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Thursday, December 05, 2019

The Hall of Fame may have a Harold Baines problem

This weekend a veterans committee from the Hall of Fame will give 10 oft-debated Cooperstown candidates another look. Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Lou Whitaker and Tommy John are among those wondering if this is the year they finally get a call to the Hall.

This weekend we’ll also learn whether Cooperstown — as many people have feared for the past year — now has a Harold Baines problem. Because if Harold Baines is in, then Dale Murphy now makes a lot more sense, right? What about Dave Parker? Dwight Evans? Aren’t they better candidates now?

We’ll find out in a few days. The vote happens Sunday at the Winter Meetings in San Diego, from one of the Hall of Fame’s veterans committee. Nowadays, these committees are defined by era and each year offers a different era another chance at getting into baseball’s most famous fraternity.

This time it’s the Modern Baseball Era Committee, which covers 1970-1987. The whole ballot includes Dwight Evans, Steve Garvey, Marvin Miller, Thurman Munson, Dave Parker and Ted Simmons, in addition to Mattingly, Murphy, Whitaker and John. A 16-member panel of Hall of Famers, baseball executives and historians will decide whether each is worthy of Cooperstown. We’ll find out the results Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on MLB Network.

I have to wonder how we would have written about Frankie Frisch’s cronies in the Hall of Fame if the contemporary Internet was in place….

 

QLE Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:40 PM | 196 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, harold baines, veterans committee

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   1. Darren Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:50 PM (#5906119)
There are worse players than Baines who are in the Hall, so this is not a problem.
   2. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:56 PM (#5906124)
They got 99 problems but Hal Baines ain't one?
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 05, 2019 at 10:00 PM (#5906126)
No, if you broaden the definition of a ‘problem’ to include the 99 worst players in the Hall, then Baines certainly is one.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 05, 2019 at 10:08 PM (#5906127)
There are worse players than Baines who are in the Hall, so this is not a problem.

Not many, and they didn't have the tools to know most of them were that bad.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: December 05, 2019 at 10:35 PM (#5906132)
We’ll find out in a few days. The vote happens Sunday at the Winter Meetings in San Diego, from one of the Hall of Fame’s veterans committee. Nowadays, these committees are defined by era and each year offers a different era another chance at getting into baseball’s most famous fraternity.


I don't see the particular relevance here. There are a number of players on this ballot (unlike the one Harold was on) that would make perfectly reasonable Hall choices.

If they elect two or three of them, such as Whitaker and Simmons and Munson, then they don't have a Hal Baines problem. They don't have a problem at all.

If they elect Garvey, Parker and Mattingly, they have a committee problem.

The next time the modern era meets, we might see if the Baines election has any hangover.

   6. QLE Posted: December 05, 2019 at 10:36 PM (#5906133)
Not many, and they didn't have the tools to know most of them were that bad.


And, even without said tools, the induction of many of them did not go without controversy- the Jaffe book on the Hall of Fame discusses how the BBWAA grew irritated by the wide number of players supported by the likes of Frisch whom they had never taken seriously as candidates.
   7. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: December 05, 2019 at 10:46 PM (#5906136)
Yeah, when you look at the other OF/1B/DH types in the Hall with under 40 WAR, they're all guys who played before 1945, when Lloyd Waner hung them up. No one says, "Jim Bottomley's in the Hall of Fame, so why shouldn't Dave Parker be in the Hall of Fame?" But Parker overlapped Baines, had a pretty similar and probably slightly better career, played on two iconic World Series winning teams, and made an appearance on Reading Rainbow. Harold Baines is in the Hall of Fame, why shouldn't Dave Parker be in the Hall of Fame?

People won't make that argument because everyone knows that Baines is a bad choice. But if he's a bad choice then why was the choice made? (That's a rhetorical question.)
   8. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: December 05, 2019 at 10:59 PM (#5906137)
As everyone knows, Harold Baines was an astonishingly poor hall of fame choice. If Baines is in you can forget about players that some people (misguidedly) think have actual hall of fame arguments, folks like Reggie Sanders and Rafael Furcal need to start complaining that they need their spots in Cooperstown.

But really, past mistakes don't warrant future mistakes, and they probably don't even provide the basis for future mistakes. I doubt that Baines got in because the committee looked at Frankie Frisch's horrible abuse of the trust that was placed in him and said "let's replicate that". Rather, I suspect that each time the current incarnation of the VC does something like this, they have their own special reasons for horribly abusing the trust that was placed in them.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: December 05, 2019 at 11:15 PM (#5906140)
Rather, I suspect that each time the current incarnation of the VC does something like this, they have their own special reasons for horribly abusing the trust that was placed in them.


Baines' selection really isn't that hard to figure. Since the shutout of 2013, both the BBWAA and Vets Committees have taken more of an approach that their job is to elect people. The committee was given a slate of candidates that didn't really warrant election, and they chose the two that spent the longest time on the BBWAA ballot (one of whom received more than 40 percent of the writer's vote, the other of whom had several backers on the committee itself).

If the committee had been given a better group of players (which wasn't very likely, as the era shouldn't be up for vote yet), Hal Baines wouldn't have made it.

   10. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 05, 2019 at 11:18 PM (#5906141)
If Baines is in you can forget about players that some people (misguidedly) think have actual hall of fame arguments, folks like Reggie Sanders and Rafael Furcal need to start complaining that they need their spots in Cooperstown.


But there really isn't any mechanism out there for suddenly inducting massive numbers of players - either deserving or undeserving. The only argument to put Rafael Furcal in the Hall of Fame would be "Rafael Furcal was better than Harold Baines and everybody better than Harold Baines should be in the Hall of Fame". Setting aside whether Furcal really is a better HOF candidate than Baines, the outcome of that argument doesn't change the fact that Rafael Furcal is something like, what, the 22nd-best Hall-of-Fame candidate on the current BBWAA ballot (I picked 22 out of thin air, not out of a systematic analysis of the 32 current candidates). And the ballot limit is still 10. The BBWAA just can't elect 22 guys to the Hall of Fame and a guy who's universally regarded as the 22nd-best player on the ballot isn't going to even make a second ballot, much less be elected.

