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Monday, October 01, 2012

The Poscast - 9/24/12

Getting to this late, but thought it would be of interest.  Joe Posnanski and Michael Schur discuss the new MLB postseason system, the races and teams involved, and, well, the Red Sox.  They then do a “greatest individual seasons ever” draft.

Poz: Wilt Chamberlain, 1961-62
Schur: Pedro Martinez, 2000
Poz: Barry Bonds, 2004
Schur: Tiger Woods, 2000
Poz: Wayne Gretzky, 1981-82
Schur: Barry Sanders, 1988
Poz: Martina Navritalova, 1983
Schur: Tom Brady, 2007-08
Poz: Jim Brown, 1958
Schur: Steffi Graf, 1988

The District Attorney Posted: October 01, 2012 at 08:33 AM | 53 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: joe posnanski, michael schur, podcasts

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4249749)
Jim Brown's 63 was better than his 58
   2. TomH Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4249758)
Bonds 2001 > 2004
Ruth 21 anyone?
Walter J 1913 (36-7, WHIP < .8, in a park favoring hitters) over Pedro's 2000
Secretariat TC
Thorpe's Olympics, altho Jim might get more of a 'career' award than one season.

   3. Greg K Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4249760)
I'd pay to see Pedro Martinez take on Steffi Graf.

Mostly just to see what that would even consist of.
   4. Just a Guy Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4249763)
Secretariat, 1973
   5. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4249768)
Lawrence Taylor, 1986. Holy crap was he a scary dude.
   6. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4249789)
No love for Gilbert Grace, 1871 (or possibly 1895)?
   7. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 01, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4249896)
Jim Clark, 1965. Won six races and scored a perfect 54 points under the then-scoring system in winning the Formula One World Championship, and also won the Indianapolis 500...
   8. JRVJ Posted: October 01, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4249935)
Ronaldinho 2005-2006? Lionel Messi 2011? Dan Carter at some point?

There are other sports out there.
   9. The District Attorney Posted: October 01, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4250057)
Jim Brown's 63 was better than his 58
As I recall, Poz acknowledged this, but never gave much of a reason for his choice other than that it was Brown's first big year. I suspect that he had a better reason that he never got to explaining as the conversation was sidetracked by general discussion of how great Brown was.

No love for Gilbert Grace, 1871 (or possibly 1895)?
I'd love to see Bill "19th century baseball wasn't really baseball" James' reaction to an era where a player had two "greatest seasons ever" 26 years apart...

Ronaldinho 2005-2006? Lionel Messi 2011? Dan Carter at some point?

There are other sports out there.
I think P&S briefly mentioned soccer. Sir Don Bradman's .9944 year in cricket definitely was mentioned. (I may have that name and/or number wrong.) Might very well be omissions in a fair world, but I can't blame P&S. I think you have to know a sport pretty well in order to evaluate the greatness of a season and how it compares to other great seasons in other sports. Poz said he came very close to choosing Earl Anthony, 1975; he does/did follow bowling.
   10. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 01, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4250088)
Edwin Moses, 1981: undefeated, with 5 of the fastest 11 races to that point, including tying his own 1980 world record.
   11. depletion Posted: October 01, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4250099)
The Beatles, 1964: in March of 1964 more than 50% of the records sold in the United States were Beatles records. Plus, the largest US TV audience to that point watched their Ed Sullivan appearance.
   12. deputydrew Posted: October 01, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4250137)
Is there an itunes feed for this? It didn't show up in the old (presumably dead) Poscast feed.
   13. JRVJ Posted: October 01, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4250149)
I re-suscribed to the Poscast after seeing this here (haven't heard it yet, though).
   14. phredbird Posted: October 01, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4250156)
no love for roger federer? actually, i think he'd have to be tops on a career list, esp. after his resurgence this year. i think he's got one more major in the tank. awesome tennis player, awesome career.
   15. mchengcit Posted: October 01, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4250168)
I have not listened to the podcast, but concerning Donald Bradman, the number that is most famously associated with him, 99.94 is actually not a single-season records, but his career batting (6996 runs/70 outs) in international test cricket (those five-day affairs). For reference, a score of 100 runs in an innings is considered a great score that is not often achieved, even by the great batsmen in cricket. I think this graph from wikipedia illustrates Bradman's dominance:

