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Cleveland fans: Omar Vizquel is the best shortstop of all time

May 26, 2010, 11:10 AM EDT

I know internet polls are unscientific and useless, and that internet polls on big newspaper sites are even worse than most, but this one still has my jaw dropping.  It’s from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the question is “who’s the best shortstop who ever played the game?.” Not the best Indians shortstop. The best shortstop, full stop.  The results as of about 10 minutes ago:
screencap.bmp.jpgI suppose it’s inevitable that a large number of people don’t realize that Honus Wagner was one of the top five players at any position in baseball history, but the fact that people consider Vizquel to be better than Ozzie Smith is downright astounding.

(thanks to Joe. L. for the heads up)

  1. Mark Armour - May 26, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    People, lighten up. No one thinks Omar Vizquel is better Honus Wagner. It is a silly internet poll, and people are voting for a guy they love to watch play. I think Honus Wagner was the best shortstop ever, but I would vote for Rico Petrocelli in any shortstop poll. So what? I am sorry if this offends Wagner and his family.

  2. Rusty Shackleford - May 26, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    What’s so astounding about a guy with 300 more hits, a higher batting average, more runs, more homers, 120 more RBI, 98 fewer errors, and a higher fielding percentage being better than Ozzie Smith?

  3. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - May 26, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    Read my post a few above yours, and you’ll see why it’s ridiculous to make that comparison. However, Vizquel has played in almost 200 more games than Ozzie, so using counting stats isn’t a wise decision.
    Also, errors and fielding % as comparisons? When the former is based on a person’s subjectivity of an event, you can’t compare that to another player. As for fielding %, if a guy is a statute but makes every play but can’t reach 9/10 balls, is he better than a guy who reaches 9/10 but throws one of them away each time?

  4. Rusty Shackleford - May 26, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    Baseball debates can be fun, but not with anyone who considers Omar Vizquel a statue (or even a statute).
    That’s just a waste of time.

  5. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - May 26, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    I never said he was a statue (statute*), I was showing why fielding % is a ridiculous statistic to use when comparing two people. But good to see you ignored everything else I wrote and focused on a spelling error.
    *and that’s what I get for having a legal argument with my brother and responding here at the same time. or should I say, he was giving me legal info and I was asking questions. When in doubt, I’m a moron….

  6. trampslikeus - May 26, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    spare me the specious reasoning. Home runs are a PIECE of it. Just like defense is a piece. Were it about defense alone, we’d put Bobby Wine and Dal Maxvill into it. And anyway, it’s ultimately about producing runs, not hitting homers. Vaughn is in the conversation but even with those great batting averages he can’t compare to A-Rod. Or Banks. Or Jeter. Or Ripken. Or especially the best ever, Honus Wagner (who didn’t hit home runs, by the way, he played in the dead ball era…but he sure produced a gaggle of runs!) A great batting average without run production doesn’t make for a great hitter.

  7. Rusty Shackleford - May 26, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    Sorry us Tribe fans are a little sensitive.
    Especially when you watch Jhonny Peralta trying to replace Omar up until last season, speaking of statues.
    Other than backflips, I just don’t think anything about Ozzie’s game was “astoundingly” better than Omar’s.
    And the fact that Omar’s been healthy enough to play more games should not hinder his case either. That’s why also I pointed out that his batting average and fielding percentage were better.
    It’s likely that nobody has ever had – or ever will have – Ozzie’s range, but 98 fewer errors – in 200 more games – is quite a difference.

  8. Megary - May 26, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    “However they differ greatly in career WAR:
    Smith: 64.60
    Vizque: 42.80”
    Do you believe that Ozzie was that much better defensively than Omar?

  9. indy_ralph - May 26, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    Somebody tell me if my logic is off here. Ozzie made more than 660 more assists (in 2+ fewer years) than Omar. That’s almost 25 full games worth of outs that Ozzie contributed over Omar. It seems reasonable that could translate into just under 25 more wins, no? After all, Ozzie’s team only needs one marginal run in those 25 games to win. When you account for the 100 more errors Ozzie made vs Omar, you get even closer to the 22 WAR difference.

  10. awineguy - May 29, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    This is much ado about very little, a newspaper in Cleveland gives its’ readers a chance to show their love for Omar and people jump all over it .
    Vizquel was a great player, Ozzie was better and as for Wagner that’s just pure conjecture.
    Nobody here saw him play, it’s unlikely anyone here knows anyone who saw him play and the stat keeping gives us little empirical to go on.

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