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Tuesday, July 10, 2001

The Primer Team’s 2001 All Star Ballots

We share our All Star ballots. Now it’s your turn.

Last week I asked the regular contributors to the Primer to pass along their   selections for the starting lineups for the All Star Game. Although they quickly   responded, I couldn’t write up the results until today because my wife severely   restricted my computer time shortly after I posted my bobblehead   blog entry.

In total, I received seven thoughtfully crafted ballots. Eight ballots were   submitted, but I had to throw out Dan Szymborski’s Cal Ripken-laden ballot—sorry   Dan, Ripken can’t start at every position.

Here’s our selections (including links to each player’s ESPN stats page):

American League

1B: Jason   Giambi (7)
  2B: Roberto   Alomar (6), Bret   Boone (1)
  3B: Troy   Glaus (7)
  SS: Alex   Rodriguez (7)
  C: Jorge   Posada (4), Ivan   Rodriguez (3)
  OF: Manny   Ramirez (6), Juan   Gonzalez (6), Ichiro   Suzuki (4), Bernie   Williams (3), Mike   Cameron (1), Raul   Mondesi (1)
  DH: Edgar   Martinez (5), Ellis   Burks (1), Dante   Bichette (1)
  SP: Pedro   Martinez (5), Roger   Clemens (2)

National League

1B: Todd   Helton (6), Ryan   Klesko (1)
  2B: Jeff   Kent (4), Craig   Biggio (3)
  3B: Albert   Pujols (3), Chipper   Jones (3), Robin   Ventura (1)
  SS: Rich   Aurilia (7)
  C: Mike   Piazza (4), Charles   Johnson (2), Paul   LoDuca (1)
  OF: Barry   Bonds (7), Luis   Gonzalez (7), Lance   Berkman (4), Sammy   Sosa (2), J.D.   Drew (1)
  DH: Sammy   Sosa (3), Lance   Berkman (1), Mark   McGwire (1), Mike   Hampton (1)
  SP: Greg Maddux   (3), Curt   Schilling (2), Randy   Johnson (1)

Miscellaneous Observations

Unanimous picks: Jason Giambi, Troy Glaus, Alex Rodriguez, Rich Aurilia

Picks made while looking to the past: Mike Piazza, Ellis Burks, Mark McGwire

Picks made while looking to the future: Paul LoDuca, Lance Berkman, Albert   Pujols, J.D. Drew

Picks made from the DL: Pedro Martinez

Picks made while drinking and clutching a Mets blanket: Robin Ventura

Solo Picks: Ryan Klesko, Robin Ventura, Paul LoDuca, Randy Johnson, Raul Mondesi,   Mike Camerson, Dante Bichette, Bret Boone, Ellis Burks

Players not selected to All Star Teams: Greg Maddux, Dante Bichette, Robin   Ventura, Ellis Burks

