About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

8 thoughts on “Barry Larkin elected to Hall of Fame

  1. Happy to see Bernie wasn't one-and-done. While I have him below my own personal line for the HOF, I do think the fact that he appeared to be one of the clean guys during the steroid era might mean his stats might require some further examination against the competition.

    BTW I noticed IIATMS is no longer affiliated with the SweetBlog network. Is that a rotational thing they're doing, or did you guys piss someone off?!! Not sure you can answer, but I thought you were one of the better blogs in their network.

      • Jason, thanks for the update. IIATMS is one of the Yankees sites I regularly rotate through, along with others such as RAB and, yes, BBD, because I'm interested in places with thoughtful commentary, not the standard fanboy blogs. I've been following It's About the Money long before Rob Neyer added you guys to the SweetSpot, but it was good to know you were part of the network. Sweetspot and Keith Law are two of the main reasons I visit ESPN's baseball page, so with Rob Neyer gone, and rumors of Keith Law joining the Astros, I was concerned that your departure migh also be signaling something was also happening to SweetSpot.

        BTW Has anyone noticed that ESPN has now shut off fan comments after a short period of time? Someone asked the very question I did (what happened to IIATMS) and then all comments were shut down. ESPN has never been able to understand the whole concept of blogs and community.

        Anyway, I will continue to follow since I came here directly, and Rob and BBD is already on my list of must-visit Yankee blogs.

  2. In defense of Defense:

    Edgar Martinez absolutely deserves to be in the HOF. However, it might be a good place to start to discuss the actual value of fielding. Certainly a player that is an average fielder is doing more for his team that a player that just bats, right? But how much? How much better does a DH have to be offensively to make up that difference? Defensive WAR compares players againts other fielders but not againts a "Non-fielders" which i think is kind of unfair. (for example, would Jeter really be more valuable a player as a DH than a fielder since he has a negative dWAR?)

    It was good to see Larkin finally get elected but in most of the articles I read, it was comparing his offensive numbers with other SS, and a short narrative about his great fielding. There has to be a better way to weigh defense other than the few faulty defensive metrics and counting gold gloves. Just a thought. I like the DH and great DH hitters like Martinez and Ortiz deserve their due, but doesn't fielding give a player extra credit?

  3. If I'm not mistaken an average fielder over the course of a career receives exactly 0 WAR for his efforts. So martinez has no dis/advantage over the average fielder at his position. what sticks with people, though, is perhaps the negative value he would have accrues if he had been forced to play the field if he were say, a cub, for his entire career. The DH exists as an MLB rule amd I can't get over the idea, especially in this day and age, that a player would suffer because he simply played by the rules.

    • Boni,

      You are mistaken (sorry!): It turns out there are several categories of RAR (runs above average) that are added together to generate WAR (wins above average). Those categories are batting, baserunning, fielding, replacement, and positional. Your league replacement fielder will receive exactly 0 RAR for their fielding score (in a large enough sample size), but they will still receive a positional adjustment which is positive for skill positions (SS, C, 2B, CF, etc.) and negative for non skill positions (1B, LF, DH). Over the course of his career, Edgar Martinez is actually docked a whopping 149.5 RAR for his position (slightly less than 15 WAR).

      This adjustment makes sense — it's not as difficult to find offensive value from someone at 1B, but it's rather difficult to find it at SS. By simple supply and demand, you have to pay more for the more scarce resource.

  4. I finally stopped considering the Hall a Fame an institution of credibility last year when the voters didn't let Jeff Bagwell in (he should be unanimous, or close to it). So it continues to walk the path of irrelevance this year. I can't say I don't care about the Hall. It makes me angry. But I'll never put any value in it again.

  5. I'm also wondering if fans should start a new Hall. We can call it The Hall of the Very Good. Then people can stop spitting out that stupid line. "It's the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of the Very Good". Well…doesn't Fame just imply popularity, and Very Good imply great skill?