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  1. while i loved watching edgar hit because of how beautifully he did it, i have trouble justifying his HOF election, as his power numbers are insignificant, his fielding was non-existent and his base running was mediocre at best. Basically, he was an excellent contact hitter with some power. And unfortunately, the major flaw in your argument is that morris’s performance won a world series; edgar went on to bat .087/.192/.087 in the alcs that very year as the mariners got bounced. in fact, for his career, edgar was .156/.239/.234 in alcs play and the mariners never reached the world series. so basically, as the stage got bigger, edgar choked.

    Comment by wiffleball — January 4, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

  2. what a bizarre characterization. .418 career OBP.

    Comment by Steve — January 4, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

  3. This isn’t an argument for Edgar Martinez’s candidacy. I understand why some people will not vote for him. I think he belongs, but I’m biased, and I can admit that he’s a bubble candidate.

    The point, though, is that applying an even handed analysis to both Morris and Martinez will not result in different answers. You cannot make a case for Morris and exclude Martinez. Edgar was the better player. The only thing Morris has over Martinez is Game 7 of the 1991 WS, which Edgar matched with his own superlative post-season performance.

    If you want to talk about other post-season performances, then you have to begin to question Morris’ true abilities to pitch in October. He was absolutely terrible in the 1992 World Series, losing both games he pitched for Toronto and posting an 8.44 ERA. His career post-season ERA is a pedestrian 3.80.

    If a single great performance in one post-season is worth consideration, then Martinez’s 1995 ALDS performance deserves consideration as well. By applying the same standard to both players, they are either both yes or both no. There is no way to conclude that Morris should be in and Martinez out, unless you just are applying different standards.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — January 4, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

  4. File this under “2 wrongs don’t make a right.”

    Comment by noseeum — January 4, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

  5. Dave, hate to say it, but even a lot of your own readership doesn’t apply the same standards to Edgar Martinez as they do to everyone else.

    Look how many people would put Raines in here at the drop of a hat but magically Edgar “doesn’t stack up” (and I’m an avid Raines for the Hall-guy).

    If you take out his 2001 ALDS clunker when he was like 879 years old, his career postseason line is .287/.394/.565.

    Comment by Joe R — January 4, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

  6. That ALDS was amazing. Randy Johnson coming out of the bullpen in Game 5 might be my favorite non-Phillies baseball moment of all time (that I remember).

    Comment by Bill — January 4, 2010 @ 1:16 pm

  7. Except the Mariners didn’t win the World Series in 1995. They didn’t even make it to the World Series. No one talks about Arod’s phenomenal ALDS against the Twins in 2004 because the Yankees got beat by the Red Sox.

    No one cares about ALDS stats unless they support a ring. That’s just the way it is.

    Comment by noseeum — January 4, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

  8. And that is, of course, stupid.

    Comment by Dave Cameron — January 4, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

  9. His career post-season ERA is a pedestrian 3.80.

    As opposed to his career regular-season ERA of 3.90. See? He raised his game when it mattered most!

    In all seriousness though, what Morris’ G7 did was change the *perception* about him (as opposed to giving, say, Mariano Rivera bonus points for his tangible career post-season accomplishments), and because this is an argument about perception, Edgar’s monster ALDS isn’t going to generate the same perception-change that Morris doing it in 1991’s final game did.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 4, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

  10. And yes, I agree with you that this is stupid, but I think your trying to force the “Edgar’s ALDS was as valuable as Morris’ G7″ argument, when people who use G7 as part of Morris’ campaign aren’t using it for the value that one game added to his career accomplishments.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 4, 2010 @ 1:29 pm

  11. Insignificant power numbers?
    His career ISO is the same as Jim Rice, slightly ahead of Orlando Cepeda, Andre Dawson, and others. And also, he hit .312. He’s 112th all time in HR (which is nothing to scoff at). He didn’t not have power.

    He was also a plus fielder before getting moved full time to DH. This wasn’t an Adam Dunn scenario.

    And Morris, sans his one great outing, was 6-4 with a 4.26 ERA in the postseason. In the WS, 3-2 w/ a 3.67 ERA. He was pretty much a regular guy in the postseason outside of one great game.

    Comment by Joe R — January 4, 2010 @ 1:29 pm

  12. “and that is of course stupid.”

    But isn’t this whole exercise? Don’t you think the same people that put so much weight on Morris’ World Series win would roll their eyes at this argument?

    They are starting off on an illogical footing if they think one game can put someone over the edge for the hall of fame. You’re asking these same people to use logic to determine that Edgar has his hall of fame moment too. That makes no sense.

    If someone says “Jack Morris singlehandedly got his team a WS ring with that gutty 10 inning CG” they will also say, “who cares about the ALDS? The Mariners didn’t win squat that year.” There’s no point in attempting to see things through their prism. Just simply say, “Jack Morris is not a hall of famer based on one game,” and move on.

    Comment by noseeum — January 4, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

  13. What was DS WPA?

    Comment by The Hit Dog — January 4, 2010 @ 1:44 pm

  14. Morris lucked out in some respects that the 1992 Blue Jays won the WS despite him. The Jays lost 4 games that postseason, three of which were started by Morris, and his fourth start also stunk (3.1 IP, 5R/ER). If his epic stink-fest that postseason (23 IP, 19 R/ER) had cost the Jays a title, maybe he doesn’t get so much credit? That was just the next year after his big moment too. You can be sure that if he won a couple of starts that year, his boosters would be crowing it from the rooftops as further proof of his worthiness.

    Edgar shouldn’t get much credit for his 1995 series without docking credit for his second 1995 series, as noted above, terrible and possibly terrible enough to cost a team a series they lost in six games. His career 71 ALCS PA with an OPS of .474…awful. So no, Edgar doesn’t get any extra credit for his postseasons, Seattle area memories aside.

    Comment by aweb — January 4, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

  15. Of course one happened in the ALDS, while the other took place in the World Series. Maybe that is why they don’t mention it…

    Comment by Joe — January 4, 2010 @ 2:11 pm

  16. This isn’t a fair argument. I agree with Cameron that Jack Morris does not belong in the Hall of Fame, and that basing the argument for his candidacy on one game (even if it is WS game 7) results in a stupid argument.

    But if someone does base their reasoning on Morris’s WS performance, they can still be completely consistent and dismiss E-Mart. The ALDS is not the same thing as the WS. Case closed. And to further undermine the argument, E-Mart performed terribly in all 3 ALCS’s he played in.

    Comment by cannatar — January 4, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

  17. edgar’s a legend. if you wanted a model hitter for kids to emulate, it would be this guy.

    Comment by arsenal — January 4, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

  18. The #1 thing I hate about anti-Martinez points is when people bring up his count stats.

    Hitting isn’t about home runs, or hits, or anything. It’s about runs. Runs win baseball games. Martinez, per b-r, is 29th all time in adjusted batting runs, and 38th of all time in adjusted batting wins. And look at the people he’s ahead of.

    Gwynn, over his career, was more valuable than Martinez, sure, but nowhere near enough that Gwynn is a first ballot HoF and Martinez isn’t.

    Comment by Joe R — January 4, 2010 @ 4:07 pm

  19. I’d rather have Curt Schilling in a post-season game than Jack Morris.

    Comment by NEPP — January 4, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

  20. Comparing a guy to Jim Rice isn’t exactly a glowing HoF recommendation.

    Comment by NEPP — January 4, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

  21. Except that un-adjusted power numbers are Rice’s one argument, while it’s a secondary component for Edgar.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 4, 2010 @ 4:33 pm

  22. I’d rather have Javier Vazquez in a post-season game than Jack Morris.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 4, 2010 @ 4:33 pm

  23. I’d rather have Rick Vaughn than all of them.

    Comment by Joe R — January 4, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

  24. One’s ISO came from years at Fenway
    One’s ISO came from years at the Kingdome

    Rice’s road ISO: .182
    Martinez’s road ISO: .202

    And per b-r, 24.37% of Edgar’s batted balls were line drives. This guy straight up hit the ball hard.

    And it’s not that I’m using rice as a minimum point. I’m using Rice to say “Well you put this guy in, so why not this guy?” Rice also had the benefit of Boston sportswriters inventing some sort of conspiracy against Rice by other writers because he was a “jerk”.

    Hey, he still is, and I have to watch him attempt to analyze baseball all season on NESN. Maybe my tone would be different if I was born in like 1968, but I do not like Jim Rice.

    Comment by Joe R — January 4, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

  25. I reject the basic premise that Jack Morris is only receiving serious consideration for the HOF for that one single World Series performance. Maybe that’s when some people noticed Morris, but that says more about them than him. He demonstrated excellence throughout his career. I saw him pitch in the ’84 World Series. He pitched two complete games — winning both — with a less-than- pedestrian ERA of 2.00. It’s not like the guy only pitched one good game in his career. But without that premise, there would be no reason to write this piece.

