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Saturday, 31 December 2005
Controversy: What the League Veto of The Gehrig Trade Means
Topic: Trades
An important event is playing out right now in the ATL, and like all pivotal events in any organization it doesn't come without controversy. A lot has been said about the pros and cons of the trade that precipitated this event, and a lot has also been said about the motives of those involved with voting for or against the trade. I will try to cut through all that and assess why the League vetoed the trade, and what that means for the direction of the League.

I invite everyone to post comments to this thread, but I caution that this is an esoteric thread about Ideals, and not a political rant for or against the trade, nor is it a platform for statistical subterfuge. This is a thread about what the League Veto means to the League.

I think several other trades have a direct bearing on this one, three trades especially, and I will try to put them in a coherent light regarding this trade, and then come to a conclusion.


First, The Vetoed Gehrig Trade, for reference:

To StL Stars:
Lou Gehrig 1B
Mitsuhiro Adachi SP

To Washington:
Jim Whitney SP
Steve Reed CL
Edgar Martinez DH
Vic Harris LF
Norm Cash 1B
Gil Hodges 1B


The Other Trades:

TRADE 1:
To Boston:
Joe Morgan 2B
Ken Singleton RF

To NY Mets:
Larry Doyle 2B
Babe Ruth RF


The single worst trade in the short history of the ATL. However, even this trade had its vocal proponents which just highlights that consensus is always difficult to achieve. I think this trade has a lot of bearing on The Gehrig Trade for those who voted Nay. The argument here in favour of the trade was that Morgan and Singleton, batting first and second in the Boston lineup, would produce more Runs than Ruth batting 3rd or 4th, and Doyle batting 8th. Sim results were produced to substantiate this claim, and the Boston owner proclaimed himself very happy with Morgan & Singleton instead of Ruth & Doyle. However, most opinion on the fate of Boston before and after this trade took a 180 degree turn. The Ruth Trade was quickly labeled "The Curse," and the Boston owner was heard from a handful of times over the next few months before he disapeared completely. I think some of the owners took notice of the ultimate effect -- a Lost Owner. Whether that was good or bad for the League is a point open to debate, and will not be debated here. The point is, that perhaps this trade more than any other had influence on The Gehrig Trade. At the time, several owners expressed opinions offlist that I should intervene and nullify the trade. The WatchDog Clause had not yet been given the jurisdiction over all trades, and I was not yet ready to enact Landesian Laws for the fledgling league. However, the inaction on the part of the League at this juncture may have fueled the response to this year's Gehrig Trade. Joe Morgan is a hall of famer, and a great second baseman, but he is not a unique talent at second base. Rogers Hornsby, Eddie Collins, Nap Lajoie, and Martin Dihigo would all take exception to Morgan eclipsing them.

TRADE 2:
To Cincinnati:
Dan Brouthers 1B
John McGraw 3B

To Washington:
Lou Gehrig 1B
Reds 2nd Round Pick (Lip Pike)


As mentioned at the time, this appears to have more value for Washington than Cincinnati. However, McGraw is a unique third baseman -- a hall of famer with exceptional skills and large 'legend' factor. Baseball would not be the same if it were not for Muggsy McGraw. Brouthers is a superstar of his time, but so was Lip Pike on the other side of this equation. Lou Gehrig is alone as a unique talent at first base in Baseball history. Some players come close, Jimmy Foxx probably the closest, but Gehrig is alone on the top of the first base heap. Still, Brouthers is capable of putting up Gehrigian Numbers in a good year. Problem is, Gehrig puts up those numbers in an average year. It does seem that Gehrig's abilities are not being appreciated, and this trade lay the foundation for The Gehrig Trade.

TRADE 3:
To C.Cubs:
Ty Cobb CF

To Detroit:
Babe Ruth RF


Ruth for Cobb, again controversial but involving two unique talents. Cobb had been sought after in other trade talks in the first ATL season, but was "untouchable." This is the first time Cobb has been traded. Is Cobb as good as Ruth? Of course not: there is only one Bambino. However, just as McGraw is no Gehrig, Cobb is no Morgan. Cobb for Ruth is a swap of two unique talents, two unique individuals, two unique baseball legends. There is a lot of fantasy 'worth' backing up both players, not only stat lines.


Conclusion


I think the direction this points the League in is one of appreciation of unique players for the intangibles they bring to the league. I don't think the League Veto is a mark against either owner involved in the trade, or even a decision against the relative balance of the trade as compared to others. No. I think the League Veto declares that unique players, those that are integral to the greater glory of the history of baseball, should be treated with a bit more respect than your everyday run-of-the-mill star player. That big trades like Ruth-Cobb increase the prestige of the League, and hence owner enjoyment, while trades like Gehrig-for-Bunch-O'-Guys is somehow perceived as detracting from the shine on the League by dulling the value of one of its brightest stars.

