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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Adam Dunn Is Focused On Helping White Sox Win

Awards season: Dunn said he enjoyed his big-screen debut as a bartender in the Oscar-nominated film “Dallas Buyers Club,” made by the production company in which he invests. Dunn, who didn’t have a line in the movie, joked he was snubbed in not receiving a nomination.

“It seems like that always happens,” Dunn said. “The Gold Glove, every year I get snubbed on that, so I’m used to it.”

Sox manager Robin Ventura saw the movie Friday night.

“It is shocking when you’re watching a movie and you’re getting immersed in a movie and you see Dunner behind the bar,” Ventura said. “All of a sudden it took my focus off the movie and all of a sudden you’re watching him act. … He’s believable. He looks like he would be doing that job. He looks like he fits that role.”

BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: January 29, 2014 at 12:35 PM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: white sox

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   1. NTP Nate Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4648062)
Ventura: "Dunn should be tending bar."
   2. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4648075)
Didn't see this one posted before
   3. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4648107)
Adam Dunn attempting to become the first person in history to hit 30 home runs and appear in a Best Picture winner in the same year.
   4. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4648118)
Adam Dunn attempting to become the first person in history to hit 30 home runs and appear in a Best Picture winner in the same year.

What?? Are you telling me that this classic wasn't even nominated??
   5. gehrig97 Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4648136)
so he's going to retire?
   6. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4648151)
I watched Dallas Buyers Club on Sunday, didn't notice Dunn though.

I liked DBC well enough. I enjoyed Matthew McConaughey's performance, though Jared Leto's acting almost killed the film for me.

Inside Llewyn Davis was my favorite film of 2013. It's quite amazing and I'd put it behind only Fargo, No Country, The Big Lebowski, Raising Arizona, & O Brother on my 'best of the Coens' list. I also really liked The World's End. Still don't know how to process Spring Breakers.
   7. Bitter Calculus Instructor Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4648153)
No way he's retiring right now. He has $15m coming. I could very easily see a scenerio where Dunn puts up a .200/.305/.440 line with 30 home runs giving him 470 home runs at age 34 and a difficult time getting a contract.
   8. madvillain Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4648157)
@7 -- yep, in fact, I think that's the most likely outcome.
   9. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4648161)
This headline reminds me of the post-financial crisis announcements that banks would now focus on managing their enterprise based on "best principles". Which presumably was a shift from the previous regime which combined "worst principles" and "no principles".

"Adam Dunn changes approach, plans to provide value to team"
   10. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4648163)
I'm rooting for Wolf of Wall Street, because (1) it's really good and (2) I have a microscopic part in it, as an extra.
   11. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4648167)
I could very easily see a scenerio where Dunn puts up a .200/.305/.440 line with 30 home runs giving him 470 home runs at age 34 and a difficult time getting a contract.

That's what happened to Jose Canseco.

2000: .252/.377/.444 for a 109 OPS+ in 401 PAs
then waived by the Angels the next spring training. Went to Newark. Signed by White Sox in July.

2001: .258/.366/.477 for a 117 OPS+ in 306 PAs
then waived by the Expos the next spring training. Signed by White Sox again and sent to AAA. Retired in May.
   12. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 29, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4648222)
Dunn will retire with probably a good 470 HRs, and will be bumped off the HOF ballot the first year.

Remember when Dave Kingman was the example of the guy with the most HRs not in the Hall of Fame. The whole PED thing has put that distinction long to bed! (Not that Dunn has ever been implicated with PEDs...unless PEDs make you hit HRs, walk, and strike out).
   13. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: January 29, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4648231)
This only adds to my affection for Dunn, who livened up some horrible Nats teams.

I haven't seen too many movies what with having a 3 month old and all, but 12 years a slave is far and away the best I've seen.
   14. tfbg9 Posted: January 29, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4648232)
Inside Llewyn Davis was my favorite film of 2013.


I liked it a lot as well. The art direction is incredible, among other things.
   15. Gonfalon B. Posted: January 29, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4648237)
Adam Dunn attempting to become the first person in history to hit 30 home runs and appear in a Best Picture winner in the same year.

An uncredited Len Koenecke did many of the stunts in "Wings."

I'm rooting for Wolf of Wall Street, because (1) it's really good and (2) I have a microscopic part in it, as an extra.

