Just Don’t Wear Them on the Field

Congratulations to Greg Maddux and Derrek Lee, 2005 Gold Glove recipients. This is Maddux's 15th Gold Glove. He won 13 straight from 1990-2002 before his string was stopped by Mike Hampton, and has now won two in a row. He is one short of the all-time record, held by Jim Kaat (1962-77) and Brooks Robinson (1960-75). For Lee, it's his second win. He won in 2003 before previous two-time winner Todd Helton took the award back last year. It's also probably the only significant post-season award he's going to win, as the smart money appears to be on Albert Pujols for MVP. Lee won both the Gold Glove and the Silver Sluger at first base. Both of these awards are voted on by managers and coaches, so that means that people involved in the game think he's the best offensive first baseman in the league, as well as the best defensive first baseman. And yet, the writers are most likely not going to name him the Most Valuable Player in the league. That doesn't seem right.
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D-Lee leads all players in VORP too.

Next up for Lee: the Kopper Kettle

What's particularly special about the managers and coaches that their opinion should trump the owners, the players, the fans, and the writers??

Why should winning the Silver Slugger and the Gold Glove mean that Derrek should then win the MVP? I hope he does, but I don't follow your reasoning.

Lee wasn't voted the outstanding player by his peers either, Andruw Jones was. Are the players wrong??

Albert Pujols was ranked #1 by the Elias system. Are you saying that Derrek Lee should win the MVP when Pujols is the highest rated player in Major League Baseball (much less the National League)??

Frankly, I like the way these awards are coming down. The best player in the NL this year was a tie..Jones, Lee, Pujols. All three are getting recognition.

jones has no place in the MVP discussion.

CWTP,

Well said. I have a feeling that some people on here think the only reason Dlee should win the MVP because he is on our team and will use any kind of SABR vadoo stat like VORP to prove it. Personally I feel it should be Jones because he was the most valuable to his team in terms of team success, but any of the three deserve it and neither of the two who lose it were screwed.

Your logic is flawed. A+B doesn't equal MVP. Lee wasn't able to carry his team into the playoffs the way Pujols and Jones did, which is more important than any numbers.

there's a really strong buzz toward a.jones for a while now. that said there's been a lot of bad MVP choices...91 NL MVP...84 AL MVP...87 NL MVP...etc etc

when it comes down to it there are no absolute rules for picking the MVP and it comes down a popularity contest. i can honestly think of no reason for Arod to get shunned down to get 0 1st place votes in 01 when ichiro won MVP, though ichrio wasnt that bad of a MVP pick (though maybe a bit overrated compared to his peers in the MVP race given his fresh impact).

h.street/tavarez ortiz/a.jones colon/carpenter...my personal predictions for kicks...

"bad" is subjective there before anyone gets pissed about me saying the a.dawson pick was bad...i should have probally said "odd/strange" cuz none of the winners in those years were scrubs...there were just others who performed better or in the case of a.dawson a major "unspoken" rule of selection was sidestepped to give a MVP to a guy on a team that wasn't remotely competitive.

If a guy hits .230 something with RISP, this is not valuable. His batting average wasn't even .300!!! The guy hit a bunch of homeruns and drove in quite a few runs, but the main reason is that there were more guys on base for him than the other two. Without Derrek Lee, where would the cubs have been at the end of the season? 62-100? 72-90? I don't know...But with the breakout years of some of the guys around A. Jones, I would hardly say he was the "most valuable" in the league. But you want to make it the most valuable player on a playoff team? Albert Pujols. With Rolen out most of the season, Walker deteriorating faster than Burnitz, Reggie with a broken toe, Edmonds striking out at nearly Kpat rates, and Yadier missing a bit....Pujols was the one constant contributor(yes, I realize Eckstein and Grudz were also contributing). He led his team to the playoffs and kept them in the Houston series(at least for one more game) with a towering shot off of Lidge. Who is the most valuable player? Derrek Lee.(IMO) Who is the most valuable player on a playoff team? Albert Pujols(IMO). Who hit a bunch of homeruns? Andruw Jones. Congrats

Why should winning the Silver Slugger and the Gold Glove mean that Derrek should then win the MVP?

Its not an A+B=MVP thing, no one is suggesting that simply because Lee one the award for best offense and defense at his position he should win the MVP.

What is interesting is that Lee can be named the best hitter and fielder at his position, and then someone else who plays that same position be named more valuable. This would obviously have to be Pujols, and would be irrelavant if Jones wins.

