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  • Cey and Bando

    I thought it would be fun to take a look at and compare two very similar players who get very little press even here at BBF and are always underrated and overlooked.

    Ron Cey and Sal Bando were close to contemporary third baseman. Bando was a few years older and thus got his start in the mid 1960s while Cey didn't reach the majors until 1971. They were extremely similar players. Neither were high average hitters at all, with BAs of .254 for BAndo and .261 for Cey, but they walked a lot and hit for good power and thus had secondary averages of .325 (Cey) and .305 (Bando). Both could hold their own at third, but weren't great fielders by any stretch. Most of their value came in the batter's box. They were both key members of great teams and probably didn't receive enough credit for what they did for those teams. Both played in pitcher's parks. Both were very good college players for Pac 10 schools. Really, the more I think about it it's unbelieveable how similar their characteristics were. Here are their career totals:

    Code:
                playerID	nameLast 	nameFirst	StartYr	EndYr	G	AB	R	H	2B	3B	HR	RBI	SB	CS	BB	SO	IBB	HBP	SH	SF	GIDP	AVG	OBP	SLG
    ceyro01	Cey	Ron	1971	1987	2073	7162	977	1868	328	21	316	1139	24	29	1012	1235	117	62	26	82	185	.261	.354	.445
    
             playerID	nameLast	      nameFirst	StartYr	EndYr	G	AB	R	H	2B	3B	HR	RBI	SB	CS	BB	SO	IBB	HBP	SH	SF	GIDP	AVG	OBP	SLG
    bandosa01	Bando	Sal	1966	1981	2019	7060	982	1790	289	38	242	1039	75	46	1031	923	69	75	65	57	149	.254	.352	.408
    Looking at those numbers, it would appear they are very similar and that Cey deserves to rate slightly ahead. But, I have Bando in my top 100 players (#79) and rated as the 8th best third baseman in history. I do rate Cey higher than most at #15 all time at third, but still far behind Sal.

    How can such similar players be that far apart? There are many reasons:

    1.Although they ended up with about the same career totals, Bando was better at his best. His top 3 Win Share seasons were 36, 31, and 29 while Cey's were 28, 27, and 27. Bando in 1969 had a monster season, batting .281 when the league average was .250 along with 111 walks which was good for third in the league, and with 31 home runs and 113 RBI his power wasn't hurting either. Plus, he was playing in a low run scoring environment, with the league OPS at 688, and in pitcher's park with a park factor of 96. He had 36 Win Shares that season. Cey had all those same skills and certainly did all those things in different seasons, but he never put it all together in one year for a season like that. Bando in 1973 when he led the league total bases, extra base hits, and doubles and led his team to a World Series title was also better than Cey ever was. Overall, Bando had a much better peak.

    2.Bando was one of the greatest intangible players of all time. He was the leader of the Oakland A's who won three straight championships 1972-1974 and helped to keep the team together during some of their famed brawls. Reggie Jackson in his autobiography talks at some length about how great Bando was for the team and how he kept everyone focused on their goals-winning the World Series. The line you'll find everywhere about him is "the glue who held the A's together". Cey, from what I've read, was a very good man who like all the other Dodgers was active in the community, but there's little evidence that he had value on the standings outside of his stats like Bando.

    3.Bando did much better in MVP voting. He finished second in the vote in 1971 behind only his teammate Vida Blue, meaning that MVP voters regarded him as the best position player in the AL that year. He also finished 3rd in the vote in 1974 and 4th in 1973. He ended his career 155th all time in BBRef's "MVP shares". Cey only finished top 10 once in the vote (8th in 1977) and is 634th all time in MVP shares.

    4.Cey was a very slow baserunner, and was nicknamed "The Penguin" because of his waddling running style. Bando was hardly a gazelle, but he was a smart baserunner who could steal bases when needed.

    5.The numbers above are unfair to Bando somewhat because he came along later and played a few years in the pitching rich 1960s. Cey came along later and thus stuck around until the home run explosion of 1987 and the late 80s, and never played in the 1960s. Bando's raw BA, OBP, and SLG are worse than Cey's, but their relative stats are about the same. Bando's relative line was 100/110/109 while Cey's was 99/107/114.

    Both are very, very underrated, of course. But, Bando I believe has a very good case for the Hall of Fame. Cey not as much, although he was a great player and the best of the famous Dodger infield of the late 70s and early 80s (better than Garvey). I have heard Bando referred to as "a poor man's Ron Cey". He certainly isn't that.

