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DrungoHazewood

Does speed even matter?

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It's not surprising to me that the extreme speed guys are mostly mediocre/fringe players. Baseball is a sport where guys with an extreme skill set in one area can have a role (LOOGY's are another example). That doesn't mean that speed is irrelevant. For the most part, the top players are good overall athletes, with speed being part of the package. Look at the top 10 in WAR: Trout, Bellinger, Yelich, Bogaerts, Matt Chapman, Ketel Marte, Bregman, Bryant, Devers, Bregman. Chapman is probably the slowest of that group and yet he is still close to the top 100 out of 600. I think you can still say that you need at least average speed to be an elite overall baseball player.

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1 hour ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Ernie Lombardi had a 70 or 75 hit tool and 20 speed (he'd have had 0 speed if the scale went that low).  He's in the Hall.

I admit to not knowing a lot about players back then, but why is Lombardi in the hall? Looking at his numbers, surely a well above average hitter, but fewer than 2K hits, less than 200 HR, one MVP and one WS. What is HOF worthy about Lombardi? Guys like Bill Mazeroski and Bobby Wallace look like they shouldn't be in, either. I'm sure there's a lot of guys that are in that shouldn't be in and wouldn't get in today based on their statistics. Am I missing something with Lombardi?

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1 hour ago, Frobby said:

You’re right.   He’s considerably better.    Washington stole 31 bases and was caught 17 times, and was worth -2 runs on the bases.   Gore has stolen 40 bases and been caught 9 times, and has been worth +3 runs on the bases.   

I meant in that Herb never got to bat and  Gore has batted. 

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24 minutes ago, Sessh said:

I admit to not knowing a lot about players back then, but why is Lombardi in the hall? Looking at his numbers, surely a well above average hitter, but fewer than 2K hits, less than 200 HR, one MVP and one WS. What is HOF worthy about Lombardi? Guys like Bill Mazeroski and Bobby Wallace look like they shouldn't be in, either. I'm sure there's a lot of guys that are in that shouldn't be in and wouldn't get in today based on their statistics. Am I missing something with Lombardi?

Better Than Baines   TM

He's on the weaker end of the spectrum but he was a catcher with an OPS+ of 126 that won two batting crowns despite being the slowest player in the league. 

I think he gets bonus points for being a character.

 

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2 hours ago, Frobby said:

You’re right.   He’s considerably better.    Washington stole 31 bases and was caught 17 times, and was worth -2 runs on the bases.   Gore has stolen 40 bases and been caught 9 times, and has been worth +3 runs on the bases.   

And now he'll get the magical Yankee acquisition boost and put up a .800 OPS once he dons the pinstripes.

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1 hour ago, Can_of_corn said:

Better Than Baines   TM

He's on the weaker end of the spectrum but he was a catcher with an OPS+ of 126 that won two batting crowns despite being the slowest player in the league. 

I think he gets bonus points for being a character.

 

Huge bonus points for the league president waiving the minimum at bat requirements to qualify for the batting title essentially because catching is hard.  His second title came in just 347 PAs.

Bonus points for being a major league player in the 1930s.  Frankie Frisch was on the Vet's Committee and got like 20% of regular players from that era inducted.

Bonus points for legendary stories, some of which may be true.  Like the infielders would play six steps on the outfield grass to keep from getting killed by his line drives.

Bonus points for playing long before anyone seriously tried to objectively analyze defense.

Bonus points for being in his mid 30s when WWII happened, I think he had a family or at least a mother to support, and he never got drafted while most of his peers did.

He is listed as the 17th-best catcher of all time by JAWS.  But there are four guys above him not in the Hall and not active - Simmons, Munson, Tenace, and Freehan.  He's not the worst HOFer.  He was better than Baines, and maybe the only HOFer slower.

