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Thursday, September 15, 2022

Is WAR really capturing Ohtani’s full value?

3) What about the extra roster spots he’s saving?

This is the tricky part. He’s theoretically allowing the Angels to get two players (a DH and a pitcher) out of one roster spot. That probably should have some value. But how much?

Here, it gets complicated too. The larger the roster, the less value this seems like it would have, and rosters have been larger. This year, rosters were 28 players for the first month. Then, in May, they shrunk to 26 players, but teams could still roster 14 pitchers. Only in June did we get back to to 26 players/max 13 pitchers, but for only three months, because in September, rosters went back up to 28 again.

It’s almost certainly worth something. It’s just not exactly clear how to say how much.

As Russell Carleton wrote, regarding the potential flexibility of Ohtani’s versatility, “we can start to see how that value can be a few tenths of a win. That’s not huge, but it’s real value.”

That sounds right. It’s not that WAR is fully capturing the value of versatility, because it’s likely not. It’s that it’s hard to see it being a massive amount of uncollected bottom-of-the-roster value when the Angels have, including Ohtani, all of 10 players worth at least 1 WAR. (While WAR is not team specific in this way, the Dodgers have 19. The end of a 28-man roster is an endlessly rotating collection of players.)

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2022 at 12:31 PM | 96 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: shohei ohtani

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   1. Gator Guy Posted: September 15, 2022 at 02:41 PM (#6096289)
Shohei is the MVP in any other year.. But not this year. Judge is having by some measures the greatest offensive season of all-time, at least outside the PED era. He's putting up offensive production figures that rival Williams and Mantle, but those guys didn't have to play against Ohtanis or Alvarez's or Guerreros because there were no black, asian or cuban players in MLB and precious few latinos. This level of hitting dominance against the other best players in the world (i.e., not just white players in the U.S.) is unprecedented. Should Judge break the AL home run record and record a OPS+ of over 200, and finish with 20 or so HRs more than anyone else in MLB, then the MVP should be his, and by a wide margin.

Set aside the raw numbers for a moment. Judge has been as clutch this year as anyone in MLB, putting up number with RISP and RISP with two outs that are the best in the game. He has single -handedly kept the Yankees afloat during the August and early September hitting doldrums that could have sunk them. He elevated his production even as Rizzo, Carpenter, LaMaheiu and Benintendi disappeared from the lineup and left Judge naked in the line-up. Ruth was protected by Gehrig when he hit 60, Maris by Mantle when he hit 61. Foxx and Greenburg were each hitting behind Hall of Fame hitters (Al Simmons and Charlie Gehringer) who were always on base when Foxx and Greenburg hit 58 HRs in the '30s. Since the All-Star break, Judge has been essentially unprotected in the line-up. He's been pitched around, but he hasn't started biting at pitches off the plate, and has a .500 OBP since the All-Star break.

No disrespect to Ohtani, who is probably the most amazing athlete extant. But Aaron Judge's season for the ages deserves the MVP.
   2. BDC Posted: September 15, 2022 at 02:54 PM (#6096291)
TFA mentions the six-man-rotation issue that came up in an earlier thread. That to me is a convincing argument that the value of a roster spot is minimal. His team still must find five starters. Ohtani thus displaces a reliever, but as TFA notes, that's going to be … well, not even a specific pitcher, just the opportunity to have the current last fungible warm shuttled body in the back of the bullpen.

It doesn't seem to me that that is a specifically Angels problem: yes, their roster is full of terrible players, but if it were full of good ones, Ohtani still wouldn't bring them much benefit by doing two jobs for them.

The question of whether having a regular DH hurts a club because they cannot use the DH to "rest" a regular is interesting. I doubt it matters much. If you want to rest a guy and you have Ohtani (or David Ortiz BITD or anybody like that), just rest him. Ohtani is still going to be a better hitter than anybody you're resting except Mike Trout, which is again just a unique situation (having them both) that I imagine any team could live with.
   3. Karl from NY Posted: September 15, 2022 at 03:00 PM (#6096293)
The question of whether having a regular DH hurts a club because they cannot use the DH to "rest" a regular is interesting.


It doesn't hurt in the sense of value per PA. Whether your DH spot is filled by a regular DH or a position player resting doesn't matter, you'll pick the better of the two options.

It may hurt in the sense of value per payroll - you're paying for a player-game that you won't use.
   4. The Duke Posted: September 15, 2022 at 03:11 PM (#6096297)
The only question I have is how much better is LA with Ohtani ? They are are still a bottom dweller. Judge is the sole reason the Yanks are where they are. They wouldn't be as bad as the Angels but it's easy to see them as a team treading water around .500.
   5. Ron J Posted: September 15, 2022 at 03:45 PM (#6096299)
#4 This is exactly the question that WAR attempts to answer. Swap the two and LA's a game better and the Yankees are a game worse. (Of course there are error bars in WAR. Some chance it's no change. Some chance it's as big as two games.)

Ish. Ohtani's not a wonderful fit because of the team composition. Tough to get as much playing time for LeMahieu (who's been their second best player) with a full time DH. But they probably don't make the Montas trade and perhaps use the trade chips for Contreras. (Trevino has reverted to being Trevino, which should not be a surprise)

But all of this probably doesn't add up to a game, so I guess I'd stand by the initial conclusion. A game plus or minus noise.
   6. SandyRiver Posted: September 15, 2022 at 03:53 PM (#6096301)
#1
It's true that the AL integrated at a slower pace than the NL, and that the rate of bringing Black pitchers to MLB lagged behind that for position players, but Mantle's MLB career began in 1951. How did he do against Satchel Paige?
   7. Walt Davis Posted: September 15, 2022 at 04:11 PM (#6096303)
there were no black, asian or cuban players in MLB and precious few latinos.

Further to #6, Williams' first 6 years (essentially) were pre-integration but the rest was later.

It's certainly true the AL was much slower to integrate than the NL so they weren't facing a lot of non-white players but they were there. Moreover, for whatever reason (most likely insitutional racism), there were very few non-white pitchers of note during the 50s to mid-60s in either league. There's no strong reason to expect that Mantle and Williams wouldn't have put up the same numbers against a slightly broader array of pitchers. To the extent their numbers might have been less impressive in the NL, it would have been because they would have been directly compared to Mays and Aaron and, given this was an era of NL talent dominance, their OPS+ style numbers might have been a bit worse. (WAR of course tries to adjust for differences in league quality so Mantle and Williams are being "penalized" for being in the weaker league already. This is hidden in Rrep in bWAR.)
   8. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: September 15, 2022 at 04:14 PM (#6096304)
It's a stupid name for the award. "Valuable" is much harder to define than "best". With all the advanced stats, it's easier to determine which player had the best year. People will have more disagreement as to what "valuable" means. Make it the "Player of the Year" award, instead of MVP.

