The JD Drew Hall of Fame discussion continues.

Look, I know that I beat the “subject” of JD Drew into the ground, but I believe it is of baseball importance to do so.

But I just can’t get past the thought of some, and by some, I mean Rob Neyer and crew, advocating that JD Drew may become enshrined into Cooperstown, beside Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, among others.

Seriously, this debate has crossed my mind numerous times ever since I discovered the career ‘WAR’ numbers.

And those numbers suggest that Drew has an outside chance at gaining A LOT of support by the Sabermetric crew.  And that crew is generally very smart, in that they tend to rely on evidence and what they believe in, the numbers.

However, if JD Drew accumulates, say, 3.0 ‘WAR’ a season, on average, for the next six years.  Then he will end up with about 62 total wins.  And that, my friends, is McGwire and Raines territory.

Now, with much evidence against Drew’s body actually holding up as he ages, we of course do not know if he will be able to average 3.0 ‘WAR’.  Or for that matter, even be able to play another six seasons of 120-130 games a season.

And even if he plays, it is far from certain that he can average a 3.0 ‘WAR,’ although it is far from out of the question too.

But the fact is, Drew has 44 ‘Wins above replacement’ at this point in his career.  That is a fact.

Now, less factual of course, is what that actually means.  Many, including myself, feel it does mean a heck of a lot.  And that number suggests that Drew has probably been underrated by many throughout his actual career, rather than his theoretical career.  And by “theoretical,” I am referring to the one that many envisioned him as having.  You know, 40 bombs a year, .3oo average, plate discipline that rivals the best to ever play, good defense, sufficient arm, etc, etc, etc.

But Drew didn’t turn out like that.  He turned out to be a guy that does have some of the best plate discipline in the game, however probably not historically great — although that is not a fact by any means.  He hits 20-25 homers, and doesn’t bat .300.  Of course, his defense is well above-average at a corner spot in the outfield.

Many stat-guys might actually think more of him than I though.  Because, well, the subjective is not present.  Even from an expert standpoint, one cannot expect too many games to be seen for each team.  It is is just too difficult to do.  So my subjective nature will inherit somewhat different of an opinion.  I see the guy day in and day out.  I see that, although he is good, he simply is not great.  In my opinion anyway.

But of course, saying “I see him every day” amongst the statistical community is merely unlocking a door to mockery.  Because as I fully understand, seeing a player every day doesn’t really matter much when comparing all players.  And for that reason, my preference would be to adhere to the statistics.

But I JUST CAN”T do it in this particular case, not if those statistics are going to tell me the Hall of Fame should be calling.  No way.

And is it really so wrong, to let my subjective do some of the arguing?  Is it wrong?  No, because that is what makes this game so much fun. The game outside the game.  Some use the “game within the game,” as being what makes baseball so intriguing and complex.  And that too is important to the sport’s greatness.  But the game outside of the game has meaning to me.  And to me that means what goes on outside the lines.  The debating at the “water cooler,” or in my case the beverage station.  And even more so, much more so actually, the debating that happens in between my web cam and my mouse.  If that makes any sense…

So I don’t think Drew is a great player.  Maybe a few years of greatness, but nothing of historical sense.  And nothing even close to being Cooperstown quality.

And know this, I am not using this as an argument for Drew based on Andre Dawson and Jim Rice.  Because they are in, so be it.  If Drew were compared to only the lowest, his case becomes more compelling.  But my standards have nothing to do with Rice.  He shouldn’t be in, not in my opinion anyway.

This however, has everything to do with what kind of Hall of Fame I believe in.  And it should consist of only great players.  I guess it is unrealistic to completely stray away from comparing candidates to those that are enshrined.  But, and there should be a large period at the end of this next statement:  A player must be great to be inducted, PERIOD.

So excuse me if I don’t believe in Drew’s greatness.

Anyhow, we know he won’t gain votes from the Jayson Stark’s of the world.  We know Buster Olney doesn’t think much of JD.  And in this sense, the RF is underrated.  But,  but, there will be guys checking the box next to the name of this fragile outfielder.

And that I cannot say I agree with.

Not at all.

