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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Yankees - Signed Damon

New York Yankees - Signed CF Johnny Damon to a 4-year deal worth $52 million.

This is being reported everywhere now, so I’ll buy it.  That is a lot of money for a player who might just be a year or two away from being Shannon Stewart.  In 2006, Damon will merely be overpriced, being an upgrade in center for a lot of money.  In 2008, if he’s hitting 330/390 and needs to be moved to left, this is going to look pretty ugly.

2006 ZiPS Projection - Johnny Damon
————————————————————————————-
AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
————————————————————————————-
606 108 177 27 6 13 82 62 67 18 .292 .357 .421

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:05 AM | 115 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. EvilBoWeevil Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:46 AM (#1787707)
This will be fine if the Yankees don't beleive Damon is a better leadoff hitter then Jeter.
   2. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:51 AM (#1787713)
"This will be fine if the Yankees don't beleive Damon is a better leadoff hitter then Jeter."

And if the sun starts rising in the west. I don't doubt for a second that Damon will leadoff every game he plays in this year.
   3. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:53 AM (#1787719)
And if the sun starts rising in the west. I don't doubt for a second that Damon will leadoff every game he plays in this year.

If that holds true, now the question is: Will Jeter crack triple-digits in sac bunts?
   4. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:56 AM (#1787722)
"Will Jeter crack triple-digits in sac bunts?"

Here I am, terrified that he might crack double digits again, and you say something like this. I would probably die of a stroke if he came anywhere near triple digits, simply because I insist on screaming at the top of my lungs for minutes everytime he sacrifices. I'm a young guy in good shape, but I don't think I could handle that physically, forget what it would do to me emotionally.
   5. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:02 AM (#1787731)
Well at least this means that a resigning of Bernie won't lead to 100 games in CF, barring injury of course. I was afraid that even if they traded for a guy like Michaels or Reed that Bernie would still get too many games afield if resigned.

Now we need to fix the DH spot with either Piazza or Thomas and the lineup will be set.
   6. Paul M Hates Krispy Kreme Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:26 AM (#1787762)
This is the part of the Oracle where I set myself on fire.

Why? Couldn't resist, could you, Yankees? No. FOUR years? FOUR? Ugh.
   7. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:38 AM (#1787829)
this sucks for the sox draft picks. the yanks actually end up moving up the board in the first round because of philadelphia's signing tom gordon. this is ####. what pick will the sox get from the yanks?
   8. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:42 AM (#1787833)
Will Jeter crack triple-digits in sac bunts?

Look on the bright side - in a couple of years, Damon may reach base so infrequently that Jeter won't have that many opportunities to bunt him over.
   9. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: December 21, 2005 at 09:28 AM (#1787866)
Damon likely is better suited to the leadoff spot than Jeter. Damon's career "OBP+" is 103 and his career SLG+ is 99. His career ISO+ is 87. Pretty good basestealer, too. All of his offensive skills are early-in-the-inning skills.

Jeter does have the better career OBP+ (114), but his power skills (107 SLG+, 91 ISO+) are more valuable when someone is on base ahead of him.
   10. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 21, 2005 at 09:31 AM (#1787867)
And how many times a game does the "leadoff hitter" actually bat first in the inning?

That's what I thought.
   11. Xander Posted: December 21, 2005 at 09:36 AM (#1787870)
this sucks for the sox draft picks. the yanks actually end up moving up the board in the first round because of philadelphia's signing tom gordon. this is ####. what pick will the sox get from the yanks?

The Sox get the Yanks first round pick; the Braves (via Farnsworth) get dropped down to the 2nd round (71st overall as it stands). Yankees do effectively move up from 28 to 21 (and the 40th pick as a sandwich pick while losing the 71st pick). However the Sox have five picks before the end of the 2nd round (27, 28, 39, 43, 70) and 82 and 102 after that. Hope that makes sense.
   12. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 21, 2005 at 10:12 AM (#1787878)
owever the Sox have five picks before the end of the 2nd round (27, 28, 39, 43, 70)

I can live with this. Hopefully there will be another Craig Hanson-esque situation for us.
   13. frowndog Posted: December 21, 2005 at 11:15 AM (#1787885)
A .778 OPS for $13 million? I might just kill someone if that happens.

Jeter should be fined for every sac bunt he makes. Too bad Torre is managing the Yankees because he'd probably think those sac bunts are a good thing.
   14. BDC Posted: December 21, 2005 at 01:10 PM (#1787902)
I know that bunting is evil, but it sometimes crosses my mind that Jeter might be a .314 hitter in part because infielders have to play him with the threat of a bunt always in mind.

It's probably much of a tossup whether you bat Jeter and Damon 1-2 or 2-1. If they have good years they'll be excellent in either combination.
   15. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 21, 2005 at 01:56 PM (#1787909)
Not all that bad a contract in this market. Johnny's no longer anything more than an average defensive CF, but even that will be a ridiculously huge upgrade for the Yankees.

Reminds me a bit of the Varitek signing last year. In a vacuum, certainly a bad contract, but in the context of the offseason and the market and the team they'll put on the field next year, a very defensible move.
   16. zempf Posted: December 21, 2005 at 03:11 PM (#1787996)
I wonder if he took Steinbrenner's "no beards/long hair" policy into consideration in this deal. Once the Jesus Damon mystique is gone, who knows...
   17. Loren F. Posted: December 21, 2005 at 03:32 PM (#1788042)
I agree with Matt Clement. Given that my main worry was the Yankees giving Damon more than four years, this isn't so bad. Part of this is Yankeefan rationalizing, of course, because the Yankees are overpaying, and this contract will probably look bad come 2008. But given what B.J. Ryan signed for, this really could have been much worse.
   18. OlePerfesser Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:35 PM (#1788294)
One key variable here is how Damon's game will translate to a park with profoundly different characteristics. Rob Neyer's forecast is "poorly":

...But Damon, like virtually every other Red Sox hitter since the 1930s, has benefited from his home ballpark. In Damon's four seasons at Fenway Park, he's batted .310/.383/.442. Away from Fenway, he's batted .281/.342/.440.

Does that mean Damon is fundamentally a .281 (etc.) hitter? Not necessarily. Players typically enjoy a home edge, regardless of their home ballpark. But it's not just the natural home edge that's caused Damon to hit for a higher batting average and draw more walks in his home games; generally speaking, everybody hits for a higher average and draws more walks at Fenway than elsewhere. The reason for this isn't a secret: In addition to the cozy dimensions in the direction of Lansdowne, Fenway also features a wonderful hitter's background (which is probably why left-handed hitters, even those who didn't routinely take advantage of The Wall, have enjoyed Fenway just as much as righties).

