December 18, 2012

If you're going to elect Dale Murphy to the Hall of Fame, you gotta ...

With just weeks left until this year's Baseball Hall of Fame announcement, beyond the special splash this year of speculation of how many votes recently retired alleged roiders will get, there's the annual push to get Dale Murphy and Jack Morris in the Hall of Fame.

This post is about the Murph, so ...

Let's look at the Murph's stats.
                                                                     
R         H  2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB  CS  BB   SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
17       40   9  1   4   14   1   1   2   27 .288 .308 .453 .761  111
27       62  10  3   4   29   3   3  10   53 .282 .322 .409 .731  108
75      172  35 10  25  101   8   6  38   89 .308 .357 .541 .898  149
82      168  28 10  13   90  19   7  30   80 .313 .349 .475 .824  133
107     215  44  8  21   88  17  19  58  107 .338 .397 .531 .927  145
102     194  32 12  30  117  20   7  57   92 .334 .394 .585 .979  166
109     193  45  7  25   94  20   4  67  101 .310 .380 .526 .906  140
71      153  31  1  17   79  10   7  25   69 .295 .327 .458 .785  115
29       62  14  3   9   48   6   2   9   25 .258 .287 .454 .742  105
41       66  19  3   6   29   7   5  22   45 .270 .330 .447 .776  113
68      154  29  4  12   69  12   9  28   89 .279 .311 .411 .722   97
73      173  28  0  16   94  11  10  41   89 .285 .328 .410 .738  104
88      198  42  4  34  125   5  13  52   80 .312 .365 .551 .916  149
89      174  31  3  31  116   1   6  56  126 .273 .330 .477 .807  117
77      149  28  0  26   97   7   3  44  104 .253 .311 .433 .744   92
43       97  18  1  12   55   0   1  32   70 .257 .314 .406 .720  103
56      146  27  0  22   97   0   0  38   91 .264 .308 .432 .741  110
71      176  30  3  21   92   4   7  41  102 .289 .330 .451 .781  118
47      120  26  2  11   59   3   3  33   98 .239 .288 .365 .653   81
45      108  22  2  11   56   3   2  29   91 .232 .279 .358 .638   76
2        12   4  0   0    3   0   1   4    7 .333 .400 .444 .844  130
1272   2712 526 75 339 1493 154 113 683 1537 .290 .339 .471 .810  121

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/18/2012.
Nice, solid numbers, eh?

Now, a few of you may be scratching your heads at this point. Those of you really familiar with his stats know they're not his.

No, they're not. They're Dave Parker's numbers.

Here's Murphy's.

                                                                    
R         H  2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB   SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
3        17   6  0   0    9   0  0   7    9 .262 .333 .354 .687   91
5        24   8  1   2   14   0  1   0    8 .316 .316 .526 .842  112
66      120  14  3  23   79  11  7  42  145 .226 .284 .394 .679   80
53      106   7  2  21   57   6  1  38   67 .276 .340 .469 .809  113
98      160  27  2  33   89   9  6  59  133 .281 .349 .510 .858  135
43       91  12  1  13   50  14  5  44   72 .247 .325 .390 .716  100
113     168  23  2  36  109  23 11  93  134 .281 .378 .507 .885  142
131     178  24  4  36  121  30  4  90  110 .302 .393 .540 .933  149
94      176  32  8  36  100  19  7  79  134 .290 .372 .547 .919  149
118     185  32  2  37  111  10  3  90  141 .300 .388 .539 .927  152
89      163  29  7  29   83   7  7  75  141 .265 .347 .477 .824  121
115     167  27  1  44  105  16  6 115  136 .295 .417 .580 .997  157
77      134  35  4  24   77   3  5  74  125 .226 .313 .421 .734  106
60      131  16  0  20   84   3  2  65  142 .228 .306 .361 .667   89
60      138  23  1  24   83   9  3  61  130 .245 .318 .417 .735   99
38       81  14  0  17   55   9  2  41   84 .232 .312 .418 .731   96
22       57   9  1   7   28   0  1  20   46 .266 .328 .416 .744  105
66      137  33  1  18   81   1  0  48   93 .252 .309 .415 .724  103
5        10   1  0   2    7   0  0   1   13 .161 .175 .274 .449   26
1         6   1  0   0    7   0  0   5   15 .143 .224 .167 .391    1
1197   2111 350 39 398 1266 161 68 986 1748 .265 .346 .469 .815  121


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/18/2012.
Just not quite as good as Parker's, are they? The biggie career stat, OPS+, is a virtual tie. Counting stats? Parker's well ahead in most.