Picks made to aggravate Chris Dial: Dante Bichette

Ballots containing Bobby Valentine’s favorite player: 0

Sentimental selections: Mark McGwire

Picks made while suffering from severe head trauma: Ellis Burks

Picks made which suggest we are smarter than Bobby Valentine: Greg Maddux

Picks which make my skin crawl: Roger Clemens

Picks made while channeling Mike Hampton’s agent: Mike Hampton

Closest contests: Berkman/Sosa, Posada/Rodriguez, Kent/Biggio, Suzuki/Williams

Complete Ballots

American     League
CJorge PosadaIvan RodriguezJorge PosadaJorge Posada
1BJason GiambiJason GiambiJason GiambiJason Giambi
2BRoberto AlomarRoberto AlomarRoberto AlomarRoberto Alomar
3BTroy GlausTroy GlausTroy GlausTroy Glaus
SSAlex RodriguezAlex RodriguezAlex RodriguezAlex Rodriguez
OFJuan GonzalezMike CameronJuan GonzalezBernie Williams
OFIchiro SuzukiIchiro SuzukiBernie WilliamsJuan Gonzalez
OFRaul MondesiManny RamirezManny RamirezManny Ramirez
DHEdgar MartinezEdgar MartinezEdgar MartinezEllis Burks
SPRoger ClemensPedro MartinezPedro MartinezPedro Martinez
CJorge PosadaIvan RodriguezIvan Rodriguez 
1BJason GiambiJason GiambiJason Giambi 
2BBret BooneRobbie AlomarRoberto Alomar 
3BTroy GlausTroy GlausTroy Glaus 
SSAlex RodriguezAlex RodriguezAlex Rodriguez 
OFBernie WilliamsJuan GonzalezJuan Gonzalez 
OFJuan GonzalezIchiro SuzukiIchiro Suzuki 
OFManny RamirezManny RamirezManny Ramirez 
DHEdgar MartinezDante BichetteEdgar Martinez 
SPPedro MartinezRoger ClemensPedro Martinez 
National     League
CPaul LoDucaMike PiazzaMike PiazzaMike Piazza
1BRyan KleskoTodd HeltonTodd HeltonTodd Helton
2BCraig BiggioJeff KentJeff KentJeff Kent
3BAlbert PujolsChipper JonesChipper JonesRobin Ventura
SSRich AuriliaRich AuriliaRich AuriliaRich Aurilia
OFBarry BondsBarry BondsBarry BondsBarry Bonds
OFLuis GonzalezLuis GonzalezLuis GonzalezLuis Gonzalez
OFLance BerkmanSammy SosaSammy SosaJ.D. Drew
DHMike HamptonMark McGwireLance BerkmanSammy Sosa
SPGreg Maddux?Randy JohnsonGreg MadduxGreg Maddux
CCharles JohnsonMike PiazzaCharles Johnson 
1BTodd HeltonTodd HeltonTodd Helton 
2BCraig BiggioCraig BiggioJeff Kent 
3BAlbert PujolsChipper JonesAlbert Pujols 
SSRich AuriliaRich AuriliaRich Aurilia 
OFBarry BondsBarry BondsBarry Bonds 
OFLuis GonzalezLuis GonzalezLuis Gonzalez 
OFLance BerkmanLance BerkmanLance Berkman 
DHN/ASammy SosaSammy Sosa 
SPCurt SchillingSP Curt SchillingGreg Maddux 


Jim Furtado Posted: July 10, 2001 at 06:00 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. James Fraser Posted: July 10, 2001 at 12:09 AM (#603982)
My criteria:
Who is having the best season that I don't consider a fluke... and then some subjective favouritism (its an All-Star game, relax).

My Selections:

AL Infield:

Giambi, Alomar, Glaus, Rodriguez

Giambi is having a season for the ages, with almost 40 more walks than the next best firstbaseman (Sweeny). Sure Brett Boone is getting a lot of credit, but Alomar's season has been just as good and is more in character with his career. As Rob Neyer has discussed recently, Troy Glaus, not David Bell is the class of the AL Hot Corner. Alex Rodriguez continues to be the most valuable player in baseball.

NL Infield:

Helton, Kent, Chipper, Aurilia

Ryan Klesko is having a great year, but Todd Helton is still my pick (even after deflating his stats). Craig Biggio is declining, but still deserves it. He already has 16 HBP, ouch! Chipper Jones edges out Albert Pujols because their values have been similar and Chipper's is more in character. There are absolutely no NL SS having a good year except Rich Aurillia, whose season is completely out of nowhere. Once Rafael Furcal gets over his sophomore slump, expect him to fill the spot in years to come.

AL Outfield:

Ramirez, Cameron, Ichiro

Yes, Ramirez has played mostly DH, but I wanted to get Edgar Martinez on the team too. Mike Cameron's defense and playing time makes up for Bernie Williams' better production. Ichiro's been good, albeit overrated, but I still want to see him.

