Comments

The last twenty comments in true blog fasion, with the links to their authors and the player commented upon.

Welcome! You are invited to wander around and read all of the comments that have been posted here at Patton & Co., but as soon as you register you can see the bid limits that Alex, Peter and Mike propose for each player, and you can post your own comments. Registering is free, so please join us!
Jim Rice Boston Red Sox
I also can't differentiate Rice's offensive performance for Dave Parker's.

Parker/Rice top 10s
Batting Avg- 5/6
OBP 3/2
SLG 7/8
OPS 5/5
Runs 3/6
Hits 7/8
TB 7/9
HR 4/7
RBI 9/9
OPS+ 5/5
Times on base 4/6
IBB 8/3
GIDP 4/11
Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Jan 17 '09
The dominant power guy of Rice's era was Mike Schmidt. Granted he was in the other league, but it just wasn't close. Plus, if you only use the year's of Rice's career, you wind up with a very small group of players who had identical start and peak times. It artificially restricts the players he can be compared against.

In the AL, Rice was in a group with a number of players, who all proved to have superior longevity and other statistics that weren't valued at the time, but in reality were more valuable than just RBI (team dependent) and slugging.

Those players who were at least Rice's equal in slugging in his own league- Eddie Murray, Reggie Jackson, George Brett, and Dave Winfield from 1975-1988. But, as I said, all of these players had much longer peaks than Rice. They also did other things much better than Rice.

If you want to talk "fear factor" Rice's biggest supporting issue, Murray and Brett far exceeded Rice in intentional walks and dominated the category year after year, while Rice was not intentionally walked. And, Rice's biggest demerit is that he was merely an average hitter on the road.
Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Jan 17 '09
Carl Pavano Minnesota Twins
It's pretty impressive, the way they seem to have no idea to do with said resources. For a brief moment last offseason it seemed like the madness would end, and then came A.J. Burnett. Suppose they'll ever realize this approach has NEVER won for the Yanks? Maybe Cashman & Co. should look at those photos of Rickey with Winfield and the others on those 80s clubs that never so much as sniffed the playoffs.

Or at Tampa Bay and Philadelphia, which both, interestingly, had no key players who were FA signings.

Mike Landau ML-
Jan 17 '09
He quietly posted double digit value in '08. With Holliday out of the picture, will he get enough ABs to do it again?
jeff merk jeffamerk
Jan 17 '09
David Bush Texas Rangers
Fine, fine, I'm the missed the obvious amusing reference dummy. I can live with that.
Mike Landau ML-
Jan 17 '09
Jim Rice Boston Red Sox
Keith Olbermann once said that one of his criteria was the man vs his era, which always made sense to me. Comparing across eras just doesn't work. Wasn't Rice the dominant power guy of his era? Or no?

It will be interesting to see how the voters take the power guys of the steroid era, like Carlos Delgado. Penalized because of the steroid stigma, or more likely because of not getting caught in it?
Mike Landau ML-
Jan 17 '09
Michael Young Los Angeles Dodgers
I admire Dewan and the Fielding Bible is an excellent resource, but it isn't the end of the story. Over the last three years Young was a -32, but Jeter was a -68. Jeter is a butcher, according to Dewan, and Young isn't very good.

The problem is that fielding stats and ratings systems are exceptionally prone to both reporter bias and the shape of the reporting and analytical systems. There is arecent, lengthy but very interesting discussion about this at Tom Tango's blog for his book The Book.

http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/comments/uzr_v_pmr_v_uzr/

Essentially, a bunch of guys compare David Pinto's Probabalistic Model of Range with UZR and something called SUZR and maybe the barroom version, which is called BUzr. All for 2008, and they eventually get to Dewan, too.

The play by play data of BIS, STATS and Retrosheet are compared, and some discoveries are made about how events like two-strike bunts, pop bunts, fielders choices and such are classified.

And even when those are cleared up, there are still differences in the number of plays between the different systems. If the systems can't count the same number of ground balls, how reliable are the zone gradings?

Mind you, I'm not saying all this work isn't of value, but just pointing out that we're a long way from anything that qualifies as objective standards when it comes to defensive analysis.

I'm also struck by the Dewan quote about Aybar having fewer defensive misplays than Young. Young, of course, played 1289 innings of SS, for one miscue every 31.4 innings.

Aybar played 784 innings at SS, for one miscue every 22 innings. Which guy would you rather have?

Aybar had a .959 fielding percentage to Young's .984 and only a slightly better range (4.77 to 4.59). Pitching staffs matter, so do the fielder's around you, so I'm not making an argument that Young is a good fielder. But I do think we have to be careful drawing conclusions from any single body of analytical evidence.

Actually, some of the best evidence about a player's defense is what his team decides to do with him, which is the best argument against Young at this point.
Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Jan 16 '09
Jim Rice Boston Red Sox
Looking at the list, I don't think a single one of those 21 guys is worthy.

