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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

MLB.com: Who Will Make Hall of Fame From 2019 World Series

.  .  . the most Hall of Famers to play in any World Series was way back in 1932, when 13 eventual inductees played for the Yankees (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Earle Combs, Bill Dickey, Lefty Gomez, Tony Lazzeri, Herb Pennock, Red Ruffing and Joe Sewell) and the Cubs (Kiki Cuyler, Burleigh Grimes, Gabby Hartnett and Billy Herman). Three other Hall of Famers—Yankees manager Joe McCarthy, Cubs manager Rogers Hornsby (in the Hall as a player) and umpire Bill Klem—were also involved in that Series.

Probably fewer this year, but some worthies.

The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 23, 2019 at 06:48 AM | 104 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: 2019, hall of fame, houston astros, washington nationals, world series

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   1. Rally Posted: October 23, 2019 at 08:23 AM (#5893273)
Wild guess:

Scherzer
Soto
Verlander
Altuve

Maybe:
Strasburg
Rendon
Bregman
Correa
Cole

I used to think of Correa as the next A-Rod but he's had so many injuries that maybe he turns out more like Nomar. HOF talent level but it's a question of how much he can play. For all of these guys, that's the question, how long can they maintain star level performance?

For the first group, Verlander is a lock, Scherzer has a very good peak case if he retired next week. Altuve is about to turn 30 and already has close to 40 WAR. He's got an MVP, 3 batting titles, and a collection of postseason hardware. He's about where Roberto Alomar was at the same age. Not a lock but getting close.

Soto is the best young hitter I've ever seen. The only thing that could stop him from a HOF career is a Conigliaro-type tragedy.
   2. Esoteric Posted: October 23, 2019 at 08:37 AM (#5893277)
Scherzer and Verlander are pretty much automatic inductees, in the sense that they could fall in front a bus tomorrow and make it into the Hall of Fame. Greinke is there too -- he has more WAR than either Verlander or Scherzer! I think Altuve is less clear-cut (only 38.5 career WAR, which surprises me) but he'll probably make it as well.

Beyond those four, the maybes are Strasburg, Rendon, Bregman and Soto. Bregman and Soto are both on HOF tracks but it's just still too early, you can't assume that injuries or late-career physical breakdown won't happen to them. Strasbug and Rendon would have to age gracefully to make it, but that seems entirely possible for both of them.
   3. Rally Posted: October 23, 2019 at 08:42 AM (#5893281)
Yeah, don't know how I missed Greinke. I guess I haven't internalized that he's an Astro yet.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: October 23, 2019 at 08:48 AM (#5893283)
Greinke seems like he'll get the Kevin Brown treatment to some extent - does anyone ever call him a future HOFer? It's amazing how much the itinerant, hired gun career path can alter a player's reputation. If he was still on the Royals he could be a Ripken/Gwynn type of figure. But these sorts of things likely matter less than ever, and will matter even less in the 8+ years he has before voting commences.
   5. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 08:53 AM (#5893285)
Yordan Alvarez is off to a pretty good start to his career.
   6. Esoteric Posted: October 23, 2019 at 09:01 AM (#5893287)
Alvarez is off to a fine start, but you do have to wonder what a change to the sillyball would do to his home-run numbers.
   7. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 09:04 AM (#5893289)
#4 - I think people are starting to look at him that way. Brown had the PED taint and a pretty ignominious end to his career. Also faced a lot more ballot competition than Greinke is likely to.

Greinke’s also 35 wins ahead of where Brown was at the same age. He has a pretty good shot at 250+ wins which I think will automatically get you into the discussion these days.
   8. Ithaca2323 Posted: October 23, 2019 at 09:16 AM (#5893293)
Greinke seems like he'll get the Kevin Brown treatment to some extent - does anyone ever call him a future HOFer? It's amazing how much the itinerant, hired gun career path can alter a player's reputation


Yes, but it's also worth pointing out that he's also ahead of Brown already in career bWAR (thanks to his hitting) 71.7 to 67.8 and is still going strong. Barring injury, he'll probably clear 80 WAR and 3,000 strikeouts. I think he's going to actually get the Mike Mussina treatment, where maybe we never considered him a future HOFer, but we're going to look up at the end of his career and he's going to have a statistical case you can't really ignore.
   9. Blastin Posted: October 23, 2019 at 09:23 AM (#5893294)
Greinke is going in, and deservedly so. He's got the stats, now he just needs to be cromulent for another year or two.

Verlander, Scherzer.

Altuve is on path, we'll see.
   10. DL from MN Posted: October 23, 2019 at 09:30 AM (#5893296)
It's amazing how much the itinerant, hired gun career path can alter a player's reputation.


David Cone, staff ace on loan
   11. Blastin Posted: October 23, 2019 at 09:34 AM (#5893297)
maybe he turns out more like Nomar.


Honestly, Nomar was a lot more durable at the start than Correa has been.
   12. Ithaca2323 Posted: October 23, 2019 at 09:37 AM (#5893298)
I feel like Rendon is going to be the type of guy who is hurt by missing 15-25 games every year. It's just going to chip away at all his stats and he's going to wind up with like, 58 career WAR instead of 65, and 2,400 hits instead of 2,800, and a bunch of 7th-10th finishes in the MVP voting instead of Top 5

Sorta like Nomar from '98 to '00. Does he take home some MVP awards if he plays 160 games and props up some of his counting stats to go along with that high average?
   13. Blastin Posted: October 23, 2019 at 10:13 AM (#5893313)
I feel like Rendon is going to be the type of guy who is hurt by missing 15-25 games every year.


So, Larry Walker type.
   14. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: October 23, 2019 at 10:21 AM (#5893318)
Greinke's CYA in 2009 and strong runner-up in 2015 will go a long way in framing his HOF candidacy. Brown has a 2nd and 3rd, but actually winning one makes a big difference IMO.

Brown also faced a much stiffer generational comparison with Maddux, Pedro, Johnson, etc. Greinke doesn't have to contend with anyone in his generation that dominant.
   15. PreservedFish Posted: October 23, 2019 at 10:30 AM (#5893327)
It feels like a lot of potential Hall of Famers. Is this unusual?
   16. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 23, 2019 at 10:40 AM (#5893334)
Well, there are always a lot of potential Hall of Famers, a lot more than actual Hall of Famers. To take one example, Strasburg is 31, and has 112 wins. He's a terrific pitcher, but he's got a long, long way to go.
   17. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 23, 2019 at 10:41 AM (#5893338)
the most Hall of Famers to play in any World Series was way back in 1932, when 13 eventual inductees played for the Yankees (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Earle Combs, Bill Dickey, Lefty Gomez, Tony Lazzeri, Herb Pennock, Red Ruffing and Joe Sewell) and the Cubs (Kiki Cuyler, Burleigh Grimes, Gabby Hartnett and Billy Herman). Three other Hall of Famers—Yankees manager Joe McCarthy, Cubs manager Rogers Hornsby (in the Hall as a player) and umpire Bill Klem—were also involved in that Series.


