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PaleHoseGeorge
01-22-2002, 08:54 PM
The thread about Durham got me thinking...

Did all the great lead-off men of the 1980's make us spoiled?

Rickey Henderson
Tim Raines
Vince Coleman

I would put those three ahead of anybody playing the game today.

On a related topic...

Has there ever been a better crop of shortstops than there is right now?

Arod
Nomar
Jeter

These guys are clearly better than anybody who played shortstop in the 80's. In fact, I wonder if Ozzie Smith would be considered such a great shortstop if he had to compete head-to-head with the top shortstops of today's game.

I don't think Ozzie would compare too favorably.

Bottom line, maybe these things run in cycles? In ten years there might be a large quantity of HOF-quality secondbasemen.

czalgosz
01-22-2002, 09:08 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
The thread about Durham got me thinking...

Did all the great lead-off men of the 1980's make us spoiled?

Rickey Henderson
Tim Raines
Vince Coleman

I would put those three ahead of anybody playing the game today.

On a related topic...

Has there ever been a better crop of shortstops than there is right now?

Arod
Nomar
Jeter

These guys are clearly better than anybody who played shortstop in the 80's. In fact, I wonder if Ozzie Smith would be considered such a great shortstop if he had to compete head-to-head with the top shortstops of today's game.

I don't think Ozzie would compare too favorably.

Bottom line, maybe these things run in cycles? In ten years there might be a large quantity of HOF-quality secondbasemen.

Well, the game was different when Ozzie broke into the league. If Arod, Nomar and Jeter were breaking in in the 80s, they would be 3rd basemen. The model of the big, slow, power-hitting shortstop was created by Cal Ripken. I'm still not a fan of that thinking, but I am apparently in a minority on that.

I definitely think that these things run in cycles, though. 10 years ago, noone could find a third baseman. Now third basemen can't find work, and noone can find a catcher.

But the paradigm of the great leadoff man and the stolen base came out of the 60s, when pitching ruled and a whole lot of stadiums were being built with huge outfields and astroturf. Therefore, guys who could patrol those huge outfields, get on base, and manufacture runs were at a premium, and those guys got work.

Now, with a juiced ball and a bunch of tiny ballparks being built, having a speedy leadoff man isn't a priority. You need simply a guy who can get on base so that when Bonds hits a homer, it'll be a 2-run shot instead of a solo one. I predict it will be a long while before someone steals 100 bases again, unless they do it as a gimmick or something, because the stolen base just isn't the weapon it once was.

Of course, George Will broke this all down in Men at Work. you should read it if you haven't already.

PaleHoseGeorge
01-22-2002, 09:15 PM
Interesting... back in the 70's and 80's, everyone complained that the designated hitter was ruining the complexion of the game. Yet now that most of the astro-turf fields have been replaced, perhaps it was that green carpet that was changing the game even more?

Vince Coleman can't get on base beating one into the rug at Busch, if Busch doesn't have a rug.

MisterB
01-22-2002, 09:28 PM
If you want a shock, hit ESPN'S stats page, rank all qualified batters by OBP and see how far down you have to go to find a leadoff hitter.

RichH55
01-22-2002, 09:35 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
The thread about Durham got me thinking...

Did all the great lead-off men of the 1980's make us spoiled?

Rickey Henderson
Tim Raines
Vince Coleman

I would put those three ahead of anybody playing the game today.

On a related topic...

Has there ever been a better crop of shortstops than there is right now?

Arod
Nomar
Jeter

These guys are clearly better than anybody who played shortstop in the 80's. In fact, I wonder if Ozzie Smith would be considered such a great shortstop if he had to compete head-to-head with the top shortstops of today's game.

I don't think Ozzie would compare too favorably.

Bottom line, maybe these things run in cycles? In ten years there might be a large quantity of HOF-quality secondbasemen.
Of course it spoiled Us.....Ricky is probably the best leadoff man ever....seeing that cant help but raise the standards

czalgosz
01-22-2002, 09:37 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Interesting... back in the 70's and 80's, everyone complained that the designated hitter was ruining the complexion of the game. Yet now that most of the astro-turf fields have been replaced, perhaps it was that green carpet that was changing the game even more?

Vince Coleman can't get on base beating one into the rug at Busch, if Busch doesn't have a rug.

Exactly. Look at these numbers here, from the National League.

Team averages, 1950 - 138 hr's, 47 SBs
Team averages, 1975 - 103 hr's, 98 SBs
Team averages, 2001 - 185 hr's, 91 SBs.

I think the reason a lot of teams are still stealing bases is intertia - most managers out there were players when home runs were hard to come by, so they are still in that mindset. But once the big picture becomes clearer about how stolen bases are not as big a deal as they once were, you will stop seeing speedy guys in the game.

czalgosz
01-22-2002, 09:40 PM
Originally posted by MisterB
If you want a shock, hit ESPN'S stats page, rank all qualified batters by OBP and see how far down you have to go to find a leadoff hitter.

Wow, I didn't realize that Frank Catalanotto had that good of a season.

Robbie Alomar probably should be a leadoff hitter, IMO. I'd certainly put him there over Lofton, especially at this point in their respective careers.

PaleHoseGeorge
01-22-2002, 09:46 PM
Speaking of astro-turf...

IIRC, nearly everybody on the 80's-era Cardinals got on base by beating the ball into the rug. Hendrick, Herr, Ozzie, McGee, Oberkfell... Hell, Vince Coleman would be standing on first base before the frickin' ball even came down from its first bounce!

The one exception was Darrell Porter. He had Paul Konerko speed. :cool:

The Twinkies still play baseball that way, and SURPRISE!--their ballpark still has turf, too.

:jerry
"And didn't my team look like **** playing on it, too?"

czalgosz
01-22-2002, 09:49 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge

The Twinkies still play baseball that way, and SURPRISE!--their ballpark still has turf, too.



What's funny is that originally the Metrodome was considered a hitters' ballpark - it was called the "homerdome" for years. Funny how times have changed.

