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Thread: Ty Cobb General Thread

  1. #376
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    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    Are you SURE you have his rel SLG right. Wouldn't rel OPS be somewhere between rel. OBP & rel SLG?
    (Yes, I'm sure, if baseball-reference numbers are to be trusted.)

    When did baseball-ref get relative OBP & SLG?

    Teams do "carry" the player, but what are teams made up of? (Point. If Reggie Jackson "carried" his teams to more championships than could the Babe, Gehrig, Williams, Foxx, Bonds, etc., are we to conclude that he was a greater player, for having been able to do that?! And if we don't conclude that, what are we to conclude from that argument? So you tell me! Why was Reggie Jackson able to carry his teams to many more than any other player in history? How was Reggie able to pull that off? Since you rule out that his team didn't "carry (assist)" him?

    Answer us that, if you can.)


    That's not what I said at all. I said you can't completely discount a player's contribution to a team.
    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
    Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

  2. #377
    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    Jeffrey & Geoff,

    Since you have both asked. Here is how to get Relative stats.

    In Baseball-Reference, they have first off, the regular hitting stats.

    But right under that, they have, Special Batting. In Special Batting, they have columns for BA, onbase %, and Slg. %. And right next to each column, they have the League's ave. for each year. On the bottom row, they list each players career BA, onbase ave., and Slg. ave.

    And they also list the leagues BA, onbase ave. and Slg. ave. for that players combined seasons. So, . . . All we need do then is to divide said players ave, by the leagues ave. and voila, we get each players Rel. stats.

    Let me know if you get snagged up. Getting messed up isn't hard to do, so let me know if you can see what I'm referring to.

    Also, the leagues' stats are not the exact leagues's ave. They are supposedly indexed to the said players ballpark. So that is a blessing.

    Bill Burgess
    would be even better to calculate the league stats minus the player stats, but that gets complicated.

  3. #378
    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    Jeffrey & Geoff,

    Since you have both asked. Here is how to get Relative stats.

    In Baseball-Reference, they have first off, the regular hitting stats.

    But right under that, they have, Special Batting. In Special Batting, they have columns for BA, onbase %, and Slg. %. And right next to each column, they have the League's ave. for each year. On the bottom row, they list each players career BA, onbase ave., and Slg. ave.

    And they also list the leagues BA, onbase ave. and Slg. ave. for that players combined seasons. So, . . . All we need do then is to divide said players ave, by the leagues ave. and voila, we get each players Rel. stats.

    Let me know if you get snagged up. Getting messed up isn't hard to do, so let me know if you can see what I'm referring to.

    Also, the leagues' stats are not the exact leagues's ave. They are supposedly indexed to the said players ballpark. So that is a blessing.

    Bill Burgess


    I am more convinced than ever that Michaell Schell does good work. These so-called "relative stats" only adjust for the league mean, which is only the merest beginning of an attempt to find true "relative" stats. They are woefully inadequate when compared to Schell's fully adjusted averages, because they don't take into account ballpark effects or the deviation around the mean. You can't acknowledge that two pieces of data come from two different sets, then adjust for the mean of the data sets and then call it a day and ignore adjusting for the variation around the mean in each data set. It's way too basic.

  4. #379
    Can't see leaving Gibson off the top five catchers

  5. #380
    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    My Candidates For the Top 5 All-Time For All Positions:

    1B - Sisler, Gehrig, Terry, Foxx, Anson
    2B - Collins, Hornsby, Lajoie, Gehringer, Elwood "Bingo" DeMoss
    3B - Schmidt, Brett, Traynor, Judy Johnson, Oliver Marcelle
    SS - Wagner, Lloyd, Rodriguez, Jennings, Herman Long
    LF - Bonds, Musial, Jackson, Yaz, Williams
    CF - Cobb, Mays, Charleston, Speaker, DiMaggio
    RF - Ruth, Aaron, Clemente, Crawford, "Cool Papa" Bell
    C - Ewing, Biz Mackey, Bench, Rodriguez, Louis "Santop" Loftin
    RHP - Johnson, Mathewson, Alexander, Paige, "Smokey Joe" Williams
    LHP - Grove, Spahn, R. Johnson, Waddell, Koufax,
    Relievers - Wilhelm, Rivera, Hoffman, Eck, Quis

