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Monday, August 07, 2006

Brooks Robinson

Eligible in 1983.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 07, 2006 at 12:53 AM | 97 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 07, 2006 at 12:56 AM (#2129581)
Not as good as Santo, but he was still the best third baseman in the AL during the '60's.
   2. sunnyday2 Posted: August 07, 2006 at 02:36 AM (#2129791)
More Santo than Pie Traynor, however. I don't expect Brooksie to get elected, but he will be in my top 10. Whatever the numbers are, he had a huge impact on pennant races--in fact, he, more than anybody, got a pretty bad ballclub on the road to more than mere respectability.
   3. Daryn Posted: August 07, 2006 at 03:00 AM (#2129841)
You don't expect the best 3b in the AL for a decade to get elected? 15+ GGs? And he could hit a bit. 3.69 MVP shares and an MVP. He'll be fighting for top spot on my ballot, and I thought I was underrating him.
   4. sunnyday2 Posted: August 07, 2006 at 03:03 AM (#2129846)
We'll see. I just don't hear the number-crunchers saying good things about him. Like I said, he's about #5 on my ballot.
   5. Daryn Posted: August 07, 2006 at 03:04 AM (#2129847)
Well, that's two of us.
   6. Daryn Posted: August 07, 2006 at 03:06 AM (#2129851)
Compare him to Ozzie Smith, and I think he comes out ahead. Maybe the Wiz will have trouble with our group too. And yes, I know for the purposes of this project, we aren't yet allowed to consider Ozzie when considering Brooksie.
   7. AJMcCringleberry Posted: August 07, 2006 at 03:10 AM (#2129857)
Well, that's two of us.

Me three. I have him, Billy Williams, and Dick Allen all rated about the same. I'm not sure who'll be #1 yet.
   8. mulder & scully Posted: August 07, 2006 at 06:26 AM (#2129927)
Brooks Robinson
<u>Years</u>: 1955-1977
<u>Team</u>: Baltimore
<u>Win Shares Career</u>: 356
<u>Win Shares Peak</u>: 3 straight years: 83 (1964-66), Best 3 years: 86 (1962, 1964, 1965)
<u>Win Shares Prime</u>: Best 7 years: 182
<u>Win Shares per “year</u>:” per 162 games: 19.9, per 648 PA: 20

All Stars
<u>Games</u>: 1960-1974
<u>STATS</u>: 5 times
<u>Win Shares (Best in League)</u>: 6 times, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968
<u>Win Shares (Best in Majors)</u>: 1 time, 1962 when he had 27 win shares and Eddie Mathews had 26.

MVPs
<u>1964</u>: received 96% of the vote.
Finished 2nd: 1966
Finished 3rd: 1960, 1965
Finished 4th: 1971
Other top 10s: 7th (1970), 9th (1962)

Win Shares rank in league:
1960: 9th (T) with 21 (Mantle first with 36)
1961: Not in top 20
1962: 2nd with 27 (Mantle first with 33)
1963: Not in top 20
1964: 2nd with 33 (Mantle first 34)
1965: 5th with 26 (Oliva first 33)
1966: 10th with 24 (F Robinson first 41)
1967: 18th (T) with 21 (Yaz first 42)
1968: not in top 20
1969: 20th (T) with 21 (Reggie first 41)
1970: 22nd (T) with 21 (Yaz first 36)
1971: 15th (T) with 23 (Murcer first 38)
1972: not in top 20
1973: not in top 20
1974: 10th (T) with 23 (Jeff Burroughs first 33)

Gold Gloves:
<u>Voters</u>: 16, every year 1960-1975
<u>Win Shares</u>: 6, in 1960, 1963, 1964, 1967, 1968, 1969. Win Shares likes Clete Boyer in 1961, 62, and 65 and Graig Nettles in 1970, 71, 72, 73, 75, and 76. And Max Alvis in 1966 and Aurelio Rodriguez in 1974.

Black and Grey Ink:
<u>Black Ink</u>: 10 – multiple times in games played and sacrifice flies. 1 time in RBI.
<u>Grey Ink</u>: 10 years in Sac Flies and GIDP.
9 years in Hits. (also 9 years in AB)
8 years in RBI, singles.
7 years in Total Bases, Doubles.
6 years in Extra Base Hits.
5 years in Runs Created.
4 years in AVG.
3 years in Runs, Triples.
2 years in SLG, Homers.
1 year in OPS, OPS+.

<u>Some comments</u>:
As a regular, 1958 – 1975, he had 3 years with an OPS+ under 90, one of which was an 89. The other two were a 69 and a 58.
From best to worst:
145, 125, 125, 124, 124, 117, 114, 113, 109, 108, 97, 96, 92, 90, 90, 89, 69, 58.
In other years:
80 in 50 games
71 in 15 games
64 in 71 games
30 in 24 games
neg 49 in 6 games
Was he a bonus baby because it looks like he should not have been facing major league pitching until 1959, his fifth year in the league.

Excellent post seasons in 1970 and 1971.
   9. mulder & scully Posted: August 07, 2006 at 07:25 AM (#2129938)
Top half of Third Basemen, American League, for 1950-1980 (Brooks Robinson's career plus a little on each end) by Win Shares. This will be top 4 for 1950-1960, top 5 for 1961-1968, top 6 for 1969-1976, and top 7 for 1977-1980.

1950: Rosen 29, Kell 26, Yost 24, Pesky 19
1951: Yost 27, Rosen 25, McDougald 23, Kell 22
1952: Rosen 31, Yost 23, McDougald 18, Dyck 15
1953: Rosen 42, Yost 24, Boone 22, McDougald 21
1954: Rosen 27, Yost 23, Boone 22, Finigan 21
1955: Boone 19, Yost 16, Kell 16, Rosen 16
1956: Boone 22, Yost 19, Klaus 16, tie Rosen and Lopez 15
1957: Malzone 18, Smith 17, tie with Yost, Lopez, and Phillips 13
1958: Malzone 18, Power 16, Carey 15, Goodman 14
1959: Yost 27, Killebrew 23, Malzone 19, Lopez 14
1960: Robinson 21, Yost 17, tie Freese and Williams 14

1961: Smith 20, Robinson 18, C Boyer 15, tie O'Connell and Malzone 14
1962: Robinson 27, Rollins 23, tie Boyer and Charles 21, Smith 18
1963: tie Ward and Alvis 25, tie Robinson and Rollins 19, Boyer 17
1964: Robinson 33, Ward 27, Wert 15, tie Malzone and Rollins 14
1965: Robinson 26, tie McMullen and Wert 21, Boyer 18, Ward 17
1966: Killebrew 33, Robinson 24, Foy 22, Buford 21, Charles 18
1967: Robinson 24, McMullen 20, tie Alvis and Buford 17, Wert 14
1968: Robinson 25, McMullen 24, Bando 21, Foy 19, Ward 15

1969: Bando 36, Killebrew 34, McMullen 24, Robinson 17, Foy 16, Scott 15 (Yes, George Scott)
1970: Harper 33, Killebrew 30, Bando 24, Robinson 21, Nettles 18, tie McMullen, Rodriguez, and Scott 15
1971: Bando 29, tie Nettles and Petrocelli 27, Schaal 26, tie Melton and Robinson 23
1972: Bando 23, tie McMullen, Nettles, and Petrocelli 21, Robinson 16, Nelson 15
1973: Bando 31, Melton 22, Bell 21, Nettles 19, Money 18, tie Braun and Oliver 16, (Robinson 12 in 8th)
1974: Money 26, Robinson 23, Nettles 22, Bando 21, Randle 16, tie Petrocelli and Soderholm 15
1975: Brett 25, Nettles 21, Bando 19, Chalk 18, Bell 16, tie Money and Soderholm 14 (Robinson 6 tied for worst in league)
1976: Brett 33, Nettles 28, Bando 24, Bell 20, Money 14, Cubbage 12

1977: Brett 29, tie Nettles and Harrah 25, DeCinces 21, Soderholm 20, Bando 17, Gross 16
1978: DeCinces 27, Nettles 26, tie Bando and Brett 23, Lansford 17, tie Bell and Soderholm 16
1979: Brett 33, Harrah 24, Bell 22, Lansford 21, Nettles 15, tie DeCinces and Gross 13
1980: Brett 36, Bell 21, Castino 18, tie DeCinces and Gross 16, Lansford 15, tie Brookens and Howell 14

So what does the above mean? I don't know. I thought it would provide context for American League third basemen around Brooks Robinson. It is easy to see why Robinson made such a strong impact when he finally began to hit in 1960. The best recent (late 50s) third basemen were Frank Malzone, Ray Boone and Ed Yost.
   10. sunnyday2 Posted: August 07, 2006 at 11:52 AM (#2129971)
Maybe that's part of the reason Brooks was so highly regarded. The AL had been pretty much bereft of solid 3Bs for a while when he showed up.
   11. TomH Posted: August 07, 2006 at 12:25 PM (#2129982)
overall post-season stats are good - his OPS and his R+RBI per G are slightly above his career avg, which is good since morst post-season games are lower-scoring.

plus, he did make a few really nice plays IIRC against the Reds...

