Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bring Back Donkey! Who is this Donkey?

So was going to write a quick post that we should bring back the Donkey. We have been shut out more than any team in the league and this guy can hit it out of the park. Now i know he is a defensive liability (but so is our SS and he can't even hit), but his bat makes up for it. Sure Lance Nix has been decent, but with one more bat we have a top of the order that will score runs (again excluding Cabrera which Boose has covered many times). If we are serious about winning the World Series then lets take a chance, bring back someone the city loves and have two guys on the team battling for the HR title. If you are going to post that he strikes out too much, please also provide evidence that a strike out costs you more outs than a ground out before embarrassing yourself.

Now that I've covered the Donkey coming to Cincinnati. I ran across this article written by a Donkey, A look at the current Reds vs. the last World Series team in Cincinnati. Interesting question so I gave it my time. Lets go fjm style and break it down:

With the Cincinnati Reds being contenders with a lot of young talent, talk around Reds Country has been how the current Reds measure up to some of the great Reds teams of the past. I have seen the Reds win the World Series three times in my lifetime and I won't insult your intelligence by comparing the 2010 Reds with the Big Red Machine of 1975 and 1976 other than to say no current Reds' every day player would crack that lineup at the same position.

You could argue that, but I would give Votto's current MVP year slightly ahead of Perez in 1975(15th in MVP voting),1976(no votes). Also OPS 1.012 vs. .816/.776. But agree this team all around isn't nearly as good.

However, it is not uncommon to see the current Reds compared to the 1990 team that went 91-71 but won the World Series. Breaking the teams down position-by-position, I agree.

The first sentance makes little sense: they had a good record, but (which means contrary to what the first thought would convey) they won the post season tournament of the teams with good records.

Catcher: Joe Oliver/Jeff Reed vs. Ramon Hernandez/Ryan Hanigan. None of these guys will be mistaken for Johnny Bench, but they are adequate. The current team is better offensively, 1990 was better defensively. EVEN.

Given he decided that statistics are irrelevant here. So will I. Looking stuff up is hard with all the internets and since neither of us are professional writers it doesn't make sense... Wait this guy gets paid to write about baseball and can just give us "Four catchers aren't as good as one of the best catchers of all time". Well done indeed. Without looking it up I'll agree that we are even at catcher.

First base: Todd Benzinger/Hal Morris vs. Joey Votto. Good journeymen vs. an MVP candidate. EDGE: 2010.

Worth noting that Hal Morris was on steroids as well. That is embarrassing that he still sucked.

Second base: Mariano Duncan/Ron Oester vs. Brandon Phillips. Duncan had a career year and Oester was solid in his final year, but Phillips might be the best second baseman in the National League this year. EDGE: 2010.

Love a shout out to Ronny O, my favorite player of all time. Phillips might be the best second baseman in the NL this year, but to figure that out I'd have to look up how he compares with others this year and that seem like a lot of work

Shortstop: Barry Larkin vs. Orlando Cabrera. As good as Cabrera has been this year, Larkin should be in Cooperstown. Next question? BIG EDGE: 1990

Here is where he started to lose me "As good as Cabrera has been." How good has that been really? Is it the fact he gets more outs than anyone on the team or the fact he isn't that great defensively? It should read, guy who should be in the hall of fame vs guy who should be backup on my softball team

Third base: Chris Sabo vs. Scott Rolen. Different type players. Sabo's was perfect for the vast alleys at Riverfront Stadium, Rolen is great for Great American, is a bit better defensively but is often hurt. EVEN.

One was good at one ball park the other was good at another ball park. Dynamite stuff here. I wish someone would invest a stat that normalized for stadiums... wait... they do... Crazy, OPS+ Sabo 119 vs Rolen 139... Loved the goggles on Sabo, but Rolen is much better despite the injuries

Left field: Eric Davis vs. Jonny Gomes/Laynce Nix. Gomes, especially, and Nix have been solid. At times, Davis was incredible. EDGE: 1990.

"At times," does he mean various years or at times throughout 1990. 1990 wasn't Davis best year statistically, but agree he was better throughout the year than our guys. Aren't we comparing 1990 with 2010 or the careers of the players in 1990 vs the careers of the players in 2010 (the later makes no sense, but would make the Rolen vs Sabo discussion fairly easy)

Center field: Billy Hatcher vs. Drew Stubbs. This one is closer than you might think. EDGE: 1990.

(Note: Hatcher and Davis both played center and left in 1990. I used the World Series lineup.)

