There’s already a site, but I’d like to weigh in on something terribly stupid Joe Morgan said during last Sunday’s game.
He said, and I paraphrase, “guys like Ted Williams didn’t get to be hitting champions by getting walked a lot. People talk all the time about drawing walks, but Ted Williams didn’t get a lot of walks.”
Even without access to a laptop, the Internet and a century of baseball statistics at the time, I knew in my heart that that was false. First, because Joe Morgan was saying it with authority. And second, because, well, when you’re pitching to a guy who hits .318 on a bad season, you’ll occasionally throw a few outside.
However, I’d be no better than Stumbling Joe himself if I didn’t find the facts to back me up. So here, in an easy to read chart, are the all-time career walk leaders:
It’s no longer shocking that Joe Morgan has such little respect for statistical analysis that he’d be flat-out, incontrovertibly wrong about whether Teddy Ballgame drew a lot of walks or just a few. That’s par for the course. The man wouldn’t be doing his job if he were right more than half the time.
But you’d think that, given the fact that Ted William’s #4 and Joe Morgan himself is #5, that he’d at least remember that number. That he might have heard his own name brought up in that context before. That Joe Morgan might at least be cognizant of a record he’s really really close to Ted Williams on.
Ted Williams drew 154 more walks than Joe Morgan did, over 1571 fewer at-bats. That tells me that, yeah, better hitters draw more walks, regardless of how counter-intuitive that might strike the dumbest man to talk about baseball since Tim McCarver. It also tells me that Joe Morgan not only knows nothing about statistics – he knows nothing about his own career.