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    Default Who was the best Tiger of the 1980s?




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    Pat Sheridan or Scott Lusader................
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    that's a great article....

    I love the attention Lou is getting lately.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oblong View Post
    that's a great article....

    I love the attention Lou is getting lately.

    What's the point now? Lou and Alan aren't getting in until they are old men. If Tram had done a few back flips, he'd be first ballot like the most overrated Hall Of Famer ever, Ozzie Smith. If Lou, Alan and Jack had played in New York, Boston or Baltimore, they'd be in. And if Jack doesn't get in this year, he's not getting in ever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor City Sonics View Post
    What's the point now? Lou and Alan aren't getting in until they are old men. If Tram had done a few back flips, he'd be first ballot like the most overrated Hall Of Famer ever, Ozzie Smith.
    I could easily name 20 HoFers who are far less deserving than Ozzie Smith. Suggesting he is the most over-rated HoFer is borderline inane.

    Quote Originally Posted by Motor City Sonics View Post
    If Lou, Alan and Jack had played in New York, Boston or Baltimore, they'd be in.
    Can't know, but I doubt it. I don't think there is an east coast bias when it comes to modern players in the HoF. The best example of east coast bias there is are some 1920s/30s New York Giants that were put in because Frankie Frisch headed the Veteran's Committee and put some of his homies in. And even then, there are just as many Cardinals who got in for the same reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by Motor City Sonics View Post
    And if Jack doesn't get in this year, he's not getting in ever.
    Good. I don't think he is deserving in the first place, and in the second anybody whom I discussed that matter with and supports Jack in the hall has been so condescending about it that I've lost whatever desire I had to see him in.
    Last edited by Mr. Bigglesworth; 01-08-2013 at 09:21 AM.

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    There's no need to bash Ozzie Smith because Tram gets shafted. Ozzie deserves to be in the HOF and deserved to be in on the first ballot. Why did he get in? East Coast Bias?

    I read that the rules have changed and Tram and Lou could theoretically be voted in by a revamped Vet committee in 2016.
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    Is anybody else getting sick of seeing that Bill James' opinion should be treated like God? Are there any sportswriters out there who think for themselves anymore? It seems like too many HOF discussions are relying on Bill James metrics and who he thinks should be hall-worthy. Not denying that James knows what he speaks about, but I am perplexed as to why so many writers/commentators need to rely on him to make their point.
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    Trammell definitely deserves to be in the HOF. Morris? Meh. I do believe that if he was babied like starters are nowadays and pitched his six and turned it over to the pen, he would have won a few more games and his era would've been lower...but still.
    There's a good article in the DetNews yesterday about Trammell. He sites my favorite stat WAR as an argument for Trammell to be inducted.

    Alan Trammell, not Jack Morris, deserves to be in Hall of Fame | The Detroit News | detroitnews.com
    Last edited by Antrat; 01-08-2013 at 10:05 AM.
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    In that situation the writer's intent was to try to use today's thinking (the increasing reliance on WAR) and apply it to the 80's but not use 20/20 hindsight but the thinking at the time and James was pretty much the only guy doing it at the time in his abstracts. What I found interesting about it was he felt Morris was well on his way to a HOF career, but I wonder what he thinks now?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oblong View Post
    In that situation the writer's intent was to try to use today's thinking (the increasing reliance on WAR) and apply it to the 80's but not use 20/20 hindsight but the thinking at the time and James was pretty much the only guy doing it at the time in his abstracts. What I found interesting about it was he felt Morris was well on his way to a HOF career, but I wonder what he thinks now?
    I know in James' historical abstract published in 2000, he rated the top 100 players at every position. Jack Morris did not make the top 100, of which there are several non HoF pitchers (e.g. Mickey Lolich, Dave Stieb, Orel Hershiser, etc.), and I have it in my head that he made a comment that he actually rated the top 200 pitchers of all time, and Jack did not make that list either.