I give him a bonus equivalent to 3 career "wins" for his October play.
   12. DL from MN Posted: August 07, 2006 at 01:38 PM (#2130021)
I have him 5th on the next ballot, clearly ahead of all other 3B eligibles.
   13. Chris Cobb Posted: August 07, 2006 at 01:55 PM (#2130033)
The top of my prelim ballot goes Williams, Allen, Robinson. I'm virtually certain these will be my top 3. The only question is the order. If we don't elect Brooks in 1983, we are almost certain to elect him in 1984, I think. It won't be a unanimous selection, but the next-best new eligibles -- Torre, Freehan, and Wynn -- are far from consensus HoMers, and none of the backloggers are close to that either. In the context of our ballot fragmentation, my guess is that Robinson will be elected quickly.
   14. Juan V Posted: August 07, 2006 at 01:57 PM (#2130035)
I have him as Ken Boyer with a lower prime. And Boyer was 14th in my 1982 ballot, so that doesn´t look good. Then again, I might be underrating both of them.
   15. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: August 07, 2006 at 02:04 PM (#2130040)
I think that WS tends to underrated great fielders a little, especially at glove positions. Robinson may be even better than his WS numbers show. On teh other hand, 3B isn't a glove position. On the other other hand, Robinson may have been good enough to have the same value as a very good SS defensively. I haven't run oer him yet, but right now I think he was better than Boyer and that he will make my ballot. But with some many good new players, a top 10 spot isn't a certainty. He will still be PHOM in a few 'years' anyway, even if I am behind the consensus a bit.
   16. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 07, 2006 at 02:15 PM (#2130055)
Not as good as Santo, but he was still the best third baseman in the AL during the '60's.

Well Kelly, Mulder, Scully, Tootie, and Muldoon stole my thunder. But basically Brooks dominated a very weak field (which is both a positive and a negative), but as soon as Bando ripened Brooksie's days as the leading 3B were done. Note that's several years before the emergence of Brett and Nettles as outstanding everyday 3Bs.

Here's a way to put this in perspective. Here's the rate stats for 3Bs only in the period 19601-975 for the AL and NL, along with the overall league stats (sans pitchers):

LG  AVG OBP SLG  lgAVG lgOBP lgSLG  OPS+
---------------------------------------- 
AL  253 322 378   255   325   383    98
NL  261 333 401   262   328   389   105 


Now that may not look like much of a difference, but a) the league numbers include the 3B, which drags them down somewhat, and b) think about it over 100,000 or so at bats. Or think about it in terms of the runs they created...or didn't create.

The NL guys created 14217 runs in 83449 outs (or 4.60 per game); the league created 110689 runs in 594429 outs or 5.03 per game---91% of the league.

The AL 3Bs created 12869 runs in 84247 or 4.12 per game; the league created 110748 runs in 612986 outs or 4.88 per game---84% of the league average.

The NL 3Bs outproduced the AL 3Bs by 7%, per annum, from 1960-1975.

Anyway, I just thought I'd elaborate.
   17. sunnyday2 Posted: August 07, 2006 at 02:25 PM (#2130074)
I would say Brooks was vastly overrated in his day, and Bando vastly underrated both then and now. Still, Brooks would rate ahead of Bando.
   18. JPWF13 Posted: August 07, 2006 at 02:26 PM (#2130075)
15+ GGs?

at least 5 of which belonged to Nettles.

I have a very hard time seeing that Robinson was a better player than Nettles,
Despite a lower batting average Nettles was a slightly more effective hitter, in a comparably long career (Robinson's was longer but not that much longer)-

defense-
I did not see Robinson play in the early to mid 60s- which I assume was his defensive prime- he was very good after that- but clearly not as good as Nettles- the legions of announcers and sportswriter and GG voters who kept giving what should have been Nettle's GGs to Robinson were just flat out wrong- I assume that they couldn't keep memories of Brook's prime out of the way- but I've seen highlight films- at Robinson's absolute best he was a rough match for Nettl;es at his best- but not clearly better.


I can't think of any player whose pervception has been more clearly screwed up by the lingering perception of a truly comparable player who just happened to come a bit earlier.


That said, Nettles was one of my favorite players growing up, but in all honesty, from what I've read he was (and stil is) a miserable rat bastard, whereas Brooksie is, by all appearances a decent human being- so I won't lose sleep over Brooks being in the Hall of Fame and Nettles having ZERO chance

Hall of Merit? Nope, I can't see Nettles, and therefore I can't see Robinson
   19. sunnyday2 Posted: August 07, 2006 at 02:33 PM (#2130087)
Hey, Doc, you broke it!
   20. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 07, 2006 at 02:45 PM (#2130106)
ugh.

I truly don't mean to pick on TomH personally, but I've got some questions.

I give him a bonus equivalent to 3 career "wins" for his October play.

Here's Brooks's career postseason line, shamefully copied directly from bb-ref.com

Year Round Tm  Opp WLser  G   AB  R   H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO  BA    OBP   SLG  SB CS SH SF HBP
+------------------+-----+---+---+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+--+--+--+--+--+
 
1966 WS    BAL LAD   W     4  14   2   3  0  0  1   1   1   0  .214  .267  .429  0  0  0  0  0
 1969 ALCS  BAL MIN   W     3  14   1   7  1  0  0   0   0   0  .500  .500  .571  0  2  1  0  0
      WS    BAL NYM   L     5  19   0   1  0  0  0   2   0   3  .053  .050  .053  0  0  0  1  0
 1970 ALCS  BAL MIN   W     3  12   3   7  2  0  0   2   0   1  .583  .538  .750  0  0  0  1  0
      WS    BAL CIN   W     5  21   5   9  2  0  2   6   0   2  .429  .429  .810  0  0  0  0  0
 1971 ALCS  BAL OAK   W     3  11   2   4  1  0  1   3   0   1  .364  .364  .727  0  0  0  0  0
      WS    BAL PIT   L     7  22   2   7  0  0  0   5   3   1  .318  .370  .318  0  0  0  2  0
 1973 ALCS  BAL OAK   L     5  20   1   5  2  0  0   2   1   1  .250  .286  .350  0  0  0  0  0
 1974 ALCS  BAL OAK   L     4  12   1   1  0  0  1   1   1   0  .083  .154  .333  0  0  0  0  0 


Are the 1966 WS, 1969 WS, 1971 WS (look at the SLG), 1973 ALCS, and 1974 ALCS factored into those three wins?

Do other October performers receive similar consideration. How about Scott Brosius in 1998? Pepper Martin in the 1930s?

Again, Tom, I don't mean to pick on you, I'm just checking in because I think Robinson is wildly overrated by pretty much everyone, due to the television coverage of his October exploits. So I guess I'm grinding my axe here, please accept my apologies.

Ultimately, I rank Brooks as around the 12th-18th 3B ever. I think that's reasonable give that
1. Schmidt
2. Mathews
3. Baker
4. Brett
5. White
6. Boggs
7. Wilson
8. Sutton---no matter what Argo says! ; )
9. Santo

Ok that's 9 guys I personally see as clearly superior to Brooks. Choose your own order, YMMV. Then comes the next group, where arguments can happen.

10. Molitor (depending on where you position him)
11. Groh
12. Jimmy Collins
13. Stan Hack
14. Darrell Evans (close, but more peak, more career, better prime, and a pretty good fielder)
15. Brooksie
16. Chipper Jones (may have passed Brooks this year, not sure)
17. Sal Bando
18. Tommy Leach (depending on where you position him)
19. N/Ed Williamson
20. Bobby Bonilla
21. Ken Boyer
22. Bob Elliott

All-time, except for the most extreme career value argument (completely blind to peak value), I just don't see any persuasive argument for Brooks as higher than #10, nor realistically within the top dozen. But our vote isn't today, it's 22 years ago. As of 1983, Molitor, Boggs, Evans, and Jones don't appear on this list. Schmidt probably does, around #10, maybe higher, and Brett is teasingly close to passing Brooks, probably a average or slightly lesser season or two away---already got much much much more peak, about the same prime, just missing enough WS in the career column to unbalance things in his direction. Which is to say that Brooks as of 1983 is about the 10th best 3B in history, and the best available 3B candidate. But, like with his AL 3B cohorts in the 1960s, it's not a real strong eligible field behind him, so I can't realistically claim that he's leapfrogged all these All-Timers to get there. I mean no offense to John and yest, but hurdling Pie Traynor does not a HOMer make.

Still, despite all my caterwauling about his overratedness, you can bet your biffy I'm going to vote for him. He's clearly a HOMer. But I'm going to vote for Joe Torre (#13 all=time catcher, top eligible catcher with excellent at-position competition) and especially Dick Allen (#8 all-time 1B, top available 1B) ahead, probably well ahead of Robinson. I will, however, vote Robinson ahead of Wynn and Powell for sure. That said, where I place Robinson relative to Freehan will be quite tricky.
   21. karlmagnus Posted: August 07, 2006 at 02:47 PM (#2130109)
Grossly overrated by history. If he'd been a SS he'd have been in, with not much to spare, but as a 3B his feilding bonus just doesn't make up for the 104 OPS+. Huge error by Win Shares.
   22. Chris Cobb Posted: August 07, 2006 at 02:56 PM (#2130118)
Some players with time at 3rd base, head-to-head, by win shares

B. Robin -- 356 career -- 33, 27, 26, 25, 24, 24, 23, 23, 21, 21, 19, 18, 17, 16, 12, 9, 7, 6, 2, 2, 1, 0, 0
D. Allen -- 342 career -- 41, 40, 35, 33, 32, 29, 29, 24, 22, 19, 15, 11, 8, 4
J. Torre -- 315 career -- 41, 29, 28, 25, 23, 23, 20, 19, 18, 18, 16, 15, 13, 10, 9, 8, 0
K. Boyer -- 279 career -- 31, 28, 27, 24, 24, 23, 22, 17, 16, 14, 13, 9, 8, 0

If you like peak, Allen's got it. If you like career, Brooks has got it, esp. for an infielder.
Brooks and Boyer are quite similar, except that Brooks' career is much stronger, his prime is much longer, and Boyer's strong prime is more consecutive (not shown here)
Torre is similar in quality to Robinson and Boyer during his prime, but he was catching for part of it, and he has the one huge season.