And of course, Fenway Park is just one half of the equation. Over the last three seasons, Yankee Stadium has apparently been neutral (roughly speaking) in terms of batting average, but it has knocked down the walks more than any other park in the American League (and perhaps more than any in the major leagues).

What does this mean for Damon? He's not going to bat .300 in 2006. He's going to bat in the .270 to .290 range, with an on-base percentage between .320 and .340 ... hardly the numbers the Yankees and their fans are expecting from a $13 million leadoff man.

That's interesting, and may well be correct.

But I wonder if Rob's missing a possible subtlety: that player performance isn't fixed and given, but "endogenous" or tailored to the environment as well as affected by it. Might J.D. start trying to pull more to take advantage of the RF porch? Might more of his low-outside-sliders-slapped to LF fall in, and so might he do that more often?

We don't know the answers yet, and we'll just have to wait and watch. The only thing I'm pretty confident about is that Damon's Wall Collision Rate is likely to go down next year, and that will likely mean he'll be going out there in a banged up state less often.
   19. Pregnant women are Mug Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:41 PM (#1788305)
It seems like just about every veteran player who signs signs for "too much money," which makes me wonder where exactly we define our concept of the right amount of money.
   20. PJ Martinez Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:54 PM (#1788323)
I agree with MCoA as well-- really, the Yankees have exhibited impressive restraint this off-season (with the possible, but fairly minor, exception of Farnsworth). Cashman did an excellent job reading the situation vis a vis the Dodgers/Orioles/Red Sox, and ended up paying only a small premium on the player who could probably help them more than any other.

This is a confusing situation as a Red Sox fan, because the Red Sox might have been hurt by that contract in a way the Yankees won't be-- and yet, while you need to focus on your own team's needs, it's hard not to worry about what your division rival does, too.

I also agree that park factor is a key variable here (and I'd never heard that parks can depress walks... that's fascinating-- and makes the Yankees' OBP the last few years all the more impressive, I guess). Right now, though, it seems as likely to me that Damon takes advantage of the short porch in right as that he suffers from the bigger dimensions elsewhere.
   21. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:56 PM (#1788328)
I think Johnny will find plenty of wall to colide with OP, and for some reason that sounded dirty.

You're right that Johnny might change his swing, but something in New York kills doubles, and Fenway increased them. I think that will hurt him. We know he can put balls in the right field seats, but lots of people can do that in New York, the real question is will his hits the opposite way be as valuable.

I think Neyer understates what Fenway does for lefties. Lefties love fenway more than righties. For righties it hurts their HR numbers when they pull the ball hard. For lefties, a fly out the opposite way becomes a double.
   22. PJ Martinez Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:02 PM (#1788339)
"It seems like just about every veteran player who signs signs for "too much money," which makes me wonder where exactly we define our concept of the right amount of money."

I think this varies from team to team, since you have to try to win within a particular budget. Has anyone tried to establish some kind of $/marginal-win chart for the various teams taking into account revenues, budget, etc? I suppose it would be nearly impossible, given how tight-lipped most franchises are about those details. I wonder if, say, JP Ricciardi has some kind of chart like that, and was using it to help him make decisions this offseason (kind of the way one would use pot odds in poker).
   23. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:02 PM (#1788341)
and yet, while you need to focus on your own team's needs, it's hard not to worry about what your division rival does, too.


Given that there are only 3 real contenders for the AL East playoff spot (TOR, NYY, BOS), you SHOULD worry about your rivals. Lets say Damon is worth ~2 games to Boston...Boston losing 2 more games probably increases the odds of the Yankees making the playoffs as much as much as the Yankees acquiring a player that's worth 1/2 a win...
   24. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:05 PM (#1788348)
What does the Yankees' payroll look like for 2006? $210M?
   25. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:14 PM (#1788372)
I wouldn't worry about the 5 years, Yankee fans. If he's still posting a decent BA in 2007 they will eat some $$ and pawn him off on Allard Baird. It's only money to the Yankees, and Baird can trumpet it as the glorious return of the prodigal son. He's a great fit now, and makes that lineup considerably scarier unless he falls off a cliff in '06.
   26. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:15 PM (#1788373)
crap. 4 yrs. RDFI, dumbass.
   27. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:41 PM (#1788444)
Yanks' 2006 payroll still looks quite a bit smaller than their 2005 payroll. Probably by more than Florida's entire 2006 payroll.
   28. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:53 PM (#1788476)
Too bad Torre is managing the Yankees because he'd probably think those sac bunts are a good thing.

This isn't fair. What manager has used the sac bunt less than Torre over the last ten years? I don't think there's any question that Jeter does this on his own, and that Torre didn't order him to do so.
   29. OlePerfesser Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:55 PM (#1788478)
Has anyone tried to establish some kind of $/marginal-win chart for the various teams taking into account revenues, budget, etc? I suppose it would be nearly impossible...

Actually, there is some scholarly research on this, PJ.

I wonder if, say, JP Ricciardi has some kind of chart like that...

Well, one of his assistants is certainly familiar with the research.
   30. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:03 PM (#1788500)
"I don't think there's any question that Jeter does this on his own, and that Torre didn't order him to do so."

There was an article sometime over the last two years in which Torre said he didn't like that Jeter bunted as often as he's been doing. So it's absolutely not Joe's fault. It's just Jeter being a dumbass.
   31. 1k5v3L Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:06 PM (#1788510)
Yeh, the draft picks are always the jokers in the deck when you try to figure on these deals.

Next year's draft is supposed to be pretty mediocre, at best. In fact, after the top 15 picks, it might actually suck big time. The Sox might have to go deep into the high school ranks with some of their picks, maybe even going for high school players with strong college commitments and buying them out with the cash they saved by not overpaying Jesus. I am sure, however, that the Sox will do better with their picks than the Yankees will. Just a hunch.

What's next for the Sox? Coco? T-Bone? Cosmo Kramer?
   32. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: December 21, 2005 at 07:14 PM (#1788537)
And how many times a game does the "leadoff hitter" actually bat first in the inning?

That's what I thought.


