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Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Orioles trade veteran infielder José Iglesias to Los Angeles Angels, report says

A month after Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias called José Iglesias a “perfect fit” for the team while picking up his player option for the 2021 season, the veteran infielder was dealt to the Los Angeles Angels, according to The Athletic.

Iglesias, who was owed $3.5 million and was the most consistent player on the 2020 Orioles, becomes the second player the Orioles have dealt to the Angels in the past year after the early-December trade of right-hander Dylan Bundy a year ago.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2020 at 07:51 PM | 44 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, jose iglesias, orioles

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   1. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 02, 2020 at 08:42 PM (#5992161)
The classic great glove, no hit SS. Loved watching him when we was with the Red Sox many years ago.

More importantly I believe it was his play, turning and running out into LF, then making a magnificent swooping like over shoulder grab which gave birth to one of the great memes on this site when Ray D. declared the play wasn't that special; that any good SS could've made the play, etc..

   2. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 02, 2020 at 09:09 PM (#5992169)
I've always liked Iglesias, and his defense is fabulous, just a notch below Andrelton-levels. I'm surprised this happened, though. I had assumed Fletcher would be moved to short and either Jones or Barreto would get a shot at 2nd base.
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 02, 2020 at 10:51 PM (#5992192)
More importantly I believe it was his play, turning and running out into LF, then making a magnificent swooping like over shoulder grab which gave birth to one of the great memes on this site when Ray D. declared the play wasn't that special; that any good SS could've made the play, etc..
Well, at least you had a vague memory of the ‘Best of BBTF’, even if all the details were wrong. It was Manny Machado, not Iglesias, at 3rd base, not SS. There can be no doubt that BBTF, if not civilization itself, is in decline when these words no longer live in all Primates:
Looks like a good throw to me. Not a great one. Virtually every 3B in the league could have made it. And would have, had they managed to boot the ball in the clumsy manner that he did and then happened to find the handle again in the gift of the year.

His momentum was carrying him away from 1B, which I guess is why people were fooled into thinking this was a special throw. I see nothing remarkable about it.
Sad.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: December 02, 2020 at 11:04 PM (#5992193)
Well, at least you had a vague memory of the ‘Best of BBTF’, even if all the details were wrong. It was Manny Machado, not Iglesias, at 3rd base, not SS. There can be no doubt that BBTF, if not civilization itself, is in decline when these words no longer live in all Primates:


It was the Machado play that birthed the meme, but Ray was really cribbing from himself when he wrote it.

I know by stating my opinion I'll be mocked and accused of being a troll, but there wasn't anything all that special about that play. It was a standard good play. What made it look "sparkling" (to quote McBuck), was:

1) Iglesias was positioned near second base to start with. It looked like he was coming from a traditional second baseman defensive position, but he wasn't, because of the shift.

2) Iglesias decided to stick out his glove late and stab at the ball from below, rather than holding out his glove earlier and coming at the ball more from the top. This is what fooled people into thinking that the play was special, but the end result was the same.

Most SS/2B in the league could have made the catch from where Iglesias started. And I note that he royally screwed up a catch in foul ground the night before, looking like Manny circa his last year on the Sox in the process. Iglesias almost rolled on top of the ball.



   5. The Honorable Ardo Posted: December 03, 2020 at 12:12 AM (#5992205)
It always bothered me that the Tigers didn't retain Iglesias. He's as productive on offense as Omar Vizquel ever was, and you get 95% of the defensive chops. "Few walks, middling power" might stink for a corner outfielder, but it's perfectly fine for an elite SS glove.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 03, 2020 at 01:21 AM (#5992208)
He's as productive on offense as Omar Vizquel ever was, and you get 95% of the defensive chops. "Few walks, middling power" might stink for a corner outfielder, but it's perfectly fine for an elite SS glove.
Perfectly fine? Hell, apparently it’s Hall of Fame caliber for a dishearteningly large number of writers.
   7. Cooper Nielson Posted: December 03, 2020 at 01:45 AM (#5992210)
It always bothered me that the Tigers didn't retain Iglesias. He's as productive on offense as Omar Vizquel ever was, and you get 95% of the defensive chops. "Few walks, middling power" might stink for a corner outfielder, but it's perfectly fine for an elite SS glove.

