Mar
10

Do the Phillies’ really have the best infield of the modern era?

By

We get dozens of links through our tip box each day, but most of the time it’s something we’ve already found or a piece of minor news. However, this morning a reader sent in a link to this Bill Conlin column from today’s Philly Inquirer, claiming that the Phillies have “what is potentially the greatest all-around infield of a modern era that began in 1947 when Jack Roosevelt Robinson kicked down the door that had barred players of color from the major leagues.”

Now don’t get me wrong, the Phillies’ current infield alignment of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Placido Polanco is very, very good. It’s obviously a championship caliber quartet and one of the best in recent memory,  but is it the best infield of the modern era? No. It’s not even the best infield in the game today.

Conlin notes that the Yankees’ infield “slammed 112 homers [in 2009], three more than the Phillies with [Pedro] Feliz at third. But the Phils’ Fab Four won the RBI war, 393-373.” Of course, we all know counting stats – especially RBI – are stupid. They lack context for things like park effects, league difference, injuries, the whole nine. Just looking at raw triple-slash stats, the Phils’ four main infielders collectively hit .273-.344-.473 with a .358 wOBA in 2009. The Yanks, meanwhile, saw their four main infielders hit … wait for it … .310-.384-.519 with a .390 wOBP as a group. That’s a .903 OPS infield. It’s like having four Josh Hamilton’s circa 2008 on the diamond, but just a touch better. The Yanks infield had 44 more hits and 20 more walks than the Phillies’ infield last year despite coming to the plate 158 fewer times. Obviously, this is no contest offensively.

Conlin suggested the Phillies potentially have the best all-around infield, meaning things like defense and baserunning count too. And of course they do. We watched Jason Giambi negate much of his offense with his defense for the better part of a decade. The easiest way to examine this is to look at WAR, so let’s do that. Everything comes from Sean Smith’s database

I’m not sure if the 2010 projection has Polanco at second or third base, but it doesn’t matter since the move from a middle spot to a corner spot carries a negative positional adjustment. Either way, the Yankees were better last year, and project to be better this year. Unlike FanGraphs’ WAR, CHONE’s accounts for baserunning, so we don’t need to worry about adjusting anything. The 2010 projections for the two infields are pretty close, just about half a win apart, so it is possible the Phillies’ infield outperforms the Yanks’,. That would require a considerable fall from grace by Jeter and a major rebound from Rollins, though.

Also, just look at this subjectively. Howard can mash, but so can Tex, and the Yanks’ first baseman is one of the best defenders at his position in the game. Utley is clearly a better player Cano, and the same could be said about A-Rod and Polanco. Jeter’s not going to put up the same kind of homerun totals that Rollins will, but he’s a better offensive player because of a massive advantage in on-base percentage. Jeter closed the gap defensively the last two seasons, but Rollins has the better rep. Even if you feel like being extremely generous and consider Tex-Howard and Jeter-Rollins to be washes, the difference between A-Rod and Polanco is greater than the difference between Utley and Cano.

I can understand why fans and the media in Philadelphia are excited. They’ve got a great lineup, added Roy Halladay, and have won two straight pennants, but when it comes to infield might, they’re going to have to play second fiddle the Yankees. Again.

Photo Credit: Elise Amendola

Categories : Analysis
  • http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/media/player/mp_tpl_3_1.jsp?w_id=436793&w=2005/open/topplays/archive07/071405_nyabos_arod_hr_350.wmv&pid=mlb_tp&gid=2005/07/14/nyamlb-bosmlb-1&cid=mlb&am bexarama

    But don’t you see, the Phillies’ infield is better NO MATTER WHAT because A-Rod is on the Yankees and that means all the Yankees’ numbers aren’t eligible!
    /that article’d

    • Mike HC

      I didn’t see any digs at A-Rod in that article. The only way he dismissed the Yanks was because they out RBI’d them last year.