So it is closer than I might think. Why is that? I guess you did some research to prove these guys are statistically closer so please elaborate. Does he mean Stubbs OPS of .706 vs Hatcher at .708 which is very close. In fact so close that you would need to look deeper to prove Hatcher is better or just give it a push.

Right field: Paul O'Neill vs. Jay Bruce. In 1990, O'Neill hit .270 with 16 home runs. Through Saturday, Bruce was hitting .262 with 10 long balls. EVEN.

The first sign of statistics here and we go with bating average and home runs to call it even. I guess this is a start. Ironically Hatcher had 5HRs with BA of .276 vs. Stubbs 13HRs and .235 (so not sure what any of this means).

Starting pitching: Then, the staff had a bit more experience and a legitimate hammer in Jose Rijo. Currently, the staff has more depth and a couple of potential hammers in Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez. SLIGHT EDGE: 2010.

I'm not going to bother to look at the entire list from 1990 because it is pretty long. I'll say Rijo was good and compare him to two of our other guys. Based on that I'll give it to 2010 because they have two guys with potential to be as good as one guy was during the time period in question (remember this isn't a question of which players will have the longest careers, but which team is better in a specific year. The fact Voltron or Cueto may be as good as Rijo one day is irrelevant to if the 2010 team has a better pitching staff than the 1990 team.).

Bullpen: Are you kidding? The current Reds' pen is getting better statistically but it has too many blown saves for me. The Nasty Boys might have been the greatest pen ever put together. HUGE EDGE: 1990.

Are you kidding ME? Explain "getting better statistically". I bet he is thinking that because Coco has more saves than he did in the beginning of the year he is getting better. Also too many blown saves for you, so it is really just the closer you have a problem with then. I mean Masset doesn't have any blown saves, but he isn't good. This is the reason we won't win the World Series, but hopefully they continue to get better statistically.

Bench: Very similar, from Luis Quinones to Glenn Braggs vs. Miguel Cairo to Chris Heisey. EVEN.

Don't care, as the next one will really put this over the top.

Managing and intangibles: Everything Lou Piniella touched 20 years ago turned to gold. Dusty Baker sure seems to be proving his skeptics wrong this year. But where the teams are most alike is they both seem to have that swagger, that cockiness that great teams have.

Dusty has not proven anything to this skeptic (see all previous posts). Both teams have swagger, which is leads to winning and is not a result of winning. When I was a freshman in high school at 5'2'' 98lbs, I got my butt kicked because I lacked swagger. My lack of cockiness had nothing to do with getting my butt kicked. The rest of this discussion isn't worth the response

Overall: The current Reds are good, not great, but have some pieces in place to be good for several years. Still, I give the 1990 team the advantage in four areas, the current team in three. Given the huge gap between The Nasty Boys and the current pen, the I believe the Reds' last world champion is just a bit better than this team.

Prediction: The Reds have what it takes to win the National League Central, which I think they will. But unlike 1990, the big trophy will go elsewhere.

So we aren't great yet, but might be someday (which isn't relevant to the current discussion). Based on the every one of his categories is equal the 1990 team barely gets passed this one coupled with the huge disparity in the area that will cost us the championship. Unlike 1990 the trophy will go elsewhere because we don't have Terry Hatcher and Rolen isn't better than Sabo. Great analysis here. Also if we make the post season in what round do we play the 1990 Reds. I would be much more worried about the Yankees or Red Sox, but hopefully we can take down those guys from 20 years ago.

--John Herndon

Thank you John. I'm glad linked to your article. It was very insightful


Drew said...

Why don't you scale back a bit and worry about winning the division before you worry about winning the World Series and which championshiop team is better.

"This is the reason we won't win the World Series...."

You have to make the playoffs first before you can win the world series. I love Reds fans.

Anonymous said...

So a few additions. The bullpen stat, 1990 Bullpen had 13 BS while the current one has 11. The 1990 team had almost 2 closers in Dibble (11 of 17) and Myers (31 of 37). Cordero (27 of 33) has 4 less chances than Myers, but the same amount of BS. Also he does not mention that Rhodes is having a better year than any of the Nasty Boys. I would say Cordero is slighly worse than Myers and Rhodes is slighly better than Dibble. This leaves a Charlton comparison where there isn't one. No one in the current era would be able to start games the way he did. With the way Del Rosario is starting to throw though, you could argue that the current reds have a reliable 3rd Bullpen Pitcher. I think the Cordero/Rhodes/Rosario combo is not too far off the nasty boys. We will see what happens as the season comes to an end.

And I love the world series talk, bring on the Yanks. GO REDS!!!