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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Fred Lynn

Eligible in 1996.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 06, 2007 at 05:43 AM | 60 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 06, 2007 at 05:57 AM (#2307411)
Better than Rice.
   2. OCF Posted: March 06, 2007 at 07:31 AM (#2307452)
Better than Rice, but not as good as Edd Roush and maybe not as good as Cesar Cedeño or Bobby Murcer. If he could have stayed in the lineup, that might have been different, but as it is, he won't make my ballot.
   3. Guapo Posted: March 06, 2007 at 03:20 PM (#2307558)
   4. sunnyday2 Posted: March 06, 2007 at 03:51 PM (#2307571)
Oh, better than Rice, for sure.

A lot like Eric Davis. Didn't fulfill his promise. Yeah, like Cedeno as well. And therefore what he did do is under-rated. He will not be on my ballot, to be sure, but he looks a lot better than I expected. In the 30s maybe.
   5. AROM Posted: March 06, 2007 at 03:52 PM (#2307573)
I've always thought Freddie was the equal of Dale Murphy.
   6. Padgett Posted: March 06, 2007 at 04:15 PM (#2307581)
You think he liked Fenway?

I knew that Lynn's swing was made for Fenway, but until now I hadn't seen how extreme this was on a year-by-year basis.

<u>Year Home/Away OPS</u>
1975 1060/870
1976  949/734
1977  927/644
1978  903/839
1979 1268/832
1980 1039/728

I'm sure this is obvious; I just hadn't realized the difference was at times as much as 40-50%.
   7. DL from MN Posted: March 06, 2007 at 05:21 PM (#2307612)
Rice was better, barely. Longer career.
   8. AROM Posted: March 06, 2007 at 05:37 PM (#2307632)
As a hitter, maybe. Lynn had a slightly higher OPS+ (130 to 128) but Rice played a little over 100 more games in his career. They should be pretty close in offensive value, but Lynn is just miles ahead as a defender and overall player.

Murphy played about 200 more games than Lynn, lower OPS+ (121). Lynn had the best year, Murphy had more great years (OPS+ 140-150) but Lynn had more good ones (OPS+ 110 or so). I couldn't vote for one and not the other, but neither quite makes the hall by my vote.
   9. sunnyday2 Posted: March 06, 2007 at 06:15 PM (#2307664)
Freddie is #34 on my prelim. If Murphy were eligible he looks like about #28. They're comparable. (Rice is #63. Cedeno #45.)
   10. Dizzypaco Posted: March 06, 2007 at 06:26 PM (#2307675)
The way I look at it, Lynn was better than Rice when Lynn was playing, and Rice was better than Lynn when Lynn was sitting on the bench injured. Which was a lot. Lynn played 140 games only four times in his career, and for this reason, I'd take Rice over Lynn, despite the advantages Lynn had when healthy. Its close though.
   11. tjm1 Posted: March 06, 2007 at 10:18 PM (#2307784)
Exactly - Rice played more games in fewer seasons than Lynn. Lynn was better per game, but very few statistical methods do a really good job of dealing with the fact that 150 games a year for 8 years is a lot better than 100 games a year for 12 years at the same performance level.
   12. DCW3 Posted: March 06, 2007 at 10:27 PM (#2307790)
Lynn's 1979 has to be one of the uglier MVP votes of recent decades. He led the league in OBP, SLG, OPS+ and runs created. He was in the top four in all three Triple Crown stats--won the batting title, second in home runs, fourth in RBIs (and runs scored, for that matter). Won a Gold Glove in center field, for a team that won 91 games. And he finished fourth in the MVP vote, failing to get a single first-place vote and losing to an LF/DH who was eighth in the league in OPS+. Ah, RBIs...
   13. Loren F. Posted: March 06, 2007 at 11:32 PM (#2307831)
I'm sure that in 1979 some voters were thinking: 'If Lynn had been really valuable, he would have vaulted the Sox into first place the Baylor did with the Angels. Baylor knows how to win.'
   14. OCF Posted: March 06, 2007 at 11:39 PM (#2307837)
Lynn's 1979 has to be one of the uglier MVP votes of recent decades.

