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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Billy Williams

Eligible in 1982.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 23, 2006 at 10:04 PM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 23, 2006 at 10:15 PM (#2108846)
The second greatest Cubbie of the '60s, he's not an inner-circle HoMer but still a more than respectable candidate for induction.
   2. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 24, 2006 at 03:35 AM (#2109163)
The second greatest Cubbie of the '60s

You really think Santo was better?
   3. DavidFoss Posted: July 24, 2006 at 04:04 AM (#2109177)
Top Ten RCAA for the Cubs 1960-69:

RCAA                           RCAA     RCAA     RCAP    
1    Billy Williams              261      261      155   
2    Ron Santo                   241      241      206   
3    George Altman                56       56        9   
4    Adolfo Phillips              31       31        8   
5    Ernie Banks                  27       27      
-13   
6    Richie Ashburn               13       13       
-1   
7    Willie Smith                  7        7        0   
8    Merritt Ranew                 5        5        7   
9    Walt Moryn                    2        2        1 


You could quibble between Santo & Williams I suppose. Williams was definitely better in the 70s, of course.

Not much of a supporting cast there. :-)
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: July 24, 2006 at 04:52 AM (#2109190)
I should keep playing...

adj OPS+ seasons by some 1Bs and OFs as a regular, 100 or better (477 PA for 154 games, and 502 for 162 games, like batting title qualifying):
HankAaron 194 81 79 78 70 68 66 61 60 55 54 53 53 51 48 47 43 43 04
FRobinson 199 88 74 69 64 65 55 53 53 51 51 50 42 41 34 33 19
Killebrew 179 74 61 61 58 53 47 45 38 38 38 37
RalpKiner 184 84 73 56 46 40 32 21 17
FraHoward 177 77 70 53 46 44 37 27
BWilliams 170 57 47 47 42 39 36 30 27 22 20 19 17 16 15
BoJohnson 174 55 47 43 41 35 34 30 29 29 27 25 25
OrlCepeda 165 64 57 48 35 34 33 31 29 25 17 10 06
Norm-Cash 201 50 48 36 35 34 29 28 28 20
MinMinoso 155 51 49 40 36 35 33 31 21 16 13 08

Wow.
I have Bob Johnson in MY top 15, but is Billy W looking so much like a sure thing when a slot opens? Even knocking down Johnson's 1944 for WW II, and a couple of extra modest Billy years, does that put Billy in when a slot pops up?
   5. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 24, 2006 at 05:20 AM (#2109207)
How was Williams fielding and in how many AB/PA's did those numbers come in. There is a big gap in value between 502 PA's and 650 PA's.
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 24, 2006 at 12:26 PM (#2109345)
You really think Santo was better?

Maybe not by a lot, but I would take Santo over Williams during the Sixties.
   7. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: July 24, 2006 at 12:35 PM (#2109351)
How was Williams fielding and in how many AB/PA's did those numbers come in. There is a big gap in value between 502 PA's and 650 PA's.

Can't speak to the fielding, but the playing time is a non-issue. Both players were incredibly durable. Willimas averaged 162 game played between 1962 and 1969, Santo about 160. He was getting a little over 700 PA/year, Santo a little under. The differences are attributable to lineup position, with Williams batting 3rd and Santo 4th.
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: July 24, 2006 at 12:38 PM (#2109354)
Johnson missed about 100 games in his 12 main seasons.
Williams missed about 25-30 games in his main 12 seasons (and maybe 10 in his main 10 seasons).

Williams also has four other seasons of note, to one for Johnson, but as you can see they don't add much to his case.

That is a good point - that Williams' extreme durability is a plus that needs to be weighed. He's pounding out more than 100 extra PA per season than Norm Cash for instance, so what looks like a small edge above really is a large one....
   9. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 24, 2006 at 12:39 PM (#2109355)
miserlou,

Thanks. However I was referring to Williams v. B.Johnson not Williams v. Santo.
   10. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: July 24, 2006 at 12:42 PM (#2109358)
Thanks. However I was referring to Williams v. B.Johnson not Williams v. Santo.

