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Larry Walker or Roberto Clemente?

GoldenageGoldenage Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited December 9, 2022 8:39AM in Sports Talk

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    craig44craig44 Posts: 10,523 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I saw that one on FB. Pretty cool stat. Walker was a monster in the 90s for sure.

    George Brett, Roger Clemens and Tommy Brady.

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    BaltimoreYankeeBaltimoreYankee Posts: 2,903 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes, Larry Walker had himself a great career in Colorado but he should not be mentioned in the same sentence as Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker.

    Daniel
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    MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,891 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 9, 2022 11:05AM

    @BaltimoreYankee said: Yes, Larry Walker had himself a great career in Colorado but he should not be mentioned in the same sentence as Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker.

    Why not??

    Both of them played the same approximate time and had stats that are pretty close. The only real difference is that one died a sadly tragic death and the other is still alive. Should a special election waiver have been made for Clemente?? That's not for me to decide, but he would have probably gotten in eventually if he had lived a normal lifespan. Should Walker have had to wait 10 years to be voted in?? Again, not for me to decide but it seems like a long time when you consider other easily elected members.

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    GoldenageGoldenage Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 9, 2022 11:44AM

    OBP
    SLG
    OPS
    OPS+

    All favor Walker easily.

    But……………….

    Clemente’s WAR is 22 points higher.

    😱🙃🙃🙃🙃😱

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    coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Clemente... not going to discuss further. End of discussion.

    Experience the World through Numismatics...it's more than you can imagine.

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    JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,214 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Larry Walker is SIXTEENTH all time in SLG! With a .313 career BA.

    I don't care what parks he played in that is amazing!

    Better than Mays, Mantle and Musial in SLG.

    Plus there's 3 juicers ahead of him that shouldn't be and a couple of current guys who might drop down as they hit their "old man years".

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
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    coolstanleycoolstanley Posts: 2,455 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 9, 2022 7:10PM

    Clemente's stats are more impressive considering he played in a pitchers ball park.

    Terry Bradshaw was AMAZING!!

    Ignore list -Basebal21

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    TabeTabe Posts: 5,927 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Walker hit .282 outside of Colorado. He hit .381 in Colorado. That's why he's slighted (somewhat).

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    dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 4,115 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't know the story or circumstances, but Clemente spent his first five year in the majors as a pretty bad player. So the fact that he played longer than Walker doesn't really give him a boost; take away those first five years and you haven't even dented Clemente's HOF credentials.

    Take away those five years and Clemente has an OPS+ of 141, same as Walker, and WPA of 49.2 (Walker 51.5), in a career about the same length as Walker. Clemente was a very good right fielder, but if he'd been a great outfielder he would have played CF. Bill Virdon was much better than Clemente, so he played CF. Larry Walker also played RF, and he played it every bit as well as Clemente. Walker was no Vince Coleman, but he was considerably better on the basepaths than Clemente, and Clemente ground into a lot more double plays.

    As hitters they're about equals, but the DPs knock Clemente down a notch. As fielders, they were about equals, and, seriously, we're talking about right fielders; there's not enough value here for any difference to matter. And Walker is the clear winner on the basepaths. Walker wasn't a lot better than Clemente, but he was better.

    Interesting thought about Clemente. If he had hit in his second season as poorly as he hit in his third season, his career might have ended right there. He hit well enough in this second season that the Pirates were willing to give him another try after he tanked in season three, and he hit well enough (barely) in seasons four and five to hold his job long enough to become the Clemente that people remember today.

    This is for you @thisistheshow - Jim Rice was actually a pretty good player.
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    daltexdaltex Posts: 3,486 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 9, 2022 10:51PM

    @Maywood said:

    Both of them played the same approximate time and had stats that are pretty close.

    Seriously? Not going to address the relative worth of the two players, but one was 6 when the other, um, rather forcefully retired. 6.

    It's like saying Babe Ruth and Amos Rusie played at the same approximate time, or, on the other hand, Ruth and Al Kaline.

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    coolstanleycoolstanley Posts: 2,455 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One player is a World Series hero, while the other batted 230 in the postseason.
    Clemente finished in top 10 MVP voting 8 times, Walker 4x.

    Terry Bradshaw was AMAZING!!

