Thoughts on The Big Lead’s Aggregation Story and Sports Reporting

Thoughts on The Big Lead’s Aggregation Story and Sports Reporting

A few days ago, The Big Lead published a long story covering the demise of CBS Sports, the cause of which is blamed on aggregation. I don’t agree with some of the points made. I believe they misattributed some of the blame for the chaos currently going on at CBS Sports.

Before I go any further, Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports wrote up his thoughts on his own personal blog. It’s an excellent post and well worth your time. I will end up making some of the same points that Calcaterra made. However, this post isn’t just a response to The Big Lead piece, but thoughts I have on sports reporting in general.

It’s not that The Big Lead article didn’t have some good points, some of which I’ve discussed before. To be successful in the business of sports writing you need clicks. How they’re obtained is irrelevant. The sad truth is that the best way to get clicks is by writing crap. Hot takes, contrarianism, and controversialism are the best ways to make money in sports media. As the demise of Grantland demonstrated, it’s difficult to succeed on the back of quality.

The Big Lead piece focuses on aggregation, a term that I actually never heard of until I read that piece. It’s been around forever, really, long before the internet came about. TV stations and newspapers have been doing some form of aggregation for decades, probably longer. If aggregation was really what cost these journalists their jobs, its presence would’ve made it so they never would’ve had those jobs in the first place. I don’t blame reporters with being upset with the practice. However, the amount of blame that The Big Lead piece lays on aggregation’s effect on sports journalism, specifically CBS Sports, is at best disingenuous and at worst dead wrong.

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Arizona Diamondbacks Overpay for Jean Segura

Arizona Diamondbacks Overpay for Jean Segura

Yesterday it was announced that the Diamondbacks acquired Jean Segura from the Brewers for a package of prospects. SS Isan Díaz and RHP Chase Anderson will be heading to Milwaukee.

This is the third time in the past year where GM Dave Stewart and Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa have demonstrated that they do not understand player value. This is a significant overpay for a player that might not even make the team better.

Stewart discussed the trade with the media last night. There’s no nice way to put this. His comments were embarrassing for a major league GM. Here are a few quotes:

“After losing Ender Inciarte, we had a little bit of discomfort about where we were offensively.”

We have over 1,000 PA that tells us that Inciarte is nothing more than a league-average hitter. A corner outfielder with a mediocre OBP who doesn’t hit for power is not a good thing. Inciarte is a good player, but his value comes from his defense. Furthermore, the Diamondbacks absolutely could’ve avoided trading him.

“Jean Segura is a guy we can hit at the top of the order if we chose to, and with the opportunity to make a move like that, we felt we would do it… [Segura gives us] the ability to add a little more offense, to give us a top of the line-up hitter and speed, and Segura is a good defensive player.”

Other than the speed, none of that describes Segura. He was great for the first half of 2013 and has been terrible ever since. From the second half of 2013 to now, Segura has hit .250/.282/.328, which is worth a paltry 63 wRC+. The guy whom Segura would presumably be replacing, Nick Ahmed, has a career 62 wRC+. Steamer projects him to be a true-talent 68 wRC+ player in 2016. Unlike Ahmed, Segura doesn’t make up for his lack of offense with his glove. He’s at best a fringe-average defender, while Ahmed is at least a 70 defender.

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Ken Griffey Jr., Jim Edmonds, and Hall of Fame Reaction (Yeah, I know it’s late)

Ken Griffey Jr., Jim Edmonds, and Hall of Fame Reaction (Yeah, I know it’s late)

Griffey vs. Edmonds

As you are probably aware of, Ken Griffey Jr. broke the record for percentage of Hall of Fame votes while Jim Edmonds fell off the ballot entirely. Within a day of the announcement, Beyond the Boxscore tweeted a couple of fun facts:

Please understand that it was not the intention of the good people at Beyond the Boxscore to imply that Edmonds was just as good as Griffey. He certainly wasn’t and they know that. They were just trying to make a point. It’s a good one too.

It’s stunning that Edmonds and Griffey were equal offensively for their careers. The fact that Griffey played five more seasons and had 3,324 more plate appearances is an important caveat, but is overblown.

