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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Jim Rice

Eligible in 1995.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 11, 2007 at 09:25 PM | 489 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. kwarren Posted: February 14, 2007 at 07:33 AM (#2297440)
why do Red Sox fans whine so much every time anyone points out the facts about Jim Rice? He is borderline for the Hall of Very Good.

Because that's what Red Sox fans do. It helps to lessen their inferiority complex, and I hate the Yankees, but at least Yankee fans are a little more realistic about player evaluation (other than Jeter's defense, that is):-)
   202. kwarren Posted: February 14, 2007 at 08:02 AM (#2297446)
Barry Bonds 120

Shawn Green 22

Jim Rice 10


Opposing pitchers and managers chose an oddly indirect manner in which to express their cowering fear of Jim Rice, seems to me.


This seems about right to me. Shawn Green was about twice as feared as Rice and Bonds about 12 times. This seems about right to me, so maybe it is a meaningful indicator of "fear of batter". I know I'd be 12x's more willing to pitch to Rice than Bonds.
   203. rawagman Posted: February 14, 2007 at 08:10 AM (#2297448)
Based on my (much) earlier comment equating Jim Rice hitting with fear, I would like to make a formal apology for the past 250 or so posts in this thread. Much of it boring and mundane and almost entirely lacking in any quality that even sort of emulates productive debating.
In a meagre attempt to steer this back towards HOM style threading, I probably will have Rice somewhere within shouting distance of my ballot. I do support his eventual induction into the HOF for very unsabermetric reasons and I may or may not support him for my PHOM, Louisville Slugger notwithstanding. I have yet to run my numbers on him (maybe today, maybe tomorrow) so we'll see what I truly think about Jim Rice, baseball player, soon enough.
Finally, as the two principal participants in this lovefest are not even really arguing with one another's comments but merely with one another (as individuals), can you please stop? Who has anything to gain by this? Jim Rice? The anti-Jim Rice? (seems like Ken Singleton, if I've understood the last few posts correctly).....
   204. kwarren Posted: February 14, 2007 at 08:42 AM (#2297457)
Koufax was a step above Rice in his peak but well below him in longevity and he doesn't fall a mile or two short.

Koufax's "merit based qualifications" are rather weak, actually. All of the arguments in his favour focus on media and fan perception which all focus on wins-loss records, World Series appearances and performance, Dodgermania, Dodger-Yankee rivalry/hype, Cy Young Awards, and ERA titles. Not taken into account is career length, incredibly low number of great seasons, watered down batting line-ups through expansion factors, an extemely friendly pitching environment, horrendous early career, and lack of durability.

Would be interesting to see how the electorate would treat a Koufax clone who pitched on a below .450 team in a hitters' haven. The win-loss record wouldn't be there. Neither would the staggering ERA or World Series appearances or Cy Young awards, Dodgermania, or Dodger Yankee hype. I doubt he would get a sniff.....probably get the Dave Stieb treatment.
   205. kwarren Posted: February 14, 2007 at 09:19 AM (#2297464)
He created 420 runs over that period, second place in the AL is around 320 runs.

his bonafides for the HOF are legit. He exceeds black ink, grey ink, and HOF monitor, and is close on HOF standard, 4 of his comparables are in the HOF and most of the others are considered bubble players. I can understand a reasonable argument that determines he isn't worthy, but to deconstruct his career to turn him into Roy White is intellectually dishonest.

And using black ink, grey ink, HOF monitor, HOF standard is "intellectually honest"? None of these measure skill. They measure perception. And Rice's perception is rather distorted by the BWWAA.

Runs created is bogus. You are using 12 different units of measurement and the one you are measuring Rice with is rather "Rice friendly". It's like saying that $118.00 CAN is 18% more valuable than $100.00 US because it's an 18% bigger number, when in reality it is actually worth less. You need to convert to a constant "unit of measurement". Runs created is not park adjusted and is not converted into wins. Nor does it take into account the additional number of runs required to win a game in Fenway Park as compared to other AL parks. Why not take the runs created and then adjust them to a league average basis. And then factor in his defense, or don't we look at defense.? Voila, we have WARP. And then the Rice legend goes up in smoke.

Using "runs created" to build a case for Rice, is just as realistic as using Canadian dollars to buy US merchandise at par. Life just doesn't work that way.
   206. tjm1 Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:16 AM (#2297469)
The biggest problem with using total runs created to measure Rice relative to others is that Rice created many many more outs over that timespan than other elite hitters.

He batted third, when a lot of the other elite players hit fourth, so he came up more. He never missed games in the 1977-1979 span - he deserves some credit for that - more than OPS+ gives him, since we're comparing players much better than replacement players, but not as much as raw runs created, since replacement players do create a few runs (especially on the 1977 Sox, for example, where they couldn't find time for Benrie Carbo).

The most important reason, though, is that Rice was not a great OBP guy, especially compared to his teammates. He was on teams where the lineup turned over a lot, and made a bigger share of his teams outs that players who had very high OBPs on teams with weak lineups that didn't turn over much. Rice's OBP was 33,34,37 points above his team's OBP from 1977-1979 respectively.

Compare that, for example with Singleton - 109, 83, and 69 points above his team's average (most of the difference with Singelton/Baltimore is actually because of Singelton himself, and not the team differences between Boston and Baltimore).

I didn't really get an answer from last comment, so let me ask more directly:
How many other Sox fans besides me think that Evans was actually better than Rice?

And is this at least partly because of my age - the first season I really remember is 1982.

It seems that HOF support for Rice is strongest among late-30's Sox fans, people who grew up with him as the superstar on the home town team.
   207. kwarren Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:24 AM (#2297470)
Please explain in what universe a team full of 1976-79 Jim Rices would produce more wins than a team of 1976-79 Ken Singletons, Dave Parkers, Mike Schmidts, or George Bretts.

OK - Let's Do It (76-79 WARP)

Mike Schmidt....11.7, 11.5, 7.9, 11.4....44.5
George Bretts....8.3, 9.3, 7.3, 10.7....36.6
Ken Singleton....7.1, 11.1, 8.1, 9.2....35.5
Jim Rice.........3.7, 6.7, 9.9, 7.7....28.0

Assuming four teams loaded with nine identical players here are the standings in our mini 4-team league.


Team Schmidt 100 62 -
Team Brett 82 80 18
Team Singleton 80 82 20
Team Rice 62 100 38

Team Rice supporters will be pleased to know that their heroes were the hottest team in the 1978 (third quarter) of the season going 23-18, but unfortunately got off to a rather ugly start going 7-33 in the first 40 games.
   208. kwarren Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:37 AM (#2297477)
FWIW here are all the times someone has averaged 380 TB's for three consecutive seasons. It cherry-picks a little bit, and I may have missed a few examples, but it illustrates the point about rice's 77-79, and with the exception of Musial, and maybe Puljols all the others came about during big offensive era's and a lot of these are the cream of an inner circle guy's career.

musial 48-'50 380.7
puljols 03-'05 381
ruth 27-'29 381.7
ruth 26-'28 381.7
helton 99-'01 382
arod 01-'03 382
hornsby 20-'22 385.7
rice 77-'79 385.7
foxx 32-'34 397.7
sosa 98-'00 398.7
klein 29-'31 399
gehrig 27-'29 399.7
gehrig 30-'32 399.7
sosa 99-'01 401.7
klein 30-'32 404


So Klein is first, Sosa is 2nd, Rice is 8th, the Babe is 12th, Pujols is 14th, and Barry doesn't make the list. Who knew?? This is a wonderful metric....thanks Salty.
   209. mulder & scully Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:45 AM (#2297480)
I don't know how many of the regular HoM posters are football fans and read footballoutsiders.com, but this thread reminds me of that site. The site is definitely the place to go for advanced analysis of football, but there can be a lot of heated debates - usually about Manning vs. Brady, and usually by posters who don't frequent the rest of the site. To keep various threads from turning into flame wars where the same posters continue to say the same things back and forth, there is just one thread where Manning/Brady debate goes on. Moderators will come on and tell people to move their argument to the argument thread.
Sometimes I wish the HoM had an argument thread where posters who don't vote and don't research could go and have their periodic fights.
When I saw a Jim Rice thread with 200+ posts, I thought there would be some great research from Retrosheet or BB-Ref about RISP vs. opportunities, fielding, ballpark context and illusions. Instead, its just an argument about nothing as only one poster has even said he is thinking about voting for Rice, and even he isn't going to vote for him this "year."

