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Luis Tiant on Modern Era HoF Ballot

Discussion in 'Red Sox Forum' started by LoweTek, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. LoweTek

    LoweTek Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    1,099
    Along with Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Marvin Miller, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons and Alan Trammell, old friend Luis Tiant appears on the ballot to be voted on by the 16 member Modern Era Committee on December 10 at the Winter Meetings.

    Luis would have to get the votes of at least 12 of the 16 members to be elected.

    Luis has always been a borderline HoF candidate. Enjoying a 19 year career, he has some impressive (and comparable to other HoF pitchers) career totals in areas such as pitcher WAR, wins, career shutouts, WPA and others.

    Can SoSH make a case for Luis to get the needed 12 votes from the MEC and be inducted?
     
  2. Al Zarilla

    Al Zarilla Member SoSH Member

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    40,834
    Why isn’t he already in? OK, he does have a good case when you look at the stats you mention vs. guys already in. In BWAR, he beats guys you think, oh, yeah, he’s a solid hall of famer. He beats Whitey Ford, Juan Marichal, Early Wynn, quite a lot of others, not to even mention guys with short careers like Koufax and Dizzy Dean. The one thing they probably always hold against him is the difference between his wins and losses. Go Luis!
     
  3. Toe Nash

    Toe Nash Member SoSH Member

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    Tiant is almost the definition of borderline. I'd vote for him but I like a big Hall. His JAWS is 51st among SP, but he doesn't have any really exceptional seasons, never finished higher than 4th in Cy voting, only made 3 ASG, and as we know while he was great in the 75 WS, that was really his only postseason opportunity.

    Obligatory: Marvin Miller not being in is a traveshmockery. It's not clear to me from cursory research what the makeup of the committee will be, so I'm not sure if he will have any shot. In the past, he was ignored basically on "party lines" but no objective observer can deny the impact he had on the game.
     
  4. Rough Carrigan

    Rough Carrigan reasons within Reason Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    18,539
    Tiant's 1968 season wasn't really exceptional? 21-9, 186 ERA+. Led the league in ERA and shutouts and had a whip of 0.87. Yes, that's 1968 but ERA+ normalizes for that. How high is the bar if that's not really exceptional?

    And, yeah, it's ridiculous that Miller isn't already in.
     
  5. Rough Carrigan

    Rough Carrigan reasons within Reason Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    He laps that field in duende without breaking a sweat.
     
  6. Mueller's Twin Grannies

    Mueller's Twin Grannies Member SoSH Member

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    I thought the reason Miller wasn't in was because he didn't want to be before his death because hee felt he didn't qualify or didn't belong for some reason or another. I was under the impression that the reason he was not inducted posthumously was out of respect for his wishes.
     
  7. santadevil

    santadevil Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    My recollection is not so much that he didn't feel he qualified, but that since he wasn't in already, that he said screw it, don't bother later

    But I don't recall where I read that
     
  8. Spacemans Bong

    Spacemans Bong chapeau rose SoSH Member

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    I think Miller fell 1-2 votes short and it was pretty obvious the no votes were from the ex-management people on the committee, so he said go to hell.

    I would lean towards putting several people of the Modern Era ballot in. The Hall just doesn't elect enough people these days, and even obvious candidates like Raines and Biggio took far too long to be inducted.

    You go through the all-time WAR leaderboard, and once you get past 50 you can almost split pre-1950 players, who are in, from post-1950 players, who are not. Should the Hall really be in the business of keeping out guys who are better than numerous inductees, since baseball is harder and fairer (ie integrated) than it was in 1933? I'm not even talking about Frankie Frisch Veterans Committee picks, I'm talking Burleigh Grimes, Bill Dickey, Bill Terry, etc.

    To me, the standard is actually substantially lower than we thought it was. So we should be making detailed examinations of careers past the 50 WAR mark or so, and I'm inclined to lean more towards in than out. It won't be everybody - Rick Reuschel has 70 (!!) WAR and I'm struggling with the idea of him as a Hall of Famer, but just to cherry pick a few names in the 50-60 WAR range:

    Johan Santana, Mark Teixeira, Dustin Pedroia, Joe Mauer, Jeff Kent, Jim Wynn, Will Clark, Bobby Bonds, John Olerud, Darrell Evans, Mark Buerhle, Tim Hudson, Vladimir Guerrero (I actually think he gets in pretty easily) and Keith Hernandez.

