Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Baseball Post

I'm afraid it's the Elo thing over at baseball-reference again.

OK, folks, we have a few problems. One is that as of this writing, eight of the top ten all time batters are OFers. Only Gehrig and Hornsby have made it from the rest of the field...well, I suppose you could count Musial as a 1B, but I don't think of him as a 1B -- do you? Now, it's not as if the list is filled with undeserving guys...I'm happy to see all four of the greatest CFers (Mays, Mantle, Cobb, Speaker) doing well, and since I don't think there's any clear ranking of those four, I guess you can't say that any of them are inappropriate on the top list. Ruth, obviously, is legit, and right at the top where he belongs. That leaves Aaron, Williams, and Musial as the shakiest of the top 10, but I suppose I can see a case for each of them...but c'mon! Where's Wagner? Where's Schmidt?

Second problem -- eight of the top ten of all time are OFers, but somehow the greatest LF ever doesn't seem to be around. Checking the full rankings: Bonds has moved up to 15th (he was 19th when I first looked last week). Very lame, folks. As is Roger Clemens at 14 on the pitcher side.

Back to the hitters...Wagner is 12th, just ahead of Alex Rodriguez at 13. Schmidt is 18. I mentioned that Hornsby is in the top ten, actually at 8; the other three of the quartet at 2B (Lajoie, Morgan, Collins) check in at 19, 25, and 26. The highest catcher by Elo voters is Bench, at 32 overall. Obviously a lot of people don't remember what Casey Stengel said about catchers, no?

I'm not sure what all this means, if anything. My guess is that either people are overly focused on hitting and ignoring positional considerations, or that the WAR calculator that baseball reference uses undervalues positional considerations.

On the other hand, it's not as if there have been tons of trials here, and so there could be some random effects -- if every time Barry Bonds happens to show up he's matched against Ruth, well, then he's going to lose a bunch. One oddity: it looks as if active players show up about three times as often as retired players. It doesn't really feel like that to me when I've played with it; I keep getting Ellis Valentine, for some reason. Hey, the guy had an arm, didn't he?

...and that's it for offseason Friday Baseball Posts. By next Friday, the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants and all those other teams will be playing for real. Batter up!


  1. "By next Friday, the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants and all those other teams will be playing for real."

    A more beautiful sentence has never been written.

  2. Bonds can't be the greatest left fielder ever, because he played the position seemingly set on making the statement that he Does. Not. Hurry. Too uncool to hustle, I suppose. If one is include Barry, then Manny has to be considered, too. Really?

    Bring on baseball. The world's greatest game. :-)


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