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View Full Version : Larkin vs. Ozzie vs. Jeter - it's WAR



RedsManRick
12-29-2010, 07:05 PM
Thought this was quite interesting:
http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=335&playerid3=826&playerid4=1012186&playerid5=

For the uninitiated, WAR (Wins Above Replacement) is a comprehensive measure of production above that of a replacement level player (a AAAA type guy). It is a counting stat (like HR or RBI, as opposed to AVG or OBP) which incorporates offense and defense and adjustments for position to put all position players on the same scale. As a general scale, 1 WAR = decent bench guy, 2 WAR = average starter, 4 WAR = All-star, 6 WAR = MVP candidate, 8+ WAR = Best season in baseball

For more info, see http://saberlibrary.com/misc/war/

Graph 1 (nth best season): The players' best seasons in order from left to right. Their best season is the first data point, second best season is the next one, etc. This is useful for comparing peak performance (best seasons) and longevity (how long they stayed good). Occasional RZ poster and former Reds blogger Jinaz has produced a version of this which shows a standard "HOF" version of this. It basically looks like a gray band which encompasses these three guys and says "if your career looks like this, you deserve to be the in HOF".

Graph 2 (Cumulative WAR by age): A running total of how much WAR the player has accumulated over time. Helpful for projecting if a guy is on a "hall of fame" pace.

Graph 3 (Age): The WAR value of each season for each player, by age. This can best be understood by imagining a smooth curve which approximates each colored scraggly line. Think of this as their career arc -- when they got good, when they peaked, when they tanked.

http://www.fangraphs.com/graphs/335_826_1012186__sgraph_%20_12_29_2010.png
http://www.fangraphs.com/graphs/335_826_1012186__ograph_%20_12_29_2010.png
http://www.fangraphs.com/graphs/335_826_1012186__agraph_%20_12_29_2010.png

George Anderson
12-29-2010, 07:27 PM
So for a guy who has no clue what WAR is, just what do these graphs show in a nutshell?

Mario-Rijo
12-29-2010, 07:32 PM
So for a guy who has no clue what WAR is, just what do these graphs show in a nutshell?

I don't either but just with my eye I can tell you who the best of those 3 were. Larkin slimly over Jeter and much better than Ozzie (or since it is a WAR argument more valuable). If it's not then clearly WAR is still a work in progress.

Brutus
12-29-2010, 07:33 PM
So for a guy who has no clue what WAR is, just what do these graphs show in a nutshell?

They're basically wins above replacement player (calculated with defense and batting combined) for each player by individual season then by age. The first graph is showing WAR in the players' best seasons, then second best seasons, third best, etc.; the second graph is showing WAR at each age level.

At first glance, the three seem to be pretty even (though if adjusted for era, Jeter would be pegged a bit because he plays in a more offensive-minded time period).

Red in Chicago
12-29-2010, 08:56 PM
Maybe it's just that I don't like Ozzie, but Larks career OPS was .815, while Ozzie's was .694. Smith may have had an edge with the glove, but my eyes don't recall it being THAT much better. Does WAR give too much credit for defense?

Red Leader
12-29-2010, 09:18 PM
Can the offensive and defensive components that make up the total yearly WAR be shown? That'd be a good way to see how much of an advantage one had over the other two at the plate and how much one had over the other two in the field. It would also be interesting to see, late in their careers, which component declined faster, the bat or the glove.

Thanks for providing these graphs, RedsManRick. Very interesting stuff.

RedsManRick
12-29-2010, 09:34 PM
Can the offensive and defensive components that make up the total yearly WAR be shown? That'd be a good way to see how much of an advantage one had over the other two at the plate and how much one had over the other two in the field. It would also be interesting to see, late in their careers, which component declined faster, the bat or the glove.

Thanks for providing these graphs, RedsManRick. Very interesting stuff.

