Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Sunday, February 16, 2014

MGL: HOW JETER CAN TURN A VERY GOOD WRITER INTO A HACK *

Hazardous duty in Sochi, indeed! As MGL turns Joe Posnanski into Hack Hackworth!

* And why I am getting tired of writers and analysts picking and choosing one or more of a bushel of statistics to make their (often weak) point.

...Speaking of strawmen, before I lambaste Mr. Posnanski, which is the crux of this post, let me start by giving him some major props for pointing out that this article, by the “esteemed” and “venerable” writer Allen Barra, is tripe. That is Pos’ word – not mine. Indeed, the article is garbage, and Barra, at least when writing about anything remotely related to sabermetrics, is a hack. Unfortunately, Posnanski’s article is not much further behind in tripeness.

...Whether you want to include base running on “offense” doesn’t matter. Look at the career batting runs. 369 runs to 124. Seriously, what was Posnanski drinking (aha, that’s it – Russian vodka! – he is in Sochi in case you didn’t klnow) when he wrote an entire article mostly about how similar Trammell and Jeter were, offensively, throughout their careers. And remember, these are linear weights batting runs, which are presented as “runs above or below average” compared to a league-average player. In other words, they are neutralized with respect to the run-scoring environment of the league. Again, with respect to PED use during Jeter’s era, we can make an argument that the gap between them is even larger than that.

So, Posnanski tries to make the argument that, “They are not so far apart offensively as some people might think (yeah, the people who look at their stats on Fangraphs!),” by presenting some “neutralized” OPS stats. (And again, he is claiming that a 37-point difference is “close,” which is eminently debatable.)

Before he even finishes, I can make the exact opposite claim – that they are worlds apart offensively, by presenting their career (similar length careers, by the way, although Jeter did play in 300 more games), league and park adjusted batting runs. They are 245 runs, or 24 wins, apart!

...Yes, it is true that Trammell has not gotten his fair due from the HOF voters, for whatever reasons. But, comparing him to Jeter doesn’t help make his case, in my opinion. Jeter is not going into the HOF because he has X number of career WAR. He is going in because he was clearly a very good or great player, and because of the other dozen or more things he has going for him that the voters (and the fans) include, consciously or not, in terms of their consideration. Even if it could be proven that Jeter and Trammell had the exact same context-neutral statistical value over the course of their careers, Jeter could still be reasonably considered a slam dunk HOF’er and Trammell not worthy of induction (I am not saying that he isn’t worthy). It is still the Hall of Fame (which means many different things to many different people) and not the Hall of WAR or the Hall of Your Context-Neutral Statistical Value.

For the record, I love Posnanski’s work in general, but no one is perfect. I wonder if he knows how bad this article is? I am just curious.

Repoz Posted: February 16, 2014 at 12:05 AM | 78 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: media, sabermetrics, site news

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Coot Veal and Cot Deal's cols=“100” rows=“20” Posted: February 16, 2014 at 12:33 AM (#4657513)
one would think that the esteemed MGL could maybe spring for the $15 a year for his own domain instead of freebie-riding on wordpress.com
   2. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 16, 2014 at 12:46 AM (#4657514)
Damn, he's abusing the parenthetical thought even more than I do. I didn't know that was possible.

   3. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: February 16, 2014 at 12:51 AM (#4657516)
Runs from a shortstop were more valuable during Trammell's era. Runs, period, were more valuable in Trammell's era.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: February 16, 2014 at 12:51 AM (#4657517)
He's not much of a writer, is he?
   5. Cooper Nielson Posted: February 16, 2014 at 12:54 AM (#4657519)
Reading an MGL column is a lot like looking at a New Yorker cartoon.
   6. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: February 16, 2014 at 02:38 AM (#4657529)
It is still the Hall of Fame (which means many different things to many different people) and not the Hall of WAR or the Hall of Your Context-Neutral Statistical Value.
I agree that Derek Jeter is more famous than Alan Trammell, but why should anyone vote on which player is the most famous? Why would a player consider it a massive, career defining honor to be elected to a group of "most famous" players? Obviously there's an implication that the HOF is a group of "great" players. It makes no sense to me that people view it perfectly valid to consider Player A worthy and Player B not just because Player A is "famous" and Player B isn't. So while it's not called the Hall of WAR, the players think that they are considered "great" when elected and not just "famous". Maybe it's just a practical joke on them?
   7. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 16, 2014 at 02:41 AM (#4657530)
It's a mistake people have been making for decades and turning into an empty talking point. It's called the Hall of Fame because it confers fame, not because it recognizes it.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: February 16, 2014 at 02:51 AM (#4657533)
No offense SoSH, but neither you nor MGL can hold a candle to me.

Runs from a shortstop were more valuable during Trammell's era. Runs, period, were more valuable in Trammell's era.

I'm not sure what it means to say that runs from a SS were more valuable during Trammell's era. (We're not talking the Davey Concepcion average SS hit 180/200/220 era.) And whatever small difference there is will get picked up in Rpos (which is about 1 run a year lower for Jeter).

Warning, numbers below differ slightly since I'm using bWAR not fWAR.

But we know runs were barely more valuable in Trammell's era. As I mention in the Pos thread, the bRAR/bWAR conversion for Trammell is 9.9 and for Jeter it's 10.3. Whoop-de-doo. For whatever reason, the numbers are a bit different for RAA to WAA but it's still 9.4 vs 10. That's enough to close the 237 run gap by at most 8 runs. The better pro-Trammell case is that he was a poor hitter from 36-38 and maybe we should just ignore that. That gets him up to 162 Rbat through age 35. We convert that by different WAA factors and that gets him to 172. We pretend for no good reason that he had as many PA as Jeter through age 35 (adding 1200 PA for Trammell) and we've got him all the way up to 196 Rbat. Now he's only 169 behind Jeter.

All of this can be nicely summed up looking at oWAR where Jeter has a tiny 23 win advantage over Trammell through 35. (Or about 14 if you pro-rate Trammell to 9800 PAs)

MGL is absolutely right that Trammell is nowhere close to Jeter as a hitter, even if we ignore Trammell's last 3 seasons and pro-rate him to Jeter's playing time. He's also 25 runs behind on base + dp. However ...

But, comparing him to Jeter doesn’t help make his case, in my opinion.

Of course it does,* you just need to do a better job than Pos. Through age 35, Trammell is actually ahead by 4 WAR. For career he's only behind by 2 WAR. It may not be easy to convince readers that the overall value is really that similar but it's worth a shot. "As good as Jeter just not as famous" is a pretty strong argument for Trammell. Beats the hell out of "not as good as Ripken, same as Larkin" although that has its appeal too.