      • http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/media/player/mp_tpl_3_1.jsp?w_id=436793&w=2005/open/topplays/archive07/071405_nyabos_arod_hr_350.wmv&pid=mlb_tp&gid=2005/07/14/nyamlb-bosmlb-1&cid=mlb&am bexarama

        But, sorry, Palmeiro hangs an asterisk on those numbers. Just as A-Rod hangs one on his Yankees infield.

        • Mike HC

          Yea, I got it now. I’m a little slow this morning. Oh wait, afternoon, ha.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

      But don’t you see, the Phillies’ infield is better NO MATTER WHAT because A-Rod is on the Yankees and that means all the Yankees’ numbers aren’t eligible!
      /that article’d

      “I’d welcome him if he got elected to the Hall of Fame,” Schmidt said of A-Rod. “I always seem to walk down the middle of the fence. I understand the old, hard-line guys that use the words, `he cheated, he cheated.’ And the other guys that go, `It was a culture thing back then.’ If you played then, you would have been tempted, too. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. I don’t want to get that wrong. We’ve all got some things in our closet.”

      Schmidt once again indicated that he would have been tempted to use steroids if presented with the chance to take them when he was playing.

      http://www.philly.com/philly/b.....A_Rod.html

      Mike Schmidt’s perspective >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Bill Conlin’s conveniently self-righteous indignation

      • http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/media/player/mp_tpl_3_1.jsp?w_id=436793&w=2005/open/topplays/archive07/071405_nyabos_arod_hr_350.wmv&pid=mlb_tp&gid=2005/07/14/nyamlb-bosmlb-1&cid=mlb&am bexarama

        I’ve mentioned my Philly fan friend a few times, and said friend HATES A-Rod (for the steroid thing alone, nothing else) and WORSHIPS Schmidt (understandable). I showed her that quote. I think her brain exploded and she never mentioned it again.

  • Maac

    Francesa has talked about this on the Fan a few times. If you include the catcher it makes the Yanks current configuration stand out even more. The only team that even approached them was supposedly the 1934 Tigers.

    • http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/media/player/mp_tpl_3_1.jsp?w_id=436793&w=2005/open/topplays/archive07/071405_nyabos_arod_hr_350.wmv&pid=mlb_tp&gid=2005/07/14/nyamlb-bosmlb-1&cid=mlb&am bexarama

      We were talking about this in an Open Thread a while ago, and I think the 1975 and 1976 Reds infield beats the 2009 Yankees infield if you’re using wRC+, but only by a couple of points, IIRC.

      2009 Yankees = good

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

        Yup. Joe Morgan is AMAZING at baseball. (At other things, eh, not so much. But baseball? YES.)

        • http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/media/player/mp_tpl_3_1.jsp?w_id=436793&w=2005/open/topplays/archive07/071405_nyabos_arod_hr_350.wmv&pid=mlb_tp&gid=2005/07/14/nyamlb-bosmlb-1&cid=mlb&am bexarama

          the hilarious thing about Joe Morgan and his dismissal of sabermetrics is that it’s only through sabermetrics (or at least, more advanced stats. And by “more advanced” I mean like, OBP.) that people know how totally awesome he was at baseball.

          • JGS

            “You’re right about Joe Morgan being the ultimate Moneyball-style player, too. It wasn’t just his style of play, either; Joe Morgan quotes from 1975 sound like they could have gone into the book Moneyball, verbatim. He talked all the time about how batting average was overrated, and how you had to get on base, and how RBIs were just a context statistic, and how you had to steal bases at a high percentage, and so on and so on.”

            -Joe Posnanski, from an interview about his book about the Big Red Machine

            • Thomas

              Luckily, Joe has learned the error of his ways.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

    I’m going to piggyback off what Maac said above. Why isn’t catcher included in this? Seriously.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

      Meh, because catcher is part of the “battery”, not the infield.

      1-2: battery
      3-4-5-6: infield
      7-8-9: outfield
      DH: an evil abomination against all that his holy and pure, and the thing that singlehandedly ruined baseball and created al’Qaeda

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

        I guess that makes sense. Still, while they may be a “lesser” part of the infield in terms of opportunities, put-outs and the like, I still consider them more than just the battery. But hey, that’s just me.

