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View Full Version : What constitutes a good infielder? (Jeter)



SINCE77 2
01-20-06, 11:46 AM
By which factors can we judge the efficacy of an infielder? Is it based on lateral range? Soft hands? A strong throwing arm? Is UZR a proper tool by which to judge one infielder over another? In considering these questions I've compiled what I feel are the skills neccessary to be a good infielder.

1. Lateral range. Nothing like getting that good first step to your left or right.

2. Fore and aft abilities. Can the infielder go into the hole or charge into the infield?

3. Ability to handle pop flies and linedrives encompassing skills 1 & 2.

4. Situational awareness. Getting the ball to the right place at the right time while being aware of the baserunning abilities of the players on base or at the plate. Also being at the right place at the right time to backup plays and be the cutoff guy when neccessary. Knowing the location of your teammates. Choosing when to get the ball to another player or just hold it to prevent runners from advancing.

5. Positional awareness. Knowing which pitches are coming and the batters tendencies at the plate. Being positioned right or left, close in or further out can mean the difference between a hit and a simple out.

6. Strong arm and soft hands. When the ball hits your glove it should stay there. When the ball leaves your hand it should beat the runner to the bag.

7. Fundamental mechanics. Knowing how to position yourself ( hands and feet)to make a play can not be underestimated. Poor mechanics can mean the difference between an inning ending DP or the continuation of a rally.

IMO, these are the skills by which an infielder should be judged. Looking at Jeter, the only deficiency that I see is his lateral range with regard to GB. When I see his UZR numbers, I just can't help but question their veracity as defensive indicators. How can any fielder who meets 6 out of 7 defensive requirements be a poor fielder? Your thoughts

keithf1
01-20-06, 12:00 PM
I think UZR is stupid and always have.

38Special
01-20-06, 12:04 PM
The most important of all those things is lateral range which is very poor for him. That makes him a below average fielder. I dont understand the confusion. It's also the only one of those "factors" that could be measured. Fundemental mechanics? what?

JeffWeaverFan
01-20-06, 12:08 PM
I'm with 38. The most important thing is range and Jeter is subpar in that department.

PaulieIsAwesome
01-20-06, 12:29 PM
By which factors can we judge the efficacy of an infielder? Is it based on lateral range? Soft hands? A strong throwing arm? Is UZR a proper tool by which to judge one infielder over another? In considering these questions I've compiled what I feel are the skills neccessary to be a good infielder.

1. Lateral range. Nothing like getting that good first step to your left or right.

2. Fore and aft abilities. Can the infielder go into the hole or charge into the infield?

3. Ability to handle pop flies and linedrives encompassing skills 1 & 2.

4. Situational awareness. Getting the ball to the right place at the right time while being aware of the baserunning abilities of the players on base or at the plate. Also being at the right place at the right time to backup plays and be the cutoff guy when neccessary. Knowing the location of your teammates. Choosing when to get the ball to another player or just hold it to prevent runners from advancing.

5. Positional awareness. Knowing which pitches are coming and the batters tendencies at the plate. Being positioned right or left, close in or further out can mean the difference between a hit and a simple out.

6. Strong arm and soft hands. When the ball hits your glove it should stay there. When the ball leaves your hand it should beat the runner to the bag.

7. Fundamental mechanics. Knowing how to position yourself ( hands and feet)to make a play can not be underestimated. Poor mechanics can mean the difference between an inning ending DP or the continuation of a rally.

IMO, these are the skills by which an infielder should be judged. Looking at Jeter, the only deficiency that I see is his lateral range with regard to GB. When I see his UZR numbers, I just can't help but question their veracity as defensive indicators. How can any fielder who meets 6 out of 7 defensive requirements be a poor fielder? Your thoughts

Even if all these were measurable, it's also possible that Jeter is so bad at moving to his left, that he still comes out as a negative fielder.

And you just made up those categories, and have no idea of the relative weights of those.

PeteRFNY
01-20-06, 12:34 PM
Yeah...Jeter may be GOOD, but he's no Roy Smalley.

(Sarcasm rules!)

BJG
01-20-06, 12:40 PM
As already indicated, all of your 7 factors aren't equal.

Think of it this way: if Jeter is good at getting popups, the difference number of opportunities for him to make an out on a popup that another SS couldn't make and the number of opportunities for a SS with better range to make an out on a groundball that Jeter can't get is rather large. There are just a ton fewer difficult popups, and therefore substantially fewer chances for Jeter to make up ground in other areas. Another example: what's the difference between the SS who is good at situaitonal awareness and the SS who is bad at situational awareness. How many plays a year are we talking about? What's the impact of those plays on run scoring (i.e. if I don't back a play up right, how often does that actually mean the baserunner can advance)? These are things that just don't have the impact of the difference between an out and a runner on base.

I also need to take issue with your basic premise that Jeter has good footwork, positioning, etc. It's part and parcel with his range issues and something that people have been talking about with him for years.

SINCE77 2
01-20-06, 12:48 PM
Even if all these were measurable, it's also possible that Jeter is so bad at moving to his left, that he still comes out as a negative fielder.

And you just made up those categories, and have no idea of the relative weights of those.



What is to be said about a fielder who has great lateral range, but fails to come in on a ball well? What if he's poor at going back to catch pop flies? These issues don't count? Situational awareness is easily one of the most important factors in being a good infielder. I guess you have never seen infielders take too much or too little time on a play because they failed to identify the baserunning strengths of the batter. Or perhaps tried to turn a low percentage double play only to get no one leading to a disastrous inning. I for one have seen numerous occassions when a fielder either yanked his glove up to soon or attempted to throw the ball before it was in his glove. These are fundamental mechanics and are easily observable. To rely on lateral range as the sole determining factor when assessing a fielder is shortsighted.

Mean Linguine
01-20-06, 12:49 PM
His range looked pretty good when he was diving into the stands against the Red Sox, making the shuffle pass against the A's, diving over Cano to catch the ball in center field and throwing out runners from short left field.

SINCE77 2
01-20-06, 12:55 PM
As already indicated, all of your 7 factors aren't equal.

Think of it this way: if Jeter is good at getting popups, the difference number of opportunities for him to make an out on a popup that another SS couldn't make and the number of opportunities for a SS with better range to make an out on a groundball that Jeter can't get is rather large. There are just a ton fewer difficult popups, and therefore substantially fewer chances for Jeter to make up ground in other areas. Another example: what's the difference between the SS who is good at situaitonal awareness and the SS who is bad at situational awareness. How many plays a year are we talking about? What's the impact of those plays on run scoring (i.e. if I don't back a play up right, how often does that actually mean the baserunner can advance)? These are things that just don't have the impact of the difference between an out and a runner on base.

I also need to take issue with your basic premise that Jeter has good footwork, positioning, etc. It's part and parcel with his range issues and something that people have been talking about with him for years.



You are correct. They aren't equal, but they should be taken into account. Simply because something occurs with less frequency doesn't negate its effect on the game.

Cold Shad
01-20-06, 01:03 PM
I think fore and aft ability is at least as important as lateral range. Jeter has great range in three out of four directions. In addition he prevents a lot of hits with his vertical leap. Since he injured his shoulder it seems he is a little hesitant to dive for the ball up the middle. He is the guy in the infield you want the ball hit to with the game on theline if you are a Yankee fan.

yanksphan
01-20-06, 01:07 PM
His range looked pretty good when he was diving into the stands against the Red Sox, making the shuffle pass against the A's, diving over Cano to catch the ball in center field and throwing out runners from short left field.

I saw David Wells snare a line drive behind his back once. Therefore, he is an exceptional defensive infielder.

Wang's Groundballs
01-20-06, 01:08 PM
What makes a fielder good is being able to make more outs than an average or slighty above average fielder would have given the same chances.

Number 1 is the most important by far for an infielder. All of the others like awareness and soft hands are important, but mean nothing if you don't have the range to get to the groundballs anyways.

Now whether Jeter is a good fielder or not is another question. He was average in 2004 according to UZR, and looked much better to my eyes as well (which doesn't mean much since I'm by no means a scout). I believe his ZR was very good in 2004 as well.

Now in 2005 he looked just as good to me but his UZR was -15 while his ZR was still above average. I don't know which is better as I think both metrics have significant problems -- UZR using odd zone alignments and I have some concern over type of batted ball/speed for infielders as well but that may be nothing while ZR has too large of zones some feel and it would be better to see how many balls a player gets to in his zone and out of his zone.

So I don't really know if I'm answering your questions. I think you should always question every metric, but I wouldn't do so just because you don't agree with the results...or at least don't use that as a means of questioning them but rather as a starting point to look more in depth into them to find what any (potential) problems could be.

My personal, not worth much opinion on Jeter is that when he's health, as he has mostly been the last 2 years, he's probably about average or a bit above average on defense because of good hands (re: low errors) and an above average ability to go back on fly balls. I just can't understand how anybody would think he's the best defensive SS in the AL, though...

JeffWeaverFan
01-20-06, 01:09 PM
He is the guy in the infield you want the ball hit to with the game on theline if you are a Yankee fan.
But he's not the guy you want in the infield when the ball is hit up in the middle on the SS side. And a ton of grounders are hit there over the course of a season.

Wang's Groundballs
01-20-06, 01:11 PM
You are correct. They aren't equal, but they should be taken into account. Simply because something occurs with less frequency doesn't negate its effect on the game.

That's true and I think BJG would agree as well. But even if say Jeter is 8 runs above average on 6 of the 7 things (just a made up number) but 16 runs below average on number 1, do you still think that makes him a good overall defensive SS?

Dave Visbeck
01-20-06, 01:11 PM
Someone that is continually up there near the top in total chances at their position season after season. It is an excellent indication of total involvement in defensive play I think ... for what it's worth. http://xs12.xs.to/pics/05035/icon_old.gif

ChinMusic
01-20-06, 01:13 PM
ARod should be at ss

Wang's Groundballs
01-20-06, 01:13 PM
Someone that is continually up there near the top in total chances at their position season after season. It is an excellent indication of total involvement in defensive play I think ... for what it's worth.

That's a very good start, but the problem is, either due to GB/FB tendencies of a staff, defensive positioning by the team, or just an abnormal placement of balls in play, some players simply won't have as many chances as guys on other teams. This has happened with Jeter quite a bit, at least earlier in his career, and apparently with Chipper Jones as well.

Dave Visbeck
01-20-06, 01:15 PM
That's a very good start, but the problem is, either due to GB/FB tendencies of a staff, defensive positioning by the team, or just an abnormal placement of balls in play, some players simply won't have as many chances as guys on other teams. This has happened with Jeter quite a bit, at least earlier in his career, and apparently with Chipper Jones as well.

http://xs12.xs.to/pics/05035/icon_old.gif I understand.

JeffWeaverFan
01-20-06, 01:22 PM
That's a very good start, but the problem is, either due to GB/FB tendencies of a staff, defensive positioning by the team, or just an abnormal placement of balls in play, some players simply won't have as many chances as guys on other teams. This has happened with Jeter quite a bit, at least earlier in his career, and apparently with Chipper Jones as well.
Which is why it is best to take all of the chances the guy has and then see how many balls he got to and check out at what percentage does he have. Jeter is near the bottom of that list.

Jasbro
01-20-06, 01:28 PM
By which factors can we judge the efficacy of an infielder? Is it based on lateral range? Soft hands? A strong throwing arm? Is UZR a proper tool by which to judge one infielder over another? In considering these questions I've compiled what I feel are the skills neccessary to be a good infielder.

1. Lateral range. Nothing like getting that good first step to your left or right.

2. Fore and aft abilities. Can the infielder go into the hole or charge into the infield?

3. Ability to handle pop flies and linedrives encompassing skills 1 & 2.

4. Situational awareness. Getting the ball to the right place at the right time while being aware of the baserunning abilities of the players on base or at the plate. Also being at the right place at the right time to backup plays and be the cutoff guy when neccessary. Knowing the location of your teammates. Choosing when to get the ball to another player or just hold it to prevent runners from advancing.

5. Positional awareness. Knowing which pitches are coming and the batters tendencies at the plate. Being positioned right or left, close in or further out can mean the difference between a hit and a simple out.

6. Strong arm and soft hands. When the ball hits your glove it should stay there. When the ball leaves your hand it should beat the runner to the bag.

7. Fundamental mechanics. Knowing how to position yourself ( hands and feet)to make a play can not be underestimated. Poor mechanics can mean the difference between an inning ending DP or the continuation of a rally.

IMO, these are the skills by which an infielder should be judged. Looking at Jeter, the only deficiency that I see is his lateral range with regard to GB. When I see his UZR numbers, I just can't help but question their veracity as defensive indicators. How can any fielder who meets 6 out of 7 defensive requirements be a poor fielder? Your thoughts

You have a really interesting premise here. I think you have done a great job of identifying, if not quantifying, a pretty good representation of many of the "intangibles" that make many good players much better than many of the "stats" such as UZR would initially indicate.

I think you are very much on the right track, despite the hundreds of protestations from dogmatic sabremetricians you will surely receive.

Just because certain abilities or traits are difficult to measure does not mean that they do not have value. In fact, much of what you list in your post are the very skills that coaches work to instill in young players. And they are also the often unmeasureable traits that an observer can note -- even if they can't measure them -- that help differentiate a very good, intuitive, and solidly fundemental "player" from someone who may be a great athlete but lacks some of these other abilities.

Wang's Groundballs
01-20-06, 01:30 PM
Which is why it is best to take all of the chances the guy has and then see how many balls he got to and check out at what percentage does he have. Jeter is near the bottom of that list.

Well not according to ZR. He was actually 1 run above average using ZR from last year when you convert it into runs saved/cost. Of course UZR disagrees, but I'm not sure which metric I trust more right now.

Wang's Groundballs
01-20-06, 01:34 PM
You have a really interesting premise here. I think you have done a great job of identifying, if not quantifying, a pretty good representation of many of the "intangibles" that make many good players much better than many of the "stats" such as UZR would initially indicate.

