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POLL: Lou Whitaker and the Hall of Fame

Posted by Andy on October 26, 2010

I know, I know, you Alan Trammell fans are angry that I'm doing a poll on Whitaker and not on Trammell. Deal with it.

Lou Whitaker played his entire 19-year career with the Detroit Tigers as their second baseman. Despite playing almost entirely prior to the recent high-offense era and at a position not normally associated with offensive production, Whitaker was an above-average hitter for his career, to the tune of a 116 OPS+ and peak years in the 130-140 OPS+ range.

Whitaker was AL Rookie of the Year in 1978, a 5-time All-Star, 3-time Gold Glove winner, and a 4-time Silver Slugger winner.

He walked more than he struck out and got on base a lot usually as the Tigers' leadoff or #2 hitter.

However, in his first year of Hall of Fame eligibility, Whitaker received just 2.9% of the vote and was removed from the ballot. Was this an oversight? Let's discuss and vote in the poll.

For Lou Whitaker in the Hall of Fame

  • Whitaker has played the 4th-most games in history at second base. He's just behind Roberto Alomar. You might think Alomar was a much better offensive player than Whitaker but in fact they have identical career OPS+ of 116.
  • Among 2B, minimum 5000 career plate appearances, Whitaker's OPS+ is in the top 20, ahead of Ryne Sandberg and Alfonso Soriano.
  • Whitaker's defense gives him a boost in WAR. Despite having very little in the way of Gray Ink or Black Ink, Whitaker's WAR of 69.70 is 84th all-time among position players. That puts him ahead of a lot of HOFers including Brooks Robinson, Tony Gwynn, Carlton Fisk, and Eddie Murray.

Perhaps the best argument is that Whitaker's career totals were not achieved through a few great seasons or a really high peak. Rather, he was consistently good for a long, long, time. Check out the leaders among most career seasons with a WAR of at least 3:

Rk Yrs From To Age
1 Barry Bonds 20 1987 2007 22-42 Ind. Seasons
2 Ty Cobb 20 1907 1927 20-40 Ind. Seasons
3 Hank Aaron 19 1955 1973 21-39 Ind. Seasons
4 Willie Mays 19 1951 1971 20-40 Ind. Seasons
5 Tris Speaker 19 1909 1927 21-39 Ind. Seasons
6 Frank Robinson 18 1956 1974 20-38 Ind. Seasons
7 Eddie Collins 18 1909 1926 22-39 Ind. Seasons
8 Stan Musial 17 1942 1962 21-41 Ind. Seasons
9 Mel Ott 17 1928 1945 19-36 Ind. Seasons
10 Rickey Henderson 16 1980 1995 21-36 Ind. Seasons
11 Mickey Mantle 16 1952 1968 20-36 Ind. Seasons
12 Babe Ruth 16 1918 1934 23-39 Ind. Seasons
13 Lou Whitaker 15 1978 1993 21-36 Ind. Seasons
14 Joe Morgan 15 1965 1983 21-39 Ind. Seasons
15 Al Kaline 15 1955 1971 20-36 Ind. Seasons
16 Ted Williams 15 1939 1958 20-39 Ind. Seasons
17 Rogers Hornsby 15 1916 1931 20-35 Ind. Seasons
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/26/2010.

That's right: this list of 17 players, a virtual who's who of the greatest baseball players of all time, includes Lou Whitaker.

Against Lou Whitaker in the Hall of Fame:

  • The best argument against Whitaker is that while nobody would argue against him being a good player, he was merely good for the majority of his career. He had 3 or 4 standout seasons (1983, 1989, and 1991 certainly) but at his peak was regarded as among the best few second baseman in the game. He certainly never carried the reputation that Joe Morgan, Jeff Kent, or Roberto Alomar carried at times as a major offensive force in the game.
  • As mentioned above, Whitaker rarely was among the league leaders in anything. He was a steady offensive player but cracked the top 10 in the AL in RBI, HR, runs, hits, doubles, and triples just 9 times total (with zero first-place finishes.) It's tough to put a guy in the HOF when he wasn't great at anything, just good at most things.

Let's debate and vote!


This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 at 11:33 am and is filed under Hall of Fame. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

147 Responses to “POLL: Lou Whitaker and the Hall of Fame”

  1. @91, JohnQ -- One big difference between Whitaker and Roy White: Lou played 27% more games and had 29% more PAs. White's 1,881 career games would rank 37th out of 46 HOF outfielders; Whitaker's 2,390 games would rank 4th out of 16 HOF second basemen. That's a veritable chasm when we're comparing the HOF credentials of guys who had relatively low ceilings.

    But you probably meant only to counter my little exercise of "Lou vs. the WS champ" and show that it was not, in and of itself, very compelling. And that's fine; I certainly wouldn't call that post my Exhibit A in Lou's HOF case. Maybe Exhibit G.

    I posted that table because I'm trying to figure out how to generate discussion on this question:

    Why do so many people feel that a very long career, made up almost entirely of good seasons but with few or no MVP-caliber years, is inherently un-HOF-worthy? Why is "accumulator" or "compiler" a dirty word in the HOF debate, when the seasons involved are all good ones?

    Among HOF voters and also fans, there is a preference for high-ceiling players, which seems to be based on the assumption that such players are more integral to winning pennants. I want to challenge that assumption. Consider two second basemen with long careers and a 115 career OPS+:
    -- Player A has a couple of MVP-contender years, but also a few below-average seasons.
    -- Player B is a Whitaker type who has virtually nothing but good seasons, with several of All-Star caliber, but is never an MVP contender.

    It is not self-evident to me that a team's pennant expectation would be greater with Player A than with Player B.

  2. Mike felber
    yes superb players have decliend after age 33. Yor examples of Foxx and Mantle are valid Hornsby isn t.
    he spent most of his last years as a manager, although he appeared ins ome games very year. In 1930 he had a season long feusd with the manager, Mccarthy who sat him on the bench, he supplanted MCarthy as the manager at the ndo of the season in 1931 ahe was the player manager and for a guy in decline, he led the league in OBP, OPS and OPS plus....16 HRS 90 RBIs and 331. BA in 418 PAs, not too shabby for a guy in decline. The following eyars he was the manager of the Browns..enough said....

    Dick Allen doenbt belong in the same paragraph with Hornsby or Foxx or Mantle, they are among the pantheon of players.

    And why Mays and Aaron were so much better for 5 years or 6 years or 11 years or any part of Allen s career you want to choose? Those guys put up numbers and they played 150 or more games every year for 13 or 15 years conseecutively. THEY PLAYED!!!!!!!!!!!! After 65.....Allen didnt want to play a lot of the time.....and God knows how much motivating and or ass kisisng Chuck Tanner had to do in 72 to get an MVP season out of Allen

    part of my definition of a great baseball player
    he wants to play every day................he doesnt have to be motivated to an undue extent.

    Racism? You dont think Aaron amd Mays suffered racism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!They both played in the Negor Leagues edured racism and hostility for years in the majors and what Aaron endured in 73 was terrible.
    Just like Allen, mays and Aaron got called nigger...and worse...and they played 9 innings the next day and they hit the crap out of the ball and eventually the name calling stopped.

    Aaron amd Mays were GODS also.....Allen was a very, very talented player who oculd have been so much greater and the he didnt want to be.....

    Very, very good, occasionally great, yes.......but a HOFer....no.....no

  3. Autin, that's a fun game but it's not really a good HOF test. All it really tells me is that most WS teams in those years didn't have great 2B. No WS team as a stud player at every position. You could do this with any above average player, especially at the defensive positions. This makes sense when you think about it, because an above average player at any position could easily contribute to a championship team. The best teams are usually about who has the most above average players.

    Let's take Michael Young. He was better than 02 Eckstein, 03 Gonzalez, 04 Cabrera, 05 Uribe, 06 Eckstein, 07 Lugo, and if SF wins this year he'll have been better than Sandoval/Uribe at 3B. He wasn't better than 08 Rollins and 09 A-Rod, but had the Rays won in 08, and the Phillies had won in 09, he'd have been better than Bartlett and Feliz.

