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Vlad vs A-Rod

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  • #31
    Originally posted by csh19792001
    ElHalo and I watch the Yanks day in, day out. Look at how Rodriguez hit in key situations last year, and look at when he has done the bulk of his damage this year... mostly in inconsequential situations. As so frequently happens, his raw numbers belie his actual value to his team.

    In case people aren't familiar with numbers not telling (any semblance) of the truth, read this post by a researcher who went back and looked beyond the numbers. It concerns a recondite subject, I know, but the premise remains perfectly apt; certain players look better "on paper" than others.

    In fact, this is the reason that the term "on paper" exists. Read Dan Shaughnessy's "The Curse of The Bambino", specifically, the sections regarding Jim Rice- a perfect example of this principle. His gaudy numbers were not indicative of his actual value to his team- yet three decades later, he looks simply AWESOME (on paper).
    Csh, I never expected such presumption from you...I too watch A-Rod on a daily basis and even get paid to do it on occasion. I agree, that in "clutch" situations, A-Rod doesn't deliver consummate with expectations, but you don't produce as many runs as A-Rod and not have it contribute in a positive way to the team's success. People make it seem like because A-Rod can't get a hit in the 9th inning with a runner on, that the two earlier hits and RBIs he had in the game are meaningless. Yes, he failed in the "clutch," but that situation wouldn't even be there if A-Rod hadn't contributed earlier in the game. So like I said in my earlier post - Deduct all the runs that A-Rod has provided this year, pretend like they never happened, and deduct them from every game they occured in. Do that and tell me how many wins the Yankees have this year?


    • #32
      Originally posted by SABR Matt View Post
      A-Rod I chose primarily because i believe he will decline much less rapdily than Vlad...players with poor plate discipline tend to die hard...even if they happen to be great bad ball hitters in their prime...A-Rod will last into his 40s...Vlad will be out of baseball by age 37. Just a humble prediction.
      You may be right Matt. Vlad is only 31 but his body is aching already. That's not a good sign for longevity.

      Who's afraid of a little change?

      By Jorge Arangure Jr.
      ESPN The Magazine
      Wednesday, September 12, 2007

      Editor's Note: This story appears in the Sept. 24 edition of ESPN The Magazine.

      Angled on a red leather sofa in the bustling Angels clubhouse, Vladimir Guerrero quietly watches television. Almost an hour earlier, he and his teammates had soundly defeated the Tigers on a bright Southern California summer afternoon, and the fact that no one around him is hurrying to leave speaks well of the Angels' chemistry.

      Guerrero wants to go home, but he can't quite muster the energy. He'd singled and scored a run, then changed into red shorts and a gray T-shirt before resting his tired body on the couch. Next to him, a group of young pitchers is discussing plans. Guerrero doesn't say a word; he simply stares at the TV as it blares in English, a language he does not speak well and does not care to learn. Finally, Jered Weaver turns to the famously private slugger and jokingly says, "Hey, Vlad, you're going to Hooters with us tonight!"

      Guerrero lifts himself from the sofa and flashes a devilish grin. "No chance," he says, limping away.

      Although he ranks among the league leaders in batting average and RBIs, Guerrero is clearly pacing himself. With the playoffs on the horizon, both he and the first-place Angels are trying to ensure that he's as dangerous in the fall as he was in the spring.

      This has required some adjustments.

      At AGE 31, the man everyone simply calls Vlad is no longer the player who hit 39 homers and stole 40 bases for the 2002 Montreal Expos. That five-tool talent could go deep, make a diving catch in rightfield, throw out a runner at home and dash around the bases at will. But while he's still got the smile and singular bad-ball swing, Vlad's body has been conspiring against him for the past several years, forcing him to stop playing the game with such wild abandon. His back, his left shoulder, his aching knees and now his right elbow -- all have limited his effectiveness, and it's hard to remember when he moved without a hobbled gait.

      That means he's no longer expected to steal, or bowl over catchers, or dive for balls or even play rightfield every day (he's been the DH roughly 20 percent of the time -- a number that's certain to rise, thanks to tendinitis in his throwing arm). Vlad and the Angels learned the hard way how important it is to rein in his freewheeling style. Two years ago, they beat the Yankees in the Division Series and seemed like an even match with the White Sox for the American League pennant. But Guerrero had just one hit, an infield single, in 20 at-bats, and the Angels fell in five games.

      At the time, he denied he was injured. But now he reluctantly admits it was true. "I tried to do my job, but I had a problem with my shoulder," he says in Spanish. "Sometimes the pitches were right there and I missed them."

      The problem started in May 2005. While trying to score from first against the Dodgers, Guerrero slid headfirst into home and came up with a partially dislocated left shoulder, which cost him almost a month. He returned to hit .443 in June and .340 in August, but he reinjured the shoulder down the stretch, ruining his postseason.

      The Angels can't afford a repeat this October, but curbing Guerrero's aggressiveness can be tricky. He despises change. As a kid, he missed out on a chance to sign with the Dodgers because they demanded he be more selective at the plate. He still yearns for the green light every time he gets on base -- which is often, considering he's hitting .327 and his .405 OBP is sixth in the American League. But he has just two steals in five tries. "They don't let me run anymore," Guerrero says. "I think they just want me to stay healthy."

