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  1. Seems like an interesting article but please PROOF READ.
    The first paragraph is a trainwreck despite the fact the first article is despite that the rest of the content despite being solid

    Comment by cs3 — July 27, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

  2. No one might ever be as ideal a leadoff hitter as Ricky Henderson, so in that respect they are right, but these “nutsos” continue to measure lead off hitters to an unattainable level. Kinsler is an ideal leadoff hitter, and to be able to get a guy of his standards up to the plate maybe a few more times a week than he would hitting in the 4-6 slot, is pretty important. I can’t think of a single Kinsler leadoff spot flaw.

    Comment by baty — July 27, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

  3. You could also point out how many more PA’s per year that Kinsler gets leading off versus say hitting 3rd, 4th, or 5th.

    Rickey Henderson as “ideal leadoff man” is akin to the “Willie Mays Hall of Fame”.

    There’s only one Rickey, and if you don’t believe me, then just ask Rickey.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — July 27, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

  4. The question is based on a flawed premise — that there is a position called leadoff hitter which requires a certain, unique combination of skills that don’t work as well elsewhere in the lineup. It’s just not true. The impact of being able to get on base and slug so outpace the other things a hitter can do so as to make them mere marginal considerations in a conversation about the best hitters.

    Fast guys who get on base but don’t hit for a ton of power aren’t leadoff hitters because that’s what a leadoff hitter should be. Rather, it’s that once you put your best hitters in the 3rd and 4th spots, that’s the next best way to use somebody like that. Traditional lineups and the corresponding roles are what they are because the distribution of hitting talent is what it is.

    This matters because it’s not a two way street. In imagining an ideal scenario, you either have to restrict each spot in the lineup to a certain skill set, which is silly, because you can bat anybody anywhere or you have expand the pool of available players who you allow to hit in that spot. And once you do the latter, the best leadoff hitter of all time is Babe Ruth. Best #2 hitter? Babe Ruth. Best #9 hitter? Babe Ruth. You get the idea. Put another way, which team scores more runs? One with 9 Babe Ruths or one with 8 Babe Ruths and a Rickey Henderson leading off?

    The spots in the lineup are not like defensive positions in football and we shouldn’t treat them as such.

    Comment by RMR — July 27, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

  5. What the hell is your second sentence supposed to say cs3?

    Comment by DavidB — July 27, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

  6. I assume you meant to say “Ted Williams.”

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — July 27, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

  7. Oh, the irony.

    Comment by Nick T — July 27, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

  8. The problem is that Buck and Pat love baseball cliches and can’t help spouting them out. When you realize this, you can safely ignore what they say and just enjoy the game.

    Comment by siggian — July 27, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

  9. I assume you were being sarcastic.

    wRC+ Ruth 197, Williams 189; OPS+ Ruth 206, Williams 190

    Comment by Person — July 27, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

  10. David B -
    Before the article was edited the first paragraph of this article was pretty much unreadable… I was just copying a few of the stylistic disasters in the first few sentences of Mr. Klaasens first paragraph. Thankfully it appears he went back over it and corrected all the incomplete sentences, run-ons, and other assorted grammatical errors.

    Interesting read though. Pretty much confirms that there will never be another Rickey

    Comment by cs3 — July 27, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

  11. he has the kind of plate discipline that everyone on the team should emulate, but his swing is horrendous. it’s mind-boggling that someone with such eye-hand coordination doesn’t make a simple adjustment in order to become an offensive powerhouse.

    Comment by tanarus — July 27, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

  12. it does? where does it confirm this??
    can you see that far into the future?

    will i ever be married? is global warming really going to be the end of humanity??? will the senseless obsession with the royal family ever end??

    Comment by thalooch — July 27, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

  13. There aren’t any mistakes that I saw in the first paragraph. If you’re going to criticize Matt, you could at least cite the mistakes he made.

    Comment by Sitting Curveball — July 27, 2011 @ 6:14 pm

  14. No to all three questions.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — July 27, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

  15. Ah I read this later in the day, so that explains the discrepancy. Ignore my post above.

    Comment by Sitting Curveball — July 27, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

  16. I love articles that remind me how great some of the historically great players have been. Rickey’s stat page always makes me happy when I am sad.

    Comment by Sitting Curveball — July 27, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

  17. Well said. I die a little bit on the inside each time I see a hitter in the 2-hole because he “can handle the bat, you know, hit behind the runner and stuff.” Ugh.

