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KoryMac5
02-24-2010, 06:55 PM
Listening to a little sports talk radio before heading out to work today. The talking head was speaking about the best infields in the game today. He felt that the Yankees current infield was perhaps the greatest in history. He cited the Big Red Machine as being the all time best infield ever, but he feels that this current Yankee team surpasses the Reds.

Texiara vs. Perez
Cano vs. Morgan
Jeter vs. Concepcion
A. Rod vs. Rose
Posada vs. Bench

I thought this would be a good debate especially since many folks on this board have fond memories of the Big Red Machine. So that being said who do you think wins out as best infield ever?

Nasty_Boy
02-24-2010, 07:21 PM
Tex > Perez
Morgan > Cano
Jeter > Concepcion (As much as this pains me)
Arod > Rose
Bench > Posada

I think the biggest argument would be 1st base... Tex has a much higher BA and OBP, while being a Gold Glover. But Tony is a HOF'er, even if it's much disputed. And while Davy was a better defender than Jeter, Derek's bat is far and away superior... Even though I can't stand the guy.

penantboundreds
02-24-2010, 07:30 PM
Carlos Pena, Ben Zobrist, Jason Bartlett, and Evan Longoria

Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Polanco

Compare that to the infields of the 1970's along the Big Red Machine...

TheNext44
02-24-2010, 07:34 PM
I know I am going to sound bias, but I think it's the Reds hands down. Offensively, the Yankees have a slight edge overall, but when you factor in defense, it really is an easy decision.

If you add up the OPS+ of each infield, the 2009 Yanks total 690 for an average of 138 per player Very impressive. The 1975 Reds have a total of 653 for an average of 131. Very impressive too.

I have no idea what 37 points or 7 points per player translates to in terms of runs and wins, but I'm fairly certain that the defensive advantage that Morgan, Concepcion, Rose and Bench have over Cano, Jeter, ARod and Posada, (minus the advantage that Tex has over Doggie) is worth far more than that.

Cano, Jeter and ARod, are simply bad defenders, well below league average. Morgan, Concepcion and Bench were multiple gold glove winners, and not just above league average, but elite defenders. Rose, while not stellar, was definitely not as bad a thirdbaseman as Arod is. Tex is the only elite defender in the whole infield, and at probably the least important position. I am not sure if it was 75 or 76, but I believe that the Reds as a team set MLB record for most consecutive games without an error one of those years.

When I talk about the best infields ever, I start with defense, since it is so important for the team as a whole to have a solid defensive infield. An infield as bad defensively as the Yankees can not be considered one of the best. They basically have a bunch of outfielders whose bats justify their weak defense.

GADawg
02-24-2010, 07:49 PM
Tex > Perez
Morgan > Cano
Jeter > Concepcion (As much as this pains me)
Arod > Rose
Bench > Posada

I think the biggest argument would be 1st base... Tex has a much higher BA and OBP, while being a Gold Glover. But Tony is a HOF'er, even if it's much disputed. And while Davy was a better defender than Jeter, Derek's bat is far and away superior... Even though I can't stand the guy.

I agree with the Jeter over Davey but the Arod over Rose thing is very debateable...completely different types of players and Arod is gonna have to win a lot more games to catch Pete.

Also the "greater than" symbol needs to be much larger for Bench over Posada and Morgan over Cano.

Bottom line I'd hate to pay either foursome's salary in 2010.

RedsBaron
02-24-2010, 08:40 PM
In his 2001 book, "The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract," Bill James, using his Win Shares method, ranked the 1914 Philadelphia A's of Stuffy McInnis, Eddie Collins, Home Run Baker and Jack Barry as the best infield ever, with a combined 119 Win Shares (Bill didn't include catchers in his calculations for infields).
The 1975 Reds tied for 7th with the 1927 New York Giants with 112 Win Shares (the Giants had an infield of all Hall of Famers: Bill Terry, Rogers Hornsby, Fred Lindstrom and Travis Jackson, although the last two guys are questionable Hall of Famers at best). However James added that the 1975 Reds may have actually been the best infield ever, since the teams ranked ahead of them played decades earlier, in a less mature game (the 1982 Brewers had an infield with 113 Win Shares but they were only good for a couple of years).
The 1976 Reds infield ranked 10th all time in Win Shares, with 105. From 1972 through 1977 the Reds infield had 86, 99, 96, 112, 105 and 92 in Win Shares "the greatest run of modern times."
Obviously a book by James in 2001 doesn't tell us how great the current Yankees infield is, but it does confirm that the Big Red Machine infield was something special.
Incidentally, another Reds infield, that of the 1939 NL champs, had 98 Win Shares.

nate
02-24-2010, 08:56 PM
Jeter > Concepcion (As much as this pains me)


I wonder how much the gap changes with Jeter on turf?

westofyou
02-24-2010, 09:22 PM
1955 Dodgers ain't shabby

1st- Hodges
2nd - Gilliam
SS - Reese
3rd - Robinson
C- Campy

mth123
02-24-2010, 09:28 PM
1936 yanks.

1B - Lou Gehrig
2B - Tony Lazzeri
SS - Frank Crosetti
3B - Red Rolfe
C - Bill Dickey

GADawg
02-24-2010, 09:55 PM
late season 2004 Reds....awesome

sean casey

d'angelo jimenez

rey olmedo

tim hummell/brandon larson


apologies to Sean Casey

Nasty_Boy
02-24-2010, 10:59 PM
While Pete was great and a unique player, Arod will quite possibly be one of the 5 best hitters of all time once he is finished playing. I would take Arod over Rose 100 times out of 100, even though that is blasphemy around these parts. :D

GADawg
02-24-2010, 11:09 PM
While Pete was great and a unique player, Arod will quite possibly be one of the 5 best hitters of all time once he is finished playing. I would take Arod over Rose 100 times out of 100, even though that is blasphemy around these parts. :D

your point is well taken but Pete was one of the best 2 or 3 leadoff hitter/table setters of all time and the exceptional/consistent/dependable leadoff man very very rarely comes along

PuffyPig
02-24-2010, 11:42 PM
I would take Arod over Rose 100 times out of 100, even though that is blasphemy around these parts. :D

I bet you would....

Eric_the_Red
02-24-2010, 11:47 PM
I'd take ARod over Pete Rose in a heartbeat. Not sure what the argument would be the other way.

ARod career wOBA: .412
Rose career wOBA: .353

Yachtzee
02-25-2010, 12:49 AM
I don't know that the Yankees' middle infielders would have been playing infield had they been playing in the National League during the astroturf era of the '70s. I would think that Jeter and Cano would probably have been moved to other positions to keep their bats in the lineup while making space for more defensively capable middle infielders.

That's the problem with comparing eras. Managers and GMs made decisions based on the conditions of the game at the time. While Concepcion does not compare to Jeter offensively, his defense was much more crucial to the Reds on the hard turf of Riverfront. The move to slower, natural grass infields has facilitated keeping offensively strong players at short because their deficiencies on defense aren't as glaring as they would have been on turf.

RedlegJake
02-25-2010, 04:34 PM
I'd take ARod over Pete Rose in a heartbeat. Not sure what the argument would be the other way.

ARod career wOBA: .412
Rose career wOBA: .353

This would be my argument. I know its all the rage to isolate players from their teammates statistically (the rage because its the only really valid method of comping players) BUT this debate is infield as a TEAM and the Reds of the BRM were as a group dynamically balanced - far moreso than the Yanks. The Reds had a great leadoff hitter, great to very good defense defense at every spot, a true slugger in the catching spot, a rarity, one of the greatest all around players in the game in Morgan, a consistent power hitting first sacker in Perez who could hit in either the 3rd, 4th or 5th spot equally well, and a SS whose glove was a full class ahead of Jeter and whose bat was good enough not to be a liability, especially in light of the teammates who surrounded him in that infield. I would contend that the Reds had the speed, defense and overall "balance" to outplay the Yanks infield, while being very close offensively with an edge in that department overall to the Yanks. Very important, too, is a look at the era each team is in - for their era the Reds infield was a devastating offensive force on par with the Yanks in their era or perhaps even better.

