FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. Your linking to Ken Griffey, not Ken Griffey Jr.

    Comment by pack — May 6, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

  2. I don’t feel like Total Zone completely captures how good a CF Willie Mays was. It has him at 135 for his career, which is great, but the same metric has Andruw Jones at 182 through only 13 seasons. In fact, his Total Zone numbers are very comparable to, say, Ichiro (by all means a good defender, by no means an all-time great). I think such measures will grant a major advantage to current era players because the data is much more complete. Heck, it has Barry Bonds putting up a better season (+30) than Mays ever approached-his caree high was +20. There’s a significant difference between the defensive value Willie Mays provided and that of Bonds, even though Bonds was a corner outfielder. TZ gives the edge to Bonds though (even if it’s not context-neutral).

    So yes, I would say you could make a case that Mays was the best ever.

    Comment by Bronnt — May 6, 2010 @ 3:05 pm

  3. i don’t think walking away on top makes you better….i don’t know what it makes a player, but it doesn’t make him better…why emulate that? why quit when you can still play? the general response seems to be that it is somehow embarrassing or degrading. i think that the people suffering the embarrassment are the fans, not the players….I’d much prefer to hear about griffey junior’s stats in his 50+ league than have him quit baseball….I prefer the play til you drop dead mentality

    Comment by pirate — May 6, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

  4. Embarassment is not quite an accurate descriptor of how I feel about Junior as an M’s fan. His failure to hit a baseball as a platoon DH when that is all that is being asked of him is incredibly frustrating. His upside is a bad offensive player regardless of position. Griffey was a great player and was a lot of fun to watch. I don’t want to watch him keep sucking until management has to pry the bat out of his hands. I think he would be a great first base coach who occasionally takes BP with the team. I don’t get the sentiment that he should keep playing until he has nothing to offer to any MLB team and then keep going for another season after that.

    Comment by DavidB — May 6, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

  5. But… he’s in the best shape of his life. :(

    Comment by thebandogora — May 6, 2010 @ 6:51 pm

  6. Willy Mays decline began at 41 and he walked away from much less money. Ken Griffey began his age related decline at 36, although he was not so great from 31-35 due to injuries) and milked the cow for another 30 million in his declining years. Mays might have done the same, but he was a wage slave before Free Agency. I don’t think it says anything about Mays character, not at all. Apples and elephants here.

    Griffey was a great player in Seattle, but from age 31 on, he put up pedestrian numbers (115 OPS). He will be in the HOF because of what he did from 19 to 30 (OPS+ 147). A great hitter in a great lineup. My how things have changed.

    I don’t blame Griffey a bit for hanging on. The Mariners offered him a contract knowing he was toast. Stupid owners doing stupid things lead to bad teams. The Mariners had a great chance to be something really special this year, but they continue to have trouble understanding you have to score more runs than the other team to win. Runs score because someone knocks ROB in. It’s called the RBI. A BB maybe earn you 0.3 runs according to a model but it does not change the scorebard without help. Only the HR does that. You need HR hitters AND guys who get on base. One without the other does not work.

    Comment by pft — May 6, 2010 @ 7:30 pm

  7. It is a shame to see a career derailed by injuries, but we all know what could have been.

    But what was was still good enough for me to say he’s in the Hall. Griffey just loves the game of baseball and doesn’t want to walk away.

    Comment by Jon — May 6, 2010 @ 11:17 pm

  8. It is really crazy that you posted about this. I found you on bing and I had been searching for information about this. Nice site, thank you for the info.

    Comment by Hipolito Stamps — September 17, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

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