That’s what detractors of baseball say. Well, today they are literally quite right as no one got elected to the Hall this ballot. That’ll teach Biggio.
Wednesday, January 9th, 2013
Thursday, November 15th, 2012
“I think winning the Triple Crown had a lot to do with me winning this honor” — Miguel Cabrera
Yep. Stringing together three truly remarkable seasons helps too. By all the math I care for, Trout should have won it, but please don’t tell my Tiger friends what I wrote, and actually I don’t really care so much in this case.
Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
Monday, November 21st, 2011
Justin Verlander wins the MVP to go with his Cy Young, while Jacoby Ellsbury (gerbil’s MFRS) got the runner up. I was on the fence whether it should be Ellsbury or Verlander and can not argue with either choice. Jim Ingraham of The Herald-News in Ohio left Verlander off his MVP ballot entirely (and explains his position in the linked article.
I don’t get omitting Verlander altogether. There are 10 other major-league players more valuable than he was? Pete Abraham provides an interesting read as he explains his MVP ballot.
Tuesday, May 17th, 2011
Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
Tuesday, January 4th, 2011
The increasingly acrimonious debate over the Hall of Fame seems to have grown in intensity yet again this year, with Jack Morris once again taking center stage. A good forum for addressing the tenor and scope of the debate this year is Tyler Kepner's recent New York Times column, which attempts to at least be fair to both sides while reaching completely the wrong conclusion.
Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010
Because it matters oh, so much.
A couple caveats: I'm a large-Hall guy, so I usually fill up all 10 spots, and I value peak more heavily perhaps than the typical voter. It's how I balance the "fame" aspect of the Hall with the more objective career value considerations. But one great season amid a non-excellent career (Maris, for example) doesn't do it for me either.
You can check out the eligibles, ranked by WAR, at Baseball-Reference.
They'll surprise you. Alomar is all but certain to be elected this year, yet he's only tied for ninth, and several of the guys considered borderline outrank him: Walker, Edgar Martinez, Trammell, Raines. Bagwell is second only to Blyleven. He should be inducted. But just having a great WAR doesn't necessarily cut it if a lot of other players at your position also had a great WAR, so let's take a look at some of these guys.
Tuesday, December 21st, 2010
From Extra Bases on boston.com:
My first Hall of Fame ballot was submitted today. As promised, here is who I voted for:
PA says that Alomar is the only sure-fire HOFer. Personally, I’m convinced that Raines should be considered a no-brainer for induction as well. That is not an issue with the article — since Pete voted for him — but for some reason that I can’t put my finger on, I think I will be really pissed off if Raines doesn’t get voted in. The math backs it up well enough. Heck, he deserves a slot just for his career OBP+SB. But maybe it was the collusion. Maybe its that he did a huge chunk of his best work in a part of another country that doesn’t want to speak English. Maybe it is the lack of forgiveness many have for his admitted substance abuse.
All I know is Vote Rock.
Monday, November 22nd, 2010
From the “Pen is mightier than the Saber” department…
Did writers bully other writers? Does math+baseball=bandwagon? I don’t know the pressures faced by a writer at a newspaper, but I do know that the great thing about math is that it is an open-door party with no velvet ropes. Come on in and have a seat, or a pulpit. No rope. There is a caveat: you have to accept that a lot of people do a lot of work to bring you those numbers. It’s the same barrier you accept when you start writing analyses of games you aren’t playing (or watching) in the first place. It is physically impossible for any one person to watch every pitch of every game played. It can’t be done. Instead, we have lots of people that put results together and use math to try to make those numbers relevant. What are you going to do with this bounty?
Take note of the use of the word “trendy”, in Phil Rogers’ quote, as if some day this “trend” of open, peer-reviewed statistical analysis and inclusive debate about the evaluation of talent will abate. I pine for those days as a young baseball fan when I eagerly awaited for the Times-Union final edition because the morning paper didn’t have the west coast games’ box scores. I assumed that there was a network of trust regarding reporting and that “top people” were delivering this information via the papers. That’s the only way that until the invention of cable, games west of Chicago were not considered a complete fabrication. Gimme some more of that, and less information, and less conversation. And turn off the lights at Wrigley.
And every time someone links to Murray Chass’ not-a-blog, a kitten gets eaten by a weasel.
Thursday, November 18th, 2010
King Felix tore up the league this year in spite of the fact that he had no run support from what can only be described as the worst offense in the history of the universe. Okay, maybe not the WHOLE universe. Let's just say Felix was awesome; too bad the Mariners couldn't do more with that stellar performance. Congratulations to Felix Hernandez, Cy Young winner.
Wednesday, November 10th, 2010
… because they can’t kill Chase Utley.
2010 Senior Circuit GG-ers:
1 Bronson Arroyo, Reds
2 Yadier Molina, Cardinals
3 Albert Pujols, Cardinals
4 Brandon Phillips, Reds
5 Scott Rolen, Cardinals
6 Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
789 Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
789 Michael Bourn, Astros
789 Shane Victorino, Phillies
That said, Brandon Phillips is a fine, durable fielder.
Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
Gulp. This is going to get rough.
