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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Boston Red Sox

Acquired P Matt Duff from the St. Louis Cardinals for IF Tony Womack.

I hated the Red Sox signing of Tony Womack awhile back, but have to eat my words a little now.  Not that Womack isn’t a no-field, no-hit weight, but that the Red Sox actually turned a pointless signing into an actual body.  Duff is your typical minor-league veteran reliever - doesn’t throw a blazing fastball, but can control the strike zone well and keep his stuff down.  The Sox could turn to Duff in an emergency and get some decent fill-in time from him.

As for Womack, just hope that TLR thinks of him as an uber-utility guy rather than a serious contender for time at second and maybe even left.

Dan Szymborski Posted: March 23, 2004 at 01:25 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Cris E Posted: August 30, 2001 at 07:16 PM (#551698)
I don't think you'll hear the same whispers that Derek is listening to. There's evidence, however debatable, that Jeter does not posess the defensive skills required to play the position. Nomar is not facing that problem so much as one of durability, and moving to third won't fix that. (This is all assuming they find a SS better than the seven dwarves that filled in this summer, and that's no mean feat).
   2. Darren Posted: September 07, 2001 at 02:46 AM (#551748)
Daubach absolutely mashed at AAA and Stenson has been a pretty average hitter at AAA. He hasn't made much progress and has actually gone backwards a bit this year, I think.
   3. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 21, 2001 at 03:02 AM (#551853)
Clark certainly got a lot of heat in Detroit for his long slumps either at the beginning or the end of the season. Only two Tiger 1B this century spent more years as the starting 1B than Clark did: Lu Blue and Norm Cash
   4. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: November 21, 2001 at 10:04 PM (#551855)
Tino's leadership and veteran experience is just what Tampa needs. When they make the playoffs in 2001, Tino will provide guidance to that talent-laden young squad.
   5. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 26, 2001 at 03:02 AM (#551857)
It was definitely sarcastic! I hope Offerman can get back to where he was; you gotta feel sorry for the guy who had a contract that was ridiculed for no reason and after a very good season, has everything go wrong. For the first time last year, his defense was actually as bad as his reputation.
   6. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 14, 2001 at 05:11 AM (#552133)
If Everett really wigs out and and kills Alex Rodriguez or Rafael Palmeiro, then yes, there's a big chemistry issue.
   7. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 21, 2001 at 08:10 PM (#552335)
Well, at 2001 levels, I'd say Damon is much more than a modest overpay, but again, I expect him to be better although probably not as good as Everett.
   8. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 21, 2001 at 10:06 PM (#552360)
Just putting a note for the historical record - Hatteberg and Reese both got non-tendered by their new clubs. Somebody alert Jayson Stark!
   9. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 22, 2001 at 05:47 AM (#552361)
Yeah, I saw that a little while ago, too. It serves to reinforce just how far Reese's stock has fallen. I wonder if O'Dowd and Duquette had a few too many beers when discussing this one.
   10. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 23, 2001 at 06:48 PM (#552363)
Teams will frequently non-tender players that they intend to try to keep, for one of two reasons:

-- they can sign such players to contracts calling for more than the maximum 20% cut in salary;
   11. Voros McCracken Posted: February 05, 2002 at 06:42 AM (#554078)
If you look at those MLEs, you'll see what happened to Abbott (though you won't see the year he hit .398).

Basically Abbott mastered AA, so they sent him to AAA. He hit .330 something in AAA, and so they sent him to AAA again and he hit .320 something. Then they put him on the bench in the majors and he eventually won a starting job by the end of the year. He was the starting LF for 50 at bats and he slumped, and the Sox decided Carlos Lee was a LF instead of a 3B, and Abbott was pretty much done for.

Basically, Abbott's another one of those "what if" guys, a guy who was ready for his big league opportunity but didn't get it because Danny Tartabull was just too irrestible. And then didn't progress an inch from that point (for whatever reason).

The strange thing was that Abbott was even a fairly well regarded prospect in an organization trying to cut costs and go with a youth movement (Top 100 guy), and the shot just didn't come.

I still think that at 29, he could respond to a shot. He'd hit .300 if given a chance, even if he didn't do much else.
   12. scruff Posted: February 05, 2002 at 01:29 PM (#554080)
Does anyone else think it's ludicrous that Quilvio at 31 has a minor league contract and Lou Merloni (also 31) is on the 40-man roster?

This could be an incredible move for the Sox. As a Yankee fan I hate this. Veras is perfect for the Sox, exactly what they need as a leadoff man/second baseman. I wonder if this means Offerman will end up in the OF, or perhaps even a bench player? He's only ever played one game out there, CF in 1996.

He'd probably be better at 3B than Hillenbrand, who wasn't all that great with the leather anyway, and had a .291 OBP. Hillenbrand is still developing, while Jose is declining, so it's a crapshoot there, let them battle for the job in the spring. It'll be an interesting spring in Fort Myers. This would be a pretty solid lineup:

Veras 2B
   13. Darren Posted: February 05, 2002 at 03:10 PM (#554082)
I like Veras too, but he did fail a workout with the Pirates this winter.
   14. Repoz Posted: February 05, 2002 at 09:08 PM (#554087)
If they stay true to form,Texas will be signing Alcantara to be a calming influence in Ranger clubhouse.
   15. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 05, 2002 at 10:38 PM (#554088)
Chris Tucker's asking too much money to do Rush Hour 3, so they're getting Izzy.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: February 07, 2002 at 12:03 AM (#554089)
it just goes to show you ... Eric Young gets 2 years, $5 million while Veras gets a minor league contract. Young has had the better career (at least before fancy corrections) and has been a much more successful base stealer, but really not worth it at this point.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: February 07, 2002 at 04:14 PM (#554093)
huh?