I'm not saying Pujols isn't deserving, and certainly since its a different group of voters its not exactly an apples to apples comparison.

But if Pujols does win, particularly if its by a large margin over Lee, it will be more evidence that being surrounded by a good team is more valuable than being the best player in MVP voting.

To me, a team's success should be factored in the MVP decision. Because if you don't make the playoffs who cares how many games you won? So, that should not be the only factor. But when comparing two great players, DLee and Puljos, the player from the winning team should probably get the nod.

Your logic is flawed. A+B doesn't equal MVP. Lee wasn't able to carry his team into the playoffs the way Pujols and Jones did, which is more important than any numbers.

How exactly did Pujols carry his team into the playoffs? Cards clinched sometime in May, okay maybe June when everyone else in the Central didn't get the memo that season had started. Then they cruised to the division title. Did Pujols put them on his back those first few months, did he deliver clutch hit after clutch hit in those months, cause I don't remember any of that. I do remember Lee having a decided advantage in almost every stat back then and it wasn't until the final weeks that Pujols just about caught up.

Jones I can see a bit, he plays exceptional defense in center and put up some big power #'s and his August certainly could be construed as carrying the team. Of course it helps when the 2-3 guys hitting in front of you all sport OBP over .350. Win Shares even puts Jones third on the TEAM behind Giles and Furcal.

Vlad winning it last year, if Ortiz wins it this year, Tejeda from a few years back, those guys I can see getting the award for "carrying" their teams, they delived game-winning hit after game-winning hit in the heat of the playoff chase. It's not necessarily my criteria for an MVP, but I understand it. But Jones and Pujols candidacy this year is completely based on their teams records and nothing to do with any exceptional "clutch" ability that they showed. The only reason Lee won't win it this year is cause at least 3 to 4 spots in the lineup last year were a complete waste of space and our pitching staff disintegrated.

If Ortiz win's mvp, i quit being a fan of baseball.

hmm, why not ortiz? Team made playoffs, #'s up there with A-rod, timely hit after timely hit..... Didn't play an ounce of defense, which is why I'd go A-rod, I expect him to finish either 1 or 2.

Vinny Castilla traded to Pads for Brian Lawrence and cash. Thought Nomar was going to be of interest there to play 3rd, but I guess not.

Ex-cub Brendan Harris made the Olympic team along with 4 angel minor leaguers. Didn't see any other Cubs..

Albert Pujols was ranked #1 by the Elias system. Are you saying that Derrek Lee should win the MVP when Pujols is the highest rated player in Major League Baseball (much less the National League)??

The Elias system ranks players over two year periods. Plus, it is an extremely crude way to measure performance. There is no consideration of on-base percentage or slugging percentage.

Elias is also responsible for the classification of Type A, B or C free agents and those rankings are for that purpose. (list should be out tomorrow I believe). Their criteria is based on pretty basic stats but OBP is included.

http://www.sabr.org/sabr.cfm?a=cms,c,741,5,0
---
"Each year, the Elias Sports Bureau ranks all major league players based on criteria agreed upon by MLB and the MLBPA.† The rankings are based on performance over the most recent two seasons.† Based on these rankings, the top players are classified as A players (top 30 %), B players (next 20 %) or C players (next 10 %).† The remaining players are not given a classification."
--
After the 2002 season, Manny Ramirez was ranked #1 with a perfect score., despite playing more games at DH, which tells you their ranking system has not a damn clue if it doesn't take defense into account AT ALL. According to this espn.com article, the five categories are: plate appearances, batting average, on-base percentage, homers and RBI'sI.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/news/2002/1030/1453554...

The rankings I believe are made by how you rank in each category relative to position. If you finish first in each category for your position, you get a perfect score. I don't know the pitching categories.

Rob G. Players who don't need a mitt don't deserve MVP.

not really disagreeing with you chad, as I said, I'd give it A-rod.

For WS fans like me:
A-rod was tops in hitting (33.3) and overall (37)
Ortiz 2nd in hitting (31.4) but only 5th overall (31) behind M. Ramirez (34), Sheffield (33) and Teixeira (32).

This is from the hardball times who has slightly modified Bill James' original formula.

NL results
Pujols (38)
Lee (37)
Giles (35)
Bay (34)
Delgado (31)
---
26) A. Jones (23)

I don't consider WS the gospel but I do like a lot about it.

