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Who is the best defensive player of All-Time?

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  • hellborn
    replied
    Originally posted by john1972 View Post
    I'm going by decades. He is the consensus for the nineties. Sandberg maybe the consensus for the 80's-by the way, comparing him to Alomar is inappropriate as I've heard Ryno rarely dove for balls (how laughable is that), but I've heard White was superior. Apparently Grich or Morgan for the seventies.
    I don't know that Sandberg was the best defensive 2B of any period, but I felt that he was quite good. I saw him play a lot as a Chicago resident at that time, and agree that he didn't dive very much. But, he was amazing at being able to bend at the waist while running full speed and pick up even a low grounder...I've never seen anybody do it quite like him. It was like he moved at exactly the same speed whether he was upright or bent over full. I felt that this made it much less necessary for him to dive for balls, and you would have had to see him play often to know quite what I mean.
    Anybody else have this memory of Ryno?
    I felt when he was active that Alomar was more showy than great, while White was just plain amazing. Guess I don't quite recall how Frank was on the DP, though, whether he could turn miracles there.

    This probably apropos of nothing, but Donnie Sadler turned the best play by a 2B that I've ever seen. He turned a single in the hole into a DP by some incredible miracle, and nobody in the stands could believe what they had seen. I wish that he had gotten more of a chance with the Bosox.

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  • RuthMayBond
    replied
    Originally posted by john1972 View Post
    <Your COMPLETE misunderstanding of what I ACTUALLY said (plus ignoring what you didn't want to talk about) speaks more volumes>

    I am genuinely trying to understand what you actually said. You mentioned how 'Joe Dimaggio rarely dove for balls. What's your Point?' Since you have a curious way of responding with one line statements, I am forced to make some inferences. So your saying Dimaggio was well regarded defensively so if he rarely dove for balls then diving must be unimportant for a defensive player? Well he did play centerfield and were discussing the infield, but whatever.>
    Diving might be more important in the infield (might not, a missed 2B dive only costs you one base) but it can be important even in the outfield. And if diving was always important, that would knock Dimaggio. And just because you heard someone say that Sandberg rarely dives, I want more evidence than that.

    <"Grich, please. As far as eyewitnesses knowing all, I keep going back to the difference in hits in a week between a .250 hitter and a .300 hitter"

    Please expand on this for me or can someone else help in the interpretation of the hidden meaning in this statement. I believe you are stating a preference for Grich defensively, and then making a comment on the value of eyewitness accounts, but I don't get the analogy concerning the difference between a .250 and .300 hitter relating to eyewitness value.>

    I am referring to how some people always think eyewitnesses can determine everything. In most eras, everything else equal, a .250 hitter is below average, a .300 hitter is above average. Certainly an eyewitness could tell them apart. I'm saying, in a week with five four-AB games and two travel days, the difference is an entire hit a week. Are you sure you could tell the difference?

    <Then by that, White wasn't that good if there was good competition>

    :noidea >

    You said that there may have been excellent fielders at Alomar's time but he made it look as if no one was close. There were guys that were fairly close to White but by that reasoning maybe White wasn't that good (talent is NOT always distributed evenly across eras, etc)
    Last edited by RuthMayBond; 06-19-2007, 10:32 AM.

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  • john1972
    replied
    <Your COMPLETE misunderstanding of what I ACTUALLY said (plus ignoring what you didn't want to talk about) speaks more volumes>

    I am genuinely trying to understand what you actually said. You mentioned how 'Joe Dimaggio rarely dove for balls. What's your Point?' Since you have a curious way of responding with one line statements, I am forced to make some inferences. So your saying Dimaggio was well regarded defensively so if he rarely dove for balls then diving must be unimportant for a defensive player? Well he did play centerfield and we're discussing the infield, but whatever.

    <You win the "put words in someone else's mouth" competition. Please re-read the post>

    "Grich, please. As far as eyewitnesses knowing all, I keep going back to the difference in hits in a week between a .250 hitter and a .300 hitter"

    Please expand on this for me or can someone else help in the interpretation of the hidden meaning in this statement. I believe you are stating a preference for Grich defensively, and then making a comment on the value of eyewitness accounts, but I don't get the analogy concerning the difference between a .250 and .300 hitter relating to eyewitness value.



