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Enjoy longtime friend of LGM Jonah Keri getting a lenghty shoutout from Tim Raines at his induction ceremony today:

Blyleven and Raines are the two inductions where the influence of sabermetrics played a major role, and in Raines’s case Jonah had a major personal impact. I looked roughtly like he did while watching this. (I also have to add that for just sheer fun-to-watch, it’s hard to top a Hall of Fame class of Pudge/Bagwell/Raines.)

To bring things full circle, at the last Expos game I saw in Montreal featured an absolutely titanic homerun by Adrian Beltre, who (speaking of fun players to watch) is headed to Cooperstown 5 years after he retires, and appropriately so given that he’s one of the 5 best 3B ever.

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  • efgoldman

    Beltre reminds me of Yaz, a little bit. A long, long career as a very, very good player, allowing him to reach the big offensive milestones.

    • Eric K

      Except he also plays ++D at a defensive position, 3B really should be compared to middle INfers and CFers instead of IB and corner OFers. Maybe then they wouldn’t be so under represented in the HOF

      • Kevin

        3rd base is such a key position, i love watching guys make that throw to first. It may be why Machado is one of my favourite players, despite playing for a division rival. He has a cannon.

        He once threw out Pujols twice in the same game, from deep inside foul territory, running away from 1st. Pujols isn’t the fastest…but still, amazing arm.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtaU2aDXuhI

        • howard

          wow, that is a great throw.

  • howard77

    Power to beltre, who is one of the very few players to be better in his 30s than his 20s.

  • Denverite

    To bring things full circle, at the last Expos game I saw in Montreal featured an absolutely titanic homerun by Adrian Beltre, who (speaking of fun players to watch) is headed to Cooperstown 5 years after he retires, and appropriately so given that he’s one of the 5 best 3B ever.

    I’ll play.

    Schmidt, Matthews, Brett, Jones, Boggs. Which one is he better than?

    He’s not better than Molitor or Martinez, so if they count as 3B, he’s not in the top seven, much less top five.

    Is he better than Robinson? Probably given the relative value of defense at 3B. But it’s not a slam dunk. Santo? Beltre’s a better defender, but enough to account for 8 points of OPS+? Five years after Beltre retires, does anyone think that it’s likely that Arenado won’t have a better-looking career?

    Maybe Beltre’s a top ten 3B. Maybe.

    • Kevin

      I mean, he has already matched Boggs career in WAR, is only 10 hits away, has 300 more HR…so yeah, I think I’d put him above Wade.

    • CDT

      Beltre’s WAR is behind Schmidt and Mathews but ahead of (in order) Boggs, Brett, Jones, Robinson, Molitor, Santo, and Martinez.

    • M Lister

      For what it’s worth, you really can’t count Molitor or Martinez as 3B, and even Brett is a question – he spent more than 1/3 of his career as 1B/DH, while Beltre is still an above average to really good fielder at 3B.

    • billcinsd

      He’s pretty clearly around equal to Brett, Boggs and Jones, better than Robinson and wrt Santo, well Beltre’s 5 extra years at about 4 WAR per year probably outdoes Santo’s best years being ~0.5 WAR better than Beltre. Martinez and Molitor are not better at their peak nor over their career than Beltre. They might be better hitters, but Beltre was a great fielder

      • Kevin

        Not sure why you include Molitor, he only had 3.5 years as a 3B. He was mostly a DH. Great hitter (fond memories of his time in Toronto,helped us win that second WS.

        • billcinsd

          Molitor is listed as having 3B as his primary position by the Baseball Hall of Fame

          • Kevin

            Sure, but if we are talking about great 3B, he really shouldn’t be included, HOF designation or not. He was a DH, only playing limited time at 3b. My earlier math was wrong though, he played 30% of his games at 3B. Not enough for me to put him in the conversation as an all time great 3B.

            • billcinsd

              I would also point out that the comment to which I was responding includes Molitor and Martinez as being better than Beltre, which is another reason why I included them

              • Kevin

                I think those names got edited in after my initial comment, so at first it looked like you just added them in. Either way, better hitters than Beltre sure, but not better 3B.

    • Scott Lemieux

      He’s basically even with Boggs and Brett and ahead of Jones now, and his career isn’t over:

      https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/jaws_3B.shtml

      They were all better hitters but Beltre was by far the best third baseman, and he’ll have the longest career (significantly longer than Boggs/Jones already, and Brett’s is padded by quite a bit of 1B/DH time.) Edgar, as noted, is one of my all-time favorite players but Beltre is clearly better as an all-around player, and he’s better than Molitor too.

    • SWIOTI

      If Beltre has two more good years, which is a possibility, but not a certainty, he can pass Jones, and possibly Boggs. At this point, he trails both in WARP.

