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An outfield with Williams and Ruth in the corners would be pretty brutal defensively.
sandy koufax, johnny bench, willie mccovey, joe morgan, luis aparicio, brooks robinson, al kaline, mickey stanley, mickey mantle.
Am I the only person who thinks this Jimmy character may be an elaborate prank? Why would he get on the internet to discuss baseball if he hasn't watched it in 40 years?
but see, few people saw him play. and that is my point. this is not a popularity contest.
Gibson vs Koufax: 1-4
Not that that proves a damn thing, but I'm sure someone might try to claim that it does. The only thing I'll claim is that the American League was lucky that it only had to face either Koufax or Gibson 2 or 3 times a year.
one humongous change that i think would make the game of baseball better is for it to do what football did a long time ago - platoon defense and offense.
now i suspect that anyone here on this site is gonna be more of a purist towards baseball, so it would also make me suspect that you will start throwing sticks and stones at me, etc. !!
but i think that it would help improve both the offense and defense in the game, thereby showing an increased talent level.
here is an example about function.
when i look at my catcher, the absolutely most important thing he does is catch the ball behind the plate.
if the ball is not hit by the batter, the catcher now has to catch it.
compared to that, how good an arm he has to throw the guy out at second, or how good a batter he is, are almost moot issues.
One thing I like to do is try to create "obtainable" all-time teams, like if there was a salary cap in heaven or something and I also didn't want any jerks. Of course, I don't know the personalities of a lot of them, so I may have jerks anyway. An Oakland A's style moneyball sort of team. Value picks. This kind of makes my team skew old, because I guess I think older players would sign for cheaper or something.
For those who have read both, how does Lee Allen stack up against Harold Seymour? I read Seymour's books in the early '70s, before I read Allen, and I find Seymour's two volumes much more intelligent, in-depth, and scholarly.
I'd take Allen in a blink. I found Seymour's writing to be dull as dishwater** and Allen's to be far more serendipitous and likely to hold my interest. But as Steve says, it's apples and oranges, and I'd take Bill James or Leonard Koppett over both of them for a combination of good writing and valuable basic information. Koppett is the most wrongly overlooked baseball writer / historian of them all outside of the SABR community.
obviously, it is preferable to have one guy be a cracker-jack at offense and defense. but then it would hardly take a brain surgeon to make a choice !!
I think this is leaving out some kind of replacement component. Using similar logic you can arrive at the conclusion that 1B is the most important defensive position because he handles so many putouts. If he's not catching the ball the team is going to allow 200 runs a game. Catching the ball matters in so far as there is a spread between the good and bad catchers in the game. What % of pitches are such that even the worst catcher in the league will catch them? 90%? 95%? Catching ball is an important skill for a catcher to have, but noting the sheer number of times he needs to catch the ball kind of over-states the importance. We should be evaluating guys based on how much better they do than their peers at that particular skill.
while i like mays, he is overrated. his defense is not as good as his reputation. he was a showboat, making everything look harder than it was. and those basket catches are not a good idea, but he was the only one who did them, so it brought attention to him.
and for all you posters out there that like to play the statistics game, northrup was credited with a triple. no error on flood.
had stanley been there, he would have made it look like just another routine catch.
if flood had been running towards where the ball was going, he would have been there in plenty of time to catch the ball.
check and checkmate on the use of statistics to make conclusions.
i will say for the umpteenth time, YOU GOTTA BE THERE AND SEE EM PLAY.
To be fair to Jimmy here, I imagine we all have favorite defensive players who simply looked so good out there that we don't want to contemplate their stats. For me they'd include Manny Trillo, Mike Schmidt, Gary Pettis, Orlando Hudson. It's just that I wouldn't try convincing anyone they were the all-time greats at their positions, based on my impressions of their fielding style. Well, maybe Schmidt :)
what would be interesting would be to check each ball hit, and see if there were any balls that stanley did not get to, that perhaps we felt someone else could ?
we could examine how quickly he started. how fast was he able to get there ? and how straight a line did he run ?
Player dWARIchiro Suzuki 4.6Al Kaline 2.9Carl Yastrzemski 2.8Rickey Henderson 1.9Roberto Clemente 1.5Babe Ruth 1.0Barry Bonds 0.7Goose Goslin 0.5
Player dWARBrian Giles -5.0Dave Winfield -5.2Sherry Magee -5.4Manny Ramirez -5.8Chuck Klein -6.2Billy Williams -6.3Albert Belle -7.0Gary Sheffield -7.1Sam Crawford -7.3Ken Singleton -8.0Frank Howard -12.0
Since I've only been to 6 MLB games, I guess this would be my all-time team of players I've actually seen.
Whenever I hear about Pettis's 5 gold gloves, I think of that play and then think that Derek Jeter won a few of those GGs himself. There's more to being a great outfielder than just running down fly balls.
For the record, from my peak Corner OF list, best and worst defensive corner OF -- only considering their 5 best offensive seasons.
but how many of you recall rodriguez ?
i see one person here does.
there was probably one play a game that rodriguez would be the only 3rd baseman in the majors that would throw the guy out.
if aurelio had not played on the tigers, i do not think i would know of his arm.
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