    Derrek Lee was better than 00 Tino Martinez, 01 Grace, 02 Spiezio, (03 he won it himself), 04 Millar, 05 Konerko, and 07 Youkilis. 09 Teixeira is pretty close, and if Texas wins this year he'll have been better than Mitch Moreland.

    Jason Varitek was better than 99 Posada/Girardi, 01 Damian Miller, 02 Bengie Molina, 03 Pudge, 05 Pierzynski, 06 Yadier Molina, and won it himself in 04 and 07.

    You can do this with plenty of guys who aren't Hall of Famers.

  4. BBWA is such a joke.

  5. John Autin,

    I was kind of playing devil's advocate with my Roy White comparison. I wasn't making a case for Roy White HOF or that Roy White was remotely as good or better than Lou Whitaker. Like I said I'm a pro-Whitaker guy for the HOF.

    I'll put it this way. Lou Whitaker had 69.7 career WAR. From 1975-2010 He's #1 among second basemen in career WAR. That's a 35 year sample size. I can't think of another player that was #1 in WAR at his position for 35 year stretch who isn't in the HOF or not even on a HOF ballot!

    Another way to look at it is Whitaker is second only to Joe Morgan among second basemen in Career WAR from 1930-2010. That's an 80 year sample size. I can't think of another player that's #2 in career WAR at his position and is not in the HOF or HOF ballot.

  6. Gabbo,

    I don't get your point against John Autin. Michael Young is playing 3b this year and yet you are comparing him to former WS SS until 08 and then a 3b in 09-10?

    If you go by career WAR, Derrek Lee has a 30.2 career WAR, Mark Grace had a 47.1 career WAR, Tex already has a 36.7 WAR and Youk is still relatively young and already has a 25 career WAR.

    Varitek has a career 23.1 WAR, I-Rod has a 67.7 career WAR, Posada has a 46 career WAR.

  7. What's not to get? Young played SS up through 2008 so I compared him to the shortstop for the World Series winners until then. The last two years he has played 3B so I compared him to the respective 3B.

    I wasn't going by career anything. I was going by each individual season, which is what I thought Autin did when he was comparing Whitaker to the 1985 WS Champ 2B, the 1986 WS Champ 2B, etc.

  8. Mike Felber Says:

    Lou was not a high walk guy Matt. His 162 game average was 81, most ever was 90, & only twice was in the top 10-7th each time. He was a moderate BB guy.

    James claims that more peak seasons/less consistency tends to lead to more championships. Either way, having a high peak for a # of years seems to be a good measure of excellence. As is sustained quality play.

    I will acknowledge that it is unclear how much Hornsby declined. He just did not play enough to know how well he would do in a full year. By far had the most GP in '31, with 100. He was actually below his career average then, still excellent.

  9. Upon re-reading Autin's post, I do see that he was comparing their careers, rather than their year by year performance. I guess I skimmed over that part so I admit that I misunderstood the point of his post. I did think he was doing a year-by-year comparison.

    The fact remains though, that both methods are not a great way of measuring someone's Hall of Fame chances. Alfonso Soriano has probably had a better career than most of the 2B/LF of World Series winners during his career. Doesn't make him a Hall of Famer. Carlos Beltran has probably had a better career than every World Series winning CF.

    You could take almost any really good or above average player to make that argument and most of them would probably look pretty good. Do it for Jorge Posada, Jason Varitek, Bobby Abreu, John Olerud, Lance Berkman, Johnny Damon, Luis Gonzalez, Mark Grace, etc. and I bet they compare pretty favorably to their WS-winning positional counterparts. This is especially true for those that play 2B, SS, CF or C, because then you're comparing them to players like Damian Miller, Julio Lugo, Adam Kennedy, David Eckstein, Juan Uribe, Alex Gonzalez, Luis Castillo, Juan Pierre, Craig Counsell, Devon White, Carlos Ruiz, Manny Lee, Pat Borders, Mark Lemke, Greg Gagne, etc. It's an invalid comparison.

  10. Mike Felber Says:

    Dennis: please save us time by responding to my specific arguments, to avoid knocking down Straw Men.

    Again, I did not claim that Allen was as good as the ones you mentioned. I specifically said they were great much longer, & clearly better all around players. But the "not in same paragraph" trope is not rational. Yes, if like me you accurately delimit your claims, you can & should have players in the same paragraph. If it was pure distance hitting, Allen would easily beat Mays, Robinson, & Aaron. And all but a max of a handful of humans, ever. Context in claims is everything.

    How much have you read about Richie Allen? Where do you get support for the idea that after '65 he often did not want to play often? Why do you come up with the insulting idea that Tanner had to motivate him immensely to "get an MVP" season out of him? Give your sources if you have any. Have you checked out the opinions of many of his team mates? His Managers? You know about the fight he was excoriated for, & prevented from speaking up for himself, after he was attacked with a bat by a racist teammate?

    Yes, Aaron & Mays faced racism. And Richie was sensitive sometimes, & had some personality issues. But Philly was a particularly virulent environment of bias at that time. I just said it was difficult for him, & give just a hint of it above.

    I have never even heard the claim though that this made him not want to play when under contract or try his best. Bill James (who overall I much respect) gave him, at the time, a big bum rap based upon 2nd hand & not well researched information. He did have injuries too. It is fine to not want him for the HOF, but please do not make strong damning claims about his character absent evidence. Write to the guy who runs this site if you think he was so lazy & difficult. He will set you straight. http://dickallenhof.blogspot.com.

    Lastly: tell me precisely why you think that all systems of modern overall & peak productivity are wrong. They put him at least near the very top of qualified HOF players not inducted, & better than a lot of guys already in (not just the clearly unqualified ones). Even in a relatively short career.

    The case is clear. And only more so if you value peak years. If you look at peak bat hitting, he is clearly the most qualified batter eligible who is not in. Not only by his massive career OPS +, but even choosing peak offensive years.

  11. Mike
    you re entitled to your opinion about Dick Allen. I am entitled to mine. I think he was probably misunderstood, Mauch and Tanner thought he was a valuable player and not a divisive force.

    As for my one of my sources, I read Crash his autobiography...and I thought it was incredibly self serving and disingenuous.......but thats my opinion. he had problems off the field as well, with the IRS, he also deserted his wife for a youger woman, etc.

    If you think Dick Allen should be in the HOF how aobut Albert Belle or Jose Canseco?. ...OK, OK its a rhetorical point...

    but based on his career and his career alone, is Albert Belle qualified to be in the HOF?

    How about Dale Murphy or Juan Gonzalez? I dont think Gonzles is eligible yet.....

    And , if we elected only squeaky clean good guys to the HOF, the plaques would fill an overnight Fed Express envelope...Dalke Murphy would be int he envelope.......

    My point is that if Allen was that great a player....and he was incredibly strong and could hit the ball a ton, why didn t he have more great years? he had enormous talent...and he had some great years...but I don t think he did enough.in those 15 years. If you want to call him a IB I would rather see Keith Hernandez or Gil Hodges in the Hall, if you want to call him a 3B, Iwould rather see Ron Santo or................. Aurelio Rodriguez....

    I m kidding about Rodriguez...

    I dont discount modern stats.....some of thim I htink are valuable...but stats do not always measure the true worth of a player.

    Nuf said..... .

  12. @110, Mike Felber -- You clearly know a lot of Dick Allen bio. I know just a little; I know he had a very bad experience in the minor leagues (Arkansas?), and of course what Bill James wrote in the Historical Abstract (which is apparently not entirely reliable). I heard about a good, eye-opening biography of Allen from quite a while ago -- the name escapes me now -- but it's out of print & I couldn't find a copy to buy. I don't automatically buy into the "bad attitude" rap that is part of the mainstream take on Allen.

    But when I read this statement of yours, I did a double take: "I have never even heard the claim [that he did] not want to play when under contract or try his best."

    What about 1974, when (from what I've read) Allen simply left the White Sox with about 3 weeks left in the season, when he was apparently healthy and having another great year? I believe he even said at the time that he was retiring. Is there an untold story about that incident that makes it seem less damning of Allen? And if not, how do you factor that into your view of him, and of his HOF case?

