Wade Boggs - What did we have there?

Who is the most under-appreciated Sox? (flies under the radar/more forgotten than they should be)


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LahoudOrBillyC

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One of Boggs' problems was that he was a weird guy.  That entire 1980s team was fairly unlikeable, especially after 1986 when the media grew so hostile and the players got defensive.  I don't blame any of them, but Boggs, Clemens, and Rice in particular were somewhat surly and suspicious of the press and public.  The vibe post-86 was that regardless of their gaudy statistics, they did not win and this was proof that they were not winners.
 
Eddie Andelman destroyed Boggs every single day on the radio, and I think there was a sense that, "sure he's hitting .360 every year but what difference does it make?"
 
The Vaughn-Nomar-Pedro teams (pre-2004) also did not win, but the players seemed to be better treated and well liked by the fans.
 

Super Nomario

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Savin Hillbilly said:
 
This is revisionism. 1995 was a peak year, yes, but it was not out of context at all. In the three years before 1995 he had a 115 OPS+, and in the three years following he had a 109 OPS+. In 1997, while splitting his time between two new positions, he "unremarkably" led the AL in doubles while putting up a .306/.372/.499 slash line. Between 1993 and 1998, his average rWAR for the years besides 1995 was 4.4. After 1998, the injuries caught up with him and the bottom fell out, but before that, he was a consistently excellent player for a pretty good stretch.
 
Like I said, a slam-dunk for most underappreciated.
Valentin was a terrible early-season hitter - his career April line was .230/.310/.374, sub .700 OPS, and every other month was over .800. That also contributed to his underratedness, as he never did make an All-Star team. In his terrific 1995 season, he missed almost the whole first month and then hit .312/.413/.536 after the ASB.
 
WAR has him as the best defensive player in baseball in '93 and '95 and top-5 in '94 and '98. The Red Sox never seemed to see him as that caliber of defender.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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mt8thsw9th said:
 
Or the whole "beat up his wife" thing.
 
I thought that this poll was for players when they were the Red Sox? In any event Manny was with the Rays in 2011when he was charged. The following spring, when he was a member of the A's, the charges were dropped
 

alwyn96

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smastroyin said:
Also, I love Dewey, but he is the binky of so many people that there is no way you can really put him on an underrated list.  Maybe you can say "underrated in his time" or something like that, but in 2015?  I don't see it. 
 
I feel like this is always an issue with overrated/underrated lists. One has to make some sort of calculation about how other people rate the guy, and it's hard to read everybody's minds. I mean, Boggs is in the hall of fame and generally regarded as one of the best 3B ever. When I google "best 3B ever" this is the top link which has Boggs at #5 all time. Now I'd put Boggs over Robinson and maybe even with Brett, and I think but it seems hard to argue he hasn't gotten his due in 2015. During his time with the Red Sox he was totally underappreciated, but today he seems pretty highly rated. You're right that a lot of people have definitely come around on Dewey though, especially on the internet. I'd like to see more 'real world' love, but I'm not sure what that would look like. The HoF is probably a very long shot, unfortunately.
 

curly2

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ALiveH said:
 (don't recall much clutch-hitting from him in those playoffs btw).
 
Off the top of my head, he hit a critical homer in Game 2 of the ALDS after the Angels had taken the lead off Pedro, hit the sac fly to tie Game 5 of the ALCS (a sac fly might not seem like much but first--and-third, no outs is not a guaranteed run off Rivera), and had a two-out single for the first run in Game 6, ahead of Bellhorn's homer.
 

chrisfont9

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Boggs was perceived as being weird. The chicken thing, the Margo Adams thing was a huge mess, all the quirks. But that was perception and for all I know had more to do with his relationship with the Globe. He was also perceived as being too into his numbers, but then again, that's how you got paid, and it's a business. Boggs was thought of as un-clutch -- I had season tickets then and it seemed like he always got hits early on and made outs late-and-close -- but the numbers don't really back it up. At worst, he hit into a decent number of DPs, but that had more to do with being slow and ALWAYS making contact. Finally, he was associated with the teams in '86, '88 and '90 which let us down in the end after raising our hopes.
 
