archives

Detroit Tigers

This tag is associated with 4 posts

HoME Standings III: finally, fully updated

We’re finally into the top ten in the HoME Standings. If your favorite team isn’t on the list below, check back on our first two posts You’ll be shocked, SHOCKED, to learn who our top contestant is, but there’s a lot going on underneath them, and if your favorite nine remains, cheer up, most of these clubs have some very interesting prospects for advancement.

#10–1

TEAM                       YEARS    HoMERS /YEAR
=================================================
10 Cleveland Indians     1901–2017  11.11   0.10
 9 Oakland Athletics     1901–2017  11.40   0.10
 8 Detroit Tigers        1901–2017  13.15   0.12
 7 Boston Red Sox        1901–2017  13.37   0.12
 6 St. Louis Cardinals   1882–2017  13.92   0.11
 5 Atlanta Braves        1876-2017  15.45   0.11
 4 Chicago Cubs          1876–2017  17.91   0.13
 3 San Francisco Giants  1883–2017  18.50   0.14
 2 Los Angeles Dodgers   1884–2017  19.63   0.15
 1 New York Yankees      1903–2017  22.16   0.21
  • Cleveland Indians
    HoMErs: Bob Feller (100%), Lou Boudreau (96%), Stan Coveleski (81%), Joe Sewell (79%), Nap Lajoie (64%), Elmer Flick (63%), Kenny Lofton (62%), Tris Speaker (55%), Joe Jackson (50%), Wes Ferrell (50%), Early Wynn (50%), Manny Ramirez (42%), Buddy Bell (41%), Al Lopez (38%), Joe Gordon (36%), Luis Tiant (34%), Gaylord Perry (21%), Roberto Alomar (20%), Denis Eckersley (19%), Graig Nettles (19%), Orel Hershiser (18%), Bert Blyleven (15%), Chuck Finley (14%), Eddie Murray (10%), Bobby Bonds (8%), Phil Niekro (7%), Cy Young (7%), Sam Rice (4%), Frank Robinson (2%), Steve Carlton (2%), Keith Hernandez (2%), Hal Newhouser (2%), Jeff Kent (1%), Dave Winfield (1%)
  • Retired: Jim Thome (115), Dwight Gooden (99), George Uhle (97), Ralph Kiner (96), Jason Giambi (95), Larry Doby (95), Cliff Lee (95), Mark Langston (95)
  • Active: C.C. Sabathia (104), Bartolo Colon (86), Victor Martinez (74), Corey Kluber (55), Terry Francona

The Tribe has done a nice job of developing and collecting HoME talent…and a lousy job of timing many of those acquisitions. But Thome and Sabathia should provide about 1 HoME career between them. As we mentioned last time, Larry Doby could also contribute 80% of a career if we do the Negro Leagues and elect him. Call it 1.9 or so careers. Tack on maybe a third of Tito’s tenure, and there’s a lot in the till. Definitely enough to claim 9th place, maybe enough to reach 8th. It’s probably too late for Michael Brantley to build enough of a case to make the HoME, but Corey Kluber and Francisco Lindor are well on their way, and Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar have enough talent that if one of them goes on the Randy Johnson career path, they could be a contender. I wouldn’t be the house on that, though.

Oakland Athletics

  • HoMErs: Connie Mack (96%), Eddie Plank (86%), Bob Johnson (79%), Mickey Cochrane (78%), Sal Bando (73%), Mark McGwire (71%), Rube Waddell (63%), Lefty Grove (60%), Al Simmons (59%), Home Run Baker (58%), Rickey Henderson (56%), Jimmie Foxx (54%), Reggie Jackson (48%), Eddie Collins (38%), Tony Phillips (38%), Wally Schang (30%), Tony La Russa (29%), Denis Eckersley (18%), Dick Williams (16%), Nap Lajoie (15%), Kevin Appier (11%), Billy Williams (10%), Frank Thomas (8%), Ty Cobb (7%), Jimmy Collins (7%), Goose Gossage (5%), Mike Piazza (4%), Joe Morgan (4%), Don Sutton (4%), Willie Randolph (4%), Zack Wheat (3%), Dick Allen (3%), Tris Speaker (2%), Tim Raines (1%), Elmer Flick (1%), Joe Jackson (1%), Stan Coveleski (1%), Willie McCovey (+0%)
  • Retired: Eddie Rommel (106), Tim Hudson (102), Gene Tenace (102), Ron Cey (97), Enos Slaughter (96), Jason Giambi (95), Billy Martin
  • Active: Ben Zobrist (90), Bartolo Colon (86), Josh Donaldson (85), Matt Holliday (82), Carlos Gonzalez (62), Billy Beane

Those Swingin’ A’s are about to slide outside the top ten. We talked about the surging Phils the last time out, and the Indians just above, and they will sweep away the Athletics who have very little to come back at them with. About 40% of Hudson, Billy Bean, and tiny bits of some others who might or might not pan out. It could be 1.0 to 1.5 careers. Not enough to catch the next team, not enough to drown out the war drumming of the Indians, maybe just enough to Phight the Phils phor now.

Detroit Tigers

  • HoMErs: Bill Freehan (100%), Charlie Gehringer (100%), Al Kaline (100%), Alan Trammell (100%), Lou Whitaker (100%), Hal Newhouser (98%), Harry Heilmann (94%), Ty Cob (93%), Hank Greenberg (92%), Bobby Veach (90%), Sam Crawford (84%), Sparky Anderson (64%), Jim Bunning (505), Tony Phillips (36%), Darrell Evans (26%), Ivan Rodriguez (25%), Goose Goslin (23%), Mickey Cochrane (22%), Gary Sheffield (10%), Al Simmons (7%), Eddie Mathews (2%), Wally Schang (1%)
  • Retired: Hughie Jennings (102), Charlie Keller (101), Chet Lemon (99), George Uhle (97), Dizzy Trout (95), Larry Doby (95)
  • Active: Miguel Cabrera (115), Justin Verlander (101), Ian Kinsler (99), Max Scherzer (98), Curtis Granderson (86), David Price (75), Victor Martinez (74), Jordan Zimmerman (55)

I’m pretty sanguine about the chances of Cabrera, Verlander, Kinsler, and Scherzer together, they’d add about 2.4 careers to the Bengals’ total. That’s certain to push the team at least one or two notches upward, and maybe more. After that, however, Price wasn’t around that long and his future isn’t certain given his current injury. Jordan Zimmerman would need to turn in a great second act, and none of the other active players looks like they will step up.

