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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

All-Time Baseball Franchise Ranking Project: #30-#20

23. Toronto Blue Jays 1977-2013
49.6 W%, 2 World Championships, 2 Pennants, 5 Playoff Appearances; 451.6 WAR

C – Ernie Whitt             21.9
1B – Carlos Delgado          34.3
2B – Roberto Alomar          20.3
3B – Jose Bautista          22
SS – Tony Fernandez          35.2
OF – Jesse Barfield          29.7
OF – Lloyd Moseby            24.7
OF – Vernon Wells            24.7
OF – Devon White             20.9
Util – John Olerud          23

thetailor Posted: July 09, 2013 at 10:23 AM | 116 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brewers, diamondbacks, history, marlins, padres, rays

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 09, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4489007)
Seems like the formula rewards okayish players who lasted a long time with a franchise over great players who maybe jumped around in their career. I mean Whitt has more WAR for the Jays than Roberto Alomar. I suppose its fine to construct this exercise however you want to. I wonder what it would look like if you took the all-time greatest season by position for each franchise and did the same thing.
   2. thetailor Posted: July 09, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4489012)
Seems like the formula rewards okayish players who lasted a long time with a franchise

Yeah, it totally does. For that reason it structurally favors old franchises as they were most likely to have a player's entire career. Seeing guys like Vlad Guerrero and Pedro Martinez on multiple lists is interesting to say the least.
   3. BDC Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:01 PM (#4489015)
I felt awkward that I didn't remember the very first player mentioned, Tampa Bay's all-time-great catcher Toby Hall. Well, I did feel awkward till one of the authors admitted that he'd never heard of Jim Sundberg. Him, I remember.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4489017)
For that reason it structurally favors old franchises as they were most likely to have a player's entire career.


I'd say it structurally favors old franchises because they have at least a 60-year headstart at every position. Players weren't meaningfully more likely to spend their entire careers in one city in the pre-reserve clause days as they are now.
   5. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4489027)
GOSH I WONDER WHO THE #1 TEAM WILL BE.
   6. RJ in TO Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:12 PM (#4489030)
Seems like the formula rewards okayish players who lasted a long time with a franchise over great players who maybe jumped around in their career. I mean Whitt has more WAR for the Jays than Roberto Alomar. I suppose its fine to construct this exercise however you want to. I wonder what it would look like if you took the all-time greatest season by position for each franchise and did the same thing.

The Jays have had a lot of workmanlike years out of their catchers, but not much in the way of greatness. Your proposal would likely still have Ernie Whitt on the list.

Taking a look, Whitt's best season was 3.4 WAR. Zaun had a 3.6. That seems to be the best by a Jays catcher.
   7. The District Attorney Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:12 PM (#4489031)
#20org

(Which, as the writer points out, is too high in terms of the franchise's general success. But they have had some all-time great players.)
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4489038)
GOSH I WONDER WHO THE #1 TEAM WILL BE.


Obviously that is going to be the Yankees of course, but it's going to be interesting to see the rest of the top five. I imagine Giants take number two, Cardinals take number three, Reds? number four...Dodgers, Tigers?? who else are contenders? I'm not sure the Pirates or Red Sox have the depth or quality. Braves probably will do pretty well.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4489047)
I'm not sure the Pirates or Red Sox have the depth or quality. Braves probably will do pretty well.


Really?

1B - Yaz
2B - Doerr
SS - Nomar
3B - Boggs
LF - Williams
CF - Speaker
RF - Evans
OF2 - Rice
DH - Ortiz or Manny
C - Fisk
UT - Pick one - Pesky, Pedroia, Cronin, Foxx
SP - Clemens
SP - Young
SP - Martinez
SP - Grove
SP - Tiant maybe.

RP - Papelbon

I don't know how it stacks up against the Cards, Giants, Dodgers without doing a similar look, but I can't imagine the Pirates or Braves are terribly close. That's pretty much just a roster of Hall of Famers and a few who came up just short. And an idiot closer.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4489048)
I bet the Royals are the top expansion team. They seem to have a lot of guys that spent a long time there. I'm really surprised the Jays are this low.

A's might be up there. They've had a lot of nomads, but a lot of really talented players too.

Who would be the worst non-expansion team? Pirates? Phillies?
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:36 PM (#4489052)
Because I'm impatient:

A's

C Cochrane
1B Foxx
2B Collins
3B Bando
SS Campaneris
LF Rickey
CF Murphy
RF Reggie
DH McGwire
OF Simmons
UT Baker

P: Plank-Grove-Rommel-Bender-Waddell
RP: Fingers

Bit weaker in the rotation.
   12. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4489064)
The Cardinals have to be #2 based on overall franchise success. The rest of the top 10 is probably 3. A's, 4. Red Sox, 5. Giants, 6. Dodgers, 7. Reds, 8. Braves, 9. Tigers, 10. Orioles. Or maybe the Pirates should be in the top 10. Hard to say.
   13. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4489066)
I wonder what it would look like if you took the all-time greatest season by position for each franchise and did the same thing.


If you went strictly by WAR, Rick Wilkins would start for the Cubs over Gabby Hartnett. Snuffy Stirnweiss would start for the Yankees over Lazzeri/Gordon/Cano. Adrian Beltre would start at 3B for the Dodgers over Ron Cey (Beltre's maybe a better player overall, but Cey was better over his Dodgers career). Hornsby would start at 2B for the Giants and the Braves, despite playing only 1 year for each franchise.

You'd need to use a run of 3+ years (or heavy human intervention) to get rid of the silliness and flukes.

   14. cardsfanboy Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:48 PM (#4489067)
I don't know how it stacks up against the Cards, Giants, Dodgers without doing a similar look, but I can't imagine the Pirates or Braves are terribly close. That's pretty much just a roster of Hall of Famers and a few who came up just short. And an idiot closer.


Actually does better than I was thinking. I might have to revise that to Red Sox second, pitching is pretty excellent. Neither the Cardinals nor Giants have the pitching chops to match up. Braves and Dodgers do but don't have the bats.
   15. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4489068)
I like that A's team... and I like that he's doing the whole-franchise, not just the current location.
Grant Balfour set an "Oakland A's" record last night, but it's consecutive saves, so it's *probably* a franchise record, and I don't know why nobody in the research staff can be bothered to find out.
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4489069)
The Cardinals have to be #2 based on overall franchise success. The rest of the top 10 is probably 3. A's, 4. Red Sox, 5. Giants, 6. Dodgers, 7. Reds, 8. Braves, 9. Tigers, 10. Orioles. Or maybe the Pirates should be in the top 10. Hard to say.


If this is simply compiled by WAR, I don't see the Cards or A's beating the Red Sox. The Sox have 280 WAR just in the starting rotation, which is 80 more than the damn Yankees have there.