But how many home runs did you hit this year?
   16. Bitter Calculus Instructor Posted: January 29, 2014 at 06:11 PM (#4648247)
I could see Dunn limping across the 500 home run line. Jason Giambi the last few years has shown that guys whose only skills are drawing walks and hitting home runs can still get contracts. Then again, I think Dunn was the guy who said a few years ago that he doesn't like playing baseball and would rather be out fishing.
   17. dr. scott Posted: January 29, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4648248)
Ive only hit three home runs in my career (slow pitch softball), but my group did win a national award for our 4th grade media project in 1981 called "Trouble in Thumbland" where I voiced the male lead.
   18. God Posted: January 29, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4648254)
I thought it was J.P. Ricciardi, not Dunn, who said Dunn didn't like baseball. Anyway, I could see Dunn hanging around for a couple of years as a bench bat for an AL team.

Jeff Kent, on the other hand, definitely said he didn't like baseball.
   19. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4648258)
Jeff Kent, on the other hand, definitely said he didn't like baseball.

and many people have definitely said they don't like Jeff Kent
   20. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 06:45 PM (#4648271)
Adam Dunn attempting to become the first person in history to hit 30 home runs and appear in a Best Picture winner in the same year.

Johnny Berardino hit 36 homers in his career. He retired after the 1952 season, and in 1955 he had a small role in the Best Picture winner Marty.
   21. God Posted: January 29, 2014 at 06:55 PM (#4648278)
Mike Donlin hit 51 career home runs and starred in the movie that should have, but didn't, win Best Picture in 1927 (The General). He, Beradino, and Chuck Connors are probably the only people whose Baseball-Reference and IMDB pages both come up within the first 4 Google results when you search their name.

This is true of Beradino even though he changed his name in between his baseball and acting careers. (He was originally Johnny Berardino and became John Beradino.)
   22. JJ1986 Posted: January 29, 2014 at 07:02 PM (#4648285)
He, Beradino, and Chuck Connors are probably the only people whose Baseball-Reference and IMDB pages both come up within the first 4 Google results when you search their name.


Lance Broadway is another one now, although his acting career does not seem to be blossoming.
   23. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 29, 2014 at 07:03 PM (#4648286)
An uncredited Len Koenecke did many of the stunts in "Wings."


I just wanted to marvel at this line a little longer.
   24. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 29, 2014 at 07:14 PM (#4648290)
He, Beradino, and Chuck Connors are probably the only people whose Baseball-Reference and IMDB pages both come up within the first 4 Google results when you search their name.

Also Don Drysdale.

Also Ernie Orsatti, though one is the father of the other.
   25. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: January 29, 2014 at 07:23 PM (#4648293)
Pete Vuckovich only had one acting role, but his IMDB page is fifth in his Google results.
   26. God Posted: January 29, 2014 at 07:40 PM (#4648298)
Well, if we're going to play this game, Wes Parker's IMDb page is third in his Google results.

Satchel Paige was in a good western called The Wonderful Country in 1959. You can see him at the 1:05 mark of this trailer.
   27. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 29, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4648300)
It's quite amazing and I'd put it behind only Fargo, No Country, The Big Lebowski, Raising Arizona, & O Brother on my 'best of the Coens' list.


I think I'd put Barton Fink ahead of three of those.

Adam Dunn -- 440 career HR, 16.5 career WAR.
Dave Kingman -- 442 career HR, 17.1 career WAR.

It's looking like Donkey will only catch Kong in one of those categories.
   28. Perry Posted: January 29, 2014 at 08:04 PM (#4648311)
Inside Llewyn Davis was my favorite film of 2013. It's quite amazing and I'd put it behind only Fargo, No Country, The Big Lebowski, Raising Arizona, & O Brother on my 'best of the Coens' list.


That's how great the Coens are: Arguably the best film of the year is only #5 on their personal list. (Taking your ratings, which are reasonable, at face value.)
   29. Perry Posted: January 29, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4648314)
Jason Giambi the last few years has shown that guys whose only skills are drawing walks and hitting home runs can still get contracts.