Boston Red Sox

  • HoMErs: Bobby Doerr (100%), Ted Williams (100%), Carl Yastrzemski (100%), Dwight Evans (97%), Harry Hooper (71%), Wade Boggs (68%), Roger Clemens (56%), Reggie Smith (53%), Joe Cronin (52%), Luis Tiant (51%), Pedro Martinez (48%), Manny Ramirez (48%), Carlton Fisk (44%), Denis Eckersley (42%), Jimmie Foxx (41%), Lefty Grove (40%), Tris Speaker (38%), Cy Young (35%), Wes Ferrell (33%), Jimmy Collins (27%), Red Ruffing (25%), Curt Schilling (21%), Wally Schang (18%), Dick Williams (16%), Bob Johnson (15%), Bret Saberhagen (13%), Babe Ruth (13%), Frank Chance (9%), Fergie Jenkins (9%), Bobby Veach (8%), Andre Dawson (7%), Jesse Burkett (7%), David Cone (5%), Lou Boudreau (4%), Tom Seaver (2%), Juan Marichal (2%), Rickey Henderson (2%), Al Simmons (1%), John Smoltz (1%)
  • Retired: John Olerud (99), Dizzy Trout (95)
  • Active: Adrian Beltre (115), Dustin Pedroia (87), Chris Sale (86), Bartolo Colon (86), Adrian Gonzalez (85), Jon Lester (84), Hanley Ramirez (77), David Price (75), Victor Martinez (74), John Lackey (72), Theo Epstein, Terry Francona, John Henry

The Sox have been great in the Twenty-First Century, though often featuring a roster full of talented players. Among the players above, what they seem likely to end up with is about 10% of Beltre’s career, at least 80% of Pedroia’s career, at least 20% of Sale’s career, if he doesn’t break down, about 60% of Lester’s tenure, half of Theo, and a third of Tito 2.5 careers. That’s a lot! If Miller and I get sentimental, then maybe David Ortiz has a shot. At this point he’s more appropriate for the Hall of Fame rather than the Hall of Miller and Eric. Like Detroit, if things bounce right for them, the Sox could barge into the top five. In the longer term, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and, perhaps, Andrew Benintendi can give them additional fuel to continue rising in the standings.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • HoMErs: Sam Breadon (100%), Bob Gibson (100%), Stan Musial (100%), Ken Boyer (85%), Ozzie Smith (75%), Rogers Hornsby (71%), Ted Simmons (67%), Whitey Herzog (64%), Branch Rickey (61%), Frankie Frisch (56%), Billy Southworth (55%), Keith Hernandez (55%), Jim Edmonds (55%), Tony La Russa (51%), Johnny Mize (49%), Miller Huggins (30%), Mark McGwire (29%), Roger Bresnahan (25%), Steve Carlton (24%), Jesse Burkett (20%), Bobby Wallace (10%), Roger Connor (17%), Reggie Smith (17%), Joe Torre (16%), Bob Howsam (16%), Jose Cruz (16%), Pete Alexander (16%), Charlie Comiskey (15%), Jack Glasscock (11%), Cy Young (9%), Kid Nichols (8%), Dick Allen (7%), Mordecai Brown (7%), Larry Walker (7%), Bill McKechnie (6%), Dazzy Vance (5%), Vic Willis (5%), Willie Davis (4%), Denis Eckersley (3%), Bobby Bonds (3%), Chuck Finley (3%), Jimmy Sheckard (2%), Pud Galvin (2%), Clark Griffith (1%), John Smoltz (1%)
  • Retired: Bob Caruthers (116), Scott Rolen (115), Cupid Childs (106), Dizzy Dean (106), Pete Browning (104), George Gore (102), Gene Tenace (102), Will Clark (101), Cesar Cedeño (98), Jake Beckley (97), Ted Breitenstein (96), Tony Mullane (96), Enos Slaughter (96), Babe Adams (95), Lance Berkman (95), Joe Medwick (95)
  • Active: Albert Pujols (163), Carlos Beltran (115), Adam Wainwright (85), Matt Holliday (82), Yadier Molina (76), John Lackey (72), John Mozeliak

If everything goes the Cards’ way, they could make a big jump. That would mean we elected Rolen, Slaughter, Pujols, Beltran, Molina, and Wainwright, putting about 3.75 Cards careers into the HoME. Or we might only end up with Rolen, Pujols, and Beltran, which would be about 1.2 careers. When you look at how these standings are bunched, that’s a very large difference. Perhaps enough to swing 6th place to someone else.

Atlanta Braves    

  • HoMErs: John Smoltz (98%), Warren Spahn (96%), Eddie Mathews (94%), Hank Aaron (94%), Kid Nichols (90%), Bobby Cox (86%), Phil Niekro (85%), Frank Selee (77%), Tom Glavine (77%), Vic Willis (65%), John Schuerholz (63%), Greg Maddux (49%), John Clarkson (47%), Billy Southworth (45%), Billy Hamilton (42%), Bill McKechnie (34%), Darrell Evans (33%), Old Hoss Radbourn (32%), George Wright (32%), King Kelly (30%), Charlie Bennett (30%), Jimmy Collins (25%), Casey Stengel (23%), Dave Bancroft (23%), Harry Wright (21%), George Sisler (19%), Sherry Magee (17%), Jim O’Rourke (14%), Ross Barnes (12%), Gary Sheffield (11%), Joe Torre (11%), Bill Dahlen (8%), Dan Brouthers (7%), Jimmy Wynn (7%), Paul Waner (7%), Rogers Hornsby (7%), Kenny Lofton (6%), Ted Simmons (5%), Paul Hines (4%), Deacon White (4%), Al Simmons (4%), Billy Herman (3%), Gaylord Perry (3%), Graig Nettles (2%), Cy Young (1%), Babe Ruth (1%), Ed Walsh (1%), Wes Ferrell (1%), Bucky Walters (+0%)
  • Retired: Chipper Jones (120), Andruw Jones (115), Tim Hudson (102), Charlie Buffinton (97), Harry Stovey (100), Wally Berger (97), Enos Slaughter (96), Hardy Richardson (95)
  • Active: Bartolo Colon (86), Brian McCann (72), Jason Heyward (69)

Jones, Jones, and Hudson would give the Bravos another 2.3 careers. And they need every one because it’ll be a long time before anyone else is electable. Those are the last of the 1990s Braves and most of the last of the 2000s Braves that made the playoffs for nearly a decade. Jason Heyward? Maybe Freddie Freeman? Could Julio Tehran take a step up and stay there a long while? It won’t be enough to catch the Cubbies, it should be enough to hold off the Cards’s best case scenario.

Chicago Cubs

  • HoMErs: Ernie Banks (100%), William Hulbert (100%), Ryne Sandberg (100%), Al Spalding (100%), Gabby Hartnett (98%), Ron Santo (96%), Billy Williams (90%), Cap Anson (89%), Joe Tinker (86%), Sammy Sosa (80%), Frank Chance (73%), Mordecai Brown (72%), Billy Herman (71%), Rick Reuschel (65%), Fergie Jenkins (59%), Jimmy Sheckard (48%), King Kelly (48%), Bill Dahlen (44%), Greg Maddux (41%), Greg Maddux (41%), John Clarkson (37%), Pete Alexander (37%), Andre Dawson (33%), Leo Durocher (28%), Frank Selee (23%), Joe McCarthy (22%), Roger Bresnahan (19%), Ross Barnes (18%), Tommy Leach (17%), Denis Eckersley (16%), Rogers Hornsby (14%), Clark Griffith (14%), Richie Ashburn (11%), Rube Waddell (9%), Rafael Palmeiro (8%), Paul Hines (8%), Deacon White (4%), Jim Edmonds (4%), Goose Gossage (3%), Jimmie Foxx (3%), Kenny Lofton (3%), Bobby Bonds (2%), Robin Roberts (1%)
  • Retired: Dizzy Dean (106), Ned Williamson (104), George Gore (102), Ron Cey (97), Ralph Kiner (96), Jim Sundberg (96)
  • Active: Ben Zobrist (90), Jon Lester (84), John Lackey (72), Jason Heyward (69), Anthony Rizzo (55), Jake Arrieta (53), Theo Epstein, Joe Maddon

