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Monday, May 22, 2017

Focus on Jeter should inspire memories of Garciaparra’s peak

“it’s as if Jeter stands alone as the shortstop talent for a generation.

It’s too bad, considering that Garciaparra was every bit the player Jeter was. And in his prime, he was better.

There’s no question that Jeter brings the superior career to a debate between the two. Injuries derailed what Garciaparra could become from a legacy standpoint, and cost him the Hall of Fame”

Shortstops with most seasons of 6+ WAR, debuting 1969+:

Name            Yrs From   To   Age
Cal Ripken        6 1983 1991 22
-30
Alan Trammell     6 1983 1990 25
-32
Alex Rodriguez    6 1996 2003 20
-27
Nomar Garciaparra 6 1997 2003 23
-29
Ozzie Smith       4 1985 1989 30
-34
Troy Tulowitzki   4 2007 2011 22
-26
Robin Yount       3 1980 1983 24
-27
Barry Larkin      3 1988 1996 24
-32
Derek Jeter       3 1998 2009 24
-35 

 

DanG Posted: May 22, 2017 at 12:50 PM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: derek jeter, hall of fame, nomar garciaparra, red sox, yankees

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   1. TDF, trained monkey Posted: May 22, 2017 at 02:50 PM (#5461041)
Is there a non-steroid guy with a peak like Garciaparra who isn't in the HOF?
   2. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: May 22, 2017 at 03:16 PM (#5461068)
Garciaparra had 40.6 WAR in those six seasons (spread over seven years) mentioned in the intro. He contributed basically nothing outside of those six seasons.

Dale Murphy had 37.9 WAR in his six best seasons (spread over eight years). Murphy's peak was similar, but ever so slightly inferior.

Joey Votto has 38.1 WAR in his six best seasons (spread over seven years). I'm not hopeful that he will make the Hall of Fame. Like Murphy, Votto's peak is similar to Garciaparra's, but slightly inferior.

Bobby Grich had 38.4 WAR in six seasons (spread over seven years) and 40.9 WAR in six seasons (spread over eight years). I would say that's a peak like Garciaparra's.

Alan Trammell had 39.8 WAR in six seasons (spread over eight years). I would say that's a peak like Garciaparra's.

Kenny Lofton had 35.9 WAR in six seasons (in six consecutive years), 37.8 WAR in six seasons (spread over seven years), and 38.4 WAR in six seasons (spread over eight years). I would go with Lofton's peak here. (His "down" seasons generated 4.1 WAR and 4.9 WAR.)

Chase Utley has 45.3 WAR in six seasons (in six consecutive years). I'm doubtful he makes the Hall of Fame. I think his peak is superior to Garciaparra's.

Those are just a few names off the top of my head. I checked some others (Don Mattingly, Dick Allen, Dewey Evans, Chet Lemon) that weren't quite there. I'm sure there are more players like this. Obviously, this is good company for Garciaparra even if some of these players (like Dale Murphy) are not Hall of Fame Material. Unfortunately, almost all of these players did something outside of their peaks.


   3. Rally Posted: May 22, 2017 at 03:22 PM (#5461078)
I was thinking Vern Stephens, but his best 6 year stretch (44-49) is only 29.
   4. Rally Posted: May 22, 2017 at 03:33 PM (#5461088)
Tejada 2001-06 32.3
Knoblauch 92-97, 35.0
Fregosi taking his best 6 years from 1964-70, 36.6
Ken Boyer 1958-63, 39.0
Edmonds 2000-05, 36.4
   5. QLE Posted: May 22, 2017 at 03:34 PM (#5461091)
Jim Fregosi had 36.6 WAR in six seasons over seven years (1964-1967, 1969-1970), had additional seasons where he contributed some value (1963 and 1968), and then contributed virtually no value outside of those seasons.
   6. BDC Posted: May 22, 2017 at 03:37 PM (#5461094)
Is there a non-steroid guy with a peak like Garciaparra who isn't in the HOF?

In this thread where DavidFoss fleshed out Russ's idea of the WAR "H-index," every non-steroid position player with an H-index of six (6 seasons of 6 or more WAR) was a Hall of Famer – except Garciaparra, and, as Graham points out, Trammell.

