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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Phil Rizzuto

Eligible in 1962.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 04, 2005 at 02:08 PM | 153 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. sunnyday2 Posted: August 14, 2007 at 03:29 PM (#2484273)
Well, I guess there won't be a "Santo letter."

They guy was a hell of a shortstop.
   102. sunnyday2 Posted: August 14, 2007 at 03:33 PM (#2484277)
PS. From SI.com:

Rizzuto, known as "The Scooter," played for the Yankees throughout the 1940s and '50s and won seven World Series titles.

This of course is wrong. The "throughout" part.

Will there be a sympathy vote? In the HoM? I think not. Dying is not worth a lot of Pennants Added.
   103. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: August 14, 2007 at 03:44 PM (#2484286)
I'm going to go home and re-read "O Holy Cow" tonight. Do yourselves a favor and pick up a copy on amazon. It's worth the 10 bucks for the laughs alone.
   104. Delorians Posted: August 14, 2007 at 03:52 PM (#2484303)
Oldest living Hall of Famer is now Bobby Doerr, correct?
   105. Loren F. Posted: August 14, 2007 at 04:02 PM (#2484322)
From MLB.com:

Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto, who overcame his diminutive size to become a key contributor to numerous New York Yankees championships and followed his playing career with a lengthy and entertaining stint in the team's broadcast booth, died Tuesday. He was 89.

Rizzuto's playing and broadcasting careers were in contrast with each other. As a player, Rizzuto had the reputation for being an alert, heads-up competitor with keen baseball instincts that eventually earned him a place in the Hall of Fame. Behind the microphone, he was at times oblivious to the events on the field, nevertheless his lack of polish as an announcer was ignored by generations of Yankees fans who accepted his eccentricities the way family members do an amusing relative.
   106. sunnyday2 Posted: August 14, 2007 at 04:46 PM (#2484387)
I missed that--Phil was the oldest living, oh, that was HoFer.... Doerr was already the oldest living HoMer, right?
   107. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 14, 2007 at 05:44 PM (#2484480)
Wow. I didn't hear about that until I read this thread.

As a kid, Rizzuto was a big part of my baseball life. When a Mets game wasn't on, I watched many a game with him as announcer on WPIX. No, he wasn't the perfect announcer, but he had a great voice for the game and he did enliven a telecast with many stories about baseball and Yankee lore. I always enjoyed his playful sparring with Bill White, calling him a "huckleberry" at least once a game.

RIP, Phil.
   108. DavidFoss Posted: August 14, 2007 at 06:35 PM (#2484533)
Oldest living Hall of Famer is now Bobby Doerr, correct?

Lee MacPhail is a year older. For players, I think Doerr is correct, though I'm not 100% certain.
   109. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: August 14, 2007 at 06:49 PM (#2484543)
Here's a link to the main Rizzuto obit thread . . .
   110. Paul Wendt Posted: August 18, 2007 at 04:57 PM (#2490565)
responding to recent remarks on war credit in "Cannonball Dick Redding"

Joe Gordon and Phil Rizzuto came back from WWII in 1946 and posted OPS+ 79 and 74.

Gordon's 79 is a gross misfit with the rest of his career, so it seems fair to view his season as diminished by the military service and to "give war credit" as we say at a higher level.

Rizzuto's 74 is a misfit not with the rest of his career but with the immediately surrounding seasons 1942 and 1947, so it is natural to extend the pattern from career to 1943-45. Two years out of three, Phil Rizzuto is a weakling at bat.
The friends of Phil Rizzuto may need to portray him as a league-average batter in the mid-1940s, someone with three seasons missing and one diminished by the wartime service.
   111. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: August 20, 2007 at 11:58 PM (#2492883)
This was just posted to the SABR-L email list:

"In this past Sunday’s NYT, Murray Chass relates an anecdote about Phil Rizzuto that took place in the late 70s. Chass and Rizzuto were standing near the cage at spring training when Phil got hit on the hand by a foul ball. He needed medical attention for the injury and Chass offered to drive him to the hospital. When they arrived, the admitting nurse asked Rizzuto a number of questions, one of which was his birthdate. He absent-mindedly replied, “September 25, 1916.” “With “16” hardly out of his mouth, he turned to me and said sternly, ‘don’t tell anybody.’” Since the record books list his birth year as 1917, the Scooter died at age 90, not 89, according to Chass.

That's important when projecting his missing years, he actually lost ages 26-28 not 25-27.
   112. sunnyday2 Posted: August 21, 2007 at 12:20 AM (#2492916)
Well, does Chass relating this story make it so? I'd want some more info. Why would Rizutto have lied about his age, if that's what he did?
   113. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: August 21, 2007 at 04:18 AM (#2493105)
Because he was a short guy trying to crack in and no one would give him a chance. Of course he'd say he was a year younger if he could get away with it. Records weren't so easily accessible in the late 30s.

I'm pretty sure it's so. No way Chass would put his arse on the line with a story like that if it wasn't true. And what would he have to gain from it?

I'm about 99 44/100% sure it's true.
   114. Brent Posted: August 21, 2007 at 11:06 AM (#2493216)
From the 1985 Ballot Discussion Thread:

120. Brent Posted: September 09, 2006 at 01:47 AM (#2171981)

(Rizzuto is actually a year older than shown in bbref -- see Bill Madden's Pride of October, p. 3.)

