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Monday, February 07, 2005

Tony Lazzeri

As a conversationalist, Lazzeri made “Silent Cal” Coolidge appear to be as loquacious as Mathew Lesko.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 07, 2005 at 04:31 AM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 07, 2005 at 04:45 AM (#1129623)
Not a terrible choice by the HOF, my gut feeling says he's outside the HoM by not that much.
   2. yest Posted: February 07, 2005 at 05:00 AM (#1129653)
Not a terrible choice by the HOF, my gut feeling says he's outside the HoM by not that much.

If I had to rank the 1927 yankees regular positen players in term's of how I would rank them on an HoM ballot it would look like this.

1. Babe Ruth
2. Lou Gehrig
3. Earle Combs
4. Bob Meusel
5. Tony Lazzeri
6. Joe Dugan
7. Mark Koenig
8. Pat Collins

I don't see anyone here supporting Bob Meusel for the HoF so what am I missing on Lazzari or adding to Meusel?
   3. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 07, 2005 at 05:35 AM (#1129701)
I don't see anyone here supporting Bob Meusel for the HoF so what am I missing on Lazzari or adding to Meusel?

Lazzeri destroys Meusel, yest. Your underrating middle infielders again.
   4. DavidFoss Posted: February 07, 2005 at 07:08 AM (#1129793)
Listing here as an addendum to the Doyle/Childs comparison.

Raw WS totals are:

LD: 289
TL: 262
CC: 238

Adjusted for 154 games:

LD: 295
CC: 270
TL: 264

154 game adjusted WS seasons, sorted:

LD: 33-30-28-27-25-22-21-20-19-18-17-16-15-07
CC: 37-33-32-28-24-23-21-21-19-13-12-07
TL: 30-27-25-24-22-19-19-18-17-16-15-13-05-04

Child's top season is in the weak 1890-AA. For those that discount 1907-1920 NL, then that of course hurts Doyle.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: February 07, 2005 at 03:11 PM (#1130090)
Good one, David. Lazzeri vs Childs vs Doyle.

I like Childs as the best all-around, and I dump 1890 almost entirely. I don't need a great fielder at 2B (though it helps), but Doyle seems just lousy, which almost tempts me to compare him more to other positions.
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 07, 2005 at 03:16 PM (#1130094)
Yest, what stats are you using to compare Meusel with Lazzeri? The latter played longer, was a better offensive player, drove in more runs and could play the infield. The only way you can have Meusel above (and you would still have to ignore Meusel not playing the tougher position and playing 300 games less than Lazzeri) is that you're relying solely on his BA and ignoring everything else.
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 07, 2005 at 03:19 PM (#1130099)
I like Childs as the best all-around, and I dump 1890 almost entirely.

Which doesn't make any sense to me. Should you reduce the numbers? Of course. But he still appears to have been the best at his position for that year. That should mean something.
   8. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 07, 2005 at 03:27 PM (#1130103)
I adjust WS to 162 games. Here's the group I see Lazzeri falling into among pre WW2 infielders (excluding 1B). Name, followed by best 3, 5, 10, 15, career (all non consecutive), listed in alpha order.

Lazzeri: 85, 134, 226, 265, 265
================================
Bancroft: 88, 133, 236, 286, 286

Evers: 86, 135, 239, 282, 283

L. Gardner: 83, 129, 225, 272, 272

McKean: 83, 129, 230, 258, 258

Nash: 82, 128, 236, 267, 267

Tinker: 83, 128, 226, 269, 269

Traynor: 84, 130, 240, 288, 288
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: February 07, 2005 at 05:28 PM (#1130259)
Well, Murph, I basically do credit Childs for being good that year, but it's just beyond a war credit. I just don't like the extreme of thinking it's a 'real' year. I stand by disputing that.

Anyway, I've voted for the guy for many years, and sometimes he climbs into my top 5. Clearly my approach hasn't hurt Childs dramatically on my ballot.
   10. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 07, 2005 at 06:00 PM (#1130324)
I have not yet run Lazzeri threw my system, but if Dr. Chaleeko's numbers are correct he looks to be as strong a candidate as Traynor. Off the top of my head this seems about right.

As a Yankee fan I always though that the HOF got the wrong pre-war Yankee 2B. I think that Gordon was much better.
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 07, 2005 at 06:16 PM (#1130358)
As a Yankee fan I always though that the HOF got the wrong pre-war Yankee 2B. I think that Gordon was much better.

Agreed.

