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Baseball: Who do you think used/uses steroids?

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posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 07:15 PM
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Thank you, Runs Created seemed to make sense but BRAA is still shakey. You take the average hitter from his era (is that a specific player or just general "average hitter" for his time)




posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 10:13 PM
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In case anyone is interested, here is Bill James' list of THE TEN WORST PERCENTAGE PLAYERS OF ALL TIME:

10: Willie Horton--34% SB; .972 fielding to .980 norm; 620 BB to 1313 K [Horton was a minor power hitter in the 60's and 70's];

9. Hector Lopez--41% SB; .954 fielding to .967 norm; 418 BB to 696 K;

8. John Bateman--50% SB; .982 fielding to .988 norm; 172 BB to 610 K;

7. Pete Incaviglia--55% SB; .966 to .980 norm; and a whopping ratio of 360 BB to 1277 K;

6. Brian Harper--32% SB; .985 to .990 norm; 133 BB to 188 K (133 walks in over 3,300 plate appearances?);

5. DAVE KINGMAN, Mr. 1 HR every 15 AB's, 442 Career HR's, and That's All Folks--63% SB; .979/.957 in LF (!) and .992/.985 (!) at 1B; 608 BB to 1816 K;

4. Hubie Brooks, 53% SB; .953 to .964 norm; 387 BB to 1005 K;

3. Alex Johnson, 64% SB; .956 to .980 norm; 244 BB to 626 K;

2. Jim Lemon, 41% SB; .961 to .980 norm; 363 BB to 787 K;


A N D


FOR THOSE OF YOU OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES' PREDECESSOR TO DAVE KINGMAN, THE GUY THEY CALLED "DR. STRANGEGLOVE," A MORE LIKEABLE GUY THAN KINGMAN BUT AN EVEN MORE ATROCIOUS FIELDER AND THE SAME KIND OF HOME-RUN-OR-BUST SWING, BUT NOT NEARLY AS LONG-LIVED A CAREER.....


1. DICK STUART---22% Stolen Bases (yeah, only 2 of 9, but it's still 22%); .982 Fielding Percentage, compared to norm of .990, and that doesn't begin to tell you how bad he was at first base; and 301 BB to 957 K's.


There you have it: The worst percentage players in baseball history.

By the way, did any of you wonder who Maxie Bishop, the #2 guy on the "Best Percentage Players" list was, and what he did to get there? Here is your answer:

Prior to the steroid freak in S.F., Ted Williams had the highest BB % of all time and Babe Ruth was #3. Obscure little Maxie Bishop was #2, giving him a tremendous strikeout to walk ratio.

B.H.N.



posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 10:13 PM
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J E E Z. That name is D!CK STUART.



posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 10:24 PM
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EqA is Equivalent Average. It's a measure of total offensive value per out, with corrections for leagues offensive level, home park, and team pitching. It considers hitting and baserunning, but not the value of a players defense. League average Eqa is always set at .260.



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 01:32 AM
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By the way, Hootie, an interesting topic for discussion one of these days, when neither of us has anything to do--yeah, Jim, and when is that going to happen?--might be:

Who was better: Ty Cobb or Tris Speaker?

You may recall that in his mid-80's historical abstract, Bill James took the conventional view that Cobb was the better of the two, but he also informed his readers as follows:

"It was not a unanimous agreement among the observers of Speaker and Cobb's time that Cobb was the better player. Cobb was a better hitter and a more prolific base stealer, but Speaker was a better outfielder [by a light year--b.h.n.], had a better arm, was probably faster, was a great hitter himself and seemed to wind up on winning teams more often."

If I remember correctly, James' huge 2000-2001 book rates Cobb at #5 and Speaker at #11, including Negro Leaguers, or Cobb at #4 and Speaker at #9, counting only MLB players. Cobb was a fast, but extremely erratic, centerfielder. As I've said twice before, Cobb and Speaker are the ONLY players in MLB history with more than 1,000 combined doubles and triples.

Speaker was the gold standard for centerfielders until the early 50's, when Ashburn and Mays came along, and the numerous old men on my block in the early 60's told me Speaker was a better defensive CF than either of them.

So, this is a situation where the offensive difference between the two--which is precious little, if you use slugging and on-base, but is considerably more, I believe, by "runs created"--has to be balanced against a big difference in the field. But as I said, and as James has demonstrated innumerable times, a tremendous hitter with an average glove is better than a great hitter with a tremendous glove and arm. The question is whether that applies here, given the respective offensive and defensive differences between these two all-time greats.