    And in the bigger picture: What do those things have to do with his performance and his HOF credentials?

  13. Mike Felber Says:

    That may be true re: '74 John Austin. I am unclear on the incident-would need to research it, & see what his side was I was thinking about skipping games & did not consider that early season exit. Let us look at that-though that is very distinct from not playing when he was not in the mood from ~ a decade earlier.

    But you are very right that these things should NOT muddy the waters of his HOF credentials. Dennis, we do not know the IRS story, why he was not paying-neglect or cheating. And did he just leave his wife cold heartedly? Very well may be, but was it just a betrayal for a shinier toy, & he wholly at fault? Some are in deadened & bad relationships & find love, & some are liars & abusers. Unless you know a lot of pretty solid other things to judge "Crash" so negatively by, I would reserve judgment.

    But again, that is besides the point. Unless we find proof he hurt his teams-& there is evidence that he was a leaser & inspiration in addition to his problems-we judge him by on field performance. Some of the lack of longevity was his reaction to things-he has been postulated as Bipolar, undiagnosed. Whether true or not, adding the stresses & conflicts together, he did not last so long. That is his choice.

    Though we need to be more specific. All that stuff is unresponsive, likely unintentional obfuscation of his performance. And do not dismiss WAR, or all other measures of career & peak performance, absent a rationale. He is more qualified than all you mention. Murphy likely no, good enough peak, but really ONLY 6 good years, & raw #s overrate him compared to rate & true value stats. J.G., not enough value. Hernandez you can make a good case for, Santo definitely.

    Even absent considering 'roids Canseco was only excellent briefly. Belle is a GREAT comparison, & I will throw in Jim Rice. All 3 short named, allegedly & sometimes really short tempered power hitting black men. All best at slugging, & at best mediocre at other aspects of their game. Careers short to average length, Allen in the middle.

    While Allen was the worst Fielder-& best runner-looking at any advanced metric of total contributions tells you the same thing as reasoning it out does. belles raw stats were inflated by era & line up, significantly. He was still an excellent hitter, but look at era, park, teams-Allen's real contributions were understated by context. It would be hard to pick a more run depressing career span...Rice of course had the park & certainly powerful team offense advantage-even his best years he did not hit like the other 2, despite many RBIs. Also huge in GIDP.

    So the essential question remains: given his 156 OPS +, 19th all time, & great peak year hitting, & all the measures I have ever seen of career & peak value: what decent evidence can be presented that he did not create enough runs/wins per best season & career, to merit the HOF?

  14. Mike
    The previous poster pretty much made my remaining points

    You wave the OPS plus stat like a magic wand. Allen had a point highter OPS then Aaron, Mays and DiMaggo. is he in that category of ballplayer?

    Not hardly...

    McGwire had a lifetime OPS of 161...higher then Allen.....Does he deserve induction ot the Hall of Fame? You should be able to guess my response...

    OPS plus is what?. its an average of the addition of 2 lifetime averages? somehting like that....? Somtimes the stats are so overwelming that is a good guide....See George Herman, see Theodore Samuel.....

    But it doesnt measure heart and it soesnt measure desire and it soesn t measure ability to react to adversity....

    Rice got in on the 15th eyar, Belle was rejected after two years, it seems to me that Allen got his full 15 years on the ballot. And consistent black ink stats certainly make up for shortcomings, but Allen didnt have enough of the former and had way too much of the latter. And when you have to massage stats and says things like...at his best...Allen hit like Aaron and Mays...OK, but for how many seasons was he like them....2, maybe three?

    He was a terrible fielder and he was never very good at third or fist of in LF.

    Their is the classic jolke of the Philadelphia life insurance saleman who called on a Phillies fan in 1964 and when the fan told him that he had season tickets behind first base.....the salesman said...sorry, but we cant cover you.

    Yes, Allen had some very good to great years, but in my judgement not nearly enough to make him a HOF inductee.

    .OK?

    Dennis

  15. Dennis, Allen did plenty statistically to get into the Hall. You just need to accept that.. we don't need to compare Allen to Aaron or Mays.....but, he clearly was better statistically than Rice or Dawson or Perez. Is he an inner-cirlce guy, no, but statistically he'd be a solid mid-tier guy as evidenced by these names. In short, there's really no reasonable argument to be made that Allen didn't do enough statistically.

    Now, did he do other things to taint his image that perhaps went above and beyond. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. Should these "other things" matter. Yes, they should, but only if we have definitive evidence and not just a hodgepodge of perspectives.. seems Bill James has reversed his feeling on the matter. It seems he's likely done this because of new information came to light? We also only know part of the story. Was he bi-polar, what specific kinds of racial things did he have to put up with (maybe he wasn't equipped to handle these kinds of situations as well as Aaron or Mays)? We don't know these things for sure, but i can say one thing though -- if he was indeed bi-polar (I can't remember specifically where I read it, but there does seem to be evidence to support this diagnosis) playing America's game during these racially-intense times, then he clearly should go into the Hall.

    Seems to me that Allen let some people down, and some perhaps haven't gotten over that. In closing, I think enough time has passed to recognize him at this point.

  16. John Q or JT (can't remember who's formula this is) -- and I apologize if this has already been done in this blog, but where does Allen rank using the 7 best+career WAR/2? I suspect he's somewhere between 45-75th all-time? Somewhere in the very outer edge of the inner-circle guys to relatively high up in the mid-tier guys?

    To me, Allen's career is a bit short (not way too short though), but he did more than enough peak wise to overcome this somewhat slight deficiency.

  17. Matt Y

    What you ve written is fair. I don t agree with it...but its fairminded. I went back and looked at Allens stats and yes, he had enough black ink then I thought.

    Two flaws in your argument....to say that someone has the statisitcs to get in the HOF doesnt work...Unless the stats are irrefutable, then it is a political process....adn every year baseball writers and VC gets lobbied......and sometimes its just a question of time and momentum.....I can imagine conversations in VC meetings like...Jesus...if we don t let him in this year, we re going to look like complete assholes. Lets hope thats the ocnversation for Blyleven and Santo.

    And.....I do think that saying this guy or that guy belongs in the HOF because these other guys are in......isnt a valid argument. Bill James made that point in The Politics of Glory.

    But, for the record.....I wouldnt ahve voted for Dawson or Rice...But Perez was part of the Big Red Machine one of the great dynasties of history and he contributed to the 83 Phillies...Doggie was a winner. ...so I would give him an edge.

    But that s me.

    And heres 3 guys I would rather see in the HOF then Allen ......Ted Kleuzewsli, Indian Bob Johnson, and Gil Hodges...Hodges neve rhad quite enough votes, Johnson one of the great players of the 30s and was completley overlooked and Kluzewsi for all of his power, hardly ever struck out..

    Thanks!

  18. Dennis,

    I'd like to speak to your two points below.

    "And.....I do think that saying this guy or that guy belongs in the HOF because these other guys are in......isnt a valid argument. Bill James made that point in The Politics of Glory".

    I get this point, but I used inner-inner circle guys (Mays and Aaron), and bottom very outer ring guys (Rice, Dawson, Perez) as my examples though. Allen statistically, any way you want to slice it or dice it, isn't part of the bottom outer ring guys. So, given the examples I use, you're argument still is rather hollow. Additionally, and you have the right to feel that the Hall is too large, but the reality of it is, it is what it is-- it's large enough so that Allen should be in. Any reasonable logical argument has Allen better than at least 1/3 of the guys already in. 1/3 isn't 10%.

    "to say that someone has the statisitcs to get in the HOF doesnt work...Unless the stats are irrefutable, then it is a political process....adn every year baseball writers and VC gets lobbied......and sometimes its just a question of time and momentum.....I can imagine conversations in VC meetings like...Jesus...if we don t let him in this year, we re going to look like complete assholes".

    Stats are the guiding force here, and i'm someone that looks beyond the stats more than many in this forum. Again, statistically, Allen did plenty, and any reasonable stat-driven argument would not be able to refute that..... but you're entitled to your opinion. Also, it seems pretty clear that some new things have come to light about Allen since he fell off the ballot. It's not a great leap that almost no one would lobby for a guy that always seemed angry or helter-skeltor like b/c of a bi-polar disorder. This speaks to his probably bi-polar disorder, a disorder that almost no one new anything about 30+ years ago. It's pretty clear Allen was misunderstood , and to deny him his place in history is to misunderstand him yet again.

  19. Mike Felber Says:

    I have a few points to make. With respect Dennis, you often are inexact in responding to claims. Like continually arguing against the Straw Man that Allen was as good as Mays or Aaron, even though we repeatedly tell you that is NOT the claim. And if that was the standard we would admit less than 2 dozens players to the HOF. So please save our time & show us that you see & understand the particulars of our cases by responding with more intellectual rigor. This is NOT a critique against a different opinion, but the means of effectively & fairly addressing each other. Thank you.

    1) I see no previous poster who made your remaining points. Who, where? You conflated a few points, & the SINGLE thing that anyone said that could conceivably support your case is John Austin saying that he thought Allen quit in '74. But it actually provides no support for your position. He did not say Allen does not belong, ASKED me what I though about that 1 incident, did not claim not wanting to play was a pattern of Allen's (let alone going back to '65), & finished by asking what do these things have to do with his performance & HOF case?

    2) Big Mac WOULD deserve induction if not for the PED scandal. Because if you measure how many runs/wins he created in his overall game, & peak performance, he easily qualifies. His disgraceful clamming up when called to testify ABOUT the past is enough reason to think he violated the rules/cheated. And PEDs were illegal through the start of the '90's, just not tested for & punished. And his performance was almost certainly greatly assisted by them.

    3) You will find almost universal contempt, or at least exasperation, amongst folks who are rational & knowledgeable about baseball for the "heart, desire & reacting to adversity" argument. And deservedly so: these ideals are subjective, & what should be measured is what was done on the field. Plus some, largely white athletes, are demonstrably given these chracateristics throughout sports (oh, & "gritty" is another one), while black & minority athletes have "natural talent". Huh.

    4) Allen had problems AND was an inspiration to some, admired by his Managers & fans. He had a limit to what adversity he faced, but dealt with a LOT, more than the vast majority of players. Being black, esp. in Philly is one. Apparently you are unmoved by him being attacked with a BAT by a (cowardly) white racists teammate when he was doing the right thing/defending a team mate. And then he & everyone was forbidden to speak of the incident, & pain of severe punishment, & ALLEN was villainized. Could make anyone bitter, & few, certainly not the likes of a Bonds, endure things like that.

    5) I told you already Dennis, yet you ask me again: he had at least six (6) seasons where he hit like Mays & Aaron at their peak. And other seasons still productive, but not as sublime offensively. Check the #s I gave. This is part of a larger issue:

    6) I challenged you to look at ANY of the advanced metrics that credit him with even enough career value, & great peak value, to tell me WHY they are wrong. You have refused to engage that at any level. Nor have you provided a common sense reason why he is not good enough. throwing up vague statements about "heart" is NOT examining what he added or did overall.

    7) All versions of WAR, WARP, Win Shares, VORP, etc...Factor in glove work. So even when he gets a significant ding for a pretty bad defense, he is shown to be easily good enough.

    8) You are incorrect re: saying Matt Y's arguments are flawed. You mistook his 1st point: he did NOT say or imply they were good enough to get in politically/in reality. He clearly made the argument re: whether Allen is deserving to get in.

    9) Matt will undoubtedly speak about this too, but he clearly did NOT make the fallacious argument that Allen should get in because this or that particular guy should get in. That should have been obvious: he never mentioned particular players. Instead he made the quite valid claim that when you consider overall value & greatness/peak value, he seems AT LEAST in the top 1/2 of current HOF members.

    10) None of the final 3 guys you mentioned created the value of Allen, nor even approached his peak value. If you want to make a case for any one of them, it requires more than generalities. And while not striking out often as a power hitter is an impressive skill, it adds some, but limited value. All measures confirm this-Kerry (Physicist you recall from dugoutcentral.com) also wrote about this.

    11) The 'winner" argument is an unfair & pernicious one in most all cases. Players "win" due to how good the team is & what they can contribute, & we properly measure the latter. IF ANY player with whatever value that we can measure is put in their position, they will "win" the same amount. Perez was on great teams.

    In about a 1/3 of a season of NLCS & World Series competition, Perez did not do well in either. As a player, perhaps he is borderline, that is all. He had a decent peak, & seems to fall short in career value, despite having a pretty long career. One reason is i can take his worst 10 seasons, & they add up to a negative WAR. He was a very good player, but not as good as Allen even (adding up all contributions) over his much longer career!

    12) Peak value comparison? Fuhgeddiboutit.

  20. Mike Felber Says:

    Oh, & OPS + is an excellent measure of overall offensive quality per PA. It can be tweaked to be made more exact: weighted OPS + is better, & you can look at Ks, sacs & GIDP. Though those who K more tend to get more of the latter 2, so it tends to balance out. Even when it does not: it would be an unusual case indeed when OPS + is not even close to showing what a player does to add runs at the plate per time played.

    And usually it is quite close. Getting on base & slugging is the vast majority of what someone does to create value in batting. And offense adds MUCH greater value for almost all than defense: even Ozzie Smith with his 87 OPS + (& very good thefts stats) still added virtually precisely TWICE the offensive value as defensive value. And he was likely the best ever at the 2nd most important fielding position!

    Check the 2nd table: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/smithoz01.shtml

  21. Mike Felber Says:

    Sorry, I meant those who K more hit the ball in the air more than grounders & tend to get sacs, & especially avoid GIDP.

  22. Johnny Twisto Says:

    even Ozzie Smith with his 87 OPS + (& very good thefts stats) still added virtually precisely TWICE the offensive value as defensive value.

    It appears that way due to the questionable choice of including the positional adjustment in oWAR as opposed to dWAR. Really, I think the best way to look at it is (according to WAR) he was 47 runs below average on offense (batting + baserunning) and 386 runs above average on defense (being a shortstop + being a great SS).

    If you split his runs above replacement (which is essentially for playing time) between the two, he is +108 on offense and +541 on defense. Or if you put all the runs above replacement on the offensive side, assuming a replacement SS will play average defense, he is +263 on offense and +386 on defense.

  23. Mike Felber Says:

    OK Johnny, that seems reasonable. I do not know which of the last 2 choices in better. So how about this postulation: that given equal quality on offense & defense, even in the most important defensive positions, offense is worth a lot more? So if a SS or CF is about equally great at all sides of the game, the offense will contribute a lot more runs/wins/value.

    Catcher could be the only exception, at least if you factor in the impossible to fully quantify value of handling pitchers & calling games well. Mays was great at both saving & adding runs, & had a negative Rpos (-15) for a career, & clearly created so much more value at bat than in the field. If we had a similar SS, even adding the positional adjustment either of your 2 ways, would not a "Mays at SS" clearly create significantly more value at the plate?

  24. Michael E Sullivan Says:

    Why do so many people feel that a very long career, made up almost entirely of good seasons but with few or no MVP-caliber years, is inherently un-HOF-worthy? Why is "accumulator" or "compiler" a dirty word in the HOF debate, when the seasons involved are all good ones?

    Good question.

    I always thought those terms applied to guys who ran up traditional counting stats (like wins/Ks for pitchers or hits/runs etc. for position players) to levels normally thought of as automatic, but where they accumulated many/most of their stats over a long stretch where they were just average, or even below. Jim Kaat is a classic example. He got 283 wins which impresses a lot of people, but had only 4 years out of 25 where he pitched at a high level, and nearly half his career, he was below average for a starting pitcher. But of course, WAR systems don't give you much credit for mediocre performance, and Kaat's WAR shows him clearly out of HoF territory at 41.7.

