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Monday, April 21, 2014

J.R. Gamble: Albert Pujols’ 500-Homer Chase Is A Bore, But That’s Baseball’s Fault

Gamble in huff: The Sound Of Prostanozol.

Pujols is an interesting case. He’s never failed a drug test (that we know of) and before Miguel Cabrera went Triple Crown crazy, was considered the elite hitter in the game. Just 25 ballers in MLB history have ever hit 500 homers in their lifetime. His countdown to 500 should be a fan-frenzied, anticipated event. But there’s a massive legion of baseball fans, it doesn’t resonate with, because Pujols did it in the heart of the Steroids Era. We have seen a slew of cats get to 500, as 10 new members joined in the last 15 years. Prior to that PED-induced flurry of bombs and video game scores, just four players had reached the total by 1965.

Some of the recent milestone-mashers like Jim Thome and Gary Sheffield have eclipsed the mark, but there are still questions concerning their qualifications for Cooperstown – PED suspicions aside. Thome hung around for 22 years and hit 612 homers. While he was never strongly-linked to PED’s, he’s not considered one of the best players of his generation. Sheffield might be, but he is considered a user.

Most of the elite sluggers of era eventually were outed as PED users. Big Papi was implicated, but he denied it and it kind of got pushed to the background. Pujols was never on the radar, but the numbers he has put up and the era he did it in makes his stats suspicious in the same way people question Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio’s Hall of Fame worthiness.

Baseball will probably try to hitch its promotional cart to Pujols’ feat and go all out to make it a “clean” 500, but there’s no way I’m going to get hyped about anycelebratory festivities and set myself up to once again be disappointed when its discovered that he hit the juice too, because in reality, if Pujols did accomplish these amazing stats clean, then he is the greatest hitter of our generation hands down. Some fans may want to believe that’s the case. At this point, baseball needs that to be true.

...The fact that I can’t embrace this homer chase has nothing to do with how frequently it’s occurred of late. It’s just unlikely to me that guys are going to smash the records of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Frank Robinson and giants of that ilk, without a little help. There really was no such thing as “clean” during Pujols’ prolific homer years. He came into the league in 2001 and from 2003 to 2010 he mashed over 40 homers six times in those eight peak seasons.

I can’t say he’s dirty. However, if all of his success is “legit,” then the fact that his accomplishments aren’t moving the crowd, in light of everything that has transpired the past 15 years, is an indictment on the game and not the players. MLB is experiencing the calm before the collapse. While TV deals and taking advantage of lower to middle class fans who must budget for a day at the ballpark like it’s a week-long summer vacation has the league on top fiscally, the sacred value of baseball records has been considerably diminished. Baseball will never be the same. The homer will never be viewed the same. That’s just foul.

Repoz Posted: April 21, 2014 at 10:47 AM | 53 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: steroids

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   1. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4690176)
He's off to 280/349/587 for a 167 OPS+ and his 6 HR lead the league. It's only 18 games so I don't put much stock in it relative to the 1000 PA that came before it but (a) it's better to get off to a good start than a bad, and (b) it may suggest that his injury problems are under control.
   2. McCoy Posted: April 21, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4690181)
Barry Bonds could basically be considered a "clean" 500 homer hitter as well, as well as a 500 stolen base guy, and a gold glove outfielder. Bonds without a doubt is the greatest hitter and position player of the last 25 years, clean or not.
   3. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 21, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4690188)
I'd prefer to think that the ignoring of Pujols' impending 500th is a sign that our obsession with trivial individual records is receding. Believe it or not, for much of the 20th century few people even noticed milestones like this, even though they were much less common.
   4. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4690189)

The article itself isn't worth responding to, but I agree with Ray in #1. The more interesting thing is not whether Pujols will get to 500 HRs (he will) but whether he's actually a great hitter again.
   5. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 21, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4690195)
It's only 18 games so I don't put much stock in it relative to the 1000 PA that came before i


Just before your return there was a thread about Pujols' allegedly "unprecedented" decline- most of those posting seemed to take it as a given that Pujols was done as a productive hiiter (let alone done as an elite hitter), and the thread devolved into whether or not Pujols was older than his listed age, and whether or not it was racist to speculate abut his age...

good times all around
   6. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 21, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4690200)
I'd prefer to think that the ignoring of Pujols' impending 500th is a sign that our obsession with trivial individual records is receding.


