Well, I've been browsing the team previews in Bill Mazeroski's Baseball '90,
and I can't believe some of the things I'm reading. The authors clearly have
not looked at the stats in their own magazine.
Example: "Defensively, [Eddie Murray] appears to have lost interest. He
catches what he gets to, which is not much."
Murray led the NL in assists and DP, as well as fielding average.
He was second to Mark Grace in assists/game. He just doesn't *look*
like he's working hard, even now.
Example: "Templeton still can field and has a strong arm, but his range is
Templeton led all NL shortstops in assist/game and chances/game, the
usual measures of "range".
Example: "Defense? Well, he [Jack Clark] is better than Pedro Guerrero."
I could make a good case that Clark had a better defensive year
than Andres Galarraga, who won a Brass Glove.
Example: "Last year, [Andres] Thomas was horrible. He ranked second among
major league shortstops with 29 errors, and would have won the 'title'
if he hadn't missed 21 games..."
So what? He also led the league in PO/G and DP/G, was second in TC/G
(ahead of Ozzie Smith), and was third in A/G. When are people going
to get off this error kick? Dave Bancroft, consensus "best shortstop
before Ozzie Smith", led the league in errors a number of times. It
was the price he paid for getting to balls that other shortstops waved
bye-bye to. Thomas is the same way.
Example: "[Jim] Gantner isn't pretty (stiff defensively) but has always found
a way to get the job done."
Leading the league in DP/G, second in A/G and TC/G, is just "getting
the job done"? This guy is a *superb* fielder; if he were younger,
he'd be the best in the league. Who cares if he's pretty or not.
As you can see, all of these have to do with defense. I haven't studied the
offensive stats enough to criticize. As for defense: well, it's clear from
the tone of the previews that the authors consider defense to be of marginal
relative value. Still, if they're going to discuss it at all, they could at
least be accurate.
David M. Tate | "It made the basses of their being throb in
| pizzicati of Hosanna..."
"A Man for all Seasonings" | -- Wallace Stevens