Discussion in 'Washington Capitals' started by Hivemind, Sep 18, 2018.
Compare his stats to other SS in his era.
Cal might be a bit overrated by Baltimoreans, but as Hivemind said, middle infield was not an offensive position until Cal helped to make it that, which is why TXPD mentioned changing the game of baseball. He was a 19 time All Star and 8 time Silver Slugger. He was pretty darn great.
Some of those All-Star appearances were definitely reputation picks, particularly in the fan-vote era closer to the end of his career. But he was also a two-time AL MVP and won AL Rookie of the Year. Even ignoring the streak, he was a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer.
How many nothing special players win 2 mvp awards?
I believe at the time of his retirement He was the all time leader in home runs and rbi from shortstop. Iirc he set a record for best fielding pct in a season at shortstop as well.
Then there is the entire issue that he set that consecutive games record at shortstop.
Cal Ripken, Jr: The Most Overrated Baseball Player of All-Time
This article is nonsense and lacks any context. When Cal Ripken started his streak at shortstop, the people playing shortstop at the time around the league were 225 hitters with zero power, but could field well. Mark Belanger was the everyday SS for the Orioles for most of the 16 years prior to Cal's arrival. Belanger hit .228 and had 18 home runs (career), but won 8 gold gloves and was an integral part of 15 years of great Orioles infields. Prior to Cal, shortstops just didn't have to hit and they were usually pipsqueaks. Cal truly redefined the position, as being available to a bigger guy who could hit. Cal's power and hitting should be measured vs his peers in the 80s and early 90s, not vs what SS' are putting up today. There'd be no Derek Jeter or ARod at short if not for Cal, they'd have played 3B or 1B or outfield. And if Cal had been juicing like so many ML'rs did (Arod), his numbers would be higher.
I couldn't care less about baseball, but this quote shows what's so perplexing about the argument being made for Ripken. The argument essentially is that he should get all this extra credit just for choosing to play shortstop at a time when other talented hitters normally chose to play other positions.
I think Cal Ripken probably should have played 3rd base. He was actually a good fielder but didnt have near the range most shortstops had. Ripken didnt make a lot of errors but couldn't make plays like guy like Ozzie Smith or Tony Fernandez.
Or... he gets credit for being the first that showed that a big guy who could hit could also play shortstop, meaning that position was no longer a black hole in the lineup.
He doesn't get "extra credit" for being a shortstop, so long as he's being compared to shortstops of his era and those who preceded him, and not juiced up freaks of the 2000's.
Chooses to play shortstop? Earl Weaver told him to do it.
Widely considered that Ripken's range was magnified by how he positioned for each batter and each pitch being throw to him. Today the computer tells these guys where to play.
Ripken has a good glove does he not?
Oh, and nobody covered the ground Ozzie Smith did. Derek Jeter is pretty weak on the Ozzie scale
Ozzie was a career .262 hitter btw
Playing short stop is a demanding position in terms of fielding. It wasn't just that good hitters didn't "chose" to play shortstop, it was that prior to Ripken the ability to field at shortstop and the ability to be a power hitter were viewed as mutually exclusive attributes. Managers would put smaller, mobile guys in the middle infield. Ripken proved that he had the ability to play SS in the field at a major league level as a 6'4" player, and that the agility to play middle infield wasn't mutually exclusive with being a quality offensive player.
For reference, there was only one season in the 80s in which the NL silver slugger winner at SS hit 20 HRs (Dickie Thon, 1983, exactly 20HR) and one to hit 100 RBI (Hubie Brooks, 1985, exactly 100 RBI). The NL SS winners in the 80s hit <10 HRs six times in those 10 years, including Ozzie Smith winning the award with a whopping ZERO dingers in 1987. Cal hit 20+ HR every single season of that decade and eclipsed 100+ RBI twice (with 93 and 98 RBI seasons on top of that).
OK I guess. But comparing him, say, to players at other positions who also were good defensive players and good hitters would be as appropriate as comparing him just to other shortstops. There's nothing about playing SS that directly hindered his ability to be a good hitter; his offensive numbers are still what they are. Right?
For his time at SS, he should be compared to other SS. For his time at 3B, he should be compared to other 3B. Because that was the line-up spot he was filling.
Having a .280 20HR player at SS when most other SS are hitting .240 with 5 HR is a much bigger advantage than having a .280 20HR at 3B. Both teams will still need to fill the line-up slots at SS and 3B, so if you can fill the SS slot with a plus hitter it means a lot more.
Think of it like comparing a 20 goal defenseman to a 20 goal forward. Obviously the 20 goal Dman is worth substantially more.
That's not a valid analogy though. Playing as a defenseman changes how you're able to play offense, what types of chances you get to score goals, etc. When Ripken was at bat, what position he played had no impact on how he could hit. I accept that he should get credit in his cumulative rating, so to speak, for being a good defensive SS at his size and so on, but I can't see how his position has any bearing on how he's rated as a hitter. It's fair to credit him overall for the combination of skills he brought at the time (though if a player brought the same combination to another position and played as well defensively relative to his position that player seems just as comparable as shortstops of the time), but that shouldn't mean his offense doesn't speak for itself.
It is a valid analogy in that you're getting production from a position that doesn't normally provide production.
You can't have a line-up of 1B, 2B, 3B, 3B, LF, CF, RF, P, C. You must have a shortstop in your line-up*. That's why his fielding position matters when it comes to batting. It basically enabled the Orioles to have an additional legitimate offensive threat in their line-up that they would not have had if Ripken had played 1B or 3B. Instead of only having 6 legit offensive threats in their line-up, they were able to have 7.
*Ignoring dramatic fielding shifts and historical evolutions of fielding positions for the moment
What is your point? So what, Ripkens batting average and power numbers were higher. OB % was very even. Smith was amazing defensively. Not only because he had a good glove but he made plays that Ripken never would gave had a chance to make. Ozzie was also good on the bases.
Ripken was probably more similar to 3rd basemen around the league than he was to shortstops.
None of that has anything to do with how good he was, which was the topic at hand.
Giving your team a signficant advantage has nothing to do with how good you are? Really?
I got auto corrected there. That should read gold glove.
Ripken hit like a 3rd baseman while playing shortstop. He wasn't a 3rd baseman being forced at shortstop
Agree with all this except fielding percentage - it's kind of a lame stat. Cal was big and relatively slow for a SS. No doubt he caught everything that came near him, but he wasn't rangy, and looking at fielding percentage punishes the rangy guys even though they are getting to balls Cal could not have gotten to.
I'm saying he wasnt your typical ss. He even played field more like a 3rd baseman than a ss.
It has a lot to do with how much value you provide to your team under the circumstances, but, yeah, that's separate from how good you are.
I think this is a pretty absurd distinction to draw. Being good is about how much you help your team win. Cal did more to help his team win than the other shortstops of his era, therefor he was both valuable AND good. He led both leagues in Wins Above Replacement three times in his career (1983, 1984, 1991) and had multiple other Top 10 finishes. He was an 8 time Silver Slugger. He was a two time AL MVP. He was good.
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