Miller and I love to get comments! Here’s one that grabbed me from one of our most loyal readers, Ryan, about the series of articles we recently posted about the HoME Standings. Those articles calculated standings solely based on playing time:
Do you have an alternative standings with a weighting of CHEWS+ values of each player for every franchise?
In a word, no. But it prompted me to put together standings based instead on the WAR values I compute. Thanks, Ryan!
Rather than run a three-article odyssey again, I’m going to sum things up in one post. This time around, I’ve based the standings on the percent of a player’s career spent with a given team. If Joe Schmuckface had 50 WAR with the Yanks and 50 WAR with the Sox, then each team gets 0.50 standings points assigned to them.
First off, let’s note that the standings by playing time included managers and executives who were specifically associated with teams in the roles we elected them for. And to answer another reader question, this time from JD, we elected Spalding as an executive. We didn’t feel that his case as an exec required the support of his playing career, unlike combo candidates Roger Bresnahan, Clark Griffith, and Frank Chance. In the same way, we didn’t include John McGraw and Connie Mack’s executive and/or player careers because they weren’t necessary for their election.
OK, on with the show.
The Grays Area
When we looked at the standings by playing time, several current MLB teams fell into what I coined “The Spiders’ Web.” These four clubs have so far failed to give HoMErs as much playing time as the highest-ranking defunct franchise, the Cleveland Spiders. But looking by value, the story is different in the details.
Five teams currently fall into “The Grays Area.” Among all long-dead franchises, The Providence Grays rank 26th among all clubs historically in our value-based standings. They received the contribution of 1.88 HoMErs, among whom were 76% of Old Hoss Radbourn’s value, 63% of Paul Hines’, 29% of Monte Ward’s, 13% of George Wright’s, and 7% of Jim O’Rourke’s.
The Toronto Blue Jays, 26th among current MLB teams are right behind them by 0.03 careers and are certain to pass them in 2019 at the latest. The Arizona Diamondbacks jump up a spot with 0.82 standings points. Only two defunct franchises stand between them and the Jays, the Buffalo Bisons (1.46) and the Detroit Wolverines (1.19). Ironically, these two teams shared a large number of core players. Two more dead teams separate the Colorado Rockies (0.65 careers) from their fellow Mountain Time foes. One is those famous old Baltimore Orioles teams of the 1890s, and the other is our old pals the Spiders. The Louisville Colonels and the Cleveland Infants of the Players League stand between the Rox and the Miami Marlins (0.51 careers). And then, a yawning gulf opens, and 24 cold, dead franchises sit above the Tampa Bay Rays who, to date have accumulated 0.1 careers’ worth of HoMErs. Better get cracking, Mantamen!
The Ring of Sixteen
Another target for expansion teams to aim for is “The Ring of Sixteen.” That is, catching up to one of the original franchises of the AL/NL peace accords of the 1910s. For Twins fans holding your breath, keep those cheeks puffed out because you’re about to get owned. The Houston Astros (4.73) trail the Twinkies by less than half of a single career, far less than what the Mets by in the playing-time version of our standings. The presence of Andy Pettitte, Roy Oswalt, and Carlos Beltran could very well get them there. The threats to the Ring of Sixteen loom less dangerously below the Stros. The New York Mets (3.27) probably don’t have enough HoME irons in the current fire to catch up very soon, even if we end up electing David Wright. But they will be well positioned to enter the 16 in the mid-term. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Texas Rangers are tied with 2.97 HoMErs’ worth of value. The Metroplex Marshalls have a lot of little slices of careers out there to add as well as something like a third of Adrian Beltre’s career and half of Ian Kinsler’s plus a not-quite predictable piece of Cole Hamels. There’s a lot of opportunity for them if things break in their favor. The Halos are in something like the same boat but with more uncertainty. Like if Mike Trout leaves someday. Maybe they do need a stinkin’ badge?