NL Outfield:

Bonds, Gonzalez, Sosa

So it might not be the best fielding unit in the world, but these are the three players I want to see in the NL outfield. All are having great years. Also, there isn't a CF having a great year (Edmonds is okay, and Andruw has been disappointing).

AL Battery:

Pudge, Pedro Martinez throwing Left handed

Posada's having a good year, but I still want Pudge out there. Martinez might have a bum shoulder, but he's so far ahead of the rest of the league when he's on that I'd rather have him out there throwing with his off hand.

NL Battery:

Piazza, Randy Johnson

Piazza is a great hitter, and while he's a catcher his hitting will
continue to make him the best at that position. I had to overlook my
personal favourite, John Burkett, for the Big Unit. Johnson already has 189 K's, and is striking out 13.4 batters per 9 innings.


Edgar Martinez


Mark McGwire

Edgar because he's having a great season. McGwire because he's capable of having one.

   2. Don Malcolm Posted: July 10, 2001 at 12:09 AM (#603990)
<h3>American League</h3>
CATCHER: Jorge Posada
Who got picked: Ivan Rodriguez

Who?ll get picked: Jorge Posada

Who should get picked: Posada,
Not quite All-Stars but worthy of a mention: Robert Fick, Shawn Wooten
Posada is having a better year than I-Rod, and he?s also managed to stay healthier.
That?s not a ?scientific? evaluation of performance, but you can?t help your team if you can?t play. (At least most of the players in MLB fit that description?)
?FIRST BASEMAN: Jason Giambi
Who got picked: John Olerud

Who?ll get picked: Jason Giambi, Mike Sweeney

Who should get picked: Giambi, Sweeney, Jim Thome, Fred McGriff
I like Olerud, but he?s having about the sixth/seventh best year among AL first basemen. Where the A?s will be next year without Giambi isn?t a pretty picture.
Who got picked: Boone

Who?ll get picked: Roberto Alomar
Not quite an All-Star but worthy of a mention: Frank Menechino
I?m amused that the sabermetric types had to steer away from Boone. Alomar is having a great year, and it might be just a tad better depending on how you slice the numbers. But All-Star selections are not necessarily about science.
When the performance is this close, I say go with the man who?s doing something out of the ordinary. It?s not like Alomar is going to be left off the squad?
SHORTSTOP: Alex Rodriguez
Who got picked: Rodriguez

Who?ll get picked: Derek Jeter, Cristian Guzman

Who should get picked: Jose Valentin
I?m not completely sure than Guzman will get picked, but there may well be a sentiment to give the surprising AL Central leaders a little more representation.
They?ll get at least one pitcher on the squad.
Jose Valentin is having a great year, and has played three positions for the Sox, who are on the fringes of the wild card race after a terrible swoon in May. He should be there, though the Sox? representative is almost certainly going to be Magglio Ordonez.
Who got picked: Cal Ripken

Who?ll get picked: Troy Glaus

Who should get picked? Glaus, Jeff Conine
The same logic that operates for Valentine works for Conine as well.
My suspicion is that Ripken will get an at-bat and will be replaced by Glaus for the rest of the game.
OUTFIELDERS: Manny Ramirez, Bernie Williams, Juan Gonzalez
Who got picked: Ramirez, Gonzalez, Ichiro Suzuki

Who?ll get picked: Bernie Williams, Ellis Burks, Raul Mondesi, Magglio Ordonez

Who should get picked: Williams, Burks, Mondesi, Ordonez
Who got picked: Edgar Martinez
Who?ll get picked: Roger Clemens
It?s hard not to put the entire Seattle bullpen on the All-Star team. Sasaki will go, but Arthur Rhodes and Jeff Nelson have been at least as good.
<h3>National League</h3>
CATCHER: Charles Johnson
Who got picked: Mike Piazza

Who?ll get picked: Charles Johnson

Who should get picked: Johnson, Paul LoDuca
The voters fell asleep on this one, and even some of sabermetric types gave ?Blondie? the nod on rep, not on 2001 performance. C.J. is the choice.
Too soon to tell if Paul LoDuca is for real, but he?s been spectacular and useful for the Dodgers, who?ve needed a lift.
Who got picked: Helton

Who?ll get picked: Jeff Bagwell, Ryan Klesko

Who should get picked: Klesko, Mark Grace
Yeah, we talked about Mark Grace earlier. That ?last hurrah? season deserves some recognition. The Padres are only going to get one of Klesko or Nevin, I suspect.
Who got picked: Jeff Kent

Who?ll get picked: Craig Biggio,

Who should get picked: Biggio, Jay Bell
Biggio and Kent are very close so far this year, and Bell isn?t too far behind.
They should all be there.
SHORTSTOP: Rich Aurilia
Who got picked: Aurilia

Who?ll get picked: Neifi Perez

Who should get picked: Jimmy Rollins
There?s no really satisfying backup pick for NL SS. I?d go with the rookie, if for no other reason that it gives the game a little more spice when rookies are on the squad. That, and Rollins has a tremendous success rate in stolen base attempts?not statistically significant, perhaps, but ?fun? nonetheless.
THIRD BASEMAN: Albert Pujols
Who got picked: Chipper Jones

Who?ll get picked: Albert Pujols

Who should get picked: Pujols, Phil Nevin
What the heck?Pujols is primarily a third baseman, especially now that Big Mac is back, and he?s had a terrific half-season. Chipper?s going to start, of course, but so far Albert?s season is a bit better.
OUTFIELDERS: Barry Bonds, Luis Gonzalez, Lance Berkman
Who got picked: Bonds, Gonzalez, Sosa

Who?ll get picked: Vladimir Guerrero, Brian Giles, Cliff Floyd, Larry Walker

Who should get picked: Guerrero, Giles, Floyd, Lance Berkman
I?m not sure Lance Berkman will get selected, given the logjam of familiar names to choose from. That would be a shame.
Who?ll get picked: Greg Maddux
QMAX throws a blanket over Maddux, Schilling, Randy Johnson and Chan Ho Park.
I like Schilling?s K/W ratio (sabermetrically correct) and his won-loss record (sabermetrically verboten). Whjat the heck, let him be the starter?you?re gonna get Maddux in the game anyway.
   3. Jose Bautista Bobblehead Day Posted: July 10, 2001 at 12:09 AM (#603987)
American League
C: Pudge Rodriguez
1B: Jason Giambi
2B: Roberto Alomar
SS: Alex Rodriguez
3B: Troy Glaus
LF: Manny Ramirez
CF: Ichiro
RF: Juan Gonzalez
DH: Edgar Martinez

SP: Tim Hudson
CL: Troy Percival

Comments: Tim Hudson (career record: 40-13; third in the 2000 Cy Young balloting) being home on All-Star Weekend is the baseball equivalent of political imprisonment. Also, I'm not one of those embittered Bostonians with an ax to grind, but I wouldn't start Clemens in an effort to spite Joe Torre.

National League
C: Charles Johnson
1B: Todd Helton
2B: Jeff Kent
SS: Rich Aurilia
3B: Wicked Chippah Jones
LF: Barry Bonds
CF: Sammy Sosa
RF: Larry Walker
DH: Luis Gonzalez

SP: Randy Johnson
CL: Billy Wagner

Comments: Wow, there are no closers. Billy Wagner was the only closer I had on my 30-man roster. Rich Aurilia is having a remarkably out-of-context season, and in a few years, I think Jimmy Rollins can be the perennial starter at short. Lance Berkman has had one of the five best half-seasons in 2001, but he lacks the comparative track record of my starters.
   4. David Jones Posted: July 10, 2001 at 12:09 AM (#603983)
What's the deal with two of you picking Roger Clemens? I know you aren't alone, because some people are actually saying this guy might deserve the Cy Young Award. Here's a little comparison between Clemens and another American League pitcher, who is not on the All-Star team and who I did not see mentioned EVEN ONCE as a possible All-Star candidate or as an All-Star "snub."
Clemens 12 1 124.1 115 38 122 3.55
Pitcher 2 8 5 111.2 101 35 58 3.22

