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Steve Garvey's Defense

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  • leewileyfan
    replied
    Originally posted by JR Hart View Post
    > oh yeah Gold Glove 4X

    I know that the sabers hate him, but he had quite an accomplished career..
    JR: The thread is about Garvey's defense. I don't believe anyone has knocked him in every aspect of his play, but only challenged the trustworthiness of his several GG Awards.

    Tarring everybody with an interest in statistical models for evaluating aspects of player careers as "sabers" is a generalization that begs the question. I am an old-timer, a once avid fan who has over the years simply become more interested in interpreting available data to have a more informed grasp on the historical elements of defense. I am no "saber. I do not see advanced mathematics; regression analyses or scientific application to every aspect of baseball performance as the ultimate Holy Grail for one wanting to be "an informed fan."

    As for Gold Glove Awards and their credibility:

    1. Rawlings has very wisely kept its corporate and product image separate and distinct from the internal politics of Gold Glove selection[s];

    2. This has turned out to be a very wise strategy because of the wide disagreements among fans about who were "deserving" Award winners;

    3. If one needs examples of questionable credibility, one has only to look at the unreal sequences and lengthy streaks of annual awards. One a winner, one has a pretty good chance of being a perennial "repeater," in a total disconnect from reality.

    4. If one wants a specific reference, just look to 1B in 1999. Rafael Palmeiro was a DH. He appeared at first base in only 246.1 innings [about 27 games]. He won the A.L. Gold Glove Award for 1999, as a 1B-man.

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  • JR Hart
    replied
    I don't think anybody has been downgraded more than Garvey, since he retired. I'll offer a few positives.

    > National League consecutive games played record. It took a home plate collision to get him out of the lineup.

    > League MVP

    > MVP runnerup

    > 200 hits 6X

    > All Star 10X

    > 100 RBI 5X

    > 30 2B 6X

    > NLCS Batting record in 22 games .356/.383/.678 8 hrs 21 RBI 61 TB

    > Postseason batting in 55 games .338/.361/.550 11 HRs 31 RBI 122 TB

    > NLCS MVP 2X

    > All star Game MVP 2X

    > oh yeah Gold Glove 4X

    I know that the sabers hate him, but he had quite an accomplished career.

    .
    Last edited by JR Hart; 09-17-2012, 04:36 PM.

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  • BigRon
    replied
    Originally posted by leewileyfan View Post
    Big Ron: Since the thread is not about us, I'll just say that perhaps you might hold off on using "WRONG" when you question something I say. Other that that the geographical/social swap is fine be me.

    RE: Garvey, from what I've seen, he was no Gold Glover. I trust my metric enough to stand by the numbers. I NEVER saw any display of fielding range by Garvey; but I did see more than a few from Buckner.

    To clarify: Range is very different at 1B from what it is at other positions. It is, by the nature of the demands of the position, a narrow sphere [ray] of opportunity ... 10-15' to the right or left ... or bust. Buckner had good fielder's hands and quick reflexes that I observed, which was part of the assists to begin with.
    lee, at least in this thread I used "incorrect", not "wrong". That said, I saw both Garvey and Buckner numerous times, as I assume you did. My view is different than yours. I agree that Buckner had good reflexes, but they were usually cancelled out by his inability to make a move, due to his damaged ankles/knees. You have your opinion, I have mine- that's part of what makes the world of baseball so fascinating.

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  • Dude Paskert
    replied
    I can't read the Bill James comment right now, but I do remember reading his comments on Buckner and thinking, "How come NOBODY else ever mentioned this totally obvious thing?"
    I'd watch Buckner standing there with the ball near the bag while the pitcher hustled over to cover and practically feel my skin crawl as I wondered why he didn't just touch the base...why have a throw and catch for no reason other than to prove a point when he could just place a toe on the bag and have zero chance of losing the ball in a transfer? Like I mentioned before, I thought Buckner was pretty cool even through his Boston days, but that tendency of his drove me nuts.

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  • leewileyfan
    replied
    Big Ron: Since the thread is not about us, I'll just say that perhaps you might hold off on using "WRONG" when you question something I say. Other that that the geographical/social swap is fine be me.

    RE: Garvey, from what I've seen, he was no Gold Glover. I trust my metric enough to stand by the numbers. I NEVER saw any display of fielding range by Garvey; but I did see more than a few from Buckner.

    To clarify: Range is very different at 1B from what it is at other positions. It is, by the nature of the demands of the position, a narrow sphere [ray] of opportunity ... 10-15' to the right or left ... or bust. Buckner had good fielder's hands and quick reflexes that I observed, which was part of the assists to begin with.

    Leave a comment:


  • BigRon
    replied
    Originally posted by leewileyfan View Post
    Big Ron: In all fairness to both of us, and to keep those scales in even balance, you have been very quick to tell me how "wrong" I am in anything from innings-to games to individual player evaluations, to inclusions-exclusions from my metric. When I respond, you seem not to be there with further conversation. You have countered me with James and his observations; and you impose upon yourself nothing more stringent than, as you have expressed it, "just my observations." That is fair enough.