    Ignore list -Basebal21

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    MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,891 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @daltex, they "played the same approximate time" as in 18 years. In your interpretation I would have used the word AT in the sentence.

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    GoldenageGoldenage Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coolstanley said:
    One player is a World Series hero, while the other batted 230 in the postseason.
    Clemente finished in top 10 MVP voting 8 times, Walker 4x.

    Walkers OPS and SLG beats Clemente in the postseason.

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    JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,214 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I looked at Walkers splits. No argument that he (almost) always hit well at home. If you spend (waste?) the time, you will see there were plenty of times he CRUSHED the ball on the road, even in pitchers parks.
    The two players had a similar BA, Walker had a higher OBP. The HUGE difference was in SLG, Clemente had 5 seasons above .500, none above .600. Walker had those 5 plus 4 over .600 and 2 above .700!
    Walker was better on the basepaths too.
    Clemente had a cannon for an arm, Walker's arm must have been good too, he had several years of double digit assists from RF.
    Clemente is borderline worshipped in the hobby, while Walker is practically shunned.
    As hitters, I don't see it being close. Walker clearly superior.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
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    GoldenageGoldenage Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JoeBanzai said:
    I looked at Walkers splits. No argument that he (almost) always hit well at home. If you spend (waste?) the time, you will see there were plenty of times he CRUSHED the ball on the road, even in pitchers parks.
    The two players had a similar BA, Walker had a higher OBP. The HUGE difference was in SLG, Clemente had 5 seasons above .500, none above .600. Walker had those 5 plus 4 over .600 and 2 above .700!
    Walker was better on the basepaths too.
    Clemente had a cannon for an arm, Walker's arm must have been good too, he had several years of double digit assists from RF.
    Clemente is borderline worshipped in the hobby, while Walker is practically shunned.
    As hitters, I don't see it being close. Walker clearly superior.

    Walker had a slightly better career than Clemente. He was better.

    You probably won’t get one guy over 55 to admit to it.

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    coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I can see that I got an LOL so that in my view gives me an open book to respond. And I will start with a simple statement... Can we just keep comparisons within the same time frame that the players played? I really don't think that is too much to ask. Walker was a great player and who can really argue the point?

    Why is there some obsessive compulsive reason to compare players that simply played when the game was different? Compare Clemente to someone like Kaline or Rocky C. as that makes more sense than what has been suggested here.

    Experience the World through Numismatics...it's more than you can imagine.

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    HydrantHydrant Posts: 7,773 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 10, 2022 1:58PM

    @coinkat said:

    ........And I will start with a simple statement... Can we just keep comparisons within the same time frame that the players played?

    You nailed it Coinkat........It's a fool's errand comparing players from different eras......

    My thoughts on Clemente.......He was a very good player during his time....But for me personally, there's much more to it....Much more. He was a good man......He died in a plane crash....He was on a flight that was delivering relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua...... And it's not important, but when I was a boy, I wrote him a letter asking for his autograph...... He sent me the autograph....... But not just that. He included a very nice note. I still have both. He didn't have to do either.... But he did. He cared about people. That's more important than all the statistics on Earth......Then I was at a game a few years later and he hit a GRAND SLAM...I liked that!...Also, the first MLB game that I ever went to was a Dodger/Pirates game in 1965...Our seats were on the right field side....I watched him the whole game.....I loved those Pirate uniforms....I'll never forget it. I was a boy in Heaven!.....He was GOOD!....One of my favorites!

    P.S. Another thing about that first game I went to......It was on a Friday night(?). .And it was during the Watts Riot in L.A. The air at Dodger Stadium smelled like burning wood and paint......Then smoke began to fill the stadium...... I'll never forget the last out of the game.....It was a high pop-up that came down through layer after layer of smoke.......The Dodger third baseman, his name was John Kennedy, caught it.....Fitting name for the times.....I can see it now....


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    1948_Swell_Robinson1948_Swell_Robinson Posts: 1,682 ✭✭✭✭

    @dallasactuary said:
    I don't know the story or circumstances, but Clemente spent his first five year in the majors as a pretty bad player. So the fact that he played longer than Walker doesn't really give him a boost; take away those first five years and you haven't even dented Clemente's HOF credentials.