    Comment by Keith Laughlin — January 4, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

  26. I’m not a Jack Morris-for-HOF advocate by any means, but you’re comparing an ALDS performance to a World Series performance. I think that explains the disparity among people’s perceptions, at least those people who are willing to put that much stock in isolated postseason performances. The division series haven’t even been around for two decades.

    Comment by WY — January 4, 2010 @ 5:48 pm

  27. I agree.

    Comment by WY — January 4, 2010 @ 5:49 pm

  28. I think they’re both not in, but this is sheer hyperbole:

    “There is no way to conclude that Morris should be in and Martinez out, unless you just are applying different standards.”

    “No way”? None at all? Even if the criteria has nothing to do with postseason performances? Despite the fact that they played different positions in (slightly) different eras? Come on.

    Comment by WY — January 4, 2010 @ 5:53 pm

  29. Daves bias for Seattle and Seattle players is getting to be a little much…

    Morris was argubally the best pitcher in the his time….

    Edgar was a good hitting DH!!!!

    Anyways, Trammel not being in yet is the biggest travasty in the HOF voting!!!

    Comment by Jeff — January 4, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

  30. They both should be in the hall, period.

    Comment by mowill — January 4, 2010 @ 7:47 pm

  31. Morris was argubally the best pitcher in the his time….

    Sure, in the sense that Jim Rice was arguably the best player on his team. Of course, there’s a much, much better argument for other players…

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 4, 2010 @ 7:48 pm

  32. Not.Even.Close.

    You could have stopped at “ALDS vs. g7 of WS”.

    Who compares ANYTHING in the ALDS to something in the WS in terms of historical importance?

    The actual performance *may* have been similar, but NOT the context.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 4, 2010 @ 8:28 pm

  33. if by “period”, you mean “except for Morris”, then yes, I agree.

    Comment by Steve — January 4, 2010 @ 10:20 pm

  34. Edgar was a great hitting DH. Edgar is proof OBP is still undervalued by the masses.

    I disagree about Trammel, close, but Blyleven takes the cake, and he’s the single reason I don’t even care about the HOF. He’s the proof the writers are an idiotic collective that mean nothing when it comes to baseball analysis. They’re opinion on player and team valuation is close to worthless.

    Comment by Chris Miller — January 4, 2010 @ 10:36 pm

  35. Let me guess: Ann Arbor? Flint? Grosse Pointe?

    Comment by LeiterWagnerFasterStronger — January 4, 2010 @ 11:11 pm

  36. It’s hard to understand how a player who stands 33rd all time in OPS, 22nd lifetime OBP, and won two batting titles, is not worthy of the Hall of Fame. If you want to make an argument that others are more worthy, then fine. But if someone is the 33rd best hitter in the history of baseball, and 22nd all time best at getting on base, then don’t tell me he doesn’t belong in the hall of fame. That’s what the Hall of Fame is for. What are we doing? Closing the door at 32? or at 21?

    What Edgar did in the 1995 Mariner-Yankee series was quite possibly the greatest hitting performance of any post season series. He carried an already exhausted Mariner team (13 games back in August, one game playoff followed by an immediate trip to New York) on his back, and with an 0-2 deficit, one game from elimination, hit the living crap out of the ball, over and over again. It was absolutely extraordinary what Edgar did in game 4 of that series.

    If we’re going to denigrate the ALDS because it wasn’t the World Series, then let’s start calling Bobby Thomson’s hit the “shot heard round the block”. And nobody seems to hold it against him that he hit a lackluster .238 in the following series.

    Comment by Rick — January 4, 2010 @ 11:15 pm

  37. I’d say Frank Thomas, but Edgar should be in the Hall.

    Comment by AInquisition — January 4, 2010 @ 11:28 pm

  38. “If we’re going to denigrate the ALDS because it wasn’t the World Series, then let’s start calling Bobby Thomson’s hit the “shot heard round the block”. And nobody seems to hold it against him that he hit a lackluster .238 in the following series.”


    Let’s stick with Apples-2-Apples.

    [1] Nobody is using Bobby Thompson’s HR as a comparative piece for his HoF case.
    [2] Thompson’s hit immediately put his team in the “LCS” (if you will), which in itself is greater than Edgar’s heroics. Not that it matters to the Morris v Martinez comparison.

    What I and others are saying is “The ALDS is NOT game 7 of the WS” in terms of historical significance. No one is saying the ALDS is meaningless or insignificant, only that it’s NOT g7 of the WS. That part should be obvious.

    Jack Clark and Jim Edmonds also had huge “series winning/saving” HRs. It doesn’t push them into the HoF.

    We’re just saying that Martinez’s big game in the LDS is NOT comparable to Morris’s HUGE moment in g7 of one of the best WS in history (perhaps THE best WS game ever).

    I wouldn;t put Morris in just on the strength of that game alone … but, kickin major ass for TWO WS champs (4-0 1.54 ERA in 4 ’84/’91 GS), certainly helps a 254-win career. It also defeats the idea that Morris was just “lucky” to be on a champion team, because he was a BIG reason why they were champs, not the other way around.

    Completely different situations.

    I love Edgar “Pujols Lite” Martinez as a hitter, but some of these scenarios are big stretches to try and equate Edgar’s performances with some others.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 4, 2010 @ 11:44 pm

  39. It would be more accurate to compare Martinez’s OPS to the other hitters in his ERA, rather than comparing them to hitters across many eras, which includes the dead ball era, pitching dominant era of the 60s, segregation era, etc.

    Where does Martinez rank in OPS from a period of years, such as the 90s, or 1995 to 2005?

    He played during an ERA where SLG was unmatched … one guy hit 60+ HR’s 3 times, another hit 70, and yet another hit 73.

    Furthermore he played in an ERA where power numbers are under suspicion, which might factor in for a guy who hit his stride at age 32. I’m not accussing, but it cannot be ignored either.

    Of those “top 33″ years in OPS, how many of them came in the 90s or 2000s?

    In the last 100 years of baseball, 33 (55%) of the Top 60 OPS seasons occurred before the 90s. Meanwhile, 27 (45%) of the top 60 have occurred in the past 2 decades.

    Compare Edgar to his peers, not players who played in much lighter hitting eras. It may work to his advantage, it may not … but at least it’s fair.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 4, 2010 @ 11:56 pm

  40. Morris was 4-0 1.54 in the years his teams won the WS (84 and 91). You guys kill me with this “one great outing” stuff.

    FWIW, that 7 ER in 41 WS IP (1984 and 1991).

    I’m also seeing Morris as a 7-4 3.60 post-season pitcher, including 4-2 2.96 in 3 WS. He was actually much better in the WS than he was in the LCS, but that also might have some DH component to it.

    You need to review the stats.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 5, 2010 @ 12:02 am

  41. Edgar’s tied for 39th in Adjusted OPS+, so it’s not like he takes too big of a hit when we adjust for context. He’s also tied for 38th in wRC+, which accounts for all offensive contributions (min 3,000 PA for both).

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 5, 2010 @ 12:14 am

  42. Any reason you’re ignoring ’92, besides the fact that it torpedoes any “Morris is teh clutchy gamer!!!1!” argument?

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 5, 2010 @ 12:16 am

  43. Dude, I listed:

    [1] His COMPLETE post-season W-L record and ERA.

    and also his

    [2] W-L record and ERA for the 2 WS championship teams.

    I’m not looking for an angle. I did this because (A) the numbers another person posted were innaccurate (especially in light of the “regular guy except for that one game” comment), and to show that Morris just wasn;t a lucky 3rd SP on really good teams, but he was one of the MAIN reasons why DET and MIN won those titles.

    (CAPs for emphasis, not yelling.)

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 5, 2010 @ 12:47 am

  44. The OPS is what it is, ONE metric. I find it strange that so often, people point out Martinez’s OPS rating, but then ignore all of the other metrics where he lags greatly behind because those metrics happen to be counting stats …. even though we all know counting stats are a BIG part of being elected to the HoF.

    You brought in wRC, which appears to count heaviloy in his favor.

    I have Edgar “slightly not” making the H0F, but certainly wouldn;t object if he made it in. As I said in another Edgar discussion, his batting stance/approach/mechanics is how you teach hitters to hit … hands high, slightly elevated swing, line drives to both gaps. I call him “Pujols Lite” because they are similar type hitters (and builds),

    Unfortunately for Edgar his career did not start early enough. Part of that really bothers me, because I don’t want to consider that perhaps EM did have some assistance (like many other players did), but another part of me knows there’s no other way around it.

    The obstacle is that he has 2200 hits and 300 HRs for a guy that’s looking to get in “with his bat”, and ONLY with his bat.

    He’s Larry Walker without defense or stolen bases?

    If THAT’s the criteria we’re going to use for 1990/2000s hitters, there’s going to be A LOT (compared to history) of 2200+ hits, 300+ HRs, high OPS, high wRC, guys to go into the HoF just because of the nature of the era (lotsa,lotsa, lotsa, offense).

