Dugout Central Hall of Fame Selection Poll

by Chuck

Voting results for the BBWAA portion of the Hall of Fame balloting will be announced on Tuesday, January 5, 2011.

The day before, on Monday, January 4th, the Dugout Central selection committee ballot will be announced, giving us all extra 24 hours of bitching and complaining regarding who got in or who didn’t.

LOL.

Sean Forman and the guys over at Baseball Reference put a nice page together showing the full ballot with a laundry list of  individual career numbers, including the total number of years each has been on the ballot and their most recent vote percentage.

The Dugout Central ballot consists of three parts and will work as follows;

1) If you were a voting member of the BBWAA, who would you vote for. Maximum of ten.

2) Who do you BELIEVE will get in. Include your estimated vote percentage.

3) In past seasons, we’ve seen the likes of David Segui, Jay Buhner, and Lenny Dykstra pick up votes. Give me the name of the one player on this year’s ballot who would shock you the most if he received at least one vote.

Winner will be determined by the following criteria;

On number one, the number of correct choices MINUS the number of incorrect choices. It’s OK to list a full ten selection ballot, but you better hope they all get in.

On number two. This will be based on net vote total. Let’s say you believe Jeff Bagwell will get in with 90% and there are 500 ballots cast. So, you’re predicting him to receive 450 votes. If Baggy ends up getting 52%, which totals 260,  you’re net score is 190 (450-260).

Tie breaker is the player in category three who gets the highest vote total, not in actual votes cast but in most mentions in our poll.

Email your ballots to me at mjohns2@cox.net by midnight EST on Saturday, January 1st.

Cool?

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540 Responses to “Dugout Central Hall of Fame Selection Poll”

  1. John Says:

    I know Lenny Harris will get some votes for being the all-time pinch hits leader. Guarantee it.

  2. Bob Says:

    I will not be shocked by anything the writers do. I am strongly disagree with some of the votes/voters/ but I will not be shocked any longer.

  3. brautigan Says:

    I really don’t know anymore.

  4. Cameron Says:

    1

    Jeff Bagwell
    Roberto Alomar
    Tim Raines
    Bert Blyleven
    Dale Murhpy
    Alan Trammel
    Barry Larkin
    Edgar Martinez
    Fred McGrif
    Don Mattingly

    This isn’t a reflection on my steroid stance, I’m largely one to forgive the steroid users. It wasn’t cheating at the time. But it was a strong ballot this year and I wanted to do justice to them. Off raw numbers McGwire, Palmeiro, and Gonzalez will get in alone. Out of them, I think the only ballplayer with enough talent without the PEDs to get in was McGwire.

    2)
    Bert Blyleven (14th Year)
    Roberto Alomar (2nd Year)
    Jeff Bagwell (1st Year)

    Barry Larkin might because he got 50+ in his first ballot. I really hope he gets in, Reds were huge when I was a kid and he was the captain. Great guy, too.

    3)
    Carlos Baerga

    He was an all-star, was part of a Jeff Kent trade, but how the HELL is he on the ballot?

  5. Cameron Says:

    *I meant stay on the ballot alone on point 1

  6. Lefty33 Says:

    3. I’ll be shocked if anyone actually has the balls to vote for Rueter.

    He’s easily the most pathetic choice on the ballot.

    1. Alomar & Bagwell

  7. Cameron Says:

    Lefty, you sure Bert won’t get on? He only needed like, 4 or 5 votes to get in last year.

  8. Lefty33 Says:

    “Lefty, you sure Bert won’t get on? He only needed like, 4 or 5 votes to get in last year.”

    I’m only offering my opinion as to who I would vote for.

    Not who I believe would get in.

    I agree that Bert is likely to get in, but if I were voting it wouldn’t be for him.

  9. Chuck Says:

    AOL Fanhouse has a poll up now for Jeff Bagwell and the HOF.

    http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2010/12/20/jeff-bagwell-an-unexpected-yes-for-hall/?synd=1

    Out of 1100 or so current voters, he would fall short of election.

    Not surprised because I don’t see him worthy, but because Fanhouse is a saber-based site and he doesn’t pass their standards.

    No, John or Mike, I’m not throwing gas into a fire, just making a statement.

  10. Joseph DelGrippo Says:

    Bagwell has tremendous saber stats with a career OBP over .400 and slugging .540 over his career.

    Bagwell won an MVP (hit SLG .750 that year!) and ROY and was top 10 MVP five other times.

    Bagwell definitley has HOF numbers.

    I also think it is interesting that all that production was carried out in Houston, which as we found out via the Mitchell Report was a hotbed for steroid use.

    I also find it interesting that Bagwell came up when Ken Caminiti was in Houston, that same Caminiti who said in a SI article that he did steroids.

    It is also very interesting that Bagwell hit 39 HRs as a 35 year old.

    So yeah, Bagwell is a Hall of Famer based upon his numbers, which were put up duing the massive steroid era which people he played with used steroids and the city he played in was a steroid hub.

    I would also vote for Jack Morris, Roberto Alomar, Tim Raines, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy and Rafael Palmeiro.

    If Lenny Harris gets a vote, it would be a travesty.

  11. Bob Says:

    Joseph, you would vote for Morris over Blyleven? Honestly, I think Blyleven is the only guy that gets in this year. If the voters, will not vote in McGwire, I think they will reject Bagwell on the same grounds. I would also vote for Raines and Trammell.

  12. Joseph DelGrippo Says:

    Morris dominated the 1980s as the decades best pitcher, was the ace of three World Series teams and was top ten finisher for CY seven different times.

    Blyleven was not even the best pitcher on most of his teams, let alone the league and/or those years. He was more of a compiler over 22 seasons. And i really dont want to get into a long, drawn out saber stat argument because I dont care about those things.

    But I really do appreciate (and acknowledge it often) that Blyleven started 40 games and pitched 325 innings at age 22.

    But he is not one of the best pitchers of all time, despite what he will tell you on the air.

  13. Chuck Says:

    “But he is not one of the best pitchers of all time”

    Neither is Jack Morris.

  14. Cameron Says:

    Wait, Joe. You’re voting Palmeiro in? If it was a lean year I’d vote him in, but this guy has a bigger steorid case against him than Sammy Sosa.

  15. Chuck Says:

    I thought the same thing, making a case for not voting for Bagwell because of steriod suspicions, yet voting for an admitted user?

  16. Cameron Says:

    I don’t think Palmeiro ever admitted, but c’mon, EVERYONE knows it.

  17. Chuck Says:

    Yeah, he did.

  18. Lefty33 Says:

    “I don’t think Palmeiro ever admitted, but c’mon, EVERYONE knows it.”

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2121659

    “Palmeiro sounded contrite on the conference call, saying he hoped there was something to be gained from his suspension by educating players to be more careful about what they put in their bodies.

    “I made a mistake and I’m facing it,” he said. “I hope that people learn from my mistake and I hope that the fans forgive me.”

  19. Cameron Says:

    Right, forgot that one.

  20. Cameron Says:

    Fun Fact: Rafael Palmeiro on steroids wasn’t enough to keep the Orioles from sucking. Ouch.

  21. Lefty33 Says:

    Sorry Cameron but he’s a cheater and liar.

    No chance.

  22. John Says:

    Joseph: “And i really dont want to get into a long, drawn out saber stat argument because I dont care about those things.”

    Is ERA a Saber stat?

    Jack Morris never once had an ERA below 3. Zero times. That’s not dominance.
    Blyleven did that SEVEN times.

    Morris finished top-10 in his league for ERA 5 times, and zero times was in the top 4.

    Blyleven finished top-10 in his league for ERA 10 times, finishing top-4 five times.

    Morris’s career ERA was 3.90. Blyleven was 3.31. If you make that ERA+, Blyleven has Morris 118 to 105. (As a frame of comparison, 118 is the same as Tom Glavine, 105 is the same as Javier Vazquez).

    Is Strikeouts a Saber stat?

    Jack Morris had 200 or more K’s 3 times.
    Bert Blyleven had 200 or more K’s EIGHT times.

    Blyleven had 6.7 K/9 compared with 5.8 for Morris. That kind of shoots down the compiling argument, but he is freaking fifth ALL-TIME in K’s.

    Innings Pitched?

    Jack Morris pitched 270 or more IP exactly one time.
    Bert Blyleven pitched 270 or more IP EIGHT times.

    WHIP?

    Blyleven had a career WHIP of 1.198, compared to Morris at 1.296.

    Morris had a single-season WHIP better than Blyleven’s career WHIP just 3 times, and one of those was a strike-shortened season.

    The only conceivable way in which Morris can be considered a “dominant” pitcher is if you look at record, which is the worst possible way to judge a pitcher. Yes, even worse than WAR. And even then, Morris just happened to have the most wins if you look at a convenient time period that happens to coincide with his peak. He didn’t dominate ANYTHING.

    Morris had 138 career starts where he had less than 3 runs of support. Compare that to Bert Blyleven who had 231 such starts. That’s why there’s a discrepancy between their records. There’s no possible way to argue that Morris pitched better than Blyleven.

    “Blyleven was not even the best pitcher on most of his teams, let alone the league and/or those years.”

    I went ahead and counted it up…Blyleven was the best pitcher on his team 13 times and was twice traded during a season where his overall numbers would’ve been the best on both teams he was on.

    Blyleven should have won the Cy Young in 1973, 1981, and 1984 (I’ll bet he wishes he had the support that Greinke, Lincecum, and King Felix got that last couple years). Jack Morris never deserved it (and, for the record, never got it).

    But I guess Morris was an opening day starter a bunch of times. Is his 1993 season, where he started on opening day and proceeded to go 7-12 with a 6.27 ERA somehow a great season? That strikes me as a very bad season.

    “Morris…was the ace of three World Series teams”

    Jack Morris wasn’t the best pitcher on ANY of the teams that won a world series with him. His post-season record gets brought up a lot, and of course all anyone talks about is 1991 Game 7…arguably the best, most clutch pitching performance ever. Fine. What about either of his starts in 1992 with the Blue Jays? He went 0-2, giving up 10 runs in 10.2 innings. That sucks. In the ALCS that year, he went 0-1, giving up 9 runs in 12.1 innings. That’s not much better.

    Meanwhile, Blyleven was the actual ace of two World Series teams and had a 2.47 post-season ERA. Not too shabby.

  23. Bob Says:

    John, I agree with everything you said except for the fact that Morris was the best pitcher on the Tigers in 1984. He was better than Dan Petry, and I will not ever say a reliever was better than Morris, not even Willie Hernandez.
    Again, that is not an argument for his induction, as I never have understood how one can vote for Morris, but not Blyleven. And if Morris gets in, oh well, the HOF has crappier players in there. Trammell is the guy that should be in, as well as Sweet Lou.

  24. John Says:

    Petry had a better ERA and WHIP in equally as many starts, pitching all of six.innings less than Morris.

  25. Mike Felber Says:

    Yes, Blyleven & Baggy easily make it by conventional & Saber Stats. much more evidence can be piled up about this, if anyone doubts it.

    Barring PED use for the latter, & while he may have lied, guilt by association is not enough for me, though I am very against their use & the effect on other players, the games perception,, integrity, individual & team records. And once again:steroids were banned by the Commissioner at the start of the ’90s, they were cheating. Why these cheaters lied about usage if asked, before it was actually tested for & then punished, starting in ‘03.

  26. JohnBowen Says:

    I’m pretty sure Bags comes up a little short on the first go-around.

    About 65% or so of writers will vote for him.
    About 10% or so of writers will not vote for him because “if I have to do any research than that thar kid’s not a hall-of-famer!” In other words, these men aren’t very good at their jobs.
    The other 25% have suspicions about steroid use – but I predict that if another year rolls by without any revelations about Bags (for the record, I think he probably used…but so did everyone, so w/e) he’ll pick up that extra 10%.

  27. Raul Says:

    Bagwell doesn’t even pass the smell test.
    And that’s before I even begin to consider PED use.

  28. JohnBowen Says:

    The smell test is stupid.

    If he played in New York and played exactly as he did in Houston, he would pass the “smell test” because he would have more media exposure.

  29. Mike Felber Says:

    Unless he used PEDs, what good case can be made against Bagpipes? Career length, considering PA/games, decent for HOF, 2 strike shortened years. Good defense & decent base running. By far the most important thing: 149 OPS +, proportionate peak, superb ‘94.

    Only guys with near his offensive resume over his # of PAs who there is even a performance based CASE to be made against have either 1 or more of these flaws: poor defense, much PA, huge stadium advantage, or maybe many seasons but many missed games. Bagwell’s offense, even adjusted for era, & complete game are clearly HOF qualifiers.

  30. Mike Felber Says:

    I meant few, not many, PA in the 2nd paragraph above. And “where”, not “who”, there is a performance based case to be made against inductions.

  31. Cameron Says:

    Off-topic, I know, but…

    Why in the hell is Brandon Inge making $11.5 million this year?

  32. John Says:

    I believe he’s making that over the next three years.

  33. Chuck Says:

    Whatever test you want to call it, Bagwell doesn’t pass it for me, either.

  34. John Says:

    the…being really good at baseball test?

  35. Mike Felber Says:

    People can argue anything based upon their impulses. That it is crazy there are tiny invisible particles that everything is made of, the moon is made of cheese, the Eddie Gaedel should replace Willie Mays for the HOF…They can even claim the opposite, & they may be no more than coincidentally right if they have no good reasons.

    How about WHY is Bagwell not worthy of the Hall, based upon how he played? Feel free to address the logic of post 29. Or tell us a player of comparable overall skills, longevity, especially at bat-but not a DH, since some are too biased against someone adding much value here within the rules of the game-who is legitimately similar to J.B., & also does not belong?

  36. Chuck Says:

    Bagwell injested more juice than a quality control specialist at Tropicana.

    What he did on the field is a direct result, and irrelevant.

  37. brautigan Says:

    Bagwell was MVP once: 1994, you know, the strike season. The same year he led the league in slugging and OPS for the only time in his career.

    Bagwell had some good years, but I wonder how much of that was due to his ability to play everyday because he was juicing? And, keep in mind the context of the years Bagwell put up those numbers…..where people like Brady Anderson hit more homeruns in one season than Bagwell ever did.

    Go figure. If Bagwell gets into the hall, so be it. If it is proven he is a juicer, he is no different than Barry Bonds.

  38. Mike Felber Says:

    OK Chuck, when you said he does not pass whatever test you call it, that seemed to be referencing Raul’s comment-who said Bagwell was not HOF material even not considering PED usage. But we went over this before: he aggressively declares his innocence. Sure, he could be a liar, but being in a context where others used is not adequate to assume he used. his shoulder injury coincided with testing, him saying he could not do the heavy lifting any more & getting treatment.

    But if we are just talking performance Brautigan, not conclusive guilt by association, I do not think your points hold water. I & others adjust for context-that is where his OPS + of 149 comes in. Brady Anderson never approached Bags in run production per AB, even comparing their best years. He is 8th all time in base out runs added, excellent even considering it does not go back to early baseball.

    Bagwell had more than “some good years”. He did well/better than the average HOF man in HOF monitor, HOF standards, & gray ink. That he was marginally below HOF average in black ink says nothing about him not having great years-unless you implausibly insist that one needs to have an excellent black ink/dominance standard even by HOF standards. OPS + rankings show about the same as his top 5 rankings for adjusted batting runs & adjusted batting wins-6 top 5 finishes, 10 top 10 finishes. And no bad years until his abbriviated final one.

    IF he is a juicer, the only important difference between Bonds & he is that the latter was good enough to make it without Juice.

  39. Chuck Says:

    Bullshit, Mike.

  40. Chuck Says:

    “But we went over this before: he aggressively declares his innocence.”

    So did Mark McGwire.

    “IF he is a juicer, the only important difference between Bonds & he is that the latter was good enough to make it without Juice”

    You meant the former.

  41. brautigan Says:

    Mike:

    Offensive numbers for Bagwell’s era are so over inflated, I don’t even know where to begin.

    I guess it will be known as the asterisk era. Perhaps even a larger stain than the 1919 Black Sox.

    And I’ll be the first to admit I have a huge chip on my shoulder for all those that juiced. I wrote the commish that give everyone a two month notice: anyone caught juicing without a Dr.’s order is banned ala Shoeless Joe Jackson. Of course, nothing, no response. (I really didn’t think I’d get one, but that is how strongly I feel about it) I mean, when you have middle infielders looking like weak side linebackers, that’s just fucked up.

  42. Mike Felber Says:

    You are correct Chuck, I meant the former.

    Brautigan, that chip interferes a bit with your objectivity. We can & do compensate for any offensive era, (line ups & parks too, though the latter is imperfect) & Bagwell does very well indeed here. He hit better than, say Albert Belle, & of course for longer. Either on the leader boards, or even more so as consistently excellent: Weighted OPS + shows this easily. IF he used-yes, he is a sad fraud. If not, he is all the more impressive doing so well compared to many juicers.

    I would not provide no mercy or 2nd chances for cheaters, but I would make penalties tougher than now. I would also make sure that all samples were both saved AND we could assure players that they could be tested retroactively for any drug we cannot detect, or can be masked, currently. As a recreational lifter, i am not shy about proselytizing guys to be/stay clean.

  43. Hossrex Says:

    Are there measures we can take to compensate for the offensive bubble in the 90’s?

    Yes.

    Could you compare one era to the other without compensation regardless of steroidal involvement?

    No.

    So… since we’d need to compensate anyway… and we can still compensate just fine… who the fuck cares? The results are exactly as they would have been otherwise, except when it comes to counting stats which were surpassed… but… if you think the best counting stats are the one’s that can never be broken… fuck you.

  44. John Says:

    Bagwell probably roided up.

    If evidence were really that solid, someone wouldve come out with something by now.

    For now we’re stuck judging him based on being one of the best hitters of his era. He clearly passes that test.

  45. brautigan Says:

    Mike: I agree. I do have a bias. I hope everyone knows this.

  46. Mike Felber Says:

    Most everyone cares Hoss, since the offensive era (& certain PED fueled pitching approaches that contributed to the all or nothing extravaganza)was largely created by drugs. In all likelihood at least the biggest single factor. And even if you somehow do not care about the balance/ecology of the game & strategies, those records should not be broken due to means way beyond what even modern training allow. And the results of standings & championships determined by drugs largely-since baseball is a game of inches, & this blew it up. You will forgive us if we reject record breaking that is inherently artificial or fake: Bonds already had the tiny personal strike zone, he should not have tried to steal more benefit. Are he, Big Mac, Clemens, Palmy, etc…Victims of P.C. thinking? Hell no, they created their own nightmare of public disdain & disgrace, reaping what they sowed.

    Even if you say I do not care if becomes a game of HR hitting freaks & whiffs, IF something is both illegal & has a powerful effect, it is just wrong to violate the rules in such a non-trivial way. And deny those who would not cheat & lie equal glory, or even a chance at their dreams, or a roster spot.

  47. Hossrex Says:

    You never addressed the core issue.

    1: We have the ability to adjust the steroid era in exactly the same way we MUST adjust any other era.

    2: We wouldn’t be able to properly understand the 90’s if we didn’t do that adjustment, even if steroids had never existed.

    Those two points considered… how are the 90’s any less valid than any other era? It’s not like we’re forced to view that era in a vacuum, which can best be evidenced by the lack of “certain players” in the hall of fame.

    Besides… weren’t you just disagreeing with someone saying nearly the EXACT opposite thing I said?

    Do you EVER post unless you’re arrogantly explaining why someone else is wrong?

  48. John Says:

    As far as I’m concerned, judge players based on the context of their era. If that era happened to be a time when players were juicing balls out of the park, so be it…elect the very best ones.

    In the early 1900’s, pitchers were allowed to pitch with heavier, muddy balls, spit on them and never change them out during the game, and as such it was a huge era for pitching.

    As far as I’m concerned, that’s basically as much cheating as anything that hitters benefited from during the steroid era. So what do we do? Well, I’ll give you an example:

    George Mullin won 228 games with an ERA of 2.82 in the dead ball era. Both figures are a little bit “better” than Pedro Martinez, who pretty much everyone in the world agrees (or at least should agree) is a Hall-of-Famer. But we don’t elect this man to the Hall-of-Fame (even though he might appear to have the numbers) because he wasn’t one of the very best pitchers in his era – not even close – whereas Pedro Martinez was.

    So, elect the best hitters from this era. Period. Did Barry Bonds use steroids? Oh yeah. He also dominated the game harder than all but two people in history. Admit him. Bagwell? Probably used as well. But he was one of the best hitters in the game over over a decade. How about Carlos Delgado? His overall numbers are similar to Willie Stargell’s, but I think Delgado is on the outside looking in, because he was only a dominant force in a couple seasons (though I think he’s closer than he’ll ever get credit for).

  49. Shaun Says:

    http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2010/12/the_zealot_resp.php

    “Morris. He finished with 254 wins and 175 complete games while leading the league at various times in wins (twice), starts (twice), complete games, shutouts and innings pitched.”

    Wow. That’s really something. Blyleven finished with 287 wins and 242 complete games while leading the league at various times in shutouts (3x), strikeouts-to-walks (3x), innings pitched (2x), games started, complete games, and strikeouts, as well as WHIP and ERA+. Seems pretty straightforward to me. If Morris is a Hall of Famer, he needs to wait until after Blyleven has been inducted to be taken seriously. As Craig Calcaterra has said repeatedly, “You can vote for Jack Morris for the Hall of Fame. You can vote for Bert Blyleven for the Hall of Fame. You can also keep both of them out if you’re a small-Hall kind of guy. You cannot, however, vote for Jack Morris and not vote for Bert Blyleven.”

  50. Mike Felber Says:

    I did address what you said Hoss. I will try again.

    1st, I often disagree with others, as you do-your 1st post on this thread opposed other ideas about steroids, & there is nothing wrong with that. Yours ended with “fuck you” towards those who were absent malice-hostility. Why is it arrogant to critique behavior? You do so often, it is the way one does so-I reserve judgment before there is good evidence, would give folks less than an immediate lifetime ban… I can point you to occasions where I pose a theoretical question or praise something another said…But you should know that, having interacted with me here since you were 29 here. Search your memory banks or the archives-you forgot a guy who you had long interactions with recently, he reminded you, so your image of me may be constructed of random negative preconceptions.

    Now then. Check above-I was not disagreeing with someone saying about the opposite of what you said-since the basic, strong comment you made which I addressed is who the bleep cares? That we can compensate for the era generally does not deal with this huge concern. Also, there is no way to compensate for INDIVIDUALS completely, since whether you did or did not cheat, how much & hoe effectively, effects how you will perform.

    Thus unlike past era adjustments, not everyone is playing in the same parks, mound, strike zone, ball…Even a stadium we can see how much someone played there & estimate. We will never know how much & what everyone did, but there is no doubt that many cheated, & tons did not.

    So John, even if you disagree with dead ball era rules, there is no way something done openly that the rules fully permit is cheating. Yes, we adjust for these things which give pitchers in general an advantage. But we cannot do the same with ‘roiders if we do not know when, how much, & how effectively they used. Those that did, we can adjust them downwards accordingly. So we estimate would they be HOF material without cheating.

    But clearly there is an ethical issue to, so if players are unapologetic or deny cheating & lying (& usually both go together), few would say they should be honored in Cooperstown. Because unlike most private conduct, this effects the integrity, health, & reputation of the game.

    Morris had a 105 ERA +, & his peak was not really disproportionate to this. In terms of real production, NOT his run support & related conditions that led to wins. Just as he was not so good in the post season overall, but Blyleven was. Not that these few games should mean that much anyway, but on this very site a thread was presented that wholly debunked the myth that Morris “pitched to the score”.

    He had a very fortunate context, so like Catfish Hunter, was over rated. it was the opposite for BB. Put Morris in his shoes, he would have had a losing record (in a shorter career).

  51. Chuck Says:

    “If evidence were really that solid, someone wouldve come out with something by now.”

    Tell Bud to release the Mitchell Report.

  52. John Says:

    http://www.bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1778&Itemid=49

    Ctrl+F : Bagwell;

    Your search of the word “Bagwell” yielded zero (0) results.

  53. Shaun Says:

    But clearly there is an ethical issue to, so if players are unapologetic or deny cheating & lying (& usually both go together), few would say they should be honored in Cooperstown. Because unlike most private conduct, this effects the integrity, health, & reputation of the game.

    It’s problematic for voters to keep out PED users because using PED’s is conduct detrimental to the integrity, health and reputation of the game when that sort of conduct has gone on throughout the history of baseball. For example, there is strong suspicion and possibly even evidence that throwing the 1919 World Series wasn’t an isolated indecent, even in World Series play. There was a drug problem in the game throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. Hall of Fame pitchers throughout the history of the game have admitted to doctoring baseballs.

    There is this misconception that baseball was once pure and PED’s ruined that. We know better but we often brush the previous problems in the game under the rug or we just forget about all of those problems with the passage of time. In a way it’s refreshing that baseball has the reputation of a dignified, classy American sport and the standards for the game seem to be higher than most other American games or sports. But it’s also disingenuous to think the game was ever pure or purer than it was when PED use was apparently fairly rampant.

  54. brautigan Says:

    Shaun: I am going to assume for one second that you are fairly young. There was a time when the code (unwritten rules of baseball) was adhered to and fully enforced. If a batter stands too close to home plate while a pitcher was warming up, he got a fastball in the ear hole. Not good sportsmanship, but hey, the batter violated the rule and he got what he should have expected. A rookie shows up a veteran on the field, he’s going to pay for it and his teamates are not going to back him up, and in fact, he’s probably going to get red-assed by his own teamates.

    The problem I have with PEDS is that it took the unwritten rules right off the table. It turned a game into a business. I have heard a lot of players (who hadn’t yet played when I hung MY cleats up) grumble about how todays players don’t know how to play the game(trust me, the players today are better than they ever have been, that’s not the point). Anytime a pitcher throws inside, the batter charges the pitcher. If they did that crap in the 70’s, that batter would get a high and tight fastball everytime he came to the plate. There is a right way to play and the wrong way to play, and it used to be the veterans that would pass that information on the younger players, but now, you have younger players that pay no heed, and I think that is where baseball is going to lose some integrity. (if they have any integrity left after the steroid era) Most of you on this site know how much I dislike Barry Bonds (mostly for his sparkling personality), but even Bonds knew how to play the game right. Sigh.

  55. Chuck Says:

    “(trust me, the players today are better than they ever have been)”

    I disagree.

    Strongly.

    As a group they are bigger and probably stronger due to increases in nutrition and weight training, etc, but from a fundamental standpoint the game is poorly played day to day.

    Outfielders throwing to the wrong bases, missing cutoff men, swinging the same way regardless of situation or count, inability or unwillingness to do the unrecognized yet important things like backing up bases.

    The only thing more frustrating than watching an eight million per season shortstop being unable to consistently turn a double play is knowing he really should be turning DP’s in Triple A.

  56. brautigan Says:

    Chuck, I don’t disagree with what you’re saying. It’s just that I see players making difficult plays consistently that players weren’t making at all 30 years ago. That may be due to what you already alluded to, but players aren’t going home in the off season and sellng insurance or autos, or working in the bakery, or filling in at the slaughter house. They are working out year round, and there is the consistency of muscle memory that players couldn’t afford to do in the past. That was what I was referring to. So your point is not the point I was making and I do agree with what you’re saying.

  57. Chuck Says:

    “It’s just that I see players making difficult plays consistently that players weren’t making at all 30 years ago.”

    If you’re suggesting Ozzie Smith or Brooks Robinson or Johnny Bench wouldn’t be the best defensive players at their positions today then I’m going to have to call bullshit.

    Sure, Alexei Ramirez can make a ridiculous play on a bad hopper, but then two plays later he blows a routine play. THAT’S what you never saw forty years ago.

    Maybe Mark Belanger didn’t have Ramirez’ range, but he never blew a play he should make, either.

  58. Shaun Says:

    brautigan, the game has been a business for at least as long as the National League has been around, maybe longer. This idea that baseball and other sports became businesses just recently is another misconception. There were hold-outs and players complaining about pay throughout the history of professional baseball.

    Yes, things have changed as there was a dramatic increase in owner profits and player pay in the 1970’s and 1980’s with the advent of technologies like TV and probably a greater influx of business people in the game who understood demand for major league baseball. Also it helped that the players unionized and their union became very powerful. But the game has been a business since it became a professional endeavor.

    As far as players charging the mound if a pitcher comes inside, I don’t know that there is any evidence that players charge the mound any more than they used to. Maybe they do. I just don’t know. There does seem to be a higher rate of hit-batsman. I suspect that is because hitters have learned that standing closer to the plate is to their advantage. One theory I’ve heard is that with the advent of aluminum bats, players weren’t as worried about getting jammed inside as they once were because if a player gets jammed with an aluminum bat, he can still muscle the ball into solid contact. Also players learned they could muscle an outside pitch for an extra-base hit or a homer; so they stand on the plate forcing the pitcher to throw away and hitting that pitch to the opposite field.

  59. brautigan Says:

    Chuck: I can think of other defensive standouts from past eras (Bill Mazeroski, Ron Hansen, Ron Santo, Nelson Fox, and Roberto Clemente quickly come to mind), but for every Alexei Ramirez I can think of Garry Templeton (he did the same thing). I remember watching Bob Cerv play left field like he was a matador in a bull ring. No, defense is played today in a manner that has never been played before. I mean, ESPN could build a program based on defensive plays that are amazing each day! For every Willie Mays catch of a Vic Wertz drive, I’ve seen at least three from Jim Edmonds alone.

    Of course, you can make a case that the fields are in better condition than they were in the old days, and equipment is better. I can believe that.

  60. Shaun Says:

    brautigan, basically I’m saying that if there is more mound-charging, it’s most likely because hitters have learned that it is to their benefit to stand close to the plate. Greg Maddux did an interview once and said the biggest change over the course of his career was that players later on started to stand closer to the plate and muscle outside pitches to rightfield.

  61. brautigan Says:

    Shaun: You throw inside, you get a warning.

    Bob Gibson and Bill Singer would be Mike Pelfrey with those rules.

  62. Chuck Says:

    Can you imagine Ted Williams standing up on the plate with Barry Bonds’ strike zone and his armor?

    His CAREER average would have been over .400.

  63. Chuck Says:

    “I mean, ESPN could build a program based on defensive plays that are amazing each day.”

    ESPN wasn’t around in the 60’s.

    If it was, then Aparicio and Robinson and Ken Berry and Bobby Knoop would have been filling up SportsCenter highlight reels.

  64. Cameron Says:

    I don’t think so Chuck, ESPN’s NEVER given a shit about baseball. Their play-calling is bad on TV (WORSE on radio), and the news is barely a blip on the radar.

    Football gets covered more in their offseason, I swear. And they’re not too good on that, either. They think Mark Sanchez is a good quarterback. Still have no idea why.

    Also, a moment of silence for those we’ve lost…

    Maury Allen
    Sparky Anderson
    Jim Bibby
    Bobby Bragan
    Phil Cavarretta
    Mike Celizic
    Mike Cuellar
    Willie Davis
    Walt Dropo
    Bob Feller
    Clint Hartung
    Ernie Harwell
    Gene Hermanski
    Bill Hoeft
    Ralph Houk
    Clyde King
    Ed Kirkpatrick
    Bill Lajoie
    Al LaMacchia
    Jose Lima
    Joe Lis
    Billy Loes
    Bob Mandt
    Gil McDougald
    Keli McGregor
    Dave Niehaus
    Al Pilarcik
    Robin Roberts
    Jeriome Robertson
    Ron Santo
    Bill Shannon
    Bob Shaw
    Bob Sheppard
    George Steinbrenner
    Valmy Thomas
    Bobby Thomson
    Wayne Twitchell
    Tom Underwood
    Lubie Veal
    Frank Verdi
    Vic Ziegel

  65. Chuck Says:

    Forgot somebody

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/schluja01.shtml

  66. brautigan Says:

    Along with these:

    Ken Lehman
    Art Mahan
    R.C. Stevens
    William “Bugs” Werle
    Steve Kuczek
    Harold Bamberger
    Sam Holmes (Negro Leagues)
    Danny McDevitt
    George Estock
    Artie Wilson (Negro Leagues & N.Y. Giants)
    Gene Fodge
    Rudy Rufer
    Tony Roig
    Lucky Miller (Negro Leagues)
    Ray Coleman
    Cal McLish (longest name in baseball history)
    Satch Davidson (umpire)

    I’ll miss Artie. I used to see him in Portland all the time. The guy was still playing baseball in his 80’s, and he was still damn good then. He was really a nice gentleman and will really be missed here in Oregon.

  67. Cameron Says:

    It was just a copy-paste of mlb.com’s list. Thanks for the addendums.

  68. John Says:

    “Outfielders throwing to the wrong bases, missing cutoff men, swinging the same way regardless of situation or count, inability or unwillingness to do the unrecognized yet important things like backing up bases.”

    I’m pretty sure people messed up fundamentals in the good old days too. Come on now.

    They showed game 7 of the 1960 World Series on MLB network the other day. In the top of the eighth, with runners on first (Mantle) & third and 1 out and the Yankees losing by 1, the Yankee batter hits a ground ball to the first baseman. With the runner on third going on contact, the batter hits a ground ball to the first baseman, who steps on first and then tries to tag out Mantle. Mantle slides headfirst back into first dodging a tag, and is safe since the force has been eliminated.

    Two problems.

    1) Maybe the first baseman was drawn by momentum to first by the batted ball, but he really should have thrown down to second w/o stepping on the base and then getting the 3-6-3 DP, thus having a chance of eliminating the run from scoring.

    2) Why the hell was Mantle diving back into first? With the play going down as it did, he should have been trying to get into a run-down, not doing the ONLY THING that could have lost his team the game right there and then. He was able to BARELY get in under the tag. If the tag had been applied a split second sooner, Mantle would’ve been out before the runner crossed home plate, ending the series right there.

    Poor fundamentals all the way around by the two best teams in baseball in game 7 of the freaking world series.

  69. John Says:

    *top of the ninth

  70. brautigan Says:

    I saw that too John. Rocky Nelson wasn’t the greatest fielding first baseman, but he was better than Dick “Strangeglove” Stuart.

  71. Chuck Says:

    I saw it too.

    In their little roundtable afterwards, Costas recalled how Tony Kubek had talked to Mantle about that play and he said he just froze, had a brain fart.

    The ball was hit so hard and it was right on the bag he kind of lost what he was supposed to do.

