Time to settle an old debate: Trammell in, Concepcion out...way out

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Andy T., Dec 1, 2009.

  1. Andy T.

    Andy T.
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    Following is a list of the 500 greatest position players using the Wins Above Replacement (WAR) statistic. Many experts consider the WAR stat to be one of the definitive measures of a player's greatness - it factors in both offense and defense.

    http://www.baseballprojection.com/war/top500.htm

    A few highlights of the list:

    54. Lou Whitaker - the 2nd highest on the list not in the Hall of Fame (of those eligible).

    58. Barry Larkin - eligible this year and deserves to get in.

    65. Edgar Martinez - also eligible this year; I've always had mixed feelings about him, but the stats don't lie.

    67. Alan Trammell - 5th highest not in the Hall.

    72. Ron Santo - another deserving player not in the Hall, but not ahead of the Dynamic Duo.

    79. Tim Raines - I've always thought he was undervalued, and this proves it - should be in.

    84. Roberto Alomar - also eligible this year; should get in, but may not due to image problems and playing for half the league.

    165. Tony Perez - a very mediocre Hall of Famer; behind Ron Cey.

    235. Bill Freehan - ahead of Jim Rice.

    284. Tony Fernandez - I was laughed at for comparing him to the Great Davey Concepcion.

    And last but not least...

    375. Davey Concepcion - not...even...close. Surrounded by such immortals as Troy Glaus and Ron Gant.

    :smilewinkgrin:
     
  2. TomVols

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    Bill James lists this as a fallacy. It's the isolation of a statistic. I'd also question who the "experts" are, also prone to fallacy, and whether this is that universally accepted. Eddie Collins has been referred to often as marginal in the HOF, and he's in the top 10 (I happen to disagree). And if you use this to stack players, you'd have some very prominent names behind some that are clearly marginal. That said, it's an interesting statistic.

    5 HOFers are below Davey on this list (I'm assuming WARP2?). Ten are within a few of him. It would be interesting to see a seasonal breakdown of WARP for given years.

    BTW, Lou is behind those active and those ineligible.

    There will always be those who try to quantify players across eras statistically with finality and certainty. These are usually the HOF minimum types. I just think it's misguided.

    I don't think anyone laughed at you for comparing Tony to Davey. I just don't recall their stats being equal.

    Nice try, Andy :laugh: Besides, the debate has been long settled that Davey belongs in the HOF. You need to change the title of the thread :)
     
    #2 TomVols, Dec 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2009
  3. Andy T.

    Andy T.
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    Eddie Collins is in the top 10 because he had over 3,300 hits and a .333 career batting average. Clearly one of the all-time greats. I believe you are referring to Jimmy Collins who is listed at #147, which is definitely in the marginal area.

    How is the WAR stat an isolation of a statistic? Please explain. And who says Bill James is always right? You mock "my experts" but then all you do is quote the Infallible James. Is there an article by him discrediting the WAR stat?
     
  4. Bob Alkire

    Bob Alkire
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    Maybe the Reds' Hall of Fame, but not Baseball's Hall of Fame.
     
  5. Bob Alkire

    Bob Alkire
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    Eddie had a 328 batting average for 8 different World Series. Rather good, I would say.
     
  6. Andy T.

    Andy T.
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    And those 5 are among the worst choices the Hall voters/committee have ever made - Kell (a Tiger, BTW), Hafey, Lindstrom. Wright is in the Hall as a pioneer, I believe. In reality, when you look at this list, you could have worthwhile debate for those ranked #100 - #200. Once you get past #250 or so, there really isn't a debate anymore, but to be #375 means that it is out of the question - definitely not a Hall of Famer.
     
  7. TomVols

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    James (and others) rightly argue that you cannot isolate one statistic and make that the bene esse of a player's inclusion or exclusion. Some feel, for instance, that Maris is a lock because of his 61 HR season or that someone led their era in one number. It's a common argument. It's one plank in a person's argument for or against inclusion, but it should not be used as a litmus test. More than James argue this. James is not always right. However, among Sabremetricians like yourself, he's the Jedi Master. You say I mock your experts that praise WARP. I've yet to see you cite any. How could I mock them? I'm just saying a generic reference to "experts" is tenuous at best. "All the experts say Obama is a great President" certainly begs the question, does it not?

