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Articles Tagged Ryne Sandberg 

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January 6, 2004 12:00 am

The Class of 2004

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Jay Jaffe

With the 2004 STATLG-L Hall of Fame balloting now in the books, and the results of the BBWAA voting slated to be released this afternoon, there are few topics more prominent in baseball fans' minds than "Which players will make it to Cooperstown in 2004?" And rightfully so. Enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame is the highest honor a former-player can receive, and most fans are protective of that: a fact that has spurned countless heated debates over the years--rational, objective, and otherwise. With that being said, I thought it would interesting to see what some of Baseball Prospectus' newly updated measures of player evaluation had to say on the topic. For the uninitiated, BP's Davenport Translated Player Cards measure a player's value above replacement level for offense, defense, and pitching while adjusting for context--park effects, level of offense, era, length of season, and in Clay's own words, "the distortions caused by not having to face your own team's defense." The Davenport Cards offer the most sophisticated statistical summaries available; if you can adjust for it, it's in there. The basic currencies of the Davenport system, whether it's offense, defense, or pitching, are runs and wins, more specifically, runs above replacement level and wins above replacement level.

With the 2004 STATLG-L Hall of Fame balloting now in the books, and the results of the BBWAA voting slated to be released this afternoon, few topics are more prominent in baseball fans' minds than "Which players will make it to Cooperstown in 2004?"

And rightfully so. Enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame is the highest honor a former-player can receive, and most fans are protective of that: a fact that has spurned countless heated debates over the years--rational, objective, and otherwise.

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January 5, 2004 12:00 am

2004 Internet Hall of Fame

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Neal Traven

In this, our 13th year, the STATLG-L Internet Hall of Fame balloting demonstrates anew the uncertainties involved in trying to decide whether Player X or Player Y has the credentials to merit your vote for induction into the Hall. There were a number of intriguing questions to be answered this time around, dealing with both first-year eligibles and holdovers from last year. We recorded a total of 2363 ballots in this year's edition of the STATLG-L IHOF, appreciably less than last year's record total and even a bit lower than the number of ballots cast two years ago. I don't think we can blame this drop on the absence of a Veterans Committee ballot this year, and I won't speculate about other possible reasons for the decline. I must report, however, that I personally did less shilling for the event than I've done in previous seasons, so maybe some of the decrease can be laid at my own feet. The average number of names on a ballot was 5.83, very similar to last year's 5.96 and well above the 5.18 names per ballot a year earlier. Given the total number of ballots recorded this time, the 75% threshold was set at 1773 votes while the 5% gateway for retention on the ballot (if we, rather than the BBWAA, made that decision) came to 119 votes.

We recorded a total of 2363 ballots in this year's edition of the STATLG-L IHOF, appreciably less than last year's record total and even a bit lower than the number of ballots cast two years ago. I don't think we can blame this drop on the absence of a Veterans Committee ballot this year, and I won't speculate about other possible reasons for the decline. I must report, however, that I personally did less shilling for the event than I've done in previous seasons, so maybe some of the decrease can be laid at my own feet. The average number of names on a ballot was 5.83, very similar to last year's 5.96 and well above the 5.18 names per ballot a year earlier. Given the total number of ballots recorded this time, the 75% threshold was set at 1773 votes while the 5% gateway for retention on the ballot (if we, rather than the BBWAA, made that decision) came to 119 votes.

The most important question, as always, was whether any of the first-time candidates could garner enough votes for induction. The answer to that is a resounding yes. Heartiest congratulations to both leading vote-getter Dennis Eckersley (1940 votes, 82.1%) and Paul Molitor (1888 votes, 79.9%), who easily topped the required vote total and demonstrated that at least one kind of relief pitcher and one designated hitter belong in the STATLG-L Hall of Fame. No other first-timer got anywhere close to the goal. In fact, the only other newbie who finished ahead of any of the holdover candidates was @#$% Joe Carter (sorry, the Phillies fan in me surfaced for just a moment), whose 118 votes rounded to 5% even though it's actually a mere 4.994%.

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July 18, 2003 12:00 am

Cross Your Fingers

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Steven Goldman

In part one of this review inspired by the Mets' excision of Roberto Alomar from their midst--call it a celebration if you must--we stumbled over the desiccated remains of transactions involving Frankie Frisch, Rogers Hornsby, Eddie Collins and others on the way to a subjective ranking of the most misguided second baseman swaps in history. Part two revisits the five most self-destructive acts of abnegation by teams that had the goods but let them get away.

5. 2B Rogers Hornsby Giants to Braves for C Shanty Hogan, OF Jimmy Welsh. (January 10, 1928)

Throughout 1927, Giants manager John McGraw burbled happy noises in the direction of Rogers Hornsby. Not only did the second baseman hit .361 and lead the league in runs scored (133), but he had come only at the cost of Frankie Frisch, who was going to have to be traded anyway after jumping the team (see part one). Plus, Hornsby stepped in as manager pro tem whenever McGraw needed a day off--and he needed them with increasing frequency. McGraw had been left holding the bag when the Florida real estate bubble, a 1920s version of Tulip-mania, collapsed; plans to build McGrawland (actually "Pennant Park") near Bradenton collapsed, forever consigning Christy Mathewson Park, Bresnahan Boulevard, Merkle's Boner Avenue, and Rue de la Bugs Raymond to the Dark Realm of the Unbuilt along with Buckminster Fuller's 4D house, Albert Speer's Germania, and Disney's America and leaving he that had dreamed them deeply in debt.

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