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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Hall of Fame’s Refusal to Acknowledge Steroids Era Insulting to Entire Generation of Fans

Dan, Dan, he’s our Manna! Dan Duquette, Jr. steps up.

McGwire, to me, will always be somewhat of a mythical figure, a behemoth of a man who sent towering home runs into the Fenway night at the 1999 Home Run Derby. The same goes for Barry Bonds. That’s what baseball is to me and my generation. Our memories are what they are.

I couldn’t care less that McGwire or Bonds used steroids, I really couldn’t. Yet somehow this has become a life-and-death issue to some voters, that allowing Big Mac into the Hall of Fame is an affront to all that is right and holy about baseball. They’re wrong.

...The history of the game is an integral piece of what makes a Hall of Fame, but you can’t pick and choose when to opt out and what to cherry-pick. The Steroids Era happened. We were all there for it, and for some of us, it is all we know. Choosing to ignore that time period does a disserve to the players that excelled during that time and is an insult to the fans that grew up in the middle of it.

There is a generation of fans out there who grew up in the Steroids Era and there is a generation of players out there who played in it. One day, those fans will want a place to be able to show the next generation their childhood memories and what it meant to them to see a great baseball player.

The Hall of Fame should be that place. If it isn’t, then what’s the point?

Repoz Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:09 AM | 156 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

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   1. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:33 AM (#4028369)
Dan Duquette, Jr.?
   2. bobm Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:55 AM (#4028382)
Hall of Fame’s Refusal to Acknowledge Steroids Era Insulting to Entire Generation of Fans


FTFY
   3. Graham Womack Posted: January 04, 2012 at 02:48 AM (#4028412)
Christ, what an irritating article. Does this guy actually have any solutions to offer besides just sanctimoniously ########? Does he have any knowledge whatsoever of the history of Cooperstown? Does he have any sense of context, like perhaps that a down economy has helped stymie attendance numbers at the Hall?

The depressing thing is that this writer's last name will probably get him a job in sports media before too long. Duquette Jr. will probably be working for ESPN before I will.

The Hall of Fame will be alright for all the article would suggest otherwise. The museum's been around 70-plus years, and in that time, plenty of fine players have needed a lot of years to get in. I'd rather it be that way than railroading a bunch of guys in for whatever reason.

At some point, the steroid issue will be sorted out. There are ways to do it, such as maybe exploring a way to normalize stats, maybe having a steroid wing of the Hall of Fame, maybe exploring a player's total contributions to the game, I don't know. I just know it won't be the end of the world when Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Alex Rodriguez miss on their first rounds with the BBWAA.
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: January 04, 2012 at 03:04 AM (#4028415)
Hall of Fame’s Refusal to Acknowledge Steroids Era Insulting to Entire Generation of Fans self righteous idiots who had voluntarily buried their heads in the sand.

FTFY.
   5. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 04, 2012 at 08:43 AM (#4028445)
Mark McGwire is a good place to start. I can tell you for a fact that people told their kids about seeing McGwire, because when he broke Roger Maris' home run record, I was 9 years old.

IOW this is all about preserving the records of Duquette's boyhood heroes. What else do we need to know?
   6. Dan The Mediocre Posted: January 04, 2012 at 08:53 AM (#4028446)
IOW this is all about preserving the records of Duquette's boyhood heroes. What else do we need to know?


The irony is thick around here.
   7. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4028448)
IOW this is all about preserving the records of Duquette's boyhood heroes. What else do we need to know?

No, it's about whether or not the greatest players of Duquette's boyhood are represented in the Hall or whitewashed out. What exactly is wrong with Duquette wanting them in? Isn't that one of the Hall's main reasons for existing?

For what it's worth, I agree with his main point - I'm personally going to be less inclined to take my grandkids to the Hall twenty years from now if a significant number of the great players from my era have been excluded and replaced by lesser players with smaller hat sizes and no back acne.
   8. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4028450)
I started watching baseball in 1986. My love of the game crystallized in the 1990s. If the BBWAA and the HOF want to tell me that the greatest players of the height of my interest in the game are invalid and unworthy, that is their choice. It is my choice to continue to ignore the existence of the HOF as a result.

Any HOF that doesn't have Barry Bonds in it isn't worth the ground it's built on.
   9. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4028451)
We don't even know the "Hall's" stance on the Steroid Era until we see what happens with Bonds and Clemens.

What exactly is wrong with Duquette wanting them in?

You're not supposed to harbor the illusions of a 9-year-old when you're an adult?
   10. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4028452)
Regardless of where you stand on this issue this is a legitimate and important point for the Hall and the town of Cooperstown. If excluding players from this era keeps people away, that is a very real problem from a business standpoint.
   11. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4028455)
Roberto Alomar played over half his career in the Steroid Era. He's in the Hall of Fame and was dominant in Hall of Fame voting.

Barry Larkin played half his career in the Steroid Era. He's going to be in the Hall of Fame as of August 2012.
   12. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:39 AM (#4028459)
11 - True. And if Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Jeff Bagwell, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Mike Piazza and Ivan Rodriguez are NOT there, that's going to be an issue.

I don't care for the tenor of this article, it's comes across whiny, but if I were running the Hall it would be something I would worry about.
   13. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4028462)
You're not supposed to harbor the illusions of a 9-year-old when you're an adult?

Like it or not, the home runs Bonds and McGwire hit, Clemens's strikeouts, etc. were not illusions - they really happened, and baseball games were decided as a result.
Besides, if adults start abandoning all their childhood illusions the Hall is in serious trouble, since one such illusion - that baseball actually matters - is kind of critical to the Hall's business model.
   14. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4028463)
You're not supposed to harbor the illusions of a 9-year-old when you're an adult?


In other news, you're not supposed to pretend that one generation of players is notably worse morally than another generation of players, just because they had access to better training drugs. If Willy Mays had had access to HGH, he would have used it no questions asked.
   15. zonk Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4028464)
IOW this is all about preserving the records of Duquette's boyhood heroes. What else do we need to know?