And ditto for this year's Veterans' Committee. Even if we accept that Don Mattingly and Steve Garvey are better choices for the Hall of Fame than Harold Baines, if the consensus is still that they're only maybe the 7th and 8th best candidates on the ballot (note: I have no idea who would be 9th or 10th; it doesn't matter for the exercise), they're not getting any votes: committee members can only vote for four - and there are at least four guys on that ballot who would fit perfectly fine into the main body of the Hall of Fame - maybe not all above-average HOFers, but there are probably at least six player candidates (and Marvin Miller) who would be perfectly cromulent Hall-of-Famers.
   11. The Duke Posted: December 06, 2019 at 05:51 AM (#5906158)
This is a good process to have. I just think having only 16 voters leaves it open to a Baines issue. If you had 24 (and yes that is unwieldy ), you’ll get better answers. If you look at the selectors for this ballot, the player reps are heavily AL focused. These small sample sizes can lead to strange results

Otherwise I think the Era committees are smart process
   12. bfan Posted: December 06, 2019 at 08:09 AM (#5906161)
There are worse players than Baines who are in the Hall, so this is not a problem.

Not many, and they didn't have the tools to know most of them were that bad.


This.
   13. Rusty Priske Posted: December 06, 2019 at 08:41 AM (#5906162)
Harold Baines deserved induction.

So do Dave Parker, Dale Murphy, and Dwight Evans.
   14. PreservedFish Posted: December 06, 2019 at 08:54 AM (#5906164)
There are worse players than Baines who are in the Hall, so this is not a problem.


The average voter has never heard of Freddie Lindstrom or Jesse Haines - they have absolutely zero impact on almost anyone's evaluation of Andy Pettitte or Bobby Abreu. Anyone actually motivated enough to consider historical standards is likely also wise enough to understand that the odd aberrant player can be safely ignored.

But Baines could potentially change the standards, because he's fresh in everyone's minds. I don't think he really will, but he could. We'll see this winter how many writers say "if Baines is in, I've changed my position on X." It should be very few. And I agree with Ziggy above, that future committees will likely have their own stupid reasons for doing their own stupid things.
   15. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:15 AM (#5906169)
But Baines could potentially change the standards, because he's fresh in everyone's minds. I don't think he really will, but he could.


The election of Rollie Fingers certainly encouraged the writers to jam a bunch of other relievers into the Hall.
   16. Rally Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:40 AM (#5906175)
But there really isn't any mechanism out there for suddenly inducting massive numbers of players - either deserving or undeserving.


Exactly. Every player on the current ballot has as good or better case as Baines. But it is as impossible to induct them all. The absolute most they could put in would be 5, if everyone filled out 4 names on each ballot and they all agreed as to which players should get the votes. In practice, I doubt they could agree on 3 players under the current procedures.
   17. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:46 AM (#5906177)
The election of Rollie Fingers certainly encouraged the writers to jam a bunch of other relievers into the Hall.


But that's because the writers were the ones who elected Fingers. Incredibly quickly, as it was.

Baines being elected because a few of his buddies convinced a few others to vote for him is not necessarily going to suddenly make hundreds of writers who summarily dismissed him completely re-calibrate their standards.

   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:58 AM (#5906183)
Not many, and they didn't have the tools to know most of them were that bad.

To follow up, there are exactly two hitters in the HoF with lower WAA than Baines: Lloyd Waner, and Tommy McCarthy. That's it.

Jim Bottomley beats Baines handily, 9 WAA to 1.8.
   19. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5906218)
The election of Rollie Fingers certainly encouraged the writers to jam a bunch of other relievers into the Hall.

After Fingers in 1992, the next reliever inducted was Eck in 2004.
   20. bobm Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5906220)
Harold Baines deserved induction

Labor induction?
Mathematical induction?
Electrostatic induction?
Induction into the armed forces?
   21. Rusty Priske Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:03 AM (#5906223)
Every player on the current ballot has as good or better case as Baines.


That is just nonsense.
   22. ajnrules Posted: December 06, 2019 at 12:03 PM (#5906257)
Every player on the current ballot has as good or better case as Baines.


Harold Baines: .289/.356/.465, 121 OPS+, 38.7 bWAR, 1.8 bWAA

Steve Garvey: .294/.329/.446, 117 OPS+, 38.1 bWAR, 7.0 bWAA

While one might argue Garvey may have a better case on the strength of the bWAA, I'd probably call the two a wash.

Pepsi to Rusty
   23. alilisd Posted: December 06, 2019 at 12:26 PM (#5906272)
22: You’re going to make me argue FOR Garvey? I hate you! ;-)

Looking just a bit beyond those rudimentary numbers you have all kinds of things in Satans favor that voters love. AS games, in season and postseason MVP recognition, black and gray ink, HOF standards and monitor numbers, GG all hugely favor Satan. JAWS shows them both unworthy of election but Satan ranks 51 at 1B versus 75 at RF for Baines
   24. Rally Posted: December 06, 2019 at 01:29 PM (#5906285)
Harold Baines deserved induction.

So do Dave Parker, Dale Murphy, and Dwight Evans.


If the HOF was big enough for the top 500 or so players of all time, I would totally believe this.
   25. Srul Itza Posted: December 06, 2019 at 01:42 PM (#5906292)
After Fingers in 1992, the next reliever inducted was Eck in 2004.


And Eck was a special case, with his starter's career contributing ~150 wins as a starter to ~50 wins and 390 saves as a reliever, yielding 62.2 WAR and 30.4 WAA.

   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2019 at 01:55 PM (#5906301)
Every player on the current ballot has as good or better case as Baines.


That is just nonsense.

It's actually true. Garvey and Parker are the only ones close, and they're "as good" as Baines, or a little better.

Mattingly, and Murphy crush him. WAR/WAA: Mattingly 42.4/17.6, Murphy 46.5/16.4, Baines 38.7/1.8.

Baines never had a single season in his career when he played like a HoF in his prime.
   27. Austin Kearns: The Spy Who Shagged Flies Posted: December 06, 2019 at 02:14 PM (#5906308)
Every player on the current ballot has as good or better case as Baines.