    Nelson did the right thing..as a lefty first baseman once you make an out at first you step either backwards or forwards a step so to throw around the runner to second.

    When he saw where Mantle was I think he froze a bit too.

    Under the circumstances of the game, I can understand the brain lock from both guys.

  72. Mike Felber Says:

    It is not clear whether improved athleticism has more than offset loss of fundamental soundness, meaning if we brought back players from their primes in, say, ‘60, how would they compare? But I believe the consensus is right-the average player is better overall today, weighing all factors. When you add youth development early, high tech & year round training, greater athleticism, size & strength-I cannot see that all this could be completely counterbalanced by better baseball skills. For one, this can be overstated-there are still many who have excellent game smarts, & it is not like the study of strategy is as absent as advanced training & year round efforts were in the past.

    The only reason past players can be even close, as opposed to an NBA or NFL team from ‘60, is that purely physical abilities, while helpful, are not as overwhelmingly primary as in most other sports.

  73. brautigan Says:

    Chuck:

    You crack me up, even when I agree with you, you call “bullshit”.

    I cannot wait to meet up with you in the Phoenix area and throw down some frosty adult beverages. I’m sure we’ll have a ton of stories to throw about!

    Here is my email address: Send me your address and I’ll send you down some cards to get autographed. Johnok@pacifier.com

  74. Chuck Says:

    From 1960-1985 there were forty-eight individual seasons of players qualifying for the batting title with an average of .220 or less.

    From 1985-2010 there were forty.

    We can look at all the ridiculous power numbers put up over the past twenty years and whether you attribute that to one certain factor or a handful, the numbers clearly show there are just as many shitty hitters today as there were 40 years ago.

    Probably more, when you consider there are ten, fifteen point differences in league batting averages.

  75. Chuck Says:

    http://www.azmla.com/Celebration%20of%20Baseball%20brochure%202011.pdf

  76. John Says:

    Not really Chuck.

    There are a lot more teams now, therefore more players in the league who could theoretically do that.

  77. Lefty33 Says:

    “Shaun: You throw inside, you get a warning.

    Bob Gibson and Bill Singer would be Mike Pelfrey with those rules.”

    Amen

    If the pitching “greats” from the ’50s-’80s were subject to today’s rules about not pitching inside there would be several guys who don’t get to 300 and probably don’t make the HOF because of it.

    Shaun guys stand over the plate now more than ever because pitchers are not allowed to come inside anymore without being afraid of warnings and ejections.

    If I was a hitter playing today I would put on my body armor on my lead arm and hang out over the plate because what’s going to dissuade me from not doing it?

    Fifty years ago if a guy hangs out over the plate he gets buzzed. Today he gets a hit.

  78. Mike Felber Says:

    Though with the special K-zone Bonds got, Williams would have hit better, & more hrs. Likely not .400, but I could see near .370 & 20 or more OPS + points.

    We are at a loss with the demise of certain unwritten rules, but something like throwing at heads was always wrong, & the end does not justify the means. Neither is charging the mound OK. But that one irrational behavior was considered acceptable does not make it better.

    I agree with most of your above comments Shaun, but the fact that there has never been a problem-free era does not mean that corruption or harm to the game has always been nearly equal. It varies: Were other games thrown? if so, how often? How much did drugs or doctoring of the baseball effect the game? before ‘20 it was legal, so that cannot be called corruption, even though we like the change to outlaw doctored balls. This statement is wrong: But it’s also disingenuous to think the game was ever pure or purer than it was when PED use was apparently fairly rampant.”

    The game is now at least “purer” than when PED use was clearly significantly more prevalent. Just as it was purer in ‘85 than during the heart of the r’oid era. Sure, some folks always used somethings: but the addition of a whole class of drugs that added to the absolute potential of many players, let some compete in MLB when they could not otherwise, transformed bodies, AND added endurance & ability to play…That is a big difference in degree of evil.

  79. Chuck Says:

    “but something like throwing at heads was always wrong”

    Even the country bumpkin off the farm stars of the fifties and sixties didn’t throw at heads, despite their diminished physical and mental capabilities.

  80. Mike Felber Says:

    Let guys throw inside, & just seriously penalize head hunting. But if somebody gets hit while hanging OVER the plate-don’t give him a base. Maybe call him out.

    Even apart from the # of teams & players today, there is no logic in just counting how many low BA hitters there are today. So many problems-like BA is not even a great measure of overall offensive productivity. And even if it was, it does not account for either hitting environment, nor how much absolute skill in hitting & pitching has improved, including relative to each other.

    Stephan Jay Gould, Evolutionary Biologist, convincingly showed how the best players of yesteryear were significantly better than how much modern players can dominate, due to how greater skills were selected for. So the good field, no hit guy becomes scarcer over time. The .220 guy of today will be at least more likely to draw some walks & hit with a modicum of power. Larry Bowa I think was amongst the last who could have a long career with a 71 OPS +: at least absent having much of a range. Also, we can better see his .260 career B.A. as pretty “empty” of proportionate productivity.

  81. Chuck Says:

    Was Bowa a below average offensive player?

    Yes.

    Was he paid to produce offensively?

    No.

    “The .220 guy of today will be at least more likely to draw some walks & hit with a modicum of power.”

    Small parks, small strike zones, bad pitching.

    Without changing anything.

  82. Cameron Says:

    Guys tend to stand over the plate now because when they develop from little league through college, they use aluminum bats and can choke up, get a hit off the barrel and not have it splinter like most wood bats would, that and the cheap walk. It’s a mental thing that’s developed through the kids.

  83. Chuck Says:

    Good point, Cam.

  84. Mike Felber Says:

    Those factors operate Chuck, though not exclusively. If we compared the ’80’s to ‘60 or before, even without the parks & strike zone being what they are today, I believe you will find the gradual culling of outlier performances. My point on Bowa was that he would not have such a full career today, with poor bat & little range, though sure hands & could steal some. there are too many better options. Unless he trained & was able to develop some pop & BB. His Hrs were impressively rare!

    Maybe starting pitching is not as good-though again, it is hard to compare athleticism vs. skill level variations objectively. But even if relievers are not great in general, having many fresh arms & specialists has got to have been better than keeping in pitchers some times, & significantly better than the mop up me they had on the many occasions when guys could not complete games.

    I am open to learning, but skeptical: are you claiming that nobody ever threw at someone’s head? Not even the gray area that they threw at it, expecting or hoping that the guy gets out of the way? These pitchers who you tout as so much more skilled than today-all shots guys took to the face, skull, or thrown at that area but they dodged; these were always cases of pitches getting well away from these master hurlers?

  85. Chuck Says:

    Bowa was a plus defender Mike, so while I understand the point you were attempting to make, using Bowa as your example was a poor choice.

    “it is hard to compare athleticism vs. skill level variations objectively.”

    Certainly not enough to prevent you from attempting to do so in every comment you make though, is it?

    “are you claiming that nobody ever threw at someone’s head?”

    Yes, Mike, that’s what I’m claiming.

  86. Cameron Says:

    Chuck, knowing you I probably know the answer, but I’m terrible at detecting it online. Was that a sarcastic answer? Because Drsydale, Gibson, and Clemens would like to have some words with you about headhunting.

  87. Chuck Says:

    There’s a big difference between throwing at someone and throwing at someone’s head.

    But since no pitcher would ever admit to doing so, there’s nothing to debate.

  88. Cameron Says:

    Pretty sure Clemens has owned up to deliberately headhunting before.

  89. Mike Felber Says:

    1) I am open to hearing the case otherwise, as Bowa was at his peak when i was a kid & not watching him (though observation can be misleading in cases like range). But the stats I see on Bowa show him good at avoiding errors, not at range. I understand that even this has significant value at SS. But was he really much better than decent overall defensively?

    2) Yes, I ATTEMPT to address differences in athleticism & abilities, though of course only in a small % of comments. As you do, as we should to be fair to all.

    3) I also seriously doubt that no pitcher has admitted headhunting, but of course that is far from meaning there is nothing to debate! So lets forget about criminal or PED investigations of anything, in society & sports, if it is denied? not try to sort out the truth from available evidence even?

    There are vagueries here…Many have spoken about “chin music”, & many pitchers have left it up to batters to get out of the way, without intending to break there face. But it would seem more naive than me, ironically, to believe that many did not throw at heads with bad intent, at least sometimes. It defies credulity that the meanest pitchers, sometimes throwing when they did not like an attitude or just due to performances against them, never did so.

  90. Hartvig Says:

    I’ve read in several different places that Carl Mays (who’s pitch killed Ray Chapman) was a notorious headhunter and was not well liked, even by his own teammates, at least on the Yankees. Lots of rumors followed Maglie, Wynn & Drysdale but I’ve never heard of any of them (or any other pitcher, for that matter) admit to throwing at a batters head, at least that I can recall.

  91. Lefty33 Says:

    “But was he really much better than decent overall defensively?”

    One of the big reasons why Philly won the series in ‘80 Mike was because their up the middle defense of Boone, Trillo, Bowa, and Maddox was really that good.

    The turf at The Vet had to be either the worst or second worst in Baseball.

    Lumpy and choppy and no doubt a real bitch to play on. But Bowa did it for 12 years and was very good at it. Like Chuck said, he wasn’t there for his offense.

    He would have won a lot more GG’s but he had to compete with Concepcion, who I think defensivly Bowa was better than but that’s another discussion, and that “Wizard” guy in St. Louis.

  92. Mike Felber Says:

    OK, thanks Lefty. Obviously you think his range factor rating is all wet.

  93. brautigan Says:

    In the old days, if you went headhunging, you could get one of your own players killed. Do you think a teammate is going to sit back and watch one of his own pitchers go headhunting? Unlikely.

    Now, you have the umpire and the commissioner’s office determine outcomes of headhunting instead of the players. And what has that brought us? More hit batters. Dammit, let the players police themselves, they do a much better job of it.

  94. brautigan Says:

    headhunging? Sorry about that, I meant of course “headhunting”.

    Too early.

  95. Chuck Says:

    Mike,

    Bowa’s career SS RF ranks 37th all time for the position, which places him AHEAD of guys like Vizquel, Larkin, Ripken, ARod and Trammell.

  96. Cameron Says:

    Shit, isn’t it bad enough Tony Gwynn’s going through chemo, now Killer?

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20101230&content_id=16375614&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

  97. Chuck Says:

    I’ve never met Tony Gwynn but I heard he’s a great guy.

    He’ll have to go some to beat Killebrew.

    He’s awesome.

  98. Mike Felber Says:

    But when I check his range factor compared to league average on B-R.com, both per 9 innings & total, they are listed as below average. Unless your stat is taking into account longevity/total chances, rather than rate-but the latter shows how many balls a guy effectively gets to per chance. Where is the stat you are pointing to Chuck?

    Brautigan, I never heard of a player dialing back a pitcher’s throwing. When they policed themselves, it was normally tit for tat, & that tended to end it. There seems to be less reprisal because of punishments. But we have established that there are more hit batters due to guys wearing body armor & crowding the plate. That does not at all show that there is more intentional beanings, let alone headhunting, today.

  99. brautigan Says:

    Chuck:

    Tony Gwynn is one of the funniest players I have ever had the chance to listen to. He has some great stories. A truly good guy, he does treat the fans right.

    Mike: Jason Turbow’s book, “The Baseball Code”, he talked with several former major leaguers and they spoke about getting after their own players that played the game wrong and ended up getting one of their own hurt. There was one incident in which a player was traded because he kept doing things that caused his teamates to get retaliated against.

  100. Chuck Says:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/range_factor_per_nine_ss_career.shtml

  101. Bob Says:

    I was watching the MLB Network, and they showed Teixiera getting hit when he was a Yankee, and then he ran into the SS on a slow groundball by ARod which allowed him to reach base. Then A.J Burnett throws at Cruz, although the ball missed him.

  102. Cameron Says:

    …Troy Tulowitzki ranks 10th all-time in RF/9. He hasn’t been around that long, so naturally that’ll balance out, but the Rockies stumbled on to something special with this kid.

  103. Hartvig Says:

    I’m making up a notebook of Harmon Killebrew’s baseball cards for my niece’s just turned 4 year old- using my own collection for the 60’s & eBay for the early stuff & post 69 plus throwing in a card or 2 from each year for all of the other Twins all-time best- from Bobby Allison & Earl Battey & Mudcat Grant & Tony Oliva & Rod Carew thru Hurbek & Viola & Brunansky up to Morneau and Mauer- just so when/if he ever starts collecting he can drag this out and blow all of his little friends collections out of the water. I didn’t get it done in time for his birthday this past month but he’s still a little too young to appreciate it anyways.

    I do hope the Killer sticks around so I can get him to personalize an 8 by 10 glossy for the cover.

  104. Mike Felber Says:

    Well then what I do not comprehend then is why he is well below average for Range factor on his own page on this same site. They round him up to 4.80 per 9, but the League Average is listed as 4.99. And per game, the League average is the same, but Bowa is way behind- 4.57. I do not know if the “averages” are in error, but the site manages to give him a NEGATIVE defensive rating over his whole career! I know this is your time to rant ‘n rave about WAR Chuck, so have at it-but insight into how & why Bowa’s range factor is listed as low on his page wopuld add more insight.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/bowala01.shtml

    I hope Killebrew pulls threw for his own sake. Though something about him would have me intuitively figuring he would not make it past mid ’70’s. But with great modern medicine, who knows. BB King is a very fat diabetic in his ’80’s, still alive & playing.

  105. Chuck Says:

    Any “what if” list for the HOF starts with Oliva.

    A bio of Bob Allison was the first baseball book I ever read, way back in probably 1966 or 1967.

    He remains to this day on of my favorite players of all time. I don’t remember seeing him much, but it doesn’t matter.

    I’ve met Killebrew a half dozen times, great guy. I’ve met Mudcat Grant a couple of times as well and even had a lengthy email conversation with him a few years ago. He wrote a book called “The Black Aces” about African American 20 game winners in the major leagues. He personally autographed it for me, as have Fergie Jenkins and Dave Stewart.

    The Twins had some great teams in the mid to late 60’s and early 70’s and they played a big part on my becoming a baseball fan.

  106. Chuck Says:

    “Alhough something about him would have me intuitively figuring he would not make it past mid ’70’s.”

    What the fuck does THAT mean, Mike?

  107. Cameron Says:

    Hey Chuck, I have even sadder news than Killebrew.

    The Yankees are so desperate for starting pitching that they’re talking to Bartolo Colon.

  108. Hartvig Says:

    Yeah, Oliva came remarkably close to putting up HOF numbers in spite of the injuries & playing his peak years in the most dominant pitching era in over 40 years. If he doesn’t blow out his knee, he’s probably in on the first ballot. The 69 Twins not only had Killebrew, Oliva & Carew but Kaat & a 24 year old Craig Nettles on the bench and some pretty stud pitching as well. Heck of a team.

  109. Mike Felber Says:

    Eaeaeasy there, slugger. ;-) I just meant that as a general impression-the felt sense of a big meat ;n potatoes type guy. Mean do not live nearly as long as woman anyway, & big older sluggers I think of as with the big gut & incautious nutritionally.

    No offense meant. Heck, given my family history of moderate life spans, i am not expecting to make extreme old age. Though we n=know enough to make it more likely, genetics play a big part of things. Cancer & Hitler ran rampant in my family-we have one licked at least!

  110. Chuck Says:

    I’m sorry, Mike, but I don’t get it.

    Especially the BB King reference.

  111. Mike Felber Says:

    I just meant that Killer seems the “type” to have a lifestyle like a stereotypical heavy old jock. Just an impression, & I admire him & wish him a very long life. The other part was saying that I could be wrong/you never know, & cited Mr. King as someone who has way exceeded demographic expectations, especially as the details get more granular: a now 85 year old black man, severely obese, & from his Wikipedia page,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B.B._King “He has lived with Type II diabetes for over twenty years and is a high-profile spokesman in the fight against the disease, appearing in advertisements for diabetes-management products”. Fascinating man.

    What do you think of the whole movement that says it is carbs, sometimes not distinguishing types, that causes health problems & obesity? I know some people are especially sensitive to them, but the movement seems extreme. Forgot the guys name who I just heard interviewed-he essentially does not believe that weight is about calorie balance, that if you exercise more you will just get more hungry & eat more, & sees no real danger w/excess fats.

    But being INactive I think leaves appetite & healthy functions unmediated by natural chemical factors, & many things ratchet up appetite. One can choose to eat high nutrient, moderate calorie things, & activity gets one in touch with real needs it seems. I am happy being ~ 10% overweight while strong though…Would have less fat & muscle if I did not lift.

  112. Lefty33 Says:

    “Obviously you think his range factor rating is all wet.”

    No Mike that’s not obvious.

    I saw the guy play a ton of games while in Philly and he was one of big reasons defensivly why the Philly teams from the mid-’70s until when he got traded to the Cubs with Sandberg were so good.

    He along with Boone, Maddox, and to a much lesser degree Trillo were the best of their time when together.

    I don’t need some little turd stat to try and dissuade me from something that I saw over many years.

  113. Shaun Says:

    Jonah Keri writes the following:

    “It’s after 5 pm here on the West Coast, and I’m watching the sunset at the beach. The sun drops, drops, drops…and it’s gone! Into the ocean! Miraculously, a brand new sun will appear, fully formed, 13 hours from now. This is roughly how Hall of Fame voters justify ignoring numbers in making their case for or against certain players.

    “Jack Morris is a Hall of Fame pitcher because…well…you had to be there. Here’s the thing about us humans: We’re terrible at observing reality. As in the case of the setting sun, our eyes can only take us so far. Our minds are even more unreliable. We remember Jack Morris’ dominant Game 7 in the 1991 World Series, but conveniently forget his miserable playoff performance the very next year. This is known as confirmation bias, where we collect observations that prove our argument, and throw out the ones that disprove it. This is why science exists, people. Without hard data, our observations can be nearly useless – or worse than useless.”

    This should be a lesson to not only those who think Morris is a sure-fire Hall of Famer but also those who say things like, “I don’t need some little turd stat to try and dissuade me from something that I saw over many years.”

  114. Shaun Says:

    More from Jonah:

    “Tim Raines reached base more times in his career than Tony Gwynn, but because Gwynn hit a bunch more singles (and Raines drew more walks), Gwynn’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer and Raines sits and waits. Raines also stole 808 bases (5th all-time) with a success rate of nearly 85% (by far the best number for anyone with nearly that many attempts). We can do better than pitcher wins too. ERA’s a start. So are strikeouts. A few more seconds on any player’s Baseball-Reference.com page and you’ll find ERA+ (ERA adjusted to account for park and league effects) and other, more advanced metrics.”

    His piece at blogs.thescore.com/mlb/2010/12/30/what-hall-of-fame-voters-are-doing-wrong/ is worth reading.

  115. Richard Says:

    “The 69 Twins not only had Killebrew, Oliva & Carew but Kaat & a 24 year old Craig Nettles on the bench and some pretty stud pitching as well. Heck of a team.”

    Sorry, but it’s a pet peeve. GRAIG Nettles, my all-time favorite player. He was Dave Kingman with a great glove, but he was clutch and a major cog in the Yankee resurgence under the Boss. I remember being inconsolable the day he was traded to the Padres.

  116. John Says:

    While I agree with you on Morris and Raines, Shaun, you’re comparing apples and oranges when you discuss range factor. Range factor is every bit as context dependent as wins or rbi. In this sense, defensive statistics are nowhere near as reliable as hitting and pitching stats.

    Off the top of my head, I can think of at least three reasons that could account for a low range factor out of Bowa:

    1) Terrible turf at the vet.
    2) 1/4 of games were started by a gentleman who ranks fourth all-time in strikeouts. Fewer balls in play means fewer chances for the SS.
    3) Playing next to probably the 2nd best third baseman of all-time. Mike Schmidt was probably able to gobble up alot of balls that the SS usually has to make plays on.

    The best defensive stat is to watch a guy in action, period.

  117. Hartvig Says:

    Richard@115

    “Sorry, but it’s a pet peeve. GRAIG Nettles, my all-time favorite player. He was Dave Kingman with a great glove,”

    LOL- sorry, I knew better of course but had a brain fart. The Kingman comment is absolutely the funniest thing I have read in a long, long time. Geez, get the 2 of them on a team with Thurman Monson & you’d really have a fun bunch.

  118. Mike Felber Says:

    Why is it not obvious Lefty? You said he was a good fielder, & clearly think his range was good. Thus you see the stats I described as incorrect, affirming that through your insult of one. Separately, Many “see” different things, & subjective factors can be very misleading, like looking good on balls you get to, making plays you get to look harder-if we did not count offensive stats, we would not know who produced the most, impressions & reputation would have havy weight in our mind. Even a single skill, not a complex one like defense with several factors-would we know who throws the fastest-would we say Chapman without a gun? I’ll bet he, Zumaya, Wagner before him…Would have been judged close to the speed of better pitchers who tended to be great & have an intimidation factor.

    None of this is to say you do not happen to be right on Bowa. You may well be. It was just clear that you found the cited defensive range rating as sopping wet, i.e., all wrong. Thanks John, that is a good likely explanation. though folks can & do come to different conclusions through watching guys, &those factors could be discovered without seeing him play also. but clearly observation, even without formal measurement, might be done well & accurately too.

  119. John Says:

    Thought of the day:

    If Dave Kingman had managed to hang around another 2-3 years and reach 500 HR (not unrealistic, considering he ended his career with three straight seasons over 30), would the voters have elected him to the HOF? Keep in mind that he would have retired with a batting average around .230 and an OBP under .300.

  120. Chuck Says:

    Killebrew is not African American, is not obese, is a former professional athlete and is not diabetic.

    So, what “type” would you exactly be referring to?

    “What do you think of the whole movement that says it is carbs, sometimes not distinguishing types, that causes health problems & obesity?”

    Complete load of dogshit. Carbs are an essential part of a balanced diet and just like anything else can have negative ramifications on your weight and overall health.

    Well, John, considering Kingman was the first to reach 400 and wasn’t elected, I’d say he probably wouldn’t have gotten in.

    Steriods or not, Gary Sheffield isn’t getting in, so 500 isn’t a lock anymore either.

    Jonah Keri?

    Good one, Shaun.

  121. Cameron Says:

    Chuck, not exactly obese, but he was pretty short and stocky even in his prime. I’m a bit surprised he’s still alive just given the body type and the fact that as a player he never had a reputation for being an athlete, just a hell of a hitter.

  122. Chuck Says:

    Killebrew was/is football player solid, he’s not built like Prince Fielder.

  123. Cameron Says:

    Eh, true. I just knew that he wasn’t exactly the most athletic guy on the field and he was built like a brick. He’s only 74, so not exactly surprised, but not somebody I’d peg for a lifespan of 80+. …Cancer aside, that is.

  124. Hartvig Says:

    I have to agree with Chuck about Kingman not getting in even if he hit 500 home runs. Eddie Matthews & Killebrew both had to wait a few seasons before they were enshrined and even then there were brainless, moronic, vapid, clueless, jackass writers saying what an abomination it was that a .250 hitter was in the Hall of Fame. But even those idiots could see the Killebrew was 10 times better a player than Kingman ever was plus Kingman was such a jerk that some people wouldn’t have voted for him even if he had been a better ballplayer.

  125. Cameron Says:

    Ha, a quote on Yahoo about the 2011 Cleveland Indians.

    “Choo learns he must serve two years of hard, lonely duty on the front lines of a hopeless, never-ending battle; on the bright side, he received a South Korean military waiver.”

  126. Jim Says:

    Killebrew has been diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus, leading to an assumption that the cancer is related to the use of chewing tobacco. I have have no idea if Harmon was a dipper or not, but the use of chewing tobacco in the 50’s and 60’s was so common that a non-dipper was the oddity.

    Mike I have no idea where you’re going with your thoughts regarding body type and carbs, nor do we have any idea what Harmon’s lifestyle was out of BB, though I’d speculate that it was not dissimilar to other men of his age.

  127. Mike Felber Says:

    Cameron’s thoughts are similar to mine Chuck. Though I would be shocked if Killer was still “football player solid”. Though if he maintained a portion of his muscle that would be laudable. I do not think many ex-jocks from his era stressed fitness into old age, as you noted Jim. But I was not associati9ng body TYPE & carbs-just that it seems that some people really have trouble with handling carbs effectively. But as Chuck implies, it is absurd not to distinguish healthy, whole grain type carbs from simple ones denuded of nutrients. It does not take a great deal to keep most of your fitness. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/29/phys-ed-if-you-are-fit-you-can-take-it-easy/?ref=health.

    I do not know why you seem to disdain Mr. Keri Chuck-I am going to read some of his stuff now-but what he said was soooo true, I copy part of it again here:

    “Jack Morris is a Hall of Fame pitcher because…well…you had to be there. Here’s the thing about us humans: We’re terrible at observing reality. As in the case of the setting sun, our eyes can only take us so far. Our minds are even more unreliable. We remember Jack Morris’ dominant Game 7 in the 1991 World Series, but conveniently forget his miserable playoff performance the very next year. This is known as confirmation bias, where we collect observations that prove our argument, and throw out the ones that disprove it. This is why science exists, people. Without hard data, our observations can be nearly useless – or worse than useless.”

  128. John Says:

    Amen, Mike.

  129. Chuck Says:

    “Without hard data, our observations can be nearly useless – or worse than useless.”

    Useless data?

  130. Lefty33 Says:

    “It was just clear that you found the cited defensive range rating as sopping wet, i.e., all wrong.”

    As usual your inane ramblings never cease.

  131. Lefty33 Says:

    @ Shaun 113-

    “This should be a lesson to not only those who think Morris is a sure-fire Hall of Famer but also those who say things like, “I don’t need some little turd stat to try and dissuade me from something that I saw over many years.””

    First off you can go fuck yourself Shaun, you sniveling little know-nothing douche bag.

    Second of all it’s bad enough that you bring your own “opinions” to this site and now apparently since you’re tired of getting pissed on for constantly looking like the idiot you are you’ve gone to trolling and posting from other people’s sites to get their opinions exclusively.

    Bowa is the best defensive SS to ever play in a Phillies uniform, period.

    Unless you’ve got some real rebuttal, piss off.

    This should be a lesson to not only those who think that Raines is a sure-fire Hall of Famer but also those who post articles on this site and then claim in postings later in the same thread that they never said them.

    Fuck you, you two-bit hack liar.

  132. Chuck Says:

    Same goes for me, Shaun.

    By the way.

    Happy New Year.

  133. Chuck Says:

    “I do not know why you seem to disdain Mr. Keri”

    I don’t.

    I don’t even know him.

  134. Mike Felber Says:

    You are way out of line Lefty. Any possible legitimate critique you might have is drowned in a sea of embittered, abusive invective to Shaun. I am surprised you would endorse such vicious sentiments Chuck.

    I do not know how this could possibly be a lesson about Raines & the HOF, nor about the post/deny claim you made. But nobody should have been “pissing” on anyone, ever. Those who cannot disagree without being nasty are leaving an ugly, at best childish legacy. Sean’s quote was relevant, others affirmed its truth here, & tons of folks on every side post support for their thoughts & arguments, most appropriately, through using links.

    Now for the milder thing you said to me-amusing really. I do ramble sometimes, but not absent logic. Though you chose a poor example; my statement was merely pithy, illustrating my puzzlement that you would deny finding Bowa’s defensive rating “all wet”. Observing this was not even remotely a disagreement with you! John supplied good likely explanations for his low range factor, thanks.

    We all like to argue, yet when WE aggressively disagree, if not mean, do & should not call it “trolling”. If we wanna get upset at every argument introduced that we do not agree with, then life is spent in need of anger management therapy, mired in personal issues, self-toxifyin’ & adding to the cumulative Hate, Fear & Loathing. Evilish (sic, very) Ego-triggering/trippin’ on Parade….

    Good times! Anyway, whether I hear F you you f-ing F, or the opposite, all have a Great New Year.

  135. Chuck Says:

    “I am surprised you would endorse such vicious sentiments Chuck.”

    Nothing Lefty said was wrong.

    He may have walked the border with some of his language, but everything he said was spot on.

  136. Mike Felber Says:

    IF someone, say, lies, they can be called on it, I saw no evidence. But it was not just “walked the border”. It is pure VASB (Vicious Attempted Schoolyard Bullying). Any “argument” was secondary to a freakin’ out personal attack. Yes, that is common in some quarters-largely on anonymous Internet forums. But is that how we want to be? Will it ever resolve anything, persuade anyone, keep mutual respect, or produce anything like a productive, illuminating exchange? Even anything sensible that might be behind it is buried other’s resistance to the dismaying, primal threat display.

    But I tell ya, adding uber-rich 2x Hot Cocoa mix & malt powder to Choco-peppermint soymilk is da bomb. Cold, even absent a flavored teabag for overkill. That is something we should all get behind 4 New Years Eve.

    Yes, I have no adult palate.

  137. Chuck Says:

    Shaun’s not a liar.

    He is ignorant.

    Which is worse.

    Shaun’s been lurking here for well over a year and hasn’t learned a damn thing.

    Trust me, he deserves everything he gets.

  138. Chuck Says:

    Got to give him credit, though.

    At least he didn’t run off with his tail between his legs because someone disagreed with him.

  139. Hartvig Says:

    I have to agree with Mike on this one. Lefty, that was way, way over the line. Say that to someone’s face and you had better hope you can back it up with your fists. And that’s if you’re lucky & they’re not carrying a knife or a gun. Even on-line, people can and will find out who you are and a few of them are just crazy enough to come looking for you.

    Geez guys, I think that was just a quote he took from someone’s blog about why Blyleven belongs in the HOF before Morris. And it wasn’t personally insulting to anyone, just to one type of argument that people sometimes use. Not the same. Not even close.

  140. Mike Felber Says:

    Soooo-you ARE disagreeing with a major thing Lefty said, that Shaun is a liar. Nobody deserves abuse Chuck-including you when a certain “king” heaped it on several years ago, but to his credit he relented, you did too, & now you two are cool. But that is rare-& partly to your credit.

    Now I am a-feared you need to be visited by some Ghosts of New Years, Past, Present & Future. Are you joking, that if someone dares disagree with you, they must be “ignorant”, & thus deserve abuse?!? And that is a real humanitarian, unbiased attitude-he is “lurking”. No, I do not “trust” you that he deserves abuse.

    Because you spirit is really curdled here. I agree he has been stubborn about things, & have commented on some things he wrote that seemed unreasonable: but we all must TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for the nonsense, the personal weaknesses, that make us so upset & arrogant when someone will not agree with us.

    Now Chuck, you are undoubtedly a decent & principled man in life in general. But you have lapsed into a locker room mentality & nasty intransigence with Shaun. This dominance game is undoubtedly beneath you.

    What we need is some ladieieieies around here to civilize us. Though combining the topic & our-well, let us say cattiness & both minimize our sins & brush them with an engendered veneer of irony-we are unlikely to attract any! ;-)

  141. Chuck Says:

    “Are you joking, that if someone dares disagree with you, they must be “ignorant”, & thus deserve abuse?!?”

    That’s not even remotely close to what I said.

    Shaun has been proven wrong FACTUALLY with about 90% of what he’s said here and STILL comes by like a fart in the wind repeating the same rhetoric over and over.

    THAT, Mr. Felber, defines ignorance.

  142. Mike Felber Says:

    Ah, I should never have mindlessly put in my last name. It allows an interlocutor the unexpected turn around of turning around to exaggerated civility! ;-)

    But it still comes down to whether you disagree. For the sake of argument, let us say that you ONLY get upset about what he is factually wrong about. Leave aside that while I agree with a lot of what you said, something like the endless debate on a catcher’s role in calling games is based upon disparate evidence, that even if your case is excellent, is not all black & white.

    You know nobody deserves abuse if they just repeat untenable facts & similar arguments. To consciously CHOOSE to abuse is worse than any stubborn clueless clinging to being incorrect. No WAY any adult needs to get apoplectic & cruel: they are mere words, not even abusive. Respond politely or ignore them, any personal attacks are the ignorance.

    Now as a single guy in the middle of NYC, it is my duty to go forth & observe the yahoos & grace some local event by alighting there. Hope they give me no cause to moralize more. ;-)

  143. Chuck Says:

    Mike,

    Unlike others possibly, I’ve never been upset by someone disagreeing with me. On the contrary, without disagreement, there would be no point of posting.

    But even a stubborn old curmuddgeon :) like me would at least pause for consideration on someone else’s ideals when presented with Mt. Everest sized evidence.

  144. Cameron Says:

    There’s plenty of legit reasons to be pissed about baseball.

    I came up with one on the ride home from work.

    Josh Bell is now a blocked prospect. He’s being blocked by a guy who can’t hit .200.

  145. Chuck Says:

    On both corners.

    Orioles signed Derrick Lee today.

    Showalter doesn’t like Bell for some reason.

  146. Cameron Says:

    Is there something about Bell that we just don’t know? Too green?

    I know Showalter’s been a complete bonehead before, but he turned Baltimore around in a pretty impressive fashion. I’m not writing off what he can do for them yet. You think the O’s could bite the bullet, trade Bell and see if they can’t shore up that pitching?

  147. Chuck Says:

    I don’t think “green” has anything to do with it.

    I guess Buck just doesn’t like his game.

  148. Cameron Says:

    I dunno. The thing is, Lee’s pretty good and Reynolds… I dunno. He may be the most productive Mendoza hitter I’ve ever seen. Given what Camden can do to a guy, I think teams may wanna kick the tires on Bell

  149. Chuck Says:

    Bell reminds me body wise of Pedro Alvarez, although I don’t think he’s as soft.

    Defensively he’s alot better.

    Maybe he could play LF?

  150. Cameron Says:

    LF has a platoon of Corey Patterson and Felix Pie, both leadoff types that lineup needs. I think Bell’s well and truly fucked staying in Baltimore.

  151. Lefty33 Says:

    “You are way out of line Lefty.”

    Too bad.

    “do not know how this could possibly be a lesson about Raines & the HOF, nor about the post/deny claim you made.”

    I was obviously just reposting Shaun’s line sarcastically with Morris changed for Raines.

  152. Lefty33 Says:

    “Soooo-you ARE disagreeing with a major thing Lefty said, that Shaun is a liar. Nobody deserves abuse Chuck-including you when a certain “king” heaped it on several years ago, but to his credit he relented, you did too, & now you two are cool. But that is rare-& partly to your credit.”

    I know Mike that you are such a precious and delicate Lilly of the valley that anytime harsh words are spoken you feel that it is your job and duty here at DC to be the Sergeant at Arms or take on some Robert Byrd-like role and filibuster the board with a 50,000 word post on civics and humanities.