The irony is thick around here.


Heh...

I started reading this article ready to disagree... but you know what - I can't. I think he's spot on.

I suppose I'm technically an era earlier - but I have fond memories of baseball in the 90s and I think that, if I should ever attain the proper sense of adulthood Sam thinks proper and breed, it wouldn't feel right taking the kids to Cooperstown and not having plaques of McGwire, Bonds, Clemens, Manny, Sosa, et al to show them.

It's a right of passage... of course - my childhood trip was before Rizzuto was inducted and as I recall, it turned into an argument wherein I asked why the Gary Templeton of the 40s and 50s should be in the HoF. This was not long as Templeton's rather famous "if I ain't startin', I ain't departin'" statement -- so my lifelong Yankee fan father who very much bought into the idea of the 'glue' being just as important as the Mantles and Dimaggios said I ought to be banned from Cooperstown once Rizzuto got in.
   16. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4028466)
if I should ever attain the proper sense of adulthood Sam thinks proper and breed


As a Yankee fan, it's okay if you don't.
   17. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4028468)
If Willy Mays had had access to HGH, he would have used it no questions asked.


Come on. We know that no great players of Andy's youth would have used HGH or steroids.

Except for Mickey Mantle. But his steroids didn't work. Some steroids those were.
   18. zonk Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4028469)
As a Yankee fan, it's okay if you don't.


Technically, spawn of a Yankee fan... but I suppose the recessive Cubs gene I carry isn't one you're wanting in the pool either.
   19. micker17 Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4028470)
Canseco has told us that there already is a steroid user in the HOF. While we're all supposed to hate Canseco the message bearer, the reality is that everything he has stated has turned out to be true.

Once one "outed" steriod guy is in, all of the worthy candidates will go in.

There will be no separate wing and no scarlett "s" plaque. This too shall pass.

   20. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4028474)
Technically, spawn of a Yankee fan... but I suppose the recessive Cubs gene I carry isn't one you're wanting in the pool either.


Have you considered sterilization?
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4028476)
Once one "outed" steriod guy is in, all of the worthy candidates will go in.

I don't think so.

I think the truly outstanding guys get in after a "penance period"; Bonds, Clemens, ARod.

But the guys that were caught red-handed (Manny, Palmeiro), or are viewed as purely creatures of steroids (McGwire, Sosa), I don't think they're going in for a long time, if ever.
   22. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4028478)
Come on. We know that no great players of Andy's youth would have used HGH or steroids.


I, for one, can never support a player who wears a Phiten necklace on the field. I mean, they're using the power of electromagnetism to get ahead! ELECTROMAGNETISM!!!
   23. BrianBrianson Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4028479)
Once one "outed" steriod guy is in, all of the worthy candidates will go in.


This is probably the case. Hopefully it'll be somebody like Yastrzemski, so the "The Baseball Greats of my youth are better the the Baseball Greats of your youth" crowd can take a long walk off a short pier.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4028482)
In other news, you're not supposed to pretend that one generation of players is notably worse morally than another generation of players, just because they had access to better training drugs.

What if we're not interested in the morality, but think their numbers are inflated b/c they had access to performance enhancers? I grew up in the '70's-'80's, so none of my boyhood heroes ever held any records.

I do have some resentment towards the steroids users (along with the ball-juicers, and the bullpen over-managers) for creating a far less aesthetically pleasing form of baseball than the game of my youth.

   25. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:18 AM (#4028484)
What if we're not interested in the morality, but think their numbers are inflated b/c they had access to performance enhancers?


See my post @22 for my position on this matter.

I grew up in the '70's-'80's, so none of my boyhood heroes ever held any records.


There are many facts about growing up in the 70s and 80s that suck. Mostly due to the fact that you grew up in the 70s and 80s. Nonetheless, the world is as it is and you have lived the (perhaps somewhat pathetic and lackluster) life the gods have so decreed you should have. Suck it up and acknowledge your betters.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4028486)
This is probably the case. Hopefully it'll be somebody like Yastrzemski, so the "The Baseball Greats of my youth are better the the Baseball Greats of your youth" crowd can take a long walk off a short pier.

Nah. It's probably someone like Kirby Puckett. Although I would enjoy it if it was Ripken.

If Canseco is right, it's highly likely to be someone who played at least into the late 80's. How would he have any knowledge of a guy from the '70's.
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4028488)
See my post @22 for my position on this matter.

Don't think you can get more old school than me, Sam.

I think the idea of wearing any jewelry on the field is ridiculous. I'd also agree to a ban on weightlifting, if we could enforce it. And batting gloves should be right out.

No synthetic unis either. Let's see these guys play in mid-summer heat wearing double-knit wool.
   28. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4028490)
No synthetic unis either. Let's see these guys play in mid-summer heat wearing double-knit wool.


Precisely. Any player who has ever had reconstructive surgery of any body part is right the #### out too. I mean, you can't have a HOF with a guy who has his knee ligament IN HIS ARM!!! That's unnatural. It makes Rick Santorum cry.
   29. Sam M. Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4028493)
There are few things more entertaining than Sam H. up on his high horse. If nothing else, writing this article and prompting him to climb on up there, hurling repeated fastballs down at his many targets, is the greatest service any member of the Duquette family has yet rendered the game of baseball.

Hell, it may even lift the family's WAR into positive territory, although that may be a stretch.
   30. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4028495)
IOW this is all about preserving the records of Duquette's boyhood heroes. What else do we need to know?

The irony is thick around here.


More like sarcasm, since that BS line about "boyhood heroes" is about the only reason our steroid apologists imagine can cause anyone to want to keep the roiders out of the Hall of Fame. But there's no reason that that same strained rhetorical logic shouldn't apply to Dan Duquette, Jr., who at least has the honesty to admit it.

--------------------------------------------

No, it's about whether or not the greatest players of Duquette's boyhood are represented in the Hall or whitewashed out.

Well, the last I heard, the biggest hero of Duquette's boyhood was quite adequately represented.

