Why Ron Santo Belongs in the Hall of Fame (Part 2)

"Dying Cub Fan" continues his look at the candidacy of Ron Santo for Baseball's Hall of Fame in the second part of this three part series. -------------- Brooks Robinson In 1964, third basemen won the MVP award in both the American League and the National League. Brooks Robinson won in the AL, playing for an Oriole team that won 97 games and finished third, and Ken Boyer won in the NL, playing for the Cardinals, who won 93 games and the pennant. The Cubs won 76 games and finished 8th. Santo had a better year than either Robinson or Boyer and finished 8th in MVP balloting. 6
Boyer 628 100 185 30 10 24 119 70 85 .295 .365 .489 130
Santo 592 94 185 33 13 30 114 86 96 .312 .398 .564 164
Robinson 612 82 194 35 3 28 118 51 64 .317 .368 .521 145
Santo had more home runs, a higher on-base percentage and a higher slugging percentage than either Robinson or Boyer. Santo won the Gold Glove over Boyer, who had won it the previous five years. Playing for teams that scored significantly more runs and had higher team on-base percentages than the Cubs, both Robinson and Boyer had more RBI than Santo; Robinson led the AL in RBI and Boyer led the NL (Santo finished second). It is widely acknowledged that the MVP award does not always go the best player in the league, but it tends to go to players on teams that either win the pennant or come close. While there have been exceptions, very good players on mediocre or bad teams tend not to do as well in MVP voting as similar players on good teams. In the 1960s, no MVP winner in either league played for a team that won fewer than 90 games.7 The Cubs won 90 games or more once in that entire decade, in 1969 (with 92 wins). Robinson finished in the top ten in MVP voting seven times in his career. Santo finished in the top ten four times. Some of this disparity can probably attributed to the fact that Santo's teams were, by and large, much worse than Robinson's. For example, both the Orioles and Cardinals were significantly better in 1964 than the Cubs were, at nearly every position one examines other than third base. The Orioles, aside from Brooks Robinson, had two other Hall of Famers in Luis Aparicio and Robin Roberts, as well as a wealth of very good young players, including pitchers Milt Pappas, Wally Bunker and Dave McNally. Boog Powell, at 22, was probably the best offensive player that the Orioles had; despite playing only 134 games, he had 39 homers, 99 rbi and an OPS+ of 176. The Cardinals, aside from Boyer, had Lou Brock and Bob Gibson, both Hall of Famers, and also had Ray Sadecki, Curt Simmons, Bill White, Curt Flood, Tim McCarver and Dick Groat. The Cubs had Santo, Billy Williams and Ernie Banks, although Banks was no longer a great player in 1964 (Banks' OPS+ that year was actually below that of Norm Siebern, the Orioles' first baseman). Larry Jackson did win 23 games for the Cubs that year, although as a whole the Orioles' and Cardinals' pitching was much better than the Cubs'. Both Boyer and Robinson were fine players, and I don't mean to suggest that they were undeserving of their MVP awards. However, Santo was better than they were in 1964. 1964 was by far Robinson's best year. He never came close to being as productive at the plate again. Santo, on the other hand, followed his 1964 season with three consecutive seasons that were nearly as good as his 1964 season, having OPS+ years of 146 in 1965, 161 in 1966 and 153 in 1967. Robinson never had another year where his OPS+ exceeded 125. Aside from 1964 and the three seasons cited above, Santo had an OPS+ greater than 125 in 1963, 1968, 1969 and 1972. Santo was a significantly better batter than Robinson. He had far more power, walked a lot more and had a higher career batting average. Santo's peak offensive value was considerably higher than Robinson's, and Santo's peak was longer and more sustained. Santo hit far more home runs in 15 seasons (342) than Robinson did in 23 (268). Santo could also be counted on to drive in more runs in a given season, to hit for a higher batting average, to walk far more often and to score more runs. Defensively, the statistics support the conclusion that Robinson was better than Santo.8 Robinson committed fewer errors and was involved in many more double plays. Although their career range factors are quite similar, Robinson had more years with high range factors than Santo (although Santo's peak years in terms of range factor, 3.56 in 1966 and 3.60 in 1967, exceeded Robinson's highs of 3.49 in 1967 and 3.43 in 1974 by a wide margin). Robinson won 16 Gold Gloves; Santo won five. However, Gold Glove voting is probably not a definitive measure of fielding prowess; in all probability it is less reliable than MVP voting for making definitive assessments about worth. Many players have won more than one Gold Glove9, and there seems to have been a tendency for voters to award them based on past reputation. While I don't doubt that Robinson was an excellent defensive third baseman late into his career, I have some trouble believing he deserved at least the Gold Gloves he won in the 1970s, when younger players such as Don Money, Graig Nettles and Aurelio Rodriguez could not pry the award out of his hands until the Orioles finally realized that his bat precluded him from continuing as a regular following the 1975 season.10 However, Robinson was generally regarded as perhaps the best defensive third baseman of all time. Robinson was a better defensive third baseman than Santo, and was perhaps the best of all time defensively. However, I have trouble seeing how Robinson's defensive superiority can offset Santo's clear and substantial advantages on the offensive side, particularly in light of the fact that Santo was a very good defensive third baseman.11 Let's compare two players who played second base in the Hall of Fame: Bill Mazeroski (career OPS+ of 84) and Nellie Fox (career OPS+ of 94). Mazeroski won 8 gold gloves; Fox won 3. Fox led the league in hits 4 times, led the league in triples once and won an MVP award; Mazeroski never won an MVP and never led the league in any offensive category, other than one year when he led the league in intentional walks. Fox scored 100 runs or better 4 times and finished in the top ten in the league in runs scored seven times; Mazeroski never scored more than 71 runs in a season and never finished in the top ten. Mazeroski's career OBP was .299; Fox's was .348. Mazeroski is regarded as perhaps the finest double play man of all time, but can anyone make a reasonable argument that he was a better player than Fox? Both were relatively light hitters (Fox hit .288 lifetime, Mazeroski