Trammell was an easy Hall of Merit pick, though. So was Grich; Utley will be, I'm sure. I have no idea about Nomar. He may be the unique guy who easily established that he had Hall of Fame ability (not just briefly touching it, like Josh Hamilton, say, but reconfirming it over a seven*-year span) – but didn't do enough outside his peak to register with voters for any Hall.

Johan Santana may be vaguely similar among pitchers.

Or it could be that WAR likes Nomar a little unreasonably. I'm not sure about that, because everybody liked him, that I could tell.

*Nomar's six 6-WAR seasons span the one he lost to injury in 2001.
   7. DanG Posted: May 22, 2017 at 03:40 PM (#5461098)
Meanwhile, there are four dozen hall of fame players with less than Garciaparra's 24.2 WAA; few, if any of these, can approach Nomar's peak performance.
   8. TDF, trained monkey Posted: May 22, 2017 at 03:41 PM (#5461100)
I expected you guys to come up with one or two, but I'm surprised there's this many.

Vada Pinson, 36.1 in 6/7 years (40 in those 7, 34.6 '59-64), another 14 after.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 22, 2017 at 03:47 PM (#5461107)
I'd add Charlie Keller.

1939-46 (only 876 G and 3839 PA b/c of WW2): 38.6 WAR, 26.9 WAA. 6.5 WAR and 4.6 WAA per 650 PA.

Slashed 292/414/530/944 for a 157 OPS+.
   10. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: May 22, 2017 at 03:56 PM (#5461119)
Nomar was awesome. That is all, please carry on.
   11. BDC Posted: May 22, 2017 at 04:08 PM (#5461132)
Many of those mentioned were middle infielders. The injury risk at those positions can wear many guys down. All the more impressive are a few players like Joe Morgan and Rod Carew who came back from serious injuries at young ages to become clear Hall of Famers.
   12. SandyRiver Posted: May 22, 2017 at 04:27 PM (#5461149)
Many of those mentioned were middle infielders. The injury risk at those positions can wear many guys down. All the more impressive are a few players like Joe Morgan and Rod Carew who came back from serious injuries at young ages to become clear Hall of Famers.


IMO, the injury that likely kept Nomar out of the HOF had little to do with his being a middle infielder, but was the pitch he took on his wrist in late 1999. Of course, he then hit .372 the next year, but that was an uneven though great season. He battled injuries in April-May, terrorized pitchers in June-July (OPS over 1.200) then had a power drought in Aug-Sept while playing in most games and maintaining a fine BA. I think that wrist was beginning to go sour late that season, cost him nearly all of the next, and though still very valuable in 2002-03 his OPS+ was about 30 points lower than in 1998-2000, declining from historic (for SS) to just excellent. IIRC, his wrist issue was similar to what spoiled 2 years for David Ortiz - most of 2008, all of 2009, and the first part of 2010.
   13. QLE Posted: May 22, 2017 at 04:31 PM (#5461150)
Another to add:

Sal Bando, between 1969 and 1974, accumulated 37.7 WAR- and he had two additional 5+ WAR years (1976 and 1978) outside of this peak.
   14. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 22, 2017 at 04:33 PM (#5461153)

I expected you guys to come up with one or two, but I'm surprised there's this many.

Pretty much none of the guys mentioned though were quite as good as Nomar in their peak.

Cesar Cedeno was one of the first guys who came to my mind, but his 6-year peak was 36.2.

Nettles had 35.3 WAR in his best 6-season stretch, plus 3 more seasons of 5+ WAR immediately surrounding that (51.7 in his best 9-season run).

Bobby Abreu had 41.5 WAR during his 7-season peak (36.3 during his top 6 seasons), 59.9 total for his career. He almost certainly won't make the HOF, although it will be interesting to see how much support he gets.
   15. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 22, 2017 at 04:41 PM (#5461158)
IMO, the injury that likely kept Nomar out of the HOF had little to do with his being a middle infielder, but was the pitch he took on his wrist in late 1999. Of course, he then hit .372 the next year, but that was an uneven though great season.