Three more teams cluster up behind these three. The Washington Nationals (2.87) will have six years of Bryce Harper and a few years of Max Scherzer but little else to look forward to. I’d say they’re stuck in committee. The Kansas City Royals (2.75) are similar to the Nats. There’s no clear line of succession between Zack Greinke and the next Royals star. The last team in this little group is the San Diego Padres (2.61) whose missionary activities have attracted no HoME followers.
Rounding out the expansion group, the Seattle Mariners (2.32) and Milwaukee Brewers (2.25) have managed to haul themselves out of the gray area. The M’s have a whole bunch of third- or half-careers in the ready plus Ichrio. King Felix, and Kyle Seager bring more support. They could move quickly. And the Brew Crew continue to enjoy their status as a recognized MLB team.
Turning It Up to 10
Once we get into the Ring of 16, teams fall fairly neatly into two categories: those who have at least 10 careers worth of HoMErs, and those that don’t. The latter category comprises seven teams. As we mentioned early, the Minnesota Twins (5.12) lag far, far behind the other originals. The next squad on the horizon is nearly two full careers away, which is a lot considering how few careers were spent in the Twin Cities. Joe Mauer and Johan Santaña could take them a ways toward their next competitor, but they’ll still be short, and there’s little in the short- or mid-term climb, let alone keep the Astros at bay. Which means that the Cincinnati Reds (7.00) aren’t facing losing their spot in the Ring of Sixteen. The Reds aren’t in much better position than the Twins, but, thanks to nearly two decades of spectacular ineptitude, the Pittsburgh Pirates (7.65) won’t be in any position to scuttle the Redlegs’ hopes. Particularly if Andrew McCutchen is permanently broken. The Chicago White Sox (8.21) are in something of the same boat as the Reds and Bucs with relatively little near-term firepower. These three clubs will struggle among themselves for “supremacy” in the standings and won’t be reaching 10 players for a decade or more. Our next three teams, however, are knocking on the proverbial door.
Just three-quarters of a player away, the Baltimore Orioles (9.21) don’t have much to sing about with only guest shots by Jim Thome and Vlad Guerrero coming up. But Manny Machado seems very likely to earn them at least half of that 0.75 WAR they need to migrate northward. Relatively speaking, the St. Louis Cardinals (9.36) got a lot more playing time from their HoMErs than they did value. They rank sixth in our playing-time-base standings and 11th in value-based standings. But 10 careers is pretty much in the bag for the Redbirds. Albert Pujols gets them most of the way, and Scott Rolen and Carlos Beltran could put them over. If things break right, they might end up chirping about more than those guys too, but that’s up to the baseball gods, Adam Wainwright’s elbow, and Yadier Molina’s bat. Finally, the Philadelphia Phillies move up from 13th in playing time to 10th in value. They trail their former city mates, the A’s, by a shade more than 1 career, and they’ve got plenty in the pipeline among Rolen, Halladay, Thome, Hamels, and Chase Utley with Hughie Jennings, Cupid Childs, and Roy Oswalt representing opportunities for pick-ups as well. In the next three to five HoME elections, they’ll earn their tenth career. Speaking of the Oakland Athletics, at 10.56 careers, they’ve broken through a barrier, but they’ve got a lot of work to do to move up in the standings. Nearly two full careers separate them from the 8th place franchise. The White Elephants have some of Tim Hudson, and a bunch of HoME question marks who weren’t with them all that long. Expect a change in the standings here as the A’s cede the #9 slot to the Phils.
Four teams sit within a single HoME career of one another, and have a position from which to launch an assault on the top of the standings. The Cleveland Indians (12.41) have a couple careers’ worth of HoMErs in the near- and mid-term, plus a few younger players who could keep them climbing in the long term. They are running neck-and-neck with the Detroit Tigers (12.42). The Bengals counter with a lot of star power in Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, Ian Kinsler, Max Scherzer, and several borderliners who could make it. I’d say they’ll keep ahead of the Tribe and might even be able to turn these guys into 6th place. That’s because the Boston Red Sox (13.32) and Atlanta Braves (13.37) sit within a single HoME career. For the sox it all depends on how long Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, David Price, and Chris Sale can continue to accumulate HoME credentials. Especially Pedroia, a lifetime Sock so far. Los Bravos have more than two careers’ worth of value coming their way in Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones, and Tim Hudson. That’ll keep all three teams below them from reaching 5th place. But will it get them into the “Gang of Four?”
