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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Bob Boone

Eligible in 1996.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 11, 2007 at 04:57 PM | 44 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 11, 2007 at 05:00 PM (#2310254)
Needed quite a few more of those late '70s seasons to build up his HoM case.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2007 at 05:24 PM (#2310263)
His managerial career drives down whatever value he accumulated as a player.
   3. OCF Posted: March 12, 2007 at 02:13 AM (#2310520)
For people who are good hitters - the Joe Torres and Ted Simmonses of the world - their expected career length and quite likely their expected offensive production are less at catcher than they would be at any other position. For Bob Boone, his expected career length and expected offensive production were likely greater as a catcher than they would have been elsewhere - because had he been, say, a third baseman, he would have been too easy to replace with a better hitter.
   4. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 12, 2007 at 02:34 AM (#2310531)
There is no HOM case. Easily one of the most overrated players of the last 30 years.

Oh, and he was/is a supercilious twit.
   5. sunnyday2 Posted: March 12, 2007 at 11:44 AM (#2310625)
>There is no HOM case.

The Bill Buckner of catchers.
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 12, 2007 at 01:34 PM (#2310658)
There is no HOM case.

Well, he wont be near my ballot, Harvey, so I don't disagree with you. However, he did play a long, long time. If he had played more like he did with the Phils during their division-win years of the Seventies, he would be a very strong candidate. But he didn't.
   7. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 12, 2007 at 02:34 PM (#2310687)
However, he did sire Aaron Boone, the man who ended my favorite game of all-time.
   8. GregD Posted: March 12, 2007 at 03:00 PM (#2310694)
Easily one of the most overrated players of the last 30 years.


A genuine, not smart-alecky, question: Does anyone anywhere, in reg media or sabr-media rate him highly? It never occurred to me that anybody thought that Boone was a particularly good player; even in Philly, he seemed to be forgotten.
   9. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 12, 2007 at 03:10 PM (#2310699)
It never occurred to me that anybody thought that Boone was a particularly good player

I can remember some thinking he was a great player due to his defense. Can't remember who, though.
   10. JPWF13 Posted: March 12, 2007 at 03:15 PM (#2310702)
>There is no HOM case.

The Bill Buckner of catchers.


That's pretty insulting to Boone- not sayng he has a HOM case (he doesn't)- but really Boone had value most years- Buckner was for all but perhaps 5 years a below average defensive player for his position in addition to being below avwerage defensively.

In 1985 Buckner managed the neat trick of getting 200 hits and 100 RBIs and simultaneously being a below average. (718 PAs batting 3rd, 4th and 6th in a lineup that went .347/.429- whiile Buckner hit .325/.447...)

Boone was a better catcher than Buckner was a 1b, Boone was a better hitter relative to the average catcher than Buckner was to the average 1b.
   11. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 12, 2007 at 03:21 PM (#2310706)
Greg:

Radio announcers and TV guys who think they know something will talk at length about Boone's defense.

But JP is right that Boone certainly provided more value than Buckner who along with being a lightweight at the plate and a poor defensive player was also something of a crank. Talk about beating the odds in having a career!
   12. DL from MN Posted: March 12, 2007 at 04:31 PM (#2310752)
I used Bob Boone's glove numbers in my workup of Biz Mackey. Unfortunately for Boone, Mackey has 20 points of OPS+ on him.
   13. sunnyday2 Posted: March 12, 2007 at 04:57 PM (#2310763)
>Easily one of the most overrated players of the last 30 years.

There was just a discussion elsewhere about what over-rated and under-rated mean.

I mean, it's hard enough to decide just how good a player is. Or it's as easy as just agreeing to use WARP3 career totals or whatever.

But how do you measure how a player is rated? By whom? MVP voting? HoF voting? HoM voting? All-star game balloting?

If you think about it, I'm not sure he's really over-rated. Who exactly rates him all that highly?
   14. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 12, 2007 at 05:09 PM (#2310774)
I can remember some thinking he was a great player due to his defense. Can't remember who, though.
Angel announcers used to give Boone worlds of credit for the average-to-good pitching staffs during the 80s, and of course, veteran leadership. He won seven GGs, so that perception of him as a great defender was fairly universal.

He rejected a $883,000 offer from the Angels at age 41, and signed with KC for one extra buck. Now THAT is cranky. Of course, KC paid for that in spades; by bringing the supposedly brilliant Boone into the organization, they made sure he'd be their manager someday.
   15. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 12, 2007 at 05:24 PM (#2310784)
sunny:

I am likely showing my age in that I recall vividly all of the nonsensical comments that would come out of folks mouths when gushing about Bob Boone. But of course such things happened 20 years ago.