Edit: Coke to CFB.
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:51 PM (#4489072)
Thought the Tigers would be higher than you have em, but its like their current team - some really bright spots, then a big drop off. Not much depth.

C Freehan
1B Greenberg
2B Gehringer
3B Travis Fryman
SS Alan Trammell
LF Bobby Veach
CF Ty Cobb
RF Al Kaline
OF Harry Heilman
UT Sam Crawford
DH Miguel Cabrera

SP Newhouser-Bridges-Lolich-Trout-Verlander (barely nudges Jack Morris who did not pitch to the score in this instance)
RP Hiller


You'd need to use a run of 3+ years (or heavy human intervention) to get rid of the silliness and flukes.


But that's part of it. I kinda like the flukes.
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4489073)
The Cardinals have to be #2 based on overall franchise success. The rest of the top 10 is probably 3. A's, 4. Red Sox, 5. Giants, 6. Dodgers, 7. Reds, 8. Braves, 9. Tigers, 10. Orioles. Or maybe the Pirates should be in the top 10. Hard to say.


This is just adding up the best war among regular players in the franchise history. Cardinals don't have the pitching. The Red Sox have 4 pitchers who would be the Cardinals second all time pitching war leader. Gibson still is the ace though.

   19. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:54 PM (#4489076)
I thought he was incorporating playoff appearances and world series victories.

Edit: I guess you're right. It's just the value of the roster.
   20. thetailor Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4489077)
Players weren't meaningfully more likely to spend their entire careers in one city in the pre-reserve clause days as they are now.

Wait, what?

#9 - SoSH:
Good guesses. Funny enough, Nomar isn't the starting SS. The author also put Yastremszki in the outfield and Foxx at first, which probably helps you guys. And neither Manny or Ortiz make the cut thanks to the DH-penalty. Your fifth starter will surprise you.

The A's do not do nearly as well as I think you guys think, nor do the Dodgers. No shock from the collective that the Mets aren't in the bottom ten? GO METS.

   21. thetailor Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:57 PM (#4489079)
#11 - AG#1F: Pretty good guesses, only a few misses, and probably not by much (for instance Eckersley-Fingers can't be separated by much)
   22. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:57 PM (#4489080)
So Barry Bonds and Willie Mays by themselves put the Giants ahead of the Rays (266.9 to 247.3). That's kinda nifty.
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: July 09, 2013 at 04:59 PM (#4489084)
Players weren't meaningfully more likely to spend their entire careers in one city in the pre-reserve clause days as they are now.


It's true. They moved for different reasons, but a full one team player was just as rare in the day as they are nowadays. One thing modern baseball has done, is allowed players to extend their careers, so you might see more lower tiered players sticking around a few years and bouncing from team to team than they did in the day, but there is no more likelihood of being a 20 year star with one team in the past, than there is today.
   24. cardsfanboy Posted: July 09, 2013 at 05:01 PM (#4489086)
I wonder how he would rate Babe Ruths career as a Red Sox, he accumulated 40+ war as a Red Sox, that should generally get anyone on a list of franchise best player or at least in the running.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: July 09, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4489088)
Wait, what?


Just what I said. There's never been a time when guys tended to play their entire careers in one place (see: Braves; Boston, Milwaukee, Atlanta). But if you've got 100-plus years of history to choose from, you're going to be able to stockpile more long-time players at all positions rather than if you're only working from a 50-year or less base.

   26. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: July 09, 2013 at 05:06 PM (#4489090)
A's

C Cochrane
1B Foxx
2B Collins
3B Bando
SS Campaneris
LF Rickey
CF Murphy
RF Reggie
DH McGwire
OF Simmons
UT Baker

P: Plank-Grove-Rommel-Bender-Waddell
RP: Fingers


I'd put Dave Henderson in over Murphy believe it or not, Eckersley over Fingers, and Hudson in over Rommel. I guess it matters to what degree you want to count their accomplishments away from the A's. I'm not sure what a UT is, but if it means someone who played a bunch of different positions, there's Tony Phillips, Danny Murphy, Jimmy Dykes....Marco! Scutaro! I don't think Baker ever played anything other than 3B very much.
   27. thetailor Posted: July 09, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4489092)
I figure that this will generate some pretty good discussion... so would you guys prefer that #19-#1 be posted here at once rather than in the two parts it will originally be published in? It's being put out on the blog Wednesday and Friday but I don't want to clutter things up with too many links.
   28. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 09, 2013 at 05:11 PM (#4489095)
I'd do it separately. First they are in fact two separate posts, albeit parts 2 & 3, but separate posts nonetheless. Second I think there will be enough discussion to let them stand alone.
   29. DKDC Posted: July 09, 2013 at 05:11 PM (#4489096)
Orioles don't look so good because their pitching and OF is weak. Their top 6 position players are all 1B, SS, or 3B, so Belanger and Grich are probably on the bench.

They should still crack the top 15.
   30. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 09, 2013 at 05:18 PM (#4489101)
Yea, delay it. Its fun to speculate what the order might be.
   31. cardsfanboy Posted: July 09, 2013 at 05:21 PM (#4489107)
I'd put Dave Henderson in over Murphy believe it or not, Eckersley over Fingers, and Hudson in over Rommel. I guess it matters to what degree you want to count their accomplishments away from the A's. I'm not sure what a UT is, but if it means someone who played a bunch of different positions, there's Tony Phillips, Danny Murphy, Jimmy Dykes....Marco! Scutaro! I don't think Baker ever played anything other than 3B very much.


This article is not counting one single bit of their accomplishments away from the team. Only thing that matters is cumulative war they got while playing for the team. I do like that he is putting players at any position that they would have played, regardless of how much value they accumulated there.
   32. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 09, 2013 at 05:22 PM (#4489110)
Quick and dirty on the Cubs. They come in at 831
   33. zonk Posted: July 09, 2013 at 05:31 PM (#4489118)
The Cardinals have to be #2 based on overall franchise success. The rest of the top 10 is probably 3. A's, 4. Red Sox, 5. Giants, 6. Dodgers, 7. Reds, 8. Braves, 9. Tigers, 10. Orioles. Or maybe the Pirates should be in the top 10. Hard to say.


Hard for me to see how the Cubs miss the top 10 -- I mean, people forget that the Cubs -- perhaps with a nod to the Giants -- were pretty much an NL monster up through the 30s. Obviously, lean times since -- but it's really the inverse of say, the Dodgers.

Just sorta of guessing at things...