* OK, I trust MGL to know his own opinion and, from stuff he's written, his opinion is pretty much impossible to change.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: February 16, 2014 at 02:55 AM (#4657534)
It's a mistake people have been making for decades and turning into an empty talking point. It's called the Hall of Fame because it confers fame, not because it recognizes it.

Sure, but it seems rather clear that fame affects the voting. Lou Brock ain't there for his WAR and the BBWAA's withering disdain for restraint of trade isn't the reason Ichiro will make it.
   10. PreservedFish Posted: February 16, 2014 at 03:17 AM (#4657535)
It makes no sense to me that people view it perfectly valid to consider Player A worthy and Player B not just because Player A is "famous" and Player B isn't.


I don't really have a problem with this. You've got a group of borderline players with equivalent objective cases, they all kind of deserve to be in, but you're not enthusiastic about all of them ... sure, give your vote to the one guy that was really charismatic, or quirky, or had the big clutch hits, or something. Obviously the primary goal is to honor excellent players, but the Hall also exists to celebrate the history of the game, its place in our culture, etc, all of which can be seen as justification for voting for the famous guy. In my opinion.

It's called the Hall of Fame because it confers fame, not because it recognizes it.


I'm curious if you have a source here.
   11. madvillain Posted: February 16, 2014 at 03:31 AM (#4657536)
Obviously the primary goal is to honor excellent players, but the Hall also exists to celebrate the history of the game, its place in our culture, etc, all of which can be seen as justification for voting for the famous guy. In my opinion.


I think if we use WAR as a proxy for "to honor excellent players" than it works out fine. It's not a hall of WAR, and WAR is not accurate enough (or precise enough on defense to render it accurate) to perfectly align "all excellent players", so there is room for "the eye test", or popularity, or charisma or notability or whatever.

In a perfect world guys like Trammell, who were criminally under-rated would get in, even if they weren't particularly loved. But it's not a perfect world
   12. PreservedFish Posted: February 16, 2014 at 03:56 AM (#4657539)
It's not a hall of WAR, and WAR is not accurate enough (or precise enough on defense to render it accurate) to perfectly align "all excellent players", so there is room for "the eye test", or popularity, or charisma or notability or whatever.


I think you're trying to sneak out of this. I agree that WAR is not good enough to use as a definitive ranking of the best players, but there is no argument that charisma or notability might fill the gap between WAR and the True Rankings.
   13. McCoy Posted: February 16, 2014 at 04:16 AM (#4657543)
I've slowly transitioned from the parenthetical thought to just throwing a boatload of commas into my sentences.
   14. G.W.O. Posted: February 16, 2014 at 04:26 AM (#4657544)
Would I rather read a great writer mildly distort statisticians for the purpose of entertainment, or an excellent statistician brutally mangle the English language, and the very notion of linguistic coherence in the name of intellectual vanity?
   15. villageidiom Posted: February 16, 2014 at 07:31 AM (#4657548)
* OK, I trust MGL to know his own opinion and, from stuff he's written, his opinion is pretty much impossible to change.
I am one of his bigger critics, but I have seen him change his opinion before based on a persuasive argument. It has been a while since I've witnessed it, but that could simply be that I've not paid him enough attention recently.
   16. JE (Jason) Posted: February 16, 2014 at 08:16 AM (#4657549)
Alternate headline: "HOW JETER AND POSNANSKI CAN TURN A VERY GOOD ANALYST INTO A BOILING CAULDRON OF INCOHERENCE*"
   17. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 16, 2014 at 09:25 AM (#4657557)
Alternate headline: "HOW JETER AND POSNANSKI REPOZ CAN TURN A VERY GOOD ANALYST INTERNET FORUM INTO A BOILING CAULDRON OF INCOHERENCE*"

FIFY
   18. Publius Publicola Posted: February 16, 2014 at 09:37 AM (#4657559)
Poor MGL. Even when he's right, he's wrong.
   19. bobm Posted: February 16, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4657566)
http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/97jul/rubin.htm

Henry Mitchell MacCracken took great pride in his country's history and heritage. It pained him that America had no pantheon, no shrine to those whose achievements and contributions would forever touch the nation and even the world jurists and statesmen, scientists and inventors, writers and artists. So he decided that he would build an American pantheon on his new campus. He had White design a 630-foot open-air Beaux Arts colonnade with niches for busts and tablets; it would sit prominently on the crest of a hill overlooking Washington Heights and the Palisades. But what to call it? MacCracken came up with the words "hall of fame" -- and called his pantheon the Hall of Fame for Great Americans. [...]

"Fame" is one of those words that have changed some over the years. These days it means "celebrity." But in MacCracken's time "fame" was a more value-laden concept, closer in meaning to "renown." And MacCracken wanted to make sure that the people enshrined in his Hall of Fame were truly famous, not just memorable. [...]

To ensure that nominees would be evaluated with adequate sobriety and perspective, it was decided that no one could be elected who had not been dead for at least twenty-five years. Everyone thought that was just fine; after all, as the old maxim holds, "Fame is a food that dead men eat." [...]

Even before the Hall of Fame was formally dedicated, on Memorial Day, 1901, it had become a focal point for national pride. Part of its appeal lay in the fact that it was a truly democratic institution -- anyone could nominate a candidate, admission would be free, and although NYU served as a steward, raising funds and running the elections, the whole thing was technically the property of the American people. But more important, it was the first institution to unite the notions of fame and America. [...]

It was inevitable that something as popular and prestigious as the Hall of Fame would inspire spinoffs. [...]

One of the first was the Baseball Hall of Fame, which opened in Cooperstown, New York, in 1939. Inventors and scientists and statesmen and thinkers were no longer the heroes of the day. Athletes were. Yet not a single one had made it into the Hall of Fame, and none ever would. The hall's standards of admission -- indeed, its defining mission -- made that impossible. [...]

So the Baseball Hall of Fame filled a void. Its mission was different. It had to be, because this new hall of fame, with its narrow scope and particular focus, could not afford to hold to the standards of the original. The people enshrined in Cooperstown were undoubtedly gifted and even inspirational, their achievements not easily forgotten, but it would be a stretch in most cases to claim that those achievements will forever touch the nation and the world. The Baseball Hall of Fame's founders knew this; they also knew that its inherent limitations liberated them to diverge from the staid, almost ascetic dignity of the original. They weren't restricted to bronze busts and plaques; they could build glass display cases and fill them with jerseys and gloves and balls and banners. Nominees didn't have to be dead, just retired -- so much for the old maxim. Their electors weren't senators and historians and poets; they were sportswriters (who now have their own hall of fame, in Salisbury, North Carolina). And the Baseball Hall of Fame could, and did, charge admission. 