I help deduce games for Retrosheet (that's where we don't have play-by-play, so we try to cobble one together from box scores and newspaper stories) and we're currently working on 1932. And I'd definitely noticed all of the HOFers on that year's Yankees team. I just recently did a game where they batted Hall-of-Famers 1 - 6 (Combs, Sewell, Ruth, Gehrig, Lazzeri, Dickey) and started Ruffing.

Dave Smith shared an article with me (I'm not sure where it might be online) where he was asked to find the game w/ the most HOFers. It was May 24, 1928 - Yankees @ A's (Game 1) - 13 players, both managers, and 2 of the 3 umpires.
   18. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: October 23, 2019 at 10:45 AM (#5893341)
Three other Hall of Famers—Yankees manager Joe McCarthy, Cubs manager Rogers Hornsby (in the Hall as a player) and umpire Bill Klem—were also involved in that Series.


Hornsby was fired in mid-season. Charlie Grimm managed in the series.
   19. PreservedFish Posted: October 23, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5893348)
Well, there are always a lot of potential Hall of Famers, a lot more than actual Hall of Famers.


Sure, but let's take the Red Sox of last year. They won a billion games, so this was not a weak team. How many "potential" HOFers did they have, guys that were already producing at a HOF level that could conceivably hit the career totals voters want to see? It was Bogaerts and Betts and Sale. Maybe maybe Kimbrel or Price? The Dodgers had Bellinger, Machado, Kershaw.

Last year the Series had guys that were producing at a HOF level - Max Muncy, Justin Turner, JD Martinez, Ryu? - but couldn't be described as potential HOFers. This year, fewer such players, more guys that became stars young and haven't yet disappointed.

Today we have Altuve, Correa, Bregman, Springer, Cole, Verlander, Grienke on one team and Rendon, Soto, Scherzer, Strasburg on the other. Seems like a difference.
   20. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 23, 2019 at 11:01 AM (#5893353)

From last year, Kershaw is probably the only sure thing. Machado, Betts, Sale, Kimbrel, Bellinger have the outlines of a case based on where they are in their careers.

From 2016, the last year the teams were different, Jon Lester probably has the strongest case. Other than Kluber, I'm not seeing any other potential HOFers, although Lindor, Bryant, Rizzo could certainly get there.
   21. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 23, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5893354)
It feels like a lot of potential Hall of Famers. Is this unusual?

It sure seems like a lot of players on these two teams, particularly the Astros, are (a) now playing like HoFers; and (b) seem to be on a path to the HoF.

And FWIW, this year's Astros are second only to the 1927 Yankees in Wins Above Avg By Position, and the latter's numbers were lopsidedly aided by Ruth and Gehrig. IMO all they need (big conditional clause here) is a World Series title to be considered one of the 2 or 3 greatest teams of all time, maybe even the best in terms of the high level talent depth of its roster.

   22. SoSH U at work Posted: October 23, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5893355)
Also faced a lot more ballot competition than Greinke is likely to.


He faced almost no ballot competition, coming on just before the glut. But as Steve Parris notes, he was hurt in the generational comparison.

   23. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 23, 2019 at 11:14 AM (#5893357)
And FWIW, this year's Astros are second only to the 1927 Yankees in Wins Above Avg By Position, and the latter's numbers were lopsidedly aided by Ruth and Gehrig. IMO all they need (big conditional clause here) is a World Series title to be considered one of the 2 or 3 greatest teams of all time, maybe even the best in terms of the high level talent depth of its roster.


I don't know. I think this goes back to the World Series odds thing and the fact that there are just a huge number of really terrible teams in the AL. The "average" in the AL includes the guys that the Orioles and Royals and Tigers and White Sox and Blue Jays and Mariners were playing on a regular basis - which, to be fair, is equally true of the 1927 Yankees vis-a-vis the Browns and the Red Sox (who had sold off their best players within the past decade) and the White Sox (who had just had 8 players banned for life a few years earlier), etc.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 11:16 AM (#5893361)
And FWIW, this year's Astros are second only to the 1927 Yankees in Wins Above Avg By Position, and the latter's numbers were lopsidedly aided by Ruth and Gehrig. IMO all they need (big conditional clause here) is a World Series title to be considered one of the 2 or 3 greatest teams of all time, maybe even the best in terms of the high level talent depth of its roster.


You keep saying this, but I don't think many other people share this opinion. WAA? No one cares. To be considered one of the best teams ever you need to A) win a ton of games, and B) dominate the post-season. So far they've done neither.

I'd also suggest that their gaudy stats relative to league, are highly inflated by half the American league being a tire fire. Three 100+ loss teams, three more 90+ loss teams, and an 89 loss team. The league stunk.

107 wins (and a 107 pythag) is not particularly impressive vs. that competition.
   25. Blastin Posted: October 23, 2019 at 11:21 AM (#5893363)
Yeah the Astros have some nice numbers, but they're.... not exactly smacking teams around. They may yet win, but there has been zero dominance.

You don't get to be best all time by sweating your way through three series, and that's only if they win this one.
   26. Blastin Posted: October 23, 2019 at 11:28 AM (#5893367)
the latter's numbers were lopsidedly aided by Ruth and Gehrig


I mean, yeah.... but that team actually had Ruth and Gehrig. That's a real thing that is different.
   27. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 11:32 AM (#5893370)
I think Altuve is less clear-cut (only 38.5 career WAR, which surprises me) but he'll probably make it as well.


Through age 29 Pedroia had 38.3 WAR, ROY, MVP, 3x GG, SS, 4x AS. Just laying that out there...
   28. Baldrick Posted: October 23, 2019 at 11:37 AM (#5893372)
The Astros could easily win this year and then win another next year or the year after. Then Correa, Bregman, Alvarez, and Altuve could all put together another decade of excellence and skate into the Hall of Fame. If that happens, the Astros certainly will be looked back on as one of the all-time great teams.

If they don't win this year and never win again with this batch of players (also very plausible), they may be remembered by folks like us as a great team but will quickly fade away in the popular imagination.

I was looking at the Astros franchise page and noticed that in 2012 the team leader in WAR was Lucas Harrell (literally who is this) with 3.1. They've come a long way.
   29. Blastin Posted: October 23, 2019 at 11:58 AM (#5893384)
If they don't win, and Cole leaves, they're still a very good team, but Verlander and Greinke can't do this forever, so I wouldn't pencil them in as automatic AL faves without Cole next year.
   30. JAHV Posted: October 23, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5893385)
It feels like a lot of potential Hall of Famers. Is this unusual?


