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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Lopes ‘taking it easy’ after calling it quits

NEW YORK—Fifty years after the Dodgers drafted him, Davey Lopes said on the Newsmakers podcast that he is retiring after 45 consecutive years in the Major Leagues.

“I’m not doing much. I’m retired, taking it easy,” said Lopes, who last worked for the Nationals as a first-base coach in 2017. “It was not a difficult decision to make, but one I was kind of hesitant to make. But it all works out. I got the opportunity to play, manage or coach for a long, long time. I’m extremely thankful. I was one of the lucky ones in the big leagues for 45 straight years. That’s a long time. I have no complaints.”

Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 31, 2018 at 01:12 AM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: chicago cubs, houston astros, los angeles dodgers, milwaukee brewers, oakland athletics, retirements

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   1. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 31, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5616419)
Hmm. Better career than I had remembered. 42 WAR, 107 OPS+, fought 2B to a draw. 557-114 SB-CS (83%).

And from ages 38-42 a 118 OPS+ in 1536 PA with 111-17 SB-CS (87%).

   2. villageidiom Posted: January 31, 2018 at 10:57 AM (#5616425)
Hmm. Better career than I had remembered.
He was the basis of one of my preferred Strat-O-Matic cards BITD. Among my brother and friends in early-80s Boston area, nobody really thought of him as a great player. But for a time he was a great player. With what we knew of the Dodgers he was overshadowed by many other players.
   3. Mike Webber Posted: January 31, 2018 at 11:10 AM (#5616432)
Lopes also seemed to be one of those coaches had a clear impact on his team. When he showed up the stolen base game really improved for a team, both in success rate and and quantity.
   4. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 31, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5616439)
Hmm. Better career than I had remembered. 42 WAR, 107 OPS+, fought 2B to a draw. 557-114 SB-CS (83%).


And didn’t become a regular until 28. His 1985 with the Cubs is one of the more remarkable age 40+ seasons. Only 99 games, but a 122 OPS+, and 47/51 SB.
   5. Batman Posted: January 31, 2018 at 11:29 AM (#5616445)
It was only 20 plate appearances, but Lopes hit .643/.750/.857 in a Triple A rehab assignment when he was 42.
   6. GGC Posted: January 31, 2018 at 11:32 AM (#5616450)
East Providence represent! (I'm not a native, but I spent more of my waking hours here than anywhere else Mon-Fri.)
   7. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 31, 2018 at 11:38 AM (#5616456)
Lopes also seemed to be one of those coaches had a clear impact on his team. When he showed up the stolen base game really improved for a team, both in success rate and and quantity


This was absolutely true for the Phillies.

We were worried when he left after 2010 but the great base stealing habits that he inculcated in Utley, Victorino et al continued for another couple years.
   8. Astroenteritis Posted: January 31, 2018 at 12:07 PM (#5616481)
Davey Lopes is probably the reason I believed in clutch hitting for so long in my younger years. With the Dodgers it seemed that he got a hit every time he came up with two outs and runners in scoring position against the Astros. I used to dread seeing him come to bat with runners on. One day I'll have to do the research and see if he really was "clutch" against Houston in his Dodger years. Probably not, but it is funny how memories of certain players from my younger years have persisted.
   9. dlf Posted: January 31, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5616507)
One of my early introductions to what later was to become Sabermetrics was having Lopes' 1979 Statis-Pro card in a little board game I played with my cousins. His BA was only .265 and in my 12 year old eyes that just meant he was horrible, but by adding almost 30 homers, nearly 100 walks, and a 44:4 SB:CS ratio while playing an up-the-middle position, he was amazing.
   10. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 31, 2018 at 01:45 PM (#5616550)
Never really had a chance with the Brewers (as Manager). This is when the Selig's ran the franchise like a 24-hr Greek Family restaurant. I think he was canned a couple weeks into year #3, and we were left with Jerry Royster, Dear God. His antics put Lopes to shame. Those were some very painful years as a Brewers fan. I remember Lopes getting bent out of shape at Rickey for stealing a base late in a lopsided game.

Otherwise, I agree, Lopes seemed like a total 'pro' as a coach.
   11. BDC Posted: January 31, 2018 at 02:05 PM (#5616565)
Closest career comps to Lopes, centered on him in terms of PA, OPS+, and dWAR. But not restricted by position, so a few similar outfielders show up. I kept them in because they're intriguing: Carl Crawford, for instance, also an elite baserunner, and very close in other respects too. These are all really good baserunners; a few are known for various foibles and flaws (disappearing throwing arm, overpaid contracts, "mistake" selection to the HOF, notorious racism), but others (Pratt, McManus, McAuliffe) are sabermetric cult favorites :)