Fangraphs does not currently provide that in graphical form-- and it would be pretty messy. Suffice it to say that:

- Ozzie is a bunch of defense and a little offense (~31 offense, 38 defense)
- Larkin is a mix of offense and defense (~57 offense, 13 defense)
- Jeter was a bunch of offense and little defense (~73 offense, -1 defense)

Keep in mind that overall, position players' production tends to be about 75% offense and 25% defense, so Ozzie and Jeter are pretty extreme examples of how you get to be a HOF at the SS position. What makes Larkin so special is that few people in major league history have been above average defenders at SS while still being elite offensive producers. More often, they lean heavily in one direction or the other.

oneupper
12-29-2010, 09:37 PM
How does Dave Concepción rank with these three?

mbgrayson
12-29-2010, 10:02 PM
How does Dave Concepción rank with these three?

You can go to the link that RMR posted above (http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=335&playerid3=826&playerid4=1012186&playerid5=), and add Concepcion into the same comparison. His cumulative WAR is in the low to mid 40s, way below the other three. See this link.... (http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=335&playerid3=826&playerid4=1012186&playerid5=1002494)

I think many HOF ballots also factor in things like winning championships, which gives Davey more of an edge. Still, on the basis of WAR, he doesn't score with the other three mentioned here.

Mario-Rijo
12-29-2010, 10:07 PM
Fangraphs does not currently provide that in graphical form-- and it would be pretty messy. Suffice it to say that:

- Ozzie is a bunch of defense and a little offense (~31 offense, 38 defense)
- Larkin is a mix of offense and defense (~57 offense, 13 defense)
- Jeter was a bunch of offense and little defense (~73 offense, -1 defense)

Keep in mind that overall, position players' production tends to be about 75% offense and 25% defense, so Ozzie and Jeter are pretty extreme examples of how you get to be a HOF at the SS position. What makes Larkin so special is that few people in major league history have been above average defenders at SS while still being elite offensive producers. More often, they lean heavily in one direction or the other.

None of the above (bolded) seems accurate from what I saw with my own eyes. Ozzie was clearly the most elite defender I have ever seen at the position, however Barry Larkin was a close 2nd IMO. The only thing Ozzie seemed to have on Barry was range and Barry had tremendous range himself. Additionally although Jeter isn't special at the position I find it hard to believe he has been just below average as this seems to indicate. His range has always been so/so at best but beyond that I never thought the guy was poor in any way. The offense OTOH is reasonably close to what I expected to see. Which begs the question, how much further do we have to go to get a better indicator of success on the defensive side of the ball?

Red Leader
12-29-2010, 10:55 PM
Fangraphs does not currently provide that in graphical form-- and it would be pretty messy. Suffice it to say that:

- Ozzie is a bunch of defense and a little offense (~31 offense, 38 defense)
- Larkin is a mix of offense and defense (~57 offense, 13 defense)
- Jeter was a bunch of offense and little defense (~73 offense, -1 defense)

Keep in mind that overall, position players' production tends to be about 75% offense and 25% defense, so Ozzie and Jeter are pretty extreme examples of how you get to be a HOF at the SS position. What makes Larkin so special is that few people in major league history have been above average defenders at SS while still being elite offensive producers. More often, they lean heavily in one direction or the other.

Thanks for the response, RMR. I may play around with the links you provided to answer some more questions I have. For example, I'm interested to see how A-Rod's first 7-8 years in the league (when he was a SS) compare to these three. I'd guess he'd be ahead of them offensively and ahead of Jeter defensively, maybe a tick below Larkin.

RedsManRick
12-29-2010, 10:58 PM
None of the above (bolded) seems accurate from what I saw with my own eyes. Ozzie was clearly the most elite defender I have ever seen at the position, however Barry Larkin was a close 2nd IMO. The only thing Ozzie seemed to have on Barry was range and Barry had tremendous range himself. Additionally although Jeter isn't special at the position I find it hard to believe he has been just below average as this seems to indicate. His range has always been so/so at best but beyond that I never thought the guy was poor in any way. The offense OTOH is reasonably close to what I expected to see. Which begs the question, how much further do we have to go to get a better indicator of success on the defensive side of the ball?

