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  • #31
    This is slightly tangential but relates to the park issue: Candlestick probably affected fielders more than hitters (WCOAB - you agree or no?). Sometimes there wouldn't be a whiff of a breeze, other times the winds would swirl every which-way. I've seen balls hit to left that looked like sure homeruns but they'd hit an incoming wind, slow down and drop like a wounded bird. But at times they'd catch the breeze, especially to right it seemed, and just keep going. If there was any pattern, I'd guess that it would have related to starting times, because the park was backed by the hills on one side and faced the water on the other. As breezes generally move in the direction of warm, rising air, I'd expect the wind blowing out during games that started later. But if the game started at night, the fog could came in and the air would get wet and heavy. It wasn't one park, really, it was several, so all in all, no surprise that homeruns were about equal home and away. Playing outfield there was no bargain. Mays or Aaron? It's win-win, but if forced to make a choice, I guess it's Mays. Call it the Hustle Factor -- no offense to Aaron intended.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by BoSox Rule
      Carlos Guillen was better than Vladimir Guerrero in 2004. Forget about the names for a second. Carlos Guillen hit .318/.379/.542 with a .316 EqA and Vladimir Guerrero hit .336/.391/.598. The average SS hit .275/.325/.422 and the average RF hit .276/.344/.440. Carlos Guillen was a 40 run fielder at the most important position in the field and Vladimir Guerrero was about average in RF.
      Just because a player is better than average at his position than another player does not make him a better player. If that were true Honus Wagner should be #1 on your list by that logic. Trust me, Warp is a great stat, it used to be my stat of choice until I noticed things like Ott>Gehrig and Guillen>Guerrero that my mind could let me accept.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Ursa Major
        Quick question to all. In the aggregate, do hitters hit more home runs at home than away? If you take all hitters for all teams, the park advantages obviously balance out, so whatever split you have may account simply for an overall "home field" advantage, as exists in other sports -- whether the advantage comes from simply sleeping at home, avoiding travel, comfort with the facilities, familiarity with the lighting and background, whatever... In other words, is the negligible 11 home run SF Giant home-away home run differential less than would be expected in a perfectly average park?
        Here are the last 4 years HR totals fro ESPN.com:

        2005 Home 2539, road 2478, +2.5%
        2004 Home 2710, road 2741, -1.1%
        2003 Home 2574, road 2633, -2.3%
        2002 Home 2529, road 2478, +2.1%

        4 year totals: Home 10,352 road 10,330. + 0.2%

        Using a four year sample size, the difference is negligable. I'd be interested to see if it is any different over a longer period of time

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        • #34
          Originally posted by leecemark
          --Even if you give Willie the most optimistic projection for the time missed in 52-3 he still comes up short of Hank in all the counting stats. With their rate stats being virtually identical that would appear to put Hank slightly ahead as a hitter. Willie was still the better player due to his defensive and baserunning advantages though. That said, Aaron has the edge in one or both of those categories over most of the other great hitters.
          Mark,
          Did you get a chance to read articles I posted and the conclusions they yielded?

          It isn't just the 275 games Willie Mays missed in 52 and 53 after being drafted, it's the fact that Aaron's park from 1966-74 bolstered his (and everybody else's) homeruns by an incredible 40%. As I said before, had Mays been blessed to play in a shoebox like Atlanta and hadn't missed almost two full seasons to war, he'd have easily contested Aaron in career homeruns. In fact (I already discussed this in my previous post) the most accurate estimate is roughly 780 career homeruns, after things are made fair.
          Last edited by csh19792001; 01-04-2006, 10:59 AM.

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          • #35
            By my back of the envelope calculations Aaron hit 50 homers over his road homers in his Atlanta years. With the majority of that advantage coming in the first two years of the 1970's. While in that time Mays hit 7 homers over his road.

            Now in terms of hypo's if Aaron plays in a league average park and Mays doesn't miss time then yeah I think Mays is the one that break Ruth's record first and is also the home run champ.