      Neither Molitor nor Martinez count as third basemen. Molitor only played 30% of his games at 3B, Martinez only 27%. Even Brett played 62.5% at 3B, Jones close to 80%. And yes, Beltre is better than Martinez, and if he passes Boggs, he’ll have passed Molitor.

      Beltre will probably pass Brooks Robinson by the end of the season in WARP. In terms of defense at 3B, there’s Brooks Robinson, a big gap, Adrian Beltre, a smaller gap, and then everybody else.

      Adrian Beltre is more valuable than Santo. Yes, he’s a better defender, more than enough to account for 8 points of OPS+.

      Five years after Beltre retires, we’ll see how Arenado stands. He’s had a good five years. But in 2000, I thought Garciaparra was going to have long, great career, and that turned out decidedly differently. You never know what will happen.

      But there’s no doubt, no maybe: at this point, Beltre is a top ten all-time third baseman, and he has a chance to be in the top 5. I’m not a fan of WAR, but WAR already places him in the top 5.

  • Kevin

    I listed Beltre on that thread! so fun to watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32rIvfl2nBI

    Keri is great, glad his work paid off here, and glad Raines mentioned him. What a great moment that was for him.

  • Harry Hardrada

    So when Beltre gets in, does Elvis Andrus move to Cooperstown so he can touch the head on the plaque every day?

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    Worst Dodger moves of my lifetime:
    1A. Thinking Ramon was the good Martinez brother, and trading Pedro
    1B. Not resigning Beltre (bc they thought his botched appendectomy might have sapped his power, oy!).

    • M Lister

      The trade for DeShields probably wasn’t a great one at the time, but it was, I think, before people fully realized that OBP was as important as it is (surprising, but there were lots of fast but low OBP lead-off hitters up to that time) and DeShields had just put up two years that were good enough with his speed that he was a good player – just not as good as people thought, I think now. But, if he wasn’t getting on base at least close to .375, he didn’t bring enough, and he soon didn’t do that, and of course we know how good Pedro turned out.

      • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

        “it was, I think, before people fully realized that OBP was as important as it is.”
        Considering the trade was apparently pre-mascot Tommy Lasorda’s baby 100%, that seems reasonable. Plus that classic old-line mentality of “we’re trading a pitcher for a guy who PLAYS EVERY DAY = no-brainer” surely came into play. Nevertheless, it tops the list, and probably always will.

      • Scott Lemieux

        As an Expos fan, I was really pissed off at the trade, which I thought was a salary dump. Delino was an excellent player, offensively and defensively, coming off a 4.5 fWAR season at age 24. Your OBP analysis is just dead wrong — Delinio walked a lot and had a .389 OBP in 2003.

        One could argue that in retrospect my analysis was mistaken…

        • M Lister

          That was the common perception at the time, and given DeShields’ two years before the trade (two of his best, though he did have about 3 more plus years scattered throughout his career, though none with the Dodgers) it wasn’t a crazy thought. It would have been unreasonable to expect Pedro to be as good as he turned out to be, even if the Dodgers did undervalue him.

          As to OBA, I did note that the year before his trade was one of his best – but it was proceeded by .359, followed by .357, .353, .288(!) and some others similar to that. Some better years, too, but not enough to make up for having no power. He was good, but not at all great at getting walk and on base, not good enough given his near total lack of power. His career OBP is .352, and that’s not drug down by a lot of “unusual” years. Not a minus player, but not a star and only sometimes a really good one. (He was one of my favorites, too.)

          • Scott Lemieux

            DeShields had been in the majors for 4 years and his lowest OBP was .347. He had a .375 OBP as a 21-year-old rookie. His on base skills were his strongest point as a player at the time he was traded. You’re just dead wrong to say that the Dodgers made this trade because teams ignored OBP.

            • M Lister

              Given what we know of the Dodges at the time, I think they likely made it despite what you say, but given that DeShields had no power, that was a barely acceptable OBP, not one that was good enough to make him a top player. You’re also picking out his best years and treating them as if they were what was to be expected, rather than looking at the averages. That’s a way to make bad trades. Why not think the two years of sub .360 OBP were as or more predictive? (They were certainly more typical going forward.) If you have a sub .400 SP, you need more than what he had in OBP, especially given that he had been uneven in his success rate on steals.

              • billcinsd

                you should also realize that the NL OBP overall was about 10 points lower in De Shields time than today, so his worst Montreal years would be equivalent to 0.360 today

                • Scott Lemieux

                  DeShields’s fWAR in the two years before he was traded — at 23 and 24 — was 3.5 and 4.5, the latter in 123 games. He was an excellent player, one of the best 2B in baseball, at the time he was traded, not some marginal scrub. His development was disappointing, but you’re projecting what we know now on what LA knew at the time.

