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six-hopper

Lowering the bar for the Hall of Fame

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9 minutes ago, bobrob2004 said:

There's really no difference between looking at WAR or WAA, you're just moving the scale up from "replacement-level player" to "league average player."  When comparing players, WAA isn't going to make one player look any better than just looking at WAR.  

Baseball-reference calculates it's WAR based on ERA while FanGraphs calculates it based on FIP.  Lolich's FIP was better than his ERA, which is why his fWAR is better than his rWAR.  

The difference between WAR and WAA is how players with different playing time are compared: 

http://www.detroittigertales.com/2014/07/war-baseline-its-all-about-playing-time.html#comment-form

Sometimes, it can make a meaningful difference.  I think WAA is better for the HoF because you aren't really interested in Above Replacement for Hall of Famers.  You already know they are all good, so seeing how far above average they are may be more relevant.  

 

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1 hour ago, bobrob2004 said:

There's really no difference between looking at WAR or WAA, you're just moving the scale up from "replacement-level player" to "league average player."  When comparing players, WAA isn't going to make one player look any better than just looking at WAR.  

WAR and WAA do not move in tandem with each other, and the difference between them is not moot.

As of today, Mike Trout and Willie Davis have basically the same WAR: 61. That means in terms of wins above replacement, their careers are equal. But Davis acquired his WAR across twice the playing time that Trout has. Trout has concentrated his wins in a much shorter timeframe because he is so much greater than the average player than was Davis who, although he had an objectively great career himself, also had stretches early and then again late in his career when he was barely average, even though he was adding a couple WAR to his total each of those years.

This is why Trout's WAA is 46.0, and Davis's is only 26.4, and why even though their WAR is basically equal, Trout's career is far greater than Davis's, even at half the playing time.

WAR rewards longevity; WAA rewards excellence.

1 hour ago, bobrob2004 said:

Baseball-reference calculates it's WAR based on ERA while FanGraphs calculates it based on FIP.  Lolich's FIP was better than his ERA, which is why his fWAR is better than his rWAR.  

OK, but I wonder there might be more to it then just that? After all, that's a big enough difference to move Lolich from a tie for 114th on B-R to 39th on FG, or IOW, the difference between outside-looking-in and in-with-a-bullet.

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2 hours ago, chasfh said:

OK, but I wonder there might be more to it then just that? After all, that's a big enough difference to move Lolich from a tie for 114th on B-R to 39th on FG, or IOW, the difference between outside-looking-in and in-with-a-bullet.

Just put together a quick table melding fWAR and bWAR for every pitcher in history with over 1000 IP (n=1225).

Overall, pitchers fWAR correlates strongly with FIP- (r=0.90), and pitchers bWAR correlates strongly with ERA+ (r=0.89). But things start to fray a bit when you review individual situations that shouldn't make sense.

A good example is our old friend, Jack Morris. His ERA- and FIP-, according to Fangraphs, are identical at 95, and his ERA+ is 105. Either way you slice it, Jack is a barely above average run preventer. Given that B-R WAR is based on runs allowed and FG WAR on FIP, you'd think the WARs should be nearly identical. Instead, his FG WAR is 55.8, and his B-R WAR is only 44.0. That's the difference between "mmmmmaybe Hall of Fame?" and "definitely Hall of Famous".

One other example is Elroy Face. His ERA- is 92 and FIP- is 91, close enough to be identical; his ERA+ is 109, so that checks out. And yet, his FG WAR is only 10.2, and his B-R WAR is 21.2, or more than double! And even stranger, his difference goes in the opposite direction from that of Jack Morris, so there's no consistency there, either.

Bottom line, though, is that there's something more going into the differences than just runs allowed versus FIP. 

I find this fascinating, and I'm going to keep looking into it.

 

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On ‎7‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 2:29 PM, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Jack Morris pitched for the Reds?

He signed with them and went to camp, but never pitched in the regular season.  I just remember he shaved.  And I was a young kid too.

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On 7/14/2018 at 8:31 AM, Gehringer_2 said:

and yet the opposite argument is always used against Freehan, who was by far the best at his position in his league for a number of years - 10 straight ASGs and two top 3 MVP finishes at a position that produces few MVPs, but only played 13 full seasons.

Freehan is the Tiger not currently in the HoF that is most deserving of it.

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3 minutes ago, holygoat said:

Freehan is the Tiger not currently in the HoF that is most deserving of it.

...other than Whitaker.

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24 minutes ago, LooseGoose said:

...other than Whitaker.

It's close, but I think Freehan's exclusion is more egregious. I'm not gonna make a stink if someone thinks Lou deserves it more, though. They both deserve to be in.

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1 hour ago, tiger337 said:

 

10684-616025Bk.jpgjack-morris-of-the-cincinnati-reds-durin

That looks weird.

So, did Morris cross the picket line in the '94 offseason?  Per bbref he signed with the Reds on December 22, 1994.  He never actually pitched for CIncy in a regular season game.  All of his official stats end at 1994.

