Jimmy Rollins and the Hall of Fame

In the comments of Saturday’s article on the declining Jimmy Rollins, a few were discussing the shortstop’s chances of making the Hall of Fame. Rollins is currently sitting on 2,158 career hits, 1,238 runs, 450 doubles, 107 triples, 199 home runs, 831 runs batted in, and 423 stolen bases. Baseball Reference gives him credit for 41.8 career Wins Above Replacement while FanGraphs pins him at 45.5.

Per Baseball Reference, here is the complete list of Hall of Fame shortstops and their career WAR:

Player WAR/pos From To Age
Honus Wagner 113.3 1901 1917 27-43
Cal Ripken 95.5 1981 2001 20-40
Ozzie Smith 76.5 1978 1996 23-41
Luke Appling 74.4 1930 1950 23-43
Arky Vaughan 73.0 1932 1948 20-36
Barry Larkin 70.3 1986 2004 22-40
Joe Cronin 66.3 1926 1945 19-38
Pee Wee Reese 66.2 1940 1958 21-39
Lou Boudreau 63.1 1938 1952 20-34
Luis Aparicio 55.5 1956 1973 22-39
Bobby Wallace 55.2 1901 1918 27-44
Joe Tinker 53.3 1902 1916 21-35
Dave Bancroft 48.6 1915 1930 24-39
Travis Jackson 44.1 1922 1936 18-32
Rabbit Maranville 42.8 1912 1935 20-43
Phil Rizzuto 40.5 1941 1956 23-38
George Davis 37.7 1901 1909 30-38
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/15/2013.

With the exception of Phil Rizzuto, Rollins would actually need to cross the 55 WAR threshold before he passes a shortstop who played in the post-integration era of baseball.

In Hall of Fame discussions, players can qualify with a great peak (e.g. Sandy Koufax) or with longevity (e.g. Bert Blyleven). Rollins has neither. Via Baseball Reference, his single-season high in WAR was 6.1 in 2007, the year he controversially won the NL MVP award. Reds shortstop and Hall of Famer Barry Larkin matched or exceeded that three times. Cal Ripken six times. Rollins posted 4+ WAR in five consecutive seasons from 2004-08. While great, it isn’t elite-level longevity. Larkin, for example, averaged just under 6 WAR from 1988-99, an 11-year span.

Then there’s the fact that Rollins was, at best, an average hitter over his career. Baseball Reference credits him with an adjusted OPS of 96 while FanGraphs lists him the same in wRC+. Here’s the same list of Hall of Fame shortstops listed by OPS+:

Player OPS+ From To
Honus Wagner 153 1901 1917
Arky Vaughan 136 1932 1948
Lou Boudreau 120 1938 1952
Joe Cronin 119 1926 1945
Barry Larkin 116 1986 2004
Luke Appling 113 1930 1950
Cal Ripken 112 1981 2001
George Davis 112 1901 1909
Bobby Wallace 104 1901 1918
Travis Jackson 102 1922 1936
Pee Wee Reese 99 1940 1958
Dave Bancroft 98 1915 1930
Joe Tinker 96 1902 1916
Phil Rizzuto 93 1941 1956
Ozzie Smith 87 1978 1996
Luis Aparicio 82 1956 1973
Rabbit Maranville 82 1912 1935
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/15/2013.

Rollins’ problem is that, for all of the great things he did on offense, he erased a lot of it by making a ton of outs. He has a .269 career average and a .327 on-base percentage. The aggregate league averages over his career were .268 and .338. He led the league in outs on four separate occasions: 2001-02, ’07, and ’09. Even his career slugging percentage (.426) was a point below the league average.

Any argument in favor of enshrining Rollins in Cooperstown will make heavy use of counting stats, but they are skewed because he took so many at-bats as the lead-off hitter. Additionally, the offenses for many of the teams he was involved with were above-average, leading to lots of lineup turnover. Rollins’ counting stats would look a lot different if he had spent his career with, say, the Seattle Mariners and was used as their #7 hitter. Ultimately, Rollins doesn’t have a good enough case to get into the Hall of Fame, but considering that Jack Morris has been on the precipice of baseball’s highest honor recently, you never know what spurious logic the Baseball Writers Association of America could develop in the coming years.

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62 comments

  1. Evan

    September 16, 2013 07:50 AM

    I’m not saying that he is going to be a first or even a second ballot HOFer, but I think he has a legit shot of getting enshrined.