More than anyone else in the lineup does.
   33. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 11:19 PM (#1789094)
Right Kevin, pitch away to the righties and they won't go deep unless they're really good like Manny, or they wrap one around the pole. Even when you make a mistake inside to righties, they'll pull the ball but often it will rocket off the wall for a double. Lefties, there's no real option. This is why Fenway hurts homers, and increases doubles. I'd just like to see a L/R split of the factors to know more about how it works.
   34. Hungry Hungry Hipolito Pichardo Posted: December 22, 2005 at 12:44 AM (#1789244)
FWIW, Diamond Mind Baseball's L/R park factors are:

For left-handers:
Singles: 107
Doubles: 141
Triples: 88
Home runs: 82

For right-handers:
Singles: 103
Doubles: 119
Triples: 55
Home runs: 103

Doubles-friendly both sides, especially for lefties, but overall not as homer-friendly as the reputation would have one believe. I've no idea of the details of their methodology...
   35. Hungry Hungry Hipolito Pichardo Posted: December 22, 2005 at 12:50 AM (#1789249)
Also FWIW, if you use Diamond Mind's Yankee Stadium's 2004 park factors for lefties (100/85/42/106) and run Damon's 2005 stats through it, here's his line:

.295/.347/.407, 11 HR, 27 2B at the Stadium vs. .316/.366/.439, 10 HR, 35 2B at Fenway.

Again, take with a HUGE grain of salt.
   36. The District Attorney Posted: December 22, 2005 at 01:00 AM (#1789254)
If he's still posting a decent BA in 2007 they will eat some $$ and pawn him off on Allard Baird.
The contract includes a no-trade clause.
   37. Flynn Posted: December 22, 2005 at 01:04 AM (#1789257)
Doubles-friendly both sides, especially for lefties, but overall not as homer-friendly as the reputation would have one believe. I've no idea of the details of their methodology...

Fenway has never been a great home run park. There's a reason why the club record is "only" 50. However, it is the greatest doubles park in the history of MLB.
   38. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 10, 2009 at 07:06 PM (#3319130)
This wound up being a pretty good deal. He had 3 very good years out of 4. Oddly, he got better over the course of the deal with his best year being the last one.
   39. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 10, 2009 at 07:34 PM (#3319154)
Damon basically turned himself into a LF, offensively. and his 114 OPS+ with the Yankees is the best for any team he's played with. Never imagined that'd be the case after they signed this deal, let alone after 2007.
   40. The Essex Snead Posted: September 10, 2009 at 07:36 PM (#3319156)
According to Fangraphs, this is what he's been worth on a yearly basis:

2006 - $10.3M
2007 - $9.3M
2008 - $16.4M
2009 - $13.5M (to date)

Oddly enough, FG has JD as a negative on defense every year except 2007.
   41. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 10, 2009 at 08:05 PM (#3319182)
I always love to see these old threads resurrected in order to see what people were saying back then. Taken as a whole, Damon's four Yankee years have been the best four years of his career. In every offensive category except BA he's performed better in New York than anywhere else he's been. He's been a great addition to the club, especially since they moved him to left to minimize the Maryness of his arm.
   42. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 10, 2009 at 08:08 PM (#3319187)
I always love to see these old threads resurrected in order to see what people were saying back then. Taken as a whole, Damon's four Yankee years have been the best four years of his career. In every offensive category except BA he's performed better in New York than anywhere else he's been. He's been a great addition to the club, especially since they moved him to left to minimize the Maryness of his arm.

Don't dispute your larger point, but he's gotten a SERIOUS boost from playing in NYS this year. The park could not be more attuned to his swing.

If he wants to make the HoF one day, and can stay healthy enough to play another 4-5 years, he'd be well served to resign with the Yankees.
   43. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 10, 2009 at 08:26 PM (#3319204)
Don't dispute your larger point, but he's gotten a SERIOUS boost from playing in NYS this year. The park could not be more attuned to his swing.

Can't dispute that, though fans of Carl Yastrzemski probably wouldn't want to open up that particular can of worms. And from 2006-2008 his park advantage was next to nothing, so allow the man a little payback.

If he wants to make the HoF one day, and can stay healthy enough to play another 4-5 years, he'd be well served to resign with the Yankees.

Without a visit from Greg Anderson, Damon's not making the HoF no matter what he does, but I certainly agree he'd be well advised to re-up with the Yanks.
   44. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 10, 2009 at 08:32 PM (#3319208)
Whatever, Yaz is wildly overrated by Boomer-age Sox fans. He's a deserving Hall of Famer who had a few great seasons and a bunch of very good ones, but yeah, Fenway sure did help him along.
   45. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 10, 2009 at 08:38 PM (#3319215)
Whatever, Yaz is wildly overrated by Boomer-age Sox fans. He's a deserving Hall of Famer who had a few great seasons and a bunch of very good ones, but yeah, Fenway sure did help him along.

Total truth in every word of that. Great minds think alike.
   46. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 10, 2009 at 08:43 PM (#3319219)
I wonder how Damon will be perceived as a free agent. As has been noted, he's coming off the best offensive stretch of his career, better than Boston. He's also four years older, doesn't play center field anymore and no longer has the celebrity status he had in Boston.
   47. Sean Forman Posted: September 10, 2009 at 08:56 PM (#3319233)
What did Abreu sign for?
   48. The Original SJ Posted: September 10, 2009 at 08:58 PM (#3319234)
Damon was on the "Playing Lessons with the Pros" with Bubba Watson, and Watson asked him how long he wanted to play. He said "hopefully I play good enough so the Yankees want to resign me."

I think he has, and I think they will.
   49. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: September 10, 2009 at 09:07 PM (#3319238)
I think he has, and I think they will.


I agree, but my opinion is that a contract of longer than two years would be too much.

I think that they're going to let Matsui go if they retain Damon.
   50. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 10, 2009 at 09:10 PM (#3319239)
I think that they're going to let Matsui go if they retain Damon.

I think they should let Matsui go regardless. The question is Holliday or Damon I think. Add-in a RH 4th OF type, and the lineup should be set.
   51. Dr Stankus and the Semicolons Posted: September 10, 2009 at 09:11 PM (#3319240)
I wonder how Damon will be perceived as a free agent.


Brian Sabean will perceive him as not old enough for the Giants.
   52. The Original SJ Posted: September 10, 2009 at 09:11 PM (#3319241)
Matsui is going to retire.
   53. The Original SJ Posted: September 10, 2009 at 09:14 PM (#3319243)
I agree, but my opinion is that a contract of longer than two years would be too much.

I think two and an club option, and he would sign that tomorrow.

Though they probably going to woo Holliday so it drives the price up for the Sox.
   54. The Good Face Posted: September 10, 2009 at 09:43 PM (#3319261)
Matsui is going to retire.


