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My head just exploded…

Posted by Andy on November 9, 2010

...because Derek Jeter won another Gold Glove award.

EDIT: of the 47 shortstops who get a fielding runs number in the PI in 2010, Jeter has the 46th-best total. Yeah, 45 shortstops generated better fielding run totals than he did. This excludes guys who changed teams mid-season, due to a PI bug that I am alerting Sean to.

139 Responses to “My head just exploded…”

  1. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Yes, it's on the fielding pages. This year Jeter made 4 throwing errors, 1 fielding error, and 1 error on a catch (I think I remember this, a misplay/drop on a feed from Cano).

    Only 1 fielding error is impressive, certainly (though of course questionable, since we all know the awarding of errors is rather subjective). But the simple fact is that he does not get to many balls.

  2. Evan Says:

    Thanks JT. I forgot that the fielding stats were expandable from the player page.

  3. John DiFool Says:

    Is there a "scatter" chart overlaying the infield somewhere (outfield too) which shows where the "first touch" of a groundout (or lineout) occurred for a given fielder? I'd love to compare Jeter's with say A-Gon's.

  4. Tmckelv Says:

    @86 JT,

    I am far from a Reggie Jackson backer, but as we all know, his nickname is "Mr.October", not "Mr. Regular Season".

  5. Mitch Says:

    David Wright of the Mets has already won two GG's and everyone can agree that he's an average 3B at best. GG's don't mean much anymore, obviously

  6. BLKPRJKT Says:

    Hey now let's hold on just a minute... If someone is the highest paid for the job they perform, don't they get, nay, DESERVE a pass? I mean shoot, being a lifelong Giants fan, I'm fairly shocked Barry Zito didn't win the NL Cy this year...

    Oh wait, I just woke up from a nap, sorry. Yeah, 46th best SS hardly a GG candidate, let alone winner. Jeter is done, has been for a few years running now.

  7. Joe Mack Says:

    I'm always amazed when people say things like this:

    "when the money was on the line he got the hit, he stole the base, he threw out the runner, and he hit the home run"

    and then fail to realize that that's an easily measurable and quantifiable situation. People's misunderstanding of math never fails to frustrate me.

  8. Joe Mack Says:

    And then things like:

    Defensive metrics are far from perfect, however. Teixeira is listed by as having a -2.9 UZR, while Cano's UZR was -0.6, suggesting that their fielding - considered to be stellar by virtually everybody in baseball - was below average for their positions.
    "That's crazy," said one major-league scout, who rated both players between 75-80 on a 20-80 scale said. "If that's what UZR says, then flush it down the toilet. Those guys are exceptional and their defense is in a class of its own."
    - - - - -
    So much for the "numbers".

    Yep, because UZR might not accurately measure what it is intended to measure, that means all of math is wrong and can't be relied on for anything. We should certainly use the much more reliable and objective metric of human perception.

  9. Johnny Twisto Says:

    "That's crazy," said one major-league scout

    I wonder if that's the same "scout" who proclaimed Bobby Abreu was finished when he was batting .230 in June 2007.

  10. Matt Y Says:

    and Abreu is a HoFer.

  11. Scott Says:

    You watched over 700 games this season? That's roughly 12 hours a day of baseball, every single day of the season. I love my baseball, but that doesn't sound very realistic to me.

  12. Alicia Says:

    Nobody responded to my earlier query comparing Greg Maddux to Orlando Hernandez. Obviously Maddux has the better "numbers" by far. But which of them, in their prine, do you want starting a playoff game?

  13. Nathan Says:

    Maddux. El Duque's "prime" lasted about six months. Maddux had four Cy Youngs. And Maddux is younger.

  14. Ghost of Horace Clarke Says:

    Alicia, if Maddux is pitching with the Yankees, I take him. Orlando was good the playoffs but he also had a better team to help him in regards to offense...clearly...over anything Maddux usually had.

    I will give you orlando had ice in his veins but Maddux was not Ed Whitson when it came to nevrves.

  15. Alicia Says:

    Except Maddux was mediocre in the playoffs. Hernandez was a better big game pitcher.

  16. Alicia Says:

    All the newly invented stats with the odd acronyms all indicate Maddux was a much better pitcher than Hernandez. This is clearly true. However in big game situations the exact opposite was true. The sabermetric numbers cannot account for this, so someone conveniently invents a new obscure stat to justify it. Some great players, like Manny, are even better in big games, and other great players, like Jimmy Rollins, are not. There are some things that simply can't be reduced to formulas. The tinkering of Boston's bullpen a few years ago by Bill James himself was a complete failure. Losing touch with instincts is never a good idea.

  17. Morten Jonsson Says:

    Greg Maddux had a lifetime 3.27 ERA in 198 postseason innings (nearly a full season's worth). His lifetime regular season ERA was 3.16--not significantly different, and remember that the teams he faced in the postseason were presumably better on average than those in the regular season. The fact that he had a losing record in the postseason is neither here nor there; the Braves may have stopped hitting when the season ended, but Greg Maddux was clearly the same pitcher in October that he was in April through September. That might be mediocre by his standards, but by almost any other standard it's awfully good.