      It's a dilemma for manager Mike Scioscia, who loves to put pressure on the opposition. "If he's not creating the runs we need, we're not going to be as good," Scioscia says. So while Vlad won't be stealing, he will get waved home on close plays; it's the Angel Way. But Scioscia admits he panicked when Guerrero stumbled and fell while trying to score against the Mariners on Aug. 28. After a moment, Vlad got up, unhurt, sporting a wide grin.

      All athletes face adjustments in their 30s. But like another great Expo, Andre Dawson, Guerrero is facing them earlier than most. After playing 10 years at Montreal's Olympic Stadium, where the turf was like cement, Dawson offered the Cubs a blank contract in 1987 to roam the outfield grass at Wrigley Field. Guerrero spent seven seasons in Canada. "As hard as Vladdy played, diving on that turf and running the bases, it took its toll on him," says Rangers outfielder Brad Wilkerson, a former Expos teammate. That's a big reason Guerrero's DH appearances will keep climbing. "It's a preventative measure," Scioscia says, "to keep his legs fresh."

      Guerrero has discussed all this with his mentor, Victor Franco, who discovered and coached him in the Dominican Republic. "I don't think he has many years left in the outfield," Franco says. "Maybe two or three. I know he doesn't like being a DH, but you have to accept reality."

      When he's healthy, his arm is still a weapon, but Vlad's nine errors ties him for the most among major league outfielders. "His routes to the ball aren't as good," says an AL scout. "He's not as confident, because he can't move that well anymore. He can be quite an adventure out there sometimes."

      But he's still one of baseball's most feared hitters, an RBI machine from the No. 3 spot in the order. While he has just 24 homers -- his previous full-season low was 33, last year -- he's second in the majors with 45 doubles, and he's reached 100-plus RBIs for the ninth time in 10 seasons. Guerrero's anarchistic swing, which requires maximum effort, often leaves him sapped. After his victory in the Home Run Derby in San Francisco on July 9, he was exhausted. He went 30 games without a homer, from June 24 to Aug. 1, the longest stretch of his career. But if his bat speed has slowed, it hasn't been by much. "He can hit it if it's in his eyes," says Padres righthander Chris Young, who's given up 10 hits to Guerrero in 17 ABs. "I threw a pitch that was 10 inches off the plate, outside, and it snapped his bat, and he still hit it to right for a double that scored a run. And that was pitching around him."

      VLAD'S MOM, Altagracia Alvino, lives with him in Anaheim Hills, making sure he gets plenty of Dominican cooking. Although Vlad supports six kids, he has no wife. As he's jokingly told Franco, "I'm already married to my mother." Angels infielder Maicer Izturis says Guerrero talks about only three topics: family, baseball and music (merengue and its downbeat cousin, bachata).

      Franco, who lives nearby, chuckles at Guerrero's inflexibility. Recently, the two discussed making a change in his off-season routine. Each winter, Vlad relaxes in Nizao, on his country's southern coast. He likes to fish and roast goats in his backyard. By early December, he picks up a bat and heads to the dusty field where he played as a boy. Franco wants him to build a batting cage in his house, so he can focus on his craft rather than signing autographs. But Vlad is reluctant to close himself off.

      Guerrero doesn't really change. He adapts, if he must. Three years into a five-year, $70 million contract, with a World Series ring in the balance, he knows he must. One afternoon in June, just before batting practice, Franco called Guerrero over to his seat in the stands at Angel Stadium. "Didn't you used to steal bases?" Franco needled.

      "I used to," Guerrero replied, smiling. "But they don't let me anymore."

      "You better not force something and get hurt," Franco said. "You're the protagonist for this movie. Without you, there is no show."

      Which is exactly what the Angels are afraid of.

      Jorge Arangure Jr. is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.
      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis


      • #33
        A-Rod's 9th inning line this season: .447/.543/1.132, which is way worse than Vlad's .295/.392/.432 or David Ortiz's .237/.356/.368 line. I'll go A-Rod here.
        "he probably used some performance enhancing drugs so he could do a better job on his report...i hear they make you gain weight" - Dr. Zizmor

        "I thought it was interesting and yes a conversation piece. Next time I post a similar story I will close with the question "So, do you think either of them have used steroids?" so that I can make the topic truly relevant to discussions about today's game." - Eric Davis


        • #34
          You guys know nothing about statistics. A-Rod blows away Vlad in the most important statistic of all in every year they have been in the majors.