Which ballot? The writers' ballot or the committee ballot?
   28. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 06, 2019 at 02:28 PM (#5906311)
That is just nonsense.


Hardly. If anything, the career WAR numbers undersell the difference. WAR 7 shows it clearly

Murphy: 41.2
Parker: 37.4
Mattingly: 35.7
Garvey: 28.8
Baines: 21.4

Not even close to comparable, particularly the top 3. Baines had as many 3 WAR seasons as Parker and Murphy had 7 WAR seasons
   29. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 06, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5906312)
Which ballot? The writers' ballot or the committee ballot?


I assumed the VC ballot. Baines was clearly better than some players on the BBWAA ballot
   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2019 at 02:34 PM (#5906315)
I assumed the VC ballot. Baines was clearly better than some players on the BBWAA ballot

Right. The article is about the VC ballot.
   31. Baldrick Posted: December 06, 2019 at 02:39 PM (#5906318)
Garvey has a much better HOF case than Baines. He was a better player, and blows Baines away in all the 'felt like a HOFer' stuff if you care about that.
   32. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 06, 2019 at 02:45 PM (#5906320)
Honestly, though, I thought it was pretty accepted that, even by VC standards, Baines wasn't really considered "deserving", in as much as he got in because he had Reinsdorf, Gillick, and LaRussa arguing for him in the room.

Some VC selections strike me as correcting writers' mistakes (Santo and Trammell come to mind) while others strike me as the pushing over of a guy nearly elected by the voters (Morris). But it seemed like people kind of accepted that Baines was basically the result of cronyism
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: December 06, 2019 at 02:47 PM (#5906323)
But it seemed like people kind of accepted that Baines was basically the result of cronyism


Cronyism and a terrible ballot. If he were on this ballot, he wouldn't be getting in regardless of TLR and Reinsdorf's pleading.

   34. Rally Posted: December 06, 2019 at 03:01 PM (#5906324)
Which ballot? The writers' ballot or the committee ballot?


The VC ballot. Sorry for any confusion. Garvey/Mattingly/Parker would all be better selections than Baines. As long as we ignore off the field issues like kitten murder at least.

I did not mean to imply that Baines was worse than Heath Bell or Carlos Pena.
   35. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 06, 2019 at 03:06 PM (#5906326)
Cronyism and a terrible ballot. If he were on this ballot, he wouldn't be getting in regardless of TLR and Reinsdorf's pleading.


Right, but the upshot is still that he wasn't elected because the omission of a player of his caliber was seen as a large oversight on the part of the writers
   36. Rally Posted: December 06, 2019 at 03:10 PM (#5906327)
Cronyism and a terrible ballot. If he were on this ballot, he wouldn't be getting in regardless of TLR and Reinsdorf's pleading.


Not as good as this year's ballot, but I think BTF would have been mostly happy if Will Clark and Orel Hershiser made it instead of Baines and Smith.

On the other hand, 6 players, 3 managers, and 1 owner. Of the 3 managers, Davey Johnson and Lou Piniella had arguable cases but Charlie Manual? Only 10 full season as a manager. Sure, he won a ring and 6 division titles, but seems to me there must be a ton of managers you could make a better case for.
   37. SoSH U at work Posted: December 06, 2019 at 03:10 PM (#5906328)
Right, but the upshot is still that he wasn't elected because the omission of a player of his caliber was seen as a large oversight on the part of the writers


Absolutely not.
   38. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: December 06, 2019 at 03:40 PM (#5906347)
Baines at 1.8 WAA is just astounding. The guy was almost literally dead average.
   39. . Posted: December 06, 2019 at 03:55 PM (#5906354)
He was far better than average, and these kind of exaggerations do no one any favors. The guy is 34th all time in career RBIs and had something like 2,800 hits. Walking around bumbling and stumbling and saying things like "Harold Baines was an average major league player" makes one sound like the drunk on the barstool in the corner.(*) He's neither a good selection for the Hall of Fame, nor average, but it's not really in the nature of the internet to utter these kind of conclusions.

(*) I don't mean to focus on that one remark in particular; it's more representative of a wider phenomenon.
   40. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 06, 2019 at 04:22 PM (#5906361)
Baines at 1.8 WAA is just astounding. The guy was almost literally dead average.


He was far better than average, and these kind of exaggerations do no one any favors.


Yes, I would probably quibble with this as well. The value he produced, over his career, came out to just above average, largely due to the positional adjustment penalty. But that's also just one way to define a career. Baines posted an OPS+ of at least 108 for 19 consecutive seasons. That's a feat that very few players are good enough to manage.

As SBB says, this doesn't make him a good HOF selection, but we really should appreciate that what Baines was good at (hitting), he was good at at a level far beyond that of an average ML player
   41. cookiedabookie Posted: December 06, 2019 at 04:37 PM (#5906363)
Baines is 51st out of 67 players with 10,000+ PA in Adjusted Batting Runs per 650 PA. Behind Dewey Evans, Rusty Staub, Darrell Evans, and Luis Gonzalez, among others not in the Hall of Fame. Even when you disregard the negative positional adjustment, he just doesn't stack up as a Hall of Famer. The HoF guys below him played premium defensive positions, outside of Tony Perez, who was at least a plus defender at first base.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2019 at 04:39 PM (#5906365)
He was far better than average, and these kind of exaggerations do no one any favors. The guy is 34th all time in career RBIs and had something like 2,800 hits. Walking around bumbling and stumbling and saying things like "Harold Baines was an average major league player" makes one sound like the drunk on the barstool in the corner.(*) He's neither a good selection for the Hall of Fame, nor average, but it's not really in the nature of the internet to utter these kind of conclusions.

His quality level was average, and his longevity was exceptional. That makes him far above average in the pool of MLB players. The point is, his production was never significantly above average, and that's pretty much the prerequisite for the Hall of Fame.

A 60 WAR 0 WAA player wouldn't belong in the HoF anymore than Baines.
   43. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 04:44 PM (#5906367)
Baines was an ordinary player who had and extraordinarily long career. He was never great only occasionally very good and frequently just Meh. He was also never bad, except at the very end. He provided no value beyond his bat, and his bat wasn't that great. He led the league in one offensive category once. He was rarely among the leaders also, given his extraordinarily low gray ink total of 40. Rusty Staub had twice that. Dwight Evans 3X. Likewise Tony Perez. Just to name a few compilers of similar career lengths. Danny Tartabull had more. Ron Gant. Victor Martinez. Tim Salmon. Brian Giles.

