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(Sports Illustrated)   Cool: Going into today's game being tied with Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, and Frank Robinson for an MLB record. Jim Thome: Your new career leader for walk-off home runs   (tracking.si.com) divider line 113
    More: Spiffy, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, Major League Baseball, Jim Thome, Babe Ruth, walk off, Tampa Bay Rays  
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1047 clicks; posted to Sports » on 24 Jun 2012 at 5:45 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-24 01:22:19 AM
Good on him. I hated him when he was with Cleveland, but he definitely grew on me. Definition of a guy who was never the best player in the league, but put together a phenomenal career worthy of first ballot.
 
2012-06-24 02:33:21 AM

Three Crooked Squirrels: Good on him. I hated him when he was with Cleveland, but he definitely grew on me. Definition of a guy who was never the best player in the league, but put together a phenomenal career worthy of first ballot.


I agreed with you all the up to the bolded part. I'd consider him an eventual HoF inductee.
 
2012-06-24 04:00:03 AM

Frederick: Three Crooked Squirrels: Good on him. I hated him when he was with Cleveland, but he definitely grew on me. Definition of a guy who was never the best player in the league, but put together a phenomenal career worthy of first ballot.

I agreed with you all the up to the bolded part. I'd consider him an eventual HoF inductee.


Really? Why? (Honestly curious, I don't really pay that much attention to the HoF ballots.) But I'm hard pressed to think of a player who has had as great a career, even if he never took showy titles like home runs. Unless you're taking him off first ballot because you think flash is how you get there.
 
2012-06-24 05:51:10 AM
Word up, Thome.

/damn, I miss The Dugout
 
2012-06-24 06:02:22 AM
He'shiat over 600s homers, but he's only been in 5 all star games. He pretty much is the very definition of under appreciated.
 
2012-06-24 06:03:29 AM
ahhh the sweet smell of early morning filter pwnage.
 
2012-06-24 06:21:41 AM
He was also paid a bounty of 5K for that homer. Bonus.
 
2012-06-24 06:30:31 AM
So how long until he gets busted for steroids?
 
2012-06-24 06:49:11 AM

Benevolent Misanthrope: Frederick: Three Crooked Squirrels: Good on him. I hated him when he was with Cleveland, but he definitely grew on me. Definition of a guy who was never the best player in the league, but put together a phenomenal career worthy of first ballot.

I agreed with you all the up to the bolded part. I'd consider him an eventual HoF inductee.

Really? Why? (Honestly curious, I don't really pay that much attention to the HoF ballots.) But I'm hard pressed to think of a player who has had as great a career, even if he never took showy titles like home runs. Unless you're taking him off first ballot because you think flash is how you get there.


I think he should be in the HoF -but just barely. He hasnt played defense in about 10 years and wasnt ever good at it having never earned a gold glove. And I am not a fan of "specialists" in the HoF. Relief pitchers are worth far more than sluggers and relief pitchers are finding it hard to get in.

He's a one dimensional player -slugging. He strikes out a lot. Cant run bases. Doesnt have any rings or mvp's. Dont think I'm bagging on Thome; I like him. He's a good representative for MLB. Just not first ballot. Very, VERY few make it on the first ballot.

And no, flash means squat to me. Ripken jr is the standard all should be compared to when it comes to flash.
 
2012-06-24 07:06:47 AM

Frederick: -but just barely.


He's one of only 8 players to ever hit more than 600 homers. That's a very very rare level of achievement. And Reggie Jackson made it as a first ballot hall of famer, and if he did it, Thome damn well better make it on the first ballot.
 
2012-06-24 07:24:16 AM
Thome will get a few extra votes for being one of the game's classiest individuals, too. You would have to do some serious digging to find anyone who doesn't like the guy.
 
2012-06-24 07:27:16 AM

WhyteRaven74: Frederick: -but just barely.