Last year you had:

Virtual locks:
Clayton Kershaw
Chase Utley*

*I don't think he's a lock, honestly, but he's pretty close.

In the conversation:
Ian Kinsler

On track but have some work to do:
Chris Sale
David Price
Manny Machado
Cody Bellinger
Mookie Betts
Craig Kimbrel?

So maybe not as many guys who have already made their cases, but some (Sale, Machado, Betts) who would need to go downhill pretty quickly as players not to be seriously in the conversation. I suppose Sale's 2019 is worrisome in that regard, and maybe Manny's is, too. But those guys should bounce back.
   31. Blastin Posted: October 23, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5893387)
Lucas Harrell (literally who is this) with 3.1. They've come a long way.


I had no idea either. Apparently a groundball pitcher who... had a good year.
   32. PreservedFish Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:04 PM (#5893389)
#30 - Utley and Kinsler don't count for me, because I'm only thinking about HOF-quality players that are still producing at HOF-quality today. Price is a bit sketchy too. I suppose Correa might be borderline using those standards though.
   33. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:10 PM (#5893395)
Soto is the best young hitter I've ever seen.


I'd be careful with this one. Soto's age 19 season was a lot better than Trout's, but Trout beats him handily in age 20. League leading 168 OPS+ to Soto's 138. Trout's line is slightly more slugging-heavy, so that will go a small distance towards closing the gap, but Trout still wins age 20. We'll see what Soto does in his age 21 season, but Trout got even better as a hitter. I don't know where "young hitter" ends, but I suspect that it includes age 21.
   34. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:14 PM (#5893397)
Oh, also, Utley doesn't stand a chance at the HOF. Fewer than 2000 hits, no significant milestones, zero MVPs. He won one ring, but wasn't a part of a dynasty or anything. His value is heavily defense-dependent, but his defense wasn't recognized in the mainstream (zero GGs). He should be in the hall of fame, but he won't be. Maybe he and Bobby Gritch can start a club or something.
   35. Ithaca2323 Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:14 PM (#5893398)
And FWIW, this year's Astros are second only to the 1927 Yankees in Wins Above Avg By Position


This is one of the times I think it's important to remember that an overwhelming majority of baseball fans do not consume baseball the way many of us here do.

   36. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:18 PM (#5893401)
Craig Kimbrel?
The notion of Craig Kimbrel, Hall of Famer, is beyond absurd.
   37. cookiedabookie Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:22 PM (#5893402)
The three locks are the old pitchers - Verlander, Greinke, and Scherzer.
The probables are Altuve, and that's probably it right now.
The possibles list is long, though.
   38. PreservedFish Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:23 PM (#5893403)
Yes, it sounds dumb, especially given what happened this year. But if he had kept on saving 40 games a year for the next decade, even at diminished effectiveness he could've ended up with 600+ saves, 30+ WAR, and a 175+ ERA+. If any relievers are going to get elected, this (theoretical) guy would.
   39. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:43 PM (#5893413)
And FWIW, this year's Astros are second only to the 1927 Yankees in Wins Above Avg By Position, and the latter's numbers were lopsidedly aided by Ruth and Gehrig. IMO all they need (big conditional clause here) is a World Series title to be considered one of the 2 or 3 greatest teams of all time, maybe even the best in terms of the high level talent depth of its roster.

I don't know. I think this goes back to the World Series odds thing and the fact that there are just a huge number of really terrible teams in the AL. The "average" in the AL includes the guys that the Orioles and Royals and Tigers and White Sox and Blue Jays and Mariners were playing on a regular basis - which, to be fair, is equally true of the 1927 Yankees vis-a-vis the Browns and the Red Sox (who had sold off their best players within the past decade) and the White Sox (who had just had 8 players banned for life a few years earlier), etc.


I'm starting with two assumptions.

1. The overall talent level in MLB is greater than ever, thanks to the expansion of the talent pool and the greater efficiency in both identifying talent and maximizing it through video and analytics.

2. The lopsided nature of the AL is hardly a new phenomenon. It comes and goes, and in fact the eras of relative balance (the 80's) are far outnumbered by the eras when teams like the Red Sox in the 20's** and the A's and Browns (and the Senators and the White Sox) during multiple decades stunk up the joint for a lot longer than any current franchise has in the 21st century. Actual competitive balance within any league, but particularly the AL, is a lot rarer than fans who grew up in the 80's might realize. Before the draft and revenue sharing, it was much harder for financially strapped teams to climb up from the bottom of the barrel.

It's also true that many other historically dominant teams weren't really tested all that much, either in the regular season or in the postseason. Great as the '98 Yankees were, they got to play the Padres rather than the Braves in the World Series. Whereas from 2016 through this year, the champs have had to beat one very good team after another to get to the top of the heap.*** How many 20th century champs had to run a postseason gantlet like the Nats or Astros would have had to run to win it all this year? (Or the last 3 champions, for that matter.) The close nature of the recent postseasons doesn't detract from the talent of the eventual winner.

** How bad were the Red Sox in the Frazee dump era? If they'd lost one more game to the White Sox in 1924, they would've finished in last place for nine straight years, from 1922 through 1930.

*** If the Nats were to win, they'd have beaten not one, but two 100+ win teams, as would the Astros if they were facing the Dodgers. Try to find another year like that.
   40. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:51 PM (#5893417)
1. The overall talent level in MLB is greater than ever, thanks to the expansion of the talent pool and the greater efficiency in both identifying talent and maximizing it through video and analytics.

That assumption renders the question completely uninteresting, and I think it's not nearly as big an impact as you think.
   41. SoSH U at work Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:52 PM (#5893418)
The lopsided nature of the AL is hardly a new phenomenon.


It's not just lopsided. It's become the weaker league, which is something you have found important when looking at teams of the past.

*** If the Nats were to win, they'd have beaten not one, but two 100+ win teams, as would the Astros if they were facing the Dodgers. Try to find another year like that.


Yeah, you have to go all the way back to 2018 to find a team that did something like that.

   42. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:53 PM (#5893419)
To find a team who won as many regular season games and lost fewer postseason games than the 2019 Astros, you have to go all the way back to ... LAST YEAR! The Red Sox won 108 regular-season games and lost 3 postseason games, including going 7-2 against two 100-win teams. I don't know: that feels like some pretty extreme time-lining if you're going to argue the 3 best teams of all time are the 2019 Astros, 2018 Red Sox, and one of the 2016 Cubs, 2017 Astros, or 2017 Dodgers.
   43. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:53 PM (#5893421)
And FWIW, this year's Astros are second only to the 1927 Yankees in Wins Above Avg By Position

This is one of the times I think it's important to remember that an overwhelming majority of baseball fans do not consume baseball the way many of us here do.