  • Mike HC

    Give me the Yanks infield over the Phillies every day of the week. They only have three top dogs and the Yanks have 4. That is enough analysis right there.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

    Factoring both offense and defense into the equation:

    TEX >>>> Howard
    Utley >>>> CANO
    JETER >> Rollins
    CentWAR Centaur™ >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Polanco

    Oh, and, for good measure:

    Posada >>>>>>>>> Ruiz

    Thanks for playing, fellas. We’ll see you ’round the bend… Number 2.

    • Tom Zig

      what about intangibles?

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

        Just a small dab from one strand of Chase Utley’s Fonzie Grease can lube up every woman in Pennsylvania and southern Jersey.

        Obvious Philly win.

        • http://janeheller.mlblogs.com/yank_c.jpg T-Dubs

          this is me nodding in agreement.

        • Tom Zig

          If I could have a super power, that would be it.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

        Jorge Posada pees on his hands.

        Checkmate.

  • JeffG

    Great infield or not I still think they are short pitching. Will be interesting to see if Hammels can regain form.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

      H-A-M-E-L-S

      • JeffG

        T-H-A-N-K-S

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

          Have you tried garlic hummus with bagel chips? Deelish.

      • Shits and Giggles

        Did you know what player he was talking about? If so, then why play teacher’s pet on here?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

          Saying that I corrected his spelling because I’m “playing teacher’s pet” implies that I’m correcting his spelling to curry favor or admiration from others, namely from the site owners. I’m not. They don’t admire or favor me any more for correcting people’s spelling.

          So, your real question should be:

          “Did you know what player he was talking about? If so, then why correct his spelling?”

          The answers:
          a.) Yes, I knew what player he was talking about.
          b.) I corrected him because he was wrong. When people are wrong, they should be corrected so that they can be right. Simple as that.

        • Bo

          Just be glad Eric didn’t throw a lame movie quote as he gives his spelling lessons.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size
            • king of fruitless hypotheticals

              You know, that would be much cooler if he called you Cartman instead of Eric…

  • Brian

    Phillies fans are delusional, the Yanks may have the best infield of all time, let alone the modern era.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      If it was a fan it would be somewhat understandable (but not really). This clown gets paid to write about baseball for a living, and yet writes this garbage.

  • JSquared

    Any infield consisting of Placido Polanco can not be the greatest infield in the game…

    Obviously, whoever thinks the Phillies have the greatest infield, are Phillies fans in a euphoric state due to the Phillies actually being a good team and not setting records for most losses ever!

    Was this guy watching the World Series??

  • http://janeheller.mlblogs.com/yank_c.jpg T-Dubs

    I find it interesting the the Phillies view the Yankees almost as the pre-2004 Red Sox did.

    • http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/media/player/mp_tpl_3_1.jsp?w_id=436793&w=2005/open/topplays/archive07/071405_nyabos_arod_hr_350.wmv&pid=mlb_tp&gid=2005/07/14/nyamlb-bosmlb-1&cid=mlb&am bexarama

      prior to the World Series, they were basically treating it like they had to beat the Yankees in the WS to validate their ’08 win. Flattering, really.

      • http://janeheller.mlblogs.com/yank_c.jpg T-Dubs

        In all seriousness, it kind of is flattering. They seem far more concerned about the Yankees than their division rivals. It’ll be really funny if the Braves or Marlins beat them out.

        • JGS

          that would be funny

          unfortunately, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDnXkFVEQ0Y

          • http://janeheller.mlblogs.com/yank_c.jpg T-Dubs

            If Rollins, Hamels, and Lidge don’t rebound and they have a big injury it could happen.

            I’d be more persuasive if I had a video of myself with a tambourine.

            • JGS

              Hamels doesn’t have to rebound that much. Full season of Halladay probably means 23-4, 2.33 ERA, 1.010 WHIP, ~240 strikeouts

        • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

          Who can blame them? It’s more challenging to take on the bigger brother after you’ve sent the baby brother home crying enough times.

          • Jack

            I know there’s a euphamistic joke in there somewhere.