Quilvio Veras, 7 years, 767 games, in the majors continuously since 1995. He's even been to the playoffs and world series. Surely that's enough ML experience even for the Red Sox.

If he's healthy, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Veras opening at 2B for the Sox.
   18. scruff Posted: February 08, 2002 at 03:28 PM (#554098)
Sam Horn -- I wasn't trying to predict the Red Sox lineup, I was saying what I would do. Sorry for the confusion.
   19. Shredder Posted: February 14, 2002 at 06:33 AM (#554318)
Oh, the rumor mill has been right before. Of course, its easy to get one it right when list about 8 different teams that a player may sign with. If only I had been aloud to choose A, B, C, and D on all of those tests.
   20. McCoy Posted: February 14, 2002 at 07:02 AM (#554320)
Question to ponder.
   21. McCoy Posted: February 14, 2002 at 07:50 AM (#554325)
Well I guess I am misunderstood which I only have myself to blame. What I want to know is who is better the type A player: The one who has a low batting average but high walk total with some pop or the Type B player. The one that has a high batting average and low walk total with some pop.
   22. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: February 14, 2002 at 08:51 AM (#554329)
McCoy,

All else being equal, I'd take a base hit over a walk. So if we're talking about equal OBPs, the more that comes from base hits, the better, in my opinion.
   23. SM in DC Posted: February 14, 2002 at 02:31 PM (#554333)
I'm happy to see Rickey have a shot at a job... that way there's no possible way he can get into Cooperstown in the same "class" as Gywnn, McGwire and Ripken...

I know the numbers guys will get all over me for this, but I don't think Rickey is that good. He's a hanger-on, hence the longevity-type records. I would contend that no team he was on ever won because of Rickey.. someone pointed to his '85 NYY season as a reason to pick him over Ichiro, well that's an awful year to choose. Hitting behind him Don Mattingly put together one of the best, if not the best, offensive seasons of the 1980s .324/35/145/938OPS.. Rickey was always the beneficiary of a great supporting cast.

By the way: Your 2002 World Champion New York Yankees open camp today!!!
   24. Darren Posted: February 14, 2002 at 02:55 PM (#554334)
#11-20 (no order)
   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 14, 2002 at 03:13 PM (#554336)
Re: Darren

I realize this is sort of a nit to pick, but I think it's questionable whether Hornsby was really a good enough player to deserve two spots in the top 20.
   26. SM in DC Posted: February 14, 2002 at 03:34 PM (#554339)
You just used Michael Coleman and emerging in the same sentence.. funny.
   27. SM in DC Posted: February 14, 2002 at 03:37 PM (#554341)
I prefer to look forward.
   28. Darren Posted: February 14, 2002 at 03:38 PM (#554342)
Vlad--

I know Bill James doesn't like Hornsby, but I think he's pretty good. 8 SLG titles, 9 OBP titles. He played in a similar offensive era to Henderson's and put up much better numbers. Was his defense lousy? Well, James thinks so and I'll have to trust him I guess. So move him to 3B or LF and he's still one of the greatest hitters ever. (I don't have a problem leaving him outside the top 20, I guess.)

SM in DC--
   29. SM in DC Posted: February 14, 2002 at 04:09 PM (#554344)
Darren,
   30. RP Posted: February 14, 2002 at 04:37 PM (#554347)
But SM, the reverse is also true. Many of Mattingly's RBIs came as a result of hitting behind the greatest leadoff hitter in the history of the game having one of his best seasons. That's not to say that Mattingly didn't have a good season, but it looks a lot better than it was b/c he benefited from Rickey's on-base skills.

Look at it this way, if we assume that they were approximatley equal as hitters that year (which seems fair...Mattingly: .938 OPS, Henderson: .935), Henderson also stole *80* bases and was only caught 10 times, and played LF instead of 1B. It seems clear to me that Henderson was the better player that year.
   31. Jason Posted: February 14, 2002 at 04:54 PM (#554349)
Uh, make that Rickey = 2 rings (on two different squads).

You Rickey Haters need to get over it. Do you think Saint Don would have driven in 145 runs in '85 if Rickey had not been on base AND IN SCORING POSITION about every third or fourth time Mattingly came to the plate? As Darren astutely pointed out, Rickey's OPS was a mere 3 points behind the left-handed hitting first baseman with the cozy right field bleachers at Yankee stadium.

And longevity records?
   32. SM in DC Posted: February 14, 2002 at 05:07 PM (#554350)
No one ever showed up in one of Rickey's numerous hometowns saying "Holy Shiite, Rickey Henderson is gonna beat us tomorrow..." Teams were more worried about guys like Donnie Baseball, Winfield, Canseco, McGwire, Alomar, McGriff, Joe Carter, et al...