Keep in mind, this includes the decline phases of their respective careers. 13 wins is ~130 runs -- that's a lot.

With Barry, it's important to remember that he played injured quite a bit. While his peak skill was awesome, our memories aren't good at properly weighting things. We give way more weight to the extremes than they deserve in reality and so we're going to discount those times when he wasn't 100%.

Red Leader
12-29-2010, 10:59 PM
Woh!! I just did that. I would welcome people to go to that site and do it, too. That really puts into perspective what a tremendous talent A-Rod is. He's off the freaking charts above Jeter, Larkin and Ozzie so far in his career.

Mario-Rijo
12-29-2010, 11:01 PM
Woh!! I just did that. I would welcome people to go to that site and do it, too. That really puts into perspective what a tremendous talent A-Rod is. He's off the freaking charts above Jeter, Larkin and Ozzie so far in his career.

Yeah that power is a big difference maker.

Red Leader
12-29-2010, 11:08 PM
Surprised to see that Cal Ripken grades out higher than these three as well. Many people remember Cal for his longevity and for breaking the consecutive games played streak. I think many, including me, forget how great of a SS he really was. I think the last 4-5 years of his career are what blinded my recollection of Cal, as he really struggled those last few years.

George Anderson
12-29-2010, 11:37 PM
It appears to me as a "WAR" newbie that Alan Trammell compares neck and neck with the others.

http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=335&playerid3=826&playerid4=1012186&playerid5=1013157

kaldaniels
12-30-2010, 12:02 AM
None of the above (bolded) seems accurate from what I saw with my own eyes. Ozzie was clearly the most elite defender I have ever seen at the position, however Barry Larkin was a close 2nd IMO. The only thing Ozzie seemed to have on Barry was range and Barry had tremendous range himself. Additionally although Jeter isn't special at the position I find it hard to believe he has been just below average as this seems to indicate. His range has always been so/so at best but beyond that I never thought the guy was poor in any way. The offense OTOH is reasonably close to what I expected to see. Which begs the question, how much further do we have to go to get a better indicator of success on the defensive side of the ball?

For those with enough data/memory to evaluate both, how does Janish compare to Larkin defensively, I gotta ask.

TheNext44
12-30-2010, 12:04 AM
Just curioulsy, how can they figure WAR on players who played before UZR was invented?

mth123
12-30-2010, 12:41 AM
For those with enough data/memory to evaluate both, how does Janish compare to Larkin defensively, I gotta ask.

Janish is solid and but seems spectacular to fans who spent a decade watching a declining Larkin, Felipe Lopez, Rich Aurilia and Jeff Keppinger.

Larkin was spectacular but only seemed solid to the fans who spent 15+ years watching Dave Concepcion be even more spectacular.

Mario-Rijo
12-30-2010, 01:29 AM
For those with enough data/memory to evaluate both, how does Janish compare to Larkin defensively, I gotta ask.

No comparison, except arm strength fairly close there from what I recall. I'd say BP at 2nd is eerily similiar to Larkin at SS. Great range, above average arms, excellent instincts. Larkin a more fluid athlete. But here's the thing, Larkin played on Astroturf which as we all know makes getting to the ball much tougher due to the velocity the ball picks up as opposed to grass. If I could equate SS's to Larkin I'd have to think Jimmy Rollins is a pretty good comp, though it seems to me Lark was a bit more dependable on routine plays but maybe that is just form watching Lark alot as opposed to my much smaller sample of Rollins.

RedsManRick
12-30-2010, 01:30 AM
Just curioulsy, how can they figure WAR on players who played before UZR was invented?

It uses TotalZone, an estimation from retrosheet. WAR should always be taken as a "best estimate" rather than absolute truth, and that's only doubly so for those players from way back. That said, when you start digging around, it tends to pass the sniff test with flying colors.

Mario-Rijo
12-30-2010, 01:30 AM
Janish is solid and but seems spectacular to fans who spent a decade watching a declining Larkin, Felipe Lopez, Rich Aurilia and Jeff Keppinger.

