While We’re Waiting… Lofton’s place in the game

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While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

“How good was Lofton? Well, let’s start with some of the “super stats” that are designed to measure a player’s entire worth. Over at Baseball-Reference.com, Lofton receives 64.9 career WAR. Yeah, that ain’t bad. It’s 71st all-time among position players. Among players on the ballot, that tops Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, and Sammy Sosa, among others. Among Hall of Famers, it beats Eddie Murray, Carlton Fisk, Roberto Alomar, and Ernie Banks, among others.

Well, that’s impressive, but we shouldn’t take WAR as the last word on anything. Still, Lofton does well by all other super stats, too. Fangraphs has an alternate version of WAR that likes him even more than B-ref does: 66.2 WAR. Baseball Prospectus’ stat de jour, WARP, is a little less enamored with Lofton but still gives him 55.8 wins. That’s a bit below Biggio, Piazza, and Sosa, but it’s still better than quite a few Hall of Famers.

That’s nice, but ultimately, super stats, can obscure at least as much as they illuminate. On their own, they just raise a series of questions: how and why do they like Lofton so much? Are their values of Lofton really worth a dang? How do you explain the popular perception that Lofton was never as good as these numbers show?” [Jaffe/Hardball Times]

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Defensive snap counts. Great rotation at DT. “All of the defensive tackles got some nice production. Even Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, who was only in for two plays, registered a tackle on one of them. Phil Taylor hurt his ankle in the first quarter, but didn’t end up missing much time before he returned. John Hughes was very active when he was in the game, displaying the type of energy that makes him worth a third-round rotational player.” [Pokorny/Dawgs by Nature]

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“The key thought that connects Kyrie to my missive on mathematics is the idea that, on some level, the idea of Kyrie Irving is a relatively inert function. Just like the broader structures we can’t quite describe yet. The more I watch of his dazzling NBA play, the more I’m inclined to believe this as an underlying truth rather than a happy coincidence. If Kyrie Irving is an inert function, his own floating Sealand-style island of NBA bliss that exists under its own flag, it stands to reason that on some level it doesn’t really matter that we haven’t totally figured him out yet, as a collective of NBA fans. Sure, we’ve got some appreciation for him. But on a broad level, I’ve always gotten this feeling that the overexposure of Duke in no way properly highlighted the sort of a player Kyrie was for that Duke team. Nor did the overexposure of the 2012 Cleveland Cavaliers in the light of LeBron’s all-universe season do all that much to properly highlight the sort of player Kyrie was as a rookie.” [McGuire/Gothic Ginobli]

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Good read about firing a coach- “I know that the transitory nature of sports is one of its primary appeals, the basic function being that if you’re upset with your team, just wait: It’ll be full of entirely different people in three years, maybe sooner. The only thing that keeps teams as teams – as something connected throughout decades and generations – are the fans; everything else can change, from players to owners to coaches to uniforms to team names to even cities. But we always relate more to the coach, because he’s the one person whose job we like to imagine ourselves able to do. (Even if there’s absolutely no way we possibly could.) He’s the one we imagine as the custodian of our beloved franchise. He’s the one we listen to. He’s the one we trust, and the one we complain about. Every one of them, even the bad ones, is a part of our lives. It feels important to see them off. It feels important to hang onto them, even once they’re gone. Ken Whisenhunt – a man I’ve never met, a man I have no real desire to meet, a man I couldn’t have less in common with if one of us had wings — is a part of my life, and even after he’s fired at some point over the next month, he always will be. That’s weird, but what about being a sports fan isn’t?” [Leitch/Sports on Earth]

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Your tweet of the day from Zach Harper. “Well at least the Lakers get to fix what’s wrong against the Cavs tomorr… OH MY GOD THAT’S KYRIE IRVING’S MUSIC!” [@talkhoops/Twitter]

  • Natedawg86

    When healty, our big uglies are nasty!!!

  • mgbode

    on both sides of the LOS

  • thepaledragon

    I like some attention for Kenny Lofton outside of Cleveland writers. I assume he won’t get in the Hall, but I do think he is worthy of consideration. It would be a shame of the stacked ballot this year prevented him from even getting the 5% he needs to stay on it.

    I also think Lofton’s perception is hurt because he played for so many different times. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the fanbase with which he is most popular (Cleveland) is also where he spent the most years.

    I can’t wait to see the arguments that break out amongst baseball writers when Omar Vizquel is eligible…