And plenty of those who post here have relatively little awareness of just how much better today's players, and the top teams of today, are than those players and teams of the years before the talent pool reached out beyond the U.S. and a few countries in the Caribbean. Either that or they're simply in denial of it.
   44. DanG Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:58 PM (#5893424)
The notion of Craig Kimbrel, Hall of Famer, is beyond absurd.
Is it?

RP thru age-31 season, with 17 WAR, 130 ERA+ and 200 SV.

Player             WAR WAAERA+  SV     IP From   To
Rich Gossage      34.5 14.3  133 206 1236.1 1972 1983 H
Bruce Sutter      24.8 11.9  152 260  889.2 1976 1984 H
Lee Smith         21.4 10.5  134 234  835.2 1980 1989 H
Mariano Rivera    21.1 12.0  182 215  533.0 1995 2001 H
Frankie Rodriguez 20.6 10.8  158 304  767.1 2002 2013
Craig Kimbrel     19.6 11.6  195 346  553.1 2010 2019
Jonathan Papelbon 17.9 10.0  193 257  499.1 2005 2012
Armando Benitez   17.8  9.6  154 244  654.0 1994 2004
Aroldis Chapman   17.5 10.2  185 273  535.2 2010 2019
Trevor Hoffman    17.1  9.1  151 228  509.0 1993 1999 H 
   45. Blastin Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:03 PM (#5893427)
I think dominance is part of "greatest." I will give you total talent for current teams - but for dominance, yes, it's harder to dominate now, soooooo we're just going to have to wait until a team does, because some team will figure it out sometime soon.

The greatest teams went into the postseason and despite playing other great teams, squashed them. The most talented - but not greatest - offensive team since whenever is hitting like a leaky butt. Cole pitched fantastic (UNTIL NOW), Verlander was great once, good once, meh once, bad once.

It's talent + performance.
   46. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:04 PM (#5893429)
To find a team who won as many regular season games and lost fewer postseason games than the 2019 Astros, you have to go all the way back to ... LAST YEAR! The Red Sox won 108 regular-season games and lost 3 postseason games, including going 7-2 against two 100-win teams. I don't know: that feels like some pretty extreme time-lining if you're going to argue the 3 best teams of all time are the 2019 Astros, 2018 Red Sox, and one of the 2016 Cubs, 2017 Astros, or 2017 Dodgers.

I wasn't basing my comment about the Astros solely on one factor, although I would say that all of the teams you mentioned would at minimum be in the mix for at least the top ten of all time, based on their easily observable talent. I've been watching baseball for 68 years, and AFAIC today's game (i.e. the game since we started importing the best talent in great quantities from outside the U.S. and the Caribbean) is simply being played on a higher level from top to bottom than it was in past generations. Forget the tape measure home runs and the number of 95+ mph pitchers, and just look at the highlight reels for great fielding plays and see how many there are, and not just by a handful or superstars. The sheer athleticism of today's average player is simply mindboggling, and it wasn't always like that, not by a long shot.
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:08 PM (#5893433)
And plenty of those who post here have relatively little awareness of just how much better today's players, and the top teams of today, are than those players and teams of the years before the talent pool reached out beyond the U.S. and a few countries in the Caribbean. Either that or they're simply in denial of it.

Here's the problem. If the league improved as fast as you seem to think, nobody could play into their late 30's and still be a star. But players have, all across baseball history.

If Ted Williams was a star in 1939, and still a star, at age 41 in 1960, league talent can't have improved very much. Likewise Barry Bonds was hitting as well in 2007 as he was in 1990, even though he was 42. There can't have been much change in average talent over that period.
   48. Blastin Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:10 PM (#5893434)
Because being a monster athlete wasn't really the best way to dominate before now. I am confident, with the info available now, the, I dunno, Big Red Machine, or the 70s Orioles, or some of the Mantle teams, would outpace most of these teams (I think the Cubs were a cut above the others listed, actually, and the Indians had an all-time pitching staff that ran out of gas).

I personally waver at the teams before the color barrier was broken for moral reasons (that game just feels gross to me), but even since 1947, this is not the greatest of anything.
   49. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:10 PM (#5893435)
I think dominance is part of "greatest." I will give you total talent for current teams - but for dominance, yes, it's harder to dominate now, soooooo we're just going to have to wait until a team does, because some team will figure it out sometime soo

The 2019 Astros lead the Majors in pitchers' strikeouts, fewest pitchers' walks, and fewest batters' strikeouts, and they're (barely) second to the Dodgers in batters' walks. Try to find any team in history with that combination of strike zone dominance both on the mound and in the batter's box.

Of course for it to mean anything beyond a statistical curiosity they'll have to win the whole shebang. But even if they don't, we're not talking about a one year fluke like the 2001 Mariners. This is an historically great team.
   50. Blastin Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:12 PM (#5893437)
Also, let's just look at something very concrete: despite the best, best info, if you take out doping, humans are A LITTLE faster at their fastest than they were 40 years ago. Billy Hamilton isn't twice as fast as Rickey, and Rickey could actually play the game well.

   51. Blastin Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5893439)
Oh god, yeah, they're the kings of black ink in certain types of true outcomes. They're not leading the league by 50% in any of those things, and you left out the third true outcome, which they didn't exactly win. It is, indeed, a series of statistical curiosities, and they should be proud of that after they remember to hit.
   52. Rally Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5893440)
To find a team who won as many regular season games and lost fewer postseason games than the 2019 Astros, you have to go all the way back to ... LAST YEAR! The Red Sox won 108 regular-season games and lost 3 postseason games, including going 7-2 against two 100-win teams. I don't know: that feels like some pretty extreme time-lining if you're going to argue the 3 best teams of all time are the 2019 Astros, 2018 Red Sox, and one of the 2016 Cubs, 2017 Astros, or 2017 Dodgers.


The weakest position for the Astros was Reddick in RF, 1.2 WAR. Below average hitter but good defensive stats. At every other position the starter had 3 WAR or better (2.9 for Correa, close enough). Red Sox actually had below replacement level play from catcher, 2B, and 3B - Doing that and still winning 108 games is a shocking accomplishment.

Nobody on the Astros was as good as Mookie was. Astros gave up slightly fewer runs than the 2018 Red Sox while scoring substantially more. Astros talent reminds me more of the 1998 Yankees, with less pitching depth but better front line dominance. If the Yankees had traded Wells for Clemens a year earlier and Roger was exactly as dominant as he was with the Blue Jays, well that would approximate the Astros.

Hope the Nats take them down.
   53. Rally Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:19 PM (#5893441)
Also, let's just look at something very concrete: despite the best, best info, if you take out doping, humans are A LITTLE faster at their fastest than they were 40 years ago. Billy Hamilton isn't twice as fast as Rickey, and Rickey could actually play the game well.


Cool thing about that is we have objective measurements to compare, like home to first times.

