04 July 2007

1909 American League

The Tigers won their third pennant in a row by 3.5 games over Philadelphia. A rebuilt Boston ran a solid third. Boston had the best offense, Philly the best run-prevention crew, but Detroit the best combination. Chicago was a solid fourth, followed by New York, Cleveland, and St. Louis. Washington lost 110 games as the AL laughingstock. The Tigers then lost their third straight World Series as well, although they took this one to seven games.

Ty Cobb led the league with a .377 average, followed by Eddie Collins at .347 and Nap Lajoie at .324. Cobb scored 116 runs and teammate Donie Bush 114. Cobb had 216 hits followed by Collins at 198. Cobb had 107 RBI, followed by teammate Sam Crawford at 97, and Cobb had 76 stolen bases, followed by Collins at 67. Crawford had 35 doubles, while Lajoie and Cobb had 33, and "Home Run" Baker had 19 triples, followed by Crawford and Danny Murphy at 14. Cobb also led in on-base, slugging, OPS, and runs created.

George Mullin led the league with 29 wins, Frank Smith won 25, and Ed Willett won 21 to round out the 20-game winners. Harry Krause's 1.39 ERA edged Ed Walsh at 1.41, with Chief Bender third at 1.66. Smith led in strikeouts at 177, and Walter Johnson had 164. Smith had a big lead with 365 innings, and Mullin was a distant second at 304.

Ty Cobb led in just about every offensive category that means anything, but in Win Shares it was Cobb 44, Collins 43, with Tris Speaker at 34 and Sam Crawford at 32. Other top Win Shares placers were Nap Lajoie of Cleveland, Donie Bush of Detroit, and Frank Baker of Philadelphia, all at 27. Patsy Dougherty of Chicago posted a 25. This influx of young talent, with Collins and Speaker in their first full years and Baker a rookie, would serve to make the AL the dominant league for the next several years, extending through the Babe Ruth Era.

WARP3 leaders for position players: Collins 12.5, Cobb 11.3, Speaker 8.4, Bush 6.8, Crawford 6.4, Lajoie 6.3, Jake Stahl (Boston) 4.6, Freddy Parent (Cleveland) 4.5, Danny Murphy (Philadelphia) 4.4, Harry Davis (Philaelphia) 4.1.

Pitchers are more of a challenge. The Win Shares leaders are Frank Smith (Chicago) 31, George Mullin (Detroit) 28, Ed Walsh (Chicago) 23, Chief Bender and Eddie Plank (Philadelphia) 22, Ed Summers (Detroit) 21, Addie Joss and Cy Young (Cleveland) and Harry Krause (Philadelphia) 20.

Rated by WARP3 they shape up as Smith 8.2, Walsh 7.8, Joss 5.6, Barney Pelty (St. Louis) 4.9, Mullin 4.8, Jack Powell (St. Louis) 4.7, Krause 4.4 (career year), Bender and Jack Warhop (New York) 4.3, Plank and Cy Morgan (Philadelphia) 4.2.

WAR, top position players: Collins 11.1, Cobb 10.8, Bush 7.4, Speaker 7.1, Lajoie and Speaker 6.7, Crawford 6.4, Parent 5.4, Lord 4.8.

WAR, top pitchers: Morgan 6.0, Smith 5.3, Walsh 5.1, Krause 5.0, Bender and Plank 4.5, Joss 4.3, Mullin 4.2.

Top player: Ty Cobb, as much as I would like to choose Collins. Cobb led the league in so many categories while playing for the pennant winners, it is impossible to choose anyone else. Make Collins #2, Speaker #3, Lajoie #4, and Crawford #5.

I'll go for Frank Smith as the top pitcher. He led in strikeouts, also games, starts and complete games, and was second in wins. Walsh gets my #2 vote, with Mullin #3, Joss #4 and Plank #5.

Harry Krause was the top rookie, going 18-8 and leading the league with a 1.39 ERA after pitching in 4 games the year before. Bush and Baker would be #2 and #3 in a strong year for rookies.

Top manager: Hughie Jennings, holding Detroit together for another pennant.

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