    Drop the shit dude.

    Nobody cares. It’s not “abuse”. Its words on a screen.

    Grow up. No need to water it down and PC everything. You don’t like what I post than skip over it when you see my name.

    If Shaun is going to tell me that I should take some kind of “lesson” from him or something that he posted then he should prepare to get ripped in return.
    There are only two people on this board’s who’s opinions I respect enough to take a “lesson” from and he’s not even close to one of them.

    “IF someone, say, lies, they can be called on it, I saw no evidence.”

    Let me open your eyes Mike.

    What I was referencing was that if you go back to some of Shaun’s articles that he posted on here, you know the ones that go on for about 500+ comments, you will find that time and time again Shaun will make a statement either in the article or early in the discussion and then get called out on it only to have him turn around and say that he never said that statement when in fact it is clearly listed in earlier comments.

    An example being that in an article that Shaun wrote as usual he is referencing the word sabermetrics and various stats associated with sabermetrics (OPS, OPS+, UZR, etc.) and then a few posts down after Chuck asks him a question part of Shaun’s retort is “First of all, I’m not sure what’s labeled a “saber” stat.”

    To me that makes him either an idiot or a liar.

    I’ll take B.

  153. John Says:

    meh.

    Shaun, I absolutely want you on here.

    Chuck,.

    Werent you proven like, totally wrong with the dc challenge thing. I mean, so was I, but I don’t hate anyone who references a stat.

    David Wright was fine.

    Happy New Year….

    Maybe this year brings that Brewer pennant ive been praying for two decades…

  154. Mike Felber Says:

    You do not mind disagreement in general Chuck, but the form of some-Shaun is the biggest example-brings out a bullying impulse in a few here, including you. Nobody deserves abuse.

    Lefty, I am not the only one saying you are way out in Left(y) field. Shaun said a mild thing-a “lesson” might seem a bit patronizing, but he was referencing the seemingly addled or yahoo-like attitude of “I don’t need no stinkin’ stat, I got’s my eyes…” You would have been justified in saying that sounded condescending. Though absent the word “lesson” his point was a very sound one.

    Instead you went semi-medieval on him. Th comment on me being so sensitive was funny & well phrased. It also happens to be divorced from the truth.

    1) Words on a screen that belittle, call names, curse at, mock &/or threaten ARE by definition abusive. They are petty, mean, & signal to most all that your own ego is actually delicate. Some places are rife with that nastiness, mainly when it is anonymous or there is no likely direct consequence of such hateful comments. Other places it is banned, & not usually called “censorship” that you cannot verbally abuse others.

    2) That conduct is what is childish, not my pontificating about it. I will never stop calling people on being abusive or bullying. Hopefully you will understand, grow past that impulse to harm, & STAY on the site this time.

    3) It is manifestly false that nobody cares, as you have been shown/told above. If/as others weigh in, they will often tell you too that it is wrong.

    3) It would be “watering down” important SUBSTANCE for me & others not to “police” conduct that is Beyond the Pale. Conversely, I think you can see how there is no important “watering down” when you are denied the right, or discipline yourself, from the desire to be vicious. IF this was routinely not even critiqued all over…Well, the world would be an uglier, more psychically & physically violent place. Hate begets hate & retribution.

    4) Little of the vitriol against Shaun was based on perceived or putative dishonesty. I recall your example, but in your animus, methinks you cannot see how he need not have been an idiot (a harsh & non-objective word for someone who could have just been flat out wrong), & certainly not assume he lied.

    Referencing stats ASSOCIATED with sabermetrics does not show a) that they are saber stats-as has been said time & again about variants of OPS), or b) that he was not legitimately unclear on these fairly basic facts. His point could be airtight on, say, OPS +, but that does not show that he thought it was all SM stuff, though saber-rattlers tend to be much more sympathetic from using such analysis.

    I think you know you used an elephant gun when a mild rebuke focused only on the term “lesson” was all that was possibly justified. So you will forgive (or put up with) my getting “the vapors” :-0 & giving anyone who heaps abuse & scorn on another a “lesson”. This is so much better for all than if I had indulged in your emotional reaction & leveled a personal diatribe.

    But you will have to trust me that I am neither personally angry at you, nor trying to provoke you for amusement. I can show you endless places where folks post hateful attacks-sometimes even intelligent comments, but then appended by an insult at least. This is a modern DISEASE, a serious personal insecurity & dis-ease, especially disheartening to see from some adults across the political spectrum. I hope you do not join said sad malice, in fact or in spririt.

    Anywho, thanks for the patience of all here. I wandered from bar party to Church concert to (Central) Park party, given & gathering tons of food & party favors/novelty glasses/headgear to distribute like a demented, belated Santa. Anyone have an interesting, possibly non-inebriated New Years Eve?

  155. John Says:

    With regards to Tim Raines,

    If he had played ten years in New York playing as he did in Montreal and then spent four unproductive injury-plagued seasons in Canada, where no one cares, he would be in the HOF by now.

    As it stands, the bbwaa is heavily populated and influenced by ignorant people who probably never heard of Raines before he became a White Sox or Yankee.

  156. Cameron Says:

    John, take a look at some of the writers who have come out and said they had votes. I’m noticing guys from such esteemed publications as Yahoo! Sports and AOL Fanhouse.

    …Is there a better place to pick from? Please?

  157. Richard Says:

    Tim Raines is Johnny Damon, plus 500 steals. If Johnny Damon is borderline HOF, Tim Raines is sure-fire. We all know that Johnny Damon is miles from the HOF, so that makes the Raines argument a little less convincing. Raines had several very pedestrian years, and in my eyes, falls below the HOF line. Vince Coleman has 56 less SB, so you can’t use that argument.

    BTW, if Damon can play 3-4 more years, he has a real chance at 3,000. By that time, his numbers in 19-20 seasons would surpass those that Raines put up in 23 seasons.

    Anyone notice that Adrian Beltre has 1889 hits at age 31, while Albert Pujols has 1900 at age 30? Today is 1-1-11, and Beltre needs 1,111 hits to reach 3000. Average 123 hits per year for the next 9 years, and you have a HOF milestone.

  158. Cameron Says:

    I’m just waiting for Pujols’ contract to run out. How do you measure his worth. There is NO comparison for previous performance. Not even Alex Rodriguez’s contract is a fair benchmark. The only thing they have in common would be the 3 MVPs, but Albert’s been simply unstoppable year in and out. There’s no fair comparison. If any player eer deserved a blank check, it’s him. I’d say the starting point is 30 MM/year. …And that’s probably short-changing him.

  159. Chuck Says:

    “Werent you proven like, totally wrong with the dc challenge thing.”

    See, John, that’s EXACTLY what we’re talking about.

    You’re referencing a guessing game based on luck and components we have no control over.

    When it comes to ACTUALITIES, like with the Jason Kendall impact or calling games, Shaun kept coming back with the “no evidence” BS even after being presented with mountains of it.

    “Nobody deserves abuse.”

    Yes, they do.

    The difference between stupidity and ignorance is intent.

    “I will never stop calling people on being abusive or bullying.”

    It’s none of your business, Mike, unless the comments are directed to you. What Rex and I say to each other and what Lefty says to Shaun don’t concern you and if you’re offended by the language that’s on you, not us.

    “If he had played ten years in New York playing as he did in Montreal and then spent four unproductive injury-plagued seasons in Canada, where no one cares, he would be in the HOF by now.”

    If that were true then Munson and Guidry and Mattingly would all be HOFers.

    Raines had six or seven All Star caliber seasons. Problem is, he played 22 years.

    He’s never getting in.

    Richard @ # 157….great post.

    The CBA expires in December and I’m guessing there will be some type of salary cap or payroll cap in place.

    Pujols will sign an extension before the end of the year and while I think it will be a “lifetime” contract similar to the ten years Mauer signed for, I don’t think he’ll average more than 25 mil per.

  160. John Says:

    Munson, Guidry, and Mattingly had less impressive careers than Raines. Easily.

    Raines ranks 55th all-time in plate appearances and 43rd in times on base. He was more than just a compiler; he’s about the 3rd best leadoff hitter of all-time. He would have to be confined to a wheel chair to be at Johnny Damon’s level.

    If Raines had had 3000 hits and 500 walks, he would’ve been in on the first ballot. But because he had 2600 hits and 1400 walks, no way he’s a HOFer!!!!! Newsflash: walks are good.

  161. Lefty33 Says:

    “If Raines had had 3000 hits and 500 walks, he would’ve been in on the first ballot. But because he had 2600 hits and 1400 walks, no way he’s a HOFer!!!!! Newsflash: walks are good.”

    Forget the walks, 3000 would do it alone.

    Raines doesn’t get in more because he got hurt and spent more than a third of his career as a bit platoon player. If he would have hung it up earlier he would look better than he does now.

  162. Chuck Says:

    “Munson, Guidry, and Mattingly had less impressive careers than Raines. Easily”

    Missed the point again, Shaun, as usual.

    “But because he had 2600 hits and 1400 walks, no way he’s a HOFer!!!!!”

    As we will see in four years with Craig Biggio.

    Providing he doesn’t get busted for PED’s first.

  163. Mike Felber Says:

    You make no case whatsoever on why people supposedly deserve abuse Chuck, you just keep repeating the ridiculous premise that if someone does not learn what you think they should that it is fine to call them names & demean them. That people are frustrated & get abusive that someone will not agree with them reflects on their character & maturity. But if someone starts mocking, cursing, & name calling, you better believe it is any observer’s “business” to call them on it.

    This has been done by many here-would you blame those who say things like “you are way, way over the line”, rather than the actual bomb thrower? That is bass-ackwards. You have critiqued what you perceive as insensitivity towards Feller, Killer…Yet nobody is allowed to comment on personal attacks on posters here? No way, those are not the rules here. They are not the unwritten rules either, nor should they be. If one sees such 1 sided aggressive vitriol on the street, people are doing right to intervene.

    Luckily few sane folks believe that we are obligated to remain silent while a forum starts to roll downhill into a gutter fight. What I said about you & Rex amounted to praise for its resolution, which you get some credit for. If you wish me to not even say this: O.K., I will honor that.

  164. Cameron Says:

    Mike, it’s best to just let this one go. If you try to solve every fight on the internet, you’ll never leave your goddamn computer. The thing with Shaun is he’s already taken this kind of abuse before and just comes back with the same behavior that led to these reactions in the first place. It may have been out of line the first time, but if he’s gonna keep inviting them to act this way, I say he’s got it coming.

  165. John Says:

    No Chuck, you missed the point. Tim Raines is in a different zip code than those guys, so its pointless to mention that they werent inducted. Indeed, Mattingly has gotten way more votes than he deserved.

    Tim Raines reached base at a .385 clip. He’s so clearly deserving, its not even funny.

    Lefty, I agree that the last third of Raines’ career makes him look less deserving. But he still had a HOF-worthy 15 seasons and another several that he was still a positive contributor for his teams. Its not like he was screwing his teams over.

  166. Chuck Says:

    “If he had played ten years in New York playing as he did in Montreal and then spent four unproductive injury-plagued seasons in Canada, where no one cares, he would be in the HOF by now.”

    No, John, you did.

    Clearly.

  167. Chuck Says:

    “You make no case whatsoever on why people supposedly deserve abuse Chuck”

    Yes, I did.

    Clearly.

  168. Chuck Says:

    “He’s so clearly deserving, its not even funny.”

    He’s not deserving, and he’s not getting in.

    Believing otherwise is funny.

  169. John Says:

    Chuck, he was one of the best leadoff hitters ever.

    Suggesting otherwise means that you think reaching base is unimportant…which wouldn’t surprise me that much.

  170. Mike Felber Says:

    Lefty is right: Raines did enough to get in based upon performance, & that most all of excellence was confined to his 20’s should not impact a judgment of his total contributions. It is quite unlikely that Damon can approach the total contributions of Raines, he would need a PED level return to his peak form for like 4 years. But peak years should always be considered, & Raines beats Damon in this respect. Even though he is mostly DHing his power has waned. It will be interesting to see if he regains it.

    He also steals well, but even with his early career heavy performance, Rock had a historic combo of SB & SB%. He is more HOF worthy than those Yankees, even though they were admirable. I have no idea why Biggio is prone to be busted for PEDs. But looking carefully at his stats, they are not giveaways. Bill James rated him pretty high all time in his 2000 Baseball abstract. Later he regreted his degree of enthusiasm, though it certainly seems an HOF career.

    His best years were all before 200/age 33. His power & walks stayed decent, running declined, but overall did not do as well compared to the League. IF he used, it would seem that it was more likely earlier in his career.

  171. Chuck Says:

    “he was one of the best leadoff hitters ever.”

    I agree completely.

    Doesn’t make him HOF worthy.

  172. Mike Felber Says:

    Thanks Cameron, but it is not on many sites I post, I’m fine. I disagree STRONGLY though that the “behavior” of being stubborn-& sometimes not rational-can remotely be considered “inviting” abuse, let alone deserving it. Any more than some one who often merely repeats a premise absent evidence deserves abuse. Clearly. ;-)

  173. John Says:

    So, the table setter isn’t important? The difference between zero outs and a man on (often in scoring position via the steal or xbh) and one out with no one on is astronomical.

  174. Chuck Says:

    “I disagree STRONGLY though that the “behavior” of being stubborn-& sometimes not rational-can remotely be considered “inviting” abuse, let alone deserving it.”

    Make a fool of me once, shame on you, make a fool of me twice, shame on me.

    No one here makes a fool of Shaun, he does a fine job all by himself.

    And if he’s too ignorant to notice, he deserves what he gets.

  175. John Says:

    yeah, Shaun really screwed up when he predicted that the Yankees would sign Eric Byrnes to fill LF instead of Brett Gardner.

    Oh wait…

  176. Chuck Says:

    Of course it’s important, John.

    But there are many other factors that go into making a great player.

    So Raines stole alot of bases, big whoop.

    He was a lousy outfielder.

    Edgar Martinez was one of the best DH’s and he has no shot either.

    If you can’t excel in all areas of the game, then you’re a detriment to your team.

    If Ellis Valentine and Warren Cromartie hadn’t been injured early in their careers, Tim Raines would have been a fourth OF.

  177. Chuck Says:

    “Shaun really screwed up when he predicted that the Yankees would sign Eric Byrnes to fill LF instead of Brett Gardner.”

    Another meaningless guess.

    I’m also the one who said Cliff Lee wouldn’t sign with the Yankees…a year ago.

    How come no credit for that, John?

    I’m also the one who said Strasburg would get hurt..a year before he did. How come no credit for that?

    Selective memory.

  178. John Says:

    He also reached base a lot.

    Which is the most important part of being a leadoff hitter.

    “So Raines stole alot of bases, big whoop.”

    Uh yes. It is. He was in scoring position like, all the time because he stole so many bases, and unlike a lot of big base stealers, he rarely got caught. You get into scoring position, you can score a lot of runs. Which helps your team win. You do this while rarely creating an out, even better.

    Really, baseball’s a pretty simple game when you get down to it.

    “He was a lousy outfielder”

    I’ll take your word on it. I have a hard time believing that he was bad enough to overcome the incredible value he provided in the field.

    “Edgar Martinez was one of the best DH’s and he has no shot either.”

    He does have a shot, but that’s beside the point. He doesn’t deserve to be in because he’s a half-player. A bad fielder provides a ton more value than a DH.

    “If you can’t excel in all areas of the game, then you’re a detriment to your team.”

    So Babe Ruth, who was fat and presumably kinda slow (I’m guessing) was a detriment to his team. You’re hall-of-fame would consist of Willie Mays and…anyone else?

  179. John Says:

    “I’m also the one who said Cliff Lee wouldn’t sign with the Yankees…a year ago.

    How come no credit for that, John?”

    I totally gave you credit for that. Well half-credit. You insisted that he would sign with the Rangers so that he could be a country boy and make moon-shine or something. Instead he’s playing in a big east-coast market that’s no where near any ranches.

    Kudos on Strasburg as well. And Stanton (for now…boy needs to learn some patience to be a complete hitter). And Doug Davis. And some other stuff.

    Shaun’s gotten some stuff right too.

  180. Mike Felber Says:

    Post #174 does not seem reality based.

    Expressing an opinion, politely, even if you seem it wrong (as I did & wrote then about catcher-gate) is not akin to making a fool of you. And it makes no sense to say only he made a fool of himself-mocking & name calling a guy is doing your best to make a fool of him.

    Now for matters academic. I am open: tell me WHY Raines, who appears mediocre for a career defensively considering all advanced & conventional fielding metrics (except his FP was very good): just why was he “lousy”? If the argument is purely based upon a subjective assessment-clearly you are biased against Raines in general. Soooo-would anyone else here agree that Raines was a “lousy” outfielder?

    But why oh why would you say this Chuck: “If you can’t excel in all areas of the game, then you’re a detriment to your team”. Are you trying to see how crazy a statement you can get in without howls of theoretical objection? If you can throw 50 MPH right down the pipe past us?

    Endless examples short of Ted Williams can prove this wrong. Very few excell at all areas of the game, even in the HOF! And you not only said you have to be good at more than one (false in something like hitting, given its importance), but that you gotta be great in everything or else you HURT your team. Whaaaa?!?!?!? (Insert shocked smiley face here).

    Alright, that is too easy. I will disagree on the DH principle John: systems that dock players who only DH as much as a poor, or maybe even the worst available ML fielder at a position, seem fair. How much value can a poor fielder at an easy position have? I do think the historically best DH E.M. deserves the Hall.

    Would Manny Ramirez deserve the HOF if he only Dhed? I say yes. When someone has such a rare skill that creates so much value in a substantial career, & the game allows such contributions, it would be folly not to put him in Cooperstown. And by all reports it is not simple to hit well when ot playing the field.

  181. Chuck Says:

    We can say whatever we want about the BBWAA but the bottom line is over the course of the past sixty years they’ve done a pretty good job.

    It doesn’t matter what we think about Raines or Santo or Rice or Dawson because we don’t have a vote, and if we did it wouldn’t make a difference anyway.

    Raines shouldn’t be in now, he wasn’t that good.

    If he gets in on his last vote or second to last like Rice two years ago and Blyleven this year, then fine, that’s probably where he fits.

    Raines had six or seven HOF caliber seasons, which is basically 30% of his career.

    The other 60% he was just another player.

    That doesn’t read HOFer to me.

    If he had dominated for fifteen years and scrubbed around for six or seven, that would change everything.

    By the time he was 32, 33 years old he was replacement level.

  182. Chuck Says:

    Putting the steriod issue aside..

    If Mark McGwire had exactly the same career “clean” I wouldn’t vote for him.

    He was a one dimensional player.

    I never once watched McGwire or Raines and thought “Hall of Famer”.

    On my way to the Fiesta Bowl…

  183. Mike Felber Says:

    Right, it only matters to us/for fun what we think.

    But unlike Rice (who only excelled at slugging, where his stadium & line up context exaggerated his skills), he is worthy. I would basically agree with you re: his HOF quality seasons: 7. Though he had other good years. When you consider PA, it was more than 30% of his career, most all players have some years with few or limited appearances. John Q. had written about how work stoppages repeatedly hurt especially him. The record seems to say that he was not MUCH better than replacement level at age 34+.

    We disagree on how good he was, including how important OBP is, combined with how impactful historically great SB/% makes this. Also: most of us think 7 great years & a # of other good ones is enough for the HOF. Very few actually fully “dominate” for 15 years, & those guys are inner circle,tippy-top tier of the HOF guys.

  184. Mike Felber Says:

    Big Mac would be good enough for me, if he was clean. He was so great at things so valuable, HRs & BB, that he created HOF value.

    Even some baseball immortals did not have 15 dominant years, & were mostly done by 33. Double X & Rajah are amongst them. Mantle created lesser/some value after 33, but even he did not have 15 dominant years. Though these guys were better than some great players who had better longevity, because they were so great at their peak.

  185. John Says:

    McGwire’s one dimension was really friggin valuable.

    Come to think of it, Chuck, do you think any player since 1970 actually belons in the hall? Besides Mike Stanton?

  186. John Says:

    “By the time he was 32, 33 years old he was replacement level.”

    False.

    I definitely don’t think we should use WAR to determine HOFers (although if we set a minimum level of like 30 WAR, that could eliminate some of the more ridiculous choices on the ballot). But…

    Raines, age 32: 6 WAR
    , age 33: 3.7
    , age 34: 1.7 (strike season)

    I’m not saying that WAR is that great metric or anything, but I will go ahead and say with a fair degree of confidence that Raines was pretty fricking above replacement level in his age 32-33 seasons.

    For the record, he had a .380 OBP and stole 45/51 while walking like twice as much as he struck out in that 6 WAR year. So yeah…he was pretty damn good. Exactly 6 extra wins good? Probably not. But good. The next year he was a very integral part of the ChiSox Western division title run, posting a .306/.401/.480 line.

    Mike “I do think the historically best DH E.M. deserves the Hall.”

    The DH is not a position. And it doesn’t have a lot of historically great players in it.

    If Edgar Martinez had had his career line as a 1B or LF, he would be 1 and done. But for some reason, because he posted his production at a “position” that is literally infinitely easier than any in the field, he’s considered great? That’s crap. Martinez was a phenomenal hitter, but he he doesn’t have the career numbers to justify admission, just a few years of terrific rate stats. If he had performed his whole career like 1995, then we have a different story.

    “Would Manny Ramirez deserve the HOF if he only Dhed?”

    I would consider Manny just about the minimum level of performance I would expect from a career DH in order to consider him for enshrinement in the HOF. And he’s a historically great hitter. In order for me to consider a DH for MVP, they would basically have to perform like Barry Bonds in 2001-04. That Ortiz almost won it a couple times is absurd.

  187. John Says:

    “If Ellis Valentine and Warren Cromartie hadn’t been injured early in their careers, Tim Raines would have been a fourth OF.”

    And if The Magic Man hadn’t gotten hurt that fateful day in Green Bay in 1992, Brett Favre would have been a career back-up. But he did get hurt, so Favre did play, and he became one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, until his retirement in 2007, after which time he never returned to the sport of football at any point for any reason.

  188. Lefty33 Says:

    “Lefty, I agree that the last third of Raines’ career makes him look less deserving. But he still had a HOF-worthy 15 seasons and another several that he was still a positive contributor for his teams. Its not like he was screwing his teams over”

    But John BBWAA voters have shown a tendancy to not induct or make wait forever guys who are about as spoiled as two month old milk when they retire.

    It’s like the greatness is forgotten about and all that is remembered is a guy with the offensive impact of Greg Gross.

  189. Chuck Says:

    “Come to think of it, Chuck, do you think any player since 1970 actually belons in the hall? Besides Mike Stanton?”

    Sigh.

    “I’m not saying that WAR is that great metric or anything, but I will go ahead and say with a fair degree of confidence that Raines was pretty fricking above replacement level in his age 32-33 seasons.”

    There’s nothing special about a 3.7 WAR.

    I’m with Lefty on this Raines thing..if he had retired after 1998 with a freshly minted WS ring on his hand he’d probably be in by now, or would at least be getting higher vote totals.

    There’s no gradual down slope for Raines. By the time he was 30, when other guys are peaking, he was pretty much done.

    The point about Cromartie and Valentine is if Raines truly was an impact player he wouldn’t have had to wait for someone to get hurt to get a position.

  190. John Says:

    And my point about about Favre stands. Just because you get a lucky break doesn’t mean you’re not an impact plauer.

    As for the WAR thing, neither of us concerns ourselves with it. But he was still producing into his mid-30s.

  191. Lefty33 Says:

    Chuck,

    How was the Fiesta Bowl?

  192. Hossrex Says:

    Chuck: “The point about Cromartie and Valentine is if Raines truly was an impact player he wouldn’t have had to wait for someone to get hurt to get a position.”

    So… Lou Gherig wasn’t an impact player because he had to wait for Wally Pipp to have a headache to get a position?

    I don’t quite follow the logic.

    Besides, Raines was an everyday player at 22. No chance in your opinion that Rock simply matured in his early twenties and found his stroke… just like… every other major league caliber player?

    No chance of that?

  193. Mike Felber Says:

    But you do not agree with Lefty (& John & I) about Raines deserving the HOF Chuck. Look, the 1st year you could argue Raines was “pretty much done” was age 34, not 30. & even then, he would have acquired more “WAR” in a 162 game season. But even then he was decent-check on B-R.com. 0 is replacement level, 2.0 is a starter. 3.7 is pretty good-5 is all star level, 8 is MVP territory.

    …And what if Wally Pip never had that headache? He was great in the few games he got over the 2 previous years. But I want to contest the DH issue with you John. You have too extreme a position on it. It is not literally or effectively “infinitely easier” because then any position played would need to be infinitely hard! The DH “slot”, if you will has value for a team if you are a good enough hitter. It makes no sense to say that it we should almost “infinitely penalize” a DH, when a good one can add much to a team. At least there is no logic behind saying a DH, in figuring value, should ever have his value reduced more than the WORST possible fielder. Even then, a horrible fielder subtracts a significant amount of value.

    Now I can respect if you happen to put the DH quality level for HOF about at Man-ram’s level. Though I argue Marttinez did enough.

    1) Raw #s are not a true measure of production, for all the reasons you well know. In his actual production, a 147 OPS +? That is exactly Mike Schmidt’s #. And Edgar had the opposite, a relatively better OBP, which has more value (hence weighted OPS +). Now before anyone has a coronary: of course Schmidt was much more valuable overall. But E.M. added HOF value, using WAR or
    reasonable “rate stats” to compute value reasonably.

    2) He did play a significant amount of OK defense. But I wholeheartedly disagree with you that if he played LF or 1B over a career he would be one & done. Enthusiastically disagree! He actually seems listed as being a decent 3B man over his career, & played ~ 30% of his career in the field. Now, that position has MORE value than the corner positions you listed-but I give you some wriggle room. Assume he was at least OK at ANY position over his dcent length career:

    Find may ANY player with a similar OPS +, let alone an OBP heavy one, who was anything like 1 & done! Would have to be a major scandal, &/or something like playing historically poor defense. In the middle of the ‘roid era, he was 3x #1 is OBP, 3X #2. The man could seriously rake.

    3) Just one reason he stands out at DH is because it is HARD to produce well absent playing the field. Many professionals say this, & look at the stats & hear the testimony of a guy like Frank Thomas, IB vs. DH. He will tell you how hard it is to hit “cold”, that playing the field helps you warm up/get in a groove.

  194. Hossrex Says:

    If you didn’t know who it was, and someone described a player who retired after more than 2,500 career games, with 808 stolen bases (5th all time, behind 4 HOF’ers), a career batting average of nearly .300, a career OBP of nearly .400, a world series ring, a batting title, seven consecutive all-star appearances, and a career OPS+ of 123… would it be so unreasonable to assume that guy is in the hall of fame?

    Just for fun, the following players all have a lower OPS+ than Rock Raines:

    Ernie Banks
    Hugh Duffy
    Paul Molitor
    Tony Perez
    George Davis
    Heinie Manush
    Lou Boudreau
    Joe Gordon
    Tony Lazzeri
    Joe Cronin
    Andre Dawson
    Casey Stengel
    Hughie Jennings
    Carlton Fisk
    Gary Carter
    Bobby Dooer
    Robin Yount
    Harry Hooper
    Ryne Sandberg
    Luke Appling
    Jimmy Collins
    Billy Herman
    Sam Rice
    Cal Ripkin
    Richie Ashburn
    George Kell
    Billy Southworth
    Frankie Frisch
    Freddie Lindstrom
    Lou Brock
    High Pockets Kelly
    Joe Sewell
    Max Carrey
    Miller Huggins
    Pie Traynor
    Johnny Evers
    Bid McPhee
    Bobby Wallace
    Brooks Robinson
    Travis Jackson
    Tommy McCarthy
    Ned Hanlon (OPS+ 101)

    All of those players are in the hall of fame, and every one of them has a lower OPS+ than Raines.

    Long list, eh?

  195. Richard Says:

    If we are comparing current HOFers to Raines, we can make an argument that he is better in one stat or another, but put the whole pkg together, and you have a very good player, not a HOFer. To me, guys that got in based purely upon popularity and hype shouldn’t be a barometer for future inductees. We shouldn’t look at Jim Rice’s best seven years and compare it to Albert Belle’s best seven years, etc. If Kirby Puckett is in, then Mattingly should be in, etc. Also, the argument that Tim Raines was the third best leadoff hitter (he wasn’t) is like someone saying that Mark Belanger was the third best defensive shortstop and thus deserves to be in. The truth is, Bert Blyleven and Tim Raines and Jim Rice and Kirby Puckett do not belong among Mays, Cobb, Aaron, and Ruth, no matter what vote they received in their fifteenth year. And, the fact that Raines was an All-star for seven years means nothing when you realize they HAD to pick someone from Les Expos. Biff Pocoroba was an All-Star.

  196. John Says:

    Mike: “It is not literally or effectively “infinitely easier” because then any position played would need to be infinitely hard!”

    Well that’s not true. The defensive difficulty of being a DH is 0. The defensive difficulty of every position on the diamond is > 0. not zero/0 = infinity. Booyah.

    Mike: “But E.M. added HOF value, using WAR or
    reasonable “rate stats” to compute value reasonably.”

    On top of reliance on defensive stats, another reason why WAR shouldn’t be used for the HOF is that it misses the picture in this regard.

    Picture this: The 1997 Seattle Mariners. Junior Griffey has just run full sprint into a wall to make another spectacular catch. A-Rod has made a diving stop against the Kingdome’s astroturf to make a force at second. Dan Wilson has prevented a runner from advancing on an errant throw from Joey Cora after sprinting down to first (again) to back up the play.

    Edgar Martinez has been sitting on his ass in the dugout, maybe taking some extra swings in the cage.

    I’m perfectly willing to accept that the “value” that Martinez adds to his team in terms of how it relates to winning is very high, possibly higher than a lot of HOFers. I have no problem with that. Hell, I have no problem paying him a shitload of money for that service. But while everyone else has been busting their ass, getting bruised, putting mileage on their knees running all around the (in this case, wretched) field, Martinez has contributed exactly nothing on defense.

    Mike: “Just one reason he stands out at DH is because it is HARD to produce well absent playing the field.”

    I think you’re missing the cause and effect here.

    When dudes get battered up, their ability to play the field diminishes and they become DH’s.
    When dudes are battered up, they also hit worse.

    Frank Thomas is a terrific example. You mean he wasn’t as effective a hitter as a 36 year old DH compared to when he was a 25 year old 1B?

    It’s like this: if you’ve ever seen a graph of Team GIDP vs. Runs Scored, you’ll notice that there’s a positive correlation. More GIDP means more Runs Scored, according the graph! Does that mean that grounding into double plays is a good way to score runs? No, it does not mean that. But the graph makes perfect sense. More base runners means more runs scored. More base runners also means more opportunities for double plays, so more double plays overall.

  197. Chuck Says:

    Lefty @#191,

    It was fun, actually. It was my first college game in person in quite awhile and didn’t know what to expect, but in reality college kids are college kids no matter what.

    As far as the game itself..it was pretty apparent right from the opening kickoff that there is a huge difference between Big East football and basketball. The UCONN QB had no business being on the field in a BCS game and while a couple of players showed some skills, the Huskies really aren’t a top level program.

    Considering they’ve only been Division I for nine years and to be in a BCS game is impressive enough, but the worst player on Oklahoma would be a star in the Big East.

    I’m a proud alumnus that the program has come this far but last night proved it still has a long way to go to be taken seriously.

  198. Cameron Says:

    Considering the iron gloves Martinez and Thomas had, they probably had more value at DH than in the field. Though Edgar Martinez (a HoF in my opinion) isn’t really a fair comparison to Frank Thomas (a legend. If he didn’t have that freak slump, dude would be an all-time great.)

  199. Cameron Says:

    Chuck, I’m in Big 12 country. You want good football games, come over here. …Sure, MU ain’t great shakes, but the road opponents are pretty good.

    Then again, I’m a KU fan and we’re known for our basketball more than football. A game at Allen Field House really has no comparison. Or so I’ve heard, been ages since I was last in Lawrence.

  200. John Says:

    Last year, MU lost the Texas Bowl to the Naval Academy. A school that requires everyone to abide by height & weight standards. MU has punters bigger than our linemen, and they got absolutely creamed.

  201. Cameron Says:

    And as a Jayhawk, that makes me VERY happy. :) Though I’m a bit sad this is the last season with Nebraska in the conference. We lose a pretty big part of the competition in there.

  202. Chuck Says:

    Mike @#193,

    Lefty and I are in agreement about Raines. What Lefty said and what I agreed with is Raines’ chances would be better if he didn’t play as long.

    “Raw #s are not a true measure of production,”

    There’s hope for you yet.

    Rex @#194

    “If you didn’t know who it was, and someone described a player who retired after more than 2,500 career games, with 808 stolen bases (5th all time, behind 4 HOF’ers), a career batting average of nearly .300, a career OBP of nearly .400, a world series ring, a batting title, seven consecutive all-star appearances, and a career OPS+ of 123… would it be so unreasonable to assume that guy is in the hall of fame?”

    Yep.

    “All of those players are in the hall of fame, and every one of them has a lower OPS+ than Raines.”

    Who gives a shit about OPS+?

    John @ #196,

    That was awesome.

  203. Chuck Says:

    I live about ten miles from the Stadium and last night was the second time I’ve been there and the first time wasn’t for football.

    The arena where the Coyotes play is next door and both facilities are part of a much larger complex with hotels, restaurants, shops, movie theatres, etc.

    We’re there quite a bit but if UCONN wasn’t in the game I don’t leave my house.

    Both the UCONN men and women’s basketball teams have been here for NCAA Regionals and I’ve gone to see them but like I said, the quality of play is much better for basketball. And I like basketball better than football anyway, so not much choice there.

    I remember when I lived back East we’d go to the Big East Tournament and you could go to four games on Friday with one ticket. Now I hear each game has it’s own with no multi-game discount so you’d have to leave and come back in, even if you have the same seat.

    Not to mention the extra $$.

    No chance I go through that hassle now.

  204. Chuck Says:

    So to address John’s snarky #185 and Rex’ pointless #194.

    From 1970 to the present;

    Tim Raines is 25th in games played. Jim Thome and Ivan Rodriguez will both pass him this year, dropping him to 27th.

    For the point of the discussion we’ll say the steriod era is a bad dream and everything Bonds, and Palmeiro did, among the others, was done so legitimately.

