By In Stuff

Carrying A Team

While looking up Darrell Porter’s career for the recent Royals Hall of Fame post, I came across George Brett again. This happens every so often — George’s career is endlessly fascinating to me. And I realized that George could have won four MVP awards in his career. I’m not saying he SHOULD have won four, but he certainly could have … there’s a strong case to be made for all four. I should tell you that this post, by the end, is not specifically about George Brett … it’s about the best offensive players on World Series teams. But it will take a few paragraphs to get there.

George Brett won his only MVP award in 1980, of course. It’s one of the greatest offensive seasons in baseball history. My first ever book idea was actually to write about Brett’s 1980 season … and how close he really came to hitting .400. I’d love to revisit that someday.

Anyway, the only stunning thing about Brett’s 1980 MVP is that he did not win it unanimously. He actually did not come especially close to winning it unanimously — he had 17 of the 28 first place votes. Reggie Jackson got five first place votes and Goose Gossage got four. Brett’s teammate Willie Wilson got one. It’s true that Brett missed some games with injuries, but it seems to me that hitting .390/.454/.664 should probably get you the unanimous vote. How ANYONE could have thought there was a more valuable player in the American League — and four thought it was a reliever who threw 99 innings — is beyond me.

Anyway, he did win that one. He could have won three others. Brett could have won it in 1976 — the year he led the league in batting average (.333), hits (215) and triples (14). He had the highest WAR for any every day player, and the Royals made the playoffs for the first time, and he was spectacular. Yankees catcher Thurman Munson won that year, and I’m always one to give catchers extra credit, but his .302/.337/.432 line doesn’t exactly jump off the page. Munson did drive in 105 RBIs, largely as a result of having Mickey Rivers and Roy White hitting ahead of him. I think that’s a miss by the voters.

Brett could have won it in 1979. He again led every player in WAR. He again led the league in hits and triples. He finished third in the MVP voting, behind Don Baylor and Ken Singleton. I certainly understand why Baylor won — we all know that many MVP voters have an RBI fetish and Baylor drove in 139 runs for an Angels team that finally broke through and won the division title. I think Brett had the best year.

Then, of course, there’s the famous 1985 MVP vote, which leads to the real point of this post. I have long thought that no player in baseball history singlehandedly carried an offense to a championship the way Brett did in 1985. It is, I admit, kind of a tricky concept. It led me to do a little research, which I think is interesting … I’m not promising any great revelations, but it’s interesting.

First, the 1985 MVP vote. Don Mattingly won the MVP over Brett in ’85. Its not hard to understand why. You look at their basic numbers — and in 1985, few looked beyond the basic numbers — and it’s pretty clear cut:

Mattingly: .345, 35 homers, 145 RBIs, 211 hits.
Brett: .335, 30 homers, 112 RBIs, 184 hits.

If you look beyond those core numbers, though, you will see that Brett had a clearly better year than Mattingly:

Mattingly: .371 OBP, .567 SLG, 107 runs. 6.4 WAR, 32 Win Shares.
Brett .436 OBP, .585 SLG, 108 runs, 8.0 WAR, 37 Win Shares.

The 65 points in on-base percentage is the most decisive of those advantages. That Brett also outslugged Mattingly and played a more demanding position just clinches his better year. Mattingly had a wonderful season, but it seems his 145 RBIs were the biggest reason he won … and the fact that he spent the entire year hitting second or third behind a guy named Rickey Henderson (who scored 146 runs) might have had a whole lot to do with it.

In fact, I think Henderson was probably the most deserving choice for MVP in 1985. But, of course, nobody was looking at OBP or leadoff hitters in 1985 and Mattingly, believe it or not, won the vote more decisively than Brett did in 1980 — he got 23 votes to Brett’s five.

Anyway, that’s been much discussed. The thing that struck me more than anything about George Brett’s 1985 season is JUST HOW BAD the Royals were as an offensive team. The only other player on the team to manage even a .325 on-base percentage was Hal McRae. I’m about to give you the most fun statistic you will hear today … I feel pretty sure about this. In 1985, the entire Royals offense — we’re talking about all 20 players who got at least one plate appearance — put up an 8.9 WAR. OK? That means all the every day player combined were worth 8.9 wins above replacement.