My thoughts as well, as a Tiger fan.

Iglesias was fun to watch, and I always thought of him as a good-enough hitter -- though it appears he just had visible/memorable hot stretches, as his overall numbers in retrospect are quite "empty" outside of 2015.

If he had arrived 40 years earlier, he might've been a perennial All-Star.
   8. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 03, 2020 at 02:13 AM (#5992212)
AHHHH! I misremembered. Stupid ageing process. I remember the Machado play now that it's referenced, but thanks to SOSH for the details on the Iglesias play. At least I sort of recalled correctly that Ray had more silly things to say about that!
   9. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: December 03, 2020 at 08:22 AM (#5992216)
People were wondering what kind of wacky slash lines we might see in a shortened season. Iglesias hitting .373/.400/.556 might be the most bananas of them all.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: December 03, 2020 at 08:44 AM (#5992219)

People were wondering what kind of wacky slash lines we might see in a shortened season. Iglesias hitting .373/.400/.556 might be the most bananas of them all.


While serving as his team's most frequent DH.
   11. Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: December 03, 2020 at 08:56 AM (#5992220)
Huh, I had somehow talked myself into the idea that Iglesias was some new young guy the O's had unearthed who would be a solid bat for them for a few years. Didn't realize he was *that* Iglesias.
   12. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: December 03, 2020 at 09:37 AM (#5992227)
Apparently Iglesias is quite a jerk. From someone in Boston media but no particular reason to push an agenda, fwiw (I know, tee'd up :). Might explain teams moving on.
   13. Rally Posted: December 03, 2020 at 09:44 AM (#5992229)
For 3.5 million Angels get an career 88 OPS+ and a good glove. Simmons has a 91 career OPS+ and while he's been far better than good with the glove, he was only about average last year. 4 months apart in age.

I hope the Joe Church era is a good one for the Angels.
   14. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 03, 2020 at 09:44 AM (#5992230)
Huh, I had somehow talked myself into the idea that Iglesias was some new young guy the O's had unearthed who would be a solid bat for them for a few years. Didn't realize he was *that* Iglesias.

Maybe you're thinking of Renato Nuñez.
   15. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 03, 2020 at 11:01 AM (#5992237)
7. Cooper Nielson Posted: December 03, 2020 at 01:45 AM (#5992210)

If he had arrived 40 years earlier, he might've been a perennial All-Star.


I am amazed at some of the middle infielders who played for years in the 1970s and early 1980s - absolutely no bat, never won any Gold Gloves, maybe stole bases, maybe not - but rarely at even a 70% success rate. If a guy like Iglesias was playing 40-50 years ago, I think Cooper is exactly right: He would have been playing most of the time the last seven or eight years, made multiple All-Star teams, etc.

I'm thinking Tim Foli, played 1600 games, no power, no walks, not a Gold Glover, but excellent glasses and mustache. Frank Taveras, Ivan DeJesus, etc. Is it fair to say that Iglesias is/was an objectively better player than most of these guys were?
   16. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: December 03, 2020 at 11:02 AM (#5992239)
Conventional wisdom may not bear this out today with such a K-heavy game, but I always thought there was truth to the fact that young, rebuilding teams need a solid defensive SS (to help their pitchers) and an acceptable closer (to not kick away games that they are winning). Especially since both can be had for relatively cheap.
   17. KronicFatigue Posted: December 03, 2020 at 11:05 AM (#5992240)
Any links of the plays for the lazy?
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: December 03, 2020 at 11:12 AM (#5992241)
Any links of the plays for the lazy?


Here ya go.

Edit: I can't tell if that's working, if not, it's here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSWrmM55EiU
   19. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: December 03, 2020 at 11:38 AM (#5992246)
I am amazed at some of the middle infielders who played for years in the 1970s and early 1980s - absolutely no bat, never won any Gold Gloves, maybe stole bases, maybe not - but rarely at even a 70% success rate.

I'm thinking Tim Foli, played 1600 games, no power, no walks, not a Gold Glover, but excellent glasses and mustache. Frank Taveras, Ivan DeJesus, etc. Is it fair to say that Iglesias is/was an objectively better player than most of these guys were?


