Jay Jaffe FanGraphs Chat – 9/10/21 by Jay Jaffe September 10, 2021 2:03 Jay Jaffe: Good afternoon folks, and welcome to another edition of my Friday chats. I’m just back from a bit more than 48 hours in Cooperstown for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony; I wrote about the Class of 2020’s long road there https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-hall-of-fames-class-of-2020-nears-the-… 2:04 Jay Jaffe: While in Cooperstown I put together Twitter threads on the 10 Hall of Famers who died in 2020-21, each of whom I covered at FanGraphs Jay Jaffe @jay_jaffe 10 Hall of Famers died in 2020 and ’21. At Induction Day, the Hall of Fame paid tribute in a very well-done video mlb.com/video/remember… Earlier today, as I went through the Hall’s Plaque Gallery, I snapped photos of their plaques to link to tributes I wrote @fangraphs. (1/11) 9 Sep 2021 2:05 Jay Jaffe: and another of highlights of my 1-hour blaze through the Hall to see some old favorites and new exhibits Jay Jaffe @jay_jaffe So yesterday I blasted through the @baseballhall in an hour to visit a few favorite little spots and see a few new things. I snapped a bunch of photos along the way. Threading here. If you missed my tribute series to the 10 HOFers who passed in 2020-21, that’s here: Jay Jaffe@jay_jaffe 10 Hall of Famers died in 2020 and ’21. At Induction Day, the Hall of Fame paid tribute in a very well-done video mlb.com/video/remember… Earlier today, as I went through the Hall’s Plaque Gallery, I snapped photos of their plaques to link to tributes I wrote @fangraphs. (1/11) 9 Sep 2021 2:05 Jay Jaffe: Today I kicked off the annual Team Entropy series https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/team-entropy-2021-back-to-somewhat-nor… 2:05 Jay Jaffe: and now, on with the show… 2:05 bob: Is Yadi the next catcher going to Cooperstown? 2:07 Jay Jaffe: Joe Mauer will hit the 2024 ballot, which looks to be four years ahead of Molina if the latter sticks to his plan to retire after next season. I don’t know that Mauer will be a first-ballot guy but he’ll go in soon 2:07 RAndoM121: How close is Nelson Cruz to being a Hall of Famer for you, and would 500+ homeruns make him a lock? 2:08 Jay Jaffe: not close and no, not with a PED suspension and value limited by his DH duty. Explained near the bottom here https://blogs.fangraphs.com/seven-pitchers-and-some-more-position-play… 2:08 Billy Martin’s ghost: Barring yet another miraculous turnaround, the Yankees have to move on from Boone in the off-season, right? Beyond that do you foresee major changes? I would hope there has to be some sort of roster shakeup via trade. 2:10 Jay Jaffe: I don’t get the sense that Boone’s neck is on the line. Is it his fault Torres, LeMahieu, and Frazier forgot how to hit? That Hicks was lost for the year with injury and that Brett Gardner was the center field fallback? That Voit missed so much time due to injury? That Chapman turned into a pumpkin and Britton and Loaisiga got injured? Et cetera 2:12 Jay Jaffe: I think there are things to criticize Boone for — I don’t think he’s very good at running a bullpen — but I also think he had to deal with a perfect storm of stuff that could have wiped the Yankees out much sooner, and as I look right now, they’re still in a playoff position. I know Yankees fans have bloodlust, but I don’t think they’ll be sated by the firing of Boone 2:12 Sonny Price: Is there any precedent for what we are seeing with Cody Bellinger this year? +7 WAR and a MVP in 2019 yet now he’s running the highest K% and lowest BB% rates of his career while hitting like a starting pitcher 2:14 Jay Jaffe: Guys get injured and get into bad habits trying to right themselves. I really think this is just a wash for Bellinger and that with a winter to rework himself, he’ll be fine — maybe not MVP caliber, but I don’t think this is the end of his time as a productive major leaguer, or for that matter a Dodger. 2:14 Jay hire me: With A-rod up for HOF election do you think that people will overlook his PED issues? If they dont do you think he makes it eventually? 2:14 Jay Jaffe: LOL 2:15 Jay Jaffe: If the writers aren’t going to elect Bonds despite his not being suspended, what on Doug Gwodz’s green earth makes you think they’ll elect Rodriguez given his suspension? 