FanGraphs Chat – 1/8/14

11:47
Dave Cameron: With the holidays behind us, I’m back to chat for the first time in a few weeks. Obviously, the Hall of Fame is taking center stage today, but non-HOF (non-fantasy) questions are fair game too.
11:47
Dave Cameron: Queue is open, so go ahead and get your questions in now.
12:08
Dave Cameron: Sorry for the late start, had to finish a piece on the greatness of Greg Maddux. Man, he was amazing.
12:09
Comment From Erich
Is there any precedent at all for a HOF voter to lose his voting privileges other than death or voluntarily giving them up?
12:10
Dave Cameron: I don’t think so. Bill Conlin, who was forcibly retired after being accused by multiple relatives of child molestation, is still a BBWAA member in good standing and has a HOF vote. They’ll almost certainly kick the person out of the organization who sold their vote to Deadspin, but Conlin will keep on voting as long as he wants.
12:11
Comment From Rob
Stat question here: Is BABIP affected by the ballpark you’re playing in? Is there somewhere we can look up the BABIP of a ballpark? Or perhaps it would be more accurate to look up the effect +/- a given ballpark has on a player’s BABIP? Though the latter would be hard to split apart from the quality of the home team’s defense. Still, it makes sense–if a ballpark is larger, you should be able to hit for a bigger BABIP in said ballpark, no?