Daver
01-22-2002, 10:22 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz


What's funny is that originally the Metrodome was considered a hitters' ballpark - it was called the "homerdome" for years. Funny how times have changed.

:iron

Czal,it's the Rollerdome,and don't you forget it.
There are more cigars from where this one came from.

MattSharp
01-22-2002, 10:26 PM
I think I agree with the people that said SS use to be all about fielding. It's turned into a hitting position.

ARod
Nomar
Jeter

and the person everyone leaves off

Miguel Tejada. 30+ HR, 113+ RBI, 30+ 2B. He still needs to get his average up to get into the elite group, but hes power hitting shortstop.

PaleHoseGeorge
01-22-2002, 10:32 PM
Originally posted by MattSharp
I think I agree with the people that said SS use to be all about fielding. It's turned into a hitting position.

ARod
Nomar
Jeter

and the person everyone leaves off

Miguel Tejada. 30+ HR, 113+ RBI, 30+ 2B. He still needs to get his average up to get into the elite group, but hes power hitting shortstop.

Guilty as charged. Tejada is a keeper; I wish we had him.

Oakland would have a dynasty in the making if not for losing the Lumbering Ox.

kermittheefrog
01-22-2002, 11:24 PM
Really I think the trio should be Jeter, Tejada and Nomar because Arod is in a class by himself.

bringbackrobin
01-22-2002, 11:58 PM
The Trinity should be Arod, Tejada, and Nomar because Jeter is a third baseman in sheeps clothing.

czalgosz
01-23-2002, 12:08 AM
Originally posted by bringbackrobin
The Trinity should be Arod, Tejada, and Nomar because Jeter is a third baseman in sheeps clothing.

Exactly. I had a huge argument with a Yankee fan over this last off-season, and I think it's more true now than it was then. I pointed out that the Yankees would be better off dumping Brosius and moving Jeter to third and playiing Soriano or Jiminez at short. Well, never tell a Yankee fan from New Jersey anything even mildly critical of Derek Jeter, unless you want to spend the next hour getting screamed at.

Daver
01-23-2002, 12:19 AM
Originally posted by czalgosz


Exactly. I had a huge argument with a Yankee fan over this last off-season, and I think it's more true now than it was then. I pointed out that the Yankees would be better off dumping Brosius and moving Jeter to third and playiing Soriano or Jiminez at short. Well, never tell a Yankee fan from New Jersey anything even mildly critical of Derek Jeter, unless you want to spend the next hour getting screamed at.

You could cut that hour down to nothing if you point an arrow at him.Not that I would do that. :D:

kermittheefrog
01-23-2002, 12:19 AM
Originally posted by czalgosz


Exactly. I had a huge argument with a Yankee fan over this last off-season, and I think it's more true now than it was then. I pointed out that the Yankees would be better off dumping Brosius and moving Jeter to third and playiing Soriano or Jiminez at short. Well, never tell a Yankee fan from New Jersey anything even mildly critical of Derek Jeter, unless you want to spend the next hour getting screamed at.

Jeter may be a weak fielding shortstop but it's hard to argue he's hurt the Yanks. That's a big reason I'm a manos backer, you get a shortstop that can hit well, who gives a crap about his fielding unless he's the worst in baseball by a good margin. I don't know if it woudl really help the Yankees to move Jeter. If I were them I would leave him and Soriano (30-40 walks from being a star) where they are and let Henson take over third. That would make a fearsome infield for the next 6 years.

czalgosz
01-23-2002, 12:23 AM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog


Jeter may be a weak fielding shortstop but it's hard to argue he's hurt the Yanks. That's a big reason I'm a manos backer, you get a shortstop that can hit well, who gives a crap about his fielding unless he's the worst in baseball by a good margin. I don't know if it woudl really help the Yankees to move Jeter. If I were them I would leave him and Soriano (30-40 walks from being a star) where they are and let Henson take over third. That would make a fearsome infield for the next 6 years.

Nothing wrong with that if Henson lives up to his hype, but i'm amazed that they spent the past 3-4 years with Jeter at short when they had a dead weight like Brosius at third.

But what the hell am I talking about? Making suggestions for how the Yankees could be better. Someone please shoot me.

Daver
01-23-2002, 12:28 AM
Originally posted by czalgosz


Someone please shoot me.

Do you prefer an arrow,a shotgun slug ,a rifle,or a carbine?I could probably oblige on all counts.

:)

czalgosz
01-23-2002, 12:30 AM
Originally posted by daver


Do you prefer an arrow,a shotgun slug ,a rifle,or a carbine?I could probably oblige on all counts.

:)

An arrow would probably hurt. I don't want to get shot that bad, thank you.

Note to self: remember present company when making flip remarks.

Daver
01-23-2002, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by czalgosz


An arrow would probably hurt. I don't want to get shot that bad, thank you.

Note to self: remember present company when making flip remarks.

LMAO!!!!

If the range is under twenty five yards the arrow would go right through. :D:

czalgosz
01-23-2002, 12:36 AM
Originally posted by daver


LMAO!!!!

If the range is under twenty five yards the arrow would go right through. :D:

Yes, but wouldn't it make an awfully big hole?

I wouldn't want to get shot with anything designed to bring down large game.

Daver
01-23-2002, 12:40 AM
Originally posted by czalgosz


Yes, but wouldn't it make an awfully big hole?

I wouldn't want to get shot with anything designed to bring down large game.

Me either.I know from experience.

czalgosz
01-23-2002, 12:44 AM
Originally posted by daver


Me either.I know from experience.

Ouch, is all I have to say.

Nellie_Fox
01-23-2002, 03:07 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz
I think the reason a lot of teams are still stealing bases is intertia - most managers out there were players when home runs were hard to come by, so they are still in that mindset. But once the big picture becomes clearer about how stolen bases are not as big a deal as they once were, you will stop seeing speedy guys in the game.
The "Earl Weaver School of Baseball Management." Stand around waiting for the three run homer.