That last item could have sunk the new venture, but it didn't. People came and paid to get in a lot of people. By this time, of course, the definition of "fame" had changed dramatically. It no longer required achievement on a broad scale coupled with some kind of lasting universal contribution. Now achievement alone was enough, even achievement within a narrow context. [...]

It would be easy from all this to draw the conclusion that the divorce of fame and achievement is now complete -- that the only achievement most halls of fame celebrate these days is the achievement of fame itself. And it would be easier still to lay the blame at the feet of those who created and own such "lesser" shrines. But with a few exceptions the proprietors of America's halls of fame do not themselves bestow fame; they merely acknowledge it. Only society can bestow fame. And there is no surer measure of the values of a society than those things upon which it chooses to bestow fame -- or from which it revokes it. [Emphasis added]
   20. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 16, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4657573)
The Hall of Fame isn't the Hall of Celebrity, or else Bobby Thomson and Roger Maris would be enshrined within its doors. And it isn't the Hall of Merit, as the absence of Alan Trammell and Barry Bonds will tell you.

In reality it's the Hall of Subjectively Interpreted Outstanding Baseball Achievement, but unfortunately that doesn't make for much of an acronym. Maybe it should just be called the HoA, as in the Hall of Arguments, because that's what it's really all about.
   21. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 16, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4657576)
Also, I thought after the Paterno book pretty much everyone agreed Posnanski is both a very good writer and a hack. Or a sellout or unethical or whatever strong pejorative you prefer.
   22. Publius Publicola Posted: February 16, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4657581)
Re:21. Yup
   23. Effervesoteric Posted: February 16, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4657642)
Christ, what an asshole.
   24. Jason Michael(s) Bourn Identity Crisis Posted: February 16, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4657690)
#14 - I think you pretty much nailed it.
   25. Hack Wilson Posted: February 16, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4657744)
HOW JETER CAN TURN A VERY GOOD WRITER INTO A HACK


If you mean by referring to Hack, you actually mean superb writer, then I must agree.
   26. Publius Publicola Posted: February 16, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4657753)
I'd be willing to bet my 401k MGL has some form of Asberger's.
   27. Publius Publicola Posted: February 16, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4657758)
This paragraph caught my eye:

This:

By Baseball Reference’s defensive WAR Trammell was 22 wins better than a replacement shortstop. Jeter was nine runs worse.

By Fangraphs, Trammell was 76 runs better than a replacement shortstop. Jeter was 139 runs worse.

Is an abomination. First of all, when talking about defense, you should not use the term “replacement” (and you really shouldn’t use it for offense either). Replacement refers to the total package, not to one component of player value. Replacement shortstops, could be average or above-average defenders and awful hitters, decent hitters and terrible defenders, or anything in between. In fact, for various reasons, most replacement players are average or so defenders and poor hitters.


Maybe this is true in the abstract but really, is the concept of replacement level defense that objectionable? I'm sure somebody could figure out pretty quickly what an approximate value of that is, and judge Jeter's compared to it.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: February 16, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4657766)
unfortunately that doesn't make for much of an acronym

Plus siOBA is seemingly independent on-base average.

   29. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 16, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4657776)
post 26

setting aside your misspelling that condition is now covered under the umbrella of all things autistic

and don't point to some possible malady. it's certainly possible that the writer of this article is just a jerk.

like I tell my gop brethren, being an 8sshole is much more of a choice than being gay.
   30. vivaelpujols Posted: February 16, 2014 at 05:50 PM (#4657777)
More importantly, a big part of that “neutralization” is due to the different offensive environments. Trammell played in a lower run scoring environment than did Jeter, presumably, at least partially, because of rampant PED use in the 90’s and aughts. Well, if that’s true, and Jeter did not use PED’s, then why should we adjust his offensive accomplishments downward just because many other players, the ones who were putting up artificially inflated and gaudy numbers, were using? Not to mention the fact that he had to face juiced-up pitchers and Trammell did not! In other words, you could easily make the argument, and probably should, that if (you were pretty sure that) a player was not using during the steroid era, that his offensive stats should not be neutralized to account for the inflated offense during that era, assuming that that inflation was due to rampart PED use of course.


This entire paragraphs seems like dogshit to me. For one we don't that Jeter didn't use, there's probably a 20-30% chance he did use just based on the fact that he played in that era. Secondly it would be foolish to credit the entire spike in offense to steroids. Pitcher's took steroids too, no? Why is it just assumed that steroids = more leaguwide offense. Other things certainly played a role as well. Thirdly, from a value perspective it doesn't matter whether or not Jeter was at an unfair disadvantage. If he was less valuable to his team because he didn't take steroids (compared to say ARod) then he shouldn't get credit for that. ARod took the risk of taking steroids and he got both the rewards (better performance) and the penalty (soiled reputation, suspension). Jeter can't have his cake and eat it too.
   31. Dudefella Posted: February 16, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4657778)
MGL: HOW JETER CAN TURN A VERY GOOD WRITER INTO A HACK, MR. PRESIDENT


It's all coming together.
   32. vivaelpujols Posted: February 16, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4657779)
MGL is correct about this though:

By Baseball Reference’s defensive WAR Trammell was 22 wins better than a replacement shortstop. Jeter was nine runs worse.

By Fangraphs, Trammell was 76 runs better than a replacement shortstop. Jeter was 139 runs worse.


That's confusing as ####, even beyond the runs vs. wins. Baseball Reference includes a positional adjustment in their dWAR, which is why Jeter is rated as basically average despite horrible defensive scores relative to position and Trammel is rated as godly. FanGraphs does not include positional adjustment in there "dWAR", they don't have a dWAR. Poz is just quoting their raw defensive numbers. So Jeter is terrible in this department and Trammel is merely above average.

That's also why you can't say that Jeter is x runs better than his replacement. All FanGraphs is doing is comparing to league average for SS. Baseball Reference is comparing to a league average defender for all positions (so a SS just by nature of being a SS is a much better defender than a LF). I feel like Poz didn't know this and he was just spitting out numbers.
   33. vivaelpujols Posted: February 16, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4657783)
I think you're trying to sneak out of this. I agree that WAR is not good enough to use as a definitive ranking of the best players, but there is no argument that charisma or notability might fill the gap between WAR and the True Rankings.