If they're truly intangible -- which I don't believe at all -- then they have no value. None. Looking good, focused, or whatever is nice for the eyes and all, but it doesn't mean anything if it doesn't lead to converting more outs than an average player.

GimeMoMuny
01-20-06, 01:51 PM
His range looked pretty good when he was diving into the stands against the Red Sox, making the shuffle pass against the A's, diving over Cano to catch the ball in center field and throwing out runners from short left field.None of those plays purely involve ranging left.

Jasbro
01-20-06, 02:00 PM
If they're truly intangible -- which I don't believe at all -- then they have no value. None. Looking good, focused, or whatever is nice for the eyes and all, but it doesn't mean anything if it doesn't lead to converting more outs than an average player.

Semantics. There is no question that baseball intuition and situational awareness can differentiate players of equal athletic ability, and even make one of lesser ability a better player that a more gifted athlete. It has nothing to do with looking good -- it has to do with playing well.

Also, physicists have yet to "prove" the existence of black holes in space, yet they know they exist by observing and measuring phenomena peripheral to the black holes themselves. Certain data may arise from time to time that changes what they understand to be the specific nature of the black holes, but that doesn't change the fact that they are known to exist. The science has just not quite gotten there yet.

The same case on a much less consequential scale can be made regarding defensive stats. There are all kinds of peripheral inputs beyond those that are currently measurable that have an impact on how well the position is played. In other words, there are factors that are still yet to be determined and quantified that make a player a better one than current, flawed "stats" may suggest.

Baseball defense is a confluence of a dizzying array of vectors -- to try to quantify it based on one or two planes just because that data is most easily captured risks being simplistic and misleading, IMO.

Dave Visbeck
01-20-06, 02:13 PM
That's a very good start, but the problem is, either due to GB/FB tendencies of a staff, defensive positioning by the team, or just an abnormal placement of balls in play, some players simply won't have as many chances as guys on other teams. This has happened with Jeter quite a bit, at least earlier in his career, and apparently with Chipper Jones as well.

I know this isn't about outfielders but I have a question for Yankee fans or any others that have an opinion? If you're a Yankee fan Wang's ... then maybe you could start a thread about what follows. I know what I think would cause arguments against Sox fans for sure. ;) I loved the guy anyway believe it or not that people may think I don't. Just because I am from a different team.

What center fielder for the Yankees do you think was the best on the field then? I know of someone that many here thought WAS the best. I kind of question that. ;) I've brought Bernie into the comparison and have always been shot down immediately ... somewhat ... like my opinion maybe doesn't count because of what team I favor. :D

Mean Linguine
01-20-06, 02:18 PM
I saw David Wells snare a line drive behind his back once. Therefore, he is an exceptional defensive infielder.

Yeah, that's the same thing as running 30 yards and diving into the stands.

Mr. Mxylsplk
01-20-06, 02:18 PM
I don't understand how people still believe that Jeter is a strong defensive shortstop. There are some areas in which his defense is excellent, but he's below average in fielding ground balls, which is by far the primary defensive play a shortstop makes. I'm always surprised when posters here try to argue otherwise.

Mean Linguine
01-20-06, 02:19 PM
None of those plays purely involve ranging left.

The shuffle pass and the one in centerfield certainly weren't to his right.

Mr. Mxylsplk
01-20-06, 02:32 PM
The shuffle pass and the one in centerfield certainly weren't to his right.
Are you seriously suggesting that the shuffle play against the A's is evidence he has good range as an infielder? That's rather ludicrous. Positioning yourself as a cut-off man, or in that case positioning yourself to field a broken cut-off play, is part of infield defense, and certainly something Jeter does very well, but it has nothing to do with his range fielding grounders.

Mean Linguine
01-20-06, 02:34 PM
Are you seriously suggesting that the shuffle play against the A's is evidence he has good range as an infielder? That's rather ludicrous. Positioning yourself as a cut-off man, or in that case positioning yourself to field a broken cut-off play, is part of infield defense, and certainly something Jeter does very well, but it has nothing to do with his range fielding grounders.

I'm saying that you can talk about range all you want, but the guy knows how to be in the right place at the right time -- and I don't know why I'm having to argue this to a fellow Yankee fan. Ok, I'll take the bait, who would you rather have at shortstop on our team?

Dave Visbeck
01-20-06, 02:40 PM
I'm saying that you can talk about range all you want, but the guy knows how to be in the right place at the right time -- and I don't know why I'm having to argue this to a fellow Yankee fan. Ok, I'll take the bait, who would you rather have at shortstop on our team?

Probably Phil, Bucky, Tony or Gene. ;)

Dave Visbeck
01-20-06, 02:41 PM
:D Sorry. Just had to say them. ;)

Mr. Mxylsplk
01-20-06, 02:42 PM
I'm saying that you can talk about range all you want, but the guy knows how to be in the right place at the right time -- and I don't know why I'm having to argue this to a fellow Yankee fan.
That's all well and good. No has suggested otherwise. But that's not all there is to playing shortstop. Fielding grounders is the prime responsibility, and that's not a strength of his. Saying "you can talk about range all you want, but" doesn't make any sense. No but - range is the most important thing for a shortstop. By far. And that's what makes him not a particularly strong defensive shortstop.


Ok, I'll take the bait, who would you rather have at shortstop on our team?
I'm not sure what bait you're talking about, but that's an irrelevant question. The discussion wasn't about who should play short for the yanks. The discussion was whether or not he's a strong defensive shortstop. I like Jeter just fine, but he's simply not a strong defensive shortstop. I don't know why I'm having to argue this to a fellow baseball fan.

Jasbro
01-20-06, 02:52 PM
The discussion wasn't about who should play short for the yanks. The discussion was whether or not he's a strong defensive shortstop. I like Jeter just fine, but he's simply not a strong defensive shortstop. I don't know why I'm having to argue this to a fellow baseball fan.

Actually, I believe the initial question was "What constitutes a good infielder?"

And there seems to be little evidence that I have seen to indicate that lateral range to one's left is or should be the sole -- or even the prevailing -- criteria. Jeter was used by the initial poster as a great example of this, IMO.

Mean Linguine
01-20-06, 02:53 PM
I like Jeter just fine, but he's simply not a strong defensive shortstop. I don't know why I'm having to argue this to a fellow baseball fan.

And I like him just fine, too.
Of all the defensive worries we have, shortstop is pretty low on the list.

Mean Linguine
01-20-06, 02:56 PM
Actually, I believe the initial question was "What constitutes a good infielder?"

And there seems to be little evidence to indicate that lateral range to one's left is or should be the sole -- or even the prevailing -- criteria. Jeter was used by the initial poster as a great example of this, IMO.

I'm with you, Jas. I don't know why this is a continuing discussion about Jeter. He's the only Gold Glove SS we've had in 50 years, and there are plenty of other defensive issues that require more attention. I'm getting out of this one....

Mr. Mxylsplk
01-20-06, 03:20 PM
Actually, I believe the initial question was "What constitutes a good infielder?"

And there seems to be little evidence that I have seen to indicate that lateral range to one's left is or should be the sole -- or even the prevailing -- criteria. Jeter was used by the initial poster as a great example of this, IMO.

When I see his UZR numbers, I just can't help but question their veracity as defensive indicators. How can any fielder who meets 6 out of 7 defensive requirements be a poor fielder? Your thoughts
The above seemed pretty clearly to frame the discussion about Jeter. At any rate, the initial poster listed a number of skills for a shortstop, many of which Jeter is good at. How was that an example of what criteria are or are not important for shortstops? Jeter being good at something doesn't necessarily make it important.

aeromac76
01-20-06, 03:34 PM
My brother and I always have a discussion about this. You can judge a hitter by his stats, a pitcher too. It is not tough to say a guy who hits .330 with 45 Hr and 140 RBI had a great season or a pitcher with a 3-15 record and a 6.30 ERA had a bad season.

But what is a good fielding season or what make a good defensive player.
I have always thought there is only one real way to judge it, and that is to watch, and watch a lot. My brother, a die hard Mets fan, actually agrees.

We had this discussion a few years back when Rey Ordonez was the Mets SS. He was the defensive human highlight reel and I always used to say I would never take Rey over Jeter but I wish Jeter could do the things with the glove Rey could. He would respond by saying something to the effect of "you like Ordonez because you see him on ESPN every night doing the impossible, but you don't see the three or four other plays per game he effs up that our dog should make. I watch him every day and he has a flair for the dramatic, but day to day, Ordonez is unreliable defensively."
So I started, out of curiousity, to watch him whenever I got the chance and started to realize that for every ESPN top 10 crazy plays he'd make, he'd make an error or throw to the wrong base or somethign that was basic..

Point being, I have realized that I really can only judge a defensive player by watching. I have watched enough baseball to know what plays should be made and what plays are really good/great plays.
Brings me to Jeter. Overall, I would have to disagree with anyone that says he is a below average defensive player. I think is he a decent defensive SS. I do not consider him a liability. Same time, I don't consider him elite either. He fails to get to a lot of balls that SS should be able to get to. But generally, if he gets to a ball, he makes the play, and he rarely, if ever, makes a bad fundamental mistake (on either side of the ball). While making the routine play may seem, well, routine, it really is not. Just recall Bernie Williams out in CF this year. Or watch Jason Giambi try to make a throw. Or even Alex Rodriguez on popups. Fact is, if Jeter can get to it, it is an out. And that needs to be considered. Now he does not get to what a great SS should get to, but I am not calling him great. But to call him bad or below average is also, IMO, incorrect..

Wang's Groundballs
01-20-06, 09:57 PM
Semantics. There is no question that baseball intuition and situational awareness can differentiate players of equal athletic ability, and even make one of lesser ability a better player that a more gifted athlete. It has nothing to do with looking good -- it has to do with playing well.

I never claimed otherwise. But the fact is, a player is not playing well -- regardless of whether some of his fans think he has intangibles -- if he's not making more outs in the field than an average player.


Also, physicists have yet to "prove" the existence of black holes in space, yet they know they exist by observing and measuring phenomena peripheral to the black holes themselves. Certain data may arise from time to time that changes what they understand to be the specific nature of the black holes, but that doesn't change the fact that they are known to exist. The science has just not quite gotten there yet.

Okay. Blackholes exist. Gotcha.


The same case on a much less consequential scale can be made regarding defensive stats. There are all kinds of peripheral inputs beyond those that are currently measurable that have an impact on how well the position is played. In other words, there are factors that are still yet to be determined and quantified that make a player a better one than current, flawed "stats" may suggest.

I've never said any defensive metrics are perfect. Nobody has or will say so, unless they are incredibly foolish. That doesn't mean you ignore what they're saying altogether because you don't like what they're telling you. If you have problems with what a statistic is telling you it should be because of the input or how or what is used to calculate it, not because it tells you a player you like isn't as good as you think he is.


Baseball defense is a confluence of a dizzying array of vectors -- to try to quantify it based on one or two planes just because that data is most easily captured risks being simplistic and misleading, IMO.

You may never fully capture the true value of a player on defense -- and I think that's true with every statistic in everything, not just baseball -- but that doesn't mean they don't have value and that they don't give you at the least a broad, or perhaps even narrow, idea of how good a player truly is. By all metrics Jeter simply does not make more outs on defense than the elite SS do. The scouting reports agree on this, citing his lack of lateral range. If you truly want to believe that Jeter is somehow a great fielder, and all the data, both objective and subjective is bunk, well that's fine by me because whatever I say really won't matter.

SoCal Pinstriper
01-20-06, 10:14 PM
Good thread! I always find discussions about the quantifiability of defense interesting. Thanks to all who are contributing.

Carry on.

Dynasties R Forever
01-20-06, 10:56 PM
Congrats to Jetes on his second GG! :2thumbs:

Hey Derek, just between you and me some of the posters here keep saying that you're no good defensively. :thatsodd: Shhhh keep it low....

Guess they don't realize it's the freaking MANAGERS and COACHES who vote for that award. Guess they also don't know they give that award to who they think is the BEST DEFENSIVE SHORTSTOP in the league. :dunno:
It's hard to believe I know, but apparently not. Either that or they think they know more than all the MANAGERS and COACHES who voted for you about what it takes to be a good fielder. :-rofl-: :-rofl-: :-rofl-:

Now, there's always room for disagreement. But to say you're a BAD fielder is patently RIDICULOUS. :roflmao:

After all, the jury really is out, and you've been convicted of being the best TWO years in a row. :2thumbs: :2thumbs:

Couldn't resist. ;) Happy :-po'd-:
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27IsNext
01-20-06, 11:25 PM
Congrats to Jetes on his second GG! :2thumbs:

Hey Derek, just between you and me some of the posters here keep saying that you're no good defensively. :thatsodd: Shhhh keep it low....

Guess they don't realize it's the freaking MANAGERS and COACHES who vote for that award. Guess they also don't know they give that award to who they think is the BEST DEFENSIVE SHORTSTOP in the league. :dunno:
It's hard to believe I know, but apparently not. Either that or they think they know more than all the MANAGERS and COACHES who voted for you about what it takes to be a good fielder. :-rofl-: :-rofl-: :-rofl-:

Now, there's always room for disagreement. But to say you're a BAD fielder is patently RIDICULOUS. :roflmao:

After all, the jury really is out, and you've been convicted of being the best TWO years in a row. :2thumbs: :2thumbs:

Couldn't resist. ;) Happy :-po'd-:
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:-hide-: :-hide-: :-hide-: :-hide-: :-hide-: :-hide-: :-hide-: :-hide-:

Tyrone says...

http://rooftop235.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/.pond/tyronebiggums.jpg.w300h256.jpg

"You smoke rock."

Dynasties R Forever
01-20-06, 11:48 PM
Tyrone says...

http://rooftop235.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/.pond/tyronebiggums.jpg.w300h256.jpg

"You smoke rock."