I see that now.

Nevermind.
   11. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 24, 2006 at 06:05 PM (#2109786)
At risk of everyone thinking I'm anti-60s and 70s LFs...or just nuts.

There's three NL guys who began their careers in the early 60s, played LF, and went into the Hall.

Billy Williams
Willie Stargell
Lou Brock

Each of them was defined in part by a single trait. Williams was known for his amazing durability. Stargell for his amazing power. Brock for his amazing stolen base totals. They all rode into the Hall of Fame. I can't quibble too much with the BBWAA's selections of them because, after all, their player pool has never included 19th Century, NgLs, Cubans, etc, nor have they ever made explicit allowances for war and other stuff.

That said, in my 20/20-hindsight opinion, all three are borderline selections within the context of including all the people the writers don't. How's that? In the current iteration of my ranking system, here's the #15 to #25 rankings of MLB-only players.

15. Kelley
16. Wheat
17. Sheckard
18. Stovey
19. Williams
20. Stargell
21. Medwick
22. Burns
23. Minoso
24. Brock
25. Kiner

Your rankings surely vary from mine, of course. Anyway, looking at it from my point of view, all three of the 1960s-1970s guys fall safely within the borderline area.

Now integrating the NgLers....
(13. Irvin)
(14. Raines)
15. Magee
16. Kelley
17. Wheat
18. Sheckard
19. Stovey
20. Williams
21. Stargell
22. Medwick
23. Hill
24. Burns
25. Minoso
26. Brock

(by the way, it's possible that Hidecki Matsui is somewhere within this group, depending on how his Japanese numbers are translated and on whether he is classified as a LF or a CF---IIRC, he was a CF in japan for several seasons.)

The NgLs push this trio even further away. In fact, Brock is outside my "tolerable error" zone (slots 19-25). I'm not saying they do or don't belong on anyone's ballot or in the HOM, I'm just saying that our voting context, in comparison to the BBWAA's, could make our choices in this matter much tighter, especially considering the members of this trio (along with Minoso) probably have the lowest peaks of anyone within the top 30 LFs (per WS).
   12. Al Peterson Posted: July 24, 2006 at 06:57 PM (#2109852)
From Howie's table above:
BWilliams 170 57 47 47 42 39 36 30 27 22 20 19 17 16 15
BoJohnson 174 55 47 43 41 35 34 30 29 29 27 25 25


Let's give Indian Bob a discount for WWII but maybe add on 1-2 years in pre major league service for his PCL hitting. MLE conversions put Johnson's OPS+ at 123 & 136 for 1931, 1932 respectively.

Also note Williams put in two years as an exclusive DH. The 16 above is his 1st year with the A's as a hitter only.

Williams is basically a modern version of Indian Bob. Allow Johnson to come up 2 years earlier to the majors instead of being on the West Coast, and have a DH position for him to play after WWII for 1 - 1 1/2 years, you have players who would be hard to separate.
   13. karlmagnus Posted: July 24, 2006 at 07:33 PM (#2109897)
By my system Williams is very borderline, possibly just below it, Stargell's a slam dunk HOMer and Brock's nowhere near -- the first 3000 hit man not to make it, but Sam Rice is distinctly better and Beckley a LOT better -- 125 OPS+ versus 109, and more career when adjusted for schedule. Brock's SB are worth something, but not that much.
   14. Paul Wendt Posted: July 28, 2006 at 03:50 AM (#2115204)
El Chaleeko,

BWilliams, Stargell, Brock are borderline selections within the context of including all the people the writers don't [ie, here in the Hall of Merit]. How's that? In the current iteration of my ranking system, here's the #15 to #25 rankings of MLB-only players.

15. Kelley
16. Wheat
17. Sheckard
18. Stovey
19. Williams
20. Stargell
21. Medwick
22. Burns
23. Minoso
24. Brock
25. Kiner

Your rankings surely vary from mine, of course.

