So, just how flukish are the Orioles?

by JohnBowen

The Baltimore Orioles currently sit at 66-55. If the season ended today, they would make the playoffs, as they are currently edging Oakland by a half game for the second wild card.

The Orioles have also been outscored by 43 runs. Their expected or Pythagorean record is 56-65 – or, about the reciprocal of their actual performance.

The Pythagorean estimate is just that – an estimate. Hardly any team is ever dead on, but generally speaking, it’s within a couple games. Very rarely do teams that get outscored actually make the playoffs.

The Orioles are currently on pace for 88 wins – about midway between two of the most over-performing teams of all-time: the 1987 Twins and the 2007 Diamondbacks.

The ‘87 Twins were proof that anything can happen once you just sneak into the post-season. The squad won a very weak AL West at 85-77 (they would’ve been fifth in the AL East). They were outscored 806-786 and they went a pitiful 29-52 away from the Metrodome. But they dominated the AL East champion Tigers (who, as you’ll recall, gave up John Smoltz to make it to the post-season) in five games, and used their home-field advantage to great effect in the World Series against the Cardinals, going 4-0 at the Metrodome and 0-3 at Busch Stadium.

The 2007 Diamondbacks were a little bit different. Also outscored by 20 runs, the Diamondbacks edged the Rockies and Padres to win a tight NL West and actually sported the best record in the league at 90-72 and made it to the NLCS before being swept by the ultra-hot Rockies. They featured the once-solid Brandon Webb who was in the middle of a 3-year stretch where he won a Cy Young and was twice the runner-up, and a good bullpen. Their offense was led by Eric Byrnes…which should tell you everything you need to know.

All in all, 15 teams in all of Major League history have done what the Orioles are on pace to do: over-perform their expected win-loss by at least 10 games.  Five teams in Major League history have made the playoffs with a negative run differential and only the ‘87 Twins and ‘07 Dbacks have won a post-season series.

Should Orioles fans be excited, or fearing some sort of regression?

I’ll say this for them: they’ve made it to game 121 with 66 wins. Their 1-run wins (23 of 29) and extra inning wins (12 of 14) happened and they aren’t going away. It’s not like the Orioles are expected to lose a bunch of games to finish at 75-87 just to make everything right in the universe. An expected regression would still leave them with a winning record and an outside shot at a playoff berth.

And secondly – they have one quality that has a tendency to make a team over-perform. No, it’s not “spunk” or “charisma” or “scrappiness.” It’s also not luck – at least not all luck. It’s an outstanding bullpen. Sporting a 3.01 ERA, 1.233 WHIP, and 2.48 K/BB as a unit, the Orioles bullpen has a great ability to hold close games; contrast this with, for example, the Milwaukee Brewers, who’ve given up just slightly more runs than they’ve surrendered, but are 12 games under .500 due to over 20 blown saves by a bullpen that will surely go down as one of the worst of all-time.

Gun to my head, I predict that the Orioles will miss the playoffs, with the Rays, and either the A’s or a second place AL Central team squeaking into the toss-up game. But it’s fun to watch teams like this – and root for them too – because a sport where everything falls into place exactly as it should all the time wouldn’t be as enthralling to follow.

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176 Responses to “So, just how flukish are the Orioles?”

  1. Raul Says:

    Maybe baltimore is more lucky than good, but you have to take what you can get

  2. Raul Says:

    Alex Rios with a leadoff triple.

    Swisher could have played it better though.

  3. Raul Says:

    Since 1980, only one player has homered for three different teams in the World Series.

    That was the trivia question.

    The answer: Matt Williams

  4. JohnBowen Says:

    So, Giants in ‘89, Indians in ‘97, and Dbacks in ‘01.

    I wouldn’t have gotten that. 1997 was the first WS I watched, and I remember Williams doing real well (not even realizing that he played just 1 year for that club. I also watched the 2001 World Series and have no memory of a Williams homer…apparently it was a 3-run shot in game 2. I vaguely remember the HR, but not the Williams part.

  5. Raul Says:

    I never would have guessed it either.

    I know he played with the Giants. I mostly remember him with the Indians and briefly with the Dbacks.

    Shit, and Ivan Nova gave up a grand slam to Youkilis.

    6-2 White Sox lead in the 5th

  6. Chuck Says:

    Watching the Nationals game on MLBNetwork..they have the MASN broadcast.

    Bob Carpenter is the play by play guy (x Cardinals) with FP Santangelo as the analyst.

    He must be out sick or something because Ray Knight is filling in..and sounds pretty darn good.

    Now on to the Giancarlo Stanton show.

  7. Raul Says:

    Ah. I’m just watching the local broadcast.

    I can get the other games but since moving, I’m using my laptop and the screen isn’t as big to allow me to do two things at once.

    I think Strasburg was striking out everyone today

  8. Chuck Says:

    Over his last seven starts, Ricky Nolasco is 1-6 with a 6.72 ERA and an opponents average of .331.

    Chris Young single, Aaron Hill double, Jason Kubel walk, Justin Upton 2 run single, Paul Goldschmidt intentional walk, Miguel Montero two run single, Ryan Wheeler sac fly…

  9. Raul Says:

    Ricky Nolasco is like the Phil Hughes of the south.

    He’s got potential but he’ll always be a mediocre…at best…pitcher.

  10. Raul Says:

    Nova’s ERA is now up to 4.92

    Seriously, how is this team in 1st place?

  11. Raul Says:

    Where is Cameron?
    Luke Hochevar pitched 8 innings of 1-hit ball with 10 strikeouts against Tampa

  12. Raul Says:

    Since the ASB, Albert Pujols leads the Majors in HR with 14.

    Ryan Ludwick and Miguel Cabrera each have 13

  13. Patrick Says:

    Mariners won their 8th straight today! Only 3 games under .500

    Maybe they should’ve traded Ichiro a few years ago. Yanks have lost about 5 games to the field since they aquired him.

  14. Jim Says:

    The O’s are more lucky than good, but their defense is so horrid that I can’t see them making a Twin’s like run.

  15. John Says:

    Currently losing 10-1 to Texas. Beltre has 3 HR in the first four innings, homering twice in the 4th.

  16. Chuck Says:

    Got to get off that other thread..takes 10 minutes to scroll down just to read the last post.

  17. Chuck Says:

    Dodgers awarded claim on Adrian Gonzalez.

  18. Chuck Says:

    Yanks DL’d Dellin Betances in AA due to right shoulder stiffness.

    Over his last three starts, covering 12 innings, he’s given up 22 hits, 20 earned runs, with 11 walks and ten strikeouts.

    Since being sent to AA on July first, he’s gone 3-4 in 11 appearnces (10 starts), with a 6.51 ERA, has given up 73 hits in 56.2 innings.

    He’s actually pitched worse in AA than he did in AAA, getting rocked for a .319 OPBA.

    Man, was I wrong on this guy.

  19. Bob Says:

    And to think, Vandy, a college baseball and academic powerhous, offered him a scholarship.

  20. Bob Says:

    Holy shit!!!!!!!!!!! I think the Dodgers claimed Beckett.

  21. Bob Says:

    At the very least some team did.

  22. Chuck Says:

    Let’s not get too excited, Bob..being awarded a claim doesn’t really mean anything.

  23. Bob Says:

    They can dump Beckett on somebody’s lap, much like what happenend to Conseco some time ago. I agree, Gonzalez will be more difficult to pry.

  24. Bob Says:


  25. Chuck Says:

    I don’t see the Red Sox being that desperate where they’re just going to start dumping contracts, it’s not like they can’t afford to pay them.

    If getting rid of Lester, Ellsbury, Beckett or Gonzalez will make them a better team next year that’s fine, but just shipping them out for nothing makes no sense.

  26. Raul Says:

    As long as Jon Heyman keeps spewing verbal diarrhea about the Dodgers claiming all these Red Sox players, someone better be moved.

  27. Raul Says:

    By the way, I hope Boston does trade Gonzalez and Beckett.

    That way, at least someone else will identify with Ozzie Guillen…that is, sign to manage a team only to see the franchise send everyone away.

    I mean, I could use the laugh.

  28. Chuck Says:

    Waiver deals are a lot less complicated than regular trades, believe it or not.

    The Red Sox, in their own shrewd way..put Crawford on the 15 day DL instead of the 60, which means he can be traded. (A 60 day DL player can’t be traded because he is not part of the 40 man roster).

    The team which owns the players can say fuck it, and just “assign” the player’s contract to the claiming team, which means the Dodgers would be on the hook for 100% of all remaining money owed, including deferments, without having to give up any players.

    Trades can be worked out, but because they’re waiver claims, the commissioner’s office doesn’t have to approve the money/players exchanging hands, so no repeat of Charlie Finley’s 1975 firesale attempt.

    It would suck if you were taking the kids to the Pawtucket game on Sunday and got to the stadium and realize you’re in the wrong place, because they’d all either be in LA or Boston.

  29. Chuck Says:

    Two months ago, the Dbacks suspended play by play announcer Daron Sutton for “blatant disregard of on-air dress code policy”.

    Two months for not wearing a tie?


    Last night, analyst Mark Grace was arrested in Scottsdale for DUI, and has taken an “indefinite LOA from his duties”.

    So, for the next five weeks, the radio guys will be doing TV, and who knows who’ll be on the radio.

  30. John Says:

    Darren Sutton is a great broadcaster. That’s fucking stupid.