Larkin was spectacular but only seemed solid to the fans who spent 15+ years watching Dave Concepcion be even more spectacular.

Concepcion must have been other worldly.

TheNext44
12-30-2010, 01:49 AM
It uses TotalZone, an estimation from retrosheet. WAR should always be taken as a "best estimate" rather than absolute truth, and that's only doubly so for those players from way back. That said, when you start digging around, it tends to pass the sniff test with flying colors.

Thanks. :)

That's why I was curious, because it does seem to be surprisingly accurate based on my memory of seeing these guys play.

I saw Ozzie play, almost as often as I saw Larkin play, and I can tell you he was easily the greatest defensive SS of his time. Larkin was a true GG at SS, but I hate admit, he wasn't anywhere nearly as gifted as Ozzie.

Ozzie made the spectacular routine, literally. It got to point where you were surprised when a ball actually made it out of the infield that was hit towards him. You evenentually stopped asking what can he do to top that, and just started to expect that he would.

The stats on Fangraphs show this. During the heart of his career, Larkin provided around 3.5 runs on offense above replacement. Concepcion around 5.2. Ozzie, according to Fangraphs, provided around 14.2 runs. Those numbers, however astounding, mirror my recollections of seeing these guys play.

Ozzie was in a class by himself. I know it's sacrilegious to say it as a Reds fan, but it's true.

oneupper
12-30-2010, 09:04 AM
You can go to the link that RMR posted above (http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=335&playerid3=826&playerid4=1012186&playerid5=), and add Concepcion into the same comparison. His cumulative WAR is in the low to mid 40s, way below the other three. See this link.... (http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=335&playerid3=826&playerid4=1012186&playerid5=1002494)

I think many HOF ballots also factor in things like winning championships, which gives Davey more of an edge. Still, on the basis of WAR, he doesn't score with the other three mentioned here.

Thanks. Very cool. Davey was up with those guys until he hit age 32-33. Still, nice career.

bucksfan2
12-30-2010, 09:35 AM
When I read the topic I figured Ozzie would rank higher than he should because of the defensive component in WAR. For my money I would take Larkin over the 3. Its a little bias but I think he was a better overall player than the two. It would be close between Larkin and Jeter with Ozzie a distant 3rd.

Red Leader
12-30-2010, 11:54 AM
Thanks. :)

I saw Ozzie play, almost as often as I saw Larkin play, and I can tell you he was easily the greatest defensive SS of his time. Larkin was a true GG at SS, but I hate admit, he wasn't anywhere nearly as gifted as Ozzie.

Ozzie made the spectacular routine, literally. It got to point where you were surprised when a ball actually made it out of the infield that was hit towards him. You evenentually stopped asking what can he do to top that, and just started to expect that he would.

Ozzie was in a class by himself. I know it's sacrilegious to say it as a Reds fan, but it's true.

Completely agree. I recently watched a video in preparing to coach my son's team this year. Ozzie is discussing infield play and teaching fundamentals. He covers all of the fundamentals and what made him a great SS. He said that he took at least 200 ground balls a day, and more often than not took upwards of 500, 1000, or even 2000 a day. He said that he has taken so many ground balls that he knows exactly where he is on the diamond at all times. He explained that the reason he did this was so that he could field the ball, look at a runner on 3rd to freeze him, and throw to 1B without taking his eyes off the runner on 3rd (throwing to 1B without even looking where the base was). He then demonstrated it. He did it 25+ times and made a perfect throw to 1B every time. He then switched and did the same thing to 2B on feeds for a double play, perfect feeds every time. I'm not exaggerating when I say that they were perfect throws...the throws to 1B were letter high and center of the first baseman's chest. The feeds to 2B were all exactly where the second baseman (Harold Reynolds in this case) told him he wanted them (center of the back of the bag, inside the bag, etc). It was simply amazing. I was a catcher, so maybe that's why I'm more amazed with this than some others, but I can only imagine how many hours it took him to get this perfected. I don't think there has ever been or ever will be a better defensive SS than Ozzie Smith, and I don't think the next best SS is very close.

