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The strangest Hall of Fame votes in history

Jan 8, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

Dante Bichette

Grant Brisbee of SB Nation runs down some odd ones. Some of which, in their defense, were oddities of a stranger and damn-nigh inexplicable time. For example, Dante Bichette’s three Hall of Fame votes can be explained in context:

The mid-’90s were a horrible time. I went to a Dave Matthews concert in 1995. A Dave Matthews concert. You can see how that sort of time lends itself well to Dante Bichette-related hysteria.

And there are a couple of weirder ones too. Remember that tomorrow when you read about how Sandy Alomar, Jr. and Jeff Cirillo each got a vote from some strange ranger.

  1. historiophiliac - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Is this where I gloat about never succumbing to Dave Matthews inanity?

    • Ben - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      Preach. If there is a more banal musician out there (other than Coldplay or U2) I really, really don’t want to know about it. He’s just the worst.

      • schlom - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:19 PM

        No way is Dave Matthews worse than Coldplay or Maroon 5.

      • number42is1 - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        no band in the history of EVER is/was/will be worse than Maroon 5

      • Ben - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:23 PM

        Except maybe Rush.

        (ducks for cover)

      • indaburg - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:42 PM

        Really, number42? Creed? Nickelback? Bush? I can think of plenty. New Kids on the Block. Backstreet Boys.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:45 PM

        I think I’m in love w/ Ben right now.

      • cur68 - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:06 PM

        I want you all to know I am reading this and taking names. There will be a reckoning for speaking ill of Rush.

      • Ben - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:12 PM

        On a somewhat related note, I was never a huge Muse fan, but I enjoyed some of their earlier stuff in a very casual way. I heard their new single the other day (which I suppose has been out forever) and holy crap, they got bad. Real, real bad.

      • seeinred87 - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:19 PM

        @ Ben

        I was with you until you talked shit about Muse. Matthew Bellamy is one of the most talented musicians around.

      • indaburg - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:31 PM

        @’philliac: Already? Goodness, you just broke up with Torii. Take a moment. Rebounds are the worst.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        I really hope it didn’t take me this long to get on the anti-Rush list.

      • Ben - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        I mean, sure, genius in the sense that Muse is what I imagine the bastard child of an orgy between Abba, Queen and early Radiohead to be.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:10 PM

        Just don’t anybody diss the Osmond Brothers. I mean, they totally redefined heavy metal!!!

    • indaburg - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      You were not alone, sistah. Preach it.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        They’re like one of those dudes who thinks girls don’t like him b/c he’s too sensitive when really it’s b/c he won’t SHUT UP.

    • dstark9 - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      I never quite understood why people liked that band so much myself. I thought I was the only odd one out there lol.

  2. number42is1 - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    what do folks have against DMB? i never got it. hes got good music and smokes more pot than Timmy….

    • historiophiliac - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:14 PM

      See Janeane Garofalo on the Hootification of America for more.

    • bobwsc - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:19 PM

      there was the dumping of the tour bus port-o-potty into the Chicago river. besides that, just his voice.

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    For those who say WAR isn’t everything…just read this guy’s article, where isn’t everything…it’s the ONLY thing. Bichette hits .340 with 40 HRs and 128 RBIs and all this guy writes is that his WAR was a 1. LOL. Then people wonder why WAR shouldn’t be the be-all-end-all.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      WAR, What’s it good for?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        Absolutely nothing

      • goawaydog - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:25 PM

        say it again y’all

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:33 PM

        A quick and easy way to assess value?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        Did you know that baseball-reference has 4 versions of “WAR” since May, 2012? Just like Win-blows 8.0, WAR is a stat that is still evolving and right now, it is just too subjective for me. Why are those stats what makes a player? What makes BR’s numbers better than my numbers? What defines “average defense”?

        Look, you guys all want to worship at the alter of WAR, then that’s your call. But as far as I am concerned, it’s still a flawed stat with subjective defensive calculations.

      • danrizzle - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:55 PM

        Chris – do you say defensive numbers are too subjective because you’ve studied them and found them so or because you’ve heard other people say that and decided to adopt it as your own opinion?