  31. Lefty33 Says:

    Kyle Kendrick has a 1.93 ERA since July 6th and is currently working on a run of twenty straight scoreless innings counting the five he’s put up against Washington so far tonight.

    Bizarro World indeed.

  32. Chuck Says:

    “Darren Sutton is a great broadcaster.”

    It’s “Daron”, and he’s a fucking homer.

    Not quite Ken Harrelson/Thom Brennaman homer, but pretty close.

  33. Jim Says:

    AGon was scratched from tonight’s game and the local announcers made it a point of saying that he, Punto and Beckett have not been seen in the dugout. Rumor has Rubby de la Rosa, James Loney (also a scratch tonight), Jerry Sands and Ivan De Jesus coming to Boston for the above 3 and Carl Crawford. This is the mother of all salary dumps.

  34. Chuck Says:

    Crawford is not in the trade.

    Beckett, Gonzalez and Punto.

  35. Chuck Says:

    For the first time in ML history, a team has been involved in back to back three homer games.

    Last night, Adrian Beltre hit three homers vs. Baltimore.

    Tonite, Chris Davis hit three against the Blue Jays.

    He had a chance for his fourth in the eighth inning, but, unfairly, the Jays pitcher threw him four curveballs and Davis struck out swinging.

  36. Jim Says:

    Both the LA Times and the Boston Globe, as well as other outlets have Crawford in the deal. Allegedly no official announcement till morning.

  37. Chuck Says:

    Crawford is in fact in the trade..and I think I just threw up in my mouth.

    The Red Sox are the team who claimed Justin Upton..they reportedly will send Ellsbury and two of the prospects they got from the Dodgers to Arizona for Upton and a “significant” prospect.

    Somewhere, Bowie Kuhn and Charlie Finley are rolling over in their graves.

  38. Chuck Says:

    Jon Heyman just said on MLBNetwork that on a scale of one to ten the chances of the trade happening said “four”.

    Rubby de La Rosa was the PTBNL in the deal but he didn’t clear waivers..Carl Crawford has three teams on his no-trade and the Dodgers are one of them, and Beckett is a 10/5 guy and has full no trade rights.

    Something may happen, but I dont’ think at this point it will be the full house.

  39. Chuck Says:

    I’m speechless.

    I honestly and truly have no answer/explanation for this.

    Ever since MLBNetwork thankfully cancelled their sabermetric show, Clubhouse Confidential, Brian Kenny has been regulated to the anchor desk, like he was on SportsCenter.

    The only problem with that is he’s on the 11PM-2AM highlight show, which is basically primetime for me, so I have to watch his dumbass three or four times a week.

    Closed caption, baby.

    Anyway, watching tonite, Kenny is on with Harold Reynolds and Al Leiter.

    White Sox win on a walkoff in the ninth when Paul Konerko hits a fly to right center which Eric Thames catches then drops when Michael Saunders collides with him.

    I swear on my grandmother’s grave..

    Kenny turns to Reynolds and asks why Eric Wedge didn’t protest DeWayne Wise not re-touching second base, at which time the incredulous Reynolds proceeds to explain to Kenny the sacrifice fly rule.

    This is why sabermetrics, or specifically sabermetricians, will never be taken seriously. It’s a bunch of math geeks sitting around creating acronym stats they themselves don’t understand and then expect the masses to accept their findings as gospel.

    All the while not knowing what a sacrifice fly is.

    Brian Kenny has now taken over from Ken Rosenthal as the one person I would most like to punch in the face.

    So, all you sabermetric whores..remember this the next time you want to spew WAR or wOBA or FIP’s not necessarily the stat itself that makes us want to kill’s the premise behind the stat.

  40. Chuck Says: of you guys has to move to when shit like this happens I have someone to share a bong with.

    I feel the life just draining out of me..maybe this is why I can’t write anymore.

  41. John Says:

    Saber guys have all played the game, we enjoy watching the game, and we even energy from our mother’s basements to watch on occasion. Oh…and we know how the fucking sac fly works.

    Get out of your own ass, Chuck. Brian Kenny is a monkey with a teleprompter.

    Harold Reynolds, by the way, has engaged in discussions about how pitchers “earn” their run support. So excuse me if I don’t take him 100% seriously.

  42. Chuck Says:

    “Saber guys have all played the game”

    Factually not true.

    I will not respond further John because it’s obvious by that statement that you are shitfaced.

    If you want to revist tomorrow once your hangover has subsided I’m agreeable to a re-visit, but otherwise, take a couple of Midol and check you later.

  43. Lefty33 Says:

    Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweeted a while ago that if the Red Sox/Dodgers trade happens the way that he is hearing it, it will reduce the current Red Sox 2013 payroll obligations from 106.9 million to 45.6 million.

    This could be truly one of the epic salary dumps in baseball history.

    And all of it will be thanks to the likely $4 Billion dollar deal that the Dodgers will be signing after next season either with Fox or with Time Warner’s new regional sports network for their broadcast rights.

  44. Lefty33 Says:

    To put that in greater prospective, that would mean that the Red Sox would only have about nine million more on the books (pre-arbitration) going into the 2013 season than the Royals.

  45. Mike Felber Says:

    Big trade many go bye bye.

    Kenney knows little & is a sensationalistic ignoramus. To say he represents saber guys is like to say Joe Morgan represents the cumulative wisdom of traditionalists & scouts.

    You wanna hate on a group,but your math does not add up. There is no evidence that most do not understand their own/saber stats. Or that any on this Kenney tomfoolery even addresses the premise behind the stat.

    Nor do most want to kill/punch a guy or groups because of 1 clueless broadcaster. If that silliness gets ya down or hatin’ on all the “geeks”, anything can.

  46. John Says:

    I mean, really. After some of the bullshit we’ve heard from supposed knowledgeable jock broadcasters.

    I’ll give you this, Chuck. You called this kind of a salary take-on back in March.

  47. Raul Says:

    Lol one day I’ll visit AZ. But maybe in the winter when it’s not 110 degrees.

    Lost in all this salary dump talk is any mention of the guy who brought all those contracts to Boston: Theo Epstein.

  48. Chuck Says:

    You can’t have it both ways, Mike..if Brian Kenny or anyone else professes an affection for sabermetrics in a public forum and comes off sounding like the village idiot, then you have to take it for what it’s worth.

    Just like we have to listen you guys rant and rave on Tim McCarver because YOU don’t understand what he’s saying, and only rip on him because it’s what all the other kids do.

    “There is no evidence that most do not understand their own/saber stats.”

    Yes there is, and to say that just shows how little you actually follow the process.

    When Bill James or Tom Tango or whomever is proven wrong on a process and has to go and make revisions, that means they don’t understand the premise of what they’re trying to do.

    You can understand the theory of what your doing, and you can understand what it is you’re trying to accomplish at the end, but if you don’t understand your subject, you will get a false result more often than not.

    All you need to do Mike is look at UZR and FIP and some of the other defensive metrics..a fourth grader could pick out the flaws in those formulas/processes, yet we’re expected to believe they’re OK to use because “it’s better than anything else we have”.

    Which is stupid.

    Perfect and justify it first, don’t just throw a couple of handfuls of shit against the wall and expect everyone to accept what sticks.

  49. Chuck Says:

    “I’ll give you this, Chuck. You called this kind of a salary take-on back in March.”

    Thanks, but I can’t take credit.

    Barry Bloom of said it at the SABR convention last November and I just happened to agree with him.

    All he really said that made sense (and which was different from the Mets’ and Rangers’ sales) was the new ownership group was not picking up any team debt.

    And that the $2 billion TV contract wasn’t signed by McCourt and thus he’s not receiving money from that..Fox agreed to the new deal on the condition McCourt sold the team.

    And, finally, McCourt kept his real estate holdings around Dodger Stadium, including the parking lots, so he is still generating income related to the Dodgers and must use those proceeds and the sale proceeds to repay his creditors, which includes MLB.

    So, basically Magic Johnson and his partners give McCourt a billion dollars or whatever it was, then they sign the Fox deal for two billion, and it’s like they got the team for free, PLUS got another ten figure payout on top of it.

    Free money to do with whatever they want, like taking on $200 million in payroll obligations in one day.

  50. John Says:

    Yeah UZR is so awful. Unlike RBI’s, which tell us that Carlos Delgado was better than Mickey Mantle.

    Tim McCarver once said that global climate change was responsible for more home runs being hit. Also, that Girard is a bullpen genius.

    McCarver is retarded.

  51. Raul Says:

    McCarver does say dumb things. But when he talks about setting up batters, why a certain pitch is called, and talks about positioning and things like that….I mean, look….he KNOWS the game.

    Do I find him incredibly annoying? Definitely.
    But compared to Joe Buck? McCarver is a genius.

  52. Bob Says:

    Iglesias and Lin have been called up to the Sox.

  53. Raul Says:

    Lol this trade coverage is insane.

  54. Bob Says:

    See you guys on Monday. Off to catch Jaws… or a brown trout.

  55. Chuck Says:

    “Unlike RBI’s, which tell us that Carlos Delgado was better than Mickey Mantle.”

    If you knew anything about baseball, that statement tells us Delgado had MORE RBI’s, not that he was better.

    Thanks for proving my point, John.

    Graduating top of your math class means your good at the sciences, not that you know anything about baseball.

  56. Raul Says:

    Here watching high school baseball on tv.

    Toms River North vs Jackson Memorial.
    Don’t know these schools.