Anyway, I've voted for the guy for many years, and sometimes he climbs into my top 5. Clearly my approach hasn't hurt Childs dramatically on my ballot.

In the end, that's all I really care about, Howie. :-)
   12. OCF Posted: February 07, 2005 at 07:38 PM (#1130507)
I've got Lazzeri's context-adjusted RCAA in my system as very closely resembling Evers. I used to vote for Evers; after I saw how little support he was getting from anyone else, I lost interest.

Of all the guys who have been mentioned on this thread, Doyle is the best hitter, by quite a bit - most voters are holding back on Doyle over defensive concerns.

I'll have both Doyle and Childs ahead of Lazzeri; Lazzeri will come in ahead of Myer and Pratt. I haven't looked at Herman yet. I have looked at Gehringer - that's a whole different level, and not the point of comparison.
   13. yest Posted: February 07, 2005 at 11:04 PM (#1130915)
Yest, what stats are you using to compare Meusel with Lazzeri? The latter played longer, was a better offensive player, drove in more runs and could play the infield. The only way you can have Meusel above (and you would still have to ignore Meusel not playing the tougher position and playing 300 games less than Lazzeri) is that you're relying solely on his BA and ignoring everything else.

Career numbers
-----------------Lazzari--------Meusel
Games-----------1740----------1407
at bats-----------6297----------5475
runs--------------986-----------826
hits--------------1840----------1693
doubles----------334-----------368
triples------------115-----------95
HRs--------------178-----------156
RBIs-------------1191----------1067
steals-------------148----------142
walks-------------869----------375
batting avg.-------292----------309
on base%---------380----------356
slugging%---------467----------497
at bats per game--3.62----------3.89
runs per game-----.567---------.587
hits per game------1.06---------1.20
doubles per game--.192---------.262
triples per game----.066---------.068
HRs per game-----.102----------.110
RBIs per game----.684----------.758
steals per game----.085----------.101
walks per game----.499----------.267

From 1926-29 Combs usually batted 1st, Koenig 2nd, Ruth 3rd, Gehrig 4th, Meusel 5th and Lazzari 6th so I’m assuming Lazzari had more chances for RBIs and walks.

Black Ink wise
Lazzari
Never led the AL in anything important
Finished second in triples once and, rbis once
Finished third in HRs twice and, steals once

Meusel
In 1925 he led the AL in HRs, extra base hits, and RBIs
Finished second total bases once, HRs once, steals twice, and extra base hits once
Finished third in total bases once, doubles once and, RBIs 3 times

In terms of fielding value I also have Meusel ahead of Lazzari.
I don’t have the time or resources available at this moment to do justice to how good a fielder Meusel was but here’s a few things on his fielding
He was considered at in his time to have the best arm ever.
He moved to leftfield when the Yankees moved to Yankee stadium because he could throw all the way from the wall in left center to home with out taking a step.
Led the AL in outfield assists in 1921 and 22 (he probably would have led the AL more times but runners were probably afraid to run on him)
   14. KJOK Posted: February 08, 2005 at 04:38 AM (#1131469)
While I think Monroe probably trumps all of them, Lazzeri, Childs and Doyle are all fairly close in value...

OWP:
Doyle - .632
Childs - .609
Lazzeri - .599

RCAP
Childs - 354
Lazzeri - 325
Doyle - 273

Childs and Lazzeri were very average fielders for 2B, Doyle slightly less so. However, Childs played in an era where 2B had more defensive value. Lazzeri's offense very likely took quite a hit as a RH hitter in old Yankee Stadium (doesn't factor in my rankings, but might for some others..)

I think I'd rank them:
1. Monroe
2. Childs
3. Lazzeri
4. Doyle
   15. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 08, 2005 at 04:52 AM (#1131504)
yest:

Lazzeri's 1929 season offensively was far greater than any season that Meusel had. Meusel lucked out in '25 when the Babe was sick.

In terms of fielding value I also have Meusel ahead of Lazzari.

Right field is the equal of second base?

Meusel had a cannon for an arm, but he wasn't anything special as a fielder (neither was Lazzeri). Long Bob was probably a little bit better as a fielder, but he was still playing the far easier position.
   16. yest Posted: February 08, 2005 at 05:17 AM (#1131549)
Right field is the equal of second base?
more left then right

Meusel had a cannon for an arm, but he wasn't anything special as a fielder (neither was Lazzeri). Long Bob was probably a little bit better as a fielder, but he was still playing the far easier position.


but I think Meusel was a lot better fielder which makes up for the positional diffrence
   17. Michael Bass Posted: February 08, 2005 at 09:05 PM (#1132878)
I like Lazzeri. Not enough to put him on my ballot, but he's in that mass from 20-40 that could theoretically make my ballot someday when we hit the elect 3 years.