What makes the Cubs’ a threat to go dynasty on the league is also what makes their near term HoME outlook a little bleak. The earliest they might elect a player that we haven’t already passed over is maybe eight to ten years from now. That’s when Ben Zobrist comes due. He might yet assemble a strong enough case, or he might just fall short. Jon Lester will arrive several years after that, and the team should get a nice chunk of his career. If Jason Heyward learns to hit again, his turn would be another for or more years thereafter. But he’s a big question mark. After that, you’re waiting for Theo or Maddon to retire, though Maddon will have a tougher climb if he doesn’t win another title. At that point it’s probably also Rizzo’s time. He’s been awfully good and very durable, and if we’ve seen his best, he’ll have to go the Eddie Murray route and be very good for very long. Then it’ll be Kris Bryant’s turn. He’s played a total of 344 games, so I’m not excited to start calling him a HoMEr yet. His BBREF comps have some danger signs: Danny Tartabull, Ralph Kiner, Carlos Gonzalez, Rocky Colavito, Fernando Tatis, Tom Tresh. Let’s not start casting the bronze quite yet. There’s a lot of reason for optimism here, and there’s not much we can safely predict yet.

San Francisco Giants  

  • HoMErs: Carl Hubbell (100%), Mel Ott (100%), Bill Terry (100%), Christy Mathewson (+99%), Juan Marichal (98%), Willie Mays (96%), Amos Rusie (93%), John McGraw (93%), Willie McCovey (88%), Art Fletcher (86%), Barry Bonds (66%), Joe McGinnity (61%), Monte Ward (61%), Bobby Bonds (57%), Roger Connor (56%), Buck Ewing (55%), George Davis (47%), Tim Keefe (44%), Frankie Frisch (44%), Roger Bresnahan (43%), Gaylord Perry (43%), Darrell Evans (41%), Jeff Kent (41%), Jim O’Rourke (39%), Johnny Mize (38%), Leo Durocher (31%), Dave Bancroft (30%), Bill Dahlen (22%), Rick Reuschel (16%), Jack Glasscock (13%), Joe Morgan (8%), Rogers Hornsby (7%), Orel Hershiser (7%), Reggie Smith (5%), Jesse Burkett (5%), Gary Carter (3%), Goose Gossage (2%), Randy Johnson (2%), Duke Snider (2%), Gabby Hartnett (2%), Kenny Lofton (2%), Warren Spahn (1%), King Kelly (1%), Willie Keeler (%), Steve Carlton 91%), Dan Brouthers (0%)
  • Retired: George Gore (102), Will Clark (101), Heinie Groh (101), Jake Beckley (97), Wally Berger (97), George Uhle (97), Joe Medwick (95), Hardy Richardson (95)
  • Active: Carlos Beltran (115), Buster Posey (89), Madison Bumgarner (72), Matt Cain (71), Johnny Cueto (69), Bruce Bochy, Dusty Baker, Brian Sabean

The Giants led the pack for many electoral years until our number one club wrested the top spot away about two-thirds through the journey. At this point, a chunk of Heinie Groh, a sliver of Beltran, probably most of Posey, and that’s the more bankable stuff. MadBum and Cueto are very much building their legend, and in the backlog, no one else is screaming elect-me to us at this time. So the Giants will need to turn to off-the-field honorees. Bochy is a slam-dunk and worth about two-thirds of a career. Sabean’s probably also a slam dunk, and he appears to be a lifer at PacBell/AT&T/whatever it’s called now. Dusty Baker ought to win the big one before any gets excited over his prospects. Sans the management team the Giants over the long term are likely to lose some ground to the pack whether or not they are passed. Their leadership is their saving grace.

Los Angeles Dodgers    

  • HoMErs: Walter Alston (100%), Roy Campanella (100%), Al Campanis (100%), Don Drysdale (100%), Sandy Koufax (100%), Walter O’Malley (100%), Pee Wee Reese (100%), Jackie Robinson (100%), Zack Wheat (97%), Duke Snider (93%), Dazzy Vance (93%), Willie Davis (82%), Don Sutton (72%), Orel Hershiser (69%), Buzzie Bavasi (60%), Larry MacPhail (45%), Jimmy Sheckard (41%), Ned Hanlon (40%), Mike Piazza (39%), Leo Durocher (35%), Willie Keeler (27%), Bill Dahlen (27%), Kevin Brown (26%), Reggie Smith (26%), Billy Herman 925%), Jeff Kent (23%), Gary Sheffield (21%), Arky Vaughan (20%), Branch Rickey (20%), Eddie Murray (15%), Jimmy Wynn (15%), Monte Ward (15%), Dan Brouthers (13%), Davey Johnson (13%), Casey Stengel (12%), Dave Bancroft (12%), Joe Torre (10%), Max Carey (10%), Manny Ramirez (9%), Dick Allen (9%), Willie Randolph (8%), Kenny Lofton (6%), Paul Waner (4%), Pedro Martinez (4%), Frank Robinson (3%), Ken Boyer (3%), Gary Carter (3%), Greg Maddux (2%), Jim Bunning (2%), Rickey Henderson (1%), Juan Marichal (+0%), Wes Ferrell (+0%)
  • Retired: Bob Caruthers (116), Andruw Jones (115), Jim Thome (115), Pete Browning (104), Jim McCormick (103), Hughie Jennings (102), Nap Rucker (102), Harry Stovey (100), Mike Griffin (99), Cesar Cedeño (98), Ron Cey (97), Wilbur Cooper (97), Bobby Abreu (95), Joe Medwick (95)
  • Active: Clayton Kershaw (119), Adrian Beltre (115), Zack Grienke (107), Chase Utley (104), Russell Martin (93), Adrian Gonzalez (85), Hanley Ramirez (77)

We can’t realistically predict how long a player will stay with his team. Even if he signs a big, long contract, trades, buy-outs, and opt-outs happen. So I can really only give about 60% of Clayton Kershaw to the Dodgers. Adrian Beltre is worth about 40% of a career to the team. Grienke about a quarter of a career. Chase Utley about 15%. If Russell Martin should rebound enough to just ease over the line, then there’s probably another 40%. Among retirees, Andruw Jones is three points, Jim Thome’s worth 0% (just 17 PAs). En toto that’s about 1.8 careers, if things work out well. The Dodgers need 2.5 careers just to reach where the Yanks are right now. It’s absolutely possible to squint and see Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger and Julio Urias all coming through. But I don’t trust my squinty eyes that much.