  • Maac

    This isn’t even a contest with the Phillies. No disrespect to them bc they have a great infield too but even if you give them an advantage after 1st, 2nd, and SS (which is a stretch) A-rod just blows Polanco out of the water and ends the conversation. Throw in Posada and it’s the best ever. That’s nice to think about : )

    • Bo

      Rollins is based on rep.

      His numbers last yr was terrible.

      • king of fruitless hypotheticals

        Were.

        His numbers last yr WERE terrible.

        Sincerely,

        Eric

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

    And maybe somebody can come up with an eight-line poem that begins:

    “These are the saddest of possible words:
    “J-Roll to Chase to Ryno.

    Wait, when did Ryne Sandberg become the Phillies first baseman? Isn’t he retired?

    • http://janeheller.mlblogs.com/yank_c.jpg T-Dubs

      after the island moved.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

        That makes sense.

    • Bo

      Don’t you know they call Ryan Howard Ryno in Philly?

      Maybe you should read up a lil bit there E dog.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

        Heh. You think you’re hilariously funny… that’s the sad part.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)
    • Thomas

      The 2010 Yankees do.

    • Chip

      They might have the best but it’s almost all on Morgan. I mean those are two of the best seasons a second baseman has ever had. That’s like saying the 1923 Yankees had one of the best outfields ever when it’s only that way because Babe Ruth put up a WAR of 14 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) which is by the way, insane.

      • Jose

        That is an argument over balance. If an infield has one player who has a 25 WAR and 3 others who a replacement level, you could still argue that to be one of the greatest infields. It would be unbalanced in talent, but the sum of all the parts is an unreal level of production from an infield.

    • Bo

      Concepcion at SS doesnt compare offensively to Jeter.

      Not even in the same league.

      • pete

        similarly, cano doesn’t compare to morgan offensively at 2B, and in all likelihood is nowhere near the defender that morgan was (much like 2010 Jeter probably won’t be the defender that ’75 Concepcion was.

  • All Praise Be To Mo

    The Phiilies IF is better since the Yankees don’t care about defense.

    /Neyer’d

  • Jose

    “That’s a .903 OPS infield.”

    The tears of other teams taste soooo good.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      It’s why having Gardner in LF causes me to lose exactly zero minutes of sleep.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

        But SBGL specifically told me that I would regret the team not signing Johnny Damon, and he’s never been wrong before…

        • Jose

          Im sure the team will miss Johnny Damon. I dont understand why you cant just accept that Eric.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

            Well played.

            It’s the lack of apostrophes that really puts this post over the top. I’m impressed.

        • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

          Johnny Damon is a warrior. He would never sit out a game–not even one in ST–for a silly ailment like a stubbed toe or a tweaked back.

      • http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/media/player/mp_tpl_3_1.jsp?w_id=436793&w=2005/open/topplays/archive07/071405_nyabos_arod_hr_350.wmv&pid=mlb_tp&gid=2005/07/14/nyamlb-bosmlb-1&cid=mlb&am bexarama

        ding ding ding ding ding ding ding!

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    Nice writeup Mike, and damn that was quick. I hope Conlin gets blasted for this nonsense.

  • steve (different one)

    you guys didn’t even mention the craziest line from Conlin’s article:

    Has any non-expansion team ever had the three best players in franchise history at the same time?

    errr, you’re forgetting someone. played 3B. kindof looked like Chuck Norris (ok, not really).

    now, i’m going to guess that this is just a poorly worded attempt to say “the three best players at their respective positions in franchise history”, in which case you can call it bad writing instead of sheer lunacy.

    • http://janeheller.mlblogs.com/yank_c.jpg T-Dubs

      John Kruk must be rolling in his grave.

      • Rob D.

        That would explain the recent wave of earthquakes.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

      Grover Cleveland Alexander, Robin Roberts, and Steve Carlton would also all like a word with Mr. Conlin.

