Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Hall of Merit > Discussion
Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Carl Yastrzemski

Eligible in 1989.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 15, 2006 at 07:01 PM | 65 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 15, 2006 at 07:05 PM (#2212560)
Yaz had a career almost as long as his name.

Is he inner-circle? No, IMO, but he's not too far away from it.
   2. Flynn Posted: October 15, 2006 at 07:10 PM (#2212563)
I'm going with him being a first ballot HOM guy.
   3. DCW3 Posted: October 15, 2006 at 07:22 PM (#2212574)
Yastrzemski, naturally, holds the record for the most games played with a single franchise. Nobody else is within 200 games of him in that category.
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 15, 2006 at 07:26 PM (#2212580)
I'm going with him being a first ballot HOM guy.

That's not even arguable, Flynn.
   5. Flynn Posted: October 15, 2006 at 07:30 PM (#2212582)
That's not even arguable, Flynn.

Someone will try, someone will try..
   6. AJMcCringleberry Posted: October 15, 2006 at 07:36 PM (#2212590)
Is he inner-circle?

I guess it depends how many guys you consider inner-circle. I have him in the top 40.
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 15, 2006 at 07:40 PM (#2212592)
I guess it depends how many guys you consider inner-circle. I have him in the top 40.

That's about where I have him, AJM.
   8. sunnyday2 Posted: October 15, 2006 at 08:23 PM (#2212635)
Inner circle? No.

Like Willie McCovey, too many fairly ordinary years. And if you are honoring him for his career, well, those years come along with it.

Me, I'm a peak voter. And he will be #2 on my ballot behind Bench and will be a first year PHoMer. Closer to inner circle on peak than on career IMO because of those more ordinary years weighing down his rates. But that is hair-splitting. Bill James has him as the #5 LFer behind Teddy Ballgame, Stan the Man, Bonds and Rickey. Who else could you have ahead of him? Nobody I can think of.
   9. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 15, 2006 at 09:05 PM (#2212649)
I wanted to check to make sure that Yaz wasn't a Fenway mirage.

So I calculated his Away OPS+ for each season of his career, roughly adjusting league totals to remove the Fenway statistics. This OPS+ doesn't reflect the normal home "boost", but it does correct for park.

I calculated the exact same stat for Jimmy Wynn, using the exact same technique.

The results are in the linked graph.

The absolute numbers may be a little off, but the relative difference is accurate.

http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/958/wynnvyazawayopshg7.jpg
   10. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 15, 2006 at 09:07 PM (#2212651)
That link doesn't work, try

<a>http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/958/wynnvyazawayopshg7.jpg</a>
   11. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 15, 2006 at 09:08 PM (#2212653)
Ah, hell with it.

Long story short, Yaz's peak blows Wynn away.
   12. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 15, 2006 at 09:16 PM (#2212659)
I think Burkett and O'Rourke and maybe Delhanty could slide in there in between after schedule adjustment. In fact I think there's a very good analogy to be drawn like this:

Jim O'Rourke : 1870-1893 :: Carl Yastrzemski : 1960-1983
   13. AJMcCringleberry Posted: October 15, 2006 at 09:27 PM (#2212670)
Who else could you have ahead of him?

Pete Rose, if you want to list him there.
   14. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: October 15, 2006 at 09:38 PM (#2212676)
Yastrzemski, naturally, holds the record for the most games played with a single franchise. Nobody else is within 200 games of him in that category.

Naturally, I would have said Ripken, even though I grew up watching Yaz play. But in second thought, it makes sense - a long career with one team and a deaarth of major injuries.
   15. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 15, 2006 at 09:39 PM (#2212677)
Pete Rose, if you want to list him there.

I have Rose as a right fielder, though left field and third base are close.
   16. DCW3 Posted: October 15, 2006 at 10:11 PM (#2212698)
Naturally, I would have said Ripken, even though I grew up watching Yaz play. But in second thought, it makes sense - a long career with one team and a deaarth of major injuries.

Here's the top ten in that category, as far as I can determine:

name         team       games

Yastrzemski  Red Sox    3308
Aaron        Braves     3076
Musial       Cardinals  3026
Ripken       Orioles    3001
B
Robinson  Orioles    2896
Mays         Giants     2857
Yount        Brewers    2856
Kaline       Tigers     2834
Cobb         Tigers     2806
Ott          Giants     2730 


Craig Biggio is currently 12th on the list, having played 2709 games with the Astros
   17. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 15, 2006 at 10:23 PM (#2212707)
Naturally, I would have said Ripken, even though I grew up watching Yaz play. But in second thought, it makes sense - a long career with one team and a deaarth of major injuries.

