Rocks

March 22, 2020
                                                                    Rocks

 

Before I get into today’s article, I think that in the last installment I failed to give you the data, which I had been giving regularly before then, of the relationship between excellence in this particular area and team wins.   This is for double plays:

 

DP

Exp DP

Wins

Losses

WPct

Highest Relative DP

159

139

85

72

.539

Second Highest

146

138

81

75

.518

Average

140

140

78

78

.499

Below Average

137

144

75

81

.481

Poorest Relative DP

130

149

73

85

.462

 

            The 510 teams which had the highest relative DP numbers turned an average of 159 double plays against an expectation of 139, so they were +20, which makes an average CNDP (Context Neutral DP) of 120.  Those teams had an average won-lost record of 85-72, a .539 winning percentage.  The chart suggests that Double Plays are of comparable significance to strikeouts or walks, over time, but of less significance that Defensive Efficiency. 

            So I think we have four categories yet to work on, unless I am missing something in my mental inventory.   Two of them are catcher’s categories—Passed Balls and Stolen Bases Allowed/Caught Stealing.  The other two are errors and balks. 

            Rocks, they used to be called, as in "He pulled a rock in the third inning, threw wildly to first base."  A "rock" was actually a mental mistake, usually, throwing to the wrong base or breaking the wrong way on a ball that should have been fielded.   Error Levels have changed enormously over time.  In 1900 the average National League team, playing a 140-game schedule, made 344 errors.   Infields were not manicured grass; there were rocks in the grass, and sometimes there was no grass; sometimes they played on skinned dirt infields.  Fielding gloves were nothing like they are now, and the ball itself was sometimes lumpy, wet, slick or otherwise non-standard.   Some of the reduction in errors is due to improvements in skill, but most of it is due to improvements in fields and equipment.  It was different. 

            In the first decade of the last century, the average major league team committed 289 errors per season.   This number dropped to 248 in the second decade, 200 in the third decade, and has kept dropping ever since:

From

To

Errors

Fielding Percentage

Standard Deviation

1900

1909

289

.953

.00851

1910

1919

248

.961

.00598

1920

1929

200

.968

.00416

1930

1939

179

.971

.00411

1940

1949

162

.973

.00418

1950

1959

140

.977

.00318

1960

1969

142

.977

.00312

1970

1979

141

.977

.00315

1980

1989

127

.979

.00271

1990

1999

114

.981

.00279

2000

2009

104

.983

.00269

2010

2019

96

.984

.00246

 

            Of course, what actually matters there is the Fielding Percentage; the error count is just an easier way to relate to it.   The difference between 180 errors a season and 120 is a lot easier to relate to than the difference between a .970 fielding percentage and .980. 

            I did a little study yesterday about the record for fielding percentage over time.   Going back to the 19th century. . .in 1890 the Brooklyn whatever-they-were, the Bridegrooms or whatever, had a team fielding percentage of .940, which was (a) a record at the time, and (b) much higher than the league-leading fielding percentages in the other two leagues.  They fielded .940 again in 1892, which may or may not have been a new record; I don’t know if it was a higher .940 or a lower .940.  Anyway, the record then moved to .944 in 1893, ,944 again in 1894, .946 in 1895 (Baltimore), .951 in 1896 (Cincinnati), .951 again in 1897 (Boston),.952 in 1898 (Cleveland) and again in 1899 (Boston).

            In 1900, the Boston NL team—the Bees or the Braves or whatever you want to call them—fielded .953, a new record.   Fielding equipment was advancing so rapidly that new records were set almost every season.  New records for Team Fielding Percentage were set in 1901 (Phillies), 1902 (Braves), 1903 (Philadelphia Athletics), 1904 (White Sox), 1905 (White Sox again), and 1906 (Cubs)—the famous Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance team that won 116 games.   That record lasted for six years, easily the longest the record had ever stood up to that time, and was broken by Pittsburgh in 1912.   The Pirates held the record for seven years, their team-record fielding percentage being broken by the Red Sox in 1919.  The Red Sox broke their own record in 1921, then the White Sox broke it in 1922, and the Yankees in 1923.   There were also several times when multiple teams broke the old record in one season.