hit .260 and their career slugging percentages are quite close, even though Mazeroski hit 100 more home runs), although Fox was clearly a more productive offensive player. Consider another example from players who played shortstop: Cal Ripken had a career OPS+ of 112 while Ozzie Smith had a career OPS+ of 87. Ozzie Smith clearly had much more range than Ripken and is generally acclaimed as one of the best defensive shortstops ever (winning thirteen Gold Gloves), a claim never made about Ripken (although he did win two Gold Gloves). Which one was the better player? How much does Smith's defensive superiority offset Ripken's clear offensive superiority? I would think that most major league managers and GMs, if they had to choose, would take Ripken over Smith and Fox over Mazeroski without losing too much sleep over it, preferring a good defender with good offensive value over a superlative defender with marginal offensive value. Santo's career OPS+ was 125, Robinson's 104. Do Robinson's defensive advantages outweigh Santo's offensive advantages? For me, I don't see how they can; the offensive deficit is too large. Even factoring in his 1964 MVP year, Robinson was a fair offensive player (and, at times, actually a below-average one), a .270 hitter with some power who did not walk often. Santo was considerably better at the plate. I don't see the defense making up the difference. Robinson's teams did far better than Santo's, winning five division titles, four pennants (including one in 1966, before there was a division split) and two World Series. All told, Robinson played in 9 postseason series. Robinson was World Series MVP in 1970; in that series, he made several legendary defensive plays. There is no question that this should be given some weight, and should factor in Robinson's favor. The question is, how much? Brooks Robinson was unquestionably an integral part of the Orioles' success. However, the Orioles did not win a pennant until they acquired Frank Robinson in 1966, and did not win another during Brooks' career after they traded Frank away after the 1971 season. The Orioles in the late 60s and early 70s won for a lot of reasons: great pitching (they led the league in team ERA in 1969, 1970 and 1971), great offense (they had team OPS+ numbers of 122 in 1966, 119 in 1969, 114 in 1970 and 122 in 1971 and led the league in runs scored in each of those years except 1969, when they finished second), great defense and great managing. Brooks Robinson's OPS+ numbers in the four years Baltimore won the pennant (1966, 1969, 1970 and 1971) were below the Orioles' team OPS+ numbers in each year except 1966, when his OPS+ was 124 and the team's was 122. In 1969 he batted .234 with an OPS+ of 92. At least three or four Oriole players in each of those years were more valuable offensively than Brooks Robinson. Aside from Frank Robinson, those Oriole teams had superb leadoff hitters in Curt Blefary and Don Buford and significant power from Boog Powell. Merv Rettenmund, Paul Blair and Davey Johnson also contributed more offensively than Brooks Robinson. There are a lot of players who played on pennant winners and World Series champions who are not in the Hall of Fame. Although playing on a winner should be given some weight, the fact that someone played on a winner is not sufficient, in and of itself, to put someone in the Hall of Fame. For example, there were many fine players on the 1950s Yankees, such as Gil McDougald, who are not in and should not be in. Similarly, performance in a World Series or playoff series should be given some weight, but no one will put Joe Rudi, Tommie Agee or Graig Nettles in the Hall of Fame simply because of outstanding defensive play in a World Series. I would agree that in an otherwise marginal case, factors such as play for a pennant winner or post-season performance can make a difference in determining whether someone should make the Hall of Fame, but I don't think either Robinson or Santo is an otherwise marginal case. Santo never played for a division winner or pennant winner, but, again, how much of that is his fault? As for giving Robinson an "edge" over Santo, I don't see how a great performance in one World Series can tip the scales in Robinson's favor when Santo's entire career was better. If you give credit for Robinson hitting .429 in the 1970 World Series, shouldn't you also take away credit for his hitting .053 in the 1969 World Series, which the Orioles lost? How much credit do you give to Robinson based on the fact he played on a great team? While the Cubs had improved from 1964 and were competitive in the late '60s and early '70s, the Orioles were markedly better than the Cubs at that time (the Orioles averaged 106 wins a year from 1969 through 1971). I do not see Robinson's presence on these teams making up the difference that Santo's offensive numbers give him. None of this is meant in disrespect of Brooks Robinson. Bill James in 2001 ranked him as the 91st best player of all time, and he is deservedly in the Hall of Fame. However, Santo was a better player. Traynor and Lindstrom In his 1994 book on the Hall of Fame, Bill James pointed out that throughout baseball history, Hall of Famers have accounted for approximately 10% of all at bats. He demonstrated that this was true not only when examining baseball history as a whole, but also when examining individual years and decades, with the notable exception being the period from 1925-35, with the percentage of Hall of Fame at bats being over 20% in each year during that period except one and being as high as 24% in 1929. James argues from these numbers that the players in those years are "disproportionately represented in the Hall of Fame, overrepresented by about 100 percent. There are about twice as many players from that generation in the Hall of Fame as there are from any other."12 Part of this is probably due to the unusually high batting statistics from that era. However, as discussed briefly above, many of those numbers were not that remarkable in the context in which they occurred. Lindstrom and Traynor, neither of whom was an elite offensive player when compared to his contemporaries, are from that era. Traynor was elected by the BBWAA in 1948. Lindstrom was selected by the Veteran's Committee during the 1970s, and has proved to be a highly controversial choice, one that bas been cited as evidence of incompetence and cronyism by the Veteran's Committee during those years.13 As was shown above, neither Lindstrom or Traynor stood out amongst their contemporaries the way Santo did. The conditions under which Lindstrom and Traynor played were very different from those in place