    Take away those five years and Clemente has an OPS+ of 141, same as Walker, and WPA of 49.2 (Walker 51.5), in a career about the same length as Walker. Clemente was a very good right fielder, but if he'd been a great outfielder he would have played CF. Bill Virdon was much better than Clemente, so he played CF. Larry Walker also played RF, and he played it every bit as well as Clemente. Walker was no Vince Coleman, but he was considerably better on the basepaths than Clemente, and Clemente ground into a lot more double plays.

    As hitters they're about equals, but the DPs knock Clemente down a notch. As fielders, they were about equals, and, seriously, we're talking about right fielders; there's not enough value here for any difference to matter. And Walker is the clear winner on the basepaths. Walker wasn't a lot better than Clemente, but he was better.

    Interesting thought about Clemente. If he had hit in his second season as poorly as he hit in his third season, his career might have ended right there. He hit well enough in this second season that the Pirates were willing to give him another try after he tanked in season three, and he hit well enough (barely) in seasons four and five to hold his job long enough to become the Clemente that people remember today.

    Larry Walker has taken more than his share of days off vs left handed pitchers, and he only played when 100%, both of which helps his percentages, but hurts his teams.

    So you have to apply some Ken Phelps factor to him and some Mr. Glass factor.

    Walker never suffered old man years either, so that also helps his percentages. Of course Clemente didn't either, so in this direct case, that point is moot.

    Walker is clearly a vastly different hitter outside of Coors. Still outstanding in some of those years outside of Coors, but not Clemente level outstanding.

    Walker also played in the live ball era where the star hitters benefitted more so than the Felix Fermin's of the world.

    When people get all giddy about Walker's last year with the Cardinals where he put up a 130 OPS+ as some type of evidence that he wasn't a product of Coors.

    1. 130 is still nothing like the stuff he put in Coors.
    2. He was a full on platoon player with 299 Plate Appearances vs RH and only 69 VS LH. Ken Phelps.
    3. He was also a platoon player in 2004.
    4. SO yes, he was a vastly different player without the aide of Coors. He was .381/.462/.710 at Coors. Mortal everywhere else.
    5. And its only 299 plate appearances you are looking at. Nothing to get giddy about. Knowing he was Ken Phelps, nobody should ever bring that point up again, let alone believe you discovered something.

    So the OPS+ comparison is not quite telling the full story. Considering those factors above, their OPS+ is closer than it shows.

    However, with 10,212 plate appearances for Clemente, compared to 8,030 for Walker, that is a large difference.

    As for that meme, those clubs are rather pointless. For one, his percentages are at that level because of Coors and because he only had 8,000 career plate appearances, and had a Ken Phelps factor. That renders it pointless already.

    Second, so if someone else was 11 stolen bases away, but hit 175 more home runs, that is supposed to make me more impressed with Walker? Hardly. Again, pointless club.

    Finally, if someone does not understand those points above, then riddle me this:

    Is Ken Phelps also better than Clemente???

    Phelps has a lifetime 133 OPS+
    Clemente has a lifetime 130 OPS+

    Phelps has a higher lifetime SLG% over Clemente too.

    Answer is NO.

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    coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Did not see the following two posts coming..

    Experience the World through Numismatics...it's more than you can imagine.

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    dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 4,115 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If Larry Walker has a Ken Phelps problem it's microscopic and I don't see it. In his career he faced LHP in almost exactly 30% of his plate appearances. Tim Raines, a switch hitter whose career largely overlapped Walker's, faced LHP in just under 29% of his plate appearances. Phelps faced LHP in 11% of his PA.

    So if I adjust Walker to remove his Phelps problem, how many PA vs. LHP should I add? Compared to Raines, I'd actually have to take away PA against LHP. If I use Chipper Jones, another switch hitter who faced LHP less than 28% of the time, I'd have to take away even more. Same with Roberto Alomar. Same with Chili Davis. If I use Bernie Williams (31.5%), I finally get a positive number; I need to add 172 PA vs. LHP to Walker's stats. If I do that his OPS+ changes from 140.5 to 140.3. That, I think, is the absolute maximum benefit that Walker got from platooning - about 2 batter runs for his career.