    Honorable Mentions:
    1B: Oh
    SS: Willie Wells, John Beckwith
    3B: Ray Dandridge, Ned Williamson
    CF: Spot Poles, Martin Dihigo, Pete Hill, Christobal Torrienti, Mantle
    C: Cochrane, Josh Gibson, Charlie Bennett
    You have got to be kidding. Most of the players you picked you really know nothing about. Very poor. In your effort to get noticed, you have only achieved the duty of others to ignore such a lackluster effort.
    Mickey Mantle 1956 Triple Crown Winner

  6. #381
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yankees7
    You have got to be kidding. Most of the players you picked you really know nothing about. Very poor. In your effort to get noticed, you have only achieved the duty of others to ignore such a lackluster effort.
    No, he has a 'white guilt' sort of semblence to his reasoning, but he is always consistent.

    I don't agree with all his negro league selections...although Charleston and Lloyd are my top 2

    Bill also gives too much credit to modern hitters while ignoring modern pitchers.

    The Modern consistently great pitcher like Maddux, Clemens, Johnson should really be appreciated. Yes, they have hitters who can't hit (go for Hrs and K too easily) but when one pitch can mean an easy 1 run, I give them alot of credit for being as great as they are...moreso then deadball pitchers

  7. #382
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    Quote Originally Posted by torez77
    Is Equivalent Average similar to Schell's work?
    In it's raw state, no. Even if you adjust it for park effects, still no. BP adjusts EqA for both season and all time. I would imagine that they do it much the same way Schell has adjusted his figures; good luck getting that info from them.

  8. #383
    Quote Originally Posted by therealnod
    In it's raw state, no. Even if you adjust it for park effects, still no. BP adjusts EqA for both season and all time. I would imagine that they do it much the same way Schell has adjusted his figures; good luck getting that info from them.


    Ha, I remember back when you and I discussed how they made that all-time adjustment. We couldn't figure it out. I emailed them, no response. Drat.

  9. #384
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    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    My Candidates For the Top 5 All-Time For All Positions:

    1B - Sisler, Gehrig, Terry, Foxx, Anson
    2B - Collins, Hornsby, Lajoie, Gehringer, Elwood "Bingo" DeMoss
    3B - Schmidt, Brett, Traynor, Judy Johnson, Oliver Marcelle
    SS - Wagner, Lloyd, Rodriguez, Jennings, Herman Long
    LF - Bonds, Musial, Jackson, Yaz, Williams
    CF - Cobb, Mays, Charleston, Speaker, DiMaggio
    RF - Ruth, Aaron, Clemente, Crawford, "Cool Papa" Bell
    C - Ewing, Biz Mackey, Bench, Rodriguez, Louis "Santop" Loftin
    RHP - Johnson, Mathewson, Alexander, Paige, "Smokey Joe" Williams
    LHP - Grove, Spahn, R. Johnson, Waddell, Koufax,
    Relievers - Wilhelm, Rivera, Hoffman, Eck, Quis

    Honorable Mentions:
    1B: Oh
    SS: Willie Wells, John Beckwith
    3B: Ray Dandridge, Ned Williamson
    CF: Spot Poles, Martin Dihigo, Pete Hill, Christobal Torrienti, Mantle
    C: Cochrane, Josh Gibson, Charlie Bennett
    Foxx at fourth, Traynor above Matthews, Long above GDavis, Williams in fifth, Clemente above FRobinson, interesting
    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
    Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

  10. #385
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Ed
    Ha, I remember back when you and I discussed how they made that all-time adjustment. We couldn't figure it out. I emailed them, no response. Drat.
    I even went to the Tempe stop of the BP book tour and chatted with editor Jonah Keri. He wouldn't come right out and tell me, but I told him how I am going about it and he (and his wife) said I was on the right track. He also suggested I contact Nate Silver to discuss this. He said Nate's into this kinda stuff.