An outfielder, on average, will last longer than infielder, too.
   18. Repoz Posted: October 15, 2006 at 10:38 PM (#2212713)
I came in second place for a Babe Ruth League MVP race...and received the Al Hirshberg "Yaz" book and a mushy loaf of Yaz bread.
   19. Buzzards Bay Posted: October 15, 2006 at 11:06 PM (#2212729)
The Celtics were in the midst of an historic run of NBA titles and the 67 Red Sox eclipsed THAT! Yaz was the protagonist..the last Triple Crown winner in a difficult era.. faint memories of Yaz Bread in the house
   20. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 15, 2006 at 11:15 PM (#2212740)
and received the Al Hirshberg "Yaz" book and a mushy loaf of Yaz bread.

Yaz bread is before my time, though I had my share of Reggie bars in my day.
   21. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 15, 2006 at 11:42 PM (#2212765)
Inner circle? No.

Like Willie McCovey, too many fairly ordinary years. And if you are honoring him for his career, well, those years come along with it.


Totally agree. In fact Yaz had a pretty damn good peak from 1963 to 1970, but IMO he's nowhere near any legitimate definition of an inner circle HOFer. I'm not sure of the splits on his other stats, but IIRC his BA was something like .303 in Fenway and .264 on the road. That suggests to me a pretty strong Fenway advantage, much like Williams had over Dimaggio. I doubt if there's any bigger park bias in baseball over the years than the one that Fenway has given to lefthanded hitters, due in great part to the fact that the Red Sox have usually loaded their lineups with righthanded power hitters and as a result the Yazes and the Boggses (and the Pete Runnels) seldom face lefthanded pitchers there.

Of course he's a first ballot HOF / HOM choice (just to be clear about that point), but he's certainly well below Bench, given the position advantage, the fact that Yaz played in an inferior league for at least the first half of his career, and especially considering the fact that Yaz patrolled the smallest patch of outfield in the Majors. It's nice to be able to play the wall, but other than that, being a LF in Fenway is barely a step or two above the requirements for a first baseman.

BTW in the revised BJHA, Yaz gets dropped from #26 to #37, and even that's a stretch, considering he puts players such as Seaver, Clemens, Berra, Bench, and Christy Mathewson (among others) below him, which simply has to reflect some sort of a quota system for position.
   22. Buzzards Bay Posted: October 15, 2006 at 11:57 PM (#2212785)
i agree that he is not inner circle
ok, on to the Dimaggio part..i have a picture of the bedroom that Vince,Joe and Dom shared as kids in San Francisco and still can't get over how much baseball horsepower was in one household ..Andy,Joe and Dom have stated that Williams was the better hitter..
   23. Chris Cobb Posted: October 15, 2006 at 11:58 PM (#2212788)
I have Yaz at about #45 all time through the 1970s. He will probably be around #50 all-time when we reach the present.

On the 1989 ballot, he'll be #2 behind Johnny Bench, ahead of Gaylord Perry.
   24. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: October 16, 2006 at 12:00 AM (#2212790)
The Celtics were in the midst of an historic run of NBA titles and the 67 Red Sox eclipsed THAT!

The Celtics hardly ever sold out the Garden, if ever.
   25. Buzzards Bay Posted: October 16, 2006 at 12:17 AM (#2212828)
The Red Sox hardly ever sold out Fenway,if ever.
   26. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 16, 2006 at 12:26 AM (#2212854)
Aaron, Mays, and Cobb shouldn't be on that list, each played for another team (which was part of DCW3's original stipulation).
   27. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: October 16, 2006 at 12:36 AM (#2212881)
That was my first reaction, Doc. But DCW3's original statement could be interpreted both ways, and since he supplied the list, he's free to define what he meant. In either case, Yaz would hold the record for most games played for a franchise and most games played by a player who played for only one franchise. Aaron, Mays and Cobb would be left off the second list, but eligible for the first.
   28. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 16, 2006 at 01:01 AM (#2212981)
Andy,Joe and Dom have stated that Williams was the better hitter..