Regarding win shares. Unlike WARP and other estimation stats, they assign values based on their teams success. So over the course of a season if a team gets 'lucky,' players on their team would have more win shares than if they did not get the 'extra' wins. It's all up to your belief system if tht is the correct way of thinking. If you put any stock into BPs Third Order Winning. The Cubs underwon by 6.6 games and the Cardinals won 8.8 games more than they should have. That is a 15 win differential that win shares gives into the pool for Pujols to get.

Personally I belong to the school of thought that personal stats are independent of your teams, and that MVP is Most Valuable Player and team shouldn't be factored.

Lee wasn't able to carry his team into the playoffs the way Pujols and Jones did, which is more important than any numbers.

Well, it's not the MIPITPR Award (Most Important Player In The Playoff Race Award) is it? It's obvious that Pujols had a better team around him than Lee.

Your logic is flawed. A+B doesn't equal MVP.

There are two things in baseball that ultimately cause winning. First, scoring runs. Second, scoring runs. A player's offensive contributions comprise all of his production to the first. A player's defensive contributions are all of his production at preventing runs. It really is A+B=MVP. There's simply no other thing that can factor. Except for something like Derek Jeter's mystique and aura!

Wow, I can't believe I did not catch this mistake:

First, scoring runs. Second, preventing runs.

We have our first Hot Stove Trade: Vinny Castilla for Brian Lawerance. Man Towers must have wanted to screw Alderson before bolting to Boston. You trade a solid back of the rotation pitcher for a 40-year old 3b on the decline and had a .319 OBP this year.

I love Derrek Lee, and he had a terrific year, but honestly--Albert Pujols is not only the most valuable player in the league, he's the best player in baseball. Even if he IS 32 years old. ;-)

One positive thing about Lee NOT winning the MVP, if in fact that is what happens, is that it might make his new contract just a tiny bit more affordable. We know he's a great player, but we don't need a trophy for him to recognize that. So why ask for yet more awards that would only make him more costly for the Cubs to keep?

My vote would be 1. Pujols, 2. Lee, 3. Cabrera, 4. Jones, 5. Giles. With an honorable mention to Roy Oswalt and Dontrelle Willis (who gets my Cy Young hands-down).

I hope it ends in a tie. I don't see any meaningful distinction between the individual performances of Lee and Pujols this year: their offensive games are more or less balanced, and they both play the same position pretty well.

Unfortunately, including Pujols in the MVP discussion is par for the course, whereas Lee had his career year. Lee is MVP-worthy in 2005; he's also only one year removed from helping cost the Cubs a playoff berth by not hitting up to his standards. I'd like to see Lee win the MVP, but I'm much more concerned with keeping the cost of Lee's inevitable extension out of the stratosphere, so if Pujols wins it, that's okay.

If Andruw Jones (or anybody else for that matter) even sniffs second place, that's a scam. Pujols and Lee crushed the NL to a degree where positional or storyline considerations can't close the gap.

Albert Pujols is not only the most valuable player in the league, he's the best player in baseball.

Well Roger Clemens is the best pitcher of his generation, right? Was he the best pitcher of the 1980s? Probably not. Was he the best pitcher of the 1990s? No (Maddux). Will he be the best pitcher of the 2000s? Probably not. He was never the best player for one of those abritrary cuttoffs, but he was the best over a period of 20 years. No one is saying Albert Pujols is an inferior player to Derrek Lee, but for the arbitrary 162 game season starting in April and ending October 3rd, Derrek Lee was more productive. Of course I do not expect him to win the award and if it makes him cheaper, then fine.

Unforrtunately the lack of people on base hurt Lee's RBI and the lack of A-Ram to protect him down the stretch hurt his chances to see "more hittable" pitches. On pure performance D-Lee was the best in 05. I hope to see a better line up around our MVP next year.

My Free agent picks: Furcal, Lofton and Scott Sauerbeck.

What are yours?

The Elias system ranks players over two year periods. Plus, it is an extremely crude way to measure performance. There is no consideration of on-base percentage or slugging percentage.

But that's just your critique of the system.
All these awards are flawed, are they not?

The fact that Elias rankings are "moving averages" doesn't detract from the fact that they come up with an ordinal ranking each year. Pujols is the leader for 2005. That's all that's relevant.

The fact that Hideki Matsui is one of the top 3 OF's in the AL should let you know how much stock to put in their rankings.

OK- a couple points.

Anyone who thinks the Gold Glove really means anything- go and see who won the 1999 AL gold glove for first basemen.

