Comments on: HOF Ballot Insanity This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Nash Bruce Thu, 13 Jan 2011 05:16:11 +0000 oops, sorry, in 137, I meant "(in which, I.....)"
still tired from the workweek:)

By: Nash Bruce Thu, 13 Jan 2011 05:11:37 +0000 @81, I'm sure, as with one of my previous comments, in another thread (in which, which referred to something as being "garbage") you didn't really mean that I "stole" your HMMPMP Index.......LOL
if many a common man is asking for it, maybe the time has come, for such a thing!!

By: Nash Bruce Thu, 13 Jan 2011 04:57:29 +0000 sorry, I've been busy for days, but @104 && @109........totally, amen!!

By: John Autin Mon, 10 Jan 2011 18:17:41 +0000 Jumping back into the McLain thread ... I do agree that his '68 season tends to be somewhat overrated; after all, he was 4th in the AL in both raw ERA and ERA+, with Tiant way better in ERA+ (186-154).

But McLain did dominate in at least one area: His 336 IP led the AL by a large margin -- 44 more than #2 (Chance), 57 more than #3, and 78 more than Tiant. It was the highest AL total in 22 years, highest in MLB in 13 years. His 28 CG was almost 50% more than the next guys.

McLain carrying such a heavy workload helped the Tigers overcome the fact that they had no other very good starters that year. Earl Wilson had a 106 ERA+ in 224 IP, Mickey Lolich a 96 ERA+ in 220 IP, and Joe Sparma an 82 ERA+ in 182 IP.

All Tigers starters other than McLain combined for a 3.28 ERA and 6.17 IP per start. McLain had a 1.96 ERA and averaged 8.20 IP per start. McLain took a lot of pressure off of a bullpen that really went just 3 deep in quality, and with 2 of those guys chipping in a combined 22 starts.

By: John Autin Mon, 10 Jan 2011 06:01:05 +0000 Chuck @127 -- I'd be willing to discuss that arrangement. But since you're a big-time writer and all, I'd have to charge you.

By: John Q Mon, 10 Jan 2011 05:57:26 +0000 The bottom line about '68 is that McLain received insane run support. 5.2 runs per game in that offensive environment is unbelievable. No other pitchers in the majors had more than 4.9. McLain ranked 1/84 out of all starting pitchers in the Major Leagues that year. Put that together with good Tigers defense and that explains his 30 win season.

It doesn't mean McLain pitched mediocre baseball he actually pitched great baseball. It just means his 30 win season is an overrated season in terms of his Cy Young & MVP and legendary status. His 5.9 WAR more correctly reflects the type of season he had, great season but not legendary.

Tiant by comparison finished 48/84 in run support.

Gibson finished 61/84 in run support. Any kind of decent run support in '68 and Gibson would have won 30 games.

Dick Ellsworth finished 24/35 in the AL ERA title in 1968 but was able to win 16 games because he finished second, 2/84 in the majors in run support.

By: Johnny Twisto Mon, 10 Jan 2011 04:38:24 +0000 So, let's look at last year's Tigers without Cabrera. With him, they we 81-81. Without him, what would they be? Not much worse. .... look at those 68 Tigers without Denny McLain. What would they have been without him? So far from the year's best team it wouldn't even be funny. ... Can I- and those like me- ever convince you to abandon WAR and consider arguments like that for voting MVP?

Why wouldn't the Tigers have been much worse without Cabrera? Because there is no difference between 60 wins, dead last, and .500?

The '68 Tigers won the league by 12 games. Are you saying that without McLain they would have been, say, 20 games worse?

Those aren't arguments for voting for MVP, they are opinions, and not opinions with any solid foundation.

And come on....John A. is right, your Babe Ruth MVP argument is really painful.

By: John Autin Sun, 09 Jan 2011 23:42:56 +0000 Barkfart @121 asked: "Why else did Babe Ruth only win one MVP? The voters said; "don't be so selfish, you already won one". He didn't get a single vote in his 60 HR season."