Posted by dmbatl at 3:44 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 31 December 2005 4:43 PM EST
Post Comment | View Comments (41) | Permalink

Saturday, 31 December 2005 - 5:10 PM EST

Name: dcnats

I think we are treading on dangerous grounds here when we try to make the veto include subjective ideas. We all know any decision contains 'subjectiveness', but the idea that we should TRY to include it in debating the merits of a trade seems to be an error in judgment in my opinion.

By 'subjectiveness' in the context of a veto, I mean taking into consideration the popularity of a player and not looking at it from a fairness standpoint. I believe a trade should only be vetoed for one of two reasons, a) gross negligence, or b) foul play.

Foul play needs no elaboration, but gross negligence does. If for example, someone tried to trade Gehrig for Don Mattingly that is gross negligence. The person is either not educated enough to know the difference, or could care less about the league and is just having a good time.

I understand the Mattingly example is far fetched, but there is a point. I love Don Mattingly. In many other leagues I have traded for him, and knowingly lose on the deal just because I wanted to get him.

So, the next step is which players are considered historical? How do we know when it is fair when we choose to ignore stats, and instead go by touch feely emotions about the yesteryear of baseball?

What if I traded Jimmie Foxx for Donnie Baseball (Beloved in NY), Cut Flood, and Jim Abbott (I have one arm)? Would that be OK because there is a historical aspect to it?

Of course not. Where do you draw the line? What if it was Manny for Cobb?

I really think owners should be able to have free reign in making trades. If a veto is proposed - the owner should get a chance to express why he made the trade. If he doesn't know, or comes up with some lame excuse - veto away.

If he has coherent thoughts as to why the trade was made -let him be wrong. We don't need to police the league.

This probably isn't the thread for it, but if the Stars would have gotten Gehrig they would have had one HECK of a protect list next year and would probably never lose their division again - for the history of the DMBATL. This cries for a change in keeper rules. I posted this portion here because the two are related - with the keeper rules in place, bad trades (as most thought this was) can never be righted.

BTW - I have two arms, just making a point.
Sorry if this is a double post - can't seem to get the first one to be visible.

Saturday, 31 December 2005 - 5:26 PM EST

Name: dmbatl

I did refer several times to the 'uniqueness' of a ballplayer as a possible standard in this decision. Historicity of a ballplayer was not a factor -- every ballplayer in all four of our sets is important historically; at the very least they are Franchise Stars.

Jimmie Foxx has historical value but is not a unique player. Don Mattingly has historical value, but is not a unique player. Dan Brouthers has historical value but is not a unique player. Sadaharu Oh has historical value but is not a unique player. Mark McGwire has historical value but is not a unique player. There is a very real difference between the defining terms I used in my conclusion ("unique" and "integral to the greater glory of the history"), and the term used in the comment ("historical").

Saturday, 31 December 2005 - 5:55 PM EST

Name: dcnats

Ed

So, does that mean the only time superstars can be traded are for each other?

We come up with a list of players who are "unique" and "integral to the greater glory of the history" and deem them untouchable only for each other?

And we can argue unique till we are blue in the face.

My point still stands - if trades are suppossed to be evaluated are subjective standards - uniqueness, historical importance, etc - you run into trouble of having to define everything.

I don't see an issue - i really don't - with looking at the trades from an objective standpoint.

Why force owners to trade superstars for superstars? The only reason given so far is that it could be "perceived as detracting from the shine on the League by dulling the value of one of its brightest stars".

I think that is a serious mistake. If somebody can't get enjoyment out of the league because Gehrig is traded, well, they need to get a life.

Also - there are trades like this in real life all the time - in every sport. Do they always work out? No, of course not. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be given a chance too.

Saturday, 31 December 2005 - 6:26 PM EST

Name: michaelkcm

The Ruth trade was quite clearly a very poor trade that most certainly should not have been made.

The Brouthers/McGraw trade is interesting - how valuable is McGraw? He doesn't hit for any power, and isn't much of a defender, but has a great OBP for 3rd. Brouthers also is a poor defender. How valuable is a 2nd round pick? It depends who is drafted with that pick - there are some picks that were made in the second round I didn't think much of. On the other hand, there were some great players taken in later rounds of the draft. Pike is a nice player but pretty bad at defense too. All in all I think that deal tilts towards Washington but is reasonably fair. As for the McGraw/legend factor...stuff like that can cause some serious problems in the league which I'll go into now.