Cricket Batting Average

Maybe the only thing remotely comparable in baseball is Cy Young's wins record, but unlike pitcher wins, the accumulation of which has drastically changed with the evolution of pitcher usage, batting average in cricket is still the primary means to judge effectiveness in test cricket to this day.
   16. The District Attorney Posted: October 01, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4250176)
The Beatles, 1964: in March of 1964 more than 50% of the records sold in the United States were Beatles records. Plus, the largest US TV audience to that point watched their Ed Sullivan appearance.
The funny thing is that P&S did mention the Beatles... 1966.

Ric Flair, 1989?

Napoleon, 1806? Alexander, 332 BC? Genghis Khan's 1227 would be pretty good if he hadn't died in August.

Is there an itunes feed for this?
Yup, here.
   17. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4250183)
Genghis Khan's 1227 would be pretty good if he hadn't died in August.


He had a huge WAR that year.
   18. Swedish Chef Posted: October 01, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4250191)
Einstein 1905.

EDIT: He published four papers that year, one which explained the photoelectric effect by introducing the light quanta* (which is what the stodgy Uppsala physicists cited for his Nobel as they didn't get relativity), one which provided major evidence for the existence of atoms by an analysis of Brownian motion, one introducing special relativity, and one about the mass-energy equivalence (E=mc^2...).

*) called photons these days.
   19. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4250211)
I think this graph from wikipedia illustrates Bradman's dominance:


Bradman's career spans 21 years, quite a feat. Gilbert Grace's career was over twice as long, 44 years. His first match was played before the Civil War had ended. His last match came six years before World War I.
   20. deputydrew Posted: October 01, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4250213)
Einstein 1905.


That's pretty compelling.

Is there an itunes feed for this?

Yup, here.


Thanks!

Also, am I the only person that found Poz's Big Red Machine book to be unreadable? I love his blog but couldn't get through 1/3 of the book.
   21. PreservedFish Posted: October 01, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4250225)
This reminds me of the great John Sterling call: “Alex Rodriguez, having the greatest month of his, or any other life!”
   22. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 01, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4250246)
Wayne Gretzky, 1971

By the age of ten, Gretzky had scored 378 goals and 139 assists in just one season with the Brantford Nadrofsky Steelers.


   23. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 01, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4250273)
No Michael Jordan seasons listed? Although to be fair, it's hard to differentiate between his string of excellent seasons.
1987-88: 35 ppg, 5.9 apg, 5.5 rpg, 3.2 spg, .535 shooting
1988-89: 32.5 ppg, 8 apg, 8 rpg, 2.9 spg, .538 shooting
1989-90: 33.6 ppg, 6.3 apg, 6.9 rpg, 2.8 spg, .526 shooting

etcetera.
   24. Moeball Posted: October 01, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4250275)
Walter J 1913 (36-7, WHIP < .8, in a park favoring hitters) over Pedro's 2000


One of the remarkable things to come out of Walter Johnson's amazing 1913 season that I was able to determine from box scores - in games in which Washington gave him only 1 or 2 runs of support to work with his W-L record was 13-1. The only reason he lost even 7 games that year is because Washington got shut out in something like 4 or 5 of his starts. Going 13-1 in games with only 1 or 2 runs of support is by far the best in a season I've ever seen any pitcher do, and I've checked them all from Cy Young to Pedro to Gibson to Rocket to Mathewson to Seaver to Koufax to Walter's twin brother Randy.
   25. Moeball Posted: October 01, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4250296)
Poz: Wilt Chamberlain, 1961-62


Bill Russell, 1961-62.