Longevity is certainly a factor in determining Hall of Fame candidacy, but it’s secondary to assessing a player’s value for his peak and career. Rusty Staub, Harold Baines, and Jim Kaat are a few examples of players with extremely long careers who are absolutely not Hall of Famers. They were good players for a long time, but their peaks and careers fall well short of the Hall of Fame standard. Dick Allen has a better case than those three and he played in over 1,000 fewer games than Staub and Baines!

Some players’ longevity is inflated from hanging on too long. Dave Winfield, Craig Biggio, and Willie Mays are a few examples of players who hung around too long. Pete Rose and Omar Vizquel1 were terrible for the last six or seven years of their career. Ken Griffey Jr. is the most extreme example of this.

As I mentioned in my fake Hall of Fame ballot, Griffey had a unique career for reasons beyond the obvious. He played 22 seasons and he stunk for almost half of it. Just flat-out stunk. He accumulated 83.6 WAR and 91% of that was in the first half of his career. He struggled with injuries from 2002-2004, playing only 206 games over that time period. He probably should’ve retired after three seasons of not being able to stay on the field and being 34 years old. At the very least he should’ve retired after 2006, but held on for four more seasons. Personally, I would’ve looked at his career more favorably had he retired sometime in that 2002-2004 period.

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New York Mets Re-Sign Yoenis Céspedes Without Killing Me

New York Mets Re-Sign Yoenis Céspedes Without Killing Me

It was announced yesterday morning after rumors had been flying around for days that Yoenis Céspedes is returning to the Mets on a 3-year, $75 million deal. Despite the high AAV, that’s surprisingly team-friendly. The opt-out after one year works in the team’s favor, too.

The deal is also Luis-friendly. As a lifelong Mets fan, I wanted no part of Céspedes for the deal I believed he was going to command. I thought he’d get at least twice the amount of dollars and years. The fact of the matter is that the Mets are set at the corners with Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson, and Céspedes is a poor center fielder.

Céspedes famously had a monster last two months of the season with the Mets, and as a result has been overly credited with being the reason the team won the division. That is a narrative that is completely unsupported by the facts. The Mets were two games back when they acquired him and ended up winning the division by seven games. As good as Céspedes was, his two months on the team was not worth 9 WAR. Such a two-month stretch would make 2001 Barry Bonds look like a scrub.

The Mets outstanding final two months of the season was the product of several of their players overperforming against weak competition. Céspedes himself had a very high 23% HR/FB in that time, which is over 10 percentage points higher that his career rate going into 2015! That’s obviously unsustainable.

As I mentioned already, the Mets didn’t exactly win the NL East by the skin of their teeth. They won by seven games. Winning the division by that much means that the team could’ve replaced Céspedes with Terry Collins and they still would’ve won the division.

The popular sentiment among Mets fans is that acquiring Céspedes inspired the rest of the team to play better, or something to that effect. People are free to believe whatever they want, but there’s no proof of that. The weak competition they faced combined with the imploding Washington Nationals is a much more reasonable explanation.

It was a career season for Céspedes, and he would’ve certainly gotten down-ballot votes for MVP had he played the entire season in either league. His 6.3 WAR was the highest of his career by two wins. His offense was inflated by some BABIP and HR/FB help. His strikeout and walk rates were basically in line with his career rates. He’s still a good baserunner, but his defense will be more of a liability than an asset since he’s likely to get the bulk of his playing time in center field. It is highly unlikely that we’ll see 2015 Yoenis Céspedes again.

ZiPS is the most optimistic of the projections systems I’ve seen on Céspedes, and it has him at 4.4 WAR1. However, that was done before the Mets re-signed him, and therefore assumes he’d get the bulk of his starts in a corner outfield spot. You can probably shave at least half a win off that projection with him in center, with the downside of a full win lower.

This is why Céspedes is less valuable to the Mets than to any other competitive team. There are quite a few teams with needs for a corner outfielder for whom he would’ve returned much more value, even at significantly higher dollars and years. At the beginning of the offseason, this would’ve described the Angels, Orioles, Tigers, and Royals2, and that’s just off the top of my head. Even the Nationals would’ve benefited more as they could have tried Bryce Harper in center.

It’s very difficult to project how much of an upgrade Céspedes will be for the Mets. For the teams I mentioned above, I would’ve said 3-4 wins. It depends on how often Céspedes plays in center and how often he platoons with Conforto or Granderson. Making things even harder is that Céspedes will be replacing Juan Lagares in center field. I’m sure I don’t have to convince anybody of the offensive superiority of Céspedes over Lagares. However, Lagares is an elite defensive center fielder, and Céspedes can most optimistically be described as fringe-average. Remember, by WAR, Lagares was almost as good in 2014 as Céspedes was in 2015. Defense matters.