If he were playing today, his unbelievable WAR totals would have him perceived as a star. Maybe some better side of his personality would have come out. Maybe he'd have hooked up with someone hotter than Margo Adams. Who knows?
 

alwyn96

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chrisfont9 said:
Boggs was perceived as being weird. The chicken thing, the Margo Adams thing was a huge mess, all the quirks. But that was perception and for all I know had more to do with his relationship with the Globe. He was also perceived as being too into his numbers, but then again, that's how you got paid, and it's a business. Boggs was thought of as un-clutch -- I had season tickets then and it seemed like he always got hits early on and made outs late-and-close -- but the numbers don't really back it up. At worst, he hit into a decent number of DPs, but that had more to do with being slow and ALWAYS making contact. Finally, he was associated with the teams in '86, '88 and '90 which let us down in the end after raising our hopes.
 
If he were playing today, his unbelievable WAR totals would have him perceived as a star. Maybe some better side of his personality would have come out. Maybe he'd have hooked up with someone hotter than Margo Adams. Who knows?
 
I think Boggs was probably legit weird - there are amazing (and possibly apocryphal) stories about the superstitious stuff he would do before games. But his involvement in this story should be enough to make up for all of those things and then some. 
 

Mighty Joe Young

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For who was the most overrated and underrated AT THE TIME I'd nominate both Boggs and Evans (with Valentin getting an honourable mention).There was really very little appreciation of OBP in the 80's. Being an early disciple of Bill James gave me an interesting - and different perspective on these guys. I mean, the 80s Red Sox had three GOAT players on their team at the same time and there was just no appreciation of that.

For overrated I'd probably pick Varitek .. Maybe even Rice (the 80s version .. DP king)

As for now .. Boggs in still underrated .. Probably more due to the overall weirdness and the Yankee thing. Hard to see Evans underrated anymore .. He's a border line HOFer and recognized as such - and a better player that Rice IMO. So I'd have to go with Valentin. Nomar rather eclipsed the memory of how good he was.

Overrated now? Probably still Varitek and Rice.
 

Rasputin

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lexrageorge said:
Carl Everett, OTOH, deserves every bit of hate from the haters.  
Not even close.

People hated--and probably still hate--Everett more than serial spousal abusers like Wilfredo Cordero and that's just nuts.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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BCsMightyJoeYoung said:
For who was the most overrated and underrated AT THE TIME I'd nominate both Boggs and Evans (with Valentin getting an honourable mention).There was really very little appreciation of OBP in the 80's. Being an early disciple of Bill James gave me an interesting - and different perspective on these guys. I mean, the 80s Red Sox had three GOAT players on their team at the same time and there was just no appreciation of that.

For overrated I'd probably pick Varitek .. Maybe even Rice (the 80s version .. DP king)

As for now .. Boggs in still underrated .. Probably more due to the overall weirdness and the Yankee thing. Hard to see Evans underrated anymore .. He's a border line HOFer and recognized as such - and a better player that Rice IMO. So I'd have to go with Valentin. Nomar rather eclipsed the memory of how good he was.

Overrated now? Probably still Varitek and Rice.
Who still underrates Boggs? There's a difference between that and just thinking he's an ass hole, so you don't give a shit if he's ignored by the team. Didn't we do this already?
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
Who still underrates Boggs? There's a difference between that and just thinking he's an ass hole, so you don't give a shit if he's ignored by the team. Didn't we do this already?
Well .. I'm not talking about SoSH .. But your Johnny from a Burger King types on the other hand..

I think he's still thought of as a empty batting average guy .. Which is ludicrous given the gazillion doubles he plunked off the wall and the Williamsesque OBP.

But .. Who knows ? We're talking about public perception and I'm no (collective) mind reader.
 