        It is sometimes useful to look at the things you believe and consider the best possible counterargument to them. “Why are their stats better than mine?” I don’t know, but give them their best argument and then prove why yours are better.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        dan, maybe I am wrong, but from what I have read, defensive statistics are tabulated by a bunch of people watching every single play of every single game and determining whether a player should have/could have gotten to a ball. So for example, a ball hit to the SS…someone watches the play and determines whether the SS should have fielded the ball. It is 100% using their subjectivity. Am I wrong? If so, then tell me how they are tabulating defensive metrics today.

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        Yes you are wrong. I believe only BiS uses that method for assessing defensive value. It would behoove you to learn more about the things you are arguing against.

        WAR is not a stat. It is a framework. Each version of WAR has different inputs. You don’t seem to like defensive metrics (though surely you must measure defense in some method). Fine. How about using the Fan Scouting Report as your defensive input? WAR forces consistency in measuring value. It works to strip away subjectivity (which you seem to have a problem with).

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        You tell me I am wrong, but did not tell me how your methods calculate defensive value. So tell me…how do they do it? Because I know errors are meaningless. So tell me…I gave you the description of defensive methods that I read about a while back. Give me the exact method your defensive metrics are calculated, instead of lecturing me on what “behooves” me.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:22 PM

        You must have been joking when you said “Fan Scouting Report” right? Use what the fans think a player’s defensive value was? LOL. And BOTH DSR and UZR, from what I can tell, use BiS data and I know some part of either DSR or UZR or both is calculated within the WAR stat.

        So it appears that by all accounts, I was right. It behooves you to do a little research before you call someone wrong and tell them what behooves them.

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        Why should I describe these things to you? There is an internet connection at your disposal – use it. I would suggest reading about FSR.

      • dstark9 - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:50 PM

        Did you know Rick Reuschel ranks in the top 100 of all-time best .WARS for a pitcher? He is ahead of Jim Palmer.

    • Ben - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      Adjust for park, adjust for era, adjust for position, subtract value for brutal defense. Bichette’s WAR totals are death by a thousand cuts.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      Who had a better war? Donald Sutherland or Bill Murray?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        I liked Bill Murray’s, but I’m not old enough to have enjoyed Donald Sutherland’s.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:25 PM

        I’m gonna say Bill Murray because he got to make it with a sexy MP inside the trunk in the master bedroom of the Colonel’s house, while Donald Sutherland had to amputate a leg while using a handsaw.

      • indaburg - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        Bill Murray for the win (I’ve been thinking of him all morning thanks to Craig’s Lost in Translation snark earlier) although Sutherland has had his moments too.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        Bill Murray also got to drive that awesome RV across Russia

      • historiophiliac - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        Plus, Harold Ramis trumps Elliot Gould as a side-kick any day.

      • cur68 - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:50 PM

        Donald Sutherland, FTW. Reasons:
        1) He’s Canadian (the Pride of Saint John, New Brunswick): worth +1WAR
        2) He was in MASH the movie; +1WAR
        3) He was the Pro From Dover in that movie; +1WAR
        4) He’s Kiefer’s dad so he IS the father of Jack Bauer: worlds greatest counter spy; +2WAR (he gets a bump for fathering Kiefer and for Jack Bauer: the double whammy)

        All that an no crappy sequels. An excellent +5 WAR. Unlike Bill Murray, for whom the bell tolls thusly:

        Bill Murray; Well his case is good but his WAR is based on Ghostbusters I (+1), Stripes (+1), Groundhog Day (+1) and Caddyshack (+1). Since two of those movies spawned relatively bad sequels and Bill didn’t spawn any good acting progeny, he doesn’t get the bump and really we should subtract at least 1 WAR for the sequels. A mere +3 WAR. Not good enough for first ballot I’m afraid. Also I’m morally certain that Bill used drugs.

      • indaburg - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:25 PM

        Wrong, cur.

        Caddyshack is worth at least +2.5. His body of work from SNL? Another +2. Lost in Translation? +1. (Scarlett Johanssen in skivvies must be worth something.) Rushmore. +1. The Royal Tennenbaums. +1.

        Murray doesn’t have an agent. Just a phone number. That’s pro. +1.

