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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Duke Snider died at 84.

From a previous post:TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2009

Classic contrast showing the absurdity of the non-uniform playing areas.


Duke Snider: 224 home, 183 away; 55% at home; that includes 18 playing for Mets and Giants and FIVE seasons in LA. Snider's home/away splits for five consecutive 40 homer seasons in Ebbets Field Brooklyn, Duke's claim to fame:
1953: 23 home, 19 away: 42 homers
1954: 23 home, 17 away: 40 homers
1955: 23 home, 19 away: 42 homers
1956: 25 home, 18 away: 43 homers
1957: 23 home, 17 away: 40 homers
_______________________________

Duke Snider in his three best seasons had OPS+ (On Base Plus Slugging adjusted for year and park):

1953 NL  165 (3rd) MVP 3 behind teammate Roy Campanella, Eddie Mathews (47 HR)
1954 NL  171 (3rd) MVP 4 behind Willie Mays (led NL BA .345; Giants won pennant), Ted Kluszewski (49 HR), Johnny Antonelli (Giant 21-7)
1955 NL  169 (3rd) MVP 2 behind teammate Roy Campanella

In 1956 Snider led NL:
HR 43
BB 99
OBP .399
SLG .598
OPS .997
OPS + 155
IBB 26
MVP 10 behind Don Newcombe (Brooklyn), Sal Maglie, Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn, Jim Gilliam (Brooklyn), Roy McMillan, Frank Robinson, Pee Wee Reese (Brooklyn), Stan Musial.  Three Brooklyn teammates finished ahead of Snider.  Go figure.  Snider's BA was .292 and that probably cost him in the MVP voting but maybe the writers were angry at Duke.  This vote is absurd.  From the NY Times obit:

But a year after the tirade against the fans, Snider was chided by some sportswriters as being ungrateful for his good fortune when he collaborated with Kahn for a May 1956 article in Collier’s titled “I Play Baseball for Money — Not Fun.”

Snider's HR splits home/road and v. righty/lefty pitchers detract from his big home run seasons and overall career stats.  See the data.

During his five consecutive 40 HR seasons Snider hit these HR against lefty pitchers: 3, 2, 3, 1, 0.  1957: 40 homers, all against righty pitchers, probably a record.  For perspective, all 1957 Dodgers against lefties: 294 AB / 8 HR = 36.75 AB per HR.  The entire Dodger team hit only 8 homers against lefty pitchers.  Snider was very well protected in a heavily right handed hitting lineup, which faced few lefties.

In 1957 Hall of Fame southpaw Warren Spahn won the MLB Cy Young award.  He faced the Dodgers only once: Sunday, August 4, 1957 1:32PM, County Stadium.  Spahn relieved in the ninth and faced two batters: Don Zimmer and Jim Gilliam, retiring both; Spahn was credited with a save.

Here are Snider's HR totals for those five seasons:

HR 207
home HR 117
home AB 1,368
home AB/HR 11.692
road HR 90
road AB 1,394
road AB/HR 15.488
Dif road-home 3.796
righty HR 198
righy AB 2,468
righty AB/HR 12.464
lefty HR 9
lefty AB 294
lefty AB/HR 32.666
Dif left-right 20.202
Pct HR v righties 95.65%
Pct AB v righties 89.36%; Percent of all Dodger AB v righties: 89.42%; amazingly close.

Both Snider individually and all Dodgers faced less than 11% lefty pitchers.  Contrast that with MLB lefty pitchers percent of plate Appearances (PA):

1953 30.19%
1954 28.03%
1955 28.73%
1956 26.67%
1957 22.87%

Some of these numbers are astonishing.  The NY Times obit emphasized:

he hit 40 or more home runs in five consecutive seasons, something neither Mays nor Mantle ever achieved, and a feat matched by only two other National Leaguers: Ralph Kiner and Barry Bonds.

The perspective above is therefore in order.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Willie Mays home runs: home v. road - somebody tell Bob Costas

Click the above heading to read the research.