Ohtani is the POY this year.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: September 15, 2022 at 04:27 PM (#6096306)
And can we calm down on the idea that a single guy is carrying a 600 team? Or that the Yanks are in a tailspin? They aren't a true 700 WP team with an all-time great rotation -- what a shock! They had a terrible stretch where they went 3-14 (2-5 in one run games; all playoff teams and the Red Sox). Since then they've gone 14-8 (636 WP); they've got an easy schedule left. Despite that tailspin, against other AL contenders they are 49-35. They probably aren't as good as the Astros.
   10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 15, 2022 at 04:27 PM (#6096307)
Judge is the sole reason the Yanks are where they are.
Well, the pitching has mostly been pretty good, too. Judge is head & shoulders above any of the Yankees other position players, or any in the AL, which should be enough for the MVP this season.

Ohtani hasn’t hit as well as he did last year (although he seems to have improved in the 2nd half), and Judge is having a far better season than any hitter had last season. I’m no expert on the WAR formula, and don’t think it measures everything, or measures what it does super-precisely, either standing alone or in comparison to everything else, but it is the only measure that takes in both of Ohtani’s roles, and he still trails Judge by a significant margin. Don’t see how Ohtani can be the MVP, unless like the talking dog, it’s a miracle that he does it [both roles] at all, so we shouldn’t bother with precisely how well it’s done.
   11. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: September 15, 2022 at 04:39 PM (#6096308)
I saw a Twitter post (I refuse to call them what most people call them) quoted that said that Ohtani led Judge 58-57. The 58 represented how many HRs Ohtani hit + the # of starts he made, and with his 2. whatever ERA.

I know there's more to Judge's value than HRs, but there's more to Ohtani than HRs and his pitching. So it's close, and I'll go with Ohtani for POY. Shove the MVP award off of a cliff.
   12. ReggieThomasLives Posted: September 15, 2022 at 04:46 PM (#6096309)
Well this debate ended in an unexpected way, while I always thought Judge was juicing I never could have predicted what he would be caught juicing with.

Judge's PED use a shock to his teammates, Yankee team. Claims administered under Doctors supervision.

   13. DL from MN Posted: September 15, 2022 at 05:08 PM (#6096317)
You all can have this debate here and vote in the MMP if you want.
   14. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: September 15, 2022 at 05:39 PM (#6096324)
Ohtani hasn’t hit as well as he did last year (although he seems to have improved in the 2nd half)


I mean, is going from a 157 OPS+ to 148 really that big of a dropoff? And I'd say he's having an even better season than last year as a pitcher (gone from a 141 ERA+ to 157 this year, and with much better peripherals to boot).


   15. Hank Gillette Posted: September 15, 2022 at 06:05 PM (#6096330)
I don’t see how Ohtani’s P/DH “versatility” could possibly be as valuable as someone like prime Ben Zobrist, whose ability to play multiple key defensive positions allowed his managers to plug in various players to gain the platoon advantage.
   16. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 15, 2022 at 06:39 PM (#6096338)
#14 - He’s also thrown more innings this year

I think the positional flexibility makes it closer than it would otherwise be, but the award should go to Judge this year. I’m also biased towards giving the award to the guy who hasn’t won it before, especially if (like Judge) he came very close before.
   17. TomH Posted: September 15, 2022 at 06:54 PM (#6096341)
okay, so I'll respond to #1 GatorGuy

First, I completely agree, Judge would be my vote for MVP if season ended today. But "greatest offensive season of all time?"

"Ruth was protected by Gehrig when he hit 60". Sure. And he still walked 137 times. And his OPS+ was 225, which was his FIFTH BEST SEASON. He sure wasn't 'protected' when he 59 in 152 games in 1921.

Judge has come to the plate 55% of the time this year with no one on. Ruth27, 44%; like Brady Anderson leadoff batter the year he hit 50, it's not as damaging to give a guy a good pitch with the bases empty and fewer outs in an inning. Judge plays in a longer season. The rest of the AL TEAMS didn't hit 60 home runs. Etc Etc

Ruth's "rbat" per bbref in 1921 was 116. Judge's is ... 70, so far. Judge's offensive WAR is about 75th all time. Maybe if he stays hot he cracks the top 30. Maybe if you discount Every season before 1955NL and 1959AL and all steroid-Bonds years, you can squint and say "by some measures" I guess.

Judge is having a great, great year. No hyperbole needed.

   18. Accent Shallow only believes what it believes Posted: September 15, 2022 at 07:00 PM (#6096344)
I think the positional flexibility makes it closer than it would otherwise be, but the award should go to Judge this year. I’m also biased towards giving the award to the guy who hasn’t won it before, especially if (like Judge) he came very close before.


Not to pick on you, Dave, but some of the reasoning in this thread (both in Ohtani's and Judge's favor) reminds me of how Willie Mays went 11 years between MVPs. (And also raises the question, at what level of performance is Ohtani not perennially the MVP favorite? Last year he was 157/141 OPS+/ERA+. This year he's 148/157. He's still in the conversation if he's "only" in the 130s either way, right?)

I also find it a little crazy Ohtani wasn't an All-Star until last year, and didn't receive any votes for MVP until last year.
   19. Hombre Brotani Posted: September 15, 2022 at 07:19 PM (#6096349)
(And also raises the question, at what level of performance is Ohtani not perennially the MVP favorite? Last year he was 157/141 OPS+/ERA+. This year he's 148/157. He's still in the conversation if he's "only" in the 130s either way, right?)
I'm not going to waste my time with Judge arguments; he's obviously a worthy MVP, etc. If you want to deconstruct the definition of "valuable" into atomic pieces, I'm not here for that, no new ground is going to be found in that old argument. I'm terribly biased -- obviously -- but so long as Ohtani is both hitting and pitching at elite levels, there's no other player in the league that provides more value. It's just an outlandish thing he's doing, and so long as he's doing it, he's the MVP. All of Judge's season comparables are among the best seasons of all time, etc. Ohtani has no comparables.
   20. JJ1986 Posted: September 15, 2022 at 07:31 PM (#6096350)
I don't know the exact numbers but if Ohtani is worth 8 WAR and Judge is worth 8 WAR, then it's actually underrating Judge. An 8 WAR player is more valuable than a 3-WAR player + a 5-WAR player.
   21. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 15, 2022 at 07:33 PM (#6096351)
I'm terribly biased -- obviously -- but so long as Ohtani is both hitting and pitching at elite levels, there's no other player in the league that provides more value.
By what measure though? Judge leads in BB-Ref WAR 9.1 to 8.1, and 9.7 to 8.2 at FanGraphs.
   22. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 15, 2022 at 07:38 PM (#6096352)
Judge's offensive WAR is about 75th all time.


No doubt, it's a great season.