Nellie_Fox
01-23-2002, 03:13 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
....you get a shortstop that can hit well, who gives a crap about his fielding ...
Maybe the pitching staff?

The article about how Manos' lack of defense didn't hurt the Sox because his errors didn't lose the game got me wondering: how many extra pitches did they cause the staff to throw, getting deeper into the bullpen, maybe costing games on the next day or the day after?

voodoochile
01-23-2002, 03:16 PM
The slide-step pitching delivery is much faster to the plate than any before it. It makes it much tougher to steal.

FarWestChicago
01-23-2002, 03:17 PM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox

Maybe the pitching staff?

The article about how Manos' lack of defense didn't hurt the Sox because his errors didn't lose the game got me wondering: how many extra pitches did they cause the staff to throw, getting deeper into the bullpen, maybe costing games on the next day or the day after? And then you have to wonder how many extra pitches were thrown because of Buddy Lee's lack of range and wuss arm. There's no end to the speculation. :smile:

Nellie_Fox
01-23-2002, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by FarWestChicago
And then you have to wonder how many extra pitches were thrown because of Buddy Lee's lack of range and wuss arm. There's no end to the speculation. :smile:
No argument here. I just will never agree that defense is not important at shortstop and that a big bat is more important than a good glove.

FarWestChicago
01-23-2002, 03:29 PM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox

No argument here. I just will never agree that defense is not important at shortstop and that a big bat is more important than a good glove. I can't really argue with that, either. :smile:

czalgosz
01-23-2002, 03:34 PM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox

The "Earl Weaver School of Baseball Management." Stand around waiting for the three run homer.

Hey, it's the way the game is played nowadays. I don't like it any more than you do.

kermittheefrog
01-23-2002, 04:42 PM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox

No argument here. I just will never agree that defense is not important at shortstop and that a big bat is more important than a good glove.

I'm not saying defense isn't important but there jsut aren't that many shortstops who can hit the ball with authority. Sure there are Arod, Nomar, Jeter and Tejada but after that very top of the class shortstops aren't really hitting much better as a group. Getting a guy like Manos in at short is a distinct advantage even if he is a big weakness on D which I dont' think is true.

czalgosz
01-23-2002, 05:05 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog


I'm not saying defense isn't important but there jsut aren't that many shortstops who can hit the ball with authority. Sure there are Arod, Nomar, Jeter and Tejada but after that very top of the class shortstops aren't really hitting much better as a group. Getting a guy like Manos in at short is a distinct advantage even if he is a big weakness on D which I dont' think is true.

Getting a great-hitting shortstop is only an advantage if you've got great hitters at every other position. If you've got a guy like say Derek Jeter, who is a liability defensively at short but a very good hitter, that is okay if you've got Troy Glaus at third and Robbie Alomar at second. Otherwise, doesn't it make sense to play him somewhere defensively where he doesn't hurt the team as much, or even DH him?

This isn't to argue that Valentin is a bad shortstop defensively, but simply to say that while you can hide a bad defensive player in left-field or at first base, just to get his bat in the lineup, you shouldn't do that at shortstop.

RichH55
01-23-2002, 05:30 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz


Getting a great-hitting shortstop is only an advantage if you've got great hitters at every other position. If you've got a guy like say Derek Jeter, who is a liability defensively at short but a very good hitter, that is okay if you've got Troy Glaus at third and Robbie Alomar at second. Otherwise, doesn't it make sense to play him somewhere defensively where he doesn't hurt the team as much, or even DH him?

This isn't to argue that Valentin is a bad shortstop defensively, but simply to say that while you can hide a bad defensive player in left-field or at first base, just to get his bat in the lineup, you shouldn't do that at shortstop.

I would argue that Jeter isnt a liability defensively ....he isnt Omar out there but he isnt awful either....and I agree with your last point as well, but I dont think Manos is a bad defensive SS so the point is moot to me

RichH55
01-23-2002, 05:34 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz


Getting a great-hitting shortstop is only an advantage if you've got great hitters at every other position. If you've got a guy like say Derek Jeter, who is a liability defensively at short but a very good hitter, that is okay if you've got Troy Glaus at third and Robbie Alomar at second. Otherwise, doesn't it make sense to play him somewhere defensively where he doesn't hurt the team as much, or even DH him?

This isn't to argue that Valentin is a bad shortstop defensively, but simply to say that while you can hide a bad defensive player in left-field or at first base, just to get his bat in the lineup, you shouldn't do that at shortstop.

Czalgosz, just curious here but why do you not like the new age SS in the mold of Cal Ripken? I noticed that you think they should be 3B...not flaming or anything just curious

Cheryl
01-23-2002, 05:49 PM
Originally posted by RichH55


Czalgosz, just curious here but why do you not like the new age SS in the mold of Cal Ripken? I noticed that you think they should be 3B...not flaming or anything just curious

I'm another one who prefers speedy little guys with good hands at SS. Ripken in his prime was a very good SS for a big guy, but middle infield guys should be chosen for their defensive capabilities, not for their OBP.

czalgosz
01-23-2002, 05:53 PM
Originally posted by RichH55


Czalgosz, just curious here but why do you not like the new age SS in the mold of Cal Ripken? I noticed that you think they should be 3B...not flaming or anything just curious

No, I don't like big, slow shortstops. Someone like Arod, who showed that they can play the game at short with the best of them, is fine, but Jeter, who consistently finishes last in RF every year, and Ripken are natural third basemen and it's just out of personal pride that they play short.

kermittheefrog
01-23-2002, 06:10 PM
Wouldn't it make sense to have a great hitting shortstop when you don't have a great hitter at other positions? If you can't/don't have say Jason Giambi or Carlos Delgado at first Manos makes more sense at short than Rey Sanchez because you'll need more offense from other positions to make up for what you don't have at first.