Do you know this for sure, or is it just a rumor/WAG?

I think two and an club option, and he would sign that tomorrow.


Yes, although I have an irrational fear that he's going to get hurt/crater in 2010. Still, playing in LF seems to keep him healthier and he looks like a perfect fit for the park. I can't complain about a 2 year deal.
   55. Darren Posted: September 11, 2009 at 02:02 AM (#3319373)
Whatever, Yaz is wildly overrated by Boomer-age Sox fans. He's a deserving Hall of Famer who had a few great seasons and a bunch of very good ones, but yeah, Fenway sure did help him along.


Have you heard of advanced baseball statistics? You might want to look into them. Because of the era he played in, Yaz is one of the more underrated players in history.
   56. puck Posted: September 11, 2009 at 02:27 AM (#3319381)
At first I thought that they were doing one of those Rockies-style adjustments, where people don't think that park factors adjust enough because the player took even greater advantage of his home park.

But it doesn't appear to be the case for Yaz; it's at least close. If you do the 1.74*OBA weighting (though I don't know if that's an appropriate weight for the 60's) and compare his weighted home and road OPS, the home total is about 14.3% higher than the road total. The bb-ref park factors for Yaz's career look like they'd average out to about 107.

Yaz ranks much higher on the AROM WAR list than I expected: 28th among hitters, 88.5, with a high of 12.2 and 10.1.
   57. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 11, 2009 at 03:00 AM (#3319392)
Yaz's Career Home / Road splits....

Plate Appearances 6996 / 6995 - dead even for points of comparison

Runs 994 / 822

Hits 1822 / 1597

Doubles 382 / 264

Triples 38 / 21

Home Runs 266 / 186

Runs Batted In 1049 / 795

Strikeouts 642 / 753

Walks 959 / 886

Batting Average .306 / .264

On Base Percentage .402 / .357

Slugging Average .503 / .422

OPS .904 / .779

Batting Average on Balls in Play .309 / .270

tOPS+ (base of 100) 115 / 86


Of course Yaz was a great player, and even somewhat underrated by people who look only at raw numbers without adjusting for era. But like so many other Red Sox hitters, he was extremely fortunate in his choice of home park. It's impossible to look at those career numbers and not see that. And like fans everywhere do for their own favorites, Red Sox fans seldom take this "luck" factor into account when pumping up their hero's career. But put him in a White Sox uniform, or any other uniform for that matter, and his numbers wouldn't look quite so spectacular.
   58. tfbg9 Posted: September 11, 2009 at 01:00 PM (#3319501)
or any other uniform for that matter, and his numbers wouldn't look quite so spectacular.


Well, he'd have hit a lot more HR's in Yankee Stadium, with its 297' right field foul lines, and 350-something foot
power alley to Yaz' (Yaz's?) pull-field. Yaz could get around on anybody's fastball. He'd have adjusted--the guy could
simply hit. I think in whatever universe Yaz played for the Orioles, for instance, you'd see a guy with "flatter"
splits, but much the same lifetime OPS+. Perhaps less doubles, but more HR's. Especially in his mid-30's years. His hitting
habits in our universe were developed in Fenway. He had the hand-eye to hit with the best of his era anywhere.
   59. The Original SJ Posted: September 11, 2009 at 01:18 PM (#3319510)
Do you know this for sure, or is it just a rumor/WAG?

Its a widely accepted unconfirmed rumor.
   60. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 11, 2009 at 01:32 PM (#3319514)
Its a widely accepted unconfirmed rumor.
I thought the widely accepted unconfirmed rumor on Matsui was that he was going back to Japan to play out the end of his career there, but it amounts to the same thing for the Yankees' purposes. They aren't bringing him back.
   61. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 11, 2009 at 02:27 PM (#3319577)
Have you heard of advanced baseball statistics? You might want to look into them. Because of the era he played in, Yaz is one of the more underrated players in history.

His career OPS+ (a blunt tool to be sure) is right in the range of Evans and Rice, albeit in a signficantly longer career, and with a slightly better peak. Obviously, he is easily ahead of those two guys, but I still think the (understandable) mythology surrounding Yaz leads some Red Sox fans to overrate him, as he got a huge boost from his home park.

Again, easy Hall of Famer - but it's a matter of degrees - Yaz is not an inner circle guy, objectively.
   62. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 11, 2009 at 02:30 PM (#3319585)
Of course Yaz was a great player, and even somewhat underrated by people who look only at raw numbers without adjusting for era. But like so many other Red Sox hitters, he was extremely fortunate in his choice of home park. It's impossible to look at those career numbers and not see that. And like fans everywhere do for their own favorites, Red Sox fans seldom take this "luck" factor into account when pumping up their hero's career. But put him in a White Sox uniform, or any other uniform for that matter, and his numbers wouldn't look quite so spectacular.

Well, he'd have hit a lot more HR's in Yankee Stadium, with its 297' right field foul lines, and 350-something foot
power alley to Yaz' (Yaz's?) pull-field.


Over the course of his career, Yaz hit 39.8 HRs / 1000 AB at Fenway Park. He hit 36.5 HRs / 1000 AB at Yankee Stadium. Yaz adjusted his stroke to become a pull hitter in 1967, and had his prime power years (1967-70) during a time when the Yankees were either a mediocre or a downright bad team, so it wasn't as if he were facing Ford, Guidry and El Duque.

And it wasn't just Yankee Stadium. Yaz hit better in Fenway Park than in every other park he played in. Here's Yaz's career splits page on BB-Ref, you can check it out yourself. You can attribute those gaps to his genius for adjustment, but it doesn't change the fact that he was very lucky to be able to "adjust" to the best hitter's park in the American League for 81 games a year.
   63. tfbg9 Posted: September 12, 2009 at 03:47 AM (#3320284)
Over the course of his career, Yaz hit 39.8 HRs / 1000 AB at Fenway Park. He hit 36.5 HRs / 1000 AB at Yankee Stadium.


Interesting. But, that's just a fluke I have to assume. Unless you don't think it defies common sense to assume that a LH pull hitter with power isn't going to eventually going to hit HR's more often in the paradise for LH power pull hitters, as opposed to in one of the toughest parks for his type of hitter, given a big enough number of AB's. The wall was, what, ~30 feet closer--353' vs ~385 or so? Yankee stadium during the Yaz years was a pitchers' park, but a good park for the narrow set of dead pull hitting lefthanders, IIRC.