Puffy
12-30-2010, 12:33 PM
Doesn't this beg the question - Ozzie was a first ballot hall of famer. Jeter is a lock to be a first ballot hall of famer. Yet Larkin is not.......

Homer Bailey
12-30-2010, 01:00 PM
Doesn't this beg the question - Ozzie was a first ballot hall of famer. Jeter is a lock to be a first ballot hall of famer. Yet Larkin is not.......

http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/books-on-politics/17-7.jpg

mth123
12-30-2010, 01:08 PM
Doesn't this beg the question - Ozzie was a first ballot hall of famer. Jeter is a lock to be a first ballot hall of famer. Yet Larkin is not.......

Not really politics, but sometimes having one ungodly skill stands-out more in a voters mind than have very good skills accross the board. Larkin was a great defender IMO, but he wasn't the defender Smith was as much as we like to object. Larkin was a very good hitter, but he wasn't the guy Jeter was.

Larkin is a HOF IMO and ranks pretty well with all SS overall, but those factors combined with less post-season exposure and some durability issues making his counting stats pretty ordinary and I see how the voters can lose him in the shuffle.

klw
12-30-2010, 01:36 PM
Larkin and Jeter meet Rose and Molitor
http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=1011217&playerid3=826&playerid4=1009040&playerid5=335

RedsManRick
12-30-2010, 03:08 PM
Larkin and Jeter meet Rose and Molitor
http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=1011217&playerid3=826&playerid4=1009040&playerid5=335

Really tells Pete's story as a player, doesn't it? Consistent great player, but hung on for about 7 years as a replacement level player.

mbgrayson
12-30-2010, 03:22 PM
And while we're on a WAR frenzy, here is Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Tony Perez: http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=1011217&playerid3=1000826&playerid4=1009179&playerid5=1010188

westofyou
12-30-2010, 03:35 PM
http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=1002378&playerid3=1008315&playerid4=1109&playerid5=1000001

camisadelgolf
12-30-2010, 03:46 PM
http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=1002378&playerid3=1008315&playerid4=1109&playerid5=1000001
Why does Mays have a dotted line in the age graph?

Red in Chicago
12-30-2010, 03:51 PM
Why does Mays have a dotted line in the age graph?

Probably because he didn't play because of the military?

REDREAD
12-30-2010, 04:15 PM
I don't either but just with my eye I can tell you who the best of those 3 were. Larkin slimly over Jeter and much better than Ozzie (or since it is a WAR argument more valuable). If it's not then clearly WAR is still a work in progress.

Yep, this is another piece of evidence to me that WAR overvalues defense on whatever metrics they are using. The idea that Ozzie's best season was better than any season Larkin ever had is absurd.

RedsBaron
12-30-2010, 04:17 PM
http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=1002378&playerid3=1008315&playerid4=1109&playerid5=1000001

That graph illustrates how, er, "unusual" Barry Bonds's career path was. For most of his career he bounced around generally in the vincinity of Hank Aaron at the same age, slightly below the standard of Willie Mays. Nothing wrong with that; if you are close to the WAR of Aaron or Mays you are terrific.
At ages 36 through 39, ages when even many great players are essentially done, Bonds suddenly became much greater than he had ever been, greater than Aaron or Mays had been in their prime.
Hmmm....I wonder what could have happened?

westofyou
12-30-2010, 04:20 PM
Probably because he didn't play because of the military?

Yep

George Anderson
12-30-2010, 04:42 PM
Probably because he didn't play because of the military?

On the subject of military, check out Teddy Baseball and look at the peak years he lost to the war. It is scary what his career numbers would have been if he did not serve in WWII and Korea.

http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=1014040&playerid3=826&playerid4=1012186&playerid5=

Ron Madden
12-30-2010, 04:48 PM
On the subject of military, check out Teddy Baseball and look at the peak years he lost to the war. It is scary what his career numbers would have been if he did not serve in WWII.


He aslo served in korea.