Thank you. I've seen this argument so many times. WAR isn't perfect therefore my ####### random opinion is just as good or better.
   34. Publius Publicola Posted: February 16, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4657787)
it's certainly possible that the writer of this article is just a jerk.


I'm not disputing he's a jerk, or at least he seems to be a jerk. I'm speculating why he seems to be one. His writings have Asperger's written all over them. Here's the list of symptoms:

Problems with social skills: Children with Asperger's syndrome generally have difficulty interacting with others and often are awkward in social situations. They generally do not make friends easily. They have difficulty initiating and maintaining conversation.

Eccentric or repetitive behaviors: Children with this condition may develop odd, repetitive movements, such as hand wringing or finger twisting.

Unusual preoccupations or rituals: A child with Asperger's syndrome may develop rituals that he or she refuses to alter, such as getting dressed in a specific order.

Communication difficulties: People with Asperger's syndrome may not make eye contact when speaking with someone. They may have trouble using facial expressions and gestures, and understanding body language. They also tend to have problems understanding language in context and are very literal in their use of language.

Limited range of interests: A child with Asperger's syndrome may develop an intense, almost obsessive, interest in a few areas, such as sports schedules, weather, or maps.

Coordination problems: The movements of children with Asperger's syndrome may seem clumsy or awkward.

Skilled or talented: Many children with Asperger's syndrome are exceptionally talented or skilled in a particular area, such as music or math.

The first, fourth (probably)fifth, and seventh certainly apply. I'm not in a position to judge whether the others do. I would have to be around him some to observe those things.

Anyway, I'm not willing to call him an ####### or a jerk, just somebody that has a personality disorder that manifests itself in ways that annoy and irritate people, and that unfortunately inhibits career growth. In that sense, he has my sympathy.


   35. vivaelpujols Posted: February 16, 2014 at 06:09 PM (#4657788)
Maybe this is true in the abstract but really, is the concept of replacement level defense that objectionable? I'm sure somebody could figure out pretty quickly what an approximate value of that is, and judge Jeter's compared to it.


Yeah I think the concept itself doesn't make sense. Quad A players can sometimes be amazing defenders, such as Paul Janish, or they can be #### defenders, such as Eduardo Nunez. Players are classified as replacement level because their overall value is around that of a 25th guy on a given roster. Replacement level defense or replacement level offense really has no meaning.
   36. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 16, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4657790)
Anyway, I'm not willing to call him an ####### or a jerk, just somebody that has a personality disorder that manifests itself in ways that annoy and irritate people, and that unfortunately inhibits career growth. In that sense, he has my sympathy.

do you also have sympathy for internet trolls? they post ina similar fashion

not looking for a fight. just curious
   37. vivaelpujols Posted: February 16, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4657791)
The first, fourth (probably)fifth, and seventh certainly apply. I'm not in a position to judge whether the others do. I would have to be around him some to observe those things.


This is the dumbest thing I have ever read.

For one, you have no idea if he has problems with social skills. I'm pretty sure MGL has a wife and kids. Just because you're a dick online doesn't mean you're a dick in real life.

But yeah he's a poor writer and also happens to be exceptionally skilled in at least one thing. That makes him like 95% of scientists or mathematicians anywhere (it also applies to Posnanksi or most good writers in the converse, very few people are good at both things).

   38. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: February 16, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4657793)
Diagnosing Asperger's through the analysis of text is problematic since there is a much different social context around both modes of communication. They are also different modes of communication.
   39. caprules Posted: February 16, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4657796)
Just because you're a dick online doesn't mean you're a dick in real life.


It really does. Otherwise there would be no reason to be one online.

This is from the about section on his site
As the sole author of this site, I take full responsibility for everything in it . Feel free to comment, if comments are allowed. Please keep them civil. I am at times quite grumpy, so if you don’t like surly, pettish, fractious, and sometimes downright churlish commentary, this may not be the blog for you. However, if you like to read about occasionally interesting, but more importantly, not disingenuous baseball analysis, this is definitely the site for you.


He chooses to be what he is, but he pleads for civility from his readers. He will dish, but can't take. When he used to comment here, he said something to the effect of "ignore my tone, listen to the message". That's fine and all, but there is no legitimate reason for the tone.

And I truly don't know how exceptional MGL is. This is what he wrote of Jeter in

2004
That makes him a slightly above average SS, which is about where is has been career-wise, which makes him so far from an MVP-caliber player it is not even funny, and continues to make him perhaps the most overrated player in the history of sports (IMO).

If it weren't for the Jeter mystique, the undervaluing of defense, and various and sundry other fortuitous events and circumstances, he would barely be a blip on the radar screen of baseball players... "
   40. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 16, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4657797)
Just because you're a dick online doesn't mean you're a dick in real life.


Being a dick online still counts as being a dick.
   41. vivaelpujols Posted: February 16, 2014 at 06:43 PM (#4657801)
Being a dick online still counts as being a dick.


No one's a "dick" or "not a dick". Everyone does some dickish things in different settings. It's all a matter of degree.

But for diagnosing Aspergers, the distinction between online dickery and real life dickery is important. Did anyone see MGL's clubhouse confidential? It doesn't seem like that dude has Aspergers.
   42. Publius Publicola Posted: February 16, 2014 at 06:57 PM (#4657803)
do you also have sympathy for internet trolls? they post ina similar fashion

not looking for a fight. just curious


I ignore or find amusing internet trolls. I don't think MGL tries to troll though. I just think that when disagreeing with someone, he can't find a way to do it without insulting them.
   43. AndrewJ Posted: February 16, 2014 at 07:00 PM (#4657804)
The author of the Atlantic Monthly piece quoted in post #19 wrote one of my favorite books of 2013. Y'all should check it out.
   44. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: February 16, 2014 at 07:54 PM (#4657812)
Diagnosing Asperger's through the analysis of text is problematic since there is a much different social context around both modes of communication. They are also different modes of communication.
I agree. Trying to diagnose someone based on their articles/blog posts is about as useful as determining pitcher value through wins.
But for diagnosing Aspergers, the distinction between online dickery and real life dickery is important. Did anyone see MGL's clubhouse confidential? It doesn't seem like that dude has Aspergers.
To state the obvious, Asperger's != being a dick. In my experience, aspies are no more or less likely to be dicks than neurotypicals are.
   45. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 16, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4657814)
Deep down everyone on Earth is a dick, now that Mr. Rogers is dead. If you think you know someone who isn't, just put them behind the wheel of an SUV and observe.
   46. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: February 16, 2014 at 09:06 PM (#4657822)
Mr. Rogers was a ####### saint.
   47. greenback calls it soccer Posted: February 16, 2014 at 09:14 PM (#4657823)
Deep down everyone on Earth is a dick, now that Mr. Rogers is dead.