No question about that, though when you take out the park factor it's mainly because of the walks, as Allan Barra pointed out in his first book. And of course Williams stated many times that Dimaggio was the better player, which was also the overwhelming judgment of their peers.

I have Yaz at about #45 all time through the 1970s. He will probably be around #50 all-time when we reach the present.

I hope I'm misunderstanding what you're saying. Surely you can't mean that only five players since the 70's are better than Yaz? You can just about do that with pitchers alone.
   29. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 16, 2006 at 01:45 AM (#2213143)
Just to expand on my previous posts:


Yaz's away OPS+ over his 11 year prime (1963-1974) is 123, in 272 at bats per year.

Wynn's away OPS+ over his 11 year prime (1965-1976) is 117, in 252 at bats per year. (this includes Wynn's subpar 1976, but it's only fair to reward Yaz for the extra well-above average season).


When you factor in replacement level AB's for the remainder of the AB's, Yaz's advantage increases:

Yaz: 120 Wynn: 112

that assumes 300 away AB's (I should do PA's, but I'm lazy).
   30. Chris Cobb Posted: October 16, 2006 at 01:46 AM (#2213151)
I hope I'm misunderstanding what you're saying.

It's possible that (1) you are misunderstanding who I am including in the "through the 1970s" count, and it's possible that (2) I have misestimated, and it's possible that (3) we disagree about Yaz's merits.

Re possibility (1): When I say, "through the 1970s," I am including all players whose prime fell mainly or very significantly in that decade, and, to be more precise, it includes all players retired before 1990. Players who starred in the 1970s like Morgan, Rose, Schmidt, Bench, and Seaver, are already counted in the ranking of Yaz, as of 1989 at #45 all time. (They are all ahead, btw.)

Re possibility (2): I was speaking off the top of my head, without thinking seriously about the issue at all, and I have only reviewed players whose careers ended before 1990. But let me look at the post-1990 question more carefully. How many players active after 1989 will there be after that who are more meritorious than Yaz by the end of the 2006 season?

Obviously Better Position Players: Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson
Obviously Better Pitchers: Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux

Possibly better position players: George Brett, Cal Ripken, Wade Boggs, Carlton Fisk
Possibly Better Pitchers: Randy Johnson, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez

So that puts Yaz at 50 if only the obviously better players are actually better, and it puts him as low as 58 if all the possibly better players are actually better (which I doubt they will be in my system, anyway).

Who am I forgetting, who retired after 1989, who might belong on one of these two lists?

Re possibility (3): I try to balance peak and career, and Yaz has a huge amount of career value (#22 all time in career win shares as of 2001, and I don't think anyone has passed him since [Barry and Ricky were already ahead]) and a spectacular though short peak. If you balance things out differently, you might rank him lower than I do. But I think 50-55 all time is a fairly conservative ranking for him, compared to where he appears in some other lists.
   31. Mike Webber Posted: October 16, 2006 at 03:03 AM (#2213424)
Who am I forgetting, who retired after 1989, who might belong on one of these two lists?


MIGHT belong on the lists - based on the other guys you have listed -

Robin Yount,

Paul Molitor, Tony Gwynn, Tim Raines, Craig Biggio,

Eddie Murray, Dave Winfield

If Brett, Ripken, are possible, then Yount is also possible.

The others really just have enough career to kind of acknowledge, but not really consider.
   32. Darren Posted: October 16, 2006 at 03:16 AM (#2213454)
Yaz gets absolutely murdered by his era. A quick and dirty translation of his 67 season to today's context would be something like .356/.441/.721. With great OF defense. He had a few other years that were similarly diminshed.

Simply an excellent player, with a great (but obscured) peak. Just outside of the inner cirle.
   33. OCF Posted: October 16, 2006 at 03:31 AM (#2213489)
Yaz gets absolutely murdered by his era.

But don't forget that he also gets an huge boost from his ballpark.

Another scaled RCAA chart, with a 3% context adjustment for DH-era AL hitters. This time, Yastrzemski and Stargell.

Yaz  96 82 80 48 41 36 34 33 28 24 21 20 20 19 17 16 11  9  7  7  3  0 -6
Pops 82 82 61 55 55 50 41 40 36 30 29 27 24 20 16 12  9  2  1  1  1  0 


Comparing them is a complicated picture. Yastrzemski has the best three hitting years (although year #2 is a wash) but Stargell then has some advantage in years 4 through 14. But then career tips back to Yastrzemski, who has a substantial advantage in in-season durability, as well as more years overall. (Several of the single-digit years listed for Stargell above involve only token playing time.)