Oh, I can think of worse. Who have I got in the all-shafted pool? Alan Trammell in 1987 is near the top of the list. (Although they gave it to the wrong guy in the 1987 NL, I'll pass on that because I don't know who the right guy was.) Dwight Gooden, 1985. (Since they gave the 1986 AL MVP to Clemens, you've got to consider Gooden eligible.) George Brett, 1985. Mike Piazza, 1997. If you took some care to spread it out by position, you might be able to assemble and All-MVP-shafted team.
   15. Chris Fluit Posted: March 06, 2007 at 11:40 PM (#2307838)
Pedro Martinez got shafted in 1999.
   16. sunnyday2 Posted: March 06, 2007 at 11:59 PM (#2307849)
Trammell '87 pretty much defines ugly.

The irony, however, is that the players also selected G. Bell as their PoY. And they now let these people vote for the HoF.
   17. DCW3 Posted: March 07, 2007 at 08:07 AM (#2308061)
Sure, there have been worse ripoffs than Lynn's '79. But what makes that year stand out, however, is not just Lynn's dominance in sabermetric stats, but how well he did in the things that the writers actually look at: Triple Crown stats, and to a lesser extent, Gold Gloves. By finishing first in the league in batting average, second in home runs, and fourth in RBIs, Lynn earns 7 "Triple Crown points" (where the minimum, is, of course, 3). Here are the players who have had as few points since Yastrzemski won the last Triple Crown in 1968, along with their MVP finish that year:

year  name     tc  mvp   
======================
1969  McCovey   7  1st
1972  Allen     5  1st
1972  Williams  6  2nd
1977  Foster    6  1st
1978  Rice      5  1st
1978  Parker    6  1st
1979  Lynn      7  4th
1981  Schmidt   6  1st
1993  Bonds     6  1st
1994  Bagwell   5  1st
1995  Bichette  5  2nd
1997  Walker    6  1st
1998  Belle     7  8th
2005  Rodriguez 7  1st
2005  Pujols    7  1st
2006  Pujols    7  2nd 


And Lynn probably had more defensive value than any of those guys except Schmidt.
   18. DCW3 Posted: March 07, 2007 at 08:10 AM (#2308062)
(Although they gave it to the wrong guy in the 1987 NL, I'll pass on that because I don't know who the right guy was.)

You know, I've always heard the 1987 NL talked about as one of those years where there was no one real standout candidate, but Tony Gwynn looks like the obvious choice to me.
   19. OCF Posted: March 07, 2007 at 08:46 AM (#2308067)
Gwynn was my choice at the time, so I'll give you that. Gwynn looked kind of like a second Raines that year. Of course the first Raines was very much in the picture.
   20. baudib Posted: March 07, 2007 at 10:19 AM (#2308071)
The problem with the 1987 NL MVP vote was there were a couple of guys who were anointed early on and they didn't make it.

Eric Davis was absolutely astonishing; he seemed a sure bet for 50-50 or even 50-100 and he was seemingly robbing someone of a homer every week. Then he got hurt, missed his 30+ games and slumped badly in the second half.

Jack Clark also had a monster year and was well on his way to a 45-homer, 140+ RBI season to go with an awesome OBP that would have made him a fine sabermetric candidate...but he got hurt. Incidentally, the (valid) belief that Clark was the real Cards MVP for most of the year probably hurt Ozzie; plus, it was the type of year where it was going to be hard for a singles hitter to win it.
   21. rawagman Posted: March 07, 2007 at 03:45 PM (#2308104)
Having ran the numbers, Fredd Lynn will make the tail end of my ballot for 1996 unless something comes up in my reval of the high backloggers.
He looks like Edd Roush with a bit less durability.
   22. TomH Posted: March 07, 2007 at 03:48 PM (#2308106)
Hey, Boggs added 20 HR to his normal .360 avg that year and still finished 9th.
   23. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: March 07, 2007 at 10:11 PM (#2308353)
Ozzie Smith might have been an okay choice in 1987, too; a 105 OPS+, great SB/CS, and (I assume) his typical great defense. He did come in second in the voting. WARP1 thinks it's Ozzie's best season, though it does put him one win behind Gwynn.
   24. OCF Posted: March 07, 2007 at 10:36 PM (#2308363)
A note I wrote to some friends in 1987 had (if remember correctly) 1. Gwynn, 2. Raines, 3. J. Clark, 4. E. Davis, 5. Ozzie. As it was, Ozzie finished second in the vote - I don't think he has too much to complain about. Dawson in 1st was bad; Tim Wallach at 4th was worse.

