The 2018 Boston Red Sox in History: An Ill-Advised, Premature Comparison

The Red Sox added J.D. Martinez to an already stacked lineup, and it has paid off. (via Keith Allison)

Just as the Baltimore Orioles, with their wobbling pursuit of a sub-.300 winning percentage, are a team on the verge of historic greatness, the Boston Red Sox are a team grasping at destiny. They currently  boast a cool .711 winning percentage, which puts them on a pace for 115 wins.

Back in 1985, Bill James used the classic “my first baseman is better than your first baseman” method to compare the 1984 Detroit Tigers to six more-or-less contemporary champions. We recently aped James’ format to compare today’s Orioles to six historic under-performers of recent vintage. Herewith we do the same with the Red Sox and six teams that played at or close to their pace—sure, the season’s not over, but these achievements (or lack thereof) make these teams too delicious to wait.

Once again we’ll pursue a faux pennant race through 15 positions, pausing periodically to tot up the standings. Each time a player ranks ahead of another player (via an eccentric evaluation consisting of the subjective and objective, as well as single-season value with just a dash of career value) that counts as a win. The goal is to ask if the Red Sox are the best among the best.

The Field

1975 Cincinnati Reds (108-54, .667): The Big Red Machine at its peak.
1986 New York Mets (108-54, .667): Surpassed the 1978 Yankees as “the team they write all the books about.”
1988 Oakland A’s (104-58, .642): The Bash Brothers and Eck.
1995 Cleveland Indians (100-44, .694): A great offense that lacked that one dominant starting pitcher.
1998 New York Yankees (114-48, .704): No MVP, no Cy Young, just relentlessly deep.
2001 Seattle Mariners (116-46, .716): The record-setter, but like the 1906 Cubs and 1954 Indians before them, they fell short.

First Base

1. Keith Hernandez, 1986 Mets: The best defensive first baseman in history hitting .310 in a pitcher’s park and leading the league in walks.
2. John Olerud, 2001 Mariners: Similar player to Hernandez, but with a higher offensive peak.
3. Tony Perez, 1975 Reds: This was just an average year for Perez. There are many players for whom a 124 OPS+ would represent a peak season.
4. Tino Martinez, 1998 Yankees: There were few seasons in which he was one of the top hitters at his position. Still, he was good in the field and had a reliable bat.
5. Mark McGwire, 1988 A’s: At the time, .260/.352/.478 seemed disappointing given his record-setting (49 home runs) Rookie of the Year-winning’87. In retrospect, he was still quite productive.
6. Mitch Moreland, dregs of Hanley Ramirez, etc, 2018 Red Sox: The Sox haven’t had a big season from their first basemen since Adrian Gonzalez Year One in 2011. In fact, they’ve had just 10 seasons of 5.0 or more WAR from their first sackers in the whole history of the franchise.
7. Paul Sorrento and Herbert Perry, 1995 Indians: Indians first basemen combined to hit .262/.341/.507 with 32 home runs. In a big offensive year that was good-not-great production at the position.

Second Base

1. Joe Morgan, 1975 Reds: Throw out those Eddie Collins and Rogers Hornsby seasons—they were put together in leagues watered down by affirmative action for mediocre white players. This was, and remains, the greatest season a second baseman has ever had.
2. Bret Boone, 2001 Mariners: Hit a combined .251/.317/.418 (88 OPS+) in 1999 and 2000, putting him perilously close to the replacement level. The Mariners decided that was what they needed. He rewarded them with one of the 10 best seasons by a second baseman in the postwar era.
3. Carlos Baerga, 1995 Indians: From age-23 to age-26 hit .315/.350/.476. From then on it was .272/.313/.378. Strange career from a strangely-proportioned player who had a small body, a giant head, and Clark Gable’s mustache. Struck out just 31 times in 600 plate appearances.
4. Chuck Knoblauch, 1998 New York Yankees: Only 29, but already past his prime. Reversed some bad luck on balls in play and enjoyed a bit of a rebound in ‘99 before falling off an offensive, defensive, and psychological cliff.
5. Wally Backman and Tim Teufel, 1986 Mets: The platoon combined to hit .290/.351/.371. Not Teufel’s best season against left-handed pitching, not Backman’s best season with the glove, not that he ever had one.
6. Glenn Hubbard and Mike Gallego, 1988 A’s: Both strong fielders and generally not hopeless with the bat.
7. “Staff,” 2018 Red Sox: Just when they thought Ian Kinsler had them out, Eduardo Nunez pulled them back in. Nunez is to his glove as Frankenstein’s monster is to fire.