  • #2
    No responses? You can talk anything Cey/Bando. Your reccollections of them, where you think they rate among the all time greats, at third or all position players, or anything really.

    Comment


    • #3
      I guess I disagree with your basic premise that they are underrated. I think they are appreciated as fine players, though not great ones. Probably a half-notch behind Santo. As for which was better, a coin flip might be the best approach.
      Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree that both are underrated, and such is sadly the case with all too many of the better thirdbasemen of all time (starting right with Ron Santo).

        Of the two, I think Cey was the better player.

        Comment


        • #5
          Neither one would probably crack my top 30 3Bmen. I give a big shrug either way.
          "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

          Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DoubleX
            I agree that both are underrated, and such is sadly the case with all too many of the better thirdbasemen of all time (starting right with Ron Santo).

            Of the two, I think Cey was the better player.
            When I was looking back through some old threads, it was your comment about Bando as "a poor man's Ron Cey" that motivated me to start this thread. Why do you think Cey is better?

            Another thing that struck me as I was researching is really how unbelievably similar they were. Really, what two players have been more similar?

            And EH, maybe I shouldn't even ask, but they don't make your top 30. That's just plain nuts.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by 538280
              When I was looking back through some old threads, it was your comment about Bando as "a poor man's Ron Cey" that motivated me to start this thread. Why do you think Cey is better?

              Another thing that struck me as I was researching is really how unbelievably similar they were. Really, what two players have been more similar?

              And EH, maybe I shouldn't even ask, but they don't make your top 30. That's just plain nuts.
              It is close, especially since the two played in roughly the same era. But what puts Cey ahead in my book is that in roughly the same amount of ABs (Cey actually had 102 more), Cey had:

              - 74 more homeruns (316 to 242) - A pretty noticeable difference.

              - More 20+ homerun seasons (10 to 6)

              - More 10+ homerun seasons (14 to 10)

              - More 90+ RBI seasons (5 to 4)

              - More 80+ RBI seasons (9 to 6)

              - A 0.39 edge in OPS (.799 to .760) - A pretty good difference.

              - A much higher percentage of his seasons above 100 OPS+ (13/14 to 9/13); a much higher percentage for seasons above 110 OPS+ (11/14 to 8/13); roughly the same for 120 OPS+ (7/14 to 7/13); a higher percentage for seasons above 130 OPS+ (6/14 to 5/13); and a higher percentage for seasons above 140 OPS+ (3/14 to 2/15).

              - Slighty better BA and OBP, but much better SLG

              - Better 162 game averages in Triple Crown categories: .261, 25, 89 for Cey; .254, 19, 83 for Bando.

              - More All Star appearances (6 to 4), despite having to compete against Mike Schmidt.

              - Cey also has a better fielding percentage and a much better range factor when compared to league.

              In all they are very similar, but Cey was more consistent throughout his career and put up slightly better numbers in roughly the same amount of ABs. In the end, that's the tiebreaker for me.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 538280
                5.The numbers above are unfair to Bando somewhat because he came along later and played a few years in the pitching rich 1960s. Cey came along later and thus stuck around until the home run explosion of 1987 and the late 80s, and never played in the 1960s. Bando's raw BA, OBP, and SLG are worse than Cey's, but their relative stats are about the same. Bando's relative line was 100/110/109 while Cey's was 99/107/114.
                Those are kind of unfair statements.

                First: Cey stuck around to the homerun explosion of 1987? Yeah, he really benefitted from that, his last year in the game, at age 39, when he had a total of 104 ABs and a whopping 4 homeruns.

                Second: Bando's numbers weren't really hurt from coming along earlier. Bando only played one full season, 1968, under the rules that heavily favored pitchers during the 1960s (he had 154 ABs combined in '66 and '67). After that, the game was pretty much as it was when Cey came on the scene a few years later. So Bando wasn't really all that punished from starting earlier (since it's only really one season that affects him). Cey was just a slightly better hitter, and that's why his career numbers are slightly better across the board, except for homeruns, where Cey has a bit of a bigger advantage over Bando, but that has nothing to do with the homerun explosion of 1987.