He's one of only 8 players to ever hit more than 600 homers. That's a very very rare level of achievement. And Reggie Jackson made it as a first ballot hall of famer, and if he did it, Thome damn well better make it on the first ballot.


Reggie was and continues to be part of the zeitgeist of baseball and the poster boy for a specific decade. Yes, Jimmy has similar stats but he was never considered the pulse of his team or city. Reggie meant more to his teams and his era than Jim ever could. That was why Reggie was a first ballot. He contributed to the game in more ways than just stats.

Don't get me wrong, HUGE Cleveland fan and I love Thome. He should be in the Hall but first ballot is rare and not based solely on stats.
 
2012-06-24 08:02:08 AM
Jimmer's mashin' some taters!
 
2012-06-24 08:34:00 AM
IT MAKES PHILOSOPHICAL JIM HIT CONTEMPLATIVE DINGERS, THAT IS FOR SURE

/JI
//JIM THOME
 
2012-06-24 08:40:05 AM

Benevolent Misanthrope: (Honestly curious, I don't really pay that much attention to the HoF ballots.)


Baseball writers are the sports equivalent of the pissy little 14-year-old girls in the small clique that have a list of every guy and how datebale they are. They biatch and moan about how no one should ever be a unanimous choice - someone had to vote against Nolan Ryan, for crying out loud. They take everything so seriously, as if it were deliberations on a nuclear arms summit.

Occasionally, they do something very controversial and get it right - such as shunning McGuire and Sosa. But their grossly over-inflated collective sense of self worth is laughable.
 
2012-06-24 08:50:32 AM

WhyteRaven74: He'shiat over 600s homers, but he's only been in 5 all star games. He pretty much is the very definition of under appreciated.


Not in Philadelphia he wasn't. The guy has always been one of our fan favorites. Jim seems like a good 'ol blue collar kind of guy. When he was re-signed to play here this year, there was great joy in Philly. (well... as much joy as we can show anyway)
 
2012-06-24 09:05:42 AM

UNC_Samurai: Benevolent Misanthrope: (Honestly curious, I don't really pay that much attention to the HoF ballots.)

Baseball writers are the sports equivalent of the pissy little 14-year-old girls in the small clique that have a list of every guy and how datebale they are. They biatch and moan about how no one should ever be a unanimous choice - someone had to vote against Nolan Ryan, for crying out loud. They take everything so seriously, as if it were deliberations on a nuclear arms summit.

Occasionally, they do something very controversial and get it right - such as shunning McGuire and Sosa. But their grossly over-inflated collective sense of self worth is laughable.


Agreed. You can almost bank on Thome being a second ballot hall of famer. He doesn't deserve to have to wait an extra year, but will have to anyway.
 
2012-06-24 09:11:27 AM

BunkyBrewman: WhyteRaven74: He'shiat over 600s homers, but he's only been in 5 all star games. He pretty much is the very definition of under appreciated.

Not in Philadelphia he wasn't. The guy has always been one of our fan favorites. Jim seems like a good 'ol blue collar kind of guy. When he was re-signed to play here this year, there was great joy in Philly. (well... as much joy as we can show anyway)


We were at the game last night and I can tell you that the Philadelphia fans were very happy when they saw he was coming up to bat. They were even happier after he hit the home run.

As soon as the game concluded, there was a graphic on the Jumbotron for Charlie Manuel's 900th win, but I didn't hear about Thome's record until this morning.
 
2012-06-24 09:34:21 AM

Frederick: I think he should be in the HoF -but just barely. He hasnt played defense in about 10 years and wasnt ever good at it having never earned a gold glove. And I am not a fan of "specialists" in the HoF. Relief pitchers are worth far more than sluggers and relief pitchers are finding it hard to get in.

He's a one dimensional player -slugging. He strikes out a lot. Cant run bases. Doesnt have any rings or mvp's. Dont think I'm bagging on Thome; I like him. He's a good representative for MLB. Just not first ballot. Very, VERY few make it on the first ballot.