Standings After Two Positions

Will the Red Sox even show up?
T1. 2001 Mariners 10-2
T1. 1975 Reds 10-2
3. 1986 Mets 8-4
4. 1998 Yankees 6-6
5. 1995 Indians 4-8
6. 1988 A’s 3-9
7. 2018 Red Sox 1-11

Third Base

1. Jim Thome, 1995 Indians: He wasn’t Brooks Robinson at third base and he struck out a lot for the time, but when you get a 157 OPS+ from the hot corner you’ve got no business complaining.
2. Scott Brosius, 1998 Yankees: Excellent fielder who was inconsistent at the plate, but this was one of his two .300 campaigns. Carried a hot bat in the postseason, hitting .383 with four homers in 13 games and winning the World Series MVP.
3. Pete Rose, 1975 Reds: Had one of his best offensive seasons (.317/.406/.432) and played every game. As a third baseman he was just doing his Charlie Hustle best.
4. Ray Knight, 1986 Mets: Killed lefties (.379/.408/.601 in 211 PAs) but was depressing against same-side pitching, so manager Davey Johnson started filtering in Howard Johnson late in the season.
5. Carney Lansford, 1988 A’s: Contact hitter who contributed a lot when he averaged .300, but hit only.279 this season. Range was limited because grounders inspired him to flop like a soccer player.
6. David Bell, 2001 Mariners: Glove man who mostly didn’t hit, but he and Boone must have had some great arguments. “My grandpappy was better’n yore grandpappy!” “Sez who?” “Sez four All-Star games, that’s who!”
7. Rafael Devers, 2018 Red Sox: Massively disappointing after his 2017 debut, but let’s remember he doesn’t turn 22 until October.

Shortstop

1. Derek Jeter, 1998 Yankees: Hit .324, led the league in runs scored, his team won 114 games, and he finished third in the MVP voting to Juan Gonzalez. Sure, Jeter was subpar with the glove, but that doesn’t apply when you’re comparing him to the Human Tank.
2. Xander Bogaerts, 2018 Red Sox: Jeter-ish in the sense that his value comes from his bat rather than his glove. Already 25, but still feels unfinished, like one of those European cathedrals that has been under construction since the 1230s.
3. Davey Concepcion, 1975 Reds: Some have argued he should be in the Hall of Fame. Regardless of where one lands on that question, it’s inarguable he was the best shortstop in baseball in the years 1973-1980.
4. Omar Vizquel, 1995 Indians: Likely to become the Jack Morris of Hall of Fame shortstop arguments, Vizquel was an excellent fielder and a charismatic personality who sometimes hit a little.
5. Carlos Guillen, 2001 Mariners: After being dealt to the Tigers in 2004, Guillen spent eight years averaging.297/.366/.476. You can’t wholly blame the Mariners; Guillen showed few signs of being that guy in four years as a Seattle regular.
6. Walt Weiss, 1988 A’s: The AL Rookie of the Year was a good glove-man with a sharp eye at the plate, but never became a star.
7. Rafael Santana, 1986 Mets: Not really a championship-level player; didn’t hit and had the range of a toaster oven.

Standings After Four Positions

Yankees make a move, but Reds have Bench coming.
1. 1975 Reds 18-6
2. 1998 Yankees 17-7
T3. 2001 Mariners 13-11
T3. 1995 Indians 13-11
5. 1986 Mets 11-13
T6. 1988 A’s 6-18
T6. 2018 Red Sox 6-18

