David Ross

The best catcher in the league deserves the best backup in the league. Ross had an odd season. Normally, his offensive contributions come largely via power, but he hit only two home runs, the first of which didn’t come until August. However, he hit a career-high .289 and drew 20 walks in just 145 PA to post a .392 OBP, and with 13 doubles and 2 triples wasn’t just a punch-and-judy hitter either, slugging .479. The Braves signed him to an extension during the year to keep the combo intact.

Bobby used Ross in sort of a demi-platoon role, trying to spot his starts against lefties (86 PA against them, only 59 against normal people). He hit for a higher average and with more power against lefties, but with many fewer walks. Ross throws better than McCann, or has traditionally (there was no real difference in 2010) and it might be best to team him with Tommy Hanson on a regular basis in an effort to control the running game… Faster than McCann, and pinch-ran for him a few times, but lacks McCann’s headiness as a baserunner.

David Ross Statistics

135 thoughts on “David Ross”

  1. Bill James discusses Lastings Milledge:

    “Is he a bigger disappointment than Melky Cabrera, for example, or Wily Mo Pena, or Adam Piatt, or Jeff Francoeur?”


  2. Didn’t MLB Trade Rumors list Milledge as one of the outfield possiblities that the Braves might consider?

  3. From the end of the last thread, if anyone cares:

    Good news on the Uggla signing — I really like that there’s no contract year issue with Uggla going into the spring. Man, if (yes, big if) Chipper comes back strong we now have a realy good looking top and middle of the order.

    @45 – Carpool, while the post really doesn’t warrant a response given the silly conclusion (“Nobody really cares about the past, though.”) and then internally inconsistent reliance on Heyward’s past performance stats, I’ll give you this (which I said in the post to which you respond): Heyward has the most upside by most people’s reckoning, including my own. But that’s one definition of value, and a definition that I expressly said I was not using. Nor should it be used in isolation, especially for a rookie. We’ll see how pitchers adjust to him, and how he adjusts in response, in his sophomore season. As much as I *hope* that Jason lives up to his potential, there is no way I will ever say that a player with 520 ML ABs is more valuable to a team than a player with Huddy’s ability and track record.

    @65 – Well the statistics I used support my view. While you may choose to ignore Huddy’s 5.4 WAR last season, I won’t. And W-L record is influenced by many other factors, yes, but Huddy’s is one of the best of all time — hard to ignore the importance of that.

    I don’t know the source for your numbers, but Baseball Reference shows Hanson’s WAR at 2.5 (not 4.3) last season, and 3.3 (not 2.6) in 2009, both numbers that are more believable given his performance. Therefore, the 4-5 projection you offer seems, well, unlikely given that his career WAR is 5.8. Don’t get me wrong, I love Hanson, but I’ll choose Huddy if I need to win a game.

    @103 – I recall a number of leaded gloves in our infield in the hey-day 1990s.

  4. So umm, I do know how to use google – I just think that googling “pimpbot” while on my work computer is not a good idea – but where did the pimpbot nickname for Brian McCann come from?

  5. I love me some David Ross. I’d have to say that he and Mac are one of the best starter-backup catcher combos I can think of.

  6. What’s great about Ross is he has three different plus-talents to hang his hat on — power, patience, and throwing arm. Given the sporadic playing time of a backup catcher, all three might not show up in a particular season. But you can always point to something he’s done that puts him at or near the top of the list.

  7. One of Conan O’Brien’s writers, who appears on the show a lot, is also named Brian McCann. He didn’t normally play Pimpbot 5000, but on one occasion he did and I said that if our Brian stuck (did he) I’d make Pimpbot his nickname.

  8. The Sugar Bowl was weird. Now that I am a MAC 10 guy and all, I was glad OSU won. ArKANSAS catches a few balls, they win. I still don’t like Keystone Light.

    I am ok with the Uggla signing. This is what happens when the team doesn’t manage to draft and develop a right handed hitter. Shoot Uggla could be the next Jeff Kent for all we know.

    Thanks for the Pimpbot explanation.

  9. I’m disappointed that Arkansas didn’t pull it out, but it’s heartening to know that OSU had to completely compromise any moral highground they may have had or aspired to have by starting 5 players who by rights should’ve been suspended.