As an individual, seperate from his teammates, I, too, would take ARod over Rose, and in a very close decision, Tex over Perez. Otherwise I'd keep Concepcion over Jeter (sorry, defense at SS trumps hitting, guess I'm just old school), and Morgan and Bench over their counterparts in a cakewalk.

TRF
02-25-2010, 04:52 PM
If you want to throw Reds teams out there, the '99 team may have been the Reds best team defensively.

George Anderson
02-25-2010, 04:57 PM
If you want to throw Reds teams out there, the '99 team may have been the Reds best team defensively.

Better than the BRM with GG winners up the middle??

westofyou
02-25-2010, 05:01 PM
Better than the BRM with GG winners up the middle??

No, and probably not better than the 1939 team either.

icehole3
02-25-2010, 05:27 PM
Pete and Doggie were winners, clutch hitting should be involved, game on the line I take Pete, Doggie and Little Joe over any of the Yankees, Davey was like a Globetrotter playing SS IMO he kills Jeter defensively, I'll go Jeter with the bat, catcher Bench was a trend setter, a guy who changed the game catcher wise, Pete deserves much much more credit for his leadership and being such a clutch game changer, now Im done because this subject is to emotional for me.

RedsBaron
02-25-2010, 05:42 PM
If you include catcher as part of the infield the 1934 Tigers had a good group (BA/OBP/SLG):
C-Mickey Cochrane---.320/.428/.412
1B-Hank Greenberg---.339/.404/.600
2B-Charlie Gehringer--.356/.450/.517
SS-Billy Rogell--------.296/.374/.392
3B-Marv Owen-------.317/.385/.451
Cochrane, Greenberg and Gehringer are all in the Hall of Fame.
Greenberg, Gehringer and Rogell all had 100 or more RBI, while Owen had 96 (Cochrane had 76).

Eric_the_Red
02-25-2010, 06:04 PM
Put ARod on the BRM, and Pete on the current NYY. Which team's W/L record improves, and which declines? Or, do they remain the same?

camisadelgolf
02-25-2010, 06:12 PM
Put ARod on the BRM, and Pete on the current NYY. Which team's W/L record improves, and which declines? Or, do they remain the same?
Does that include the playoffs? :D

TRF
02-25-2010, 06:47 PM
well, for me, Pokey Reese was the best defensive 2B i have ever seen. Larkin was pretty good at SS too. defensively, i'd put the 99 SS/2B a nick ahead of the 75 version.

Offensively it's close. But Joe was a beast at the plate, much better than Barry was by then. Pokey and Davey are probably a wash adjusted for era's. '99 was a pretty good IF.

westofyou
02-25-2010, 07:00 PM
well, for me, Pokey Reese was the best defensive 2B i have ever seen. Larkin was pretty good at SS too. defensively, i'd put the 99 SS/2B a nick ahead of the 75 version.

Offensively it's close. But Joe was a beast at the plate, much better than Barry was by then. Pokey and Davey are probably a wash adjusted for era's. '99 was a pretty good IF.

It's no contest, the 1975 team was worlds better, they made more DP's more assists, on a team that allowed way fewer runs, had way fewer K's and made way less errors than the league average.

Eyes are nice, but this one is a slam dunk, look at their fielding numbers vs the league.

TRF
02-26-2010, 01:38 AM
It's no contest, the 1975 team was worlds better, they made more DP's more assists, on a team that allowed way fewer runs, had way fewer K's and made way less errors than the league average.

Eyes are nice, but this one is a slam dunk, look at their fielding numbers vs the league.

I don't doubt the numbers at all. But I was 7 in '75, 22 in '90 and 31 in '99. That '99 team brought me back to baseball, and Pokey Reese was a big reason why. amazing defender, incredible range and a great arm. I'd have paid to watch him field.