Player            dWAR   PA OPSRbaser  HR  RBI  SB   BA  OBP  SLG        Pos
Del Pratt          5.6 7622  112   
-8.1  43  979 247 .292 .345 .403 *4/36H5987
Chuck Knoblauch    5.3 7387  106   43.0  98  615 407 .289 .378 .406   
*47/DH68
Marty McManus      4.8 7565  102   
-2.8 120  992 126 .289 .357 .430   *45/3H69
Dick McAuliffe     4.0 7161  109    7.6 197  696  63 .247 .343 .403    
*465H/D
George Kell        1.6 7529  112    7.1  78  870  51 .306 .367 .414   
*5/3H794
Davey Lopes        1.2 7340  107   83.0 155  614 557 .263 .349 .388 
*4H/8795D6
Carl Crawford      0.8 7178  105   48.0 136  766 480 .290 .330 .435     
*7/H8D
Ben Chapman        0.5 7424  114    5.4  90  977 287 .302 .383 .440  897
/54H16
Vernon Wells      
-1.0 7212  104   12.4 270  958 109 .270 .319 .459 *87/D9H345
Bret Boone        
-1.5 7433  101   -1.8 252 1021  94 .266 .325 .442     *4/H5D
Pete Runnels      
-1.8 7329  107    9.5  49  630  37 .291 .375 .378    346H/57 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/31/2018.
   12. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 31, 2018 at 03:06 PM (#5616642)
Those were some very painful years as a Brewers fan. I remember Lopes getting bent out of shape at Rickey for stealing a base late in a lopsided game.


Yes, Lopes was furious about Rickey disrespecting the Brewers and the game, and said they were going to "drill him" in Henderson's next at-bat. When Henderson was removed from the game, Lopes suggested they might have to drill one of Rickey's teammates instead. The next day, Elias was on the spot with a list of the seven times in his career that Davey Lopes had stolen a base with a lead of 7 or more runs.
   13. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 31, 2018 at 03:40 PM (#5616676)
It was a late July Sunday afternoon game, I remember it, as it was either right before, or right after Tony Gwynn hit a ph 2B and came out of the game (his last career AB in Milwaukee) and the fans were cheering him like crazy as he trotted off. Who ####### cares if Rickey Henderson is stealing second off of Ray King or Mike Buddie or whoever the F it is when it's 11-5. I remember being outraged at Lopes and thinking he probably did the same thing.
   14. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 31, 2018 at 03:57 PM (#5616706)
This was absolutely true for the Phillies.

We were worried when he left after 2010 but the great base stealing habits that he inculcated in Utley, Victorino et al continued for another couple years.


He had terrific raw material for half the roster (Rollins, Utley, Victorino, Werth) and fine-tuned those guys like nobody's business and turned them loose.
The rest of the regulars he didn't have running (Howard, Ruiz, Burrell, Ibanez, Feliz, Polanco), so there were no border-line guys to bring down the %. We all could have figured out that part. :)
   15. Walt Davis Posted: January 31, 2018 at 04:01 PM (#5616713)
Yeah, he wasn't much of a manager but he did seem an excellent coach. With his steals, if anything, he didn't steal enough in his late 30s-40s. I think at one point in that stretch, he set the record for consecutive successful steals (later broken I think) which sounds great but it also seemed like he would only go when he knew he could make it. That's fine until it's late in a close game.

Obviously he lacked the career length (and no postseason heroism) but he was roughly Lou Brock at 2B:

DL 263/349/388, 107 OPS+, 557/114 SB/CS, 42 WAR, 1.2 dWAR
LB 293/343/410, 109 OPS+, 938/307 SB/CS, 45 WAR, -17 dWAR

Of course that includes Brock's decline phase and over his peak 7800ish PA, he was a better hitter than that but still just 41 WAR due to positional differences.
   16. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: January 31, 2018 at 10:19 PM (#5616962)
And didn’t become a regular until 28. His 1985 with the Cubs is one of the more remarkable age 40+ seasons. Only 99 games, but a 122 OPS+, and 47/51 SB.


Ryno had a fine MVP follow-up and (TR) Zonk drove in 100 -- but Lopes was the most fun and exciting part of that team. Everybody other than those three got hurt or old (most both); Lopes just got awesome.
   17. GGC Posted: January 31, 2018 at 10:49 PM (#5616978)
TIL that Zonk was Keith Moreland's nickname. I just assumed you named yourself after Zonker Harris.

TI also L that Lopes is half Irish and half Cape Verdean. I found an ESPN article while taking a break at work that mentioned that. He actually spent his youth in Providence even thought he was born in EP.
   18. grandcosmo Posted: January 31, 2018 at 10:57 PM (#5616983)
Ryno had a fine MVP follow-up and (TR) Zonk drove in 100 -- but Lopes was the most fun and exciting part of that team. Everybody other than those three got hurt or old (most both); Lopes just got awesome.
Don't forget Thad Bosley who had a great season as the primary pinch hitter.
   19. greenback slays lewks Posted: January 31, 2018 at 11:00 PM (#5616988)
TI also L that Lopes is half Irish and half Cape Verdean.

Is that the reason his name rhymes with popes?
   20. Zonk is a Doorknob Whisperer Posted: January 31, 2018 at 11:22 PM (#5616996)
TIL that Zonk was Keith Moreland's nickname. I just assumed you named yourself after Zonker Harris.


It was probably about 60/40.

I am vast, I can play multiple positions.... poorly.

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