  11. #386
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthMayBond
    Foxx at fourth, Traynor above Matthews, Long above GDavis, Williams in fifth, Clemente above FRobinson, interesting

    Another guy, who I may call my opposite (in a good way) and is very consistent

    I am guessing Bill does not use OPS+ as a defining factor

  12. #387
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    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    Personally, I prefer to use Rel. Slg. (with respect to ABs),
    and for pitchers, ERA+, (with respect to innings.).
    OPS+ is alright, but needs to be buttressed with a range of other stats, I think.
    Bill Burgess
    I'm guessing Sisler does NOT lead 1B in relative SLG, so try again
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-03-2005 at 01:38 PM.
    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
    Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

  13. #388

    Ty Cobb's attempt at swinging for the fences

    A friend, engaged in a debate with another friend about Cobb, wrote me asking about Ty's two day rampage in 1925, and whether he actually announced that he'd be going for homeruns beforehand. I wrote-

    Yes, it's been documented- Ill type this whole section out here for you from Richard Bak's book "Ty Cobb: His tumultuous life and times"

    Page 136- "Of course, the ever-scientific Peach knew when to pick his spots- such as May 4, 1925, when he brashly announced to Harry Salsinger and Sid Keener of the St. Louis Star that he was going try for home runs for the first time in his career.

    Even allowing for a short right field fence and wind blowing out from the plate, the results were astonishing. In 6 at bats Cobb collected 2 singles, a double, and 3 home runs, as the Tigers swamped the Browns, 14-8. All 3 round trippers were pulled to right, the final one clearing the bleachers and landing on Grand Avenue. The 16 total bases set a major league record while the 3 home runs tied a mark shared by only four others. Scanning that evening's sports page, Cobb must have been pleased that of them was named Babe Ruth.

    The following day Cobb continued his Ruthian ways by singling and hitting 2 more home runs, giving him nine straight hits and 5 homers in two days. His 25 total bases in two days set a new record. Satisfied, Ty returned to "nipping" the ball, finishing the year with a .378 average and 102 RBI in just 121 games."

    I also read in another bio that Ty's double was off the top of the wall- too bad it didn't clear it (he would have had 4 homeruns in one day- which would probably have put an end to the "singles hitter" rep for good).

  14. #389
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    --Freddie Patek once hit 3 HR in a game and it didn't establish him as a slugger. No single game achievement is going to alter how we look at a player's career.

  15. #390
    Not for most players, but knowing that Cobb announced his shots and could have kept going makes a difference in his case.

  16. #391
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    --If he could have done that regularly (and neither he nor anybody else could) then he was a fool and a loser not to. The story that he told writers ahead of time that he was going for homers didn't apppear until many years after the fact. That it is true is questionable at best.

  17. #392
    There you have it. Cobb could've homered at will !

    If Cobb, or Ruth, or anyone else who is supposed to have "called their shots" were actually capable of homering at will (and we love to act as though these stories prove that they were capable of that) then they'd have......homered every time up! That's right, the great man could've homered at will, had 11,000 HRs in 11,000 AB's, if only he hadn't eschewed such awful, "unscientific" hitting, in favor of the far more rewarding outcome of making an out almost 60% of the time.

    Now. Cobb could've been a great home run hitter under a different set of circumstances than the ones he grew up under. This I believe. But let's not take ludicrious implications away from this brief home run explosion.
    Last edited by Metal Ed; 04-06-2005 at 12:06 PM.

  18. #393
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    Quote Originally Posted by torez77
    If Cobb was that much of a better slugger than everybody else to where he could slug at will, you'd think it would be reflected in the numbers.

    No, because there was no SLG% or OPS during that time...and those stats were 'invented' with the HR being the PRIZE.

    The HR in the deadball was the triple it was an almost guaranteed run scored with less then 2 outs...and Cobb was the 2nd best slugger ever in that regard (behind the deadball Babe Ruth -Sam Crawford)

  19. #394
    Quote Originally Posted by leecemark
    --Freddie Patek once hit 3 HR in a game and it didn't establish him as a slugger. No single game achievement is going to alter how we look at a player's career.
    It establishes that Cobb COULD have done it, Mark. He could have been a slugger or homerun hitter. 5 homeruns (almost 6) in two days, along with setting the total bases records for one game (and then consecutive games) isn't really Freddie Patek, either, is it? His OPS and slugging titles over a 15+ year period testify to his power, anyway, even if these discrete incidents of brillance do not.