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 5, 2010 @ 12:59 am

  45. A more accurate title might be “Edgar’s Matt Morris Moment”.

    ’02 LDS.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 5, 2010 @ 1:16 am

  46. E-Mart. I just gagged and vomited at the same time. I gavomited.

    Comment by JAH — January 5, 2010 @ 1:50 am

  47. If I had my way, a lot of players currently in the Hall of Fame would not be. In turn I would not vote for Gar and Morris because there numbers aren’t quite up to my standards. However I am not in charge and since I’m not, others have made it in with comparible numbers to Edgar and Jack so they should both be shoe-ins.
    Regarding other comments made, whoever thinks that Edgar Martinez was a choker or was somehow less effective as a DH, you simply have no idea what you’re talking about. The playoffs are a short sample size, besides you shouldn’t make in the HALL because you had a good division or world series. (Ever heard of Scott Brosius. ’98 World Series MVP) It’s all about career numbers. Edgar was regarded as a good defensive 3rd baseman until his hammies pulled. He may have been a DH but, he never hurt the M’s by wanting to play a poor 1st base or outfield such as certain hall of famers who were horrible defensively, so don’t hold the DH thing against him. He still hit 309 homers, 514 doubles, over 1200 rbi and runs scored, just shy of 1300 walks, 2,247 hits, career .312 hitter, .418 OB%, .515 SLG%, .933 OPS, plus five seasons with over a 1.000 OPS and two batting titles.
    (If i repeated anyone’s comments, deal with it.)

    Comment by crix — January 5, 2010 @ 2:48 am

  48. can someone please send this post to every single writer that has a hall of fame vote? quickly?


    Comment by sam — January 5, 2010 @ 7:33 am

  49. Can’t compare Vaughn (closer) to Morris (SP).

    Comment by neuter_your_dogma — January 5, 2010 @ 8:23 am

  50. Forgetting this post for a second, edgar had only 12 seasons with more than 100 games. That’s a huge problem for the Hall of fame. To overcome such a short career you better be a near inner circle talent, and Edgar is not that. Add on the dh issue and he’s got a big hill to climb.

    This reminds me of Barry larkin. Saber folks love larkin and completely ignore how many seasons he hurt his team by not being on the field for a quarter of the season or more. Longevity and health are very important criteria for the hall. It’s not just per game talent unless your per game talent is so far above the norm that you overcome your other issues. I think larkin probably deserves entry but it’s far from a no brainer. And I think edgar has no place in the hall.

    Comment by Noseeum — January 5, 2010 @ 8:37 am

  51. As many have commented, I too don’t agree with the title of the article. Edgar’s “moment” <<<< Morris' "moments." Also, I am of the opinion that winning championships are important, but not dispositive, factors in the HOF selection formula. Face it, championships bring fame. And if a player like Morris contributed to a championship or 2, these should be considered in evaluating his candidacy.

    However, even minus the championships, Edgar's full body of work with the bat is quite impressive, and he certainly deserves to be in the HOF debate. And judging by the comments here, Edgar is part of the that debate.

    Comment by neuter_your_dogma — January 5, 2010 @ 8:44 am

  52. Sure I can, if we’re talking superclutchyhyperbadassmegaman intangibles that cause champions to devour nails and wash it down with motor oil before a big game.

    Comment by Joe R — January 5, 2010 @ 9:48 am

  53. Forgetting this post for a second, edgar had only 12 seasons with more than 100 games.

    Which is 3 more than Hank Greenberg had. And the same as Johnny Mize.

    & have you never used this site before? A 5.0 WAR season is a 5.0 WAR season, whether is comes in 120 games (with 42 games of a replacement level player) or 162 games. In 1991, for example, Larkin “hurt” his team to the tune of .302/.378/.506 and a +3 TZ in 123 games, good for a 5.8 WAR on Sean Smith’s site. And of course, the tooling he did on Oakland in the 1990 WS (albeit, so did Chris Sabo).

    Essentially, value is value. A +5 WAR player who averages 120 games a year is the same, for all intensive purposes, as a +5’r who averages 155.

    And bproj has Larkin at 68.8 career wins. Martinez? 67.2. Everyone’s Hall of Fame lock Robbie Alomar? 63.6.

    Comment by Joe R — January 5, 2010 @ 9:59 am

  54. Yes, and Toronto was a WS championship team, which won the WS very much in spite of JM. Hence, your numbers for Morris when his teams won are terribly inaccurate.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 5, 2010 @ 10:57 am

  55. So, if Edgar’s in does that mean …

    [1] Jim Edmonds is a HoF lock, with 80 more HRs than Edgar, a .905 OPS, wRC 135, and 8 gold gloves?
    [2] Larry Walker is in, same BA, same H, more HRs, more SB’s, better defense. He’d be in too.
    [3] Will Clark, 303 BA, ~2200 H, ~300 HR, .880 OPS, 138 wRC. Team leader of some really good teams.

    That’s not even including intangibles, which all 3 of these guys were reputed to have, and contributed to some very good teams.

    I didn’t even start doing a deep search of guys that fit the profile. I just picked 3 of my favorite left handed hitters from the last 2 decades, that happened to play for StL at some point..

    We could probably find 20-30 guys that fit the “profile”.

    Let’s all contribute, find guys that fit the following profile:

    [1] ~2200 career hits (or more)
    [2] ~300 career HRs (or more)
    [3] ~ .900 OPS (or more)
    [4] ~ 150 wRC

    Actually, the more I look into the further away from the HoF edgar moves (in my eyes). I would actually prefer to find more reasons to put him in, but compared to his peers in a HIGH offense era, he doesn;t seem to seperate himself to the degree I wish he would.

    I would also suggest to throw Keith Hernandez in the debate.

    .296 BA, ~2200 H, ~170 HR, Mex’s outstanding (standard-bearing) 1B defense (11 Gold Gloves) and leadership on TWO world series champs, far makes up the difference in HRs between he and Edgar.

    See what happens when you lower the “counting stats standards” to 2200H and ~300 HRs just to accommodate one guy with a high OPS and wRC?

    I haven’t used the DH against Edgar YET, but now I’m going to. How bout we look at ALL of the other guys that played the field and give them their DUE before we start building and building and building a case for Edgar. Just because he is a model for the metrics FG loves, does not mean that he is more deserving than guys who have similar stats AND played good (even excellent) defense.

    In short, his career was too short and not dominant enough to collect BOTH the RATE and COUNTING stats needed for HoF enshrinement. Edgar’s inclusion would madate the inclusion of 20-30 other players whose bat was just as valuable AND played good defense. And those 20-30 guys are NOT guys from history long ago, but rather peers from the same 2 decades (except Hernandez, he played in a lower offense era)..

    Comment by circlechange11 — January 5, 2010 @ 11:07 am

  56. Joe R, given the inaccuracies if WAR for much of larkin’s career, in particular with defense, i think all three players should simply be credited with being pretty damn good and in the same realm rather than saying “larkin is 5.5 WAR better then alomar.”

    second, 5 WAR is not 5 WAR. If a guy is carrying a team to contention and then misses the last 6 weeks, they’re screwed. That matters. The purpose of baseball is to try to win championships. If a guy you need is not there, that matters. A 5 WAR, 162 game season is much better than a 5 WAR 120 game season despite the fact that the second guy played better per game. That said, larkin I think overcomes this weakness with his stellar play, and should be in but he is in no way a stone cold HOF lock. If someone wanted to keep him out because of his injuries I would understand.

    Don’t compare greenberg to Martinez. He played first base and he missed three of his prime years for a little something called world war II. You may have heard of it. I believe It was the practice of HOF voters to give players some level of credit for their missed seasons. And rightly so I might add.

    Comment by Noseeum — January 5, 2010 @ 11:36 am

  57. Except you and I both know that counting stat standards are a poor way to judge HOF inclusiveness. Edgar’s best two abilities (walking and hitting doubles) are poorly represented by using hit and HR totals, so I’d discard them as ‘standards.’ I also wouldn’t argue for using raw OPS, since we know run environments aren’t created equally. Off the top of my head, I would have had Edmonds and Walker as ‘in,’ too, but I checked, because I am not Jon Heyman and thus don’t go off of gut feelings. By Rally, Walker and Martinez returned almost identical value over the course of their careers, 67.1 and 67.2 WAR, respectively. I believe those numbers are park-adjusted, which would reconcile Walker having better counting stats and the benefit of defense yet only returning the same value. Edmonds is also right there with them, at 66.6. Effectively, there’s no difference between the three, and I think they’re all in. They’re also better than a number of guys already comfortably in, including Carter, McCovey, the Wizard of Oz, Mr. Cub, Home Run Baker, Sandberg, Yogi and Harmon Killebrew.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 5, 2010 @ 12:24 pm

  58. He gets those 3 years back, and he’s at 12, right where we began. Your argument is still flawed.

    And once again, 5 WAR is 5 WAR, and you’re making a strawman case, and using the assumption that a win in September is worth more than a win in April. It’s not.

