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Monday, December 27, 2010

Posnanski: Hall of Fame Week

Mmm….Pie Traynor.

Here’s what I mean: Take a look at the percentage of every day players who got into the Hall of Fame (among those who got at least 5,000 plate appearances):

Players whose careers ended before 1920: 9 out of 44 (20.4%)
In the 1920s: 9 out of 49 (18.4%)
In the 1930s: 27 out of 54 (50%)
In the 1940s: 19 out of 66 (28.8%)
In the 1950s: 13 out of 40 (32.5%)
In the 1960s: 9 out of 64 (14.1%)
In the 1970s: 13 out of 72 (18.1%)
In the 1980s: 10 out of 116 (8.6%)
In the 1990s: 12 out of 93 (12.9%)

The stunning takeaway is that half of the sturdy everyday players who retired sometime in the 1930s are in the Hall of Fame. This, of course, is absolutely ridiculous….

If Alan Trammell had played shortstop in the big leagues the 1920s and 1930s he would have gone into the Hall of Fame first ballot, almost unanimously, and would have been ranked just behind Honus Wagner as the greatest shortstop who ever lived. He could do it all. He hit. He fielded. He could run. He hit with some power. He played smart. He led.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 27, 2010 at 08:16 PM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, media

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   1. Justin T drives a crooked hoss Posted: December 27, 2010 at 11:27 PM (#3718606)
Are there any players with 5,000 plate appearances who weren't everyday players?
   2. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 27, 2010 at 11:28 PM (#3718607)
A fine piece by Poz.

I'm looking forward to his ten selected inductees.

From the players on ballot, I would elect:
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Kevin Brown
Barry Larkin
Mark McGwire
Rafael Palmeiro
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker

I think Edgar Martinez is also worthy, but not amongst the top 10.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: December 27, 2010 at 11:33 PM (#3718609)
Are there any players with 5,000 plate appearances who weren't everyday players?


Ed Kranepool.

I think Poz is simply excluding pitchers on his list of Hall of Famers by decade, then sorting them by those everyday players by the number who reached 5,000 PA.
   4. Repoz Posted: December 27, 2010 at 11:47 PM (#3718614)
I have never maxed out my ballot, or anything even close.

He has voted for 8 on two occasions.

Molding Poz's ballot here...

Blyleven
Alomar
Raines
Trammell
Bagwell
Larkin
Edgar
D. Murphy (he has voted for Murphy every year going back to '04)
McGwire

I'm torn on his 10th pick being either Kevin Brown or Larry Walker.

I'll go Brown in an anti-Morris sorta pick thingee leading to a 60,000 word blog entry.
   5. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 27, 2010 at 11:50 PM (#3718617)
Some people actually argued in the 1940s and 1950s that Traynor was the best third baseman ever.


It went on much longer that that. When MLB named an all-time team in 1969, Traynor was picked as the greatest third baseman ever. Just for reference, the team picked was Gehrig, Hornsby, Wagner, Traynor, Ruth, Cobb, DiMaggio, Cochrane, Grove, and Johnson.
   6. OCF Posted: December 27, 2010 at 11:51 PM (#3718618)
Stan Javier had over 5000 PA. Would you call him an everyday player? I suppose there were some years in his career in which he was some team's starter at some OF position - but his maximum PA in any one season is barely over 500. And he never lasted with any one team - he was constantly in motion, practically defining the position of "fourth outfielder" and usually available to whatever team needed one of those. The somewhat similar Otis Nixon also had over 5000 PA, although he did have a couple of years in there with 650 PA, which would make him a full-time regular.
   7. Graham Womack Posted: December 27, 2010 at 11:58 PM (#3718623)
I don't know if it's stunning that half the every day players who retired in the 1930s are in the Hall of Fame. Between all the time that's passed and Frankie Frisch's tenure as head of the Veterans Committee, it makes sense that a lot of those players would be enshrined.

I wouldn't fret about players from the 1960s, '70s, and '80s getting into Cooperstown. The fact that someone like Posnanski is even musing about it says a lot. It tells me there's interest for these players and therein lies the real point for me.

