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Articles Tagged Steve Garvey 

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January 10, 2014 6:11 am

What Will Happen if Alex Rodriguez Appeals?

34

Eugene Freedman

If A-Rod isn't happy with the outcome of his arbitration case, will he have any recourse?

Alex Rodriguez’s attorneys have, at various times, suggested that he will challenge the outcome of his Biogenesis suspension-related grievance arbitration should he not be satisfied with the result—and that only a result of no suspension will be acceptable. (Update: Arbitrator Fredric Horowitz reduced Rodriguez's sentence, but only to 162 games. A-Rod does plan to appeal to federal court.) In a column in November, I wrote, “Courts grant great deference to labor arbitration and arbitrators under what’s referred to as the Steelworkers Trilogy, a series of cases issued by the Supreme Court in 1960.” That is true whether the case involves teamsters in Detroit or Chicago or baseball players in San Diego or New York.

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How did The Garv respond to fan chants on visiting the team he'd helped eliminate a few months earlier?

At last Saturday's Dodger Stadium shindig, we heard from Vin Scully, Logan White, and Steve Garvey. All told fascinating stories, among which were Garvey's recounting of his first game at Wrigley Field after helping to knock the Cubs out of the post-season the previous October.

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February 24, 2012 3:00 am

Prospectus Hit and Run: Big Shoes to Fill

6

Jay Jaffe

What kind of production do teams receive from players tabbed to replace superstars?

Earlier this week, Mariano Rivera arrived at the Yankees' spring training facility in Tampa, Florida, and caused a stir by strongly hinting that the 2012 season would be his final one. The 42-year-old, who has served as the Yankees’ closer since 1997, has shown no signs of slippage, with four straight seasons of ERAs under 2.00 backed by stellar peripherals—strikeout and walk rates better than his career numbers, even—and high save totals. Late last season, he surpassed Trevor Hoffman as the all-time saves leader, and with five World Series rings in hand, the only real challenge that remains is for him to convince manager Joe Girardi to allow him a cameo in center field.

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November 1, 2007 12:00 am

Schrodinger's Bat: My First Full Season

0

Dan Fox

Memories of this fan's rite of passage engender a look back at 1977 on the bases.

"This team, it all flows from me. I'm the straw that stirs the drink. Maybe I should say me and [Thurman] Munson, but he can only stir it bad."
-Attributed to Reggie Jackson in the May 1977 issue of Sport magazine.


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October 8, 2007 12:00 am

You Could Look It Up: Wrigleyville Agonies

0

Steven Goldman

You think times are tough now? Dial up the wayback machine to Orwell's year for some real pain.

This probably won't make Cubs fans feel any better, but their quick exit from the playoffs doesn't compare to the devastating loss they suffered at the hands of the San Diego Padres 23 years ago. As a result, however, the Cubs will observe the 100th anniversary of their last World Series title next year. (A team reunion seems out of the question).

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December 13, 2006 12:00 am

The Class of 2007

0

Jay Jaffe

One candidate is different from every other candidate, but that doesn't mean that the rest of the infielders on the ballot have no hope of induction. Jay uses his signature JAWS system to investigate who's worthy of Cooperstown.

This is the fourth year I've used the very self-consciously named Jaffe WARP Score system (JAWS) to examine the Hall of Fame ballot. The goal of JAWS is to identify candidates on the Hall ballot who are as good or better than the average Hall of Famer at their position, a bar set so as to avoid further diluting the quality of the institution's membership. Clay Davenport's Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP) totals are the coin of the realm for this endeavor because they normalize all performance records in major-league history to the same scoring environment, adjusting for park effects, quality of competition and length of schedule. Pitchers, hitters and fielders are thus rated above or below one consistent replacement level, making cross-era comparisons a breeze.

JAWS does not include non-statistical considerations--awards, championships, postseason performance, rap sheet, urine test results--but that's not to say they should be left by the wayside. They're just not the focus here. While I'll discuss the 800-pound elephant in the room in the context of various candidacies, I don't claim to have a solution as to how voters or fans should handle the dawn of this new era. That's an emotional issue, and JAWS isn't designed to handle emotions.

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January 20, 2006 12:00 am

Prospectus Matchups: Headed for the Hall

0

Jim Baker

Jim takes a look at some one-time sure Hall of Famers who didn't quite make it.

We're not so convinced, are we?

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December 12, 2005 12:00 am

The Class of 2006

0

Jay Jaffe

Jay Jaffe uses JAWS to look at the newly eligible hitters on this year's Hall of Fame ballot.

Clay Davenport's Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP) figures make an ideal tool for this endeavor because they normalize all performance records in major-league history to the same scoring environment, adjusting for park effects, quality of competition and length of schedule. All pitchers, hitters and fielders are thus rated above or below one consistent replacement level, making cross-era comparisons a breeze. Though non-statistical considerations--awards, championships, postseason performance--shouldn't be left by the wayside in weighing a player's Hall of Fame case, they're not the focus here.