It's true that Ruth got no votes. Nevertheless, it's obvious that Barkfart completely misunderstands what happened -- or else he is deliberately ignoring the facts in order to bolster his argument.

First, the "Most Valuable Player Award" did not exist until 1931; the award that went to Lou Gehrig in 1927 was the League Award, which in the AL ran from 1922-28. But let's call that a technicality. The real issue is, why didn't Ruth get any votes?

See, the League Award had different rules than the MVP Award we know now. And one of those rules, in the AL, was that no one was eligible to win it more than once.

Of course, knowing the complete history of the major awards is no prerequisite for posting here, nor for making a compelling argument. But I'm really surprised that Barkfart could get hold of the fact that Ruth got no votes in 1927, despite his record 60 HRs, and not have alarm bells go off in his head that would drive him to find out why. The voting shown on B-R for the '27 award lists 25 different players. Not one vote for Ruth??? Come on -- how can you buy that? Doesn't it defy credulity to think that Slim Harriss, Jack Rothrock and Phil Todt got votes, but none went to the league's best hitter, who was also on one of the best teams ever? (Ruth: 356 BA, 60 HRs, led the league in runs, walks, OBP and SLG, as usual. Yanks: 110-44, won the AL by 19 games.)

With this understanding of the '27 vote, let's go back to Barkfart's full paragraph, which I excerpted at the top of my post:

"Can I- and those like me- ever convince you to abandon WAR and consider arguments like that for voting MVP? I don't think so. But the truth of the matter is that the award was considered like that for decades. Why else did Babe Ruth only win one MVP? The voters said; "don't be so selfish, you already won one". He didn't get a single vote in his 60 HR season." (emphasis added)

The fact that Barkfart was led so far astray by the voting record undercuts his entire argument. To put it bluntly, you can't very well lecture people about what the awards meant in decades past if you not only don't know the history, but aren't even curious enough to pursue such a puzzling lead as Ruth getting no votes in '27.

You can read more about the history of the MVP awards here:

B-R's MVP page is here; I wish it had a link to some text explaining the gaps in the chronology and the rules for the Chalmers and League Awards.

By: Mike Felber Sun, 09 Jan 2011 22:10:06 +0000 Whaddya mean Chuck? You write articles for, I did one, but mainly for several years now we have been discussing & debating thing there, with you sometimes getting....upset with comments made by me & others. Just recently saying you do not give a bleep what I think there....

There is no way to know exactly, the question is how often metrics that purport to well estimate the wins that a player adds (or subtracts) are very accurate, fairly accurate, or not at all so. Whether they are or not is a long discussion-you are more on the extreme end re: thinking they have shown (& are not likely to have), no good resemblance to the truth. I find WAR reasoning pretty good here, though something like defense is sometimes suspect. Though when we look at the degree of value that can be added by defense in most all cases, it is not the degree of uncertainty that batting flaws would have. There are other questions to, about pitching, the value of a walk in different systems of WAR is a BIG question, & other things concerning what goes into the different formulas.

And that is my biggest objection. I lobby for a thread where not only the disparate methods of WAR-makin' are listed-which would take up several lines in a link-& the salient differences explained-but most crucially: HOW do we know whether this Web Site's WAR is best, worst, better or worse depending upon the player's profile, or somewhere in between? They sometimes vary greatly.

If WAR is considered to have any importance, when a site like this gives it enormous prominence in figuring player value, & commenters here also routinely use it to figure player peak & career value, we should have a detailed discussion so folks can either come to some consensus, see what problems remain that need to be worked out, or come to their own conclusions, provisional or more definitively, of what WAR to use, or how to adjust each version.

But even a 5% difference is significant, 10% is large, but even 25% & 33% variations in player valuations between the systems are not uncommon!

By: Chuck Sun, 09 Jan 2011 18:23:54 +0000 "But just how many extra wins do you think ANY one player could bring a team?"

Great question, Mike.

The truth is there is no way to know, and using things like WAR and DNERA+ could hardly be seen as "compelling" or "convincing" evidence.