Red in Chicago
12-30-2010, 04:48 PM
On the subject of military, check out Teddy Baseball and look at the peak years he lost to the war. It is scary what his career numbers would have been if he did not serve in WWII.

http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=1014040&playerid3=826&playerid4=1012186&playerid5=

The Yankee Clipper lost some good years too.

George Anderson
12-30-2010, 04:49 PM
He aslo served in korea.

oops.....I musta missed that day of school.

Ron Madden
12-30-2010, 05:05 PM
oops.....I musta missed that day of school.

Yep, he missed parts of the 1952 & 1953 seasons serving in Korea. He was sent back to the states after a crash landing in 1953.

George Anderson
12-30-2010, 05:12 PM
Yep, he missed parts of the 1952 & 1953 seasons serving in Korea. He was sent back to the states after a crash landing in 1953.

Williams missed 5 seasons during his prime but still had 521 career HR's. Had he played those 5 seasons it is safe to say he would have put up a strong run at Ruth's 714.

Patrick Bateman
12-30-2010, 05:29 PM
Yep, this is another piece of evidence to me that WAR overvalues defense on whatever metrics they are using. The idea that Ozzie's best season was better than any season Larkin ever had is absurd.

I don't think you understand what evidence is.

TheNext44
12-30-2010, 05:30 PM
Recently passed Bob Feller lost his prime years to the Navy in WWII, too. When asked about it, he said he had no regrets, he wouldn't trade kicking the Japanese "butts" for anything. Those were his proudest years of his life.

kpresidente
12-30-2010, 05:33 PM
Recently passed Bob Feller lost his prime years to the Navy in WWII, too. When asked about it, he said he had no regrets, he wouldn't trade kicking the Japanese "butts" for anything. Those were his proudest years of his life.

Today they'd call him a racist for saying something like that.

RedsManRick
12-30-2010, 05:52 PM
Yep, this is another piece of evidence to me that WAR overvalues defense on whatever metrics they are using. The idea that Ozzie's best season was better than any season Larkin ever had is absurd.

That's a very compelling argument clearly supported by facts. Oh wait. It's not.

I really love the "data can only be right if it confirms my existing beliefs" point of view.

westofyou
12-30-2010, 08:29 PM
Battle of the leather.

http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=411&playerid3=1012186&playerid4=1008316&playerid5=1000335

kaldaniels
12-30-2010, 09:35 PM
I love watching replays of Ozzie hitting a home run...just slaps it right down the foul line. Cracks me up for some reason.

westofyou
12-30-2010, 09:38 PM
I love watching replays of Ozzie hitting a home run...just slaps it right down the foul line. Cracks me up for some reason.

First time I ever went to Wrigley Ozzie went 5-6, it was the awesome.

kaldaniels
12-30-2010, 10:00 PM
I love watching replays of Ozzie hitting a home run...just slaps it right down the foul line. Cracks me up for some reason.

bucksfan2
12-30-2010, 11:12 PM
That's a very compelling argument clearly supported by facts. Oh wait. It's not.

I really love the "data can only be right if it confirms my existing beliefs" point of view.

The reality is that there is no good defensive metric readily available. IMO the difference between Larkin and Ozzie defensively is not nearly as much as the difference between the two offensively. Ozzie may have been the best ever with the glove but Larkin was no sloch either. And when you take into consideration the offensive difference between the two it becomes even larger.

RedsManRick
12-31-2010, 01:29 AM
The reality is that there is no good defensive metric readily available. IMO the difference between Larkin and Ozzie defensively is not nearly as much as the difference between the two offensively. Ozzie may have been the best ever with the glove but Larkin was no sloch either. And when you take into consideration the offensive difference between the two it becomes even larger.

Well, when you're talking about quite possibly the greatest defender, period, in the history of the sport.

I'm not saying that WAR is perfect or that it shouldn't be questioned. I just can't stand the out of hand dismissals, as if intuition was somehow a more reliable estimate.

bucksfan2
12-31-2010, 09:39 AM
Well, when you're talking about quite possibly the greatest defender, period, in the history of the sport.

