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2019 Preseason Forecast
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|2013-02-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)||I've always heard Steve Finley comps on Dahl. Is it insane to hear a baseball prospect writer say Courtney Hawkins perfect world comp is Jim Rice?|
(Mike from Utica, NY)
|Comps can be ridiculous. I get it, Courtney Hawkins is black so let's make sure to offer up another black player as a comp. It can be very lazy, but then again, most online scouting is lazy. (Jason Parks)|
|2013-01-11 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio are both easily Top 15 players all-time at their position (and Bagwell maybe even Top 5); Schilling is one of the best RH pitchers of the last fifty years, both regular season and certainly post-season, couldn't even get 40%; Bernie Williams and Kenny Lofton, two of the best CF of the last 30 years, didn't even get enough to stay on the ballot. How broken is the system? Can it even be fixed? What would you say to someone that says that, considering there are mediocre guys that have been elected and excellent ones that have been snubbed, that the Hall of Fame has been rendered meaningless as an honor?|
(Ashitaka1110 from Houston, TX)
|I don't think the system is as broken as you suggest, by any means - one year is a small sample size by which to judge the results you mention. Bagwell and Biggio will be in very soon. I have Bernie well below the standard, and Lofton slightly below, so I can't really get too up in arms over that portion of what you wrote.
The Hall is still a pretty great honor; even if some of the wrong guys are getting in, to me it's far more worth fighting for the right guys getting in than walking away in disgust. The presence of Jim Rice or even Jack Morris in Cooperstown shouldn't ruin it for anyone. (Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame)
|2013-01-11 14:00:00 (link to chat)||When guys like Jim Rice or Andre Dawson are inducted into the Hall of Fame, does that change the standards for new players in JAWS?
There is always this argument that if a certain player gets in in, it lowers the bar. Maybe we shouldn't compare potential Hall of Famers to the lowest standard for entrance. Would there be a way to establish a new "bar" for entry?|
(Steve from Milwaukee)
|Yes, it lowers the standards ever so slightly, but that's stuff to the right side of the decimal, generally; Rice might have knocked a whole point off the standard but that's a huge rarity. So long as we're not comparing players to the well-below-average guys at the position - THIS GUY IS BETTER THAN CHICK HAFEY OR HACK WILSON OR CATFISH HUNTER SO THEREFORE SHOULD BE IN - I think we're OK.
In my series I did note the averages among the BBWAA-elected players at the position, as well as those who are above the median but not the mean (http://bit.ly/WgSH1C). I can see a small-Hall voter focusing on the highest standard there to use that as a reasonable bar. (Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame)
|2011-08-04 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Your JAWS articles are one of my favorite parts of the site. Is Catfish Hunter the most underqualified member of the HOF in recent memory? The topic was brought up on a message board recently and the consensus was that I was an idiot for thinking Hunter isn't an obvious HOFer. I was surprised at how poorly Hunter measured via WARP. He seems to have benefited a lot via his home park, the pitching version of Jim Rice, if you will, and his career ERA+ is only 105, which puts him about on par with Tim Wakefield. Actually, my quick estimate of JAWS scores has Wakefield as only 2 points worse than Hunter.|
(The Groovin' Mahoovin from Atlantic City, NJ)
|Thanks for the kind words. Hunter fares poorly on the JAWS scale because of his middling run prevention, and while he's slightly further from the standard at starting pitching than Rice is in left field, he's slightly closer in terms of peak - he was washed up at 33 years old due to injuries that may have had something to do with the problems that felled him later in life. Furthermore, he dusts Rice when it comes to the postseason, having won five World Series rings. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2011-01-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)||I certainly don't think Juan Gonzalez is a Hall of Famer but what is the difference between him and Jim Rice? (Other than that Juan Gone has more homers and a higher OPS +)|
(toanstrom from Alexandria, VA)
|For one thing, one lasted 15 ballots, the other was on his first one. Gonzalez has PED allegations attached to his name, Rice had a Boston media advocating in his favor after probably not doing as much to stand up for him during his playing days (see Howard Bryant's Shut Out for more on that topic). (Jay Jaffe)|
|2010-09-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Hey Jay ..... thanks for the chat. Have you recovered from the "5-Napkin Burger" Friday night?