The Cubs ought to get top 5 WAR from Catcher (Hartnett's entire career total came with the Cubs - of the 10 above him on the C list, only Dickey, Bench, and Berra really 'count totally' for a single team... and two of them are Yankees anyway). They should go top 5 at 2B (Sandberg at #9 -- plus a decent enough chunk from Hornsby). Anson's #5 at 1B. Santo's #6 at 3B. Banks is #7 at SS. In fact -- the Cubs can boast a top 10 WAR player who spent his entire career on the northside at every IF position except Hartnett at #11.

They're gonna be mid-pack in the OF -- but ought to do OK on the mound.

All told, if you just want to add up WAR accumulated solely with that team -- hard for me to see how the Cubs don't make it into the top 10... Their IF has to be top 5 - maybe even top 3, without me thinking about it too hard. The OF is deep -- but really lacks a true "whole career of inner circle excellence" like the Tigers would get from Cobb or the Yankees from multiple players. You have to go waaaayyy back for most of the better Cub pitchers -- but you get a pretty good chunk of Alexander, some unreal Clarkson seasons (unless we're only going back to the merge league era?), plus decent enough output from Brown, Jenkins, and a few others.

EDIT: Dammit... stupid browser mucked up my sorting, so the ranking are actually a bit low... Hartnett -- purely on WAR -- is #9 overall, Anson is actually #4 overall, Sandberg actually drops out of the top 10 to #11 overall, Santo clocks in at #8, and Banks falls to #14... still - when you consider those totals are all Cub totals -- that's gotta put them in the upper echelon
   34. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 09, 2013 at 05:38 PM (#4489122)
I got a chuckle out of a footnote from 'Brian' on the Brewers:

In other news, this team has a number of players that I know little to nothing about – like who on earth is Teddy Higuera? Turns out he is a pitcher with a career 94-64 record and 117 ERA+ who played his entire career for Milwaukee, from 1985-1994. His last good season was in 1988, and he once won 20 games (in 1986, with a 2.79 ERA). Who is Moose Haas?


I feel really old now that there are people who have never heard of Teddy Higuera. Moose Haas, I guess that's plausible, but for someone involved in a project like this to never hear of Higuera, was he that short on the mound?
   35. zonk Posted: July 09, 2013 at 05:46 PM (#4489132)
Without stealing any thunder by actual spreadsheeting it myself... Here's how I'd guess the Cubs stack up...

C Hartnett
1B Anson
2B Sandberg
SS Banks
3B Santo
OF B Williams
OF Sosa
OF Hack Wilson
OF Kiki Cuyler
UT... tough... Stan Hack maybe? He's almost as underrated as Santo. Maybe Frank Chance?
SP Mordecai Brown
SP John Clarkson
SP Clark Griffith
SP Fergie Jenkins
SP ...? maybe Pete Alexander?
RP Probably Lee Smith... unless I can cheat and get Kerry Wood's SP credit, but slot him as my RP!
   36. TDF, situational idiot Posted: July 09, 2013 at 05:57 PM (#4489136)
The Reds aren't going to do that well, because their pitching is atrocious. The best pitcher (Eppa Rixley, 40.1 WAR) is barely better than the worst hitter (George Foster/Heinie Groh, 39.4).

With Foster, 5 members of the Big Red Machine make the team, and Foster, Rose, and Vada Pinson are the only non-HOF hitters.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: July 09, 2013 at 06:08 PM (#4489145)
Obviously that is going to be the Yankees of course, but it's going to be interesting to see the rest of the top five. I imagine Giants take number two, Cardinals take number three, Reds? number four...Dodgers, Tigers?? who else are contenders? I'm not sure the Pirates or Red Sox have the depth or quality. Braves probably will do pretty well.

Not sure why the Cubs are missing from your list cfb. :-) Lousy teams but almost always some great players around:

C -- Hartnett
1B -- Anson
2B -- Sandberg
SS -- Banks
3B -- Santo
OF -- Sosa, Williams, Wilson

SP -- Alexander, Brown, Fergie, Maddux, Reuschel
RP -- Sutter, Smith

That's 340 WAR just on the infield (incl Hartnett). Stan Hack (52 WAR) is relegated to the bench. Tinker, Evers, Chance, Grace, Herman, Dahlen also stuck on the bench or in AAA. Swish also on the bench with Riggs Stephenson, Andy Pafko, Kiki Cuyler, Phil Cavaretta. I suppose we can live with Jody, Hundley or Kling as backup C.

Anybody want to trade us a CF for a couple starting IF?

The starting pitching is pretty stellar. Maddux is a bit of a stretch in terms of team greatness and Zambrano (38 WAR) would spice things up or Griffith or Overall or Hippo or Root would all do fine.

The Yanks can't come close to pitching with this team but would probably club them into submission. The Giants are pretty ridiculous. The Cards are ridiculously short on pitching -- Harry Brecheen is 2nd with 39 WAR. They also have just 6 position players with 50+ WAR.

A cool thing about the Cards -- their top 8 WAR make a complete lineup:

Musial LF/RF
Hornsby 2B
Pujols 1B
Smith SS
Boyer 3B
Slaughter LF/RF
Simmons C
Flood CF

which is really the Cards history in a nutshell -- balance not stars.

The Giants tend to be a tough team to beat with the slightly productive OF of Bonds, Mays, Ott. But then just 3 guys over 50 WAR. Still, when you've got 380 WAR in the OF, you can punt a position or two. They also have very good starting pitching.

And they better not cheat on the Braves ... only one of Chipper/Mathews gets to start.
   38. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: July 09, 2013 at 06:09 PM (#4489146)
The Reds aren't going to do that well, because their pitching is atrocious. The best pitcher (Eppa Rixley, 40.1 WAR) is barely better than the worst hitter (George Foster/Heinie Groh, 39.4).


Noodles Hahn actually has the highest WAR all-time among Reds pitched, which brings up the question of how to handle early pitching. Is Kid Nichols the Braves' ace? Do Amos Rusie and Tim Keefe pitch for the Giants? (Edit: Keefe would be pipped for the #5 slot by Mickey Welch. Same question applies.)
   39. thetailor Posted: July 09, 2013 at 06:09 PM (#4489147)
I feel really old now that there are people who have never heard of Teddy Higuera.

Glad I could provide a chuckle. I don't think it's an age thing -- I think it's just a Brewers thing. I think we all have some inexplicable dark spots in our baseball memories. I didn't know Sundberg either, as pointed out earlier. I know almost all of the Rangers' 1978 roster, to just pick one at random, (Matlack, Dock Ellis, Hargrove, Campaneris, Zisk, ... I guess that Bobby Thompson is a different one) but Sundberg escapes me entirely.

#33, #35: The Cubs do pretty well. You're right they lack an inner-circle OF, but they do really well all around the infield and the rotation is okay down to the bottom. No spot kills them (even RP is quite strong for them).
   40. Walt Davis Posted: July 09, 2013 at 06:09 PM (#4489148)
Cokes for all my friends!
   41. cardsfanboy Posted: July 09, 2013 at 06:11 PM (#4489149)
Without stealing any thunder by actual spreadsheeting it myself... Here's how I'd guess the Cubs stack up...


I have to keep myself from doing that. The more I look at it, the more I think my beloved Cardinals are going to fall to about 6th.

   42. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 09, 2013 at 06:14 PM (#4489153)
You have to go waaaayyy back for most of the better Cub pitchers -- but you get a pretty good chunk of Alexander, some unreal Clarkson seasons (unless we're only going back to the merge league era?), plus decent enough output from Brown, Jenkins, and a few others.


Clarkson won't make the cut. The way I see it, the Cubs pitchers are Brown, Alex, Jenkins, Reuschel, and Griffith. All solid 40-50 WAR guys, but nothing earth shattering.
   43. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: July 09, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4489155)
And they better not cheat on the Braves ... only one of Chipper/Mathews gets to start.


Considering that the Braves have never had a 40 WAR first baseman (and haven't had a 30 WAR first baseman since Fred Tenney left town in 1907), I think it would be fair to move one of them across the diamond. I mean, if Craig Counsell can play 1B for Arizona, then one of Chipper or Mathews can play 1B in Atlanta.

EDIT: Rule #4! "Players could play any position they could have reasonably been asked to play in real life."
   44. JEsatto Posted: July 09, 2013 at 06:16 PM (#4489159)
I'm glad that people are enjoying this project, it was certainly a lot of fun to work on. I had my own preconceptions going in and was very surprised by some of the results. It was particularly fascinating for me to see how some franchises have always been strong at some spots and weak in others. Brian mentioned Khalil Greene and that was one of the more absurd things I ran across while doing this, but certainly not the last shocker.
   45. zonk Posted: July 09, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4489160)
I don't know why considering I'm a big fan of his, but I always seem to forget Reuschel.

And I agree with Walt about the Cardinals... excellent balance - I both hate the franchise and despise the franchise!
   46. thetailor Posted: July 09, 2013 at 06:20 PM (#4489163)
#37 Walt; #43 Fernigal: The rules of the game:
Rule 4 - Players could play any position they could have reasonably been asked to play in real life. (Example: Craig Biggio represents the Astros at catcher rather than second base or outfield because that is the best way to construct the roster, even though it wasn't his primary position. Sort of the way the All-Star Game is typically handled.)


Also, I am really getting a kick out of the names of these Reds pitchers. Eppa Rixey and Noodles Hahn? Sounds like the team was named by a child. And Dolph Luque looks like a spoonerism of El Duque.
   47. Walt Davis Posted: July 09, 2013 at 06:32 PM (#4489172)
On SoSH's point about single-team careers ...

I'm not sure he's right on merits (I suspect he is close enough) but he's certainly right on technicality. Just look at the Cubs list. Many of those are "true Cubs" but ... Hartnett finished with the Giants, Sandberg had a cup of coffee with the Phils, Santo finished with the Sox, Williams with the A's, Sosa had meaningless seasons in lots of places. And of course even Aaron and Mays changed teams at the end.

Those are all fairly trivial examples in a sense but we regularly have a thread about the best "true single franchise" lineups and they tend to be pretty sad. The Yanks tend to win that one pretty easily on the basis of Mantle, Gehrig, (Jeter) and Ford alone.

If you look at that Cards list, they get to keep only Musial (well, if you're gonna keep one ...). Near as I can tell, the next-best all-Cards career is Yadier Molina at 24 and there's a good chance he'll spend time with somebody else before his career finishes. Or Whitey Kurowski, a 3B in the 40s, also with 24 WAR. I suspect they can't even reach league average at any other position.

It's an open question as to whether Anson would count as a "true Cub". He did play in the NA before 1876 but I'm not sure you can hold it against the guy given the NL didn't officially exist. But then he was an a-hole.
   48. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: July 09, 2013 at 06:37 PM (#4489178)
HR leaders for each team who only played for that one team

It's only through 2010, and at least five of the answers have switched teams since then.
   49. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: July 09, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4489184)
I was looking for the M's, and I kept scrolling and scrolling . . . .

Hard to believe that a franchise that's been so sorry in terms of team success can produce an all-star team that outranks the Brewers, Blue Jays, and the like.
   50. cardsfanboy Posted: July 09, 2013 at 06:44 PM (#4489186)
And of course even Aaron and Mays changed teams at the end.


And even Ty Cobb, if you go back that far. But even ignoring the tail end years of a guy, you still have prime players moving around in the old days. Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby, Tris Speaker, Honus Wagner, Eddie Collins, Nap Lajoie, Frank Robinson, Joe Morgan...that is just listing 8 position players out of the top 20 all time in war. (Bonds also makes that list.)

The Stan Musial's and Derek Jeters are the exceptions, not the rule. And if you look in the free agent time period, you have Jeter, Chipper, Bagwell, Biggio, Ripken, Gwynn, Puckett*, Edgar, Larkin, Trammell, Whitaker, Brett, Yount, etc. So yes there is the Mel Ott in the past, that is matched by the Chippers of today.
   51. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 09, 2013 at 06:45 PM (#4489188)
On SoSH's point about single-team careers ...

I'm not sure he's right on merits (I suspect he is close enough) but he's certainly right on technicality. Just look at the Cubs list. Many of those are "true Cubs" but ... Hartnett finished with the Giants, Sandberg had a cup of coffee with the Phils, Santo finished with the Sox, Williams with the A's, Sosa had meaningless seasons in lots of places. And of course even Aaron and Mays changed teams at the end.


That's why I said "meaningfully more likely." I think it was a little bit easier to play an entire career for one franchise pre-FA. The point is that's never really been common. Single-franchise, long-career guys have always been a rarity - it's not a byproduct of the FA era.

   52. Walt Davis Posted: July 09, 2013 at 06:51 PM (#4489191)
EDIT: Rule #4! "Players could play any position they could have reasonably been asked to play in real life."

Just because cheating is written into the rules doesn't make it right!

(Example: Craig Biggio represents the Astros at catcher rather than second base or outfield because that is the best way to construct the roster, even though it wasn't his primary position.

And this is a particularly good example of why such cheating defeats the spirit of the enterprise. Biggio wasn't a "C" and we all know it. And Biggio was explicitly "asked" to not play C. And not playing C surely greatly lengthened Biggio's career and helped him rack up a lot more WAR than he would have otherwise (although it's possible he still becomes the same offensive player and makes up for the lost playing time with positional adjustment).

You especially should not move players to tougher defensive positions than they played regularly -- e.g. moving Chipper to SS is right out! (Yes, early in his career he conceivably could have played it but he didn't.) In the Cubs list, it would be cheating to put Sosa in CF. Biggio at least spent three seasons as the starting C of the Astros (and put up 10 WAR) and even that is cheating!