    Of the 26 ahead of Raines, there are eight HOFers with another six probables. That leaves fourteen players in, and thirteen out.

    Based just on games played, Raines’ HOF chances are about 50/50.

    In plate appearances, Raines again ranks 25th and could be passed this year by as many as six players, but I’ll count the three closest for sure, ARod, IRod, and Johnny Damon.

    Assuming all things equal, there would be 18 HOFers total, with ten on the outside.

    On plate appearances alone, Raines has a 64.2% chance of induction.

    Raines ranks 31st in AB’s and only Garrett Anderson has a realistic chance to pass him in 2011. Eighteen of the 31 are or will be HOFers, based on AB’s, Raines’ chances are 56% of induction.

    Raines ranks 15th in runs and could be passed by as many as four players, with 16 of the 19 and as many as 18 being in the Hall.

    Raines’ chances on runs scored range from 84% to 95%.

    Raines ranks 27th in hits and could be passed by as many as four players, which would leave 21 of the 31 in.

    On hits, Raines’ chances are 67.7%

    He is not in the top 70 (surprisingly) in doubles.

    He ranks 8th in triples, with four ahead of him and the two immediately behind him not getting in.

    I know he wasn’t a power guy but I was curious. I used 1500 games played as the minimum and 200 players qualified, Raines ranked 145th in homers.

    And 128th in RBI.

    Alot has been made about his walk total, he ranks 17th in this list and there are four guys for sure and maybe five ahead of him who won’t get in. So if you use the HOF election cut-off of 75%, his chances run from 76-82%, which isn’t all that impressive considering OBP is supposedly one of Raines’ strong suits.

    OPS?

    80th.

    Considering his speed, his RF/9 is a poor 2.08, which places him behind such notable defensive stalwarts as Kevin Mitchell, Glenallen Hill and Bernard Gilkey.

    And while his career total of 124 assists ranks fourth all time (since 1954) for leftfielders, one of the guys ahead of him is Jim Rice.

    You can take that to mean anything you want it to.

    Raines is also below the Mendoza line when it comes to the HOF monitor and standard lists on BR and his closest career comp is Damon, it doesn’t bode well for him.

    Looking at future HOF ballots, Raines’ best chance will be in 2012, with the only solid candidate being Jeff Bagwell and no new candidates worthy of admission.

    I don’t see him making up 45% in two years, however.

    I look at Raines’ career I can see him staying on the ballot for the full fifteen years with a maximum vote total somewhere in the 40-45 percent range.

  205. Hartvig Says:

    A few things on some recent posts:

    First, Hoss, you and I are on the same page as far as Raines belonging in the HOF but I don’t think OPS+ is the tool to use to make the point. I think, in fact, OPS+ far UNDERSTATES Raines true value. He only finished in the top 10 in slugging once. But he was in the top 5 of OBP 7 times plus his stolen bases put him into position to score a huge number of times.

    Richard

    “And, the fact that Raines was an All-star for seven years means nothing when you realize they HAD to pick someone from Les Expos. Biff Pocoroba was an All-Star.”

    Yes but during most of the years he was an All-Star Montreal was a contending team and his teammates were Gary Carter, Andres Galarraga, Andre Dawson, Tim Wallach, Steve Rogers, Jeff Reardon & Dennis Martinez. It’s not like there weren’t other choices available. The years he made the All-Star team he deserved it, except maybe in 1982. But he also deserved it in 89, 92 & 93 when he didn’t make it.

    “The truth is, Bert Blyleven and Tim Raines and Jim Rice and Kirby Puckett do not belong among Mays, Cobb, Aaron, and Ruth,etc.”

    The problem with that argument isn’t that Tim Raines isn’t as good as Willie Mays. He clearly isn’t. But there are 20 left fielders in the Hall of Fame. Tim Raines is arguably better than all but 6 of them and clearly better than 8 of them. He is exactly as good as your average left field Hall of Famer. The same argument applies to Bert Blyleven as well.

    John

    “When dudes get battered up, their ability to play the field diminishes and they become DH’s.
    When dudes are battered up, they also hit worse.

    Frank Thomas is a terrific example.”

    I’d have to disagree. Thomas DH’ed a lot during most of his career & he almost always hit worse as a DH. In 1995 as a 27 year old he played 89 games at 1st base with an OPS of 1.17. He DH’ed in 54 games with an OPS of .875. He was also 0 for 4 as a pinch hitter. The year prior he hit 370 as a 1st baseman (99 games) and 234 as a DH (13 games) and was 0 for 1 as a pinch hitter (for his career, Thomas was 6 for 47 as a pinch hitter- maybe Lenny Harris does belong in the HOF). In 1997: OPS of 1.25 as a 1st baseman & .943 as a DH (97/49 game split). Similar splits hold true in 98, 99 & 00 when he DH’ed more than he played 1st and was still relatively young (32 in 2000). The only season he hit better as a DH where he played a significant number of games at both positions was in 1991.

    I understand the argument that playing in the field can take something out of you- hell, I blew my Achilles tendon playing slow pitch softball in my late 30’s- but the argument works better in the affirmative than the negative. Catching beats the hell out of your body. What Pudge Fisk as able to do in his 40’s was extraordinary. That Ozzie Smith & Omar Vizquel & Pudge Rodriguez were still good (but probably overrated) defensive players into their late 30’s & early 40’s is remarkable. Mays playing center field at 42. Unbelievable. But it’s not the same at left field and certainly not at first base. Ted Williams was a below average fielder at his best and after Korea he was at the level of Dave Kingman or Greg Luzinski. No one says he doesn’t belong in the HOF because of it. Most Hall of Fame first basemen were only average fielders & the 3 best were all fairly marginal selections or at least not first tier HOFer’s(Terry, Chance & Kelly). Yes, having a Keith Hernandez or healthy Don Mattingly play first is a real plus. But who do you think a manager is going to start if their choices are Dick (Dr. Strangeglove) Stuart or Doug Mientkiewicz? For much of Edgar Martinez’s career Seattle just had better options at first base (Alvin Davis, Tina Martinez & John Olerud). I don’t think there’s a lot of evidence that says he couldn’t have been a fair first baseman or that playing there would have taken a lot out of his game. He was a fairly brutal 3rd baseman & yet he hit pretty damned well the 3 seasons he spent playing there. There is some argument to be made that playing the field might have worsened his hamstring injuries but I have to think that running the bases would be a bigger problem there & it never seems it was. I agree with the argument that not playing the field has to factor into the consideration of wether he’s worthy of being inducted into the HOF but not that just playing a position necessarily adds worth. We may someday be making the argument if Adam Dunn belongs in the HOF. I’m not sure that just because he went out to left field carrying a glove for 9 seasons makes him a more worthy candidate. Edgar Martinez didn’t play first base because the DH position was available. It’s reasonable to take into account that he didn’t make a contribution in the field. But I don’t think it’s fair to give more credit to everyone just for picking up a glove. Ted Williams finished 2nd in MVP voting in 1957 not because of his glove but in spite of it. There were literally hundreds of players at all levels of professional baseball who were or would have been better left fielders than he was. But there were only a couple of better hitters on the entire planet and Jimmy Piersall was good enough to cover all of center field & half of left field. Willie McCovey made the All Star team as an outfielder in 1963. No way that happens without Mays in center.

    I’m even getting tired of reading me so I’ll end it there.

  206. Hartvig Says:

    Just want to point out that posts 197 thru 204 went up while I was writing. I do have to say that Chuck’s pointing out that Kevin Mitchell’s range factor being better is a pretty damning issue because, in spite of the fact that Mitchell has probably THE most often seen defensive highlight play in history, he really wasn’t a good defensive player by any margin. But I still think he (Raines not Mitchell) belongs.

    And Cameron, I had no idea you were a Kansas fan so I’ll refrain from pointing out that I just moved back to Fargo where I went to college and that NDSU beat Kansas in football this fall. That would be like rubbing it in. So I won’t. Mention that NDSU BEAT KANSAS AT FOOTBALL that is.

  207. Bob Says:

    And I am still pissed that Kansas beat Michigan State in 1986 in perhaps the worst officiated game in NCAA history. In Kansas. What horseshit. Never liked Danny Manning after that.

  208. Cameron Says:

    I’m fully aware that outside the 2008 Orange Bowl season, Kansas is largely a basketball school. You never expect the greatest out of football with them.

    Except during the Border War, because fuck the Tigers.

    …Guess where I’m transferring once I get my associate’s?

  209. Chuck Says:

    “And I am still pissed that Kansas beat Michigan State in 1986 in perhaps the worst officiated game in NCAA history”

    At least you didn’t lose to George freakin’ Mason.

    There’s 20 LF in the HOF and if you discount the deadballers and Monte Irvin (career length) that leaves 15 and Raines is pretty clearly not in the top ten.

    “Yes but during most of the years he was an All-Star Montreal was a contending team and his teammates were Gary Carter, Andres Galarraga, Andre Dawson, Tim Wallach, Steve Rogers, Jeff Reardon & Dennis Martinez.”

    That comment supports Richard’s argument because even though Montreal wasn’t a top team from a large market, their best players were recognized by the fan vote every year.

    In some of those seasons they had multiple representatives. I’ll give Raines a pass because of the Barry Bonds factor, but if he was truly considered a great player he would have had more appearances.

    Sorry, John.

    Raines’ last AS appearance was at age 27, with just one season after possibly being worthy.

    At a time most players are peaking and hitting their prime, Raines was essentially done.

  210. Mike Felber Says:

    Richard, you are correct that plucking individual stats, even good adjusted ones, absent considering total performance or whether guys who are in the HOF should be inducted is flawed. But measures of total productivity & peak years show Raines quite worthy, as pointed out above. Blyleven even more so, considering how many more players he is competing with at his position, & that he did not have the same long decline. but just like you cannot compare these guys to dubious HOF selections, it is senseless to say they do not deserve to be inducted alongside (insert absolute legend here). Then the Hall would have a max od 2 dozen members.

    John, you seem technically correct about the “infinitely easier” argument. But it is highly misleading. Because this does not correlate with how tough the task is, how well we do it, nor how much credit should be given. It is I suppose “infinitely harder” for me to tie my shoe compared to you not doing it, or to drop off as letter in the mail compared to you having someone do this for you, but they are still trivial & simple tasks. No, I am not comparing these things to the ease of playing any MLB position. I am saying that how much credit accrues to something depends upon its difficulty, scarcity of replacements, & how well you do it.

    Your point conceding the high value Martinez added, including compared to a lot of HOFers, is the relevant one here. You pointing to rare heroic defensive plays is misleading-this is far from the norm. The question is how much can you penalize someone for only batting? Not more than an awful fielder-a team loses flexibility when a man does not play the field, but OTOH, it is an advantage to have a good DH vs. none.

    Hartvig beat me to it in his very thorough analysis of your causation argument. Briefly, it is ultra-clear that throughout his career, as he & others testify, it is harder to hit well without playing defense-he was much better when just playing 1B rather than DH. Which he did the the vast majority of the time starting at age 30-so your comparison to him a 36 is a false one. Even at his 20’s peak he hit better when playing the field.

    Your GIDP vs. runs scored correlations are sound-they just do not apply to DH. Guys who enter DH may well be banged up. But the slot keeps them less healthier most of the time, obviously. Dinging a guy more than a poor fielder makes no sense, the batting very well as a DH is hard, & few guys can do it. there is a misguided sub rosa work ethic kind of extra penalty assessed, but it is not anyone’s fault that they fill productively a legal spot. Whether it is due to injury or figuring defensive assignments based upon the best interests of a team.

  211. Mike Felber Says:

    Awards & all star appearances are often poorly correlated with who is deserving. The latter not only reflects upon popularity & other available players, but can only potentially consider about 1/2 the season in question! Raines did do most of his damage early, & ironically WAR supports Chuck in saying that he had just 1 AS level season after 27. Though he had other good years, & the question is not when he created value, but did he create enough, including at his peak.

    I think we should all reserve judgment much more re: the real quality of players defensively. But I throw out some questions here for possible answers. Looking at B-R.com, I often see a big disparity on the player pages in how it describes players abilities. Now, inndividual cases there may be explanations like for Bowa: poor field quality, a great nearby fielder, etc…but even when looking at the same skill, it often says disparate things.

    For example: in defensive stats Williams, like so many players, is listed as below average for range factor, certainly after his Korean War service. But he scors in the top 5 in RF per 9 inning for LF below in the leaderboard section for 2 of these years! Martinez has a positive Total Zone rating for 3B, even though when I look at range factor per game or 9 innings, he is below average. Sure, that stat covers a lot more than range-position, arm, DP, etc…But WHY for example is Martinez listed as high as 2nd & rd for LF in RF for ‘92 & ‘94 on the leader boards, but when you scan up above for his yearly defensive ratings, his #s are listed as lower than average per game & inning!

  212. Mike Felber Says:

    Chuck, you completely missed my point re: whether Lefty & you disagreed. I already said you agree on his long decline negatively effecting the odds of him entering the HOF. Again, I said that Lefty & the rest of us above) obviously disagreed with you about whether Raines DESERVES to be in the HOF.

    I also do not know why you would use my quote about raw #s not being a true measure of production as there being “hope” for me. I have always said this,arguing against accumulation of team, park & context dependent #s being a useful arbiter of productivity.

    I agree that OPS + is not the best way to make a case for Raines, that measuring value created with OBP + & historically great SB more effectively shows his value. But why in the name of !@#$%&^&* would you say who gives a bleep about OPS +? Virtually everyone here does-can you find anyone on this site who does not find it a meaningful reflection of productivity but you? It is a very good shorthand for overall offensive contributions, & batting is how players add the vast majority of their value.

  213. Chuck Says:

    “find it a meaningful reflection of productivity but you? It is a very good shorthand for overall offensive contributions”

    Am I the only one who sees a contadiction there?

    “Awards & all star appearances are often poorly correlated with who is deserving.”

    And yet Jon Heyman bases his ballot on exactly those criteria.

    Do I like OPS+?

    It’s OK.

    Not the first bullet I’d load in the gun, but nice to have by just in case.

  214. Cameron Says:

    Hey, baseball may have its problems, but watching this last Sunday Night Football game made me realize baseball hasn’t ran into this problem before.

    If Seattle wins this game, a team with a losing record will make the playoffs. …Can’t they add a third wildcard as a substitute for a losing team or something?

  215. Mike Felber Says:

    I do not see the potential contradiction you point to, but O.K.

    Where IS Raul, & Brautigan? Somebody bring them back for our amusement!

  216. Chuck Says:

    I don’t see how you can praise something as being “a meaningful measure of productivity”, then in the very next sentence brush it off as “shorthand.”

  217. Mike Felber Says:

    It is a case where you do not understand what shorthand is meant to indicate. Usually & in this context, “shorthand” means a quick method for figuring value. It was not at all a brush off, & does not show that it is not a very good measure of hitting value-just that absent getting more granular, like looking at Ks, GIDP, sacs, RISP hitting…Just OBP + is very good at gauging offensive contribution. Though I would use the weighted version to reflect the differential value of OBP, it still correlates quite well with real run production.

    For example, it is a better “shorthand” than, say, measuring bench press ability to figure upper body strength, though the latter is a decent estimate. Though to analogize, it neglects all but pushing strength (& many are better at this Ego-associated exercise), & adding at least a compound pulling motion would improve things. But OBP + at least factors in the 2 major ways one creates runs, adjusted for context.

  218. Chuck Says:

    Fair enough.

  219. Chuck Says:

    Posted this accidently on John’s new article, sorry, didn’t mean to hijack it.

    Hopefully any subsequent comments on the subject remain here.

    Came across an article by Jim Baumbach of Newsday who says he surveyed “almost half” of the BBWAA voters and estimated the vote percentage for Jeff Bagwell to be 37.1%

    He went on to say the only two electees this year will be Blyleven and Alomar, with the biggest gainer of the holdovers, surprisingly, being Jack Morris.

    For those who care, Tim Raines’ percentage goes down.

  220. Hossrex Says:

    Chuck: “Do I like OPS+?

    It’s OK.

    Not the first bullet I’d load in the gun, but nice to have by just in case.”

    Which ONE stat would you load first?

    BA? Certainly not.
    RBI? Hopefully not.
    OBP? I’m sure YOU wouldn’t.

  221. Chuck Says:

    “Which ONE stat would you load first?”

    Depends on the discussion.

    Carlos Pena led the AL in homers in 2009 and as far as I’m concerned he had a lousy season. The fact he had an OPS+ of 133 doesn’t, or won’t, change anything.

  222. Lefty33 Says:

    “Lefty and I are in agreement about Raines. What Lefty said and what I agreed with is Raines’ chances would be better if he didn’t play as long.”

    Exactly.

    “Looking at future HOF ballots, Raines’ best chance will be in 2012, with the only solid candidate being Jeff Bagwell and no new candidates worthy of admission.

    I don’t see him making up 45% in two years, however.

    I look at Raines’ career I can see him staying on the ballot for the full fifteen years with a maximum vote total somewhere in the 40-45 percent range.”

    Exactly right Chuck.

    In 2012 you’ve got a wildcard year that whoever doesn’t make it out of Bagwell, Blyleven, and Alomar will get in. And maybe add a long shot from Morris or Larkin.

    But likely it pans out conservativly like this:

    ‘12- Bagwell (Longshot Larkin or Morris)(5)
    ‘13- Biggio & Piazza (6)
    ‘14- Maddux, Glavine, Thomas (7)
    ‘15- Kent, Johnson (8)
    ‘16- Griffey Jr. (9)

    And that’s without putting in the PED guys.

    So by 2017 Raines is done with 9 ballots and still maybe getting in the 30-39% range and guys like Pedro, Mussina, Rivera, Hoffman, Smoltz, Schilling, Chipper still need to have a place at the table before he even gets seriously considered.

    If he’s lucky he gets a year 14 or 15 aw shucks vote like Rice got and Blyleven will get. But if the PED guys are allowed to go in then he likely will run out of years before he’s bumped from the ballot.

  223. Hossrex Says:

    Chuck: “Depends on the discussion.

    Carlos Pena led the AL in homers in 2009 and as far as I’m concerned he had a lousy season. The fact he had an OPS+ of 133 doesn’t, or won’t, change anything.”

    It fascinates me, Chuck, how you’ll take the time to bother replying to a post… but then completely and utterly ignore the question being asked.

    Me: Hey Chuck, what do you want to eat?
    Chuck: Depends on the situation.

    Well… fucking hell… OF COURSE it depends on the situation… but I still don’t know where we’re going for dinner.

  224. Shaun Says:

    “yeah, Shaun really screwed up when he predicted that the Yankees would sign Eric Byrnes to fill LF instead of Brett Gardner.”

    That’s funny…I have no clue as to what you are referring. Maybe you can find where I made this prediction and post the link here, or at least tell us how we can find my prediction. I rarely if ever make predictions about player movement. That’s just not my thing.

    “Munson, Guidry, and Mattingly had less impressive careers than Raines. Easily”

    Missed the point again, Shaun, as usual.

    That’s not my quote. That was John. I would never say something like that because I think Raines is much more qualified for induction than those other players.

    Do people actually bother reading who posts or do they just pick out things in order to set up strawmen?

  225. Hartvig Says:

    Shaun

    Right after the first quote you listed are the words: “Oh wait…”

    That was Chuck’s prediction. John was trying to stick up for you (well, sort of, anyways)

    Now reread the second quote, with that in mind

  226. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, regarding your post #204, it seems you are taking things one at a time to make your argument that Raines isn’t a Hall of Famer instead of looking at the total packaging and trying to determine if Raines is a Hall of Famer.

    For example, you make the argument that Raines OBP, a supposed strength for Raines, shows that he’s actually not a Hall of Famer. Well, I suppose by that rationale, Gwynn’s not a Hall of Famer either because his OBP is worse than Dave Magadan’s and Minnie Minoso’s.

    It’s not just Raines’s OBP that does or doesn’t make him a Hall of Famer. It’s Raines OBP and his base-stealing (both number of steals and percentage) that make him a Hall of Famer.

    It seems you are picking out stats that you value or that you think that Hall of Fame voters value, looking at them one at a time to make the argument that Raines is not a Hall of Famer. “Well, he was no good in this category, so he’s not a Hall of Famer.”

    I prefer to look at players as a whole then try to determine if a guy is a Hall of Famer.

  227. Chuck Says:

    Shaun @# 274

    That was a sarcastic reference to John sounding alot like you.

    “I prefer to look at players as a whole then try to determine if a guy is a Hall of Famer.”

    Sorry, but if you look at the whole of “the whole” of Tim Raines and determine that he’s a HOFer then it’s pretty obvious there’s holes in your whole.

  228. John Says:

    Chuck: “Carlos Pena led the AL in homers in 2009 and as far as I’m concerned he had a lousy season. The fact he had an OPS+ of 133 doesn’t, or won’t, change anything.”

    What about the fact that he drew a lot of walks, led the league in HR, and drove in 100 runs in 5 months? If there’s a certain narrative that you’re intent on maintaining, such as a sub-.230 hitter couldn’t possibly have had a good year no matter what, than sure. But by any measure of performance besides that archaic metric of batting average, that season was awesome.

    “‘15- Kent, Johnson (8)”

    This should be a test. If you don’t vote for Pedro Martinez in 2015, you don’t get to vote anymore. Period. End of story.

    Lefty,

    If Raines gets in, it’ll be by the VC. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s a deserving candidate. He’s more deserving than Jack Morris by like, an order of magnitude. Hell, Jim Rice was inducted because he was “feared.” You think pitchers didn’t fear Raines on the basepaths? Which makes the fact that he ranks 35th all-time in walks pretty fricking impressive (not as impressive as Rickey ranking 2nd, but still).

    Hossrex,

    OPS+ is a great stat. But it actually hurts Tim Raines’s candidacy. If the only things you told me about a guy were that he was a LF and had a 123 OPS+ and then asked me if he was a HOFer, I would say no, probably not. But if you then said that he was a leadoff hitter who reached base at a .385 clip, stole 800 bases at an 85% clip and probably deserved the 1986 MVP etc etc than I say “oh, you were talking about Tim Raines, hell yizzess.”

  229. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, how so? Raines got on base more times than Gwynn at only a slightly lower percentage (.388 to .385) but stole many more bases at the best success rate in history for anyone with nearly that many steal attempts.

    I guess Raines’s crime is that 395 of his 1,330 walks were not singles instead. Never mind that a lot of those walks (and a lot of his singles) were essentially turned into extra-bases by all his successful steals.

    I’m not sure what you ask for in a Hall of Fame player, if Tim Raines isn’t a Hall of Famer.

  230. Shaun Says:

    John, you have to love the “feared” argument. What did the voters do, go around taking a poll of pitchers who faced Rice and determine that most of them “feared” him? Or did they just think “oh, he seemed like a guy pitchers would have ‘feared’” so that means he should be a Hall of Famer? It’s amazing that so many voters get away with revealing their choices for the Hall and think they can get around defending it by using vague and essentially meaningless phrases like “he was feared.”

  231. John Says:

    You know what Shaun, let’s do that.

    Let’s take 395 of those leadoff walks and make them hits. In fact, better yet, let’s make them doubles (remember, no one was on, so no extra RBI’s). And then subtract 395 stolen bases from his total because, well, he’s already at second!

    Now, Tim Raines has 3000 hits, 413 SB, the all-time record for doubles at 825, and a line of .325/.385/.492 for an OPS+ of about 140.

    This player has contributed nothing different than actual Tim Raines. He is substantively no different. All we did was change the manner in which he ended up on second base while hitting with no one on base.

    This version of Tim Raines is a first ballot HOFer. Actual Tim Raines will never see 50%.

    Because voters are idiots.

  232. Shaun Says:

    …not just using vague and essentially meaningless phrases like “he was feared” but also not providing proof that Rice was actually “feared” any more than another good hitter.

  233. Shaun Says:

    It seems that too many voters want the authority that comes with voting on the players for the Hall but they don’t want the accountability. Many want us to just trust that they know better than anyone else who belongs in the Hall; and they can’t handle the criticism when they are pushed to explain their choices or lack thereof.

  234. Shaun Says:

    My guess is that Albert Belle was also a “feared” hitter, just as feared as Jim Rice. I’m sure if pressed on that issue alone (ignoring the Hall of Fame question), the voters would agree. So why Rice and not Belle?

  235. brautigan Says:

    Tim Raines was voted in the top 10 for MVP 3 times. The highest he polled was 5th.

    That doesn’t sound to me like a HOF candidate.

  236. Bob Says:

    Perhaps, but that could also be a reflection of dumb shit writers who ignored Montreal. Or penalized him for sliding into bases carefully.

  237. Shaun Says:

    brautigan, I guess if your criteria for the Hall of Fame is end-of-year awards voting, that is important. But if your criteria includes actual performance and actual value, Raines seems to be a Hall of Famer.

  238. Bob Says:

    In real baseball news, the Rangers designated Max Ramirez for assignment. I wonder if the Sox actually pick him up.

  239. John Says:

    “Tim Raines was voted in the top 10 for MVP 3 times. The highest he polled was 5th.
    That doesn’t sound to me like a HOF candidate.”

    Kinda sounds like the BBWAA isn’t very good at their job, doesn’t it?

  240. John Says:

    Bob,

    I think we have very different versions of “real baseball news” :)

  241. Mike Felber Says:

    Even year end awards are sometimes notoriously divergent with real performances. Why ever use them at all? Let us carefully CHECK & see who was best, by how much, etc…And what if a player, say, NEVER deserved the MVP, but often did behind giants like Pujols & Bonds? That guy might be easily an HOF player. Though John pointed out times when he deserved awards, I believe the All Star game (which is even more stupider ;-) (sic) metric for success, since it is a 1/2 year popularity contest).

    John, your reasoning in #231 is sound. Though almost all agree here that Raines deserves the HOF. Peak years, OBP + historic steal success, & no indication have I that he was worse than a mediocre defender-you are correct that the stat line you suggest would be effectively the SAME performance, & he would have been quickly inducted into the HOF. What you illustrated is how valuable really great SB #s & rate can be. Which is very uncommon…

    Shaun, I read very carefully, but I cannot comprehend your logic here:

    “Munson, Guidry, and Mattingly had less impressive careers than Raines. Easily”

    “That’s not my quote. That was John. I would never say something like that because I think Raines is much more qualified for induction than those other players”.

    But these statements seem perfectly consistent. you did not say those particular words, but if you feel Raines had a much more impressive career than those others, & specify that he is “much more qualified for induction”, why would you “never say” exactly that?

  242. Mike Felber Says:

    I meant my hypothetical guy in many years was #2 or 3 behind the likes of Bonds & Pujols. Like the latter was consistently behind the former in the 1st years of this century.

    Brautigan, welcome back. I loved baseball Historian Bill Jenkinson’s book “Baseballs Ultimate Power”, which thoroughly researched, measured, & often illustrated exact locations of all of the most prodigious blows ever recorded. I thought of you, since you mentioned a 500′ shot that you made & benefited you greatly. I would love to know more about it, & please do not take my questioning here as an insult.

    1st, HR distance is rife with exaggeration. One problem is that the vast majority of balls are interrupted, & those with limited knowledge of physics do not realize how little more distance a ball has to travel when it begins its descent. He shows how it was an optical illusion that Mantle’s almost left Yankee Stadium blast in May ‘63 (11th inning) was still rising: otherwise it would need to be 700 or so feet uninterrupted! Far more than even Ruth ever hit. When he charted the BEST HR hitters for distance, I recall that the MAJORITY of guys never had any 500″ shots. Now they did face Major League pitching, but had a much longer “career” than you…

    Are you confident it was actually 500′? If so, why? Mays, Aaron, even ‘roided up Bonds never hit one fully that far. A Web Site shows the actual distance of all MLB HRs in ‘10-Josh Hamilton was #1 with 485′. Unless there was a significant tailwind &/or an aluminum bat, it seems implausible-but even an amateur 450′–470′ would would be mighty impressive. Harper attracted a lot of attention for his 502′ blast at 17-but that was using metal, which must have added at least near 10% to his distance.

    Finally, taking into account that every time we recall something it is like a game of telephone, where we recreate an event, not access an inviolable original memory: did it FEEL very different when you hit it? Did it seem like you swung especially hard, or more so got your body well behind it & hit it perfectly? Thanks for your indulgence.

  243. brautigan Says:

    Mike: It was 348 to the center right fence, another 20 feet to the river, another 80 to 100 feet to cross the river, and another 20-30 feet up the embankment to the tree where the ball landed. So, a conservative estimate would have been around 475 feet. I hit one in practice a week earlier that was a bomb, and I pulled it but lost it when it went over the bridge on the other side of the road.

    And actually, I hit one further in a playoff game (I think it would have been further, but there is no way I can tell). I had hit a dead red fast ball in CF and the CF told me after the game the ball was still going up when it cleared his head. I have no idea how far it went because there was a row of trees in CF (the fence was 410 to dead center). So, when I go around talking about my home run, I talk about the one where I could best estimate, which I call my best “guesstimation”.

    Now it may sound like I hit a ton of homeruns, but I didn’t. I hit just a few (I was a line drive hitter), but I did hit a few and when I did, they really sailed. So, I was a good hitter, but when it came to being a power hitter, I was more lucky than good.

  244. Mike Felber Says:

    If it is accurate that you had 500′ power, & i assume you mean without a tailwind & with wooden bats, then you had RARE power Brautigan. You do not even describe the connection as being extraordinary. Were you heavily muscled? All the guys who hit the furthest, WITHOUT modern weight training, were at least close to 200lbs. lean, or more. A few-not quite the very furthest hitters, but still may have hit a legitimate 500′ or so shot-were tall & rangy, like McCovey & Williams. Balls hit under normal conditions do not just “sail” 500′!

  245. Bob Says:

    The Jays signed Chad Cordero.

  246. Bob Says:

    The Mets signed Taylor Buchholz and Chris Capuano, while the Sox signed Hector Luna. And the Yankees expect to hear from Pettitte within a few days.

  247. Chuck Says:

    “15- Kent, Johnson (8)”

    “…If you don’t vote for Pedro Martinez in 2015, you don’t get to vote anymore. Period. End of story.”

    The same rule should apply to anyone voting FOR Jeff Kent.

    John @ #231.

    A pretty extreme example, but take 200 hits away from Craig Biggio and he’s one and done on the ballot.

    Take 200 homers away from Mark McGwire and he doesn’t even get past the screening committee.

    “But if your criteria includes actual performance and actual value, Raines seems to be a Hall of Famer.”

    There’s a difference between performance and value. Just ask Ichiro. Or Adam Dunn.

    “Harper attracted a lot of attention for his 502′ blast at 17-but that was using metal, which must have added at least near 10% to his distance.”

    It wasn’t metal, at least not entirely. It was a prototype composite material which is illegal for game use. It was also during BP and there were several balls hit at least that far by different players.

    I guess we can trace the beginning of the steriod era back to Brautigan. :)

  248. brautigan Says:

    Mike:

    Senior in high school: 6′0 185 pounds.
    Freshman in college: 6′0 205 pounds.

    Funny thing is, I was faster at 205 than I was at 185. I used wooden bats until my second year in college, then we switched to the “ping”. To this day, I still hate aluminum bats.

    I can see where you say I had extraordinary power, but like I said, I didn’t homer that often. We had a short fence in RF and I think that ruined me. I was trying to pull everything, and whenever we went on the road, I hit much better.

  249. brautigan Says:

    Also, the homerun I hit was in a playoff game at home, one on, one out, coach called a hit and run. Pitcher threw a first pitch fastball about knee high over the plate and the rest was history. The coach even griped at me for not hitting behind the runner.

  250. brautigan Says:

    “I guess we can trace the beginning of the steriod era back to Brautigan.”

    I don’t know about that Chuck. When I was in high school, they used to say I had the body of a football player and the arms of a long distance runner. I changed that when I went and played ball in college.

  251. Chuck Says:

    “The coach even griped at me for not hitting behind the runner.”

    Your coach was an asshole.

  252. Chuck Says:

    Longest ball I ever hit was during my junior year of high school. I was maybe 5′7, 150.

    Terryville High School in CT.

    390 to right center. Ball cleared the fence just to the foul line side, across a two lane access road into the school, and landed on the school roof, which was a two story building.

    Maybe 450?

  253. John Says:

    But if you take those 200 hr away from Mcgwire, you diminish like 1/4 of his value. You can turn 400 walks+stealss into doubles, then Raines has done exactly the same thing for his team.

    The effect of Raines’s stolen bases are the same as if he had been the all-time leader in doubles and had 400 stolen bases.

  254. Chuck Says:

    “The effect of Raines’s stolen bases are the same as if he had been the all-time leader in doubles”

    Wrong.

    Not even debatable.

    Unless of course you’re assuming the extra 395 doubles came with two outs and no one on.

  255. John Says:

    Or zero outs. Or 1 out.

    Which is, of course, the assumption.

  256. Mike Felber Says:

    Right one John. And you are correct on performance & value Chuck: in baseball, all skills & athleticism are not nearly as valuable, & a few very specific skill,s like hitting for power, are valuable way disproportionate to others. Ichiro drawing significantly more walks would be somewhat more valuable. You faiurly pointed out Dunn’s history of athleticism, but his skill set is similar to other, less athletic big guys who had a lot of value even if they could only hit HR well, & presumably draw a modicum of walks.

    Even your 450 is quite impressive, especially at that size. Was it with a wooden bat? And now that you mention it, I vaguely recall the composite thing…Tell me, what PERCENTAGE do you think those bats add in distance compared to wooden bats? What & do you believe the aluminum bats add?

    Brautigan, I am still not clear what level, hence what kind of bat you used when you hit those 3 longest HRs. And can I assume you were fairly lean at 205?

    And did any of you have a tail wind?

    Lastly, Jenkinson did not make note of any of the HR hit in the All Star HR derby contests. Some have speculated they used rabbit balls, & i have heard a few assigned distances something over 500. I seriously wonder if either the balls or the distances were juiced. Because getting your favorite pitches constantly will make it SO MUCH easier to Homer than facing ML pitching, but some distance at least should be lost when the ball is almost lobbed in there. Thoughts?

  257. Chuck Says:

    “Was it with a wooden bat?”

    It was not.

    “And now that you mention it, I vaguely recall the composite thing…Tell me, what PERCENTAGE do you think those bats add in distance compared to wooden bats?”

    The composite?

    No way to know, really, without using one.

    “What & do you believe the aluminum bats add?”

    I think your ten percent is conservative.

    “And did any of you have a tail wind?”