Baseball will need a feel-good distraction for fans as steroid-connected players like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Alex Rodriguez start to be enshrined. Posnanski points out in his piece that the Veterans Committee has essentially stopped electing players over the last decade. That can't continue forever.
   8. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: December 28, 2010 at 12:02 AM (#3718625)
Repoz, is Joe on the record against Raffy? Or do you just think he's more likely to go with the peakier Brown or Walker?
   9. OCF Posted: December 28, 2010 at 12:04 AM (#3718626)
When MLB named an all-time team in 1969, Traynor was picked as the greatest third baseman ever.

Just what exactly was Eddie Mathews supposed to do to convince people that he existed? The fact that Frank Baker was probably a much better player than Traynor, and Jimmy Collins was pretty close to the same player as Traynor - well, that takes an appreciation of history. But the invisibility of Mathews has always been a puzzle.

OK, one excuse: Mathews had just barely retired in 1969, and his '67 and '68 seasons were less than memorable. But tell me where 512 career HR ranked in 1969.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: December 28, 2010 at 12:13 AM (#3718630)
It went on much longer that that. When MLB named an all-time team in 1969, Traynor was picked as the greatest third baseman ever. Just for reference, the team picked was Gehrig, Hornsby, Wagner, Traynor, Ruth, Cobb, DiMaggio, Cochrane, Grove, and Johnson.

Was the vote limited to HoFers? Traynor makes a lot more sense if it was. Even so, remember the BBWAA made Eddie Mathews wait a few years for induction.

Stan Javier had over 5000 PA. Would you call him an everyday player?

I took Poz to mean 5,000 in the decade cited not 5,000 for a career. During the 90s, Javier had 3900. Hebner did manage 5151 PA in the 70s although he was platooned pretty heavily. If Poz did what I think he did, he'd have missed guys like Dick Allen (in the denominator obviously) and presumably some war guys but it's not likely to matter much.

But I don't care much for HoF analysis that lumps VC selections, especially the Friends of Frisch, with BBWAA selections. It's sensible to argue "look, the HoF standard has to adjust for VC selections" but it's not sensible to adjust them so low as to let in everybody above the Frisch VC threshold.

I suspect there are two main differences across that era. One is the general suckitude of the 80s. Sorry, it's just the way it worked out. There was no particular shortage of young HoF-track players but for whatever reasons (astroturf, drugs, money allowing a celeb lifestyle, bad luck) most of them burned out. The second, and major, source of variation is the ease of the VC. The VC's been very stingy the last couple of decades and not correcting enough of the "mistakes" of the 60s and 70s.

Anyway, to see the degree to which things have changed, I'd like to see those numbers split by writers/VC/other. I suspect the writer %age has been pretty stable over time.

And if Trammell had played in the 20s and 30s, wouldn't he have gotten caught in the backlog? And why would they have treated him better than Arky Vaughan (VC) or Joe Cronin (10th year on ballot ... who saw a very strange jump from 53% to 78% in one year)?

EDIT: never mind the first part, I misread Pos
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: December 28, 2010 at 12:18 AM (#3718634)
Just what exactly was Eddie Mathews supposed to do to convince people that he existed?


Not have a BA nearly .50 points below Traynor. I doubt it was any more complicated than that.
   12. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: December 28, 2010 at 12:19 AM (#3718636)
Just what exactly was Eddie Mathews supposed to do to convince people that he existed?
Hit .320 for his career instead of .271?

EDIT: regular, diet, or cherry, SoSH?
   13. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 28, 2010 at 12:19 AM (#3718637)
[9] I think the barely retired thing is what does it. The 512 HR places him behind the recently retired Mickey Mantle, who also was not listed. (Although, looking at old rankings, DiMaggio tends to be rated higher than Mantle which seems strange to me.)
   14. Repoz Posted: December 28, 2010 at 12:19 AM (#3718638)
Repoz, is Joe on the record against Raffy? Or do you just think he's more likely to go with the peakier Brown or Walker?

I don't believe he's anti-Raffy (but seeing that Palmeiro is struggling at 9.5%...he might need all the help he can get) ...but I seem to remember a pro-Kevin Brown piece from a while back.
   15. John DiFool2 Posted: December 28, 2010 at 12:43 AM (#3718649)
One thing that I never got was how HoF voters, in contrast to MVP voters, didn't/don't salivate over the HR/RBI guys. It may be the same generational thing we're seeing now where 13-12 + the ERA title wins the Cy, but a 254-186 + 105 ERA+ has a shot at HoF election. For his first few years, 512 HRs apparently had no impact whatsoever with a large chunk of the electorate, while Mathews had 2 2nd place MVP finishes-maybe it was the Dick Stuart Effect or something.
   16. OCF Posted: December 28, 2010 at 12:59 AM (#3718652)
And no one corrected for context. Of the 50 points in BA that everyone keeps mentioning, about 3/5 of that was context.

