Clash of the titans

For anyone who hasn’t seen it, this site was mentioned by Mike Lynch in an article at on Friday. Back in August, Bobby Aguilera posted a roster of good ballplayers not in the Hall of Fame. I responded with an opposing lineup and suggested a one-game playoff. Lynch used the Lineup Analysis Tool on Baseball Musings to see who’d have the batting advantage.

Here’s what Lynch determined:

Aguilera’s Nine Womack’s Nine
Tim Raines LF .294 .385 .425 Maury Wills SS .281 .330 .331
Edgar Martinez DH .312 .418 .515 Roberto Alomar 2B .300 .371 .443
Reggie Smith CF .287 .366 .489 Joe Jackson LF .356 .423 .517
Dick Allen 1B .292 .378 .534 Albert Belle DH .295 .369 .564
Dwight Evans RF .272 .370 .470 Dave Parker RF .290 .339 .471
Joe Torre C .297 .365 .452 Don Mattingly 1B .307 .358 .471
Bobby Grich 2B .266 .371 .424 Thurman Munson C .292 .346 .410
Ron Santo 3B .277 .362 .464 Pete Rose 3B .303 .375 .409
Bill Dahlen SS .272 .358 .382 Spottswood Poles* CF .327 .401 .405
Expected R/G 5.96 Expected R/G 5.63

Basically, Lynch found that perhaps I don’t know what I’m talking about, which really isn’t news (some of my friends have known this for years) though it still surprised me that my squad might not win a one-off battle. I conceded my guys had lesser career numbers, but I figured the talent level was higher, meaning more in the short term. That was kind of my point in doing this, to suggest that players like Bobby Grich, Reggie Smith, and Ron Santo aren’t necessarily the best guys not in Cooperstown simply because they spent more years in the majors and amassed better Wins Above Replacement ratings. Maybe I should give more thought to WAR and similar metrics.

Lynch did some tweaks and discovered I could gain an eighth of a run by batting Spottswood Poles in the lead-off spot, hitting Shoeless Joe Jackson second, and using Ted Simmons in place of Thurman Munson. I’m happy to have Poles lead off, and I’d substitute Cecil Travis for Maury Wills at short. I’m still reluctant to take Simmons over Munson, as I think Munson was better in his prime. His offensive averages aren’t much worse than Simmons, and Lynch noted that Munson was far better defensively. I also think Shoeless Joe would provide better slugging numbers in the modern era and be an excellent third hitter.

In the comment section for his post, Lynch said if I sent a full pitching staff, he’d set up a best-of-seven series on his computer. I provided a four-man rotation of Deacon Phillippe, Jack Morris, Dwight Gooden, and Eddie Cicotte, with Urban Shocker as an extra starter and long reliever. We’ll see where this goes. Regardless of how the series comes out, I may come out of this still not really knowing what I’m talking about. That’s fine– I’ve been wrong many times in life. Among the highlights:

  • I once insisted the Giants trade Tim Lincecum, right before he started winning Cy Youngs, for Alex Rios
  • I once predicted the 49ers would win the NFC West and then watched them go 2-14
  • Right before I graduated from Cal Poly, I passed on a chance to work a day behind the scenes at the Michael Jackson trial to go on a bike ride

7 Replies to “Clash of the titans”

  1. Its funny how much defense would come in to play for these types of things but at the same time is so hard to predict. Would be interesting to see what would happen if this thing was run based off of postseason numbers.

  2. Both teams look solid on defense, although I agree with Devon’s assessment that the advantage goes to Graham’s team, mainly at C, 1B and 2B, with the only clear disadvantage at 3B. Admittedly I am not well enough informed about the gloveplay of Dahlen, Jackson and Poles to comment about their positions. It seems to me that a substantial superiority in defense could easily offset the .33 R/G offensive difference.

  3. I’d go with Keith Hernandez over Mattingly. He happens to be a distant cousin of mine, but still!! Check his career numbers…he was better than most people realize and an astounding defender.

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