Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thoughts on the Hall of Fame part 2

Now we start getting closer to the Hall ofFame territory where they might receive votes and might deserve some of the votes.  There'll be pros and cons and/or some thoughts on each person.


Reggie Sanders- 24.51
Pros: Went to three separate teams and was a playoff outfielder for them in three straight years.  I remember this being a big deal as it was happening.  He had an all-star caliber season in 1995.  He was slightly above average and average for all but four years.
Cons: Only 1 all-star season.  Basically, a slightly above average player for all of his career.  Not quite Hall of Fame worthy.


Jeff Cirillo- 25.16
Cirillo has a fairly good score in my rankings because his five best seasons all came in right in a row.  So, his score ends up higher than it probably should be.  He had about 5 All-Star caliber seasons. 4 out of those 5 were in a row.  His 6th best season was the fifth season in his five consecutive seasons.  Cirillo had a number of seasons at or below replacement level but his career was more or less halfway divided between almost All-Star caliber seasons and replacement level seasons.


Steve Finley- 26.45
I always thought Finley had a much better career than he actually did.  He had four All-Star caliber seasons but the majority of his career was replacement level or below which lowered his total score.  There is value for a Finley player on your team but for the Hall of Fame?  No.


Shawn Green- 26.68
Green had three great seasons (6+ rWAR).  Green on one of his rookie cards looked like he was 13.  So, there's that.  But when your career only has three great seasons and a few seasons at the starter level, you're not going to make it to the Hall of Fame. 


Jack Morris- 27.73
Morris will probably get elected this year, even though he probably doesn't deserve it.  There's been more words written on Morris's candidacy for the Hall of Fame than any other player.  There are arguments back and forth.  His candidacy reminds me of politics.  Those who believe in advanced metrics and don't buy into popular bullshit dumps of clutch or pitching to the score tend to think Morris doesn't belong.  But a lot of the positives for Morris are that you decided to vote for Morris and later you come up with the reasons why you voted for him later.  A lot of the supporters for Morris, I think, are choosing to vote for Morris because the "stat-head" community doesn't like him. But anyways.
Pros: Leader in wins for a pitcher for the 1980s (1980-1990). Won Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. Durable starter who wasn't hurt.  Pitched a lot of innings.
Cons: More or less, a compiler.  This was the supposed argument against voting for Bert Blyleven.  Good but not great pitcher. 
I've always been a fan of Player X.  Player X is a comparison tool to compare between baseball players by omitting their names and looking just at their stats. 
Player X: 254 Wins, 105 ERA+, 1.296 WHIP, 0.9 HR/9, 5.8 K/9, 1.78 K/BB, 39.3 rWAR. 7-4 in post-season with 3.80 ERA. Two 3rd Place finishes in Cy Young Award Vote. Led league in wins twice. Led league in Innings pitched once and strikeouts once. Highest finish in ERA was 5th which happened twice.  Highest finish in ERA+ was 4th which happened once.
Player Y: 204 Wins, 112 ERA+, 1.261 WHIP, 0.7 HR/9, 5.8 K/9, 2.00 K/BB, 48 rWAR.  8-3 in post-season with 2.59 ERA.  1 Cy Young Award. One 3rd place finish in Cy Young voting.  Finished 2nd in ERA once, 3rd place finish four times. Led league in wins once. Led league in Innings pitched three times and highest finish in strikeouts was 4th which happened once. Led league in ERA+ once. Third place once and fourth place twice.
Player Z: 239 wins, 108 ERA+, 1.266 WHIP, 1.1 HR/9, 5.8 K/9, 3.06 K/BB, 49.4 rWAR.  10-5 in post-seasons with 3.17 ERA.  Two third place finishes in Cy Young Award vote.  Led league in wins once.  Led league in Innings pitched once.  His highest finish for strikeouts was an 8th place finish.  His highest finish in ERA was a 5th place finish.  Never finished in top 10 for ERA+.

So, who would you vote for? Well, if you're basing it solely on pitcher wins than you would vote for Player X, Jack Morris.  But then you might remember that pitcher wins aren't that valuable or that descriptive.  Or you might vote based on rWAR which would be Player Z who is David Wells.  Player Y isyour choice, look at that ERA+ or his post-season numbers.  That's Orel Hershiser.  But instead of doing player X comparisons, there's a whole bunch of sportswriters out there who concoct stories about how a pitcher was seen during his time.  Morris, during his time, wasn't seen as a Hall of Famer, otherwise he would've finished higher than 3rd in the Cy Young vote, right?  Or if he was a great post-season pitcher he would have better numbers than David Wells or Orel Hershiser.  Or if he was the ace of three World Champion teams, he would finish ahead of his teammates in the Cy Young Award voting, right?  The Jack Morris Hall of Fame vote isn't about baseball.  It's about using evidence to support your conclusion without having one in mind at first instead of having a conclusion in mind and finding evidence that supports your conclusion.   

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