        And of course, he hails from the most bad ass country ever, the U.S. of A., a natural born son of Illinois. +100

      • cur68 - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:30 PM

        You win with Scarlett Johanssen in her skivvies.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        Also, Burgie, points for a Sigourney Weaver connection.

      • lanflfan - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:09 PM

        Donald Sutherland as Oddball in Kelly’s Heroes, a +1 at least.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      Actually, I think it’s a good chance for you to understand why that would be.

      (a) There’s more to a player’s value than offense. Bichette was a terrible defender and an unremarkable baserunner.
      (b) Colorado was a great place for hitters.
      (c) He played at a time that a lot of runs were scored.
      (d) The numbers you shared were in his career year, not his career averages. And even in that year, the voters said that Barry Larkin was the better choice for MVP (see (a) and (b), above).

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        The numbers I shared gave him a WAR of 1. If those #’s give you a WAR of 1, then like I said, WAR isn’t good for nothing and it’s an indictment of the stat. No amount of bad defense is going to make a guy be basically slightly above average with those numbers. And defensive stats are still far too subjective in my opinion, which means his WAR is skewed low. But whatever….it’s a matter of agreeing to disagree.

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        No, it is absolutely not a matter of agreeing to disagree. It is a matter of someone being ignorant and not putting raw offensive numbers into their proper context.

        And you cannot just ignore defense. You say that the defensive numbers are too subjective, but then just say that his WAR is skewed too low. By how much? This sounds extremely subjective.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        See my comments above…defensive stats are too subjective right now. It’s a bunch of people clicking a mouse while watching a play and determining whether a player would have fielded that hit ball. Eh. Too subjective in my eyes. You want to worship at the alter of WAR, go right ahead. That’s your prerogative. I don’t.

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        In 1995, Bichette produced a wRC+ of 131

        Players who produced a higher wRC+ in 2012: Mi. Cabrera, Trout, Braun, Posey, McCutchen, Fielder, Encarnacion, Cano, Headley, Willingham, Ar. Ramirez, Holliday, Ad. Beltre, Wright, Jo. Hamilton, Mauer, Butler, Ya. Molina, Craig, Zobrist, Cespedes, Au. Jackson, Freese, Pujols

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:50 PM

        I do not worship at the altar of WAR. I would just like you to point out how you would measure Bichette’s defense. If fielding metrics are too subjective, then what do you suggest we use to measure it?

        And more importantly, his offensive output was not all that impressive. You seem to be dodging this on both fronts. How would you evaluate Bichette’s ’95 season? And please do it in a way that can be consistently applied to other seasons.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:55 PM

        For the sake of argument, let’s assume for a second I care about wRC. From what I have found in very limited research, 120 or better is an excellent number, correct? So what this means is that Bichette was 11 points above excellent in this wRC stat that you have provided me, and yet, his WAR was 1. LOL.

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:22 PM

        No he was not “11 points above excellent.” His wRC+ ranked 30th in MLB. Couple that with his poor defense and below average baserunning. You don’t seem to agree with the measurements of these widely held beliefs, which is fine. However, they must be accounted for somehow. Maybe his fielding didn’t cost the team 18 runs (1.8 wins). But it definitely did hurt the Rockies and his overall value.

        One possible solution: you have five categories of fielders – excellent, above-average, average, below-average and poor. Assign each the amount of runs/wins you think are the appropriate fit (ex. +15, +7.5, 0, -7.5, -15), though this reasoning should be explained. Now we can debate where Bichette’s ’95 fits into this spectrum. This method clearly is not perfect (upper and lower limits, the significant jump between points, etc.), but it is an alternative to measure his defensive output.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        Bichette’s WAR should not have been below 2 because as far as I am concerned, he had starting OF value. That’s all I am saying. That’s all I have said from the start. To get a value of 1, which is “substitute player” according to WAR, with those offensive numbers is ludicrous no matter how bad you and I disagree on how to equate his defensive abilities.

