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  • #46
    Matt,

    "he was slightly above average for his position..."

    Although I've never said that TC was a "great" fielder, I have repeated the assertions of his peers that he was a very, very good fielder.

    If you believe he was only slightly above average, you are seriously mistaken. He did amazing things in the field, suckered runners to run and gunned them out, but there were 3 genius CFers in his time, so he didn't appear statisticly separated. But he was famous for his glove. Like Speaker, he and Milan played a very shallow CF, cut off a lot of bloopers, and ran down a lot of long shots.

    Overall, Ty was only rated 4th in his time as a defensive CF. He was ranked beneath - Speaker, Milan, and Felsch.

    He was generally considered below the following in defense.

    Speaker, Harry Hooper, Duffy Lewis, Clyde Milan, Johny Mostil, Jimmy Sheckard, Max Carey, Eddie Roush. And below Jimmy McAleer & Bill Lange who played earlier.

    He was generally thought of as an equal to Joe Jackson.

    He was considered significantly superior to Babe, Sam Crawford, Earle Combs, Zach Wheat, Harry Heilmann, Red Wingo, Heinie Manush, Bob "Fatty" Fothergill, Ira Flagstead.

    Cobb's gifts in the field were range, backward flight, no one covered any more ground, not even Speaker, Lange or McAleer. He had great judgement in playing the hitters. He could run down and catch up to many long flies. He had a fine OF arm until late 1918, when he injured it.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Name------------PO's/g---------Assists/g------------DPs/g---------Errors/g

    Center Fielders:

    Max Carey---------2.628----------.140----------------.035-----------.097
    Happy Felsch------2.592----------.156----------------.055-----------.071
    Tris Speaker-------2.515----------.166----------------.051-----------.082
    Eddie Roush-------2.455----------.120----------------.022-----------.074
    Ty Cobb----------2.168-(5 of 6)--.133-(5 of 6)--------.036 (3of6)----.092 (4of6)
    Clyde Milan-------2.151----------.154-----------------.030-----------.113
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-09-2005, 07:13 AM.

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by leecemark
      --James never intended the ink tests to be used in rating players. The system is weighted toward the stats Hall of fame voters have traditionally favored. It was part of a system to see who was likely to make the Hall not who was deserving. That is true of the Hall Standards and Monitors as well.
      Then it probably isn't even valuable for this purpose, either. Palmeiro is an absolute lock- but he doesn't look like any kind of likely candidate sitting at 263rd alltime. And if it an estimate of who was likely to make the hall and not deserving, why are so many other guys with absolutely awful black ink scores in? Same with HOF standards and monitor- they do a pretty poor predictive job in the same regard, it seems.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by [email protected]

        Name------------PO's/g---------Assists/g------------DPs/g---------Errors/g

        Center Fielders:

        Max Carey---------2.628----------.140----------------.035-----------.097
        Happy Felsch------2.592----------.156----------------.055-----------.071
        Tris Speaker-------2.515----------.166----------------.051-----------.082
        Eddie Roush-------2.455----------.120----------------.022-----------.074
        Ty Cobb----------2.168-(5 of 6)--.133-(5 of 6)--------.036 (3of6)----.092 (4of6)
        Clyde Milan-------2.151----------.154-----------------.030-----------.113
        Bill-
        I like the comparison, but the problem with those traditional stats is that they are largely based on opportunity- which may or may not be imputed to fielding prowess. Often times not- the pitching staff and the fielders around a guy can produces significantly more or less plays- which entails errors, DP's, and assists. So then trying to seperate the fielder from the team around him becomes brutally tough. I'm not sure how representative and accurate this is.