Dean was traded for Ashburn. Ashburn is a good CF platoon, but isn't a great player. Another lopsided deal because the owner wanted Ashburn and didn't want Dean (and I don't even think he announced he didn't want Dean, which is a whole other can of worms).

Toronto basically doesn't want any players who played before 1980. That leads to deals like the Mussina/Ross Barnes deal which I think was more lopsided than any deal short of the Ruth one. He also said he doesn't like to sim. If the league doesn't mind this kind of attitude, some lopsided trades, perhaps significantly lopsided, are bound to happen.

There are a lot of issues with vetos, and I'll name a few right now:

1. It is arguable that a trade that helps both owners can be bad for the league, if one owner is helped much more than the other.
2. Some owners do not mind getting worse to add a player they like, which is an issue that needs to be addressed I think.
3. Some owners seem to think that trades should only be vetoed if a deal is not on the level - I think everyone should be on the same page.
4. As vetoes happen, 'dangerously one sided' can become tougher to interpret. In particular, it seems biased against better teams getting better because that is most dangerous to the league. I don't particularly have a problem with this, but I think it warrants mentioning.

Saturday, 31 December 2005 - 6:45 PM EST

Name: dmbatl

That is not the point either. The Trade has been Vetoed by a League Vote. It is not the wishes of one person. It was the inclination of the majority to Naysay the trade. Each voter may have had different reasons, but the effect was registered as the Intent of the League.

So . . . now we are left to put that "Intent" into more definitive words -- try to take differing viewpoints all headed in the same direction, and deduce the overall objective of the majority on this decision.

Arguing trades on a purely statistical level is not an issue. But if it were, I would have to say nobody argued the Gehrig Trade on a mathematically scientific basis. All statistical representations were seriously flawed on a scientific basis.

So . . . what would I say is a "scientific" statistical analysys? This:

1). use the statistical line of each player vs a Neutral Era/Park

2). average projected playing time of all players and adjust stat lines accordingly

3). merge role players into a single player per position per 154 games

4). adjust for ballparks by differentiating results at home (77 games), away in division (33 games) and away outside of division (44 games)

Now, that is quite an undertaking, but it is possible even with players of the custom sets (JLers, NLers, 19thCers) because we know how they were created -- and thus we can apply a formula to get the stat line for Step #1.

However, this process is not easy no matter how simple the 4 steps. But it is, I think, a scientific approach to the statistics that will have more adherents than detractors. So using this framework, even on a general basis and utilizing a few aproximations to ease the difficulty, and ultimately the futility, of getting exact numbers. The League Ownership is savvy enough to work with ballpark figures, all that matters is getting the figures into the right ballpark. And there is where "statistical subterfuge" erects detours. The above process minimizes the Wild Card ability of statistics presented to highlight certain aspects of the whole.

Saturday, 31 December 2005 - 6:53 PM EST

Name: dcnats

Ed

I would much appreciate your input as to the mathematical reasons why the Nationals weren't better off trading Gehrig for the package offered.

From all I can see - across many many sims, the Nats improved. I at first thought it was a great deal, but then found erros in my sims, and it is more like 3 wins or so.

I have yet to see anybody offer up any type of reason why the trade was vetod in terms of facts. I am sorely missing this.

Saturday, 31 December 2005 - 7:12 PM EST

Name: dmbatl

You make a good point arguing the McGraw-Gehrig Trade as perhaps not quite up to the snuff of my "Uniqueness" barometer. For that same reason I left the recent Walter Johnson trade out, and the Dizzy Dean trade you mentioned. Why? Because as good as Johnson and Dean are they are not unique. I tried to elevate the discussion of "Intent" away from pure statistical difference and into the very realm of Reality you described -- namely the ATL where one owner wants post-1980's guys, another wants JLers-Only, another want . . . whatever. To them, to all of them, there is something greater than numbers about a player. I chose to call that "uniqueness." If the argument was that the uniqueness and owner-desirability of Keith Hernandez offset his statistical disparity against Bill Terry, then I would say for that owner the uniqueness of Hernandez outweighs 60 points of OPS. How much is Uniqueness worth? 60 points? 75 points? 100 points? That depends on the owners, players and all else (defense, power, running, arm, etc, etc, etc) being equal. I am only saying that Uniqueness Value is used in many trades, but not acknowledged as such. Let's acknowledge it, and defend it if that is the viewpoint we hold.