But two “pieces” on this subject have probably exhausted the “subject” already 🙂

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An extended extension: The V-Mart saga.

So I guess since I am a Red Sox fan I should address the Victor Martinez situation…

Look, signing players beyond 30 is always questionable. Luckily, the earlier they are in their 30’s, the less questionable it becomes.

But for example, giving Derek Jeter a 6 year, $100 million contract, would be stupid.  He is turning 36 during this upcoming season.  Never would I ever give a 6 year contract to a 36 year old player.  And frankly, I do not care who the player in question is.  From Albert Pujols to Alex Rodriguez.

But some have, rather seriously if I recall, entertained the idea that Jeter receives a contract of that nature.

But how about if the player we are speaking of is only 31?

Well, the scenario changes drastically.  And because this player, Martinez, is a catcher, his body is less likely to hold up over time.

Regardless, the contract should not even sniff six seasons, nor should it.  Theo will make sure it doesn’t.  Trust me on this.  But that was never considered as it is.

But three years?  Sure, that sounds like a very realistic accusation.  But even so, why should they even worry about it right now?  Martinez, a very solid player, and a very good hitting catcher, isn’t going anywhere until the end of the year.

Maybe the idea of an extension should be entertained, but it should definitely not be “worried” about.

According to ‘WAR,’ which probably knows less about a catchers defense than the average fan :)  According to IT, Martinez has been worth an average of $15 million a season for the past three years.

We know that V-Mart was injured in 2008, and that obviously gave his overall value a huge, huge hit.  So that really shouldn’t be held against him.  However, maybe it should be accounted for.  At such a stressful position, one must account for the injury aspect for a player in his thirties (and definitely the decline).

Would it be wise to extend Martinez for say three years, $45 million?  That would be close to the definition of “paying for past performance.”  But with no real catching option in sight, and the payroll of a bonafide large market team, there may not be a better route.

Victor Martinez is a proven commodity.  No one else in there system is.  Well, except for Jason Varitek.  And aside from the absolute fact that Varitek is worth 5 wins because of his game-calling alone (joking), all he has proven late in his career is that he is finished as an everyday catcher.

Now, like the beginning of last season, they could consider trading away a few prospects for their catcher of the future.  But if they do that, they again would receive somewhat of an unknown.  Not to mention, something would have to be surrendered.

So the way I see it, Martinez could be a very solid guy to sign for the next three years (Although I would prefer only two).  However, I must reiterate, why not wait?  Give the pitchers a full season to work with him behind the plate, and see how they like him.  I have heard mixed reviews about the way Martinez works with pitchers.  Although have heard nothing bad about his character (Which is always a good thing).

But the Red Sox, being able to see if Martinez and his pitchers coexist 60 feet apart for a season, may not be all that bad of an idea.  They can subjectively consider whether or not they do in fact want to guarantee $45 mill in salary to all that is known as Victor Martinez.

And I say “all that is known” because we know he can hit.  He is one of the best hitting catchers in all of baseball.  And five of the past six seasons we know that Martinez has been an extremely good ballplayer.  Not great, but very good.

But anywhere else on the diamond, a veteran player is pretty close to what his statistics will tell you.  But the one exception, is behind the dish.

So would it be smart for the Red Sox to see what they have for at least a few more months before they sign their star catcher?

Seems wise to me…

But what do I know, I am just a blogger…  🙂

Moneyball, the misunderstood.

The other day, an analyst, or expert, whatever one wants to refer to them as.  Well, anyway, this “expert” stated that ‘Moneyball’ wasn’t simply showing us how to find that a slow, un-athletic player that can draw walks has value.  It was showing simply how to find an “undervalued” player.

At the time of course, Scott Hatteberg proved to be undervalued.

Scott Hatteberg would not however, be undervalued in today’s game.

So it isn’t that ‘Moneyball’ doesn’t work anymore, it is simply that it has changed.  There will always be ways to find cheaper contributers in the game of baseball.

The writer then went on to explain that defense is a lost art or whatever.  And eventually, it will be something else that general managers overlook, except for a select few.

‘Moneyball’ is still very real.  The perception that statistics are the only way to find baseball players, well, that is very false.

