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HoF debate: Kirby Puckett

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Postby BritSox » Thu Aug 17, 2006 6:57 pm

looptid wrote:I'm well aware what VORP is. Nice you handpick different seasons for the two players. If Puckett gets no credit for what might have been if his career wasn't cut short, then Mattingly gets no credit for what might have been if he too could have stayed healthy.




So we agree that neither are HoFers then?
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Postby joshheines » Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:50 pm

looptid wrote:
joshheines wrote:What is VORP? It is an acronym for Value Over Replacement Player. The general concept? "So if a first baseman and a shortstop have identical offensive statistics and equal defensive abilities relative to their positions, who's the better player? The shortstop, because the offensive-productivity bar for shortstops is notably lower than it is for first baseman, since it's far easier to find a good-hitting first baseman than it is a good-hitting shortstop." Baseball Prospectus.

I'm well aware what VORP is. Nice you handpick different seasons for the two players. If Puckett gets no credit for what might have been if his career wasn't cut short, then Mattingly gets no credit for what might have been if he too could have stayed healthy.

Career WARP-2
Puckett - 91.1
Mattingly - 83.2

Career WARP-3
Puckett - 93.5
Mattingly - 85.0

Puckett was the superior offensive player over the length of both their careers. Say what you want about Mattingly's peak, but Puckett had a .304 EQA the year Dennis Martinez drilled him in the head ending his career. Puckett wasn't done producing and his production wasn't in late-career decline.


A number of things:

First, I don't give a rats you know what about whether you know what VORP is. The argument is solely with you. I'd say most people on the cafe don't know what VORP is. Even if they have heard of it they don't understand the concept. It's not like I was addressing some widely known concept.

Second, I thought I made it clear that Puckett had 10 good seasons and Mattingly had 8 good seasons. I fail to see how I cherry picked seasons. I took Puck's good seasons and compared them to Mattingly's. If you must know, Puckett's career VORP is 489.7 and Mattingly's is 437.5.

Third, I agree that Puckett and Mattingly should get no credit for their career ending injuries. Their careers should be judged on their peaks and total numbers. Conversely, however, if we are going to give Puckett credit for what his career could have been if not for injury, we must afford the same courtesies to Don Mattingly (and every other player who's career was lost, shortened or dampened in any way by injury).

Fourth, funny you mention EQA too. Since you want to bring EQA in Puckett's career EQA is .293 while Mattingly's is .299. A .200 EQA is a poor player. A .260 EQA is league average. A .300 EQA is a good hitter.

Fifth, you made the mistake of stating that Puckett wa a superior offensive player over their careers. This is incorrect. Mattingly's Batting Runs Above Replacement and Average adjusted for all-time is 583/357 while Puckett's amassed 538/306. Since the plate appearances are nearly equal or slightly favor Puckett, MAttingly was contributed 50 more offensive runs than Puckett when compared to the average for their positions.

Puckett made up the ground, according to WARP, in fielding. WARP, which is adjusted versus the league replacement and not the league average, favored Puckett. Puckett's FRAR and FRAA (Fielding Runs Above Replacement/Average) were 289/59 and Mattingly's were 176/55. Me, personally, when evaluating a HOF talent I don't want to know how good he was when compared to a AAA player who couldn't make it in the bigs (the Replacement Player). I want to know how stacked up against real competition (League Average).
Puckett's TRAR/TRAA (Total Runs Above) were 827/365. Mattingly's were 759/412. Compared to the replacement, Puckett had a better career. Compared to the average, Mattingly had a better career.

Look, the bottom line is, I don't care how you slice it. Whether you look at the metrics or the old counting stats or the average stats, you simply cannot justify separating Mattingly from Puckett and vice versa. Their careers are too similar.
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Postby ukrneal » Fri Aug 18, 2006 1:52 am

joshheines wrote:I'm glad you used Kiner as a reference. Kiner was on the Pujols track. Kiner led baseball in HR seven times . . . IN A ROW! From 1948-1953 Kiner led or finished second in baseabll in walks. He finshed 1st in adjusted OPS 3 times and finished 4th two times. He was top 5 in times on base 5 times and top 5 in extra base hits 5 times.

Kiner was better than Puckett. No doubt about it. Kiner retired in 1955 and didn't get into the HOF until 1975. I'm sure Kiner received credit for being the announcer for the MEts from their inaugral 1962 season until 1975(and continues to do so until today). Kiner must have received credit for his broadcasts because in 1984 he was inducted in the Mets HOF without ever playing a game for the Mets.

His first five years Kiner averaged about 110 runs, 47 HR, 123 RBI .285 AVG, .415 OBP, and probably a .615 SLG.

You just can't compare Puckett and Kiner. If you accept the premise that Kiner is miles ahead of Puckett. Then you have to accept the premise that Puckett should not have been a first ballot HOF.

Kiner's first eligible year, 1960, he received 3 votes of the 269 cast. In 1962 he received 5 of 160. In 1964 he received 3 of 201. In 1966, he received 74 of 302. In 1970 he finally cracked 50% of the total votes when he received 167 of 300. It took him untul 1973 to crack 60% of the votes. Then he got 235 of 280. Then he got elected in 1975. It took Kiner 15 solid years to get into the Hall. If Kiner, is considered a questionable HOF (I think a good definition of questionable HOF is any guy who takes 15 years to get into the HOF) and Kiner is better than Puckett than Puckett shouldn't be a HOF. And while Kiner's career was cut short, he still was getting credit for his lengthy (23 years at the time of election) broadcasting career. Puckett's short career ended abruptly and that was it.


OI, and now we're argiung Kiner too! I wouldn't say that Kiner is miles ahead of Puckett. Sure, in his prime a monster, but Puckett has two things Kiner didn't: longevity (consistency) and great defense. If you only consider hitting, in his prime, Kiner was better. But my point was that here was an example of 9.5 years and that, as I said, each one of these cases would be case by case decision.

The VORP pretty much supports my case too for Mattingly only have 6 good seasons. In that sense, Puckett's advantage seems even higher.

As I said, if, likeyou, we simply cutoff when the player retires and consider just what he has done, Puckett is on the borderline. However, for those willing to consider that he probably would have kept going for a few more years at the same high level he always produced, he's an easy first ballot HOFer. I won't consider this for some players, but will look at each case subjectively and add it to my overall opinion.
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Postby joshheines » Fri Aug 18, 2006 7:23 am

ukrneal wrote:As I said, if, likeyou, we simply cutoff when the player retires and consider just what he has done, Puckett is on the borderline. However, for those willing to consider that he probably would have kept going for a few more years at the same high level he always produced, he's an easy first ballot HOFer. I won't consider this for some players, but will look at each case subjectively and add it to my overall opinion.


If you do that for Puckett you're going to have to do that for Mattingly and any other players career that was cut short by injury. If Mattingly didn't injure his back in 1989 he would have had a better career than Puckett if we play out your "perfect world, nobody gets injured, everyone has a 17 year career" scenario. Mattingly's first six were better than Puckett's first six. It's tough to deny that.
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Postby ukrneal » Fri Aug 18, 2006 7:31 am

joshheines wrote:
ukrneal wrote:As I said, if, likeyou, we simply cutoff when the player retires and consider just what he has done, Puckett is on the borderline. However, for those willing to consider that he probably would have kept going for a few more years at the same high level he always produced, he's an easy first ballot HOFer. I won't consider this for some players, but will look at each case subjectively and add it to my overall opinion.


If you do that for Puckett you're going to have to do that for Mattingly and any other players career that was cut short by injury. If Mattingly didn't injure his back in 1989 he would have had a better career than Puckett if we play out your "perfect world, nobody gets injured, everyone has a 17 year career" scenario. Mattingly's first six were better than Puckett's first six. It's tough to deny that.


We're just going to go around in circles. Mattingly didn't have the same type injury. He didn't wake up one day and say, today I retire. 89 didn't help him, but it isn't the same. And Puckett's last 6 were better than Mattingly's last four, so that gets us precisely nowhere. I am using my subjective opinion on this.
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Postby Pogotheostrich » Fri Aug 18, 2006 8:29 am

ukrneal wrote:We're just going to go around in circles. Mattingly didn't have the same type injury. He didn't wake up one day and say, today I retire. 89 didn't help him, but it isn't the same. And Puckett's last 6 were better than Mattingly's last four, so that gets us precisely nowhere. I am using my subjective opinion on this.
Does it really matter what kind of injury? Both had career ending injuries.
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Postby joshheines » Fri Aug 18, 2006 9:31 am

Pogotheostrich wrote:
ukrneal wrote:We're just going to go around in circles. Mattingly didn't have the same type injury. He didn't wake up one day and say, today I retire. 89 didn't help him, but it isn't the same. And Puckett's last 6 were better than Mattingly's last four, so that gets us precisely nowhere. I am using my subjective opinion on this.
Does it really matter what kind of injury? Both had career ending injuries.


Word. Exactly what I was going to say. What does it matter whether Puckett retired because he woke up and was blind in one eye or whether he had to retire due to a severe back injury? Like Pogo said, it doesn't.
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Postby ukrneal » Fri Aug 18, 2006 10:13 am

joshheines wrote:
Pogotheostrich wrote:
ukrneal wrote:We're just going to go around in circles. Mattingly didn't have the same type injury. He didn't wake up one day and say, today I retire. 89 didn't help him, but it isn't the same. And Puckett's last 6 were better than Mattingly's last four, so that gets us precisely nowhere. I am using my subjective opinion on this.
Does it really matter what kind of injury? Both had career ending injuries.


Word. Exactly what I was going to say. What does it matter whether Puckett retired because he woke up and was blind in one eye or whether he had to retire due to a severe back injury? Like Pogo said, it doesn't.


It doesn't put him, it is merely a consideration (I'm not sure how we've gotten so far on the edge - my fault I guess). I really don't understand why you are all ganging up on me! I want my mommie :~( :~( :~( (just kidding here)

Incidentally, Mattingly's injury was not career ending (since he did go on to play, hence my objection to the word 'end'). Another way to look at it, just bad luck that he didn't get injured at the end of his career like Puckett.

Seriously though, HOF is not a pure numbers thing. There are no magic numbers. I understand what you guys are saying, I just don't agree. I think we've gone around the block at this point and I'm starting to repeat myself.

If I had to pick the top 100 players in baseball ever (hitters at least), I would put him on that list.

To sum up, his hitting (pure hitter) and defense (great at a tough (and important position) put him in. It doesn't bother me that he wasn't a HR hitter or that he never hit 3000 hits. I think he's put up 10 darned good years that make him worthy. I know you'll disagree and that's ok.
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