Since Wilt averaged 50 pts/game that year and Philly averaged 125/game as a team, Russell said his goal in the playoffs was to knock Wilt's average down by 15 pts/game. He figured if Philly "only" got 110 pts/game instead of their usual 125 Boston would win the series. (These high scoring figures look positively insane next to today's relatively low scores!)

Wilt averaged around 31-32 pts/game in that series - Philly averaged about 107 pts/game and Boston won in 7 games. Russell knocked almost 20 pts/game off of Wilt's average which has to be some kind of defensive record. A defensive giant at the peak of his skills, a la the aforementioned LT in 1986, a different kind of defensive Giant!
   26. Moeball Posted: October 01, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4250304)
Einstein 1905.

EDIT: He published four papers that year, one which explained the photoelectric effect by introducing the light quanta* (which is what the stodgy Uppsala physicists cited for his Nobel as they didn't get relativity), one which provided major evidence for the existence of atoms by an analysis of Brownian motion, one introducing special relativity, and one about the mass-energy equivalence (E=mc^2...).

*) called photons these days.


Ah, the standard for all the Sheldon Coopers to shoot for!
   27. Walt Davis Posted: October 01, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4250306)
The Big O, 61-62? (Or just about any year) ... 31 points, 11.4 assists, 12.5 rebounds

From 1961 to 1968, Robertson averaged 30.3 points, 10.6 assists and 9 rebounds.

Alas, I didn't see him until the end of his career.
   28. Chokeland Bill Posted: October 01, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4250311)
no love for roger federer? actually, i think he'd have to be tops on a career list, esp. after his resurgence this year. i think he's got one more major in the tank. awesome tennis player, awesome career.


2006 is right up there for single seasons, though I think many tennis fans would take Rod Laver's 1969 Grand Slam as a better year. It's hard to compare the two; Federer was one match short of the Slam on a larger variety of surfaces and more players in the draw, but Laver actually pulled the Slam off.

Federer's 04-07 is the best multi-year run for any male tennis player by a pretty huge margin.
   29. bunyon Posted: October 01, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4250313)
I believe Walter Johnson lost 1-0 75 times in his career.
   30. The District Attorney Posted: October 01, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4250322)
I definitely think Wilt had the most dominating statistical basketball seasons, although if you want to argue that Russell can be proven to be better because he beat him head-to-head, I'll let you. Jordan was better to have on your team than Wilt, but even MJ was not asked to carry the team that much and thus did not. I don't think Robertson outdid Michael when you consider how many more rebounds there were to get back then. Heck, what about LeBron just this past season? I think that absolutely matched up to anything by Michael.

Walter Johnson was pretty decent, but it's only natural that you're going to both win and lose more very low-scoring games when each team is averaging 4 runs/game rather than the 5.3 of the 2000 AL. Schur points out that Pedro's ERA in his losses (2.44) would still have led the AL by over 1.2 runs. If anything, perhaps an anti-Pedro argument would cite that Greg Maddux did similar things in a similar environment. (But Schur of course was rooting for Pedro's team at the time.)
   31. The District Attorney Posted: October 01, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4250331)
If I'm understanding my Wiki correctly, in 1600, Shakespeare wrote and published Much Ado about Nothing and Henry V. A Midsummer Night's Dream and Henry IV Parts I & II, written earlier, were published. Julius Caesar was first performed in late 1599. And he was working on As You Like It and Hamlet.

I suppose Einstein still probably beats him.
   32. cardsfanboy Posted: October 01, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4250356)
Wayne Gretzky, 1971

By the age of ten, Gretzky had scored 378 goals and 139 assists in just one season with the Brantford Nadrofsky Steelers.