Who is the current leading candidate for the "Irrational Exuberance" HOF candidacy? In other words, who might be the next Jim Rice?|
(dianagramr from NYC)
|Hey Diana! It took me awhile to recover from the 5-Napkin Burger, but maybe that was all the beer I drank trying to get through the Yanks' drawn out loss later that night.
Right now I'd have to say that it's Omar Vizquel's candidacy that leaves me cold. Keith Law wrote about it at length using JAWS numbers I supplied (http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog?name=law_keith&id=5410459). The short version is that Vizquel's defensive numbers don't measure up to the average Hall of Fame shortstop let alone those of Ozzie Smith, nor does his bat:
Ozzie Smith: 90.9 car/50.2 Pk/70.6 JAWS/.261 TAv/554 RARP/219 RAP/255 FRAA
Omar Vizquel: 47.8/27.8/37.8/.247/334/-16/84
AVG HOF SS: 70/47.9/59/.274/477/204/105 (Jay Jaffe)
|2010-01-06 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Hi Jay ... thanks for the chat. Is Edgar Martinez's run creation in the ballpark with Jim Rice's, when you take into account Rice's subpar defense in LF?
In other words, how much better must a DH be in order to make the Hall, assuming voters take defense into account?|
(dianagramr from NYC)
|If Edgar's overall production WERE the ballpark, Jim Rice's overall production would be stuck in the breakdown lane 50 miles away. It ain't even close. Edgar accumulated double Rice's WARP over the course of his career (68.9 to 34.2) and about 2.5 wins more per year at his peak. (46.4 to 28.5). I can't tell you if that will be enough for the voters because there really isn't much evidence to suggest voters DO take defense into account at all, or even that some of them think rationally about the process. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2010-01-06 13:00:00 (link to chat)||I doubt Bernie Williams will ever get in to the HOF since he was usually overlooked on those Yankee teams (never finished high in MVP voting) and so he won't "seem" like a HOF to many of these voters...but do you think he has a decent case? He had maybe 8 great years in a row and was quite possibly the most valuable player on those Yankee teams from 1994 through 2002.
At the very least, I guess with Jim Rice being in, Bernie definitely has a legit case for being in as well since he was clearly better than Jim Rice. |
(Bern Wang from email@example.com)
|Bernie's got four more World Series rings than Jim Rice, and the rest of his candidacy is hardly anything to be ashamed of. You'd be surprised what hitting .300 and playing center field for the World Champion Yankees can do for a guy's Cooperstown credentials. Not that it helped Mickey Rivers... (Jay Jaffe)|
|2010-01-06 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Do you think some of the older, Murray Chass-style writer/voters have decided that since they don't understand statistics, they're also going to ignore the candidates the stats community support? Is that a legitimate concern? |
(dcoonce from bloomington, indiana)
|Certainly, if you read some of the old guard, there's a backlash at hand. Hell, last year Peter Gammons even attacked Rob Neyer publicly over his Jim Rice anti-advocacy, which I find particularly appalling. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2009-08-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Mauer's RC/27 is a hair below Pujol's figure last season. He's 2nd in the AL in RC outright while playing catcher. Why isn't the stats community up in arms making his case (and would this actually backfire a la Jim Rice)? Thanks!|
(Tony from Brooklyn, NY)
|I've been tackling people with Mark Teixeira jerseys on the street, if that helps. The reality is that voters are going to vote how they're going to vote. I think the stats community is sick of losing these battles already. (Shawn Hoffman)|
|2009-08-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Has Jim Rice always been such a petulant baby...was he playing nice to escape the Hall of Good for the Hall of Fame? |
(kmdarcy from Portland, Oregon)
|Media coverage when I was growing up wasn't what it is now, but I always thought, back then, Rice was pretty unpopular. It remains strange that he was the subject of the post facto mythmaking that led him to the Hall. I assume his career in broadcasting was a factor, as was a bit of anti-stats backlash. I stand by the vote totals he picked up in his first few seasons: the people who saw his career and had most reason to believe the "soft factors" most rejected his candidacy. (Joe Sheehan)|
|2009-08-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Todd Helton -- Hall of Famer?|
(Dan from Boulder)
|See Jay Jaffe's piece on this today. My personal perspective is that he is and probably should be. Here's my view of park effects: Does every player who goes into Coors Field turn into Todd Helton? Does every player who goes into Fenway become Jim Rice? Taking advantage of your home park is a skill. Sure, we should take this stuff into account, but we shouldn't be totally dismissive. (Steven Goldman)|
|2009-03-30 18:30:00 (link to chat)||Jim Rice - Hall of Famer?|
(john from chicago)
|Before I answer, let me acknowledge that (a) Jim Rice was my favorite player growing up, and (b) I'm a "big Hall" kind of guy.