    However, it can become tedious when, in another thread, using James as the standard, you wrote, regarding the same Bill Buckner:



    So, really - which is it. Am i ridiculously rating Buckner rather high in the face of his being both hobbled and self-preserving with 3-1 plays? Or, it is reasonable to say that Buckner was a darned good defensive 1B-man, playing through his aches and pains?

    Let's remember, he stole over 50 bases, with a 73% success rate, when he was in predictable decline years [1982-1986].

    I would add that James placing him "clearly above average" comports rather well with my own metric. I believe I had Buckner at .983, career, at a time when [by the metric] .963 or so was "average." It's about +4 to +5 DR > average, which is quite good at 1B. The metric, being position-specific, recognizes that the position itself has inherent limitations on +/- DR capabilities.
    lee, I don't understand your complaint here. If you read my post #15, I clearly say that I thought that Buckner was a respectable first baseman despite his physical ailments. I DO think Garvey was better- his agility and quickness offset his real throwing deficiencies, in my opinion. I rated Garvey as a B to B+ defender, Buckner as about a B-, due almost completely due to his lack of quickness/range, as noted by Dude Paskert. B- is still above average. I NEVER claimed that your rating of Buckner was out of line. I DID say that I thought Garvey was better and that a system which showed GARVEY to be a negative defender was in error. My opinion, just that. I didn't reference you specifically, and it's clear that tyrus' tread was precipitated by BB-Ref's negative rating of Garvey- that's where 99% of BBFers get their info.

    I appreciate your efforts on defensive metrics, though I sometimes don't agree with them. I DO question some of your inclusions/exclusions of data when making your evaluations, but it's not possible to have a real in depth discussion about your/my rationale without sitting down for an evening or two over beers- or other libations.

    So, I'll make an offer. If you're ever up my way- Pennsylvania- let me know and I'll invite you over to discuss. If I'm in Florida- I think that's where you've mentioned you are- I'll be happy to visit and do the same.

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  • leewileyfan
    replied
    drstrangelove:

    Thanks indeed for that link to the James write-up on Garvey and Buckner. As I read it, I could see [and appreciate] all the more why I am inclined to take James [and especially his subjective player "narratives"] with a huge grain of salt.

    Years back, when I first read James' work, I was struck by a certain undercurrent of self-contradiction between his verbal expansiveness and his numerical preciseness. There always appeared [to me] to be a good deal of circumlocution, that took the reader AWAY from the statistical and TOWARD a confused and garbled narrative summary. Admitting a bias, I always felt that James considered himself "entitled" to speak to personal player motives and in-game attitudes.

    Here, in a single thread, we have varying poster inputs on Buckner and Garvey. Big Ron tells me on the one hand how handicapped and self-preserving Buckner was, yet adds that James had him a solid B [above average] at 1B. The thread is really about Steve Garvey and his defense, which I find mediocre at best. James alludes to Garvey's Gold Glove Awards in a way that seems to sanction them as well deserved. I need no interpreter of guide to be convinced of how incredibly bad some Gold Glove Awards have been in the face of reality ... like a DH winning one for 27 games at 1B.

    Fortunately [or not ... a consequence of age, age - better than the alternative] I have seen both men play. I recall the hurting Buckner having Dave Stapleton [ a darn good fielder himself] as a late inning replacement. That image did not spread some kind of indelible stain for me onto Buckner [as being somehow inadequate ... or Stapleton as being merely a "caddie"]; and this is the bone I have to pick with the whole James approach. He SEEMS to fixate on a mental image ... after which all narrative supports the image.

    Buckner MAY have stood 5' from the bag insisting on a pitcher to cover first; but I suspect this is more an exaggerated convention to drive home a point. Buckner, much like a Kirk Gibson or a Pete Rose, was probably a very crusty, hard-edged, hot tempered competitor, not kindly disposed to more laid-back or "lazy" teammates. I can easily see him lighting a fire under a slow moving pitcher, lax about covering first on an infield grounder.

    Whether it was pain or tradition: Buckner was RIGHT. It is the pitchers' task to cover. If one is reading Buckner's mind, why not Garvey's ... reading into it the improbable conclusion: Stay away! I am afraid to throw the ball to you.

    I want a metric that eases me and my personal opinion out of the numbers. ASSISTS matter, even at 1B.

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  • drstrangelove
    replied
    http://books.google.com/books?id=3uS...page&q&f=false

    Bill James take.
    Last edited by drstrangelove; 09-14-2012, 12:32 PM.

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  • leewileyfan
    replied
    Originally posted by BigRon View Post
    A few comments on Buckner. A nice player who would have been better with good legs. I remember him having leg problems- knees, and I think ankles- early in his career. He and Garvey competed for 1B and Garvey won out, so Buckner went back to the OF, but he suffered out there. Buckner was a good first baseman in many ways, but Dude's right, he had almost no quickness due to his leg problems. He always made the pitchers take the throw at first- it was the way he learned to play, and it saved his legs. Buckner's range definitely was less than Garvey's, but he was still a decent first baseman. He threw well and was basically sound- I'd give him a modest + as a defender- probably a B-.