I'm watching MLB network.  Bob Costas is interviewing Willie Mays.  Costas just babbled about how many more home runs Mays would have hit if Mays had not played home games in Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

It's criminal that a guy who is not over 80 years old in 2011 is too lazy and/or stupid to simply check the facts, which are available to everyone.  Costas could have hired a high school intern to check but apparently Costas has not had a new thought on this in his life.

Costas has been coasting on his reputation for many years.  MLB should wake up and either fire Costas or, if possible, force him to do some original research.  Costas simply repeats the same incorrect junk that old timers repeat but Costas is only 58 years old.  There's no excuse for Costas to continue to be this lame for this long.  Usually it's dumb former jocks who repeat nonsense, not guys who are supposed to be journalists.  Maybe Costas thinks of himself as an entertainer but even then Costas has an obligation to be accurate.  What a jerk.

Steroid Stars: Bonds, Clemens, Ryan

The perjury trial of home run king Barry Bonds will finally start March 21, 2011.

The perjury trial of Roger Clemens may start in July 2011.

So when will someone other than me finally catch on that strike out king Nolan Ryan was probably as into performance enhancing stuff as Bonds and Clemens?  See my post:

TUESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2010

More on possible steroid use by Nolan Ryan.

Why has Ryan remained immune?  The basic data is pretty overwhelming.

Obviously, race is a factor with Bonds, that and the fact that Bonds is as obnoxious a sports figure as we have seen in the last 50 years.  In the U.S.A. race is always a factor.

Politics is also a factor.  When Clemens testified before a House of Representatives committee many members, mostly if not exclusively Republicans, were fawning all over Clemens publicly and having private sessions with him.  They also excoriated his main accuser.  Clemens work ethic seemed to resonate well with many committee members of both major parties.  Since Clemens is a sort of Ryan protegee, Ryan also benefits from that good will.

However, once Clemens was indicted on August 19, 2010 and some Republicans backed away from their support you would think that someone, anyone, would finally examine the record of Nolan Ryan that has been sitting there for twenty years.

Ryan is now president and part owner of the Texas Rangers.  Ryan was the face of the Rangers during their unsuccessful appearance in the 2010 World Series.  That should make any possible improper conduct during his playing days (1966-1993) of special interest.  How can Ryan be expected to enforce the MLB policy on performance enhancing stuff if he is hiding his own use?

Ryan retired about three years before performance enhancing stuff became a big issue when batters started hitting 50 homers in a season at record rates.  Pitchers were and still are not suspected nearly as much as batters. And only the home records, both season and career, are of concern to the writers.  No football or basketball records are of concern.  Neither are pitching records such as strike outs, both season and career.  All that helps to explain why writers have not considered the strange case of Nolan Ryan.  But that was a while ago and by now someone, anyone, should have caught on.

Unless of course MLB, Inc. is not interested in exposing anyone still in a position to generate revenue.  Both Bonds and Clemens have yet to be tried.  Their seasons as active players: Bonds 1986-2007, Clemens 1984-2007.

Ryan was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999, the second consecutive season in which the season home run record of 1961 was surpassed.  Bonds and Clemens may have to wait a long time for election, maybe forever.  Ryan was elected by the writers, so they have an interest in not looking foolish.  But there should be someone, anyone, other than me who would finally examine the record of Nolan Ryan.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ted Williams in 1951 Red Sox games 142-150 ... and abandoning his team.

This is an addition to my previous post on whether Mickey Mantle ever played meaningful games against the Red Sox.  From that post:

Even though Cleveland's Mike Garcia defeated Boston at Fenway Park on Sept. 18 Boston was only 2.5 games back after 142 of 154 games.  However, the Red Sox completely fell apart and won only one more game

Ted Williams in his final 8 games, Red Sox games 142-150: 6 ( 5 singles, 1 homer) for 26 (.230).

Williams did not play Boston's final four games in 1951 at Yankee Stadium after Allie Reynolds had no-hit Boston in game one of the September 28, 1951 doubleheader.  That was the second no-hitter in 1951 for Reynolds and it was the famous game in which Williams made the final out twice.  Williams fouled out to Yankee catcher Yogi Berra but Yogi dropped the ball for an error.  Then Williams did it again and the second time Yogi caught it.  Williams never batted again in 1951.