Pitcher 2 is Jason Johnson of the Baltimore Orioles. His inferior record should be no surprise, considering that he is supported by a lineup that has featured such heavyweight sluggers as Greg Myers, Jeff Conine, Mike Kinkade, Delino DeShields, Jay Gibbons, and Chris Richard in the 3-4-5 spots. Of course, he also has far fewer strikeouts, which obviously has not detracted from his ability to prevent the opposition from scoring runs, which is what pitching in the end is all about. (And anyway, he hasn't given up any more baserunners than Clemens has, either.) So honestly, I don't see how a reasonable argument could be made that Clemens has been much better than Johnson so far this season. But I'd like to hear someone try.

David Jones
   5. Boileryard Posted: July 10, 2001 at 12:09 AM (#603988)
Everyone says that Aurilia's having a totally out-of-context season, but the guy has hit 20+ homers the last two years. Maybe he's just having one of those "breakout years" where he goes from good to great (see Sammy Sosa- 1991 vs. 1993 and 1997 vs. 1998)
   6. Rich Rifkin I Posted: July 10, 2001 at 12:09 AM (#603989)
AL infield: Giambi, Alomar, A-Rod, and Glaus

<ital>Alomar is a tough call over Boone; and Glaus only goes because there is no one else.<ital>

AL outfield: Manny, Bernie, Juan Gone

<ital>Sorry Ichiro.<ital>

AL battery: Pudge and Pedro

<ital> Even on the DL, I like Pedro.<ital>

NL infield: Helton, Kent, Aurilia, Pujols.

<ital> Funny that a below average team like the Giants has three concensus starters.<ital>

NL outfield: Sosa, Berkman, and Bonds.

<ital>As everyone has said, there are a lot of good choices for the NL outfield.<ital>

NL Battery: Maddux and Lo Duca.

<ital>I might as well punish Piazza for that hairdo.<ital>
   7. David Jones Posted: July 10, 2001 at 12:09 AM (#603991)
To add to my earlier comments, here would be my All-Star starters:

American League
Catcher-Jorge Posada
First Base-Mike Sweeney
Second Base-Roberto Alomar
Third Base-Troy Glaus
Shortstop-Alex Rodriguez
Outfield-Manny Ramirez
Outfield-Juan Gonzalez
Outfield-Ichiro Suzuki
Designated Hitter-Edgar Martinez
Starting Pitcher-Joe Mays (would be Pedro if he wasn't hurt)

National League
Catcher-Paul LoDuca
First Base-Ryan Klesko
Second Base-Jeff Kent
Third Base-Albert Pujols
Shortstop-Rich Aurilia
Outfield-Barry Bonds
Outfield-Luis Gonzalez
Outfield-Sammy Sosa
Designated Hitter-Lance Berkman
Starting Pitcher-Greg Maddux

   8. Rich Rifkin I Posted: July 10, 2001 at 12:09 AM (#603994)
Oops - I made a mistake above. In my NL outfield, scratch Lance Berkman, and replace him with Luis Gonzalez.
   9. Jay Jaffe Posted: July 10, 2001 at 12:09 AM (#603995)
I meant to get around to putting together my own version of the squads for my site, but I've been to two ballgames in the past three days and thus unable to set this down for posterity's sake. Better late than never (right up till gametime), here it is, with a few caveats:

? I didn't consider injured (Pedro) or "injured" players for selection
? Even with that in mind, I kept to the requirement of representing every team no matter how putrid (that is, I had to choose replacements for Tampa Bay and the Mets)
? I stuck to true position for my starting outfielders
? I kicked Cal Ripken upstairs to Honorary Captain/Pinch Hitter to match Tony Gwynn for the sentimental folks out there.

Honorary Captain: Cal Ripken

STARTERS: C Ivan Rodriguez, 1B Jason Giambi, 2B Brett Boone, 3B Troy Glaus, SS Alex Rodriguez, LF Manny Ramirez, CF Bernie Williams, RF Ichiro Suzuki, DH Edgar Martinez, SP Roger Clemens.

BULLPEN: Freddy Garcia, Tim Hudson, Andy Pettitte, Brad Radke, Keith Foulke, Jeff Nelson, Troy Percival, Kazuhiro Sasaki, Mike Stanton.

BENCH: C Jorge Posada, Robert Fick (need somebody from Detroit, and he beats out Clark & Higginson); 1B Jim Thome, Mike Sweeney, Fred McGriff; 2B Roberto Alomar; 3B Jose Valentin (gotta put him somewhere); SS Christian Guzman; OF Shannon Stewart, Juan Gonzalez, Matt Lawton.

Honorary Captain: Tony Gwynn

STARTERS : C Paul LoDuca ; 1B Ryan Klesko (1094 OPS Away more impressive than Helton's 1239 OPS at Coors) ; 2B Jeff Kent; 3B Larry Jones; SS Rich Aurilia; LF Barry Bonds; CF Jim Edmonds; RF Sammy Sosa ; DH Luis Gonzalez; SP Randy Johnson .

BULLPEN: Jon Lieber, Greg Maddux, Wade Miller, Matt Morris, Chan Ho Park, Ben Sheets, Antonio Alfonseca, Armando Benitez, Robb Nen, Billy Wagner.

BENCH: C Mike Piazza; 1B Todd Helton, Sean Casey; 2B Craig Biggio; 3B Albert Pujols; SS Jimmy Rollins; OF Lance Berkman, Cliff Floyd, Brian Giles, Vladimir Guerrero.
   10. Jay Jaffe Posted: July 10, 2001 at 12:09 AM (#603996)
Oops--scratch Benitez. I forgot that I already had a Mets representative in Piazza. Put David Weathers on there instead.
   11. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 10, 2001 at 12:09 AM (#603997)
Don't believe Jim Furtado the Liar. I forgot to give him my All-Star Picks and this season, I didn't have a single vote for Cal Ripken in the real voting. My ballot went:

C - Jorge Posada
1B - Doug Mientkiewicz and Jim Thome'
2B - Frank Menechino
SS - Alex Rodriguez
3B - Troy Glaus
OF - Rusty Greer
OF - Carl Everett
OF - Ichiro Suzuki
DH - Russ Branyan

C - Jason Kendall
1B - Sean Casey
2B - Edgardo Alfonzo for awhile, then write-in votes for Chad Meyers
SS - Rich Aurilia
3B - Scott Rolen
OF - Barry Bonds
OF - Lance Berkman
OF - Tim Raines until he retire, then Giles

If you're looking for my criteria, it will be very hard to find. My all-star picks are guys I like and while I like good seasons, not all the players I like and would like to see are even having good seasons or even in the majors.
   12. David Jones Posted: July 11, 2001 at 12:09 AM (#604002)

What good starting pitcher doesn't know how to pitch with good run support? To me, that seems like trying to justify a statistic (wins) that is invalid as a means of evaluating a pitcher's performance. For years, when Mike Mussina had the fourth or fifth best winning percentage in baseball history, writers explained the discrepancy (after all, Mussina, while a good pitcher, is not the fourth or fifth best in history by a long shot) by saying that Mussina "knew how to win." Then last year he has a fine season and goes 11-15. I guess he "forgot how to win," or more likely, his team didn't score any runs for him. Likewise, mediocre pitchers like Charles Nagy and Dave Burba have posted excellent win totals while giving up lots of runs. Is there anyone out there that wants to say those guys are really any good? Take Burba. Even before he started getting shelled in the last few weeks, the guy had something like an 8-2 record with an ERA over 5. If he had been pitching for the Orioles, he would have been 2-8, and in danger of losing his spot in the rotation. So, I disagree. I think that as long as we look at ERA and innings pitched, wins can, and should, be completely discounted.

   13. Fadeaway: The Baseball History Podcast Posted: July 11, 2001 at 12:09 AM (#604004)
Hey David, I agree with you that wins are an overrated statistic, but I picked Clemens as my All-Star starter anyway. Basically, what it amounts to is that there are about a dozen pitchers in the American League all having roughly the same kind of season, and in such a situation where nobody really stands out, I'm willing to use wins as a tiebreaker of sorts and take the guy with the 12-1 record. At least we know his team is getting a great deal of actual value from his performance, whereas we don't necessarily know that with Jason Johnson (who did deserve to be an all-star, but that's another story).

Most of the top pitchers in the A.L. have started 18 or 19 games so far, but the only two guys with an ERA below three have started just 15 games (Pedro) and 9 games (Wakefield). If you stick to guys who've pitched all year, then you have 11 pitchers with ERAs of between 3.02 and 3.58. When there's that little difference in their performance, I'd rather have the guy who will win me 12 ballgames.

   14. David Jones Posted: July 12, 2001 at 12:09 AM (#604008)

Your points are well taken. I find it interesting, though, that this question of "real value" only seems to relate to pitchers, not hitters or position players. That is, pitchers have these two sets of statistics, those that address how well they prevent runs (ERA, baserunners per nine innings, etc.) and those that address how many "games they actually won."
Not so with hitters. There we only have the statistics that address run production, and you don't really hear people talk about All-Star Selections by saying things like "we don't know what Mike Sweeney's actual value is, because his team hasn't won games." Of course, with calculators and a total baseball, I think there ARE ways to figure out what a players actual value is,without having to resort to phony statistics like "wins" and "losses."

   15. Fadeaway: The Baseball History Podcast Posted: July 12, 2001 at 12:09 AM (#604009)
David, I DO think the same criteria applies to hitters and pitchers. Hitters do have two different sets of stats. One set is stats like on-base and slugging percentage, which try to measure how good an offensive player someone is. Then there are the run production stats, RBI and runs scored, which try to measure how many runs -- or how much "actual value" -- his team has gotten from him.

"Wins" is a statistic that tells us something about a pitcher's value, and also tells us a lot about what kind of offense his team has. "RBI" is a statistic that tells us something about what kind of hitter a guy is, but tells us more about what kind of offense his team has. To one degree or another EVERY stat, from runs scored to ERA to on-base percentage, is reflective of the other players on the team. I don't see why wins are any less meaningful than runs scored or RBI.

I liked your story in the All-Star game program, by the way.

   16. David Jones Posted: July 12, 2001 at 12:09 AM (#604011)

I agree that RBI is a flawed statistic, but it isn't quite as grandiose a stat as wins. If you want to justify picking Clemens over Johnson or Mays or Hudson or Mussina (irrespective of the awful start he put in tonight) by giving him an extra hundredth of an inch for his wins, I don't have a problem with that. I guess my only point would be that wins are the most abused statistic in baseball, that imply too much while reflecting too little. Too often have I heard ridiculous statements about how certain pitchers (they always seem to be on teams with great offenses) "just win" even though their other numbers aren't that great--Wells, Burba, guys like that. Stats like RBI, runs, etc., while they can be misleading, only refer to one event within a baseball game, while wins and losses seem like stats that try to interpret complex baseball games in absurdly simplistic ways.
I would say I liked your articles in the All-Star Game Program, but I haven't received my copies yet.


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