MikeM

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millionthcustomer said:
According to Baseball Reference, Valentin's #2 most similar batter is none other than Dustin Pedroia.  Does that clue some people in to just how under-rated Valentin was?    
 
I don't see the debate being on whether Valentin was underrated. I know he'd probably top my list. 
 
Stating that he was better then Vaughn though probably sounds a lot like the guy 20 years now, who in the process of looking up his WAR history concludes that prime Grady Sizemore was a better player then prime David Ortiz. It's pretty open to debate imo. 
 
I was pretty young at the time, but i do remember Vaughn and the nightly countdown to each of his at-bats being the early center of my Sox universe.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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The Johnny from Burger King types love empty batting average and nice round numbers like 3000 hits. The perception that Boggs is still underrated is perpetuated by his fans that are upset the team basically disavows any connection with him. Mostly because he was and continues to be an insufferable prick.

He was certainly underrated in his day, but no, not anymore. I'm not sure how one claims a guy that got inducted to the HoF on a 92% is underrated in any way to begin with. If you're worried about Johnny from Burger King than I think you need to focus your attention elsewhere, because that guy should mean less than two shits on how a player is remembered or viewed or how it impacts his legacy.

Like I said, we did this already in a thread off of main board. Boggs doesn't get the love for a lot of reasons, but not many are because people don't understand how valuable he was. Many of those reasons are at least in part his own doing.
 

smastroyin

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alwyn96 said:
 
I feel like this is always an issue with overrated/underrated lists. One has to make some sort of calculation about how other people rate the guy, and it's hard to read everybody's minds. I mean, Boggs is in the hall of fame and generally regarded as one of the best 3B ever. When I google "best 3B ever" this is the top link which has Boggs at #5 all time. Now I'd put Boggs over Robinson and maybe even with Brett, and I think but it seems hard to argue he hasn't gotten his due in 2015. During his time with the Red Sox he was totally underappreciated, but today he seems pretty highly rated. You're right that a lot of people have definitely come around on Dewey though, especially on the internet. I'd like to see more 'real world' love, but I'm not sure what that would look like. The HoF is probably a very long shot, unfortunately.
 
My read of the question posed adds an implied "to Red Sox fans"
 
I don't disagree with what you say in general.  But I think Red Sox fans to this day often think of Boggs as a very good 3B with some quirks that were fun and some that weren't.  I actually think Boggs was more appreciated in his day than he is now by Red Sox fans in general.  I think a huge part of this, as I noted, was the way people attribute the offense of the post-strike era to HR, thus even further diminishing Wade's skill set. 
 
I don't think many Red Sox fans wax poetically about Boggs being a top 5 3B in MLB history.  I do think a lot of Sox fans rail about Evans not being in the HoF especially after Rice made it.  
 
This is based on my interactions mostly with SoSHers and various conversations with strangers at Fenway.
 

m0ckduck

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Rovin Romine said:
 
Bob Stanley's WAR with the Sox is higher than Lowe, Beckett, Eck's and Shillings's.  
 
Doesn't it have to be Stanley for most underrated? I almost fell over when I read this, and I even dimly remember Good Bob Stanley from my childhood. I suspect most Sox fans would probably guess his career ERA+ to be somewhere around 85-90, rather than 118. 
 
Regarding Valentin: I think the perception of him would be very different if you reversed his and Nomar's career trajectories. Had Nomar hung around Boston for a couple of sub-par injury-riddled seasons and Valentin abruptly disappeared in, say, 1997, I think the valuation of their respective primes would be closer (not equal, mind you, just closer). 
 

moondog80

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
He was certainly underrated in his day, but no, not . I'm not sure how one claims a guy that got inducted to the HoF on a 92% is underrated in any way to begin with.
The mere fact the Sox have not retired his number (virtually unprecedented for a player of his ilk) and there seems to be no significant movement to change this qualifies him as underrated. And I think the common fan doesn't think this is because of bad relations with management, they actually believe he was a selfish player who clogged the bases with all those stupid walks.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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MikeM said:
 
I was pretty young at the time, but i do remember Vaughn and the nightly countdown to each of his at-bats being the early center of my Sox universe.
 
Yes, but you do see that this counts toward the "popular value" rather than "actual value" side of the ledger, and therefore sorta makes my point?
 

Soxfan in Fla

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Boggs was an absolute machine at the plate for all but his final season in Boston. He also worked hard on his fielding and improved a lot in Boston and ultimately won a couple Gold Gloves in Yankee land.
 

threecy

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m0ckduck said:
Regarding Valentin: I think the perception of him would be very different if you reversed his and Nomar's career trajectories. Had Nomar hung around Boston for a couple of sub-par injury-riddled seasons and Valentin abruptly disappeared in, say, 1997, I think the valuation of their respective primes would be closer (not equal, mind you, just closer). 
I think the difference between Nomar/Vaughn and Valentin is that Nomar/Vaughn were touted as future superstars when they came up, whereas Valentin slotted into shortstop on the particularly bad teams of the early 1990s (that was, after all, supposed to be Tim Naehring's future).  His rise coincided with the Red Sox rise back to being a contender, so there was sort of this 'rising tide lifts all boats' undercurrent.
 
And, just as he was hitting his peak, there was someone better about to force him out of his position.
 

Al Zarilla

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My most vivid memories of Boggs are of him striking out with bases loaded or other on base situations against Dave Stewart and/or Dennis Eckersley. He had decent overall post season numbers but he failed in the biggest spots. I know he was a magician with the bat but you remember what you remember. 
 

jscola85

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Boggs hit .311/.375/.422 in the playoffs while with the Red Sox.  Not his elite self but he was no slouch.
 

Al Zarilla

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jscola85 said:
Boggs hit .311/.375/.422 in the playoffs while with the Red Sox.  Not his elite self but he was no slouch.
I know, I said in my post that he had decent overall post season numbers, but, today, I remember most the punchouts by Eck and Stewart, both with bases loaded. 
 

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Al Zarilla said:
My most vivid memories of Boggs are of him striking out with bases loaded or other on base situations against Dave Stewart and/or Dennis Eckersley. He had decent overall post season numbers but he failed in the biggest spots. I know he was a magician with the bat but you remember what you remember. 
 
I think that you're thinking of Game One of the 88 Playoffs where he was up against Eckersley in the ninth and looked bad striking out (which to be fair, a lot of people looked bad against Eck that year). But I have the exact same recollection. In fact, if someone asked me to name a memory of Wade Boggs, I'd probably say that. Which, I understand, is completely and totally unfair but at the time I was really into baseball and consuming everything that I could about the game and specifically the Sox. The popular (and unfair) knock on Boggs was that he'd get his two hits in the first four innings and choke when it mattered most. That AB against Eckersley kind of cemented that for me. 
 
And another thing was that after the Margo Adams affair, there was a story every day about Wade Boggs getting traded. Literally every day for about a year. By the time that season ended, it didn't even feel like Boggs was on the team any more and it felt like he always had one foot out the door. So when he left a few years later, I never really cared because in my mind he was already gone. 
 

shaggydog2000

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chrisfont9 said:
I'm drunk from just reading that. Sort of a dark side to that too.
 
There is also an entire episode of "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" entirely about the gang trying to reach Boggs' total while flying cross country.  And yes, Boggs shows up in it.  For this reason alone I find Boggs properly rated.  To me, all of the guys on that list are.  I would say Nomar over his entire career was over-rated, but in his Boston years he was most likely properly rated.  His post Boston period had people talking about him like he was still a star, but he was a shell of his former self.  Same with Mo Vaughan I would say.  
 

