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View Full Version : Posnanski on postseason performances and Hall of Fame



cincrazy
02-07-2011, 02:14 PM
http://joeposnanski.si.com/2011/02/06/pettitte-junction/?eref=sihp

What do you say, Redszone? How seriously should a player's postseason performance be weighed when considering whether or not he's a Hall of Famer? Posnanski makes a great comparsion in this article between Chuck Finley and Andy Pettitte, saying they're more or less the same player, the only difference being Pettitte played with a great team that was frequently in the playoffs. Chuck Finley got one vote for Cooperstown, and while Pettitte may not make it, he's sure to get a groundswell of support due soley to his postseason performances. Fair? Unfair?

kaldaniels
02-07-2011, 02:25 PM
http://joeposnanski.si.com/2011/02/06/pettitte-junction/?eref=sihp

What do you say, Redszone? How seriously should a player's postseason performance be weighed when considering whether or not he's a Hall of Famer? Posnanski makes a great comparsion in this article between Chuck Finley and Andy Pettitte, saying they're more or less the same player, the only difference being Pettitte played with a great team that was frequently in the playoffs. Chuck Finley got one vote for Cooperstown, and while Pettitte may not make it, he's sure to get a groundswell of support due soley to his postseason performances. Fair? Unfair?

I realize it is unfair, but if I were voting, I would weigh post-season performance into my vote. I can't bring myself today to say I'd vote for Jack Morris for the Hall, but his Game 7 in 91 makes it a hard choice.

Hoosier Red
02-07-2011, 02:26 PM
http://joeposnanski.si.com/2011/02/06/pettitte-junction/?eref=sihp

What do you say, Redszone? How seriously should a player's postseason performance be weighed when considering whether or not he's a Hall of Famer? Posnanski makes a great comparsion in this article between Chuck Finley and Andy Pettitte, saying they're more or less the same player, the only difference being Pettitte played with a great team that was frequently in the playoffs. Chuck Finley got one vote for Cooperstown, and while Pettitte may not make it, he's sure to get a groundswell of support due soley to his postseason performances. Fair? Unfair?

It's unfair, but still the post season should be weighed. In general, I think the way it is weighed now is appropriate. Not playing in the post season isn't really a detriment but playing well in the post season can be used as a boost to one's chances.

He brings up the four pitchers from the 90's, Schilling, Brown, Pettite, and Mussina. All four pitched in the post season, and none would likely qualify for the HOF without the post season considered. The fact that Mussina and Brown had less exemplary post season careers doesn't hurt their case(They aren't less likely to make it,) but the fact that Pettite and Schilling had such great post season moments will help their case.

RedsBaron
02-07-2011, 02:32 PM
I cannot quantify it but I do believe that a player's postseason performance has to be considered in evaluating his qualifications for the Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame, at least after the very first few years, has not been limited to the "no doubter" class of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Walter Johnson. In considering most HOF candidates their entire body of work has to be evaluated and something as important as postseason play is part of the work to be considered.
I think that Curt Schilling's case for HOF induction is close enough that his incredible postseason performance puts him over the top. Had Kevin Brown put together a similar postseason resume maybe he would have also warranted induction, but he did not.
In Andy Pettite's case, if he was just "on the edge" of being HOF worthy perhaps his postseason record would be enough for me to support his induction, but I never regarded Pettite as truly being a dominant pitcher, and his postseason record in part is one of numerous appearances because of the quality of his teams instead of dominant performances in the postseason.

dfs
02-07-2011, 03:17 PM
....It seemed to work against Tony Perez. One of the big arguments against Perez was that the lineup protected him and the only reason he got that many RBI's was because Rose and Morgan were setting the table in front of him.

It seems to me that one of the arguements against Blyleven was that despite how long he pitched, he only showed up in the postseason a couple of times.

