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using OPS+ as HOF criteria

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  • using OPS+ as HOF criteria

    What’s in a name? With so many threads, when we rate a player, one stat gets thrown out. It’s OPS+. The final arbitrator, the ultimate truth, and the untouchable answer. With it, a player has status. Without it, one is regulated to being something less. It doesn’t lie. One can’t hide. Either you rate or you don’t. It’s the be all and end all.

    SOOOO…. Why not make Hall of Fame selection based on this infallible quotient? But what number shall we set? I know when I started on message boards in 2008, I advocated for Tony Oliva in the HOF. “ Away you heathen,” I was told. “ Have you not heard of OPS+” “Nay,” said I. “Can there be but one stat that decides all?” “Aye” said they,” and Oliva’s 131 does not make him worthy. ” “ But aren’t slugging and on base, too similar to add together,” said I. “Away with you, satan” said they, “and whoa to you oh Joe Carter and Steve Garvey, your deeds have no merit against the all powerful OPS+. ”

    There could be a method to this madness. So we’ll set the bar of OPS+ at 140 to see which potential HOFers are to be or not to be. But all that glitters is not gold, so we should make positional adjustments 125 for middle infielders and 130 for catchers;

    Who is now in, among others:

    Pete Browning “ the world’s mine oyster’
    Dave Orr “ to sleep, perchance to dream”
    Dick Allen “what piece of work is a man”
    Charlie Keller “now we go in content”
    Miquel Cabrerra “give me my robe, put on my crown”
    Gavvy Cravath “fortune’s fool”
    Charlie Jones “The quality of mercy is not strained”
    Jeff Bagwell “What light through yonder window breaks”
    Benny Kauff “Oh happy dagger”
    Ryan Braun “a lean and hungry look”
    Edgar Martinez “such stuff that dreams are made of”
    Jim Thome “Et tu Brute?”
    Lance Berkman “Prodigious birth”
    Mike Donlin “chance may crown me”
    Albert Belle “The serpent’s egg”
    Alex Rodriquez “every inch a king”
    Frank Howard “tower of strength”
    Kevin Mitchell “a round unvarinshed tale”
    Gene Tenace “That way madness lies”
    Joe Mauer “flaming youth”
    Hardy Richardson “Full circle”
    Hanley Ramirez “dancing days”
    Joe Torre “Breathe life into a stone”
    Larry Doyle “method in the madness”
    Bobby Grich “shall I compare thee to a summer’s day”

    And who is out, among many:

    Reggie Jackson “all the world’s a stage”
    Al Kaline “alas poor Yorick”
    Al Simmons “Beware the Ides of March”
    Carl Yastrzemski “a plague on both your houses”
    Mickey Cochrane “The winter of our discontent”
    Rickey Henderson “ The most unkindest cut of all”
    Roberto Clemente “let’s kill all the lawyers
    Johnny Bench “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”
    Last edited by JR Hart; 09-04-2012, 08:24 PM.
    This week's Giant

    #5 in games played as a Giant with 1721 , Bill Terry

  • #2
    I think OPS+ is a useful stat, but no stat is perfect.
    “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.” Walter Lippmann

    "Fill in any figure you want for that boy (Mantle). Whatever the figure, it's a deal." - Branch Rickey

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    • #3
      --I think JR doth protest too much. I am not aware of anyone who replies solely on OPS+ in rating players.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by leecemark View Post
        --I think JR doth protest too much. I am not aware of anyone who replies solely on OPS+ in rating players.
        Besides OPS+ is so 2007. WAR is the current uber-stat is it not?
        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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        • #5
          I thought the idea was, while even a nitwit can see that OPS adds two unlike (and somewhat overlapping) things together, it was the fact that it correlated most highly to actual runs that made it preferable. In other words the reeses peanut butter cup of stats. Now if you have a peanut allergy then I can't help you.

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          • #6
            I use sacrifice flies as my sole indicator of Hall of Fame worthiness.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JR Hart View Post
              It’s OPS+. The final arbitrator, the ultimate truth, and the untouchable answer.
              I can only assume this is tongue in cheek

              So if Reggie Jackson retired one year earlier, he'd be a HOF, but playing the extra year knocked him out?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Cowtipper View Post
                I use sacrifice flies as my sole indicator of Hall of Fame worthiness.
                This is a good measure, but the game winning RBI is the best measure for hitters and the quality start is the best measure for pitchers. I rely on these solely when putting together my HOF.