during Santo's career. First, the level of play was more competitive in 1968 than it was in 1930. For one thing, in 1930, major league baseball was still whites only; in the 60s there were many very talented African-American and Latin ballplayers in the National League. Also, many of the hitting-friendly ballparks in existence in 1930, such as Ebbets Field, the Baker Bowl in Philadelphia and Sportsman's Park, were no longer in the National League, replaced by parks that were much more favorable to pitchers, such as Dodger Stadium, the Astrodome, Candlestick Park and Busch Stadium, with deeper fences and more foul territory. Gloves were better in the 1960s. Night baseball did not exist in 1930. Relief pitchers were not used as effectively in 1930 as they came to be used later. As described above, the mid- to late-sixties also featured an enlarged strike zone and elevated mounds. Lindstrom and Traynor did not compete in the environment Santo did; in their era, hits and runs were far more plentiful and worth less. The inflated batting statistics of that era, and their superficial appeal, have led to overrepresentation of players from that era in the Hall of Fame. It is far easier to say that Santo fits within the top 10% of players playing regularly (to whom the number of total at bats in any period can be attributed) during his years in the game than it is to argue that Traynor or Lindstrom belongs in the top 10% during their time. Having said that, Traynor's case for being in the Hall of Fame is a decent one even though Santo's offensive numbers (other than batting average) relative to his contemporaries were better. Lindstrom's case is much less strong. Although Lindstrom had a few good years, he simply did not have enough of them and, even in his best years, was not at the level of Santo's best years. Bill James on Fred Lindstrom: "As an offensive player he was by no means one of the top players of his time, and as a defensive player he was so outstanding that he was shifted to the outfield in mid-career. His selection to the Hall of Fame, while it ignores players like Ken Boyer, Ron Santo, Ed Yost and Stan Hack, was a bad joke." (1988 Historical Baseball Abstract, p. 368). Lindstrom was only a regular for seven seasons. He did not play after he was 30, and did not play as a regular after he was 27. A great deal of the appeal of Traynor and Lindstrom to Hall of Fame selectors would seem to have come from their batting averages. Traynor and Lindstrom each had a higher career batting average than Santo. Traynor hit .320 for his career. During his career, the league batting average was .295, meaning that his career average was 8.47% higher than the league average. Lindstrom hit .311 for his career. During his career, the league batting average was .290, making his career average 7.24% higher than the league average. Santo hit .277 for his career. During Santo's career, the league batting average was .268, giving him a career average that was 3.36% higher than the league average. A player who had a batting average that was 8.47% or 7.24% better than a league average of .268 would hit .290 or .287, respectively. A player who had a batting average that was 3.36% higher than a league batting average of .295 or .290 would hit .305 or .300, respectively. Of course, it would be wrong to assert that, had Traynor or Lindstrom played in the 1960s, or had Santo played in the '20s and '30s, such averages represent how they would have performed, because we cannot know that. However, as noted above, a key measure of a player is the player's performance relative to his peers at the time he played. While there are those who would argue that a .320 career batting average is impressive under any circumstances, it clearly does not represent the same level of achievement in the era that Traynor played as it would have in the era that Santo played. Furthermore, although Traynor and Lindstrom were better relative to their contemporaries in terms of batting average than Santo was relative to his contemporaries, when on base percentage and power are factored in, Santo has a distinct advantage, as the OPS+ numbers above show. References 6 Dick Allen, who also played third base that year, also had a better year at the plate than Robinson or Boyer, with an OPS+ of 162 in his rookie season. 7 Cf. http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/bp/1409616.html, an article by Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus. 8 Here I insert the obligatory caveat concerning defensive statistics: that they may well be driven by factors that are not measurable and that are beyond the control of the player. For example, an infielder's range factor may vary due to whether he plays on a team with a ground ball pitching staff, and the number of double plays of an infielder may vary due to the skill of teammates. 9 See http://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/gold_glove_nl.shtml#multi. 10 By contrast, when Santo won his first Gold Glove in 1964, he beat out Ken Boyer, who had won the five previous Gold Gloves at third base in the NL and who was, as noted above, awarded the 1964 NL MVP. That Santo knocked off a defending repeat winner is perhaps a particular validation of his worth as a fielder in 1964. 11 Santo shares the NL records for third basemen for having led the league in putouts and assists 7 times each. Santo shares the major league record for having led the league in double plays 6 times and having led the league in chances 9 times. 12 The Politics of Glory at 251-52. A similar bias has been identified in James Vail's book, The Road to Cooperstown: A Critical History of Baseball's Hall of Fame Selection Process, McFarland (2001), in which the author examined the statistics of players who met the Hall of Fame's ten-year service requirement and who had been elected. Players from the 1920-45 era currently comprise about 33% of all Hall of Fame members. 13 Lindstrom was selected when Bill Terry and Waite Hoyt, two former teammates, were on the Veteran's Committee. See The Road to Cooperstown at 107. See also The Politics of Glory at 162-171. During the time Bill Terry and Frank Frisch served on the Veteran's Committee in the late 60s and early 70s, several players were elected whose Hall of Fame credentials were extremely weak, but who had played with Frisch or Terry on the Giants or the Cardinals. -------------- In the final part of the series, what has kept Santo out of the Hall of Fame? If you're convinced already and don't need to wait until tomorrow you can send "comments and suggestions" to the Veterans Committee or sign the online petition at santoforhall.com.