WARP shows it differently, of course, because it penalizes Allen and Torre for their defensive shortcomings much more heavily than win shares does.

I can't see prefering either Torre or Boyer to Brooks, though I can see voting for all of them.
   23. Chris Cobb Posted: August 07, 2006 at 03:09 PM (#2130132)
Grossly overrated by history. If he'd been a SS he'd have been in, with not much to spare, but as a 3B his feilding bonus just doesn't make up for the 104 OPS+. Huge error by Win Shares.

Robinson's career rate stats are hurt by his being in the majors too soon (bonus baby!) and his hanging on too long at the end (team icon!). But from 1959-1974, his real 16-year career, he had a 111 OPS+ in 10259 PA. He was tremendously durable over these 16 seasons, playing at least 150 games in all but 2, and he was an outstanding defensive player.
   24. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 07, 2006 at 03:14 PM (#2130136)
Grossly overrated by history. If he'd been a SS he'd have been in, with not much to spare, but as a 3B his feilding bonus just doesn't make up for the 104 OPS+. Huge error by Win Shares.

His WS/162 games isn't great, so the system bascically says that he had a long career of value, but the rate it was achiveed wasn't that great compared to other third basemen. I don't see the big error here.
   25. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 07, 2006 at 03:24 PM (#2130151)
and his hanging on too long at the end (team icon!).

I read in the biographic encyclopedia, or someplace of that sort, that the O's allowed him to basically hang around and collect a paycheck for two years because his non-baseball ventures had all gone belly up leaving him in dire financial straits. The team was doing him a big favor, which was kind of nice of them, really.

I think he owns a string of car dealerships now. At Gettysville the local networks (which reached into Maryland) ran ads with him shilling for cars. I don't recall if they were his or if he was just the spokesperson.
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 07, 2006 at 03:26 PM (#2130156)
The team was doing him a big favor, which was kind of nice of them, really.

Maybe not so nice for the fans, however. ;-)
   27. JPWF13 Posted: August 07, 2006 at 04:01 PM (#2130196)
But from 1959-1974, his real 16-year career, he had a 111 OPS+ in 10259 PA.


so?
Nettles had an ops+ of 110 in 10226 PA for his entire career, including the 88, 67 and 38 he put up his last 3 years (400, 201 and 104 PAs)
his career winshares were 321 (can't find year by year data) (Bando is at 283, Elliot 287, Hack 316, Evans 363, Leach 328, Boyer 279...)

To me the Hall of Merit is for inner circle Hall of Famers, and despite the adulatory press he received while and after playing Brooks Robinson just doesn't make the cut- too many people who were in his class
B were truly comparable to him for him to be a unique talent
   28. DavidFoss Posted: August 07, 2006 at 04:02 PM (#2130197)
But from 1959-1974, his real 16-year career, he had a 111 OPS+ in 10259 PA.

Thanks. I was looking for something like that.

To be fair, it might make sense to tack on 1958 & 1975 to account for the usual start-up and decline that other players have weighing down their rate stats. Perhaps not 100% of those as he was obviously either too young or too old in each season but was trodded out there every day.

As for hanging on at the end, it looks a little overblown. He was fine through 1974 (which was even an uptick year). It makes sense that the team would stick with him in 1975. After 1975, he had lost his starting job to Doug Decinces and he hung on for two years as a backup. He got 800 PA after 1974, he could have gotten maybe 300 less, but its not an egregious case of hanging on in my opinion.
   29. Chris Cobb Posted: August 07, 2006 at 04:25 PM (#2130214)
DavidFoss wrote:

To be fair, it might make sense to tack on 1958 & 1975 to account for the usual start-up and decline that other players have weighing down their rate stats.

My gauge of fairness is to compare players over equivalent stretches of games or plate appearances. The section of Robinson's career that I selected was considerably larger than Ken Boyer's entire career, for example, so I don't see any unfairness in using it as a measure for a comparison of Robinson to Boyer.

It is fair, I think, to use the 16 durable seasons at a 111 OPS+ in comparison to Joe Sewell, whose career consisted of 13 highly durable seasons at a 109 OPS+.

Now, this comparison isn't likely to get Robinson onto Karlmagnus's ballot (he had Sewell at #38), but as Sewell was the #2 returning candidate on the 1982 ballot, it does suggest that, for the electorate as a whole, Robinson ought to place quite high. Yes, Sewell was a shortstop for 8 of those seasons (an advantage over Robinson), but he was a very good, not a great defensive shortstop and a very good, not great, defensive third baseman (unless you take WARP's assessment at face value, and there are strong reasons not to), while the one thing that is surely consensus in Robinson's case is that he was excellent defensively. And Robinson's career as very good to great player is three full seasons longer than Sewell's.

So I think this slice of Robinson's career makes it pretty clear that his _baseline_ in the voting should be "somewhere above Joe Sewell," which should mean that he is a serious contender for election in 1983-84.

JPWF13 wrote:

To me the Hall of Merit is for inner circle Hall of Famers

This is not the criterion for the Hall of Merit, as it actually functions. The design of the project is to duplicate the size of the current Hall of Fame while avoiding the many mistakes the Hall has made in its selections. There will ultimately be as many players in the Hall of Merit as the Hall of Fame, so it is not, by definition, "for inner circle Hall of Famers." I agree with you that Nettles is not far behind Robinson in quality, but whether they are elected depends not on whether they meet an abstract, "inner circle" standard, but whether they are one of the best two or three eligible players in a given year. I think we will elect Robinson as a lower-tier HoMer, while Nettles will be right on the borderline: I would not want to try to predict how the electorate will evaluate him.
   30. sunnyday2 Posted: August 07, 2006 at 04:29 PM (#2130217)
>To me the Hall of Merit is for inner circle Hall of Famers

Well, there you go.

NOTE: The HoM will elect the same number of players as the HoF.
   31. JPWF13 Posted: August 07, 2006 at 04:52 PM (#2130236)
NOTE: The HoM will elect the same number of players as the HoF.


that me be the goal, but unless the HOM voters turn all Vet's committee I don't really see that happening.

If you try to match the HOF in size you will end up exceeding it in size- you will undoubtedly put in players who others will be able to say, if we put A in then you have no valid basis for leaving B out.

If you consistently exercise restraint- and only allow those in who "should be in" then imho opinion you will ne dup with a smaller hall.

Putting in Brooks imho will lead to a hall perhaps slightly larger than the real hall. There are too many people comparable to Brooks who are not in the real hall- he's borderline,
   32. DL from MN Posted: August 07, 2006 at 05:02 PM (#2130244)
Every size hall will have borderlines unless you only select the outliers on the curve. What fun is that discussion?
   33. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 07, 2006 at 05:02 PM (#2130245)
If you try to match the HOF in size you will end up exceeding it in size- you will undoubtedly put in players who others will be able to say, if we put A in then you have no valid basis for leaving B out.

If you consistently exercise restraint- and only allow those in who "should be in" then imho opinion you will ne dup with a smaller hall.


Fortunately we have a strict numerical quota to avoid this very problem! Since we don't have an indeterminent number of electees, we can safely say that we will not be forced to compensate in any way for mistake choices by electing more than the Hall. Our total number will be exactly what it is. No more or less.
   34. sunnyday2 Posted: August 07, 2006 at 05:08 PM (#2130256)
>>NOTE: The HoM will elect the same number of players as the HoF.

>that me be the goal, but unless the HOM voters turn all Vet's committee I don't really see that happening.

The HoM will elect the same number of players as the HoF.
   35. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 07, 2006 at 05:31 PM (#2130271)
Every size hall will have borderlines unless you only select the outliers on the curve. What fun is that discussion?

Not much.

As for the size of the HoM, Doc and Sunny have it exactly right.
   36. DiggerP Posted: August 07, 2006 at 05:32 PM (#2130273)
The sabemetric disconnect between Brooks Robinson and greatness has always been the one I've struggled with the most, particularly with regard to his position in history compared to Ron Santo and now, Nettles. I'm not a voter, but an active lurker here, so I would ask someone(s) to humor me on a couple of points -

Was Brooks the greatest fielding thirdbaseman in history - and if not, where is he on that list?

