Re: Scott Freaking Rolen
Good post Santo, and I agree with you about Rolen.
I think the problem a lot of stats minded fans have with giving a player "extra credit" for contributions that cannot be statistically measured is that it can become an all purpose way to highly rank a player a person likes, regardless of the facts, i.e., 'ole Joe only hit .245 but he hustles and is a "holler guy" who inspires the team, that kind of thing.
I'm reminded of something Jayson Stark wrote in his book "The Stark Truth" about Pete Rose: "The energy emanating from Pete Rose, the baseball player, was so overpowering, you could have plugged every TV in America into his uniform. His numbers probably suggest he was overrated by the time he got to Philadelphia. But I saw, with my personal ocular lenses, that this man had a quality underestimated by any numbers. Anyone who thinks it's a coincidence that the 1980 Phillies won the only World Series in franchise history (the book was published in 2007) after Rose showed up must also think it's a coincidence that cars always stop when the light turns red. Pete Rose lifted that team to a different level-in the standings, in October, and in their heads. Don't tell me I hallucinated that. I saw it." I can recall the 1980 Phillies, and the effect Rose had on Mike Schmidt, and Stark is correct (In the same book Stark ranked Rolen as the fifth most underrated third baseman of all time).
In in his "New Bill James Histroical Baseball Abstract," Bill James recognized that leadership can be "real and sometimes significant" even if it cannot be statistically measured, and listed the following players who should be given credit for their leadership skills: Joe DiMaggio, Ken Boyer, Bob Gibson, Carlton Fisk, George Brett, Hal McRae, Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan (I don't know how James left Jackie Robinson, Frank Robinson and Tony Perez off that list).
"Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."