Because of the variability of defensive metrics, projecting Céspedes over Lagares is less of an estimate and more of a guess. The projections out there will tell you that he’ll be as much as a 3-win upgrade and as little as 1 win. If the error bars were included in those projections, they’d be the equivalent of ¯_(ツ)_/¯. At $27.5 million for 2016, the Mets are going to need Céspedes to be closer to the 3-win upgrade.

The reason why I’m not killing my Mets for bringing back Céspedes is because the deal mitigates a lot of the risk involved in bringing him back. As I’ve already mentioned, he’s 30 years old and his center field defense is highly suspect. The one-year opt-out is what makes this so good. Barring injury, Céspedes will certainly opt-out, even if he has a normal Céspedes season. He will definitely do better than the $47.6 million that will be left on his deal, especially in what will be a relatively weak free agent market.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my Mets were actually smart. For all the crap that Mets fans were giving the Wilpons for not opening up their wallets for Céspedes, bringing him back on a bigger deal, or even the current one sans the opt-out, would’ve been a foolish move. Mets fans have every right to be frustrated with the Wilpons’ austerity, especially after winning the pennant. However, that doesn’t mean that teams should be making bad baseball moves to pacify their fans. A five or six-year deal could’ve started looking bad in year three, and the opportunity cost would force the Wilpons to be cheaper than ever.

I want the Wilpons to break the bank as much as any other Mets fans, but I want them to do it for the right player. Céspedes is not the right player. They do deserve a ton of credit for bringing him back on a low-risk deal. Even if he underperforms, the good PR this will garner is worth something, not to mention all the Céspedes-related merchandise that the Mets are going to sell.

One thing I find to be very interesting is just how much trouble Céspedes had finding the deal that he wanted. Even the 5-year deal the Nationals were rumored to have offered him wasn’t good enough, which is why he chose to return to somewhere that he was comfortable to try again after the 2016 season. For all the conventional knowledge on the importance of a contract year, Céspedes having his best year going into free agency didn’t help him at all.

It could just be an anomaly. Jon Lester had his best season by ERA in 2014 and rode it to a contract that was significantly higher than his track record would’ve predicted. Lester naturally regressed in 2015, but was still a good pitcher. It’s possible that front offices are getting smarter about this sort of thing, and are starting to understand the follies of recency bias. A player is what his track record says he is, not what a great outlier season says he is. It appears that front offices interested in Céspedes knew this. They smartly refused to pay a 4-WAR player the same amount of money that a 6-WAR player would garner. There’s no reason to believe that Céspedes isn’t the same .263/.316/.464 player he was going into 2015. He’s also coming off a season with the lowest walk rate of his career, and he was never much of a walker to begin with.

The caveat to front offices getting smarter about recency bias is the fact that Ian Desmond is still unemployed. He was a consistently above-average player from 2012-2014, and would’ve continued that run had he not suffered from what can only be described as the yips early in the season. He was still worth 2 WAR.

In fact, with the gaping hole they have had a shortstop, the Mets would’ve been better off signing Desmond instead Asdrúbal Cabrera. After his struggles in 2015 and with a qualifying offer attached to him, he might have accepted even less than Céspedes, and be a bigger upgrade at shortstop than Céspedes will be in center. That might sound insane, and wouldn’t be without its risks, but I trust multi-year samples over single-year samples.

Overall, the Mets did well here. They were able to please their fans and bring back an All-Star caliber player on a low-risk, team-friendly contract. Had they signed Céspedes to the deal I thought he was going to get, this post would’ve been a largely incoherent rant of a lunatic.

 


  1. As always, a friendly reminder that projections are not predictions. They are a measure of true talent. 
  2. Still true even after bringing back Alex Gordon. Céspedes would be a big upgrade over Alex Ríos. 
Detroit Tigers Fill a Need in Left Field, Sign Justin Upton

Detroit Tigers Fill a Need in Left Field, Sign Justin Upton

After hearing almost nothing about Justin Upton this offseason, rumors intensified over the weekend. Last night, it was announced that the Detroit Tigers have signed Justin Upton to a 6-year, $132.8 million deal.

