Dec 18, 2009

Andre Dawson by the Numbers

Baseball is relatively an easy game to understand. Two opposing teams get three outs per inning to try to make something happen in order to manufacture runs. After nine innings the team with the most runs wins.

Baseball statistics and how those statistics were evaluated in order to determine if a player should be in the Hall of Fame used to be that simple.

It's crazy all of these new sabermetric statistic-formulas that people have came up with that are now being used to evaluate eligible players for the Hall with. I’ve been reading articles where writers, some of whom are HOF voters, that have been using these type of statistics on why they won’t vote for Andre, “Andre’s win shares are too low,” or “his OPS+ isn’t as high as I would like.”

Win shares? OPS+? Whatever happened to just saying, “This player has X home runs, X runs batted in, X hits, X Gold Gloves, etc.”? “Man, those are great numbers, of course player X is a Hall of Famer!”

Numbers, not formulas.

I understand that win shares and OPS+ and other complicated formula statistics like that have their place in modern baseball, but let’s look at statistics and numbers that everyone can understand when determining how to vote for Hall of Fame candidates.

Here are some numbers on Andre that I believe BBWAA voters should consider:

1 – NL MVP (1987) and NL ROY (1977)
2 – NL MVP Runner-Up (1981 and 1983)
3 – Only three players have at least 400 HRs and 300 SBs, Andre being one of them.
4 – Silver Slugger Awards (1980, 1981, 1983 and 1987)
8 – Gold Gloves and All-Star Selections
118 – Sacrifice Flies (10th all-time)
143 – Intentional Base on Balls (50th all-time)
314 – Stolen Bases
438 – Home Runs (36th all-time)
503 – Doubles (48th all-time)
1,039 – Extra Base Hits (24th all-time)
1,591 – Runs Batted In (34th all-time)
2,774 – Hits (45th all-time)
4787 – Total Bases (25th all-time)

I could keep throwing more numbers at you, but let’s keep this simple.

Leave the formulas to the BCS system in determining the National College Football Championship and vote for one of the best all-around players ever to play the game into the Hall in 2010!

Source -


  1. I sort of agree and sort of disagree. On the one hand, stuff like RBI is very opportunity/team dependent, and gold glove voting can be biased (this year's voting showed just how biased I think with Seattle's CF winning nothing despite being the best fielder in the entire world!).

    That said, people definitely get blinded when they overrate rbis/ops+/stuff like that. Stolen bases are valuable, home runs are valuable, MVPs and ROYs are valuable, and in general Dawson was a great player. Everyone is going to lag behind a bit in some stat. But Andre is ahead of the pack in quite a few of them, and so I think he deserves too.

  2. If I could stand up and applaud...I would. I'm currently waging a similar argument with a couple of dolts through Twitter regarding Bert Blyleven.

    My take has always been that the guy was a compiler. A damn good compiler…but a compiler nonetheless.

    Of his 287 victories, only once did he top 20 victories…and that was in a season where he went 20-17. And while he has more strikeouts than all but four pitchers, let’s look at the bigger picture…how many times did Bert lead the league in ERA? Wins? What about winning percentage? How many Cy Young Awards did this cat bring home?


    He was an All-Star twice, but c’mon…so was Esteban Loaiza. And frankly, when do you suppose the last (or first) time someone not named “Blyleven” uttered the words…”I sure do hope Bert’s on the hill today” on their way to the ballpark?

    I respect them, sute, but I don't care for the Bill James concocted stats...some guys you just know if they are legit or not.

  3. These rankings are incredible now. I'm curious to know what his rankings were at the time of his retirement.

  4. I agree with you 100%, Charley. Using these formulas to evaluate a players eligibility is ridiculous. Let his raw numbers speak for themselves. Like you said, leave the formulas for the BCS.

  5. Ignorance is not an argument, and your rather silly dismissal of advanced stats is thoughtless and without merit. What makes it even more foolish is that every team has its proprietary stats to help make decisions about the quality of players as well as other issues, and you can be sure they lean heavily on progressive analysis. Many of the better teams, including the Red Sox, Yankees, Rays and others have hired analysts with sabermetric backgrounds.

    As for Dawson, a very good player, I don't think he is an obvious HOFer even using your simplistic view of the game. Since when does a .279 lifetime BA qualify someone, or an average of 21 home runs per season with only three over 30? Or only 4 seasons with more than 100 RBIs? He reached none of the traditional benchmarks for greatness, not in hits, home runs or BA.

