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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Bill James:  The Teams of the Decade

2000s

Catcher—Jorge Posada (214); Pudge Rodriguez is second in both the

1990s and 2000s

First Base—Albert Pujols (315)

Second Base—Jeff Kent (206)

Third Base—Alex Rodriguez (311)

Shortstop—Derek Jeter (248)

Left Field—Barry Bonds (267)

Center Field—Carlos Beltran (225)

Right Field—Bobby Abreu (254)

Designated Hitter—David Ortiz, 174

Starting Pitchers—

Roy Halladay (157)

      Johan Santana (155)

      Randy Johnson (152)

      Mark Buehrle (149)

Reliever—Mariano Rivera (161)

      Others over 200:  first basemen Lance Berkman (259), Todd Helton (246), Carlos Delgado (225), Jason Giambi (218) and Jim Thome (211), third baseman Chipper Jones (239), shortstop Miguel Tejada (233), left fielder Manny Ramirez (257), center fielder Johnny Damon (215), right fielders Ichiro Suzuki (238), Vladimir Guerrero (234) and Brian Giles (226).

      Barry Bonds makes the All Decade team both for the 1990s and 2000s, and Randy Johnson is in the pitching rotation for both decades.  Mariano Rivera is the first relief pitcher to have a higher total for the decade than any starter.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 04, 2021 at 09:09 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bill james

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 04, 2021 at 04:20 PM (#6032847)
1970s

Catcher—Johnny Bench (263)

First Base—Tony Perez (217)

Second Base—Joe Morgan (315)

Third Base—Pete Rose (288)


Machine.
   2. TomH Posted: August 04, 2021 at 07:14 PM (#6032881)
no kidding. Concepcion at 166 WS was the #2 shortstop. G Foster had 155.
   3. Jacob Posted: August 05, 2021 at 03:44 PM (#6033013)
The Teams of the Decade? Let's see, hmmm... Maybe, the Giants, Red Sox, Dodgers or even the Astros. Not sure really... Wait, oops
   4. The Honorable Ardo Posted: August 05, 2021 at 04:19 PM (#6033025)
Not only that, but DH Hal McRae and #2 SP Tom Seaver played at least part of the 1970s for the Reds.

In 1972-73, Cincinnati traded McRae, Bobby Tolan, and Ross Grimsley and got virtually no value in return. Hindsight is 20-20 [and the Mets wouldn't have given up Seaver at that time], but imagine them packaging all three for (cough, cough) Bert Blyleven? I think the Twins make that trade. The Machine would've been even bigger and Blyleven would've been a superstar.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: August 05, 2021 at 04:54 PM (#6033038)
While he recognized the fact there were some limitations to the process, I don't see how he could list Rose as the third baseman of the 70s. Yes, he played more games at third than anywhere else, but he played fewer than half his games at the position during the decade. Schmidt played 400-plus more games at the position, and was much better at it when he was there.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 05, 2021 at 05:06 PM (#6033040)
While he recognized the fact there were some limitations to the process, I don't see how he could list Rose as the third baseman of the 70s. Yes, he played more games at third than anywhere else, but he played fewer than half his games at the position during the decade. Schmidt played 400-plus more games at the position, and was much better at it when he was there.

Yup, I know James is not using WAR, but Schmidt ties Rose in WAR for the decade, and crushes him in WAA, despite spotting Rose two full seasons. It's really not close.
   7. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 05, 2021 at 06:14 PM (#6033057)
In 1972-73, Cincinnati traded McRae, Bobby Tolan, and Ross Grimsley and got virtually no value in return.


This is some kind of absurd historical revisionism. In 1972, McRae was not really a regular but he had put up decent numbers in two previous seasons and one could guess he would be at least a decent everyday player: solid offensively not much on defense.They got Rich Scheinblum and Roger Nelson in return. Scheinblum was now 29 yrs old and hadnt done anything until he had 500 AB in '72 and hit .300 w/ modest power and enuf walks to make him a useful OBP player. He also doesnt seem to have much on defense. Nelson was 28 and just had a huge season, which was also a break through although he had shown some talent a few years back. Both of these guys had one decent season left in them. It wasn't obviously terrible deal on its face they got two players for one, both a bit older, but both coming off good seasons and might have been able to contribute.

McRae turned into a 5 WAR player for a couple seasons and a solid player for many years but that's how trading goes. Also one of the greatest managerial rants of all time, so he's got that too.

Tolan of course, was on the verge of being a superstar when he tore up his knee playing off season basketball after 1970 season. Management apparently detested him after that as I understand it from googling him a bit. He was at least a 5 WAR player before the injury and maybe better than that due to the way TZ undercounts defense. He managed to get back to form in 1972, but both def and off. cratered after the trade to SD. They got CLay Carrol in return, who had one decent season left and a couple marginal ones. Again its not a stoopid trade on its face, they were trying to move Tolan and their timing on that was perfect.