    I’m peering into the crystal ball and looking at 5 years from when he retires (say 2016 is his last season, so 2021). Judging by the landscape, it looks pretty barren. 2014 (Moose, Maddux, Glavine, Frank Thomas and to a lesser extent Kent, Luis Gonzales, M. Alou) and 2015 (Randy Johnson, Pedro, Smoltz, Sheffield, Delgado (?)) look to be two of the best HOF classes of all-time. 2016 is the Griffey class, 2017 is Pudge, Manny (his eligibility may be skewed?) and maybe Vlad G.

    After that though, they are going to have to let some people in, right? Out of the current players whose career are close to being over, who is a potential HOFer? I would think the Writers would need to change their perspectives sometime down the road.

    Wise man once say “Spies…bunch of b**chy little girls”. Replace spies with Baseball Writers and the parallels are similar

  2. JM

    September 16, 2013 08:49 AM

    His offensive numbers were pretty comparable to Ozzie’s, with more power. He has an outside shot…

  3. bharring

    September 16, 2013 10:19 AM

    There’s only SEVENTEEN shortstops in the Hall of Fame?! I really love Jimmy, but he’s not the 18th best SS of all time.

  4. jerome

    September 16, 2013 10:27 AM

    If Alan Trammell can’t make it in, J-Roll’s got no chance. Trammell has been on some weak ballots, too.

  5. Bill Baer

    September 16, 2013 10:30 AM

    Yep, Trammell has an adjusted OPS of 110 and 70.3 rWAR. He has Jimmy crushed in just about every category except base-stealing.

  6. Dan K.

    September 16, 2013 10:35 AM

    “Out of the current players whose career are close to being over, who is a potential HOFer?”

    Helton and Mo are retiring this year. ARod (blegh), Jeter, Pujols, Utley, Beltran, Giambi, Rolen, and Berkman all represent people that could retire in the next 5 years and merit (at least some) HoF consideration. And that’s not all of the hitters and none of the pitchers. There are, obviously, some weak HoF classes. But we aren’t really lacking in talent at the moment.

  7. JM

    September 16, 2013 10:55 AM

    Remember too that Jimmy will be compared to that other pinstriped SS. Weak class or not, he will fail that comparison…

    Oh, and Alan Trammel for the HOF, He was so much better than Rabbit Maranville…

  8. Larry

    September 16, 2013 11:31 AM

    Sabermetrically he probably wouldn’t get in, but his longevity is going to get him in traditionally. Everyone knows that Jimmy cares about his stats, he says he wants to be # 1. He’s also only 34 years old. His style of play has kept him almost injury free throughout his career.

    Considering he will have well over 1500 runs scored, over 500 doubles, over 500 steals, over 2500 hits, an MVP Award and recognized as the top defensive NL SS 4 times. (gold gloves) How many other shortstops have done that? How many non PED players have done that and not gotten into the HOF? 5 years after retiring he will be eligible for 15 years as long as he keeps the votes over 5 percent I think the number is, I know it’s low, somewhere around 5%. To me that means he makes it in, before the 10 year mark no doubt. Also consider he was league leader in PAs 3 times, ABs 4 times, runs scored 1 time, triples 4 times, and steals 1 time.

    A more interesting case would be Lance Berkman. He doesn’t have the longevity to make the counting stats, but offensive stats like OBP, OPS, OPS +, oWAR, Career wOBA over 400 make him look like a HOF player. He just doesn’t have the ABs. His downfalls are his position: 1st base and DH. Defense was bad, many players have made it in the HOF though with just high offensive #s.

  9. KH

    September 16, 2013 11:52 AM

    Jimmy has a outside shot but he no shot if his remaining years in the league are like this past one.

  10. Shane

    September 16, 2013 12:07 PM

    Pros: Top-Ten All-Time at SS in SB (#10 with 423) and Gold Gloves (tied 7th with 4) and only the 13th SS to win an MVP. He’s also #11 in HRs with 199. (12 more gets him #10 All-Time for SS)

    Cons: Every other statistic and measurement.

  11. Scott G

    September 16, 2013 12:36 PM

    Larry,

    What “style of play” does Rollins have that’s kept him injury free?

    Also, are you trying to give him credit for # of PAs and ABs? PAs are a function of managers batting him 1st and the team having a ridiculous offense for a while, and ABs are a function of batting first and not really walking a lot.

  12. Bigred

    September 16, 2013 01:21 PM

    Does J-Rolls defense and gold gloves give him a boost? We know he’s no wizard of Oz but that should be a factor just as much as some of the offensive categories.