Great players, especially the ones you put in any Top 10 had that 'magic' quality to beat you from the bench because you were thinking about them all game long. Rickey never did that.
   33. Darren Posted: February 14, 2002 at 05:31 PM (#554353)
Well, I didn't realize we were discussing magic. Maybe David Blaine's the best leadoff hitter in history.

It's funny that you say that no team ever won because of Rickey, then tout the greatness of Mattingly, whose teams never won anything!

You don't think opposing managers worried about Henderson getting on base?
   34. SM in DC Posted: February 14, 2002 at 05:43 PM (#554356)
Mattingly was cursed by bad front office management and great teams in the old AL East during the 1980s (Tigers, Clemens' Red Sox, Jays, etc...) and by injuries and a dreadful supporting cast in the early 90s -- by the time the Yanks were ready to start their run of the late 90s Mattingly was hurt by the '94 strike and an upstart M's team in 95 would have been nice to see him stay for 96 as a lefty bat of the bench/coach/mentor... ahhh if only....

As for Rickey, its a personal bias... I just don't like the guy. Is he a good player? Without a doubt. Does he put up numbers? Absolutely. Was he a selfish, self-serving prick for most of his career? Yes. Could he play on my team? No chance.
   35. SM in DC Posted: February 14, 2002 at 05:58 PM (#554360)
David,
   36. SM in DC Posted: February 14, 2002 at 06:00 PM (#554361)
BTW -- that's the 71-91 1991 Yanks team.... and Tino was a great addition to the team and surely a huge piece of their dominance.. personally I would have kept him this year and put more $$ into the OF and maybe kept the payroll reasonable.. but that's just me.
   37. Steve Treder Posted: February 14, 2002 at 06:01 PM (#554362)
Henderson is far and away the greatest leadoff man in the history of the game. I don't think this one fact gets him into the top 20 players, but it definitely gets him into the top 50. Very rarified atmosphere.

As far as the general question of what "type" of leadoff hitter is better -- high-walk component of OBP vs. high-average component of OBP -- I would say that other things being equal, the high-walk guy is more valuable. Yes the other guy will convert RBI situations better, but those are generally rare for leadoff hitters. More often a leadoff hitter's task is just to get on base, and a walk almost always consumes more pitches than a hit. Moreover, even when high-walk hitters are retired, they have usually consumed more pitches to do it than a high-average hitter. Exacting your "pound of flesh" from the pitcher helps all the other hitters in the lineup.
   38. Toby Posted: February 14, 2002 at 06:02 PM (#554363)
Similarity scores as evidence of the unique greatness of a player -- it's been postulated that when the most similar player to you is not within 900+, that in itself is evidence that the player is uniquely great.

Most typically cited example:

ALEX RODRIGUEZ
   39. Toby Posted: February 14, 2002 at 06:32 PM (#554365)
A.C.,

funny you should mention Pete Incaviglia hanging on, he's the guy who signed with the Padres a couple days ago and I assume will be competing for Rickey's role there. The Inky signing may well have contributed to Rickey's departure from SD.
   40. Danny Posted: February 14, 2002 at 07:08 PM (#554367)
When a player is the alltime leader in walks, runs, and stolen bases he deserves to be in the top 20 players of alltime. Everyone here knows that runs are just as important as RBI, and walks are nearly as important as hits. Throw in the stolen bases and he could score 100 runs on a below average offensive team every year.

Oh, and most leadoff homeruns ever
   41. SM in DC Posted: February 14, 2002 at 07:36 PM (#554369)
History has not been friend of disco.
   42. Steve Treder Posted: February 14, 2002 at 07:40 PM (#554371)
"When a player is the alltime leader in walks, runs, and stolen bases he deserves to be in the top 20 players of alltime."

Really. Those facts alone cinch it, huh?

Please provide your list of the 21st thru 30th top players of alltime.
   43. Darren Posted: February 14, 2002 at 08:16 PM (#554373)
SM in DC: "by the time the Yanks were ready to start their run of the late 90s Mattingly was hurt by the '94 strike and an upstart M's team in 95 would have been nice to see him stay for 96 as a lefty bat of the bench/coach/mentor...
   44. Darren Posted: February 14, 2002 at 08:19 PM (#554374)
Wow, Henderson had wider abilities than those power-hitting, speedy centerfielders?
   45. SM in DC Posted: February 14, 2002 at 08:29 PM (#554375)
As an agregate Henderson probably does rate higher than Mattingly.. but in my original post I took issue with using 1985 as Henderson's crowning year... a year in which Mattingly put together an MVP season that was far above, in my opinion, Rickey's production in that year.
   46. Steve Treder Posted: February 14, 2002 at 08:29 PM (#554376)
I'm sorry. The contention that Henderson brought more "broad ability and skill" to the game than Willie Mays or Ty Cobb is just laughable.
   47. SM in DC Posted: February 14, 2002 at 08:53 PM (#554379)
Comparing pitchers and players is almost like comparing apples to oranges... in no particular order here are my top 30.. yes the Rick is there, and yes, Mattingly is not. If it were limited to top 30 players of 1985 -- Donnie makes it easy.
   48. Repoz Posted: February 14, 2002 at 09:06 PM (#554380)
Brock......Yikes....Whos next Lloyd Waner?
   49. Steve Treder Posted: February 14, 2002 at 09:39 PM (#554383)
Okay, SM in DC, but top 30 wasn't the question on the table; top 20 was. Is Rickey in your top 20?
   50. SM in DC Posted: February 14, 2002 at 10:05 PM (#554384)
<I>Posted 1:40 p.m., February 14, 2002 - Steve Treder
   51. Darren Posted: February 14, 2002 at 10:21 PM (#554385)
In the world of SM in DC, Rose=top 30, Rickey=hanger on.
   52. SM in DC Posted: February 14, 2002 at 10:25 PM (#554387)
Actually I meant Chris Brock of the Orioles, but packing my bags for Bowie.
   53. David Jones Posted: February 14, 2002 at 11:06 PM (#554392)
Uh oh. Here we go again with the Cobb-Ichiro! comparisons.