Jesse Walker likes to tell this story about Fred Rogers:
That reminds me of a tale. R. grew up in Pittsburgh, and it seems like whenever we go back there someone tells me a Mister Rogers story. My favorite was relayed by a fellow who once found himself sharing an elevator with Rogers at the hospital. A friend or relative of the TV star was about to have a second surgery, and he was asking a doctor, in that mild-mannered, sing-songy Mister Rogers voice, whether he was the same man who had done the first operation.

"Yes, I was," replied the surgeon.

"Well," said Rogers, his voice unchanged, "try not to #### it up this time."
   48. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: February 16, 2014 at 09:35 PM (#4657827)
Like I said, Dr. Rogers was a saint. He was willing to use a swear word for a relative!
   49. AndrewJ Posted: February 16, 2014 at 09:50 PM (#4657834)
Fred Rogers graduated from Rollins College in Florida with a degree in music composition, and had a piano in his dorm room. One of his classmates was Anthony Perkins -- Rogers remembered that every now and then Perkins would show up and play piano.

Mr. Rogers and Norman Bates in college at the same time.
   50. base ball chick Posted: February 16, 2014 at 10:03 PM (#4657835)
Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 16, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4657776)

like I tell my gop brethren, being an 8sshole is much more of a choice than being gay


- oh harvey
this is beyond

--------------------
as for mgl being aspberger's
well
he sure doesn't come across that way when he's talking

---------------------

as for everybody being a dick
well, not today
i don't think i'd stand out...
   51. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 17, 2014 at 12:14 AM (#4657861)
Jim Bowden and Chris Russo were also at Rollins at the same tie, which is scarier.
   52. bookbook Posted: February 17, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4657926)
Problems with social skills: Children with Asperger's syndrome generally have difficulty interacting with others and often are awkward in social situations. They generally do not make friends easily. They have difficulty initiating and maintaining conversation.

Eccentric or repetitive behaviors: Children with this condition may develop odd, repetitive movements, such as hand wringing or finger twisting.

Unusual preoccupations or rituals: A child with Asperger's syndrome may develop rituals that he or she refuses to alter, such as getting dressed in a specific order.

Communication difficulties: People with Asperger's syndrome may not make eye contact when speaking with someone. They may have trouble using facial expressions and gestures, and understanding body language. They also tend to have problems understanding language in context and are very literal in their use of language.

Limited range of interests: A child with Asperger's syndrome may develop an intense, almost obsessive, interest in a few areas, such as sports schedules, weather, or maps.

Coordination problems: The movements of children with Asperger's syndrome may seem clumsy or awkward.

Skilled or talented: Many children with Asperger's syndrome are exceptionally talented or skilled in a particular area, such as music or math.

The first, fourth (probably)fifth, and seventh certainly apply. I'm not in a position to judge whether the others do. I would have to be around him some to observe those things.


I'm reminded of my friend who, while on rotation in Medical School, was convinced she had whatever horrific disease they were studying that week. ("headaches is a symptom? I get headaches!)

Yet, I gotta say, by this definition many of the folks I grew up with, and half of the people I knew in college could be defined as Asperger's. Any disease label that can be applied so broadly... is it useful?
   53. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 17, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4657929)
Mr. Rogers was a ####### saint.


Oh he was much better than a saint.
   54. Publius Publicola Posted: February 17, 2014 at 10:01 AM (#4657932)
Yes he was. Mr. Rogers was a force of nature, a comet crossing the sky, something one may not witness again in a multitude of lifetimes.
   55. Ron J2 Posted: February 17, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4657958)
# I first encountered that sentiment in Bill James' writing on the Hall. Probably in one of the Abstracts.
   56. Ron J2 Posted: February 17, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4657959)
#11 Based on what I can tell, the standard error for WAR in a 16 year career is not less than 4 wins and is probably closer to 6.
   57. villageidiom Posted: February 17, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4657961)
One of the things with Posnanski I've seen over the years is that while he approves of sabermetrics he rarely is writing to the sabermetric crowd. He is writing to people who don't embrace sabermetrics, and is often willing to meet them on something close to their terms. Maybe he can't do better than that, or maybe he can but chooses not to so he doesn't turn away the audience he wishes to convince. Beats me.

All Posnanski appears to try to do here is to point out that Trammell merits consideration for the HoF if you use Jeter for comparison. His audience appears to be the people who think Jeter's offense should carry him into the HoF on the first ballot, if not sooner. (That was the prevailing argument of the week: not that Jeter's defense was great, but that his defense didn't matter because his offense as a SS was so great.)

When he says they were close offensively, he's saying that Trammell's offense is not so much worse as to merit exclusion. That's the context for "close". And on defense, Trammell is indisputably better. How much better? If his offense is enough to merit enshrinement, it doesn't really matter how much better his defense was; it just matters that it wasn't much worse.

To sum up in one sentence... The bar for SS offense for the HoF can't be both (a) so far beneath Derek Jeter's offensive level as to make his defense irrelevant, and (b) so far above Trammell's offensive level as to exclude him.

The MGL article reads as though, when he read Posnanski's comment that "it was closer than you think", he took personal offense at the implication there was something lacking in how MGL thinks. While I like to believe MGL didn't take offense, his first counterargument to Posnanski's article was two paragraphs debating what Posnanski meant by "you" in the quote above, deciding it might mean him, and taking the stance that he knows a thing or two about baseball and isn't going to accept someone misrepresenting what he thinks for the sake of making a point.
   58. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 17, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4657964)
And of course the primary difference is that we know Alan Trammell belonged at SS, so we can fully credit his offense. He was an HOF-caliber SS both offensively and defensively.

We still don't really know what to make of Jeter's awful defense. He didn't belong at SS. WAR takes a shot at it, but as noted in the other thread, the implicit assumption there is that Jeter could have played some position on the field competently. That might be true, even probably might be true -- but it remains only an assumption.
   59. BDC Posted: February 17, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4657972)
We still don't really know what to make of Jeter's awful defense. He didn't belong at SS. WAR takes a shot at it, but as noted in the other thread, the implicit assumption there is that Jeter could have played some position on the field competently. That might be true, even probably might be true -- but it remains only an assumption

But as we were saying in some other thread, we know nothing about Jeter at any other position because he never played there. I was interested in the hypothetical merely because I wondered if a first baseman who had Jeter's hitting career (there aren't any) would be a HOFer (he would).