Oh, and thanks for reminding me about why I rarely ever read a non-HoM BTF thread that exceeds 30 posts.
   210. kwarren Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:53 AM (#2297481)
I didn't really get an answer from last comment, so let me ask more directly:
How many other Sox fans besides me think that Evans was actually better than Rice?

And is this at least partly because of my age - the first season I really remember is 1982.

It seems that HOF support for Rice is strongest among late-30's Sox fans, people who grew up with him as the superstar on the home town team.


tjm

Dwight Evans....11.9, 10.6, 9.3, 9.3, 7.8....(48.9)...119.1

Jim Rice........10.4, 9.4, 9.1, 8.2, 7.4....(44.5)....89.2

Evans was far better - 14.5% in peak value, 10% in best five seasons, and 33.5% in total career wins.
   211. RobertMachemer Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:14 AM (#2297483)
How many other Sox fans besides me think that Evans was actually better than Rice?
I didn't when I was growing up, but I do now. Evans had (roughly) the same OPS+ (more heavily weighted to OBP), played 700 or so more games, and played Gold Glove defense. Rice isn't close to being as valuable career-wise, and (the last time I checked), one has to define peak in very specific ways (three consecutive years, for instance) in order to get Rice as having a more valuable "peak."

Personally, I'd say it's not close, whatever my perception may have been at the time (Rice was my favorite player when I was growing up).

The harder one is: who was better, Rice or Lynn. Then check their OPS+s, their games played, and make sure to adjust for position/defense. Rice might well be behind Lynn too...
   212. Sean Gilman Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:31 AM (#2297485)
Back in the day, when I first ventured out into cyberspace, there was a massive thread on baseballprimer about Jim Rice vs. Roy White. It was educational for me, as a newbie to sabermetics and internet discussions in general. But I would have thought in the intervening decade we would have moved past such things.

Guess not.

I've got Rice rated 56th, nowhere close to making my PHOM.
   213. Sean Gilman Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:33 AM (#2297486)
excuse me: half decade.
   214. tjm1 Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:46 AM (#2297488)
The harder one is: who was better, Rice or Lynn. Then check their OPS+s, their games played, and make sure to adjust for position/defense. Rice might well be behind Lynn too...


This ignores an important, subtle advantage of Rice over a lot of other players. From 1975-1986 he averaged 147 games a year, 151 if you give him credit for another 54 games missed due to a strike in 1981. Lynn played played 150 games once in his career, and played over 140 only 4 times. If you had Fred Lynn, you had to expect to use a replacement level player 20-40 times a year,

This of course, also contributes to Rice's great counting stats in his best years, which tends to make him overrated by a lot of traditionalists, but underrated by a lot of statheads, I think.
   215. Max Parkinson Posted: February 14, 2007 at 02:37 PM (#2297499)
Kevin,

Why do lurkers feel free to drop in, complain about the content, complain about the lack of information and sabermetrics, while not even making a passing attempt to offer any themselves? Do they think we are all trained seals, here to amuse them by jumping up for a fish when they push the right button?

The person who you directed this comment at is very far from a lurker. This is a HoM thread, and so there is normally a very different dynamic at play here. You will (I'm sure) call that a negative, but there is a markedly different tone to HoM threads between those that acquire momentum from "mainsiters" and those that do not.

I can't speak for Kelly, but I'm 99.9% sure that that was his point. You have chosen to take that as a personal affront, and there's very little that anyone else in this conversation can do to stop you from that impression, once you have decided it.

I understand that you are enjoying your conversation with Steve (and I agree on your major point - Jim Rice is no automatic electee to any hall, but he's not an automatic no either), I only ask you to bear in mind that it's taking place under a HOM banner, and that when the same 60-75 people that have been conversing under that banner for more than three years read the thread, it's not surprising that some of them may comment on the difference in tone.
   216. BDC Posted: February 14, 2007 at 02:39 PM (#2297500)
(R-HR)/(H+BB+HBP-HR)

That's the old RossCW percentage, isn't it -- haven't seen that one in a while :)

its just an argument about nothing as only one poster has even said he is thinking about voting for Rice

Nah, it's an argument about Rice -- perhaps a surrogate HOF argument instead of an HOM argument, but it's an interesting exercise in rhetoric all the same. I'm enjoying myself :) I think part of it is what Monty describes in #260, that y'all are getting into contemporary "bubble" candidates for the HOF and this stirs up arguments. But it's also a feature of a number of HOM threads that are either about overqualified characters like Koufax or Dick Allen, or occasionally (as here) about underqualified players. If Rice were a true borderline candidate for the HOM, the thread would be full of serious contention among the regular voters. Since he doesn't appear to be, the argument has shifted to HOF vs. HOVG, or rather (a proxy for that argument) whether Rice was the best hitter in baseball 77-79, which is perhaps not vital to world peace but is a fun thing to discuss in the second week of February while waiting for pitchers to report.
   217. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 14, 2007 at 02:46 PM (#2297502)
Okay, let me address this again:

I have no problem with any non-HoM voter joining us in any discussion. A good chunk of this thread was beneficial and useful for our impending election.

But I'm having a hard time with the dirty feet on our rugs and the broken dishes everywhere. IOW, this shouldn't be treated like your run-of-the-mill "Wild West" BBTF thread.
   218. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:08 PM (#2297510)
My bad. Thanks, Dandy. So Rice was 28% better at scoring. That's still a mother of a gap to make up.

A player's position in the lineup, the tendencies of the individuals hitting behind him, and the run environment all play a role.

Rice and Singleton both hit in the middle of the lineup. Rice hit third mostly but 4th sometimes. Singleton hit cleanup mostly. They both had good hitters behind them who could drive in runs.


I'm not about to argue that Singleton was as good a baserunner as Rice, clearly he was not. But there are other factors. One was mentioned, batting order position. That they both "hit in the middle of the lineup" does not make them equal. Singleton averaged lower in he order than Rice.

Rice career AB/lineup position:

3 - 3601
4 - 2686
5 - 1018
6 - 580

Singleton

3 - 2984
4 - 1087
5 - 1014
6 - 1222

Both had good hitters behind them, but Rice's were better.

Not all times on base are equal. Rice had 56 more doubles and 54 more triples. It's easier to score from second or third than first regardless of speed.

Pinch running. I have no evidence of this, but I would imagine Singleton was pinch run for more often than Rice, thus he gets more points in the denominator with no chance to add one in the numerator.

Note, the latter two are also speed indicators which favor Rice , but the former is accounted for in the advanced metrics which you are discounting, and the latter, while a potentially valid criticsim of Singleton, is brought out to point out the noise associated with the metric. For most players it is negligible, and maybe for Singleton it is as well. I have no idea how to figure out how much each was pinch ran for other than going through their game logs one at a time. But for extreme players it can make a difference. That goes for fast ones as well. Otis Nixon has one of the highest runs/time on base in history. But I once went through his career game logs and found an incredible number of times he scored a run as a pinch runner; thus many more in the numerator with nothing in the denominator.
   219. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:30 PM (#2297521)
Both had good hitters behind them, but Rice's were better.


To expand on this.

For the years 1977-1979 (not to cherry pick, but because they are the years in question, and because both Rice and Singleton occupied pretty much the same spot in the order, mostly 3rd with about 20% each year in 4th for Singleton, primarilly 3rd in 77-78 and exclusively 4th in 79 for Rice), here are the combined SLPs for the 4-7 slots (5-8 for Rice in 79).