--------------------------------------------

I started watching baseball in 1986. My love of the game crystallized in the 1990s. If the BBWAA and the HOF want to tell me that the greatest players of the height of my interest in the game are invalid and unworthy, that is their choice. It is my choice to continue to ignore the existence of the HOF as a result.

Works for me, Sam, though I have no idea how the Hall of Fame will ever survive your absence.

--------------------------------------------

Once one "outed" steriod guy is in, all of the worthy candidates will go in.


This is probably the case. Hopefully it'll be somebody like Yastrzemski,

Well, if the all-time Mr. Sourpuss turned out to be Barry Bonds's chauffeur to Cooperstown, it would almost be worth it for the implosion it would cause in Red Sox Nation. Not to mention the "Driving Miss Daisy" image, even if the racial roles got a little confused.

   31. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4028497)
The crying game is still going on after all these years? I could have sworn that this issue had "jumped the shark" a while ago.
   32. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4028499)
If Canseco is right, it's highly likely to be someone who played at least into the late 80's. How would he have any knowledge of a guy from the '70's.

Canseco synthesized his original batch of steroids by digging up George Sisler and squeezing the muscle juice from his rotting corpse.
   33. BrianBrianson Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4028503)
I grew up in the '70's-'80's, so none of my boyhood heroes ever held any records.


Uhm, Hank Aaron? Nolan Ryan? Pete Rose? Lou Brock? - 'course, Brock's records get taken by Rickey Henderson, also a baseball hero of the 70s/80s

Or did I miss the sarcasm?
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4028504)
Uhm, Hank Aaron? Nolan Ryan? Pete Rose? Lou Brock? - 'course, Brock's records get taken by Rickey Henderson, also a baseball hero of the 70s/80s

Or did I miss the sarcasm?


Well Aaron and Brock are really before my time (born 1971).

I assumed we were talking HR/power records, since that's what the steroids debate revolves around.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4028508)
Canseco synthesized his original batch of steroids by digging up George Sisler and squeezing the muscle juice from his rotting corpse.

That 1939 BBWAA HoF election was weird.

They come out of the gate with the absolute immortals. 1936: Ruth, Cobb, Wagner, Mathewson, Johnson. 1937: Cy Young, Speaker, Lajoie. 1938: Pete Alexander.

Then in 1939, they give you Collins (immortal) and then throw in Sisler and Keeler, who are nice players, but don't stack up to the other 10 at all.

Then they decide not to vote for three years.

It's like they got tired of the whole thing and said "screw it".
   36. dlf Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4028510)
Certainly no proof, but I've long suspected Calton Fisk. (a) Played for LaRussa, (b) dramatically reshaped his body, (c) early adopter of powerlifting, (d) late career, unprecedented power surge, (e) career overlapped the increase in attention to and knowledge of steroids following Ben Johnson and the East German olympic teams. I know he has publicly decried PEDs, but I take his public position, long after there was any meaningful way of testing it, to be at least a little questionable.

Whether it is Fisk, Puckett, Eckersley, Ripken or someone yet to be inducted, I am certain that eventually this line in the sand will be erased. I'm on record saying that it will happen no later than as soon as Alex Rodriguez is eligible. Whenever it does occur, I wonder if there will be a reevaluation of the players like McGwire passed over in the interim.
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4028514)
I'm on record saying that it will happen no later than as soon as Alex Rodriguez is eligible. Whenever it does occur, I wonder if there will be a reevaluation of the players like McGwire passed over in the interim.

I agree that ARod will go in without much trouble, but I think the rationale/rationalization will be "he's good enough to have gotten in clean" which will pave the way for Bonds and Clemens (if they're not in yet) but I think still with leave McGwire and Palmeiro short.
   38. AROM Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4028515)
While we're all supposed to hate Canseco the message bearer, the reality is that everything he has stated has turned out to be true.


Not quite. He did claim that Roger Clemens never cheated on his wife.
   39. BrianBrianson Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4028516)
If Canseco is right, it's highly likely to be someone who played at least into the late 80's. How would he have any knowledge of a guy from the '70's.


It may well have been an open secret, or maybe the guy talked with him about it. FWIW, HOFers that Canseco played with:

Rickey Henderson
Don Sutton
Reggie Jackson
Dennis Eckersley
Goose Gossage
Nolan Ryan
Wade Boggs

Sutton is the only one that strikes me as unlikely. But if Canseco was open about using steroids, other players probably weren't particularly guarded about what they said to him about steroids. Why would they be?
   40. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4028524)
ELECTROMAGNETISM!!!
   41. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4028537)
ELECTROMAGNETISM!!!

Which, for all we know, has exactly the same performance-enhancing effects as HGH!
   42. micker17 Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4028539)
"While we're all supposed to hate Canseco the message bearer, the reality is that everything he has stated has turned out to be true."


"Not quite. He did claim that Roger Clemens never cheated on his wife."



Canseco did not witness Clemens cheating on his wife. Clemens may have had 100's of affairs, Canseco just was not aware of any of them. The meaning of Canseco's statement was that he did not have knowledge of Clemens fooling around.

I've always suspected that Nolan Ryan and Paul Molitor were users, although I'm not aware of any hard evidence to back up this claim other than their "unusual" career trajectories.

During the Steriod Era, players used PEDs. So what. Historians just need to judge their stats in the context of their times (OPS+, All Star Games, MVP votes, etc.).
   43. Ron J Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4028547)
#32 Funny you should mention Sisler. He is after all one of the documented cheaters (pounded nails into his bat and filed them down)

   44. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4028550)
If any of you dares to insinuate that Mickey Tettleton used anything other than Froot Loops to jack up his slugging percentage 100-150 points, I'll fight you. That "pre-steroids" era was magically delicious.

Kid tested. MLB approved.
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4028551)
During the Steriod Era, players used PEDs. So what. Historians just need to judge their stats in the context of their times (OPS+, All Star Games, MVP votes, etc.).

Shouldn't we also judge them in the context of whether they used or not?
   46. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4028558)
Well Aaron and Brock are really before my time (born 1971).