And it wasn't just Yankee Stadium. Yaz hit better in Fenway Park than in every other park he played in


Those "prime power years" were 4 out of a twenty-something year career, no? The NYY's had fine pitching in many of those years. I'm not saying that Yaz would have matched his Fenway rate stats, but I believe he would have figured out a way to surpass his actual road split rate stats, .264/.357/.422, in his imaginary home ballpark, had he played somewhere else. HOF ballplayers adjust.

There are other reasons why guys hit less-well on the road besides park factors you know.
   64. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 12, 2009 at 04:26 AM (#3320301)
Over the course of his career, Yaz hit 39.8 HRs / 1000 AB at Fenway Park. He hit 36.5 HRs / 1000 AB at Yankee Stadium.

Interesting. But, that's just a fluke I have to assume. Unless you don't think it defies common sense to assume that a LH pull hitter with power isn't going to eventually going to hit HR's more often in the paradise for LH power pull hitters, as opposed to in one of the toughest parks for his type of hitter, given a big enough number of AB's. The wall was, what, ~30 feet closer--353' vs ~385 or so? Yankee stadium during the Yaz years was a pitchers' park, but a good park for the narrow set of dead pull hitting lefthanders, IIRC.


I'm not sure why it's a fluke. Yaz had many ways to hit home runs in Fenway, but only one sure way in Yankee Stadium. And in 21 seasons (not counting the 2 in Shea), he never was able to capitalize on that one way. So no, I don't think that he would have hit "a lot" more home runs in Yankee Stadium, which is what you were saying in your last post.

Remember, much of Yaz's value outside of his prime years (up through 1970) lay in his ability to get walks. His actual hitting ability for the entire second half of his career never was really all that great, and that was especially true once he left Fenway. He was a pretty damn good hitter overall, but don't confuse him with the real superstars, or even a minor superstar like Reggie Jackson.

And make note of this: For all the kvetching about Ichiro's lack of offensive value as a corner outfielder, Yaz had but 3 years after 1970 with an OPS+ over 120, being used as a leftfielder, first baseman and DH. As in 3 years out of 13. That ain't no superstar, sir.
   65. tfbg9 Posted: September 12, 2009 at 04:32 PM (#3320412)
I'm not sure why it's a fluke. Yaz had many ways to hit home runs in Fenway



By looking at Yaz's HR log on BBref, of his known HR direction and by adding up the ones that went to right, center and right center, not counting the "unknowns" and ISTP'ers, I come up with ~77-78% of his HR's went to a directions where the outfield wall was as close or much closer in the Old Big Bedpan in Da' Bronx, 21-22% to where you could argue its farther away.

Are you actually trying to say 60's-70's-80's Fenway isn't a far tougher HR park for a LH pull hitter than YSI and YSII? Because that would betray a near nutty inabilty to concede anything, even for you. The RF wall was 30' closer.

Yaz led the AL in OPS+ four times, won 3 batting titles, won 7 gold gloves an MVP and Triple Crown. That sir is a superstar. The fact that he put up a string of 110-115 OPS+ type seasons from 35-43(!) doesn't take that away. You tend to drift into intellectual dishonesty, BTW.
   66. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 12, 2009 at 04:41 PM (#3320418)
The question is Holliday or Damon I think.
Or both.
   67. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 04:47 PM (#3320421)
Wouldn't a lefty pull hitter be able to take advantage of that Pesky pole, which is 10-15 feet closer in Fenway than Yankee Stadium (I forget the exact numbers). It's not like lefty pull hitters can't do well in Fenway.
   68. tfbg9 Posted: September 12, 2009 at 05:05 PM (#3320430)
It's not like lefty pull hitters can't do well in Fenway.


But it is like they can do better in any of the incarnations of YS. Also, right field in YS is a cheaper HR
than left field in Fenway. Also, right field in Fenway is harder than left field in the newest YS.

(not saying lf in Fenway's not cheap, just that rf in the Bronx is even cheaper)
   69. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 12, 2009 at 05:24 PM (#3320437)
Wouldn't a lefty pull hitter be able to take advantage of that Pesky pole, which is 10-15 feet closer in Fenway than Yankee Stadium (I forget the exact numbers). It's not like lefty pull hitters can't do well in Fenway.

For whatever reason, very few HR's land in the area near the Pesky Pole. Occasionally, a weak fly will slice into the seats for a HR, but most HR's down the line are hit pretty hard, and end up being HR's with room to spare.
   70. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 05:34 PM (#3320442)
The question is Holliday or Damon I think.

Or both.


I don't see that. I think the Yankees will cut payroll this year, and I think they specifically don't want a full-time DH.

I can see ARod getting ~30 G's at DH next year, Jeter ~20 and Posada ~40. For the bench I think they'll want a good backup for 3B/SS (probably they keep Hairston), a 4th OF/1B type who hits LHP well, Gardner, and Cervelli.
   71. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 12, 2009 at 05:41 PM (#3320443)
I don't see that. I think the Yankees will cut payroll this year, and I think they specifically don't want a full-time DH.

I can see ARod getting ~30 G's at DH next year, Jeter ~20 and Posada ~40. For the bench I think they'll want a good backup for 3B/SS (probably they keep Hairston), a 4th OF/1B type who hits LHP well, Gardner, and Cervelli.
But what that would do is ensure that Hairston or Gardner or the backup catcher will be in the lineup every day.

Matsui, Nady and Molina being off the payroll frees up over $23 million, anyway.
   72. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 06:51 PM (#3320458)
But it is like they can do better in any of the incarnations of YS


I don't necessarily agree with this at all. For one, Yankee Stadium doesn't bear this out. Even Maris was 50/50 HR in 1961, for example. Babe Ruth hit only 9 more HR in Yankee Stadium while a member of the Yankees. Lou Gehrig only hit 9 more HR at home.

Ted Williams career split was 248 home/273 road. Yaz on the other hand hit 22 more HR at home. Whatever it was, Fenway suited him just fine, and I seriously doubt moving him to Yankee Stadium would have given him better career numbers.

Basically Yankee Stadium killed RHB, but it didn't 'help' LHB, it was pretty neutral for them. It just appeared like help LHB in contrast to the RHB.

Fenway, on the other hand, helps everyone, and whatever certain LHB lose in HR they make up for in other things.
   73. puck Posted: September 12, 2009 at 06:53 PM (#3320459)
but I still think the (understandable) mythology surrounding Yaz leads some Red Sox fans to overrate him, as he got a huge boost from his home park.