2:16 Jay Jaffe: That said, never is a long time, and I’m willing to bet that somewhere down the road Bonds (and Clemens) will be elected by a committee, and that will at least open the door for A-Rod, but a full year suspension is a helluva thing to overcome 2:16 Sonny: Ted Simmons’s hair should have gotten him into the Hall twenty years ago. Elder Flo was amazing 2:17 Jay Jaffe: A friend’s very astute son said that Simmons looks like a composite of every Rolling Stone. 2:17 Jay Jaffe: I think if you’d handed him a guitar in 1972 he’d have fit in visually, and I think the same is true now that he’s gone gray 2:17 Jay Jaffe: His speech was fantastic, by the way. Best of the day 2:17 MIke Ortman: Let’s stop and say congrats to you Jay. You (and others) have changed the landscape of the Hall of Fame. I hope it’s immensely satisfying knowing the impact you’ve made. I keep thinking someone will give you a shoutout in their speech, but if the players don’t see how clear it is, all of us serious fans do. Props to you, my cyber friend. Now get busy on Cooperstown Casebook Two! 2:19 Jay Jaffe: Thank you for the kind words, Mike. I do take some satisfaction in seeing the direction things have taken in terms of my system, and advanced stats in general, guiding the arguments — and in seeing “my guys” get inducted. I’m not waiting around for anyone to give me a shoutout, though. The players are the stars of the show, I’m just helping to put the right stage lighting on them. 2:19 Jay Jaffe: I did come away from this trip to Cooperstown more determined than ever to get a second book going. 2:19 Ron Hassey’s Gigantic Face: I know this is old news with the voting being from last year, but were you surprised Cliff Lee only received 2 votes and is now off the ballot? 2:22 Jay Jaffe: No, not really. Lee was great, and certainly deserved more than two votes but nobody with career totals like his has gotten in for a long time or is likely to go in unless the win three Cy Youngs along the way 2:22 Mi Nombre: During the two-Wild-Card-era, the biggest win difference between Wild Card teams has been six. Should NL WC2 have to beat the Dodgers or Giants twice considering the win difference is currently at 14? 2:24 Jay Jaffe: I wouldn’t be opposed to a system that required the lower Wild Card seed to win twice, but sometimes you’re going to wind up with that when the two teams finish with the same record and have to be seeded according to non-playing tiebreakers (head-to-head, intradivision records, intraleague records) and then it’s going to look like an injustice. 2:24 Joel: Have you written about which of the 2022 eligibles might make the HOF? 2:24 Jay Jaffe: took a swing here https://blogs.fangraphs.com/changing-times-the-next-five-years-of-bbwa… 2:27 Babip Roberts: Jeff McNeil: cooked or unlucky? 2:31 Jay Jaffe: I started a thing on McNeil’s slump but had to turn my attention elsewhere. It’s tough to imagine that he’s cooked at his age (29), but a guy who’s so dependent on contact and batting average has less of a margin for error than guys with more power and patience. I know he had the hamstring injury and there’s the feeling that he’s gotten into some bad mechanical habits. He’s going to have some work to do this winter. 2:32 Dan’s Emotional Intimacy: Is Joe West a first ballot HOFer? 2:33 Jay Jaffe: given his record number of games umped, i suppose his induction is inevitable. It will be a great chance for everybody at the ceremony to stretch their legs and go get a hot dog. 2:34 MM: Which player/team should the casual fan root for these playoffs? Last year it was Kershaw and the Dodgers to finally win one. 2:37 Jay Jaffe: Well, there’s still a lot up in the air about who’s playing but I guess it depends what you want. The Brewers have never won a World Series and only went in 1982. The Mariners haven’t been to the playoffs since 2001. The A’s keep making the playoffs but not getting anywhere. The Dodgers get looked down upon by some for only having won during the shortened season. The Padres have never won one. The Reds haven’t been to one in eons and it would be cool to see Joey Votto play in a World Series. And so on 2:37 Joel: Exile on 25 Main St, Cooperstown, NY? 2:37 Jay Jaffe: well played, sir. 2:37 Tony: With no new inductees this year (2021) and the general … controversy … at the top of the ballot for next year, do you think there is a chance that the writers will end up elevating someone like Jimmy Rollins because they just want to vote for someone? Or is it more likely those votes go to the Rolens and Heltons, who already have some momentum after a few years on the ballot? Or am I way off base here? 2:38 Jay Jaffe: The guys gaining momentum will continue to do so. I don’t see somebody like Rollins suddenly getting elevated to election; at best he could be like Hudson, Buehrle, and Hunter last year, getting enough votes to stick around for at least one more ballot. 