RichH55
01-23-2002, 06:14 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
Wouldn't it make sense to have a great hitting shortstop when you don't have a great hitter at other positions? If you can't/don't have say Jason Giambi or Carlos Delgado at first Manos makes more sense at short than Rey Sanchez because you'll need more offense from other positions to make up for what you don't have at first.

exactly...having a SS who cant hit harkens to the past.....if you have an SS who can hit thats a plus...why cant a guy play SS and hit?

bjmarte
01-23-2002, 06:17 PM
Originally posted by RichH55


exactly...having a SS who cant hit harkens to the past.....if you have an SS who can hit thats a plus...why cant a guy play SS and hit?

:manos
"You talkin' to me?"

:hitless
"I know you're not talking to me!"

czalgosz
01-23-2002, 06:18 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
Wouldn't it make sense to have a great hitting shortstop when you don't have a great hitter at other positions? If you can't/don't have say Jason Giambi or Carlos Delgado at first Manos makes more sense at short than Rey Sanchez because you'll need more offense from other positions to make up for what you don't have at first.

Well, again, I don't want to argue that Valentin is a bad fielder, so I don't like to use him as an example. But let's say that you have Derek Jeter and Rey Sanchez and Shea Hillenbrand on your team. Jeter can hit but can't field, Sanchez can field but can't hit, and Hillenbrand can't do either. A lot of people can't seem to get past the idea, though, that Derek Jeter is a shortstop, apparently because he says so, so they'll get rid of Sanchez and play Jeter and Hillenbrand. I would put Jeter at third and dump Hillenbrand, myself. See my point? There's just no reason to have a poor-fielding shortstop, no matter how good of a hitter he is, unless there's just no other place to put him.

PaleHoseGeorge
01-23-2002, 07:59 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz
Well, again, I don't want to argue that Valentin is a bad fielder, so I don't like to use him as an example. But let's say that you have Derek Jeter and Rey Sanchez and Shea Hillenbrand on your team. Jeter can hit but can't field, Sanchez can field but can't hit, and Hillenbrand can't do either. A lot of people can't seem to get past the idea, though, that Derek Jeter is a shortstop, apparently because he says so, so they'll get rid of Sanchez and play Jeter and Hillenbrand. I would put Jeter at third and dump Hillenbrand, myself. See my point? There's just no reason to have a poor-fielding shortstop, no matter how good of a hitter he is, unless there's just no other place to put him.

What? Can't we all agree SOMEBODY has to play shortstop for our team, just like SOMEBODY has to play shortstop for our opponent. If our shortstop is doing more to win the game than their shortstop, clearly it's an advantage for our team.

It's a plain fact no-stick/all-glove ballplayers have never been less valuable than they are today. The ballparks are smaller, the hitters are stronger, and any pitcher with an ERA under 4.00 is considered above average. I'm not saying this is right. It's just a plain fact.

So what if Jeter plays shortstop? He's contributing far more to winning the game pounding the ball harder than his weak-hitting shortstop opponent. Furthermore, you dilute your advantage over the opposition by slotting Jeter at third base, where his numbers wouldn't be nearly as impressive.

Now, if you're going to suggest Jeter is losing ballgames with his weak defense at shortstop, we'll cue the Loonie Tunes right now.

czalgosz
01-23-2002, 08:22 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge



So what if Jeter plays shortstop? He's contributing far more to winning the game pounding the ball harder than his weak-hitting shortstop opponent. Furthermore, you dilute your advantage over the opposition by slotting Jeter at third base, where his numbers wouldn't be nearly as impressive.

Now, if you're going to suggest Jeter is losing ballgames with his weak defense at shortstop, we'll cue the Loonie Tunes right now.

No, you're completely missing the point of what I just said. All else being equal, yes, I'd rather have Derek Jeter on my team than Rey Sanchez. But you're missing the forest for the trees. I'm saying my team would be stronger with Derek Jeter at third and Rey Sanchez at short than it would be with Derek Jeter at short and Shea Hillenbrand at third.

Hitting and fielding are two discrete activities. One has nothing to do with the other. The important thing is to get the strongest bats and the strongest gloves in the lineup - to maximize your productivity both at offense and at defense. IOW, you don't compare your shortstop's offensive production with the other team's shortstop's offensive production, you compare your total offensive output with the other team's total offensive output. That's what's important.

PaleHoseGeorge
01-23-2002, 08:47 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz


No, you're completely missing the point of what I just said. All else being equal, yes, I'd rather have Derek Jeter on my team than Rey Sanchez. But you're missing the forest for the trees. I'm saying my team would be stronger with Derek Jeter at third and Rey Sanchez at short than it would be with Derek Jeter at short and Shea Hillenbrand at third.

Hitting and fielding are two discrete activities. One has nothing to do with the other. The important thing is to get the strongest bats and the strongest gloves in the lineup - to maximize your productivity both at offense and at defense. IOW, you don't compare your shortstop's offensive production with the other team's shortstop's offensive production, you compare your total offensive output with the other team's total offensive output. That's what's important.

LOL, I'm missing the point? I'm not the one suggesting (as you have above) that a ballplayer can win as many ballgames with his glove as he can with his bat. We're talking about "wins" here, not esoteric statistical categories. Isn't "wins' the only statistic that counts? Last I checked, it was.

You only get to field 10 guys (counting the DH) against their 10. Everybody has a role. If playing Jeter at shortstop gives me a huge advantage over your shortstop (as opposed to the smaller advantage he represents at third base), not only is his own marginal value made greater, he leaves a spot open at third base for somebody else to mash the ball who couldn't have played shortstop.

You want Rey Sanchez as your team's tenth ballplayer? Fine. I'll take Scott Brosius (playing third base) as mine. I would make a lot of money in Vegas betting my guy wins more games than yours, because Rey's glove can't make up for this...

Sanchez .300 OBP, .336 SLG, .281 AVG
Brosius .343 OBP, .446 SLG, .287 AVG

czalgosz
01-23-2002, 10:08 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


LOL, I'm missing the point? I'm not the one suggesting (as you have above) that a ballplayer can win as many ballgames with his glove as he can with his bat. We're talking about "wins" here, not esoteric statistical categories. Isn't "wins' the only statistic that counts? Last I checked, it was.

I couldn't agree more.

