December 20, 2014

Hall of Doubt

January 19, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

In light of the recent Hall of Fame voting and the questions raised regarding a number of the candidates, perhaps the following poem is timely The Hall of Doubt? Michael Hoban I Baseball is our greatest game – I think it is quite clear Its wondrous past and following, it really has no peer.  The […]

Hall of Fame Voting – “If it Ain’t Broke, …”

January 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

On Jan. 9, 2013, it was announced that the baseball writers (BBWAA) had not elected anyone to the Hall of Fame.  This is the first time that this had happened since 1996. This result drew more attention than usual because two of baseball’s best players ever (Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens) were not elected because […]

Starting Pitchers and Hall of Fame Numbers

January 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Jack Morris’ Hall of Fame candidacy has generated a discussion about HOF numbers for pitchers which I feel is very useful – partly because it raises the question of whether there is a “sabermetric” way to objectively measure a starting pitcher’s career performance. Here is how the CAWS Career Gauge suggests it may be done […]

2013 Vote for the Hall – the Writers Got It (Mostly) Right

January 9, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

For the eighth time since the Hall of Fame elections started and for the first time since 1996, no player has been elected to the Hall of Fame. Is this a bad thing?  Not necessarily.  Better to elect no one than to elect the wrong person (think Jim Rice). According to the CAWS Career Gauge, […]

Adjusting for Military Service

May 6, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

Many fans have wondered over the years about those players who lost playing time to military service – and how that may have impacted their total careers. One interesting aspect of win shares and the CAWS Career Gauge is that it is fairly easy to reasonably adjust a player’s career numbers to reflect this lost […]

DEFINING GREATNESS: A Hall of Fame Handbook

April 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

One third of the players in the Hall of Fame do not have the credentials to be there.  Or, to be more precise, 35% of the 20th century major league Hall of Famers do not have the performance records (on the field in the regular season) to merit a place in Cooperstown. After the BBWAA […]

The Golden Era Hall of Fame Ballot

November 10, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

The Hall of Fame has announced that eight players (and two executives) are to be considered for induction into the Hall in what is being called the Golden Age Ballot. Sixteen individuals (including some Hall of Famers) will vote for the candidates on Dec. 5, 2011 at the Baseball Writers Winter Meetings and twelve votes […]

The Pitchers: The 4 Levels of Greatness – Part 2

October 1, 2011 by · 6 Comments 

The CAWS Career Gauge has identified only fifty-one (51) 20th century major league pitchers who have obvious Hall of Fame numbers. In Part 1, I introduced the thirty-nine (39) 20th century pitchers in Levels 1 and 2.  These were the pitchers identified by the CAWS Gauge as having posted HOF numbers during their playing careers […]

The Pitchers: The 4 Levels of Greatness – Part 1

September 26, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

In a previous series of articles, I presented the 5 Levels of Greatness for the 20th century position players who posted Hall of Fame numbers during their careers – according to the CAWS Career Gauge.  We saw that there are one hundred sixteen (116) such players. In this series of articles, I will present the […]

Mariano Rivera – the Best “Pure” Reliever

September 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

At the present moment (2011), there are only five pitchers in the Hall of Fame who most fans would look upon as “relievers”: Hoyt Wilhelm, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage and Bruce Sutter.  And only one of these, Bruce Sutter, can be considered a “pure” reliever according to the definition established by the CAWS […]

The Hall of Famers: The 5 Levels of Greatness – Part 4

September 19, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

In this article (the last in this series), I will present the Level 5 players who posted Hall of Fame numbers during the 20th century.  In Levels 1 through 4, there were eighty-eight (88) position players who had a CAWS career score of at least 280.  In Level 5, we have the other twenty-eight (28) […]

The Hall of Famers: The 5 Levels of Greatness – Part 3

September 12, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

In this article, I will present the Level 3 and Level 4 position players.  There were a total of thirty-one (31) players in Levels 1 and 2 – the position players with the best careers of the 20th century.  In Levels 3 and 4, we have the fifty-seven (57) next best careers of the century […]

The Hall of Famers: The 5 Levels of Greatness – Part 2

September 7, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

In this article, I will present the Level 1 and Level 2 position players.  These are the thirty-one (31) major league players who had the best career numbers in the 20th century.  I think it is fair to say that there are few surprises on these two lists. Level 1  -  Players with a CAWS […]

The Hall of Famers: The 5 Levels of Greatness – Part 1

September 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Consider the following statement: One third of the players in Baseball’s Hall of Fame do not have the credentials to be there. Or, to be more precise, 35% of the 20th century major league Hall of Famers do not belong in Cooperstown according to their performance records (on the field in the regular season). This […]

“All In” – Starting Pitchers and the Hall of Fame

August 1, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

With the induction of Bert Blyleven into the Hall of Fame in 2011, every starting pitcher in the second half of the 20th century who has HOF numbers is now in Cooperstown. Let me be a bit more precise.  According to the CAWS Career Gauge, every starting pitcher whose career began after World War II […]

The BBWAA Report Card for the 21st Century: Part 4

July 14, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

In Part 1 of this series, I indicated that the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) has been quite successful since 2001 in their selection of major league players for induction into the Hall of Fame.  Of the eighteen inductees from 2001 through 2011, sixteen do indeed have Hall of Fame numbers according to the […]

The BBWAA Report Card for the 21st Century – Part 3

July 8, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

In Part 1 of this series, I indicated that the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) has been quite successful since 2001 in their selection of major league players for induction into the Hall of Fame.  Of the eighteen inductees from 2001 through 2011, sixteen do indeed have Hall of Fame numbers according to the […]