    OTOH, Lou's career WAR is 69.7, which is way, way ahead of the borderline point (55-60 normally -- dick allen, who most here agree is plenty qualified has 61.7, and his John Q number is about the same as lou whitaker's), and other WAR systems seem to rate him similarly high. Think about the wailing and moaning that would ensue if Jeter doesn't make the hall -- his WAR is 70.9. A fair assessment of career value puts him in the range of guys whose hall credentials hardly anybody questions.

    Being definitely better than average for 20 years is not accumulating stats, it's building a hall of fame career. Whether somebody is an accumulator matters if you are looking at their hits, or home runs, not their WAR, because HELLO: accumulating wins for you team is what you are supposed to be doing!

  25. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Mike, I would say generally you are correct, hitting is the most important ability and the one where players can add the most value. Offense is half the game, while fielding might be something like 15% (with pitching making up the rest of the other half).

    Yes, if we had someone who hit like Willie Mays and played SS, he would be even more valuable. (I wouldn't say more valuable at the plate; he'd be the same person at bat but more valuable defensively and thus overall.)

    Of course, this depends on our converted Mays's ability at SS. If he played SS his entire career, the positional adjustment would be about +182 runs, or 197 more than the real Willie. (There is certainly room to quibble about these adjustments -- it looks like a difference of about 10 runs per year.) The real Willie was a superb CF and rates 185 runs better than the average CF. So if our new Willie was merely an average SS over his career, the total defensive contribution is estimated to be about equal.

  26. Mike Felber Says:

    Yes Johnny. I just meant that in any position except perhaps backstop, an equally proficient hitter & fielder would yield the vast majority of his value at the plate. Though what you describe also makes sense.

  27. Mile
    119
    1. the points I wanted to make ina future post.....
    1. I,m aware of one major injury in Allen s career, he cracked his fibula...what accounts for all the games he missed starting in 1966?

    2. If stats are inlfated by roids or HGH or pEDS or whatever....tehn what the hell good are they? How do you separate Big mac beofre and after andy. Bonds and Clemensa re different they were HOFers before they took stuf, its not moral but its the truth.

    3. Mike with respect, you want to suck the marrow out of baseball with your tone that stats tell the story of what was done on the field. Baseball is about winning games and going to the playoffs and then hopefully to the Series, desire heart and the will to overcome adversity are colorblind, so stop the insinous Dennis is a racist crap....For Christ sake, the black Gibson tried to pitch on a broken leg and the white Gibson took Eckersly downtown and barely hobbled around the bases. That s what Im talking about. And that doesnt show up in OPS or WAR or anything esle.

    4. The bat incident doesnt have any bearing on whether he does or doenst belong in the HOF.

    5. Youre the one who initiated the Allen at his besr was equal to Aaron and Mays...List the at least 6 seasons, please that you think he was equal to those guys..

    6. As Ive told you I htink certainss tats are important , otherrs are nto so important. Allen was a 292 hittler with an OBP in the 37s, and he struck out a lot.....admittedly during a period when offesnve wa sharder to come by. heis plate discolpine was poor. He won a couple of slugigng titles, a couple of HR titles...he was an outstanding power hitter but not enough of the time and not for enough years.

    7.If I mis represented Matt Ys argument then I apologize.

    baseball is aobut winning, period. Preference and I do believe this should be given to players who ocntributed a lot to winning teams....teams that won pennants, won championships....Those players should be in the Hall, and no Hank Bauer shoukldnt be in the Holl, but you know what Charlie Keller had a hell of an OPS plus of 141, but I don t think he belongs in the HOF
    Allen played on one playoff team at the end of his caqreer. And you know what i can probably find a couple of seasons or more in which Tony Perez hitr like Allen.

    Perez wasnt a bad choice for the HOf, wouldnt be my top pick, but I odnt think he was a mistake.

    Sometimes HOF players are judged by their stats because they played on teams that never went to playoffs, Ernie Banks, Ken Griffey Jr. in his prime come to mind and they won trophies, I don t think the young Dick Allen was a good as the young Ernie Banks and certainly not the Griffey who played for the Mariners.

    And Im sorry that Dick Allen may have had bi polar disease and it wasnt understood 30 eyars afo...Santo played with diabetes and Ty Cobb was probably a world class psychotic personality, and Hornsby was a misanthropic, mean tempered degenerate gambler.....etc. etc.....and Pete Gray played with one arm......and if a frog had wings it wouldnt whomp its ass every time it jumped...

    So youre championing a player for the HOF who was a talented power hitter, misunderstood, doesnt compare ot any other HOFer in hs similarity scores, didnt play on any pennant or chanpionship teams and for his own reasons didnt play every day even when he was physiclaly healthy.

    I just dont agree with you

    .Take care.

  28. Mike Felber Says:

    Here you go Dennis:

    1) I do not know all the reasons he missed games in every year. But there is only evidence of his "refusing to play" re: his leaving the Cubs 2 weeks early due, he said, to his feud with Ron Santo. He had a debilitating hand injury due to the pushing a stalled car incident in '67, & late missed time & had subsequent nagging injury due to a broken leg in '73. So no cause to impugn his willingness to play or toughness in general. Check out the Wikipedia entry for basics like wearing a helmet in the field due to being pelted with heavy objects in addition to racial slurs, & the attendent nicknames he garnered.

    2) 1st, the relevant question is does he deserve it due to his stats: since your initial claim seemed to only suggest that, not PEDs, & that the answer was no.
    Clearly you pointed to only his OPS + & on field performance. And if you use any modern matrics like WAR, more so if you add in the crucial consideration of peak value: of course he did enough to deserve the HOF! Dennis, you just do not grasp how difficult it would be to have a just 1/2 way decent length career, 162 OPS +, & NOT create enough runs/wins to deserve the Hall!

    Refer just above, or to any informed debate about baseball-anywhere, for the relative impact of hitting. maybe if he was a historically bad fielder he could have not deserved the HOF. That is all.

    It does not effect the point I was making, but in IMHO we have no reason to assume that Bonds-unlike the 2 you mentioned-would have done enough absent/before PEDs. Though I would have guys confess to usage & express remorse AND need to be good enough without the cheating & lying.

    3) I did not mean to imply at all that YOU were a racist. If i believed that I would say it outright! But you may very well have absorbed the general prejudice against HIM that others gave inarguably due to his race. Exhibit A is unwarranted assumptions about refusing to play often, for most of his career. And negative assumptions about his "heart" & "desire", when many who played with & managed him felt otherwise. Black athletes generally get less credit for hard work & playing hurt.

    3 a) That is an undiscerning, unfair accusation. There are many meaningful & moving things not covered by stats (& many misleading & misapplied stats. I did zero to "suck the marrow" out of the game. But you cannot use an illogical argument re: what determines value, like unsupportable cliches about toughness. MOST of value can be noted quite well by sensible stats. You can love winning, drama, rooting: but you mix up the paradigms: some often confuse reputation & the TEAM who wins with what an individual player does. Clearly my defense of Allen is impassioned, not "bloodless": but not muddle-headed.

    4) I did NOT say the bat incident had to do with his HOF credentials. Re-read the context of what I said. It spoke to evidence of great hardship he sometimes faced, & something like that (an injury too) made his reputation & life worse. It is meant to erode your content-light presumption that he was lacked "heart". And stimulate more of a heart felt sympathy for his situation.

    5) You AGAIN missed what I repeatedly have said. And my words were not ambiguous at all. Must I invoke a crying baby Jesus to get you paying attention? ๐Ÿ˜‰ OK, Once Again, with feeling:

    I SAID he was the equal of those immortals in BATTING (where most value is created, by the way). For six (6) years. You could easily have looked it up, since I refrred to his offensive WAR range AND which table I meant on his player page here. But it is '64-'68, & '71' & '72. Actually, that is seven years, & clearly his best couple he was around as good as Mays & Aaron in their BEST years ('64 & '72), even considering his whole game/subtracting for his glove.