On one narrow point, that 105 OPS+ for Ozzie: I think that undersells him pretty badly. Part of it is the SB, but that's only a sliver - a bigger part is that I think the accuaracy of OPS+ as a measurement starts to break down at that extremity. Ozzie had an "upside-down" OBP/SLG relationship: .392/.383 against a .341/.423 league. More to the point: the whole team had a 94 OPS+ but was second in the league in actual runs scored, .4 R/G above league average (in only a mild - 102 - hitters park). Something's way out of whack with how OPS+ represents that particular team.
   25. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: March 08, 2007 at 01:52 AM (#2308472)
Better than Rice.


I did a doubletake when I saw this John. I thought that Lynn played less in the 80's than he had. Yeah, I'm so provincial that players sometimes fall off my radar screen when they leave the BoWash Corridor and the latter part of his career coincided with my Army days, when I didn't really follow baseball all that much.

Anyways, I decided to compare the two Gold Dust twins. Using the Bill James method (Career Win Shares, Top Three Seasons, Best Five Year Stretch, and WS per 160 Games) Lynn scores 107 points and Rice scores 104.4. Lynn's slightly ahead, but they're in the same ballpark. I did the same analysis with WARP3. Lynn noses out Rice 32.44 to 32.42. What's that? Half a GIDP? I ran a quick and dirty substitute for Pennants Added (WARP3 + TPR). Rice won that one 120.1 to 111.2.

Lynn was better in the postseason. It seems like a close call to me.
   26. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 08, 2007 at 02:09 AM (#2308479)
Lynn was better in the postseason. It seems like a close call to me.

And he hit the first ASG grand salami---that's huge!!!!!!!!
   27. ptodd Posted: March 08, 2007 at 07:12 AM (#2308597)
Lynn had 2 great years in 1975 and 1979. Excellent in the field. Too bad he could not stay on the field. He was only healthy 4 seasons, and in 11 of 17 seasons he played fewer than 130 games. His career stats at Fenway were 347/420/601/1021, and I do not hold that against him, just the fact he missed too many games. Couldn't hit LHP 243/315/395/710. Wasn't much of a clutch hitter, with only 1 walk off HR until he joined Baltimore in 1985 and hit 5 more(3 in 1985 alone), and close and late career was 246/348/396/744. Even so, if he could have stayed healthy and played his entire career with Boston, he probably would have been a slam dunk for the HOM, but he didn't.
   28. DCW3 Posted: March 08, 2007 at 08:37 AM (#2308614)
Ozzie Smith might have been an okay choice in 1987, too; a 105 OPS+, great SB/CS, and (I assume) his typical great defense. He did come in second in the voting. WARP1 thinks it's Ozzie's best season, though it does put him one win behind Gwynn.

As good as Ozzie was that year, I'm not sure it's physically possible for anyone, even Ozzie, to be good enough defensively to make up the offensive gap between him and Gwynn. Both RCAP and VORP put the difference between them at 29 runs--and keep in mind that Gwynn was a fine defender himself in his day.
   29. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: March 08, 2007 at 09:28 PM (#2308981)
Gwynn should have been the '87 NL MVP by a mile. Eric Davis was a nudge better on a rate basis but missed a lot of time.
   30. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: March 08, 2007 at 09:31 PM (#2308989)
And he hit the first ASG grand salami---that's huge!!!!!!!!

That time, it didn't count.
   31. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 08, 2007 at 09:42 PM (#2308996)
IMO Tim Raines was the easy choice in 1987, despite missing April due to collusion. The Expos were 8-13 without him (IIRC) and 83-58 with him. It's quite possible they win that division if they have him in April.
   32. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: March 08, 2007 at 10:28 PM (#2309038)
Oh, I can think of worse. Who have I got in the all-shafted pool? Alan Trammell in 1987 is near the top of the list. (Although they gave it to the wrong guy in the 1987 NL, I'll pass on that because I don't know who the right guy was.) Dwight Gooden, 1985. (Since they gave the 1986 AL MVP to Clemens, you've got to consider Gooden eligible.) George Brett, 1985. Mike Piazza, 1997. If you took some care to spread it out by position, you might be able to assemble and All-MVP-shafted team.


Musial '44.
   33. OCF Posted: March 08, 2007 at 10:57 PM (#2309059)
Musial '44

Ouch. Marty Marion? MARTY MARION???
   34. JPWF13 Posted: March 08, 2007 at 11:17 PM (#2309078)
Dawson in 1st was bad; Tim Wallach at 4th was worse.