The Gang of Four
The top four teams in our standings are separated by less than two HoME careers. The Braves have the Los Angeles Dodgers (14.31) under siege for the moment. But they probably can break it with Clayton Kershaw leading the charge. In the long term Seager, Bellinger, and Urias could propel them toward the top. The Chicago Cubs (14.55) are in trouble and will undoubtedly lose the 3rd spot. They might tumble to fifth and are at some risk of dropping into sixth place. They just don’t have many HoMErs coming along very soon. Most of their talent is too young to project a HoME career. The outlook is much rosier for the Evil Empire. The New York Yankees (15.75) have something like three careers’ worth of value simply awaiting our vote, and there’s more where those three came from. Lots more. They sit only one-half a career behind the top spot and will take it perhaps as soon as Andy Pettitte’s eligibility, if not Mariano’s. They will almost certainly become the first club with 20 HoME careers. That leaves us with the San Francisco Giants (16.25). Look, mostly in this country we all love to hate the Yankees. So does SF have any hope of holding off the Darth Vaders of MLB? Nope. The inevitable is going to happen unless our planet is destroyed first. I guess that’s one instance where I’d root for the Yanks. Heinie Groh and Carlos Beltran are their best near-term opportunities. Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, and Johnny Cueto have to nail down their claims to greatness first. A sudden and prolonged surge of great pitching from Matt Cain would help. Which isn’t much of a hope to offer. I guess bad money drives out good money. Or at least money that’s not as bad.
Here then are the standings by value. You’ll find that we’ve added this information to our HoME Stats report on the honorees page. Enjoy.
TEAM YEARS HoMERS /YEAR ===================================================== 1 San Francisco Giants 1883–2017 16.25 0.15 2 New York Yankees 1903–2017 15.74 0.14 3 Chicago Cubs 1871–2017 14.55 0.10 4 Los Angeles Dodgers 1884–2017 14.31 0.11 5 Atlanta Braves 1871-2017 13.37 0.10 8 Boston Red Sox 1901–2017 13.32 0.12 7 Detroit Tigers 1901–2017 12.42 0.11 8 Cleveland Indians 1901–2017 12.41 0.11 9 Oakland Athletics 1901–2017 10.56 0.10 10 Philadelphia Phillies 1883–2017 9.43 0.07 11 St. Louis Cardinals 1882–2017 9.36 0.07 12 Baltimore Orioles 1901–2017 9.22 0.08 13 Chicago White Sox 1901–2017 8.21 0.07 14 Pittsburgh Pirates 1882–2017 7.65 0.06 15 Cincinnati Reds 1882-2017 7.00 0.05 16 Minnesota Twins 1901–2017 5.12 0.05 17 Houston Astros 1962–2017 4.73 0.10 18 New York Mets 1962–2017 3.27 0.07 19 LA Angels of Anaheim 1961–2017 2.97 0.06 20 Texas Rangers 1961–2017 2.97 0.06 21 Washington Nationals 1969–2017 2.87 0.07 22 Kansas City Royals 1969–2017 2.75 0.07 23 San Diego Padres 1969–2017 2.61 0.06 24 Seattle Mariners 1977–2017 2.32 0.07 25 Milwaukee Brewers 1969–2017 2.25 0.05 26 Toronto Blue Jays 1977-2017 1.85 0.05 27 Arizona Diamondbacks 1998–2017 0.82 0.06 28 Colorado Rockies 1993–2017 0.65 0.04 29 Miami Marlins 1993–2017 0.51 0.03 30 Tampa Bay Rays 1998–2017 0.01 0.00