Sound familiar?  Check 1960.

September 28, 1960 (nine years to the day) at Fenway Park Boston Williams did his famous thing: homered in the 8th in the final at bat of his career; Boston was still losing 4-3.  What did he do next?  Williams abandoned his team.  Top of the 9th: "Carroll Hardy replaces Ted Williams playing LF batting 3rd".  Nice move. Leave in a one run game.  That eliminates the possibility that he may bat again and ruin his individual accomplishment.  Aided by an error Boston scored two in the bottom of the 9th to win 5-4.  Number 2 batter Willie Tasby was the final Boston batter.  Williams spot was next with Carroll Hardy waiting to bat.

In 1960 after the Ted Williams farewell homer Boston still had three more meaningless games to play at Yankee Stadium.  Boston played them without Ted Williams.  Yanks won all three: 6-5, 3-1, 8-7.  I wonder how Ted Williams teammates, especially the pitchers, felt about that.  You think losing pitchers Brewer, Nichols and Earley were thrilled about the great Ted Williams simply going home before the season had ended?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Did Mantle play any meaningful games against the Red Sox?

I received a constructive challenge to my post:

Rooting for the Mets is like rooting for Bernie Madoff!  MONDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2011

This is being challenged:

For a rivalry to be great both teams really need to be good at the same time.  For instance the rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox is another fiction because since the Yankees started winning in 1920 both have been good for only three periods: 1948-1950, 1975-1978, and all but about three seasons from 1999-2010. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle never played a meaningful game against the Red Sox.

Here is the challenge:

NYY-Red Sox "rivalry" - the Red Sox were a good ballclub in 1951 - they finished third  and still were in contention (albeit barely) when they were finished off by the NYY in, I believe, a five game set (perhaps four games) at the end of the season - when Allie Reynolds no-hit them in the first game of a twinbill, then the NYY won game two to clinch with Joe D. hitting a homerun - I think the score was 11-3 - my Dad took me to the Stadium that day  - and I believe Mantle played in at least one of those games so he did play in at least one meaningful NYY-Red Sox tilt - Ed

Since the Yankees and Red Sox had battled in the three previous seasons early games in 1951 would be considered meaningful.  See Mantle's 1951 game log.

The Yanks opened against Boston in Yankee Stadium and won both games on April 17 and 18.

Mantle later played against Boston:

April 26 Fenway Park
April 17 Fenway Park
May 28 Fenway Park
May 30 both games of a doubleheader Fenway Park
June 30 Yankee Stadium
July 6 first game of a doubleheader Fenway Park
July 7 Fenway Park
July 8 Fenway Park

Boston won all nine games.

After playing in a loss at Cleveland July 13 Mantle was sent to the minor leagues batting .260.  He returned to play in a win against in Cleveland August 24.

After returning from the minors and being assigned number 7 after having number 6 before, Mantle played against Boston:

Sept. 5 at Yankee Stadium loss
Sept. 21 at Fenway Park win
Sept. 23 at Fenway Park win
Sept. 29 both games of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium 2 wins
Sept. 30 at Yankee Stadium win - last game of the regular season

Yanks split against Boston: 11-11.  Mantle played in 17 of the 22 games.

In 1951 Boston finished third, 11 games back, which is what influenced me to think that Mantle had played no meaningful games against Boston.  However, Boston was in first place (tied) as late as Thursday, Jul 26 after beating the White Sox in Boston.  This would cover Mantle's first 11 games against Boston.  However, Cleveland's Bob Lemon defeated Ellis Kinder at Fenway Park on July 27 and Boston never returned to first place.

Even though Cleveland's Mike Garcia defeated Boston at Fenway Park on Sept. 18 Boston was only 2.5 games back after 142 of 154 games.  However, the Red Sox completely fell apart and won only one more game: Saturday Sept. 22 when Mel Parnell shutout the Yankees 5-0 at Fenway Park defeating Eddie Lopat.  Boston was 4 back after that game.  Mantle did not play.