Somewhat seriously, I just don't see much fun in putting together such lists if you get to move folks about in a somewhat willy-nilly fashion. You might as well just grab the top 7 WAR and the best C and be done with it. The fun (for me and therefore all right-thinking people) is in having to make your case in Chipper v. Mathews.

It is problematic and annoyingly difficult to avoid positonal derring-do around 1B/LF/CF/RF because there are lots of players who spend careers all over the place in the OF, so some leeway needs to be given there. (Oops, I forgot DiMaggio in the full-career Yankee list.) Still, Mantle-DiMaggio is a lot more fun to debate than "what the hell, we'll move one of them to a corner."

   53. cardsfanboy Posted: July 09, 2013 at 06:54 PM (#4489193)
And this is a particularly good example of why such cheating defeats the spirit of the enterprise. Biggio wasn't a "C" and we all know it. And Biggio was explicitly "asked" to not play C. And not playing C surely greatly lengthened Biggio's career and helped him rack up a lot more WAR than he would have otherwise (although it's possible he still becomes the same offensive player and makes up for the lost playing time with positional adjustment).


I fully support the argument for Biggio at catcher. He regularly played that position, enough to rack up several years as a starter.

You especially should not move players to tougher defensive positions than they played regularly -- e.g. moving Chipper to SS is right out! (Yes, early in his career he conceivably could have played it but he didn't.) In the Cubs list, it would be cheating to put Sosa in CF. Biggio at least spent three seasons as the starting C of the Astros (and put up 10 WAR) and even that is cheating!


Absolutely agree here though. A player might be able to play as an emergency fill in at a tougher position(See Albert Pujols and second base) but to imagine that as their real position, is against anyone's concept of fairness. I would go one step further and argue that if they didn't regularly play the position for a full season, they shouldn't be eligible at the position, just because Chipper could play first base, doesn't mean you should be allowed to move him there. Especially when you consider his offensive value is because of his relative to position ability, which takes a hit with the move.
   54. Mike A Posted: July 09, 2013 at 06:57 PM (#4489197)
Chipper did play LF for a couple of years. And the occasional SS (OK, 49 games). He'll fit in there somewhere.
   55. JEsatto Posted: July 09, 2013 at 07:02 PM (#4489206)
A note about the fielding positions because it is something that I struggled with when I started this...

I set it up the way I did because I looked at it from the perspective of the team. If you had all these guys to choose from, what would you do? Using the Astros as an example, they have never had a great catcher, or even a good one. Biggio was a catcher for three full seasons and while he wasn't Yadier Molina out there, he also wasn't terrible. If I'm managing the Astros, I'd rather lose a bit defensively at C just so I'm not having to deal with Brad Ausmus' .288 WOBA or Alan Ashby's even worse defense.

That's why I said any position they could reasonably be asked to play. I don't think you'll find any decisions I've made to be crazy. I also think the project is more fun/interesting when we are getting as many good players on the roster as possible.
   56. Mefisto Posted: July 09, 2013 at 07:03 PM (#4489207)
Rule #4! "Players could play any position they could have reasonably been asked to play in real life."


Then Ott should be at 3B for the Giants (he played 205 games there, including one entire season). That opens up another OF slot. The Giants are going to be near the top:

C Ewing or Bresnahan
1B Clark or Cepeda
2B Hornsby or Frisch or Doyle
SS Davis
3B Ott
OF Mays, Bonds, Clark? Ross Youngs?
DH McCovey
P Mathewson, Hubbell, Marichal, Perry? McGinnity? 19th C pitchers?

Lots of WAR in there.

Thre
   57. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 09, 2013 at 07:12 PM (#4489218)
I feel really old now that there are people who have never heard of Teddy Higuera.


What I remember about Teddy was that Bill James jinxed him, he once wrote that there are very few pitchers who can throw 250 good innings in a year, not get hurt, and do it again, Teddy Higurera is one of them...

Higuera's arm promptly fell off.
   58. Bob Meta-Meusel Posted: July 09, 2013 at 07:14 PM (#4489220)

And even Ty Cobb, if you go back that far. But even ignoring the tail end years of a guy, you still have prime players moving around in the old days. Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby, Tris Speaker, Honus Wagner, Eddie Collins, Nap Lajoie, Frank Robinson, Joe Morgan...that is just listing 8 position players out of the top 20 all time in war.


Honus is a bit of an odd case... since Pittsburgh just got all of Louisville's stars when the Colonels got contracted out of the league, it's not exactly the same as leaving as a free agent, getting traded, or even jumping the team (like Lajoie).

As for the exercise, it's a very cool one. I suspect that the A's will be really hurt by the fact that most of their stars only spent about half their career with the team due to the great Mack & Finley sell offs.
   59. thetailor Posted: July 09, 2013 at 07:23 PM (#4489224)
I suspect that the A's will be really hurt by the fact that most of their stars only spent about half their career with the team due to the great Mack & Finley sell offs.

Right on -- this, in addition to the fact that the recent A's have had a business model of jettisoning stars when they get expensive.
   60. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: July 09, 2013 at 07:23 PM (#4489228)
Whether it was more likely that a player would play for one team before the advent of free agency is the wrong question. It should be whether players are more likely to play for one team for the bulk of their careers. If you want to go further, see whether it changes for HOF level players. Don't have a feeling for whether there will be a difference, but all the players listed above who either were traded early or had a few meaningless seasons with other teams popped into my head when thinking about this.
   61. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: July 09, 2013 at 07:48 PM (#4489246)
Bruce Hurst is one of the five most successful Padre starting pitchers.
   62. cardsfanboy Posted: July 09, 2013 at 08:36 PM (#4489278)
It should be whether players are more likely to play for one team for the bulk of their careers.


Agreed, and just doing a cursory look, it seems there isn't really much more turnover nowadays in the past. Owners and players seemed to often times be at war with each other prior to free agency, and often times it seems a star player would be traded for opening his mouth.

I imagine if someone went through history and looked at players who averaged 2+ war and 4+ war seasons and how often they moved teams, that the percentage of players moving will be higher in the post free agent period than prior, but that the raw number of players standing put is about the same.
   63. Howie Menckel Posted: July 09, 2013 at 09:28 PM (#4489321)

"I guess that Bobby Thompson is a different one"

yes, not Bobby Thomson

   64. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 09, 2013 at 10:07 PM (#4489370)
Then Ott should be at 3B for the Giants (he played 205 games there, including one entire season). That opens up another OF slot.