Are you interested in getting into this, Hootie? As you know, I consider these guys hands down the two best MLB players of the Dead Ball Era, and if I've understood our past communications correctly, you consider them 2 of the top 3.

B.H.N.



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 01:43 AM
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BHN, well, i prefer post 60's guys, since i saw them, and it gives a bit of a personal attachment. You got any 60+ debates? I prefer Cobb over Speaker. But i think Speaker is by far the most underrated player in history. I have a feeling you will pick Speaker over Cobb?



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 07:26 AM
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(1) STOLEN BASE PERCENTAGE, 30% [I think this should be adjusted for different eras myself, because until pretty recently people had no idea how high a rate of success was needed to make steal attempts worthwhile. But James doesn't do that, and as a result, players starting with Mays and Mantle are the real beneficiaries.]


so what is the acceptable rate for basestealers?



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 08:24 AM
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Originally posted by toejam
(1) STOLEN BASE PERCENTAGE, 30% [I think this should be adjusted for different eras myself, because until pretty recently people had no idea how high a rate of success was needed to make steal attempts worthwhile. But James doesn't do that, and as a result, players starting with Mays and Mantle are the real beneficiaries.]


so what is the acceptable rate for basestealers?



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 08:31 AM
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Originally posted by toejam
(1) STOLEN BASE PERCENTAGE, 30% [I think this should be adjusted for different eras myself, because until pretty recently people had no idea how high a rate of success was needed to make steal attempts worthwhile. But James doesn't do that, and as a result, players starting with Mays and Mantle are the real beneficiaries.]


so what is the acceptable rate for basestealers?



Using linear weights

SB .17 of a run
CS (-.45)

So, a 72% rate is about break even.

People get too excited over sb totals, when the real key is sb%.

Vlad stole 40 one year, but got caught 20 times (66.6%). His 40 sb had little value. A guy who steals 18/20, has more value.



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 03:10 PM
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I agree with all of the above, b.t.w.

No, Hootie, I don't necessarily know whose side I would come down on. In fact, if you look into it, I don't think YOU do, either, and here's why:

As you know, the stolen base was an enormous part of the Dead Ball Era's game. The only three pre-Dead Ball seasons for which my source lists "caught stealing" stats, for some reason, are 1914, 1915 and 1916. 1917-1919 are not listed, and neither is anything before 1914. In the 1920's, Cobb stole 127 bases and was caught 99 times, which obviously was terrible and very detrimental to Detroit/Philadelphia--a fact not known at that time. In 1914-1916, he stole 199 bases (1915 was his big year, with 96), and was caught 79 times, which is more like it.

Speaker, of course, was not nearly as prolific a base stealer, with just over half as many, and it's a good thing. In the 1920's, he stole 58 and was caught 48 times, which is slightly worse than Cobb's numbers from those years, but with far fewer outs. In 1914-1916, it's no comparison; Speaker stole 106 bases, but was caught 81 times! And that's during his peak. (He was born 2 years after Cobb, in 1888.)

So on the big issue of base stealing, we don't have definitive stats, but it's very likely Speaker's teams would have been better off, despite his great foot speed, if he'd never tried to steal a base. The same is true of Cobb for at least his last 9 seasons, but I don't know about the whole 24-year package, and there's no way we can know.

MEANWHILE....

The difference at the plate is nothing like the batting averages would suggest (.366/.367 to .344/.345). Cobb had a tremendous on base percentage of .433, but Speaker was right behind him at .428; Cobb had a terrific--for that era--slugging figure of .512, but Speaker was at .500.

They hit the same number of home runs (117), but Speaker in far fewer at bats, and while Cobb hit a whomping 73 more triples (295, the second-highest total ever), Speaker hit 68 more doubles (792, THE most ever, to this day.

So, there's not much to separate them, and the missing data on SB% is really crucial (especially given their era), making it impossible to rate them as "percentage players." Under runs created, again missing that vital stat, Speaker is at 8.25/27, while Cobb is at 8.84/27. That's not a huge difference, but it's also not a tiny one. Over 1/2 run per game.

MEANWHILE....

What a world of difference in the outfield.

Cobb was notoriously erratic as an outfielder, often getting bad breaks on the ball, which did a lot to offset his great speed. His fielding percentage was only 2.5% better than that of the average outfielder for his time, and that's in center field, where a lot of balls go. Speaker, on the other hand, committed errors on 25% fewer plays than the average outfielder, and as I've said, was the gold standard among centerfielders until my childhood, when people who'd never seen him started putting Ashburn and Mays there.