You also bring up another good point: about a bias against good teams. I think that is a perceptual bias, and not a real one. If I thought it was the majority opinion of the ones who voted to Veto . . . then I would argue against that being a determining factor.

On the other hand, rivalries between Owners can take many forms, and if the call is to let trades fall where they lie, then that wing of the league must also let reasons for Vetoes fall where they lie.

On that point I must clarify once more that a Veto is a Majority Decision, not the whim of one person.

Saturday, 31 December 2005 - 7:18 PM EST

Name: dcnats

Ed

I would much appreciate your input as to the mathematical reasons why the Nationals weren't better off trading Gehrig for the package offered.

From all I can see - across many many sims, the Nats improved. I at first thought it was a great deal, but then found erros in my sims, and it is more like 3 wins or so.

I have yet to see anybody offer up any type of reason why the trade was vetod in terms of facts. I am sorely missing this.

Saturday, 31 December 2005 - 8:15 PM EST

Name: Matt Rauseo

The first gehrig trade should have been veteod. Its worse than this one. Brouthers should have been a 3rd or 4th round pick. Rather than the 4th overall.

btw:
"That big trades like Ruth-Cobb increase the prestige of the League, and hence owner enjoyment, while trades like Gehrig-for-Bunch-O'-Guys is somehow perceived as detracting from the shine on the League by dulling the value of one of its brightest stars."

That is comeplete and utter BS. We were feed a line earlier in the year that it was OK that you can never draft or aquire a big name player. It was ok that the strength of the league was deteremined completely by a draft a year ago that will never change. We were told it was OK because you could draft and aquire depth and then deal that for superstars... well it looks like we can't do that either.

Saturday, 31 December 2005 - 9:56 PM EST

Name: dcnats

I really struggle with what was wrong with the Gehrig trade. In terms of ‘real-life’ stats the following was given up. I use real life because many owners have come to me and said “stop simming and look at the normalized stats to evaluate trades”. Whitney is not normalized, but he would have been one of the best pitchers on my staff looking at the trades, so I left him in. The batting stats are adjusted based on playing percentage:
- Edgar Martinez: 100% (full time 3B)
- Cash/Hodges: 70% Cash, 30% Hodges to equal 1 full time 1B
- Vic Harris: 70% - platoon vs righty pitchers.

To Stl: 41 HR, 122 R, 137 RBI, 36 2B, 8 3B, 8 SB, 157.4 RC, 359 TB
To DC: 59 HR, 238 R, 246 RBI, 80 2B, 15 3B, 30 SB, 286.1 RC, 715 TB

Plus

To DC: 2.89 ERA, 300 IP, 10.3 R/9, 4.5 K/9, .31 HR/9

All 5 players would have had starting roles on my team. And aside from 1B, these were all glaring holes on my team.

Unless someone can put forth a contradiction to this to explain to me how that my team wasn’t helped, I am forced to believe one of two things:

a) The trade was nixed because of the ‘star power’ Ed alluded to. The aura of the trade did not live up to expectations because it didn’t sound good enough.
b) The trade was nixed because the Stars were getting too good. I am not suggesting that people are against the Stars. It was more ‘enough is enough’ with their accumulation of talent. People saw a lineup of Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Eddie Mathews, and Lou Gehrig – each arguable the best at their positions, and thought it just wasn’t fair.

I believe scenario B happened. People said it wasn’t fair for the Stars to have this many elite players and put a stop to it.

Unfortunately, neither scenario is a legitimate reason to veto the trade. Star power is a fluff to me, and should have no business in the vetoing of trades. Everybody’s perception is different, and there have been so many lopsided trades that weren’t vetoed already. Like Mike (KC) said – there is one team that choose to ignore over 80% of the players in the history of baseball!

For scenario B, the merits of each trade should be looked at individually. Thus, the reason is not legitimate because it looks beyond the scope of the trade.

So I ask again – somebody, anybody, explain to me their reasons for the veto. I am struggling with it and the veto is complete nonsense until fully explained.

Saturday, 31 December 2005 - 9:56 PM EST

Name: dcnats

I really struggle with what was wrong with the Gehrig trade. In terms of ‘real-life’ stats the following was given up. I use real life because many owners have come to me and said “stop simming and look at the normalized stats to evaluate trades”. Whitney is not normalized, but he would have been one of the best pitchers on my staff looking at the trades, so I left him in. The batting stats are adjusted based on playing percentage:
- Edgar Martinez: 100% (full time 3B)
- Cash/Hodges: 70% Cash, 30% Hodges to equal 1 full time 1B
- Vic Harris: 70% - platoon vs righty pitchers.