Catchers

1. Johnny Bench, 1975 Reds: Still holds the Greatest Catcher of All Time throne, and this was one of his best seasons—though he was so good this 28-homer, .283-average campaign is the last song on the second side of his greatest hits album.
2. Gary Carter, 1986 Mets: Thirty-two with an exhausting workload behind him, his odometer had just about rolled over. You could see it hit him in the postseason; his facial expressions betrayed the anxiety of someone reaching for a magic he’s just realized he no longer possesses.
3. Jorge Posada and Joe Girardi, 1998 Yankees: Posada was an excellent hitter for a catcher, but the Yankees so distrusted his defense that they let Girardi “tutor” him until he was 28. Girardi grounded into a double play in 15.3 percent of his career opportunities, a rate which is just fractionally higher than that of Jim Rice and just a little lower than that of a three-toed sloth.
4. Ron Hassey and Terry Steinbach, 1988 A’s: Almost every part-time catcher has that one 300-PA year when he hits .300 on small-sample luck. Hassey had three of them, which is just enough to make one wonder if that wasn’t actual ability talking, and if so, why didn’t he do it more often. Steinbach was a solid player for a long time, but experienced something of a sophomore letdown here.
5. Tony Pena and Sandy Alomar, 1995 Indians: For a few years, Pena hit .300 and was a creative defender, with the lowest squat you’ve ever seen. He stopped hitting at 30 and then they started saying the squat was bad too. Alomar was the first coming of Salvador Perez, but with none of the durability.
6. Dan Wilson and Tom Lampkin, 2001 Mariners: Wilson was a glove-first catcher who hit just well enough by the reduced standards of his position to be an asset. Lefty-swinging Lampkin had averaged .278/.338/.508 for the M’s in 112 games over the previous two years but exhausted his reserve catcher karma doing so and never hit again.
7. Sandy Leon, Christian Vazquez, Blake Swihart, 2018 Red Sox: Odd that the Boston front office bought into Sandy Leon’s small-sample .310/.369/.476 season in 2016. Given the general shortage of quality catchers, maybe there was no choice.

Left Field

1. Albert Belle, 1995 Indians: The Dick Allen of his day, but forget personality: This is still the only 50-double/50-homer season in history—and he did it in a shortened campaign.
2. Andrew Benintendi, 2018 Red Sox: Good things can happen when you wait until year two to judge a player. If he can learn to hit just a little bit better against left-handed pitching he’ll win an MVP award one day.
3. George Foster, Pete Rose, Dan Driessen, 1975 Reds: How good was Foster? He hit .300/.356/.518 in 130 games and was still two years away from his peak.
4. Chad Curtis and Tim Raines, 1998 Yankees: Post-god-level Rock was fragile but still gave the Yankees a .395 OBP over 242 games. Injuries and the team’s DH rotation opened up a ton of playing time for Curtis, who endured his usual struggles against same-side pitching.
5. Louis Polonia, Stan Javier, Dave Parker, 1988 A’s: This lot caused the A’s to reacquire Rickey Henderson. Polonia could deliver singles but little more; Parker was in decline; Javier was the quintessential fourth outfielder—valuable, but you didn’t want to play him too much.
6. Al Martin, Stan Javier, and you’d lose a bar bet trying to name the rest, 2001 Mariners: The M’s acquired Martin the year after he was arrested for an off-field domestic violence incident which came to involve guns, threats invoking O.J. Simpson, felony bigamy, and even falsehoods about being a football hero at USC. Also, he stopped hitting, but that was beside the point. Javier was great cleaning up the mess, then retired.
7. George Foster, Danny Heep, Mookie Wilson, Kevin Mitchell, 1986 Mets: The Mets’ weakest position aside from shortstop, this crew hit .227/.307/.383.

Standings After Six Positions

Will it be a three-team race?
1. 1975 Reds 28-8
2. 1998 Yankees 24-12
3. 1995 Indians 21-15
4. 1986 Mets 16-20
5. 2001 Mariners 15-21
T6. 1988 A’s 11-25
T6. 2018 Red Sox 11-25

Center Field

1. Bernie Williams, 1998 Yankees: Always a few small improvements away from being truly great—he was a switch-hitter who was often no fun hitting left-handed, who was fast but a poor baserunner, who played center field but had terrible instincts and no arm. Oh, and from 1995 through 2002 he hit .321/.406/.531, so shut up and stop nitpicking.
2. Lenny Dykstra and Mookie Wilson, 1986 Mets: By WAR, Dykstra was the second-most valuable player on the team after Hernandez. Naturally, they couldn’t wait to trade him. Wilson was limited by his impatience but was toward the top of his game in ’86.
3. Dave Henderson, 1988 A’s: The first first-round pick in Mariners history; at .304/.363/.525, this was his one star-level season. Still leads Junior Griffey as the M’s all-time smiles leader.
4. Kenny Lofton, 1995 Indians: Simultaneously underrated and the guy everyone wanted. Wasn’t an offensive force, but the totality of him—high batting averages and OBPs, exemplary baserunning, outfield range—was immensely valuable.
5. Mike Cameron, 2001 Mariners: Top-flight defender with power who just needed to tame the swing-and-miss in his game to break through to the MVP level. He never did, but was still plenty valuable.
6. Cesar Geronimo, 1975 Reds: A glove-man, but at his best he was Ender Inciarte Mk. I.
7. Jackie Bradley, 2018 Red Sox: Finally perking up at this writing, but still has to prove his bat didn’t expire with the 2016 season.