203. Cblau Posted: September 13, 2006 at 09:15 PM (#2176259)

I think Madden is confused. During Rizzuto's playing days, and at least as late as the first edition of the Baseball Encyclopedia, Rizzuto's birth year was listed as 1918, because he took a year off his age. But Madden didn't realize that had been corrected in more recent reference books.

215. Brent Posted: September 14, 2006 at 01:23 AM (#2176472)

Thanks. Madden clearly states that the 1917 date is a year too young, but I'll take your word that he was confused.
   115. Cblau Posted: August 28, 2007 at 05:21 PM (#2502014)
Today I checked the 1920 census. It shows Rizzuto as 2 years old. So unless he was already lying about his age, I'd say the Scooter was born in September 1917, not 1916 or 1918.
   116. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 28, 2007 at 05:59 PM (#2502055)
Today I checked the 1920 census. It shows Rizzuto as 2 years old. So unless he was already lying about his age, I'd say the Scooter was born in September 1917, not 1916 or 1918.


Looking at the 1930 census only confirms that it's 1917.
   117. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: August 28, 2007 at 06:57 PM (#2502121)
Thanks guys. I still believe the story happened (where Rizzuto misstated his age), maybe he mixed up 1917-18 with 1916-17?

Would there have been any reason for his parents to lie in 1920?
   118. sunnyday2 Posted: October 08, 2007 at 02:03 PM (#2567072)
bump
   119. sunnyday2 Posted: October 08, 2007 at 02:04 PM (#2567073)
Oh, see #53.
   120. sunnyday2 Posted: October 08, 2007 at 04:40 PM (#2567316)
I subjected Phil Rizzuto to the same analysis as Larry Doyle. His year by year OPS+ is, in the mean, 12 points BELOW the mean of the other AL SS of the day. Of course, this was an awesome collection of talent--Rizzuto, Pesky, Stephens, Boudreau, Appling for awhile, Cronin at the start, Joost (under-rated, a great peak). And oh yes, a bunch of non-entities. So I would think that the difference here between the mean and the FAT might be very large. In fact, it must be if DanR has Rizzuto on his ballot, which I think I remember that he does. Keep in mind that I am using WS, and I am comparing against the mean regular SS, not against the FAT.

And against the mean, Rizzuto has it pretty rough. His most "typical" year was 1949.

Rizzuto 88 OPS+
Joost 138
Stephens 135
Appling 125
Boudreau 100
Lipon 84
Dente 71
Pelligini 54

The mean of the not-Rizzuto SS is 100. Boudreau is 12 OPS+ points below the mean.

WS

Joost 35
Stephens 32
Rizzuto 22
Appling 19
Boudreau 17
Lipon 13
Dente 8
Pelligini 3

Rizzuto's break-down was 13 offensive WS and 9 defensive. The mean is 17--12 on offense and 5 on defense. So given playing time differences, even with a 12 point OPS+ deficit to the mean, Rizzuto out-performs the mean on WS 22-17, with 4 of the 5 WS margin being on defense.

Again, this is simply meant to illustrate in seasonal notation the overall shape of Rizzuto's career, and I think it does. In his case if we took another year, it could look a lot different. In 1948 he was -26 OPS+ points and in 1950 he was +35. So there's not the consistency that characterizes, say, Larry Doyle's career. Part of that, of course, is Rizzuto but part is also the oppostion. In 1950, Appling gave way to Carrasquel and the White Sox lost 34 points of OPS+ (but gained in playing time). Joost and Stephens had off years as measured by OPS+. But in 1949, as you see, Boudreau was at 100, well below his normal rate. For the record, Rizzuto was above the mean 4 times and below 7 times (no war years included here).

Bottom line: Rizzuto is +1 offensive WS and +4 defensive WS in a typical season in his career. Doyle was +10 and -1. But, yes, you've got league quality issues and cohort issues (Rizzuto, again, playing against one of the best groups of SS ever to grace a single league). That wouldn't matter if "a pennant is a pennant" though we all know that we try to factor that in.
   121. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 08, 2007 at 06:06 PM (#2567452)
With no consideration for league strength, Rizzuto is the #1 backlogger using my consensus estimator. The FAT level at the SS position was basically flat from 1915 to 1960 at around 3 wins below average per 162 games. So if Rizzuto's hitting was below average for the position in his league, then you were really dealing with a situation like the early-80s or late-90s AL, where you had a few superstars pulling the average way up. Sunnyday, have you tried comparing players to the median rather than the mean OPS+? That might give you better results.

I'll just put up charts for Rizzuto and Doyle here...I've filled in the war credit years for Rizzuto to my taste, your mileage will obviously vary. SFrac is percentage of the league average plate appearances per full season played, BWAA is batting wins above average, BRWA is baserunning wins above average, FWAA is fielding wins above positional average, Replc is the gap in wins between a replacement player at the same position in the same playing time and the overall league average, and WARP is wins above replacement (BWAA + BRWA + FWAA - Replc). aTTL is career totals ignoring sub-replacement seasons. All figures are standard deviation-adjusted, which *strongly* favors Doyle as the teens NL was a very low stdev league.