    And also, your assuming he misses September, and September only, among all the months he could miss. Once again, bad argument. So it’s okay to miss April, but September makes you a bad person?

    Say a replacement RF is a .260/.320/.400 hitter. Guy A goes .290/.400/.520 for 3/4ths the season, while a replacement player gets 1/4th of the season, and guy B goes .290/.360/.450 and plays in every games.

    Combo of A: .283/.380/.490.

    So why, then, is guy B more valuable than guy A? Guy A did more to help his team win. That’s all that matters.

    And you even used the words “carrying the team”. So they replace him with a worse, but more durable guy, and they end up winning less games in the long run. Why are we even having this discussion?

    Comment by Joe R — January 5, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

  59. Walker has a very good case for the Hall of Fame, and so does Jim Edmonds.

    All people think when they think Larry Walker is Coors Field and park effects. They forget that he was a legit 5 tool star who played a top tier RF. They forget the monster year he had in Montreal before signing with the Rockies. They forget that he posted a 134 OPS+ when he was 37-38 years old in St. Louis. He probably should not have won that MVP in 1997, but when you put his offense into a 750 run environment (aka average ballpark in the current era), he still profiles out to a .305/.391/.550 hitter.

    & CircleChange
    1) Why do we have to limit comparisons for Martinez to peers, when we have metrics to compare across eras?
    2) What peers are we supposed to judge him against? Isn’t the unfair standard of inclusion for guys like Martinez what we protest against to begin with? Why is Frank Thomas the standard for Martinez, but Orlando Cepeda is the standard for a 1B?

    Comment by Joe R — January 5, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

  60. His name is Edgar. Or ‘Gar if you must shorten it. Or Papi if you must use a nickname.

    But NEVER “E-Mart”. Bleh. That’s just wrong.

    Comment by Jerry — January 5, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

  61. Dave Stieb, 80-89: 140-109, 3.32 ERA, 127 ERA+, 1.221 WHIP
    Jack Morris, 80-89: 162-119, 3.66 ERA, 109 ERA+, 1.256 WHIP

    Dave Stieb, btw, got 7 votes on the 2004 ballot and washed away.

    Comment by Joe R — January 5, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

  62. “Essentially, value is value. A +5 WAR player who averages 120 games a year is the same, for all intensive purposes, as a +5?r who averages 155.”

    The term is actually “intents and purposes,” not “intensive purposes.”

    Comment by WY — January 5, 2010 @ 1:20 pm

  63. I hate my life today.

    Comment by Joe R — January 5, 2010 @ 1:48 pm

  64. To expand on this point, take two lineups. One has 8 league average hitters for their position, and a star RF (.290/.400/.520). One has 8 league average hitters and a replacement level RF (.222/.282/.361).

    Using this basic formula from here, R/G = 17.11*OBP + 11.13*SLG – 5.66, the run output of the two lineups is:

    A: 5.034 R/G
    B: 4.614 R/G

    Or about 68 runs over the course of a season. So for a month, about 11 runs. Or 1 win.

    Now let’s say 5/6ths of the season is healthy RF vs. 1/6ths of the scrub. Total R/G: 4.964. Season: 804.2 runs.

    An average RF (.255/.337/.443) in that average lineup helps it to a 4.86 R/G total. Or 787.2 runs.

    So the difference between 5/6ths a season of superstar RF and a scrub vs. an average RF is 17 runs. That’s real value.

    Comment by Joe R — January 5, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

  65. another thing to remember for this discussion is that in game 4 when edgar put up his monster game, the mariners were down 5-0 by the 3rd inning. As someone mentioned, they were exhausted, then edgar comes in and gives a 3 run bomb to bring the team back from the brink. His performance in that series was legendary and should be treated as such, just as morris’ performance was legendary. Also just to bring this back, if relief pitchers are in, so should dh’s. And not many relief pitchers are in, but edgar wasn’t just any dh, he was the best dh. the award for best dh is the edgar martinez award. dh is a position on a baseball team, and thus it must be filled. You can’t fault a player for being the best at a position where he was needed. He could have been a very successful third baseman (with average defense, but by no means bad defense), but there was a better third base defender on the team who made it smarter to put him at DH. he had a short career because the mariners were one of the worst run teams in baseball for a long time, and didnt call him up when he was putting up monster numbers in AAA for a long time. To fault him about these things, when he was one of the most feared hitters in a decade where everyone else was cheating to become feared hitters (and yes i can’t prove that edgar didn’t use steroids, but innocent until proven, or at least indicated, guilty). Also he had a lazy eye. He did all those things with a lazy eye!!

    Comment by Eric — January 5, 2010 @ 3:11 pm

  66. We limit our comparison to “peers” because that is how evaluation is done because [1] they played during the same period, [2] in the same parks, [3] in the same cities, [4] against the same players.

    Eras have had DRASTICALLY different effects on players stats.

    To address the question, I’ll ask a question …

    Why don’t we evaluate current pitchers using pre WW2 pitching criteria, y’know when guys would win 40 games, have ERAs below 2.5 and throw 300 IP with 20+ CG?

    Why compare a player from 1995 to a player in 1920? What REAL similarities do those situations have … in ANY field/sport?

    Even comparing hitting/powewr numbers from 1995 to 1985 are drastic.

    Comment by circlechange11 — January 5, 2010 @ 3:14 pm

  67. Oh how I wish how the voters could go back in time and un-elect Jim Rice seeing what we see now. He suddenly lowered the bottom run of the HOF ladder so far that marginal candidates like Edgar and Andre Dawson look like Babe Ruth in comparison.

    Personally, I don’t think Edgar’s in. I’d have no problem putting him in if he was a career 3b, even a bad one, but he’s a marginal candidate even if he were a full-time 1b and I do believe the lessened benefit that he provided as a full-time DH is a factor that can’t be ignored. If Dick Allen isn’t in with the with a much better OPS+ as a full-time OF, I don’t see how Edgar goes in.

    Kudos to the stathead crowd for getting him in the conversation though, as he wouldn’t have had a chance 20 years ago.

    Comment by Stan S. — January 5, 2010 @ 3:30 pm

  68. But we have stats that adjust for eras, stats that have been repeatedly used in this sub-thread. Any time you see a plus sign, that means you can compare the stat of a guy in the 20s with a guy from today. Obviously the limitations of ERA, OPS, etc. still apply, but the generational differences are neutralized.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 5, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

  69. Since we are talking about perception, here is a question. Suppose that Lonnie Smith had scored. The fact that he didn’t had little to do with Morris (except that he got the next out) as normally he would have if not for his gaffe at 2B. And suppose as a result the Braves had won the game. Would the perception of Morris as a bulldog who got up for the big game have had the same impact? And might the case for him be somewhat less appealing to many voters?

    This is not to argue about whether he should be in the HOF or not. It is simply a question about what kind of heat there would be in the argument if not for what was essentially an accident unrelated to anything Morris did. In either case, Morris pitched brilliantly in that game 7, but for that accident he would have lost game 7, not won it, and what would that mean to the voters?

    Comment by Bob R. — January 5, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

  70. “Jack Morris’ Brian Moehler Moment” – ’87 ALCS
    “Jack Morris’ Sidney Ponson Moment” – ’92 ALCS
    “Jack Morris’ Rick Helling Moment” – ’92 WS

    We could go on for days…

    As a lifelong Jays fan, I can tell you that Morris is one of the few major figures from the back-to-back winners who arouses little (if any) sentiment. Mercifully, he didn’t get to pitch in the ’93 playoffs.

    Comment by ATepperm — January 5, 2010 @ 6:04 pm

  71. There were good reasons why the Mariners kept him in AAA for two years. Using his lack of playing time during those two seasons as evidence for a Hall of Fame case is basically backward.

    Comment by Nathaniel Dawson — January 5, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

  72. Okay so Morris was crap in the 92 WS. I thought that was an obvious point, that went without saying.

    How does that diminish his dominance in 1984 and 1991?

    I am not saying Morris is the greatest post-season SP of all time. I AM saying that he was a BIG reason why the 84 Tiggers and 91 Twinkies won the WS, as evident by his 4-0 1.54 stats.

    Am I giving him ANY credit or acclaim for anything done in 1992?

    Put all his good world series games in one bucket, and his bad in another and see how it balances out.

    But, don’t hand me two bad starts in 1992 and act as if it counter-balances 4 dominant starts for two different world series winners, with one of those being an epic 10-inning 1-0 shutout victory against another future HoF’er.

