A Second Look at the Baseball Theorem of Relativity

We've recently been discussing how the last few rosters stack up -- were the 2008 Rays more talented than in 2009? How does 2010 fit in, and how good will 2011 be?

Well, I thought I'd encourage the discussion further: I've been toying around with Tableau Public and figured I aught share the following chart. It features B-Ref Wins Above Replacement for starters (or players with 100 or more games) over the last three seasons.

Note: I've recorded player's positions according to what they played 2/3 of the time. Therefore, Ben Zobrist -- though very much a utility man, is a second baseman in 2009 but a right fielder in 2010. Likewise, Eric Hinske -- who played less than 2/3 at any one position, is considered utility.

What intrigues me most is how -- at least by starting position players -- the 2008 Rays appear quite inferior. Granted, the strength of the Rays teams have always been defense, pitching, and brawlfense, none of which these charts capture (or capture well, in the case of defense*).

*Am I correct to say B-Ref WAR doesn't use UZR?

Still, the differences are intriguing -- especially considering the disparity of results. This no doubt reminds the faithful reader of my previous ruminations concerning the BASEBALL THEOREM OF RELATIVITY in which I espoused: "When fleeing a ravenous cheetah, do not worry about outrunning the cheetah; focus on outrunning your loved ones."

So what say ye?! Which era of fielders would you choose if given a time desk with which to transplant historic lineups into modernity?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join DRaysBay

You must be a member of DRaysBay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at DRaysBay. You should read them.

Join DRaysBay

You must be a member of DRaysBay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at DRaysBay. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker