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Retrospective Rookie of the Year Award: Discussion Thread

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  • Retrospective Rookie of the Year Award: Discussion Thread

    The Rookie of the Year Award has always been one of my favorites. No one wins it more than once, and it represents the exciting potential of a young career. Among its winners are eventual Hall of Famers and one-year wonders alike. Because it wasn't handed out before 1947 though, I thought it would be interesting to see who might've won had it existed since the beginning of the modern era.

    With huge thanks to DJC, BBF's resident database king, I have lists of eligible players for each year from 1901 to 1948 (assuming the current standard of no more than 130 at-bats, 50 innings pitched or 45 days on an ML roster before September 1 in a previous season). The last of those three requirements is difficult to determine at times, but I've made the best judgment calls I can in the trickiest cases.

    Selecting only from the provided lists of eligible players for each year, BBF members will be able to vote on RoY winners for both the AL and the NL. Each voter must rank his top three choices on the ballot for it to count. Five points will be awarded for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote, and one point for each third-place vote. Voting will be open for one week for each season.

    The 1901 election thread should be up within the next day. Because the AL existed as a minor league before 1901, I don't count as an AL "rookie" any player who surpassed the eligibility requirements in the minor league AL. Players with extensive experience in the minor league AL can, however, qualify as an NL rookie. This inconsistency might seem wrong to some, but I'm trying to view the players as they'd be viewed by their respective leagues.

    I hope this series will be fun for everyone. If any discussions are necessary, this is the thread for it.
    Baseball Junk Drawer

  • #2
    As an unbiased observer, I think this will be a great project and look forward to participating in it.
    *** Submit your personal HOF as your ballot for the Single Ballot BBF Hall of Fame! *** Also: Buck the Fraves!

    Comment


    • #3
      So apparently some people are bothered by the fact that I didn't include guys like Irv Waldron, Roy Patterson and Roscoe Miller on the list of eligibles for the 1901 AL RoY, due to the fact that they'd played in the minor league AL in previous seasons.

      Here's my reasoning: The AL and NL were fierce rivals that operated independently back then. While those guys are considered "major league rookies" today, they wouldn't have been considered "American League rookies" at the time. If the AL had chosen a "Rookie of the Year" in 1901, they probably wouldn't have disregarded their own league's history when making the selection. Personally, I can't justify giving a "Rookie of the Year" award to a player who spent the entire previous season as a regular in the very same league.

      On the other hand, the established NL would have viewed the minor league AL as just another minor league, so the NL RoY can have significant experience in the minor league AL or (Western League).
      Baseball Junk Drawer

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ian2813 View Post
        So apparently some people are bothered by the fact that I didn't include guys like Irv Waldron, Roy Patterson and Roscoe Miller on the list of eligibles for the 1901 AL RoY, due to the fact that they'd played in the minor league AL in previous seasons.

        Here's my reasoning: The AL and NL were fierce rivals that operated independently back then. While those guys are considered "major league rookies" today, they wouldn't have been considered "American League rookies" at the time. If the AL had chosen a "Rookie of the Year" in 1901, they probably wouldn't have disregarded their own league's history when making the selection. Personally, I can't justify giving a "Rookie of the Year" award to a player who spent the entire previous season as a regular in the very same league.

        On the other hand, the established NL would have viewed the minor league AL as just another minor league, so the NL RoY can have significant experience in the minor league AL or (Western League).
        That makes sense.

        Comment


        • #5
          To be fair, it is Ian's project, so it's up to him whether or not the 1900 AL counts toward prior playing time. Had the RoY Award actually been given out in 1901, I think it's likely they would have counted it as a major league as well. However, given that this is a retrospective project, an argument could be made that the 1900 AL is not a major league (as is the consensus today) and so shouldn't count toward prior playing time. This argument is similar to how time spent in NPB currently doesn't count, which is how Ichiro won a RoY Award in 2001 despite having played 9 seasons in Japan. I don't have a preference either way, but I just thought I'd put this out there.
          *** Submit your personal HOF as your ballot for the Single Ballot BBF Hall of Fame! *** Also: Buck the Fraves!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DJC View Post
            To be fair, it is Ian's project, so it's up to him whether or not the 1900 AL counts toward prior playing time. Had the RoY Award actually been given out in 1901, I think it's likely they would have counted it as a major league as well. However, given that this is a retrospective project, an argument could be made that the 1900 AL is not a major league (as is the consensus today) and so shouldn't count toward prior playing time. This argument is similar to how time spent in NPB currently doesn't count, which is how Ichiro won a RoY Award in 2001 despite having played 9 seasons in Japan. I don't have a preference either way, but I just thought I'd put this out there.
            My take on this project is basically that we're trying to simulate who would've (or should've) won these awards had they been given out. Now obviously, we have access to more numbers than the writers of the day did, and it's likely we'll see some different results than we would've seen in real life, but I figure at the very least we should be discussing the same candidates. I suppose a more accurate way to look at it would be that we BBF members are getting to time travel and put ourselves in the sportswriters' shoes, equipped with our modern knowledge.

