Thursday, February 24, 2011
Visual Baseball: Blyleven vs. (dare I say) Koufax?Posted by Kevin Dame
I'm fascinated by Hall of Fame debates. And I admit that using Rankometer is only one tool to assess a player's Hall of Fame candidacy. Then again, I think a good way to decide if someone was a Hall of Famer is to look at how he compared to the elite at his position, in his era, throughout his career. This seems to be the most simple yet powerful way to make the argument, and Rankometer does it visually.
So here's something that will likely stir the pot: Who had the better career, Bert Blyleven or Sandy Koufax? Seems like an outrageous question, but let's look at their careers using Rankometer, and organize the seasons from best to worst.
Which career looks more impressive? There's an awful lot of color in Blyleven's career. And, keep in mind that any color on Rankometer means you still had a very good season. It means you were one of the top 30 pitchers in baseball, an "ace" on many teams. For context, Justin Verlander and Matt Cain barely showed up on Rankometer for 2010 and Tim Lincecum just missed. All three of these guys are considered "elite."
Could you make the admittedly simplistic argument that greatness for a career equals the amount of color in your career Rankometer?
"The commonality between science and art is in trying to see profoundly - to develop strategies of seeing and showing." - Edward Tufte.
Feel free to send comments, questions, and suggestions to Kevin via email.