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View Full Version : Introducing the New 2B of the Reds: Aaron Boone



MikeS21
01-06-2003, 09:11 PM
Here it is, folks.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/cin/news/cin_news.jsp?ymd=20030106&content_id=189840&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp

Larson will be at 3B.

And this blurb: "Right now, Barry Larkin's our shortstop and Felipe Lopez is our future shortstop, until the day comes that Felipe Lopez becomes the shortstop," Bowden said. "To put a timetable on that would be foolish."

MWM
01-06-2003, 09:18 PM
Blech!!!!!!

guernsey
01-06-2003, 09:20 PM
Doesn't exactly read like it's a done deal yet.

Spitball
01-06-2003, 09:23 PM
I wonder how Danny Graves feels about the Reds proposed infield.

MikeS21
01-06-2003, 09:24 PM
Blech!!!!!!
Can you believe this:

"Aaron's very athletic. We believe he can quickly develop into an All-Star-caliber second baseman," Bowden said.

"I'm leery of taking a guy who's arguably Gold Glove-caliber at third and moving him," Bob Boone said.

:lol:

Evidently they are watching a different Aaron Boone than we are. But, I suppose if it gets Branyan and Larson some AB's this ain't all bad.

M2
01-06-2003, 09:36 PM
Sure doesn't sound like JimBo and Papa Boone agree completely about Aaron playing 2B.

Here's a prediction: If Aaron Boone does indeed play 2B for the Reds next year, the majority of the 3B playing will fall to Russ Branyan.

KYRedsFan
01-06-2003, 09:37 PM
Aaron Boone, All Star second baseman. I would like to nominate this as the Jim Bowden :eek: of the year. Write it down and let's have a vote.

MikeS21
01-06-2003, 09:40 PM
I think you're right about Branyan, M2. I look for Larson to be traded.

This also reveals a little of the brass's think concerning Lopez. They are willing to be patient with him and give Larkin a chance to mentor him along.

RedHotNumber17
01-06-2003, 09:48 PM
Are the Reds on crack or something :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: ???

I adore Aaron, yes, but if they think he's going to be The Second Coming of Bret, they have another thing coming!!!

I have the feeling Brandon will be traded too :thumbdn: :thumbdn: :thumbdn:

I'd rather have Booney playing his best position and that is third base.

I'll step off my soapbox now ;)


"Are you saying Jesus Christ can't hit a curveball???"

westofyou
01-06-2003, 09:49 PM
Evidently they are watching a different Aaron Boone than we are. But, I suppose if it gets Branyan and Larson some AB's this ain't all bad.

I've Boone about middle of the pack since 1999 as a 3rd baseman. Here's a list of every guy with 400 Plus games at 3rd the last 4 seasons.


AREER
1999-2002
3B

ASSISTS A
1 Troy Glaus 1192
2 Jeff Cirillo 1137
3 Scott Rolen 1130
4 Robin Ventura 1105
5 Joe Randa 1094
6 Adrian Beltre 1054
7 Eric Chavez 1033
8 Vinny Castilla 1014
9 Mike Lowell 949
10 Corey Koskie 945
11 Aaron Boone 938
12 Tony Batista 804
13 Phil Nevin 768
14 Chipper Jones 767
15 Travis Fryman 744
16 Matt Williams 738
17 Bill Mueller 694

DOUBLE PLAYS DP
1 Jeff Cirillo 123
2 Troy Glaus 108
3 Robin Ventura 103
T4 Joe Randa 102
T4 Mike Lowell 102
T6 Scott Rolen 98
T6 Vinny Castilla 98
T8 Aaron Boone 96
T8 Tony Batista 96
10 Adrian Beltre 90
11 Eric Chavez 81
12 Phil Nevin 78
T13 Matt Williams 73
T13 Travis Fryman 73
15 Corey Koskie 69
16 Bill Mueller 66
17 Chipper Jones 46

ERRORS E
1 Troy Glaus 91
2 Adrian Beltre 88
3 Phil Nevin 70
4 Robin Ventura 65
5 Joe Randa 64
6 Aaron Boone 62
7 Chipper Jones 58
8 Eric Chavez 56
9 Scott Rolen 52
10 Vinny Castilla 50
11 Tony Batista 48
T12 Jeff Cirillo 46
T12 Corey Koskie 46
14 Mike Lowell 39
15 Travis Fryman 36
16 Bill Mueller 35
17 Matt Williams 32

FIELDING PERCENTAGE PCT
1 Mike Lowell .972
2 Jeff Cirillo .971
3 Matt Williams .969
4 Scott Rolen .968
5 Corey Koskie .965
6 Bill Mueller .965
7 Travis Fryman .965
8 Vinny Castilla .964
9 Eric Chavez .962
10 Joe Randa .961
11 Robin Ventura .959
12 Tony Batista .959
13 Aaron Boone .953
14 Troy Glaus .947
15 Chipper Jones .946
16 Adrian Beltre .945
17 Phil Nevin .937

GAMES G
1 Troy Glaus 624
2 Jeff Cirillo 588
3 Joe Randa 578
4 Robin Ventura 573
5 Adrian Beltre 571
6 Scott Rolen 546
7 Eric Chavez 543
8 Vinny Castilla 524
9 Mike Lowell 522
10 Corey Koskie 506
11 Aaron Boone 477
12 Chipper Jones 458
13 Travis Fryman 448
14 Phil Nevin 425
15 Bill Mueller 422
16 Tony Batista 409
17 Matt Williams 405



Boone averages about an error every 7.7 games, Rolen every 10.5.

I have Larson prior to last year as having 86 E's in 384 minor league games. I don't know where to get his AAA fielding numbers from last year, but I bet they are about what the prior numbers were, 1 error every 4.6 games.

Compared to that Aaron is freaking Brooks Robinson .

Team Tuck
01-06-2003, 09:57 PM
I think AB is quite athletic, played a very good 3B, did a decent job transitioning to SS and might be the best candidate to transition to 2B. Lopez will see most of his time at SS, but I bet he'll see some time at 2B as well. Larson/Branyan at 3B. I can live with this.

Spring~Fields
01-06-2003, 10:03 PM
"Aaron's very athletic. We believe he can quickly develop into an All-Star-caliber second baseman," Bowden said. "

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Never one for overstating things, Jim Bowden..............gosh how he tickles me so...........:evilgrin:

Anything to sell a ticket...............You Go Jim Bobb!

I use to love Jim Bowden, but after listening to ten years of those exaggerations and then waiting to see what the real results were I learned to view him as a fly by night con that tickled the ears of the under 29 crowd. :hat:

VR
01-06-2003, 10:32 PM
I'm guessing Brandon's "instruction" this winter at 2b didn't go as planned?

If this IS the scenario, let's hope the flash of Brandon at the dish last year was for real. Some RH pop in this lineup would be welcomed. I woulda thunk Lopez would get a shot before moving Boonie, but time will tell. I'll wait to see the lineup in ST before I rush to judgement.

Krusty
01-06-2003, 10:42 PM
I don't understand why people don't think Boone can't make the conversion to second base. Didn't Jeff Kent come up as a third baseman? Now he might end up being the third baseman for the Astros once again. If Boone can turn the double play, he definitely has the range to play second base.

RFS62
01-06-2003, 10:48 PM
If you look past all the hyperbole from Bowden and Papa Boone, it makes a lot of sense to at least consider this idea and see how it plays out.

Would anybody really rather see Brandon Larson at second instead of Aaron? Would it be better to give a lot of playing time to Larkin at second when we don't know how many games he'll be able to play this year?

Aaron is a hard worker and, Bowden's gushing aside, he is very athletic. And it leaves us with two third basemen to platoon or one for trade bait in Larson and Branyon.

And, as was pointed out earlier, this gives Lopez time to develop into the shortstop of the future under Larkin's tutelidge.

Let's just see how it all plays out in spring training.

Krusty
01-06-2003, 10:51 PM
And, I doubt Barry Larkin will be able to play more than 100 games at shortstop. If that is the case, I think the Reds could do more harm by juggling Lopez between second base and shortstop.

remdog
01-06-2003, 10:57 PM
I think '62 may have a plausible scenario there. I'm more comfortable with the idea of AB at 2nd than SS and he didn't do all that badly in the #6 position.

If you end up platooning Larson and Branyon at 3rd it gives the lineup a little more flexibility.

Rem

Krusty
01-06-2003, 10:59 PM
If that scenario plays out, could we see Boone as the leadoff hitter?

Kc61
01-06-2003, 11:16 PM
I am sure Aaron can handle 2B. My concern is Branyan/Larson defensively at third.

remdog
01-06-2003, 11:19 PM
If AB's in the number one slot he'd be the most power there since Larkin hit 30 HR's in....(skratches head here).....whenever.

Of course, that would probably put Barry in the #2 slot. Am I correct in recalling that #2 isn't Barry's favorite....??

Rem

letsgojunior
01-06-2003, 11:22 PM
could we see Boone as the leadoff hitter?

I hope not. Unfortunately right now, we really don't have anything close to a leadoff or number 2 man. Dunn and Kearns IMO really belong in the 3-4-5 area and based on what I saw from Larkin's bat speed, I don't know what to do with him.

I like this move from the standpoint that it keeps Larson out of the middle infield, but I don't like it from the standpoint that we now have (personal opinion here from watching him) a below average 3B, a 39 year old SS (who did play pretty well last year), a brand new 2B who was average at 3B, and an average 1B who is coming off of major surgery.

Now that the starting 8 is pretty much set, what does everyone see for our lineup?

I am guessing:
Leadoff:????
Dunn
Griffey
Kearns
Casey
Boone
Larson
LaRue

If Larkin is the Larkin of last year what do we do?? And what if Larson continues to show extreme differentials in OPS off of right versus off of left?

Scrap Irony
01-06-2003, 11:32 PM
Boone at 2B makes most sense in Cincinnati. It's not like a 2B has to be Pokey Reese or Bill Mazeroski anymore. The game's changed and 2B are now as offensive-minded as anyone. If Boone can make the pivot (a huge if, BTW), he's Bobby Grich with more speed.

And that's not bad at all.

With Larson and Branyan at the hot corner, I'm kind of leaning toward a platoon. I love Branyan's power potential and think he could really shine with the short fence in RF. Larson hit too well last season to discount him. (I thnk of Tito Francona whenever I see Larson. Seems apt to me, somehow.) I don't think it would be a strict platoon, but Larson would hit against all lefties. Boy, that lineup isn't bad at all:

Larkin SS
Boone 2B
Griffey CF
Dunn LF
Kearns RF
Casey 1B
Larson/ Branyan 3B
LaRue/ Stinnett/ Miller C

But that defense is really bad. Only two spots on the entire diamond where gloves are above average for position and that's only if those two are fully healed from injuries to their legs.

Reading the article also made me realize that Bowden is looking at Lopez riding the pine much of the year. I looked up Larkin's rookie year with Cincinnati just for comparision's sake. 41 games, of which 38 were played at SS. I think that may be what's in store for Lopez this season.

But what to do with Castro and Dawkins? That's a pretty anemic bench, with three middle infielders. Is Lopez going to play in AAA? Maybe so. But what about Lopez learning from Larkin? Would he learn more playing or sitting by grandfather's knee?

IMO, Lopez plays everyday in AAA until a Larkin injury, then he steps up to the big club. (If he hit well in Cincinnati, what happens when Larkin comes back?)

BTW, Lopez's glove has also been questioned. Would that be the worst infield defense in the game?

Spring~Fields
01-06-2003, 11:34 PM
Has become the most objecive poster on Redszone, and most interesting read.

VR
01-06-2003, 11:51 PM
With that starting lineup, is Reggie Taylor guaranteed a spot on the roster? That lineup has late inning defensive changes and pinch runners written all over it. Bob must be drooling.

The slowest lineup in the majors. The baserunning prowess shown last year doesn't bode well either. I just have to believe there is a significant change coming very very soon that effects the lineup in a big way.

WVRedsFan
01-07-2003, 12:01 AM
Originally posted by M2
Sure doesn't sound like JimBo and Papa Boone agree completely about Aaron playing 2B.

Here's a prediction: If Aaron Boone does indeed play 2B for the Reds next year, the majority of the 3B playing will fall to Russ Branyan.

I totally agree, M2. At best, Larson will play only half time. And Boone? I have hope for him, not because of his past (and I do not think he is an especially good third baseman fielding-wise), but because I see the occasional flash of brilliance. I also noticed (correct me if I'm wrong--someone will) most of his errors last year came on his throws. Second base may help him in this regard.

MVP Dunn
01-07-2003, 12:37 AM
If I remember correctly I believe Branyan will be out for the first month or so of the season. Larson will most likely be the opening day starter at 3rd base. Branyan, however, will most likely start more often once he recovers from his surgery.

TeamBoone
01-07-2003, 12:41 AM
Originally posted by westofyou
Boone averages about an error every 7.7 games, Rolen every 10.5.

I have Larson prior to last year as having 86 E's in 384 minor league games. I don't know where to get his AAA fielding numbers from last year, but I bet they are about what the prior numbers were, 1 error every 4.6 games.

Compared to that Aaron is freaking Brooks Robinson .

To expound, the majority of AB's errors were committed during the first half of 2002, when he was "finding himself" on the field post knee surgery. His error percentage dropped dramatically during the remaining half of the season while his batting ability improved. Here's hoping that both aspects of his game will gel in 2003... for the entire season.

And, for what it's worth, Aaron IS extremely athletic... in addition, he's a gamer, plays tremendously hard, and ALWAYS gives 110% percent of himself.

If they decide to play him at 2B, you can bet that he'll give it his all (and then some). The Reds could certainly do worse at 2B than Aaron Boone.

Spring~Fields
01-07-2003, 01:50 AM
Aaron Boone on crutches looks like Brooks Robinson at 2nd, ss, and 3rd, simply because the Reds have no one to replace him.