        To me, WAR overvalues the defensive side without having any OBJECTIVE way to actually VALUE the defensive side. You want to actually use fan ratings, which I think is ludicrous. You want to use UZR or DSR, which both use BiS…I still don’t trust that metric. Until the time comes when a defensive metric isn’t as subjective as those…and that may never come…this may be the best we have…then I will continue to think that WAR overvalues defense and base-running while undervaluing offense. I think WAR assumes ANYBODY, in neutral conditions under neutral environment, can hit a home run, which is ludicrous to me.

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        0 is replacement level, not 1. 2 is around average.

        I thought you might want to use FSR (which yes I do very much agree with), because it is just not one person’s subjective measure (see: wisdom of the crowds). Seondly, DRS, UZR, +/-, all come with a range of certainty. The creators of these stats love to talk about how to best use them (MGL has shared a wealth of information about UZR with the public). Just throwing them out because you think they are too subjective is pretty ludicrous. Why not average them together? Surely there is some worthy insight to be gleaned from the numerous defensive metrics.

        And most importantly, if you think fWAR, rWAR, etc overvalue fielding and baserunning, then just weight them less! If you think hitting is 75% of a player’s value, then calculate his WAR accordingly. But explain your reasoning. Each input of the different WAR’s are thoroughly explained. Don’t like a specific input? Fine. Pick a different one and explain why. Don’t like the weighting? Fine. Assign a different weight and explain why. You are dismissing a significant amount of valuable information because you don’t agree with a tiny input.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        Here’s what BRef has as the WAR categories..

        8+ MVP
        5+ A-S
        2+ Starter
        0-2 Sub
        < 0 Repl

        So basically, Bichette's 1995 season was about as good as a 4th or 5th outfielder. Replacement to me means replacement on the team not in the starting lineup. All I am saying is that his offensive output that season should have been no worse than a 2+ WAR. This is why people get outraged over sabrmetrics. I'm a guy who is coming around to the stats, but I do not like WAR and probably never will because of instances like this. People put too much emphasis on it.

        It's not like I am saying that he deserves to be 8+ because the idiots at the BBWAA had him 2nd in the MVP voting. I just think that a 1 WAR is far too low. I would say that if between 2 and 5 is "starter" category, then something like a 3.5 would be fine with me. Again, even though 5+ is All-star and he was an all-star reserve, not voted in by the fans, I wouldn't argue that he should have a WAR of 5+. But 1 is far too low in my opinion…especially since 1 means he's a 4th or 5th outfielder.

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:46 PM

        Do you see the irony in someone arguing against subjectivity then arbitrarily assigning some rank based upon opinion?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        Arbitrarily? LOL taken directly from BRef website…

        WAR — Wins Above Replacement
        A single number that presents the number of wins the player added
        to the team above what a replacement player (think AAA or AAAA) would add.
        Scale for a single-season: 8+ MVP Quality, 5+ All-Star Quality, 2+ Starter,
        0-2 Reserve, < 0 Replacement Level
        Developed by Sean Smith of BaseballProjection.com

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        Yes, “arbitrarily”, in that you figure 3.5 wins is his value because he was a starter that was not of All-Star caliber. That is extremely arbitrary. Starters who underperformed can have below-average, and below-replacement WARs. This does not change the fact that they may have started all season.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        All I am saying is that his offensive output that season should have been no worse than a 2+ WAR. This is why people get outraged over sabrmetrics. I’m a guy who is coming around to the stats, but I do not like WAR and probably never will because of instances like this. People put too much emphasis on it.

        Except his offensive output was over 2 WAR that season (2.8 oWAR on bref, roughly 2.5 oWAR on fangraphs). The problem is everything else subtracted from that value. He was a bad fielder, a bad runner, and he played a position low on the defensive spectrum. Are you arguing that he should have been credited with more than the 2.8/2.5 WAR for offense? Well then take that up with wRAA (bref) or wOBA (fangraphs).

    • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      Regarding his hitting, you must take into account pre-humidor Coors combined with the mid-90′s offensive environment (raw numbers need context). And his defense was brutal.

    • paperlions - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      It’s called Context. In 1995, playing in Coors, 40 HRs and 128 RBI just weren’t that great. In 1982, that is HOF shit. In 1995, playing 1/2 your games in Coors, is was okay. Couple that with historically awful defense and bad base running, and you’ve got yourself an average MLB player in 1995.

