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Smokey Joe Wood and Spud Chandler
by Asher B. Chancey, Baseball Evolution
January 26, 2006
It is with a smarmy smirk on my face that I note the inconsistency with which Scott and Keith treated Smokey Joe Wood and Spud Chandler. These two fellas are similar in my mind because a) they both had very high winning percentages, b) they both had excellent ERAs, and c) they both only managed to accumulate about 1400 innings pitched. Wood has the advantage in ERA+ (146 vs. 132), wins (117 vs. 109) and K/BB (989/421 vs. 614/463), while Chandler has the edge in innings pitched (by 48.6 innings) and winning percentage (.717 vs. .672). They were essentially the same pitcher.
Wood's career got off to a very quick start, but injuries basically ended his career at the age of 25 – it is just remarkable that he did what he did in the time he did it in. He actually was pretty solid later in his career as an outfielder, but it doesn't add to his credentials significantly.
Chandler got off to a very late start. He debuted at the age of 29, but he was 34 before he pitched 200 innings in a season. Then, he missed most of 1944 and 1945 due to the war.
For my part, I was very enamored with both of these guys, and shot them straight twos. I know they didn't last long, and extended success is preferable to temporary success. Fernando Valenzuela, Dwight Gooden, and Dave Stewart might all be in the Hall if their careers had been derailed like Wood or gotten off to a late start like Chandler. Nevertheless, I found them both to be impressive, and voted for them both.
I can absolutely see both Scott and Keith arguing with me on these two players. But I can not really
picture Scott or Keith arguing with me on one player but not the other. Despite this, Scott and Keith each gave one of these players a two and the other one a zero. Humorously, they disagreed on who got what. Keith hit Wood with a 0 while tagging Chandler with a 2, and Scott did the opposite.
For my part, I do think Wood was slightly better than Chandler, but I really can't imagine how either Scott of Keith justifies thinking one of these guys in an absolute pick for the Hall while the other one is absolutely not. It is inconsistency at its best.
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Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Asher B. Chancey resides in Alexandria, Virginia, and can be reached at email@example.com
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