And as for win shares- it is the most mis-leading stat out there. It was OK in 1984 when Bill James had to do the math with a calculator and and one of those back-up erasers you put on the end of your pencil when the attached eraser wears out- but anyone who uses it, or even worse proliferates it's use today, is a monkey.

I am going to do some hard-core 4th grade mathematics for you:

Wins Shares as currently calculated = (Teams wins*3)/Total Player contribution for the season.

Numerator= Wins
Denominator = 162 games

Correctly calculated Win Shares should be = (Teams wins*3)/Total Player Contribution in games won.

That being said, I don't like either measure because they don't take into account game context.

If you want a truer measure of a hitter's value to his team's chances of winning (aka MVP), you should use a measure that is simply adds the cumulative increase/decrease of the likelyhood of his team's winning based on the outcome of his at-bat.

For instance- a 1st inning walk with 2 outs, down by 3 runs may increase your team's chance to win by 1% (32% to 33%). A bottom of the 9th inning walk with 2 outs, the bases loaded and a tie game may increase your team's chance of winning by 36% (64% to 100%). The best measure for MVP would be to add all those %'s up and see who's got the highest (or least negative) total.

May already have been said, but Pujols is going to win the MVP because he's been all-time great quality for a couple of years in a row but prevented from winning the award by the fact that he happened to be in the same league as the greatest hitter of all time at his greatest peak. IE, Poo-holes (as he's known in some circles) will win the MVP on a sympathy vote he ultimately won't need, given his relative youth and the skills of Walt Jocketty.

May already have been said, but Pujols is going to win the MVP because he's been all-time great quality for a couple of years in a row but prevented from winning the award by the fact that he happened to be in the same league as the greatest hitter of all time at his greatest peak. IE, Poo-holes (as he's known in some circles) will win the MVP on a sympathy vote he ultimately won't need, given his relative youth and the skills of Walt Jocketty.

While completely subjective, Clemens was by far the best pitcher in the 80s 90s and 2000s.

While completely subjective, Clemens was by far the best pitcher in the 80s 90s and 2000s.

In each decade? Best of the 90s? Best of the 80s etc? Or best 80s-2005? My point is that in a given timeframe, the best player doesn't always perform the best.

If you want a truer measure of a hitter's value to his team's chances of winning (aka MVP), you should use a measure that is simply adds the cumulative increase/decrease of the likelyhood of his team's winning based on the outcome of his at-bat.

I'll let you add up 1400 PA's: There is probably a place where you don't have to do it all yourself...

Best pitcher of the 80s - Roger Clemens
Best pitcher of the 90s - Roger Clemens
Best pitcher of the 2000s - Roger Clemens

Fair, enough. I would go a different way, but I can't really say he wasn't worthy.

And as for win shares- it is the most mis-leading stat out there. It was OK in 1984 when Bill James had to do the math with a calculator and and one of those back-up erasers you put on the end of your pencil when the attached eraser wears out- but anyone who uses it, or even worse proliferates it's use today, is a monkey.

First, I'm guessing you never actually read the book and are dismissing something that you haven't even spent any time trying to comprehend. No worries, you're not the first to do that.

Second, the first Win Shares book was published in 2002 and first presented at a SABR conference in 2001. It is a derivitive of Runs Created which is about 30 years old. James he didn't even think it was a possibility until 1996.

Anyway, no real reason to spend time defending it, you've already made up your mind up on it. Peace :)

"Dude, Jose Canseco won an M.V.P"
-big pappy's comment on the importance of fielding for the award.

im sure y'all have seen the comments about furcal wanting to play for chicago cuz hes pals with neifi and aramis and maddux and all that.

i suppose if we get him, then hopefully cedeno is good to go as well and then perhaps they can include t-walk in a trade? but wouldnt it be a better situation for t-walk to be our back-up infielder and throw neifi under the bus? will neifi being furcals "buddy" ruin that possibility?

back to the mvp discussion though, tell you what, i hope they give the award to poo-holes and he fucking chokes on it, cuz for my money id rather have derek win the MVP award NEXT year, that is to say, SERIES MVP baby, if you catch my drift.

have a great weekend y'all!

oh hi...fuel...have you met my friend fire?

"He's very close to Neifi Perez and Aramis Ramirez, and he played with Greg Maddux, so there's a comfort level in Chicago," said Paul Kinzer, Furcal's agent. "Whatever team he goes to, he wants to be able to go to a World Series, and he feels the Cubs are going to be competitive in trying to get there. I'd say there is very serious interest from Rafael."