And someone above said that thirdbase wasn't a glove position. Other than short obviously, has it been shown that second, catcher, and center are significantly more important glove positions? I've always seen them all to be about the same.
   37. TomH Posted: August 07, 2006 at 05:35 PM (#2130280)
I truly don't mean to pick on TomH personally, but I've got some questions.
who does the commercial that says "you've got questions, we've got answers"?
no offense taken, Doc; legit questions :)

I give him a bonus equivalent to 3 career "wins" for his October play.
I shoulda given more detail.

postseason OPS 785
career OPS ..... 723
postseason (R+RBI)/2 per PA .123
career (R+RBI)/2 per PA ...... .109
I figure the diff in OPS is worth 3.5 runs over his 150 postseason PA. Using R+RBI instead, it's only 2 runs. If you figure that runs in October are about .5 per G harder to come by, given ace pitchers, that's another 1.5-2 runs, so overall he was about 4-5 runs beter with his bat.
As good as his regular season glove, his '70 WS play (23 PO+A in 5 games, some of them dang near impossible) to me adds another run or two. That is 6 runs better.
I figure post-season play as 5 times as important (before the wild card) as regular season. So his +6 runs are worth +30 "normal" runs. Or about 3 wins.
   38. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 07, 2006 at 06:33 PM (#2130349)
Was Brooks the greatest fielding thirdbaseman in history - and if not, where is he on that list?

There's a long and a short answer here.

The short answer is that Brooks is among the best at the position in a long career, period. We all know that.

The long answer is that we don't have superb fielding measures yet, so we do our best with what we have.

I don't have my copy of Win Shares with me to compare to WARP's fielding, but at least, let's look at WARP's numbers to see how various 3Bs do.

First off, let's create a list of guys we might think are top-fielding third basemen. Because the position underwent a shift in defensive importance between 1930-1945, let's focus on post-war 3Bs.

The following chart shows a number of 3Bs and shows the total games they played at the position and BP's RATE stat, which tells on average how much better than the league the player was at saving runs. I used the SBE to sort the top 100 3Bs since the war by games, and I took the top 150, plus a few other well-known ones off the top of my head. A 100 RATE is an exactly average player, just like with OPS+ for hitters. The best RATEs for a season are usually around 115-120, and only rarely are career RATEs in that area. Ranked by rate.
NAME           G  RATE
-----------------------
C Boyer     1439   113
B Bell      2184   109
Rolen       1345   109
Brosius      934   109
Schmidt     2212   108
Cirillo     1366   108
Robinson    2870   107
Gaetti      2282   107
Wallach     2053   107
Au Rodriguz 1987   107  
Ventura     1887   107
Pendelton   1786   107
K Boyer     1785   107
M Williams  1742   107
Da Evans    1441   107
Malzone     1370   107 
Chavez      1078   106
Nettles     2412   105
Boggs       2214   105
Santo       2130   105
Castilla    1655   105
Buechele    1269   105
Oberkfell   1047   105
Money       1025   105
Caminitti   1676   104
Rader       1349   104
C Hayes     1328   104
Cey         1990   103
P H Jones   1618   103
Randa       1354   103
McMullen    1317   103
Hoak        1199   103
A Boone      913   103 
Kell        1692   102
Reitz       1321   102
Brett       1692   101
Fryman      1360   101
Seitzer     1051   101
Decinces    1542   100
Beltre      1220   100
Davenport   1127   100
Pagliarulo  1179    99
Mueller     1128    99
S Bando     1897    98
Lansford    1719    98
Jacoby      1166    98
Aspromonte  1094    98
Rosen        932    98
Mathews     2181    97
B Bailey    1185    97
Melton       902    96
Hart         680    96
Zeile       1498    95
Hebner      1259    94
Harrah      1099    94
Yost        2008    93
Madlock     1438    93
C Jones     1282    89
Palmer      1161    89 


I don't think anything here strains credulity. There's a couple surprises, for instance that Buddy Bell was so effective at third, but on the whole, this conforms to how I see the players. Brooks is very good in a lot of games, Chipper is much worse in many less games.

Of course, this only measures the rate of performance, and Brooks has a sizeable games played advantage over everyone who ever played the position (450+ games over Nettles who is second). Which means that in his 15 prime years, he was a better third basemen than is here suggested. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if Clete was nonethless better. Everything out there says he was amazing defensively, and given his weak bat, it must have been true for him to stay around so long. He also played 1+ seasons worth of SS spread over many years, and came out about average (98 RATE).

RATE isn't the only way to look at the question, Win Shares is equally qualified to answer, but through this lens, Brooks retains his spot as either the best fielding 3B in modern history, or one of the very small handful who can make a legitimate claim to the honor.
   39. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 07, 2006 at 06:35 PM (#2130353)
and I took the top 150

make that the top 50, not 150.
   40. sunnyday2 Posted: August 07, 2006 at 06:49 PM (#2130381)
Any RATE that's got Gary Gaetti near the top is...(fill in the blank)....

Happy to see Graig at 105, though. I get really tired of hearing what a great guy he was.

Is Scotty Rolen THAT good?
   41. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 07, 2006 at 06:58 PM (#2130392)
Speaking of Rolen....

I mentioned on the Allen thread how you never hear that guys are great baserunners anymore. That's pretty much true, but I have heard it said about two guys, both Phils 3Bs as well....

I remember Scott Rolen has been mentioned as being a great all around baserunner. A little different for Dave Hollins. Hollins was specifically mentioned as a great baserunner when on third with less than two outs. He supposedly got a tremendous jump and had superb instincts when in those situations.
   42. sunnyday2 Posted: August 07, 2006 at 07:06 PM (#2130409)
Do guys NOT learn to run the bases anymore? I remember when the Twins were said to be this great, phenomenal fundamental team, and running the bases was supposed to be a part of it. But if you actually watched them, they sucked. I mean, Torii Hunter is bad, Jacque Jones and Matt Lawton were bad. Shannon Stewart so-so, if that's not too generous.

The guy who was a great baserunner before he bulked up was Kirby Puckett. There was your real life 5 tool guy. Dan Gladden was good on the bases, too.

But the more recent incarnation of the Twins was a really horrible base running team. Haven't paid enough attention this year. The guys who are coming up from AAA can sure hit--well, the ones who are supposed to hit don't and the ones who aren't supposed to hit do (Rabe, Bartlett, Tyner). But can they run?
   43. OCF Posted: August 07, 2006 at 07:14 PM (#2130418)
Side evidence on the baserunning: Allen led the NL in runs scored in 1964, and was second in runs in 1966 while playing only 141 games. Yes, that's largely explained by his OBP (.382 - .396) and the 80 or 75 extra base hits, but he still had to know what he was doing out there.
   44. OCF Posted: August 07, 2006 at 07:15 PM (#2130422)
(Third in 1966.)
   45. OCF Posted: August 07, 2006 at 07:17 PM (#2130426)
And that should have been on the Allen thread.
   46. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 07, 2006 at 07:41 PM (#2130460)
I think nowadays a lot of people confuse aggressiveness with great baserunning.

By the by, I think the BP folks did a big study and Robin Yount was like the greatest baserunner of them all (in the old retrosheet era of 72-05).
   47. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 07, 2006 at 07:59 PM (#2130478)
I think the discussion that galls me is when someone will say that Brooks Robinson was almost as great as Schmidt, or even better. That's just flat out ridiculous. Okay, Robinson was a better fielder, but Schmidt was a great fielder in his own right. Then when we add in offense, there's really no comparison there.
   48. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 07, 2006 at 08:19 PM (#2130505)
According to FRAA (Baseball Prospectus) Brooks Robinson is far and away the greatest fielding 3B of all time. Among eligible 3B, it isn't particularly close, other than Clete Boyer (suprise!):

FRAA, as a 3B only (other positions not counted)
Brooks Robinson     192
Clete Boyer         177
Lave Cross          155
Jimmy Collins       154
Billy Nash          137
Heinie Groh         132
Willie Kamm         121
Ken Boyer           116
Ed Williamson       112 
(-66 as a SS)
Ron Santo           106
Arlie Latham        106
Frank Malzone       100
Pinky Whitney        92
Bill Werber          90
Bill Bradely         87
Billy Shindle        87
Art Devlin           68
Harlond Clift        65
Ken Keltner          63
Larry Gardner        61
Pie Traynor          59
Tommy Leach          58 
(+77 more in CF)
Puddin Head Jones    54
Doug Rader           48
Red Rolfe            42
Ossie Bluege         41
Ken McMullen         40
Don Hoak             39
Jimmy Austin         38
Home Run Baker       37
Wayne Garrett        37
Jerry Denny          36
George Kell          32
Ed Charles           31
Don Wert             31
Eddie Foster         31
Harry Steinfeldt     25
Johnny Pesky         24 
(+22 at SS)
Mike Mowrey          22
John McGraw          21
Freddie Lindstrom    20
Joe Sewell           19 
(+102 at SS)
Hank Thompson        15
Ray Boone            13
Wid Conroy           12
Grady Hatton          8
Billy Johnson         8
Whitey Kurowski       7
Jim Davenport         2
Ezra Sutton           0
Joe Foy              
-3
Sammy Strang         
-5
Bobby Byrne          
-6
Bob Elliott         
-10
Stan Hack           
-13
Heinie Zimmerman    
-13
Al Rosen            
-16
Cookie Lavagetto    
-22 (-18 at 2B)
Deacon White        -23 (+60 at catcher)
Jim Ray Hart        -25
Denny Lyons         
-26
Dick Allen          
-28 (-42 at 1B, -9 in LF)
Buddy Lewis         -28
Pete Ward           
-28
Jimmy Johnston      
-29
Bill Melton         
-31
Joe Torre           
-31 (+13 at C, +14 at 1B)
George Pinkney      -33
Pepper Martin       
-33
Andy High           
-36 (-21 at 2B)
Red Smith           -41
Jimmy Dykes         
-43
Bob Dillinger       
-44
Max Alvis           
-48
Joe Dugan           
-52
Milt Stock          
-55
Bill Joyce          
-61
Eddie Mathews       
-66
Jim Tabor           
-70
Harmon Killebrew    
-77
Hans Lobert         
-84
Harry Lord          
-94
Eddie Yost         
-142
Pinky Higgins      
-154 


Among non-eligibles . . .