New York Yankees      

  • HoMErs: Ed Barrow (100%), Bill Dickey (100%), Joe DiMaggio (100%), Whitey Ford (100%), Lou Gehrig (100%), Mickey Mantle (100%), Thurman Munson (100%), Jacob Ruppert (100%), Roy White (100%), Yogi Berra (100%), Babe Ruth (87%), Willie Randolph (79%), Red Ruffing (72%), Miller Huggins (70%), George Weiss (68%), Joe McCarthy (67%), Joe Gordon (64%), Graig Nettles (61%), Casey Stengel (49%), Joe Torre (45%), Mike Mussina (44%), Home Run Baker (42%), Dave Winfield (51%), Willie Keeler (39%), Urban Shocker (35%), David Cone (32%), Wally Schang (30%), Goose Gossage (28%), Larry MacPhail (27%), Wade Boggs (25%), Reggie Jackson (24%), Roger Clemens (23%), Joe Sewell (21%), Rickey Henderson (20%), Frank Chance (18%), Gary Sheffield (14%), Johnny Mize (13%), Randy Johnson (10%), Luis Tiant (10%), Clark Griffith (9%), Tim Raines (9%), Phil Niekro (8%), Bobby Bonds (8%), Kevin Brown (7%), Kenny Lofton (3%), Wes Ferrell (2%), Stan Coveleski (2%), Rick Reuschel (2%), Bobby Veach (2%), Jimmy Wynn (1%), Dazzy Vance (1%), Gaylord Perry (1%), Jose Cruz (1%), Ivan Rodriguez (1%), Paul Waner (+0%)
  • Retired: Alex Rodriguez (172), Andruw Jones (115), Andy Pettitte (102), Charlie Keller (101), Derek Jeter (100), Dwight Gooden (99), Noodles Hahn (99), John Olerud (99), Ron Guidry (98), George Uhle (97), Bernie Williams (97), Enos Slaughter (96), Bobby Abreu (95), Lance Berkman (95), Jason Giambi (95), Mariano Rivera
  • Active: Robinson Cano (120) Carlos Beltran (115), CC Sabathia (104), Ichiro (102), Russell Martin (93), Bartolo Colon (86), Curtis Granderson (86), Matt Holliday (82), Brian McCann (72), Brian Cashman, Joe Girardi

No doubt that no one is shocked to see Emperor Palpatine’s favorite team leading the pack. They will get 3.33 to 3.5 careers just out of the retirees. Establishing a long dynasty and staying competitive does that. Cano, Beltran, Sabathia, Ichiro together will add another 1.25 to 1.5 careers. So the New York Vaders are tacking on 5 HoMErs in short order. Toss Cashman and Girardi on the heap, and that’s for reals like 7 careers’ worth of Yankees. Hate or hate ‘em, they get the job done.

So that’s the state of play for now. Of course, this is all speculation and prediction. No one knows whether Clayton Kershaw will suddenly demand a trade to the Rays, or whether  Derek Jeter will buy the Marlins and put himself at shortstop, or whether Jason Hayward will rediscover his stroke or discover he’s had a stroke. It’s all up in the air. These are just some best guesses at what the future holds. And as a certain philosopher once said: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

Advertisements

GM Update #11: Jim Campbell

As previously promised, today we roll out the goods on longtime Tigers GM Jim Campbell. Campbell’s tenure ran more than 20 years, during which time he won a World Series and set the team up for another. Mark Armour and Dan Levitt named him their 22nd best team builder of all time. In the modern sense of it. Well, maybe. The figures we’ve arrived at from his transaction logs tell a somewhat different story, especially when we couple it with a piece or two of key information.

Let’s do the numbers.

Team Performance

  • RECORD: Won-Loss record while GM was in office
  • PCT: Winning percentage
  • vs EXP: An adaptation of the expected wins formula Bill James introduced in his managers book. Except we use pythagenpat records instead of actual records to calculate it.
  • OCT: Postseason apperances (starting in 1969).
  • OCT v EXP: Measures postseason appearances against the basic probability of any random team making it.
  • WS APP: World Series appearances
  • WS APP v EXP: Similar to OCT v EXP
  • WS WINS: Championships won
  • WS WINS v EXP: Ditto
  • MGR PYTH: This is the team’s variance against its Pythagenpat record as a measure of how much value the GM’s manager brought to the team.
TEAM PERFORMANCE
NAME RECORD PCT. VS EXP OCT OCT VS EXP WS APP WS APP VS EXP WS WINS WS WINS VS EXP MGR PYTH
BARROW 2281-1394 .621 +160 N/A N/A 14 +11 10 +8.5 +72
BAVASI 1 2386-2166 .524 +54 2 +0.2 8 +5.1 4 +2.5 +42
BROWN 1816-1625 .524 +48 5 +2.5 2 -0.2 2 +0.9 -5
CAMPANIS 1576-1280 .552 +44 6 +4.9 4 +2.5 1 +0.2 +8
CAMPBELL 1733-1605 .519 +40 1 -1.5 1 -0.8 1 +0.1 +31
CASHEN 1342-1177 .533 +27 4 +1.2 1 -0.3 1 +0.4 -1
DALTON 2175-1965 .525 +64 4 +1.4 5 +3.0 2 +0.9 +9
GILLICK 2276-1993 .533 +95 11 +5.7 3 +1.0 3 +2.1 +23
GRIFFITH 2967-2964 .500 +24 N/A N/A 3 -1.88 1 -1.44 +35
HOWSAM 1331-1049 .559 +63 5 +3.3 4 +2.8  2 +1.4 +44
MACPHAIL1 904-777 .538 +69 N/A N/A 2 +0.6 1 +0.3 +6
MACPHAIL2 1181-1036 .526 +54 0 -0.7 0 -1.4 0 -0.8 +31
QUINN 2147-2126 .502 +20 0 -0.5 3 -0.1 1 -0.5 -7
RICKEY 3265-3015 .520 +87 N/A N/A 8 +2.7 4 +1.5 +46
SCHUERHOLZ 2348-1794 .567 +140 16 +10.8 6 +3.4 2 +1.1 +69
WEISS 1503-1303 .536 +28 N/A N/A 10 +7.9 7 +5.9 +3
BAVASI 2 756-869 .465 -41 0 -2.9 0 -0.6 0 -0.3 -6
ROBINSON 683-772 .469 -6 0 -1.5 0 -0.5 0 -0.3 -5
SEGHI 883-989 .472 -11 0 -2.0 0 -0.9 0 -0.5 -4
SMITH 566-776 .422 -49 0 -2.1 0 -0.6 0 -0.3 -38

Campbell’s teams performed reasonably well. Just a little worse than Joe Brown’s Pirates in a GM career of comparable length. On the other hand, among our good GMs (the ones above the gray line), his winning percentage is the third worst. Branch Rickey’s is only one point better, but then Branch Rickey has nearly double the number of team decisions under his belt. Looking beyond the W-L record, and comparing again to Brown, Campbell was a little worse in wins against expectation, but did much better in wins against Pythagenpat. The latter suggests that hiring Billy Martin, Ralph Houk, Mayo Smith, and, of course, Sparky Anderson was a lot better than giving the helm to mostly Danny Murtaugh. On the other hand Brown’s teams got into the playoffs more, got to one more World Series, and won one more title. Campbell’s record is not superb at the team level. It’s not bad, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not great.