Rizzuto

Year SFrac BWAA BRWA FWAA Replc WARP
1941 00.81 
+0.1 +0.2 +1.9 -2.60 +4.8
1942 00.93 
+0.8 +0.4 +2.3 -2.90 +6.5
1943 00.87 
+0.3 +0.2 +1.7 -2.60 +4.7
1944 00.87 
+0.3 +0.2 +1.7 -2.60 +4.7
1945 00.87 
+0.3 +0.2 +1.7 -2.60 +4.7
1946 00.79 
-1.3 +0.1 +0.3 -2.30 +1.4
1947 00.94 
+0.8 +0.1 +2.2 -2.70 +5.9
1948 00.80 
-0.6 +0.0 +0.2 -2.30 +1.9
1949 01.04 
-0.5 +0.3 +1.1 -3.00 +3.9
1950 01.07 
+3.3 +0.1 +2.0 -3.20 +8.5
1951 00.91 
+0.1 +0.4 +1.3 -2.70 +4.5
1952 00.99 
+0.4 +0.3 +1.2 -3.00 +5.0
1953 00.75 
+1.1 +0.1 +0.3 -2.20 +3.6
1954 00.54 
-1.9 +0.0 +0.1 -1.70 -0.1
1955 00.26 
+0.1 +0.2 -0.4 -0.80 +0.6
1956 00.09 
-0.3 +0.1 +0.0 -0.30 +0.0
TOTL 12.53 
+2.9 +2.8 17.5 -37.6 60.7
aTTL 11.99 
+4.8 +2.8 17.4 -35.9 60.8 



3-year peak: 20.9
7-year prime: 40.2
Career: 60.8

Doyle

Year SFrac BWAA BRWA FWAA Replc WARP
1907 00.41 
-0.3 -0.1 -1.0 -0.50 -0.9
1908 00.67 
+2.3 +0.1 -0.8 -0.80 +2.5
1909 01.01 
+3.8 +0.2 -0.8 -1.10 +4.1
1910 01.04 
+3.0 +0.3 -1.3 -1.00 +3.0
1911 00.95 
+4.6 +0.2 -1.0 -0.90 +4.7
1912 00.98 
+3.2 +0.2 -0.1 -1.00 +4.3
1913 00.87 
+1.7 +0.2 -0.2 -1.00 +2.7
1914 00.98 
+1.5 +0.0 -0.9 -1.20 +1.8
1915 01.01 
+4.5 +0.0 -1.0 -1.20 +4.9
1916 00.83 
+2.1 +0.1 +0.9 -1.20 +4.4
1917 00.84 
+0.5 -0.1 -0.1 -1.30 +1.5
1918 00.58 
+1.3 +0.0 +0.1 -1.00 +2.5
1919 00.75 
+2.6 +0.0 +0.3 -1.30 +4.2
1920 00.82 
+1.0 +0.0 -1.1 -1.60 +1.5
TOTL 11.74 31.8 
+1.1 -7.0 -15.1 41.2
aTTL 11.33 32.1 
+1.2 -6.0 -14.6 42.1 


3-year peak: 14.0
7-year prime: 29.6
Career: 42.1

Well, if anyone's listening, I don't see how these two guys can share the same ballot, as Rizzuto simply blows him away. The argument for Rizzuto seems extremely strong. He's slightly underrated by OPS+ due to his OBP-heaviness, his good baserunning, his having lost three prime years to the war, and him being played in his decline phase when he shouldn't have been; correcting for those factors would give him a lifetime OPS+ of approximately 98. According to both Fielding Win Shares and BP FRAA, he was absolutely an all-time elite defensive SS. 17.4 career FWAA (with war credit) is *outstanding*, behind only Ozzie, Wagner, Dahlen, Tinker, and maybe Maranville at SS. (Marty Marion is at 15.4 before war deductions, Ripken is 13.7, Concepción is 13.4, and Belanger a surprisingly low 11.7, since he played in many fewer games than his rivals and was inconsistent). In addition to his huge MVP year, he played at a high All-Star level in '42 and '47, and at an All-Star level in '41, '51, and '52 (plus his war years). A 98 OPS+, historically great defensive SS with a well-deserved MVP trophy? Seems like he should be a lock to me.

As for Doyle...say wha? Again, 2B in his day was an offense-first position--the worst starting second basemen in his day were no worse than the worst starting 1B and not much behind the worst starting OF. Adjusting for his fielding and baserunning, his lifetime OPS+ "should" be 118, and his position was easier then than 3B is today. In terms of value, that sounds pretty similar to me to Matt Williams. Get real.

I'll post this on both players' threads.
   122. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 15, 2008 at 04:12 AM (#3028954)
BTW, Rizzuto had a recurrence of the malaria he picked up in the service during 1946, see this link for details.

Just do a 'find' on 'malaria' at the link above and you should be able to find the reference.

As such, I'm going to adjust his projections for his missing years, probably by removing 1946 from the calc and instead weighing 1941-42-47 equally in it's place. I'll also probably credit him with some form of an average of those years and 1948 for his 1946 season.
   123. Paul Wendt Posted: December 15, 2008 at 03:18 PM (#3029103)
> Just do a 'find' on 'malaria' at the link above
See pages 94-105. A relapse of malaria in winter ("spring training" in Panama), a bean ball in spring. From a 1951 biography.
   124. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 15, 2008 at 03:32 PM (#3029127)
Paul, I read it as the beanball was mid-season . . . but I'll admit I just skimmed it. They said after his time off from the beanball, he started rebuilding his strength from the malaria and hit much better down the stretch, right? Lifting his average from .220-something to his final .257?
   125. Paul Wendt Posted: December 15, 2008 at 07:02 PM (#3029417)
You recall correctly, Joe.
beanball July 17, batting .222, heroic rally to finish at .257

I confused that date with May 24, when Bill Dickey succeeded Joe McCarthy, after all was lost for the Yankees.