    And, I mean, it’s just Arkansas. Not like they beat Florida or Alabama or someone good. :-)

  10. And because Tom (I think) brought it up last thread, I don’t get Manning ahead of Wuerfful OR Tebow as far as college goes. He only won one SEC title and no national titles. He lost FOUR times to UF head to head, 3 of those vs. Wuerfful. Now granted, he didn’t have Fred Taylor or a crop of great WRs, but common, man. Win something! And it’s not even a situation where his numbers are that much better than the other guys’, either. Manning is certainly the better NFL guy, but if you’re making a list of college QBs, you can’t put him ahead of either Wuerfful or Tebow, IMO.

  11. #10
    I don’t necessarily disagree, but it should be noted that John Elway was certainly better than any Pac-10 QB from that era & he never even played in a bowl game.

    I don’t really blame the school as much as the “organizing body.” I wouldn’t expect OSU to sit them. Nonetheless, the NCAA’s decision the allow them to play is pretty dubious. It obviously wasn’t going to do anything to diminish that particular bowl game.

    As much as any football season in recent memory, this year just hammered home the fact that big-time college football is a bad combo of corrupt & hypocritcal.

    But like a freshly opened bag of Doritos, I can’t stop eating.

  12. I think Tressel is devious and cunning in ways I never imagined, and Michigan is never going to beat OSU while he is the coach.

  13. Now that I am a MAC 10 guy and all, I was glad OSU won.

    Pulling for Northwestern doesn’t mean you also have to adopt the scum of the conference. I often pull against SEC teams, for example. Not when they’re playing Ohio State, of course.

  14. Is it just me, or is ESPN’s arrogance going over the top?

    Besides openly cheering when Mangini got fired, their non-stop TMZ-like “who’s next?” is really unseemly. And, in my opinion, not their job.

    Would love to see a legitimate competitor for the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader.

  15. I don’t even blame the NCAA for being hypocritical. I blame them for having 19th century moral standards, which in turn forces them to be hypocritical.* College football is big business–really, really big business. Such hypocritical behavior will keep happening until the system accepts this fact and issues new rules–modern rules–to govern the players.

    *Please no one read this as a defense of hypocrisy, or of the NCAA’s in particular. I’m merely being pragmatic here: hypocrisy, in this case, is and always will be predictable.

  16. #17–The NCAA–a victim of ‘Victorian values’!….I would add that there is also a kind of fundamentalism in their enforcement of policies–which means things can get absolutized to an absurd degree–the recent example of what happened to the Vandy player over a parking sticker being a case in point….

  17. Totally disagree on 17 and 18. If they had Victorian values, the NCAA may be slightly concerned about academic fraud. Besides a hand slap, this usually doesn’t cross their radar screen. They enforce rules on who they want, when they want and how they want. There is no rhyme or reason. This is hypocrisy and it’s corruption, I don’t equate this with Victorian values in any way. As much as I usually hate lawsuits, suing the NCAA is about the only thing that has curbed their power in any significant way.

  18. But the NCAA is trying to enforce 19th (really early 20th) century standards in a period in which they don’t apply. While there has probably always been corruption, college sports (especially football) began as a sport of elite, white athletes at exclusive colleges. The rules were in place to enforce this view that professionalism was vulgar. But college in general isn’t like this anymore and neither is college sports. Colleges are not really institutions of higher education so much as they are businesses designed to maximize revenue opportunities for the university. It’s not just sports–it’s everything, so that, for example, medical schools have alliances with pharmaceutical companies,despite the potential conflicts of interest.

    The NCAA is a tool of the institutions; it doesn’t exist independently. If the university presidents were to decide, for example, that they wanted a playoff, boom, there would be a playoff. Same as with the rules. The universities don’t want to get their hands dirty trying to decide what role sports should play; they don’t want to acknowledge that it’s a business just like the rest of the university because they still want to sell this image of the university as a place of (relatively) unsullied scholarship. Otherwise, they look more like on-line colleges.

    The point is, it’s not the NCAA that’s the problem, it’s the universities themselves. If they were really concerned about corruption in the revenue sports–which they really aren’t because winning brings in more applications and, ultimately, more revenue–they could easily stop it by requiring players to be real students and not allowing coaches to force players to spend most of their time away from studies.

    Anyway, that’s my rant.

  19. #13 – Stu, thanks for the special dispensation as they call it in the Klingon world. It’s tough to pull for OSU with their entitled fan base but the (well deserved) SEC superiority complex is getting tough to take as well.

    Y’all, Dave Ross is a fine baseball player but lets not get too excited and start trying to hypothesize more playing time for him. He is a career backup catcher for a reason.

  20. #24
    I’ll give OSU credit for the win. They got a ton of breaks in the first half—dropped passes, that TD fumble, a dropped INT by the Ark secondary—but they also played really well.

