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01-01-2004, 02:05 PM
Posted By: <b>Jay behrens&nbsp; </b><p>This years HOF ballot is out. Here is the list (alphabetical):<BR><BR> Bert Blyleven <BR> Joe Carter <BR> Dave Concepcion <BR> Danny Darwin <BR> Andre Dawson <BR> Doug Drabek <BR> Dennis Eckersley <BR> Jim Eisenreich <BR> Cecil Fielder <BR> Steve Garvey <BR> Rich Gossage <BR> Keith Hernandez <BR> Tommy John <BR> Jimmy Key <BR> Dennis Martinez <BR> Don Mattingly <BR> Kevin Mitchell <BR> Paul Molitor <BR> Jack Morris <BR> Dale Murphy <BR> Randy Myers <BR> Dave Parker <BR> Terry Pendleton <BR> Jim Rice <BR> Juan Samuel<BR> Ryne Sandberg <BR> Lee Smith <BR> Dave Stieb <BR> Bruce Sutter <BR> Bob Tewksbury <BR> Alan Trammell<BR> Fernando Valenzuela <BR><BR>Blyleven - spent most of his career with really bad teams in brutal parks not friendly to pitchers. If you've read any of Bill James' or Pete Palmer's books, you will see Blyleven's name all over the best season and career rankings. If you saw him pitch, you know he is far better than his record says.<BR><BR>Dawson - Awesome arm, outstanding bat and decent speed until his knee gave out on him. Major props for staying in the NL when he could have gone to AL, DH'd and prolly put up even better numbers.<BR><BR>Eckersly - If Koufax goes in for 5 great years and mediocre career at best if you remove those, then Eck gets in easily. The definition of what a team wants in a closer.<BR><BR>Molitor - How do you stop and pause to think about whether or not the player that is 9th all-time in hits belongs in the Hall, but I did. On some levels, he doesn't stike me as a HOFers, but he was damn good for a long time. Not great, but damn good.<BR><BR>Morris - doesn't have great numbers, but in the 80s, if I needed to win one game, I'd want Morris on the mound. No one was better than him during the 80s, and that's generally the definaition of a HOFers, the best at his position during his era.<BR><BR>Rice - The most feared hitter in the game in the late 70s and early 80s. He was the Barry Bonds of his day. Gets in under the "Koufax Rule".<BR><BR>Sandburg - the prototype for today's speedy, power hitting 2Bs.<BR><BR>Lee Smith - All-time leaders in Saves, a record that will prolly never be touched.<BR><BR>Anyone that votes for Mattingly gets slapped with a dead mackeral. :p No one would even give this guy a second glance if he plays with anyone but Yankees.<BR><BR>Jay

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01-01-2004, 02:54 PM
Posted By: <b>B Kaz</b><p>As a kid I worshipped Dale Murphy (still do at 30). He was one helluva ballplayer (back to back MVP's), and an even better person. If the players today had a drop of him in thier blood we wouldn't have a sport marred by cheaters, scandals, and egotistical losers.<BR><BR>I know his numbers won't get him in, but he is still my favorite modern day player, hands down.<BR><BR>Question, any chance that Gavvy Cravath will ever get in? I'm a Twin Cities boy who would like to see that. He was a very feared power hitter in his day.

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01-01-2004, 04:18 PM
Posted By: <b>jay behrens</b><p>I think it was Murphy's 1982 MVP that was really questionable. Al Oliver had a better year all around, but the media didn't like him, plus he played for Montreal. He was a great player for a few years, but not HOF material.<BR><BR>Cravath was certainly the big hitter of his day, but aside from that, he didn't really have a stand out career. People just didn't care about HRs in those days and he didn't stand out in any other areas when so many other great players of that era did.<BR><BR>Jay

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01-01-2004, 04:36 PM
Posted By: <b>david</b><p>except that mattingly has vitually the same stats as kirby puckett, a first ballot hof, maybe mattingly should have played in twinkie town.