A Hardball Times Update
Goodbye for now.

Right Field

1. Mookie Betts, 2018 Red Sox: The only thing wrong with him is nothing.
2. Ichiro Suzuki, 2001 Mariners: He played for so long past his peak it’s easy to forget just how electrifying he was playing 1910s baseball in the 2000s.
3. Jose Canseco, 1988 A’s: You could take three players on this list—Canseco, Strawberry, and Ramirez—and make a good movie about them being stranded in any city in the country after dark having misplaced their car keys at the ballpark. Could be a comedy, could be horror… Canseco may have been a chemistry set even in his MVP season, but you can make a strong argument that whatever he was doing failed—it wasn’t that his 40-40 season was a fake, but that injuries wore him down so fast he peaked and declined in the space of a year.
4. Paul O’Neill, 1998 Yankees: One of the greatest Yankees trade acquisitions (picked up from the Reds with a desultory prospect for Roberto Kelly) in his last big season.
5. Darryl Strawberry, 1986 Mets: Oh! that swing. His park/era camouflage how good he was, even as it seemed he didn’t care enough to try—on defense he was so rooted to one spot the grass under his feet died.
6. Ken Griffey, 1975 Reds: The Original Griffey was a good all-around player who hit for average, could knock one out now and again, and stole the odd base.
7. Manny Ramirez, 1995 Indians: In his first full season he hit, ran, fielded, and drove like Manny being Manny, for all the good and ill that implies.

Standings After Eight Positions

Yankees surge into first on Bern, Baby, Bern and The Warrior.
1. 1998 Yankees 33-15
2. 1975 Reds 30-18
3. 1995 Indians 24-24
4. 1986 Mets 23-25
5. 2001 Mariners 22-26
6. 1988 A’s 19-29
7. 2018 Red Sox 17-31

Designated Hitter/Bench

1. 2001 Mariners: Edgar Martinez embarrasses the Hall of Fame by his absence. Mark McLemore started 101 games at multiple positions and posted a .384 OBP. M’s pinch-hitters had .320/.402/.560 rates. Only a handful of teams have done better.
2. 2018 Red Sox: J.D. Martinez, who no one seemed to want last winter, will be shortlisted for MVP. Brock Holt has been handy when healthy. Adding Steve Pearce was like putting the last candle on the cake.
3. 1998 Yankees: Strawberry hit 24 home runs in 295 at-bats. Shane Spencer was like Ted Williams on Red Bull and Benzedrine in September. Because Joe Torre was old school, the 25th man wasn’t a reliever, but Homer Bush, a pinch-runner who hit .380.
4. 1986 Mets: Teams that platoon successfully by definition have good benches. Young Mitchell, HoJo, and Heep were most valuable, and reserve catcher Ed Hearn impressed the Royals sufficiently that he brought David Cone the next spring.
5. 1975 Reds: Dan Driessen was an underqualified starter/overqualified bench player. Two of Earl Weaver’s bench greats, Merv Rettenmud and Terry Crowley, weren’t at their best. The utility infielders and reserve backstop didn’t hit much.
6. 1995 Indians: DH Eddie Murray had his last good season at 39. The bench was led by good-field/no-hit players Wayne Kirby and Alvaro Espinoza.
7. 1988 A’s: Veteran DH’s Don Baylor and Dave Parker struggled. Injuries kept Tony Phillips from contributing much as an everyday sub. Gallego and Javier were good players but this wasn’t their year.

Top Right-Handed Starter

1. Dwight Gooden, 1986 Mets: Posted a 2.84 ERA and 200 strikeouts. That is, he almost doubled his ERA from the year before and had never allowed so much contact.
2. David Cone, 1998 Yankees: At 35, pitched himself into the Hall of Fame with his second 20-win season, satisfying the wizened, traditional-stats-gnome killjoys who act as gatekeepers. Just kidding: Nothing satisfies the wizened traditional-stats-gnome killjoys.
3. Freddy Garcia, 2001 Mariners: Led the AL in ERA. Allowed only 16 home runs in 238.2 innings, which is suggestive of his low-90s-with-command approach.
4. Dave Stewart, 1988 A’s: First came up in 1978, but needed until 1987 to figure things out (via adding a forkball). He then reeled off four straight 20-win seasons. Threw 275.2 innings, which you won’t see again.
5. Dennis Martinez, 1995 Indians: El Presidente was 41 and impeccable pitching at 85-87 mph, but only to a point—a bad knee and sore shoulder slowed him in the second half.
6. Rick Porcello, 2018 Red Sox: His 2016 campaign may prove to have been one of the flukier Cy Young Award seasons.
7. Gary Nolan, 1975 Reds: A dominant major league pitcher at 19 (1967) but couldn’t stay healthy. By ’75 he was a pitch-to-contact control pitcher, but a good one.