What we know about Jeter is that he actually did play tons of innings at shortstop, and that the Yankees could thereby deploy tons of monster hitters at other positions. It seemed to work out.
   60. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 17, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4657973)
Of course Jeter could have played another position on the field competently. Shortstop is the hardest position on the field other than catcher, and he played it competently for 15 years. He could have played any other position on the field competently. In fact given his baseball smarts, athleticism and strong arm, if he'd been trained to do so back in his youth I have little doubt he could have played catcher competently, too.

I realize this may feel like splitting hairs on words here, but competence is a low standard; Jeter was a bad shortstop but not an incompetent one. If he were that he would have been moved off the position many years ago.
   61. PreservedFish Posted: February 17, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4658000)
In the infancy of BTF it was common to say things like "... when Jeter gets moved off the position in a year or two."
   62. Publius Publicola Posted: February 17, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4658012)
Of course Jeter could have played another position on the field competently. Shortstop is the hardest position on the field other than catcher, and he played it competently for 15 years.


If you equate sucking with playing competently, then yeah, he played competently.
   63. PreservedFish Posted: February 17, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4658014)
Where would Jeter have been more valuable?

Centerfield, probably, if he could have play there well, which is tough to evaluate.

Right or left or first? No, I don't see it.

Third or second? I don't think there'd be a net positive from either move, seems like just shuffling him over there might improve his performance but not that of the team.

> I mean, it's possible he could have been an extraordinary defender at one of these positions (like Alex Gordon became when he moved to leftfield) but we have no idea.
   64. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 17, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4658036)
I doubt he would have been more valuable at any other position than he was at shortstop. There is a lot of value in someone with Jeter's bat being able to hold down shortstop without being a complete embarrassment or being so overwhelmed by struggling with it that his bat goes south.

He certainly, absolutely, could have competently played any other position on the field; any major league shortstop could. That doesn't mean he should have. It's a general (and generally true) axiom that you always want a player to play the hardest position he can handle.
   65. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 17, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4658051)
Of course Jeter could have played another position on the field competently.

Again, maybe -- but maybe not. He played SS his whole life and was terrible at it. What makes anyone think he could have taken up another position and played it competently with much less training?

He simply didn't move quickly and efficiently when a major leaguer hit a baseball his way. His ability to do so was far below the expected ability of a major league SS. That fundamental deficiency likely would have manifested itself at many other positions, though the baseline standards are lower at other positions. Would that lower bar have rendered him "competent"? Maybe, maybe not.
   66. GuyM Posted: February 17, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4658061)
you always want a player to play the hardest position he can handle

Up to a point, yes. But you also want to leverage a player's specific defensive skills as much as possible. Scott Rolen was an awesome 3B, but did he have the agility to turn the DP at 2B or SS? Maybe not, in which case 3B was the right place for him.

The question is whether Jeter would have been relatively better somewhere else. 2B doesn't seem like a good fit, as good hands matter less since you have lots of time to bobble the ball and still get the runner. Playing at 3B would probably have meant fewer missed GBs to the OF, but would his poor reaction time have meant a lot of missed bunts and dribblers? His physical skills seem like a good fit in the OF, but I guess we'll never know.
   67. BDC Posted: February 17, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4658077)
Since Jeter was the rich man's Michael Young, that comparison is instructive in seeing that you can go considerably beyond Jeter in stretching a player defensively.

Over his entire career, Jeter's per-season average is -12 RField, -0.5 dWAR, 5 oWAR, 3.8 WAR.

For Young's five seasons as a starting shortstop: -16 RField, -0.7 dWAR, 4.5 oWAR, 3 WAR.

If we assume (for a moment) that WAR is at least a ballpark (no pun) estimate of player value, and hold off on attacking all its components and assumptions …

well, even 3 WAR per season is a decent player. Overpaid, overrated, overhyped, whatever, Young wasn't on balance hurting the Rangers over those five years; if they'd had players as good at every position they'd have been a great team. In fact, since Young could average 3 WAR while being a worse defender and weaker hitter than Jeter, one assumes there's still room for a player even worse in both directions to hold down a shortstop job for a little while. In fact, just in 2013, Jed Lowrie, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Jimmy Rollins registered positive WAR while being below Young's five-season average in both dWAR and oWAR. These are not good seasons, perhaps, but it shows that there's quite a ways to go in that direction. In fact you can go as far as Yuniesky Betancourt, but let's not be irrational about this :)
   68. Baldrick Posted: February 17, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4658085)
Okay, so I can put up with some serious MGL-ness in order to get actual analysis of value on a baseball field. That's what he's an expert in, and his inability to communicate or seemingly understand normal human behavior isn't that big a deal.

I cannot FATHOM why I would listen to MGL opine about the 'true' nature of the HOF. To wit:
Let’s say that you know of this very good baseball player. He is well-respected and beloved on and off the field, he played for only one, dynastic, team, he has several World Series rings, double digit All-Star appearances, dozens of awards, including 5 Gold Gloves, 5 Silver Sluggers, and a host of other commendations and accolades. Oh, and he dates super models and doesn’t use PEDs (we think).

Does it matter whether he is a 40, 50, 60, 80, or 120 win (WAR) player in terms of his HOF qualifications? I submit that the answer is an easy, “No, it doesn’t” He is a slam dunk HOF’er whether he is indeed a very good, great, or all-time, inner-circle, great player. If you want to debate his goodness or greatness, fine. But it would be disingenuous to debate that in terms of his HOF qualifications. There are no serious groups of persons, including “stat-nerds,” whose consensus is that this player does not belong in the HOF.

I am pretty sure if that guy only had 40 WAR, the stat nerd community WOULD object to his HOF induction. I mean, it would be pretty hard for such a person to accumulate those things, but that's not THAT far away from a description of Michael Young. Make Michael Young 10% better, stick him on the Yankees and he'd probably be inducted but absolutely wouldn't deserve it.
   69. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 17, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4658102)
There is a lot of value in someone with Jeter's bat being able to hold down shortstop without being a complete embarrassment or being so overwhelmed by struggling with it that his bat goes south.