The BBWAA Report Card for the 21st Century – Part 2

July 4, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

In Part 1 of this series, I indicated that the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) has been quite successful since 2001 in their selection of major league players for induction into the Hall of Fame.  Of the eighteen inductees from 2001 through 2011, sixteen do indeed have Hall of Fame numbers according to the […]

The BBWAA Report Card for the 21st Century – Part 1

June 27, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

As all devoted followers of baseball know, the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) has an election each year to determine if any of the current candidates are worthy of induction into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. If we are talking about major league players, it is my assumption that the writers who […]

A New “Rule of Thumb” – 300 Win Shares

June 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

When fans talk about who belongs in the Hall of Fame, mention is often made of the three “rules of thumb” that have been around for some time.  That is, a player “deserves to be in the Hall of Fame” if he Has 3000 hits or Has 500 home runs or Has 300 wins as […]

Just How Good was Jeff Bagwell?

March 13, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Jeff Bagwell appeared on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this year (2011).  He should have been a first-ballot inductee into the Hall.  Instead, he received only 42% of the vote.  This is a result that defies rational explanation and, unfortunately, only reinforces the perception that the BBWAA at times does […]

Starting Pitchers: Judging Their Careers

March 7, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

How do you judge whether a starting pitcher had a Hall of Fame career?  Obviously, there are many fans who will have different opinions on this question.  And many of the answers may be influenced by which team the fan supports.  But is there a completely objective way to answer this question? Yes, according to […]

Just How Good was Bert Blyleven?

January 10, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Bert Blyleven is in the Hall of Fame at last!!  It took fourteen years on the ballot to do it but the writers finally saw the light.  This was a true victory for sabermetrics – as recognized in the following clip from the Associated Press. “The great curveballer won 287 games, threw 60 shutouts and […]

No Tears for George

December 7, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

I am a native New Yorker who still lives in the NY/NJ area and I watch the 6 PM News on NBC each evening.  On Monday, December 6, the sports newscaster announced that George Steinbrenner was not elected to the Hall of Fame – and that was it.  No mention that Pat Gillick was elected […]

The 2011 HOF Ballot – How Many REAL Hall of Famers?

December 1, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

The BBWAA 2011 Hall of Fame Ballot contains the names of thirty-three players that the baseball writers may vote for if they feel they belong in the Hall of Fame.  Of the thirty-three players, I view sixteen position players and four pitchers as “serious candidates.”  They are mentioned below. As we all know, the writers […]

Tim Raines – Some Stars Get No Respect

November 21, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Tim Raines appeared on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot for the third time in 2010. In 2008, he got 24.3% of the votes, and in 2009, he got only 22.6% of the vote. In 2010, he increased to 30.4%. This would apparently indicate that he does not have a good chance of being elected […]

Just How Good is Roy Halladay?

November 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Roy Halladay was just awarded the Cy Young award for the National League for 2010.  He becomes only the fifth pitcher to win the award in both leagues.  The others are Gaylord Perry, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez. But, even more significantly, would you believe that as a result of his great 2010 […]

Expansion Era Hall of Fame Ballot

November 14, 2010 by · 7 Comments 

There will be a Veterans Committee Hall of Fame election in December, 2010 for what is being called “The Expansion Era (1973-Present).”  There are twelve names on the ballot: eight players, one manager (Billy Martin) and three executives (Pat Gillick, Marvin Miller and George Steinbrenner).  A player must be retired for at least twenty-one (21) […]

The Class of 2010 – the New Hall of Famers

October 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

At the beginning of the 2010 baseball season, there were eight active major league players who had already earned obvious Hall of Fame numbers during their careers.  Here are those players: Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Ken Griffey, Jr., Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter, Jim Thome, Jason Giambi and Mariano Rivera. By the end of the 2010 […]

Just How Good is Jim Thome?

September 7, 2010 by · 5 Comments 

Jim Thome recently passed Mark McGwire for the #9 spot on the all-time home run list with 584 round trippers.  So, an obvious question arises: Just how good is Jim Thome?  Or, better yet, does his career really reflect Hall of Fame numbers? The answer is Yes.  At the end of the 2009 season, Jim […]

Just How Good were Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens?

August 2, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Here is the short answer.  According to the numbers alone, Barry Bonds had the #2 best career of any position player of the modern era (behind only Babe Ruth) and Roger Clemens is the greatest right-handed pitcher of the period (since 1920).  And yet neither of these great players may make it into the Hall […]

Just How Good is Pedro Martinez?

July 21, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

It does appear at this point that Pedro Martinez is probably retired so this may be a good time to ask: Just how good was Pedro and does he have the numbers to justify induction into the Hall of Fame? Of course, this question is related to the broader question of whether there is an […]

Just How Good is Mariano Rivera?

July 15, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

“Mariano Rivera is the best reliever in baseball history.”  If I were to make such a claim, there would surely be some fans who would agree with me and many who would not.  And, of course, all would want to know on what basis I made such a claim. Bill James’ Win Shares system is […]

Just How Good is Chipper Jones?

July 8, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

As Chipper Jones seems to be heading towards retirement at the end of the 2010 season, it would appear to be a good point at which to ask – Just how good a career has he had?  After all, he has played seventeen seasons for the same team (the Atlanta Braves) and was an All-Star […]

The 21st Century Hall of Famers

May 4, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Here is an interesting question.  How many of the “great baseball players” of modern times have fans of the game been able to see during the 21st century (since 2001)?  Let’s first take a look at this question for position players and then for pitchers. The Position Players At the end of the 2009 season, […]

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