    No, I've read more than one article that claimed Eddie was marginal. I believe it to be total bunk.
    And I would agree wholeheartedly
    I don't argue with that. But that goes to the broader point as made above.

    Running late....more to come.....
     
  8. Andy T.

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    But WARP is not an isolated statistic - it's a formula that combines all statistics to determine a player's overall value, much like James' Win Shares. James's goal in the Win Shares system was to find an easily communicated measure to determine a player's overall value. BTW, in James' Wins Shares system, Concepcion is not even in the top 25 SS's of all-time...and Tony Fernandez is ahead of him. Only the most overt Reds homer would think Davey should be in. (Trammell is 9th on James's list.)

    I find it extremely hard to believe that anyone has ever argued against Eddie Collins - you will have to show me those articles. I've seen plenty of argument against Jimmy, but never Eddie.
     
  9. TomVols

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    There are plenty of Reds homers out there who argue that Foster, Rijo, Soto, Sabo, et.al. should be in. I regularly incur their wrath when I show them the numbers that argue otherwise.

    While WARP is indeed an amalgamation of statistics, a distillation to some, it is still one measure (which is how I mean isolated), and an aribtrary one at that. I would no more use this as a lynch pin than I would WHIP, era+, or WS (don't get me started on win shares). You just simply cannot take one statistic out, shelve it, and claim it to be the smoking gun one way or the other. It's the bane of the boo-yah, Paris Hilton crowd, and it has harmed the HOF perhaps beyond measure as Olbermann says.

    I don't have the numbers in front of me, but James called Davey the best SS of the 1970s, so if those WS are true, something else sure made Bill think differently.

    I'll look for those articles about Collins. I typically don't save trash, though :)
    Collins is a remarkable character. I know too many who have their opinion of him solely on the "Eight Men Out" book/movie, and I suspect the naysayers base it on this too. His numbers speak for themselves, and I know he had his ethical lapses potentially, though not one of the Black Sox. But his most enduring legacy off the field allegedly comes from his role in getting Yawkey to buy the Red Sox.

    Back to the broader point.....someone will argue against anyone, and they all have a stat to make their case. That's the problem with eisegesis, isolation, and bias. I have heard SABRs argue against almost anyone you can name, based on some isolated arbitrary stat like WS, WARP, ERA+, FR, or even HR, RBI, etc. Myopic axe grinders are always going to bang their cheap drums. I know there's a novelty in the novel, but honestly, does Joe Snorfeldorfer think he's honestly impressing anyone by suggesting Babe Ruth was not a HOFer?

    Okay, off the soapbox now.
     
    #9 TomVols, Dec 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2009
  10. Andy T.

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    Not all stats are the same. WARP is not an isolated stat. Looking at SLG instead of just HR helps us separate the Schmidts from the Kingmans. Looking at BA instead of just singles helps us separate the Gwynns from the Templetons. Some stats have more meaning and provide more insight into a player's value than other isolated stats. RBI is an isolated stat. Runs scored. Hits. Etc. OPS+ is much more meaningful than all those stats. A stat like WARP or Win Shares even factors in defense and the player's position.

    And if I recall, the only support you've ever provided for Davey being in the Hall were isolated stats - like him winning the AS MVP once, or having as many career hits as some other guy in the Hall. Those are isolated stats.
     
    #10 Andy T., Dec 2, 2009
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  11. TomVols

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    Andy, my friend, I love discussing sports with you. You're not in here enough!

    Now, I have to chide you a bit because you're not paying attention to my posts. I am not disagreeing that WARP is a distillation or amalgamation of statistics. I'm saying you are isolating THAT statistic as some sort of litmus test. I concur with those experts I've named that say one cannot do this with ANY one stat or metric for a person's inclusion or exclusion. You yourself make this case when you say:
    You have to look at at totality of a player's accomplishments, which is what I've done with Davey as opposed to what you assert. (I'm hurt you don't remember by heart all the conversations we've had and all the numbers) :laugh:
    I have some appreciation for that. My biggest fault, and this is not just mine, is that WARP, WS, et.al. are arbitray in nature. Tweak the formula one more way this direction or that and you can get a substantially different number. And the numbers suggested for what makes a HOFer and what does not is virtually purely arbitrary. Also, these numbers are in comparison to a mythical player in a mythical park circumstance relative to others, over a determined but not realized set of circumstances. How in the world can this be a valid test? I thought what a player did on the field counted. Granted, I'm not one of the antiSabr people out there. These metrics can be useful. But baseball is not played on my HP 12C. It's played on the field. To try to extrapolate what a player could have done in 162 games instead of 89 is just begging for lunacy. I think a SABR guy like Olbermann is fair here. Look at the whole body of work. Include the exotic numbers if you will. But don't make a case based on any segmentation - it's just too tenuous.