If Rob G got his wish, this would have happened at Soldier Field-

Giles Arrested

Santo's association with the underachieving '69 Cubs continues to hurt him. The Mets that year might have had better pitching but the Cub staff wasn't bad and on paper there was no comparison between the two lineups. Except for CF, the Cub starting lineup was an all-star team.

Not counting pitchers, the Cubs had two future Hall of Famers (Banks, Williams) and three other guys (Beckert, Kessinger, Santo) who at one time or other were first-team all stars, plus two (Hundley, Hickman) who appeared in one all star game. Between them in their careers, these Cubs had 38 all star appearances. The everyday starters for the Mets could boast seven all-star appearances: Harrelson, Agee and Grote, two, and Cleon Jones, one. That's one more than the six earned by Don Kessinger, the Cub SS.

The only Cub regular who was past his prime in '69 was Banks.

The Mets overtook these Cubs in September and won the pennant going away. Amazing!

It's understandable that some people (especially in NY) might say that this group of individual Cub players has received enough recognition for all that they accomplished as a team.

Santo, by the way, played in nine All Star games. That's a lot: three more than Williams and only two fewer than Banks. I think I might have been a little rough on him yesterday. The '69 team has some glaring weaknesses but he wasn't one of them.

♥♥♥ MVN ♥♥♥

How much would it cost to by the Cub Reporter from MVN?

I could host a better running site than this one, thats for sure.