Buddy Bell          185
Mike Schmidt        164
Gary Gaetti         152
Tim Wallach         137
Aurelio Rodriguez   129
Robin Ventura       126
Terry Pendleton     122
Scott Rolen         121
Graig Nettles       121
Matt Williams       110
Wade Boggs          103
Darrell Evans       102
Jeff Cirillo         94
Vinny Castilla       82
Scott Brosius        77
Mike Lowell          74
Steve Buechele       60
Ken Caminiti         59
Eric Chavez          58
Ron Cey              58
Ken Oberkfell        49
Don Money            44
Ken Reitz            26
Jeff King            14
George Brett         11
Paul Molitor         11
Travis Fryman        10
Kevin Seitzer         8
Kelly Gruber          8
Bob Horner            5
Chris Sabo            5
Doug DeCinces         4
Dave Kingman         
-5
only 154 G 
pretty amazing to be -5 considering 48 errorsbut his range was quite good
Ray Knight          
-16
Hubie Brooks        
-16 (-54 at SS)
Brook Jacoby        -20
Edgar Martinez      
-24
Bob Bailey          
-31
Bobby Bonilla       
-33 (-18 OF, -1 1B)
Carney Lansford     -36
Vance Law           
-37
Sal Bando           
-40
Pete Rose           
-43 (in just 4 yearsbut he was 35-38 years old)
Enos Cabell         -60
Dave Hollins        
-62
Larry Parrish       
-65
Toby Harrah         
-66 (+as a SSstrange)
Richie Hebner       -70
Todd Zeile          
-78
Howard Johnson      
-84 (+4 at SSalso strange)
Bill Madlock        -98
0 at 2B from 1977
-79 was -17 at 3B during those years
Dean Palmer        
-127
Chipper Jones      
-138 (WOW


Maybe I'm missing someone, I've included everyone in Bill James' top 125 and everyone that's won a gold glove.
   49. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 07, 2006 at 08:28 PM (#2130524)
OK, Dr. C beat me to it, so I guess Clete Boyer isn't a surprise anymore.

I think both lists are important, as the games played thing is taken into account on my list.

Dr. C - how are you sorting these numbers - is that possible on the site? I compiled my list by hand . . . not so sure I want to know the answer after 2 hours of work!
   50. AJMcCringleberry Posted: August 07, 2006 at 08:32 PM (#2130530)
Win Shares give Robinson an A- grade, but among the post war third baseman listed only three guys get higher than that. Clete Boyer (A+), Schmidt (A), and Wallach (A).

Now to the actual numbers. Robinson has the most defensive WS for a third baseman 106.2, the closest is Nettles with 90.6.

Here is a partial list of WS/1000 of the post war 3Bmen.

CBoyer   4.97
Schmidt    4.51
Wallach    4.51
Nettles    4.40
Gaetti     4.40
Brosius    4.40
Evans      4.37
Bell       4.35
Ventura    4.31
Robinson   4.24
Rolen      4.23
K
Boyer   4.18
Petrocelli 4.07
Brett      3.73
Ripken     3.70
Rosen      3.69
Elliot     3.47
D
Allen   2.96 


I got those out of the book, so for a couple of players that is only part of their career. I tried to list anyone who was better than Robinson with a significant number of innings (though I may have missed someone), the ones below Robinson I just listed some current and future HOM candidates.
   51. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 07, 2006 at 08:34 PM (#2130535)
Joe,

Sadly, I compiled mine by hand too.... In fact, I used cut and paste to sort them within this very pane. That's why I didn't do more of them.

As Bill C. used to say, "I feel your pain."
   52. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 07, 2006 at 08:44 PM (#2130555)
"Is Scotty Rolen THAT good?"

Diamond Mind has called him the most valuable defensive player in baseball at least once over the last few years. Apparently, his defense is through the roof, or at least it was before 2005.
   53. Dizzypaco Posted: August 07, 2006 at 09:00 PM (#2130579)
There's an important issue no one has raised when comparing Robinson and Nettles. Robinson was never platooned during his career. Nettles was platooned his last several years - he almost never played against lefties, against who he had difficulties. This means that Nettles rate stats these last few years should be taken with a grain of salt. Robinson had many more years as a true regular than Nettles, which is one of the reasons that I would vote for Robinson ahead of Nettles. I also got the impression that Nettles lost some of his defensive abilities toward the end of his career, to a much greater extent than Robinson.

I don't have any proof of this, but my instinct is that all of the statistical measures are underrating Robinson's defensive contributions; Bill James raised the possibility of this several years ago. I agree that his offensive contributions were overrated, but given the length of the career, the level of the defense, the extraordinary durability, and his offense wasn't bad either, he should go in rather easily IMO.
   54. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 07, 2006 at 09:03 PM (#2130585)
1) I think the discussion that galls me is when someone will say that Brooks Robinson was almost as great as Schmidt, or even better. That's just flat out ridiculous. Okay, Robinson was a better fielder, but Schmidt was a great fielder in his own right. Then when we add in offense, there's really no comparison there.

i did a straw poll of about two dozen baseball observers i know, none of whom were substantially sabrmetrically inclined---just regular old fans with TVs, maybe roto players. On average, this group told me that Brooks was the 6th best third basemen of all time (in other words total player, not fielder). That's how strong his reputation is. Only one guy had him outside the top dozen, and that was after he looked at Brooks' bbref page and noted his OPS+.

2) But what about Brooks' prognosis as a HOM candidate? Well, I think there's little doubt he gets in. But when? 1983-1988 is wide open territory with only McCovey entering the ballot as almost certain to deny a backlogger a spot. It's interesting to consider the "new backlog" that will be forming up in the following few years to see where modern candidates like Brooks will fall in.

Entering this year, Williams and Freehan are already backlogged. Now Allen, Robinson, Torre, and Wynn enter the fray in 1983 with two spots open to the six of these guys.

None of the 1984 guys (Fairly, Fregosi, and Wood) appears likely to catch a lot of votes, so we’ll be down to four new backloggers.

In 1985, speaking of overrated baserunning (cough!), Lou Brock comes on board, along with Thurman Munson, Roy White, and Catfish. Three slots for eight backloggers.

In 1986, Willie McCovey gets elected, no one important debuts, and one of the five remaining backloggers gets in.

1987: The backlog expands by three as Bonds, Marshall, Bando join the parade. We elect three, so the new backlog shrinks back to 5.

1988: The new backlog expands again as Tiant, Stargell, Rg Smith, and Murcer come on board. Two slots for election means 7 remain into 1989.

Of course we may well elect a player from the old backlog instead of the new backlog, but nonetheless, even though things are wide open for backloggers, there’s going to be a LOT of competition for these 13 spots. So ask yourself this, which of these 20 or so guys aren’t a HOMer? And just as accurately, which aren’t.

Williams
Freehan
B Robinson
Wynn
Torre
Fregosi
Wood
Brock
Munson
White
Hunter
Bonds
Marshall
Bando
Tiant
Stargell
Rg Smith
Murcer

As to how Brooks fairs in this, it's currently hard to say. His success will be directly tied to the success (or lack of it) that Williams, Freehan, Torre, Wynn, and Allen find in the 1983 vote. Meanwhile, in the 1984 vote, he still has to deal with this same group. I suspect our group will prefer him to Lou Brock, so I think he's not going to hang around longer than 1985.
   55. sunnyday2 Posted: August 07, 2006 at 09:11 PM (#2130599)
As I've said, I have Brooks high on my ballot, not elect-me but 5-6-7-8, something like that.

What nags a little bit is: How exactly was he better than Pie Traynor? Two very very similar players if you ask me.
   56. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 07, 2006 at 09:13 PM (#2130602)
Nettles was platooned his last several years - he almost never played against lefties, against who he had difficulties. This means that Nettles rate stats these last few years should be taken with a grain of salt.

Nettles is already on the bubble as-is, so this might be especially problematic for him. Actually, he probably represents the type of guy who we need to watch for this on: lefty sluggers who struggle with lefties. It wasn't a problem for Bill Dickey, however.

On the other hand, even if he does have platoon issues, is that a problem? He still created those runs against northpaws, they can't be taken from him.

I wonder how many candidtates we'll face this dilemma with and how much difference it might make. A few guys off the top of my head who seem like candidates to have been platooned at some point in their careers: Stargell, McCovey, Da Evans, Rg Jackson, Parker, Singleton, Staub, Powell, Cash, D Porter.
   57. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 07, 2006 at 09:51 PM (#2130660)
"On the other hand, even if he does have platoon issues, is that a problem? He still created those runs against northpaws, they can't be taken from him."

Exactly my sentiments about platooning. And why I don't like rate stats that don't account for playing time.

As for Robinson/Traynor good comparison. I think we've severely underrated Traynor - I wish I'd realized this when he first came on the ballot - like Waddell, I want a "do-over" with him.

But Robinson is better. He was a better hitter at his peak, a better fielder and he played a lot longer.