[I foresee that he is one of Willis Stargell's worst enemies. -pgw]

The NgLs push this trio even further away. In fact, Brock is outside my "tolerable error" zone (slots 19-25).


The group has already selected Hill, Medwick and Stovey from the tolerable error zone. I foresee that Williams and Stargell waltz in, making five LF errors DrC will tolerate, plus Kiner whom he will suffer.
   15. sunnyday2 Posted: July 28, 2006 at 12:44 PM (#2115356)
LF is an interesting group. My HoM/not PHoM in LF looks like this.

HoM/not PHoM: Joe Kelley, Pete Hill, Jimmy Sheckard
PHoM/not HoM: Charley Jones, Ralph Kiner, Minnie Minoso

From Bill James' #15-25:

HoM and PHoM: Goslin, Magee, Clarke, Wheat
HoM/not PHoM: Sheckard
PHoM/not HoM: Kiner
not HoM/not PHoM: Keller, F. Howard
Coming soon to an election near you: Brock, Belle, Roy White

Of all the players named above, James' ratings are:

10. Minoso--overrated?
15. Brock--overrated
16. Goslin
17. Keller
18. Kiner--Keller/Kiner, Kiner/Keller....
19. F. Howard
20. Belle--Howard and Belle are an interesting pair
21. Magee
22. Clarke
23. Wheat
24. Sheckard
25. White
28. Kelley
67. C. Jones--other than Roy White, all of these guys from Magee on down would probably not make a HoM that consisted simply of the top 225 players ever, but are all strong candidates (all elected HoM except Jones) when one is "fair to all eras."

Stargell and B. Williams are #9 and #11. It will be hard to keep them out, though I personally agree that they are not inner circle.

And Rock Raines, BTW, is #8. I don't really believe the BBWAA will elect him to the HoF and I am completely in the dark how our group will rate Raines.

I will be shocked if there is support for Roy White, his 263 WS as a rough contemporary of Yaz, Stargell, B. Williams, Brock, F. Howard, Rice, Cruz, Foster, etc., just doesn't seem like anything more than HoVG. I think we could say that White would be a "mistake," just based on the above rankings and raw WS ratings. It would be hard to call anybody above #25 a "mistake," even though one might draw the line a little differently.
   16. sunnyday2 Posted: July 28, 2006 at 12:56 PM (#2115363)
To follow up more specifically, to me Billy Williams is more Minnie Minoso or Lou Brock than Medwick or Stargell or even Raines. He just doesn't have the killer peak.

Raines 387/36-34-32/162/26.6
Stargell 370/36-35-29/148/25.4
Minoso 283/32-29-29/133/25.0 (note that I give Minoso additional NeL credit)
B. Williams 374/33-32-31/142/24.4
Medwick 312/40-36-33/157/25.5
Brock 348/31-30-30/134/21.6

To me, Raines is the class of this group while Brock, Williams and Minoso clearly trail Stargell and Medwick.
   17. jimd Posted: July 29, 2006 at 01:49 AM (#2116214)
to me Billy Williams is more Minnie Minoso

The Win Shares portion of my analysis agrees with this assessment.

OTOH, my analysis using WARP sees Williams as significantly better.

The reasons:
1) Williams played in the better league
2) Williams was a better fielder. In LF Williams was good, Minoso average. (105-101)
3) Williams is disadvantaged by a couple of flaws in Win Shares:
a) players on bad teams get underrated, good teams overrated. (Johnson/Keller)
b) Win Shares overcorrects for extreme parks

Williams will be #3 on my ballot, hovering just above the backlog.
   18. Brent Posted: July 29, 2006 at 02:28 AM (#2116282)
Williams was a better fielder. In LF Williams was good, Minoso average. (105-101)