        Also, consider career length- Cobb played till age 42 and over 3000 games- Milan had a short career and retired at 35, Felsch played very few games and was out of baseball at age 28, and Roush played only 1967 games, retiring at a much younger age than Ty. Since these are rate stats, they need to be considered in light of the amount of games they were carried out over, just as with offensive stats. Remember that Cobb STILL holds the record for most games played in the outfield in baseball history.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by leecemark
          --Matt, you have Williams that high without giving him any credit for years lost to military service?
          Yes...that is the case. He was remarkable...had more 20 win seasons than any player in major league history. More then Bonds...more than Ruth, far more than Cobb.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by [email protected]
            Matt,

            "he was slightly above average for his position..."

            Although I've never said that TC was a "great" fielder, I have repeated the assertions of his peers that he was a very, very good fielder.

            PCA agrees that Cobb was a better outfielder than Babe Ruth, Earl Combs, Heinie Manush, Sam Crawford, Harry Heilmann, Bob Fothergil, Red Wingo, and Ira Flagstad...all of whom PCA considers to be quite poor defensively. Joe Jackson also rates as relatively weak defensively although he had a couple of good seasons in his prime...as did Cobb. And every one of the outfielders on your good list rates as superior to Cobb defensively...

            He may had the repitation of being a good outfielder, but PCA sees a big difference in the value of a good outfielder and a great one...being a good outfielder will get you wins at a slightly higher rate than average...being a great out will get you enough wins to make a big dent in the rankings. Speaker for instance scores almost twice as many defensive wins as Cobb and is therefore just ahead of him on the list despite being a significantly weaker (though still good) hitter.
            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-01-2005, 03:32 PM.

            Comment


            • #51
              --I might add that Cobb, Speaker and Milan were not alone in playing shallow . All outfielders played shallow in the deadball era. That plus the reckless nature of baserunning in that period expalins why all the highest assist totals came before 1920. Speaker was famous for playing shallow even for his time, but I don't know that that was true of Cobb.
              --I might also add that Cobb spent a number of his prime seasons in RF rather than CF. After coming up as a CF, he moved to Rf with Crawford (who was merely average defensively) taking over in CF, that move being reversed when Crawford started to slow down.
              --I think Cobb was a good OF, even a very good one in his best years. He certainly gains ground defensively over the likes of Ruth and Williams (and to a slightly lesser extent Musial). He even gains over excellent defensive corner OFers like Bonds and Aaron. He loses alot of ground to truely great defenders like Speaker and Mays. He was probably not quite as good defensively as Mantle, at least when both were young. The 60s Mantle really shouldn't have been patrolling CF anymore and Cobb may have been the better old defender (better his worn out arm than Mantle's worn out legs).

              Comment


              • #52
                Mark,

                Very nice posting. You've been reading your baseball history again. I agree with what you had to say.

                Cobb switched with Crawford in 1907-09, and played RF, with Sam in CF. They switched back for 1910. Probably due to Cobb showing more speed afoot than Sam could. Their Detroit CF was a very vast one, and Ty could cover it more comprehensively than Sam.

                Milan arrived full-time in 1908 and Speaker in 1909. Even though the deadball allowed all OFers to play more shallow than their later counterparts, and therefore record more A/DP, Speaker raised all their eyebrows in how daringly shallow he set up camp. He totally influenced Milan/Cobb to come in much more than they had previously had. But still not as brazenly shallow as Speaker. Speaker was not that far off the infield dirt. Less than 10 yards, if his peers can be believed. Neither Cobb/Milan could do that & still get back to run down the long shots, but they did come in more than the other OFers did or could. So we're talkin' a matter of degrees.

                It was Speaker's location that allowed him to set up camp so brazenly shallow, & record his ungodly number of assists/DPs. He DID have good Texan chutzpah, defensively. He both made and suppressed more doubles than anyone else ever.

                Bill Burgess
                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-09-2005, 07:36 AM.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Wow, I didn't realize I'd open a can of worms here! Some some thoughts here

                  1) Cobb the Greatest Ever

                  MY intial post was about whether Cobb is the "greatest player ever". I stated that Cobb didn't lead in any major offensive category after 1919. Now doesn't that stike everyone as strange? Through 1919 Cobb was Superman, dominated the league like few others have had. If there was an MVP award Cobb would have probably have won at least 7-8 of them, at least. Yet, after 1919 he stopped being Superman. He became mearly a good player. Several people have tried to shope that he was top-5 player. OK, I'll give him that. I can see the arguement for Cobb being a top five player.