The fact that Elias rankings are "moving averages" doesn't detract from the fact that they come up with an ordinal ranking each year. Pujols is the leader for 2005. That's all that's relevant.

Pujols is the leader for 2005 based on his performance in 2005 AND 2004. If the MVP was the award for "Most Valuable Player over the past 2 years" it would be relevant. Pujols is cleary the most valuable player over the past 2 seasons.

However, since the award is for the Most Valuable Player of the 2005 Season and only the 2005 season, a ranking based on 2 years worth of performance is not relevant.

And really, shouldn't we just be looking at "secondary batting averages" anyway?

as of this morning...

m.murton - 26/81 (.321) 10 doubles, 2 HR, 5bb, 11k
b.sing - 15/52 (.288) 5 double, 2 HR, 7bb, 16k

a.guzman - 6games, 25.2ip, 23h, 10bb, 22k, 3.86era
d.aardsma - 9games, 15ip, 27h, 7bb, 15k, 10.80era
j.koronka - 10games, 13ip, 8h, 5bb, 11k, 0.00era

m.murton - 26/81 (.321) 10 doubles, **1** HR, 5bb, **12**k

...my bad...he's got a triple, too =p...and 2sb..and sing has a sb...and etc etc blah blah

win shares is even more inherently flawed than most statistics...it uses a team stat (wins) to value an individual's performance. I'm kind of amazed people use this stat at all.

Rob G,

'First, I'm guessing you never actually read the book and are dismissing something that you haven't even spent any time trying to comprehend.'

No I haven't read the book. I have read up about it on Harball Times. I am guessing that you, however, slept through 4th grade math, because you don't understand how to use numerators and denominators. Don't worry, you're not the first person to do that.

Why would I read an entire book about a mathemaical concept which doesn't realize 1=1 ?

There's no excuse to continue to use the stats a player collects in a loss and attribute a win to that- I don't know how to explain that any more clearly.

Anyway, what I am saying is that win shares calcualation was fine when game log data wasn't readily available. There's no excused to be calculating it the same way now.

"Without Derrek Lee, where would the cubs have been at the end of the season?"

They'd have not made the playoffs. Oh, wait, they still didn't make the playoffs. To me, the MVP should NEVER come from a sub-.500 team.

----"To me, the MVP should NEVER come from a sub-.500 team."----"X"

Why is that, X? Does a subpar team mean that a great player isn't more valuable to his team than a player on an above average team? I simply do not see how the team's record affects the "valuable-ness" of a player. If a team goes 0-162, and the only player to even get a hit the whole season was the stud catcher, and he hit 20 HR's, and had 20 RBI's, I would say he was VERY valuable to his team, even though they did not win a game. Without him, they would not have scored a run all season. It would not have helped their team record, but nonetheless, he was VERY valuable. Team records should not matter. The award is NOT Most Valuable Player on a Good to Great Team.

Hmm,

Let me elaborate a little more because the 1=1 thing is a bit too snide.

When calculating win shares for Albert Pujols in the '05 season you use the following equation:

100/162 = 1

When calculating win shares for D.Lee you use:

79/162 = 1

When calculating win shares for Andruw Jones you use 90/162 = 1

Etc etc.

Any stat that is based on an untrue equation, is invalid, regardless of the length of the book.

I would be suprised if in the Win Shares book James hasn't included a disclaimer on this very same subject.

Done Correctly Win shares would use this equation for Pujols: 99/99 = 1 (I'm guessing that Pujols didn't play in 1 cardinals win).

If win shares was calculated like this I think pitchers with great Wins totals would get a lot more credit in the MVP debate than they do currently. Having been in Houston the whole year, I think probably the player getting the biggest shaft in the MVP debate is Pettitte.

As for Pujols and Lee - if you take Pujols off the cards- VORP-wise they still make the playoffs. If you take Lee off the Cubs VORP wise they still miss the playoffs. If you take Pettitte off the 'Stros Vorp-Wise they're dueling it out with the Brewers for 3rd. Without Jones the Phillies are playing the Astros in the first round of the playoffs.

But the Cubs fans want to have their cake and eat it to. In 1998 Sammy was obviously the MVP because his team made the wild-card, Sammy finishing 36 runs behind McGwire in VORP. Now they say D-Lee who finished 7 runs ahead of Pujols should get the MVP too. Need to make up your minds.