Rice/Singleton

1977

.521/.405
.486/.487
.549/.459
.503/.387

1978

.417/.413
.490/.461
.417/.444
.407/.381

1979

.474/.456
.470/.415
.468/.445
.429/.448

Anyway you slice it, that's a clear advantage for Rice.
   220. tjm1 Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:42 PM (#2297526)
Also note that 1979 was Rice's best year for this runs scored as a percentage of times on base stat - the year he batted fourth, when he had a decent chance to lead off an inning in his first plate appearance, instead of a decent chance to come up with nobody on and two outs. I haven't looked at this carefully, but I think that position in the order matters for more than just who's hitting behind you.
   221. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:43 PM (#2297527)
1.) That's an incredible reach, an incredible assumption.

2. Even if it's true, it further endorses Rice over Singleton, that a manager has to waste a bench player to make up for a deficiency.


I noticed that you didn't quote this from my next paragraph.

"the latter, while a potentially valid criticsim of Singleton, is brought out to point out the noise associated with the metric. For most players it is negligible, and maybe for Singleton it is as well. I have no idea how to figure out how much each was pinch ran for other than going through their game logs one at a time. But for extreme players it can make a difference."

Which addresses both of your points above.

If Singleton was pinch run for 50 more times than Rice, his numbers go from 24.1% to 24.5% (removing 50 from the denominator).
   222. Danny Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:43 PM (#2297529)
I'm not about to argue that Singleton was as good a baserunner as Rice, clearly he was not. But there are other factors. One was mentioned, batting order position. That they both "hit in the middle of the lineup" does not make them equal. Singleton averaged lower in he order than Rice.

Rice also played in much higher scoring environments (league and park), which means he was much more likely to be driven in by his teammates regardless of baserunning prowess (94 AIR for Singleton, 102 for Rice). Rice's teams were also better offensively: in seasons in which they played 100+ games, Rice's teams averaged a 106.4 OPS+ and Singleton's averaged 102.

Not all times on base are equal. Rice had 56 more doubles and 54 more triples. It's easier to score from second or third than first regardless of speed.

Also, since Singleton reached base (subtracting HR) more often than Rice, his percentage of times starting at 2nd or 3rd base are even lower than the differences in their raw totals indicates.
   223. Max Parkinson Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:51 PM (#2297536)
Kevin,

I agree with everything that you said in 288 - save for the mention of the other thread, of which I have no knowlege.

I'm not calling you out on the carpet here. I'll say it again - I am enjoying your back-and-forth with Steve on this issue. My only complaints towards you would be 1. You overreacted to Mark Donelson's criticism of you (which he later apologised for), and you called out Kelly as a lurker - which couldn't be further from the truth - when he (rightly) pointed out the difference in tone between this and a typical HOM thread. Note that his comment was not addressed to you or anyone in particular.

I'll drop this now...
   224. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:05 PM (#2297552)
He's posted 113 times in 9 months. I've never seen one of his posts before. To me, that's a lurker.

In a normal BBTF thread, perhaps, Kevin, but not in a HoM thread.
   225. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:06 PM (#2297554)
Not 28% better. Not by a long shot.


No, but why does it have to be? Does every factor have to be 100% of the answer or be dismissed?

And we're taking career, not just the 3 years.


I thought we were talking about who was the better/more productive hitter 1977-1979? Treder brought out advanced metric which point to Singleton, you brought up his bad baserunnig and introduced the runs/TIB metric as evidence, I pointed out flaws in that metric.

But OK, how about 1983 when Singleton batted 6th and Rice 3rd?

Rice (4-7)/Ken (7-1)

.440/.344
.386/.342
.418/.307
.418/.380

or 1975 (I'm trying to find years in which both players had the vast majority of their ABs in one slot. How do you do Rice 1976 for example when he batted 95, 255, 138, 92 in the 4-7 slots?)

Rice (6-9)/Ken (2-5, yes, he was a leadoff man that year)

.531/.342
.359/.354
.283/.423
.308/.438

Hey, Ken has the advantage that year. How do their %'s shake out?

Rice - 36.4
Ken - 26.1

Yep, the 22 year old rookie was far better, despit inferior sluggers behind him. Well, no metric is perfect.
   226. TomH Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:22 PM (#2297577)
Rice vs Singleton career numbers

times on first: Singles + walks + HBP
Singleton leads, 2721 to 2332, by 389
on 2nd: Rice leads 373 to 317, by 56
on 3rd: Rice leads 79 to 25, by 54

runs scored other than jogging home on home runs: Rice leads, 867 to 739.

One might expect, if we assign a 1/4 chance of scoring from first, 1/2 from 2nd, 3/4 from third, that Rice would score 829 times, Singleton 857.

So, Ken missed his expected runs scored by 118, Rice exceeded his by 38. That is a big difference, altho it's more like 21%.

One ought to take the Red Sox and Singleton's team totals and run the ##s to see how much of this difference is park/team effect before assigning all of the blame to Ken.
   227. Kyle S Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:25 PM (#2297580)

runs scored other than jogging home on home runs: Rice leads, 867 to 739.

Does this number exclude when they jogged home because the batter behind them hit a home run? That seems important.
   228. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:36 PM (#2297590)
It seems that HOF support for Rice is strongest among late-30's Sox fans, people who grew up with him as the superstar on the home town team.


That's me to a T. I do think Dewey was better, but I still like Rice. I don't really know what that has to do with anything, but because I was a kid during his prime, I was unaware of any bad press that he got or any racism towards him. I just watched him hit long bombs in the games.

It's too bad that Vern Ruhle broke his wrist in September of '75. Maybe he would've had a chance to have a great postseason that year.
   229. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:38 PM (#2297594)
One ought to take the Red Sox and Singleton's team totals and run the ##s to see how much of this difference is park/team effect before assigning all of the blame to Ken.


One thinks of Singleton as playing on the walk and 3 run HR Orioles, but he played 4 seasons on some pretty pathetic Met and Expo teams.

1971 Mets 3.63 R/G 98 HR
1972 Expos 3.29 91
1973 Expos 4.12 125
1974 Expos 4.11 86

Rice never played on a team which scored less than 4.4 R/G (and was frequently over 5) or hit fewer than 130 HR (until 1988 when the Sox hit 124)
   230. Danny Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:51 PM (#2297603)
Yeah, well, I think Rice himself had a lot to do with that.

As I said a few posts ago, Rice's teams had better OPS+ than Singleton's teams despite SIngleton having a higher OPS+ than Rice. Oh, and then there's the run environment difference..
   231. DL from MN Posted: February 14, 2007 at 04:55 PM (#2297608)
> out by about 30 feet and didn't even try to avoid getting tagged

So if he had run around a little bit before being tagged out he would have helped the team win?

I'm puzzled by the attachment to Jim Rice. I don't see him as much different than Tony Oliva. Sure there are some Twins fans still trying to get Oliva elected (he was also a "most feared" batter for a few years) but nobody is pretending he was the best player in baseball over those years by a large margin.

If the Red Sox fans had piled the platitudes on Reggie Smith he might be at the top of the backlog. Unfortunately I doubt you can find many Red Sox fans who recognize that Reggie Smith's career was better than Jim Rice's career.
   232. Mark Donelson Posted: February 14, 2007 at 05:21 PM (#2297631)
Mark had done that in about 4 or 5 other threads I was involved in over the past 2 or 3 months.

Just to clear my name: Perhaps I'm posting while sleepwalking or something, but I really don't remember more than two times over a far longer period than that. Pretty sure it was only on HOM threads, in fact; I rarely post elsewhere (though it's possible I am forgetting something on a non-HOM thread). I'm certainly not chasing Kevin around.