RBIs!!!!
funny thing though- since Wallach was a decent defensive 3B and Dawson's range was greatly diminished due to his knees by 1987- Wallach was probably more valuable than Dawson in 1987...
not that either man was remotely in the top 10

wrt to STL
it's pretty hard to lead the league in OBP and have an OPS+ of 94...
anyway- STL's raw runs created for that year was 709- but they scored 798- most years Runs Created is not off by that much on any team. More techniocal versions only get the team up to about 720 runs.
STL scored about as much in 1986 and 1988 as OPS and RC says they should have....

As a life long Met fans I always HATED that 87 Card's team- I never could understand how they won more games than the 1987 Mets- and I still can't.
   35. yest Posted: March 09, 2007 at 04:36 AM (#2309232)
I would have taken Boggs over Trammell in 1987
   36. Paul Wendt Posted: March 09, 2007 at 06:18 AM (#2309268)
I thought Jack Clark was the MVP in 1987
and Fred Lynn in 1979
and Ron Guidry in 1978.

None of them would make my HOM ballot or my 15 runners up.

Freddie Lynn, didn't he have a short career? Er, no.

OCF Posted: March 06, 2007 at 01:31 AM (#2307452)
Better than Rice, but not as good as Edd Roush and maybe not as good as Cesar Cedeño or Bobby Murcer. If he could have stayed in the lineup, that might have been different, but as it is, he won't make my ballot.


This is about right.

I'm waiting for Dwight Evans. Will Secretary Murphy write "better than Lynn and Rice"?
   37. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 09, 2007 at 03:06 PM (#2309343)
I'm waiting for Dwight Evans. Will Secretary Murphy write "better than Lynn and Rice"?

Most definitely, Paul. :-)

Post #1 was in reference to the now infamous Jim Rice thread, BTW.
   38. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 09, 2007 at 05:32 PM (#2309449)
Yes, but was Lynn better than Ken Singleton?????
   39. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: March 09, 2007 at 05:45 PM (#2309457)
Yes, but was Lynn better than Ken Singleton?????


Best to defer to kevin on that one.

Also, there's no way Lynn was better than Rice:

Rice - 2089
Lynn - 828
   40. Mark Donelson Posted: March 09, 2007 at 06:07 PM (#2309477)
Lynn ends up looking a lot like Jimmy Ryan in my system. (I'm thinking not quite as good, actually, but close.) That would put him in the 50s, most likely.
   41. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 09, 2007 at 08:20 PM (#2309571)
Also, there's no way Lynn was better than Rice:

Rice - 2089
Lynn - 828


Where did you get the 828 from, Misirlou? Lynn played in 1,969 games.
   42. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 09, 2007 at 08:22 PM (#2309574)
AFAIAC, the only advantage that Rice has over Lynn (not an insignificant one, mind you) is his 1,135 more PA.
   43. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: March 09, 2007 at 08:34 PM (#2309584)
But only 828 for the Red Sox.
   44. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 09, 2007 at 08:40 PM (#2309588)
But only 828 for the Red Sox.

True, but we're comparing whole careers. But if you want to compare them 1974-1980, I'd still take Lynn over Rice.
   45. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: March 09, 2007 at 08:42 PM (#2309596)
Only 828 with Boston, John.

Continuing post #25, Rice outpaces Lynn in MVP shares. OTOH, Rice didn't strike me as a particularly clutch hitter, but that may be a kid's memory. His lines with none on were .291/.344/.495 and with men on were
.305/.359/.509. Is that a normal rate of inmprovement? September does look like his second best month (after June)
   46. Dizzypaco Posted: March 09, 2007 at 08:50 PM (#2309604)
True, but we're comparing whole careers. But if you want to compare them 1974-1980, I'd still take Lynn over Rice.

From 1974 to 1980, Rice played 98 more games than Lynn (12% more). And it got worse - from 1981 to 1986, Rice played 155 more games than Lynn (22% more). Lynn started to make up the gap starting in 1987, but even then Lynn was only a part time player. Once again, not much dispute that Lynn was better than Rice when healthy, I just don't think he was so much better that it overcomes the health issue.

I have a hard time thinking of someone who missed 35 games a year on average, during his prime, as an all time great.
   47. tjm1 Posted: March 09, 2007 at 08:55 PM (#2309610)
But if you want to compare them 1974-1980, I'd still take Lynn over Rice.


In the context of the late 70's Red Sox, a team loaded with backup outfielders, which couldn't find enough playing time for guys like Rick Miller and Bernie Carbo, who were much better than replacement level players, Lynn may have been more valuable than Rice, since he was a better player when healthy. In a lot of ways, Lynn then is similar to JD Drew now, except that Lynn's injuries were usually crashing into walls to make catches, and Drew's have been getting hit by pitches. But anyways, Drew makes sense for the Red Sox, because they have two solid backup outfielders in Pena and Hinske, so if Drew gets hurt, they won't be sending Adam Stern out there or anything, and when Drew is healthy, he's a lot better than anyone on the market.