  13. Andrew Cleveland Alexander

    September 16, 2013 02:23 PM

    I’m not sure where I stand on the merits of the argument, but Hall of Fame voting is one area where (fairly or not) “intangibles” matter, and I think Rollins could benefit from the perception that he was a leader/catalyst of one of the best teams of his era. A comparison could be made to someone like Kirby Puckett, whose career WAR is 50.8, albeit in a career cut somewhat short by health problems.

    Another comparison point might be Jim Rice: again one of the best players on a series of great teams that played in a large media market, with one MVP award to his credit. His career WAR of 47.2 in 16 seasons is a mark Rollins could possibly catch if he has a bounce-back season in his 2014 contract year.

    One final precedent along the same lines: Tony Perez. I suspect he made primarily because he was part of the Big Red Machine package of Rose, Bench, Morgan and Perez. He didn’t make it to any of the big HOF benchmarks (eg, 3000 hits, 400 HRs), was never the best player on his team, never came close to winning an MVP, and spent the last decade of his career bouncing around as a slightly above-replacement level 1B/DH, collecting little bits of WAR every season. I could see something like this happening with Rollins–given his relatively good injury history and the propensity of GMs to award contracts to players based on their defensive reputations rather than their actual abilities, I could see him bouncing around for another couple years after this contract is up.

    So, I’m not sure whether Rollins belongs, but I don’t think it’s an absurd argument to be having.

  14. Larry

    September 16, 2013 02:43 PM

    Scott,

    “What “style of play” does Rollins have that’s kept him injury free?”

    I’ll give you an extreme comparison of style of play JRoll vs Chase as an example.

    1. Play at the plate.
    If Jimmy knows he’s beat, he slows up and lets the tag happen.

    Chase would either try and knock the catcher over, jarring the ball loose, putting his body on the line. Or he would try to get into a rundown play so another base runner would advance to the next base, taking one for the team.

    2.Breaking up a double play
    JRoll will slide giving an effort.

    Chase will use the all out take out slide putting his body on the line, taking one for the team.

    3. Ground ball to the infield on offense.
    JRoll tends to jog a lot of the times, making an easy routine out.

    Chase will bust out of the box, runs very hard which can give a better chance to get an infield single. Also this hustle puts more pressure on the fielders which can cause a hurried throw, resulting into an error.

    4. Chase always has the better chance to advance to the next base on routine ground balls turning into errors.

    “PAs are a function of managers batting him 1st and the team having a ridiculous offense for a while, and ABs are a function of batting first and not really walking a lot.”

    Top PAs for NL in 2012

    1. Jose Reyes – 716 PAs- Marlins- bad offense
    2. Michael Bourn – 703 PAs (Braves)
    3. tie between JRoll and Chase Headley- not good offenses

  15. Larry

    September 16, 2013 02:52 PM

    699 PAs for Jroll and Headley

  16. T. Martin

    September 16, 2013 03:53 PM

    Wow, with all due respect to Larry who mentioned it a little earlier in the comments on Saturday (calling Jimmy a “fringe Hall of Famer”), I think it was my comment that Rollins would take over as the Phillies all time leader in hits and be inducted “five years later” that kicked off the firestorm on Saturday.

    And I should probably clarify why I said that but, first I should probably admit to a faux pas on the timing. Jimmy isn’t, by anybody’s measure, a first ballot HOFer. On that we can ALL agree. But he is going to get in.

    Before I explain why I say that with such conviction I’d also like to mention that I find him maddeningly selfish just like many others do. His accomplishments in a Phillies uniform speak for themselves. Yet he already compares quite favorably with Larkin. We tend to view players through their WAR numbers but I’m far from convinced that the BBWA views or measures player careers as being simply that black and white. Jimmy’s already surpassed Larkin’s career totals for doubles, triples, home runs and stolen bases, he’s likely to move past him in total bases and even has a chance, assuming he plays (somewhere) in 2015, to end up with more career hits. They both have one MVP, one WS ring and Rollins has in edge in Gold Gloves 4-3.
    And yet, in spite of all that he’s done, he’s almost universally panned by Phillies Nation as an underachiever. I’m guilty of it too. But as another reader pointed out, even if he never played another game he’s unquestionably the best SS in franchise history. And we all know the team was founded in 1883 right? That’s 132 years and counting. That’s A LOT of shortstops.

