• WSJ Top Ten Yankees

    Posted by on April 29th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Russell Adams at the WSJ takes a look at the Who Is the Greatest Yankee? It’s an interesting top ten that they’ve put together there…especially at the bottom end.

    Comments on WSJ Top Ten Yankees

    1. Evan3457
      April 29th, 2010 | 11:32 am

      I can’t see the list; I can only read the article.

      Anyway, this sort of rating system of ranking players by ordinals in a collection of categories has two major sources of error:

      1) Choice of category at the expense of categories not chosen.
      2) Erroneous equal weighting of categories which are not anywhere near the same value, when evaluated with thoughtfulness and intelligence. You see the same thing when you see position vs. position matchups to rate teams in playoff previews; i.e., Yanks vs. Red Sox: Drew vs. Swisher is +1 for the Red Sox, and Jeter vs. Lugo is +1 for the Yanks, and the +1’s cancel out even though Jeter is far superior to Lugo, whereas Drew is not near as much superior to Swisher.

      So when people use this kind of rating system, it may be interesting as information of a discussion of the greatest Yankees, but it’s not terrible useful as an actual rating system, and certainly not as good as the most informed subjective judgement, or better yet, the collective subjective judgement of a large panel of informed selectors or voters.

      For what it’s worth, off the top of my head:

      1. Babe Ruth
      2. Mickey Mantle
      3. Lou Gehrig
      4. Joe DiMaggio
      5. Yogi Berra
      6. Derek Jeter
      7. Whitey Ford
      8. Mariano Rivera
      9. Alex Rodriguez (assumes he stays highly productive for the next 5 years or so)
      10. You pick it: Joe Gordon, Bill Dickey, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Tony Lazzeri, Reggie Jackson, Lefty Gomez, Red Ruffing, Tommy Henrich. Any of ’em is OK with me.

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