    Anyway, just saw a batter take a swing, miss, step out of the box, and spit in his hands. He was wearing batting gloves.

    And I think the 3B of Jackson Memorial (I think it was the 3b anyway) has so much eye black slabbed on his face it would make Bryce Harper blush.

  57. Chuck Says:

    There were a few players in the AFL last year that didn’t wear gloves..Wil Myers being one.

    I wore a glove on my bottom hand but stopped after discovering Tackitape.

    I also don’t understand why football players wear gloves..I would think it would be easier to catch the ball if you can feel it in your fingers.

    I saw a guy from Tennessee drop a tipped pass that would have been an interception the other night and I guarantee you if he didn’t have gloves he makes the play.

    Wearing gloves is a compensation for bad hands. If you need gloves and two pounds of pine tar to catch a ball, then what you’re really saying is you suck.

  58. Mike Felber Says:

    I never said anything at all about Tim McCarver Chuck. What Raul said sounds about right.

    But “what it is worth” got Kenney is confined to his knowledge & intelligence. My comparison to Morgan remains apt. Neither dude well represents any paradigm.

    There still is no indication that a T.T. or B.James does not “understand the premise” of what they are trying to do. Why must it be a sign of knowing little & failure to revise a formula? They rarely come to dramatically different conclusions-like in science in general, they revise things to get closer to the likely truth. Predictive models can never “know” for sure how good someone is, they are approximations.

    SM does put out specifics that all can agree on or tear apart. But they more often debunk “greats” & show those who are under valued than do the opposite.

    Some things will never be fully resolved, because, say, how much you value a good middle infielder, how important it is he plays full years-always remains debatable. So there will be different opinions on a Larkin.

    Now we have been over this at length, but here is an example that reinforces what should be common sense. The new bWAR formula upgrades Schilling more to fangraphs WAR level.

    The main thing, some would say the ONLY thing, a pitchers can control, are HRs, BBs, & Ks. Curt had 1.0 HRs/9, not bad through the precise heart of the steroid era.

    But 2/3s of the formula, he utterly dominates at. 2nd best k/BB rate ever behind a 19th century pitcher.

    Traditionalists love ERA, & ERA + is much better in many cases-Curt goes from undistinguished to pretty excellent considering this. And looking at defenses only makes sense-he does not gain from this.

    So in a just moderate length career, even with his late start, he is a no- brainer for the HOF. And the old or newer version of oWAR shows this. You would be hard pressed to find a player, I assume, who one version of a saber stat says is not HOF worthy, & the upgraded one says, definitely! Without his distinguished post season stats.

    Do you really think that many, like you, do not like the personality & attitude of Schilling, often his team &/or politics, thus that colors their assessment of him?

    Saber stats are one tool that obviates this common, human bias.

  59. Chuck Says:

    I don’t know Curt Schilling, never met him, so there can be no personal bias.

    I’ve seen and heard enough comments/stories regarding his personality traits or lack thereof to be comfortable with any statement that refers to him in a negative tone.

    I do know that his regular season body of work is not HOF worthy, if anyone has to look at his postseason numbers then you are essentially admitting that he’s a borderline candidate at best and are grabbing at any straw you can to justify a positive vote.

    Which, Michael, is exactly the same mindset you accuse the non-saber believers of having, that we instinctively look the other way because we’re afraid of what the answers will be.


    In my humble opinion the fact WAR considers Curt Schilling the 26th best pitcher of all-time doesn’t justify the belief he’s an all-time great, it justifies the opinion that WAR is a ridiculous pile of numbers.

    Whether you want to admit it or not, the “evidence” is there for everyone to see, and, again, the reason you won’t ever look for it is because you know I’m right..the Moneyball driven sabermetric fad has passed its peak and is on a downward spiral to extinction.

    Five years ago, 22 teams had full fledged “advanced analytical stat” departments, now the number is 12, and out of those 12, five are considered part of the media relations area and don’t report to the GM or Scouting Director.

    MLBNetwork cancelled Clubhouse Confidential because other than Brian Kenny’s five kids and the two cameramen, no one was watching.

    ML team shutter their stat departments because they weren’t able to provide information that wasn’t already known. I mean, seriously, if you need a 42 page spreadsheet to tell you Adam Dunn can’t hit lefties then you’re in the wrong line of work to begin with.

    Truth hurts.

  60. Mike Felber Says:

    Good, I am ready with some substance Chuck!

    1) SM became very popular (insert bad jokes here). That it has passed its extraordinary peak on MLB teams does not show how valid it is. part of the decline is that now folks KNOW it & do not need to hire outside experts.

    2) A definitional issue: personal bias can mean you do not like what you hear about someone, does not need to be someone you are personally familiar with. I am not even disputing that he can be arrogant & pompous. But this & Sox bias AND his strong stand against PEDs grates on many, & it is provable backwards & forwards that persdonality issues color most folks dispassionate analysis of player quality.

    3) You commonly make the MISTAKE of adding up total WAR & saying that saber guys say that list defines who is the best ever. Once again, with felling: no!

    Virtually all on either side of stats divide weigh peak value heavily. However defined. So great years mean more than consistency in sating how good someone is. Just common sense.

    4) You did not make the ARGUMENT about Chilling being good enough or not. You set up a Straw Man. You did not establish his regular season body of work is deficient, & though no, the PS is not needed, IF someone is borderline & throws enough great PS IP-of course that can be a tie breaker!

  61. Mike Felber Says:

    I will make the Schilling case in a way that defends sabermetrics.

    I challenge you to look at those who have either his ERA + & IP combination, OR so high on the K/BB all time list for ~ his IP. You will find ALL who have his stats are HOF worthy.

    Let’s compare him to Saberhagen, another pitcher saber-rattlers get right.

    When you go to the increased offense years, Brett gave up more HRs, so compensating for that they are about equal. Both had high K/BB, but Schilling somewhat higher. ERA + is very marginally higher for Curt, 127 to 128.

    Why does Schilling have over 20% more WAR & easily qualifies, while Brett is only close?

    Over 20% more IP. Forget about their big PS pitching quality. Brett had 3 excellent years, but lacks the equivalent of 3 heavy IP (for modern times), very good/great years. Virtually exactly 700 less IP in regular season.

    The approximation of value math checks out computed backwards & forwards. IF you believe that Saberhagen was a very good pitcher who was pretty close but just did not do it long enough…

    You can see that adding OVER 20% of their average career value not counting the PS easily puts Curt in the HOF.

  62. Raul Says:

    Dear lord.

    I know HOF debates get lengthy. And I’m prepared to read them. Mike didn’t get too much into the k/bb issue, but I know that’s going to be a recurring argument with Schilling. And a dumb one.

    But whatever. It looks like the Red Sox just turned into the Royals in 24 hours.

  63. Len Says:

    Curt Schilling’s regular season body of work is very HOF worthy and you don’t have to look at something like WAR.

    He had 3,116 K’s, 15th all time, every pitcher over 2855 K’s has been elected to the HOF.

    He had a career K/BB rate of 4.38 which is the Best in baseball history since 1885.

    He led the league in K/BB 5 times. Every eligible pitcher who has led that category 5 or more times is in the HOF. He also finished in the top ten 11 times.

    He led the league in complete games 4 times.

    He finished in the top 10 for ERA 9 times.

    He finished in the top 5 in Whip 9 times, led the league 2 times.

    He finished in the top 10 in BB/9 10 times, led the league 2 times.

    He finished in the top 10 in K/9 10 times.

    He finished in the top 10 in k’s 9 times and led the league 2 times

    He led the league in wins 2 times.

    He led the league in innings pitched 2 times.

    He led the league in game starts 3 times.

    He finished with a 216-146 record, .596 win %

    He was a 6 time all star and the TSN pitcher of the year twice. 1993 nlcs MVP, 2001 Ws MVP.

    Black ink-43-avg HOF-40
    Gray ink-205-avg HOF-175
    hof monitor171-avg hof-100

    Then there’s his post season numbers: 11-2, 2.23 ERA, .968 whip, 8.1 k/9, 4.8 k/bb.

    Solid HOF pitcher.

  64. Raul Says:

    Sweet Jesus. I swear Len must have been on this site under another name. Those exact same things have been read on this site before.

    In any case, Schilling was a good pitcher.
    Any time someone hinges a HOF debate on a peculiar item, it raises some flags about the legitimacy of their candidacy. So there is cause for a step back with Schilling.

    I wouldn’t elect him. But whatever.

    That generation should be Johnson, Martinez, Maddux. With Moose and Glavine a few ticks under them. Wouldn’t break my heart if those last two didn’t get in. Same with Schilling.

    Schilling was good. But in the context of his era, he was maybe the 6th or 7th or 8th best pitcher around…depending on whether you’re allowing juicers in the hall.

  65. Mike Felber Says:

    Thank you Len.

    It would be useful for all to look at a controversial guy like him with fresh eyes. But I also used him as an instructive example to defend Sabermetrics.

    I invite any to consider this reasoning. Which applies to all who are not markedly Small Hall guys, & Raul is the only one here I believe. For him, 20 players in baseball history make it on a good day. Frank Robinson? Poor Man’s Hank Aaron, borderline. Mathews? Close, no cigar.

    I am obviously exaggerating greatly above. ;-)

    BUT: I assume that most all here view Saberhagen as close, not in but not far off. AND the objection to him will be not enough good years & IP. So if agree with the premise that their EAR +, Curt’s marginally higher, reflects their value well…

    If you added 3 workhorse (by modern standards) 233 IP years to Brett’s resume, where he pitched very well, then he would be good enough.