That continued into the late 80's - Dick Schofield was the Angels shortstop during my childhood fandom. I'm not sure how many games he got, but I'm sure it was in the ballpark of Foli and I recall him being terrible with the bat and solid, but very unspectacular with the glove. Hopefully Iglesias is better than that for the Angels.

Edit: As it turns out, Schofield was decent with the glove by the numbers but he didn't win any gold gloves. He also had a 75% SB rate, so at least he was neutral to positive on the bases.
   20. KronicFatigue Posted: December 03, 2020 at 12:02 PM (#5992251)
Thanks, the 2nd link worked, not the first. Looks like a pretty darn good play to me, but I will admit that stab at the end is a bit weird.
   21. Rally Posted: December 03, 2020 at 12:13 PM (#5992253)
Foli had zero power, no walks, and not much speed. He was a good defender, but never a gold glove. He put the bat on the ball, but not with authority. That’s the kind of player who is usually a late round draft pick, lacking in obvious tools but enough skills to be useful. A player who is not considered a top prospect coming up, but still makes it and contributes for a while. Like another infielder the Angels have, David Fletcher. Fletcher has aleady had 1 1/3 seasons better than Foli’s best, but they are out of the same mold.

In 1968 Foli was the first overall pick in the draft. As an 18 year old he hit .301 with 17 homers in the minors. I guess then somebody told him that’s not how shortstops were supposed to play.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: December 03, 2020 at 12:45 PM (#5992259)
Looks like a pretty darn good play to me, but I will admit that stab at the end is a bit weird.


The stab at the end is unconventional, and difficult, but by coming up from below and catching it low, rather than the standard over the shoulder catch, he's definitely able to cover more ground.
   23. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 03, 2020 at 04:34 PM (#5992312)
Any links of the plays for the lazy?
Everything you need to know about the Machado play is at this link. If you’re really lazy, start at post #12.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: December 03, 2020 at 05:32 PM (#5992326)
Foli was sort of a poor man's Bowa. As to timelining Iglesias -- who knows but those 70s-80s guys had to deal with a lot more turf. SS and 2B probably had to have more speed than those today. That would suggest they should have been incredible on grass and I have no idea if the stats support that in any way (or if we even have the stats to support that). That also doesn't explain, for example, DeJesus -- the running joke was the Wrigley infield grass was cut using a helicopter. In any case, it seems teams broadly over-rated SS defense, it's hard to imagine any defensive difference could be big enough to justify this run of Braves' SS (b-r "starters")

71: Perez -1.6 WAR
72: Perez -2.5
73: Perez 0.9 (a 3-win improvement! :-)
74: Robinson -0.2
75: Blanks -1.4
76: Chaney -0.2
77: Rockett -2.5
78: Chaney 0.1
79: Frias -0.9
80: Gomez -1.2

Now Luis Gomez only got 307 PA but with a 26 OPS+ and made it to nearly 1400 PA for his career with a 40 OPS+ (210/261/239 -- 26 doubles, 5 triples and 0 HR). Some of these WARs are terrible because TZ considers them terrible defenders -- Pat Rockett's -2.5 WAR came in just 297 PA and the 64 OPS+ didn't help but it's the -24 defense in just 695 innings that's staggering. That's either the worst front-office and managerial decision-making of all-time or TZ is way, way, way off. But consistent cuz it put him at -14 in just 384 innings the next season, his last in MLB. In fairness, Marty Perez eventually learned to hit a smidgen and moved to 2B where he was OK defensively, eventually had an average season and mananged to pull himself up to 0 career WAR (in >3400 PA!)

The only rational explanation is collective insanity. Some fad -- maybe an overreaction to turf -- took hold and evverybody decided that no SS should weigh more than 150 lbs.

It forms the basis of Dan Rosenheck's (totally rational) argument that Concepcion does belong in the HoF: compared to his positional contemporaries, he was practically Babe Ruth and he was genuinely good with the glove. In 1974, Concepcion put up a 106 OPS+ ... the other NL starters were 96, 51, 77, 92, 62, 64, 55, 75, 63, 80, 82. As noted, a guy like Foli got nearly 6600 PA on a 64 OPS+ and good but not great defense. Bowa 9100, 71; Kessinger 8500, 73; Harrelson 5500, 76. Memory's a bit fuzzy but with somebody's help, looked at it once and Cub SS between Banks and Castro (I think) averaged 1 WAR per year -- that's like 50 years and can't be explained by anything but organizational incompetence. But I digress.