I'm not saying that WAR is perfect or that it shouldn't be questioned. I just can't stand the out of hand dismissals, as if intuition was somehow a more reliable estimate.

Ozzie very well may have been the greatest defensive SS in the history of the sport but that is not really my point. What I am wondering is whats the difference between Ozzie and Barry? One ball/play every month? Its not like we are talking Ozzie and Keppinger we are talking about two great and athletic SS's.

WAR has been trotted out lately as the end all be all stat. Its nice fodder for debate but it has its holes, some serious holes if you ask me. And that huge hole is defensive metrics and how to measure them and how to weight them. If someone were to say that Ozzie's WAR may be skewed because of an inaccurate defensive metric there is a lot of truth in that.

klw
01-06-2011, 07:44 AM
Larkin v Alomar
http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=335&playerid3=860&playerid4=&playerid5=

Cyclone792
01-06-2011, 10:20 AM
This was touched on four to five years ago. ;)

Larkin vs. other SS: http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42221

Larkin vs. Alomar: http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1225355&postcount=44

Larkin vs. Jeter had gotten interesting in recent years, and it looked like through 2009 that Jeter may have indeed slid on by Barry. But Jeter's 2010 season stunk, and if 2010 is the beginning of the inevitable decline for Jeter, then the overall career and peak comparisons for Larkin and Jeter will be very interesting.

Larkin is a slam dunk case to me for the Hall. Unfortunately, the BBWAA voters haven't figured that out yet. But I'm liking the chances for 2012 based on no worthy newcomers hitting the ballot.

osuceltic
01-06-2011, 11:17 AM
One big thing lost in the comparisons between Larkin and Jeter is durability. Larkin missed a lot of games with injuries, while Jeter has been a rock. You can argue it isn't Larkin's fault, but it's reality.

RedsManRick
01-06-2011, 11:49 AM
One big thing lost in the comparisons between Larkin and Jeter is durability. Larkin missed a lot of games with injuries, while Jeter has been a rock. You can argue it isn't Larkin's fault, but it's reality.

Of course it's reality. Has anybody discounted that?

Aggregate measures of production, such as WAR, account for playing time discrepency. Larkin has played a fair bit less than Jeter (Larkin played 17554.2 defensive innings and had 9,057 PA, Jeter has had 19,744 & 10.548 respectively) and yet their total value is virtually identical. This suggests Larkin was actually the better player on a per opportunity basis.

Here's a question: If one guy hits 500 homers in 15 seasons and another guy hits 500 homers in 20 seasons, which guy was better?

But it really is beside the point. Both guys are among the greatest SS in major league history and are deserving of HOF enshrinement without question.

Hoosier Red
01-06-2011, 02:40 PM
Ozzie very well may have been the greatest defensive SS in the history of the sport but that is not really my point. What I am wondering is whats the difference between Ozzie and Barry? One ball/play every month? Its not like we are talking Ozzie and Keppinger we are talking about two great and athletic SS's.

WAR has been trotted out lately as the end all be all stat. Its nice fodder for debate but it has its holes, some serious holes if you ask me. And that huge hole is defensive metrics and how to measure them and how to weight them. If someone were to say that Ozzie's WAR may be skewed because of an inaccurate defensive metric there is a lot of truth in that.

I think something RMR said in another thread bears repeating.


Alternately, become comfortable with the idea that the numbers are just best guesses and include an unstated range of uncertainty. I like to assume a 0.5 WAR confidence internal on either side of the listed WAR figure. Occasionally, I forget this and argue with a bit too much implied certainty using WAR. But I stick to my belief that while it's not perfect, it's still the best we've got right now.

You may well be correct in saying that it has holes. But as compared to what? Compared to what you believe? Compared to a better figure?

I think at a certain level it makes sense to simply say, "this is more accurate than what I could come up with and accept that the numbers are not perfect but they're the best we can do."

pedro
01-06-2011, 03:04 PM
First time I ever went to Wrigley Ozzie went 5-6, it was the awesome.

4 doubles IIRC.