2:39 Rick: What always has aggravated me is when HOF voters not putting in players until after they die. Ron Santo as a prime example for me. No one would have been more excited to get into the Hall as him. I really think some voters and/or players didn’t like his enthusiasm thinking it was something else. 2:41 Jay Jaffe: Santo famously rubbed a lot of New York writers the wrong way with his celebratory antics c. 1969. They carried a grudge that hurt him on the writers’ ballot. That he didn’t get in before passing away was a tragedy that probably has less to do with the ignorance of the Vet Committees that considered him than the petty grudges. 2:41 Guest: Does it seem weird to you that the likenesses on the HoF plaques have not improved, considering that we seem to generally be able to reproduce everything almost perfectly? I wouldn’t recognize Jeter from his plaque, Walker got Caminiti on his plaque, and the Simmons plaque looks more like a current likeness than from his playing days. 2:43 Jay Jaffe: It’s really all over the map, even among candidates from the same year. Some bear an uncanny resemblance, others… not so much. 2:43 Guest: Mariners seem to be the surprise of the year but still aren’t being talked about as Such. With there killer farm system and drafts recent years, wouldn’t you think they would get more written about them? 2:45 Jay Jaffe: The Mariners suffer from playing a good percentage of their games after the rest of the country has gone to bed, and from having a largely unknown cast because of their proximity to a long stretch of losing. I think they’re a team on the rise but it’s going to take making the playoffs and getting the spotlight for people to really notice them 2:45 Dave: If Bryce Harper never wins a playoff series in his career, do his regular season numbers get him into Cooperstown? 2:46 Jay Jaffe: It worked for Ernie Banks, and Ted Williams… 2:47 Jay Jaffe: it’s going to depend how good Harper’s numbers are. If he’s a borderline guy, not having a playoff series win obviously won’t help him, but I don’t know that it’s going to be fatal. If he’s got great individual numbers, he’ll be fine 2:47 Josh: Pete Alonso has been great this year. Any idea what happened to the opposite field power? If you look at his spray chart from 19 he hit a ton of homers to deep right center, he doesn’t have any of those this year. 2:50 Jay Jaffe: I suspect the new baseball hasn’t helped Alonso, even given his massive power, and that he’s being pitched more carefully — but I’d have to look more closely 2:50 Who Me: Does FG intend to update the graduations from the Board in the near future? 2:51 Jay Jaffe: Eric typically keeps on top of that stuff, updating when a guy exhausts his rookie status. I know he had some travel recently so maybe he’s behind. If there’s somebody specific, I can ask him. 2:51 MIke Ortman: I’m loving that Marvin Miller finally went in, just to right that wrong. (If baseball is about winning like Jeter said, Miller belongs more than most.) But secondarily, I love that he goes in as a “Contributor”, correct? So then let’s get Buck O’Neil in and let’s Flood the Hall with Curt Flood, as Contributors. 2:53 Jay Jaffe: Miller is in the Executive group based on the Hall’s classification. 2:56 Jay Jaffe: I don’t disagree about putting O’Neil and Flood in, by the way. 2:56 Dave: I’ve heard a few people say Jeter’s plaque looks unrealistic, but I actually think it’s one of the better ones I’ve seen 2:56 Jay Jaffe: National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum ⚾ @baseballhall Welcome to the Hall of Fame family, Derek. (: Milo Stewart Jr.) 8 Sep 2021 i’d call this above the median, likeness-wise 2:57 Mike: Any thoughts on who the next POBO will be for the Mets? I can get why working for an owner who tweets as much as Cohen can be tough but he should also reasonably be willing to spend. 