            Anyway, the 1923 Yankees held the record for 9 years, the longest ever up to that time, passing the baton to the 1932 Philadelphia A’s—the fifth straight American League team to hold the record.  The A’s record was not broken until 1940, by the Cincinnati Reds.  The Reds had a famously good defensive infield, which I have written about before, several times.  I think it was Frank McCormick, Lonny Frey, Eddie Miller and Billy Werber, all four outstanding fielders; the manager, Bill McKechnie, was a defense-first manager to such an extent that it completely derailed his career in the early 1940s.  He wouldn’t work AT ALL on the offense; he just wanted to win every game 1-0.   (Was wrong about the shortstop that season; it was actually Billy Myer and Eddie Joost, BOTH OF THEM outstanding shortstops.) 

            Anyway, their record for team fielding percentage was broken by the 1944 St. Louis Cardinals, whose shortstop, Marty Marion, won the MVP Award almost entirely based on his glovework, more so than any other player in history.   That team was also mentioned in the last article, about Double Plays; they had an extremely high Double Play rate. The Cardinals’ record was broken by the Cleveland Indians in 1947 and again in 1949.  The 1949 Indians held the record for 9 years; it was broken by the 1958 Cincinnati Reds, an incongruous entry on the list.   Most of these teams that held the record were at least somewhat famous for their defense.  The Reds were not. 

            Anyway, the Reds held the record for Team Fielding Percentage until 1963, when the Orioles broke it, with Brooks Robinson, Luis Aparicio and Jerry Adair in the infield.  Adair was a guy who just never made an error, held the record for consecutive errorless games at second base at one time, I think.   Robinson and Aparicio are both in the Hall of Fame, of course, primarily because of their fielding.

The 1963 Orioles signaled the arrival of a new era.  The Orioles have controlled the record most of the time since 1963.  Since 1963 the record has been held by 13 teams, of which (a) 12 were American League teams, and (b) no less than 8 were Baltimore Oriole teams.   The 1964 Orioles broke the record of the 1963 Orioles, and the 1964 Orioles held it for 16 seasons, easily the longest that any team has ever held it.    The ’64 Orioles held the record for as long as they did not because their percentage was truly historic relative to the era, but rather, because fielding percentages were not improving in that era, or in the 1970s.   1950 to 1980 is the only stretch of time in baseball history in which fielding percentages did not improve.  

            The record was broken/reset in 1980, again by the Orioles, and that Oriole team held the trophy for eight seasons, their record broken by the 1988 Minnesota Twins—the Gagne/Gaetti/Hrbek team.  The Orioles reclaimed the record in 1989, passed it on to the Blue Jays in 1990.   The Blue Jays held onto it through their championship seasons, passing it back to Baltimore in 1994.  The Orioles then broke their own record in 1995, and broke it again in 1998.

            In 1999 the New York Mets had a team fielding percentage of .989.  It’s an out-of-line figure in several respects.  The Mets made only 68 errors all season, while every other National League team committed at least 100.   (Two American League teams, Baltimore and Minnesota, were at 89 and 92.)  As of now, since Fielding Percentage have continued to go up, the top 61 team Fielding Percentages of all time have all been posted in the 21st century—except for the 1999 Mets, who are still in the Top 10.  I mentioned this on Twitter yesterday, and several Mets fans glowingly recalled that team’s defensive play; apparently it was a source of real pride to Mets fans.  The Mets are the only National League team to hold the record since 1963.  

            The Mets’ record was broken by Seattle in 2003, then by the Red Sox in 2006.  That was a team I wrote about recently; that was a tremendously fun season in Boston and in the front office, until it suddenly turned into a nightmare of injuries in August.  The Red Sox held the record until Baltimore reclaimed it in 2013, and the 2013 Orioles still have it, with a team fielding percentage of .991.

