I am an "Old School" guy, and proud of it most of the time. In fact, I go so far back, I can recall when rainbows were still in black and white, and televisions were run by gas.
When it comes to selecting All-Anything teams, I always catch it from some (usually young) brainiac who tells me that I can't compare Pete Rose to Ty Cobb or Chase Utley to Nap LaJoie.
Then I am presented with comparisons beginning with lower case letters followed by all caps: wRC, wOBA, tRA, etc., ad nauseum.
The statistics I have been using since I traded in my Dinosaur, I am told, are "counting" statistics. To put it caveman style, they don't show the true picture.
ERA is more of a team stat, they tell me, than something that a pitcher has control over. What size park was he pitching in? What kind of defense was behind him. Who played shortstop, a guy with great range, or a leaper (Jeter)? What the heck?
RBI actually tell you little, they say. A guy with "OBP" guys ahead of him is more likely to have 100 of them than the power hitter with guys ahead of him with OBPs of .300. That is a fact right there.
Anyway, I am saying that I am attempting to wrap my prehistoric brain around all this stuff that resembles Albert Einstein with a ball cap on backwards at a chalkboard.
With that as a backdrop, I want to give you the MLB Sabermetric Team. The numbers (don't want to call them stats) I used for hitters are simply wRC+ (weighted runs created) which already takes into account league and park factors, so it should work in any era, yes?
The other number for a hitter is the old standby and I believe an earlier creation of Sabermetrics, OPS+. That is OBP + SLG % adjusted to league average.
For pitchers I used ERA+ (ERA adjusted to league and park), FIP (fielding independent pitching) and BAA (simply the batting average against the pitcher).
This list does not include current players. I have included Pedro Martinez since he isn't currently playing.
Buckle up kiddies, time for the reveal.
1. Joe Wood (Smoky)
2. Pedro Martinez and Ed Walsh (tied)
4. Walter Johnson and Rube Waddell (tied)
1. Mike Piazza
2. Mickey Cochrane
1. Lou Gehrig
2. Jimmie Foxx and Dan Brouthers (tied)
1. Rogers Hornsby
2. Nap LaJoie and Eddie Collins (tied)
1. Dick Allen (don't shoot the messenger)
2. Mike Schmidt
1. Honus Wagner
2. Arky Vaughan
1. Ted Williams
2. Barry Bonds (metrics do not detect steroids)
1. Mickey Mantle
2. Ty Cobb
1. Babe Ruth
2. Joe Jackson (Shoeless)
There you have it. With a few exceptions, it is just as it is using Caveman Latin. I know Allen played first base a little more than he did at third.
I would like to have seen Stan Musial up in here somewhere, but, not to be.
Many will want to argue that Wood doesn't belong on the list, but he really does. He had a short career, but then, so did Koufax. Go figure.
I threw Shoeless Joe in right, because in the old days you can't cipher whether a man played left or right. The man deserves some ups. Give him a break.
Seriously, I am wanting to lean toward Sabermetrics, so if you are so inclined, help me if you can.