Matt Snyder, a blogger for Eye On Baseball, wonders if Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell were the best double-play combination ever? My answer is, probably yes.
The second baseman and shortstop were together for more than ten years and racked up a combined 11 All-Star appearances, seven Gold Gloves and seven Silver Sluggers. Snyder says that the two players might have flown under the national radar — and still do — but they provided the Tigers with invaluable longevity, continuity and, yes, greatness both defensively up the middle and on offense.
I disagree that Trammell and Whitaker flew under the national radar and mostly all the baseball fans I know don’t hesitate to mention the Tigers’ dynamic duo when the subject of best DP combo comes up.
Snyder goes on to prove the prevailing theory through the use of position specific defensive WAR measures that credits players for longevity being that it is a cumulative metric. Ranking second to Trammell and Whitaker are Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese of the Dodgers.
I wonder how Rey Ordonez and Edgardo Alfonzo would have measured up if they had the benefit of playing second and short together for ten-plus seasons? In the brief time that they both patrolled the middle for the Mets, they were dazzling to say the least.
But hey, here’s a better question….