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Your "time machine" example doesn't answer that question. You can't make the comparison the way you think you can. Your model is implicitly biased against the older players
You can't say "Babe Ruth never hit a slider", or "Walter Johnson couldn't throw a slider", therefore they're not as good as Kershaw and Trout.
But your preferred analysis tells you absolutely nothing more about that question of greatness.
If Ruth stepped out of your time machine and put up a 120 OPS+ in his first 50 games with antiquated equipment and training, that would tell you literally nothing about his greatness. Until you let him make all the adjustments he could, there would be no informational value.
again, maybe you're right, but without any explanation this statement is more confusing then anything. what do the gene pools do? Make jaws smaller? teeth bigger? Does your statement contradict the previous guy? support him? neither? what??
well I cant help but think that you must be leaving something out here. You say it takes a long time for teeth to evolve but in the same passage are jaws are smaller. Jaws evolve faster? Something else?
elaborating a bit here, would be most welcome.
It tells us about his measured performance, which people use to infer greatness.
So maybe I missed it, but what do you mean by greatness? Is it an absolute idealized measurement or a relative measurement?
Babe Ruth put up a 201 OPS+ in 1932 at age 37, vs. a career OPS+ of 206. He was just as good relative to league as he was 15 years earlier.
It's not quite a time machine, but we do have an example of a player putting up Ruthian numbers against A or AA talent for years, and then suddenly thrown into competition with 2014 MLB pitchers. Jose Abreu is adjusting quite well so far.
Eliminate diseases, feed people better, and you get sharply different results from the same genetic material.
If the league improved steadily at 1% a year, or what have you, a 40 y.o. star in physical decline should be completely unable to match the dominance of their youth. The fact that many old super-stars have is pretty strong evidence that the league isn't improving very much. Again the individual player is declining physically, but remains dominant
If the league improved steadily at 1% a year, or what have you, a 40 y.o. star in physical decline should be completely unable to match the dominance of their youth.
Right, but that's injury/physical decline, not league improvement. If it's a general improvement in the level of play, it would affect everyone across the board.
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