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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ozzie Smith Talks Derek Jeter’s Career and Gives His Shortstop Mount Rushmore

Great Gutzons! Garry Templeton is on Ozzie Smith’s Mount Rushmore of shortstops!

For now, Jeter already has a special place in history in Smith’s eyes. When asked to name his shortstop Mount Rushmore, Smith was quick to include him.

“Well, of course Cal would be on there. Derek would be on there. Omar Vizquel would be on there. The guy I got traded for actually would be one of those guys because he was a true five-tool player,” said Smith.

Also, naturally: “And of course, I’d put myself on there.”

If you’re scoring at home, that’s Cal Ripken Jr., Jeter, Vizquel, Garry Templeton and Smith himself. You’ll have to visualize The Wizard’s shortstop Mount Rushmore on your own, but statistically it looks like this:

Of the numbers up there, only Jeter’s aren’t set in stone yet. For what it’s worth, he is within range of Smith’s career WAR. One last great season in 2014 will put him right there with The Wizard among the greats to ever play shortstop in WAR’s eyes.

...As far as Smith and Budweiser are concerned, Opening Day has gone long enough without being declared an official national holiday. Smith says it might as well be considering that many Americans already treat it like one.

“There are 22 million Americans who at some point in time have played hooky from work and school. So that in and of itself makes it an unofficial holiday,” said Smith of Opening Day. He added that he’s not asking for much, as merely getting Opening Day proclaimed “as some type of day of observance would really fit the bill.”

Smith will be on the campaign trail for the next 30 days as he and Budweiser attempt to collect 100,000 signatures on a petition at Budweiser.com/OpeningDay. And while only fans 21 and older can sign it, the White House is required to respond if the signature quota is met within the 30-day window.

Repoz Posted: February 25, 2014 at 08:16 PM | 177 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, hof

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   1. Go-Kart Mozart Posted: February 25, 2014 at 08:57 PM (#4662518)
Garry Templeton, 5 tool player. If those tools are: defense, getting caught stealing, not walking, never reaching double digits in HR's in his career, and getting traded for Ozzie Smith.
   2. The District Attorney Posted: February 25, 2014 at 08:59 PM (#4662521)
Man, we're gonna be stuck with the "Mount Rushmore" question forever, aren't we.

It'd help me out much more if the national holiday were the day after the Super Bowl.
   3. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 25, 2014 at 09:08 PM (#4662522)
Garry Templeton, 5 tool player. If those tools are: defense, getting caught stealing, not walking, never reaching double digits in HR's in his career, and getting traded for Ozzie Smith.


I think wearing his cap so that it gently bounced when he ran was Temp's greatest tool.

And it's a good thing Ozzie never played for Buck.
   4. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: February 25, 2014 at 09:28 PM (#4662528)
Wagner, Ripken, Vaughan, Trammell.
   5. jdennis Posted: February 25, 2014 at 09:31 PM (#4662530)
I wonder what BBTF's version would be. For one, they'd insist it would be four. So who? Wagner, and, uh... Wagner. Okay, Ripken. Possibly Jeter. Positional arguments would ensue. According to WAR, it's Wagner, ARod, Ripken, George Davis. But all those guys played something besides SS at one point.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: February 25, 2014 at 09:45 PM (#4662535)
What is the Mt Rushmore of Mounts?

(don't go there, I said Mounts)
   7. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 25, 2014 at 09:46 PM (#4662537)
I wonder what BBTF's version would be.


The Hall of Merit had Wagner, Lloyd, Ripken, Vaughan. Presumably ARod would replace Vaughan when he becomes eligible.
   8. The District Attorney Posted: February 25, 2014 at 09:47 PM (#4662538)
And it's a good thing Ozzie never played for Buck.
Heh, yeah, he'd be writing a one-page paper about Honus Wagner.

The Hall of Merit a few years ago (i.e., before Larkin/Jeter/A-Rod were eligible) ranked their elected shortstops: Wagner, J.H. Lloyd, Ripken, Vaughan, G. Davis, Dahlen, Yount, Appling, G. Wright, Cronin, Banks, W. Wells, Home Run Johnson, Ozzie, Trammell, Reese, Boudreau, Glasscock (obviously no relation to Home Run Johnson...), J.M. Ward, H. Jennings, Dickey Pearce (I sense a trend here...), Bobby Wallace, Dobie Moore, Dick Lundy, Joe Sewell.

Unfortunately, the discussion probably gets pretty pointless pretty quickly, because so much of it depends on the semantic choice of whether you're talking about "while actually playing shortstop" vs. "as an overall player who is best characterized as a shortstop."

EDIT: Mountain Dew to SoSH

What is the Mt Rushmore of Mounts?
Everest, Olympus, Fuji, Zion
   9. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 25, 2014 at 10:25 PM (#4662552)
Presumably ARod would replace Vaughan when he becomes eligible.


Nah, Jetes would force him to move to the next mountain over.
   10. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 10:38 PM (#4662555)

What is the Mt Rushmore of Mounts?


I assume A-Rod makes that list as well.
   11. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: February 25, 2014 at 10:54 PM (#4662560)
What is the Mt Rushmore of Mounts?

Everest, Olympus, Fuji, Zion


What about the 2 peaks of Kilimanjaro?
   12. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: February 25, 2014 at 10:56 PM (#4662561)
The next time an ex-player prattles on about how stat-nerds can't pretend to know anything about the intricacies of the game, I'm going to think back to this article, then laugh and laugh...
   13. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 25, 2014 at 11:09 PM (#4662565)
What about the 2 peaks of Kilimanjaro?


sounds like a girl I dated once! boom-tish!
   14. Blastin Posted: February 25, 2014 at 11:09 PM (#4662567)
Yeah I'm going Everest, Kilimanjaro, Olympus, Fuji
   15. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 11:17 PM (#4662570)
well, you gotta include Ararat or none of us would be here
   16. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 25, 2014 at 11:22 PM (#4662573)
Did something trigger this whole "Mount Rushmore" meme recently? I feel like I've heard this being bandied about in a few different areas lately and I suspect there is some kind of pop culture thing that I missed out on. It's not like Mount Rushmore just got made.
   17. frannyzoo Posted: February 25, 2014 at 11:25 PM (#4662575)
I'm more Fuji or Rainier when it comes to this position. It's Wagner in a dominating presence that covers vistas for hundreds of miles/km in all direction.

Rushmore is a pretty darn cool movie, not a way of judging anything, whether president or SS.
   18. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 11:32 PM (#4662577)
Rushmore is a pretty darn cool movie, not a way of judging anything, whether president or SS

Rushmore was a Nazi??!
   19. frannyzoo Posted: February 25, 2014 at 11:44 PM (#4662584)
Pasta: Don't you get the entire Wes Anderson subtext? Max Fischer is a Jew subjected to the strangely under-quilted Headmaster Nazi (whatever his name was), while also unable to court the obvious Leni R.-based Aryan (with Brit accent) teacher who just happened to have a young husband who died underwater, just like the battleship Bismarck.

Do I have to explain everything around here?

P.S.: Where's my Guggenheim grant???
   20. jingoist Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:00 AM (#4662589)
Speaking of Wes Anderson, look for his latest movie, Hotel Budapest, coming soon to a theatre near you.
From the previews I saw last week its looks to be a winner.

Sue Lyons pulled her pants down in Tiger stadium?
Boy would I have paid good money to see that.
I was 16 in 1961 and had a real throbbing member for Ms Lyons, as I recall
   21. Greg K Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:01 AM (#4662590)
What is the Mt Rushmore of Mounts?

The question I'd like answered is: does Rushmore make the Rushmore of Wes Anderson movies?
   22. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:11 AM (#4662593)
What is the Mt Rushmore of Mounts?

Helicon, Parnassus, Olympus, and Ida. You can swap out Athos for Ida if you feel the need the throw a sop to the Christians.
   23. Monty Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:13 AM (#4662595)
The question I'd like answered is: does Rushmore make the Rushmore of Wes Anderson movies?


Sure. Prior to The Grand Budapest Hotel, he's only got seven movies, so Rushmore is easily top four. I'd say Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums are automatic inclusions, and then you can fill in the other two slots however you like. Personally, I liked Fantastic Mr. Fox and Moonrise Kingdom a little more than Darjeeling Limited and Bottle Rocket.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:13 AM (#4662596)
You can name whichever four you want to your shortstop Mount Rushmore.

ARod is, very obviously, the Crazy Horse Memorial.
   25. Rennie's Tenet Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:15 AM (#4662598)
Garry Templeton, 5 tool player.


It means his pants fit like a glove.
   26. Monty Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:30 AM (#4662606)
(I forgot to list The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and it's bugging me, so I'm mentioning it here)
   27. cardsfanboy Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:37 AM (#4662609)
Did something trigger this whole "Mount Rushmore" meme recently? I feel like I've heard this being bandied about in a few different areas lately and I suspect there is some kind of pop culture thing that I missed out on. It's not like Mount Rushmore just got made.


Not sure if something triggered it before, but Lebron James made some comments on it that really stoked the fires of everyone on this issue. (I know about a year ago there was a bunch of talk on that also.)

never reaching double digits in HR's in his career,


Templeton did hit 18/13/19 triples in a season. But yea, it's hard to call a guy a power hitter who only once had 60 extra base hits in a season.
   28. God Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:37 AM (#4662610)
I thought it meant Garry Templeton was as obnoxious as 5 tools.
   29. Monty Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:47 AM (#4662616)
Is Garry Templeton the worst hitter to twice lead his league in intentional walks? He did it in 1984 and 1985, hitting eighth.
   30. Sunday silence Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:59 AM (#4662617)


The Hall of Merit had Wagner, Lloyd, Ripken, Vaughan. Presumably ARod would replace Vaughan when he becomes eligible



Once again, at the risk of being repetitive, I have to question the methodology of the internet's premier SABR people and their belief that Arky Vaughan is an all time great SS.

For the first six years Vaughan played SS 1932-37, Dick Bartell is, according to the statistics I see, a definite better player. Offensively Vaughan averages 3.4 wins per year more than Bartell (going strictly by OWAR here, so no one should quibble), and yet hard as it is to believe Bartell is actually saving more runs on defense. Between a better range factor (0.6) and less errors (8) per year Bartell is actually getting to about 100 more balls per year than Vaughan.

Using a strict linear weight approach that is equivalent to 4.5 games per year. For about 6 or 7 years Bartell could lay claim to being the best Ss in the NL. A linear wt. factor probably UNDERESTIMATES this difference, see below.

In 1938-40 Vaughan really stepped up his defensive range and so for those 3 years YES! he is likely the best SS in the NL. This is not even as long as Bartell can claim this. His range cratered to 4.8/4.7 in his last two years there '41/'43 and there is no way that sort of range should support a candidacy for best SS. By 1940 Vaughan is outpacing Reese at the off. side by 3.8 games per year, but Reese is making a 100 more plays a year. Marion is behind 3.5 runs offensively but is getting to 50 balls a year. Given Reese makes about 9 more errors than Vaughan (Vaughan not playing full season) these three guys are very closely ranked. so I guess can Vaughan can claim a share of the best, but not THE best.


Bartell played 3 full seasons at SS prior to Vaughan's debut but he was probably not the best SS from '29-31, Charley Gelbert was good both ways and Woody English put up some monster off numbers. Maranville had clearly held the title for some time prior and was still playing great SS in his late 30s. Nonetheless, if for most of Bartell/Vaughan's career Bartell was better SS I dont see how Vaughan can be inner circle anything. Bartell had a better career at SS as far as I am concerned but even if not better, his case
clearly shows how weak Vaughan's is for inner circle.

in anticipation of the usual arguments, some of which will be supported by the various proprietary def. stats out there, to which I will reply:


1) there's no way that a higher percentage of balls are bouncing into Bartell's hands out some flukey park effect; it's six years of data points people and every year Bartell is ahead of him, and the normal aging effects on range are seen in all these guys. Once Bartell or Vaughan or Maranville's range factor gets worse they are moved off; it's not some fluke. All these guys: Marion, Woody English, Rabbit Maranville, they all show similar trends when they age, and when players hit better and field worse there comes a point when they dont play SS.

2) if for some gawdawful reason balls were not bouncing to SS in Pitt or Phil or STL at the same rate as other teams, dont you think the managers would have repositioned their guys in order to mitigate this? the best fielders continue to produce the same range factors in different ball parks in different eras. Rabbit Maranville is not getting lucky for 18 years..

3) if some teams do have pitchers who throw more grounders and some parks do have effects that produce more GBs, the biggest differential could hardly be more than 5%, for the reasons mentioned above and just by studying modern day park effects on GB/FB; foul outs, and bunts and such. It doesnt vary that much.

4) it's probably no coincidence that the league's best fielders at SS, can pretty much match Vaughan's prodigious off production with their better defense. Do you really think that all these managers missed a golden oppurtunity to play Gus Triandos or Ernie Lombardi at SS and thereby outhit other SSs? Dont you think these guys knew about how much defense would outweigh offense?


5) using a linear weight factor of 0.45 for plays at short probably UNDERESTIMATES the value of errors and difficult plays because just like we've seen with bunting: there are probably going to be more errors and close plays with men no base. This makes sense because obviously more base runners put more pressure on defense, holding men on first, starting the runners, etc. all of that must make it harder for defense, thus more of these errors and difficult chances are likely happening with more than average runners on base. but linear weights simply assumes an average number of base runners.

One can also see a very similar effect in the playoffs when we started to checkoff when small mistakes were made. More of these are bound to happen when men are on base.

6) the very same criticisms of lucky bounces and pitching staff effects could equally be applied to the statistics we use to measure offensive production. I dont come into the home of OWAR guys and start reaming them in the ass, dont do that to the defensive numbers.

Again I bear no ill will to any of the well minded people here. I feel I am duty bound to point out what I honestly believe to be oversights in baseballs statistical community.


I urge you to look critically at defensive stats, decade after decade, team after team, you can play this same game. Take the best hitting SS and best fielding SS and you will see that good bat more or less balances off the weak glove and vice versa. You cant play a guy with Vaughan's bat and any weaker glove there (He was moved when his range factor dropped to 4.8, was that just some mistake?) just like you cant play Mendoza's glove with an even weaker bat there. Ths set of balances seems to have been in place for 90 years or more.

Despite what SABR people think about def. metrics, fielding range means a lot, once you get a significant sample size.