I am starting to understand more and more that Michael Lewis was simply a writer, not an expert on the game of baseball.

But did he have an “agenda” as some speak?  Or was he simply ignorant to the fact that there were other ways to win baseball games, not just Billy Beane’s way.  I mean, someone that isn’t exactly of expertise value on a subject, sits down, they learn things one way, and they might adopt it as the ONLY way to do things.

After all, it was the only style of baseball that was hammered into Lewis’ head for a long period of time.  I doubt Lewis has ever come close to any other style of baseball as much as he did with Billy Beane’s style.

The fact is, is that the book was a great, great book, which opened many of our eyes.  Anyone that said, “Statistics are the only meaningful way to evaluate baseball players.”  Or, “Athletic players are useless.”  Even perhaps, “Walks are more important than hits.”

Any of those above quotes would be completely and totally wrong.  And the point of ‘Moneyball’ the style, rather than the book would have been lost.

I for one, value players that are cheap AND effective.  Who doesn’t?  There is a very valid point to comparing Josh Willingham to Jason Bay.  It is not to say that Jason Bay is the inferior player, it is just to state that maybe a team could have used their resources better by grabbing Willingham instead of Bay.  But then again, in this day and age, with the internet available, that comparison isn’t much of a secret to begin with.

But for example, 20 years ago, people would have most likely chosen a player like Mike Jacobs over a Hatteberg, because he has the ability to hit the ball out of the park more often.

Nowadays, however, we realize that Hatteberg was the more valuable guy.  Getting on base was simply not looked at as much back in the day.

…And Mike Jacobs sucks.

Please comment here.

Billy Benius strikes again!

Miguel Tejada back to his old terrain

The Orioles re-contractually obligated Miguel Tejada.  This is not a good move.

Of course, it is not a bad move either.  The Orioles needed a 3B and
Tejada fills that void.  Sure, he has been living off of Houston’s
friendly “pull-hitter” confines, but I guess it is conceivable that he
isn’t as bad as his road stats.

The one thing that could happen.  Tejada COULD have a nice first
half and be moved to a contender needing a versatile bat off the bench.

But the odds of Tejada hitting well, in the AL East, against the Red
Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays, and Rays, pitching staffs, is, well, not good.

So the move seems to be more about a stop-gap at third, then
potential trade bait.  Because Tejada just isn’t a good baseball player
anymore.

But I’ve been surprised before…

Billy Benius strikes again:

Billy Beane is a magician.  He pulls things out of a hat…and simply wins ballgames.

Ok, that is a fallacy.

Beane got a lot of praise for winning with little money.

Now, he gets a lot of crap for losing with little money.

Read the rest of the entry…

Schilling > Mo

So maybe this has little relevance to anything that matters, but
Curt Schilling helped his teams win more ballgames than did Mariano
Rivera, the greatest closer of all time. 

Why do I bring this up? 

Because
I was trying to prove a point to Father the other day.  That point
being how much I, and several others, believe that the closer is
overrated. 

So we were in agreement, that, say, Pedro was
better than Rivera.  Or that Clemens was better.  And I am sure that
had the names come up, Bob Gibson, Randy Johnson and others, would have
been agreed upon as well. 

Read the rest of the entry…

Gary Matthews > Roster spot ?

Gary Matthews Jr has a purpose.

He can play all three positions on the field.

That is really it.

Matthews can serve as a bench player who specializes in questionable
defense at all three positions.  And the ability to switch hit.

Everyone knows that his contract was a terrible mistake.  One good season, and a hefty payday comes knocking on his door.

But every team makes mistakes, and the Angels obviously know what
they are doing, as they experience success each and every season.

The Red Sox signed Julio Lugo.

The Yankees overpay for declining years.

Read the rest of the entry…

Pineiro inks in a place other than anticipated.

Joel Pineiro goes where it’s warm

So the Angels saved money, but signed a pitcher that is worse, compared to John Lackey.

Two years, $16 million isn’t bad.  But remember, Pineiro isn’t exactly a great pitcher either.

In each of the three seasons previous to 09,’ he was worth under a
win.  But then all of a sudden, apparently because of a “new arm slot,”
he is all of a deemed “very good.”

Read the rest of the entry…