I assumed we were talking HR/power records, since that's what the steroids debate revolves around.


No. Clemens has nothing to do with HR/power records.
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4028562)
No. Clemens has nothing to do with HR/power records.

What records does he hold? None that I can think of.

Clemens get a lot of press b/c he is a huge a-hole, engaged in random bizarre behavior (from throwing the bat at Piazza onwards) and basically dared them to catch him.
   48. Ron J Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4028563)
#35 Remember that they simply didn't have reliable 19th century stats. And I can remember reading a book in the 70s that matter of factly states that Keeler was the second greatest hitter of the 19th century. Behind only Anson. IOW reliably ranking the players of the 19th century took time.

Sisler? It's a little bit of "if only" and a lottle bit of overrating his peak. You can find plenty of people picking him as the all-time best firstbaseman.
   49. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4028573)
No. Clemens has nothing to do with HR/power records.

They haven't voted on Clemens.
   50. micker17 Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4028574)
"During the Steriod Era, players used PEDs. So what. Historians just need to judge their stats in the context of their times (OPS+, All Star Games, MVP votes, etc.)."


"Shouldn't we also judge them in the context of whether they used or not?"



With a few exceptions, no we should not.

Canseco said that he thought 80% of players used, and he thought the number may be as high as 95%. We have no way of knowing who did and who did not, but it's reasonable to conclude that a significant percentage of players used.

Holding known usage against players leads to some awful scenarios:

ex. McGwire admitted usage. He's denied HOF entry.
Bagwell admitted nothing. He's a viable candidate.

Before we go off on a tangent and argue that Bagwell was better than McGwire, the point is that both are HOF worthy if both are clean.

ex. PED user David Ortiz, popular
PED user Jason Giambi, unpopular

Many fans hold PED usage against Giambi. Is the same standard used against Ortiz?

We the educated on this board know what Yaz's .301 in 1968 means, and we know what Gibson's 1.12 in 1968 means. Moving forward, we need to continue to evaluate players in the context of their times.





   51. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4028578)
#35 Remember that they simply didn't have reliable 19th century stats. And I can remember reading a book in the 70s that matter of factly states that Keeler was the second greatest hitter of the 19th century. Behind only Anson. IOW reliably ranking the players of the 19th century took time.

Sure, but the Old Timer Commission was doing 19th C guys by 1939. They put in Radbourn, Ewing and Anson that year.

Keeler was elected as a modern player (played until 1910, so kind of a tweener).

My guess is he and Sisler got in based on gaudy BA's, ~.340 in both cases.

The glaring ommission that year is Hornsby. Last played in 1937.
   52. Booey Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4028580)
"The Baseball Greats of my youth are better the the Baseball Greats of your youth" crowd can take a long walk off a short pier.

Agreed. I love MLB's connection with it's past, but too many purists think that the top 10 or whatever list of greatest players is set in stone and if anyone from the last 40 years threatens to enter it, well they must be cheating. Or the ball must be juiced. Or the game itself must be changing and is easier than it used to be. A lot of old time fans I know could barely conceal their joy when it was revealed that Bonds, McGwire, A-Rod, etc, were "cheaters". Cuz now they have a legitimate excuse (in their minds) to discredit everything those players did. Now they don't have to accept that maybe Bonds and Clemens and A-Rod really are just as good as Aaron, Mays, Mantle, and the like.

Why is baseball the only sport that does this? If a Jordan/Magic/Bird or Montana/Rice or Gretzky/Lemieux comes along that's just as good or better than anyone that came before them, no one has any problem saying so. But MLB? True greatness stopped happening around 1970. No one who played the bulk of their career after that is even eligible for top 10 status.
   53. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4028583)
We the educated on this board know what Yaz's .301 in 1968 means, and we know what Gibson's 1.12 in 1968 means. Moving forward, we need to continue to evaluate players in the context of their times.

Which, like it or not, involves weighing steroids effects. It may be murky, like evaluating 19th c. players, but we have to do it.

There is nothing on earth that is going to convince me that Barry Bonds deserves to be considered an equal hitter to Hornsby, Mantle and Gehrig based on that late career "surge".

I'll always view him in the context of what he achieved through age 34, with a normal late career tacked on. We know what he was, and then he became something different through illegitimate means.

If you want to tell me he was a better player than Willie Mays based on those rificulous roided seasons, I'm just going to say you are flat out wrong.
   54. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4028587)
What records does he [Roger Clemens] hold? None that I can think of.

20 K's in a game, twice. And the seven Cy Young Awards.

There is nothing on earth that is going to convince me that Barry Bonds deserves to be considered an equal hitter to Hornsby, Mantle and Gehrig based on that late career "surge".
I'll always view him in the context of what he achieved through age 34, with a normal late career tacked on.


For what it's worth, Bill James was already calling Barry Bonds top 5 of all time when Bonds was 34 years old.
   55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4028590)
Why is baseball the only sport that does this? If a Jordan/Magic/Bird or Montana/Rice or Gretzky/Lemieux comes along that's just as good or better than anyone that came before them, no one has any problem saying so. But MLB? True greatness stopped happening around 1970. No one who played the bulk of their career after that is even eligible for top 10 status.

Really?

Is there anyone on earth who doesn't think Mike Schmidt is the best 3B ever? Is there anyone who doesn't rank Greg Maddux as one of the greatest SP of all time? Anyone who doesn't consider Rickey Henderson the greatest lead-off hitter ever?

Now they don't have to accept that maybe Bonds and Clemens and A-Rod really are just as good as Aaron, Mays, Mantle, and the like.

I think this has way more to do with the fact that Bonds and Clemens are huge A-holes, and ARod a weird, freaky dude.

This is old fashioned Greek tragedy. People love seeing those with great hubris fall.
   56. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4028592)
20 K's in a game, twice. And the seven Cy Young Awards.

Don't exactly roll off the tongue like 61 in 61 and 714/755.