2:58 Jay Jaffe: Jon Heyman had what’s probably the most comprehensive list of guys whose names have come up Jon Heyman @JonHeyman In addition to Theo Epstein, names that interested the Mets last year or have been heard recently include David Stearns of the Brewers, David Forst of the A’s, Mike Chernoff of the Indians, Josh Byrnes of the Dodgers and Jon Daniels of the Rangers. More could surface (obvs). Jon Heyman@JonHeyman Mets president Sandy Alderson agreed to a 2-year deal to help Steve Cohen transition into his role as MLB owner but never had intention or desire to run baseball ops as he’s had to do. The 2022 plan is for SA to be just president while they hire a guy to run baseball @MLBNetwork 9 Sep 2021 2:58 Jay Jaffe: I’ve also seen Billy Beane mentioned but I can’t see Beane coming in below Alderson. 2:58 TomBruno23: My buddy, let’s call him Bodie, likes to point out that Ted Simmons’ WAR/162 is similar to Jose Reyes. What can I tell him in response? Thank you in advance. 3:00 Jay Jaffe: WAR/162 is a stat that can make for some odd bedfellows. Simmons spent the last 3 years of his career getting about 2 PA per game, often pinch-hitting, and that drags a player’s WAR/162 down. 3:01 Jay Jaffe: Simmons might be undervalued based on what’s captured in catcher WAR from the pre-pitch framing era, as well. 3:01 Jay Jaffe: Jose Reyes isn’t getting into the Hall without a ticket. 3:01 Travis: Is there a link to/easy way to see percentage of Hall of Famers for age they debuted at? Obviously starting young helps, but I am having difficulty locating that statistic anywhere. Curious to see the trend lines for that one. 3:05 Jay Jaffe: You need a Stathead account to search it easily. Here’s pitchers https://stathead.com/tiny/9dEk8 3:08 Jay Jaffe: and position players https://stathead.com/tiny/k95vS 3:08 Scorcher: What does Paul Goldschmidt need to do from here on out to give himself a chance at the HOF? 3:09 Jay Jaffe: Put up more five-win seasons, basically https://blogs.fangraphs.com/seven-pitchers-and-some-more-position-play… 3:09 HGOT: Curious how you settled on a 7-year peak for JAWs. Was it something like approximately half of a very good player’s average career? (I think it is a good pick, I’m just curious how you got there). 3:11 Jay Jaffe: Trial and error. i began by using best-five-consecutive as peak, with allowances for injuries and military service, but determining that stuff was labor-intensive. Best-10 gave answers that at the time were too similar to using career WAR. Best-7 hit a nice middle ground. Mind you, all of this was done using BP’s WARP, with a lower replacement level than WAR currently uses; I haven’t gone back to test whether 8 is more satisfactory than 7 or anything like that, in an attempt to keep the metric simple. Believe it or not people still ask if the 5-year definition applies to peak, and it hasn’t been that way since 2012! 3:11 Harmon Ripkowski: Loved your book. With Minoso’s NNL numbers pushing him past 2000 hits, who do you think will be the next player with fewer than 2000 to get in the HOF? Oliva or Allen? Or more likely an Utley, Posey, et al.? 3:12 Jay Jaffe: Oliva or Allen because they’ve come close and will likely get two shots before Posey gets two, and because it will take awhile for Utley to gather momentum. 3:12 TomBruno23: You ever read Roger Angell’s old stuff? I am in the middle of Five Seasons now, his words are still the best. 3:13 Jay Jaffe: I’ve read all of Angell’s books — but some not in 30-plus years. The Summer Game is an all-time favorite and the one from which I’ve gotten the most mileage, whereas I probably should revisit his 1980s work more. 3:13 Dansby SwanSong: Loved the Donald Fehr speech for Marvin Miller. I learned things about Miller that increased my admiration for him as a person and as a leader of the MLBPA. He truly changed baseball and should have been elected while still alive. 