Using b-r's seasonal WAA by position, given most of the turf was in the NL, here'e the league-average WAA for SS after Banks through 1982 (note it wasn't good in 61 either) .... it can't be just the turf:

1962 -0.3
1963 -1.0
1964 -0.7
1965 -0.9
1966 -0.5
1967 -1.2
1968 -1.3
1969 -1.2
1970 -1.3
1971 -1.1
1972 -0.9
1973 -1.8 !!!!
1974 -0.9
1975 -0.9
1976 -0.7
1977 -1.0
1978 -0.3 (an end to the madness?)
1979 -0.5
1980 -0.8 (maybe not)
1981 -0.7 (shortened season!)
1982 0.0 (thank god!)

Makes the Cubs look slightly less incompetent as they probably were trotting out roughly NL-average SSs for the first 20 years post-Ernie.
   25. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 03, 2020 at 05:43 PM (#5992327)
The best part about the the link posted in #23, is actually not post 12, but how Ray doubles down in post 15. It is legendary Primer stuff.
   26. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: December 03, 2020 at 06:09 PM (#5992333)
oh man, i only remembered that bit (link in 23) as a reference, not the specifics. utterly ridiculous.
   27. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: December 03, 2020 at 06:17 PM (#5992336)
My thoughts as well, as a Tiger fan.
As a Tiger fan, my main memory is when he fought James McCann for thinking he ought to, you know, try.
   28. Cooper Nielson Posted: December 03, 2020 at 11:14 PM (#5992366)
As a Tiger fan, my main memory is when he fought James McCann for thinking he ought to, you know, try.

Haha, yeah, that too! I don't think Iglesias was super-popular with his teammates, but he played with flair and was fun to watch. FWIW, he's also one of the hardest guys in MLB to strike out (or walk). That might not contribute to winning games, but it makes them more enjoyable.
   29. Adam Starblind Posted: December 04, 2020 at 07:56 AM (#5992380)
Spike Owen and Al Pedrique were so bad in RBI Baseball.
   30. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: December 04, 2020 at 02:12 PM (#5992466)
I'm so old, I remember when he played for the Tigers. And was good. (I'm so old, I remember when the Tigers had good players.)
   31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 04, 2020 at 06:52 PM (#5992510)
I'm thinking Tim Foli, played 1600 games, no power, no walks, not a Gold Glover, but excellent glasses and mustache. Frank Taveras, Ivan DeJesus, etc.


Well, one of the things that jumps out at me is that two of the three were starters for the Pirates. Mario Mendoza, the king of the no-hit shortstops, was on the roster back then, too.

Maybe it’s karmic rebound from the franchise getting to enjoy Honus Wagner and Arky Vaughan at the position for so long?
   32. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 05, 2020 at 12:19 PM (#5992566)

Using b-r's seasonal WAA by position, given most of the turf was in the NL, here'e the league-average WAA for SS after Banks through 1982 (note it wasn't good in 61 either) .... it can't be just the turf:


This is a wonderful bit of research Walt. But doesnt it just scream that TZ is off in its ratings? HOw is it possible that baseball men, all of NL have lost their collective minds for a period of 20 years? That's never happened before in terms of how to field a team, has it?

What's the contra position? We have a competing method from BIS that often shows more extreme values. I dont know what TZs extreme is but DRS had Betts at +30 and last year's 3b guy at 30.

Here's a crazy ass idea: TZ is off by a number equal to the values shown? So say from 67 to '73 its off by a factor of 12 runs. All this time I've been trying to argue that defensive metrics are off, never could figure it out and now you've come and done most of the work for me! Thank you Walt.

Q2: Did this same drought at SS exist in the AL? That's a good question.
Q3: The period of cancer bat SS, existed from about 1965 to about 1990. Does this same aberation continue till then.
   33. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 05, 2020 at 12:44 PM (#5992570)

Well, one of the things that jumps out at me is that two of the three were starters for the Pirates. Mario Mendoza, the king of the no-hit shortstops, was on the roster back then, too.