Personally I probably go Pujols very close over Jones, then Pettitte third. Lee and Endsberg, Carpenter, Giles etc can sort out the rest.

Ok, so I'm intrigued by this Win Shares discussion. So I went on over the the Hardball Times to find out more info. What I found was that the actual win shares calculation is way too complicated for me to understand when I'm really supposed to be working.

However, I did play around with their Win Shares table a bit. And here's what I'm thinking: If Pujols has 38 Win Shares and Lee has 37, but the Cardinals have won more games than the Cubs, doesn't that really make Pujols 38 win shares less valuable?

You can add up the Win Shares for every player on a team, divide by 3 and get the total number of team wins, right? So, wouldn't the most valuable player be the one who has the hightest percentage of the teams win shares (hence contributed the most "wins" to his team?)

So, Lee has 37 WS out of a total of 237 for the Cubs which is 15.61%. Pujols has 38 out of a total of 288 for the Cards, which is a total of 13.19%. So, that, to me, says that Lee was more valuable to the Cubs than Pujols was to the Cards.
I didn't go through every team to see if anyone was more valuable than Lee, though I would doubt it. Not that I'm biased or anything.

(Forgive me if I'm coming late to the party and y'all knew this already. I didn't see it discussed in so many words on this post, so I thought it was worth bringing up. )

100/162 = 1

They just normalize the numbers to put everyone on an equal playing field. You are over simplifying.

Real Neal & Chris:

I was only presenting the Win Shares data as I know many are interested in that sort of forward thinking. I'm not really interested in getting into a discussion on its merits or some sort of doctoral defense on something that I didn't write. You both believe it's so flawed as to not even be worth a mention, that's fine, that's your uninformed opinion. Many people who have actually spent the time to read it and try and understand it, including myself, think it has a lot of merit. Once you read the book, I'll be more than happy to entertain a private discussion on it's flaws and merits.

As for using wins as a barometer for individual performance, it's not as far a leap as you may think. Stroll over to ESPN.com expanded standings or anywhere else that has pythagorean records or expected win/loss records. Take the amount of runs scored and the amount of run allowed by a team, apply the pythagorean equation and you get a remarkably accurate look at a team's expected winning percentages. Any major discrepencies are normally attributed to a team's record in one run games. (See 2005 White Sox). We can get into record for one run games at some other time. But, since scoring runs and preventing runs correlates extremely well to winning and losing, then developing a system attributing those wins to individual players is not at all far-fetched.

I'm not certain on this following point, but I do not believe it was James intention or even hypothesis that he could take a team's win and then pigeon-hole each individual's contributions to get to that number. I think it was the opposite, that totaling up each player's individual accomplishments leads to a certain amount of team wins. He's just doing the math backwards. Don't quote me on that one, I have to re-read the book as it's been quite awhile.

Speaking of re-reading the book, I don't recall if he ever explained why he didn't use a team's expected win-loss record over their actual win-loss record. That was the one thing that always troubled me.

Anya,

Fantastic point and something I didn't really think of. I don't think you need win shares to realize that removing Lee from the Cubs last year would have cost the Cubs more victories than removing Pujols from the Cards.

And yes, win shares is insanely complicated.

This is another great example of how statistics left alone with out any point of reference is worthless. And so are Win Shares. And yes, I finally finished Moneyball and while I disagree with Sabremetrics on the whole, the book was great!

Chad
How is Clemens "by far" the best pitcher in the 90s,
even "subjectively"? Maddux had more wins, innings pitched, complete games and most important
a signicantly lower e.r.a (2.51 vs 3.13) Yes I know Clemens pitching in the AL but I am not giving him that much a differental for that. Clemens had more strikeouts ( surprise) but not as many more as you might think for a power pitcher vs a control pitcher. Clemens had 2101 and Maddux had 1764, Maddux had FAR fewer walks(443 to 731) and I will take fewer walks over more strikouts anyday. From 92-96 Maddux was the most dominant pitcher in a four year stretch in the modern era and not so bad before and after. When they each finish there 20 plus year careers I think Clemens will have the edge in pitching stats but not in 90s
That was Madog's decade

Jessica

Win Shares was a system Bill James and a couple other stat geeks came up with moreso to determine the greatness of players of different eras since you can't really compare the numbers of today's players with those of the Ty Cobb era. As of 2005 he rated them as
9. Mantle
8. Musial
7. Aaron
6. Balco Bonds
5. Cobb
4. Honus Wagner
3. Ted Williams
2. W. Mays
1. Ruth

Also, Bruce Levine has reported today that the Cubs will begin discussions with the agents of Furcal and Aj Burnett when the FA signing period begins on Nov.10. He also reported that Hendry will explore trade possibilities with Juan Pierre. Apparently Burnett and Dempster are good friends going back to their days with the Marlins. I dunno, I was under the impression we already had our own version of Aj Burnett in K. Wood. That will give us 3 starters that we can see dominate simulated games in '06.