Rovin Romine

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chrisfont9 said:
Boggs was perceived as being weird. The chicken thing, the Margo Adams thing was a huge mess, all the quirks. But that was perception and for all I know had more to do with his relationship with the Globe. He was also perceived as being too into his numbers, but then again, that's how you got paid, and it's a business. Boggs was thought of as un-clutch -- I had season tickets then and it seemed like he always got hits early on and made outs late-and-close -- but the numbers don't really back it up. At worst, he hit into a decent number of DPs, but that had more to do with being slow and ALWAYS making contact. Finally, he was associated with the teams in '86, '88 and '90 which let us down in the end after raising our hopes.
 
If he were playing today, his unbelievable WAR totals would have him perceived as a star. Maybe some better side of his personality would have come out. Maybe he'd have hooked up with someone hotter than Margo Adams. Who knows?
 
Yeah, the "failing in big spots" argument does not seem to be there just looking at his career splits.  Not saying he didn't fail in some big spots, but he seems to have succeeded more than he failed.
 
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=boggswa01&year=Career&t=b
 
His career ops was .858.  With RISP his career ops was .875.  His career clutch stats are also good. 
 
***
In '86 (looked at a random peak year) his clutch stats in medium leverage situations was .946.  In high leverage it was 1.172.
 
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=boggswa01&year=1986&t=b
 

chrisfont9

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John Marzano Olympic Hero said:
 
I think that you're thinking of Game One of the 88 Playoffs where he was up against Eckersley in the ninth and looked bad striking out (which to be fair, a lot of people looked bad against Eck that year). But I have the exact same recollection. In fact, if someone asked me to name a memory of Wade Boggs, I'd probably say that. Which, I understand, is completely and totally unfair but at the time I was really into baseball and consuming everything that I could about the game and specifically the Sox. The popular (and unfair) knock on Boggs was that he'd get his two hits in the first four innings and choke when it mattered most. That AB against Eckersley kind of cemented that for me. 
 
And another thing was that after the Margo Adams affair, there was a story every day about Wade Boggs getting traded. Literally every day for about a year. By the time that season ended, it didn't even feel like Boggs was on the team any more and it felt like he always had one foot out the door. So when he left a few years later, I never really cared because in my mind he was already gone. 
I remember that too! And yet over time he did well in the clutch. It's funny how that perception stuck, but I think that was life in the 1980s as a Sox fan -- anything that led to yet another miserable ending was hard for fans to bear in a reasonable way.
 

Rasputin

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It's weird what we remember. What I remember most about Boggs is him fouling balls off. 
 

LoweTek

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I think some of you guys are over-rating the common fan's understanding, accepting and embracing advanced stats. It has certainly come a long way given mentions on national broadcasts, etc. But I think if you polled a typical stadium crowd with the question, "Can you tell me what OPS+ is?" your success rate would in the 5-10% range and I might be overstating. Seriously.
 
From the thread I've certainly come to a greater appreciation of Valentin, whom I saw many times. If I'd been asked prior to today, I would have referenced his injury proneness. But looking at BRef, I see he averaged more than 100 games a year over 11 years, driven lower primarily by outliers at the begining and end of his career. He put up some very nice numbers. (He's currently the Dodger's assistant hitting coach alongside McGuire, interestingly. His Seton Hall temmates included conincidentally Mo Vaughn and Craig Biggio - Thank you Wikipedia).
 
Media had a huge influence on fan perception and appreciation back then. While we have an appreciation for the Gammons' of the world in those days, there was a lot of undue criticism of players which had nothing to do with on-field accomplishment or lack of it. And frankly, New England baseball fans ate it up. I think this plays a far larger role than realized today. Player praise was fleeting and getting it meant kissing up to media who were considered by the players to be mostly, "The Enemy."
 
As for Boggs, I agree most of his exile is on him. A victim of Boston media scorn, yes, but he violated a lot of unwritten rules for which teammates still haven't forgiven him. Every account I have heard is he was in fact not a popular guy in the clubhouse. I also remember him as the un-clutch much as I remember Rice as the DP champ and mediocre defensively (and surly).
 
I do give Boggs his due though for becoming an above average 3B. He did it through hard work and thousands of GBs. He was not a remarkable defender coming up. He made himself into a plus defender. He is a legit HoF, no argument.
 
