>>>You haven't refuted (1) except to say that Cobb was better before and
>>>after 1920, which is irrelevant. As for (2), kindly name a few players
>>>whose careers started that late (or lost the equivalent number of years
>>>to military service) who put up those kinds of career numbers and aren't
>>>in the HOF. (And please, don't respond with players who've had
>>>700 walks; I think you know what I mean.)
>>That's silly; only one player ever lost that much military time,
>>and that was Hank Greenberg. (I won't bring up how much *he* walked.)
>Don't be ridiculous. There have been plenty of players whose careers
>began at age 27 or 28.
*sigh* read what you wrote. You were looking for players who lost
as much time to the military as Rice lost to personal problems.
There are only two of them, and you don't want to compare them to
I'll concede your point that among players who started that late,
and played that long, there are few who performed the way Rice did.
But is that a worthwhile group to look at? Just because you can
create a cell in which Rice is the best/only player, does that mean
that he belongs in the HOF? We can create arbitrarily many cells.
>>Yes, Rice had a freak career. Yes, he was an offensive plus for a
>>Oh, and what other players ever *did* put up such career numbers?
>>Vada Pinson comes to mind.
>Again, ridiculous. Pinson started at age 22, and had an OBP of .330.
Pinson put up career numbers that were not unlike Rice's. Pinson
played in an era where OBP varied between .302 and .325. Rice
played in an era where OBP was in the .350's. Pinson's overall
batting numbers, adjusted for park and league norms, are very much
Now, if you want to put Rice in the HOFFGWHLCMAA30 (Hall of Fame
for guys who had long careers mainly after age 30), that's fine.
But the plain old HOF has many outfielders, almost all of whom
contributed far more than Rice did.
>>Well, they involve focusing on what the player *did*, not what
>>he was up against in his life.
>Well, I think you also have a narrow view of what players *do*. Look,
>I'd agree with you if I thought a player's value was reflected entirely
>by his marginal effect on runs scored (or prevented, in the case of
>a pitcher or defense). I do not think this, and any reasonable
>analysis of player value (in the broader economic sense) would blow
>that view out of the water.
How so? Blow away. I want to see this. Specifically, analyze
Rice's and Joe Judge's relative value.
>Your method of valuation, for example, would put a much lower
>value on players like Nolan Ryan or Sandy Koufax, than would mine.
Perhaps. My method rates Ryan pretty high, I might add. It also
notes that both pitchers *at their best* were stupendous players.
Rice at his best was the seventh-best outfielder in the AL.
>(I'm not saying you'd necessary conclude they aren't HOF'ers, just
>that you'd rank them lower than I would.) I do put value on other
>criteria. So do most fans, and that's where value is ultimately determined.
Not in the HoF! What fans would have admitted Chick Hafey or...Sam Rice?
Note that the sportswriters never felt the least urge to induct Rice until
someone started campaigning for him in the late 50's; and that failed too.
Once he'd fizzled from 143 votes to 80, the Veterans Committee took a
shine to him.
As for "where value is ultimately determined," I had no idea that there
*was* one system of valuation. Seems to me there are many, none of them
>(In economic terms, what you're doing is measuring the quantity of
>production; I'm trying to measure the *value*, in terms of what
>people pay for. Your way went out with the Soviets, I'm afraid.)
I can see you don't want to discuss this seriously. Comparing my
analyses to Soviet economics is sleazy, not to mention wrong.
Here in this country we still do measure productivity, I believe.
And we consider it to be significant. Do you know of places
where the more productive workers aren't rewarded?
Now, tell me: what did people pay for Sam Rice? Did he boost
attendance? Was his salary especially high?
(Incidentally, it's *you* who's approaching a labor theory of
value: he played so much, and worked so hard until so late in
his career, and overcame so many obstacles that he *must* have
had great value, or so your argument has run so far. If you
wish to argue the Western approach, use *utility*. What was
Rice's *utility*, and to whom? His teammates? Clark Griffith?
The Washington fans?)
I'd like to see you explain your sytem of valuation. I hope
it involves more than a lot of gee-whiz stats.
And I *really* hope you cut the ***about Soviet economics.
That's beneath you.
PS: for a different sort of comparison of value theories,
check out Adolph Lowe's article on the topic in (I think)
_Social Research_ about 10 years ago.