact in itself, meaning the fact that in order to establish Wynn's case, you really have to dig (even though you might find a treasure when you do dig), is testament enough that he lacks the subjective elements that we typically look for in Hall of Famers. Hall of Famers should resonate, and if you have to dig a lot, which you do in Wynn's case by normal fan standards, perhaps the case is buried too far down?
                        Last edited by DoubleX; 04-06-2008, 10:56 PM.


                        • #27
                          I agree about the hall of fame. I think if you have to 'dig' , adjust stats, and make complex formulas in order to make a guy look remotely like a hall of famer, then his case is very weak. Part of the hall of fame is to honor those who were lauded and praised in their OWN TIME, whether the standards of measurement were 'right' or not. Some may argue that is simply honoring the mistakes made by people in the past, who used the 'incorrect' ways of evaluating players. I couldnt disagree more. Look at movies for instance...movies like Ben Hur, casablanca, and The Godfather seem trite and silly by today's standards...yet they still make lists of all time great films. Why? Because they were lauded in their own time. Im sure we can look back and find many better films made during the same time, but we dont go back andtake away the Acadamy Awards, just because standards have changed. While Wynn may have been technically more 'valuable' given his context, than Jim Rice, I in no way would ever say he belongs in the hall of fame before Rice does. Perhaps he would have put up better numbers than Rice if he played in fenway, but that is his tough luck...he DIDNT have better numbers. Like it or not, some players have an advantage and some have a disadvantage..a hall of famer is somebody who takes advantage of whatever he is given and makes the most of it. Other guys played during the same time as Wynn, and still had hall of fame numbers. The fact is that he simply wasnt good enough (no matter what 'win shares ' says) for long enough to be a legit hall off ame candidate.
                          In keeping with the movies analogy, I think Win shares fails, simply because it judges players based on the RESULTS of their actions, not on the actions themselves. This is akin to judging what movies are best just based on how much money they make at the box office, and not even watching the actual movie. Sure the goal of a player is to contribute to the team winning..but that doesnt mean all he does in the losses had no value. The goal of a movie is to make money..but that doesnt mean the ones that didnt make money are bad.


                          • #28
                            --The God Father seems trite and silly? I guess we disagree as much about movies as we do about baseball.


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by leecemark View Post
                              --The God Father seems trite and silly? I guess we disagree as much about movies as we do about baseball.
                              I think that GF I & II are timeless classics...I just watched them last year, and they were as fresh to me as could be. GF III is the one that is trite and silly, but that was also true when it first came out.

                              I'm not a big fan of Wynn for the HOF, but feel that he was a better player than Rice when you look at their peaks and consider their defensive abilities. Rice had a slightly longer career. To compare their numbers straight up is really silly to me...the Dome and Fenway were at opposite ends of ballpark spectrum in the '60s and '70s, and Wynn also played through a very tough time for hitters in general.
                              Wynn wasn't able to sustain the high level of play for a very long time, and I don't see him as a strong HOF candidate. The fact that Rice is probably going to make it in shows me that HOF voting and voters are kind of bogus, though.
                              "I throw him four wide ones, then try to pick him off first base." - Preacher Roe on pitching to Musial


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by DoubleX View Post
                                The Hall of Fame can place a lot of emphasis on counting statistics, as they rightly or wrongly, stand for some measure achievement. . . . I'm just going on the reality of what is the Hall of Fame, which places an emphasis on counting stats as a measure of achievement. This is why Averill is in and Wynn is not, despite Wynn being arguably the better player.
                                Earl Averill? He seems to me a good example, although only one of many, to show that the Hall of Fame electors have overlooked short counting statistics again and again. As Vada Pinson shows that they have overlooked long counting statistics.


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