    OSU got dominated in the 2nd half and they got some more breaks—more dropped passes and the inexplicable, game-turning decision to fall on the blocked punt (!).

    And at that moment, I’ll freely admit that I did enjoy that oh-shit/Custer’s-Last-Stand look on Tressel’s face.

    But OSU stood up & stopped Arkansas on the final 2 possessions, so you gotta give it to them there.


    There’s so much money to be had, from so many areas, that it’s hard to imagine a big-time university not cutting corners or “investing” in big-time athletics.

    And really, at this point, there’s very little incentive in policing these things.

  21. @22 – extraordinarily well said, Marc.

    But what’s the solution? I’m of the belief that “reform” is impossible and that a new entity needs to be created to deal with the realities of college sports as they exist today.

  22. Stu’s revised, (mostly) post-non-conference SEC East predicted standings:

    1a: UK
    1b: VU
    3: UF
    4: UGA
    5: UT
    6: USCe

    UK looks a little better than I expected, and while I think a full-strength VU is still legitimately better, it’s unclear whether we’re ever going to freaking get a full-strength VU. So, I call it a toss-up.

    In conclusion: Bruce Pearl, LOL.

  23. Murphy got one vote (for 5.6% so he’s still got another year?)

    edit (oh, stupid ESPN thing was showing that percentage. NEVER MIND!)

  24. 2012 payroll…
    As of now, the Braves will have very little money for a CF or SS replacement for 2012. Let’s hope Schafer or Matt Young can be productive.

    7 players at 65 million (McCann, Chipper, Uggla, Lowe, Ross, Hudson, Hinske).

    Arb 2 for Prado, Jurrjens, and O’Flaherty (estimated 11 mil)

    76 million before getting to the long list of players playing for the minimum (13 spots by my guess)- 6 mil

    82 million…leaving 6 million or so to fill 2 huge holes. thank god we have pitching.

  25. Well I guess beating Palmeiro is something.

    (BTW, I was hella confused when I saw that percentage and a single vote earlier… was pretty sure it was more than 18 writers voting on it, but hadn’t read the page right)

  26. Alomar’s big jump shows voters were mirroring Hirschbeck — docking him initially, then forgiving him. I’m fine with that.

    Question: How does McGwire’s percentage drop from 23.7% to 19.8%? Have we minted NEW anti-roid crusaders since last year? What changed? I don’t understand that at all, because I don’t see a rational on-field argument to not voting for him.

  27. @14-

    No, that’s a horrible analogy. You’re saying Wuerffel was as bad IN COLLEGE as Dilfer was in the pros? That’s insane. Wuerffel put up incredible numbers and was won a Heisman. The only similarity he has to Dilfer is that they both won exactly one title. I’m not saying “ANYONE WHO WON A TITLE IS BETTER THAN MANNING LOLZ.” I’m saying that the numerous SEC and National titles that Wuerffel won (not to mention beating Manning head-to-head three times) plus the national title means he should place higher on a list of “Top SEC QBs”.

    And if you look at the statistics, they’re remarkably similar. Manning had a better completion percentage and TD/INT ratio, but Wuerffel had higher yards/attempt and a better QB rating. Oh, and he also won the Heisman if that’s something you care about.

  28. @39 Sansho, I wonder about that too… I suspect there is probably a large contingent of writers who are just not going to vote for him for X many years (if at all), and a few guys who would have otherwise voted for him are now waiting on them to come around before voting for him again? Or because now he’s admitted it a few guys who actually believed him before stopped voting for him?

    And how will they treat Manny & Sheffield in a few years?

  29. I just noticed that Sheffield’s BR page is sponsored by The Batting Stance Guy (as an add for his book)… HA!

    (Oh, and I ask about Manny & Sheff because they were listed as similar to Palmeiro… only ones in top 9 that aren’t in the Hall or Griffey).

  30. If I had a ballot, I probably wouldn’t vote for McGwire. Relatively short career, and the fact that he had just 1626 hits — along with being an admitted PED user who jacked up tons of home runs at the same time that all of his peers were jacking up tons of home runs — just doesn’t make him stand out all that much to me. The raw power was awe-inspiring, yes. But Sosa was arguably a much more complete player, finished just 3.4 WAR behind McGwire in career value, and… I don’t think I’d vote for him, either. Ditto on Palmeiro. They put up good stats in an era when everyone put up good stats.

    (Hey, Ellis Burks and Jim Edmonds have a serious Hall of Fame case too, but they’re never getting in, either.)