Nope, just reporting the FACTS. That's all. :D

You may beg to differ, but it's only your opinion. I'll take the managers and coaches opinion, on the off chance they might know more about baseball than you... It wouldn't make any sense for me to do otherwise.

27IsNext
01-20-06, 11:53 PM
Are these the same managers and coaches that thought Palmiero deserved it over Tino? Fact is, going by sabremetrics, Jeter is an average SS at best. I love the guy, don't get me wrong, but I'm not going to close my eyes, cover my ears, and sing to the top of my lungs while trying to avoid the facts.

Dynasties R Forever
01-21-06, 12:10 AM
Are these the same managers and coaches that thought Palmiero deserved it over Tino? Fact is, going by sabremetrics, Jeter is an average SS at best. I love the guy, don't get me wrong, but I'm not going to close my eyes, cover my ears, and sing to the top of my lungs while trying to avoid the facts.

Dude chill. I just think sabremetrics are something the managers and coaches are aware of as well, and they still vote him tops. Like I said, always room for disagreement. But the people in this thread who think he isn't good are dead wrong.

27IsNext
01-21-06, 01:00 AM
Dude chill. I just think sabremetrics are something the managers and coaches are aware of as well, and they still vote him tops. Like I said, always room for disagreement. But the people in this thread who think he isn't good are dead wrong.

I don't think anyone's implying he isn't a good player, merely that he isn't a good defensive shortstop. That's not to take away what a pleasure he is to have on the team: he's the best leadoff hitter in baseball, and he busts his rear end off each and every game. He also has a deep understanding and appreciation for what it means to be a Yankee, something that is very special to this club. And let's not forget what a class act and great personality he is. It's not like he's costing us an exhorbatent (sp?) amount of runs in the field each year, a la Bernie. All we're saying is, according to sabremetrics, he's an average at best defender. Golden Gloves must be great for a player, don't get me wrong, but as a fan I (along with many on this board) are HIGHLY skeptical of the award.

Dynasties R Forever
01-21-06, 04:37 AM
I don't think anyone's implying he isn't a good player, merely that he isn't a good defensive shortstop. That's not to take away what a pleasure he is to have on the team: he's the best leadoff hitter in baseball, and he busts his rear end off each and every game. He also has a deep understanding and appreciation for what it means to be a Yankee, something that is very special to this club. And let's not forget what a class act and great personality he is. It's not like he's costing us an exhorbatent (sp?) amount of runs in the field each year, a la Bernie. All we're saying is, according to sabremetrics, he's an average at best defender. Golden Gloves must be great for a player, don't get me wrong, but as a fan I (along with many on this board) are HIGHLY skeptical of the award.

Yes many are skeptical. My point is, IMO they are skeptical of the wrong thing. They should be doubtful the sabermetrics they like to quote are indicative of what makes a GOOD fielder. Because obviously, the people who should know best, disagree in a VERY big way. I know if the experts in my field looked at everything I looked at and came to an ENTIRELY different conclusion than mine, it would make me pause and think....hey, maybe my numbers aren't defining the situation as well as I thought they were.

Simply put...the MAP is NOT the TERRITORY. Maybe one day the quantifying numbers will become rich and detailed enough to accurately reproduce life itself, so far it appears it is only a direction to look toward, not the geography itself. Or so the experts appear to be saying, I'm only passing it along.

Food for thought. IMO :)

longtimeyankeefan
01-21-06, 07:16 AM
Are these the same managers and coaches that thought Palmiero deserved it over Tino? Fact is, going by sabremetrics, Jeter is an average SS at best. I love the guy, don't get me wrong, but I'm not going to close my eyes, cover my ears, and sing to the top of my lungs while trying to avoid the facts.

Someone please show me where sabermetrics have been proven infallible.

Any sabermetric measure is simply one persons (okay, the metric might be the development of several people over time) opinion of how to objectively measure a particular element of a player's defensive ability.

Show me, however, how you can objectively measure Jeter's play against Oakland in the playoffs? His catch against the Red Sox? His catch running over Cano? His ability to get to the Texas Leaguer hit over SS/3B and in front of the LFer?

Do I think Jeter is the greatest defensive shortstop of all time? No - I saw players like Luis Aparicio and Ozzie Smith play.

But I do think that those individuals who rate Jeter as average/below average based solely on his sabermetrics ought to realize that there is life beyond sabermetrics.


I don't think anyone's implying he isn't a good player, merely that he isn't a good defensive shortstop.

Since you do not consider Jeter a good defensive shortstop, I guess this stance means that you consider him a bad defensive shortstop.

goin for 27
01-21-06, 08:08 AM
Someone please show me where sabermetrics have been proven infallible.

Any sabermetric measure is simply one persons (okay, the metric might be the development of several people over time) opinion of how to objectively measure a particular element of a player's defensive ability.

Show me, however, how you can objectively measure Jeter's play against Oakland in the playoffs? His catch against the Red Sox? His catch running over Cano? His ability to get to the Texas Leaguer hit over SS/3B and in front of the LFer?


No one says that SABR stats are infallible, but they are absolutely the best indicator. For example, you are citing a few plays out of thousands. Statistics take in EVERY play, therefore, much more reliable. Statistically, Jeter is roughly average at his position, and I agree with that. Like many greats, he has a knack for a superb play in a big spot, and stats cannot predict this. However, it is quite likely that say in the Oakland playoffs, the A's got a hit or two up the middle that another SS would get to.

Further, who really cares?

I say this because while this really is a very interesting thread, it does not matter. The Yanks could go out and sign a guy like Pokey Reese, who can get to balls that Jeter never could. He could improve the position, maybe even drastically, but he can't hit. I understand that everyone is just chatting about defense, but you can't avoid the offensive impact of the game.

The thread is titled "What constitutes a good infielder?" Jeter is one of the best at his positions, because he can hit. I sacrifice the balls up the middle that he can't get to, because he is steady, and more than makes up for it at the plate.

38Special
01-21-06, 08:30 AM
There plenty of people who are heavily into SABR and sabermetrics in general who are snotty and elitist when it comes to certain players. I dont think Jeter is as horrible as he was once said to be by those people, but to act as if those gold gloves mean anything about his dominance as a defense shortstop, is utterly stupendous.

The average fan sees him getting that ball in the hole once a game and goes "oh man Jeter is awesome". Then he/she ignores the other team's shortstop making the game play, stopping to pivot, and throwing the player out without the theatrics.

Believe me, I was the same way in the 90s when i didnt pay attention to the stats and was just in awe of the plays he would make at times in the hole, but the strong disagreement by members of the SABR community opened up my eyes to what was really going on. Watch video of him from last year, and count how many balls up the middle that he gets to. It's shocking really.

Cold Shad
01-21-06, 09:02 AM
As far as balls up the middle it appears the Yankees have built up the mound behind the rubber to the sides which tends to deflect ground balls toward shortstop and second baseman. On TV you can barely see the rubber from the centerfield Camera.

Mr. Mxylsplk
01-21-06, 09:54 AM
Guess they don't realize it's the freaking MANAGERS and COACHES who vote for that award. Guess they also don't know they give that award to who they think is the BEST DEFENSIVE SHORTSTOP in the league.
Wow. To argue that Jeter is a good defensive shortstop is one thing. A number of people have pointed out the things he does well and said that makes him overall a good defensive player. Fine. But to suggest the Gold Gloves are an indication of good defense is really woefully out of touch with reality. Knock yourself out if you choose - Raffy is tickled.

longtimeyankeefan
01-21-06, 11:04 AM
No one says that SABR stats are infallible, but they are absolutely the best indicator. For example, you are citing a few plays out of thousands. Statistics take in EVERY play, therefore, much more reliable. Statistically, Jeter is roughly average at his position, and I agree with that.

Last season, Jeter's RF/9 was 4.76 vs a league average of 4.60 and his FP of .979 exceeded the leage average of .972 - in other words, at least based on these two metrics, he was above average.

However, the problem that I have with using metrics like these measures is that they fail to take into account the surrounding players on the field. For example, ARod's RF/9 last season was 2.62 vs a league average of 2.76 - he gets to fewer balls than the normal 3Bman. Does this fact mean that Jeter tends to play into the hole rather than up the middle?

My point is that many posters in this thread and on this board intimate that Jeter is one of the worst defensive SS in the game and he simply is not. He is above average metrically and his instincts add another level to his game. He never will be know as "the greatest defensive shortstop", but he is far more than what many posters suggest.


Like many greats, he has a knack for a superb play in a big spot, and stats cannot predict this. However, it is quite likely that say in the Oakland playoffs, the A's got a hit or two up the middle that another SS would get to.

What Oakland series are you talking about? The A's didn't even make the playoffs last season. And, how can you prove that "another SS would get to" the balls that you are talking about.


Further, who really cares?

Apparently you do.


I say this because while this really is a very interesting thread, it does not matter. The Yanks could go out and sign a guy like Pokey Reese, who can get to balls that Jeter never could. He could improve the position, maybe even drastically, but he can't hit. I understand that everyone is just chatting about defense, but you can't avoid the offensive impact of the game.

Finally something that we agree on.


The thread is titled "What constitutes a good infielder?" Jeter is one of the best at his positions, because he can hit. I sacrifice the balls up the middle that he can't get to, because he is steady, and more than makes up for it at the plate.

IMO, Jeter is a great shortstop because he combines signficantly better than average defensive with his stellar offense. It is our opinion of the level of his defense that is incongruent.

goin for 27
01-21-06, 11:21 AM
What Oakland series are you talking about? The A's didn't even make the playoffs last season. And, how can you prove that "another SS would get to" the balls that you are talking about.
.

You should probably read not only my post, but what I was quoting from another poster. It makes for more sensible reading.

A previous poster was knocking statistics, as they do not explain plays such as Jeter's backhand flip vs. Oakland in the post season a couple of years ago. Clearly, Oakland was not in the playoffs last year. I was simply stating that statistics obviously tell much more about a player than specific plays, such as the back hand flip. IF a player has shown not to have tremendous range, for example, then one can surmise that there would be balls up the middle that the player would not get to.

As many have posted here, there are many balls up the middle that Jeter does not get to. I don't need to "prove" that he does not get to them and others could, I see the game played day in and day out. I doubt that you are inferring that there are no balls that Jeter does not get to that any other SS could. I imagine that you feel that there are some SS's who have more range than Jeter? (I am posting about those guys)

I don't disagree that Jeter is above average defensively, but I said roughly average, because I don't think that he is remarkably above average. Further, the top defensive shortstops are markedly better with the glove than Jeter. That said, Jeter can be more valuable than them, simply by what he can do at the plate.

KLJ
01-21-06, 01:19 PM
is it time for the annual jeter defense debate already?

CTSoxFan
01-21-06, 02:18 PM
is it time for the annual jeter defense debate already?

That, and the swallows' return to Capistrano. :D


But I do think that those individuals who rate Jeter as average/below average based solely on his sabermetrics ought to realize that there is life beyond sabermetrics.

Fair enough...but how about those of us who rate Jeter as defensively average/below average based on years of watching him play AND on certain sabermetric measures? Any room for us in this debate, or should honest disagreement find its way to the door?

Note: Jeter's defense is obviously part of the package...but for a lot of different reasons, I'm not denying his extraordinary value to the franchise. While I'll always believe that Jeter should have done the right thing and moved to accomodate A-Rod, a defensively superior shortstop in every respect, I nevertheless do believe that Jeter is a great overall player.

Jasbro
01-21-06, 02:20 PM
Simply put...the MAP is NOT the TERRITORY. Maybe one day the quantifying numbers will become rich and detailed enough to accurately reproduce life itself, so far it appears it is only a direction to look toward, not the geography itself.

What a reasonable and eloquent way to sum it all up, IMO!

Dynasties R Forever
01-21-06, 02:30 PM
Wow. To argue that Jeter is a good defensive shortstop is one thing. A number of people have pointed out the things he does well and said that makes him overall a good defensive player. Fine. But to suggest the Gold Gloves are an indication of good defense is really woefully out of touch with reality. Knock yourself out if you choose - Raffy is tickled.

They don't give Gold Gloves out because they think you're cute. Get real.

Dynasties R Forever
01-21-06, 02:32 PM
What a reasonable and eloquent way to sum it all up, IMO!

Thank you. :D

YankeePride1967
01-21-06, 02:35 PM
They don't give Gold Gloves out because they think you're cute. Get real.

They did with Palmeiro.

KLJ
01-21-06, 02:36 PM
They don't give Gold Gloves out because they think you're cute. Get real.
actually, going by some past results i'm not so sure about that

longtimeyankeefan
01-21-06, 03:23 PM
They don't give Gold Gloves out because they think you're cute. Get real.

See Palmeiro, Rafael circa 1999.

He was awarded the GG for 1B despite playing a total of 28 games in the field that season.

The award does not always make sense.

SINCE77 2
01-21-06, 03:46 PM
Thanks for the great replies.

27IsNext
01-21-06, 04:05 PM
Someone please show me where sabermetrics have been proven infallible.

Any sabermetric measure is simply one persons (okay, the metric might be the development of several people over time) opinion of how to objectively measure a particular element of a player's defensive ability.

Show me, however, how you can objectively measure Jeter's play against Oakland in the playoffs? His catch against the Red Sox? His catch running over Cano? His ability to get to the Texas Leaguer hit over SS/3B and in front of the LFer?

Do I think Jeter is the greatest defensive shortstop of all time? No - I saw players like Luis Aparicio and Ozzie Smith play.

But I do think that those individuals who rate Jeter as average/below average based solely on his sabermetrics ought to realize that there is life beyond sabermetrics.

Going for 27 summed it up for me nicely. Look, you simply CANNOT use just your eyes in evaluating a defender's skills. Too many pre-concieved opinions.




Since you do not consider Jeter a good defensive shortstop, I guess this stance means that you consider him a bad defensive shortstop.