So saying he was an average player greatly undersells him, because 2830 games is way above average. But he provided no more excess value than 4 average guys with 700 game careers.
   44. Baldrick Posted: December 06, 2019 at 04:51 PM (#5906370)
A 60 WAR 0 WAA player wouldn't belong in the HoF anymore than Baines.

Ichiro could have done this if he had wanted (and if they kept running him out there for 700 PAs a year).
   45. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 04:54 PM (#5906371)
A 60 WAR 0 WAA


I don't think that's possible. In fact, Baines probably stretches this to it's theoretical limit. The lowest WAA for anyone over 40 WAR is 5.3 by Omar Vizquel. The lowest for anyone over 50 is 15.5 by Harry Hooper. Give Paul Konerko three 4 WAR/2WAA seasons, and he's at 39.7/0.1
   46. PreservedFish Posted: December 06, 2019 at 05:14 PM (#5906374)
Theoretical limit my butt. I just imagined a player with 30 consecutive 2 WAR, 0 WAA seasons. His name is Rupert. He has 4,000 hits.
   47. . Posted: December 06, 2019 at 05:21 PM (#5906377)
largely due to the positional adjustment penalty.


The "positional adjustment penalty" should have no bearing whatever on HOF selections or the opinion of posterity because at the end of the day it doesn't say anything about how good a player you were. Playing a premium position very well should, and overtly poor defense anywhere should, but the penalty should not.

People really need to stop insisting that the HOF is, or should be, a WAR rewarder or that membership is inherently tied to one's position on the WAR chart. This isn't the case, nor should it be.
   48. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 05:36 PM (#5906381)
The "positional adjustment penalty" should have no bearing whatever on HOF selections or the opinion of posterity because at the end of the day it doesn't say anything about how good a player you were.


Of all the incredibly stupid things you have said over the years, this is one of them.
   49. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 06, 2019 at 05:37 PM (#5906382)
The lowest WAA for anyone over 40 WAR is 5.3 by Omar Vizquel. The lowest for anyone over 50 is 15.5 by Harry Hooper.

and the lowest for anyone over 60 WAR is 24.0 by Dave Winfield, followed closely by Sheffield (26.0)
   50. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2019 at 05:39 PM (#5906383)
The "positional adjustment penalty" should have no bearing whatever on HOF selections or the opinion of posterity because at the end of the day it doesn't say anything about how good a player you were. Playing a premium position very well should, and overtly poor defense anywhere should, but the penalty should not.

"Positional adjustment" is just short hand for "A 121 OPS+ is nothing special for a guy who played mostly DH and some mediocre OF".
   51. . Posted: December 06, 2019 at 05:48 PM (#5906387)
"Positional adjustment" is just short hand for "A 121 OPS+ is nothing special for a guy who played mostly DH and some mediocre OF".


I get what you're saying but typically there's no reason we should communicate in shorthand when the shorthand is more complicated and less illuminating than the longhand. There's no communicative or rhetorical reason to shorten "A 121 OPS+ is nothing special for a guy who played mostly DH and some mediocre OF." And you yourself have often correctly bemoaned the false precision offered up by WAR.

Quite honestly, there's nothing valuable or important added by WAR itself to the shorthand statement. The shorthand statement is far more simple to comprehend and says really all that needs to be said.
   52. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 05:49 PM (#5906388)
Paul Konerko: 439 HR 1412 RBI, 118 OPS+ in 9500 PA

Carlton Fisk: 376 HR 1330 RTBI 117 OPS+ 9800 PA

I can say with the utmost confidence that the reason Fisk is a richly deserving HOFer and Konerko will be lucky to get a sympathy vote from a Chicago writer is not because Fisk was a better fielding catcher than Konerko was a first baseman.
   53. . Posted: December 06, 2019 at 05:59 PM (#5906391)
Catcher is an up-the-middle premium position with far more inherent wear and tear, and everyone understands that. You might want to read what I actually wrote, rather than what you wanted me to have written.
   54. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 06:19 PM (#5906396)
People really need to stop insisting that the HOF is, or should be, a WAR rewarder or that membership is inherently tied to one's position on the WAR chart.


NO one's doing this. THe only person with over the top, over generalizations, is you. You cant write a paragraph without launching into some ridiculous over generalization and then ascribing it to all primates, or most primates, or lots of primates.

It almost like you're projecting your own inner weirdness on everyone else.
   55. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 06:29 PM (#5906400)
Catcher is an up-the-middle premium position with far more inherent wear and tear, and everyone understands that.


OK, how much better a hitter would Konerko have to be to be considered the equal of Fisk? Would 129 OPS+ in 9000 PA do it? 133 in 9500? 147 in 9700? 134 in 10,000?
   56. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 06:42 PM (#5906403)
OK, how much better a hitter would Konerko have to be to be considered the equal of Fisk? Would 129 OPS+ in 9000 PA do it? 133 in 9500? 147 in 9700? 134 in 10,000?


THat's a good pt. THat there's a need to quantify that value, whatever it is. I really dont like the positional adjustment the way its worked into WAR itself. I prefer to compare players of similar position to themselves and not attempt these sort of comparisons to other positions. But I get your pt. here.
   57. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 08:38 PM (#5906411)
THat's a good pt. THat there's a need to quantify that value, whatever it is. I really dont like the positional adjustment the way its worked into WAR itself. I prefer to compare players of similar position to themselves and not attempt these sort of comparisons to other positions. But I get your pt. here.


Sure, but one always needs a standard. What is the HOF standard for a catcher vs a 3B vs a LF, etc? Or for that matter MVP. Obviously a similar batting profile between a SS and a LF will leave the LF short. But one needs to have some sort of standard measure to know when the LF has exceeded the SS. Otherwise, one is left with ad hoc decisions that lead to absurdities like Justin Morneau over Joe Mauer.
   58. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 08:47 PM (#5906412)
one always needs a standard. What is the HOF standard for a catcher vs a 3B vs a LF, etc?