There's value until A-Rod joins the team, at least.
   70. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: February 17, 2014 at 04:21 PM (#4658136)
After A-rod joined, they only won 1 World Series. Jeter was negative value. They averaged like 95 wins during the A-rod era. Clearly Jeter was dragging down the win total...or something.
   71. vivaelpujols Posted: February 17, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4658180)
One of the things with Posnanski I've seen over the years is that while he approves of sabermetrics he rarely is writing to the sabermetric crowd. He is writing to people who don't embrace sabermetrics, and is often willing to meet them on something close to their terms. Maybe he can't do better than that, or maybe he can but chooses not to so he doesn't turn away the audience he wishes to convince. Beats me.


I agree that Poznanski is writing with a different audience in mind then say Studeman or David Gassko were. But he still makes way too many sabermetric mistakes that actually subtract from his argument at times. The dWAR, replacement defense thing above is an example of that. That's confusing as #### to readers who don't already know what those two things mean and makes them more likely to tune out.

Also, Poznanksi is still writing from a sports writers bent, which means he'll occasionally distort facts to fit his narrative. I remember this one annoying me:

http://www.ussmariner.com/2010/08/11/joe-posnanski-writes-a-bad-article/
   72. Walt Davis Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:07 AM (#4658843)
That's confusing as ####, even beyond the runs vs. wins. Baseball Reference includes a positional adjustment in their dWAR, which is why Jeter is rated as basically average despite horrible defensive scores relative to position and Trammel is rated as godly. FanGraphs does not include positional adjustment in there "dWAR", they don't have a dWAR. Poz is just quoting their raw defensive numbers. So Jeter is terrible in this department and Trammel is merely above average.

That's also why you can't say that Jeter is x runs better than his replacement. All FanGraphs is doing is comparing to league average for SS. Baseball Reference is comparing to a league average defender for all positions (so a SS just by nature of being a SS is a much better defender than a LF). I feel like Poz didn't know this and he was just spitting out numbers.


Actually fangraphs does now summarise a total "offense" contribution (which is relative to average) and a total "defense" contribution (which is Rfield + Rpos in bWAR terms). They just express them as runs instead of wins. I'm not sure when they went to this format but it's there. To get a rough dWAR, just divide the "defense" by 10.

Jeter is a player where there are major disagreements between bWAR and fWAR that just happen to add up to about the same total WAR. fWAR puts Jeter's total offense (Rbat + Rbase + Rdp) at 369 RAA and his total defense as -27 RAA. bWAR puts those numbers at 428 and -104. All told it's 74 fWAR vs. 72 bWAR so it comes out in the wash sorta.

I realize this may feel like splitting hairs on words here, but competence is a low standard; Jeter was a bad shortstop but not an incompetent one. If he were that he would have been moved off the position many years ago.

Except that, by dWAR at least, he is by far the worst SS in history on a career basis and close to the worst on a rate basis (at least for anybody with a reasonable number of games there). As I showed somewhere, he was among the worst-fielding young SS ever too -- rivaled by Hanley, Wil Cordero and other greats. For his 30s, he does have about the same dWAR as Banks and Yount who were moved off of SS.

In the expansion era, there have been 31 seasons of 120+ games at SS and a dWAR <= -1. Jeter has 5 such seasons, although his worst is only #7. There are 4 players with 2 -- Hanley, M Young, Dunston and Yuni. Hanley was moved to 3B then back to SS; Young was moved to 3B then DH (not necessarily due to dissatisfaction with him as a SS). Dunston's seasons were at ages 32 and 34, he was strictly a bench player after that and only got about another 40-50 SS starts the rest of his career. Yuni's longevity is inexplicable but he's had only 3 starts at SS the last two years.

Four of Jeter's 5 worst seasons were in his 30s as you'd expect. Young had his worst seasons in his first two as a full-time SS then he settled down for 3 years to bad not horrible. Young's dWAR is worse than Jeter's. Among other guys who could hit a bit ... I already mentioned Cordero who was run off SS. Grudz was bad at 28, good at 29 but sent off to 2B at 30. Felipe Lopez was terrible at 26-27 and moved to 2B at 28.

All told I find only 8 players in the expansion era with 80% of games at SS, 1000+ PA and dWAR <= 0 for ages 27-29. Here are their dWARs from 27-29 and from age 30 on and remaining starts at SS:

Young -4 -9 305
Jeter -2 -7 heaps and heaps
Yuni -3 -2 3
Gutierrez -2 -2 270
Reyes -1.4 0 (one season)
Cruz 0 1 279
Owen 0 3 331
LeMaster 0 0 67

Of course most of those guys didn't have many starts left period, they were pretty much done once they couldn't play SS.


Near as I can tell, most lousy young SS who could hit well enough to be moved elsewhere did adapt reasonably well to new positions and an average-ish corner OF with a long career (e.g. Gwynn, Raines) is also about -9 dWAR suggesting he'd have been fine there. But then you get somebody like Sheffield who was even worse than Jeter in his short SS stint but went on to be a horrible RF (by bWAR) or Cordero who had -8 dWAR in just 4700 PA. Yes, I think the most likely outcome is he would have been fine at 1B/LF/RF and probably passable for a while at least at 3B or CF but disaster can't be ruled out.

But I don't really buy that he was "competent" at SS, not by MLB standards. Jeter is the first SS in ML history who was this bad defensively and wasn't moved, at least in his 30s. The Dodgers are trying to repeat history (at least for a bit) with Hanley.

Given the big differences, it's possible that Jeter would look less a freak by fWAR or some other measure.

BTW, Raines is another excellent comp for Jeter the mythical corner OF.

TR 22-35: 296/385/428, 126 OPS+, 368 offense, -61 defense, 61 WAR, -6 dWAR in 8600 PA
DJ 22-35: 318/388/459, 121 OPS+, 430 offense, -72 defense, 68 WAR, -6 dWAR in 9800 PA

especially since a good bit of his time missed was not Raines's fault (2 strikes, one collusion cost about one season). On a per-PA basis, they're identical in WAR terms. Raines got less playing time after 35 but they've produced about the same (4 vs 5).
   73. Walt Davis Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:31 AM (#4658848)
And to close this off, I've also comped him to Gwynn, Rose and Murray so ...

DJ 22-35: 318/388/459, 121 OPS+, 430 offense, -72 defense, 68 WAR, -6 dWAR in 9800 PA
TR 22-35: 296/385/428, 126 OPS+, 368 offense, -61 defense, 61 WAR, -6 dWAR in 8600 PA
PR 22-35: 311/383/433, 127 OPS+, 360 offense, -13 defense, 71 WAR, -1 dWAR in 10000 PA
TG 24-37: 342/393/460, 135 OPS+, 381 offense, -47 defense, 62 WAR, -5 dWAR in 8500 PA
EM 22-35: 293/371/489, 139 OPS+, 365 offense, -62 defense, 61 WAR, -6 dWAR in 9100 PA

Rose's defense declined badly immediately after this. Different age range for Gwynn because it took him a while to break in.