Given that these players are so similar, how many slugging titles do we think Ichiro! is going to win before he retires? He better start pounding them out if he wants any chance of being compared favorably to Cobb.
   54. Toby Posted: February 14, 2002 at 11:13 PM (#554394)
Don Mattingly is YOUNGER than Rickey Henderson.

He was born more than two years AFTER Rickey. Six full seasons have passed since he retired.

Mattingly's career OPS was .829.

Rickey's career OPS today, including the last several years of "hanging around", is .822. Considering that he played a great deal in Oakland, a notorious pitcher's park, Rickey probably has a better park-neutral career OPS than Mattingly. Being charitable to Mattingly, call it a wash.

Rickey has had that OPS output over approximately 13,000 plate appearances.

Mattingly did it over approximately 7,600 plate appearances.

Mattingly probably owes a great deal of his RBIs to Rickey's OBP.

Mattingly was comparable to John Olerud. Rickey doesn't know who Olerud is, and probably didn't know who Mattingly was, and 30 years from now the casual fan isn't going to have any idea who Mattingly was either.

But they are going to know the name Rickey Henderson, because he was one of the all-time greats.
   55. Steve Treder Posted: February 14, 2002 at 11:14 PM (#554395)
"Rickey did more to help his teams for a long period of time than Mays or Cobb"

No. No, he didn't. Henderson was superior to Mays and Cobb in two skills: running the bases (though Cobb is right on his tail, and Mays not far at all behind either), and drawing walks (though Cobb wasn't bad at this; Mays was not comparable in this regard).

Henderson didn't even begin to compare to either Mays or Cobb as an all-around hitter; he didn't have a whisper of Mays' power or Cobb's ability to hit for average, and, Mays was a better hitter for average than Henderson (how many batting titles did Rickey win?) and Cobb was a better power hitter than Henderson (how many SLG titles did Rickey win?).

Plus, Henderson wasn't a good enough defensive outfielder to be able to play anywhere but left field. Both Cobb and Mays were center fielders, and Mays' defensive skill at the position is probably among the top few of all time.

"Cobb is basically 20 or so years of Ichiro"

No. No, he isn't. You have to understand Cobb's statistical performance in the context of the conditions under which he played. Ichiro is a very good player (though not as good as Rickey, I agree), but Ichiro doesn't even begin to compare with Cobb. Not even close. Cobb was a brilliant all-around hitter with very good power. There was a thread in which we discussed this very issue a couple of months ago, and the general consensus was that Cobb's hitting ability was somewhere in between George Brett and Stan Musial. Ichiro is nowhere near that neighborhood.

"The thing about Rickey is that there is no real comparable player to him in history"

His uniqueness is remarkable. In and of itself, however, it means nothing other than that he is unique.

"the fact that he was ALWAYS the best at what he was makes him one of the top five"

First off, Henderson hasn't ALWAYS been the best; he's had injuries and slumps, and there have been periods in which he wasn't the best leadoff man in the game. Generally he has been, but certainly not ALWAYS.

Second, just being best at one thing isn't the key issue -- the key issue is what's the value of that one thing you're best at. Getting on base is a terrific skill, but hitting home runs is still more valuable. Give me a lineup of 9 Sammy Sosas and I'll beat 9 Rickey Hendersons every time.

"bottom line is he put runs on the board no matter what"

I don't know what this means. Didn't Cobb and Mays put runs on the board no matter what? Didn't Mark McGwire or Ralph Kiner?
   56. SM in DC Posted: February 14, 2002 at 11:15 PM (#554396)
Supposedly,
   57. RP Posted: February 14, 2002 at 11:25 PM (#554397)
"SM will concur with me that the most crucial difference between Donnie and Kirby was not stolen bases but teammates such as Frank Viola and Jack Morris."

Well, that and the fact that Puckett was a CF, while Mattingly was a 1B. Call me crazy, but I think that's pretty significant.
   58. Steve Treder Posted: February 14, 2002 at 11:54 PM (#554401)
"Strategically there is not a situation where he would not be one of the top 5 hitters i would want up there."

Well, Tom, you're entitled to your opinion, but I assure you that you haven't given me the slightest particle of a reason to agree with it.
   59. Steve Treder Posted: February 15, 2002 at 01:19 AM (#554406)
Henderson never played more than a few innings in CF. The A's used not only Murphy, but Tony Armas in center ahead of Henderson. Like Barry Bonds, Rickey has a natural left fielder's arm.

