Replaced by a Franchise Hero: Don Money

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, December 26, 2012 12:45 PM | Comments: 19
Analysis, History, Posts, Replaced By a Franchise Hero

http://www.itsalreadysigned4u.com/shop/media/images/product_detail/ape-money-don-8x10.jpgA lot of the Phillies’ offseason discussion has boiled down to one question: how does Player X compare to Player Y, whom he is replacing? It is a valid and particularly useful tool when projecting wins and predicting improvement for a club. The Phillies have a particularly strong canon of historically popular players that most of the city’s fans rally around. This canon definitively includes, but is not limited to, Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Richie Ashburn, and Robin Roberts and may soon make room for Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley.

There are a few articles out there about how teams fared once their golden geese proverbially went South. Most teams, like the Phillies and Schmidt, struggled to find even league-average play at times to replace their superstar, even as their superstar is declining. The Phillies mixed and matched Charlie Hayes and Steve Jeltz after Schmidt retired after 172 plate appearances into 1989 before stumbling upon Dave Hollins in that offseason’s Rule 5 draft to shore up the Hot Corner for a sizable chunk of the next five seasons.

What I have not seen a whole lot of are a lot of words written about who these superstars replaced. (Note: Being a baseball reading junkie, please correct me if I am wrong because I would love to read more). Yes, the Lou Gehrig for Wally Pipp change is well documented and Mickey Mantle famously took the reigns in center field at Yankee Stadium from Joe DiMaggio after sharing time there in 1951, but there is little else, particularly about our favorite red pin-striped ballplayers.

The Phillies have had a few of these type of replacements, however. For the purposes of this series, I will focus on a Phillie who is a popular, franchise-level player and play with the what-ifs. Because of the historic futility of the franchise, however, there will not be a giant list of “Gehrig for Pipp” level changes, but I will start the series off today with one: Schmidt replaces Don Money at third base.

The Hero

Our hero, in this case, needs no introduction. The 110.6 fWAR as a Phillies’ third baseman was 68 more than his closest competitor, Dick Allen and is the highest among players playing third base full-time. Schmidt’s WAR numbers, which place him 24th All-Time at Baseball Reference and 19th All-Time at FanGraphs among hitters, were aided by both his incredible bat but by his ridiculously great glove at third base. According to FanGraphs, Schmidt saved the Phillies 127 runs in exactly 2,400 games at third base, good enough for ninth all-time among third baseman. Schmidt was a three-time MVP, twelve-time All-Star, nine-time Gold Glove winner, and a World Series MVP in what was the Phillies’ first World Series championship.

Entering 1973, the Phillies were in search of answers. Lots of them. After trading Rick Wise for Steve Carlton, who accounted for over 46% of the 1972 clubs wins, the club went 59-97. With the season lost, the Phillies began to play Schmidt, wearing number 22, at third for the remainder of the ’72 campaign on September 12 against the Mets. Schmidt would go 1-3, striking out twice. The 22-year old Schmidt would strike out in 15 of 34 at-bats in ’72; he would hit .196/.324/.373 in 1973 with 18 HRs and 136 Ks in his first full season at third base with the club. While his .177 ISO put him firmly in the upper-half of third base power hitters, his defensive prowess was not yet recognized and his low average and high strikeout totals became an eyesore in a baseball world not yet ready for Sabermetrics.

Technically, Larry Bowa was the first to replace Money, but through the ’72 season, Bowa was found to be a better fit at shortstop and Money re-assumed his duties at third.

The Incumbent

Money’s 1972 season was his age 25 year and he was coming off a career-low triple-slash of .222/.278/.343 versus a career high 15 home runs in the brand-new Veterans Stadium. By the end of 1972, Money was splitting time with Schmidt at third base, starting some games and finishing others as a defensive replacement. In his second-to-last start with the Phils, Money would hit two home runs in Chicago before being replaced in the fifth by Schmidt in support of Carlton’s 27th victory.