Maranville, Ozzie Smith, Aparicio, off the top of my head are all better choices
   31. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:04 AM (#4662619)
Is Garry Templeton the worst hitter to twice lead his league in intentional walks? He did it in 1984 and 1985, hitting eighth.


He and Leo Cardenas are pretty close, though Cardenas was better in his league-leading seasons. But they have a couple of things in common that were the chief factors in their league-leading efforts. They each had a lofty number of games in the 8 hole* (including 146 for Cardenas in '65), and that they were both better hitters than what you'd typically find there.

* Since the eighth spot is reserved for the NL's weakest hitting position player, there's usually a lot of players shuffled in and out of that lineup slot over the course of a season.
   32. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:16 AM (#4662621)
Is Garry Templeton the worst hitter to twice lead his league in intentional walks? He did it in 1984 and 1985, hitting eighth.


He and Leo Cardenas are pretty close, though Cardenas was better in his league-leading seasons. But they have a couple of things in common that were the chief factors in their league-leading efforts. They each had a lofty number of games in the 8 hole* (including 146 for Cardenas in '65), and that they were both better hitters than what you'd typically find there.


Ed Herrmann in 1972 for the Chisox?

He batted 7th most of the time and came in with 249/333/359 and 10 dingers. Why were they IBBing him?
   33. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:19 AM (#4662622)

Helicon, Parnassus, Olympus, and Ida. You can swap out Athos for Ida if you feel the need the throw a sop to the Christians.


The major pre-Athonite monastic center in the Byzantine Empire was, coincidentally, located at (a different) Mt. Olympus, so it can do double duty.
   34. valuearbitrageur Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:30 AM (#4662624)
WAR at shortstop

Jeter     71.6
A
-Rod  63.4

Games at shortstop

Jeter    2
,602
A
-Rod 1,275

WAR at SS A
-Rod's last 3  years (2001-2003)
Jeter  12.3
A-Rod 25.6 

   35. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:33 AM (#4662626)

He batted 7th most of the time and came in with 249/333/359 and 10 dingers. Why were they IBBing him?


The same phenomenon. He had 91 games hitting 7th. He had a good year with the stick (104 OPS+) for someone that far down in the lineup, where he was hitting in front of a dreadful hitter. Luis Alvorado (58 OPS+) and Rich Morales (53 OPS+) hit 8th in most of the games where Herrmann was 7th. He also hit 8th on 12 occasions.
   36. Monty Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:36 AM (#4662627)
I found an interview with Hermmann on HardballTimes.com (done by Bruce Markusen!):

Markusen: An interesting statistical anomaly happened in 1972, when you led the American League in intentional walks with 19. Any thoughts on why that happened?

Herrmann: It’s due to Chuck Tanner and the way he set up the lineup. I usually batted seventh or eighth, and with an open base, I would be intentionally walked in front of the pitcher. When Chuck was with the White Sox, A’s and Pirates, all throughout his career, he set up the lineup to benefit the club. He set up the lineup to put as many runners on base as possible. It worked wherever he went.


I like how he immediately redirects the conversation to praising the manager.
   37. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:43 AM (#4662629)
good find, MPAPMWSi2016

(we have to find a shorter abbreviation, Monty)
   38. cardsfanboy Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:47 AM (#4662630)
Is Garry Templeton the worst hitter to twice lead his league in intentional walks?


I would say Dale Berra was probably the worst. Yes Templeton had a 79 ops+ one of those two years, but I would say that Templeton was still the better hitter. (Bill Russell is another weak hitter to lead the league, but I'm not sure he was worse than Templeton was at the time when Templeton led the league)
   39. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:17 AM (#4662636)
I would say Dale Berra was probably the worst.


He did ask who was the worst to twice lead the league.

   40. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:21 AM (#4662638)

I like how he immediately redirects the conversation to praising the manager.


Taking a look at the boxscores, Herrmann was being kind to his infielders (though there's a good chance he didn't remember the details). None of his 19 IBB came when he was in the 8 hole. Each one was issued in front of the weak-hitting SS hitting behind him.

   41. Rob_Wood Posted: February 26, 2014 at 06:59 AM (#4662645)
I would have believed that Ozzie would be more aware of baseball players overall (historical, modern, etc.). Or maybe he doesn't know what Mount Rushmore means. Having Garry Templeton on your Mount Rushmore of shortstops is roughly equivalent to having Steve Garvey on your Mount Rushmore of first basemen. A total joke, ignoring/overlooking old-timers as well as more modern players.

My take-aways: (1)it is almost impossible for baseball players to not consider players they played with or against to be all-time greats (though they typically would not use that language); and (2)cut Frankie Frisch some slack.
   42. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: February 26, 2014 at 08:51 AM (#4662654)
A total joke, ignoring/overlooking old-timers as well as more modern players.


Barry Larkin, for example. I mean, Garry Templeton doesn't even make the Mt. Rushmore of NL SS who played during Ozzie's career.
   43. TDF, situational idiot Posted: February 26, 2014 at 10:05 AM (#4662674)
For the first six years Vaughan played SS 1932-37, Dick Bartell is, according to the statistics I see, a definite better player... Between a better range factor (0.6) and less errors (8) per year Bartell is actually getting to about 100 more balls per year than Vaughan.
Where are you getting these numbers? Unless my copy of Excel is broken, Bartell had 12 fewer errors than Vaughan total over that period (as a SS; Vaughan had one more in the OF in '37), and the difference in RF is more like .011. EDIT: Oops; that's the difference in fielding %.
   44. TDF, situational idiot Posted: February 26, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4662686)
there's no way that a higher percentage of balls are bouncing into Bartell's hands out some flukey park effect; it's six years of data points people and every year Bartell is ahead of him,
One way to tell if it's a "fluke" is to look at chances for 2B.

In '32-33, the PHI and PIT 2B had about the same number of chances (only 8 plays different); however, in '34 the PIT 2b had 38 fewer chances (Vaughan had 23 fewer at SS). When Bartell was in NY, the difference was dramatic - the PIT 2b averaged 85 fewer chances per season than the NY 2B.

To me, it definitely looks like Bartell (especially in NY), played in front of pitchers who allowed more ground balls.
   45. GregD Posted: February 26, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4662690)
I didn't realize there were people who argued that there weren't ground-ball pitchers or strike out pitchers.

Range Factor, forever!
   46. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 26, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4662698)
Wagner, Ripken, Jeter, Ozzie
   47. AROM Posted: February 26, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4662701)
It's possible to estimate groundball and flyball rates, but there's not much precision there before the late 1980s and project scoresheet. Even for the retrosheet years (pretty much most of the 1940's on have some PBP data) outs are generally coded as grounders, flies, or otherwise, but hits are not coded.

But one thing that can absolutely be done is to eradicate the use of innings as the denominator for range factor. Use balls in play. Give us, as a rate stat, something like plays made per 30 BIP.

There's a movement going around called kill the win which I care nothing about. Killing the traditional range factor would, in my opinion, be far more useful to the world of baseball statistics.
   48. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 26, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4662702)
Wagner, Ripken, Jeter, Bucky Dent
   49. AROM Posted: February 26, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4662706)
If a guy has a poor record of plays made per BIP, then you can argue against that by saying by saying he played behind flyball pitchers, or faced a skewed distribution of batted balls. This may or may not be true.

But if a guy has a poor range factor, and you argue against it by saying he played behind a bunch of high strikeout pitchers, well this can be known 100% and adjusted for. So please (Mr. Forman) just change the calculation so nobody starts with bad information in the first place.
   50. BDC Posted: February 26, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4662710)
UL Washington, Travis Jackson, Jack Wilson, Donie Bush
   51. The District Attorney Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4662786)
What is the Mt Rushmore of Mounts?

I assume A-Rod makes that list as well.
Good line (as is #9). I guess:

Secretariat, Man o' War, Bucephalus, Incitatus

Fictional division:

Pegasus, Rocinante, Mr. Ed, Twilight Sparkle

(I can't think of any elephants/camels/etc. that qualify, but I could be wrong. And sadly, there's no real argument for Legolas' horse Arod.)

Not sure if something triggered it before, but Lebron James made some comments on it that really stoked the fires of everyone on this issue.
I think it may have started with Bill Simmons (sure as hell sounds like his type of thing, anyway.) But yeah, it really took off a couple weeks ago when Stephen A. Smith (I think?) asked LeBron to name his NBA Mt. Rushmore. The poor guy made the mistake of actually attempting to answer the question, and came up with Jordan, Magic, Bird, and Oscar Robertson. Everyone complained, Bill Russell snarked back at him, etc. I myself thought it was a pretty damn good off-the-cuff answer for a guy who hopefully isn't spending his time crunching numbers about this.

There's a movement going around called kill the win which I care nothing about. Killing the traditional range factor would, in my opinion, be far more useful to the world of baseball statistics.
But no one talks about Range Factor to begin with :-) I'd kill the save first. Also on my hit list would be the unearned run/treating errors as outs by the batter, treating sac flies/bunts as non-events by the batter, and the passed ball/wild pitch distinction.

(Of course, phrasing anything as "Kill the [thing many people care about]" is very likely bad public relations.)

FWIW, the guy who invented Range Factor ranks Vaughan as a B+ defensive shortstop (Win Shares, p. 147).
   52. micker17 Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4662799)
Wagner, Jeter, Ripken, Yount
   53. Moeball Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4662804)
The idea that Bartell's defensive prowess vastly surpasses Vaughan's is a bit farfetched. I don't have a copy of Wizardry in front of me - does anyone have Humphrey's take on the two players defensively in terms of DRA?

For what it's worth, according to B-Ref, Bartell's career WAA was 12 and Arky's was 47, almost 4 times as high. Even if they are overstating Arky's defensive performance and understating Rowdy Richard's (isn't that a great nickname?), that's a heck of a lot of territory to make up and I just don't see how Bartell could do that.

One thing the two of them did have in common is this - even though Vaughan was obviously born in Arkansas and Bartell was an Illinois product, both of them played their High School ball in California, Arky in Fullerton and Richard in Alameda.

Wagner, Ripken, Jeter, Bucky Dent


That's Bucky F. Dent.
   54. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4662805)
In addition to the groundball pitchers, Arky Vaughn (after '32) also generally played with more strikeout pitchers, which would also lessen his number of chances. in 32, Bartell's pitchers had 82 more strikeouts than Vaughn's. From 33-38, Vaughn's pitchers had +60, +71, +25, +59, -10, and +60 more strikeouts than Bartell's. That is 265 fewer chances over those 6 years, just from strikeouts alone, for the teams Vaughn was on.
   55. PreservedFish Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4662807)
But yeah, it really took off a couple weeks ago when Stephen A. Smith (I think?) asked LeBron to name his NBA Mt. Rushmore. The poor guy made the mistake of actually attempting to answer the question, and came up with Jordan, Magic, Bird, and Oscar Robertson. Everyone complained, Bill Russell snarked back at him, etc. I myself thought it was a pretty damn good off-the-cuff answer for a guy who hopefully isn't spending his time crunching numbers about this.


Yeah, that sounds like a better answer than many many NBA players would give.
   56. The District Attorney Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4662815)
does anyone have Humphrey's take on the two players defensively in terms of DRA?
Bartell +86, Vaughan +57
   57. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4662819)
.
   58. Sunday silence Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4662831)
I think I did mess up the errors,going by hand it looks more like 42 vs 37. Is that about right? I had to extrapolate one of Vaughan's seasons when he didnt play as many games. I dont think its a big effect but anyhow I want to be accurate.

WHich of the Pirate 2b do you think are being screwed by park effects? Piet's RF doesnt change when he moves to CIN in '34, its 5.6 in '33 and '34. Thevenow played SS in PHI in '30 and PIT in '31 and difference of .12.

Pep Young PIT vs B Whitehead NYG? Hmm... there's a large difference there for Whitehead.

Yeah OK there might be something going on with the NYG. It's worth looking at this in more detail so OK

Its also interesting that both Pep Young and Vaughan seem to get a boost in range in 1938 maybe Pirate pitchers just learning to pitch to contact?

At least I can see why they called him Rabbit Maranville; just look at his photo.
   59. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4662832)
3) if some teams do have pitchers who throw more grounders and some parks do have effects that produce more GBs, the biggest differential could hardly be more than 5%, for the reasons mentioned above and just by studying modern day park effects on GB/FB; foul outs, and bunts and such. It doesnt vary that much.


In 2013, Pirates pitchers gave up 484 more GB than Athletics pitchers (the Athletics really hated groundballs last years. Their hitters had by far the fewest, 150 fewer than any other teams, and their pitchers gave up by far the fewest, 61 fewer than any other team). That will definitely skew a range factor.

ALthough we don't have this data for 1935, based on the data we do have (who made the outs), and what we know about the distribution of outs versus all plays for more recent years, we can make pretty decent guesses about the GB vs FB distributions of teams in that era, that while not nearly 100% accurate, are going to be pretty close much of the time, I would guess. And it looks a lot like Arky Vaughn played in front of FB, strikeout pitchers, compared with Bartell, which is going to have a big impact on those range factors.

   60. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4662850)
By bwar, it looks like Bartell was absolutely Vaughn's equal 36-37 (12.9 vs 12.8 WAR, with Bartell's 46 more defensive runs almsot exactly cancelling out Vaughn's 45 more offensive runs (Bartell was also really good at the plate for a SS those two years, with a 116 OPS+). It would not take too much to convince me that he was in fact worth more over those two years (but range factor alone is not going to do it). Similarly, in 1032, bWAR has Bartell with 4.0 WAR to Vaughn's 3.8. Again, it would not take too much to convince me the gap should be bigger. But from 1933-35, Arky Vaughn has 16 more WAR than Bartell (22.8-6.8). In those years, a win was almost exactly 10 runs. I am not sure what it would take to convince me that Bartell was worth 53 runs/year more in the field than Vaughn that the advanced metrics are not picking up (or I guess the argument is that they are losing the runs that range factor accounts for, which I find....doubtful), but it would probably be convincing me that Keystone Cops is actually a documentary about Arky Vaughn's fielding.
   61. Sunday silence Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4662851)
Jurges came to NYG from CHI in '39 and immediately got a seasonal boost in RF. But then he's back down to the levels he was at in CHI. He did hit 11 triples in '39 I think his career best so maybe he was in the best shape of his life..
   62. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4662858)
So, I can't speak to how the # of GBs is calculated, but in 1938, the cubs had 583 SOs, in 1939 the giants had 505 SOs, and in 1940 the giants had 606 strikeouts. It probably doesnt fully explain the effect, but those 78-101 extra chances in 1939 are going to inflate fielders' RFs.
   63. Sunday silence Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4662874)
Hughie Critz RF jumps to 6.4 in '33 and '34 and he's never been near that before. These numbers dont look nearly as stable as I thought they were going into this.