However the level at which Ohtani goes about his business is unprecedented. He's like that kid on your LL team that pitches the 1 hitter, then belts 2 homers and you win 3-0. People just don't do that on a regular basis in MLB....except this guy.

It's not like Ohtani is just throwing 30 innings of quality relief with an OPS+ around 120(which would be impressive in it's own right), he's doing stuff we've never seen before from a single player both last year and this year.

I don't care if his team stinks, that's on Moreno for not putting quality around him and Trout.
   23. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: September 15, 2022 at 07:49 PM (#6096354)
Judge's 205 wRC+ is currently tied for 24th all-time among qualified seasons, tied with the likes of 1998 McGwire/1994 Frank Thomas/1994 Bagwell. As you'd expect, the majority of seasons ahead belong to Bonds/Ruth/Williams.
   24. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 15, 2022 at 07:55 PM (#6096358)
Not to pick on you, Dave, but some of the reasoning in this thread (both in Ohtani's and Judge's favor) reminds me of how Willie Mays went 11 years between MVPs. (And also raises the question, at what level of performance is Ohtani not perennially the MVP favorite? Last year he was 157/141 OPS+/ERA+. This year he's 148/157. He's still in the conversation if he's "only" in the 130s either way, right?)

Not to pick on you, but Willie Mays went 11 years between MVPs despite leading the league in WAR (our best estimate of a player's value) in many of those seasons. That is more akin to Judge losing the award this year despite leading the league in WAR than it is to Ohtani losing the award despite coming in second.

Judge effectively tied for the league lead in WAR in 2017 -- BB-Ref gives him a slight advantage over Altuve, but it was close enough to call it a tie. However, Altuve won the award handily that year for whatever reason. Fine.

This year, Judge is having a historically great year and is ahead of Ohtani in WAR by enough to be statistically meaningful. What possible argument is there for not giving him the award this time, other than what Ohtani is doing is really cool/impressive.

To turn it around for the people who think that the award has to automatically go to Ohtani regardless of how valuable Judge has been, what's the limit of this logic? You said 130s OPS+/ERA+ gets him in the conversation? So does 140s+ mean he automatically wins the award regardless of how good anyone else is? What more would Judge have to do to be worthy of the award? Would you give Ohtani the award this season over Barry Bonds' 2001 season?
   25. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 15, 2022 at 08:07 PM (#6096360)
An 8 WAR player is more valuable than a 3-WAR player + a 5-WAR player.

Not when the 3-WAR player and the 5-WAR player are the same player.
   26. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 15, 2022 at 08:23 PM (#6096364)
However the level at which Ohtani goes about his business is unprecedented. He's like that kid on your LL team that pitches the 1 hitter, then belts 2 homers and you win 3-0.
That might be the case if Ohtani were pitching 225 innings or more, but he’s not. He’s on the verge of not having enough innings to qualify for the ERA title, depending on whether the blister problem that caused him to leave his last start after 5 innings is a lingering issue. WAR doesn’t support the assertion that Ohtani is more valuable than Judge, but it seems that some are so enamored with Ohtani’s unique combination of skills that they will impute value that isn’t otherwise observable. Maybe we need a Most Unique Player award?
   27. Howie Menckel Posted: September 15, 2022 at 08:32 PM (#6096366)
both players deserve to win.

and the idea that WAR is so perfectly refined that whichever one has a modest edge definitively deserves the award..... strikes me as crazy.

WAR, for me, is an excellent shorthand combining various skills. but I don't and won't worship at the altar of it.
   28. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 15, 2022 at 08:52 PM (#6096367)
#27 I agree which is why I’ll go with the guy who has a decent advantage in WAR this year (he’s not definitely more valuable, but he’s likely more valuable) and lost the award despite being statistically tied for the lead in WAR a few years ago.
   29. Howie Menckel Posted: September 15, 2022 at 08:52 PM (#6096368)
well, that sounds like a "makeup call."

:)
   30. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 15, 2022 at 08:57 PM (#6096369)
At FanGraphs, Judge is winning the 2022 AL WAR title by about the same margin (1.5) as Ohtani won it by in 2021 (1.6), when that was often cited as a reason for Ohtani being the MVP.
   31. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 15, 2022 at 08:59 PM (#6096370)
Most Unique Player


Argh! You can't be more or less unique...something is either unique or it isn't! (Unless you're using "unique" to mean "unusual", which you shouldn't.)

Shohei is the MVP in any other year


1920, 1921, 1923 and 1927 Babe Ruth have entered the chat
   32. Howie Menckel Posted: September 15, 2022 at 09:50 PM (#6096372)
Judge's current 208 OPS+ is topped by - well, 66 players including Negro Leaguers.

don't want to segregate them, again, so let's just stipulate to "since 1960" with (age) OPS+ year and PA

Barry Bonds (37) 268 2002 612
Barry Bonds (39) 263 2004 617
Barry Bonds (36) 259 2001 664
Barry Bonds (38) 231 2003 550
Juan Soto (21) 217 2020 196***

Mark McGwire (34) 216 1998 681
Jeff Bagwell+ (26) 213 1994 479***
Frank Thomas+ (26) 212 1994 517***
Willie McCovey+ (31) 209 1969 623
AARON JUDGE (30) 208 2022 616

Barry Bonds (28) 206 1993 674
Mickey Mantle+ (29) 206 1961 646
Barry Bonds (27) 204 1992 612
George Brett+ (27) 203 1980 515
Sammy Sosa (32) 203 2001 711
Norm Cash (27) 201 1961 673
   33. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 15, 2022 at 10:05 PM (#6096374)
well, that sounds like a "makeup call."

:)


Well, if Ohtani and Judge were extremely close in WAR, it would be and that’s fine. When people are basing an award on a metric that has some uncertainty baked in, I’d rather see two different guys get the award than one guy get it twice, assuming they are statistically tied.

Of course, they aren’t statistically tied. Judge is far enough ahead that he likely is more valuable and deserving of the award without any tiebreaker.
   34. John Northey Posted: September 15, 2022 at 10:15 PM (#6096375)
Thanks Howie - I was about to put the same list together, even if just for my own curiosity. Judge is having a heck of a year but to call it 'the greatest' on offense is offensive to anyone over the age of 25 IMO. For those of us 50+ we remember Brett, Bonds pre PEDs, Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell. Those guys could rake and yet still would be viewed as lesser than NYY players quite often - Don Mattingly being the most overrated player I can remember watching live. Very good player, but never a HOF'er imo.

Judge is a great player, but compare him to Albert Pujols - no comparison. Pujols peaked at 'just' a 192 OPS+ but has 2 years in the 180's, 3 in the 170's, and 4 more over 150. His 145 for St Louis is the WORST OPS+ he has had in St Louis over 12 seasons there. Judge has his 208 this year, 171 in 2017, and a 150 in 2018. 3 in the 140's, and a 61 as a rookie in 2016 (95 PA).

