Comments on: Jim Edmonds’ Hall of Fame chances http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4708 This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6 By: Zachary http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4708/comment-page-1#comment-12033 Mon, 15 Mar 2010 13:08:16 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4708#comment-12033 Andy, that's probably the first legit reason I've heard for "Yes, but not on the first ballot". Fair point.

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By: Andy http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4708/comment-page-1#comment-12032 Mon, 15 Mar 2010 12:52:03 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4708#comment-12032 Many writers feel that 5 years (the waiting period after retirement) is not enough time to put a player's career in proper historical perspective, which is a big reason why vote totals tend to go up over time.

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By: Pat http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4708/comment-page-1#comment-12031 Mon, 15 Mar 2010 12:25:26 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4708#comment-12031 There should be no such thing as "Yes, but not on the first ballot." That is a stupid statement. A player is either in or not in. Should not matter who else is on the ballot.

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By: Baseball-Reference Blog » Blog Archive » Poll: Tim Raines and the Hall of Fame http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4708/comment-page-1#comment-12030 Mon, 15 Mar 2010 12:10:40 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4708#comment-12030 [...] our recent Hall of Fame debate on Jim Edmonds, I decided to open a similar discussion on a player about whom I'm much more curious: Tim [...]

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By: Joe R http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4708/comment-page-1#comment-11827 Fri, 05 Mar 2010 22:14:27 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4708#comment-11827 Andy @ 59

Yeah, but look at the demographic here, most of us are on board with the numbers that value Edmonds. Once someone pulls the "impact" card, he's done.

And FWIW, FRAA has Edmonds as a +91 in his career w/ a 105 rate (5 runs above average per 100 DG's). If the voters really want to assert themselves as anti-steroid, they should vote for a guy who would've been a lock had others not been juicing.

To think, Teixeira pre-decline is a 136, I bet a few more good seasons in NY and he'll get in. Sucks that Edmonds was underrated.

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By: Sweet Uncle Lou’s Friday Roundup: The “What the Hell is a ‘Rising Starlin’” Edition | Hire Jim Essian http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4708/comment-page-1#comment-11820 Fri, 05 Mar 2010 17:18:02 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4708#comment-11820 [...] Jim Edmonds…Hall of Famer? [...]

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By: Andy http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4708/comment-page-1#comment-11819 Fri, 05 Mar 2010 17:14:46 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4708#comment-11819 Nearly 500 votes in, Edmonds has only about 44% yes. Of course, if a player on the ballot for the first time got 44% of the vote, he'd have an excellent shot of making it in the HOF before his 15 years of eligibility expired.

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By: Zachary http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4708/comment-page-1#comment-11803 Fri, 05 Mar 2010 06:52:34 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4708#comment-11803 Great post, Tomepp. (And I do love that pastadiving joke!)

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By: Andy http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4708/comment-page-1#comment-11799 Fri, 05 Mar 2010 01:42:30 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4708#comment-11799 Nice explanation Tomepp, particularly citing Ripken and Jeter as examples. I went through exactly the paths you describe about those guys in terms of thinking they were one way and then coming to understand that they were the opposite.

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By: Tomepp http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/4708/comment-page-1#comment-11798 Fri, 05 Mar 2010 00:33:05 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=4708#comment-11798 Anthony: I watch a lot of games, too. And without a scorecard, I couldn’t tell you a .280 hitter from a .260 hitter. (The difference is about 1 hit every 10 to 12 games.) Try determining this with a minor league team or a local softball or Little League team some time. A large part of the reason we know the "good" (not great) hitters from the "mediocre" hitters is because we're told who they are by announcers and others who keep stats on such things. Observation - without record keeping - will not allow you such accuracy. As to defense, I certainly couldn't tell you who makes more plays per opportunity without keeping records. I can tell you who looks like they’re making spectacular plays, but that is a matter of perception, not fact.