GM Performance

Now let’s look at how the GMs themselves did at constructing competitive clubs. BASE: Talent in WAR that a GM inherited

  • GM: Talent in WAR that a GM acquired
  • CONT GOAL: The amount of talent the GM needed to acquire to field a contender, a .550 team
  • %GOAL: How close he got, a career average of the seasonal averages
  • med%GOAL: Median seasonal %GOAL
  • WS GOAL: The amount of talent the GM needed to acquire to field a typical WS entrant in his era
  • %GOAL: How close he got, a career average if the seasonal averages
  • med%GOAL: Median seasonal %GOAL
GM PERFORMANCE
NAME BASE GM CONT GOAL avg%GOAL med%GOAL WS GOAL avg%GOAL med%GOAL
BARROW 217 923 719 128% 119% 959 96% 94%
BAVASI 1 373 690 791 91% 100% 972 71% 88%
BROWN 281 552 557 97% 101% 696 76% 81%
CAMPANIS 342 407 364 128% 119% 469 87% 90%
CAMPBELL 354 386 493 78% 89% 596 65% 68%
CASHEN 255 361 370 98% 85% 462 78% 61%
DALTON 500 426 337 126% 84% 449 95% 68%
GILLICK 385 684 671 108% 107% 807 88% 91%
GRIFFITH 198 1025 1313 78% 79% 1703 60% 60%
HOWSAM 338 229 243 83% 81% 350 60% 53%
MACPHAIL1 183 193 257 69% 46% 356 46% 36%
MACPHAIL2 300 185 258 72% 69% 346 53% 57%
QUINN 222 729 824 92% 97% 1066 68% 72%
RICKEY 428 879 1132 73% 78% 1580 52% 58%
SCHUERHOLZ 487 576 539 116% 105% 667 87% 88%
WEISS 252 358 460 78% 107% 615 58% 67%
BAVASI 2 191 128 234 63% 52% 282 48% 47%
ROBINSON 124 183 260 74% 73% 315 58% 60%
SEGHI 115 239 350 63% 72% 420 53% 60%
SMITH 97 114 247 46% 55% 293 41% 47%

Campbell did a pretty good job of keeping the Tigers in contention with frequency. He’s middle of the pack so far in that regard. He’s also middle of the pack for creating World Series level teams. Again there’s nothing here that’s screaming out PICK ME!

Transactions Detail

OK, let’s see what these guys actually did to build their teams.

  • AM FA: Amateur free agent
  • PUR: Purchased from another pro team
  • FA: Free agent (includes the short-lived free-agent compensation picks of the early 1980s)
  • AM DF: Amateur draft (any time of year, only players who signed with the team and played in MLB)
  • R5 DF: Rule 5 Draft
  • ML DF: Minor League Draft and First Year Draft
  • ML XD: Expansion Draft
  • TR: Trade
  • WV: Waivers
  • SLD: Players sold to other teams
  • REL: Players released
  • NOTE: Unkown transactions not included except in TOT
TRANSACTION DETAILS: NUMBER OF INBOUND TRANSACTIONS
NAME AM FA PUR FA AM DFT R5 DFT ML DFT EX DFT TR WV TOT
BARROW 49 45 13 N/A 4 2 N/A 74 6 294
BAVASI 1 101 42 48 69 6 15 29 135 2 455
BROWN 93 27 20 49 7 7 0 85 3 294
CAMPANIS 40 10 38 79 5 2 0 69 2 247
CAMPBELL 35 30 25 95 7 5 0 92 7 303
CASHEN 31 8 46 97 4 2 0 116 3 313
DALTON 36 37 91 127 15 2 0 141 7 461
GILLICK 71 40 207 148 19 8 0 130 31 663
GRIFFITH 36 72 18 N/A 35 2 N/A 115 23 608
HOWSAM 33 23 14 50 7 1 0 95 1 228
MACPHAIL1 45 73 18 N/A 10 1 N/A 43 14 246
MACPHAIL2 47 38 18 33 13 6 0 82 7 255
QUINN 137 70 33 25 16 15 0 113 8 436
RICKEY 174 78 32 N/A 25 11 N/A 108 24 748
SCHUERHOLZ  62 14 265 142  7 1 0 150 17 659
WEISS 131 66 17 13 9 8 22 70 9 360
BAVASI 2 16 15 157 43 4 0 0 69 16 322
ROBINSON 11 15 130 70 4 1 0 58 15 309
SEGHI 10 14 33 38 4 1 0 106 5 212
SMITH 11 7 103 34 9 2 0 65 22 254
TRANSACTION DETAILS: NUMBER OF OUTBOUND TRANSACTIONS
NAME SOLD REL R5 DFT ML DFT EX DFT TR WV TOT
BARROW 65 16 14 2 N/A 74 13 213
BAVASI 1 49 59 27 13 6 135 10 308
BROWN 46 51 14 15 12 85 6 218
CAMPANIS 13 63 12 5 0 69 8 179
CAMPBELL 52 59 6 4 11 92 7 237
CASHEN 21 45 16 4 0 116 3 208
DALTON  33 89 16 2 11 141 0 300
GILLICK 25 127 22 2 6 130 21 337
GRIFFITH 69 36 3 1 N/A 115 21 304
HOWSAM 22 24 11 3 5 95 1 164
MACPHAIL1 37 27 3 0 N/A 43 6 129
MACPHAIL2 28 30 14 0 14 82 3 178
QUINN 82 51 21 15 0 113 5 300
RICKEY 111 50 36 9 N/A 108 34 388
SCHUERHOLZ 6 170 11 2 6 150 18 366
WEISS 37 44 18 7 0 70 9 207
BAVASI 2 6 83 0 0 2 69 3 169
ROBINSON 4 66 3 1 5 58 13 155
SEGHI 10 39 2 0 0 106 1 165
SMITH 4 53 5 3 0 65 15 151

As we look at the number of transactions Campbell made, let’s group him with an appropriate cohort: those who spent all or most of their career in the amateur draft era but not to deep into the free agent era. And we’ll see how many transactions they made per annum.