I'll probably have Brooks in my top 10 this week. The big questions are 1) Was he better than Freehan/Beckley 2) Was he better than the three pitchers, Quinn, Shocker and Pierce. I can't see me ranking him ahead of Cravath or Sewell, but I suppose anything is possible.
   58. JPWF13 Posted: August 07, 2006 at 09:57 PM (#2130666)
Howard Johnson -84 (+4 at SS, also strange)


His reaction time was too slow to be a good 3B, but after that first step he moved well and had a good arm-

he WAS better at SS than 3rd- but I find it hard to believe he was actually above average compared to other SS.
   59. Chris Cobb Posted: August 07, 2006 at 10:10 PM (#2130677)
Joe, how do you see Sewell ahead of Robinson?
   60. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 07, 2006 at 10:30 PM (#2130694)
"Joe, how do you see Sewell ahead of Robinson?"

Peak.

Sewell has 104.5 WARP1, compared to 120.0 for Robinson.

Adjusting for season length removes about 1/3 of the difference.

Adjusting for WARPs too low replacement level. Most of the rest disappears when you adjust for WARPs replacement level being too low.

Their career value is about equal, and Sewell had more years at his peak than Brooks did.

They are very close, I'll admit to that.
   61. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 07, 2006 at 11:35 PM (#2130737)
he WAS better at SS than 3rd- but I find it hard to believe he was actually above average compared to other SS.

I have to agree, but, boy, he could hit!
   62. jimd Posted: August 08, 2006 at 12:08 AM (#2130761)
On teh other hand, 3B isn't a glove position.

Averaged over all of MLB history, 1871+, it undoubtedly is.

If you measure defensive value as "absence-of-offense", then averaged over all-time, 3B-men hit more like 2B-men than they do CFers, and CFers hit more like 1B-men then they do 3B-men. There is a definite gap between "bats" (1B,LF,RF,CF) and "gloves" (3B,2B,Ca,SS).

OTOH, viewed over the last 20-25 years, 3B-men and CFers have hit just about the same amount. 3B-men hit more than they have historically, and CFers hit less then have historically, resulting in a virtual tie between the two, offensively. For the period before that (post-war but pre-1980's), 3B-men hit like they do today (average hitters, 100 OPS+ plus-or-minus a point or two), but CFers hit like they have historically (108 OPS+), so that CF was still a "bat", but 3B was sort of in-between, neither "bat" nor "glove".
   63. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 08, 2006 at 01:01 AM (#2130795)
As for Robinson/Traynor good comparison. I think we've severely underrated Traynor - I wish I'd realized this when he first came on the ballot - like Waddell, I want a "do-over" with him.

No do-over for me, thanks. I think we have appropriately assessed Traynor as being a marginal candidate. He was a very good player whose career was not exceptionally long. As opposed to Brooks who is a very good player whose career was exceptionally long, which is the boost he needs...and gets! Or as opposed to, say, Earl Averill whose career was kind of short, but who was outstanding throughout it. Ditto Ron Santo.
   64. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 08, 2006 at 01:35 AM (#2130848)
#62 - makes a lot of sense, especially when you consider that with the parks of the 1965-92 era, CF had to get better defensively because of turf and the huge OFs, relative to the (mostly) small parks from the early 1900s through early 60s. Managers had to sacrifice some offense out there. Those would be CF ended up on the corners, all 4 of them, depending on their skill sets.
   65. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 08, 2006 at 01:39 AM (#2130854)
I think Traynor was better than very good from 1923-27. 3B didn't hit a lick during his time. I still don't know why, but for some reason just about every manager in the game thought he needed two shortstops on the left side of the infield.

I'm playing a replay league from that time (started in 1924, now in 1931), and flat out, there are no 3B that can hit. You'd be blown away by some of our all-star selections . . .
   66. sunnyday2 Posted: August 08, 2006 at 02:00 AM (#2130872)
Win Shares

7. Brooks 355/33-27-25/130/19.9
15. Pie 271/28-26-26/119/22.6

These are unadjusted (or rather Traynor's are unadjusted) so Brooks has the advantage of 162 game seasons here.

Brooks 355/33-27-26-25-24-24-23-23-21-21-plus 5 seasons in the 10s
Pie 271/28-26-26-22-22-22-21-21-20-20-plus 3 seasons in the 10s

Each had 10 seasons of 20 WS or more (Brooks has 19 more WS for those 10 seasons), while Brooks has 2 extra years of 10-19 for an edge of 82 WS to 41, and then Brooks has more seasons with 1-9 WS as well. Still the 84 WS edge Brooks has for his career really overstates the difference between these 2 guys. Normalize Traynor to 162 games and it seems like the difference is really 2 years of 15ish WS and a couple years hangin' on.

OPS+ (in ?100 games)

Brooks105/146-29-26-23-23-18-15-14-9-9 (10 years ?100 in ? 100 games) plus 7 years < 100 OPS+
Pie 107/124-24-18-12-12-11-8-7-6-4-0 (11 years ? 100 in ? 100 games) plus 2 years < 100 OPS+

Brooks is consistently better when he was better, but his numbers at the bottom end of the scale a pretty bad. Still I agree with Chris, allowing the 5 extra years < 100 to make Traynor look better (107-105) is misleading. Still they're close.

Fielding

WS: Brooks A- Pie B

• 29 percent of Traynor's value is defensive, or 79.5 WS.
• 30 percent of Brooks' value is defensive, or 106.5 WS.

Add 5 percent to Traynor's totals (as a gross adjustment to 162 games) and he still trails Brooks 355-285 overall, and 106-83 on defense.

So clearly Robinson has an edge on pretty much every measure. But relative to his time Traynor still probably rates a little higher. I mean, during his prime, who else was there? Jimmy Dykes and Willie Kamm, Joe Dugan, Freddy Lindstrom, Heinie Groh's declining years only, Ossie Bleuege. No wonder he was so highly regarded, he was the best, no question.

Meanwhile Brooks was erroneously thought to be "the best," but now we can pretty clearly recognize that Mathews was better, and then Santo was better. And Dick Allen, too, for a few years, and Torre for at least one year. In addition to that, Ken Boyer was pretty much his clone for at least half a decade.

So what do we make of that?

Anyway, Brooks was better by a slight but a very clear margin. But having Brooks in the top 10 and Traynor outside the top 25-40-50-whatever seems a bit extreme. OTOH most of us have Ken Boyer and Bob Elliott, minimally, between 'em, and so, sure, each 3B in between there is probably worth about 10-12 slots overall, so they can get separated by a bunch pretty quick. Still it seems like they're pretty close. Essentially Brooks gives you 2 extra years of about 15 WS each. The rest of the difference is either an illusion (of 154 games vs. 162) or drips and drabs that don't give much real value to Brooks' team.
   67. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 08, 2006 at 02:36 AM (#2130905)
I think that's a pretty fair assessment of Brooks vs. Traynor Marc.

I disagree on putting Boyer and Elliott ahead of Traynor, especially Boyer. I suppose I could be convinced otherwise, but I think it boils down to how much you think the defensive spectrum adjusted between the 1920-40 era and the 1950s and beyond.
   68. sunnyday2 Posted: August 08, 2006 at 02:44 AM (#2130913)
Well, I didn't say we SHOULD have Boyer and Elliott ahead of Traynor, just that most of us probably do. That is an inference from the balloting which has it:

Boyer
Leach
Elliott
Traynor
Williamson
Rosen

Maybe most voters have Traynor ahead of Elliott and Boyer except for those few who have a 3B on his ballot, but I doubt it.

To me Ed Williamson is clearly the class of this group, but that's a "lost cause." ;-)
   69. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 08, 2006 at 03:07 AM (#2130943)
but now we can pretty clearly recognize that Mathews was better,

Weird generalization, but I think there's an argument that Eddie Mathews is underrated by the average fan. When I was asking people to rank Brooks Robinson against historical peers (see way above post), most completely neglected to mention Mathews! Most would say Boggs, Brett, or Schmidt, but very few Mathews. I wonder if Mathews, by dint of playing in Aaron's and Mays's shadow and not being on routine World Series teams and not having much personality and not having an especially long career and not playing in a major media market and not being a teammate or a contemporary of any of the national announcer guys is somehow not often thought of among great 3Bs.
   70. DavidFoss Posted: August 08, 2006 at 04:23 AM (#2130993)
I wonder if Mathews ... is somehow not often thought of among great 3Bs.

The impression I get is that Mathews simply slips people's minds. Like Mel Ott or Jimmie Foxx or Tris Speaker. If I chime in with the name, people will go "Oh yeah, him too". Occasionally there will be a blank stare and then I'll point them to his stats and then they'll go "Yeah, definitely him too." No rational fan really 'underrates' Eddie Mathews in the way that guys like Biggio or Wynn have been traditionally underrated, but Eddie is completely gone from the tips of many people's tongues.
   71. JPWF13 Posted: August 08, 2006 at 04:14 PM (#2131360)
I still don't know why, but for some reason just about every manager in the game thought he needed two shortstops on the left side of the infield.


Before DPs were common, you had 2 shortstops, and 2B was an offensive position.

Dps became more and more common, 2Bs needed more and more range, had to reach 2nd and pivot on the DP- essentially the 2B had to be as mobile as the SS- he didn't need as strong an arm- but he needed to be as mobile.