SO Cal: do you think this is being caused by certain pitchers e.g. Hubbell or some sort of across the board park effect?

I havent noticed as much with NYG Center fielders (I guess we'd expect their RF to be muted) but these come and go a bit.
   64. Sunday silence Posted: February 26, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4662888)
those 78-101 extra chances in 1939 are going to inflate fielders' RFs.


assuming say: 100 extra chances. That should be about 12 more chances for the CF, and maybe twice that for the two middle infielders.

So for say Bartell that might translate into + .08 range factor (12/150 games). So probably not even enuf to be seen through the noise.
   65. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4662894)
In 1938-40 Vaughan really stepped up his defensive range and so for those 3 years YES! he is likely the best SS in the NL. This is not even as long as Bartell can claim this. His range cratered to 4.8/4.7 in his last two years there '41/'43 and there is no way that sort of range should support a candidacy for best SS. By 1940 Vaughan is outpacing Reese at the off. side by 3.8 games per year, but Reese is making a 100 more plays a year. Marion is behind 3.5 runs offensively but is getting to 50 balls a year. Given Reese makes about 9 more errors than Vaughan (Vaughan not playing full season) these three guys are very closely ranked. so I guess can Vaughan can claim a share of the best, but not THE best.


Also, sorry to harp, but thats not what happened. After 1941, Vaughn was traded from the Pirates to the Dodgers because they needed a 3b. They already had a very good, future HOF SS installed. They needed to replace Cookie Lavagetto (who OPSed 110 in 1941, so I am sure this trade does not happen without Pearl Harbor). Then, after 42, Reese goes off to war, and, low RF or no, the Dodgers put Vaughn right back at SS for 2/3 of their games. Pee Wee Reese goes off to war, Pete Reiser (who had a 142 OPS+ in 42) goes off to war, Dolph Camilli falls apart, Joe Medwick falls apart and is traded, and they still won 53% of their games, so I imagine Vaughn couldn't have been toooooo bad out there.
   66. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4662901)
Looking at the game logs for 1943, Vaughn primarily played SS from the beginning of the season through May 29th, then moved to 3B from May 30th until July 25th, and then played almost entirely at SS from July 26th through the end of the season. To me, that does not at all look like what you would expect if Durocher did not think Vaughn could hack it at short.
   67. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4662912)
Sunday, I would have to look more closely to answer that question, and I definitely do not want to infer that SO are the answer (GB ratio plays a much larger role), just that these things matter, and in the case of SO can be measured exactly, and in the case of GB%, can be infered to some degree of accuracy, which is what the advanced metrics for that era do. Are they 100% accurate; not even close. DO all seems point to them closing the gap between Vaughn and Bartell; yes. I am not arguing that Vaughn is equal defensively to Bartell; all metrics agree that Bartell is better. But the .4 plays/game difference that RF shows, I think, MASSIVELY overstates the difference between the two. Thank you for bringing up Bartell, though. I really knew very little about him before today, and he was damn good for a while there, definitely HOVG and someone I am glad is on my radar now.

I wish someone with a better working knowledge of one of the advanced metrics could break down a year, and see how exactly how they got from the raw data to the final product. I get the process conceptually, incorporating what we know about GB distribution, SOs, caught stealings (in the case of Bartell vs Vaughn, a wash), hits allowed (Bill James has a really good essay in the New Historical abstract on why raw fielding is a problem, and a big part of it is that, at the team level, good and bad teams will always look basically the same if one just looks at outs (as RF does), because you always need to get 27 outs, win or lose (more or less). So RF at the team level will always be 27ish, minus strikeouts (or is that in catcher RF? I forget). However, bad teams give up a lot more hits and runs to get those outs. And yet we would expect, intutively, worse teams to have worse defenses, and in the modern era, where we have data not just on outs but also the hits, it turns out that is indeed the case...that was long-winded, and in the case of Bartell vs Vaughn is a wash; 1932-33 Bartell's teams gave up 209 more non-homer hits, from 1934-38 Vaughn's teams gave up 250 more non-homer hits...but the advanced metrics take this into account, which RF does not).
   68. Sunday silence Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4662926)
But the .4 plays/game difference that RF shows, I think, MASSIVELY overstates the difference between the two.


isnt it 0.6 over that 6 season span?

It's very possible that it is overstating the difference. If really massive it's hard to prove. Lots of times these effects sort of cancel one another out. Like the FB/GB thing and KO ball in play things, usually they counter act one another; at least to some extent. I had several links to studies in the last decade or so that I posted here. Usually involving foul outs, GB/FB, etc. It almost never amounts to more than 5% once they all are all taken together.

That's why I didnt really think that whatever park effects, or pitching staff effects we added, would hardly be enuf to overcome the large range factor. But there's enuf weirdness with at least Critz and Burgess's numbers to suggest there might be something that is really exagerating range factor there.

We dont have play by play data for 1930s do we? I would really like to look closely at the 1933 season for one thing to see what is going on.
   69. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4662933)
Of course, this will all be moot when Jeter retires and they re-chisel the actual Mount Rushmore to feature four Derek Jeter heads. Or maybe three Jeters and a Mariano Rivera.
   70. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:46 PM (#4662943)
Alright, another way to look at this (damn, fangraphs stats are awesome). Nowadays, plays are coded for which players zone they were in, regardless of whether the player made the play or not. In 2013, among qualifying shortstops, Troy Tulowitski had 333 balls in zone (BIZ) in 1029 innings at shortstop, or 324 per 1000 innings. Of these, he successfully converted 287 (86.2%) of these into outs. Alcides Escobar had 323 BIZ in 1388 innings at SS, or 233 per 1000 innings. Of these, he successfully converted 255 (79%) of these into outs. If you are just looking at raw plays made per 1000 innings, Tulowitski made 279 out/1000 innings, versus Escobar's 184. It looks like Tulowitski is 95 plays better than Escobar per 1000 innings. But once you take into account the number of chances each has, and normalize (lets say to 300 chances/1000 innings), now Tulowitski is making 259 plays per 300 chances, while Escobar is making 237 plays per 1000 innings ,or 22 plays fewer. And I would guess that something similar is happening with the advanced metrics for Bartell and Vaughn, although substantially regressed because they can only estimate the number of plays they could make.
   71. Karl from NY Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4662946)
Fictional division:

Pegasus, Rocinante, Mr. Ed, Twilight Sparkle

Shadowfax rates over Mr. Ed. It's the Rushmore of mounts, not just horses. Ed was rarely ridden. Actually Sleipnir probably deserves the slot most.

But OMG let's have a thread hijack involving Twilight Sparkle.
   72. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4662949)
You are probably right about the .6; I was just looking at their career range factors.
   73. cardsfanboy Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4662953)
Of course, this will all be moot when Jeter retires and they re-chisel the actual Mount Rushmore to feature four Derek Jeter heads. Or maybe three Jeters and a Mariano Rivera.