    Bonds and Clemens would get my vote — even though they were as drugged out as Keith Richards, their performance was so historically ridiculous that they stood out from all their steroidal peers. Sosa and McGwire were dominant for maybe 5 years; Bonds and Clemens were dominant for two decades. I’d probably vote for Jeff Kent and Mike Mussina, while vacillating on Jorge Posada and just saying no to Andy Pettite, the Jack Morris of his generation.

    Kevin Brown… I’d probably vote for him after Schilling and Smoltz get in. He has the numbers, I guess, but I need to feel a bit more strongly about his Hall-ness.

  31. It’s based on a half-remembered Bill James article, in which Bill looked at Dale Murphy’s candidacy and those of several other center fielders, including Jim Edmonds and Ellis Burks. He concluded that Murphy wasn’t a Hall of Famer based on his high Loss Shares count, concluded that Jim Edmonds was a defensible choice, and that Burks was better than you think. Which, indeed, he was — Burks’s 47.9 WAR are more than Dale Murphy’s 44.2.

    I’m not saying I’d vote for him, just that he deserves more serious scrutiny than he’s ever likely to receive. Burks was actually a very good player for a very long time.

    And yes, it’s a shame that Kevin Brown dropped off in his first year of eligibility. Steroids plus being a prick were just too much for the voters. I won’t shed any Lou Whitaker tears, but he’ll be an interesting candidate for the Veterans Committee in 20 years.

  32. Career Adjusted OPS+ since 1900:

    10. Jimmie Foxx, 163
    11. Mark McGwire, 162
    12. Stan Musial, 159

    I don’t need to see much else. He’s a peak value cinch.

  33. The problem with McGwire is that his career is very short — or rather, that he didn’t play a lot of games per season over a fairly lengthy career. He’s 76th in career runs created, which is good, and he’s surrounded by Hall of Famers. But the following players who either are still on the ballot or fell off are ahead of him:

    37 Bagwell
    45 McGriff
    55 Raines
    57 Edgar
    59 Walker
    60 Dwight Evans
    61 Baines (fell off ballot this year)
    74 Staub

    That leaves off any number of not-yet-eligibles going in (Jeter, Junior, Chipper) or maybe not (Thome, Helton) and certainly not (Luis Gonzalez), not to mention Bonds and A-Rod. It’s hard for me to see how McGwire is a better candidate than Thome (who of course is still playing). You can say “big years,” but according to B-R’s version of WAR, Thome was actually better in 2002 than McGwire was in any season.

  34. The problem with McGwire is not that “his career is very short”, IMHO, but that he took PEDs. I mean, look at Palmeiro, 3000+ hits, 500+ HR and he gets 11 percent. There is just one explanation for that.

  35. @47, I have had sort of an epiphany during the holidays (irony alert) about how I feel about the HoF and what it should take to get there. McGwire is a great test case for it too, because steroids aside, he’s a perfect rate vs accumulation argument. He’s got a terrific 10 year peak to go with both durability and strike issues. But really, truly, if I ask myself “how good was this guy compared to his peers”, I more inclined to use the stats as a caliper more than a ruler, if that makes sense – I am less looking at things like WAR now, and more about seasonal dominance. From where I sit, Mac was good enough for long enough, and by a pretty fair margin. Another 500 hits spread across 93-95 and a few years DH’ing instead of resigning with St Louis at the end isn’t going to fundamentally alter how I view his career.

  36. McGwire’s big body wore out early. Injuries were reason he took PEDs to recover from injuries. He hit 49HR his second year? Unlike others he did not need steroids to hit HRs, but merely to be able to play regularly. I think that playing catcher in minors before turning into CF punished Murphy and shortened his career

  37. Looking at the HOF voting, I’m supposed to believe that Lee Smith was a better player than Dale Murphy, Don Mattingly, Edgar Martinez, Alan Trammell, and Tim Raines, when basically at no time during the 80’s would any of these guys have been traded even up for Smith? I hate HOF voting.

  38. Bob Costas: “Fred McGriff received only 17% of the vote. Take out the guys from his era not suspected or connected to steroids and see where he ranks.”

    1. I agree, and 2. Santimonious little twit.

  39. I’m not surprised by the voting. The BBWAA has been this way forever. Looking at it in a historical context, the Veterans Comittee picks up MOST of the arguably-qualified guys at some point. People just have to wait. I am curious when backlog of semi/qualified PED HOF candidates hits the veterans committee. If they look at it the same way the writers do, some guys might really get screwed.