This is a great year, and whoever signs him this winter will pay a LOT hoping that he has more 200 OPS+ seasons in him (I'd bet against that, in fact I'd bet on no better than 150 going forward if I was advising a team looking at him as he will be 31 next year). I'm betting on the Mets opening up the wallet to sign him if they don't go all the way, just to steal the headlines and claim to be the team of NY.

For 2023 and beyond I'd bet on Ohtani over Judge for value. For this year only? If Judge gets 60+ he gets the award. But it should be close. Much like last year if Vlad had won the triple crown (he had a shot at it for a good chunk of the year) he'd have gotten it. Every year until Ohtani either retires or switches to a one way player he'll be a top 2 or 3 and it'll take a killer year to beat him.
   35. SoSH U at work Posted: September 15, 2022 at 10:25 PM (#6096376)
But it should be close. Much like last year if Vlad had won the triple crown (he had a shot at it for a good chunk of the year) he'd have gotten it.


I don't think anyone was winning it last year over Ohtani, Triple Crown or not. We saw a Triple Crown just a decade ago. Virtually no one alive had ever seen anything like Shohei.
   36. Walt Davis Posted: September 15, 2022 at 10:35 PM (#6096377)
In its way, this debate is similar to the Trout-Miggy debate in Miggy's triple crown year ... except this time it's nerd v nerd rather than nerd v traditionalist. Anyway, a lot of folks were going for the "it's the first triple crown in XX years" and "this is so cool, I don't care if the other guy is more valuable" arguments.

both hitting and pitching at elite levels

I'm gonna regret this aren't I? Anyway, we kinda have to define "elite" here don't we? On the one hand, I'm OK considering a 150ish OPS+ to be "elite"; on the other hand, it's just 3.4 oWAR and 29 Rbat which is more "excellent" or "awfully darn good" but not really what we think of as an "elite" season do we? His pitching has been excellent in a rate stat sense but it's still under 150 innings and coming up on 5 WAR. Back in 2019, Ryu had 183 IP of 179 ERA+; last year, Carlos Rodon put up better numbers, this year about the same; heck back in 2016, Rich Hill had 110 IP of 193 ERA+.

In assessing an "elite" bat, what weight (if any) do we place on position? Edgar had 8 full seasons above a 150 OPS+; Ortiz 7; JDM 3 times (one of those was just 480 PA). In terms of Rbat, this year Ohtani is tied for 13th ... with Yandy Diaz. By oWAR he's tied for 43rd with Adolis Garcia, behind Contreras, Rutschman and Kirk. If Rutschman can do this over a full season, then he's the second coming of Johnny Bench and while Ohtani has no comparables, comparable to the greatest C in history is nearly as unique.

The bat has been JD Martinez; the pitching has been Carlos Rodon. I won't argue that both of those qualify as "elite" -- at a minimum, they're close enoughh not to argue with. But it's not like he's Judge with the bat (neither is Judge most of the time) or Verlander on the mound. I've got no problem with the notion that two excellent players in one is better than one great player (or an excellent player having a great year). This is where WAR helps and obviously the first is rarer than the second. But we have seen hitters like Ohtani on a regular basis; we have seen pitchers like Ohtani on a regular basis. That he can do both may mean he's the most talented player but it doesn't automatically make him "best", "most productive" or "most valuable."

A hypothetical ... I don't even know my own answer to this ... which would be more impressive

1. An Ohtani season like either of the last two
2. A top Verlander season who adds 2 WAR as a DH
3. The greatest C season of all-time

All three should work out to about 9-10 WAR I think.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: September 15, 2022 at 10:40 PM (#6096379)
Can't seem to edit ... meant to point out that Ryu finished 2nd in CYA that year and Rodon 5th last year so this may well be an "elite" pitching season.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2022 at 11:00 PM (#6096381)
So, what I've taken from all this is "No, WAR isn't underrating Ohtani, and Judge is probably the MVP", even if Ohtani is having the far more unusual season.
   39. Mayor Blomberg Posted: September 15, 2022 at 11:09 PM (#6096383)
Mantle's MLB career began in 1951. How did he do against Satchel Paige?


Who was forty damned four in the Mick's first year. Jesus.
   40. Booey Posted: September 15, 2022 at 11:19 PM (#6096384)
I don't think anyone was winning it last year over Ohtani, Triple Crown or not. We saw a Triple Crown just a decade ago. Virtually no one alive had ever seen anything like Shohei.


This. Despite Vlad coming relatively close to the Triple Crown, he only beat Ohtani by 2 homers (48-46), 11 rbi (111-100), 9 pts of slugging (.601-.592), 10 pts of OPS+ (167-157), etc. Ohtani was nearly as good a hitter as the best hitter in the league...AND he pitched 130 innings with a 141 ERA+. Vlad Jr had a great season, but he wasn't even in the conversation for MVP last year. No one was.

Ohtani is having the far more unusual season.


Nah. We haven't seen someone put up numbers like Judge since 'roid Barry 2 decades ago, whereas a guy did the great hitter plus great pitcher thing just last season! ;-)
   41. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: September 16, 2022 at 12:33 AM (#6096388)
Wait, what's the deal with #12:
Well this debate ended in an unexpected way, while I always thought Judge was juicing I never could have predicted what he would be caught juicing with.

Judge's PED use a shock to his teammates, Yankee team. Claims administered under Doctors supervision.
I haven't been following this season closely enough -- I know he's putting up great numbers, but that's about it -- so I don't have the context to understand this.

I clicked on the link, but was just brought to the main page of the URL shortening website that is being used for it.

I pasted the link into a different browser, but again was just brought to the home page of the URL shortener. Plus my antivirus said some other site was blocked due to "riskware".

I googled "Judge's PED use a shock to his teammates", in quotes, but it gives only one search result: this very page.

I searched Twitter for Judge/PED stuff, but just found a bunch of evidenceless "Judge is obviously on PEDs" tweets.

I read the rest of the comments on this page, and I might have missed something, but nobody seems to have referred to it at all, and the conversation went on as if #12 didn't even exist.
   42. jmurph Posted: September 16, 2022 at 08:58 AM (#6096395)
so long as Ohtani is both hitting and pitching at elite levels, there's no other player in the league that provides more value. It's just an outlandish thing he's doing, and so long as he's doing it, he's the MVP.

I basically agree with this- it will take a ridiculous, historical season to take it away from him when he's playing like this. But I think Judge's year fits that, so I think he's a worthy choice.

I also will totally understand any Ohtani votes, they're both reasonable choices.
   43. SandyRiver Posted: September 16, 2022 at 09:35 AM (#6096398)
#39: Answering snark with snark, well played. But are we sure Satch was 44 in 1951? Or 42? 47?
   44. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2022 at 09:56 AM (#6096402)
I would say Mantle's World Series stats don't suggest he would have had any trouble in the NL. The single best NL teams only reduced his OPS from 977 to 908.
   45. SandyRiver Posted: September 16, 2022 at 10:07 AM (#6096406)
Answering my own question, Mantle never faced Paige in 1951. In 1952 he was 3-for-3 (one 2B) with an IBB, and in 1953 he was 2-for-3, both singles (including a PH RBI) with the out being a failed 2-strike bunt attempt leading off the 9th as Paige was closing out a 3-1 Browns win. Significance - very little.
   46. SandyRiver Posted: September 16, 2022 at 10:08 AM (#6096407)
double post
   47. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 16, 2022 at 10:19 AM (#6096408)


I read the rest of the comments on this page, and I might have missed something, but nobody seems to have referred to it at all, and the conversation went on as if #12 didn't even exist.


I don't know, had the same issue you did and assumed it was a joke of some sort. Ignored it.
   48. Mefisto Posted: September 16, 2022 at 10:54 AM (#6096415)
I doubt raw World Series stats are very significant to our evaluation of careers, but the drop from .977 to .908 would drop Mantle from 14th all-time to 62/63.
   49. Ron J Posted: September 16, 2022 at 11:08 AM (#6096418)
#48 But that's not against average opposition. That's against the best pitchers on the best teams.
   50. Mefisto Posted: September 16, 2022 at 11:35 AM (#6096425)
Absolutely. But there are all kinds of adjustments that aren't being made: park effects, the best pitchers in the league may have been on other teams, there's no ability to compare to other players, etc. Mantle's performance in the WS is irrelevant to the issue of whether the NL was the superior league back then. I was just noting that the argument isn't all that strong even on its own terms.
   51. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2022 at 12:22 PM (#6096428)
Mantle's performance in the WS is irrelevant to the issue of whether the NL was the superior league back then. I was just noting that the argument isn't all that strong even on its own terms.

It's not irrelevant. It's just a small sample. BRef already controls for league quality in its WAR. If that wasn't doing a good enough job, you'd expect the AL, and AL players to get shown up in the World Series. The fact that they didn't suggests the gap was real, but not massive enough to invalidate the performance of AL Stars.
   52. Mefisto Posted: September 16, 2022 at 12:44 PM (#6096433)
A small and unrepresentative sample is, pretty much by definition, irrelevant.
   53. SoSH U at work Posted: September 16, 2022 at 12:49 PM (#6096435)
The biggest problem for Mantle in the league-strength argument is that most of the AL's strength was on his team.
   54. Ron J Posted: September 16, 2022 at 02:39 PM (#6096462)
#53 Ish. But we saw enough people play in both leagues to get a pretty good sense of how strong the Yankees (and any other team) were. Also, the Yankees played enough against the best in the NL to get a meaningful NL "ELO". This will of course have error bars, but it'll give you a pretty good idea of where they rank.

I'm comfortable in saying that a) the NL was the stronger league, b) the Yankees would have been among the strongest teams in the NL every year in the 50s (though they pretty clearly would not have won as many pennants) and c) the Mantle of the 50s was a better offensive player than Mays in the same time frame. Mays isn't giving away much at the plate, is Mays in CF and aged better.

And that Ted Williams was a better hitter than either when in the lineup (which says something for just how good Teddy Ballgame was at the plate)
   55. Mefisto Posted: September 16, 2022 at 02:48 PM (#6096465)
From 1954-60 (that is, starting when Mays returned from the Army and ending before expansion), Mays averaged 8 oWAR/season and Mantle 8.5. It would be 7.9 v. 8.6 if we use per 650 PA's.
   56. Ron J Posted: September 16, 2022 at 03:07 PM (#6096468)
#55 Or to break it down further, a 2.4 WAR edge for Mays (which includes an adjustment for league quality) driven by a 6.5 win edge on defense. Which squares with what I said above.

I don't like talking about tenths of wins in comparing players but will stand by the notion that Mays was not giving away much at the plate and was Willie Mays in CF while Mantle was a decent defender.
   57. Gator Guy Posted: September 16, 2022 at 03:18 PM (#6096471)
Judge was having a great season in mid-July, with a .950 OPS. In the 52 games since then, he's simply exploded. Not only are the raw numbers over that stretch off the charts, but he's been the only Yankee hitter during that period to reliably hit with runners on. I searched Stathead at baseball-reference for other comparable streaks. WPA/LI measures offensive production adjusted for run environment and park factors. It is contextualized insofar as it adjusts for base/out situations (i.e., a single with the bases loaded counts for more than a single with a runner on first), but it is not contextualized for game situation (i.e., the productivity of an at-bat is not adjusted for inning, score and the leverage in that situation). It's a good measure of how valuable a player's offensive production was without adjusting for game leverage, which is inordinately influence by circumstance (like Josh Donaldson's two-out, bottom of the 9th grand slam while three runs down in a game in August).

In the entire history of baseball there have been four instances where a player produced a WPA/LI of 5 or more during a 52 game stretch (in other words, their offensive production above average accounted for 5 wins for the team). Bonds did it in 2000 and 2001, Ruth did it in 1920 and 1924, Mantle in 1957 and Reggie Jackson in the summer of 1969. Reggie was a bit of a surprise, but recall that his record home run pace in July and early August occurred in a very pitcher dominated year.

Judge has the fifth highest WPA/LI over a 52 game stretch, at 4.98. The sixth highest figure is Dimaggio in 1941. During a 52 game stretch that roughly coincided with the 56 game hitting streak, Dimaggio had a WPA/LI of 4.95. Dimaggio slugged .797 during that 52 game stretch.

In effect we're watching a streak by Judge that compares very closely with Dimaggio's great summer of '41. That pretty much defines "historic."


https://stathead.com/tiny/UlprO
   58. Roger Cedeno's Spleen Posted: September 16, 2022 at 03:36 PM (#6096478)
This would be an even more amazing MVP race if Yordan Alvarez hadn't torn up his hand...
   59. Mefisto Posted: September 16, 2022 at 04:38 PM (#6096505)
@56: I was agreeing with you; I just like to put numbers up when possible.
   60. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: September 16, 2022 at 05:35 PM (#6096517)
I read the rest of the comments on this page, and I might have missed something, but nobody seems to have referred to it at all, and the conversation went on as if #12 didn't even exist.


My guess is that it was an attempted Albrighting.
   61. Roger Cedeno's Spleen Posted: September 16, 2022 at 10:08 PM (#6096559)
And LOL Yordan is hulking the #### out tonight... guess the hand is finally feeling better.
   62. Hombre Brotani Posted: September 17, 2022 at 03:16 AM (#6096604)
This would be an even more amazing MVP race if Yordan Alvarez hadn't torn up his hand...
Or if Trout were healthier. Old Man Trout is going to post a 6 WAR season without qualifying for the batting title.
   63. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 17, 2022 at 11:05 AM (#6096610)
everyone speaks about the disparity between leagues as if it's a certainty. OK, the conventional wisdom seems to think so. But can you quantify that? Say 2 players both put up 8 WAR uncorrected for the league strength. How much do we detract from the AL player during this period, the late 50s?