At the same time- if your 2b is as bad a hitter as your SS you may start looking elsewhere - and your 3b didn't need to be another SS- he needed the arm and he needed fast reflexes- but otherwise he didn't need to be as mobile.

But turning 3B from a defense first position to a mixed defense/offense position took time (more time than it took for 2b to go from offense first to defense first)-

(What's realy amazing is how so many people now assume 3B is an offense first slot like 1B- the official roto rules and many fantasy roster rules also make the same assumption- but 3B has never (aside from an anomalous year or two) been as offensive as 1B or even the corner outfield slots)
   72. DiggerP Posted: August 08, 2006 at 05:04 PM (#2131429)
Thanks for humoring me folks. I certainly agree that Brooks is a player overrated by the average fan - I think Sleepless in Seattle is partially to blame for that.
   73. OCF Posted: August 08, 2006 at 06:25 PM (#2131536)
Using an RCAA-based offensive system has obvious problems in dealing with Brooks, becuase he had a number of years in which he was a significantly below average hitter. To get around that, I just ran things on the assumption that he had a 16-year career, 1959-1975. Doing it that way, his offense comes out as a dead ringer for Ken Boyer, (maybe a slight career edge for the 16-year Brooks), and ahead of both Traynor and Jimmy Collins. (Of course, as has been discussed in this thread, Traynor and Collins played at times of lower offensive expectations for 3B.) So: compared to Boyer, even or slightly ahead on offense, ahead on defense. The wrap-around years don't add much, as the bad offense drags them down even with good defense.

I had Boyer 18th in 1982. If I'm going to argue to myself that I have to have Brooks ahead of Boyer, then it's very likely that I'll have him on the ballot.
   74. Cblau Posted: August 09, 2006 at 02:15 AM (#2132556)
I don't believe Robinson was a bonus player. He played in the minors in 1955, 1956, 1957, and 1959. Retrosheet doesn't show him as a bonus player. It looks like the Orioles just rushed him a bit; perhaps they were trying to build around young players.
   75. Jose Canusee Posted: August 09, 2006 at 07:31 PM (#2133631)
Re: #38 and #48
Bando's low rating on the RATE and FRAA seemed to have quieted the early posts that he belonged with Brooks, Santo and Boyer. Surprised that Horner was above-average, maybe if he hadn't gone to Japan he would have subtracted from those numbers as he got older.
Also was news to me that Lansford was below average. Maybe that might explain why the A's tried to make McGwire a 3b (a la Kingman) rather than move Lansford back from 1B to 3B, which was later considered to be the obvious move.
   76. Dizzypaco Posted: August 09, 2006 at 07:36 PM (#2133640)
Also was news to me that Lansford was below average. Maybe that might explain why the A's tried to make McGwire a 3b (a la Kingman) rather than move Lansford back from 1B to 3B, which was later considered to be the obvious move.

Lansford was one of the worst defensive third basemen I have ever seen. He dove for everything that was more than an inch to his left or right. He was a little like Jeter, in that he always seemed to be making a great effort and was always off balance, which made him look pretty good if you watched him, but gave him terrible numbers because he was always off balance. In short, he made the most routine plays look difficult.
   77. sunnyday2 Posted: August 09, 2006 at 08:29 PM (#2133721)
I have heard Carney referred to as a truly horrific defender.
   78. KJOK Posted: August 09, 2006 at 10:12 PM (#2133889)
Also was news to me that Lansford was below average.

Lansford had no range, but didn't make many errors. He was basically Ken Reitz with a higher batting average.
   79. Steve Treder Posted: August 09, 2006 at 10:22 PM (#2133904)
I don't believe Robinson was a bonus player. He played in the minors in 1955, 1956, 1957, and 1959. Retrosheet doesn't show him as a bonus player. It looks like the Orioles just rushed him a bit; perhaps they were trying to build around young players.

Robinson wasn't officially a Bonus Baby, but he certainly received a signing bonus. The other teams competing with the Orioles to sign Robinson were certain that his bonus was greater than the $4,000 limit to become a Bonus Baby, and they complained to Commissioner Frick about it. Frick apparently called the teenaged Robinson into his office to assess for himself whether it was true that he hadn't gotten that big a bonus, and Robinson -- whether an earnest kid or just a damn good actor -- convinced Frick that he hadn't.

The Orioles under manager/GM Paul Richards were frantically signing up every prospect in the country and building a farm system and a major league team simultaneously. Robinson was certainly rushed to the majors.
   80. Paul Wendt Posted: August 09, 2006 at 10:44 PM (#2133926)
Chris Cobb #29 concluded
So I think this slice of Robinson's career makes it pretty clear that his _baseline_ in the voting should be "somewhere above Joe Sewell," which should mean that he is a serious contender for election in 1983-84.

well done.
It will be a surprise if this group does not elect him soon.

He is easily in the Top 100, by consensus of the baseball cmomunity, so any community that will select about 250 can knock his reputation way down and still include him.

--
David Foss #29
As for hanging on at the end, it looks a little overblown. He was fine through 1974 (which was even an uptick year)

I don't believe the story about doing him a favor because he was a poor investor or entrepreneur. The club could have hired him in a non-playing role if it wanted to do that sort of favor.

The club couldn't even seriously imagine that he would become impoverished, because he so popular that it could anticipate hiring him later (if he would be willing).

--
Dr Chaleeko
I used the SBE to sort the top 100 3Bs since the war by games, and I took the top 150, plus a few other well-known ones off the top of my head. A 100 RATE is an exactly average player, just like with OPS+ for hitters. The best RATEs for a season are usually around 115-120, and only rarely are career RATEs in that area. Ranked by rate.
NAME . . . . . . G RATE
-----------------------
C Boyer . 1439 113
B Bell . 2184 109
Rolen . 1345 109
Brosius . 934 109
Schmidt . 2212 108
Cirillo . 1366 108
Robinson . 2870 107


Dr C, Unless I'm missing something, career RATES "only rarely" in the 115-120 range is a great over-statements! Are there some in that range whom you didn't select? Shouldn't everyone with even career RATE 110-114 be selected, given where that range lies in your table?

--
But the more recent incarnation of the Twins was a really horrible base running team. Haven't paid enough attention this year.

Psst! The Twins have a chance to win .600 --and miss the playoffs but that's another matter. Has a lifelong Twins fan in his second half-century missed July-August 2006?

--
There's an important issue no one has raised when comparing Robinson and Nettles. Robinson was never platooned during his career. Nettles was platooned his last several years - he almost never played against lefties,

I believe that I used Nettles for example, rhetorical question, when platooning was first discussed here, probably 2005.

--
this group told me that Brooks was the 6th best third basemen of all time (in other words total player, not fielder). That's how strong his reputation is. Only one guy had him outside the top dozen,

And how weak. He must have beeen better than that in the all-century poll. If these were just old fans with TVS (where do you meet them?), they probably don't know about the favorites whom study has turned up: Sutton, Leach, Groh, Hack. Do they know of Collins and Traynor? So they typicaly rank him below Mathews, Schmidt, Brett, Boggs and one other - a collins here and a hollins there (it rhymes).

When I was asking people to rank Brooks Robinson against historical peers (see way above post), most completely neglected to mention Mathews! Most would say Boggs, Brett, or Schmidt, but very few Mathews.

OK. I was wrong. So how many old guys with TVs named one player from Mathews time or earlier?

--
What's realy amazing is how so many people now assume 3B is an offense first slot like 1B- the official roto rules and many fantasy roster rules also make the same assumption- but 3B has never (aside from an anomalous year or two) been as offensive as 1B or even the corner outfield slots

SABR Treasurer and Internet Committee chairman F.X. Flinn takes credit for inventing the middle infielder, which is one piece of the Rotisserie puzzle.
He was the agent for the book publisher who worked with (?)Dan Okrent et al. I don't know whether the strategy, combining fielding positions, was clearly in place, and I don't know that the agent deservese the credit he claims.
   81. Paul Wendt Posted: August 09, 2006 at 10:53 PM (#2133933)
Win Shares and the new BJHBA --what are they, third generation sabrmetrics? millenial sabrmetrics?-- effect a great revision of some players and Sal Bando is one. Bando and Lansford were knocked down by earlier sabrmetrics, Bando raised up again by the revision. In 1975 or so, Sal Bando was the heart and soul of a champion just like Tony Perez. Jackson, Rudi, Bando, and Campaneris: sabrmetrics elevated Jackson, knocked down the other three, and discovered Gino Tenace.
   82. jimd Posted: August 10, 2006 at 12:28 AM (#2134114)
perhaps they were trying to build around young players

The Orioles were the Browns in 1953. A replacement level team with essentially no farm system. Consider the 1954 O's an expansion club and they didn't do too bad a job building from scratch, particularly in the pre-draft era. They might have won a pennant earlier were it not for the last seasons of the Yankee/Mantle dynasty.
   83. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 12:52 AM (#2134229)
JPWF13 - "Before DPs were common, you had 2 shortstops, and 2B was an offensive position."

I understand that, and agree wholeheartedly, in fact, I argued it ad nauseum when I was pushing for Ezra Sutton's election 75 years ago.