Rickey! was great and really fast but I think his SB records are more a function of 1) intelligence, at least about reading pitchers 2) longevity 3) opportunity, being on base so damn much. I'm pretty sure Rickey! was not the fastest player of the early 80s, if I had to guess I'd go with Willie Wilson.
   54. Blastin Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:20 PM (#5893443)
better front line dominance


Bregman had a better season than anyone on the 98 Yankees position players, but the Astros had 3 5WAR players and the Yankees had 4.

Now, it then becomes a "talent overall or performance" question. Andy Pettitte was pretty BAD in 1998, but he was better than that, and performed as such in the WS. Yordan was great this year, but he disappeared a while ago. Brosius was NOT that good, but it turns out, in 1998, I guess he was.

And so on.

Do you trust an old HOFer like Raines or HOVG like Strawberry or Davis due to their track record, or is it Diaz/Tucker, who were fine this season and provided similar statistical value?

The Astros are, indeed, a series of statistical quirks unless they turn it around, particularly the hitting.
   55. Blastin Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:22 PM (#5893444)
I'm pretty sure Rickey! was not the fastest player of the early 80s, if I had to guess I'd go with Willie Wilson.


I don't think he was the fastest either. I just said that Hamilton isn't twice as fast as Rickey's best. Faster, sure.
   56. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:22 PM (#5893445)
Also, let's just look at something very concrete: despite the best, best info, if you take out doping, humans are A LITTLE faster at their fastest than they were 40 years ago. Billy Hamilton isn't twice as fast as Rickey, and Rickey could actually play the game well.

Forget 40 years ago. Somebody did a biomechanical analysis and found that Jesse Owens was moving his legs almost exactly as fast as Usain Bolt. 90%+ of the difference in their times is track surface, shoes, and starting blocks.

david_epstein_are_athletes_really_getting_faster_better_stronger/transcript

Even without modern training, nutrition, etc. Owens would be only a couple of feet behind Bolt. Give him all the other modern advantages, he'd probably be faster.
   57. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:22 PM (#5893446)
Because being a monster athlete wasn't really the best way to dominate before now. I am confident, with the info available now, the, I dunno, Big Red Machine, or the 70s Orioles, or some of the Mantle teams, would outpace most of these teams (I think the Cubs were a cut above the others listed, actually, and the Indians had an all-time pitching staff that ran out of gas).

YMMV. I saw all of those earlier teams you mentioned many times, and great as they were, I can't see them beating the best teams of recent years more than half the time. Of course in some ways that's an unfair judgment, because today's training and analytical tools weren't available to them. The only team I'd say would be on the level of today's best would have been the '98 Yankees, who dominated a season in terms of winning games like no other team in the post-Jim Crow era.
   58. Blastin Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:22 PM (#5893447)
I believe it. And I love Epstein's book.
   59. Blastin Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5893448)
I saw all of those earlier teams you mentioned many times, and great as they were, I can't see them beating the best teams of recent years more than half the time. Of course in some ways that's an unfair judgment, because today's training and analytical tools weren't available to them.


Well....
   60. SoSH U at work Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5893450)
90%+ of the difference in their times is track surface, shoes, and starting blocks.


And height.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5893451)
Of course in some ways that's an unfair judgment, because today's training and analytical tools weren't available to them.

Of course. To make the intellectual exercise meaningful you have to assume either both teams have those advantages, or neither.

Otherwise you end up with the conclusion similar to saying that Tommy Franks was a better general than Alexander the Great because he had tanks and jet planes.
   62. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:27 PM (#5893454)
If they don't win, and Cole leaves, they're still a very good team, but Verlander and Greinke can't do this forever, so I wouldn't pencil them in as automatic AL faves without Cole next year.
Verlander & Greinke are going to be 37 & 36 next season. If Cole leaves, which most seem to expect, they both will have to maintain their current effectiveness for the Astros to be a postseason favorite. Not that easy to toss 200+ regular season innings at that age, and then add ~ 35 more in the postseason against elite competition. The Astros are very good, but it’s certainly not clear that they are built to last or deserve mention among the all-time greats.
   63. Blastin Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:29 PM (#5893456)
The Astros are very good, but it’s certainly not clear that they are built to last or deserve mention among the all-time greats.


Yeah, and all they have to do is beat Strasburg and try to avoid having to throw Cole and Verlander both on short rest (and also win those games).

Strasburg is about to slice them up tonight.
   64. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:32 PM (#5893457)
Strasburg is about to slice them up tonight.

From your mouth to God's ears.

Even sweeter would be seeing Anibal Sanchez do to them what he did to the Cards.
   65. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:34 PM (#5893458)
Great as the '98 Yankees were, they got to play the Padres rather than the Braves in the World Series.
When were the Braves a great postseason obstacle? FYI, the Yankees won 8 straight World Series games against the Braves when they faced them in 1996 & 1999.
   66. Blastin Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:40 PM (#5893461)
The Padres were very, very good that year.

Even sweeter would be seeing Anibal Sanchez do to them what he did to the Cards.


I did not enjoy him and this guy I'd never heard of named Scherzer beating the Yankees in 2012 (I went to ALCS game one just to watch Jeter break his ankle/career, and the guy struck out everyone but also walked everyone and I was like, who is this guy, he is not good; he immediately turned into MAX SCHERZER the next year), but maybe they can both finally get a ring.
   67. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:43 PM (#5893466)
Somebody did a biomechanical analysis and found that Jesse Owens was moving his legs almost exactly as fast as Usain Bolt.


Jesse Owens was 5'11".

Usain Bolt is 6'5".

If Bolt is moving his legs as fast as Owens, then he's going to absolutely blow him away in a race regardless of track/shoes/whatever.
Every stride for Bolt it going to be longer than Owens' stride, and therefore propel him further in the same time period.
   68. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:47 PM (#5893471)
Jesse Owens was 5'11".

Usain Bolt is 6'5".

If Bolt is moving his legs as fast as Owens, then he's going to absolutely blow him away in a race regardless of track/shoes/whatever.
Every stride for Bolt it going to be longer than Owens' stride, and therefore propel him further in the same time period.


The analysis showed Owens would be within one stride of Bolt. So maybe he's moving his legs faster.
   69. SoSH U at work Posted: October 23, 2019 at 01:53 PM (#5893477)
I can believe that Jesse Owens is as fast as all of the top sprinters of all-time. Except peak Usain Bolt. The degree to which Bolt was beating the next nine fastest people in the world when he was at his best was simply staggering. There was more distance between him and No. 2 in his record-setting efforts than there was between Owens and No. 2 in 1936.


   70. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 02:20 PM (#5893495)

The analysis showed Owens would be within one stride of Bolt. So maybe he's moving his legs faster.


