Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 4, 2002
BASEBALL: Zumsteg v. Rose

I'm still plowing through Derek Zumsteg's extensive analysis of Bill James' critiques of the case against Pete Rose; more on that later. But what floored me is Zumsteg's contention in a companion article that "I wouldn't vote for Pete Rose as a Hall of Famer if he was eligible and I had a vote, and I might not if he'd never acted badly, though it's hard to separate my arguments about his performance from talking about Pete Rose the package." (emphasis added). This is a breathtaking statement, and it makes you wonder about Zumsteg's loss of perspective on this subject. Just to use Baseball Prospectus' own analytical estimate of "WARP-3," a measure of wins above replacement level averaged over a 162 game season, Rose was worth 108.7 extra wins to his teams over the 12-year span from 1965 to 1976 (9.06/year), and 126.4 wins over the 15 years from 1965 to 1979 (8.43 wins/year).

By contrast:

George Brett: 132.8 over 17 years (7.81 wins/year).
Reggie Jackson: 88.3 over 12 years (7.36 wins/year)
Johnny Bench: 103.3 over 12 years (8.61 wins/year).
Roberto Clemente: 99.7 over 12 years (8.31 wins/year), 115.2 over 15 years (7.68 wins/year).
Carl Yastrzemski: 128.1 over 15 years (8.54 wins/year), 140.7 over 17 years (8.28 wins/year).
Harmon Killebrew: 94.7 over 14 years (6.76 wins/year).

I'd say Pete stacks up just fine, over the decade-and-a-half that comprised his prime, against this list of no-questions-asked Hall of Famers, all of whom were at least rough contemporaries (granted, these are just the offensive numbers). And I have to wonder what sport Zumsteg was watching if he thinks that, on performance alone, there's a case for keeping out of Cooperstown a man who sustained a .375 on base percentage over nearly 16,000 plate appearances in a pitcher's era.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:47 AM | Baseball 2002-03 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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