A Biography in 1,000 Players No. 59 Craig Biggio (Number 6 Second Base)

Bill James created controversy when he rated Craig Biggio over Ken Griffey Jr. I have found out I have done the same rating them two positions apart. Today I figured out why. Biggio is better in win shares and Griffey is better in WAR. I gave Griffey a bonus for winning the MVP. I didn’t do that with Biggio as he never won the MVP. His best finish was fourth. Griffey had an edge with all those categories. No other bonus points were given to either player. However, I added points based on Bill James latest formula combing Win Shares and WAR. In this formula players competed for points based on position played. There is more competition in the outfield positions than the infield positions, so Griffey got less points putting him behind Biggio.

I’m OK with that. I already had given 2nd base a small bonus because of injuries that happened in the infield from slides and collusions. I just got rid of the bonus I had as I thought the formula took care of this problem. For shortstops I reduced the amount of bonus they received. I don’t think none of this is perfect, but it worked for me. So Biggio got a slight bonus for being a second baseman that put him ahead of Griffey. Do I agree with this? Maybe on some days. Most of the time I would probably think Griffey is the better player. However, there was enough of a difference I decided to go with my formula and leave things as it is.

In August 2002 a friend and I went on a baseball tour. We saw games in Milwaukee, Comiskey, Pittsburg, Cincinnati and ended up with the Cubs at Wrigley. They played the Astros. Biggio hit a homerun with Houston already ahead 3-0 to make the 4. That might not seem very important, but the Cubs came back and pulled within one run in the ninth and had two men on base when the final out was made. So Biggio’s home run was important. It just goes to show in baseball you never know. Thru 7 innings the Astros had a nice 4-0 lead, but barely held on at the end.

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