                 ------------- A-Rod ------------         ----------- Vlad ------------
          Year         Team                Salary              Team              Salary
          1994   Seattle Mariners        $442,333             
          1995   Seattle Mariners        $442,333             
          1996   Seattle Mariners        $442,334             
          1997   Seattle Mariners      $1,062,500          Montreal Expos      $150,000 
          1998   Seattle Mariners      $2,162,500          Montreal Expos      $230,000 
          1999   Seattle Mariners      $3,112,500          Montreal Expos    $1,050,000 
          2000   Seattle Mariners      $4,362,500          Montreal Expos    $3,500,000 
          2001   Texas Rangers        $22,000,000          Montreal Expos    $6,000,000 
          2002   Texas Rangers        $22,000,000          Montreal Expos    $8,000,000 
          2003   Texas Rangers        $22,000,000          Montreal Expos   $11,500,000 
          2004   New York Yankees     $22,000,000          Anaheim Angels   $11,000,000 
          2005   New York Yankees     $26,000,000          LA Angels        $12,500,000 
          2006   New York Yankees     $21,680,727          LA Angels        $13,500,000 
          Career                     $147,707,727                           $67,430,000
          Dave Kent


          • #35
            Originally posted by ElHalo View Post
            I was thinking that thought exactly.

            I really had to stop and think about whether or not that was the first time I'd ever seen ARod have a big hit that actually meant something for the Yankees.
            What about that big HR off Papelbon earlier in the year to win a game?
            Too early in the season to matter?
            I'd sure rather have your boys be 6 back now instead of 5...the Bosox'll be gracious and take the game back, thanks!
            "I throw him four wide ones, then try to pick him off first base." - Preacher Roe on pitching to Musial


            • #36
              Originally posted by hellborn View Post
              What about that big HR off Papelbon earlier in the year to win a game?
              Too early in the season to matter?
              I'd sure rather have your boys be 6 back now instead of 5...the Bosox'll be gracious and take the game back, thanks!
              That was a post from about 2 years ago.
              2009 World Series Champions, The New York Yankees


              • #37
                Originally posted by Mariano_Rivera View Post
                That was a post from about 2 years ago.
                Holy Cow!!!!

                I sure look like a genius!!!:disbelief:
                "I throw him four wide ones, then try to pick him off first base." - Preacher Roe on pitching to Musial


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                  How is the better OFFENSIVE player?

                  Defense is NOT part of this poll!
                  whos voting Vladimir now? hehe


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Sirmudgeon View Post
                    A Rod will go down as one of the top ten players of all time. Vlad will maybe be in the top 100. The only current players within twitchin' distance of A Rod are Bonds and Pujols as hitters, and Clemens/Pedro/Maddux/Randy from the mound. Twenty years from now, I would imagine that Piazza and Vlad would have the most comparable careers. That said, Vlad is a more primeval force, a la Bonds and Pujols, than is A Rod. He is the one guy who seems as if he might literally pull a Hobbs and knock the cover off the ball with a particularly venomous bludgeon. Then there is the clutch argument, which is apparently familiar to A Rod only in the bankbook application. I have a hard time imagining him carrying a team, like Vlad or Bonds has, late in the season. But he is awfully cute and a natty dresser, to boot.
                    Vlad will undoubtedly go down as one of the top 100 players of all time, and he may approach the top 25. Granted, Piazza was incredible in his prime and has the obvious excuse for breaking down of being a catcher, but Vlad should end up with a vastly superior career line to Piazza's. People forget how young he is - 365 homers at age 31. He should pass Piazza before he turns 35. If we're talking offense alone, I'd take Vlad over A-Rod. A-Rod has great traditional stats, but Vlad is better sabermetrically. But it's very close - if you choose first, I'll happily take the other.


                    • #40
                      The two are different hitters at heart.

                      Vlad hits for BA and happens to have power (35+ HR power), he still walks a decent amount (162 game average of 62 BB's), but he certainly doesn't strikeout a lot - which is saying something for him being such a free swinger!

                      Honestly, he's one of the best bad ball hitters I've ever seen. I've seen him hit some garbage that no one should have swung at and hit it out of the park!

                      A-Rod on the other hand has a different approach.

                      He is there to hit for power (which he does very well), and he happens to hit for BA on occasion ('96 batting title, 2nd in 2005, 8 times hitting over .300 in 12 full seasons, and a .306 career BA). But A-Rod walks more (something he has been improving on the last few years), and he definitely strikes out more than TWICE as much.

                      As hitters, their styles are different, but their value is similar. OPS+ has them at 148 (Vlad) and 147 (A-Rod).

                      Vlad has been a more consistent "great" hitter, but A-Rod's best has definitely been better than Vlad's (i.e. '05 and '07). And when comparing who was a better offensive player, PEAK is a huge factor for me.

                      Let's look at top OPS+ seasons:

                      A-Rod Vlad
                      177 162
                      173 160
                      162 157
                      160 156
                      160 154
                      158 150
                      147 147
                      136 146
                      134 139
                      134 138

                      So A-Rod wins the top 5 (which is the big thing for me - i.e. peak), they are tied for their 6th best, and Vlad leads after that.

                      But Vlad's lead in the latter categories is nowhere as close at A-Rod's lead in his top seasons.

                      A-Rod as a 15 and 13 point lead in his top 2 seasons over Vlad's top 2!!!

                      And while this doesn't factor into the equation, I do believe that A-Rod will age better as a player than Vlad (who I think is showing more wear and tear than A-Rod).
                      Last edited by Edgartohof; 01-04-2008, 07:20 PM.


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