"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Robbie v. Dusty

According to Rob Neyer


1 Simone   ~  Feb 9, 2011 1:34 pm

Totally off topic, but I just read the NY Times' articles on the Wilpon/Katz involvement with Madoff's ponzi scheme. If a quarter of Picard's allegations are true, Wilpon and Katz are up shit's creek without a paddle. Regardless, they can't keep their Madoff profits and if they didn't settle, it must be because they don't have the cash to do so. It will take a miracle for them to hang on to the Mets. What a nightmare for MLB and I suppose, Mets fans. As bad as this is, it is an opportunity for Selig to find the Mets a better owner.

2 thelarmis   ~  Feb 9, 2011 1:47 pm

yeah, i'll take Robbie, thank you very much. i'm surprised Rob the Yankee Hater did, but happy about it. there's a good interview w/ him over at No Maas...

3 TheGreenMan   ~  Feb 9, 2011 1:59 pm

It's a good argument and it's hard to pick one over the other, but Robbie is a slightly better hitter on the road than he is at home while Pedroia is significantly better at Fenway than he is on the road. So his overall stats are skewed a bit more by home park effect. Taking that into account, I pick Robbie. But they are real close.

4 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 9, 2011 2:35 pm

[2] Boo, thelarmis, Neyer is most certainly not a Yankee-hater, though he's had some venom for them. I give him a pass on that - how can you not forgive a guy who, as a kid, saw the Yanks consistently destroy his favorite team? I can't blame him.

In any case, I think it comes to down to Cano's health vs Pedroia's age - who can stay on the field, at a higher level, for longer?

5 thelarmis   ~  Feb 9, 2011 3:33 pm

[4] hey, wait a minute!!! i didn't say i "didn't forgive him," or anything like that. i've read Neyer every single day for the last decade, or so. i'm a fan. but sometimes, in his sweet spot blog, it got really annoying as he would go out of his way to say some disparaging remark about the yanks, then brown-nose the sh*t sox organization. that's all.

i enjoyed his interview at no maas, as well as his time at espn. i've read a few things at SB, though i don't believe i'll be following him there. i have no time to add another baseball site to my everyday reading...

6 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 9, 2011 3:34 pm

[1] There is some legal question over whether they can keep the profits. Madoff wasn't a traditional Ponzi scheme. He was basically a broker/dealer reporting false profits. By the letter of the law, a b/d is obligated to honor the financial information it reports, so if interpreted in a strict sense, Sterling would be entitled to the false profits. In other words, the lack of a settlement doesn't necessarily mean the Wilpons don't have the cash.

As for Robbie vs. Dusty, it should be noted that defensiv metrics seem to overrate Pedroia and underrate Cano (at least when compared to scouting reports), so using WAR, especially fangraph's version, makes it seem statistically close than it really is.

7 Jon DeRosa   ~  Feb 9, 2011 3:49 pm

Cano vs Pedroia is also a classic question of style. Cano has permanently won me over with his talent, but I can't say with total confidence that his effort is as sincere as Pedroia's.

8 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 9, 2011 4:06 pm

7) Hard to say because on the surface Cano is laid-back while Pedroia is "gritty" and a spaz.

9 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 9, 2011 4:13 pm

[7] Nothing riles me more than that persistent characterization.

10 Jon DeRosa   ~  Feb 9, 2011 4:59 pm

[8 & 9] That's why I talked about it in terms of style - not talent or productivity or value. For a lot of fans, that matters and might make them prefer one to the other. Not me, I'll take the talent.

[9] You think Cano is busting it all the time? I don't. I also don't think that makes him much different than most players. Pedroia seems cut from a different, smaller cloth.

11 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Feb 9, 2011 5:01 pm

[9] Agreed. Perhaps if Cano fell down more while stumbling for a ground ball and got his uniform dirty..

Both great players, Cano wins it because of Fenway Factor.

12 Jon DeRosa   ~  Feb 9, 2011 5:05 pm

[9 & 11] I don't understand your objections. You guys think Cano gives the same effort as Pedroia? Cano is great, I'll take him over Pedroia any day, but Cano has numerous lapses when his head isn't the game.

13 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 9, 2011 5:07 pm

[6] Excellent point on the defense, william. I'll be curious to see what BP's revised WARP, which I trust more than fWAR or bWAR, says when its fully unveiled.

14 Sliced Bread   ~  Feb 9, 2011 5:13 pm

they're comparable defensive players, but Cano's power makes him far more valuable. Plus, he's not a child-sized rodent.

15 Jon DeRosa   ~  Feb 9, 2011 5:22 pm

[9 & 11] How about this revision - change "effort" to "intensity." pedroia seems into the game in an extreme way. cano seems to be engaged less fully. they just approach the game differently, and a lotof fans appreciate pedroia's obvious intensity.

16 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 9, 2011 11:11 pm

[10] Yes, I think Cano gives a max effort most of the time. He just doesn't need to throw his body on the ground and run with his arms pumping to give it. For some reason, because Cano has more style (and talent), many people assume he gives less effort. Sadly, this seems to be a tag many Latin players are forced to wear. I guess being a short, scrappy white guy is good for one's image.

17 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 9, 2011 11:12 pm

[15] I think what lots of fans appreciate is Pedroia looks just like them and can still compete on the major league level, while guys like Cano possess a level of talent that make the normal guy feel like he really does belong watching in the stands.

18 Jon DeRosa   ~  Feb 10, 2011 9:16 am

[16] "Most of the time" is not the same as "always" and I think that is the clear distinction here. Pedroia is the outlier in that he is always full tilt, Cano is the norm by doing it only most of the time. Pedroia's constant intensity may even HURT the team, because maybe it means he gets injured more often.

I'm saying it's morally superior to be like pedroia, but as you said in [17] that may help some fans identify with him and can explain his popularity.

19 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 10, 2011 9:57 am

[18] I don't think anyone always gives a full effort. Pedroia may seem as if he does because he is usually required to exert full effort more often (what Robbie can smoothly backhand in the hole, Pedroia has to throw his body to the ground, pop up and sling the ball to first). I don't see why that's "morally superior", or why morality would even come into play.

20 Jon DeRosa   ~  Feb 10, 2011 10:26 am

[19] that should be "i'm not saying it's morally superior" so we're in agreement there.

let's boil this down to the specifics. if cano hits a deep ball, does he run hard out of the box more or less often than pedroia? if cano hits a grounder w/ a man on first, does he run hard out of the to beat the double play more or less often than pedroia?

i personally have seen cano turn several doubles into singles, i have seen him give up on many double plays. i have seen pedroia less often than cano, but i've never seen him do either one of those things.

21 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 10, 2011 1:12 pm

[20] I don't see Pedroia nearly as much as Cano, so I can't answer those questions. However, I don't really equate effort with things like running hard down the line every single time (I'd agree that Cano may jog down the line on routine groundouts, but I don't think he does so when a DP is in order). To me, effort is doing everything you can to maxmize your talent. In Cano's case, I think his smooth style does just that. For Pedroia, a frantic pace seems to do the trick.

Even if you want to give credit to Pedroia for busting it down the line regardless of likely outcome, I don't think the one or two plays it might affect is worth noting the distinction between the players.

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