    • http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/media/player/mp_tpl_3_1.jsp?w_id=436793&w=2005/open/topplays/archive07/071405_nyabos_arod_hr_350.wmv&pid=mlb_tp&gid=2005/07/14/nyamlb-bosmlb-1&cid=mlb&am bexarama

      Has any non-expansion team ever had the three best players in franchise history at the same time?
      Maybe that says more about the perennial crappiness prior to 2005 or so of the Phillies than anything else? (And, yeah. Michael “Jack” Schmidt sheds a single tear)

    • Thomas

      Even if it was the “three best at their position” other teams have had that. The 1975-6 Reds had Morgan, Bench, and Rose all who were the best at their positions in the franchise history plus Tony Perez who is probably the best 1st baseman in Reds history (off the top of my head).

      Heck, the 1927 Yankees had Ruth, Gehrig, and Lazzeri (who is probably the best 2B in Yankee history).

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

        The 1993 Mets had Bobby Bonilla, Vince Coleman, Jeromy Burnitz, Butch Huskey, and Tim Bogar, who I’m pretty sure were the 5 best players in that club’s entire history.

      • Don W

        Jeter – best SS in Yankee History
        A-Rod – best 3B in Yankee History
        Cano – has a chance to be the best 2B in Yankee History, we won’t no for another 10 years.

        Sorry Tex & Jorge 1st place is taken.

        • Thomas

          Yeah, I thought about mentioning the 2010 Yankees, but obviously we do know how good Cano will be and it would seem pretty desperate to toss in Mariano when we are talking about position players (though he obviously is the best closer ever).

        • steve (different one)

          caugh, best reliever, cough.

          yeah, i know. not really a “position”.

          but in the same vein, when all is said and done, CC might have a claim for best pitcher

          /WAAAY ahead of ourselves

          • ROBTEN

            CC might have a claim for best pitcher

            It’s very, very unlikely. There’s too many good pitchers who will have pitched longer with the team than CC probably will. This doesn’t mean it’s not possible–he could, for example, stay significantly longer than the (theoretical) 7 years of his current contract–just extremely improbable.

            In fact, and this is nothing against CC, but he probably won’t even end up as the best left-hander in team history. Whitey Ford, for instance, had 17 year career with the team with an ERA+ of 133.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

              Somewhere, Lefty Gomez sheds a tear for not being mentioned yet again.

              • ROBTEN

                I know it’s partially a joke, but you’re right, Gomez would certainly be in the conversation. I picked Ford based upon one particular stat which marked that CC would have a long way to go. But, even focusing solely on ERA+ if you just take Gomez’s nine prime years – 1931 through 1939 – he also put up a ERA+ of 133, including two seasons in which he put up a ERA+ of 175 (1934) and a 191 (1937).

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  Will you join me in my eventually fruitless quest/fool’s errand to get Lefty’s #11 retired?

                  He’s the great forgotten Yankee Hall of Famer.

                • ROBTEN

                  Sure, I’d have no problem with them retiring #11. Just in the counting stats alone there’s certainly a strong case for Lefty.

                  Actually, in looking at the retired numbers, it’s interesting how few of them are pitchers.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  You could make arguments for Herb Pennock, Red Ruffing, and Spud Chandler, but they’re a bit more borderline; I understand not retiring their numbers (although Ruffing’s would be easy to retire since #15 is already retired for Munson).

                  Gomez is a no-brainer, though. He’s one of the 10-15 best lefties in MLB history. Better than Guidry, comparable to Sabathia (so far).

                • ROBTEN

                  Yeah, in looking back just now, I was actually a bit surprised about Ruffing’s lower than I expected numbers, but I think there could be a strong case made for retiring Ruffing’s #15.

                  Conversely, Guidry’s first six full seasons are much stronger than I remember. But, if Guidry’s in, then Gomez should be as well.

            • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

              Well CC (and Burnett) do have one thing going for them. Us Yankee fans don’t care about strikeouts, whip, era, era+ or FIP. For us, it’s “Win or get out©”, and so far they are 1 for 1.

              • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

                tcwa

              • ROBTEN

                Touché.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                Us Yankee fans don’t care about strikeouts, whip, era, era+ or FIP.

