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Monday, July 30, 2018

Jim Thome makes memorable Hall of Fame speech | MLB.com

The more I learn about Jim Thome the more I like him.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 30, 2018 at 06:25 AM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, jim thome

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   1. dlf Posted: July 30, 2018 at 06:40 AM (#5717847)
After the end of the Newcombe near no-no yesterday, I caught the last few minutes of Thome's speech right around the time he was thanking his mother for keeping his brothers from beating him too much then into discussion of his siblings, children and wife. Nice, I guess, but he is not a natural speaker. I didn't see any of the others at all and haven't looked for them. I love Cooperstown and enjoy visiting the museum, but induction speeches haven't ever done anything for me.

I really like Poz's writing, but I'm not a big fan of many of the shorter pieces he is writing for MLB.com. They seem superficial and don't have the same emotional depth that he usually can bring out and still does over at The Athletic. I feel like the bit about delivering the speech over his backyard hedges could have been as well done as the Rulon Gardner stew but it came across a little wooden. Maybe I'm just spoiled by most of what I've read from him over the years but using him to write a newsy piece is like using a baseball bat to drive a nail: it can get the job done, but not the highest use available and can be overly messy.
   2. Rennie's Tenet Posted: July 30, 2018 at 07:25 AM (#5717852)
There's a blog post on his site indicating Posnanski finally gave up on his 100 greatest players series, took down all the content, and now is going to start the whole thing all over again behind a pay wall. He says he has a whole new ranking system, like Bill Buckner could end up No. 13.

   3. Bote Man the walk-off king Posted: July 30, 2018 at 10:38 AM (#5717913)
The more I learn about Jim Thome the more I like him.

Wait until you see Thome's tweets from 1987. OOOF!
   4. Batman Posted: July 30, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5718022)
HEY GUYS THIS IS AN HONOR FOR JI

JIM THOME
   5. bfan Posted: July 30, 2018 at 05:41 PM (#5718133)
Bill Buckner could end up No. 13


This made me look up his career; boy, was he an average player. If not for a ground ball between his legs, he should be remembered for...nothing.
   6. Batman Posted: July 30, 2018 at 05:54 PM (#5718135)
The second most memorable moment of Buckner's career was a fly ball he didn't catch. That one wasn't his fault.
   7. Man o' Schwar Posted: July 30, 2018 at 06:24 PM (#5718144)
I will remember Bill Buckner as being the guy who was let go by the Cubs in 1984 to make way for Leon Durham at 1B. Traded for a Hall of Famer, in fact (Dennis Eckersley).
   8. Cooper Nielson Posted: July 30, 2018 at 11:02 PM (#5718281)
This made me look up his career; boy, was he an average player. If not for a ground ball between his legs, he should be remembered for...nothing.

You're kinda right about this (100 career OPS+; negative WAA and only 15.1 WAR over 22 seasons (really more like 19 seasons); 162-game average of .289/.321/.408 with 11 HR, 78 RBI, 69 runs; combined career bests of .324/.353/.480, 18 HR, 110 RBI, 93 runs), but let's dig around a little:

1. He won a batting title back when that still meant something (1980).
2. He topped 200 hits twice, back when that still meant something.
3. He led the league in doubles twice and had three more years with more doubles than his highest league-leading total (he led the league with 38 in 1983, but also hit 39, 41, and 46).
4. He finished his career with 2,715 hits, currently #65 all-time but was in the top 50 when he retired. Coincidentally, he's also currently #65 in career doubles, with 498.
5. He never struck out more than 39 times in a season and had 10 seasons where he walked at least as much as he struck out.
6. In the season he won his batting title, he struck out only 18 times in 615 plate appearances.
7. HE ONCE STOLE 31 BASES. (I did not know this!!!)

I think without that ground ball he would be remembered (or not) as a "professional hitter with a long career," sort of a Jeff Conine or Chris Chambliss type. That's not much, but it's not nothing.
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 30, 2018 at 11:10 PM (#5718286)
Buckner also made one of the more egregious base running boo-boos in World Series history in the 8th inning of this game, and at the time the announcers torched him for it. But since the Series ended in 5 games it's been largely forgotten.
   10. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 30, 2018 at 11:27 PM (#5718298)
Re: #9--
Here's the video of a play I had never, ever heard about before.
   11. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 31, 2018 at 12:03 AM (#5718318)
This made me look up his career; boy, was he an average player.