    And that is where the rubber meets the road in the argument for Rollins as an almost sure-fire HOFer. Because if this is the end of best era in Phillies history you better believe that the Phillies will call upon all of the PR and good faith they can muster around the country when the ballots start going out in the mail listing Jimmy Rollins name on them. Had Utley been able to stay healthy and productive after 2009 maybe he might have gotten the nod for a HOF push. But that isn’t going to happen. No, the only guy from this era that can even merit a discussion on the HOF is Rollins. There are 35 people in the Hall of Fame associated with the Phillies. Note, that I didn’t say there are 35 former Phillies. That number (35) includes guys like Tony Perez, Joe Morgan, and Ryne Sandberg who amassed most (nearly all) of their accomplishments while wearing the uniforms of other franchises but the Phillies are mentioned in the fine print.
    It also deservedly, includes Pat Gillick. There are just SIX player plaques that bear a Phillies hat. Richie Ashburn, Jim Bunning, Steve Carlton, Chuck Klein, Robin Roberts and Mike Schmidt.

    I’m almost 44 years old and I only saw TWO of these guys actually play for the Phillies, Schmidt and Carlton, (and I attended both of their induction ceremonies). Anybody ten years younger than me may not even be able to say they remember seeing those guys play, or in Carlton’s case, they certainly didn’t see him in his prime when he was the best LH pitcher on the planet.

    So, with all of that context, I’ll say it again, whether you agree with me, or disagree with me, Rollins is going to the HOF.

    The Phillies franchise will do everything it can to make that a reality so that when kids from the Delaware Valley make the trek to upstate NY, an entire generation can find a player that they once saw play for the Phillies, enshrined among the all time greats.

    And regarding the other certainty I mentioned Saturday, that once Rollins passes the all time franchise record for career hits he’ll be traded… it’s because by that point, he’ll have done what he wanted to accomplish and he’ll WANT to go somewhere else to finish his career. And for a team that traded Jim Thome to the Orioles just a week after a pinch hit walk off home run, and fired Charlie Manuel the day he was supposed to be honored in a pregame ceremony, the timing will be right to close the book and move on.

  17. JM

    September 16, 2013 04:05 PM

    The Phillies have also lost the most games in the history of sports for a franchise. To say that team history has anything to do with it is silly. Especially if it is a history of losing. The other players you mention just showcases how inept the team has been at developing and keeping real talent. Rollins is Fringy, he is better than some at certain aspects, but falls very short in others.

  18. Scott G

    September 16, 2013 04:32 PM

    Larry,

    You really need to stop trolling/making general comments about Rollins.

    re: 1. I recall a recent play where J-Roll made a fabulous head-first slide into home to avoid a tag and was safe. He didn’t just give up. You don’t have to knock over the catcher to give effort.

    re: 3. I love Chase Utley more than anyone, but all of that hustling to first on plays where he has <1% chance of being safe is ridiculous and it bothers me from a logistical stand point, but I love seeing. Therefore, I do NOT knock Jimmy Rollins for not sprinting down the line when he's going to be safe once every 500 PA??

    Re: PAs

    Thanks for making my point? The people who bat first and/or don't miss games will get the most PA?

  19. Andrew Cleveland Alexander

    September 16, 2013 04:33 PM

    Another thing worth mentioning is that I think what a player does after his career can have an impact on whether he gets in. Rizzuto is probably the greatest beneficiary of this–not only was he a member of the greatest team dynasty in history, the postwar Yankees, but he went on to become a beloved institution as a broadcaster. Richie Ashburn benefited from some of the same sentiment, I think, although his stats hold up a lot better than Rizzuto’s.

    I mention this because I could see Rollins going on to have a notable career after baseball. I realize he’s a polarizing figure now, but he is extremely smart and I could definitely see him sticking around the game as a manager, GM or broadcaster.

    Also, and I’ll just say this very quickly: while we can all agree that Rollins occasionally dogs it on pop ups and ground balls, it’s hard to see how a guy who has averaged 150 games a season over the last 13 years, playing by all accounts elite defense for most of that time, can be described as lazy. The comparisons with Utley I sometimes hear have some unfortunate overtones. (As a thought experiment: can you imagine what the Philly fan base would say about Rollins if he missed substantial portions of two consecutive seasons with some vague, unexplained knee pain?)

  20. Larry

    September 16, 2013 05:09 PM

    Scott,
    “You really need to stop trolling/making general comments about Rollins.”

    Scott did you read the article, then my 1st post? Don’t you think I made a strong case for JRoll to make HOF, while Bill made a lot of points against him? What about all these other people who call him selfish? Why target me with name calling? Should we call people trolls when insulting Ryan Howard? Are they trolling Howard?

    “re: 1. I recall a recent play where J-Roll made a fabulous head-first slide into home to avoid a tag and was safe. He didn’t just give up. You don’t have to knock over the catcher to give effort.”