I suspected that the Tigers were going to do something more this offseason. While I approved of the Jordan Zimmermann signing, the acquisition by itself did not make a lot of sense for the team. They were in a position where they needed to go all in or blow it all up. Zimmermann by himself does not make this team competitive enough in what will certainly be a difficult AL Central. Signing Justin Upton significantly improves the team’s chances of going toe-to-toe with the Indians, the rising Twins, and the defending World Champion Royals.

After trading away Yoenis Céspedes — for a good return, mind you — and losing Rajai Davis in free agency, the Tigers had a gaping hole in left field. Upton will do a fine job at filling that need for a fair price.

Justin Upton was the first overall pick in the loaded 2005 draft. He has had a good, albeit somewhat inconsistent, career to date. That is not the career that scouts foresaw for him, unfortunately. If you asked them, they would probably tell you that they thought his 6.1 WAR 2011 season would be more the norm than the exception.

Still, as is, Upton is an All-Star caliber player who will be above-average at his worst. I expect better than that, though. Like with Jason Heyward, there is still potential in Upton’s bat, and at age 28, he can still learn to deliver 5-6 WAR seasons consistently. If he can do that, this contract will be a steal for the Tigers.

Upton does provide value in other parts of his game as well. He is not the defensive wizard that Heyward is, but he does play an above-average left field. He is coming off the best defensive season of his career, having produced 8 DRS in spacious Petco Park.

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Scott Boras is Some Kind of Sorcerer

Scott Boras is Some Kind of Sorcerer

Wow, what a Saturday morning! It was announced that the Kansas City Royals have signed Ian Kennedy to a 5-year, $70 million deal with an opt-out after two seasons. Around the same time, the Baltimore Orioles announced that they have re-signed Chris Davis to a 7-year, $161 million deal.

Both players are represented by the infamous Scott Boras. He is quite unpopular among fans and teams. I can understand why teams do not like him, as he drives up payrolls more than any other agent in the game. I do not see why fans have a problem with him. He is just doing his job. Yes, he says ridiculous things sometimes, but you have to remember that he is an advocate for his clients. His job is to get as much money as he can for the players whom he represents. How his monster contracts affects teams is none of his concern, nor should it be.

These are not the biggest contracts that Boras has ever gotten, but they do represent some of his most impressive work. I would not have projected Kennedy and Davis to get anywhere near the what they ended up getting in both dollars and years.

Ian Kennedy can best be described right now as a fifth-starter. He has had an RA9 over 5.00 in two of the last three seasons. Oh, and over two of those seasons were on the Padres, who play in the most pitcher-friendly stadium in the majors. He has always been homer-prone, but a 12.6% HR/FB is especially bad. Stranger still, the majority of the home runs he gave up in the past two seasons were at home. One could say that it is a fluke, and maybe it is to some degree, but he has a track record of giving up the long ball.

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Players Who Didn’t Make My Fake 2016 Hall of Fame Ballot

If you’d like to see who I did select and how I selected them, click here.

Here I will discuss the players that didn’t make my ballot because they did not meet the Hall of Fame bar under my assessment. I won’t cover everybody, just the ones that I think are the most interesting.

Like in my last post, I will link each player’s name to an in-depth write-up by SI’s Jay Jaffe. If I were to do the same thing, this post would be 10,000 words.

Just Missed My Ballot

These players were close, but ultimately I felt that they did not meet the Hall standard. There is obviously some subjectivity behind where you place that line. Because of that, and how close I believe they are, I have no problem if they ever get inducted. If you feel that there’s something I’m completely missing, please feel free to share.

Jeff Kent

  • 17 seasons, .290/.356/.500, 123 wRC+
  • Best seven seasons combine for a 137 wRC+
  • 377 HR is the most ever by a 2nd baseman
  • Career .500 SLG is the 2nd highest ever by a 2nd baseman
  • Postseason track record of .276/.340/.500 with 9 HR in 189 PA
  • 55.2 WAR/ 35.6 WAR7/ 45.4 JAWS
  • Ranks 18th all-time among 2nd basemen by JAWS

Kent delivered a lot of offense for a 2nd baseman. He had the most home runs ever for somebody at the position with 377, and his .500 career slugging percentage at the position is second only to the great Rogers Hornsby. That kind of power coming from a 2nd baseman makes for a good Hall of Fame case, but I believe that if you put that power in the context of the era he played in and take into account his deficiencies, he falls short of Hall worthiness.