            Normalized to the era, the 1999 Mets have the greatest fielding percentage of all time.   They were 2.9 Standard Deviations better than the norm for the era, which puts them at 129.   These are the Top 10:

YEAR

City

Team

Lg

W

L

WPct

Errors

FPct

Fld Pct Sdev

1999

New York

Mets

NL

98

65

.601

68

.98875

129

2013

Baltimore

Orioles

AL

85

77

.525

54

.99104

129

1989

Baltimore

Orioles

AL

87

75

.537

87

.98603

126

2013

Tampa Ba

Rays

AL

92

71

.564

59

.99024

125

1988

Minnesota

Twins

AL

91

71

.562

84

.98571

125

2006

Boston

Red Sox

AL

86

76

.531

69

.98934

124

1964

Baltimore

Orioles

AL

97

65

.599

95

.98465

124

2007

Colorado

Rockies

NL

90

73

.552

68

.98925

124

1949

Cleveland

Indians

AL

89

65

.578

103

.98303

123

1919

Boston

Red Sox

AL

66

71

.482

142

.97450

123

 

            Of the ten top teams, all had winning records except the 1919 Red Sox, who wouldn’t be on the list if we included their memorable post-season error.  And these are the ten worst fielding-percentage teams since 1900, relative to their era:

YEAR

City

Team

Lg

W

L

WPct

Errors

FPct

Fld Pct Sdev

1981

New York

Mets

NL

41

62

.398

130

.96832

61

1912

New York

Yankees

AL

50

102

.329

382

.93973

65

1953

Chicago

Cubs

NL

65

89

.422

200

.96614

67

1932

Chicago

White S

AL

49

102

.325

266

.95719

67

1963

New York

Mets

NL

51

111

.315

210

.96708

68

1921

Philadelphia

Phillies

NL

51

103

.331

295

.95469

68

1940

Philadelphia

A's

AL

54

100

.351

238

.95993

68

1962

New York

Mets

NL

40

120

.250

210

.96720

68

1901

Baltimore

Orioles

AL

68

64

.515

401

.92619

68

1923

Brooklyn

Dodgers

NL

76

78

.494

293

.95512

69

 

            The 1981 Mets’ infield included Dave Kingman, Hubie Brooks, Frank Taveras, and one guy who could actually field.  They were 3.9 Standard Deviations worse than the period norm in Fielding Percentage, the worst of all time.

            Of the ten worst teams in fielding percentage relative to period norms, nine had losing records, and six lost 100 or more games.   The connection between Fielding Percentage and Team Success is stronger than I would probably have guessed:

Group

Wins

Losses

Pct

Errors

Fld Pct

Score

Top Fielding Pct Teams

85

72

.543

121

.980

113

Second Group

81

75

.522

142

.977

106

Average

78

78

.498

150

.976

101

Below Average

77

80

.489

157

.974

95

Bad Field Pct Teams

70

86

.448

185

.970

85

 

            We can see from a comparison of this chart and the one shown earlier in the article, then, that Fielding Percentage clearly is more closely tied to winning than is the ability to turn the Double Play.  Of course, we don’t really know to what extent the Fielding Percentage is an actual cause of Winning, and to what extent it merely accompanies Winning; in other words, we don’t know whether high fielding percentage teams win, or whether winning teams have high fielding percentages.  We’ll sort that out as best we can later in the process. 

 

 

            Turning our attention now to a slightly different issue.   Let us think of a running club, and I suppose I think of a Running Club because I recently saw the comedy, "Brittany Runs A Marathon", about an overweight young woman who decides to devote herself to running.   In Brittany’s group there are three runners who support and encourage one another, helping to drag one another along through the difficult miles, stretching out from a short jog to a long slog.  There are runners’ groups like that in every neighborhood, a bunch of guys who get together at 6 AM at a street corner near you and run through the neighborhood at a comfortable pace.