To Stl: 41 HR, 122 R, 137 RBI, 36 2B, 8 3B, 8 SB, 157.4 RC, 359 TB
To DC: 59 HR, 238 R, 246 RBI, 80 2B, 15 3B, 30 SB, 286.1 RC, 715 TB

Plus

To DC: 2.89 ERA, 300 IP, 10.3 R/9, 4.5 K/9, .31 HR/9

All 5 players would have had starting roles on my team. And aside from 1B, these were all glaring holes on my team.

Unless someone can put forth a contradiction to this to explain to me how that my team wasn’t helped, I am forced to believe one of two things:

a) The trade was nixed because of the ‘star power’ Ed alluded to. The aura of the trade did not live up to expectations because it didn’t sound good enough.
b) The trade was nixed because the Stars were getting too good. I am not suggesting that people are against the Stars. It was more ‘enough is enough’ with their accumulation of talent. People saw a lineup of Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Eddie Mathews, and Lou Gehrig – each arguable the best at their positions, and thought it just wasn’t fair.

I believe scenario B happened. People said it wasn’t fair for the Stars to have this many elite players and put a stop to it.

Unfortunately, neither scenario is a legitimate reason to veto the trade. Star power is a fluff to me, and should have no business in the vetoing of trades. Everybody’s perception is different, and there have been so many lopsided trades that weren’t vetoed already. Like Mike (KC) said – there is one team that choose to ignore over 80% of the players in the history of baseball!

For scenario B, the merits of each trade should be looked at individually. Thus, the reason is not legitimate because it looks beyond the scope of the trade.

So I ask again – somebody, anybody, explain to me their reasons for the veto. I am struggling with it and the veto is complete nonsense until fully explained.

Saturday, 31 December 2005 - 11:38 PM EST

Name: scott_reds

I think the term unique as it is being applied here is a poor one. Every player is unique, and here is why: Each and every player in this league has a few players he really likes, and would place above players of similar or even somewhat better quality. That makes these players unique...in that one owner wants them more than another owner does, and rates them much higher as a result. Whether that means someone only wanting recent players, or like me, who has an unnatural like for one Silidin' Billy Hamilton.

It is a potentially serious issue to allow on one hand a team to trade away all of its old time stars because the owner only likes 70's players, but then veto a trade on the other hand that is an honest attempt by an owner to make his team better.

Also, on a slightly different note, I can not deal with owners constantly over-hyping their own mediocre players in an attempt to oversell them. It is classless and annoying, and it makes me want to run screaming from my keyboard.

Oh...Happy New Year everyone...I feel a little better.

~S

Saturday, 31 December 2005 - 11:45 PM EST

Name: scott_reds

I'm not sure how you came to this conclusion Matt, but you're WAY off. You obviously don't value OBP, which is fine. But when I can upgrade from Pete Rose and his Pr defense at third with a guy who gets on base at about a .425 clip with Av D, and at the same time replace Gehrig with another player who hits .320/.370/.500 and all I lose is 35 HR in the deal, thats not even close. My #4 hitter went from averaging 90 RBI to averaging 115 RBI instantly. Oh, I also lost out on Lip Pike, but honestly, he didn't turn out very well in my sims, and neither did any of the other players available at that spot. My runs scored increased by 40-50 per season AFTER this trade (also allowed me to slot Rose in the OF and replace a lousy glove and so-so bat in the process). Not to mention I immediately flipped Brouhters for Frank Thomas and some much needed arms. If we want to pick at trades, lets worry about the really bad ones, OK?

Saturday, 31 December 2005 - 11:54 PM EST

Name: atl-bucs

I just wrote a much longer comment, but obviously I did something wtrong and it didn't post. This one will be much more succinct. Gehrig has an OPS of 1.100 and an Av. def at first. The platoon of Cash and Hodges gives an OPS of .856 (adjusted to R/L at 70/30). HUGE Gehrig win. Not even close. He's in another league. Cash and Hodges are AA compared to Lou. That's being charitable.

Martinez has a .943--excellent batter. But his D is a killer. Fr at third. He didn't start last year b/c of it and was released. was chosen after 150 or so picks this year. Not exactly in demand. He's a pinch hitter. i have one just like him on my club--Brian Giles. great hitter, but can't do a thing otherwise.

Harris--.817 OPS, Vg OFer with an Av arm and Vg speed. Bench player on every team in the league, bar none.