The two are unlikely to appear on the same ballot, since I expect Stargell to be a first-ballot electee. Both obviously belong to the HoM, and neither is remotely close to being Frank Robinson.
   34. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: October 16, 2006 at 03:39 AM (#2213509)
Yaz gets absolutely murdered by his era. A quick and dirty translation of his 67 season to today's context would be something like .356/.441/.721. With great OF defense. He had a few other years that were similarly diminshed.

And don't forget about the epic clutch hitting down the stretch of one of the tightest pennant races ever.
   35. OCF Posted: October 16, 2006 at 03:43 AM (#2213519)
Of course, Yaz also has a defensive advantage over Stargell. But both of them were corner outfielders who eventually moved to 1B; there's a limit to the defensive value.
   36. Darren Posted: October 16, 2006 at 03:44 AM (#2213520)
But don't forget that he also gets an huge boost from his ballpark.

I'm sure this is not going to be a popular opinion, but I don't think you should dock players like Yaz much for their park. Yaz was a lefthanded pull hitter in Fenway. He hit much better at home largely because he adjusted his style to his home park, which really was better suited for righty powre hitters.

And don't forget about the epic clutch hitting down the stretch of one of the tightest pennant races ever.

Yeah, but where was he when they needed the big hit in the 9th inning of the 78 playoff with the Yanks? (Ducks)
   37. Darren Posted: October 16, 2006 at 03:48 AM (#2213528)
I should also point out that the "huge boost" that Fenway provided at the time was a 108 PF in 1967. That means that his total #s were increased by about 4 percent, which means you can scale back my previous line to .340/.425/.690 or so.
   38. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 16, 2006 at 03:54 AM (#2213533)
Darren,

That is actaully not an unpopular opinion (double negative yay!). However, I think that what was meant is that Fenway in 1967 was a big hitters park and that needs to be taken into consideration. If Yaz was uniquely able to take advantage of his park then he provided real value to his team. Adjusting for that is great if you are trading for Yaz and you want to know if he can put up similar numbers in your park, but I don't think it should be taken into consideration here.

All of which is to say that I agree with you.
   39. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 16, 2006 at 03:57 AM (#2213539)
Re possibility (1): When I say, "through the 1970s," I am including all players whose prime fell mainly or very significantly in that decade, and, to be more precise, it includes all players retired before 1990. Players who starred in the 1970s like Morgan, Rose, Schmidt, Bench, and Seaver, are already counted in the ranking of Yaz, as of 1989 at #45 all time. (They are all ahead, btw.)

OK, I think I did misunderstand you, and we may not even disagree all that much. I'm using James's revised ranking in the NBJHBA, and with that as a starting point and Yaz at #37 (and with Bonds, McGwire and Biggio already ranked above him), I'd drop McGwire below him but leapfrog the following players from James's list over Yaz: Seaver, Berra, Mathewson, Suttles, Bench, Bagwell, Gibson, Ripken, Clemens, Koufax, Smokey Joe Williams, Feller, Gehringer, Boggs, Murray, Killebrew, Joe Jackson, Greenberg, Griffey, Piazza, Maddux (how James stuck him at #92 is a complete mystery), and Dihigo. Plus Randy Johnson, whom James omits completely, and most likely (when their careers are complete, though obviously not guaranteed) Pedro, ARod, Jeter, Manny, and Pujols. That would put Yaz at roughly #64 on my list, which means that we obviously differ, but not as much as I might have thought before I went through James's list.

Clearly I add value for positions such as shortstop, and devalue left fielders, especially Red Sox leftfielders, for reasons stated above. I also don't think all that much of the AL in the 1960's, and when Yaz was putting up his best numbers it's not that much of an exaggeration to say that that league was integrated in name only, with not one black HOFer before Reggie Jackson and Rod Carew, at a time when the NL was full of them. This gave Yaz a huge leg up in positioning himself on leader boards, and I see no reason not to make a mental adjustment for that. I seriously doubt that had he played in the NL his numbers would have been what they were, and certainly his postion on the leader boards would have dropped by quite a bit in all years other than perhaps 1967.