In view of the facts that Minoso won 3 Gold Gloves (and Gold Gloves weren't given until his career was half over), and Williams never won a Gold Glove, I take this as further evidence that WARP does a poor job of identifying good fielders. IMO, the win shares fielding ratings are more reasonable, with Minoso at 2.76 fielding win shares / 1000 innings (excellent for a corner outfield) and Williams at 2.37 (slightly above average).
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: July 29, 2006 at 01:25 PM (#2116599)
I wouldn't accept either WARP OR Gold Gloves as convincing evidence that either was a better fielder.
Also, how much difference does it make how good a defender your LF is? I mean, it helps, sure, but neither of these guys was a butcher and I suspect neither is an all-time fielding great, either.
At that point, I'd say the relative advantage either way shouldn't make or break either guy...
   20. Brent Posted: July 29, 2006 at 03:20 PM (#2116634)
So, fielding matters a lot in center field, but doesn't matter in the corners? I'm sorry, but that doesn't make sense to me. Fielding matters for every position; the corners get fewer balls hit to them, but when they can't get to them, it's just as costly.

And for Minoso, it's not just the Gold Gloves; I've read many quotes saying he was a remarkable outfielder. Opinion of expert observers sometimes can be wrong, but for the period before play-by-play data, it's our most trustworthy source of information on fielding. I pay attention to the win shares fielding ratings because they do a pretty good job of matching expert opinion, but WARP just gets its ratings wrong too often for me to find them useful.
   21. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 29, 2006 at 03:37 PM (#2116638)
Did Williams really play on really bad teams? He didn't play on Pennant winners but it's not like the late 60's early 70's Cubs were the post-Foxx/Grove A's either. I thought the WS distortions were only for extreme teams like the '39 and '98 Yanks and the Johnson A's and Stengel Mets. I just dont' think that Williams really gets hurt by being on bad teams over the course of his career.

On fielding I like WS better when it comes to gradations, WS isn't telling that the difference between an average LFer and Manny Ramirez is somthing like 2-3 wins a year. However,I think that WS underrates glove positions while WARP does not. And they both, of course, under and overrate certain random players. For instance I know that Bill James even thinks that Mattingly's defense is underrated by WS (One reason, along with the timelining and the unfinished careers of Palmeiro and Clark, why Donny is rated 12th best all-time. He is probably in the 18-25 range). There are obviously others, I just remember Mattingly.

Sunny,

James definitely overrates Minoso, not just because I disgaree with the ranking but because he mentions the work that Minnie supposedly did in the NeLs and MiLs as if he started his MLB career at age 28 instead of age 25. He certainly doesn't claim to go into detail about black baseball inthe NBJHBA. James sees Minoso as most of us saw him coming into the project, as a guy who is missing half a career and a good amount of peak/prime years vs. one that is missing some prime years and the younger portion of his career. Don't know where James would put him if he knew about this.

Also,

On Williams I am ranking him no lower than 6th this ballot behind the top two, Keller, Childs, and Freehan though he and Freehan may push above Childs (I really like Freehan). As a peak voter this may look odd as he doesn't have great 3/5/7 year WS totals (though 7 is pretty impressive) but my peak system rates players based on WS/WARP/etc. accumulated over a certain level as well (25 WS for instance) and he has many 27-29 WS years, which ends up giving him a pretty impressive peak. In fact his peak isn't too far off of Kiner's by this method, though Kiner beats him soundly in 3 and 5 year totals (it's about a 70/30 split for me). BTW Kiner ranks directly below Williams on my ballot, so I am not forgetting him.
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: July 29, 2006 at 04:27 PM (#2116665)
"So, fielding matters a lot in center field, but doesn't matter in the corners? I'm sorry, but that doesn't make sense to me."

Is this a straw man, or are you confusing me with someone else?

I do think CF defense is more important than LF/RF, in most cases, but I make sure not to overrate that, either (it's the only way Duffy gets on ballots, imo.).
I would rate Minoso about even in fielding with Williams, based on a variety of factors, including anecdotal.

The one caveat is that the naked eye always like the 'smooth' looking guy, sometimes too much.
   23. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 29, 2006 at 04:46 PM (#2116681)
The key to the corner OFs to me is that bad defense is less important than it is in the IF or at CF. Good defense is always a point in someone's favor, but bad defense at a less demanding and important position is just less bad than at SS.
   24. Brent Posted: July 29, 2006 at 05:00 PM (#2116688)
A straw man, I guess (sorry, Howie). The HoM has elected several CF based on their fielding prowess, but fielding doesn't come up so much with the corner guys (an exception was Sheckard).