With that context, I disagree with what seems to be the prevailing sabermetric opinion, including here at BP, that Rice was obviously unworthy as a HOF selection. I don't think he's a no-brainer Hall of Famer, but I think he has a legitimate argument.
Rice's case is obviously one built on peak value, not career length. Also, the argument has been that he is less valuable according to sabermetric models than how he was regarded at the time. His OBP, home park, double-play totals, and positional adjustments are counterbalanced by the notion that he was the most "feared" hitter or his day. But how do you actually assess how "feared" he was, and how that reputation played out in his peak value.
I actually did some work on this back when the election was on people's minds. Rice had 6 Top 10 finishes in the MVP voting.
Among players with exactly 6 Top 10 finishes, 11 are in the HOF, 6 are active or too recent, and only 4 are not in the Hall (Vern Stephens, Dave Parker, Andres Galarraga, Fred McGriff). Even among those with just 5 such finishes, the ratio is 17 HOF, 6 not HOF, 5 active. There's a reasonable case that players with Rice-like peaks get into the Hall about 2/3rd of the time.
Of course, all of Rice's Top 10 finishes were in fact Top 5 finishes. All of the players with 6 such rankings are in the Hall (4) or obviously qualified barring PED-externalities (Frank Thomas, Albert Pujols, A-Rod). Of those with exactly 5 Top 5 MVP years, only Pete Rose and Dave Parker aren't in the Hall or active.
Sorry for taking so much time to answer this one, but I think Rice looks better through contemporary views than through a modern analytical lens, and I don't think it's silly to consider that perspective. (Keith Woolner)
|2009-03-30 18:30:00 (link to chat)||Who was your first favorite ballplayer?|
(Mike K from Athens, GA)
|As noted earlier, my favorite player growing up was Jim Rice, and he was pretty much from the beginning of my fandom. Other favorites along the way (in the non-Indians category) have been John Valentin, Pedro Martinez, and a few inexplicable choices like Gary Allenson and Joe Hesketh. My least favorite player for decades was Joe Rudi, until I made a shocking discovery (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2548). (Keith Woolner)|
|2009-01-22 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Thanks for the chat! You alluded in today's article to the difference between lamenting the inclusion of players like Jim Rice to the Hall on the one hand, and pressing for the inclusion of guys like Blyleven and Raines. Is there a pragmatic reason to focus on the latter rather than the former in the sense that the guys with the votes might be more receptive to arguments for inclusion if we don't tell them they're idiots for putting in borderline players? It also sort of seems that the history of the Hall has pretty much rendered moot the argument that only the truly elite should be enshrined . . .|
(frampton from Oakland, CA)
|There are a few things in play here. Arguing against Rice is particularly futile because his admission is a done deal. Not that it didn't stop me from mentioning some of his candidacy's shortcomings today, but my intent was more to focus on the process and its underlying patterns than on the player. Oh the other hand, arguing for Blyleven and Raines is still a worthy cause even if the battle appears to be an uphill one. Second, as contrarian as I may seem relative to the BBWAA electorate, I much prefer the positive angle of arguing for a worthy candidate than against an unworthy one.