Except Giambi is also a Jedi Master. Is Dunn a Jedi Master?
   30. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 29, 2014 at 08:42 PM (#4648336)
I've seen Dallas Buyers Club and didn't notice Dunn either, but then I found the barmaid in the Daisy Dukes miiiiiighty divertin'.
   31. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: January 29, 2014 at 09:01 PM (#4648345)
Spring Breakers.


I've seen 65 films from 2013 so far, and have yet to come across anything that I love more than Spring Breakers. Granted, I run younger than the average age on this board (24) by a fair amount, so I probably find a lot more relatable than, say, Harveys or Andy. I love that it's completely unironic in its celebration of excess and hedonism but still hits on a melancholy, "youth-doesn't-last-forever" tone. And Franco kills it, my favorite performance all year. Plus the cinematography is gorgeous, the soundtrack is badass, and it has a bunch of girls in bikinis.

Tentative top ten for this year, since I still have plenty more I want to catch:

1. Spring Breakers
2. Her
3. 12 Years a Slave
4. The Wolf of Wall Street
5. Only God Forgives - A lot of people were disappointed in this after Drive, but it's very similar to other Refn films in tone while carrying over the neon-drenched aesthetic of Drive. And really, it's not that abstract - it's pretty much just a martial arts film without much fighting. How much anybody else goes for that, I dunno.
6. The Counselor - Hoo boy...people hated this and I totally get why. McCarthy is not a natural screenwriter - he brazenly flouts all kinds of screenwriting basics, and it's stuffed to the gills with long, digressive, didactic monologues and conversations littered with literary flourishes - but damn, I was still totally captivated. If Only God Forgives is a martial arts film without the martial arts, The Counselor is a deal-gone-bad crime film without the deal-gone-bad. It's really elliptical when it comes to plot, way more concerned with how everybody anticipates, decides, and reacts to the various events that determine their fates. I've never seen a crime film told in quite the same way, and I loved it.
7. To the Wonder - If you like Malick, you'll probably be on board. If you don't, you won't.
8. Gravity
9. Gimme the Loot - Totally minor gem from a first-time director about a boy-girl friendship between two young graffiti artists in the Bronx, trying to hustle over the course of a day or two for some money for an ambitious graffiti project (to tag the Mets' HR Apple). Plot is basically an afterthought, it's just an extremely charming series of conversations between two sweet-natured kids. There's a romantic undercurrent between the two that's left admirably ambiguous. It's on Netflix instant and is like 85 minutes, so y'all should go watch it.
10. The Grandmaster - Merely the second-best arthouse martial arts flick of the year!

Still need to see: Inside Llewyn Davis, Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska, Snowpiercer, Only Lovers Left Alive, American Hustle, The Great Beauty, The Past, Afternoon Delight, Camille Claudel 1915, All is Lost, Blue Jasmine, Blue is the Warmest Color, et al. Those are the big ones, though.
   32. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 09:10 PM (#4648349)
Remember when Dave Kingman was the example of the guy with the most HRs not in the Hall of Fame.

Darrell Evans was the example of the guy with the second most HRs.
   33. Squash Posted: January 29, 2014 at 09:11 PM (#4648350)
Pete Vuckovich only had one acting role, but his IMDB page is fifth in his Google results.

It still doesn't work right in my brain that Haywood was a pitcher.
   34. madvillain Posted: January 29, 2014 at 09:47 PM (#4648364)
Adam Dunn -- 440 career HR, 16.5 career WAR.
Dave Kingman -- 442 career HR, 17.1 career WAR.


Damn, pretty close. It's funny to us Sox fans what the Nat's fan posted above. Two fanbases, same player, radically different impressions.
   35. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: January 29, 2014 at 09:54 PM (#4648367)
They're not the same player. Kingman never drew walks. The only reason the WAR is close is because of silly and unreasonable defensive penalties applied to Dunn and not Kingman.
   36. madvillain Posted: January 29, 2014 at 10:04 PM (#4648374)
They're not the same player. Kingman never drew walks.


I dunno I think they're kinda close. Kingman isn't Dunn but he's not Ichiro either. He had a career isoD of .66 and finished with a career OPS+ of 115. Dunn's is currently at 125 but falling rapidly. For all his damn walks, they don't do Dunn much good when he can't get his BA north or 240. He hasn't posted an OBP over .333 since 2010. Dunn's #1 similiarty score comp is Kingman.