--
Of course "spring" may be mid-season for some of us who put all but the beginning and end of the season in the mid-dle. (If they are voting for the all-star team, it must be mid-season.)

You know, since December 1863 baseball has gathered for its annual winter meeting, in the fall. Beginning not so many years later(*), some major teams have gathered for their annual spring training, in the winter.

* If I say major league teams then at least seven years must have passed, twelve years if major league time begins in 1875/1876. But I think Harvard college is a good bet to practice during February in the late 1860s and call it "spring". Probably they have called February "spring" since they adopted a semester academic calendar.

--
By the way do you know that the Yankees were playing out the string almost from the start, except for their might mite?

The Boston Red Sox, with a host of their own stars returning from service, figured to give the Yankees some slight competition that year. Instead, they overran the rest of the league and the Bombers in the first third of the season and virtually locked up the pennant by mid-June. The Sockers won forty of their first fifty games for an incredible percentage of .800.
[50 games to Jun 10, 50 decisions to Jun 11, "mid-season" either way]

The Yankee players, almost all of whom had known the invincibility of a long lead in pre-war days, knew the jig was up for them. Although there were over one hundred games remaining, they realized that the Sox were home free.
   126. Paul Wendt Posted: December 20, 2008 at 01:19 AM (#3034460)
OK, everyone knew that.
It was news to me.
Too bad the 1978 Yankees didn't mail it in.
   127. Paul Wendt Posted: December 01, 2009 at 04:45 PM (#3400147)
In 2010 election aftermath, Joe Dimino said that he will try to make a focused case for Phil Rizzuto in the future. He considers Rizzuto the strongest candidate in the backlog, except pitchers I think.
2010 Results #47

Some discussion of Rizzuto continues there, especially Brock Hanke #67 ff. Rizzuto is in the lower regions of my preliminary ballot but I am half-way with Brock, skeptical whether he was one of a few all-time best shortstops in the field.

from the 2010 Results thread:
>>
81. Paul Wendt Posted: December 01, 2009 at 11:13 AM (#3400115)
67. bjhanke Posted: December 01, 2009 at 08:51 AM (#3399971)
RE: Post #47
...
2) Convince me that, at the very least, Phil Rizzuto was as great a defensive shortstop as Maranville, Ozzie, and George Wright. Better than Marty Marion. It would help a lot if you could convince me that, somehow, Phil was better than any of those guys and somehow no one noticed.


One problem is that we don't all agree that those shortstops make a group. Sabrmetric measures don't agree that those shortstops make a group. Some observers did and some ratings do put Maranville behind Marion. For some it's easy for some to respond by pouncing on Maranville.

68. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 01, 2009 at 09:18 AM (#3399995)
All the available numbers certainly show Rizzuto as in that class if not better...TotalZone puts him at +121 (with a particular strength on turning the DP)

[Yes to the doubleplay.]

No way. The Scooter's fielding reputation takes a big hit from Total Zone (the range component of choneWAR, there is also a DP component).
Considering how long he played Maranville isn't much better by TZ, perhaps in the second tier with Rizzuto in the third tier.

Remarkably, TZ otherwise revives the conventional wisdom of long ago. Joe Tinker and Marty Marion are back on top.
<<

When I was a boy, maybe 15 years after Brock and far away from St Louis, "better than Marty Marion" would have been out of place here. Ozzie Smith was another boy. Dave Concepcion was a teenager. The question would have been whether Phil Rizzuto was (had been) as good as Marty Marion, Rabbit Maranville, and Joe Tinker.

They were supposed to be the best of all time, the points of reference for the best of the current generation. --Luis Aparicio, I suppose, although he was long in the tooth.

From my perspective, it has been sabrmetrics that put forward Hans Wagner and Phil Rizzuto as candidates for the very best fielding shortstop of all time, or the very best before Ozzie Smith.

The range component of fielding in the choneWAR rating system, Total Zone puts Joe Tinker (certainly) and Marty Marion (probably) on top. (Recall that dws, the fielding component of Win Shares, "appreciated" some of the popular fielders whom other sabrmetric ratings had knocked --all of the extreme cases except Sisler and Winfield, iirc.) We shouldn't make too much of this. Author Sean Smith doesn't advocate for TZ before we have play-by-play data for its calculation. 'Total Zone' isn't really one rating; it's a glorified range factor before 1955(?).
--correct me if I confused something here--

At the same time, let's acknowledge that TZ does remarkably downgrade Phil Rizzuto.

doubleplays?

Rizzuto may be the best ever by the complementary doubleplay rating. He should share credit with Joe Gordon and others, I suppose. By the way, Aparicio and Fox are excellent by TZ, mediocre by DP.
   128. Paul Wendt Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:14 PM (#3400195)
Here are some of the leading major league shortstops with career Plate Appearances and career fielding components of choneWAR ratings, namely TZ and iDP for range and doubleplays. The second line lists the player's best single-season TZ ratings in descending order, always including the seasons rated 10 or better.

