Sandbox Dumbasses

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Stop hating on guys whose OBP is high because of hits instead of walks, especially when they keep it up for many many many years. If a dude can't steal bases well, it's better to let him try for singles than walks, because he has a better chance to get a double or two...or 543 of them, over time.


Matt Cibula (Formerly, the Haikunym), Friday, 29 December 2006 20:02 (fifteen years ago) link

He's kind of like Ichiro minus the monster arm, the efficient basestealing, the health and the capacity to play CF.

Gwynn used to play CF sometimes, and he had a pretty good arm. He led the league in RF assists a few times if memory serves. This wasn't the case when he got fat, though.

Michael (Oakland Mike), Friday, 29 December 2006 21:54 (fifteen years ago) link

He played 157 games in CF in his entire career according to BP. I suspect Ichiro will eclipse that total next year I suspect. Gwynn's rate statistics and and FRAR are better than average for the beginning of his career, but they begin to tail noticeably after '87. Still you would have expected more from a corner outfielder with zero power.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Friday, 29 December 2006 22:04 (fifteen years ago) link

he deserves to be in the hall of fame

bohren un der club of gear (bohren un der club of gear), Saturday, 30 December 2006 00:35 (fifteen years ago) link

Probably, but he's certainly not a slam dunk the way some people make him out to be (except that he got 3,000 hits which is pretty much a slam dunk, I guess.)

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Saturday, 30 December 2006 00:43 (fifteen years ago) link

If Ichiro finishes his career with roughly the same OBP as Gwynn and somewhere in the area of 2500 hits, I think he deserves the HOF as much as Gwynn. He's an incredible player despite his complete lack of power and walks.

Michael (Oakland Mike), Saturday, 30 December 2006 02:22 (fifteen years ago) link

Oh yeah def. Especially since Ichiro missed a lot of his prime playing top notch ball in Japan. But Ichiro also does more things better than Gwynn does and is totally comparable BA/OBP wise. Gwynn was basically as one-dimensional a ballplayer as McGwire or Dunn (although since technically drawing walks is a dimension, neither of those guys really was/is) for a lot of his career, the only difference is that his one dimension was making contact.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Saturday, 30 December 2006 02:28 (fifteen years ago) link

so many ways to argue your gwynn misunderestimation, how about this?
Tony Gwynn > Lou Brock (corner outfielder with one admittedly big advantage over gwynn)
Tony Gwynn > Al Kaline (corner outfielder with decent but not outstanding power)

bliss (blass), Saturday, 30 December 2006 02:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Lou Brock, definitely (but since when is a better corner outfielder than Lou Brock something to strive for?!??!) Kaline and Gwynn are pretty comparable (OPS+ are just about the same.) Kaline might have been a slightly better fielder, I guess. Not sure what you claim I am misunderestimating actually.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Saturday, 30 December 2006 02:50 (fifteen years ago) link

well, it's a little puzzling that you don't think he's a slamdunk first ballot h-o-f'er, obv. guy had "holes" in his game, but his accomplishments are well within the range of first ballot dudes.
no offense tho :/

bliss (blass), Saturday, 30 December 2006 02:55 (fifteen years ago) link

Tony Gwynn was a very very good ballplayer who had a number of really great years (including one historical one that was cut tragically short by the strike.) Was he one of the 20 best right fielders of all time? Probably not. Does he still deserve to be in the HOF? Yes. He was very good for a very long time and he was certainly better than Lou Brock!

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Saturday, 30 December 2006 02:56 (fifteen years ago) link

By slam dunk I mean those guys who everyone goes "OH YEAH that fucker was the best or one of the best players at his position when he played and for quite a while" and no one really disagrees. Guys like Mays or Reggie or Bonds (pre-roids) or Griffey (pre-breaking in half) and Pujols. I mean maybe people thought that about Gwynn, but mostly I just remember thinking "that guy can sure hit" and leaving it at that.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Saturday, 30 December 2006 03:02 (fifteen years ago) link

reggie had as many, if not more holes than gwynn, but we're getting into apples & oranges

bliss (blass), Saturday, 30 December 2006 03:11 (fifteen years ago) link

"Holes". Baseball is responsible for its own damages.

LynnK (klynn), Saturday, 30 December 2006 16:15 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't know where I came up with that list of players actually. I was just picking 'em at random.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Saturday, 30 December 2006 16:22 (fifteen years ago) link

When it comes to "TS: Tony Gwynn -- best pure batsman since Ted Williams or Ford-driving glorified singles hitter?", let's just state the obvious and admitt that he was a mixture of both.

You have to be careful with these singles vs walks arguments ... a guy with 100 singles and 50 walks is more valuable than a guy with 75 singles and 75 walks. Runners can't advance extra bases or score from second on a walk, plus, singles force the defense to actually do something.

A .500 SLG was considered to be a benchmark number for a slugger ... Gwynn's lifetime SLG was .459, which is damn good for a "singles" hitter. Some of his approximate contemporaries: Mattingly .471, Rice .502 (both of whom are borderline HOFers and respected sluggers in their day), Boggs .443 (renowned doubles hitter who played in the most extreme doubles park in baseball for most of his prime). Gwynn's lifetime SLG numbers were boosted a bit by playing in the hitting-happy mid-late '90's, but not to an extreme degree.

Gwynn was a very good basestealer early in his career.

No Time Before Time (Barry Barry), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 17:46 (fifteen years ago) link

"You have to be careful with these singles vs walks arguments ... a guy with 100 singles and 50 walks is more valuable than a guy with 75 singles and 75 walks."

Usually this is true, but it doesn't take into account factors like # of pitches seen per plate appearance which obv has value as well. But assuming everything else was equal yes 100/50 > 75/75.

"Gwynn was a very good basestealer early in his career."

He had a lot of years where he didn't break even early in his career too.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 19:28 (fifteen years ago) link


Hopper, Tuesday, 16 January 2007 14:37 (fifteen years ago) link

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