Furthermore, in this particular case, I've had enough of bagging on Rice because as I mention, I genuinely did enjoy watching him play and I do feel like he got a raw deal in some quarters. If his admission promotes a bit of healing, so much the better. (Jay Jaffe)
|2008-12-05 14:00:00 (link to chat)||When do will you start the HOF articles? Does Rock get anymore respect this year? Is this the year Blyleven gets in?|
(spencerja78 from Indy)
|Soon, hopefully very soon on the HOF series. Tim Raines is in for another tough year because of Rickey Henderson's presence on the ballot; 3000 hits and the runs and stolen bases records make him my Lock of the Week. Blyleven may get some love, but watch out for a surge from Jim Rice, who's in his final year on the ballot and barely missed last year. I strongly advocate against Rice, but the electorate seems to think otherwise. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2008-12-05 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Ron Santo is going to get in this time, right? I feel for the guy, it actually matters to him.
Rickey Henderson, shoo-in. Jim Rice, inevitable.
Is anyone else even anywhere near possible?
(Mike from Chicago)
|Thank you for writing my entire JAWS series in a few sentences! The other guy who has a shot this yera is Andre Dawson, who polled 65.9 percent last year. Along with Rice and Blyleven, the only player not to get in after passing 50 percent is Hodges, so the odds are strong in favor of an eventual enshrinement. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2008-10-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Carlos Quentin & the 2008 White Sox World Series chances <==> Jim Rice & 1975 Red Sox World Series chances.|
(Tim from DC)
|I'll buy that. The Red Sox came pretty close even without Rice though, while the White Sox kind of left as quickly as they came in.
Lightning round time, folks, as I have some things to get done today in preparation for the upcoming series. (Marc Normandin)
|2008-10-06 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Manny: first ballot hall of famer or UNANIMOUS first ballot hall of famer? Also, do you like Bill Simmons?|
(Pete from Boston)
|No way, no how, will it be unanimous. Too many moralists married to the storylines. He should be first-ballot--my god, how many postseason records will he eventually hold?--but I really can't predict what the voting pool will so. It seems to be about everything and anything but how good you *really* were as a baseball player. C.f., Jim Rice. (Joe Sheehan)|
|2008-05-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Jay,
I was recently talking to a friend about the most "feared" hitters who are not in the Hall of Fame. I know that term was really beaten into the ground this past winter when discussing Jim Rice but still, there are some hitters that strike fear into you--either as a fan or an opposing pitcher. Who was the best and/or "most feared" hitters, in your subjective opinoin (in order): Dave Parker, Dick Allen, Darryl Strawberry, Jim Rice, Gary Sheffield, Edgar Martinez or Albert Belle?|
(AlexBelth from Bronx, NY)
|Yo, Alex! All of the hitters you mention certainly had the fear factor going for them in their prime, but as you say, that's a subjective thing, and subjectivity isn't really the way to go when it comes to sorting them out.
Neither Rice nor Parker had the plate discipline to keep them on the level with the rest of this group, so I'd put the two of them towards the back. Martinez is probably the toughest out, but lacking a bit of raw power relative to the rest of them. I'd put him and Strawberry in the middle. That leaves Allen, Shef, and Belle. Having never seen the former, I'm not sure I can fully grasp the visceral experience of watching him hit, I can only go by the numbers, and his numbers, compiled in an era of lower offense, suggest he was the best. But I'd quake in my boots at facing any of those three. (Jay Jaffe)
|2008-05-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Jay, if you could kick 5 players out of the Hall of Fame, who would they be?|
(oira61 from san francisco)
|Wow, now this is a superpower I would love to have.
Working on merit rather than subjective dislike or the silliness of being the wrong brother on the day the VC members didn't have their hearing aids turned up (as Rick Ferrell or Lloyd Waner apparently were), I'd focus on the guys who are furthest below the JAWS averages at their positions: Tommy McCarthy -65.8 in the OF, Johnny Evers -45.4 at 2B, Chick Hafey -43.6 at CF, George Kelly -42.8 at 1B, and Fred Lindstrom at -40.8. Jess Haines (-44.7) and Rube Marquard (-41.0) would qualify among the pitchers, but I could stick with ousting those hitters and be happy.
