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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ozzie Smith agrees with Hall of Fame snubs

I guess Ozzie hadn’t gotten word about Earl yet…

After Smith retired in 1996, the position changed. Teams elected to go with bigger shortstops.

“It’s an offensive thing now,” Smith said. “I think it boils down to how much defense you are willing to forgo for the offense. Guys like Cal (Ripken Jr.) have really opened the door and given the opportunity to guys who are more offensive than defensive.

“Really, what you’re looking for is someone who will catch the ball that’s hit right to them. I don’t think they’re looking for as much range as a prototypical shortstop but someone who will go out there and catch the ball that’s hit to them. The routine plays.

“You can’t win on a consistent basis without good defense up the middle. You got to be able to shore that up. If you can’t shore that up, somewhere down the road, it may take the 162nd or 163rd game, or in the playoffs, or the World Series to be exposed, but it will be exposed.”

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2013 at 01:02 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

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   1. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 19, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4350566)
Could we just add a universal "Grumpy Old Man Is Grumpy" tag to the system?
   2. The District Attorney Posted: January 19, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4350568)
So Alan Trammell, then?
   3. Magnum RA Posted: January 19, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4350577)
Cal was a stud defensively, too. The total package, unlike Ozzie.
   4. Blastin Posted: January 19, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4350580)
He said guys who tested positive. Hokay, so Clemens is in, then?

I hope JR Wolf doesn't rear his head.
   5. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: January 19, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4350581)
“You can’t win on a consistent basis without good defense up the middle. You got to be able to shore that up. If you can’t shore that up, somewhere down the road, it may take the 162nd or 163rd game, or in the playoffs, or the World Series to be exposed, but it will be exposed.”

Tell that to jeter!

also does ozzie have the worst bat of ss's in the hall?
   6. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 19, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4350583)
also does ozzie have the worst bat of ss's in the hall?

Without looking, it's probably Rabbit Maranville.
   7. bookbook Posted: January 19, 2013 at 02:45 PM (#4350587)
Yeah Magnum, but did he ever do a backflip? Not even on the soccer field, I'd wager.
   8. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 19, 2013 at 03:20 PM (#4350601)
Without looking, it's probably Rabbit Maranville.


"What is the answer to any question about the worst player in the Hall of Fame?", Alex.
   9. bigglou115 Posted: January 19, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4350604)
Without looking, it's probably Rabbit Maranville.


Maranville had a wOBA of .311, Smith had a wOBA of .305.
   10. bjhanke Posted: January 19, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4350605)
I took a look at the Hall SS at BB-Ref. In weakest career OPS+, it's a tie between Aparicio and Maranville, at 82. In OWAR, it's Rizzuto, at 25.5. Ozzie is 87/44.5, so he's not in the "hunt." My actual opinion is that it's Luis. Both Rabbit and Phil have seasons missing (Rabbit about 2, Phil about 3) in the middle of their careers due to World Wars and odd behavior by Branch Rickey. Rabbit's career is so long that the numbers get weird just because he was able to play for so long after he 1) stopped hitting as well as he had when he was younger, and 2) could not adapt to the new power hitting game of the 1920s. Phil's career is very short (for a Hall SS) and didn't involve having the conditions of offense in the game change in the middle of his peak. But he did miss 3 war years, not 2. If you forced me to rank the three of them, I'd go Luis, Phil, and Rabbit. Maranville wasn't that bad a hitter in the dead ball era, and he doesn't have a fluke season pulling his numbers up. Phil is missing 3 years, not 2, but Rabbit's career is about 6-8 seasons longer. If Phil had played 6-8 more years, his OPS+ would certainly have gone down, although I'm not sure he would have ended up with fewer OWAR, which would have involved below-replacement hitting. I'd be astonished to find out that Rabbit Maranville, who was an alcoholic acrobat who would try anything when sober, much less drunk, never did a backflip. - Brock Hanke
   11. bigglou115 Posted: January 19, 2013 at 03:31 PM (#4350609)
Or what 10 said.
   12. Bob Tufts Posted: January 19, 2013 at 04:01 PM (#4350616)
Ozzie fell into the Springfield mystery spot and disappeared, whereas Maranville was born in Springfield (MA).

Coincidence?
   13. Bob Tufts Posted: January 19, 2013 at 04:06 PM (#4350619)
And Ozzie Smith vs. Bob Tufts? One at bat, one called out on strikes (looking).

He truly cannot hit!
   14. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 19, 2013 at 06:08 PM (#4350669)
"Too many shortstops hit better than me now. Wah."

It's not like the glove-only SS's were outperforming him on defense, so...

But he did have some skills on offense, helped by the walks and steals. For a SS.
   15. BDC Posted: January 19, 2013 at 06:52 PM (#4350680)
At his three-year offensive peak (1986-88), Smith had about 12 oWAR; at his (2009-11), Troy Tulowitzki, to pick just one of today's all-rounders, had about 14 oWAR. The contrast is interesting because a whole lot of illusions pull their raw offensive numbers in different directions; almost everything (park, competition, era, baserunning, durability) combines to bring Smith's .285/.373/.352 within hailing range of Tulo's .304/.376/.554. Anyway, as others have said, Smith at his peak was a pretty good hitter, at least at the top of the order. He was ghastly in San Diego and awful as a very old Cardinal, but in between, he was a solid offensive player.
   16. AROM Posted: January 19, 2013 at 10:29 PM (#4350756)
Ozzie was a terrible hitter as a Padre, you can blame that on his glove being ready before his bat. Had he not been such a great fielder, those would have been minor league seasons. At the end of his career he was awful at age 40, but that's in just 150 AB of an injury plagued season. He came back at 41, hit well, then retired.
   17. Ryan Lind Posted: January 19, 2013 at 10:38 PM (#4350758)
he was especially happy about royce clayton falling off the ballot.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: January 19, 2013 at 10:55 PM (#4350763)
Ozzie was a terrible hitter as a Padre, you can blame that on his glove being ready before his bat. Had he not been such a great fielder, those would have been minor league seasons.

True but he was already 23 so it's not like Yount playing at 18. His bat wasn't ready until 27 and he'd have had his "gotta see if this guy can hold his own" shot by then -- otherwise he's Tony Pena Jr.

Looking at qualified SS seasons at different stages of Ozzie's career:

78-80: The median OPS+ was 87. (45 seasons), Ozzie at 67
85-87: median OPS+ was 89 (44 seasons), Ozzie at 102
91-93: median OPS+ was 95 (35 seasons), Ozzie at 102

He mysteriously aged well as a hitter. :-)
   19. bjhanke Posted: January 20, 2013 at 09:56 PM (#4351467)
Ozzie's bat improved significantly in 1984, after he spent the offseason working with a trainer named Mackie Shilstone, if I remember right. Just because the times have become what they have become, I hasten to add that I have NEVER heard ANYONE even HINT that there might have been any form of odd drugs involved. But Ozzie's average and his doubles (he had no homer power) did increase after that offseason.

He was always willing to walk. I wonder if he was trying to cage one out of Bob Tufts.... (kidding, Bob, you get credit, IMO, for striking out a man who was VERY difficult to K)

Ozzie also wins the Joe Carter Award in, again if I remember right, the 1985 postseason, where he ended a game with a homer to right field - the ONLY homer he hit left-handed (he was a switch-hitter) in his entire career. - Brock Hanke

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