    <Then by that, White wasn't that good if there was good competition>

    :noidea

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  • RuthMayBond
    replied
    Originally posted by john1972 View Post
    You misunderstanding the importance of diving for a ball while playing defense only underscores your ignorance of fielding in general. How in the world can a defensive player, especially one playing at SS or 2B, be truly effective without diving for a ball. It is the primary means of extending one's range along with speed and anticipation.
    Your COMPLETE misunderstanding of what I ACTUALLY said (plus ignoring what you didn't want to talk about) speaks more volumes

    <I don't quite get your second point. Are you saying Grich turns a .300 hitter into a .250 hitter with his range, while Morgan did not exactly? If so, I'll trust your opinion on the matter because I have not witnessed either play.>

    You win the "put words in someone else's mouth" competition. Please re-read the post

    <And I'm not so sure Alomar played in a weak 2B era. Perhaps he made it appear like there was weak competition.>

    Then by that, White wasn't that good if there was good competition

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  • john1972
    replied
    Originally posted by RuthMayBond View Post
    As laughable as you making him consensus? I've heard Joe Dimaggio rarely dove, what's your point?

    <Apparently Grich or Morgan for the seventies.>

    Grich, please. As far as eyewitnesses knowing all, I keep going back to the difference in hits in a week between a .250 hitter and a .300 hitter
    You misunderstanding the importance of diving for a ball while playing defense only underscores your ignorance of fielding in general. How in the world can a defensive player, especially one playing at SS or 2B, be truly effective without diving for a ball. It is the primary means of extending one's range along with speed and anticipation.

    I don't quite get your second point. Are you saying Grich turns a .300 hitter into a .250 hitter with his range, while Morgan did not exactly? If so, I'll trust your opinion on the matter because I have not witnessed either play.

    And I'm not so sure Alomar played in a weak 2B era. Perhaps he made it appear like there was weak competition. My argument is that generally athletes improve over time on the average.

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  • RuthMayBond
    replied
    Originally posted by john1972 View Post
    I'm going by decades. He is the consensus for the nineties.
    Going by decades does help your case, it is tailor-made for Alomar

    <Sandberg maybe the consensus for the 80's-by the way, comparing him to Alomar is inappropriate as I've heard Ryno rarely dove for balls (how laughable is that),>

    As laughable as you making him consensus? I've heard Joe Dimaggio rarely dove, what's your point?

    <Apparently Grich or Morgan for the seventies.>

    Grich, please. As far as eyewitnesses knowing all, I keep going back to the difference in hits in a week between a .250 hitter and a .300 hitter

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  • john1972
    replied
    Originally posted by RuthMayBond View Post
    It may not be open and shut, although there weren't a lot of stellar 2B in his era. If he had to go back a few years and compete with Frank White, Grich, Randolph, Gantner, Hubbard... I'm not convinced he was definitely a better defensive 2B than Ryno
    I'm going by decades. He is the consensus for the nineties. Sandberg maybe the consensus for the 80's-by the way, comparing him to Alomar is inappropriate as I've heard Ryno rarely dove for balls (how laughable is that), but I've heard White was superior. Apparently Grich or Morgan for the seventies.

    I've perused the defensive stats of the names you posted and have concluded you primarily base your assertions on range factor. Range factor is the most prone to error stat in existence.
    Last edited by john1972; 06-19-2007, 09:44 AM.

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  • RuthMayBond
    replied
    Originally posted by john1972 View Post
    How is the near consensus opinion outside the sabermetric community 'my opinion.' Are you disagreeing with my assertion that most knowledgeable baseball people consider that player to be the best defensively at his position for his era?
    It may not be open and shut, although there weren't a lot of stellar 2B in his era. If he had to go back a few years and compete with Frank White, Grich, Randolph, Gantner, Hubbard... I'm not convinced he was definitely a better defensive 2B than Ryno

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  • john1972
    replied
    Originally posted by RuthMayBond View Post
    At least in your opinion

    <The only area of the baseball community which disagrees is the sabremetric folks, and as Morgan says roughly, the game of baseball is played on the field not in the books, and to properly evaluate defense you must witness from a knowledgeable standpoint, not look for the answer in arcane defensive "measurements.">

    Maybe Joe's right, maybe sabermetrics IS overvaluating him
    How is the near consensus opinion outside the sabermetric community 'my opinion.' Are you disagreeing with my assertion that most knowledgeable baseball people consider that player to be the best defensively at his position for his era?

    I don't get your second point. Maybe it's because you seem well suited for a career as a one-line standup comedian. So you're saying sabermetrics evaluates Morgan highly, and with him denigrating the practice only hurts him? I don't think he cares really. If his peers and contemporaries considered him a premier defensive secondbaseman then that overrides all else and is quite frankly all he does or should be caring about.