12:12
Dave Cameron: Yes, ballpark absolutely has an effect on BABIP. Coors inflates average BABIP to around .325, by far the biggest impact of any park. Parks with big foul territories deflate BABIP, since more pop-ups get caught rather than land in the seats.
12:13
Comment From zack
Given the deals that have been signed this offseason, does the Hunter Pence deal look a lot better today then it did a few months ago?
12:13
Dave Cameron: No, still looks bad.
12:13
Dave Cameron: The Choo deal is just worse.
12:13
Comment From Thomas
How much would have to go right for the Padres to make the playoffs out of the NL West?
12:13
Dave Cameron: Josh Johnson has to go back to being JOSH JOHNSON, and then they need a big rebound season from Chase Headley.
12:14
Comment From Bret
The Jays 2B hole was listed by Jeff the other day as one of the biggest holes on any contender. Since it seems the Jays want to earmark their money to pitching, Nick Franklin jumps out as an obvious solution. What’s a fair package from the Jays?
12:14
Dave Cameron: There’s not an obvious fit. The Mariners need good outfielders, but the Blue Jays don’t have any to spare, really.
12:15
Comment From Robert
I asked Jeff something similar to this yesterday, but do you think the $/WAR would be vary much if you broke it down by position?
12:15
Dave Cameron: Matt Swartz wrote about this for us a few years back. Yes, 1B/RPs get paid a lot more than 2Bs.
12:15
Comment From JC
Does the HOF ever sever ties with the BBWAA and come up with a new panel of voters (perhaps including some writers) or is that bond too strong?
12:15
Dave Cameron: I think the HOF believes that the process is working wonderfully.
12:16
Comment From Eric H.
Why is Jeff Bagwell guilty in the eyes of BWAA for PED use when he has never appeared on any documents or reports?
12:16
Dave Cameron: Because he didn’t hit homers in the minors and he did in the majors. It’s guilt by association, basically.
12:17
Comment From Weaver & Glavine Fan Club
Are there any plans to account for pitchers who are clearly better than their WAR and FIP relate? If WAR is meant to be as close to a catch-all stat as possible, it seems like it needs to at least try to account for the “Weaver-Glavine Problem.”
12:17
Dave Cameron: If you think pitchers are best evaluated by runs allowed, use RA9-WAR, which we already have on the site.
12:17
Comment From Alex
Predict the landing spots for the following: Garza, E. Santana, Jimenez
12:18
Dave Cameron: Anaheim, Seattle, Toronto.
12:18
Comment From Alex
Which team is poised to take a big step backwards in 2014?
12:18
Dave Cameron: The Reds.
12:18
Comment From Coach K
Do you think MLB will ever see/stop ignoring the hypcrosity tat exists between the older Cuban players and soon Tanaka and American born drafted players? Players like Strasburg and Harper are making less than Guerrero will make for the Dodgers.
12:19
Dave Cameron: They don’t care about consistency as much as they care about keeping costs down.
12:19
Comment From Redd
Can you share your thoughts on the Gurnick vote? Is this a matter of “why waste time griping about one idiot when it’s the system that should be the target or our ire”?
12:20
Dave Cameron: I think that, if your stance is that the baseball hall of fame should ignore 20 years of baseball history, you probably shouldn’t be voting. I’m glad he’s surrendering his ballot next year.
12:20
Comment From Ira
Colby Rasmus for Homer Bailey?
12:20
Dave Cameron: Bailey’s better, so no.
12:20
Comment From Guest
What is your opinion one the floor and ceiling for a guy like Kole Calhoun? Household name by the end of the year?
12:21
Dave Cameron: Looks like a nice average player to me.
12:21
Comment From Grack Zeinke
think the Reds are lurking? They’ve been way too quiet this winter. Could they swoop in and sign Garza for example? Maybe back that up with a Bailey swap for a CFer? Rasmus? DeAza?
12:21
Dave Cameron: Trading Bailey for de Aza would be an atrocious move, and if they can’t afford Bronson Arroyo, they can’t afford Matt Garza.
12:22
Comment From Right Field Rob
Surprised Billy Beane hasn’t jumped ship to an opportunity that might allow him more $ to spend?
12:22
Dave Cameron: I think he likes the challenge.
12:23
Comment From _David_
Would Tanaka put the Mariners into a range of “just enough wild card hope that there’s a reason to watch?”
12:23
Dave Cameron: Sure. And all it would have cost them was $400 million…
12:23
Comment From Josef
Thanks for chatting, Dave. Maybe it was just a lack of other significant news yesterday, but I feel like the vitriol for Tom Gurnick was a little excessive, with most of it aimed too much at him specifically rather than the system that allows one to do such things (though I do agree that what Jurnick did was very silly and inconsistent with even his own line of thinking). What are your thoughts?
12:24
Dave Cameron: I try to stay away from attacking individuals, and prefer to focus on the quality of the argument that they’re making. I wish more people would do the same.
12:24
Comment From Anon21
Why is Stanton off to a “good start” to Cooperstown while Heyward goes unmentioned? Your own site says Heyward has been the better player and they’re the same age; at some point don’t you have to have a little humility about your ability to forecast different future results?
12:25
Dave Cameron: Maybe it’s not the national guy who has no reason to be biased towards Stanton over Heyward that has the humility problem, but the irrational Braves fan who throws a fit every time FanGraphs doesn’t worship his favorite team?
12:26
Comment From Pirates Hurdles
Predictions for Bonds’ and Clemens’ percentages? Both were around 35% last year.
12:26
Dave Cameron: Lower.
12:26
Comment From Mark
Do you think the current Stephen Drew situation proves that even successful “pillow contracts” are not all that effective in driving up the price next year? Drew had a nice “bounceback” year, but it seems like teams don’t project him as a significantly better player than they did 12 months ago…