All that said, it was out of line, no matter how many times it happened, and I apologize once more, to all concerned.
   233. Dizzypaco Posted: February 14, 2007 at 05:34 PM (#2297646)
I'm puzzled by the attachment to Jim Rice. I don't see him as much different than Tony Oliva. Sure there are some Twins fans still trying to get Oliva elected (he was also a "most feared" batter for a few years) but nobody is pretending he was the best player in baseball over those years by a large margin.

I don't think anybody on BTF is pretending that about Rice, either, but its still a good question. Why the fascination with Rice, when his park adjusted rate stats don't seem that impressive.

The answer, I think, is that Rice's raw stats are as impressive as nearly anyone in baseball over a long period of time. I stated it earlier in this thread, but it's worth repeating. The leaders in runs created from 1977 to 1986, in all of baseball are the following:

Schmidt
Rice
Murray
Winfield
Brett

Four of these guys are no doubt about it Hall of famers, and all them were in their primes. Rice was second in all of baseball.

So if you are someone who grew up watching Rice play, and you see that Rice's raw stats are very, very impressive, vastly more impressive than Tony Oliva, and people are saying that he was absolutely nothing special, its going to cause a reaction, even if you understand about context and don't think Rice deserves to go into the Hall of Fame/Merit.
   234. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 14, 2007 at 05:42 PM (#2297653)
Rice never played on a team which scored less than 4.4 R/G (and was frequently over 5) or hit fewer than 130 HR (until 1988 when the Sox hit 124)



Yeah, well, I think Rice himself had a lot to do with that.


No he didn't.

OK, that was a little flip. What I mean, and as Danny pointed out, every metric points to Ric having better hitting teammates.

The implication is that Rice's teams scored so many more runs/G is because of Rice's superiority over Singleton's. And that just doesn't hold water. In #303 I posted Ken's pre-Oriole teams runs/game and noted that Rice's teams never came close to that level of scoring. Here are those same teams with Ken's BRAR removed.

3.48
3.08
3.71
3.91

Here are the 4 lowest Red Sox runs/game seasons with Rice's BRAR removed (the years are 1976, 1983, 1982, 1980)

4.23
4.14
4.39
4.54

So yes, in 3 seasons Rice had something to do with the Sox scoring over 4.4 runs/game.

Rice's teammates had a low of 4.14 R/G. Singleton's teammates were worse, far worse than that the first 4 years of his career*. To deny that that has little or no bearing on the frequency in which both scored runs is quite disengenuous.

*And even with Singleton, his O's teams were below 4.14 three other times and close in a 4th.
   235. DavidFoss Posted: February 14, 2007 at 05:44 PM (#2297657)
Here's a question about Oliva. Why were the Twins so slow to bring him up? He came up for a cup of coffee in 1962 at the age of 23 and demolished the ball. Then he rotted in the minors the entire 1963 season.

The 1963 Twins were simply loaded offensively.... especially at OF/1B. Its might be hard to believe, but they just didn't need him that year. Also, there is some disagreement as to how old Oliva is. If I recall correctly, he stole his brother ID when he emigrated. Its a story for another thread.
   236. DavidFoss Posted: February 14, 2007 at 05:58 PM (#2297668)
The 1963 Twins were simply loaded offensively.... especially at OF/1B

Whoops. Double-checking, I had forgotten that the Twins were still clinging to gloveman Vic Power at 1B that year and would move Allison to 1B in 1964 to make room for Oliva. My bad. Anyhow, baseballcube lists Oliva as playing 1962 in A ball and perhaps the Twins felt he needed a year in AAA.
   237. Mark Donelson Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:02 PM (#2297672)
Remember this one, Mark?

That's the only one I do remember. But how many times do you want me to apologize?
   238. JPWF13 Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:08 PM (#2297675)
It seems that HOF support for Rice is strongest among late-30's Sox fans, people who grew up with him as the superstar on the home town team.


with rare exception (like Mike Schmidt)- don't most players strongest supporters tend to be those who grew up watching that guy as their team's resident superstar?

I know Dodgers fans in their early 40s late 30s who are simply mystified by the lack of voting support for Garvey. (Not that they are personally upset- most think Garvey is a complete scumbag- but simultaneously assume that everyone else sees him as the clear HOF worthy player that they do...)
   239. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:16 PM (#2297681)
If I nominate this thread for a Sisyphus-ey, is that trolling?
   240. DavidFoss Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:24 PM (#2297686)
stop trolling me.

You do know that you invite these types of responses, don't you? If you want to have a low-signal-to-noise debate in the style of BTF or old usenet, you shouldn't complain when people give some of your attitude back to you. :-)
   241. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:29 PM (#2297689)
I went to about 150 games at Fenway between 1976 and 1979. None of those games were scrimmages, so I have a bit of knowledge about most of the players of that era. If we want to play a simulated game using offensive numbers of any one player in that era vs any other player, I will take Jim Rice and you can have whoever you want...Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, Larry Hisle, Gorman Thomas, Fred Lynn, Ben Oglivie, Amos Otis, Lou Piniella, Leflore, Singleton, Lezcano, Munson, Randolph, Hargrove, DeCinces, Andre Thornton, Baylor, Bonds, Murray, Nettles, Yaz, Sadhuhara Oh...my team would beat your team regularly. ANd you can have the National League guys, too. Parker, Winfield,Foster, Clark, Rose, Luzinski, Smith, Stargell, Kingman. Anyone else. Rice was better during those 4 years.


Actually, this explains a lot. It overly diminishes Rice to say he was merely a creation of Fenway, but in the years 1976-1979, he was (or at least his legend was). At home those years, Rice averaged .338/.389/.653 with 46 HR and 141 RBI. On the road however, he averaged .284/.332/.487 with 28 and 94. At home he was the second coming, on the road, not so much. Good hitter, but nothing historic by any stretch.

Now, he deserves props for being able to take advantage of the park. His increased production provided real value to the Sox. But seeing a guy hit like Albert Pujols over a 4 year period can really color one's perspective.

my team would beat your team regularly.


Only if the games were held in Fenway.
   242. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:31 PM (#2297692)
.
   243. DL from MN Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:34 PM (#2297698)
> DL, you are aware this thread is about Jim Rice, aren't you? Of course there's an
> attachment to him. The whole thread is devoted to debating his merits as a candidate.

You can stop with the condescending insults. The comment was indirectly referencing how the Jim Rice thread has more posts than most ballot threads. It might be the most posts in ANY player thread before it's done. Pete Rose didn't get half this many posts. Tony Oliva only got a handful of posts.

Nobody seems interested in data (providing the defensive splits) or actually debating the merits of Rice as a candidate. I don't think this has made it past "Rice was very good for 3 consecutive years". I have 100 candidates ahead of Rice that can pretty much say the same thing.
   244. rawagman Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:37 PM (#2297699)
Kevin - 2 points.
1) You may have had a point long ago, but it's gone now. So, it seems, is Mr. Treder.
2) Do you know where (cyber-speaking) you are?
   245. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 14, 2007 at 06:39 PM (#2297700)
You can stop with the condescending insults.


What? I though kevin was cordial to everybody? I know I read that somewhere... :D
   246. DL from MN Posted: February 14, 2007 at 07:02 PM (#2297710)
I haven't seen the data, and I VOTE.
   247. Dizzypaco Posted: February 14, 2007 at 07:11 PM (#2297716)
I don't think this has made it past "Rice was very good for 3 consecutive years". I have 100 candidates ahead of Rice that can pretty much say the same thing.

Jim Rice's raw stats were the best in the American League over a long, long period of time. He created more runs than anyone between 1975 and 1984. More than anyone between 1976 and 1985. More than anyone between 1977 and 1986. Only Mike Schmidt, in all of baseball, put up better raw stats during this time. I'd say its made it past "Rice was very good for 3 consecutive years."
   248. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 14, 2007 at 07:38 PM (#2297733)
Jim Rice's raw stats were the best in the American League over a long, long period of time. He created more runs than anyone between 1975 and 1984. More than anyone between 1976 and 1985. More than anyone between 1977 and 1986.


Does that statement ring true for any time period that doesn't include 1977-1979? Or does he come close?

I'm not rying to be argumentative, but if you are trying to show his credentials extend beyond the years 1977-1979, shouldn't you not, you know, not include the years 1977-1979? Bill Gates and 9 homeless people average out to a net worth of about 4 billion dollars apiece.
   249. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 14, 2007 at 07:49 PM (#2297744)
Does that statement ring true for any time period that doesn't include 1977-1979? Or does he come close?


For example, from 1980 onward he wasn't even the best on his team, that was Evans. Starting in 1982 he drops to 3rd.
   250. Dizzypaco Posted: February 14, 2007 at 08:02 PM (#2297759)
Does that statement ring true for any time period that doesn't include 1977-1979? Or does he come close?

Actually, yes. Or at least he comes close. From 1982 to 1986, the leaders in runs created were Murray, Boggs, Ripken, Rice, Evans, Yount, and Winfield. Rice was fourth during this period, behind three Hall of famers in their prime.
   251. JPWF13 Posted: February 14, 2007 at 08:06 PM (#2297763)
Jim Rice's raw stats were the best in the American League over a long, long period of time. He created more runs than anyone between 1975 and 1984.


Somewhere in an earlier thread someone absolutely insisted that Jack Morris was the "dominant" pitcher of the 80s becasue he had the most wins in the 80s.

saying that Jim Rice had the best "raw stats" over a ten year period is pretty much like saying that Morris had the most wins over a particular 10 year period. Ordinarily, raw stats like wins and avg/hr/rbi do start gaining a lot of significance (significance they lack when looking at only a year or two)- but in the case of both men their raw stats were heavily influenced by other factors- both were durable and you are picking a period when they are very very high up on the PA/IP lists. Both had a lot of help from their teams/parks- Morris was very well suported run wise virtually his entore career- Rice played in a very favorable park with very good teamates waiting to be converted into RBIS

Jim Rice had more Hits, HR and RBI in 75-84 than Dave Winfield- Winfield was still the better player.
   252. JC in DC Posted: February 14, 2007 at 08:11 PM (#2297768)
Get off Kevin's back. I love how guys are popping out of the woodwork to lecture him. Read the thread with eyes open and you'll see he's made a good case for Rice, and that that's primarily what he's done. Others seem incapable of arguing against Rice w/o importing some animus against Kevin. What a joke.
   253. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 14, 2007 at 08:32 PM (#2297791)
(I think he hasn't realized yet that I don't advocate Rice to be elected)


Oh I do. I just think you are overselling him, or to be more specific, underselling players who were as good or better than him who don't appear to be at first glance.
   254. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: February 14, 2007 at 08:40 PM (#2297797)
Read the thread with eyes open and you'll see he's made a good case for Rice

After doing that, mostly I saw lots of reminders of why I don't enjoy reading BTF nearly as much as I used to.

I'm not a Hall of Merit guy, and the first baseball season that I really followed baseball and the Sox was 1980. So I basically missed Rice's true heyday. From 1980 - 1988, when I was paying the most attention, Rice was not quite just another guy, but he wasn't really ever the guy I most wanted to see up -- that passed from Evans to Boggs.

And now years later looking at everything in context, like just about everyone else, I see Rice as a very good player who needed at a minimum a more gradual decline from 1987-1989 to have a realistic claim as a HoFer. If Juan Gonzalez had had his 1993, 1996, and 1998 in succession earlier in his career, I think you'd see something very similar in terms of their reputations.
   255. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: February 14, 2007 at 09:11 PM (#2297822)
I haven't looked at this carefully, but I think that position in the order matters for more than just who's hitting behind you.

I looked at this back in the legendary RossCW thread; that thread was decimated in the Great Primer Switchover, let me see if I have the data anywhere ...

... okay, here's something. I can't remember what year this is, it's probably 2004, but here's the (R-HR)/(TOB-HR) for each spot in the batting order in the major leagues:
1  0.39951
2  0.38133
3  0.32877
4  0.30117
5  0.31084
6  0.28946
7  0.27467
8  0.28897
9  0.32232

Now, this all correlated very well to the slugging percentage of the antecedent hitters. My spreadsheet isn't clearly marked, but there appears to be an r of .82 between R/TOB and the slugging percentage of the next two-to-four hitters in the lineup.

Let's see if B-R or Retrosheet has this stuff for the Rice/Singleton years ... the years in question are 1976-1979, correct?

Rice for those years scored 30.1% of the time he reached base (I'm including reaching on error here), for a total of 268 runs scored. He led off an inning 534 times, and had an OBP of .348 in those situations (the park-adjusted league OBP for those years was .341). He had 1,350 plate appearances batting 3rd, and reached base 439 times. He had 792 PA batting 4th, and reached base 260 times. He had 376 PA batting 5th, and reached base 117 times. He 150 PA batting 6th, and reached base 47 times. He had 99 PA batting 7th, and reached base 26 times. He had 1 PA batting 1st, and hit a home run.

From Retrosheet, here are the R/TOB for each of those spots in the batting order in the majors for those years:
3  .303
4  .283
5  .276
6  .262
7  .248

Now let's add in how many times Rice reached base from each slot:
3  .303 x 439 = 133
4  .283 x 260 =  74
5  .276 x 117 =  32
6  .262 x  47 =  12
7  .248 x  26 =   6

Adding all that up, and he would have been expected, playing in average parks with average hitters behind him with an average number of outs in the inning, to score 257 runs after having reached base. He actually scored 268 times, so the combination of his ballpark, teammates, game situation, and baserunning skill adds up to +11 runs.

I'll skip the total breakdown for Singleton to just give the results:
1  .352 x  21 =   7
2  .339 x   1 =   0
3  .303 x 591 = 179
4  .283 x 209 =  59
5  .276 x 130 =  36
6  .262 x  41 =  11
7  .248 x  19 =   5

That's a total of 297 runs we would expect Singleton to score. How many did he score?

220.

So, as a combination of ballpark, teammates, situation, and baserunning skill, Singleton scored 77 less runs than an average player would have in average circumstances.

I would be willing to bet that at least some of that is baserunning skill. How much? I don't know. Someone else can go through and look at the specific teammates.
   256. Dizzypaco Posted: February 14, 2007 at 09:34 PM (#2297851)
saying that Jim Rice had the best "raw stats" over a ten year period is pretty much like saying that Morris had the most wins over a particular 10 year period. Ordinarily, raw stats like wins and avg/hr/rbi do start gaining a lot of significance (significance they lack when looking at only a year or two)- but in the case of both men their raw stats were heavily influenced by other factors- both were durable and you are picking a period when they are very very high up on the PA/IP lists. Both had a lot of help from their teams/parks- Morris was very well suported run wise virtually his entore career- Rice played in a very favorable park with very good teamates waiting to be converted into RBIS

Except that I wasn't citing wins, or homers, or RBI, or average. I was citing runs created, a somewhat advanced sabremetric concept. I think we can all agree that runs created, while not perfect, does a better job in determining player value than wins does, or RBIs. Its a lot closer to ERA, or Runs saved, or something like that. If a pitcher saved more runs than any other pitcher over a 10 or 12 year period, wouldn't you say he's pretty good?

So yes, Rice played in a good hitter's park. And this puts him behind Winfield and Brett and Murray - but those guys are no-brainer HoF/HOM players. The record of runs created over an extended period of time is an impressive accomplishment regardless, and cannot be so easily dismissed.

Finally, durability does play a role, but isn't durability important? Shouldn't it be rewarded in some way? Doesn't it help a team when a good hitter can stay in the lineup day after day?
   257. JC in DC Posted: February 14, 2007 at 09:43 PM (#2297857)
Just a couple weeks ago JC was furious about the flaws and lies in Kevin's arguments. Now that he's not involved in the other side of the argument, he's back to defending him. Well done.