George Brett alone was 8.0 wins above replacement.

It’s OK to gasp.

I felt certain that no World Series team has ever been so dominated by one every day player. But feeling certain of something and having it actually be true are two different things, so here is what I did: I looked at every World Series winner since the end of World War II. And I looked to see how much of the offense their best player contributed. I wanted to make this as easy as possible, so I used Baseball References “Runs Above Replacement” as my guide. The results are kind of fun, I think, so let me give you a couple of quick points about Runs Above Replacement (RAR):

— The average World Series champ since World War II has scored about 248 runs above replacement. The highest was the 1998 Yankees with 410 RAR. The lowest, as you might imagine, was the 1985 Royals with only 91 RAR (the second-lowest was the 1995 Braves with 119 RAR).

— The average RAR for the best player on a World Series champ is about 61. Mickey Mantle in 1956, his Triple Crown year, had 122 RAR. I didn’t go back before 1946, but I suspect the biggest total for World Series winner in all of baseball history belongs to Babe Ruth in 1923, when he had 128 RAR. The lowest RAR leader for a World Series team was Ryan Klesko with the 1995 Braves — he led the team with only 28 RAR.

Now, a look at the list since 1946:

2010 Giants: Aubrey Huff 44 out of 157
2009 Yankees: Derek Jeter 62 out of 364
2008 Phillies: Chase Utley 56 out of 188
2007 Red Sox: David Ortiz 61 out of 254
2006 Cardinals: Albert Pujols 69 out of 196
2005 White Sox: Paul Konerko 35 out of 148
2004 Red Sox: Manny Ramirez 50 out of 273
2003 Marlins: Pudge Rodriguez 41 out of 201
2002 Angels: David Eckstein 45 out of 288
2001 Diamondbacks: Luis Gonzalez 71 out of 156
2000 Yankees: Derek Jeter 70 out of 220
1999 Yankees: Derek Jeter 94 out of 256
1998 Yankees: Derek Jeter 78 out of 410
1997 Marlins: Gary Sheffield 42 out of 192
1996 Yankees: Bernie Williams 50 out of 192
1995 Braves: Ryan Klesko 28 out of 119
1994 Nobody
1993 Blue Jays: John Olerud, 77 out of 278
1992 Blue Jays: Roberto Alomar 60 out of 244
1991 Twins: Kirby Puckett 37 out of 223
1990 Reds: Barry Larkin 37 out of 168
1989 A’s: Carney Lansford 49 out of 219
1988 Dodgers: Kirk Gibson 59 out of 186
1987 Twins: Kirby Puckett 53 out of 174
1986 Mets: Keith Hernandez 44 out of 309
1985 Royals: George Brett 77 out of 91 Runs Above Replacement
1984 Tigers: Alan Trammell 50 out of 289
1983 Orioles: Cal Ripken 71 out of 241
1982 Cardinals: Lonnie Smith 48 out of 175
1981 Dodgers: Ron Cey 31 out of 160
1980 Phillies: Mike Schmidt 72 out of 229
1979 Pirates: Dave Parker 60 out of 233
1978 Yankees: Graig Nettles and Willie Randolph 45 out of 254
1977 Yankees: Reggie Jackson and Thurman Munson 45 out of 270
1976 Reds: Joe Morgan 91 out of 354
1975 Reds: Joe Morgan 98 out of 322
1974 A’s: Reggie Jackson 63 out of 262
1973 A’s: Sal Bando 76 out of 309
1972 A’s: Reggie Jackson and Joe Rudi 47 out of 238
1971 Pirates: Willie Stargell 69 out of 332
1970 Orioles: Boog Powell 52 out of 273
1969 Mets: Cleon Jones 58 out of 183
1968 Tigers: Bill Freehan 57 out of 255
1967 Cardinals: Orlando Cepeda 59 out of 262
1966 Orioles: Frank Robinson 80 out of 274
1965 Dodgers: Maury Wills 35 out of 214
1964 Cardinals: Ken Boyer 49 out of 225
1963 Dodgers: Jim Gilliam 51 out of 240
1962 Yankees: Mickey Mantle 82 out of 274
1961 Yankees: Mickey Mantle 115 out of 304
1960 Pirates: Don Hoak 45 out of 256
1959 Dodgers: Wally Moon 43 out of 157
1958 Yankees: Mickey Mantle 95 out of 309
1957 Braves: Henry Aaron 68 out of 271
1956 Yankees: Mickey Mantle 122 out of 336
1955 Dodgers: Duke Snider 81 out of 339
1954 Giants: Willie Mays 79 out of 196
1953 Yankees: Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle 48 out of 310
1952 Yankees: Mickey Mantle 61 out of 296
1951 Yankees: Yogi Berra 46 out of 286
1950 Yankees: Phil Rizzuto 62 out of 321
1949 Yankees: Joe DiMaggio and Tommy Henrich 45 out of 272
1948 Indians: Lou Boudreau 85 out of 266
1947 Yankees: Joe DiMaggio 59 out of 308
1946 Cardinals: Stan Musial 90 out of 274