Standings After 10 Positions

Big Red Machine fading! Can rest of rotation make a race of it?
1. 1998 Yankees 42-18
T2. 1975 Reds 32-28
T2. 1986 Mets 32-28
T2. 2001 Mariners 32-28
5. 1995 Indians 27-33
6. 2018 Red Sox 23-37
7. 1988 A’s 22-38

Top Left-Handed Starter

1. Chris Sale, 2018 Red Sox: The only thing that can stop him is a major political upheaval.
2. Bobby Ojeda, 1986 Mets: Never consistent at this level due to injuries/tragedies/Fenway Park. Dylan Bundy has given up more home runs this season than Ojeda allowed in 454 innings from 1986-1988.
3. David Wells, 1998 Yankees: Always looked as if he had just tumbled out of a closet, but had great control and wanted to wear one of Babe Ruth’s caps in a game. Threw a perfect game on May 17.
4. Jamie Moyer, 2001 Mariners: Nearly immortal—literally—this was only the fifth-best season he posted age 35 and up.
5. Don Gullett, 1975 Reds: Great when healthy, which he rarely was. In the majors at 19, finished at 27.
6. None, 1995 Indians: We’ll list Chuck Nagy here. Often good, but injuries precluded consistency or longevity.
7. Curt Young, 1988 A’s: A perennial prospect who always seemed to be on the verge of a breakout but it never happened.

Third Starter

1. David Price, 2018 Red Sox: Hasn’t received a single Cy Young vote with the Red Sox, but still quite good.
2. Ron Darling, 1986 Mets: Was as effective as Gooden in ‘86. Like Dwight, he didn’t sustain at a high level (albeit for different reasons).
3. Orel Hershiser, 1995 Indians: Well off his 1980s peak, but still solid.
4. Bob Welch, 1988 A’s: Early alcoholism wasn’t reflected in what was a very consistent career.
5. Andy Pettitte, 1998 Yankees: A refractory season following his best campaign.
6. Aaron Sele, 2001 Mariners: The 1991 first-rounder had a 3.32 ERA over his first three (partial) seasons. Cue shoulder problems and a 4.80 over the next 12 years.
7. Jack Billingham, 1975 Reds: Never dominant, he struggled for an encore after a 293.1-inning workload in 1973.

Standings After 12 Positions

Red Sox sweep, but is it too late?
1. 1998 Yankees 48-24
2. 1986 Mets 42-30
3. 2001 Mariners 36-36
4. 2018 Red Sox 35-37
5. 1975 Reds 34-38
6. 1995 Indians 32-40
7. 1988 A’s 25-47

Fourth Starter

1. Orlando Hernandez, 1998 Yankees.
2. Eduardo Rodriguez, 2018 Red Sox.
3. Sid Fernandez, 1986 Mets.
4. Storm Davis, 1988 A’s.
5. Ken Hill, 1995 Indians.
6. Fred Norman, 1975 Reds.
7. Paul Abbott, 2001 Mariners.

Closer

1. Jose Mesa, 1995 Indians: Joe Table had several good seasons, but was never again this effective.
2. Craig Kimbrel, 2018 Red Sox: It’s strange when a pitcher is having an off year because batters are hitting .160 against him instead of .140. That said, the uptick in his home run-rate is concerning.
3. Dennis Eckersley, 1988 A’s: The first of the seasons that put him in the Hall of Fame, but unremarkable both by his standards and that of later closers.
4. Mariano Rivera, 1998 Yankees: A crucial year for Mo, and maybe his worst; he was more lucky than effective as his strikeout rate plunged. The next season he developed the cutter that kept him in business another 15 years.
5. Roger McDowell and Jesse Orosco, 1986 Mets: Orosco closed in the postseason, but during the regular season Dave Johnson used them both to finish games. McDowell, the more effective of the two, pitched 128 innings, another thing you’ll likely never see again.
6. Kazuhiro Sasaki, 2001 Mariners: Like a visitor from another planet, he landed, completed his mission, and went home—assuming his mission was to save some games and check out Pioneer Market.
7. Rawly Eastwick. 1975 Reds: “Rawlins Jackson Eastwick” sounds like a character from a Southern gothic, but he was from New Jersey. This was year one of a two-season peak that ended when he was 25.