Jeter head, gift basket, Mo and a stack of money.... the Yankees of last 20 years Mount Rushmore.
   74. Sunday silence Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4662961)
on why raw fielding is a problem, and a big part of it is that, at the team level, good and bad teams will always look basically the same if one just looks at outs (as RF does), because you always need to get 27 outs, win or lose (more or less). So RF at the team level will always be 27ish...


yes in theory. But reality is that no team is just throwing 8 terrible fielders out there; and waiting until someone finally makes a play 5 runs later. Well OK maybe the 1962 MEts or some other historically bad teams.


But these are competitive teams out there, the Pirates and Giants of the 1930s. It's not like the GIants are getting blown out by 10 runs every game and Bartell is getting some easy ground balls in garbage time. How much of an effect could this be given teams are pretty close?

Lets say one team is giving up one more run per game. How many hard hit balls does that translate into 2? (bssed on linear wts).

SO two hard hit balls per game get through the Giants defense. BUt how much of that is on the pitcher? Half? say.

So that amounts to one hard hit ball per game. Divided by all 8 fielders so you might be talking 0.12 of a range factor for SS and 2B. and maybe .08 for the CF.

So again, assuming competitive teams, this cant be much more than 0.1 of a range factor. Can it?

The GB/FB thing is probably more likely what is going on here. THe Critz and Whitehead RF seem to be too high.

EDIT: Thanks for all the cogent criticism here. It's not like Bartell is my uncle or something, I'm actually a long time Pirate fan. So just me running numbers on back of envelope is not enuf.
   75. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4662964)
Well, for 1933 specifically, the Pirates had 60 more strikeouts than the Phillies. The Phillies were also a pretty bad team, going 60-92, and more importantly, giving up 113 more hits than the Pirates, despite getting 108 fewer putouts. The Pirates had a .705 defensive efficiency (.702 league average) versus a .682 (dead last by 12 points) for the Phillies. So somebody (my guess is almost everyone) on the Phillies was letting a lot of balls get through. Here is my guess. I am convinced that Bartell was an above average SS. But I think his teammates were letting so many balls get through that he got a LOT more opportunities to finally make the out (remember, you need to get 27 eventually), substantially inflating his range factor.
   76. KJOK Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4662966)
I don't have a copy of Wizardry in front of me - does anyone have Humphrey's take on the two players defensively in terms of DRA?


You don't need the book - the data is at seamheads.com on The Baseball Gauge:

Arky Vaughan DRA

Dick Bartell DRA

   77. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4662976)
The giants were plenty competitive, and quite good defensively, so many of your points hold there. But from 32-34, Bartell was on some hella bad defensive teams. And from 36-38 rate him as pretty damn good. So, its really just 1935 (where he is still rated as above average, and 8 runs better than Vaughn) that does not quite match up.
   78. The District Attorney Posted: February 26, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4662981)
Shadowfax rates over Mr. Ed. It's the Rushmore of mounts, not just horses. Ed was rarely ridden.
Fair enough. Did Shadowfax ever do anything cool independent of Gandalf, though? If not, then I'm thinking go with Silver and Trigger over Mr. Ed and Twilight Sparkle. (That's a lot of chronological overlap, admittedly.)
   79. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4662986)
The DRA's seem to tell much the same story about Bartell as B-Ref's defensive numbers. He really put it together in 1936, and then got old. Before that he was more or less an average shortstop. I have a feeling the Giants had better defensive isntruction, positioning, really better everything that the Phillies (Amaro wasnt running the Phillies in the 30s, was he?), and after a year Bartell bought in to whatever the Giants were telling him. Seems plausible to me, and also coincides with his offensive resurgence (I am sure the Giants also had better offensive instruction, etc than the hapless Phils). This is all wild speculation, and is not part of my argument for why RF may be overstating the difference, but seems potentially plausible to me.
   80. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4662999)
EDIT: Thanks for all the cogent criticism here. It's not like Bartell is my uncle or something, I'm actually a long time Pirate fan. So just me running numbers on back of envelope is not enuf.


It actually has been fun to look at what looks like such an obvious difference, and break down why it might not be as big at it looks at first glance. Certainly more fun that talking about ALex Rodriguez some more :)
   81. Sunday silence Posted: February 26, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4663003)
To me, that does not at all look like what you would expect if Durocher did not think Vaughn could hack it at short.


NOt sure what your point here is. It's quite clear that managers have to balance offensive contribution vs defensive contribution. I forget his 1943 off numbers but I guess his bat was enuf to at least make up for whatever def deficiencies he had.

I dont think I stated it so well when I said Vaughan couldnt possibly be the best in 1943, maybe he could. BUt the real pt I was trying to make was that these newcomers Reese and Marion were at least holding their own with Vaughan simply on the basis of their def. contribution. At least going by Raw Range Factor.

We need more details on def factors, but at least from the raw data a case can be made that these two guys who were very young could at least hold their own with a guy people seem to think is at some inner circle HoF level. That alone should be pause.


I wish someone with a better working knowledge of one of the advanced metrics could break down a year, and see how exactly how they got from the raw data to the final product.


The problem here is that these are proprietary and by definition they are not going to give them up. At least that is how I understand it from what Ive read maybe I am missing something.

A good case can be made from this thread that we should put together a public algorithm to adjust for Raw defensive numbers. This proprietary method stuff is a pain in the ass.

I have long been arguing that these proprietary ratings are underestimating defense. One way to suggest this is to study the numbers and see you really can find middle infielders who hit like Vaughan and actually field even worse and do they get playing time?

I mean if we are presuming that Vaughan with a 5.1 range can be an inner circle hall of famer, then doesnt it stand to reason that you could put a guy out there with a 4.1 range and still be decent, right?

I mean if you think Vaughan is say 9-10 WAR player, and you stick a guy out there who gets to one less ball a game, then by linear wts he's still worth 2 or 3 wins per year.

So how comes you dont see guys like that playing middle infield?
   82. Sunday silence Posted: February 26, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4663013)
Another reason to think the def systems may be underestimating this stuff.

It seems clear that Reached on Error happens more when men are on base. This actually came up on the recent thread on bunting/Ron Washington.

Is it also likely that the same thing is happening on difficult plays? i.e. plays where it's 50-50 that the guy will get to the ball? Especially for middle infielders, not sure this happens with OF.

Assinging a strict linear wt of say 0.45 for an infielder PO/asst is going to underestimate this value, yes? Because lienar wts are based on the average number of base runners but errors and possibly other hard chances are going to be happening more with runners on.

Do you have any opinion on this idea?

EDIT: does anyone have numbers on ROE w/ respect to men on base. That would be very interesting.
   83. cardsfanboy Posted: February 26, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4663026)
I have long been arguing that these proprietary ratings are underestimating defense. One way to suggest this is to study the numbers and see you really can find middle infielders who hit like Vaughan and actually field even worse and do they get playing time?


As you(?) and others have pointed out, it's because they regress the numbers to fudge for the lack of accuracy.

I guess it would be nice to see the raw numbers and the regressed numbers to get a better feel for what is going on, but considering how many people, even on this site put stock in the accuracy of war past the decimal, or seasonal defensive numbers, means if we get the raw data, it will be horribly misused.
   84. cardsfanboy Posted: February 26, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4663027)
EDIT: does anyone have numbers on ROE w/ respect to men on base. That would be very interesting.