A few thoughts:

— Most of the players who led their offenses to World Series victories are either in the Hall of Fame, will go to the Hall of Fame or merit serious consideration. There are 55 different players who led their World Series teams in RAR. Of the 55, 19 are already in the Hall. Barry Larkin will go in next year so that’s 20. Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols and Pudge Rodriguez are Hall of Fame locks. That makes 23. I suspect Manny Ramirez will get in, so that’s 24. It’s too early to tell about Chase Utley, but I think he certainly has a shot with a few more good years.

After that, I think Alan Trammell deserves serious consideration, so does Gary Sheffield and Ken Boyer. David Ortiz will be an interesting if he has three or four years left in that bat. Many people think Keith Hernandez, Dave Parker, Willie Randolph, Thurman Munson and Bill Freehan have deserved more consideration than they received. Point is most of the players on the list are considered among the best to play the game, which makes it a fun list.

— Yes, it is really true that David Eckstein led the 2002 Angels in RAR. It’s important to note that RAR is a counting stat, meaning that getting the most plate appearances really helps and Eckstein came up 702 times that year. But he also got on base — his .363 OBP was well above average and he led the league in getting hit by pitch — and he is compared to other shortstops rather than players at every position. So he was really quite valuable.

— I’m thoroughly blown away by how overrated AND underrated Derek Jeter has been through his career. I’m not sure there’s another player who has quite that combination of hype and underappreciation. My friend Seth Mnookin tackles the subject in this month’s GQ (in full disclosure, I’m quoted in it). But it’s really staggering both how stunningly over-glorified Jeter is and yet how little respect he has received in the MVP voting.

Jeter was probably the most valuable player in baseball in 1999. I mean, you certainly could make an argument for Pedro Martinez, and it really is hard to compare pitchers and hitters. But among hitters, I don’t think there was anyone in baseball more valuable. Jeter hit .349, scored and drove in 100-plus runs, posted a .438 on-base percentage, all while playing 158 games at shortstop. I mean that is a seriously fabulous year. He was very clearly the best player on the best team, and for the second year in a row. He tied with Manny Ramirez for highest WAR among position players. And he’s Derek Jeter, much admired, much beloved, much respected Derek Jeter …

And he finished SIXTH in the MVP voting. He got one first place vote. I mean, seriously, how the heck does that happen? Bleepin’ Rafael Palmeiro got more first place votes than Jeter, and he was a designated hitter in an insane hitting park. The Jeter conundrum baffles the mind.