I honestly thought Maddux or Randy Johnsion had more Cy's.
   57. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4028596)
My guess is he and Sisler got in based on gaudy BA's, ~.340 in both cases.
This wasn't just an after-the-fact evaluation, though. If you read contemporary reports, everyone in baseball believed in the cult of batting average. Sisler and Keeler, two of the greatest hitters for average of their times, were perceived just about universally as all-time greats. Their elections matched perfectly with contemporary beliefs about baseball greatness. Only in retrospect do they stand out as a questionable selection and a non-inner circler.
There is nothing on earth that is going to convince me that Barry Bonds deserves to be considered an equal hitter to Hornsby, Mantle and Gehrig based on that late career "surge".
Equal hitter? Perhaps not. But Bonds was an elite fielder and elite baserunner. Through age 34 or 35, Bonds was already in the "greatest ballplayer of all time" conversation, at least the non-Ruth or post-integration discussion.
   58. BrianBrianson Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4028603)
True greatness stopped happening around 1970.


Not really - true greatness stopped happening when the speaker was ~15. People in their fifties think true greatness ended around 1970. People in their fifties are also way overrepresented in sportswriting.
   59. Booey Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4028605)
If you want to tell me he was a better player than Willie Mays based on those rificulous roided seasons, I'm just going to say you are flat out wrong.

Bonds was a better player than Willie Mays based (partly) on those ridiculous roided seasons.

We could put every player that ever plays the game from here on out on roids and I'd bet lots of money we'd never see someone SLG .863 in a season again, or post a .609 OBP, or hit 73 homers in 470 something AB's, or AVERAGE an .800 SLG and .550 OBP over a 4 year span. Of course the roids had something to do with this. But he was SO far ahead of everyone else - even the other roiders - that I just can't see any reasonable explanation to exclude him from the list of all time greats.

"Adjusting" Bonds post 2000 numbers down to a typical career decline is just nonsense. Do you really believe that steroids alone can turn a .295/.430/.580 line or whatever into .350/.550/.800? If so, we'd see alot more people approaching those numbers than we have.
   60. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4028606)
Why is baseball the only sport that does this? If a Jordan/Magic/Bird or Montana/Rice or Gretzky/Lemieux comes along that's just as good or better than anyone that came before them, no one has any problem saying so. But MLB? True greatness stopped happening around 1970. No one who played the bulk of their career after that is even eligible for top 10 status.
Baseball reached maturity as a sport far earlier than basketball and football (I don't know hockey). Basketball and football in the 1960s were basically at the same place that baseball was in the 1890s or 1900s or so. We are skeptical that the greats of the early game were truly at the level of the greats of the 40s and 50s in a way quite similar to how contemporary fans of basketball and football are skeptical of the greats of just forty years ago.

In fifty years, basketball fans will probably be complaining about why no one can be as great as Jordan.
   61. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4028613)
If you want to tell me he was a better player than Willie Mays based on those rificulous roided seasons, I'm just going to say you are flat out wrong.
Why? Because you know Mays didn't do anything that, in your mind, is equal to "steroid cheating"? And if that's so, how do you have this information - did you follow Willie around all day?

That's a real problem to me - not only are players like Bagwell (apparently) being painted with the broad brush of "steroid cheater" because (1) they are muscular and (2) they played in the "steroid era" with absolutely no evidence they ever used, but the same accusors assume no one outside of the "steroid era" ever once did anything worse than drink a cup of coffee.

And it's people like me who are said to have our heads in the sand.
   62. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4028617)
No. Clemens has nothing to do with HR/power records.

They haven't voted on Clemens.


People like Andy have.
   63. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4028618)
I'll always view him in the context of what he achieved through age 34, with a normal late career tacked on. We know what he was, and then he became something different through illegitimate means.

If you want to tell me he was a better player than Willie Mays based on those rificulous roided seasons, I'm just going to say you are flat out wrong.


I agree with your philosophy entirely, but normalizing Bonds's BB/PA and HR/PA numbers to his pre-1998 career still leaves him with 700+ homers. And he only played through age 42, so even if you hack a couple years off at the end, he's still got fantastic numbers.(**) He's one of the greatest and most driven athletes to ever put on a baseball uniform. I don't have to suspend disbelief to envision him being great through 40 or 41 (or even 42) without 'roids; after all, Mays had a great year at 40.

The guy led the National League in SLG, OPS, and OPS+ when he was 25 and 180 pounds. He was a great, great baseball player. I have no problem with the notion that he was better than Willie Mays.

(**) "Normalized" HRs in the high 600s, possibly more than Mays.
   64. Booey Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4028623)
Is there anyone on earth who doesn't think Mike Schmidt is the best 3B ever? Is there anyone who doesn't rank Greg Maddux as one of the greatest SP of all time? Anyone who doesn't consider Rickey Henderson the greatest lead-off hitter ever?

Is there anyone on earth that ranks Mike Schmidt or Greg Maddux or Rickey Henderson in the top 10 players of all time? Of course Schmidt is the greatest 3B ever, just like Bench is almost universally picked as the greatest C ever. But I was talking about the overall "greatest ever" list, not the positional ones. And no one since Mays/Aaron are ever picked as top 10 all time players.
   65. Booey Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4028633)
In fifty years, basketball fans will probably be complaining about why no one can be as great as Jordan.

I don't know. Basketball fans and writers have been shoving the likes of Kobe and LeBron down our throats as the "next Jordan" ever since the real one retired. They WANT another player to come along that's just as great, even if they have to overhype players who clearly aren't to do it.
   66. Lassus Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4028634)
True greatness stopped happening around 1970.

Take it to the classic rock thread.
   67. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4028635)
I agree with your philosophy entirely, but normalizing Bonds's BB/PA and HR/PA numbers to his pre-1998 career still leaves him with 700+ homers. And he only played through age 42, so even if you hack a couple years off at the end, he's still got fantastic numbers.(**) He's one of the greatest and most driven athletes to ever put on a baseball uniform. I don't have to suspend disbelief to envision him being great through 40 or 41 (or even 42) without 'roids; after all, Mays had a great year at 40.