Like Schmidt, Money had a lot of value in his glove. In a little over four seasons with the Phillies, Money saved the club a net 11 runs per FanGraphs and, by that measure, was tied for tenth best fielding third baseman between 1968 and 1972, a group that includes Brooks Robinson, Graig Nettles, and Clete Boyer. And per FanGraphs, Money’s total WAR was good enough to rank him 23rd among 83 third baseman, a list that is unfortunately but understandably littered with folks who played both corner infield spots.

The Results

Money, in his age 26 season, bounced back, posted a 2.9 WAR, and posted a career-best line of .284/.347/.401 with 11 HRs and a career-high 22 steals. Money did, however, have a -21 run defensive contribution, getting dinged for 11 runs just a season after contributing 10 surplus defensive runs for the Phillies. Money became a four-time All-Star with Milwaukee, three times at third base and once at first base and played with the Brewers until his retirement in 1983. From 1973-1983, Money was the 61st most productive Major Leaguer per WAR. Schmidt, as mentioned earlier, would go on to become among  the greatest, if not the consensus greatest third basemen of all time. In that same time period, Schmidt led all of Major League baseball in WAR, was third in runs saved in the field among all Major Leaguers, led the Majors in home runs, and trailed only Willie Stargell in slugging.

How Hard Was The Decision to Replace the Incumbent?

Historically, Money’s stat lines rank him as the 505th best hitter of all-time according to Baseball Reference, right in front of Baby Doll Jacobson. While that doesn’t scream “greatness”, there are a few indicators that Money was, and would likely become, a very good player. Unfortunately, because Money played during perhaps the richest era of fielding third basemen in history (Schmidt, Robinson, Boyer, Buddy Bell, etc.), his very-good-but-not-great fielding would not stick out as much as it would perhaps today. Also, Money walked and struck out at nearly the same clip during the prime years of his career, offering a lot of value by not only walking but increasing his productive outs.

For the 1972 club, anything that was not nailed down, like Bowa or Greg Luzinski, and not named “Steve Carlton” should have been shipped out in box cars. And rightly, it was. The Phillies got great value when they pared Money with Bill Champion and John Vukovich and sent them to Milwaukee Ken Brett, Jim Lonborg, Ken Sanders, and Earl Stevens. Brett went 13-9 with a 3.44 ERA in 1973 and was traded for Dave Cash in the offseason in what proved to be  a coup in its own right. Lonborg never found the magic that helped him win the 1967 Cy Young but was a strong number two starter for the team from 1973 until 1978 before quietly fading away in 1979, posting 17 wins in 1974 and 18 in 1976. Sanders was packaged and shipped to Minnesota for an aging Cesar Tovar and Vietnam veteran Stevens was selected by the Expos in that year’s Rule 5 draft.

For a team that needed to turn around any talent they had into future talent, the 1972-73 offseason provided a lot of great opportunity. In the 1973 season, the team improved by 12 wins, but Money outperformed Schmidt in Milwaukee. The initial sting of watching Money have a career year was well worth the the eventual payoff of having the greatest third baseman of all time and the club’s first World Series championship.

Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

About Ian Riccaboni

Ian Riccaboni has written 893 articles on Phillies Nation.

Ian's athletic achievements include getting stuffed by NBA center Aaron Gray in high school and hitting .179 over four years for NYU against D-III, NAIA, JuCo, and NCBA schools. Ian hopes his athletic successes will help him achieve his dream of becoming the underground Bob Uecker.