FWIW I don't think there is any way Jack Morris would get the support that he does w/out his post season highlights.

oneupper
02-07-2011, 05:35 PM
I agree with RedsBaron. Post-season games are not exhibition games, they're played to win and against very tough competition.

So you have to look at that, accepting that they are normally small sample sizes and looking for excellence to help chances of induction, rather than non-participation (lousy team) or large counting stats (good team) to be factors.

dougdirt
02-07-2011, 06:21 PM
Post-season stats mean nothing to me in terms of ones HOF candidacy.

Oh, and I LOVE everything that Joe Posnanski writes.

kaldaniels
02-07-2011, 07:35 PM
Post-season stats mean nothing to me in terms of ones HOF candidacy.

Oh, and I LOVE everything that Joe Posnanski writes.

Ignored completely, or just not given extra weight?

RedsManRick
02-07-2011, 07:57 PM
Theoretically, I'd count the stats as part of the aggregate. But realistically, knowing that career stats will always be regular season, I don't really count them.

Perhaps I'd us them as a bonus. But as I think about it, I think I'd have a hard time saying "well, I don't think he deserves it based on his regular season work, but given what he did in the playoffs, sure." I'd have to really be on the fence about the guy for his playoff performance to tip the scales.

dougdirt
02-08-2011, 12:33 AM
Ignored completely, or just not given extra weight?

I don't care about them at all. Some guys never get the chance to be there, so why should I care how some others who actually do get there play there?

mth123
02-08-2011, 02:08 AM
Fair or unfair, its the Hall of "Fame" and post season performance is a large component of what makes a guy "famous." I don't think a scrub gets in because he had a couple good moments in post season play, nor would I exclude a worthy candidate due to a perception of being a guy who folds up in the post season, but if a guy is close, his performance in the post season might be the deciding factor.

I didn't read the article, but I'm guessing Andy Pettitte's retirement is a reason that this is a topic now. For the record, I don't think Pettitte is a Hall of Famer, but without the post season he wouldn't even be getting serious consideration by anyone. He'd be lumped into the group of very good pitchers who really don't deserve a Hall sniff after a nice career. This includes names like Mike Cuellar, Steve Rogers, Frank Viola, Dennis Martiinez, Larry Gura, and Ken Holtzman as points of comparison IMO. Pettitte is generally considered a cut above due to his post season performance, but its not enough IMO.

dougdirt
02-08-2011, 02:34 AM
Fair or unfair, its the Hall of "Fame" and post season performance is a large component of what makes a guy "famous."

I guess that is why HOF voting is so frustrating.... we all have our own definitions of who should get in. IMO, the HOF is for the best baseball players of all time, famous or not.

RedsBaron
02-08-2011, 07:08 AM
I guess that is why HOF voting is so frustrating.... we all have our own definitions of who should get in. IMO, the HOF is for the best baseball players of all time, famous or not.

Actually whether or not a player was "famous" is not part of the official criteria for determining whether or not a player should be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The official criteria, which can be found at the Hall of Fame web site, are: "Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played."
I have seen countless posts where people argued that it is a "Hall of Fame, not a Hall of Stats," but the fame of a player is irrelevant as to whether or not he should be in the HOF. If fame was the criteria then Don Larsen, Roger Maris and Bucky Dent would have all been inducted years ago.
Of course the HOF voters have not always been consistent in applying the official criteria. If voting is to based upon "integrity, sportsmanship and character" then how did Ty Cobb make it?

mth123
02-08-2011, 07:18 AM
Fame may not be part of the criteria but its the difference in a guy like Andy Pettitte being considered seriously and a similar (maybe better) guy like Frank Viola being bounced off the ballott early w/o all the consideration.

bucksfan2
02-08-2011, 08:20 AM
Performing great in the most pressure packed situations should mean something. It shouldn't turn an average player into a HOF but it should boost the candidacy of guys like Smoltz, Lee, Schilling, etc. If the ultimate goal is to win a world championship why not reward a player who succeeded at such a high rate.