And no, flash means squat to me. Ripken jr is the standard all should be compared to when it comes to flash.


He's not a specialist, he's a hitter. He had a great eye and great power - 8th all time in walks and 7th all time in home runs. Relief pitchers are having trouble getting in the HoF because there are very few who deserve it. Relief pitchers are definitely not worth far more than sluggers, that's crazy.
 
2012-06-24 09:52:04 AM
Owning the record puts Thome in some fairly revered company.
 
2012-06-24 10:21:03 AM
He couldn't have taken steroids even though half his teammates in Cleveland were busted for them.
He says "Yes, sir" and "Yes, Ma'am" and does with with a southern drawl.
Why, if you tell me he's guilty, next you'll be telling me that Elvis liked bangin' 14 year old girls.
 
2012-06-24 10:38:07 AM
Good job, Powdered Toast Man.
 
2012-06-24 10:47:27 AM
First ballot HOF. No debate needed. As for the no defense debate, it's arguable to say Reggie Jackson ever played defense after he left Oakland for New York, even though he played in RF. Thome will end his career with this record, 600+ home runs and an overall stainless image. Unless it comes out in the next few years that he did lines of coke off a male stripper's ass while Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez each took turns injecting "b-12" supplements, then I think it's safe to say he'll get 75% of the vote the first time around. At least he should.
 
2012-06-24 11:01:13 AM

Cubs300: First ballot HOF. No debate needed. As for the no defense debate, it's arguable to say Reggie Jackson ever played defense after he left Oakland for New York, even though he played in RF. Thome will end his career with this record, 600+ home runs and an overall stainless image. Unless it comes out in the next few years that he did lines of coke off a male stripper's ass while Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez each took turns injecting "b-12" supplements, then I think it's safe to say he'll get 75% of the vote the first time around. At least he should.


After hearing the effects of steroids on the peener, you have to downgrade those B-12 supplements down to B-4 supplements.

Thome got his records the right way and deserves HoF first ballot.
 
2012-06-24 11:02:26 AM
When you show up in the MVP voting about every other year for a decade and a half, you get inducted into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. That's pretty much how that works these days.

He'd be a classic "career vs. peak" argument for HoF voting, except he DID peak out leading the league in home runs... so he'd have an argument just on peak value.

Jim Thome on Baseball-Reference ^

(And since the article mentioned Jimmie Foxx among those with 12 walk-off homers, but the headline didn't: Jimmie Foxx on Baseball-Reference ^)
 
2012-06-24 11:05:31 AM

Frederick: Benevolent Misanthrope: Frederick: Three Crooked Squirrels: Good on him. I hated him when he was with Cleveland, but he definitely grew on me. Definition of a guy who was never the best player in the league, but put together a phenomenal career worthy of first ballot.

I agreed with you all the up to the bolded part. I'd consider him an eventual HoF inductee.

Really? Why? (Honestly curious, I don't really pay that much attention to the HoF ballots.) But I'm hard pressed to think of a player who has had as great a career, even if he never took showy titles like home runs. Unless you're taking him off first ballot because you think flash is how you get there.

I think he should be in the HoF -but just barely. He hasnt played defense in about 10 years and wasnt ever good at it having never earned a gold glove. And I am not a fan of "specialists" in the HoF. Relief pitchers are worth far more than sluggers and relief pitchers are finding it hard to get in.

He's a one dimensional player -slugging. He strikes out a lot. Cant run bases. Doesnt have any rings or mvp's. Dont think I'm bagging on Thome; I like him. He's a good representative for MLB. Just not first ballot. Very, VERY few make it on the first ballot.

And no, flash means squat to me. Ripken jr is the standard all should be compared to when it comes to flash.


