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Rube Waddell - most underrated pitcher ever?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by 538280
    Joss may very well have been the most feared pitcher of his time, but that really doesn't mean anything to me. He didn't last nearly as long,
    "nearly as long". Indeed. And yet, you continue to champion those whose great years were not that long. Allen, Thomas, Morgan.

    There are a lot of players I like a lot, but cannot over-rank them due to too brief a period of greatness. Koufax, Dean, Marty Bergen, Lange, Waddell, Vance.

    I may have an exception occasionally, like Sisler, but for the most part, I don't overdo it with my short career guys. You ranking Big Hurt over Gehrig is not going over well in that thread. Only 2 members have jumped off the cliff with you.

    Bill

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    • #32
      Originally posted by 538280
      Joss may very well have been the most feared pitcher of his time, but that really doesn't mean anything to me. He didn't last nearly as long, and in reality he wasn't as good as guys like Walsh, Plank, Chesbro, Brown, Willis, and more. There's a difference between perception and reality, and if we know the reality I really don't care about the perception.
      So the opinions of the players that actually had to face the guy mean nothing, huh? The REALITY is that Joss is in the HOF, and that everyone who saw him pitch thought he should be. At his best, Joss was as good or better than the best pitchers of his time. If his career had lasted longer, we wouldn't be mentioning him with the most underrated pitchers.

      I can buy Joss not being as good as Walsh, Brown and maybe Plank (Plank had a long career, but NEVER had a great peak), but Chesbro and Willis is going way too far.

      Since this was originally a Waddell thread, perhaps Joss should get his own thread, as well as Vance and others who people feel are underrated.
      Last edited by torez77; 02-27-2006, 07:34 PM.
      Red, it took me 16 years to get here. Play me, and you'll get the best I got.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by 538280
        I agree Vance is extremely underrated. He also got worse run support than any HOF pitcher. I would say he is the most underrated pitcher of all time, but that is before I've seen how Robin Roberts is doing in the pitcher poll. We're on poll #20 and many people still don't have him on their ballot! Bill still has him like 15 spots away!

        Fergie Jenkins is really underrated too IMO.
        I'm also a huge Roberts fan, and I think even I've been underrating him myself for a long, long time. I probably don't give Fergie enough credit either, now that I realize it (he's similar in some ways to Roberts). Fergie is pretty much in the class with Marichal and other greats of the 60's and 70's.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by torez77
          In Bill James Historical Abstract, I see Joss averaging more Win Shares (31.51) for his career than McGinnity (29.52), Waddell (30.59) , and Plank (30.08), and I don't see Willis, Chesbro, White or Powell listed among the top pitchers in WS. Average win shares matters more than career win shares, especially versus most of the pitchers you listed, since their careers were equally or close to equally as short as Joss'. Forgive me, but I don't understand the logic of comparing the WS total of their best 3 seasons and their best WS total in 5 straight seasons, when Joss averages more WS for his total career. BTW, from what source are you getting this information?
          There are two simple reason for those averages: one is Joss had virtually no decline phase, the other guys did. The other is that the "average" season is based on 43 starts, which few of these guys achieved. Joss actually averaged 31 starts in his first 8 seasons. Even in his best seasons, Joss was not exceptionally durable, with only two seasons of over 300 IP. Plank had five, McGinnity nine, Willis eight and Chesbro four.

          One of my sources is the very same Bill James Historical Abstract you are quoting. The other is the win shares book, which lists the top players by win shares in each decade The three best and five consecutive are conventional methods of evaluating peak--and since the quality of Joss' peak performance is absolutely critical to his claim, those measures are quite important. If Joss were among, say the top three in peak performance in his day, then I might buy his argument--but he's not there.

          Jim Albright
          Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
          Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
          A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

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          • #35
            --Torrez, to keep the record straight the men who saw Joss pitch did NOT elect him to the HoF. Joss was elected in 1978 and I would be willing to make a sizeable wager that nobody voting had ever seen Joss work - and very few of them had even heard stories of him from men who had seen him pitch. He was elected based on some dusty old numbers, by men who didn't place them into their proper context.
            --Addie was a very good pitcher, but he was more Mike Mussina than Roger Clemens and with a short career than Moose. I'd take recent second tier stars such as Mussia or Kevin Brown, neither of whom are exactly odds on favorites for Cooperstown, over Addie Joss.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by jalbright
              There are two simple reason for those averages: one is Joss had virtually no decline phase, the other guys did. The other is that the "average" season is based on 43 starts, which few of these guys achieved. Joss actually averaged 31 starts in his first 8 seasons. Even in his best seasons, Joss was not exceptionally durable, with only two seasons of over 300 IP. Plank had five, McGinnity nine, Willis eight and Chesbro four.
              Joss didn't start nearly as many games as alot of pitchers in that era, but when he did start, he usually finished, at a better percentage than every other notable pitcher of the era that I can see. For his career, he completed 234 of his 260 starts.