I think there's a lot at work, including the fact that for a long time, Pujols and 500 was a given and the interesting question was how high on the list he could go. Arod would be similar in this regard, and Griffey Jr. before them. For someone else, for whom 500 is both uncertain and the best he can expect to reach, there will probably be a little more interest in the pursuit.

But I also believe the spate of 500 home run hitters in the previous decade has muted some of the interest.



   7. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: April 21, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4690213)
Just before your return there was a thread about Pujols' allegedly "unprecedented" decline- most of those posting seemed to take it as a given that Pujols was done as a productive hiiter (let alone done as an elite hitter), and the thread devolved into whether or not Pujols was older than his listed age, and whether or not it was racist to speculate abut his age...

good times all around


It's clear that Pujols is 21 years old. Also, I find infinite amusement that the thread is based on a David Cameron article.
   8. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: April 21, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4690236)
Thome hung around for 22 years and hit 612 homers. While he was never strongly-linked to PED’s, he’s not considered one of the best players of his generation.


Whuh?
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: April 21, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4690257)
I'd prefer to think that the ignoring of Pujols' impending 500th is a sign that our obsession with trivial individual records is receding.


I absolutely think it's all about the PED's. We had a lot of press about Cal's streak, and followed that with Sosa/McGwire and those were HUGE... but then came Barry and the PED rumors, and nobody was really wanting to root on a "cheat", and then the PED backlash really started hitting home, and nobody was celebrating the power numbers like before. And then a few of the pitchers started to reach 300 wins, but MLB had already calmed down how they were officially handling the big events, that it would have seemed hypocritical to make a huge deal out of the win totals. They still celebrate the events, but it's much more subdued than it has been in the past. I think as we move further away from the "ped" era, that the celebratory angle will start to pick up.

Whuh?


2 seasons over 6 war, and 3 5 war seasons and 5 all star appearances..he's considered good, but was not considered elite during his career, just a very good player with long valuable career. I would put him in the hof...but there are a lot of guys I would put in who are not in.
   10. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4690316)
Also, I find infinite amusement that the thread is based on a David Cameron article.


A Cameron article where no one brought up either # 6 Org. or his dismissal of Cano as a prospect.
   11. Chone Mueller Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4690326)
I think switching teams has a small role in it also. If he was still with St. Louis where the fans had a career-long emotional investment in him, this would be an exiting event there. No doubt the fans in Anaheim have respect for what he has done but he's not "one of theirs." Maybe if he wasn't so close to 500 when he joined the Angels and if he had a few monster seasons after coming over (as McGwire did after moving to St. Louis), Orange County would be all worked up over it.
   12. DanG Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4690330)
Pujols and 500 was a given and the interesting question was how high on the list he could go. Arod would be similar in this regard, and Griffey Jr. before them. For someone else, for whom 500 is both uncertain and the best he can expect to reach, there will probably be a little more interest in the pursuit.
I think this is easily the main element in why the reaction to Pujols' "chase" is so muted, so lacking in hoopla. There is no "chase", as Albert cruises past a milepost that was spotted on the horizon many years ago.