The guy led the National League in SLG, OPS, and OPS+ when he was 25 and 180 pounds. He was a great, great baseball player. I have no problem with the notion that he was better than Willie Mays.


I see Bonds as a 163 OPS+ hitter through age 34. That's the player he was in his peak/prime. Best case, he goes the Aaron route and retires about that level.

Most likely he declines somewhat, and retires in the 150-155 area, which would give him an offense similar to Mays, and put him well behind Mays (being a LF vs. the best CF ever).

I have no doubt Bonds was a great, great ballplayer. Probably top-20 all-time. Without the 'roids, he sails into the HoF on the first ballot.

He wasn't top 3 or 4 until he started cheating.

If I were a BBWAA member, I'd still vote him into the HoF after a few ballots of "punishment". The 10th ballot seems about right.

I follow exactly the same thought process for Clemens.

   68. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4028642)
But I was talking about the overall "greatest ever" list, not the positional ones. And no one since Mays/Aaron are ever picked as top 10 all time players.

Well, no one has reached that level. If you go by WAR, that's 125 WAR. It's freaking hard to do.

When you're talking guys that far out on the tail, don't expect the distribution to be regular. An ungodly number of the greatest composers of all time come from 18th c. Germany/Austria, and 19th c. Italy.

Bonds should have made it (107 WAR through age-34) but he decided to cheat.

Pujols and ARod have a shot.

If you look at pitchers. Seaver and Maddux are pretty much slam dunk top-10's, and Randy Johnson has a great argument.

So, if you include Clemens, the 1990-2000's are way over-represented.
   69. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4028648)
I think comparing to Mays is a little unfair. He was the greatest player since Ruth, maybe the greatest ever depending on how you timeline and what sort of "innovator bonus" you give Ruth. I think Bonds wasn't quite his equal. But what about Aaron?

Hank Aaron through age 34: 156 OPS+
Barry Bonds through age 34: 163 OPS+

Bonds was a better baserunner and a better fielder than Aaron. Aaron added a couple more peak seasons after age 34, but that just suggests Bonds easily could have, too.

I think Bonds was a greater ballplayer than Hank Aaron.
   70. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4028649)
"The Baseball Greats of my youth are better the the Baseball Greats of your youth" crowd can take a long walk off a short pier.


Agreed. I love MLB's connection with it's past, but too many purists think that the top 10 or whatever list of greatest players is set in stone and if anyone from the last 40 years threatens to enter it, well they must be cheating. Or the ball must be juiced. Or the game itself must be changing and is easier than it used to be. A lot of old time fans I know could barely conceal their joy when it was revealed that Bonds, McGwire, A-Rod, etc, were "cheaters". Cuz now they have a legitimate excuse (in their minds) to discredit everything those players did. Now they don't have to accept that maybe Bonds and Clemens and A-Rod really are just as good as Aaron, Mays, Mantle, and the like.

So where does that leave those of us who think that even without steroids, Bonds would have been fully the equal of Mays, Mantle and Aaron, but who still don't think he belongs in the Hall of Fame? Once again, people who are peddling this simplistic "boyhood heroes" crap simply refuse to acknowledge any other reason than "sour grapes" for wanting to keep roiders out of the Hall of Fame. It's a tired refrain that probably will never go away, but I guess it goes with the territory.
   71. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4028653)
So where does that leave those of us who think that even without steroids, Bonds would have been fully the equal of Mays, Mantle and Aaron, but who still don't think he belongs in the Hall of Fame?


Do you not realize how ridiculous that sounds?

Once again, people who are peddling this simplistic "boyhood heroes" crap simply refuse to acknowledge any other reason than "sour grapes" for wanting to keep roiders out of the Hall of Fame. It's a tired refrain that probably will never go away, but I guess it goes with the territory.


Perhaps if you had been able to articulate a sensible reason why steroids and amps are different for these purposes, or why Mantle using steroids was different from McGwire using them, people wouldn't conclude that boyhood-heroes is your base reason.

And as LA of Anaheim noted last week, your interest from the start has been to protect the record book (note also the Mark Ecko asterisk silliness that you supported).

   72. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4028659)
Neither Mays nor Aaron have a season as good as Barry Bonds's 1992 -- 205 OPS+, 38 out of 47 steals.

Bonds could have been hit by a bus in 1998, and these would be the best OPS+ seasons by Bonds, Mays, and Aaron:

1. Barry Bonds, 1992, 205
2. Barry Bonds, 1993, 204
3. Hank Aaron, 1971, 194 (**)
4. Barry Bonds, 1996, 188
5. Willie Mays, 1965, 184

I doubt Mays was ever as good as Bonds was in 1992-93. The only reason it's a debate is because Bonds played LF and Mays played CF. Bonds could have played CF, and played it very well. When he did play it, he was a plus defender, at worst. (***) He wasn't as good in CF as Mays, naturally.

Barry Bonds was a better player than Hank Aaron.

(**) No speed, brick glove.

(***) A reasonable case can be made that he was a plus-plus defender.
   73. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4028661)
I think Bonds was a greater ballplayer than Hank Aaron.

I agree. But I don't know that I'd have Aaron in my personal top-10.

I can't have 6 OFs in my top-10, and he's not better than Ruth, Williams, Mays, Cobb and Mantle.
   74. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4028665)
Bonds could have played CF, and played it very well.

If you're gonna do that, you better be giving Teddy Ballgame full War-credit, and adding in Ruth's pitching value (or give him hitting credit for thos missed years).

Edit: and some injury adjustment for the Mick
   75. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4028667)
I agree. But I don't know that I'd have Aaron in my personal top-10.


Who are your top 10? What about 11-15?
   76. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4028669)
So where does that leave those of us who think that even without steroids, Bonds would have been fully the equal of Mays, Mantle and Aaron, but who still don't think he belongs in the Hall of Fame?


That leaves people who think like you out on the fringe.
   77. Booey Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4028675)
Well, no one has reached that level. If you go by WAR, that's 125 WAR. It's freaking hard to do.