I don't like talking about tenths of wins in comparing players


Right, I get that. But how much is the league disparity? Is it on that same order?
   64. Ron J Posted: September 17, 2022 at 11:57 AM (#6096616)
#63 This one bugs me. I know I'd seen a detailed study on this and I did a simple sanity check and got results in the same general range as were reported. Thought it was at Retrosheet but seemingly not. Might be in one of the baseball annuals but if so I'm drawing a blank. Don't have any of my studies -- they disappeared about 3 computers ago. Sadness.


Pretty sure Szym and Rally have looked at this. Not aware that either have written extensively about it. I know Sean Forman (or his team) have looked at this. Not aware that they've published anything but if you look carefully under the hood you can find the league quality adjustment. I want to say it's around .4 WAR for a full time regular. (And yeah, that's problematic in that the standard error for WAR is greater than that. This is a park effects situation. All park effects are wrong. It's just that what we have is as good as we can do and you get worse results if you don't use them)

To be clear, it's a oversell to claim there's a massive league quality difference. The method's simple enough. Just find people who played regularly in both leagues (the more the better). This isn't the 1901 AL situation. If you compare players in the 1901 to their NL results you'll find an average improvement in OPS+ of 20 points. That doesn't happen in the 50s. Players don't move broad categories.
   65. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 17, 2022 at 01:06 PM (#6096622)
that sounds like a good guess, Ron. I was gonna say its gotta be less than half a win just because that seems like a lot. And one would think its more than 1 run, I mean that is so small. So several runs I guess...
   66. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 17, 2022 at 02:25 PM (#6096629)
Ron: here's a recent take by BIll James on the subject. While he tosses around a lot of ideas he doesnt really give us anything concrete numbers. Other than to suggest that Duke Snider might hit 4 more HRs in the AL than in the NL! Huh? Well he doesnt say over how many seasons that would be but damn that sounds closer to 2 runs/year in off. instead of 4:

https://www.billjamesonline.com/on_the_relative_quality_of_leagues/

he says a lot of stuff, some which is questionable. He also suggests he might be writing more articles in the future on this.
   67. Ron J Posted: September 17, 2022 at 03:58 PM (#6096640)
#66 Well I'm a huge fan of James, but I haven't seen much to tell me he's updated his toolkit to take advantage of the greater data we have available now. And that being the case, any studies he does on the issue are likely to be in the "indicates" range.

I guess we'll see.
   68. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 17, 2022 at 05:36 PM (#6096652)
everyone speaks about the disparity between leagues as if it's a certainty. OK, the conventional wisdom seems to think so. But can you quantify that? Say 2 players both put up 8 WAR uncorrected for the league strength. How much do we detract from the AL player during this period, the late 50s?

Glancing at league leaders to get an easy comparison - Richie Ashburn and Nellie Fox were within 2 PA of each other in 1956 (719 to 721). Ashburn gets 25 RRep added to his WAR total, Fox gets 21. So bWAR, at least, has the difference at 3-4 runs per full season around this time.

Which, as noted, is not nothing but not much. (Still quite a large difference in overall league quality, but the effect on the measurement of an individual player is barely more than negligible.)
   69. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 17, 2022 at 08:07 PM (#6096665)
yeah I guess its 4 runs for a full season during this time period. After 648 AB you get the max RRep for that sesason and no more. Presumably so as not to overweight leadoff hitters. If I read the explanation correct.


This site has a quote:

http://hallofstats.com/articles/nobodys-in

For example; I looked at Mantle and Mays over the period 1955-1962. Per 162 games Mays got 22 Rrep while Mantle only got 18.


So it looks like about 4 runs/season on average for this entire period.

WOw that sounds like a lot

   70. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 17, 2022 at 08:13 PM (#6096666)
, but the effect on the measurement of an individual player is barely more than negligible


I disagree. For a guy who's an average player, and more so for a guy who's below average that could be a huge bump go from say 1.5 WAR to 1.9 WAR just for changing leagues (assuming he had 650 AB or so). That's quite a relative boost.

Im trying to find some average guys who made the switch from NL to AL.

player age when NL>AL....WAR before....WAR after

F Mantilla ..28....barely 1....2
J Brandt ..26.... 1.5...2.5

I used an average of 3 seasons there, except for Mantilla's NL he had just one full season.

F Robinson transitioned at age 30 in much later time period (1966) he seems pretty much the same averageing 6.5 WAR in two seasons both before and after.
   71. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 17, 2022 at 08:27 PM (#6096670)
It still looks significant in the mid 60s. 1965 and 1966 favors NL +4/+2. Looking at MWills, ZVerailles and Aparicio there.
   72. Ron J Posted: September 17, 2022 at 09:26 PM (#6096690)
#70 And here we run into one of my pet peeves. False precision. The standard error for WAR is not smaller than .7 wins. The idea that there's a significant difference in any given year between two players separated by 4 runs is ... not supported by the evidence.

I get why they are listed to tenths of runs, but well 4 runs is comfortably inside method error.
   73. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 17, 2022 at 09:43 PM (#6096694)
#70 And here we run into one of my pet peeves. False precision. The standard error for WAR is not smaller than .7 wins. The idea that there's a significant difference in any given year between two players separated by 4 runs is ... not supported by the evidence.

I get why they are listed to tenths of runs, but well 4 runs is comfortably inside method error.


Very much agree. The idea that we know a 1.9 WAR player is better than a 1.5 WAR player is just silly. Even a full win gap is not definitive. Especially if you're using average park factors, and average team defense as inputs.
   74. Howie Menckel Posted: September 17, 2022 at 09:48 PM (#6096697)
Amen.

to me, best part of WAR is that it helps you get started. but many see it instead as the finish line.

the difficulty of measuring Ohtani - maybe that's a good thing overall.
   75. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 18, 2022 at 12:10 AM (#6096735)
Ok but if one guy is 6 WAR better over a 15-year career (0.4 per year), he probably really was the better player. (Not definitely, but probably.)

If a guy has 1 more WAR than another guy in single season, he probably was better unless you can point to a specific reason why WAR is flawed in their cases (and there are flaws, particularly with pitcher WAR). Not definitely, but probably.
   76. Ron J Posted: September 18, 2022 at 08:19 AM (#6096746)
#75 We're on the same page here. The larger the sample size the greater the confidence in the conclusion.
   77. cardsfanboy Posted: September 18, 2022 at 08:46 AM (#6096747)
So it looks like about 4 runs/season on average for this entire period.