  40. Anyone who doesn’t vote for Clemens or Bonds should be drug out to the public square and hanged.

  41. Why am I always reluctantly agreeing with Sam?

    As bad as the West is, I don’t think 12-4 wins the SEC.

    Huge game Saturday between Dawgs and UK. If Georgia wins, it’s on. Assuming a home and home split between UK and Vandy, whichever team sweeps UGA wins the conference.

    Unless UT can play every night like they have so far tonight. What a weird team.

    Or (and this is a real possibility) it could all click into place for Georgia and their inside excellence leads them to the Conference title.

    Hey, Bulldawgs – looks like you’re a basketball school now.

  42. Justhank I couldn’t decide between Athens or B’ham. The 4pm start time did it for me. I’m heading to Stegman to cheer on the kitties.

    Best part of being a UK basketball fan in Atlanta is that you can get great seats to five arenas (USC, Tenn, Auburn, UGA, Bama) that are all a pretty short drive away. Passionate NCAA hoops fans are few and far between…

  43. DJ Have you been to Auburn’s new arena? If so, what did you think? I’m not a huge basketball fan, but I really love the arena. They let the students in with free admission to watch the SEC championship game on the screens, and it was great. Very intimate, well lit, and loud.

    Too bad Auburn sucks at basketball.

  44. FWIW, UK’s 1st semester GPA is a cumulative 2.82. Brandon Knight led the way with a 4.0.

    Btw, congrats to Auburn’s B-Ball team for beating a pretty good Florida State team.

  45. With all this Hall of Fame talk today, it got me thinking, if Derek Lowe has one more decent postseason, people may look back on his career twenty years from now and call him this generation’s Jack Morris.

    Can’t remember if anybody has mentioned it on here before, but they are very similar pitchers if you go by numbers, replace Morris’ shiny win total with Lowe’s shiny save total, both ‘big time postseason pitchers.’ Morris a postseason ‘ace’ of three world series teams, Lowe a postseason ‘ace’ with three different playoff teams, etc.

    Lowe has a better career ERA + than Morris does.

  46. Again, steroid issue aside, I would turn the “feels like a HOFer” argument around with respect to McGwire. It’s not just that he feels like a Hall of Famer, the Hall of Fame will feel incomplete without him. Incomplete in a way that it hasn’t really felt with respect to recent cause celebres like Blyleven and Santo, whom I also have supported.

  47. Screw it.

    After 5 semesters of taking 8 am classes every day, I’m done with waking up that early.

  48. @40,


    I concede your points. But I just love using the analogy because people get so hung up on rating QBs by the number of titles they win. (E.g., Brett Favre over Marino because of the one Super Bowl.) I grant that Wuerfel was a much better college QB (although in part a creation of Spurrier’s system) that Dilfer was an NFL QB.

    BTW, here is Auburn again in the news.


  49. Getting up for 8AM is early? I know I’ve had a screwy schedule for most of my adult life… but up for me 8AM doesn’t seem all that early. Granted, I’ve become very adaptable on my schedule over the years (and have an uncanny ability to take brief naps almost anywhere, almost any time… I used to go to see bands at the Masquerade after a long day’s work and doze standing up against the wall between acts).

    15 years ago it was 9 or 10 before I had to be at work/class, then it was working 4AM – Noon (a baker), then 2AM to 5PM (a baker at job #1, then an inventory audit in Amazon warehouse at job #2), then 7a-4p (just Amazon), then 5P-7A Sun-Fri (IT at Amazon), then 4P-2A Sun-Wed (IT at Bellsouth), then 7P-7A S-Tu (still BS), then 2P-10P M-F (IT operator at current gig), and for the last 4 years it has been 7:30A-4P M-F (Programmer at current gig). I’m usually up at 4:30 or 5 and get a slow start and catch a 6:30 bus downtown from Gwinnett to get to work by 7:15-ish… I’m curious what effect these random sleep patterns will have on my health as I get older.

  50. I’m a morning person. I worked multiple jobs on campus during school, so I was on campus at 7:30 every day regardless of whether or not there was a class.

  51. In real life, 8 am isn’t early at all; you’re right about that. But in college, especially after the first couple of years when you’ve found the roommates that you’re fine living with, nights tend to go on later and later. I’m not completely bagging early classes (I still have classes from 9-12 on MW and 10-3 on Fridays), but I’ve switched my 8 am (only class on TTh) to a 3 pm.

    I’ll grow up and take responsibility, just not today.