1) Relievers are not more valuable than sluggers. Not even close
2) You know who else didn't have any rings or MVPs? Tony Gwynn, Joe Cronin, Carlton Fisk, and Arky Vaughan - all Hall of Famers
3) "He strikes out a lot. Cant run bases" - but you what he did very well (aside from hitting for a ton of power)? He got on base a whole lot. More times than Harmon Killebrew, Tony Gwynn, Willie McCovery, and Rod Carew
4) He had 32.7% of his career PA at DH- that's less than Paul Molitor (43.8%), who went in on the first ballot
 
2012-06-24 11:20:13 AM

MAYORBOB: Cubs300: First ballot HOF. No debate needed. As for the no defense debate, it's arguable to say Reggie Jackson ever played defense after he left Oakland for New York, even though he played in RF. Thome will end his career with this record, 600+ home runs and an overall stainless image. Unless it comes out in the next few years that he did lines of coke off a male stripper's ass while Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez each took turns injecting "b-12" supplements, then I think it's safe to say he'll get 75% of the vote the first time around. At least he should.

After hearing the effects of steroids on the peener, you have to downgrade those B-12 supplements down to B-4 supplements.

Thome got his records the right way and deserves HoF first ballot.


Steroids DO NOT effect the penis. They DO effect the testicles.
 
2012-06-24 11:30:03 AM
B-R's similar batters to Jim Thome:

Sammy Sosa
Frank Thomas
Mike Schmidt
Mickey Mantle
Willie McCovey
Harmon Killebrew
Fred McGriff
Manny Ramirez
Reggie Jackson
Ken Griffey Jr.

That's five Hall of Famers, two guys who will be in once their five-year retirement period is up (Junior and The Big Hurt), two guys who would be in except for juicing, and the Crime Dog, who is a borderline candidate. Thome's in.
 
2012-06-24 11:32:04 AM
Here is hoping he goes into the HOF with an Indians cap.
 
2012-06-24 11:33:00 AM

mc_madness: MAYORBOB: Cubs300: First ballot HOF. No debate needed. As for the no defense debate, it's arguable to say Reggie Jackson ever played defense after he left Oakland for New York, even though he played in RF. Thome will end his career with this record, 600+ home runs and an overall stainless image. Unless it comes out in the next few years that he did lines of coke off a male stripper's ass while Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez each took turns injecting "b-12" supplements, then I think it's safe to say he'll get 75% of the vote the first time around. At least he should.

After hearing the effects of steroids on the peener, you have to downgrade those B-12 supplements down to B-4 supplements.

Thome got his records the right way and deserves HoF first ballot.

Steroids DO NOT effect the penis. They DO effect the testicles.


Do steroids affect the testicles or effect the testicles? English, how does it work?
 
2012-06-24 11:33:34 AM

lurch_E_bean: IT MAKES PHILOSOPHICAL JIM HIT CONTEMPLATIVE DINGERS, THAT IS FOR SURE

/JI
//JIM THOME


Man, I miss Jimmer's Twitterz.
 
2012-06-24 11:37:25 AM
HE DE-SERVES IT! *CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP* :D
 
2012-06-24 11:38:43 AM

Frederick: Relief pitchers are worth far more than sluggers and relief pitchers are finding it hard to get in.


This is, without a doubt, the dumbest thing I've ever seen.
 
2012-06-24 11:56:55 AM

MAYORBOB: Cubs300: First ballot HOF. No debate needed. As for the no defense debate, it's arguable to say Reggie Jackson ever played defense after he left Oakland for New York, even though he played in RF. Thome will end his career with this record, 600+ home runs and an overall stainless image. Unless it comes out in the next few years that he did lines of coke off a male stripper's ass while Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez each took turns injecting "b-12" supplements, then I think it's safe to say he'll get 75% of the vote the first time around. At least he should.

After hearing the effects of steroids on the peener, you have to downgrade those B-12 supplements down to B-4 supplements.

Thome got his records the right way and deserves HoF first ballot.