3:15 Jay Jaffe: I thought the speech made good points but was a bit overlong. I don’t support the boorish Jeter fans who started jeering near the end, however. I do wish Fehr had addressed the elephant in the room regarding the Miller family not participating. I don’t know that going into the blow-by-blow was necessary, but explaining why the players wanted this honor for him so badly was. 3:15 Jon: Are the Blue Jays AL wild card contender with the best chance to do damage in the playoffs? Deep lineup, deep rotation, a couple of good bullpen arms. 3:16 Jay Jaffe: They do look a lot stronger than the Yankees or Red Sox right now., that’s for sure. Not sure I want to face them. 3:16 Harmon Ripkowski: Oh, and who do you think will be the first of the PED guys that gets into the Hall? My buddy says McGwire if LaRussa has any say, but even tho I think it’ll be veterans commitee, it’s gonna be Bonds or Clemens, right? 3:17 Jay Jaffe: Ortiz will get in via the writers, maybe not first ballot (he won’t be on my ballot because of his low WAR) but soon enough. It’s gonna look ridiculous having him in but Bonds — who was never suspended, either — outside, because Bonds was 10x the player Ortiz was. 3:17 Pat: So the Mets have been burned by 2 different guys off the Theo Epstein tree so their response is to hire Theo Epstein? 3:21 Jay Jaffe: I think you’ve hit on something that could and perhaps should be a real obstacle to hiring Epstein, in that the culture he’s fostered within the organizations he’s led has featured some real negatives that have been overshadowed by the championships. 3:22 Jay Jaffe: The Mets, more than most teams, need to think long and hard about that kind of stuff given that they keep stepping on rakes 3:22 Ed H: What are your thoughts on opening up the HOF to international ´players, similar to how the NBA HOF is run? 3:24 Jay Jaffe: It’s the National Baseball Hall of Fame, it doesn’t cover what happened in Japan or Cuba or South Korea. Those levels aren’t considered major league, and those countries have their own Halls. 3:24 Joel: Do you see Kyle Lewis having a George Springer like career? Great center fielder who misses a fair number of games due to injury. 3:28 Jay Jaffe: Lewis has missed much more time due to injuries. he’s 25 and has one professional season with more than 363 PA so far; Springer had three by that point. 3:28 Jose: If Felix Hernandez makes a comeback, what would he have to do to have a shot at the Hall? 3:28 Jay Jaffe: Probably needs either a bunch of league-average seasons or at least a couple All-Star ones, neither of which is happening. 3:28 MIke Ortman: What’s the average number of HOFers in the league at any given time? At the most I can count 40 right now. From the Pujols, Cabrera, Kerhshaw, Verlander obvious choices down to the super early guesses like Acuna, Soto, Tatis group. 3:29 Jay Jaffe: 1.5 per team per year is a reasonable estimate once you include committee guys, so if you’re getting to 40 you’re certainly in the ballpark. 3:29 Dr. Teeth: Apologies if you’ve discussed this elsewhere, but are there components to JAWS that are award based or popularity based? I get the career WAR and peak components but we often talk of Cy, MVP, All-Star, Triple Crowns when we talk of HOF candidates too 3:30 Jay Jaffe: Those things aren’t in JAWS, but they’re certainly germane to a player’s Hall of Fame case. how much weight to accord those subjective decisions is a subjective decision itself. 3:30 TomBruno23: Season Ticket, covering 1982-1987, is still my favorite and I get to it once every few years since it is and will always be right in my Golden Era of MLB. 3:30 Jay Jaffe: Yeah i think that one is first on my list to revist. I’ve got, conservatively speaking, about two dozen books to get through for the first time before I’d feel justified in going there 3:31 Jeff in T.O.: “the elephant in the room regarding the Miller family not participating” ???? 3:32 Jay Jaffe: Miller explicitly told the Hall to stop considering him for election, and they ignored that request, both before and after his death. His family said both before and after he died that they would honor his wishes. 3:33 Jay Jaffe: I understand his frustrations and I struggle with reconciling that desire with his spot in baseball history. Ultimately, I come down on the side of including him to ensure that his story gets told. His presence in the Hall is a giant middle finger at the small men who tried to break the players’ union and who got their asses handed to them by him time after time. 3:34 Didace: There is no NBA hall of fame. It is a basketball hall of fame. 3:34 Jay Jaffe: a very good point. It’s designed to be more all-encompassing. 