He is inconsistent, over-rated and nepotism favors him.

wheels
01-07-2003, 01:56 AM
The coming year wasn't supposed to be THIS scary.....Can somebody please make sense of this before I blow my brains out?
It isn't even this whole Boone thing, per se....I just can't believe that this franchise is as clueless as it seems right now.

Either they are haplessley groping in the dark like 16 year old boys on a first date, or they have some deal in the works that could helpmake sense of all this.

What will they come up with next?

TeamBoone
01-07-2003, 02:04 AM
Originally posted by SpringfieldFan
..... and nepotism favors him.

That's crap and I am soooooo sick of hearing it!

Guacarock
01-07-2003, 02:24 AM
This experiment makes a lot of sense. I'm not saying it will pan out. Just that it's worth trying on for size at the opening of the season to see how A. Boone responds to the shift. Here's why:

1. Unless Boone cedes 3B, then Branyan and Larson are left in limbo on the bench. Could be that's where they belong. But both exhibited flashes of power and timely hitting in their short stints with the Reds last season. If either one of them can handle 3B defensively, we stand to gain by having their bats in the lineup. We did rank 20th among all ML teams last season in runs scored (709) and 19th in RBI (with 678). We need to improve upon those totals in 2003 if we're going to hope to move up in the standings.

2. Let's say the experiment flops, and we discover neither Larson or Branyan can handle the hot corner. No big deal. A. Boone returns to his old position and we move on to Plan B. But perhaps that Plan B could still involve Larson or Branyan -- say Larson in LF or Branyan at 1B. We might discover, for instance, that we want their offense (if one or both can deliver 30-plus dingers), but that we need to limit exposure to their defensive deficiencies. We won't know that unless these two get some more playing time. I'd sure hate to deal off Larson prematurely, only to see him go elsewhere and flourish like Konerko. We screwed up there, and shouldn't repeat that same mistake twice. And even if we end up dealing Larson before 2003 runs its course, why not beef up his trade value first?

3. This buys us some time to see what we've got in Lopez, our new young SS of the future, without placing undue pressures and expectations upon him. Why lock him into a 2B regimen when we might need him sooner than we think at SS (depending on how Larkin's aging bod holds up to the wear and tear of yet another season)? If Lopez gets 200-250 ABs this season, that's no crying shame. That's a pretty reasonable amount of playing time to break in a prospect.

4. We know Larson and Branyan will face defensive challenges wherever they play, but we've seen enough of A. Boone at 3B to know he's not Gold Glove caliber at the position. Yes, he's speedy and athletic and has quick reflexes, but he's also prone to throwing errors, lapses in his concentration and a certain streakiness that may or may not be due to injuries. Who knows how a move to 2B will impact his defense? He did seem to rise to the occasion playing SS in 2002. And just maybe, 2B will suit his strengths (speed, range), while masking one of his shortfalls (the pesky, bad throws).

5. By my calculations, the Reds are an average team defensively. We ranked a poor 23rd among all ML teams in total number of errors last season (120), but on the flip side, our fielders were 5th in assists (1,774) and 4th in Total Chances (6,255), suggesting they were aggressively stretching to make key plays. Better that than a lumbering squad like the 2002 Mets that committed 144 errors in far fewer opportunities. The upshot: We have valid reason to be concerned about our defense, but no cause to be sounding the alarms and striking the panic buttons just yet.

6. If we really want to improve the defense, the answer doesn't really lie in the choice of fielders, but who we insert into the rotation. We need a KO specialist or two among our starting pitchers. Which teams had the fewest Total Chances on defense in 2002? Minnesota, Anaheim, the Yankees, Seattle, Arizona and both Chicago squads. A disproportionate number of those teams made the play-offs. Their rotations were simply a much higher quality than ours. As a small-market team, we can't hope to upgrade our rotation significantly unless we're innovative in how we compose our offense -- maximizing whatever resources we have, and, yes, cutting corners where necessary. Flexibility is a must. Trying out A. Boone at 2B fits that game plan. It might not work, but if it doesn't, the damage ought to be fairly easy to repair.

Spring~Fields
01-07-2003, 03:06 AM
The only reason Aaron is still here is because him and his daddy come cheap and Lindner would not pony up the dollars for a real third baseman that could really help the team in Rolen.

Aaron will be lucky that Branyon and Larson along with Lopez don't park his butt next to Wilton, and Castro.

Wheelhouse
01-07-2003, 03:12 AM
I agree with the move, at least offensively: Aaron would be a top-of-the-line 2Bman with the bat, and Larson would bring up the Reds' power numbers at the corners to an acceptable level. I also think that Aaron's shortcoming at third base is his arm, which would be solved at second. The question in the move is how good is Larson defensively. Keep Lark at short and spell him often with Lopez. Seems good to me.

ForLoveOfTheGame
01-07-2003, 04:11 AM
I like the idea of Aaron switching to 2b. He has the athletic ability, range, arm, and offensive ability to turn into an all-star caliber 2b IMHO. We may have to live with a few growing pains in ST and at the beginning of the season, but my guess is that by the end of 2003 he will have us saying Todd who? When his brother Brett came to Cincy, he had a reputation as an all hit, no glove 2b. Over time he developed his defensive talent and won a couple of gold gloves at the position. Aaron has twice as much athletic ability as Brett did, and could really turn into something special at 2b and turn our MI into a strength defensively along with a DP combo of Larkin and Lopez at SS.

If the future of the Reds MI is Boone and Lopez, the Reds have the potential to get great defense and offensive production out of that position if both work hard. A duo of Lopez and Boone could provide great defense and 40-60 hr pop as well as lots of speed to the lineup.

Redsfaithful
01-07-2003, 05:30 AM
I really would like this move better if Branyan was healthy and was going to be our third baseman. Larson just flat out can't hit right handers, and in our division that's quite a problem. How many left handed starters are there in the Central? Not many, I know that. I do think that Boone would be an adequate second baseman, it's the defense at third by whoever will be replacing him that's the real problem. 1 error in every 4.6 games (Larson's number) is simply unacceptable.

NCRed
01-07-2003, 07:44 AM
This is a good move IMO. Boone will be better than Larson at second. If Larson stays with the Reds, he will hit (and RH's too !) Thus, offensively we have traded Walker for Larson, not bad inmy opinion, but obviously BL is not a tested commodity. There is no way LArkin will ever move.period.

The flip-side of this is defense of course, and this will be a big concern with our CURRENT pitching staff. I just hope that this changes soon and Jimbo goes out and gets somebody (even Suppan) to off-set the loss of Elmer.

princeton
01-07-2003, 07:59 AM
I'm not sure that Larson can be the third baseman

but if he shows that he can, then Aaron's the logical guy to deal in order to get payroll flexibility. In the meantime, his move to second allows Lopez to be brought along slowly.

here's the question: what if Lopez and Larkin outplay Larson?

letsgojunior
01-07-2003, 08:17 AM
Bowden just cracks me up at times:

"We wanted to improve our range at second," Bowden said. "Aaron's willingness to do it was a factor. We have a proven player at third in Brandon Larson. We were pleased with the year he had in Triple-A and the adjustments he made when we brought him up to the big leagues."

Since when does having 84 career AB's, 33 of which were deplorable, as well as having a career 428 OPS off of RHP (the vast majority of the league), and playing by most accounts a below average 3B count as being a proven player?

Redmachine2003
01-07-2003, 08:33 AM
This is a good move because it gives the Reds a chance to look at some cheap players in B.L and R.B. Boone is going to comand big money in 2004 and be a free agent in 2005. The Reds must feel they have some good 2nd base prospects a year or two away from the bigs. This is really a make or break year for Larson, he is at the age where either his going to have a bright future or be label a bench player or a flop. If he is a flop The Reds have time to look in other directions. If he is puts up good numbers it maybe bye bye Boonie.

letsgojunior
01-07-2003, 09:09 AM
Bowden, Aaron Boone discuss second base
Move would keep Larson at third

By Hal McCoy
e-mail address: hal_mccoy@coxohio.com
Dayton Daily News

CINCINNATI | Aaron Boone walked into General Manager Jim Bowden's office Monday as the Cincinnati Reds' third baseman and emerged a few minutes later as the team's second baseman.

Maybe.

This isn't the old Abbott & Costello routine, Who's on First? (that's still Sean Casey). This is a case of finding a second-base replacement for traded Todd Walker with the least amount of disruption.

Boone was in town Monday to have his shoulder examined and popped in to see Bowden. That's when Bowden dropped The Second Base Plan on Boone, who was receptive.

Boone's father, manager Bob Boone, was home in California and unaware that his son would be told of the plan Monday, "Although it is something we have discussed."

When the Reds traded Walker (.299, 42 doubles) to Boston during baseball winter meetings in December to save $3 million, manager Boone said third baseman Brandon Larson had priority at second base and had worked at the position after the season during the instructional league.

The club now believes moving Boone to second and keeping Larson at third is easier, even though Boone hasn't played the position played so well by his older brother, Bret.

"We're going to look at it this spring," said manager Boone. "If Aaron can do it, that will give us the least amount of resistance (from other players like Larson and Barry Larkin). Aaron can make the switch. He is an athlete and should, but you don't know. We have to see how he turns the double play.

"I do know he'll cover that huge hole we had to the left side of second base," Boone added, referring to Walker's limited range. "We can leave Larson at third so that he doesn't have to learn how to hit and play a new position at the same time in the big leagues."

It isn't a done deal.

Boone said at least four players will begin spring training working some at second base Boone, Larson, newly acquired Felipe Lopez and Larkin.

"But we can't force it, can't force anybody to change, that would be counter-productive," said Boone, meaning it is unlikely Larkin will agree to a switch from shortstop.

"There are a lot of things we have to find out during spring training and we'll look at third hard," he added. "We think Aaron can do it. Edgardo Alfonso made the move and Aaron is a better athlete. There are a lot of scenarios, but we'll figure out the best way to go. I know we have a Gold Glover (Boone) at third base. If we go the avenue of playing Aaron at second, I don't want to have to make a defensive switch in the seventh inning and move Aaron back to third. That wouldn't be fair to him."

It is ironic that Larson is now so much in the mix that the club would move Boone. Larson, 26, was the team's No. 1 draft pick in 1997 but fell from grace and wasn't protected after the 2001 season. Any team could have claimed him, but none did and Larson signed a minor-league contract for 2002.

After undergoing Lasik surgery, Larson tore up Class AAA pitching at Louisville, hitting .340 with 25 homers and 69 RBIs in only 80 games before he was promoted on July 11. With Larkin out with injuries, Boone moved to shortstop and Larson played well at third base, well enough to earn a chance in the lineup for 2003.

"We will do a lot of mixing and matching during spring training, but Aaron is pretty pumped up about making the change," Boone added. "Whatever is best for the team. . .we have a whole lot of guys on our team who are that way."

What the club really needs, though, are a couple more starting pitchers and Boone knows it.

"Nothing that about $20 million wouldn't solve toward getting us those pitchers," Boone said. But there is no $20 million.


Contact Hal McCoy at hal_mccoy@coxohio.com

[From the Dayton Daily News: 01.07.2003]

Steve4192
01-07-2003, 09:12 AM
Originally posted by princeton
here's the question: what if Lopez and Larkin outplay Larson?

Then the Reds should play Lopez at the hot corner. He played 47 games there is 2001 and was about league average in terms of range factor and fielding percentage.

If he flops, then the Reds can try Larson there. By the time the Reds get a decent look at both guys, Branyan should be back and ready to take his shot if Larson flops too. If all three guys flop, then the Reds are in trouble, but the odds of all three guys being busts is pretty thin.

creek14
01-07-2003, 09:13 AM
Originally posted by Wheelhouse
I agree with the move, at least offensively: Aaron would be a top-of-the-line 2Bman with the bat, and Larson would bring up the Reds' power numbers at the corners to an acceptable level. I also think that Aaron's shortcoming at third base is his arm, which would be solved at second. The question in the move is how good is Larson defensively. Keep Lark at short and spell him often with Lopez. Seems good to me.

All discusion on this topic should have stopped after this post.

If Wheelhouse gives the stamp of approval to anything dealing with a Boone, it must be a good thing. :p ;)

GAC
01-07-2003, 09:17 AM
And who says that Aaron can't develop (and that is the key word, meaning, in the future) into an All-Star 2bman with time and experience?

I'm sorry, but some of you are too quick to be judgmental and to come to conclusions.

The move doesn't bother me at all, because I expected an INF lineup of this sorts. What else were they gonna do, looking at we we have? I'll be honest though... I am more skeptical of Larson at 3rd, then I am with Boone at 2nd.

I'm a "wait and see" kind of guy when it comes to them giving Larson his shot at playing 3rd though.

But I'm not too "giddy" about Branyan at 3rd either. Neither of these guys, from a defensive standpoint, impress me.

In fact, when I now look at this INF lineup from a defensive standpoint, I am not impressed (or amused ;) ).

But alas, these are the cards that we have been dealt.

princeton
01-07-2003, 09:27 AM
Lopez at third and Aaron at second? two players out of position, with the natural second baseman at third, and the natural third baseman at second?

maybe we can put Austin Kearns at first base and Sean Casey in RF, too

guernsey
01-07-2003, 09:57 AM
ESPN's Insider weighs in with a postive vote.



don't know about you, but when a team does something right any team I think it's pretty neat. Take for instance the Cincinnati Reds. Blessed with a ton of young outfield talent, they are in danger of having perfectly decent ballplayers rotting away on the bench. Instead, they have taken a step that will allow one of these players, Brandon Larson, to become a full-timer in 2003.

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Aaron Boone will be shifted from third base to second so that Larson can have that job. Larson made a great leap forward at Triple A last year and now appears at age 26 to be ready for the show. With Austin Kearns and Adam Dunn holding down the corner outfield positions, there would have been no room there for Larson without some shell gaming in the infield.