  • Posts: 0 arc

    Is baseball that complicated? does every move have to be discussed in terms of micro analyitics? This is a gut feeling analysis, which i know doesnt mean s8*t to most saberists on here, but their are certain teams, that when their line up is on deck, I get a burning feeling. I mean, there is a certain amount of uncertainty, or mystery with certain line ups. Its a feeling your even starting to get with the Nats, and Braves. Their are certain batters, when theyre up to bat, I get a burning feeling in my stomach because you know they are going to come through in the clutch/ or at least its possibe. I havent had that feeling about any of the batters on the Phillies since 09 except for maybe chooch, and Polanco. There is no fear to glean from this line up. Amaro, with the exception of Pence has refused to address this, and as of 26th 2012 it still has not been addressed. You know the outcome of this line up, especially in the clutch. It is very simple to dismantle this teams line up, one thing which is hard to do with successful teams in the post. Jimmy will continue to not play like a lead off, you take your chances with Utley, and you neutralize Howard, and, oh yeah; who else do we have in our line up? All the pitching in the world cant help this team. I feel sorry for, Cole, Halliday, Charlie and Lee, they deserved better from Amaro, and so did the fans. I pray Amaro gets canned after this year.

    • Posts: 0 arc

      excuse typos, auto spell check turned “there” into “their”.

    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Things that may be surprising:

      1) for the last 2/3 of the 2011 season (i.e. after Utley returned), the Phillies were the highest-scoring team in the NL — I suspect that might have worried opposing teams somewhat

      2) (assuming for the moment that hitting in the clutch is a repeatable skill) the Phillies were actually pretty good in the clutch in 2012:

      - with runners in scoring position: 4th highest average in the NL, 5th highest OPS
      - with RISP and two outs: 2nd highest average, 2nd highest OPS
      - in “late and close” situations: 3rd highest average, 3rd highest OPS

      • Posts: 0 arc

        Ahh, apparently Christmas is over, and so is winter semester. So, lets revisit my post for the moment: “You know the outcome of this line up, especially in the clutch. It is very simple to dismantle this teams line up, one thing which is hard to do with successful teams in the post”.
        Again, a lot of things go into winning in the post season; one of them offense where the Phillies have lacked; wait, let me clarify my point: in the post season; and here lies my previous, and present critique of the Phillies post season performance. Now to address your decontextualized statistics:

        in 2011 the Phillies were the 7th lowest scoring team in the postseason, only ahead of Tampa Bay, and lowest in the National League.

        in 2010: the Phillies batted a mere 5-for-28 with runners in scoring position.

        in 2010: the Phils struckout 56 times while walking just 20. They left 45 runners on base (7.5/game) and hit just .178 (8-for-45) with runners in scoring position. Countless times they couldn’t drive a leadoff baserunner home. The only player who actually hit the baseball–Ryan Howard–finished without an RBI (and 12 K).

        in 2011: Howard, hitless in his last 15 at-bats

        in 2011: The Phillies scored 15 runs in the first 10 innings of the series and just six the rest of the way.

        in 2009 WS: Howard .174
        in 2010 NLCS: Howard 318 avg. had 7 hits produced 1 run, 0 RBI,0 HR, but Utley .182
        in 2011 NLDS: Howard hit .118

        2009 WS: NNY .291 Phils .240
        2010 NLCS: Giants .266 Phils .181
        2011 NLDS: St. Louis: .310 Phils .263

        Again, my original point: In the post season, good teams will neutralize your strengths. When you eliminate Ryan Howard or Utley, you make a huge impact on our line up.

        It seems from my analysis; the teams that have beaten us have spread out their contributions amongst a number of players. Again, Amaros strategy has still not addressed that. If anything he has concentrated the weight on Utley, and Howard even more. He needed to aquire a good third basemen, LF, C. and RF. He really needed to address all 4. We’ll see about Brown, and Revere.

        Again, In 2008 phils had 8 players with WS avg over .300, in the NLCS, 8, and in the NLDS,6. In 2009 WS you had only 3 batters above .280. in 2010 you had 2 batter above .260, in 2011 you had 3 batters above .300.