      On the road in 1995, Bichette hit 9 hrs. Ignore context at your own peril.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:08 PM

        I’ll give you everything you said except the “average MLB player” part. If it was so easy to hit 40 HRs because it was Coors, then why didn’t anyone else on the team do it? If it was so easy to knock in 128, then why was the second place hitter on the team at 106? I don’t disagree that it does seem like Bichette took advantage of his advantage at Coors…especially with the home/road splits. But to me, that’s doesn’t warrant a “sub-Level” WAR no matter how terrible everyone seems to think his defense was.

      • kirkvanhouten - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:30 PM

        “If it was so easy to hit 40 HRs because it was Coors, then why didn’t anyone else on the team do it?”

        First off, Bichette hit a whopping 31 of those home runs at Coors…

        Well, I believe that team also featured Andres Galarraga, Larry Walker, Vinny Castilla and Ellis Burks, no?

        Bichette, Galarraga, Walker, Castilla and Burks have a combined 9 40-home-run season to their name. They played a combined *50* season on teams that were not the Rockies.

        …only 1 of the 9 40 home run seasons between them occured on a team that was not the Colorado Rockies.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:00 PM

        OK so how does that answer my question? I simply asked if it was so easy to do what Bichette did in 95, why didn’t any of the others on the team do it that year? I know he hit 31 at Coors…why didn’t Walker? I know they all hit their home runs at Coors. What’s your point? I’m not debating his taking advantage of Coors. I’m saying how is he “substitute” level with those numbers…especially considering he was the ONLY Rockie to approach those numbers that year.

      • kirkvanhouten - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:09 PM

        “OK so how does that answer my question? I simply asked if it was so easy to do what Bichette did in 95, why didn’t any of the others on the team do it that year?”

        Larry Walker hit just 4 fewer home runs and topped him in OPS, Castilla hit 32 home runs and Galarraga hit 31, so I’m not terribly sure what your point is.

        Furthermore, no one is arguing that Bichette wasn’t a good *offensive* player that year. They are arguing that
        1). He was not nearly as good as his numbers appear to show, because OPS at Coors field for the Rockies and their opponents was 200 points higher (therefore, 1 run out of 10 is not as valuable as 1 run out of 5).
        2). Combining his offense with terrible defense and poor baserunning, he wasn’t very valuable.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:18 PM

        Kirk, my argument is that no amount of bad defense or baserunning or home field bias “should” bring Bichette’s offensive stats down to the point where his value as a player that year is defined as “sub-level”. HBT, as it’s wan to do when I post, disagrees. No biggie. The guy who came in 2nd in MVP voting that season wasn’t worth anything more than a 4th or 5th outfielder according to WAR. While I don’t always agree with the voting of the BBWAA, that’s just insane. But that’s my opinion, as unpopular as it is here on the home of SABR, HBT.

      • paperlions - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:18 PM

        Exactly. It isn’t that the HRs weren’t nice. They were. But that was all he contributed and he only did it at home. He was an awful fielder everywhere and a poor base runner everywhere. He didn’t provide no value in those aspects, but negative value. When you consider all things, he gave away about as much value with his glove and base running as he provided with his power at Coors.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        Kirk, my argument is that no amount of bad defense or baserunning or home field bias “should” bring Bichette’s offensive stats down to the point where his value as a player that year is defined as “sub-level”

        Adam Dunn in ’09 put up a 3.7 oWAR (bref) but his total rWAR was -0.6 because of how bad he was on defense. It happens, but there are some players whose offensive value can be entirely eliminated if they give it all back on defense/positioning.

    • kirkvanhouten - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:19 PM

      1. Dante Bichette was a fucking awful fielder. Awwwwful…

      2. Sure, those numbers are impressive on the surface. How much of that was Coors field? Well, Bichette’s OPS was a whopping .350 higher at Coors. That era in Coors was the greatest hitting environment in baseball history.

      Here the Rockies at home OPS difference from 1995-2000
      1995: +.239
      1996: +.335
      1997: +.151
      1998: +.190
      1999: +.232
      2000: +.250

      So, you should really amend your statement to say something along the lines of “A fuck-awful defensive outfielder of Greg Luzinski proportions posted an roughly an .800 OPS in a neutral environment and only had a 1 WAR? That makes total sense!”