              I don't mean to sound like I'm drooling over Joss, but when I hear he's not a worthy HOFer, I just completely disagree.
              Last edited by torez77; 02-28-2006, 12:01 AM.
              Red, it took me 16 years to get here. Play me, and you'll get the best I got.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by leecemark
                --Torrez, to keep the record straight the men who saw Joss pitch did NOT elect him to the HoF. Joss was elected in 1978 and I would be willing to make a sizeable wager that nobody voting had ever seen Joss work - and very few of them had even heard stories of him from men who had seen him pitch. He was elected based on some dusty old numbers, by men who didn't place them into their proper context.
                I believe if the HOF had existed in Joss' time, he would've gotten the majority of the votes. Plus, the 5-year waiting rule would've been waived and he would've gotten in immediately after his death - the same thing that happened with Clemente.
                Red, it took me 16 years to get here. Play me, and you'll get the best I got.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by jalbright
                  It would be easy to interpret the above as saying something derogatory about me. I choose to believe it is, instead, horribly careless and insensitive writing on your part. Regardless of what you think of the numbers I quoted, I have not attempted to distort anything, much less prevaricate. Please be more careful about the language used in your postings in the future.

                  Jim Albright

                  It's a very old quote and not implied to you in paticular

                  But the meaning is the same...to prove something one can find numbers to fit the purpose

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by torez77
                    In Bill James Historical Abstract, I see Joss averaging more Win Shares (31.51) for his career than McGinnity (29.52), Waddell (30.59) , and Plank (30.08), and I don't see Willis, Chesbro, White or Powell listed among the top pitchers in WS. Average win shares matters more than career win shares, especially versus most of the pitchers you listed, since their careers were equally or close to equally as short as Joss'. Forgive me, but I don't understand the logic of comparing the WS total of their best 3 seasons and their best WS total in 5 straight seasons, when Joss averages more WS for his total career. BTW, from what source are you getting this information?
                    Joss averages slightly more WS per start than those guys, in a career that was substantially shorter and had no decline. Mark Fidrych rates at like 30 or something in that category, about the same as Joss. Is he headed for the Hall too?

                    The other pitcher's careers were not "equally or close to as short as Joss". Waddell and Chesbro pitched about 600 more innings, McGinnity pitched about 1200 more, Willis pitched 1600 more. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Joss probably pitched less innings than any pitcher in the HOF.

                    Why would WS per start mean more than career Win Shares? WS per start will usually help players with shorter careers. We don't want that.

                    The logic in comparing their best 3 years and 5 best consecutive years is that it shows us how good a player was at his peak. Joss doesn't stack up well there either.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      --Dizzy Dean takes the fewest IP award amoung HoF SP. He didn't even get 2,000 in his career. From a pure value standpoint Dizzy is even less deserving than Joss. Considering it is the Hall of FAME, however, I can't really begrudge Dean.
                      --That is something we tend to forget here. It isn't the Hall of Value or even Greatness, but the Hall of Fame. A guy like Dean or more recently Catfish Hunter were more famous and celebrated than some pitchers who were, by the numbers, clearly better. That doesn't apply to Joss though. By the time he was elected only die hard historians even recognized his name. It was strictly numbers (and his early death) that got him in and a proper evaluation of those numbers shows that to be a questionable decision.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by leecemark
                        It isn't the Hall of Value or even Greatness, but the Hall of Fame.
                        While you are, of course, technically quite right, it is called the Hall of Fame, most of the baseball cognoscenti, like us, strongly believe it SHOULD be reserved for the greatest players, not the merely most famous.

                        However, we, the baseball cognoscenti, may never get our way. Seldom have, really.

                        Bill

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          --Alas, any chance of Coopertown being reserved for only th etrue elite is long since lost. At this point, it is only unfair to modern player to exclude them when they produce a career similar to mid-tier HoFer. Holding more recent players to a higher standard than many of the old timers already in just demeans the hall. Which, is not to say being better than the worst guys should get you in, but you don't have to be Walter Johsnon or Lefty Grove either.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by leecemark
                            --Alas, any chance of Cooperstown being reserved for only the true elite is long since lost. At this point, it is only unfair to modern players to exclude them when they produce a career similar to mid-tier HoFers. Holding more recent players to a higher standard than many of the old timers already in, just demeans the Hall. Which, is not to say being better than the worst guys should get you in, but you don't have to be Walter Johnson or Lefty Grove either.
                            Must sadly agree with you here, Mark. Would you think that, if politics could ever be gotten around, (what a big IF?) Hall tiers would restore some of the past interest/credibility to the Hall?

                            Also, what do you think of my idea of creation of a permanent exhibit at the Hall, where defensive excellence could be acknowledged, without otherwise inclusion in the Hall proper?

                            Bill Burgess
                            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-28-2006, 02:47 PM.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by [email protected]
                              Must sadly agree with you here, Mark. Would you think that, if politics could ever be gotten around, (what a big IF?) Hall tiers would restore some of the past interest/credibility to the Hall?

                              I do.

                              Bill Burgess
                              Bill, there's actually more interest in the Hall today than there probably ever has been. Many more visitors, much more money made.

                              I think you have to remember that while serious historians have little credibility for the Hall because of the politics and bad selections, the vast majority of fans (and people who go to the Hall) really have no idea about any of that.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by 538280
                                Bill, there's actually more interest in the Hall today than there probably ever has been. Many more visitors, much more money made.

                                I think you have to remember that while serious historians have little credibility for the Hall because of the politics and bad selections, the vast majority of fans (and people who go to the Hall) really have no idea about any of that.
                                True. More's the pity. How sad. Would you support the tiers concept, or my Defensive Exhibit Concept? Either have any merit for you, Chris?

                                Bill

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