It is a shame, because we have damn good writers on this site. Rob - are you under contract? Or can all of you move to a new site and start over?

So how was everyone's morning?

speaking of Santo, Jay Jaffe who writes for Baseball Prospectus and the site Futility Infielder and is pretty knowledgeable of all things Hall of Fame including developing his own metric called JAWS, has this to say about Santo:

As I remind you all every year, third basemen are the Hall's redheaded stepchildren, criminally underrepresented in the ranks of Cooperstown, with only eleven enshrinees (a tally that includes Paul Molitor, who spent far more time at DH). Sixth-ranked Ron Santo, who scores at 98.3, is not only well above the JAWS standard at third base, he's the highest-scoring player eligible for the Hall of Fame but not already enshrined...

He also wrote this article in 2005 the last time the Vet committee met...


Santo ought to be a slam dunk, especially at such an underrepresented position. His JAWS score is higher than about three-quarters of the enshrined hitters, and among third basemen, only Boggs (103.0), Mike Schmidt (102.8), Eddie Mathews (90.9), George Brett (90.2), and Paul Molitor (85.3) score higher. His peak score is astronomical; in fact only seven hitters reached more lofty heights: Babe Ruth (70.6), Ted Williams (69.0), Willie Mays (64.7), Rogers Hornsby (63.2), Mickey Mantle (62.6), Joe Morgan (61.9) and Boggs (61.6). You may have heard of them.

First time all day I could get on the site....WOO!!!

Gotta love being the guinea pigs...

It is a shame, because we have damn good writers on this site. Rob - are you under contract? Or can all of you move to a new site and start over?

No contract, but I'm a pretty loyal bastard. For those that don't recall the history, I had my own blog for a very brief time, then Evan who runs this site invited me to write at "Behind the Ivy" at Most Valuable Network which I was there for only a few months before he bought all-baseball.com and then basically hand-delivered me a huge audience.

That all being said, today was the first day that I was ready to start busting heads because we have some real good content with these Santo pieces as well as some other stuff I'm working on that should debut over the next few weeks. If no one can read them though, it's not worth the effort.

But yeah, my patience is running thin to say the least....

Is MVN an actual commercial endeavor or is it just passing itself off as one?

"Is MVN an actual commercial endeavor or is it just passing itself off as one?"

step 1: get internet visitors/hits
step 2: get investment money based on step 1
step 3: ????
step 4: profit

the buying and selling of potential has a high price if the other end of the potential has an IP address or "buzz".

AZ Phil,
Read your posts of yesterday and today. i was stunned to find that before Sosa, Santo had the most walk-off homers for the Cubs because I was a fan from '64 on and can't remember one of them. I remember Banks hitting them, Williams, Hickman and even Jose Arcia for God's sakes, but not Santo.

My friends and I also groaned when he'd come up in the 9th with the game on the bases and invariably pound it into the dirt. And with his speed he was out the second the ball hit the ground. Some of those times are when I remember him being booed.

Durocher was not kind to him in his book either. He talked about what a wonderful player Williams was and how he can't believe they almost traded him for Mike Epstein but that Santo, for all his homers and RBIs was a disappointment.

There are players like this in every sport. I remember while in the NBA, Terry Cummings, who piled up a lot of points in his career, didn't have the respect of a lot of players because they were considered hollow stats. They felt he wasn't a clutch player but did the bulk of his scoring in the first quarter or fourth quarter of a blowout. Now if you went over every game Terry Cummings ever played, you might find that this perception isn't true. But it was a perception. And those are hard to overcome.

I think Santo should be in the Hall. Not all those runs and RBIs can be meaningless. But if our memories are any guide, maybe enough were to put doubt in some minds.

mvn is a commercial site run by Evan Brunell, a young entrepreneur/sports enthusiast/sports blogger on the east coast.

I don't recall what the full story was about how TCR went from being Ruz's exclusive possession to mvn, but that happened what, a hear ago? a year and a half?

Our readership certainly has grown, substantially, since we made the switch. How much of that was due to mvn, and how much of that was due to Rob, Phil, Ruz, John Hill, our awsome reader/comtributors, and even little old me, I really don't know.

This switch to a new server or system or whatever the hell it is, is the first time that I have noticed ANY sort of difference between life in the pre-mvn days and the mvn days.

AZ Phil DID NOT write those columns, they are from a reader who occasionally comments as "Dying Cub Fan".

the switch happened around feb 2005 I believe, maybe January.


LaRoche traded for Mike Gonzalez.

Previous "reports" had the braves holding out for Chris Duffy, along with Gonzalez. (Chris Duffy!?!?!?!)