    I don't think any one of these guys would disgrace the standards of the Hall if they got in. Along with some 60 and up guys like David Cone, Andruw Jones, Reggie Smith, Dewey Evans, Graig Nettles, Kevin Brown and Kenny Lofton (one and done!). Tell me what Richie Ashburn is better than Kenny Lofton at, besides talking on television.
     
  9. bankshot1

    bankshot1 Member SoSH Member

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    I think ever since I got my internet membership card, I've posted several times in support of Marvin Miller's Hof credentials. It hasn't worked yet. One day it might. His exclusion, probably due to short sighted management types, is a travesty of a sham of a mockery of justice. Miller should be in the HoF.

    Secondly, I was a huge Tiant fan. He was a blast to watch pitch. I was looking at his #s last night, and on #s he's almost there. Maybe short on wins and those stand-out years, but he's right there on ERA.

    But when you add in his presence on the diamond, his charisma, the fun he brought to the game, and lastly his Cuban heritage, (not a lot of Cubans in the HoF) he should probably be in, but in this regard I'm a homer.
     
  10. Spacemans Bong

    Spacemans Bong chapeau rose SoSH Member

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    Tiant has two ERA titles. There's a lot of guys in the Hall who don't have that.
     
  11. Savin Hillbilly

    Savin Hillbilly loves the secret sauce SoSH Member

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    So does Gary Peters. Do you want to make a case for him too?

    I agree with Toe Nash that Tiant is the quintessence of borderline--you might as well flip a coin--but I'd probably lean toward no if anything.

    EDIT: But looking at your earlier post, if guys like Hudson and Buehrle are in even in the conversation, then Tiant becomes a pretty clear yes. I tend to lean more toward the "gatekeeper" side than that, but there's no right or wrong answer to the question "where do you draw the line?".
     
    #11 Savin Hillbilly, Nov 7, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  12. Dick Drago

    Dick Drago Member SoSH Member

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    I love Tiant's 1972. He was washed up, career derailed by injuries. Then one night mopping up in relief he found it again. Dominant for the rest of the season, and his renaissance was underway
    .

    Not really relevant to his Hall candidacy, but a great story.

    Was he also the first truly fan beloved Non-white Sox player? I guess Boomer comes close, but I think that was more in his second tour.
     
  13. drtooth

    drtooth 2:30 Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    If one is judging Tiant's HoF qualifications, looking at the stats of two HoF contemporaries in Jim Palmer and Catfish Hunter gives a decent basis for comparison. Where Tiamt does come up short is in post-season evaluations as he only went to one as Palmer and Hunter went on to multiple playoff appearances.

    1. 20 win seasons-- Hunter 5 (in a row), Tiant 4, Palmer 8

    2. Career strikeouts--Hunter 2012, Tiant 2416, Palmer 2212

    3. Career wins--Hunter 224, Tiant 229, Palmer 268

    4. WHIP--Hunter 1.134, Tiant 1.199, Palmer 1.180

    5. ERA+--Hunter 104, Tiant 114, Palmer 125

    Just throwing this out there for discussion.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hunteca01.shtml

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/tiantlu01.shtml

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/palmeji01.shtml
     
  14. charlieoscar

    charlieoscar lurker

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    Ashburn was elected to the HoF in 1995; Lofton was still playing in the majors in 2007.

    I'm not arguing for or against any player but I am asking whether you think that if a player is elected some time in the past and then some years later a player at his position comes along and posts better numbers, should you de-elect the first player?

    There were 406 players who made their debut from 1900 through 1930 who played in at least ten seasons (i.e., qualified in that regard for the HoF) while if you extend that final season to 2001, there were 2792 qualified players. The threshold changes, not just because of the influx of players over the years but because the game changes (from the 2006 Hitless Wonders to the Babe hitting more home runs by himself than most teams did in total to baseballs going into orbit) and because the metrics used to evaluate players has undergone marked changes.

    I will add that Ashburn was elected by the Veterans Committee and they don't always follow the current norms; they have a tendency to evaluate according to the norms of their own era.
     
  15. Spacemans Bong

    Spacemans Bong chapeau rose SoSH Member

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    Peters has 22.5 bWAR for his career. He basically had four good seasons in his entire career.

    Tiant had eight four-win seasons, and another four or five where he was at least a solid contributor. He has 66 bWAR for his career, which is higher than Juan Marichal, Early Wynn, Whitey Ford and Roy Halladay (spitballing here, but I think Halladay also gets into the Hall without much difficulty). He's within one win of Don Drysdale and Carl Hubbell.