Yanks played their final five games at Yankee Stadium against Boston:

Sept. 28 doubleheader - Mantle did not play
Sept. 29 doubleheader
Sept. 30.

Yanks won all five.  The only meaningless Mantle played against Boston in 1951 were the final three games of the regular season at Yankee Stadium.

Ed's comment was just a bit off on this:

Allie Reynolds no-hit them in the first game of a twinbill, then the NYY won game two to clinch with Joe D. hitting a homerun - I think the score was 11-3 - my Dad took me to the Stadium that day  - and I believe Mantle played in at least one of those games 


Reynolds did pitch an 8-0 no-hitter in game one Sept.28.  Vic Raschi won game two 11-3.  In game two with the Yanks leading 7-1 Joe DiMaggio hit his 12th and final regular season home run off Chuck Stobbs in the 6th inning: 2 on, 2 outs to CF.  That win clinched the pennant but against Cleveland, not against Boston, which had dropped to 8 back and had already been eliminated.  However, Mantle did not play in either game.  DiMaggio played one more regular season game: Sept. 30 second game of the doubleheader - one for one, run scored, RBI, walk.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The batting average example to demonstrate context.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/batting_avg_leagues.shtml

In 1930 Bill Terry batted .401.  In 1968 Carl Yastrzemski batted .301. Both led their leagues.  Who did better?

abbreviations:

NL- National League
AL - American League
BA - Batting Average

In 1930 NL BA was .303.  In 1968 AL BA was .230.

Terry: (.401 - .303) / .303 = 0.323432343 - 32% above NL BA

Yastrzemski: (.301 - .230) / .230 = 0.308695652 - 31% above AL BA

Terry but not by nearly as much as you might expect.

For my friend Steve.

Where should Mets move?

Where should the Mets move?

Now that their New York position is untenable, here are some suggestions for a change of venue, so to speak:

- Camen Islands
- Switzerland
- Monte Carlo
- Panama
- Delaware
- Lichtenstein
- Leavenworth
- Las Vegas
- Jacksonville
- Liverpool
- Siberia
- Allentown
- western Pakistan

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rooting for the Mets is like rooting for Bernie Madoff!

For decades we Yankee fans were subjected to the sappy drivel about the great rivalry between the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants baseball teams.  The Yankees were almost blamed for the Dodgers and Giants leaving New York for California after the 1957 season.  The move to California ushered in what I consider the golden age of New York baseball: 1958-1961 when the Yankees were the city's only MLB team.  Ah, those were the days!

However, the many bitter NL fans and writers deluged us with junk about the teams that had left and attacked the Yankees at every turn.  As mentioned in my previous post, a common insult was that rooting for the Yankees was like rooting for U.S. Steel: cold, corporate, calculated, devoid of colorful characters.  Hey, I was just rooting for the home team.  I was ten years old.

Plus, how corporate and uncolorful were: Yogi Berra, Billy Martin, Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and, of course, Casey Stengel?  It was the big lie of New York sports in those years, that and the GREAT RIVALRY.

For a rivalry to be great both teams really need to be good at the same time.  For instance the rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox is another fiction because since the Yankees started winning in 1920 both have been good for only three periods: 1948-1950, 1975-1978, and all but about three seasons from 1999-2010. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle never played a meaningful game against the Red Sox.

NOTE: See my correction in post:

Did Mantle play any meaningful games against the Red Sox?  WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2011

The Dodger-Giant rivalry supposedly peaked in the 1950s, highlighted by the tie in 1951 in the NL, which resulted in three extra regular season games between the two teams to decide the NL pennant and who would play the Yankees in the World Series.

Game 1: Monday, October 1, 1951, Ebbets Field Attendance: 30,707    Giants 3, Dodgers 1
Game 2: Tuesday, October 2, 1951, Polo Grounds V Attendance: 38,609    Dodgers 10, Giants 0
Game 3: Wednesday, October 3, 1951, Polo Grounds V Attendance: 34,320    Giants 5, Dodgers 4.  Giants score 4 in bottom of ninth.

The Giants win the pennant!
The Giants win the pennant!
The Giants win the pennant!
They're going crazy!
They're going crazy!