    And SM says that then he would ALMOST have the same career value as Schilling.

    Basically over 20% more IP, marginally better average value throughout their career…

    Equals Schilling easily HOF worthy without looking at his PS excellence. Which if you consider IP & excellence against top teams, would = ~ another 5 WAR.

  66. Mike Felber Says:

    Your standards have become so high that it is not a fair question Raul. FOr you we need to look at relative value, & the premises of your argument.

    K/BB per 9 is no obscure, very limited meaning stat. @ of the 3 things that a pitcher has ANY significant control over, he was great at. K/BB just encapsulates that.

    But I gave other arguments. Like look at a 127 ERA + over ~ his total IP. I repeat that UNLESS you are a very small Hall guy, where Moose, Brown, Smoltz, Glavine do not make it, none of them…

    Schilling belongs in by any non-quite strict, small Hall standards.

    Trouble is, he did most all of his damage starting from 30. Saberhagen’s up to 30. Again, 1st impressions have colored the assessments of some folks.

  67. Raul Says:

    Maybe Saberhagen should have juiced too, I suppose.

  68. Raul Says:

    It’s the hall of fame, mike.

    Yeah. The standards ought to be high.

  69. Mike Felber Says:

    Yes, but you have an outlier opinion about how high those standards should be Raul. Does not make it wrong just because unpopular, but whether traditional guys or those loved by modern metrics, you are very parsimonious in who you find worthy.

    Both Sabrehagen & Schilling were almost certainly clean. More to their credit. Whatever you think of Curt, no reason to believe he was such a massive hypocrite that he would be the noisiest player who holds PED users in contempt & juiced himself.

  70. Raul Says:

    A player being vocal about PEDs carries literally no weight with me whatsoever.

    Lots of players said the same things and were found to have used.

    Lots of politicians are vocal about corruption. And I don’t believe they are clean either.

    Just sayin’

  71. Mike Felber Says:

    OK, fair enough. It does not prove that they are clean. But we are not just talking about answering questions or doubts vociferously. Curt was 1st in line in front of Congress & in his public statements & tweets against PEDs.

    That & that there is no evidence he juiced-& he was not particularly heavy for 6′ 5″, yeah, we should assume absent any other indication that he was not a monstrously proactive triple pants-on-fire liar.

  72. Lefty33 Says:

    “So, basically Magic Johnson and his partners give McCourt a billion dollars or whatever it was, then they sign the Fox deal for two billion, and it’s like they got the team for free, PLUS got another ten figure payout on top of it.”

    But the thing is Chuck, no one has signed a TV deal with anyone as of now.

    Also the likely value when they do won’t be 2 Billion.

    It’ll be more like 4 Billion and if they get greedy and can figure out a way to do a YES network type of arrangement they could turn that number closer to $5 Billion.

  73. Raul Says:

    It’s disgusting how much money the Dodgers are in line to generate/spend.

    I guess I can’t talk though…as a Yankees fan.

  74. Chuck Says:

    Pitchers don’t control anything, the fact you say one of the best arguments for Schilling is three areas of control he has not control over actually defeats your argument more than it helps.

  75. Chuck Says:

    “he was not a monstrously proactive triple pants-on-fire liar.”

    Bloody sock…

  76. Chuck Says:

    “Let’s compare him to Saberhagen, another pitcher saber-rattlers get right.”

    Saberhagen was a great pitcher who had injury issues. He’s in the same boat as Ron Guidry and Dave Stieb.

    Everyone knows how good he was, no one with an IQ above 8 believes he’s a HOFer.

  77. Lefty33 Says:

    The other reason why starting a regional sports network is a must do for the Dodgers, or any larger market team that can pull one off, is that revenue from the network is not subject to MLB’s revenue sharing program.
    (The one great thing that King George lobbied for and got around the time the Yankees started YES.)

    It’s a pure cash grab for the owner to do whatever without any accountability.

  78. Chuck Says:

    “He had 3,116 K’s, 15th all time, every pitcher over 2855 K’s has been elected to the HOF.”

    It took Bert Blyleven 14 years to agree with you.

  79. Lefty33 Says:

    “I repeat that UNLESS you are a very small Hall guy, where Moose, Brown, Smoltz, Glavine do not make it, none of them…”

    Brown is out of the equation because he juiced. Big or small hall is irrelevant.

  80. Chuck Says:

    Mike..something worth believing in really doesn’t need defending.

    The more you try and defend sabermetrics the less important they really are.

  81. Lefty33 Says:

    “He had 3,116 K’s, 15th all time, every pitcher over 2855 K’s has been elected to the HOF”

    As if 2855 is some sort of magic cut off.

    Then I guess Tanana Daqueri at 2773 should be in Jack Morris territory.

    Except for the slight detail that he got no votes and was one and done in ‘99.

  82. Chuck Says:

    “part of the decline is that now folks KNOW it & do not need to hire outside experts.”

    Part of the decline. An insignificant part of the decline.

    When teams like the Blue Jays publicly gut their front office and denounce the statistical movement with a hiring of a new scouting department…

    You know what team has the largest scouting dept?




    Two teams which the sabermetric community openly fellate because of their public expression of a belief in the advanced metrics are, in fact, a product of scouting and development.

    The scouting director has a six figure salary and a nice cushiony office on the same floor as the owner and GM, the stat director has a $17K salary and shares office space with 22 tons of fertilizer.

    Fitting, I would say.

  83. Chuck Says:

    Schilling’s top career comps are Kevin Brown, Bob Welch, Orel Hershiser, Freddie Fitzsimmons and Milt Pappas.

    None of them are HOF worthy, including Brown, juice or not.

    His two closest age comps are Brown and Scott Sanderson.

    Schilling does compare favorably with John Smoltz (not a lock), Don Drysdale (a lousy choice) and Pedro Martinez.

    I’m sorry, but if you’re trying to anoint somebody as a HOF caliber player and all you have behind you are Kevin Brown, Scott Sanderson and 3000 strikeouts, then you better head back to the drawing board.

  84. Len Says:

    2855 k’s is how many k’s Jim Bunning had, all 11 eligible pitchers with more are in the HOF. Every eligible 3000 k pitcher is in the HOF.

  85. Len Says:

    player comps (similarity scores) as a comeback?? Lol! man, that’s weak. You bash Bill James all the time and then you use one of his creations to prove your point, hilarious.

    I guess by your logic Sandy Koufax isn’t a HOF because he has Oliver Perez, Scot Kazmir and Tom Underwood as comps?

    Or maybe Joe Morgan isn’t a HOF because he has Delano Deshields and Steve Finley as comps?

    Mike Schmidt has Mark Reynolds as a comp so sorry Mike’s your out of the HOF.

  86. Raul Says:

    Jim Bunning shouldn’t be in the HOF either.

  87. Len Says:


    Maybe nobody should be in the HOF, then you’d be happy.

  88. Raul Says:

    That depends.

    What was “Nobody’s” xFIP and WAR?

  89. Raul Says:

    Trade is official.

    Boston doesn’t seem to want any remnants of the Theo Epstein era.
    Just kidding, of course.

  90. Raul Says:

    In a way, I guess it’s a good job by GM Cherington to rid the Sox of those contracts.

  91. John Says:

    The best argument against Schilling comes from Raul, who simply believes the hall should include 5ish transcendent players per generation.

    Schilling is far better than the vast majority of pitchers already enshrined. The fact that he was a jerk, and the fact that he had 216 wins are 100% irrelevant.

  92. Chuck Says:

    There are a lot of trees in the forest…and you all are barking up the wrong one.

  93. Raul Says:

    It shouldn’t.

    But we have to admit that writers have been known to screw players out of awards in the past. So how much people like you…that stuff can matter in the end.

  94. Chuck Says:

    “Schilling is far better than the vast majority of pitchers already enshrined”

    No, he’s not.

    “The fact that he was a jerk, and the fact that he had 216 wins are 100% irrelevant.”

    Actually, they’re both very relevant.

  95. Chuck Says:

    First AB with the Dodgers, Adrian Gonzalez hit a three run HR.

  96. Raul Says:

    Probably the first HR by a Dodger 1b in six weeks.

  97. John Says:

    I can’t decide which is a shittier way to evaluate a pitcher…wins, or personality.

  98. Chuck Says:

    “I can’t decide which is a shittier way to evaluate a pitcher…wins, or personality.”

    I got one..WAR

  99. Raul Says:

    Well you don’t have to be Sean Casey to get elected. I mean by all accounts Casey was probably the nicest guy in the game. But you can’t insult, belittle and ignore the reporters and expect them to happily choose you for your sport’s greatest honor, either.

  100. Raul Says:

    Royals and Red Sox in a 9-9 game right now in the 10th inning.

    With his 1-4 performance tonight, Eric Hosmer is hitting .239 on the season. I’ll be watching the final month to see if he can finish at .250. That would be nice considering how tough the year has been for him.

  101. Raul Says:

    Halladay went 7 innings today and got the win

  102. Mike Felber Says:

    John was referring to what should occur with Professionals. We do not doubt that it costs you votes to be difficult. But as with Teddy Ballgame, it is unprofessional & unethical to not vote purely on merit. I don’t care if it’s Hitler, if you deserve an award or honor, you should be voted for.

    if it was just raw #s re: piling up Ks in the ‘roid era, that would be a val;id point. But what is relevant is how much good ‘ bad things that you do, the value you create.