            Now then I doub't Mays home run total would have gone up by much or I should say enough to surpass Aaron had he still missed time because of the war but got to play in Atlanta. 1966 to 1973 for Mays contained little of his peak and all of his decline. 1966 was the first year in which Mays slips from his pedastal and becomes a mere very good player instead of a god. Playing in Atlanta in this time probably gives him at most 30 more homers for his career.

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            • #36
              I forgot to mention that if Mays doesn't lose time to war and gets the Atlanta environment while nothing changes for Aaron he still probably falls short of Aaron. Or I should say Aaron still winds up ahead of MAys.

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              • #37
                --Aaron played in a big HR park late in his career, but a poor one for most of it. Aaron lost as many HR to County Stadium as he gained from Fulton. His home/road HR split is fairly nuetral amoung the great HR hitters.

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                • #38
                  If people are going on OPS+ to make their comparison, it's just another instance of people being misled by a lousy stat and continuing to endorse it.

                  OPS+ assumes all parks affect all hitters- (and all types of hitters) equally. This is incredibly flawed right from the start.

                  In his nine years in Atlanta, Aaron hit 192 homers at home, 145 on the road. But besides the home runs, the park wasn't especially a hitter's park, at least until a few new NL ballparks came into play midway through that string. Here are Aaron's home-road breakdowns, as taken from the Bill James Historical Abstract (the 1987 version), along with the Batters' Park Factors from Baseball-Reference.com. Remember that the BPFs are for runs and not homers, an important distinction which Perry recently discussed in the context of Dodger Stadium. I've split Aaron's Atlanta period into two eras, one in which his park played as essentially neutral on scoring and the other when it became a hitter's park; the average Park Factors for those eras are weighted by Aaron's plate appearances:
                  Here's another article that shows how omnibus park factors are very crude thumbnails that distort the truth of things by glossing over the important details.

                  http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ar...articleid=2678

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by BillyF29
                    Just because a player is better than average at his position than another player does not make him a better player. If that were true Honus Wagner should be #1 on your list by that logic. Trust me, Warp is a great stat, it used to be my stat of choice until I noticed things like Ott>Gehrig and Guillen>Guerrero that my mind could let me accept.
                    If a magic fairy appeared before you and promised you that she'd make any one of your team's position players hit .350 with 60 homers next year, which position would you pick? If you think about it, most people would say either catcher or shortstop, because if you pick left field, it's less of an offensive improvement for your team. If you pick catcher, you have a catcher who hits 60 homers and an average hitting left fielder. If you pick left fielder, you have a left fielder who hits 60 homers and an average hitting catcher. The first team will score far more runs.
                    "Hall of Famer Whitey Ford now on the field... pleading with the crowd for, for some kind of sanity!"

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                    • #40
                      The only reason Ott is greater then Gehrig is because he played about 600 more games then Gehrig. But in terms of rate Gehrig is better as well as compiling more Win per season then does Ott.

                      As for Guillen-guerrero I have no clue which guys you are talking about. No guillen I know is ranked higher then Vlad.

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                      • #41
                        Nice find Chris.

                        All around, I still give the nod to Willie, he was better at his best, and continued at a high level for a long time. Aaron was great as his best, but not as good, and maintained a bit better than Willie for a long time.

                        Hank Aaron certainly doesn't get his due, but not being as good as good as Mays only precludes him, according to many people's lists, from being the greatest player of all time.

                        Somebody stated earlier that if Willie usually finishes in the top three and Aaron around 10, maybe we should examine the guys in the middle and not just Willie. I think that's a good idea.
                        THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

                        In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Ubiquitous
                          The only reason Ott is greater then Gehrig is because he played about 600 more games then Gehrig. But in terms of rate Gehrig is better as well as compiling more Win per season then does Ott.