Grimsley for Rettmund. Rettmund was also seen as an emerging star, or perhaps an established star. He was 29 at the time of the trade and had averaged 5 WAR three of his last 4 seasons. de had OPS+'d 150 and was definitely good defensively and was known to have a strong arm at least at that point. He was definitely a good established player. Grimsley was young and had already established himself as at least a decent regular pitcher. Grimsley put up 7 WAR the next 4 seasons, and Rettmund only 4 but Rettmund was barely used. He got 250 AB only once the rest of his career. I dunno if he was an injury guy or people didnt like him or what. You cant say it was a bad trade on its face, it seems like another challenge trade an established star for a young rising player.

It just seems insane to criticize CIN for making trades because a) CIN did a lot of trading of established players in these days perhaps more so than any other team; and b) they did well at it and eventually put together one of the greatest teams in history.

They got 5 useful players for Lee Maye; they got two pitchers for ALex Johnson. They let go of Tolan at the right time they let go of AJohnson at the right time. They picked up Joe Morgan at the right time. They made a lot of good trades.

Obviously Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas was a mistake but Pappas still had 25 WAR left (Frank had 41 left).
   8. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: August 05, 2021 at 06:45 PM (#6033063)
Lee Maye


Lee May. Different players. Maye never played for Cincinnati.
   9. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 05, 2021 at 07:30 PM (#6033067)
Ha ha. Going from memory I thought I had the right May(e)
   10. Darren Posted: August 05, 2021 at 09:26 PM (#6033079)
If you have not RTFA, it's pretty fun. James goes hard after a reader:

Also, there was a comment that "Comparing hs 1950s stats to stats of guys who played in the 1980s (when everyone hit 370 homers) ain’t fair."



To deal with the factual issue first, the percentage of players who hit 370 or more home runs was HIGHER in the 1950s than it was in the 1980s. It is not lower; it is higher. There were 422 players who played in the 1980s and had careers of 1,000 or more games. 7.8% of them hit 370 or more homers. There were 223 players who played in the 1950s and had careers of 1,000 or more games. 8.1% of them of them hit 370 or more homers. (Three players played in both the 1950s and the 1980s—Willie McCovey, Tim McCarver and Minnie Minoso.)

....
That is the smaller issue. Although I am certain that the reader did not mean to be insulting, the comment is quite offensive. Let me try to explain why.
....

Again, the fan is entitled to his opinion; he isn’t required to take a sabermetrics class to have an opinion or to say what it is. But that isn’t what we do here. That isn’t what we’re doing. That isn’t what I have done; it isn’t what anyone in this discussion has done. When you say that we are just comparing statistics from different eras, it’s offensive. It’s rude. It’s rude, because it denies the fact that we have done the work that we have done, and it denies that we know the things that we have learned.


The "fan" in question then points out to James that his comment referenced the 1990s, not the 1980s. I'm sure that Bill will quickly acknowledge his error and apologize for being so rude.

   11. The Honorable Ardo Posted: August 05, 2021 at 09:35 PM (#6033084)
To be fair, I'm not criticizing the Reds' trading record - just tossing out a Steve Treder hypothetical where they could've acquired a genuine ace starter and won "even more" than they did, probably to a point where they'd be universally acknowledged as the ultimate post-integration dynasty.
   12. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 05, 2021 at 10:45 PM (#6033095)
You're right, I started out wanting to actually look up what the Reds got in value. I knew that they made a lot of successful trades in those days so it would be a surprise to find that they got fleeced on a number of trades. They didnt really, of course, they kind of lost on the McRae deal I guess, and the other two were so so.

It was Clay Kirby they got for Tolan not Clay Carrol. Kirby had one pretty decent season left. He died age 43 of heart blockage a few months after suffering a silent heart attack. He was thought to have a lot of potential; while with the crappy Padres he came close to a no hitter three times. So like a lot of these trades, they saw potential there that might not be quite so obvious from the stats alone. Rettmund should have had a lot of WAR left in him; even his SABR bio doesnt really explain what happened there.

So yeah. But at what pt. does Blyleven become available? And who do the Reds give up? The Rangers got him in 76 basically for two good defenders in Cubbage (3b) and Roy Smalley (SS). Smalley produced 25.5 WAR over the next 8 seasons playing SS well most of those, so that's probably an underestimate. THey got 11 WAR out of BLyleven in two years. PIT got him in '78 in a complicated 4 way deal that was basically Al Oliver for Milner/Blyleven. Oliver produced 20.5 WAR in the next 6 seasons. Blyleven gave PIT 10 in 3 seasons; but still had 38 WAR left. (I think he's 13th all time for P WAR).
   13. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 06, 2021 at 02:08 AM (#6033117)
OK so who does Treder think the 1976 Reds are going to trade for Blyleven anyway? THeir best OF prospects are Armbrister and minor leaguer Steve Henderson; who is probably already a 3 WAR player and would remain there for a number of seasons with the Mets.