"We wanted to improve our range at second," said general manager Jim Bowden. "Aaron's willingness to do it was a factor. We have a proven player at third in Brandon Larson. We were pleased with the year he had in Triple-A and the adjustments he made when we brought him up to the big leagues."

Boone has not played second in the major leagues since 1998, but has been called on to play shortstop 25 times a good indicator that he can handle second. There was some talk of moving him to shortstop and Barry Larkin to second base when the Reds traded Todd Walker to Boston. Larkin is set to stay put right now, although he needs to rebound from what was probably the worst year of his long career. (Actually, it was pretty similar to his first full year in the bigs: 1987.) Larkin has reached icon status so it won't be easy to phase him out, but if he keeps going like he did in 2002, the shortstop job will have to become Felipe Lopez's sooner rather than later.

Boone had an interesting season in 2002. It was only the second time in his six-year career that he played enough to qualify for the batting title and he logged the most plate appearances of his career. Because of this, his counting stats were all the best of his life, save for triples. What catches the eye is that a substandard batting average dragged down his OPS to a career-low .753. However, this belies the fact that his isolated power (slugging average minus batting average) and walk rates were actually the best he has ever produced.

The Reds have a lineup brimming with the potential of being downright scary. However, a number of players have to reverse recent trends. Larkin, of course, needs to prove the end is not at hand. Ken Griffey, Jr. has seen his slugging average drop five years running. It is time for him to arrest that trend and send it back upward. Ditto for Sean Casey; a first baseman who hit like a shortstop in 2002. His slugging average has dropped three straight years and he reached the point last year where he cannot justify his position in the lineup. With Dunn and Kearns both reaching base 40 percent of the time, there is an opportunity for somebody in this lineup to drive in a gondola-load of runs.

redrum
01-07-2003, 10:25 AM
But Lopez is really a SS, no? And who says Boone is a natural 3b?

As it currently stands the canidates for the infield (ignoring 1b) are:

Lopez (SS/2b/3b)
Boone (3b/2b)
Larkin (ss/2b)
Larson (3b/2b?)
Branyan (once he gets healthy) (3b)
Gookie (ss/2b)
Castro (ss/2b)

If Larson is good enough to play 2b they can leave Larkin at SS and Boone at 3b with Lopez as the utility player (mostly subbing for Larkin). The downside is that Branyon is relagated to 1b/of/ph duties. This likely falls apart because Larson can't handle 2b.

If Lopez could win the starting SS job, Larkin could move to 2b (assuming he is willing) and Boone stays at 3b. Castro/Gookie becomes the utility infielder and steps in a 2b when Larkin sits. The alternative is to shift Boone to 2b on those occasions to make room for Larson/Branyon at 3b. So Boone ends up playing out of position 20-30 % of the time anyhow.

If Lopez wins the 2b job, Larkin stays at SS and Boone stays at 3b, Castro/Gookie again become the untility middle infielder stepping in at SS when Larkin sits. Again the alternative is to shift Boone to 2b, Lopez to SS and put Branyon/Larson at 3b.

The last scenerio is the one Bowden is thinking about. If Boone can handle 2b duties then he becomes the perminent 2b. Lopez becomes the utility infielder and Larson/Branyon share the 3b job. When Larkin sits, Lopez plays SS. If Lopez hits well enough perhaps he forces his way into the 3b mix.

Either scenerio 1 or 4 provides a nice segway into 2004 (assuming no personal changes) Larkin goes away, Lopez steps into the starting SS role but Boone and Larson return at their 2003 positions. Of course this is assuming that one of Larson/Branyon will be adequete both offensively and defensively.

Falls City Beer
01-07-2003, 10:29 AM
That's still an awful infield, shell game or no.

M2
01-07-2003, 10:39 AM
This is the question I keep turning over in my head: Are the Reds convinced Brandon Larson's going to be an impact player so they're creating room for him OR is this a desperate attempt to deploy the team's limited talent?

That ESPN Insider piece treats it like the former, but it bears all the earmarks of the latter.

Personally I'd prefer to see the Reds grab a guy like Marlon Anderson to play 2B.

cincinnati chili
01-07-2003, 10:54 AM
Originally posted by Biitner Pill
If Boone can make the pivot (a huge if, BTW), he's Bobby Grich with more speed.


Not to hijack a thread, but let's not get carried away. IMHO, Grich is a borderline hall-of-famer, and Aaron Boone has never shown any sign that he can hit in his league.

-Grich career .371 on base % in a non-hitter's ERA; Boone .333 career OBP and .356 in his best year (2000) in a huge hitter's era
-Grich 4 gold gloves at 2b; Boone zero
-Grich 12th best 2nd baseman in history, according to Bill James
-Only one non-active player ranked ahead of Grich in Total Baseball's player ranking is not in the Hall of Fame (Joe Jackson)
-Baseball Prospectus: Grich 126.7 wins above replacement in 17 years; Boone 18.1 wins above replacement in 6 years
-Grich had the guts to try and pick a fight with Earl Weaver, when Weaver pinch hit for him early in his career; Boone allegedly listens to boy bands like N'Sync

But getting back to the idea of Boone at 2nd - I like it. If Boone MIGHT be able to play 2B, we have to take the chance to find out if he can. Because middle infielders with power give a team a huge competitive advantage.

Here's how I see it shaping up. Larson gets to audition in the starting lineup and Boone gets to audition at 2B, while Branyan heals. If it works out, great. If Boone doesn't adjust well to 2B, but Larson DOES play well, then we trade Boone for a 2B. If Boone does play well at 2B, but Larson reverts to his pre-2001 form, then Branyan/Lopez can platoon at 3B. I'm always in favor of outside-the-box ideas, and while I'm not wild about Aaron as a hitter, I've never doubted his athletic ability. Plus, he's plenty enough hitter for 2B to actually give us a competitive advantage there.

15fan
01-07-2003, 11:29 AM
If the Reds wanted an impact player at 3b (or, heck, anywhere in the IF), they should have dealt for Rolen.

Add me to the list of folks concerned about Aaron Boone in the pivot over 162 games given his history of injuries.

And if the Reds are going with an IF defense of Larson/Branyan(3b), Larkin (SS), Boone (2B), and Casey (1B), I think it becomes imperative to keep LaRue's arm behind the plate. As long as Larkin stays healthy, he'll be able to get by with his positioning, etc. But Larson, Branyan & Casey aren't exactly fleet of foot, and Boone will have a lot of ground to cover at a new position. Look for more balls scooting through the IF, resulting in more opposing base runners...

TRF
01-07-2003, 11:44 AM
I've been trying to decide if this is a good move, and have come to the conclusion that while I don't think it is a terrible move, it is a bad move nonetheless.

Based on Lopez' numbers at AAA Syracuse, the guy is ready to be challenged. This does not happen playing in Louisville. If the team is determined to play Larson and Branyan at third then Aaron should be traded. Lopez has, from what I've read, a good glove, and a pretty decent bat right now, with good power potential. I'm more interested in good glove work behind our pitching staff. Face facts: neither Colon or Vasquez is coming to town. Our staff is what it is, which is another topic. But the defense bhind that rotation should be the best possible for the reds. If Larkin won't move to second or to supersub status, Then Lopez is the best candidate for second base. Between Kearns and Dunn, plus a healthy Casey and Junior added to a consistent year from Boone, the offense should be pretty scary. While this flies in the face of the OPS worshippers, I'll take the reduced offense for some stellar defense. Ozzie smith at his best offensively couldn't touch Miguel Tejada's OPS. But I'd rather have the wizard.

The best infield for the reds barring a trade is:
Casey 1B
Lopez 2B
Larkin SS
Boone 3B

If Larkin agrees to a supersub role:
Casey 1B
Gookie 2B (yes... Gookie)
Lopez SS
Boone 3B

Non-tender Castro, and eat his contract. Gookie can do what castro does defensively, and has more range. Plus it allows him to develop a little at the major league level. When people rant about Bowden abusing young pitchers, I should point out he abused Gookie in 2001(?) when Larkin was hurt.

just my two cents.

MikeS21
01-07-2003, 12:12 PM
It seems to me that this is only a PR move designed to cover up the real issue that a no legitimate plan was in place to replace Todd Walker. This is a blantant attempt to put a positive spin on a major foul-up.

Boone may be OK at 2B, but I have serious questions about Brandon Larson's abilities as an everyday player. He may have had eye surgery, and while he was obviously better than his 2001 ML stint, he still didn't exactly set the world on fire at the ML level after he came up last year. 51 AB's isn'y much of a sample size.

I suppose for all the folks who question the Reds' public relations department, you gotta admit they gave it the ole' college try. But I don't see a serious fan buying this.

remdog
01-07-2003, 12:14 PM
Non-tender Castro, and eat his contract. Gookie can do what castro does defensively, and has more range. Plus it allows him to develop a little at the major league level. When people rant about Bowden abusing young pitchers, I should point out he abused Gookie in 2001(?) when Larkin was hurt.---TRF

I've written similar words in the past myself, TRF. You can't 'non-tender Juan because he already has a contract, but you can cut him. While it would be unpalitable for the Reds, eating Castro's contract would allow the Reds to keep Gookie (who at least has potential). It's likely that someone would pick up JC's contract for the league minimum (with the Reds paying the balance) so, with Gookie making only slightly more than the minimum, the thing is pretty much a wash.

And, I also thought that calling up Gookie and then setting him on the bench when Larkin was hurt was a major turning point in Gookie's development.

Rem

Red Heeler
01-07-2003, 12:32 PM
I brought up this point in another thread concerning Larson. Second base requires an entirely different skill set than third. Second requires footwork and range, while third is more about fast hands and a strong arm. I actually think that Boone has more of the skill set for 2B. I think he will be a better second baseman than third baseman.

BTW, who comes up with this crap:

Aaron Boone's primary challenge in his new role will be learning the double-play pivot -- the subtlety that separates elite second basemen from ordinary ones, the element that makes second base the game's most difficult position to play, in the minds of many experts.

Any "expert" who considers 2B the most difficult position to play has never played a game of baseball in their life.

TRF
01-07-2003, 12:35 PM
I think Boone can be average at 2B. I want excellent. That's probably Lopez or Dawkins at this point. A big reason for the success of the '99 team was Pokey's defense at 2B.

buckeyenut
01-07-2003, 12:36 PM
1) I have heard a lot of "experts" talk about Larson in the same ilk as Dunn or Kearns in regards to the Reds producing quality hitters. Larson hit all year last year, whether it was AAA or Majors. He has done EVERYTHING to deserve a shot at real playing time, not a platoon.

2) Branyan is out for a month or so, this move gives Larson a legitimate lengthy chance to grab the fulltime job and if he doesn't he can platoon with Branyan.

3) When Larson was killing the ball in AAA last year and Walker was struggling, many of us talked about making this exact move. If I remember right, many folks thought at that time that Aaron Boone would make an above average 2B at the plate, while he remained an average or below average 3B. In fact, I think Boone could be a poor mans Jeff Kent. I think he has the bat and the skill to be adequate defensively right away and maybe good longterm.

4) The ability to play 2B, SS and 3B can only increase Boone's worth, making his trade value higher. Since Boone is a viable trade option over the next year or two, that seems like a very good thing.

I like this move. I think it helps the reds in 2003 and longterm. Kind of surprised it came from the Reds. :)

Chip R
01-07-2003, 12:37 PM
When we were talking about acquiring Neffi Perez earlier, I said there was no way the Reds could compete with Castro - who is difficult to trade for obvious reasons - Gookie Dawkins - who is out of options - Neffi Perez - who hits just a little better than Castro - on the 25 man roster with Larkin starting at SS. Substitute Lopez for Perez and I feel the same way. Gookie and/or Castro are going to have to be traded or released. JimBo can't keep all these middle IFers and all his 5 tool OFers on the 25 man roster.

As for Aaron playing 2nd and Brandon playing 3rd, I have more misgivings about Aaron making the switch than Brandon's defense at 3rd. I don't think Brandon is going to make anyone forget Brooks Robinson. Although he did play SS in college, his coach's philosophy was not to put the best defensive player at SS. I actually saw Aaron play 2nd in his 2nd major league game. It was only for a few innings and I don't remember him being either outstanding or horrible so it's not like he's going into this switch without any experirence at all. I know this will be tough for the Boone Bashers to remember but he is switching positions because the front office asked him to. And he is doing this to help the team so give him a little honeymoon at 2nd if he screws up a relay or has other growing pains there.

Red Leader
01-07-2003, 01:14 PM
I think that moving Boone to 2B is the best option for the Reds at this time. I don't necessarily like Aaron, but I do feel he has improved the last couple years both on offense and defense, and he has done an admirable job despite the critisism of his father being the manager, which has to be a distration for him. IMO, Larson needs at least a try as an everyday player this year. He had a great year with the bat last year, and if there was ever a time to push someone into the starting lineup immediately, I feel this is the time for Larson. So, you need to get Boone and Larson into the lineup full time. Who plays 3B, who plays 2B? The decision for Aaron to move to 2B is the best one IMO. He has the body size, the range, and the experience to be make the move. Larson doesn't have the experience, the range, or the body size like Aaron. The lack of experience is a big one for me. You are already exposing the guy to his first full time gig in the majors, don't force him to learn a new position on top of that, make it as simple as you can on him. I liked reading this column from Aaron as well:

Aaron Boone, who was in Cincinnati for a physical Monday, met with Bowden to discuss the shift. Bob Boone participated by phone.

Aaron Boone said he will do offseason preparation, including working with his older brother Bret Boone, the American League's Gold Glove second baseman. Reds position players are due in training camp Feb. 18 in Sarasota, Fla.

