Saturday, December 20, 2008
Great Field, No Hit
Baltimore fans have long had a soft spot in their hearts for great field, no hit shortstops, and with good reason. Luis Aparacio, Mark Belanger (who earned MVP votes in a season in which he batted .225), and Mike Bordick all played a slick shortstop but didn't exactly strike fear into the hearts of pitchers. Some guy named Cal Ripken brought a new dynamic to the position, but Baltimore fans, perhaps more than any other franchise, knew that a championship caliber team needed a championship caliber gloveman up the middle. Now, modern sabermetrics lends new credence to the anecdotal evidence accumulated at Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards. And, if you're interested, Rob Neyer has a great discussion with FanGraphs' Eric Seidman (who liked the Izturis signing) where Seidman does an excellent job explaining how the numbers available today can adjust for the value a great shortstop provides.