You only get to field 10 guys (counting the DH) against their 10. Everybody has a role. If playing Jeter at shortstop gives me a huge advantage over your shortstop (as opposed to the smaller advantage he represents at third base), not only is his own marginal value made greater, he leaves a spot open at third base for somebody else to mash the ball who couldn't have played shortstop.

That's fine, but say you don't have someone to mash the ball at third base. Say all you have to play third base is Chris Snopek. Not every team is lucky enough to have a good hitting third-baseman.

You want Rey Sanchez as your team's tenth ballplayer? Fine. I'll take Scott Brosius (playing third base) as mine. I would make a lot of money in Vegas betting my guy wins more games than yours, because Rey's glove can't make up for this...

Sanchez .300 OBP, .336 SLG, .281 AVG
Brosius .343 OBP, .446 SLG, .287 AVG

Okay, Brosius had his best year since '98, and Sanchez was doing very well at the plate until for some reason the Royals chose to jerk him around and then dump him on the Braves. Those aren't the numbers you can count on from Brosius or Sanchez.

Anyway, Brosius is retired, so he's not an option any more.

Let me put it to you differently. Let's say that you're the GM of a team late in Spring Training. You have 3 players left and 2 slots - short and third.

Player A is a very good to great hitter, and can play either short or third, but neither one very well.

Player B is a mediocre hitter, but a great defensive shortstop.

Player C is a mediocre hitter, but a great defensive third baseman.

Which two do you pick? To me, it's obvious.

dougs78
01-23-2002, 10:11 PM
PHG, I have to agree that you are misunderstanding Czalgosz point. He made no mention of Scott Brosius at any point. How did he become involved all the sudden? Its not so simple as to say, we just field the 10 best players. Because if that was the case it would seem that perhaps Liefer should play catcher next year becuase his offense is superior to mark johnson. At some point it comes down to more than offense and we need to look at both sides of the ball. This is not HS tennis where we match up our SS #'s against their SS #'s and our LF #'s against their LF #'s, this is baseball.

I happen to agree with the logic being expressed here. CZ is exactly right when he expresses that we want to field a lineup that maximizes our defense and offense.

kermittheefrog
01-23-2002, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by dougs78
PHG, I have to agree that you are misunderstanding Czalgosz point. He made no mention of Scott Brosius at any point. How did he become involved all the sudden? Its not so simple as to say, we just field the 10 best players. Because if that was the case it would seem that perhaps Liefer should play catcher next year becuase his offense is superior to mark johnson. At some point it comes down to more than offense and we need to look at both sides of the ball. This is not HS tennis where we match up our SS #'s against their SS #'s and our LF #'s against their LF #'s, this is baseball.

I happen to agree with the logic being expressed here. CZ is exactly right when he expresses that we want to field a lineup that maximizes our defense and offense.

The thing is, a guy like Jeter is maximied by putting him at short because he's so much better a hitter than your average shortstop. It's so much easier to find a third baseman that hits like Jeter than a shortstop that it makes sense to leave Jeter at short as long as he's passable even if he's a liability defensively. It's not like you can pull another shortstop like him out of a hat. There are about 3 shrotstops who hit like him right now and maybe 10 third basemen. And right now there is a great third base crop in the minors, Sean Burroughs, Hank Blalock, Drew Henson, Mark Texeira. The point is if Jeter can play short put him there because that's maximizing his bat and allowing for another bat like Brosius to be in the game rather than another bat like Sanchez or Clayton.

PaleHoseGeorge
01-23-2002, 10:57 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
The thing is, a guy like Jeter is maximied by putting him at short because he's so much better a hitter than your average shortstop. It's so much easier to find a third baseman that hits like Jeter than a shortstop that it makes sense to leave Jeter at short as long as he's passable even if he's a liability defensively. It's not like you can pull another shortstop like him out of a hat. There are about 3 shrotstops who hit like him right now and maybe 10 third basemen. And right now there is a great third base crop in the minors, Sean Burroughs, Hank Blalock, Drew Henson, Mark Texeira. The point is if Jeter can play short put him there because that's maximizing his bat and allowing for another bat like Brosius to be in the game rather than another bat like Sanchez or Clayton.

I think Kermit did a better job answering Czalgosz and dougs78 than I could. It's a lot easier to field a winning team team searching for a decent hitting thirdbasemen rather than a decent hitting shortstop. I'm not even going to raise the issue of defense, since nobody has claimed defense is as important as offense.

Not yet, anyway.

(Insert pregnant pause here) :D:

RichH55
01-23-2002, 11:25 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


I think Kermit did a better job answering Czalgosz and dougs78 than I could. It's a lot easier to field a winning team team searching for a decent hitting thirdbasemen rather than a decent hitting shortstop. I'm not even going to raise the issue of defense, since nobody has claimed defense is as important as offense.

Not yet, anyway.

(Insert pregnant pause here) :D:


I'm waiting for it myself....for some of the arguments the lines of logic are dependent on the mythical status of defense everywhere...I used to have cubs fans who told me how good Grace's defense in relation to Thomas's bat...total horse****

PaleHoseGeorge
01-23-2002, 11:43 PM
Originally posted by RichH55
I used to have cubs fans who told me how good Grace's defense in relation to Thomas's bat...total horse****

Ouch--I was trying so hard to forget!!! :smile:

I also remember Flubbie fans honestly asserting (in their own child-like, innocent way) that Grace's horse**** bat at first base was okay because Ryne Sandberg provided enough offense at second base to make up the difference.

The logical faults in their reasoning defy all explanation--unless you start with the premise that they are all losers to begin with and actually enjoy mediocrity. Then it started making sense.

:)

RichH55
01-23-2002, 11:46 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


Ouch--I was trying so hard to forget!!! :smile:

I also remember Flubbie fans honestly asserting (in their own child-like, innocent way) that Grace's horse**** bat at first base was okay because Ryne Sandberg provided enough offense at second base to make up the difference.

The logical faults in their reasoning defy all explanation--unless you start with the premise that they are all losers to begin with and actually enjoy mediocrity. Then it started making sense.