Though something tells me I should set aside a waiver to oust Jim Rice when he's elected next year. (Jay Jaffe)
|2008-02-07 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Bill James HOF book showed that about 10% of at bats have gone to hall of famers over the years other than the '20s and '30s, which were higher. This seems like a good barometer. It also seems the '80s & '90s will be lower than this. I think the bar has been raised too high, c.f. Alan Trammell and Tim Raines. Your thoughts?|
(WillMeier from Muskegon, MI)
|It does seem that the BBWAA has become more picky over the years--but then again, they've elected Tony Perez, Bruce Sutter and, next year, Jim Rice. Hard to say they're upholding a standard.
Remember that we're not dealing with complete information yet. Only players who ended their careers by 1988 have gone through a full ballot cycle. No one has been elected by the VC yet, and that system will change four more times before lunch. (Joe Sheehan)
|2008-01-22 19:00:00 (link to chat)||I haven't read the whole chat, but I assume you should apologize for what you said about Jim Rice.|
(Paul from Undisclosed)
|I haven't mentioned Mr. Rice yet, so I'll apologize in advance for what I'm about to say for those easily offended. I was a big Red Sox fan for the entire duration of Rice's career. I pulled for him to succeed as hard as anybody. I believe I am beinig objective when I say that he does not belong in the Hall of Fame. In fact, he is not even close to being a Hall of Famer. In further fact, his long-time teammate, Dwight Evans, has a MUCH stronger case for Cooperstown than he does. I'm as surprised to be writing that as you might be reading it, but take a look at the numbers. (Jim Baker)|
|2008-01-15 14:30:00 (link to chat)||Are you a Geovanny Soto believer? Mixed reviews...but seeing him live, he hits the ball hard and it sounds different coming off the bat than your normal player.|
(Jack from Chicago)
|I'm a fan. It will be fun to see what he does with a full season of at-bats. He's one of the top catchers out there if he does what I think he will, after the Big Names out front of course.
This is random, but I'd just like to state how upset I am that Tim Raines received so few votes in the Hall of Fame balloting while Jim Rice draws closer to election by the year. I really enjoyed researching the Hall of Fame and players who didn't quite make it a few years ago as I put together the Ray Lankford Wing of the Hall of Fame (so sorely in need of an update), and Rice is more in line with those second level of guys than Hall of Famers. I really don't know how to react when he gets elected next year. Ignoring Cooperstown seems silly, but letting guys who clearly aren't Hall of Famers in isn't sane either. (Marc Normandin)
|2008-01-15 14:30:00 (link to chat)||Dear Marc, why are you so Awesome. Can you quantify your Awesomeness, or is it like trying to capture time in a bottle?|
(ZTurgeon from Land of Milk and Honey)
|I'm as awesome as Jim Rice was feared in his day! Wait... (Marc Normandin)|
|2008-01-15 14:30:00 (link to chat)||Jim Rice is one more reason to hate the ever present East Coast bias. He wasn't even as good as Andre Dawson.|
(Gray from Chicago)
|I feel like every time I convince my dad that Rice isn't a Hall of Famer, some local writer messes up all of my hard work with a newspaper article. (Marc Normandin)|
|2008-01-08 14:00:00 (link to chat)||my prediction:
Rice misses by an extremely small margin.
Much, much bleating commences over the voters who submitted blanks to protest roids users, thus depriving the "deserving" pre-roids slugger.
(TomH from Lexington Park MD)
|The Goose is Loose! He gets 85.8 percent, and he's the only one who gets in on this ballot.
Rice falls just shy at 72.2 percent, setting him up for a 15th-year push.
Raines 24.3 percent. Oh is that ugly.