            But there are higher level Running Clubs, as well; there are, for example, groups of guys training for Olympic Competition, who meet for several hours every day, with multiple coaches, pushing themselves to run three miles and then four miles and then five miles as fast as they can run.  And between these two extremes there are Running Clubs at all levels—competitive running clubs at the high school level, and less competitive clubs of high schoolers, and elite level college runners, and fraternity brothers who happen to have been runners in high school and are pushing one another to stay in the best shape they can.  

            These different levels of running clubs have different expectations.   If you’re in a neighborhood running group and you are having trouble keeping up, you might expect that some of the other guys would run at your pace sometimes, slow down to keep you involved.   If you’re training for the Olympics, you’re expected to keep up.   If, failing to keep up, you wave your arms accusingly at the group leader and say "TOM!   TOM!   You’re running too fast.   I can’t keep up with you!". . . if you were to do this, you might not receive a warm reaction. 

            Or suppose that we think of this scale in terms of a basketball team, or in terms of a football team.  There are basketball teams at all levels.   At the entry level, there are teams of 5-year-olds who can’t dribble and who don’t know what a foul is.  The coach of that team would normally be expected to do all that he can to bring everyone on the team along at kind of the same pace.   Now we’re going to practice dribbling, guys; Kyle, you’re the best dribbler here, so I want you to dribble out to the half-court line, spin around, dribble back, and pass the ball to Jordan, second in line, and then Jordan, you do the same thing.

            But later, you have more competitive teams, on which there may be less time devoted to making sure that everyone gets a turn with the ball.   You might have been on your high school basketball team, perhaps, and you might remember that, on the high school team, you’re expected to keep up, and if you can’t keep up you keep quiet, and if you can’t keep up or keep quiet, you’re not going to be on the team.  

            It is not that the coach ever loses the responsibility to answer to his players; it is, rather, that as you move up through the levels, the player acquires some responsibility to the coach.   At the NBA level, the coach is still trying to help his players succeed, but if you have a player, at the NBA level, who can’t dribble and doesn’t know what a foul is, that’s kind of annoying.   The questions that you might ask the coach will change somewhat, with the levels.  If, at the NFL level, you ask Mr. Belichick, "Bill, I don’t see how this play can work.  I don’t understand what the purpose is of having the slot receiver do a fake buttonhook before he heads for the sidelines, and I don’t think that is going to work."  Mr. Belichick, I am guessing, might not receive your question warmly, and give you a supportive answer to make certain that you are following each step of his thinking.   I’m guessing; I’ve never actually been on an NFL football team. 

            Or let us think about an academic scale, let us say history.   When you first study history, at a young age, someone will explain to you the United States used to belong to England, and used to be subject to the King of England, and that there was this fellow, George Washington, who helped the Americans to break loose from the King, but that way, way, way before that happened, there was this group of people called the Romans.   When you study the same stuff in High School you might be expected to know that coming in, and to have some understanding of the space between the Romans and George Washington.   When you get to college you are expected to keep up.  You’re expected to know some things, and also, pardon my saying so, you are expected to have enough respect for the Professor that if he says we’re going to study THIS, you don’t say "But Dr. Washington, I don’t see what the point of studying this is, and your assumptions don’t make any sense to me."   If you do say that, you’re not going to do well in the class.   I know that, because I have been to college; I’ve never been to the NFL, but I been to college.

            But there is a level beyond college, Post-Graduate work, and in post-graduate work one is REALLY expected to get with the program, and there is a level in the academic world that is beyond Post-Graduate work.  Let me stress here that I am in no conceivable way comparing myself or my own position to Albert Einstein, but merely using him to represent the pinnacle of academic achievement.   When Einstein developed the Theory of Relativity in 1905, basically no one understood what in the hell he was talking about, and, indeed, for decades after that, very, very few people had any understanding of the import of his theory.   Einstein published his work as a paper, of course, and the paper was translated and re-published in every other language, but also, Einstein recorded himself explaining the theory.   Even decades later, college professors would listen to those recordings over and over and over, trying to figure out exactly what he was trying to say.  