    I think that models which show Garvey as a negative defender are incorrect. No proof on my part, just my observations.
    Big Ron: In all fairness to both of us, and to keep those scales in even balance, you have been very quick to tell me how "wrong" I am in anything from innings-to games to individual player evaluations, to inclusions-exclusions from my metric. When I respond, you seem not to be there with further conversation. You have countered me with James and his observations; and you impose upon yourself nothing more stringent than, as you have expressed it, "just my observations." That is fair enough.

    However, it can become tedious when, in another thread, using James as the standard, you wrote, regarding the same Bill Buckner:

    :lee, you seem to scoff at the mention of James' name. Just to set the record straight, James evaluates Buckner as a lifetime B defender at 1B- clearly above average. That may or may not coincide well with your ranking, but James definitely sees him as above average.
    So, really - which is it. Am i ridiculously rating Buckner rather high in the face of his being both hobbled and self-preserving with 3-1 plays? Or, it is reasonable to say that Buckner was a darned good defensive 1B-man, playing through his aches and pains?

    Let's remember, he stole over 50 bases, with a 73% success rate, when he was in predictable decline years [1982-1986].

    I would add that James placing him "clearly above average" comports rather well with my own metric. I believe I had Buckner at .983, career, at a time when [by the metric] .963 or so was "average." It's about +4 to +5 DR > average, which is quite good at 1B. The metric, being position-specific, recognizes that the position itself has inherent limitations on +/- DR capabilities.
    Last edited by leewileyfan; 09-14-2012, 12:21 PM.

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  • PVNICK
    replied
    On Buckner. As I recall he was fast when he came up but had a bad ankle injury somewhere along the way in the mid to late 1970s.

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  • Jackaroo Dave
    replied
    In his 5 years with the Padres, Garvey started 0 (zero) 3-6-3 double plays. Over that period he had 10 3-6 DP's but 9 of them appear to be on line drives.

    Leave a comment:


  • leewileyfan
    replied
    Originally posted by BigRon View Post
    I think that models which show Garvey as a negative defender are incorrect. No proof on my part, just my observations.
    Then we agree to disagree.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben Grimm
    replied
    Originally posted by ipitch View Post
    Which is rather ironic because he was known for his big arms.
    Was Garvey the guy who rumor had that he used to bust tennis balls in his bare hands? IIRC, his forearms were massive, but I was only a kid when he was playing.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jackaroo Dave
    replied
    To compare Garvey to the gold standard: Keith Hernandez made 392 assists to second base; Garvey, in slightly more defensive PA's, made 99. Hernandez made 32 to home, Garvey 16.

    Leave a comment:


  • BigRon
    replied
    Originally posted by Dude Paskert View Post
    I have to disagree on this one, I saw plenty of Billy Buck with the Cubs and he had the same poor mobility then. He would make the pitcher cover on plays that were 5 feet from the bag. His glove wasn't really the problem, the poor guy was just in such constant pain that his first step was awful. He fit in a little better in the OF because his speed wasn't so bad once he got going, but then the constant running would just make his pain worse over time.
    I liked Buckner as a kid, thought his high tops were cool and I wore some to copy him...didn't realize then that he wore them because of his physical problems.
    I tend to side with Dude on this. Focusing first on Garvey- the point of the thread: Garvey was an athletic guy with good quickness and decent speed. Good quickness is a major attribute for corner IF play. His quickness and respectable speed created good range at first. He had good hands. He wasn't a real tall guy so he didn't provide a huge target at first, but his combination of good hands and ability to scoop well- as I remember it- made for an excellent receiver of throws. As is well documented, Garvey couldn't throw. I assume- but don't know- that he had some kind of arm injury fairly early in his professional career, hastening his move to first. This lack of throwing ability led to some problems for Garvey at first-he was bad at making the first- second first play, or relaying throws to third or home. That's a negative. But other than that, he was good- probably more than good. Overall, I'd rate him as a solid + defender, even factoring in his real throwing liabilities- a grade score of close to B+.

    A few comments on Buckner. A nice player who would have been better with good legs. I remember him having leg problems- knees, and I think ankles- early in his career. He and Garvey competed for 1B and Garvey won out, so Buckner went back to the OF, but he suffered out there. Buckner was a good first baseman in many ways, but Dude's right, he had almost no quickness due to his leg problems. He always made the pitchers take the throw at first- it was the way he learned to play, and it saved his legs. Buckner's range definitely was less than Garvey's, but he was still a decent first baseman. He threw well and was basically sound- I'd give him a modest + as a defender- probably a B-.

    I think that models which show Garvey as a negative defender are incorrect. No proof on my part, just my observations.

    Leave a comment:

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