Finally we get to the final point … nobody, and I mean nobody, is even close to 1985 George Brett when it comes to carrying an offense. Here are the Top 10 percentages — that is the percentage of RAR by one player:

1. George Brett, 1985 Royals, 84.6%
2. Luis Gonzalez, 2001 Diamondbacks, 45.5%
3. Willie Mays, 1954 Giants, 40.3%
4. Mickey Mantle, 1961 Yankees, 37.8%
5. Derek Jeter, 1999 Yankees, 36.7%
6. Mickey Mantle, 1956 Yankees, 36.3%
7. Albert Pujols, 2006 Cardinals. 35.2%
8. Stan Musial, 1946 Cardinals, 32.8%
9. Lou Boudreau, 1948 Indians, 32.0%
10. Derek Jeter, 2000 Yankees. 31.8%

Nope. Nobody close. This is because Brett was so good and the Royals offense was so bad. Whatever the reason, though, it is I believe a season unique to baseball history.

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38 Responses to Carrying A Team

  1. KY says:

    This is fascinating stuff. I wonder if anything like Brett’s 85 season will ever be duplicated, at least by the RAR measurement???

  2. Two things:

    The ’95 Braves team only played 144 games in that shortened post-strike season.

    When you think ‘carried a team’, there’s Yaz for the 1967 Red Sox, who didn’t win the Series but are still famous. He had 108 of the team’s 272 RAR, which would put him at 39.7%, just behind Mays.

  3. Adam says:

    Rick Cerone and his .277/.321/.432 got a first place vote in 1980. Yes, some voter looked at Rick Cerone, then at George Brett, then back to Cerone and said “Cerone is more valuable!” and then, presumably “those magic beans are certainly going to be worth the $500 I giving for them!”.

  4. Jay says:

    I’d love to see you crunch the numbers for Yaz and the ’67 Red Sox. He hit .326/.418/.622 in a pitchers’ era for a offensive 9.5 WAR (according to B-R.com). The rest of the team contributed ~17. Not the same level as Brett and the 85 Royals, but maybe closer than any other example.

  5. caseychief says:

    Wow — I know I’m partial, being from KC, but I always knew the ’85 vote was ridiculous. Brett had nobody hitting in front of him or behind him. Mattingly had Henderson in front and Winfield behind. That’s why Brett’s OBP was so much higher: He had double the walks overall, more than double IBBs.

    Anyway, the %RAR is just incredible. I wonder if anybody on non-World Series winning teams is close to that?

    One correction: Mattingly hit .324 in 1985, not .345.

    Another great article, Joe!

  6. Josh says:

    I won’t argue with a word of this, but what Nomar and Pedro were able to do for the 1999 Red Sox was pretty damn impressive, too.

  7. Check out Brett’s last week of the season and you will be even more amazed that he didn’t win the MVP.

    The context: With a week to go, the Royals trail the Angels by 1 game with 4 games against the Angels and 3 against the A’s.

    In the next 6 games, the Royals went 5-1, clinching the division. In those 6 games, the Royals scored 22 runs. George either scored or drove in 13 of those 22 runs.

    His line for those 6 games was: .450/.520/1.190, with 5 HRs (one in each win), 7 runs scored and 11 RBIs.

    And, as I like to say, on the 7th day, with the division clinched, George rested.

  8. nick says:

    Very interesting stuff.

  9. Phil says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Phil says:

    This is great stuff, Joe (as usual — you spoil us!), and it really clarifies what we think makes great players great. I’m tempted to do the same for pitching, just because.

    {Edited to remove my lack of awareness that Joe is looking only at oRAR.}

    Keep ’em comin’!

  11. Wm. Don says:

    Sadly, I think this might be the best case ever made for the intentional walk.

    Surely if every opposing pitcher had just walked George Brett every time he came up in 1985, the Royals wouldn’t have even made the playoffs.

  12. Yablo says:

    Joe – I think you’re overthinking the Jeter MVP “conundrum”. MVP balloting is always biased in that it predominantly favors excellent players on borderline playoff teams – the argument, for better or for worse, would seem to favor players like Brett, who make up the bulk of their team’s offensive production, rather than the best player on a team of many excellent players. Unless one puts up monster numbers (like A-Rod 05/07) the small market guys get the edge in the BBWAA logic.