On fielding, I see two major camps of voters -- the WARP voters, which is a system that gives a lot of weight to fielding, and the others (WS/OPS/other systems), which give limited weight to fielding. Personally, I'm not quite in either camp, since I think fielding matters a lot, but I think WARP does a poor job of identifying the good fielders. It frustrates me when I see certain players doing better or worse than they should because voters uncritically accept the WARP fielding ratings.

On Williams and Minoso, I like both of them and will probably have Williams # 3 and Minoso # 5 on my ballot. In my book, the comparability between Williams and Minoso is not a knock on Williams.
   25. Jim Sp Posted: July 31, 2006 at 04:46 PM (#2119666)
It frustrates me when I see certain players doing better or worse than they should because voters uncritically accept the WARP fielding ratings.

Who in particular do you think is benefiting from this?
   26. jimd Posted: July 31, 2006 at 10:30 PM (#2120443)
OTOH, my analysis using WARP sees Williams as significantly better.

The reasons:
1) Williams played in the better league
2) Williams was a better fielder. In LF Williams was good, Minoso average. (105-101)
3) Williams is disadvantaged by a couple of flaws in Win Shares:
a) players on bad teams get underrated, good teams overrated. (Johnson/Keller)
b) Win Shares overcorrects for extreme parks


Elaborating a little further:

Better league: no dispute on this and it's the largest factor in my analysis.

Better fielder: the two systems differ:
WARP has Williams 105-101; WS has Minoso B- to C; YMMV

Bad teams, good teams: Career Win PCT: BW .487 MM .545

About the Gold Gloves. NO National League Left-Fielder won a Gold Glove between 1960 (Wally Moon) and 1981 (Dusty Baker). The awards were usually given to two CF and a RF. The trio of Mays, Flood, Clemente won 6 straight 1963-68. Win Shares sees Williams as the best NL left-fielder at least twice (1963 and 1970) and possibly more (it's difficult checking out all the possibilities once BW falls out of the top 5 OF that are listed annually in the Win Shares Digital Update).
   27. jimd Posted: July 31, 2006 at 11:42 PM (#2120576)
There is always a problem quoting a career average, whether it's in fielding, batting, or pitching. There can be a lot of variance around that average. This is just as true in fielding as it is in the other stats; guys have great years, and they have bad years (nagging injuries always being a factor).

By my WARP analysis (an earlier edition), Minoso was the best fielding LF in MLB in 1953, 1955, and 1959. Billy Williams was the best fielding LF in MLB in 1962, 1963, 1967, and 1970. Win Shares agrees with that in at least 1959 (MM) and 1963 (BW) (other years will require more detailed checking.) Gold Glove awards agree with 1959.

On Minoso's other Gold Gloves in 1957 and 1960. Both WARP and WS agree that Charlie Maxwell deserved the AL-LF-GG in 1957; he's only in his 2nd year so it's not surprising that the veteran with the good rep got the first one instead. Also, both WARP and WS agree that 1960 was a bad selection; Minoso was either hurt or had clearly slipped. I also have little doubt that Minoso would have won more awards in the early 1950's if they had been awarded.

It doesn't surprise me when the uber-stats sometimes select GG's that were not actually voted GG's, particularly if there appear to be reasons that explain the discrepancy. After all, sabrmetric analysis also selects hitters and pitchers that were not the most highly regarded in their own time either.
   28. Brent Posted: August 01, 2006 at 10:55 AM (#2121170)
Jim Sp wrote:
Who in particular do you think is benefiting from this?

To start with, Joe Sewell. Sewell was a good shortstop, but his WARP "rate" at shortstop is 108, which would put him in the same class as Marty Marion. I don't believe it. I'm pretty sure that during Sewell's era, Everett Scott was regarded as the AL's premier defensive shortstop, yet WARP rates Sewell ahead of Scott 108 to 107. My guess is that BP isn't adequately adjusting for the effect of left-handed pitchers - Cleveland was first or second in innings pitched by LHP every year from 1923-28.