That would actually hurt. The Giants 3B now is George Davis with 44 WAR. Put Ott at 3B, and your 3rd OF is Mike Tiernan at 42. Tiernan is already on the team as the 4th OF, so he would be replaced by somebody lower than 42, which of course would be lower than Davis's 44.
   65. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 09, 2013 at 10:16 PM (#4489382)
Chipper did play LF for a couple of years. And the occasional SS (OK, 49 games). He'll fit in there somewhere.


Chipper in LF is fair. 365 games in the OF.

Considering that the Braves have never had a 40 WAR first baseman (and haven't had a 30 WAR first baseman since Fred Tenney left town in 1907), I think it would be fair to move one of them across the diamond. I mean, if Craig Counsell can play 1B for Arizona, then one of Chipper or Mathews can play 1B in Atlanta.


Chipper in LF is fair. Chipper at first, not so much. An it doesn't help. Fred Tenney is 5th all time in Braves WAR. Replace him with Jones, and the OF which was Aaron, Jones, and Jones, with Murphy as the 4th and Wally Berger nabbing the UT spot, becomes Aaron, Jones, Murphy, and Berger, with Tenney nabbing the UT spot. Same 6 players.
   66. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 09, 2013 at 10:19 PM (#4489385)
I wonder what it would look like if you took the all-time greatest season by position for each franchise and did the same thing.


Your All-Time Toronto Blue Jays:

C: Gregg Zaun (2005 - 3.6)
1B: John Olerud (1993 - 7.8)
2B: Roberto Alomar (1992 - 6.6)
3B: Kelly Gruber (1988 - 5.2)
SS: Marco Scutaro (2009 - 5.4)
OF: Jose Bautista (2011 - 8.1)
OF: Jesse Barfield (1986 - 7.6)
OF: Lloyd Moseby (1984 - 7.3)
OF: Shawn Green (1999 - 6.4)*
DH: Carlos Delgado (2000 - 7.3)**
SP: Roger Clemens (1997 - 11.9)
SP: Pat Hentgen (1996 - 8.5)
SP: Roy Halladay (2003 - 8.1)
SP: Dave Stieb (1984 - 7.9)***
SP: Jimmy Key (1987 - 7.4)***
RP: Mark Eichhorn (1986 - 7.4)
RP: Jerry Garvin (1980 - 3.5)
CL: B.J. Ryan (2006 - 3.5)

* Top previously unlisted OF
** Top previously unlisted batter
*** Top previously unlisted pitcher
   67. cardsfanboy Posted: July 09, 2013 at 10:46 PM (#4489409)
I wonder what it would look like if you took the all-time greatest season by position for each franchise and did the same thing.


There would be two ways to do that. One take the roster that they end up coming up with here and taking the best year for each of those guys. This would be a nice representative of their best players, best years.

The other way, which is the way most people would do it, would be to not care about the players history with the team and grab the best individual seasons for that team at each position. In this case you will have guys who might have only played one season with a team, making the team.

I think both ways would be interesting (and heck a third way would be to grab the best players and look at their 162 game average with the team, this would reward quality over quantity)
   68. toratoratora Posted: July 09, 2013 at 11:08 PM (#4489430)
Then Ott should be at 3B for the Giants (he played 205 games there, including one entire season). That opens up another OF slot. The Giants are going to be near the top:

C Ewing or Bresnahan
1B Clark or Cepeda
2B Hornsby or Frisch or Doyle
SS Davis
3B Ott
OF Mays, Bonds, Clark? Ross Youngs?
DH McCovey
P Mathewson, Hubbell, Marichal, Perry? McGinnity? 19th C pitchers?

Lots of WAR in there.


Nah-You leave Ott in the OF, slap Matt Williams at third, and you still have a plentiful supply of DH's to choose from-Mize, Cepeda, Mccovey, The Other Bonds. Use Frisch as a utility man.
That way you have an airtight infield (At least if Frisch is at second) and a pretty terrific defensive outfield.

The Giants always do well in these things. They pile HoF'er upon HoF'er.
None of these lists have mentioned players such as Bill Terry, Travis Jackson and Jeff Kent, truly good ballplayers who would start for many teams.
   69. ursus arctos Posted: July 09, 2013 at 11:18 PM (#4489442)
For the Giants, put in Roger Connor (53WAR) at DH and move McCovey to first. 2b has to be Frisch;Hornsby only had one season as a Giant.
   70. jobu Posted: July 09, 2013 at 11:22 PM (#4489448)
I suspect that the A's will be really hurt by the fact that most of their stars only spent about half their career with the team due to the great Mack & Finley sell offs.


Right on -- this, in addition to the fact that the recent A's have had a business model of jettisoning stars when they get expensive.


I wonder if you took the career WAR of all players that have passed through a given franchise, if the A's would then top the Giants and Yankees. That would be a different, but interesting, way of measuring the (often post-prime) talent that has passed through a ballclub. A's would pick up Cobb, Speaker, Eddie Collins, Lajoie, Morgan, McCovey, Billy Williams, Sutton, etc. in addition to Foxx, Reggie, Rickey, Grove, Plank, etc.
   71. Chris Fluit Posted: July 09, 2013 at 11:46 PM (#4489476)
#44. Khalil Greene is a surprise. He's also a mistake. Garry Templeton had more WAR for San Diego (10.0-9.2).
   72. jobu Posted: July 09, 2013 at 11:52 PM (#4489485)
Ozzie Smith had 10.9 WAR for the Padres in his 4 years there. I think he's the clear choice. Well, Ozzie or Enzo Hernandez.
   73. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 09, 2013 at 11:56 PM (#4489490)
Chris Gomez or GTFO
   74. Good cripple hitter Posted: July 10, 2013 at 12:04 AM (#4489495)
GOMEZ HIT GRAND SLAM NOW
   75. tshipman Posted: July 10, 2013 at 12:08 AM (#4489501)
Is it such a sure thing that the Yankees are #1?

The strength of both the Yankees and the Giants is the OF:

Giants go:
Mays 156.1
Bonds 112.4
Ott: 107.9
OF Total: 376.4

Yankees go:
Ruth 142.7
Mantle: 109.7
DiMag: 78.3
OF total: 330.7

Yankees obvious pick up a fair bit of ground at 1B from Gherig, but the Giants should take an equally large lead with Mathewson's 95.6 WAR at pitcher. Mathewson and Marichal both have more WAR than Whitey Ford.

Yankees do well in the IF (Jeter vs. Davis picks up 30 of that back), but it seems to me that it's a fair bit closer than some people are thinking.
   76. SoSH U at work Posted: July 10, 2013 at 12:11 AM (#4489505)
44. Khalil Greene is a surprise. He's also a mistake. Garry Templeton had more WAR for San Diego (10.0-9.2).


Ozzie Smith had 10.9 WAR for the Padres in his 4 years there. I think he's the clear choice. Well, Ozzie or Enzo Hernandez.