I'd be a fool not to admit that my rankings are subjective. I saw Yaz play zillions of times, and (for example) except for a few years from about 1967 to 1970 I don't think he could carry Manny Ramirez's jockstrap as a hitter, especially considering their relative levels of competition. And much as I value longevity, I simply can't rank Yaz over Gibson, Koufax, Joe Jackson, Greenberg, Griffey or Pedro. The talent discrepancies are just too great.

On the plus side, and again this is subjective, but I will admit that the man rose to the occasion like almost no other player I've ever seen. His September of 1967 has probably been matched by others in terms of production in a white hot pennant race, but I can't think of any specific cases, especially that 7 for 8 in the last two games against the Twins and that .400 in the World Series. And even when he was on the downside of his career, he would strike the fear of God in any opposing pitcher in a clutch situation. I still break out in a sweat when I think of him facing Gossage with the tying and winning runs on base in the Bucky Dent game.

And I will say that by placing a bigger emphasis on career counting stats you could put Yaz higher. But to me career counting stats are an overrated phenomenon. What I look for above all are the number of years where a player performed at (a) a transcendent level, like Koufax or Pedro or Randy Johnson, or (b) a solid HOF level, like Aaron did for nearly his entire career. By that standard, Yaz just strikes me as someone who had a great short peak in an inferior league, and then gradually went downhill from there for the second half of his career. Put his 1971-83 career in the Major Leagues of today and I think that he'd be lucky to make more than one or two All-Star rosters, if that. That doesn't impress me all that much.
   40. Darren Posted: October 16, 2006 at 03:59 AM (#2213540)
I see your point jsch, but I think a player's ability to adapt to his park goes to his greatness. A player who changes his style to excel in Fenway is greater than a player who benefits from Fenway because his original style is a good fit for Fenway. Granted, figuring out which is which requires a lot of subjective judgement.
   41. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 16, 2006 at 04:05 AM (#2213545)
I'm sure this is not going to be a popular opinion, but I don't think you should dock players like Yaz much for their park. Yaz was a lefthanded pull hitter in Fenway. He hit much better at home largely because he adjusted his style to his home park, which really was better suited for righty powre hitters.

I don't disagree with this, though his batting style adjusted from spray to pull in 1967 and then back to more straightaway sometime in the 70's. He was not a pull hitter for his whole career by any means. And you also have to acknowledge that he received another big advantage (which I'm not docking him for), namely being a lefthanded hitter in a park that lefthanded pitchers very often avoided because of the wall and the righty-stacked Red Sox lineups, somewhat analogous to the advantage that Duke Snider had in the Ebbets Field of the 1950's, when he almost never had to face any of the top NL lefties like Warren Spahn.
   42. DavidFoss Posted: October 16, 2006 at 06:35 AM (#2213595)
which means you can scale back my previous line to .340/.425/.690 or so.

Yaz's OPS+ in 1967 is a healthy 195. History's other 195 OPS+ season was Lou Gehrig 1931 (.341/.446/.662 with 46 HR/184 RBI). Other seasons in the mid-190s include Cobb 09,11,13,18, Mantle 1962, Schmidt 1981, Gehrig 1928, Heilmann 1923, JJackson 1911-12, Ruth 18,29. Its a superlative season by any context-adjusted measurement.
   43. DCW3 Posted: October 16, 2006 at 07:38 AM (#2213603)
But DCW3's original statement could be interpreted both ways, and since he supplied the list, he's free to define what he meant. In either case, Yaz would hold the record for most games played for a franchise and most games played by a player who played for only one franchise. Aaron, Mays and Cobb would be left off the second list, but eligible for the first.

Yeah, I meant the first definition--most games played with a franchise, regardless of whether the player ever played for another franchise.
   44. sunnyday2 Posted: October 16, 2006 at 11:46 AM (#2213627)
I agree that a player who adapts to his home park should not be penalized.

However. One tidbit that has always stuck in my mind is that Reggie Jackson has a higher road BA than Yaz.

Adapt or not, Yaz had a home park that one could adapt to. Reggie (in Oakland at least) did not have a home park one could adapt to in the same way--i.e. you could adapt all you want, you'd never put up the BA you could in Fenway.