But wait a minute, the Twins dont need OF help, they have both Bostock and Dan Ford who are young and playing well. Hisle is 29 and sort of holding down the fort in LF. Twins need help on the left side of their infield since Soderholm had some horrible accident that required two surgeries and Danny Thompson is dying of Leukemia. Thats why they traded for CUbbage and Smalley in the first place.

In the infield the Reds have Doug Flynn who seems like a serviceable infielder, he would go on to have years of sub replacement level play with the horrible Mets of the mid to late 70s. There's also Dan Driessen who's already been moved off of 3b since his defense seems to be lacking. There's also Pat Zachary P, the Twins dont have much pitching but they're trading Blyleven so presumably they dont want a pitcher.

BUt wait a second next season the Reds did eventually trade Henderson, Flynn and Zachary for a pitcher, no less! ANd that pitcher was..Tom Seaver!

So how does any of this alt-universe where the Reds trade for Blyleven make any sense?

1. HOw are the Reds going to find the trading chips to trade for both Blyleven and Seaver?

2. In 1976 everyone on this planet would prefer Seaver to Blyleven.

3. How are the Reds, a mid or small market team, going to pay for both Seaver and Blyleven?

The Reds got Seaver in 1977. That's probably the best result possible they don't have anybody else to trade for Blyleven and why would they anyhow? No this doesnt make any sense.

Note: Danny Thompson eventually did get traded to TEX along with Blyleven in what was probably a humanitarian gesture. He was buried in his hometown in OK a few months later.
   14. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 06, 2021 at 02:14 AM (#6033118)


The "fan" in question then points out to James that his comment referenced the 1990s, not the 1980s. I'm sure that Bill will quickly acknowledge his error and apologize for being so rude.


I cant even follow the threaded discussion there. Are the shaded posts supposed to be from Bill James? But they're not signed by him. And is the first line the person they're referring to? Its very confusing.
   15. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: August 06, 2021 at 08:19 AM (#6033128)
Rettmund


Rettenmund.
   16. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: August 06, 2021 at 08:39 AM (#6033133)
Ha ha. Going from memory I thought I had the right May(e)


Both from Alabama. Maye was apparently a soul vocalist of some note. May was Carlos' brother.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 06, 2021 at 09:35 AM (#6033151)
Lee May. Different players. Maye never played for Cincinnati.

It's so weird. In MLB history, there are basically 5 players of any note named "May" (Lee, Carlos, Rudy, Milt, and Dave) and they were all active at the same time. Plus you had Lee Maye, and non-notable Jerry. What an odd coincidence.
   18. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 06, 2021 at 10:00 AM (#6033165)
The top 1970s Reds pitchers, by WAR:

1 Gary Nolan 15.2
2 Don Gullett 14.1
3 Tom Seaver 13.5
4 Fred Norman 13.2
5 Clay Carroll 8.7
6 Pedro Borbon 6.2
7 Rawly Eastwick 5.8
8 Doug Bair 4.0
9 Ross Grimsley 4.0
10 Bill Bonham 3.4

Just off the list is Paul Moskau, whose 3.3 WAR is the highest among pitchers who played only for the Reds in the 1970s.
   19. . . . . . . Posted: August 06, 2021 at 10:08 AM (#6033167)
It's so weird. In MLB history, there are basically 5 players of any note named "May" (Lee, Carlos, Rudy, Milt, and Dave) and they were all active at the same time. Plus you had Lee Maye, and non-notable Jerry. What an odd coincidence.


There are many Mays but only one Mays.
   20. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 06, 2021 at 10:21 AM (#6033171)
Pinky May deserves a nod.
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 06, 2021 at 10:29 AM (#6033174)
There are many Mays but only one Mays.

Carl was no slouch, and I wouldn't want to piss him off either.
   22. Zach Posted: August 09, 2021 at 04:26 PM (#6033559)
This is some kind of absurd historical revisionism. In 1972, McRae was not really a regular but he had put up decent numbers in two previous seasons and one could guess he would be at least a decent everyday player: solid offensively not much on defense.They got Rich Scheinblum and Roger Nelson in return. Scheinblum was now 29 yrs old and hadnt done anything until he had 500 AB in '72 and hit .300 w/ modest power and enuf walks to make him a useful OBP player. He also doesnt seem to have much on defense. Nelson was 28 and just had a huge season, which was also a break through although he had shown some talent a few years back. Both of these guys had one decent season left in them. It wasn't obviously terrible deal on its face they got two players for one, both a bit older, but both coming off good seasons and might have been able to contribute.

Different era and all, but getting two older guys with limited upside for a young guy who had just put up a 122 OPS+ and was headed into the prime of his career would be be pretty universally panned on this site nowadays.
   23. Howie Menckel Posted: August 09, 2021 at 04:58 PM (#6033564)
Carlos is the one who wore his birthday on the back of his uniform - MAY 17

(Bill Voiselle reference coming in 3..2...1....)

   24. Zach Posted: August 09, 2021 at 05:31 PM (#6033573)
Carlos is the one who wore his birthday on the back of his uniform - MAY 17

Estevan Florial is about five months out of sync.

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