When looking at Kent’s power, which is the biggest strength of his Hall case, you see that it didn’t truly blossom until he arrived in San Francisco in 1997. His prime came during one of the most high-powered eras for offense in baseball history. I’m not saying that what he did wasn’t impressive, especially for a 2nd baseman. What I’m saying is that context matters, and his power came at a time when it was never easier to hit for power because of the small strike zone.

When it came to fielding, Kent was a below average defender, which is unusual for a 2nd baseman making a case for the Hall. Joe Morgan, Ryne Sandberg, and Roberto Alomar were all excellent at fielding their positions. Lou Whitaker was an excellent defender and he should be in the Hall of Fame. Craig Biggio didn’t field his position as well as those guys, but he was far better than Kent.

Kent’s .356 OBP, which again, is great for a 2nd baseman, is underwhelming given the era in which he played. Joe Morgan, Roberto Alomar, Lou Whitaker, and Bobby Grich all have higher OBPs than Kent, and all of them save for Alomar played in more offense suppressing eras. They were also all way better defensively. Way better.

Kent is clearly an inferior candidate to Whitaker and Grich, and neither one of them are in the Hall of Fame. However, Whitaker and Grich are worthy Hall of Famers who were not given enough credit when they were eligible.

I’m surprised that Kent doesn’t fare better in the JAWS system. When you take into account that he struggled defensively at a position where other Hall of Famers excelled, and that his offense was boosted by the era in which he played, then it starts to make more sense.

Kent only got 16.6% of the vote this time around. I’m sure he would’ve done better if not for the 10-man limit. He’s not going to get in via the writers. Because of his offense, I like his chances of getting in though the Veterans Committee.

Gary Sheffield

  • 22 seasons, .292/.393/.514, 141 wRC+
  • Best seven seasons combine for a 169 wRC+
  • 509 HR
  • 8 seasons with an OBP over .400
  • 3 seasons with a SLG over .600, 10 seasons over .500 in years he played over 100 games
  • 60.3 WAR/ 37.9 WAR7/ 49.1 JAWS
  • Ranks 23rd all-time among right fielders by JAWS

I put Sheffield on my fake ballot last year, but changed my mind this time around. This is where I erred: I failed to compare Sheffield to other right fielders historically. Right field, like center, is stacked, and includes all-time greats like Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Stan Musial. Even outside of those behemoths, Sheffield doesn’t compare well to other right fielders historically1.

Offensively, Sheffield does compare quite well among right fielders. His wRC+ ranks eighth all-time among right fielders with at least 7,000 PA. What kills his Hall of Fame candidacy is his defense. He was absolutely terrible, and it took a huge chunk out of his value. His -28.6 dWAR is second-worst only to Adam Dunn among players who primarily played in a corner outfield spot.

The Hall of Fame has its fair share of shoddy fielders who raked, but Sheffield is an extreme case. His dWAR is even worse than that of Frank Thomas! That’s the biggest reason why he doesn’t rate very well historically by JAWS.

Sheffield only got 11.6% of the vote. Like Kent, I’m sure the 10-man limit is hurting him. Unfortunately, what is likely hurting him more are the steroids suspicions.

Sammy Sosa

  • 18 seasons, .273/.344/.534, 124 wRC+
  • Best seven seasons combine for a 150 wRC+
  • 609 HR
  • Hit over 60 HR in a season three times
  • 58.4 WAR/ 43.7 WAR7/ 51 JAWS
  • Ranks 17th all-time among right fielders by JAWS

My problem with Sosa is that he was kind of a one-trick pony. He was elite at hitting home runs, but couldn’t really do anything else above an average level.

You can argue that he had a Hall of Fame caliber peak. It’s more difficult to say the same thing about his career as a whole. Like with Kent, his career .344 OBP is underwhelming given the era in which he played. Coming from a lower value position like right field weakens his case even further. The effect of his OBP is evident in his career 124 wRC+. The offensive bar in right field is high for the Hall of Fame, and that just doesn’t cut it.

His defense is an interesting story. He was a plus defender before he hit his prime. When his bat peaked, his glove plummeted. Overall, his defense is a wash.

Sosa’s power was Hall of Fame caliber, but his OBP, the most important part of a player’s offense, was sub-par. He was not able to add any extra value via defense or baserunning. Also, like Kent, his power blossomed in an era when it was never easier to hit for power. He was a great player, but not a Hall of Famer.

