October 2, 2023

WAR and Win Shares and Charlie Blackmon

March 23, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

It appears that WAR, in attempting to assign a single number to represent a player’s season, has a problem with fielding.   And the problem is not so much with the player’s defensive WAR score – but rather with trying to COMBINE this score with the offensive WAR.   A very good or very poor fielding score […]

The BBWAA “Report Card” for the 21st Century

March 8, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The CAWS Career Gauge (CCG) has ranked all of the outstanding players of the modern era (since 1920) according to the numbers that they produced on the field.  (CAWS is an acronym for Career Assessment/Win Shares.)   In addition, the CCG has also created a series of benchmarks to determine whether a player seems to have […]

WAR and JAWS – Exaggerating Fielding Value

February 25, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

In an earlier post, I pointed out that Matt Chapman’s WAR value for 2018 (8.2) seemed to indicate that he had the third best season of any major leaguer – behind only Mookie Betts and Mike Trout. Of course, any serious fan looking at the numbers would know that this assertion is not believable. There […]

A Problem with WAR = Defensive Value

February 17, 2019 by · 5 Comments 

My primary research interest has always been determining which players had the best seasons—and the best careers.  That is why (since the publication of WIN SHARES in 2002) I have used win shares as the basis for my system of evaluating a player’s career (CAWS Career Gauge). As a mathematician, it is difficult for me […]

The Four CAWS HOF Benchmarks for Pitchers

February 15, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

In a previous post re Koufax and Kershaw, I mentioned one of the benchmarks created by the CAWS Career Gauge to help establish whether a pitcher posted HOF numbers during his career.  As a result of that post, I have been asked to list all of the benchmarks for pitchers. (CAWS  =  career assessment/win shares). […]

Koufax and Kershaw and the Hall of Fame

February 12, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

Consider a pitcher who recorded the following distinctions during his career: Won the Cy Young Award three times Won the ERA title five times Was an All Star seven times Was voted MVP (Most Valuable Player) Sandy Koufax did all of these things in twelve seasons in the major leagues with the Dodgers.   And, of […]

Rating the 2017 Hall of Fame Candidates Based on Win Shares

January 4, 2017 by · 2 Comments 

One of the first items of business in baseball each year is the announcement of players elected to the Hall of Fame. This leads to lots of speculation and a little analysis prior to the announcement which is scheduled for January 18, 2017. Many systems exist for evaluating player performance. One such system, the Win […]

Trevor Hoffman’s Hall of Fame Status Anything But Certain

January 15, 2015 by · 5 Comments 

Ken Griffey Jr. and Trevor Hoffman are the headline first-timers next year on the Baseball Writers of America Hall of Fame ballot. Griffey Jr. is a slam dunk. Hoffman is not. The long-time San Diego Padres closer locked down saves for the better part of sixteen seasons, compiling a whopping 601 in his 18-year career. […]

Where do the Current Hall of Fame Snubs Rank According to WAR and JAWS?

January 11, 2015 by · 2 Comments 

With the 2015 Hall of Fame election results recently announced, we saw Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio get elected. Many commentators and voters are becoming increasingly vocal about the system, most notably complaining that because voters can only choose 10 players, some high quality candidates are being artificially kept from getting […]

Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds Deserve Hall of Fame Induction

December 29, 2014 by · 5 Comments 

Chances are Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are not going to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame next summer in Cooperstown, NY, but they deserve the honor. The argument against Clemens and Bonds is valid. They, allegedly, juiced. Both men faced action in court and both beat perjury raps. If you are […]

Pumped Up Charges Against La Russa

July 28, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

There Should be No Debate about the Hall of Famer’s Induction on Sunday. More sad and troubling repercussions from the Steroid Era are contentions that La Russa’s Hall of Fame honor is hypocritical or unworthy. Many point out his successes are inextricably tied to the likes of Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, and even Dennis […]

If Not Jack Morris, Then Who?

January 14, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

The sabermetric question that remains with Jack Morris left out of the Hall of Fame Jack Morris supporters frustrate the sabermetrically inclined because he is a symbol of the anecdotal evidence they have fought hard to eliminate from their analytic process. One of the first rules of sabermetric analysis is raw statistics of players from […]

Branch Rickey: Utmost Loyalty or Vehement Dislike

August 23, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

I have been enjoying the fine bio “Branch Rickey: Baseball’s Ferocious Gentleman by Lee Lowenfish.  While doing so, an internal debate has erupted in my mind.  The object of discussion is the polarized feelings of those from his baseball life.   Certain members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, such as Rogers Hornsby, and Ralph […]

SABR, Bud Fowler and a Taste of Cooperstown

April 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Last Thursday I made my way to Upstate New York for the fifth annual Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference. I have gone each year so that means it has been five times that I have attended if my math is correct. Driving to Cooperstown can be challenging since I cannot wait to get there and […]

My First Trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame

March 30, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Hey baseball fans! I am off this week because of spring break, so naturally I took a baseball-related vacation… to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York! If you can believe this, it was actually my first time there and it was AWESOME!!!!!! I had a lot of fun and […]

NJBM Kids’ Hot Korner: New Jersey Baseball Hall of Famers

February 8, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Hey baseball fans! I just wanted to inform you all that I have started guest-writing for a cool website: New Jersey Baseball Magazine! It’s an online magazine that serves New Jersey, but focuses on baseball all over the country. My first article is about the three Hall of Famers who were born in New Jersey. It’s […]

What Kind of Word is “Poosh”?