Couldn't care less about the horse or the Devil Ray hat, FWIW.
 
Underrated seems the wrong word for Boggs. Underappreciated, yes. I still think Bob Stanley is the underrated winner of the period with honorable mention (after today) to Valentin.
 
Finally, if any of those teams had won or there weren't so many crappy teams during the era, this conversation might be very different.
 

shaggydog2000

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mwonow said:
Interesting question - thanks for posting! I answered "both" to both. I probably would have put a check mark next to Bob Stanley if it was an option for under, and you could make a case for other guys with shorter stays here, but I had Bruce Hurst in mind. Great and consistent pitcher who caused no headaches, the anti-Rog in the rotation.
 
A lot of guys have been "over" through the years, but I think Rick Burleson (and Remy, noted above) deserve some discussion here. Trot Nixon would have been a real consideration if he was in the poll...
I think JD Drew is a great example of a dude who was both at the same time, depending on who you talked to.  Lot of stat love for the guy, and dirt-dog hate.  
 

ALiveH

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i agree 1000 percent.  i probably would have voted for Drew & Trot as most over & under-rated if they were on the poll.
 
Mike Boddicker sneakily had 2.5 really good years here as a pitcher.
 
I was pretty shocked when I looked up how good Bob Stanley's career was here.  I mostly remember old, terrible Stanley - was too young to see good Stanley.
 

shaggydog2000

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ALiveH said:
i agree 1000 percent.  i probably would have voted for Drew & Trot as most over & under-rated if they were on the poll.
 
Mike Boddicker sneakily had 2.5 really good years here as a pitcher.
 
I was pretty shocked when I looked up how good Bob Stanley's career was here.  I mostly remember old, terrible Stanley - was too young to see good Stanley.
 
Just for giggles, I looked up both their WAR stats over the time they were with the Sox on Fangraphs.  JD Drew was the 11th ranked RF in terms of WAR from 2007-2011 with 49.2 offensive runs and -2.2 defensive.  Trot Nixon was 11th in WAR for RF from 1999-2006 with 90.8 offensive runs and 15.5 defensive.  So pretty much equal offensive and defensive value over their time periods, the same ranking compared to their peers, and both missed some time.  So much about them is so similar, but perception is hugely different.  
 

Erik Hanson's Hook

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
The Johnny from Burger King types love empty batting average and nice round numbers like 3000 hits. The perception that Boggs is still underrated is perpetuated by his fans that are upset the team basically disavows any connection with him. Mostly because he was and continues to be an insufferable prick.

He was certainly underrated in his day, but no, not anymore. I'm not sure how one claims a guy that got inducted to the HoF on a 92% is underrated in any way to begin with. If you're worried about Johnny from Burger King than I think you need to focus your attention elsewhere, because that guy should mean less than two shits on how a player is remembered or viewed or how it impacts his legacy.

Like I said, we did this already in a thread off of main board. Boggs doesn't get the love for a lot of reasons, but not many are because people don't understand how valuable he was. Many of those reasons are at least in part his own doing.
 
Maybe that's the way it should be...but that's not how it works. Johnny from Burger King does matter. Why? Because he outnumbers you, by a lot. The common fan plays a big role in defining legacy, in all sports, no matter how uniformed they are in regards to advanced stats. And how does Boggs continue to be an "insufferable prick?" Please enlighten us with another know-it-all post.
 
And thanks for telling us what we should be talking about. Boggs was mentioned in another thread? STOP THE PRESSES.
 

rundugrun

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In regards to Varitek, his closest comp on B-Ref is Ramon Hernandez... I think the casual Sox fan considers Tek to be on par with Fisk and other legends.  
 

threecy

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rundugrun said:
In regards to Varitek, his closest comp on B-Ref is Ramon Hernandez... I think the casual Sox fan considers Tek to be on par with Fisk and other legends.  
Mind you, Fisk played many more years and in a different era, but...
 