            After Einstein proposed the Theory of Relativity, he followed this up with Quantum Theory (1907), and then with dozens of other breakthroughs on various issues.   Do you think he should have waited, maybe, until everybody understood what he was doing?   Hold on; I’d better make sure that everybody understands Relativity before I move on to this Quantum Stuff.  You think that would have been a good idea? 

            It is the common rule of academic specialties, I believe, that no one really understands the work that other researchers are doing right away.  My friend Tom Tango is famously patient in explaining to others the work that he is doing, but do you actually imagine that we understand it all?   I’m telling you:  we don’t have a clue.   I don’t, anyway; sometimes I ask Tom to explain things to me, and he always does, but most of time I don’t have the background knowledge sufficient to really understand what he is trying to say.   His graphs, as far as I can tell, are complete gibberish; I don’t have the faintest idea what in the hell they are about.   It doesn’t really matter.   I respect Tom, I respect his work, and I get out of it whatever I am capable of getting out of it.   I get the general idea.  I know what he is trying to do, and I have an intuitive sense of how he is doing it.

            Of course, if I were to sit down and study one of these things, put a week into it, I suppose that I could fully understand it, or almost fully.  I don’t have a week to work on it.  I’ve got my own stuff to do.  

            I think you all know what I am talking about here.   I am working 10-, 12-, 14-hour days pumping out these studies, trying to reach the goal of creating a system of measuring Runs Saved Against Zero.   I am making my absolute best efforts to explain it to you in terms you can understand.   If you don’t get it, I’m sorry, but I’ve done all that I can do to try to MAKE you understand.   It’s up to you.   Carry your own weight.  Keep up, or drop behind; it isn’t up to me.  

            I am trying to make the articles interesting enough to be worth reading, even if you don’t get everything.   I am doing the best I can.  If you can stay with it, a lot of it will make sense later on, once you see how the pieces fit together. 

            Of course I will try to answer any legitimate questions that you have, as much as my time allows.  There are legitimate questions, and there are asshole questions.   An asshole question is something that pretends to be a question, but is an actually an argument, or a challenge to my work.  

            I am not interested in arguing with you, and I am not going to argue with you.  To be blunt, I am not in the least interested in what your argument is.  I know what I am trying to do, and I am going to make my best effort to do it.   You have every right to reject it.  It would be very much appreciated if you would keep that to yourself.

            What I am asking you is, what level of discussion do you want to have here?   This is not a talk show.   Talk show discussions spin their wheels, going back over the same arguments again, and again, and again, with no more insight into them the sixth time than they had the first.  The central decision that I made in my career was, I am going to move the discussion forward.   That’s who I am; that is what I do.  If you don’t want to come along, that’s up to you.  Go argue with your talk show host. 

            What level are we at here?   I don’t know.  Maybe we’re Junior High; maybe we’re graduate school.  I don’t know.   I kind of think we’re Junior High, but so much of the media is stuck in Kindergarten that we seem sophisticated by comparison.  

            But whatever level we are at, I feel that I am entitled to a certain level of respect, just as the coach is entitled to a certain level of respect, just as the history teacher is entitled to a certain level of respect.  If you have something worth contributing to the discussion, there’s a place at the bottom of the page to offer it.  But don’t tell me to slow down so that you can keep up, and don’t tell me to go in some different direction.   It is not going to be warmly received. 