``I feel good about it,'' Aaron Boone said. ``Long term, I'm confident I can do well there.''

So, Aaron is open to the change and is actually taking it on as a challenge to improve the team in some way. He has a gold glove second baseman to learn from in his own family, so it might not appear to be as much work to learn the new position. They will have very open communication and Bret will teach him some important things, and will be able to get his point across as only brothers could. That means, IMO, that the learning curve won't be as great. Aaron will pick up on things much faster having Bret help him as opposed to a coach teaching Larson.

In sum, I think this is the best decision the Reds have made to date this offseason.

princeton
01-07-2003, 01:17 PM
it opens up a position for Matt Boone, eh?

(who, BTW, is an obvious candidate for the same position shift)

SunDeck
01-07-2003, 01:35 PM
I think Aaron can make the transition, in terms of range, but it's a stretch to say that a guy can play second because he's athletic. The pivot is artwork, and it's tough to start learning it over night. And, for a guy who already had reconstructive knee surgery once, I'm a little concerned about putting him there next to a shortstop who's range and quickness aren't what they used to be. In my mind, that may translate into a lot more bang-bang pivots, a danger for any experienced second sacker, and downright scary for one who hasn't spent years getting out of the way of baserunners.

On the other hand, maybe playing second base will change his mindset at the plate. I always thought he had the potential to hit more like a modern second baseman than a third baseman.

EmtyRedsFan
01-07-2003, 01:39 PM
Considering this is already a huge thread and there is no way im going to read all of it, I'll give my opinion.

I think AB can play second... Not only that it gets another powerful bat into the line-up. Personally i think it should be Branyon(lefty of course). I think he could do quite well for the Reds in GABP. Dont get me wrong i like Larson but he isnt as young as most ppl think(yes i know he is still young) But i think Branyon will do better. As for AB give him a chance and i think he will surprise some ppl.

Kick some butt AB prove some ppl wrong :thumbup:

RANDY IN INDY
01-07-2003, 01:50 PM
I like the idea of moving Boone to 2B. As many have said, he is very athletic and is a hard worker to boot. If he can learn the pivot at second, he could very well turn into one of the best second basemen in the NL. He has a brother that turns the double play with the best of them, to help him learn the pivot right up to spring training. I hope it works out, and think it will.

It also gives the Reds the chance to have a very productive offensive tandem at 3B in Larson and Branyan. These two could possibly put up some real good offensive numbers. I also like what this says to Brandon Larson. With Branyan hurt, it says we want you as our third baseman and the position is yours to lose. We'll see if Larson is the real thing. I'm hoping he is and that he wins the position outright. It really does give the Reds a much better option of getting these two bats in the lineup on a regular basis.

Defensively, we'll just have to wait and see. Boone should be every bit as good at second as Walker with much more range. Larson was a shortstop in college, and you have to have a lot of athletic ability to play that position. Branyan should be serviceable at best. If Larson gets the chance to play on an "everyday" basis, and is allowed to get comfortable, he may surprise a lot of people with his defense.

I find it quite interesting that a lot of people were calling for Larson to be the third baseman last season, and now that he may be getting the opportunity, the optimism suddenly dwindles. I think it is a good gamble. I think Boone will be at the top of the class as a second baseman. Larson's being the real deal is the key to the whole thing. If he is, the Reds have come out on top. I'm rooting for Larson to have a breakout season.

bucksfan
01-07-2003, 01:53 PM
Just to add my 2 cents...

I also like the idea of the move for reasons stated by several above (RFS62, REd Leader, Wheelhouse....). If we were not going to open up a spot for Larson this year, I really don't know what else he needed to do to earn a starting role. He killed AAA ball and did well, albeit only over 51 ABs, but well nonetheless, for the Reds.

We had a hole at 2b. Really IMO it was between Larson or Boone to fill it. I prefer Boone making the switch based on his athleticism. I also like the idea of Larkin mentoring Lopez at SS and not jerking the kid around between 2B and SS. We need a SS of the future and I don't want to start him out by playing 2B.

I too really really cringe when I think of both Gookie and Juan on our bench.

creek14
01-07-2003, 02:00 PM
I don't know why some of you are complaining so much. You love Carl for his fiscal responsibility and then complain when we end up with a piecemeal infield. And starters.

SunDeck
01-07-2003, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by bucksfan
Just to add my 2 cents...

I too really really cringe when I think of both Gookie and Juan on our bench.

I didn't mention Gookie because I honestly figured he must have been traded or something. What are they doing with him?

M2
01-07-2003, 02:13 PM
It seems to me that this is only a PR move designed to cover up the real issue that a no legitimate plan was in place to replace Todd Walker. This is a blantant attempt to put a positive spin on a major foul-up.

I agree, but I think the lack of a plan won't really bite them unless this Chinese fire drill fails. If Boone can't make the switch or if Larson falls flat then it becomes a glaring error where pretty much everyone and anyone can question the judgment of the GM and manager who tried the stunt.

red-in-la
01-07-2003, 02:38 PM
I believe that fate has actually smiled on these (2003) Reds yet again. I have been reading that Branyan might not be healed by ST and may have to start the season on the DL.

Not that this helps the bench, but, it does give Larson the FULL-TIME 3B job at least through ST and April. Hopefully, that will be enough time for him to firmly establish his presence there and he won't have to get into a platoon situation with Branyan right away.

In the platoon, Larson only plays maybe once a week....and before you know it, he will be back in AAA.

With Branyan hurt, Larson gets maybe 30 starts before the platoon becomes an issue. In 10-120 AB's, we should know whether or not last year's stint was an illusion. If were a fanatsy league kinda guy, I would draft Larson for sure....go Brandon :thumbup:

RANDY IN INDY
01-07-2003, 02:51 PM
I'm with you, red-in-la.

Raisor
01-07-2003, 02:52 PM
I think it's a pretty good idea myself.

Boone becomes an above average hitting 2B (after being a slightly below average hitting 3B in 2002), and it gets Larson's bat into the lineup. It also gives Lopez some time to ease into the lineup.

It's time to find out on a full time basis what Larson can do.

VR
01-07-2003, 03:00 PM
I would be more apt to put Lopez, or even Guerrero (praying that Castro is gone:rolleyes) , in the 3rd base rotation as opposed to Branyan. If he is still with the team, he's my 5th outfielder and power threat off the bench.

I agree with the point of really giving Larson a chance at 3rd - not having him look over his shoulder. Dunn, Griff and Casey give enough presence against righties to not have to platoon Branyan and Larson. Branyan is PRIME trade bait IMHO. Taylors ability to run almost guarantees him a spot if everything else remains the same.

gm
01-07-2003, 03:11 PM
I'm going to claim the "law of first mention" re: moving Aaron to 2nd base (my comparisons were tall/rangey 2Bs like Bobby Grich or Ron Oester, several years ago) If anyone else wants to say they thought of it first, then fine.

(So Chip...what does this do to our little wager? Who's the Red's future 3rd baseman, now?) :p

Adding Larson's RH bat to the middle of the order may encourage Boone to move Kearns and his 400 OBA to leadoff (Yes, I'm feeling lucky...)

Chip R
01-07-2003, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by gm
(So Chip...what does this do to our little wager? Who's the Red's future 3rd baseman, now?) :p
We shall see, mi amigo. Neither one is gone yet.

princeton
01-07-2003, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by gm
I'm going to claim the "law of first mention" re: moving Aaron to 2nd base (my comparisons were tall/rangey 2Bs like Bobby Grich or Ron Oester, several years ago)

I'll back you up

though I note that having ideas isn't the same as having GOOD ideas

RANDY IN INDY
01-07-2003, 03:43 PM
And that is yet to be seen.

M2
01-07-2003, 03:44 PM
though I note that having ideas isn't the same as having GOOD ideas

Dmitri Young, 3B comes to mind.

RANDY IN INDY
01-07-2003, 03:47 PM
Not quite the "stretch" that experiment was.

Far East
01-07-2003, 04:23 PM
Ideally, I'd like to see the legs running the bases, the bodies ranging on the infield, the gloves gobbling up the grounders, and the arms throwing to the 1B target belonging to Boone, Larkin, and Lopez. I'd prefer the target at 1B to be the offensive power platoon of Larson and Branyon --I'll just pretend that Sean, not Russell, is on the DL. To me Casey, more than the OFers, is the team's real (one man) log jam.

gm
01-07-2003, 04:45 PM
When it comes to GOOD ideas, apparently I'm in "bad" company
(JimBo, BoBoone, etc)

I never really know how to feel, about that...

Ga_Red
01-07-2003, 05:39 PM
2/09/07

Falls City Beer
01-07-2003, 06:27 PM
You know, just looking at our team's configuration vis infield/outfield, one thing just struck me: Our infielders Lopez, Boone, and Larson all swing like outfielders and our two young superstar outfielders (read: our power sources) approach the plate like quintessential leadoff hitters. Thus, the talk of Kearns at leadoff and Dunn batting second. I mean, how screwed up is that! It's not that the suggestion that Kearns and Dunn bat first and second is screwed up, but that necessity seems to warrant that positioning. Instead we'll have more low OB nonsense from Larkin, Lopez, and Boone at the top of the order, a spurt of OB/power in the middle with Kearns and Dunn, and then tumbleweeds at the bottom of the order. Doesn't sound devastating to me.

I don't include Casey in this because he's neither a slugger nor a high OBP guy.

westofyou
01-07-2003, 07:02 PM
I don't include Casey in this because he's neither a slugger nor a high OBP guy.

What do you feel is a high OP% guy?

I have Casey at #49 since 1999 for guys with at least 1500 AB's out of 172 guys, putting him in the top 3rd.

Raisor
01-07-2003, 07:04 PM
Originally posted by westofyou
What do you feel is a high OP% guy?

I have Casey at #49 since 1999 for guys with at least 1500 AB's out of 172 guys, putting him in the top 3rd.


How many of those are 1B?

How many of those 1B rank higher then Casey?

PSR

Krusty
01-07-2003, 07:17 PM
I can live with Boone at second and Larson at third. Just get us a damn frontline pitcher.:mad:

westofyou
01-07-2003, 07:32 PM
Raisor



OBA OBA AB
1 Jason Giambi .452 2165
2 Todd Helton .430 2298
3 Jim Thome .421 2057
4 Jeff Bagwell .419 2323
5 Carlos Delgado .416 2221
6 John Olerud .406 2271
7 Mike Sweeney .396 2223
8 Rafael Palmeiro .389 1711
9 Ryan Klesko .386 1976
10 Mark Grace .384 1877
11 Fred McGriff .379 2131
12 Sean Casey .374 2032
13 J.T. Snow .363 1813
14 Mo Vaughn .358 1625
15 Paul Konerko .356 2189
16 Derrek Lee .353 1837
17 Richie Sexson .346 1860
18 Travis Lee .342 1646
19 Brian Daubach .342 1727
20 Kevin Young .336 1997
21 Tino Martinez .334 2258
22 Lee Stevens .333 1866
23 Eric Karros .329 2124

Red Leader
01-07-2003, 07:35 PM
Originally posted by westofyou
Raisor



OBA OBA AB
1 Jason Giambi .452 2165
2 Todd Helton .430 2298
3 Jim Thome .421 2057
4 Jeff Bagwell .419 2323
5 Carlos Delgado .416 2221
6 John Olerud .406 2271
7 Mike Sweeney .396 2223
8 Rafael Palmeiro .389 1711
9 Ryan Klesko .386 1976
10 Mark Grace .384 1877
11 Fred McGriff .379 2131
12 Sean Casey .374 2032
13 J.T. Snow .363 1813
14 Mo Vaughn .358 1625
15 Paul Konerko .356 2189
16 Derrek Lee .353 1837
17 Richie Sexson .346 1860
18 Travis Lee .342 1646
19 Brian Daubach .342 1727
20 Kevin Young .336 1997
21 Tino Martinez .334 2258
22 Lee Stevens .333 1866
23 Eric Karros .329 2124



Just a step slower than McGriff, huh?;)

Raisor
01-07-2003, 07:44 PM
Originally posted by westofyou
Raisor



OBA OBA AB
1 Jason Giambi .452 2165
2 Todd Helton .430 2298
3 Jim Thome .421 2057
4 Jeff Bagwell .419 2323
5 Carlos Delgado .416 2221
6 John Olerud .406 2271
7 Mike Sweeney .396 2223
8 Rafael Palmeiro .389 1711
9 Ryan Klesko .386 1976
10 Mark Grace .384 1877
11 Fred McGriff .379 2131
12 Sean Casey .374 2032 (over the last 4 years)
13 J.T. Snow .363 1813 (Casey-.363-over the last 3 years)
14 Mo Vaughn .358 1625
15 Paul Konerko .356 2189
16 Derrek Lee .353 1837
----------------------------------------------------(Casey-.352-over the last 2 years)
17 Richie Sexson .346 1860
18 Travis Lee .342 1646
19 Brian Daubach .342 1727
20 Kevin Young .336 1997
21 Tino Martinez .334 2258 (Casey-.334-2002)
22 Lee Stevens .333 1866
23 Eric Karros .329 2124

westofyou
01-07-2003, 07:56 PM
OBA OBA AB
1 Jason Giambi .452 2165
2 Todd Helton .430 2298
3 Jim Thome .421 2057
4 Jeff Bagwell .419 2323
5 Carlos Delgado .416 2221
6 John Olerud .406 2271
7 Mike Sweeney .396 2223
8 Rafael Palmeiro .389 1711
9 Ryan Klesko .386 1976
10 Mark Grace .384 1877
11 Fred McGriff .379 2131
12 Sean Casey .374 2032
(over the last 4 years)Position Average .364
13 J.T. Snow .363 1813
(Casey-.363-over the last 3 years)Position Average .359
14 Mo Vaughn .358 1625
15 Paul Konerko .356 2189
16 Derrek Lee .353 1837
--------------------------------------------

(Casey-.352-over the last 2 years)Position Average .354
17 Richie Sexson .346 1860
18 Travis Lee .342 1646
19 Brian Daubach .342 1727
20 Kevin Young .336 1997
21 Tino Martinez .334 2258
(Casey-.334-2002)Position Average .356
22 Lee Stevens .333 1866
23 Eric Karros .329 2124

Red Leader
01-07-2003, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by westofyou



OBA OBA AB
1 Jason Giambi .452 2165
2 Todd Helton .430 2298
3 Jim Thome .421 2057
4 Jeff Bagwell .419 2323
5 Carlos Delgado .416 2221
6 John Olerud .406 2271
7 Mike Sweeney .396 2223
8 Rafael Palmeiro .389 1711
9 Ryan Klesko .386 1976
10 Mark Grace .384 1877
11 Fred McGriff .379 2131
12 Sean Casey .374 2032
(over the last 4 years)Position Average .364
13 J.T. Snow .363 1813
(Casey-.363-over the last 3 years)Position Average .359
14 Mo Vaughn .358 1625
15 Paul Konerko .356 2189
16 Derrek Lee .353 1837
--------------------------------------------

(Casey-.352-over the last 2 years)Position Average .354
17 Richie Sexson .346 1860
18 Travis Lee .342 1646
19 Brian Daubach .342 1727
20 Kevin Young .336 1997
21 Tino Martinez .334 2258
(Casey-.334-2002)Position Average .356
22 Lee Stevens .333 1866
23 Eric Karros .329 2124





So, what are you saying? :confused: :evilgrin: :evilgrin: :evilgrin:

just kidding.:beerme:

What's this have to do with Boone moving to 2B?:lol:

westofyou
01-07-2003, 08:16 PM
What's this have to do with Boone moving to 2B?