      • Posts: 5449 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        Could you please enlighten me by telling me exactly what moves you would rather have seen “Amaro” make after 2008? What would you have done to infuse youthful talent into the minor league system that he hasn’t? Who would you have traded to get what you believe they need? (and please be realistic, other teams will trade, but they won’t give you something for nothing) Which FA’s would you have made larger offers to? How high would the team’s payroll have to be to satisfy those needs?

        If you wouldn’t mind, start from 2009 since that’s where your postseason stat complaints begin. Go year by year, step by step, taking into consideration player control, no trade clauses, overall team payroll etc. Please explain why the better players would automatically be attracted to your offers over other teams, when they apparently weren’t by his?

        You’ll have to pardon me if you have written these things before, I don’t read all the comments. But right now it appears that you’re only saying what hasn’t been done, and that’s just too easy. I’d like to hear your ideas, I assume you’re a pretty sharp kid. And I hope you did well in your first semester grades.
        Thanks in advance, Lefty

      • Posts: 0 arc

        Okay, so here goes the longest posting in phillies nation history(I dedicate this to Lefty, and Schmenkman):

        Listen, its not hard to see that since 2008 the phils have taken a step back every subsequent season(“offensively”whew that was close). Now the old adage good pitching beats good hitting, you would think with the phillies rotation getting stronger they would have been better off. However, their post season production has gotten worse, and it doesnt take a mathematician to analyze where the deficit is coming from. With the exception of 2009, and thats with the exception of the WS the phils offense was phenomenal. Again, lets look at WS stats. In 2008, the phils had 8 players with WS avg. over .300. In the NLCS; 8, and in the NLDS; 6. In the 2009 WS you had only 3 batters above .280.
        Now lets just look at out rivals in each series. In 2009, the Yankees had 4 batters over 300. What is astonishing is the Phils had almost twice as many HR, yet produced 5 less runs. Utley had 5 HR Howard had 1. Werth had 2 HR. Wait.; you guys like to talk about OPS, and we all knows who ever defines the issue controls the battle; but, I like to fight, so ill let you all frame the argument. In 2009 Phillies had a .782 ops vs. NYY .725, but the Yankees won. Well, maybe it was pitching, after all the Yanks era was 4.58, and the Phils era 5.37. Okay, so Im Amaro, and im looking at this and saying; “the Yanks only produced 5 more run, and out of his rotation I got now, the only bas**rd that won in the series was Lee. I still got Howard, and Utley, and Werth, and Ibanez. You win some you lose some, thats baseball. I need to address the pitching”.-RAJ. Fast forward NLCS 2010 with Halliday and Oswalt, minus Lee the Phils post a 2.91 ERA vs. the Giants 3.06. The Giants post a .645 ops vs Phils .635 ops. All other stats are almost dead even with the exception of hits. Giants got about 7 more, and thats with the Phils lower ERA. So, In 09 we can say we blame the loss to the Phils pitching, but in 2010 our pitching was better, so what happened? Well, doing a avg. stat comparison 2 players on the Phils from 2009-2010 were static; Howard and Werth. 3 players had a decrease in production, while 2 players had an increase. So, it doesnt seem like much a manager needs to do. However, I think his signings at LF and 3rd base came back to haunt him. So, then in 2009-10 my options offensively to fill.

        First, LF: Matt Holliday age 29, 7/120mil, Jayson Bay 4/66mil, Raul Ibanez age 37, 3yr/30mil.

        Next, 3rd base: Juan Uribe age 31, 3 yr 21mil, Adrian Beltre age, 31 1yr 10mil, Placido Polanco age 35, 3 yr 18mil.

        In 2011 again, the Phils ERA was 3.89 vs cardinal 4.09. Again, the Cardinals were able to piece together 7 more hits in the series. Prior to that we know Werth wanted Bill gates money, we let him go, and hoped Amaro would fill the gap. Mistake # 3:

        Carlos Beltran, 2yr 26mil vs. Hunter Pence-(Jarred Cosart and first baseman Jonathan Singleton, as well as pitcher Josh Zeid and a player to be named later). Pence went on to win the W.S.