3:34 John B: jay, would any of your conclusions on HOF worthy players change if you toggled between bwar and FWAR? If so, who and how do you think about those gaps? 3:36 Jay Jaffe: I don’t like career pitching fWAR because at some point, you have to give the pitchers credit for outpitching their peripherals. Even pitching RA9 fails to account for some factors that are included in bWAR, namely differing quality of defensive support and differing quality of opponents. On the hitters’ side, UZR wasn’t built for the era of defensive shifting. 3:38 Jay Jaffe: I’ve had discussions about doing some testing on fWAR/JAWS to see where the biggest differences are, and i do incorporate fWAR into my work on contemporary catchers because it includes pitch framing, while the version of DRS used in bWAR does not. 3:38 Guest: Next year for Yankees, Rizzoli or Voit at 1B? 3:39 Jay Jaffe: I assume you mean Rizzo. The fact that the Yankees kept Voit, and that he’s hit more like himself in the second half (138 wRC+) suggests that he’s going to be the first baseman net year. 3:39 Deb: What does Vlad Jr need to do to overtake Ohtani for MVP? 3:40 Jay Jaffe: strike out 150 or so hitters. 3:40 Guest: does Barry Bonds’ domestic violence issues cost him any votes, or are writers solely looking it at as PEDs or not? 3:45 Jay Jaffe: I haven’t seen any voters justify their non-support of him on the basis of DV-related allegations. I’m not saying that’s the wrong way to go about it, but if you start pulling on that particular thread, you’re bringing the DV allegations of Manny, Andruw Jones, Sammy Sosa, and Omar Vizquel into the equation as well. That’s not to say that their incidents are all equal by any means; some have been more thoroughly reported than others. 3:45 Deb: LOL. In the realm of realism though, if he wins the triple crown and the Blue Jays make the playoffs, do you think that would persuade enough voters? 3:46 Jay Jaffe: Other guys have won Triple Crowns. Literally nobody in 100 years has done what Ohtani is doing. Even Vlad Jr. will tell you he’d vote for Ohtani. 3:46 BettsBellingerCaruso: Scherzer vs Buehler. Who starts the WC? And also: How f%@#$cking amazing would be a game 163 between the Dodgers-Giants 3:48 Jay Jaffe: If Buehler’s last start is an indication that he’s running low on gas, then I’d go Scherzer, who has looked incredible lately. But ask me again in two weeks and I might have a different answer. 3:48 John: No question, just a note to say thank you especially for the extensive and great work you do relating to the Hall of Fame and all its honorees, past, present, and prospectively future. 3:48 Jay Jaffe: Thank you! 3:48 Guest: what non-baseball stuff do you like doing in cooperstown? or are you usually so consumed with work you don’t get much time outside the hall? 3:50 Jay Jaffe: other than hanging out with a couple local friends there I don’t get to do much. I’ve still never been to Ommegang or any of the non-baseball museums and this was my 8th trip there! For me it’s like being on the lunar surface, where my time is extremely limited and the downtime is minimal. My last two trips to the Hall have clocked in at a cumulative two hours and 30 minutes, and this was the first time in four induction weekends I was even able to find time to tour the museum. 3:51 Fritz Peterson: it’s the year 2040, which members of the 2015 royals and 2016 cubs are in the hall of fame? perez? zobrist? chapman? lester? bryant? 3:51 Jay Jaffe: IMO the only one who’s not already a longshot is Bryant. 3:51 Jay Jaffe: I’d include Chapman but wow, he’s had a bad season while still needing to do a lot more to solidify his case, and having the DV suspension won’t help 3:52 Jose: If the Mariners win their series against the Red Sox and athletics, can they grab a wild card? 3:52 Jay Jaffe: possibly. It’s a crowded picture, though, and they don’t control their own destiny. 3:52 Jay Jaffe: As usual there are more good questions than I have time to answer, but I must pack it in. Thanks so much for stopping by, and we’ll see you next week. Until then, stay safe!