  52. Tennessee basketball is pretty easy to figure out. Playing a crummy team? They’ll play like that. Playing a great team? They’ll play like that. Etc. This was a team that was a hair from making the Final Four last year who also got absolutely demolished in Athens and who also had a win over a #1.

    Who knows why. I’ve always thought Pearl to be light on the Xs and Os, high on the emotion, and maybe it reflects on his team.

  53. @66: Auburn’s new arena looks every home game to be about 1/30th full. (30th. Not 3rd.) I’m a Georgia fan, so no wide room to talk here, but it’s very very bad on the Plains.

  54. desert–I don’t blame you:

    Try team teaching at 8 am! It is one thing to be there an hour early to get ready to lecture–but the real test comes in hearing a colleague’s lecture (even if it is a good one) and appearing to find it interesting. Of course, this problem does not seem to get easier with age….

  55. @81 They didn’t fill the old venue even when we were a pretty good team, so the empty seats are expected. What’s sad is how much smaller the new arena is and it’s still that empty. But I can’t say much, I never go. I just can’t get into basketball.

  56. I just can’t get into basketball.

    I bet you could, if Auburn were any good. I grew up a football guy, but I care about it and get into it less and less each year — largely, I think, because my team is so bad. Basketball, however, gives me a great program to root for and a great environment to root in, so I’ve become a much bigger fan than I was, growing up.

  57. The best two sporting days of the year are the first two days of March Madness. So many great games all day long for two days straight. Doesnt get much better than that

  58. Have you ever noticed that thinking about baseball usually leads to learning something about yourself?

    I’ve been appalled at my under appreciation of Roberto Alomar. I had a brief “Huh?” moment when he placed so high in HOF voting last year. Says more about me than him, of course. He was the no-brainer choice for AL All Star 2B for a dozen years.

    But I looked at the rosters for the All Star games and realized I’d rather have the NL guy than Alomar–first Ryno, then Biggio, although Jeff Kent stretches it a bit.
    Die Hard NL fan, I guess.
    I can live with it.

  59. @80,

    I think Pearl and his staff are great at scouting teams. I think they are great X and O guys. They seem to always have great game plans in games where they are over matched.
    This is the only year where they have really lost games they should have won against bad teams.

    I think the team has been lacking in leadership on the court. Hopson really hasn’t steped up enough.

    We have little depth at the point (especially on D) and we haven’t shot well from the outside. The guards as a unit has played poor D against the weaker teams.

    Last night the threes started to go down, so maybe that is a sign. I am not sure this is a great shooting team, so until they start knocking down 3’s consistantly, teams are going to bunch up insdie and slow down Harris.

    Memphis didn’t have the size to stop the Vols down low, though they tried. It was too easy to post up on them. Plus, hitting the 3’s helped a lot.

    Talent wise, this might be the best team Pearl has had. In fact, pure talent wise man for man, this is a top three team in the SEC, if not the most talented. I would say the talent level is top 10 in the country.

    On court leadership/ overcoming things, intagables things, this team hasn’t shown that yet and they will need to starting this week.

    All in all, I think it was a lack of focus, and you can put that on the coaches.


    Stu is right. I really got into basketball in college. I went to a mid-major and when we went to the tourny, I got hooked. Then the Vols got Pearl and Chris Lofton started going off, and it got even more fun.

  60. The year before I got to Georgia Tech they had been a 5 seed in the tournament, and the year before that they had made it to the championship game. I thought I would be getting excited about basketball while there. Needless to say the years that I’ve actually been at Tech have been fairly disappointing.

  61. You’re probably right. I guess it’s just that apparently suspicion of steroid use is apparently grounds to keep you out now, and if Bagwell can’t get in… Yeah, Kent’s over the line.

  62. @90: Blame Paul Hewitt’s contract, probably the biggest athletic-department screwing in the country. Perpetually extended, big buyout. Actually, blame his agent. A Georgia grad.

  63. I’m not sure why Jeff Kent is so widely regarded as an odds on favorite to have been a Juicer. I just looked at pictures of him from his Mets years and then Giants/Astros/Dodgers years and I don’t see a Kafkaesque transformation having happened. It’s easy to be suspicious of a Bonds teammate and someone who’s 30s were more productive than their 20s, especially when his peak seasons were in the first half of the 00s, but it also seems possible that we’re looking at a guy who put it all together to go from being a 20+ HR player to a 30+ HR player. It’s not like he made a huge production leap, especially in the context of the offensive climate change that happened in the late 90s and early 00s.