  • Campanis (1969-1986): 14 Inbound / 10 Outbound per season
  • Campbell (1963-1983): 14 Inbound / 11 Outbound per season
  • Cashen (1972-1975, 1980-1991): 20 Inbound / 13 Outbound per season
  • Dalton (1966-1991): 18 Inbound / 12 Outbound per season
  • Howsam (1965-1967, 1983-1984): 15 Inbound / 11 Outbound per season
  • MacPhail 2 (1956-1965, 1967-1973): 18 Inbound / 13 Outbound per season

As you can see, Campbell was very careful. Al Campanis didn’t need to make lots of transactions. He had a huge farm surplus to work with and a core of talent that lasted for nearly ever. He didn’t need to get free agents, go waiver trawling, or make splashy trades because his farm system kept burping up quality players. Similar things could be said about Bob Howsam. How much tinkering do you need to do to Bench, Rose, Perez, Morgan, Concepcion, Foster, and company? Also, Bob Howsam hated free agency with a passion, an owner’s kind of executive. On the other end, MacPhail oversaw two rebuilds and needed to make more transactions to improve his talent base, while Harry Dalton moved his pieces around the chessboard pretty frequently in the scramble for contention. Campbell, on the other hand, had no such conditions. When he took the job in Detroit, most of the key pieces to the 1968 pennant winner were already in place: Kaline, Cash, Freehan, McAuliffe, Lolich, Horton. Many of those guys had come aboard while Campbell had been Farm Director (1956 to 1961) or Farm and Scouting Director (1961-1962), so he had a big hand in acquiring them, of course. His two important additions as GM were pitchers Denny McClain and Earl Wilson. He added no other crucial pieces to that team. That same team, for the most part, won the East in 1972 with contributions from Campbell adds Joe Coleman and Aurelio Rodriguez. All told, however, Campbell’s acquisitions from the time he gained the GM’s seat didn’t do most of the heavy lifting for his only two October teams. After 1972, the Tigers retracted their claws and didn’t play much meaningful baseball until the early 1980s. The question at hand is exactly how much Jim Campbell had to do with the next wave of Tiger greats.

TRANSACTION DETAILS: VALUE IN WAR TO TEAM OF INBOUND TRANSACTIONS
NAME AM FA PUR FA AM DFT R5 DFT ML DFT EX DFT TR WV TOT
BARROW 297 124 154 N/A -1 0 N/A 480 7 1216
BAVASI 1 430 70 36 235 1 0 54 257 -1 1106
BROWN 313 2 3 228 2 4 0 216 -2 765
CAMPANIS 48 40 2 171 -1 1 0 257 0 518
CAMPBELL  9 13 7 352 1 -1 0 164 29 580
CASHEN 56 2 9 251 -1 0 0 270 3 590
DALTON 18 47 65 313 4 1 0 285 2 733
GILLICK 132 62 194 295 60 -1 0 228 -2 978
GRIFFITH 95 233 26 N/A 39 -1 N/A 416 11 1087
HOWSAM 98 7 2 104 6 0 0 228 0 445
MACPHAIL1 116 100 38 N/A 19 0 N/A 219 48 632
MACPHAIL2 244 0 16 113 13 0 0 195 8 632
QUINN 443 45 183 141 25 2 0 480 1 1318
RICKEY 794 116 211 N/A 122 1 N/A 262 0 1898
SCHUERHOLZ 117 9 142 298 -1 0 0 246 7 818
WEISS 480 70 5 21 -1 -1 11 168 7 764
BAVASI 2 27 9 96 131 0 0 0 24 5 290
ROBINSON 7 14 69 98 6 0 0 59 8 264
SEGHI -4 14 4 32 2 2 0 275 -1 323
SMITH 3 -2 27 36 -2 3 0 140 10 215
TRANSACTION DETAILS: VALUE IN WAR OF PLAYERS IN OUTBOUND TRANSACTIONS
NAME SOLD REL R5 DFT ML DFT EX DFT TR WV TOT
BARROW 158 3 50 26 N/A 440 75 794
BAVASI 1 15 20 129 20 30 438 19 674
BROWN 18 10 4 29 59 343 -2 471
CAMPANIS 22 13 4 23 0 298 17 374
CAMPBELL 39 9 -2 0 29 154 1  239
CASHEN -3 8 8 4 0 304 -1 330
DALTON 18 0 7 0 42 284 0 354
GILLICK 16 20 25 0 -2 285 10 357
GRIFFITH 157 -2 0 0 N/A 528 73 832
HOWSAM 8 4 27 -1 -3 251 0 286
MACPHAIL1 45 39 9 0 N/A 146 4 395
MACPHAIL2 37 -2 15 0 95 166 1 332
QUINN 75 38 3 81 0 496 25 711
RICKEY 337 10 62 -4 N/A 573 8 1040
SCHUERHOLZ 7 46 2 -1 26 246 6 332
WEISS 28 22 13 51 0 326 17 463
BAVASI 2 1 8 0 0 -1 147 0 154
ROBINSON 3 10 2 3 12 92 8 129
SEGHI 2 3 16 -2 0 253 0 272
SMITH 2 1 0 0 0 141 0 144

Overall, Jim Campbell did a pretty good job of acquiring talented players. The amount of Inbound value is pretty good, especially for a GM of his era. He’s also number one on the board among good GMs in terms of the least value given away. This is a fine combination, obviously. There is, however, just a little more to it.

There’s nothing in the Outbound transactions that should make you start. Campbell did a really nice job limiting the downside risk of letting players go. He didn’t make many moves, and those he did on the Outbound side didn’t haunt him too badly. He rarely let go of a top-quality player. He also came out ahead on trades, which is good, and which we’ll look at a little more in just a minute, though he made few of them. On the Inbound side, however, there are some strange goings on. He got nearly two-thirds of the value he acquired in the draft. Yet, he got next to nothing out of the Amateur Free Agent market. He never signed free agents, never got much out of the Rule 5 draft. Even in trades, he got and gave up relatively little. Denny McClain accounts for the relatively good showing in the waiver market (though Johnny Sain might also have something to do with the success of that particular move). So what do we make of this? Without more information, we’d say that Campbell’s philosophy was to build from within via amateur talent and make a few stabilizing trades as needed. A classic scouting/development approach, right?

Except the facts don’t really match up.

If Campbell was so into the amateur market why does he show up as the very worst among the GMs we’ve so far analyzed at signing amateur talent? How bad were they at this facet of the game? The best amateur free agent they signed was Ron LeFlore, who Billy Martin, himself, recommended after watching the fleet-footed outfielder play in a prison game. Yes, LeFlore was incarcerated, got out, signed, and put up 14 WAR for the Bengals. No other Tigers signed as amateur free agents exceeded 1 WAR for the team. What about Latin America? Good question. The first and only person from south of the Rio Grande that the Tigers signed on Campbell’s watch who contributed to the big-league team was Cuban defector Barbaro Garbey in 1980. To make the picture more bleak in this regard, Campbell did sign Dick Drago (21 career WAR) in 1964. But he never brought him up to Detroit and lost him in the 1969 expansion draft. If a team was being built by developing home-grown talent, how can they miss on that guy?

Here’s another odd piece of information. Prior to 1975, no player the Tigers selected in the January or June amateur drafts gave the team more than 5 WAR. The first amateur draft picks to return much value were Tom Brookens (12 WAR) and Dave Rozema (15 WAR), both chosen in the 1975 January draft. The entire reason the Tigers fell out of contention in the mid-late 1970s was the inability of Jim Campbell’s scouting department to find foreign or domestic talent of any quality.

