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  • Originally posted by mwiggins View Post
    Not to get off topic here, but in regards to the Cobb/Wagner discussion, an important question would be did Wagner's home park and the fact that he was a deadball slugger depress his relative stats more than the fact that the NL was the weaker league gave them a boost? I think the weak league helped him less than the other factors hurt him, so I think his relative stats probably do underrate his hitting - but that's all somewhat guesswork.
    I essentially agree with Mark here on this.
    1. The era itself suppressed Wagner's power credentials. Lack of HR weapon prevented his separation from his strictly contact brethren.l

    2. Both his ballparks suppressed his power credentials, and forced him to adopt a running, contact style of attack.

    3. His league was notoriously weak, having been raided early by the AL upstarts.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
      I'd like to "third" these sentiments. It's been a pleasure having the chance to interact regularly with you guys for all these years here.

      Joe, you've been nothing but cordial with me, even when things have gotten very heated and we've become polarized on certain issues. I applaud your patience and seemingly tireless dedication towards fostering the study of baseball history and Babe Ruth.
      Here, here!:applaud: If not for Joe contributing so selflessly all these years on the greatness of the Babe, our collective understanding of him would be diminished by many degrees here on Fever.

      Joe carries the BR/BR Discussion threads single-handedly during the frequent absenses of Randy. And that's quite a load.

      Comment


      • I have wondered about Cobb's walks in 1915 for 14-15 years. Some thoughts on it.

        -There was the FL in '14 and '15 which diluted pitching.

        -AL offense actually dropped in '14 about 10% but rose again about 10% in '15.

        -Also, Detroit exploded on offense in 1915 relative to the league (117 OPS+ and almost 5 rpg, up 25% from the year before).

        -I'd like to know where Donnie Bush batted. Bush was a great baserunner and walker and perhaps Cobb got intentionally walked after Bush walks and steals. I don't see why it wouldn't have happened earlier though.

        -Perhaps Cobb recognized that Bush was being successful with a low BA and a lot of walks. Bush averaged 96 walks and 107 runs per 162 games over nearly a 2000 game career.

        -I considered that Cobb might have been trying to save his legs. He stole a career high that year (and a record for "major league" play. It was considered to be the official record that Wills broke). Could Cobb have been gunning for the record and didn't want to burn himself out on infield hits?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by brett View Post
          I DO think a 150 OPS+ top defensive SS overtakes a 167 OPS+ centerfielder who I consider to be very good but not in my top 15.
          God, does this sentence just kills me.
          Originally posted by brett View Post
          I would generally rate an average SS as about 10 points up on the OPS+ scale from a CF and great versus very good might be another 10 points, but 9% longevity can't be tossed out.
          You can't just discount OPS+ due to position played. When players step into the batter's box, they are all created equal.
          Originally posted by brett View Post
          Yes, Wagner broke in late, but he was not tearing up the league at ages 23-24 and was still playing mostly outfield until '02, though his team NEEDED him in that huge RF.
          No, no, no, brett. You just cannot do that. In 1900, Honus Wagner played RF and he did tear up his league. He hit his career high BA, .381.

          His 175 OPS+ was his 5th best ever, and his TB were his 2nd best ever.
          Why would his changing positions change his offense?

          It would affect his value to his team but value/greatness is an ancient war we're fought over bitterly in the past.

          A 175 OPS+ SS is worth more value than a 175 OPS+ RFer, but it did not make him a better hitter, just a more valuable contributor to his team.
          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-29-2008, 07:51 AM.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by brett View Post
            I have wondered about Cobb's walks in 1915 for 14-15 years. Some thoughts on it.

            He stole a career high that year (and a record for "major league" play. It was considered to be the official record that Wills broke). Could Cobb have been gunning for the record and didn't want to burn himself out on infield hits?
            If he were out to set the SB record, it's conceivable that he was experimenting as to the most efficient ways to get on. He might have been deliberately more patient in the batter's box, as you suggest, to save his wind.

            Cobb did say once later on that he never had to worry about getting tired in games until 1915.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post

              No, no, no, brett. You just cannot do that. In 1900, Honus Wagner played RF and he did tear up his league. He hit his career high BA, .381.