    6) Your selective facts do not support your case. Besides omitting his slugging, & that average is NOT a good stat to determine offensive value by any means-that is elementary-his stats, for his era & park, even the ones you chose, are very good. But his OPS + is a much more fair measure of how good he was offensively. And it was 3 slugging titles...Not enough years? He had more than HOF average in gray ink, average HOF black ink: in a fairly short career. AND all measures of what he did for a career shows how he created value in the top 1/2 of current HOFers!

    That does not count peak value. I am SURE there are players who you accept a primary case based upon peak value.

    7 & forward) Please ask anyone here if your "baseball is about winning" trope is applied in a rational way. I am saying, & all sensible measures from sabermetrics on down, that players get tremendous UNWARRANTED credit for being on "winners". As posted in tremendous detail on a B-R.com link: Morris did NOT pitch to the score. He had great run support. He did not do very well overall in the post season. It is wholly unscientific & unfair to call someone like him & Catfish & Perez a "winner". No. They were good players SIGNIFICANTLY over valued due to fortunate circumstances!

    Charlie Keller: you would have done yourself better service if you correctly noted that Keller had a 152 career OPS +, not 141! But you seriously had no idea about the length of his career? 4604 PA. And he had no peak years, especially full years, where he put up an OPS + like Allen's best. Thus your example does not refute OPS +'s accuracy one little bit.

    "Probably" you can find years where Perez hit like Allen? Then you both have no intuition about how good each was at hitting, + you did not bother to look it up. Check out his very best years, by OPS + or offensive WAR, or base out wins added or wins added or situational wins added or win probability added...Allen led multiple times in each, Perez NEVER.

    When you add in total game, you can argue that Banks & Griffey were a little better at their peak. The latter is still a pretty high level HOF player, though he did not do so much after 30. Banks? Check out his page: he was a great player from ages 24-29. Other years, just decent. Enough to warrant the Hall.

    Lastly: it is untrue that he did not play every day "for his own reasons". That implies he did this regularly, when no evidence is presented but him taking off 2 weeks early one year. So stop suggesting he regularly refused to play.

    You need an education on similarity scores: they not only are not taking account for peak value, OR measuring value in any scientific way, but do not adjust for era or park. Click on what they compute: 16! measures of raw data, & only one, OPS +, of an adjusted #! Thus they are not good measures of overall value for players in "bad" parks, eras, & do not credit peak value. They are not intended to show scientifically how good these guys are: they show who produced similar raw #s, that is all.

    See if you can find anyone here who finds my points invalid. Or believes you are making a good case re: Dick Allen.

  29. Mike Felber Says:

    Correction on #2: I meant to type that with Big Mac, not Bonds (or Clemens), we do not see that he was good enough without/before PEDs. Though the main, relevant point remains: it would be quite an "accomplishment" to have a massive 162 OPS + & even his unremarkable 7660 PA & not be qualified for the HOF based upon total contributions. It could be done with one of the very worst gloves ever seen, or a poor glove & no significant peak.

  30. Mike Felber Says:

    From Wikipedia. Red Schoendienst also spoke highly of Allen:

    But according to the two managers for whom Allen played the longest โ€“ Gene Mauch of the Phillies and Chuck Tanner of the White Sox โ€“ he was not a "clubhouse lawyer" who harmed team chemistry. Asked if Allen's behavior ever had a negative influence on the team, Mauch said: "Never." According to Tanner, "Dick was the leader of our team, the captain, the manager on the field. He took care of the young kids, took them under his wing. And he played every game as if it was his last day on earth."[4]

    2008 Hall of Fame inductee Rich Gossage confirmed Tanner's view during ESPN's interview show with Gossage and Dick Williams. Gossage talked about how Dick Allen had worked with him to learn more about the league's hitters, to help make him a more effective pitcher. Also in 2008, another of Allen's ex-White Sox teammates, pitcher Stan Bahnsen, said, "I actually thought that Dick was better than his stats. Every time we needed a clutch hit, he got it. He got along great with his teammates and he was very knowledgeable about the game. He was the ultimate team guy." [5] Another Hall of Fame teammate, Mike Schmidt, credited Dick Allen in his book, "Clearing the Bases," as his mentor. In a Mike Schmidt biography written by historian William C. Kashatus, Mike Schmidt fondly recalls Dick Allen mentoring him before a game in Chicago in 1976, saying to him, "Mike, you've got to relax. You've got to have some fun. Remember when you were just a kid and you'd skip supper to play ball? You were having fun. Hey, with all the talent you've got, baseball ought to be fun. Enjoy it. Be a kid again." Mike Schmidt responded by hitting four home runs in that game. Mike Schmidt is quoted in the same book, "The baseball writers used to claim that Dick would divide the clubhouse along racial lines. That was a lie. The truth is that Dick never divided any clubhouse."

  31. Dave Kingman Says:

    Great thread. I've really enjoyed all the comments, especially those about David Cone. I always enjoyed watching him play, even though I realize I would strike out 4 times a game if I had to face him.

    One comment though about players who may deserve to be in the HOF, if only their "projected stats" during the strike years were taken into account....

    Hey buddy, YOU struck. YOU decided not to play. It wasn't as if aliens came down from Mars, and forced MLB into strike-shortened seasons.

    It was you.

  32. Mike
    Ok,let me make a few points..
    The example of Charlie Keller was meant as a bit of sarcasm. I tried ot make the point that while Keller did have a high OPS...he wasnt worthy of the HOD, Of course didnt have enough numbers or enoigh PAs to make a HOF case...although he was a hell of a hitter.

    If youre comparing Allen 64 to 68 and 72 seasons to Mays and Aaron during those exact years, then that isnt a precise comparison.. But If you compare those years to mays and Aarons years at the same ages, they were both so much better or to make a stronger point, their best career years against Allens career years.. Allen never had a year close to Aaron s MVP year or Mays in 1954 or 1962 when he SHOULD have won the MVP
    And theser guys didnt strike out as Allen did!!!! I doi have aprejudice, i dont think that much of guys who can and should imporve their plate discipline...

    I NEVER claimed that Allen didnt have heart or desire or the will to overcome adversity. the fact is I don t know if he did. I don t think too much of someone who leaves a team early and bails on his contract......but thats me,.

    Yes, I made the point that stats like OPS plus dont measure heart desire and the will to overcome adversity l, I was careful NOT to tie Allen into that statesment...you inferred that and ran with it.

    Dick Allen played for five teams during the reserve clause era. Phillies,Cards, White Sox, Dodgers, Philles again and the As. He played one year for the Cards and the Dodgers. My question ....if he created much value...why was he traded. I undertood why the White Sox trade dhim, they probalby neededd money and though that Jim Essian would save theior franchise. That s more sarcasm. It seems to me that at least two teams wanted to unload him and took the short end of trades to get rid of him. Was it all the personal issues that he had?

    When someone like you hollers stats....stats...stats....I point to the 69 Mets.. That was a team that had great pitching, a couple of good players and a bunch of has beens, never wases and really marginal role players. But they WON!!!!!!!!!! And teams like the 69 Mets and last eyars Twins are what makes baseball so fascinating.

    Final point....Mike, probalby your are right, maybe Dick Allen with all the modern metrics did enough) to be considered as a HOF candidate. But is the national Hall of Fame, not the National hall of Baseball Sabremetrics. Fame is nebulous and it can be fleeting. For 15 years the writers never gave0 him more then 19% of their voutes and here it is almost 35 years after he is retired, and I don t think the VC will give him very serious consideration.

    You re passionate aobut his case.....so write letters to Tom Seaver and the other guys on the VC adn see how far you get.

    Good luck
    .

  33. Tony Perez had great years in 69, 70 and 73, 69 and 70 were not that far from Allen, but he didnt have black ink and yes, Allen was a better hitter then Doggie.

  34. Mike Felber Says:

    "Not that far" from Allen? Tell me why. WAR & just looking at everything they did those years does not support this. And thank you for noticing that Allen hit better-he was not even close. You chose Perez for his top 5. I will tell you that if you look at the % difference in win share, WARP, any version, WARP, VORP, etc: it is not even close.

    But your case re: Keller was flat out wrong. Not only on his career OPS +: you WROTE that he did not deserve it DESPITE his high OPS +. When it is clear that the exact opposite is true: his OPS + is a chief indicator of offensive dominance & he would have been a good HOF candidate: if he played a few more good years/how he was doing generally when he had full years.