But why does it have to be in terms of WAR? Why can't the 5th best catcher be about equal to the 5th best LF? I dont get why its so necessary to break it down in terms of WAR; when not everything can be quantified on a single, One Size Fits Everyone Scale.

For instance, I dont expect Dave Parker to play SS; but then I dont expect Dave Concepcion to play RF either even though the SS position is getting a better positional boost than the RF. You cant just plug players in like that. I mean maybe you can for some players, maybe Dave Lopes could play RF, maybe. But you're trying to quantify something that I dont think can be quantified and its just effin confusing.
   59. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:00 PM (#5906416)
I'm not saying it HAS to be WAR. What I'm saying is that a quantitative expression of a bonus (or debit) given to one's overall offensive and defensive contributions is useful in certain contexts when trying to assess overall value and greatness.
   60. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:04 PM (#5906417)
For instance, I dont expect Dave Parker to play SS; but then I dont expect Dave Concepcion to play RF either even though the SS position is getting a better positional boost than the RF. You cant just plug players in like that. I mean maybe you can for some players, maybe Dave Lopes could play RF, maybe. But you're trying to quantify something that I dont think can be quantified and its just effin confusing.


No one uses position adjustments like that. the WAR position adjustments work to express how much better a less defensively valuable position player's offensive and defensive value need to be to equal a player at a more defensively valuable position. Yes, everyone knows that, all else being equal, a first baseman needs to hit better than a SS to be equally valuable. Position adjustments attempt to quantify how much.
   61. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:07 PM (#5906418)
It might be useful, but can it really be quantized? that is the idea of going from one position or another.

Literally, you said "ones overall off. and defensive contributions" but if I read that at face value; the best way to measure the defensive contribution is say the LF'ers value vs the average LF, or the replacement LF. Whatver. But his value is based on other people playing that same position. Like I said not sure if that's how you mean it, obviously we want to quantize def and off values, but across the spectrum of positions? Why is that necessary?
   62. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:15 PM (#5906420)
Literally, you said "ones overall off. and defensive contributions" but if I read that at face value; the best way to measure the defensive contribution is say the LF'ers value vs the average LF, or the replacement LF. Whatver. But his value is based on other people playing that same position.


What I meant was, is he a great, good, average, bad, dreadful fielder at his position. How much quantitative value did he bring to the table with his fielding irrespective of his position.

Like I said not sure if that's how you mean it, obviously we want to quantize def and off values, but across the spectrum of positions? Why is that necessary?


Who do you pick for the MVP. The SS with a 135 OPS+, or the DH with a 165? Obviously, more than WAR enters into it, but its nice to have a handy metric to tell you approximately how much better the DH has to hit to be as valuable as the SS so that you can put them on a more or less equal footing, and then evaluate the other stuff.
   63. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:18 PM (#5906421)
the WAR position adjustments work to express how much better a less defensively valuable position player's offensive and defensive value need to be to equal a player at a more defensively valuable position.


OK I get that's what you're saying, in response:

1. Why is that important to anybody? why does that even matter
2. How would you quantify that, if you could?
3. Show the math using a DH vs a RF.
4. We already have someone to play the C position, no one cares how bad the RF is at C; or whatever two positions we are talking.

IN regards to no. 1. RF "X" is 10 runs better (total off/def contribution) than the avg RF. That's enuf for me. If say JOhnny Bench is the C and he hit 40 HR. If JBench is 10 runs better than the avg C (off/def total); then to me that's a tie: the RF is about as valuable as the C.

Neither player is going to switch positions. Correct?
The C position doesnt get some bonus on the scoreboard, so if the RF contribution vs other RFers is = to that of the C, than that's it, they're equal.

Yes catcher is harder, I suppose. But we've got someone on our team to play catcher already, so its not like the RF is letting us down.

So that's where Im coming from; I dont see how you can quantify between positions. And I dont see the pt.
   64. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:21 PM (#5906422)

Who do you pick for the MVP. The SS with a 135 OPS+, or the DH with a 165? Obviously, more than WAR enters into it


Like I said originally: why cant it simply be his total contribution in WAR vs the average player at his position? why is their such a NEED to quantify it across the spectrum of positions.

No one expects JOhnny Bench to pitch, right? How many more hits does he need than Burt Blyleven? Its an absurd example, yes? Is it any more absurd to compare the SS to C, or the RF to 3b? to me they are equally absurd.

How do you compare the DH position? Doesnt this highlite the absurdity?

   65. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:28 PM (#5906423)
OK, I now understand what you are saying. I don't have a problem with that. It's 2 different evaluation systems, and they may both be valid in the end. The only quibble might be in those instances in which a position is historically weak, or strong, which happens from time to time. If you have a situation in which 3B is historically weak, and CF is historically strong, that doesn't necessarily make the best 3B the best player in the league.
   66. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:29 PM (#5906424)
Like I said originally: why cant it simply be his total contribution in WAR vs the average player at his position? why is their such a NEED to quantify it across the spectrum of positions.

No one expects JOhnny Bench to pitch, right? How many more hits does he need than Burt Blyleven? Its an absurd example, yes? Is it any more absurd to compare the SS to C, or the RF to 3b? to me they are equally absurd.

How do you compare the DH position? Doesnt this highlite the absurdity?


Teams have to make these decisions all the time when drafting, trading, and signing FA. If I'm offered a trade of Ozzie Albies for Peter Alonso, I really need to be able to compared value across positions.
   67. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:31 PM (#5906425)
Take the late 90's AL. How good could Alex Rodriguez really be, when you had prime Jeter, Nomar, and Tejada? Meanwhile, there is Jason Giambi dominating the first basemen.
   68. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:40 PM (#5906426)
The problem where it really irks me is when you have a putz playing a premium defensive position. Lets take like Dale Berra, Berra was a complete putz out there. He had no instincts and he made bad plays at crucial times, some other PIT fan can back me up on this.

if you look at this first 5 seasons in PIT he gets 0, 0, 0, -2 and -3 RField; But this is because its TZ which minimizes the skew of both the extremely good and extremely bad players. I have no idea how he scored 11 Rfield in 1982 he never came close to that ever again. OK so he's replacement level at best, I guess. THen they give him a DEFENSIVE BONUS for playing shitty!

