Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 4, 2010
BASEBALL: Voting About Voting

This is from last year, but in advance of Wednesday's announcement of the Hall of Fame balloting: Patrick Sullivan with a look at how single-season award voting haunts the Hall voting process (multiplied when you consider that both draw from largely the same pool of voters).

I agree with Bill James' view that it's worthwhile to look at how well a player fared in the voting when he was active, but anybody who follows the MVP voting knows that it's often terrible, and bad decisions plus age don't become good. I well recall that Andre Dawson's 1987 NL MVP, for example, was one of the worst MVP awards ever when it happened; I'm supposed to respect that now, when I didn't then, just because 22 years have passed?

I'll hopefully have more on the Hall the next day or two, but I continue to maintain that my dream would be to be a GM with a lineup of nine Tim Raineses in a league where all the other GMs prefer a lineup of nine Andre Dawsons.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 4:41 PM | Baseball 2010 | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

January, 2013: "When asked how Mike Piazza--the greatest hitter ever to play catcher in the history of MLB--fell short of induction by two votes on his first year on the Cooperstown ballot, Bill Plaschke defended the vote: 'He never won an MVP or a Gold Glove Award.' Tragically, a bolt of lightning vaporized the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist two seconds after he made this comment, proving once and for all the existence of a benevolent Creator who can read a statistical line." :-P

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland at January 4, 2010 11:18 PM

Andre Dawson is no great ball player. Unless you're one of those weirdos who think great ball players are those who can hit, hit for power, run, throw, and field.
Both he and Raines are obvious HOFs.
I'm no anti-stat guy, but at some point you have to have actually seen these guys play in order to realize how great they were.

Posted by: Berto at January 4, 2010 11:37 PM

Stupid voters make stupid decisions. Ashley Fox wrote that she was voting for Brees as NFL MVP because the NFC was better and much deeper than the AFC. Of course, the NFC was 27-37 vs. the AFC. Such is the quality of sportswriting and those are the folks who vote for awards.

Posted by: stan at January 5, 2010 8:12 AM

My problem is that the year I finally get to draft a team of Rainses, three of them get hurt & one guy actually does end up getting a team full of the 1987 Andre Dawsons. (case in point, I have a great '09 team, but it's led by Jake -I'll miss most of the season - Peavy, while the winner ends up with Pujols, Javier Vazquez, Ichiro, Granderson, Haren, Broxton and some guy who plays catcher for the Twins who wasn't supposed to swing a bat for a full month after opening day. Our season was over, for all intents and purposes, by mid-May.

Posted by: RW at January 5, 2010 12:22 PM

The whole voting thing is just plain weird. Jon Heyman is voting for Don Mattingly but not Dale Murphy, even though Murphy was better. Don't get me wrong, Mattingly's peak from 1984-1987 was better than Murphy's 1982-1986 peak, but Murphy played a harder defensive position and had the two MVP's vs Mattingly's one. Probably neither "should" get in but if you were going to vote for one or the other, isn't the logical choice Murphy? Same thing with Blyleven and Jack Morris.

Posted by: Tom at January 5, 2010 1:11 PM

Dawson, IMO, falls short of being a HOF hitter. Whether his defense and baserunning and apparent good character compensates enough to lift him over the bar as an overall player is obviously arguable. If he does get in, I'd rank him with guys like Tony Perez and Jim Rice among the more marginal recent writers' choices.

Posted by: Jerry at January 5, 2010 1:38 PM

By my calculations, nine Raineses would take 43.9 plate appearences to make 27 outs, in which time their total bases, walks, and HBP would total 21.8.

Nine Dawsons would make 27 outs in 39.8 PA, and their TB+BB+HBP would total 20.27.

That's not accounting for double plays (not really a huge issue for either - Dawson hit into quite a few more, but Raines as a leadoff guy had less opportunities), or baserunning, which is an obvious advantage for Raines.

And I suspect that the team with the better OBP would string together much bigger innings, while Team Andre would hit lots of solo home runs.

Posted by: Jerry at January 5, 2010 7:57 PM
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