He's using fangraphs WAR. I was wondering how Eric Show got left out of the starting rotation for Bruce Hurst, but fWAR must have some kind of anti-Birch component, because he's destroyed by it.

   77. Walt Davis Posted: July 10, 2013 at 01:24 AM (#4489537)
If I'm managing the Astros, I'd rather lose a bit defensively at C just so I'm not having to deal with Brad Ausmus' .288 WOBA or Alan Ashby's even worse defense.

Of course the people actually running the Astros decided to make the opposite decision. In favor of Ed Taubensee and Scott Servais (and, yes, to get away from Casey Candaele et al). Sure, if they still had Morgan (I assume that's the Stros 2B) they'd have moved Biggio to CF or something.

But, like I said, at least Biggio did play 3 full years there.

Anyway, I understand the logic -- obviously if you had Chipper and Mathews at your disposal, then one of them plays somewhere else. And I haven't checked the list but if Biggio at C or Mathews at 1B is the worst you do then you're not doing anything too outlandish. Each to their own but I don't find it that fun/interesting to just slot the best players in as that's usually not much more than listing the 6 best players along with the best C and the best SS. Choices make things interesting. Finding out that the best Brave 1B (at least 60% of games) was Joe Adcock at 26 WAR is interesting. I thought that discovering the Cards can field an entire, legit lineup from their top 8 WAR position players was interesting. What advantage does that give the Cards vs other teams?

You can also view it this way ... real-life baseball people have made real distinctions between can/can't play C and between can/can't play SS and between can/can't play CF. They have also made it clear that they don't see a huge difference between 1B/LF/RF (although this may be less true now) and, while there does seem to be a difference, 2B and 3B tend to both be "guys who can hit but can't play SS". There are of course a few guys who could have handled SS or CF who got moved because that's what seemed the best configuration for the team.

I'm not sure if folks think it would be insulting to Mathews/Jones or if they'd just be embarrassed to not have one of them on their "all-time" Braves team. There is no question that they are both among the best players to ever wear the Braves uni and they played there a long time -- so they're definitely on the "greatest players in Braves history" list. But only one of them is the greatest 3B in Braves history.

Alternatively I'm still taking offers of a good starting CF* for Stan Hack. If this was a real team, that's what I'd be doing. Or, if for no other reason than he was an a-hole, I'm willing to do a blockbuster for Cap Anson (and move Hack to 1B). What are the offers?

*Hack Wilson was a CF only in the sense that he once hit 56 HR and drove in 191 runs.
   78. Walt Davis Posted: July 10, 2013 at 01:26 AM (#4489540)
There would be two ways to do that. One take the roster that they end up coming up with here and taking the best year for each of those guys.

If we're doing that, I'm keeping Wilson in CF. :-)
   79. cardsfanboy Posted: July 10, 2013 at 01:40 AM (#4489544)
He's using fangraphs WAR.


and that ends my interest in the entire exercise.....
   80. thetailor Posted: July 10, 2013 at 02:05 AM (#4489553)
Hang in there, cardsfanboy! Part II comes out today!
   81. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 10, 2013 at 02:55 AM (#4489559)
This is really neat. Thanks for putting it together, I'm looking forward to part 2.

I'm not sure that the Yankees end up #1, they might not have the pitching for it.
   82. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: July 10, 2013 at 06:21 AM (#4489589)
Guessing at the All-Time Indians:

C: Alomar
1B: Thome
2B: Lajoie
3B: Keltner
SS: Boudreau
OF: Speaker, Averill, Lofton/Manny
SP: Feller, Harder, Coveleski, and two of Joss/Lemon/McDowell/Wynn
RP: Mesa?

That's not bad, but it's clearly below many of the original-ish franchises.
   83. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2013 at 08:14 AM (#4489609)
He's using fangraphs WAR.


This should really be reconsidered. Using a FIP-based pitching WAR for guys whose entire careers are over makes zero sense.
   84. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2013 at 08:25 AM (#4489614)
Is it such a sure thing that the Yankees are #1?

The Giants pitching edge isn't as big as you think. The top-3 SPs are huge. Mathewson, Hubbell and Marichal have 226.5 BWar, vs. 151.2 for Ford, Pettitte, and Guidry. But at 3/4, Ruffing and Gomez have 90, vs. 70 for Perry, McGinnity. That's ~+55 for the Giants on SP. But, Rivera's going to get back 35 WAR vs. the Giants' best RP, who appears to be Gary Lavelle.

If you expand the pitching staffs beyond 6 guys, the Yankees would actually pull ahead, as they have 3 more guys above 40 WAR (Gomez, Stottlemyre, and Shawkey).
   85. zonk Posted: July 10, 2013 at 08:26 AM (#4489615)
I wonder if you took the career WAR of all players that have passed through a given franchise, if the A's would then top the Giants and Yankees. That would be a different, but interesting, way of measuring the (often post-prime) talent that has passed through a ballclub. A's would pick up Cobb, Speaker, Eddie Collins, Lajoie, Morgan, McCovey, Billy Williams, Sutton, etc. in addition to Foxx, Reggie, Rickey, Grove, Plank, etc.


Waaayyyy back in the days of DOS and Microleague Baseball -- my brother and I would play seasons of Tigers vs. Cubs comprised of all-time franchise rosters -- and the rule was precisely this... any player that garnered a single even partial season with a team and you got to use his best season overall for the stat line. It didn't really skew things as much as it could of, given the two franchises that were our favorites -- but did allow me to use Rajah's 1924 season.... though my brother's Tigers got to employ Eddie Matthews. We split the purchase of one of those old Baseball Encyclopedias (for the kids out there, this is what you had to use before the most Holy and Blessed Sean Forman bequeathed BBREF unto the world) and used to spend hours just flipping through pages looking for black ink (bolded league leaders) then quickly scanning to see if the guy got even a cup of coffee with our respective teams.
   86. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 10, 2013 at 08:48 AM (#4489630)
The Giants pitching edge isn't as big as you think. The top-3 SPs are huge. Mathewson, Hubbell and Marichal have 226.5 BWar, vs. 151.2 for Ford, Pettitte, and Guidry. But at 3/4, Ruffing and Gomez have 90, vs. 70 for Perry, McGinnity. That's ~+55 for the Giants on SP. But, Rivera's going to get back 35 WAR vs. the Giants' best RP, who appears to be Gary Lavelle.

If you expand the pitching staffs beyond 6 guys, the Yankees would actually pull ahead, as they have 3 more guys above 40 WAR (Gomez, Stottlemyre, and Shawkey).