So when I think of a how player was perceived in his time relative to his actual worth I put that on Harvey's Absolute Scale for B.S. And to me how Bob was regarded was B.S. when you considered his actual output.

In today's terms I consider Bob as Brad Asmus The Elder. Or Asmus, The Pre-Quel.

What is amusing is that Bob's rep has likely taken a hit because of his lackluster managerial record. Because while still playing everyone and their cousin who "knew" baseball would tell you flat out that the best managerial candidate among players was Bob Boone. "He knows the game better than anyone."

Bah.....
   16. JPWF13 Posted: March 12, 2007 at 05:36 PM (#2310794)
What is amusing is that Bob's rep has likely taken a hit because of his lackluster managerial record. Because while still playing everyone and their cousin who "knew" baseball would tell you flat out that the best managerial candidate among players was Bob Boone. "He knows the game better than anyone."

Bah.....


I'm sure you've noticed that those players touted as managerial material when playing typically make terrible managers
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2007 at 05:40 PM (#2310795)
I still remember Bob Boone being named the manager of the Orlando expansion franchise that never happened.
   18. Jim Sp Posted: March 12, 2007 at 06:50 PM (#2310837)
Who should be the one to tell Harvey that the problem with calling someone a supercilious twit is...

Oh, never mind.
   19. sunnyday2 Posted: March 12, 2007 at 07:17 PM (#2310858)
Harvey,

I saw Hoyt Wilhelm's no-hitter (on TV), and I listened to Harvey Haddix' gem on the radio, and saw Maz' home run (on TV). I did see Koufax live in person in games 2 and 7 in 1965. So you're not showing your age to me ;-)

But anyway, there are always the random comments about this guy or that guy. (Somebody last year thought Tony Batista would make a pretty good 3B.) Bob Boone was undoubtedly over-rated by whoever made those comments but did they reflect a consensus? I guess I could look up his MVP votes or all-star votes but I'm too lazy. We could perhaps agree that he was over-rated by the managers who kept writing his name in the lineup card about 5 years too long.

I was just wondering what your frame of reference was.
   20. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: March 12, 2007 at 07:27 PM (#2310864)
Has anyone else in baseball history ever won more gold gloves after turning 38 than before? Just weird.

My memory of his defensive rep was that he was the guy known as the king for catches balls in a way that made them look like strikes. He did he best job framing them, as legend as it.

I remember being thrilled when Rick Ferrell went into Cooperstown when his only achievement was most games caught in whatever league. I assumed that meant Boone was going in, and I had/have a bunch of Bob Boone baseball cards. Wrongo.

He's no HoMr.
   21. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 12, 2007 at 07:44 PM (#2310881)
Jim:

No, feel free. Please explain. Did I use the word incorrectly? Because Bob was almost proud of the fact that he was arrogant about his baseball acument.

But if my English is improper I am more than willing to learn.

Chris:

Correct. And it was Boone who really started pushing the umpires in the AL toward the outside corner. Because Boone was an arrogant *ss he really connected with certain umpires of a similar ilk (Ken Kaiser for example). So Boone LEEEEEAAAAANNNNSSSS out. And gets the call. Time passes. Bob LEEEEEEAAAAAANNNNNNSSSSS out a bit more. Gets the call.

It was infuriating. And it was the harbringer of things to come in the 90's when it all blew up in our faces with a strike zone the size of Paris Hilton's moral compass.
   22. DCW3 Posted: March 12, 2007 at 07:49 PM (#2310891)
Bob Boone has Hall of Fame Monitor score of 102. Anything over 102 is supposed to represent a "likely HOFer." This could be a fun exercise--who is the least deserving player to cross the 100 threshold?

Well, okay, Jose Mesa may have that title locked up. But is Boone the least deserving position player?
   23. DCW3 Posted: March 12, 2007 at 07:53 PM (#2310894)
A genuine, not smart-alecky, question: Does anyone anywhere, in reg media or sabr-media rate him highly? It never occurred to me that anybody thought that Boone was a particularly good player; even in Philly, he seemed to be forgotten.