Wasn't there some speculation that Nomar's injuries were consistent with steroid use?
   16. Captain Supporter Posted: May 22, 2017 at 04:53 PM (#5461168)
There was plenty of speculation back in the day about Nomar's use of PED's. Do a simple search on Garciaparra and steroids and you'll see plenty of articles on that topic. But George Mitchell's thorough investigation never uncovered any steroid use among any Red Sox players, so it would be unsporting to rekindle those speculations.
   17. Jack Sommers Posted: May 22, 2017 at 05:15 PM (#5461179)
Would it be unsporting to post a link to THIS?
   18. villageidiom Posted: May 22, 2017 at 05:22 PM (#5461184)
Wasn't there some speculation that Nomar's injuries were consistent with steroid use?
Unsupported by facts*, but sure, there was speculation about everyone back then.

Nomar was obsessed with reducing his body fat percentage. I don't recall when it started but he got down to 5 or 6 percent and seemed proud of this. Just about everything I've ever read on the subject suggests that abnormally low body fat increases risk of injury. These days I think 6% is pretty common for top athletes, as the science around injury prevention has finally caught up; but back then he was kind of a rare specimen.

* BITD those who speculated about injuries being consistent with steroid use would interpret anything as being consistent with steroid use. Nothing was ever taken seriously, except by those who wanted to believe it. What we know today is that the thing that seems to have a clear correlation with steroid use is not in type or frequency of injury but rather in rate of recovery from injury. From what I recall Nomar took forever to recover from injuries, but maybe it just felt that way to me.
   19. BDC Posted: May 22, 2017 at 05:30 PM (#5461188)
Sal Bando, between 1969 and 1974, accumulated 37.7 WAR- and he had two additional 5+ WAR years (1976 and 1978) outside of this peak

As I was saying in another thread, Sal Bando might be the player that WAR sees the most differently from his contemporary reputation. Or rather, in one way, aligns with his reputation: Bando had three top-five MVP ballots. All three were odd years, though. Bando, who had a lot of RBIs for a championship team, was probably not on those ballots because anybody thought he was a great player.

Heck, though, I don't know that he wasn't a great player. I had a college softball buddy who was a slick third baseman, and we nicknamed him "Sal" because he could really pick 'em. This is contemporary anecdotal evidence! And Bando had some impressive on-base percentages. He was maybe the penny-pinching-tyrant of an owner's Ron Santo.
   20. eric Posted: May 22, 2017 at 05:32 PM (#5461189)
Would it be unsporting to post a link to THIS?


That's evidence AGAINST steroids. He looks like a normal athletic guy who lifts weights regularly.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: May 22, 2017 at 06:04 PM (#5461207)
If JAWS is useful for one thing (and it's probably useful for more than that), it's that it provides a player's best 7 WAR seasons in one handy table.

The average HoF SS has a WAR7 of 42.8 and Nomar's is 43. Average HoFer is obviously pretty impressive but (1) that average is generally brought down by all the lousy VC selections and (2) Nomar has nothing outside of that.

By WAR7 he's 13th among "SS", right between Larkin and Ozzie. Jeter, Bobby Wallace and Reese are just behind him with the latter two being VC selections. The only post-war SS elected by the writers behind him is Aparicio who has always been one of their more bizarre selections. True, the only guy ahead of him not in is Trammell (45) but Fregosi is just behind at 41 and Dahlen and Tulo at 40.

3B abounds with guys like this though. Boyer 46, Allen 46 (a "3B"), Bando 44, Edgar 44, Rolen 44, Nettles 42, Bell 40. David Wright is at 40 and Longoria is at 41. CF is flocking with them too: Andruw 46, Beltran 44, Lofton 43, Wynn 43, Edmonds 43, Cedeno 41, Murphy 41, Pinson 40.

Granted, if Nomar had a more "normal" 7th best year, he'd be ahead of most of these folks (may be some in there who didn't have "normal" 7th best years either) but there's nothing magical about staying healthy for 6 seasons but not 7 that deserves special compensation.

And of course I am contractually obligated to mention Larry Walker's 45 WAR 7 (or 40 WAR6).

Regardless, an excellent peak where you averaged about 6 WAR a year for 7 years is pretty much a necessary but far from sufficient condition for election by the writers.

Meanwhile, there are four dozen hall of fame players with less than Garciaparra's 24.2 WAA; few, if any of these, can approach Nomar's peak performance.

True. Most of these are VC selections and I think only 7 of them are post-war. This includes the mistakes Rice and Perez, the "famous" Lou Brock, the aforementioned Aparicio, Rizzuto, etc. The one guy on the list I think might most surprise folks is Dave Winfield who is the only way who passed 60 career WAR.