    Nice sample size to disprove my point. 1 play you cited out of his whole career?

    “Re: PAs

    Thanks for making my point? The people who bat first and/or don’t miss games will get the most PA?”

    Hey I never disagreed with the person who bats 1st and doesn’t miss games gets the most PAs. I think Captain Obvious could figure that out.

    This is the point I didn’t think was totally accurate:

    “and the team having a ridiculous offense for a while”

    One other point “style of play” Jroll vs Chase:

    If a ball is pitched inside, Jroll will move out of the way. Chase would try to get HBP and take one for the team. Is Jroll wrong for doing this? No………You asked me a question about JRolls style of play, why has he been so durable? He doesn’t takes the risks that others do on our team. I used Chase as the example because they are extreme opposites. If only JRoll can have such nice trolls like me who say he should go in the HOF, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind.

  21. Matt

    September 16, 2013 05:39 PM

    If Jimmy could’ve just learned to take a couple more walks, we could be looking at this very differently. But as is, Rollins was a very good, occasionally great player. A guy who will get a decent amount of votes, and should be remembered fondly for his contributions, but not an HOFer. He really has gotten way too much flack over the years, considering he’s the best shortstop the Phillies have ever had.

  22. Phillie697

    September 16, 2013 05:46 PM

    Jimmy Rollins for HoF, LOOOOOOOOOL.

    Love the guy. One of my favorite Phillies. But I will not be such an obvious homer like some of you.

    Whether you want to resort to “traditional” evaluations or not, you have to realize current HoF voters ARE becoming more and more sabermetrically conscious. The world is changing, whether you like it or not.

    “the Phillies will call upon all of the PR and good faith they can muster around the country when the ballots start going out in the mail listing Jimmy Rollins name on them. Had Utley been able to stay healthy and productive after 2009 maybe he might have gotten the nod for a HOF push. But that isn’t going to happen. No, the only guy from this era that can even merit a discussion on the HOF is Rollins.”

    This is just patently silly. If anyone should get a push into the Hall, it’s Chase Utley, not Jimmy Rollins. In fact, that’s the prevailing sentiment everywhere else outside of Phillies fans.

  23. NavyJoe

    September 17, 2013 09:15 AM

    Scott,

    Why the need to resort to ad hominem attacks? I think Larry very clearly articulated a number of reasons why Jimmy’s style of play is easier on the body than Chase’s.

    At no point was the efficacy of those respective styles germane to the discussion.

  24. Scott G

    September 17, 2013 09:57 AM

    Larry,

    Aren’t YOU the one who has been calling him selfish for weeks citing his quotes in recent interviews? If not, maybe it’s been Pencilfish, but I’m pretty sure it was you. And if it wasn’t you I apologize. In reading your comments, I’ve automatically tied you to a Rollins basher. However…

    Larry and Joe,

    re: my sample size and Larry’s point about Rollins/Chase’s style of play.

    It’s bullshit. Plain and simple. Give me all of your examples where Jimmy “slowed up and just let the tag happen”. You don’t get as many triples as he has by not hustling. You don’t have the range that he’s displayed over his career by not hustling.

    Is it cool that Chase runs everything out? Yes.
    Is it cool that Chase doesn’t move out of the way of inside pitches?
    Yes.

    Is it a positive? Sometimes. Can it be a negative? Absolutely.

    Jimmy Rollins shouldn’t be negatively viewed for playing the game smartly/conservatively on plays where there’s little incentive to hurt himself. He hustles when he needs to.

  25. Shane

    September 17, 2013 10:24 AM

    Then again, if Joe Tinker can get in only because of a poem, J-Roll has a shot with an MVP.

  26. Robby Bonfire

    September 17, 2013 10:34 AM

    Rollins being touted for the HOF ranks with some airhead touting Ken Keltner for the same. Today, perhaps two baseball fans out of a hundred know Kenny Keltner’s name.

    Of course Rollins has not had a HOF career. But he has made a tangible contribution which would have been far greater had he not been asked to do things he cannot do, like being the club’s leadoff hitter, for most of his career.

    Even now, the new Mgr. has him batting second, with paltry batting average and OBP numbers, and invisible power.

    It seems far too many managers opt for the lefty-righty percentage advantage, in lieu of opting for the far more basic ~ability advantage.~ Batting lefty vs. a RHP, or batting righty vs. LHP does not represent an ability advantage. All it represents is a physical characteristic, which, if the overall ability is not there, does not compensate for the physical deficit.