He passed the 5% threshold in Hall of Fame balloting for four consecutive years before falling off the ballot in his fifth. There's a bunch of HoMers who didn't do nearly as well in the voting.
   24. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 12, 2007 at 08:08 PM (#2310905)
My memory of his defensive rep was that he was the guy known as the king for catches balls in a way that made them look like strikes. He did he best job framing them, as legend as it.

I'll second what Harvey said about concurring with Chris. In fact, Chris, your post brought it all back to mind. I particularly remember watching a Game of the Week (I think), where they would show Boone framing pitches. In particular, they documented in replay one of Boone's techniques. If a pitch was outside, most catchers would catch it, then quickly jerk their glove back over the plate. Or they would turn their wrist to achieve the same sort of effect. I remember the announcers pointing out that on close ones, Boone just left his glove right where it was when he caught it and extra long, too, because (a) the umps knew that the glove movements of other catchers meant it was not a strike (b) he gave them extra opportunity to see the pitch, which on a close one, might make them call the strike in error.

I don't remember if this was the same game, but I think that I remember some announcer explaining that Boone often set up outside so that when he caught the ball he wouldn't have to move, and that would sell the strike because he wasn't moving his arm outside the strike zone at all.
   25. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 12, 2007 at 08:28 PM (#2310922)
As much as I enjoy listening to Dave Niehaus call games on the radio, I can never forgive him calling Bob Boone "a future Hall of Famer" late in Boone's playing career...
   26. The District Attorney Posted: March 12, 2007 at 08:54 PM (#2310939)
I remember thinking Boone would make it because he was the all-time leader in games caught, and the leader in games played at every other position was in. After all this time, I can't recall if I legitimately thought this was a good argument or whether I just figured HOF voters thought this was a really important thing. (Three years after Boone retired, Fisk ended up passing him... by one game.)

(For some reason, the counting stats that the HOF voters seem to love otherwise, fall by the wayside at catcher. Ted Simmons is the leader in hits among catchers, or among "primary position: catcher" guys, anyway... given how much they love the hits stat everywhere else, hard to believe that they can leave him out.)

Boone woulda done it, too, had he not taken eight -- eight! -- years off in the middle of his career. By the time he started hitting again at 40 (WEIRD), it was too late. I have no problem believing he was a heckuva player with a 700-800 OPS, but for some reason he only got that at strange, sporadic intervals.
   27. Dizzypaco Posted: March 12, 2007 at 09:50 PM (#2310964)
(For some reason, the counting stats that the HOF voters seem to love otherwise, fall by the wayside at catcher.

The reason is that they don't love counting stats. They love milestones, which is something completely different. They love 3000 hits, not 2,910 - that's why Harold Baines and Rusty Staub aren't in the Hall. They love 500 homeruns. They love 300 wins. Almost no one knows or cares who the all time leader in homeruns for a second basemen is, or the all time leader in hits for a catcher.
   28. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: March 12, 2007 at 11:18 PM (#2310997)
Someone with too much time on his hands really ought to check the K & W rates for pitchers coming to Boone (especially the last decade of his career when his reputation was at its height) and see if there's any improvement on their strike/ball calls.
   29. Paul Wendt Posted: March 13, 2007 at 12:14 AM (#2311018)
Boone was considered a good player on the Phillies. In that range where you didn't need to be a crank to poke him on your all-star ballot. The PA or the scoreboard would promote all-star voting, and name four or five Phillies we should vote for. Only a crank would vote for the other three or four.

As I recall, (probably Peter Gammons in) the Boston Globe considered him a good player because of his great defense. This must be at the end because I remember that he was a KC Royal, no Californiangel.

Jim Sundberg was better regarded than Bob Boone, I believe. Let me say that here on Bob's thread as Jim didn't play as long as I remember. (I just checked to see when he will be eligible!)


Marc sunnyday on Bob
I guess I could look up his MVP votes or all-star votes

Attendance was very high at the Vet during his prime and the Phillies were very popular. I don't suppose people in Candlestick poked all the Giants on their ballots.
(But I remember disappointment that Ron Cey beat out Mike Schmidt. Probably '74 and '75.)


expert at framing pitches - they said that about Rick Dempsey too, I believe. or Tony Pena,who can distinu
   30. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: March 13, 2007 at 12:40 AM (#2311032)
Correct. And it was Boone who really started pushing the umpires in the AL toward the outside corner. Because Boone was an arrogant *ss he really connected with certain umpires of a similar ilk (Ken Kaiser for example). So Boone LEEEEEAAAAANNNNSSSS out. And gets the call. Time passes. Bob LEEEEEEAAAAAANNNNNNSSSSS out a bit more. Gets the call.

