Monday, July 30, 2012

How I'm Spending My Summer Vacation

Have I talked about the Hall of Fame at all on here?  I have?  A lot, eh?  Well, guess I’m gonna keep talking about it.  Mostly because I feel strongly about it and have been emboldened by a certain idiot’s comments (check the article about Sir Reginald) and have decided to use my time off during the summer to undertake a serious challenge:

I’m going to develop a tier system for the Hall of Fame.

It’s going to be a totally useless endeavor, but I’ll enjoy it immensely.  

How it will work:

I like to do things as objectively as possible.  I enjoy debating with people about “Who’s the best catcher, Bench, Berra or Fisk”, but unless you have blinders on (looking at you Yankee and Red Sox fans), Bench is obviously the answer.  That’s how I think the HoF should work.  So, in order to be as objective as possible, I’m going to focus on Fangraphs WAR (fWAR) stat.  I chose fWAR mostly because I can filter by position and get right to the players I’m looking for in a group.  But, due to the fact WAR is a counting stat, I’m going to make it WAR/year (taking into account years when someone may have been a September call up or just had a cup of coffee).  Then, comparing that to the average for the position of players that are already in the Hall of Fame with a stat I call WAR+.  That will determine my tiers.  Sort of subjectively, I made up the following scheme for the teirs, which could be changed at any time:

WAR+ >= 150 is an “S” tier.  This is the elite of the elite.  Guys that are the best no matter position.

WAR+ between 125 and 150 are “A” tier.  The best at their position of all time, but maybe not in the baseball stratosphere of greats.

Between 100 and 125 is the “B” tier.  They are the pretty good players that may have suffered a bit  from a long decline phase, or just looking back at more history and more players.

Between 85 and 100 is the “C” tier.  Guys who were good, probably deserve induction, and might have had some fairly long but still productive careers.

Below 85 is the “F” tier.  Better known as “Why the hell is this guy in the Hall?” tier.

I know some people are going to pick at me about the subjectivity of my rankings, and the fact that I’m using only one real stat, but I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible.  I think WAR does that quite well.  It takes everything into account, a player’s base running, fielding and offense, as well as their position and league.  So, I’m fairly confident in its ability to aid me in this task.  Each position will include the inductees through 2012, meaning Larkin and Santo are a part of it.  My goal with this is to give people a guide to evaluate players positionally for induction, because a SS’s value is different than that of a first baseman offensively.  I’m also planning on looking at the upcoming ballots (BR has them up through 2016) to see who should get in and where they would fit.  In my mind, you’d have to be right around 100 for me to be happy.  I only included 85 on the C tier to allow for some of the older players who would play for 20+ years and have a significant decline phase.  I know that’s a little subjective, but you’re going to have that no matter what.  I hope you all enjoy this waste of time as much as I do, and hope that you all get something out of it.

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