Friday things

Quiet day, and my brain is a little fried after finishing up last night's 50 greatest Ranger update...

Richard Durrett reports that GMJ was named the Ranger player of the year by the D/FW segment of the BBWAA, with Ian Kinsler being named rookie of the year and Akinori Otsuka pitcher of the year.

Not surprisingly, Jennifer Floyd-Engel doesn't think Mark McGwire should be in the Hall of Fame, because he's a cheater.  Jim Reeves is glad he missed out, too.  Still no word from them on whether Whitey Ford and Gaylord Perry should be in, as well, or the legions of greenie-poppers.

Here's what Reeves says, though:

There's a lesson here for Sammy Sosa, and Rafael Palmeiro, and even Barry Bonds. If they have any sense at all, they'll come forward and simply tell the truth. They'll be amazed at how forgiving people can be.

I can't imagine that's true.  Too many people are saying that they don't want McGwire in because he's a cheater.  Reeves' take -- that McGwire isn't in because people were so turned off by his performance in front of Congress -- is nonsense.

Reeves references Jason Giambi as an example of someone who is forgiven for being contrite, but you know, as far as I know, Giambi has admitted to exactly as much as McGwire has -- which is, nothing.  

T.R. Sullivan has some Friday notes on his blog.  I have to take issue with him once again on Bert Blyleven (and if you are tired of hearing about Blyleven, you can skip the rest of this blog entry):

People argue that Bert Blyleven should be in the Hall of Fame because he was a better pitcher than Don Sutton. Fine. Catchers Ray Schalk and Rick Ferrell are in the Hall of Fame and Jim Sundberg was just as good or better than both.

I don't think many folks are saying he should be in because of Don Sutton.

They are saying he should be in because of Nolan Ryan, Fergie Jenkins, and a host of other contemporaries who are in the Hall.  

He's as good as, or better than, those guys.

Nate Silver had a blog entry at BP, touching on his JAWS method for evaluating Hall of Fame candidates, and why he uses the average of current HOFers, rather than, say, the 25th percentile, as his threshhold.

In doing so, he compares the average JAWS, WARP3, peak value, and other numbers for players voted in by the BBWAA, and those voted in by the Veteran's Committee (since the BBWAA selections are generally of much higher quality).

Blyleven's JAWS score is higher than the average JAWS score of the 34 pitchers voted in by the BBWAA, and is the 16th highest of all time among pitchers.

Over at Fire Joe Morgan, they have a Fisking of Jayson Stark's explanation of his ballot, which includes extensive head-banging-into-the-wall over Stark's reliance on All-Star appearances.

However, they also acknowledge, at the end, Stark's very reasonable, well-thought-out argument on Blyleven:

If Blyleven ever makes it to Cooperstown -- and he might, now that he's finally over 50 percent of the vote -- he'll owe it to men like Bill James, Rob Neyer and the bright statistical minds who now look at baseball in so many insightful new ways.

Until last year, I was one of those people who thought of Blyleven as a not-quite candidate, 287 wins or no 287 wins. But James did an incredible start-by-start study of Blyleven's career that convinced me it was only bad luck that kept him out of the 300-win club.

And Lee Sinins' indispensable Complete Baseball Encyclopedia proved just how dominant Blyleven was by computing how his Runs Saved Above Average compared to the greatest pitchers of modern times.

Blyleven gave up 344 fewer runs in his career than the average pitcher of his time. In the entire live-ball era, the only eight pitchers who beat him in that department are Roger Clemens, Lefty Grove, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Tom Seaver, Carl Hubbell and Bob Gibson.

Does a guy who hangs out with that crowd sound like a Hall of Famer to you? He sure did to me -- finally.

Out of nowhere, he ends with a rational, intelligent bang. Kudos.

Blyleven isn't a borderline case.  He's not a Don Sutton or a Catfish Hunter.  He's a no question HOFer.

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