That was the argument made for years why Ripken didn't deserve the Gold Glove at shortstop - he didn't look like he was making spectacular diving plays as often as other regular shortstops. In fact, when you examine the numbers, his fielding range was among the best of his era. Cal used smart field positioning and his size (6’3” – unheard of for a SS at the time) to not have to make diving plays; he just make the tough plays look routine. The converse is true of Derek Jeter. He looks like he’s making spectacular plays on a weekly basis, when in fact many of those diving plays would be routine outs for most good-fielding-range shortstops. In an earlier blog comment one of the regular bloggers recalled a joke about a kid wanting to see the player with his favorite nickname, “pastadiving” Jeter. Observation is not what it seems to be.

I am a teacher by profession. While I can tell you the “A+” students without referring to my gradebook, when it comes to the borderline cases on a student who is wavering between an A and a B, I have to go and look at his or her grades, evaluate the test scores, etc. Sometimes I’m even surprised and discover that a student whom my gut said was in no-way an A student has in fact a solid A, or a student whom I thought was surely a solid A turns out to only have a B+ or even a B (but sure talks impressively). I can’t rely on my observations without having solid quantifiable data to back it up when I assign grades in my classes.

Also, as to the Bambino an Hammerin’ Hank not being unanimous picks, I don’t think that any of the voters felt that either didn’t deserve to get in the Hall (except, perhaps, due to bigotry in Aaron’s case). But BBWAA members have this weird concept about being a “first ballot” HoFer. There have been numerous documented cases where writers have said that they felt a guy was HoF worthy, but did not vote for him on the first ballot because they felt the guy was not a “first ballot HoFer” (like there’s a difference). I’m sure that by the second or third vote, Ruth and Aaron would have been unanimous selections – it’s just that that second or third vote was unnecessary. Which also brings me to another point – it is worth discussing (as I just did).

DoubleDiamond: Relying on BA to evaluate a player is like relying on EPA mileage estimates to evaluate a car – it’s nowhere close to giving you a complete picture. Any reasonable consumer will consider horsepower, comfort, safety, reputation for quality, price, and a whole host of other criteria as well. BA was actually somewhat more informative back a hundred-plus years ago when the stat debuted. Back then, guys didn’t hit for power, and runs were scored primarily by stringing together lots of hits (plus good base running skills). Costing your team outs (which lowers your BA) was more harmful than getting extra bases (which does not affect your BA) was helpful. A .350 hitter in the context of the 19th century game was better than a .300 hitter with some extra power. Also, it was a reasonable first-effort to get a stat that measured a player’s rate of production rather than just his total production.

In the modern game, however, BA is not a particularly good tool for evaluating a player’s value to his team. (It is still a reasonable tool for evaluating a particular skill – the ability to make contact.) In the modern game, extra-base power is more important than it was back in the 1800’s. The ability to draw a walk – historically attributed just to poor control on the pitcher’s part – is also an important asset for batters. Neither of these are accounted for in BA. My pet example of the weakness of the BA stat is Al Oliver. Al was a perennial .300 hitter, but rarely drew a walk (only twice did he draw more than 40 walks in a season), and had relatively little power (only once did he hit more than 20 homers – and that year he hit only 22; to be fair, Al did hit a bunch of doubles). If you consider BA alone, Al should have been a perennial MVP candidate, as he finished in the top 10 in BA nine times, winning the BA crown once. But he only finished in the top 10 in MVP voting three times (7th twice and 3rd once), and was generally never a serious MVP threat with the exception of 1982. He probably would have finished even lower in the MVP voting in more recent years with today’s more “stat savvy” BBWAA voters. Other than 1982, he only finished in the top 10 in either OBP (On Base Percentage) or SLG (Slugging Average) once; 9th in SLG in 1974. In OPS – which combines OBP and SLG – Al only finished in the top 10 in 1982. (He finished 4th in OPS that year, and 3rd in the MVP voting). There are probably even better examples of players who point out the flaws of BA, but Al Oliver has been my “poster child” for neigh three decades now, so I’m sticking with him.

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