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Who Is Overrated?

8 games into the season, and I'm begining to become impatient with ignorant baseball fans.  Recently on a "social networking site" I made a comment to a college friend of mine about Brandon Inge being overrated.  After a couple back and forth's about Inge (and a warning from my wife to her not to get into a baseball arguement with me), they sent the following message:

I will fight to the bitter end to defend Brandon...just so you know. If you want to talk about overrated we should probably start a converison on Caberra. I think with the amount of money they are paying him, he should be able to field and hit. He can hit, but his fielding is scary...I mean it should not be considered an outstanding play because he has to stretch a little to get the ball...a first baseball should stretch. It's pretty sad that Palonco calls him off any fly ball that comes near Caberra. It is like they are down right afraid of his fielding. That is overrated!

Not mad...I am just loyal :)

I saw your pictures from opening day...that is awesome. I am hoping I might make it to opening day of these times. I don't think you could have asked for a better game result...the Rangers got spanked!! Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come!

Go Tigers!!!

I was caught off guard.  How do you go from Inge being overrated to Cabrera being overrated?  Inge is an arguement, no card carrying baseball snob would ever even think to suggest that Cabrera is overrated, but this person just did.

They also can't spell "Cabrera"

So I tried to be nice, trying to appreciate a Tiger fan (female by the way, increasing the level of patience I would exhibit with her slightly, and also making me keep her nameless, and refrain from giving her a nickname like the one I gave to dipshit) and replied with the following: 

Inge has to hit, that is my only point as long as he does what he is currently doing, I'm happy. If he starts to hit below .240, I will go back to my overrated statement. I don't care how good his glove is, your 3rd baseman has to hit.

As far as your Cabrera statement, you absolutely must be smoking crack up there in the Lansing area, you can not argue that at all. He may be a triple crown candidate this year, and will most assurdely be a MVP candidate! First basemen are traditionally your lesser fielders, and Cabrerra is one of the best fielding 1st baseman in the league. I can pull up range and fielding percentage stats if I have to. Being a former 3rd baseman helps him at first. To say his fielding is "scary" is just plain wrong.

Compare Cabrera's big contract and statistics with Inge's big contract and statistics, Inge would hands down win the most overated player argument. Sorry, you have no leg to stand on in saying that Cabrera is overated...especially compared to Inge.

She followed up with this assinine re-statement of her first assinine statement:

I will never submit to this agruement! Caberra IS overrated. Wait until his next game...I guarantee Palonco will call him off any infield fly balls. Wait, I will go further...Caberra will make at least one error. Today's game looks to be rained out...we will have to wait until the next... 

I have no idea why she keeps up with this argument point that Cabrera is a bad 1st baseman, because Palonco calls him off?????  AND, his fielding percentage is currently 1.000, but more on that below.

So here is the reply I sent just before I typed this blog.  (My wife gave me the idea to use this as a blog, so I decided to mail it in a bit, an use this email chain as an entry, hope you enjoy). 

Let me apologize in advance for the length of this message, settle in.

Ok (person to remain nameless), here we go...

First off, I'm going to assume you are an intelligent baseball fan, and I don't have to explain to you that the middle infielders have the right of way over the corner guys, and take charge with fly balls.  This happens in the outfield as well.  So Polanco (which you spelled wrong) calling off Cabrera means absolutely nothing, because IT IS HIS JOB TO DO SO!

Now, since baseball is such a statistical game, I would assume you have some numbers to back up your claim, otherwise it is just an opinion (which is wrong by the way).

1st lets compare Cabrera with your boy, Mr. overrated Inge.  I won't even get into the offensive numbers, because it is a no contest, Cabrera soundly beats Inge hands down in every offensive catagory...well except strike outs, Inge has him beat there.

Now defensively I won't even begin to say that Cabrera is as good as Inge, Brandon is a better defensive third baseman (and Inge might be the best defensive third sacker in the AL), but take a look at the numbers, and they are closer than most would think.

Again with your understanding of the game, I'm sure you know that fielding percentage is the measure of how good a player is defensively.  This is the comparison of how many chances a player has in the field compared to the number of errors he has.  Here is how Cabrera stacks up against your boy:

CAREER FIELDING PERCENTAGE:
Inge: .978
Cabrera: .974

hmmmmm, .004, pretty close.

Next, lets look at 2006, and 2007, the last years both of them played third base.

Inge: .958
Cabrera: .951

hmmmm, again relitively close with a difference of only .007.

But Cabrera is now a first baseman, and I contend, one of the best in the AL...hell, in baseball.  Again, I will now back this up with actual numbers (being the dork engineer and baseball geek that I am).

With the exception of maybe two other teams, any major league team would trade whoever they have playing first to get Cabrera.  St. Louis would probably keep Pujols, and Philly would probably keep Howard.  EVERY OTHER TEAM WOULD TAKE CABRERA IN A HEART BEAT, this isn't only my opinion, you will find a lot of baseball people who would agree.

So lets compare Cabrera's salary and stats with what most would consider the top two first basemen in the league (all numbers from 2008):

AVERAGE:
Pujols: .357
Howard: .251
Cabrera: .292

Pujols is a stud, and I will concede now he is probably the best first baseman in baseball right.  Had Cabrera not switched leagues and started slow, he would have hit around .320.  He is proving that this year, currently hitting just under .500.  Also, Cabrera is 25, and Pujols is 29.  Four years from now, Cabrera will be the best, you heard it here first.

HOME RUNS
Pujols: 48
Howard: 37
Cabrera: 37

Cabrera lead the AL in home runs last year.

RBI's
Pujols: 116
Howard: 146
Cabrera: 127

Howard lead baseball by far in RBI's last year. Cabrera was third in the AL, and fourth in baseball.

So he was in the top 10 in batting average, lead the AL in Home runs, and was third in RBI's.  Still thinking he is overrated?

How about defensively:

FIELDING PERCENTAGE
Pujols: .996
Howard: .988
Cabrera: .992

Slightly worse than Pujols (see above statement), better than Howard, and keep in mind this was Cabrera's first year at 1st base, he improved during the year, and is already much better this year (currently his fielding percentage is 1.000...no errors).

Onto the money.  The all make too much, but you have to compare apples to apples, so lets look at their salaries:

Pujols: $14.5 Million
Howard: $15 Million
Cabrera: $14.3 Million

Cabrera makes the least, but is right in line with these guys.  There are also a couple other First baseman who make around the same amount of money who have much worse stats than Cabrera.

So if you still think he is overrated, I really don't care, you can't argue with numbers, math doesn't lie, and they are laid out in front of you above.

I just hope you can come to appreciate your All Star, future hall of fame 1st baseman and enjoy watching one of the best ever, next time you head to Comerica.

(this was fun!)

I left her a few loop holes, lets see how good she is, and see if she can find and manipulate them.

Thanks for Stopping By - Dan

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