OK that's what pisses me off If you want to give a defensive bonus to someone playing a premium position well. That's fine. TZ probably minimizes his contribution anyways so that's fine. But giving a defensive bonus to soemone who shouldnt play there any way is STOOPID and it ##### with the values of players. OK?

Berra went to the NYY in '83 I guess because Yogi was there. Here he is at age 28 or 29 should be at his peak and they send him to HOU and he's done by age 30. OK that's fairly good evidence that he really wasnt all that good.

His career Rbat is - 89 his career Rfield is 13 which is generous, but his positional bonus is 43 so he somehow winds up with 5.5 WAR when he wasnt good at all.

   69. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:44 PM (#5906427)
If I'm offered a trade of Ozzie Albies for Peter Alonso, I really need to be able to compared value across positions.


No you dont: YOu simply figure out what you have in the pipeline for that position. No one is going to work the defensive bonus into there. If you have a guy that plays SS or whatever position Albies plays then you figure out how valuable that guy is if he is going to play there.

Isnt that obvious?

In fact why would you do it your way if it produced a different conclusion than my method.

Let's say you trade your SS for a 1b. The SS is about 10 runs above average but he gets a position bonus of say 10 runs. The 1b is 2.5 WAR player so you tell the GM this is a good deal.

However, your replacement for the SS is a 0 WAR player, and you already have a 2 WAR player at 1b.

ARe you seriously going to tell me that using the positional bonus is relevant here? Arent the players who fill in those positions the only relevant factors here?
   70. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:58 PM (#5906429)

Take the late 90's AL. How good could Alex Rodriguez really be, when you had prime Jeter, Nomar, and Tejada? Meanwhile, there is Jason Giambi dominating the first basemen.


OH ok, this is a follow up to your previous statement regarding positional scarcity and/or piling up of talent at one position. OK let me think....

I mean I guess we have to take the players and their value relative to the league at face value. So ARod is say a 5WAR and Giambi is whatever he is. I dont see a problem with that. IF there really was a scarcity at 1b then the managers should be finding players to play 1b.

If ARod would be more valuable at 1b then he should play there. Well GIambi's on his team, so I guess that doesnt work. I mean I have to assume that the best talent is there filling all the positions as best they can.

****

Can you make any attempt to show the math on how you would quantify a positional bonus for a DH vs RF? Or is that all black box stuff?

   71. RJ in TO Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:58 PM (#5906430)
Take the late 90's AL. How good could Alex Rodriguez really be, when you had prime Jeter, Nomar, and Tejada? Meanwhile, there is Jason Giambi dominating the first basemen.
Picking 2000 to check, because that year was probably closest to the peak for the group of shortstops you specified, despite having A-Rod, Jeter, Nomar, and Tejada, the average SS still only put up a 0.772 OPS, against a league average of 0.792, and an average at 1B of 0.884. As A-Rod was sitting at an OPS of 1.026 (0.254 above the average for his position), and Giambi was at 1.123 (0.239 above average for his position), assuming equivalent defense against the average at their positions (and admittedly ignoring park effects), A-Rod would still likely be seen as slightly more valuable.

For the most part, a couple stars don't hugely distort the average at their position.

Note: I should qualify that with "in larger leagues, a couple stars don't hugely distort the average at their positions. In something like an 8 team league, it can matter more.
   72. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 09:59 PM (#5906431)
if you look at this first 5 seasons in PIT he gets 0, 0, 0, -2 and -3 RField; But this is because its TZ which minimizes the skew of both the extremely good and extremely bad players.


Well, he also played a lot more 3B than SS in those years. Plus the sample size is pretty damned small. No more than 271 PA in any of those years. As for 1982, well, flukes happen, whether with the player or the data. Was Adam Dunn really -43 in 2009, or Dante Bichette -34 in 1999? Was Jeter the best defensively in his career at age 35?
   73. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:05 PM (#5906434)
His career Rbat is - 89 his career Rfield is 13 which is generous, but his positional bonus is 43 so he somehow winds up with 5.5 WAR when he wasnt good at all.


He was 4.2 wins below average for his career, which was about 4.2 years of playing time. That's not good at all.
   74. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:08 PM (#5906435)
The only quibble might be in those instances in which a position is historically weak, or strong, which happens from time to time.


I mean this is right out of Bill James, yes? I recall him using this exact concept when discussing Mays and Mantle in the HIstorical Abstract.

WHich quoting Bill James (if indeed you were) is not a bad thing. Its definitely possible that both were inner circle HoFer's at the same time and same position. That's kind of interesting in a way, like what are the odds?

But even more interesting to me, is when you see all the middle infielders, all hitting 80 OPS in the dead ball era of the 1960s. I mean, why is that? Was there such a premium on fielding that we had to punt offense in order to find someone to get ground balls. And now in the lively ball era we see or saw ARod types hitting well above that.

WHy is that, or why was that? Why wasnt there any 1960s version of Honus wagner or ARod that could play SS in the 1960s? Were the infields that poorly maintained? Were there too many balls hit on the ground? Was there some sort of institutional bias that made them play all the big guys at 3b?

I dunno. And I dont think anybody can really say. So its really dicey when you get into these areas about positional scarcity when its hard to say what was really going on. Was there something about the environment of the 1990s that made Giambi some sort of freak? Aside from the roids?
   75. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:10 PM (#5906436)
A-Rod would still likely be seen as slightly more valuable.


And yet he was hugely more valuable. A GG quality SS who was a very good baserunner with a 163 OPS+ vs a poor fielding, slow 1B with a 187 in equal playing time.
   76. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:15 PM (#5906438)
Why wasnt there any 1960s version of Honus wagner or ARod that could play SS in the 1960s?


Jim Fregosi. OK, he wasn't Honus Wager or ARod, but from 1962-1970, he put up a 118 OPS+.
   77. RJ in TO Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:16 PM (#5906439)
And yet he was hugely more valuable. A GG quality SS who was a very good baserunner with a 163 OPS+ vs a poor fielding, slow 1B with a 187 in equal playing time.