:)

Speaking of which...I'm waiting to Hop See Choi to get his own Hall of Fame sponsorship for the cubs fans

czalgosz
01-24-2002, 01:14 AM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog


The thing is, a guy like Jeter is maximied by putting him at short because he's so much better a hitter than your average shortstop. It's so much easier to find a third baseman that hits like Jeter than a shortstop that it makes sense to leave Jeter at short as long as he's passable even if he's a liability defensively. It's not like you can pull another shortstop like him out of a hat. There are about 3 shrotstops who hit like him right now and maybe 10 third basemen. And right now there is a great third base crop in the minors, Sean Burroughs, Hank Blalock, Drew Henson, Mark Texeira. The point is if Jeter can play short put him there because that's maximizing his bat and allowing for another bat like Brosius to be in the game rather than another bat like Sanchez or Clayton.

1) If you have a great hitting third baseman and another great hitter who can play short, however poorly, by all means, put him there. But to use the specific example of the Yankees, they did not have a great-hitting third baseman. With all due respect to Scott Brosius, they had a mediocre-hitting third baseman. For a long time, the Yankees didn't even have a left fielder or a DH!

2) Playing a good hitter, poor fielder at short does not "maximize his bat" whatever the heck that means. If you've got a guy like Arod, who's great both defensively and offensively, then great, but like you yourself said, Arod is in a class by himself.

3) Derek Jeter's ability to play shortstop, however poorly, is a credit to him. It's certainly not an easy position to play. And for all the fantasy baseball fans out there (and I know you don't play fantasy baseball, Kermit) it's great that Jeter plays short. Derek Jeter's bat is one that you want to get into the lineup, and his ability to play short helps you do that. But unless he's holding someone else who's worthy out of the lineup, and until this season he was not, why not put him where he'll hurt you the least defensively? Like I said, hitting and fielding are two discrete activities. Having a good-hitting shortstop is nice, and it gives you bragging rights, but it does you no good in the real world if you don't have other good hitters to back him up.

4) And if it's so easy to find a great-hitting third baseman, why haven't the Yankees (or the White Sox, for that matter) done so? I don't care what Scott Brosius did last year, he's a bad hitter in general. If good-hitting third basemen were growing on trees, as you claim, certainly the Yankees, who can get whoever they want, would have had one by now.

5) As to whether defense is as important as offense, that's a whole different argument, one that I won't argue now, but surely you'll agree that if defense is important at all, it is at shortstop. Don't tell me about invisible third-basemen that are being held out of the picture, tell me about what's going on now.

kermittheefrog
01-24-2002, 01:54 AM
Originally posted by czalgosz


1) If you have a great hitting third baseman and another great hitter who can play short, however poorly, by all means, put him there. But to use the specific example of the Yankees, they did not have a great-hitting third baseman. With all due respect to Scott Brosius, they had a mediocre-hitting third baseman. For a long time, the Yankees didn't even have a left fielder or a DH!

2) Playing a good hitter, poor fielder at short does not "maximize his bat" whatever the heck that means. If you've got a guy like Arod, who's great both defensively and offensively, then great, but like you yourself said, Arod is in a class by himself.

3) Derek Jeter's ability to play shortstop, however poorly, is a credit to him. It's certainly not an easy position to play. And for all the fantasy baseball fans out there (and I know you don't play fantasy baseball, Kermit) it's great that Jeter plays short. Derek Jeter's bat is one that you want to get into the lineup, and his ability to play short helps you do that. But unless he's holding someone else who's worthy out of the lineup, and until this season he was not, why not put him where he'll hurt you the least defensively? Like I said, hitting and fielding are two discrete activities. Having a good-hitting shortstop is nice, and it gives you bragging rights, but it does you no good in the real world if you don't have other good hitters to back him up.

4) And if it's so easy to find a great-hitting third baseman, why haven't the Yankees (or the White Sox, for that matter) done so? I don't care what Scott Brosius did last year, he's a bad hitter in general. If good-hitting third basemen were growing on trees, as you claim, certainly the Yankees, who can get whoever they want, would have had one by now.

5) As to whether defense is as important as offense, that's a whole different argument, one that I won't argue now, but surely you'll agree that if defense is important at all, it is at shortstop. Don't tell me about invisible third-basemen that are being held out of the picture, tell me about what's going on now.

Responding:

1) How can you argue Jeter belongs at third when acknowledging the Yanks had no left fielder or DH? Moving Jeter to third would probably put a mediocre 700 or so OPS shortstop in a lineup with no legit LF or DH. Brosius is a mediocre hitting 3B but I want him in my lineup over a mediocre SS.

2) I take "maximizing his bat" to mean utilizing a player at the toughest defensive postion he is capable of playing. For example if the Pirates actually moved Jason Kendall to leftfield it would take away all his value because while he is a good hitter compared to other catchers he'd be a mediocre hitter compared to other leftfielders.

3) My point is that having the good hitting shortstop makes it easier to fill out the rest of your lineup. If you have a 850 OPS at short rather than a 700 one you don't have to worry as about Tino Martinez being a mediocre first baseman or lacking a LF or DH or both.

4) It's not "easy" to find any great hitters but it's a lot easier to find a third baseman who'll give you 500 ABs and a 800 OPS than a shortstop who can do the same.

5) I'd say in a positioned played defense is less important than offense because as a defender he's only 1/9 of the defense and the defense shares it's responsibility of preventing runs with the pitcher.

dougs78
01-24-2002, 07:03 AM
The thing is, a guy like Jeter is maximied by putting him at short because he's so much better a hitter than your average shortstop

Ok, since we are speaking of "maximizing bats", I've got a hum-dinger of an idea that I'm sure Kermit and PHG will absolutely love. What I'll propose is to play Konerko at Catcher! Hey, he was originally drafted as a catcher so I'm sure he is 'capable'. Boy, then we will really "maximize" that catcher position, right? That will then allow us to then let Frank play 1st base and then we can resign Conseco to play DH. Boy, I bet we'll win lots more games this year, since we've now really maximized those 3 positions.