Allegedly
 
2012-06-24 01:13:05 PM

natural316: MAYORBOB: Cubs300: First ballot HOF. No debate needed. As for the no defense debate, it's arguable to say Reggie Jackson ever played defense after he left Oakland for New York, even though he played in RF. Thome will end his career with this record, 600+ home runs and an overall stainless image. Unless it comes out in the next few years that he did lines of coke off a male stripper's ass while Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez each took turns injecting "b-12" supplements, then I think it's safe to say he'll get 75% of the vote the first time around. At least he should.

After hearing the effects of steroids on the peener, you have to downgrade those B-12 supplements down to B-4 supplements.

Thome got his records the right way and deserves HoF first ballot.

Allegedly


Exactly. It's completely nuts to me how people still play the certainty game on who used or not. The same thing was same about A-Rod and how people couldn't wait for the "clean" HR record. But if you put a gun to my head and told me to pick if Thome used or not, I'd go with no.

Also, I never got the first ballot HOF thing. Either you're a hall of famer or not. I find it insulting that a voter would not vote for guy on the first ballot just because of that supposed extra prestige that goes with it. The only reason a guy should get left out like that are if there are more deserving guys ahead of you that should get in, like we've seen in football in recent years. Thome should go in whenever he's eligible.
 
2012-06-24 01:20:16 PM

coolio mack: natural316: MAYORBOB: Cubs300: First ballot HOF. No debate needed. As for the no defense debate, it's arguable to say Reggie Jackson ever played defense after he left Oakland for New York, even though he played in RF. Thome will end his career with this record, 600+ home runs and an overall stainless image. Unless it comes out in the next few years that he did lines of coke off a male stripper's ass while Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez each took turns injecting "b-12" supplements, then I think it's safe to say he'll get 75% of the vote the first time around. At least he should.

After hearing the effects of steroids on the peener, you have to downgrade those B-12 supplements down to B-4 supplements.

Thome got his records the right way and deserves HoF first ballot.

Allegedly

Exactly. It's completely nuts to me how people still play the certainty game on who used or not. The same thing was same about A-Rod and how people couldn't wait for the "clean" HR record. But if you put a gun to my head and told me to pick if Thome used or not, I'd go with no.

Also, I never got the first ballot HOF thing. Either you're a hall of famer or not. I find it insulting that a voter would not vote for guy on the first ballot just because of that supposed extra prestige that goes with it. The only reason a guy should get left out like that are if there are more deserving guys ahead of you that should get in, like we've seen in football in recent years. Thome should go in whenever he's eligible.


First ballot is first ballot and should go to someone whose accomplishments on and off the field fully warrant him being inducted the first year of eligibility. No extra money, just another accolade to describe a former player at all future old timer games and in his obit. The thing is, most who are inducted aren't inducted on the first ballot; many have to wait for years. One player (I honestly forget who) commented on the fact that he finally got enough votes his fifth or six year of eligibility to be inducted said something along the lines of, "yeah, it was amazing how much my play improved from the year before to now."

As for the certainty of Thome not juicing -- there has never been a whiff of controversy on that issue. The same goes for Junior Griffey and Frank Thomas.
 
2012-06-24 01:23:07 PM

DeWayne Mann: Frederick: Relief pitchers are worth far more than sluggers and relief pitchers are finding it hard to get in.

This is, without a doubt, the dumbest thing I've ever seen.


I just went to post this exact thing, only to see that the master has chimed in.
 
2012-06-24 01:49:00 PM
I'm a big Thome fan, but to say that it's unpossible that he did steriods, look at these two images:

Rookie, 1991:
3.bp.blogspot.com

Year unknown, but still with Cleveland:
3.bp.blogspot.com

Is it possible that a 6'4" guy who is thin becomes built like a Coke machine through hard work and hours in the weight room? Sure, but a more likely explanation is that, like a lot of others in the 90's, he was juicing.
 
2012-06-24 01:51:25 PM

You're the jerk... jerk: DeWayne Mann: Frederick: Relief pitchers are worth far more than sluggers and relief pitchers are finding it hard to get in.

