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Monday, November 13, 2006

Amos Otis

Eligible in 1990.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 13, 2006 at 07:39 PM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 13, 2006 at 07:44 PM (#2236536)
In retrospect, the Mets would have been better off not trading Otis.

Okay, it was apparent almost immediately after the deal was done.
   2. Steve Treder Posted: November 13, 2006 at 07:49 PM (#2236547)
This is kind of fun, from one of my recent articles that discussed Otis:


He was a bit fragile, but beyond that Otis was, as old Royals' fan Bill James loved to observe, a plus player in every department.

So just how good would Joe Foy have had to turn out to be in order to make the Mets' Otis-for-Foy trade come out even? Let's not even consider Bob Johnson, the other guy the Mets included in the deal, whom the Royals were able to turn around and convert into Freddie Patek. Let's ignore that part and just consider how well Foy would have had to play to be the equal of Otis.

Foy was just 26 when the Mets acquired him, and certainly they anticipated he would plug their third base hole for years to come. Otis, playing center field for the Royals, would earn between 17 and 29 Win Shares every season from 1970 through 1979, an average of 23.7 per year. How typical is it for a third baseman to have a run like that?

Graig Nettles was the best third baseman over the complete decade of the 1970s. Over the seasons 1970 through '79—the best 10-year run of Nettles' career—he never had a year with as many as 29 Win Shares, and earned an average of 22.2. Ron Cey, another terrific third baseman of the period, also never had a 29-Win Share season, and earned an average of 22.1 per year over his best 10 seasons.

Ken Boyer, the outstanding all-around third baseman for the Cardinals of the '50s and '60s, a seven-time All-Star and an MVP winner, earned 23.1 in his best 10 years. Bob Elliott, another power-hitting MVP winner, comes in at 23.0. Pie Traynor, the line-drive-hitting defensive wizard of the 1920s, puts up a 22.5. Jimmy Collins, the Hall of Famer generally regarded as the first great modern third baseman, clocks in at 23.0.

There have been, of course, a few third basemen who've put up better decade-long Win Share totals than Otis did as a center fielder. But the point is you have to get into the truly all-time elite to find them: Eddie Mathews (32.6), Ron Santo (27.5), Mike Schmidt (33.0), George Brett (27.0), and Wade Boggs (28.6). (Brooks Robinson comes in only slightly ahead of Otis, at 23.9.) That's a telling measure of how remarkably well Otis did, and what kind of a tall order Foy faced to match it.
   3. sunnyday2 Posted: November 13, 2006 at 08:04 PM (#2236560)
Otis was a great fielder, a decent hitter in a day when you just didn't see the kinds of numbers they're putting up today, probably the best CF in the major leagues in the '70s. Not HoMer but a seriously underrated player.
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 13, 2006 at 08:09 PM (#2236569)
probably the best CF in the major leagues in the '70s.

He would also be my choice, Marc, though Cesar Cedeno certainly has a strong case (Bobby Murcer and Reggie Smith played too much in RF to qualify).
   5. Sam M. Posted: November 13, 2006 at 08:09 PM (#2236570)
Thanks there, Steve. I feel so much better now.

The outfield that might have been: Ken Singleton (traded for Staub), Amos Otis (traded for Foy), Reggie Jackson (passed over in the draft for Chilcott). Aargh.
   6. JPWF13 Posted: November 13, 2006 at 09:24 PM (#2236706)
Otis = Kazmir
Foy = Zambrano

I'm serious
Straight up both trades were ludicrous, at the time they were made, nevermind 2-3 years later
Both times the Mets traded a superior young prospect in large part because

1: they didn't like the prospect's attitude (Otis once said that Mets management thought he was a "punk". Immediately after the Kazmir trade I read an article in which unamed Mets vets allegedly said Kazmir was a "punk")

2: they blew the evaulation of the player they were receiving, neither Foy nor Zambrano had any apparent upside at the time the Mets traded for them, but both had been considered good prospects many years earlier- it's almost as though the Mets went by 4 year old scouting reports and disregarded the intervening years of mediocre MLB service. I've read that Gil Hodges had loved Foy when he'd seen him play in 66/67- but the promise shown by Foy in 66 was fading pretty badly by 1970- Otis by contrast was many years younger, a superior athlete to the 1970 version of Foy, and had managed AA and AAA quite well at the ages of 21 & 22.
   7. sunnyday2 Posted: November 13, 2006 at 10:19 PM (#2236791)
Otis did have an attitude problem. The Royals (along with the A's) were "players teams" who could deal with it, which is to say, not deal with it, just live and let live.
   8. The Wilpons Must Go (Tom D) Posted: November 13, 2006 at 10:23 PM (#2236798)
Otis = Kazmir
Foy = Zambrano


Its a good analogy. The comparison usually used is the Ryan deal. However, Fregosi actually had a track record of success (and some HOM votes) whereas Foy and Zambrano were/are bums.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 13, 2006 at 10:34 PM (#2236817)
I just want to point out that the Kansas City T-Bones (Northern League) had a legends game last summer and Amos Otis hit one of the park. And the dude's going to be 60 in April. And he is still super cool.
   10. Mike Webber Posted: November 13, 2006 at 11:22 PM (#2236883)
Wasn't Foy a guy who was older than his baseball age? I remember that from somewhere, but not sure where. Maybe baseball-ref and others have the correct date now.
   11. Steve Treder Posted: November 13, 2006 at 11:26 PM (#2236889)
Wasn't Foy a guy who was older than his baseball age?

I never heard that. I'd always understood the story on him to simply be that his work ethic was always zilch and he drugged himself right out of baseball.
   12. BDC Posted: November 13, 2006 at 11:30 PM (#2236898)
Wasn't Foy a guy who was older than his baseball age?