Player Total Votes Percentage Rich Gossage 466 85.8% Jim Rice 392 72.2% Andre Dawson 358 65.9% Bert Blyleven 336 61.9% Lee Smith 235 43.3% Jack Morris 233 42.9% Tommy John 158 29.1% Tim Raines 132 24.3% Mark McGwire 128 23.6% Alan Trammell 99 18.2% Dave Concepcion 88 16.2% Don Mattingly 86 15.8% Dave Parker 82 15.1% Dale Murphy 75 13.8% Harold Baines 28 5.2% Rod Beck 2 0.4% Travis Fryman 2 0.4% Robb Nen 2 0.4% Shawon Dunston 1 0.2% Chuck Finley 1 0.2% David Justice 1 0.2% Chuck Knoblauch 1 0.2% Todd Stottlemyre 1 0.2%
Jose Rijo 0 0% Brady Anderson 0 0% (Jay Jaffe)
|2008-01-08 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Jay, please explain to me how writers could even consider Jim Rice a more viable HoF candidate than Andre Dawson. East Coast bias is my only answer. The Hawk was in the discussion as best player during the 1980s, Rice never was. Andre Dawson was the Vlad Guerrero of his time, power, speed, canon arm...these results make me sick.|
(Gray from Chicago)
|It's a BS distinction based on the supposed Decade Of Fear in which Rice made pitchers mess themselves at the mere mention of his name. As someone (Rob Neyer?) pointed out, that decade lasted three years (1977-1979).
Rice's candidacy is a product of the inflation of his stats by Fenway and of his legend by some big-name Boston writers who probably feel more than a twinge of guilt over the shoddy reception he got in Boston during his career (read Howard Bryant's Shut Out if you want the details of that). I'm not dismissing the impact of that treatment on his career, but I don't think it's enough to elevate him. (Jay Jaffe)
|2008-01-08 14:00:00 (link to chat)||I'm having an arguement with one of the Bostonians I work with as to the misplaced Jim Rice love. I told him Dwight Evans was a better player over the course of his career than Rice. Am I right?|
(mferrin from Washington DC)
|Yes. JAWS has Evans (91.7) well ahead of Rice (69.4), and even Fred Lynn (68.3) isn't far off the pace.
OK folks, gotta take a time out to do a radio hit in San Diego (1360 AM Sports XTRA). You can listen here:
I'll be back to take one or two more questions but I'll have to run soon after. (Jay Jaffe)
|2009-10-16 13:00:00||NLCS Game Two/ALCS Game One||Toni (Oakland, CA): To, SG, fair enough. Wasn't trying to be disrespectful to other players. Honest. :) I was just thinking about some of the players from that team, which seems to be a bit lost in history due to Loma Prieta and steriods.|
I wasn't calling you out, Toni. Just giving my visceral reaction. I mean, Jim Rice got in at the last minute because he was a supposedly clean slugger, much as all of the White Sox this side of Nemo Leibold got into the Hall. You can't say that about Parker, who maybe didn't do steroids but wasn't clean, fought his weight without enthusiasm, and spent a lot of his career not hitting at the level that his position would require. (Steven Goldman)
|2009-10-16 13:00:00||NLCS Game Two/ALCS Game One||Popup city for the Dodgers.|
adambennett (MD Backgammon Tourney): Abreu for the HoF? A couple more good seasons should do it, right?
Assuming we're talking about Bobby Abreu and not Tony or Winston, he's further away from the Hall of Fame. I looked at this back in August (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=9416). By those numbers, which don't account for 2009, he was about 17 WARP short on career and a couple WARP shy on peak, but the real problem is that he's just past 2,100 hits at age 35, isn't close to 300 homers (256), has just two All-Star appearances and has never finished higher than 14th in the MVP voting. Plus there's the fact that guys who walk 80 or 100 times a year are exactly the ones who get kicked in the head by the voters, who prefer hackers like Jim Rice and Ryne Sandberg to plate disciples like Ron Santo, Tim Raines and Bobby Grich. (Jay Jaffe)
|2008-10-10 13:30:00||Friday LCS||It ain't Jim Rice... It's really a matter of opportunity, handedness, and speed, both of the batter and of the baserunner. (Steven Goldman)|