    Comment by Sitting Curveball — July 27, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

  18. Before the article was edited the first paragraph was pretty much unreadableā€¦ I was just copying a few of the stylistic disasters from the first few sentences of Mr. Klaasens opening paragraph. Thankfully it appears he went back over it and corrected all the incomplete sentences, run-ons, and other assorted grammatical errors.
    You must have read the article after it was edited, because when I read shortly after it was posted, it made zero sense.

    Interesting read though. Pretty much confirms that there will never be another Rickey.

    Comment by cs3 — July 27, 2011 @ 6:40 pm

  19. I’m gald I could help

    Comment by Rickey Henderson — July 27, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

  20. Well he oviously edited already (within minutes after I posted) and there is not a a quote function anyway, so i cant give an exact citation now.
    but believe me when I say it was entirely unreadable. There were at least 3 sentences that were incomprehensible. perhaps he mistakenly posted it before he was finished proof reading?

    Doesnt really matter now because its fixed

    Comment by cs3 — July 27, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

  21. Any potential Rickey is now playing running back or strong safety.

    The landscape has changed.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — July 27, 2011 @ 9:17 pm

  22. You’re a Faker.

    Anyhow, the faker is right:
    Rickey is glad Rickey could help.

    Comment by The Real Rickey Henderson — July 28, 2011 @ 4:38 am

  23. I couldn’t agree with you more, Tanarus. I look at Ian and, to me–if not to other observers–he gets less mileage out of his innate offensive talent than some of his counterparts–notably Dustin Pedroia. To illustrate, Both Ian and Dustin are comparatively short players who uppercut pitches aimed around the letters. But the difference is that Dustin usually hits them, whereas Ian will pop up or strike out–especially in clutch situations. And with runners in scoring position Dustin is a far superior hitter. But I’ve always thought that the difference in performance between these two second baseman shouldn’t be that dramatic given Kinsler’s hand-eye coordination and natural talent. As for the field and the base paths, Ian makes too many careless errors for my tastes.–and then he gets rewarded for it by Ron Washington. Ian makes enough difficult plays at second base to persuade me that the chances he screws up can be attributed to momentary lapses in focus. Maybe he’ll outgrow that. Then again, he’s 29 and now and he might not…

    Clifford
    Santa Monica

    Comment by Clifford — July 28, 2011 @ 11:21 am

  24. cs3,

    I just have one quick suggestion. If you understood the article, no need to be an ass. If you are that interested in grammar, perhaps you should start a sister site called grammargraphs, and you can write all the articles you want about what the “ideal first word” should be.

    Comment by Shawn — July 28, 2011 @ 11:31 am

  25. Ian hasn’t been particularly error prone since 2008 (he started taking his ADD meds) and has been one of the best defensive 2b since then. And aside from this year, he usually hits better with RISP. Pedroia is a better hitter (avg wise) but kinsler has better power and speed and comparable defense.

    Comment by YP — July 28, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

  26. from 09-11(cutting out Pedoria’s MVP season)
    wOBA Pedoria .376 Kinsler .355
    wRC+ Pedroia .132 Kinsler .116
    UZR Pedoria 27.8 Kinsler 22.1
    GP Pedoria 335 Kinsler 352

    I think it is fair to say from these numbers Pedoria is not only a better hitter OVERALL(not just avg) than Kinsler, and a better defender(almost 3 year of total UZR should be accurate enough). All this despite Pedoria is much less talented physically except for FAR superior hand-eye coordination.

    Comment by BoSoxFanA — August 5, 2011 @ 1:05 am

  27. Correction: Pedoria’s WRC+ is 129, but my point still stands.

    Comment by BoSoxFanA — August 5, 2011 @ 1:09 am

  28. The lead off hitter is only guaranteed to lead off an inning in the first inning of the game. From that point forward, it doesn’t matter – they could be batting 3rd in the inning the next time up.

    So quote only stats for the first at-bat of an inning for Kinsler. And compare THAT to Henderson. I have a feeling that may be too difficult a stat to get quickly.

    Comment by BigTex71 — August 16, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

  29. I think he means as a leadoff hitter, where Williams’s extra walks are going to trump Babe Ruth’s extra home runs.

    Comment by williams .482 — October 7, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

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