Which brings us to why peak WAA is not really a useful measure for HoF-type discussions (career WAA is even worse).

Nomar put up 40 WAR and 27 WAA in his best 4000ish PA (or 6 seasons). Winfield put up 34/21 in his best 6 (<4000 PA). So first, the peak WAA and peak WAR gaps are the same as they will be conditional on league adjustments. Anyway, without question, Nomar was better at his peak by a full 1 win per season.

Outside of that Nomar had about 2100 PA in which he added 4 WAR and -3 WAA. Winfields next best 3 seasons (<2100 PA) add up to 11.5 WAR, 5 WAA. Right there he's just made up 7 WAR after having only been 6 WAR behind before.

Can anyone explain to me why a 6-WAR edge over a 6-year peak is more important, valuable, noteworthy, deserving of praise, more likely to produce a pennant than a 7-WAR gap over 3 years?

Meanwhile, Winfield had about 18 WAR (-2 WAA) left in his body while Nomar had nothing.

Nomar was 6 wins better over 6 seasons then Winfield was 27 wins better over about 13 seasons. It's not even close.


   22. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 22, 2017 at 06:58 PM (#5461225)
Would it be unsporting to post a link to THIS?


George Mitchell said he was clean. Swore on a stack of paychecks.
   23. TDF, trained monkey Posted: May 22, 2017 at 07:02 PM (#5461226)
Which brings us to why peak WAA is not really a useful measure for HoF-type discussions (career WAA is even worse).

Nomar put up 40 WAR and 27 WAA in his best 4000ish PA (or 6 seasons). Winfield put up 34/21 in his best 6 (<4000 PA). So first, the peak WAA and peak WAR gaps are the same as they will be conditional on league adjustments. Anyway, without question, Nomar was better at his peak by a full 1 win per season.

Outside of that Nomar had about 2100 PA in which he added 4 WAR and -3 WAA. Winfields next best 3 seasons (<2100 PA) add up to 11.5 WAR, 5 WAA. Right there he's just made up 7 WAR after having only been 6 WAR behind before.

Can anyone explain to me why a 6-WAR edge over a 6-year peak is more important, valuable, noteworthy, deserving of praise, more likely to produce a pennant than a 7-WAR gap over 3 years?

Meanwhile, Winfield had about 18 WAR (-2 WAA) left in his body while Nomar had nothing.

Nomar was 6 wins better over 6 seasons then Winfield was 27 wins better over about 13 seasons. It's not even close.
I don't know what you're arguing here - Winfield was a 1st ballot HOFer. EDIT: Nomar doesn't need to be better than Winfield to be good enough for the HOF voters.
   24. villageidiom Posted: May 22, 2017 at 07:11 PM (#5461229)
There was plenty of speculation back in the day about Nomar's use of PED's. Do a simple search on Garciaparra and steroids and you'll see plenty of articles on that topic. But George Mitchell's thorough investigation never uncovered any steroid use among any Red Sox players, so it would be unsporting to rekindle those speculations.


Sigh. The only question when Captain Supporter would show up with idiocy was when.

The thorough investigation (to use your words) didn't turn up much from any team, except where others' investigations led to suppliers, which in turn led to teams in the vicinity of those suppliers. Through Radomski they named a lot of NY players; through BALCO they named a lot of Bay-area players. If you're suggesting the feds were biased against the Yankees, Mets, A's, and Giants, you're a damn fool. Setting all those players aside, almost everyone George Mitchell "found" was someone who had tested positive or otherwise run afoul of the law, meaning he really didn't find much of anyone associated with any team.

You should actually read the report some time, except without grasping for conspiracies every time a pinstripe is found.
   25. Captain Supporter Posted: May 22, 2017 at 07:36 PM (#5461239)
George Mitchell a paid Director of the Red Sox when he was selected by Bud Selig to run an investigation which potentially could have hurt both his and Selig's. Perhaps in your haste to wade in with a typical ad hominem attack, you have forgotten that. Perhaps you also forgot that he was a politician (which was somehow supposed to make us trust him) well known for partisanship when he was in the Senate. You may have also forgotten that not one Red Sox or Brewer (Selig's team) player was named in the investigation despite the fact that there were several obvious users (Manny, Papi, et. al.)

