Saturday, September 23, 2023

Joe Posnanski on BOTNS All-Star Chet Lemon

I'm a happy subscriber to Joe Posnanki's Substack, a prolific showcase for the veteran sportwriter's excellent writing (Just finished his great new book "Why We Love Baseball," too). Often he accepts reader challengers to explore some topic of their choosing. On September 12, he talked about A Batty-nominated athlete: Chet Lemon!

From his Substack on 9/12:

Brilliant reader Michael threw out an interesting challenge — it is to answer this question: Who was a better player, Kirby Puckett or Chet Lemon?

The conceit of the challenge and the analysis is that Puckett is an iconic baseballer of a certain era, while Lemon is just a random 70s/80s guy to many, yet their stats are a lot more similar than you might think when you use advanced numbers. Lemon actually scores higher in both accepted methods of calculating WAR, for example.

Who was the better player? I don’t think the answer matters as much as the question. Chet Lemon is underrated. He was one helluva player, who was not appreciated enough when he played.

I recommend you check out the whole thing, but I enjoy seeing Chet get some love. One thing Joe misses, though, is that great Baseball Bunch appearance Mike and I discuss on the podcast. Surely you have to weight that when comparing a player who was ON the Bunch to a player who was not.

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