    In the end, his overall world series performance works IN his favor, not AGAINST. That’s all I am getting at.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 5, 2010 @ 10:26 pm

  73. Not to ask a crazy question, but if edgar was such a dominant, outstanding fielder, why did he switch to DH permanently after getting hurt? Most great fielders get hurt and come back

    moreover, why did he only make one AS team before the switch and six after? same with SS? Same with a 60 point jump in OBP and OPS? Before the switch, he never knocked in 75 runs, hit 20 HRs, and none of his top-5 extra base hit seasons? basically, he became a good hitter when all he had to think about was hitting in the middle of a lineup that was a complete murderers row by then forcing pitchers to throw him pitches to hit.

    I’m not saying morris is a HOFer (although he has a far stronger case on regular season alone, ignoring his post-season play), i’m just saying that edgar falls into the immensely talented but not HOF worthy category

    Comment by wiffleball — January 5, 2010 @ 11:15 pm

  74. You were talking about how Morris did “in the years his team won,” which implies correlation between Morris doing well and his team winning. And I’m not denying that his performance helped in ’84 and ’91. But it actively hurt his team in ’92 – they won the WS in spite of his performance. Finally, his overall postseason ERA was 3.80… so yeah, I’d say his bad postseason performances did “cancel out” his awesome ones, in that they brought his performance back to his career norm.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 5, 2010 @ 11:31 pm

  75. Sorry I was offline rest of day.

    All of your numbers are correct, but they leave out one big detail: Salary. During much of Larkin’s career, he was one of the highest paid players in baseball. This meant the Reds used money on Larkin that they could have used for upgrades elsewhere. You’re assuming a team with league average hitters everywhere, but if the Reds expected 7 WAR from Larkin and only got 5, that is a significant cost if they have below average hitters elsewhere.

    I’m not asserting this to be the case, but I’m playing devil’s advocate. Let’s just look at 1993. I just quickly chose a year where I knew he had recently signed a big contract (right before 1992 season) which put him at the top of the pay scale, and where he missed time.

    So what were the WARs of his teammates?
    C Joe Oliver 0.7
    1B Hal Morris 1.5
    2B Juan Samuel -0.9
    3B Chris Sabo 1.5
    LF Kevin Mitchell 2.8
    CF Roberto Kelly 1.8
    RF Reggie Sanders 3.2

    I believe 2 WAR is considered average. So in the Reds lineup, they only had 3 above average players, including Larkin. The rest were all below average. Part of the reason the rest are below average is that Larkin was eating up a significant portion of the team’s salary, ~13%.

    Looking further, the Reds got hit by the injury bug that year it seems. Larkin, Mitchell, and Bip Roberts were their three highest paid offensive players, and non of them played more than 100 games.

    Suffice it to say, they stunk. They went 73-89 and finished 5th.

    I just don’t think it’s valid analysis to move a guy in and out of a league average lineup. Team’s pay players above average salaries for above average play, which enables them to pay other players less money for lower caliber play and still be good. When those highly paid guys get hurt, it hurts a lot more than WAR can tell you.

    Comment by noseeum — January 6, 2010 @ 11:26 am

  76. I think the BBWAA may have been right to give Greenberg and Mize a pass for missing 4 1/2 seasons in their prime to MOTHERF&%^$#^ WWII as opposed to missing time to injury or not making the majors at a normal age.

    Comment by The Nicker — January 6, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

  77. Let me expound on Nathaniel Dawson’s point:

    1) To use the Mariners’ ineptitude as a reason for Martinez’ career shortcomings is all sorts of wrong. To my knowledge, it’s never been done for anyone else’s candidacy, and I fail to see why it should be done now. When making HOF arguments, I am going to assume all things are equal, namely, that he should have been called up when he was called up, and he was playing DH because he should have been the DH.

    Imagine if we had to go back and assess personnel moves with every borderline candidate. What if Dick Allen had more harmony with his organizations and their fanbases? What if Bill Dahlen had received more protection in the lineup? What if Alan Trammell had been moved to third base, it could have extended his career?

    2) I’m glad you at least address that PEDs may be an issue for Edgar, considering he had his five best seasons at 32, 33, 34, 36, and 37. Maybe he was able to sustain production for so long because he only played DH, but that would be a negative as well. In any case, the numbers look worse at second glance either way.

    3) I agree with Dave’s overall point; I’d put neither in HOF.

    Comment by The Nicker — January 6, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

  78. That’s not the point you made, though. Of course it hurts a team when a player of Larkin’s caliber is injured vs. someone like, say, Jack Wilson, and a 90 win team who loses Larkin is in more trouble than a 90 win team that loses Wilson.

    Also, a team doesn’t save money in FA by spending less for 2 mid level starters vs. a Larkin-caliber player. He didn’t really become a contract problem child until 2000, as well.

    According to bproj, his $/Marginal win totals from 1991-99 (I don’t count 90, he only made $750K that year) are:
    91: $362K
    92: $763K
    93: $1,437,500
    94: $1,128,205
    95: $1,000,000
    96: $770,270
    97: $1,725,806
    98: $898,305
    99: $1,019,231

    So maybe in 1997 and 1993 you can argue his injuries were team killers, even though Hal Morris and Ruben Sierra were much more team killing in terms of salary than Larkin. Most years, though, he provided very good value. Over that time frame, he earned $44.15 mil, and provided 46.9 marginal wins. At peak, he was about 1/6th of his team’s payroll, which is a lot, but it’s definitely not cripping.


    Comment by Joe R — January 6, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

  79. IMO, the fact that a post stating that the ALDS is NOT comparable to the WS in terms of historical significance (ESPECIALLY game 7 of the world series), getting “negative votes” is damn embarrassing for the website.

    Furthermore, what’s with the “negative votes”? If you have some criticism or difference of opinion, speak up and state it or explain how your opinion is more valid.

    The DIVISION series? Seriously? I’m ’bout to get my Allen Iverson Voice on … “We’re talklin bout da division series. Da division series. Not, League Championship series. Not world series. But, the division series. Division series?



    Comment by circlechange11 — January 6, 2010 @ 3:30 pm

  80. Kevin,

    Would you feel the same way if your boss told you that your 2 poor performances cancelled out your 4 great ones, with one of the great ones being regarding as one of the greatest performances, in the biggest situation, … ever?

    I’m guessing NOT.

    4 great WS outings > 2 poor ones.

    If anything, the discussion illustrates flaws in ERA. 2 really bad instances bring 4 great ones down to “average”.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 6, 2010 @ 5:50 pm

  81. Exactly. I can’t see an obscurity argument. It was the first playoffs since the strike, it was against the Yankees, both teams had plenty of narrative to go around about how they got here.

    But of course that is the problem with a “moment”, as it can be gerrymandered into whatever is convenient.

    Comment by kokushishin — January 6, 2010 @ 5:53 pm

  82. Or maybe, the awful performances were more negative than the great performances were positive. Maybe we should just judge pitchers by quality start/non-quality start differential, since all that matters is “good” and “bad” – degree is apparently irrelevant.

    Let’s say I’m a broker (I’m not, but money makes this easy). If I make four fantastic trades that gain my client a bunch of money, but then pull two colossal fuck-ups that bring his account back to average performance, do you think he’ll cut me slack because I made more good moves than bad?

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 6, 2010 @ 8:00 pm

  83. So now A-Rod’s fucked because he made too much money?

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 6, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

  84. “Or maybe, the awful performances were more negative than the great performances were positive. Maybe we should just judge pitchers by quality start/non-quality start differential, since all that matters is “good” and “bad” – degree is apparently irrelevant.”

    I wouldn’t say it’s “irrelevant” (not in the least), because there’s a big difference between [1] a 3ER in 7 IP “good start” and a [2] 10-inning shutout “good start”. *grin* But, I wouldn’t spend a lot of time splitting hairs between 3R and 2R games … but when you throw a shutout, you negate the oppossing pitchers QS every time.

    I am a BIG fan of “Quality Start Pecentage” as being THE measuring stick for starting pitchers. IMO, consistently putting your team in a great position to win games is THE most important contribution of a SP. We agree big time on that one.

    “Let’s say I’m a broker (I’m not, but money makes this easy). If I make four fantastic trades that gain my client a bunch of money, but then pull two colossal fuck-ups that bring his account back to average performance, do you think he’ll cut me slack because I made more good moves than bad?”

    I’m not sure how you DON’T see that Morris’s two bad games in 92, don’t bring him to “average”, unless you ONLY look at ERA. Those two games did NOT make him a .500 pitcher in the WS, they made him a 4-2 pitcher in the WS. 4-2 in 3 WS’s is NOT average. He EARNED all 4 wins, and he earned both losses … wasn’t a whole lot of “luck” involved (i.e., he didn’t get his wins by his team outscoring the opponent 10-7).

    ERA is a horrible stat for small sample sizes.

    As I said before, you can have a reliever throw 8 consecutive no-hit performances (1 IP/G), 8 for 8 in SvOpp, and then give up a Grand Slam in the 9th appearance and his ERA is 4.00. That doesn’t bring him to “average” in terms of overall performance.

    I don’t know in what world that 0-2 8.44 “equalizes” or “cancels out” 4-0 1.54.

    4 GREAT world series WINS >> 2 BAD losses. Geez, the 84 Tigers and 91 Twins, only won 8 WS games combined, Morris had half of em.

    This is only a major deal to me, because at this site (at least lately) there is a tendency to marginalize the WS accomplishments. IMO, this is likely due to confusing [1] statistically relevant sample size and [2] historical importance.

    While Morris’s 4 WS wins, and especially g7 1991 win, are small sample sizes not indicative of his overall performance value, they are VERY important historical moments, and therfore carry some extra weight.

    Would this discussion go differently if we did not use names, and just looked at the situations. I have no emotional attachment to Morris, but am a big fan of Edgar.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 6, 2010 @ 9:54 pm

  85. AMAZING that this post gets negative votes. It’s not as if your comments are incongruent with reality.

    Edgar Martinez:

    LDS PA: 77
    LCS PA: 71

    LDS: .375/.481/.873
    LCS: .156/.239/.234

    I love the guy (3 Favorite RHBs: Pujols, Schmidt, Edgar). But, that doesn’t mean I need to put blinders on or marginalize scenarios where he doesn’t or didn’t perform well. He flat out sucked in LCS play, and that’s just reflective of the reality. He doesn’t need me to make excuses for him or sugar-coat it, or look the other way, or marginalize the accomplishments of others. He had a great career, overall. Not making the HoF or not doing well in the LCS does not remove the solidness of his career.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 6, 2010 @ 10:02 pm

  86. I have a question about Edgar’s WAR …

    Is his WAR, wins above a [1] replacement level MLB player, or [2] wins above a replacement level DH?

    I ask because that makes a HUGE difference. Comparing him to ONLY other players that make no fielding (or really baserunning) contributions is a very biased way to look at the situation.

    A DH participates in about 5% of the games total plate appearances. Seriously, that’s it. The rest of the time they are on the bench. They don’t play defense. They don’t typically do much on the bases. Their ONLY plus is their bat.

    For THAT reason, their batting contributions, IMO, need to be HIGHER than their non-DH peers to compensate for their lack of contribution in the other areas. While it is not flattering, someone else said it best, a DH really just “pinch hits 4 times a game”.

    Edgar is getting FAR too much credit for being what equates to MLBs version of “best 6th man of his era” (6th man = best basketball player off the bench). It makes it WORSE is Gar’s WAR is only compared to other “6th men”.

    Too many selected metrics and skewed scenarios being flexed and manipulated to try and jigsaw Gar into a place he does not naturally fit. It pisses me off, only because it causes me to take a position or bring up stats and context that work AGAINST a player I greatly admire.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 7, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

  87. “So now A-Rod’s fucked because he made too much money?”

    Arod’s been an extremely durable player. He’s clearly delivered what’s been expected of him.

    In Larkin’s case, in his many injured years, he didn’t return what was expected of him. It’s not his fault, but it still matters.

    Comment by noseeum — January 7, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

  88. “That’s not the point you made, though.”

    Joe R, that is the point I made. I may not have been clear, but that’s what I meant when I said I would rather have a 5 WAR player over 162 games than a 5 WAR player over 120. Because the 5 WAR player over 120 is really a 6.75 WAR player. And if I was depending on those 1.75 WAR, and I paid for 1.75 more WAR, than my team is screwed.

    Comment by noseeum — January 7, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

  89. Replacement level DH’s.

    Which, with positional adjustments, is essentially a league average hitter. Meaning that a replacement level DH is the exact same thing as a replacement level anything else

    Baseball Prospectus can detail it better. His RARP for his career is 621. His RAP is 390. Compare this to recent inductee Andre Dawson (542, 205), “slam dunk” Robbie Alomar (644, 339), and Cal Ripken Jr. (747, 349). Martinez IS compared to other DH’s. DH’s have a way higher replacement level threshold than other positions (for obvious reasons). Martinez STILL blew that threshold out of the water. Why is this so hard for so many to wrap their head around?

    Comment by Joe R — January 7, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

  90. Example: Ken Griffey Jr’s wRC+ in 2009 was a 99. He was rated as a replacement level MLB player, for all intensive purposes.

    And don’t say “well that baseline is too low”, because this is the baseline level for every position.

    You can use Joe Thurston as a replacement level 3B, and Alex Cora as a replacement level 2B/SS, Hank Blalock as a replacement level 1B, and so on. Thurston had a 74 wRC+ in 2009, as did Alex Cora.

    So why is it fair to use this as a replacement level baseline for 2B/3B’s, but using 2009 Ken Griffey Jr isn’t enough for DH’s?

    Comment by Joe R — January 7, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

  91. Joe,

    What I try to figure out for my own opinion/conclusion is …

    “Does Edgar’s dominance trump his lack of longevity?” (as compared to other HoF’ers).

    In statistical terms the question could be phrased, “Are Edgar’s rate stats and metrics dominant enough to trump his lack of counting stats?” (as compared to other HoF candidates)

    I’m trying to figure out how to handle a dominant hitter in his era that ‘only’ accumulated 2200H and 300HR. I’m not quite sure what’s the “best way”.

    When I look at BR, and view the “Top 10 Similar Batters” for EM, only 1 is a HoF’er (1 outta 10).

    Meanwhile …

    Dawson has 5 outta 10
    Alomar has 5 outta 10
    Jack Morris has 6 outta 10
    Bert Blyleven has 8 outta 10
    Ripken has 7 outta 10

    It is possible that Edgar is such a unique situation (late start to career, DH for most of career, etc) that our conventional methods of evaluation do not do him justice. I think that’s what most are trying to “figure out”.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 7, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

  92. And what if you didn’t?

    Durability concerns are usually addressed in terms of player value. A .300/.400/.500 guy who only averages 125 games a year will earn less than a .300/.400/.500 guy who averages 150-160 games.

    Even if you want those extra 1.75 marginal wins (and who wouldn’t?), a guy who provides you 5 marginal wins in 120 games has already provided a huge amount of value. Durability concerns, especially now, are almost always factored into contracts and personnel moves, like no one would build a franchise with JD Drew as the cornerstone. It’s too risky. As a piece, though, JD Drew is immensely valuable to a team.

    Comment by Joe R — January 7, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

  93. And in my opinion, they should.

    Statistically speaking, even without longevity, Martinez’s RARP is right in line with other Hall of Famers (RARP, of course, is adjusted to position, meaning DH’s better be damn good). Also, would people view Edgar differently if he Pete Rose’d it up, hung on for too long, and got like 1000 more PA, 40 more HR? His peak was awesome (7 straight seasons of > 150 wRC+). And I don’t think his lack of 1-2 extra garbage years should affect his HoF candidacy.

    Comment by Joe R — January 7, 2010 @ 5:44 pm

  94. “As a piece, though, JD Drew is immensely valuable to a team”

    Yes, but pieces don’t make the hall of fame. And that’s the point. JD Drew is not a hall of famer, but he’s still a heck of a baseball player.

    In Larkin’s case, he was paid to be a cornerstone and didn’t deliver sometimes because of injury. Later in his career he turned down a contract offer from the Reds because they wanted a discount for his brittleness.

    Again, I still think he makes it in, but if as a point of reference, I would rank Jeter higher in the SS rankings than Larkin. I fully believe Larkin was more talented than Jeter and played better on a per game basis, but Jeter’s reliability/longevity put him higher for me.

    Comment by noseeum — January 7, 2010 @ 6:07 pm

  95. I’m not a supporter of guys that “longevitied” their way into HoF (as silly as that sounds). Without looking at it closely I would have said the name “Paul Molitor”.

    Then I looked it up and Molitor and Edgar played until they were 41. Molitor has 1K more hits, but slightly lower BA/OBP/SLG. 1K more hits is more than a speed bump.

    So, now I don’t think (especially looking at Gar’s final season) that he could have “longevitied” it even if he wanted to.

    So, I looked up the next name that I would have listed “Dave Winfield”. Winfield “longevitied” it to achieve 3K hits, but he also has 465 HRs and 1800 RBIs (compared to Gar’s 300 and 1200). 800H, 150 HRs, 600 RBIs are more than just speed bumps.

    I would consider Molitor and Winfield as “bottom tier” HoF’ers, and they seem to be (perhaps) a level up on Edgar, which is where I currently have him in my mind (about a -1 on a -5 to +5 scale, with 0 being “Hall of Fame”)

    The obstacle for Edgar is he needed to be already dominant at 27, rather than 32, in order to have a career that is more comparable to our traditional view of HoF’ers (especially in the ‘steroid era’, which could be a hang-up for some voters).

    So, we’re not just talking about 5 poor seasons where he tacks on some average or below numbers, we’re talking about 5 highly valuable years … and I don’t think Edgar could fit that in at the end of his career even if he wanted to. If he could have, I’m guessing he would have. 5 “really good” seasons is also NOY a small speed bump.