The stories surrounding Gretzky are so unbelievable, that you would think they were about a mythical figure like Hercules. The fact that it's documented and more or less accurate is freaky. How often has a child prodigy(non-Chess division) of anything go on to actually have a great career?
   33. God Posted: October 01, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4250374)
Jodie Foster?
   34. Swedish Chef Posted: October 01, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4250376)
How often has a child prodigy(non-Chess division) of anything go on to actually have a great career?

Mozart.
   35. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:06 PM (#4250392)
1974 is a tie between Chuck Noll and Mel Brooks.
   36. The District Attorney Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4250408)
Wiki:
In the year 1666, Isaac Newton made revolutionary inventions and discoveries in calculus, motion, optics and gravitation. As such, it has later been called Isaac Newton's "Annus Mirabilis."

How often has a child prodigy(non-Chess division) of anything go on to actually have a great career?
Lindsay Lohan. (I just woke up from a coma, did I miss anything?)

But seriously, folks, I'm sure that there's a positive correlation between being the best in the world at a certain age and still being the best in the world a few years later. It's not gonna be a negative correlation between those things. It's not like e.g. Tiger Woods wasn't hyped as an amateur, and it's not like Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Chipper Jones, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan and LeBron James weren't all #1 overall picks. The thing is that you tend not to remember the amateur career of a pro immortal because it ends up not being the "point" of his career. On the other hand, you'll never forget that a David Clyde or a (basketball) Felipe Lopez was a pro flop.

Thanks to mchengcit for the correction on Bradman. I'd say it's not like Cy Young winning 511, it's more like him winning 1,000 :) To me, Gretzky is the only one who has accomplished something like that in "our" sports -- more assists than anyone else has goals plus assists, and then he's the all-time leader in goals too. I feel that Gretzky is obviously the greatest athlete in the major North American sports. The only way he isn't is if you either are going for "pure athleticism" and thus give it to Jim Thorpe or something, or if you factor in that hockey is not that popular in the US and that Gretzky therefore didn't have the "cultural impact" of a Jordan or Ali.
   37. cardsfanboy Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4250415)
It's not like e.g. Tiger Woods wasn't hyped as an amateur,


Tiger Woods was hyped as a 5 year old on the TV show That's Incredible. So I guess he is another example of a prodigy performing as an adult.

But seriously, folks, I'm sure that there's a positive correlation between being the best in the world at a certain age and still being the best in the world a few years later.


I'm sure there might be some correlation, but it does seem in a lot of fields that youth(prior to 16 years old) success doesn't necessarily mean it's going to translate into adult dominance.
   38. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:37 PM (#4250427)
Tiger Woods was hyped as a 5 year old on the TV show That's Incredible.


And he was on the Mike Douglas Show when he was 2.
   39. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:47 PM (#4250434)
Byron Nelson, 1945. 18 tournament wins, 11 straight wins.
   40. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4250483)
If I'm understanding my Wiki correctly, in 1600, Shakespeare wrote and published Much Ado about Nothing and Henry V. A Midsummer Night's Dream and Henry IV Parts I & II, written earlier, were published. Julius Caesar was first performed in late 1599. And he was working on As You Like It and Hamlet.


Not sure what Wiki says, but that period is well covered in this very readable book.
   41. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:23 PM (#4250515)
I feel that Gretzky is obviously the greatest athlete in the major North American sports.

He's the most statistically impressive, maybe, but the "obviously the greatest"? No way. The greatest scorer, yes, but that's all he brought to the table. Toughness? Defensive awareness? Nope. He was a one way player - so great in that one way, mind you, that *at worst* he's on the short list of greatest hockey players at worst, but one way nonetheless. I don't even think it's clear he's the greatest *hockey* player though, let alone athlete.

As for the stats, well, yeah, they're obviously astounding, but he also played in the NHL equivalent of the 1930 American League. He's still the all-time leader in adjusted points, but it's not the same ridiculous gap. On top of that, Mario Lemieux was right with him in unadjusted points per game (1.92 to 1.88).