Again, easy Hall of Famer - but it's a matter of degrees - Yaz is not an inner circle guy, objectively.


What do you mean by this? Do they overrate him in that they think Yaz is an "inner circle" guy? What do they, and you, count as an "inner circle" guy? That he's as good as Mays, Mantle, Williams?

Maybe AROM's WAR has rated Yaz uncharacteristically high but Yaz looks pretty good there. Does Yaz not fare as well in other WAR-type systems?
   74. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 06:56 PM (#3320460)
But what that would do is ensure that Hairston or Gardner or the backup catcher will be in the lineup every day.

No, I think they add a decent RH bat as 4th OF who plays OF/DH ~80 games. Sort of what nady was intended to be this year.

Basically, with ARod, Jeter, Posada all in the 35+ range, if you want to keep their bats in the lineup, you need to DH them to get them rest. I want all three in the lineup 150+ G's which means they'll absorb at least 60 G's at DH, in the absolute best case. You can't think Posada can ever catch >110 G's in a season. If you have a full-time DH, you're wasting 30-40 G's of a 120 OPS+ bat just from Posada.
   75. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 12, 2009 at 06:58 PM (#3320462)
By looking at Yaz's HR log on BBref, of his known HR direction and by adding up the ones that went to right, center and right center, not counting the "unknowns" and ISTP'ers, I come up with ~77-78% of his HR's went to a directions where the outfield wall was as close or much closer in the Old Big Bedpan in Da' Bronx, 21-22% to where you could argue its farther away.

Are you actually trying to say 60's-70's-80's Fenway isn't a far tougher HR park for a LH pull hitter than YSI and YSII? Because that would betray a near nutty inabilty to concede anything, even for you. The RF wall was 30' closer.


Again, you're getting into hypotheticals and ignoring the actual record. First, Yaz wasn't a pull hitter for his entire career by any means. And second, if he could have hit more home runs in Yankee Stadium than in Fenway Park, then WHY DIDN'T HE DO IT? In 21 years, he hit fewer than 4 home runs in 100 at bats in that "Old Big Bedpan in Da' Bronx." Color me unimpressed. And it's not as if the Yankee pitching staff was all that much better than the Red Sox's for the bulk of Yaz's career.

The numbers are right there: His home run rate at home was greater than it was in Yankee Stadium. And 21 years is not a small sample size. You're going to have to do more than imitate that guy who looked at old newspaper accounts and claimed that Babe Ruth would have hit 114 home runs today.

When you get home run rates that are as close as they were (39.8/1000 at Fenway vs 36.5/1000 at Yankee Stadium), it's entirely possible that with 81 games a year instead of 9, Yaz would have had a slightly higher rate. But when you claim, as you did, that Yaz would have hit "a lot more HR's" in the Bronx, when 21 years you're letting your fanboy instincts take over. In real life, Yaz hit all of 21 home runs in that "Bedpan," over a course of 149 games, 644 plate appearances, and 576 at bats, the rough equivalent of a full season.

Yaz led the AL in OPS+ four times, won 3 batting titles, won 7 gold gloves an MVP and Triple Crown. That sir is a superstar. The fact that he put up a string of 110-115 OPS+ type seasons from 35-43(!) doesn't take that away. You tend to drift into intellectual dishonesty, BTW.

Personal insults aside, all it really says is that we have different ideas of what constitutes a superstar. Yaz performed like a superstar for about half a dozen years, and the rest of his career he pretty much coasted on his reputation. If you want to call a 95-120 OPS+ corner outfielder / first baseman / DH a "superstar", I guess there's nothing that will convince you otherwise. But that's what Yaz was for 10 of the last 13 years of his career---in a stretch, BTW, that began when he was 31, not 35.
   76. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 07:05 PM (#3320468)
In fairness, jolly old Andy, Yaz was facing the Yankee pitchers in Yankee Stadium and they were by and large much better than average for the bulk of Yaz's career. And they also (I'm guessing) had a higher % of LHP than your average team, which would hurt Yaz.

I'm guessing facing league average pitchers in Yankee Stadium, he would have done better than he actually did.

That being said, I do agree that it's pretty unlikely that he would have hit significantly more HR as a Yankee than he did playing for Boston.
   77. RJ in TO Posted: September 12, 2009 at 07:09 PM (#3320469)
If you want to call a 95-120 OPS+ corner outfielder / first baseman / DH a "superstar", I guess there's nothing that will convince you otherwise. But that's what Yaz was for 10 of the last 13 years of his career---in a stretch, BTW, that began when he was 31, not 35.


Well, from that stretch between ages 31 to 43, the actual range was not a 95-120 OPS+ player, but a 95-140 OPS+, with a weighted average of 118 OPS+, and one year when he was at all below position (1981, when he posted that 95 OPS+ at the age of 41). While I'd agree that those aren't superstar years, they hardly qualify as coasting, especially considering he kept putting up these slightly to notably above average seasons at an age when more non-superstars were long retired.
   78. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 07:11 PM (#3320470)
Yaz is no lower than the #7 or so LF of all time. You could make a case for him at #6. If that's not in your inner circle, your inner circle isn't big enough.

1-2 - Bonds/Williams
3 - Musial
4-5 - Delahanty/Henderson
6-7 - Yaz/Raines

After that you get into the Jesse Burkett's, Al Simmons's, Fred Clarke's and Billy Williams's.

Calling Yaz non inner circle seems pretty crazy to me.
   79. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 12, 2009 at 07:13 PM (#3320471)
I don't necessarily agree with this at all. For one, Yankee Stadium doesn't bear this out. Even Maris was 50/50 HR in 1961, for example. Babe Ruth hit only 9 more HR in Yankee Stadium while a member of the Yankees. Lou Gehrig only hit 9 more HR at home.

Ted Williams career split was 248 home/273 road. Yaz on the other hand hit 22 more HR at home. Whatever it was, Fenway suited him just fine, and I seriously doubt moving him to Yankee Stadium would have given him better career numbers.

Basically Yankee Stadium killed RHB, but it didn't 'help' LHB, it was pretty neutral for them. It just appeared like help LHB in contrast to the RHB.

Fenway, on the other hand, helps everyone, and whatever certain LHB lose in HR they make up for in other things.


Thanks, Joe. Maybe he'll listen to it coming from someone else than me.

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

but I still think the (understandable) mythology surrounding Yaz leads some Red Sox fans to overrate him, as he got a huge boost from his home park.

Again, easy Hall of Famer - but it's a matter of degrees - Yaz is not an inner circle guy, objectively.


