So, what were the toughest decisions here?
• Adam‘s latest wWAR formula gives Mike Piazza’s Dodgers days a slight edge over Campanella at catcher, but I feel pretty confident going with Campy for the first-team.
• I’m sure an argument could be made for Steve Garvey over Hodges at 1B. When I was witnessing Garvey’s career as a youngster, I’ve got to admit he felt like a Hall of Famer to me. With hindsight, and the benefit of advanced statistical analysis, I don’t feel that way anymore. But, to be honest, I still have trouble wrapping my head around evaluating the careers of players who were perennial all-stars during my formative years, but quite possibly were over-rated.
• I’m curious what the reaction will be to the fact I’ve moved Snider to RF for Davis. Let me get one thing straight first, though. If I had to choose between the two, I’d obviously choose Snider. But, since I rate Davis as the third best outfielder in Dodgers history, and it seems pretty clear he was a better defender than the Duke, I think the move makes sense.
...I suppose I’ll get some flack, if you’re assuming the order these guys are listed in represents their respective place in the rotation–it does–for Koufax at #2. In fact, based on wWAR–which does give extra credit for a player’s peak–Drysdale edges out Koufax, but it’s close enough that I’m going to succumb to peer pressure and move “The Left Arm of God” up from #3. [Actually, if you factor in batting value, Drysdale begins to pull away, but the decision whether or not to dock Koufax for his ineptitude at the plate is a tough call.]
The thing is, though, there’s a strange aspect to this all-time teams thing. Basically, we’re pretending each player is a composite (I’m sure there’s a better word than that, but it’s not coming to me right now) of the different versions of him throughout his career. In other words, Koufax is not just the pitcher who had one of the greatest peaks in history from 1961-1966 (1633 IP, 129-47, 156 ERA+, 44.4 WAR). He’s also the pitcher who struggled early in his career (1955-1960, 692 IP, 36-40, 100 ERA+, 5.9 WAR). Combining those two versions of Koufax brings him back down to earth a bit.
Now, if we’re having the proverbial “who would you want on the mound in one game for all the marbles?” discussion, I’d definitely choose Koufax, as long as we’re talking about the 1961-1966 version. Otherwise, you could definitely make a case for Vance, despite the fact he was a very late bloomer who didn’t win his first major league game until he was 31. But, all of those pre-30s struggles were before he came to Brooklyn, so they’re ignored for the purposes of this exercise.
Posted: October 06, 2012 at 06:48 AM | 148 comment(s)
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