There has long been an expectation that Pujols will pass 600. After that the chase is on for the top rungs on the HR ladder.
   13. bobm Posted: April 21, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4690365)
Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1876 to 2014, For players in the saved report : (Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1914 to 2014, From Age 32 to 33, (requiring onbase_plus_slugging_plus>=127, onbase_plus_slugging_plus<=132 and At least 1000 plate appearances), sorted by greatest Plate Appearances: Results), From Age 34 to 99, (requiring onbase_plus_slugging_plus>=-99), sorted by greatest Plate Appearances

                                                    
Rk             Player   PA OPS+ From   To   Age    G
1           Pete Rose 7412  110 1975 1986 34-45 1702
2    Carl Yastrzemski 5509  116 1974 1983 34-43 1339
3        Paul Molitor 5177  123 1991 1998 34-41 1143
4     Rafael Palmeiro 4456  133 1999 2005 34-40 1049
5          Wade Boggs 4015  106 1992 1999 34-41  958
6         Cy Williams 3658  136 1922 1930 34-42  966
7          Hank Sauer 3466  121 1951 1959 34-42  924
8          Tony Gwynn 3404  140 1994 2001 34-41  855
9         Paul ONeill 3175  114 1997 2001 34-38  733
10       Jason Giambi 3054  124 2005 2013 34-42  890
11         Zack Wheat 3053  133 1922 1927 34-39  740
12      Elston Howard 2581  103 1963 1968 34-39  700
13          Al Oliver 2539  118 1981 1985 34-38  634
14       Harry Hooper 2436  111 1922 1925 34-37  554
15         Tim Raines 2361  107 1994 2002 34-42  683
16         Carlos Lee 1917   99 2010 2012 34-36  459
17          Stan Hack 1834  118 1944 1947 34-37  416
18          Ken Boyer 1827   97 1965 1969 34-38  511
19        Bobby Veach 1823  112 1922 1925 34-37  487
20     Andre Thornton 1776  104 1984 1987 34-37  435
21    Frank McCormick 1648  107 1945 1948 34-37  458
22      Bobby Bonilla 1646   98 1997 2001 34-38  520
23        Dusty Baker 1571  109 1983 1986 34-37  443
24        Mike Easler 1478  103 1985 1987 34-36  399
25     Roberto Alomar 1443   85 2002 2004 34-36  345
Rk             Player   PA OPS+ From   To   Age    G
26      Ryne Sandberg 1348   89 1994 1997 34-37  342
27         Joe Harris 1316  133 1925 1928 34-37  402
28           Jim Rice 1229   96 1987 1989 34-36  299
29       Jermaine Dye 1219  116 2008 2009 34-35  295
30   Mickey Tettleton 1194  111 1995 1997 34-36  294
31         Bob Watson 1119  116 1980 1984 34-38  367
32      Kirby Puckett 1084  130 1994 1995 34-35  245
33         Don Buford 1034  117 1971 1972 34-35  247
34    Keith Hernandez  773   97 1988 1990 34-36  213
35         Dick Allen  539  115 1976 1977 34-35  139
36        Bobby Bonds  460   82 1980 1981 34-35  131
37         Eddie Yost  404   78 1961 1962 34-35  128
38        Don Mincher  307  113 1972 1972 34-34  108
39        Bob Allison  307  100 1969 1970 34-35  128
40      Albert Pujols   83  167 2014 2014 34-34   18


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/21/2014.
   14. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 21, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4690415)
The article itself isn't worth responding to, but I agree with Ray in #1. The more interesting thing is not whether Pujols will get to 500 HRs (he will) but whether he's actually a great hitter again.

I'm waiting for the first time that Trout gets intentionally walked with Pujols on deck. You'll hear the delighted screams of Cardinals fans from St. Louis to Shanghai.
   15. Zach Posted: April 21, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4690459)
It's a combination of PEDs, a recent team switch, overall devaluation of home runs and home run milestones, and a perception that Pujols is still mid-career. For most of baseball history, 500 home runs was kind of a farewell tour -- the last big milestone before retirement, maybe your last chance to see the guy before things start going south.

Pujols has slipped recently, but people still think of him as mid-career rather than a guy on the verge of retirement.
   16. JE (Jason) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4690460)
I'd prefer to think that the ignoring of Pujols' impending 500th is a sign that our obsession with trivial individual records is receding. Believe it or not, for much of the 20th century few people even noticed milestones like this, even though they were much less common.

Location, location, location. Put Pujols in pinstripes tomorrow and his 500th home run will suddenly merit non-stop national attention and a ticket-take parade up Broadway.
   17. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 21, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4690464)

Location, location, location. Put Pujols in pinstripes tomorrow and his 500th home run will suddenly merit non-stop national attention and a ticket-take parade up Broadway.


The only thing I remember about Arod's 500th homer (I think that was the one) was that it was possible he was going to hit it after he hit his 501st.

By the way, I hope ticket-take was autocorrect's fault.
   18. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 21, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4690469)
I'm waiting for the first time that Trout gets intentionally walked with Pujols on deck. You'll hear the delighted screams of Cardinals fans from St. Louis to Shanghai.
What's funny is that Trout's walk rate this season is only around 8.5 per 100 PAs with Pujols immediately behind him. Last year, it was 14.1 unintentional walks per 100 PAs.
   19. JE (Jason) Posted: April 21, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4690477)
By the way, I hope ticket-take was autocorrect's fault.

Hmmm, so do I.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: April 21, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4690554)
If they can figure 0ut a way to sell tickets, it will be a ticket-take parade.

I think Pujols' chances of being a "great" hitter again are gone. But he can be a very good hitter. I still want to see that walk rate get back up.

As to 500 HR ... I'm not sure what we can compare today's blase attitude to really. It's not like a guy's 500th HR was ever stop-the-presses national news. We didn't even have national sports news back in the day of the first 500-HR surge (65-71) so what were folks outside the local area supposed to get excited about. I don't imagine that Dodger fans were sitting on pins and needles as Ernie Banks crept up on 500. And of course there was no sort of MLB celebration or anything else.

It was a big baseball story commented on in every game no doubt and they'd show the highlight on This Week in Baseball. That right there tells us all we need to know about comparing to the earlier excitement of 500 HR.* Isn't that what happens today? Aren't there likely more people aware that Pujols is approaching 500 than knew that Killebrew was (even on a rate basis)? Aren't baseball fans more likely to see the replay immediately after it happens (if they're watching a game at the time -- problem with West Coast here) or within 24 hours after it happens?

As noted, Pujols is a special case anyway. He's already a lock for the HoF, he's been a "lock" for 500 HR for ages.

* Last game of the 2002 season. Sosa comes to the plate for likely the last time of the season. Having hit one earlier in the game, he is sitting on 49 HRs for the season and 499 HR for his career. Chip and Steve don't even notice and keep discussing who should get Manager of the Year.
   21. vivaelpujols Posted: April 21, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4690571)
Yeah I think it's partially due to shell shock or something. After ARod and Braun, MLB doesn't wanna risk tagging a player as the great "clean" player of our generation.

Also I think Walt hits on it that Pujols was a lock for 500 home runs a long time ago so people kind of prematurely celebrated to an extent. People will get excited when he starts challenging some career records, but I feel like 500 home runs for Pujols isn't really a big deal.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: April 21, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4690586)
Linking to another thread, I will say it strikes me as rather odd that the retirement of some players (esp Rivera but that's spilt milk) has become a season-long, national thing while milestones are ho-hum.

#21: others said it before me upstream. Also in Pujols' case I think it's more his HoF lock status -- 500 HR is both expected and meaningless in his case. Alas, the only Pujols storyline with any suspense is a negative one "will he play his way out of the inner circle?"

Debate on whether "Pujols storyline" should have an apostrophe ...

Also Pujols' or Pujols's ...
   23. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 21, 2014 at 07:21 PM (#4690625)
I'd prefer to think that the ignoring of Pujols' impending 500th is a sign that our obsession with trivial individual records is receding. Believe it or not, for much of the 20th century few people even noticed milestones like this, even though they were much less common.

But isn't that basically a matter of shorter history (and poorer bookkeeping)? Baseball had no trouble obsessing about .400 averages and 30-win seasons and 2130-game streaks and 59/60/61 home runs or 565-foot ones, back when it supposedly didn't care about numbers.

As for the longer view, it's harder to promote "all-time" records when all time isn't that much time. The longest winning streak for an Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor is likely to be a more prestigious mark in 2070 than today, even if it turns out that the current record-holder is still the leader then.
   24. Booey Posted: April 21, 2014 at 09:00 PM (#4690697)
I like milestones and records as much as anyone, but I agree with others who've said that the inevitability of many of them takes away some of the excitement. I generally have more fun with single season record chases. Pujols looked like a good bet to hit 500 last season. Then he got hurt, and it didn't happen. So he hits 500 this year instead. No biggie. If he suffers a season ending injury tomorrow, then he hits 500 next year. It's gonna happen irregardless.

Compare that to a seasonal milestone/record, where any little setback - injury, slump, whatever - can easily take you out of the running. Even when a player gets way ahead of the pace - say, like McGwire entering September 1998 with 55 homers - it's never a done deal until it's in the books. It's not uncommon at all for a slugger to slump for a few weeks and hit less than 6 homers in a month.

So kudos to Albert, but like Bonds, Griffey, A-Rod, etc, 500 kinda seems like an afterthought. I was much more interested in Eddie Murray and Fred McGriff's quests for 500.
   25. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:13 PM (#4691476)
Location, location, location. Put Pujols in pinstripes tomorrow and his 500th home run will suddenly merit non-stop national attention and a ticket-take parade up Broadway.

If only Pujols had gotten out of St. Louis and was playing a really big market!
   26. Srul Itza Posted: April 22, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4691538)
499. Phat Albert may not be back, but this is starting to look like a reasonable facsimile of an aging slugger with something left in the tank.
   27. Srul Itza Posted: April 22, 2014 at 09:00 PM (#4691586)
500.

Yeah, he's all washed up.
   28. cardsfanboy Posted: April 23, 2014 at 05:29 AM (#4691717)
Was this one of the shortest chases of all time? About a week ago it started becoming news,(not saying people weren't aware of it's impending status, just that the round of articles that usually accompany these things, just started increasing) and before it could gain steam, Pujols was already on 500.
   29. JE (Jason) Posted: April 23, 2014 at 07:39 AM (#4691724)
If only Pujols had gotten out of St. Louis and was playing a really big market!

If a tree falls in Anaheim, does it make a sound in Bristol? (At least Pujols had the good sense to hit no. 500 on the East Coast, while most of America was still awake.)
   30. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 23, 2014 at 08:51 AM (#4691740)
He has 8 homers and only 8 K's. I'm thinking he might surprise a few of us yet.
   31. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:08 AM (#4691750)
#8 - I think he's talking about general perception, and you can't really argue with that. Thome only finished in the top 5 of MVP voting once (he was 4th in 2003) and only made 5 AS teams. He was a poor defender and baserunner. Despite all the homers, he only led the league once. I'd vote for him if I had an HOF vote, but he won't sail in.
   32. Ron J2 Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4691846)
#31 (and others) Depending on criteria, Thome ranks somewhere between 14 and 20 for offensive peak among 1B/DH. IE nicely in line with the second tier of HOF 1B.

As you might expect, he grades out near the bottom in terms of defensive value (basically one cut up from the very bottom. According to dWAR that's Thomas, Killebrew, Delgado, McGwire, Ortiz)

All in all I'd call him a solid definition B HOFer. Among the better hitters of his era. Long career (with a long extended prime) and not much defensive value.
   33. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4691852)
All in all I'd call him a solid definition B HOFer. Among the better hitters of his era. Long career (with a long extended prime) and not much defensive value.


Is it unusual for a guy who came up as a 3B to grade out as a lousy 1B after he switches?

(Re 1B of Thome's era I see that Giambi is off the DL and back with the Indians at 43. What other players who were superstars or at least stars hung around as part timers for years into their 40s?)
   34. JE (Jason) Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4691861)
Being a really, really popular player must give a boost to Thome's B-HOFer numbers. Do we know of another player in the past quarter-century who left a city to play for a division rival for several years, yet remained as well-liked?
   35. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4691865)
Tom Glavine?
   36. JE (Jason) Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4691878)
Tom Glavine?

Right, although unlike Thome and the South Side, no one in Queens is rushing to buy Glavine drinks.
   37. Random Transaction Generator Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4691879)
What other players who were superstars or at least stars hung around as part timers for years into their 40s?


Rickey says "Don't forget me!"
   38. Random Transaction Generator Posted: April 23, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4691883)
Do we know of another player in the past quarter-century who left a city to play for a division rival for several years, yet remained as well-liked?


Roberto Alomar?
   39. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 23, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4691886)
Is it unusual for a guy who came up as a 3B to grade out as a lousy 1B after he switches?


McGwire? Though he was switched awfully early and "lousy" is a reach to describe the majority of his career defensively.
   40. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 23, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4691893)
Julio Franco
   41. Ron J2 Posted: April 23, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4691894)
#33 Well there's Killebrew. Miguel Cabrera doesn't do all that well by dWAR and Dick Allen ... isn't as bad as you might think (by dWAR in his best 5 offensive seasons). Giambi came up as a 3B and wasn't much of a defensive player.

I think it really depends. Some guys get stuffed at third because they're right-handed, have a decent arm and aren't fast enough to play the outfield (well). No particular reason to expect them to be good at first.

And Enos Slaughter comes to mind as a former star who hung around for a long time as a bit player.
   42. flournoy Posted: April 23, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4691959)
Does Omar Vizquel count as a star? (I would say so, especially since he's likely to get considerable Hall of Fame support.)
   43. BDC Posted: April 23, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4692022)
One great star who had a good run in his late 30s as a role-player: Johnny Mize.

Among 3B who moved to 1B, I recall Tony Perez as having an indifferent defensive reputation all along. B-Ref dWAR agrees: he was never terrible but never all that good at either position. That would indicate that he moved at the optimum time in his career, of course.
   44. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 23, 2014 at 12:28 PM (#4692039)
What other players who were superstars or at least stars hung around as part timers for years into their 40s?
Tim Raines.
   45. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: April 23, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4692062)
Rusty Staub, Ron Cey, and Sam Rice stuck around forever too.
   46. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 23, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4692068)
Carlton Fisk. Julio Franco, of course. Matt Stairs. Raul Ibañez is doing it right now.
   47. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 23, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4692078)
Not sure I'd call the likes of Stairs and Ibanez and Franco "stars," but some of the others qualify. (Not really a nitpick. I'm wondering if it is rare for star players to hang around like this, for years, especially into their 40s. I mean, Giambi has played in 60-80 games a year since he left NY, getting 115-220 PA, and pinch hitting 30 times in some years.)
   48. Ron J2 Posted: April 23, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4692131)
#47 I think Slaughter qualifies. He was obviously a (former) star and from age 38-43 he got 229 PAs a year -- and never was a regular. His role was platoon corner outfielder/pinch-hitter.
   49. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 23, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4692161)
I'd say Franco was a star. At the time his run as a regular ended after the 1997 season, he had a .301/.366/.418 line (113 OPS+), mostly as a 2b. He had a second place ROY finish, five Silver Sluggers, a batting title and seven seasons of over .300. That was a star (for a 2b) by anyone's definition.

But no, Ibanez and Stairs weren't stars.
   50. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 23, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4692169)
True, not stars, those two. I was casting a wide net, and all that. Does Luke Appling count?
   51. bunyon Posted: April 23, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4692179)

Rickey says "Don't forget me!"


Rickey says "Don't listen to that fake Rickey; Rickey says, "Don't forget about Rickey!""
   52. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 23, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4692188)
True, not stars, those two. I was casting a wide net, and all that. Does Luke Appling count?


I'd say a good rule of thumb is that if you made the HoF, you were a star. Especially if you made it before the early '70s land rush, which Appling did. (Though maybe you're not wondering whether he was a star, but rather whether he could be considered a hanger-on.)

   53. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: April 23, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4692212)
I should have been more clear. Appling was a star, but he didn't bounce around while hanging on, he stayed with one team and played well (or at least hit well, I dunno about his defense) until the end of the line. It makes him a different animal than Rickey or Raines.

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