    • jamespowell

      1C. Trading Piazza
      2. Signing Darren Dreifort

      • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

        I thought long and hard about putting “Signing Kevin Brown” somewhere on there, too.

        • M Lister

          Apparently Brown was a hard guy to get along with, but he pitched pretty well for the Dodgers, with one year exception. In his five years there, he had one very good to excellent year, one excellent year, two good to very good years, and one bad year. That’s not a bad return for most free agent signings. His W/L record wasn’t fantastic, but that seems to mostly be a problem caused by the rest of the team. (When you lead the league in ERA, WHIP, and K/BB, and have 5 complete games, but only win 13 games, I think it’s probably the other players’ fault.)

          • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

            Yeah, he was excellent…and a quick worker. I remember attending one start of his where we arrived ~45 mins late and they were already in the 3rd-4th inning. So many of their wins in that era would be “scuffle for 7 innings, scratch out one run in the 8th (usu via Dave Roberts drag bunt), then let Gagne drop the hammer in the 9th.”

    • Gwai Lo, MD

      I’d rather talk about the good Dodger roster move tonight. This Farmer kid is now 1-for-1, BA 1.000, with 2 game-winning RBIs. (I bring it up because I just got back from the stadium and am practicing the antithesis of magnanimity with Giants fans.)

      And worst Dodger move in my lifetime was selling to the McCourts. They caused damage beyond the roster.

      Ramon was still pretty decent. But when compared to a Hall of Famer…

      • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

        The worst thing about McCourt (which was MLB’s decision, too let’s not forget) is that everyone involved knew exactly how he would turn out, and they chose him anyway. It was like watching a Toonces the Driving Cat sketch, but with a billion-dollar asset.

  • Downpup E

    I have the Beltre 2010 problem. He spent a year in Boston. Played pretty well. Destroyed the team. Put Ellsbury out for the season, did something to Youkilis & a good Sox team missed the playoffs.

    And so : Pood on him.

  • Joe Paulson

    Last Expo is now a Twin. Has not been a good year for Big Sexy aka Bartolo Colon.

  • pianomover

    “Holy Toledo!” Bill King is in the HOF!

    • (((advocatethis)))

      It took far too long. He was already among the greatest radio play by play guys for basketball and football before ever calling an As game, then put those skills to use for a quarter century for the Athletics. I don’t think there was ever a greater pair in the booth together than King and Lon Simmons.

  • wjts

    The only Expos game I ever saw was a farrago of a travesty of a fuck-up of a catastrophe (on both sides) against the Mets in 2004. A terrible game in a terrible park, but a fun night out with some dear friends all the same.

  • cpinva

    should you ever happen to be in Albany, take a day to go to Cooperstown. i’m not a huge baseball fan, but if you are a sports fan at all (or even have an interest in history), it’s well worth the trip.

    • M Lister

      Plus, you can go to the Ommegang brewery, just down the road. I think they make too many beers now and have spread themselves a bit thin, but it’s still a fun place to visit and get lunch. And, if you do this, you’ll be getting out of Albany, which is itself a bonus.

      • Erik Loomis

        Yeah, it does seem like recent Ommegang releases have been unimpressive.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Who knows, I might very well happen to be in Albany one day…

  • randykhan

    I missed the top 5 athletes to watch thread, so I’m going to put my choices here:

    Tom Seaver
    Diana Taurasi (though I utterly hated UConn, my god she was fun to watch, and she threw the sickest pass I’ve ever seen in a game against Georgetown)
    Bryce Harper
    Carli Lloyd, just for that goal in the World Cup final (you know which one)
    Alex Ovechkin

  • Thlayli

    On Beltre: when he came up, Bill James noted that there were two HOF-ers named “Adrian”: Cap Anson and Addie Joss.

    On the Expos: Ryan Zimmerman recently broke Vlad Guerrero’s franchise record for home runs. The top five is now Zimmerman, Guerrero, Dawson, Carter, Wallach.

  • John F

    “Blyleven and Raines are the two inductions where the influence of sabermetrics played a major role, and in Raines’s case Jonah had a major personal impact.”

    Statheads can more readily have a positive effect when pushing FOR someone, the trouble is that most Sabr inclined fans engage in HOF/MVP discussions n order to tear someone down- why? because tearing down Jack Morris or Catfish Hunter or Jim Rice is a hell of a lot more fun than patiently explaining why someone like Beltran or Kenny Lofton should go in.

    I freely admit I’m as guilty as anyone else at this.

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