WOw that sounds like a lot


Agree, but I also think this is the time period where the discrepancy was probably the biggest. AL didn't integrate as fast, and it's not like the NL was ignoring white players. It's very likely from 1950 or so to very early 1960 that the NL was noticeably better.

Very much agree. The idea that we know a 1.9 WAR player is better than a 1.5 WAR player is just silly. Even a full win gap is not definitive. Especially if you're using average park factors, and average team defense as inputs.


Well hopefully you would look at WAA and other factors, but without reason a .4 is a difference. Blindly looking at it, is silly of course, but it's a point in the discussion.
   78. BDC Posted: September 18, 2022 at 03:03 PM (#6096772)
Without looking at any data at all :-D I would guess that a lot of MVP races involve two or indeed several players separated by not very many fractions of a WAR. It's like any other honor that then in retrospect seems to lift its winner way above the competition when, at the time, the distinctions may have been so slight that a 2- or 3- or 4-way tie reflected reality better.

So I think it's a fair point that .5 WAR (as of this morning) isn't a heck of a lot, and there may be reasons to prefer Ohtani because it's far from a straight-up comparison. It's really more like "In March, would you have traded a 9-WAR outfielder for a 5-WAR pitcher and a 4-WAR DH?" which is an unusual question and may have no easy answer.
   79. TomH Posted: September 18, 2022 at 05:15 PM (#6096812)
the AL-NL talent difference, long recognized in general without specific qualification; goes to the Mays-Mantle comparisons. Obviously Mays lasted longer as so had the greater career, but if you merely assess peak or prime, you get different answers if you look at solely batting stats (such as OPS+) adjusting for defense and speed, versus adding in quality. Mantle looks as good as, possibly better than Mays, at his peak; but the answer if you add 4ish runs per year is Willie.
   80. Ron J Posted: September 18, 2022 at 05:44 PM (#6096820)
#79 I don't quite agree. I think what separates the two is breadth of prime. Mantles's two best year are a tad better than May's two best. Nothing major of course but even after adjusting for league quality Mantle's 1957/1956 are a little better than Mays' 1965/1964 (plus shorter season). Within method error to be sure but I don't see any reason to move Maysa head.

But Mays has 4 years directly comparable to Mantle's third best. And 11 seasons with 8+ WAR -- Mantle "only" has 5. He's not reliant on small adjustments but rather on way more top tier years.

   81. Gator Guy Posted: September 18, 2022 at 07:02 PM (#6096826)
Another multi-HR game, his 11th this year, tying Greenberg (1938) for the single season record. He’s batting .3162, a half point off the lead. Bogaerts is .3164 and Arraez leads at .3167. He’s hitting .389 since July 15, which leads MLB. The HR and slugging figures over that span are otherworldly.

He was 4-5 today with a walk; 2 HRs, double, single. The single was hit harder than the double, the double was hit harder than either HR, and the out to deep center - 115.4 exit velo - was hardest hit of all. All 5 hits had exit velo over 110. Does anyone know if that’s ever happened in the Statcast era? Just for perspective, only 5 other Yankees have had an exit velo of 110 all year long.

I have never seen any hitter as locked in. Unbelievable.
   82. Gator Guy Posted: September 18, 2022 at 07:02 PM (#6096827)
Another multi-HR game, his 11th this year, tying Greenberg (1938) for the single season record. He’s batting .3162, a half point off the lead. Bogaerts is .3164 and Arraez leads at .3167. He’s hitting .389 since July 15, which leads MLB. The HR and slugging figures over that span are otherworldly.

He was 4-5 today with a walk; 2 HRs, double, single. The single was hit harder than the double, the double was hit harder than either HR, and the out to deep center - 115.4 exit velo - was hardest hit of all. All 5 hits had exit velo over 110. Does anyone know if that’s ever happened in the Statcast era? Just for perspective, only 5 other Yankees have had an exit velo of 110 all year long.

I have never seen any hitter as locked in. Unbelievable.
   83. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 18, 2022 at 07:19 PM (#6096829)
The rare BBTF comment worth repeating. :>)
   84. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 19, 2022 at 11:28 AM (#6096873)
So I think it's a fair point that .5 WAR (as of this morning) isn't a heck of a lot . . .
Well, today Judge leads in Bb-Ref WAR 9.6 to 8.7, and 10.4 to 8.6 at FanGraphs. Judge’s lead at FanGraphs has consistently been higher, and now exceeds Ohtani’s 2021 margin.
   85. Howie Menckel Posted: September 19, 2022 at 07:11 PM (#6096938)

posted for amusement purposes only, (not likely) from the 167-year-old pitcher who went 60-12 with a 1.38 ERA in 1884 NL, completing all 73 of his starts for the World Series champion Providence Grays:


@OldHossRadbourn
·
1h
I’m not saying history repeats itself but spurning the mightiest Angel who excelled at everything to instead laud a lesser mortal is what led to the creation of Lucifer and hell, so tread carefully, HoF voters
   86. Hombre Brotani Posted: September 19, 2022 at 08:03 PM (#6096953)
Well, today Judge leads in Bb-Ref WAR 9.6 to 8.7, and 10.4 to 8.6 at FanGraphs.
Judge's 4-5, 2 homer game netted him more fWAR and bWAR than Ohtani's 7 shutout innings plus his 1-3, RBI and run scored in a 1-run game. That seems completely wrong on the face of it, but it's just a reminder that WAR is an approximation of value, and not to be used as an absolute measure.

But whatever. At this point, the online conversation about this has gotten completely toxic thanks in no small part to Heyman, and I just can't anymore.
   87. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 19, 2022 at 08:13 PM (#6096955)
All 5 hits had exit velo over 110. Does anyone know if that’s ever happened in the Statcast era? Just for perspective, only 5 other Yankees have had an exit velo of 110 all year long.



Indeed he set a statcast era record by going 5 for 5 in barrels. First ever to do that. There was a story on reddit I will try to find.
   88. villageidiom Posted: September 19, 2022 at 09:36 PM (#6096986)
I've been going on for a while about how the positional adjustment for DH - and the positional adjustment in general - is bullshit. I think Ohtani is another fine example of why. Ohtani is penalized for being a DH in oWAR because it is assumed a DH would be horrible on defense. Ohtani on defense is one of the best pitchers in the league.

The positional adjustment at its heart is measuring the relative opportunity for defensive value afforded by the position. 1B has a low positional adjustment because any halfway competent player can field the position, and a top athlete's skills would be wasted. Range - to the left, to the right, and arguably backward - is almost useless. The main skill of a 1B is running to first, putting a foot on the bag, and catching the throw. Instincts come in to play on catching the throw, and on when to chase the batted ball vs. when to run to the bag. And that's about it. OTOH shortstop uses all the skills, and does so constantly; CF is somewhat similar. The one exception is DH, where the positional adjustment is essentially a guess that a DH would be a very bad defensive 1B rather than simply someone who (other than Ohtani) has no defensive value opportunity. Regardless, variations in opportunity for defensive value are meaningless when we can measure actual defensive value - especially when the opportunity is in the manager's control, not the player's control.