The bb-ref neutralizer is fun:

Mathews: .286/.393/.536
Traynor: .306/.348/.418
Baker: .320/.377/.459 (albeit in a much shorter career)
   17. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 28, 2010 at 01:06 AM (#3718658)
The stunning takeaway is that half of the sturdy everyday players who retired sometime in the 1930s are in the Hall of Fame. This, of course, is absolutely ridiculous….

Of course it it's ridiculous, but in great part I think it can be explained not just by Frisch, but also by the heavy weight that was given to all those era-induced high BA's. I remember reading some book that came out in the 90's that claimed that modern players were far inferior to the players of the 30's for that very reason. It may have been the most anti-sabermetric full-length book I've ever read, and that's saying a lot.

Funny that the same argument didn't seem to be applied to all those pitchers with ERA's up in the clouds, but you can't have everything.
   18. Shock Posted: December 28, 2010 at 01:54 AM (#3718678)
I wish half the voters spent half as much time with their ballot as Poz does with his.

I don't know who he's voting for, but I know it will be one ballot that is well-thought-out and well-reasoned, which is all you can ask for.
   19. sunnyday2 Posted: December 28, 2010 at 03:23 AM (#3718696)
As a kid growing up in the 1950s, there is no question whatever that the consensus was that Pie Traynor was the #1 3B and Jimmy Collins was #2.

The problem for Eddie Mathews was not Traynor or Collins, it was Brooks Robinson. The further consensus was that Brooksie was clearly better than Mathews. If Mathews wasn't #1 in his own era, how could he be #1 all-time.

Of course, we now know that HR Baker was the best 20C pre-WWII and that Mathews was much more valuable than Brooksie.But people had a certain type in their head as being what a 3B should be, and they just picked the best of that type. It's the same thing with pitcher Ks being much over-valued. It's how a great pitcher should pitch.
   20. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 28, 2010 at 03:37 AM (#3718702)
The problem for Eddie Mathews was not Traynor or Collins, it was Brooks Robinson. The further consensus was that Brooksie was clearly better than Mathews. If Mathews wasn't #1 in his own era, how could he be #1 all-time.

Of course, we now know that HR Baker was the best 20C pre-WWII and that Mathews was much more valuable than Brooksie.But people had a certain type in their head as being what a 3B should be, and they just picked the best of that type.


You've got it right, sunnyday. Robinson was indeed a fabulous fielding 3B whose reputation with the glove had been around for 10 years when he cemented his standing with his dazzling MVP performance in the 1970 World Series, both at the plate (1.288 OPS) and in the field (a whole reel of highlight plays). Given the relatively limited national exposure that any player had during those days, his sensational hitting and fielding during those five games simply confirmed that reputation for anyone who hadn't been paying very close attention before.

Of course in the 1969 World Series he was 1 for 18, but in his two postseason series in 1971, he hit .429 and .364 to further enhance his rep as a clutch God. AFAIC he's a most deserving HoFer based on his glove and decent bat at his peak, but it is kind of amazing how he ever could have gotten a better reputation than a much better player like Mathews. It just shows you that in some cases it ain't what you do, it's when you do it.
   21. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 28, 2010 at 04:24 AM (#3718709)
But tell me where 512 career HR ranked in 1969.


When Mathews retired, he was 7th all time on the HR list. Today, Sosa ranks 7th, between A-Rod and Jim Thome. I was trying to figure out which six ranked ahead of him when he retired, but I'm too dumb. Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx and four other guys.
   22. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: December 28, 2010 at 04:36 AM (#3718710)
When Mathews retired, he was 7th all time on the HR list. Today, Sosa ranks 7th, between A-Rod and Jim Thome. I was trying to figure out which six ranked ahead of him when he retired, but I'm too dumb. Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx and four other guys.

Three other guys, not four. Only six ahead of him if he's in seventh.

Ted Williams, Mel Ott for sure. I'll say Hank Aaron was the other.
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: December 28, 2010 at 04:47 AM (#3718711)
Williams, Foxx, Mantle, Mays, Aaron and Ruth.

by the time he came up for the hof though, Banks had tied him, Killebrew and Robinson passed him.