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2 hours ago, Sessh said:

I admit to not knowing a lot about players back then, but why is Lombardi in the hall? Looking at his numbers, surely a well above average hitter, but fewer than 2K hits, less than 200 HR, one MVP and one WS. What is HOF worthy about Lombardi? Guys like Bill Mazeroski and Bobby Wallace look like they shouldn't be in, either. I'm sure there's a lot of guys that are in that shouldn't be in and wouldn't get in today based on their statistics. Am I missing something with Lombardi?

Positional scarcity?

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1 hour ago, SteveA said:

And now he'll get the magical Yankee acquisition boost and put up a .800 OPS once he dons the pinstripes.

Is it still PEDs with them? Do the yankees sanction that? "If you know how to cheat start now?"

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4 minutes ago, weams said:

Positional scarcity?

I think that is part of it too. Catchers for their offense get graded on a curve due to the toll the position takes on the body. 

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1 hour ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Huge bonus points for the league president waiving the minimum at bat requirements to qualify for the batting title essentially because catching is hard.  His second title came in just 347 PAs.

Bonus points for being a major league player in the 1930s.  Frankie Frisch was on the Vet's Committee and got like 20% of regular players from that era inducted.

Bonus points for legendary stories, some of which may be true.  Like the infielders would play six steps on the outfield grass to keep from getting killed by his line drives.

Bonus points for playing long before anyone seriously tried to objectively analyze defense.

Bonus points for being in his mid 30s when WWII happened, I think he had a family or at least a mother to support, and he never got drafted while most of his peers did.

He is listed as the 17th-best catcher of all time by JAWS.  But there are four guys above him not in the Hall and not active - Simmons, Munson, Tenace, and Freehan.  He's not the worst HOFer.  He was better than Baines, and maybe the only HOFer slower.

Hit a linedrive off the outfield wall and got thrown out at first.

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44 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

Hit a linedrive off the outfield wall and got thrown out at first.

That's my favorite.  He said he thought it was gone so he didn't run hard.  Today those stupid arguing shows on ESPN would have that as the lead story for three days.

Edit: He was know for the "Lombardi Sitdown Strike", where during the '39 Seris on a hot day he got spun around or collided with Charlie Keller.  Lombardi was stunned, flat on his back with the ball a few feet away as Joe DiMaggio raced around the bases to pad the Yanks' lead.

Lombardi was also involved in the Willard Hershberger incident.  Lombardi was injured for a few days in mid-1940, Hershberger was his backup and played in his place.  The Reds lost a couple of tough games and Hershberger went back to the hotel and killed himself.  The only major leaguer to have killed himself in mid season.  I think that really hit Lombardi hard, and may have contributed to his own suicide attempt years later.

Most of what I know about Lombardi comes from a long essay in the Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.   Very interesting character, tough life in a lot of ways.  Didn't even get to see himself inducted into Cooperstown, the Vets' Committee inducted him in 1986, which makes my Frankie Frisch argument moot.  Frisch was long gone by then.

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4 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

That's my favorite.  He said he thought it was gone so he didn't run hard.  Today those stupid arguing shows on ESPN would have that as the lead story for three days.

I want it to be true.

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16 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

I want it to be true.

I want to run a tracer, but it would take half a day.  Lombardi himself said it happened in Philadelphia, so that would narrow it down.  But with only eight teams in the league that has to be hundreds of games to go through.

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4 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

I want to run a tracer, but it would take half a day.  Lombardi himself said it happened in Philadelphia, so that would narrow it down.  But with only eight teams in the league that has to be hundreds of games to go through.

It seems he hit the ball off the left field wall and was still thrown out at first. That's.. kind of impressive really.

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Each October I keep half an eye open to see if SB goes through the roof.  I feel like it is a known known by now that if you attempt a lot of SB, you incur significant extra injury risk.  In the 162, it just isn't worth it for Mike Trout to do that.  I like to imagine front offices are counting the fractions of seconds though, and that if the time is right and defending the running game is an opponent's weakness, you'll get a postseason series occasionally where a team that attempts steals 0.3 times per game during the season suddenly goes 3.0 times per game.  Those October bases can be worth the risks.

I have vivid memories of the end of Chris Hoiles, when every walk was a double.

 

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