I think he's average to below-average.

JeffWeaverFan
01-21-06, 05:32 PM
Guess they don't realize it's the freaking MANAGERS and COACHES who vote for that award. Guess they also don't know they give that award to who they think is the BEST DEFENSIVE SHORTSTOP in the league. :dunno:
It's hard to believe I know, but apparently not. Either that or they think they know more than all the MANAGERS and COACHES who voted for you about what it takes to be a good fielder. :-rofl-: :-rofl-: :-rofl-:

Please don't have your defense of Jeter being a good defensive SS because of the GG because the award has shown to be a complete joke. Last year Bobby Abreu won a GG. That's a disgrace.

In 1999 Rafael Palmeiro won the GG even though he played 23 games at 1B. Under your theory, he was the best first baseman in the league because "the freaking MANAGERS and COACHES" thought he was that year. Yes, they are really thinking about this seriously...

BJG
01-21-06, 05:56 PM
Last season, Jeter's RF/9 was 4.76 vs a league average of 4.60 and his FP of .979 exceeded the leage average of .972 - in other words, at least based on these two metrics, he was above average.

However, the problem that I have with using metrics like these measures is that they fail to take into account the surrounding players on the field. For example, ARod's RF/9 last season was 2.62 vs a league average of 2.76 - he gets to fewer balls than the normal 3Bman. Does this fact mean that Jeter tends to play into the hole rather than up the middle?

My point is that many posters in this thread and on this board intimate that Jeter is one of the worst defensive SS in the game and he simply is not. He is above average metrically and his instincts add another level to his game. He never will be know as "the greatest defensive shortstop", but he is far more than what many posters suggest.


This is a wonderfully circular argument.

1. Jeter is good according to these metrics
2. However, these metrics aren't any good (something every sabermetrician everywhere would agree with, btw, which is why the more advanced pbp metrics have been developed).
3. But Jeter is good because he's above average metrically.

Look, even the creators of the advanced metrics like UZR or DER think that watching defense is important, especially when you don't have a lot of data. They'd like to see a balance of the two that trends one way or the other depending on how much information you have (and I should point out that the problem with the GGs is that oppossing managers don't do this. At best, they see the guys on other teams 19 times a year. This simply is not enough). Hell, the pbp metrics are just that...watching every single play for every single fielder and trying to determine if there should have been an out based on where the ball was hit and how the ball was hit. Are they perfect? No? That's why you try to combine all of the available data.

The problem with this is that Jeter doesn't look very good to me either. He looks slow to his left. His feet look slow...he tends to take a step and dive. Too often, the ball goes by. Yes, he looks reliable on the standard play, and that does mean something, but what we can learn from the pbp data is the relative value of what happens when a ball isn't turned into an out. In other words, if I see 5 balls go by Jeter that I think Julio Lugo would get, but I think Lugo would make an error on 1 of those, what does that mean? This is something that sabermetrics is good at, because we do know what the likelihood is that a player will score when he's on 1B versus being out.

So when we combine what we see with an understanding of what that means with the pbp metrics, we can start to get a picture. It isn't a picture where we can say with the same kind of certainty we can say on offense that Jeter is worth X runs versus the average player, because the different metrics are still not always in exact agreement. However, when they are all in basic agreement, and that basic agreement also coincides with what we see, then certainly that means something.

PaulieIsAwesome
01-21-06, 06:30 PM
Yes many are skeptical. My point is, IMO they are skeptical of the wrong thing. They should be doubtful the sabermetrics they like to quote are indicative of what makes a GOOD fielder. Because obviously, the people who should know best, disagree in a VERY big way. I know if the experts in my field looked at everything I looked at and came to an ENTIRELY different conclusion than mine, it would make me pause and think....hey, maybe my numbers aren't defining the situation as well as I thought they were.

Simply put...the MAP is NOT the TERRITORY. Maybe one day the quantifying numbers will become rich and detailed enough to accurately reproduce life itself, so far it appears it is only a direction to look toward, not the geography itself. Or so the experts appear to be saying, I'm only passing it along.

Food for thought. IMO :)

The reason we don't trust the "experts" in my field is because the experts in baseball have been proven wrong on a number of occasions. Additionally, information in baseball seems to be spread unevenly. Despite the numerous protestations of Jim Bowden, I think I would trust Billy Beane's analysis of a player. However, by your reasoning, they are both "experts" and need to be listened to equally.

Shouldn't we examine objective evidence, not partial to the biases of humans, to test and question our hypotheses and assumptions? That's how science works. Why should baseball be any different?

And why do you highlight every other word in your posts?

PaulieIsAwesome
01-21-06, 06:35 PM
There plenty of people who are heavily into SABR and sabermetrics in general who are snotty and elitist when it comes to certain players. I dont think Jeter is as horrible as he was once said to be by those people, but to act as if those gold gloves mean anything about his dominance as a defense shortstop, is utterly stupendous.

The average fan sees him getting that ball in the hole once a game and goes "oh man Jeter is awesome". Then he/she ignores the other team's shortstop making the game play, stopping to pivot, and throwing the player out without the theatrics.

Believe me, I was the same way in the 90s when i didnt pay attention to the stats and was just in awe of the plays he would make at times in the hole, but the strong disagreement by members of the SABR community opened up my eyes to what was really going on. Watch video of him from last year, and count how many balls up the middle that he gets to. It's shocking really.

I agree completely, even on the criticism of some of the SABR mindset. Sometimes, too much is made of a player's weaknesses, and that label sticks with a certain player. Garret Anderson is probably a little better than the guys at BP make it seem. Still, ANALYSIS based on OBJECTIVE evidence is the best way to ANALYZE a PLAYER or TEAM. Sorry Dynasty, that's how your posts read.

Dynasties R Forever
01-21-06, 06:43 PM
They did with Palmeiro.

That was the third year in a row he won it, stop being silly. He was a good defender.

YankeePride1967
01-21-06, 06:44 PM
That was the third year in a row he won it, stop being silly. He was a good defender.

Yes, he was remarkable in those 20 games he didn't play at DH. Whether or not Jeter is a good fielder, the gold glove is 100% irrelevent to the argument.

Dynasties R Forever
01-21-06, 06:51 PM
Please don't have your defense of Jeter being a good defensive SS because of the GG because the award has shown to be a complete joke. Last year Bobby Abreu won a GG. That's a disgrace.

In 1999 Rafael Palmeiro won the GG even though he played 23 games at 1B. Under your theory, he was the best first baseman in the league because "the freaking MANAGERS and COACHES" thought he was that year. Yes, they are really thinking about this seriously...

Raffy's third year in a row he won. You can say it was unjust because he only played 28 games there that year but you cannot say it did not go to a good defender.

Abreu? Never watched him. I'll take your word for it that he didn't warrant it. So? Isn't this an example of the exception proving the rule?

If this is all you can do...

Dynasties R Forever
01-21-06, 06:55 PM
Yes, he was remarkable in those 20 games he didn't play at DH. Whether or not Jeter is a good fielder, the gold glove is 100% irrelevent to the argument.

That's just an idiotic statement to make considering it's the MANAGERS and COACHES who vote. Good defense is irrelevant to getting a GG? I'd like to hear you make that argument to one of the people who votes. It would be most entertaining, really great fun... :-whistle-

YankeePride1967
01-21-06, 06:57 PM
That's just an idiotic statement to make considering it's the MANAGERS and COACHES who vote. Good defense is irrelevant to getting a GG? I'd like to hear you make that argument to one of the people who votes. It would be most entertaining, really great fun... :-whistle-

MANAGERS and COACHES see other players play, at MOST 19 times a year. Stats that reflect defensive skills account for 162 games. What is amusing is people who do not understand stats mock them.

Jasbro
01-21-06, 07:05 PM
What is amusing is people who do not understand stats mock them.

No more amusing than people who do not understand stats who blindly believe in their infallibility.

Anyone who truly understands statistics knows that they can be as misleading as they can be useful.

38Special
01-21-06, 07:12 PM
No more amusing than people who do not understand stats who blindly believe in their infallibility.

Anyone who truly understands statistics knows that they can be as misleading as they can be useful.

What is misleading about the statistics with regards to Jeter?

Dynasties R Forever
01-21-06, 07:13 PM
The reason we don't trust the "experts" in my field is because the experts in baseball have been proven wrong on a number of occasions. Additionally, information in baseball seems to be spread unevenly. Despite the numerous protestations of Jim Bowden, I think I would trust Billy Beane's analysis of a player. However, by your reasoning, they are both "experts" and need to be listened to equally.

Shouldn't we examine objective evidence, not partial to the biases of humans, to test and question our hypotheses and assumptions? That's how science works. Why should baseball be any different?

And why do you highlight every other word in your posts?

I capitalize because I like to emphasize the words I write the same as if I'm speaking them. It's the closest I know how to get using the keyboard. It's just more fun for me that way. :)

I never reasoned anything regarding one expert's opinion versus another. Bowden may say yes and Beane no. No problem, there's room for that in my argument. I'm sure Jeter wasn't a unanimous choice. Plenty of room for dissent with whether he is the best. Plenty of room for human error. Happens all the time. Just not much room for considering Jeter a bad or even average defender. Considering these are experts we are talking about. I trust these people a lot more than a poster on a message board, although plenty seem to be knowledgeable, no offense.

Shouldn't we examine the objective evidence? No problem. What is your assumption? That these people are ignorant of these things? I doubt they are. Most likely they are aware and discount them more than we on this board. I assume because they feel they don't tell the whole story. I'm making an assumption that the people we are talking about are knowledgeable and have a reason for voting the way they did. One that I think should be respected more than it seems to be.

Dissent is always fun. It's how we learn, discovering the differences. Here's to the advancement of sabremetrics! :gulp:

Jasbro
01-21-06, 07:24 PM
What is misleading about the statistics with regards to Jeter?

First, let me preface this by noting that I have been trying to keep my discussion in this thread "Jeter-free" and more focused on the utility of defensive stats in general.

But with Jeter, as with any other player, current defensive stats only tell part of the story.

Is Jeter's range to his left the weakest part of his game? Sure. But the way current defensive metrics are structured, that particular weakness is disproportionately illuminated in the context of Jeter's overall defensive presence at the position, IMO.

In other words, current stats do a better job of measuring the weaknesses of a player like Jeter than they do of measuring his strengths.

PaulieIsAwesome
01-21-06, 07:35 PM
I capitalize because I like to emphasize the words I write the same as if I'm speaking them. It's the closest I know how to get using the keyboard. It's just more fun for me that way. :)

I never reasoned anything regarding one expert's opinion versus another. Bowden may say yes and Beane no. No problem, there's room for that in my argument. I'm sure Jeter wasn't a unanimous choice. Plenty of room for dissent with whether he is the best. Plenty of room for human error. Happens all the time. Just not much room for considering Jeter a bad or even average defender. Considering these are experts we are talking about. I trust these people a lot more than a poster on a message board, although plenty seem to be knowledgeable, no offense.

Shouldn't we examine the objective evidence? No problem. What is your assumption? That these people are ignorant of these things? I doubt they are. Most likely they are aware and discount them more than we on this board. I assume because they feel they don't tell the whole story. I'm making an assumption that the people we are talking about are knowledgeable and have a reason for voting the way they did. One that I think should be respected more than it seems to be.

Dissent is always fun. It's how we learn, discovering the differences. Here's to the advancement of sabremetrics! :gulp:

Please don't try to act as if you're acting as the dissenting voice against the onrushing wave of sabermetrics one sentence after agreeing that "these people... discount them more than we on this board." Pretty clearly, a large portion of the baseball intellegentsia continues to reject any statistically derived arguments or anything bordering on sabermetrics. Read Tracy Ringolsby, Bill Plaschke, Selena Roberts and a number of other writers for major publications. Look at Cristian Guzman's $16.8 million contract, Neifi Perez getting another chance, Royce Clayton's continuing career, Russ Ortiz' 32 million, Andruw Jones nearly winning the MVP this year, Eric Milton's 21 million and countless others - and yes, I just looked at the first 4 alphabetical teams on Baseball Reference to find all these anti-sabermetrics moves. There are a lot more, as well.

Again, the information in baseball is spread unevenly. Some managers and front offices might still have misguided ideas about the nature of defense. Some might not even think about some of the players that are more deserving because they don't get on the highlights more often. If those managers all vote for Jeter, while those who examine baseball statistics vote for someone else, Jeter can still win despite his actual defensive achievements.

First google hit for gold glove voting came up with an interesting study:

http://ideas.repec.org/p/wpa/wuwppe/0502003.html

Even using basic stats known during the 70s and 80s (fielding % and the like) the conclusion of the study is that reputation is a significant factor in the awarding of Gold Gloves.

YankeePride1967
01-21-06, 07:52 PM
No more amusing than people who do not understand stats who blindly believe in their infallibility.

Anyone who truly understands statistics knows that they can be as misleading as they can be useful.

True, but I will take them with far more reliability in judging a player than a popularity contest like the GG.

Jasbro
01-21-06, 07:57 PM
True, but I will take them with far more reliability in judging a player than a popularity contest like the GG.

The true answer most likely is somewhere between the two extremes. I think the original poster in this thread was on the right track with his attempt to identify the elements of a "good infielder".

Dynasties R Forever
01-21-06, 09:16 PM
Please don't try to act as if you're acting as the dissenting voice against the onrushing wave of sabermetrics one sentence after agreeing that "these people... discount them more than we on this board." Pretty clearly, a large portion of the baseball intellegentsia continues to reject any statistically derived arguments or anything bordering on sabermetrics. Read Tracy Ringolsby, Bill Plaschke, Selena Roberts and a number of other writers for major publications. Look at Cristian Guzman's $16.8 million contract, Neifi Perez getting another chance, Royce Clayton's continuing career, Russ Ortiz' 32 million, Andruw Jones nearly winning the MVP this year, Eric Milton's 21 million and countless others - and yes, I just looked at the first 4 alphabetical teams on Baseball Reference to find all these anti-sabermetrics moves. There are a lot more, as well.

Again, the information in baseball is spread unevenly. Some managers and front offices might still have misguided ideas about the nature of defense. Some might not even think about some of the players that are more deserving because they don't get on the highlights more often. If those managers all vote for Jeter, while those who examine baseball statistics vote for someone else, Jeter can still win despite his actual defensive achievements.

First google hit for gold glove voting came up with an interesting study:

http://ideas.repec.org/p/wpa/wuwppe/0502003.html

Even using basic stats known during the 70s and 80s (fielding % and the like) the conclusion of the study is that reputation is a significant factor in the awarding of Gold Gloves.

Not sure what you meant by your first sentence, but anyway, have a nice day.

As far as the middle part, I'm not talking about writers. I'm talking about people who get paid to evaluate and get the most out of the people on the field. There will always be those that do a poor job in any field. These individuals do nothing to diminish the collective judgement of the majority.

Thanks for the link you provided.

Conclusion
"Of the three hypotheses discussed at the outset, it appears as if voters use a combination of defensive measures and reputations when making their decision about the Gold Glove award winner. The models that include reputation effects are the best predictors, and in some cases substantially so, of Gold Glove award voting. This suggests that the voters may be relying more on reputation than on actual defensive performance, while the guidelines of the award state that the winner should be determined based on defensive performance for the current season. Although there is speculation that improvement in offensive performance also increases a player’s probability of winning a Gold Glove award, there is little evidence to suggest that offensive performance impacts the voting process on a regular basis. While there certainly may be individual instances where offensive performance enters into voting decisions, these appear to be isolated instances."

This is indicating that they may give a higher than normal amount of these awards out for prior defensive performance. Ok, fine. NP. Nothing saying they are giving them out to bad defenders.

PaulieIsAwesome
01-21-06, 11:23 PM
Not sure what you meant by your first sentence, but anyway, have a nice day.

As far as the middle part, I'm not talking about writers. I'm talking about people who get paid to evaluate and get the most out of the people on the field. There will always be those that do a poor job in any field. These individuals do nothing to diminish the collective judgement of the majority.

Thanks for the link you provided.

Conclusion
"Of the three hypotheses discussed at the outset, it appears as if voters use a combination of defensive measures and reputations when making their decision about the Gold Glove award winner. The models that include reputation effects are the best predictors, and in some cases substantially so, of Gold Glove award voting. This suggests that the voters may be relying more on reputation than on actual defensive performance, while the guidelines of the award state that the winner should be determined based on defensive performance for the current season. Although there is speculation that improvement in offensive performance also increases a player’s probability of winning a Gold Glove award, there is little evidence to suggest that offensive performance impacts the voting process on a regular basis. While there certainly may be individual instances where offensive performance enters into voting decisions, these appear to be isolated instances."

This is indicating that they may give a higher than normal amount of these awards out for prior defensive performance. Ok, fine. NP. Nothing saying they are giving them out to bad defenders.

The first sentence was responding to your point about dissent, which I felt was trying to cast yourselves as a martyr on this site against sabermetrics.

And again, given the democratic nature of gold glove voting, it is very possible that a plurality of voters could believe the same false conclusion.

Finally, the fact that previous winners had a statistically significant additional factor in winning the GG, besides their actual defensive performance (you know, the whole point of the award?) means that there is a reasonable chance that an undeserving player would, will, or have won the award.

I'm going to crunch the numbers to see how many times players have won the award with below average fielding percentage, range factor, and other numbers.

Dynasties R Forever
01-22-06, 06:25 AM
The first sentence was responding to your point about dissent, which I felt was trying to cast yourselves as a martyr on this site against sabermetrics.

And again, given the democratic nature of gold glove voting, it is very possible that a plurality of voters could believe the same false conclusion.

Finally, the fact that previous winners had a statistically significant additional factor in winning the GG, besides their actual defensive performance (you know, the whole point of the award?) means that there is a reasonable chance that an undeserving player would, will, or have won the award.

...I'm going to crunch the numbers to see how many times players have won the award with below average fielding percentage, range factor, and other numbers.


Martyr? That's just something that's rattling around in your head. Has nothing to do with what I think. Leave me out of it.

"Finally, the fact that previous winners had a statistically significant dditional factor in winning the GG, besides their actual defensive performance (you know, the whole point of the award?) means that there is a reasonable chance that an undeserving player would, will, or have won the award."

Uh...no. You read his conclusion but didn't get the point. The second time someone wins he is likely to get a "halo effect". This doesn't account for the first one. Matter of fact it makes it MORE likely Jeter is a good fielder because to win it the first time means he possibly had to get past some bias in favor of prior winners.

Thanks for playing!

Have a nice day tomorrow and always. I've said my piece, there's nothing more to be said. Cya!

PaulieIsAwesome
01-22-06, 07:07 AM
Martyr? That's just something that's rattling around in your head. Has nothing to do with what I think. Leave me out of it.

"Finally, the fact that previous winners had a statistically significant dditional factor in winning the GG, besides their actual defensive performance (you know, the whole point of the award?) means that there is a reasonable chance that an undeserving player would, will, or have won the award."

Uh...no. You read his conclusion but didn't get the point. The second time someone wins he is likely to get a "halo effect". This doesn't account for the first one. Matter of fact it makes it MORE likely Jeter is a good fielder because to win it the first time means he possibly had to get past some bias in favor of prior winners.

Thanks for playing!

Have a nice day tomorrow and always. I've said my piece, there's nothing more to be said. Cya!

Obviously, you're quite a supporter of dissent and rational debate.

And still, the study does support the fact that someone besides the best defensive player in the league can win a gold glove. I'll futz around to see about subpar defensive players winning them, but since you deny the value of "saber" stats to quantify defense, we won't agree at all about what defines a subpar defensive player. You'll probably just argue again that the coaches and managers couldn't be wrong, and that the fact that they were selected precludes them from being poor defensive players.

I'm sorry for putting words in your mouth, but hey, once you've said your piece, there sure is nothing more to say. Thanks for being such a great debater and clearly responding to the arguments laid out.

PaulieIsAwesome
01-22-06, 07:37 AM
First player I've found to be very likely undeserving of the Gold Glove is Travis Fryman in 2000. His Fielding Percentage was above average, but had a below average Range Factor, 98 Rate and 3 runs below average, and a -27 (worst in baseball) UZR from 2000-2002. I'll keep digging.

longtimeyankeefan
01-22-06, 01:18 PM
First player I've found to be very likely undeserving of the Gold Glove is Travis Fryman in 2000. His Fielding Percentage was above average, but had a below average Range Factor, 98 Rate and 3 runs below average, and a -27 (worst in baseball) UZR from 2000-2002. I'll keep digging.

I won't attempt to support Travis Fryman in 2000, but my question would be who should have gotten it in his stead?

Ripken that season only played 73 games at 3B - no doubt, the Palmiero backlash of 1999 played in to people's thinking during the 2000 vote.

Other AL 3Bman (as listed by Baseball Reference) that season:

Scott Brosius (always loved his D, but .960 FP)
Gang of 11 - BOS (.938 FP collectively)
Tony Batista - TOR (.963 FP)
Vinnie Castillo - TB (85 games)
Herb Perry - CWS (98 games)
Dean Palmer - DET (.914 FP)
Joe Randa - KC (.957 FP)
Corie Koskie - MIN (.966 FP)
Eric Chavez - OAK (.951 FP)
David Bell - SEA (.944 FP)
Troy Glaus - ANA (.933 FP)
Mike Lamb - TEX (.911 FP)


Frankly, Travis Fryman's .978 FP is stellar compared to this group. He also had Omar Vizquel as his SS, which may somewhat explain his low RF.

PaulieIsAwesome
01-22-06, 01:31 PM
I won't attempt to support Travis Fryman in 2000, but my question would be who should have gotten it in his stead?

Ripken that season only played 73 games at 3B - no doubt, the Palmiero backlash of 1999 played in to people's thinking during the 2000 vote.

Other AL 3Bman (as listed by Baseball Reference) that season:

Scott Brosius (always loved his D, but .960 FP)
Gang of 11 - BOS (.938 FP collectively)
Tony Batista - TOR (.963 FP)
Vinnie Castillo - TB (85 games)
Herb Perry - CWS (98 games)
Dean Palmer - DET (.914 FP)
Joe Randa - KC (.957 FP)
Corie Koskie - MIN (.966 FP)
Eric Chavez - OAK (.951 FP)
David Bell - SEA (.944 FP)
Troy Glaus - ANA (.933 FP)
Mike Lamb - TEX (.911 FP)


Frankly, Travis Fryman's .978 FP is stellar compared to this group. He also had Omar Vizquel as his SS, which may somewhat explain his low RF.

Brosius and Batista were both better choices, says BPro and UZR. I think your point highlights the crux of the debate here, which is that subpar fielders can receive Gold Gloves. Even given that Fryman was not a bad fielder (though the numbers say differently) isn't it possible, even likely, that a fielder can be selected for the GG based on perception around the league, the halo effect, and his fielding percentage, rather than actual defensive performance?

Dynasties R Forever
01-22-06, 03:02 PM
Obviously, you're quite a supporter of dissent and rational debate.

And still, the study does support the fact that someone besides the best defensive player in the league can win a gold glove. I'll futz around to see about subpar defensive players winning them, but since you deny the value of "saber" stats to quantify defense, we won't agree at all about what defines a subpar defensive player. You'll probably just argue again that the coaches and managers couldn't be wrong, and that the fact that they were selected precludes them from being poor defensive players.

I'm sorry for putting words in your mouth, but hey, once you've said your piece, there sure is nothing more to say. Thanks for being such a great debater and clearly responding to the arguments laid out.

I don't deny stats have a role in defining defense, that was never my contention. I don't believe with regards to defense that they are all encompassing of what it means to be a good defensive player. I am relying on the consensus of experts who seem to disagree with what the sabermetrics indicate about Jeter's abilities.

I would be very interested in finding out what kind of subpar defensive players have won. Subpar being the way you are defining them by sabermetrics. Sorry if I said I was ending debate, that's not really what I wanted to do, although that is what I said. What I meant is different. I am ending the merry go round of "I think stats are all defining" vs. "I think the voters are right". It seems a dead end to me. No one was offering anything new so why have the same viewpoints endlessly revived? I have other things to do, so I wanted to move on.

You however are offering something new, THANKS! I'd love to see what you find out. Talk to you later.

LuckyLopez
01-22-06, 03:37 PM
Uh...no. You read his conclusion but didn't get the point. The second time someone wins he is likely to get a "halo effect". This doesn't account for the first one. Matter of fact it makes it MORE likely Jeter is a good fielder because to win it the first time means he possibly had to get past some bias in favor of prior winners.

That's really not the entire case though, is it? For one, you haven't taken into consideration how the bias for the previous winner was gotten past. If there's a reputation that Omar Vizquel is the best SS in the AL and then Vizquel moves to the NL, declines visibly due to age, suffers an injury, has a flukishly bad season, or retires than his reputation won't affect things. These "experts" must now pick someone without this bias playing any affect. Other reputations and biases will exist but Jeter (or anyone else) no longer has to beat out the prevalent bias to win.

In addition, biases and reputation aren't exclusively formed by the past winners. Yes, that's obviouslly a factor and the point of that "halo effect" idea, but its not complete. There's nothing keeping Jeter's reputation being built outside the confines of Gold Glove discussion and then favoring him unfairly. I don't need the Gold Gloves to trick me into thinking someone was a good SS. ESPN can do it by constantly showing me highlighted plays. I can be influenced by people talking. Or maybe I was witness to any number of plays which impacted me more than miscues did.

What's more, I'm missing something here. When you accept that a player might win the Gold Glove due to reputation in a year when he is NOT the most worthy winner aren't you just accepting that the awards are flawed? Surely you don't consider Ralmeiro's infamous win justified because he has in the past (and may have been during his comedical short turn that season) been a good defensive 1st baseman? So once you acknowledge these cases as not only being possible, but actually occurring with some regularity than how do you just accept the Gold Glove winners as the best defensive players at their positions? You KNOW that there's a good chance that any of them may have (a) been good, but not the best or (b) may have been completely undeserving but got by on past accomplishments.

I'm just ALWAYS at a loss as to anyone just defers to anyone with any credentials as being superior to them (which I'm not sure is what you're saying, but it does feel like the logical extension of your arguement). I'm sure plenty, if not all, of those involved in the Gold Glove voting know more about baseball than I. But that doesn't mean that I may not simply be right on something that they're wrong on. That goes for anything. Sometimes, the scientists find out they're wrong. Sometimes, politicians make horrible decisions. Sometimes, parents screw up. I value experience VERY highly. But I'm not blindly defering to people who are more experienced than I. If I think something and they think something else, yes I'll consider the fact that I'm wrong and they're right. But if I go back and take a deeper look and STILL think I'm right than what comes next? Do I question the experts or do I just accept that they know better despite all evidence I could find and move on? The latter strikes me as insane.

EDIT: I realized I basically had 2 paragraphs that were saying the same exact thing. So I restructured it a bit. My apologies if that causes any confusion for anyone who may have read the 1st version.

longtimeyankeefan
01-22-06, 05:42 PM
Brosius and Batista were both better choices, says BPro and UZR. I think your point highlights the crux of the debate here, which is that subpar fielders can receive Gold Gloves. Even given that Fryman was not a bad fielder (though the numbers say differently) isn't it possible, even likely, that a fielder can be selected for the GG based on perception around the league, the halo effect, and his fielding percentage, rather than actual defensive performance?

At the very least, I would suspect that Fryman's selection probably had as much to do with his eight errors at 3B the entire season.