    No.

    All I remember about that day is it was our first game of the season, which would have put the timeframe the first or second week of April, and all the way up in the bus it was raining.

    Well, that’s not exactly all I remember, but all that’s relevant to the weather.

  258. Chuck Says:

    It occurred to me a decent comparison to Raines is Vada Pinson.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/compare.cgi?top=/players/r/raineti01.shtml

    Both were stars by their early 20’s and essentially done by 30.

    Pinson played five less seasons and played 33 fewer games than Raines but had 45 more plate appearances. With the exception of SB’s and walks (and OBP) Pinson virtually beats Raines across the board.

    Pinson played in a pitcher’s era, the beginning of Raines’ career was as well but he played mostly in a hitting environment.

    Baseball Reference used to have this “neutralization” feature but either they took it down or moved it somewhere.

    Pinson was a truly great player who, like alot of guys, ran into some injury problems. He was a favorite of mine and was the one guy who I always would mention on any “screwed by the HOF” list.

    I remember 20 some odd years ago sitting down to write an article for one of the SABR Research Journals on Pinson and his HOF snub. I stopped before finishing because it became more and more clear as I went on that he really wasn’t a worthy candidate.

    He is, however, a much better candidate than Tim Raines.

  259. Chuck Says:

    I found the neutralized page.

    It gives Raines 3001 career hits.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/compare.cgi?top=/players/r/raineti01.shtml

  260. Mike Felber Says:

    Likely the composite bat is not less effective than aluminum, right? But if aluminum adds say just a smidge more than 10% then your shot would have been just about as far as the average MLB HR-a little short of 400′ last year. That is still good, excellent when you were that size & age. And those dudes launching shots a little over 500′ with Harper: they would have been hitting a max of around 450′ with wood, if that. Makes us appreciate what the best hitters can do, especially against excellent pitching. How Ruth launched the furthest shots ever with those real heavy, inefficient bats-& little useful training technology around- is hard to fathom.

    The Pinson comparison is interesting. Though as I wrote above, it is overstated that Raines was “done” by 3o-not so good after 33, that is more fair. Vada seems “mo’ done” early, doing pretty little after 29. Lets look at their broad contributions. There fielding looks similar-I never saw any support that Raines was “terrible”, or worse than mediocre. So tell me why WAR is all wet there, OR what other stats say V.P. was much different than him?

    In offense, an OBP heavy 123 easily trumps a 110. That & the much greater SB #s & % add SIGNIFICANT value. What aspect of Pinson’s game or bat can possibly counterbalance that, let alone make him a “much better” candidate than Raines?

    Chuck, methinks you should form a club. A couple of names I bequeath to you free: “I hate Raines!” “Rain on Raines (HOF) Parade”. “Raines is rated wrong!” “Raines is over-rated!” Raines did not make the (enough/3000) hits Parade!” “Raines plays worse than Rain Man!” :-)

    Alright, that last one was a stretch. Yet I do not think you will find any support, um, almost anywhere, for the idea that Pinson is a MUCH better HOF candidate than Raines. Even better at all would be..held less often than the opposite opinion. Though you are admirably honest when you looked closely at a favorite player & were able to acknowledge that he was not HOF material.

  261. John Says:

    So Pinson is much better than Raines except at the two things that are the whole reason why Raines deserves enshrinement.

    Let me try:

    If you ignore HR, obp, slg, ba, doubles, defense and hits, Tony Womack is a much better HOF candidate than Albert Pujols.

  262. Mike Felber Says:

    “All Aboard the Raines hatin’ Train!” “Trade Raines to Spain”. “Raines for HOF: Insane!” “Raines Trails Gaedel for deserving HOF!” “Raines would st(r)ain HOF name!” “Refrain from electing Raines to HOF!” Raines Flamed out b4 earning enough Fame!” “If inducted, Raines should be De-Famed!”. “Raines for HOF? You got no Brains!” “Raines name: never give it an HOF Frame”. “Raines: deserves not a Grain of HOF”. “Raines plainly painfully Disdained by HOF”! “Raines deigned way to train too little for the HOF”. “Tames Raines campaign for the HOF!” “Raines HOF loss is our Gain!”. “Mainly, Raines fans deranged if campaign for HOF!” “Raines: keep Forever to the HOF estranged”. “Raines lame, strange HOF game wanes”. “Raines has Mangy case for HOF”.

    “Rage, rage against the the dying of de-light against the Raines-hating.” (a literary saying strained). “Raines defensive range? A HOF outrage!” “May Raines never gain Hall-related Fame”. For hip Hop crowd: “Want Raines for HOF? You are Insane in the Membrane (insane in the brain). “Favorite player? Not Raines!” “Raines shall never HOF-reign!” “May no HOF age be stained by Raines”. “HOF standards ever Wane/Blame Raines!”. “A Cane for HOF: Better than Raines!”. “Stop Raines-crazed HOF Train!” “May Raines never make HOF gain!” “Bane of HOF: only Raines!”

    I plainly have o’erstrained the Raines game. ;-)

  263. Chuck Says:

    “So tell me why WAR is all wet there?”

    You answered your own question.

    I saw Harper take BP three times and the longest ball I saw him hit was maybe 420. I remember walking into the press box in Peoria one day and the media guys were all walking around with their woodies in full bloom over a shot he hit in BP the day before in Scottsdale which apparently cleared both bullpens and landed on a Little League field next door. If true that would have been in the 450-470 range easily.

    “In offense, an OBP heavy 123 easily trumps a 110.”

    Not when the heaviness comes from singles and walks.

    “That & the much greater SB #s & % add SIGNIFICANT value.”

    No, it doesn’t.

    Tim Raines reached base 592 more times than Pinson and stole 503 more bases but only scored 205 more runs.

    That sucks.

    How about “It never Raines in Phoenix?”

    Much better, slightly better, a bit better, way better, hardly better, maybe better…

    Notice a trend there, Mike?

    The only word that matters is “better.”

  264. John Says:

    yes Chuck. Tim Raines isnt a HOFer because he never went and got Frank Robinson to hit behind him.

    You realize that your runs scored logic is stupid on like eight different levels right?

  265. Lefty33 Says:

    “It seems that too many voters want the authority that comes with voting on the players for the Hall but they don’t want the accountability.”

    And that’s because there is no clause of accountability built into the job description. They are not required to be accountable to anyone.

    They are allowed to vote as they please with no explanation.

    “Many want us to just trust that they know better than anyone else who belongs in the Hall; and they can’t handle the criticism when they are pushed to explain their choices or lack thereof.”

    For the most part Shaun there’s not really anybody that matters “pushing” them to explain their votes. The overwhemling majority of guys vote for who they want to vote for and don’t give a damn what you or I think and then go about their business the other 364 days of the year.

  266. Lefty33 Says:

    “If Raines gets in, it’ll be by the VC.”

    Right John which means that based on their track record he’s never going in.

  267. Chuck Says:

    “You realize that your runs scored logic is stupid on like eight different levels right?”

    No, John, what’s stupid is you keep trying to get into it with me without understanding what’s being said or doing any research and hoping I don’t notice.

    Seriously.

    Please, please, please…try and convince me Pinson hit in better overall lineups than Raines.

  268. Mike Felber Says:

    No, I am not agreeing that WAR is wrong in this case-I posed the query from your perspective, asked you to show me WHY it was wrong. Feel free to use any conventional stats, anything that shows how a man with great speed & an above average FP, (.987) was anything like “terrible”. Or the low hanging fruit: why was he allegedly worse than Pinson?

    On your OBP case: Whaaaa? How can you…but, but what the: Why?!? Urgle-Gork! Nooooo…(I am channeling Hossrex’s best sputtering incredulity mode here…)

    OBP + accounts already for all the “weight” of slugging as 1/2 the formula! I am saying that 123 is significantly better than 110, & that a lot of research shows that OBP contributes more to run production than slugging, so it is argued that the formula should be 1.8 (I read 1.73 somewhere too) x OBP: 1 for Slg = Weighted OBP +.

    But even in standard OBP +, Raines is significantly better. Slightly better in GIDP & Ks also. Raines clearly hit better, & stole like a mo’ fo.

    As for the OBP & Steals not leading to proportionate scoring-why do you think that is? He was slow/slower than Pinson? Ridiculous. He was a worse base runner than Pinson, despite his speed? he was lazy & did not really try after reaching base (& often stealing)?

    I think you know I am going to point to how context dependent runs scored are. We would have to look at how those hitting behind both guys did. But that should be the 1st assumption re: causation, given Raines’ skills.

    I honestly have no idea why you would say that it does not matter, hardly or way better are VERY different arguments. And “maybe” better does not even make any definitive claim either way! So yes, these words mean very different things. for example, for fun, building on John’s #261…

    We can say Babe Ruth or Barry Bonds or Hank Aaron or (you get the picture) are/were way better, or much better at baseball than us. A bit of an understatement for sure, but perfectly correct. This also would apply to any HOF guy compared to, say, Stephen Hawking or the world’s fattest person or a 5 year old or anyone on their deathbed….But you cannot say that the former are only a bit, slightly, or “maybe” better than these folks…

    Your aphorism is apropos of your Raines & location station, if a bit plebeian. But Where is the fiery Refusenik judgment man, the infinite Raines-rage, a specific outrage at his potential HOF-acquiring stage. May I suggest instead:

    “Refrain from re-arranging HOF for Raines!” “Ingrained Raging on Raines Page” “A Plague on Raines for HOF”. “May Raines never even Gaze on HOF!”. “Grateful Raines shall never graze HOF”. “May Raines never Grace HOF stage”. “Raines, no Status for HOF place”. “Epic Disgrace: any Raines HOF case”. “Raines, Raines, go away, come again no other Day”.

  269. Chuck Says:

    “the two things that are the whole reason why Raines deserves enshrinement.”

    OBP and stolen bases?

    So Tim Raines is a HOFer because he’s fifth all time in stolen bases?

    So then Donie Bush should be in as well because he’s fifth all time in sacrifices, right?

    Jamie Moyer is first all time in homers allowed, so you think he’s first ballot?

    I mean, if the all time HR HITTER is in, why not the all time HR ALLOWER?

    Jason Kendall is fifth all time in HBP, I guess I should make reservations for Cooperstown in 2019 when he goes in.

    John Franco, fourth all time in saves. Fucking criminal he’s not in yet.

    I’ll give you the OBP, but not the SB’s.

    They’re important, but not THAT important.

  270. Hartvig Says:

    Chuck

    “Please, please, please…try and convince me Pinson hit in better overall lineups than Raines”

    Frank Robinson

  271. Lefty33 Says:

    I’ll bet you didn’t know Chuck that Carlton didn’t make the Hall for getting 300 and 4 Cy Young awards.

    No, no, it was his all-time balk record with 90 that pushed him into immortality.

    (I mean if Lenny Hariis doesn’t make it with 212 that’s just freakin’ criminal.)

  272. Chuck Says:

    OBP ={H+BB+HBP}/{AB+BB+HBP+SF}

    SLG = TB/AB

    Now who’s Oogle-Gorking?

    They’re two separate stats, Mike.

    OPS wasn’t and isn’t part of the discussion.

    Neither is OBP+, whatever the fuck that is.

  273. John Says:

    “No, John, what’s stupid is you keep trying to get into it with me without understanding what’s being said or doing any research and hoping I don’t notice.”

    Uh let’s try this:

    Frank Robinson >>>>> Andre Dawson

    That was easy.

    But let’s dive deeper. You assert that

    “Tim Raines reached base 592 more times than Pinson and stole 503 more bases but only scored 205 more runs.
    That sucks”

    The first part of your statement:

    “Tim Raines reached base 592 more times than Pinson and stole 503 more bases”

    might as well be saying “Tim Raines was a much much much much better baseball player than Vada Pinson.”

    then you continue with: “but only scored 205 more runs. That sucks.”

    That’s sort of like saying “in 2001, Barry Bonds hit 48 more homers than Scott Rolen but only drove in more 30 runs. Selfish shit!”

    See why that doesn’t make sense?

    And besides, your runs scored argument is bullshit.

    Tim Raines scored a run every 6.59 plate appearances.
    Vada Pinson scored a run every 7.62 plate appearances.

    That’s worse. By a lot. To the extent it even matters.

    Wanna know what makes this comparison even more absurd? Pinson was BELOW league average for OBP. He had a .327 OBP compared to a league average of .331 during his career. Raines was better than league average…BY 50 POINTS.

  274. Chuck Says:

    Tim Raines’ OBP of .3854 ranks 136th all time.

    Derek Jeter is .0008 behind.

    Well, goddamn, if that doesn’t prove Raines is a HOFer, then I don’t know what does.

    TIM RAINES FOR THE HOF!!!

    ANYONE WHO DOESN’T VOTE FOR HIM IS AN IDIOT.

    Fuck…

    I hate to admit it, but I’d rather talk about Eric Byrnes or whichever recently DFA’d middle reliever the Red Sox just signed.

  275. Chuck Says:

    “Frank Robinson >>>>> Andre Dawson”

    You forgot Gary Carter.

    That was easier.

    “And besides, your runs scored argument is bullshit.”

    You already know what I think of your opinions, John.

    “Raines was better than league average…BY 50 POINTS.”

    And he’s STILL NOT GETTING INTO THE HALL OF FAME!!!!

    He’s not a HOFer today, he’s not a HOFer tomorrow, he’s not a HOFer in 40 years.

    I’m going to update my will so you can be advised of where my grave will be so in case of some miracle Raines gets elected you can come by and piss on me.

    Til then, you’re wasting your time.

  276. John Says:

    Chuck: “So Tim Raines is a HOFer because he’s fifth all time in stolen bases?

    So then Donie Bush should be in as well because he’s fifth all time in sacrifices, right?”

    You aren’t seriously comparing these two things are you?

    Let me explain this to you. I’ll try to break it down:

    A stolen base attains an extra base…WITHOUT losing one of your 3 outs.
    A sacrifice attains an extra base…WITH losing one of your 3 outs.

    Do you not understand how those two things aren’t even close in how they help your team?

    “I mean, if the all time HR HITTER is in, why not the all time HR ALLOWER?”

    ruserious?

    “Neither is OBP+, whatever the fuck that is.”

    It’s OBP compared to league average OBP. Vada Pinson was below average. Tim Raines was way way way way way way way above average.

  277. John Says:

    “Tim Raines’ OBP of .3854 ranks 136th all time.
    Derek Jeter is .0008 behind.”

    Derek Jeter…is a first ballot hall-of-famer with a billion less stolen bases. You’re not helping your case.

    “You forgot Gary Carter.”

    I also forgot Tony Perez. And Deron Johnson.

  278. John Says:

    “He’s not a HOFer today, he’s not a HOFer tomorrow, he’s not a HOFer in 40 years.”

    Because the BBWAA is terrible at their job. 95% of them didn’t think Ted Simmons wasn’t a HOFer. What does that tell you?

  279. Chuck Says:

    “Tim Raines was way way way way way way way above average.”

    Yes, he was.

    Too bad there are countless other factors that go into becoming a HOFer.

    Factors that Mr. Raines either didn’t possess or didn’t have enough of.

    “Derek Jeter…is a first ballot hall-of-famer with a billion less stolen bases. You’re not helping your case.”

    Actually, you just nailed my case.

    “Your honor, we’d like to ask Mr. Simpson to try on the gloves.”

  280. Chuck Says:

    “What does that tell you?”

    That Ted Simmons isn’t a HOFer?

  281. John Says:

    Uh

    http://www.dugoutcentral.com/?p=1473

    “Too bad there are countless other factors that go into becoming a HOFer.
    Factors that Mr. Raines either didn’t possess or didn’t have enough of.”

    The only factor that really matters is this: does the player do the things that contribute to success. Tim Raines clearly did.

    If you say no, then you’re basically saying that you don’t think leadoff hitters can be valuable.

    Because as far as the skill sets that go into being a great leadoff hitter, Tim Raines was better than just about everyone except Rickey Henderson and maybe Pete Rose.

  282. John Says:

    “Actually, you just nailed my case.”

    So… a leadoff/#2 hitter, with about the same OBP and less ability to steal bags than an absolute non-HOFer is an absolute 100% no-doubt-about-it HOFer?

    Congrats. You make no sense.

  283. Mike Felber Says:

    Funny Stuff. He will never admit intransigence to reason John, but my patented Glurk!elmeter tells that we still have a .0000000013 chance of persuading Chuck that he has at least overstated his Great, Grave Range of Raines-disdaining (or pick any suggestion in #262 Chuck). So let us try humor:

    OPS is a separate stat Chuck? Why thank you, I did not realize that! How pray tell is it ever figured? What could its components ever be?! Seriously, I meant an OPS heavy 123 vs. 110 for Pinson, Mea Culpa. I thought you knew what I was saying though. Yet under either interpretation it does not make sense to downgrade a man for more BB & singles: better hits than singles are accounted for in Slugging, & singles weighed there too. All told, Raines hit a good deal better.

    You ignored John’s arguments about runs scored per PA, as well as how it does not at all track opportunity anyway, & you did not address my challenge about their defensive comparison.

    But the OBP + & the steals is the crux of the matter. An unprecedented combination of steals & theft, combined with very good OBP has great value. It is much more important than all of your joc(k)ular examples.

    “Raison D’etre: Raines remaining Un(p)raised in HOF rating”. “Straight up: Raines name never engraved nor rhetorically engaged as HOF Great”. “Railroading Raines: Raking, base-racing & bracing run tracing”. For the (non-John) Rocker set: “Raines HOF degrading Space/Song Remains the Same”.

  284. Mike Felber Says:

    Literary Raines Raving #473- Quoth The Raines Raven:

    Danger! Raines engaged in HOF exchange, instead of: Evermore…
    Upstate NY estranged.

  285. Shaun Says:

    Tim Raines reached base 592 more times than Pinson and stole 503 more bases but only scored 205 more runs.

    Runs scored depend a great deal on context, namely who is hitting behind the player in question, era and ballpark. Raines had all three working against him for most of his career, relative to Pinson.

    It’s funny how those who don’t think Raines should be a Hall of Famer have yet to address the fact that Raines reached base more times than Tony Gwynn at only a slightly lower rate but had a lot more steals at the highest sucess rate in history for a guy with nearly that many attempts. I can’t find any posts about Gwynn. I guess people want to sweep under the rug the fact that Gwynn is a Hall of Famer or either they don’t think Gwynn deserves to be in. All you folks who don’t think Raines belongs, which one is it? Do you prefer to ignore the comparison between Gwynn and Raines or do you just don’t think Gwynn belongs? I think all of you seem to understand the Gwynn is in fact in the Hall, so the only logical conclusion is that you don’t think Tony Gwynn deserves to be a Hall of Famer. Thanks for clarification of how much you really understand baseball.

  286. Richard Says:

    Jason Giambi has a career Adjusted OPS+ of 142. Darryl Strawberry? 138. Reggie Smith? 137. Tim Raines is 123, tied with CERTAIN HOFers Cesar Cedeno, Glenn Davis, Larry Hisle, John Mayberry, Merv Rettenmund and Carlos Pena! Half of the Raines “crux” refuted.

    The other half? SBs? Tell Vince Coleman to punch his ticket for Cooperstown. JUan Pierre isn’t too far behind. And why haven’t we had a Congressional investigation into the omittance of Willie Wilson?

    One more thing: If you told me that a ten-time All-star, five times finished in the Top 10 in MVP voting, with four Gold Gloves, 6 years (out of 7) of 200+hits, one NL MVP, and five years of 100+ RBI’s – and throw in Two AS MVP’s and an LCS MVP, along with being a key cog in 5 WS appearances, you’d say HOFer, right? Wrong. Steve Garvey was on 15 ballots topping out at 42.6% in his third year of eligibilty. A very good player, very popular, in a large market, and still no BBWAA love. There goes your “If he spent 10 years in New York” argument.

    The Raines Trains keep getting derailed. He is not a HOFer. He belongs in the Hall of Pretty Good, along with all of the other fringe candidates.

  287. Shaun Says:

    Richard, you can’t take stats one at a time and assume that because a player doesn’t rank among the all-time greats in one particular stats, he’s not a Hall of Famer. Take the player as a whole.

    First of all, OPS+ doesn’t take into account position.

    Second, OPS+ doesn’t take into account baserunning and the argument can be made that Raines’s baserunning may have been the best of all-time, given that he stole so many bases with the highest success rate of anyone with nearly as many attempts.

    I don’t get your point about All-Star and awards voting. That’s one of the last things we should look at with concern to who belongs in the Hall because the voters for those things don’t always get it right and they got things more wrong in the past. We just know more now about what is important in terms of a player helping his team win baseball games. Last I checked, top 10 MVP finishes, Gold Glove awards and All-Star appearances don’t necessarily tell us how much a player helped his team win ballgames.

  288. Richard Says:

    Shaun,

    You miss the boat on the Gwynn argument. There are certain benchmarks that voters look at, like 3,000 hits. He was also a 15-time All Star, won 4 Gold Gloves, Six Silver Sluggers, led the league in hits 7 times, in BA 8 times, and had a career OPS+ of 132. Did I mention he finished in the Top 10 of MVP voting 7 times? Raines reached base 22 times more than Gwynn, in 163 more plate appearances, and couldn’t hold his jock in any category other than Walks and SB’s. These reasons, along with others, are what separate a first-ballot HOFer from a 30% vote-getter.

    I loved Raines when he played, and have a place in my heart for him for his place on the 96 Yanks, but let’s be realistic: he just wasn’t good enough. Blame injuries or poor lineups or a voodoo doctor in Zaire, I don’t care. If you have to manufacture an argument for a borderline player, leave him out. Period.

  289. Shaun Says:

    This is why we need some semblance of a stat like WAR. If you don’t like WAR come up with your own all-encompassing stat. I’ll let Tangotiger explain why (from an open letter to Murray Chass):

    What WAR gives us is a systematic, consistent framework to value the accomplishments of players. The good thing about a framework is that each person is free to create his own implementation. Not all houses are built the same, but they all follow the same principle. That’s what WAR gives us. For example, WAR forces us to value a random HR about 1.1 more runs than a random walk. You can’t say that you will ignore the walks of one player and then really pump up his HR. WAR quantifies the performance of a SS relative to the performance of a 1B. WAR establishes alot of what you need to consider.

    But WAR also gives you leeway to introduce your own personalized expression. For example, while Sean Smith’s implementation of the WAR framework I developed does not consider clutch performance, you can create a Murray Chass implementation of WAR that does include clutch performance.

  290. Richard Says:

    Shaun,

    On the AS/MVP, I was responding to earlier posts using that as a benchmark. I agree, except for use as a barometer of dominance – Think Pujols the last 10 years.

    When you build your whole argument around OPS and SB, you can pull those ranks. SB’s, much like Saves, are not an important stat to qualify a player for the Hall, otherwise Lee Smith and Vince Coleman would be in.

  291. Richard Says:

    Tim Raines – WAR 64.6, good for 117th All-Time. Behind Alan Trammell, Rick Reuschel, Kenny Lofton, Ron Santo, Bobby Grich, Jim Edmonds, Lou Whitaker, etc. Reggie Smith is 63.4. Use any stat you want. Raines is good, not great.

  292. Shaun Says:

    Richard, I understand there are certain benchmarks the voters look at. But that doesn’t mean the voters are doing it right. Last I checked, baseball is about doing things to help the team win (namely, by doing things that help create and prevent runs). Raines did enough in terms of helping his team win (i.e., helping to create and prevent runs) to belong in the Hall, unless your standards for the Hall are extremely high, much higher than the standards the voters have already set.

    For example, when you say “Raines reached base 22 times more than Gwynn, in 163 more plate appearances, and couldn’t hold his jock in any category other than Walks and SB’s” I’m not sure the relevance of that statement in terms of what each player did to help his team create runs. Raines reached base more times at a slightly lower percentage than Gwynn. Raines stole a lot more bases at a much higher percentage so if you add Raines’s net steals to his total bases and do the same for Gwynn, it would seem Raines at least closes the gap somewhat in terms of doing things to create runs.

    You see it’s not as simple as listing out a comparison between Player X and Player Y because while Player X may have done more things well, Player Y may have done more important things well (important in terms of helping his team to create runs).

    The name of the game is wins, which means doing things to help create runs and prevent runs. Until you put things in that context, you are just arbitrarily determining who belongs in the Hall of Fame based on some meaningless criterion. Who cares if Player A hit 500 homeruns and Player B hit 300, if Player B did more things to help his team create runs? You need to put things in the context of doing things to create runs and weigh things appropriately in those terms.

    The fact that Gwynn had a higher batting average than Raines is all fine and dandy. But the appropriate way to look at this is what did Gwynn do to create and prevent runs for his team, what did Raines do to create and prevent runs for his team? What did they do compared to other Hall of Famers? Did they play in a ballpark in which is was easier or harder to do things to create runs than other ballparks? Did they play in an era in which it was easier or harder to do things to create runs? See, it’s not as simple as a checklist of arbitrary stats and seeing who comes out ahead on that balance sheet.

  293. Shaun Says:

    Richard, most of those players you listed should be legit candidates. Trammell should be in. Reuschel probably didn’t have enough peak value; his WAR is largely based on longevity. Kind of the same with Lofton, though I could see him as a legit candidate. Santo should be in. Edmonds is kind of in the Lofton category; his WAR is based largely on longevity, though he wouldn’t be a bad candidate. Lou Whitaker should probably be in. Reggie Smith is like Edmonds and Lofton; probably not enough peak value to be a serious candidate; his WAR is more due to longevity; but at the same time, he’s not a horrible candidate.

  294. Richard Says:

    Shaun,
    Thank you for the patronizing post. I don’t think I would understand baseball without it. Winning games? Scoring runs? Helping your team win? My eyes are opened. Raines is a HOFer!!!

    (Eases back into reality)

    Unless you want to go back to each AB and figure out how a player moved a runner along with nobody out, threw to the right base, cut off a double in the gap, or hit a clutch drive that the CF made an outstanding play on, we have to rely on the stats that we have to determine which players helped their team win more. OR we can rely on those that covered baseball for 20+ years who see enough of a sampling to complement the stats. Either way, Raines doesn’t measure up. Until you can verify that his SB’s contributed to more wins than certain HOFers, or that his value reached the HOF level, I’m siding with the 70% of voters – SEVENTY PER CENT – that say he’s not in.

    And yes, I have a higher standard than most voters. Kirby Puckett, Jim Rice, Phil Niekro, Rich Gossage, Bruce Sutter, and Don Sutton wouldn’t make it in my HOF.

  295. Richard Says:

    Santo would get more votes from me than any of the other candidates, but he doesn’t belong. Unless you want a Hall of Good. Then They’re all HOGs.

  296. Shaun Says:

    Richard, relying on the stats we have is not making a checklist of who had the highest batting average, homerun total, RBI total, Run total, etc. and seeing who comes out on top on such a balance sheet. It’s actually looking at what matters to helping create and prevent runs. We have better stats and a better understanding of stats now and can actually get a more reliable estimate as to what a player did to help his team create and prevent runs than just a balance sheet of batting average, homers, RBI and runs scored.

    Look at what you pointed out yourself. You listed a bunch of players who had about the same career WAR (which is an estimate of a player’s contributions to helping his team win) as Raines who are either should be legit Hall of Famers or who are close; and many of them didn’t have the peak value equal to Raines.

    As far as “your” Hall of Fame, the doors have already been opened. Whether you would let those players in or not, they are in. Therefore whether we like it or not the standards for the Hall of Fame are not set by us.

  297. Richard Says:

    I listed a bunch of players who are legit candidates? Trammell – a high of 22% of votes; Reuschel 0.4%; Grich – 2.6%; Whitaker – 2.9%; Reggie Smith – 0.7%; Ron Santo – 43%. So you’re the guy who gave Todd Stottlemyre a vote in 08.

    If the standards are already set, why are you arguing for Raines? He doesn’t meet the standards already set. You’re throwing out stats that noone has ever been judged on for consideration. Lou Brock and Rickey Henderson, the stolen base kings, both went in based on other merits. We already discussed how Raines falls short on both WAR and OPS+. What other standards that have been set do Raines meet?

    If you say that we can’t complain about those already in, you can’t bitch about those who never made it – and never will.

  298. John Says:

    Richard: “Tim Raines – WAR 64.6, good for 117th All-Time. Behind Alan Trammell, Rick Reuschel, Kenny Lofton, Ron Santo, Bobby Grich, Jim Edmonds, Lou Whitaker, etc. Reggie Smith is 63.4. Use any stat you want. Raines is good, not great.”

    What are there, like 230 people in the HOF? So, according to the very stat you cited, Raines wouldn’t even be in the lower half of the HOF.

    “Tim Raines is 123, tied with CERTAIN HOFers Cesar Cedeno, Glenn Davis, Larry Hisle, John Mayberry, Merv Rettenmund and Carlos Pena! Half of the Raines “crux” refuted.”

    Gee, and those guys all had 800 or more stolen bases!? And a .385 OBP from the leadoff spot? And they did this over 10359 PA? And were their league’s premier leadoff hitter for a decade? Oh wait. They were none of those things.

    Richard: “The other half? SBs? Tell Vince Coleman to punch his ticket for Cooperstown. JUan Pierre isn’t too far behind. And why haven’t we had a Congressional investigation into the omittance of Willie Wilson?”

    Because they had OBP’s of .324, .347, and .326 respectively. And way fewer stolen bases with more CS. And slugging percentages about 100 points lower than Raines. And about half as many PA. And less than half as many hits. And WAYYYYYY fewer walks (hence the lower OBP’s). That’s why. Smartass.

    Richard: “There are certain benchmarks that voters look at”

    Oh boy.

    “like 3,000 hits”

    Look at Tim Raines’s neutral statistics; he really should’ve had (almost exactly) 3000 hits. It was the bad luck of playing where he did, when he did, and in the lineups that he did.

    Also, you realize what happens when a player walks, right? They go to first base. It’s a lot like a single, unless there are RISP…which for a leadoff hitter, there seldom are. Raines had about 350 more walks than Gwynn, hence their identical OBP’s.

    Now, wanna know what happens when a player walks, and then steals second? It’s a lot like a double. I explained pretty clearly how effective Raines’s speed made him in post 231, read it.

    “He was also a 15-time All Star”

    That’s a popularity contest. I’ll bet your high school’s prom queen was a better student than you then?

    “won 4 Gold Gloves”

    Raffy Palmeiro one won of those in a year where he was a full-time DH. Derek Jeter has won five, and he has zero range going to his left. Gold gloves are less than meaningless.

    “and had a career OPS+ of 132″

    I love – love love love – that you reference this stat fucking three posts after pointing out that Jason Giambi, Darryl Strawberry, and Reggie Smith all had higher career OPS+’s.

    “On the AS/MVP, I was responding to earlier posts using that as a benchmark. I agree, except for use as a barometer of dominance – Think Pujols the last 10 years.”

    Albert Pujols is one of the very best players to ever play the game. If you want a barometer of dominance, look at EVERY SINGLE OFFENSIVE STATISTIC HE’S EVER COMPILED. Don’t waste your time with how many times drunk people voted him into the all-star game.

    “OR we can rely on those that covered baseball for 20+ years who see enough of a sampling”

    The BBWAA consists of mostly senile old men who weren’t paying attention to baseball in Canada in the 1980’s, and to the extent that they were, they were following the Blue Jays. 90% of them probably don’t own a glove, so excuse me if I doubt their expertise derived from “watching the games.” Half of them think that a player should be in based on ONE GAME in 1991. These guys, by and large, aren’t very good at their jobs.

  299. Shaun Says:

    Richard, the voters are simply wrong on many of those players you listed plus they’ve let much worse players than those in.

    I’m not sure how you get that Raines falls short with WAR or OPS+ if you also consider his baserunning. Raines does meet the standards set by the voters (as does Trammell, Santo, possibly Whitaker), or else I wouldn’t be arguing for him to be in.

  300. Shaun Says:

    John, I think the BBWAA are just a lot of guys who trust superstition and intuition over science and data. They don’t understand that sometimes our eyes fool us and that we need to rely on something more than whether a guy was “feared” or whether he “feels” like a Hall of Famer or whether a guy put up numbers in statistical category that we or tradition thinks is important rather than what actually matters to helping win baseball games.

  301. Chuck Says:

    “We have better stats and a better understanding of stats now and can actually get a more reliable estimate as to what a player did to help his team create and prevent runs than just a balance sheet…”

    It’s been 25 years since Bill James wrote is first Abstract, and in that timeframe there have been a ton of “new” stats developed.

    The fact Raines and Santo, et al, are not yet in kind of proves that they are not better.

    It’s time for the sabermetric community to take a step back and stop blaming the BBWAA for not knowing what they’re doing and look in their own mirrors.

    Thankyou, Richard, for you enligtening posts. What you said is nothing different than anything some of us have already stated, and as you’ve already found out won’t make a difference.

    As we’ve already been made aware over the past three seasons, not only is Raines not a great player, at 30% of the vote, he barely counts as very good.

    Can’t wait until tomorrow and see the shit storm when his total goes DOWN.

  302. John Says:

    “The fact Raines and Santo, et al, are not yet in kind of proves that they are not better.”

    It doesn’t prove anything except that the voters are bad at their jobs. Period.

    Why do you think Morris is still getting 50% of the vote?

    Anything they do can basically be ignored as a barometer for understanding of the game. Things like not realizing that if you leadoff the game with a walk and steal second, it’s EXACTLY THE FUCKING SAME as if you had clubbed a double.

  303. Chuck Says:

    “Why do you think Morris is still getting 50% of the vote?”

    Because he’s not a Hall of Famer either?

    John, you can bitch and whine all you want about the BBWAA, but there is one HUGE difference between them and you.

    They are qualified to vote.

    So, one unqualified person is bitching about the poor track record of 500+ people who are?

    NOW who’s the idiot?

  304. Lefty33 Says:

    “Santo would get more votes from me than any of the other candidates, but he doesn’t belong. Unless you want a Hall of Good. Then They’re all HOGs.”

    You see Richard when you are debating this with Shaun you need to remember that he has low standards for HOF admittance.

    Hence this quote from last year: “Well, couldn’t one argue that accumulating years of “pretty goodness” is worthy of Hall of Fame consideration”.

    This is why whenever he is “lecturing” you in one post that his way is the appropriate way to consider “worthiness” and then in the next post telling you that “Therefore whether we like it or not the standards for the Hall of Fame are not set by us.” you need to see it for what it’s worth.

    To quote the great Alan Parsons: psychobabble.