The very top end, once in a generation, athletes may not have all that much separation, but I think it's inarguable to say that the floor for athletes hasn't been raised significantly.
   71. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 23, 2019 at 02:31 PM (#5893500)
FWIW, Fangraphs seems to be on Andy's side here. They have the Astros with a 55% chance of winning the World Series even after losing Game 1 and home-field advantage last night.
   72. Jack Sommers Posted: October 23, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5893505)
Rk             Name From   To   Age    G   PA   AB   R    H  2B 3B  HR RBI SB CS  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS   TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB OPS+
1    Anthony Rendon 2013 2019 23-29  916 3927 3424 571  994 245 15 136 546 45 16 409 610 .290 .369 .490 .859 1677  56  45  4 45  26  126
2        Tony Perez 1964 1971 22
-29 1007 3996 3613 519 1028 159 33 162 623 20 13 319 699 .285 .343 .481 .824 1739 104  21  8 35  55  127 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/23/2019.

Rk             Name From   To   Age    G   PA Rbat Rbaser Rdp Rfield Rpos RAA  WAA Rrep RAR  WAR waaWL162WLoWAR dWAR oRAR   Salary
1    Anthony Rendon 2013 2019 23
-29  916 3927  118      6   2     14   21 161 15.3  124 285 27.3   .518   .517 26.5  3.1  271 45800000
2        Tony Perez 1964 1971 22
-29 1007 3996  120     --11     -6    5 105 12.5  137 243 26.4   .511   .512 26.1  0.6           248 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/23/2019.
   73. Jack Sommers Posted: October 23, 2019 at 02:48 PM (#5893511)
FWIW, Fangraphs seems to be on Andy's side here. They have the Astros with a 55% chance of winning the World Series even after losing Game 1 and home-field advantage last night.


That seems odd. If you flip it to Season To Date Stats Mode it becomes 50.2 Astros-49.8 Nationals

That's STILL odd to me.

538 has 59-41 Nationals. Thats just as odd.

These odds are all odd
   74. Jack Sommers Posted: October 23, 2019 at 03:06 PM (#5893516)
Playing with BJ Favorite Toy, Altuve has 25% chance to reach 3000 hits, and projects to total out at 2,639 hits.

He doesn't need 3000 hits to get into HOF of course, but I think it's interesting to note how that projection has fallen off the last two years.

After his age 27 season he had a 39% chance and a projection of 2805 hits.

He's missed a lot of games the last 2 years. I think he needs to average 140 games for the next 4-5 years to have the career totals usually associated with a HOF'er for his position. But he's on track.

Rk          Player WAR/pos OPS+   PA From   To   Age    G   AB   R    H  2B 3B  HR RBI  BB IBB  SO HBP SH SF GDP  SB CS   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS       Pos      Tm
1       Joe Morgan    45.6  129 5298 1963 1973 19
-29 1197 4396 769 1188 194 64 103 433 811  19 473  21 41 29  45 320 90 .270 .384 .414 .798    *4/H78 HOU-CIN
2        Rod Carew    42.3  130 4948 1967 1975 21
-29 1172 4450 640 1458 212 52  46 473 399  51 547  15 57 27 108 172 81 .328 .383 .430 .812  *4/H36D5     MIN
3      Bobby Grich    40.9  122 4160 1970 1978 21
-29  982 3458 524  896 159 29  83 372 569  22 643  53 51 29  60  87 52 .259 .369 .394 .763  *46/3H5D BAL-CAL
4      Jose Altuve    38.5  127 5458 2011 2019 21
-29 1243 4985 734 1568 299 28 128 538 360  38 623  49 25 39 144 254 74 .315 .364 .463 .827    *4/DH6     HOU
5    Robinson Cano    37.8  123 5110 2005 2012 22
-29 1214 4731 718 1459 334 28 177 715 285  49 604  48 10 36 153  31 27 .308 .351 .503 .854     *4/DH     NYY
6        Pete Rose    35.0  123 5515 1963 1970 22
-29 1223 4950 799 1532 255 61  90 485 470  57 531  30 29 26  76  62 67 .309 .371 .440 .811 *497/85H3     CIN
7      Chase Utley    34.0  128 3126 2003 2008 24
-29  735 2739 490  817 189 22 130 492 272  22 496  83  3 29  44  60 11 .298 .375 .526 .901    *4/H3D     PHI
8     Craig Biggio    29.7  120 4482 1988 1995 22
-29 1055 3880 615 1105 221 24  79 389 475  32 574  58 43 25  47 196 65 .285 .369 .415 .784  *42/8H79     HOU 


   75. Booey Posted: October 23, 2019 at 03:22 PM (#5893526)
The very top end, once in a generation, athletes may not have all that much separation, but I think it's inarguable to say that the floor for athletes hasn't been raised significantly.


This. I doubt that Cole and Scherzer and company are throwing any faster now than Johnson and Clemens did in the 90's, or Ryan in the 70's, or maybe even Feller in the 40's. But there's a lot MORE pitchers now who can reach these top speeds nowadays, so the average fastball really is quite a bit faster.

I suspect it's similar with position players; Ruth and Gehrig and Mays and Aaron and Mantle and Williams and the like would still be superstars today with modern training and nutrition...but a lot of their lesser teammates wouldn't even make the majors.
   76. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 23, 2019 at 03:26 PM (#5893528)
Greinke is there too -- he has more WAR than either Verlander or Scherzer!
Might take a while. Greinke is behind Mike Mussina in WAR, Wins, IP & K’s, and it took Mussina 6 ballots. Greinke may narrow the gap a bit over the next couple of years, but it may take a few years to persuade enough BBWAA voters.
   77. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 03:43 PM (#5893533)

I think the writers like players with Altuve's profile. Altuve has 3 seasons of >.330 average and >200 hits. Everyone else who has done that in the integration era is in the HOF except for Rose, Jeter and Ichiro, and the latter two are slam dunks.

I guess the counterpoint is that Ashburn was a Vets selection, and there are a few guys with two such seasons who got very little HOF support -- Michael Young, Bernie Williams, Ralph Garr (who put up 2/3 of his career WAR in those two seasons), or for whom it hasn't been enough (Mattingly, Helton although the latter had the Coors Field effect).

But I think that Altuve will punch above his WAR when it comes to his HOF candidacy. Especially if he adds any more 200-hit seasons with gaudy batting averages.
   78. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 03:53 PM (#5893535)

This. I doubt that Cole and Scherzer and company are throwing any faster now than Johnson and Clemens did in the 90's, or Ryan in the 70's, or maybe even Feller in the 40's. But there's a lot MORE pitchers now who can reach these top speeds nowadays, so the average fastball really is quite a bit faster.

I suspect it's similar with position players; Ruth and Gehrig and Mays and Aaron and Mantle and Williams and the like would still be superstars today with modern training and nutrition...but a lot of their lesser teammates wouldn't even make the majors.