              His 175 OPS+ was his 5th best ever, and his TB were his 2nd best ever.
              Why would his changing positions change his offense?

              It would affect his value to his team but value/greatness is an ancient war we're fought over bitterly in the past.

              A 175 OPS+ SS is worth more value than a 175 OPS+ RFer, but it did not make him a better hitter, just a more valuable contributor to his team.

              Question for you Bill...if Honus had stayed in RF his whole career and been just as good of a defensive RF as he was a defensive SS, and put up the same exact offensive #'s, would you still rank him ahead of Babe and Mays?

              Comment


              • Originally posted by mwiggins View Post
                Question for you Bill...if Honus had stayed in RF his whole career and been just as good of a defensive RF as he was a defensive SS, and put up the same exact offensive #'s, would you still rank him ahead of Babe and Mays?
                No, of course not. I'm not an idiot. It was his combination of being a fantastic SS, and a fantastic hitter which gives him such value to me.

                But this is a value measurement, not a greatness measurement. Being a SS does not create extra runs for the team. It does not make him a better hitter.

                Most SS are fast, little guys like Omar Visquel/Luis Aparicio. So, when a big guy comes along who can really drive the ball from the batter's box, and is fast/rangy enough to hold down the SS post, you know you have something special. Like Ripken/A-Rod.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
                  No, of course not. I'm not an idiot. It was his combination of being a fantastic SS, and a fantastic hitter which gives him such value to me.

                  But this is a value measurement, not a greatness measurement. Being a SS does not create extra runs for the team. It does not make him a better hitter.

                  Most SS are fast, little guys like Omar Visquel/Luis Aparicio. So, when a big guy comes along who can really drive the ball from the batter's box, and is fast/rangy enough to hold down the SS post, you know you have something special. Like Ripken/A-Rod.
                  I didn't mean to imply that you were, Bill. Sorry if that's how it came across. Just curious how much you factored his defensive position into your rankings since you don't use offensive positional adjustments (which I wholeheartedly agree with, except in the case of catchers).

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
                    You can't just discount OPS+ due to position played. When players step into the batter's box, they are all created equal.
                    True--but the shortstop will have greater defensive value unless he's a really lousy shortstop and the RF is so good he'd be a GG in CF. I think the person making this adjustment that "kills you" is trying to implement that difference. Now, one can debate whether or not he's made too large an adjustment..... but you cannot debate successfully that in terms of value that such a consideration should be taken into account (just like one can't ignore durability).
                    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                    Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
                      God, does this sentence just kills me.

                      You can't just discount OPS+ due to position played. When players step into the batter's box, they are all created equal.

                      No, no, no, brett. You just cannot do that. In 1900, Honus Wagner played RF and he did tear up his league. He hit his career high BA, .381.

                      A 175 OPS+ SS is worth more value than a 175 OPS+ RFer, but it did not make him a better hitter, just a more valuable contributor to his team.
                      I am not trying to positionally adjust his hitting, I'm just pointing out the relative value of playing SS. A replacement level or average level SS will have about 10 points lower OPS+ than a centerfielder so I give SS that positional defensive edge. Also, A replacement level SS will give up about 10 more runs than a replacement level CF and 1 run created is very close to 1 point of OPS+.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
                        Cobb did say once later on that he never had to worry about getting tired in games until 1915.
                        I heard an interview with Cobb from the 50's where Ty said he "regretted not going for 100 stolen bases". I think if he'd have been on a bad team he certainly would have been given carte blanche on the basepaths (as Rickey was by Billy Martin on a lousy A's team in 1982). Then again, the 1915 Tigers were the first to win 100 games and not win the pennant, and were also neck-and-neck with the White Sox and Red Sox till the last week of the season.

                        Comment


                        • It appears our former, partially-unresolved war with respect to value/greatness has over-taken us once again.

                          For the record, I judge my ballplayers according to hitting, fielding, running, intangibles, awards, etc.