Villageidiom, it is you that are the the fool if you don't understand the blatant conflict of interest in that investigation by both Selig (for electing a politician with an interest in the Red Sox to lead it rather than selecting someone with with a reputation for integrity from outside the game) and Mitchell (for accepting the job). I'm not suggesting that the investigation was biased against the Yanks (although i suspect they received, let us say, some special attention) and the other clubs you named. But I do think there was a clear bias to not look very carefully at either his own club or at Selig's club. I may well be wrong, but that kind of speculation was absolutely inevitable given the choice of Mitchell to lead the investigation.
   26. SandyRiver Posted: May 22, 2017 at 08:45 PM (#5461270)
Wasn't there some speculation that Nomar's injuries were consistent with steroid use?


First time I've seen HBP linked with steroid use (by the hittee, anyway.) Snark aside, #18 seems to point away from known effects of the drugs.

Sure, Mitchell had some potential conflict of interest. Maybe Bud figured that anyone who could untangle the Irish "Troubles" was a good choice. And of course, there's no conflict of interest by a NYT writer (illegally) leaking the names of Boston's best hitters while the Sox and Yankees were fighting for the division title. None at all.

(Manny, Papi, et. al.)

When discussing PEDs, one of these names is not like the other. And who are the "et. al.?" Just tossing that out trashes the whole team with zero evidence, which drains any credibility the post might have had.
   27. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 22, 2017 at 09:03 PM (#5461277)
Sure, Mitchell had some potential conflict of interest.


Aside from his fiduciary duty to one specific major league team, what would those be?
   28. villageidiom Posted: May 22, 2017 at 10:36 PM (#5461313)
As a follow-up to my #24...

There were 85 players named in the Mitchell Report.

1 was through the FBI, in Operation Equine. (Canseco, not A-Rod.)

44 were directly from Kirk Radomski, per cooperation with the US Attorney's Office.

5 were from Brian McNamee, whose accounts were partially corroborated by Radomski.

4 were indirectly because of the Radomski investigation: Adam Piatt, who came forward on his own because he knew Radomski would likely name him; Miguel Tejada, who Piatt named; and Jack Cust and Brian Roberts, who were named by Larry Bigbie, who was one of the 44.

9 were from federal agents in association with the BALCO investigation. (Technically 10, but Jason Grimsley was already fingered by Radomski.)

13 were from media reports after federal raids of Signature Pharmacy and others. (Technically 16, but Jason Grimsley and Jerry Hairston, Jr. were already fingered by Radomski, and Canseco was already mentioned in Operation Equine.)

1 was from Boston Police (Manny Alexander)

1 was from the Canadian Border Service (Juan Gonzalez)

That's 78 out of 85 who were sourced from law enforcement, or spurred on from actions of law enforcement. The other seven:

- Wally Joyner, who admitted use when discussing Ken Caminiti.
- Daniel Naulty, who admitted use when contacted by MLB about other players.
- Mike Judd and Ricky Stone, who were named by Todd Seyler.
- Paxton Crawford, who admitted use when contacted by MLB about old media reports.
- Alex Cabrera, who the Diamondbacks reported as having received a shipment to their clubhouse.
- Ricky Bones, who the Marlins reported as having had steroids observed in his locker.

Now, some might say that's not entirely a fair characterization, as some of the 78 players showed up in more than just law enforcement proceedings. These include:

- Kevin Brown (also identified by the Dodgers)
- Paul Lo Duca (also identified by Todd Seyler and the Dodgers)
- Eric Gagne (also identified by the Dodgers and Red Sox)
- Brendan Donnelly (also identified by the Red Sox)
- David Segui (also identified by the Orioles GM and the Royals visiting clubhouse attendant)
- Jeff Williams and Matt Herges (also identified by Todd Seyler)

So if we count the seven mentioned earlier, and this group, then one could argue Mitchell would have identified 14 players without the help of law enforcement activity. For the record, Seyler was a minor-league conditioning coach in the Dodgers' system. Thus, for the record, these 14 players would have been identified as follows:

- 6 by cooperation with the Dodgers (including Todd Seyler)
- 1 by cooperation with the Red Sox
- 1 by cooperation with the Dodgers and Red Sox
- 1 by cooperation with the Diamondbacks
- 1 by cooperation with the Marlins
- 1 by cooperation with the Orioles and/or Royals
- 3 by player cooperation

I suppose it could be argued that many of those teams might not have helped, had the players in question not already been outed by law enforcement. This is plausible for the Red Sox, and for the Dodgers outside of Todd Seyler; but given how little help the league got from other teams regarding players who were already outed it seems like these two teams were no worse in their dealings with the investigation than the other teams. They at least provided something.