Some recent electees who've benefited from over-generous WARP fielding ratings include Ashburn, Doerr, and Banks. (Please note that I'm not arguing that their elections were mistakes; I'm just saying their defense wasn't as good as BP says.)

jimd wrote:
About the Gold Gloves. NO National League Left-Fielder won a Gold Glove between 1960 (Wally Moon) and 1981 (Dusty Baker).

I'm not saying that a corner outfielder needed to win a Gold Glove to prove that he was a good fielder; I agree that Williams was good. My point was that Minoso's Gold Gloves are evidence that he was more than an "average" fielder; WARP simply has his fielding rated too low.

There is always a problem quoting a career average, whether it's in fielding, batting, or pitching. There can be a lot of variance around that average. This is just as true in fielding as it is in the other stats; guys have great years, and they have bad years (nagging injuries always being a factor).

While fielding undoubtedly does vary from year to year, the difference from batting or pitching statistics is that the opportunities are also varying in ways that we simply can't observe from the historical statistics. If a shortstop's range suddenly jumps by 0.50, chances are very good that the explanation is that more balls were hit his direction. Without detailed play-by-play data, there is no way to account for this, so it is best to treat all year-to-year fluctations in fielding with a strong dose of caution. We all know that Gold Gloves, like other awards, aren't always given to the right player, but with all their warts I think they are still more reliable indicators of fielding ability than either WS or WARP.
   29. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: August 01, 2006 at 11:28 AM (#2121174)
The problem that I have with Joe Sewell's WARP fielding stats is that he had a 111 Rate the year before his move to SS. SO he saved his team about 16 runs (rate is runs saved per 100g, so 111 is 11 runs above average over 100 games) and the next year was moved to 3B? Does that make sense? And please don't give me, "Well ARod was good and moved to 3B". Completely different situation.
   30. jimd Posted: August 01, 2006 at 07:23 PM (#2121744)
According to WARP Sewell was replaced by a duo with even better fielding stats. Jackie "Rabbit" Tavener (117 rate) and then Ray Gardner (112 rate). Tavener had been Detroit's regular SS of the previous 4 seasons, and was acquired in the offseason along with Ken Holloway (spot starter and reliever) for George Uhle, who had a couple of All-star seasons left (in retrospect, a steal for Detroit).

Tavener hit like Carl Lind, the Cleveland 2b (both had .249 EQA in 1928). Shifting Sewell to 3rd and Johnny Hodapp to 2nd improved the defense at all three positions (Hodapp 91 at 3rd, Lind 92 at 2nd), while not hurting the offense. Or so the Cleveland GM probably thought. It didn't work out well because Tavener didn't hit a lick (.204 EQA in 1929). Neither did Gardner, a minor league callup.
   31. Paul Wendt Posted: August 03, 2006 at 09:58 PM (#2125821)
Howie Menckel Posted: July 29, 2006 at 09:25 AM (#2116599)
I wouldn't accept either WARP OR Gold Gloves as convincing evidence that either was a better fielder.
Also, how much difference does it make how good a defender your LF is? I mean, it helps, sure, but neither of these guys was a butcher and I suspect neither is an all-time fielding great, either.
At that point, I'd say the relative advantage either way shouldn't make or break either guy.


It's clear that some people think BWilliams is in the border where even his "left fielding" may be crucial. I believe Sheckard was in the same border.

"Make or break" is misleading. Anyone barely elected must have more than one "make" advantage, in retrospect, and anyone barely left outside must have more than one "break" disadvantage, in retrospect.

Sheckard wouldn't be in the Hall of Merit if not for his left fielding. He wouldn't be in if not for his plate discipline, either.
   32. Paul Wendt Posted: August 22, 2008 at 03:04 PM (#2912641)
Fielding, left fielding or leftfielding, is the major theme above, beginning with jimd #17.
Among other things jimd plunked for Billy Williams over Minnie Minoso because
2) Williams was a better fielder. In LF Williams was good, Minoso average. (105-101)
(That is, WARP Rate 105 to 101.)