To be clear: I am not saying Ohtani should be MVP. He would have been an excellent candidate this year if somehow Aaron Judge hadn't existed.
   89. Moeball Posted: September 19, 2022 at 09:57 PM (#6096996)
The comments above about relative league strength in the 1950s-1960s reminded me of something that's always fascinated me.

In 1968 I was all of 9 years old and a huge baseball fan. That was my favorite year for Topps cards with the brown spotted border! Stats for the 1967 season on the back! At the time I had definite favorite players at each position and there was a definite pattern to my choices, although one I didn't realize until many years later. For example, my favorite AL first baseman was Harmon Killebrew, NL Willie McCovey. Favorite AL shortstop Jim Fregosi, NL Maury Wills. Favorite outfielders: AL Yaz LF, Mantle CF, Kaline RF. NL Billy Williams LF, Mays CF, Aaron RF. Pitchers: AL Jim Kaat, NL Juan Marichal. It wasn't until years later that I realized most of my favorite players were white guys in the AL and black players in the NL. Of course, what I had unknowingly stumbled upon was a big part of why the NL won 19 All Star games in a 20 year stretch between 1963 and 1982. It took a while to germinate, but the seeds of that dominance started in 1947. The impact of Jackie Robinson lasted far beyond his playing career, indeed, beyond his life. It was not by coincidence that Mays signed with the NY Giants and not the Yankees. Or that Aaron signed with the Boston Braves and not the Red Sox. Or that Banks signed with the Cubs and not the White Sox. There was a very real advantage for NL teams in the 1950s, or maybe I should say disadvantage for AL teams, mostly self inflicted. But slowness to adapt to change has always had a big impact on baseball history, and I was seeing it play out in 1968 although I had no idea at age 9 as to what was really happening.
   90. Booey Posted: September 19, 2022 at 10:46 PM (#6097010)
What Ohtani is doing is amazing, and I agree with others that as long as he's hitting AND pitching at elite levels, he's gotta be the MVP pretty much every year, and it would take a historic, all time great season to dethrone him. Unfortunately for Ohtani though, Judge is doing exactly that, so I'm fine with either of them winning.
   91. Howie Menckel Posted: September 19, 2022 at 11:00 PM (#6097012)
In 1968 I was all of 9 years old and a huge baseball fan. That was my favorite year for Topps cards with the brown spotted border!

oddly, more pronounced in the first series than the other ones - but also my first year collecting cards.

"The positional adjustment at its heart is measuring the relative opportunity for defensive value afforded by the position. 1B has a low positional adjustment because any halfway competent player can field the position, and a top athlete's skills would be wasted. Range - to the left, to the right, and arguably backward - is almost useless. The main skill of a 1B is running to first, putting a foot on the bag, and catching the throw. Instincts come in to play on catching the throw, and on when to chase the batted ball vs. when to run to the bag. And that's about it."

in 2022, sure.

but from the 1900s through the 1980s and maybe 1990s, different story. the ability of a 1B to field sac bunt attempts and catch lead runners was a valuable skill. nothing like C or SS or CF value, of course, but useful.
   92. base ball chick Posted: September 19, 2022 at 11:03 PM (#6097013)
why the serious eff is anyone still pitching to judge???!!!
   93. Booey Posted: September 20, 2022 at 01:11 AM (#6097021)
#92 - No idea from a strategic standpoint, but as a baseball fan who wants maximum entertainment, I'm really glad they are. I've always thought the fact that you can take the biggest stars out of the game whenever you want simply by walking them (i.e. the 2001-2004 Bonds treatment) is one of the biggest flaws in the sport. No good ideas on how to fix it, though.
   94. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: September 20, 2022 at 07:08 AM (#6097023)
I've always thought the fact that you can take the biggest stars out of the game whenever you want simply by walking them (i.e. the 2001-2004 Bonds treatment) is one of the biggest flaws in the sport. No good ideas on how to fix it, though.


It doesn't happen that often. Bonds has more than 2X the IBB's the next guy on the list (Pujols) has. Most guys on the list of leaders average 10 IBBs or so a year.

And if you ban the IBB, pitchers will throw 4 pitches way outside, anyway, if they want to pitch around a guy. I guess you could award the batter and every runner on base 2 bases if a pitcher doesn't throw a strike in an at bat, but does that sound like a good idea?
   95. Cooper Nielson Posted: September 20, 2022 at 07:29 AM (#6097026)
I also find it a little crazy Ohtani wasn't an All-Star until last year, and didn't receive any votes for MVP until last year.

This maybe shouldn't be too surprising:

2018: He missed most of the month of June and had only 7 home runs at the All-Star break. As a pitcher, he only started 9 games in the first half (but pitched pretty well). For the season, he had about 4 total WAR, which isn't really MVP-worthy though it's mildly surprising he didn't get some down-ballot votes as a two-way novelty.

2019: He didn't pitch all year due to injury, so he was merely a hitter. He had a good first half but only played 53 games. For the year he had 2.5 total WAR in 106 games. Nothing special.

2020: There wasn't an All-Star Game. Also, he had an oddly terrible (short) season.
   96. TomH Posted: September 20, 2022 at 08:38 AM (#6097027)
piling on to 95, this has happened to others

Wade Boggs hit .349 in 100 games in 1982.
He hit .361, leading the AL by >20 pts in 1983.
In 1984, he finished third in batting, 2nd in OBA.

He never made the all star team those three years. Maybe you can blame a guy named George Brett or something.

In 1985, he hit .368 and finished with the 2nd-highest WAR to Rickey Henderson. He was voted all star backup and got *a* plate appearance.

Finally in 1986, reaching the AS break with an absurd .468 OBP, he started the allstar game

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NewsblogOMNICHATTER for the week of September 26 - October 5, 2022
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NewsblogTony La Russa expected to announce retirement Monday as White Sox manager
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NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - European Leages Return
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NewsblogTo dream the impossible dream - and then decide it's time to let it go
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NewsblogShohei Ohtani to make $30 million in 2023, record amount for arbitration-eligible player
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NewsblogOT - October 2022 College Football thread
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NewsblogThree impacts of baseball's new 12-team postseason format
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Sox TherapyPredictions of Ridiculousness
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NewsblogWhy Major League Baseball needs to do a better job of appreciating regular season greatness
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NewsblogMets to call up No. 1 prospect in baseball
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NewsblogOrioles intend to sign new lease committing team to remaining in Baltimore, document says
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