                Third: There is also a big difference in having Reggie Jackson protect you in the lineup than having Steve Garvey.
                DoubleX
                Just a Fool
                Last edited by DoubleX; 01-17-2006, 09:52 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 538280
                  And EH, maybe I shouldn't even ask, but they don't make your top 30. That's just plain nuts.
                  Let's see; between the two of them they never hit .290, hit 30 homers twice, knocked in 100 a grand total of 4 times, won no gold gloves, got over 160 hits twice, scored 100 once... oh, and they played in the 70's. You've got to give me more than that to work with. Other than longevity, what makes them any better than Ken Caminiti or Troy Glaus or Travis Fryman or Mike Lowell or Vinny Castilla?
                  "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

                  Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DoubleX
                    It is close, especially since the two played in roughly the same era. But what puts Cey ahead in my book is that in roughly the same amount of ABs (Cey actually had 102 more), Cey had:

                    - 74 more homeruns (316 to 242) - A pretty noticeable difference.

                    - More 20+ homerun seasons (10 to 6)

                    - More 10+ homerun seasons (14 to 10)

                    - More 90+ RBI seasons (5 to 4)

                    - More 80+ RBI seasons (9 to 6)

                    - A 0.39 edge in OPS (.799 to .760) - A pretty good difference.
                    All this stuff is fine, but it is true that Bando did play in a much tougher hitting environment than Cey, even though they were rough contemporaries. The league OPS in Bando's time was .695, in Cey's is was .721.

                    - A much higher percentage of his seasons above 100 OPS+ (13/14 to 9/13); a much higher percentage for seasons above 110 OPS+ (11/14 to 8/13); roughly the same for 120 OPS+ (7/14 to 7/13); a higher percentage for seasons above 130 OPS+ (6/14 to 5/13); and a higher percentage for seasons above 140 OPS+ (3/14 to 2/15).
                    That's all true, but that Cey never had a season with an OPS+ above 150, while Bando had two. Cey's OPS+ as a whole were probably a bit higher, but so what, really? Their career OPS+ are only two points difference, and I think that has more to do with the fact more of Bando's OPS came from OBP.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 538280
                      That's all true, but that Cey never had a season with an OPS+ above 150 while Bando had two. Cey's OPS+ as a whole were probably a bit higher, but so what, really? Their career OPS+ are only two points difference, and I think that has more to do with the fact more of Bando's OPS came from OBP.
                      Well Cey did have three seasons over 140, which I'd say in the grand scheme of things, puts him on about equal footing as Bando's two seasons over 150 (which were both barely over 150, so the difference is small).

                      The two are very, very close, and ultimately I suppose it comes down to personal preference. For me, Cey appears to have a little more consistency than Bando and more power, and that's enough to break the tie for me.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DoubleX
                        The two are very, very close, and ultimately I suppose it comes down to personal preference. For me, Cey appears to have a little more consistency than Bando and more power, and that's enough to break the tie for me.
                        That's okay, if you favor consistency over peak (I don't). I actually favor peak over pretty much everything. Considering Bando is 8th in 3 year peak WS in the NBJHBBA among 3B, and Cey is tied for second to last among the top 25 3B in the NBJHBBA in that same category, it's a big difference. Read reason #1 in the first post.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ElHalo
                          Let's see; between the two of them they never hit .290, hit 30 homers twice, knocked in 100 a grand total of 4 times, won no gold gloves, got over 160 hits twice, scored 100 once... oh, and they played in the 70's. You've got to give me more than that to work with. Other than longevity, what makes them any better than Ken Caminiti or Troy Glaus or Travis Fryman or Mike Lowell or Vinny Castilla?
                          Maybe the fact Caminiti, Glaus, Fryman, Lowell, and Castilla all played in the 1990s and for all but Lowell and Caminiti in favorable parks while Bando and Cey played mostly in the 1970s (pitchers league) and in Bando's case he even had two full years in the 1960s? Do offensive environments mean nothing? Does plate discipline mean nothing (or maybe with you it does)? Does peak performance (which Bando was WAY better than everyone but Caminiti because of that one fluke year) mean nothing? Does being on key on one of the greatest teams of all time mean nothing? Intangibles, anyone? Read up on Bando, I think you may like his style.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 538280
                            That's okay, if you favor consistency over peak (I don't). I actually favor peak over pretty much everything. Considering Bando is 8th in 3 year peak WS in the NBJHBBA among 3B, and Cey is tied for second to last among the top 25 3B in the NBJHBBA in that same category, it's a big difference. Read reason #1 in the first post.
                            There's nothing wrong with peak, but in this case, the peaks are so close. Bando's two best years are slightly better than Cey's best years from an OPS+ perspective, but Cey leads the rest of the way. So to me, Bando's edge in peak is so small that it doesn't make any difference.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I like Ron Cey just a tad bit more here.

                              Comment

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