What do you mean by this? Do they overrate him in that they think Yaz is an "inner circle" guy? What do they, and you, count as an "inner circle" guy? That he's as good as Mays, Mantle, Williams?

That's a fair question, and it's true that some of the definitions of "superstar" are pretty tight. But here's mine:

First, if you're Sandy Koufax for five years and get forced out of the game by an injury, you're a superstar. But that's a rare exception.

Beyond that tiny category, though, I see it like this:

How many seasons did you have, that if individually projected over the course of a HoF career of normal length (15-20 years), would make you a Hall of Famer? IOW how many HoF level seasons did you produce? Count those seasons, and if they add up to a dozen or more, you've got a good case. And if you get into the 15+ range, you're almost certainly inner circle.

By that standard, Yaz had about 9 seasons like that: 1963-65-67-68-69-70-73-74-77. That's 9 out of 23. That's a "superstar" only in the Hall of Self-Esteem, not by any more objective standard. Project any of those other years, and he's at most in the Hall of the Very Good.
   80. BDC Posted: September 12, 2009 at 07:14 PM (#3320473)
I imagine that Yastrzemski is about as well-represented by the common wisdom and old-fashioned stats as he is by sabermetric stats. He won three batting titles, four slugging titles, a Triple Crown; on B-Ref he's listed as a four-time league leader in OPS+, five times in adjusted batting runs and offensive winning percentage. His peak was pretty awesome by any measure, even if he loaded up on career numbers in friendly Fenway.

The guy who comes across as having been stronger and more consistent in sabermetric rate stats over his whole career is Al Kaline, who won one batting title, one slugging title, no MVP awards. Kaline rarely posted an exciting season line, even for his own day. But his career OPS+ is better than Yaz's, as is his offensive W%, and his career was also extremely long.
   81. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 12, 2009 at 07:19 PM (#3320475)
Yaz is no lower than the #7 or so LF of all time. You could make a case for him at #6. If that's not in your inner circle, your inner circle isn't big enough.

1-2 - Bonds/Williams
3 - Musial
4-5 - Delahanty/Henderson
6-7 - Yaz/Raines

After that you get into the Jesse Burkett's, Al Simmons's, Fred Clarke's and Billy Williams's.

Calling Yaz non inner circle seems pretty crazy to me.


Much as I love Raines and see him as a HoFer, I don't see him as an Inner Circle, either. Again, it's a matter of where you draw the line.

And if you reverse your logic, if Yaz and Raines are Inner Circle, then what does that make the five players above them? "Super-Duperstars" who are "Inside The Inner Circle"?
   82. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 07:21 PM (#3320476)
Count those seasons, and if they add up to a dozen or more, you've got a good case. And if you get into the 15+ range, you're almost certainly inner circle.


Count the guys that have had a dozen years like that. A guy with 9 Hall of Fame seasons is so far beyond a typical Hall of Famer. I would guess 2/3 of the guys in the Hall of Fame did not have 9 years like that.

People have some strange ideas of what a superstar is, but a player that had 9 such years is absolutely one, whether that's 9 out of 23 or 9 out of 10. The other 14 years are a bonus. You don't get moved out of the superstar club.
   83. RJ in TO Posted: September 12, 2009 at 07:22 PM (#3320477)
How many seasons did you have, that if individually projected over the course of a HoF career of normal length (15-20 years), would make you a Hall of Famer? IOW how many HoF level seasons did you produce? Count those seasons, and if they add up to a dozen or more, you've got a good case.


By this method, how big would you say your "inner-circle" is? A guy like Dimaggio (10 complete super-star production seasons, w/o war credit) would only be marginally inner-circle.
   84. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 12, 2009 at 07:23 PM (#3320479)
The guy who comes across as having been stronger and more consistent in sabermetric rate stats over his whole career is Al Kaline, who won one batting title, one slugging title, no MVP awards. Kaline rarely posted an exciting season line, even for his own day. But his career OPS+ is better than Yaz's, as is his offensive W%, and his career was also extremely long.

That's a fair comparison, though as you say, at his best Yaz was better, but over the course of his career, not as consistent. And Kaline patrolled a tougher piece of turf than Yaz, a positional advantage both generic (RF to LF) and park specific (Detroit's RF to Fenway's LF) that has to count for at least something.
   85. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 07:24 PM (#3320480)
And if you reverse your logic, if Yaz and Raines are Inner Circle, then what does that make the five players above them? "Super-Duperstars" who are "Inside The Inner Circle"?


I don't see any value/need to stratify it further. Think it's kind of a waste of time. Even the inner-circle designation is kind of dumb to me, to be honest.

I mean if a guy is one the 7 best players ever at his position, that's plenty for me. That means over a typical 20 year period (the game is almost 140 years old, in terms of being organized) he could on average be the best in the game.

Where is the need to go further?
   86. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 07:28 PM (#3320481)
Yaz is no lower than the #7 or so LF of all time. You could make a case for him at #6. If that's not in your inner circle, your inner circle isn't big enough.

1-2 - Bonds/Williams
3 - Musial
4-5 - Delahanty/Henderson
6-7 - Yaz/Raines

After that you get into the Jesse Burkett's, Al Simmons's, Fred Clarke's and Billy Williams's.

Calling Yaz non inner circle seems pretty crazy to me.


To 6 or 7 at a position, and a weak one at that, since you play LF b/c you can't play CF or RF, seems like a HUGE inner circle. If you do this at all positions, you'd have an "inner circle" of close to 100 players, once you add in a proportionate amount of pitchers. There are only 202 MLB players and 35 Negro Leaguers in the HoF. 45% can't be inner circle.

Inner circle to me is basically top 2 or 3 at the position or top dozen SPs. It's Ruth, Mays, Mantle, Williams, Walter Johnson, Tom Seaver. Maybe 50 guys.

To me Bonds isn't even inner circle, b/c I basically discount his post 1999 career. Nor is Koufax.
   87. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 07:30 PM (#3320482)
To elaborate, inner circle is for the group of people that think that you have to be Jimmie Foxx or Lou Gehrig to get in the Hall of Fame.

I don't really see any point to that. I think the Hall of Fame is the right size, they just have about 50-60 mistakes, both on the side of omission and commission.