    Who was the worst RHB in The Babe’s time? (Leo Durocher?) I swear there are some managers who would have had pinch-hit with him for The Babe, vs. a LHP. This “lefty-righty percentages are God” mentality is out of control, with Sandburg among the many who play into its booby-trap mentality.

    Given Jimmy’s pathetic offensive numbers this year, he should be sitting, not being bandied about as an all-time great who ranks with A-Rod, Barry Larkin, Cal Ripken, Marty Marion, Pee Wee, and Honus Wagner. Who drafts Jimmy ahead of any of those icons in a fantasy game? I MIGHT take him over Roy McMillan. Roy Who? That is exactly my point.

  27. Jonny5

    September 17, 2013 10:39 AM

    Wall of fame? Hell yes. Hall of fame? Hell no. He was one of the great Philly SS’s but falls short of a HOF career imo.

  28. JM

    September 17, 2013 10:48 AM

    @ Robby
    I don’t think touting the greatest player of all time as your example for LH/RH splits helps your arguement. Percentages are what “usually” happens, not what will happen. Smart people play the percentages. if you go to the Horse race, do you bet on the pretty 100-1 longshot, or the ugly 1-5 favorite. As far as saying LH/RH advantage does not exist, I very much disagree. You can physically see the ball better and longer coming from the opposite side of the plate. What a batter does with that “advantage” is up to that batter. Statistically speaking, the Lh/Rh advantage is very easily provable. Sure I’d like to send the Babe up there every time, but we don’t have him. We have Jimmy Rollins, who is on the down swing of a fringy HOF career, (which is what we are all discussing). Is he within earshot of the top 5 all time SS, good GOD no, and no one here is remotely suggesting that. Quite frankly very few people would remember Honus Wagner either if not for his famous stance on Tobacco, even though he was by far the greatest SS to ever play…

  29. Larry

    September 17, 2013 11:44 AM

    Scott,

    Just listen to what Ricky BO says in this Youtube clip, it’s quite a pattern that Ricky is fed up with, then look at Charlie Manuel’s reaction as he can’t believe that Jimmy hasn’t responded to Charlie’s previous warnings.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV0x9tJQc2c

    Then read this article which explains that he has a pattern of doing this and how fans are tired of it:

    www.philliedelphia.com/2013/09/a-new-sheriff-ryne-sandberg-and-the-non-benching-benching-of-jimmy-rollins.html

  30. Larry

    September 17, 2013 12:12 PM

    Also Scott, watch this video, typical Jimmy Rollins over the years. Listen to all the announcers who are in shock. Then read all the comments underneath the article.

    [[Ed. Note: No links to Cr*ssing Br*ad here. Unless it's this.]]

  31. pedro3131

    September 17, 2013 12:42 PM

    Citing a few videos to summarize a decade long career just reeks of confirmation bias. I never cared much for Jroll, but here’s the bottom line – he doesn’t “hustle” or not hustle any more or less then anyone else. Chase doesn’t run out every single play. It’s a nice narrative, and it’s what I’ll tell my kids and grand kids one day as an example of “how to play baseball the right way” but it just isn’t empirically true. I won’t go as far to say that there’s latent racism driving all the anti Jroll hustle comments, but it is highly inaccurate at best

  32. Larry

    September 17, 2013 01:00 PM

    OK Bill, but I can’t find the pic of that fan at the game? I found another way to show that video without linking to that site.

    vimeo.com/47660134#

  33. Scott G

    September 17, 2013 01:01 PM

    Larry. You have got to be kidding with me how you argue these points. You called me out for “one example” of him sliding into home plate…

    So you show me one clip of THE PLAY that probably started everyone talking about Jimmy.

    This is just getting ridiculous. I will NEVER take Ricky Bottalico’s opinion on anything as gospel. Who the hell is he? He wasn’t even that good. Why should I listen to him.

    People used to talk about Jayson Werth not paying attention because he got picked off of 2B one time. WHO CARES?!!! ONE TIME. He stole bases at a very successful clip over his career.

    Jimmy has “not hustled” more than once, but does it even matter??? Would he have made it to 2B on that play safely anyway? Probably not. How often does this happen? Infrequently enough for this to be a ridiculous conversation.

  34. Larry

    September 17, 2013 01:02 PM

    Or did I? Crap.

  35. Scott G

    September 17, 2013 01:02 PM

    Bryce Harper didn’t run out a ground ball once recently, and he was out. Cut him. He’s a slacker.

  36. Larry

    September 17, 2013 01:16 PM

    Scott, I can’t clutter this page with Youtube videos, but that clip was more about reaction, because he has done it so many times. Also the Sandberg article goes into an explanation of a pattern of history. So I wasn’t just giving you small sample size clips.