12:26
Dave Cameron: I think they definitely do, but this time around, he has the disadvantage of having draft pick compensation attached. It’s the problem with having a good “pillow contract” season; there’s a tax applied that can sink your value.
12:27
Comment From Grack Zeinke
what do you ultimately see happening with Price? it doesn’t seem like the yield will be what was initially thought.
12:27
Dave Cameron: I think teams will make another run at him after Tanaka signs. No reason to give up the farm if you can just buy another farm for cash.
12:27
Comment From Pirates Hurdles
Biggest name to get less than 5% and fall off?
12:27
Dave Cameron: Palmeiro.
12:28
Comment From Matt
Sub-.500 team in ’13 most likely to make the playoffs in ’14?
12:28
Dave Cameron: Angels.
12:28
Comment From Jay29
What time do we expect to hear official HOF results? Or will they just bleed in like political election restults?
12:28
Dave Cameron: Announcement is at 2 pm eastern.
12:28
Comment From Jaack
Make a case for Hall of Famer Armando Benitez.
12:29
Dave Cameron: The Hall of Fame is now for any player who had a pulse.
12:29
Dave Cameron: Welcome, Mr. Benitez, and everyone else ever.
12:29
Comment From GSon
Maddux is the second best pitcher available for enshrinement into the HOF on this year’s ballot.. Rocket is still the best pitcher of this, and perhaps, any generation of baseball.. comment?
12:29
Dave Cameron: Disagree.
12:29
Comment From Compton
Can you tell me how to calculate fWAR for pitchers? Or could you point me in the direction of the formula?
12:29
Dave Cameron: It’s in the glossary. Upper right hand corner on the home page.
12:30
Comment From LarryA
Will we ever see another pitcher like Smoltz? Dominant SP to dominant closer back to dominant SP?
12:30
Dave Cameron: I could see a guy like Lincecum potentially having that career path.
12:31
Comment From Robert
Looking at the all-time great hitters, there is a clear bias towards LHH. Seems weird that the two best hitters currently(Cabrera, Trout) are both RHH. Trying to think of similar RHH duos to be the best
12:31
Dave Cameron: Frank Thomas and Manny Ramirez?
12:31
Dave Cameron: Maybe not best in baseball, because Bonds, but best in AL?
12:31
Comment From _David_
Was it because of PEDs that you don’t care about the NFL, and if so does that conflict at all with your stance on the baseball issue? Also, will you watch the Superbowl if the Seahawks are in it?
12:32
Dave Cameron: I stopped watching the NFL (and most other sports) once baseball became my job, because I feel an obligation to be as good at my job as possible and also not spend my entire life ignoring friends and family. So all my extra sports time just got funneled into baseball. I’ll watch the Super Bowl regardless of who is in it, but more as a social event with friends than with any serious rooting interest.
12:32
Comment From short stop
Who will perform at a higher level in 2014: Boston infielder Xander Bogaerts or Seattle infielder Brad Miller? The WAR projections at ZIPS, Steamer and Oliver are close.
12:32
Dave Cameron: Bogaerts.
12:33
Comment From Froglegs Jackson
Which team has had the best off-season?
12:33
Dave Cameron: The Nationals.
12:33
Comment From zack
Who had the better career: Greg Maddux or Randy Johnson?
12:33
Dave Cameron: Maddux.
12:34
Comment From Darren
Why are Zips and Steamer so far off on the Reds. Zips has them at 41 WAR (per todays article) while Steamer (per the Depth Charts) is at 31. A 10 win difference and enough for Sullivan to suggest they are not a contender in 2014. What gives.
12:34
Dave Cameron: ZIPS likes the Reds pitchers a lot more.
12:34
Comment From _David_
Do the Mariners have the revenue to buy their way to some minimal level of having a chance at contention until they get the front office right?
12:34
Dave Cameron: That’s what they’re trying right now.
12:35
Comment From Santos
Have you really never said the F word in your entire life? Not even once?
12:35
Dave Cameron: Yeah, I just have never really been a cusser. Didn’t grow up around it being used much, never really felt the need to do so.
12:36
Comment From Guest
Would you view the Hall as more of a baseball museum where all PED guys should get in or an elite club for those there is no question about?
12:36
Dave Cameron: It is a museum. I don’t think we should pretend its not.
12:36
Comment From zack
For next year only who would you rather have: Ubaldo, E. Santana, Garza, or AJ Burnett?
12:36
Dave Cameron: Burnett.
12:36
Comment From Robocles
Is there anything you’re really looking forward to seeing in 2014?
12:37
Dave Cameron: The ski slopes. I’m taking a week off in a couple of weeks to go skiing, and I couldn’t be more excited.
12:37
Comment From David Lopan
Sounds like Homer Bailey is heading for FA after this season. If he puts up similar numbers to last 2 years, do you think he reaches 100m contract?
12:37
Dave Cameron: Easy. Probably closer to $150M.
12:37
Comment From Sgt. Pepper
Can the Jays build a deal for Franklin around Gose? They probably need to add more but how close can Gose get them?
12:37
Dave Cameron: Considering Anthony Gose is terrible, I would say no.
12:38
Comment From Confused
How are park factors calculated? Are home team stats ignored? It seems like a team with a good offense could have an artificially-inflated park factor – but then, you could say the same about the visitor stats if the park’s home team has a bad pitching staff.
12:39
Dave Cameron: The team’s own players don’t really have a significant effect, because they are measured as the difference between the team’s performance at home and on the road. So if you have lousy pitchers everywhere, it’s not going to show up as a park effect.
12:39
Comment From FS
What O’s need to do to contend?
12:39
Dave Cameron: Get an LF, 2B, and DH.
12:39
Comment From Eastern NC
Really, how good was Tim Raines?
12:40
Dave Cameron: Fantastic.
12:40
Comment From Alex
Are the Tigers fading? I see Cleveland and Kansas City as serious competition, with Minnesota and Chicago not too far behind