White Sox are preparing a 4/$50 mil offer to Konerko according to Levine.

someone care to explain what our rotation will look like if we sign Burnett? Unless Hendry's statements about Wood progressing quite well and going back into the rotation are just a smoke screen, I'm really curious how all that is going to fall out.

Pierre and Furcal seems like overkill. If Pierre was a good defender, I wouldn't mind him so much, but he's average at best in center with that weak-ass arm and apparently doesn't get the best jumps on balls.

The way it sounds right now, it appears that Wood's surgery is either a little more serious than has been reported or the Cubs are just being overly cautious. At any rate, it seems like Wood will be mirroring the El Duque role he had with the White Sox this season with the exception that he'll likely start the season in the pen.

I don't see Pierre as a downgrade defensively compared to Patterson...Corey's arm is weak as well...he tries to cover it up by throwing pop-ups(usually over the catcher's head). He may not get the jumps that Corey does but his speed/range is a little better and it's not like the OF at Wrigley is Coors or Yankee Stadium...there's not that much ground to cover...and of course Pierre trumps Corey's bat..even with the down year he had last season. Plus it would be insurance in case Furcal re-ups with the Braves so we'd still have a leadoff hitter. I think we'd all rather have Pierre in center over Hairston Jr again right?..because I don't see Corey coming back at any cost.

Corey's arm is weak as well

No it's not, Corey could play right if needed without much problem. Okay, he'd probably have a weak arm among right fielders, but it'd be no worse than Mike Cameron's. I don't think he's Jones or Edmonds out there in center, but he was no worse than leage average this year and deserved a GG in 2004 (give it back Finley)

Corey has many, many faults, most of them having to do with his brain and bat. But he's improved his glovework enough over the years that you'd find a hard time finding a better glove man for center.

As for Pierre, his arm would be less of an issue in cozy Wrigley than Pro Park, I agree. But there won't be a deal for Pierre before FA signing period begins and thus having him as a backup in case we don't get Furcal, is a mute point. I expect Furcal to be signed within the first week of free agency.

His bat, which certainly trumps Korey's (so does Neifi's last year, so that doesn't say much), still isn't all that special. It really appears to me that 2003 and 2004 were the anomolies in his career, while 2005 is more of what you should expect out of him for the rest of his career. Considering he's a FA after next season and a trade for him would be most likely the stop gap to the Felix Pie era, I'd rather go cheaper than Pierre and sign Lofton.

His defense is equally sub-par, but his bat stands a lot more chance of remaining at an acceptable level. He obviously doesn't bring the same amount of speed as Pierre and with his age, there's more of an injury risk, but in his illustrious 14 year career, his OBP has only fallen below .350 once, while Pierre's has only topped it twice in 5+ seasons (2003 and 2004). Plus his first 2+ seasons were in Colorado.

"Cubs are just being overly cautious." with Wood.

He should travel in foam peanuts.

That is why I said subjective. I would take Roger Clemens over Greg Maddux anyday of the week. But that's just me. Oh, and your dumb comment about strike outs vs. walks, a 'strikeout pitcher' will ALWAYS have way more walks than a 'finese' pitcher.

Also, I use the word dominant for a pitcher that over powers guys. I would never describe Maddux as dominant. Ryan, Clemens, Johnson. Those guys were dominant. Sure Maddux is an all-time great, one of the best, but subjectively, I'd take Clemens.

Wouldn't a dominant pitcher be one who wins much, much more than he loses, regardless of whether he is a power pitcher or not? I don't see what "type" of pitcher has to do with dominance. If a pitcher throws an eight inning two hitter with a walk, that is a dominating performance, even if he doesn't strike anyone out. In my book, a dominant pitcher is one who has a low ERA and is very difficult to get a hit/run off of.

"Wouldn't a dominant pitcher be one who wins much, much more than he loses, regardless of whether he is a power pitcher or not?"

aaron sele was not even close to as good as his 1998-2001 seasons would have some believe looking at his win/loss record.

