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Defensive All-Time All-Star Teams

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  • #16
    Originally posted by [email protected]
    Question for Jim/Jeffrey

    I know what the following expression means to me, but just wanted to hear what it means to you.

    When someone says, " That shortstop has very soft hands." What does that mean to you. And do you know where that expression came from?

    Bill Burgess
    Don't know where it comes from, but I've always known it to mean that he rarely makes an error/boots a ball on a ball he gets to. Toss a ball on a concrete slab, and it bounces away. Toss a ball on a pillow, and it stays there. Hence, soft hands.
    RuthMayBond shared this.
    Pretty much what ElHalo said, but moreso that he absorbs the shock of the batted ball with his hands/body and doesn't try to manhandle it. Supposedly Dandridge/Judy Johnson ended up being a good fielder despite not having soft hands. No idea where the expression came from.
    Bill contributed this.
    Here's what I think of when I hear of "soft hands".

    Willie Mays was once kidding a pitcher than he wasn't so fast. They kept kidding each other until Mays finally said, "You all get out to that mound, and I'll show you what I mean. Pitcher goes out to mound.

    Mays gets down into a catcher's squat behind the plate. Pitcher looks at him and says, "You gotta be kiddin' me?"

    Mays says, "Throw it". Pitcher throws his hardest fastball. Mays catches it bare-handed.

    That's what I think of when I hear "soft hands". Just let the ball come to you.
    The tendency or form of a fielder to bend the elbows when fielding a ground ball, thereby making the play look relaxed.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-09-2005, 09:29 PM.
    "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

    Sean McAdam,


    • #17
      Bill, we don't agree often but I think we have a little influence on one another anyway. Not that long ago I wasn't ranking Negro Leaguers at all. Now I am arguing for them nearly as much as you. You also got me to appreciate Buck Ewing, although not quite to the degree you do. Take heart my friend, your efforts are not entirely in vain.
      I may be a little hard on your opinions sometimes, but that never undermines my respect for them. I will give you very high marks on your ability to defend your opinions, and in an admirably moderate tone, which gives them more weight, of course.

      And your Top End of Ruth, Mays, Wagner, Cobb is almost the same as mine; Cobb, Wagner, Mays, Bonds, Ruth, Charleston. But most of the house agrees with us on those guys. But still . . .

      So our perceptions dove-tail at the Top End, which shows a lot. And you are banging for Lloyd now. Which is such a stretch for you. So, I recognize that you've stayed open & fresh, and want to grow.

      So, I do appreciate your efforts here. By working the many polls, you've done a real service. And the Top 10's were a lot of work for you, but a lot of fun for us. Of course, you got the idea from ME, with my Top 20's, and I even got you to offer your second 10's pretty often, as your Honorable Mentions. That gave me real pleasure, that so many of the guys, followed my example and gave us their top 20's. THAT'S what gave me such a kick, to see how the house ranked the Honorable Mentions.

      So, here's to us, Mark. Long may we assist the house in interesting exchanges, and great, civil debates on matters baseball. Thanks for so much depth of erudition.
      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-09-2005, 09:39 PM.


      • #18

        "Bill, the men you mention did see Hernandez play - but 50 years after Sisler. Their memories of Sisler's play and ability to accurately compare it to Hernandez may have been less than perfect. They were also all men in their 70s and 80s. I wouldn't expect them to abandon a hero of their youth for some young whippersnapper. I have to consider their opinions on the two as less than authoritative."

        (Bill - Mark. While your reservations may be quite legit, to dismiss their opinions as "old fogyism", is also quite unfair. Be honest. If they had praised Keith as the best, wouldn't you be lauding their "honesty/objectivity"? I bet you would.

        Those players from that era, were entitled to go either way. Why force them to vote modern? Maybe they put Sizz on their teams for overall value. He DID bury Keith with the bat, didn't he. He did bury Keith on the bags, didn't he? And he was rated tops with the glove before he got double-vision from '24-29. Maybe Sizz made their teams as an all-rounder in excellence in his prime.

        So, I think you've being awful unfair to good observers. And what if a lot of original Sizz supporters changed their minds over the decades and become supporters of Gehrig, Foxx, and others? Why can't a tiny core of Sizz's original supporters stay with him, and retain their respect? Why must those tiny few sacrifice their good reps with us? MUST we debit them their good judgment, respectability for 1 opinion?