            

 
 

COMMENTS (20 Comments, most recent shown first)

djmedinah
Idk if this adds anything, but due to the coronavirus I’ve gotten interested in the distributions statistical categories follow lately. According to the basic spreadsheet program I have, the career numbers for DPs turned per infield position that I’ve checked (2B, SS, & 3B) are a logarithmic distribution, while (maybe interesting, maybe not) CF career #s seem to follow what’s known as a power law distribution. Tris Speaker has nearly twice as many as the next guy (Ty Cobb), who has a bunch more than the next guy (Willie Mays) and so on. Both logarithmic and power law distributions describe more or less how the virus propagates. Not having much of a statistical background I really have no idea what this means, but it seems interesting?
4:03 PM Mar 25th
 
CharlesSaeger
And no sooner do I say that I actually check to see if I'm full of it, and I think I am a bit. There is a small counter, which is that the increase in strikeouts lowers assists. Since a groundout almost always requires both a putout and an assist, it means they count double to fielding percentage. If I compare E/(PO+A+E) to the rate of 1950, the post-1993 era is 70%. If I compare E/(PO+E), it's 69%; if I compare E/(PO+E-SO), it's 79%. So Ks are a big factor, but hardly the dominant reason, which I see that I implied.
6:54 PM Mar 24th
 
CharlesSaeger
I can't believe nobody has noticed this but … a big reason for the recent improvement in fielding percentage is the increase in strikeouts.
6:36 PM Mar 24th
 
voxpoptart
I like this article. I hate to bring up a minor point about errors, especially when I do *not* think it's worthwhile to go back and redo the data, but I think it leads somewhere interesting at the end of this post. It's not a big deal, but: Bill did a small wrong thing in this calculation. Namely: *it doesn't make sense to judge every team against a decade baseline when the standard of excellence changes rapidly during the decade*.

Notice how all of the "worst" teams are in years ending in 0, 1, 2, or 3? Notice how four of the ten "best" teams were in years ending in 9, and three of the others in 8 or 7? Fielding percentage standards change so fast that little things like that affect the data more than they normally would.

Is that a problem in terms of what Bill cares about? No -- if anything, the opposite. He thinks, and I think, that the correlation between fielding percentage and winning is impressively strong. I think the real correlation must be even stronger than it looks.

The systematic bias of measurement blurs the connection: every year has an overall winning percentage of .500, after all. If he'd gone to about ten times as much effort in order to measure every team against a more accurate baseline, he'd have almost certainly shown a higher correlation. That's all.
2:00 PM Mar 23rd
 
danjeffers
Would the effect of improved equipment and fields be more direct for batting average on balls in play than for errors and fielding percentage? Fewer balls hitting pebbles and better gloves and positioning means more balls in play become outs, so BABIP would drop with improvements in equipment and fields. But would the number of errors drop as directly? A ball hitting a pebble resulting in the play not being made -- a la Kubek in Game 7 in 1960 -- would have been scored as a hit and not had an effect on number of errors or fielding percentage.
12:44 PM Mar 23rd
 
hotstatrat
bhalbleib - I don't buy that the artificial surfaces were less error prone than today's natural turfs. The ball could skip off the old turfs - or at least bounce much more quickly making it more difficult to react. I do agree, however, that those artificial turfs were generally a bit more predictable than the natural turfs of their era ('70s & '80s). My understanding (and I could be misimformed) is that ground maintenance has improved even since then.
10:15 AM Mar 23rd
 
Brian
Ok -This is a little embarassing, and I hate to hold up the group, but-

What's a foul?​
8:47 AM Mar 23rd
 
bhalbleib
Bill, since there is a subjective element to errors that is outside the control of the players on the field, it would seem to me that a change in the perception of what an error is by those making those subjective decisions would change the data. Are you concerned by that at all in your study? For instance, I find it hard to believe that grass fields, not matter how beautifully manicured, are better conditions for defense than the artificial turf fields of my childhood, yet the numbers now for fielding percentages are much better. Is that the result of better equipment, like the earlier improvements in fielding percentage OR a difference in official scoring? (and I get that it might not really matter for your study, since I think you are trying to remove all traces of outside influence by comparing teams by decade and using standard deviations, but the changes in the raw data interests me)
8:42 AM Mar 23rd
 