Likewise, one could argue that teams might have outed their own players had law enforcement not already outed them first. This is rather dubious, kind of like Andy Pettitte's claim that he used PEDs only the two times he was caught. The lack of players outed by teams in absence of law enforcement proceedings is so scant that it would be laughable to build a case on that notion.

I'll summarize with two points.

1. The vast majority of what ended up in the Mitchell Report comes from what Mitchell learned from law enforcement proceedings or media reports thereof. It accounts for almost all of it. To the extent that law enforcement proceedings were biased toward any team depends on the area where the suppliers were operating: with Radomski, New York; with BALCO, the SF Bay area. It does not indicate that the teams in those areas were more guilty than others in employment of PED users, nor does it indicate bias by Mitchell.

2. One could say that bias is evident not in who was listed, but in who wasn't listed. That tends to bring people bearing the subjective and the spurious, but there are some objective facts we can use. Since the Report came out many players have tested positive for PEDs, or were otherwise found to have been buying or taking PEDs, or admitted using PEDs. They span many teams, including a prominent Red Sox left fielder many seem to have hoped would have been in the Report. At least per this page on suspensions, 23 teams have had at least one MLB player suspended who wasn't named in the Report. It's been almost a decade since the Report, so not all these players were "missed" by the Report - after all, some of these players weren't even professional players at the time. But many were missed, and those who have been suspended span a couple dozen teams.

It seems reasonable that if you want to show bias by Mitchell you'd look at the full set of PED-suspended players who were missed by Mitchell for Boston and compare that to the players missed by Mitchell for other teams. Even simpler would be to count up the players suspended on each team just to get team tendencies, do the same for the Mitchell Report, and compare the two. I'd say that would not be quite as accurate, given player movement and the passage of time; but it might reveal some tendencies. The Mets and Phillies sure do show up a lot in the list, for example (though not that the Mets have 3 separate suspension entries for one player). Other teams don't show up at all.

I'm open to suggestions for how to demonstrate objectively that bias influenced the Report, other than aspersions on the level of "the guy knows a guy". If you find that route acceptable then let's go that way in all cases.
   29. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 22, 2017 at 11:04 PM (#5461320)
But George Mitchell's thorough investigation never uncovered any steroid use among any Red Sox players, so it would be unsporting to rekindle those speculations.


The most devious thing about Mitchell's behavior was the way he covered up Nomar's PED usage three years after he and the rest of the front office anonymously and repeatedly bashed Garciaparra in the press on Nomar's way out of town.
   30. QLE Posted: May 22, 2017 at 11:08 PM (#5461323)
Perhaps you also forgot that he was a politician (which was somehow supposed to make us trust him) well known for partisanship when he was in the Senate.


The problems with this argument:

1) What about his work as United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland? He managed that hornet's nest better than anyone else had in decades.

2) If the "partisanship" issue is taken seriously, it disqualifies almost anyone who had ever had any role in civic life. If this is just code for "associated with politicians I don't like", it is risible.

rather than selecting someone with with a reputation for integrity from outside the game


If you have someone in mind, name them- this is otherwise vague enough that it cannot be taken seriously.
   31. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 22, 2017 at 11:23 PM (#5461325)
First time I've seen HBP linked with steroid use (by the hittee, anyway.)

Steroids make you huge, and thus a much bigger target for the pitched ball. Duh.
   32. ReggieThomasLives Posted: May 22, 2017 at 11:40 PM (#5461328)
Steroids have been thought to cause high injury rates.

They have also been thought to help players play more games, and heal faster.
   33. Lars6788 Posted: May 23, 2017 at 12:52 AM (#5461331)
Is it possible we don't fully grasp what PEDs do, where the effects from individuals vary because of what they take and possible abuse?
   34. Adam Starblind Posted: May 23, 2017 at 06:57 AM (#5461354)
First time I've seen HBP linked with steroid use (by the hittee, anyway.) Snark aside, #18 seems to point away from known effects of the drugs.