IMO it shouldn't determine a players candidacy but it should bump a guy like Smoltz into a first ballot and should bump a guy like Schilling into the HOF.

dougdirt
02-08-2011, 08:45 AM
If the ultimate goal is to win a world championship why not reward a player who succeeded at such a high rate.


Because there are 24 other players on your team that have a lot more to do with your team winning a World Series than one single player ever does?

bucksfan2
02-08-2011, 09:19 AM
Because there are 24 other players on your team that have a lot more to do with your team winning a World Series than one single player ever does?

I beg to differ. One single player can make a HUGE difference when it comes down to a team winning the World Series especially when it comes to a pitcher. When a pitcher can take the ball 3 times in a 4 game series and shut down the opponent it makes a huge difference. A series changing difference.

Hoosier Red
02-08-2011, 09:42 AM
I agree that 24 other players are necessary to get to the post season, and it's not fair to penalize a borderline player who might suffer in the comparison.

But one player's performance can absolutely make the difference in winning and losing on a small sample like the post season. So if a player is a borderline case, and he made the difference in a post season or two with a huge performance, then I think that should be a point in his favor.

As others have said, it shouldn't make the difference for a player otherwise not considered, but I have no problem for it to be an extra weight on the scale of in versus out on a guy on the fence.

jojo
02-08-2011, 01:24 PM
Whether a pitcher played in the playoffs is largely out of a player's control. But in this case, Pettitte has a full season's worth (i.e. 250+ innings of post season experience) of additional stuff on his resume and as such he's part of a wealth of history for his era.

Also playing devil's advocate, while their numbers are fairly similar, Pettitte's career spanned an offensive explosion and he largely played in hitter's parks. Finley's career did partly overlap the offensive explosion but he also had the benefit of playing in less friendly hitter's environments. Also, Finley was largely consistent across years. Pettitte had a period of about 4-5 seasons where he was dominant. Were it not for some injury issues, it's likely the gap between the the two would have been wider.

bucksfan2
02-08-2011, 02:09 PM
Whether a pitcher played in the playoffs is largely out of a player's control. But in this case, Pettitte has a full season's worth (i.e. 250+ innings of post season experience) of additional stuff on his resume and as such he's part of a wealth of history for his era.

Its really the only part that I can not debate. To a large extent a player can not control who he is drafted by, traded to, or plays with until that player enters free agency. If Grienke would have went on to have a fantastic career in KC but never made it to the playoffs you couldn't hold that against him. If a guy like Roy Halladay never left Toronto you couldn't hold it against him that he did not have a post season record. Although you could make a note that when he finally go in he sure as heck made a spash :thumbdown.

That said how can you ignore what some players have done in the post season? How can you ignore what Curt Schilling did in the post season for both the Red Sox and the DBacks? Or what Cliff Lee has been doing over the past few seasons. Pitchers who are outright filthy in the post season should see some credit for that. And if that is what pushes a guy like Schilling to the HOF then I am all for it.

When I look at Pettite's numbers in the post season they are good, but nothing that shocks you. He benefited from playing on great teams and pitching a lot on the post season. His ERA of 3.83 in nice but hardly dominant. To me he is the Palmero of postseason pitchers. Nice numbers but more a result of number of appearances than being actually dominant.

backbencher
02-08-2011, 03:04 PM
What an incredibly silly argument.

The point of the game is to win trophies, not to accumulate statistics. The closer the relationship between the performance and the ultimate goal, the more important it is. And therefore the more it should count, for better or worse.

Is it unfair to those who don't get the opportunity? Sure. But no more so than knee injuries, ballpark dimensions, wartime service and the color barrier - at least a player is in control of his own portion of the team's results.

Pettite was part of the reason that the Yankees got to the World Series, and part of the reason that they won the World Series. That's a big plus for him.