12:40
Dave Cameron: Detroit is still clearly better than both.
12:40
Dave Cameron: And the Twins suck.
12:41
Comment From GSon
$ 400 MM just money.. and not yours
12:42
Dave Cameron: This kind of thought process is so silly. It has nothing to do whether its mine or theirs or whoevers. Unused currency can be used to buy other things, so just look at a a trade for whatever else they could have bought for $400 million. You don’t say “it’s not my players” when someone makes a bad trade.
12:43
Comment From Lat
How much would Mauer get if he were a Free Agebt?
12:43
Dave Cameron: 6/120ish.
12:43
Comment From Guest
In the end doesn’t the HoF voting system reflect the majority and get it right in that sense? Radicals won’t let there be a unamious selection but who cares, that’s not the point..
12:44
Dave Cameron: Why do we think that veteran baseball writers are representative of the population of fans?
12:44
Comment From Guest
Will Randy Johnson be a 1st ballot guy?
12:44
Dave Cameron: Yep.
12:45
Comment From InquiringMind
If you’re the Braves GM how soon do you start shopping JUpton and Heyward?
12:45
Dave Cameron: Next winter.
12:45
Comment From Guest
Is it fair to say Matt Holliday deserved to be included in your future HoF post but was forgotten on accident?
12:45
Dave Cameron: He wasn’t forgotten. He just missed the cut.
12:46
Comment From Rated Rookie
Is Anon21 a notorious Braves homer? That exchange felt like I walked into a room with two people at each other’s throats.
12:46
Dave Cameron: He has spent the last few years being remarkably antagonistic about any perceived slight towards the Braves.
12:47
Comment From Sean
Where would you rank Pedro Martinez’ peak? Top 5?
12:47
Dave Cameron: Peak? Top 3, easy, maybe top 1.
12:47
Comment From Dave Dombrowski
How do I have a job after GIVING AWAY Doug Fister to the Nationals?
12:47
Dave Cameron: One bad trade doesn’t get you fired.
12:47
Comment From NatsFan
Imagine every player in the MLB/MiLB is a free agent. Besides Mike Trout, who gets the next largest/longest contract and what would it be?
12:48
Dave Cameron: Bryce Harper.
12:48
Dave Cameron: And in a hypothetical world where everyone is a free agent, prices come way down for the top guys, so less than you think.
12:49
Comment From Eastern NC
Isnt’ skiing terrifying?
12:49
Dave Cameron: Not really. I don’t tuck and go 90 mph straight down the mountain, though.
12:50
Comment From Guest
Aren’t the Orioles a better trade partner for Nick Franklin?
12:50
Dave Cameron: They don’t have any extra good outfielders either.
12:50
Comment From Guest
How would you rate Piazza’s chances next year?
12:50
Dave Cameron: Slim.
12:52
Comment From JC
Did you just say $150 million for Homer Bailey?
12:52
Dave Cameron: Homer Bailey is quietly very good.
12:52
Dave Cameron: I’d probably take him over Tanaka.
12:53
Comment From Rob
Why are advanced stats in baseball so much further ahead than in other sports?
12:53
Dave Cameron: It is easier to isolate player performance in baseball than in other sports, where there is far more player interaction.
12:53
Comment From ryan
Over / Under – 1.5 Voters that did not vote for Maddux?
12:53
Dave Cameron: Way over.
12:53
Comment From Kevin
If you were to rank all of the offseasons so far, where would the White Sox rank?
12:53
Dave Cameron: Near the top. I really like what they did.
12:54
Comment From FS
Freeman’s line with RISP: .443/.591/.695. incredible luck? or different approach with RISP?
12:54
Dave Cameron: Luck.
12:54
Comment From Guest
Calling the Nationals/Tigers transaction involving Doug Fister a “trade” is being really generous to the Tigers. They got zip.
12:54
Dave Cameron: Well, that’s not really true. A lefty who got into the mid-90s and pitched well at Double-A isn’t zip.
12:55
Dave Cameron: But they certainly didn’t get enough.
12:55
Comment From Bkgeneral
Aren’t Dodgers and Mariners best fit for a Franklin swap?
12:55
Dave Cameron: Dodgers just spent $30 million on a second baseman.
12:56
Comment From Bkgeneral
2012>2013>2014 a fair representation of the Reds trajectory?
12:56
Dave Cameron: Unless they actually start doing something this winter, yes.
12:56
Comment From A. Lane
Do you assume that most, major league hitters batted ball profiles are optimized based on underlying skills; pitch recognition, contact, ect?
12:56
Dave Cameron: Yeah, I would guess that hitters are good at maximizing their own skills.
12:56
Comment From Froglegs Jackson
Was Chris Sale considered for your HoF column? His career numbers are very similar to Strasburgs, and at this point, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say he’s the better pitcher.
12:57
Dave Cameron: Considered, but missed the cut.
12:57
Comment From Andrew
Do you think the Phillies will make a run at Tanaka? I think they have taken a reasonable path this offseason at trying to avoid an Astros like spiral while avoiding long term commitments/draft pick losses, but Tanaka just seems like someone every team with money should be in on.
12:58
Dave Cameron: Everyone with money is in on him, which is why the price is probably going to be ridiculous.
12:58
Comment From Ed
Do you ski in the NC/VA/WV mountains or do you travel to a more exotic location?
12:58
Dave Cameron: We’re going to Snowshoe in WV. It’s the best place in the southeast, and a reasonable drive from where we live. I’d love to go ski out west again, but when you add flights and rental cars to lodging/lift tickets/food, it gets expensive fast.
12:59
Comment From Robert
Are you surprised how easily Glavine appears to be going in? I think he’s definitely deserving…but I think it’s very easy to make a case that he’s somewhere on the fringes of the top 10 on the ballot, so I’d expect him to be left off more often.
12:59
Dave Cameron: 300 wins. That’s enough for most voters to not care about much else.
1:00
Dave Cameron: Okay, have to go eat lunch and prepare for HOF silly hour.
1:00
Dave Cameron: Thanks for hanging out, everyone.