                You left out “defense”.

                /Neyer’d

    • JGS

      the 2010 Red Sox

      Kelly (SS), Bard, Kelly (P)

      • Thomas

        Don’t forget the Little General, Ryan Westmoreland.

        • JGS

          Nah, you have to play somewhere higher than the NY Penn League first. Kelly has experience all the way up in the Carolina League!

          • WIlliam

            Don’t forget pedroia, gods greatest gift to man with 15 homers and a 285 avg.

  • pete

    This was a very patient post Mike. If I had written it, it probably would have been:

    Title: Do the Phillies really have the best infield int he modern era?

    Article: no.

    • pete

      emphaisis on the lack of capitalization throughout the entire article

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Of all the people in world who would actually write a one word post, you are certainly the last person I would expect. You would try to write just “no”, but you’d end up at 5000 (very well thought out) words.

      • pete

        hehe i actually thought about making not of that, but then figured the ambiguity of the handle “pete” may not register with anyone besides you, so i let it alone. But yes I would likely have written 7 paragraphs on the subject. In fact, if it weren’t such a batshit insane suggestion to begin with, I would probably have written 7 paragraphs worth of concurring argument in response to mike A’s post. I’m weird like that.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          Heh, keep the long posts coming pete, they’re not long for the sake of being long, they’re always informative and a good read.

  • http://hardballtimes.com Dan Novick

    second and third base have the same positional adjustment

    • Jose

      Good point. Either playing 3B or 2B, Polanco will have a +2.5 adjustment.

  • thurdonpaul

    I also find that odd, I guess they are still sorting out season ticket & premium seating. Little guys like me that go to only a handful of games a year will be lucky to get any seats through Yankees dot com. I guess I’ll be looking to stubhub again.

    • thurdonpaul

      oops, sorry

  • http://yanksgoyard.com Andy_C_23

    The most frustrating part about Phillies fans is that prior to 2007 they didn’t exist (or at least since I lived down here — from 2002 on). The whole city was all about the Eagles and everyone “bled green.” You never/rarely saw anyone with Phils gear, but now that the team is winning all these “diehard fans” come out of the word work.

  • http://yanksgoyard.com Andy_C_23

    No real point, just throwing that out there.

  • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

    This is why I love RAB: I see this article posted elsewhere by a Phillies fan and think about tweeting at the RAB guys about it but I decided to refresh the site first. And behold: factual dismissal and instant gratification.

    It tastes so sweet.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

      It tastes so sweet.

      TWSS

    • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

      it tastes so good when it touches your lips!

      \bobait’d

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        I thought we weren’t going to do this any more.

        • Tom Zig

          The movie quotes or the /bobait?

          • pete

            bobaiting is illegal under the OP SHUTDOWN act of 2010

            • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

              must’ve missed that one. fair enough.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

            I’d say the /bobait line. Movie quotes, where topically applicable and part of the natural flow of conversation, aren’t a meme or in-joke that would be arcane and/or off-putting to new users. They’re just humorous asides that all can enjoy in.

            JMHO as a non-admin, feel free to override me.

            • Bo

              Good of Joe to finally admit that the lame movie quotes ruin the baseball talk.

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                I’m not a huge fan of their over-use, but quite frankly, constantly misstating and over-simplifying arguments ruins the baseball talk a lot more than the movie quotes.

              • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

                yeah, i don’t think that was what he was doing. more like the calling out myself for doing it intentionally to piss you off. but that’s just what i got from it

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                Good of Joe to finally admit that the lame movie quotes ruin the baseball talk.

                Luckily for me and others, I don’t cite lame movie quotes. All the movies I quote are awesome, not lame.

                Now, Rose, on the other hand… yeesh.

  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

    The 2009 Yankee IF was historically good, as you’ve shown. The 2010 one could be even better.

    • WIlliam

      With a full healthy season from Arod, a Cano going into his peak, no adjustment time for tex, and a year without Jose Molina playing any significant amount of time, I predict we top last year.

  • r.w.g.