I've become something of a Pirate fan over the last few years.... I recall writing their season preview column a couple years ago, and gushing about how they might be able to pull out a .500 season.

I will continue my blind and foolish optimism, right now, and declare that once again, I sort of basically like the team they're assembling, and think they have a legit dark-horse shot at the weak NL central.

You are free to laugh at me, come May.


I meant to credit the posts of Virginia Phil, not AZ Phil. I wasn't talking about the pieces themselves.

Sosa really wants 600 homers I guess....

agreed to a minor league deal and is only guaranteed $500,000 if he makes the team. Plenty of incentives though....


link on Sosa deal btw...

We'll see if hitting coach guru Jaramillo has any luck with him...

Everything I've seen from sosa in 2004 and 2005 indicates that he's totally finished.

That said, I've made my peace with him, and will be rooting for him..... Hell, the Cubs still need a RH bat off the bench, one who could potentially platoon with Jones. If he was willing to accept 500,000 and a minor league contract, I think the Cubs should have taken a flier on that. Chances are he's finished, but if he isn't, he'd fill a big need on the team. At this point, the clubhouse belongs to Lee, Ramirez, Z, Barrett, and when he's comfortable, Soriano. A Sosa willing to take that deal is probably a Sosa willing to let those five guys be the main people in the clubhouse.

too bad Hendry hates the guy....

I'm still very curious what the Cubs will do if Sosa is somehow elected to the Hall


supposedly a prospect going each way in that Braves/Bucs deal

can sosa still swing a bat 80+mph?

doubt it...but hey, we'll see.

batting practice is one thing, but 2 years away from seeing any breaking stuff ...g'luck and all.

Another great article Dying Cub Fan.

Looking forward to the final part tomorrow.

WSCR reporting that LA supermarket tycoon Belker or Belkman(sorry I forgot name) put bid in today to buy Trib which would include Cubs.

I believe it's Eli Broad and Ron Burkle

Carrie Muskat's fluff on the Cub Caravan


So that's why his curve was flat...Cub management taught him to throw it with his fingers crossed!

Seems Prior's Gynecologist has cleared him for throwing from the mound. It puts some perspective on what goes on in the doctor's office when he's wearing the stirrups:

"...good news regarding Mark Prior, who is throwing off the mound and making good progress."

"The reports have been encouraging, and we're all keeping our fingers crossed," Hendry said.

Didn't she write this same stuff about Prior during last year's caravan?

Guys, I read this site daily and post monthly (I know I should contribute more). This has been RIDICULOUS over the past few weeks trying to get on the site or post. Remember the MTV commericials in the 80's "I want my MTV!"? Well "I WANT MY CUB REPORTER!" when and where I want it. Please for the love of baseball get the damn thing fixed. I've read enough of carrie muskrat now to last a lifetime. I plead with you fix it! And I must ad rob g, phil, ruz et all are an AMAZING group of writers. The posts are great too even if I may disagree form time to time. Thanks for the fun guys and keep it up!

I'm guessing everyone saw David Pinto's article on how the 2007 roster should translate into Ws and Ls? If not, check it out. (There's no individual link b/c of the way the site is set up. It's about halfway down the page though.)



I believe this is the link (click on the time below each post for the permalink)

PECOTA projections are out by the way, BP subscribers can download an EXCEL file. They hate our pitching and predict less than 500 AB's for Lee.

Ah, that's it then. Thanks Rob.

They hate our pitching and predict less than 500 AB’s for Lee.

I'm not surprised, but that's never made any sense to me. You'd think they'd take into consideration that his injury was a fluke injury that he's supposedly completely healed from. I can understand docking his numbers a bit, but saying he's going to be under 500 ABs as a starting 1B man because he broke his wrist 21 months ago? That just doesn't make sense.

PECOTA has 3 Cubs pitchers were ERA's under 4:

Z 3.79
Wuertz 3.70
Cotts 3.87

2 Cubs with more than 600 PA's and that's Soriano and Aramis.

I meant 500 PA's by the way, not AB's, fwiw.

Re. PECOTA projections: a recent study, results published at basebalthinkfactory, says that while PECOTA is easily the best projection system for hitters, it's near the back of the pack for pitchers.

Furthermore (to little surprise) all of the systems tested did far better on predicting hitters than on pitchers. I'd rather have PECOTA like our pitchers than not, I simply put more stock in their offensive projections

Why is this site so enormously difficult to get into each day? Is it permanently broken? I'm grateful for the free forum, but geez louise.