Nothing I guess, other than he'll be able to shout encouragments to Sean to improve his OBA fom a shorter distance.

If Boone plays at 2nd all year he'd rank in the middle with last years stats


OPS OPS SLG OBA OPS
1 Jeff Kent .933 .565 .368 .933
2 Mark Bellhorn .886 .512 .374 .886
3 Alfonso Soriano .880 .547 .332 .880
4 Jose Vidro .868 .490 .378 .868
5 Junior Spivey .865 .476 .389 .865
6 Ray Durham .836 .446 .390 .836
7 Bret Boone .801 .462 .339 .801
8 Adam Kennedy .795 .449 .345 .795
9 Todd Walker .785 .431 .353 .785
10 Craig Biggio .734 .404 .330 .734
11 Luis Castillo .726 .361 .364 .726
12 Roberto Alomar .708 .376 .331 .708
13 Eric Young .707 .369 .338 .707
14 Marlon Anderson .696 .380 .315 .696
15 Michael Young .690 .382 .308 .690
16 Fernando Vina .670 .338 .333 .670
17 Mark Grudzielanek .665 .364 .301 .665
18 Brent Abernathy .599 .311 .288 .599

Kc61
01-07-2003, 08:58 PM
Possible lineup.

Larkin SS
Casey 1B
Kearns RF
Griffey CF
Boone 2B
Dunn LF
Larson 3B
Larue C
Pitcher

Casey hits second because he strikes out less than Boone or Dunn. Kearns, Griffey, Boone, Dunn avoids consecutive lefties. Would worry about Dunn 6th but Larson is decent protection if he is hitting okay. Would consider flip flop of Casey and Dunn to provide a bit more speed at the top.

Probably can't happen since Griffey is not 3rd.

cincinnati chili
01-07-2003, 09:08 PM
Originally posted by Kc61
Casey hits second because he strikes out less than Boone or Dunn.

Explain why this is an important trait for a second guy in the lineup.

A strikeout is just like any other out. In fact, it's better than a ground out, because it ensures that there won't be a double play. A batter who strikes out also forces the pitcher to throw at least 3 pitches, and usually more (thus increasing a starting pitcher's pitch count, thus getting to the bullpen faster).

I'm not saying Casey's a bad choice in the 2 hole. I called for it before the 2000 season myself. But the reason he's a good fit there is because of his high OBP, not his lack of K's.

But Dunn has a HIGHER obp and runs better than Casey. So if I were you, I'd flip flop Dunn and Casey (that' assuming Boone is dead set on Larkin in the leadoff spot, which I think is likely to fail).

geo_j
01-07-2003, 09:11 PM
If my choice is Brandon Larson playing second base or Aaron Boone playing second. I would go with Aaron. If my choice is Lopez's Bat in the lineup or Larson's I go with Larson's.


If Larson doesn't pan out there is still Branyon when he gets healthy. But if you start the season with Larson at second, and he was to fail you then have Castro as a starter. Once the season starts you are not moving Boone or Larkin to second, now is the time to set up a plan. While I was against trading Walker, I do think that Aaron can learn to play second as well as Todd did. Larson did show the promise of having a legitimete corner infielders bat.

I think this has a chance of being a winning move.

Krusty
01-07-2003, 10:44 PM
Actually, I like Dunn hitting out the second spot in the lineup. Lefthand hitter that will open the hole on the right side especially if Larkin has enough in him to steal a base now and then. Plus, with Junior batting behind him, he won't be pitched around and has the eye to take a walk.

1. Larkin ss
2. Dunn LF
3. Griffey cf
4. Kearns rf
5. Casey lb
6. Boone 2b
7. Larson 3b
8. LaRue/Miller c

princeton
01-07-2003, 10:59 PM
Originally posted by Ga_Red
Larson's best position is 1B., but until Casey re-establishes himself and his value, put Larson's potential at third and move Boone to 2nd.




I agree, GaRed, Bowden is hamstrung because he can't get rid of the player that he really needs most to lose, Sean Casey (and probably Scott Sullivan)

of course, Jimbo should have seen that Sean had to be moved a LONG time ago. Instead, he signed him long term, making him even harder to move.

redhead
01-07-2003, 11:08 PM
I think Sean is still here for the fans that don't care whether they win or lost the game, they just want to players who wave back at them when they wave. :rolleyes: I can't wait to see Aaron at second base this season. I think he'll do just fine there and once again silence his critics.

whatafool
01-08-2003, 12:16 AM
I think Boone will do fine at 2b..His offensive numbers go from good to outstanding by shifting from 3b to 2b. I just hope Larson can put up similar numbers to his 2002 season. If he does we should have a pretty productive line up offensively.

Redhead - I agree with you about Casey....We had the same issue with Chris Sabo and Hal morris for a time. Personally, I don't care if a player waves at me if he can hit .280 and drive in 100 runs. :)

M2
01-08-2003, 12:18 AM
redhead, it doesn't sound like that many people are down on this idea because they think Aaron can't hack 2B.

For my part it works out like this:

Who would I rather have at 2B, Aaron Boone or Brandon Larson?

Aaron Boone

Who would I rather have at 3B, Aaron Boone or Brandon Larson?

Aaron Boone

That's why my entire decision would be based around what position is the optimal one for Aaron Boone.

Unfortunately I don't think the Reds sat down and said amongst themselves, "Hey, Aaron could be the second coming of Jeff Kent at 2B. Let's punt Todd Walker and shift him over." Rather I think they find themselves an IF short with Brandon Larson being the closest thing they have to a prospect who might be able to hold down a regular job. As a result Aaron's the guy getting jostled because he's the most versatile player they've got in their IF.

919191
01-08-2003, 01:36 AM
Originally posted by SpringfieldFan
Has become the most objecive poster on Redszone, and most interesting read.

Best thing to happen to this site in a long time!:beerme:

UnderDunn
01-08-2003, 07:04 AM
Lots of different lineups posted. Don't worry, they'll ALL be used. :evilgrin:

Gary Redus
01-08-2003, 09:39 AM
This move makes the most sense given our current circumstances. Would I like to have Jose Vidro played 2B for us - of course. We do not know at what price he is available (the Expos can't deal all their talent without weakening the attractiveness on the auction block). Many have called for Larson to get a shot - well he's got it. I'd rather have Boone at 2B than Larson. I have no problem with Larson and Braynan splitting time there. Defense will suffer but we could get the best offensive production from the "hot corner" in a while - maybe 30-35 jacks and 85-100 rbi. Then again, they may flop. I'd still rather go this way and acquire pitching help than offensive help.

Rojo
01-08-2003, 02:11 PM
Unfortunately I don't think the Reds sat down and said amongst themselves, "Hey, Aaron could be the second coming of Jeff Kent at 2B. Let's punt Todd Walker and shift him over." Rather I think they find themselves an IF short with Brandon Larson being the closest thing they have to a prospect who might be able to hold down a regular job. As a result Aaron's the guy getting jostled because he's the most versatile player they've got in their IF.

Actually, they looked at as the most expensive, least upsided, most tradeable player in the infield and moved him. You've got to sift through Larson/Branyon/Lopez/Boone/Walker in the infield. You've got to move someone to free up playing time. Who would you move? My guess is ABoone is next out of town.

TRF
01-08-2003, 02:27 PM
If Larson has a good first half with the Reds out of it Booney is probably gone to make room for Lopez. If Dawkins canh it at all at Louisville, and I'll take .280 w/ a .340 OBP, you have you up the middle defense for the next 10 years. With Dawkins defense behind the reds rotation, I won't care if he hits .250.

Raisor feel free to trash this idea. ;)

But at some point defense, especially great defense has to be considered over offense. Pokey could have been a fixture in Cincinnati for the next 10 years had a) the reds left him in the 8 hole in the line-up and b) Bowden hadn't run him out with his mouth.

I am quickly becoming an anti Bowden guy.

westofyou
01-08-2003, 02:32 PM
If Dawkins canh it at all at Louisville

Isn't Gookie out of options?

I'd love a .340 OB% from Gookie, but his ML history suggests that is a ways off

1999 - A - 309 ab - .266 op%
1999 - AA - 128 ab - .362 op%
2000 - AA - 380 ab - .274 op%
2000 - NL - 41 ab - .256 op%
2001 - AA - 401 ab - .251 op%
2002 - I don't have


Pokey a fixture for ten years? he'll be lucky to still be playing in 5 years.

Bowden ran him out of town?

And here I was thinking it was his .627 OPS and overpriced salary, not to mention his whining and malingering (that would have made Willie Greene blush) at the end of 2001.

princeton
01-08-2003, 02:34 PM
let's see...

Brandon Larson is really a first baseman, Aaron is really a third sacker, Barry is really a shortstop...

doesn't that leave Casey at second? Sean's got to play his way back into the lineup, right?

and who's to say that he can't handle it unless he tries? :D

Raisor
01-08-2003, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by TRF
If Larson has a good first half with the Reds out of it Booney is probably gone to make room for Lopez. If Dawkins canh it at all at Louisville, and I'll take .280 w/ a .340 OBP, you have you up the middle defense for the next 10 years. With Dawkins defense behind the reds rotation, I won't care if he hits .250.

Raisor feel free to trash this idea. ;)

Ok, I will :)

If Gookie could put up a .340 OBP in the majors, I'd plaster posters of him all over the house and probably name my first three kids after him. But I'm not too worried about that happening.


But at some point defense, especially great defense has to be considered over offense.

I can feel that blood vessel in my head starting to pulsate :)




Pokey could have been a fixture in Cincinnati for the next 10 years had a) the reds left him in the 8 hole in the line-up and b) Bowden hadn't run him out with his mouth.

And I would have been dead and burried about a year into his "reign". IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?? ME DEAD????
GAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!

:)


I am quickly becoming an anti Bowden guy.

Well, glad to have you, even if it's for the wrong reasons :)

Raisor
01-08-2003, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by westofyou
2002 - I don't have


.

2002

AAA-.302, 167 AB
AA-.372, 155 AB
AFL-.307, 75 AB

Red Leader
01-08-2003, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by Raisor
2002

AAA-.302, 167 AB
AA-.372, 155 AB
AFL-.307, 75 AB


See, he's getting better.:p ;) :lol: :lol: :lol:

TRF
01-08-2003, 02:57 PM
and why was he malingering? Because in bowden speak Pokey Reese will not be traded means just the opposite.

I prefer to remember that hot beginning to 2000, when he was carrying the team with his bat.

oh my what could have been.

BTW Raisor, who would you rather have in his prime: Ozzie Smith or Miguel Tejada?

Raisor
01-08-2003, 03:01 PM
Originally posted by TRF
BTW Raisor, who would you rather have in his prime: Ozzie Smith or Miguel Tejada?

I'd take Tejada.

If we were in some alternate reality where Ozzie was playing in this era, yet played like the mid 80's Ozzie, then he's a higher quality Rey Ordonez. If, on the other hand, Tejada was playing in the mid-80's, and putting up 1000+ OPS as a SS, then he's the best player on the planet, glove or no glove.

PSR

TRF
01-08-2003, 03:04 PM
Isn't Gookie out of options?

I'd love a .340 OB% from Gookie, but his ML history suggests that is a ways off

1999 - A - 309 ab - .266 op%
1999 - AA - 128 ab - .362 op%
2000 - AA - 380 ab - .274 op%
2000 - NL - 41 ab - .256 op%
2001 - AA - 401 ab - .251 op%
2002 - I don't have



in 1999 Gookie was a fast rising star until Jimbo pulls that "I'm not afraid to promote players. I did it with Carrasco" crap. He then let Gookie rot on the bench instead of getting needed development time playing every day. He should have been in Chatt. all season. Sexton, Castro or even Stynes should have been Barry's replacement. Offensively of course Dawkins isn't Kearns or Dunn. Defensively those two couldn't carry his jock.

OPS worshipers repeat after me...

"it is impossible to have 8 starters post a .800 OPS"

sometimes offense needs to be sacrificed for defense. I'll go to my grave knowing that.