It was a quick and dirty check based only on OPS, relative to average at the position. Adding in his baserunning (above average against position) and defense (above average against position), and the gap would obviously widen. I'm assuming Sunday Silence wouldn't ignore these other things when comparing within a position.

As Sunday Silence indicates, every team has to play someone at each position. If a guy is the most runs above average against his position when compared to the league, he's also most likely the most valuable player in the league as a whole. In other words, the answer to how good A-Rod could be, when there were three other stars at his position at the same time, is extremely.
   78. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:17 PM (#5906440)

Well, he also played a lot more 3B than SS in those years.


yeah I forgot about that. Getting back to theory:

Assuming Berra was a below average fielding SS. Is there anyway to know how bad the average RF would be if they attempted to play SS? I mean there's no sure way to know is there? Its entirely possible than the average RF could play SS about the same as Berra. I dont know that, but I cant be sure either way.

But they give Berra a positional bonus when he's playing the position badly. Admittedly he doesnt get a large bonus becuase as you said he played other positions. But that's the problem Im having w/ the positional bonus thing.
   79. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:19 PM (#5906441)


Jim Fregosi. OK, he wasn't Honus Wager or ARod, but from 1962-1970, he put up a 118 OPS+.


Right or possible Ernie Banks, but they didnt put up ARod numbers. And I wonder why? What was it about the environment?
   80. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:21 PM (#5906442)
But they give Berra a positional bonus when he's playing the position badly. Admittedly he doesnt get a large bonus becuase as you said he played other positions. But that's the problem Im having w/ the positional bonus thing.


We went through this about a week ago WRT Jeter. By the WAR numbers, Jeter was a historically bad SS. Had he been an average fielding first baseman, he would have been equally valuable , by WAR. Had he been an average fielding CF, he would have been much more valuable.
   81. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:22 PM (#5906443)
Right or possible Ernie Banks, but they didnt put up ARod numbers. And I wonder why? What was it about the environment?


That and ARod was one of the 2 or 3 best SS in all of history.
   82. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:25 PM (#5906444)
And yet he was hugely more valuable. A GG quality SS who was a very good baserunner with a 163 OPS+ vs a poor fielding, slow 1B with a 187 in equal playing tim


But you dont know that. Just use the WAR each guy was credited with for off/def. Drop the positional bonus. I dont know what the numbers say, but if ARod comes out ahead by 1 WAR, whats the problem? And how do you know he should be 2 WAR better? Obviously WAR factors in running, so griping about who's a better runner is irrelevant, its already factored into WAR.

In reality if other teams are finding good hitting SS and that's cutting into ARod off. value vs other SS, that's fine. That's what other teams had in the league. Otherwise you are assuming that they should have found better hitting 1b to minimize the relative off value of giambi. But they didnt (assuming what you say is correct).

But if they didnt, then that's how it goes.
   83. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:28 PM (#5906445)
That and ARod was one of the 2 or 3 best SS in all of history.


But you dont think he was a product of that environment? YOu think he would have the same impact, inner circle HoFer, if he had played SS in the dead ball era?
   84. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:38 PM (#5906449)
But you dont know that. Just use the WAR each guy was credited with for off/def. Drop the positional bonus. I dont know what the numbers say, but if ARod comes out ahead by 1 WAR, whats the problem? And how do you know he should be 2 WAR better? Obviously WAR factors in running, so griping about who's a better runner is irrelevant, its already factored into WAR.


It's tough having a discussion when you don't seem to understand the terms. But I'll indulge you:

ARod - 58 batting runs, 7 base running runs, 16 fielding runs. Total 81

Giambi - 75 batting runs, -1 base running, -4 fielding. Total 70.

Playing time was almost identical, so replacement runs don't enter into it. So , trying to put it into non-WAR terms, we have a poor fielding 1B who is a slightly better offensive player than a great fielding SS. Without the positional adjustment, the numbers say ARod is slightly better, when we all know it's much bigger than that.
   85. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:52 PM (#5906453)
is this TZ doing the defensive numbers? Cause thats the problem right there.

If we assume the above numbers are correct (obviously I have an issue there) then thats what it is. Giambi is having a career year or so it seems. ARod I dunno is 8 WAR average for him? What do you want the numbers to say?

Honestly, if you were to use the positional adjustments they propose, and give all the good defenders the positional adjustment. And all the bad defenders subtract the positional adjustment and its probably make the TZ numbers just about correct.

I sometimes half believe that they came up with those stupid positional bonuses just to make the defensive numbers work when the TZ numbers really dont make any sense by themselves. Not without the bonus.
   86. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:55 PM (#5906455)

ARod - 58 batting runs, 7 base running runs, 16 fielding runs. Total 81

Giambi - 75 batting runs, -1 base running, -4 fielding. Total 70.


Whats wrong with saying AROd is one WAR more valuable than Giambi, and he's probably able to play Giambi's position and not vice versa? What's so wrong about that? Do we really know any more than that? Do we really know how bad Giambi would be at SS? Are we really sure ARod can play 1b? Do we really know that Giambi would be what -12 runs down if he played SS? These are all numbers pulled out of a hat yes?
   87. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 06, 2019 at 10:57 PM (#5906456)
Well, that's fine. If you had said upfront that you reject any and all WAR numbers, or just those that conflict with your worldview, we could have saved some time.
   88. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:00 PM (#5906459)
I didnt say that. Where are you getting that from?
   89. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:04 PM (#5906460)
ANd are you going to attempt the DH vs RF adjustment or not?

My contention is that its all made up. But I really dont know the underpinnings of all that and I was hoping maybe you could enlighten us, by just running some made up plausible numbers as to how you would convert the DH to RF and make an adjustment...

I mean correct me if Im wrong: My understanding is that they are saying that its harder to play a premium defensive position. OK. So harder for who? A guy playing 1b, or just an average MLBer? So is it fair if I was to ask what would happen if we plug the average MLBer into the SS position? I mean is that a fair question? or do they find the adjustment some other way?