Blah, blah, blah.

We heard it ad nauseam.  In 1962 we heard it more than what had been done by a Yankee the previous season: Roger Maris breaking Babe Ruth's single season home record.

Note the attendance.  Ebbets Field held about 36,000.  The Polo Grounds held about 52,000.  So where the heck was everybody?  Empty seats for each game were about: 6,000, 13,000, 18,000.  There were actually fewer fans at deciding game three than at game two.  What the heck?

Now get this.  The grab ass apologist answer that you get from old time Dodger and/or Giant fans is that these games were played on weekdays, they had to work, that times were tough.  Hey, it was not the depression of the 1930s.  This was during the post WWII economic boom.

Then, now get this one, when confronted with the fact that game 1 of the 1951 World Series was played Thursday, October 4, 1951 at Yankee Stadium in front of 65,673 you get the astonishing and undocumented claim that Yankee fans were rich stock brokers.  I've actually heard that claimed by multiple otherwise intelligent lawyer friends within the last year or two.  WOW!


game 1: Thursday, October 4, 1951 at Yankee Stadium 65,673 Giants 5, Yankees 1
game 2: Friday, October 5, 1951 at Yankee Stadium 66,018 Yankees 3, Giants 1
game 3: Saturday, October 6, 1951 at Polo Grounds 52,035 Giants 6, Yankees 2
game 4: Monday, October 8, 1951 at Polo Grounds 49,010 Yankees 6, Giants 2
game 5: Tuesday, October 9, 1951 at Polo Grounds 47,530 Yankees 13, Giants 1
game 6: Wednesday, October 10, 1951 at Yankee Stadium 61,711 Yankees 4, Giants 3

Irony does not even begin to to describe the position in which Met fans find themselves.  What you say, the hypocrisy of the father should not be visited upon the son?  Met fans of all ages are drenched in the team history, or rather lack of it, and the richer history of the teams that came before.

The Mets have been a colorless forgettable franchise with ever changing uniforms and team colors, endlessly searching for an identity, even basing their new ballpark on the long gone and deservedly forgotten Ebbets Field, which was a crumbling mess when abandoned, and honoring in their new park, not a Met, but a Dodger: Jackie Robinson.  This inspired by principal owner Fred Wilpon, a young Dodger fan in the 1950s, the Met who benefited most from the corruption of the criminal Bernie Madoff and the corporate welfare of MLB, Inc.

As mentioned in my previous post: the chickens have come home to roost.  They always do.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Lawsuit against Mets by Madoff plaintiffs: text.

Entire 373 page lawsuit against Mets by Madoff plaintiffs.

Let's go Madoffs! Let's go Madoffs!

Rooting for the Mets is like rooting for U.S. Steel.  AND they have rich stockbroker fans.


Hey, that's what NY NL fans have been saying about the Yankees and their fans for 60 years.


The chickens have come home to roost.

Madoff and Mets

What a mess!


You know: Bernard L. Madoff, the Ponzi scheme crook who duped greedy rich people into investing with him.  Madoff is serving hard time in prison.  Madoff was a close business associate of the Mets owners: Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz.


Today's New York Times:


Wilpon’s Ownership of Mets Is Threatened


The Mets also have hit their limit on borrowing from Major League Baseball’s credit line.


Say what?  The MMMMMMets have been borrowing from MLB???  You mean WE Yankee fans have been subsidizing the Mets!?  This is an outrage!  And it's been enough borrowing that the Mets have hit their limit!  In the immortal words of the late Yankee scooter, Phil Rizzuto: "holy cow"!


It was bad enough that the 2010 Texas Rangers eliminated the New York Yankees in the MLB semi-finals with the money of the other 29 MLB teams, which saved the Rangers from bankruptcy, but now it turns out that the Mets have been borrowing from MLB.  This is too much.


The only bright side is that the Mets will remain a mess until MLB forces a change in ownership.  Then the Yankees may face the guy I wanted to succeed George Steinbrenner: Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA Dallas franchise.  Cuban was blocked by MLB from purchasing the Chicago Cubs.