RIght but if the suggestion is that its madness to employ good field/no hit SS using the PIT would seem to count against that. After all, they have one of the best, if not the best records in that decade the 70s. 6 division crowns and 2 world championships. They also employed Dale Berra there who was a good hitter bad fielder type. I swear he was a bad fielder but not sure the stats support that.
   34. Walt Davis Posted: December 05, 2020 at 05:11 PM (#5992645)
It's called b-r. These aren't numbers that need a Stathead subscription (although they might be easier to look up that way).

So here's the 1973 MLB. You can see SS are at -1.4 WAA across all MLB (go near the bottom of the page). You can click on "create another comparison". You can only do offensive and WAR stuff in that table, no defensive stats other than Rfield.

You do that comparison for OPPS and see that SS OPS was 593 that year. That was 90 points worse than C and 2B, 110 points worse than average, including NL pitchers. MLB SS had a line of 237/292/301. The average Rbat was -24. That's a long road to come back from. The average TZ is -1.

But TZ can't be "off" in the aggregate. TZ compares to positional average, the -1 is just a rounding thing. What you mean to say is that the positional adjustment for SS had to be around +20 in those years rather than the +9-10 it was.

I agree that the notion that teams collectively made terrible decisions for 25 straight years is unlikely ... but the distinguishing characteristic about SS in this period is how badly they hit. The AVERAGE 1973 SS had a 593 OPS and -24 Rbat (however b-r is defining "SS" in that table). Perhaps surprisingly, 1973 SS weren't particularly good baserunners (average +0.6) so you'll need a +24 positional adjustment to get the average SS back to 0 WAA. (Note, the bad ones were scraping 500. The Phils got a 492 that year, mostly Bowa and Robinson, -43 Rbat.)

Note, turf was mainly an NL thing and didn't really take off until the early 70s (or whenevver Philly, Cincy, St L, Pitt stadiums opened) so it's unlikely to be a rational response to turf. Turf might explain Bowa, it doesn't explain why the Twins split 1973 SS between Danny Thompson and Jerry Terrell or why the 60s SS were so bad too. It is probably safe to say that the collective decision was that SS defense was really, really important. That might even have been a rational response to the deadball era of the 60s and early 70s -- your SS wasn't gonna hit anyway, make it harder for the other team to string together a couple of singles -- that took them forever to shake off.

I'm willing to consider that the SS of the 70s, on average, was the best defensive SS in some absolute sense that we've ever seen and that the Rpos didn't shift enough to reflect this. That they were so good and important as to justify a +20 positional adjustment (and which positions lose runs to balance that out?) would take a lot of convincing. And it would still seem to leave you with needing/wanting to explain why it made sense to do it in that era but not others. Potential reasons not to do it in more recent times are reasonably obvious -- lots more Ks, more FBs -- and I've pulled these out in discussing the (possibly short-lived) boom in SS offense and even suggested that today's SS might be worse defenders in that absolute sense. But why not the 20s, 30s, 40s? Why not through at least the early stages of TTO ball (say through 2000)?

Anytime we see a major era shift like this we either have to explain why it made sense in that era but not others or conclude that either baseball people before that time were morons or baseball people of that time were morons. (Where "moron" is meant in its most loving and respectful sense.) I will start under the assumption that it was never rational to trot out -20 Rbat SS year after year after year and wait to be convinced otherwise.
   35. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 05, 2020 at 05:51 PM (#5992664)
Spike Owen and Al Pedrique were so bad in RBI Baseball.
Why the hell did you let Owen hit? Armas, Burks and Dave Henderson were on the bench, and it’s not like the game was smart enough to know they couldn’t play SS.
   36. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 05, 2020 at 07:24 PM (#5992679)


I will start under the assumption that it was never rational to trot out -20 Rbat SS year after year after year and wait to be convinced otherwise.


So you're going to double down on your "all NL managers in the 1960s and 1970s were insane" theory? Im going to start under the assumption that its not rational to hire manager who are insane. OK? So there we are.

I guess its a tie?

*****

Anyhow for starters, I havent really studied any of this so Im not in a position to making sweeping pronouncements on what is going on here. Although its definitely worth putting some effort into it. For now this is off the top of my head:

1. I understand why they do the positional adjustment and I think I understand how they do it. You can use it to compare players at other positions, but there's other ways to do that. BUt its really a theoretical thing, probably more theoretical than the "replacement level' issue primates were batting around a day or two ago. (because at least we can can measure wins and runs converted to wins. ) Because its just a theoretical number applied to all SS it doesnt really tell us how many runs they're saving or how many runs they're saving that we cant see. Its basically saying SS hit X number of runs worse than average.