Standings After 14 Positions

Yankees clinch, but who gets second place?
1. 1998 Yankees 57-27
2. 1986 Mets 48-36
3. 2018 Red Sox 45-39
4. 1995 Indians 40-44
5. 1975 Reds 35-49
6. 2001 Mariners 37-47
7. 1988 A’s 32-52

Bullpen and Fifth/Spot Starters

1. 2018 Red Sox: Matt Barnes is the secret weapon; Nate Eovaldi has been a great acquisition so far.
2. 2001 Mariners: Three top setup men in Jeff Nelson, Norm Charlton, and Arthur Rhodes. Joel Pineiro had a 2.36 ERA in 11 second-half starts.
3. 1995 Indians: Chad Ogea shored up the rotation in his one career burst of sustained effectiveness. Balanced ‘pen with two good righties, two good lefties.
4. 1988 A’s: Another well-balanced bullpen; good work from rookie Todd Burns at the back of the rotation.
5. 1975 Reds: Here’s a third thing you’ll never see again: a high-leverage reliever (Pedro Borbon) with a strikeout rate of 2.1 per nine innings.
6. 1998 Yankees: The vaunted setup duo of Nelson and Mike Stanton had off years. Take two steps forward for swingman Ramiro Mendoza, take three back for Hideki Irabu.
7. 1986 Mets: Fifth starters (mainly Rick Aguilera) were only intermittently effective. After Doug Sisk, Davey Johnson ignored the rest of the staff as much as he could get away with.

Final Standings

Boston has a pitching staff for the ages—with Drew Pomeranz, even.
1. 1998 Yankees 58-32
3. 2018 Red Sox 51-39
3. 1986 Mets 48-42
4. 1995 Indians 44-46
5. 1975 Reds 37-53
6. 2001 Mariners 42-48
7. 1988 A’s 35-55

References and Resources

  • Baseball-Reference
  • Bill James, The Bill James Baseball Abstract 1985
  • Occasional volumes of The Scouting Report (Marybeth Sullivan, ed.) and The Scouting Report (John Dewan, ed.)


Steven Goldman is the author of Forging Genius: The Making of Casey Stengel, the editor and coauthor of numerous other books including Mind Game, It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over, and Extra Innings: More Baseball Between the Numbers, and hosts The Infinite Inning baseball podcast. A former editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus, his writing on the game, its history, and sundry other topics have appeared in numerous publications. He resides in New Jersey, which is not nearly as bad as you've been told. Follow him on Twitter @GoStevenGoldman.
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Paul G.
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Paul G.

These are fun.

Irabu was actually effective in 1998, at least superficially, with a 13-9 record and 109 ERA+. Obviously, the FIP disagrees, as did The Boss.

jgraves
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jgraves

If the Red Sox have a pitching staff for the ages (17.9 collective WAR), what do the Astros have (23.7 collective WAR)?

pedeysRSox
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pedeysRSox

I’m confused by the final standings, rankings and how they are numbered.

pedeysRSox
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pedeysRSox

Also, i found a rip off version https://www.foul-territory.com/al/redsox/red-sox-yankees-mariners which isn’t as good.

Johnston
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Johnston

“Throw out those Eddie Collins and Rogers Hornsby seasons”

This idea is ridiculous. You literally can’t do that.

Plus I am very tired of the seemingly endless FanGraphs political comments. At least have the decency to leave them out of non-editorials, please, as finding one of them shoehorned into a baseball article makes me want to throw up.

44488
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Member
44488

The author is taking into account the radically different contexts in which the players in question were active. Aside from the primitive state of relief pitching, the almost complete absence of pitchers throwing 95+ gas, relatively poor groundskeeping, competitive imbalance, and numerous other factors, race is factually a key part of those differences in context. Maybe you don’t like the snark in the phrase “affirmative action for white people,” but it sure as heck is an accurate summary of the situation in which Hornsby and Collins played baseball. The 2018 Miami Marlins could probably take the 1930 National or American… Read more »