    Who is Ricky Bo to say these things?

    How bout Gary Matthews? T-Mac? The marlins announcers? Charlie Manuel on the radio discussing Rollins lack of motivation over the years? How about all the Phillies fans on so many other blogs, websites, a billboard? Are you kidding me?……But you’re right Scott, they don’t have your credibility. I trust your word over all those fans, announcers, and former players. I’ll take it all back then.

  37. hk

    September 17, 2013 01:30 PM

    Did Jim Thome ever run out a ground ball as fast as he could? Did Charlie, Ricky Bo, Sarge or the fans ever call him out for it?

  38. Larry

    September 17, 2013 01:47 PM

    HK, from what I recall, I don’t believe Thome was our speedy lead off hitter. Good question though, why is Jimmy the only Phillie that is or was considered somewhat lazy? Would there be a reason why Charlie would go on the radio and talk about why he thought Jimmy gives you lackluster play over the years? His explanation was that Jimmy gets depressed when the team is doing bad. When they are playing well, he gets motivated. I find it ironic though, since the old saying was always “As Jimmy goes, so does the team.” What Charlie was basically saying, “as the team goes, so does Jimmy.”

  39. hk

    September 17, 2013 01:50 PM

    Larry,

    To me, if a commentator, manager or fan demands that players hustle on every batted ball, it should not matter whether it is your speedy lead-off hitter or your slow clean-up hitter who is not hustling.

  40. Larry

    September 17, 2013 02:13 PM

    HK,

    I think there is a grey area of how much you should hustle down the line……But there has to be a certain acceptable speed which most non pitchers show on a daily basis. Also when you get reprimanded for not hustling two weeks after your last stint, well that’s just rare. I think Uncle Cholly lost his team a long time ago. You have to be able to take some control over your players. Maybe that’s why he was a player’s manager. He should have been tougher on them. Move guys to the back of the lineup when not producing or bench them.

  41. Scott G

    September 17, 2013 02:51 PM

    Maybe it’s a function of top speed vs. the speed at which a player is seen “not busting it down the line”. Rollins can be extremely fast, but again, WHY RISK INJURING YOURSELF IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE OUT 99% OF THE TIME?

    I would hold everyone to this same standard of effort regardless of top end speed or power hitting abilities.

    Why does T-Mac, or Wheeler, or Anthony Gargano, or non-ex-players get granted any more credibility than I do? I can see a point for former players opinions, but until these same former players offer some sort of an intelligent analysis on baseball, and don’t immediately shut the door on advanced baseball statistics, why should I accept anything they say? We’ve discusses many times on this site and in the comments how your eyes or memory can be deceiving.

  42. hk

    September 17, 2013 03:23 PM

    Larry,

    Is there really a grey area about how much a player should hustle? Who decides when it is okay to hustle and when it is not? Ricky Bo? Sarge? Charlie? You? That’s too subjective for me. This really seems like a black and white issue.

  43. Robby Bonfire

    September 17, 2013 03:39 PM

    NOBODY really wants to get into a discussion/debate over finding value in a racehorse, or in a horse race with me. I was a frenetic horse player for 15 years, and had trouble holding regular jobs, of such magnitude was my feverish distraction.

    As regards the merits of a 100-1 shot, vs. the merits of a 1-5 favorite, the 1-5 favorite, in fact, is not “ugly” if it should be going off at 1-10, in which case your expected, long-term R.O.I. is +9 per cent.

    As for the 100-1 shot, if it should be 50-1, you have a nice 98 per cent overlay there. If it should be more than 100-1, you have an unplayable, long-term loss expectation underlay. And you graduate to a much higher level as regards sophistication and results you realize, the day you comprehend and accept the fact that an overlay loser is a winner, and an underlay winner is a loser.

    The above is instructional in that it also applies to ballplayers and the percentages we are discussing. It seems like you are trying to say that EVERY batter who has a L-R percentages advantage can see the ball better, and so is a good fit for the situation.

    Are you not aware that Manuel insisting that Rollins was a leadoff hitter cost the Phillies a playoff slot in 2005, and perhaps even a couple world championships? At what point does ability, or lack of same, enter the equation? The best managers maintain a book on hitter-pitcher career match-up results. Did Rollins’ manager for 8 1/2 years do that?

    You mean you are with all the managers who prefer to go with .250 hitters with the percentage edge, over .325 hitters at a L-R percentage disadvantage, regardless of career match-up numbers indicating that the .325 hitter is a better fit for the situation?