    Cobb could have swung from the heels, taken a big cut in BA with commensurate strikeout totals going way up. He just didn't choose to, because in the style he learned (and had to play for 15 years), that was both stupid and futile.

  20. #395
    Quote Originally Posted by leecemark
    The story that he told writers ahead of time that he was going for homers didn't apppear until many years after the fact. That it is true is questionable at best.
    Well, the conditions were ideal that day, and not usually ideal playing with a 390ft right field wall in Detroit, or in most of the other cavernous parks of the day- if you didn't pull it straight down the line at many of them, it was a flyball out.

    What's your source on this only "appearing many years later" and the facts being "questionable at best"?

  21. #396
    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Ed

    Cobb could've been a great home run hitter under a different set of circumstances than the ones he grew up under. This I believe. .
    That's all I'm saying. Cobb saw that the wind was blowing out hard that day, and Sportsman's had a very short porch. He realized that given these ideal conditions, swinging from the heels was actually a very good idea/worthwhile risk that day (even for a guy who rarely did it), so he went ahead and took his cuts full-out. That was Cobb- ALWAYS thinking, always adapting, always calculating.

    Apropos to this, it should be noted that Cobb has by far the highest HR% with men on base (in comparison to HR with the bases empty) of anyone in baseball history (Sam Thompson is second). This is further testament to the fact that he was one of the most versatile hitters ever (if not THE most versatile hitter ever)- he picked his spots to take the risk and swing from the heels, adapting his style when the risk was worth it, and could potentially help his team the most. Cobb would change his stance sometimes even within the same at bat, or slide his hands down to the end, or choke up, or split his grip for control/place hitting. He never gave in.

    Of course he would never be anything close to Babe Ruth in the HR department. But he was big enough, smart enough, and certainly coordinated enough that he could have been a very good HR hitter.

  22. #397
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    --Was this the only time the wind was blowing out in a hitters park? I believed this story was gospel as a child. Now I recognise it as just part of baseball mythology.
    -- No doubt Cobb said many times he could hit HR if he tried. That he resented Ruth and his popularity is well known. On this occasion he happened to hit a few out and much later his comments (which he may or not have made on this specific occasion) and his accomplishments on these two days became paired in legend.
    --I have no doubt that Cobb could have been a good HR if he had come along in a later period or even he had changed his approach in the 20s. Maybe he could have even been a great HR hitter. Howeve, nobody can hit them out in bunches whenever they feel like it . Lets not let the Tyrus hero worship cause us to suspend logic completely.

  23. #398
    Hmm, to deal with Cobb, Spoke, Dutch, Cravath and Joe Jockson all come up for different things. If it takes that many others to approach him from different directions, I think it proves Cobb's overall superiority

  24. #399
    Quote Originally Posted by william_burgess@usa.net
    Mr. Ruth did not call his shot. We have that on authority from Lou Gehrig, Joe McCarthy, and Babe himself, initially.

    Bill Burgess

    And I have the video of it. There's a Babe DVD with actual footage of the fabled "called shot." Shot by a fan who was at the game with a home video camera. No kidding!

    I forget the name of the video at the moment (I'm at work). Got it at home, can post the name of it if anyone wants to know.

    The whole DVD is a REAL gem. Lots of great old Babe footage, starting with his career with the Red Sox all the way to his final days with the Braves. Priceless, really. Torrez, this is something you have got to have (if you don't already).



    P.S. He stepped to the right of the box, and motioned with his hands at the third base coach. No called shot. Sorry.

  25. #400
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    --Was the account in that days paper Bill? Seems like it would be a huge story for Keener if true, yet I'm pretty sure he didn't bother to mention it in his game story. Its hard to separate legend from fact on the old timers, where sports writers were fans first and journalists second. Being an unsentimental type I've got to put this one in the category of legend rather than fact.

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