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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

39 Responses to “FanGraphs Chat – 1/8/14”

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  1. emiliocapilla says:

    Le señalo como simples ejemplos dos fichas Fangraphs que tengo ante mí. Una de ellas es la trayectoria deportiva de Babe Ruth, la otra es la de Cap Anson.

    En la sección final (“Value”) de la hoja del Bambino aparecen las columnas cuya sumatoria final (última fila) conduce a las RAR, es decir:
    Offense (1347.3), Defense (-18.6), League (47.8) y Replacement (325.2). Ese resultado (1701.8) coincide con la cifra reportada en la col. RAR (penúltima a la derecha). Ahora bien: en base a la teoría, 1701.8 / 10 debería darnos la cifra WAR final de Babe Ruth, pero en la última columna, Fangraphs nos publica un WAR de 168.4.

    Esta discrepancia es todavía más notable en otras fichas que he revisado. En el caso de Cap Anson, las RAR alcanzan 1086.2, mientras el WAR queda en 91.2, obviamente bien lejos de 1086.2 / 10.

    Le hago notar que en las hojas de baseball-reference a menudo ocurren similares desacuerdos en cuanto a RAR/10 y el WAR en jugadores de cualquier época.

    Volviendo a Fangraphs: me queda claro que este sitio presenta la Ofensiva en sus dos componentes (Batting + – Base Running), así como la Defensiva ya ajustada (Fielding + – Positional). Aunque no se muestra por separado, se incluye también una corrección por factor parque, pero no entiendo el contenido de la columna”League”. Le agradecería me ilustrara sobre dicho ajuste .

    Hay otro dato preocupante y que no tiene nada que ver con cálculos sabermétricos. Cuando nos remitimos a la lista Fangraphs de los más altos WAR alcanzados (jugadores de posición) vemos que Barry Bonds aparece en un segundo lugar histórico con 164.1. Pero lo que en realidad me sorprende es un dato bien elemental: tanto Baseball-reference como Baseball-prospectus le dan una cifra oficial de juegos (G) de por vida de 2986, mientras que Fangraphs publica 2976. Le apunto que he encontrado diferencias aún mayores en otros casos: Fangraphs “games” de Rickey Henderson 3068,
    Reference y Prospectus 3081.
    Agradeciendo de antemano su amabilidad, espero contar con su apoyo para aclarar estas interrogantes.

    Emilio

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    • larsvontryhard says:

      Yo no puedo hablar de las discrepancias con WAR, pero me gustaría hacer referencia probablemente a Baseball Reference para estadísticas duras como partidos jugados.

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    • Sean says:

      Google Translated:

      I point out as mere examples Fangraphs two tabs that I have before me . One is the sporting career of Babe Ruth , the other is Cap Anson .

      In the final section ( “Value”) Bambino leaf columns appear whose final sum ( row ) leads to the RAR , ie :
      Offense ( 1347.3 ) , Defense ( -18.6 ) , League (47.8 ) and Replacement ( 325.2 ) . This result ( 1701.8 ) agrees with the figure reported in col . RAR ( penultimate right) . Now, based on the theory , 1701.8 / 10 should give us the final figure of Babe Ruth WAR , but in the last column , we published Fangraphs WAR of 168.4 .

      This discrepancy is even more noticeable in other tabs I’ve reviewed. For Cap Anson , the RAR reaches 1086.2 , while 91.2 WAR is obviously far from 1086.2 / 10 .