    Orlando Hernandez had a lifetime 2.55 ERA in 106 postseason innings. That's terrific by any standard. (And more than a little flukey.) But given what Maddux did over nearly twice as many innings, I'd still take him in a big game, a small game, any game. In a heartbeat.

  18. CaseyStengel Says:

    The "only 6 errors" argument means nothing. If due to lack of range, 40 balls get by a diving Jeter that a true elite fielder can get to (approximately 1 every 4th game), that’s 40 equivalent errors made (there is a runner on first who shouldn't be there, and runs scored that should not have scored). Lack of range needs to be a huge part of the consideration of whether someone is GG worthy. And Jeter is definitely not at this point in his career.

  19. Charles Saeger Says:

    I'm actually surprised. I thought it was apparent to everyone that Jeter's range was down from even its already low standards. Announcers were openly talking about it this year. "Heart and soul" does not, in of itself, mean "great fielder." Where are Willie Stargell's Gold Gloves?

    Oh, and anyone who would put Orlando Hernández in a big game instead of Greg Maddux has never actually seen a baseball game. Seriously.

  20. dodgerdave Says:

    And a lot of us saw Maddux get bombed throughout the 1989 NLCS. Will Clark took him deep twice, including a grand slam.

  21. Joe Mack Says:

    "The sabermetric numbers cannot account for [players being better in big game situations], so someone conveniently invents a new obscure stat to justify it."

    I tell you what. You define for me exactly what you mean by a 'big game situation', I'll give you a sabermetric that tells you how good a player is in one.

    "There are some things that simply can't be reduced to formulas."

    You believe you're making a poignant argument, but really all you're doing is showcasing your failure to understand mathematics. I'll give you the Reduced [hahaha] to a Formula Test:

    Can it be measured in any way?
    It can be reduced to a formula.

    Whether or not we're currently able to measure it properly makes no difference. If it CAN be measured, it can be turned into a formula. I'm sure next you're going to tell me how leadership, heart, toughness, poise, whatever, can't be measured. Right?

  22. Alicia Says:

    Pujols beat Ike Davis for the GG, and nobody is complaining? Someone isn't paying attention to the sacred UZR's.

  23. Matt Y Says:

    Stats are much better than perception over the long haul, but stats do boil the context down to nothing sometimes. Stats are a great tool, but they too has holes. As for Hernandez and Maddux in playoffs --well, actually, Hernandez was better in the playoffs than Maddux and wasn't a fluke. You also can't dispute that. Sorry. With that said, Maddux was perhaps one of the top 5-10 pitchers of all time, and Hernandez is only getting into Cooperstown if he buys a ticket. El Duque was money in the playoffs, and Maddux was good, but often lesser than he was in the regular season. El Duque's performance in the playoffs was not flukey, and I suspect coming to the States in raft gave him a little extra moxy needed in the playoffs than the typical type. Just a guess.

  24. Johnny Twisto Says:

    How do you define when something is a fluke?

  25. Derek Jeter, Gold Glove Winner | Jamesonbanfill's Blog Says:

    [...] negotiations: Derek Jeter has won the Gold Glove award. (Needless to say, it’s not a popular choice.) It’s Jeter’s fifth Gold Glove. Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira took home the award at [...]

  26. Greg Teta Says:

    Please. 99% of you wouldn't know a good defensive shortstop if he fell on your heads. Let me get this straight. Derek Jeter is good enough to play SS for Joe Girardi, Brian Cashman and the NY Yankees but he's not good enough for baseball-reference .com. That's a good one. Point being defensive stats are and will always be subject to so many unmeasurable variables as to be meaningless. I'll take professional observation any day over some nonsense about Chances, Assists and Putouts-which all depend upon how often the ball is hit to someone rather than measuring how good a fielder that player is. Jeter made only 6 errors last year-if that's not meaningful none of the other nonsense is either.

  27. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Thanks for your insightful contribution.

  28. Alicia Says:

    Maddux is going into the hall and Hernandez isn't, unless he buys a ticket. That's absolutely correct.

    But if you were a manager and had to pick either one to start game 7 of the WS, who would you pick?

    The people obsessed with these silly made up stats would pick Maddux, and any manager in his right mind would pick Hernandez.

    I'm sure someone will now post something about postseason stats and find something to rank Hernandez above Maddux, but still neglect to come up for that special factor that makes some people just better in big game situations.

    Yes, Hernandez was better than Maddux with the money on the line. Now reduce that to a mathematical equation and tell us WHY.

  29. Evan Says:

    Hernandez was better with the money on the line? He was good in the 1998, 1999 and for half the 2000. He also had some bad games where he gave up lots of runs, lots of baserunners or didn't last many innings. In 2001 and 2004 he was a middling to poor starter. In 2002 and 2005 he was a decent to effective reliever. He never pitched a complete game and had a 79 for his best game score.