    One thing that changed that I know of between the 80's and the 00's from James' perspective is how (in his mind) to better evaluate defense and its' impact on pitching. I suspect that lowers Jack's value (and raises Alan Trammell's value, not coincidentally) relative to his thinking in 1985.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peze23 View Post
    Is anybody else getting sick of seeing that Bill James' opinion should be treated like God? Are there any sportswriters out there who think for themselves anymore? It seems like too many HOF discussions are relying on Bill James metrics and who he thinks should be hall-worthy. Not denying that James knows what he speaks about, but I am perplexed as to why so many writers/commentators need to rely on him to make their point.
    I think James was only referenced to demonstrate there was SABR discussion going on in the 80's.

    I don't think his opinion was treated like God in the article.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peze23 View Post
    Is anybody else getting sick of seeing that Bill James' opinion should be treated like God? Are there any sportswriters out there who think for themselves anymore? It seems like too many HOF discussions are relying on Bill James metrics and who he thinks should be hall-worthy. Not denying that James knows what he speaks about, but I am perplexed as to why so many writers/commentators need to rely on him to make their point.
    Who is doing this?

    Perception has far more flaws than numbers do, especially when dealing with someone that played a long time ago.
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    Overall Tramm was the 2nd best SS of the 80's...how that doesn't get him into the Hall I have no idea. Bat+Glove over a 10 year span only Ripken could be considered better IMO.
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    I have long thought that Lou is marginally more deserving than Tram, but at this point, I'd be happy with Tram getting in even if Lou never does.

    Like many players, I think Lou never got in because the media never liked him, and Tram hasn't gotten in because he was quiet, not flashy, and not a very good quote.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oblong View Post
    What I found interesting about it was he felt Morris was well on his way to a HOF career, but I wonder what he thinks now?
    On clubhouse confidential, he said yes on Trammell, no on Morris. Knowing how he thinks, he would probably select Whitaker as well.
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    I think Whitaker didn't get support because he never had a great season. He was consistently very good (which ironically makes him a lot like Morris). The chart in this article clearly shows the pattern: Tiger Tales: A Detroit Tigers Blog: WAR Grid: Whitaker Among Top Ten Second basemen

    I also believe that the link between Whitaker and Trammell hurts both of them as individuals. Everybody thinks of them as a duo rather than as individual players. I suspect if they both retired the same year, Whitaker would have gotten more votes that first year because enough people would have voted for them as a tandem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger337 View Post
    I think Whitaker didn't get support because he never had a great season. He was consistently very good (which ironically makes him a lot like Morris). The chart in this article clearly shows the pattern: Tiger Tales: A Detroit Tigers Blog: WAR Grid: Whitaker Among Top Ten Second basemen

    I also believe that the link between Whitaker and Trammell hurts both of them as individuals. Everybody thinks of them as a duo rather than as individual players. I suspect if they both retired the same year, Whitaker would have gotten more votes that first year because enough people would have voted for them as a tandem.
    I think they both hung around too long as well by 2001 when Tramm was first eligible, you had shortstops hitting .372 and hitting 40 homers 4 years in a row. There numbers we good for the time they were playing, but the game had evolved by the time they were eligible. And they didn't put together enough "great" seasons. They had one .900+ ops season between them. Morgan was .06 away from having 5 straight. Chase Utley already has 5
    Put me on record. Prince Fielder will still OPS 850+ in years 7-8-9 of this contract. (sucks that my signature has to stay this for 7 years now)

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    Quote Originally Posted by will the thrill View Post
    They had one .900+ ops season between them. Morgan was .06 away from having 5 straight. Chase Utley already has 5
    Chase Utley is doing it in a hitters park and in a hitter's era relative to the 80's. Don't get me wrong, I think Utley was a better hitter during that 5-year stretch than Whitaker's or Trammell's best 5-year stretch, but it isn't as great a difference as the difference in .900 OPS seasons implies. Man, looking at stats - Utley sure got hit by a bunch of pitches...