    Comps are BS for seeing who has comparable value, as the examples others gave show. It should be explained those are largely raw #s, not era or park adjusted.

    Are Saber-fortunes declining as much as you say, at least on the MLB level? Maybe, at least from the heights they reached. If so, it does not effect how valid they are either way-something popular does not equal true or not.

    I would defer to your knowledge of what is the MLB status quo, though then you say nonsensical things like if something is worth believeing in it does not need defensing, & arguing about MAKES it less important.

    Whaaa? Wast kind of magical thinking is that? Most all advancing of technology/science, human & civil rights, any kind of progress had to be debated to gain currency, whether 100% factual & or a now no-brainer ethically. By your logic Chuck if folks need to argue the world is round, it is becomes (more likely) flatter!

    I include Brown Lefty, despite how I feel on PEDs, since the question is not whether they will or even should be elected, it is looking at players who Schilling had at least comparable career value to. A small Hall guy-or one who sets at least a small Hall bar for pitching-would say no to all of ‘em!

    And some legendary hurlers would be gone. Not just the weaker Dizzy Dean choices, but Bunning, Drysdale, & likely Palmer too-defense, era & teams inflated his value. Hell, if you want to be really exclusive you could deny Carlton & even Spahn, looking at career ERA + or # of great years for the latter…

    Though except for Bunning, I believe all of them merit inclusion/

  103. Mike Felber Says:

    “Pitchers do not control anything”.

    I of course did not mean they have total control over Ks or HRs, nor unless they pitch out all the time how many walks. Clearly I mean that these are the only things that they can use their skills to strongly effect the likelihood of.

  104. Mike Felber Says:

    Well…Bunning seems borderline.

  105. Lefty33 Says:

    “The fact that he was a jerk, and the fact that he had 216 wins are 100% irrelevant.”

    When he’s not inducted next year you’ll see how irrelevant ^^ that ^^ statement is.

  106. Chuck Says:

    I find it amazing that people get offended by the mention of Schilling and Brown not being HOF worthy, but these same people have no problem whatsoever dropping names like Palmer as being not qualified themselves.

    Curt Schilling couldn’t make the 1969 Orioles.

  107. Len Says:

    “Curt Schilling couldn’t make the 1969 Orioles.”

    Yeah, Schilling would have had a tough time breaking into that staff with immortal Tom Phoebus and Jim Hardin blocking the way.

  108. Raul Says:

    It’s ironic to use the word “immortal” when sarcastically talking about Phoebus and Harden. I wouldn’t use that word with Schilling either.

  109. Raul Says:

    Anyone think Clemens pitches in the majors again?

  110. Mike Felber Says:

    Chuck, I want to nicely point out that you often do not pay attention to simnple details.

    I was the only one who mentioned Palmer, clearly you were referring to me. And I never said I do not think he was HOF worthy. Just that the era & defense & team strength overrated his value. In fact I explicitly included him amongst all the pitchers I WOULD put in the HOF. See above.

    Please attempt to understand my simple statements.

    I do think you actually believe that peak Schilling could not even crack the roster of that team, but that seems silly. Besides that they had weak links Len pointed to, any guy who Ks many & walks few, at historic levels mind you, will do well in a past era. There is no way the average player was so much better a generation earlier.

  111. Len Says:

    Raul, by your logic, nobody belongs in the HOF.

    Babe Ruth, nah he led the league in striking out 5 times. Ruth had 2863 hits, that’s only 6-7 more than Omar Vizquel and Harold Baines.

    Ted Williams, nah he only had 2654 hits, that’s less than Rusty Staub and Bill Buckner

    Joe Dimaggio, nah he only had 2214 hits and 361 hr, Carlos Lee has more hits and he’s only 5 HR behind him.

    Sandy Koufax, nah he only had 165 wins, that’s less than Kevin Milllwood.

    Lou Gehrig, nah he only had 2721 hits, that’s only 5-6 more than Rusty Staub and Bill Buckner and he has less hits than Omar Vizquel and Harold Baines.

    Mickey Mantle, nah he struck out 1700 times, and he has a lower lifetime batting average than John Kruk.

    George Brett, nah he had 2000 plate appearances as a DH and only hit 317 home runs, that’s less than Ron Gant.

    Mike Schmidt, nah he had a lifetime batting average of .267, that’s lower than Otis Nixon and Jose Vizcaino.

    Joe Morgan, nah he had a lifetime batting average of . 271, that’s less than Marco Scuturo and Coco Crisp.

    Bob Feller, nah he only had 2581 k’s, That’s less Chuck Finley and Frank Tanana.

    Johnny Bench, nah, he had a lifetime batting average of .267, that’s less than Jorge Cantu and Lyle Overbay.

    Ty Cobb or Tris Speaker, nah they only hit 117 home runs, that’s less than Cody Ross and Luke Scott.

    Willie Mays, nah, he only hit .302, that’s less than Mark Grace or Rusty Greer.

    Whitey Ford, nah he only had 1956 k’s, that’s less than Al Leiter and Tim Wakefield.

    Pedro Martinez, nah, he only had 219 wins, the same as Kenny Rogers one less than Jerry Reuss

  112. Raul Says:


    It’s not that I wouldn’t elect anyone in the hall of fame. I just would make it much tougher.

    All those players you listed above don’t amount to shit because none of them have anything to do with Curt Schilling.

    This is always the problem with HOF debates. You people constantly spend time comparing x-player to y-HOFer as if context doesn’t matter.

    Jim Bunning was good. Curt Schilling was good.
    Neither of them were in that upper-most tier of great players that I believe one needs to be in to merit election.

  113. Raul Says:

    Also, for the record, I noted above that Martinez does belong in the hall

    Martinez, Maddux, Johnson.
    That’s it for pitchers.

    Maybe another one or two sneaks in. But Schilling isn’t one of them.

  114. Raul Says:

    Whether Schilling gets in is completely irrelevant to me.
    He shouldn’t get in.

    Everyone knows Rivera will go in on the 1st ballot. Great pitcher. Great sustained success.
    But he’s a 1-inning, nobody on base guy.

    He shouldn’t be in either. But he will be.

  115. Lefty33 Says:

    “Hell, if you want to be really exclusive you could deny Carlton & even Spahn,”

    You sure could, if you were the biggest fucking idiot that ever lived.

  116. Lefty33 Says:

    @111 – Dumbest post ever

    “This is always the problem with HOF debates. You people constantly spend time comparing x-player to y-HOFer as if context doesn’t matter.”


  117. Lefty33 Says:

    @84 – So what?

    2855 is simply an arbitrary line in the sand that means nothing.

    Like Raul said, context.

  118. Mike Felber Says:

    Axtually Len’s post was pretty funny, & not at all dumb. His point is precisely that context matters, & also, that Raul’s standards are too tight. And mine about Lefty & Spahn was similar.

    Context is the point, so int urn it is a fair point to say that 2855 by itself is not enough-what if a guy played for a long time at league average level & was great at Ks, but also surrendered Ryan-esque BBs, & Jenkinsesque HRs?

    But I again humbly refer folks to the list of greatest K/BB ever. Take out all the firemen. The ability to be great at this stat-& Schilling was the best in modern baseball-over a good # of IP correlates highly with pitching excellence. In fact, know the HRs/9 & approximate a compensation for era…

    You can just roughly calculate ERA + prowess right there. Few picthers are very unusual in how often they bunch together BBs & hits w/HRs.

  119. Mike Felber Says:

    About Clemens comeback Raul. There is also a Bayless (baseless PED meditation)/Jeter commentary article at top.

  120. Raul Says:

    I’ll say this about the Jeter thing: Bayless is a spineless coward and blowhard.

    But i wouldn’t be too surprised if it came out that Jeter was using PEDs. I’d be disappointed though.

  121. Mike Felber Says:

    You could suspect anyone theoretically, but Jeter is ~ his career OPS + in his late 30’s, this is not a Bonds-like resurgence.

    I would be shocked if Jeter was using. I do believe that many athletes still have personal integrity.

    reading another story about Armstrong, iot strikes me on how the vast majority of the comments I read think USADA is an illegitimate, out of control body that is on a personal witch-hunt/vendetta, & that their evidence is not public. Though my impulse is that it is unlikely all the allegations are wrong, & a sophisticated conspiracy by the US team & things like blood transfusions are just undetectable by normal testing, so fair other evidence, like testimony accumulated against Marion Jones to get her to finally crack & admit being a cheater, is necessary.

  122. Lefty33 Says:

    “The ability to be great at this stat-& Schilling was the best in modern baseball-over a good # of IP correlates highly with pitching excellence”

    Yeah that’s a real HOF worthy stat when in the all-time top 25 you have such amazing caliber SP such as Jon Lieber, Shane Reynolds, Rick Reed, Ricky Nolasco, and Ben Sheets.

    In the all-time top 50 of that stat there are far more duds than studs.

    The five stiffs mentioned above plus Lee, Swindell, Radke, some early 20th century dead ball era guys, and a bunch of closers. Wow, that’s impressive.

    Maybe next we can comb the list of all-time sac flys?
    At least there ARE actual HOF players on that list.