    I said Allen in '64 & '72, considering total play/value, was comparable in value to the best years of Mays & Aaron. And that his top 6, then changed to 7, were similar to Aaron & Mays quality years-in offense only. Just check-compare these guys in these SPECIFIC ways using WAR. Or I can walk you through other ways to do so.

    That he did not have years when he was robbed of the MVP (though you can make a case for '64 too) is besides the point. You certainly do not know enough to say Allen lacked plate discipline: did Mike Schmidt? Mickey Mantle? Don't admire these guys either? Check their K's/AB. Very few players can produce like these guys can, & even they may not be able to avoid high Ks. You assume he swung tool freely: how about that it is extremely hard to hit well & for power & avoid the Ks? You have a bias against high K guys, 1) assuming a negative cause for high Ks instead of that it may be unavoidable, & 2) that any MEASURE of how much worse Ks are show it is not a huge difference at all!

    My point is you do NOT know, & acknowledge, that these teams unloaded him due to his issues. So it is just wrong to assume it was that. You do understand that before modern metrics, when offensive #s are depressed by era & often park for him, his true value would not be fully appreciated? When Ks are taken as too important, for another example.

    Here is your quote from #102 suggesting Allen lacked heart or ability to overcome adversity: "Allen was a very, very talented player who could have been so much greater and the he didnt want to be....." Do you respect the opinions of Schmidt & Mauch, guys he played for or mentored, as seen in #130? They say the exact opposite of what you did.

    Their is not a contradiction between stats & appreciating the '69 Mets. I am saying you have the lower old fashioned tendency: to assume those who win are better than they are. The 69 Mets were efficient in how much they won by/what they did with their talents. They deserved to win. Conversely, you CANNOT FAIRLY judge how good a player is by how often his team wins, or for similar reasons how often a pitcher wins. King Felix deserves the Cy Young w/ 13 wins, Randy Johnson did with a LOSING record (over Clemens) & Ryan had an excellent year at 8-16.

    Thanks, I will decide if I want to appeal directly for Allen's induction. But common sense & the bylaws of the HOF should tell you that it is not actually LITERALLY supposed to be much about "fame", or popularity, deserved or not. It is how good a player WAS, which can mean peak & a career. "Fame" is just a colorful shorthand for what the best players deserve.

  35. Mike Felber Says:

    While Schmidt & Mauch supported Allen's character/good effect on a team, Tanner especially is relevant in contradicting the irrational notion that he "did not want to be greater". How unfair. Tanner said: "he played every game as if it was his last day on earth".

  36. Mike

    We can go arouind and around on this...

    Your point that its extremely difficlt to hit for power and avoid Ks is nonsensical. Albert Pujols, Ted Williams, Barry Bonds (even before the juice), not to mention Aaron and Mays and DiMaggio ad Kluzewsli all swing or swung hard and didnt strike out very much. Let me suggest that you check their stats sheets.

    Ted Williams once wrote that Mantle made a career of swinging hard at every pitch. and he did strike out a lot, 1710 times but only 164 times more then Allen in 2600 more career PAs then Allen!!!! And I don t think he ever And he also walked a lot......as much as he struck out, he had a much higher OBP then Allen. Schmidt over the years cut down on his strike outs, they were both much, so much greater players then Allen......

    I simply don t think Allen had good plate discpline.....

    There is NO case for Allen as the MVP in 64, Kenny Boyer won it as the Cardinals made a stretch run for the pennant. and Johnny Callison finished a decided second in the voting. I assume the voters felt tthat a third baseman who committed 41 errors could be the MVP. Allen did receive the ROY which was justfied.

    And agian you were too literal in your take on what I said about Keller, yes I agree he wasnt a viable candidate for the HOF because he didnt play enough games. he played with Dimaggio and Berra and his last good year was 46....after 46 he was platooned and used as a pinchitter, especially after 49 when Stengel became the manager. And OPS plus is misleading if is being applied to a season where a player appears in just some games....Keller has very high OPS plusses in three eyars but he only played 40 to 50 games in those three seasons.

    And if I recall....there is some language int he Hall of Fame standards for a player aobut sportsmanship or the highest ideals of the game.....something like that.. many players are inducted because of the mumbers that they put up and the highest ideals of the game is ignored....

    But..............Im going to say htis one mroe time. Perceived personality issues are an important factor when a player is not a clear choice for the HOF and Allen wasnt a clear choice. If he had hit 450 or 500 homes runs in those 15 years and played more games we might no be haivng this discussion... but he didn t ....You ve made a statisitcal case that he did enough to get in......using modern metrics......

    but the voters had two outs, their perception of his personality and the language about the highest ideals of the game.

    Now if you want to educate the VC about modern metrics, knock yourself out. we arent goint to convince each other of anything , so its best to sadlde up and ride off. Take care, have a good day.

    Regarding tanner and mauch s comments, Tanner was a sunny natured guy who tried never to criticize anyone publicly. And Mauch wanted very much to be int he HOf as a manger, Im not saying that is why they made such positive comments about Allen Im suggesting it only as a theory And you may we be right. that both thought Dick Qllen was the grestest thiNG since creem cheese on a toasted bagel.

  37. Mike Felber Says:

    You can addle up & ride up if you like Dennis. though I want to set the record straight for anyone who reads this, & correct misperceptions about Allen, what I said, & mistaken logic. Nothing is taken personally, though it would be the definition of closed minded to assume nobody could change their minds about anything. You have adjusted/changed some thoughts, like comparing Perez & Allen's offense.

    1) It makes no sense to point to a handful of players & say it is not extremely difficult to hit for power & avoid Ks. This was covered not long ago on B-R.com: very few humans can even play/last in MLB, & it is exponentially rarer to hit very well, for power, & not K often. While some who K a lot could do so less, you need to see them/what they swing at & when, look at the mechanics of the swing & head movement itself. It is folly to assume that just due to many Ks that a guy can retain his power & K more often. Averaging about 1 K a game max is more than understandable against top pitchers. It is overwhelmingly accepted power hitters K more. Sloppy thinking, or just a lack of knowledge of the difficulties of the game, to assume absent looking at the particulars, that a guy can do better at Ks & not lose anything. When guys K less their power often declines.

    2) Red Herring alert: nobody would say Allen was about as good as Mantle or Schmidt. Though he WAS at least as good a hitter as the latter, certainly for a peak had the advantage-but the difference in longevity & fielding means it was not close. Mantle was even better. I am very familiar with all the player stats you list.

    3) It is a category error of reasoning to say there is no MVP case to be made, & then use as evidence only what the voters did & why! That does not take into account what SHOULD be used, & the particulars of their cases. Allen was close in total value to all the top people-so rationally we can make a fair case for him-his team's collapse in the stretch was not his fault. That is different from saying he should have gotten it. Many realize that MVP should be overwhelmingly about what a player DID. You have internalized the unfortunate paradigm that like "just win, baby", gives great unwarranted credit for a player being on/getting much help from a team. Those players & teams get more than enough credit already. if it is really close, & a guy does especially well during a Pennant race, OK, give him an edge,

    Mays had the highest league WAR 11 times, including in '64. But as James & others noted, voters get tired of giving the award to the same guys every year.

    4) I was never "too literal" re: Keller & OPS +. Review what you initially wrote. The wrong OPS +, but used it as evidence that OPS + may not show HOF eligibility. SO of course it should be pointed out that you did NOT point to a flaw in OPS + as an arbiter of offensive prowess, but that he had very limited longevity. If he had the PAs, as OPS + suggests & proves, he should have been put in the HOF.

    5) You are correct that OPS + can be a bit misleading re: platooning when you are pulled against difficult pitchers. But not that much: 'cause if you are missing that many games, you are putting up a lot less PAs. Thus not getting as much credit for your hitting as a f/t player. And most are noit platooned for mots of their career. Keller had an excellent OPS + in his few full years too. The amount you "dinged" Whitaker for his late career platooning? Was small, judicious, & very fair.