Player G PO A E DP FP lgFP RFg lgRFg RF9 lgRF9 GS Inn
Brosius 134 101 231 11 23 .968 .947 2.48 2.31 2.60 2.67 133 1150.3
Batista 154 120 317 17 35 .963 .947 2.84 2.31 2.88 2.67 154 1367.0
Fryman 154 79 276 8 20 .978 .947 2.31 2.31 2.37 2.67 153 1346.3

Fryman's FP was impressive compared to the other candidates, but I agree that his RF/9, particularly when compared to Batista's stat, falls short. However, another way to look at it is that Batista, while having 82 more chances than Fryman, committed 9 more errors. Given that approach, Fryman comes out on top.

Brosius, I would argue, probably would be third in my analysis of these stats. Although his RF/9 is higher than Fryman's, his FP hurts his case.

I don't have access to UZR stats, so I can't cite them.

No matter how you play this game, it is tough to argue (other than the Palmiero's of the world) that the coaches and managers are getting it wrong (or right, for that matter).

justinvarnes
01-22-06, 07:03 PM
No matter how you play this game, it is tough to argue (other than the Palmiero's of the world) that the coaches and managers are getting it wrong (or right, for that matter).

Yeah, GG's aren't the best yardstick for a defensive evaluation, but using Palmeiro's GG as the rebuttal is just being obtuse.

longtimeyankeefan
01-22-06, 08:12 PM
Yeah, GG's aren't the best yardstick for a defensive evaluation, but using Palmeiro's GG as the rebuttal is just being obtuse.

Come again? How am I using Palmeiro's GG in 1999 as a rebuttal? And what am I rebutting?

justinvarnes
01-23-06, 06:52 PM
Come again? How am I using Palmeiro's GG in 1999 as a rebuttal? And what am I rebutting?

Sorry. the "yeah" at the beginning of my post was to agree with you and then to GO ON and say that there are people who use the exception of Palmeiro as the reason GG's are useless.

Granted they're not perfect. They're as valid as the Grammys or Oscars. Usually something to them and for the most part they serve as a layman's guide to excellence.

longtimeyankeefan
01-23-06, 07:12 PM
Sorry. the "yeah" at the beginning of my post was to agree with you and then to GO ON and say that there are people who use the exception of Palmeiro as the reason GG's are useless.

Granted they're not perfect. They're as valid as the Grammys or Oscars. Usually something to them and for the most part they serve as a layman's guide to excellence.

Then we are in agreement

Leonard
01-23-06, 08:57 PM
If defense at any position, in general is this important, then why do we have a less-than-acceptable catcher who is on the decline offensively, a 1B-man that can't throw and an OF that has to be one of the worst defensively in MLB?

We also haven't put anyone on the bench this year that helps us in any of these weak areas.

Not sure what the point is of this post.

PeteRFNY
01-23-06, 11:05 PM
Man o Manischewitz.

After reading through this entire thread (and getting a borderline vascular headache in the process) I've never been happier about the fact that I prefer watching and enjoying baseball the way I did when I was a kid over glomming endless stats. I did the stat thing for a while back in the late-80s and early 90s, but gave it up when I realized it was taking away from my enjoyment of the game as what it was meant for - a "time passer".

I can see the arguments from both sides, however - rather than going over UZR, DER, HiPro. PVR, DVD, CBS, GMT and whatever other decimallic rating systems there are out there, I prefer to watch how a guy plays overall.

I have my own judging system: suck vs. does not suck. I base that magical ratio on how many times a guy looks terrible and costs a team games, runs, etc. Speaking as somebody who watches pretty much every Yankee game from the first Spring Training telecast to the last game of the post-season, I can't say that I have seen Jeter regularly muff plays that cost the Yankees games (like I have some of the other flotsam in the majors). Based on THAT highly-scientific measuring tool, I have to place Jeter in the "does not suck" category.

I'm not gonna sit here and say "Jeter sure is the best shortstop ever" because he isn't, but he's also not a "liability". What he lacks in range he makes up for in technique and position. He takes what the baseball gods have given him and maximizes the talent as far as he can. There are plenty of other players that have a great talent ceiling and play like crap. You have to know how to tap what you have.

Regardless - all these statistical breakdowns strike me as a lot of minutiae. Baseball is supposed to be about green grass, blue skies, hot dogs and a nearly-perfectly-designed game whose main intent is to give us something to cheer for three hours. I'll leave the numbers-crunching to my job and save the cold ones for the ball games.

Petezs

YANKfan47
01-24-06, 12:37 AM
Derek Jeter is the face of the MLB! he is the smartest man in the game of baseball and one example would be the flip play in 01 (not sure) vs. the oakland A's!

bibigon
01-24-06, 10:40 AM
I have my own judging system: suck vs. does not suck. I base that magical ratio on how many times a guy looks terrible and costs a team games, runs, etc. Speaking as somebody who watches pretty much every Yankee game from the first Spring Training telecast to the last game of the post-season, I can't say that I have seen Jeter regularly muff plays that cost the Yankees games (like I have some of the other flotsam in the majors). Based on THAT highly-scientific measuring tool, I have to place Jeter in the "does not suck" category.

I'm not gonna sit here and say "Jeter sure is the best shortstop ever" because he isn't, but he's also not a "liability". What he lacks in range he makes up for in technique and position. He takes what the baseball gods have given him and maximizes the talent as far as he can. There are plenty of other players that have a great talent ceiling and play like crap. You have to know how to tap what you have.



If Jeter makes up for his lack of range with technique and positioning, then wouldn't that show up in the numbers? The numbers measuring range aren't measuring how good his range looks, they're measuring how many balls he gets to. If he's not getting to many balls, in spite of that great technique and position, then he's not a very good defensive player.

As much as it pains me to admit it, the numbers are pretty overwhelming in this regard. The man is just not good defensively. He doesn't look good defensively either to me, and I'm frankly confused why so many of you don't see that. He really is slow going to his left. Can you name for me the shortstops who are worse defensive players for me? I can't think of any in all honesty.

By the best estimates I've seen, in 2005, he recorded about 70 outs fewer than your average shortstop would have in his context. That's the worst rating in baseball last year, as you can see here. (http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/012844.php)

Just as Red Sox fans have made their peace with Manny Ramirez being the worst defensive left fielder in the game, I have made mine with Jeter being probably the worst defensive shortstop. He makes up for it and then some on offense, and I love the guy for it, but I'm not going to pretend as if his lack of range doesn't cost us games.

Jasbro
01-24-06, 10:58 AM
If Jeter makes up for his lack of range with technique and positioning, then wouldn't that show up in the numbers?

Only if the numbers are a valid representation of what constitutes a "good shortstop", which most observers -- including sabremetricians -- acknowledge that they are not.

The science is just not there yet.

If the question is: "Does Jeter have good range to his left?", then both the numbers and visual observation seem to indicate he does not. But that is just a single component to what constitutes a good infielder.

There are a dizzying array of components to what makes a good infielder, just as there are in determining what makes a good car. And with both, some are quantifiable and some are not.

To say that Jeter is a terrible SS because of his range numbers is akin to saying that a Ferrari is a terrible car because it gets bad gas mileage. Sure, there are cars that have better MPG numbers, but are those numbers definitive or comprehensive in terms of determining overall performance or value? Not in the least.

bibigon
01-24-06, 11:04 AM
Only if the numbers are a valid representation of what constitutes a "good shortstop", which most observers -- including sabremetricians -- acknowledge that they are not.



I'm curious what's your basis of saying this. Most sabermetricians these days believe that defensive statistics have gotten to a sufficiently developed point that they tell us a great deal about a player. Many of the more sabermetric teams are making signings based largely on these defensive statistics.

The comparison I've seen for the UZR is that it's the defensive equivalent of OPS. Yes it misses some things, some of them pretty significant, but it does a pretty good job in terms of accurately portraying what's going on 90% of the time or so.

effdamets
01-24-06, 12:03 PM
I am not a big believer in "defensive numbers". UZR or any other. I like to watch to see if a fielder can make plays or not. To me, Jeter goes into the outfield/foul ground for a pop up better than any shortstop I have ever seen. But this is not taken into account for his "range" because the ball is not hit on the ground. And as for the grounders he does not get to that go up the middle, there is really no way for anyone to measure how hard the ball was hit and what is a realistic chance for any human being that is not standing in front of that particular grounder, to get to. The expected ranges of all shortstops are the same? And this expectation comes from one person?

Jeter does not make flashy, diving type plays like Ozzie Smith. We know that. But with men on 2nd and 3rd, two outs, game on the line, I want the ball hit to Jeter rather than anyone else on that field!

I certainly believe that it is unrealistic for anyone to expect a shortstop to have more than a body's length of range to either side, on a fairly hard hit ball. On slow rollers, maybe two body lengths. But that is where the gray area comes in. What is a slow roller? What is a hard hit grounder?

Bottom line is.... Name the player you'd rather have at shortstop other than Derek Jeter (active of course)? I can't think of one...

PaulieIsAwesome
01-24-06, 04:56 PM
I am not a big believer in "defensive numbers". UZR or any other. I like to watch to see if a fielder can make plays or not. To me, Jeter goes into the outfield/foul ground for a pop up better than any shortstop I have ever seen. But this is not taken into account for his "range" because the ball is not hit on the ground. And as for the grounders he does not get to that go up the middle, there is really no way for anyone to measure how hard the ball was hit and what is a realistic chance for any human being that is not standing in front of that particular grounder, to get to. The expected ranges of all shortstops are the same? And this expectation comes from one person?

Jeter does not make flashy, diving type plays like Ozzie Smith. We know that. But with men on 2nd and 3rd, two outs, game on the line, I want the ball hit to Jeter rather than anyone else on that field!

I certainly believe that it is unrealistic for anyone to expect a shortstop to have more than a body's length of range to either side, on a fairly hard hit ball. On slow rollers, maybe two body lengths. But that is where the gray area comes in. What is a slow roller? What is a hard hit grounder?

Bottom line is.... Name the player you'd rather have at shortstop other than Derek Jeter (active of course)? I can't think of one...

Are you talking defensively?

How about:

Orlando Cabrera
Jhonny Peralta
Bobby Crosby
Julio Lugo
Juan Uribe
Tejada
Carlos Guillen
Yuniesky Betancourt
David Eckstein
Rafael Furcal
Jose Reyes
Cesar Itzuris
Jack Wilson

Or are you talking about in general, who would I rather have at Shortstop? Because why the hell do people keep asking that question in a thread about infielder defense? Let's try to figure out infield defense, and where Jeter ranks among his peers at SS, then continue to ask the same question, which everyone already knows the answer to, that he's one of the best offensive shortstops in the history of the game.

Mean Linguine
01-24-06, 05:02 PM
Man o Manischewitz.

After reading through this entire thread (and getting a borderline vascular headache in the process) I've never been happier about the fact that I prefer watching and enjoying baseball the way I did when I was a kid over glomming endless stats. I did the stat thing for a while back in the late-80s and early 90s, but gave it up when I realized it was taking away from my enjoyment of the game as what it was meant for - a "time passer".

I can see the arguments from both sides, however - rather than going over UZR, DER, HiPro. PVR, DVD, CBS, GMT and whatever other decimallic rating systems there are out there, I prefer to watch how a guy plays overall.

I have my own judging system: suck vs. does not suck. I base that magical ratio on how many times a guy looks terrible and costs a team games, runs, etc. Speaking as somebody who watches pretty much every Yankee game from the first Spring Training telecast to the last game of the post-season, I can't say that I have seen Jeter regularly muff plays that cost the Yankees games (like I have some of the other flotsam in the majors). Based on THAT highly-scientific measuring tool, I have to place Jeter in the "does not suck" category.

I'm not gonna sit here and say "Jeter sure is the best shortstop ever" because he isn't, but he's also not a "liability". What he lacks in range he makes up for in technique and position. He takes what the baseball gods have given him and maximizes the talent as far as he can. There are plenty of other players that have a great talent ceiling and play like crap. You have to know how to tap what you have.

Regardless - all these statistical breakdowns strike me as a lot of minutiae. Baseball is supposed to be about green grass, blue skies, hot dogs and a nearly-perfectly-designed game whose main intent is to give us something to cheer for three hours. I'll leave the numbers-crunching to my job and save the cold ones for the ball games.

Petezs

Hell of a good post.

Mean Linguine
01-24-06, 05:07 PM
I am not a big believer in "defensive numbers". UZR or any other. I like to watch to see if a fielder can make plays or not. To me, Jeter goes into the outfield/foul ground for a pop up better than any shortstop I have ever seen. But this is not taken into account for his "range" because the ball is not hit on the ground. And as for the grounders he does not get to that go up the middle, there is really no way for anyone to measure how hard the ball was hit and what is a realistic chance for any human being that is not standing in front of that particular grounder, to get to. The expected ranges of all shortstops are the same? And this expectation comes from one person?

Jeter does not make flashy, diving type plays like Ozzie Smith. We know that. But with men on 2nd and 3rd, two outs, game on the line, I want the ball hit to Jeter rather than anyone else on that field!

I certainly believe that it is unrealistic for anyone to expect a shortstop to have more than a body's length of range to either side, on a fairly hard hit ball. On slow rollers, maybe two body lengths. But that is where the gray area comes in. What is a slow roller? What is a hard hit grounder?

Bottom line is.... Name the player you'd rather have at shortstop other than Derek Jeter (active of course)? I can't think of one...

I'm with you, pal. He makes the plays and he's a versatile hitter. And he's not going to pull a Tejada and leave one winning team to make more money on a poor team, then complain that the new team isn't winning enough games. My answer to your question would be: No one.

Mean Linguine
01-24-06, 05:14 PM
Are you talking defensively?