    In this computer age why do the Phillies have to employ key management people who are stuck in a 1950 brand of baseball when it comes to “knee jerk” and the now debunked traditional dictums they adhere to?

    I have never seen nor suffered a lazier manager in my life than was Charlie Manuel,in this regard. Have you?

  44. JM

    September 17, 2013 04:58 PM

    #1, I am sorry you have a gambling problem, and I hope you get/got help.
    #2, I am glad you can embrace statistics when it comes to horses, but sorry you don’t employ the same with baseball matchups
    #3, I am entirely unsure how you got from opposite handed batters seeing the ball better to Charlie’s usage of Rollins, but I agree, he was never really a leadoff hitter
    #5, my little league coach was pretty lazy, but he didn’t win nearly as many games as Charlie Manuel, or a world series, or 5 straight division championships. I’m pretty sure Charlie looked at some matchups since he sat JMJ against every righty except Tim Hudson.
    #6, I usually ignore these types of threads because they just make me shake my head and wonder…what ?!?!?!? Why?!?!?!? How??!?!??!
    #7, does the sun shine in your world?

  45. JM

    September 17, 2013 05:00 PM

    Sorry to MB and all you other bloggers, I’ve violated social convention #2. I will try to be better….

  46. Larry

    September 17, 2013 05:05 PM

    “Maybe it’s a function of top speed vs. the speed at which a player is seen “not busting it down the line”.”

    Yeah Scott, I think you took what I said the wrong way. Nobody is asking for top speed on every routine play, but at least a speed adequate enough to reach safely on a misplay or a bad hop such as the Reyes example where he would have been safe. (especially when they are down 2-1 in the sixth inning)

    Also Scott it’s a bit more different when JRoll hits to the 2nd baseman and 1st baseman when he’s by the bag, than the ss or 3rd baseman. With the longer throw, there’s always a chance. We’ve seen guys like Revere and Victorino get many infield hits on routine plays or put pressure on the defenders which has caused mistakes, simply because they run to 1st, not jog. It’s 4-5 bats per game and it’s certainly not 4-5 routine ground balls per game. besides Scott I’m not the person who made up the nickname JStroll. I’m not the former players, announcers, fans that put up a billboards about this. I just agree with them, because I’ve never seen this happen over and over again more than any other Phillie.

    One other thing is that JRoll has hurt this team being a top of the order guy since 2009. Yes he’s a fringe HOFer, but when he gets those counting stats, I think he will get in. I certainly don’t dislike the guy, but I do expect more from our most tenured guy who is supposed to be the leader of the “team”. I gave you a very unbiased opinion, like I would with any other player.

  47. Scott G

    September 17, 2013 06:27 PM

    That was a lot more reasonable post, Larry.

    I see the same things everyone else does. I just thing it’s being too harsh to critique him for these things. When Utley was struggling with his knees, people suggested that he maybe not go 100% on every play like he does. Maybe not bust it on routine grounders. Why is Rollins held to a double standard when he had back-to-back seasons with ankle and calf injuries?

    Chase Utley is my favorite baseball player ever. I love his style of play. Why am I so much more willing to give JRoll a break than everyone else is?

  48. Larry

    September 17, 2013 07:15 PM

    Yeah that was a more reasonable post from you as well :)

    “Why am I so much more willing to give JRoll a break than everyone else is?”

    Probably because you are a true Phillies fan like me and most everyone else who reads this blog. I’ve never claimed Howard as my favorite player either, but I felt like I had to stand up for the guy, even if the majority of the people on this site disagree. Same thing with you and JRoll. You want him to have a pass when so many others disagree with you. I’ve cited Rollins accomplishments just like Howard’s. If we didn’t have a superstar like Thome, Howard probably comes up a few years earlier which would probably have him around 360-380 HRS right now and we would be talking about him having a shot at the HOF.

    BTW Scott, you obviously spent countless hours on your Charlie Manuel blog. Why didn’t you finish it off with the last chapter being about his firing? You finally got your wish right?

  49. Larry

    September 17, 2013 07:37 PM

    Actually just looked, you updated your blog the day after.

  50. Scott G

    September 17, 2013 09:02 PM

    See I don’t think people critique Howard for anything “personal”. “Howard’s” critiques come as a result of 1) his pay (not even directed at him, at least it shouldn’t be), and 2) his steady decline from 06 til now. He was an amazing hitter his first few years. High average, high OBP, high HRs. Then people started to figure him out, he failed to counter, and then suffered a couple injuries that took after from some of his abilities.

    The “lazy” attack on Rollins is more personal in nature, and that’s why it bothers me.

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