However, MLB may be so desperate to fix the Mets that it may permit Cuban, Steinbrenner with brains, to buy the Mets.  That would be the Yankees worst nightmare: Cuban v. the Steinbrenner kids.  Oh, the humanity!


Oh, for the good old days of my youth, 1958-1961, when New York had the one and only legitimate MLB team: the New York Yankees!  The great city of New York was besmirched in 1962 by accepting an expansion team, which I still consider illegitimate.  And now this.  Is there any surprise?


All those years and all that crap about the Yankees being like U.S. Steel.  About Yankee fans being stock brokers and Dodger, Giant, Met fans being working class.  So how do the Mets go down?  Madoff's Ponzi scheme!


Mets-Madoff.  Maybe we should demand that MLB at least change their team name.  How about calling them Madoffs?  Now pitching for the Madoffs, Bernard, who will try to retire the batter by selling him worthless paper.


Mets, go away!  Just go the heck away!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Would Red Sox have won with Phil Rizzuto?

That’s what Ted Williams said, presumably referring primarily to the 1949 and 1950 seasons.  Unfortunately, Williams was not more specific and otherwise may not have known what the heck he was talking about.
Written March 4, 2003 in a SABR Researcher's Notebook is a reference to what Williams said:
When Ted Williams was holding court at Fenway Park several years ago he was asked why the Red Sox won only one pennant during his tenure in Boston. Ted replied that if the Sox had had a shortstop like Rizzuto they would have won many pennants.
Both Williams and Rizzuto missed the 1943, 1944, 1945 seasons due to military service during WWII.  Here is Boston’s record after Rizzuto became the starting SS of the Yankees:
year wins fin GB SS
1941 84 2 17 behind Yankees Cronin (final season as regular; .311)
1942 93 2 9 behind Yankees Pesky
1946 104 1 0 Pesky
1947 83 3 16 behind Yankees Pesky
1948 96 2 1 behind Cleveland Stephens
1949 96 2 1 behind Yankees Stephens
1950 94 3 4 behind Yankees Stephens
1951 87 3 11 behind Yankees Pesky
Why didn't Williams mention Lou Boudreau, 1948 AL MVP?   Boudreau led AL with 10.4  WAR; Rizzuto had 1.2.  Boudreau was player/manager and SS of Cleveland 1942 - 1950.  Williams and Boudreau were teammates in 1951.  Boudreau was Boston manager 1952 - 1954 when Williams played 6, 37, 117 games.  In 1952 Boudreau also played four games.
In 1950 Williams played only 89 games, 416 plate appearances (PA).  Due to military service in Korea Williams hardly played the next two seasons:
1952 - 6 games
1953 - 37 games.
Boston finished 6,4,4,4 1952 through 1955.  1955 was Rizzuto's last season with significant time as SS of the Yankees - only 81 games, 181 PA; Billy Hunter was considered the starter - 98 games, 279 PA.
Whether he knew it or not Teddy Ballgame was referring to just three seasons when Boston finished closer than 9 games behind: 1948 (1) Cleveland, 1949 (1), 1950 (4), the only three seasons when Vern Stephens was Boston’s starting SS.  Stephens was basically replaced by Johnny Pesky in 1951 and Johnny Lipon in 1952.  In 1953 1954 and 1955 Vern Stephens played for the White Sox, Browns/Orioles and White Sox again before retiring.
I was all set to try to analyze this when it occurred to me that there are multiple interpretations to what Williams may have meant.
1. Replace Stephens with Rizzuto.  Who plays SS for Yanks?  Stephens?
2. Move Stephens to third and put Rizzuto at SS.  Big difference than simply replacing Stephens with Rizzuto.
3. Have Rizzuto play SS for both teams.  But what happens to Stephens?
4. Trade Stephens for Rizzuto even up.
Let’s look at batting first and include Pesky just for fun.
OPS+ (On base plus slugging adjusted for parks and league)
year Pesky Stephens (RBI) Rizzuto
1948  98      113 (137)            79
1949 104     137 (159)            88
1950 104     112 (144)          122
Stephens led AL in RBI in 1949 and 1950.  Obviously, the only season in which Rizzuto is even a factor is 1950 when Boston finished third, four games back.
Let’s try something more esoteric: wins above replacement (WAR) broken into its components: offense and defense.
1948 Pesky Stephens Rizzuto
oWAR 2.7     4.0      1.1
dWAR  .5      .9       .1
WAR  3.2     4.9      1.2
1949 Pesky Stephens Rizzuto
oWAR 2.9     5.9      2.9
dWAR  .5      .9       .9
WAR  3.4     6.8      3.8
1950 Pesky Stephens Rizzuto
oWAR 3.6     3.9      6.1
dWAR  .2        .1      1.0
WAR  3.8     4.0      7.1
Maybe Rizzuto makes the difference in 1950 as he sweeps all three but it depends a lot on which scenario is used.  Obviously, it’s not a no brainer as Williams may have convinced himself.  Common sense would tell us that Rizzuto would need to make a lot more plays in the field to make up for all the RBI by Stephens.
Let’s look just at defense; remember Pesky was playing third base.
RF/G (range factor per game: (putouts + assists)/games played):
year Pesky Stephens Rizzuto