Bonds should have made it (107 WAR through age-34) but he decided to cheat.


Bonds DID make it. Ranking greatness is about actual value, not morals. As far as a "greatest ever" list, WHY he was so great is completely irrelevant. Those numbers happened, and the Giants won a lot of games because of them. I can understand (but not agree with) the opinion that Bonds doesn't belong in the HOF because he "cheated". But that's an entirely separate issue that should have no bearing on his actual rank as a player. Denying statistical fact because of your personal outrage makes no sense.

If you were to make a "Top 10 players most worthy of the HOF" list or a "Guys who would've been the top 10 players if steroids weren't invented list", then I could understand leaving Bonds off. But not a "Greatest Ever" list. It's like if you had a "Tallest PLayers of the 90's" list and you left off Randy Johnson cuz you found out he took some kind of growth hormone than made him grow an extra 6 inches. Wouldn't he still be the tallest player in the game, regardless of HOW be became that way?
   78. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4028677)
So where does that leave those of us who think that even without steroids, Bonds would have been fully the equal of Mays, Mantle and Aaron, but who still don't think he belongs in the Hall of Fame?

That leaves people who think like you out on the fringe.


Well, it's entirely possible that you'll be proven correct come January of 2013. But I wouldn't be too quick to count your chickens. BTF is about as representative of steroids opinions as the opinions of the Iowa Tea Party are of the United States as a whole.
   79. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4028679)
Bonds could have played CF, and played it very well.

If you're gonna do that, you better be giving Teddy Ballgame full War-credit, and adding in Ruth's pitching value (or give him hitting credit for thos missed years).

Edit: and some injury adjustment for the Mick
No, you don't. The point is that Bonds' actual defensive runs prevented actually does make him the defensive equal of a good CF. It's not about hypothetical runs, but real runs. When you're doing out all the math, you don't need to make these sorts of adjustments, because they're quite evident, but when you're arguing in shorthand, it's useful to imagine Bonds as a good center fielder rather than as merely a left fielder.

I certainly would give war credit to Williams and obviously Ruth gets pitching credit, but injury credit no way. The last is not comparable.
   80. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4028682)
So where does that leave those of us who think that even without steroids, Bonds would have been fully the equal of Mays, Mantle and Aaron, but who still don't think he belongs in the Hall of Fame?

That leaves people who think like you out on the fringe.


All you need to know about Andy is that he still thinks Mantle belongs in the Hall of Fame after taking steroids.

This is from Chris Jaffe's review of Cooperstown Confidential, written by Zev Chafets:

For example, Chafets notes Mickey Mantle used to get shots consisting of "a home-brewed serum of thirty to fifty milligrams of amphetamine mixed with multivitamins, steroids, enzymes, and solubilized placenta, bone marrow, and animal organ cells" from a Manhattan practitioner nicknamed "Dr. Feelgood."


That evidence is as good as that which has been used to brand scores of players as steroids users. And Andy does not even challenge the evidence, but instead handwaves the issue away by stating that it was a "quack" doctor and that the steroids didn't work. "Some steroids those were," Andy said.

So the questions remain:

1. Does Mantle still deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?
2. If so, why do today's steroids users not deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?

Andy believes that Mantle still deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, but that today's steroids users, such as McGwire -- who has stated specifically that he used steroids for healing -- do not.

What possible reason, other than boyhood heroes?
   81. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4028683)
So where does that leave those of us who think that even without steroids, Bonds would have been fully the equal of Mays, Mantle and Aaron,

This is too imprecise; it's written in the key of, "Gooden could have been as good as Koufax, except for the drugs."

The truth is that Barry Bonds played as well as Mays, Mantle, and Aaron without steroids. He was their equal.
   82. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4028684)
Bonds DID make it. Ranking greatness is about actual value, not morals. As far as a "greatest ever" list, WHY he was so great is completely irrelevant. Those numbers happened, and the Giants won a lot of games because of them. I can understand (but not agree with) the opinion that Bonds doesn't belong in the HOF because he "cheated". But that's an entirely separate issue that should have no bearing on his actual rank as a player. Denying statistical fact because of your personal outrage makes no sense.

If you were to make a "Top 10 players most worthy of the HOF" list or a "Guys who would've been the top 10 players if steroids weren't invented list", then I could understand leaving Bonds off. But not a "Greatest Ever" list. It's like if you had a "Tallest PLayers of the 90's" list and you left off Randy Johnson cuz you found out he took some kind of growth hormone than made him grow an extra 6 inches. Wouldn't he still be the tallest player in the game, regardless of HOW be became that way?


My list of best baseball players is not a list of most value accumulated.

It's much more about sustained peak/prime talent.
   83. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4028687)
It's much more about sustained peak/prime talent.

How do you adjust Williams for the fact that he only played against white boys in his best years?
   84. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4028690)
Who are your top 10? What about 11-15?

Logically, I think a "best" list has to cover all positions. To have a top-10 that's all CF suggests a flaw in the methodology. But, given that 10 is such a small number, you run into distribution problems at the far right end of the talent spectrum. i.e. the 2n best 2B may well be better than the best C.

So, let me pick 15. Enough to cover a full-team, and I require coverage (w/backup at every position).

C Bench, Berra
1B Gehrig
2B Hornsby, Morgan, Collins
SS Wagner, Rodriguez
3B Schmidt
OF Ruth, Mays, Cobb, Mantle, Williams, Speaker

That gives me 10 pitchers. I'm going all SP

W.Johnson
Maddux
Seaver
Grove
Mathewson
Alexander
Spahn
Feller
Clemens
R. Johnson


   85. Booey Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4028694)
My list of best baseball players is not a list of most value accumulated.

It's much more about sustained peak/prime talent.


That's fine, but even by that standard there's no reasonable way you could keep Bonds out of the top 3-4, at worst.