To me this tidbit says Yaz is overrated.
   45. baudib Posted: October 16, 2006 at 12:20 PM (#2213633)
Yaz hit better in Fenway because Fenway is a great park for lefty hitters and has been for about 90 years. It also is, and has been, a great park for lefty pitchers.
   46. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 16, 2006 at 01:49 PM (#2213671)
And don't forget about the epic clutch hitting down the stretch of one of the tightest pennant races ever.

from Sept 1 onward in 67 (27 games), he hit 417/500/760

NTFS
   47. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 16, 2006 at 01:49 PM (#2213673)
Darren,

When figuring out which is which I would just take off the normal park factor and leave it at that. Say Fenway increased run scoring by 8%, just devalue that player's overall offensive value by 4% (only half the games at home obviously) and leave whatever positives (or negatives) that are left alone.

Also,

Babe Ruth had a 195 OPS+ in 1918 as a part time pitcher? Damn that boy was good.
   48. karlmagnus Posted: October 16, 2006 at 02:30 PM (#2213708)
Parisian Bob managed a 200 in 1886, while going 35-14 with an ERA+ of 148. There are damn few players who can be claimed to have a peak as good as Ruth's, but Caruthers has to be one of them.
   49. OCF Posted: October 16, 2006 at 05:30 PM (#2213947)
#49 is the correct interpetation.
   50. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: October 16, 2006 at 05:30 PM (#2213948)
I thought the PFs listed at B-R already took this into account;

They do. A PF of 108 means an 8% increase, not 4%. I made the same mistake when I started doing RSIs and had others correct it for me.
   51. OCF Posted: October 16, 2006 at 05:38 PM (#2213960)
Babe Ruth had a 195 OPS+ in 1918 as a part time pitcher? Damn that boy was good.

I would have liked to have seen a 1918 writers' MVP vote. (It didn't happen that year). 194 OPS+ is indeed impressive, but it was only about half-time - and Ty Cobb had a 193 OPS+ as a full-time outfielder. So offensively, he wan't Cobb. And a 121 ERA+ in 20 starts is nice, but it's nowhere close to being Walter Johnson (214 ERA+ in twice as many innings). But Cobb didn't pitch, Johnson didn't play outfield and slug HR, and the Red Sox won the pennant. I don't think the writers could have resisted that story.
   52. DavidFoss Posted: October 16, 2006 at 06:03 PM (#2213992)
194 OPS+ is indeed impressive, but it was only about half-time

It was over 3/4 time due to the war-shortened season. Using WS, Ruth edges Johnson 40-38 with Cobb trailing at 31. Pro-rate those up to a season-length of 154 games and you some awesome numbers.
   53. WahooSam Posted: October 16, 2006 at 06:06 PM (#2213995)
I put Yaz 7th, behind Williams, Bonds, Musial, Rickey, Clarke and Raines - maybe 6th over Raines, not too sure there
   54. karlmagnus Posted: October 16, 2006 at 07:58 PM (#2214162)
OCF, I have the clippings book for the 1918 Sox that was published a few years ago (before 2004!) and Ruth was by far the biggest story, even though they had some other players like Mays, Schang, McInnes, Hooper who were of near-HOM quality. At least the Boston writers knew very well what they had; I have to believe since the Sox won that other writers would have noticed too. Cobb's 1918 was an off year by his previous standards; there was talk in mid-season about how he was slowing up.
   55. RobertMachemer Posted: October 16, 2006 at 08:16 PM (#2214184)
I put Yaz 7th, behind Williams, Bonds, Musial, Rickey, Clarke and Raines - maybe 6th over Raines, not too sure there
Williams, Bonds, and Musial are obvious. I understand Henderson as well, though I think it's closer than most people would guess. I can also understand Raines, depending on how much weight one gives his baserunning, though it's a tougher argument than Henderson. But why Clarke? Yaz was as good a hitter for roughly 3200 more plate appearances and may well have been a better fielder.
   56. Dizzypaco Posted: October 16, 2006 at 09:56 PM (#2214369)
Not that this has much impact on his overall value, but are people aware of his L/R splits? I believe they are pretty extreme - he was near replacement level against lefties, but killed righties for most of his career.
   57. DavidFoss Posted: October 16, 2006 at 10:11 PM (#2214393)
Not that this has much impact on his overall value, but are people aware of his L/R splits? I believe they are pretty extreme - he was near replacement level against lefties, but killed righties for most of his career.

OPS+
overall:130
vs LHP:90
vs RHP:143

He did have a few years where he did very well against LHP's (1967, 1970, 1974). As has been noted before, a double-split of H/R and L/R might be needed for a case like this as Yaz was probably more likely to face LHP's on the road.