I keep a 1969 Who's Who in Baseball around for moments like this :) It gives Foy's birthdate as 21 Feb. 1943, the same as the encyclopedias and B-Ref.
   13. EricC Posted: November 14, 2006 at 12:39 AM (#2236964)
Amos Otis would be a bench player on the all-time 4 by 4 team.

The starting lineup would be:

P) Bill Byrd or Vida Blue
C) Tony Pena
1B) Norm Cash
2B) Jeff Kent
3B) Stan Hack
SS) Alex Cora (Is there a better choice?)
LF) Pete Rose (Jose Cruz the best career LF)
CF) Pete Hill or Fred Lynn
RF) Babe Ruth
   14. Sam M. Posted: November 14, 2006 at 12:46 AM (#2236972)
RF) Babe Ruth

You mean "George Ruth," don't you? He doesn't count!
   15. AndrewJ Posted: November 14, 2006 at 01:35 AM (#2237025)
SS) Alex Cora (Is there a better choice?)

Phil Linz and Neal Ball beg to differ.

P: Spec Shea, Rick Wise

Press Box: Fred Lieb
   16. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 14, 2006 at 02:45 AM (#2237091)
EricC,

4x4, great idea!

SS) Jack Rowe? Bill Hall?

Rotation Candidates) Carl Mays, Will White, Babe Adams, Bill Doak, Mike Witt
Swingman) Gary Bell
Bullpen Candidates) Jose Mesa, Jeff Shaw, Jack Aker, Turk Lown, Dick Hall, Doug Bird, Rick Camp
   17. Suff Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:47 AM (#2237269)
Is his case (such as it is) diminished by the fact that he proudly admits to corking his bat his whole career?

Otis was one of the guys who was on the Royals as I was coming into baseball consciousness as a 4-year-old (or so). I thought his name was something like Ama Sodas. I thought someone with the last name "Sodas" had to be a pretty cool guy.
   18. DCW3 Posted: November 14, 2006 at 09:00 AM (#2237327)
Otis was one of the guys who was on the Royals as I was coming into baseball consciousness as a 4-year-old (or so). I thought his name was something like Ama Sodas. I thought someone with the last name "Sodas" had to be a pretty cool guy.

My best friend reports that his mother was very excited when the Cardinals acquired Jose Vizcaino, because, when he was with the Astros, for years she thought the announcer was calling him "this guy Eno." Of course, she doesn't have the excuse of being four.
   19. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:18 PM (#2237409)
posts 17 and 18 remind me of something that happened in a fantasy league I was in. About ten or fifteen years ago, an angry guy who had lots of trouble with names was trying to draft a player who was on the board, but no one could understand who he was talking about when he nominated "Alfred Bean" for auction. It took ten to twenty minutes to realize he was referring to Beau Alred....
   20. sunnyday2 Posted: November 14, 2006 at 05:33 PM (#2237532)
My wife thought that the Twins had a 3B named Guy Eddy.
   21. Steve Treder Posted: November 14, 2006 at 05:35 PM (#2237536)
When I was about four, I thought the Giants had a player named Flea Flew.
   22. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 15, 2006 at 09:00 AM (#2238374)
When I was 7 or 8 I thought Prince was singing "Do You Rent Collect?"

I couldn't figure out why the next line was "baby you're much too fast" . . .
   23. sunnyday2 Posted: November 15, 2006 at 03:57 PM (#2238466)
Joe, one of the top 10 rock 'n roll songs ever.

Then of course there's the classic, "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy."
   24. Mark Donelson Posted: November 15, 2006 at 08:08 PM (#2238798)
This digression gives me the chance to admit that for some reason every time I see this thread, I hear Falco's voice singing "Rock me Amos Otis."

I have no idea why.
   25. Mike Webber Posted: November 15, 2006 at 08:24 PM (#2238812)
My sister singing along with the Bee Gees in the 1970's
"Bald Headed Woman, Bald Headed Woman to Me"
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 15, 2006 at 10:46 PM (#2238931)
When I was 7 or 8 I thought Prince was singing "Do You Rent Collect?"

That's okay, Joe. I was in my early twenties before I realized "Red-Eye Love" was really "Radar Love." :-) I honestly never heard the title of the song up to that point (I first heard the song a few years after it came out).
   27. AndrewJ Posted: November 16, 2006 at 02:34 AM (#2239100)
The first lyric mishearing (or mondegreen) I remember was the refrain to "My Darling Clementine." In nursery school I thought it went "You have lost your gum forever..."
   28. Jose Canusee Posted: November 20, 2006 at 10:46 PM (#2242500)
#23 Then of course there's the classic, "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy."

The baseball version is (Von) Purple Hayes...
Trade one for five
(scuse me while I miss a fly)
   29. Sam M. Posted: November 20, 2006 at 10:52 PM (#2242506)
Then of course there's the classic, "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy."

Now you're talkin'!
   30. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: November 26, 2006 at 11:38 PM (#2246174)
For a long time I thought "Heard it in a Love Song" was "Purdy Little Love Song". And I like my version better anyways.
   31. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: November 27, 2006 at 05:02 PM (#2246499)
I remember dear, sweet Bernadette Brady telling a customer that the Creedence song on the jukebox was "Bathroom on the Right".
   32. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: November 27, 2006 at 05:22 PM (#2246516)
For a long time I thought "Heard it in a Love Song" was "Purdy Little Love Song". And I like my version better anyways.
I did as well.
   33. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 27, 2006 at 06:01 PM (#2246540)
For a long time I thought "Heard it in a Love Song" was "Purdy Little Love Song". And I like my version better anyways.
I did as well.


Guilty as charged, too.

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