Dunn does have nearly double the career walks of Kingman, so obviously it's not a perfect fit, but in terms of offensive impact not meeting the power production, it's not a bad comp.
   37. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 11:17 PM (#4648407)
Adam Dunn's career .201/.317/.418 line in the alternate universe where he plays his games in 1968 Dodger Stadium is very funny. (In 2011, he hits .136 with 9 homers and 177 strikeouts.)

As is Dave Kingman's .285/.359/.576, 588 career homers playing in 2000 Coors.
   38. zonk Posted: January 29, 2014 at 11:26 PM (#4648413)
They're not the same player. Kingman never drew walks. The only reason the WAR is close is because of silly and unreasonable defensive penalties applied to Dunn and not Kingman.


I already participated in this same argument once, and took the same position, and most certainly lost the debate on TKO... so Imma sittin' this one out.

But I'll be rooting for you, Voros...
   39. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 11:53 PM (#4648424)
The only reason the WAR is close is because of silly and unreasonable defensive penalties applied to Dunn and not Kingman.

one of the things that is always a red flag for me to doubt the validity of a stat (like dWAR) is if there is a serious "era skew"

here are the worst lifetime dWAR:
1 Gary Sheffield -28.4
2 Adam Dunn -27.5
3 Frank Howard -24.0
4 Dave Winfield -23.8
5 Frank Thomas -23.5
6 Don Baylor -23.1
7 Manny Ramirez -22.2
8 Willie McCovey -21.8
9 Rusty Staub -21.2
10 Greg Luzinski -20.6
11 Harold Baines -20.3
12 Jason Giambi -20.2

they are ALL since 1960--and most much later

are you telling me there were NEVER any completely horseshit fielders until then?
   40. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: January 29, 2014 at 11:55 PM (#4648425)
They're not the same player. Kingman never drew walks. The only reason the WAR is close is because of silly and unreasonable defensive penalties applied to Dunn and not Kingman.


Dunn is horrid on D. Kingman wasn't good, but he wasn't Dunn bad, not by a longshot.
   41. Tiboreau Posted: January 30, 2014 at 12:07 AM (#4648427)
Adam Dunn attempting to become the first person in history to hit 30 home runs and appear in a Best Picture winner in the same year.

Frank Kelleher hit 40 HR (in 186 games!) for the Hollywood Stars in 1950, the same year he appeared as a baseball player in Three Little Words, which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Music. . . .
   42. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: January 30, 2014 at 12:10 AM (#4648429)
are you telling me there were NEVER any completely horseshit fielders until then?


Sure there were, they just didn't last as long. Ralph Kiner had a -10.7 dWAR in 6200 PA, roughly equivalent to Staub's -21.2 in 11,200. Dick Stuart had -13 in 4300 PA. Extrapolated to Sheffield's 11,000 PA, it's -32. Extrapolated to Sheffield's 11,000 PA, Dick Allen has a -25. It's possible there is something wrong with the metric. It's also possible management is tolerating worse defense for longer periods provided the offense is there. Probably some of both. Guaranteed contracts is certainly part of that.
   43. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: January 30, 2014 at 12:10 AM (#4648430)
Dave Kingman's .285/.359/.576, 588 career homers playing in 2000 Coors.


Now THAT'S a Hall-of-Famer.
   44. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: January 30, 2014 at 12:28 AM (#4648434)
Looking at players with between 3,000 and 4,000 PA, the top 10 worst dWAR by year retired (or last played):

1966
2005
1966
2013
2013
1974
1963
2013
2011
1991

You have to go down to #20 to find someone prior to 1960 (1957), and down to 27 to find someone pre-war. So there might be some recency bias, but it still may have a lot to do with usage patterns.

At any rate, I don't see what this has to do with Dunn Vs Kingman, who retired in 1986.
   45. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: January 30, 2014 at 12:40 AM (#4648439)
#39--

they are ALL since 1960--and most much later

are you telling me there were NEVER any completely horseshit fielders until then?

One would think there would have actually been several MORE horseshit fielders before then, since managers/GMs were clearly worse back then at determining who the best baseball players were.