Raines was about dead average defensively in LF, Rose had big years when he first moved to the OF and was below average in the IF, Gwynn was just above average overall with an odd mix of excellent and terrible years and Murray was well above average for 1B but yanked down by the positional adjustment.

WAR is not the be-all and end-all but it suggests that (even on a rate basis) he'd have been as good as Gwynn/Raines and a bit better than Murray. He could give back another 7 WAR or so and still be as good as Ichiro on a rate basis.

Somebody also raised Mark Grace as a close 1B comp for Jeter and, given the shape of his production, he probably is better than Murray. Grace didn't break in until 24 so ..

MG 24-35: 310/386/447, 123 OPS+, 224 offense, -44 defense, 41 WAR, -5 dWAR in 7600 PA
DJ 24-35: 320/391/466, 124 OPS+, 400 offense, -74 defense, 60 WAR, -6 dWAR in 8350 PA

The PA difference is almost exactly 10% but that won't come close to catching Grace up. Grace loses 50 runs on the baserunning thing but that's still far behind. I don't really know why the offensive gap is that large -- obviously Grace's raw 386 OBP is not quite as impressive given it's Wrigley. I agree it looks like a great comp until you get to the offense and total WAR bit. Of course if Jeter had played for the Cubs, he'd have turned out like Yuni somehow.

I hope Sean got a gift basket for WAR's Jeter love. :-)
   74. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 19, 2014 at 08:46 AM (#4658866)
For his 30s, he does have about the same dWAR as Banks and Yount who were moved off of SS.


Not to put words in your mouth, and at the risk of gross oversimplification... doesn't this pretty much say that there might not have been all that much gained by moving Jeter off SS?
   75. Ron J2 Posted: February 19, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4658917)
#74 Unless his skill made him better suited for another position. If he was an averageish CF the Yankees would have been ahead of the game (at least with respect to Jeter)

As an example, I have no doubt the Yankees ended up better off moving Mantle to the outfield.
   76. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 19, 2014 at 07:23 PM (#4659328)
The Banks/Yount comparison is about a mid-career position switch; I don't think it says much about moving him at the start of his career. Besides, the 1951 Yankees had room in the OF. The 1996 Yankees had need of a SS.
   77. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 19, 2014 at 07:56 PM (#4659345)
...Yes, it is true that Trammell has not gotten his fair due from the HOF voters, for whatever reasons. But, comparing him to Jeter doesn’t help make his case, in my opinion.


As hitters it's pretty clear to me that Trammell's best 5 years (155, 138, 138, 138, 136) were better than Jeter's (153, 132, 128, 127, 125)
It's also clear that Trammell's worst* 5 seasons (85, 85, 89, 90, 92) were worse than Jeter's (90, 100, 101, 102, 103)

Trammel was all over the place he had multiple OPS+ swings from year to year of 30-45 points, Jeter was like an effing metronome- every year but one he was a better hitter than the average shortstop... in fact every year but one he's been a league average or better hitter period. (and of course Pettitte was to pitching what Jeter was to hitting- 117 career ERA+ with no discernible peak- just no 70-90 ERA+ stinkers to drag his career average down)

OTOH I can't even say that Trammel had a better peak, because his better years are not on;y non-consecutive, they are not even reasonably clustered, his longest stretch of 100+ OPS+ years was THREE, bookended by 90 and 5 OPS+ stinkers


*With over 500 PAs, he has a few partial seasons of 90, 85, 82 and 34...
   78. Steve Treder Posted: February 19, 2014 at 08:12 PM (#4659353)
Besides, the 1951 Yankees had room in the OF.

Not really. DiMaggio was still active, and they shoehorned Mantle into RF ahead of Hank Bauer and Jackie Jensen. Mantle filled no opening in the Yankee OF, they just put him ahead of other excellent players.

The 1996 Yankees had need of a SS.

This is quite true, and the 1951 Yankees had Rizzuto at SS.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Adam M
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 8-27-2014
(137 - 2:51am, Aug 28)
Last: Baldrick

NewsblogSimmons' run-saving stop
(2 - 2:40am, Aug 28)
Last: Pat Rapper's Delight

NewsblogFG (Sullivan): The Tigers and the Angels Needn’t Scramble for Help
(2 - 2:26am, Aug 28)
Last: Cooper Nielson

NewsblogKapler: Pinstriped Yarmulkes
(8 - 2:08am, Aug 28)
Last: steagles

NewsblogC.J. Wilson on Spin Rate, Arm Angles and Exploiting Weaknesses
(15 - 2:04am, Aug 28)
Last: Jim (jimmuscomp)

NewsblogPosnanski: Blaming the fans
(90 - 1:52am, Aug 28)
Last: Cargo Cultist

NewsblogCameron: Next year really might be THE year, Cubs fans
(44 - 1:52am, Aug 28)
Last: odds are meatwad is drunk

NewsblogJack White, Eddie Vedder, and Paul Simon take in a Seattle Mariners game
(26 - 1:50am, Aug 28)
Last: Infinite Joost (Voxter)

NewsblogByron Buxton, Addison Russell, Mark Appel named to Arizona Fall League rosters | MiLB.com
(12 - 1:27am, Aug 28)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogOT: Politics, August 2014: DNC criticizes Christie’s economic record with baseball video
(5800 - 1:26am, Aug 28)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogAJC: O’Brien: Expect B.J. Upton trade talks to be revisited
(32 - 12:54am, Aug 28)
Last: Der-K and the statistical werewolves.

NewsblogPassan: How macho baseball culture wants to ruin Yu Darvish's arm
(1 - 12:52am, Aug 28)
Last: Cargo Cultist

NewsblogReports: The Astros may still be able to sign top pick Brady Aiken
(27 - 10:46pm, Aug 27)
Last: Ziggy

NewsblogDavid Justice Says Put Barry Bonds in Baseball Hall of Fame Despite Steroid Use Late In Career
(125 - 10:18pm, Aug 27)
Last: Tom Nawrocki

NewsblogFangraphs: Cameron | Tim Lincecum: Now a Reliever, Maybe Needs to Close
(32 - 10:16pm, Aug 27)
Last: Jose Canusee

Page rendered in 0.5653 seconds
52 querie(s) executed