This is definitely true.
   79. Booey Posted: October 23, 2019 at 03:54 PM (#5893536)
Might take a while. Greinke is behind Mike Mussina in WAR, Wins, IP & K’s, and it took Mussina 6 ballots. Greinke may narrow the gap a bit over the next couple of years, but it may take a few years to persuade enough BBWAA voters.


Mussina also had 4 contemporaries with over 300 wins (2 with over 350), and 3 with over 100 WAR, so his 270 wins and 80-ish WAR didn't look particularly special. Other than maybe Verlander for wins, Greinke's top peers will likely be in the same 250-ish win range and 80-ish WAR range as him. Unlike Moose, he's also got a CYA and another epic season that would have won in most years, he'll reach the 3000 K milestone, he might have a WS ring after this season, and he'll (probably) be debuting on a much less crowded ballot. Plus WAR will be even more mainstream by then.

So basically, I see a lot of reasons why Greinke could get in much quicker than Mussina.
   80. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 03:59 PM (#5893539)
Might take a while. Greinke is behind Mike Mussina in WAR, Wins, IP & K’s, and it took Mussina 6 ballots. Greinke may narrow the gap a bit over the next couple of years, but it may take a few years to persuade enough BBWAA voters.

Mussina is actually Greinke's second most similar pitcher through age 35 (Verlander is first).

Mussina through age 35: 211-119, 3.59 ERA, 126 ERA+, 2833 IP, 2258 K, 68.3 WAR, 41.2 WAA
Greinke through age 35: 205-123, 3.35 ERA, 125 ERA+, 2872 IP, 2622 K, 66.7 WAR, 41.6 WAA
Verland through age 35: 204-123, 3.39 ERA, 126 ERA+, 2759 IP, 2702 K, 63.6 WAR, 37.9 WAA

(I had to highlight that italicized part -- first time I noticed how close they are)

Moose and Greinke are also both multiple Gold Glove winners (Moose 7x, Greinke has won the last 5 years but not sure what changing leagues mid-season will do to him this season). Greinke also adds 5 WAR with his bat but I don't think he'll get much extra credit for that.

Anyway, Mussina added another 59 wins and 14.5 WAR after age 35, including a 20-win season his final year. Greinke should be very happy to do that, but there's also an outside chance he does better or pitches past age 39.

And Verlander just added a CYA-caliber season to his resume at 36. But it's hard to see why Greinke isn't at least a likely HOFer if Verlander is a slam dunk.
   81. Zach Posted: October 23, 2019 at 04:16 PM (#5893544)
If Bolt is moving his legs as fast as Owens, then he's going to absolutely blow him away in a race regardless of track/shoes/whatever.
Every stride for Bolt it going to be longer than Owens' stride, and therefore propel him further in the same time period.


Yeah, but almost every top sprinter except Bolt is around 5'10". The crazy thing about Bolt is that he could keep those long legs moving fast enough to compete with the short guys.
   82. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 04:17 PM (#5893545)
And just for comparison's sake, adding Roy Halladay, who retired after his age 36 season and just sailed in on the first ballot (Halladay was below replacement at age 36, but it did get him over 200 wins):

Mussina through age 35: 211-119, 3.59 ERA, 126 ERA+, 2833 IP, 2258 K, 68.3 WAR, 41.2 WAA
Greinke through age 35: 205-123, 3.35 ERA, 125 ERA+, 2872 IP, 2622 K, 66.7 WAR, 41.6 WAA
Verland through age 35: 204-123, 3.39 ERA, 126 ERA+, 2759 IP, 2702 K, 63.6 WAR, 37.9 WAA
Roy Halladay full career: 203-105, 3.38 ERA, 131 ERA+, 2749 IP, 2117 K, 65.4 WAR, 40.4 WAA

   83. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 04:37 PM (#5893550)
Yeah, but almost every top sprinter except Bolt is around 5'10". The crazy thing about Bolt is that he could keep those long legs moving fast enough to compete with the short guys.

I wonder, is that the case, or is it that guys who are 6'5 who might have that kind of speed are playing basketball/football or some other professional sport where height is valued?
   84. Zach Posted: October 23, 2019 at 04:50 PM (#5893556)
I suspect it's similar with position players; Ruth and Gehrig and Mays and Aaron and Mantle and Williams and the like would still be superstars today with modern training and nutrition...but a lot of their lesser teammates wouldn't even make the majors.

Yeah, but a lot of modern guys don't have the contact skills to thrive in 1930s style ball.

In 1930 NL, the league average slash line was .303/.360/.448
In 2019 AL, the league average slash line was .253/.323/.439

The 1930s player is getting 1.47 bases per hit, compared to the modern player's 1.73.
The 1930s player is getting on base 1.18 times per hit, compared to the modern player's 1.28

The modern game favors swinging for the fences on your pitch and spitting on everything else.
The 1930s game favored putting the ball in play.

Put the modern player in the 1930s game and it wouldn't be long before his manager started making pointed comments about the big ox who won't take a swing and keeps hitting balls to the warning track.

   85. Zach Posted: October 23, 2019 at 04:53 PM (#5893557)
If you take the modern BA and apply the 1930s multipliers, you get a .253/.299/.372 hitter.

In a low power league, you've got to get that average up.
   86. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 23, 2019 at 05:01 PM (#5893559)
Great as the '98 Yankees were, they got to play the Padres rather than the Braves in the World Series.

When were the Braves a great postseason obstacle? FYI, the Yankees won 8 straight World Series games against the Braves when they faced them in 1996 & 1999.


I'm not saying that the '98 Yankees wouldn't have dispatched the '98 Braves. I was only noting that the Braves were clearly a superior team to the Padres, regardless of the outcome of the NCLS.

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

This. I doubt that Cole and Scherzer and company are throwing any faster now than Johnson and Clemens did in the 90's, or Ryan in the 70's, or maybe even Feller in the 40's. But there's a lot MORE pitchers now who can reach these top speeds nowadays, so the average fastball really is quite a bit faster.

I suspect it's similar with position players; Ruth and Gehrig and Mays and Aaron and Mantle and Williams and the like would still be superstars today with modern training and nutrition...but a lot of their lesser teammates wouldn't even make the majors.


Bingo, and the cause of it is just what I've been saying: The expansion of the talent pool along with the advancements in conditioning and analytics.

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

The modern game favors swinging for the fences on your pitch and spitting on everything else.
The 1930s game favored putting the ball in play.

Put the modern player in the 1930s game and it wouldn't be long before his manager started making pointed comments about the big ox who won't take a swing and keeps hitting balls to the warning track.


I seriously doubt that most modern players couldn't adjust to facing starting pitchers who threw considerably slower and were left in the game no matter what the pitch count.