An interesting parallel to your list of the worst lifetime dWAR totals is this list of the worst lifetime offensive WAR totals:

1. Bill Bergen, -14.9 (1901-1911)
2. Tommy Thevenow, -8.1 (1924-1938)
3. Hal Lanier, -7.7 (1964-1973)
4. Skeeter Webb, -6.4 (1932-1948)
5. Juan Castro, -5.8 (1995-2011)
6. Doug Flynn, -5.6 (1975-1985)
7. Tuck Stainback, -5.4 (1934-1946)
8. Mike Ryan, -5.1 (1964-1974)
9. Freddie Maguire, -4.5 (1922-1931)
10. Ray Berres, -4.3 (1934-1945)

6 of the 10 retired over 50 years ago; only Juan Castro played after 1985.

So, one of three things would seem to be true here:

A) Some time over the past 50 years, managers have become really bad at determining how bad their worst defensive players are (while simultaneously becoming much better at determining how bad their worse hitting players are)

B) Some time over the past 50 years, managers have become much more willing to accept poor defensive performances from hitters as long as they are making up for it on offense.

C) dWAR does a lousy job when it comes to ranking players who played more than 50 years ago.
   46. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 30, 2014 at 12:47 AM (#4648441)

A) Some time over the past 50 years, managers have become really bad at determining how bad their worst defensive players are (while simultaneously becoming much better at determining how bad their worse hitting players are)

B) Some time over the past 50 years, managers have become much more willing to accept poor defensive performances from hitters as long as they are making up for it on offense.

C) dWAR does a lousy job when it comes to ranking players who played more than 50 years ago.


B is demonstrably true, except I think it's been in the last 20 years rather than the last 50

but I have a fillin that C is also true
   47. Chris Fluit Posted: January 30, 2014 at 01:27 AM (#4648460)
There is also the season length component. It' doesn't seem like much, but 162 games is 5% more than 154. Over an entire career, that can definitely add up. It's not surprising that a cumulative stat would lean towards post expansion players.
   48. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: January 30, 2014 at 08:11 AM (#4648482)
Just for the hell of it, some dWAR totals for sluggers who played more than 50 years ago, and had reputations as horrible defensive players:

* Ted Williams: -13.3
* Jimmie Foxx: -5.5
* Hack Wilson: -7.2
* Chick Hafey: -5.6
* Hank Sauer: -7.8
* Ralph Kiner: -10.8
* Bill "Swish" Nicholson: -6.0

I guess I'm just having a tough time believing that the sluggers of the past 40 years or so were all two-to-three times as bad in the field as the sluggers of more-than-40-years-ago. I mean, in both cases, we're talking about guys who were so good at hitting, they were going to keep playing defense no matter what.
   49. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: January 30, 2014 at 08:16 AM (#4648483)
B is demonstrably true, except I think it's been in the last 20 years rather than the last 50

but I have a fillin that C is also true


And as I said, D)Guaranteed contracts contribute in some meaningful way. If Dunn had had his 2011 in 1961, it would have ended his career in all likelihood. Instead, he keeps plugging away for 2, now going on 3 years, subtracting another 2 dWar from his totals each year. Dick Stuart didn't have that luxury. The moment his glove couldn't carry his bat he was finished.
   50. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: January 30, 2014 at 08:35 AM (#4648486)
Just for the hell of it, some dWAR totals for sluggers who played more than 50 years ago, and had reputations as horrible defensive players:

* Ted Williams: -13.3
* Jimmie Foxx: -5.5
* Hack Wilson: -7.2
* Chick Hafey: -5.6
* Hank Sauer: -7.8
* Ralph Kiner: -10.8
* Bill "Swish" Nicholson: -6.0

I guess I'm just having a tough time believing that the sluggers of the past 40 years or so were all two-to-three times as bad in the field as the sluggers of more-than-40-years-ago. I mean, in both cases, we're talking about guys who were so good at hitting, they were going to keep playing defense no matter what.


Ted Wiliams was a decent, if indifferent fielder until he broke his elbow in the 1950 ASG. Through 1950, he had +1 Rfield. That encompasses about 60% of his career PAs. For the latter 40%, he was -33.

Kiner I already mentioned. Hank Sauer and Chick Hafey had careers even shorter than Kiner. dWar is a counting stat. Adjusted to Sheffield's career length, their respective dWARs are -18.8, -16.5, -12. And even that undersells it, for Kiner and Hafey at least. They were both finished in their early 30's, and didn't rack up the negative Dwar at a likely higher rate in their mid to late 30's. Even assuming he no longer plays the field after age 32, put Ralph Kiner at DH for another 4,000 PA an he accumulates another -10 Dwar.
   51. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: January 30, 2014 at 08:38 AM (#4648487)
#49 should obviously be "bat couldn't carry his glove"
   52. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: January 30, 2014 at 08:44 AM (#4648489)
I guess I'm just having a tough time believing that the sluggers of the past 40 years or so were all two-to-three times as bad in the field as the sluggers of more-than-40-years-ago.


Once again, counting stat. If I said "I have a hard time believing Rafael Palmeiro was 2-3 times the slugger Hack Wilson was by listing their respective HR totals, it would be an equally ridiculous statement.

Look at Harold Baines. Twice the negative dWar than Kiner. But less than half the negative fielding runs in twice the playing time. Baines's -20 Dwar is due almost exclusively to position penalty, especially increased DH penalty. It would be no more accurate to say he was a worse defender than to say he was a better slugger because he has more career HR.
   53. Publius Publicola Posted: January 30, 2014 at 09:07 AM (#4648494)
Mike Donlin hit 51 career home runs and starred in the movie that should have, but didn't, win Best Picture in 1927 (The General).


There were two stars in The General- Buster Keaton and the locomotive. Everyone else were mere props.
   54. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: January 30, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4648637)
In 1937, Joe DiMaggio hit 46 homers and appeared (as The Baseball Player) in Manhattan Merry-Go-Round, which was nominated for an Academy Award in Best Art Direction (it lost to Capra's Lost Horizon).
   55. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 30, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4648691)
Just for the hell of it, some dWAR totals for sluggers who played more than 50 years ago, and had reputations as horrible defensive players:

* Ted Williams: -13.3
* Jimmie Foxx: -5.5
* Hack Wilson: -7.2
* Chick Hafey: -5.6
* Hank Sauer: -7.8
* Ralph Kiner: -10.8
* Bill "Swish" Nicholson: -6.0

I don't think Foxx or Hafey's defensive reps were that bad, 50 years ago. Hafey in particular we now know/think wasn't all that good, but at the time it was CANNON ARM (every contemporary story mentioning his D, implies he could throw a baseball through a battleship).
   56. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: January 30, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4648708)
55--Interesting. I have a lot of blind spots in my knowledge of the older players! (The only stories I can recall reading of Hafey all mention that he was always gimpy and that he had terrible eyesight.)
   57. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: January 30, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4648899)
Babe Herman--about whom a teammate once said "He wore a glove for one reason: because it was a league custom"--had a career dWAR of -9.7. However, he only had a 1500-game career.
   58. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: January 31, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4649189)
one of the things that is always a red flag for me to doubt the validity of a stat (like dWAR) is if there is a serious "era skew"
...
they are ALL since 1960--and most much later

are you telling me there were NEVER any completely horseshit fielders until then?

Well, the thing you need to understand is that dWAR isn't really "a stat". It's an amalgamation of multiple stats into a single framework. The further back you go, the less data there is available, so it has to be that way. Obviously modern pbp methods give us the best measurements of a players contributions. But once you go further back, you start dealing more and more with having to make estimates, rather than measurements.

So it makes sense, that when we are relying more on guesswork, that those estimates are treated more conservatively. It's not that there were necessarily fielders who were just as bad as today's, it's that we are less certain exactly which ones. The list of the best fielders is also completely guys who debuted after 1950.

Also, as a side note: Using rField for this discussion probably makes much more sense than using dWAR. A lot of what dWAR measures is just playing time at the extreme ends of the defensive spectrum. You can rack up -15 dWAR just by playing a 15 year career at 1B.
   59. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: January 31, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4649204)
You can rack up -15 dWAR just by playing a 15 year career at 1B.


I'm probably a novice in relation to the nerds here, but I'm amazed at how many people just can't wrap their heads around the concept of dWAR, especially in relation to position adjustments. Something along the lines of "how good could Keith Hernandez have been when he's only got a 0.6 dWAR. , and how bad could Piazza have been when he's got a 1.0 dWAR".

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