He ranks better than Sheffield among right fielders historically, but his career as a whole falls shy of the Hall standard.

Sosa is not getting in anyway. He’s in danger of falling off the ballot, and it’s doubtful that the Veteran’s Committee puts him in.

Hall of Very Good

These are the players who do not have good Hall cases. They were great, immensely talented players. Unfortunately, they fall well short of the Hall of Fame standard.

Fred McGriff

  • 19 seasons, .284/.377/.509, 134 wRC+
  • Best seven seasons combine for a 153 wRC+
  • 493 HR
  • Twice led the league in HR
  • Very good postseason performer: .303/.385/.532 with 10 HR in 218 PA
  • 52.4 WAR/ 35.8 WAR7/ 44.1 JAWS
  • Ranks 29th all-time among 1st basemen by JAWS

The offensive bar at 1st base is incredibly high, and despite having hit 493 home runs, McGriff falls short. His offensive numbers area actually pretty low for a Hall of Fame 1st baseman. To make matters worse, McGriff was poor defensively, provided no value on the base paths, and grounded into 226 double plays. In his prime, he only had two seasons above 6 WAR and four seasons above 5 WAR.

There are some strong proponents for McGriff’s inclusion in Cooperstown, but I just don’t see it. His offensive numbers, while impressive, need to be put in the context of the era in which he played. Once you look past his home run total, his Hall case falls apart pretty quickly. McGriff isn’t going to get in via the BBWAA and I can’t see the Veteran’s Committee putting him in either.

Nomar Garciaparra

  • 14 seasons, .313/.361/.521, 124 wRC+
  • Best seven seasons combine for a 137 wRC+
  • Good defensive shortstop
  • .208 ISO is the highest ever for a player whose primary position was shortstop[^2].
  • 44.2 WAR/ 43 WAR7/ 43.6 JAWS
  • Ranks 23rd all-time among shortstops by JAWS

The greatest shortstop in Red Sox history certainly had a Hall of Fame peak. During his prime, he was a complete player and one of the best in baseball.

Unfortunately, Nomah’s career was plagued by injuries after he left Boston. He just doesn’t have the longevity and overall career numbers to merit Hall induction. It’s a shame, because had he been able to stay healthy he might’ve compared to Cal Ripken and Derek Jeter.

Nomah got more support than I thought he would, but has just fallen off the ballot. The Red Sox did put him into their own Hall of Fame, and that was well deserved.

No, Just No

Lee Smith, Billy Wagner, and Trevor Hoffman

I covered this topic extensively in my post about why relievers not named Mariano Rivera are no where even close to Hall of Famers.

I’m overall pleased with the Hall of Fame results, as the culling of a chunk of the voters seem to have improved the results. Unfortunately, for as far as the writers have come in dismissing useless stats such as pitcher record and the RBI, they still put weight in the worst stat of them all: The Save.

The fact that Hoffman got 67.3% of the vote and seems destined to get in next year or the year after is disgraceful. What’s worse is that he got 66 more votes than Schilling , and a whopping 103 more votes than Mussina. Schilling and Mussina were far more valuable to their teams than Hoffman, and with out a doubt could’ve done Hoffman’s job far, far better than he could. Hoffman, on the other hand, couldn’t even crack the starting rotation, let alone be a Hall of Fame-caliber starter.

The relievers on this ballot aren’t even that special when compared to their peers historically. Check out how they compare by WAR here. They rank behind older pitchers who pitched more innings and have Hall cases that are just as good, if not better than, the relievers on the current ballot. They just weren’t lucky enough to have pitched when the role of closer became a thing.

If you go by ERA- and FIP- among relievers with at least 900 IP, they look much better, but the pitchers who rank close to them pitched way more innings.

The electorate has made great strides in understanding player value, but this is a colossal failure. This is worse than Jack Morris. At least he was good enough to start.


I won’t be writing anything on the Veterans Committee ballot. Bill Dahlen is worthy, but the era in which he played is over-represented compared to other eras. There’s no point in revisiting that era when there are other eras with more worthy Hall of Famers who aren’t in yet. Joe Posnanski does an excellent job of discussing this here.


  1. There are also some egregious inclusions of some right fielders in the Hall of Fame, primarily from the dead-ball era and slightly after.