But what suddenly turned their scouting around so that they drafted 329 WAR in just the four years 1975-1978? The answer there is Bill Lajoie. For years and years, Eddie Katalinas had functioned as the team’s scouting director. Katalinas had scouted and signed Al Kaline in the 1950s, and when Campbell was promoted to GM, Katalinas took over as the head of scouting. Faced with awful drafts for nearly a decade, Campbell tapped Bill Lajoie to head up scouting and pushed Katalinas first into the Farm Director role, and then in a role subordinate to that. With Lajoie at the helm of scouting, the Tigers, picking very high in the draft several years running, took:

  • 1975 (January): Brookens and Rozema
  • 1976 (January): Steve Kemp (16 WAR)
  • 1976 (June): Lance Parrish (30), Mark Fidrych (11), Jason Thompson (12), Lou Whitaker (75), and Alan Trammell (70)
  • 1977 (June): Dan Petry (17) and Jack Morris (38)
  • 1978 (June): Kirk Gibson (24)

And that is how you build a great team very quickly. You hire Bill Lajoie to do your drafting. Actually, it’s not that simple because Lajoie never again drafted a player who made good in Detroit. He did pick Howard Johnson (1979) and Glenn Wilson (1981) after that, but both were dealt before they blossomed. So was Lajoie an inspired hire that brought the team four great years of drafting? Or did the Tigers just strike it rich out of sheer blind-squirrel dumb luck? How much of the credit do we give Campbell for the hire? And for listening to his scouting director? It’s a little hard to say. But that right there was the core of the next great Tigers team that won it all in 1984 and made the ALCS in 1987.

OK, before we go, the trades game. Here are all the trades that Jim Campbell won or lost by 10 WAR

Trades Won

  • 11/27/81 (+29): Received Chet Lemon (31) for Steve Kemp (2)
  • 10/9/70 (+20): Received Ed Brinkmann, Joe Coleman, Jim Hannan, and Aurelio Rodriguez (28) for Elliot Maddox, Denny McClain, Norm McRae, and Don Wert (8)
  • 6/14/66 (+15): Received Joe Christopher and Earl Wilson (16) for Don Demeter and Julio Navarro (1)
  • 12/9/81 (+12): Received Larry Herndon (11) for Mike Chris and Dan Schatzeder (-1)
  • 12/6/75 (+11): Received Jim Crawford, Milt May, and Dave Roberts (3) for Terry Humphrey, Mark Lemongello, Gene Pent, and Leon Roberts (14)

Trades Lost

  • 12/5/63 (-28): Received Don Demeter and Jack Hamilton (2) for Jim Bunning and Gus Triandos (30)
  • 10/14/63 (-12): Received Bruce Brubaker (0) for Pat Jarvis (12)
  • 12/4/69 (-12): Received Joe Niekro (4) for Dave Campbell and Pat Dobson (16)
  • 12/15/65 (-11): Received Dick Tracewski (1) for Phil Regan (12)

That’s a nice set of wins and losses. Obviously Jim Bunning was a stupid trade, but the Lemon for Kemp deal appears to have been a shrewd swap of a guy with limited but powerful skills for another with a broad range of abilities. And it is something like poetic justice that Don Demeter, a piece in the Bunning deal made it into the Earl Wilson fleecing. Overall, one thing to note is that Campbell rarely made in-season moves. He vastly preferred to make changes during the winter and avoid tinkering during the season.

So there you have it. It’s a very strange resume, and I can’t say that I’m entirely clear on it and on how to interpret it. Usually that doesn’t bode well for a candidate in my eyes. Especially because Campbell appears to have squandered the opportunity to transform his team on the fly by failing to go into the Latin American markets in a timely manner, eschewing free agency, and using too few of the talent-procurement channels available to him. Of course, some of that could have been limitations set on him by ownership, but it might also have been a lack of vision. I guess you had to be there.

HoME Standings Update: Is Your Team on the Rise?

It’s time for another look at the agate type in the HoME Times. We last checked in ten elections ago, and since then we’ve seen some interesting movement.

At the top, the same but different

HoME Standings 2000 Sheet1

Please click to embiggen

The top six teams haven’t changed or changed their order but there’s nonetheless signs of imminent change among them. The Giants are still running well out in front, but Yankees narrowed the gap from four to three careers while expanding their lead over the Cubs to a full career. The Dodgers meanwhile, have now caught the Bruins and threaten to pass them. With fifteen more elections to come, there’s still time to catch the Gothams, but for teams outside the top ten, it’s pretty much impossible. The Tigers and Braves remained in fifth and sixth places respectively. Can they disrupt the standings or even catch the leaders? Whitaker and Trammell’s eligibility comes up immediately but the Bengals have little to follow up with by our 2015 election. The Braves, on the other hand, may well be poised to make a run with the core of their 1990s and 2000s dynasties en route (especially the Big Three). They may not get there by 2015, but they’ll have Chipper and Andruw Jones arriving in the next several years after.

Up, Up, Up

The Red Sox continued their impressive climb. After the 1991 election, we noted they had risen 5 places in the standings, from 13th to 8th by adding about 2.5 careers’ worth of players. This time, they moved up another notch by tacking on another two players’ worth among Pudge Fisk, Dwight Evans, Reggie Smith, Tom Seaver, and Fergie Jenkins. They are within a single career’s worth of playing time of the Tigers and Braves who are fifth and sixth respectively. In fact, the Sox have spent most of the post-Impossible Dream era competitive, so we can expect them to continue their vault into the upper reaches of the standings. They may not catch the G’nts, but maybe they can at least get close enough to spoil the fun of Yankee fans.

The Phillies had their best decade from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s and have also catapulted upward thanks to Schmidt, Carlton, and Rose. They rose from 12 place to 9th. Can they continue this blistering pace? I’m not optimistic. The 1993 team had few long-time stars besides Curt Schilling, and the Phils weren’t very good until the mid 2000s.

The White Sox also pushed upward two spots to 11th place with the elections of Red Faber, Fisk, Goose Gossage, and Seaver. The Pale Hose don’t seem poised to make much of a run either. Other than Frank Thomas, there’s not a ton of frontline Hall-level talent to depend on. And they trail the Cardinals and Indians who have had extended success in the last twenty years.

A squad to watch out for might be the Orioles. Ripken, Murray, Mussina, Palmeiro, and Alomar all spent time with them and will be good candidates. Then again, the O’s were also a bad team from the late 1990s until about 2012.

Expanding the Horizons, Expanding the Parameters

Fans of expansions franchises can get ready for better times at the HoME. While the newest four teams may not show much for a few more years, the previous rounds are starting to gather some steam. The Astros (The Killer Bees, Clemens), the Expos/Nationals (Raines, Dawson, Pedro, Walker), the Padres (Gwynn, Winfield, Kevin Brown, Ozzie), Mets (Piazza, Saberhagen, Cone), and the Blue Jays (Winfield, Alomar, Molitor, Stieb, Cone, Clemens) all have strong candidates coming up. The Angels (Winfield, Finley), Brewers (Molitor), Mariners (Edgar, and The Big Unit), Rangers (Palmeiro, Brown), and Royals (Saberhagen, Appier, Cone) also have notables. Watch for lots of movement at the bottom of the pack.

Give up de-funct

all time standings 2000 Sheet2

Ditto on the embiggening.

One thing we haven’t run yet is a standings for all 65 teams in history who have fielded at least one HoMEr or are active now in MLB. Well, here it is to the right. One thing to notice right away is that the Cleveland Spiders, our highest ranking defunct team were awfully talented during their short existence. But like all defunct teams, they will eventually fall out of the top 30 as the current MLB teams take their places. Maybe MLB will expand soon and those legacy teams will have something to cheer about from the aether.