  13. Phil says:

    Maybe the 1985 Royals are the only ultimately successful baseball equivalent of a Michael Jordan-esque “get on my back” offense. For the other end of the spectrum (and a gratuitous Alan Trammell connection), how frustrated must Dmitri Young have been when he contributed 40 oRAR and the rest of the batters -33 toward a team grand total of 7 for the 2003 Tigers. . . .

  14. Mark Daniel says:

    Jay,
    I heard Peter Gammons once say something like, “There never is a clear-cut MVP choice, except for Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.”

    I looked on B-R, and Yaz had 108 RAR, the team by itself (batters only) had 272. That’s 39.7%, which would be 4th on Joe’s list above. Mighty impressive, but still not in the ballpark as Brett.

    FYI, George Scott, Tony Conigliaro and Rico Petrocelli all had 30+ RAR for the ’67 Sox.

  15. chuckbo says:

    Interesting that you mention Darrell Porter because I always had the impression that the first month of every year, Porter carried the Royals with phenomenal numbers (for him) and while the rest of the team was trying to get it in gear. Then, for the rest of the year, it’s like he came back to Earth, and Brett and McRae would take over. I always wondered if there were many other consistent opening-month leaders that also consistently faded away starting in May.

  16. George says:

    Joe, I remember throughout the 1985 season that it seemed the Royals, model franchise and perennial contenders, were really on their last gasp. When they won the WS I clearly remember thinking “Well, at least they got one.”

  17. Joshua says:

    It’s a minor point, but the person whose numbers jumped out at me was Joe Morgan. Two seasons over 90.

  18. KHAZAD says:

    It is even more amazing that the writers gave Mattingly the MVP when you consider the last week of the season. The Royals entered the last week 1 game behind the division leading Angels, won 3 of 4 against them to take the lead, and finished with 2 more wins to hold them off. Brett went 11 for 23 with 5 home runs, 6 walks and 2 run scoring sacrifice flies. He scored 7 runs and drove in 13. He scored or drove in 15 of the Royals 25 runs and had an OPS of 1.778 the last week.

    Of course the Royal’s pitching was excellent as well. (To score that few runs in a week and win it had to be) But even if you considered Brett and Mattingly close, you might want to give the award to the man who handed his team a title in the last week.

  19. Tim says:

    I actually gasped when I read this. Then I read the line where you gave permission to gasp and felt ok about my decision to do so.

    I like how baseball reference gives you the handy guide at the top of their player value chart:
    “WAR: 8+ MVP, 5+ A-S, 2+ Strtr, 0-2 Sub, < 0 Repl." Other than Brett, no other position players on that team had a WAR of 2.0 or above (Frank White is closest with 1.9). So basically, George Brett and a team of bench players (with a couple of decent pitchers of course) went out and won the World Series. Over on the WPA side, the ’85 Royals ended up with 1.88. Of course, Brett had 5.96 which means the rest of the team had -4.08 (so basically, the rest of the team was roughly the ’85 Phillies, who had a collective -4.19 WPA and went 75-87.

  20. NMark W says:

    Never underestimate Mickey Mantle’s importance to the Yankees. From 1952 thru 1962 he led NYY (tied with Berra in
    1953) each year they won the title and probably led them in the other seasons too. Perhaps Maris in 1960 (?) but Mantle beats out Maris in 1961. Interesting…

  21. Here’s the opposite of the list at the bottom of Joe’s post – these are the 10 World Series champs that lowest max oRAR% by one player (most offensively-balanced WS champs?):

    Player having highest % of team’s total oRAR, Team, oRAR% of said player
    1. Keith Hernandez, 1986 Mets, 14.2%
    2. Yogi Berra or Mickey Mantle, 1953 Yankeees, 15.5%
    3. David Eckstein, 2002 Angels, 15.6%
    4. Yogi Berra, 1951 Yankees, 16.1%
    5. Maury Wills, 1965 Dodgers, 16.4%
    6. Joe DiMaggio or Tommy Henrich, 1949 Yankees, 16.5%
    7. Kirby Puckett, 1991 Twins, 16.6%
    8. Reggie Jackson or Thurman Munson, 1977 Yankees, 16.7%
    9. Derek Jeter, 2009 Yankees, 17.0%
    10. Alan Trammell, 1984 Tigers, 17.3%

    The average total team oRAR of these 10 clubs was 283, whereas that of the 10 clubs with the highest one player oRAR% was 230 (the one-man gangs tended to be more offensively-challenged clubs).

