Saturday, November 30, 2013

WARSCOR 3.1 & the 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot

I just recently rolled out WARSCOR 3.0, so why would I mention WARSCOR 3.1?  Because I made a tweak.  The tweak is so minor, in fact, that it would probably be more appropriately be called WARSCOR, but I'm not going to make so many updates (I hope) that that will be necessary.  So WARSCOR 3.1 it is.  The only change between WARSCOR 3.0 and 3.1 is multiplying by a constant at the end.  Why?  Because I think career WAR numbers have actually developed a sort of currency in the world of baseball stats today.  And WARSCORs are always lower than career WAR numbers, so it's hard to tell.  What does a "40" mean?  Well, instead of leaving it as it is, we're going to multiply everything by 1.618 at the end.  Why?  Because phi doesn't get as much love as pi, even though it's also a cool irrational number.  But also because that worked out really well as the number - it brought everything pretty well in line with what it needed to be.  So anyway, I'm now presenting all 36 candidates for the BBWAA Hall of Fame vote, as well as the 6 players on the Veterans Committee ballot (I'll put the VC nominees in italics, so you can tell them apart).  I'll post the players WARSCOR, career WAR, HOF monitor and HOF standards.  The last two of these were defined by Bill James in The Politics of Glory (also known as What Happened to the Hall of Fame?) as good measures of a candidates qualifications for the Hall of Fame.  In HOFm, 100 means (roughly) a Hall of Famer, while 120 signifies a virtual lock.  In HOFs, 45-ish is around the average HOF player, so scores around 35 or above merit consideration, while a score in the 60s signifies a virtual lock.  Without further ado, here are the candidates for the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY, for 2014:

Barry Bonds:  131.9, 162.6, 340, 76
Roger Clemens:  115.8, 139.2, 332, 73
Greg Maddux:  93.5, 104.8, 254, 70
Curt Schilling:  80.6, 80.7, 171, 46
Jeff Bagwell:  78.3, 79.6, 150, 59
Mike Mussina:  76.0, 82.7, 121, 54
Larry Walker:  72.6, 72.4, 148, 58
Frank Thomas:  71.7, 73.6, 194, 60
Alan Trammell:  70.5, 70.3, 118, 40
Edgar Martinez:  68.8, 68.1, 132, 50
Tom Glavine:  67.6, 74.0, 176, 52
Tim Raines:  67.0, 68.8, 90, 47
Craig Biggio:  66.7, 64.8, 169, 57
Rafael Palmeiro:  66.0, 71.8, 178, 57
Sammy Sosa:  65.0, 58.3, 202, 52
Mark McGwire:  64.6, 62.0, 170, 42
Mike Piazza:  64.6, 59.1, 207, 62
(Joe Torre:  57.6, 57.3, 96, 40)
Jeff Kent:  56.6, 55.0, 122, 51
Tommy John:  55.8, 62.2, 112, 44Fred McGriff:  55.2, 52.4, 100, 48
Kenny Rogers:  54.5, 51.2, 66, 29
Ted Simmons:  53.9, 50.3, 124, 44
Luis Gonzalez:  53.4, 51.2, 103, 48
Dave Parker:  50.6, 40.0, 124, 42
Don Mattingly:  50.3, 42.2, 134, 34
Jack Morris:  48.2, 43.9, 122, 39
Dave Concepcion:  44.0, 40.1, 106, 29
Moises Alou:  42.9, 39.8, 80, 44
Steve Garvey:  41.6, 37.5, 130, 32
Ray Durham:  37.7, 33.7, 64, 33
Lee Smith:  31.4, 29.3, 135, 13
Dan Quisenberry:  31.2, 24.8, 77, 19
Hideo Nomo:  29.4, 21.7, 24, 14
Paul LoDuca:  24.4, 18.0, 21, 26
Richie Sexson:  23.6, 17.8, 46, 21
Armando Benitez:  23.0, 19.2, 73, 14
Sean Casey:  22.2, 16.3, 38, 19
Mike Timlin:  21.0, 19.4, 49, 8
Jacque Jones:  16.8, 11.4, 8, 12
JT Snow:  16.8, 11.7, 16, 16
Eric Gagne:  16.3, 11.7, 46, 17
Todd Jones:  14.6, 10.4, 78, 3

Some thoughts:  WARSCOR 3.1 ranks the candidates (even the ones at the bottom of the list) within two spots of where JAWS ranks them compared to one another, with the exception of Tom Glavine.  JAWS is much more bullish on Glavine than I am, but that's only because (in my opinion), JAWS's use of a 7-year peak gives one a more favorable impression of Glavine's peak that is merited.  I thought that was kinda neat, though. ...  You may have noticed that Joe Torre is included, in spite of not being on the ballot as a player.  I thought it would be fun to include him, to see where he shook out.  By WARSCOR, he's a better bet as a player than everyone on the Vets ballot!  He should have received MUCH more consideration than he did.  It's a shame that he didn't; that being said, though, he will get in as a manager, so at least he's got that going for him. ...  Can you believe the difference between the HOFs and HOFm for Lee Smith?  CRAZY!  If you have any familiarity with those metrics, you'll know that HOFs rewards career accomplishments, while HOFm looks at a career on a season-by-season basis.  Usually, they're in pretty good agreement - but that's the most extreme difference I've ever seen.  That HOFs score is very good - first-ballot-electee kind of good - but that HOFm score is more of an off-the-ballot-with-only-one-vote-in-the-first-year kind of score.  Insane difference.  No wonder he's hovered around 50% forever - measured one way, he obviously deserves it - measured the other, he's not worth a second look.  Interesting. ...  There are eighteen (EIGHTEEN) players on the BBWAA ballot who are more qualified via WARSCOR than anyone from the VC ballot.  It's been said before, but - can you say "logjam?" ...  Did you know that the link between Bonds and steroids starts with 1999, and he played 13 seasons before that?  Did you know that Roger Clemens' association with steroids starts with his time in Toronto, and that he also played 13 seasons before that?  If you took only their first 13 seasons, Bonds would have a WARSCOR of 100.0, Clemens' would be 88.3.  They would still be the best- and third-best players on the ballot, respectively.  They will eventually get in, because a Hall of Fame without those two is a bit of a farce. ...  Did you see how close some of the WARSCOR numbers are to the career WAR numbers of some of these players?  For Schilling, Walker, Trammell, and Torre, the number is +/- 3 of their actual career WAR.  It seems to break down below 40 WAR and above 80, but when we talk borderline HOF players, we're almost always in the 40-80 range, so that's where it's most important for it to "work."  Besides, the 1.618 multiplier is pretty irrelevant - it's just to make things look more "normal" to people who are familiar with WAR, so regardless of the fact that it seems to break down a bit, you know that a player with a WARSCOR<40 a="" and="" candidate="" is="" not="" player="" really="">80 is a shoe-in.  And since it's really designed to check HOF candidacy, it's a good measure, I think. ...  WARSCOR probably underrates catchers.  The catcher-adjustment in WAR does a good job for single seasons.  But it's not really designed to compensate for the toll catching takes on a body over the course of a career.  It's quite reasonable to argue that Piazza, Torre (if you're counting him), and Simmons (also Lo Duca, but he's really a non-factor in this discussion) should rank higher.  I wouldn't quibble with someone who argued that.

I think that does it for now.  Any thoughts?

As always, thanks to for the stats!