        How would you like it if a lot of folks stripped you of all good judgment for your opinions on either Joe Jackson, Sizz, or some other topic? Wouldn't you plead for overall balance in your other opinions? If you look at my all time all star file, you will see that their teams were all very respectable, which gives their Sizz selection fair value. I think you're being very adament about not only Sizz, but his loyal supporters too. And that's not like you, Mark. I know you to be better than that. I'm not criticizing here. Just pleading for fairness to the witnesses.

        Chase supporters:
        We agree that there could never be sufficient excuse to select a crook for an all time team. But their judgment that Chase was the last word in 1B defense was not skewed. Chase WAS the best, when he chose to be, which wasn't too often apparently. But a group can have good judgment on his defense, and still be out to sea in placing him on their teams. Takes a will of iron, Mark, to remain neutral in the face of a moral crime. But that is our task, as neutral observers. Even demons have their gifts. Much as I despise defending the *******.
        Well, Chase's defense was legendary, of course, with several games of more than 20 putouts. He did have a batting title. I guess if you really, really value defense highly, and give him extra credit for his charisma and personality, there could be some basis. I can't really see it, though.

        Then again, we have to remember that baseball is, at its essense, entertainment... and what's more entertaining than an unsavory underworld figure with charisma and charm stepping on the heads of the hard working folk to earn his way?
        Bill, I don't dismiss anyone's opinion becasue of one boneheaded pick. If I did I wouldn't be able to respect anyone's judgment - even my own. Everybody has occasional poor judgments and beyond that somethings I disagree strongly with I can still see the reasons behind that choice.
        --Howver, if someone has an outrageously off the wall opinion about something and sticks to it over time in the face of compelling evidence to the contary I have to wonder about their overall judgment. Chase is such an example.
        --Lets take you for another example. You have spent many hours of the years researching baseball. You post some very interesting things and I've learned alot from you. On the other hand, you believe some things that I just can't imagine any logical basis for. Everytime you introduce a player to the discussion I have to wonder "Is this a Buck Ewing who is worth investigating and maybe upgrading (or adding in his case) to my rankings" or "Is this a Bill Lange" . When you insist on arguing for a pretty good, short career guy from the 1890s as an all time great it cast doubts on anything else you post.
        --You have alot of unconventional opinions, which is fine. Some of them have made me reconsider my own, although Sisler is never getting near my top 10 (or 50) overall or especially high on my 1B list. Lange, however, is an issue where you devote alot of effort which is counterproductive to persuading me - and I suspect others - from buying into arguments which may have more behind them. I don't dismiss what you have to say, but you do have a higher burden of proof than someone who more consistently posts ideas which make sense to me. Doesn't make you wrong or me right, just makes it harder for you to convince me of things.

        Fair enough. As you once wrote, my goal is not to be thought of as "mainstream". Somewhere along my personal journey, I must have made an unconcouse decision to go my own way. I like to be daring, and gutsy.

        The way I see baseball evolving, there is a real polarization between the statisticians and the traditionalist researchers. SABR has influenced many to go statwards. Most on Fever are trying to be stat guys, or those who trust the numbers and distrust the personal observers.

        While I do like stats and know that eventually, they will be much more trustworthy, I still proclaim that stats should not be the final determining factor. Not yet, at this moment. Why? Because all systems give different results. After Ruth, and often Williams, the results are so widely different that I could never give my heart to these systems, yet.

        One example: Total Baseball gives Ty Cobb 1 (!) TPR title, but Wins Shares gives him 6 titles.

        Total Baseball gives Eddie Collins 6 TPR titles, and Win Shares gives him 1 title.

        So, I ask, how can such contradictions exist, in a field that hopes to gain respect? When the two most prestigous systems are so far apart as to be at war with each other, how reasonable persons can take either system seriously speaks to the common sense of stat advocates.

        At the extreme other end, which most Fever men have scorned, is the quotes of the other players. Jeff and Jim have taken the lead in scorning the opinions of past eye-witnesses. And you also have to a large extent, found whatever excuse you've found convenient, to dismiss eye-witnesses.

        Me: Stats and traditional research (historical quotes) MUST go hand-in-hand. For anyone to embrace one and trash the other is immature, disturbing and troubling. To deliberately cut oneself off from either is to retard one's progress towards mastership. There is such a thing as learning how to learn. Why you, Jim or Jeff would decide to isolate yourselves from any avenue of information would call good judgment into question. Learning is hard enough already. To trash historical opinions is counter-productive to understanding BB.

        My point: When a few say something, who cares? When a large number of those who count, agree on some player being a star or a bum, harder to dismiss. But you 3 have found no problems at all in dismissing them. Prejudice, blah, blah, blah.

        When was the last time that 10 major star players or BB authorities asserted that a certain player was a star, and he turned out to be a bum? Never happened. I've said before and I'll say it again.

        In a court, only 1 person's eye-witness testimony is often sufficient to send someone to death, or deprive them of their freedom for life. Get that? Only 1!

        You guys excuse the disagreeing stat systems, but find concurring observers, who disagree with your PERSONAL opinions to be fatal.

        Inconsistent. Sizz put such folks as Cobb, Eddie Collins, Hornsby, owner Bob Quinn, St. Louis sports writer/editor J. Roy Stockton & Branch Rickey in astounded awe of his peak play. So perhaps reality is harder to distill into numerical formulae than you can concede.

        Men of Fever. Scorn not the observers, simply because they disagreed with each other as to who was the best. Listen well, and decide with your intuition/instincts. Stats are in their infancy. There will be time enough to give them more attention as they keep evolving.

        Bill Burgess
        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-14-2005, 06:43 PM.


        • #19

          I also have that article in my collection. But, I have 3 others, which round out the picture on Cap's opinions. Here are some of his other opinions.

          In 1909, Cap was asked to give his 1909 team, and as it turns out he'd been giving his yearly teams for many years. So to say he stopped following the game is just uninformed. I will give his two interviews, for your education.


          All-American Professional Baseball Team

          Selecting the Stars of the Diamond for 1909, by A. C. Anson, One-Time Captain of Chicago

          I have been picking All-American teams, lo, these many years, but this is the first time I have been called upon to give my selection to the public; that is, with the single exception of nearly forty years ago. It may be of passing interest to recall that among the coterie of stars whom I then regarded as the best exponents of our now greatest national pastime were Al Spalding, with Jim White, his battery mate of the old Bostons; Cal MacVey, Ross Barnes, George Wright, and Jim O'Rourke - names I now recall as appearaing in the roster of that first galaxy of star performers.

          My team of all-stars must, above all else, be a hitting team. My contention has always been that it is the hitting team that wins out, and this is borne out by the team averages of this season's pennant winners.

          Always looking with favor upon the fellow who can hit the ball, I am sometimes given to overlooking the speed marvel, whose work in the field entitles him to equal consideration with his brother who drives out a safe hit every third time at bat.

          In my selection of a 1909 team it has been my endeavor to choose men whose individual records, taken together with my personal knowledge for their abilities in the various departments of the play, entitle them to their respective positions upon the "All-America."

          The 13 Star Team:

          Catcher - Gibson - Pittsburgh
          Pitcher - Mathewson - Giants
          ---------Brown - Chicago
          ---------Mullin - Detroit
          ---------Walsh - Chicago
          ---------Plank - Philadelphia
          1B Chance - Chicago
          2B Collins - Philadelphia
          SS Wagner - Pittsburgh
          3B Lord - Boston
          RF Cobb - Detroit
          CF Hofman - Chicago
          LF Crawford - Detroit

          In the selectionn of a catcher one man stands out alone the peer of all backstops in the major leagues during the closing season--Gibson of the "Pirates" is my choice. I do not, however, feel that his work has been superior to or even the equal of that of Kling during the preceding season. The scarcity of really first class catchers is surprising. I am sure that the bones of those masters of the art of catching, Mike Kelly and Buck Ewing, should rest uneasy in their graves were they to witness the work of some of the wearers of the "big mitt" in the game to-day.

          I like very much the work of Archer, who is very accurate in his throwing to bases, and but little inferior to his predecessor, Kling.

          As a pitching staff there are a number of "slab artists" in both leagues whose work has been consistent, but the winnings of "Matty," the "Miner," and "Big Ed" give them the preference in the National--the first has been as effective as formerly since rounding to after his injury. Brown's run of 10 straight games won is worthy of especial mention, and did much to make the "Cubs" the contender in the pennant race. Plank, Connie Mack's mainstay on the mound, is on season's form easily the "southpaw" star of the big leagues. Ed Walsh, whom I have held for several years past to be the leader of present-day pitchers, proved ineffective during the greater part of the season, but has rounded to his old-time form, and I feel, is entitled to a place in my line up.

          -----------------Chance for Captain---------------------------------------

          FRANK L. CHANCE--the "Peerless Leader"--would, I believe, be the choice of the greater percentage of "fans" and players for the "initial sack" position; and by reason of his proven ability as a handler of men, his generalship, and cool judgment, is easily my pick for captain.

          Collins, a star of the first magnitude in all branches of the game--a batter to my liking, with an average of more than .350--is entitled to first consideration upon his record for the second base position. Lajoie looms up almost as formidable as ever, and with the managerial cares removed can be looked upon to exceed his best previous effort another season. Johnny Evers, one of the brainiest players in the game, quick to think and execute a play, if batting above the .300 mark would be the logical choice.

          Wagner--the great "Honus," king pin of them all--the one man in the game to-day who, more than any other, reminds me of the "old-time." Seven times leader of his league. A record indeed! I am for the big German, and who would not be?

          The batting, base-running, and fielding of Bush gives him the second call.

          Harry Lord, captain of the Boston "speed-boys," is my choice for the far-corner sack: he fields his position faultlessly, is a hard hitter, heady, and fast on bases. Devlin puches close for second choice.

          For right field, Tyrus Cobb--"Georgia Peach"--the bright satellite of the outfield, ranking batsman is the American League quite likely the fastest man in either league, as indicated by his wonderful base-stealing record. "Ty," on account of his daring on bases and the fact that his spikes have often connected with some unfortunate baseman, has been accused of playing "dirty ball." The writer can not place credence in the stories told, but would be the first to denounce any one employing such tactics upon the diamond

          ---------------------Many Good Men Omitted--------------------------

          ARTIE HOFMAN'S work in the outfield this season entitles him to the center garden position. With an arm that gets the ball to the bag just ahead of the base-runner, his batting prowess clinches him the job. I like Magee next best.

          Crawford, one of the premier "stickers" in his league, fast in the field and on base, draws the remaining outfield position.

          It would be beyond the limtis of possibility to select an all-star National-American League team to meet with the approval of all the "fans" and players. The team outlined above will hit well above the coveted .300 mark, and the men selected seem to me to possess the necessary qualifications for playing the game as it should be played. The names of many good men must necessarily be omitted. Many players outside of the above list are stronger in certain points of the game than those I have selected; but, to my mind, the chosen team presents the most formidable array of talent possible to gather together to-day. (Collier's, Saturday, October 16, 1909)

          Another interesting article, giving Cap's opinions follows.

          --------------Old-Time Ball Players Superior, Anson Holds-----------------

          Rusie, Ewing and Lange best Men Game Has Known, He says.

          Cap. Anson, one of the daddies of baseball, believes the old-time ballplayers were superior to the modern crop. "Good baseball was played 20 years before the game was taken in hand by the National League in 1876," said Anson, recently. "But, of cousrse, in those days there were not so many ball players to be had.

          "Yet with the present wealth of material in the big leagues there are comparatively few really good players. In my opinion, Wagner and Lajoie, though they are growing old, possess more natural skill than the younger stars of to-day, with the possible exception of Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker."

          When asked if he had ever seen any pitchers better than Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Alexander and other modern stars, Anson said, "Yes." He believes that Amos Rusie, who pitched for the Giants form 1890 until 1899, was the greatest of them all.

          "Rusie had as much speed as Johnson, better control and the fastest curve ball I ever saw," said Anson. "He was physically the superior of Johnson, Mathewson and Alexander and was built like Jeff Tesreau, of the Giants. There was no limit to his endurance".

          "Tim Keefe, who was with the Giants back in 1888, was also a master. He was among the first pitchers to perfect what is known as 'change of pace.'

          "The best catcher I ever saw was Buck Ewing, who caught for the Giants when they won the world's championship in 1888 and 1889. I have never to this day seen his equal, but little Walters, of the New York Yankees, reminds me of Ewing's throwing on bases".

          "Ewing was a quick thinker and a natural born leader. Bill Lange, who played for me when I had charge of the Chicago National League club, was in a class by himself as an outfielder. He was a better outfielder than Cobb or Speaker and a phenomenal thrower, and one year he stole 106 bases."

          "How about Billy Sunday?" Cap was asked.

          "Billy is a better evangelist than a ball player," was the reply. "He was the fastest runner that ever drew on a spiked shoe when we played on the Chicago team, but he didn't always exercise the best judgment in stealing bases. He was an excellent outfielder and a fair hitter and his influence among the Chicago players was good." (The Washington Post, June 3, 1917, pp. S18, " Old-Time Ball Players Superior, Anson Holds)

          Cap chose his All-Time team for the Sporting News, on Jan. 17, 1918, pp. 8.

          His lineup consisted of:

          1B - Cap Anson
          2B - Fred Pfeffer
          SS - Ross Barnes
          3B - (Ned) Ed Williamson
          OF - Bill Lange
          OF - George Gore
          OF - Jimmy Ryan
          OF - Hugh Duffy
          C - Buck Ewing/King Kelly
          P - Amos Rusie
          P - John Clarkson
          P - Jim McCormick

          So there you have some opinions from the very famous Cap Anson. Some pearls (Ewing/Lange) mixed in with his obvious "old fogey" rhetoric.

          Baseball historian/statistician Ernie Lanigan was quoted in Sporting News twice as stating that old Cap Anson had selected Ty Cobb as the best ever before he died in 1922. But in all my research, I have never turned up the quote. Which would have shown good growth in Cap. So we have from 1918-22, for Cap to evolve to that perception, if Lanigan is to be believed.
          ElHalo cops a plea.
          Well, ok, so he followed the game. That still leaves no excuse for the obvious bias in his all time listing.

          Bill Burgess
          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-09-2005, 10:01 PM.


          • #20
            This house never fails to go in a different path than I'd have thought. I was expecting the order to go;

            1. Andrew Jones
            2. Tori Hunter
            3. Mike Cameron
            4. Jim Edmonds
            5. Mark Kotsay

            I can never guess them right.

            Bill Burgess
            Actually, your 5 could go toe-to-toe with any other of today's guys
            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-09-2005, 10:17 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


            • #21

              Its hard to judge fielding in the 1800s. Not only was the game played differently where a home run was a monthy occurance and usually inside the park, the gloves didn't have pockets and their use was optional. This makes me believe that most balls were ground balls. It seems that Assists and Put- Outs should be much greater before 1900.

              As far as greatest infielders go, SS Rabbit Maranville and 2B Charlie Gehringer averaged nearly 500 Assists and 350 PO over the years they played full time. Their average would be a great year for every other infielder that has ever played. Below is the best years for these players. Except for Gehringer, where in all his years he posted similar numbers, this is not their avereage year:

              SS 621 A 288 PO Ozzie Smith
              SS 517 A 353 PO Honus Wagner
              SS 472 A 259 PO Alex Rodriguez
              SS 457 A 244 PO Derek Jeter
              SS 574 A 407 PO Rabbit Maranville

              2B 641 A 396 PO Frankie Frisch
              2B 471 A 449 PO Eddie Collins
              2B 440 A 417 PO Joe Morgan
              2B 571 A 330 PO Ryne Sandberg
              2B 541 A 358 PO Charlie Gehringer
              In the 1920's, Harry Heilmann led the AL with a .364 average. In addition, he averaged 220 hits, 45 doubles, 12 triples, 16 homers, 110 runs, and 130 RBI.


              • #22
                Originally posted by [email protected]

                Hope about showing me your top 20 2B, with some brief notes?

                Would that be possible?

                Bill Burgess
                At least it's a little bit easier than SS
                Carew (position problems again)
                I'm not sure how much to penalize Frisch & Sandberg for their long career dragging down their OPS+ compared with Grich. And Jackie's career was SO short

                Again, your homework has paid off nicely. Good daring without dissing the must-have guys. I'm very relieved you haven't listened to Rogers detractors, as to his defense, which was credible enough. Or downrated Lajoie/Collins, which is a popular vogue, but ignorant. I think you have Morgan a slot or too high, but I realize, he has his support here. I think his D. is a little inflated. Could you be persuaded to switch Carew/Gehringer? Biggio good, but Alomar is too high. Can't see how he displaces Frisch, Sandberg, or Robinson, Grich. OPS+ isn't everything. I like intangibles, especially for Robinson.

                But thanks a million, Jeffrey. I'm still trying to influence your development. You are far too valuable to be wasted.
                Rogers D may not have been the best but he did lead the league two times each with putouts and assists, and his Range Factor/League is not that much behind Frisch, Gehringer, or Collins What can I say about Morgan, he has a 132 OPS+ over 11000+ PA, won 3 putout titles and had almost 700 SB at a great rate. Again, I'm basically counting Carew's career as 2B even though he obviously played elsewhere. If I chop it up, I have to chop up Wagner, Rose, Banks ... Carew beat Gehringer in OPS+, PA, Range Factor/League and SB. Alomar beats Frisch & Sandberg in OPS+, both in PA, Frisch in Range Factor/League, Frisch in Assist titles and both in SB. I understand what you mean about intangibles, but then people can assign any value they want to them
                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-09-2005, 10:48 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


                • #23
                  To be a little different...

                  C - Jim Sundberg
                  1B - Steve Garvey
                  2B - Charlie Gehringer (I'll swipe this one)
                  3B - Scott Rolen
                  SS - Omar Vizquel
                  LF - Carl Crawford
                  CF - Willie Wilson
                  RF - Ichiro Suzuki
                  (fantasy football)
                  JM: Only did that for a couple of years and then we had a conspiracy so it kind of turned me sour. Our league's commissioner, Lew Ford(notes) at the time, was doing some shady things that ... I'd rather not talk about [laughs].
                  DB: Isn't he in Japan right now?
                  JM: I don't know where Lou is right now. He's probably fleeing the authorities [laughs].


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by [email protected]
                    "I did bring several to your attention, what did you think of them?"

                    I don't remember seeing them. Who are they? Show them to me again, and I will tell you what I think.

                    Glasscock, Ozzie, Bancroft, GDavis, GMcBride, Maranville, Doolan, Belanger, and Aparicio,

                    but probably not Wallace and hardly GWright (5.35 RF vs 5.27 league)

                    Bill Burgess

                    Ozzie Smith...not the best...overrated but damn good

                    Bancroft...above average but should not be mentioned

                    McBride...Better than Bancroft and any other AL SS...too bad he couldn't hit, but like Jeter he was called Pinch, for his clutchness

                    Maranville...The Best defensive SS of all time

                    Doolan...Better than Bancroft, not better than McBride


                    Aparicio...very with Ozzie Smith

                    Bobby Wallace...considering, 3b was the more defensive position, how he constantly made single game records was OUTSTANDING. His RF goes down because of his odd career, time off for umpiring, PT player/manager...look at his prime numbers Bill. He was better then Ozzie Smith

                    Honus Wagner...maybe he is a given? Better then Smith only pales to Wallace, Aparacio Smith and Wallace

                    Joe Tinker...when he played he was pretty damn good, a George McBride who could hit.

                    Donie Bush...Slightly better then Bancroft, less then Mcbride and tinker.

                    and I agree with the Jack Clements comment

                    Bill and I disagree, he goes with Buck Ewing I go with Jack Clements as the best C of the 19th century...and the best Philly C of all time


                    • #25
                      Anyone up to taking a crack at rating the recent 2nd basemen defensively.


                      or the greats from the past: Defensively Only:


                      Bill Burgess


                      • #26
                        Grich, Sandberg and Biggio are pretty much neck-in-neck (maybe I could break my tie if I decided my undecided hypothetical Gold Gloves). Then Alomar, Kent and Soriano.

                        Maz, McPhee, Fox & Collins are so awesome it's hard to pick among them. Slightly below that would be Lajoie, then Gehringer. Then you've got the merely good or worse, with possibly Carew (not sure what to do with his split time), Morgan, Evers (overrated), JRobinson (split time again), Frisch and Hornsby. Flame away
                        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


                        • #27
                          Players I actually saw play

                          Mickey Mantle 1956 Triple Crown Winner


                          • #28
                            Best Defensive 2B's by decade

                            pre-1900: Bid McPhee
                            1900s: Nap Lajoie
                            1910s: Eddie Collins (or George Cutshaw)
                            1920s: Frankie Frisch
                            1930s: Charley Gehringer (or Ski Merillo or Hughie Critz)
                            1940s: Joe Gordon
                            1950s: Nellie Fox
                            1960s: Bill Mazeroski
                            1970s: Boby Grich
                            1980s: Ryne Sandberg (or Whitake or White)
                            1990s: Robbie Alomar


                            • #29

                              I looked over your good analysis, but something is missing. I don't feel it is fair to compare Charlie to Joe in terms of leading their leagues.

                              Charlie had to go head to head with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Hank Greenberg, Joe D., Al Simmons, and a few others who Joey never had to cross lances with.

                              If little Joey had had to clang swords with those campfire legends, I doubt if he'd have done any better in leading his league in Slg. ave, onbase ave., OPS, OBP, etc.

                              Despite integration, to say that Joey came up in a much softer offensive climate, is to understate the obvious by many degrees. Charlie came up in an era of Giants, Joey in an era of midgets, by comparison. Quality of eras can skew the Relative stats.

                              Charlie hit as well as Joey did, but had a much tougher level of hitter to cope with for his league leads. Just two completely different calibers of offensive competition. Joey had Schmidtie/Benchie to deal with but it's just not the same thing.

                              I believe that Gehringer wiped the floor with him in D. and Joey only cleaned Charlie's clock in the running game. And Charlie ran well, but wasn't in Joey's league on the bags. Joey had somewhat more pop, but that's about it.

                              Charlie may have done worse in Relative Stats, but only because true behemoths roamed the BB landscape in those days.
                              You're probably right about the top players Gehringer was competing against to lead the league. A very valid point. But taking the leagues as a whole, I can't believe that the 1920's all white league was better than the post intergration, better scouting coverage 60's and 70's.

                              Plus Morgan had to hit guys like Koufax, Perry, Jenkins, Gibson, Marichal, Carlton, Seaver, Drysdale, and Niekro. Gehringer had Grove to battle, but Lyons, Penncock, and Covelski just aren't in the same class as the top guys Morgan faced.
                              I see it. I agree that Gehringer is fourth ever.

                              Gehringer is a better hitter for average, even in the context of era. Morgan has a bit more plate discipline, true. Gehringer is significantly better in league adjusted slugging. Remember how many doubles the guy hit; he averaged 40 every 162 games, while Morgan averaged 27.

                              Gehringer drove in 100 runs 7 times, Morgan once. Gehringer scored 100 12 times, Morgan 8. Morgan was a better basestealer, though Gehringer wasn't bad.

                              So far, I have that Morgan had more plate discipline and better base stealing, while Gehringer had better contact hitting, and took more extra bases. Morgan hit a couple more homers, but not enough to make up for Charlie's advantage in doubles and triples.

                              The kicker here, though, is defense. Morgan was very good. Gehringer was outstanding, borderline all time great. I put him behind Mazeroski, Joe Gordon, Bid McPhee, and nobody else.

                              To me, it's hard to see how not to put Gehringer ahead of Morgan, unless you're going strictly on OPS+.
                              The numbers don't back up your claim that Gehringer was a better defensive player - let alone that he ranks among the absolute best ever second basemen.

                              Relative slugging: Gehringer 113, Morgan 111. Make a timeline adjustment since Morgan played against a deeper league and their dead even.

                              So, slugging is even, and we'll say their even in fielding (stats give an edge to Morgan, but we'll just say even). What we have left is Morgan's superior OBP and baserunning. Gehringer has a better batting average. I still take Morgan.

                              And Gehringer should have more seasons with 100 runs or RBIs. He played during an offensive explosion and had a great team. Morgan played in an era that favored pitching (he did have a great lineup).

                              Bill Burgess
                              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-09-2005, 11:21 PM.


                              • #30
                                My list

                                I figured this list would come out soon.

                                1B: Keith Hernandez
                                2B: Maz
                                SS: Ozzie Smith
                                3B: Scott Rolen
                                LF: Bonds ;-)
                                CF: Mays
                                RF: Clemente
                                P: Maddux
                                C: I-Rod
                                DH: Edgar Martinez

                                2nd team:
                                1B: Bill Terry
                                2B: Joe Gordon
                                SS: Omar Vizquel
                                3B: Brooks
                                LF: Andruw Jones- no one comes to mind as far as real LFers
                                CF: Speaker
                                RF: Ichiro
                                P: Kaat
                                C: Bench
                                DH: Frank Thomas

                                Last edited by Pghfan987; 03-14-2005, 11:12 PM.


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