No argument that Henderson has a great eye, and his ability to draw walks is excellent. But let's not overdo it here: he's only led his league in walks twice. There have been several other leadoff men in history who were better than Henderson at simply drawing walks: Eddie Yost, Max Bishop, and Richie Ashburn come immediately to mind.

Henderson's exceptional brilliance is that he combined the great speed with very good OBP and decent power. That's the complete combination that no other leadoff hitter has ever displayed as well.
   60. Walt Davis Posted: February 15, 2002 at 01:29 AM (#554490)
not to defend Andrews, but he does know how to draw a walk, so at least that 220 BA can be a 320 OBP. And he can slug 420-450. Nothing to get excited about, but 3B in the AL isn't exactly a slugfest. Of course, he's never been able to stay healthy. Low probability of helping, but at no risk and given what the Red Sox have on hand, what the heck. Though surely there are better "free" options available.
   61. Walt Davis Posted: February 15, 2002 at 01:44 AM (#554407)
Rickey also only led the league in OBP once -- 1990, when he was #2 in SLG too. Not a bad year there.

A question has come to mind. IBB's weren't kept track of back in Ruth's day, but surely Rickey has a pretty impressive lead in all-time unintentional walks. He's had only 61 career IBB. And what about the in-season unintentional walk record. Anybody have any idea who holds that record?

Weirdest Rickey top 10 sim score? I'm torn between Le Grand Orange and Brooks Robinson.
   62. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 15, 2002 at 04:33 AM (#554409)
Steve,

Henderson never played more than a few innings in CF.

Rickey was the regular CF for the Yankees in 1985-1986.
   63. Alan Posted: February 15, 2002 at 05:02 AM (#554411)
Steve wrote: Henderson was superior to Mays and Cobb in two skills: running the bases (though Cobb is right on his tail, and Mays not far at all behind either), and drawing walks (though Cobb wasn't bad at this; Mays was not comparable in this regard).

Mays has a higher career walk rate than Cobb.

Chris M wrote: Getting back to the other question, it seems to me that one would rather have a high avg/high OBP (I'll call him Young Rickey) over a high walk rate/high OBP guy (let's call him Old Rickey).

Rickey might not have walked as much in his early 20s as he does now, but he always had a superb walk rate. Through his first 6 seasons, he walked once every 5.6 at bats, and had over 100 walks 3 times. I wouldn't exactly call that a low walk rate.
   64. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: February 15, 2002 at 05:10 AM (#554412)
No argument that Henderson has a great eye, and his ability to draw walks is excellent. But let's not overdo it here: he's only led his league in walks twice.

Actually, it was four times?1982, 1983, 1989, and 1998. He's been in the top ten 16 times.
   65. SM in DC Posted: February 15, 2002 at 05:12 AM (#554413)
Jimmy, I have yet to address Mattingly's D --but gold glovers tend to suck defensively...

... as for the Don/Rickey debate -- I really regret starting this whole deal... over the length of their careers the edge goes to Rickey, but in '85, I'll still take the AL MVP every day (and twice on Sunday).

Don gives us Yankee fans the same kind of "what if" factor that Munson and Mantle give us -- I wonder if, with a healthy back, would Giambi be taking the mantle from Donnie Baseball?
   66. Robert Dudek Posted: February 15, 2002 at 11:48 AM (#554419)
In his prime, I don't think there was any player in baseball a team feared more than Rickey Henderson. To avoid walking him you basically had to throw it down the middle. Once he got on base, you'd be lukcy if he didn't steal at least one base.

In his day, there wasn't any player, not Mattingly, not Brett, not Boggs who was more valuable offensively.
   67. Colin Posted: February 15, 2002 at 03:36 PM (#554492)
Am I way out of here, or are teh Red Sox a team that would actually be improved by trading for teh Braves' Wes Helms to play 3B for them? mercy.
   68. Repoz Posted: February 15, 2002 at 03:55 PM (#554421)
Jim...The last time I can remember the Red Sox having even decent team speed was the 1972-74 teams led by Tommy Harper. The 1973 team actually finished 3rd in SB's with 114 thefts,their highest total since the 1934 team which had 116.

The 1973 Go-Go Red Sox
   69. Steve Treder Posted: February 15, 2002 at 06:58 PM (#554424)
"Follow my logic-Rickey made the stolen base as important as it had been in decades when he burst on the scene. Raines, Coleman, Willie Wilson and others followed suit."

Um ... Wilson stole 83 bases in 1979, before Rickey had had a full-time ML season. Omar Moreno, Ron LeFlore, Lou Brock, Rodney Scott, Larry Lintz, Miguel Dilone -- just among the guys who were very serious base stealers in the 70s. Maury Wills stole 104 bases in 1962.

No argument that Henderson was the best of them all. But the notion that he alone somehow revolutionized the game is just not right.
   70. Steve Treder Posted: February 15, 2002 at 08:05 PM (#554427)
Robert Dudek writes:

"In his prime, I don't think there was any player in baseball a team feared more than Rickey Henderson."

