Thursday Links (15 Sep 11)

I’m up to my eyeballs researching players who walked a lot. Did you know that the longest streak of drawing one or more walks in consecutive games since at least 1919 is 22, by Roy Cullenbine, who did it in 1947? Did you also know that the longest such streak by a currently active player is 16, by Chipper Jones, who did it in 1999?

Well, now you do. And you also have links…

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18 Responses »

  1. No wonder the Ems got bumped, they moved from the Northwest League to the more advanced competition of the MWL!

  2. It’s hard not to forget about 2011 and think about 2012 for the Padres. Where do they go from here? Besides Headley not being in the lineup, their current lineup is pretty lackluster

  3. I understand the discussion on Trevor and the HOF (at least I think I do). I don’t think it’s a discussion on Trevor and the HOF as much as it is a discussion of Closers/Firemen/Relievers and the HOF. I suppose some of it could be bias against him due to his playing in San Diego and being overlooked by large parts of the public/fans and media, but I think it’s more about whether a reliever, particularly a modern closer who works 1 inning at a time and very few innings over the course of a season, has enough value to be a HOF.

    If you take a historical look at the HOF, of course, there aren’t many relievers. It’s only very recently they have started to go in, but it appears the gates are now open; although one could look at the voting history and say it took until 1985, about 50 years, for one to be elected, therefore relievers are not wothy of the HOF. Indeed, although another followed in 1992, it wasn’t until 2006 that the 3rd went in. Still, Gossage followed quickly thereafter and Rivera is a shoo in. I think this makes room for Hoffman.

    Potential hold ups for him, IMO, are the looming backlog and the likelihood Rivera will retire before Hoffman becomes eligible, which, again IMO, may cause some writers/voters to withhold their vote until Rivera goes in first. The latter is speculation on my part, but HOF voters do have some weird ideas; the former is undeniable. Take a look at the potenital ballot in 2015, the year before Trevor hits it:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/hof_2015.shtml

    Oh, after all of that, I read the Fat Lady post. What a waste of time. The jist, Trevor isn’t as good as Rivera so he shouldn’t go in. Wow, thoughtful!

  4. I think Hoffman will get in, but it will take a while. The backlog which Pat mentions is a big part of the reason.
    Also, it took Gossage and Sutter a long time to get elected, so I can certainly see the same thing happening with Hoffman.

  5. Pat,

    I’d like to point out two things from my piece.

    “That isn’t to say that any reliever has to be as good as Rivera to make the Hall but in a position that specializes in one inning outings, the bar needs to be set pretty high since quite often, the 9th inning with a 3-run lead isn’t always the highest leverage situation.”

    “What Hoffman lacked, for me, was sustained dominance. At no point was he the undisputed best reliever in the game. And when your job is to protect a 3-run lead (or fewer, in some cases) for one inning, in relatively low leverage situations, the answer of who the best is has to be indisputable.”

    Though I respect your opinion and appreciate the time you took to read my post, the gist isn’t that Hoffman isn’t as good as Rivera so he doesn’t belong in the Hall. Maybe I should made a greater effort to convey that but I did not make that assertion.

    In the end, Hoffman will make the Hall, I believe. I also believe that he’s better than some players currently in the Hall. I’m a “small Hall” guy and generally don’t believe pitchers who throw under 1,100 innings belong. I realize I’m probably in the minority when it comes to this point of view but I enjoy a lively debate surrounding any player’s Hall merits.

  6. Marerro or Giolito? Which one will fall to the Padres?

  7. The Padres AFL team was the Peoria Saguaros last year … but now the Saguaroes are in Surprise? What’s up with that?

    Missions win in *20* innings??? Wow … says that that team has some pitching depth!

    Storm are still playing … this is Game 1 of the finals …

    http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=g_box&gid=2011_09_15_stoafa_lesafa_1

  8. Josh, you have two short paragraphs, one on league factor and one on park factor, both of which are normalized in advanced metrics; therefore, they don’t really have much place in the discussion. You then spend a long paragraph, by far the longest paragraph in the post, discussing that he’s not as good as Rivera. The paragraph even receives a heading that includes “…the ‘Good as Mariano Rivera’ Argument.” Granted it concludes by saying a pitcher doesn’t have to be as good as Rivera, but the clear implication is that Hoffman is still too far below “the bar” to be in. Since this is not in any way demonstrated by comparing him to Rivera, I find your post to be not particularly thoughtful, lacking careful analysis and not in any way compelling.

    Your last thought was on sustained dominance, or the lack thereof.

    “At no point was he the undisputed best reliever in the game.” Hardly a reasonable criteria for Hall selection. To be among the very best for an extended period is all that’s ever been required for HOF selection.

    “And when your job is to protect a 3-run lead (or fewer, in some cases) for one inning, in relatively low leverage situations, the answer of who the best is has to be indisputable. Fortunately for Mariano Rivera, that is the case.” First, this is a bit of a strawman. You cite the minimum standard for a save without providing any evidence of the frequency with which this occured for Hoffman. Also, the 9th inning of a relatively close game is hardly ” relatively low leverage.” Next, you are back to only one, the indisputably best one, can be HOF worthy, which, again, is not and never has been required for HOF selection. Finally, you conclude with the same point you sought to deny in your rebuttal posted here, Hoffman is not as good as Rivera. Since a reliever doesn’t have to be as good as Rivera to make the HOF, which you’ve already stated and which you reemphasized here, I don’t see your point in bringing it up again in the post.

    Sustained dominance. Well, define your terms if you’d like, but a sustained 5 year period is pretty commonly used for evaluating peak in many HOF discussions I’ve seen over the years. From 1996 to 2000 Hoffman was indisputably the best reliever in the NL. His WAR was 2.5 higher than the next highest total and he was second to Rivera in all of MLB. His ERA+ was 176, higher than the next NL only pitcher’s total of 164 and higher than another who pitched some in both leagues of 166. And he was second to Rivera in all of MLB. His WHIP was the lowest in all of MLB. His K/9 were 3rd, behind an NL pitcher and one NL/AL pitcher, but better by a goodly amount than Rivera, 10.98 to 8.03. Although these do not account for park or league, they’re raw numbers, they still reflect excellence, dominance and a high level of performance over a sustained period.

    Stretch the period out to 12 years, 1996 to 2007, and keep the IP above 400, and he’s 1.6 WAR behind the NL leader, second in ERA+, still leading in WHIP and still 3rd in K/9.

    I don’t know how you are defining “sustained dominance,” but I see sustained dominance in Hoffman’s career very clearly. You may prefer a small Hall, but the real Hall does not reflect your preference. The actual HOF in Cooperstown has clearly shown it has room for him through it’s election of Fingers, Sutter and Gossage over the past two decades, relief pitchers he is demonstrably comparable or superior to. Higher WAR than Sutter and Fingers, higher ERA+ than Gossage, better WHIP and K/9 than all three in a much higher offensive era (something which very well may offset any park effect).

  9. Well said, Pat … thanks for writing and sharing it!

  10. http://joeposnanski.blogspot.com/2011/09/meaning-of-600-saves.html

    and yeah, what Pat wrote. Hoffman may not be as dominant as Rivera has been but he’s pretty darned good himself. Not many closer has been as good as either two.

  11. Thanks for the link parlo! Love Williams stories and that was a good one!

  12. re: Storms = YAY!

  13. Didi … THANKS for that link to the Joe Pos article about relievers … that’s the BEST overview of the subject I have ever seen! It seems very true that even while there is great interest in SAVEs, the explosion of one-inning-saves has led to a general consensus that they are not as valuable as they appear at first blush (ie. that’s how/why Trevor’s not an automatic first-ballot HOFer, despite his lengthy dominance in the role) … and the evidence of how Rivera has been used in the post-season seems quite powerful / relevant.

    OT – Ahoy … today is a day for fun: http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html :-)

  14. Congrats to Lake Elsinore and San Antonio. Good things down on the farm.

  15. LM: glad you enjoyed the Joe Poz’s article.

    hmmm….almost a no-hitter by Luebke. boy, he threw a lot of pitches…in Coors. he’d be very sore tomorrow.

    http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=310919127