Fisk career OPS:  .797
Varitek career OPS:  .776
 

threecy

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rundugrun said:
Fisk: 117 OPS+
Varitek: 99 OPS+

And Fisk played until he was 45 years old, which dragged down his stats
OPS+ for a good portion of Varitek's career was inflated by PED users.
 

WenZink

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threecy said:
OPS+ for a good portion of Varitek's career was inflated by PED users.
 
His OPS may have been inflated, but his OPS+, by definition, is weighted vs his contemporaries. (excuse me if that was the intent of your phrasing.)
 
Tek had a short, but timely offensive peak to his career (2003-2005) which made him a significant part of an historic Red Sox offense.  His peak also set him up very well for Free Agency, but he was one of the few Boras clients that gave the agent instructions that he wanted to stay in Boston.
 
And while many deride his wearing the "C" on his uniform, I liked the fact that he actually was proud of being recognized as the official Captain.  Yaz and Rice, the two prior Captains, were not exactly the Captain type, at least when compared to the role that Varitek took.  In an era where analytics were beginning to filter down to the field, I suspect Tek had a big part in it's implementation.
 
Comparing a worker-bee like Varitek to HOFer Carlton Fisk is a good way to make him under-rated.  
 

smastroyin

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His point was that his OPS+ is deflated because he was clean and others weren't.
 
I don't agree at all, especially stated so matter-of-factly, since the argument connects a lot of dots and even the dots themselves aren't completely clear.  But that was his argument.
 

smastroyin

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Also, I really have to take serious offense to LoweTek and his "so many crappy teams" comment.
 
There was one team that was awful compared to expectation - the 1987 team.  There two that were just generally awful - 1983 and 1992.  Other than that, the team was competitive for most of Boggs's career (he was a Yankee in 93 and 94).  They won 3 AL East crowns, were competitive until there were two weeks left in the season in a 4th.  I think you are making a false attribution of suck based on the absence of a wildcard.  For instance the 84 team was good to very good but after Detroit's 18-2 (becoming 34-5) start the season was pretty much over.
 

WenZink

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smastroyin said:
His point was that his OPS+ is deflated because he was clean and others weren't.
 
I don't agree at all, especially stated so matter-of-factly, since the argument connects a lot of dots and even the dots themselves aren't completely clear.  But that was his argument.
 
Gotcha.  And I'm not going to enter the debate as to where Varitek was on the spectrum of players and their usage of  "supplements."
 

Danny_Darwin

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shaggydog2000 said:
 
Just for giggles, I looked up both their WAR stats over the time they were with the Sox on Fangraphs.  JD Drew was the 11th ranked RF in terms of WAR from 2007-2011 with 49.2 offensive runs and -2.2 defensive.  Trot Nixon was 11th in WAR for RF from 1999-2006 with 90.8 offensive runs and 15.5 defensive.  So pretty much equal offensive and defensive value over their time periods, the same ranking compared to their peers, and both missed some time.  So much about them is so similar, but perception is hugely different.  
 
This is interesting to me, because I'll admit that Trot is a guy I think of as being overrated also. I think due to the prevalence of the "Dirt Dog" hype, Nixon probably is underrated among a certain breed of fan. 
 

Rasputin

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Danny_Darwin said:
 
This is interesting to me, because I'll admit that Trot is a guy I think of as being overrated also. I think due to the prevalence of the "Dirt Dog" hype, Nixon probably is underrated among a certain breed of fan. 
 
I think the thing with Trot Nixon is that he went from being a pretty good player to being a pretty bad player pretty damn quick. BBREF has him as a 5.1 win player in 2003 and thanks to a negative 2007, not accumulating 5.1 WAR the rest of his career. Even when you assume that the 5.1 is an outlier, he went from 3.4 in 2005 to 1.1 in 2006 and -1.2 in 2007.
 

shaggydog2000

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Rasputin said:
 
I think the thing with Trot Nixon is that he went from being a pretty good player to being a pretty bad player pretty damn quick. BBREF has him as a 5.1 win player in 2003 and thanks to a negative 2007, not accumulating 5.1 WAR the rest of his career. Even when you assume that the 5.1 is an outlier, he went from 3.4 in 2005 to 1.1 in 2006 and -1.2 in 2007.
 