SO lets say you have a guy playing DH. I dunno, let's say its Otani. So are we saying that if Otani was to play CF he'd be like 20 runs worse than the average CFer? Or are we just taking the averaging lumbering, older DH? And how do we know how he'd play in CF? Is there some way to measure that?

And if you cant do that, then this is all made up numbers anyhow. Right?
   90. Sunday silence Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:07 PM (#5906461)

It's tough having a discussion when you don't seem to understand the terms


OK what is it you dont think I understand?
   91. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 07, 2019 at 07:14 AM (#5906479)
Just throwing in: with WAR being cited on broadcasts now, I think it's just a matter of time before casual consumers of analytics start rolling their eyes at it - especially that different websites have different numbers, and that offensive WAR plus defensive WAR doesn't equal WAR.
   92. Lassus Posted: December 07, 2019 at 09:18 AM (#5906484)
[Baines] is 34th all time in career RBIs

So you're saying he hit to the score?
   93. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 07, 2019 at 12:17 PM (#5906540)
No you dont: YOu simply figure out what you have in the pipeline for that position. No one is going to work the defensive bonus into there. If you have a guy that plays SS or whatever position Albies plays then you figure out how valuable that guy is if he is going to play there.

Isnt that obvious?


No. Your minor leagues are not the only source of talent.

If I project Albies as a 5 WAR player for the next 5 years, and Alfonso for 3, I make the trade for Albies even if I currently have a 4 WAR 2B, and no one at 1B. I can always trade my excess assets and acquire a 1B, or heck, my 2B can play 1B.
   94. . Posted: December 07, 2019 at 12:51 PM (#5906549)
No, you can't always trade your excess assets for exactly what you want. The market, even if you couch it entirely in terms of WAR, is incomplete and discrete. :You can't just go into the marketplace and say you want a projected 3 or 4 WAR secondbaseman and have a bunch of ask prices that you can hit. It is distinctly not like the market for financial assets wherein you can buy whatever return you project, with very little friction.

It would be nice if the WARriors would eventually understand this fundamental point and adjust accordingly. The same point goes for the so-called replacement player. There's no baseball analogue to the risk-free asset in finance.
   95. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: December 07, 2019 at 01:56 PM (#5906576)
This isn’t pretty now,
   96. John DiFool2 Posted: December 07, 2019 at 01:57 PM (#5906577)
Julio Franco was probably the one recent guy who could have done the 30 year/2 WAR a year trick, if he hadn't been out of the majors for 3 or so years (+ an earlier start, he was likely a 1-3 WAR player in his age 23 AAA season). Even then he was still 12 WAA.
   97. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 07, 2019 at 03:01 PM (#5906597)
No, you can't always trade your excess assets for exactly what you want. The market, even if you couch it entirely in terms of WAR, is incomplete and discrete. :You can't just go into the marketplace and say you want a projected 3 or 4 WAR secondbaseman and have a bunch of ask prices that you can hit. It is distinctly not like the market for financial assets wherein you can buy whatever return you project, with very little friction.

It would be nice if the WARriors would eventually understand this fundamental point and adjust accordingly. The same point goes for the so-called replacement player. There's no baseball analogue to the risk-free asset in finance.


Absolutely irrelevant to what I said.

Are you saying you'd turn down the trade of a projected 3 WAR player for a projected 5 WAR player because of positional fit? That's as dumb as drafting for positional need.
   98. . Posted: December 07, 2019 at 05:41 PM (#5906632)
Acquiring major league players has nothing to do with drafting for positional need. Nor is the marketplace for major league 3 WAR at a particular position complete (*) enough to be able to guarantee that you'll wind up ok. And that's not even considering the contracts involved.

(*) I think "complete" market is the right economic term here, but I confess to being rusty. The concept is, I hope, clear.

   99. Sunday silence Posted: December 07, 2019 at 10:27 PM (#5906700)
What does the concept: positional adjustment supposed to mean anyhow?

I get the impression from other primates that it is sort of like replacement level player. That its somehow easier to fill the 1b position than the SS position. At least that's what snappers comments suggest. Not sure what the official answer is on that.

BUt assuming Snapper's concept: why should any one position be easier to fill than another? From a strictly free market concept or from a Darwinian point of view: these guys are being paid millions of dollars. THere's no reason to think that there's guys who could play SS but are otherwise employed as actuarys or lawyers or something, right?

SO whatever we have in the pipeline at SS is what we have. And the same for 1b. There's no reason to think that there's some plethora of 1b laying around is there? Is there any tangible evidence of that?

Naturally 1b tend to hit better than SS, and C and CF. Is that because its easier to play 1b or that the 1b position requires a body type that is different than SS/CF and that body type is better fitted for power. BUt that doesnt mean 1b is "EASIER" does it? It simply asks for different type of skills (power hitting) to make up for whatever it lacks in defensive priority.

Well that's how I see that. How do you see it? What makes you think 1b is EASIER?

*****

In related vein: we had the example of ARod vs GIambi up thread. Whatever was meant by that clearly I dont grok the "positional value" idea. Lets put it another way:


I have a 1b who hits maybe league average ,and fields just OK. He's about 1 WAR worse than the typical MLB 1b in terms of his overall def/off WAR value.

NOw I also have a SS who hits OK for a SS and fields kind of bad. He too, is about 1WAR worse than the typical MLB SS in terms of his overall def/off value.

Is there any relevant difference here? I have a 1 WAR deficit at 1b, that I'd like to fill and I have a similar 1 WAR deficit at SS. WHAT THE HELL'S THE DIFFERENCE?

I guess Snapper will tell us its easier to fill that 1b gap. Really ? Why should it be easier? Clearly every team in MLB is attempting to fill 1b with the best guys they have. Hence hitting better than average MLB becomes a priority there. Why would that be so much easier?
   100. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: December 07, 2019 at 10:47 PM (#5906712)
I guess Snapper will tell us its easier to fill that 1b gap. Really ? Why should it be easier?


Because the pool of players who can play 1B is much greater than the pool of players who could play SS or C*. Any SS could play 1B. few, if any, 1B could play SS. Why are the best hitters typically DH, 1B, and corner OF, and the worst middle infielders and catcher?

* Just one example, 1B can throw with either hand. SS and C have to be right handed.
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