You can always look up a seasonal total by going to bb-ref batting splits... and scrolling to risp.

Here is 2013
RISP ROE 1.11%
Nobody on ROE .86%

bb-ref link for 2013

But information of that isn't available for a year like 1936.
   85. Captain Supporter Posted: February 26, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4663029)
Posted by Captain Supporter on February 26, 2014 at 02:39 PM

]WAR at shortstop

Jeter 71.6
A-Rod 63.4

Games at shortstop

Jeter 2,602
A-Rod 1,275



This is like comparing the earnings of an honest man who worked hard all his life to the earnings of a grifter. Sometimes cheating pays , but in this case, thankfully, it at least had some negative consequences for A-Fraud.
   86. cardsfanboy Posted: February 26, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4663034)
This is like comparing the earnings of an honest man who worked hard all his life to the earnings of a grifter. Sometimes cheating pays , but in this case, thankfully, it at least had some negative consequences for A-Fraud.


Arod: Career to date $353,416,252 Does not include future salaries
Jeter: Career to date $253,159,364 Does not include future salaries.

Don't think either is complaining, but the guy who was the significantly better player, got paid as if he was the significantly better player.

.
   87. The District Attorney Posted: February 26, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4663037)
I'm not being sarcastic to say that the answer to "why do modern fielding stats often differ so much from Range Factors?" is a book-length answer. Wizardry and Win Shares both lay out in great detail how the authors came up with a non-PBP-based fielding system.

I do have sympathy to the argument that Arky Vaughan wasn't all that great. I think James ranking him #2 SS in The New Historical Baseball Abstract hit people really hard, because who the hell knew from Arky Vaughan? It was a dramatic pronouncement by James, which had a big impact.¹ And then when people started looking at it in the "career totals while playing SS" sense, Vaughan looked even better, since that perspective knocks A-Rod, Yount and Banks out of the race entirely, and if I'm not mistaken even Wagner and Ripken don't have as high a percentage of games played at SS as Vaughan, so it at least improves him relative to them. But, I think that's a pretty silly way to look at it, and so Vaughan would not be on my shortstop Mount Rushmore. (Holy crap, did we circle back around to the topic?? Amazing.)

¹ And interestingly, this comment also contains a comparison of Vaughan's "old-school" fielding stats to Marty Marion's, in much the same way that is being done here. James: "We credit Marion with an edge of about 80 runs as a defensive player. Looking at their career defensive statistics, it is hard to understand how Marion could have had an advantage much larger than that."
   88. Sunday silence Posted: February 26, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4663039)
I have a feeling the Giants had better defensive isntruction, positioning, really better everything that the Phillies (Amaro wasnt running the Phillies in the 30s, was he?), and after a year Bartell bought in to whatever the Giants were telling him


that cant be whats happening. Bartell is piling up great range factors at 2b and SS in PIT as a 21 year old in 1929.

He's averaging 5.8 at SS from '29-31.

At PHI, from '32-34, he's 5.75.

At NYG from '35-37, he's 5.85.

Also as a 20 year old in 1928 you can make the same case for him at 2b, although only 39 games, the numbers seem consistent.

This is exactly what you would expect from a guy who's an excellent fielder. Vaughan only put numbers like that in his peak period in '38-40.

Again my gut feeling, just from playing around with numbers is that a 0.1 factor can certainly be attributed to anything, park effects, noise whatever. Even 0.2 can be attributed to park effect, pitching staff etc. Because it fits within my own gut feeling of 5%.

Beyond 0.2 I'd like to see some evidence of something extra going on. The numbers with Critz and Whitehead do seem to suggest something like that so trying to keep an open mind.

I dont think whatevers happening is going to affect Bartell though, he's putting up basically the same numbers in PIT when he's 20 years old.
   89. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4663041)
I think a Marcel-style simple defensive metric would be great, actually, if there is not one already.

As for the defensive ratings (especially pre-2000, and even more pre80s(?) are regressed a lot. I think that this is a good thing, because outliers are likely to be jsut that. But one issue I have is that I think that the metrics are regressed on a yearly basis, while I think a career basis might be closer to the truth (For a guy like Ozzie, if the metric says he's effing amazing every year (which they do), why do you need to regress every year. He's not an average shortstop. Regress his career (which will have to be regressed a lot less), and split it evenly between the years. Individual years may lie, but I think overall you are going to get a more accurate picture of him overall. For an average shortstop, it wont matter, zero is zero. And the terrible shortstops will probably be more accurate too (although less so because, with pretty much the unique exception of Derek Jeter, few terrible defensive shortstops last more than a couple years).

I mean if we are presuming that Vaughan with a 5.1 range can be an inner circle hall of famer, then doesnt it stand to reason that you could put a guy out there with a 4.1 range and still be decent, right?


I think we are still talking past each other a bit about range factor. My argument about range factor is that many things come into play, and that Vaughn is not actually anywhere near .6 plays/game worse than Bartell. If a player ACTUALLY was making 1 play less per game than an actually shortstop, that they could actually make, they would be giving up, what, 80 runs/year? Since no player can be expected to have a true talent level of 10 wins a year (even Mike Trout), no team would do this. Arky Vaughn had 9+ wins once, but in his best years (33-38) was really more like a 7.5 win/ 150 games true talent player, and would probably project in any given year as more of a 6-7 win player, because you jsut dont know ahead of time which players are going to stay healthy and effective. So no, the effective cap is much lower. Ryan Braun in 2007 is an instructive example, I think. He was tremendous offensively (154 OPS+), but was, by bWAR (but every metric agrees he was terrible) 32 runs worse than the average 3B. And after a year when they tried to see if he could stick and it became painfully aware he could not, he was mercifully moved somewhere he could play. Arky Vaughn hit 157 OPS+ from 33-36, between 21 and 24. IF he couldnt handle SS, they would have moved him in an instant, because that bat can play anywhere. And they never did. He was fine at SS. All of the metrics suggest he was slightly above average. But call it average. An average SS that can hit like Hank Aaron? Um....I want one of those.

A SS with a range factor of 4.1? How does Alcides Escobar suit you? He had a 3.91 range factor last year. Andrelton Simmons only had a 4.92. Troy Tulowitski had a 4.91. Do you think Troy and Andrelton are 160 plays/ year better than Alcides? Do oyu think Andrelton and Troy are equivalent defensively? Or is something else going on there?

I think it would actually be fun to take a stab at a rough defensive metric. The biggest info I would want for pre PBP era that does not seem easy to get on bref is pitcher handedness % of team (can certainly mine that info though) and getting a good GB% estimate from the data we do have; it seems like it would be pretty easy in theory, but not sure how best to go about it in practice.
   90. Sunday silence Posted: February 26, 2014 at 04:04 PM (#4663045)
two guys that come to mind now as inner circle are Maranville and Appling. Both these guys put up excellent def numbers for like 19-20 years. Maranville was putting up pretty good off numbers for about 12 years as I recall. Appling cant recall but I think he was putting up decent off numbers till age 42 or something like that. Looking at the career as a whole, these seem to have had nearly twice the career at SS as Vaughan and are not just holding their own. They're at least VG the entire time.

