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EDIT: Around here he'd probably be right up there with our old friend Eraser-X.
Blair is one of the great cliff-divers of all time. He went from 5 WAR to .6 to -1.3 WAR from 74 to 76. He lost 50 points of OPS+ from 74 to 75. He never bounced back, putting up a 56 OPS+ in nearly 1400 PA after 1974. From ages 21 to 30 he had 37 WAR which has an outside shot at the HoM with a good decline; after age 30 he had -2.8 WAR
both the stats and the opinions of his observers only caught up last year
Guys, Mark Belanger is not even anywhere near the bottom of the barrel for weak-hitting middle infielders. He played in an era that featured winning teams with guys like Ray Oyler and Eddie Brinkman playing SS. You have Dal Maxvill, Jonnie LeMaster, Mario Mendoza. Ozzie Smith was an All-Star hitting .222 with 13 extra-base hits one year.
Two explanations for how poor the shortstop hitting was in those days:
1. The defensive demands of the position were so much larger than they are today.
2. Teams were making inefficient decisions.
I lean towards #2, because if #1 was true then the few teams that did play an offensive player at the position (example: Toby Harrah) should be losing a ton of runs by doing so. The data do not support this. Harrah was below average but contributed many more runs with the bat than he cost on defense.
In terms of what, level of jeans hatred?
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