      I do notice that in the baseball -reference sheets often similar disagreement about RAR/10 and WAR players any time they occur.

      Returning to Fangraphs : clear to me that this site has the offensive in its two components ( Batting + – Base Running ) and Defensive already set ( Fielding + – Positional ) . Although not shown separately, also includes a correction factor for the park , but do not understand the contents of the ” League” column. Please let me illustrate on this adjustment .

      Another issue of concern and that has nothing to do with sabermetric calculations. When we refer to the list of Fangraphs WAR highest achieved ( position players ) we see that Barry Bonds appears in a second historic place with 164.1 . But what really surprised me is a rather elementary fact: Baseball and Baseball -reference – prospectus give an official number of games (G ) for life in 2986 while both Fangraphs publishes 2976 . Hello I think I have found even greater differences in other cases : Fangraphs “games” Rickey Henderson 3068 ,
      Reference and Prospectus 3081 .
      Thanking you in advance for your kindness, I look forward to your support to clarify these questions.

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    • Joe Curious says:

      A Spanish-speaking analytics guy? The next market inefficiency. GET ON IT FRIEDMAN!

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    • RSF says:

      La ecuación RAR/10 = WAR es solamente una guía que da un idea general como traducir RAR a WAR. En realidad, el denominador exacto cambia sobre los años porque el medio ambiente de carreras cambia también. Por ejemplo, en un año con más carreras que un año normal, el denominador sería más que 10. Sin embargo, el denominador siempre está cerca de 10. Por eso, la ecuación RAR/10 = WAR es una guía útil.

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  2. Dave owns Anon21 says:

    My name says it all. BOOOOOOOM

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  3. Dave owns Anon21 says:

    Wait, sorry my spelling sucks….That should have read BOOOOOOOOOOOOOM.

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    • Izrick says:

      While I agree that it was an epic burn, consider Dave’s answer to the previous question:

      “I try to stay away from attacking individuals, and prefer to focus on the quality of the argument that they’re making. I wish more people would do the same.”

      The very next answer, Dave deems it fit to attack person rather than the argument (however poorly worded and filled with vinegar it might have been).

      As a Mariners fan with zero stake and limited knowledge of both Stanton and Heyward, I would have been interested in an honest take from Dave regarding the subject.

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      • Anon21 says:

        Yeah, exactly. He’d be a better analyst if he didn’t waste so much time on useless snark. Still waiting for that answer on how Stanton is clearly better than Heyward, Dave, but I’m sure I won’t get it.

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        • BIP says:

          Maybe you need to learn to ask nicely?

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        • Anon21 says:

          I wasn’t actually that rude; as Dave admits, he just doesn’t like that I’m a Braves fan who mostly asks Braves-related questions in his chats. If he doesn’t like the tone, he doesn’t have to answer them, but “answering” them by attacking me and then ignoring the question is foolish.

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        • Jake says:

          I doubt Dave’s issue is that you only ask Braves questions. I am betting his issue is that you consistently come off as an extremely biased commenter.

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        • Anon21 says:

          Honestly, if a dude who writes about MLB for a living can’t deal with biased commenters, he should probably find another line of work. Yes, fans pay attention to their own teams to the exclusion of others and sometimes get unreasonably offended when they perceive their teams or players to have been slighted. And? If you want to be a good baseball analyst, you have to deal with challenges coming from a place of bias as well as challenges coming from a place of dispassionate inquiry. To dismiss the former out of hand is just ad hominem fallacy.

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        • jpg says:

          Yeah Dave should be ashamed of himself. You were only slightly rude and obnoxious this time. Dude listen to yourself. If you can’t handle his snark maybe you should unbunch your panties and frequent another site.

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        • Anon21 says:

          Obviously I can “handle” it, since I continue submitting questions. It’s Dave who seems to have a hard time handling it by either ignoring me and not choosing my questions if he doesn’t like my tone, or responding substantively to what I ask.

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  4. jpg says:

    All jokes aside it seems obvious to me why DC would list Stanton and not Heyward: skill set. Heyward has two things working against him. First, his value is derived from things that Hall voters largely ignore like drawing walks, running the bases well and playing great D. Second is that we don’t know who he is yet after four years. Is he the 5-6 win player who has the look of a guy ready to emerge as one of the best young outfielders in the sport? He’s been that kind of player twice. Or his he 2-3 win player who struggles to hit his weight? He been that kind of player twice too. Stanton does the one thing that every HoF voter digs: He hits dingers and lots of em. If Stanton hits 600 bombs he’s getting in. Heyward could provide more all-around value and still have trouble getting in as a low average/moderate power corner outfielder. Maybe the electorate changes enough that a newer breed of voters 20 years from now will make this all moot but that’s anyone’s guess right now.