You know, I had forgotten about this, as my days as a sentient and conscious follower of baseball (as opposed to just being a little kid rooting for the ball) coincided with the autumn years of Boone on the Angels. But it's absolutely true that he was oft-praised for framing pitches.

The bit about him setting outside is likely also true, as the Angel pitchers had a collective epiphany when Lance Parrish came in and starting calling for pitches inside. This was considered the big difference between Boone and Parrish as catchers, at least by the media covering the team.

That said, I think it's a bit silly (but not superciously twitty) to blame Boone for this. He was doing what he could to help his pitchers, and if he got the umpires to go along with it, bully for him.

And it was the harbringer of things to come in the 90's when it all blew up in our faces with a strike zone the size of Paris Hilton's moral compass.

The 90s are known for nonexistent strike zones? ;)

In seriousness, the 90s strike zones may have been wide, but certainly weren't tall, so I don't know that it's right to say they were "big" on balance.
   31. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: March 13, 2007 at 01:00 AM (#2311047)
Bob Boone has Hall of Fame Monitor score of 102. Anything over 102 is supposed to represent a "likely HOFer." This could be a fun exercise--who is the least deserving player to cross the 100 threshold?


Juan Gone? Jose Canseco? Dave Concepcion?
   32. Paul Wendt Posted: March 13, 2007 at 01:19 AM (#2311058)
Bob Boone comes first alphabetically and on the dimension at hand.
   33. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 13, 2007 at 02:02 AM (#2311083)
BH:

My issue, if you will, was the Bob was so openly brazen about the whole thing. He would start inside and then shift outside right before the pitch. HOOOOOLLLDDD the pitch when delivered, and then grin maniacally through his mask when after a beat the ump would call a strike. He talked about it openly. Bragging almost. So he FORCED other catchers to follow suit.

And over time the strike zone went down, and down, and down, then out, out, out so that a guy like Maddux could just flat out abuse the situation beyond recognition.

Look, bully for Bob for exploiting the umpires stupidity. But just because I understand his motives doesn't mean I have to LIKE the results.

And I am confused by your last phrase. Because my use of the Hilton comment was to indicate that the strike zone got smaller, not larger.

Boone WAS a pretty smart player. But he ruined it for me by constantly TELLING us how smart he was. And hitting .202 didn't help matters. Or .222. Or any number of master cr*p seasons that were his specialty for much of the 80's.
   34. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: March 13, 2007 at 02:51 AM (#2311096)
Ah, the moral compass metaphor confused me. I was thinking you meant "bigger" as her "morals" allow more than average. Re-reading it, obviously my original interpretation didn't make much sense.
   35. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: March 13, 2007 at 03:09 AM (#2311102)
He would start inside and then shift outside right before the pitch. HOOOOOLLLDDD the pitch when delivered, and then grin maniacally through his mask when after a beat the ump would call a strike.

I would love to see video of this, btw.

I think I'm just prone to support Boone as he is the catcher of my childhood, along with Scioscia. He's no HoMer/HoFer, to be sure (unless his defense can be established as spectacular), and doesn't seem to have been the best manager, but I have positive feelings toward the man.
   36. OCF Posted: March 13, 2007 at 05:39 AM (#2311156)
I couldn't resist the temptation. Here's my RCAA-based system for Boone, for Buckner, and for three other people: Rick Ferrell (whose HoF election might be some kind of precedent for Boone if we payed attention to that sort of thing, which we don't), Ozzie Smith, and Rabbit Maranville. I'll do the chart in two versions. The first is in RCAA, as all my other charts are:

Buckner 28 24 22 17 17 15 8 8 4 3 0 -2 -3 -4 -6 -7 -8 -9 -9 -9-11-14
Boone 16 10 10 8 7 2 0 -5 -6-10-12-14-14-18-19-19-20-23-39
Ferrell 12 12 11 11 8 7 5 5 4 0 -1 -1 -1 -4 -4 -7 -8-13
Ozzie 36 28 16 16 13 11 9 9 3 1 -3 -6 -7-11-12-13-17-23-39
Rabbit 10 9 6 3 1 -2 -2 -3 -3 -5 -6 -7 -8 -9-11-11-13-13-14-16-16-25-29

Then there's changing the baseline: RC over 75% of average. This has greater rewards for longevity and durability - but only of you are better than 75% of average.