(Mel Ott is behind him by one)
   24. Barnaby Jones Posted: December 28, 2010 at 04:51 AM (#3718712)
Aaron only had 510 through 1968, two behind Mathews.
   25. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 28, 2010 at 05:07 AM (#3718714)
Was the vote limited to HoFers? Traynor makes a lot more sense if it was. Even so, remember the BBWAA made Eddie Mathews wait a few years for induction.


I don't think the vote was limited to HoFs, no. There were two teams picked - the greatest all-time team, and the greatest living team. Traynor was picked for both teams, and there was an active player on the living team, so non-HoFs were eligible for that one, at least. I gave the all-time team in post #5 - the greatest living players (in 1969) team was picked as:

1B - Sisler/Musial (tie)
2B - Gehringer
SS - Cronin
3B - Traynor
OF - DiMaggio
OF - Williams
OF - Mays
C - Dickey
LHP - Grove
RHP - Feller

DiMaggio was chosen as greatest living player, which is where he got the justification to insist he always be introduced as such...
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: December 28, 2010 at 05:08 AM (#3718715)
Aaron only had 510 through 1968, two behind Mathews.


oops, I was going by 1969 not 1968.(doesn't look like anyone else is ahead of him though)
   27. LargeBill Posted: December 28, 2010 at 05:17 AM (#3718717)
DiMaggio was chosen as greatest living player, which is where he got the justification to insist he always be introduced as such...


And boy did he ever insist. No player ever lived on and exploited his reputation more than DiMaggio. Reading his biography, I was left wondering if he ever picked up a tab or paid for anything. He had bags of hundred dollar bills found in his houses after he passed on. Not talking lunch bags. No, large trash bags.

Separately, got to love the Poz columns.
   28. cardsfanboy Posted: December 28, 2010 at 05:19 AM (#3718721)
Separately, got to love the Poz columns.


hopefully all of them get posted here, so I don't have to remember to hunt for them.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: December 28, 2010 at 06:23 AM (#3718745)
Yep, that's right. At the end of 68, Mathews was 6th on the HR list, with one active player and one fellow 68 retiree (Mantle) ahead of him. By 1973, he was tied for 9th. All told, from (about) 1965 to 1974, 7 guys broke the 500 HR barrier playing in a (mostly) 16-20 team league. In the 2000s, in a larger league, we've seen 10.

But remember kids, it wasn't until steroids that we saw player after player shatter the 500 HR mark such that it just doesn't mean anything anymore.
   30. OCF Posted: December 28, 2010 at 06:35 AM (#3718748)
the greatest living players (in 1969) team was picked as:

1B - Sisler/Musial (tie)
2B - Gehringer
SS - Cronin
3B - Traynor
OF - DiMaggio
OF - Williams
OF - Mays
C - Dickey
LHP - Grove
RHP - Feller


Fun you can have with that:

1B: Using Musial at 1B to have room for another OF makes sense. Sharing the position with Sisler doesn't. (Note: Foxx died in 1967, but Greenberg and Mize were still alive.)
2B. Gehringer is not a terrible choice, but does Jackie Robinson have a claim?
SS. Note: Arky Vaughan died in 1952, not that he would have gotten any respect anyway. But how about Banks?
3B. We've been over this. Of course it should have been Mathews.
CF. You've got Mays. You don't need another CF.
LF and RF. Yeah, Williams. But DiMaggio as the third OF - I don't think so. And DiMaggio as the single best? I really don't think so. In 1969, I might have taken Mantle as the 3rd OF. Do this again a few years later, and I start thinking about Aaron.
C. Wrong Yankee; I'd take Berra.
LHP. I don't really like separating the handedness here, even though it's traditional; LHP and RHP are the same position. Interesting that they stayed with Grove, knowing about the legend of Koufax. And I agree.
RHP. You know, Satchel Paige was still alive. Actually, it feels more natural to name a whole rotation. How about Grove, Spahn, Paige, Feller and Roberts? If you make me pick four, I'm having trouble choosing between Feller and Roberts.

Now: what is the 2011 version of this list?
   31. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 28, 2010 at 07:16 AM (#3718757)
Now: what is the 2011 version of this list?