SO what? I could make positional adjustment for SS say 20 pts. and then that position in the 60s and 70s would have about the same WAA and same WAR as other positions. BUt what would that prove? It just says they're creating 20 runs/season less average position players. It doesnt tell us if they're worth 20 runs more. Or if they're saving 20 more runs. It just says they hit worse.

I'd rather know what the spread in defensive runs is between the worst SS and the best fielding SS. THat's what I really want to know. I dont even need to know which SS in particular is best and worse. I just want to know want we can expect the best and worst to be. So if say Betts is +30 def. runs that might give me an idea of how valuable a RF in 1925 is. I dont care if its Manush or Heilman or whomever. I just want to know what we expect the extreme to be.

Positional adjustment isnt going to help us find that so its seems that arguing over Rpos is just going down a rabbit hole.

2.

That they were so good and important as to justify a +20 positional adjustment (and which positions lose runs to balance that out?)


well you're a smart guy where do you think its coming from? It has to come from pitching where else? If TZ is underestimating SS defense than someone has to be benefitting.

I started to look at the AL for this same thing. The trend is not so pronounced (but again the Rpos factor is mucking this up anyhow). BUt for maybe half the seasons the SS is somewhat negative, and C even more so.

Does it strike you as impossible that maybe both SS and C are being under represented by TZ? Would that shock you? And these same years Im seeing pitching being on the positive side. I didnt look at all the years, mostly '67 to '73 so I dunno maybe it doesnt really exist in the AL. I havent finished looking at this.

As I asked a few days ago in the Pettite/"why is pitching WAR so different on fangraphs" thread: if we can further refine defensive numbers, does it stand to reason we may get a clearer picture on the value of pitching?

If catchers and SS are getting jobbed by TZ, then obviously someone has to pay and its pitchers.

Oh you don't like that? OK. So its the same argument as before:


I will start under the assumption that it was never rational to trot out -20 Rbat SS year after year after year and wait to be convinced otherwise.


Right? You have no objective way to prove this is wrong you just dont like how it sounds.
   37. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 05, 2020 at 07:36 PM (#5992680)
HOw is it possible that baseball men, all of NL have lost their collective minds for a period of 20 years? That's never happened before in terms of how to field a team, has it?
Come on. Of course it’s possible, end even likely. Team builders and managers did all kinds of irrational things for years because of conventional wisdom and made-up theories. Bunting. Signing and playing crappy “proven veterans.” Big free agent salaries based on past performance rather than realistic future projections. The list goes on.
   38. puck Posted: December 05, 2020 at 10:07 PM (#5992693)
How much of it was established prejudice and then the inability to judge tradeoffs very well when there are no metrics?

I don't know about the 60's but occasionally in the 70's there was a guy who could hit like Roy Smalley but then they'd harp on his defensive shortcomings. Meanwhile people would always talk about how you need D from your shorstop and as long as he could hit .250 that was good enough. So .250-.260 with no walks or power was pretty much what you expected out of a shortstop.

Back in those days, if a young minor leaguer could field the position and was experimenting with a longer swing to get more power, I wonder how much he would have been strongly discouraged from that approach. Between that and moving guys who could hit off the position, I suppose that would make it easier to end up with almost no hitters at the position.

Re tradeoffs, I wonder if they had any idea how to balance the value of a Roy Smalley vs a Tim Foli/Craig Reynolds type. Or when it came to fielder, a guy with less range who didn't make errors vs a guy with good range but more errors. From my memory it seemed there was a bias towards the former. Seems pretty clear there was a lot of confusion in these areas based on who played, who won awards in those days, etc.
   39. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: December 05, 2020 at 11:01 PM (#5992698)
Back in those days, if a young minor leaguer could field the position and was experimenting with a longer swing to get more power, I wonder how much he would have been strongly discouraged from that approach. Between that and moving guys who could hit off the position, I suppose that would make it easier to end up with almost no hitters at the position.