Someone please send TomH a note. He must come back and see what I have wrought.
;-)

TZ as glorified range factor
Tinker (6860) 157, 23
22 19 16 14 14 13 13 12

Bancroft (8032) 100, -7
18 16 14 11 10 10 10

Maranville (10956) 123, 7
20 19 15 13 11 11

Appling (10169) 47, -6
20 11 10 5 5 5 5
: in a big "WARhole" after his first four seasons, like Robin Yount

Marion (5990) 91, 39
15 15 13 13 12

Rizzuto (6516) 60, 61
11 11 10 10

Reese (9294) 78, 39
16 13 13
: 1942, 1941, and 1957, a part-time season primarily at thirdbase!

TZ derived from play-by-play data
Banks (10254) 57, -2
Banks (5205) 60, -2
23 13 12 10 8
: The outlier is 1959.

Aparicio (10993) 144, 5
24 19 15 12 12 10
very good TZ, poor DP (same for Nellie Fox)

Campaneris (9366) 59, 4
18 16 13 12 11 9 7 7 6 3
very good during his prime seasons in Oakland (nine) and Texas (one), the ten covered by this listing

Concepcion (9480) 30, 20
12 11 10 7 7 3 3 3 2 2
for only a few seasons, Rizzuto's TZ without the DP

Yount (12022) -31, 7
Yount (6621) +18, 7 --shortstop 1974-84
16 9 6 5 5
: The measured "career year" is short 1981, among 1978-82 listed.
: According to this measure Yount must be one of the worst centerfielders, except for a huge plus outlier in his final season. That makes me doubt the measuring rod.

Smith (10501) 214, 25
32 18 19 17 17 15 14 12 12 11 10 10 10
: the outlier is 1989

Trammell (9175) 59, 17
14 13 12 10
: in his prime Rizzuto's TZ without the DP (Concepcion with a longer prime)

Ripken (12746) 141, 40
21 20 20 19 18 16 13 9 9 9
: listed, ten of 13 seasons 1983-95; including 16 and 19 in 1994-95 which prorate to about 24 21

Vizquel (10757) 127, 4
22 15 14 13 12 12 11 10
: The measured "career year" is 2007 in San Francisco. That makes me doubt the measuring rod.


"(PA), TZ, iDP" is major league career data, covering all fielding positions, except that I have separately reported the shortstop careers of Ernie Banks 1953-61 and Robin Yount 1974-84; and that the Omar Vizquel data cover 1989-2008.

I have passed over the HOM shortstops with 1890s debuts: Davis, Dahlen, Jennings, Wallace, and Wagner. Wagner is very good by TZ, the others all better than very good.
   129. Paul Wendt Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:33 PM (#3400216)
covering the same 16 shortstops

TZ > 2 per 100 PA
Tinker
*Smith

others, TZ+iDP > 2 per 100 PA
Marion

others, TZ > 1 per 100 PA, < 2
Bancroft
Maranville
*Banks
*Aparicio
*Ripken
*Vizquel

others, TZ+iDP > 1 per 100 PA
Rizzuto
Reese

TZ+iDP < 1 per 100
Appling
*Campaneris
*Concepcion
*Yount (shortstop only)
*Trammell

* TZ derived from play-by-play data

With the super doubleplay rating, Rizzuto is above the middle of this pack by the summed rate (TZ+iDP) per PA. Above the middle of the pack is great, because it's a very good pack. Tinker and Marion seem to be the predecessors of Ozzie Smith, however.
   130. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 01, 2009 at 06:26 PM (#3400308)
Again, why does it matter whether Rizzuto's defensive value came from taking away singles or from turning extra double plays? The point is, he was an outstanding fielder, absolutely in the same class as Maranville and Marion--something on the order of 170 runs above average after war credit, according to each of TZ, BP FRAA, and DRA.

I don't accept at all that TZ downgrades Rizzuto, because you're not comparing apples to apples, Paul Wendt. The other systems don't break down their findings into range and double plays. Given that they all show Rizzuto as ~+125 runs for his MLB career, it's entirely possible that they internally have the same +60/+60 split as TZ does.

CHONE's double play accounting does split credit evenly between the participants in a DP. There's no double-counting going on.

What statistic has ever suggested Honus Wagner was a candidate for the greatest pure fielding SS ever, offense aside??

The modern metrics tend to agree that Belanger was the best on a rate basis.
   131. Rob_Wood Posted: December 03, 2009 at 02:31 AM (#3401743)
Recently the Classic MLB Network re-broadcast their portfolio of early World Series packages. I think they are one-hour highlight shows for each World Series (the entire series, not one hour per game). Also, I think they go back to 1952 but I might be wrong on the date.

Anyway, they showed a lot of Yankee World Series action with Rizzuto at short. I was watching for any evidence one way or the other on Rizzuto's fielding. His arm looked average at best (comparable to Reese's) and his range looked good though not great (Reese looked to have more range).

I realize that this is a limited sample, and when Rizzuto was probably past his prime, and after his shoulder injury. But based upon these games I would be hard pressed to say Rizzuto was a great fielding shortstop.
   132. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 03, 2009 at 03:06 PM (#3402028)
I saw the 1950 highlights (actually just watched games 1-2) and he made at least one play the announcers raved about.

I think I've still got it in my DVR. I'll watch it when I get a chance.

They also had similar highlight films from one of the series in the early 40s, and I also came across the 1948 highlights. Very cool stuff.
   133. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 03, 2009 at 03:09 PM (#3402033)
But Rob, you are really basing this on a couple of plays from a highlight reel from 1952? What are the camera angles like? Do we have any idea of where he was positioned on the plays in question? And wasn't Reese considered pretty good too? And he was a year younger.