--
Billy Williams in left is again an issue. See the ballot thread for ranking the LFs (
Brock (bjhanke #63) wrote this defending his call that Williams was a "poor defender":
Dan R says, "Billy Williams was a poor defender? The stats certainly don't say so."
Also, using the defensive stats available to us, Burkett's best year was 1896."

About Billy Williams' defense: Part of my opinion comes from watching him play, which mostly means in the caverns of Busch Stadium after 1966. Williams really didn't have the range to play there, although I'm sure he was fine in Wrigley. But in Busch, I'd rather have Lou Brock, who had speed but nothing else to offer. If you only saw Williams in Wrigley or on TV, you wouldn't see that. And maybe it only applied to the larger stadiums of the era. Now, I would not make a judgment based only on that. I check out the defensive rankings of Pete Palmer and Bill James, trusting Bill over Pete when there's a conflict. Bill gives Williams a C, which, in Bill's system, is poor. Pete has him down as at least average and maybe better. I went with my eyes and Bill's system. I could be wrong. Defense is a mess to evaluate.


Both Dan Rosenheck and Chris Cobb called Brock on this. On Win Shares, see Cobb over there #64. On WARP by Clay Davenport, see some remarks above.

--
Let me add to the record from last fortnight:

DanR remarked that Fred Clarke and Billy Williams have big advantages over Willie Stargell, Sherry Magee, and Goose Goslin on defense. I interpreted that primarily as a downward revision on Goslin. Dan protested that he considers Goslin a good fielder; the group {Stargell, Magee, Goslin} is from (?)their shared tier according to Marc sunnyday.

I am old enough and also young enough to remember that I liked Billy Williams and Lou Brock although I "knew" they were weak fielders. I suppose this was written of Williams and Brock in the late 60s or early 70s, print reputation, unless it was said of Brock in 1967-68 World Series telecasts. I listened to baseball on the radio, AL and Buffalo Bisons; watched World Series and some game of the week; never went to a game.

So let me underscore another reinterpretation. DanR relies on sabrmetric studies or measures of fielding by several people. Although no one's measure ranks him with Fred Clarke, there has been a sabrmetric "upward revision on Williams" from the perspective of this reader.
   33. Paul Wendt Posted: August 22, 2008 at 03:13 PM (#2912653)
Sources.

Moments ago I summarized,
"the group {Stargell, Magee, Goslin} is from (?)their shared tier according to Marc sunnyday."

No, it is from their shared tier according to Marc sunnyday's analysis of the early returns.

99. sunnyday2 Posted: August 07, 2008 at 10:50 AM (#2893966)
Based on the first 8 ballots, here's where we may be headed, and here are the questions this raises.
. . .

Tier 5

8. F. Clarke
9. O'Rourke--now moving to CF however
10. B. Williams

(big Gap)

Tier 6

11. Stargell--wow, B. Williams obviously better than Stargell?
12. S. Magee
13. Goslin
14. Sheckard
15. Wheat--this seems too high too me? I have him not only in Tier 7, but low Tier 7.

With the exception of Wheat, how is anybody in better than the guys in Tier 6? Or at least, how is there a "big gap" right there? I don't see it.
[corrected in #100:] How is anybody inn Tier 5 better than the guys in Tier 6?



104. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 07, 2008 at 03:53 PM (#2894467)
Sunnyday, what Clarke and Williams have on Stargell, Magee, and Goslin is defense, in a major way. Sheckard is the best glove of the bunch, but his hitting was well below the Clarke/Williams standard.
   34. Paul Wendt Posted: August 23, 2008 at 03:00 PM (#2913786)
This is a test link to discussion of Billy Williams's fielding by Brock Hanke #63 and others. Chris Cobb and Dan Rosenheck "called" Brock (bjhanke) on his calling Williams a poor defender.

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