I suppose Yaz might be thankful he played in the era before LOOGY's. ;-)
   58. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 16, 2006 at 11:13 PM (#2214441)
OPS+
overall:130
vs LHP:90
vs RHP:143


Over the years, Yaz faced a disproportionte number of righthanded pitchers, due to the fact that the Red Sox loaded their lineup with righthanded hitters to take advantage of the left field wall. And by taking into consideration the splits above, and adding the Fenway advantage, we can begin to see that Yaz may have played under the most fortuitous combination of talent and circumstances of just about any HOFer ever.

Of course the numbers he put up are in the books and can't be taken away, and there's no doubting the value that Yaz added to the Red Sox. But it's hard to believe that those same numbers would have been there had he played for any of the other 23 teams in the Majors, facing a normal percentage of LHP and without the Fenway Park advantage.
   59. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 17, 2006 at 03:14 AM (#2214603)
Kevin,

The only way I'm penalizing Yaz for position is by noting the simple fact that left field in Fenway Park is the least challenging outfield in the Major Leagues, and that he was underutilized. I'm not for a minute denying his skill as a fielder, only that his positional skills were much easier to replace in Fenway than in any other park. This is sort of the defensive counterpoint to the one I raised above, namely that Yaz's career was a most fortunate circumstance of time and league, team, and ballpark, and it helped his numbers by a fair amount. Think about his outfield contemporaries in the AL during his career, and think about who his rivals on those leader boards would have been had he been in the National League then.

Whether he would have hit 500 home runs in Yankee Stadium or not is hard to say one way or the other. You do have to remember that he wasn't all that much of a pull hitter for much of his career other than in the late 60's - early 70's, and for the first 13 years of his career Death Valley really was Death Valley, with its 402 ft power alley. But it certainly would have cost him in average, as Yankee Stadium was far more of a pitcher's park in general than Fenway, as everyone knows.

I'd pretty much stick with my overall view of Yaz: A fine leftfielder who had a short but terrific peak, and for one year was about as valuable an overall player as anyone I've ever seen in a tight pennant race. But if you look at his numbers after 1970 he was better than average but for a leftfielder not all that much, and that was 13 years out of 23. Which is why I'd put him where I did above.

Truth be told, aside from 1967 wouldn't you rather have Manny? I sure would. Now that's a real inner circle HOFer. Even his butchering of left field on occasion doesn't make up for his big offensive advantage. Yaz had 6 years of 140 or better OPS+ for his entire 23 year career; Manny's last 12 years have beaten that figure, and he's only 34 and still going strong.
   60. WahooSam Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:44 PM (#2214735)
I put Yaz 7th, behind Williams, Bonds, Musial, Rickey, Clarke and Raines - maybe 6th over Raines, not too sure there


Williams, Bonds, and Musial are obvious. I understand Henderson as well, though I think it's closer than most people would guess. I can also understand Raines, depending on how much weight one gives his baserunning, though it's a tougher argument than Henderson. But why Clarke? Yaz was as good a hitter for roughly 3200 more plate appearances and may well have been a better fielder


Ahh, I mixed up by adding credit to Clarke for his managing tasks. From a strictly on teh field part, Yaz is better than Clarke; it is the composite Clarke I like better
   61. yest Posted: October 17, 2006 at 04:53 PM (#2214968)
I see your point jsch, but I think a player's ability to adapt to his park goes to his greatness. A player who changes his style to excel in Fenway is greater than a player who benefits from Fenway because his original style is a good fit for Fenway. Granted, figuring out which is which requires a lot of subjective judgement.
The reason I continue to vote for Chuck Klein
   62. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 18, 2006 at 03:03 AM (#2215983)
I should also point out that the "huge boost" that Fenway provided at the time was a 108 PF in 1967. That means that his total #s were increased by about 4 percent, which means you can scale back my previous line to .340/.425/.690 or so.


Slightly wrong. That 108 is the overall stat factor, it already account for half the games being on the road. And how good or bad your own pitching that you didn't get to face was. Fenway boosted offense in games there by 15-16% in 1967.
   63. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 18, 2006 at 03:08 AM (#2216006)
Whoops . . . I even skimmed to see if anyone made that comment, and missed all of them - oh well . . .

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
TedBerg
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.7215 seconds
49 querie(s) executed