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The Epic of Craig Biggio

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Furious Jam, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. Furious Jam

    Furious Jam Member

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    http://www.slate.com/id/2184797/pagenum/all/#page_start

    This is from a leading authority and is pretty accurate - warts and all. You can read it in different ways, but for me, it confirms what I always believed - there was never a player with more heart than Craig Biggio.
     
  2. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

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    The interesting thing about that article, is that as much as Bill James has followed Biggio's career, he writes that Biggio moved to CF as the result of an injury to someone, rather than the fact that it was due to Kent's signing.

    Biggio did play a few games in CF years before Kent came around (that MAY have been due to an injury), but the article implies this was when he made his 2 year shift.
     
    13 in 33 likes this.
  3. kaleidosky

    kaleidosky Your Tweety Bird dance just cost us a run

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    i liked it. I think it captures a lot of what I thought about Bidge too.
     
  4. leroy

    leroy Member

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    Good article. We all know why he played the last 2 years. It's no secret that he was going for 3,000 hits. I'm glad he did it and I will never forget seeing it happen.

    The #1 Astro of all time.
     
  5. BranJ17

    BranJ17 Member

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    The article says, "Later on, after an injury, the Astros needed a center fielder. Craig Biggio raised his hand and said, "I can play center. We've got other guys here who can cover second; put me in center."

    I think James is trying to imply that Biggio moved to CF after HE was injured. Remember he had knee surgury a few years prior to the move to CF. The last sentence refers to Jeff Kent being able to "cover" second.
     
  6. Major Malcontent

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    Sounds like SABR superstar crap to me. I liked him when he was relatively unknown and excelled at all my cool new stats. Then regular rank and file baseball fans who aren't geniuses like me and go to games instead of pouring over stat sheets discovered him and he wasn't cool any more.

    So I went back to the Slide Rule and discovered that he (GASP) hits bad pitchers better than he hits good ones.

    He obviously hung on waaaaay too long to get 3k hits. He BLOCKED the awesome Chris Burke who had good minor league AEIOU+ and RSVP/9 numbers and was thus destined to be a supah-supah star.
     
  7. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

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    That may be what he intended to imply, but it is still inaccurate. The Astros signed Kent, assumed Biggio would accept the move to CF and he did.
     
  8. msn

    msn Member

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    Five star post.
     
  9. The Cat

    The Cat Member

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    Doubles, triples, batting average, stolen bases, stolen base percentage, hit by pitches, double plays grounded into, walks and strikeouts are "cool new stats" or "SABR" stats? :confused: Can you elaborate?
     
  10. msn

    msn Member

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    He lists those here, but I believe he was using "Win Shares" or some other superstat when he made his argument for Bidge.
     
  11. The Cat

    The Cat Member

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    I've seen that, but Major's attacking him over this article, which doesn't include anything like that. Besides, win shares are largely comprised of basic numbers such as those.

    The one issue I have with the piece is I think it's a little irresponsible to make the case he does about Biggio hammering poor pitchers but struggling against elite ones without having Biggio's numbers in the 1990s. He says he'll have to do some more research, but why not do it before the article?

    My recollection -- and this isn't statistically-based, just my gut feel by watching -- is that Biggio's split became more pronounced later in his career, when he became even more of a pull hitter due to the Crawford Boxes and more frequently sat on certain pitches to compensate for declining bat speed. That's natural, though, and until the second half of 2006 and most of 2007, he was still a very effective hitter doing that.

    But while Biggio was an overachiever in general, I doubt if the pronounced split he had in recent years against elite pitchers would be nearly as much in his prime. That, to me, seemed largely age-based and a necessary late-career adjustment to remain effective. It seems really odd that James didn't do the research on this before publishing it.
     
  12. Aceshigh7

    Aceshigh7 Member

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    But, even taking his decline into consideration, those last two years, Bidge was as good or better than anyone we would have had playing 2nd base in his absence anyways. All things considered and excluding stolen bases, I don't think Matsui will put up better numbers than Biggio would have this year.
     
  13. The Cat

    The Cat Member

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    Burke was a superior hitter in 2006 and likely would've been in 2007 had he had more playing time. That said, the gap wasn't huge or anything and certainly it wouldn't have made much of a difference in the overall wins and losses. And with Burke a necessary part of the deal to get Valverde, it's all irrelevant anyway.

    (EDIT: Actually, I just realized that Burke played a decent amount of CF in 2006, and if theoretically he had been at second, it would have meant Taveras (in his bad weeks) playing instead of Biggio, and that wouldn't have been an upgrade. So it definitely didn't mean much.)
     
  14. The Cat

    The Cat Member

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    If Matsui has a .285 OBP and an OPS in the mid .600s, he'll be by far the worst offseason signing in baseball and he'll be benched for Mark Loretta by May. Hope you're wrong.
     
  15. kaleidosky

    kaleidosky Your Tweety Bird dance just cost us a run

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    Definitely agree there, but at least he openly acknowledged it.
     
  16. Hammer755

    Hammer755 Member

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    So how do you think Win Shares are calculated? Using doubles, triples, batting average, stolen bases, stolen base percentage, hit by pitches, double plays grounded into, walks and strikeouts.
     
  17. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    I enjoyed the article. I felt like Bidge held on too long. I think the Astros could have acquired better help for his pay the last few years.

    I did find it odd that he liked Biggio less as Biggio became popular.
     
  18. Buck Turgidson

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    So...all players get old & great players tend to stick around too long? This is truly, deeply, revolutionary stuff you got here, Bill.
     
  19. msn

    msn Member

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    And how does he decide how much weight each statistic gets in the "win share"? Hocus-pocus.
     
  20. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Member

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    What's up with all the Bill James bashing? I think it's a good article.

    I think his main point is this graph:

    I'll still say today, if there was a draft and you could look ahead and say, "OK, that guy's going to be Ken Griffey, that guy's going to be Frank Thomas, that guy's going to be Juan Gonzalez, that guy's going to be Tom Glavine, that guy's going to be Craig Biggio," just give me Biggio and I'll take my chances. Maybe that's not what the numbers say is the right answer, but Biggio was the guy who would do whatever needed to be done.

    Maybe nothing new to Astros fans, but I think a lot of people still underrate Biggio.
     
    13 in 33 likes this.

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