Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2017 Hall of Fame Ballot: Strictly by the Numbers



A baseball writer who has a Hall of Fame vote actually stated he didn't vote for Curt Schilling because of his World War II collection which included swastikas and Nazi Germany artifacts. The writer went on to say he voted for Schilling in the past but when he found out about his WWII collection he just could no longer vote for him.

The slippery slope of the character clause has made this whole process stupid. It is a BASEBALL Hall of Fame. Why can't we keep it at that. I am biased when it comes to Curt Schilling the baseball player. I am not biased when it comes to his politics. There are things I agree with him on and there are things where I think he has lost his mind. It doesn't matter though because it should be about baseball.

I used to be someone that didn't want the steroid guys in the Hall of Fame. The problem is nobody knows who was really on them and who wasn't on them. All we can do is guess. It is time to get rid of the character clause and just judge a guy by what he does on the baseball field in relation to his peers during the time he played. My Hall of Fame ballot is strictly by the numbers. It is just easier that way.

I look at five categories to determine who should be in the Hall of Fame from this ballot. Here they are:

The first category is the Hall of Fame Monitor. The HOFM is a Bill James creation that determines how likely it is that a player will make the Hall of Fame. 100 is likely with 130 and above a cinch.

The second category I looked at was Hall of Fame Career Standards, another Bill James creation where the average Hall of Famer has a score of 50 with the highest number being 100.

The third category I use is Wins Above Replacement (WAR). I know this isn't perfect but I am a WAR guy. It usually validates to me what my eyes see.

The forth category is WAR/7 which takes the average of a players 7 best seasons. I am not a big fan of compilers. I want to see how dominant you were and this stat is great for that.

The fifth and final category is JAWS or the Jaffe War Score System. This system measures a player's Hall of Fame worthiness by comparing him to the players at his position who are already enshrined, using advanced metrics to account for the wide variations in offensive levels that have occurred throughout the game's history.

Now that my categories are set I listed the top ten buys for each category who are on the ballot. If a player appears in the top ten in all five categories then he is a 5 star guy and so on. Here is what we found:

Five Star Guys 

Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Jeff Bagwell

Four Star Guys 

Manny Ramirez
Ivan Rodriguez
Curt Schilling
Larry Walker
Mike Mussina

Three Star Guys

Vladimir Guerrero
Sammy Sosa
Tim Raines
Edgar Martinez

Since you have ten spots on the ballot the eight guys who appear on the Five Star and Four Star lists should be in. There are now two spots left but four guys in that three star category. I have no problem voting for a guy that was a DH but he needs to be a slam dunk. In this case, Martinez is not a slam dunk so I can't vote for him this time around. Forget the steroid talk, Sammy Sosa was not as good of an all around player as either Raines or Vladdy.

My baseball ballot for 2017 looks like this:

Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Jeff Bagwell
Manny Ramirez
Ivan Rodriguez
Curt Schilling
Larry Walker
Mike Mussina
Tim Raines
Vladimir Guerrero

Here is the chart to see where each player ranks:


PlayerHOF MonitorPlayerHOF StandardsPlayerWARPlayerWAR/7PlayerJAWS
Bonds340Bonds76Bonds162.4Bonds72.7Bonds117.6
Clemens332Clemens73Clemens140.3Clemens66.3Clemens103.3
Ramirez226Ramirez69Mussina83Schilling49Schilling 64.5
Rodriguez226Sheffield61Schilling79.9Bagwell48.2Bagwell63.9
Guerrero209Bagwell59Bagwell79.6Walker44.6Mussina63.8
Sosa202Rodriguez58Walker72.6Mussina44.5Walker58.6
Schilling171Guerrero58Ramirez69.2Sosa43.7Martinez56
Hoffman159Walker58Raines69.1Martinez43.6Raines55.6
Sheffield158Mussina54Rodriguez68.4Raines42.2Ramirez54.6
Bagwell150Sosa52Martinez68.3Guerrerro41.1Rodriguez54







Thursday, January 5, 2017

How Will the Red Sox Handle the DH Spot in 2017?



The retirement of future Hall of Famer David Ortiz has left the Boston Red Sox without one of the cornerstones of their lineup. It’s also left the team without a regular designated hitter for the 2017 season after the Winter Meetings failed to produce any deals to bring over any candidates. Right now, Boston has few options other than to go with members of the current roster, a situation that very well could lead to more than one individual filling the spot.

Since only batting is required for this specific slot, there’s a strong chance that Red Sox manager John Farrell chooses to give put a player who can use it as a partial day off from the daily grind. One free agent that was considered was Edwin Encarnacion, who had split time in that role and at first base for American League East rival Toronto since 2011. However, he signed with the team that knocked the Red Sox out of the postseason in 2016, the Cleveland Indians. The likely reason that Boston didn’t aggressively pursue him was because they already have someone who performs those same duties, Hanley Ramirez.

The other reason is that Encarnacion’s cost, which is estimated at slightly more than $20 million per year, would have resulted in luxury tax penalties for the team. Ramirez could hold this slot for most of the season, playing when an opposing right hander takes the mound. The Red Sox hope that he has the same success as during the 2016 campaign, when he smashed 30 home runs and knocked in 111 runs and had better offensive numbers across the board. One key reason was that he played in 147 games, as opposed to his 105 contests from 2015. The position appears to agree with Ramirez, considering the fact that he’s compiled a .331 career batting average in that role in 155 plate appearances. While it’s a small sample, he’s smacked 10 home runs in that capacity, a number that translates into a 40-home run campaign over a full season. Ramirez himself appears to be fully preparing for the role, having begun Winter League play in the Dominican Republic as a designated hitter. In his 12 at bats, he’s only managed to collect two hits, but there’s still plenty of time for Ramirez to get into midseason form.

 Boston also has another option in Pablo Sandoval who, at least temporarily, appears to be committed to watching his always fluctuating weight. Sandoval has never been a great fielding third baseman and Travis Shaw looks to holding things down at that position. He missed virtually all of last year and is still owed $68 million by the Red Sox, a contract that no team would take in a trade. Since he missed virtually all of 2016, Sandoval's 2015 season showed that he was most effective against right handed pitchers. He currently has no role, so this might be his only hope of seeing the field.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Hard is What Makes it Great


Business Insider Science posted a great video titled The Science of Hitting a Major League Fastball, you definitely need to check it out. The basic summary is it is very hard and should be physically impossible.
It reminds me of great scene from the movie A League of Their Own. Dottie Hinson explains she is quitting baseball because it just got too hard. Jimmy Dugan explains it is supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.
I think this video by Business Insider Science sums up exactly what Jimmy Dugan was trying to say.