                  2) Several other players that I listed, Mays, Aaron, Musial, Bonds, Rose continued to dominate in their mid to late 30s, not quite as dominant as they did in their 20 but still dominant. I'm NOT saying that Cobb sucked in the 1920s (he didn't suck) but compared to other all time greats his performance after age 32 is poor. Can we agree at least on that point.

                  3) Power before the live ball.

                  Some disagreed that power in the dead ball era was not speed based. I humbly disagree. They had some pretty big ball parks in the teens. Most dead ball hitters were not flyball hitters but line drive hitters. That's how they were taught. So if you get a line drine by the outfield the hitter "is off to the races".

                  What holds me back on calling Cobb the greatest ever is his performance after age 32. It just doesn't jive with being the greatest ever. But I a nopen-minded. I'm willing to change my mind if I see strong evidence...
                  Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Bill,

                    We are allies. I have the upmost respect for Ty Cobb. One of the greatest players ever. I'd never made a perosnal all time list but he'd be in my top 5 for sure. I just can't see the case for Cobb being the greatest player ever.
                    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-08-2005, 04:54 PM.
                    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Bill,

                      So it sounds like sped and a line drive swing were keys to power hitting before 1920s. Give the large outfields of the time this led to many doubles and triples. This is what fules a player's slugging percentage before 1920.
                      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-01-2005, 03:33 PM.
                      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Bill,

                        Of Cobb's 417 Gray Ink points, how many came after 1919?
                        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-01-2005, 03:33 PM.
                        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Ty Cobb's Post 1919 "Grey Ink":

                          1920 - 04 points
                          1921 - 21
                          1922 - 22
                          1923 - 12
                          1924 - 19
                          1925 - 12
                          1926 - 04
                          1927 - 13
                          1928 - 28
                          -----------
                          200 Grey Ink points (almost half of his career "grey ink" total.)

                          Adam, you still haven't answered my question. Has my post 14 properly addressed your "TC late career decline" concerns?

                          Bill Burgess
                          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-09-2005, 05:08 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Adam,

                            While you are quite entitled to be surprised that a dominant player up to his 32 yr. just stopped completely leading his league, perhaps the following figures can alleviate some of your astonishment.

                            Batting Ave.
                            1920-.334-10
                            1921-.389-2
                            1922-.401-2
                            1923-.340-8
                            1925-.378-4
                            1927-.357-5

                            OnBase Ave.
                            1920-.416-6
                            1921-.452-2
                            1922-.462-3
                            1923-.413-9
                            1924-.418-9
                            1925-.468-2
                            1927-.439-5

                            SLG. AVE.
                            1921-.596-3
                            1922-.565-6
                            1925-.598-3

                            Bill Burgess

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Bill,

                              I believe I addressed some of these issues in previous posts. Hitting .401 in 1922 is not them same as hitting .401 in 1912. Again we have to look at context here. The offensive explosion of the 1920s was pretty remarkable. I have a question for you, Bill. Shouldn't "the greatest player ever" lead the league in at least a few offensive categories in his mid to late 30s? Ruth, Mays, Aaron, Musial, Rose, Wagner, Williams, and Bonds did.

                              Did Cobb ever explain why he didn't adjust to the new hitting style of the 1920s? Given his skill I'm sure he cound have hit 30+ HRs minimum and hit .330 easily..
                              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-01-2005, 03:34 PM.
                              Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                --Cobb was at the very top of the slugging charts in the deadball era, but largely dropped out in the 20s. Whether that was due to a drop off in his skills, his unwillingness or inability to adjust to the modern game or whether his power was actually mostly speed based along are the key questions.

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