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Ozzie Smith vs. Otto Vizquel


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Listening to Phil Wood this weekend, a caller asked him who was a better fielder between Ozzie Smith and Omar Vizquel. He actually said this (paraphrasing): "They have played almost the exact same number of games, and Vizquel has about 100 fewer errors, so I would have to say Vizquel."

Games: Smith 2511, Vizquel 2570

Errors: Smith 281, Vizquel 181

Putouts: Smith 4249, Vizquel 3931

Assists: Smith 8375, Vizquel 7370

Pretty depressing to think Phil Wood is the baseball "expert" on DC's all-sports station.

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Recently, a baseball writer for the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote about the Cardinals Winter Warm up. Derrick Goold BLOG

A couple scores of people stayed around for the next session, too, which was on how the Cardinals have expanded their use of statistics to evaluate players. Matt Girsch and Sig Mejdal presented how the Cardinals blend statistics and scouting — remember the verbal alloy they use for that? “STOUT” — to make their decisions on draft picks and other acquisitions.

It was in that presentation I learned a new vocab word:

Fly-NER (noun): Not quite a fly ball, not sharp enough to be a line drive.

It's also depressing that someone who regards himself as a professional baseball writer either has not read The Fielding Bible or doesn't remember that BIS introduced the term "FLINER" on the first page of their explanation of the +/- system in that February 2006 publication.

Of course, I wasn't too impressed to learn that their STOUT system evaluated Chris Duncan as having the best "outfield arm". The criticism which I've read about Duncan's throwing is that he still throws like an infielder. I've rarely observed it myself, so perhaps he's corrected that problem.

Maybe their system didn't have enough major league data on Ankiel to include his arm -- which reputedly is one of the best in baseball -- but they were able to rate Brendan Ryan as the best base runner on the team on the basis of 67 games in which he got 52 hits and 15 walks. Of course, he was 7 of 7 on stolen base attempts too.

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