    Compared to Dawson, he’s in … compared to Alomar, he’s not. Confusing. I would have given Dawson a “No” and Alomar Jr a “slight to solid yes”. Alomar is one of the best all-around 2Bs in MLB history (top 10). Alomar was also a KEY figure on 2 WS champs.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 7, 2010 @ 6:17 pm

  96. So, for Edgar to EQUAL Winfield’s key stats for a MIDDLE of the order hitter, he’d need to have …

    … 5 seasons of 160 H, 30 HR, and 120 RBI.

    That means .320-30-120 for 5 years of 500 ABs. 5 years of that is rather substancial obstacle, just to equal a bottom tier HoF’er.

    That’s just to equal Winfield.

    One could say that we’re using counting stats and that’s “not fair”. All I’m saying is that the HoF uses counting stats.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 7, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

  97. 7 years of dominant play generally does not make a hall of famer in my book, especially if that dominant play is from a DH. There are some rare exceptions. The only two I can think of are Koufax and Pedro. And those two were clearly the best pitchers in baseball during their periods of dominance. They both had some of the best individual pitching seasons in history during their dominance.

    Edgar, OTOH, led the league in OPS+ only once. All he was was a hitter, and he wasn’t even the best hitter in the AL most years. Sure, if he was a top 10 hitter for 15 years, maybe, but a top 10 hitter who plays no defense for only 7 years? Or if he was Albert Pujols without playing first base for 7 years maybe. But he was simply one of the best, and not THE best, hitters in baseball for 7 years. That’s not HOF in my book. He would have had to keep that level of play up for much longer to make it.

    Also, Joe R, if Griffey’s wRC+ was 99, he was not replacement level. He was average. Average is significantly better than replacement level. Replacement level is a very below average player.

    Comment by noseeum — January 7, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

  98. Given that the positional adjustment for a DH is -17.5 runs/162, and replacement is roughly two wins (i.e. 20 runs) below average per 150, a DH who was a little below LA offensively would be replacement level.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 7, 2010 @ 10:13 pm

  99. Er, crap. They’re either both per 150, or both per 162. I suppose it doesn’t matter effectively which one it is.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 7, 2010 @ 10:14 pm

  100. No, noseeum, a DH with a league average bat is the definition of replacement level. They serve no defense. That is the replacement level index of a Designated Hitter. That’s the replacement level that ranks Edgar in the top 70 of all time on Sean Smith’s historical WAR database among position players.

    Ahead of Alomar, and Dawson. Off the top of my head.

    DH’s already have a harder standard for replacement level than any other position. Punishing him for his utilization is nothing but DH hating.

    Comment by Joe R — January 7, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

  101. Exactly, so high 90’s wRC+ is pretty much the epitome of a replacement level DH.

    For a 2B/3B/CF, you’re probably looking closer at the 70’s. 60’s for a SS/C. So on.

    Comment by Joe R — January 7, 2010 @ 10:46 pm

  102. Dwight Evans.

    Comment by NEPP — January 7, 2010 @ 10:47 pm

  103. Fred Lynn.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 7, 2010 @ 10:58 pm

  104. Wade Boggs.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 7, 2010 @ 10:58 pm

  105. Carl Yastrzemski.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 7, 2010 @ 10:59 pm

  106. Molitor played several positions (3B, SS, 2B, 1B, CF, RF) in the field for the first 12 seasons of his career. He was kinda like a super version of Chone Figgins in that respect. He only became a DH in his Age 34 season. He’s not a good comparison to Edgar.

    Molitor was a very solid HOF player in all respects.

    And to the individual ripping Winfield as borderline, you do understand that he was a great defensive RF, right? He wasn’t just a 1 dimensional player by any means. In a 12 year span, he averaged a 138 OPS+ and won 7 GGs and made the AS team every year. He’s anything but “borderline”. Seriously, over 3000 hits, 465 HRs out of a great defender, dominant peak where he was the best RF in baseball for a decade, 1833 RBI (15th all time). All this in an era where offense wasn’t close to the current day or steroid era.

    Seriously, if he’s borderline, what’s a “solid” HOFer in your book? Mays? Schmidt? Ruth?

    Comment by NEPP — January 7, 2010 @ 11:00 pm

  107. But, hey, I’ve seen plenty of people “argue” that Rice was the best player on his team. They use stats and other justifications that are just as silly as the ones used for Morris.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 7, 2010 @ 11:00 pm

  108. Why doesn’t anyone bring up WIN SHARES (Bill James)?

    The 2010 class of Hall of Fame candidates is a strong one. It consists of 11 holdovers and 15 players eligible for the first time. Seven holdovers have over 300 Win Shares

    Tim Raines with 390,
    Mark McGwire with 342,
    Andre Dawson, 340,
    Bert Blyleven, 339,
    Dave Parker, 327,
    Alan Trammell 318
    Harold Baines with 307.

    Four newcomers also have over 300 Win Shares,
    Roberto Alomar 375,
    Barry Larkin 347,
    Fred McGriff 326
    Edgar Martinez 305.

    One of my orignal points was that there were just as good of players that played the whole game, that should have cases made for them LONG before we get to Edgar (even though we like him more).

    Post s that mentioned Dawson and Trammell as being more deserving were met with ‘negative votes’. Alomar didn;t get in and that still baffles me unless he’s being punished with a “No 1st ballot” for spitting on Hirshbeck.

    Wow, Harold Baines has more win shares (via longer career), anyone making a case for Dave Parker or Harold Baines or Fred McGriff?

    On a serious note, is there a website that provides a compilation of ALL (or at least many) various measures of historical importance where one can view a whole swarm of measures, instead of just viewing the one’s that a specific author wants you to see?

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 7, 2010 @ 11:03 pm

  109. I admit I don’t know a lot about Win Shares, so I’ll just share these two nuggets. Interpret them however you may. Today, Keith Law expressed the opinion that WS aren’t particularly good, relative to the other “Full picture” metrics out there, and Rob Neyer mentioned within the past week that Bill James, as he pursued Loss Shares, tacitly admitted that Win Shares fail as an all-encompassing measure of value. On the flip side, Joe Posnanski certainly seems fine with the metric.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 7, 2010 @ 11:10 pm

  110. Me neither. *grin* That’s kinda why I am asking if there is a source for a wide variety of measures, so one can sort of get a feel for how the players align with various metrics.

    Every time I read some information, I’m getting the feeling of “okay, what critical information did the author not include?” … as so much written information seems to be of the persuasive sort instead of just informative.

    Even, the “ink” measures at BT are split, only 1 of the 10 comparable hitters for Martinez is HoF … and that’s the lowest out of 10 for any of the recent HoF candidates.

    I’d like to see how Edgar and the ~10 others compare in the various systems of player career evaluation, as to arrive at a “He is HoF caliber in X of the Y systems” and compare that to the other candidates. No one system, nor one metric seemingly gives a complete picture.

    People seem to gravitate toward the system that fits their preferences, or makes their favorite players seem ebtter, which is understandable. If there was a system that rated Jose Cruz as the “coolest LHB … ever”, I’d be all over it.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 7, 2010 @ 11:29 pm

  111. At the same time, Edgar’s top-10 similar players aren’t all that similar, as only one cracks 900, and Clark does that just barely. We really don’t have a “similar” player to compare him to. I think part of that has to do with his weird career arc, and part to do with the fact that similarity scores consider position, when there just aren’t any DH’s who have performed around Edgar’s level. HOF Moniter has him comfortably above the “Likely” level, and HOF Standards peg him squarely on the average HOFer, while the Black and Grey Ink tests have him below the average HOF level (all of this is at the bottom of his b-r page).

    For me, the combination of where he ranks on what I consider to be the important offensive leaderboards and where he stands in Rally’s WAR database (which uses logic I understand and agree with) makes it easy to peg him as a ‘yes’ vote.

    I do agree with you that the premise of this article is a little silly, and I expressed as much at the top of the threa.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 7, 2010 @ 11:38 pm

  112. I agree Kevin.

    I stated in another post that Edgar’s unique career situation (late start, career DH, etc) could create the scenario where our conventional assesment methods don’t capture the total career.

    I find it very difficult to mesh the high rates & metrics of a shorter HoF candidacy career with those who have lesser rates and metrics, but much more counting stats.

    Regardless, I spent a “snow day” doing exactly what I wanted, talkin ball and playin with my kids. Mission accomplished.

    My overall feeling is that there are better players, whose situations needs “resolved” before we even get to Edgar. Edgar seems to represent the “acceptance” of advanced metrics in HoF consideration, but for me that doesn’t push him to the top of the “let’s support him” list.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 7, 2010 @ 11:47 pm

  113. My overall feeling is that there are better players, whose situations needs “resolved” before we even get to Edgar. Edgar seems to represent the “acceptance” of advanced metrics in HoF consideration, but for me that doesn’t push him to the top of the “let’s support him” list.