Clearly, the Astros and Brewers will soon be knocking the Spiders and the Providence Grays out of the top 20. The Rangers aren’t far behind, and the Royals, Nats, and Padres are all within 1 career of the Spiders and Grays and will pass them soon. Those six will push the defunct teams down to 25th place and lower. The Mariners and Jays have some catching up to do but as we saw above, they should nonetheless have a lot of chances to pass the Forest City Arachnids by 2015. The four most recent expansion teams, however, will have more trouble with the task. None has a career-long member to lean on and will be patching together bits and pieces of careers. The D’Backs will get good chunks of Johnson and Schilling, and the Rox have about half of Larry Walker. Nice foundations, but enough to spring over the olde tyme teams? The Rays and Marlins have it tougher. The Fish have little tiny bits of Brown, Sheffield, Dawson, and yes, a week’s worth of Mike Piazza plus lots of fire sales. The Rays are even worse off with Wade Boggs and…Tanyon Sturtze? It’ll be a long haul for the Florida squads, but baseball rewards the patient.

Keep tuning in for more updates!

—Eric

How is your favorite team doing in the HoME standings?

1951 FRANCHISE STANDINGSIf you haven’t, go check out the HOME STATS on our Honorees page. There’s some fun info, as well some pre-sorted lists of HoMErs for easy reference. For those who like to play along at home, it’s a treasure chest.

Previously, we looked at our standards via the NORMS tab, and this week I wanted to look at the TEAMS tab. I used it to create the Franchise Standings to the right.

Each of those columns shows something a little different that offers an intriguing window into how well or poorly franchises have developed talent over the years.

HOME CAREERS

On the HOME STATS document, we don’t count one game as a season. That’s kinda silly. Similarly, no one thinks of Juan Marichal as a Red Sock. But if I told you he spent 1.7 percent of his time in Boston, that’s different. So for each team, we look at each team he played for and find the percentage of his career spent with that franchise. We go by a simple percentage of plate appearances for hitters and batters faced for pitchers. For example, 1951 enshrinee Jimmie Foxx stepped in 9676 times:  5241 with the Athletics (54%), 3937 with the Red Sox (41%), 250 with the Cubs (3%), and 248 with the Phillies (3%). Yes, I see the rounding errors there. For each team, we just add up the percentages of every HoMEr donned its livery to see how many HoME careers it can claim.

Looking only at the sixteen teams that have remained in constant operation since at least the founding of the AL in 1901, here’s the top 5 inclusive of our 1951 election (note that franchises are referred to by their current nickname):

  1. Giants : 7.1 (fractions of 17 players’ careers)
  2. Athletics: 5.3 (14)
  3. Braves: 4.2 (21)
  4. Tigers: 4.2 (7)
  5. Cubs: 4.1 (12)

Makes sense, right? The Braves and Cubs are older than dirt, and the Giants and A’s both had multiple dynasties. Meanwhile, our trailer, the Reds, went to three World Series and the most famous player during any of them was Edd Roush.

PER YEAR

When you think about it, though, it’s kind of unfair to compare teams like the Braves, who debuted in 1876, to the Tigers who debuted in 1901. So if we divide the number of HoME careers for each team by the number of years between the franchise’s first season and our 1951 election, we can see who’s done the best job of acquiring great players. Here’s the top 5 seen that way:

  1. Athletics (c. 1901): 0.11 HoMErs/year
  2. Giants (c. 1883): 0.10
  3. Tigers (c. 1901): 0.08
  4. White Sox (c. 1901): 0.07
  5. Braves (c. 1876): 0.06

Connie Mack was one smart cookie. And so was John McGraw. And so, actually was Charlie Comiskey, although dumping Jacque Fournier and replacing him with Chick Gandil turned out to be, um, not so brilliant.

#HOMERS ROSTERED

Now, if you still do want to know what team has had the most HoME players appear for it regardless of how long they were there, thisis your column. Recapping the top five:

  1. Braves: 21
  2. Giants : 17
  3. Athletics: 14
  4. Cubs: 12
  5. Phillies and Cardinals: 10

Who saw the Phils and Cards coming? Me neither.

ONE LOVE, WE DON’T GOT TO SHARE IT

Lets dig a little bit into the players themselves. Since the dawn of the free-agent era, “baseball purists” (read: old-white-guy media members) have bleated and pined for the golden days gone by when the great players played for one and only one team throughout their entire career. Thing is, that era never really existed. So far, the list of one-team HoMErs is pretty short—five:

  • Lou Gehrig (Yankees)
  • Charlie Gehringer (Tigers)
  • Carl Hubbell (Giants)
  • Walter Johnson (Senators)
  • Ted Lyons (White Sox)

That’s eight percent of our inductees.

Let’s reduce the threshold a little bit. Here are other HoMErs who were with their teams for 90% or more of their careers:

  • Ty Cobb (Tigers)
  • Gabby Hartnett (Cubs)
  • Harry Heilmann (Tigers)
  • Christy Mathewson (Giants)
  • Kid Nichols (Braves)
  • Amos Rusie (Giants)
  • Dazzy Vance (Dodgers)
  • Ed Walsh (White Sox)

Oh, and Cap Anson spent 89.3% of his career with the Cubs (or what would become them).

Notice, I didn’t say they “stayed” with their teams. Remember, before 1976, they were obligated to remain due to the reserve clause. Indentured servants while the rest of us could leave a company at will. Kind of weird, that.

KINGS OF THE ROAD

How about the opposite? What players bounced around the most?

  • Dan Brouthers and Paul Hines (10)
  • Deacon White and Jack Glasscock (9)
  • Al Simmons (7)
  • King Kelly (6)

Simmons gets my nod as the bouncy aroundest of the bunch. In the 19th Century those other guys had lots more teams to choose from since teams folded (and so did leagues) much more frequently.

FUTILITY, RED LEGS BE THY NAME

What teams had the most short-time HoMErs? Players who spent 5 percent or less of their career playing time at some particular way station en route to retirement?

  • Braves: 6
  • Reds, Giants, and Pirates: 4
  • Yankees, Phillies, and Athletics: 3
  • Cubs and Twins: 2
  • Red Sox and Dodgers: 1

The Braves top this list, but the Cincinnati Reds come in last with a whimper. The Reds got 16% of Sam Crawford, 13% of Buck Ewing, 10% of Sherry Magee, 6% of Harry Heilmann, 5% of Old Hoss Radbourn, 1% of Dazzy Vance and Amos Rusie, and a cool 0.2% each of Al Simmons and Christy Mathewson. Not even one of these players spent a quarter of their time in Cincy, and even hardcore fans would be pressed to recall some of them spending any time there. In fact, every other team in our standings can claim at least one player who spent more than half his career with them. But not the Reds

But don’t worry, Red Legs partisans, you’ll have your time beginning in the late 1980s when the Big Red machine rolls into HoMEville.

There’s lots more fun stuff to learn from the HOME STATS. We update it with every election, and we’ll continue to add fun features or enhance the ones we have as either they occur to us, or you request them. Which we hope you’ll do!

—Eric

Institutional History

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: