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How Would They Look if They Got Out When They Were Still Good?

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  • How Would They Look if They Got Out When They Were Still Good?

    a lot of ballplayers stay too long - we've all seen the picture of willie mays on his knees begging at home plate in the 1973 w.s. and misplaying balls in that series - sort of a sad montage signifying the end of a great career - perhaps the end we didn't need to see

    but this is a stat question - how much better would they look - my example:

    brooks robinson retired in 1977 at age 40 - took a complete nose dive batting after 1974 (his 20th season) - batting average dropped from a very respectable .272 to a so-so .267

    don't we judge a .272 batting average a lot differently than a .267 if we're just flipping pages reading the end result

  • #2
    I have a good non-baseball one. Michael Jordan. I think Sammy should have left last year.
    "I don't like to sound egotistical, but every time I stepped up to the plate with a bat in my hands, I couldn't help but feel sorry for the pitcher."
    -Rogers Hornsby-

    "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."
    -Rogers Hornsby-

    Just a note to all the active members of BBF, I consider all of you the smartest baseball people I have ever communicated with and love everyday I am on here. Thank you all!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bkmckenna
      a lot of ballplayers stay too long - we've all seen the picture of willie mays on his knees begging at home plate in the 1973 w.s. and misplaying balls in that series - sort of a sad montage signifying the end of a great career - perhaps the end we didn't need to see

      but this is a stat question - how much better would they look - my example:

      brooks robinson retired in 1977 at age 40 - took a complete nose dive batting after 1974 (his 20th season) - batting average dropped from a very respectable .272 to a so-so .267

      don't we judge a .272 batting average a lot differently than a .267 if we're just flipping pages reading the end result
      Great question. Take off Reggie Jackson's last 5 years and his average is considerably better than the .262 he ends up with. Conversely, guys like Kirby Puckett and Joe Jackson with normal decline periods would take some of the shine off of their percentage stats. I guess that's why you always have to look at peak and career when judging greatness.

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      • #4
        I've developed one possible method for seeing through that problem in percentage/rate stats, but I agree...a lot of people focus too hard on the career averages and don't look at who the player actually was when he was in his prime (*cough*Jimmy Wynn*cough*cough*)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Barnstormer
          Great question. Take off Reggie Jackson's last 5 years and his average is considerably better than the .262 he ends up with. Conversely, guys like Kirby Puckett and Joe Jackson with normal decline periods would take some of the shine off of their percentage stats. I guess that's why you always have to look at peak and career when judging greatness.
          I would agree with this normally, except in the case of Joe Jackson. He was ousted right when the game was being geared toward offense and had put up a great season in 1920 at 30 years old. And that was done with the recent happenings fresh on his mind. He would have been a young 31 in '21 and if you give him only 5 more years in the offensive geared 20's, along with a 2 or 3 year "decline," his numbers would be pretty darn impressive.

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          • #6
            I do this a lot, actually. Mostly for low BA guys, because a lot of guys who weren't known for their batting averages had just horrid ones the last few years of their career, which I think makes the career average slightly misleading. Some of the bigger ones off the top of my head...

            Reggie Jackson through age 36: .272/.363/.512, 464 HR, 1386 RBI, 149 OPS+
            Reggie Jackson, Career: .262/.356/.490, 563 HR, 1702 RBI, 139 OPS+

            Willie McCovey through age 37: .276/.386/.538, 458 HR, 1296 RBI, 157 OPS+
            Willie McCovey, Career: .270/.374/.515, 521 HR, 1555 RBI, 148 OPS+

            Bbref.com doesn't do that sort of thing for pitchers, but Steve Carlton hurt his career ERA a lot by hanging around too long.

            Through age 39, Carlton's ERA was 3.04, and his record was 313-207. 430 terrible innings later, his ERA was 3.22 and his record was 329-244.
            "Hall of Famer Whitey Ford now on the field... pleading with the crowd for, for some kind of sanity!"

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            • #7
              I can see the merits to this, but in terms of "value" as so many of the members here like to think, the guys are just trading rate stats for counting stats.

              One very simple indicator of counting marks achieved "undeservingly" through longevity, or an indicator that a career ranking is misprepresentative of the players actualy prowess is to look at those marks in relation to pure longevity stats, or negative counting stats that accumulate over time too.

              For example a ranking of 18th all time in a counting stat like RBIs is great, but if he ranks higher in longevity stats, like ABs or Games, its not as impressive. Vice versa, huge longevity stats and high rate stat rankings are impressive too. Take for example a guy like Griffey- his counting stats are incredibly impressive- he has another full season to go before breaking into the top 100 in games played, but he is top 100 in tons of counting stats, top 50 in a bunch. He has played over 2000 games, so his rate stats, while not as impressive as like Aaron or something, have been sustained a long time too. I guess above all I value efficiency- which I am a Pedro-phile.
              THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

              In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

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              • #8
                that's good info on carlton

                i guess we are watching one fall apart now - sammy sosa

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                • #9
                  Kevin Brown has probably hurt his hall chances by playing last year.

                  Another one of my favorites, David Cone, also should have hung it up a few years earlier.

                  Check out his stats through the first 14 years (age 36)

                  64% win %
                  180-102
                  2590.3 IP
                  2420 Ks
                  8.4 K's/9 innings
                  3.19 ERA
                  4.17 League adjusted ERA
                  131 League adjusted era+

                  His 131 ERA+ seemed to indicate serious hall consideration was due as it would have put him tied with Sandy Koufax at 31st best all-time. Through this point in his career, his most similar pitcher was Randy Johnson.

                  Now here is where he ended up
                  61% win%
                  194-126
                  2898.7 IP
                  2668 K's
                  8.3 K's/9 innings
                  3.46 ERA
                  4.16 League adjusted ERA
                  120 LEAGUE adjusted era+

                  In a little more than 300 innings, Cone's career adjusted ERA+ when from 31st best all-time to being tied for 96th best all-time with Jose Rijo! At the end of his career, his most similar pitcher was Dwight Gooden.

                  My question then is how do we evaluate a career like this? He certainly gets docked for playing those extra years but should he?

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                  • #10
                    id still be honored to see someone like sosa or griffey play, even if they arent as great as they used to be.I think both these players can have two or three more good seasons, if they addapt.

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