                          As for Guillen-guerrero I have no clue which guys you are talking about. No guillen I know is ranked higher then Vlad.
                          I agree with everything you said except "the only reason Ott is greater than Gehrig".....I'm not even sure, reading that again, that you actually agree with that statement, though- did you mean to put "has more career value" in place of "greater" ? In any case...

                          True, Ott played more games, but nearly 400 of those games were played against substandard competition, while most of the best players in the league were off fighting for their country. During the last two seasons basically all of the regular major leaguers were gone, and in 1945 a one armed outfielder played a partial season for the Browns.

                          By that time, Gehrig had long since died tragically from ALS, so he wasn't able to stay in the lineup and tack onto those counting stats.

                          Second, the AL was just the better league in the inter-war era. This is just a fact, and we've discussed this one to death.

                          And once again, look at how he hit at every other park besides The Polo Grounds compared to the average RFer of his day. He wasn't even great, let alone an alltime great. It's one thing to exploit a park with silly idiosyncratic loopholes (which many see here as noble), but another when you can't show yourself to be an alltime great when you no longer have a 256 line to aim for, and actually have to hit legitimate homeruns.
                          Last edited by csh19792001; 01-04-2006, 09:44 PM.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by digglahhh
                            Nice find Chris.

                            All around, I still give the nod to Willie, he was better at his best, and continued at a high level for a long time. Aaron was great as his best, but not as good, and maintained a bit better than Willie for a long time.

                            Hank Aaron certainly doesn't get his due, but not being as good as good as Mays only precludes him, according to many people's lists, from being the greatest player of all time.

                            Somebody stated earlier that if Willie usually finishes in the top three and Aaron around 10, maybe we should examine the guys in the middle and not just Willie. I think that's a good idea.
                            In complete agreement with everything here, esp the last part. Not that he doesn't have an argument for greatest ever, but Mays is (and has always been) overhyped, while Aaron oddly (yet somehow also not unexpectedly) remains underhyped by most, it seems.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by csh19792001
                              In complete agreement with everything here, esp the last part. Not that he doesn't have an argument for greatest ever, but Mays is (and has always been) overhyped, while Aaron oddly (yet somehow also not unexpectedly) remains underhyped by most, it seems.
                              Chris,

                              I'm not surprised too much either. I suspect that a good portion of PR stems from a player's personality, onfield & off. Willie was always extroverted, laughing, cheerful, and played with that air of excitement.

                              Hank was never too extroverted. He was very self-contained, almost laconic. Came to work, did superb work, didn't talk much. Let his play speak for him.

                              And as I said before, Willie started in NYC, land of media hype. Milwaukee was probably lucky if they had 2 great newspapers.

                              Some of the most gifted ballplayers of all time, despite their superlative talents, were not colorful.

                              Gehrig, Collins, Sisler, Foxx, Wagner, Koufax, Spahn, Schmidt, Foxx, Gehringer, Musial, DiMaggio, W. Johnson, Mathewson, Alexander, Maddux, and a hundred more got minimal PR, due to they probably didn't court it or milk it.

                              You know the type. Usually looks down in interviews, defers to everything, never criticize anyone, and always call someone, "Oh, he's a real good ballplayer. Always hustles. Never complains." Gee, how boring. The sports writers can not do much without much to work with.

                              But Ruth, Cobb, Dean, Waddell, Gomez, Mays, Bonds, Williams, Hornsby never tried to be "personable". Always said what was on their minds. And I think that has a lot to do with how much PR they received.

                              Bill B.
                              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-04-2006, 10:02 PM.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by leecemark
                                --Aaron played in a big HR park late in his career, but a poor one for most of it. Aaron lost as many HR to County Stadium as he gained from Fulton. His home/road HR split is fairly nuetral amoung the great HR hitters.
                                This is true. Had Aaron played his peak seasons in good hitting ballparks he would have had several 50+ HR seasons. At least once, I believe, he he hit 30 HRs on the road in one seaosn. I'll go dig it up. I think Bill James mentioned it in the original BJHBA.
                                Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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