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Friday, December 31, 2010

Hall of Fame candidates.

Originally posted Friday, December 31, 2010.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/mvp_cya.shtml

This is kind of interesting for modern players. It may say something about how well regarded they were when they played.

Pitchers Cy Young award career rank:
Kevin Brown #40
Jack Morris #71
Bert Blyleven #104

MVP award career rank:
Dave Parker #28
Jeff Bagwell #35
Dale Murphy #69
Don Mattingly #76
Mark McGwire #93
Roberto Alomar #100
Rafael Palmeiro #194

Barry Larkin (214), Edgar Martinez (234) & Tim Raines (242): not in top 200.
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Election rules:

http://baseballhall.org/hall-famers/rules-election/bbwaa

Any candidate receiving votes on seventy-five percent (75%) of the ballots cast shall be elected to membership in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

What happens if only four people vote and a player gets three votes?

Voting: Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

There are six criteria: two about how well he played and four about the type of person he was.

A baseball player must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning twenty (20) years before and ending five (5) years prior to election.

Players are eligible for 15 years, years 6 through 20 following retirement.

Electors: Only active and honorary members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, who have been active baseball writers for at least ten (10) years, shall be eligible to vote. They must have been active as baseball writers and members of the Association for a period beginning at least ten (10) years prior to the date of election in which they are voting.

So those voting may never have seen a candidate play.
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Blyleven will probably get elected, not because he should be but for some odd reason his Hall of Fame vote percentage has increased in recent years as memory of his accomplishments fades. Blyleven's best CY finishes: 3,3,4,7.

http://baseballhall.org/hall-famers/bbwaa-voting/player?player=Blyleven,++Bert.

Blyleven has gone from a low of 14.1% in year two (1999) of his 15 years of eligibility to a high of 74.2% in year 12 (2010). Why? Did his performance improve? Writers who voted for the CY award didn't think he was so great while he was pitching. Blyleven's ERA+ rank: #118. Those who knew him best had him well below 20% for his first three years of eligibility. Those who know him least have him above 60% in years ten, eleven and twelve. That disconnect should be explained. Maybe players should be eligible for only five years. That might mitigate the memory factor. I don't think any player has received 70% without eventually being elected. I think voters feel guilty if a player misses by one or two votes and don't want to feel that he/she personally prevented that individual's election.

Roberto Alomar has decent credentials among second basemen (OPS+ #10, WAR #14) but his MVP rank suggests that during his playing days writers had some of the reservations that I had: he dogged it both at bat and in the field for the SEVEN teams for which he played. Alomar lasted five seasons with Toronto, three for San Diego, Cleveland and Baltimore, two with the Mets and White Sox and 38 games with Arizona.

Alomar's infamous spitting in the face of an umpire does not help but that's not why I would not vote for him. Alomar often seemed indifferent while playing.

I see Tim Raines (242) as the poor man's Rickey Henderson (56).

I'd vote for McGwire after he has clearly come clean about his use of performance enhancing stuff. I don't mind his using. I object to his deception and obfuscation.

I would vote for Jeff Bagwell and Barry Larkin.

Bagwell may suffer from having played in the steroid era. At least one writer has indicated that he will not vote for Bagwell simply because of when he played. Guilt by association. Seems ugly. Bagwell's numbers easily put him among the top ten first basemen of all time: OPS+ #7, WAR #4.

Larkin is the anti-Alomar. Larkin played his entire career with the Cincinnati Reds, was NL MVP, team leader, solid citizen and among the top ten SS of all time: OPS+ #9, WAR #8. I'd vote for Larkin 10 times before I'd vote for Alomar.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Increase active roster.

Each MLB team has a 40 man roster with 25 players eligible to play a particular game subject to other rules.

Why not increase the active roster from 25 to 30 but only dress 25 per game?

This could remove staring pitchers who are not starting that game. They almost never play anyway.

It would also remove relief pitchers who would not be used. And position players with minor injuries or whom for some other reason would not be used.

Teams could easily carry three catchers.

The quality of the game would improve: healthier, better rested players, more specialists, more flexibility for manager moves.

The immediate reaction is probably: cost! Maybe cost would be higher. Maybe not.

Five more players would be paid the MLB minimum: $375,000? That's $1,875,000. Let's round it up to two million dollars. A hidden cost down the road would be many more players eligible for a pension but that could be negotiated.

Two million dollars sounds like very little for what could be a big benefit: fewer injuries to REALLY well paid players. Plus, I've long thought that MLB could get major concessions from the players association by increasing the roster from 25 to 26. One extra roster spot impacts many players, maybe most. Players who are trying to make it. Players who are trying to hang on.

Adding FIVE roster spots impacts 90% of players, all but the elite. MLB could get MAJOR concessions for sure.

Oh, and eliminate that stupid September roster increase. Why should the roster rule be so different for one of the six months? Watching Texas manager Ron Washington make a travesty of that in September 2010 staring me thinking about this.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bob Costas sucks!

1960 World Series game 7: why didn't Stengel use Duren?  FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2010

I can only hope that Bob Costas reads this and does more than his usual sloppy job of repeating myths and mistakes. For instance, I expect Costas to mention that the Yanks could have won the WS if Stengel had started Whitey Ford in games 1, 4, 7. WRONG. I debunked that years ago. Bob, read the 1960 part of this:

https://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dcqxf6mr_52f5smrvcq

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Casey Stengel
Baseball Digest cover, October 1953
Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
Bob Costas really sucks. During the long awaited re-broadcast of game seven 1960 WS not only did Costas repeat all the usual drivel about Ford but he actually asked Bobby Richardson why Casey Stengel didn't have Ford relieve after pitching nine innings the previous day. However, neither the word Ryne nor the word Duren passed his lips. Dunderhead never speculated about why Duren did not pitch in game 7.

Costas also repeated the junk about Jim Coates not covering first base right after Coates is seen covering first base. Wake the heck up! I'd contact Costas directly but he displayed no e-mail, twitter, etc. on his MLB network profile.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Yankees beware: Jeter's production is likely to decline.

Note: ESPN reports that the Yankees are caving and increasing their three year offer to Derek Jeter by one or two million dollars per year.

Derived from www.baseball-reference.com

For single seasons, From 1901 to 2010, Played 50% of games at SS, (requiring Qualified for league batting title):

Jeter’s 2010 season is one of 60 for old shortstops out of 1,677 for all shortstops since 1901. 60 / 1,677 = 0.0357781753. That puts Jeter’s 2010 season in the top 3.5% based on age.

Based on OPS+, Jeter, among the twenty-one 36 year old SS, is number 27 out of 60 SS seasons 36 or older.

OPS+ since 1950 for SS 36 or older: 25 seasons, 11 SS

Derek Jeter (36) 90
Omar Vizquel (37,38,39,40) 99,82,93,61
Royce Clayton (36) 69
Barry Larkin (38) 74
Ozzie Smith (36,37,38,39) 112,105,88,78
Dave Concepcion (36,37) 74,78
Larry Bowa (36,37) 69,78
Luis Aparicio (36,37,39) 114,62,75
Maury Wills (36,37) 94,80
Pee Wee Reese (36,37) 103,74
Eddie Joost (36) 118

Most dropped significantly or did not have enough PA to qualify for leading the league in batting average.