  22. yy says:

    Am I the only one who thinks it is meaningless, and actually counterproductive, to talk about MVP voting from the 70’s and 80’s by listing WAR, OBP, and SLG?

    I mean, you’re writing about the votes by voters who didn’t even know what those stats were.

  23. hscer says:

    I originally misread part of this post, thinking that Brett had 8 oWAR in ’85 and the rest of the Royals accounted for 8.9.

    Had that been the case, it appears Brett would STILL have been #1 on the list of percent RAR by one player.

    So what I’m saying is, yeah, what a season.

  24. Mikey says:

    Looking at some of those MVP votes furthers my belief that while there is no east coast bias in awards voting now, it did exist once and it’s understandable that some people still believe in it.

    Mnookin’s piece on Jeter is really good and totally fair. In the end I suspect I’ll remember Jeter as a truly great player who was considered great by most fans and media for all the wrong reasons.

    It also seems telling that Mnookin talked to Jeter for over FOUR HOURS and those were the most interesting quotes he could get. And Mnookin is really good at his job. But that’s Jeter for you. What does it take to get the guy to say something truly revealing?

  25. gbewing says:

    Anyone who has played the 85 season in Strat knows these things- it is impossible to duplicate the 85 Royals championship in Strat-o-matic even winning the division is a long shot. Statistically that team just wasn’t happening. Short series of a playoff they can pull off with strong SP and timely homeruns from .217 hitters etc but over 162 blah

  26. Max says:

    Thank you long-number named poster for doing the number crunching on the opposites list. That 1986 Mets team was all kinds of fun. Every single player save the atrocious SS Rafael Santana (Yuni of the 80’s?) posted an OPS+ 98 or greater without a single guy going over Hernandez’s 140 OPS+.

    Seven guys who are all in the Hall of Good or Great. Love it. I’m hoping my Oakland A’s emulate that ’86 Mets team this year with a no weakness lineup of their own.

  27. Joe says:

    If you go with WAR you have to give Don Denkinger 2.0 WAR in the Series alone.

  28. Excellent article.

    This article made me think about the 1973 Mets and their awful offense. That team was up 3-2 and only one game away from a WS title.

    I went back and checked and was shocked that Wayne Garrett led the ’73 Mets in RAR with 41. The entire team only had 119 RAR so Garrett had about 34% of the RAR on that team.

    It would be interesting to see a list of all the Pennant winning teams from WW2 and who had the highest RAR %

  29. Here’s the top 10 most offensively-imbalanced World Series losers (again since 1946):

    Rank. Team, Player having highest % of team’s total oRAR, oRAR% of said player
    1. 1999 Braves, Chipper Jones, 46.9% (83/177)
    T2. 2002 Giants, Barry Bonds, 43.9% (116/264)
    T2. 1957 Yankees, Mickey Mantle, 43.9% (116/264)
    4. 1955 Yankees, Mickey Mantle, 39.4% (82/208)
    5. 1946 Red Sox, Ted Williams, 38.9% (102/262)
    6. 1961 Reds, Frank Robinson, 38.5% (67/174)
    7. 1964 Yankees, Mickey Mantle, 36.7% (66/180)
    8. 1996 Braves, Chipper Jones, 36.3% (57/157)
    9. 1967 Red Sox, Carl Yastrzemski, 35.9% (85/237)
    10. 1970 Reds, Tony Perez, 35.1% (66/188)
    [11. 2000 Mets, Edgardo Alfonzo, 34.4% (67/195)
    12. 1980 Royals, George Brett, 33.1% (84/254)]

    So again, nobody is anywhere near what Brett and the Royals pulled off in 1985 as far as World Series combatants go (at least since 1946; as for non-World Series teams, I suspect it’d be hard to top the 571.4% of the 2003 Tigers oRAR that Dmitri Young accounted for, as Phil noted above).