                          I give absolutely huge consideration to fielding. I simply refuse to integrate their hitting/fielding. I prefer to keep a clean separation. Makes it easier for me since I dislike high-powered stats. Just can't do them.

                          Wagner has always been my #2 player, and a huge part of that was his amazing SS defense. If he had played elsewhere for his entire career, I might not have him as my #2. Depends on things I don't know.

                          I have always been bothered by (and confused by) the practice of measuring a player's offensive value according to their position played. Just too convoluted for my taste.

                          I first do their hitting, then I factor in their position and their excellence at it. That way, I avoid all the confusion of having to determine the correct, appropriate adjustments.

                          If it ain't broke, why fix it? Is it absolutely necessary to merge their offense/defense in such a delicate, iffy somersault? Those kinds of statistical gymnastics are too subjective for me. Reminds me of the aerial acrobatics of the Blue Angels.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
                            It appears our former, partially-unresolved war with respect to value/greatness has over-taken us once again.

                            For the record, I judge my ballplayers according to hitting, fielding, running, intangibles, awards, etc.

                            I give absolutely huge consideration to fielding. I simply refuse to integrate their hitting/fielding. I prefer to keep a clean separation. Makes it easier for me since I dislike high-powered stats. Just can't do them.

                            Wagner has always been my #2 player, and a huge part of that was his amazing SS defense. If he had played elsewhere for his entire career, I might not have him as my #2. Depends on things I don't know.

                            I have always been bothered by (and confused by) the practice of measuring a player's offensive value according to their position played. Just too convoluted for my taste.

                            I first do their hitting, then I factor in their position and their excellence at it. That way, I avoid all the confusion of having to determine the correct, appropriate adjustments.

                            If it ain't broke, why fix it? Is it absolutely necessary to merge their offense/defense in such a delicate, iffy somersault? Those kinds of statistical gymnastics are too subjective for me. Reminds me of the aerial acrobatics of the Blue Angels.
                            We at least need a method that properly weighs defense and position versus hitting/offense. I would only posit that generally speaking the difference in value between a SS and a first baseman for example tends to come out in the range of 20-25 runs (which significantly less than the difference in OPS+ average for that position). This number is based on a couple of factors such as what a raw replacement fielder will tend to do if stuck into a spot, and also an analysis of the number and difficulty of the plays that they have to make (this is Matt's analysis). A great fielder at a position also can generally save about 20 runs on an average one. Andrew Jones was saving close to 30 above average in his prime.

                            So I'd say that defense is about 30-40% as important as hitting. If hitting is 100, defense is about 30 as far as the relative contribution possible to a player's value.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
                              Here, here!:applaud: If not for Joe contributing so selflessly all these years on the greatness of the Babe, our collective understanding of him would be diminished by many degrees here on Fever.

                              Joe carries the BR/BR Discussion threads single-handedly during the frequent absenses of Randy. And that's quite a load.
                              Speaking of Randy......................"Randy are you out there.'' Of course he is, he does drop in now and then.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by brett View Post
                                We at least need a method that properly weighs defense and position versus hitting/offense. I would only posit that generally speaking the difference in value between a SS and a first baseman for example tends to come out in the range of 20-25 runs (which significantly less than the difference in OPS+ average for that position). This number is based on a couple of factors such as what a raw replacement fielder will tend to do if stuck into a spot, and also an analysis of the number and difficulty of the plays that they have to make (this is Matt's analysis). A great fielder at a position also can generally save about 20 runs on an average one. Andrew Jones was saving close to 30 above average in his prime.

                                So I'd say that defense is about 30-40% as important as hitting. If hitting is 100, defense is about 30 as far as the relative contribution possible to a player's value.
                                Agreed. I'd give about 70% of a player's value to their hitting, about 25% for fielding, and 5% to running. In fact, for the majority of players, I'd give much less than 5% for their running. The average player might have 1%.

                                But for the greatest runner ever, Ty Cobb, he might have had 10% of his value in his running. But he was unique. Maybe Rickey Henderson might have 10% of his value in his running, same for Brock. But they were the tiny, tiny exceptions to the general rule.

                                Comment

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