Nasty_Boy
02-26-2010, 01:48 AM
Pete and Doggie were winners, clutch hitting should be involved, game on the line I take Pete, Doggie and Little Joe over any of the Yankees, Davey was like a Globetrotter playing SS IMO he kills Jeter defensively, I'll go Jeter with the bat, catcher Bench was a trend setter, a guy who changed the game catcher wise, Pete deserves much much more credit for his leadership and being such a clutch game changer, now Im done because this subject is to emotional for me.

I couldn't disagree with this more, but its your opinion. Im not a big fan of isolating a guys ABs to a possible situation in the 8th or 9th inning. And I've seen Arod and Jeter have plenty of big big clutch hits. And isn't Jeter know even more for his leadership than Rose? I can't stand Jeter and I loathe the Yankees, but I think this is a pretty tough comparison. I do know that out of all the players listed, Mr. Rodriguez is the best.

And how did Jeter compare to Davey defensively while in his prime? I know Jeter isn't much now, but 6-8 years ago I thought he was pretty good... just not sure of the numbers.

919191
02-26-2010, 03:26 AM
As far as Tex vs Perez, if either Perez played in the more hitter-friendly present rather than in more of a lower offensive output era, or Tex playes then and now, do you all think their stats might have been a bit more similar?

RedsBaron
02-26-2010, 07:41 AM
One advantage the Reds infield, and the Big Red Machine as a whole, was versatility. I mentioned the Philadelphia A's "$100,000" infield of the 1910s earlier. If the 1975-76 Reds had to play those A's, under the conditions of the deadball era, the Reds should have done quite well. The deadball era placed a premuim on base stealing and one run strategies. The BRM, with its speed, high percentage base stealers, and high on-base percentage hitters, should be good under those conditions. Place the BRM in the modern area of smaller ballparks that put a premium on home run hitting and Morgan-Bench-Perez-Foster and company should hold their own. The Reds speed was most helpful during the era of artificial turf and big outfields of the 1970s, but speed never hurts during any era.

westofyou
02-26-2010, 10:22 AM
I don't doubt the numbers at all. But I was 7 in '75, 22 in '90 and 31 in '99. That '99 team brought me back to baseball, and Pokey Reese was a big reason why. amazing defender, incredible range and a great arm. I'd have paid to watch him field.

The 99 however vs the league the 99 team might have had bigger impact, but that team was a tear in a salted sea, the 75 team was there for awhile so they honed their craft.

As for Pokey if you where paying to see him play chances are defense is the only thing he was selling that day.

TRF
02-26-2010, 11:41 AM
The 99 however vs the league the 99 team might have had bigger impact, but that team was a tear in a salted sea, the 75 team was there for awhile so they honed their craft.

As for Pokey if you where paying to see him play chances are defense is the only thing he was selling that day.

too true on Pokey. 99 was his high water mark offensively. He kinda bought into the hype that he was an elite player. defender, yes, player, no.

but he was damn fun to watch.

My memories of the BRM are pretty dim, and likely replaced with footage rather than actual memories. I know they were great, i just don't remember them being great. I remember '90, and '99. '95 I remember, but i was not paying attention. Just got married the year before, just bought a house. '99 brought me back to the game, and a young Casey and Pokey revitalized my interest.

gm
02-27-2010, 01:26 AM
1955 Dodgers ain't shabby

1st- Hodges
2nd - Gilliam
SS - Reese
3rd - Robinson
C- Campy

Before my time, but I've heard these guys were pretty good.

1b- Bill White
2b- Juian Javier
ss- Dick Groat
3b- Clete Boyer

Of course the catchers were McCarver and Uecker--you can't have everything

RedsBaron
02-27-2010, 08:30 AM
Before my time, but I've heard these guys were pretty good.

1b- Bill White
2b- Juian Javier
ss- Dick Groat
3b- Clete Boyer

Of course the catchers were McCarver and Uecker--you can't have everything
The 1963-65 Cardinals infield had Ken Boyer as their third baseman, not his little brother Clete. All four (White, Javier, Groat and Ken Boyer) were on the 1963 NL All Star team. The next season the Cardinals won the World Series and Boyer was named NL MVP after leading the majors with 119 RBI. Ranked by Bill James as the 12th greatest third baseman ever, Ken Boyer should be in the Hall of Fame.