Election to the Hall of Fame requires a player to perform both at a very high level and for a long time, so it's inappropriate to rely simply on career WARP (which for this exercise refers exclusively to the adjusted-for-all-time version, WARP3). In past years I identified each player's peak value by his best five consecutive seasons, with allowances made for seasons lost to war or injury. That choice was an admittedly arbitrary one, and for the 2006 ballot I've revised the methodology to instead use each player's best seven seasons without concern as to whether they're consecutive or not. It's a subtle change that doesn't have a huge impact, but it does require less manual labor to determine the injury and war exceptions, a welcome development from where I sit. Effectively, we're double-counting more of a player's best seasons, but given what we know about pennants added and the premium value of star talent, individual greatness can have a nonlinear effect on a team's results both in the standings and on the bottom line.

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December 16, 2004 12:00 am

The Class of 2005

0

Jay Jaffe

There are 16 position players on the Hall of Fame ballot. Jay Jaffe thinks three of them belong in Cooperstown.

These new metrics enable us to identify candidates who are as good or better than the average Hall of Famer at their position. By promoting those players for election, we can avoid further diluting the quality of the Hall's membership. Clay Davenport's Translations make an ideal tool for this endeavor because they normalize all performance records in major-league history to the same scoring environment, adjusting for park effects, quality of competition and length of schedule. All pitchers, hitters and fielders are thus rated above or below one consistent replacement level, making cross-era comparisons a breeze. Though non-statistical considerations--awards, championships, postseason performance--shouldn't be left by the wayside in weighing a player's Hall of Fame case, they're not the focus here.

Since election to the Hall of Fame requires a player to perform both at a very high level and for a long time, it's inappropriate to rely simply on career Wins Above Replacement (WARP, which for this exercise refers exclusively to the adjusted-for-all-time version. WARP3). For this process I also identified each player's peak value as determined by the player's WARP in his best five consecutive seasons (with allowances made for seasons lost to war or injury). That choice is an admittedly arbitrary one; I simply selected a peak vaue that was relatively easy to calculate and that, at five years, represented a minimum of half the career of a Hall of Famer.

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February 19, 2004 12:00 am

You Could Look It Up: 1984 Part III: Ghostbusters

0

Steven Goldman

The Kansas City Royals forgot to take their calcium; the team had more breakdowns than Zelda Fitzgerald. George Brett's knee blew out, forcing him to miss the first six weeks of the season. Frank White's leg sent him to the DL in July. There was no regular shortstop because both Onix Concepcion and U.L. Washington were hurt (though not because Washington swallowed his toothpick), leaving the position in the hands of chronic non-hitter Buddy Biancalana. Third base rested in the hands of veteran understudy Greg Pryor. Propelled by a 4-for-37 May, Pryor posted a .301 OBP and .356 SLG, a far cry from what Brett would have provided. Then there was Willie Wilson's drug-enforced vacation, which left the team with an ugly outfield of Darryl Motley, Pat Sheridan, and Butch Davis. Only Steve Balboni remained to carry the offense. Balboni, a 27-year-old rookie first baseman/four-time minor league home run champion, had been buried at Triple-A Columbus by the Yankees because (a) he wasn't an expensive free agent (b) he struck out a lot, and (c) he had been lapped by a prospect named Don Mattingly. The Royals had liberated him from New York the previous December by dealing reliever Mike Armstrong and catcher Duane Dewey, one of the more perspicacious trades in team history. What the Royals lacked in positional depth they made up for in young pitching. At season's outset, Kansas City envisioned its top four starters as Paul Splittorff (37), Larry Gura (36), Dennis Leonard (33), and Bud Black (27, and excellent). The best plans of mice and men quickly ran into the Grim Reaper of Old Pitchers: Splittorff was battered in three starts and summarily retired; Leonard missed the entire season with a knee injury; Gura started well then declined precipitously over the balance of the season. After 10 starts, Gura sported a 3.59 ERA. He allowed 70 runs over his next 101 innings and was yanked from the rotation. Necessity being the mother of invention, the Royals deployed their every pitching prospect, in the process creating the pitching staff that would get them to the World Series just a year later. The new rotation retained Black, who was pitching his way to a 257-inning/3.12 ERA season (league ERA, 4.00), and added Charlie Leibrandt (unestablished at 27 and freshly returned from a year's exile at Omaha), Danny Jackson (22), Mark Gubicza (21), and Bret Saberhagen (20). Though not all of them were consistently successful that year, Kansas City had performed one of the greatest player-development feats of all time, introducing four of the best pitchers of the era simultaneously.

This is part three of a 20th-anniversary look back to 1984, a special daily series meant to introduce You Can Look It Up, a look at baseball history, BP-style. After this trip back to the year when doves cried (again and again and again--there was no escaping Prince in 1984) wraps up with a look at those topics which would have consumed BP in that very busy election year, we'll be starting a weekly schedule, with a brand new YCLIU (pronounced YOO-KUH-LEW) appearing every Friday. Topics will mostly be derived from current events, except when there's no current event from which to derive. Nothing will be off limits in this space...except 1984.

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January 6, 2004 12:00 am

The Class of 2004

0

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

0

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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