This is, without a doubt, the dumbest thing I've ever seen.

I just went to post this exact thing, only to see that the master has chimed in.


The master, eh? Hmmmm...

I actually went & checked. There are basically only two ways his claim makes sense:

1. Use WPA, only use outstanding relievers and/or
2. Take "sluggers" to mean guys like Pete Incaviglia or Dave Kingman...guys with high SLGs but low OBPs.

The latter clearly has nothing to do with Thome, so we'll ignore that for the most part.

As for WPA: Mariano Rivera is clearly a freak of nature. His WPA (as a reliever, removing his starts in his rookie year) is around 55. The next highest, all time, is Trevor Hoffman at 32. We then have Goose Gossage at 31, Billy Wagner at 28.78, etc etc. Let's say a good reliever is worth ~30 WPA.

Jim Thome is at 50. So, no, he doesn't beat Mo, but he beats any other reliever you can name...by a lot.

Some other random folks (rounded to the nearest integer):

Ortiz: 35
Giambi: 47
Kingman: 10
Incaviglia: -2 (told you he had nothing to do with Thome)
Edgar Martinez: 45
Sosa: 25
Canseco: 27
Adam Dunn: 22
Barry Bonds: 127
McGwire: 54

Ok, I'm bored now. Yeah, the best relievers have higher WPAs than some "sluggers", but it's hard to say it's "far more." And ANY other way of looking at it leans towards "sluggers" by so, so much. The relievers just get a bunch of credit in WPA for only pitching in high leverage situations.
 
2012-06-24 02:03:29 PM
'RE
 
2012-06-24 02:04:12 PM

lacrossestar83: 'RE


fark, nevermind. i read it wrong.

/where's my coffee?
 
2012-06-24 02:26:46 PM

MAYORBOB: As for the certainty of Thome not juicing -- there has never been a whiff of controversy on that issue. The same goes for Junior Griffey and Frank Thomas.


The same also went for A-Rod, Manny and Braun. And Mota. And the dude on the Phillies who just got banned 50 games.

The vast majority of players in the 90s were juicing, and I find it hard to believe a guy could go from 6'4 with a thin frame to 6'4 and built like an Abrams tank in that same era while being clean. And that he was also outplaying the vast majority of players who were juicing while being clean.

If you believe Thome was clean his whole career, I have some beach front property to sell you.

That said, he should be a first ballot HOFer and is a class act on and off the field.
 
2012-06-24 03:52:13 PM
As a Twins fan, this makes me happy
 
2012-06-24 03:55:04 PM
We here in Cleveland miss you Thome. We always had fun thinking up new ways to pronounce your name.

/Hope he goes in as an Indian.
//Knows it probably wont happen.
///Sigh...maybe next year, boys.
 
2012-06-24 04:02:41 PM

Disciple_of_Trogdor: /Hope he goes in as an Indian.
//Knows it probably wont happen.


...why wouldn't he? Or, to put it another way, which hat do you think he would wear?

(Remember that the HALL decides, though the player gets some input)
 
2012-06-24 04:14:02 PM

DeWayne Mann: You're the jerk... jerk: DeWayne Mann: Frederick: Relief pitchers are worth far more than sluggers and relief pitchers are finding it hard to get in.

This is, without a doubt, the dumbest thing I've ever seen.

I just went to post this exact thing, only to see that the master has chimed in.

The master, eh? Hmmmm...

I actually went & checked. There are basically only two ways his claim makes sense:

1. Use WPA, only use outstanding relievers and/or
2. Take "sluggers" to mean guys like Pete Incaviglia or Dave Kingman...guys with high SLGs but low OBPs.

The latter clearly has nothing to do with Thome, so we'll ignore that for the most part.