I think the Hall of Fame should be putting in about 3-4 people a year, honoring the best players of each generation, not just the guys who have a case to be the greatest of all-time at their position. If you draw the Hall of Fame line where the inner-circle guys would like to, you'd honor one no brainer a year. You'd have 50-60 plaques in Cooperstown to visit, and that seems kind of pointless to me.
   88. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 12, 2009 at 07:30 PM (#3320483)
How many seasons did you have, that if individually projected over the course of a HoF career of normal length (15-20 years), would make you a Hall of Famer? IOW how many HoF level seasons did you produce? Count those seasons, and if they add up to a dozen or more, you've got a good case.

By this method, how big would you say your "inner-circle" is? A guy like Dimaggio (10 complete super-star production seasons, w/o war credit) would only be marginally inner-circle.


Obviously it's not a rigid formula that pretends that WWII didn't exist, and anyway, unless you're throwing out Dimaggio's partial 1949 season, where he posted a 178 OPS+ and was a key component of their pennant drive, Dimaggio had a dozen seasons that would fit my criteria. And of course there is the little matter of the war, which most people take into account.
   89. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 07:31 PM (#3320484)
To me, the Hall of Fame is the inner circle. You don't need any more inner of a circle.

That being said, I think if you are in the top 30-40% of the current Hall, that's pretty inner circle (of Hall of Famers) to me.
   90. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 12, 2009 at 07:37 PM (#3320487)
Joe, since we agree that Yaz is the 6th or 7th best LFer of all time, does it really matter what we call him? I see a clear dropoff between the first five on your list and the last two, and that's where I'd draw my "Inner Circle / Superstar" line. But if you want to drop it down a bit, I don't see any reason to make it that big a bone of contention.

But then by that standard I get to put my man Gossage into the Inner Circle, too. Deal? And just remember how that 1978 Dent game ended. (smile)
   91. Dan Szymborski Posted: September 12, 2009 at 07:43 PM (#3320488)
How in the world is Bonds not inner-circle if he dies after the 1999 season? He's standing at an OPS+ of 163 in ~8500 PA, 200 or so net stolen 460 stolen bases, and a whole lot of defensive value (8 Gold Gloves if you're keen on that sort of things 150-200 runs by pbp measurements if you're not).

If your inner-circle is only the best player at each position all-time, Bonds through '99 isn't inner-circle. Otherwise, he is, being that he has the strongest argument for being the 2nd-best LF of all-time then. You can make a case for Musial as being in the same general tier as Bonds through '99, but getting him above is really, really hard - you essentially have to argue that Musial was as good defensively as Bonds or Bonds was a bad basestealer.
   92. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 07:45 PM (#3320489)
Yeah, you are right Andy about us talking semantics.

But as far as Yaz goes, when he retired, he was the #4 LF of all time (you could argue him #3 or tied with Delahanty even) - which IMO has to be considered inner-circle. Does 3 guys coming along after he retired drop him out? That's one of the problems I have with these 'circles'.
   93. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 08:06 PM (#3320491)
How in the world is Bonds not inner-circle if he dies after the 1999 season? He's standing at an OPS+ of 163 in ~8500 PA, 200 or so net stolen 460 stolen bases, and a whole lot of defensive value (8 Gold Gloves if you're keen on that sort of things 150-200 runs by pbp measurements if you're not).


Probably just hatred.
   94. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 08:07 PM (#3320492)
Here's another way to look at it. Go back to 1900 and start a Hall of Fame. Even if you only elected one guy per year (so an inner-circle Hall of Fame), would your guy be in? That would give you 110 players at this point, and wouldn't adjust for things like the game expanding, etc..
   95. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 08:09 PM (#3320493)
Here's another way to look at it. Go back to 1900 and start a Hall of Fame. Even if you only elected one guy per year, would your guy be in? That would give you 110 players at this point, and wouldn't adjust for things like the game expanding, etc..

So, you're excluding the 19th century?
   96. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 08:14 PM (#3320495)
And that's just 10 players per decade, not even one per position, if you want say 3 or 4 pitchers for every 8 position players.
   97. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 08:15 PM (#3320497)
So, you're excluding the 19th century?


Never - ask anyone at the HoM, I'm friendlier to the 19th Century than anyone. But you need a few guys to retire before you can start a Hall of Fame, right?

I would actually start with 1890, but I didn't want to open up the ridiculous can of worms that is, 'the 1800s weren't as good as my local HS', etc. . . .
   98. tfbg9 Posted: September 12, 2009 at 09:00 PM (#3320514)
I believe I established that Yaz hit about 77-78% of his HR's to the side of the field where he'd be aiming at a fence that
was equal to fenway, or ~30' closer. To deny that YS is a terrific HR park for lefthanded pull hittes is dishonest. Yaz was a pull hitter from 1967-1983, the vast majority of his career.

Sometimes statistical aberrations will appear. I believe that a pull hitter like Yaz somehow homering at a less frequent pace
in best AL park for him to do so is such a case. I belive that had he played his entire career in YS, his triple crown stats would more resmble Reggie's--less BA, fewer doubles, but 500 odd HR's. Low 500's I'd guess. I saw Yaz play a lot--one thing he could do was turn on anybody's fastball, and I believe he would have figured out a way to take advantage of that joke of a right field out there. Obviously, there's no way to prove this. But his YS splits prove nothing about the likelyhood of what would've happened had he played another 1500-odd ballgames there. Nothing.

And yes, it is true the Yankees generallly would have a little more than their share of tough LHP's to neutralize the oppostion's attempts at also taking advantage of the sleazy, underhanded, letter-of-the-law gamemanship that their park dimensions represent. And Yaz hit LHP's very badly: .692 OPS.

To me, "inner circle" means top 10 guys in the HOF or so, maybe the top 15 years from now,when I get to be as ancient as Andy is, Lord willing. "Superstar" is another matter, far down the rung. A guy who ranks in the top 10 all-time at his postion is a superstar, usually. Yaz was a clear superstar for 5-6 years--he has an awful big ammount of "black ink". But he's not inner circle to me.

Andy--your head won't explode if you very once in a while type "fair enough" and hit send. Trust me.
   99. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 09:04 PM (#3320518)
To deny that YS is a terrific HR park for lefthanded pull hittes is dishonest.


No it isn't. If it was, great LH HR hitters would hit significantly more at home than on the road.

Yankee Stadium was a better park for LHB than RHB, sure. But it absolutely was not a great HR park for LHB . . . it was an average one, maybe slightly above.
   100. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 12, 2009 at 09:07 PM (#3320520)
Reggie Jackson in his 5 years in NY, home/road HR:

1977 - 11/21
1978 - 17/10
1979 - 15/14
1980 - 16/25
1981 - 7/8

Total - 66/78
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