Buckner 45 45 39 36 30 30 28 27 18 18 15 14  9  8  5  5  4  1  0 ---8
Boone   28 24 24 21 21 14 12  3  2  2  0 
-------7-23
Ferrell 27 26 25 25 22 22 17 16 14  9  9  9  8  6  5  4  1 
-4
Ozzie   55 46 33 33 32 28 25 25 21 14 13  8  8  7  6  4 
--7-18
Rabbit  30 27 22 21 20 18 15 15 10 10  9  7  6  4  4  0  0 
-----6-12 


So, if you totally ignore defensive position and value, it's a close call whether Buckner or Ozzie Smith were better offensive players. Buckner's worst years weren't as bad, but Ozzie does have a slight peak advantage. And Boone is closer to Maranville as a hitter than he is to Ferrell.
   37. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 13, 2007 at 02:48 PM (#2311265)
Bill James did Rank Boone at #26 in the NBJHBA. Now this comes with his timeline of course, but still that is pretty high.

I have always had a desire to create the best teams for each franchise and with the Phillies, I usually have a hard time choosing between Boone and Daulton. They were nearly exact opposites as players but their value was pretty similar. Daulton waas a very good hitter, but wasn't good for as long, was usually hurt, and didn't play defense very well. Boone was a very good defensive catcher, who didn't have Daulton's peak but had more decent of good seasons. Of course as a peak guy, I know that I would choose Daulton, but I can see a decent argument for both.
   38. GregD Posted: March 13, 2007 at 02:54 PM (#2311270)
He got about as little support in MVP voting as anybody ever with his career length, so maybe the hype wasn't as strong as it could have been? I mean he has fewer MVP votes, career than Tony Pena or Jim Sundburg.
   39. The District Attorney Posted: March 14, 2007 at 02:46 PM (#2311785)
I have always had a desire to create the best teams for each franchise and with the Phillies, I usually have a hard time choosing between Boone and Daulton.
Jack Clements, no?
   40. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 14, 2007 at 05:13 PM (#2311901)
Jack Clements, no?


I should probably have stated that I usually only deal with the 20th century because teh 19th century is so messy. I should state things like this when I speak instead of just assuming that everyone knows what is going on in my head.

But yes, Clements should probably get the nod. But then again, ifyou are a WARP3 peak guy, then Daulton would win out.
   41. BDC Posted: March 15, 2007 at 11:28 AM (#2312437)
One reason Boone was not as highly-regarded when younger as he might have been was that people associated him with Steve Carlton not wanting to pitch to him. Carlton had a (deserved) reputation for knowing what he was doing, and if he wanted Tim McCarver instead, then how much of a genius or a great receiver could Boone have been? Then McCarver simply got too long in the tooth to catch anybody, Carlton started working with Boone, and if anything Carlton's work got even better. But it was a hard image to shake, and it probably cost Boone in MVP voting in the mid-70s, when he was a strong defender hitting .280 with some power for a good club ...
   42. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 15, 2007 at 12:36 PM (#2312450)
Carlton had a (deserved) reputation for knowing what he was doing

And for being sort-of iconoclastic and stubborn, which may work against him in evaluating this particular decision.
   43. Dizzypaco Posted: March 15, 2007 at 01:12 PM (#2312460)
But it was a hard image to shake, and it probably cost Boone in MVP voting in the mid-70s, when he was a strong defender hitting .280 with some power for a good club ...

You may be right about his image, but even if true, I don't think it cost him many MVP votes. During the late 70s, there were many top level catchers, including Simmons, Bench, Munson, Fisk, Carter, all of who were put up much better stats than Boone (the kind of stats that voters looked at in the late 70s). Boone's triple crown stats were pretty good but nothing special by the standards of catchers of the late 70's. Even with a great defensive reputation, I doubt Boone would have gotten many MVP votes.
   44. philphan Posted: March 15, 2007 at 10:06 PM (#2312715)
Boonie was certainly considered at the time one of the game's best defensive catchers. I seem to recall, though, that when he was drafted he was a third baseman (like his father), and that the Phils converted him to catcher--perhaps because they recognized that his bat would never play at third base. And I believe he did occasionally fill in at third base during his major league career.

The thing that I remember best about Boone in his Philadelphia years was that he was absolutely one of the worst baserunners in baseball history. It wasn't just that he had no speed to speak of; it was that (at least in his younger years), he _thought_ he could run the bases. I remember him being frequently picked off first or second, and that he drove the Phillies' first base coaches crazy with the leads that he took.

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