Were all sorts of balls going through the infield or something? Can you tell how hard the balls were hit at Reese vs. Rizzuto?

I'm not trying to be over-skeptical, but you posted some pretty harsh criticism based on a couple of plays off a highlight reel from when Rizzuto was 35 years old.
   134. Paul Wendt Posted: December 03, 2009 at 11:44 PM (#3402810)
I don't accept at all that TZ downgrades Rizzuto, because you're not comparing apples to apples, Paul Wendt. The other systems don't break down their findings into range and double plays

Have you noticed, DanR, that Rizzuto is not in the category TZ+iDP>2 with Marty Marion?.
Maybe you have exchanged their playing time, crediting Marion with 6500 PA and Rizzuto with 6000?

I explained in reply to Brock Hanke that his stated conditions are unfortunate. People disagree about who makes a group, and that may be crucial regarding a proposed reference group of the very best. It's easy for someone who recognizes Marion > Maranville to pounce on his putting Maranville in the group. (That is an example, but an important example because it's contrary to Brock's stated condition.)


Regarding the doubleplays, there are two reasons to be cautious about treating them equally; that is, simply adding TZ and iDP as we simply add onbase and slugging average to constitute OPS.

"No doublecounting" is good, and good to know (thanks for the observation). Is it enough? No, of course we want to make an informed judgment whether credit is allocated reasonably. Traditionally secondbasemen enjoy more credit than shortstops for an infield's twin killings. Is that a groundless tradition? For much of his career Phil Rizzuto benefited like Gene Alley from playing beside one of the very best. As Bill James observed and partly documented, people were impressed by Rizzuto and Gordon but they were even more impressed by Gordon.

Among the sixteen shortstops whose fielding choneWAR i covered above, only Cal Ripken enjoys a career doubleplay rating that puts him in the company of Rizzuto, Marion, and Reese. (Ripken in a longer career but, Warning, I have analysed it's 3b and ss segments. It doesn't matter much here and we shouldn't make much of comparisons inside to outside the Retrosheet era, however.)
Were Rizzuto, Marion, and Reese really the best ever (among great 20c shortstops, and I missed a few) specifically at generating doubleplays? The double coincidence of timing is troubling: they played together, and they were the latest cohort of shortstops before the retrosheet era, thus the latest assessed by the glorified range factor. (Warning. I'm not sure whether it's pre-retrosheet TZ or {TZ, iDP} that author Sean Smith deprecates. Here I suppose it's the latter, both components.)
   135. Scoriano Flitcraft Posted: December 03, 2009 at 11:55 PM (#3402827)
Bill James is a noted baseball historian, and famously wrote about his Rizutto's candidacy. You could look it up. Anyway, what does James say about Rizutto's defense?
   136. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 03, 2009 at 11:59 PM (#3402836)
Have you noticed, Paul Wendt, that

1. PA are a crazy denominator to use for fielding rate?

and

2. this is one heckuva case of selective endpointing? You have Marion at 13.3 TZ + iDP per 162 games, and Rizzuto at 11.8. OK, CHONE thinks Marion was 1.5 runs a season better. Big whoop. Given the error bars on these metrics, the point is that they're similar.

Given Rizzuto's reputation for turning the DP, I see no reason to doubt this figure.
   137. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: December 04, 2009 at 12:11 AM (#3402848)
what does James say about Rizutto's defense?

He said Rizzuto and Gordon were the best DP combination ever.
   138. Paul Wendt Posted: December 04, 2009 at 12:22 AM (#3402854)
130. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 01, 2009 at 01:26 PM (#3400308)
What statistic has ever suggested Honus Wagner was a candidate for the greatest pure fielding SS ever, offense aside??

The modern metrics tend to agree that Belanger was the best on a rate basis.


Oh, of course it was Belanger when I was a boy, not Aparicio "long in the tooth". (This is almost embarrassing. The Orioles were my favorite team and Belanger replaced Aparicio for the 1968 season. I was beginning to think of myself as a little man rather than a boy, but that's no excuse.) Tinker, Maranville, and Marion were points of reference regarding the reality of Belanger, and maybe the memory of Aparicio.


Regarding Wagner, I suppose it was fielding win shares. In the New BJHBA "Honus Wagner", Bill James wrote "Wagner was among the greatest defensive players in the history of baseball. In "Arky Vaughan" (shortstop number two), he wrote,
>>
I do not rate Vaughan as an exceptional defensive shortstop, by any means. Among the top 50 shortstops, Vaughan ranks in the bottom half in terms of defensive plays per inning. He is nowhere near the guys like Rizzuto, Marion, Tinker, Maranville, Honus, Belanger, and Ozzie, and is substantially below defensive players like Concepcion, Bancroft, and Herman Long. As a defensive shortstop he ranks a little below Cronin and Ripken.
[...]
Ripken and Cronin were good shortstops, but ... well they weren't Rizzuto, Marion, or Ozzie. Vaughan was a better shortstop than Yount, a far better shortstop than Banks. He was a little better than Appling.
[...]
Vaughan played about 13064 innings at shortstop in his career. The best defensive shortstop who played about the same number of innings was Marty Marion, who we rate as the best defensive shortstop in history, per inning played, not counting guys who had short careers. [...] We credit Marion with an edge of about 80 runs as a defensive player.
<<

I have quoted at length because that pertains to the general points at issue, not only to Wagner's standing. Among other things, the bold list suggests to me that Bill James was my source for sabrmetrics adding both Wagner and Rizzuto to the old reference group. (Belanger and Ozzie were subsequent players, in my own time, and of course I knew that each was sometimes called the best of all time. There may have been a consensus for each, when he was active, as the best of all time.)