    Joe Morgan is an all-time great, and is at least a top 5 2nd baseman of all time. He is not the standard for the HoF. If someone matches what Morgan did in context, then that person is in the Hall first ballot without question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor City Sonics View Post
    If Lou, Alan and Jack had played in New York, Boston or Baltimore, they'd be in.
    Right next to Don Mattingly?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biff Mayhem View Post
    Right next to Don Mattingly?
    If Mattingly had as good of a career as Lou or Tram, he would be in. Unfortunately for Mattingly, he had 4 great years, and not much else after that.
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    The single most inequity in all of sports history? Ryne Sandberg is a 1st ballot HOF'er. Lou Whitaker gets less than 5% on the 1st ballot and isn't eligible for future votes. One can argue that Sandberg was better, maybe they are right, though I disagree. But there's no arguing that the difference between the two players was material enough for this type of discrepancy in HOF voting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballmich View Post
    If Mattingly had as good of a career as Lou or Tram, he would be in. Unfortunately for Mattingly, he had 4 great years, and not much else after that.
    If Mattingly had similar WAR to Tram and Lou, he would have eye-popping offensive numbers, and that is why he would be in the hall, not because he was a Yankee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ballmich View Post
    The single most inequity in all of sports history? Ryne Sandberg is a 1st ballot HOF'er. Lou Whitaker gets less than 5% on the 1st ballot and isn't eligible for future votes. One can argue that Sandberg was better, maybe they are right, though I disagree. But there's no arguing that the difference between the two players was material enough for this type of discrepancy in HOF voting.
    It was that east coast bias.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bigglesworth View Post
    If Mattingly had similar WAR to Tram and Lou, he would have eye-popping offensive numbers, and that is why he would be in the hall, not because he was a Yankee.
    If Mattingly had not been a Yankee, he would have been off the ballot after the first year, and we'd no longer be talking about him other than in context of his managerial job.
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    Please, you are talking about a guy who had an OPS+ 150 (and a WAR of 28) over a 5-year stretch and a career OPS+ of 127. He was a hell of a ball-player and was done in by injury.

    Those guys stay on the ballot far more often than not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bigglesworth View Post
    If Mattingly had similar WAR to Tram and Lou, he would have eye-popping offensive numbers, and that is why he would be in the hall, not because he was a Yankee.
    First basemen with a career WAR between 60 - 75 (Trammell had a WAR of 67 and Whitaker had a career WAR of 71):

    Frank Thomas
    Jim Thome
    Johnny Mize
    Rafeal Palmeiro
    Eddie Murray
    Willie McCovey

    So, yeah, there are some hall of famers there. Is Baltimore part of the east coast bias?

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    I'll also note that Willie Randolph has a career WAR of 63. Spent almost all of his career with the Yankees.

    Got 5 HoF votes. 5.

    He is almost as bad a snub as Whitaker.

    Maybe it is just that players who derive significant value from defense and on base skills have historically been over-looked?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ballmich View Post
    If Mattingly had as good of a career as Lou or Tram, he would be in. Unfortunately for Mattingly, he had 4 great years, and not much else after that.
    I really believe Lou was hurt just by the way he moved. He was just one of those people who got there without ever looking like it was a labor or required a dive. Anticipation and a great 1st step at the beginning of the play rather than the drama at the point of the catch. He just vacuumed up the ball as though it had been hit right at him. Completely unimpressive, completely effective. Also a 3rd baseman's arm playing second but such a smooth subtle delivery you never noticed that either unless you were looking for it. I imagine the degree to which Trammell and Whitaker were both pretty much old school, stay on your feet to field the ball IFs, both have been hurt by the perception they were not as good fielders as they were.

    Watching a guy like Whitaker makes you skeptical that the amount of apparent motion your eye sees from a player is necessarily the best tell of his actual range.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bigglesworth View Post
    I'll also note that Willie Randolph has a career WAR of 63. Spent almost all of his career with the Yankees.

    Got 5 HoF votes. 5.

    He is almost as bad a snub as Whitaker.

    Maybe it is just that players who derive significant value from defense and on base skills have historically been over-looked?
    So I understand that all the great 80's IFs were undervalued in the years immediately after their retirements due to the steroid power explosion. But are so many members of BBWA too dumb to figure it out and do a fairer re-evaluation today in retrospect?
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    Speaking of Whitaker's apparent lack of range, once they had Jack Morris on a Tigers broadcast - it was probably 15 years ago or something - and a second baseman made a nice play (I think) at which point Jack went, unprompted, into what seemed like a 5 minute discussion about how Whitaker was lazy and didn't get to a bunch of balls that he should have and cost him (Jack) a bunch of hits over the years.

    I remember that because:

    a. at the time I knew Whitaker appeared to be a pretty effective fielder statistically, and I remember Lou being pretty smooth (though relatively few games were televised in the 80's and I attended far fewer) so I wondered then if it was based in part on the not diving thing, and

    b. it was just another example in my mind of Jack throwing teammates under the bus and making it about him. The play in question had nothing to do with Lou or Jack, yet it somehow became a discussion about how Lou screwed Jack.


    WRT b., am I the only one who remembers Jack whining about lack of run support or defense when he was with the Tigers? He seemingly would do it once or twice a year, usually when he hit a rough patch. In retrospect, he got great run support and defense throughout his career, by and large. Maybe I am being to hard on him.
    Last edited by Mr. Bigglesworth; 01-08-2013 at 05:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bigglesworth View Post
    Speaking of Whitaker's apparent lack of range, once they had Jack Morris on a Tigers broadcast and it was probably the late 90's or early 00's and a second baseman made a nice play, I think, at which point Jack went, unprompted, into what seemed like a 5 minute discussion about how Whitaker was lazy and didn't get to a bunch of balls that he should have and cost him (Jack) a bunch of hits over the years.
    Ha. Jack gave up a bunch of hits because I have never seen a pitcher more stubborn about throwing hittable pitches on 0-2 counts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gehringer_2 View Post
    So I understand that all the great 80's IFs were undervalued in the years immediately after their retirements due to the steroid power explosion. But are so many members of BBWA too dumb to figure it out and do a fairer re-evaluation today in retrospect?
    Look, they just put Jim Rice in. Jack Morris is a likely candidate to go in this year.

    Those guys were good players - I'm not trying to say they aren't. But the fact those guys got (or will get) in while others who seemingly are more to much more deserving didn't receive any voting support suggests to me the BBWAA as a group are not interested in doing fairer re-evaluations and are willing, as a group, to be swayed by narratives, like Jim Rice was the most feared hitter in baseball when he played or Jack Morris was the winningest pitcher in the 80's.
    Last edited by Mr. Bigglesworth; 01-08-2013 at 05:09 PM.

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    I think over the years my opinion has changed. I am certain I've had an "Ozzy Smith backflip" complaint on the boards over the years.

    I think this:
    Whitaker & Tram - Maybe. If I was pressed to vote, I'd have to think about it deeper than I am right now. But regardless what I come up with an answer, I understand the other side has a legit beef as well. So I'm not going to be too hard core about my final opinion.

    Morris - No.

    Again, as I have for at least 10 years now, I think Bill Freehan has the biggest beef of any longtime Tiger player. After him, it's probably Tommy Bridges.
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    Bill James has been brought up and someone brought up his Historical Abstracts.

    If you get a chance to get them cheaply one day, get them. He had two versions and while there's a lot of overlap, both are well worth getting. And it's not all statistical stuff either. And they aren't bibles either. His word isn't God. But he has his opinions out there and you can read them, agree or disagree which is fine with me.

    I bet a couple local libraries probably have one of the two as well.
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    Based on everything I have read, I think:

    a. James genuinely tries to be intellectually honest,
    b. I think he takes time to think about the implications of his analyses,
    c. and I think he is generally willing to admit the shortcomings or inherent flaws to his analyses as well as admit when he has made mistakes.

    Say what you will, but I think relatively few commentators in general, and baseball specifically, can accurately have that said about them.

    I think the guy forms opinions based on his analyses rather than adjusting his analyses to support his opinions. I respect that, and I think it is harder to do than it sounds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bigglesworth View Post
    Based on everything I have read, I think:

    a. James genuinely tries to be intellectually honest,
    b. I think he takes time to think about the implications of his analyses,
    c. and I think he is generally willing to admit the shortcomings or inherent flaws to his analyses as well as admit when he has made mistakes.

    Say what you will, but I think relatively few commentators in general, and baseball specifically, can accurately have that said about them.

    I think the guy forms opinions based on his analyses rather than adjusting his analyses to support his opinions. I respect that, and I think it is harder to do than it sounds.
    He'll also take a shot at Sparky anytime he has a chance.

    That probably should be d)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gehringer_2 View Post
    But are so many members of BBWA too dumb to figure it out and do a fairer re-evaluation today in retrospect?
    Yes. Read enough of their material and it tells you they're nice guys but far from rocket scientists.
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  38. #38
    TigersSlappy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DTroppens View Post
    I think over the years my opinion has changed. I am certain I've had an "Ozzy Smith backflip" complaint on the boards over the years.

    I think this:
    Whitaker & Tram - Maybe. If I was pressed to vote, I'd have to think about it deeper than I am right now. But regardless what I come up with an answer, I understand the other side has a legit beef as well. So I'm not going to be too hard core about my final opinion.

    Morris - No.

    Again, as I have for at least 10 years now, I think Bill Freehan has the biggest beef of any longtime Tiger player. After him, it's probably Tommy Bridges.
    I think based on their careers and who's already in that Whitaker and Trammell are no brainers. I can't see any valid argument based on numbers to keep them out.

    Morris doesn't have the case Schilling or Wells has, and I think all 3 are marginal HoFer's.

    I felt the same about Freehan for a long time, but really think I could construct a better HoF case for Mickey Lolich based on numbers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bigglesworth View Post
    Speaking of Whitaker's apparent lack of range, once they had Jack Morris on a Tigers broadcast - it was probably 15 years ago or something - and a second baseman made a nice play (I think) at which point Jack went, unprompted, into what seemed like a 5 minute discussion about how Whitaker was lazy and didn't get to a bunch of balls that he should have and cost him (Jack) a bunch of hits over the years.

    I remember that because:

    a. at the time I knew Whitaker appeared to be a pretty effective fielder statistically, and I remember Lou being pretty smooth (though relatively few games were televised in the 80's and I attended far fewer) so I wondered then if it was based in part on the not diving thing, and

    b. it was just another example in my mind of Jack throwing teammates under the bus and making it about him. The play in question had nothing to do with Lou or Jack, yet it somehow became a discussion about how Lou screwed Jack.


    WRT b., am I the only one who remembers Jack whining about lack of run support or defense when he was with the Tigers? He seemingly would do it once or twice a year, usually when he hit a rough patch. In retrospect, he got great run support and defense throughout his career, by and large. Maybe I am being to hard on him.
    I remember on a couple of occasions Morris losing his cool when Brookens made errors behind him and it seemed to affect his pitching.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by TigersSlappy View Post
    I I could construct a better HoF case for Mickey Lolich based on numbers.
    Mickey's lack of love mystifies me. IIRC he retired as the all time K leader from the south side. If you are going to ding his teammate Freehand for lack of counting stats despite his dominance over his actual playing years, then a counting stat retiring as K leader ought count for a little love.
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