Meusel, if he even qualified for my consideration set, would not be in my top 100.
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: February 09, 2005 at 04:08 PM (#1134198)
HOM 2Bs, by year, through 1944 election. Must have played half a team's games and mainly this position to be listed:
1870 - Pike
1871 - Barnes 2B-SS
1872-76 - Barnes
1877 - Wright
1878
1879 - Glasscock
1880-81
1882-83 - Richardson, McPhee
1884 - Richardson, McPhee, Connor 2B-OF
1885 - Richardson 2B-OF, McPhee
1886 - McPhee, Grant
1887 - Richardson 2B-OF, McPhee, Grant
1888 - Richardson, McPhee, Grant, Delahanty 2B-OF
1889 - Richardson 2B-OF, McPhee, Grant
1890-91 - McPhee, Grant
1892 - Richardson 2B-OF, McPhee, Grant, Ward
1893-94 - McPhee, Grant, Ward
1895-97 - McPhee, Grant
1898-99 - McPhee, Grant, Lajoie
1900-03 - Grant, Lajoie
1904 - Lajoie 2B-SS
1905
1906-07 - Lajoie
1908 - Lajoie, Davis, E Collins 2B-SS
1909-10 - Lajoie, E Collins
1911 - E Collins
1912-13 - Lajoie, E Collins, HR Johnson
1914 - Lajoie, E Collins, Groh
1915-16 - Lajoie, E Collins
1917-19 - E Collins
1920-21 - E Collins, Hornsby
1922 - E Collins, Hornsby, Frisch 2B-3B
1923 - E Collins, Hornsby, Frisch
1924 - E Collins, Hornsby, Lloyd, Frisch
1925 - E Collins, Hornsby, Lloyd
1926 - E Collins, Hornsby, Lloyd, Frisch
1927-28 - Hornsby, Lloyd, Frisch
1929 - Hornsby, Frisch
1930 - Frisch
1931 - Hornsby 2B-3B, Frisch
1932 - Frisch 2B-3B
1933-35 - Frisch
1936 - Frisch 2B-3B

Browning would be 1882 (!)
Childs would be 1890-1900
Monroe would be 1903-14 (roughly)
Doyle would be 1908-20
Lazzeri would be 1926-37
   19. PhillyBooster Posted: May 09, 2005 at 07:04 PM (#1323590)
While I have the page open (for Lefty O'Doul's stats), 21 year old Tony Lazzeri was a teammate of O'Doul's on the 1925 Salt Lake City Bees (116-84, second place to the S.F. Seals featuring 22 year old .401 hitting Paul Waner). The trio of Waner (2B, BA), O'Doul (AB, H, 3B) and Lazzeri (R, HR, RBI) led all offensive categories that year.

Lazzeri, 1925

197 G
710 AB
202 R (led league)
252 H
52 2B
14 3B
60 HR (!!!)
222 RBI
39 SB
.355 BA

Lazzeri also hit .283, with 15 doubles and 16 homers for the 1924 Bees in 85 games played. In what was assumedly a hitters' park, every starter on that team hit over .300.

(Lazzeri also hit .192 in 45 games in 1922 and .354 in 39 games as a 19 year old in 1923.)
   20. Brent Posted: May 10, 2005 at 02:36 AM (#1325014)
Copying part of a comment from the Lefty O'Doul thread:

Salt Lake City was Colorado-like in its effects on hitting statistics. I don't have PCL team data for 1924-25, but for 1923 I estimate Salt Lake City's run environment to have been 6.73 runs per game, 30 percent above the PCL average and 40 percent above the major league average. For 1922 SLC's run environment wasn't quite as outlandish - 5.45 runs per game, which was 17 percent above the PCL average and 12 percent above the major league average.
   21. Michael Bass Posted: May 10, 2005 at 04:31 PM (#1326142)
I hope that Lazarri's 1925 is run through the stat machine the same way Arlett/O'Doul/Averill/Johnson/etc. have been. By that, I mean use the same conversion rate but, of course, accounting for SLC's park effects and the like. It may provide a useful sanity check of whether the current conversion rate is appropriate.
   22. Brent Posted: May 15, 2005 at 03:24 AM (#1337710)
Taking up Michael Bass's invitation, I ran Lazzeri's 1925 season through my MLE spreadsheet. As mentioned in # 20, I don't have Salt Lake City's run environment for 1925, so I assumed that it was 26 percent above the average major league environment for 1925 (taking the average of the differences for 1922 and 23).
Year   G  PA  AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB  AVG  OBA  SLG
1925 152 599 548 110 166 35  6 33 121 51 .303 .362 .569