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tiger337, those photographs are a great find.  I never knew about the Cincinnati connection.  I see that he was already using Just For Men there, like he probably still is.  Mercifully the Blue Jays 86'd him from their occasional broadcast crew quite a while ago, he was just terrible.

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In one of those FSD HOF montages earlier this year they showed a clip of Morris from an interview prior to his first start.  He didn't have a mustache then either.  The gist of it was that it was supposed to be a Fidrych start but they announced he wouldn't be pitching and Morris would.  Fans were booing. It was at home.  He was unrecognizable.

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14 hours ago, holygoat said:

It's close, but I think Freehan's exclusion is more egregious. I'm not gonna make a stink if someone thinks Lou deserves it more, though. They both deserve to be in.

While Freehan has a case, I think that Whitaker's is far stronger.  Under Similarity Scores (which admittedly are based only on offensive stats, but with a positional adjustment), none of the ten catchers most similar to Bill Freehan are in the Hall of Fame.

For Whitaker, though, the three players most similar to him in baseball history are Hall of Famers, as are five of the six most similar, and six of the nine most similar.  The most similar player to Whitaker is Ryne Sandberg  (and the most similar to Sandberg is Whitaker).  Yet Sandberg got in pretty easily, garnering 49 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility, and making it in on his third ballot, while in his first year Whitaker, of course, did not get even the measly 5 percent needed to remain on the ballot.

Also, on the defensive side, Whitaker has a higher career Defensive WAR than Sandberg (16.3 to 13.5).  And even though Whitaker played more seasons than Sandberg, the last few years of his career did not add anything to his defensive numbers, so in a "head-to-head" comparison there is a case that Whitaker was the better defender despite Sandberg's great reputation as a glove man. 

Bottom line, Whitaker's treatment by the Hall of Fame voters is at least arguably the shabbiest of all time, particularly if you exclude the absurd handling of a few of the many juicers from the Steroid Era.

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Freehan spent the prime seasons of his career in arguably the most offensively depressed environment in the 20th century.

All the guys on his similarity scores list were both solid offensive catchers and played in much better offensive environments during their prime seasons.

 

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That's a fair statement, because I don't think Similarity Scores involves an Offensive Environment or Park Effect adjustment.  And it's not that I don't think Freehan has a solid case.  He was almost certainly the best all-around catcher in baseball for quite a few years before Johnny Bench arrived.  There are only 18 catchers in the Hall of Fame, and I certainly can't say that Bill Feeehan doesn't deserve to be on the list.  

A lot of very good catchers have probably been overlooked because they had relatively short careers and suffered the effects of the physical toll they had to pay to play the position.  But Freehan was an incredibly durable backstop.  In at least one of his seasons, he led the Tigers in Games Played, and he played 155 games a season for two consecutive years (not all of them behind the plate, but a lot of them, and still, 155 is 155).   Those are,  to say the least, pretty unusual feats for a catcher. 

And if Rick Ferrell can get in, it's not easy to justify keeping Freehan out.

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If Rick Ferrell is the standard for catcher, 40 guys deserve inclusion.

Rick Ferrell was a really good catcher, but his inclusion was a regrettable mistake, and he might have been the first person to tell you that.

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I think Whitaker also suffered from the fact that right when he was eligible for the HOF was right around the time guys like Arod, Tejada, Nomar among a host other middle infielders started blowing up so Whitaker's comparably modest numbers may have skewed voters vision.  

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18 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

If Rick Ferrell is the standard for catcher, 40 guys deserve inclusion.

Rick Ferrell was a really good catcher, but his inclusion was a regrettable mistake, and he might have been the first person to tell you that.

Maybe the committee mixed up his offensive stats with those of his brother the pitcher.

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17 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Whitaker's bigger issue was he never had a dominant season or seasons.

That and he didn't pander to the media.  And he forgot his jersey.

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10 minutes ago, six-hopper said:

Maybe the committee mixed up his offensive stats with those of his brother the pitcher.

Rick was the first to tell you his brother was the better player.

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26 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Whitaker's bigger issue was he never had a dominant season or seasons.

I was just going to say the same thing about not only him, but also about Bill Freehan too: neither of them led the league in anything, and despite the fact that Freehan wrote a Ball Four-lite book right around the same time ("Behind The Mask", remember that?), they were both relatively invisible to the HoF voters.

That said, I made the case for Bill Freehan on this very forum to go into the Hall of Fame, changing my own mind about his Hall suitability in the process. Take a look at his WAR ranking among catchers and Freehan's 12th, with the only guy above him not in the Hall being Thurman Munson (who himself was on pace to become the greatest Yankee catcher in history). Switch over the Wins Above Average and Freehan's 13th (19th-Century Charlie Bennett leapfrogs him). Whether you like WAR or WAA, though, Freehan is almost certainly going to end up have more wins than Yadier Molina once he retires, and Molina is going to sail into the Hall as the next great FU to the analytics crowd by the writers. So why not put Freehan in, too? When is that era due for their next veterans' vote?

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