As for WPA: Mariano Rivera is clearly a freak of nature. His WPA (as a reliever, removing his starts in his rookie year) is around 55. The next highest, all time, is Trevor Hoffman at 32. We then have Goose Gossage at 31, Billy Wagner at 28.78, etc etc. Let's say a good reliever is worth ~30 WPA.

Jim Thome is at 50. So, no, he doesn't beat Mo, but he beats any other reliever you can name...by a lot.

Some other random folks (rounded to the nearest integer):

Ortiz: 35
Giambi: 47
Kingman: 10
Incaviglia: -2 (told you he had nothing to do with Thome)
Edgar Martinez: 45
Sosa: 25
Canseco: 27
Adam Dunn: 22
Barry Bonds: 127
McGwire: 54

Ok, I'm bored now. Yeah, the best relievers have higher WPAs than some "sluggers", but it's hard to say it's "far more." And ANY other way of looking at it leans towards "sluggers" by so, so much. The relievers just get a bunch of credit in WPA for only pitching in high leverage situations.


This is actually one of my criticisms of WPA is that it over values relievers. Without a defensive component or measuring the individual skill of the opposition (this may have been corrected but the original incarnation used simple win expectancy numbers).

Good that the take away is that Rivera, a failed starter, is better than some pretty good position players.
 
2012-06-24 04:38:32 PM

You're the jerk... jerk: This is actually one of my criticisms of WPA is that it over values relievers. Without a defensive component or measuring the individual skill of the opposition (this may have been corrected but the original incarnation used simple win expectancy numbers).

Good that the take away is that Rivera, a failed starter, is better than some pretty good position players.


WPA is a very good stat for what it does (it does, of course, need a defensive component, except that opens a whole bottle of problems)...and absolutely worthless for anything else.

But I don't necessarily think it overvalues relievers. In general, if a reliever does his job, he'll only gain a little WPA each game. And if he fails in his job, he tends to lose quite a lot. You have to pitch for a long time and be very good to even start to be comparable to anyone else. That's sort of what we'd want from such a stat.

I mean, take Jesse Orosco. He pitched forever and was pretty good (but not VERY good)...and his WPA is 12. Take Eric Gagne: he was considered by some to be the best closer ever for a couple of years there, but his career was fairly short. 16 as a reliever.

I think the slightly more critical argument (and it is related) is that WPA UNDERVALUES starters. A pitcher who throws a perfect game every time out will have a lower WPA if he has a good offense. That's weird enough, but here's the strange part: he'll have a lower WPA if his offense scores more early than if they score late. Even in a 1-0 game, the earlier the winning team scores, the lower their SP's WPA. It plays into those BS "pitch to the score" arguments that Jack Morris fans love to use (except WPA doesn't really love Morris either...14 WPA).

WPA is great for figuring out the MVP of a game or a short series. But other than that...it's more of a curiosity. Though, despite my previous paragraph, it's far, FAR better than pitcher win/loss record, while playing a similar role.
 
2012-06-24 04:40:48 PM

WhyteRaven74: Frederick: -but just barely.

He's one of only 8 players to ever hit more than 600 homers. That's a very very rare level of achievement. And Reggie Jackson made it as a first ballot hall of famer, and if he did it, Thome damn well better make it on the first ballot.


There is no comparison between RJ and Thome. Thome is a clutch hitter, RJ is a clutch hitter in the world series. RJ also was an actual fielder.

you have pee hands: He's not a specialist, he's a hitter. He had a great eye and great power - 8th all time in walks and 7th all time in home runs. Relief pitchers are having trouble getting in the HoF because there are very few who deserve it. Relief pitchers are definitely not worth far more than sluggers, that's crazy.


Thome is a specialist. He's a slugger, not a hitter. There is a difference. And he is average at best in the field.