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:46 PM

        So completely eliminate all of his home stats because they were at Coors Field? Really? That’s as ludicrous as the WAR stat itself. Look, it’s not like I am saying Bichette was the best player in baseball. I am clearly not. But I just don’t see how a guy has a “substitute” rating when he puts up those type of numbers. You want to say it was because of Coors, then where were all these other 40/120 guys on Colorado that year?

      • kirkvanhouten - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        “So completely eliminate all of his home stats because they were at Coors Field? Really? That’s as ludicrous as the WAR stat itself.”

        Nope, not at all. *But since everyone hit better at Coors, let’s discount it that much*.

        The Rockies hitters had an OPS 239 points higher at Coors, and hit 67% of their home runs there. Their opponents had an OPS 187 points higher there and hit 67% of their home runs against Rockie’s pitching at home. So, let’s discount his home stats by *that much since that’s how much that run environment inflated them for everybody!*

        So, let’s drop Bichette’s home OPS by 213 points (amount Coors increased OPS by) and cut his home runs at Coors by a third (again, the amount Coors increased it by). What are we left with?

        A terrible defensive outfielder who hit 30 home runs with an .871 OPS. Not a bad hitting year. Right there next to Fred McGriff (not his best year by a long shot)…who was also slow, played bad defense in a position with offensive abundance and posted….a 1.2 WAR.

      • kirkvanhouten - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:04 PM

        ” You want to say it was because of Coors, then where were all these other 40/120 guys on Colorado that year?”

        I love how you are also focusing on these two specific stats. If this is your criteria for attempting to disprove that Coors was an extreme hitters park, it’s insane. The Rockies scored 185 more runs and gave up 197 more runs at home. That’s *insane*. A run in Coors was not worth nearly as much as a run anywhere else.

        What you’re attempting to do is claim that one RBI in a game in which 10 runs are scored has the same value as an RBI in game in which 2 runs are scored. That’s very obviously not the case.

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        Chris, sorry if this is sounding like another lecture, but replacement level is 0. The stat is Wins Above Replacement. Thus, a substitute player would theoretically put up a WAR of 0.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        Wrong again!

      • paperlions - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        Just be patient. You’ll be right some day.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:45 PM

        Paperbag, I meant HE was wrong again not me. I am right. 0 is replacement level in MLB, not on a player’s team. Below 0 means you are AAA level. 2+ means starter and 0-2 means sub, but in MLB. So by getting a 1 WAR, it means that Bichette had a year no better than a typical 4th or 5th outfielder.

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:50 PM

        Chris, clearly that was a problem with semantics. I read substitute as equal to replacement. But I also do not agree with that assessment. WAR is not a rate stat. Thus you would expect bench/platoon players to put up positive WAR/150, somewhere close to 2. Bichette didn’t produce that much positive value in ’95. Thus his WAR is below-average and above-replacement. Why would you compare him to a 4th/5th outfielder? I don’t understand this after-the-fact assignment.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:01 PM

        party, I thought it was something pretty simple, but I guess even the people who are pro-WAR are confused by it’s meaning. Like I listed above, a less than zero WAR number means that you are replacement level in MLB. A # from 0-2 means that you didn’t even belong in a starting line-up that season. 2+ is starters level. 5+ is All Star level and 8+ is MVP level. That’s what is reads on BRef so that’s what I am going with. You want to make it more subjective than what it lists on BRef?? I’m confused if that is not how you read the stat WAR. I can only go by what BRef actually writes on their site, and that is their definition of WAR. So if Bichette ends up with a WAR of 1, that means to me…and to BRef I believe…that he had a season comparable to a substitute player at his position. A substitute for an outfielder is a 4th or 5th outfielder. Considering he is right in the middle of the 0-2 value range for substitute player, then I figure he is right between 4th and 5th outfielder according to the standards that BRef has clearly defined.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        This defines it pretty clearly to me…I don’t know what you are talking about to be honest.

