2001 Finest Origins
Which set of stats should I believe? Jermaine Dye showed some very good batting skills over the course of his career, averaging nearly 30 HRs/100 RBIs per 162 games. Joe Posnanski pointed out that Dye’s 2006 season would have won him the 1988 National League Triple Crown. Yet he barely averaged one win above replacement over the same period and his wOBA is just in the .350s.
Playing an entire career with a single team does something to break the brains of baseball fans. Guys with “team loyalty” are given way more leeway and ranked higher than similar performers with a few more airline miles under their belt. I’ve always preferred it when players shuffle around more, going to where they can best perform and leaving dysfunctional organizations. That makes me a Scott Rolen fan.
Just how far can a baseball player decline from peak performance before fans begin sounding like Ray in Field of Dreams? The career arc of Andruw Jones may provide some insight into where this invisible border between peak and longevity lies.