            I agree that the 1900 AL shouldn't be considered a major league, but here's how I see it: To use the example of Roscoe Miller, he went 19-9 for the minor league Detroit Tigers in 1900, then 23-13 for the 1901 major league Detroit Tigers. He played for the same franchise in the same city, and got roughly the same level of playing time. The only thing that changed was that his league had attained major league status. I highly doubt the fans in Detroit suddenly considered him a "rookie" because the AL got a new designation.

            If anyone out there doesn't want to participate because they disagree, that's fine. It's not much of an issue in subsequent elections though, so hopefully some objectors can enjoy participating in the future.
            Baseball Junk Drawer

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ian2813 View Post
              If anyone out there doesn't want to participate because they disagree, that's fine. It's not much of an issue in subsequent elections though, so hopefully some objectors can enjoy participating in the future.
              This strikes me as an unfortunate attitude.
              --It stands in opposition to established precedent as regards which players had MLB rookie status in 1901. SABR polled its members to determine ROYs 1900-48 (The Baseball Research Journal, #15, 1986). Neither of their 1901 winners is on the ballot (Seybold and Mathewson). Likewise, in Total Baseball, the same two were chosen as retroactive ROYs by Bill Deane.
              --Since there is no dispute that the AL was a minor league in 1900, there is no good argument that playing in that league invalidates anyone's rookie status for 1901.
              --The ballot is cluttered with non-candidates, numerous part-time players and/or players with sub-replacement level value.
              --Yes, it is your project and you're free to bend the rules to whatever end suits you.

              I know that technically Mathewson was active 45 days (but probably less than 50 days) before September 1. This rule was not codified until 1957, so I would cut a little slack here and make him eligible.

              It's too bad that such a promising project is getting off to a rather halting start.
              Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

              Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Freakshow View Post
                It's too bad that such a promising project is getting off to a rather halting start.
                It reads as though you are trying to halt things as much as anything. It is imaginary so noone can know exactlty what would have happened 100+ years ago other than that apparently a century later people will critique one persons opinion on what may have happened.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by PVNICK View Post
                  It reads as though you are trying to halt things as much as anything.
                  halting: faulty or imperfect.
                  Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

                  Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Freakshow View Post
                    halting: faulty or imperfect.
                    like my ability to take all possible meanings of a word into account before posting.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Freakshow View Post
                      This strikes me as an unfortunate attitude.
                      --It stands in opposition to established precedent as regards which players had MLB rookie status in 1901. SABR polled its members to determine ROYs 1900-48 (The Baseball Research Journal, #15, 1986). Neither of their 1901 winners is on the ballot (Seybold and Mathewson). Likewise, in Total Baseball, the same two were chosen as retroactive ROYs by Bill Deane.
                      --Since there is no dispute that the AL was a minor league in 1900, there is no good argument that playing in that league invalidates anyone's rookie status for 1901.
                      --The ballot is cluttered with non-candidates, numerous part-time players and/or players with sub-replacement level value.
                      --Yes, it is your project and you're free to bend the rules to whatever end suits you.

                      I know that technically Mathewson was active 45 days (but probably less than 50 days) before September 1. This rule was not codified until 1957, so I would cut a little slack here and make him eligible.

                      It's too bad that such a promising project is getting off to a rather halting start.
                      The "clutter" you refer to comprises all players who qualify as rookies and who have over 130 AB, over 50 IP, or 15+ games pitched in the season of the election.

                      Ian, as a compromise, perhaps you could hold a second, alternate 1901 election after this one in which the 1900 AL is treated as a minor league?
                      *** Submit your personal HOF as your ballot for the Single Ballot BBF Hall of Fame! *** Also: Buck the Fraves!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that the parts which come across to me as offensive weren't intended that way. Since this seems to be a semi-important issue to you, I think it's only fair for me to give you a thoughtful response.

                        Originally posted by Freakshow View Post
                        This strikes me as an unfortunate attitude.
                        I'm not sure how the part you quoted demonstrates an "unfortunate attitude." I was acknowledging that others may disagree with me while also trying to make it clear that I'd welcome ballots from those same people.

                        --It stands in opposition to established precedent as regards which players had MLB rookie status in 1901. SABR polled its members to determine ROYs 1900-48 (The Baseball Research Journal, #15, 1986). Neither of their 1901 winners is on the ballot (Seybold and Mathewson). Likewise, in Total Baseball, the same two were chosen as retroactive ROYs by Bill Deane.
                        Those projects are no more official than the one we're doing here. Obviously the people behind them approached the question a bit differently than I did. Just because they did it first doesn't mean their way is the only way anyone else is allowed to do it.

                        --Since there is no dispute that the AL was a minor league in 1900, there is no good argument that playing in that league invalidates anyone's rookie status for 1901.
                        I believe the argument I made above is legitimate. One might not agree with it, but I find it hard to believe that a reasonable person couldn't at least understand where I'm coming from.

                        --The ballot is cluttered with non-candidates, numerous part-time players and/or players with sub-replacement level value.
                        Chris Chambliss won the RoY with a -0.1 WAR. Willie McCovey and Bob Horner won their respective RoY awards in seasons where they played fewer than 100 games. You never know who someone might want to vote for.

                        --Yes, it is your project and you're free to bend the rules to whatever end suits you.
                        I wouldn't say I'm "bending" any rules, I'm simply trying to apply the current rules of the RoY to a past baseball environment as best I can.

                        I know that technically Mathewson was active 45 days (but probably less than 50 days) before September 1. This rule was not codified until 1957, so I would cut a little slack here and make him eligible.
                        Believe me, I was disappointed when I had to cut Matty, but for the sake of consistency it was necessary. Once you start making exceptions you open yourself up to all sorts of headaches.

                        It's too bad that such a promising project is getting off to a rather halting start.
                        So far six ballots have been submitted and two people have raised objections to the candidate list. I don't think it's going so poorly.

                        Please understand, Freakshow, that a lot of thought and research has gone into this project. I went back and forth about a lot of things, and ultimately I decided that the way I'm doing it now was best. Yet again I'll say that I understand if some people disagree with me on certain points, but I'm not in the mood to reconfigure everything for the sake of a few. Frankly, I would prefer to move on from this issue, as I don't feel it merits any further argument. You're still welcome to cast a ballot, provided it meets the rules that are in place.
                        Baseball Junk Drawer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DJC View Post
                          Ian, as a compromise, perhaps you could hold a second, alternate 1901 election after this one in which the 1900 AL is treated as a minor league?
                          What if I did that as sort of a bonus at the end of the project, like the 1945 Retrospective All-Star Team we did? Having two "alternate" winners for a certain year would feel a bit awkward to me.
                          Baseball Junk Drawer

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ian2813 View Post
                            What if I did that as sort of a bonus at the end of the project, like the 1945 Retrospective All-Star Team we did? Having two "alternate" winners for a certain year would feel a bit awkward to me.
                            However you'd like to handle it. I don't know if I'd wait that long, though -- maybe run it concurrent with the 1902 election? You don't necessarily have to count the winners of the alt-1901 election as the "official" RoYs for that year, but at least we'd get the issue settled.
                            *** Submit your personal HOF as your ballot for the Single Ballot BBF Hall of Fame! *** Also: Buck the Fraves!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ian2813 View Post
                              I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that the parts which come across to me as offensive weren't intended that way. Since this seems to be a semi-important issue to you, I think it's only fair for me to give you a thoughtful response.

                              I'm not sure how the part you quoted demonstrates an "unfortunate attitude." I was acknowledging that others may disagree with me while also trying to make it clear that I'd welcome ballots from those same people.

                              Those projects are no more official than the one we're doing here. Obviously the people behind them approached the question a bit differently than I did. Just because they did it first doesn't mean their way is the only way anyone else is allowed to do it.

                              I believe the argument I made above is legitimate. One might not agree with it, but I find it hard to believe that a reasonable person couldn't at least understand where I'm coming from.

                              Chris Chambliss won the RoY with a -0.1 WAR. Willie McCovey and Bob Horner won their respective RoY awards in seasons where they played fewer than 100 games. You never know who someone might want to vote for.

                              I wouldn't say I'm "bending" any rules, I'm simply trying to apply the current rules of the RoY to a past baseball environment as best I can.

                              Believe me, I was disappointed when I had to cut Matty, but for the sake of consistency it was necessary. Once you start making exceptions you open yourself up to all sorts of headaches.

                              So far six ballots have been submitted and two people have raised objections to the candidate list. I don't think it's going so poorly.

                              Please understand, Freakshow, that a lot of thought and research has gone into this project. I went back and forth about a lot of things, and ultimately I decided that the way I'm doing it now was best. Yet again I'll say that I understand if some people disagree with me on certain points, but I'm not in the mood to reconfigure everything for the sake of a few. Frankly, I would prefer to move on from this issue, as I don't feel it merits any further argument. You're still welcome to cast a ballot, provided it meets the rules that are in place.
                              Ian, I appreciate the thoughtful response. Perhaps I shouldn't assume that my reputation precedes me, but I have conducted A LOT of projects on BBF (and its predecessor) over the past decade-plus. I'm always looking for good projects to be a part of.

                              One thing I always try to do is get input from other BBF members when deciding upon the rules; the Wisdom of Crowds, collaborative spirit and all that; trying to expand the circle and bring in a large core of dedicated voters. That doesn't seem to have happened here. IMO you have a better project if you welcome others' input rather than just defending the system you came up with.

                              So if I conveyed that this is "semi-important' to me, well, that's what you want from the participants in your project, isn't it? The retroactive ROY is a project idea I've thought of running for a long time. The results are potentially quite useful, given a sound system of rules. It seems that the rules here are already immutable and that suggestions are not welcome.

                              That's my two cents, I will try to let this alone so as not to disturb anyone.
                              Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

                              Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

                              Comment

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