Chad
It is very subjective and I am a wee bit obsessive
re Maddux. Re Strikeouts & Walks. Maddux is or
at least was in the 90s a fairly impressive strikout pitcher ( averaging 175 a season) and Maddux's
extemely low number of walks is to me much more
important since runners are not getting base.

Maddux numbers from 92-96 were the most dominant
of any pitcher in a four year span in terms of e.r.a
ratio to the rest of baseball so I find it hard to see how
he was not a completely dominant pitcher. When
you have back to back seasons with an E.R.A under
1.65 I don't care if you are a "power" or "finesse"
pitcher but you sure as hell are dominant. So in terms
of taking Clemens over Maddux any day of the week
this does not make a lot of sense. The Maddux of
94 & 95 was light years ahead of Clemens in those
years.

Again I was speaking specifically of Maddux in the 90s
and while we agree this is always subjective I don't see
how Maddux's numbers for that decade are not substantially better then Clemens.

it's just a subjective definition of dominant..

when I allude to a "dominant" pitcher, I tend agree with Chad and stick to the guys you feel lucky that you made contact off of and are generally scared to stand in the box against. Guys whose raw stuff is so filthy-nasty that making contact has to be considered the victory less alone a base hit. Maddux just drove hitters crazy and got into their heads that they had no idea what pitch was coming next.

In the end, similar results, different ways of going about it.

That being said, Maddux won the 90's but Clemens won the career battle.

Maddux is the best probably ever at throwing strikes that are impossible to be hit hard. You can't take em, cause they are strikes and when you hit them they don't go very far or very fast.

And 175 K's per season is not impressive. The line of demarkation is 200 ks. Even in Maddux's best year 1995 he only struck out 181.

So 175 strikeouts per season is not impressive, huh, Chad?

That just proves that you are in over your head, and that your comments lack true substance.

To average 175 strikeouts a year is phenomenal.

Maddux' strikeout average for the 90s is skewed by the '94 strike year (156) and one significantly off year in '99 (136). But he did break 200 in '98, and was just short in '91 (198), '92 (199), and '93 (197).

He was also pretty dominant compared to other pitchers in the league. He ranked second or third in K's '91-95, and was in the top 10 in '97 and '98.

You guys are impossible.

Greg Maddux:
Roger Clemens:
Randy Johnson:
Pedro Martinez
Kerry Wood

A 'strike out' power pitcher should be near 1k/ip

So Grenedel, NO, 175 a year by a pitcher that averages well over 200 ips in not impressive.

No one is claiming that Maddux is or was a power/strikeout pitcher in the mold of Clemens, Johnson etc
but that in his peek in the 90s he got an impressive number of strikeouts for a pitcher who does not rely on
power. I think the thing us Maddux fanatics find so amazing is that he has such an extraordinary career without throwing the ball anywhere near 100 miles an hour.
I honestly did not mean to start a nitpicking thread
but I do think Maddux deserves recognition for
being the best pitcher in the 90s

Jessica

Look at Chad breaking out a rate stat without breaking out a rate stat, proud of you, man!! :)

I think the # your looking for is K/9 rate.
Maddux: 6.23
Clemens 8.61
Johnson 10.95
Martinez 10.25
Wood 10.44

Sadly Rob, my calculator was broken.

Chad:

[By the way, are you a "hanging" Chad, or just a "hung up" Chad?]

You can skew the data anyway you want, you can list anybody you want--I'm surprised you didn't include Ryne Duren, Kyle Farnsworth, Juan Pizarro, and anybody else with a high strikeout rate.

Still, 175 strikeouts per year, year after year, is impressive. In fact, even if someone only did it ONE time, it would be impressive. I don't have any strikeouts in the Majors. How many do you have?

I don't care how many strikouts a pitcher gets. If he can get guys out with one or two pitches, why should he bother with 4 or 5?

Look at our guys today - Wood and Prior in particular. Lots of K/IP - sure. But at what cost? Look at their P/IP, or their IP/G? Look at their 7IP+/G? Look at the rate of 120+P/G Look at the nubmer of times they were pulled after 5 or 6 with lots of Ks, and lots of pitches, and then the bullpen had to go 3-4+ innings?

Give me a guy who will throw strikes and make you put the ball in play meekly any day. I'll take that.

There's nothing wrong with Ks, they are just a bit overrated these days (in some schools of thought) for pitchers. At the same time, their negative impact on hitters, is underrated in my opinion.

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