How about:

Orlando Cabrera
Jhonny Peralta
Bobby Crosby
Julio Lugo
Juan Uribe
Tejada
Carlos Guillen
Yuniesky Betancourt
David Eckstein
Rafael Furcal
Jose Reyes
Cesar Itzuris
Jack Wilson

Or are you talking about in general, who would I rather have at Shortstop? Because why the hell do people keep asking that question in a thread about infielder defense? Let's try to figure out infield defense, and where Jeter ranks among his peers at SS, then continue to ask the same question, which everyone already knows the answer to, that he's one of the best offensive shortstops in the history of the game.

Ok, so even if he's middle of the pack defensively (I think he's better, but that's just one dude's opinion) and great offensively, that still makes him one of the top overall shortstops, if not the top, right? And if he's one of the top overall shortstops, then we all would want to keep him. So if we already have one of the top overall shortstops, what is the point of any of this? Jeter and A-Rod are the LEAST of our problems.

PaulieIsAwesome
01-24-06, 05:16 PM
Man o Manischewitz.

After reading through this entire thread (and getting a borderline vascular headache in the process) I've never been happier about the fact that I prefer watching and enjoying baseball the way I did when I was a kid over glomming endless stats. I did the stat thing for a while back in the late-80s and early 90s, but gave it up when I realized it was taking away from my enjoyment of the game as what it was meant for - a "time passer".

I can see the arguments from both sides, however - rather than going over UZR, DER, HiPro. PVR, DVD, CBS, GMT and whatever other decimallic rating systems there are out there, I prefer to watch how a guy plays overall.

I have my own judging system: suck vs. does not suck. I base that magical ratio on how many times a guy looks terrible and costs a team games, runs, etc. Speaking as somebody who watches pretty much every Yankee game from the first Spring Training telecast to the last game of the post-season, I can't say that I have seen Jeter regularly muff plays that cost the Yankees games (like I have some of the other flotsam in the majors). Based on THAT highly-scientific measuring tool, I have to place Jeter in the "does not suck" category.

I'm not gonna sit here and say "Jeter sure is the best shortstop ever" because he isn't, but he's also not a "liability". What he lacks in range he makes up for in technique and position. He takes what the baseball gods have given him and maximizes the talent as far as he can. There are plenty of other players that have a great talent ceiling and play like crap. You have to know how to tap what you have.

Regardless - all these statistical breakdowns strike me as a lot of minutiae. Baseball is supposed to be about green grass, blue skies, hot dogs and a nearly-perfectly-designed game whose main intent is to give us something to cheer for three hours. I'll leave the numbers-crunching to my job and save the cold ones for the ball games.

Petezs

Ok, that's fine. You can leave your statistical breakdowns for your job. Some of us, though, would like to both appreciate the aesthetics of the game as well as understand how the game actually works. I love playing, watching baseball. I also like talking about it.

There are timeless questions that have been asked about baseball, Mays or Mantle, Williams or Dimaggio, Nomar (in his prime) vs. Jeter and all sorts of others. We don't have to just say "I like Jeter because I'm a Yankees fan." We can quantify his contribution to the team. Turns out, his defense is lacking, especially on balls up the middle. Jasbro is right, this is not the only component of defense, but given that Jeter had 454 assists last year, we can say that a lot of an infielder's defense is wrapped up in their lateral range when fielding ground balls. He can make up some of that on fly balls, awareness, ... but the plays he needs to make most are grounders.

PaulieIsAwesome
01-24-06, 05:21 PM
Ok, so even if he's middle of the pack defensively (I think he's better, but that's just one dude's opinion) and great offensively, that still makes him one of the top overall shortstops, if not the top, right? And if he's one of the top overall shortstops, then we all would want to keep him. So if we already have one of the top overall shortstops, what is the point of any of this? Jeter and A-Rod are the LEAST of our problems.

We can try to maximize all of our resources, as far as I see it.

And anyway, I thought this thread was about whether Jeter is a good defensive SS, and how we quantify defense? Why do some posters feel the need to jump to his support whenever anyone has a comment close to calling him not the most perfect player ever? To my knowledge, no one in this thread said "Screw Jeter," "Jeter sucks," "Let's trade Jeter to the Reds so we can get back Womack."

We just said he's not that good defensively.

Mean Linguine
01-24-06, 05:28 PM
We can try to maximize all of our resources, as far as I see it.

And anyway, I thought this thread was about whether Jeter is a good defensive SS, and how we quantify defense? Why do some posters feel the need to jump to his support whenever anyone has a comment close to calling him not the most perfect player ever? To my knowledge, no one in this thread said "Screw Jeter," "Jeter sucks," "Let's trade Jeter to the Reds so we can get back Womack."

We just said he's not that good defensively.

I get what you're saying. But in the case of someone like, say, Posada or Bernie, you can argue about their deficiencies, and make good cases for replacing them with better players. Here, you already have perhaps the best overall shortstop in baseball, so what is the point of arguing about his deficiencies? We're not going to do any better than Jeter. It's like a neighbor who has a Rolls Royce when you have a Dodge Dart, telling you that he wishes his car had better fuel efficiency.

BillBuckner
01-24-06, 05:29 PM
Haven't you heard? He's overrated. :drool:

Mr. Mxylsplk
01-24-06, 05:30 PM
Here, you already have perhaps the best overall shortstop in baseball, so what is the point of arguing about his deficiencies? We're not going to do any better than Jeter.
Makes one wonder why you'd even open the thread.

Mean Linguine
01-24-06, 05:37 PM
Makes one wonder why you'd even open the thread.

I'm starting to wonder now, too.

BJG
01-24-06, 05:39 PM
I get what you're saying. But in the case of someone like, say, Posada or Bernie, you can argue about their deficiencies, and make good cases for replacing them with better players. Here, you already have perhaps the best overall shortstop in baseball, so what is the point of arguing about his deficiencies? We're not going to do any better than Jeter. It's like a neighbor who has a Rolls Royce when you have a Dodge Dart, telling you that he wishes his car had better fuel efficiency.

There are probably as many catchers better overall than Posada as there are SS better than Jeter overall.

justinvarnes
01-24-06, 06:00 PM
From all metrics I have seen, Jeter seems to have average range. some years it's below average, some years it's above average. I believe alot of that has to do with his 3rd basemen (A solid brosius, an old ventura, an inept boone, a range-machine in A-Rod).

However (and i believe this is partially what the thread was SUPPOSED to be about) there are other factors in being a defender. Specifically for a SS:

Arm Strength - Jeter has a strong arm. Not the strongest, but definitely as strong as you need to play that position (if the jump-leap-thingy does nothing, it shows us that)

Hands - Jeter seems to have good hands, but not ozzie smith hands. I'd say above average, but not elite.

Double plays - Jeter seems to be average to above average here. definitely not elite, though.

Shallow Outfield Flyballs - Jeter is the best I've seen at this (among current players)

Situational Awareness - something that is most important for a SS. Jeter seems to know things like when to throw to third or second vs. getting the out at first. he always leaves the tag on the basestealers, which results in an occasional out. etc... these add up to a few more outs (and maybe a few more IMPORTANT outs if you factor in getting the lead runner, etc.)

Relay Throws - Again, Jeter seems to be great at these. Not perfect, but probably one of the best in the game.



The point of all that? it's to say that all those things add more value to his defensive ability than just his range and ability to turn groundballs into outs.

Add ALL those extra categories up, and i think it still doesn't come close to what UZR can tell you.

HOWEVER, it does mean more to a player like Jeter who excels at literally EVERY other aspect of the position. Getting the lead runner, throwing out someone at home on a relay, etc. adds value that should not be ignored.

Which, to me, makes Jeter slightly above average.

PaulieIsAwesome
01-24-06, 06:46 PM
I get what you're saying. But in the case of someone like, say, Posada or Bernie, you can argue about their deficiencies, and make good cases for replacing them with better players. Here, you already have perhaps the best overall shortstop in baseball, so what is the point of arguing about his deficiencies? We're not going to do any better than Jeter. It's like a neighbor who has a Rolls Royce when you have a Dodge Dart, telling you that he wishes his car had better fuel efficiency.

So we can accurately develop a model for winning baseball games. If we glorify Jeter now, what's to stop us from doing the same in 5 years, when maybe he should move from shortstop because of his age?

Or a similar player in ten years, who is really atrocious at short, but would make a good second baseman, while we have some good, developing, shortstop prospect?

Let's be honest about our players strengths and their deficiencies. It doesn't mean we want a replacement, but it means that we best understand how the game works.

BJG
01-24-06, 07:11 PM
HOWEVER, it does mean more to a player like Jeter who excels at literally EVERY other aspect of the position. Getting the lead runner, throwing out someone at home on a relay, etc. adds value that should not be ignored.

Which, to me, makes Jeter slightly above average.

Again, it's a simple question...how much value do those other things add? For example, how many pop ups a year are there that other short stops can't get? What does that mean in terms of keeping the other team from scoring. Even if he is great at it, if it means that he only makes 10 outs a year that the average SS doesn't make, relative to his deficiencies, that just doesn't mean much.

Jasbro
01-24-06, 07:24 PM
From all metrics I have seen, Jeter seems to have average range. some years it's below average, some years it's above average. I believe alot of that has to do with his 3rd basemen (A solid brosius, an old ventura, an inept boone, a range-machine in A-Rod).

However (and i believe this is partially what the thread was SUPPOSED to be about) there are other factors in being a defender. Specifically for a SS:

Arm Strength - Jeter has a strong arm. Not the strongest, but definitely as strong as you need to play that position (if the jump-leap-thingy does nothing, it shows us that)

Hands - Jeter seems to have good hands, but not ozzie smith hands. I'd say above average, but not elite.

Double plays - Jeter seems to be average to above average here. definitely not elite, though.

Shallow Outfield Flyballs - Jeter is the best I've seen at this (among current players)

Situational Awareness - something that is most important for a SS. Jeter seems to know things like when to throw to third or second vs. getting the out at first. he always leaves the tag on the basestealers, which results in an occasional out. etc... these add up to a few more outs (and maybe a few more IMPORTANT outs if you factor in getting the lead runner, etc.)

Relay Throws - Again, Jeter seems to be great at these. Not perfect, but probably one of the best in the game.



The point of all that? it's to say that all those things add more value to his defensive ability than just his range and ability to turn groundballs into outs.

Add ALL those extra categories up, and i think it still doesn't come close to what UZR can tell you.

HOWEVER, it does mean more to a player like Jeter who excels at literally EVERY other aspect of the position. Getting the lead runner, throwing out someone at home on a relay, etc. adds value that should not be ignored.

Which, to me, makes Jeter slightly above average.

Good post. To look at this another way, Bubba Crosby has excellent range in CF and a decent arm, but he is a nightmare in terms of awareness and all the other things that a "field general position" like CF -- and SS -- is supposed to be. I would take a range-deficient field general like Jeter over a range-gifted , but situationally-deficient, player like Crosby any day of the week.

38Special
01-24-06, 07:30 PM
Good post. To look at this another way, Bubba Crosby has excellent range in CF and a decent arm, but he is a nightmare in terms of awareness and all the other things that a "field general position" like CF -- and SS -- is supposed to be. I would take a range-deficient field general like Jeter over a range-gifted , but situationally-deficient, player like Crosby any day of the week.

Bubba has excellent range?

This thread is a little crazy

BJG
01-24-06, 07:33 PM
Interesting overview article...

http://ussmariner.com/?p=3283#more-3283

SINCE77 2
01-24-06, 08:01 PM
Again, it's a simple question...how much value do those other things add? For example, how many pop ups a year are there that other short stops can't get? What does that mean in terms of keeping the other team from scoring. Even if he is great at it, if it means that he only makes 10 outs a year that the average SS doesn't make, relative to his deficiencies, that just doesn't mean much.


The same can be applied to lateral range. How often in a given game does Jeter require the range of Pokey Reese? How about a given week ? Considering that one can watch game after game in which 90% or more of the outs are hit directly at (or within arms reach) of a defender how much importance can we truly place on lateral range? Furthermore, in the scheme of things any ball going past Jeter to his left or right is just a single. Lateral range for a corner infielder is in truth more important imo. A ball to the left of Giambi or to the right of Arod is a double. While Jeter or any SS for that matter may get more balls hit at him (justifying UZR) the majority are easily handled for outs.

BJG
01-24-06, 08:16 PM
The same can be applied to lateral range. How often in a given game does Jeter require the range of Pokey Reese? How about a given week ? Considering that one can watch game after game in which 90% or more of the outs are hit directly at (or within arms reach) of a defender how much importance can we truly place on lateral range? Furthermore, in the scheme of things any ball going past Jeter to his left or right is just a single. Lateral range for a corner infielder is in truth more important imo. A ball to the left of Giambi or to the right of Arod is a double. While Jeter or any SS for that matter may get more balls hit at him (justifying UZR) the majority are easily handled for outs.

The questions you are asking are exactly what the PBP defensive models are attempting to answer. All that they do is count up all of those events. You can then apply a run value to that (a run value that is in fact different for different positions). I also don't understand your 'justifying UZR' comment.

justinvarnes
01-24-06, 09:33 PM
Again, it's a simple question...how much value do those other things add? For example, how many pop ups a year are there that other short stops can't get? What does that mean in terms of keeping the other team from scoring. Even if he is great at it, if it means that he only makes 10 outs a year that the average SS doesn't make, relative to his deficiencies, that just doesn't mean much.

I think that it is pretty hard to tell from one year to the next how much weight these other factors should carry since there are usually not an "average" number of close plays at the plate that requires a relay throw from Jeter for example...and even if it could be averaged, there are too many factors that are out of his control (where the ball was initally hit, how fast this particular runner is, how accurate the initial throw to the SS was, etc.)

I stated that I don't think all the factors mentioned can "come close" to equaling the old "catch the ground ball and turn it into an out".

BUT, Jeter definitely creates plenty of outs over the course of a season by being excellent at all the other aspects of the position. And not only does he create outs that don't show up as UZR (one of the many reasons everyone knows UZR is not perfect), he also is intelligent enough to get the more "important" outs (i.e. getting the lead runner, relay throw to the plate, hell, even the whole diving into the stands or the flip play or whatever that at SOME point must be factored in as more than just coincidence).