P. S. Many of those older ballparks were every bit as homer friendly as many of the current ones. There simply weren't nearly as many players back then who had the power to reach the fences.
   87. cookiedabookie Posted: October 23, 2019 at 05:01 PM (#5893560)
On Kimbrel, in the system I use to rank relievers for the HoM, he currently sits 5th all time, behind Mo (who leads by a ton), Wilhelm, Gossage, and Wagner. Papelbon, Nathan, and Hiller follow him. Not sure that makes him a HoFer (yet), as I think my personal line is behind Wagner.
   88. Zach Posted: October 23, 2019 at 05:23 PM (#5893566)
P. S. Many of those older ballparks were every bit as homer friendly as many of the current ones. There simply weren't nearly as many players back then who had the power to reach the fences.

Yeah, those weaklings of 2018 just had to apply themselves.

The league home run rate is the biggest factor determining whether it makes sense to go for power or contact. Favor power, you get power hitters. Favor contact, you get contact hitters.
   89. PreservedFish Posted: October 23, 2019 at 05:47 PM (#5893568)
I wonder, is that the case, or is it that guys who are 6'5 who might have that kind of speed are playing basketball/football or some other professional sport where height is valued?


You're saying there are other Usain Bolts but they aren't sprinting because they can make more money playing in the NFL or soccer? No damn way.
   90. Booey Posted: October 23, 2019 at 06:06 PM (#5893572)
The notion of Craig Kimbrel, Hall of Famer, is beyond absurd.


Sure, and so is the notion of Lee Smith, Trevor Hoffman, Bruce Sutter, Goose Gossage, and Rollie Fingers, Hall of Famers. But the voters have spoken, and that's the standard they've set.
   91. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: October 23, 2019 at 06:55 PM (#5893584)
You're saying there are other Usain Bolts but they aren't sprinting because they can make more money playing in the NFL or soccer? No damn way.

Probably not, but I wouldn't rule it out. When Aaron Gordon was in the dunk contest a few years ago, his jump would've cleared the bronze medal height. He could've been a world class high jumper but chose basketball. It's possible that there is some tall WR who can really fly who with the right coaching could have rivaled Bolt. The problem is track is just not very popular at all in this country.
   92. Zach Posted: October 23, 2019 at 07:16 PM (#5893591)
I wonder, is that the case, or is it that guys who are 6'5 who might have that kind of speed are playing basketball/football or some other professional sport where height is valued?

You mean like Justin Gatlin?

I'm sure there's some selection bias involved, but it's at the track and field level. The common wisdom is that tall guys aren't good for short sprints and need longer races before leg length becomes an advantage. Bolt himself started out as a 200m specialist. And even on some of his crazy early races you can see that he's starting much slower than the field and only making it up on the second half of the race.

EDIT: I think I confused Gatlin for somebody else. There was a Chiefs wideout a few years back who Dick Vermeil talked into going back into track and field and subsequently became a very successful sprinter.
   93. John DiFool2 Posted: October 23, 2019 at 08:05 PM (#5893605)
On Kimbrel, in the system I use to rank relievers for the HoM, he currently sits 5th all time, behind Mo (who leads by a ton), Wilhelm, Gossage, and Wagner. Papelbon, Nathan, and Hiller follow him. Not sure that makes him a HoFer (yet), as I think my personal line is behind Wagner.


Papelbon (alas) is the cautionary tale there.
   94. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 23, 2019 at 09:54 PM (#5893699)
You're saying there are other Usain Bolts but they aren't sprinting because they can make more money playing in the NFL or soccer? No damn way.

No, I was asking whether the taller, fast kids in middle/high school are opting to play football/basketball rather than running track. Not saying they'd be the next Usain Bolt - he's a generational talent - but maybe they'd be competitive with the 5'10 guys who also aren't the next Usain Bolt.

The answer is probably no, since even at the NFL combine, the fastest sprint times are all guys between 5'8-6'2. However, that's in the 40-yard dash, which would favor shorter guys vs. the 100-meters or 200-meters. Even Usain Bolt has matched the combine record 40-yard time, but not broken it -- although looks like he did it in sweatpants :)
   95. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 24, 2019 at 07:28 AM (#5893859)
No, I was asking whether the taller, fast kids in middle/high school are opting to play football/basketball rather than running track. Not saying they'd be the next Usain Bolt - he's a generational talent - but maybe they'd be competitive with the 5'10 guys who also aren't the next Usain Bolt.

The answer is probably no, since even at the NFL combine, the fastest sprint times are all guys between 5'8-6'2. However, that's in the 40-yard dash, which would favor shorter guys vs. the 100-meters or 200-meters. Even Usain Bolt has matched the combine record 40-yard time, but not broken it -- although looks like he did it in sweatpants :)


Randy Moss is a good example of what you are looking for. 6' 4" with a 4.25 40-yd dash. Remember though, Bolt ran faster, AFTER he retired from track, and it was at an informal event.
   96. SandyRiver Posted: October 24, 2019 at 09:11 AM (#5893873)
Bolt certainly dominated the sprints for years, but for me the most dominant single sprint I've seen was Bob Hayes' anchor leg for gold at the 1964 Olympics. He was 2 steps from the lead when handed the baton and about the same distance ahead at the tape. Had a pretty good NFL career after that.
   97. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 24, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5893947)

Randy Moss is a good example of what you are looking for. 6' 4" with a 4.25 40-yd dash. Remember though, Bolt ran faster, AFTER he retired from track, and it was at an informal event.

Yep, exactly.
   98. PreservedFish Posted: October 24, 2019 at 12:04 PM (#5893948)
No, I was asking whether the taller, fast kids in middle/high school are opting to play football/basketball rather than running track.

Seems easy to do both, even up to the college level. It would have to be the rare and exceptional athlete that could forego an Olympics-level track career in order to pursue team sports.
   99. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 24, 2019 at 04:49 PM (#5894096)

Regarding Randy Moss, from Wikipedia:


As a sophomore in 1992, at the age of 15, Moss joined the track & field team and was the West Virginia state champion in the 100 and 200 meters with times of 10.94 seconds[10] and 21.95 seconds,[11] respectively. This was the only year he competed on the school's track team, but he would later join the Marshall track team and lower his 200 m time to 21.15 seconds. He also played center field for the baseball team.


21.15 is very fast -- looks like it's good enough to win a minor NCAA conference many years -- but about a full second off of the NCAA record and two seconds slower than Bolt's world record. I don't know enough about track and field to know whether, with proper training and focus and normal aging curves, how much faster Moss could have been.

   100. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 24, 2019 at 05:02 PM (#5894100)

Seems easy to do both, even up to the college level. It would have to be the rare and exceptional athlete that could forego an Olympics-level track career in order to pursue team sports.

Sure, but we're interested in the rare and exceptional athletes here. Anyway, it was just a question. We often ask these questions about African Americans choosing other sports over baseball, so I do wonder whether something similar might happen with track & field (not just with AA students).
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