I am remembering Nomar's groin tearing away from the bone his first full season in LA.
   35. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 23, 2017 at 07:05 AM (#5461355)
Since the Report came out many players have tested positive for PEDs, or were otherwise found to have been buying or taking PEDs, or admitted using PEDs. They span many teams, including a prominent Red Sox left fielder many seem to have hoped would have been in the Report


The one who suddenly couldn't pass a PED test as soon as he was pushed out of George Mitchell's nest? That Red Sox left fielder?

#stoogeforbud
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 23, 2017 at 08:47 AM (#5461375)
Steroids have been thought to cause high injury rates.

They have also been thought to help players play more games, and heal faster.


Both could be true. If they help you build muscle faster, and you overdo it with the lifting (at the expense of flexibility), you could be injury prone.

Once injured, however, they could help the tissue heal faster.
   37. RJ in TO Posted: May 23, 2017 at 10:09 AM (#5461409)
The only post-war SS elected by the writers behind him is Aparicio who has always been one of their more bizarre selections.


I don't see what's so bizarre about Aparicio's election. He retired as the all time leader in games played at SS, and was a 9 time gold glover and 12 time all star. He also won the RoY, and received MVP votes in 10 seasons, including a high of finishing second in the balloting in 1959. He led the league in steals for 9 straight years, often by huge amounts, and was important in repopularizing them as an offensive weapon (for better or for worse).

Yes, some of that stuff was overrated in value by voters, but that's still the sort of resume that has drawn all sorts of attention from the BBWAA, and it's not like his career total of 55.7 WAR is hugely outside the totals expected for a Hall of Famer. To call his selection by the writers bizarre is bizarre.
   38. Booey Posted: May 23, 2017 at 10:29 AM (#5461418)
Both could be true. If they help you build muscle faster, and you overdo it with the lifting (at the expense of flexibility), you could be injury prone.

Once injured, however, they could help the tissue heal faster.

Sure, but that's also why it's silly to speculate based on health history.

Edit: Also, natural weightlifting can do both, too. Or, it has with me, anyway. I started lifting again a couple years ago and now that I'm stronger and in better overall shape, I get fewer random pulls and strains from middle age and day to day activities than I used to, but I also get more lifting specific injuries that never happened before (like tension headaches and a sternocleidomastoid strain - I'd never even heard of that last one before).

So yeah, in a way it's made me more and less injury prone at the same time. I guess the same could be said about any athletic activity.
   39. Booey Posted: May 23, 2017 at 10:56 AM (#5461454)
Oh, and Nomar ruled, so any PED talk speculation* about him is just blasphemy. He's the one guy whose quirks in the batters box were actually kind of amusing rather than annoying.

* And I agree with post 20 about the pic linked in #17. Nomar doesn't look unnaturally over-muscled there. He doesn't have the bulky, bodybuilder physique of say, Gabe Kapler, or the ultra ripped fitness model physique of Brady Anderson. He just looks like a normal guy who goes to the gym. I have at least 3 regular gym going co-workers I can think of off the top of my head with noticeably better physiques than that.
   40. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 23, 2017 at 11:02 AM (#5461461)
He's the one guy whose quirks in the batters box were actually kind of amusing rather than annoying.

Er...no.
   41. Booey Posted: May 23, 2017 at 11:05 AM (#5461466)
Er...no.


Well, the toe tapping thing, anyway. I admit all the glove adjustments were a bit much. ;-)
   42. Rally Posted: May 23, 2017 at 11:05 AM (#5461467)
Anybody with a shocking sudden homerun surge is going to attract some suspicion, especially in that time period.

Nomar played a full season in AA and hit 7 homers. Next year he was hurt and got a late start in AAA, then hit 16 homers in only 48 games, then was a superstar as soon as he hit the big leagues.

In one year he went from an Adam Everett type (compare Everett's AA season a few years later in the same ballpark) to an Alex Rodriguez type. Doesn't prove anything, but it sure was surprising.
   43. PreservedFish Posted: May 23, 2017 at 11:17 AM (#5461480)
In one year he went from an Adam Everett type (compare Everett's AA season a few years later in the same ballpark) to an Alex Rodriguez type. Doesn't prove anything, but it sure was surprising.