No. Well below average. -17.7 WAA. One of the worst ever.
   12. Cooper Nielson Posted: July 31, 2018 at 05:43 AM (#5718335)
No. Well below average. -17.7 WAA. One of the worst ever.

Nah, that's not what negative WAA means. It means he was one of the worst players ever to have a long major-league career.

There are obviously thousands of major-leaguers who were worse than him. Guys like Delmon Young, Jacob Turner, Ryan Raburn, Don Kelly, Brennan Boesch, Bryan Holaday, Danny Worth, Brayan Villarreal, Adam Wilk, and Brad Eldred. And that's just a random assortment of 2012 Detroit Tigers (AL champs!), for no particular reason.
   13. Brian White Posted: July 31, 2018 at 07:23 AM (#5718340)
Buckner also made one of the more egregious base running boo-boos in World Series history in the 8th inning of this game, and at the time the announcers torched him for it. But since the Series ended in 5 games it's been largely forgotten.


From the video Gonfalon linked to, Buckner was out by, like, three inches or so thanks to a perfect relay. And he went for third in a situation where it made reasonable sense (down one run, nobody out).

It wasn't necessarily the world's best idea to go for third, and his rather wide turn at second didn't help things one bit. But calling it "egregious" brings to mind going for third in a situation where it wasn't useful and being thrown out by 15 feet. I don't think that term is applicable to this play at all.
   14. Omineca Greg Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:04 AM (#5718347)
Bill Buckner hardly ever walked (4.5% of plate appearances) and hardly ever struck out (4.5% of plate appearances).

That's notable. It's not particularly good, but it is notable.

With all the pissing and moaning about how baseball is more fun to watch when the ball is put in play, you would think that Bill Buckner would be a hero to some. Not a hero to people who want to win baseball games, but a hero to people who want to see more plays made on the field.

One is reminded of the "All In The Family" theme...

Boy the way Bill Buckner played
Batters that launched a hit parade.
Guys like him they had it made,
Those were the days.
   15. Fiore Gino Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:41 AM (#5718356)
1. He won a batting title back when that still meant something (1980).
2. He topped 200 hits twice, back when that still meant something


I was glad someone pointed this out, Buck definitely was more than just a 100 OPS non-descript hitter. That being said, in today's game, he'd have a much shorter career.
What's pretty unique is Buckner had 110, 105 & 102 RBI seasons & his next highest total was 75 & he usually had around 60-some RBI
   16. dlf Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:56 AM (#5718359)
I loved that video. Reggie made a great throw, Green turned the relay around fast, and Bando blocked the bag. Then the Ump - dressed in that maroon monstrosity - really called him out.

Looking at the box score brought a lot of names up that are still - forty years later - as fresh in my memory as many players from today. Sutton, Marshall, Blue, Odom, and Fingers on the mound, Garvey, Cey, Lopes, and Russell, Reggie, Rudi, Campy, and Claudell. And even the umps, Luciano, Gorman, Denkinger, and God.
   17. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 31, 2018 at 10:20 AM (#5718395)
I will remember Bill Buckner as being the guy who was let go by the Cubs in 1984 to make way for Leon Durham at 1B. Traded for a Hall of Famer, in fact (Dennis Eckersley).


He was probably the most popular player on the team in those days, even though Durham had supplanted him at first base. He started just two of the Cubs' first eight games in 1984, and was on the bench again for the home opener, but when the team was introduced before the game, he was the only player who got a standing ovation. By the end of May, he was gone to the Red Sox.
   18. Accent Shallow is probably a hologram Posted: July 31, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5718407)
From the video Gonfalon linked to, Buckner was out by, like, three inches or so thanks to a perfect relay. And he went for third in a situation where it made reasonable sense (down one run, nobody out).