Kc61
01-08-2003, 03:08 PM
Chili: the lead-off hitter theoretically gets on base a lot; the second place hitter theoretically moves him into scoring position to be driven in by the middle of the lineup. This is why it is better if the second place hitter is not a strike out artist; hard to move up the runner if you don't make contact.

Of course, with someone as slow as Casey, too many double plays may result, which is why Dunn (with more speed) might be an option as well to bat second. Neither is ideal, but if Casey is hitting well I like him there. When Casey is in a funk, with all the ground balls to second, I don't like him there.

westofyou
01-08-2003, 03:12 PM
"sometimes offense needs to be sacrificed for defense. I'll go to my grave knowing that"

Well yeah, that's true.

No one ever said it wasn't.

Just like no one ever said everyone has to OPS .800 (a feat that's getting harder to do every year)

But you said You'd take a .340 OBA from Gookie.

I said dream on.

TRF
01-08-2003, 03:17 PM
a higher quality Rey Ordonez?

bwa hahahaha!

really.

Ozzie Smith was without a doubt the BEST fielding shortstop ever. period. His RF was a full point higher than league average in any given year. He averaged 35 SB's a season from '78-'93, with an OBP of .337 for his career. his high being .392

Since right now Tejada and Smith have similar BA's, and OBP's you are basing your arguement on power. I get speed and defense.

I'll take Ozzie.

Raisor
01-08-2003, 03:18 PM
Originally posted by westofyou
"sometimes offense needs to be sacrificed for defense. I'll go to my grave knowing that"

Well yeah, that's true.

No one ever said it wasn't.

.

It depends on how MUCH offense is being sacrificed for defense.

Let's say you have two generic 2B on the roster. One OPS's about 800, and is average on defense. The other one has an OPS of 775, and plays all world defense, then yeah, I'll take option two, and trade option one for pitching.

But if option one OPSes 800 with that average (or even below average) defense and option two OPS's 600 but plays that all world defense, then, defense or no defense, I'm sticking with option one.

Raisor
01-08-2003, 03:27 PM
Originally posted by TRF

Since right now Tejada and Smith have similar BA's, and OBP's you are basing your arguement on power. I get speed and defense.

I'll take Ozzie.

And I'll take Tejada. If we have identical teams everyplace else, then my team will score more runs then your's.

Your team will prevent more runs then mine.

My team will score more runs then your team prevents.

TRF
01-08-2003, 03:30 PM
What if option two is your leadoff hitter, as Smith was. what if his OPS lifetime was around .670, but for most of his career his most important offensive stats were OBP and stolen bases?

From '82-'92 Smith's OBP dipped below .330 once. It was usually .347 or above (7 times). During that 10 year span, he stole 396 bases. Tejada might touch the OBP numbers, but he is slow by comparison. and defensively it ain't close. So it's about need. Ozzie could handle the bat (top 10 in sac. hits 11 times) could steal a base, and play all universe defensively.

Right now if both players played today in there prime Ozzie's numbers go up due to expansion, and he's the best leadoff hitter in the game.

TRF
01-08-2003, 03:37 PM
I'd take Tejada.

If we were in some alternate reality where Ozzie was playing in this era, yet played like the mid 80's Ozzie, then he's a higher quality Rey Ordonez. If, on the other hand, Tejada was playing in the mid-80's, and putting up 1000+ OPS as a SS, then he's the best player on the planet, glove or no glove.



but he wouldn't put up those numbers. It works the other way too. He'd probably hit .250 with 18-25 HR power. The pitching was better. The defense was better. And in the mindset of the eighties, he strikes out too much. The Cardinals team ERA in 1985 was 2.96. The league ERA was 3.59. See that happening again any time soon?

Raisor
01-08-2003, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by TRF
but he wouldn't put up those numbers.

hey, this is MY alternate reality!

PSR

TRF
01-08-2003, 03:42 PM
good point. so we'll have two alternate realities.

of course i'm still right and you're wrong. :D

cincinnati chili
01-08-2003, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by TRF
but he wouldn't put up those numbers. It works the other way too. He'd probably hit .250 with 18-25 HR power. The pitching was better.

I know this is the conventional wisdom, but I'm not sure I want to get married to that conventional wisdom. I happen to think that today's hitters are a) bigger and stronger and b) have a wiser approach.

I don't particularly care for Tejada's approach, but I can't argue with the shape of his body or his results.

I completely believe that pitching gets diluted in the couple years following each expansion year, but we've played 5 seasons since the last expansion plus we're now drawing pitchers from all over the globe. I think the Tejada in 2002 probably saw pitching comparable to Ozzie. I'll never be able to prove that, but it's my theory.

Raisor
01-08-2003, 04:07 PM
Ozzie's three best years were in 85, 86, and 87.

In those years, the league averages in OBP and SLG were:
85-327/386
86-330/392
87-341/423

Tejada's three best years have been 00, 01, and 02.

In those years, the league averages in OBP and SLG were:
00-342/435
01-329/421
02-337/432

If you average those out, there's virtually no difference in OBP and a 8.2% increase in SLG.

If you adjust Ozzie's numbers for today, you get:

30, 1985-.355/.364 719
31, 1986-.376/.336 712
32, 1987-.392/.386 778
three year average 374/362 736

vs Tejada
24, 2000-.349/.479 828
25, 2001-.326/476 801
26, 2002-.354/508 861
three year average 343/488 831

OK, now something else to consider is that Ozzie's best years were during what everyone and their mother considers a player's "prime", while Tejada hasn't hit his yet.

redrum
01-08-2003, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by Raisor
OK, now something else to consider is that Ozzie's best years were during what everyone and their mother considers a player's "prime", while Tejada hasn't hit his yet.

Well that might depend on whether his name really is Migel Tejada.

The next wave of instant aging is upon us:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/padres/20030107-9999_1s7padnotes.html

Greenhills Pioneer
01-08-2003, 04:58 PM
Moving Boone to 2b is a no brainer IMO.

I have been advocating this for the longest time, at least since November 30, and probably earlier than that.

Why is it that a lot of you advocate moving Boone to SS, but are not in favor of him moving to 2b, a less demanding position?

If Boone stays at 3b, what does the rest of the infield look like?

- Lopez ss/2b, Larkin 2b/ss, Casey?

In my opinion this could be a horrible offensive infield. With Lopez being so young and Larkin coming off a horrible season, combined with LaRue, this could be one of the worst hitting lineups in baseball even if you have Griffey, Dunn and Kearns. With Lopez, Larkin and LaRue, you could have three automatic outs. Can that kind of lineup be successful, even with great defense?

In regards to offense verses defense, I prefer the best combination of both, but one can make up for the other to a point. Larson's offense and price tag make up for his defense IMO.

TRF
01-08-2003, 04:59 PM
I think the Tejada in 2002 probably saw pitching comparable to Ozzie. I'll never be able to prove that, but it's my theory.

I'll disprove it for you

1984 National League ERA 3.59
1985 National League ERA 3.59
1986 National League ERA 3.72

2000 American League ERA 4.91
2001 American League ERA 4.47
2002 American League ERA 4.46


not even close. Tejada gets to feast on pitcher that wouldn't eve make the show in the mid '80's. Rick Helling wouldn't have kept a job as a mop-up guy.

Raisor, I still say they are different animals. Ozzie is a leadoff hitter, and Tejada is the rbi guy in a position that still primarily is weak offensively. If they are on the same team at the same time, Tejada changes position. Ozzies defense combined with his ability to get on base, plus steal bases is IMO more valuable. It doesn't mean Tejada isn't a good player. It means he is more replaceable IMO.

Raisor
01-08-2003, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by TRF

Raisor, I still say they are different animals. Ozzie is a leadoff hitter, and Tejada is the rbi guy in a position that still primarily is weak offensively. If they are on the same team at the same time, Tejada changes position. Ozzies defense combined with his ability to get on base, plus steal bases is IMO more valuable. It doesn't mean Tejada isn't a good player. It means he is more replaceable IMO.

If I had to choose between a leadoff hitter (and wasn't it Vince Coleman leading off for the Cards during most of that time?) and a middle of the order guy, and they play the same position (especially if it's shortstop or second) then I take the guy that would hit in the middle of the lineup.

Having a shortstop that hits like a 1B or an OFer is an incredible advantage.

PSR

Raisor
01-08-2003, 05:04 PM
Originally posted by TRF
I'll disprove it for you

1984 National League ERA 3.59
1985 National League ERA 3.59
1986 National League ERA 3.72

2000 American League ERA 4.91
2001 American League ERA 4.47
2002 American League ERA 4.46


not even close. Tejada gets to feast on pitcher that wouldn't eve make the show in the mid '80's. Rick Helling wouldn't have kept a job as a mop-up guy.



But are the ERA's lower then because the pitchers were better, or are the ERA's higher now because the HITTERS are better now?

Red Leader
01-08-2003, 05:07 PM
Originally posted by Raisor
But are the ERA's lower then because the pitchers were better, or are the ERA's higher now because the HITTERS are better now?

I think the pitchers were better then because everyone played low OPS players like Ozzie Smith, et al, instead of having OPS monsters like Tejada in their lineups because those types of "super athletes" weren't introduced yet. Either you were quick and played good defense, or you were a hulk and hit the ball hard, not both like today.:thumbup:

TRF
01-08-2003, 05:09 PM
It was Coleman. you are right. But look at teams with tons of power, bad defense and no speed historically. Now in the last 20 years tell me how many of them won the world series. I think the last one was 1989.

My point is yes these Billy Beane/Bill James OPS teams can give you a winning season, even take you to the playoffs.

but pitching and defense win it all.

cincinnati chili
01-08-2003, 05:09 PM
Originally posted by TRF
I'll disprove it for you

1984 National League ERA 3.59
1985 National League ERA 3.59
1986 National League ERA 3.72

2000 American League ERA 4.91
2001 American League ERA 4.47
2002 American League ERA 4.46



Sorry. But this proves diddly squat. It shows that more runs are being scored, but doesn't show whether it's because of:

1) external factors (small ballparks, juiced balls, umpires taking away the strike zone from pitchers not named Glavine)
2) the pitchers are worse
3) the hitters are better

You are pretty certain it's all #2. I think there's more to #3 than most people think. Watch espn classic sometime when they show games from the 70s and 80s, and pay attention to the size of the hitters. Nobody is weight training. MOre guys are out of shape. Few of the hitters are working the count. And not all the pitchers are as great as you remember.

cincinnati chili
01-08-2003, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by Raisor
OK, now something else to consider is that Ozzie's best years were during what everyone and their mother considers a player's "prime", while Tejada hasn't hit his yet.

So am I the only one who thinks Tejada may have already hit his prime?

I know he's 26, but he had a lot of hits fall in last year. If he keeps up the free swinging, pitchers have got to make adjustments eventually.

I seriously doubt he'll break 200 hits ever again.

TRF
01-08-2003, 05:16 PM
I think the pitchers were better then because everyone played low OPS players like Ozzie Smith, et al, instead of having OPS monsters like Tejada in their lineups because those types of "super athletes" weren't introduced yet. Either you were quick and played good defense, or you were a hulk and hit the ball hard, not both like today.

And then came Eric Davis...


You don't have both today. except for ARod. With the diluted pitching of today how would a guy like Pedro Guerrero hit. He OPS'd .999 in 1985 against much better pitching league wide.

TRF
01-08-2003, 05:20 PM
No I'm convinced more jobs means a dilution of talent. It means guys pitching that wouldn't have jobs at the major league level. It also means that while facing AZ my teams has to see Johnson and Schilling, but it also got a chance to face 3 scrubs starting.

And today it means Joey Hamilton can still get a job. I don't think the pitchers from the '80's are better athletes or better pitchers individually but over all, yeah. BTW Wrigley was still Wrigley in the '80's too. Not every park was the Astrodome.

Red Leader
01-08-2003, 05:21 PM
Originally posted by TRF
And then came Eric Davis...


You don't have both today. except for ARod. With the diluted pitching of today how would a guy like Pedro Guerrero hit. He OPS'd .999 in 1985 against much better pitching league wide.

I agree with you on Eric Davis, but what do you mean you don't have both today? I'm talking about all hitters not just SS, but if you want to look at SS, what about Jeter, Tejada, Nomar, A-Rod, heck even Edgar Renteria is more of a slugger than the Wizard was and still has decent speed and quickness. The guys I'm talking about are: Vlad, Bobby Abreu, Magglio Ordonez.....even Adam Dunn to some extent, guys that draw walks, steal bases, and hit the ball REAL hard.

Raisor
01-08-2003, 05:24 PM
Originally posted by TRF
No I'm convinced more jobs means a dilution of talent. It means guys pitching that wouldn't have jobs at the major league level. .

But don't forget, the talent pool is also getting bigger, not only here in the states, but the entire world.

PSR

westofyou
01-08-2003, 05:38 PM
With the diluted pitching of today how would a guy like Pedro Guerrero hit. He OPS'd .999 in 1985 against much better pitching league wide.

Pedro OPS .283 above the league average for the eighth best number from 1980-1990

Add the seasons from 1991-2002 and he slides from 9th best to 53rd.

Of course for his career his OPS was only .133 above average, so that .999 season was kind of a fluke.