  123. Mike Felber Says:

    The list is limited in HOF guys, saying there are none is nowhere near true. But of course if you take guys with limited IP, & the advantages closers have in facing new batters/racking up rate stats-they will dominate the list collectively. Yet if you follow what I repeatedly invoked, you will see Schillings strength.

    Which starts with the basic context of IP. I precluded the closers & short inning guys. This is also common sense. Which modern pitchers approached or exceeded both his IP & K/BB? Or were even ballpark in the latter? How good were THEY?

    To be as fair as possible, you also need to consider how far they were from his actual exact great K/BB rate. I am not saying this stat is Nostradamus, but correlated pretty well, with how good a guy is over a decent length career.

  124. Mike Felber Says:

    And though only one HOFer in the top 25, many more in next 25, we would asll agree that the top tier has bunch of easy HOF guys like Maddux & Martinez, others like Moose & current studs likely. But run the list starting with 3000 IP to get in the ballpark of Schilling-& I always specified IP as indispensable context-& the association with pitching excellence will be dramatic.

    Compare it to ERA + at a glance it will correlate pretty well, though of course better with H/9 & HR rates figured in. Getting Ks & avoiding walks is just very valuable & basic for a twirler.

  125. John Says:

    Lord forbid we evaluate Hall of Fame pitchers based on actual ability, and not the abilities of their hitters, or whether or not they were good dudes.

  126. John Says:

    Also, stop with the whole “Schilling couldn’t cut it in the ’60’s” bullshit.

    The mound was higher, the strike zone was bigger, the ballparks were bigger, and the hitters weren’t juiced up. And yet, Schilling still put up better numbers than basically everyone else from that era.

    Schilling would have wiped the floor if he had pitched then. Sandy who?

  127. Jim Says:

    “First AB with the Dodgers, Adrian Gonzalez hit a three run HR.”

    And with that home run Agon goes into a tie for 37th place in the MLB HR standings catching Kevin Youklis, Will Middlebrooks, Ian Kinsler, Ben Zobrist and others.

    Best of luck to those new Dodgers, but as a RS fan the only one I’ll miss is Crawford. A horrible overpay, but at least he took responsibility for his play last year. Beckett, what are the odds that he twists his back Monday night. As far as Gonzales, immensely talented but ready to blame everyone else but himself or his teammates for poor play. It seems to me that players that sign big money contracts need to be willing, to borrow a phrase from R. Jackson, be the straw that stirs the drink. That’s not Gonzales

  128. Len Says:

    The more I think about it, I don’t think any pitcher from the last 30-40 years really deserves to be in the HOF.

    G. Maddux, R. Johnson, Pedro Martinez, sure they were good but were they really HOF worthy?

    R. Johnson was a good pitcher, don’t get me wrong but two of his comps are A. J. Burnett and Chris Nabholz, so that’s two big strikes against him. Johnson led the league in Walks 3 times, ouch!! That’s worse than Daniel Cabrera, he only did it twice. Johnson only had a 3.29 career ERA which is good but not great. I remember when I was a kid Dick Bosman led the league with a 2.19 ERA. The closest Randy Johnson ever came to that was a 2.32 in 2002. Heck I remember when Gary Peters led the league with a 1.98 era in 1966, R. Johnson never even came close to that mark! Gary Peters had a lower career ERA (3.25) than Johnson and Peters is nowhere near a Hall of Famer so why should Randy Johnson be in the HOF?

    G. Maddux, sure he was good even very good some years but two of his comps are Storm Davis and Dan Petry, that’s just embarrassing. Maddux only won 20 games twice and no more than 20 in a season. Dennis Leonard won 20 games 3 times. Do we really want a guy who couldn’t even match Dennis Leonard in the HOF? Maddux had 35 shutouts but Milt Pappas had 43, Claude Osteen had 40, I mean how much lower are we going to lower the HOF standards anyway? A career 3.16 ERA, sure it’s good but I remember back in my day you couldn’t even make an All Star team without a sub 3.00 ERA. I mean John Tudor and Don Gullet had lower career ERA’s than Greg Maddux, I mean seriously.

    Pedro was really good some years but he has Charlie Kerfield and David Palmer as player comps, oh boy! He only won 20 games twice, that’s basically what Bartolo Colon has done. He never led the league in Game Starts or Innings pitched. Heck, even Cal Eldred and Rick Langford led the league in innings pitched and Esteban Loaiza and Andy Ashby led the league in game starts. Talk about lowering HOF standards. Pedro only had 217 wins, that’s it? wow, David Wells and Joe Niekro did better than that. You know Pedro only led the league in wins once? He basically matched what Ken Hill did. Even Lamarr Hoyt led the league in Wins twice. I guess that’s why the HOF is becoming watered down.

  129. Chuck Says:

    I love how I post a comment about the saber crowd always having to defend their own processes and stats in an argument, and then for the next fifty comments or so proceed to do exactly that.

    “But I again humbly refer folks to the list of greatest K/BB ever.”

    How far up your ass did you have to reach for that one?

    But leave it to John to post the most ridiculous comment of the day, even moreso than Len’s.

    “Schilling would have wiped the floor if he had pitched then. Sandy who?”

    Schilling pitched for WS teams in three different cities, if his teammates are a reflection of how good he was, then you would have expected him to win 300, no?

    I’m a small Hall guy obviously, and the Hall SHOULD be reserved for not just good players who had great peaks, but players who had great CAREERS.

    Schilling clearly does not qualify, and no amount of acronyms or schoolyard bullying will change that.

    He is not HOF worthy, and some basement generated formula isn’t going to change that, no matter how much you argue.

    So, let it go.

    If he gets in, then you can put his name right up there next to Dean and Rixey and Drysdale and Mazeroski amongst others who for some reason or another managed to get themselves elected.

  130. Chuck Says:

    Get a grip, Len.

  131. Chuck Says:


  132. Raul Says:

    Just when I was certain that Shaun wrote the dumbest, most petty bullshit I’ve ever seen…a new contender had emerged.

    I wonder if he’ll consider coming back, just so I have a better way to compare.

  133. Chuck Says:

    Congratulations Len, within the last ten hours you’ve posted two of the dumbest comments ever, and on the same thread no less.

    If there’s any consolation, at least now John has some competition.

    He’s been the “Dumbest Comment of the Month” winner for the last 40 or so.

  134. Raul Says:

    Baby steps…
    In his last 20 games, Eric Hosmer is hitting .300/.373/.433

  135. Raul Says:

    Bartolo Colon was out of the game for years. Comes back with success. Turns out to be PEDs.

    Melky Cabrera was out of NY and I think he was DFA’d by the Braves. Comes back with success. Turns out to be PEDs.

    Jose Bautista was a .238/.329/.400 hitter with 59 HR is 2,038 plate appearances through age 28. He’s clean though.

  136. Len Says:

    No, Chuck you misunderstand I’m a small HOF guy too. I’m even a smaller Hall guy than you guys. You guys swayed me, you enlightened me with your logic, thanks.

    Wow, thanks as far as the award “dumbest” comment of all time. I know the competition was pretty tough on this web site. The competition is pretty tough every day actually with stuff like, Curt Schilling wasn’t as good as Tom Phoebus or Jim Hardin.

  137. Raul Says:

    Alfredo Aceves was suspended for 3 games by the Red Sox for conduct detrimental to the team.

    The word is he barged into Valentine’s office, upset because he was passed over in a save situation and demanded to speak with GM Ben Cherington.

    Often, contracts have bonuses and options that can kick in depending on save statistics or appearances. I’ll use this as another reason to kick down the save stat. (Although I say that tongue-in-cheek)

  138. Raul Says:


    Mentioning player comps for Willie Mays or RBI totals between HOFers and non-HOFers was dumb. And as dumb as that was…I understand you were trying to make a point…but you went off and listed like 15 players…unnecessarily.

    So yeah, you had to get a bit of a grip.

  139. Raul Says:

    Bobby Valentine can rub a lot of people the wrong way. But this guy has a record of success and was practically beloved in Japan.

    Hard to believe he’s THAT much of an asshole that everyone on the Sox wants to run him out of town.

  140. Len Says:

    No, Raul you misunderstand, I’m a small HOF guy now, I get it. I like it, it’s less of a pain in ass. I’m so sick of all the HOF is he or isn’t he nonsense anyway. I’m just more selective then you guys.

  141. Chuck Says:

    “The competition is pretty tough every day actually with stuff like, Curt Schilling wasn’t as good as Tom Phoebus or Jim Hardin.”

    I’ll give you the fact Schilling probably could have taken the fifth starter spot from Hardin.

    Considering the Orioles used a four man rotation and Hardin was the long/swing man, that seems appropriate.

  142. Chuck Says:

    Len rips me for using comps, but he used HOF Monitors, which gives an unbalanced and unfair “advantage” to the postseason.

    Schilling is like Pettitte and Posada in the fact they really weren’t “great” players but appear to be on paper because they played for a team that was in the postseason every year.

    If the postseason mattered, Lonnie Smith should be in..four consecutive postseason appearances with four different teams.

  143. Chuck Says:

    Serious question, with no underlying intent.

    WAR lists Schilling as the 26th best pitcher of all time.

    Even if you do believe he’s worthy of the Hall, can you honestly say he’s a top 30 all time pitcher?

  144. Chuck Says:

    Looking at the WAR list for pitchers made me think of John Q.

    Rick Reuschel is #32 all time.

    So, some formula spits out a list, and you blindly buy it because you believe wins and losses don’t matter and that the advanced stat revolution will change thinking forever.