  64. We’ll see about Bagwell. We may need to tweak all our models of Hall of Fame voting to adjust for the Steroid Era, since it seems like voters are kinda making it up as they go along. But opening above 40% is a pretty good sign, and unless his name gets released from one of those sealed lists, I think it’ll be hard to keep him out, even if it takes him until year 8 or 9.

    Also, I wonder if there might be any kind of Biggio bump, once Biggio’s on the ballot in 2012. It’s hard to imagine either of them going into the Hall alone.

  65. Bagwell suffered a good bit from First Ballot! prejudice. I’d be willing to bet he gets in within two years.

  66. It’s funny that the person who sponsored Kent’s b-ref page doesn’t even like him:
    “I’ve never come across a more unfriendly, unhappy, ungrateful person in all my years following baseball. It’s a shame you are going to the HOF. You give ballplayers a bad name.”

  67. 98 That’s great. I was just about to post that I failed to mention in my last post about Kent not being a no-brainer steroid guy that he was one of my most hated players growing up.

  68. @95, because his career OPS+ from 24-29 is 106, and from 30 – 40 is 130. “Just a bit outside” as Uek used to say, not that I care about ‘roids. That said, Kent doesn’t have quite the peak I’d like to see in an HOFer, but given he was a 2B I guess I’d vote yes if pressed. He wasn’t a great defender, and only had a handful of great offensive years, not to mention he’s not very likeable, but he turned in a remarkable number of very good years. Borderline for me, but on the inside.

    Here’s a nice summation of the pro/con for Kent:

  69. I visited the HoF in Cooperstown a few summers ago.

    It was understated compared to what I expected. (I think I expected the Taj Mahal.) But the content was the real draw.

    I noticed I walked slower the longer I was there.

    Wouldn’t mind heading up the project of massively re-doing it, though.

  70. OK… now this I find amusing:

    That’s titled: “Since 1996, which teams in baseball have done the best job at having 3+ pitchers in the same season with 25+ GS and an ERA+ of 100 or better?”

    And which rotations are on the list?
    how about:
    2007 Atlanta Braves 3 Tim Hudson / Chuck James / John Smoltz
    2009 Atlanta Braves 3 Jair Jurrjens / Kenshin Kawakami / Javier Vazquez

    KK and Chucky make the list under the “good rotations” banner.

  71. You know, I’ve never really looked at Blyleven before (he was in the AL when I was old enough to be watching games and I don’t recall watching any non ATL games as a kid)… Based on what I see at baseball-reference, my question for those of you who did see him/advocated for him getting into the hall/etc is this: “Was he better than Tom Glavine?”. Same # of seasons & career ERA+… Bert has more K’s… and yet he never won a Cy…. and Tommy is supposedly a “lock” for the hall, but Bert barely made it… what am I missing?

  72. Well yeah, I know Tommy has those things going for him for the HOF, but is that the only difference between 1st ballot and 14th?

  73. Marc-

    I should say that I agree with you that people do tend to get hung up on titles and the like when rating players. But in the specific context of Wuerffel/Manning, they played 3 times, each time with SEC East title implications, and Wuerffel won each time. That more than the titles per se should put Wuerffel ahead in a head-to-head comparisson.

    Anyhow, I think in general we agree. :-)

  74. Yea so now what do the Panthers do? Reach and take someone like Mallett at one? Trade down and take someone like Mallett a few spots down? Or do they draft for another need and stick with Clausen?

  75. They might go d-line — Fairley has been mentioned. I don’t think anyone will commit until the combine. In particular, they’re going to want to get a handle on what Newton can do, since he has a lot shorter track record and played in a gimmick offense, but looks like a first-round QB.

  76. I think Newton is going to be a good QB in the NFL. He’s not a “check my first option then run” guy, though people seem to want to put him in that corner. He can make all the throws, he has a cannon as well as good touch, and has patience in the pocket. Everyone saying he’s a run first QB didn’t watch him stand in the pocket for a full 8 seconds looking for a receiver on the first score of the SEC championship.

    He’s also smart. If you watched Chris Todd staring, clueless, at the sideline on every other play last year then you appreciate Cam even more. He runs a complicated offense very well.

    The offense is unconventional and he plays behind a great line, but I think the tools are there for a great QB on the pro level.

  77. Newton is a great big kid who can throw the ball straight, run like the wind, and has a good deal of poise. He’s only 21, and figures to get even stronger. He’s got a very good chance to be a first rate pro quarterback, and ought be a first round pick. Guys like that just don’t come around very often, and are well worth the risk.