I agree with that statement, Robert. But where do you stand on the question of where Rickey rates overall on the all-time list of players? Is he in the top 5, as some have contended in this thread? Top 20? (My judgement is he's somewhere between 20 and 50.)

And BTW, in my opinion pitchers count as players.
   71. Steve Treder Posted: February 15, 2002 at 08:13 PM (#554428)
"... they shortened the pitcher's stride to the mound with men on base. This made pitchers slightly less effective as far as getting batters out, but it was much easier for catchers to throw out runners."

If this is true, then pitchers and pitching coaches are stupid. It's far more important for them to focus on getting batters out than it is to prevent stolen bases.
   72. Steve Treder Posted: February 15, 2002 at 10:13 PM (#554432)
Dan,

If indeed pitchers shortening their stride with men on base has been just as important a factor in the offensive boom of the 90s as any other factor -- ballparks, weight training, etc. -- then pitchers have made no kind of a reasonable tradeoff at all. It's simply impossible to conclude that allowing more stolen bases to occur would result in more runs scored than allowing fewer hits and home runs would.

The increase in runs scored in the 90s has in fact corresponded with a decrease in stolen bases. If pitchers want to reduce scoring -- and that is of course their job -- and they have a means to do so by lengthening their stride, then they should get to lengthening their stride. If that's all it would take to eliminate the 60 and 70 HR seasons, then pitchers ought to be sued for negligence.
   73. Darren Posted: February 15, 2002 at 10:23 PM (#554433)
"In his day, there wasn't any player, not Mattingly, not Brett, not Boggs who was more valuable offensively."

Well, if 'his day' was around 83 to 89, I'd say Boggs was more valuable. But if you're talking whole career, it's pretty close.
   74. Steve Treder Posted: February 15, 2002 at 10:32 PM (#554434)
One of the challenges in evaluating Henderson is that he was rather inconsistent -- inconsistent at a very high level, to be sure, but still inconsistent. Was "his day" 1985 or 1988? 1990 or 1989?
   75. Steve Treder Posted: February 15, 2002 at 11:00 PM (#554509)
Oh, go ahead and dump on Pokey. Everyone else does.

Sure it would be ironic if the Sox went and traded for him after taking a pass on him over the winter. But that in and of itself shouldn't be a reason for them not to make such a move, if it turns out to make sense at the time.

I think one of the things that separates good organizations from bad ones is that good organizations don't often allow themselves to get "locked in" or "locked out" of making a given move because of how it might "look." If you sign a guy to a big contract and he turns out to suck, you shouldn't keep playing him just because you signed him to the big contract. And if you choose not to sign a guy because you think he isn't worth it, and later on it appears as though he might be worth it, you shouldn't be afraid to acquire him then.

If teams worried less about "saving face" than making smart moves, they'd be better off.

That said, Pokey sucks.
   76. Repoz Posted: February 16, 2002 at 02:37 AM (#554515)
After the Pokey debacle they have settled on DiSarseen-in-a cast..?
   77. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 16, 2002 at 03:17 AM (#554518)
The good news for Red Sox fans is that he was not invited to the major league camp, which means he has little chance of making the big club's roster.

-- MWE
   78. Toby Posted: February 16, 2002 at 03:42 AM (#554519)
"DiSar" (as the one Angels fan I know in the world refers to Gary DiSarcina) is from New England. I forget where. This is purely a PR move, give the local product the benefit of the doubt and a chance to go out wearing the B.

It's not a transaction, it's a nice gesture.

And if he actually is healthy and capable of contributing .0001 above replacement level, bonus.
   79. Bob T Posted: February 16, 2002 at 08:16 AM (#554522)
If there were as much coverage of the Angels as there were of the Mets, we would likely be referring to St. DiSar.

There were other Angels than DiSarcina who disliked Edmonds. I'm not sure how they all felt about Kent Bottenfield however.
   80. Toby Posted: February 16, 2002 at 03:57 PM (#554524)
DiSarcina is from Billerica, Mass., won a state championship with Tom Glavine and also played for UMass.

More details on DiSar in the second item of this notebook story:

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/047/sports/Sling_of_bad_luck_haunts_Crawford+.shtml
   81. Robert Dudek Posted: February 16, 2002 at 06:59 PM (#554438)
I would put Rickey in the top 25.

His greatest liability is that he played leftfield. Barry Bonds, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron were better, I think. Maybe Stan Musial too, but it's close. Other than that, Mickey Mantle (peak) and perhaps Ty Cobb (though his defensive value was probably less than most people think).

Not too many other outfielders were better.

It's hard to compare infielders or pitchers but I might say Schmidt, Morgan, Wagner, Collins, and Gehrig were better. After that it gets harder for me to make a judgement without doing a hell of a lot of analysis.

I disagree that Boggs was more valuable OFFENSIVELY. Overall, quite possibly he was, since he was a pretty good third baseman. Boggs scored fewer runs than should have been expected based on his stats and I think it was mostly because he was slow. Rickey's runs scored totals in the 80s were phenomenal.
   82. Steve Treder Posted: February 16, 2002 at 07:26 PM (#554439)
Thanks, Robert. I can't disagree with any of that.
   83. Bull Pain Posted: February 16, 2002 at 09:21 PM (#554526)
DiSarcina's brother, Glenn, was a SS in the White Sox system in the early 90's. I remember him putting up decent triple crown numbers for a SS. However, his defense was atrocious. I think he made around 60 errors a season until he was out of baseball enitrely. He's still better than Gary.
   84. Robert Dudek Posted: February 16, 2002 at 09:44 PM (#554527)
The difference is that Sierra was once a very good player.
   85. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 17, 2002 at 12:15 AM (#554530)
Hey, Ruben, the other Cub hitters weren't worse.