    Saying a player who faced LHP more often than 4 out of 5 of the switch hitters I checked has an unfair platooning advantage doesn't seem right to me. But if you want to take 2 runs off his career I won't object. If you want to take off more than that, I will.

    And note that Walker's OPS vs. LHP was over .900. Who, exactly, do you think Walker's managers had on the bench with an OPS > .900 vs. LHP to replace Walker with? The answer: nobody, which is why Walker wasn't platooned. If his managers ever did bench him vs. LHP, I would still find it hard to hold their idiocy against Walker.

    This is for you @thisistheshow - Jim Rice was actually a pretty good player.
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    1948_Swell_Robinson1948_Swell_Robinson Posts: 1,682 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 10, 2022 4:06PM

    @dallasactuary said:
    If Larry Walker has a Ken Phelps problem it's microscopic and I don't see it. In his career he faced LHP in almost exactly 30% of his plate appearances. Tim Raines, a switch hitter whose career largely overlapped Walker's, faced LHP in just under 29% of his plate appearances. Phelps faced LHP in 11% of his PA.

    So if I adjust Walker to remove his Phelps problem, how many PA vs. LHP should I add? Compared to Raines, I'd actually have to take away PA against LHP. If I use Chipper Jones, another switch hitter who faced LHP less than 28% of the time, I'd have to take away even more. Same with Roberto Alomar. Same with Chili Davis. If I use Bernie Williams (31.5%), I finally get a positive number; I need to add 172 PA vs. LHP to Walker's stats. If I do that his OPS+ changes from 140.5 to 140.3. That, I think, is the absolute maximum benefit that Walker got from platooning - about 2 batter runs for his career.

    Saying a player who faced LHP more often than 4 out of 5 of the switch hitters I checked has an unfair platooning advantage doesn't seem right to me. But if you want to take 2 runs off his career I won't object. If you want to take off more than that, I will.

    And note that Walker's OPS vs. LHP was over .900. Who, exactly, do you think Walker's managers had on the bench with an OPS > .900 vs. LHP to replace Walker with? The answer: nobody, which is why Walker wasn't platooned. If his managers ever did bench him vs. LHP, I would still find it hard to hold their idiocy against Walker.

    He did it at the end of his career and it saved his percentages to make it look like Coors wasn't that big of an affect for him. He was a platoon player his last two years.

    For the rest of his career, I agree, it is a small amount, but he did sit(although today that is now normal) in his prime too.

    Using a switch hitter isn't completely accurate. Managers don't typically go out of their way to make a switch hitter face a certain hand. Managers are more willing to ensure that lefties are going to face lefties, whether by starting a lefty to face the lefty elite lineup, or the bullpen...so he did still evade them because his at bats should have been even more against them. To be fair, Walker isn't the only lefty who tends to miss more left handed pitchers.

    Have to go game by game and at bat by at bat to see how many lefties he missed.

    Did you take out the Coors factor for his OPS vs lefties?

    Is his manager an idiot for sitting him vs a lefty? Maybe. But in the end, if Walker was sitting vs a lefty more than he should have, then it saved his percentages, whether it was his choice or the manager's is irrelevant because it saved his percentages.

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    1948_Swell_Robinson1948_Swell_Robinson Posts: 1,682 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 10, 2022 4:19PM

    @dallasactuary Walker's career road OPS was only .865. so his true ability(not Coors enhanced) vs lefties is in the .700's somewhere.

    And in that era, the league average OPS ranged from .756 to .782. So there would be options with a right handed bat to have a favorable matchup over Walker.

    In the end, he platooned all of 2004 and 2005. That really helped his OPS that year and I'm showing that because there are peop.le who believe Coors wasn't taht big a facto because they cite that year away from Coors...but they forget he platooned.

    Walker is waaaaay more of a product of Coors than Jim Rice is of Fenway and it isn't even close.

    Double Walker's road stats like you do to Rice, and then compare them to his era where the league average OPS got up to .782.

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    BrickBrick Posts: 4,938 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Goldenage said:

    >

    Walker had a slightly better career than Clemente. He was better.

    You probably won’t get one guy over 55 to admit to it.

    I'm over 55. Not only do I not admit it, when I noticed there was any thought this was a possibility I wondered if you whippersnappers were on drugs.