1948  3.01   5.22     4.74
1949  3.49   4.94     5.06
1950  3.59   4.72     4.86
Rizzuto has a slight edge in two seasons but Stephens has a larger edge in the other.
What about 1947, the season before Stephens joined Boston?  Here are AL SS leaders:
Range Factor/Game as SS
1.        Joost (PHA)        5.44
2.        Boudreau (CLE)        5.27
3.        Rizzuto (NYY)        5.23
4.        Stephens (SLB)        5.21
5.        Appling (CHW)        5.07
Fielding % as SS
1.        Boudreau (CLE)        .982
2.        Christman (WSH)        .978
3.        Pesky (BOS)        .976
4.        Stephens (SLB)        .970
5.        Rizzuto (NYY)        .969
Pesky’s RF/G in 1946 was 5.07 and 1947 was 4.83; in 1947 Pesky also played 22 games at third.  Boudreau may have been the best fielding SS.  Stephens held his own.  Pesky’s decreacing range may have been why he was moved to third by new manager Joe McCarthy.
What about Rizzuto’s  prowess turning the double play?
AL Team DP:
1948:
1. SBL 190
5. BOS 174
6. NYY 161
1949:
1. PHA 217
2. BOS 207
3. NYY 195
1950:
1. PHA 208
3. NYY 188
4. BOS 181
Williams probably thought of Stephens as a good hit, no field SS and Rizzuto as a wiz on defense.  The numbers suggest that both views are incorrect.
Plus, when Williams was dieing he was visited by three former teammates: Dom DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr and Johnny Pesky.  This is described in the 2003 book The Teammates: A Portrait of Friendship by David Halberstam.  It suggests that Williams was friendly with Pesky.  Unknown is the relationship between Williams and Stephens.
Stephens was acquired by Boston on November 17, 1947 from the St. Louis Browns.
Joe McCarthy managed Boston in 1948, 1949 and 59 games in 1950.  McCarthy made the decision to move Pesky from SS to third replacing Sam Dente who batted .232 with no home runs in his 1947 rookie season.  The day after acquiring Stephens from the Browns Boston traded Dente to the Browns in a deal that brought pitcher Ellis Kinder to Boston. Kinder pitched for Boston from 1948 through 1955 and was a starter in 1948, 1949, 1950, leading AL in 1949 in winning percentage with .793 (23-6) and shutouts with 6.
McCarthy replaced Pesky at SS with Stephens.  McCarthy had managed the Yankees from 1931 through 1945, managing Rizzuto in 1941 and 1942.   McCarthy must have considered Stephens a better defensive SS than Pesky or he would left Pesky at SS and put the home run hitting Stephens at third.  Stephens had already lead AL in RBI in 1944 (109) and home runs in 1945 (24).  Stephens RBI in his first three seasons with Boston: 137, 159, 144.
Would the Boston Red Sox have won more AL pennants with Phil Rizzuto at SS instead of Vern Stephens?  Maybe in 1950, Rizzuto’s AL MVP season, but even that is not sure.  Williams does not seem to have analysed this very carefully and may have been influenced by his feelings about both Pesky and Stephens.
Boston’s problem was not Stephens playing SS.  Boston’s problem was that the roster was loaded up for Fenway Park.
See this spreadsheet.  It’s data is summarized below.
In the 1948,1949,1950 seasons Boston scored more runs at home than on the road by these margins: 55, 132, 223!  Per game the difference was: .63, 1.7, 2.9!  In 1948 and 1949 Boston per game allowed FEWER runs at home: -.68, -.61.  In 1950 Boston per game allowed more runs at home: .65.  
Here are the numbers for the two recent 162 game seasons (2004,2007) when Boston won the MLB championship, aka, World Series: more runs at home: 85,77.  Per game the difference: 1.05, .95.  RA home > RA road per game: .15,.58.
It wasn't even Boston's pitching that did them in.  It was their lopsided offense.
1948:        RS   RA   Rdiff Wins
Cleveland 5.4   3.6   1.7    97
New York  5.6  4.1   1.5     96
Boston     5.9   4.6   1.2     94
1949:         RS   RA   Rdiff  Wins
New York   5.3  4.1   1.2    97
Boston       5.8  4.3   1.5    96
Cleveland finished 8 games back but had the lowest RA: 3.7.
1950:        RS   RA   Rdiff  Wins
New York   5.9  4.5   1.4    98
Detroit       5.3  4.5     .8    95
Boston      6.7  5.2    1.4   94
Cleveland finished 6 games back but had the lowest RA: 4.2.
For those three seasons the difference between Boston's home and road wins: 14, 26, 16.  In 1949 when Boston lost the last two games of the regular season at Yankee Stadium to lose the pennant by one game its road record was 35-42 (.455); at home: 61-16 (.792).  That's ridiculous and Ted Williams should have known that.
1949 Stephens:
home 354 PA, 96 RBI, 1.007 OPS
road   358 PA, 63 RBI,  .858 OPS
W - wins
L- losses
RS - runs scored
RA - runs allowed
WP - winning percentage
G - games
                        W        L        RS        RA        WP        G        RS/G
1948        Yanks Home        50        27        413        315        0.649        77        5.4
1948        Boston Home        55        23        481        336        0.705        78        6.2
                                                                