Here's a list of the guys with 3000 ab's who had OPS's .100 over the league average from 1980-1990


CAREER
1980-1990
OPS >= .100 vs. the league average

OPS OPS OPS
1 Mike Schmidt .925 .207
2 George Brett .912 .186
3 Wade Boggs .908 .181
4 Will Clark .883 .162
5 Jack Clark .880 .162
6 Darryl Strawberry .878 .159
7 Eddie Murray .877 .151
8 Pedro Guerrero .875 .157
9 Dwight Evans .871 .145
10 Don Mattingly .867 .139
11 Kent Hrbek .862 .134
12 Alvin Davis .859 .131
13 Rickey Henderson .854 .129
14 Dave Winfield .845 .118
15 Dale Murphy .842 .124
16 Robin Yount .838 .112
17 Barry Bonds .837 .116
18 Andre Dawson .835 .117
19 Leon Durham .831 .111
20 Bob Horner .828 .113
21 Tim Raines .828 .110
22 Kirk Gibson .825 .100
23 Keith Hernandez .820 .102
24 Tony Gwynn .819 .100



and here is teh same list for 1991-2002 But we'll push it to .135 above to account for expansion, new parks, bad pitching ect... (whatever is your flavor)


CAREER
1991-2002
OPS >= .135 vs. the league average

OPS OPS OPS
1 Barry Bonds 1.104 .345
2 Mark McGwire 1.043 .278
3 Todd Helton 1.032 .252
4 Manny Ramirez 1.010 .233
5 Frank Thomas 1.000 .237
6 Larry Walker .994 .236
7 Brian Giles .986 .205
8 Jim Thome .982 .209
9 Edgar Martinez .974 .209
10 Vladimir Guerrero .973 .195
11 Jason Giambi .968 .191
12 Jeff Bagwell .965 .205
13 Ken Griffey Jr. .965 .199
14 Mike Piazza .964 .194
15 Alex Rodriguez .958 .182
16 Gary Sheffield .955 .192
17 Chipper Jones .949 .175
18 Albert Belle .945 .180
19 Carlos Delgado .943 .166
20 Nomar Garciaparra .937 .162
21 Bobby Abreu .931 .152
22 Rafael Palmeiro .926 .163
23 Sammy Sosa .918 .152
24 Juan Gonzalez .912 .149
25 Mo Vaughn .910 .140
26 Ellis Burks .902 .143

TRF
01-08-2003, 05:53 PM
Those are good lists.

but they don't prove the hitting is better. they prove the overall quality of pitching is worse. Are parks getting smaller? Comerica, Safeco, and isn't Pac Bell a pitchers park? Fenway is a pitchers park.

the pitching is worse now. overall. Pedro, Johnson, Schilling are great in any era.

Bere, Parris, Helling do not don a major league uni in the eighties, or any other era for that matter. they are bodies to fill out rosters. the talent pool is diluted by over 100 major leaguers. International players will help, but it's still a ways off.

westofyou
01-08-2003, 06:02 PM
he pitching is worse now. overall. Pedro, Johnson, Schilling are great in any era.



here are a couple more.

from 1980-90


MAJOR LEAGUES PITCHING STATS

YEAR W L PCT G GS CG SV GF IP H R ER BB SO
1980 2101 2101 .500 10796 4210 856 902 3354 37861 38144 18053 16162 13190 20212
1981 1389 1389 .500 7439 2788 510 605 2278 25095.1 24157 11147 9992 8868 13237
1982 2106 2106 .500 11040 4214 734 932 3480 37878.1 37651 18110 16258 13302 21221
1983 2106 2106 .500 10978 4218 745 977 3473 37742 37443 18170 16241 13518 21716
1984 2104 2104 .500 11177 4210 632 993 3578 37704.2 37381 17921 15965 13320 22500
1985 2101 2101 .500 11504 4206 627 977 3579 37658.2 36778 18216 16292 13838 22451
1986 2102 2102 .500 11760 4206 579 1004 3627 37674.1 36880 18545 16629 14227 24706
1987 2105 2105 .500 12157 4210 561 971 3649 37574.2 37895 19883 17925 14389 25099
1988 2098 2098 .500 11531 4200 622 1049 3578 37667.2 36244 17380 15626 12984 23355
1989 2103 2103 .500 12111 4212 483 1069 3729 37715 36293 17405 15551 13528 23650
1990 2105 2105 .500 12694 4210 429 1113 3781 37563.2 36817 17919 16116 13852 23853
TOT 22420 22420 .500 123187 44884 6778 10592 38106 402135.1 395683 192749 172757 145016 242000


YEAR ERA HR H/9 BR/9 SO/9 BB/9 SO/BB SHO WP IBB HBP BFP BK
1980 3.84 3087 9.07 12.36 4.80 3.14 1.53 189 1031 1435 657 161210 257
1981 3.58 1781 8.66 12.01 4.75 3.18 1.49 135 714 895 464 105892 181
1982 3.86 3379 8.95 12.27 5.04 3.16 1.60 161 1091 1319 677 161104 256
1983 3.87 3301 8.93 12.32 5.18 3.22 1.61 180 1076 1379 717 160615 266
1984 3.81 3258 8.92 12.26 5.37 3.18 1.69 151 1129 1270 668 160566 283
1985 3.89 3602 8.79 12.26 5.37 3.31 1.62 163 1141 1337 699 160320 227
1986 3.97 3813 8.81 12.40 5.90 3.40 1.74 139 1323 1289 812 160858 289
1987 4.29 4458 9.08 12.72 6.01 3.45 1.74 138 1333 1287 842 161922 356
1988 3.73 3180 8.66 11.98 5.58 3.10 1.80 182 1262 1367 918 159380 924
1989 3.71 3083 8.66 12.08 5.64 3.23 1.75 152 1286 1446 801 160033 407
1990 3.86 3317 8.82 12.35 5.72 3.32 1.72 140 1355 1384 861 160316 288
TOT 3.87 36259 8.86 12.28 5.42 3.25 1.67 1730 12741 14408 8116 1712216 3734


Number of pitchers who had 1500 innings and pitched below the league average for ERA during that period.


ERA ERA ERA W
1 Dwight Gooden 2.82 2.82 119
2 Roger Clemens 2.89 2.89 116
3 John Tudor 3.07 3.07 116
4 Nolan Ryan 3.16 3.16 135
5 Bob Welch 3.18 3.18 164
6 Dave Stieb 3.29 3.29 158
7 Rick Reuschel 3.31 3.31 100
8 Fernando Valenzuela 3.31 3.31 141
9 Danny Darwin 3.37 3.37 106
10 Mario Soto 3.37 3.37 94
11 Bryn Smith 3.37 3.37 90
12 Mike Scott 3.46 3.46 123
13 Ron Darling 3.48 3.48 94
14 Jerry Reuss 3.48 3.48 105
15 Steve Carlton 3.48 3.48 104
16 Dave Stewart 3.52 3.52 123
17 Don Sutton 3.53 3.53 107
18 Joe Niekro 3.56 3.56 105
19 Rick Honeycutt 3.58 3.58 81
20 Eric Show 3.59 3.59 100
21 Joaquin Andujar 3.60 3.60 90
22 Bill Gullickson 3.64 3.64 111
23 Scott Sanderson 3.64 3.64 102
24 Rick Rhoden 3.65 3.65 109
25 Ron Guidry 3.66 3.66 111
26 Mike Boddicker 3.66 3.66 118
27 Frank Viola 3.70 3.70 137
28 Charlie Hough 3.70 3.70 140
29 Charlie Leibrandt 3.72 3.72 101
30 Bert Blyleven 3.74 3.74 131
31 Ed Whitson 3.74 3.74 109
32 Bob Knepper 3.74 3.74 108
33 Dennis Eckersley 3.74 3.74 92
34 Jack Morris 3.74 3.74 177
35 Mike Witt 3.79 3.79 114
36 Mike Krukow 3.81 3.81 98
37 Doyle Alexander 3.85 3.85 112


Now 1991-2002


MAJOR LEAGUES PITCHING STATS

YEAR W L PCT G GS CG SV GF IP H R ER BB SO
1991 2104 2104 .500 13171 4208 366 1132 3842 37769.2 36558 18127 16410 13984 24390
1992 2106 2106 .500 13251 4212 419 1109 3793 37829.2 36544 17341 15744 13682 23538
1993 2268 2268 .500 14839 4538 371 1192 4167 40507 41088 20864 18861 15110 26310
1994 1599 1599 .500 10643 3200 255 777 2945 28586.1 29743 15752 14330 11131 19766
1995 2016 2016 .500 13915 4034 275 1006 3759 36032 36975 19554 17822 14240 25425
1996 2266 2266 .500 15594 4534 290 1116 4244 40560.2 42320 22831 20780 16093 29308
1997 2266 2266 .500 15857 4532 266 1139 4266 40454 41471 21604 19730 15666 29937
1998 2430 2430 .500 16827 4864 302 1265 4559 43434.2 44489 23244 21387 16447 31893
1999 2428 2426 .500 17276 4856 236 1217 4620 43117.1 45327 24691 22606 17891 31119
2000 2428 2428 .500 17220 4858 234 1178 4624 43244.1 45246 24971 22918 18238 31356
2001 2428 2428 .500 17624 4858 199 1210 4659 43287.1 43879 23199 21247 15806 32404
2002 2425 2425 .500 17611 4852 214 1224 4638 43269 43272 22408 20570 16246 31394
TOT 26764 26762 .500 183828 53546 3427 13565 50116 478092 486912 254586 232405 184534 336840


YEAR ERA HR H/9 BR/9 SO/9 BB/9 SO/BB SHO WP IBB HBP BFP BK
1991 3.91 3383 8.71 12.26 5.81 3.33 1.74 107 1390 1229 905 160746 241
1992 3.75 3038 8.69 12.18 5.60 3.26 1.72 146 1296 1315 980 160545 219
1993 4.19 4030 9.13 12.75 5.85 3.36 1.74 99 1473 1477 1200 174564 298
1994 4.51 3306 9.36 13.14 6.22 3.50 1.78 69 1162 1008 876 124483 174
1995 4.45 4081 9.24 13.10 6.35 3.56 1.79 88 1414 1105 1219 156703 199
1996 4.61 4962 9.39 13.27 6.50 3.57 1.82 84 1553 1343 1404 177261 197
1997 4.39 4640 9.23 13.03 6.66 3.49 1.91 89 1482 1169 1449 175541 188
1998 4.43 5064 9.22 12.95 6.61 3.41 1.94 101 1605 1062 1583 188225 205
1999 4.72 5528 9.46 13.53 6.50 3.73 1.74 64 1632 1105 1578 189692 177
2000 4.77 5693 9.42 13.54 6.53 3.80 1.72 72 1518 1208 1572 190261 161
2001 4.42 5458 9.12 12.80 6.74 3.29 2.05 74 1484 1384 1890 186976 151
2002 4.28 5059 9.00 12.74 6.53 3.38 1.93 87 1494 1452 1746 186615 160
TOT 4.37 54242 9.17 12.95 6.34 3.47 1.83 1080 17503 14857 16402 2071612 2370



Now Pitchers with 1500 innings and less than a 4.37 ERA

CAREER
1991-2002

ERA < 4.37
WINS displayed only--not a sorting criteria

ERA ERA ERA W
1 Greg Maddux 2.56 2.56 213
2 Pedro Martinez 2.62 2.62 152
3 Randy Johnson 2.91 2.91 200
4 Tom Glavine 3.15 3.15 209
5 Kevin Brown 3.17 3.17 157
6 John Smoltz 3.26 3.26 135
7 Roger Clemens 3.31 3.31 177
8 Curt Schilling 3.32 3.32 154
9 Mike Mussina 3.54 3.54 182
10 David Cone 3.56 3.56 140
11 Al Leiter 3.60 3.60 123
12 Kevin Appier 3.67 3.67 148
13 Alex Fernandez 3.73 3.73 102
14 Tom Candiotti 3.77 3.77 80
15 Pete Harnisch 3.78 3.78 95
16 Ramon Martinez 3.81 3.81 108
17 Jeff Fassero 3.93 3.93 112
18 Andy Pettitte 3.93 3.93 128
19 Shane Reynolds 3.95 3.95 103
20 Hideo Nomo 3.96 3.96 98
21 Mike Hampton 3.98 3.98 106
22 Jamie Moyer 4.00 4.00 130
23 Wilson Alvarez 4.01 4.01 88
24 Andy Benes 4.02 4.02 139
25 Ken Hill 4.02 4.02 105
26 Chuck Finley 4.04 4.04 152
27 Doug Drabek 4.08 4.08 86
28 Andy Ashby 4.08 4.08 95
29 Darryl Kile 4.12 4.12 133
30 Mike Morgan 4.13 4.13 88
31 Orel Hershiser 4.17 4.17 105
32 Denny Neagle 4.17 4.17 122
33 David Wells 4.17 4.17 160
34 Jon Lieber 4.18 4.18 86
35 Todd Stottlemyre 4.22 4.22 114
36 Pat Hentgen 4.22 4.22 122
37 Tim Wakefield 4.25 4.25 105
38 John Burkett 4.29 4.29 140
39 Kenny Rogers 4.29 4.29 132
40 Brad Radke 4.30 4.30 102
41 Steve Trachsel 4.31 4.31 90
42 Bobby Jones 4.36 4.36 89



FWIW the first period only boasted 4 guys who were under 3.17 (1/2 run below average) while list 2 can boast 16 pitchers who fall below 1/2 a run

TRF
01-08-2003, 06:08 PM
Jeter sucks defensively. Not just my opinion. Nomar needs to stay healthy. Vlad is a monster. But overall Is there a thirdbaseman today better than Schmidt? For a few years Dale Murphy was the best OF in baseball.

Raisor
01-08-2003, 06:19 PM
Originally posted by TRF
Jeter sucks defensively. Not just my opinion.

I wouldn't say that he "sucks", but he IS over-rated.


But overall Is there a thirdbaseman today better than Schmidt? For a few years Dale Murphy was the best OF in baseball.


And today's game has Bonds (who just might be the best LFer in history, and if not, he's in the top 2 or 3). AROD (the best shortstop in history), Mike Piazza (the best hitting catcher in history), etc etc etc

TRF
01-08-2003, 06:30 PM
I'd argue Piazza is a 1B playing catcher.

ARod is a freak in any era

Bonds is juiced. there i said it. he knows it, so do we.