    Collecting 1960 Topps Baseball in PSA 8
    http://www.unisquare.com/store/brick/

    Ralph

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    1948_Swell_Robinson1948_Swell_Robinson Posts: 1,682 ✭✭✭✭

    @dallasactuary

    You may be correct that during the bulk of Walker's career he was not a platoon player, and that his occasional sits vs left handed pitchers probably amounted to a few runs lost over his 18 year career( his last two years he WAS Ken Phelps though).

    But what is lost is that Walker sits and the team's 'Darin Ruf' is then pressed into action, which means Ruf isn't playing instead of another weaker hitter on the team, and it also means that 'Ruf'(or the second best Ruf) is not available later in the game when the situation is begging for his presence and a win truly hangs in the balance.

    Sure, Walker sitting may mean it only cost the team .003 sabermetric uns, but by having to use your team's other valuable resources in Walkers stead, it may have also cost them an actual win, and this is where Sabermetrics loses fans....and can lose games.

    Conversely, if you have a guy like Eddie Murray(Garvey, Schmidt, Rice) who played every day, that means John Lowenstein and Gary Roenicke were both always available to start for another weaker hitter to take advantage of a platoon split, or they were available later in the game for either a substitution or pinch hit for when the situation most direly dictated their need. That means wins. That cannot be captured sabermetrically because the .003 runs doesn't do it justice.

    Murray(Garvey, Schmidt, or Rice) could have sat against a non favorable matchup and saved their percentage a hair(more than a hair depending how often they do it like Phelps), but their ability to play through every matchup and health concern means more wins for the team, more so than what the .003 runs are saying it made, because if having Lowenstein available in a dire game situation resulted in just converting one loss to a win, it already eclipsed that value of .003 by leaps and bounds.

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    dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 4,115 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I admit that you kind of lost me here, but I think the complaint is that Walker missed a lot of games, not that he sat out against lefties (because there's no evidence that he did, at least until his last season). And Walker did sit out a lot of games. In fact, he may have sat out almost as many games as Clemente, who missed an average of 25 games a season.

    In a Walker/Clemente comparison, Walker's missed games, for whatever reason they were missed, is simply a non-factor.

    This is for you @thisistheshow - Jim Rice was actually a pretty good player.
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    daltexdaltex Posts: 3,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Maywood said:
    @daltex, they "played the same approximate time" as in 18 years. In your interpretation I would have used the word AT in the sentence.

    Ah, I misread that. Thank you.

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    TabeTabe Posts: 5,927 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Clemente was 38 when his career ended and Walker was just shy of 39. Both guys had old man years.

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    BLUEJAYWAYBLUEJAYWAY Posts: 8,016 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Hydrant said:

    @coinkat said:

    ........And I will start with a simple statement... Can we just keep comparisons within the same time frame that the players played?

    You nailed it Coinkat........It's a fool's errand comparing players from different eras......

    My thoughts on Clemente.......He was a very good player during his time....But for me personally, there's much more to it....Much more. He was a good man......He died in a plane crash....He was on a flight that was delivering relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua...... And it's not important, but when I was a boy, I wrote him a letter asking for his autograph...... He sent me the autograph....... But not just that. He included a very nice note. I still have both. He didn't have to do either.... But he did. He cared about people. That's more important than all the statistics on Earth......Then I was at a game a few years later and he hit a GRAND SLAM...I liked that!...Also, the first MLB game that I ever went to was a Dodger/Pirates game in 1965...Our seats were on the right field side....I watched him the whole game.....I loved those Pirate uniforms....I'll never forget it. I was a boy in Heaven!.....He was GOOD!....One of my favorites!

    P.S. Another thing about that first game I went to......It was on a Friday night(?). .And it was during the Watts Riot in L.A. The air at Dodger Stadium smelled like burning wood and paint......Then smoke began to fill the stadium...... I'll never forget the last out of the game.....It was a high pop-up that came down through layer after layer of smoke.......The Dodger third baseman, his name was John Kennedy, caught it.....Fitting name for the times.....I can see it now....


    May we see the note from Clemente? Would be interesting to see it.

    Successful transactions:Tookybandit. "Everyone is equal, some are more equal than others".
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