I always thought Ozzie was better than Ripken, so I'd make him inner circle as well. There were tons of balls getting through the infield in BAL and I saw quite a few of their games.

On Aparacio I am not sure how weak his bat was. He might be inner circle but maybe not.

Boudreau put up very good off numbers and def for about 12 years if I recall correctly from what I saw the other nite. His career last a few seasons longer than that. If you want someone comparable to Vaughan I think Boudreau is a good comp, they're both likely top ten depending on how you look at peak. Marion too has a similar career length about 12 years of very good, not the same offensively, but pretty comparable overall.
   91. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4663047)
I also agree whole-heartedly with 87. It is a complicated issue. Bill James did a great breakdown of the problem in short form in the New Historical Abstract and much more extensively in Win Shares. It is a complicated issue. It is not a matter of simply taking range factor and applying a fudge factor. I would highly recommend reading at least the essay in the NHA. I don't necessarily like how James addresses the issue analytically, but conceptually I think he is spot on. I personally really need to read Wizardry, its been on my list since it came out.

But really, look at the range factors for modern era shortstops. They just often do no map on to more modern metrics or contemporary evaluations (for older players especially, I think that seeing if contemporary evaluation maps onto the numbers can be instructive).
   92. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4663049)
Following up on 89, you know who had a range factor of exactly 4.1 in 2013? Derek Jeter. Sorry, I am going to take 2013 Alcides Escobar over 2013 Derek Jeter every time.
   93. AROM Posted: February 26, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4663055)
One thing BBref does right about range factor is at least give you the league context. Bartell is at 5.64 career, but the average SS in his time was at 5.39. Simmons last year was only 4.74 per game (not using per 9 innings since we don't have that for Bartell) compared to a 4.40 for his league.

There are probably more balls hit in the air now compared to the 1930s (as indicated by HR totals) but there are definitely many more strikeouts.
   94. Sunday silence Posted: February 26, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4663057)
But call it average. An average SS that can hit like Hank Aaron? Um....I want one of those.


yeah I do too. But that's not the point I am trying to make.

And it's not really directed at you, it's more at people who think he's auto. inner circle HoF, or those who cant understand how Bartells' fielding could actually erase all of gain from Vaughan's bat. Even Marion or Reese were capable of doing enuf def. to make up for the off. differential.

That's what I'm saying and not really against you.

My pt is that if what these people were saying were true, then you should be able to find 3.5 or 4.0 range SS who should be OPSing like 150+ or whatever. A large off contribution in other words. But you never find guys like this. Even in the lively ball era of the 1920s do you?

Your pt. that that bat "can play anywhere" is missing the pt. If you could really stick a such a hitter at SS and get away with it, then you'd have room for another bat at 1B, or hell every single position along the spectrum you could just stick top hitters. MLB would look like beer league softball but it doesnt.

But what you do see is a sort of limit that is reached and managers inherently understand that. Instead of people talking about a "Mendoza line" a better concept would be the "Vaughan line" ALthough that is unfair to Vaughan who was at least VG to excellent for 10 years or so.

How does Alcides Escobar suit you? He had a 3.91 range factor last year


I have no idea. I confess, I only began watching regular season ball last year after long hiatus. I'll try to look at his numbers.

But I'll see your Escobar and raise you this;

Did you ever see Leo Gomez (BAL) play third?
Did you ever see Ed Kirkpatrick play LF?
or Manny Sanguillen play RF?
How about Bonilla at third?
Or Dale Berra at SS?

Yeah I think Berra wins that one, only cause Gomez didnt stay there long enuf.

It's too bad youtube doesnt have Sanguillen playing in right. You'd think Sangy could do it because he could run and catcher is so demanding. you know he only began playing baseball when he was 18 or maybe that's when he played organized baseball and a few years later here is in the big leagues. He even outhit Johnny Bench one year, Sanguillens career is quite amazing in that sense.

there was a game in June '73 that was the last straw for Virdon. Sangy in RF did a running dive into short RF and sort of trapped the ball and rolled over and then overthrew the base or something. I think that was the last time he played there.

Do they have the Dale Berra play where the catcher tags the runner out at the plate and here comes Berra STANDING UP, runs right into the catcher for a double play. Catcher records both outs, Berra doesnt even attempt to slide on the second one.
   95. cardsfanboy Posted: February 26, 2014 at 04:30 PM (#4663059)
I just don't see range factor as being that big of an argument. It's been thoroughly debunked as a useful stat for over a decade now, not sure why bringing it back from the dead really helps an argument.
   96. Captain Supporter Posted: February 26, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4663060)
Arod: Career to date $353,416,252 Does not include future salaries
Jeter: Career to date $253,159,364 Does not include future salaries.

Don't think either is complaining, but the guy who was the significantly better player, got paid as if he was the significantly better player.


Yeah, but how about outside earnings. And earnings earned for the rest of their lives starting now. And earnings net of attorney's fees.

Derek Jeter is going to the Hall of Fame as a Yankee immortal. He is an endorsement, gold mine, apparently intends to own and run a publishing business, and may very well wind up with future baseball related positions of his choice.

Alex Rodriquez is on the Pete Rose career path.
   97. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4663061)
Yes, there are definitely is a large differences in possible chances between 1935 and today. But all of those things that affect the number of chances between eras also, to some smaller extent (except for things like GB ratio, which I think may definitely vary more within year than the average GB rate varies between era. 13% more BIPs were GB for Pirates pitchers than for Athletics pitchers (52.5% vs 39.5%). I would be fairly shocked if the average rate of GB had dropped by 13 percentage points since 1935). That is what I was trying to say by comparing between shortstops from 2013.
   98. Walt Davis Posted: February 26, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4663066)
Secretariat, Man o' War, Bucephalus, Incitatus

No Phar Lap? You can expect strongly worded letters from the New Zealand and Australian Foreign Offices within a fortnight.
   99. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: February 26, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4663067)
Garry Templeton, 5 tool player. If those tools are: defense, getting caught stealing, not walking, never reaching double digits in HR's in his career, and getting traded for Ozzie Smith.


...and a nice bright red uniform.
   100. SoCalDemon Posted: February 26, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4663068)
My pt is that if what these people were saying were true, then you should be able to find 3.5 or 4.0 range SS who should be OPSing like 150+ or whatever. A large off contribution in other words. But you never find guys like this. Even in the lively ball era of the 1920s do you?


Okay, gonna ignore the RF part for now, but no, you don't see a shortstop (well, not more than one) who consistently rates as 30+ runs below average stick at shortstop. Why? Because if he can't hit, he's gone, and if he can hit, they move him somewhere he can field competently, and get a solid shortstop. The only place I see hitters stick with draw-droppingly bad defensive numbers is at 1B, LF, and RF. WHy, because there is nowhere else for them to go. So if they can hit 150 OPS+, you deal with the horrible defense, because there is no other option other than getting rid of them (post-1972, this obviously gets a little fuzzier). But there are no terrible shortstops, just because those terrible shortstops are competent 2B or 3Bs or OFs or 1B or DHs or out of the game, not sticking at short (Jeter excepted). What percentage of major leaguers were shortstops in high school, 90%? But they move because compared with other, better shortstops, they can't hack it there.
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