I don't remember anything about power, but I do remember it was a big deal that Cal Ripken was a shortstop at 6'4" (and he hit 28 home runs his rookie year in '82). Could a guy that tall field the position well? Hold up to the grind? Those questions, naturally if not necessarily intentionally, led to discussions about how good he was at positioning, which maybe culminated in George Will's 1990 Men at Work.
   40. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 06, 2020 at 01:03 AM (#5992700)
Team builders and managers did all kinds of irrational things for years because of conventional wisdom and made-up theories. Bunting.


There's plenty of times when bunting makes sense. Its not like every bunt is a bad trade off. Some of them are. OK heres the average bunts per team for a given year:

1940 79
1950 78
1960 75
2010 51

its now down to around 27.

So sure bunting is down. By how much 33% or 60%? You have to account for changes in the field as well. As of 2010 it was only down 36% in 70 years. HOw much of that had to do with the field? Now its down a lot more. But the offensive environment today is much different than it was even say 15 years ago. Right? There's more HR and more KOs right? Thats all we talk about TTO.

Now look at what Walt is saying. He's saying every team lost its mind for 20 straight years. Or maybe 25 years. I mean the SS has been the worst position batter for 25 years but he could still be under utilized it isnt a straight relationship from "worst hitter" to "being misused." Baseball in the 1950s was really different as well. It was known as station to station or whatever. There were more walks and less HRs and less SBs. Baseball in the 60s was of course different. And then turf in the 70s made bunting problematical. Plus pitchers were probably bunting more as well, nowadays some do but a lot don't. So you'd have to run the numbers on that too.

So there were all kind of reasons we dont bunt as much today. But that doesnt mean every bunt was wrong. And before you try to claim how much of it was wrong, I would think you'd have to do the math on 1940s baseball and 50s baseball etc to show what could be expected by swinging away or not.

SO bunting is down. Maybe 50% of the bunts in the old days were wrong. That's not 100% being wrong.

But yeah OTOH there is a sort of collective mind set about things. We see Ron Washington issuing another IBB or Ned Yost bunting in the second inn. and its like "yeah no one does that and there's a reason no one does that."

So yeah, baseball people can lose their minds I guess. But you'd really have to show me how offensive environment as well as the surfaces in the 40s and 50s prove that all bunts were wrong. Or say 80& of bunts were wrong. If you're trying to say that everyone can all lose their minds at once. I mean I suppose bunting is your best argument so have at it.
   41. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 06, 2020 at 01:16 AM (#5992701)
Signing and playing crappy “proven veterans.” Big free agent salaries based on past performance rather than realistic future projections.


This isn't a logical argument. Teams arent 100% making bad free agent signings for 20 years. Go ahead show me how all free agent signings for 20 years were all wrong.

Hell show me one year where every free agent signing was wrong. You're just padding your argument here without even thinking it through.
   42. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 06, 2020 at 01:29 AM (#5992703)
Well I forgot to mention something about bunting....

The DH! Of course there's less bunts now days cause pitchers in the AL arent called upon to make them.

Lets run the numbers again without the AL. You already have 1940 1950 1960

2010 NL 63

Yeah 63 bunts per team vs 79 in 1940. That's your big argument? Big whippee sh!t. HOLD THE PRESSES! Bunts are down 20% in 70 years. 70 freakin years and that proves what? That every single team can lose its mind for 20 or 30 years? How does that prove that?

HOw different is 1940 from 2010? There must be a hundred things different. There's different baseballs. There's more HRs. is there less SB? There's more KOs. Guys are throwing 95 all the time. Is it harder to bunt against a faster pitch? I dunno. This hardly proves that all teams can lose their minds all at once.
   43. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 06, 2020 at 01:33 AM (#5992704)
here's the graph of yearly OPS+ by position for many years. It may be useful for the discussion

https://www.theringer.com/mlb/2019/7/11/20690121/shortstop-offense-home-runs-fernando-tatis-jorge-polanco-tim-anderson
   44. Adam Starblind Posted: December 06, 2020 at 09:01 AM (#5992718)
Why the hell did you let Owen hit? Armas, Burks and Dave Henderson were on the bench, and it’s not like the game was smart enough to know they couldn’t play SS


Well, duh. Pedrique never got an at bat either. Or Rafael Santana for that matter.

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