    I don’t care how smart you are, I don’t care if you’re an engineer or a lawyer or a writer for SBNation, you are a complete fucking moron if you think Rick Reuschel is a HOFer.

    To come to a website like this and say Rick Reuschel is an overlooked candidate, you HAVE to expect to be ridiculed, and if you’re offended by it, the only place you need to look for the reason why is in your mirror.

    John Q, Shaun, Tyler..the entertainment value they provided was priceless.

  145. Len Says:

    How do HOF monitors give an unfair advantage to the post-season? You think Whitey Ford would have gotten into the HOF if he didn’t play for the Yankees?

    LOL, “Schilling played in the post season every year”…..Yeah I forgot about those powerhouse 1992, 1994-2000 Phillies, or the 1988-1990 Orioles or that great 1991 Houston Astros team.

    Reuschel’s not a HOFer so I don’t know what your talking about there. He’s a taller version of David Wells.

  146. John Says:

    “Curt Schilling is not a Hall of Famer because…he’s just not” -The entirety of Chuck’s argument

    Basically every statistic says that Schilling should be in except for pitching wins, and pitching wins should be less relevant than a pitcher’s middle name when determining greatness.

    If you’re a small-hall guy and you believe in a 50 person HOF, fine, Schilling’s out. But by the standards already set, he’s clearly worthy…whether or not you “feel” it.

  147. Chuck Says:

    You’re reaching, Len.

    You know what that means, right?

    You have no argument, just trying to have the last word.

    Which defines the sabermetric movement.

    You keep going on and on and on and on about the same crap until whomever it is you’re arguing with finally decides to give up, at which point you believe that justifies the argument.

    It doesn’t

    And by the way, Len, as a Yankee fan I’m fully aware there are some players in the Hall who are there only because they wore pinstripes.

    That’s not necessarily the world’s biggest secret.

  148. Raul Says:

    Mussina (because I don’t see how Schilling had a better career)
    Pedro Martinez
    Edgar Martinez

    Let’s go and elect them all.
    No sweat off my sack.

  149. Mike Felber Says:

    Just wait a minute there Chuck. You cannot say that “we” arguing shows that our case is weak-we are all debating the points-& cannot invoke double jeopardy so when we make a detailed case we are just trying to have the last word.

    You are setting up a false paradigm that damns your enemies for saying anything, at any length.

    And your bringing up bullying is absurd. Unlike a ton of content from some, there was nothing personal, profane, mean spirited or inappropriate about Len’s comments.

    It was satire, & I found it quite funny. Try to pick it apart, but you cannot slam him for making a clever & detailed Reduction to the Absurd classic case.

    But you know I strive to be scrupulously fair. Yes, HOF Monitors are not a great case for induction. I believe Len was just covering the bases of what many traditionalists favor.

    And I believe John was being absurd when he said Schilling was much better than Sandy. But the advantages he cited are very real, & many romanticize the past & are biased about those they identity with.

    Struggling to give credit where do, sure, we all agree 3 of those 4 pitchers do not belong. Drysdale does, you have always puzzlingly deeply dissed him.

    Any way you dissect Schilling’s performance, he got the wins you would expect for a guy with his moderate length career & talents, reflected in his 127 OPS +. Just like if you dissect Morris in late & close situations, he did not “pitch to the score”, his run support & defense elevated him greatly.

    Look at the hits, HRs, & of course BBs allowed & Ks, is another way to confirm that Schilling was a solid regular season HOF man.

    Any way you check the math, backwards & forwards, Curt checks out as a solid HOF choice, peak & career value.

    Lastly, Once Again, with Feeling:

    Please stop referring to the list of all time WAR accumulation as what sabermetricians are saying is a list of the all time best players or pitchers.

    ALL reasonable folks believe that measures of peak value must be made also. There are also OTHER adjustments, like lost war years & postseason play, & usually an era adjustment (for differences in average quality of play, this is separate for the balance of offense & defense)…

    In deciding who is how good all time. OK?

  150. John Says:

    @148, ok sure.

    I would exclude Hoffman, Kent, E. Martinez, Helton, McGwire, and probably ManRam (defense counts).

    Other than that, it looks like you’ve named off a pretty freaking incredible group of ballplayers. I don’t see the problem.

  151. Mike Felber Says:

    I feel almost the same John. Though I would put Edgar in, he was the best & created much value at a legitimate if unpopular role. Big Mac out due to drugs, & Rolen…I would say he is borderline, don’t know if he has a (long enough) peak value to put him in.

  152. Chuck Says:

    On the HOF Monitor, Whitey Ford ranks #20 all time among pitchers with a 208 score. He ranks #77 all time in pitching WAR with 50.6.

    Curt Schilling ranks #34 all time in HOF Monitor with a 171 score, and #26 all time in pitching WAR at 76.9.

    The Monitor awards points for LCS or LDS wins, WS wins, WS starts and WS relief appearances.

    Schilling totaled 29 points, which includes 15 points for DS or CS wins, opportunities Ford didn’t have.

    This moves his Monitor score from 171 to 142 and into a tie for #46 all time with non-HOF deadball star Tommy Bond, and right above two of the worst HOF selections ever, closer Rollie Fingers and two time AL MVP and World War II star Hal Newhouser.

    As expected, Ford gets a decent sized postseason boost, with 44 total points between WS starts and wins.

    Subtracting, that drops him to 164 points, dropping him into a tie for 39th all time with deadball HOFers Joe McGinnity and Al Spaulding, and ahead of three modern HOF pitchers with limited postseason experience Don Sutton, Juan Marichal and Phil Niekro, and just behind postseason legend John Smoltz.

    Now, I don’t think it takes too much thought to realize the difference in WAR between them can be attributed to the number of expansion teams added since Ford’s era, replacement players in the 1960’s would be regulars today.

    So, while I somewhat agree with Len that Ford likely received some postseason and Yankee benefit in his election process, it’s also clear based on raw numbers he was likely the better all round pitcher.

  153. John Says:

    The HOF monitor, for about the billionth time, assesses the LIKELIHOOD, not the worthiness, of a player making it.

  154. Chuck Says:

    “ALL reasonable folks believe that measures of peak value must be made also. There are also OTHER adjustments, like lost war years & postseason play, & usually an era adjustment (for differences in average quality of play, this is separate for the balance of offense & defense)…”

    No, no, no, and no. Bullshit.

    You can only receive credit for what you did, not what you could have done.

    First of all, if you’re slanted on the sabermetric side, you’re not at all reasonable..that’s the whole premise.

    It’s a very select group of players all time who have actually had the privelege of playing in even one postseason series, much less have had the PS career enjoyed by Schilling.

    The PS is a team event, being on a PS team is good fortune, and just like with Craig Counsell on the 2001 Dbacks or any of Lonnie Smith’s teams, it’s not one player responsible, whether it be Whitey Ford or Babe Ruth or Curt Schilling.

    So, they should NOT be given any consideration for election to the HOF based in any way, shape or form on what they may or may not have done, because there are FAR better players who never had the opportunity. All must be considered under the same criteria..the regular season.

    “And your bringing up bullying is absurd. Unlike a ton of content from some, there was nothing personal, profane, mean spirited or inappropriate about Len’s comments.”

    No it wasn’t, it was a spot on reference. All you “believers” are of the mindset if you get the last word you win, because your arguments don’t hold water, so the last word is all you have to hang your hat on.

    “Any way you check the math, backwards & forwards, Curt checks out as a solid HOF choice,”

    “Exactly my point..math doesn’t make Schilling or anyone else a HOFer, on field performance does.”

    If you need math to justify someone, he’s not worthy to begin with, a fact you probably were well aware of before you started.

  155. Chuck Says:

    “The HOF monitor, for about the billionth time, assesses the LIKELIHOOD, not the worthiness, of a player making it.”

    Thanks, Sherlock.

  156. John Says:

    Well, we were discussing worthiness, my dear Watson.

  157. Chuck Says:

    “The HOF monitor, for about the billionth time, assesses the LIKELIHOOD, not the worthiness, of a player making it.”

    The Monitor says only 98 players all time are/were more likely than Schilling to be elected to the HOF.

    However you want to interpret the meaning behind it, if you believe that to be true, then you’re a retard and have no business whatsoever posting and/or talking about baseball in any form.

    That’s almost as bad as Rob Neyer saying if Ty Cobb played today he couldn’t make a roster.

    There isn’t enough medication in the world that can help you.

  158. Chuck Says:

    “Well, we were discussing worthiness, my dear Watson.”

    I understand that.

    And Schilling isn’t worthy.

    Not sure what it is you can’t grasp.

  159. Raul Says:

    John, I’m curious.

    Why would you exclude McGwire but you show strong support for Thome?

    Not even gonna get into it. I just find that peculiar.

  160. John Says:

    “And Schilling isn’t worthy.”

    Sure, if you go off pitching wins, which is a lot like evaluating hitters based on jersey number. But going off of literally everything else, he is worthy.

    “Why would you exclude McGwire but you show strong support for Thome?”

    On a per-game performance, McGwire’s got an edge, but Thome did it over 2500 more plate appearances, or about 1/3 longer. That’s pretty significant.

  161. Raul Says:

    Every single player called before Congress was exposed as a user.
    I don’t buy for one second that of that group, Schilling is the clean one.

    Not because of “guilt by association”. There are other reasons. I just note the Congressional Hearing because it’s funny to me.