Whitney, a 19th century pitcher. Very few of these guys will do well. My sims showed he is not one of them. His stats are not normalized, so it's hard to say what he'll do. But comparing him to other q9th Century pitchers, he doesn't stand out. He's middle of that road, which translates to an end of the rotation pitcher, at best.

Reed is an excellent middle reliever. Had a 3.18 ERA last year for Newark in 71 innings. Adachi, however, had a 2.95 for Philly in 69 innings. A wash, in other words. Adachi, like Whitney, is not normalized, so we cannot compare apples to apples. If I had to choose, I'd go with Reed, but who knows? Adachi actually had the better year.

So what we've got is a MONSTER at 1st and a very good middle reliver traded for two below average 1st basemen, a 4th or 5th OFer, an end of the rotation starter and a very good middle reliever. It's pretty obvious to me the trade was "dangerously uneven."

I called for the "naysay" and HATED to do it. But I stand by it. I hope it NEVER gets used again. But it was voted in comfortably so most agreed with it use in this situation. Extreme circumstances only is what the rule calls for. This situation was one of them.

This is over. The vote is in. Lets get back to baseball now. that's what we need to do.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 12:38 AM EST

Name: dcnats

The votes are in, but this should not be over. The trade is over, but when and why to use a veto is still an extreme sore point in this league, as evidenced by the emails today.

I was looking for three things in a post detailing why it was vetoed, you got 1 of the 3.

1 - Some type of statistical analysis. Check.
2 - Sims to see what happened. None.
3 - Looking at the team to see what alternatives they had. None.

You looked at ONE stat and called it a day - OPS. It's not the end all be all, nor should it be.

I respect your opinion, but don't think you took the veto seriously enough.

You said: "So what we've got is a MONSTER at 1st and a very good middle reliver traded for two below average 1st basemen, a 4th or 5th OFer, an end of the rotation starter and a very good middle reliever."

- Adachi was awful. He was getting DROPPED outright by me.
- The 4th or 5th OF had a excellent OBP, and was my starter.
- Whitney simmed better than blyleven, better than dean. I rated him high.
- Reed is superb, agreed.
- your forgot my new starting 3B.

I have an extreme HR park. The normal pitchers everybody else likes, suck in my park because they all give up home runs. Roger Clemens sucks in my park. Walter Johnson sucks in my park. The only pitchers that have ever consistently simmed well in my park are a) Greg Maddux, b) Mariano Rivera, and c) Red Lucas for whatever reason.

You did not take this into your consideration. I can't use the people everybody else values? So does that mean I can't trade Gehrig?

I completely respect your opinion, but I wished you spent more time looking at it.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 1:18 AM EST

Name: atl-bucs

I really don't want to argue, but I'll try to clarify my comments.

Martinez is Fr at third, so he'd be a big defensive liability in a park where it can be least afforded. He's really a DH in a non-DH league, meaning he's a pinch hitter, as I stated in the body of the post. I did forget to put this in the summary.

Harris' OB is .363, which is not especialy high. There are more than a couple in the FA pool who have higher OBAs, and they are easily obtainable in trades as well.

I respect your opinion. I did strongly disagree with this trade to the point where I thought it was "dangerously unbalanced", as called out for in the rules, however. I really struggled with the use of the "naysay", but ultimately decided to put it to the vote for the good of the league.

In my opinion, only under extreme circumstances should this rule be applied, _if ever at all_. Obviously it then goes to a vote, so no one person's opinion can ever decide any trade. If I was wrong, then chances are strong the vote would reflect that. Additionally, if it wasn't a Gehrig, I would not have even considered it.

I value your friendship, and hopefully this is not taken personally.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 1:37 AM EST

Name: atl-bucs

I don't use sims very much b/c they are notoriously unreliable. The raw stats don't lie. They are 1st hand information. Clemens' HR/9 is .4, Johnson checks in at .7, both lower than Adams at .8. Adams will, on average, give up more HRs than either, especially Clemens. He may have sucked in sims, but that's just the variables at work. He lets up half as many HRs as Adams.

I know OPS is just one stat, but whatever ones you prefer, RC/27, TA, etc., will show the same imbalance. I used OPS for brevity, and b/c many are familar with it.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 2:42 AM EST

Name: michaelkcm

How can Walter Johnson suck in your park? Didn't you say his ERA was like 4.6 in your park on average? And didn't you say any time a pitcher has an ERA below 5 in your park you jump for joy?

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 2:59 AM EST

Name: michaelkcm

How are we sure that the stats are the sole thing that affects the event charts? Is there a way to view the event charts? I've run a ton of sims (Lou has too) and they seem to show that some guys tend to do poorly in sims and some seem to do well.