It wasn't necessarily the world's best idea to go for third, and his rather wide turn at second didn't help things one bit. But calling it "egregious" brings to mind going for third in a situation where it wasn't useful and being thrown out by 15 feet. I don't think that term is applicable to this play at all.


Yeah, I know the rule of thumb is "don't make the first or third out at third base," but I'm with Brian here. Lousy turn, but that took a perfect relay to just nab him.

The most notable part is, as dlf points out, the hideous getup the umpire is wearing, and the enthusiasm with which he calls him out.
   19. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 31, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5718419)
Nah, that's not what negative WAA means. It means he was one of the worst players ever to have a long major-league career.

There are obviously thousands of major-leaguers who were worse than him. Guys like Delmon Young, Jacob Turner, Ryan Raburn, Don Kelly, Brennan Boesch, Bryan Holaday, Danny Worth, Brayan Villarreal, Adam Wilk, and Brad Eldred. And that's just a random assortment of 2012 Detroit Tigers (AL champs!), for no particular reason.


I didn't mean Buckner was one of the worst players ever, but his WAA is. He was a below average player for a long time. That's not close to average. Harold Baines was an average player with a long career: 11,000 PA, 1.8 WAA. Baines had 39 WAR, Buckner 15.
   20. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 31, 2018 at 11:15 AM (#5718424)
From the video Gonfalon linked to, Buckner was out by, like, three inches or so thanks to a perfect relay. And he went for third in a situation where it made reasonable sense (down one run, nobody out).

It wasn't necessarily the world's best idea to go for third, and his rather wide turn at second didn't help things one bit. But calling it "egregious" brings to mind going for third in a situation where it wasn't useful and being thrown out by 15 feet. I don't think that term is applicable to this play at all.

Yeah, I know the rule of thumb is "don't make the first or third out at third base," but I'm with Brian here. Lousy turn, but that took a perfect relay to just nab him.

It was a case where the risk/reward factor was strongly against him. You can say it wasn't egregious, but when you attempt to advance from being in scoring position with nobody out to being 90 ft. closer to home with the risk of leaving your team with nobody on and one out, you'd better be 99.99% certain you're going to make it.

Major Leaguers make perfect relays every day, and Green had time to set up to make a perfect throw. There's a reason that the announcer called it a "dumb baserunning" play, and said that "Buckner knows it right now".
   21. SoSH U at work Posted: July 31, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5718427)
It was a case where the risk/reward factor was strongly against him. You can say it wasn't egregious, but when you attempt to advance from being in scoring position with nobody out to being 90 ft. closer to home with the risk of leaving your team with nobody on and one out, you'd better be 99.99% certain you're going to make it.

Major Leaguers make perfect relays every day, and Green had time to set up to make a perfect throw. There's a reason that the announcer called it a "dumb baserunning" play, and said that "Buckner knows it right now".


I couldn't agree more.
   22. DavidFoss Posted: July 31, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5718441)
Most 'Cumulatively Below Average' Players:

name_common,WAA
Bill Bergen
,-24.49
Doc Cramer
,-22.76
Tommy Dowd
,-21.29
Alfredo Griffin
,-20.52
Doug Flynn
,-20.45
Ski Melillo
,-19.93
Dan Meyer
,-19.89
Tommy Thevenow
,-19.62
Ken Reitz
,-19.48
Bill Wambsganss
,-19.21
Joe Quinn
,-18.93
Willie Montanez
,-18.92
Don Kessinger
,-18.8
Frank O Rourke
,-18.79
Chris Gomez
,-18.42
Pete Suder
,-18.08
Jerry Morales
,-18.05
Luke Sewell
,-18.01
Chick Galloway
,-17.74
Wally Gerber
,-17.7
Bob Kennedy
,-17.32
Johnnie LeMaster
,-17.17
Bill Buckner
,-17.07
Deron Johnson
,-17.01
Yuniesky Betancourt
,-16.89
Bob Aspromonte
,-16.8
Ed Kranepool
,-16.52
Howie Shanks
,-16.47
Shano Collins
,-16.38 


