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Will, can you post here (or point me elsewhere) about your take on LeBron James's arm injury? I've been reading the mainstream stories and thinking "I really hope he puts that in UTK tomorrow!"
I'm curious if draft pick signing bonuses are included in the 2009 spending? Does it depend on whether it's a major league contract (e.g. Pedro Alvarez)?
While players may have "improved" in year two of a two year deal, I'd be interested to see how this compares with what they might have been expected to produce before the contract was signed. Say a player averaged 5 WARP in 2005-2007, then signed a two year deal and had WARPs of 2.5 and 3 in 2008-2009. It would look like he improved in year two, but really both years were a disappointment compared to what might have been expected by the signing club.
I also think you need to look at the contract year effect and compare how well players perform with how well they might be expected to perform. Then you could also include one year deals. Retro-PECOTA cards would be great for that!
This probably is in the level of noise, but does an AL team have a little extra incentive to acquire Halladay because it means he won't be pitching against them the remainder of the season? I imagine this is doubly true for the Yankees and Red Sox since they would still face him a bunch of times if he either stays on the Blue Jays or goes to the other AL East behemoth.
I met Christina at a Nationals ballpark event a few years ago and asked her how one goes about writing for BP. She told me that "BP is a meritocracy. If you think you have something good to say, write it up and send it to us. If it's good enough, we'll publish it." So to all the BP staff, thanks for doing this competition and giving a few of us a chance to have our voices heard. It was a huge honor and I had a lot of fun. Best of luck to the final five.
Oops. I just realized I said "wins" instead of "starts" in that last post. Definitely a mistake! That should read "...25-29 STARTS" (etc.)
You are reading the table correctly. The formatting looked fine in the comments box but it came out ugly when it posted. The top row is the year, then win ranges. Subsequent rows are the year, then number of players per team in each win range. So in 1920 there were 0.81 players per team with 25-29 wins, 0.81 with 30-32 wins, etc.
Brian, thanks for the clarification about how starts were allocated.
hotstatrat, those are good points about the distribution of starts over the years. Here are number of starts per team for pitchers in various win ranges (removing the relief appearances restriction that I used in the article):
Year 25-29 30-32 33-36 37+ Total
1920 0.81 0.81 0.88 0.75 3.25
1940 0.69 0.75 0.69 0.13 2.25
1960 0.88 0.44 1.19 0.13 2.63
1980 1.00 0.96 1.04 0.31 3.31
2000 0.73 1.13 0.87 0.00 2.73
Only one player in any of these years had 40 starts in a season (Pete Alexander, 1920). The real transition in games started came at the end of the dead-ball era. Prior to 1920 the league leader almost always had 40+ starts.
I didn't make any effort to correct for the increased length of season since 1960. I'd guess that this sneaks a few more guys onto the bottom of the list for the 1980 and 2000 samples which cancels out any increases at the top. But that's just a hunch. If anyone with a more historical perspective has thoughts, feel free to chime in.
I can't easily figure out how many days were used to play the 154 game schedules versus 162 game schedules, so I don't know if that would have any effect. My recollection is that in the days of train travel there were quite a few more double headers and off (travel) days which may have made it harder for top pitchers to exceed 35-37 starts.
Here were the instructions:
"From baseball history from the 19th or 20th centuries, pick a player, team, event, season, or issue on the subject of major league baseball, and do whatever you please with it. If you pick a player as the object of your focus, say to talk about his Hall of Fame case, or to do a Goldmanesque retrospective, do *not* pick an active player."
I don't speak Spanish, so Vlad would have been hard to interview! I actually did try to call some front offices, but unfortunately last week was the draft so everyone was *pretty* busy.
For the record, my initial BP Idol entry was the first baseball article I had ever written, other than a brief BP intern application a few years ago (still waiting for that call back). I'm definitely learning how to do this week to week.
Williams: career WARP3 = 78.9/7 best WARP3 = 57.0/JAWS = 68.0
According to Jay Jaffe's most recent look at the Hall of Fame (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=8407), the average HOF CF had 84.2/52.5/68.4
Williams is just a hair below the JAWS score for his position, but I suspect that 4 World Series titles, 4 Gold Gloves, and an .851 OPS in 121 post season games will push him in with the voters. I also think he will fare better than he might have in the past because there have never been any PED rumors (to my knowledge) about him, while so many of his contemporaries have had them.
Helton's career is obviously still ongoing, but his WARP3 scores are 56.1/46/51.1. The average HOF 1B is 75.8/48.4/62.1. Now, I'm not saying Helton can't get there, but I'm not optimistic since he's already 35. He does have 3 Gold Gloves, but a .615 OPS in only 11 career playoff games won't help him. Also, my suspicion is that HOF voters will look at his playing at Coors Field and mentally deflate his stats too much.
I thought about using JAWS or something similar, but I'm not sure how useful they are for players who still have quite a bit of career left (e.g. Soriano). Clearly they are relevant for Pedro, Piazza, Gonzalez, etc., and would be preferable to my subjective Hall of Fame likelihoods.
With no objective method I really struggled about where to put Helton, and I fully expect for people to quibble with a few of the others. But isn't that the beauty of the Hall of Fame? We all have our own opinions!
I don't know how the other finalists feel, but for me it's been a fun but terrifying experience. The vast majority of the comments are useful, even if they aren't always intended that way! I agree with hotstatrat, it is better to be a finalist and get criticized than not to have made it.
Typically top 3. So far I'm leading both leagues this year.
Just to clarify-I'm not totally punting wins, just trying to replace a 12 win/140 K innings eater with three relievers who will combine for 12 wins with a lot more Ks and better ERA/WHIP.
Mine does. Article submitted.
Apparently the Bowie Bay Sox stadium is a significant pitcher\'s park. A couple of references:
Still seems pretty crazy though.
Angels, 5/137, 12/14