In particular, it seems like between 2 hitters that are both listed at .300/.380/.480, a NLer is much more likely to be a good hitter in the game. At least based off my sims.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 8:32 AM EST

Name: dcnats

Yes, he had a 4.6 ERA.

I have 10 pitchers who can post that ERA in any given Sim. They don't average that, but they can post the same ERA or better in any given year.

Why should I put a premium on pitching when Johnson could easily toss up a 5.70 ERA and kill me? It made sense for me to get two better than average starters for him.

My park is insane. I have to do things differently.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 8:36 AM EST

Name: dcnats

I agree.

It seems any time somebody says the sim, they are laughed at. I have played DMB and others baseball simulations for over a decade. The idea that the raw stats are godlike is so out of touch in my opinion. They give a good idea of what a player can do, but that is about it.

Which stat do we hold most important? Which does the game think is most important and bases the results on? Nobody knows.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 8:38 AM EST

Name: dcnats

John

Unless I am pissing you off and you are starting to get offended, you don't need to talk about the friendship aspect :)

I don't take any of this personally, but I freely admit I have a hard time ending an argument when the other side doesn't see my viewpoint - just ask my wife :)

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 8:43 AM EST

Name: dcnats

Red Lucas (3.55 or something) real life ERA is one of the best pitchers in my park.

Please explain why

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 9:27 AM EST

Name: atl-bucs

The raw stats are not "godlike", but they are the basis for the sims' results. The sims are 2nd hand data and prone to variables. It's the difference between a primary and a secondary source in literature or history. One _is_ the event, the other is an account of the event viewed through a lens of some sort. In this context the lens is the sim, which is wildly variable and therefore unreliable.

As for the NLers, I've noticed some do well also. However, just as many do not. Prime example, Satchel Paige. By most reports the best pitcher in NL history (some dispute there, but always acknowledged to be at least among the best). His ERA was over 5 last year. It may well be under 3 this year. Why? Because sims are wildly variable and can't be counted on. Homerun Johnson hit well over .300 this past year. He was unconscious. He may well hit .250 this year. Same thing, variables rule when talking sims.

Those examples show why some people put more faith in raw stats. They are primary, therefore stable and reliable.

BTW, the NLers as a whole should not do better than ATGs, since they were both created in the same manner. My susipcion is that since there are so many ATGs and relatiely few NLers, the failure of some ATGs to live up to their stats is magnified.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 9:41 AM EST

Name: dcnats

That's fine. that is the way you do it. Why can't i choose to Sim?

I sim about 20 seasons before each trade. Take the outliers out - best and worse seasons (maybe two of each if sim a real lot) - and look at the averages.

I don't see what is wrong with that.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 9:47 AM EST

Name: atl-bucs

No, I was just trying to explain why using raw stats over sims is preferable to me. I didn't mean to imply that you can't use your method. Of course you can. And many do, apparently.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 10:07 AM EST

Name: dcnats

So we are left with two different ways to evaluate players.

- I chose to Sim
- You choose to look at 'real life' stats.

You vetoed the trade because the real life stats didn't match up.

Sooo - that implies that I can't sim to make trade decision if the real life stats don't match up as well.

I know I am being a pain in the ass - forget the Gehrig trade - we really need to iron this out for the future.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 10:37 AM EST

Name: atl-bucs

Not to quibble, but this is an important point.

***I didn't veto the trade.***

It was put to a league wide vote after I naysayed it. The league--as a whole--voted it down. If it depended only on my owm discretion, that would be insane.

As it is, I think it's something that should be used only in the most extreme cicumstances. Indeed, it's only been used once, and there has been many unbalanced trades. As I said before, I hated to use it, and I hope it's never used again.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 10:53 AM EST


John

You are nitpicking. You are the only one on the blog stating why you voted the trade down.

I didn't mean to imply you were the sole cause of it, just trying to respond to your points. I don't think you really thought I meant it that way.

You voted Nay. And the reason is real life stats. Just trying to point out there are other ways to evaluate trades - and it is not fair to just look at it from your perspective when voting against a trade.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 10:56 AM EST

Name: Stars

I think Ed forsaw the danger (and flaws) of the naysay rule during the draft when he referred to it several times. I believe he said that if it was ever implemented the "trade wars" would begin.

The rule is seriously flawed in that it is too easily invoked. I believe the rule should be amended ASAP to require 3 complaints or "naysays" before a trade is brought up for league vote.

A naysay and trade vote should be reserved for only such egregious moves that cause at least 3 people lodge a complaint.