  305. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, again, the BBWAA believes more in superstition and intuition over science and evidence. Their rationale is often that a guy “feels” like a Hall of Famer or he was “feared.” When you come up with things like that, you don’t need to be accountable for your choices and no one can’t make a logical argument against you. That fact that Raines or Santo aren’t in just goes to show that many members of the BBWAA are not enlightened. They may as well believe the earth is flat because they trust their own intuition over the evidence. They don’t realize their own ignorance. That’s largely what separates the enlightened from the backwards baseball fans, the enlightened realize their own ignorance and rely on data and evidence over their own understanding, (i.e., whether a hitter was “feared” or whether he “feels” like a Hall of Famer).

  306. Lefty33 Says:

    “the BBWAA believes more in superstition and intuition over science and evidence.”

    What fact is that statement based on?

    “When you come up with things like that, you don’t need to be accountable for your choices and no one can’t make a logical argument against you.”

    The sooner you get it through your thick skull that they are not/nor ever will be accountable to anyone the sooner that maybe you’ll be “enlightened”.

    “They don’t realize their own ignorance. That’s largely what separates the enlightened from the backwards baseball fans, the enlightened realize their own ignorance and rely on data and evidence over their own understanding, (i.e., whether a hitter was “feared” or whether he “feels” like a Hall of Famer).”

    Nothing but unsubstantiated hyperbole and bullshit.

  307. John Says:

    “They are qualified to vote.”

    Based on stupid, arbitrary standards, that have nothing to do with knowledge of baseball.

    Someone on the BBWAA is “qualified” and yet he voted for David Segui. Do you REALLY think that that man is more qualified than you to vote on the baseball hall-of-fame?

    Ditto for ANY of the voters who did vote for Morris and/or didn’t vote for, say, Rickey Henderson.

  308. Shaun Says:

    I think the most qualified people to vote for the Hall would be people who are qualified to be general managers of baseball teams or people who are qualified to work in a major league front office. Front office personnel recognize baseball talent and rely on all sorts of data every day. Most of the members of the BBWAA are very good writers and baseball reporters but many of them would never be hired by a major league front office. Basically they don’t take an academic approach to baseball. Their jobs are mostly about reporting what’s going on with a particular team or what’s going on around the game or who might be traded and where. They hardly ever, day in and day out, dig deep into understanding how players contribute to helping their teams win baseball games.

  309. Chuck Says:

    “Based on stupid, arbitrary standards, that have nothing to do with knowledge of baseball.”

    Not trying to be an asshole here John, but you haven’t proven much knowledge in this thread either.

    And when you consider such proponents of sabermetrics like Verducci, Law and Neyer now have votes, I would assume you’re including them in your statement?

    Because their inclusion hasn’t made a difference.

  310. Lefty33 Says:

    “Based on stupid, arbitrary standards, that have nothing to do with knowledge of baseball.”

    John be reasonable. That’s not true and you know it.

    Any time you get a committee of 500+ guys together to try and do something you are always going to have your fringe whacks that are going to do dumb things, like vote for Segui, but by in the large the majority usually gets it right.

    And if not the first time then eventually.

    Now I agree with you that not inducting Simmons is criminal.

    But past maybe another two or three guys have many people do you seriously think have been wronged by BBWAA omission over the years.

    I’m not talking about guys who they voted in who are borderline like Rice, closers, etc. since they are in and once in the debate ends.

  311. Chuck Says:

    “Someone on the BBWAA is “qualified” and yet he voted for David Segui.”

    Might help to know WHY, don’t you think?

  312. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, the fact is based on writers saying that Jim Rice got in mostly because he was “feared.” No one that I know of backed up their vote for Rice with any logic or reason. It was based on the fact that he was “feared” and the fact that they thought he deserved to be in based on some stats that tradition tells us are meaningful in determining a player’s worth on the field. No one relied on any kind of evidence or data that actual told them what Rice was worth on the field; only tradition and the fact that he was “feared” or “felt” like a Hall of Famer.

  313. Lefty33 Says:

    “They hardly ever, day in and day out, dig deep into understanding how players contribute to helping their teams win baseball games.”

    Right, because a beat reporter who travels with a team for a whole season never interviews or interacts with the players, the coaches, the manager, and never has access to front office personnel.

  314. John Says:

    “And when you consider such proponents of sabermetrics like Verducci, Law and Neyer now have votes, I would assume you’re including them in your statement?”

    In Neyer’s case, sure. I’m not 100% sure he’s ever seen a game. But even he’s more likely to get it right than some 97 year old man who can’t get it up and won’t vote for either the 2nd or 3rd best leadoff hitter EVER because he “doesn’t feel it” but will vote for Jack Morris because “well darnit, did you see that game 7! It’s the only thing that still gives me an erection!”

    Lefty: “Any time you get a committee of 500+ guys together to try and do something you are always going to have your fringe whacks(…)but by in the large the majority usually gets it right.”

    but then you say…
    “Now I agree with you that not inducting Simmons is criminal.”

    95% of people voted this way. The “fringe whacks” were the ones who understood baseball enough such that they believed Simmons was good enough to get in!

    Meanwhile, over half the people want to elect a man with a 105 ERA+ and 1.300 WHIP into the HOF.

  315. John Says:

    “Might help to know WHY, don’t you think?”

    It really doesn’t matter. It’s David Segui. If he had a gay crush on the guy, or something, that doesn’t make his opinions any more valid, does it?

  316. raul Says:

    Yeah Lefty,

    But it’s like the Chuck/Shaun thing.
    Many of these reporters spend a lot of time with players and don’t learn a damn thing.

    Want an example? ESPN.com

  317. raul Says:

    I don’t think writers should decide who gets in the Hall of Fame.
    Certainly we don’t need 500 of them.

  318. Lefty33 Says:

    “No one that I know of backed up their vote for Rice with any logic or reason.”

    No vote is ever backed up with reason and logic from most writers because they ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BE TRANSPARENT. (For the one millionth time.)

    If Blyleven goes in tomorrow will his vote be backed up? No.

    Was Henderson’s vote backed up in 2009? No.

    If they were to induct Sixto Lezcano would that vote be backed up? No.

    Unless a guy makes his ballot public and explains his vote you have no fucking clue why he voted the way he did.

    Just because you read that one guy voted a certain way because he felt Rice was a “feared” hitter does not mean the other 411 guys who voted for him felt even remotely the same way.

    Stop with the hyperbole and the over generalized non-backed up bullshit statements.

  319. Chuck Says:

    Shaun,

    The fact Rice didn’t get in until his last year of eligibility kind of defeats the “feared” argument.

    And criticizing the BBWAA for electing Rice kind of went out the door the following year when they elected Andre Dawson, who is a worse selection than Rice.

  320. John Says:

    “Right, because a beat reporter who travels with a team for a whole season never interviews or interacts with the players, the coaches, the manager, and never has access to front office personnel.”

    Beat Reporter: So, Andre, great hit to win the game.
    Dawson: Yup. I’m really really good at baseball.
    Beat Reporter: That was remarkable, especially since you won the game all by yourself!
    Dawson: Yeah
    Beat Reporter: So no one else you’d like to thank for this win?
    Dawson: No, just me.
    Beat Reporter: What about the guy who drew a leadoff walk and stole second and then used his blazing speed to score from second on a sharply hit ball.
    Dawson: Pretty sure I’m solely responsible for this victory. I think I’m feared by opposing pitchers.
    Beat Reporter: Thanks Andre! I’ll be sure to use this when I vote for the HOF in 25 years.

  321. John Says:

    err…satire.

  322. Shaun Says:

    Right, because a beat reporter who travels with a team for a whole season never interviews or interacts with the players, the coaches, the manager, and never has access to front office personnel.

    Lefty33, that doesn’t mean a beat reporter is qualified to be part of a front office. A reporter could have followed Einstein around and reported to the public Einstein’s ideas the best he could to get the point across. That doesn’t mean that reporter is qualified to be another Einstein. Front office personnel are more qualified to vote for the Hall than a beat reporter. That seems irrefutable.

  323. Chuck Says:

    ++++++ on the sense of humor, John.

  324. Lefty33 Says:

    “95% of people voted this way. The “fringe whacks” were the ones who understood baseball enough such that they believed Simmons was good enough to get in!”

    But my point John is that you are overdramatizing this whole debate by making it out to be like the HOF votes have been wrong forever and it’s such a travesty.

    1. Who gives a shit how many votes Morris gets as long as it’s less than 75% then the body as a whole has done its job.

    2. Yes they have no doubt blown it on a few guys, like Simmons, but it’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater to say that everything much change for not even a handful of players considering all of the guys that they have gotten right.

    You are also overlooking two key sub-plot points.

    3. The BBWAA is kind of like electing the Pope or the President. It’s not scientific, never has been and it never really will be. Sometimes it’s not about whose best but simply about who’s electable.

    4. The process works for all parties involved because of the controversy, like this thread, that it generates.

    Controversy=Relevance=$$$$

    The HOF, the BBWAA, and Baseball all benefit from the whining and gnashing of teeth that go on. What is the real incentive to change anything? There is none.

  325. Chuck Says:

    Shaun,

    We’ve had this conversation in the past and while I’m hesitant to get into this again..most front office personnel don’t know jack about baseball.

    The Red Sox hired Theo because he has a BUSINESS degree from Yale.

    The reason teams have Scouting and Farm directors is because most front office personnel don’t know shit.

    Theo knows how to make money. Theo knows how to read a P&L. Theo knows how to make the best of a budget.

    Theo couldn’t tell you the difference between a slider and a curve.

    So, no, front office personnel shouldn’t have votes.

  326. John Says:

    Lefty,

    My whole point is that Tim Raines SHOULD be in the HOF, not that he WILL be in. Therefore, to say that he SHOULD NOT be in the HOF because the BBWAA has said so doesn’t mean jack to me.

    I don’t care about Jack Morris’s vote percentage as long as it is less than 75, but the fact that he routinely gets 50+% of the vote means that more than half of voters don’t have a very good understanding for what constitutes a “great” baseball player and therefore whatever percentage Raines gets is in no way indicative of whether or not his performance merits induction.

  327. raul Says:

    I know people who read everything a certain author has written. They follow their every move. That doesnt mean they should be allowed to decide who gets a Pulizter or Nobel.

  328. John Says:

    “Theo couldn’t tell you the difference between a slider and a curve.”

    Entirely possible. But I’ll bet he knows the difference between a leadoff double and a leadoff walk+steal is … ready for it? Zero.

  329. Lefty33 Says:

    “My whole point is that Tim Raines SHOULD be in the HOF, not that he WILL be in.”

    Riddle me this John:

    Name me another player that spent the first third of his career as a star, the middle third of his career as an average player, and the last third of his career as a bit platoon player, has no hardware, holds no all-time marks and is in the HOF?

  330. Chuck Says:

    “Therefore, to say that he SHOULD NOT be in the HOF because the BBWAA has said so doesn’t mean jack to me.”

    And you saying he should doesn’t mean jack either.

    Especially since, well, you don’t know jack.

  331. Chuck Says:

    “But I’ll bet he knows the difference between a leadoff double and a leadoff walk+steal is … ready for it? Zero.”

    Sure, if he stole second 100% of the time.

    If not, then there’s a huge difference.

  332. Lefty33 Says:

    I apologize John I forgot that since you’re SABR-inclined to include that this mythical players also falls short of HOF standards in Blank Ink, Grey Ink, HOF Monitor, HOF Standards metrics as well.

  333. John Says:

    “Sure, if he stole second 100% of the time.
    If not, then there’s a huge difference.”

    He stole at a historically high rate. One of the best…ever. He put himself in scoring position a ridiculous number of times.

    If you don’t understand why that ability makes a player HOF worthy, then you’re the one who doesn’t know jack.

    “Name me another player that spent the first third of his career as a star, the middle third of his career as an average player, and the last third of his career as a bit platoon player, has no hardware, holds no all-time marks and is in the HOF?”

    Riddle me this Lefty: Name one player who spent a solid decade as the best leadoff hitter in his league and didn’t get in:

    I’ll answer that one for you. Pete Rose.

    The only other leadoff hitter who can ever lay claim to doing what Raines did is Henderson.

  334. Lefty33 Says:

    Thanks John that’s what I thought.

  335. Chuck Says:

    “He put himself in scoring position a ridiculous number of times. If you don’t understand why that ability makes a player HOF worthy”

    That’s like walking into a store and trying to buy something that costs a dollar when you only have 30 cents in your pocket.

  336. John Says:

    “I apologize John I forgot that since you’re SABR-inclined to include that this mythical players also falls short of HOF standards in Blank Ink, Grey Ink, HOF Monitor, HOF Standards metrics as well.”

    Tim Raines actually falls short of these things. So that kind of shoots any notion of me being SABR inclined in the foot. Also, SABR-guys hate stealing, although even they would acknowledge that Raines did it well enough to merit induction.

  337. John Says:

    “That’s like walking into a store and trying to buy something that costs a dollar when you only have 30 cents in your pocket.”

    No, it’s like if I walk into a dollar store and try to pay with a 5-dollar bill, and the 98 year old shopkeeper says, “well that doesn’t feel like real currency to me!” And I respond with “yes it is! It’s actually more valuable than a dollar bill” and he calls me a witch and stabs me in the throat with a 99 cent letter opener.

  338. Cameron Says:

    “That’s like walking into a store and trying to buy something that costs a dollar when you only have 30 cents in your pocket.”

    Don’t knock it Chuck, I know the guys at the gas station down by my house well enough to pull that off.

  339. John Says:

    Thanks Lefty, that’s what I thought.

  340. Lefty33 Says:

    (337) Shit John you’re on a roll with the humor today.

  341. Bob Says:

    The Orioles signed Kevin Gregg, the Reds signed Jeremy Hermida, and the Rangers are close to signing Beltre.

  342. Hartvig Says:

    “Name me another player that spent the first third of his career as a star, the middle third of his career as an average player, and the last third of his career as a bit platoon player, has no hardware, holds no all-time marks and is in the HOF?”

    Ernie Banks, except for 2 MVP awards he probably didn’t deserve

  343. brautigan Says:

    John: @ #333.

    Surely you gest about Pete Rose. (he’s not in the hall because of his merits but for other obvious reasons) Did you forget Lou Brock played during that era?

    Pete Rose had 67% of his starting games as a lead off hitter (he batted 2nd 23% of the time, and 3rd 10% of the time). He never started a game hitting clean up or lower. Also, Rose was 198 out of 347 stolen base attempts (57% success rate), and funny thing is, he set his career high (20)at age 39 when he lead off 47 times, batted second 11 times and hit third 106 times.

    While Rose was a good hitter, he wasn’t the best lead off hitter of his era.

  344. John Says:

    Well, Rose had a better OBP than Brock and hit for a whole bunch of doubles. I’d take Rose, but your point is well taken.

    But, as long as we’re mentioning Brock, Raines was a significantly better leadoff hitter than the Cardinal HOFer. Brock may have gotten to 3000 hits and stolen more bases, but Raines had a significantly better success rate, much better OBP, and actually reached base more TIMES than Brock.

  345. brautigan Says:

    Hartvig: “Ernie Banks, except for 2 MVP awards he probably didn’t deserve”.

    Why didn’t he deserve those MVP’s? What other shortstop in major league history (up until that time) had a season like those two? (ok, besides Honus Wagner). Yes, you can make a case for Mays in ‘58 and Aaron in ‘59, but those two weren’t on pennant winners either.

  346. Cameron Says:

    Beltre’s close to signing with Texas and taking over at 3rd. Michael Young will DH.

    Leaves Vlad high and dry, but Texas’ lineup’s still pretty impressive.

  347. brautigan Says:

    John: I understand, but put Raines prime years in the 1965 to 1968 era and let’s see what his numbers would have been.

    Those were the years where pitchers had ERA’s around 3.50 found themselves in AAA.

  348. Chuck Says:

    Despite his hit and SB totals, Brock is considered a bottom tier HOFer, and yet he’s still a better candidate than Raines.

    John, seriously, as a baseball fan I respect your position on Raines but it’s clear this is an argument you won’t, or can’t, win.

    You and I are nobodies.

    We don’t vote. We don’t have the ability or resources to influence a group as large as the BBWAA.

    Your opinion and belief about Raines is as meaningless as mine.

    The fact I’m right isn’t relevant at all.

  349. John Says:

    “John: I understand, but put Raines prime years in the 1965 to 1968 era and let’s see what his numbers would have been.”

    Sure. This is just an estimate, but let’s look at the neutral stats for their two 4-year peak periods:

    Brock (‘65-’68): .310/.353/.473, 69 SB a year, 112 RC/year
    Raines (‘84-’87): .350/.439/.515, 75 SB a year, 136 RC/year

    And, I’ll reiterate, Raines gets to 3000 hits with neutralized conditions. That man got SCREWED by playing his career in 1980’s Montreal.

  350. John Says:

    “Despite his hit and SB totals, Brock is considered a bottom tier HOFer, and yet he’s still a better candidate than Raines.”

    He’s a better candidate in that he meets more checkmarks.

    3000 hits? Check.
    All-time leader in SB at his retirement? Check.

    But Raines reached base more times, with a higher OBP, and had a much better SB% than Raines. If you approximate Net Steals = 1 *SB – 2 *CS (crude, but roll with it for now) then Raines had 516 net steals, Brock had 324.

    Brock is a better candidate in the way that a guy who’s good on tv and has nice hair and is very articulate is a better presidential candidate than an experienced dude with lots of qualifications and great ideas, but has tourette’s.

  351. John Says:

    “John, seriously, as a baseball fan I respect your position on Raines but it’s clear this is an argument you won’t, or can’t, win.
    You and I are nobodies.
    We don’t vote. We don’t have the ability or resources to influence a group as large as the BBWAA.
    Your opinion and belief about Raines is as meaningless as mine.
    The fact I’m right isn’t relevant at all.”

    Lol, nothing said on this site has any ability to influence anything.

    I come on here because I like talking about baseball.

  352. raul Says:

    Raines played where he played.
    He wasn’t “screwed”.
    His career is what it is.

    What’s next? We’re going to say Ted Williams was screwed out of the All-time HR record because he played in Boston instead of NY?

    I think he’s borderline. I could care less whether he gets in or not.

  353. Chuck Says:

    Raines got on base 144 more times than Brock and played four more seasons.

    You lose.

  354. Shaun Says:

    Brock is a better candidate than Raines? Seriously?

    Raines got on base 3,977 times to Brock’s 3,833. Changed to a percentage, it’s even better for Raines (.385 to .343). Plus Raines added more bases with the stolen base: 631 net steals for Brock to 702 net steals for Raines. Raines also slugged noticeably higher (.425 to .410). Where in the world do you see that Brock did more to help his team win or to create runs than Raines?

  355. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, Brock was awful in 4 of his first 5 of those seasons. And he was bad in 2 of his last 3 seasons. So I don’t see that the seasons matter.

    Raines played 6 games his first season, 15 games his second, his third season he was pretty good in 88 games (a strike-shortened season) and he didn’t have a bad season until his 21st season in the big leagues. He was pretty good his 22nd season then was bad again in his 23rd and final season.

    So, yes, Brock played four more seasons, but in 6 of them he added nothing to his teams and may have cost his teams in at least some of those seasons.

  356. Shaun Says:

    Brock played 114 more games than Raines and Raines got on base 144 more times.

    You lose.

  357. Shaun Says:

    Brock had an on-base percentage of .343 to Raines’s .385.

    You lose.

  358. Hartvig Says:

    brautigan

    “Why didn’t he deserve those MVP’s?”

    You’re probably right but it does say valuable not best. And the Cubbies in 58 & 59 were, as usual, saying “Wait until next year” by the end of June or thereabouts. I will admit I don’t have a hard and fast rule about what criteria to use to vote for MVP. IF Colorado had been able to play their way back into the post season this past year and IF Tulowitzki had been able to maintain the incredible hot streak he had going the first half of September then I could understand the argument that he might deserve the MVP over Votto or Pujlos… he plays a much more demanding position very well & he produced when the team needed him most, etc. I don’t know that I’d vote that way but I might. In Banks’ case, the pressures of leading a 69-85 team to a 74-80 record are not the same and he was just a fair to middling defensive shortstop.

    I should have said that it could be argued that he didn’t deserve instead of probably didn’t deserve. But I still think the comparison to Raines is valid. And I do think that Banks is a no question Hall of Famer.

    And the truth is Chuck is right. We have beat this horse to death.

    “You and I are nobodies.

    We don’t vote. We don’t have the ability or resources to influence a group as large as the BBWAA.

    Your opinion and belief about Raines is as meaningless as mine.

    The fact I’m right isn’t relevant at all.”

    Well, he’s right up to the last sentence anyways…

  359. Chuck Says:

    No, Shaun, I don’t.

    Brock had 588 more hits than Raines.

    Raines had 569 more walks than Brock.

    Unless you can somehow figure out a way to explain to the class how Raines’ extra walks would be more valuable than Brock’s extra hits.

  360. brautigan Says:

    John @ #349: How was playing in Olympic stadium worse than playing at Busch. As I recall, Olympic stadium helped guys like Raines, not a hinderance as you would suggest.

  361. Chuck Says:

    “How was playing in Olympic stadium worse than playing at Busch”

    It’s called reaching for straws.

  362. brautigan Says:

    Shaun:

    Brock IS in the Hall of Fame.
    Rock Raines is coaching in the Canadian League.

    You are the one that loses, regardless of what you may say.

    I should say that I do like Tim Raines. He was really a nice guy when I met him. Which again, makes me wonder how good this cat would have been had he not been doing more cocaine than a hoover vacuum cleaner?

  363. Mike Felber Says:

    I summarize responses to some comments.

    The 2 “crux” Raines qualifications cannot be rejected by showing guys who did better at one part & are not legitimate HOF men: they reinforce each other’s value. A good OPS +, especially OBP heavy-means a great deal when you are the BEST EVER at creating bases via steals, where volume & % of success is what matters. Even hitting for position is to Raines credit, but mainly he helped create runs very well, + conserved outs. Brock does not compare in hitting stats like OPS +, let alone OBP, not even close, & Raines added more theft value.

    I agree with you Lefty that big market guys are often not favored for the HOF. Though small market guys are more likely to be overlooked. Shaun distinguishing between what he feels should be HOF criteria, & saying that they are not set by us is no contradiction at all. You focus on what will likely happen usually, but when you said Raines belongs that made you no hypocrite: these are different questions.

    Many writers have shared their HOF reasoning. It is unfair to assume that most are just going based upon emotion, but we can see just from pieces over the years, & reasoning expressed, that too many do use outmoded standards, like valuing context dependent stats, misperceptions of “clutch” that rarely exists, selective memory, & not understanding well what stats mean in terms of creating or saving runs. And sometimes a meaningless meme gets solidified, based upon repetition-like Jim Rice was “feared”.

    Dawson is at least borderline to me, much better than Rice. Despite his low OBP, his overall game, excellent defense at an important position, base running, & slugging I think just created enough value.

    Regarding Raines compared to the others who have mid 60’s WAR listed above: most of them belong! That the BBWAA will not recognize most of them now means nothing in terms of their worthiness. But I must reaffirm that WAR mongers & conventional opinion does NOT just add total contributions” PEAK value is indispensable to any measure of how good someone was! Thus even though Whittaker tops the list of WAR for guys who have not been voted in, he is arguably the weakest candidate, since he was remarkably consistent, but never really near great.

    I address this quote: “I apologize John I forgot that since you’re SABR-inclined to include that this mythical players also falls short of HOF standards in Blank Ink, Grey Ink, HOF Monitor, HOF Standards metrics as well”.

    The misunderstanding is that all these SM measures are necessarily supposed to be used to decide who should be elected for the HOF, or just how good someone was. That is NOT what saber guys usually think. The latter 2 things are well known to be there to measure how one compares in raw stats to other HOFers, 7 how LIKELY one is to get in. And the ink? What does a guy lead or place well in? How much value do these things have towards creating wins? Are they inextricably context, like team/line up/era & park dependent? Are they things, like G/PA, that absent looking at how well you played, mean little? Do they even measure GOOD things? Could be GIDP, Ks, pitching BB, wild pitches, etc…

    Lastly, the MVP thing. It always struck me as off that “value” must or should be interpreted as value being greatest when you can get to the post season. It could well be reasoned as to how much value one adds to the team. Which I think is much more fair-why should we reward guys for being on good teams? But not even old school “value” guys are purists-they will take a very dominant player on a poor team.

    I would reverse it. If 2 guys are close, give it to the guy who was on a team that hit the pennant-at least if he did well down the stretch run, since there was more pressure then. But mostly, it SHOULD be the clearly best player getting it. Value interpreted as contributing to wins, NOT how many total wins a whole team can garner to get to the playoffs.

  364. John Says:

    Chuck: “Brock had 588 more hits than Raines.
    Raines had 569 more walks than Brock.
    Unless you can somehow figure out a way to explain to the class how Raines’ extra walks would be more valuable than Brock’s extra hits.”

    Raines is more valuable because he made 1153 FEWER OUTS than Brock while reaching 144 MORE TIMES.

    Outs are bad. Outs hurt your team. Surely, you understand this?

    “How was playing in Olympic stadium worse than playing at Busch. As I recall, Olympic stadium helped guys like Raines, not a hinderance as you would suggest.”

    The turf helped guys like Raines run, but it was decidedly a pitcher’s park. In a neutral setting, Raines gets those extra hits and goes to the HOF. As it stands, he still deserves to go, but probably won’t.

    “Which again, makes me wonder how good this cat would have been had he not been doing more cocaine than a hoover vacuum cleaner?”

    He might’ve been the best leadoff hitter in the National League for a decade.

    Oh wait. He did that anyway.

  365. Chuck Says:

    “Outs are bad. Outs hurt your team. Surely, you understand this?”

    What took you so long?

  366. Mike Felber Says:

    Raines Rave: I Revise lyric from another all time great:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxOXEN2Vl0I

    Tears of Raines

    Tears of a Thief.

    Why must I always

    Get HOF Grief?

    Come to me now award relief, you know we’re, soooo alone…

    Rock’s life is brief.

  367. Chuck Says:

    Roses are red

    Violets are blue

    Tim Raines has the

    same HOF chance as you.

  368. brautigan Says:

    Mike writes: “Lastly, the MVP thing. It always struck me as off that “value” must or should be interpreted as value being greatest when you can get to the post season. It could well be reasoned as to how much value one adds to the team. Which I think is much more fair-why should we reward guys for being on good teams? But not even old school “value” guys are purists-they will take a very dominant player on a poor team.”

    I have always found MVP voting to be interesting in the very least. How else do you get context for guys like Johnny Bassler (a catcher for Detroit in the mid 20’s) to get 3 top 10 votes for MVP? Especially in an era where you have Heinie Manush, Harry Heilmann, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, George Sisler, and Bibb Falk. Or Jimmy Brown of the late 30’s St. Louis Cardinals. What was it about those two guys that people thought were MVP caliber? There was something there that we don’t see because we didn’t see them play everyday. We can look at numbers now and guess.

    How many of you saw Raines play? I did, and I remember he had a terrible arm (one of the reasons he couldn’t play 2B, he didn’t have a great arm on DP’s) and he led the league in OF assists (1983). You would think that means he has a cannon of an arm. What it really meant was that everyone ran from coast to coast on him. So, for the writer that watched that everyday, and had been watching Ellis Valentine play RF, that person may have looked at Raine’s deficiencies and said “this guy is no MVP”. Or watch him run like a rabbit and think “this guy is an MVP”. And so it goes………

  369. Bob Says:

    In perhaps the ugliest ballot, a guy named Barry Stanton, who works for ESPN submitted this.
    1. Jack Morris
    2. Tino Martinez
    3. Edgar Martinez
    4. Don Mattingly
    5. B.J. Surhoff
    He was also forced to quit his job as a local reporter after he was caught plagiarizing Joe Posnanski.

  370. Chuck Says:

    Why the hell would anyone plagarize Posnanski?

  371. John Says:

    Bob,

    This is why no one should take the BBWAA seriously.

  372. Chuck Says:

    MLB.com BBWAA voters publicized their ballots.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110104&content_id=16389462&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

  373. John Says:

    “…while Murphy did something every day to ennoble the game.”

    I don’t think Dale Murphy is the worst candidate in the world by a long shot. But to justify a vote by saying that he “ennobled the game.” That’s even worse than saying a guy was feared.

  374. Hartvig Says:

    Hey, today’s the 4th. Chuck- are we going to see the Dugout Central poll results? If Trammell gets in tomorrow, I’m bookin’ my reservations for Cooperstown!

  375. Chuck Says:

    “Chuck- are we going to see the Dugout Central poll results?”

    After the announcements, yeah.

    You and John were the only two to submit ballots.

  376. Lefty33 Says:

    “Raines played 6 games his first season, 15 games his second, his third season he was pretty good in 88 games (a strike-shortened season) and he didn’t have a bad season until his 21st season in the big leagues.”

    Yeah you’re right his ‘91 & ‘94 years were real great.

  377. Mike Felber Says:

    There may have been things of value others saw in those ancient players Bratigan-or the voters may have been biased, addle headed about what was important, or voting somewhat based upon team context. It is interesting what you write about Rock=so you say that stats only reflect who he nailed, but could not divine the extra base taken? Maybe, though that we should wonder how often he caught them vs. getting the extra base-it is not a 1:1 ratio. If a man goes from 2nd to 3rd on him, that is less of a gain than someone making an out & no man being on 2nd if he stayed. Of course, if there were enough guys taking the extra base successfully against him, then he would have given back value for sure.

    On your longest drives then-were those the years you hit with the “ping”? And if so, hated them even if it added a significant amount of distance?

  378. Hartvig Says:

    I just read that Uggla signed an extension for $62 million over 5 years, which makes him the highest paid second baseman currently playing. Does anyone remember what Florida was offering? For some reason $8 million a year for 3 years sticks in my memory.

  379. Lefty33 Says:

    “The misunderstanding is that all these SM measures are necessarily supposed to be used to decide who should be elected for the HOF, or just how good someone was. That is NOT what saber guys usually think. The latter 2 things are well known to be there to measure how one compares in raw stats to other HOFers, 7 how LIKELY one is to get in. And the ink? What does a guy lead or place well in? How much value do these things have towards creating wins? Are they inextricably context, like team/line up/era & park dependent? Are they things, like G/PA, that absent looking at how well you played, mean little? Do they even measure GOOD things? Could be GIDP, Ks, pitching BB, wild pitches, etc…”

    I’ll address this quote:

    The point Mike is that Raines falls short from all angles. Many people on this site and other sites love to fall back of the “inks” as a HOF metric when it’s convenient to their argument and Raines falls short in this area.

    Whereas Brock and Henderson either equal or supercede the averages.

    And as I asked John earlier today, name me a player who is in the Hall who was an average to part-time platoon player for twice as long as he was an elite player with no hardware and holds no all-time marks.

    There is no one.

    At least Brock has 3000 and he held the all-time SB record when he retired.

    Ditto for Henderson.

    Just because he’s the second of third best leadoff hitter ever, if you want to reach a bit, doesn’t make him a HOF player.

  380. Mike Felber Says:

    Your statement is sound Lefty, some unfairly site the “inks” as HOF support, when there general paradigm is supposed to be Saber & reasonable. Many do not know what these & the HOF measures you mention are not reasonable support for their arguments, instead of being hypocrites. Though from what you wrote, it seemed you though that these 4 measures were SM support tools for gauging greatness. Though it is fair to use these metrics if they qualify things like “if you need league leading stats/HOF qualification…”

    But my point was how senseless it is to equal or supercede the average, without examining WHAT stats they are, what they mean for real productivity, & the total context. Brock & Henderson did well in these measures: Only the latter was a great player. Brock is a classic “Hall of very good”. Though if you are confining the case as to what was likely to happen: of course with 3000 hits & the SB record Brock would get in! But Raines was significantly better.

    He easily created many more runs by holding the RECORD for best bases gained, SB X SB%. And he was clearly a better hitter, while the OBP % & steal record are clearly especially synergistic.

    I think you are well off re: your thought of Raines being unique compared to Hall guys in elite vs. average years. 1st off, whether by WAR or OPS + (& some consideration for thefts), he clearly had many of those “2/3″ years of his where he was a good player, better than average, though not all start quality. John gave you a couple of examples: OK, you do not like Rose, since now you mention the condition of an all time mark. Yet it is right of me to mention that total hits in themselves do not reflect how good you are, though Rock holds the all time SB bases gained mark when considering SB %…

    But forget that. I will just mention a couple of guys listed above, & there are more: Dawson & Banks. Whether by WAR or conventional stats they had around the same poor-fairly good years as Raines. Banks had a higher peak, & a steeper difference: but no more good seasons, & was not very good in many FULL years. If Raines played longer in mediocrity-through his p/t years-it means little. It is how much value was created, over how long. Though yes, playing a while at substitute level will damage your reputation. Does not erase his peak & total value.

    I agree that being the 2nd or 3rd best lead off hitter ever does not automatically show him to be an HOF man. But logically, it is quite likely that amongst the tremendous # of lead off players in MLB history, at least the top 3 would likely be good enough. And that is what the meaningful #s reflect.

  381. Shaun Says:

    No, Shaun, I don’t.

    Brock had 588 more hits than Raines.

    Raines had 569 more walks than Brock.

    Unless you can somehow figure out a way to explain to the class how Raines’ extra walks would be more valuable than Brock’s extra hits.

    Brock actually had 418 more hits.

    Raines got on base more times and more often and therefore made outs less often. If you don’t think those things are important, especially from a leadoff hitter, I can see why you undersell Raines. Apparently you are not alone amongst baseball fans who don’t understand the importance of outs to baseball. But I don’t blame you, per se. I blame tradition. The tide of tradition has taught baseball fans to overlook outs. Tradition tells us to overvalue batting average, homeruns, RBI and Runs and to undervalue how often a hitter makes and avoids outs. I’m not sure how something so elementary to the game got overshadowed but it shows that the power of tradition is strong.

    Brock IS in the Hall of Fame.
    Rock Raines is coaching in the Canadian League.

    Because of the foolishness of those who have been given the authority to determine who should be in the Hall. It’s as simple as that. I’m not trying to be rude or mean, honestly, but objectively it is simply foolish to not understand the importance of outs and out avoidance to baseball.

  382. Chuck Says:

    “Apparently you are not alone amongst baseball fans who don’t understand the importance of outs to baseball.”

    Stop now, Shaun.

    Save yourself the embarrassment of getting into this again, need I remind you of the last time you brought this up. I think Raul is still in therapy.

    Everyone makes outs. The more you play, the more you make.

    If you had said, “Brock struck out more, therefore he made more BAD or unproductive outs”, then I would applaud you for making such an astute and correct statement. But, alas, you chose, as always, to generalize all outs as being equal.

    Baseball really is a simple game, unless of course, you are.

  383. Shaun Says:

    “Everyone makes outs. The more you play, the more you make.”

    Right. What does that have to do with the fact that Raines made outs less often than Brock?

    Raines got on base more times than Brock (in fewer career games) and more often than Brock and therefore Raines made outs less often.

    Just because every player makes outs doesn’t mean outs should be discounted. Again, objectively speaking, anyone who doesn’t understand the vast importance of outs and out avoidance to baseball is simply foolish.

  384. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, you also aren’t helping yourself by point out that Brock struck out more than Raines and that you support the idea that strikeouts are worse than other outs. So Raines not only made outs less often that Brock but, by your own admission, Brock made more unproductive outs. So how in the hell can you say Brock is a better Hall candidate than Raines?

    Apparently you don’t understand basic statistics. You said “Everyone makes outs. The more you play, the more you make.” Right, but we aren’t talking about number of outs. We are talking about how often or the rate at which Raines and Brock made outs. Raines made outs less often. Apparently you need to go back and take a basic math class. No wonder you hate anything to do with statistics. You don’t understand the difference between number of outs versus rate at which a player makes outs.

  385. John Says:

    Well, from the period of 1988-1995, which I assume is the “average” portion of Raines’s career, he hit .283/.375/.409 for a 117 OPS+, 42 steals/162 g, and 46 XBH/162 g.

    That’s significantly above average. Coupled with the seven previous years where he absolutely wrecked the National League, and you’ve got a HOFer. So what if he hung around to win WS rings as a role player? What he did before already should’ve guaranteed his enshrinement. Anything he did after was just icing on the cake. In fact, it should’ve enhanced his case, seeing as his resume then ALSO includes two WS rings.

  386. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, even if we were talking about number of outs, Brock ranks 17th all-time and Raines ranks 72nd. But again number of outs aren’t important because, as you correctly and meaninglessly pointed out, the more you play, the more outs you make. Pete Rose made more outs than anyone largely because he had a lot of opportunities to make them but that doesn’t mean he was bad at avoiding outs relative to all other players in baseball history. You have to look at rates to get an idea of how good a player is at out avoidance. I can’t believe I have to explain this.

  387. John Says:

    “Everyone makes outs. The more you play, the more you make.”

    Let’s see…Brock had 876 more PA. And he had 1153 more outs.

    Swingandamiss

  388. Chuck Says:

    Mike,

    First, the ML record holder for SB% is not Tim Raines, it is Carlos Beltran. If you base it on most attempts or steals, then Raines leads. Raines is tied for second and not a big deal in that regard, but credit where it is due.

    The arguments about Raines being “the best leadoff hitter in the NL for a decade”, or “he’s the alltime leader in net steals” are weak, truly, truly weak.

    Roberto Alomar is a HOFer. He was punished for his spitting incident, but no one on this site can formulate a solid argument that he isn’t worthy of induction.

    The same can be said for guys like Maddux, Johnson, Jeter, ARod, etc.

    The more you argue FOR someone, the LESS of a candidate he is.

    Keep that in mind.

    There’s maybe ten, fifteen regular users of this site and Raines wouldn’t get 75% of the vote HERE…what does that tell you about his candidacy?

    I appreciate the debate, that’s why I love this site, but the horse is dead.

    At 2pm today the selections will be announced and Raines’ total will go down from last year and Jeff Bagwell’s total will be less than 40%.

    At 3pm John or Shaun will have an article up, not complimentary of Blyleven or Alomar, but ripping the BBWAA as a bunch of mindless old farts who watch baseball through a shot glass.

    And then we get to have this discussion all over again in a different place.

    I’ll pass, thanks.

    It’s been five days, and NOT ONE word on Carlos Gonzalez’ contract extension, instead, we’re debating the HOF chances of a player who has none.

  389. Cameron Says:

    I think Raines is a Hall of Famer. I’m not gonna defend myself because I don’t feel the need to and I know I’m not gonna change my mind.

    As for CarGo’s extension, he’s getting paid quite a bit, 10+ MM a year. In between that and Tulo’s extension that there’s a alot of talent that’s getting paid a lot. I don’t know if it’ll bite them in the ass or not. Long extensions are risky, but these two are perfect long-term extension candidates. Still, 20-30 MM annually for two players is risky. If one gets hurt or they don’t perform, you’ll look like an ass.

    Speaking of underperforming on long-term deals, Texas is paying Adrian Beltre 16 million a year over the next six years.

  390. John Says:

    “The more you argue FOR someone, the LESS of a candidate he is.
    Keep that in mind.”

    No, the less he’s appreciated.

    I could go on and on about how great Albert Pujols is. But his accomplishments are easier to appreciate.

    Meanwhile, someone who produces a ton of runs but because writers can’t distinguish between outs and walks, they get ignored? That’s bullshit.

    “instead, we’re debating the HOF chances of a player who has none.”

    No, we’re debating the merits. I think we all agree he won’t get in.

    “It’s been five days, and NOT ONE word on Carlos Gonzalez’ contract extension, instead, we’re debating the HOF chances of a player who has none.”

    5? Hasn’t it been like…2? Or did you hear about it from one of the elves you have gathering baseball information for you.

    Here, I’ll bite. It’s a great deal for CarGo, because he gets to hit in Coors Field for half his games for the next 7 years while getting pizzaid.

  391. raul Says:

    The CarGo extension was odd to me. What is the rush in extending him?

  392. John Says:

    “At 3pm John or Shaun will have an article up, not complimentary of Blyleven or Alomar, but ripping the BBWAA as a bunch of mindless old farts who watch baseball through a shot glass.”

    Should Shaun and I congratulate the BBWAA for finally inducting a clear first-ballot guy? Or for electing Alomar a year late, with 15-20% of people voting against him because he spit at a guy?

  393. Cameron Says:

    Gonzalez is a premium talent, I could understand buying out the arb and free agent years, but I think they handed a bit too much money too soon with him. Ah well, I’ve got faith in the kid.

  394. John Says:

    Here’s the thing:

    The Rockies could pay CarGo like 500 grand next year.

    So really, the Rockies are valuing him at 13M/y through 2017.

    Meh

    There’s a major downside if he breaks his neck tomorrow, but it’s probably gonna end up just being a medium overpay.

  395. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, Raines has the highest success rate as anyone with close to his number of attempts. So Raines made more of an impact with stolen bases than Beltran has so far in his career.

    “The more you argue FOR someone, the LESS of a candidate he is.”

    That’s an odd way of looking at things. He could just mean that there are a lot of people out there clueless about a candidate and they need to be convinced with some basic logic (like understanding that outs are important in baseball).

    I will actually be ripping many members of the BBWAA for viewing baseball in the same way as judges in gymnastics or figure skating view competitors in those events. Many in the BBWAA seem to only want to induct guys who look impressive on a baseball field. They aren’t concerned with digging into what helps a team win baseball games and whether a player actually did more things than many other guys already in the Hall to help his team win baseball games. Many members of the BBWAA are more concerned with rating a player based on whether they think the player was “feared” or whether he “feels” like a Hall of Famer. That’s what I’ll criticize many members of the BBWAA for. They don’t understand baseball is a game and a sport and not some contest in artistry. The idea is to help the team win. Who cares how ugly or unimpressive a player looks doing it?

    I’m glad Alomar and Blyleven will probably get in. They deserve it and the BBWAA is foolish for note voting them in sooner. But there are so many other players who won’t get in simply because they don’t look the part; instead they merely did more than many other players in the Hall to help their teams win.

  396. Lefty33 Says:

    “Should Shaun and I congratulate the BBWAA for finally inducting a clear first-ballot guy?”

    Please John, Blyleven’s own supporters in the BBWAA don’t even think he’s first ballot material.

    He’s a marginal pick like a Sutton or Niekro and they had to wait before being inducted. He’s no different.

    Does he deserve to be inducted? Sure. Is he first ballot material?

    Not even close.

    Have a little objectivity.

  397. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, that’s if you believe in that “first ballot” bullshit. Either a guy is a Hall of Famer or he isn’t. It’s absolutely absurd to make the distinction between a “first ballot” and other Hall of Famers. It’s another example of how many members of the BBWAA are concerned with things like politics are artistry over cutting to the chase and actually having the intellectual curiosity to figure out what are the things a player does to help his team win baseball games.

  398. Shaun Says:

    …that should read “politics and artistry.”

  399. John Says:

    Shaun: “Either a guy is a Hall of Famer or he isn’t”

    Bingo. Ruth’s plaque is in the same damn room as Rabbit Maranville’s.

    Shaun: “Many in the BBWAA seem to only want to induct guys who look impressive on a baseball field.”

    There are two types of voters. The ones who care about if a guy looks like he was a great baseball player, and those who care about if he actually was a great ballplayer.

  400. Chuck Says:

    “The ones who care about if a guy looks like he was a great baseball player, and those who care about if he actually was a great ballplayer.”

    Raines doesn’t qualify on either.

    Thanks, John.

  401. Lefty33 Says:

    “It’s absolutely absurd to make the distinction between a “first ballot” and other Hall of Famers.”

    That’s true but it doesn’t change the fact that the process has always operated that way and always will.

    Like I said yesterday, HOF voting is not scientific. Never has been and never will be.

    The BBWAA has clearly set benchmarks for induction.

    If you reach those marks you’re in. If not, then prepare to be securitized.

    You need to come to grips with how the process works, not how YOU want it to work.

    It’s more like a presidential vote. It’s not always the best candidate that gets elected but the most electable candidate that gets elected

  402. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, right Raines doesn’t qualify and Brock does. Sure. Any baseball fan and any member of the BBWAA who thinks Brock is more deserving than Raines of induction doesn’t understand the basics of the game or how to figure out the basics of the game or they lack the intellectual curiosity to figure out the basics of the game. There is no denying this, unless you are just purely lazy and/or view baseball as a contest in artistry (a la figure skating or gymnastics) rather than a sport or a game. Those who think Brock is a stronger candidate is basically because when they watch him play they give him something like an 8 and Raines something like a 5. But baseball doesn’t work that way, folks. It’s about helping the team win more than how pretty you think a guy looks on the field or how pretty you think his numbers look in some arbitrary statistical category.

  403. Chuck Says:

    “actually having the intellectual curiosity to figure out what are the things a player does to help his team win baseball games.”

    What do you consider those things to be Shaun?

    I’m not talking about Raines specifically, I’m talking in general.

  404. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, that’s exactly what I’m arguing against. Induction shouldn’t be about politics or whether a writer got his jollies from looking at a player with his shirt off in the locker room. It should be about what a player did to help his team win and whether he did more or as much as most of the other players that are already in.

    It’s absurd that the process makes the “first ballot” distinction. It’s absurd that the BBWAA has arbitrary benchmarks that often tell us little or nothing about how much a guy helped his team win.

    We don’t need to come to terms with the fact that many members of the BBWAA are foolish and unqualified to vote on Hall of Fame induction because we want to fight against such foolishness.

  405. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, for hitters/baserunners: getting on base, gaining bases, avoiding outs. For pitchers: getting outs by missing bats or keeping hitters off balance to get weak contact, keeping runners off base, keeping runners and hitters from gaining bases. For fielders: getting to baseballs and converting batted balls into outs.

    All these things relate to scoring runs on offense and preventing runs on defense. However when looking at individual players, it’s not very telling to look at their categories like runs and RBI because an individual’s runs and RBI largely are independent of the things the individual players can do. For example, a player can rack up runs or RBI by simply being at the right places at the right times and the right number of times. Same goes for things like ERA for pitchers. A pitcher can do everything right but because of his defense or because a ball goes two inches in the wrong spot, his ERA may be higher than a pitcher who didn’t do things right.

  406. Lefty33 Says:

    “Induction shouldn’t be about politics”

    But the point you keep missing is that it’s not solely about politics.
    But of course politics play a part in the vote.

    Name me a vote for anything where politics don’t play a part?

    The Pope? The President, Any Sports HOF, The President of a Homeowners Association?

    It’s all there. Your asking for human beings to not be human.

    Everybody has bias towards or against things and people.

    If you don’t like it then become a baseball writer for a publication of some acclaim, then join the BBWAA, put in your ten years to get a vote, then go at it and try to change people’s minds about how the process “should” work.

    In the meantime keep posting because you’re opinion just looks worse with every over-generalized and non-factually backed up statement that you make.

  407. Chuck Says:

    “We don’t need to come to terms with the fact that many members of the BBWAA are foolish and unqualified”

    And yet your suggestion is to have the voting done by people more foolish and unqualified?

  408. Lefty33 Says:

    “A pitcher can do everything right but because of his defense”

    Then it would be an unearned run.

  409. brautigan Says:

    Shaun:

    Did you know that Rock Raines batted against Hall of Fame pitchers 323 times?

    Did you know that Lou Brock faced Hall of Fame pitchers 1,117 times?

    Rock Raines faced Ron Darling 99 times (Raines faced Darling more than any other pitcher in his career).
    Fernando Valenzuela 97 times.
    Bob Forsch 93 times.
    Rich Rhoden 88 times.
    Rick Mahler 74 times.
    Andy Hawkins 66 times.
    Mike LaCoss 62 times.
    Larry McWilliams 59 times.

    The pitcher Brock faced the most frequently was Tom Seaver (157 times). Followed by Juan Marichal (128), Don Sutton (127), Gaylord Perry (124), Phil Niekro (123), Ferguson Jenkins (119), and Don Drysdale (106). Most of these at bats were when the HOF pitchers were in their prime, unlike Raines who faced an over the hill Carlton (66 times), Jenkins (20), and Don Sutton (14).

    Brock faced Claude Osteen 125 times.
    Chris Short 118 times.
    Larry Dierker 117 times.
    Steve Blass 107 times.
    Denver Lemaster 104 times.

    Do you see a pattern here?

  410. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, defense affects both earned and unearned runs. A great defense prevents earned runs and unearned runs alike and a poor defense allows earned and unearned runs alike.

  411. Cameron Says:

    Braut, look at that list and realize that Raines mostly palyed in the 80s. Can you name a single guy who pitched a majority of his career in the 80s and you could safely call them an all-time great?

    …Cause I sure as fuck can’t. The closest I could say is Roger Clemens. He only pitched about half the decade and I’d still call him the greatest in the 80s. Jack Morris’ win totals can suck my left nut.

  412. Chuck Says:

    “Chuck, for hitters/baserunners: getting on base, gaining bases, avoiding outs.”

    Raines ranks 43rd alltime in times on base. Everybody eligible player ahead of him on the list is in the Hall with the exception of Rusty Staub. It should be noted that Mr. Whiff, Mr. Outmaker Reggie Jackson reached base more than Tim Raines.

    On this point, Raines qualifies.

    “Gaining bases”

    This is a ridiculous point and was only mentioned because Raines is the subject of the discussion. Just because he stole alot of bases doesn’t make him a great baserunner, and vice versa. So, no, no vote here.

    “Avoiding outs”

    Since avoiding outs is the opposite of OBP, and OBP is an official stat…there are 140 position players in the Hall, Raines ranks 136th all time in OBP, SEVENTY FIVE players ahead of him are NOT in the HOF. Granted, that number will change because some are still active, but OBP alone is not a reason for induction. ESPECIALLY when that was the player’s PRIMARY responsibility.

    “For fielders: getting to baseballs and converting batted balls into outs.”

    As a LF, Raines ranks fifth in games played and sixth in putouts. He ranks 30th in RF, which basically means he’s Adam Dunn.

    He catches everything he gets to, but he doesn’t get to alot. And considering Raines’s speed being the sole factor in this discussion, he was, at best, slightly below average defensively.

    And how does going out to the outfield snorting cocaine through a slit in his glove help his team win?

    Using your own criteria, Shaun, Raines is borderline at best. But considering there are a number of other factors which go into helping your team win which you neglected to mention, again, Raines falls short.

    Sorry.

  413. Chuck Says:

    Brautigan draws an ace on the flop!!

    Well done, sir, well done.

  414. Lefty33 Says:

    “Lefty33, defense affects both earned and unearned runs. A great defense prevents earned runs and unearned runs alike and a poor defense allows earned and unearned runs alike.”

    Way to dodge that one Shaun.

    A poor defense will not affect a pitchers ERA because obviously errors equate to unearned runs and hence if a pitcher does “everything right” his ERA will not be worse because of it.

  415. Lefty33 Says:

    “Can you name a single guy who pitched a majority of his career in the 80s and you could safely call them an all-time great?”

    You’re going to give a vote as an all-time great to:

    Jimmy Key? Teddy Higuera? John Tudor Sedan? El Sid?

    Geez, you’re being so harsh.

  416. Cameron Says:

    Exactly. The 80s was pretty terrible when it comes to pitching, worse than the 30s and 40s, which were pretty thin in pitching too, but had higher outliers.

  417. Shaun Says:

    brautigan, Raines got on base more often by a pretty wide margin. So I’m sure even if we give Brock some extra credit because of the pitchers he faced, Raines still is at least as good a candidate as Brock.

    Also, saying Brock faces Hall of Fame pitchers more often than Raines, doesn’t tell us much. It would be much more useful if we knew what each player did off pitchers of similar quality. For example, who fared better against Hall of Fame pitchers? Just eyeballing the numbers, it looks like Raines may have fared better or at least just as well. But unfortunately it doesn’t give the the comprehensive total versus all Hall of Fame pitchers on baseballreference.com.

  418. Cameron Says:

    The votes are in… With 2 inductions.

    Bert Blyleven (roughly 80%)
    Roberto Alomar (90% of the vote)

    Not sure what the numbers are on the others besides Barry Larkin getting roughly 62 percent. He’ll be in about 2-3 years at this rate.

  419. Cameron Says:

    Lessee, Bagwell got about 41%, Rafael Palmeiro 11%.

    I’m surprised Raffy got more than 10.

  420. Cameron Says:

    …And the biggest shocker of the election… Juan Gonzalez is staying on the ballot for a second year.

  421. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, a poor defense can certainly affect a pitcher’s ERA. Again, a pitcher with an awesome defense is going to have a lower ERA than another pitcher with a poor defense, even if the pitcher fundamentally performed the same.

  422. Shaun Says:

    Lefty33, a defense allows a fly ball into the gap for a double then a single that gets through the infield scores the guy on second. That’s a run charged to the pitcher in his ERA.

    A better defense catches that fly ball in the gap, instead of allowing it to fall for a double. Then that infield fields that groundball in the whole. Same batted balls but no earned runs.

  423. Shaun Says:

    “Gaining bases”

    This is a ridiculous point and was only mentioned because Raines is the subject of the discussion. Just because he stole alot of bases doesn’t make him a great baserunner, and vice versa. So, no, no vote here.

    Huh? Gaining bases can mean extra base hits and, yes, can also mean steals (with caught stealing taken into account as well). Therefore how it that ridiculous? Are you saying a player’s steals and stolen base success rate shouldn’t matter in an evaluation of that player? If so, I guess we also shouldn’t take into account extra bases and all hits should count essentially the same as singles.

    Chuck, your post #412 doesn’t address position scarcity and it doesn’t address weighing some things over others because some things are more important than others. You are taking things one at a time and trying to determine how Raines looks on the balance sheet. That’s an oversimplification. You need to weigh things appropriately then take his contributions in total, not a balance sheet. This is why something like WAR or your own version of WAR is helpful, if you aren’t happy with any version that others have devised. Something that appropriately adds up all contributions into one.

  424. brautigan Says:

    Shaun: You asked for it, you got it:

    Lou Brock vs. HOF pitchers:

    .271 batting average
    .399 slugging

    Tim Raines vs. HOF Pitchers
    .259 batting average
    .358 slugging

    Advantage Brock.

  425. Shaun Says:

    bratigan, you conveniently left off on-base, huh? Plus you left off steals and caught stealing.

  426. brautigan Says:

    Shaun: Brock .308 Raines .318

    You can go figure out the sb/cs. That will take a good long time.

    So how much more convincing do you need? Or do you need a Louisville Slugger S2 up alongside your cranium to open up some insight?

  427. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, the reason most people don’t mention “gaining bases” in terms of steals (and I presume the reason you think it’s “ridiculous”) is because most players don’t contribute much in terms of steals, especially post 1920. To make any sort of meaningful impact with steals over the course of a career, a player has to steal a lot at a fairly high success rate.

  428. brautigan Says:

    And Shaun, if you’re counting, that means Brock’s OPS was .707 and .676 for Raines.

    Advantage Brock. Again.

  429. Shaun Says:

    Brautigan, not a huge difference in those two versus Hall of Fame pitchers. What about against non-Hall of Fame pitchers? Does any advantage Raines has against non-Hall of Fame pitchers make up for the relatively slight advantage Brock had against Hall of Fame pitchers? And can we break it down to more precise categories in terms of quality of pitchers faced instead of just Hall of Famers? Also, what if we do an analysis of every Hall of Fame hitter versus every Hall of Fame pitcher? Should we do this in order to get an opinion of whether a hitter is a Hall of Famer? For example, if we find that Babe Ruth was worse than, say, Claudell Washington against Hall of Fame pitchers, should we then discount Ruth?

  430. Shaun Says:

    Basically, brautigan, the fact that Brock had a slight edge against Hall of Fame pitchers means that Raines had a significant edge against non-Hall of Fame pitchers, and they faced non-Hall of Famers more often than non-Hall of Famers. So I think Raines rather significant edge against non-Hall of Famers at least makes up for the rather small edge Brock has against Hall of Fame pitchers.

  431. Shaun Says:

    Basically you have to give Brock quite a bump for his relatively slight edge against Hall of Fame pitchers in order for him to close the gap with Raines.

  432. brautigan Says:

    Shaun: Jesus fucking christ. Can you be more obtuse?

    I’ve made note that Brock played in a pitcher’s era, and you talk “outs”. WTF?

  433. Cameron Says:

    Braut, think about the sample size though. Not a lot of Hall of Famers pitched in the 80s. Based on the evidence you gave me, I see Raines had 100 ABs vs. Brock’s 884. I can’t help but think over a larger sample size, Raine’s numbers would’ve normalized. You’ve got somebody who’s bat was measurable to Brock’s in roughly a ninth of the sample size.

    Use a fairer argument there, bro. You’re holding something out of Raines’ control against him.

  434. Chuck Says:

    The winner of the DC HOF Ballot poll is…..John.

    Only John and Hartvig participated, with John selecting Alomar (85%) and Blyleven (78%).

    Harvig selected Alomar (81%), Blyleven (77%) and Bagwell (76%).

    So, even though John was penalized points for casting a vote for Mark McGwire, he wins based on the more accurate ballot.

  435. brautigan Says:

    Cameron: Raines did have 323 at bats against HOF pitchers.

    My point was/is that Brock faced damn good pitching where Raines faced iffy pitching CONSISTENTLY. That was the whole point. Even though Brock faired better against HOF pitchers, you need to also take into consideration that Raines faced HOF pitchers in their decline while Brock faced them during their prime. That was the point I was making, and I think I represented it well, or as well as numbers can be stated.

  436. Cameron Says:

    Fair enough, I just drew the size from the numbers you presented in your post. In a third, that is a bit less impressive.

    I’m just interjecting my own thoughts. I’ve said before that I think Raines belongs there and I’m secure enough in my thoughts that I don’t feel the need to defend it.

  437. Cameron Says:

    Fun fact, both Josh Hamilton and Joey Votto are both filing for arbitration this offseason.

    What was the last time both reigning MVPs filed for arbitration in the same year? Anyone know?

  438. brautigan Says:

    If Raines gets in, well, there are worse things that could happen. I just happen to be a Cardinal fan and while Brock IS a lower tier HOF, I kind of bristle when someone tells me X is greater than Y without giving me a thoughtful explanation.

    First it was Olympic park hurt Raines career. No it didn’t.
    Then it was Brock made more outs. Christ, who didn’t in the sixties.

    Raines had a great first six years, and it’s not anyone’s fault but Raines that he could have been better had he not been doing $40,000 worth of cocaine a year.

  439. Shaun Says:

    brautigan, the problem is that both Raines and Brock faced what you call “iffy” pitching, or non-Hall-of-Fame pitchers more than they faced Hall of Fame pitchers (as most hitters probably do throughout their careers). And Raines has a larger edge against non-HOFers than Brock has against HOFers. So, sure, I’m fine with giving Brock some extra credit for his slight edge against HOFers. But because the edge is relatively small and because a vast majority of both players’ plate appearances came against non-Hall of Famers, that extra credit for Brock still isn’t likely to close the gap overall between Raines and Brock.

  440. Cameron Says:

    “Raines had a great first six years, and it’s not anyone’s fault but Raines that he could have been better had he not been doing $40,000 worth of cocaine a year.”

    Really? Maybe the cocaine was the reason he stole so many bases. Without drugs, Raines would be a black David Eckstein.

  441. Shaun Says:

    brautigan, Raines has a significant edge over Brock in OPS+, which adjust for era and ballpark, both in terms of career and peak seasons.

  442. raul Says:

    HOF debates always bring out the calculators…

  443. brautigan Says:

    Alright, last chance to grasp Shaun:

    These are the league OPS numbers. You make the call as to who had it tougher as a batter:

    Brock………….Raines

    Year…..OPS……Year…….OPS
    1962 .720 1981 .683
    1963 .669 1982 .692
    1964 .685 1983 .698
    1965 .685 1984 .688
    1966 .697 1985 .692
    1967 .673 1986 .702
    1968 .641 1987 .732
    1969 .688 1988 .673
    1970 .721 1989 .678
    1971 .683 1990 .704
    1972 .683 1991*(AL) .724
    1973 .698 1992 .713
    1974 .693 1993 .745
    1975 .696 1994 .779
    1976 .681 1995 .771
    1977 .724 1996 .795
    1978 .692 1997 .768
    1979 .709 1998 .771

  444. Shaun Says:

    brautigan, I’m not arguing who had it “tougher” as a batter. I’m saying, even if you give Brock extra credit because he had it tougher, that still doesn’t close the gap.

  445. Chuck Says:

    “I’m not arguing who had it “tougher” as a batter. I’m saying, even if you give Brock extra credit because he had it tougher, that still doesn’t close the gap.”

    Oh, Christ…

  446. John Says:

    Chuck: “This is a ridiculous point and was only mentioned because Raines is the subject of the discussion. Just because he stole alot of bases doesn’t make him a great baserunner, and vice versa. So, no, no vote here.”

    Incorrect. He was a great baserunner. Probably the 2nd best ever.

    Lefty: “A poor defense will not affect a pitchers ERA because obviously errors equate to unearned runs and hence if a pitcher does “everything right” his ERA will not be worse because of it.”

    Incorrect. Are you kidding me? Fielders can still suck without making errors. You can’t make an error on a ball you don’t get to. Therefore, pitchers’ ERA’s can still be adversely affected by things like having Derek Jeter as a SS.

    Brautigan,

    Easily the best argument I’ve heard for Brock over Raines with regards to the level of pitching. However, I would contend that Raines was still superior for a few reasons:

    1) PA vs. non-HOF pitchers matter just as much as PA vs. HOF pitchers. Fact of the matter is that both gentlemen had 90+% of their at-bats against HOF pitchers, and Raines absolutely crushed Brock there.

    2) We can account for the difference in era’s easily enough. The league OBP for Raines’s entire career is .331. For Brock, it was .330. Basically the same, and Raines has Brock beat by like 45 points.

    Let me make this easy: Raines was sitting on second base with zero outs by his own efforts more often than pretty much anyone not named Rickey Henderson. If you’ve ever seen a baseball game, you know how enormously valuable this is, and you should realize why it makes Raines a HOFer.

  447. John Says:

    *” both gentlemen had 90+% of their at-bats against HOF pitcher”

    should read: NON-hof pitchers

  448. Chuck Says:

    “Incorrect. He was a great baserunner. Probably the 2nd best ever.”

    Based on what?

    And don’t say stolen base %.

  449. Chuck Says:

    “PA vs. non-HOF pitchers matter just as much as PA vs. HOF pitchers.”

    No, it doesn’t.

    Anyone who reaches the major leagues can hit bad pitching, it’s what you do against good pitching that seperates the good hitters from the not so good hitters.

    Raines doesn’t get extra brownie points for fattening up against AAA pitching because a)he’s expected to, and, b) everyone else is as well.

  450. Chuck Says:

    John.

    Who would you rather have;

    A player with 400 doubles and 800 stolen bases, or;

    A player with 550 doubles and 450 stolen bases.

    “Let me make this easy: Raines was sitting on second base with zero outs by his own efforts more often than pretty much anyone not named Rickey Henderson.”

    And Lou Brock.

    Despite reaching base fewer times than Raines, Brock stole more bases.

    So, either Raines was padding his total, stealing second in the eighth inning up by six runs, or he didn’t attempt many steals of third, which is a harder base to steal.

  451. John Says:

    “Anyone who reaches the major leagues can hit bad pitching, it’s what you do against good pitching that seperates the good hitters from the not so good hitters.”

    I’ll let Tino Martinez know that his HR off Byum-yum Kim only counts for 0.8 runs because Kim is a shitty pitcher.

    So, Brock gets points for doing better against HOF pitchers, but doesn’t get points taken off for doing much shittier against the lesser quality pitchers than Raines did?

    Door swings both ways.

  452. John Says:

    This is so irritating Chuck.

    Brock got CAUGHT STEALING, (which is an out…I can’t believe I have to explain this to you) WAY MORE TIMES than Raines. He also got on base WAY FEWER TIMES than Raines.

    “So, either Raines was padding his total, stealing second in the eighth inning up by six runs, or he didn’t attempt many steals of third, which is a harder base to steal.”

    That’s what we call grasping at straws.

  453. Shaun Says:

    Excellent point, John. I’m jealous I didn’t come up with it. In case you didn’t see: If we give Brock extra credit for doing a little better against Hall of Fame pitchers, don’t we get to take away some because he did much worse than Raines against non-Hall-of-Fame pitchers?

  454. Chuck Says:

    “This is so irritating Chuck”

    No, John, what is irritating is you not getting through your thick fucking skull that Tim Raines is NOT a Hall of Fame caliber player and will NEVER get into the Hall of Fame and stealing bases is NOT a reason for induction and NOTHING you say can or will change that.

    You want to argue Bagwell now?

  455. Chuck Says:

    “That’s what we call grasping at straws.”

    Your whole argument about Raines being a HOFer is grasping at straws.

  456. John Says:

    Nah Shaun, it’s not a relevant point because AB’s only count if they’re against HOF pitching.

    Luckily for Raines, all his at-bats against Blyleven now count!

    No, Chuck, what is irritating is you not getting through your thick fucking skull that Tim Raines IS a Hall of Fame caliber player and DESERVES TO get into the Hall of Fame and stealing bases and OBP ARE reasons for induction and NOTHING you say can or will change that.

  457. John Says:

    “Your whole argument about Raines being a HOFer is grasping at straws.”

    Straws like producing runs for your team.

    Yeah. He should’ve gotten to an arbitrary number of hits. THAT’S what makes a great ballplayer.

  458. Shaun Says:

    Chuck, no one is arguing stealing bases is a reason for induction. What we are arguing is that getting on base more often than legit Hall of Famers like Tony Gwynn and Lou Brock AND stealing bases AND avoiding being caught stealing at a better rate than almost any player in history.

    Again, what separates Gwynn from Raines? Just that Gwynn got more hits and Raines got more walks…and that Raines stole more bases at one of the best success rates in the history of the game. But you prefer to ignore Raines’s stolen bases because apparently successful steals don’t help a team.

  459. Chuck Says:

    “No, Chuck, what is irritating is you not getting through your thick fucking skull that Tim Raines IS a Hall of Fame caliber player and DESERVES TO get into the Hall of Fame and stealing bases and OBP ARE reasons for induction and NOTHING you say can or will change that.”

    Stolen bases and OBP ALONE are not sufficient reasons to get into the HOF.

    If that were true, then Willie Wilson, Vince Coleman and Bert Campaneris would be HOFers.

    I already pointed out that more than half of the players ahead of Raines on the all time OBP list aren’t in the Hall with the vast majority having no chance, that alone should be enough indication to you there are other factors which go into the making of a Hall of Fame caliber player.

    Tim Raines did two things very, very well, better than most ML players.

    Unfortunately, there are many other things he didn’t do very well and those things are what’s keeping him out.

  460. John Says:

    “So, either Raines was padding his total, stealing second in the eighth inning up by six runs, or he didn’t attempt many steals of third, which is a harder base to steal.”

    Late&Close:
    Raines: 173/198 in SB attempts
    Brock: 138/168 in SB attempts

    Margin > 4 R
    Raines: 38/43 in SB attempts
    Brock: 64/86 in SB attempts

    To the extent that “padding” took place, it wasn’t done by Raines

  461. Chuck Says:

    “But you prefer to ignore Raines’s stolen bases because apparently successful steals don’t help a team.”

    Unless the guys behind him do their jobs, stolen bases are meaningless.

  462. Chuck Says:

    “Just that Gwynn got more hits and Raines got more walks.”

    You’re not really suggesting walks are better than hits, are you?

    “and that Raines stole more bases at one of the best success rates in the history of the game.”

    So what.

  463. Cameron Says:

    Chuck has a point there. Brock’s Cards were contenders. Raines’ Expos… Not so much. Brock’s bases meant more in actuality, Raines was better in a vacuum.

  464. John Says:

    “If that were true, then Willie Wilson, Vince Coleman and Bert Campaneris would be HOFers.”

    He picks three guys with absolutely shitty OBP’s.

    Classic.

    “I already pointed out that more than half of the players ahead of Raines on the all time OBP list aren’t in the Hall with the vast majority having no chance”

    And yet, all those guys have fewer than 808 SB. We’re saying he’s a HOFer because of both things. You’re picking and choosing the things that make him a HOF-caliber player.

    That would be like if I said Reggie Jackson wasn’t a HOFer. The justification for his induction is that he hit lots of HR without the use of steroids. Well Mark McGwire hit more HR’s & he’s not a HOFer, and David Eckstein never used steroids & he’s not a HOFer. Therefore, Reggie Jackson isn’t a HOFer.

    Brilliant!

  465. Cameron Says:

    “Tim Raines did two things very, very well, better than most ML players.

    Unfortunately, there are many other things he didn’t do very well and those things are what’s keeping him out.”

