Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » November 2004 » Over at all-baseball.com....

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11/15/2004: Over at all-baseball.com....

Rich Lederer continues making the Hall of Fame case for Cardinals CF Jim Edmonds:

While A-Rod has certainly received his due throughout his career, Edmonds is generally viewed as a good player rather than a great player. Edmondsí offensive productivity has essentially been the same as Rodriguezí over the past four years during a period in which the latter has won an MVP and led the league in home runs three times, runs and total bases twice, plus slugging average, extra-base hits, runs batted in, and runs created once each.

Iím not trying to take away anything from A-Rod. He deservedly is considered one of the two best players in all of baseball and the finest in his league. Rodriguez was also on pace to become one of the two best shortstops in the history of the game before shifting to third base last year in an attempt to win his first World Series championship. When A-Rod retires, he will be remembered as an inner circle Hall of Fameróperhaps one of the top 20 players ever.

Why then is Edmonds so overlooked? Itís my contention that he unfairly gets grouped among all outfielders rather than just center fielders when discussing and comparing players. Comparing CF to LF and RF is almost like viewing SS in the same light as 1B and 3B. Just as not any infielder can play short, most corner outfielders are incapable of playing center. Saying that Edmonds ďplays centerĒ is an understatement. He has won seven Gold Gloves, including five in a row.

Although Edmonds ranks among the best outfielders as detailed in the table above, he has unquestionably been the best center fielder in the game over the past four years.

Center Fielders
RCAA (2001-2004)
[RCAA = "Runs Created Above Average", a measure of offensive excellence --LRC]

1 Jim Edmonds 216
2 Carlos Beltran 121
3 Bernie Williams 91
4 Lance Berkman 55
5 Mark Kotsay 51

Edmonds, in fact, has shown a similar superiority over his fellow center fielders as Bonds has over the entire field. Donít get me wrong here. Iím not suggesting that Edmonds compares favorably to Bonds. Iím only making the case that he has outdistanced his peers in CF by almost the same margin as Bonds versus all of baseball. In other words, if you think that there should be no argument about Bonds being the best player over the past four years, then there should be no debate that Edmonds has been the best center fielder during the same period.
Interesting article, and probably a "must-read" for stathead wannabes (like me)....

Len on 11.15.04 @ 07:17 AM CST

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