Paulwny
01-24-2002, 08:43 AM
With Brosius at 3rd the yankmees didn't need a ss with above average range since Brosius cut off many of the balls headed into the ss hole.
By acquiring Ventura the yankmees can still have have good "d" on the left side plus with the short rf porch more offense at 3rd.
The defensive range of your 3rd baseman determines the range you need at ss.

kermittheefrog
01-24-2002, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by dougs78


Ok, since we are speaking of "maximizing bats", I've got a hum-dinger of an idea that I'm sure Kermit and PHG will absolutely love. What I'll propose is to play Konerko at Catcher! Hey, he was originally drafted as a catcher so I'm sure he is 'capable'. Boy, then we will really "maximize" that catcher position, right? That will then allow us to then let Frank play 1st base and then we can resign Conseco to play DH. Boy, I bet we'll win lots more games this year, since we've now really maximized those 3 positions.

Ya know I've wondered for a while if Konerko can still play catcher. I say give it a shot, it's not like we have anything behind the plate anyway.

Daver
01-24-2002, 12:06 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog


Ya know I've wondered for a while if Konerko can still play catcher. I say give it a shot, it's not like we have anything behind the plate anyway.

The problem with that idea is that you are going to be pulling him from the line up more often,he can play every day at 1B,but he can't at catcher,so what have you really gained in the long run?

fuzzy_patters
01-24-2002, 12:09 PM
If I remember right, Konerko stopped playing catcher because it was hard on his back. His back also made it difficult for him to make accurate throws from third which precipitated him moving to first. At least, I think it was his back. It may have been his knees. Just the same, leave him at first because a healthy Konerko is more valued than an injured one.

kermittheefrog
01-24-2002, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by fuzzy_patters
If I remember right, Konerko stopped playing catcher because it was hard on his back. His back also made it difficult for him to make accurate throws from third which precipitated him moving to first. At least, I think it was his back. It may have been his knees. Just the same, leave him at first because a healthy Konerko is more valued than an injured one.

I don't remember anything about back troubles the Dodgers just happened to have a guy named Piazza at catcher back then. I dug up an old Chat interview with PK back when he was in the minors with the Dodgers, someone asks him about switching positions and he doesn't mention anything about his back:

http://archive.espn.go.com/interact/chat/konerko970612.html

Huisj
01-24-2002, 03:27 PM
I thought he had some genetic hip problem or something. maybe i'm just making that up though

kermittheefrog
01-24-2002, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by Huisj
I thought he had some genetic hip problem or something. maybe i'm just making that up though

His hip bones are supposedly irregular but Konerko says it isn't a problem and if it weren't for the battery of different exams they run on baseball players he wouldn't even know. The Dodgers thought it made him less flexible as a catcher in his crouch. It hasn't been described as a problem for anything other than catching.

PaleHoseGeorge
01-24-2002, 04:13 PM
Originally posted by dougs78
Ok, since we are speaking of "maximizing bats", I've got a hum-dinger of an idea that I'm sure Kermit and PHG will absolutely love. What I'll propose is to play Konerko at Catcher! Hey, he was originally drafted as a catcher so I'm sure he is 'capable'. Boy, then we will really "maximize" that catcher position, right? That will then allow us to then let Frank play 1st base and then we can resign Conseco to play DH. Boy, I bet we'll win lots more games this year, since we've now really maximized those 3 positions.

Assuming Konerko could stay healthy enough to play every day, and assuming Konerko's offensive production didn't suffer, he would be far more valuable as a catcher than a firstbasemen. That's not even debatable.

But of course, Konerko can't catch. It's silly suggestions about playing ballplayers where they have little or no major league experience that leads to disasters like Jose Valentin in center field, Josh Paul as "versatile" pinch-running catcher, and Julio Ramirez as big-league centerfielder. Even KW and JM weren't foolish enough to try Konerko behind the plate--but I wouldn't be surprised to know Manuel has thought about it. He was talking about using Liefer at third base last September!

The short answer is, you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear. Or something like that.

:gulp:

dougs78
01-24-2002, 04:15 PM
Kermit, Daver, Huisj, Fuzzy-Patter:

Ok, if you guys are joking about this, you are doing an awfully good job of hiding it, so i'll bite. Do you seriously think PK could play catcher? There is just no way I think he could do it anymore. I was trying to demonstrate a hole in your theory, but I guess its not one if you think it could actually work . As long as you are consistent with your beliefs I certainly won't criticize them. I may not agree, but thats all together different.

Then lets say, for the sake of arugment, that we could acquire Brian Giles to play CF along with Borchard and Maggs in the OF to go along with what I described earlier. Then lets play C Lee at 3rd base, Jose at SS and let Ray keep 2nd.

Thats a hell of a lineup, but man, there is no defense to be found.

Its sort of fun to talk about, but its just not grounded in reality.

Ray 2b
Jose SS
FRank 1st
Maggs RF
Giles CF
PK C
Lee 3rd
Conseco DH
Borchard RF

Quite the lineup, but I can't imagine seeing that team in the field.

Daver
01-24-2002, 04:30 PM
You'd never see that lineup,as PHG pointed out,you will not see PK as a catcher at this level.There is a lot more to the position than being able to catch and throw,you have to be able to call the game and control the pitcher,you have to know the tendencies and set the infield,and you have to know your pitching staff.I played that position and I know how diffucult it is at the amatuer level,it can't be any easier at the pro level.

dougs78
01-24-2002, 05:25 PM
You'd never see that lineup,as PHG pointed out,you will not see PK as a catcher at this level.

Thank you for finally agreeing with the point I made 12 posts ago. :smile:

Daver
01-24-2002, 05:29 PM
Originally posted by dougs78


Thank you for finally agreeing with the point I made 12 posts ago. :smile:

I agreed with you when you made it,for the reasons stated above.