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                • #9
                  The + part of ops+ is the key here. Relative stats are the key. Of course, there are several other stats that are valuable. But what I'd like to see is RBI+. I.e, what percentage was joe schmo above the league average in RBI per 100 baserunners, excluding pa where he was walked.

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                  • #10
                    Sabermetricians don't like OPS+, because it is contrived and it has inaccuracies at the extremes. The value of it is not in it being constructed logically, but that it correlates to run production fairly well.

                    Tony Oliva may have had just a 131 OPS+, but that is a lot better on the hall of fame scale than his 947 RBI. He's 158th in OPS+ which would put him near the HOF based solely on OPS+, but he's only 323rd in RBIs, so if you like Oliva you've got to prefer what OPS+ says to what RBIs say about him.
                    Last edited by brett; 09-05-2012, 08:06 AM.

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                    • #11
                      we would need to adjust more for position.

                      Why not do OPS++?:
                      Instead of the total league average you use the position average.

                      we also would need to account for plate appearances to value overall production
                      I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by brett View Post
                        Sabermetricians don't like OPS+, because it is contrived and it has inaccuracies at the extremes. The value of it is not in it being constructed logically, but that it correlates to run production fairly well.

                        Tony Oliva may have had just a 131 OPS+, but that is a lot better on the hall of fame scale than his 947 RBI. He's 158th in OPS+ which would put him near the HOF based solely on OPS+, but he's only 323rd in RBIs, so if you like Oliva you've got to prefer what OPS+ says to what RBIs say about him.
                        Boy, if I get my hands on these strawmen who only use OPS+ for HOF worthiness...I'll tear the stuffings out of 'em!

                        In all seriousness, brett is right. OPS+ correlates well to run production, but on "accident", not out of sound construct. OPS+ by itself with no thought of playing time or position is practically useless. OPS+ with thought to position and playing time is useful, but still lacking. wOBA (OPS+ weighed accurately) with thought of playing time and position is pretty darn good - but still not perfect of course. Throw in defensive production and baserunning into the mix, and you basically have the stat that usually summons the angry, sarcastic, attempts at satire posts.

                        And brett is also right - sabermetricians do not use it. If anyone is interested in starting debates with sabermetricians about stats, I would start out with UZR or DRS, etc. If nobody takes the bait, FIP (DIPS) vs. RA (or ERA) is a good one.
                        Last edited by Bothrops Atrox; 09-05-2012, 12:39 PM.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dominik View Post
                          we would need to adjust more for position.

                          Why not do OPS++?:
                          Instead of the total league average you use the position average.

                          we also would need to account for plate appearances to value overall production
                          We could adjust for playing time, and raise the basline to a non-zero estimate of an idealized low-level player. Then we could account for position, and make further adjustments for baserunning value, and defensive contribution. And we could fix the inadequacies of OPS+ by using a formulation that uses average, non-arbitrary values for batting events.

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                          • #14
                            can anyone post the HOF by OPS+ using the current number of HOFers per position?

                            for example if there are 17 catchers in (don't know the actual number and I can't sort for position in B-ref) post the first 17 catchers in OPS+ and so on. would be interesting to see.
                            I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dominik View Post
                              can anyone post the HOF by OPS+ using the current number of HOFers per position?

                              for example if there are 17 catchers in (don't know the actual number and I can't sort for position in B-ref) post the first 17 catchers in OPS+ and so on. would be interesting to see.


                              I don't have a database like that, but you could divide a players OPS+ by the average for that position. A problem there is that being 20% better than an average hitting catcher is not as much value as being 20% better than an average hitting first baseman.

                              Say a catcher averages 83, and a first baseman averages 116, and you have a given catcher who puts up 126, he would be 151 versus catchers, but only 43 points above average. A first baseman who is 151 versus all first basemen is 175, but he is 59 points higher and if OPS+ did show a linear relationship to offense, the first baseman would still be worth 59/43 as much above average as the catcher.


                              In other words, it might be better to look at the margin above average at the position.

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