    Jeter won’t hit for the same power as Jimmy Rollins? Not really true at all.

    Through his first 9 full seasons J-Roll has 146 homers. Jeter during the first 9 full seasons of his career hit 150. Same 9 seasons Rollins carries a .439 SLG, Jeter .463. Rollins has an advantage in doubles and triples, but it is really only a significant difference in the triples area – 41 to 94.

    Rollins through 9 full seasons and his age 30 season has 3 years where he topped 20 home runs. Jeter through the same 9 seasons and age 30 season has 3 years where he topped 20 home runs.

    Aside from one 30 home run season, three years ago, they seem to have almost identical power.

    • pete

      very true

    • K.B.D.

      Jeter’s first nine years were over in 2004. Using those seasons as a reason why he and Jimmy Rollins will hit for similar power in 2010 is not really appropriate.

      Rollins’ 30 HR year was only three years ago, meanwhile in the past 10 seasons Jeter’s highest total has been 23 and that came more than half a decade ago. The reason their slugging is so similar is because Rollins isn’t as good an average hitter as DJ. The last three years Rollins has an isoP roughly 65 points better than Derek.

      While Derek Jeter is clearly the better overall hitter, recent history tells us that he currently doesn’t hit for the same power that Jimmy Rollins does. It’s not a crazy statement.

      • r.w.g.

        I still think I’m right.

        And I like my comparison just fine. Jeter is 5 or 6 years older than Jimmy, so they won’t line up perfectly. But through the same age seasons (both guys had first full season at 22, I stopped the comparison after age 30 season) they have extremely similar numbers.

        Except for the fact that Jimmy Rollins is much faster, doesn’t hit for as high an average, and has anywhere from below average to just a bit above average on-base ability. I think Jimmy is probably a better bet to have a better season next year, but I wouldn’t put my money on it.

        I think when Jimmy Rollins catches up to Jeter in terms of seasons played, barring any kind of injury, he is going to have pretty similar power numbers to the Captain.

        • K.B.D.

          “And I like my comparison just fine. Jeter is 5 or 6 years older than Jimmy, so they won’t line up perfectly. But through the same age seasons (both guys had first full season at 22, I stopped the comparison after age 30 season) they have extremely similar numbers.”

          Your comparison is fine. But back to the original point: Jeter won’t hit for as much power as Rollins NEXT SEASON.

          Is it fine for evaluating next seasons performance? No. You’re basing next years production off of some seasons a decade plus old. It doesn’t make sense.

          “I think when Jimmy Rollins catches up to Jeter in terms of seasons played, barring any kind of injury, he is going to have pretty similar power numbers to the Captain.”

          Okay. But we’re talking about 2010. And the past 3 or 4 years of performance tells us Derek Jeter is an inferior power hitter.

  • http://nytimes.com Gardimentary

    They have a revolving door at 3B.
    We don’t even know if Polanco can play it anymore.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      I love that Polanco left Philly because he refused to move over for Utley.

      • http://nytimes.com Gardimentary

        He’s also pretty old now. A shadow of what he was.
        Not that Arod is Brooks Robinson at 3B, but he’s better than Polanco. He wasn’t better than Feliz.

  • Bo

    Any infield with Polanco in it cannot be the greatest of all time.

    Maybe if they had Longoria playing 3b it would be an actual good discussion.

    And people complain about the writers in NY.

    • Tom Zig

      I often wonder if the writers in NY actually like the Yankees.

      • Tank the Frank

        They do, as long as Joba is in the bullpen. That’s the one requirement.

  • pat

    A Phillies blog, The Good Phight, did a writeup about this as well. Not even they think Conlin is right.

    http://www.thegoodphight.com/2.....field-ever

  • Bo

    And Rollins is all based on rep. He had an awful season last yr.

  • YankeeScribe

    2009 Yankees Infield = Underrated

  • Aaron

    There are plenty of bad writers from New York already, no need for more. I’m a Yankees fan too but you can’t really knock the Phillies infield because they are far superior, at least for the time being. So stop being an idiot and stick to scrubbing McDonald’s floor.