However, putting Rice and Andre Dawson on the same list as guys like Roy White and Amos Otis is most definitely a disservice to Jim Rice.
Mike Gianella MikeG
Jan 16 '09
I think this column is very apropos.

http://ducksnorts.com/blog/2009/01/contest-twenty-one-grains-of-rice.html

"Here’s the deal. Listed below are 21 outfielders who are or were at one point eligible for enshrinement in Cooperstown. All have played within the last 50 years and two are in the Hall of Fame.

"Your task, should you decide to accept it, is to identify — in the comments — a) the two HOFers and b) all 21 players. The first person to do so correctly will receive a copy of the Ducksnorts 2009 Baseball Annual. Your bosses can thank me later for killing your productivity on a Friday."
Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Jan 16 '09
I'm not sure I agree that "we should be focusing our efforts on getting the Blyleven's in and not on keeping the Dawson's out." I also disagree that we shouldn't change the parameters. You may want a Hall of pretty good guys, but, as I said earlier, the mere fact that some of those people got in doesn't mean that they should continue to get in. The point isn't to let very good players in...if it was, we could make an argument to include at least 100 additional players than what there are right now.
John Toczydlowski Toz
Jan 16 '09
Bobby Abreu Philadelphia Phillies
I don't disagree at all with your assessments of Abreu or Rice in terms of their worthiness for the Hall. My point was that I could see how or why someone would vote to put Rice in the Hall (even though I wouldn't have, if I had had a vote). He was a more dominant player during his peak.

Since you don't like OPS, let's look at VORP (since I can't get to WARP3 at BP's site without paying for a subscription).

Rice's VORP rankings from 1975-1988: 33, 50, 4, 1, 2, 22, 67, 31, 16, 56, 33, 13, 174 and 122.

Abreu (since 1998): 48, 12, 25, 27, 20, 40, 7, 28, 94, 97, 65.

Regardless of what measurement you're using, it's impossible to deny the greatness of Rice's 1977-1979 seasons. He was a great player during those three years. But I don't think he fits the "great player for a short period of time" argument either.

Abreu has had one great year in there (2004) and maybe two. He has as many Top 30 VORP seasons as Rice (which kind of penalizes Rice for finishing 31st one year), and his top seasons aren't as impressive as Rice's.

So, yes, in terms of the Hall neither one belongs. But I can see why someone would make the case for Rice (even though, like you, I think the case is too weak). Rice did have a dominant stretch of play. Abreu hasn't.
Mike Gianella MikeG
Jan 16 '09
The James HOF Monitor and HOF Standards, Black and Grey Ink tests, are actually predictive tools about whether someone will get in based upon the writers previous votes. They are not, metrics of player performance.

From B-R.com about the HOF Monitor: "This is another Jamesian creation. It attempts to assess how likely (not how deserving) an active player is to make the Hall of Fame. It's rough scale is 100 means a good possibility and 130 is a virtual cinch. It isn't hard and fast, but it does a pretty good job."

See Bill James, "The Politics of Glory" for complete information.

In terms of the metrics themselves Abreu/Rice
Offensive Winning Percentage: .688/.627
Runs Created: 1399/1384
Batting Runs: 372/294.7
Batting Wins: 34.8/28.9

As I stated before, Abreu hasn't had his decline phase, so his OWP should decline over the next 3-5 years, but he's already been more valuable as a hitter over his career than Rice, making one over and one underrated.
Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Jan 16 '09
Correct.

That's why the percentages (OBP, SLG, OPS) are better than the raw numbers.

But - as you can see - even there there is some disagreement as to what a player is worth using those metrics.

My original point wasn't that Rice is better than Abreu (I agree with Eugene that Abreu's better) or that Rice is a Hall of Famer (I don't think he is). I just wanted to point out that I can see why Rice measures up better in James' metrics. Abreu is 22nd in adjusted OPS among active players. That's good, but certainly not great. Without slicing and dicing the numbers, I'm guessing that Rice was better than 22nd during the time in which he played.
Mike Gianella MikeG
Jan 16 '09
Mike, I was just responding with OPS and OBP b/c those were the stats you were using. I much prefer linear weights stats like Win Shares, CHONE, and WARP3 (although the methodology for WARP3 is proprietary so it's less valuable to me).

Those stats, more than OPS+ truly measure value, b/c every aspect of offense and in the case of some, defense and/or baserunning as well.

When you were arguing about OBP overvaluing walks, I think that's more than counterbalanced in OPS+ because that makes OBP and SLG equal, when they are not. OBP is worth 1.6 times more than SLG, so b/c OPS double counts hits (hits are both a component of OBP and SLG) and single counts walks, that's more than made up for in OPS.