Note. The New BJHBA preceded Win Shares in print by almost a year, but the win shares rating system was more than a decade in the making, substantially complete in the late nineties, and it was the basis for player rankings, the 600-page section two of the abstract.

Note. Brock Hanke grew up in St Louis soon after Marty Marion's heyday, I think. That he doesn't automatically put Marion in the reference group of very best shortstops is one important qualification.
   139. Paul Wendt Posted: December 04, 2009 at 12:28 AM (#3402861)
Given Rizzuto's reputation for turning the DP, I see no reason to doubt this figure.

Careful readers must recognize some reasons to doubt the figure.
   140. Paul Wendt Posted: December 04, 2009 at 12:51 AM (#3402878)
135. Scoriano Flitcraft Posted: December 03, 2009 at 06:55 PM (#3402827)
Bill James is a noted baseball historian, and famously wrote about his Rizutto's candidacy. You could look it up. Anyway, what does James say about Rizutto's defense?

137. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: December 03, 2009 at 07:11 PM (#3402848)
...
He said Rizzuto and Gordon were the best DP combination ever.



Bill James also wrote famously about Joe Gordon's candidacy. See "Gordon and Doerr", chapter 12 of the Hall of Fame book. One part of studying Rizzuto
>>"was to try to document his defensive excellence with comments from people who saw him play, and in particular with contemporary quotes, from people who saw him play yesterday.

"I went to the library, and also sent my research assistants, to search the newspapers of the 1940s for comments about Rizzuto's defense, especially comments comparing Rizzuto to Pee Wee Reese.
[... Unfortunately, all four quotations in the book are from 1941. --partly because Reese and Rizzuto met in the World Series, but hey BJ not for the last time!]
What struck me about this was that, while the writers clearly did regard Rizzuto (while active) as a a good defensive shortstop, it is actually much easier to document the perceived defensive excellence of Joe Gordon. Before the 1941 World Series ... almost everybody wrote that Rizzuto and Joe Gordon were a better combination than Pee Wee Reese and Billy Herman ...

"But having said this, most of the writers broke into praise not for Rizzuto -- but for Joe Gordon.
<<
   141. Paul Wendt Posted: December 04, 2009 at 01:45 AM (#3402939)
Here are four more major league shortstops in the Hall of Merit, in the same format as above (#128).

Name (PA), TZ, iDP
TZ TZ TZ ... single-season Total Zone ratings in descending order

"(PA), TZ, iDP" is major league career data, covering all fielding positions, except as stated otherwise. By default the single-season TZ also cover all fielding positions.

Plate appearances PA is the reference measure of playing time provided in the tabular publication of batting/running/fielding choneWAR.


TZ as glorified range factor
Joe Sewell (8054) -4, 0
10 8 4 1 1
: At shortstop 8 1 0 -2 -2; career about -17. The glorified range factor shouts that Sewell couldn't play shortstop.

Joe Cronin (8672) 18, 10
17 12 8 5 4
: Far below replacement level outside those five seasons, his last five in Washington. Except for '8' they match his four-year batting peak and, lo, the Senators four-year run as a powerhouse team.

Lou Boudreau (6859) 90, 28
16 16 14 8 8 7 6 3 3 3 2 2 2
: Those are all thirteen seasons, one of the great ones by this measure or by the sum TZ+iDP.

TZ derived from play-by-play data
Barry Larkin (8931) 37, -10
14 13 11 6 6
: three big seasons, otherwise replacement level


Yesterday I neglected to label clearly the presentation for Ernie Banks

Banks (10254) 57, -2 --all fielding positions
Banks (5205) 60, -2 --shortstop seasons 1953-61, inclg 7+ full seasons games SS
23 13 12 10 8 --all at short
: The outlier is 1959.

Last, here is a crude analysis of Ripken's 3b and ss career segments.

Ripken (12746) 141, 40
Ripken (695) +6, 0 --mixed 1981-82
Ripken (9634) 136, 39 --shortstop seasons 1983-96, about 14 full seasons games SS
Ripken (2554) -1, +1 --thirdbase seasons 1997-2001

21 20 20 19 18 16 13 9 9 9 --all at shortstop
: Those are ten of 13 seasons 1983-95 of which 16 and 19 in 1994-95 prorate to about 24 21
   142. Howie Menckel Posted: December 04, 2009 at 01:58 AM (#3402946)
Is there either direct access to Rizzuto fielding ratings, or maybe even better, an analysis of same as well? I do see some figures here, but what case is being made exactly?
   143. Brent Posted: December 04, 2009 at 04:47 AM (#3403065)
PA are a crazy denominator to use for fielding rate

The Win Shares book includes estimates of defensive innings:

Rizzuto 13,614
Marion 13,320

BP has estimates of "adjusted games":

Rizzuto 1,535.9
Marion 1,485.2
   144. Paul Wendt Posted: December 04, 2009 at 07:04 PM (#3403517)
142. Howie Menckel Posted: December 03, 2009 at 08:58 PM (#3402946)
Is there either direct access to Rizzuto fielding ratings, or maybe even better, an analysis of same as well?