On the other hand, in the context of a more normal team, I'm not sure Lynn was really better than Rice, because Rice was so consistent about staying in the lineup in his prime.
   48. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 09, 2007 at 08:56 PM (#2309612)
I have a hard time thinking of someone who missed 35 games a year on average, during his prime, as an all time great.

Where did I state that he was an all-time great, Diz?

If anyone is under the impression that Lynn will be on my ballot, they are wrong.
   49. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: March 09, 2007 at 08:56 PM (#2309613)
True, but we're comparing whole careers. But if you want to compare them 1974-1980, I'd still take Lynn over Rice.


Sorry, but that was a throwaway line, meant as a good natured dig at kevin, whom I had mentioned in the previous line, and not meant to be taken seriously. Sorry for polluting the thread.
   50. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 09, 2007 at 08:58 PM (#2309616)
Sorry, but that was a throwaway line, meant as a good natured dig at kevin, whom I had mentioned in the previous line, and not meant to be taken seriously. Sorry for polluting the thread.

That makes sense now. :-)
   51. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 09, 2007 at 09:08 PM (#2309630)
Speaking of kevin, I'm surprised he hasn't joined the conversation.
   52. Dizzypaco Posted: March 09, 2007 at 09:19 PM (#2309639)
Where did I state that he was an all-time great, Diz?

Well, HOM guy anyway. Its been discussed, but you're right, I don't think many will have either of them high on their ballots.
   53. Daryn Posted: March 09, 2007 at 09:33 PM (#2309661)
I kind of think of Lynn as Pete Reiser, if Reiser could have stayed healthy (for him).
   54. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 11, 2007 at 02:41 AM (#2310110)
Why is Lynn off the HOF ballot, while Dale Murphy is still on? IMO, Lynn was the more productive player by a decent amount. Must be the latter's great surname. ;-)
   55. Michael Bass Posted: March 11, 2007 at 03:04 AM (#2310116)
Well, from a HOF ballot view, 2 straight MVPs for Murphy, plus the then-unique national exposure of TBS pretty easily explains Murphy's popularity.

I'd also disagree with your greater point, I see Murphy as better career, peak, and prime than Lynn. Not that either are particularly likely to ever make by ballot. Main problem with Lynn is a complete lack of in-season durability: he only played 150 games once in his entire career, and played 140 games all of 4 times. Keeps one from building much of a case, at least to me. Murphy, on the other hand, was a workhorse during his best years, allowing him to pile up some nice seasonal numbers.
   56. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 11, 2007 at 03:19 AM (#2310120)
Well, from a HOF ballot view, 2 straight MVPs for Murphy, plus the then-unique national exposure of TBS pretty easily explains Murphy's popularity.

Of course.

I'd also disagree with your greater point, I see Murphy as better career, peak, and prime than Lynn. Not that either are particularly likely to ever make by ballot. Main problem with Lynn is a complete lack of in-season durability: he only played 150 games once in his entire career, and played 140 games all of 4 times. Keeps one from building much of a case, at least to me. Murphy, on the other hand, was a workhorse during his best years, allowing him to pile up some nice seasonal numbers.

Murph's relative durability definitely narrows the difference between the two. What hurts him though is all of those games in RF, while Lynn played almost his entire career in center.
   57. rawagman Posted: March 11, 2007 at 12:30 PM (#2310205)
I actually had Lynn on my early prelim at 14. Then I rechecked that in-season durability. He didn't meet my minimum requirement in half his seasons. That cost him around 30 places in my consideration set. A pity.
   58. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2007 at 05:33 PM (#2310270)
I think Fred Lynn was a guy who, if you didn't see him play, you probably think is pretty overrated. Not saying that's justified, but that's how I feel as a guy who only saw the tail end of his career.

I think Eric Davis is another guy like that - he was simply awesome at his peak.
   59. Flynn Posted: March 13, 2007 at 07:24 PM (#2311441)
An interesting aspect to Lynn's career was that Lynn's lack of durability was due to his unwillingness to play hurt. He was frequently criticized by Red Sox team mates for taking a day off if a muscle was score, et cetera.

This may have hurt his career value but it's sure helped his quality of life - he still looks like he could man Fenway's center field for a few innings and springs around the outfield of charity softball games.

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