My whole argument was about who WAS the greatest, not WHY they were the greatest. Those are two entirely different issues. If you said that Bonds WOULDN'T have been as good as Mays, Mantle, or Williams without steroids, then I'd probably agree. But if you said that he WASN'T as good as them, period, because he did steroids, then I would strongly disagree and say that you're confusing two separate arguments.
   86. Booey Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4028696)
C Bench, Berra
1B Gehrig
2B Hornsby, Morgan, Collins
SS Wagner, Rodriguez
3B Schmidt
OF Ruth, Mays, Cobb, Mantle, Williams, Speaker


You really wouldn't put Bonds in the top 15 players of all time? Wow...
   87. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4028702)
How do you adjust Williams for the fact that he only played against white boys in his best years?

I think you have to ding the pre-integration guys for that. But, I'll also give them credit in terms of worse medical care.

A guy like Mantle almost certainly would have played more/longer in a later era, and Bonds career might well have ended with his 1999 knee surgery if he was playing in 1958.
   88. JPWF1313 Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4028703)
More like sarcasm, since that BS line about "boyhood heroes" is about the only reason our steroid apologists imagine can cause anyone to want to keep the roiders out of the Hall of Fame. But there's no reason that that same strained rhetorical logic shouldn't apply to Dan Duquette, Jr., who at least has the honesty to admit it.


No, as you full well know, the "boyhood heroes" line is a shot at those who want the "roiders" out but have no problems with the generation of players known to have taken amps being in. And holding such a distinction becasue you favor your boyhood heroes over those of a later generation at least makes sense- unlike your bizarre and incoherent arguments.
   89. micker17 Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4028704)
#82 Pretty good, but I would alter a few selections:

1b Pujols (over Foxx)
2b Jackie Robinson over Morgan and Collins
ss Derek Jeter
3b Alex Rodriguez
of DiMaggio or Aaron or Bonds over Speaker
   90. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4028709)
You really wouldn't put Bonds in the top 15 players of all time? Wow...

Which OF am I bouncing? As I said above, I can't make sense of a list with 10 out of 15 OFs. 6 is that max I can justify to myself.

Would a non-roids Bonds have been more valuable than Bench or Berra or Morgan sure. But so was Aaron.

If I expanded to 20, I probably add Bonds, Aaron, Musial, Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson. Way too many OFs though.

I guess Musial can be my backup 1B.
   91. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 04, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4028711)
Take it to the classic rock thread.


There's a classic rock thread?
   92. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4028713)
Pujols (over Foxx)

I don't have Foxx. But Pujols can certainly still play himself on. One of the 2Bs would go. I'd give him an incomplete to date.

Jackie Robinson over Morgan and Collins

Disagree here. Even if we give Jackie 4-5 years of War/segregation credit. At his best Jackie was a ~8 WAR player for 4 years. Morgan and Collins had better peaks.

DiMaggio or Aaron or Bonds over Speaker

I think you're in pick 'em territory here. You can add Musial and Frank Robinson in too.

But Speaker was a hell of a ballplayer for a loong time.
   93. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 04, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4028719)
Not really - true greatness stopped happening when the speaker was ~15. People in their fifties think true greatness ended around 1970. People in their fifties are also way overrepresented in sportswriting.


This problem will be solved when Gleeman and Calcaterra are voting in all of their boyhood heroes while all of the 2030 whipper-snappers complain about it.
   94. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4028726)
Logically, I think a "best" list has to cover all positions. To have a top-10 that's all CF suggests a flaw in the methodology. But, given that 10 is such a small number, you run into distribution problems at the far right end of the talent spectrum. i.e. the 2n best 2B may well be better than the best C.


Hm, I don't follow with your logic. Logic to me suggests better players gravitate towards 'harder' positions, SS and CF primarily, with the understanding that any SS could play 1st, but not many (if any) 1B could play SS (competently, obviously). From there I would look at mitigating factors, Bonds *could* play CF, but it might hurt his offense a bit and more importantly there were better options for CF than for LF (theoretically that's why he played LF). Catcher is obviously a tough spot, I think context needs to play a role here, how much better than the player below is the catcher, ie Bench to Berra to...
   95. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 04, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4028729)
SS Wagner, Rodriguez

Not seeing how you can possibly trust Rodriguez's numbers enough to put him in such lofty company.(**) I'm not 100% convinced that we have any non-PED performance from him -- particularly between 1996 and 2007.

(**) Or why one steroid user, Bonds, gets all ambiguities held against him while another, Rodriguez, gets the benefit of all doubt.
   96. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4028732)
There's a classic rock thread?

Bill James Mailbag thread.
   97. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 04, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4028734)
Josh Gibson should be in there over Berra.
   98. Booey Posted: January 04, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4028738)
You really wouldn't put Bonds in the top 15 players of all time? Wow...

Which OF am I bouncing?


Any of them except Ruth. Besides, having a 2nd backup at one of your outfield positions isn't any different than having a 2nd backup at 2B.

Would a non-roids Bonds have been more valuable than Bench or Berra or Morgan sure. But so was Aaron.

Again, you're changing the argument when you say a "non-roids" Bonds. I was talking about actual value, not hypothetical value of what would've/could've/should've happened had Bonds made different choices.

It's like the argument about giving "credit" for color barrier/war service but not for injuries. It's totally different to say that someone WOULD HAVE been a great player if not for injuries than it is to say that Josh Gibson WOULD HAVE been a great player if not for the color barrier - he WAS a great player; it's irrelevant to the discussion whether or not he was able to prove it on the major league level.

Bonds WAS better than most of the outfielders you listed. WHY he was better is a different argument entirely. Do you really not understand the difference between these two points?
   99. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4028739)
Not seeing how you can possibly trust Rodriguez's numbers enough to put him in such lofty company. I'm not 100% convinced that we have any non-PED performance from him -- particularly between 1996 and 2007.

I think he's so much better than the next best SS, that he can withstand a huge amount of discounting.
   100. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 04, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4028741)
ss Derek Jeter
3b Alex Rodriguez
of DiMaggio or Aaron or Bonds over Speaker
And where's Andy Pettitte on the pitching list!? And you're going to need a backup third baseman - Scott Brosius should be in there somewhere.
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