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01-01-2004, 04:45 PM
Posted By: <b>jay behrens</b><p>Mattingly's career wasn't cut short by injury and never told his team "climb on my back, we are gonna win The Series". Besides, there are a lot worse players in the Hall than Puckett, like Marinville and others that got in because of cronism from the Verterans Comittee.<BR><BR>Jay

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01-01-2004, 06:10 PM
Posted By: <b>Kevin Cummings</b><p>SABR member James Vail did an analysis much like Bill James proposing a method to make the selection process more objective and less subjective. He published it in a book called <b><u>Outrageous Fortune</u></b>.<BR><BR>The fourth and fifth highest rated position players not yet in the Hall of Fame are Keith Hernandez (#46 overall) and Paul Molitor (#47 overall). Only Pete Rose, Rickey Henderson and Darrell Evans rate higher. Cal Ripken rates the same as Molitor.<BR><BR>As for pitchers, Blyleven (#18 overall) and Eckersley (#19 overall) are #1 and #2.<BR><BR>If you can stand the read (it's a little dry), it makes a pretty compelling argument.<BR>

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01-01-2004, 11:43 PM
Posted By: <b>Julie</b><p>besides Eckersly?--won 100 games before he started closing. (Just kidding. Blyleven is welcome, even if I didn't get any of his cards--maybe I did, actually (haven't looked in so long past 1934! Except to get a CENTERED Eckersly rookie).<BR><BR>Outrageous Fortune. Hmm--I have about ten books I have to read first, but then I read that. Slings and arrows, indeed!~

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01-02-2004, 07:53 AM
Posted By: <b>Kevin Cummings</b><p>.....and continuing a thought. <img src="/images/wink.gif" height=14 width=14><BR><BR>Here's the rest of the ballot and where they rank in <b><u>Outrageous Fortune</u></b>:<BR><BR><BR> Joe Carter <b>tie for 244</b><BR> Dave Concepcion <b>tie for 163</b><BR> Danny Darwin <b>NR</b><BR> Andre Dawson <b>tie for 56</b><BR> Doug Drabek <b>NR</b><BR> Jim Eisenreich <b>NR</b><BR> Cecil Fielder <b>NR</b><BR> Steve Garvey <b>tie for 83</b><BR> Rich Gossage <b>42</b><BR> Tommy John <b>32</b><BR> Jimmy Key <b>tie for 116</b><BR> Dennis Martinez <b>tie for 75</b><BR> Don Mattingly <b>tie for 146</b><BR> Kevin Mitchell <b>NR</b><BR> Jack Morris <b>tie for 55</b><BR> Dale Murphy <b>tie for 92</b><BR> Randy Myers <b>NR</b><BR> Dave Parker <b>55</b><BR> Terry Pendleton <b>NR</b><BR> Jim Rice <b>tie for 75</b><BR> Juan Samuel <b>NR</b><BR> Ryne Sandberg <b>tie for 83</b><BR> Lee Smith <b>tie for 72</b><BR> Dave Stieb <b>tie for 78</b><BR> Bruce Sutter <b>tie for 66</b><BR> Bob Tewksbury <b>NR</b><BR> Alan Trammell <b>137</b><BR> Fernando Valenzuela <b>tie for 80</b><BR><BR>This is the overall pitching or positional player ranking. Actually all players were ranked, but only the higher ones were included in the book.<BR>

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01-03-2004, 12:27 PM
Posted By: <b>warshawlaw</b><p>Mattingly's raw numbers are nearly identical to Kirby Puckett's. Puckett got in because of sympathy for his eye injury. He didn't, he got in on merit, you say? Then so should Donny Baseball. I guess it is better to burn out than to fade away. . .<BR><BR>The rest: Molitor, Morris, Rice, Sandberg. <BR><BR>

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01-03-2004, 12:47 PM
Posted By: <b>three25hits</b><p>Comparing numbers along in Mattingly/Puckett isn't fair. Puckett played centerfield, Mattingly firstbase. The same stats from a centerfielder are worth more than from a 1b. Mattingly doesn't belong in the HOF. Not crazy about Puckett either though.<BR><BR>Manditory reading for HOF discussions is James' Politics of Glory.<BR><BR>The best criteria for HOF consideration, for me, is the question "Is this person the best player currently NOT in the HOF?"<BR><BR>If the answer is "yes", then consider the guy. If the answer is "no", then don't consider the guy.<BR><BR>Blyleven, Sandberg, Molitor.<BR><BR>Sit on everyone else for another year. Eck will get there, but how to value "closers" is TBD. I think the best player not in the HOF is Santo then Sandberg (Molitor's 3000 hits gets him in), the best pitcher is Blyleven.

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01-03-2004, 12:50 PM
Posted By: <b>Hankron</b><p>Personally, I'm not for the common practice of projecting a career after a player got killed, injured, lost at sea or incarcerated .... The great football phrase being 'Woulda, coulda, shoulda,' which simply translating to "Didn't" .... Having said that, and not having a bias for or against Mattingly's induction, Puckett's playing career did end in an entirely different manner than Mattingly's. If you look at Puckett's last three years, and in particular his last year, he was playing as a legitimate All-Star. Mattingly, on the other hand, was sputtering like an old Jalopy in desparate need of the nearest gas station. If one were to project their careers past their retirement date, it would reasonable to predict different paths.<BR>

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01-03-2004, 03:01 PM
Posted By: <b>Kevin Cummings</b><p>Vail's book ranks Mattingly at 21 among all first basemen and the eighth highest ranked player not yet in the Hall of Fame (behind Keith Hernandez, Steve Garvey, Gil Hodges, Mickey Vernon, Cecil Cooper, Bill Buckner and Ed Konetchy). Being a New York suburbanite and a Yankee rooter since childhood, emotionally I'd love to see players like Mattingly and Thurman Munson get in, but realistically they're on the lower side of borderline.<BR><BR>Puckett is the 12th best center fielder, but Al Oliver, Dale Murphy, Vada Pinson and Cesar Cedeno rate higher statistically. This would suggest that there <b>was</b> some emotionalism evident in Puckett's election.<BR><BR>In a head-to-head comparison, Puckett ranked 115 overall and as stated previously Mattingly ranked 146 overall. To the extent that players from the same era, but different positions, can be fairly compared, this would say that Puckett was better statistically than Mattingly.

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01-03-2004, 03:41 PM
Posted By: <b>jay behrens</b><p>I've never seen Vail's book, but jsut looking at the players you've listed and their rankings, it would seem that you are rewarded for hanging around regardless of how well you actually performed. Palmer and James have ways measuring career value that penalize players that hang around to accumulate stats.<BR><BR>The greatness of a player also goes beyond the numbers. Puckett is one of those rare players, that aside from being an outstanding player, also provided true leadership and other intangibles that is rarely found in other players. <BR><BR>How many of you can honestly say they would rather have another player in CF other than Puckett during his playing days? That's the measure of HOFer.<BR><BR>Jay

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01-03-2004, 03:47 PM
Posted By: <b>Anonymous</b><p><i>Sit on everyone else for another year</i><BR><BR>I've never understood this mentality. The player either belongs or he doesn't. A players career is not like a fine, and 5 years after retirement is enough time to figure out if a player belongs or not. This whole business of, does he deserve to go on the first ballot, is retarded. Waiting another year is not going to make Eck, or anyone else a better HOF candidate. Eck was THE dominant closer of his time, and possibly the best ever, at least in his prime. This is what got Koufax in didn't it?<BR><BR>Jay

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01-03-2004, 03:57 PM
Posted By: <b>Julie</b><p>Was he the best at his position when he was his best?

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01-03-2004, 06:29 PM
Posted By: <b>bimmy</b><p>comparing eckersley's 5 years to koufax's? come on. get real. eck should be in the hall but he's no sandy.

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01-03-2004, 11:28 PM
Posted By: <b>Kevin Cummings</b><p>Jay:<BR><BR><b><u>I'm</u></b> not rewarding anyone for anything and Vail readily admits that longevity certainly has an impact that effects cumulative statistics.<BR><BR>But if you don't totally ascribe to the theory that there are "...lies, damned lies and statistics..." then it sort of goes along the lines of what David Rudd mentioned. Projecting how someone <b>might</b> have done had they lasted as long as the person you are trying to compare them to is futile. The numbers are what they are. <BR><BR>If player "A" played "X" seasons and player "B" played only "Y" seasons, it's hard to make a totally valid comparison since the seasons are not equal let alone that their positions are different. In addition, numbers can't possibly take into account intangibles. The fact still reamins that if player "A" lasted longer than player "B" and player "A" contributed to the success of his team by being there, then by definition he contributed more simply becasue he <b><u>was</u></b> there when player "B" was not.<BR><BR>The numbers are simply intended to minimize the emotionalism that often overshadows what statistics might otherwise dictate.

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01-04-2004, 02:22 AM
Posted By: <b>jay behrens</b><p>You're right how dare I compare Eck and Koufax. Koufax only dominated the game for 5 years, affected a game once every 4 days and was a mediocre pitcher at best until Chaves Ravine opened.<BR><BR>Eckersly was the dominant reliver in the game for 7 years and affected the outfome of far more games than Koufax did each season.<BR><BR>And look at thier early years, Koufax only managed to break .500 once in his first 6 years, never winning more than 11 games in any season. Eckersly, on the other hand, as a starter in the first 6 years of his career was NEVER sub .500, NEVER won fewer than 12 games, threw a no hitter and won 20 games once.<BR><BR>I'll be sure never again to mention Koufax and Eckersly in the same breath. Eck had a far superior career to that of Koufax.<BR><BR>Jay

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01-04-2004, 02:33 AM
Posted By: <b>jay behrens</b><p>You missed my point. Palmer and James use measures that penalize players like Pete Rose that hung around to break record or achieve milestones to the detriment of thier teams. I'm too lazy to dig out any of the books, but I remember one of them mentioning that if Rose had retired 3 years earlier he would have ranked among the top 25 players of all time, instead, because he hung around to break Cobb's record, he barely made the top 100.<BR><BR>A measure like that is good because it mitigates piling up numbers at the expense of the team. If a player can continue to play above the league average at age 40+, then he will be rewarded and not penalized.<BR><BR>Baseball's raw numbers and counting stats tend not to be a good way to compare player's careers.<BR><BR>Jay

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01-04-2004, 10:40 AM
Posted By: <b>Kevin Cummings</b><p>Jay:<BR><BR>So what are you saying? Players should retire before the downside of their career affects their overall ranking? Should Matty have quit in 1914 so those last two mediocre years didn't tarnish his averages? He still would be the third best pitcher ever (according to Vail).<BR><BR>Longevity, in and of itself, doesn't get someone into the Hall of Fame. If it did, Deacon McGuire would have been in long ago. But you and I have about as much chance of getting in as he does because his other numbers don't warrant consideration. But you can't punish someone for accumulating statistics while they are playing.<BR><BR>Regardless of the reason for continuing (whether it's a self-serving run for a personal record or the hope that the team will make the playoffs), a player's career totals are what they are. As I said, Vail admits that cumulative statistics are often overemphasized by Hall of Fame voters so his Cooperstown Baseline calculation takes that into account since each cumulative category is just another Z score which, when used in conjunction with the other 29 rankings (nine of which are averages), gives an overall comparison.<BR><BR>It isn't perfect, but it's certainly less subjective and it <b>is</b> SABRmetric! <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14>

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01-04-2004, 12:01 PM
Posted By: <b>jay behrens</b><p>If a player is looking to maximize his career value, then yes, if they could forsee that their career was about to go into a slide, then they should retire. But we all know that most pro athletes are far too competative to just walk away from the game at their peak. <BR><BR>James and Palmer measure players based on what they did to help their team win. If they are contributing above the average player, then their career total goes up, but if they cannot contribute more than the average player, then their number goes down.<BR><BR>I'm not denying that career totals don't impact HOF election, but baseball is supposed to be a team sport and measuring how much you contributed to your team winning is a better measure of a great player than career HRs or some other counting stat.<BR><BR>Jay

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01-05-2004, 09:46 PM
Posted By: <b>Tim</b><p>He was for 5 years as good as any player in baseball... yes his numbers look like Kirby's, but hes a much nicer guy.<BR><BR>As for not being hurt, puhleease,,,if he had a healthy back, this would be a no brainer,,,the last years of his career he was only 50% healthy...<BR><BR>that said, hes borderline at best..but better than Krby, Bill Maz, and many other guys that are currently in....<BR><BR><img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14> ( I love Donny baseball, I admit it, so I am biased)

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01-06-2004, 04:04 AM
Posted By: <b>bimmy</b><p>no need to get your panties in a bunch.<BR><BR>ecks "five years"<BR>cy young, mvp, 2x leader in saves, 1 won ws and 2 lost<BR><BR>sandy<BR>3x cy young, mvp, 5x lowest era in league, 3x most wins, 4x most ks per 9 innings (total ks 3x), 31 shutouts, 2 won ws and 1 lost.<BR><BR>we could look at ws performance as well... <BR><BR><BR><BR>

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01-06-2004, 07:48 AM
Posted By: <b>Jay Miller</b><p>Tim makes a good point. Before Mattingly hurt his back he was as good as anyone in baseball. In fact, in the late-1980s(I forget exactly when) the Yankee TV network had a fan poll where the all time Yankee at each position was selected each week. At that time Mattingly beat out Gehrig. If I'm not mistaken he was the only then current player to be selected. Obviously, that was wrong, but at that point in his career, before the back injury, he was a sure bet HOFer.

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01-06-2004, 12:13 PM
Posted By: <b>jay behrens</b><p>I hate polls like that because they are always slanted towards current players, and ignorant fans vote for players they've seen rather than who is the best. All you have to do is look at the ridiculous results from similar type polls on ESPN and other places.<BR><BR>I don't know when Mattingly hurt his back, but he didn't add any black ink (league leader) to his career after 1986 and no grey ink (top 10 finish) after 1989. Also, During Mattingly's peak years the player he was most similar to was Will Clark, and no one ismistaking Will Clark for a HOFer.<BR><BR>I'll say it again, if he wasn't Yankee, no one would be giving him serious consideration for the HOF.<BR><BR>Jay

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01-07-2004, 04:42 PM
Posted By: <b>Todd</b><p>but I wanted to chime in my two cents about Bert Blyleven. While I really like the guy--he's a died in the wool homer for the Twins (reason enough to vote him in), one of your points is not truly accurate, but is widely shared. <BR><BR>Bert did not play for really awful teams for much of his career. The teams for which he toiled played .500 ball or better during his tenures there, with the exception of Cleveland, and he only played three seasons for the Tribe (discounting the one season where he was 2-2 before getting hurt for the year), where they were actually 52-51 in the strike year of 1981. That hardly qualifies as terrible.<BR><BR>In addition, during Bert's first stint with the Twins, they finished below .500 twice and, in both cases, were 2nd in hitting and 3rd from the bottom in ERA. In his return tour, they finished 20 games below .500 in 1986; however, they were dead last in ERA for the AL while 2nd in BA and 3rd in runs scored in their division. In short, the "bad teams" appear to have been bad in ways that would not have helped him much anyway, at least in the 10 years or so he played in Minnesota.<BR><BR>Finally, don't forget that the the 1970 Twins won 98 games. While Bert was just a rookie that year, he was only 10-9 pitching against other teams' number 4 starters, even with Carew, Oliva, Killebrew, Tovar and, for one season anyway, Rich Reese, providing support. Also, the 1988 Twins were 91-71, yet Bert stunk up the place with a 10-17 record and 5.43 ERA.<BR><BR>In case you couldn't tell, I just get my back up sometimes when those old Twins teams are lumped in as terrible. They were not, and for many, many years were among the AL best in both offense and defense.<BR>Still, I hope Bert makes it, because his numbers are fairly impressive, after all. <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14><BR><BR>Todd<BR><BR><BR><BR>

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01-07-2004, 04:51 PM
Posted By: <b>Julie</b><p>Anson would have made it first..whoops--he did!<BR>(not of course due to longevity)

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01-07-2004, 06:11 PM
Posted By: <b>jay behrens</b><p>No panties in a bunch here. I just like having fun die hard Koufax fans because they think he was the greatest pitcher ever, when he wasn't. There is no doubt that at his peak, he was as good anyone ever to step on the mound, but he pretty much stunk up the place for 6 years prior to that. That does not make for an all-time great. That staus is left for those pitchers like Grove, Alexander, Johnson and Spahn, that were great for their ENTIRE career.<BR><BR>Jay