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A Few of My Own Mistakes
by Asher B. Chancey, Baseball Evolution
January 30, 2006



It was so much fun pointing out who I thought Keith and Scott erroneous failed to vote for that I thought that I would take a turn pointing the finger at myself. Who are the guys that I didn't vote for that Keith and Scott did vote for.

Frank Chance

I actually voted Tinker, Evers, and Chance low – one point each. Keith voted Chance a 2, and the other two a one. Scott voted all three twos.

My main issue with Chance is simply his games played. He played 100 or more games six times, never topped 136, and topped 129 only once. He finished with 4297 career at-bats. His fielding numbers are decent, his OPS is very good, but he just didn't play that much. He led the league in runs scored the year he played 136 games, which makes me think he was very good.

Reggie Smith

I hate to admit this. It is my own short coming, and Scott and Keith were absolutely right to give Reggie the twos they gave him. I only gave him a one, and the reason is simple – Reggie Smith bores me to death!

Reggie led the NL in on-base percentage once, total bases once, doubles twice, extra-base hits once, sac flies once, and OPS+ once. He was above average in career range factor, but below average in career fielding percentage. He struck out more than he walked, but walked plenty. His career SB% is about 2 to 1. He hit into many double plays, but not a lot. He drove in 100 once, walked 100 once, scored 100 twice, and after the age of 26 never had more than 27 doubles. After the age of 20 he played in more than 100 games 4 times out of seven, and more than 128 once. The best he ever finished in homeruns in a season was 4th, twice, and his career high of 32 was good for sixth that season.

At the end of the day, Reggie Smith did very well in OPS+ and BR+, and he played on 4 World Series teams, winning one. He finished fourth in MVP voting twice, once for his career year in 1977 when he edged out George Foster in OPS even though Foster hit 20 more homeruns than him, and then again in 1978 when he played only 128 games but finished fourth behind Dave Parker, Steve Garvey, and a terrifically bad Larry Bowa.

Keith has opened my eyes to many players over the years. Fred Clarke, Tris Speaker (a long time ago), Whitey Ford, (I already knew about Stan Hack), and others. But I simply haven't jumped on the Reggie Smith bandwagon yet. I just don’t get excited about him. But like I said, this is my own shortcoming.

Jimmy Wynn

Um, Bill James has Jimmy Wynn ranked very high. Scott and Keith both gave him twos. He walked a whole lot, seemed to cover a lot of ground for the Astros, stole two out of every three bases, once finished second in homeruns, and finished with a very solid career on-base percentage. He also never got more than 156 hits, got more than 150 twice, was a career .250 hitter, managed over 30 doubles once, played 150 or more games three times. He scored a lot of runs, had good power and speed. Same thing as Smith, I guess. I am just kind of under-whelmed.

Jack Clark

To tell you the truth, I was kind of afraid to go out on a limb for Jack Clark. I assumed the wouldn't get the votes but would remain on the ballot. He is actually very similar to Reggie Smith, and I knew Reggie Smith would be in. He's kind of a combination of Frank Howard and Reggie Smith. Or maybe not. I dunno.

Keith Hernandez

Kind of fell asleep at the wheel with Hernandez. I don't really understand why Hernandez isn't in the actual Hall of Fame. I mean, he was a very good hitter and just a fantastic defensive player. Unfortunately, he doesn’t fit the mold of the Hall of Fame first baseman, but seriously – take a look. .296 average, OPS over .800 (for a 1980s non-slugger, that is really good), an MVP (albeit a tie), eleven Gold Gloves (which he earned), a batting title, and two World Series wins.




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Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Asher B. Chancey resides in Alexandria, Virginia, and can be reached at asher@baseballevolution.com.


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