FrankD
When I was in HS I don't think I ever heard any teacher say "That was a dumb question". In college, especially Jr/Sr years a question on something the should already be grasped sometimes got the response: "Go work on the problem more or read the book". In grad school I did hear: "That's a stupid question" and even things like: "Your work is mediocre at best", "What you have presented was a waste of your time, my time, the audiences time, even a waste of ink and paper". Not always directed at me but I was there. Now, nobody likes to get scorched like that, but it did lead to more thoughtful questions or much better preparations and arguments when defending your work. This was in physics and geophysics classes.
11:07 PM Mar 22nd
 
Manushfan
I'm the luddite who still likes fielding pct, pitching wins, etc. I at least know what they're for and what they do. As to Bill's response to the Three Dog Nite flurry-I'm taking a pass on all that. It's Bill's Board(TM), I think we all know what we're getting into when we ask him things. None of us has to become Bruce From Flushing and go off at Bill because he's blunt or short with us. We can go elsewheres.
8:07 PM Mar 22nd
 
hotstatrat
In Hey Bill’s Michael p.'s foray into the lion's mouth, Bill gave a clue that sparked the answer to my question in the Wild Pitches report that was why the floor couldn't be an all-time replacement level.
Bill wrote: "Therefore, to represent the number of runs SAVED against an upper boundary, the space below the run line has to be equal to the space above the run line."

A-ha! There is an explicit symmetry to Runs Saved and Runs Made. Since total opportunities are not part Runs Made, they shouldn’t be part of Runs Saved. Since replacement level is based on production per opportunity, it is not any part of Runs Made. Therefor it should not be part of Runs Saved.

Except, I am wondering how you can measure Runs Saved while ignoring opportunity. Oh, well, I though I was onto something.
5:39 PM Mar 22nd
 
mpiafsky
Just as a pointof fact, 1940 Reds shortstop was Billy Myers rather than Eddie Miller.
3:00 PM Mar 22nd
 
MarisFan61
337: Thanks -- you saved me from going and looking it up. :-)
2:27 PM Mar 22nd
 
MarisFan61
It impairs the moving of the discussion forward when a major aspect is indicated unclearly and when reasonable and intelligent questions about it are dismissed. It results in a lost opportunity.

P.S. Bill, I realize full well that you probably disagree with about half a dozen things in what I just said. And that's OK -- but please realize, such things may sometimes be lost opportunities for you. In the recent instance, it seems that it wouldn't have been hard for you to give a more serious reply and that it would have taken care of a lot, but, besides your likely disagreement with all that I'm saying here, I realize that you may feel that even if this is all so, that it wouldn't be worth it for you.
2:26 PM Mar 22nd
 
abiggoof
Although only 18 games in 1990, but still...
1:14 PM Mar 22nd
 
abiggoof
Three record-setting teams had John Olerud at first base.
1:05 PM Mar 22nd
 
willibphx
Bill,

Apologies if my comments on DER caused irritation. A simple response of Park and E's will be considered later would have been more than sufficient. I look forward to upcoming articles as always.

Thanks
9:48 AM Mar 22nd
 
ksclacktc
Bravo Bill !!!!!!
7:13 AM Mar 22nd
 
archieleach
Bill, I've been reading since you started publishing. I've learned a lot. One thing I learned is to skim past the stuff I don't understand and move on to the stuff I do understand. Sometimes, I come back to the stuff I don't understand to try to pick a little more out of. I get SOMETHING out of all of it. Just trying to say....I enjoy the meal. To paraphrase one of your earlier book titles, sometimes I'll not eat the bones. Thanks for your efforts and all MY enjoyment.
7:08 AM Mar 22nd
 
337
The 1981 Mets' infielder who could actually field was Doug Flynn, a fact immediately known only by the cognoscenti.
5:55 AM Mar 22nd
 
 
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