Not quite. The Giants top 3 are Mathewson, Rusie, and Hubble, 233.1 bWAR. 4 and 5 are Marichal 62.5, and Mickey Welch 53.8, for a starter total of 349.4. The Yankees top 5 starters get them 241.2. So the Giants have a 108 edge in starters.

I calculate the Yankees score at ~1080, the Giants around 1050, so Yankees by a clear but close margin.

BTW, the Yankees top 10 in positional WAR are 4 OF, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, and 2 C, so they fit perfectly into the slotting criteria, unless you say you can't put Mantle and Bernie Williams (the 4th OF) at a corner position, in which case Williams gives way to Roy White as the LF with DiMaggio as the 4th OF. The team loses only 3 WAR that way.
   87. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2013 at 08:55 AM (#4489635)
Best guess at the Royals team:

C Mike MacFarlane
1B John Mayberry
2B Frank White
SS Fred Patek
3B George Brett
LF Willie Wilson
CF Amos Otis
RF Jermaine Dye
DH Mike Sweeeney
UT Hal McRae
OF Carlos Beltran

SP Appier-Splitorff-Saberhagen-Leonard-Gubicza
RP Quisenberry

That's pretty solid for a team that has only been around since 1969 and has sucked for 2 decades. Darrell Porter, Johnny Damon, Zack Greinke and maybe Alex Gordon are possibilities too.
   88. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2013 at 08:56 AM (#4489638)
Not quite. The Giants top 3 are Mathewson, Rusie, and Hubble, 233.1 bWAR. 4 and 5 are Marichal 62.5, and Mickey Welch 53.8, for a starter total of 349.4. The Yankees top 5 starters get them 241.2. So the Giants have a 108 edge in starters.

That's not what BRef is telling me. They don't count Rusie.

Are we really counting guys from the 1880-90's? I thought 1901 was the general cutoff for modern baseball? I mean Rusie wasn't pitching at 60'6" for a bunch of his career.
   89. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 10, 2013 at 09:01 AM (#4489642)
That's not what BRef is telling me. They don't count Rusie.


San Francisco Giants Top 10 Pitching Leaders


Are we really counting guys from the 1880-90's? It thought 1901 was the general cutoff for modern baseball?


Only in a very arbitrary sense. The game in 1910 was more like the game in 1895 than the game in 1920.
   90. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2013 at 09:09 AM (#4489646)
San Francisco Giants Top 10 Pitching Leaders

That doesn't match what they show in PI.

Only in a very arbitrary sense. The game in 1910 was more like the game in 1895 than the game in 1920.

I think 1920 is a fair cut-off too.
   91. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 10, 2013 at 09:13 AM (#4489650)
That doesn't match what they show in PI.


Then you are doing it wrong.
   92. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2013 at 09:35 AM (#4489662)
Then you are doing it wrong.

No. The default for PI is 1901-2013 for career stats. I am using their default.

I don't believe including stats from the pre-60'6" era makes any sense in career comparisons.
   93. SOLockwood Posted: July 10, 2013 at 09:58 AM (#4489685)
Why wasn't Edgar listed as the Mariners' 3b? He qualifies in the same sense that Biggio qualifies as the Astros' catcher -- he spent 3 seasons as the regular at the position. Of course, there might not be any position player who has more than Beltre's 16.3 so it would be moot.
   94. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 10, 2013 at 10:13 AM (#4489707)
Is it such a sure thing that the Yankees are #1?

Not at all, since the stated rules have a curious sense of what constitutes a "roster". A real roster has 25 players and rewards depth across the board. The "roster" under the rules here consists of only 15 players.

Forget WAR and just concentrate on peak talent, and imagine a succession of "seasons" that would involve 154 or 162 head-to-head games. Under that scenario, and under the rules of the exercise, both the A's and the Giants would stack up very well against the Yankees, since the starting rotations of both of those teams would easily dominate the best rotation of the Yanks. The real strength of the Yankees over the years has been in the succession of non-superstar starters and above average bench players, much more than in their superstars, but when the rosters are pared down to 15 players, that advantage melts away.

Starting rotations, 1901- , with a slight bit of "affirmative action" slant toward more recent pitchers:

Giants: Mathewson, Hubbell, Marichal, Perry, McGinnity

A's: Grove, Plank, Waddell, Rommel, Hudson

Yankees: Ford, Pettitte, Guidry, Ruffing, Gomez

The relative weakness of that Yanks' rotation can be summarized by one bit of trivia: Mariano Rivera tops every one of them in WAR. I honestly can't see whatever advantage they'd have in the starting 8 everyday players overcoming the weakness of that rotation.

   95. Mefisto Posted: July 10, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4489716)
I don't believe including stats from the pre-60'6" era makes any sense in career comparisons.


Even so, you'd need to include Rusie as a Giants P.
   96. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2013 at 10:32 AM (#4489738)

The relative weakness of that Yanks' rotation can be summarized by one bit of trivia: Mariano Rivera tops every one of them in WAR. I honestly can't see whatever advantage they'd have in the starting 8 everyday players overcoming the weakness of that rotation.


On starting rotation alone, who takes it? Red Sox (Cy, Clemens, Pedro, Lefty, Wakefield) or Braves (Spahn, Niekro, Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux)? Any else challenge them? Dodgers (Koufax, Drysdale, Hershiser, Sutton, Vance)?
   97. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 10, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4489763)
On starting rotation alone, who takes it? Red Sox (Cy, Clemens, Pedro, Lefty, Wakefield) or Braves (Spahn, Niekro, Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux)?


The Braves get a whopping 423.5 from Nichols, Spahn, Niekro, Smoltz, and Glavine. The Red Sox get a mere 282.2 from their top 5.
   98. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: July 10, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4489773)
Why wasn't Edgar listed as the Mariners' 3b? He qualifies in the same sense that Biggio qualifies as the Astros' catcher -- he spent 3 seasons as the regular at the position.
If this is the case, my Indians guesses above should maybe have Thome at third base and Hal Trosky at first.
   99. tshipman Posted: July 10, 2013 at 11:03 AM (#4489779)
The relative weakness of that Yanks' rotation can be summarized by one bit of trivia: Mariano Rivera tops every one of them in WAR. I honestly can't see whatever advantage they'd have in the starting 8 everyday players overcoming the weakness of that rotation.


Not if you take Carl Hubbell as a reliever. Not sure how kosher that would be, but he did lead the league in saves one year ...


***

I didn't realize that the exercise used 4 OFers. That helps out the Yankees considerably. I guess you could put McCovey in the OF and Bill Terry at 1b. It all depends on how free you want to be with positions.
   100. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 10, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4489787)
If this is the case, my Indians guesses above should maybe have Thome at third base and Hal Trosky at first.


That would actually hurt the team. Moving Thome to 3rd displaces either Keltner or Rosen, who both have a higher WAR than Trosky.
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