    That’s a bit of a curious sentiment, given that each voter has ten slots on the ballot and there isn’t a lot of new blood coming in the next couple of years to take them up. Do you think the saber blogosphere doesn’t have enough different voices to push Rock, Bert, Trammell or whoever else you want to get the push at the same time they push Edgar? Personally, I’ll argue, loudly, the cases for anybody eligible who I feel deserves enshrinement. I guess I don’t feel the need to “prioritize.”

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 7, 2010 @ 11:55 pm

  114. Joe R has mentioned it a couple of times. He assumes that the average DH is a better hitter than the average at any other position, and so Martinez therefore is already being compared to a higher bar. This is simply not the case. In most years, the average AL DH performs worse than the average first baseman.

    I’m not familiar enough with the intricacies of WAR to determine if this is dealt with, so this is more a topic of discussion than an argument. I do know for a fact that in many years, if two players in the AL have the exact same stats and one is a DH and one is a first baseman, the DH will have the higher VORP because the average first baseman outperforms the average DH. Now I think we all would agree this is ridiculous. At a minimum, DHs should be compared to the entire pool of first basemen and DHs. I think that’s the most logical pool of comparison. Once you start adding in other positions it would skew things more in the DHs favor because defense becomes more important to player evaluation.

    If WAR works the same as VORP, and Martinez is only being compared to DHs, and we know for a fact the first basemen often outperform DHs, than WAR needs to be thrown out for Martinez.

    Here’s the talk about VORP “unfairly” giving an advantage to DHs (I put unfairly in quotes because VORP just is what it is, and it’s our fault for misunderstanding it. As Tango often says, don’t hate the stat, hate its misuse):

    So can anyone confirm how WAR is calculated for DHs? Are they compared to just DHs?

    Comment by noseeum — January 8, 2010 @ 9:23 am

  115. Here’s more on WAR:

    I guess since WAR has positional adjustments, there’s just one universal “replacement player”? If that’s the case, then Martinez is still being compared to the same bar as everyone else, not a higher one as has been asserted in some posts.

    So he’s either being compared to a lower bar, which would be the pool of DHs, or he’s being compared to the same bar as everyone else. Can anyone clarify here?

    The positional adjustments are -1.0 for 1Bs and -1.5 for DHs.

    Comment by noseeum — January 8, 2010 @ 9:46 am

  116. Are you really this dense?

    A league average bat that has no defensive value is a replacement level player.

    Ken Griffey Jr’s VORP in 2009 was a 3.8. Mike Sweeney in 2007 was a -0.6 and went .260/.315/.404. Jonny Gomes went .216/.325/.431 and was replacement level.

    And even so, fine, knock a win off Martinez’ per 1200 PA as a DH (which adjusts the VORP baseline to more correctly value DH’s, as an average glove 1B is about .5 wins more valuable than a DH with the same numbers per 600 PA). That puts him at 62 WAR. That’s still ahead of:

    Ryne Sandberg
    Yogi Berra
    Harmon Killebrew
    Dave Winfield
    Sammy Sosa
    Mike Piazza

    And 1.1 wins behind Mark McGwire.

    I’m not sure how much more you need.

    Comment by Joe R — January 8, 2010 @ 9:59 am

  117. Are you this dense? I’m not arguing specifically about Edgar right now. I’m trying to make sure we all understand the numbers we’re using.

    “A league average bat that has no defensive value is a replacement level player.”

    Show me where this is defined and why you think this is true. Don’t just assert it. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but show me where this is defined.

    Comment by noseeum — January 8, 2010 @ 10:18 am

  118. The only definition of replacement level I can find is “70 points of OPS below league positional average.”

    So replacement for DH, when it comes to VORP, would be 70 points of OPS below the league average DH. And this is why replacement is lower for a DH than it is for a 1B when it comes to VORP. The question is whether the same definition of replacement applies for WAR.

    Nowhere can I find that replacement level for a DH is a league average bat.

    Comment by noseeum — January 8, 2010 @ 10:37 am

  119. Here’s a more thorough examination of replacement, but of course it does not include DH:

    Here it seems to be comparing every position to a league average bat. And he asserts that a replacement level first baseman is about 8 runs below average per 150 games. I don’t see why you wouldn’t use the same number for DH, but I’m not quite sure they do.

    Comment by noseeum — January 8, 2010 @ 10:47 am

  120. “Show me where this is defined and why you think this is true. Don’t just assert it. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but show me where this is defined.”

    He showed you anecdotal evidence that Griffey, with his LA bat last year, was just a couple of runs above replacement. I’ve shown you the math showing that a DH with a LA bat is going to be +2.5 runs per 150 (or 162) over replacement. What else do you need?

    I guess since WAR has positional adjustments, there’s just one universal “replacement player”? If that’s the case, then Martinez is still being compared to the same bar as everyone else, not a higher one as has been asserted in some posts.

    In terms of total value, yes, he’s held to the same standard. But, by definition, since Martinez can’t provide any defensive value, the standard for his offense is that much higher. Why can’t you see that? To isolate the offensive component of WAR, treat defense + positional adjustment as one term. Edgar’s D+PA is -17.5. That’s the same D+PA as a -5 1B, a -10 CO, a -20 2B/3B/CF, a -25 SS, and a -30 C (defensively). That’s his offensive standard. Bad corner defenders, and atrocious premium defenders.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 8, 2010 @ 11:00 am

  121. OK, so reading further, a replacement level player for WAR seems to be assumed to be 20 runs below league average.

    So if the positional adjustment for DH is -17.5, than a replacement level DH is not a league average bat. He’s 2.5 runs below league average bat. Pretty close to league average, but not league average. Is that how you guys see it?

    Comment by noseeum — January 8, 2010 @ 11:24 am

  122. Yes. 2.5 runs is more or less inconsequential. I’d call a .2, .3 WAR player replacement-level, and that’s what a LA bat at DH would be.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 8, 2010 @ 11:50 am

  123. Because providing average defense at first base still provides some value, as opposed to a DH’s zero defensive value. Zero defensive value would be somewhere below average for a first baseman, depending on the positional adjustments the system uses.

    Comment by Kevin S. — January 8, 2010 @ 11:52 am

  124. I guess I don’t think 2.5 runs is inconsequential, which is why the whole to do here. 2.5/20 is over 10%, so I think it’s significant. At least I think we have the same understanding regardless.

    So it does seem that WAR uses a generic replacement player and than gets specific by using positional adjustments, whereas VORP compares players directly with only players at the same position. So VORP is useless for DHs IMO, but WAR is still useful.

    Kind of changing the subject but drilling down further, the WAR numbers on baseball projection do not seem to match the WAR numbers on fangraphs. Take Pudge for example:

    Fangraphs only has 2002 on, but for that time period, fangraphs has 22.9 WAR from 2002 – 2009. Baseball Projection has 21.4.

    Just based on this one example, I don’t think I can trust the top 500 rankings on Baseball Projection unless I understand the discrepancy. Anyone know what’s up here?

    Comment by noseeum — January 8, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

  125. Many thanks for writing regarding this. There is the lot of solid technology info on the actual internet. You’ve got good deal of that info correct here on your own web site. I’m impressed – I try to maintain a couple sites fairly current, however it’s a struggle sometimes. You’ve done the great work together with this one. How do a person this?

    Comment by Forex Trade Alert — August 21, 2010 @ 7:19 am

  126. Edgar’s dropoff in hitting in the 1995 ALCS was entirely due to the umps. Clevelend was pitching well off the plate, and Edgar wasn’t swinging at those pitches, but the umps kept calling strikes. He ended up with a sick number of strikeouts that should never have been. There was no choke about it. Edgar was completely dialed in and seeing the ball better than ever.

    Comment by JohnK — January 7, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

  127. Edgar’s dropoff in hitting in the 1995 ALCS was entirely due to the umps


    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 7, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

  128. 2)
    Incorrect. Thomson’s homer immediately put the Giants in the WORLD SERIES, not the LCS. 1951 was the era of 8-team leagues when the World Series was the only postseason, because there were no divisions.
    Hence Russ Hodges screaming “The Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant.

    Comment by 24 Willie Mays Plaza — January 7, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

  129. Vaughn was a starter. He was brought in to close a one-game playoff for the division championship after being passed over for the start due to a horrible year against the Yankees. Yes, i am a gigantic nerd.

    Comment by Knuckles — June 16, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

  130. Not really. They kept him in AAA purely because they thought he didn’t have the power to play third. Jim Presley might have been a rotten fielder (which Gar wasn’t), but he had 20+ HR power in an era when that wasn’t especially common…and Edgar didn’t have that yet. Never mind that Wade Boggs (who only ever cracked double-digit HRs twice in his career) was playing third in the majors about the same time that Gar was stuck in Calgary.

    Comment by Harlock — February 24, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

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