The thing that I find strange is why this exaggerated the opposite way in the 20s and 30s. DPs were going up, errors down, offense was up and the spectrum shifted more towards the two SS idea anyway. That's what baffles me.
   84. jimd Posted: August 10, 2006 at 01:27 AM (#2134366)
I think the effects of hard clean (visible) baseballs and less breaking pitches (spitball ban, more fastballs) around 1920 were somewhat similar to the introduction of astroturf, at least wrt IF play (no real difference in the OF except more plays in general). The IF game got faster, so the managers reacted to all the balls going thru the left side by getting the best reflexes they could out there. They then worked backwards, sacrificing defense for offense gradually to determine the optimum mix relative to what the competition had available. Meanwhile the slower guys that could really hit were shifted to 2nd (see Hornsby, Frisch).
   85. Steve Treder Posted: August 10, 2006 at 01:34 AM (#2134398)
The Orioles were the Browns in 1953. A replacement level team with essentially no farm system. Consider the 1954 O's an expansion club and they didn't do too bad a job building from scratch, particularly in the pre-draft era. They might have won a pennant earlier were it not for the last seasons of the Yankee/Mantle dynasty.

You bet. But "The Orioles" in that period were essentially Paul Richards, who was employed in the remarkable role as major league field manager, as well as GM, overseeing the organization's entire minor league organization. The job Richards did in this period was stunningly brilliant, among the greatest organizational achievements in baseball history.

The organizational design, and more importantly ethos, that Richards instilled became the Oriole Way that created and sustained one of MLB's centerpiece franchises for decades.
   86. Steve Treder Posted: August 10, 2006 at 01:35 AM (#2134409)
The Orioles were the Browns in 1953. A replacement level team with essentially no farm system. Consider the 1954 O's an expansion club and they didn't do too bad a job building from scratch, particularly in the pre-draft era. They might have won a pennant earlier were it not for the last seasons of the Yankee/Mantle dynasty.

You bet. But "The Orioles" in that period were essentially Paul Richards, who was employed in the remarkable role as major league field manager, as well as GM, overseeing the organization's entire minor league organization. The job Richards did in this period was stunningly brilliant, among the greatest organizational achievements in baseball history.

The organizational design, and more importantly ethos, that Richards instilled became the Oriole Way that created and sustained one of MLB's centerpiece franchises for decades.
   87. sunnyday2 Posted: August 10, 2006 at 01:42 AM (#2134435)
>>But the more recent incarnation of the Twins was a really horrible base running team. Haven't paid enough attention this year.

>Psst! The Twins have a chance to win .600 --and miss the playoffs but that's another matter. Has a lifelong Twins fan in his second half-century missed July-August 2006?

Paul, I meant I haven't paid any attention to their base running this year--haven't heard the same complaints, however. I think that Castillo and Punto at the head of the batting order are good base runners, at least. And I think the M&M boys are decent baserunners though Morneau is not what you would call fast. And the young 'uns like Tyner and Rabe are pretty fundamentally sound.

The big news has been the pitching staff as the Twins have gone through a bunch of young guys to try to replace Lohse, basically. Oddly Garza is coming up and will get his first start on Friday (I think it is), but he is not replacing Liriano. Garza was going to join the rotation before Liriano got hurt.

And Morneau's breakout is pretty good news, too, along with the .300 hitting of Punto, Bartlett, Rabe, Tyner, not to mention the M&Ms;.
   88. jimd Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:23 AM (#2134574)
one of MLB's centerpiece franchises for decades

That team emerged in 1960, with 1983 as the "last hurrah". They went 3-3 in the World Series, won two additional ha'pennants, and, if you consider the upper 25% of teams to be of "playoff quality" (the wild-card percentage), they would have won another 6-9 "wild-card" spots.
   89. Steve Treder Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:34 AM (#2134628)
Jeff Angus puts it this way, in context of MLB organizational design and management talent development since the 1950s: "All roads lead to Baltimore."
   90. Steve Treder Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:35 AM (#2134634)
Jeff Angus puts it this way, in context of MLB organizational design and management talent development since the 1950s: "All roads lead to Baltimore."
   91. Howie Menckel Posted: August 12, 2006 at 01:22 PM (#2137961)
All OPS+s below are as a regular, first chart only seasons as a fulltime 3B. 125 listed as "25." Seasons under 100 are after a "/" and are the actual OPS+.

BRobinson, 3B 145 25 25 24 24 17 14 13 09 08/97 92 90 90 89 69 58
Boyer as a 3B 143 35 30 30 24 23 21 15 00/93 91
Elliott as 3B 147 45 40 35 34 34 26 23 01

at all positions
BRobinson 145 25 25 24 24 17 14 13 09 08/97 92 90 90 89 69 58
Ken-Boyer 143 35 30 30 24 23 21 15 00/94 93 91
BoElliott 147 45 40 35 34 34 26 23 16 12 05 01/99

What HOM-chance-improving value does Brooks have in those 92-90-90-89 seasons?
That may settle his HOM fate, ultimately.
If you see that as a significant value (and you could, given his position and his fielding), then maybe Brooksie makes it.

He's got 5 seasons of 124-125 (adding in a 145 outlier here), where he is extremely valuable.
He's got 5 seasons of 108-117, where he's definitely helping you significantly.
He's got 5 seasons of 89-97, which are debatable to some extent.
He's got 2 seasons of 58 and 69, yikes.
   92. Paul Wendt Posted: August 13, 2006 at 12:22 AM (#2138535)
Howie,
I believe that yours is a big understatement or down-misconception of the consensus view here. The latter may be inferred from the group's general reliance on Win Shares, although I admit that I have peeked at Brooks Robinson and 1983 Ballot Discussion.
Bill James gives {19, 18, 17, 16, 12} win shares for BRobby's 11th to 15th best seasons. For those "definitely helping you significantly" 6th to 10th best seasons, he gives low all-star credit.
   93. Howie Menckel Posted: August 13, 2006 at 12:32 AM (#2138547)
In truth, what may be more problematic for Brooks is the 'front end.' Many voters are peak-oriented, and he's mostly a good but not great hitter even at his peak. Because of that potential challenge, I'm thinking that if those same voters concede that his being valuable for 15 seasons is undeniable, it might overcome the lack of great peak.

I'm not sure what the consensus view will turn out to be here, but I have seen considerable skepticism already expressed about him. Maybe there's a silent majority that carries him home.
   94. TomH Posted: August 14, 2006 at 08:00 PM (#2140397)
I saw Brooks at an event a few months back. He still OWNS Baltimore + suburbs. Autograph line was phenomenally long. He looks good, spoke briefly and humorously. A sample of self-deprecation:

little kid: Mister Robinson, I'm gonna break all of your records.
Brooks: Oh yeah? You think you can hit into more than FIVE triple plays?!?
   95. Chris Cobb Posted: August 14, 2006 at 09:22 PM (#2140555)
I'm not sure what the consensus view will turn out to be here, but I have seen considerable skepticism already expressed about him. Maybe there's a silent majority that carries him home.

It's my strong impression that the career voters are, for the most part, less vocal than the peak voters, so players with career credentials tend to do better than their discussion threads would suggest.

Robinson is more likely to be hurt by the bat biases of the electorate than by the peak biases of the electorate.

He will also have the "overrated by the common wisdom" bias working against him.

In his favor will be the third base shortage.

It will be interesting to see how these different factors play out in the electorate, but my expectation continues to be that we will see him elected in 1984, though it's imaginable that he would linger until 1985 or be elected this year. I think this year will be Williams and Allen, though, with Torre and Robinson as the dark horses.
   96. Cuban X Senators Posted: August 15, 2006 at 06:16 AM (#2141370)
So much of what attracts many of us to sabermetrics (and even SABR study without the metrics), I suspect, is how it allows us to sift through and see who was great, but stuck on a lousy team or who didn't get the credit he deserved because he was unlikeable.

Brooks must be the best example of a truly great player who actually may have had his value inflated by the opposite effects.

Brooks emerged at the same time as the Orioles became what would be the team of the 60s and 70s, and so has any non-Yankee ever won games at the rate that Brooks did? For 17 solid years Brooks' image accrued the benefit of "being a winner" almost uninterruptedly. I'm sure that had an impact on HoF voters at the time.

The change really is stark. The Browns/O's never won a pennant in a non-War impact year and hadn't been in the upper division in a non-War year since 1929. And then Brooks arrives and the team shoots to 2nd place in 1960. Throughout an entire career and on through to his HoF vote, that winning never stopped. It would have been incredible for his contemporaries not to have over-valued Brooks some. He's virtually a Joe Hardy who got not just one miraculous year, but a miraculous career.

I don't believe the story about doing him a favor because he was a poor investor or entrepreneur. The club could have hired him in a non-playing role if it wanted to do that sort of favor.

You can choose not to believe it, but it was certainly discussed as such in Baltimore at the time. I doubt the Orioles could have paid Brooks the same money to be a greeter or Asst. GM or whatever. Brooks was a draw and keeping him on the field allowed the team to make the money they were paying Brooks. Once it was undefensible to keep him on the field they did hire him to do other stuff, but as long as they could trot him out to third, they were making more money to do so.
   97. Paul Wendt Posted: August 16, 2006 at 05:45 PM (#2143145)
Brooks was a draw and keeping him on the field allowed the team to make the money they were paying Brooks.

Beside the issue of what I might believe, I don't agree that that counts as "doing him a favor"; that he was a moneymaker onfield is the whole point to be made against the "favor" interpretation.

(Without any grounds I was thinking that the team hired broadcasters and might have employed him there. I believe some teams have sometimes done that. Does anyone know a directory of broadcast teams that tries to cover their dependent or independent status?)

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