        Taken directly from BRef website…

        WAR — Wins Above Replacement
        A single number that presents the number of wins the player added
        to the team above what a replacement player (think AAA or AAAA) would add.
        Scale for a single-season: 8+ MVP Quality, 5+ All-Star Quality, 2+ Starter,
        0-2 Reserve, < 0 Replacement Level
        Developed by Sean Smith of BaseballProjection.com

      • kirkvanhouten - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        A-ha-ah! Yes, Chris, now where’s getting somewhere!

        “. A # from 0-2 means that you didn’t even belong in a starting line-up that season. 2+ is starters level”

        Two is about *average* for starters, obviously, some have to be above, some have to be below.

        Now, Dante Bichette had an OPS+ of 130…or about 30% better than the league average (remember, OPS+ factors in the park…in which nearly 400 more runs crossed the plate then when the Rockies were playing elsewhere. BUT, how does Dante Bichette compare to those who could replace him in left? Well, turns out, his OPS+ of 130 was only slightly better than the 120 OPS+ put up collectively by NL outfielders.

        So, now what we are looking at is a left fielder who hit 10% than the combined average of all other left fielders, who is really terrible at defense. We can debate exact numbers and how much defense should be valued, but under this scenario, can you see why a terribly defensive outfielder in this circumstance wouldn’t be very valuable?

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:21 PM

        First off, sematics in that replace and substitute”are synonyms, and I use “bench player” where you use “substitute”.

        Secondly, I am telling you that around 2WAR is average, year in and year out. This is not subjective. Thus, 1 WAR for a starter is above-replacement, but below-average. WAR isn’t a rate stat so why would you compare him to a bench player? I really don’t like how Rally worded that spectrum.

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:23 PM

        Thanks, Kirk. That’s some pretty damn effective arguing.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 8, 2013 at 4:37 PM

        Kirk, so now OPS+ is the be-all-end-all of stats? That’s better than WAR, but only slightly. I don’t think his poor defense took his offensive numbers down to the point where he was less than average. Period. That’s my entire opinion. I think Bichette was at worst an average player during the 1995 season.

        Either way, there is no amount of defensive futility that would convince me that a guy who hits 40 HRs, knocks in 128, and bats .340 was less than an average starting outfielder in Major League baseball. Whether the year was 1982, 1995, 2012, or 2045. Whether he played in Dodger Stadium, Coors Field, or on Mars. But that’s how WAR defines his 1995 season and to me, that is ludicrous.

      • thereisaparty - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:12 PM

        Chris, you are admitting that your valuation is just your opinion. WAR (regardless of source) is applied objectively and consistently to all parties, using the same formula every single time. It requires that the same standard be applied to everyone. Your method of valuation for Bichette will most definitely differ from your valuation of let’s say Kenny Lofton. I am challenging you to adjust WAR (any WAR, even your own WAR) to suit your opinion. Then apply it to all players in ’95. Then again in ’85 and ’05. The caveat is that you have to accept all the results. Right now you are trying to bend WAR (the concept, not a specific stat) to suit your opinion of one player.

  4. unlost1 - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Dave Matthews should NOT be in the rock n roll hall of fame!

  5. jarathen - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Many writers like to give players with no chance to gain entry a thumbs up that is ultimately meaningless but is a symbol of approval for the value of their career. If you’ve got, say, six votes, and you covered Tim Salmon for years, is it wrong to say, “Hey buddy, you’re not going to get in, but I think you’re worth a couple votes on the ballot?”

  6. gabeguterres - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    Ever since David Segui got a HOF vote, I’ve theorized that there is at least one player on each ballet who is a “test.” As in, if anyone votes for that player, their voting privilege should be revoked. This year, I believe that player may be Jeff Cirillo. Or Woody Williams. Or maybe Jose Mesa.

  7. butchhuskey - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    I never realized how much Dante Bichette looked like Louie Anderson.

  8. Tick - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    At least listening to Dave Matthews just made him vote for Bichette. It usally makes you call everyone “Bra” and date rape drunk coeds.

  9. jonrox - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Why did you post a picture of Louie Anderson?

  10. historiophiliac - Jan 9, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    I went to get my hair done tonight, and both Coldplay and Dave Matthews came on at the salon. I busted out laughing and everyone just looked at me weirdly.

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