    6) There is language about character. It is widely disregarded, unless someone commits cardinal sins like betting on baseball, or something that much effects on field performance unethically & illegally, like PEDs. I agree with this standard. Otherwise we should not have in many of even the greatest players ever-Ruth, Williams, Cobb-these Gods just for ways they acted on the field or against Managers.

    7) You are correct, though stating the obvious, re: why Allen was not put in. Except you miss that before modern metrics, it was not fully realized too how good Allen was in his era/park context.

    8) That theory does not hold water. They could have said nothing, or been more measured in their praise. Even the reasons you present are very broad. And their were others like Red & Schmidt who also thought highly of Allen.

    9) So you think that almost all of us are wrong re: Allen being deserving of the HOF. O.K. But you really have not refuted how valuable his bat was, & how there is never any arguments where he is penalized for his glove, consider his career & peak value, & find him wanting of the HOF.

    Talking about why he was not put in, cherry picking something small in impact like Ks, & comparing him unfavorably to top 20 all time/baseball immortals do not amount to a relevant case against Allen. Unless you philosophically are a very "small Hall" guy, & think at least 1/2 the guys in are undeserving, & want the standards raised much higher:

    There is no fair rationale to keep Allen out. If even bill James can change his mind, you can too. Just like you saw (I assume since you did not debate my explanation) you were wrong that I was accusing you personally of any racism.

  38. Who wants a Dick Allen HOF poll?

  39. Mike Felber Says:

    Sure. I also had suggested Reggie Smith, who I feel is borderline.

  40. Michael E Sullivan Says:

    why not?

  41. OK, Im in favor a Dick Allen Hall of Fame poll...but we re all on our honor that we can only vote once!!!!

    Mike, I dont want to rain on your parade...but no one besides us and maybe one more poster is too involved in Dick allen yes or no...And I tried to saddle up and disengage once.

    Basic rule of thumb of voting for Rookies as MVP...their team should win he pennant or a conference title. See Fred Lynn, Ichiro Suzuki You claimed that it wasnt Allen s fault that the Phillies collapsed in 64. Well, whose fa<ult was it? Mauch because he pitchedf Bunning and Short with short rest? Allen shares in the responsibuility, he played every day....in 64

    Lots of playeras are rejected for the HOF...you are passionate about Allen, i feel strongly about Santo and Blyleven and Tommy John and luis Tiant and Jim Kaat I dont think that Tony Oliva who was the ROY in the AL in 64 got the credit that he deserved....as a matter of fact he got much more support then Allen did for the HOF balloting for 15 years and he s got some impressive black ink, but agreed he doesnt quite have the metrics that Allen did and he wasnt a strict power hitter. But if i had a choice between the two I owuld choose Oliva....

    You say its quite rare for players to hit for power and not have a lot of Ks. A power hitter can choke up, protect the plate and gasp...maye go to the oppositve field ....He doesn t always have to try and pull the ball. And maybe is someof these yahoos who strike out 175 times a year....studied more video and were more defenive at the plate, they would cut down on their strikeouts. A strikeout is only a good AB if the hitter can work the pitcher into a high pitch AB, foul balls....

    There is a big difference between you and I. I love baseball, like to discuss it, like to weigh in on Hallof Fame candidates...but I won t get too upset this year if my guys arent elected by the VC. This is a hobby for me, its not reality....and respectfully, I think you take this way to SERIOULSY!

  42. Michael E Sullivan Says:

    "Mike, I dont want to rain on your parade...but no one besides us and maybe one more poster is too involved in Dick allen yes or no...And I tried to saddle up and disengage once."

    the right way to disengage from an argument is to stop posting. nothing else actually works.

    Saying the other guy is taking things way too seriously looks a little silly when you are spending just as many pixels on the argument as he is.

  43. Mike Felber Says:

    Really Dennis? Read what Mr. Sullivan said for a reality check. I like to debate. I am not personally upset, just taking strong & well delineated positions. I never have had ANY emotional angst due to "my guys" not being elected. Break down the word assume, a.k.a what doing it does.

    You are free to disengage or not. I said I would answer you to set the record straight & support what I considered a rational argument. The threads we discuss these on were already old, so i cannot gauge lack of interest from others not jumping in-they may have already been off & on to other things. But I will bet a D.A. for the HOF thread attracts triple digit interest!

    Your idea(l) about reinforcing an honor system re: 1 man 1 vote I wholeheartedly support.

    You are a big HOF guy: Blyleven is a huge rhetorical cause I support, Santo sure...The others are more borderline to no for me. Case by case.

    It should not make much difference that a guy happens to be on a team where he goes to the post season for an MVP, absent some unusual "clutch" play. Same goes for rookie MVP: though again, I do not think Allen was the very best in '64, just that a case could be made. The collapse? It was all of the player's fault whose performance lagged, over those limited # of games. You cannot avoid looking at individual players actions and assume blame is due all, or spread equally.

    Lastly, I urge you to really listen to what I am saying, especially in a case like Ks & power hitters. Again: some players are too much free swingers or reckless with the count/strike zone. But 1) It is extremely hard to hit so well, let alone do so & strike out seldom. 2) Whether it is worth it to do other things like choke up for a power hitter is dubious-how much power & confidence will be lost? 3) It comes down to WHY a hitter Ks often, & if it is easily minimized with little bad secondary effects. Like so many things in life, the same things can be done-like K often-for distinct REASONS, & with different CONSEQUENCES if the strategy is changed.

    Ks are just not that much worse, in any worthwhile strategic measure, than other outs. Note I did not say meaningless. And many who K often have more fly balls/sacs/less GIDP.

    Lastly: are you aware that Allen was more of a "line drive" HR man? And that renowned baseball Historian Bill Jenkinson said he lost less power than anyone else (of the top power guys) going to the opposite field! While being in the top 5 EVER in pure power. You assume too much absent evidence re: how bad ks are, + assume unwarranted negatives about his plate approach, discipline & overall effort.

  44. OK, let me put the comment aobut the 9 inches in context because i realize it means nothign without some context...I wanted to say that a statistic pulled out of context means little.....A well endowed man isnt necessarily a good lover or attractive to woman.

    And yes Dick Allen won 3 slugging titles two HR titles and had the 19th highest OPS plus average in the history of baseball.

    And Dick Orr had a higher OPS plus, so how do you compare Allen to Orr? or Orr to any modern player....the contexts are totally different and so I don t think much of adjusted OPS as a stat..

    I might think of Allen with as Ive said....Reggie Jackson Jm Rice
    maybe Garry sheffield or Willie Stargell... But because they ar ein...and I didnt support Rice (I dont know what to think of sheffield, yet) but the others played longer............had some higher numbers and it doesnt man that Dick Allen gets a plaque.....

  45. Dennis, I appreciate the fact that you're making genuine arguments, but you just can't use that kind of language. (I am referring to a comment that has since been removed, and it wasn't removed by me.)

    Please keep your word choice away from anything vulgar, and there's no reason to refer to body parts like that.

  46. Andy, my apolgies.

    Let me make my final comment about Dick Allen.

    Mike Felber gave us int his thread a link to a Dicj Allen page. In the transcripot of an interview onthe front page of the site....Allen is quoted assaying that maybe he could have treated a writer differently or been nice to some people,but overall he was satisfied what he had done.

    OK; if he is satisfied.

    then why should the VC orr baseball fans lobby for him to enter the HOF? . why should any of us knock ourselves out for Dick Alllen?,

    ..

  47. Lou Whitaker certainly belongs in the HoF, but he'll never be voted in. He had a negative reputation, both as a player and with writers, who found him to be aloof and unfriendly. He also has the stigma of having played for the Detroit Tigers, who are probably the least-respected team in MLB. The last Tigers player to get voted into the HoF was Hal Newhouser by the veteran's committee, and the last one who got voted in by writers was Al Kaline (way back in 1980). The Tigers were one of the most successful teams of the 1980's but they won't get a single player into the Hall out of those teams, or they will be old and gray when the vet committee finally vote them in.