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Appreciating the near-greatness of Magglio Ordonez

Mar 26, 2012, 5:17 PM EDT

Magglio Ordonez AP

Note: I originally wrote this on October 10, but with today’s news that Ordonez is close to retiring I figured it was worth re-posting.

Magglio Ordonez is 37 years old, coming off the worst season of his 15-year career, and will miss the rest of the Tigers’ playoff run after re-fracturing his right ankle, so there’s already speculation about him retiring.

If he’s indeed finished Ordonez goes out on a series of low notes, but it’s worth remembering how productive he’s been over the years.

Ordonez never became a household name and had just one top-10 finish in the MVP voting, but he was selected for six All-Star teams and ranks as one of the best right-handed hitters of his generation.

In fact, among all active right-handed hitters with at least 5,000 career plate appearances Ordonez ranks sixth in OPS:

Albert Pujols      1.037
Manny Ramirez       .996
Alex Rodriguez      .953
Miguel Cabrera      .950
Vladimir Guerrero   .931

Manny Ramirez is technically “active” because he played at one point this season. Other top right-handed hitters like Ryan Braun, Matt Holliday, David Wright, Hanley Ramirez, and Kevin Youkilis also rank ahead of Ordonez in OPS, but they haven’t cracked the 5,000-plate appearance mark yet and comparing their career numbers to his is misleading because they’ve yet to go through the decline phase.

However you slice it, Ordonez was one of the dozen or so best right-handed hitters of the past 20 years.

  1. Walk - Oct 10, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    I always look at guys like magglio and know they were great when i saw them as the go ahead run get walk on base on purpose. I always thought that was a great indicator for a power hitter, putting them on late when they were the winning run to make some other player win the game. I do not think i will ever see a hitter get walked with the bases loaded on pirpose again, Barry bonds was walked with bases loaded in the ninth and the score was 8-6. That took guts i heard people say of buck showalters decision, i usually laughed when that was said. I knew they had a 50% chance on being right on whether buck was a courageous genius that night or not.

  2. philliesblow - Oct 10, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Magglio would still be a healthy, productive player if Gene Lamont wasn’t such a travesty of a 3rd base coach.

    It will be interesting to see Miguel Cabrera’s mental state next season without his Venezuelan older brothers Magglio and Carlos Guillen on the Tigers next year.

    • brianbowman16 - Oct 10, 2011 at 1:08 PM

      You cannot be serious

      I am generally not one to call people out for making ignorant comments, but blaming Gene Lamont for Magglio breaking his ankle TWICE is just ludicrous.
      Gene Lamont is an easy target so I understand being a sheep and following what ‘everybody’ else is bitching about, but cmon man

      OH and the best part of your uninformed comment that takes the retarded cheesecake:

      ‘Magglio would still be a healthy, productive player if Gene’

      So evidently the 3rd base coach now is in charge of making sure guys don’t AGE, and the 3rd base coach NOW is responsible for helping a player make adjustments at the plate to compensate for lack of bat speed or the many other things that age wears down

      I’m gonna take a wild guess and say that you are one of the guys that thinks that you know the players better than Leyland and that he should listen to YOU about the line up every night

  3. braddavery - Oct 10, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    Magglio was a PED abuser according to Canseco. It’s no wonder his ability tanked after they started getting strict on steroid abusers. I have no respect for players with ties to PEDs.

    • illegalblues - Mar 26, 2012 at 5:59 PM

      it must suck being paranoid about baseball players.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 26, 2012 at 6:21 PM

      It’s no wonder his ability tanked after they started getting strict on steroid abusers

      Yup, Spring of ’06 the testing program was put in. Ordonez proceeded to put up a .363/.434/.595 batting line in ’07 and would have been MVP if not for the absurd year Arod put up. He then followed that up with a .317/.376.494 batting line.

      So your narrative is pretty much false, but grats on the new tinfoil hat!

    • jwbiii - Mar 26, 2012 at 6:32 PM

      If you believe everything Jose Canseco has said over the years, you’ll believe a lot of dumb things. If you repeat these things, you’ll appear to be as dumb as he appears to be. Is this something you aspire to?

    • cur68 - Mar 26, 2012 at 7:10 PM

      Boy’s, boys, this is Brad from October of 2011. I doubt he even remembers this edition of his PEDS-Rumour Screed. Its not that anything has likely changed in Brad’s outlook, mind you. Its just that there’s newer versions of this ‘argument’ on other threads.

      • braddavery - Mar 26, 2012 at 9:31 PM

        So what you people are saying is that Magglio Ordonez has never abused PEDs and that Canseco was lying? Almost everything Canseco has said in his book about steroids in baseball has been true. Who’s wearing the tinfoil hats. lol

      • cur68 - Mar 26, 2012 at 10:21 PM


      • braddavery - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:34 PM

        “See?” What does that even mean. You aren’t even saying anything. Be an antagonistic douche somewhere else. If you have nothing to say about the actual matter at hand, keep your mouth shut.

      • cur68 - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        ‘Tis shut. This is typing. See?

      • braddavery - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:41 PM

        You are oh so very clever.

      • cur68 - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:52 PM

        Thank you.

  4. atworkident - Oct 10, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Of course Manny Ramierez still counts as active.

    He probably saw second base more than Vlad if you include spring training at bats. Vlad probably has him on times thrown out trying to stretch a double to a triple.

    • bfbarker - Oct 10, 2011 at 2:52 PM

      Magglio has been a very good player, but it’s an exaggeration to say that he’s been one of the 10 best right-handed hitters in the last 20 years. Among all right-handed hitters in the past 20 years with at least 5,000 plate appearances, Magglio ranks 17th in OPS+ – ahead of some very good hitters (Nomar, Rolen, Kent), but behind other similar players such as Ellis Burks, Tim Salmon, and Moises Alou (Alou is Magglio’s #1 comp. on baseball-reference).

      The complete list:

      1) Albert Pujols 170
      2) Manny Ramirez 154
      3) Frank Thomas 153
      4) Edgar Martinez 151
      5) Miguel Cabrera 149
      6) Jeff Bagwell 149
      7) Albert Belle 147
      8) Gary Sheffield 146
      9) Alex Rodriguez 144
      10) Mike Piazza 142
      11) Vladimir Guerrero 140
      12) Sammy Sosa 134
      13) Juan Gonzalez 134
      14) Ellis Burks 130
      15) Moises Alou 128
      16) Tim Salmon 128
      17) Magglio Ordonez 125
      18) Nomar Garciaparra 124
      19) Scott Rolen 123
      20) Jeff Kent 123
      21) Andres Galarraga 123
      22) Derek Lee 122
      23) Paul Konerko 121
      24) Richie Sexson 120
      25) Troy Glaus 119

      • The Baseball Idiot - Mar 26, 2012 at 5:56 PM

        Yeah, because making a list using one statistic means everything.

      • forsch31 - Mar 26, 2012 at 9:38 PM

        You mean like Gleeman did to call Ordonez one of the best right-handed hitters of his generation?

        (OPS+ is OPS adjusted for park and league factors, so barker’s reply is a direct rebuttal of the original post, using a more accurate version of the statistic used.)

      • The Baseball Idiot - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:20 AM

        Acutally, he didn’t. He used a list to show where Ordonez ranked among right-handed batters in OPS. He didn’t say that proved he was among the top anything. He said óne of the best’ – not a number ranking. He showed a list and said that was where Ordonez stood on that list.

        He then referred to “career numbers” – which encompasses all of them – and stated Ordonez was one of the best ‘dozen or so’ right-handed batters, because of his career numbers – all of them.

        bfbarker gave a list of one statistic and made a statement to prove his point.

        Gleeman made a generic statement based on career numbers to imply something.

        Big difference in what the two said.

  5. foreverchipper10 - Oct 10, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    He may have led the league in suave locks. Oh that Geri-Curl!

    • petey1999 - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:00 PM

      Exactly. I will remember him for his league-leading hair. No mean feat, btw.

    • - Mar 27, 2012 at 9:41 AM

      Exactly, I remember one humid night at Kauffman is hair was all poofy. It was one of the best Afros I’d seen since Andre 3000.

      I think his decline had more to do with him cutting his hair than PED’s or aging.

  6. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 26, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    I’ll never forget switching on the ALCS just in time for “THE TIGERS MARCH TO THE WORLD SERIES!!”

    • wendell7 - Mar 27, 2012 at 6:49 AM

      Yeah, me too. I’m not a Tigers fan, but that homer was awesome.

  7. rooney24 - Mar 26, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Any guesses for an Over/Under on Hall of Fame votes in his first year of eligibility? I would guess he might get a couple of votes, just for the heck of it, but that he won’t get more than a handful and won’t stay on the ballot. He was good, but not great.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 26, 2012 at 6:26 PM

      He’ll get some token votes, but shouldn’t get anywhere close. His ’07 year was MVP worthy, but that’s essentially it. Two more years of 5+ rWAR and the 8.9 in ’07 is his “peak” and that’s not really enough.

    • ezthinking - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:11 PM

      I think he’ll get close to the 5% mark but fall just short. 50 votes. He’s not that far off Edgar Martinez numbers while playing in 200+ fewer games.

  8. assassins14 - Mar 26, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    I am surprised he hasn’t tried the White sox….Oh yeah he made sure to burn that bridge.

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