I'm defending him here. What has he said that was patently false? Rice is clearly a marginal candidate, which means there are arguments in his favor and against him. Kevin's on the pro-side. What's so abhorrent about that?
   258. DavidFoss Posted: February 14, 2007 at 09:47 PM (#2297860)
Dizzy, its a fair enough point. How does a guy who leads his league in RC over a 12-year period have non-eye-popping rate stats (133 OPS+ through 1986).

Raw RC isn't taking into effect outs as much as it should. Also there is a bit of a counting stats double-bonus for playing on a good hitting team in a high scoring environment. First because its easier to do well at each plate appearance and secondly because you end up coming to the plate more often.

What's Rice's OWP and how does it compare to his contemporaries?
   259. Danny Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:03 PM (#2297874)
Get off Kevin's back. I love how guys are popping out of the woodwork to lecture him. Read the thread with eyes open and you'll see he's made a good case for Rice, and that that's primarily what he's done. Others seem incapable of arguing against Rice w/o importing some animus against Kevin. What a joke.

Too funny.
What has he said that was patently false?

He said Rice didn't get many IBB because he played in a hitters park. Someone showed him all the IBB Helton gets, which he didn't acknowledge. Someone showed him all of the Red Sox players that had IBBed a lot and he responded that that was only because 1) the Red Sox had a lot of good hitters, and 2) of course they did, because they play half their games on the road! Of course, so does Rice, and Kevin was arguing Rice was a very good hitter...

He tried to show that Rice was better than White by using OPS+. When people showed him that EQA was a more accurate measure, he started going off on how we should not make park adjustments because all that matters are runs scored (the WARP Factor theme). Then he started arguing that all that matters are wins, and Rice had more...until it was pointed out that he didn't.

Then he argued that Rice was clearly a much better baserunner than Singleton because he scored so many more runs per time on base. As people explained all of the fallacies of the argument to him (park factors, league factors, superior teammates, more extra base hits), he refused to acknowledge any weakness in his own argument.

I'm sure there are more examples--those are just the ones I remember. It's not a coincidence or a conspiracy that people like piling on Kevin, it's his own doing. And you, JC, are quite experienced at jumping into long threads simply to insult one side.
   260. Steve Treder Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:08 PM (#2297877)
What has he said that was patently false?

You mean, other than:

- Red Sox players have rarely been given intentional walks
- Fenway Park was a difficult home run park for RHBs
- The typical player hits 10-15% more HRs at home than on the road
- Jim Rice in 1976-79 was a better player than Ken Singleton or Dave Parker

Other than that sort of thing? Not much. ;-)
   261. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:12 PM (#2297880)
In defense of Kevin, though I didn't notice him demonstrating this, I have little doubt that Singleton's OBP, on a per-point basis, had less value than Rice's, as he asserted. Whether or not that's enough negate Singleton's OBP advantage (+62 against park-adjusted league vs. Rice's +16), I don't know, but I strongly doubt that it is.
   262. Steve Treder Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:17 PM (#2297884)
Whether or not that's enough negate Singleton's OBP advantage (+62 against park-adjusted league vs. Rice's +16), I don't know, but I strongly doubt that it is.

Well, both Win Shares and WARP strongly assert that it isn't.
   263. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:17 PM (#2297885)
I agree with that but it's no disgrace to behind Boggs and Evans.

Especially Boggs, who was a monster there for a while.

BTW, I'm looking forward to adding The Chicken Man to my ballot when he's eligible, Kevin. :-)
   264. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:19 PM (#2297886)
-Whether or not that's enough negate Singleton's OBP advantage (+62 against park-adjusted league vs. Rice's +16), I don't know, but I strongly doubt that it is.

Well, both Win Shares and WARP strongly assert that it isn't.


And, as I said, I strongly agree.
   265. philly Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:24 PM (#2297890)
And to think this is just a warmup for Pedroia's HoM thread!

Yup, that's all I got. Please continue as you were.
   266. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:30 PM (#2297893)
Just a couple weeks ago JC was furious about the flaws and lies in Kevin's arguments. Now that he's not involved in the other side of the argument, he's back to defending him. Well done.

So when we disagree with each other on any topic at all we're hypocritically inconsistent, and when we agree with each other we're parroting some sort of a party line.

I love it. It's about on the same level as "if you won't vote McGwire into the Hall of Fame, you're a hypocrite if you would have voted for Gaylord Perry."
   267. Dizzypaco Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:30 PM (#2297894)
Raw RC isn't taking into effect outs as much as it should. Also there is a bit of a counting stats double-bonus for playing on a good hitting team in a high scoring environment. First because its easier to do well at each plate appearance and secondly because you end up coming to the plate more often.

What's Rice's OWP and how does it compare to his contemporaries?


All good points. Here's how Rice compares to the other players of his generation in RC/27 outs between 1975 and 1986:
Schmidt: 7.61
Brett: 7.20
Rice: 6.42
Murray: 6.35
Foster: 6.18
Reggie: 6.03
Hernandez: 6.00
Parker: 5.95
Cooper: 5.91
Winfield: 5.83
Yount: 5.64

Rice is hurt by the fact that he grounded into a huge number of double plays, in large part because he batted behind Boggs and Evans, giving him a huge number of GIDP opportunities, which isn't taken into account. Rice was also more durable than a lot of these guys, so had more value, but, again, played in a good hitting park which counts against him. Again, Rice looks pretty impressive to me over a long period of time, even if not great of HOM worthy.
   268. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:38 PM (#2297899)
I was right about the baserunning of Singleton. BHW's analysis indicates Rice scored 11 more runs than expected under neutral conditions, Singleton 77 less. 88 runs.

To be clear, baserunning is just one of many factors that goes into that gap. I don't know how much of a factor it is, because I haven't (and probably wouldn't know how to) isolated it from the other factors.
   269. Steve Treder Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:45 PM (#2297904)
Why are you downplaying that?

I'm not downplaying it. I'm considering it for all it's worth.

And what it's worth, all things considered, isn't enough to outweigh the many other ways in which Singleton was a superior player to Rice in 1976-79.

Take those 77 runs away and that nearly completely wipes out the OBP advantage, which is Singleton's trump card.

No, it doesn't. Win Shares and WARP have incorporated the baseruning data, and in so doing still both come to a firm, no-doubt about it conclusion that Singleton delivered more value, contributed more toward his teams' likelihood of success, than Rice in those seasons.

Your refusal or incapability of understanding the clear presentation of metrics such as Win Shares and WARP is remarkable. As is your refusal or incapability of acknowledging your repeated flat-out egregious factual gaffes.
   270. Dizzypaco Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:46 PM (#2297905)
Personally, I think Rice and Singleton are pretty close for those years - Singleton perhaps a bit better on the adjusted rate stats, and Rice playing 26 more games over three years which makes up for it.

I know most disagree with me, but Rice created so many more runs than Singleton, drove in so many more runs, and scored so many more runs, that not even the differences in parks would make me prefer Singleton. But its close.
   271. Steve Treder Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:48 PM (#2297907)
Personally, I think Rice and Singleton are pretty close for those years - Singleton perhaps a bit better on the adjusted rate stats, and Rice playing 26 more games over three years which makes up for it.

Well, Win Shares and WARP are both counting stats that reward PT, and both have Singleton comfortably ahead for 1976-79 (120-107 and 33.7-28.0).
   272. Kiko Sakata Posted: February 14, 2007 at 10:55 PM (#2297916)
Win Shares and WARP have incorporated the baseruning data

Not beyond counting SB/CS and GIDP and they don't measure the latter against opportunities. I like Ken Singleton, and I'd like to believe that he's a HOMer and better than Jim Rice, but he really was an extremely slow baserunner. In 1975, in 104 games as a leadoff hitter for a pretty good team, Singleton put up a .413 OBP, reached base 210 times, including 11 home runs, and managed to score 65 runs. This really does lead to his being overrated by WARP and Win Shares.
   273. Dizzypaco Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:04 PM (#2297920)
Most stats that incorporate GIDP do a bad job of it. GIDP is often a function of opportunities, similar to RBIs. Jim Rice is credited (discredited?) with a lot of GIDP by those stats, without an adjustment for GIDP opportunities, as far as I can tell.
   274. Steve Treder Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:13 PM (#2297924)
This really does lead to his being overrated by WARP and Win Shares.