That's not fair. He was known to be a great prospect with great hitting potential.
   44. SandyRiver Posted: May 23, 2017 at 01:21 PM (#5461603)
I wonder how many doubles Nomar hit in that 7-hr year. Numerous times I've read scouting reports that note lots of 2B and few hr, and add that MiLB doubles often translate to MLB dingers. (And/or that age 21 doubles become hr with a few more years.)
   45. RJ in TO Posted: May 23, 2017 at 01:24 PM (#5461609)
20 doubles over 513 AB (581 PA). Also, 8 homers, not 7.
   46. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: May 23, 2017 at 01:41 PM (#5461632)
Nomar Garciaparra is directly responsible for the interminable length of the modern game. Quit fidgeting with you gloves and get in the damned box!
   47. Rally Posted: May 23, 2017 at 02:07 PM (#5461669)
That's not fair. He was known to be a great prospect with great hitting potential.


He was a good prospect for his shortstop ability. I'll have to pull up an old scouting report. Maybe he was projected to be a star with gold glove defense and a .300 average. My recollection is that the power was completely unexpected.
   48. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: May 23, 2017 at 02:26 PM (#5461686)
Here's a couple I found. The ESPN thing is from an unnamed scout, the Angelfire is just the place I found that report. The Raw Power grade of 50 is pretty good and they make mention of his ability to fill out.

ESPN: Slim, slight frame. Wiry, long legs. NEEDS STRENGTH ... Aggressive and flashy with hands. Natural instincts with hands. Average arm when he unloads. Good baserunner, consistent contact. Spray type ... Long and weak upper half. Has enough quickness to hit but needs added strength for long haul. Flips ball a lot -- gets careless ... Will hit if he gets stronger. Can cover ground. Quick, agile kid for middle of field. Good package.

And of course Angelfire;

PRESENT FUTURE
HITTING ABILITY 35 65
RAW POWER 40 50
POWER FREQUENCY 30 50
RUNNING SPEED 55 55
BASE RUNNING 50 55
ARM STRENGTH 55 60
FIELDING 50 55
RANGE 50 55

TIME 1B: 4.25 SECONDS
TIME 60 YD: N/A



AGGRESSIVENESS: EXEL.
AGILITY: V. GOOD
SELF- CONFIDENCE: V. GOOD
MENTAL TOUGHNESS: EXEL.
PRESSURE PLAYER: EXEL.
BASEBALL INSTINCT: EXEL.
DEDICATION: EXEL.
COACHABILITY: V. GOOD
WORK HABITS: V. GOOD
OFF FIELD HABITS: V. GOOD
ARM ACTION: GOOD
HAND SIZE: N/A
TYPE OF HITTER: LINE DRIVE

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION & INJURIES
Loose, wiry frame. Bit on the lanky side. Very lean build with room for him to fill out.


ABILITIES
Exel. defensive instincts. Approaches ball very well.
Exel. hands and feet. Very good lower body agility.
Loose arm with Avg. to Occ. Plus strength when needed, as well as plus carry. Handles wood bat extremely well.
Excellent plate coverage. Uses entire field with plus batspeed and compact swing. Very aggressive with bat.
Consistent line drive contact. Excellent all-around instincts.

WEAKNESSES
slings ball. Long arm action make off-balance throw difficult. Bit slow getting rid of ball. Lacks some smoothness in actions.

SUMMATION AND SIGNABILITY
Liked this player more each time I saw him. Lacks some of the glider type actions usual for this position, but this player can play. Makes all of the routine plays at SS, as well as range type plays in both directions. Plus runner, plus bat potential with AVG.
HR possibility from a premium position will make him
into a high draft pick in 1994. Gamer with alot of talent.

PROSPECT CATEGORY: Good
OFP: 58
REPORT DATE: 7/09/93 by Jim Howard
   49. Booey Posted: May 23, 2017 at 02:54 PM (#5461708)
He was a good prospect for his shortstop ability. I'll have to pull up an old scouting report. Maybe he was projected to be a star with gold glove defense and a .300 average. My recollection is that the power was completely unexpected.


I had some baseball magazine from back in 1996 or so that described Nomar as "A Mark Belanger that can hit."

Of course, by "can hit" I doubt they were expecting 30-35 homers like he did in 1997-1998 or .357 and .372 batting averages like he did in 1999-2000.
   50. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 23, 2017 at 03:11 PM (#5461734)
Sure but the only juice Mark Belanger had was from an orange. Possibly a tomato.

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