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    • Owen says:

      Right, I think DC was willing to consider players value as he reads it (not as the voters would), but Heyward has been pedestrian a little too often in a young career to go around projecting the HOF on him. It wasn’t long ago I was talking down Giants fans who were saying Lincecum was in and Brian Wilson had a shot.

      As for the whole Anon21 thing, if you come at someone with vitriol and you do it a lot, perhaps a little shade is warranted. DC provides some of the best baseball analysis I read, and I find he generally does it with a positive attitude.

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      • Anon21 says:

        Right, I think DC was willing to consider players value as he reads it (not as the voters would), but Heyward has been pedestrian a little too often in a young career to go around projecting the HOF on him.

        Then where does this leave Stanton, an inferior player?

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        • jpg says:

          You obviously don’t get it. For one, the title of the post was “Which Active Players Are Going Cooperstown?” It’s not “Which Active Players Deserve to Go According to Dave”.

          “No matter how you slice and dice the data, you’re going to end up with a historical norm around 30 active players. So, let’s set that as our target, and try to identify 30 players who will take the field in 2014 who might have a decent shot at ending up with a plaque in the Hall of Fame.”

          That’s straight from the article. With all due respect Owen, DC never intimated that he was “willing to consider players value as he reads it (not as the voters would)” anywhere in that article. Under that criteria, Stanton because he hits lots of home runs, is a MUCH safe bet than Heyward regardless of whether or not he’s the better all around player.

          “Voters have traditionally favored closers with longevity, but Kimbrel’s run of dominance is something we’ve never really seen before.”

          Again from the same article. It’s pretty clear he’s looking at it from a BBWAA standpoint.

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        • Anon21 says:

          Then he needs to think it through more carefully. Heyward and Stanton, assuming they play full careers, will be seeking election around 2035. The voters of 2035 will consist mostly of writers raised in the advanced stats generation. Very few of them will lack the basic understanding that a run is a run, regardless of how created. Will fWAR be the be-all, end-all for them? Probably not (indeed, it probably won’t be around in 20 years, at least not in its current form), but the holistic approach it takes to player value will be ascendent. From that perspective, counting Heyward out is short-sighted.

          In any event, if this was Dave’s perspective, he could easily have said so in the chat. I don’t think it is his real perspective, though; I think he just has an unjustified degree of faith in his ability to project future greatness for Stanton.

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        • jpg says:

          Unless you have a crystal ball there’s no way of knowing what the electorate will look like in 20 years. We can’t just assume that they will become more progressive. Heck, the BBWAA might not even have voting rights at that point. A lot can change between now and then.

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        • Anon21 says:

          If that’s the line you’re going to take, why bother with the exercise at all? From your perspective, for all we know in 20 years the voters might have decided that Jeff Francoeur is a Hall of Famer because they massively overvalue flaxen hair and a winning smile.

          I think it’s far more likely that we see the continuation of trends that put Bert Blyleven over the top without the “magic” numbers and are forcing greater consideration for Tim Raines and Alan Trammell than they might have received even 5 years ago. I think that as dinosaurs like Murray Chass exit the Hall of Fame electorate, the level of baseball knowledge among voters will increase. Do you think otherwise?

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        • jpg says:

          I don’t disagree but 20 years is a long time. What if the tools for valuing players are radically different? What if Field f/x becomes readily available and we find that, in fact, Heyward was shitty defensive outfielder this whole time? Or what if some research comes along that shows weren’t valuing walks properly? I’m not saying you’re wrong but again, a lot can change in two decades. Steve Garvey, a guy who looked like a mortal lock when he retired, says hi.

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        • Anon21 says:

          That’s as may be, but I doubt Dave believes that the defensive component of fWAR is crap, so we should basically underweight any player who derives a large portion of his value from defense. On the contrary, he’s gone out of his way to a) state that the error bars around single-season* samples of defensive metrics do not prevent it from being a useful component of fWAR and b) point out that a run is a run, and that player evaluations that ignore defense, baserunning, and on-base ability in favor of power and batting average are incorrect.

          So again, I don’t think that accounts for it. I still suspect he just believes that Stanton is going to get a lot better. (That’s what’s going on with his evaluations of Harper, too, but there he has good data backing him up that players who are as good as Harper at his age usually turn out to be superstars.)