By any measure, Abreu is a very, very good player, but not a great player for a sustained period of time. Rice was a misvalued player during his era, believed to have been great, but was in fact a very, very good player for some time, and a merely good player for the rest of his career. There is no reason to compound the errors of the contemporaneous media by continuing those errors of judgment and value today, when we have so much more knowledge of what is value. Plus, his career was exceptionally short without a career ending debilitating injury or illness like Lou Gehrig, Sandy Koufax, or Kirby Puckett.
Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Jan 16 '09
Shouldn't the argument be based on..

Outs / Plate Appearance

?
Gary Cruciani Megary
Jan 16 '09
Michael Young Los Angeles Dodgers
From John Dewan, publisher of the Fielding Bible, the most complete statistical analysis of player defense- (not a slogan- this is my characterization)

http://actasports.com/sow.php?id=190

"Three years ago he was one of the worst shortstops in baseball. Has he improved to the point where he's the best in the American League?

"Well, he is better. But frankly, that's not saying much. His 2003 and 2004 plus/minus figures were -34 and -39. He has "improved" to -10, -15, and -7 over the last three years. And he still had problems going to his left.
...
"One of the key reasons Young won the American League award was lack of competition. In the voting for the Fielding Bible Awards, eight of the top ten shortstops in baseball were from the National League. Young, in fact, came in 11th in the voting. But the guy that should have beaten him for the AL Gold Glove came in fourth in the Fielding Bible Awards voting (the other American Leaguer was White Sox shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who came in sixth). The fourth place finisher was Erick Aybar of the Los Angeles Angels. The key reason that Aybar didn't win a Gold Glove is that he only played in 98 games. Nevertheless, his plus/minus was +7 and he turned in more Good Fielding Plays than Young (55 to 51) and had fewer Defensive Misplays (35 to Young's 41)."
Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Jan 16 '09
Bobby Abreu Philadelphia Phillies
The problem with OBP alone is that a hit is greater than a walk in terms of producing runs. Even a single produces a certain percentage (albeit a low one) of more runs than a walk. Abreu, of course, should get more credit than he does for walking 100+ times for eight consecutive seasons. But he shouldn't get too much credit for that and that alone. In 2005 (the last time Abreu was in the Top 10 in OBP), Jason Bay hit 306 with a 402 OBP. Without even digging up the studies about the value of a hit versus the value of a walk, I can tell you that Bay was the more valuable hitter that year.

As far as outs go, they're obviously bad, but have to be measured in the context of the entire season and not in a vacuum. This was the argument I had in 2007 with all of the Rollins/MVP backers, and now I'm having it in reverse with you. Of course making a lot of outs is bad, but simply saying that "Rice made 490 outs" in 1978 is bad without looking at all the positive contributions he made is the reverse of pointing out that Jimmy Rollins had 380 total bases in '07 and ignoring the fact that production came with a whopping 527 outs.

You neglect to point out that Aaron's six seasons leading the league in outs happened in the span of seven years. His adjusted OPS during this time: 143, 155, 166, 153, 181, 155, 161. Guess which of these seasons Aaron didn't finish in the Top 10 in outs? (Hint: it's not the highest)
Mike Gianella MikeG
Jan 16 '09
Michael Young Los Angeles Dodgers
Brutal seems too strong. BJ Baseball Handbook's poll has him ranked 11th, which is mediocre. And his Range factor and fielding percentage are both okay. Moving him aside for a youngster who can play the field and isn't expected to ever hit, or a youngster who is ready to hit, makes sense. But Andrus surely doesn't seem to be ready.
Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Jan 15 '09
At least he'll qualify at SS for one more season.
jeff merk jeffamerk
Jan 15 '09
Bobby Abreu Philadelphia Phillies
I agree that OPS+ is more valuable, because it's adjusted for park and league. However, the problem with OPS is that it makes SLG and OBP equal, when they're not. OBP is about 1.6x more valuable than SLG in terms of creating runs. That means that what you really need is OBP+*1.6+SLG+.

When that calculation is all said and done, I'm sure Abreu is more valuable as a hitter. But, there's another factor. Abreu hasn't had his decline phase of his career.

It's very hard to judge players who are still playing because we don't know if they will flame out like Rice did, or go down with a slow burn. Either way, that has to be factored into the a total career value.

With regard to outs, they're not of value in a vacuum, but when comparing players, outs are the most negatively valued offensive occurrence. Double plays of course, doublely bad. Strikeouts, no worse than any other out. The fact that Rice made the most outs in the league 4 times in 12 years is a problem. For Aaron, 6 times in 24 years, less so.
Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Jan 15 '09

Click on the name of a player (or thread) to go directly to that page and see the comment in context with the other comments.

Pattonlogo
Patton $ Online 2020

Rotoman
promo code: patton20

Shandler

Billjames

Tout ad

Xfllogo