Quite possibly it does. But we have lots of data that tells us that variations around expected runs scored totals are at least as much a function of the variations around expected performance of the following hitters as the baserunning skill of the player in question. Nor was Jim Rice exactly Rickey Henderson on the bases.

Singleton has a large edge over Rice in both WARP and Win Shares. To expect that the entire edge is washed away by Rice's superiority as a baserunner is a conclusion that the designers of neither WARP nor Win Shares would draw. I'm not persuaded to do so either.
   275. DavidFoss Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:19 PM (#2297929)
Like the IBB thing and the fact you don't seem to be aware about the things Kiko is talking about in #366?

Because the #2 hitter (Paul Blair) had an OPS+ of 62 (.218/.257/.300), the #3 hitter (Tommy Davis) had an OPS+ of 95 (.283/.315/.357). I don't see how you expect someone to score a lot of runs with guys like that following him.

The Orioles as a team weren't particularly inefficent at scoring runs. They nailed the league average in Runs while playing in a park with a 94 BPF. They had an OPS+ of 103. If anything they might have scored a percentage point or two little more runs than their OPS+ warranted.
   276. Steve Treder Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:22 PM (#2297930)
GIDP is often a function of opportunities

It is, but not purely so, by any means. There's mountains of data that show huge differences in GIDP rate, when controlling for opportunities, between RHBs vs. LHBs, between groundball hitters vs. flyball hitters, between contact hitters vs. high-K hitters. Avoiding GIDPs is a trait for sure, if not a skill per se. And while Rice in the 1980s obviously had a ton of GIDP opportunities, he was made to order to maximize them: a RHB who hit the ball hard on the ground a lot, who didn't strike out all that much, and who didn't run very fast.

They aren't measured perfectly, but ignoring them is a worse problem. The difference between a high-GIDP guy and a low-GIDP guy can be 20 or 30 outs, which is quite significant.
   277. DavidFoss Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:27 PM (#2297936)
Of course not. They had a guy with the mobility of a fire hydrant batting in the middle of the order and acting as a brick wall on the bases.

What does this post even mean? I said the Orioles scored more runs than their OPS+ would imply that they should score. What the heck are you saying? :-)
   278. BDC Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:30 PM (#2297939)
Team speed, for Chrissake ...
   279. Dizzypaco Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:30 PM (#2297940)
They aren't measured perfectly, but ignoring them is a worse problem. The difference between a high-GIDP guy and a low-GIDP guy can be 20 or 30 outs, which is quite significant.

That's not really true. Most times, when a player grounds into a lot of double plays, its a combination of opportunities and performance. I'd guess that the real difference is 5 or 10 outs, not 20 or 30.

If Rice had normal GIDP opportunities throughout his career, he probably would have had about 15 a year, maybe a little more. That's a lot, although about the same as Singleton, along with a many other sluggers. Yet Rice is penalized far more than the other players.

GIDP is a function of context and ability in a very similar way that RBIs are. Yet whenever someone starts talking about RBI, everyone shouts "Context!"
   280. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:34 PM (#2297941)
Do you realize that the 77 runs that Singleton lost through his bad baserunning constitute and ENTIRE YEAR'S total for him???

Why are you downplaying that? 77 runs is huge. Huge. Singleton's career OBP is about 10% better than Rice's. Take those 77 runs away and that nearly completely wipes out the OBP advantage, which is Singleton's trump card.


Again, it is not a proper interpretation to dock Singleton for all 77 of those runs. Context is also an issue. Singleton's baserunning is a factor, not the factor.

***

I am unaware of Win Shares or WARP incorporating any baserunning data beyond SB/CS and GIDP. Baserunning data is not even available in any useful format for most of the years of major league baseball; there was an article by James Click in the BPro book a few years ago that looked at it from, iIrc, the early 70s on.
   281. DavidFoss Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:37 PM (#2297943)
Team speed, for Chrissake ...

But who cares about team speed when you are scoring more runs than you are "supposed to" score anyways? That tells me that speed doesn't really matter (at least the way earl weaver played it).
   282. BDC Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:43 PM (#2297949)
...little fleas on the bases getting picked off trying to steal, getting thrown out, taking runs away from you...
   283. Steve Treder Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:44 PM (#2297950)
I'd guess that the real difference is 5 or 10 outs, not 20 or 30.

No, the real difference is 20 or 30 outs between a guy like Rice, GIDPing 30-35 times, and other middle-of-the-order guys for good-hitting teams, like Mickey Mantle or Willie McCovey or Darrell Evans or Barry Bonds, GIDPing 5 or 10 or 15 times a year max. We can factor that real raw number down as a function of opportunity, but not factor it away; GIDP procilivity is a real thing. Those lead runners cut down are effectively the same thing as caught stealings for their effect on team offense.

GIDP is a function of context and ability in a very similar way that RBIs are. Yet whenever someone starts talking about RBI, everyone shouts "Context!"

As well they should. RBIs shouldn't be ignored, but instead should be assessed within their proper context. "Clutch hitting" hasn't been found to be a significant, repeatable skill, in the same sense that GIDP proclivity is significant and repeatable.
   284. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: February 14, 2007 at 11:57 PM (#2297964)
Btw, Rice reached base via error quite a bit, likely for many of the same reasons that he hit into so many DP: a right-handed hitter pulling the ball hard to the left side of the infield.
   285. Steve Treder Posted: February 15, 2007 at 12:06 AM (#2297972)
Rice reached base via error quite a bit

Not all that often; 7 to 10 times a year. He was hardly an outlier in that regard.
   286. DavidFoss Posted: February 15, 2007 at 12:07 AM (#2297974)
Now I don't get you, Dave. What do you mean by that?

Wouldn't one follow the other? That is, if you are scoring more runs than you ought to, you are taking advantage of your opportunities better? Wouldn't taking the extra base and avoiding the double play come into that?


Your complaint was that Singleton was hurting the Orioles with his slowness. The Orioles didn't appear to have any problems scoring runs (relative to their OPS+), so I think this point is being blown out of proportion.

The biggest difference in baseball is the difference between reaching safely and making an out. Slow guys score from 2nd on a single almost as much as average guys do. Its not as big of a difference as you say. Put in the right lineup, Frank Thomas can score 100 runs for eight consecutive years. Singleton didn't score much in 1975 because the guys hitting after him (Blair/Davis) stunk.

I think you are trying to hard to beat down Singleton. (I know that's the tangent that this Rice thread has taken).
   287. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: February 15, 2007 at 12:09 AM (#2297977)
Singleton has a large edge over Rice in both WARP and Win Shares. To expect that the entire edge is washed away by Rice's superiority as a baserunner is a conclusion that the designers of neither WARP nor Win Shares would draw. I'm not persuaded to do so either.

According to BPro -- http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=5495 -- the difference between the best baserunner in the league and the worst is typically 16 runs annually (+8 vs -8). Jim Rice would never have been considered the best baserunner in the league, but if he were average and Singleton had been the worst, how much would the '76-'79 comparison be affected? Giving Rice the benefit of the doubt and awarding him an 8-run or .8-win baserunning edge each year, would WARP and WS still rank Singleton as the superior player?
   288. Steve Treder Posted: February 15, 2007 at 12:21 AM (#2297988)
Giving Rice the benefit of the doubt and awarding him an 8-run or .8-win baserunning edge each year, would WARP and WS still rank Singleton as the superior player?