          *Of course, we now have about four full seasons of data suggesting that Heyward is a very good outfielder.

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    • Mike says:

      Not to nitpick (and I understand why Dave would choose Stanton over Heyward for his list), but Heyward has had one pedestrian season and three good ones. His numbers in 2013 were pretty comparable to his numbers in 2012, with the only difference being that he missed a lot of time from his appendectomy and getting hit in the face. Heyward has been a very good player, on the whole, for three of his four years in the big leagues. However, he has yet to be an elite hitter, which is a concern since that is the most reliable skill, and he currently would be in trouble if he lost his stellar fielding abilities.

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  5. Fanthed says:

    Right before attacking an individual and ignoring his argument, Cameron wrote: “I try to stay away from attacking individuals, and prefer to focus on the quality of the argument that they’re making.”

    He did not qualify that by saying that he feels free to attack those individuals who come at him, to quote Owen, “with vitriol and…do it a lot.”

    Cameron, in this instance, was hypocritical.

    (And his little holier-than-thou “I wish more people would do the same”? Please.)

    I say all this even though I admire the man’s writing & thinking very much.

    But he slipped up here and there’s no reason for anyone to make excuses for him.

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    • jpg says:

      Well when you start doing a free chat, and chatters start saying shit like:

      “..at some point don’t you have to have a little humility about your ability to forecast different future results”

      Good luck trying to resist the urge concoct a snark-free response to that. I don’t disagree that Dave can be a little of a smart ass at times. It’s warranted at times like this.

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      • Anon21 says:

        If he’d snarked and also responded, whatever. He snarked and ignored. What’s the point of even publishing the question if all you want to do is snipe at the asker?

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        • jpg says:

          Again, you as the asker posed the question in douchey manner. He obviously didn’t feel your question, posed in such a manner, merited an actual response. If he had ignored the question all together, you’d be calling him out as having a Stanton man-crush. Or you’d be calling him out as a Braves hater. Either way it’s the same difference.

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        • Anon21 says:

          “If he had ignored the question all together, you’d be calling him out as having a Stanton man-crush. Or you’d be calling him out as a Braves hater.”

          No, I wouldn’t have. He gets hundreds of questions in these chats and answers only a small fraction. Why he would want to waste two of that small fraction running down an anonymous commenter (and ignoring said commenter’s actual question) is a bit beyond me.

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        • Park Chan ho's Beard says:

          Heyward missed the cut. Stanton didn’t. There ya go.

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  6. Fanthed says:

    JPG you miss the point that Cameron was LECTURING about how more people needed to behave just like him in not attacking individuals, when, in the very next circumstance, he attacked an individual.

    I think most of us can agree that sometimes we are all too touch and sometimes we all fail to “resist the urge” of answering criticism with force and bile. But in this instance Cameron did not seem to “resist.” There was barely a pause between lecture and attack.

    That’s the point here and blaming the Braves fan for Cameron’s failure to resist seems beside it.

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  7. Park Chan ho's Beard says:

    Anon21, Dave actually supplies the answer to your question in a few of his other answers to other questions. It’s this: “He missed the cut.” If you actually read the chat, you can assume that he had a criteria that he based his decisions off of, and it’s probably not something like “will make Anon21/Braves fans really upset.” You made the assumption that it was hubris or whatever in your obnoxious question, and Dave rightfully told you to stop being a butthurt baby. Dave has also said repeatedly that these chat formats don’t really allow him to give more detailed answers, so a lot of people had to settle for the “he missed the cut” answer. That’s very likely the same reason Heyward didn’t make it. If you really want to know the process he used to determine his list, ask him that next time, instead of obnoxiously saying he’s not humble enough, and then repeatedly whining about it in the comments below.

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  8. MrMet44 says:

    Questioning the man’s “humility” is not the appropriate way to ask the question.
    Plus, Heyward sucks anyway.

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  9. DrBGiantsfan says:

    Re. how $400 M is spent: You cannot spent it on other players if other players are not available to spend it on. There are now limits on how much can be spent on the draft and on most international FA’s. There are very few veteran FA’s available as most teams lock up their own players long term. If you have the $400 M to spend on upgrading your team, you can only use it on what is available which will obviously be a very small subset of the universe of all baseball players.

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  10. Pirates Hurdles says:

    Geez, I thought the bigger “questionable” comment was matter of factly saying Maddux was better than Clemens. I really don’t think there is any plausible statistical argument for that conclusion and I know Dave doesn’t usually buy the PED argument. Seems strange, I wish he would elaborate.

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