Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

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Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby OleMissCub » Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:41 pm

Just listened to Jonah Keri on a podcast and I think he made a pretty compelling argument that relief pitchers shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame. I hadn't ever really given it much thought until then.

He states that relief pitchers are essentially glorified pinch hitters and are just situational specialists. He goes on to say that you just can't effect the game enough over a career when you pitch 75 innings a year for 10 or 12 pitches at a time with typically the bases empty and a multi-run lead. He states that their overall value as compared to other Hall of Fame members is laughable. He uses the example of whether you would take Manny Ramirez in his prime or Trevor Hoffman in his prime, or even on a lesser note whether you would take Luis Gonzalez in his prime vs. Hoffman. He claims those are both no-brainers if you were a GM. He said the only relief pitcher he would probably put in the Hall of Fame is Rivera because of just how super exceptional he was over 20 years. He said he would apply that same "super exceptional specialist" tag to Edgar Martinez.

I'm not convinced but it's definitely got me thinking about it differently.

Thoughts?
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby big ball chunky time » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:25 pm

The amount of hemming and hawing over the hall of fame is so tiring, but I guess I'm just at the point where im not really looking over a WAR spreadsheet to see who should get into the hall. If you were near the very best at your position for a long time and someone wants to put you in the hall, more power to you.

Hoffman was worth about the same amount of fwar as Brad Penny so its hard to argue against keeping him out of the hall, but it doesnt hurt my feelings if he gets in and david wright, who had twice as much fwar, doesnt.
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby OleMissCub » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:27 pm

IMB, as a journalist yourself, would you agree that baseball writers are among the most intolerable of all journalists?
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby big ball chunky time » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:31 pm

OleMissCub wrote:IMB, as a journalist yourself, would you agree that baseball writers are among the most intolerable of all journalists?


Dude it's hard to even go down to the local level and find a preps writer who doesn't take himself more seriously than journalists in DC. It's unbearable.
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby CubinNY » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:55 pm

OleMissCub wrote:Just listened to Jonah Keri on a podcast and I think he made a pretty compelling argument that relief pitchers shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame. I hadn't ever really given it much thought until then.

He states that relief pitchers are essentially glorified pinch hitters and are just situational specialists. He goes on to say that you just can't effect the game enough over a career when you pitch 75 innings a year for 10 or 12 pitches at a time with typically the bases empty and a multi-run lead. He states that their overall value as compared to other Hall of Fame members is laughable. He uses the example of whether you would take Manny Ramirez in his prime or Trevor Hoffman in his prime, or even on a lesser note whether you would take Luis Gonzalez in his prime vs. Hoffman. He claims those are both no-brainers if you were a GM. He said the only relief pitcher he would probably put in the Hall of Fame is Rivera because of just how super exceptional he was over 20 years. He said he would apply that same "super exceptional specialist" tag to Edgar Martinez.

I'm not convinced but it's definitely got me thinking about it differently.

Thoughts?

WAR is a stupid stat by which to measure if someone is deserving for the HOF. It weights positions as having more intrinsic value that other positions for one thing and everyone knows defensive metrics are for horsefeathers.

Here are the full FanGraphs positional adjustments used in WAR:

Catcher: +12.5 runs (all are per 162 defensive games)
First Base: -12.5 runs
Second Base: +2.5 runs
Third Base: +2.5 runs
Shortstop: +7.5 runs
Left Field: -7.5 runs
Center Field: +2.5 runs
Right Field: -7.5 runs
Designated Hitter: -17.5 runs

BR position adjustments

Current values (per 1350 (150*9) innings played) are:

C: +9 runs
SS: +7 runs
2B: +3 runs
CF: +2.5 runs
3B: +2 runs
RF: -7 runs
LF: -7 runs
1B: -9.5 runs
DH: -15 runs

So what does that leave us with? Conventional stats, eye tests, big game heroics, leadership, and personality. Those aren't great but they beat the hell out of WAR, IN THIS CASE.

My belief is that each player should be measured by the players in their era at their position first, second, by other players in their era, and third, by players at their position in the HOF.

If you were the best or among a small group of the best position player, starting pitcher, or made some other contribution on the field like DH or relief pitcher who was among the best during the time you played, you should be considered for the HOF.

But, I'm not going to get upset about anyone being left out or added who shouldn't be in the HOF. If I were making the museum I would break the museum into halls of Eras because their is no single good way to measure.
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby David » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:00 pm

CubinNY wrote:WAR is a stupid stat by which to measure if someone is deserving for the HOF. It weights positions as having more intrinsic value that other positions for one thing

You think this is a bad thing?

and everyone knows defensive metrics are for horsefeathers.


They do?

Here are the full FanGraphs positional adjustments used in WAR:

Catcher: +12.5 runs (all are per 162 defensive games)
First Base: -12.5 runs
Second Base: +2.5 runs
Third Base: +2.5 runs
Shortstop: +7.5 runs
Left Field: -7.5 runs
Center Field: +2.5 runs
Right Field: -7.5 runs
Designated Hitter: -17.5 runs

BR position adjustments

Current values (per 1350 (150*9) innings played) are:

C: +9 runs
SS: +7 runs
2B: +3 runs
CF: +2.5 runs
3B: +2 runs
RF: -7 runs
LF: -7 runs
1B: -9.5 runs
DH: -15 runs

What is your reasoning for posting these? Do you think a DH's or 1B's offensive numbers should be looked at in the same light as those of a SS or C?
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby CubinNY » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:16 pm

David wrote:What is your reasoning for posting these? Do you think a DH's or 1B's offensive numbers should be looked at in the same light as those of a SS or C?


No. You entirely missed the point. Each position on the field might have different value in during a game, but HOF consideration is for the position that the player played vs. other in the same position in his era and of all time. No one is going to compare Ozzy Smith vs. Mike Schmidt vs. Steve Carleton and say one should be in the HOF and the others shouldn't. They are going to compare Mike Schmidt to Ron Cey and Ozzy Smith to Hubie Brooks and Steve Carleton to Andy Messersmith.
Last edited by CubinNY on Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby Tim » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:21 pm

CubinNY wrote:
David wrote:What is your reasoning for posting these? Do you think a DH's or 1B's offensive numbers should be looked at in the same light as those of a SS or C?


No. You entirely missed the point. Each position on the field might have different value in during a game, but HOF consideration is for the position that the player played vs. other in the same position in his era and of all time. No one is going to compare Ozzy Smith vs. Mike Schmidt vs. Steve Carleton and say one should be in the HOF and the others shouldn't.

So would you have 11 separate ballots (c, 1b, 2b, 3b, ss, lf, cf, rf, dh, sp, rp)? Otherwise you are having the players from different positions competing for the same votes.
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby CubinNY » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:22 pm

Tim wrote:
CubinNY wrote:
David wrote:What is your reasoning for posting these? Do you think a DH's or 1B's offensive numbers should be looked at in the same light as those of a SS or C?


No. You entirely missed the point. Each position on the field might have different value in during a game, but HOF consideration is for the position that the player played vs. other in the same position in his era and of all time. No one is going to compare Ozzy Smith vs. Mike Schmidt vs. Steve Carleton and say one should be in the HOF and the others shouldn't.

So would you have 11 separate ballots (c, 1b, 2b, 3b, ss, lf, cf, rf, dh, sp, rp)? Otherwise you are having the players from different positions competing for the same votes.

I would be fine with that.
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby David » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:37 pm

CubinNY wrote:
David wrote:What is your reasoning for posting these? Do you think a DH's or 1B's offensive numbers should be looked at in the same light as those of a SS or C?


No. You entirely missed the point. Each position on the field might have different value in during a game, but HOF consideration is for the position that the player played vs. other in the same position in his era and of all time. No one is going to compare Ozzy Smith vs. Mike Schmidt vs. Steve Carleton and say one should be in the HOF and the others shouldn't.


I'm not even going to get into the HOF stuff, because I don't really care about it and arguing over worthiness and what defines that can go a thousand different ways, but what you are saying about their statistical contributions makes no sense. And you started off by just saying it was bad because it weighs players based on position and that defensive metrics are for horsefeathers. Now you're saying it's because the HOF should be about being among the best at your position and your era, right? Is that your argument or isn't it? Do you think the HOF should be about x amount of players at each position generally making it, or do you think players do and should get credit for playing a more difficult position and hitting well while doing so?

A player who played only 1B or DH will have to hit a lot better to be viewed in the same stratosphere as ARod, Wagner, Banks...this is true whether you're talking about how it's reflected in their WAR total or how it's reflected in the perception that dictates HOF voting. If a reliever is going to make it, he probably has a really damn exceptionally strong resume. Same goes for a DH. Like really damn exceptional among the already exceptional.

And again, herein, I'm just talking about how their statistical contributions are measured and perceived. There's also the case to be made that the HOF isn't just about numbers, and that stuff like personality, leadership, and whatever else makes up their actual "fame" comes in, and I don't think that's entirely wrong. It's been handled subjectively in a lot of ways, right or wrong. I also, again, don't care that much about it. I just don't get how you think positional adjustment doesn't come into play with regard to their on field quantifiable production.
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby David » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:38 pm

CubinNY wrote:
Tim wrote:
CubinNY wrote:
No. You entirely missed the point. Each position on the field might have different value in during a game, but HOF consideration is for the position that the player played vs. other in the same position in his era and of all time. No one is going to compare Ozzy Smith vs. Mike Schmidt vs. Steve Carleton and say one should be in the HOF and the others shouldn't.

So would you have 11 separate ballots (c, 1b, 2b, 3b, ss, lf, cf, rf, dh, sp, rp)? Otherwise you are having the players from different positions competing for the same votes.

I would be fine with that.


meh, ok, fine, whatever.

(mind you, i'm only saying that because i just don't care that much about what makes a player hof worthy and if i have any opinion on it, i'm for an inclusive HOF - but if i were forced to care i'd probably have an issue with these positions all being viewed as relative equals to a degree)
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby OleMissCub » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:44 pm

I think Jonah was sorta saying that there shouldn't be a distinction between "pitchers" and "relief pitchers" regarding career value. Much in the same way that there is no distinction between a position player and a pinch hitter i.e. Matt Stairs was a situational specialist in the same way that Billy Wagner was.
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby jersey cubs fan » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:59 pm

I abhor hall of fame discussion
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby CubinNY » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:21 pm

David wrote:
CubinNY wrote:
David wrote:What is your reasoning for posting these? Do you think a DH's or 1B's offensive numbers should be looked at in the same light as those of a SS or C?


No. You entirely missed the point. Each position on the field might have different value in during a game, but HOF consideration is for the position that the player played vs. other in the same position in his era and of all time. No one is going to compare Ozzy Smith vs. Mike Schmidt vs. Steve Carleton and say one should be in the HOF and the others shouldn't.


I'm not even going to get into the HOF stuff, because I don't really care about it and arguing over worthiness and what defines that can go a thousand different ways, but what you are saying about their statistical contributions makes no sense. And you started off by just saying it was bad because it weighs players based on position and that defensive metrics are for horsefeathers. Now you're saying it's because the HOF should be about being among the best at your position and your era, right? Is that your argument or isn't it? Do you think the HOF should be about x amount of players at each position generally making it, or do you think players do and should get credit for playing a more difficult position and hitting well while doing so?

A player who played only 1B or DH will have to hit a lot better to be viewed in the same stratosphere as ARod, Wagner, Banks...this is true whether you're talking about how it's reflected in their WAR total or how it's reflected in the perception that dictates HOF voting. If a reliever is going to make it, he probably has a really damn exceptionally strong resume. Same goes for a DH. Like really damn exceptional among the already exceptional.

And again, herein, I'm just talking about how their statistical contributions are measured and perceived. There's also the case to be made that the HOF isn't just about numbers, and that stuff like personality, leadership, and whatever else makes up their actual "fame" comes in, and I don't think that's entirely wrong. It's been handled subjectively in a lot of ways, right or wrong. I also, again, don't care that much about it. I just don't get how you think positional adjustment doesn't come into play with regard to their on field quantifiable production.

You cannot make a baseball team or play a baseball game with only a SS, C, CF and pitcher. Players should not get more credit for playing one position over another when it comes to the HOF. They should be judged by the standards of the position they played.
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby CubinNY » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:25 pm

jersey cubs fan wrote:I abhor hall of fame discussion

It's not important, think of it as a debate topic.
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby TomtheBombadil » Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:36 am

jersey cubs fan wrote:I abhor hall of fame discussion


It really is the worst. Nothing about the HOF even makes sense.
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby Cubswin11 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:28 am

Pitchers suck, relief pitchers suck even more and anything involving the Hall of Fame is the suckiest bunch of sucks of who ever sucked
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby rocket » Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:53 pm

meatball take alert: i don't want a baseball hall of fame existing where mariano rivera isn't a part of it.
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby David » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:45 pm

rocket wrote:meatball take alert: i don't want a baseball hall of fame existing where mariano rivera isn't a part of it.


well i mean even the guy who said the stuff this thread is about said he'd probably put him in there so
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby Sammy Sofa » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:47 pm

Yeah, Rivera's, like, one of a tiny handful of pitchers who make the exception. Otherwise horsefeathers relievers.
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby Andy » Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:44 pm

I listened to the same podcast (Ringer MLB Show, BTW, which is populated by a bunch of former BP/FanGraphs guys if that's your thing) and thought it was interesting, too.

I'm fine with whoever gets voted in being voted in, but it did make me think that other guys would get my vote over Hoffman et al if I was in the same spot.
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby cwood218 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:46 pm

There has never and probably never will be a relief pitcher worthy of the HOF!

A relief pitcher is A FAILED STARTER.

A mediocre forth or fifth starter makes a great reliever. Hello Eric Gange and Dennis Eckersley.

If you only look at the top three starters from each team every year there are at least 90 pitchers that could do that job equal or better then the best relievers.

Anyone remember when Smoltz took a little break from starting to be one of the best relievers in the game.
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby NonProfitCow » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:52 pm

We should only let SS, CF, C and SP into the HOF. Every other position is just a failure of those.
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby sneakypower » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:45 pm

Hoffman got 74% of the vote and Billy Wagner 10%...that doesn't really make a whole lot of sense
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Re: Relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame?

Postby Splendid Splinter » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:08 pm

NonProfitCow wrote:We should only let SS, CF, C and SP into the HOF. Every other position is just a failure of those.


Heck you got some players that were converted from position to pitching and vice versa... (not sure if any of those are actually in the HOF though)
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