Big Red Machine / Reds - General

You won’t believe this one… (UPDATED 2X)

From Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News:

Placido Polanco . . . Jimmy Rollins . . . Chase Utley . . . Ryan Howard . . .

Say hello to what is potentially the greatest all-around infield of a modern era that began in 1947 when Jack Roosevelt Robinson kicked down the door that had barred players of color from the major leagues.

I remember watching an infield of Tony Perez (HOF), Joe Morgan (HOF), Dave Concepcion (borderline HOF), and Pete Rose (should be in the HOF). They weren’t bad.

The Big Red Machine is not even mentioned in the article

If you so choose, feel free to drop the writer a note at bill1chair at aol.com.

Update: A couple of us got the same reponse from Mr. Conlin:

    “2009 Phillies of Feliz, Rollins, Utley and Howard 109 homers. 1975 BRM of Rose, Concepcion,, Morgan and Perez 65. A rout. RBIs. Phils quartet 393, Reds 334. A rout. Concepcion 27 errors, Rollins 6. A rout. Runs scored: Phils 379, BRM infield 355. Phils infield errors 47, BRM 58. Anything else. And don’t tell me “World Series title.” That was not question. Best infield was the question and the numbers are the numbers.”

And people wonder why newspapers are dying?

UPDATE 2: Got another note from Mr. Conlin:

    I covered Rose, Morgan and Perez when they were with the Phillies, know them well, and don’t really care what you post on your blog. I write a commentary column and it attracted an enormous response. That’s the coin of my realm and why I’m still drawing a paycheck 11 years past age 65. Thanks for helping to keep me in the game.

The words “pompous ass” come immediately to mind.

45 thoughts on “You won’t believe this one… (UPDATED 2X)

  1. Considering that three-fourths of that Reds infield played on the 1983 Phillies World Series “Wheeze” team, you would think we would get some respect.

    I believe Conlin was writing even then (could be wrong), but he should know better.

    However…it the Phillies do have a very good infield…we’ll see how Polanco produces at 3b.

  2. Defensively, I’d take Votto, Phillips, Janish and Rolen evry day of the week.

    • Defensively, I’d take Votto, Phillips, Janish and Rolen evry day of the week.

      You forgot the smiley face…or did you mean vs the Phils infield?

      • You forgot the smiley face…or did you mean vs the Phils infield?

        Yes, I definitely meant vs the Phils infield. And I am ONLY saying defensively.

  3. The subject heading of my email to him was “Big Red Machine kicks Phillies Infield’s Ass

  4. I’m ticked off. Here’s his reply to a short statement I made about “Rose, Concepcion, Morgan, and Perez were a pretty good infield.”

    My reply to him (see his reply below):
    “The offensive numbers are a little inflated compared to those days, you should use your brain a little when doing your “homework.” And official scorers are much more generous than they used to be.

    Concepcion and Morgan each won 5 Gold Gloves. Perez and Morgan are in the HOF. Concepcion, the first great artificial turf SS, should be, and we all know about Rose.
    If you don’t think Concepcion was a great defensive SS, you should ask Larry Bowa or other members of the ’76 Phillies.

    In any case it seemed like an IF worth mentioning.”

    On Wed, Mar 10, 2010 at 4:29 PM, wrote:

    Maybe you should have done a little homework.

    2009 Phillies of Feliz, Rollins, Utley and Howard 109 homers. 1975 BRM of Rose, Concepcion,, Morgan and Perez 65. A rout. RBIs. Phils quartet 393, Reds 334. A rout. Concepcion 27 errors, Rollins 6. A rout. Runs scored: Phils 379, BRM infield 355. Phils infield errors 47, BRM 58.
    Anything else. And don’t tell me “World Series title.” That was not the question. Best infield was the question and the numbers are the numbers.

  5. @pinson343: That fires me up. He is looking at 1 year and saying they are the best ever. To be considered the best ever, they need to be a that high for a period of time. Ugh, for the BRM not to even get a mention…

  6. They had this same discussion…. LAST YEAR WITH THE YANKEES!

    Alex Rodriguez 3b
    Derek Jeter SS
    Robinson Cano 2b
    Mark Texiera 1b

    I’d take that infield over the Phillies infield right now. I’d take the BRM version over both.

  7. His not even acknowledging that the Red 75-76 IF should even be mentioned shows his professional immaturity. If he replies to me again, I’m going to blast him.

  8. @pinson343:

    1975 Reds vs 2009 Phillies
    OPS #s:
    Perez: .816
    Howard: .931

    Morgan: .974
    Utley: .905

    Concepcion: .679
    Rollins: .719

    Rose: .838
    Feliz: .694

    The fact that both clubs split at this is sad for the Phillies, considering we are in a more offensive age NOW.

    OPS+
    Perez: 124
    Howard: 140

    Morgan: 169
    Utley: 136

    Concepcion: 88
    Rollins: 86

    Rose: 132
    Feliz: 81

    Reds win at 3 of the 4 positions in OPS+

    If he wants to throw modern stats like HRs at you, throw 1975 stats like SBs back at him. Phillies 2009 infield had 62 stolen bases. Joe Morgan had 67 by himself in 1975. They had 101 as an infield.

    If you put Polanco’s Detroit numbers from last year in over Feliz’s, they were only slightly better.

    Nonetheless, this guy is insane if he thinks the Phils infield could wind up as the best ever. I’d bet if I looked at the Yankees numbers from last year, they’d possibly beat the Reds at 3 positions.

  9. Conlin’s response to me:

    2009 Phillies of Feliz, Rollins, Utley and Howard 109 homers. 1975 BRM of Rose, Concepcion,, Morgan and Perez 65. A rout.

    RBIs. Phils quartet 393, Reds 334. A rout.

    Concepcion 27 errors, Rollins 6. A rout.

    Runs scored: Phils 379, BRM infield 355. Phils infield errors 47, BRM 58.

    Anything else? And don’t tell me “World Series title.” That was not the question. Best infield was the question and the numbers are the numbers.

  10. He has Davey for 27 errors with Rollins only 6. Yes, but Davey played on turf for the majority of his games, while Rollins plays on grass. The turf makes it about 100 times tougher. Also, the scorers today hardly ever give an error to a player unless they throw it about 5 rows deep in the stands.

  11. @Y-City Jim: He sent the exact same note to me, except he started by saying I hadn’t done my homework. So he’s copy-pasting fans who write him about the BRM IF.

  12. @Chris Wilson: Thanks, Chris. The guy sent me a second note, saying “My brain against yours.” I sent him a civil reply including your OPS+ and SB numbers.

    I also made the point that greatness is established over a career, not a season.

    • @Chris Wilson: Thanks, Chris. The guy sent me a second note, saying “My brain against yours.”I sent him a civil reply including your OPS+ and SB numbers.I also made the point that greatness is established over a career, not a season.

      Never quoted my own note before, but I’ve got an update.
      I sent an absurdly civil note to this guy, saying how I like Rollins, Utley, Howard, but none of them has as yet established HOF credentials, then make my points above (citing Chris’ OPS+ stats). I even thank him for his replies and wish him a good week.

      His entire reply: “no offense but OPS+ my butt.”

      Now there’s classy professional “journalism.”

      • His entire reply: “no offense but OPS+ my butt.”

        That’s a Hall of Fame voter for you…I’m also positive I remember reading his remarks in the Sporting News when I was a kid 35 years ago.

        From wikipedia…this is telling:

        William “Bill” Conlin is an American sportswriter and longtime columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News. Prior to joining the Daily News, he wrote for the Philadelphia Bulletin. He is a member of Baseball Writers Association of America and a voter for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Conlin drew criticism for failing to include pitcher Nolan Ryan on his Hall of Fame ballot. Conlin explained in a follow-up column that he was attempting to make an ill-advised point supporting pitcher (Don Sutton), who had the same number of victories as Ryan and fewer losses in a shorter career.

        In November 2007, Conlin drew the ire of internet bloggers after quipping in an email that “the only positive thing I can think of about Hitler’s time on earth-I’m sure he would have eliminated all bloggers

  13. My reply:

    Use real stats like OPS and range factors

    Phillies play in a homer friendly ballpark as most of the new stadiums are not to mention the differences in pitching quality of the two eras. Good grief!!! Clay Carroll has a better career ERA than all but three of today’s active pitchers.

    Rollins plays on grass and still doesn’t cover the ground Concepcion did or have near the chances. Most of the errors were on balls that Rollins couldn’t get to in his wildest dreams.

  14. Latest response from Billy:

    You ever travel with a big league ballclub? Ever been in a big league clubhouse? Ever interview a big league player, coach, manager, GM, owner, Commissioner? I didn’t think so.

  15. SO, travelling with, being in a clubhouse with, interviewing players of a particular franchise makes you more of a homer. Got it.

    • SO, travelling with, being in a clubhouse with, interviewing players of a particular franchise makes you more of a homer.Got it.

      Wonder if he ever showered with them?