    That isn't to say Tiant > Juan Marichal, however it's a compelling sign we need to rexamine Tiant's career. He was the best pitcher in the American League in 1968, sorry Denny McLain, and had a tremendous career with the Red Sox post-arm injury. He was great in the 1975 playoffs. He pitched and won in a significant number of big ballgames for the Red Sox.

    When you realize the line by the standards of the Hall isn't some guy like Mike Mussina, but rather should be somebody like Billy Pierce, I think you see Tiant as being over the line.

    The threshold has changed too far, there are markedly fewer people who played in the expansion era in the Hall relative to their forebears. This is despite the fact baseball is harder than it used to be. We've now entered a realm where the voters, both the BBWAA and the Veterans Committees, are basically telling people that their heroes are worse than the folks that preceded them, despite significant evidence to the contrary.

    Lofton is one of the half-dozen best leadoff men of all time, what is the cogent argument against him being a Hall of Famer?
     
  16. Savin Hillbilly

    Savin Hillbilly loves the secret sauce SoSH Member

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    You missed my point if you thought I was saying that Tiant and Peters are in any way comparable. My point was that "leading the league in ERA twice" is way too specific and arbitrary a criterion to be much use in making a HoF case. A borderline elite pitcher like Tiant can do it, but so can a good but quite ordinary pitcher like Peters.
     
  17. Tyrone Biggums

    Tyrone Biggums nfl meets tri-annually at a secret country mansion SoSH Member

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    Kind of a shame that Dewey isn’t on this list. Tiant is borderline. Miller should be in
     
  18. grimshaw

    grimshaw the new rudy SoSH Member

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    Tiant's JAWS score is what kills him in my mind. He had one fantastic season (and it was the infamous '68 season before they lowered the mound), a few all star worthy ones and then some good supporting seasons to give some thought to his case. But he really wasn't the same after '76 and closed out the last 6 seasons of his career with some serious mediocrity.

    I think you need at least 4-5 dominant seasons to be considered worthy. I see him as more Jon Lester and Andy Pettitte, than borderline.
     
  19. charlieoscar

    charlieoscar lurker

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    I carefully said that I was "not arguing for or against any player." You may say that since Lofton was better than Ashburn he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame; however, I don't think you should say that since Ashburn was not as good as Lofton, he should not be in the Hall. Lofton was in his fourth full season when Ashburn was elected.

    To push an argument to its extreme, suppose the greatest pitcher ever seen, up to now, pitched from 1901 through 1915 and he never lost a game nor did he ever give up and earned run. Does that mean we would never elect another pitcher to the Hall of Fame? How do you set the bar other than judging players compared to their peers?

    You can't judge fielding in early baseball like you do today (advanced metrics aside) because games were played during the day, which meant they finished as it was getting darker; they didn't use 250-300 balls per game, which meant that the ball was generally discolored; the outfield grass was not as smooth and the drainage poorer; the dirt in the infield was not as well kept and teams could slant foul lines so bunts rolled foul or stayed fair; the mound height and slope varied by park.

    And some of those things are reasons why you can't judge pitching and hitting then as you can today. You have no way of telling how a player from yesteryear would have done today. Would they have adapted...new training methods and better equipment, better travel, not having to work a winter job, etc., And the opposite applies to today's players. Would they adapt well to the game back then? You take the Hall of Fame for what it is.
     
  20. jaytftwofive

    jaytftwofive lurker

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    I always believed Louie belongs in the HOF. If Blyleven and others as good are in, then Tiant belongs. Speaking of the HOF, will the late Roy Halladay get in because of his untimely death(Rest his soul). Best pitcher from 2001 to 2011.
     
  21. Spacemans Bong

    Spacemans Bong chapeau rose SoSH Member

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    I think you're misintrepreting what I'm arguing. I'm not saying Ashburn isn't a Hall of Famer, I'm saying his election sets a clear standard that Kenny Lofton surpasses.
     
  22. Spacemans Bong

    Spacemans Bong chapeau rose SoSH Member

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    I'm not saying anybody who leads the league in ERA twice gets a plaque, but it's a nice, concrete, meaningful achievement that even no-doubt Hall of Famers like Tom Glavine never did.
     
  23. WheresDewey

    WheresDewey lurker

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    I couldn't agree more about Dewey. Fangraphs had a recent post this past weekend comparing him with Jim Rice. Higher WAR and all the gold gloves. Not that Rice is the strongest member of the Hall, but Dewey deserves some solid consideration. Tiant too.

    Edit: spelling
     

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