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  • RuthMayBond
    replied
    Originally posted by john1972 View Post
    There will never be an absolute consensus for any player in history but a vast majority of opinion can be considered a near consensus. And the player I refer to has that consensus.
    At least in your opinion

    <The only area of the baseball community which disagrees is the sabremetric folks, and as Morgan says roughly, the game of baseball is played on the field not in the books, and to properly evaluate defense you must witness from a knowledgeable standpoint, not look for the answer in arcane defensive "measurements.">

    Maybe Joe's right, maybe sabermetrics IS overvaluating him

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  • john1972
    replied
    Originally posted by RuthMayBond View Post
    Well, it's a very convenient cutoff

    <But I believe we should trust the consensus opinion of who was the best defensive second baseman of our age- I won't mention the name, yet you seem to prefer overlooking the expertise of the people who actually played the game at the major league level while laying your trust in defensive metrics with proven flaws.>

    Still looking for the consensus
    There will never be an absolute consensus for any player in history but a vast majority of opinion can be considered a near consensus. And the player I refer to has that consensus. The only area of the baseball community which disagrees is the sabremetric folks, and as Morgan says roughly, the game of baseball is played on the field not in the books, and to properly evaluate defense you must witness from a knowledgeable standpoint, not look for the answer in arcane defensive "measurements."

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  • RuthMayBond
    replied
    Originally posted by john1972 View Post
    Read between the lines my friend. Notice how I said any player who doesn't have 5+ gold gloves could have been awarded them erroneously. Which player that I don't necessarily despise but have a certain distaste for- legitimately I might add- has 4 GG's?
    Well, it's a very convenient cutoff

    <But I believe we should trust the consensus opinion of who was the best defensive second baseman of our age- I won't mention the name, yet you seem to prefer overlooking the expertise of the people who actually played the game at the major league level while laying your trust in defensive metrics with proven flaws.>

    Still looking for the consensus

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  • john1972
    replied
    Originally posted by RuthMayBond View Post
    And where do we get these consensus opinions? (John, you made an entire post without directly trying to pump up one certain recently-retired 2B or trying to criticize another certain soon-to-retire 2B
    Read between the lines my friend. Notice how I said any player who doesn't have 5+ gold gloves could have been awarded them erroneously. Which player that I don't necessarily despise but have a certain distaste for- legitimately I might add- has 4 GG's? Don't underestimate me.

    And I agree. It is extremely difficult to garner up consensus opinions from people who've passed let alone from the living. But I believe we should trust the consensus opinion of who was the best defensive second baseman of our age- I won't mention the name, yet you seem to prefer overlooking the expertise of the people who actually played the game at the major league level while laying your trust in defensive metrics with proven flaws. You are much more liable to be led astray with that process than I am, I believe.

    By the way, here's my all-time defensive team:

    P-Maddux
    C-Ivan Rodriguez
    1st-Keith Hernandez
    2nd-Roberto Alomar
    SS-Ozzie Smith
    3rd-Brooks Robinson
    LF-Carl Yastremski
    CF-Ken Griffey Jr.
    RF-Roberto Clemente or Ichiro
    Last edited by john1972; 06-19-2007, 08:14 AM.

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  • RuthMayBond
    replied
    Originally posted by john1972 View Post
    I believe the only real measures are the opinions of the managers and players who played in the time of the player being considered, and a little weighting should be placed on Gold Gloves, especially when a player has accumulated 5+. They can get it wrong several times possibly, but not when a player has been awarded them consistently year after year for most of their career.

    There are no other reliable defensive metrics in existence and there never will be to measure defensive excellence. I quite frankly think the only people who know best regarding this area of the game are the players. They know the difference between reputation and genuine fielding excellence.
    And where do we get these consensus opinions? (John, you made an entire post without directly trying to pump up one certain recently-retired 2B or trying to criticize another certain soon-to-retire 2B :applaud: :disbelief: :hyper:

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  • ThanksTheo
    replied
    Interesting question, and interesting, varied responses.

    P - Greg Maddux (Kaat right behind him)
    C - Johnny Bench
    1B- Keith Hernandez (I'm still struggling with this one)
    2B- Nellie Fox
    3B- Mr. Brooks Robinson
    SS- Honus Wagner (Ozzie not far behind)
    LF- Carl Yastrzemski
    CF- Tris Speaker
    RF- Mel Ott or Al Kaline

    I base my opinions on what I've seen and what I read (accounts of the day). Ott transitioned from IF to RF and developed into the best in the business during his time. With the exception of Honus, Mel, and Tris, I've seen them all play. With that in mind:

    Overall best fielder - Mr. Brooks Robinson

    From that opinion, I've never wavered.

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