But then again what the hell do I know ?

fuzzy_patters
01-24-2002, 06:26 PM
I think we were all being facetious about Konerko, but just the same a good hitter should play at the weakest hitting position he can field adequately. Since Derek Jeter plays adequately at shortstop he should remain there because his bat is more lethal compared to shortstops than third basemen. If the Yankees get poor third base production from Ventura this year (say, .240-15-40) they will have a productive left side. There is a big difference between the weakest third baseman and the Rey Ordonez's of the league offensively. Another good example is Mike Piazza. By playing behind the plate he gives the Mets the opportunity to play two firstbasemen at the same time (Piazza and Vaughn). If Vaughn puts up poor firstbasemen numbers (.250-20-80), they will still have one of the best firstbasemen/catcher combo in the game because Piazza outdistances the other catchers by a wide margin.

Nellie_Fox
01-24-2002, 06:51 PM
You guys have all bought into the "offense rules" school of thought because it is offense that brings the big paychecks and offense that puts casual fans in the seats. Just don't whine when your pitching staff gets blown out because of all the extra outs the bad defense gives out.

When they add up the score at the end of the game, it isn't matched up position by position. You don't get extra points because your shortstop hits better than their shortstop. If you can get better defense by moving the below average shortstop to third without losing much offense by who plays short now, I believe that the extra defense will counter the little bit of lost offense. Yes, PHG, you can put me down as one who believes that defense is as important as offense, particularly when it saves wear and tear on your pitching staff, which is most important of all. There are positions where you can hide a weak glove. Shortstop ain't one of 'em.

PaleHoseGeorge
01-24-2002, 06:59 PM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox
Yes, PHG, you can put me down as one who believes that defense is as important as offense, particularly when it saves wear and tear on your pitching staff, which is most important of all. There are positions where you can hide a weak glove. Shortstop ain't one of 'em.

Duly noted, Mr. Fox.

Would you rather have Jeter or Clayton? (j/k)

Nellie_Fox
01-24-2002, 09:29 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Would you rather have Jeter or Clayton? (j/k)
I'd rather have Luis Aparicio in his prime.

FarWestChicago
01-24-2002, 09:38 PM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox

I'd rather have Luis Aparicio in his prime. Cheater. :smile:

fuzzy_patters
01-24-2002, 09:46 PM
You guys have all bought into the "offense rules" school of thought because it is offense that brings the big paychecks and offense that puts casual fans in the seats.

Don't tell me why I think the way I do. It's not the 1970's anymore. American League teams win by putting 9 hitters out there who can hit and by using a quality bullpen. What was the common link last year for the Mariners, Yankees, Indians, and A's? Their middle infields could all hit, and they had very good bullpens. Two years ago when the Sox had the best record in the AL they did so following this formula. Starting pitching and defense win in the postseason, but a strong offense and bullpen is what gets you there.

czalgosz
01-24-2002, 11:25 PM
Originally posted by fuzzy_patters


Don't tell me why I think the way I do. It's not the 1970's anymore. American League teams win by putting 9 hitters out there who can hit and by using a quality bullpen. What was the common link last year for the Mariners, Yankees, Indians, and A's? Their middle infields could all hit, and they had very good bullpens. Two years ago when the Sox had the best record in the AL they did so following this formula. Starting pitching and defense win in the postseason, but a strong offense and bullpen is what gets you there.

Final thoughts on this (for me at least) -

1) There are some guys who are very good both on offense or on defense. Arod is one, Tejada is another. Those guys are jewels, and play short if you have high schoolers playing the other eight positions. I think we can all agree on that.

2) Derek Jeter and Jose Valentin get a chance to play for my team. They will be in the lineup every day, whether they are playing shortstop or third or DH. Their respective bats guarantee that they will not lose playing time.

3) I don't like to talk about "potential" third basemen. If you have Troy Glaus and Derek Jeter on your team, they both play. If you don't have Troy Glaus, don't pretend you do. Play Jeter at third until you actually come up with Troy Glaus, or someone equivalent. At that point, and at that point only, I would gladly move Jeter back to short.

PaleHoseGeorge
01-25-2002, 12:27 AM
Originally posted by czalgosz
3) I don't like to talk about "potential" third basemen. If you have Troy Glaus and Derek Jeter on your team, they both play. If you don't have Troy Glaus, don't pretend you do. Play Jeter at third until you actually come up with Troy Glaus, or someone equivalent. At that point, and at that point only, I would gladly move Jeter back to short.

What makes you think George Steinbrenner would hesitate for one minute to go out and acquire a Troy Glaus caliber thirdbasemen? Everyone of us knows damned well George would get another thirdbasemen if he thought for even one minute it would put his Yankees over the top to another championship.

Jeter plays shortstop teamed with whoever at third base because the Yankees win. King George will fix this problem when it becomes a problem.

Rey Sanchez is just going to have to buy his seats for the World Series.

kermittheefrog
01-25-2002, 02:26 AM
I was half kidding about the Konerko thing. I think we shoudl have given him a shot at catcher a few years ago when we picked him up but now it's been too long since he last played the position. Catchers skills are too specialized to just drop the position and pick it back up a few years later, it's not like moving from one infield position to another.

RichH55
01-25-2002, 06:46 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz


Final thoughts on this (for me at least) -

1) There are some guys who are very good both on offense or on defense. Arod is one, Tejada is another. Those guys are jewels, and play short if you have high schoolers playing the other eight positions. I think we can all agree on that.

2) Derek Jeter and Jose Valentin get a chance to play for my team. They will be in the lineup every day, whether they are playing shortstop or third or DH. Their respective bats guarantee that they will not lose playing time.

3) I don't like to talk about "potential" third basemen. If you have Troy Glaus and Derek Jeter on your team, they both play. If you don't have Troy Glaus, don't pretend you do. Play Jeter at third until you actually come up with Troy Glaus, or someone equivalent. At that point, and at that point only, I would gladly move Jeter back to short.

On point 3, doesnt moving guys present its own problems? Are you in favor of trying Konerko at C, or Ray in CF, or Royce at 2B? Just curious?