And same story on Range Factor. Cobb got to about 12% more balls than the average outfielder, which I would guess is at best average for a CF. Speaker got to 28 or 29%, AND IS STILL THE ALL-TIME CAREER LEADER IN ASSISTS BY AN OUTFIELDER.

Those are huge differences.

It may be the answer is, "Lacking the stolen base % data, especially for two players of this era, we cannot fairly make this comparison." But I know this: There are still people who consider Cobb the greatest player ever. I have never heard anyone come close to calling Speaker the greatest ever. And when you look at how close the two obviously were, that's troubling, isn't it?

Speaker was NOT underrated in his time. But he has become, as you say, the most underrated player of all time.

B.H.N.



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 04:37 PM
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One other thing: I read Alexander's definitive biography of Ty Cobb. Alexander is a History professor at a major university, and a big armchair baseball fan, so he's a brilliant scholar first and a baseball history buff second. He has several friends who are legit baseball history experts--and especially Ty Cobb experts. Together, they wrote the book.

You may remember from your youth that it was LONG accepted that Cobb won 12 batting crowns (the big annual stat for decades, until only recently) in 13 years, and that only recently did someone discover errors in one of those years, costing Cobb the title, giving it to Speaker I believe, and reducing the former's career batting average by 1 point, while raising the latter's by 1 point.

Anyway, while ostensibly winning 12 crowns in 13 years, and leading the league frequently in triples or slugging or on-base or especially Runs Scored--a career record HE, not Babe Ruth, held until Rickey Henderson finally broke it--an understandable thing happened to Cobb. He became stats fixated. He would sit out games late in the year for the sake of leading the league in an average-related category, or would do something else to lead it in something else. For the six years he was player-manager, he could pretty much do as he wanted to.

This, of course, made for lousy team chemistry. I'm sure you know that when Cobb was a kid, the Tigers won three consecutive pennants (1907-1909), only to lose all three World Series: two to the CUBS!!!, and the last to the Pirates, in the famous Babe Adams Series. But for all of Cobb's greatness as a hitter--and there is surely no denying that--and despite his having Sam Crawford (a real power hitter, and still the career triples leader) as a teammate, he never got back to the World Series in his 24-year career. The consensus opinion among history experts is that the 1928 A's lost by 1.5 games to the 1928 Yankees because Connie Mack had a fatal fascination with having 40-year-old Speaker and 42-year-old Cobb creaking around in his outfield, screwing up the efforts of Grove, Cochrane, Foxx and Simmons.

How much do you knock down a man's rating because of his self-obsession and the fact he played for the sake of his own stats, not his team? Surely everyone in baseball knew about that, and just as surely it didn't help attract other players. In 1924, when the Tigers finished 6 games out of first (behind the 1st place Senators and 2nd place Yankees), could that fact have made a difference? Would they have won if Cobb had not played and managed selfishly, and if other good players had not been turned off of playing for Detroit because of him? Quite possibly.

How much does one count for that? It's certainly not nothing. Alexander's book, which does not demonize Cobb as a 100% evil creature, and indeed brings out lots of unknown good points amidst all the monstrosities, is well worth reading before you decide where he ranks on the "all-time player" list.

Incidentally, Alexander spent a lot of time looking into the infamous rumor that Cobb, Speaker and Smokey Joe Wood conspired to throw games, so that Speaker's Indians could get the prize money for finishing in second place one year. He concluded it was NOT true.

B.H.N.



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 05:04 PM
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Yo, HOOTIE!!

I laid all this stuff out here about Cobb and Speaker for a reason, and the reason was YOU. Adding these data to what you already knew about the two men, and accepting the major problem that we don't have SB % for two superstars from the era where that figure is most important, but using the available info re run production and run prevention, respectively, then tossing in problems Cobb caused with his stat-driven selfishness, what do you think?

One thing: There's certainly no denying the fact Speaker wound up on winning teams more often. Of course, it didn't hurt him in 1915 to have a young lefty named Ruth, nor in 1912 to have Smokey Joe Wood put up one of the greatest pitching seasons of all time, etc. But Cobb had Crawford....

Would you prefer to read Alexander's biography of Cobb, which details never-heard strongpoints of the man, but also details ways his selfishness and other bad points hurt his teams, before taking a position?