Beware the Pittsburgh Pirates. I'm being serious here. Adam LaRoche is a quality addition. A lineup of Duffy, Sanchez, Bay, LaRoche, Paulino ain't bad. And take a look at the quality of their young pitching. Plus they have Jim Tracy as their manager, a guy who I think is quietly one of the best tacticians in the game. Surprise team of 2007?!? Maybe, especially in an ultra-weak NL Central.

Re: Ron Santo

Swell guy, nice career, touching life story.

Hall of Famer? Nope, not in my book. I watched him play. And while he did do good things with the bat, more times than not he was a choke artist in clutch situations or on those very rare occasions when the Cubs were a competitive ballclub.

I completely agree about the Pie-rats, towel, as I said earlier in the thread.

Similarly, there have been several discussions that explain what's going on. Short answer: TCR became the guinnea pig amongst the blogs that are part of the MVN network, as they decided to move to some new server or host or whatever the hell you call it. You will be shocked, SHOCKED to learn that there have been unanticipated glitches. Your lovable TCRers have no contorl over this and no input in the decision-making process that led to this.

Re: Sam-me Steroid

Rob G., dont' worry about Sammy ever getting elected into the Hall. The one man carnival act and selfish freak was clearly on performance enhancing drugs for a decade. He'll get even less of the Hall vote than Mark McGwire. And deservedly so. Why Texas wants to add a skinny, aging sideshow to their ballclub is beyond me. Look for that experiment to fail. And fail badly.

other than alarmingly low PA totals for most hitters, the numbers are pretty good for the hitters:

Soriano 287/349/569
Ramirez 299/362/564
Lee 288/369/527
Jones 284/343/473
Barrett 295/357/482
Izturis 277/329/357
Murton 304/365/476

See, OBP problems solved...hehe

I know this is their first run of it, so the #'s will change and they still have Derosa a Ranger at 278/338/427

Rob G.:
"PECOTA projections are out by the way...They hate our pitching"

Shouldn't be shocking to anyone. There isn't very much in the starting rotation to like besides Z.

Rob G.:
"PECOTA has 3 Cubs pitchers were ERA’s under 4...Cotts 3.87"

How did they come up with that number? I would be amazed if he ended up with an ERA under 4.00.

less than 500ab for dlee?

so..what injury did their spreadsheet say would happen?

all hail the spreadsheet!

i dunno why they even bother to train or actually play anymore...its really unnecessary.

btw...yes, i know these are projections based upon non-realistic vacuum-sealed circumstances that are a guide, not a gospel.

its just that too many amateur mathematicians and wanna-be baseball geeks take these numbers and run with it without knowing much (or in some cases anything) about how they go about earning those numbers.

the worth of your peers and your past do not directly translate to your worth in the future...even if it can range it pretty well more times than not.

PECOTA has 3 Cubs pitchers were ERA’s under 4

Was Wuertz 3.70 ERA projection from Iowa?

Hint to BP Pecotians: you have to reconfigure DeRosa but he should still have 3 games played in Arlington so just redo the rest of his projection.

Agreed, Crunch. Perhaps I missed it, but I'm not sure anyone here is suggesting otherwise.....

yeah, im just making it clear before i get the "you hate stats" stuff screamed at me.

im not 100% scouting over numbers...im not 50-50% scouting over numbers...i believe in a lotta numbers, but i feel that knowing how the player gets those numbers is a lot more important than the number itself.

I hate any "projected" stats because 90% of the time they don't predict a damn thing.

The other 10% (if even that) is just sheer blind luck.

I mean come on, if baseball stats could be projected you would be on some teams payroll saving them millions in not signing/trading for the next big bust.

"more times than not (Santo) was a choke artist in clutch situations or on those very rare occasions when the Cubs were a competitive ballclub." - Silent Towel

As I said above, I also think Santo suffered in the clutch. However, in the 13 full seasons Santo played for the Cubs they were over competitive from '67-'72. Six seasons. Hardly rare. He was on good teams nearly half the time he played with the Cubs.

Don't know why I typed the word "over" before competitive above.

Oh sweet this site still exists! TCR sure is getting good at playing dead. I guess I could think outside the RSS feed once in a while but I generally don't. I was actually getting some work done there for like a week.


PECOTA's not gospel of course. Obviously you still have to play the games. All PECOTA does is give you an edge when you're drafting your fantasy baseball team. Plus, it's probably right more often than say, the slobbering idiot at the bar who says Santo wasn't "clutch" enough to get into the HOF.


not you, by the way, crunch

[...] Why Ron Santo Belongs in the Hall of Fame (Part 2) [...]

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  • Do you start him Sunday or not?

    @jonmorosi Pitchers w/ sub-2.00 ERA in year of 185+ IP this century: Pedro ’00, Clemens ’05, Kershaw ’13/’14, Arrieta ’15, Greinke ’15, Hendricks ’16.

    Rob G. 8 min 1 sec ago view
  • Yeah -- that would be rough for him. But, Monty is getting people out, he's a lefty and he has experience working out of the bullpen. Hammel? None of the above.

    billybucks 1 hour 2 min ago view
  • even if he's not starting, abandoning hammel would be a bit of a 'screw you.' i think it might be -monty +hammel, but it's speculation.

    either way, someone's gonna be disappointed.

    crunch 2 hours 4 min ago view
  • Joe said he is leaning towards 11 pitchers and 14 position players.

    - 4 starters, Chapman, Rondon, Strop, CJ, Wood, Grimm, Monty. No dice for Cahill or Smith.
    - 3 catchers, Rizz, Zo, Addy, KB, Javy, Heyward, Fowler, Soler, Coghlan, TLS and then Sczcur over Almora?

    billybucks 2 hours 15 min ago view
  • Cubs 3B Jason Vosler made two really bad throws on consecutive AB in the 8th. Fortunately the game was no longer in doubt at the time  

    The first one was a one-hop lob that allowed the batter to reach base on an infield single, and the second was air-mailed so far over the first-baseman's head that it went over the fence and landed in Field #4.

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 49 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Despite the HR, Donnie Dewees is really more of a slash hitter (the HR was an opposite-field line-drive) who can accumulate lots of doubles & triples. He's also a good bunter and can get on base that way, too. Although he was thrown out trying to steal in the game, he's actually a good base-stealer and baserunner.

    Defensively he has plus-range and tracks fly balls OK, so he can play CF, but he has a rag arm that requires the middle infielders to go out further into CF to make relays.

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 51 min ago view
  • I don't know how many of you remember Bobby Knoop, who played 2B for the Angels, White Sox, and Royals back in the day, but he is a coach-emeritus for the Angels, and works with the infielders at Minor League Camp, Extended Spring Training, and Instructs. He's pretty spry for a 77-year old, and he really knows his shit.

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 18 min ago view
  • With a big lead, Chapman was throwing sliders and changeups, something he's reluctant to do in a save situation. (Len and Jim covered this.)

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 27 min ago view
  • Maybe they have a bad owner, I don't know, but they still have players and fans and a franchise, all devastated by this loss of life. Plus, everybody who follows baseball is a fan of a guy like this. It's why I used the word tragedy, which other people throw around but I try to be careful with.

    I'm at an age where I remember old incidents better than recent ones, but I have to go back to Herb Score for something as disturbing.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 43 min ago view
  • That was Dee Gordon's only HR this year. Wow.

    billybucks 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • Thank you PHIL.

    Glad you avoided temps in the 100s.

    I remember you mentioning Dewees needng plenty of work in th IF. How are his OF instincts?

    Also, did see much of Satchel McElroy? Only Satchel I have heard about other than the "orignal" and one of Woody Allen's kids.

    The E-Man 6 hours 30 min ago view
  • Hate to give the Mets credit, but they did everything right tonight in what had to be a very tough game for them to play. As Hollandsworth said on the Cubs post-game -- if you watched the game, you saw Mets players consoling Marlins players who were in tears during the game. Between that and the way Molina handled the Ross farewell -- maybe the Mets and Cardinal players aren't pure evil. Just the fans.

    billybucks 14 hours 1 min ago view
  • New York Mets @Mets
    Dee Gordon lead-off home run. #AintEvenMad #BiggerThanBaseball 1-0 Miami.
    7:25 PM - 26 Sep 2016


    crunch 14 hours 38 min ago view
  • Amazing effort by Gordon -- truly remarkable.

    billybucks 15 hours 8 sec ago view
  • Cubs get 100, KB gets 100, Hendricks gets below 2.00, Cards get absolutely destroyed by the Reds -- all good, other than some Rondon concern. Hopefully, he can get a few outings in this week and find his groove. Also, I guess Soler is still struggling with his right side. Hmmmm. Too bad Joe didn't let Addy bat with the bases loaded in the 7th -- great RBI opportunity.

    I assume all the relievers are on a set schedule this week, but it seems strange Chapman pitched back-to-back.

    billybucks 15 hours 2 min ago view
  • Barry Rozner article interviewing Greg Maddux (with comments on Kyle Hendricks).


    "I like watching him pitch," Maddux said of Hendricks. "I like guys that rely on movement and location. I can relate to him. That's what I had to do. "I'd rather watch him pitch than some lefty throwing 95 mph."

    Cubster 15 hours 23 min ago view