But, surely, Murph was affected by injuries in part. And, surely, with 2 MVP awards — shades of Joe Morgan! — he was the more valuable player.

I won't argue there.

Here's the Murph's career number on a few sabermetric stats:
                                  
RAA    WAA RAR  WAR oWAR dWAR oRAR
140   16.3 412 42.6 44.9 -7.6  445

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/18/2012.

And here's Parker's:
                                  
RAA   WAA RAR  WAR oWAR  dWAR oRAR
44    6.7 354 36.3 37.9 -15.5  375

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/18/2012.

So, Murph WAS more valuable, yes. But, enough more valuable, not only in comparison to Parker but the HOF hurdle, to offset a relatively short career, and various injuries, and get in?

I say no.

If you use injuries/short career as an "out," then ... you have to elect Don Mattingly! Without me collapsing and formatting tables, just click his link along with Murph's. Mattingly had similar counting stats, and similar WAA and WAR, in an even shorter career.

(Sidebar: Murphy's dWAR shows that arguments for his admission based on part on his defensive prowess are overrated, too. And Parker was even more overrated.)

Anyway, that's the "you gotta" from the header. If you're going to elect Murph, you gotta elect the Cobra, or at least give him some serious consideration. (And, sidebar, you really gotta elect Mattingly, then). Because their careers almost exactly overlapped, comparing their Wins Above Replacement and Wins Above Average is very relevant. And, because they were both outfielders, the same goes for dWAR.

Now, related to that, why doesn't Parker get the HOF love Murphy does?

I'll be blunt.

I think it's a black and white issue, pun very much intended.

Related to that Parker was dirty — cocaine dirty — while Murphy was squeaky clean. Related to that, Parker was an irritating personality, while Murphy was ingratiating.

So, if you're the type of person who says we're worrying too much about actual, alleged, or possible roiders, or gamblers, and we shouldn't necessarily keep those types out, I'll do reverse intellectual judo and say, don't give an extra bump to somebody just because he's a nice guy.

Now, on point No. 3, on Murphy-Parker differences, some people make the same claims as to why Jim Rice took so long to get in the HOF. Well, first, he doesn't belong there. But, a Murphy-like campaign got him in. His personality has nothing to do with it.

And, I grew up in the 70s, too. And, to be honest, perhaps also reflecting personality differences, but perhaps also reflecting baseball ... I never feared Murphy at his peak the same way I did Parker.

Now, a sidebar, picking up from the top.

Morris, I've covered before. Shorter case here: He is not even close to Bert Blyleven, so those of you making this claim, stop it. Reality is that he's the worst 250-game winner in the history of baseball. He is at best no better than Early Wynn, who shouldn't be in the Hall himself, probably, and who definitely shows what happens when you rely too much on one single "counting" stat.

My two quick and easy reference stats for pitchers are ERA+ and WHIP/9. If your ERA+ for your career is above 110, good. If the career WHIP is at or below 1.25, good. If you only clear one of two hurdles, not good.

Well, Wynn and Morris both miss both hurdles. Pretty clear that one's a fake HOFer and the other shouldn't be let in. Blyleven, on the other hand, clears both hurdles with ease. Or, to put it another way, Blyleven's WAA is higher than Morris' WAR. Sabermetric types know that's a HUGE difference.

So, if you compare Black Jack to the Hotfooter on this blog, I'll kick you in the cybernads. Period.

Now, a little background to my Hall of Fame blogging —

I am a "small Hall" guy. In fact, I think there's plenty of people we should vote back OUT of Cooperstown. Here's some pitchers, and some batters, looking just at the modern baseball era, who need the boot.

And, click the  "MLB Hall of Fame" tag for more on other candidates on this year's ballot and my thoughts.


Oh, and while you're here, please vote in my poll.

1 comment:

Jason T. Carter said...

I am actually pro-Murphy, pro-Parker, pro-Mattingly AND pro-Morris.

JT, The Writer's Journey