Point is, Gretzky was unassailably, amazingly great - and yet IMO you still managed to wildly overstate his case.
   42. cardsfanboy Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:29 PM (#4250521)
On top of that, Mario Lemieux was right with him in unadjusted points per game (1.92 to 1.88).


From memory, Lemieux didn't have a decline phase to his career. He played about 500 fewer games.
   43. Moeball Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4250524)
Genghis Khan's 1227 would be pretty good if he hadn't died in August.


He had a huge WAR that year.

That joke was so bad I feel like I've been clubbed!



Einstein 1905.


Sheldon Cooper, 2013. Proving that String isn't just theory.



Best year ever - Babe...Didrickson, 1932. Just sayin'.
   44. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:33 PM (#4250526)
[42] CFB: Injuries (and cancer). Lemieux did retire briefly at 31, but came back at 35 and played (sometimes sporadically) through 40. Gretzky was done at 38. Might be a small effect, but not much. Had 91 points in 67 games in 2003 at age 37, a PPG level Gretzky didn't reach after age 33.
   45. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4250538)
Philip K. Dick -- 1964; he wrote something like 374 fine-to-brilliant novels that year. Though, yes, PEDs were involved.
   46. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: October 02, 2012 at 06:48 AM (#4250702)
To me, Gretzky is the only one who has accomplished something like that in "our" sports -- more assists than anyone else has goals plus assists, and then he's the all-time leader in goals too. I feel that Gretzky is obviously the greatest athlete in the major North American sports. The only way he isn't is if you either are going for "pure athleticism" and thus give it to Jim Thorpe or something, or if you factor in that hockey is not that popular in the US and that Gretzky therefore didn't have the "cultural impact" of a Jordan or Ali.


Jerry Rice has a solid case as well.

#1 all time in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, total touchdowns, yards from scrimmage, and all purpose yards.

375 receptions (Jerricho Cotchery's career) ahead of #2.

7,000 receiving yards (more than Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow's career) ahead of #2.

43 receiving touchdowns (Mike Ditka's, Frank Gifford's, or John Taylor's career) ahead of #2.

23 total touchdowns ahead of #2 (running back Emmitt Smith), 52 total touchdowns (one fewer than Lynn Swann's career) ahead of the #2 wide receiver.

Only wide receiver in top 10 career yards from scrimmage, over 7400 (Hall of Famer Bob Hayes's career) ahead of #2 wide receiver.
   47. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 02, 2012 at 07:23 AM (#4250715)
As for the stats, well, yeah, they're obviously astounding, but he also played in the NHL equivalent of the 1930 American League. He's still the all-time leader in adjusted points, but it's not the same ridiculous gap. On top of that, Mario Lemieux was right with him in unadjusted points per game (1.92 to 1.88).

I think Lemieux was a better all around player.
   48. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: October 02, 2012 at 08:59 AM (#4250760)
1974 is a tie between Chuck Noll and Mel Brooks.

Yeah, a tie for second place. Francis Ford Coppola had The Conversation and Godfather II.
   49. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: October 02, 2012 at 09:00 AM (#4250761)
I believe Walter Johnson lost 1-0 75 times in his career.

No. I think he had 64 1-0 games, 30-some of which he won, and 20-some of which he lost.
   50. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: October 02, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4250766)
1943 Sammy Baugh - led the league in passing completion percentage on offense, grabbed the most interceptions on defense, and topped the NFL in average punting yards on special teams. He took Washington to the world title that year.
   51. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4251229)
1943 Sammy Baugh - led the league in passing completion percentage on offense, grabbed the most interceptions on defense, and topped the NFL in average punting yards on special teams. He took Washington to the world title that year.


How did Baugh stay out of the military draft?
   52. The District Attorney Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4251243)
He had a huge WAR that year.
Dying in August makes me suspect that Genghis was a Pirate...
   53. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: October 02, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4251532)
Jon Jones, 2011

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