I haven't decided yet how to use my "right" to naysay from here on out. But under the current rules I do have the "right" to naysay every trade if I want to - every trade would get tabled and voted on. I am sure that would make everyone realize how bad the current rule is.

Can I make a motion to immediately amend the "naysay" rule as described above for the well being of the league?

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 11:08 AM EST

Name: atl-bucs

I'm just trying to explain my thought process. As you said, we use different methods to evaluate players. No one else is participating, so we don't know their reasoning. I'll let heirthem talk now, if they wish.

I think we understand each other's reasoning, and I don't know what else can be accomplished other than that. I don't believe either of us is going to change our method of player evaluation at this point.

As for the "naysay" rule, under the current constitution it can be put to a vote next year and amended or even eliminated, if that is your ultimate goal.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 11:15 AM EST

Name: atl-bucs

Naysaying every trade would be childish in the extreme, don't you agree? I don't think anyone could reasonably expect grown men and women to act like that.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 11:16 AM EST

Name: dcnats

John

But there is a serious flaw with your conclusion. It doesn't allow for differing opinions than yours in player evaluation.

I know you won't, but none of my trades have been based upon real life stats. So, if another was contested - based on your reasoning, you would have voted against it.

I don't think it makes sense to vote no by only using your own methods of player evaluation - you have to allow for others points of view.

I use "You" in general terms.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 11:26 AM EST

Name: atl-bucs

Many trades were made, some of which I thought were badly unbalanced. Others must have thought the same about different trades, if not the same ones. Only once was the clause utilized. It's not as if someone always says "this trade is not exactly equal so I cast a naysay." Only once, when a trade was seen to be "dangerously unbalanced", was it naysayed.

I'm all for voting on amending the rule--at the proper time. For now, if we all act like responsible adults I don't see where we would have any problems.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 11:39 AM EST

Name: atl-bucs

Yes, we should allow for all types of evaluation. If I gave the impression that only the one I use is valid, I apologize. I was just trying to explain my position. Whatever works for you, or anybody else is fine by me.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 12:53 PM EST

Name: scott-reds

IMHO, raw stats are useless in this league. While John created the NLers, the method was not as complex as DMB used for their players(creating custom eras for every player based on the seasons they played). The NLers were created using largely "ballpark" stats, and one base era. I know quite a bit about the era effects, I fight it every season in PAP. JLers have some excellent raw stats, but sim terribly as a rule. NLers tend to sim a little better than average. As always, players on the extreme ends of the spectrum stay more true to their raw stats, because they are the built in outliers. I try to run 15-20 sims before making a trade...I feel that the raw numbers really don't do justice to the normalization processes at all.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 2:40 PM EST

Name: michaelkcm

Because those other guys (and Whitney) can toss up ERAs of 6.9 as often as Johnson would have an ERA of 5.7.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 2:51 PM EST

Name: michaelkcm

One thing about the sims is some players have really wide splits. I have guys who bat .200 against RHP and .320 against LHP. Randy Johnson saw a couple of them last night, John. Basically, I think sims are invaluable for determining platoons and the like (simply the power listing vs. LHP/RHP is not that helpful).

Also, players don't have exactly the same stats, so they get altered differently. I still stand by my NL point that they sim better, but for 2 guys who aren't NL...

They both can be .290/.370/.500. But one can have more doubles and triples, the other more homeruns. One can have more strikeouts. I would imagine all this stuff is important for the event charts (based on what I've read about it). But it's hard to quantify in the real stats (esp. since we (or at least me) just have a tendency to look at BA/OBP/SLG).

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 3:20 PM EST

Name: atl-bucs

Actually, all the players have exactly the same splits. That's one problem with the DMB system of normalizing the ATG players. It's all in the help files. Here is the relevent passage:

If you choose the Overall method, DMB uses historical norms to rate batters to perform better against opposite-handed pitchers. The difference is about 20 batting average points and 30-40 points in slugging average. In other words, a lefty hitter who batted .280 overall would be rated to hit about .287 against righties and .267 against lefties. If that player faces righties about 2/3 of the time, his overall average in his DMB games would be around .280. Similar adjustments are made for right-handed batters and for pitchers.

I believe the readme.txt file that comes with the ATG disk goes into greater detail about the process. The NLers were created using the same system.

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 5:21 PM EST

Name: michaelkcm

What about for pitchers?

Sunday, 1 January 2006 - 7:55 PM EST

Name: atl-bucs

They do the splits just the same for the pitchers as the batters. It's unfortunate, but they decided that it would be too time consuming to do all the research needed for historical players.

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