B.H.N.



posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 06:00 AM
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BHN

Games
Cobb 3,035
Speaker 2,789

BRAA (Batting Runs Above Average)
Cobb 1,157
Speaker 920

FRAA (Fielding Runs Above Average)
Cobb 72
Speaker 141

EqA Equivalent AVG
Cobb .323
Speaker .316

Warp1 (Wins Above Replacement Player)
Cobb 231.3
Speaker 214.0

SB% on years found with CS
Cobb 64.5%
Speaker 55.9%

Cobbs combined BRAA + FRAA = 1,229 / 3,035 = 40.49 per game avg.
Speakers combined BRAA + FRAA = 1,061 / 2,789 = 38.04 per game avg.

It's close, but i take Cobb. And i'm not much on chemistry, or clubhouse guys. Bonds is disliked, but he's by far the best modern player. You win on the field, not in the clubhouse.



posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 06:42 AM
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you guys probably know about this site but just in case you have missed this one here it is

bioproj.sabr.org...

the goal of these guys is to have a biography of every man who ever managed or played in the major leagues, so far they have 335, they have a long way to go but it already is some very interesting reading when you have a few extra minutes...



posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 02:18 PM
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Originally posted by HOOTIE
BHN

Games
Cobb 3,035
Speaker 2,789

BRAA (Batting Runs Above Average)
Cobb 1,157
Speaker 920

FRAA (Fielding Runs Above Average)
Cobb 72
Speaker 141

EqA Equivalent AVG
Cobb .323
Speaker .316

Warp1 (Wins Above Replacement Player)
Cobb 231.3
Speaker 214.0

SB% on years found with CS
Cobb 64.5%
Speaker 55.9%

Cobbs combined BRAA + FRAA = 1,229 / 3,035 = 40.49 per game avg.
Speakers combined BRAA + FRAA = 1,061 / 2,789 = 38.04 per game avg.

It's close, but i take Cobb. And i'm not much on chemistry, or clubhouse guys. Bonds is disliked, but he's by far the best modern player. You win on the field, not in the clubhouse.



HOOTIE: Bonds is a poor parallel to Cobb. Bonds, both in his true incarnation and in his chemical reincarnation, has always played real baseball. He, along with Ruth and Williams, is one of the greatest players of all time when it comes to combining (i) being a phenomenally gifted hitter and (ii) not swinging at bad pitches.

There was a game 2 or 3 years ago--I think 2--where Bonds was getting a day's rest. The score was tied going into the bottom of the ninth, and the manager showed the uncharacteristic wisdom to have Bonds lead off the inning, as if to say, "Here, you want to walk the winning run to lead off the bottom of the ninth?"

After a long conference on the mound, the opposing pitcher decided he didn't want any part of Bonds. He threw four pitches which were all clearly balls. The crowd had started making a thunderous noise from the time Bonds emerged from the dugout, and they kept it up each time the pitcher went to release a pitch, but Bonds stood there frozen at the plate, not even thinking about Clemente'ing at any of those bad pitches and trying to be the hero. He took his walk like a pro and was duly replaced by the fastest man on the bench, who then stole second, was bunted to third and came home on a fly.

In other words, for all the terrible things one can say about Bonds--and I've pretty much said all of them--he is a real baseball player who plays FOR THE TEAM. He's standoffish, megalomaniacal, racist, sexist, cold-hearted and disliked by his teammates, but he plays for the team just as much as any of them do--and remember, I watch nearly all their games. In fact, I'm of the view that as much of a pr*ck as Bonds is, KENT was more to blame for the troubles between them than Bonds, and I base that on my observations of other Giants interacting with the two men.

But if you read Alexander's book, you will learn documentable ways in which Cobb's selfishness and stats-obsession provably hurt his team. Bonds has hurt the integrity of the game--and terribly, due to his prominence--but I am unaware of any way he has hurt his team in the way he plays the game between the lines. Cobb did, and that is not a non-specific, conclusory matter of "chemistry." It's a matter of fact.

That's surely got to count for quite a few "runs," no?

I ask you to take the time to read the book. Since we are both in the hobby of rating the greatest players in baseball history, and since this is by consensus the greatest Cobb biography (240 pages long, in paperback), it's worth your while. The author is Charles C. Alexander, and the title is simply "Ty Cobb." Of all my baseball biographies, the only one I rate above it--albeit way above it--is Robert Creamer's immortal "Babe: The Legend Comes to Life," which every baseball fan should read, whether they care about baseball history or not.

Alexander has a major point in common with Creamer. He is scholarly, not stats-obsessed, and his magnum opus would be interesting to a person who is not a baseball history fanatic, or even not a baseball fan at all... though that's far truer of Creamer's great book.

B.H.N.



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