        Again, in 2011 post season the Phils avg was 2nd lowest out of all NLDS series, and since you guys love that OPS stat; they had the lowest OPS of all NLDS series. Again; Polanco, Ibanez, Pence and Howard were all but silenced.

        In recap, my thesis is this: the move Amaro should have made would have diversified the offense, thus making it harder for teams to neutralize them in the post season. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, (and If I knew anything about baseball Im sure at least a little league team would have offered me a position), but I loved all of the pitching moves with the exception of losing Oswalt. I think Amaro went cheap on 3rd base Rf and LF and got what he paid for in the long run. I think, you cant let Howard or Rollins, or Ruiz walk. Finally, I think he made another big mistake by not signing Hamilton or Upton. My prediction: the Phillies will make it to the post season, Utley will have a good year, Ruiz will come back to earth, Young will give you not much, Rollins production will decline with Utley and Howard back, but will remain strong., and the outfield? Theyll be some sunshine and rain. In the end, Amaro will try and sign a big free agent because he is forced to, Howard will continue to be neutralized in the post season without adequate protection, and Charlie Manuel will be forced to manage from his weaknesses.

      • Posts: 5449 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        “Okay, so here goes the longest posting in phillies nation history”

        It didn’t have to be if you didn’t continually harp on the things we already know, the moves that were made that didn’t help the team. I’m no RA Jr. apologist man, I think the Papelbon contract was just plain dumb, but that’s easy to say from my side of the fence, and I just want you to stop taking the easy way out, and tell us what you would have done. So, Okay we get it, you claim he painted himself in a corner and now doesn’t have enough offensive versatility in the lineup, there is no need for you to express that opinion again, because to an extent, I agree. But here’s where the problem comes in.

        Are you saying he should have signed Adrian Beltre in the 10-11 offseason instead of Polanco the year before? Do you think he didn’t try? I love the Beltre, he’s been on my fantasy team for a long time, almost never lets me down. Are you saying they could afford him at 6/96? What would the payroll look like with Holliday 7/120? Which pitcher in our system rates better than Zach Wheeler, the pitcher the Giants gave the Mets for Beltran? And if there is one, would it have been prudent to give him up for a 2 month rental? You see it’s just not that easy friend, there are a lot of moving pieces, the future of the franchise to protect while trying to stay competitive now, and other teams vying for the same guys. IMHO- It’s just too easy your way, but in reality it’s not.

    • Posts: 0 Ken Bland


      After eading through what you’ve written in this thread, I’d say you’re offering some subjective views.

      Just in general, pitching has regained control of the sport in the last 2 years, maybe even a little further back. The Phils have held their own against that trend.

      Secondly, I’m quite sure based on his comments about the offense that like you, Amaro hoped and expected more. Things like (paraphrasing) “we need to improve our approach,”
      his lack of rush to re-sign Jimmy was (to me) a clear indicator of like many followers of the team a want of more. You can’t seriously think he’s enthralled with everything about Ryan Howard’s approach at the plate any more than any one who watched him. People act like Ruben’s in some stoic, frozen position on the contract he gave Howard. What’s he supposed to say publicly?

      Third….”Again, my original point: In the post season, good teams will neutralize your strengths. When you eliminate Ryan Howard or Utley, you make a huge impact on our line up”

      You conveniently forgot how Utley hit in the ’09 World Series. 5 gobers, Yanks 4, Phils 2.

      Fourth, the trend is obviously one of displeasing consistency. But the fact of the matter is that
      multiple post seasons and Halladay, Howard and Utley’s 2012 years have to include some “breaks of the game” results.