And you and your .321 OBP don't exactly scream "told you so," either.
   86. Robert Dudek Posted: February 17, 2002 at 01:13 AM (#554531)
Why should anyone rip Ruben Sierra because he had a good year?

And if the above quotation is accurate then I wonder why Chris Kahrl isn't also discounting the achievements of Raffy, IRod, ARod and especially Frankie the Cat, since they had all those other great hitters in the lineup making it easy for them to rack up big numbers.

Frankly, I don't think Kahrl's theory amounts to a hill of beans. There isn't a great deal of differnce between the 9th and 11th man on the pitching staff, so a few extra PA against the 10th and 11th men shouldn't have much of an effect.

Listing the pitchers that Sierra hit homeruns off is useless. It's easier to hit homers off bad pitchers - there's a surprise. The sample size is so small (14 homeruns) that any sort of conclusion about Sierra's abilities against good/bad pitching is unwarranted. Why didn't he at least list who Raffy and AROD homered off of by way of comparison.

Why didn't he mention that the other teams in Texas's division all had excellent pitching and defense. With the unbalanced schedule, that should have made life tougher for Texas hitters. The Rangers themselves had very bad pitchers but AROD, Ruben and company were not allowed to pad their stats against them.

Chalk another one up for Kahrl under "stathead" dogma.
   87. Robert Dudek Posted: February 17, 2002 at 03:23 PM (#554535)
David...

There's a double standard at work.

BP types tend to overvalue young unproven players. The fact is that most so-called "excellent" prospects never become quality regulars. The odds are against them. And yet anytime a 30 year old is signed, preventing a young prospect from getting major league playing time, the consensus stathead reaction will be a big thumbs down.

Ruben Sierra was once an all-star. If the Texas Rangers, in scouting Sierra, determined that he was hitting the ball better than he had in years, then that changes the odds that a gamble like that will pay off. Statheads do not have access to that kind of information and yet they pretend to know roughly what the chances of success of the Sierra gamble working out are.

There's no use comparing a Mike Lansing or Gary DiSarcina to Ruben Sierra: those first two never were never all-star types (DiSarcina being an all-out bad player). Jose Canseco would be a better comp for Sierra.

Note also that Sierra was signed by the Texas Rangers to a minor league contract, so it was almost a risk-free gamble.
   88. Voros McCracken Posted: February 17, 2002 at 10:58 PM (#554537)
All I know is that my hands are clean on this one. Here's me before the season:

http://groups.google.com/groups?q=g:thl827694379d&hl=en&selm=98rebg$ac3$3@bob.news.rcn.net

There was nothing wrong with giving Ruben Sierra playing time last year when Greer and Kapler and Mateo and everybody else all had injury problems. It's always good to have guys that can hit a little lying around.

Tactical mistake:

Leaving your bench filled with Terry Jones, Glen Barker "role player" types, and then throwing them in the lineup when injuries (especially the nagging kind where the guy can't play but you're not ready yet to DL him).

Despite the fact that a bunch of these guys get upwards of 150 at bats or more in a season, you think they'd figure out that these guys bats _do_ matter, and look for guys who can get by defensively and on the basepaths, but can hit a damn baseball. Teams try and get cute and try and fill out a bunch of "roles" instead of just going with the best players available. If you consider Catalanotto an infielder, Sierra was almost certainly one of the five best outfielders the Rangers had (Greer, Mateo, Kapler, Ledee, Sierra). Considering he didn't cost what he used to, I don't see the problem with his presence, since:

a) He wasn't listed as a starter
   89. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 18, 2002 at 12:38 AM (#554539)
Lots of people are pointing out that Chris Kahrl looks silly. Well, I guess. That's the risk you take when you make predictions. It's always easier to play it safe and throw in lots of "could bes" and "maybes" and "ifs," and never say anything definitive. But what really is the point? That Chris should be vague and wishy-washy? Well, he'd certainly end up with egg on his face less often. He'd also be less interesting to read. Now, I don't argue that one should sacrifice accuracy for the sake of entertainment -- but was any of the original Sierra bashing inaccurate? Was Sierra a good choice?

(Let me say this: I think the Kahrl excerpt posted above _is_ silly. Chris would have looked better to say, "Oops," or "Fluke" for that matter then to come up with silly rationales to explain away Sierra's performance.)

As for Robert's comment about Texas scouts seeing something, that's silly monday morning quarterbacking. They also tried him out the previous year, and he hit 233/281/283. If you take the universe of 700 OPS players and give them 350 plate appearances, several will end up with 800 OPS and a few will end up at the 900 OPS level. Are those few going to be used to indict writers?