Rex_Banner: 1) Relievers are not more valuable than sluggers. Not even close
2) You know who else didn't have any rings or MVPs? Tony Gwynn, Joe Cronin, Carlton Fisk, and Arky Vaughan - all Hall of Famers
3) "He strikes out a lot. Cant run bases" - but you what he did very well (aside from hitting for a ton of power)? He got on base a whole lot. More times than Harmon Killebrew, Tony Gwynn, Willie McCovery, and Rod Carew
4) He had 32.7% of his career PA at DH- that's less than Paul Molitor (43.8%), who went in on the first ballot


Thome played on one side of the ball. Those other players you mention were much better fielders than Thome.

DeWayne Mann: Frederick: Relief pitchers are worth far more than sluggers and relief pitchers are finding it hard to get in.

This is, without a doubt, the dumbest thing I've ever seen.


Sluggers are a dime a dozen. Every team has several DH's but only one closer. Compare contracts of relievers to DH's. If that is "the dumbest thing you've ever heard" you must not listen to, or know much baseball.

Relievers are more valuable than DH's (sluggers).

Also this walk-off HR stat is a silly statistic. It necessarily means the team you play for trails a lot in the 9th inning. Not something you really wanna "own".

Again -I like Thome. But he is not a first ballot guy, and is arguable for even getting in at all.
 
2012-06-24 04:45:29 PM

UNC_Samurai: Benevolent Misanthrope: (Honestly curious, I don't really pay that much attention to the HoF ballots.)

Baseball writers are the sports equivalent of the pissy little 14-year-old girls in the small clique that have a list of every guy and how datebale they are. They biatch and moan about how no one should ever be a unanimous choice - someone had to vote against Nolan Ryan, for crying out loud. They take everything so seriously, as if it were deliberations on a nuclear arms summit.

Occasionally, they do something very controversial and get it right - such as shunning McGuire and Sosa. But their grossly over-inflated collective sense of self worth is laughable.


How are they shunning Sosa? The guy isn't even available for the HoF yet... I think this is gonna be his first year available.
 
2012-06-24 05:07:34 PM

Frederick: Thome is a specialist. He's a slugger, not a hitter. There is a difference.


Please, explain the difference. I can't wait.

Frederick: Thome played on one side of the ball.


I like how you quote the thing about how often he DHed, then completely ignored it.

Frederick: Sluggers are a dime a dozen. Every team has several DH's but only one closer. Compare contracts of relievers to DH's. If that is "the dumbest thing you've ever heard" you must not listen to, or know much baseball.

Relievers are more valuable than DH's (sluggers).


Someone needs to take your shovel away before you hit China.

First, terminology. Since when is "slugger" the same thing as "DH"? Since when is "reliever" the same thing as "closer"? What definition of value are you using (since it's not one that I know of)

Second, why are we using contracts to decide "value:? Are all players signed to contracts that perfectly align with their value? That seems unlikely.

But, hey, let's play your game. From ESPN

AVERAGE SALARY BY POSITION
First base $9,504,165
Third base $8,467,342
DH $7,429,245
Second base $4,898,152
Catcher $4,787,676
Outfield $4,658,677
Shortstop $4,586,623
Starting Pitcher $4,579,558
Relief Pitcher $2,111,453


Now, that site seems to think relievers and closers are the same thing, so as far as you're concerned, we're done. But, just in case, I took a list of closers that appears to be from the same year (2010) and averaged 'em myself...and I got an average salary of 4.97mil.

WHOOOOOOO YOU SURE SHOWED ME.

Third, "several teams have several DHs but only one closer" is the second dumbest thing I've seen.

Look, the point is this: closers are believed important because people tend to remember 9th inning losses more than 3rd inning ones. Strike outs are believed to be significantly worse than normal outs because they look so pathetic ("couldn't even put the ball in play!"). DHs are considered "worse" than poor defensive first baseman because people don't understand how defense works. BUT NONE OF THESE BELIEFS ARE REMOTELY TRUE

So, before you go spouting off about things you don't understand, how about you do some reading and research? I can point you to a few places (many of which are mentioned in my profile if you're too ashamed to ask). You never know: you just might learn something interesting.
 
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