1948        Yanks Road        44        33        444        318        0.571        77        5.8
1948        Boston Road        41        36        426        384        0.532        77        5.5
                                                                
1949        Yanks Home        54        23        419        304        0.701        77        5.4
1949        Boston Home        61        16        514        310        0.792        77        6.7
                                                                
1949        Yanks Road        43        34        410        333        0.558        77        5.3
1949        Boston Road        35        42        382        357        0.455        77        5.0
                                                                
1950        Yanks Home        53        24        440        333        0.688        77        5.7
1950        Boston Home        55        22        625        427        0.714        77        8.1
                                                                
1950        Yanks Road        45        32        474        358        0.584        77        6.2
1950        Boston Road        39        38        402        377        0.506        77        5.2
                                  W        L        RS        RA        WP        G        RS/G
- each season Boston scored more runs at home than Yanks
- each season Yanks scored more  runs on road than Boston
- each season Yanks allowed fewer runs than Boston both home and road!
- each season Boston had higher winning percentage at home than Yanks
- each season Yanks had higher winning percentage on road than Boston
1948,1949,1950 home-road:
team      W        L         RS         RA          WP
Yanks  25        -25        -56        -57        .1082 (.680 - .571)
Boston 56        -55        410        -45        .2392 (.730 - .498)
In the 162 game 2004 and 2007 seasons: the difference between Boston's home and road wins: 12, 6.  Winning percentage home/road: .679/.531; .630/.556.
For many years it appeared that Boston stacked its club with players who could bang balls off and over that ridiculous 37 foot wall, the green monster, in left field at Fenway Park.  When they finally went to a more balanced offense including some speed they eventually won.
You live by the wall, you die by the wall.
***   The End   ***