Without giving it much thought, most seem rather obvious.

1B - Pujols
2B - Morgan
SS - Ripken (depends on if you count Arod's entire value at SS, or only the contributions he made at SS). It seems that when it's done he'll have spent more time at 3B, so I'll go Cal, but either one works.
3B - Schmidt
LF - Bonds
CF - Mays
RF - Aaron
C - Bench (perhaps the best debate with Piazza and Berra)
RHP - Clemens or Maddux
LHP - Johnson
Full Rotation
Clemens, Johnson, Maddux, Seaver, Pedro
CL - My greatest living team doesn't include part-timers. If you must, Rivera
   32. Honkie Kong Posted: December 28, 2010 at 07:20 AM (#3718759)
1B - Pujols

You could go with Musial here.
   33. Baldrick Posted: December 28, 2010 at 07:40 AM (#3718764)
#31 - it seems weird to have a list of the best players at various positions that fails to include a guy who's arguably #2 all-time at shortstop (behind someone who's been dead for over half a century) or #1 all-time at third base. Whatever you want to count A-Rod as, he needs to be on the list. I'll take him as a shortstop. In just eight full seasons there he put together a HOF career that gets within shouting range of Ripken.
   34. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 28, 2010 at 07:41 AM (#3718765)
You could go with Musial here.


Yes, but at least I'm consistent with my application, since Musial would be like Arod as someone not so easy to put in one position.




Now, being truthful, I'd have to admit that in my haste I'd forgotten Stan the Man, who should have at least warranted a mention somewhere on the list, since he's all kinds of awesome.

#31 - it seems weird to have a list of the best players at various positions that fails to include a guy who's arguably #2 all-time at shortstop (behind someone who's been dead for over half a century) or #1 all-time at third base. Whatever you want to count A-Rod as, he needs to be on the list.


I said either one works. I wouldn't put up an argument for your line of thinking, though I prefer a strict contribution at the position list.
   35. cardsfanboy Posted: December 28, 2010 at 08:33 AM (#3718771)
Now, being truthful, I'd have to admit that in my haste I'd forgotten Stan the Man, who should have at least warranted a mention somewhere on the list, since he's all kinds of awesome.


ok, you're forgiven. :)
I was going to complain about him missing from your list, but outside of forcing him to firstbase he arguably doesn't have a spot(although I think I would take him barely ahead of Aaron personally, but I'll admit that I grew up with Musial all my life as The Man that my opinion might be off in regards to him)
   36. cardsfanboy Posted: December 28, 2010 at 08:33 AM (#3718772)
have no idea how it double posted.
   37. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 28, 2010 at 02:11 PM (#3718805)
As I have pointed out before, Traynor was originally a shortstop, moved to 3B by the Pirates because they had Rabbit Maranville. 3B was considered at the time, and indeed for many years thereafter, as a defense-first position; Traynor stood out because he contributed offensively as well as with the glove - although I don't think he was all *that* good defensively, and TZ suggests he was below average, that wasn't the way he was perceived.

Mathews's contributions are downgraded primarily for the same reason; he was never considered to be that good defensively (TZ tends to support that conclusion, although I think he was probably better than his rep) and 3Bs were still expected to contribute with the glove.

-- MWE
   38. como10 Posted: December 28, 2010 at 03:35 PM (#3718831)
@37 -- Good post. During Traynor's peak years, a span of about 5 or 6 seasons, I suspect he really was an excellent defensive third baseman. And during this time, his team won two pennants and a World Series. Traynor performed really well both in the field and at the plate during that '25 Series, so he benefited from a lot of positive press coverage. So he was a very good defender for a while, plus there was a halo effect that further bolstered his reputation.

But at the very beginning of his career and for his last 4-5 years he was a liability defensively. (Late in his career, he was playing with some pretty severe shoulder problems). But the meme of "Pie Traynor is a great defensive player" was already established by that time, and it held solid in spite of evidence to the contrary. His lousy play at the end didn't seem to detract from his reputation at all.

It probably didn't hurt that Traynor was a nice guy who the writers loved. That shouldn't matter, of course, but it almost certainly did.
   39. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 28, 2010 at 03:48 PM (#3718838)
It probably didn't hurt that Traynor was a nice guy who the writers loved.