      Lastly, rebuilding just isn’t as easy as flipping a switch. What GM’s, in the last 5 years have outperformed Amaro. In no particular order, Sabean, Friedman, Jocketty, Mozeliak might be fairly clear answers. Jon Daniels might be another one. Even if you say Mike Rizzo, he’s had some right place, right time circumstances as a handicap. Maybe Frank Wren. I like Alex Anthopolis, he’s a possibility. I guess there would be adequate reason to say Dan Duquette.
      Billy Beane. I just don’t see Ruben as having done a terrible job. And with 2 years at 4 mil left, and what at least seems like a good working relationship with Dave Montgomery, you’re wasting your hope thathe gets fired.


  • Posts: 0 Brian Michael

    Facinating. I never heard of Don Money. With a name like that you’d think he’d be more famous.

    • Posts: 0 chuck schreiber

      Really???? I thought you were a Phillies fan?

  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    Money was part of a 2 party marketing scheme that anchored hope for the future. Not to jump ahead, but it’s possible you wind up writing about his counterpart as well, Larry Hisle, but I don’t recall who Hisle was replaced by, so maybe not. Their might have been some time elapsed before Garry Maddox was acquired to play CF.

    But as I recall, both Money and Hisle were considered nice players, but not godsends that were gonna turn the franchise’s bleak late 60′s run into what developed. What I more vividly recall was there was an air of greater expectation applied to both than came out during their Phillie careers.

    Both Money and Hisle had fine careers after they left Philly. Whether their paths would have stayed on an uptick in staying here, that’s porobably pretty debatable.

    I wonder if Crash Allen replacing Don Hoak at 3B winds up part of this series. We shall see.

    • Posts: 0 hk


      Hisle’s was the starting CF in ’69 and ’70, which was before my time as a fan although I remember the name. Willie Montanez manned CF for the ’71 and ’72 Phils followed by Del Unser in ’73 and ’74. The Secretary of Defense took over in ’75.

  • Posts: 0 Eddie J

    *Canon. (WANTED: EDITORS)

  • Posts: 0 Eddie J

    *Canon. (WANTED: EDITORS). A “cannon” is a large, heavy gun usually mounted on a carriage. “Canon” is, in this context, a criterion or standard of judgment. (Source: Merriam-Webster)

    • Posts: 892 schmenkman

      Avatar of schmenkman

      Looks like we have a volunteer. :-)

    • Posts: 452 Ian Riccaboni

      Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

      Eddie – who says I wasn’t talking about some weird, exclusive Civil War-era relic that is so secret that only super fans know about it?

      Jeeze, of all the complicated punctuation (possessive plurals, hyphenated adjectives) I did in this one, you caught that. Great work!

  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    Don Money had an exceptionally large set of ears. I thought he was cool and people often said that if he had a pencil mustache, then he would look like Clark Gable.

    Larry Hisle was replaced by Greg Luzinski. He went the the American League and had a much better career there than in Philly.

    • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

      Surprisingly, the statement about Hisle being replaced by Luzinski bears some truth. When I read that, I’m thinking at best, Luzinski TRIED to replace Hisle. Obviously, that speaks to the defensive end of things. But Hisle played 20 games in LF in ’71. The idea of Bull replacing Hisle, a good CF is what’s etched in memoric stone, shall we say, would be fascinating plus.

      I’d forgotten Hisle was traded to the Dodgers before embarking on his AL career. Straight up for Tommy Hutton. Wonder if the Pope ever looked back on that one with some regret. Hutton was pretty cool, but memory doesn’t click with Tommy’s career measuring up with what Hisle did when he got over to the Twins. But Hutton allowed for the player who served as compensation for Curt Flood’s choice to avoid the Phils, the everpopular Guillermo Montanez to man CF for 130 games the year after Hisle was dealt. That was the year Willie banged 30 jacks, never to hit more than 20 several years later. To say he was fun to watch is understated.

  • Posts: 0 Ken45

    Some possible future articles: Carlton replaced Wise. Utley replaced Polanco. Howard replaced Thome. Rollins replaced Relaford, Ruiz replaced Leiberthal,…, Lannan replaced Worley ;)

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