    Maddux was better from 1995-1997 in the postseason than Hernandez was during his peak. In 1989 he pitched very poorly. In 1993 he had one bad start and one good start. He was very good 1998-1999, though not as good as in his best postseasons. He had one start that was poor in 2000. From 2001-2003 he was generally decent in his postseason starts, with one very bad one. 2006 he had one poor start. 2008 He was a generally effective being used in relief. Maddux had 2 CG and a best game score of 83.

    With the exception of the fact that Hernandez was supported with 5.5 runs/start and Maddux was supported with under 4, please explain why you would want Hernandez in that game over Maddux.

  30. Johnny Twisto Says:

    El Duque had all of 14 postseason starts. Greg Maddux had a stretch of 19 games, 17 starts from 1995-1999 when he put up an ERA of 1.89. If he had been on worse teams before and after that and those games comprised the entirety of his postseason career, you'd be talking about him as the guy with "icewater" in his veins. It's ridiculous. Remember when Josh Beckett was one of the all-time great postseason pitchers, until he wasn't? Remember when Cliff Lee couldn't be beaten in October, until he was? Or when A-Rod was a big choker, until he destroyed all pitchers in his path last year? Now you probably pick out Matt Cain as the guy with that special something which raises him to another level in the playoffs (but wait, look at his regular season W-L records, maybe he doesn't know how to win.....)

    To say that Duque had the special something to raise his game in the postseason, and Jimmy Rollins doesn't, is foolish. All you know is what happened. You have no idea what is inside these players, and unless you do, projecting their postseason play to differ from their overall performance is a rather risky proposition. All we know is that El Duque, in sample of 100 IP, did pitch extremely well. It happened and he deserves to be remembered for that, but I don't assume that he would perform any better than the pretty good pitcher he was in some additional, hypothetical start. The bigger the sample, the more these guys will revert to their career norms.

    The question would also depend on what Maddux and what Duque you're talking about. I'd take the Maddux of 1994-5 over pretty much anyone at any time -- game 7, game 1, opening day, whatever.

  31. Alicia Says:

    ...and all these silly artificial statistics are excellent predictors of performance. Until they aren't.

  32. John DiFool Says:

    "I'll take professional observation any day over some nonsense about Chances, Assists and Putouts."

    Professional observers would undoubtedly _agree_ with the stats.

  33. Matt Y Says:

    And lets boil the context out the game some more. Sorry, Maddux was great and going to the Hall, El Duque was a better playoff pitcher though. Leave it at that.

    El Duque: 9-3 2.55 3 WS championships (107IP)

    Greg Maddux: 11-14 3.27 1 WS championships (197 IP)

    Sorry, leave it alone, El Duque was actually better in the playoffs. Enough said.

  34. Matt Y Says:

    ....and, save the argument about sample size. It might be a small sample size, but the games actually mean the most....and, to act like playoffs don't matter is just straight-up foolish and will be seen no differently until sabermetricians actually start using some type of pWAR...and, also save the argument about it not mattering for most players. Just do it, it matters today, especially with the expanded playoff format.

    Yes, any season I'd take Maddux, perhaps even in a few playoff games, but El Duque was better in the playoffs.

  35. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I quite clearly said El Duque did what he did and it matters.

    "El Duque was better in the playoffs" is NOT the same as saying you would take him over Maddux for this hypothetical game 7. I know the Maddux/Duque argument was not yours originally, but you are shifting what I was arguing against. I agree, Duque was better in the playoffs. I don't interpret that to mean he had special playoff pixie dust and Maddux didn't.

    "Hasn't" is not the same as "can't."

  36. Matt Y Says:

    Point taken JT, but I'd take El Duque over Maddux in a Game 7. Clutch does actually exist, and El Duque had pixie dust (or a huge heart given his life experiences). Conclusion, El Duque was clutch and would find a way to beat Maddux in a Game 7. It be 1-1 in the 7th and Maddux would 9 out of 10 times be the one to give up homer to lose 2-1. It's the way it was for Maddux --he was rather un-clutch in the playoffs. That's Context that's lost with complex stats!...and it's context that matters!!!!!!!

  37. Matt Y Says:

    With that said Alicia, you are selling the complex stats waaaay tooooo short. They are indeed more "true" than perception, however, complex stats fall waaay flat when they're weighed on tooooo some like to do to an absofreakinlutely ridiculous level --so, your points are not lost on me. There is indeed more to the game than the complex stats, but you are kidding yourself if you don't think they have tremendous value. Jeter clearly was a joke of a choice for GG, and perception or complex stats support that.

  38. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Maddux --he was rather un-clutch in the playoffs.

    But he had a stretch of postseason starts in which he pitched more IP than Duque did in his whole career, with a lower ERA. Why don't those count, simply because he didn't pitch as well before and after that? You are assuming if Duque had another 100 postseason IP he would have pitched just as well as he did in his first 100. There's no way to prove that, because it will never happen, but I think it's extraordinarily unlikely. Cliff Lee was "unbeatable" in the postseason, until he lost twice in a row.

  39. Cabriael Says:

    Jeter can't be compared with your beloved stupid umpires, who should be banned just like Joe Jackson.