I'll let someone more expert with WARP than me figure that one, but as for Win Shares:

.8 wins is 2.4 Win Shares
2.4 Win Shares x 4 years = 9.6 Win Shares

Nope, doesn't make up for the 13-Win Share gap between them.
   289. tjm1 Posted: February 15, 2007 at 12:25 AM (#2297991)
Was Singleton really that slow? He only DH'ed his last two years, although this may just be that Murray and May couldn't both play first.

I have a hard time believing that the difference between Rice, who in his prime was probably about an average runner, and Singleton, who was slow, but probably not the slowest guy in the league, could really be 20 runs a year. What would the difference between Singleton and Willie Wilson have been?

Can't there be some other alternatives, like the results of fielder's choices?
   290. Danny Posted: February 15, 2007 at 12:28 AM (#2297993)
Actually, I did. And I showed they were almost completely context-related, a view Ron Johnson endorsed.

I don't think IBB necessarily say much about a hitter, I'm specifically referencing your claim about hitters in Fenway. When confronted with its falsity, you came up with two incredibly lame excuses (unless Rice didn't play away games or you don't think he's a good hitter) and then insulted the poster.

See? Another one. You either ignored or missed the fact I was right about the baserunning of Singleton. BHW's analysis indicates Rice scored 11 more runs than expected under neutral conditions, Singleton 77 less. 88 runs. That's a huge difference. But you just skipped over that because you just want to be a prick, or you're too lazy to read the full thread, or your mind just goes blank when statistics you aren't familiar with get trotted out.

Kevin, as has been explained to you several times now by several different posters, Rice played in a higher run-scoring context (both league and park) than Singleton. You don't seem to understand that BHW was 1) only looking at a few years, whereas you have repeatedly said you were talking about their whole careers, 2) didn't include overall run context, and 3) didn't include that Rice played on superior offenses.

Someone will come in, as you have here, and take issue with what I have to say, not for any particular reason really, just to be pricks.

Have you ever considered that the reason is that you're consistently, and belligerently, wrong?
   291. Steve Treder Posted: February 15, 2007 at 12:33 AM (#2297995)
Was Singleton really that slow?

He was quite slow, but in the 1970s he was hardly the slowest guy in the league. He was able to play as a regular right fielder, not well to be sure, but he was mobile enough to handle it. He certainly wasn't the slowest guy in the league in the 1970s, who would have instead been some leadfooted catcher like Ron Hassey or Milt May, or some ancient DH like Rico Carty or Rusty Staub.
   292. Kiko Sakata Posted: February 15, 2007 at 12:34 AM (#2297998)
Was Singleton really that slow?

Keeping in mind that these are the recollections of what was then a pre-teen boy (but a fanatic Orioles fan), yeah, Ken Singleton really was one of the slowest players in the American League (although my memory is probably skewed toward the later part of his career).

Offsetting that, perhaps, is that I also remember Singleton as having a reputation as being an extremely smart ballplayer, so I would think that it would be more fair to say that he was a <u>slow</u> baserunner more than a <u>bad</u> baserunner, but that's just semantics.
   293. Danny Posted: February 15, 2007 at 12:35 AM (#2298000)
I would be willing to bet that at least some of that is baserunning skill. How much? I don't know. Someone else can go through and look at the specific teammates.

I didn't look at specific teammmates, but here are their team OPS+:
[code]
Singleton    Rice  
1971  95    1975  107
1972  84    1976  103
1973  98    1977  109
1974  94    1978  104
1975  103   1979  109
1976  101   1980  108
1977  102   1981  108
1978  108   1982  100
1979  107   1983  97
1980  107   1984  111
1981  104   1985  108
1982  108   1986  107
1983  111   1987  104
1984  101   1988  114
[b]Ave   101.6       106.4[
/b] 
   294. Danny Posted: February 15, 2007 at 12:53 AM (#2298019)
BHW: Adding all that up, and he would have been expected, playing in average parks with average hitters behind him with an average number of outs in the inning, to score 257 runs after having reached base. He actually scored 268 times, so the combination of his ballpark, teammates, game situation, and baserunning skill adds up to +11 runs.

Danny: Then he argued that Rice was clearly a much better baserunner than Singleton because he scored so many more runs per time on base. As people explained all of the fallacies of the argument to him (park factors, league factors, superior teammates, more extra base hits), he refused to acknowledge any weakness in his own argument.

Kevin: You either ignored or missed the fact I was right about the baserunning of Singleton. BHW's analysis indicates Rice scored 11 more runs than expected under neutral conditions, Singleton 77 less. 88 runs. That's a huge difference. But you just skipped over that because you just want to be a prick, or you're too lazy to read the full thread, or your mind just goes blank when statistics you aren't familiar with get trotted out.

BHW: To be clear, baserunning is just one of many factors that goes into that gap. I don't know how much of a factor it is, because I haven't (and probably wouldn't know how to) isolated it from the other factors.

Kevin: Why are you downplaying that? 77 runs is huge. Huge. Singleton's career OBP is about 10% better than Rice's. Take those 77 runs away and that nearly completely wipes out the OBP advantage, which is Singleton's trump card.

BHW: Again, it is not a proper interpretation to dock Singleton for all 77 of those runs. Context is also an issue. Singleton's baserunning is a factor, not the factor.
   295. jingoist Posted: February 15, 2007 at 01:00 AM (#2298024)
Well, 250 yards, a good but average drive with a driver is 750 ft or about 200 ft further that the ball Mantle hit off Chuck Stobbs in Washington and the legendary longest HR for many years.

By the way, did anyone else pick up on those Chuck Klein stats shown earlier where he was leading the league twice in 3-year TBs?
I think Chuck gets short shrift way too often, certainly in comparison with his almost twin Bob Johnson.

Note to my buddies, the "regular posters at HoM" of whom I've grown quite fond over the past 3+ years: this to shall pass, but probably is a sign of things to come.
Perhaps we ought to figure some way to not indulge those who decide to have their hissy-fits on-line in an HoM thread. Good manners are difficult to enforce over the ether.
   296. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 15, 2007 at 01:32 AM (#2298037)
Singleton's baserunning is a factor, not the factor.


There seems to a recurring theme here. I ran into it several times earlier in the thread. kevin (point of order. If someone's name starts with lower case, should one capitalize it when starting a sentence?)...anyway, kevin seems to want to argue that <>a</b> factor has to be the factor, or presumably it can be dismissed. Earlier when pointing out that Rice's teammates were far better hitters than Ken's, and that among other factors would explain a lot of the 28% discrepancy in their R/TOB numbers, he responded with "Well, they're not 28% better."

I got exasperated with that and got a tad, shall we say, testy.
   297. Paul Wendt Posted: February 15, 2007 at 01:53 AM (#2298045)
.
In one fantasy around here, the Hall of Merit achieves some prominence and some real Cooperstown voters drop in for some mid-December reading. They turn first to a long article on one of the leading incumbent candidates "Jim Rice".
   298. Paul Wendt Posted: February 15, 2007 at 01:57 AM (#2298048)
.
In one fantasy around here, the Hall of Merit achieves some prominence and some real Cooperstown voters drop in for some mid-December reading. Naturally, they pick up "Jim Rice", a long article on one of the leading incumbent candidates.
   299. jingoist Posted: February 15, 2007 at 02:21 AM (#2298053)
Woudn't that just be our luck Paul; to finally get a Santo or Blyleven to show up at the HoM, looking to see a reasoned discussion on the relative merits of Jim Rice, an HoMer and HoFer on the cusp, and he finds this flame-throwing contest.
Hopefully they'd have a a well-honed sense of humor due to age and an open mind but with our luck......
   300. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 15, 2007 at 02:24 AM (#2298058)
In one fantasy around here, the Hall of Merit achieves some prominence and some real Cooperstown voters drop in for some mid-December reading. They turn first to a long article on one of the leading incumbent candidates "Jim Rice".

:-)
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