Joe Carter

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Ice Cream Jonsey
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Joe Carter

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

None of you care about this, so I'll make it a blog post. Bill James has had some absolutely dogshit political takes lately and he provided some about Joe Carter today:
Bill – I know Joe Carter would register a high overrated score; it’s hard to make a case that he wasn’t overrated while active. Having said that, besides his good luck in the teammates who hit in front of him, the other big factor in his annual 100+ RBI was his durability, and obviously that was a good thing. He was a known known, and I think you wrote in one of the Abstract how valuable that was to an organization. I also started wondering—and I guess I’m asking you to speculate on the dreaded intangibles here—if his teammates looked at him like "Joe’s our RBI guy, we can count on him," and if that has value too? Or were they, playing alongside him every day, more likely than anyone to be aware of his limitations?
Asked by: Phil Dellio
Answered: 1/6/2021
Well. . I know for certain that some of Joe's teammates recognized and were annoyed by Joe's limitations. But whether those players were representative or not, I couldn't say.

I think what you're referencing is something that I wrote about Nolan Ryan. 40 years ago, you needed PITCHERS that you could count on to make their starts and pitch their innings. 50 years ago, teams had 9-man pitching staffs; 40 years ago, 10 or 11 man pitching staffs, and players didn't bounce up and down between majors and minors the way they do now. With a 10-man pitching staff, you really need to have 2 or 3 starters that are GOING to be out there and make their starts. A left fielder or right fielder. . . well, you've got other guys who can do that. Joe Carter misses a game, you've got somebody who can play the position and hit; probably he is either a better outfielder than Joe or has a higher on base percentage or something, so that the team is better off without him in one way or another, although maybe less well off in another way.
Here's the Jays' bench in 1993 when they won the World Series:

Image

Christ, imagine looking at those chuds and thinking there's guys who can "play the position and hit."
Now, since teams have 13-man pitching staffs and 3-man benches, it is different; you can juggle the pitchers better than you can the lineup.

Teams do start to unravel if you don't have anchors. Any sport, any level, I think; if you don't have anchor players that you can count on, you're going to find yourself just scrambling day to day, trying to pull something together, and that isn't going to work for very long. A guy gets red hot, you think you can count on him, then a weak later he's hitting 4th for you and is 0-for-4 and you're in a slump. But also, I think, you don't want TOO many anchors. The old 1930s lineups where you have 8 guys who play every game except that you give the catcher 1 or 2 days off every week. . .that's not really workable in the modern world. You need to give everybody on your roster a chance to contribute, or they're not going to be there when you need them.

So what I am trying to get to. . . I'm not sure I would generalize about the subject in the same way that you are generalizing about it. I'm generalizing about the subject, obviously, but I'd follow a different path toward a broad, general understanding. And following that path, I don't know that I would want Joe Carter to be an anchor player.
Here's Joe Carter's stats in the two World Series that he played in that the Jays won:
There is one stat missing from the above, which is "Number of Home Runs Hit When Behind To Completely Win a World Series and Walk Off the Other Team" and I guess the reason that stat isn't there is because only two guys have ever been clutch enough and enough of an "anchor" in the history of baseball to ever fucking do it.

The other thing that drives me crazy is that I watched a couple of Jays teams that didn't have 100 RBI guys, the 2007 and 2008 teams. They would walk plenty and do what they needed to to get on base and extend innings and Jesus fucking Christ they needed someone batting fifth or sixth every day who would actually take a swing and drive guys in if it meant that they hit a sac fly. The RBI has no predictive value but a good team needs someone that can drive runs in. The argument against RBIs has gone so far in one direction that it has become a joke at this point.

(Again, I know nobody here cares about any of this.)
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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bryanb
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Re: Joe Carter

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I don't entirely trust my memories of 90s baseball, but yeah, I think Joe Carter's probably a guy you want on your team. A good hitter, someone who can come up absolutely huge in the big moments, and a pretty solid guy and teammate... what's not to like? It's easy to look at a squad and say sure, we can fill in a better player here and there and make a winning team even better. In reality, it's not that straightforward. You need guys who'll play their best when it's all on the line. You need guys you can count on at bat. You need guys who aren't going to be toxic in the clubhouse. I looked it up and Joe is 64th all time for RBIs. Even if we want to argue that RBIs aren't important (and by association winning baseball games isn't important), some rando off the bench wouldn't have done better. Maybe Joe won't ever make the Hall of Fame, but he was an excellent player for the Jays and an integral part of their World Series wins.

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Jizaboz
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Re: Joe Carter

Post by Jizaboz »

Would you consider entering John Smoltz (Braves years) into a fantasy roster?

If you were allowed that is.. I dunno if he is considered like "Stasis"; the banned Magic the Gathering card in most tournaments.

I am interested in "legacy" players in these fantasy games, and your thoughts on Smoltz.. if any!

haha just looked up his "politics" section of Wikipedia and cracked up

"In a 2004 interview, Smoltz was quoted as comparing the legalization of gay marriage with bestiality, saying "What’s next? Marrying an animal?" per the Associated Press. Smoltz later stated the article had portrayed his quote inaccurately."

Pretty sure the correction had to be in the vein of "Oh no I'm not saying ban it. I am saying why stop there?"

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Ice Cream Jonsey
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Re: Joe Carter

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

I see now that some other stuff happened yesterday.
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Ice Cream Jonsey
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Re: Joe Carter

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

bryanb wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:00 pm I don't entirely trust my memories of 90s baseball, but yeah, I think Joe Carter's probably a guy you want on your team. A good hitter, someone who can come up absolutely huge in the big moments, and a pretty solid guy and teammate... what's not to like? It's easy to look at a squad and say sure, we can fill in a better player here and there and make a winning team even better. In reality, it's not that straightforward. You need guys who'll play their best when it's all on the line. You need guys you can count on at bat. You need guys who aren't going to be toxic in the clubhouse. I looked it up and Joe is 64th all time for RBIs. Even if we want to argue that RBIs aren't important (and by association winning baseball games isn't important), some rando off the bench wouldn't have done better. Maybe Joe won't ever make the Hall of Fame, but he was an excellent player for the Jays and an integral part of their World Series wins.
I am less angry now than I was before.

What amazes me about the 1993 Blue Jays is that Cito basically put the same 9 guys out there *every single day*. Rickey Henderson and Tony Fernandez were acquired at the deadline and at mid-season respectively, but other than that:

Catcher Pat Borders played 138 games. Unheard of for a catcher these days. John Olerud played in 158 games. Alomar 153. Sprague 150. Devon White 146. Joe Carter 155 and Molitor played 160. Cito had 7 dudes he played the hell out of the entire season, all of whom except for Borders and Sprague were probably top 100 all time at their position (and Fernandez and Henderson were top 100 all time at their position when they arrived) and everyone stayed healthy. I can't think of a single team in baseball that had even 5 guys who played 150+ games in the lineup in 2019. OR LAST YEAR for that matter.
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Ice Cream Jonsey
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Re: Joe Carter

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

Jizaboz wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:53 pm Would you consider entering John Smoltz (Braves years) into a fantasy roster?
Yes, he is a first ballot hall of famer and did everything you'd hope a starting pitcher would do. He also switched to being a closer at the end of his career which is pretty cool. For instance, Roy Halladay was done as a starting pitcher at 36 and did not decide to become, at the end, a closer.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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