Not that I'd vote for the cheater.

dougdirt
02-08-2011, 07:16 PM
What an incredibly silly argument.

The point of the game is to win trophies, not to accumulate statistics. The closer the relationship between the performance and the ultimate goal, the more important it is. And therefore the more it should count, for better or worse.
But no single player is able to win a trophy. Even the best players of all time made up what, 10% of their teams wins? The players around you are immensely more important to your team making the playoffs and winning in the playoffs than any singular player ever could be.

Post season's are nice, but at best it is going to be what, one seasons worth of additional data spread out over a 15-20 year career? That is fairly meaningless IMO.

backbencher
02-08-2011, 07:41 PM
one seasons worth of additional data

Whatever goal you have in reviewing "data," the idea that the goal is better served by throwing some of the data out is, I think, absurd.

But that's not even the point. The reason we care about data is because it is a proxy for projected wins. The reason we care about projected wins is that they are a proxy for projected championships.

When we can take out the "proxy," and look at actual performance that got teams close to actual championships -- well, that's better, isn't it? Let's not lose sight of the goal of the game.

jojo
02-08-2011, 07:50 PM
Pettitte helped the Yanks win but it's not Finley's fault that the Angels didn't win.

It's kinda of analogous to giving the pitcher the credit/blame for the defense behind him.

backbencher
02-08-2011, 08:05 PM
But no single player is able to win a trophy. Even the best players of all time made up what, 10% of their teams wins? The players around you are immensely more important to your team making the playoffs and winning in the playoffs than any singular player ever could be.


That's a fine reason to allow in guys who didn't win a ring. It's not at all a reason to sell short the career milestones of those who did.

No one in baseball has hit a more important home run than Bill Mazeroski. The home run does not get him into the Hall - not even close - but the fact is that when he was given the game's biggest stage, he delivered the game's biggest prize. It's high comedy to suggest that the homer should be disregarded because no one else in baseball got a chance to swing at that pitch.

blumj
02-08-2011, 09:58 PM
But no single player is able to win a trophy. Even the best players of all time made up what, 10% of their teams wins? The players around you are immensely more important to your team making the playoffs and winning in the playoffs than any singular player ever could be.

Post season's are nice, but at best it is going to be what, one seasons worth of additional data spread out over a 15-20 year career? That is fairly meaningless IMO.
More often than not, one more season would probably not make the difference, but there may be cases where it could. You don't have to give extra credit to some players for a handful of memorable postseason performances in order to be unwilling to totally ignore a whole season's worth of career workload for others. It's not the same thing at all.

RedsBaron
02-09-2011, 08:49 AM
More often than not, one more season would probably not make the difference, but there may be cases where it could.

There are quite a few players in the Hall of Fame who wouldn't be there if you selectively took away one season in their career. Hack Wilson is probably the easiest example (although I don't think Hack should be in the HOF anyway). Take away his 1930 season when he hit 56 HRs and had 191 RBI and Wilson's career totals in those categories drop to 188 HRs and 872 RBI, and he doesn't get in. Take away Orlando Cepeda's 1961 season when he lead the NL with 46 HRs and 142 RBI and he probably never makes the HOF. Tanke away Tony Perez's 1970 season when he hit .317 with 40 HRs and 129 RBI and his HOF chances take a serious hit.
IMO it is crazy to ignore what a player did in the postseason. If you do you have the situation of where if a pitcher tosses a shutout in late September with his team 20 games out of contention, that shutout counts in his career numbers when considering him for the HOF, yet let the pitcher toss a shutout in game seven of the World Series and you ignore the performance!

IslandRed
02-09-2011, 12:29 PM
For me, I think it counts in a sizzle-on-the-steak kind of way. Hall of Famers are supposed to be those who had legendary careers. To the extent that postseason performance is part of the narrative that creates the legend, it counts. A player can easily be a legend without postseason heroics, and fleeting postseason heroism does not a legendary career make, but again, it's part of the story.