    Of course, none of that really matters much, but when added to truly meaningful stats, his case is even weaker. It is unfortunate that you and apparently some of your readers are either too lazy, too narrow minded or too hidebound to dig deeper into the game and discover the interesting and exciting essence of it, are too satisfied with the cliched and repetitive generalizations that deaden the experience.

  6. Dawson made an out 77.7% of the time he came to the plate. He is 22nd all time in outs and only 38th all time in plate appearences. Outs are bad.

    Somebody said something about a compiler? That's exactly was Dawson was compiling a ton of outs in order to compile his great counting stats. He was a good player, but should not be in the hall of fame.

  7. OPS+ is hard to understand ... if you're a retard.

  8. I am sure that ERA was also once viewed as a crazy, scary statistic. Dude, don't bad-mouth advanced statistics just because you are too lazy to understand them.

    On the other hand, your fifth-grade analysis might just net you a top job in Jim Hendry's office.

  9. I am still on the fence regarding Blyleven being in the HOF, BUT I did skip school one day to watch him pitch against the White Sox. I wanted to see Bert vs Dick Allen. Granted it was a Sat(snow day makeup) and I only skipped one period, but I was still that impressed wi the Dutchman's deuce

  10. does dawson deserve to be in the hall of fame?
    good question, one i'm not sure of either way.
    does this article show astounding and bullheaded ignorance? YES.
    and i assume this is serious! (just like that blyleven post above regurgitating all the usual ignorance).

  11. Dawson was a fine player, but his off base % was just too great to ignore.

    I don't put much stock into awards such as MVP and Cy Young, because the people that vote for them quite often look at the wrong and misleading criteria to decide who wins.

    As someone said, wins is a poor stat to evaluate someone because it's so dependent upon your teammates to get one.

    Jesus - you mention Blyleven's lack of 20 win seasons and not good enough winning% as reasons to vote against Bert. But, Bert pitched great from 1971-1978 (8 years), and was consistently done in by a lack of run support and/or rotten bullpens (see for more info).

    I'll give IP, H, K, BB, ERA, LG ERA, ERA +, and WHIP.

    1971 - 278.1, 267, 224, 59, 2.81, 3.54, 1.26, 1.17
    1972 - 287.1, 247, 228, 69, 2.73, 3.22, 1.18, 1.10
    1973 - 325.0, 296, 258, 67, 2.52, 3.98, 1.58, 1.11
    1974 - 281.0, 244, 249, 77, 2.66, 3.77, 1.42, 1.14
    1975 - 275.2, 219, 233, 84, 3.00, 3.86, 1.29, 1.09
    1976 - 297.2, 283, 219, 81, 2.87, 3.59, 1.25, 1.22
    1977 - 234.2, 181, 182, 69, 2.72, 4.11, 1.51, 1.06
    1978 - 243.2, 217, 182, 66, 3.03, 3.72, 1.23, 1.16

    Here's his yearly average for these 8 seasons...

    AVG - 278.0, 244, 222, 72, 2.79, 3.72, 1.33, 1.14

    Now I'll mention his 38 shutouts (almost 5 per year) during this time.

    Low ERA? - I'd say so (33% better than the league is pretty impressive to me)
    Outstanding, and a workhorse? You tell me.

    What more could the guy do? He pitched great, but his record just didn't reflect it. Just one of those things, but that doesn't change the fact that the guy did have an incredible 8 year run!

    Now for the disappointment. His W/L record for those 8 seasons.


    TOT...126-114 (.525)

    Are you kidding me???

    This is the terrible thing for Blyleven. He was the victim of crappy bullpens and poor run support during this time.

    With any kind of run support and bullpen help, I don't think it's a stretch to say (conservatively) that we could add 2 wins per season while subtracting 2 losses during this period. Which would make his 8 year W/L record 142-98 instead of the 126-114 that it was.

    Which would then make his lifetime record 303-234. And you know that he'd be in the HOF with that record - no questions asked.

    So, why should he penalized for something out of his control? The guy did pitch fantastic, but his run support and his bullpens let him down. That's all there is to it.

    And to me, the HOF is reserved for guys who pitched great - regardless of their W/L record.

    Look at Nolan Ryan winning the ERA title in 1987. What was his record? 8-16. Gimme a break!

    Jesus - would you say that Nolan had a bad year in 1987 because he was 8-16? If you do, then I gues we'll have to agree to disagree.

  12. Bert Blyleven was a better pitcher than Nolan Ryan.

  13. @Andrew, yes~ indeed. I have seen Nolan played and it was really awesome.
    Dawson is really deserving in the hall of Fame. Congrats!

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