Yeah, the Sox got out at exactly the right time with him.  Only 35 at bats after being terrible offensively and defensively in 07.  
 

glasspusher

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I felt Boggs got psyched for the playoffs, got the fans psyched for the playoffs, did his best when it mattered most, and no, didn't hit a ton of home runs and was under-appreciated by a lot of the fans, but I wouldn't call him the most under-appreciated Sox. I never had a problem with Boggs, and his baggage as the years wore on. Clemens, on the other hand, makes me sick. 
 
As far as most over-valued Red Sox, why isn't Freddie Lynn's name up there? He had a few good years, but yeesh...
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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glasspusher said:
I felt Boggs got psyched for the playoffs, got the fans psyched for the playoffs, did his best when it mattered most, and no, didn't hit a ton of home runs and was under-appreciated by a lot of the fans, but I wouldn't call him the most under-appreciated Sox. I never had a problem with Boggs, and his baggage as the years wore on. Clemens, on the other hand, makes me sick. 
 
As far as most over-valued Red Sox, why isn't Freddie Lynn's name up there? He had a few good years, but yeesh...
He was certainly overrated as an Angel, but don't you dare speak ill of Lynn's time with the Sox.  His 1979 season was maybe better than Rice's 1978.  It boggles the mind that he hit .333/.423/.637 (all of which led the league), while winning a Gold Glove in center field, but finished only fourth in the MVP voting.  You have to wonder what would have happened if he'd stayed in Boston instead of heading to California.  He was born to hit in Fenway.
 

threecy

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shaggydog2000 said:
 
Yeah, the Sox got out at exactly the right time with him.  Only 35 at bats after being terrible offensively and defensively in 07.  
I think a lot of the problems stem from the major back injury/surgery he had early in his career.  If I recall correctly, since that surgery and for the rest of his life, he can't sit for more than 2 hours a time.  It's amazing he put up the numbers he did.
 

Rheal With Cheese

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curly2 said:
 
Off the top of my head, he hit a critical homer in Game 2 of the ALDS after the Angels had taken the lead off Pedro, hit the sac fly to tie Game 5 of the ALCS (a sac fly might not seem like much but first--and-third, no outs is not a guaranteed run off Rivera), and had a two-out single for the first run in Game 6, ahead of Bellhorn's homer.
All true. The game 6 Alcs hit also followed an amazing foul off a 2strike pitch after the ump didn't grant him a late timeout request against Lieber and he had to quickswing at it.

Also in the next Schilling start in game 2 of the WS, Varitek hit a 2 out 2 run-triple in the first for a 2 run lead. Both times helping the Sox get a lead which was nice and probably reduced some of the stress on Schilling's feet those nights. I'm not the biggest Varitek fan but he certainly had his moments with the bat in 04.

I don't know if he should also get partial credit for batting righty against Mussina in game 5 of the ALCS to break his futility streak vs the Moose and draw a walk, but I believe that also forced in a run which was obviously crucial in what wound up being ultimately the playoff game of which I am most fond.
 

glasspusher

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Philip Jeff Frye said:
He was certainly overrated as an Angel, but don't you dare speak ill of Lynn's time with the Sox.  His 1979 season was maybe better than Rice's 1978.  It boggles the mind that he hit .333/.423/.637 (all of which led the league), while winning a Gold Glove in center field, but finished only fourth in the MVP voting.  You have to wonder what would have happened if he'd stayed in Boston instead of heading to California.  He was born to hit in Fenway.
No question 1979 was his best year. Fabulous. Too bad he didn't have it a year earlier, but hey, 1978 just wasn't meant to be. 
 
I wish he had stayed with the Sox, too. Would have been nice to see how his career would have gone.