  30. KHAZAD says:

    While it was amazing that the Royals won with Brett and the spare parts, strat games and metrics don’t account for the maturing of the young pitching staff either.

    In the two post season series, and the 6 games at the end of the year with the season on the line, (20 games total) the Royals staff compiled a 2.30 ERA in 179.2 innings pitched against the best competition.

    To put that in perspective, in the 38 years of the AL/DH era, there have been only 13 dominant pitchers who have made it through a season with at least that many innings and having a lower ERA. (Actually only 9 people as Pedro did it 4 times and Roger twice.) To manage to do that as a team, against top competition is quite simply unbelievable!

  31. Nothing beats the aawesomeness of the 99 Angels. They had an oRAR of 38. But Randy Velarde had an oRAR of 25, Salmon 21, Glaus 24, and Anderson 21:

    Velarde 68,7%
    Salmon 55,2%
    Glaus 63,1%
    Anderson 55,2 %
    Between them, they had 241% of the team production.. awesome.

    That being said, Joe, I think you shouldn’t include the negative oRAR values while calculating the team’s oRAR.

  32. @yy – 1) Counterproductive to what exactly? It is very productive to creating an interesting conversation about baseball. Yes?

    2) That’s like saying, isn’t it silly to point out that the old timey sailors were wrong in thinking they’d sail their ships off the edge of the world? I mean, they didn’t know / have the tools to know that the world was round.

    Ignorance and a lack of enlightenment doesn’t make their conclusions any more right.

  33. AmerOLisdumb says:

    Why are Baseball Reference’s RAR numbers so different from Fangraphs’?

    For Jeter:

    1998:
    B-R RAR: 80
    FG RAR: 66.7
    Difference: +13.3

    1999:
    B-R RAR: 83
    FG RAR: 81.0
    Difference: +2.0

    2000:
    B-R RAR: 47
    FG RAR: 42.7
    Difference: +4.3

    2009:
    B-R RAR: 66
    FG RAR: 71.1
    Difference: -5.1

    The difference is most pronounced for 1998, but never less than two runs.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=826&position=SS

  34. Phil says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  35. Phil says:

    I finally got around to doing the pRAR for pitchers, and then I found the biggest shares: i.e. which batters had the biggest shares of offense-heavy teams, ignoring defense and just summing oRAR and pRAR. Man, that Mickey could play. . .

    Year Team Player oRAR TotalRAR Share
    1961 Yankees Mantle 115/304 408 28.2%
    1956 Yankees Mantle 122/336 438 27.9%
    1958 Yankees Mantle 95/309 366 26.0%
    2006 Cardinals Pujols 69/196 273 25.3%
    1962 Yankees Mantle 82/274 360 22.8%
    1975 Reds Morgan 98/322 437 22.4%
    1985 Royals Brett 77/91 347 22.2%

  36. jbess says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. jbess says:

    I turned 5 the day that George reached .400 for the first time on Aug. 17, 1980 We are forever linked. 🙂 Between the 3rd and 5th grades, I read “Born to Hit” (one of those biographies for kids about your favorite sports players) about 200 times. The librarian had to start a new one of those cards with your book return date on them because of just me.

    PLEASE write a book about Brett. My favorite writer writing about my favorite player? Are you kidding me??? I’d be in heaven.

  38. John Autin says:

    I’m confused by the RAR figures Joe listed. Virtually none of them jibe with what I see on B-R today. B-R lists the 1985 Royals at 149 RAR, or 148 by the 20 players who came to bat — not the 91 mentioned above. I checked a handful of other numbers listed above, and all are different from B-R figures, many radically different. Also, B-R’s WAR for the 1985 Royals is is 13.8 for all position players and 8.3 for Brett, not 8.9 and 8.0 as listed here. Have I misunderstood something?

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