Now before I get jumped on for mentioning the "flip play", let it be known that I don't think those things by themselves elevate him to a great SS, but these are the things that you don't seem to see other SS's do, and it MUST be factored in, even if it's only a miniscule element.

Which is why I summed it up by saying that since RF and ZR etc. say he's an average at best SS, I believe if you add up the other factors, it elevates him to "slightly above average".

sorry, that's the best way I can quantify the "value" of these factors. I believe he's better at those other factors than most, so it should be considered.

Which again, I think was the point of the post. Jeter seems to be excellent at everything BUT range, so how does that effect his defense?

BJG
01-24-06, 09:50 PM
UZR actually has an arm rating, so such things can in fact be quantified to a certain degree. Again though, we know what happens when a player ends up on first with one out versus when a player ends on second with one out (i.e. whether the force was made or not). These are things that we can at least have a general understanding about, in other words. We know how runs score.

In addition, we know in a general sense how many grounders get hit near a shortstop, how many pop-ups get hit to shortstops, how many relays and double plays there are. You don't have to be exact to know that there's a big difference between somewhere around 400 and somewhere around 50, for example, and to understand what all those extra events mean in terms of potential run scoring.

PeteRFNY
01-24-06, 10:02 PM
If Jeter makes up for his lack of range with technique and positioning, then wouldn't that show up in the numbers? The numbers measuring range aren't measuring how good his range looks, they're measuring how many balls he gets to. If he's not getting to many balls, in spite of that great technique and position, then he's not a very good defensive player.

This could very well be true, but as I pointed out in my post, I am not a slave to numbers. It just strikes me that many of these posts make it seem as though Jeter is a liability at short, with terrible range who costs the Yankees by playing there, when watching the games day in and out do not bear that theory fruit.

It would be one thing if Jeter was absolutely awful, and had balls going through his legs and past him a foot to his left grounder after grounder, but that is not the case. If anything, he's relaible (if not deemed solid by slide-rule standards). I'd rather have a guy out there day in and day out that I know will be something other than a stump with a glove, and Jeter certainly isn't that.

Kudo
01-24-06, 10:43 PM
http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/012844.php

I found this Probabalistic Model of Range at baseballmusings.com , I dont know how valuable it is but it is interesting. According to it Jeter is at the botttom.

effdamets
01-25-06, 08:17 AM
Omar Infante? Chris Barmes? John McDonald?

Fortunately for us baseball fans, this is not football and a player plays on both sides of the ball.

I would totally agree that if I had a "defensive only" shortstop on my team, it might be one of these guys.

But, let me ask this question: What good is having 35 feet of range to your left if when you get to the ball you throw it into the 4th row of the grand stand because your footwork and shoulder/hip postioning is awful? (extreme example)

Obviously everyone has a different opinion. I want my shortstop to make plays. Show me good mechanics on a ground ball, soft hands, good foot work while getting into position and throwing, and a fairly strong, and accurate throwing arm. Average range is OK by me (from Jeter) because I don't need the best of the best in every category measureable on a player.

To me, this 'every player must be perfect' attitude, completely takes the fan-dom (don't know if that's a word) out of the game. I mean the Yankees sign Johnny Damon and right away, people say he has a weak throwing arm. So what? Name me the CF'ers that have great throwing arms. Or, people are worried about what he is going to be like in 4 years. Why? And why do people worry about the money? I never see anyone that is using a computer, complain about Bill Gates or Michael Dell taking a 100 million dollar bonus every year. If the Yankees have it, and want to spend it, then let them! Who cares about the salary? Would people be more partial (Yankee fans of course) to a salary cap? Then the Yankees would never have anyone because it takes a bit more to entice players to come here and play!

I'm getting off of the topic of the thread, but, it is all kind of related. Jeter does not have the best range. However, he is a cool and collected player. A well rounded player, and since you have to bring the entire package to the table in a baseball game, those defensive measuring numbers can go right out the window (to me).

(thank you for listening to my babble......)

effdamets
01-25-06, 08:18 AM
UZR actually has an arm rating, so such things can in fact be quantified to a certain degree. Again though, we know what happens when a player ends up on first with one out versus when a player ends on second with one out (i.e. whether the force was made or not). These are things that we can at least have a general understanding about, in other words. We know how runs score.

In addition, we know in a general sense how many grounders get hit near a shortstop, how many pop-ups get hit to shortstops, how many relays and double plays there are. You don't have to be exact to know that there's a big difference between somewhere around 400 and somewhere around 50, for example, and to understand what all those extra events mean in terms of potential run scoring.
Does anyone actually have the formula for the UZR? I'd be interested in seeing what numbers are used....

RhodeyYankee2638
01-25-06, 08:25 AM
http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/012844.php

I found this Probabalistic Model of Range at baseballmusings.com , I dont know how valuable it is but it is interesting. According to it Jeter is at the botttom.

Did Bobby Crosby play more than 20 games last season?

BJG
01-25-06, 09:57 AM
Omar Infante? Chris Barmes? John McDonald?

Fortunately for us baseball fans, this is not football and a player plays on both sides of the ball.

I would totally agree that if I had a "defensive only" shortstop on my team, it might be one of these guys.

Yes, but the point of this thread is to discuss defense. Some people can't seem to accept that Jeter can still be a good shortstop while being a poor defender. It's not a knock on Jeter to be honest about his game.


But, let me ask this question: What good is having 35 feet of range to your left if when you get to the ball you throw it into the 4th row of the grand stand because your footwork and shoulder/hip postioning is awful? (extreme example)

Which is exactly why the PBP stats attempt to measure the number of outs that are converted on balls hit near the player...throwing it into the stands isn't an out and neither is letting it roll into the outfield. Either the guy is out or the guy isn't out...whether that's a result of poor footwork, a bad arm, or poor range doesn't really matter in the larger context of the defender's job.


Obviously everyone has a different opinion. I want my shortstop to make plays. Show me good mechanics on a ground ball, soft hands, good foot work while getting into position and throwing, and a fairly strong, and accurate throwing arm. Average range is OK by me (from Jeter) because I don't need the best of the best in every category measureable on a player.

Show me the ability to make outs. How it happens, I don't care.


To me, this 'every player must be perfect' attitude, completely takes the fan-dom (don't know if that's a word) out of the game. I mean the Yankees sign Johnny Damon and right away, people say he has a weak throwing arm. So what? Name me the CF'ers that have great throwing arms. Or, people are worried about what he is going to be like in 4 years. Why? And why do people worry about the money? I never see anyone that is using a computer, complain about Bill Gates or Michael Dell taking a 100 million dollar bonus every year. If the Yankees have it, and want to spend it, then let them! Who cares about the salary? Would people be more partial (Yankee fans of course) to a salary cap? Then the Yankees would never have anyone because it takes a bit more to entice players to come here and play!

I would agree that every player need not be perfect. In fact, the desire to see Jeter as a good defender despite the evidence seems to be part of that drive. Going beyond that, though, we do need to understand what makes a player, overall, good and what makes them, overall, bad because there will come a time when Bernie, for example, no longer hits enough to cover for his defense. In addition, I do think we need to think about the future. The team has a 5 year plan (and so on), so there's no reason to not think on the same plane.

BJG
01-25-06, 09:59 AM
Did Bobby Crosby play more than 20 games last season?

84 at short. Remember, the PMR tables aren't standardized to runs over 150 or 162 games like UZR. They are simply showing how a player did relative to the expected in the time that they played..in other words, what % of the plays that you could have made did you make? In that sense, it's kind of presented like AVG, so you have to establish a cutoff where you think the number of AB is too small to mean anything (and even then, smaller samples always carry less value, and even Licthman would say that that's when you supplement with more traditional scouting).

BJG
01-25-06, 10:04 AM
Does anyone actually have the formula for the UZR? I'd be interested in seeing what numbers are used....

Lichtman introduces UZR here:

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primate_studies/discussion/lichtman_2003-03-14_0/

and continues in Part 2 at

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primate_studies/discussion/lichtman_2003-03-21_0/

PaulieIsAwesome
01-25-06, 11:27 AM
To me, this 'every player must be perfect' attitude, completely takes the fan-dom (don't know if that's a word) out of the game. I mean the Yankees sign Johnny Damon and right away, people say he has a weak throwing arm. So what? Name me the CF'ers that have great throwing arms. Or, people are worried about what he is going to be like in 4 years. Why? And why do people worry about the money? I never see anyone that is using a computer, complain about Bill Gates or Michael Dell taking a 100 million dollar bonus every year. If the Yankees have it, and want to spend it, then let them! Who cares about the salary? Would people be more partial (Yankee fans of course) to a salary cap? Then the Yankees would never have anyone because it takes a bit more to entice players to come here and play!

I'm getting off of the topic of the thread, but, it is all kind of related. Jeter does not have the best range. However, he is a cool and collected player. A well rounded player, and since you have to bring the entire package to the table in a baseball game, those defensive measuring numbers can go right out the window (to me).

(thank you for listening to my babble......)

I don't want a salary cap. I just want the Yankees to spend their money efficiently so that whatever issues may arise they will be able to build the team the FO wants to. With huge salary wrapped up in aging players, there is a high risk of injury. If the reports about the team losing money last year were true, anyway, the team is going to start bringing down payroll.

And I agree with BJG. The people who are really arguing that players need to be perfect are those masking Jeter's defensive flaws. No player is perfect (maybe Pujols) and an honest acknowledgement of that now won't cause myriad problems down the road.

For example, had the Yankees noticed and cared earlier when Bernie's defense was atrophying (2001-2002) perhaps it wouldn't have taken them 3 years to find a suitable replacement. That could have been 3 years without Bernie's -25 or so defensive rating in center, maybe 2 and a half wins more the last three years.

effdamets
01-25-06, 11:43 AM
For example, had the Yankees noticed and cared earlier when Bernie's defense was atrophying (2001-2002) perhaps it wouldn't have taken them 3 years to find a suitable replacement. That could have been 3 years without Bernie's -25 or so defensive rating in center, maybe 2 and a half wins more the last three years.
But this doesn't have anything to do with the Yankees giving Bernie the money. This was poor planning on their part. They drafted badly and the result was, they didn't have a replacement for Bernie when it was necessary. I have a feeling it will be the same with Posada, Jeter, and Rivera. But, again, this certainly doesn't have anything to do with their current salaries. If George Steinbrenner can spend 600 million (or whatever it is) on a new stadium, I think he can afford to pay a player an extra million or two to come to the Yankees, as long as it helps them win. Now spending money foolishly (ah-hem... Jaret Wright) is something that bothers me. However, you really don't know if you've spent money foolishly until the player doesn't perform up to the expectations you had for him.

BJG
01-25-06, 11:47 AM
But this doesn't have anything to do with the Yankees giving Bernie the money. This was poor planning on their part. They drafted badly and the result was, they didn't have a replacement for Bernie when it was necessary. I have a feeling it will be the same with Posada, Jeter, and Rivera. But, again, this certainly doesn't have anything to do with their current salaries. If George Steinbrenner can spend 600 million (or whatever it is) on a new stadium, I think he can afford to pay a player an extra million or two to come to the Yankees, as long as it helps them win. Now spending money foolishly (ah-hem... Jaret Wright) is something that bothers me. However, you really don't know if you've spent money foolishly until the player doesn't perform up to the expectations you had for him.

The Yankees had opportunities over the past few offseasons to phase Bernie out with any number of free agents ranging from top tier to league average and chose either not to sign them or not to play them when they did. This was an organizational failure that went well beyond simply not having a prospect ready to take over.

effdamets
01-25-06, 11:59 AM
The Yankees had opportunities over the past few offseasons to phase Bernie out with any number of free agents ranging from top tier to league average and chose either not to sign them or not to play them when they did. This was an organizational failure that went well beyond simply not having a prospect ready to take over.
OK. Maybe so. But my point is, this does not have anything to do with Bernie's salary. This is poor front office planning/moves.

PaulieIsAwesome
01-25-06, 12:02 PM
However, you really don't know if you've spent money foolishly until the player doesn't perform up to the expectations you had for him.

Except while you don't know for certain that money was spent poorly until they've stunk, you can make reasonable guesses about effectiveness (I think it was pretty clear that Cristian Guzman and Eric Milton were going to suck last year.)

And also, knowing more information about a player (like, perhaps, their defensive value) will help decide if they are worth the money.

And finally, what I am most worried about is Jeter's defense getting worse, along with his offense (as happens to players, especially middle infielders) over the next few years, so that in 2009, or whenever, he's far less effective. If the Yankees believed he used to play at a very high level of defense, they might be tempted to keep him at short for a while, even as better options fly by. If they could best assess his defense now, it might allow them to avoid hemorrhaging wins in 2009.

BJG
01-25-06, 12:02 PM
OK. Maybe so. But my point is, this does not have anything to do with Bernie's salary. This is poor front office planning/moves.

Exactly, based, it would seem in large part, on a significant organizational problem evaluating defense (or at least defense relative to the offense coming in). They either aren't very good at it or don't care.

PaulieIsAwesome
01-25-06, 12:04 PM
OK. Maybe so. But my point is, this does not have anything to do with Bernie's salary. This is poor front office planning/moves.

People in the Yankee FO were quoted as saying that they did not offer Beltran a counter-offer because $200 million really was as high as they could go. I don't want to start another Beltran fight, but it's definitely possible that they couldn't afford a FA they wanted last offseason.

BJG
01-25-06, 12:06 PM
People in the Yankee FO were quoted as saying that they did not offer Beltran a counter-offer because $200 million really was as high as they could go. I don't want to start another Beltran fight, but it's definitely possible that they couldn't afford a FA they wanted last offseason.

Which really shouldn't have stopped them from finding a league average CF to go into the season with. And that's just last year.