  162. Chuck Says:

    Schilling has said publicly many times that Roger Clemens is the single most influential person in his career..he said it last night on the broadcast of Clemens’ independent league start.

    By most accounts, if you believe the timeline, Clemens began his experimentation with supplements shortly after moving to Toronto in 1997.

    Schilling had a couple of nice years in Philly, but didn’t really become a “star” until he went to Arizona..which was also a known steriod hotspot.

    As Lefty has said here many times, his brother in law is a BBWAA voter, and “guilt by association” is a consideration when considering certain players or the links between certain players.

    I have no idea whether Schilling did or didn’t, and quite honestly I’m embarrassed to mention his name in the same sentence with Clemens, but a five year old with a crayon and the children’s menu at Applebees’ could connect the dots.

    THAT SAID, just like with Sosa and McGwire and Juan Gonzalez..steriods aren’t enough..the numbers themselves don’t make you a HOFer.

    Blyleven was better than Schilling and it took him fourteen years.

    Pick your own color and draw your own line…it’s still going to end up a “no”.

  163. John Says:

    “Blyleven was better than Schilling and it took him fourteen years.”

    And that was ridiculous.

    “Schilling had a couple of nice years in Philly, but didn’t really become a “star” until he went to Arizona..which was also a known steriod hotspot.”

    Not actually true. He didn’t become a 20-game winner until he went to Arizona. That’s quite different.

  164. Chuck Says:

    Schilling had a couple of good years in Philly.

    If you consider two good years to be star worthy, then OK.

  165. Chuck Says:

    Sorry, John, but if you think Schilling was better than Blyleven then you really should find another hobby.

    This baseball blogging thing really isn’t working out for you.

  166. John Says:

    I never said that.

    I said that Blyleven taking 14 years was absolutely ridiculous. It was the direct result of nutjobs who put priority on wins/losses, and not actual performance.

    Blyleven > Schilling > At least half the pitchers in the HOF.

  167. Lefty33 Says:

    “It was the direct result of nutjobs who put priority on wins/losses, and not actual performance.”

    Not exactly.

    A lot of it had to do with Blyleven being a nutjob himself.

    Just like in a job interview where you don’t go around trying to show up the people who are going to decide whether you are getting hired or not you can’t go around trying to show up the people responsible for subjective based HOF voting.

    If you do you wait.

    Blyleven wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last to figure that out the hard way.

  168. John Says:

    That’s fair, Blyleven’s constant personal campaigning was very off-putting.

    But there were dozens, if not hundreds of articles and justifications written about how Blyleven just wasn’t dominant, with basically every single one citing his 288-250 record. Simply nonsense.

  169. Mike Felber Says:

    Captain Bly was gracious when I instigated a couple of E-Mails exchanges with hima while back. I do not know if folks would have seen the light earlier if he did no lobby hard. Others have done so aggressively & successfully, though through proxies & wisely. He was excellent at his peak & with his longevity, clearly better than Chilling.

    Now it is revealed-you do not even reserve judgement on Curt Raul, you assume guilt by association. Not fair.

    The others called before Congress tended to be suspect(s), NONE had the aggressive public anti-PED face that Schilling did. Maybe Thomas was the closest, & huge-guess he must be guilty too
    If Schilling took PEDs he would be a more massive fraud & hypocrite than anyone,& should never sniff the Hall. But an even taller & better battery mate ALSO did not reach his peak until his 30’s & was great somewhat later-Randy Johnson. No reason whatsoever to assume either of these guys is LIKELY guilty.

    Anyone of us COULD be robbing liquor stores or hacking up bodies in a basement to make human skin suits, but it would be a leeetle but unjust to assume so.

  170. Mike Felber Says:

    HOF Monitor reflects how folks tend to vote, tend to be moved by raw #s, whether Ks or wins. I am less interested in that than who deserves to be in. I have no reason to believe that Rord’s & Chillings scores are far off, but it does not mean much.

    The quality of play-we have been through this before. It does not take too much thought, & only fair to present & consider, the arguments about the much expanded population size, integration compared to earlier times, & all the players from overseas, well maybe Latin America, who have come hungry to make the game more competitive & some dominate. Also unfortunately effective PEDs.

    Most believe that the balance of fundamentals vs. more players from more places & greater athleticism means that the average quality of player has gradually improved. Though expansions must be temporary setbacks,it is very hard to believe that while in every sport where there is measurable performance we have gotten better, that in baseball they are worse, & you think much, compared to 35 o more years ago.

    With all the new technology, videos, training, crack downs on hung over players, a pool of competitors from all over the world, greater athleticism…It strains credulity that expansion negates all of these things, & more!

  171. Lefty33 Says:

    “But there were dozens, if not hundreds of articles and justifications written about how Blyleven just wasn’t dominant, with basically every single one citing his 288-250 record. Simply nonsense.”

    It is indeed nonsense to use 288-250 as a measuring stick of him not being dominant. But a more fair measuring stick that would be worth noting is that in the first half of his career (‘70-’80) his ERA+ was one point less than Bob Gibson’s but in the second half (‘81-’92) it was the same as Charlie Leibrandt’s and Jarrod Washburn’s.

    That kind of extended mediocrity when combined with his “personality issues” are the major things that did him in. With the other issue being that he spent his whole career pitching in the Siberias of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, and Arlington.

    My all-time favorite Blyleven picture:

  172. Mike Felber Says:

    Chuck, you quoted me but did NOT address most of what I said. My whole point was how SM guys compute total value, & I have had to tell you many times they do NOT add up total WAR. You should’ve just admitted that they use peak value, war time, era adjustments, etc…

    Whether these things are justified is another question. We do NOT juist add up WAR to get who is how great. That was the poiint.

    Now as for your beefs: we disagree, & most old timers/traditional guys agree with me/us that a Williams & Joe D. deserve credit for times they WERE great, not injured, but reasonable circumstances prevented them from producing/being in MLB.

    Now to visit Crazytown to dispense of some crackpot claims. ;-)

    1) That making an argument of some kind, especially if it involves math, means you have a weak claim & are wrong & you even know it.

    Nobody else here would believe that Chuck. Folks make arguments on all sides, using math, all the time. By this logic Einstein & Newton were wrong since they felt the need to describe the fundamental laws of nature. The details of an argument matter, not whether someone makes a case strongly or not.

    2) Len wrote a good natured parody & you actually suggest that he is bullying?!? He was polite & respectful, did not stop anyone from talking, mocked an IDEA, not an individual—> & what is this assumption that he/we must get the last word? Projection?

    Many just ENJOY the debate & have something to say. No reason to assume the worst possible, darkest motivation.

    3) DO not count the post season. This is not nearly so unreasonable actually.

    We & most disagree with you. True, the whole team gets there, you are lucky to have the opportunity: & folks over-count its importanc, esp. when most do not play much then.

    But if you do so well in the most crucial games, they are not exhibitions, should you not receive at least the same credit you would get in the regular season? It is relevant to how good you are, just like the regular season you need to consider sample size.

    Schilling does not need it to deserve to Hall,but considering his dominance (& against the best teams) then & 133 IP, it does not seem excessive to add 5 WAR, ~ 1/15th of his total WAR value, to the calculation.

    To give a Jeter or Smoltz/Maddux nothing on the contrary seems unfair. Anyone else think that no player should get any Hall credit for PS play, no matter how good or long he does it for?

  173. Lefty33 Says:

    “Most believe that the balance of fundamentals vs. more players from more places & greater athleticism means that the average quality of player has gradually improved.”

    For all the advances in athleticism, nutrition, etc. there has been a more than equal decline in fundamentals across all parts of the game. To me it’s the most obvious in today’s non-stop “swing from the heels at all times” hitting approach that every guy seems to get coached up on from Little League all the way up to Mark Reynolds.

    That’s not being a hitter anymore than Aroldis Chapman is really a pitcher just because he can throw hard.

  174. Mike Felber Says:

    True that Lefty. Though you are using an extreme(ly defective) example in Reynolds. And Chapman learned to locate & mix things up enough to dominate for a while.

    We will never know for sure how much is gained & lost in these things. I do not think it has been more than equal decline in fundamentals, if only because there are so many things that have improved on the other side, training, nutrition, videos/technology, athleticism…But then you believe the average player was netter in ‘52 or ‘77 compared to today?

    That is a funny shirt, but the guys argument is TERRIBLE.
    1st, he admits Blyleven is better in Ks, complete games, shutouts-& acts like this is trivial.

    Next, let’s forget about more sophisticated analysis. How much value did Katt give by his Glove, how much more than BB? And mentioning who won which awards-meaningless, that just shows who was favored by the writers. And we know who was called Cryleven & unlikely to be given his due by them.

    Also, if you look at his lifetime HRs per IP allowed, he was not bad. Two big HR years, still managed to do decently in ‘86 & ‘87.

    But the main debate malpractice the author is guilty of:

    Over 441 more IP, Bert’s ERA + is 10 points better,108 to 128. That is a LARGE difference, but he may not know the stats well enough to realize what this denotes in terms of relative value. This is also very evident if you compare their peak value.

    Blyleven was much better than Kaat, it is not even close. As you might expect from a man with arguably the best curve this side of Koufax.

  175. Lefty33 Says:

    “That is a funny shirt, but the guys argument is TERRIBLE”

    Never read his argument.

    I just thought the fart shirt was funny.

  176. Mike Felber Says:

    Ah, Okey dokey.

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