February 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans! Today is Babe Ruth‘s birthday! To be specific, he was born on February 6, 1895. So, if the Sultan of Swat were alive today, he would be 118 years old. Anyway, in honor of the Babe’s birthday, I’m going to tell you about one of his teammates who is in the Hall of […]

Paul Molitor – The Ignitor

January 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans! I have no idea why I haven’t blogged about this guy in the past. Why do I say that? Only because he is my favorite American League player in the history of baseball! I’ll give you a hint: he hit for average, was named 1993 World Series MVP, and “ignited” his team […]

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 […]

Changing the Rules at the Hall of Fame

January 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

In the aftermath of the BBWAA pitching a shutout in the 2013 Hall of Fame election, I have immersed myself in the quasi-social media more than ever before (and, I hope, ever after), drinking in the views and opinions drifting in from various participants, historians, enthusiasts, bloggers, and everybody else who has ever watched a […]

Whitey is Mighty

January 15, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Hey baseball fans! Today’s post is about one of my favorite players of all time. He is one of the only Yankee pitchers in the Hall of Fame, and he is considered one of the greatest clutch pitchers of all time. Ladies and gentleman, Whitey Ford! Edward “Whitey” Ford was the best pitcher on the great […]

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 […]

Analyzing the 2013 Hall of Fame Vote

January 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

For the first time since 1996, the Baseball Writers Association of America did not elect any players to the Hall of Fame.  Craig Biggio, in his first year on the ballot, led the voting with 68.2% of the vote.  This is higher than Barry Larkin and Ryne Sandberg received in their first year on the […]

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, […]

The Powerful Pachyderms

January 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans! Here’s the next blog about one of the greatest rosters in baseball history: Have you ever heard of the great manager Connie Mack? In case you haven’t, Mack managed the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901 to 1950! During that span, he led the A’s to nine AL pennants and five World Series victories. Mack has […]

All-Around Athletes

December 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans! As I promised in my Booming Batters post, today I will be blogging about some of the greatest all-around athlete nicknames in baseball history. Hope you enjoy: Stan the Man - Stan Musial From 1942-1963 with the St. Louis Cardinals, Musial had one of the best careers of all time. With 475 homers,  3,630 hits, and […]

Booming Batters

December 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans! Now that I’ve blogged about Proficient Pitchers nicknames (part one and part two), it’s time for the hitting nicknames. Here they are: The Splendid Splinter - Ted Williams Ted’s goal as a baseball player was that when he walked down a street, a dad would say to his son: ‘Son, there’s the best hitter that […]

Proficient Pitchers – Part Two

December 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans! Here’s part two of my blog of the Proficient Pitchers greatest nicknames ever: The Rocket - Roger Clemens Clemens is called “The Rocket” for a reason. His blazing fastballs were a big part of why he won seven career Cy Young Awards, far more than any other player. Clemens is the only pitcher to start […]

Kid Blogger Interviews the President of the Baseball Hall of Fame

December 16, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Hey baseball fans! I have another interview for you! This time, I interviewed National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum President Jeff Idelson! I talked to him a couple of days ago and he was a very nice and friendly guy. Click here to see the Hall of Fame’s website. Anyway, let me tell you a little […]

Kid Blogger Interviews MLB’s Official Historian

December 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans! I just received the answers to the interview questions that I sent to…. John Thorn, the Official Historian for Major League Baseball! Thorn was appointed Official Baseball Historian for Major League Baseball by the Commissioner on March 1, 2011. He has written books like “Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame” and […]

Should Cooperstown Welcome Al Oliver?

November 21, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

Before starting this article, I would like to say,  I am sure we all know some fans that become very passionate when one of their favorite players is not in the Hall of fame.  Sometimes the so-called  “bubble” players eventually make it.  A case in point would be the Cub’s Ron Santo; unfortunately he gained […]

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 […]

Analyzing the 2012 Hall of Fame Vote

February 6, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Barry Larkin was the only player elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers this year.  Larkin received votes from 86.4% of the writers, well above the 75% required for election.  Larkin picked up 134 more votes this year, his third year on the ballot.  With a relatively thin incoming class of […]

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