Pitchers:
name_common,WAA
Tony Cloninger
,-14.23
Mike LaCoss
,-13.46
Randy Lerch
,-12.93
Ed Doheny
,-12.88
Bill Stearns
,-12.86
Mike Kekich
,-12.62
Jack Fisher
,-12.14
Herm Wehmeier
,-11.88
Kevin Jarvis
,-11.63
Chick Fraser
,-11.61
Jason Marquis
,-11.45
Asa Brainard
,-11.39
Ed Crane
,-11.28
Ross Grimsley
,-11.2 
   23. Brian White Posted: July 31, 2018 at 01:06 PM (#5718506)
It was a case where the risk/reward factor was strongly against him. You can say it wasn't egregious, but when you attempt to advance from being in scoring position with nobody out to being 90 ft. closer to home with the risk of leaving your team with nobody on and one out, you'd better be 99.99% certain you're going to make it.

Major Leaguers make perfect relays every day, and Green had time to set up to make a perfect throw. There's a reason that the announcer called it a "dumb baserunning" play, and said that "Buckner knows it right now".


Per Tango's run expectancy tables, advancing from 2nd to 3rd with nobody out raises the odds of scoring at least a single run by 22%. That's a huge difference. The rule of thumb that #18 quotes is half-correct: you should never go for third with two out, since that barely moves the needle in terms of run expectancy. But getting to third with nobody out does matter by a fair amount.
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: July 31, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5718510)
Per Tango's run expectancy tables, advancing from 2nd to 3rd with nobody out raises the odds of scoring at least a single run by 22%. That's a huge difference. The rule of thumb that #18 quotes is half-correct: you should never go for third with two out, since that barely moves the needle in terms of run expectancy. But getting to third with nobody out does matter by a fair amount.


How much does getting thrown out cost?

Also, anyone know how run expectancy changes over time?

   25. DanG Posted: July 31, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5718511)
Lowest WAA, minimum 8000 PA

Player          WAAWAROPS+   PA  From  To    H   HR
Doc Cramer     
-22.8  8.4   87  9927 1929 1948 2705  37
Don Kessinger  
-18.8  9.0   73  8530 1964 1979 1931  14
Bill Buckner   
-17.1 15.1  100 10037 1969 1990 2715 174
Kid Gleason    
-15.7  8.3   78  8210 1888 1912 1946  15
Charlie Grimm  
-14.6 13.4   94  8747 1916 1936 2299  79
Ruben Sierra   
-12.9 16.8  105  8782 1986 2006 2152 306
Joe Carter     
-10.8 19.6  105  9154 1983 1998 2184 396
Tommy Corcoran 
-10.6 20.6   75  9400 1890 1907 2259  34
Patsy Donovan   
-9.0 18.4   98  8172 1890 1907 2256  16
Adam Dunn       
-8.9 17.4  124  8328 2001 2014 1631 462 
   26. dlf Posted: July 31, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5718513)
Most 'Cumulatively Below Average' Players:


Lowest WAA, minimum 8000 PA


Is there a way to run that per season? Buckner averaged something like three-quarters of a win below average every year; for folks with more than something like 5000 PAs, how does that stack up?
   27. Ziggy's screen name Posted: July 31, 2018 at 01:20 PM (#5718518)
'cmon DanG, stop posting my fantasy baseball rosters.
   28. DavidFoss Posted: July 31, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5718528)
Is there a way to run that per season? Buckner averaged something like three-quarters of a win below average every year; for folks with more than something like 5000 PAs, how does that stack up?

Buckner does a bit better. 47th worse WAA/600PA with the 5000 PA cutoff with -1.02. He's in between Luis Polonia & Bones Ely. Ken Reitz has the worst WAA/600PA with -2.3 followed by Ski Melillo, Chris Gomez & Tommy Dowd. I'm hesitant to post a 50-name list, but I suppose I can.
   29. Batman Posted: July 31, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5718529)
Yuniesky Betancourt is still playing in Mexico (and hitting .374 in 355 PA this year!) so bb-ref has him listed as the most cumulative below average active player. Mark Reynolds (-10.1 WAA) edges out Alcides Escobar (-10.0) among players who have appeared in MLB this year.

By the way, with that .374 average, Betancourt's OBP is .394.

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