  16. Even though my eyes glaze over when you-all start comparing statistics, a situation like this shows just how important they are. This guy’s cherry-picking and apples-to-oranges comparisons reveal just how little he actually knows.
    Thanks for defending the Machine, and for doing so with knowledge and with class.

  17. There is an idiot like this in every city. For Cincy it is Paul Daugherty, here in Indy it is Bob Kravitz.

    They try and cover their lack of talent by saying outrageous things in their articles.

    • There is an idiot like this in every city.For Cincy it is Paul Daugherty, here in Indy it is Bob Kravitz.They try and cover their lack of talent by saying outrageous things in their articles.

      Agree 100% on “P-Doc.” Total idiot. If you ever call in to his show, be prepared to be “big-timed” by him. Chances are he’ll either one up your story or mention that he knows Tiger Woods.

      • Agree 100% on “P-Doc.” Total idiot.If you ever call in to his show, be prepared to be “big-timed” by him.Chances are he’ll either one up your story or mention that he knows Tiger Woods.

        I’m not a huge fan of Daugherty’s, but I read the Enquirer every day and have never seen him write something this nonsensical. Plus, he’s not on the radio any more…hasn’t been in a while.

  18. The worst part is that this guy ACTUALLY thinks he knows what he is talking about and is confident he is smarter than you. And he has the paycheck to prove it. What an idiot!

  19. @Steve Price: That is why the hall of fame voting needs to be addressed.
    They have too many pompous asses that vote, like this guy and Jay Mariotti, etc… It makes me sick that guys who work so hard to become great players fate lies in the hand of these jerks.

  20. Resistance/outright rejection of modern stats. Check.

    Homer tendencies. Check.

    Writing ridiculous stuff disconnected from reality. Check.

    Man, I miss firejoemorgan.com.

  21. It seems like most in the media biz are arrogant, know-it-all douchebags. I think it’s a pre-requisite for their job. I’m sure they list that on their resumes.

  22. Here’s an interesting and extensive article I just ran across that documents pretty authoritative how great the Reds IF (with catcher) was in 1975 relatively to all others. The author says the second best IF plus catcher was the 1976 Reds.

    http://www.theyankeeu.com/2010/03/guest-post-did-the-2009-yankees-produce-the-greatest-infield-plus-catcher-in-mlb-history-15713

    Conlin is a typical media self-important jackass who portray themselves as reporters and truth-sayers, until they get caught being wrong. Then they say – hey, I’m just supposed to create controversy. Colin Cowherd is like that all the time.

  23. Conlin’s rude replies to me were over the top. He was unprofessional in every possible way. Ignorant, angry, biased, talking about his butt, it is scary that a person like this has a Hall of Fame vote.

    According to wikipedia: All writers with 10 years of membership in the BBWAA are eligible to vote for the Hall of Fame. That’s the only qualification needed ? It’s absurd.

  24. @pinson343: Which is part of the ‘sportswriter’ disdain against ‘bloggers’. We really are not that far behind them on quals and they know it.

    With the proliferation of games, stats, and technology that has creeped into the game, the only true advantage a sportswriter has is access, and that is the card they play when the rest of their logic is proven questionable.

    And as far as experience and income generated from that, he’s right. However, I don’t know that I would go bragging about what I have, who I know, and where I’ve been in the baseball world when a little ol’ preacher living in Columbus Ohio to whom baseball is merely a hobby can point out my obvious flaws, and I refuse to humble myself. You just have to dismiss those type of ideas and pray for the people.

    In the words of Hosea the prophet: “Whatever”.

  25. @preach: Yep. You have the right attitude, but I wonder how many HOF voters are similar to him. That’s what scares me.

  26. Sorry to use this this phrase as it is not in the RLN spirit… but what a tool.

    I don’t usually care discussions like this so I stayed out of the fray, until now. But his responses brought me out of the woodwork. I’m tired of national sports writers who have to justify their existence with this garbage. I honestly don’t know what makes them think they are “experts”. From what I’ve seen, too many haven’t got a clue.

    Thanks Mr. Cowherd. I’ll never listen to The Herd again.

  27. Bill Conlin was a sweaty loud mouth twenty years ago when they would have him on ESPN during that sportswriter show, a perfect guy for covering Philly sports teams.

    Can’t really knock the Phils infield though, it is pretty good and with Howard and Utley has a lot of home run power. The Dodgers 70s infield of Cey, Russell, Lopes and Garvey, as much as I hated them, was also pretty good.

  28. @Bill Lack: I’m not in the Cincinnati area so I didn’t know he wasn’t on the radio any more. That’s good news. As for his columns, I don’t read them solely because I have never liked him on the radio. That may be wrong and narrow-minded of me, but oh well.

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