  78. RE: McGwire

    Only 1626 hits is a ridiculous argument against Big Mac in my opinion. The man walked 1317 times and more than a third of the hits were HRs and more than half were extra base hits. He’s a first ballot guy for me with or without PEDs.

  79. Yet, for all the times he was on-base, McGwire is 195th in runs scored and will fall out of the 200 in the next couple of years. He scored (and drove in) fewer runs than Joe Carter.

  80. Isn’t that just more of a longevity thing? Mac had 1500 fewer PAs than Carter did (though I agree it seems like he should’ve made more of his times on base).

  81. Sure, it’s a “longevity” thing, in that McGwire was out of the lineup a lot. He played in sixteen seasons. So did Carter. I think you have to dock McGwire for time missed when he was supposed to be playing.

  82. McGwire also had EIGHT HUNDRED MORE WALKS than Carter – saying he scored and drove in fewer without mentioning this rather notable disparity (and in 1500 fewer PA to boot) seems a little unfair. He’s in the Top 100 position players WAR, despite having missed a lot of games. He had some historic offensive seasons, and an 8 year peak of 111 G/yr, 460 PA/yr at a staggering 188 OPS+. That’s a Hall of Famer, even if I give him an 0-fer to get to say 135G/yr or so.

  83. But when McGwire was on the field, he was the best ever at the most important thing, and played plenty long enough to be eligible. You have to bend over pretty far backwards to explain that away.

  84. The most important thing is getting on base, and McGwire is 78th in career OBP, right after Johnny Pesky. Hardly “the best”. The ultimate point of the game is to win, which is done by scoring runs and preventing the other team from scoring more. And the fact is that McGwire’s runs scored/runs driven in stats are (collectively) closer to Joe Carter’s than anyone else’s.

    I’m not saying McGwire isn’t a Hall of Famer (he is) or that Joe Carter is a Hall of Famer (certainly not) or even that they’re particularly comparable players (they aren’t). But the basic fact is that McGwire, because he missed so much time, is not a slam-dunk Hall of Famer even if you don’t discount for steroids.

  85. And I want to reiterate something I didn’t put into so many words yesterday: Jim Thome is a greater player than Mark McGwire was, a higher peak and better career stats.

  86. OK, he was the best ever at the best single outcome, and no slouch at “the most important thing” either. I’d put Thome in, as well.

  87. I don’t suppose you think mac’s career might have looked a bit different with 700+ games at DH, do you?

  88. So positional differences count except when they don’t. Of course Thome is an HoFer – I am really not sure how he’s now in this conversation now, but fine – but Mac provided value in the field, and still finished within a season or two of Thome in WAR despite all the time missed. He’s got a 15 point OPS+ advantage and more HR’s desite the Thome’s lead in G. I won’t comment on who’s better, but they are certainly comparable players. Mac is a “slam dunk” in the sense that he belongs – not inner circle, but he’s in, and handily.

  89. Well… McGwire provided “value” in the “field.” By TotalZone, he’s at -30 runs for his career, and that’s only because of the +10 and +12 he put up in 1989 and 1990. After 1990, he was a cumulative -36 in the field. So that nullifies some of the positional advantage. He really should have been a DH.

  90. Thome has played 1102 games at first base in his career, and 392 at third. McGwire played 1762 at first base, 24 at third, and four in the outfield(!). I guess that’s an advantage for McGwire, but it’s not a huge one.

  91. So that nullifies some of the positional advantage.

    Are you assigning a Thome a negative value for games not played in the field? Or deducting anything for his teams having to use someone else at 1B? Mac was able to field a position to some greater or lesser extent, and this deserves consideration in our mythical pursuit of “better” – but then again, I specifically said I don’t know who’s better, only that Mac belongs in the HoF by any reasonable standard.

  92. I agree with that. WAR, for example, rather stupidly assigns zero value to a DH and negative value to a below-average first baseman, which makes the first baseman with the same stats look worse than the DH. But giving both zero value, Thome’s best offensive season is better than McGwire’s best, his second better than McGwire’s, and his third, and his career offensive WAR is higher.

  93. But not his fourth or his fifth or his sixth.

    Best 5 seasons. 34.8 OWAR for Mcgwire. 34.6 OWAR for Thome.

    Best 10 seasons. 56.3 Mcgwire. 57.2 Thome.

    I am just measuring offensive prowess.

    They are very comparable players. And Mcgwire has that 10.61 AB per HR, which is historic.

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