    Maybe someday there will be the much desired codified minimums (we already have the unofficial ones) for HOF like the LPGA has. I hope that day never comes. If the LPGA didn't have them, I know we'd be talking about the sport of women's pro golf much more around here :tongue3:
     
  12. Andy T.

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    Yes, we have fun, don't we?

    Let me clarify - I never said we should use WARP or Win Shares as the determining factor of who should be in the Hall. But I will say, if a guy is ranked 375th in WARP and the 26th best SS in Win Shares, then there needs to be other compelling reasons to merit his election into the Hall. I'm sorry, there is no compelling contrary argument for Davey. He was a good SS on a great team, nothing more.
     
  13. TomVols

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    Andy, it's a blast!
    I respect your opinion. I'm just one of many who happen to disagree. If he'd only been a Tiger, you'd be on board :laugh: And I'm just thankful he never played for the Twins :laugh:
     
    #13 TomVols, Dec 3, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2009
  14. Andy T.

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    Ok, now that we've gotten nowhere on the Davey debate, does anything jump out at you on the WARP list? I still think is a valuable tool. One guy that surprised me was Reggie Smith at #86.
     
  15. TomVols

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    Oh, we got somewhere. Right back where we started :) You don't think he's in, and I still do despite his WARP being not so impressive.

    A lot of things are interesting to me. One, you have HOFers all over the chart. They are anywhere from 1 to 479. That should surprise absolutely no one, but still, it says something. Two, the fact that Bonds is that high is somewhat surprising. I don't think he won a GG his first few years, and did not during his last ten or so. That said, his defense should not be discounted. But I don't think I'd call him the second best player all-time, which is what the WARP intimates. Third, you have an unusual number of outfielders near the top. I don't know if I call this surprising, just interesting.

    I'd be curious to take a different trajectory. There are 20 non-HOFers in the top 75. Of these, who is the highest you'd say does not belong? How many of these do you believe should get in or will get in?

    Let me ask another one: who's the highest HOFer you believe should not be in? This should be fun :)

    I'd love to see seasonal breakdowns and positional breakdowns. I love this stuff.
     
  16. TomVols

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    Just checked Reggie's stats. One GG, though several AS trips. I agree with you.
     
  17. Andy T.

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    Laying the whole steroids debate aside, of those 20, I would not put in the following (as of now):

    Bobby Grich (61)
    Edgar Martinez (65) - I just can't get past the DH-only thing - if his career stats were just a little more impressive (for the era he played in), I would put him in. If he makes it, no biggie.
    Larry Walker (66) - stats are too inflated for his best years playing at Coors.
    Jim Edmonds (69) - yet. I think he is close, though.

    Tony Perez (165)

    Did I disappoint? ;)

    Actually my real answer would probably be Joe Gordon at 139.

    There are some marginal ones in the 100's, but a lot of them I don't know enough about without more research - Flick, Hooper, Collins (Jimmy).
     
  18. TomVols

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    Ha! I knew you would say Doggie!

    You think Edmonds is really that close? I'd have to look at his numbers more closely. Face value, I can't disagree with the ones you'd exclude. I'd like to look at the numbers though, just for fun, and I hope to check them more later.
     
  19. Andy T.

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    I don't think he'll make it, but his OPS numbers are really good and he was one of the premier CF's of his time. He is declining fast, though, so I doubt he will pad his career numbers enough to get in.
     
  20. TomVols

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    Edmonds: Among OF, 10th in his era in HR (could get to 8th); 15th in RBI; 5th most Ks; 15th in SLG; 15th in OPS; 15th in RC; 17th in RP. I think it's hard to make a case for him in light of these numbers. I think if he played a while longer at a productive level, he'd make the cust of being borderline. He's a great player, but not great enough for the Hall. He does have a couple of intagibles going for him, but that's it.
     

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