Catcher: Joe Mauer, Twins (Matt Wieters was better)
First base: Mark Teixeira, Yankees (Lyle Overbay by a mile)
Second base: Robinson Cano, Yankees (They got this one right, Robi was phenomenal)
Third base: Evan Longoria, Rays (okay, that’s not bad, but Brandon Inge was better)
Shortstop: Derek Jeter, Yankees. Wait a sec.. Let me think about it.. (?WTF?) Maybe I got hit in the head recently. Oh yeah, I did. Let me think about it some more (!!!WTFF!!!) I guess he “turned it on” in a contract year, or someone else might have, but I don’t get another gg for dj. Don’t get fooled by FP as Jeter won it because he made only 6 errors on the balls HE COULD GET TO.. the rest rolled/rocketed by a diving… this *is* a defense evaluation, isn’t it?– anyway, should have been Alexei Ramirez or Cliff Pennington
Outfield: Carl Crawford, Rays (Okay, that’s fine, but Juan Pierre played 1330 innings and made only *1* error, and recorded 307 POs)
Outfield: Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners (yep. f****ing amazing baseball player. Truly *BRILLIANT*, and we’re just talking defense, AREN’T WE??? but this guy is both offense and defense) Who would be surprised if he wins five more Gloves? Not me.
Outfield: Franklin Gutierrez, Mariners (can’t argue with it, but Adam Jones and Upton might have been a better pick
Pitcher: Mark Buehrle, White Sox (who cares I guess, but I’d pick Fausto Carmona or more accurately, *suppressing desire to evacuate gastric tract* Carl Pavano — Ick.. writing that tastes like I just crapped in my own mouth)
I like Losing Playoffs Season more than Winning Meaningless Awards Season.
Friday, August 20th, 2010
Monday, March 22nd, 2010
John Smoltz has signed a TV deal with TBS, indicating that while has not officially retired, the former Braves ace/Red Sox bullpen pitcher is all set for his 2014 induction into the Hall of Fame … maybe. The fact is the Hall ballot is about to get mighty crowded in the next five years. Let's take a look.
First, there are the holdovers from the most recent ballot with a large enough base of support to ensure either enshrinement or limbo for the forseeable future: Bert Blyleven, Roberto Alomar, Jack Morris, Barry Larkin, Lee Smith, Edgar Martinez, Tim Raines, Mark McGwire, Alan Trammell, Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly, Dave Parker and Dale Murphy.
So in 2011, these 13 players will be joined by the following players, who all have at least a compelling Hall case: Rafael Palmeiro, Jeff Bagwell, Larry Walker, Juan Gonzalez, Kevin Brown.
Blyleven and Alomar are shoo-ins for enshrinement. Palmeiro is likely to become another McGwire, held in limbo by HOF-quality numbers but a positive test for steroids. Bagwell should go in easily. Walker has a good case but could end up in limbo, thanks to Coors. Gonzalez was an elite slugger for many years, and Brown is a borderline candidate who is unlikely to go in because people have forgotten how good his peak was.
So let's assume three inductions — Blyleven, Alomar and Bagwell. And let's assume that Murphy can't hang on to his 10 percent of the vote and drops off the ballot. That means the 2012 ballot has the following holdovers:
Friday, February 12th, 2010
Alex Speier takes a look at the Sox' upcoming decision on whether to extend Victor Martinez, whose contract expires at the end of the 2010 season, and he starts with this eyebrow-raising claim:
Victor Martinez is one of the best hitting catchers in major league history.
As it turns out, Speier isn't altogether incorrect. As he points out, Martinez is 10th in OPS and 17th in OPS+ among all catchers through their age 30 seasons. That ain't bad. He's actually ahead of Thurmon Munson, Jorge Posada and Ivan Rodriguez on the OPS+ list, and he's not far behind Hall of Famers Gary Carter and Gabby Hartnett.
This got me thinking: Is Martinez on a Hall of Fame track?
The short answer: Maybe.
Now, I am not saying, as Tony Massarotti does in yet another poorly written, poorly argued column, that Martinez is "in the same ballpark as Mauer." But one doesn't need to be the best to be great, and Martinez is great … as long as he remains a catcher.
So the question of a contract extension and Martinez's future greatness go hand in hand. They both depend largely on what position he plays for the majority of the rest of his career.
Assuming he's a catcher, Martinez compares favorably to some Hall of Famers or future Hall of Famers. His No. 1 comparable on Baseball-Reference is Gabby Hartnett, and it has been for the last three years. Hartnett had a 125 OPS+ through age 30 to Martinez's 121. In about 140 fewer plate appearances, Hartnett has basically the same number of doubles, home runs, RBI and walks. Their lines through age 30 are nearly identical (particularly when adjusting for the slugging-heavy 1920s): .299/.372/.465 for Martinez, .295/.372/.506 for Hartnett.
Martinez also compares well with Carlton Fisk, who had a 130 OPS+ and a .285/.362/.486 line through age 30, and Jorge Posada (116 OPS+, .268/.369/.465).
Obviously, all those players are Hall of Famers because of what they did after age 30. Hartnett played another 10 years at basically the same level of play (127 OPS+), Fisk played at a 107 OPS+ level (still very good for a catcher) for 15 more seasons. Posada, who I believe is a Hall of Famer, has actually been a better hitter in the seven years since he turned 31 (131 OPS+).
By another measure, WAR, Sean Smith has Martinez at 22.3 WAR so far (or 2.8 a season), while Posada had 17.1 (2.1) and Hartnett had 23.6 (2.4). Fisk had nearly 35 WAR (3.8 per year) already.
So obviously it remains to be seen, but if Martinez can stick at catcher for the duration of his next contract and maintain the 120-125 OPS+ level, he's got a good shot, which is more than I would have thought.