BTW, Doug Melvin? Everyone has their decisions criticized, unless they work at McDonalds.
   90. Shredder Posted: February 18, 2002 at 03:12 AM (#554540)
Man, for someone coming from a team that no one seems to care about, there sure is a lot of venom being hurled at Gary DiSarcina. What did he do, run over somebody's dog?

Like him or not, I wouldn't say he was an "all out bad player." Not that its dispositive, but he did make an all-star team, if I'm not mistaken. And its pretty tough to question the value he had to the Angels in the '95 season.
   91. Voros McCracken Posted: February 18, 2002 at 04:44 AM (#554541)
Shredder,

As was hinted at, DiSarcina is considered the point man in running Jim Edmonds out of Anaheim in a deal that at the time and now in retrospect didn't look like a very good one for the Angels.

For a player of DiSarcina's questionable talents, it probably rubbed some Angel fans the wrong way that a questionable player would have the pull to run one of the team's best players out of town.

Adam Kennedy has his uses, but he's not much as payment for Edmonds.
   92. Shredder Posted: February 18, 2002 at 05:52 AM (#554543)
First of all, DiSarcina running Edmonds out of town has nothing to do with the ability he once had as a player, such as it was. Second, very few people live and die with the Angels the way I do. The Angels had and have very few players who comment on clubhouse matters to the media on a regular basis. I don't think DiSarcina ran Edmonds out of town so much as he was the only one who came forward to say what a lot of guys in that clubhouse were thinking. Edmonds basically screwed that team out of his services in 1999 by waiting four months to have a surgery that carries with it four months of rehab. As I've said before, its not the kind of thing that goes over very well with guys like Vaughn, Salmon, and Erstad, all of whom played through a great amount of pain at one time or another. Salmon and Erstad aren't the type of people to go public with that. I never held it against Edmonds that he didn't 'seem' to take losing very hard. I think different players deal with that in different ways, and I'm sure he hated losing as much as the rest of them. But I seriously doubt a that a player that was as awful as everyone in this thread seems to think was so tight with management that he was able to run one of the better center fielders in the game out of town.
   93. Shredder Posted: February 18, 2002 at 08:04 PM (#554545)
My take on DiSarcina as a player, I always thought he was a bit underrated defensively. Occasionally a flashy play, but always solid, and made all of the plays he should have made. As for his bat, what do I know? I don't treat the walk like its the greatest thing that's ever happened to baseball, so maybe shouldn't be on this board, but oh well.

<i>You seem to be forgeting how incompetent Angel management has been over the years. The press in LA sure seemed to play up the fact that Gary was a clubhouse leader that had management's ear.
   94. Buddha Posted: February 18, 2002 at 08:10 PM (#554546)
My message to Disar is this:

Start doing back-flips on the way out to the field and you'll be a sure fire first ballot hall of famer.

Since none of us were in the Angles lockerroom than this ENTIRE argument is pure speculation. But that's what makes baseball fun...even Angels baseball.
   95. Buddha Posted: February 18, 2002 at 08:20 PM (#554547)
Well, BP seems to agree with Shredder on this one.
   96. Shredder Posted: February 18, 2002 at 09:11 PM (#554548)
Well that ought to be good enough to start another round of Chris Kahrl bashing in this thread.
   97. Shredder Posted: February 18, 2002 at 11:57 PM (#554551)
I'm sorry you misunderstood my point. I'm not saying I'm any more right than you are. My arguments come from the way I perceived the situation being in SoCal and reading the Times everyday, watching games, watching TV, etc. I'm sure your arguments came with the same background of knowledge. Like you said, Erstad, Salmon, whoever, none of those guys spoke up on either side of the argument. Your interpretation appears to be that maybe they didn't want to get involved, didn't have a strong opinion, whatever. I don't know that that isn't true. My argument is that DiSar did speak up, said some strong things, and none of those guys said anything to the contrary. I take that as tacit agreement. Maybe I'm wrong, but I wouldn't criticize DiSar for saying what he believed to be true. If anything, if those guys disagreed with DiSar, they should have said something. Reading some of the posts in this thread, I get the idea that DiSar was going around the clubhouse making secret deals to vote Edmonds off the island, so to speak, and I simply don't believe that was the case, just as I don't believe that management made that decision based solely on his advice.

As for the conjecture thing, go ahead and make any argument you want. It just seems odd to me to criticize an argument as being conjecture, than use conjecture to make a counter-argument, but thats neither here nor there. No hard feelings.
   98. Buddha Posted: February 19, 2002 at 01:29 AM (#554553)
Come on boys, where's the love? You're both Angels fans. And you know, Angels fans need to stick together...all 7 of you.
   99. Shredder Posted: February 19, 2002 at 01:46 AM (#554554)
We are few, but we are dedicated, dammit. Someone needs to counter the Dodger menace.
   100. Toby Posted: February 19, 2002 at 06:29 PM (#554557)
Tim D. et al,

I think it CAN matter on the field if a player is a dick. Clubhouse chemistry can have an effect. It doesn't have to, but it can. I'd put it this way:

If some players are bothered by a teammate's personality or antics, and those players choose to use the fact that they are bothered as an excuse to not prepare or compete as well as they would otherwise, then it will have an on-field effect.

In other words, whether negative clubhouse chemistry has a negative effect on performance is in the hands of the players themselves.
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