Comments:
1 - Obviously, we would expect it to be more difficult to project MLEs from an extreme hitters park, especially when we lack team data for the season in question. In this case I note that I am projecting more home runs (33) than Lazzeri ever hit in one season--his highest single season total was 18.

2 - My MLE system, however, is set up to project him to an average major league environment, whereas Lazzeri actually spent most of his career as a right-handed slugger playing his home games in Yankees Stadium. Has anyone seen home-road splits for Lazzeri? My guess is that he probably lost 6 or 7 home runs to Yankee Stadium each year, and had he played in a home park with more normal dimensions, he regularly would have hit 25 home runs a season. In that context, his Salt Lake City MLEs are not such an aberration.

3 - Other than home runs, Lazzeri's MLE statistics look like they could have fit very easily into his actual major league career.
   23. Brent Posted: May 15, 2005 at 03:42 AM (#1337766)
I guess I should have tried googling for Lazzeri's home/road split before making the last post. It turns out I was wrong about Lazzeri losing 6 or 7 home runs a season to Yankee Stadium. According to this site Lazzeri as a Yankee hit 80 home runs at home and 89 on the road, losing only about 1 per season. Other right-handed sluggers, including DiMaggio, Howard, and McDougald, lost many more.
   24. stax Posted: January 07, 2009 at 07:03 AM (#3045135)
Can someone explain Lazzeri's absence from the HoM coupled with Randolph's presence? Why did Randolph draw enough votes for induction in 01 (after only a few years of eligibility) while Lazzeri was relegated to 87th that year (and now 95th this year).

Lazzeri: 121 OPS+, 204.8 BtRuns, 19.3 BtWins
Randolph: 104 OPS+, 110.4 BtRuns, 10.8 BtWins

DanR's salary estimator gives Randolph an edge of $150,884,925 to $124,095,267 for Lazzeri. His WARP1 has it 67.5 for Willie to 52.2 for Lazzeri. I guess in compiling this post that was meant as a rant on Lazzeri's behalf I see the reasons behind the voters, but I still find it surprising that Randolph saw such quick success while Lazzeri lingers at the backend of history drawing the occasional 13th place vote or something. I also understand Randolph's 9462 PA to Lazzeri's 7303, but it's amazing to me that defense and 2000 PA at that far lower rate (6.3 RC/G for Lazzeri, 4.9 for Randolph) draws the line the way it has been drawn.
   25. Paul Wendt Posted: January 11, 2009 at 01:51 AM (#3048649)
DanR's sabrmetrics may have influenced the election of Willie Randolph but not the passing over Tony Lazzeri. If I may pretend to look forward from about five years ago, electing Lazzeri would have been a bigger surprise to me than electing Randolph. Lazzeri is commonly considered a subpar fielder. He never captured attention here, and I surmise that many of us (including some regular voters) never looked beyond common consideration.

If I may pretend to look forward from perhaps 18 months before the event, it was a big surprise to me that the group elected Randolph. Of course it turned out to be no surprise to me in ordinary terms, because it didn't happen suddenly and I had followed HOM discussion closely.
   26. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 11, 2009 at 04:37 PM (#3048829)
Um, my WARP1 have Randolph at 61.8, not 67.5. Baseball-reference's batting wins have the offensive gap between the two exactly right, but Randolph has a ton of baserunning and defensive value--5.6 baserunning wins and 8.3 fielding wins per my old numbers, giving him more value above average overall than Lazzeri. After adding in the extra career length and a harder-to-dominate league, it's no contest. This is before addressing minor league credit, though.
   27. stax Posted: February 07, 2009 at 09:38 PM (#3070632)
Apologies DanR, I did the WARP1 adding up off the salary estimator file on the fly, must've mistyped something.

But anyways, I am still rather surprised that Randolph can draw that kind of separation with that size offensive lead for Lazzeri. I mean you said BRef's BtRuns/Wins were solid, so taking that Lazzeri has an 8ish win edge batting (despite far less playing time).

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