    For the record, what are those? It may just me staying the hell away from possibly the silliest flame war I’ve seen on this site, but I don’t think you made it clear what Raines didn’t do well.

    …Again, largely I haven’t been paying attention.

  466. John Says:

    “Chuck has a point there. Brock’s Cards were contenders. ”

    No he doesn’t. Among things that the player can control, Raines was WAY WAY WAY better than Brock. But I suppose Raines isn’t a HOFer because…he didn’t have Bob Gibson and Orlando Cepeda on his team? That must be it! What a lazy shit! Brilliant!

  467. John Says:

    “Unless the guys behind him do their jobs, stolen bases are meaningless.”

    Unless people ahead and behind a player do their jobs, hits are meaningless too, unless they’re HR’s.

    That’s not even close to a good argument.

  468. Cameron Says:

    John, take a look at my other posts and you’ll see I’m firmly on your side, calm down bro.

  469. John Says:

    How dare you concede anything to the enemy…

  470. Bob Says:

    And in a move that surprised no one the Sox claimed Max Ramirez from the Rangers. He could well be their 25th guy.

  471. Chuck Says:

    “It may just me staying the hell away from possibly the silliest flame war I’ve seen on this site”

    You’ve been arguing for three days about Tim Raines being a HOFer, you would really have to stretch yourself to get any sillier than that.

    Although this is a pretty good effort;

    “That would be like if I said Reggie Jackson wasn’t a HOFer. The justification for his induction is that he hit lots of HR without the use of steroids. Well Mark McGwire hit more HR’s & he’s not a HOFer, and David Eckstein never used steroids & he’s not a HOFer. Therefore, Reggie Jackson isn’t a HOFer.”

  472. John Says:

    Chuck

    Look at everything you’ve written. This is exactly the same argument you’ve been making against Raines.

  473. brautigan Says:

    John: “Nah Shaun, it’s not a relevant point because AB’s only count if they’re against HOF pitching.” You know that is not the point I was making.

    And at the very least I made an effort to back my thoughts up with facts.

  474. Chuck Says:

    John, I asked you a question in #450, still waiting.

    “That’s not even close to a good argument.”

    Really?

    OK.

    Which is better:

    1) Walk and a stolen base.

    2) Single and a stolen base.

    3) Double.

  475. Cameron Says:

    Chuck, I didn’t even comment about Raines until today.

  476. Chuck Says:

    “This is exactly the same argument you’ve been making against Raines.”

    You’re right, you haven’t been paying attention.

    I said Raines is NOT a Hall of Famer.

  477. John Says:

    “Which is better:
    1) Walk and a stolen base.
    2) Single and a stolen base.
    3) Double.”

    Is there anyone on base? If not, then all three are exactly equal. Well a double is a little better because you don’t have to wait a pitch onto the next batter’s count, but even then, it’s a ball a bunch of the time too.

    And, as a leadoff hitter, that’s the kind of position Raines was in most of the time.

  478. John Says:

    Actually Braut, I was countering Chuck’s point.

    Yours is fine. But Raines is still better. By a long shot.

  479. Chuck Says:

    “If not, then all three are exactly equal.”

    Not true.

    Putting the ball in play is ALWAYS better than not.

  480. John Says:

    I agree.

    But the end result is exactly the same. And we’re analyzing what he DID.

    Like, if a genie came to me and asked me if I would rather have Raines hit a gapper or walk and steal second, I would take the former.

    But if he asked me how I wanted to put Raines on second base, and that he would for sure be on second base, no matter what? Who gives a shit. As long as he’s there.

  481. Chuck Says:

    “And, as a leadoff hitter, that’s the kind of position Raines was in most of the time.”

    Raines had 10359 career plate appearances and led off an inning 3376 times, which is 33%.

    Another example of the failing public school system.

  482. John Says:

    He batted with no one on base in 6358 of his career PA.

    Another example of our failing nursing home system.

  483. Chuck Says:

    You specifically said “leadoff” John.

    “Raines was sitting on second base with zero outs by his own efforts..”

    You also said with zero outs.

    Kinda not the same thing, huh?

  484. John Says:

    Again with the picking and choosing.

    He was on second base with zero outs by his own efforts more than all but a couple players.

    He usually hit with no one on base.

    Two completely different statements.

    Do I have to break down everything for you?

  485. Chuck Says:

    I’m not picking and choosing, John, I’m simply pointing out what you said.

  486. John Says:

    You’re rejecting a man’s candidacy based individually on two separate criteria and how each of those two criteria – again, taken by themselves – don’t amount to induction.

    But Brock met BOTH things. At the same time.

    Instead of asking

    1) Do the SB and SB%, alone, mean he’s worthy (No)
    2) Does the .385 OBP, alone, mean he’s worthy (No)

    you should be asking

    Has anyone in baseball history ever had this many stolen bases AND this high an OBP?

    The answer is yes. Their names are Ty Cobb and Rickey Henderson. That’s it.

    and if you extend the question to

    Has anyone in baseball history ever had this many stolen bases AND this high an OBP and this high a SB%?

    The answer would be no.

    QED. Induct him.

  487. John Says:

    “But Brock met BOTH things. At the same time.”

    Obviously, it should say Raines.

  488. John Says:

    And as for his chances?

    Blyleven, first four years: 17, 14, 17, 23

    Raines, first four years: 24, 23, 30, 37

  489. Chuck Says:

    If it was up to you John there’d be about 700 guys in the Hall.

  490. John Says:

    Nah, there’d be about the same number.

    But all the dudes who were elected by their V-C drinking buddies would scram.

  491. Chuck Says:

    “But all the dudes who were elected by their V-C drinking buddies would scram.”

    I’m with you there.

    And most of the Negro Leaguers would be out too.

  492. Chuck Says:

    Tim Raines wasn’t close to the player Rickey Henderson was, who wasn’t close to the player Ty Cobb was.

    “Has anyone in baseball history ever had this many stolen bases AND this high an OBP and this high a SB%?”

    Not good enough.

  493. John Says:

    “Tim Raines wasn’t close to the player Rickey Henderson was, who wasn’t close to the player Ty Cobb was.”

    Not a lot of people in history were. Which says something about being alone with them for a particular accomplishment.

  494. Chuck Says:

    “Which says something about being alone with them for a particular accomplishment.”

    Lindsay Lohan was in a movie with Sandra Bullock, does that mean she should have an Oscar?

  495. John Says:

    Apples and oranges dude.

  496. Chuck Says:

    Maybe.

    But it’s still wrong either way.

  497. Mike Felber Says:

    You guys have really been firing away here. OK, I will address some points, a few not repeats of the above.

    Chuck, I was saying that Raines has the record for net steals. And for your post #450, who I would rather have depends strongly on SB %. It takes about 2/3 success rate just to break even in most scoring environments. But what you get to 75%, let alone 85%, you are adding significant value when you wrack up many thefts.

    How much one argues for a candidate has No relationship to how good he was. What, Blyleven & Alomar were not deserving because so many took up their case? To assume ANYTHINg based on how often it is addressed is irrational.

    Blyleven especially WAS excellent at his peak, & had great career value. No, not meaningless stats, but measures of how much he prevented runs. Phil Niekro was also very HOF worthy: do not like 8th highest pitching WAR ever? Check out virtually every year of his ‘67-’79. just look at ERA + balanced w/IP. WHO was better in the NL from ‘74-’79? Scratch that: I just did a ‘lil research: Neikro was the best pithcer on earth from ‘74-’79.

    Now you may cry cherry picking. Absolutely, except 1) those are a lot of cherries, & 2) The most important, tastiest cherries possible: who was the absolute best at pitching, i.e. saving runs x IP, for 6 straight years. And during a time still renowned for pitching. Guy like that would have a hard time NOT making the Hall, & only could dodge that deservability (sic) if those were about his only good years. The truth is far from that for Knucksie. Does anyone besides Lefty not like Niekro for the HOF?

    Bringing me to ’80’s vs. ’70’s pitching. I can imagine that starters were better then, but how much? And relievers were becoming more prominent in the ’80’s: did they add no value, more fresh arms? I honestly wonder how much the overall quality of something so basic could go down so much. Or if any of it can be attributed ( at least somewhat) to hitting improvement? Almost all recognize that gradually skills get better over time. Expansion can likely water down pitching for a couple of years more, being more scarce than hitting competency.

  498. Cameron Says:

    Mike, funny thing is that while hitting went down in the 80s, especially starting, the hitting wasn’t much better. That’s when you get the Andre Dawsons and Tim Raineses being marquee players. Not that they’re not good guys, but as dominant players of their era? Bit thin there.

    …Why did baseball in the 80s suck so much? Did everybody with talent just decide to play other sports? Was everybody really doing that much cocaine in the 80s? …Well, okay they were, but there had to be SOMETHING else explaining the pure what-the-fuckness of that whole era.

    Also, Albert Pujols won’t talk contract extensions once spring training starts. The Cards have a month and a half to find a way to adequately pay Albert Pujols for the forseeable future. …How in the hell are they gonna do it?

  499. Cameron Says:

    Heh… I think I can sum up pitching in the 80s perfectly.

    Give me any other decade when Pete Fucking Vukovich wins a Cy Young Award.

  500. Chuck Says:

    “who I would rather have depends strongly on SB %. ”

    You don’t have that option, Mike. Two players, two sets of numbers.

    Pick one.

  501. Mike Felber Says:

    Winning is different from deserving Cameron. Eckersley, Gagne, McCormick, Lonberg are just a few of the guys who won an MVP were not remotely close to being the best pitchers in the league in the years around the ’80’s. When there was just 1 award to go around, before ‘67, a wrong selection was even more a travesty.

    Clemens, Stieb, Old Oral H, Gooden, Ryan Saberhagen…Schmidt, Brett, Boggs, Strawberry…I just do not know that the whole quality of baseball went down during the 80’s: it MAY have, but if so, significantly? And IF, say, pitching went down..was it possibly due to the AVERAGE hitter, being, say, better? Though it seems it was the ball juiced in ‘87.

    Raines & Dawson were very good hitters then, but not as dominant as you indicate offensively: their elite status depended upon their hitting & total game. Steals/SB % mainly for Raines, Fielding & some running for the Hawk.

    Some other opinions: was there a difference in either average hitting or pitching in the ’80’s? If only one, did it effect the appearance of the other? What difference there was: was it a lot?

  502. Mike Felber Says:

    With that information Chuck, no properly designed test would not give you the correct answer to select: C) Not enough information to know.

    But you can do basic math to try to judge who LIKELY would be better. 150 extra doubles = 300 bases. 350 extra SB = 350 bases. We could assume that a guy with so many SB likely has a higher SB rate than the average. But we cannot assume a Rock-Like rate about late 70’s or 80% is about what you would assume is likely. Which does not = the 300/350 %. So far we should stay with the doubles dude…Except…

    More thefts means more steals of 3rd, right? This adds value that doubles dude cannot, because it increases the likelihood of scoring. A few steals of home is all we can expect, but those obviously add value directly in a way that any other non-homer cannot. Then we have the effect of “stealie” on the pitcher: surely (if I may call you Shirley…) it has some, as it must effect some guy’s concentration sometimes, & some will rush &/or pitch from the stretch…

    So it would be close! I am not sure. But if the player is The Rock, his SB % & these other factors mean I would DEFINITELY take Raines. Thanks, that was an engaging query to focus on!

  503. Cameron Says:

    Clemens’ best overlaps the 80s with the 90s, but still… Morris, Stieb, Hershiser, Saberhagen, and Gooden. Put those against the top 5 of any other decade except MAYBE the 1930s and you’re not going to have a very fun time trying to make a strong case for calling them comparable. As for the best position, yeah you had the two best 3B, but overall it was a decline… On the individual.

    If you take a look at the game though, .300 hitters, 40 HR hitters, 50 SB guys, absolute glove wizards, they were all over the place. As a league, the game was exciting to watch from the position side, and there were some decent pitchers, but it seems the peak players weren’t as high. Still, the average player was possibly the most well-rounded in a long time. Baseball seemed to skew very much towards the mean during that time.

    Maybe I’m wrong, just what I gathered from a quick once-over at seeing the big guys of the stretch. Not great as a whole, but the game itself was kind of exciting. I’m still a bit fucked as to why the pitching wasn’t as good. Perhaps greatness literally skipped a generation.

  504. Chuck Says:

    “With that information Chuck, no properly designed test would not give you the correct answer to select: C) Not enough information to know.”

    Ding!

    Wrong answer.

    Thanks for playing, security will show you the way out.

  505. Mike Felber Says:

    Cute Chuck. Yet this is one of innumerable cases where you make a pronouncement with NO supporting evidence! I gave you careful reasoning: I am open to you either showing why your guy (undoubtedly Mr. Double-day) is LIKELY better, or the far more dubious case that absent SB% you could ever know.

    Care to actually make an argument, preferably one that addresses my reasoning? Or would you like me to just agree with whatever you happen to write, no matter how implausible, hmmmm?

  506. Chuck Says:

    “Yet this is one of innumerable cases where you make a pronouncement with NO supporting evidence!”

    Evidence for what?!

    I gave you two scenarios, pick one.

    WTF is so hard about that?

  507. Mike Felber Says:

    It just seems there would be no reason for a big change in skill absent a big environmental change. But when you say that the average player was more well rounded, & the peaks were not as high: that could mean that the average hitter was better, thus pitching suffered. But there are so many variables: what effected what, & we have not even ESTABLISHED any of the premises you have offered yet.

    For example, outliers. When I look at stats comparing the ’70’s & ’80’s for things like WAR & OBP (& whatever you think of the former, it is figured consistently so is good for relative performance at least), there seems to be evidence that there were less top offensive outliers, checking just league leaders, in the ’80’s: in the National League only. How much though? was there really much less variation from the mean?

    You may well have a better case for top pitchers-but I do not know if it applies to pitchers in general, or the very best. Certainly the ’70’s was seen as a golden age for them. Which I distinguish from conditions naturally favoring pitchers. Of course, some of the best pitchers ever STARTED in the ’80’s.

  508. Mike Felber Says:

    I gave you an answer Chuck: that it was too close to call, & if it was Raines, given his SB %, I would pick him for option B.

    Whaddya mean evidence for what? You cannot continually rag on Shuan for being obtuse & not foucus enough to understand at least exactly what I meant. Must I write in ‘lil tiny bites? ‘Kay:

    You said I was wrong, & cheekily had me pretend escorted offstage. So if I offer an answer you claim is incorrect, CLEARLY you believe you have a better answer.

    And when I cite you not offering any proof, unarguably I am showing how if you want to have me, or anyone, accept your conclusions, OR that I may be wrong that it is too close to call given available details:

    Address my case, offer your own conclusions, & mainly, WHY you make them!

  509. Cameron Says:

    True Mike, but they all had their moment in the sun in the 90s. That’s like trying to include Babe Ruth in the best hitters of the 1910s for his 1919 season, it’s a stretch.

    Honestly, there was no environmental change. NONE. Not even a new stadium. No expansion, no relocation, nothing. There was jack shit.

    The only thing I can think of that as a generation, the children of the 60s that made up the core of the athletes of the 80s were a different animal. These kids were the product of the first big boom of being through regulated play since they were born. Little league through school to the big leagues. It may just be something with the people themselves, possibly the generation, rather than anything else. The game itself virtually didn’t change. The 60s and 70s were dominated by pitching, but still had some star quality hitters there, the 80s really didn’t have much of a peak. Though….

    George Brett
    Mike Schmidt
    Robin Yount
    Paul Molitor
    Eddie Murray
    Cal Ripken, Jr.
    Gary Carter
    Andre Dawson
    Ryne Sandberg
    Wade Boggs
    Tony Gwynn (Though he was just as productive through the 90s)
    Rickey Henderson
    Dave Winfield

    That’s just the Hall of Famers that the 80s produced. Amazing. The Hall of Fame pitchers?

    Dennis Eckersley
    Bruce Sutter
    Goose Gossage

    …I think that explains the discrpeancy pretty well. 3 closers versus a 25-man roster of position players.

  510. Mike Felber Says:

    I only described some of the all time pitching greats starting in the ’80s Cameron, i did not use them as examples of pitching dominance. Though Clemens (& Bonds) began to be great then.

    Yes, little environmental changes. And still little evidence of overall decline. That there were less great pitching CAREERS of guys who had their prime in the ’80’s, yes sir. Though if you evaluate individual great years, Like Lefty in ‘80, Gooden…or the WAR or ERA ” leaders, outliers year to year were not much different. About your speculation: 1st, the ‘average” ’80’s year was ‘84-’85, since we do not count decades the proper way, where the “0″ years are the end of the decade. So if you figure the average player age in the ’80’s, it would be old enough to be in the ’50’s: more so when you figure that any player born in the ’50’s could have played in the ’80’s, But almost none of the even mid ’60’s guys could have broken in until the mid ’80’s. The core of any decade’s players has to be 3 decades before, gradually being replaced by the next decade.

    Though that could theoretically make your case stronger, since regulated play certainly was common by the ’50’s. But the one significant difference I see is less HOF pitchers, meaning mainly less guys who were at their peak then, & good enough LONG enough to deserve the HOF.

  511. Mike Felber Says:

    Reflecting more upon my answer in #502: is it was a modern day player, like making the decision today, as the question seems to have asked, I would take SB man. If an old-timer, I would take Double-day.

    Why? In the old days many big SB guys had a lower SB %, not even very good when compared to what the run environment required to break even. Today, anyone who has great SB will likely do so at least approaching an 80% clip. Sidelight on why I think SB% has crept up: I think that both an average runner’s reaction time & a catcher’s would improve slightly over decades, but balance each other out. How well a catcher throws? That is a fundamental skill that likely has remained pretty steady, or improve little, since it is not so much a trainable athletic thing as a specific ability & practice. While speed is largely natural, but more athletic players means I am sure the average base stealer is faster in modern times than early in the 20th century.

    But the main point: even an 80% rate of 350 only equals 280 bases, vs. 300 for “double machine man”. But that is close enough for me: remember that “stealie” will more often steal all bases, some of them 3rd, rarely home. Add that to the psychological & practical (pitching from the stretch0 on a pitcher of a much more frequent threat to run, & he will add more value to my team!

    And a small factor: in a close game, neither can “choose” to successfully execute, but a anybody has a vastly lower % of getting a hit or even on base than a decent steal man succeeding.

  512. Lefty33 Says:

    “Brock’s Cards were contenders. Raines’ Expos… Not so much.”

    The Expo teams that Raines played on were at or over .500 every year he was there except one.

    The Cubs, Mets, Cardinals, and in the earlier part of the ’80s Phillies were far better competition than what the NL West had at that time.

    If you put the Expos in the NL West Cameron they would have made it to the NLCS more than once during Raines time with the team. The Expos teams of the early ’80s talent wise were actually quite good.

  513. Lefty33 Says:

    “Again, what separates Gwynn from Raines?”

    I don’t know let’s see, not the fact that one guy hit over .300 more times in his career than Gwynn.

    So Raines hits over .300 in five full seasons and Gwynn does it nineteen times and you need to ask what separates them?

    One is one of the greatest hitters who ever lived and the other is not even a HOF player.

    Boy that was a tough one.

  514. Chuck Says:

    This was your answer, Mike;

    “And for your post #450, who I would rather have depends strongly on SB %. It takes about 2/3 success rate just to break even in most scoring environments. But what you get to 75%, let alone 85%, you are adding significant value when you wrack up many thefts.”

    “I gave you an answer Chuck: that it was too close to call, & if it was Raines, given his SB %, I would pick him for option B.”

    Then, in the same comment in which you’re making a condescending attempt to belittle me, you REPEAT the same thing.

    “So if I offer an answer you claim is incorrect, CLEARLY you believe you have a better answer.”

    If you actually read the comments ahead before butting your nose in (and subsequently looking like an ass), not only would you have noticed I answered the question I offered a simpler version of the scenario.

    My turn to speak in small bites.

    You know the difference between a “closed” and “open” question?

    A closed question requires a one or two word answer with NO DISCUSSION.

    “Yes, please.” “No, thanks”. “Player A” “Player B”

    I presented no opportunity for debate, yet, you asked TWICE if SB% was part of the equation.

    It was not.

    You’re living proof that someone with above average intelligence can still be small minded.

  515. Richard Says:

    Wow, miss a day and miss 150 comments…of course, it was HOF announcement day, but…

    What some of the OBP backers miss is that Hits advance runners at a much higher rate than walks do. To say Raines’s hits + walks is the same as someone who reaches the “3,000 benchmark” is pollyannic at best. While I wholeheartedly agree that walks have been undervalued in the past (although my LITTLE LEAGUE coach told me a walk is as good as a hit 35 years ago), they still don’t hold the value of a hit. A walk only advances a runner if they are forced, while a hit will advance a runner either from first to third (in most cases) or from second to third or home. I understand the attempts by Raines-lovers to isolate OBP and SB%, but there is a lot more that goes into being a HOFer than isolated stats.

    Lou Brock has always been considered a lower-tier HOFer, who entered (on the first ballot) largely due to his 3,000 hit benchmark and All-time leading SB numbers, but because he’s in and Raines measures up in some categories does not mean Raines makes it, or else Tommy John would make it because Don Sutton did, or Mattingly would make it because Puckett did, or Albert Belle makes it because Rice did.

    I’ve stated before that I loved Raines’s game in the 80’s…he just doesn’t measure up.

  516. Mike Felber Says:

    I read all the comments Chuck. I pretty much knew your answer, “double-day”, though was asking your reasoning for this precise scenario, not a simpler version of it. I asked you to address my reasoning, an invitation to disagree or prove me wrong: your earlier posts did not answer my reasoning.

    I was not being condescending in that statement Chuck. Often you seem to either skip over consciously or miss things, OR provide a conclusion absent presenting evidence. I asked for your input, valuing it, even though I am unlikely to agree. Though occasionally I have said I am wrong-I do not recall you doing that, unless it is in something undeniable, like a prediction.

    Know what is really patronizing though? You presuming that you can & should give anyone here a “closed” question, with no room for commentary, or no ability to say what often logically applies: “too little evidence to know”, or even “could go either way, too close to call”.

    You say “I gave no room for debate”?! “Requires…a 1 or 2 word answer with NO DISCUSSION”?

    OK, I am sure other here can tell you, if they care, how that attitude is high-handed, disrespectful, & bound o create conflict & attract hostility.

    Telling an adult how he may (politely) answer you, brooking no discussion, & refusing to respond to specific inquiries is the definition of small minded. And acting like a self-appointed dictator.

    But seeing as I preach civility, & I am not personally “triggered” i will not say “being a dick”. Though most all non-timid folks would call you at least that for this attitude.

    I STILL welcome without prejudice your actually engaging my reasoning on the question, last made in post #511. And am curious what others think.

  517. Mike Felber Says:

    Singles are more valuable than walks Richard, like regular outs are better than Ks. But this has been measured up the yazoo & discussed at length on this site. looking at how often someone is actually moved along, an individual walk is the vast majority of the value of a hit. Kerry had used a .27.:30 ratio of value before. That does not mean they do not add up, but it is not a massive difference still. And you also need to consider that Raines, through no fault of his own, very often led off or hit with nobody on base anyway, so more often a walk was exactly as good as a hit than with others.

    And being a constant running threat? That is an intangible” which must at least counterbalance the difference we are discussing. Rushed deliveries, pitching from the stretch, concentration effected, throwing over to 1st…These things also make an impact over time.

    Raines OBP & otherworldly SB ability, decent slugging, & certainly peak value means he deserves the HOF. Whether you want individual unprecedented skills represented (SB gained) or measure overall real contributions.

  518. Chuck Says:

    “OK, I am sure other here can tell you, if they care, how that attitude is high-handed, disrespectful, & bound o create conflict & attract hostility.”

    What the fuck do I care? I asked the question, I set the boundries for the reply. Don’t like the rules, don’t play the game.

    Elementary my dear Watson, elementary.

    “You presuming that you can & should give anyone here a “closed” question, with no room for commentary”

    I don’t presume anything, Mike. If I TELL you in advance there’s no room for commentary, then YOU make the choice before answering whether or not to do so, and if you’re subsequently called out for it, shut the fuck up and take it like a man.

    “Telling an adult how he may (politely) answer you, brooking no discussion, & refusing to respond to specific inquiries is the definition of small minded. And acting like a self-appointed dictator.”

    I asked a simple question, simple enough where THERE SHOULD BE NO DISCUSSION. If you’re seeking a caveat like SB%, what that tells me is you’re not comfortable in your own ability to answer.

    “But seeing as I preach civility, & I am not personally “triggered” i will not say “being a dick”. Though most all non-timid folks would call you at least that for this attitude.”

    Great. Could care less, but if it makes you feel better saying that, good for you.

    I answered the question in #479, if you want to ask why I chose that response, please, NOW is the proper time for discussion.

    And do yourself a favor, leave the condesending tone at the door.

  519. Mike Felber Says:

    You should care if you are acting decently Chuck. One can set any boundaries they like, but that does not make them reasonable or fair. I did not agree to have to answer within semi-fascistic restriction about what I say, & asnwered in polite good faith.

    You must-should-be joking when you presume that you can tell anyone there is “no room for commentary”, & expect that anyone will follow that. And then you will call me out for not following your dictatorial instructions? And so when I do not permit you to treat me like a ‘lil boy, you say that I am not “taking it like a man”?

    I would never respect those “orders”, & you trying to impose them is just sad.

    I was very comfortable in answering you. The response was it was “too close to call” without more info. Later I offered if a modern player, I would presume a SB rate that would have me select “”stealie”. I attempted to engage you in a good faith questioning of your reasoning, but you had no defense, or will not willing to share your rationale.

    Condescending? I have been calm & restrained considering the outlandish way you presume to tell me what i can say when! Man, I would never do that to another on a forum like this, even if I owned the site. The proper time for discussion is when YOU say I may ask?

    Now, y’know in your heart of hearts most with backbone would have been profanely dismissive of you by now. But I am one who will speak up but still go the extra mile to keep things all nice-like. So:

    Your answer in #479 will outline your general beliefs, which I am aware of. Yep,I would like to know why you chose that response: in the CONTEST of addressing my reasoning in my 2 responses. Basically, instead of a 1 or 2 line generality, please tell me what you think of my math & reasoning, vis a vis bases gained, times 3B is stolen, & effect of many extra SBs on the pitcher.

    Nothing is patronizing about this comment. if you wanna ignore my critique of your own outrageous orders, fine, I’ll jus’ scream bloody murder if you ever attempt to do so again. ;-)

    But feel free to politely rip the LOGIC of what I roughly computed to shreds. I am after the truth as I can figure it, & never mind being told i am wrong, when my specific case is addressed.

  520. Mike Felber Says:

    I meant “CONTEXT”.

  521. Chuck Says:

    “I would never respect those “orders”, & you trying to impose them is just sad.”

    Your opinion, which, again, I could give two shits about.

    Have a nice weekend.

  522. Mike Felber Says:

    You seem to be channeling James “I’m outta ammunition” Stockdale Chuck. :-) But I still care about your opinion, & asked you again why you believe it.

    If you ever want to tell me-or any of us-why you feel “Double-day” would be a better bet than “Stealie” with the limited information you provided in that hypothetical case, I remain open open minded.

  523. Chuck Says:

    It’s always better to put the ball in play.

  524. Mike Felber Says:

    I understand that everything else being equal, singles are better than a walk. Not moist of the time, but of course you can sometimes move runners over, & even if you risk a double play, there is a risk of errors…Likewise, a Ks are worse than regular outs…Over time, it can add up, though walks & Ks individually have the vast majority, 80% or so, of singles & regular outs.

    And the double man might gain an advantage from an errant throw-but also for “stealie”, & you have the additional question I mentioned about disrupting the pitcher’s concentration, sometimes pitching from the stretch-& that some of these stals will be of 3rd, & rarely, of home.

    So all these things need to be balanced out. However you weigh things, the AMOUNT of doubles vs. steals matters: we would not say that 250 doubles and 50 steals is possibly better or remotely as useful as 200 doubles & 800 steals, right? ASSUMING a high steal rate, which I think is very reasonable, as nobody in modern times has around those # of thefts without being pretty efficient.

    So actually, i think your initial questions was a cagey & good one: There were more total bases from “Double Day” than even an 80% man would garner-though not by much. So it comes down to asking what are the likely impacts of the steals? Can we assume one on Professional pitchers? Stats looking at this, how guys do when pitching in general, & when you have a great SB man on base, would be very useful. Controlling for the quality of the batters they pitch to then…

    But I cannot see that it would not add up to a real effect, at least like a guy who is exactly the same in every aspect as another at bat, but Ks 2x as often, will produce less runs.

    And what about those times “stealie” swipes 3rd, & occasionally home? Those get you closer to scoring a run, or directly acquire the run. So we must balance all factors, no way either guy is automatically better without looking at proportions of steals & double & when it is close, the other factors, tangible & less so.

  525. Cameron Says:

    A double and a walk/SB are worth the same unless there’s a guy on base. I’m with Chuck sort of. While it’s best to put the ball in play, I have no problem with a guy who can score a Rickey Run.

    Though, given the factor of the possibility of a man on base, a double is worth more than a walk/SB on average. Depends on context, but in all situations given, a double will be the more productive one because it could move a guy over, and move them more over than forcing one base off a walk.

    Honestly? If I can get a walk/SB or a double dependably off a guy, I’m not gonna worry about how they get two bases. I’m just thankful I have a guy in the lineup who can do that for me. This guy gets a contract.

  526. Cameron Says:

    I hope Peter Gammons is wrong, but it seems Teexas wanted to get Robinson Chirinos from Chicago and then send him, Engel Betre, Frank Francisco, and Derek Holland to Tampa.

    I dunno about you, but that’s some serious overpaying. Francisco’s very solid in the bullpen and Holland is still a kid I’m keeping my eye on. With Lee gone, they’re going to need to hold onto him and guys like Perez and Scheppers to make sure they don’t become the Texas Rangers we’re used to seeing. Otherwise, I’ll be seriously disappointed in Ryan. I think Perez, Scheppers, and Holland will be a very solid core for that Texas rotation for a while. Maybe Feldman and Hunter could round it out, I dunno. We’ve seen they can have good flashes, but consistency isn’t their friend.

  527. John Says:

    “It’s always better to put the ball in play”

    You heard it here first. A walk is worse than a triple play.

    Back to Tim Raines vs. Lou Brock –

    Lou Brock came to bat 876 more times than Raines. And in those extra PA, he made 1165 more outs.

    He wasn’t as good at baseball as Raines. Period. There’s no two ways about it.

  528. Cameron Says:

    He made 1165 outs in 876 PA? …Is that counting DPs or a mathematical impossibility?

  529. Hartvig Says:

    The 9 year old girl killed in the Arizona shootings was former Phillies manager & Cubs GM Dallas Green’s granddaughter.
    My brother & some friends were golfing in Tuscon when it happened. They were on their way to or from the course (I’m not sure which) when he said police cars went flying by from all directions. I’m also not clear if they had to take a small detour or were just held up a bit because of traffic stopping for the police. Sad day.

  530. John Says:

    “He made 1165 outs in 876 PA? …Is that counting DPs or a mathematical impossibility?”

    I was just saying that Raines had a much better OBP. Brock is supposed to get all this credit because he accumulated an arbitrary number of hits but he doesn’t get points docked off for making way more outs, at a much higher rate than Raines did.

  531. Chuck Says:

    First thought John has this morning when he woke up;

    “So, it’s been about two days since I posted on DC, and I don’t want anyone to forget how retarded I am, so I need to go post something to remind everyone.”

    Hence,

    “You heard it here first. A walk is worse than a triple play.”

    No worries, John, like with Shaun, we’ll NEVER forget.

  532. John Says:

    You’re the one, Chuck, who said that it’s always better to put the ball in play than not.

    That’s retarded.

  533. Chuck Says:

    Whatever you say, John.

  534. Mike Felber Says:

    Let the love fest flow. Anyhow, Recall the question was apropos of post # 450:

    “John.

    Who would you rather have;

    A player with 400 doubles and 800 stolen bases, or;

    A player with 550 doubles and 450 stolen bases”.

    Now in my analysis I did NOT account for the extra value of how often a double will move a man over vs. the walk & a steal. My error. I said I was not sure which/who was better to have, then amended it to saying if it was a modern player (since they seem to have higher SB rates, from available stats a Cobb & Wagner did not steal efficiently) who had such huge #s, that I would take him. Reasoning that though there were a small % of fewer runs created at an 80% success rate, there is the value of 1) when “stealie” swiped 3rd, getting him closer to scoring than “doubleday” (& rarely swiping home), & 2) the real but not wholly quantifiable value of a constant theft threat, on pitcher’s nerves, pitching from the stretch, etc…

    But when I consider the extra value of “doubleday” moving over an unforced running when the bases are not empty: again i do not know who to pick! The advantage of the extra runners moved may well may player B more valuable, though it is an extra 10 doubles vs. 350 extra steals, so it is not immediately clear who would add more value. At Raines enormous 85% success rate, unmatched by anyone near his 800 + steals, I would take Raines.

    But Chuck’s question is actually a very good one. I do not know if he gave the exact proportions of doubles & thefts much thought, but it seems right at the level where it is very tough to make a definitive answer.

    So instead of generalities-clearly it depends on the kind & # of times of putting a ball in play vs. doing something else when considering overall value-opinions on the original query would be useful & engaging.

  535. Mike Felber Says:

    Typos: I meant may “make” player B more valuable, & an extra 100 doubles vs. extra 350 steals, not merely 10 more doubles.

  536. John Says:

    “Now in my analysis I did NOT account for the extra value of how often a double will move a man over vs. the walk & a steal.”

    Not sure how often Dennis Martinez or Bob Gibson were reaching base, but my sense is that it’s kind of a moot point considering that they didn’t hit with guys on base a ton.

  537. Mike Felber Says:

    But the question is not about Raines or any particular player, so we cannot know how often they hit with a man or men on base. Thus like what theft % a man who gets 800 will likely acquire, we can only estimate how many bases would most likely be averaged. Seems to me that we should assume a neutral hitting environment, & assume a good place in the batting order-since folks with those career stats are going to be good.

  538. Mike Felber Says:

    Answers! I want answer ya scurvy Bah’stahds!

    Actually, just well reasoned opinions will do.

  539. Chuck Says:

    Interesting, eh, Mike?

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/share.cgi?id=UBNSg

  540. John Says:

    Ah, runs scored.

    The armpit of statistics.

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