Not for the choneWAR ratings that I have posted here this week.

My method in compiling the declining series of integers must be the one commonly used here for OPS+ and ERA+ and WARP3. Visit player pages published on the web and scan one column of season/stint playing data for its biggest numbers, with due attention to multiple stints in one season. Transcribe those numbers, by hand eye and keyboard, to somewhere on the same personal computer. I know that some people compose the declining series in that way and with those limitations: lacking a database with comprehensive coverage at the career level; generating a seasonal record for best seasons only and without record of their timing.

Interpretation must be similar to that for declining series of seasonal OPS+, ERA+, and WARP3. OPS+ and ERA+ are indexes with reference point 100, representing average-level play, and they are indexes of rate statistics. Some differences: TZ and WARP 3 are counts up from 0, representing replacement-level play. TZ is one component of an ubermetric (the fielding range component) where WARP3 is an ubermetric. Published TZ aggregates over multiple fielding positions, like the fielding components of WARP3 and thus WARP3 itself; like OPS+ and ERA+ aggregate over multiple batting and pitching roles. Commonly there is nowhere we can go to see the same ratings with higher resolution, less aggregation.
   145. Paul Wendt Posted: December 04, 2009 at 07:22 PM (#3403542)
continued ("Invalid Edit")

Aggregation over multiple positions/roles is a more serious limitation for TZ and other fielding records than it is for ERA+ and other pitching records, I feel sure. No doubt it's much more serious than for OPS+ and other batting records. No one would do much with data for batting as a DH.


Not for the choneWAR ratings that I have posted here this week.

not as far as I know, or I wouldn't have transcribed the selected seasonal TZ for so many shortstops. I suppose that some of us do have access to seasonal OPS+ or ERA+ in some comprehensive electronic format. I suppose that TZ is proprietary and closely held like WARP3.
   146. Scoriano Flitcraft Posted: December 05, 2009 at 01:40 PM (#3404194)
what does James say about Rizutto's defense?[/qote]

He said Rizzuto and Gordon were the best DP combination ever.

Did Mr. James give him a grade?

Nevermind it is mentioned upthread:

Rizzuto was rated an “A+” SS, and with 7.14 fielding WS / 1000 innings ranks third among HoM-eligible SS with more than 10,000 innings (behind Marty Marion and Joe Tinker).
   147. DL from MN Posted: December 05, 2009 at 03:02 PM (#3404219)
> best DP combination

Just a reminder, when evaluating how good a SS is at turning DPs, it's impossible to separate him from his second baseman. There are still some things that cannot be broken down to "Rizzuto" and "Gordon" when dissecting a double play.
   148. yest Posted: December 27, 2009 at 05:28 AM (#3422602)
This comment has probably been here for decades, but I just wondered, How much does he get? A lot, but not enough? None at all? A little bit, but not enough? How many years at what level?


If he would have had 1 season better then 1950 and the rest all star level or 2 around 1950 and the other 1 all star level but I don't feel comfortable giving him such high credit.

yest: From your comments, Alomar and McGriff make your PHOM this year. Who's the third guy?


Not that this belongs here but since sunnyday2 asked me about Rizzuto
I thought you might be interested to know Hugh Jennings was my third candidate and if I give Rizzuto war credit to make his missing years similar to Jennings 95, 96, 97 then would make the top of my ballot but something seems wrong about giving out MVP years to players.

Out of curiosity where would you (this goes for anyone) rank Andres Galgaraga if he was fighting in a war from 1990 to 1992?
   149. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 29, 2016 at 09:43 AM (#5359259)
Bumping this since it was hard to find and requested ...
   150. Rally Posted: November 29, 2016 at 11:36 AM (#5359329)
Just a reminder, when evaluating how good a SS is at turning DPs, it's impossible to separate him from his second baseman. There are still some things that cannot be broken down to "Rizzuto" and "Gordon" when dissecting a double play.


The only thing we know for sure is that the team with Rizzuto and Gordon turned a ridiculous number of DP. In 1941-1942 combined they were each +20 runs. So the team was +40 runs from DP. I split the difference, but if we had perfect knowledge maybe it should have been +25 for one and +15 for the other, or something like that. After Rizzuto went to war and Gordon went to Cleveland they were both above, but not as great as those two years.

There might have been some synergy there, maybe Rizzuto + avg 2B is +4, Gordon + avg SS is +4, but Rizzuto + Gordon is +10. No way to know for sure though.
   151. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 29, 2016 at 12:18 PM (#5359361)
Andres Galgaraga

What is, how Harry Caray pronounced it after about the sixth inning? I remember finding Harry's struggles with "Galarraga" really funny as a kid.
   152. Rally Posted: November 29, 2016 at 02:50 PM (#5359503)
Gargalarga
   153. The Honorable Ardo Posted: December 13, 2016 at 08:22 PM (#5367934)
Rizzuto is an interesting case. A lot depends on whether you allot him ~10 or ~20 WAR for 1943-45 (and extra value for 1946, when he was still weakened by malaria). I'm more conservative and have Rizzuto just on the "out" line of the HoM. He's in a group of "top 50 eligible position players" for me, pretty much tied with Bert Campaneris.
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