Raisor
01-08-2003, 06:33 PM
Originally posted by TRF
I'd argue Piazza is a 1B playing catcher.

ARod is a freak in any era

Bonds is juiced. there i said it. he knows it, so do we.

I don't think I want to know how you got ahold of Bonds' urine.

:evilgrin:

TRF
01-08-2003, 06:35 PM
E bay

Red Leader
01-08-2003, 06:35 PM
Originally posted by TRF
E bay

Did you "snipe" it?:p

Redsfaithful
01-08-2003, 08:53 PM
Juiced or not, Bonds isn't just the greatest LF of all time, he's probably got a case to make for greatest player of all time. He's easily top ten.

As far as the 80's vs. today, I think it's important to remember that the 80's weren't the pitching paradise that people remember. 1987 was one of the biggest offensive years in baseball history, and is still something of an anomaly statistics wise.

A-Rod isn't a freak as much as a product of today's society. He's an incredibly hard worker, who benefits from greater knowledge of how to weight train, and condition. That to me is the difference between one era and another. People who don't think we're watching the greatest athletes in baseball history are just wrong. Put Bonds, or A-Rod, or even someone average like a Todd Walker in any other era and they would just mash the ball, day in and day out. Pitchers didn't throw as hard, as a whole. There were always the Nolan Ryan types who could throw a ball through a brick wall, but on average until the last ten years, a 90+ mph fast ball was something to write home about. Now if you throw 90 you're at home watching the game on TV with the rest of us.

westofyou
01-08-2003, 08:59 PM
Hey Redsfaithful, I like your Blog site.

I see you're reading my alltime favorite novel by my all time favorite author too.

Enjoy

Redsfaithful
01-08-2003, 09:15 PM
Thanks for the kind words WOY, I can't believe how much they ruined it when they turned it into a movie! I saw Simon Birch years ago, and had no idea, it's really a shame.

cincinnati chili
01-08-2003, 10:42 PM
I love how there's about 4 different conversations going on, none of them involving Aaron Boone and 2B. Seriously. Those are the best kind of threads.

I didn't hate Simon Birch, but it certainly didn't have the level of depth that Meany had. It's pretty much the first 100 pages of Owen Meany with a made up ending. Utterly forgettable, while the novel is unforgettable.

Far East
01-09-2003, 10:03 AM
Now if you throw 90 you're at home watching the game on TV with the rest of us. I remember when Seaver -- past his prime -- as a Red would occasionally hit 90 and the guys in the booth would just rave. Today the younger hurlers seem to be getting faster and faster. Is it a different radar gun? And they're not just throwers but at least have a breaking ball and some even get it in the zone. And every bullpen seems to have a couple of them to throw at you when the starters falter.

cincinnati chili
01-09-2003, 10:52 AM
I don't think the gun is getting faster. I think that, just like in virtually every sport on the planet, the athletes are better now than they every have been.

Old Red Guard
01-09-2003, 10:57 AM
Might as well make my jaded commentary on this here thread which could be renamed "The Never Ending Story"

People who don't think we're watching the greatest athletes in baseball history are just wrong - Reds Faithful

Yep. Just about all the players from the 30s wouldn't do squat if they were transplanted into today's game as is. 20 year olds looked about 30, bodies were smaller overall, no one weight trained (Lord forbid that makes you musclebound don't you know). The most popular diet supplement was liquid malt barley in one form or 'nuther. Juiced meant a guy played better drunk, you slept on clanking, rocking, creaking trains and spent weeks on the road, living in pullman's and hotel rooms. Nutritional theory was the more fatty red meat the better and exercise was generally considered only in spring training if you weren't smart enough to get out of it then. If you pulled a muscle or tweaked a hammy you rubbed some homemade balm into it, gritted your teeth, shut your fool mouth and played the game. There was some kid playing out in the cornbelt who was hellbent to take your job and your boss was hellbent to give it to him if you faltered for a second. After all you were making 5 grand a year and he could pay that kid 1200 and a train ticket to do the same thing. You might be better but not if you're hurt - why give the kid any chance at showing his stuff. Keep playing. Sanitation was nonexistent. Well, okay, most guys washed their face once a day and a few bathed more than once a week, but only a few. Uniforms were worn until they could play the game by themselves. Don't tear it either - get a needle and darn it up - if the club has to buy another one for you before midpoint they'd deduct it from your check. Heck that's about 6 bottles of whiskey and a night with a Philly hooker! Players would have made good footballers though with all that weight. Wool uniforms full of sweat and 3 pounds of fermented dirt, heavy leather shoes with razored steel cleats, cotton unders and a patch of leather on your off-ham and you were playing with 20 pounds of itchy, scratchy, buggy, sometimes soggy, baggy mucilaginous fiber clinging to your every move. Compare that to today's featherweight outfits and shoes that weigh 6 ounces! Training equipment consisted of medicine balls, a big field and for pitchers, a wall to throw against. Knocking bottles off posts was a favorite way for kids to practice control, pitching off a concrete stoop and catching the rebounds, tossing at birds or rabbits and hitting rocks as far as you could were other disciplines of rigorous training. Stickball WAS great - it taught incredible bat control and concentration. You try hitting a small ball with a broomstick and see how well you do. Stickball in the streets is overlooked as a way to teach youngsters today. I'm seriuos. That's how I always coached my kids when I was involved in Pony baseball. I'd start out with stickball games and oven mitts for gloves. Bragging now but in twelve years coaching tykes we never once failed to win twice as many as we lost and a ton of my boys made allstar teams every year. Nothing special I did - just the stickball and oven mitts. Catch with an oven mitt and by gosh you WILL use 2 hands. Swing with a broomstick at a little rubber ball half the sizer of a baseball and by the time we played with real bats and balls and gloves the kids hardly missed anything. Easier to straighten out swings when they're hefting a broomstick, too. Helps them select the right weight bat, too. Most kids try to swing way too heavy. Anyway, drifting - back to former athletes.
Today's players are far better athletes. Work regimens are religiously adhered to, scientific principles are utilized, professionals in kinesiology, nutrition, conditioning for specific functions, flexibility, even psychology are employed to help players train. In the 30s and 40s you were too busy at your 2nd job during the offseason to train much. During the season some guys main exercise consisted of bouncin a different Betty in every town you visited and brawling in saloons. There were lots of "good" guys, too, that had families and religion. They loafed around the hotel reading, writing letters and playing cards. Not every player was a hell-raiser but the ripsnorts probably got more exercise viz less sleep. Top it off with the fact that communicable diseases were widespread, nutrition from the cradle to grave was sometimes good but inconsistent. Food followed the economy - lots of people ate thin soup and litle else when times were slow. For lots of kids times was always slow. Then as now the greatest weapon against poverty was hard work but then as now there were lots of folk who ignored that fact. There was no foodstamps, no unemployment checks, no welfare boards to take up the slack for the children. If your parents were unlucky, or bums, or down and out, then you didn't eat much. You spent your hours in the streets, playing stickball, pitching against that stoop, playing burnout with your buddies and breathing, sleeping, dreaming baseball. Then you're 16 and good - you play on a town team or maybe a factory boss pays you 3 bucks a game to play on their team and gives your old man a job to boot. You learn the game the hard way against guys who'll spike you, crash into you, trip you and rag you unmercifully -nothing sacred, mothers not spared. You small and young and facing a hulk of a pitcher who throws 85 ( fast enough back then) and spits tobacco with every pitch. He's dug a rut 6 inches in front of the rubber, too and pitches from there - the umps are scared of him so who's going to stop him? You know you can't pull him so you slap at the ball and poke it into left with a bit of spin - the ball caroms off into foul gorund after striking fair and you run like a jackrabbit, skipping over the first baseman's extended foot, ducking the elbow aimed at your ribs the 2nd sacker points your way and you slide into third with your spikes up and slashing. Not trying to hurt the guy, just keeping him from getting close enough to stomp on you when he sweeps the tag.
A couple years of this and a scout sees you and signs you for a ticket and fifty bucks and sends you to Red Oak, Iowa to play. You're 18 and weigh 140 sopping wet. Your face is drawn and you look 30 by today's standards but everyone in Red Oak calls you Cheeks because they think you have a "babyface". You're scrawny, undernourished, wiry strong but no one today would call you an athlete. Didn't then, either - you are a ballplayer. Big difference. Athletes are born - ballplayers are forged from runny gruel, concrete stoops, bouncing balls, broomsticks and hard knocks. You know all the dirty tricks - better known as essential survival techniques. At 21, you make the show. You do well, you're a 2nd baseman. You get on base any way you can, you holler at the pitcher, you steal when you can but only when its necessary. Go the other way, bunt, squeeze, and you've learned to swing from the heels when the pitcher is predictable. You use whatever you've been given, and you learn everything you can, every nuance possible. You are successful and your twetnies are golden years. Then you're 30. Within 2 or 3 years your career will be over. Your joints hurt, you've lost a couple of steps. You've played through aches and strains, and punished yourself for a decade to fend off the stream of prospects trying to unseat you. And now it happens. You're traded for no one inparticular to a terrible team. You play a couple years, your numbers aren't that bad but thwe little things are gone. You can't steal anymore, triples are doubles and doubles are singles and that kid up from Tuscaloosa that throws 92 just blows it by you. You retire at 33. You are old, ancient by baseball standards. You've never touched a weight set, never taken a vitamin or mineral supplement, never even heard of yoga or yogurt, never had a personal or team trainer, you have the beginnings of gout, and have had chicken pox, measles, mumps, rubella, and a variety of flus during your career. Mostly you played through it all and let your natural vitality cure it. You have a permanently bent finger from the time you broke it on a ball that jammed it, then you taped it, grimaced and played on. You have hammer toe because you played in second hand shoes for all those early years and the toe was too tight. You don't even know its why you couldn't run worth a damn anymore when you were just 30. You were a ballplayer. Now you're 33 and you're nothing. No job, no other skills, no player's association to write you a check. You take a job as a coach. You'll teach the same misguided theories and scoff at new advances in nutrition and training for years, delaying major advances in your sport until the mid to late 60s when rising salaries and advancing knowledge begins to change the way athletes take care of themselves and baseball begins to scout athletes for their potential instead of ballplayers for their skills. The theory is you can teach skills but you can't teach speed or genetics. In the back of my mind, this old man realizes they are right, but I miss the pure ballplayers. The ones who raised hell and tripped guys as they rounded second. The ones who took whatever you gave em and used it against you. When I was a child I watched ordinary men with extraordinary skills playing a game I loved. Today, I watch demi-gods of athleticism with lithe, muscular bodies play my beloved sport. The hope for the everyday joe, who works hard, who hones his skills fanatically, to play at the highest level, is almost gone. Yes, today's athletes are incredible and outclass their counterparts of yesteryear. They are not nearly as much fun to watch or follow.

RFS62
01-09-2003, 11:19 AM
Old Red Guard,

That was fantastic, as usual.

:beerme:



There's a very funny article in the archives of The Onion that follows that theme.

http://www.theonion.com/onion3849/in_my_day.html

GAC
01-09-2003, 11:33 AM
:lol: :lol: what an article. Do you read this website often? I have never heard of it?

Far East
01-09-2003, 11:33 AM
Might as well make my jaded commentary
Old Red Guard :
I don't pay any attention to board awards, and we're only nine days into 2003. But if yours isn't the post of the year I want someone to refer me to one that's better. I feel like reading yours and rereading it and copying it and recopying it and then lying to my friends that I was the author.

cincinnati chili
01-09-2003, 12:49 PM
Originally posted by Old Red Guard
Yes, today's athletes are incredible and outclass their counterparts of yesteryear. They are not nearly as much fun to watch or follow.

Great post ORG. I need to amend my RedsZone to make you Redszone's resident baseball social historian

RANDY IN INDY
01-09-2003, 12:50 PM
Great post, Old Red Guard. Reminds me of the stories my grandfather told me of ballplayers he played against on factory teams in the 20's, 30's and 40's. He said he started playing with his older brother as a kid (12), but was treated like a man, and given no slack. He caught many games with nothing but a worn out catchers mitt with a handkerchief stuffed in a big tear in the leather and a mask. A chest protector and shin guards were luxuries that he only acquired late in his playing days. He was hit over the head with a baseball bat in a brawl, and later in life, had to have surgery to clip a nerve that had caused him terrible headaches and loss of sleep for years. He was a blacksmith by trade and a farmer by choice. Baseball was his passion. He just worked and played through the pain, cause that was what you did then. He was paid two dollars a game to play on that factory team. He said that he would have payed them to play. Baseball was his game, the game that he loved. He was always puzzled by the modern ballplayer, and the softness that he saw in them. How could you not play when they are paying you that kind of money. He didn't understand, and come to think of it, I don't either. I miss him, and the great stories dearly.

Brings back a lot of treasured memories for me, Old Red Guard.:beerme:

cincinnati chili
01-09-2003, 12:54 PM
Originally posted by GAC
:lol: :lol: what an article. Do you read this website often? I have never heard of it?

GAC: I think the Onion staff are among the best comedy writers on the planet. They have a print edition too. Conan O'Brien tried to hire their founder to be his head writer a few years back, and he turned him down, deciding to build his publication instead.

They're based in Wisconsin, but I also think they have some writers in Colorado and around the country.

I used to read it every week. But ever since Grad school and my redszone addition, I miss a lot of their issues.

westofyou
01-09-2003, 12:57 PM
what an article. Do you read this website often? I have never heard of it?

Never heard of the onion!!

Next you'll tell me you don't know who Ernie Pook is or Tom the Dancing Bug.

Or worse yet Akbar and Jeff!!

princeton
01-09-2003, 01:13 PM
ORG: wow

M2
01-09-2003, 01:53 PM
You mean Chef Jeff and Akbar at the Snackbar?