[Preface: I've told this story before, but it kind of fits into what was just said above]

Traynor may have been nice to the writers, but he wasn't all that nice to an 11-year old kid I knew who in 1963 had written every living HoFer for his autograph. Traynor was the only one who never replied, even after several tries.

Finally this kid (who later became the New York State Banking Commissioner) decided there was only one way to complete his collection. He wrote Traynor a registered letter, with a return receipt requested, and finally got his missing signature.

And BTW the letter that he'd enclosed had but one sentence: "HA, HA, GOT YOUR AUTOGRAPH!"
   40. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 28, 2010 at 04:15 PM (#3718856)
The stunning takeaway is that half of the sturdy everyday players who retired sometime in the 1930s are in the Hall of Fame. This, of course, is absolutely ridiculous….


50% Frisch
50% complete inability by the BBWAA to put 1920s/30s numbers into context.

To use one of Bill James' favorite whipping boys:
George Kelly had years like these:
.308-23-122
.328-17-107
.307-16-103
.324-21-136

and was a great defensive 1B by repute...
of course he had only 6500 PAs and was a regular for less than 10 years

His closest BBREF cop is, as Bill James pointed out, Bob Watson, who played his prime in the Astrodome and actually out OPS+s Kelly by 20 points
   41. DanG Posted: December 28, 2010 at 04:24 PM (#3718861)
any players with 5,000 plate appearances who weren't everyday players?
A few candidates:

Most G for players with 5000 to 6000 PA

Rk           Player    G   PA From   To
1      Ed Kranepool 1853 5997 1962 1979
2       Matt Stairs 1839 5949 1992 2010
3     Jose Vizcaino 1820 5918 1989 2006
4         Del Unser 1799 5813 1968 1982
5      Rick Dempsey 1766 5407 1969 1992
6       Stan Javier 1763 5755 1984 2001
7     Jay Johnstone 1748 5229 1966 1985
8     Tito Francona 1719 5776 1956 1970
9        Otis Nixon 1709 5800 1983 1999
10     Dave Collins 1701 5507 1975 1990
11    Smoky Burgess 1691 5013 1949 1967
12        Jim Hegan 1666 5318 1941 1960
13     Leo Durocher 1637 5827 1925 1945
14    Carlos Baerga 1630 5895 1990 2005
15     Lonnie Smith 1613 5952 1978 1994
16   Scott Fletcher 1612 5976 1981 1995
17    Elston Howard 1605 5843 1955 1968
18    Ken Oberkfell 1602 5528 1977 1992
19      Denis Menke 1598 5934 1962 1974
20    Derrel Thomas 1597 5268 1971 1985
21   Rollie Hemsley 1593 5509 1928 1947
22     Steve ONeill 1590 5560 1911 1928
23   Jose Hernandez 1587 5089 1991 2006 
   42. Walt Davis Posted: December 29, 2010 at 01:27 AM (#3719254)
Value AS A SS:

Ripken: 84 WAR, 66 oWAR, 51 WAA, 42 WAR best-5
AROD: 61 WAR, 60 oWAR, 43 WAA, 43 WAR best-5
Banks: 56 WAR, 50 oWAR, 39 WAA, 43 WAR best-5
Jeter: 70 WAR, 84 oWAR, 39 WAA, 37 WAR best-5
Ozzie: 65 WAR, 43 oWAR, 34 WAA, 30 WAR best-5

A reasonable chunk of the difference between AROD and Banks is because AROD had 147 more games at SS. For WAR/600 PA, it's 6.435 for AROD and 6.455 for Banks. I like to point that out because I'm evil.

That said, while Banks seems to have been OK as a SS until he got hurt, I find it hard to believe he was a better defensive SS than AROD -- AROD is about 1 oWAR/600 PA ahead.

Anyway, I don't find that an easy choice (Ozzie obviously out of the conversation) an I'm amazed Jeter has such a big lead in oWAR.

I would be more comfortable considering AROD for the 3B position -- SS can almost always play 3B well (and AROD has proven he can) so I have a lot more faith that he'd have had something close to the same value at 3B in his 20s than I am that he'd have the same value at SS in his 30s.

Scmidt: 108 WAR, 94 oWAR, 71 WAA, 38.5 WAR best-5
AROD (all): 102 WAR, 105 oWAR, 70 WAA, 46.5 WAR best-5

So tough call on best living 3B.

I'm willing to let AROD be our super-sub. :-)

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