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Monday, July 25, 2005

Bobby Doerr

Bobby Doerr

Eligible in 1957.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 25, 2005 at 01:47 PM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 25, 2005 at 01:59 PM (#1496140)
Will the HoM open it's Doerrs for him?
   2. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 25, 2005 at 02:17 PM (#1496174)
Nicely done, John.

To reiterate from the Gordon thread, neither of them exactly makes me froth. Doerr's right at the edge of my consideration set at his position, but probably just off it.
   3. Maury Brown Posted: July 25, 2005 at 08:12 PM (#1497041)
For those interested... an interview with Bobby Doerr from 2002 I did.

Love the man... one of the nicest people I ever met.
   4. karlmagnus Posted: July 25, 2005 at 09:08 PM (#1497130)
better than Gordon or Boudreau, the way I read the figures, and it's not particularly close. Solid mid-ballot candidate.
   5. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 26, 2005 at 09:31 AM (#1498704)
Karl, do you adjust for parks? If you do, I don't see how you can have Doerr ahead of Gordon . . . and Boudreau played SS, not 2B, so I'd think Doerr would have to have significantly outhit him (which he didn't) to be ahead, despite his somewhat longer career.
   6. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 26, 2005 at 09:34 AM (#1498705)
Also their contemporaries would agree, as Boudreau and Gordon both did much better than Doerr in the MVP votes. They did each make 8 or 9 all-star games. Basically if Appling, Boudreau, Gordon or Doerr was off the AL all-star team in the 40s it was news.
   7. Carl G Posted: July 26, 2005 at 05:45 PM (#1499318)
I can't put him ahead of Gordon, but I do have him ahead of Boudreau. Lou only had 9 seasons as a regular and 3 of them(his 2nd,3rd, and 4th best hitting seasons) deserve some war discount. Doerr gets a discount for '43 & '44 but should get some extra credit for '45. Doerr had 10 solid to strong non-war seasons to Boudreau's 6. Boudreau was fantastic in '48, but Doerr's career was significantly better.
   8. jimd Posted: July 26, 2005 at 06:02 PM (#1499372)
Note: Reposted from the Gordon thread.

WARP1 -- by age
Gordon, Doerr, Herman, Evers, Childs, Dunlap

Age   JG   BD   BH   JE   CC   FD
---   --   --   --   --   --   --
 19   --   10   --   --   --   --
 20   --   66   --   11   --   --
 21   --   70   13   69   --  103
 22   --   89   88  105  147A 106
 23   69   55   69   56   87   78
 24  106  108   58   87  142  114
 25  104   97W 124   91   93  212U
 26   91  110W 129   91   84  115
 27  111   --  118   86   65  113
 28  112W 110   87   75  119   63
 29   --   76  103   19   96   68
 30   --   79   83  111   62   51
 31   43   84   72   97   34    0
 32   74   71   70   90   62    2
 33   62   42   94W  46   41   --
 34   40   --   --   20   --   --
 35   27   --   --   31   --   --
 36   --   --   62   --   --   --
--- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
Tot  840 1065 1166 1087 1036 1025

Note: no adjustments for season length or league quality
   9. Cblau Posted: October 11, 2005 at 09:05 PM (#1677541)
Karlmagnus keeps writing that "they" are using a crazy park adjustment for Doerr and that he is underrated by OPS+. In fact, the park adjustment is appropriate, since Fenway was an extreme hitter's park during Doerr's career. His road statistics, from the first Bill James Historical Abstract, were .327/.389 OBA/SA. Joe Gordon's were .367/.482. Sorry he doesn't give the number of hits.
   10. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 11, 2005 at 09:46 PM (#1677686)
Cliff, I totally agree. Doerr was the lesser hitter of the two any way you slice it.
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 30, 2006 at 01:00 AM (#1842992)
Does anyone know when Doerr entered the military? Did he join near the end of the '44 season?
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: January 30, 2006 at 02:18 AM (#1843122)
FYI, baseballlibrary.com, if anyone didn't already know why Doerr was done at age 33....

» August 7, 1951: Bobby Doerr suffers a severe sacroiliac pain that forces the future Hall of Famer into early retirement. The Red Sox regular 2B for 13 seasons, Doerr will become a Red Sox coach.

I'm starting to wonder if both Doerr AND Gordon deserve to be HOMers, rather than canceling each other out.
   13. Cblau Posted: January 30, 2006 at 02:51 AM (#1843147)
Doerr left the Red Sox Sept. 3, 1944 to travel to California, where he was inducted into the army on Sept. 19. This per the NY Times.
   14. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 30, 2006 at 02:52 AM (#1843150)
Thanks, Cliff!
   15. ronw Posted: January 30, 2006 at 08:20 PM (#1844142)
You know, I don't see much difference between Doerr and Johnny Evers, of all people. Sure, Doerr had more pop, but Evers had a better relative OBP. Both were excellent fielders. Of course, both played for successful teams.

They have very similar career BWS numbers:

Evers 198.1 BWS in 1784 G, 18.0/G, A- fielder
Doerr 196.4 BWS in 1865 G, 17.1/G, A fielder

And WARP-1:

Evers 108.7 W1, 153 BRAA, 90 FRAA, 374 BRAR, 622 FRAR
Doerr 106.7 W1, 189 BRAA, 134 FRAA, 427 BRAR, 544 FRAR

OPS+ shows Doerr as a much better hitter:

Evers 106 career, top 10 144, 139, 118, 117, 115, 109, 107, 103, 94, 93
Doerr 115 career, top 10 165, 131, 128, 128, 117, 116, 116, 114, 114, 105

Also, WARP-2 and 3 clearly show that Doerr is better, if you accept the timeline and league quality adjustments.

Evers 67.7 W2, 69.4 W3
Doerr 96.4 W2, 98.8 W3

I think people voting for Doerr still need to look more closely at Evers.
   16. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: February 01, 2006 at 07:47 AM (#1846210)
Ron - the big difference is defense. Evers was playing 2B when it was more like 3B in terms of value (compared to modern times). Doerr was a 2B when it was much more important defensively. It's a huge difference, and I know it's the reason that I have Doerr near my ballot and Evers way off, even though I like him a lot.
   17. Chris Cobb Posted: February 01, 2006 at 03:37 PM (#1846359)
Joe,

Wouldn't comparing Evers and Doerr by WARP1 take these changes in defensive value into account?

I take Doerr over Evers by win shares and by quality of competition adjustments. Doerr ranks at #19 among 1940s players, Evers ranks at #23 among 1900s players. That's not a huge difference, but it shows Doerr as somewhat better among his peers. And when you figure that there are approximately three players between the two for every decade, that's around 25 spots on the ballot.
   18. DavidFoss Posted: February 01, 2006 at 07:54 PM (#1846716)
Wouldn't comparing Evers and Doerr by WARP1 take these changes in defensive value into account?

It doesn't appear to. Look at the difference between FRAA and FRAR. (Doerr has more games played so that's not the reason). The replacement level is lower for Evers than it is for Doerr.

My guesses at possible explanations:
1) BP doesn't account for the shift of 2B in the defensive spectrum
2) BP thinks the talent pool was weaker in Evers' day. The "AAAA" players of the day that define the replacement level were of lower quality relative to the regulars.
3) BP tilts the pitching/fielding split more in the fielders favor in Evers' day.
4) Something else :-)
   19. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 01, 2006 at 08:39 PM (#1846778)
My best guess being a combination of #'s 2 and 3 negating the effect of the position shift in their system.

It isn't that far fetched that Evers still had as much defensive value since fielding as a whole was more important.
   20. sunnyday2 Posted: February 01, 2006 at 10:44 PM (#1846947)
If you're looking at Evers, however, you HAVE to look at Tinker who hit just about as well and had a ton more defensive value. And once you look at Tinker, then you have to look at the other great defenders like Dave Bancroft and Dick Lundy. And then you have to ask whether it might not be good old LWTS or TPR or whatever they call it now that has the defensive value of the great SSs figured out.
   21. OCF Posted: February 01, 2006 at 10:52 PM (#1846966)
And once you look at Tinker, then you have to look at the other great defenders like Dave Bancroft and Dick Lundy. Herman Long?

There was a point, once upon a time, when I was actually voting for Evers. I backed off of that when it became clear that no one else was supporting him, and I doubt now that I could see putting him back.
   22. jimd Posted: February 02, 2006 at 02:31 AM (#1847195)
1) BP doesn't account for the shift of 2B in the defensive spectrum

I reread James' defense of the shift in the WS book the other day. None of the evidence he gives to support it is untrue, but much is carefully stated so that it implies more than it actually says.

OPS by position by decade:
Decade 1B LF RF CF 3B 2B Ca SS Pit
1870's +1 +4 -1 +4 +2 +2 +0 +1 -13
1880's 13 +6 +1 +5 +1 -1 -7 -2 -17
1890's +6 +9 +7 +7 +0 -2 -6 -2 -22
1900's +6 10 +9 +8 +0 +2 -9 -1 -29
1910's +6 +7 +9 10 +1 +1 -7 -4 -31
1920's +9 10 10 +8 -3 +1 -4 -7 -32
1930's 13 +8 10 +5 -1 -3 -3 -4 -36
1940's +8 11 +9 +7 +2 -3 -4 -4 -37
1950's +9 10 +7 +7 +4 -3 -1 -5 -40
1960's 11 +9 11 +7 +4 -5 -3 -6 -46
1970's 10 +8 +8 +5 +3 -5 -2 -11-45
1980's +8 +6 +6 +2 +3 -4 -4 -8 -48
1990's +9 +4 +6 +1 +1 -3 -4 -7 -50

Mean.. +9 +8 +7 +6 +1 -2 -4 -5 -36

The hitting evidence to support the shift is really only from the 1920's, plus a small amount in the 00's. The 19th century actually goes the other way against the shift; 3B hits somewhat more than 2B. (James does state "I have assumed that the defensive spectrum was the same throughout the late 19th century as it was in 1900, but this is an area in which we could benefit from additional research.")

Frankly, the evidence is stronger that 1B moved to the right of OF between 1893 and 1920, when compared to 3B shifting to the right of 2B.

The evidence supporting 2B == 3B before 1940 is very strong. The evidence supporting an actual flip-flop 2B < 3B is not strong at all.
   23. Chris Cobb Posted: February 02, 2006 at 03:01 AM (#1847216)
More on Evers/Doerr:

Another advantage that Doerr has over Evers is durability. Although their careers are similar in terms of games played, Doerr's games were packed into fewer seasons. He played over 100 games 13 times, as compared to Evers' 10 (+ a 99-game season). Doerr played over 130 games 10 times to Evers' 6.

Doerr then has a season of war credit beyond that.

Doerr/Evers is the sort of comparison in which I start out saying, yes, they are similar players when looked at from a particular perspective. But when I start to look more closely, the little factors consistently favor one player over the other, so that I end up concluding that one, in this case Doerr, is significantly better.

Doerr/Gordon is not that sort of comparision.
   24. Rick A. Posted: February 02, 2006 at 03:22 AM (#1847231)
It isn't that far fetched that Evers still had as much defensive value since fielding as a whole was more important.

I don't know for certain since I don't have my WS book with me, but didn't Evers play for a bunch of teams that hit the WS fielding cap like almost every year. Not sure if Doerr did also, but I kind of doubt it.
   25. Chris Cobb Posted: February 02, 2006 at 04:51 AM (#1847295)
When Evers' 622 FRAR iin WARP1 are adjusted for competition only and not to an "all-time" context, he is 555 FRAR.
He is 23 FRAA in WARP2, 330 FRAR

When Doerr's 544 FRAR are adjusted for competition only and not to an "all-time" context, he is 541 FRAR.
He is 131 FRAA in WARP2, 459 FRAR

It appears that WARP sees the shift in defensive value from fielding to pitching between the aughts and the forties as outweighing the shift in fielding value to second base from other positions during that same time period.

As WARP sees it, Doerr is a better fielder relative to his contemporary second-basemen than Evers, but Evers' defense was quite a bit more valuable in context, and slightly more valuable than Doerr's even when his context is competition-adjusted.
   26. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: February 02, 2006 at 05:31 AM (#1847321)
"Joe,

Wouldn't comparing Evers and Doerr by WARP1 take these changes in defensive value into account?"

Only if WARP adjusts for the changing defensive spectrum. I don't know that it does or doesn't. From what I read above, I'd say it doesn't look like it does.

Interesting chart jim - I know you've shown us that before, but I didn't notice the 3B/2B thing.

I don't know how your data is organized, but would it be possible to only use the bottom end of regulars, the botton 20% and not everyone? When you use everyone star gluts (1B 1880's) and star droughts (SS 1970's) have way too much impact. Using the bottom end guys would show better what the true spectrum was, IMO.

That is a great chart, thanks!
   27. sunnyday2 Posted: February 02, 2006 at 05:56 AM (#1847330)
Evers .270/.356/.334/106 in 6900 PAs
Tinker .262/.308/.353/95 in 6850 PAs

And Tinker has a fair edge on defense.
   28. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 02, 2006 at 06:05 AM (#1847336)
By the looks of it there Evers looks like the better hitter and it isn't like the margin is razor thin. 48 ponts of OBP is worth a lot more than 19 points of slugging.
   29. Chris Cobb Posted: February 02, 2006 at 06:25 AM (#1847353)
Only if WARP adjusts for the changing defensive spectrum. I don't know that it does or doesn't. From what I read above, I'd say it doesn't look like it does.

WARP does not adjust much. A quick comparison of Johnny Evers to Harry Steinfeldt in 1906/07 and of Bobby Doerr to Johnny Pesky in 1948/49 shows the following:

In 1906+07 Evers was 31 FRAA and 123 FRAR in 305 games
In 1906+07 Steinfeldt was 3 FRAA and 66 FRAR in 303 games

Average play at second base was valued at .30 FRAR/g
Average play at third base was valued at .21 FRAR/g
Average play at 2B gets 50% more value above replacement than average play at third

In 1948+49 Doerr was 16 FRAA and 64 FRAR in 279 games
In 1948+49 Pesky was 20 FRAA and 51 FRAR in 291 games

Average play at second base was valued at .172 FRAR/g
Average play at third base was valued at .106 FRAR/g
Average play at second base gets 60% more value above replacement than average play at third.

Not much of a defensive spectrum shift in evidence here.
   30. Paul Wendt Posted: February 02, 2006 at 07:44 AM (#1847393)
Frankly, the evidence is stronger that 1B moved to the right of OF between 1893 and 1920,

1B vs LF, 1870s-1880s
1B vs LF+RF, 1890s-1990s
<u>-3 +7 -2 -3 -2 -1 +4 -2</u> +0 +1 +2 +2 +4

If I squint ;-) i see no movement for 80 years (<u>underline</u>), only A-B-C in the 1880s and F-G in the 1930s (bold).
   31. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: February 03, 2006 at 05:15 AM (#1848558)
Which is why I'm not a big fan of using 'average' as opposed to 'replacement' for using offense to determine the defensive spectrum Paul . . .

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