Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wezen: The greatest teammates of all time

Quite an excellent piece of work by FOTB wezen-ball. He starts by asking the question: "What team did have the best collection of young talent playing together at one time, and was there a way to quantify it?"

That's a pretty tough challenge and while there is no fool-proof way to do that, his use of Win-Shares is as reasonable as any.

The question was too intriguing to ignore and so, first chance I got, I started exploring it. First off, I decided to use Win Shares as my metric. I know it's not necessarily a perfect stat, but I think it should work well here. Once that decision was made, I needed to define exactly what I was looking for.

This is how I would describe the query I used: find all teams that have 3 or more players who started their season with that club and played more than half the season there, who are in the first half of their career and who have 300 or more career Win Shares.
Have a read and examine Lar's results. They are very interesting.
The first thing you'll notice is the utter dominance of this list by the 1960s and 1970s Cincinnati Reds. In the eleven seasons spanning 1964 and 1974, the Reds qualified for this list in nine of them, using various combinations of Vada Pinson, Tony Perez, Frank Robinson, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and Jim Morgan. Pinson and Perez may not be among baseball's immortals, but there's little doubt that the others are. The Reds were able to maintain their place on the list by a fortuitous combination of young stars and long tenure (i.e., they're stars came up early and they stayed on the team for a long time). They were, however, only able to make it to the World Series twice in those eleven years, winning neither time (they did win back-to-back Series in 1975 and 1976, though).
Yet another example of a blogger doing something other than sitting in his mom's basement in his underwear (or just being derivative like me).

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