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One of the things I love about baseball primer is that it allows me to see exactly how the populous , media and "analysts" perceive reality. That reality in this example is Adam LarRoche as a good baseball player. The facts do not support this assertion. This misperception brings me far more joy than it really should, which is probably a personality flaw.
More importantly, primer has taught me far better than anyone or anything else that people in general have to ####### clue what they are talking about. So I may as well disregard most of it.
LaRoche is a good baseball player
you are better than that
The main advantage of bunting with Nixon was that he was fast as hell and probably a pretty good an outstanding bunter so he's got a fair chance to beat one out or cause an error -- i.e. not make an out.
All right, a new poster to ignore!
The rule, anyway, wasn't "don't ever bunt"; it was don't sacrifice bunt
New? If new means posting since the first week the site existed then you got me.
c'mon. nastiness on top of nastiness?
you are better than that
A definition of "good" that does not include Adam Laroche is pretty strict.
So I may as well disregard most of it.
I think we all agree that LaRoche is an average to slightly above average 1b overall (his fangraphs numbers are better)
That's true, and so is this. Mark Belanger hit .208 in 1968--and Weaver made him his regular shortstop in 1969. Belanger hit .218 in 1970, .186 in 1972, and .226, .225 and .226 from 1973 to 1975--and Weaver just left him in the lineup and let him play. That's managing.
Our evaluations of LaRoche differ only marginally. I don't really care much about where on the below replacement to superstar grade you start using the word "good".
Weaver just left him in the lineup and let him play
And about baseball in the late 60s into the 70s. Artificial turf, big parks, and a big strike zone significantly increased the value of up-the-middle defense.
WAR's defensive components aren't really the issue here. Adam LaRoche is a career 119 OPS+ first baseman, he costs you runs on the bases, and his OPS is tilted more to slugging that on-base. He's a roughly league average hitter for a first baseman, probably a little below average as an offensive contributor when you account for baserunning. He's 33 years old, and two of his worst hitting seasons of his career have come in his last three years. He had a very good season last year, but overall that's not a hitter you want to spend any money on. That's not a "good" first baseman unless he has some very significant virtues on the defensive side.
Close, but not quite. Comiskey had an artificial turf infield from 1969 through 1976.
Player Games PH For Games/PHSkaggs, Dave 181 59 3.07Ayala, Benny 226 63 3.59Sheets, Larry 202 51 3.96Lowenstein, John 406 88 4.61Garcia, Kiko 392 81 4.84Bonilla, Juan 102 21 4.86Graham, Dan 141 29 4.86Duncan, Dave 189 34 5.56Dwyer, Jim 313 56 5.59Belanger, Mark 1805 318 5.68Etchebarren, Andy 443 75 5.91Crowley, Terry 658 105 6.27Rayford, Floyd 225 35 6.43Dempsey, Rick 973 149 6.53Sakata, Lenn 280 42 6.67Kelly, Pat 377 55 6.85Dauer, Rich 850 115 7.39Wiggins, Al 147 18 8.17Roenicke, Gary 591 68 8.69Coggins, Rich 239 27 8.85Hendricks, Ellie 627 69 9.09Lopez, Carlos 129 13 9.92
EDIT: Around here he'd probably be right up there with our old friend Eraser-X.
Blair is one of the great cliff-divers of all time. He went from 5 WAR to .6 to -1.3 WAR from 74 to 76. He lost 50 points of OPS+ from 74 to 75. He never bounced back, putting up a 56 OPS+ in nearly 1400 PA after 1974. From ages 21 to 30 he had 37 WAR which has an outside shot at the HoM with a good decline; after age 30 he had -2.8 WAR
both the stats and the opinions of his observers only caught up last year
Guys, Mark Belanger is not even anywhere near the bottom of the barrel for weak-hitting middle infielders. He played in an era that featured winning teams with guys like Ray Oyler and Eddie Brinkman playing SS. You have Dal Maxvill, Jonnie LeMaster, Mario Mendoza. Ozzie Smith was an All-Star hitting .222 with 13 extra-base hits one year.
Two explanations for how poor the shortstop hitting was in those days:
1. The defensive demands of the position were so much larger than they are today.
2. Teams were making inefficient decisions.
I lean towards #2, because if #1 was true then the few teams that did play an offensive player at the position (example: Toby Harrah) should be losing a ton of runs by doing so. The data do not support this. Harrah was below average but contributed many more runs with the bat than he cost on defense.
In terms of what, level of jeans hatred?
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